January 5, 2004

Session Report for January 1, 2004

by Susan Rozmiarek

We wanted to start off the new year right so we decided to hold our regular Thursday gaming night on the holiday, despite the potential for a light attendance. As it turned out, we had a perfectly respectable showing of seven, more than enough for a fun night of games.


Lucky Loop

Mark wanted to try this new Essen release from Queen so I agreed, although I hadnít really enjoyed my first playing of it that much a few weeks prior. This playing was a bit better, probably because we were playing a three-player game as opposed to the four-player one I had played previously. This meant there was a bit less downtime between turns, which is one of my problems with the game. There simply isnít anything to do on your turn but watch other people roll dice, which is just plain boring. To compound the problem, Lucky Loop lacks the push-your-luck tension of other dice-rollers like Canít Stop and Exxtra. In those games, you gain something with each roll and have to decide whether or not to stop rolling or to keep going, perhaps improving your position but also risking completely losing your gains for that turn. In Lucky Loop you get three rolls to try to achieve your goal for the turn and there is really no risk for attempting them all.

There are a few decisions to make in this game, but for the most part I find the game too long and dull for the type of game it is.

Results: Mark 81, Susan 68, Jeff 64

Jeff Sims makes a fancy maneuver in Lucky Loop as Mark and Susan look on.

Finstere Flure

We wanted to play a game with everyone and there just arenít too many games in our collection that can handle seven players. Weíd played a couple of good ones, Turfmaster and Bang! the week before, so we decided to pull out another new Essen release, Finstere Flure. We were afraid it would be too chaotic with seven and indeed it was, but it was also a lot of fun. To add to the chaos, three of the players had never played before. The newbies would often move their victims without fully understanding the ramifications of their placements on the monsterís movements. This really made it hard to predict where the monster would ultimately head. We also added a few more advanced elements of the game this time, including the glass pillars that the monster can see through and the pillars that turn him to add to the challenge.

The highlight of the game came from an inadvertent (or perhaps not) newbie placement that caused the monster to move through the wall and then plow through a dense group of frantic victims crowded around the exit trying to escape. This resulted in six casualties!

I like this game more and more each time I play. I think it will get even better and more vicious as everyone gets more familiar with it.

Results: Doug in first, followed by Ed, Mark, Susan/Rhonda, Helen, Jeff

A wild and crazy seven player Finstere Flure.

It's a jail break. Run! It's the monster!


We were left with five players for the final game of the evening and we something fairly short and light but not too mindless. Emerald fit the bill nicely, with its almost equal dose of luck and tactics. This is an excellent game for families as well as a nice filler for gamers.

Results: Ed 23, Susan 15, Helen 12, Doug 11, Mark 10

Note: The dragon figure in the photos is a custom upgrade

Emerald: The dragon eagerly awaits as dinner approaches.

Run! Run! There's too many of them!

Other games played: Kingís Breakfast, Paris Paris, and Coloretto, rounding out quite a fluffy night of games.

For more pictures from this gaming sessions and others, see our Gaming Picture Gallery.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at January 5, 2004 8:16 PM

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