Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Weekly Route - From the Panama Canal to a dystopian future

The Weekly Route is never planned, sometimes there may be lots of stops and occasionally just one or two. This is where I like to take a look back at the previous week and check out the stops my gaming hobby took me to. Going to add something new this week, my CHOICE DESTINATION, basically my game of the week.

Dice to the Panamax!
First let's hop on a ship in Central America and traverse the Panama Canal, I have been hoping for a chance to get this one in. Finally it came my way at our Sunday game night. This is a pick up and deliver game turned upto eleven, a heavy euro which involves dice action assignments with a sidebar of stock manipulation. Of course for a first play it was a lot of learning and taking in all the aspects. I did love the dock bumping mechanic and how you can affect other peoples ships and deliveries to your own advantage. This one surely requires a return visit for me to fully appreciate it.

Farmers fight too
Lords of Xidit
A programming game that is less punishing than Robo-Rally or Colt Express, in this you get to be a Idrakys - the noble heirs of Xidit, and you must journey around the land collecting up brave warriors to fight off the marauding creatures, in the process accumulate your wealth, send bards to sing your praises or build up your guilds. At the end game you have to compare your standings in each of those three areas to determine the final legend of Xidit. A game that is pleasing on the eye on the table, a bright and colorful landscape of creatures and recruits. Attack the darkness with me next time!

Grand Cru
Before Viticulture and Vinhos there was this wine making game. You are an ambitious vintner setup up your vineyard, you have to begin by taking loans so you have money to spend on new vines or improvements to your business. Money is tight and wise choices will guide how well you do, you may look at short term gains, or hope for a long-tern play and wait for those expensive wines to mature. The game ends when someone has paid back all their loans and who has the most profitable vineyard wins. The opening loan mechanic interested me, you basically choose how much in debt you want to start off and it will certainly limit you if you go for less loans. I only got to play this two player with my wife, I think it needs another play with more players, but if Viticulture is anywhere near this won't see the light of day.

Building a dystopia
My final star
Have you always wanted to live in a dystopian future where all your workers are dumb and happy? Well now is your chance! Euphoria brings a unique back story to life, you control a team of workers, represented by dice. The numbers on each die represent your worker's knowledge, the awareness that he is stuck in a dystopian world, if your worker's collective knowledge becomes too high they will leave you. You work to place your influence (stars) throughout the world, the first player to complete this wins, the world is littered with paths to this victory with so many choices that are influenced by your initial allegiance selection at the start of the game. I happily squeaked out a victory in my first game and I felt I was just concentrating on one or two aspects of the game, which I loved, next time I will try something different. StoneMaier hits another one out of the park with this.

Here is a game that is strictly 4 players, if you don't have that number you will be unable to play. In this game each player is a investigator to a mystery, each of you is given a separate piece of the puzzle and the way you pass on information is restricted. You may only whisper to you direct neighbor, so telephone style the clues are passed around the table. During this time you aren't allowed to write anything down, only when all of it has had a chance to circulate around the table can you put pen to paper. At that point the detectives get asked three questions, no discussions, and you are scored on a total out of 12 scale on how you did. The uniqueness of this deduction game made it the highlight of my week and anticipate playing it again soon.

Other stops
Not a fan of being a Black Sheep... Pushed my luck pirating with Dead Man's Draw... Got all artistic again in Pastiche... Splendor provided a quick break... Welcome to the Dungeon, we got fun and games!!! An older card game Saga... Got my quilting on again, Patchwork... and finally Shadow Hunters allowed me to attack the darkness for the second time in a week... aww I'm out of mana.

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