After a longer-than-anticipated day of travel, I made it to Niagara Falls last night. My good intentions of providing multiple daily updates quickly proved to be harder than anticipated, as I jumped from game to game quickly. For less extensive but more timely analysis, you can always follow me on Twitter (@BenMcJunkin).
My first game of the Gathering was Captains of Industry, a neat game of capitalism by Michael R. Keller and Tasty Minstrel Games.
CoI proved to be a decent game. In some respects, it was remeniscent of The Great Zimbabwe, which I adore, because of the way you collect production facilities, and set the prices for your goods in response to demad from other players. However, it has tech tree of sorts that proved to be vitally important in our game, and intend not to love games that rely heavily on the synergy of special player powers.
Next, I moved on to Castaway Club, a prototype by Czech Games Edition and Last Will designer Vladamir Suchy.
This is a design I look forward to trying again during the week. It is basically like playing three games of Last Will simultaneously (though I am told we may have jumped right in to the deep end of the available configurations). Unlike in Last Will, i really struggled to get an engine going in this one, perhaps because my gains (or, actually, losses) were split accross three different categories. Still, I managed to sneak out a win by triggering the end game early.
After a leisurely dinner, we tried Elysium from Space Cowboys, who were responsible for a hit of last year’s Gathering, Splendor.
This may have been my favorite game of the day. The quick turns and card-drafting mechanic reminded me a bit of Splendor, but the overall feel is actually more in line with Pearl Games recent release, Deus. It does not have the spatial element, but something about the use of cards and their special powers made at least a couple of us at the table to make the comparison. I liked Elysium better than my one play of Deus, though I also won (I tend to like games better when I obviously grok them).
We then broke into Loony Quest, a drawing game that attempts to translate video games into board games. It was good silly fun, even though I was terrible.
This is the time of night where the pictures stopped, but I did manage to try a prototype of Bau!, a wooden block building game by Friedemann Friese and eggertspiele. I finished the night with Traders of Carthage (and oldie but goodie) and the always-hilarious Times Up!
Now I am ready to set off for another day of adventure in this beautiful city.