Dragon Delta – A good fun game

1. The game was a big hit with a couple of kids aged 6 and 10. Bth wanted to play it again after one play!

2. The game is a typical race game and reminded me of the old Chinese Checkers with the strategic euro element that makes it so much more interesting and fun.

3. The components are well produced though the box just looks a bit big for the amount of stuff in it.

4. The rules are simple and easy and can be explained in 5 minutes.

5. Pawns are moved across the delta based on a series of action cards. Each player chooses five cards out of their hand of action cards and place them face down below simultaneously.

6. The delta is filled with rocks. Stones have to be placed on the rocks, and planks across two stones to create a series of rickety bridges on which the pawn moves.

7. The dragon cards in each player’s hand cancel out the action of another player and adds just that element of nastiness to the game.

8. The other interesting factor is that though the planks are colour coded, this is mainly for the initial placement. There is also a restriction that when one plays, the card that helps one to replenish a plank from the board, you cannot take a similar sized plank that you already have. You can also not hold more than 2 colours of planks.

9. The game is won when the first player moves a pawn to a village on the opposite side of the delta. This again is colour coded in such a way that specific pawns have to move to specific villages in order to win.

10. Overall a good fun game, can be used as a gateway game also, has enough strategic elements to keep everyone interested. The theme also seems to sit very well on the game.

Thurn & Taxis and the expansion

I got the new expansion for Thurn & Taxis and immediately we played a 2p session. Firstly I realised that I had played T&T wrongly for so long now. I have completely forgotten to reduce the points for houses not placed onto the board at the end of the game! Thanks to BGG I noticed it only today. anyway coming to the expansion, it is a new board with new cards. The only thing you need from the original game is the houses in the different colours. As someone posted on BGG, you don’t even need the original if you just get the expansion! Personally the expansion provides me with just that different feel and interest for someone who has got bored of the original but liked it a lot. So unless you really loved the original, played a lot, got bored, but would not mind playing the same game with a subtle shift, this expansion is not worth it.

Games played May 07

Wow! Have completed 2 years of boardgaming. Things are just hotting up. Am getting a few more games this weekend and there are a few more games lying unplayed at home. So a good couple of months ahead on the gaming front.

May was the month of annual holidays for children. This means the kids in our building will get to some gaming at home. The tough part was in deciding what game to play. Shreyasi always has a game in mind and will not play anything else most of the time. Guha loves train games, while Sai wants to play a game he has ever played. We did however manage to a good month of gaming, 61 plays and 24 different games.

TTR:  USA 1910 – 8 plays – Still remains the favorite for everyone. Sushanth also has started playing it.

Bohnanza & Thurn & taxis – 6 plays each – Two of Sai’s friends actually landed up one evening and managed to learn and play T & T which was good. Bohnanza of course is Sushanth’s favorite game.

High Society & Settlers of Catan – 5 plays each – Settlers is played when Varadu comes in during his lunch hour at office. I enjoyed High Society again after a long time.

Cartagena, Prices of Florence & San Juan – 3 plays -We finally played the Cartagena version with open cards and it was a different challenge. Prices was the new game for the month and instant hit. Superb game and right t the top of my all time games along with Puerto Rico. San Juan, again only 2p games but it is getting closer and closer. All three games were won by a single point!

Alhambra, Atlantic Star, Carcassonne, Railroad Tycoon & TTR:Marklin – 2 plays each

Coda, Lucca Citta, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper,  Power Grid Italy/France, Puerto Rico, Ra, Schildkroetenrennen, TTR, Tutankhamen & Wildlife – 1 play each – Lucca Citta was another new gam. It was ok but may not hit the table again. It was nice to play Ra again. Super game. I feel it is better than Amun-Re. Enjoyed Tutankhamen again. we finally played a full 6p game of Wildlife and it was really great.

TTR 1910:USA – What makes it different and better

I have been raving about this game the last few months and just noticed that the no of plays is close to 100 now.  We have been playing it everyday almost. Aarthi (my wife) just loves the game and does not mind playing it with any number of players. What makes it different? Is it not the same as the original game? Well here is my take on this. Firstly 1910 has 3 different ways of playing the game. I don’t care for the 1910 or the Big Cities version that much. It is the mega game that is most engaging. Firstly the mega game has 65 destination tickets. There for there is a lot at stake in terms of points. There have been games where we have runaway winners with 200+ points. There have been games with players winning only because of the bonus got from completing the maximum no of tickets. There have been 5 player games where everyone gets minus points and it becomes a scramble to get the winner. There have been games where one tries to finish the game fast and not allow others to pick up more tickets. There are some obvious strategies to the design of the tickets. If you can connect LA-NY-Chicago-Miami quickly then you can make a killing picking up more tickets. But this becomes very difficult if one player keeps picking cards from the deck and you never get the cards you want.

In terms of no of players, the game is very tight with 3 and 5. But with 2 and 4 the strategy depends more on the ability to pick more tickets. Sometimes picking more tickets can also backfire and each one ends up picking the others’ tickets and getting minuses in the process! Overall the game is engaging, tense, bouncy and makes you completely forget the original. I had got bored of the original but after getting this the game has picked up immensely.

Large group, no game components? Play these games

There is a large group and you want to play some games. No game components available. Check this out. They are a sure fire way to pass time especially with some little children around! Hoping to catch a few these with my kids when we travel in summer this year.

Yehuda: 12 Games With No Components For Large Groups

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Goa – Some thoughts

Goa is a highly ranked game on BGG. It is basically a gamer’s game as explained in the many reviews I have seen of it. We managed to open it and get it going this month. We had 3 plays with 2 players and here are some initial impressions.

  • There is a similarity to Puerto Rico in some ways. Though not directly it is more to do with the Euro feel of the game I think. There are so many ways of winning. As Srikanth likes to say, ‘Euros are games that give you many ways to win!’
  • For first timers there will be some difficulty in assimiliating all the different ways of accumulating victory points, but after a few plays the game is very clean and smooth.
  • The amount of choices are a bit overwhelming. For instance you have 6 different actions to choose from. In addition you can play expedition cards any time and also play some of the tiles that you won in an auction. So the choices are really huge.
  • The game plays very well with 2. It is for 2-4 players but the initial auction mechanism is also quite engrossing even with 2 players.
  • The only grouse if any in a 2 player session is that because we have only 4 rounds for each set of tiles, there are more tiles that never get used as opposed to the ones that get auctioned.
  • Am really waiting to play with more players to see the difference.
  • In the final analysis rock solid game with lot of strategy and flow. A trifle dry you can say though.

Boardgame Knowledge

&games: Boardgame knowledge.

Check out the above link. A super post on how one acquires boardgame knowledge. This is something people whom I introduced games to haev always wondered about. How did you know about this? Where did you find out about all these games?

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