I realize that I haven't really talked about the games we've been playing. Blame it all on Magic: the Gathering. That night I picked up a sealed booster after years off, I went and started a really LONG post on the little 4-person pod booster draft we did with the new Ravnika set... and I never completed it. I promise to get that up soon, along with some catchup.
A quick summary of the past four gaming nights has a pretty interesting pattern - every night we've had Traumfabrik and Clash of the Gladiators on the table, and we've also had The Princes of Florence out on every night except the night we played La Citta instead. And last weekend, we found out that Louis XIV is the most difficult Eurogame we've tackled so far. Yes, it's way tougher than Puerto Rico, Power Grid, El Grande, Goa, PoF, La Citta and anything else that's hit the table. Anyway, more on the mentioned games in future installements. For now, all I'll say is that Traumfabrik was worth every dime of the US$70 I paid, and I have no idea why no one is talking about Clash of the Gladiators and why its rating on the Geek is a mindboggling 5.80, lower than such classics as Chez Geek, War & Sheep and The Powerpuff Girls - Saving the World Before Bedtime. Shades of Falling (rated even lower at 5.42) I think, being a misunderstood game, but also carrying the expectations of Knizia+Hans im Gluck. (For a similar situation, I think Tower of Babel is also getting a raw deal so I'm going to hazard getting that game, eventually. Trust in Reiner and Bernd.)
I just planed back into Manila from Singapore, and I had a blast two nights ago playing a couple of games with "my Singapore gaming group." Wow, that's a strange one to hear. Siow Hwee, Janey and Wilson graciously invited me for dinner and games. We were one short as Wilson's wife Shih Huei was home sick.
Siow Hwee did me a huge favor by picking up the uberplay RA before it was bought out at the FLGS. Thanks man! He also brought a game I've been wanting to play again - Intrige, the Amigo card version. Janey and Wilson, Siow Hwee's wife and good friend, had never played. After getting confirmations from them that they were aware of what kind of game Intrige was, I launched into the rules explanation, and we were off.
Predictably, Siow Hwee casts the first stone and screws me on the opening deal of the game. He got nothing out of me from then on. Wilson did the same thing to me, but flipped back when Siow Hwee screwed him. Janey was my early ally, trading $10k jobs, but soon enough I was abandoned and it was Wilson and I who were in cahoots. In the end, no one was spared, and a huge final round by Siow Hwee looked like it won him the game - or so we thought.
Janey - $103
Siow Hwee - $93
Wilson - $92
Rick - $85
The next game was KuhHandel. First time for Wilson. I used the quickstart with each player having a chicken, goose, cat and goat to begin the game, and we were auctioning off two animals at a time. There's just no way to narrate the game, other than to say that I completed a set of cows and just needed the horses, but Janey beat me for the equines and that sent me from potential winner to next to last place.
The evening was great fun and I always look forward to hooking up with this group. Just to make things that much more astounding, Wilson lent me three games - Flandern 1302, Capitol and Keythedral. Thanks Wilson! I'll take care of them and report on how they fared over here.