|(c) Rio Grande Games. Used by permission|
We were joined by Keith Ferguson, Carson, Brian G., and Brian D., so Glenn pulled out Las Vegas (designer Rüdiger Dorn, artists Harald Lieske and Mia Steingräber, publisher Ravensburger), a fun, quick dice-allocation game. This game worked well for the six of us, and I jumped out to an early lead with some great rolls, but my luck didn't prevail, and I ended up finishing second-to-last in the group. I might get some dice and try this out with the family as a "homemade" rendition, although at $23 to $27, it might be worth just getting a copy regardless.
The six of us were joined by Tom and Traci, so we split up into two groups. Brian D., Brian G., Carson, and I played Terra Mystica (designers Jens Drögemüller and Helge Ostertag, artist Dennis Lohausen, publisher Z-man), which I'd played once before at Keith's house last month. This time I played as the "engineers," who are particularly efficient at building settlements and who, once they construct a fortress, score points every turn for every bridge they have on the board. I still don't have the hang of this game, although I really like the typically Euro balancing of different actions and resource accumulation to develop victory point engines. I particularly neglected the four "religion" tracks - again - and came out dead last in final scoring. I'd really like to continue to learn this game.
|Keith Ferguson's prototype, "Santa's Workshop"|
There are some recognizable game design mechanics in play here, and yet they come together in a fresh way. "SW" is remarkably solid for having been playtested only four times so far. The Coal Cards are a little imbalanced - some perhaps too powerful, others not very helpful - and Keith is still adjusting how many action spaces to make available depending on the number of players in the game. But these are all "calibration-level" adjustments to a game that on the whole is entirely playable and, most importantly, fun. I think Keith stands to gain a lot both in terms of exposure and feedback at UnPub next week.