Date: May 22, 2003

Games: Hick Hack in Gackelwack, "Paris, Paris", Goldland, Trendy

Attendees: Ed, Helen, Jon, Mark, Marty, Rick, Robert, Susan

Reporter: Susan Rozmiarek

Hick Hack in Gackelwack: Ed, Jon, Mark, Marty, Robert, Susan

I must admit, I have been pretty ho-hum about this game. The best thing about it is the cute animal art by Doris Matthaus. There are other simultaneous action games that I find more interesting. This time around, I found it to be more interesting and more fun than usual, although I don't think it will ever be one of my favorites. I had unfortunate luck with the card draw, and only drew one fox the entire game. Those crafty foxes seem to be the key to winning. I did win several tiles uncontested during the game, but it was just chicken feed compared to everyone else. At least I pipped Robert!

Scores: Ed 42, Mark 38, Jon 35, Marty 28, Susan 19, Robert 18

Paris, Paris Susan and Robert try out Paris, Paris for the first time.
Paris, Paris: Jon, Robert, Susan

I had received this game as a Mother's Day present and was eager to try it out. While I felt I had a good handle on the rules, it was difficult for me to see the ramifications of business placements on the scoring at first. After a couple of Grand Tours it started becoming more clear. I've made a note to myself to keep better track of what's going into the bag. In a tight game, those points could really make a difference. I found the artwork on the board to be functional, but rather ugly, especially the Pepto-Bismol pink buildings on the map. However, I thought the tactical decisions in the game were interesting and although some have noted similarities to Web of Power, it felt quite a bit different to me. I look forward to playing it again.

Scores: Robert 45, Jon 37, Susan 35

Goldland Helen, Robert, Susan and Ed (picture taking as usual) search for the lost gold in Goldland.
Goldland: Ed, Helen, Robert, Susan

I had played this once a long time ago and had since been wondering what the fuss was about. At the time it seemed rather fiddly and unexciting, although since it was with only two players, I was trying to keep an open mind. It turns out we had gotten at least one major rule, maybe more, wrong. So in reality, I hadn't ever played the real game. My opinion took a drastic swing upwards on this second playing.

I struck out to a far opposite corner from everyone else to begin my exploring. A boneheaded tile placement by me coupled with a few savvy tile placements by others left me isolated on that region of the board. I considered taking the long and inefficient path back to join the others, who were locked in a race to get to the temple to claim its riches. I decided it was hopeless and I would just set out exploring by myself and perhaps get to the temple my own way, although it seemed unlikely. I really thought I had no hope of doing well. However, alone by myself, I was able to get majorities in a couple of the more valuable adventures and also pick up a few treasures. While it was difficult for me to reach the others, who by this time were plundering the temple, the reverse was true for them. They could not get to the adventure tiles I had uncovered. Much to my surprise, I found myself in second place at the end.

Wow. What a difference more players and the correct rules make. While not nearly as elegant as other exploration games like Tikal or Entdecker, I found Goldland to be much more fun. I was totally immersed in the exploration theme while playing and the time just flew by.

Scores: Helen 20, Susan 18, Ed 16, Robert 15

Trendy: Ed, Helen, Robert, Susan

What's left to say about Trendy? It's fast. It's fun. It's a great closer for the evening. Tonight I was the trendsetter, followed by Ed, Robert and finally Helen.

Fresh Fish
Ed and Mark watch on as Marty counts out his paths during Fresh Fish.
Jon, Rick and Mark puzzle out Amun-Re.

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

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Copyright © 2003, Ed Rozmiarek