More First impressions from the EGG Head on Essen ’12

Myrmes, the ant game. We played a 4 player game. A game of resource collecting and maximizing your moves.  I spent a good portion of the game figuring out all the different actions and how best to utilize resources and turns. It was easy to forget about feeding the ants the first year we all had to scramble to feed the ants.  Each player has a board and then all players share the central board. I think our first game we tended to do a lot of similar actions and there wasn’t much conflict until the final turn of the game. Now that we have an idea how the game flows I expect our next game to be much more interactive.

Next up was CO₂. Another 4 player game, set up took quite a while figuring out all the tiles and cards. We then tackled the rule book. lol, Each of us read a section and tried to put it all together, surprisingly this actually kind of worked. We made some errors with some illegal plays of trying to put plants in regions where they were not allowed. We never seemed in danger of hitting the 500 mark so I’m not sure we were doing that right. At any rate I am certainly interested in trying it again. It has that interesting and sometimes frustrating aspect in that what you set up can be used by the next player to their advantage. Definitely want to try it again though. There is a lot of player interaction. This game took a lot longer than it should have for some reason but I suspect next time it will go a lot faster.

Finally we got Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 to the table. The rules are not as clear as they could be. Thankfully Robert, my group’s resident rules expert had read through them 5 timessurprise and still had difficulty finding things and we still had rules questions. If Robert can’t get the rules figured out you know you are in trouble. At heart this seems to be a fairly standard pick up and delivery game with a bit of a tech tree to allow you to get extra points during the game. It was ok but didn’t seem all that deep.

Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar  I was happy to get this to the table. Worker placement with feeding your people. The gears/time mechanism certainly add an interesting element to the game. Sometimes there wasn’t really anything to do on a turn except wait. I suspect this will improve with another play as I get used to how the actions and timing work. The three player game seemed to work just fine with neutral pieces on the gears. Looking forward to a second play.
The Palaces of CarraraPlayed the advanced version. Nothing really new here but it’s a tense, light – mid weight game. Definitely start with the advanced version if you are more of a meaty game fan. A bit of a “chicken” element to it as you try and out wait your opponents to score and  maximize your action but if they score first it’s your loss.
KeyflowerI really liked this auction game from R&D this year. The game plays fast and lots of interesting little decisions to make. The multiple currencies keep the bidding really tight as you don’t want to miss an opportunity to lock in bids with your prevailing currency, but there are always more actions you want to do on your turn. In our game we had two seasons of kind of leisurely build up followed by a mad scramble of oh! we have to get points to win! for the last two seasons. I’m interested to try it again now that we know how fast the game goes.
I also got in a second play of The Great Zimbabwe with 3 and am still intrigued by it. I think we got all the rules on hubs and craftsmen correct this time. I think this will get a lot of play. I really like that your first actions choosing a God or specialist can really impact your whole game. Currently we have a rush for points in the last turn or two. It’ll be challenging to see if this can be mitigated by some other more steady building strategy.
Ginkgopolis also hit the table again. This was still a learning game so we just dealt starting cards, so I am looking forward to a drafting game now that most of the people in the group know the game. I did sleeve this game since the cards get a lot of handling. I am a tad concerned that the game will boil down to whoever controls the largest area at the end of the game.
I have played a third time now and bonus end game points can help, if you get the right ones

All in all I have been really pleased by the quality of the games this year.

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5 Responses to More First impressions from the EGG Head on Essen ’12

  1. huzonfirst says:

    Lorna, in Tzolk’in, when you say, “Sometimes there wasn’t really anything to do on a turn except wait”, do you mean you were biding time by adding or removing one worker? Because you have to do SOMETHING each turn–you can’t just *wait*.

  2. Mike says:

    I was going to say the same thing huzonfirst did….the requirement to place or remove every turn really is the central constraint placed on a player in Tzolk’in so if you missed that, you haven’t really played the game.

    • lornadune says:

      Yes, sorry, I meant, sometimes it felt like I wasn’t doing anything just placing a guy wherever while I was waiting for my other guys to finish up getting to where I needed them to be

      • Ben (chally) says:

        Which of course is the heart of the game. You want the worker you placed “wherever” to also end up on a productive spot when it comes time to start pulling people off. If you find yourself needing to bide your time for that worker as well, then you begin to fall into an unproductive pattern.

        When a really long wait is needed, I will note that I absolutely love to abuse the Start Player space: Turn the wheel twice AND get a worker back next turn that you can use to extend the wait a little longer. Add in the accumulated corn and it can sometimes be the most valuable spot on the board.

  3. lornadune says:

    Yes, looking forward to another go at Tzolkin now that I have a feel for it

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