Monday, December 05, 2005

Mark's One Hundred: #60-#51

#60: Victory & Honor
Another partnership card game... this time, I had the privilege of watching this game go through development over 3-4 years. Ty Douds has created a trick-taking card game with enough interesting twists to make it onto my personal Top 100.

#59: Linie 1
Yeah, the ending's a bit random... but I still enjoy the process of building my line while monkeying up other folks' plans. (It doesn't hurt that this is close to being the most expensive game in my collection, due to my buying it pre-Internet.)

#58: Broadway
I bought this originally out of the clearnance bin at a Toys'R'Us - and I've probably squeezed every penny of value out of it in the past 17 years. It's a roll'n'move investment game that uses 10% shares in Broadway shows - investors share in the profits & the losses. The game can be pretty vicious, but my wife & I have had great success introducing it to both gamer & non-gamer friends.

#57: Canasta
My Grandma Jackson is the first person who taught me how to play... but it was my in-law's who took me to school. (And, honestly, keep taking me to school. Shari & I have only beat them once in 15 years.) It's a rummy-like 2 deck game that's actually MUCH easier to learn if you buy Canasta Caliente. (I'm still undecided whether I like the Caliente cards added to the game - but having the point totals & special powers on the cards is wonderful!)

#56: Viva Pamplona
The running of the bulls makes for an enjoyable romp that's in the same gaming family as Viva Topo and Midnight Party. (It's a family I'm fond of... all three appear on this list!) I've often wondered about how you can lose courage points when someone else shoves you (and worse yet, they get them!), but it's still a delightful game.

#55: TransAmerica
I once dissed this game of railroad connections as "cotton candy" - it's fun to eat for a while but then you begin asking yourself what in the world you're doing. Playing a good bit on BSW proved my initial assesment wrong - there are tactics to this game, as evidenced by some players with 75%+ win ratios!

#54: Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone
A Canasta-based entry to this stellar series of card games was, of course, almost a sure winner with me. (See #57.) Didn't hurt my opinion of the game at all for my first play to be against Mike Fitzgerald. But aside from all that, it's a great game - it's important to collect cards & hide others, but nothing is really safe. (Important safety tip: don't play with 3 players... it works best with 2 players or 4 players playing partnership.)

#53: Lost Cities
I've played this over & over and I'm still intrigued each time. How far can I push my luck? Should I play aggressively or defensively? For such a simple game, it continues to draw me in. (Probably doesn't hurt that the production of the game is gorgeous.) Now, it's not that I win all that much. My wife is a pro.

#52: Drunter & Druber
This is a weird game with a very odd backstory - the key way you can stop other players is by voting to keep an outhouse unmolested. There are elements of bluff & tile-laying... and it won the Spiel des Jahres. Again, I don't get to play this nearly as much as I'd like.

#51: Palermo
A tactical game in two parts, much like Linie 1. During Part One, mobsters claim the various businesses of Palermo for their protection rackets. In Part Two, the mobsters cruise around town, racing to collect their cut. The nice thing: both parts of the game work well - and mesh together nicely.



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