Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Games at Wednesday Game Night

I took a break from playing my own project to try some other new games. It's always a pleasure to try something new, and not have to worry about rewriting the rules if something doesn't quite seem perfectly balanced.

First I joined a five player session of Tokaido. There are numerous special spaces and card combination goals, but movement is simple and the game moves at a comfortably quick pace. The mechanics of the game are well-suited to the purpose of enjoying a journey across Japan. The visual design as you can see is understated beauty. You earn points toward winning by making sure you take in the scenery, move as slowly as practical, and enjoy a wide variety of delicious dishes. (Of course I am reminded of the tasty adventurers in Wandering Monster!)
I placed somewhere in the middle in final scoring, and agreed with the group it was the perfect length for the style of play. I would readily play it again.

Next I followed one of the Tokaido players to another table, for a three person match of Ginkopolis. Wow, this is a complex game.

The vast array of pieces, options, and strategic choices was simply overwhelming. I took a guess at the type of strategy that would give me a shot at glory, and just tried to follow along. Procedurally, I definitely was able to follow the draft-based turn sequence, and help move the resource counters, and collect my score. Mentally it was the equivalent to taking a final exam I had not studied for. But of course, since I wasn't being graded apart from final scoring, this intensity made it a satisfying and memorable experience.

Not too surprisingly I came in dead last. But it felt right for a learning round. My main lesson if you're considering the game: build up your combo stacks of cards and start running them like a machine. That certainly seemed to work.

Next time I'll be sure to fit in more of Wandering Monster. There are some new monster powers, including Fire Breath and Dog Breath, to go with the classic Acid Breath. Also I'm toying with some creative ways to condense distances on a nearly empty board near the conclusion of the game.

Are you going to a game night at Endgame? Let me know and I'll look for you there.


  1. I waited months to start at boardgame night. Every week seemed too busy. But it's worth the effort, even if you just squeeze in the first 90 minute session and take off by 8:00. You can always bring the kids and set them up with Cards Against Humanity. I hope you can make it!