The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Infiltration for Two

Due to motorway problems, there were just two of us this week - Dave D and me. After a bit of a wait to see if anyone else turned up, Dave and I played a couple of games of Infiltration which, I must say, is a much more satisfying game as a two-player. This stems from the fact that each player controls two characters rather than one, meaning it's easier to co-ordinate actions so that you can actually benefit as a team. One issue when you've a single character is, for me at least, that often you can't think of any action to take which doesn't benefit someone else more than it does you - you smash a lock, someone else grabs all the loot; you discover a room, someone else interfaces and takes advantage. With the 2-player game, your two agents act almost like a tag team - they can pull for each other if you can co-ordinate them correctly, and this allows for an amount of strategy, albeit small, and increases interest in decision-making as you try to figure out how to do things optimally and to your best advantage. Now, it's not just about: "which card do I play?", but also: in what order do I play these cards to benefit myself whilst limiting my opponent?". Much more interesting. A game that I was cold on has turned itself around for me... but, for me, it shall always remain 2-player only. It's just no fun, otherwise. Oh yeah, and the characters should have variable powers. The flavour is pointless without something to differentiate them.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Rush hour in City Tycoon - a bit too busy?

Just to show we haven't all collectively fallen under the Number 9 bus that trundles past our club venue regularly, just a quick post on a new game (to us) City Tycoon.  So new that we had to punch it as Steve Perkins was kindly explaining it to us.

The ideas are pretty simple, some card selection like 7 Wonders, a bit of square tile laying as per Carcassonne, a bit of resource movement like 20th Century, but put together quite nicely into something which doesn't overall feel too derivative.  Place tiles, which you then own, to generate resources, then ship the resources around to generate resources, cash and VP's.  First playing was quite long (nearly 150 minutes) as it's very difficult to judge the true value of tiles and how they interact as the game (and the city) develop, particularly as we all share the same city and there is some interaction in the usage of resources.  Second playing would speed up a bit, but I see two main problems with the game.  Firstly, the very busy graphics on the tiles, particularly when the city is really big in turn 4, make it difficult to see what's going on, plus there are resource cubes on top of some, which can mean the tile has been exhausted or that it hasn't been exhausted (!), it really burns the brain.  Secondly, I guess we're supposed to be building a city grid, but as some of the interactions with other players can be extremely disruptive to your plans, it's very tempting to stay in your own corner, or indeed to spread out as quickly from the centre as possible away from everyone else.  Perhaps we misunderstood something, but this isn't going to look much like a city at the end if so.

I'd play it again if only to make the learning curve we faced worthwhile, but it will need to be a more inspiring experience next time to make me persevere (which can happen - as with Lords of Waterdeep earlier in the year)