In the last two weeks:
Larry and I played Imperial and Merchants of Amsterdam with Lewis at the Houston Gamers.
Lee and I played Blue Moon City.
Larry and I played Power Grid.
Tim, RJ, and I played Ra and Jericho. Kevin, Anye, Jason, Debra, and I played Kevin's animal racing game.
Larry, Phil, and I played Power Grid and Ra at Larry's place.
I'm being bad here, because I'm beat. My new job is 4 nine-hour days Mon-Thurs with an hour's commute on both sides, and a four-hour Friday. That seems like it'd be a reasonable trade-off, but the commute on both ends, combined with the girls staying up later as they get older, leaves me with little time during the week to be blogging as much or as well-written as I'd like.
Kevin's working on a set of prototypes all played with the same components, intending to create a big-box-of-games that delivers good value and a decent variety of game types. I liked the racing game, so I'm curious to try the others and see how they're coming.
Imperial was interesting. You control the Great Powers of pre-WWI Europe by buying up bonds and making the countries do stuff that'll earn money through taxation. Money in the treasuries is fodder for payout, but you also need to use it to develop the nations. Complicating the situation, everyone can buy up more bonds and steal countries away... and Larry came in second hardly ever controlling a country at all!
Merchants of Amsterdam was a disappointment. I had high hopes for the little plastic auction timer, but most of the values in the game turn out to be easy enough to calculate, more or less. I think the winner may be decided by the losers' over-bidding in most games. It reminds me in some ways of Traders of Genoa, another game where trading-to-trade will get you into trouble.
Other than that, yay Ra, yay Power Grid.