Monday, March 26, 2012

Gamestorm Wrap-up

I had a blast at Gamestorm. For almost 32 hours straight, pauing just long enough to eat and sleep, I played as many games as I could. I got in 14 total, most of which I had never played before. I liked most of them, loved a couple and was fortunately only a couple fell short of my expectations. I may talk about more of these in detail later on, especially as some select few make their way into my collection. Until then, here's some brief thoughts of what I got to the table.

Cargo Noir was the first game of the weekend. I had played it once before as a demo at my local game store. I am a huge fan of Days of Wonder games. This is a light, auction game with a smuggling theme. The theme is a little thin, but makes for a nice atmosphere as the players bid for weapons, uranium, art and more. This one is on my wish list; just want my wife to try it first.

Wrath of Ashardalon is the second in the Dungeons and Dragons adventure game series. I own the first one, Castle Ravenloft, but have not tried the others. This is a great game system that allows for a quick dungeon crawl experience without too much hassle. I haven't finished playing all the scenarios in Ravenloft yet, but this one is also on my wish list, albeit a little farther down the list.

Pitchcar was a time kill for 10 minutes as I waited for one of my scheduled events. Its a light disc flicking race game. It plays pretty fast and could be a lot of fun with a large group and great for a party. From what I've seen the price tag is a little more than I'd like to pay, so this is a pass for now.

Formula De is a deeper racing game, based on Formula 1 races. This has some great push your luck aspects as you try not to blow through curves too fast in fear of risking your cars integrity. I played with 9 other players which slowed down the game quite a bit. I played once before with only 5 and that went along at a nicer pace. Has basic and advanced rules which make it great for gamers of all skill levels. Would gladly play again, especially a longer race. Lower on the wish list, but may pick up one day.

Mansions of Madness is a Lovecraftian game. 1 player takes control of the cultists and monsters within the evil and corrupt mansions while the other players, as the investigators, try to stop the onset of the ancient ones. We tried to teach ourselves, which slowed us down quite a bit as he rules are quite beefy and theres a lof of setup. It has some really nice story-telling components but was also bogged down by a weird puzzle mechanic. I'll be passing on this one.

Cosmic Encounter is a classic game, first published 28 years ago. I've been wanting to play it for quite awhile as it has some mechanics that I really like, such as player negotiation and individual player powers. The game has some really quirky alien abilities but still manages to self balance really nicely. It was clear to see that this game has had decades to be polished. I don't think I'll be buying this one, but I'd definitely like to play again.

A Game of Thrones is based on the popular book series by George R.R. Martin. Another game that I'd heard a lot about and been interested to try. We tried to teach this to ourselves, but luckily a kind stranger walked us through. Didn't really click with us though; we played 3 out of the 10 rounds before calling it quits. Couldn't tell if is was trying to be a political negotiation or a war game. Passing on it, but could be convinced to try again with experienced players.

Wiz War is a reprint of a classic game. We grabbed this right after Game of Thrones and it was almost a 180 as far as game feel goes. Very light and quirky with clever spells and mechanics. Not sure how long I could play it but was fun for what it was. Only game we played twice since it played so fast. Would definitely play again, but probably won't buy.

Red Dragon Inn is a light filler game. Players act as adventurers hanging out at a bar, trying to get each other drunk. Had a fun and light theme. Played pretty fast, but kind of mindless. Will pass on this one.

Lords of Waterdeep is a new D&D themed euro-style worker placement game. This was by far my favorite game of the weekend. Had really tight mechanics. The theme, while kind of pasted on, still worked really well and made sense. Another game where you just can't do everything you want to do and have to make some really hard choices sometimes. Great game. Top of my wish list.

Battlelore is the fantasy themed addition to the Command & Colors series of games. I had this for a short time but quickly traded it off. I much prefer Memoir 44 which feels more streamlined and polished. I've heard that when you get into the more advanced campaigns of making your own general and using the lore deck is really good. I just like the simplicity of Memoir and would rather get a game done quickly and easily. Will continue to pass.

Kingsburg is another game that I've been wanting to play for a while. I've heard a lot of comparion to Alien Frontiers, which I like a lot, and just as many citations of differences. They both use dice placement as the central mechanic, but apart from that there aren't that many similarities. In this one, dice are used to influence the King's court in order to gain resources and military strength. Has a very cut throat feel to it as its very easy to get blocked by other players. Really liked this one. On the wish list.

Space Hulk: Death Angel was the final game of the weekend. This is the only game I played that is currently in my collection. I usually play this one solo so it was nice to play with other. Based on the Warhammer 40k universe, the players act as space marines to make their way through a series of rooms, clearing out the aliens. Its a fun little card game with some great strategic decisions that can fall apart easily with unlucky die rolls. Very difficuly to win and we did not fair well, losing in the 3rd room. Still, had a lot of fun though.

Final Score Sheet:
Total Games Played: 14
Total New Games Played: 10
Favorite Game: Lords of Waterdeep
Biggest Disappointment: A Game of Thrones
Excitement For Next Year: Enormous

1 comment:

  1. Nice reviews! I will share your blog on Facebook, you might get a following there.