Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Colonies Strike Back

Mike wants to toss the gauntlet? Two can play that game, friend...

Here are my responses to Mike's Top 10 lists. He critiqued mine, and pleaded with me to have mercy. We shall see.

Let me be clear. I do not dislike Agricola. I am simply concerned that the designer throws in wackiness mistaking it for replayability. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I have only played once, and the board looked like the artist was stuck in an airport with nothing to draw on but paper towels and the only pigments were from the condiment shelf at the McDonalds. There may even have been a good game there, had my migraine subsided long enough for me to recognize there were people in the room. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Have not tried most of the micro expansions for this particular title, although I suspect I own most of them. Which is really stupid because the rest of my group tends to not play even the good versions of this title. I bow to Mike on this one, as he has experience with all three and I do not.

A really great and really expensive contemporary version of table hockey, popular in the 50's. I think all of us growing up with older siblings from a certain age have these things stuck up in their parent's attics with no playing pieces. The table hockey, not Crokinole. Fun, beautiful, and kind of doomed, and certainly not something I'm going to pay for a custom table. Although it would look good out at Sunriver - perhaps a Crokinole fund!

Die Sieben Siegel/Zing!
Still a game I like, but Tichu is the sentimental favorite for me just because it feels like Bridge without feeling like an idiot because you can't remember Stayman or how you respond when someone asks you for kings on the way to slam. I will say that there are few games that provide such priceless expressions when you know that someone is going down hard.

Certainly more interesting than it's immediate predecessor, Antike. Hamburgum appears interesting. I love the fact that you get to be an armaments dealer, getting rich off of the spoils of the threat of war (and war, if it comes). Own your own Great Power! Woot!

Key Harvest

I've played Keytown once, and am pretty sure it's not in my collection again. Maybe its the cartoony back of a napkin graphics, or that we misplayed a rule. I think it's just that the games haven't come out when I'm around, and thus no opinion from me.

Wallenstein got a bad rap in my group fairly early on, and this one has gotten very mixed reviews, both from con-goers and from the 'Geek. Mike says they've fixed some things, so I'll be willing to give it a shot someday.

"There are certainly several common themes in that list. Planning, action-based, low/no luck. Games that didn't quite make the list include Acquire, Age of Steam, Aquadukt, Brass, Caylus, Clippers, Drive, Ingenious, Perikles, Pueblo, Santiago, Tigris & Euphrates, Tichu."

OK, that's just cheating.

A Victory Lost

Barbarossa to Berlin
If you're going to pick a card driven game, BtB ain't it. Paths of Glory is a better design, but it's still Hannibal that wins this category for now. BtB should have been just an East Front game, and the upcoming Stalin's War will do just that.

Commands & Colors: Ancient
Check. The best of Borg's C&C designs in many ways, although I hear the Air Power expansion makes Memoir '44 playable.

Defiant Russia

One I have but have not played yet. The small counters and map may be a problem for me.

East Front
I chose a different block game not because this isn't a great game, just that the other is more accessible and thus I've played more. Funny how I seemed to be filling categories as I made my list - "Best Block Game," "Best CDG," etc.

FAB: The Bulge
Way too early to tell, but promising.

I am the only American in the country who is less than enthralled with the American Civil War. Growing up in Oregon, a state that wasn't terribly involved largely because we just didn't let those colored folk in. A state where the clan had to pick on Catholics in the 30's because that was as ethnic as it got. Battle sites? Try the corner where little Billy got hit by a rock. We have no history here. Nothing to see. Move on.

Hell's Highway
Even though I have learned to enjoy Market-Garden games, I am not sure I will ever understand why. The US had a relatively small roll (although arguably the most successful of the operation), while the object was never truly attainable given the environment surrounding it. You would hope that someone would say, "Hey, we went out for a picnic there in '37, boy was that ground soggy!"

This Accursed Civil War
I have this title, and will probably try to figure it out at some point. I know where to go for an opponent and a clinic. To be honest, I find anything from Ancients through to the early 20th Century as uninteresting wargaming topics. Which is funny, as most miniatures players like that era the best, especially toward the end, mostly because of the shiny uniforms. For this era, I tend to prefer my games strategic rather than battle-level.

"Bubbling under for wargames is Bar Lev, Breakout: Normandy, Hammer of the Scots, Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage, OCS (system), GCACW (system) and Twilight Struggle."

More cheating. Do you film your opponents workout sessions as well before Super Bowls? Well? Do ya?

Funny how close we are on the Euros and how different on the wargames, where I've played about half of the games Mike has listed compared to most of them.

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