Monday, May 15, 2006

Sick again; also, I talk about Reiner Knizia and my Hypothetical Game Order

When I drink generic Tussin straight from the bottle, I get goosebumps from the awful taste.

Happens every time, and it's a surprise every time...

Oh, and by the way, I've played Reiner Knizia's Poison a couple of times. It is a thoroughly mediocre trick-taking game. I see there are a bunch of copies on Ebay right now, all with no bids. It's got a box full of air, a paper mat with three witches' cauldrons printed on it, and a small deck of cards. Yayyy!!! Not worth $15, that's for sure.

I recommend his game Money instead. I keep saying I'm going to buy this, and I never do, for some reason. Shoot. Hypothetical Game Order is Money, then Mogul. Hey, Mogul's by Michael Schacht, the same guy who made Coloretto. So buy everything except Poison, you'll be happy.

Other Reiner Knizia games I own (he's designed and published at least 200 games. Collecting his stuff would be a full-time job in and of itself):

Tigris and Euphrates - harder to explain, not for casual gamers. It's an almost-great game for me, but it's Just Too Damn Hard.

Dragon Land - one of Knizia's minor works. Entertaining enough for adults, probably a good kids-and-adults game, too.

Amun-Re - Yeah, almost everybody says this is really good. It's pretty tricky, with at least two mechanics that together will take a couple of games for people to figure out. "Hey, everybody, let's play an auction game that takes 2 hours, then play it again for another 2 hours, then we can start knowing what things actually should be worth in the auctions!" Let's all get started on that right now, okay?

Medici - One of my favorite auction games. Hard on the new players, since they don't know what to bid on anything, but that only takes a scoring round to work out.

Blue Moon - A two-player card game. I've only played a couple of times, and this has been sitting on the shelf a lot. It's not to my wife's tastes, so eeh, it's not going to hit the table often. It's expandable with extra decks, but not TOO expandable. I hear good stuff about the Blue Moon City boardgame, too.

Lord of the Rings - Honorable mention as the second-physically-heaviest game I've ever owned. Had it, played it, traded it off. The game looks cool, but to me it felt too scripted, and wasn't fun. Everyone flips over timing tiles and plays cards so the hobbits can advance to Mount Doom and it's a cooperative game and zzzzzz.... oops, drifted off writing this. I hear it's really good if you buy two more $40 expansions. I took the liberty of buying $80 of other good games instead, which also worked out great!

Modern Art
- I hear this is a great auction game for 4 or 5, and okay for 3. Strangely, I already have a great auction game for all those numbers, Medici, but hey, Reiner Knizia! I vaguely remember that I got this on sale, and also bought it mostly because I had free shipping after a certain point. Yayyy free shipping for a game I didn't really want and that has sat on my shelves for at least 2 years!!!

Res Publica - I played once. There's an interesting trade mechanism, but not much more. The grand strategy is, "Uh, trade with people poorer than yourself." Thanks, Reiner! I only played Settlers of Catan one meeeeeelion times, but removing the board and resource aspects and making an entire game centered around a trading phase, that's freakin' ingenious!


Notice what's missing here? I don't own Ra, Through the Desert, The Merchants of Amsterdam, New Games In Old Rome, Samurai, Stephenson's Rocket, or Taj Mahal, all Reiner Knizia titles that are rated very highly. I've played some, but at most of the Houston Gamers meetings, someone's got a copy of Ra and Taj Mahal, minimum.

Ra is probably Knizia's most complicated pure auction game. I'd like a copy, er, eventually.

Through the Desert is a pure abstract with little pastel camels. Never played, not interested in pure abstracts regardless of cuteness.

Merchants of Amsterdam... haven't played. Sounds interesting, though. I would rather have Goa, which is not by Reiner Knizia, but which I have played, instead.

New Games In Old Rome is a collection of little games, in the Cheapass games vein, except really expensive. Definitely a play-before-I-buy game. Haven't played, so won't buy.

Samurai is all Japan-themed, and a brainburner. Nevertheless, I think I've played enough games of it.

Stephenson's Rocket is a 3-4 hour train game. Keep walkin', trainy.

I don't like Taj Majal. I've played several times, and I just don't get it. There's a healthy division of opinions on this one in the boardgaming world, and I come down on the Just Don't Get Taj Mahal side of the line. There are worse places to be.

I only feel the loss with Money, because I'd like to play it as a filler with my home group (which probably needs some kind of title or something).

Time to console myself with generic Tussin.


Blogger Dan Corban said...

Modern Art is the auction game to play. Let your Medici gather dust for a change.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Todd D. said...

Dan, I finally did on July 13th of this year. We were all newbies and I think we missed the point.

I guess we need more practice.

12:59 PM  

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