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Monday, April 09, 2007

Start the week @ RD/KA! : Got game!

So it's been another bumper long weekend of games for yours truly.

Memoir'44
The fun began on Thursday with a visit from Badger.

We ended up playing 5 games of M44 to test the expanded nationality rules. We played #2: Sainte Mère-Eglise and #3: Sword Beach twice each, and #5: Omaha Beach once. The results (recorded here, here, and here) left me 4-1 up on the night.

More important even than that taste of victory were the playtest results: the new rules are standing up fairly well, and tweaks have been introduced where necessary. (More details can be found on my DoW:M44 thread on this subject.) More important perhaps even than that is the fact that trying out these new rules has revived mine and Badger's interest in playing this game which originally cemented us as gaming buddies.

Score
4-1

Settlers of Catan
My dear friend Ros and I paid a visit to my old pal Bill and his family on Saturday night. Episode 2 of the new series of Doctor Who and a curry supper out of the way, we got down to a game of this modern classic.

As ever with games of Settlers amongst players who've previously encountered each other across the isle of Catan, there were scores to settle and reputations to be made, maintained, or enhanced. For my part I had (again!) to deal with Bill's launching of a personal vendatta- in which he did anything and everything he could to confound my plans. All this fiendishness notwithstanding, I still almost won through, being pipped at the post by Bill's wife, Radka, when she beat me 10-9. Much good fun was had by all, as ever with this game.

Score
4-2

Doom: the Boardgame

Andy and Tony came round yesterday and we had another go at this new favourite. Tony and I played the marines against Andy's Invaders. We decided that it was time to start a campaign game- in which the marines count kills for experience points, but it didn't really matter in the end: the marines lose the campaign (and all accumulated experience benefits) as soon as they loose a single mission; and yes- Tony and I extended the marines' perfect losing record by yet another mission.

Still- as we discussed later- this is not a game where you lose and think, "Rubbish game." Rather, just like a video game, it's a game in which defeat as the marine player only encourages you to have another go. As I noted many moons ago, this 'arcade game effect' is something that we first noticed (even more moons ago) when playing Up Front. I find it delightful therefore to find this same effect generated by a game which puts a computer-game into a boardgame; especially one whose basic mechanics recreate so excellently the PoV of the 1st-person shooter, as I have noted elsewhere.

We'll be back!

Score
4-3

Attack Sub
Tony left after the game of Doom (imagine: choosing to go to a party instead of staying to play boardgames...!). I worked through the 2-player options of my games collection. Andy decided that he liked the sound of Attack Sub.

I confess that I was a little leery of his choice: I haven't played Attack Sub in years, and was concerned at how easy this game would be to pick up for quick play. I needn't have worried: it turned out that this card-driven game of submarine warfare (designed by Courtney Allen, the designer of the epochal Up Front) was even easier than I remembered.

In the event Andy's only real mistake in our game was his choice of the Soviets (a choice driven, perhaps, by his hope of enjoying the 'Sean Connery effect'?), whose subs were markedly inferior to my US boats, despite my crews' best efforts to screw up their sensors through repeated malfunctions. Other than that, Andy suffered from some serious bad luck as his subs proved unable both to detect- and then to hit- my own; while my own boats' fish were better served by the whims of fortune on the day.

For my part I was pleased to be reminded of how accessible is this fine game of the cat-and-mouse of submarine warfare. And I'd like to think that Andy enjoyed it enough to give it another go.

(Note to self: give new players the US subs in scenario #1.)

Final score
5-3

Grins!
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