With the arrival of my Kickstarter exclusive deluxe copy of The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction (it came while I was away visiting Nath), naturally I wanted to get it to the table.
So a quick post yesterday on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page enquiring about availability of others during the day to meet up and play was made. I do feel like I’ve jumped back to eight year old Darren when I make this kind of post. The eight year old me standing in front of a big red door, knocking several times to get some-ones attention. Who is then confronted by an irritated and stressed mother who I have just dragged away from some important task to answer the door. “Can Johnny come out to play please?” I ask hopefully. As eight year old me awaits an answer so does old man Darren sit there checking Facebook for any replies, constantly hitting refresh.
Debbie replied she was free after 5pm when worked finished. Or in eight year Darren’s world of the seventies when she had done all the chores her mum had given her.
We arranged to meet up at the grown up play ground Spoons just after five.
Later in the day I also got messaged by Jonathan that he too might be allowed out to play. But if he wasn’t there by five thirty to start without him.
So to cater for Jonathan not having completed whatever chores he had been allocated I packed two two player only games. New arrival and über bargain from The Works Sun Tzu and 7 Wonders Duel.
I had chosen a nice table to sit at that sadly was inappropriate because although the gush of cool air as the main door opened was refreshingly nice, it also blew away cards on the table. So Debbie and I relocated to another less breezy location within the establishment.
Just as I was setting up The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction Jonathan arrived.
This was a learning game, and although I’d read the rules a couple of times, watched a couple of YouTube videos, I still needed to use the rules to setup and explain the game. But that is an accepted part of this sort of gaming session. None of us have played the game, we are all learning, and at times none of us have had time to read the rules either.
The rules are simple enough and fairly quick to teach. In fact the most complicated part I’d say is the set up! And that isn’t overly complicated.
Naturally The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction is a card game that captures the essence of the worker placement big brother The Manhattan Project.
Like its big brother it’s a race to build bombs and reach a points total, in this case ten points to trigger the end game. Person with highest score wins.
This is a game of combos, and using your cards either as a worker resource or as a production unit of some kind. With the odd card that gives you extra card draw or ability to force an opponent to discard, or even steal a card from an opponent.
Turns are usually pretty quick. So little analyse paralysis, if any. Some player interaction.
I love the fact it used art from its big brother. So it’s instantly familiar if you’ve played the big brother, even when it comes down to decoding the cards. But even then this wasn’t an issue because Debbie hadn’t played the big brother before and quickly picked things up.
In my deluxe version I have wooden tokens to use instead of the cards to represent yellow cake and uriduim. These are really nice and a nice addition.
Chain Reaction for me really does capture the essence of its big brother, it’s light, quick to play and learn. It really is a nice game, I’d definitely recommend getting a copy.
We followed up trying to blow up the world with a game of Harbour.
I like Harbour. It can be frustrating because it is very reliant on what the starting buildings are in the middle. In this game I was locked out of one building because I didn’t have an anchor, and could only use half of another’s ability for the same reason.
Jonathan this time found the ever changing market a source of frustration. Which it can be, but still I do like that mechanic.
The lead moved around the players as we bought buildings, screwed each other over manipulating the market, but despite that Debbie edged in front and skilfully completed the four buildings required to trigger the end game.
Points totalled Jonathan and I drew for last place or if you want to be positive about it second place. But romping home with a massive lead was Debbie. So Debbie robbed me of my title of Harbour Master.
Oh the above card came out near the end of the game. We thought it was an insanely powerful card. I hadn’t seen it before. But wow!
Anyway with my precious stolen it was time to go home our mums were calling our eight year old selfs back in for tea.