I’m glad to see you gave the dummy rolls a try, what did you think? In my opinion it goes a long way to reclaiming the gambl-y jackpot feel you get at a full table.
It went much faster because one quickly has more income than one knows what to do with. I think one should also remove cards from the market by some random(?) mechanism at the same time.
Overall, I think we’re keeping them.
My wife and I played two games of Ticket to Ride: London today. I won the first by a good margin, thanks to an 11 point ticket and a missed ticket on her part. She won the second by 4 points, from the 1 point and 3 point connection bonuses.
Combined, the two games took the better part of an hour, but a good chunk of that was taking care of the kids, so actual gameplay, including set up and put away, was closer to 30 minutes. It is still nice being able to get the TtR experience in such a short timeframe.
I had a couple of games of Crokinole, its pretty addictive
Made some more progress on out 10x10 with a couple rounds of Rallyman GT. We notice fewer mistakes each time we play, and this is the first time we both felt that we were completely on top of it.
I was inspired by @Mintochris and his Arkham Horror painting blitz, so I’ve set up Path to Carcosa with Roland, Pete and Duke to play solo over the week. I fully anticipate losing my mind.
I set up Forbidden Stars this afternoon for a two-handed solo game (not at all recommended, just had the itch), but I only finally got to sit down with it this evening, and got about halfway before calling it a night. It’s been long enough since my first (and only) play of this game that it’s basically a learning game, but I’m happy the mechanics clicked back in fast because wow it’s a lot to manage. On the upside, there isn’t a chance in hell I can remember my own actions let alone my “other player’s”, so there’s plenty of surprise still in the reveals.
It’s the Space Marines vs. the Chaos Space Marines (oh Warhammer) on the default setup to speed things along. The World Eaters (Chaos) took an early hit and lost a space marine unit in a far corner to an orbital strike, and the Ultramarines were able to push quickly into a sector with an objective. They opted for speed over power though, and all units were lost in the fracas; the objective was now undefended, however.
In the next round, The World Eaters were able to use their special ability to quickly gain presence in the system with a cultist, and plugged up the action stack there, forcing the Marines to take a turn in a different sector and later to skip a turn altogether. Although the Marines managed to control the planet and objective early in the round, The World Eaters reclaimed it in a decisive victory.
As it stands, it’s a bit of a stalemate, but Chaos has managed to buff their actions and deck, while the Marines have a fairly strong ground army in striking distance of the objective already. It’s anyone’s game.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone attempt this with this particular game, but I have to admit I’m having a stupidly good time scrapping myself. We’ll see if I get time to finish tomorrow.
The back half is complete, and it ended in a WILD upset.
The centre left of the board was the battleground for the following two rounds and while The World Eaters made it a grind for their aggressors, eventually they fell and the first objective went to the Ultramarines. Combat went to morale checks however, and the Chaos army was able to make a really juicy retreat back into friendly territory. This offered a blockade against the Marines’ advance, and gave them a good path to their own objective.
What came next was just a ruthless steamroller from the Ultramarines. The World Eaters were beaten down to a scattered collection of cultists by round 8, and things were looking pretty hopeless. The Ultramarines managed a few catastrophic flubs (including a zero-hit orbital strike with 7 dice!), but these felt inconsequential.
…at least at first. On the final Imperial assault for their game-winning objective, Chaos was able to turtle down with a meagre collection of cultists, but landed the right cards and dice to keep from getting routed and sent their assailants packing. What’s more, they were able to spread a few cultists to the wind during the combat, and the final two turns were theirs.
The World Eaters were able to pop out a cheap ship, linking them to a now very lightly defended objective token with a legal path for ground units. They used an upgrade ability to buy a discounted Titan, got a free cultist conversion into a Chaos Space Marine, marched on over to their ultimate destiny aaaaaaaaaaand… just kinda sat there. The Ultramarines had no choice but to amass as much defense as possible, so the city-sized death machine just kinda picked its butt, mostly free to play morale cards and watch the opposition concede.
Very unexpectedly, Chaos managed to grab an objective on the very final turn of the game. This forced a tiebreaker, and with the cultists mostly being allowed to “pollinate” in the final rounds of the game, The World Eaters won by having a single friendly planet more than the Ultramarines.
I’m going to end up doing this again. I could write a novel about the nonsense in this game.
I rejoined our Monday Game Night after a small Covid scare last week and played two games.
Pan-Am, which I really enjoyed, if a bit unpredictable, it was a good light network + economy euro. And funny enough, the theme was quite interesting too. I am glad they don’t delve in the '77 Tenerife accident, that would have been unpleasant. Finished last out of 4, but didn’t mind. Would happily replay. Even though it has yet another map where NZ does not appear. At least they took out the Aussies too.
And then we went on to play Great Western Trail between 3. And even though the first hour two of us didn’t have a clue of what was going on, towards the second half of the game I started enjoying it myself. I think it suffer from a little bit of Monopoly syndrome (cash in by Start, sort of) and overuse of symbols and icons that on your first play look like Egyptian hieroglyphs. I think it is a game that could do with an artistic remake, tbh. We were getting to quite late in the evening, so we didn’t count up VPs in the end (it was either that or tidying up well after 10.30 pm, and the host kindly reminded us what time it was), but I enjoyed it to a degree that I would not have minded winning, losing or anything else… Definitely not a game to finish the night, perhaps better as an opener. Looking at its position on the top 100, it left me scratching my head a little bit. I’d rather play any Brass over this.
So after two very American euros, called it a night.
The whole perspective of the map throws me off.
Interesting, I did quite enjoyed that it was not the usual “Risk” map. Although I can see how it could test some people’s geography (as it did in our game), it is very unusual to have the North Pole in the centre.
Funny you should mention that. How about a second edition with at this time unknown artistic changes and minor rules changes in 2021 followed by versions with rules variations (unknown exactly how) set in Argentina in 2022 and in New Zealand in 2023?
Actually, that came up on conversation during the game. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the “tepees” both in the Argentinian and Kiwi versions. If they are going to put Pahs and the Treaty of Waitangi, that could stir some controversy very quickly…
The art of the game (as opposed to the box) is one of the things that first drew me to it, so I’m curious but not overly excited about the new edition’s art. (Rails to the North, on the other hand, I haven’t bought mostly because of the art.) I found the symbols quite easy to parse (quite a feat of graphic design, I thought!), but that seems to be different for me in many games.
Play it more, and I think you’ll find that the money you get in Kansas City is only half the money equation. Sure, it probably powers one big buy each time around the board, but it’s the little bits you collect along the way that will be the difference between two good players.
I didn’t get the impression from the very little information available that the games will be quite that similar. Given Pfister’s track record, I’d actually expect indigenous peoples whitewashed out of the sequels. They’re just not as “glamorous” as the Indians in classic Westerns.
I was taking more that approach, but at a rate that the other two players going through Kansas at nearly twice the rate I was going put the end game forward a lot earlier than I expected. We just managed to get the train to about position 10-11, and I only had 3 cowboys and two workers. Which made me wonder how can you manage to fill that grid, or get so far on the train bit.
Anyway, would not refuse a replay, but left me a bit cold.
Yeah, the game ends fast. Once you know the pace, though, it gets easier to measure out what might have value and what doesn’t.
You cannot fill the grid. If you do, something is wrong. Even filling one row takes some concentration.
Hitting the end with the train means you got engineers at just the right moment, you got lucky with a poor deck of cards, and you knew how to use those advantages. It’s also a lot easier when there are more locomotives, because you start out having fewer spaces to move. (But it is such a glorious feeling when you hit the end and your opponents are trying to figure out how to simultaneously jaw-drop and teeth-grind! )
Edit: The first year it was out, I played it mostly two-player, and about half the time, we’d agree to artificially prolong the game by alternating employee rows 2-3-2-3. But then we realized we were “getting soft”. So we went back to the rules as written, and the game kicked our butts for a while again.
For all I love GWT, I’m not a fan of it with 2 players. Which is a shame because my kids don’t like it so at the moment I can’t play it.
Played Unmatched tonight with my wife, her with the usual Medusa, and I trying out Sherlock Holmes on the SoHo map.
Things started put pretty even, both of us dinging the other for single points of damage here and there. However, she was stopping my big damage cards with her big defense, while hers were more mid range attacks and mid range defenses for myself. Also, many of her attacks caused me to discard, giving her a hamd advantage.
This is what gave her a pretty easy victory, as I was forced to discard my last card after attacking her, and she was able to Gaze of Stone me (which judging by her laughter after she drew her card that turn, it was what she drew) for 10 damage, bringing me to 1. I managed to survive a few more rounds after that, even with maneuvering twice a turn to draw cards, I could not get a hand together, and ran out of defense cards. One of her Harpies finally put me out of my misery.
Another win for Medusa by superjaz. I did not realize how good the SoHo map was for ranged fighters until we started playing on it. Especially with Medusa’s 3 movement, it made it really hard to stay away from her when trying to buy time, as she could almost always move into Sherlock’s zone with just her 3 moves.
Tonight my wife suggested we play a game and we decided upon Lords of Vegas with the Up expansion again. A lot of Albion came out early, to the point that neither of us bothered to build any the entire game. I had the only Vega, and changed it up when the ninth card for it came out. We only had one Strip card play very early on, which netted me 1 point.
Our early and long term investments were in Pioneer, which turned out to have about half its cards beneath the Game Over card. Tivoli had a good number there as well, and, of course, the other two Strip cards.
My wife had a lucky turn when she just Raised her two tile Tivoli casino, which then paid out the next two turns, letting her jump up the scoring track. I managed to catch up thanks to my Vega casino, and then a 3 (later 4) tile Sphinx casino, which kept scoring. Really, most of the game I got better payouts than my wife, I think because I had more diversity in my casinos, and also tended to have more lots.
Game ended 49 - 36, in my favor. Up really adds a whole new dimension (nudge nudge) to the game that we are still adapting to. Knowing when to build up over building out feels key, amd now some turns are just spent hoarding money in order to Raise a casino later. Really having fun with it.
More breadth, but less depth in the 10x10 with a great game of Parks. We started this project as a way of curtailing game purchases and to remind ourselves of why we got a lot of these games in the first place, but now all we want to do is go buy expansions for Rallyman GT and Parks.
Introduced some new players to Great Western Trail - my first 4p game (played a bunch but always 2-3p). I went heavy on the cows early on, using my initial laps to pick up one of each of the 3s and a 5. Then focused on getting a few more buildings and objective cards. I suddenly realised two thirds in I didn’t have enough to fulfill all the objective cards to score them, so had a mad dash of picking up teepees and hazards where I could.
Fortunately managed to fulfill everything except my starter card - I’d need one more hazard which would get me 4 points for the hazard and 3 for the card. But then the player who I was racing for the final Kansas drop off suddenly sped up! So I had to choose between gunning for Kansas or getting the objective and being one space(!!) short of Kansas. I chose Kansas.
I was actually hoping to beat him there for the 2VP token, but my cows were so bad I had a lot more to gain from getting some more actions in along the way to get to a higher station. Managed to get to where I needed for the 8VP station link so it was worthwhile in the end.
Final points were 80 (the person I was racing at the end), 79 (me), 55 and 20. The opponent speeding up at the end was what won it for him, since I had lot more to gain from an extra turn than he did, but I didn’t expect it to come so close to the wire. Third and fourth place spread themselves too wide, trying a bit of everything, but that’s the lesson of GWT!
The winning player had gone heavy on trains to pick up the station manager tiles, with cows as supporting strategy.
SO CLOSE. It was probably my fav game of GWT I’ve had. We’re going to play Rails next time. Excited! Not tried it before.
(My favourite part was adding the ‘auxillary action + 1 movement’ building in the place before Kansas. So handy being able to cycle your deck or push your train right before the cattle count.)
Glad you enjoyed it. Personally not a fan of RttN, but I think it’s because I’m terrible with the expansion.
Such a great game