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.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

To the Death in Venice - San Marco - 8th May 2013

New and reasonably interesting games continue to come along, though I must admit there's not been many that have really impressed me over the past couple of years and certainly none that have persuaded me to purchase them, but I'll be honest and say that between us we already have so many great games that if we never played another new one I wouldn't grow tired of what Club members own between us.  A case in point is San Marco : a superb Alan R. Moon design that's at least 10 years old but puts many new designs to shame, with a brilliant central mechanism - 'I cut the cake, you choose first' - wrapped in minimal extras that delivers a highly-interactive game with plenty of difficult decisions with the right balance of a bit of luck.

One drawback is that despite being 3-4 player we've long decided that 3 players is by far best, so I was really glad to get David and Andy S to try it on Wednesday.  It's not for the faint-hearted, being nasty to the others is forced on you, and being the nastiest is often part of the winning strategy, and sometimes you really have to ride your luck, but under that pressure a win feels really satisfying.  I did win against the 'newbies', and they perhaps felt that they were always going to lose out to the more experienced player, but 2 turns from the end I was in a desperate situation and possibly staring at last place.  If the penultimate turn Limit Cards had been more harsh I could have reached 10 and missed the last turn, for a certain last place, but my chancing paid off  for a good win.  I suspect both of them, now they understand many of the nuances of the game, will fancy their chances much more next time!