Friday, April 06, 2007

Thursday night: Tigris and Euphrates along with Fische Fluppen Frikadellen

Euphrat & Tigris, also known as Tigris & Euphrates, hit the table last night. It's a venerable warhorse, rated #2 right now on BGG.

R.J., Chris, Tim, and I launched in after I got Cori in bed. The guys brought all kinds of snacks, and we launched into E&T for the first time in a while.

Tim was new to the game, R.J. and Chris had played a couple times a way back, and I've played quite a bit, a million zillion years ago. I like Tigris & Euphrates best with 3 players, and if I have 3 players, heck, let's play San Juan or Power Grid and be happy.

It was a good game that Chris won after soaking up lots of monument points. The whole experience was intense, but I found it off-putting. I hate the way monuments shape the game - someone who becomes king of the hill will scoop several points a turn, and all you can do is either rush in and try to knock them off, or make an even bigger hill and hope for the best. Frustrating.

My difficulty here is that what I find fun in T&E is setting up clever attacks, but the game rewards getting in a good position and sitting on your butt.

We also had several rules questions that weren't immediately obvious in the translation I have. There are a lot of people who will go on and on about the original German edition and the American reprint. Blah blah blah, I've seen both editions, and am not interested in that debate.

R.J. had to take off, but Tim and Chris were able to hang out and play Fische Fluppen Frikadellen; it was Chris' first play and Tim's second. FFF, as it is know, is a goofy race game, disguised as a trading game - and by my favorite designer, Friedemann Friese, no less. I blundered one of the major, important rules, which completely screwed up the game, and discovered it 2/3 of the way through. I've played this game probably a dozen times, and I still can't believe how boneheaded and major a mistake I made. The commodity market in the game (for fish, whiskey, smokes, hamburgers, and fennel) moves up and down, and we did everything right EXCEPT, oh crud, all the merchants sell a market space cheaper PER COMMODITY PRESENT. We ended up with 7 fish on a shop. Fish were sitting on the 120 space in the market, and I was staring at the board, "Huh. I remember something is supposed to happen here. I'll just look it up and AW MAN, EVERYBODY AT THE TABLE GETS A FREE PUNCH AT MY FACE." Chris and Tim declined to give me a well-deserved punch in the face, but wow, back to basics.

I was impressed that they managed to grok the movement rules, which have several counterintuitive sub-clauses. Other than that, I love Fische Fluppen Frikadellen. The fennel pictured on the tokens has a happy-face on it, and the art on the entire game just makes me smile. It randomizes setup beautifully, and takes less than an hour to play.

For the record, my ability to remember and explain rules has dropped dramatically ever since the kids were born. I used to be good at explaining games, and actually had a half-dozen or so games down pat. Chris has taken the brunt of 2 exceedingly-important-dropped-rule gaffes so far (Lee and I bobbled a game of El Grande with Chris about a year ago... and then I traded my copy away, like a moron, for Hacienda - which is almost as good as El Grande, but not in the same class).

I'm hoping to get fellow Houston Gamer Marty Hoff back over some Thursday for him to explain Funny Friends, seeing as how he both knows how to play and likes the game. I bought it because it's a collaboration between Friedemann Friese and Andrea Cassola-Merkle (responsible for the stellar Attika).

My mom and dad sent an Easter package with candy and cards for the girls, and for me, my old copy of Mertwig's Maze. That takes me back, back, back. It's the first Tom Wham game I ever played, and I remember spending long winter afternoons laying out the adorable cards. Given the variable playing time, I don't know if our group will try and take it on anytime soon. It's spiritual successor these days is probably the Order of the Stick Board Game. Which, as luck would have it, is also on my shelf, unplayed.

2 Comments:

Blogger dcorban said...

Regarding E&T:
Keep in mind that a monument is usually only useful for a few rounds. Once you get several cubes in the color(s) of the monument, anything extra is excess.

I find it odd that you prefer E&T with three players considering the aspects you dislike are even more pronounced in that situation. Nothing quite like warring with one person while the third person sits back and coasts for the win.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Todd D. said...

There were two monuments next to each other, handing out all 4 colors, and a third on the mandatory water-spot. None of us ever collected all 4 colors a turn, but Chris did pull 3 at least twice.

In 3-player, you can vaguely hope that your leaders will still be on the board at the start of your next turn.

Most of the brain-burning on other people's turns is wasted effort if they do anything surprising.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just grumpy because I lost. I hope not.

11:21 PM  

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