June 4, 2007

Game Day Report for May 28, 2007

by Susan Rozmiarek

Summer break from my kids' school and soccer has finally arrived, hopefully freeing some evenings to play games and giving me something to write about here. Not to mention the time to write that has been in short supply these past few months. That's actually been a positive thing really, as I'd gotten burnt out on thinking about games and picking them apart. At least I never seem to tire of actually playing the games. Even when I do get bored with the samey-ness of the endless supply of new Eurogames that our group trots out, a dose of an old favorites or a shot of Amerigames keeps things fresh.

To kick off the summer, we hosted our annual Memorial Day game day. This is really no different than any of our other monthly game days other than we make it a cookout. This was also Adam's last game day here as he is moving far, far away, leaving behind an empty seat at the meaty gamer table.

Fire & Axe

The highlight game of the day for me was this game of marauding Vikings which I have actually gotten to play twice this month. It's a re-make of the older game that I already loved, Viking Fury. This new version is drop-dead gorgeous, turning the frumpy, homely original into a supermodel but with the same great personality. Call me superficial, but the nicer components and beautiful art really adds to my pleasure. And I do really enjoy this one every time I play. It requires careful planning, well-timed card play and a dose of good luck. Yes, LUCK. This game has a hefty amount of dice-rolling that can make or break your carefully executed tactical maneuvers, sometimes sending your ship back home full of corpses. But, I like it. A lot. The luck seems to even out for the most part and it fits the battle theme. As long as I play my best, I can shrug my shoulders at bad luck and inwardly jump around with glee when my Vikings do kick butt. I love a game with a good story. I can see how this sort of thing will bug the heck out of some gamers, though.

My game earlier this month taught me not to ignore settling and the resulting avalanche of endgame points. I was concentrating too much on Saga card majorities which were cruelly stolen from me by a clever Rune card combo played by the winner. This time I did well with a more diverse strategy. Traci was quite amusing, aggressively raiding hapless villages the entire game. Her marauding horde was relentless and had easily clinched the Bloody Axe award by the second era. I won, but it would have gone Ed's way if the dice had been kinder and John hadn't taken over one of his settlements near the end.

Modern Art

It had been almost six years since I'd played this classic Knizia auction game. I disliked it back then but that's not surprising as it took a long time for me to warm up to auction games in general. However, I found that I still don't care for this one. I bought a single painting during the entire game and came in second. Yes, ONE painting. And, if I hadn't made that stupid purchase (it was my own painting), I would have won the game by doing almost nothing. The only interesting decisions I had were deciding which paintings to put up for auction that would fetch me the most money. Yawn. I'd much rather play Medici or Ra.

I also played Gemblo, in which I learned that it is not as good with five players as it is with six due to there being too much real estate on the board with only five. At least, that's what the three players who tied for first thought. I wasn't one of them, of course. No board is big enough for me, I'm afraid. As usual, I had no problem boldly moving forward and fencing off territory. But, once things got crowded, my lack of spatial skills became apparent and I missed the clever placements that would keep me alive.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at June 4, 2007 1:24 PM


Fire and Axe sounds like a fun game. Normally, I would not consider purchasing it, since I need games for our family that can accommodate or be extended to 7 or 8 players. But, now that I have a weekly local game group session (non-family), I can look at games for 4/5/6 players, and this one sounds interesting.

Glad to see you back to writing. I haven't managed to rev up the muse for my blog recently, although I am keeping a list of the games I play, so I can report on them someday again.

Posted by: Gerald McDaniel on June 4, 2007 2:34 PM

I, too, was happy to find something new happening at The Game Ranch. I hope you get to play a lot during the summer vacation (and write about them, of course).

Posted by: Mary (SodakLady) on June 4, 2007 4:53 PM

Thanks Mary and Gerald. I miss both of your blogs as well!

Posted by: Susan on June 7, 2007 10:40 AM
Post a comment

This page viewed times since June 4, 2007.

E-mail Ed Rozmiarek with questions or problems concerning this page.

Copyright © 2007, Ed & Susan Rozmiarek.
No portion of this website may be reproduced or copied without the consent of Ed or Susan Rozmiarek.