This is Part 2 of 4 of my gaming report of Gamestorm 13. Each part will be posted over the next few days.
Friday started out rather uneventfully - I woke up somewhat early despite having stayed up late. I took my time getting up then headed to the hospitality room for breakfast.
- Biblios - Again. Chris was teaching to Jon when I got back from breakfast and jumped in to play as well.
- Die Sieben Siegel - Another card game. This was actually "Wizards Extreme" - a 'nasty' trick-taking game with an interesting twist - you must guess exactly how many tricks AND what colors you will win by selecting chips of those colors in the numbers specified then putting them back when you win an appropriate trick. Left over chips are negative points. Only one card suit is wild. Not sure who won the first game, but the 2nd game I won by trying out the evil wizard dude (where you try to screw everyone else by giving them negative chips).
- Haggis - I taught Rog and Chris. My review says it all about gameplay. I will say this was my first time playing 3 player and it's tougher in some respects because either player can have really good cards and it's harder to tell how strong your hand is. Rog did extremely well for his first time and my cards sucked (or I just bet and played them wrong). Chris has already purchased his own copy.
- Habitat - Rog taught me this game. It's fairly light but has some interesting decisions and is fun as well. The cards are nice with various animals depicted. Basically, you are trying to build up an eco-system by getting cards on the table with number values 1 thru 8 - getting multiples/duplicates doesn't help. You have to start with base prey cards then build up from there. There are also special events that affect the game in different ways and you can also steal columns of cards when playing predators in a certain manner. It's tougher than it sounds, but the rules are not all that complicated. Note that a copy of this was at the flea market but Chris bought it before I had a chance. I think my kids will like this game and will probably get a copy.
- Showmanager - Chris and I had about 1 hr before our next game that we had signed up for. We had 6 so were looking for something that could take that many but was also relatively short. I suggest Showmanager. Some were skeptical due to the 1 to 1-1/2 hr timing but I said I could teach it quickly and if there was no AP we could do it. And, somehow, we managed to get it taught AND played by 6 players in under an hour! This was only my 2nd time playing (and was my first time teaching - the rules are pretty easy though). The main idea is to collect cards (actors) and, when the right set is accumulated, put on a show! Your total value is your score. You must put on a total of 4 shows. Any show you complete is available to borrow money against to be able to hire good actors for the remaining shows. Points are determined by how much money each show garnered compared to all the other shows. There is LOTS of moaning and groaning in this game because with 6, by the time it comes around to you the cards you wanted are often flushed out and you are left with crap. I found this game to be just as fun compared to the first time I played. It is OOP and hard to get and the reprint artwork is not very good so I'm glad I got a copy last year before it came out.
- Industrial Waste - This is a great economic game with an interesting card drafting method where sets of cards are dealt out with no duplicates in each. You pick them up in turn order and then play cards one at a time around the table. It also has a chart along the lines of Goa where you must try to improve your company in efficiency in several ways which also increases your functionality and gives you more points in a triangle scoring way (1, 3, 6, 10, 15). The struggle for points is a biting/clawing affair trying to eek out that next level to get ahead. The other interesting feature of this game is to earn money you have to fulfill contracts, but to fulfill contracts you have to have resources AND you produce dangerous waste at the same time. The resources come from auctions you can put up (which also earn you money or let you get the resources you need). In fulfilling contracts, you have to balance the risk of too much waste (and having an accident which costs you money and loss of income) vs. how much time you spend making yourself more efficient and/or cleaning up the waste. I made one small mistake near the end which took me out of the running of a very tight 3-way race for 1st. Lynette was kind enough to teach and we had a great time as usual (I played 2 years ago as well with her). Thanks Lynette!
- High Frontier - Space. The final Frontier. These are the voyages of rocket stacks flying through the solar system to eek out a small living in a hostile environment fraught with danger and claim jumping Chinese. Phil Ecklund does it again with another true-to-life simulation/game. This was my second time playing and I finally had some idea of how to get a rocket into space pretty much all on my own. Doug made terrific use of his solar wing to get himself onto Mercury and also had a successful landing on Mars. Rog got stuck trying to figure out how to land on Jupiter and Chris had to inefficiently fly 2 missions to the same location before he could land on some rock in the outer belt. Outstanding game and fun just for the experience and effort as much as anything.
- Garden Competition - Attack of the weeds! This is a somewhat heavy game for something about flowers with players vying for their neighbor's attention to receive flowers as gifts, bribing the competition judges to reveal what they are looking for to score higher, and attacking the other players with weeds via the next door neighbor's yards. It's garden warfare at it's finest!
- Jet Set - Loved this take on route building with the huge layout of routes available and interesting mechanics of balancing the earning of money with trying to make more points than the other players. I focused too much on the routes out on the table and not enough on my vacation route (which scores 20 points if you complete it first and forces the end game). This one needs another play so I have a shot at the win next time!
- Coloretto - A nice filler - one of the first gamer type games I learned 3 years ago and still enjoy playing it with it's tense set collection mechanic. Great fun for end of night gaming.
- No Thanks - Another fun filler that I haven't gotten to play much before - I thought I had the win, but didn't amass enough coins by the end to compensate for other's hording.