Saturday, January 14, 2012

Two player board game night

I have several board and card games now that are for only two players, and last Saturday we weren't really enough players to spare two for those games ... so I didn't get to try any of them. :-) I've only played one of the six two player games I have before. Tonight Anne Ida came over and we got through four of the six. Yay us! Some were better than others, but I think we'll be playing all of these again.

Mr Jack. A detective searches for Jack the Ripper one dark night in Whitechapel. There are eight characters, one is the Ripper. One player is Jack and the other is the detective; Jack tries to escape and the detective tries to deduce which character he is. We played this twice - I was the detective, and Jack escaped, then I was Jack, and was caught. :-D (I'm not necessarily any good at board games, I just enjoy playing them. ;-) Oddly enough Inspector Lestrade was the killer both times, even though I thought I shuffled the alibi cards pretty well. o_O

Tortuga. A very pretty game, I love the look of it. Obviously. ;-) Each player controls eight turtles - that's to start with, you can take over the other player's turtles too - and the objective of the game is to get one of your turtles into the other player's 'home base' (the field with the biggest turtle symbol). We played it once, I won, very quickly I might add. This seems to play very quickly, at least with as little thought to strategy as we put into it. We both have the same idea about playing a game for the first time - let's just do something and see what happens. :-D I think after playing this a few times one will start to see a lot more strategy options develop.

Scarab Lords. I am a Reiner Knizia fan, so I was positive about this game before we even started playing, but it took a good long while to figure it out. I have the Fantasy Flight Silver Line edition with the Swedish rule book, and sheesh, are they crappily written ... ! They are soo convoluted and so much trickier than they have to be. We read through them and were more confused than we were before we started. So yeah, we just did something and waited to see what'd happen. :-) It turned out to be a pretty good game ... although we could have and would have played a little differently if we had had a better grip of which cards are available in each player's deck. Basically you have a deck of cards and can play them in various phases of your turn, and they establish you as more or less dominant in a crypto-Egyptian setting. Your opponent can place curses on you to hinder your progress. I think we will have fun with this game once we learn a little more about which options each player has to choose from. There's also an advanced set of rules where you use an additional deck that both players share; needless to say we didn't try this. :-) We played it once and I won - maybe I shouldn't have, because I suspect in hindsight that we read one rule wrong, but on the other hand I was pretty far ahead, so I would quite probably have ended up winning in any case.

Atlanteon. More Knizia! In Scarab Lords the theme worked really well with the game, in this one it seems very tacked on. The theme could have been absolutely anything here, so that was a little disappointing, because as a theme it's pretty cool. Who doesn't want to visit Atlantis? :-) The game itself works OK though. We've played Kingdoms quite a few times, and that looks very similar to this, but the scoring is different, so we kind of confused ourselves with that. :-D In this game you play tiles not to score points, as such, but to dominate the tiles you place yours next to. o_O We need to learn to 'read' the scoring a little better, but I think we'll be playing this again, it was a quick and pretty simple game. We played it once, Anne Ida won the first time after quickly taking over all three palaces which is one of the victory conditions ... the second time I made sure to get hold of one palace too to keep this from happening again, and that round lasted quite a bit longer, but I'm not entirely sure who won ... ? When only two tiles were left we got to talking so much about the placement of those two and what would have happened if this, but what if that ... so I think the actual victory kind of got away from us. :-D But an OK game in any event. We'll try this again too.

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