Gaming came together well last night after all. Pauly and Rob made the trip in from the Fort to bring us up to 5, but with our DM missing somewhere out in the wilderness we played some board games instead. Tim and Robin rounded out the field – that was meant to be neither dismissive nor a weight joke.
Small World – the max # of players on this is 5. I find it works better with five than 3. It is a role selection + area control game with nicely streamlined mechanics and it drips with its fairly whimsical fantasy theme. At first it seemed to be overly simple – the decisions weren’t too complex. But by the end of the game it turns out that it was very tight and tense. I won and averaged 8.4 points a turn. I had several turns at 12 point each. I think 12 points should be a warning sign – 10 is likely an above average good round. a person making more needs to have their declining tribes eliminated. The choices aren’t really tactical for the most part. You are quite constrained in your troop movement. The big choices are: should I go into decline?, how much should I pay to get a better combo, and where on the map should the initial attack be launched from. The aspect that flavors these decisions is what the other players are doing.
Rob got a great opening combo – underworld plus trolls. He took many regions in the opening turn and a lot were on fountains. Underworld allowed him to expand very quickly!. The troll lair plus the mountain bonuses made them almost unassailable even once he went into decline. Next he got skeletons which autoreplenish. He only went into decline once with the trolls. He seemed the odds on favorite.
Pauly had a couple bad rounds, but as usual grasped the strategy quicker than the rest of us. He was also forced into decline more often than Rob. He never had a killer combo and one certainly fizzled on him.
I got a great combo for me second race – commando giants. Ten tokens and by the end of their second turn they held ten regions. Awesome. Those two turns won me the game. My first draw was flying halflings who also worked well – although I misplayed their first turn. My last race was humans – they did OK, but nothing splendid.
Robin and Tim played solid games, but like Pauly they never seemed to hold onto the regions for long – they were often in the highly contested flatlands along the boards edge. I won in the end with 84 points. Yay me. Everyone else lost. Yay Me!
Nuns on the Run – I wasn’t sure about this game because it seemed too silly. But I really like deduction games. In play, for the Novices at least, it is more of a press your luck game. How quickly can you move at maximum risk. It is also swingy – it seems to be going well for the Novices for a while and then al heck breaks loose and suddenly the abbess and prioress have the upper hand. We played twice – once a win for the guards – Tim at the helm. once a win for the Novices (actually just Robin). Despite the silliness and the swinginess it is very fun. My second game had me pinned between the two guards almost all game while Robin sprinted across the map untouched. The first had all the novices clustered in the kitchen area and suddenly the abbess couldn’t turn around without spotting one of them.
We called it a night after that. Good times!