Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More Catching Up

Boy, I've been a very bad blogger. September got very busy for me with a new choir I'm singing with, and I just never seemed to get around to making entries. Lots of games played, but I'm not sure how many of them I can remember. Here's a sampling of what's happened in the last couple of weeks...

Dungeoneer - Played this card-based dungeon crawl twice, once with my friend Connor and again with Chuck when he was here this past Saturday. This might be more fun with three, as there's a bit of a tendency for whoever goes up a level to run away with the game and two opponents might help put the smacky-smacky on the leader. I've got Tomb of the LIch Lord and Whatever Den We're Calling It This Week Of The Wererats, although we only played with Tomb in both cases. I was using the 2.1 rules, the 2.2 rules online look to be better organized (which would help). I may buy one more module and give it a try with three or four players at the Sunriver retreat in a month.

Twilight Struggle - The continuing struggle to like this game continues. Like Shifting Sands, it seems to have a lot of positive support, yet my game with Chuck was another blowout, this time in less than three turns. Every roll I needed for VP I got as the Sovs, while Chuck had to play scoring card after scoring card, and I was two spaces up on the Space Race and able to blow two of Chuck's events every turn on it. When Chuck played the Europe scoring card after I played one that allowed me to remove his control markers in Western Europe, giving me something like 28 points, he conceded. I've now played something like eight games of this, and half have had bizarre statistics (great rolls, awful rolls, a preponderance of scoring cards to one hand, etc), and I can't imagine that these are all flukes. When the best game we had was using the wrong Dominance scoring rules (the ones on the reference card), I have to think that the game has serious problems.

Roma - My first outing with this two-player game. Again, luck played a huge roll in me wiping Chuck out in about 20 minutes. There's a good game here, but again the luck factor is a problem. At least it's short.

Command and Colors Ancients - Our Central Tuesday session had very low attendance (me and Matt), at least partly due to the fact that we have some members going to Essen in the coming days. Matt had expressed interest in this game, and I had loaned him my copy to try out (he's never played any of the Borg variations on this theme, of which Ancients is head and shoulders above the rest), so we gave it a try. We played Crimmosis River (or however it's spelled), which is between Carthage and the Syracusans. Carthage has a problem in that there is a river to be forded for about half of their troops, including two elements of medium infantry, two warrior bands, medium cavalry, and three or four elements of light troops, while the balance of the troops (two heavy inf, chariots, and three light troop elements (are positioned for immediate combat. The Syracusans have four heavy inf elements lined up with two leaders, with light troops to either side and one element of medium cavalry, and have a bit of an advantage so I had Matt take them.

And what an advantage. Matt was rather quickly up to four of the five VP he needed for a win within a few turns. Both Medium Infantry I brought across the river got wiped out quickly, as did the medium cavalry and an element of auxilia (light infantry with strong close combat strength, but with fewer special abilities such as Evade). He even managed to wipe one of my heavy inf elements, the one with the leader, down to a single unit. However, nothing is ever over until it's over in C&C games, and when I got my heavy infantry and chariots going, his units started taking a real pounding and I ended up wiping out his slingers, three units of heavy infantry, a unit of auxilia, and a leader before he could finish me off and I was able to grab victory from the jaws of defeat. A very exciting game, I'm a big fan of this particular title which is a bit surprising considering I sold Memoir '44 at auction and am in the process of dumping Battle Cry as well. The two things that make this game, as I've said before, are the battle back, evasion, and line cohesion rules. While there is still no element of facing, making flank attacks perhaps less effective than they were in the period, and the game is still a dice-fest, I definitely feel like I have more control over my fate than in the other titles.

Matt and I ended with my first two-player game of Attika, which I'd only played three-player before and disliked when one player built up a ton of amphorae and won easily. Two player is much more fun, although I have to admit that I ran roughshod over Matt from the mid-game on, and there was little danger of me losing for the last handful of turns. Still, it's a very interesting puzzle on how to manage your structures and when to draw cards and when to put buildings on the map. Like St. Petersburg, this one is better suited to two than three or more.

I will make more of an attempt to keep up to date with the recaps in the future. Thanks to Matt for hosting CenTu, and here's hoping a few more make it to Mike's next week.

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