Saturday, May 01, 2010

April Games

April was a good month with 47 games played of 27 different games! Here are some of the highlights of the month.

Hive is still in the lead with 6 plays in April. It's been one of my tops games every month so far and I don't see the obsession slowing down soon. By contrast my top played game of last year Dominion has not hit the table this year yet. I am off to the U.K. tomorrow, I've already sent my family over there the game Dominion, so that will hit the table, and I've just thrown Hive in my suitcase too :)

Werewolf has hit the table again in April, but another one of my current obsessions is the game Sticheln I've heard various theories about the name of this game, apparently it is a German pun that doesn't really translate. I believe the name is a sort of pun -- "sticheln", as I understand it, means "to prick", while "Stich" is the word for "trick" (the card game version.) Imagine a trick taking game where a) you don't have to follow the suit that was led and b) every card that is not the same as the color led is instantly trump! Then add a crazy scoring system that makes it very easy to get negative points and you get some of the painful enjoyment that is Sticheln. The game play is very interactive and you often have to choose between giving yourself a few positive points or giving a lot of negative points to a competitor :)

Dixit is almost at the other end of the spectrum to Sticheln. Yes there is a game here complete with keeping score, but your score seems almost irrelevant to the fun of the game. The cards feature some of the most beautiful artwork I have seen.

Through the Ages
is not the sort of game I normally enjoy.
A full game usually takes about 3 1/2 hours and involves guiding your civilization through various eras. Helping them learn new Technology and develop Art and Religion and Warfare. I think what appeals to me in this game more than some of the others I have played is that it feels a bit more like multi-player solitaire than a pitched battle. Yes you can attack other players, but that is not the central theme of the game. Each turn I am trying to discern how to maximize my civilization given the various options presented to me.
It's strange, I like Sticheln because it features a lot of 'mess with your opponent' opportunities while I like Through the Ages because it doesn't!

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