3 minute read

Ok, round 2 of trying to make this post. As much as I like
dasBlog, the browser based editor can drive me
nuts. I was 90% through this session report when I accidently clicked the back
button, losing all of the content. I'm sure I'll write this much more
eloquently the second time around. Greg Hughes
gave me some good tips on using Outlook to compose and post directly into
dasBlog, so maybe I'll start using that.

Last Thursday I joined the RipCityGamers for Die Hard Thursday - so named
because it is usually a smaller turnout. Not so this week - there were 8 of
us, including our guest David Chapelle from Atlanta.

New England

Half of us split out for a game of New England, one of my favorites. David,
Doug, George and I tried to be the most successful pilgrim on Plymouth Rock.
David had never played it but picked up the mechanics quick enough to make a
very decent showing. With four players things are pretty tight - many more
opportunities to conflict with other players than in the three player game. It
was a balanced game that came down to the last round. Three of us were tied
for the barn majority (I already had the most pilgrims), and turn order played
to my favor as I was able to grab the 10 spot and go first, grabbing the last
available barn. This was a substantial point swing and allowed me to the game
with 31 points. David came in second with 28 points and Doug edged George out
in the tie breaker at 26 points. If the turn order had been different, or if
George was able to take the 10 spot (he had only 8 shillings), it would have
been even closer.

Maya

I still haven't played this game, but DavidE gave a brief report:

The buzz on Maya is that it's a blend of familiar mechanisms with a fairly
pleasant outcome. As blind bidding was one of those mechanisms, it probably
will never make it into the common rotation, but it was definitely decent.

Cronberg

This is a game I had never seen nor even heard of. Feedback was favorable
though, with George reporting:

Peter taught this little game to Doug and I. Simple rules, simple concept,
but not so simple to master. doug and I made the rookie mistake of placing
lots of tiles early in the game only to give Peter good spots to put his men
down. Very lopsided scoring was the result.

Luckily this game plays very quickly. Including teaching it took us 15
minutes to complete our first game so we gave it another go. This time Doug
and I knew better than to place tiles early on which resulted in a final score
of 44, 45, 56.

New Eden 2

Next was an opportunity for a few of us to play KC's latest prototype New Eden
2, the successor to the game New Eden. New Eden 2
is a very different game, with only the theme in common with its predecessor.
Think of this game as a zoom-in on one the hexes in New Eden.

New Eden 2 is essentially a tile laying game where players are trying to build
roads of a sufficient length to allow them to build buildings. Each building
consists of two colors, and each player has a hidden goal of two colors that
he is trying to build (important but not critical - it just gives bonus points
for each building containing those special colors). This game borrows from
mechanics in a number of games I've played, including
Carcassonne,
Attika, and
TransAmerica. But don't get me wrong
- this is a very unique, fun game to play. It certainly doesn't feel like a
prototype since the bits were all very high quality.

DavidE and I were in the lead most of the game, partly because we joined roads
early on and were able to build off of each other fairly regularly. DavidE
pulled out the victory in the end, with me a close second.

New Eden 2 closeup. KC makes amazingly high quality prototypes.

DavidE had some high praise of the game (including some valuable feedback for
KC):

...it is definitely Thumbs Up, and, in my opinion, perfectly publishable as
it is, and as good as any mid-weight game released in the past year. Sure, you
could tweak a subsystem here or there just for kicks, but dammit this game
should be in print!

I tend to agree with David on this point - this game doesn't need much more
work and it is certainly better than a number of games I played over the past
six months. Nice work KC!

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