Sunday, November 13, 2005

#15: St Petersburg

Since the voting for this list was done twelve months ago, this is the one game I (Mark) think would drop down or off the list. It's not that I don't like it - it's a lot of fun to play. It moves quickly and is filled with interesting decisons. But I don't think St Petersburg has the staying power of the games it's surrounded by... even the ones I don't like. (See #14.)

Frank Hamrick: "Good tension, simple mechanics, agonizing choices each turn, minimal luck, short playing time put this one in my top 15. It is as low as it is because it is a bit short on "aggression" and "strategy." Still, it gets played an aweful lot by our group and it has always been enjoyable to me. As many have said, it is a game of "timing" - when do I switch from a "money" to a "victory point" strategy. We have also adjusted the Aristocrat end game scoring track so that the building cards become a bit more important, creating a game in which balance between money, buildings, andaristocrats is also a viable strategy, an often winning strategy. This makes the game even more enjoyable to me."

Joe Huber: "A wonderfully balanced game, which just begs for repeated play."

James Hamilton: "A bit flavour of the moment but I am playing this over and over against the computer. When played on the PC it is almost like solitaire and has that just one more game attention grabbing ability. So far out of 250 games played I am at a 56% win rate."

Andrea Meyer: "This is best for the times I need to prove that not only women can think but we can also calculate."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one's a total shocker to me. I wonder how many of those who voted for it would still rank it in their top 15 if the results were collected again today.

For me, St. Petersburg was a game that was lots of fun at first, but eventually played itself out. In fairness, though, the Westpark Gamers' PC version had something to do with that progression. After repeatedly cruising through it in four or five minutes, I have no patience for the actual board game.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh asks:

I wonder how many of those who voted for it would still rank it in their top 15 if the results were collected again today.

I certainly would, FWIW - while I've played it _less_ this year, less is still well over 10 plays...

10:58 AM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

Mark, I don't think St. Pete would fall out of the Top 100 entirely if we voted today, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was no longer in the Top 50. I just get the feeling, like you, that this one has had a short shelf life and its 15 minutes (okay, maybe 15 months) of fame are up. I was never a big fan, but, like Josh, repeated playings of the Westpark Gamers' PC game (it's a GREAT computer game!) means that I'll probably never want to play this one FTF again.

Interestingly, my win rate on the PC game is almost exactly the same as James Hamilton's!

9:17 PM  
Blogger Shannon Appelcline said...

I wasn't too enthused about St. Petersburg before, but oddly enough it was that PC game that put the final nail in the coffin for me too. Playing a half-dozen games in an hour can really show when the Emperor's game has no clothes.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so wrong.
I've played the game three times in person, 23 on BSW, and about 1200 times solitare on the computer but I cannot see this being anywhere as high as 15.

I demand a revote!

9:29 AM  

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