I had a good game night at the House of Roses last Tuesday. In a game of Carcassonne against very good gamers I played so aggressively that I surprised myself. I ended up winning, mostly on cities, and half of those I shared or swiped outright from others. By the time the game ended I was so far ahead of the pack that the winner of the field war was still a few points behind me. I always like to see a Carc victory on a non-agrarian basis, and should that winner happen to be me, so be it.
Question to the audience: does starting a game of Carc with the river tiles versus the single starter tile increase the likelihood of there being one enormous motherlode of a field by the end? I want to say it is so, but I have no proof.
Then we played Attika, which is new to me. It's pretty neat. I want to play it again. (Didn't win.)
Saturday night was Doug's solstice party. Learned Cash 'n Guns, which has got to be on The Gameshelf sometime, if only because of its main gimmick: each player denotes who they're attacking each round by pointing a life-sized foam pistol at them. (This was the American edition, so the guns were Day-Glo orange instead of black. This didn't make it less fun.) I managed to win, hooray.
Played one session of Figaro, a fast and cute game that would probably go over best with clever little kids. Discovered while playing that it has game design superstar Reiner Knizia's name on the box (and photograph snuck into the card artwork), but in the manual he's only credited for "Game Idea", with two other guys having done the actual development. Sheesh! He's become the Matt Groening of the tabletop game world. (I wanted to be snarkier and say "The Jim Davis of", except that his games are actually good, so.)
Then came my approximately annual game of The Princes of Florence. I appreciate this game but I don't think I really care for it. It's got a feeling of constant forward motion, and of setting and meeting personal short-term goals, which I always like in games. But I have yet to grok the ultimate goal of, getting more points than everyone else, and my sense of accomplishment sours where I think I'm doing really well until the game ends and I'm not just in last place, but a good 15 points behind the pack.
And yet, I want to play it again, because I have an idea of what I did wrong. Grr!
At any rate, after that brain burner I announced that I wished to play Doug's unopened copy of the Dungeons & Dragons board game, a UK-only release from 2002. It's less stupid than I expected. I think I expected a rehash of the old Dungeon game, but instead it's an honest-to-goodness RPG dungeon crawl, using simplified rules streamlined for the simple joy of invading monsters' lairs and bashing them into jelly. We played the intro adventure and smeared six goblins while taking two casualties on our side. Good times.