Day 3 saw a return to some better games, including a couple of promising prototypes. It started off, however, with a quick game of Patchistory.
Brian Leet took this one home with a well-executed trade-route based strategy. Amazingly, the game may have hinged on the want of two stone during the game’s only war (we were a peaceful bunch). An alternative outcome there would have at least made the final scores much closer than the approximately 200-185-165 we ended up with.
From there, it was on to prototypes.the first prototype of the day was Momnassa from eggertspiele/Pegasus.
This one I will definitely play agin during the week. It is a complex, card-driven Euro with lots of different ways to score points. Most of the scoring options involve moving your bits along various tracks a la Russian Railroads and while a few of the tracks feel a little tacked on, the game offers a lot of strategy space and a lot of replayability. I won, but it took half a game for anyone to figure out what they should be doing.
The second prototype of the day was the ever-intriguing Time Stories. I’m limited in what I can say (and they wouldn’t let me take a picture), but on Twitter I analogized the game to an escape room: it is a cooperative game that is half logic-puzzle and half atmosphere (this is a game where you really want to take the time to read the flavor text). At first I was concerned that we weren’t making much progress, but we ended up doing pretty darn well all things considered. I am intrigued, and I think my group back home would like it.
After dinner, I was taught City Hall, another Michael R. Keller game (see Captains of Industry on Day 1).
I took to the game pretty well, and there were definitely aspects I liked, but it overstayed its welcome with our group. The box suggests that playtime is 75 minutes, but we were at least double that after the rules explanation. Not sure if it was something we did.
We closed the night with a few hours of Times Up, which will likely be remembered for my cursing at my teammates and collapsing to the floor table in despair. I think the almost-nightly Times Up sessions are one of the best parts of the Gathering each year.
Looking forward to another day of great play!