Winning the arms race

Somehow Jonathan, Edmund, and myself managed to fight our way through the trials and tribulations of life to get to the White Lion last night to play games.

One of the hardest things to do for a game night is deciding before hand what to take along to possibly play. Too many games competing for attention. Thanks to the “I’m going” option of the Facebook event for the evening it helps narrow the options down. But it’s still a hard decision. You have to cater for those going (taking into account their likes and dislikes) and potentially for anyone else that turns up.

In the end, after minutes of indecisiveness, I grabbed Tiny Epic Quest, The Manhattan Project, Love Letter: Batman and Red 7.

Our first game of the evening was the classic worker placement game The Manhattan Project. 

When I recorded that we were playing the game in the boardgame stats app it showed as a first play! So it has been around two years since Jonathan and I last played the game. That’s so shameful. A great game like The Manhattan Project deserves to be played more regularly. But with so many games between us, and new stuff coming in, it’s so hard to get everything to the table.

With there being such a long gap since our long play we were having to refresh our memories of the rules, whilst explaining the rules to Edmund. 

I have the expansion for the game, which is modula (you only play with the bits you want to). The bit we have played with is the Nations module, which are some cards that make each player unique, giving them an ability that only they can use. I combine the expansion Nation cards with the cards from the Nations mini expansion.

Jonathan had forgotten about testing bombs, which he remembered after I tested mine. But at that point it was too late he’d screwed his game plan up. I was the first to test a bomb, therefore picking up 8 whole points. There was some pressure from Edmund but I’d got a good engine going on my player board that meant I was mostly just doing actions on my board and not the main one.

I managed to grab the win. But Edmund and I had ran way ahead on the points front. 

We really are blessed with some great worker placement games in our collections. It’d be fair to say we enjoy that mechanic. We must try harder getting them to the table. But it won’t be easy.

Our second and final game of the evening was a learning game of Red 7.

I’d picked this up at the Expo. Since it’s release a couple of years ago now it’s had really good buzz. 

Having now played the game I can see why. At first it seems so simple. 49 cards, split between 7 colours each numbered between 1 to 7. Each colour is associated with a rule, for example for Red the rule is highest value wins. Each player starts with a hand of 7 cards, and a face up card in front of them called their pallete. On your turn you can play a card to your pallete, to the canvas (like a discard pile) to change the rule. Or do both. The only condition is you have to be winning at the end of your turn or you are out.

This is a real thinker. It’s great fun playing it in the basic mode, or the advanced. Basic mode is a single round game. Advanced is first to a point total based on number of players. With 3 players it was 35 points. The advanced mode sees cards being removed and kept to one side to track points. The winner of a round scores the cards that meets the winning criteria. They go under that players player reference. So removed from the game. Which adds another level of strategy you have to consider. Plus it’s possible to draw cards in the advanced mode. It’s so much fun in advanced mode. It gets even more thinky! 

Plus we didn’t use the optional rule that brings into play the icons on the odd numbered cards!

Oh Edmund rocked this game and won the basic game and the advanced one.

This was a fun game. Lived up to the hype. Will definitely be hitting the table again.

A great evening gaming again, with great people. Cliched I know. But it’s true.

Same time next week?

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