Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mark's One Hundred: #80-#71

#80: Royal Turf
The only time this game has gone "belly up" with a group is when I played it 3 player with two other tired gamers... otherwise, this is darn near "bomb-proof." My favorite horse racing game (though I do like Favoriten as well - just not nearly as much.)

#79: Medici
Like I said in The One Hundred blurb on this game, it stuns me that the graphic issues with the German & English editions of this game haven't dampened Medici's power - it's elegant in it's simplicity. BTW, I prefer to play with 5 players, so someone can't calculate their bids to the penny late in each round.

#78: Flowerpower
For a long time, I was undefeated at this simple tile-laying game - no longer. (Thanks to my wife, my Gulf Games roomie & my niece.) Still, my record is pretty huge (90% win ratio) which says that either (a) most of my competition stinks at this game, or (b) there's more to this than just throwing tiles on the board. Interesting game in that it can be played very friendly or with a bit of venom.

#77: Das Letzes Paradies
Another Knizia auction game - and another one of those "short & mean" auction games. Best with 3 players... there's only 16 auctions in the entire game to develop plots of a tropical island. Granted, the game is massively overproduced, but it's still a great "little" game.

#76: Chinatown
I really enjoy this game - and yet I can see all the criticisms clearly. Due to some of the odd vagaries of the tile mix, I will ONLY play with 4 players - but with the right 4 people, this is 75 minutes of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours".

#75: Loopin' Louie
My copy cost $1.97 and was only missing stickers on one of the chicken tokens.... keep your eyes peeled when you're in a thrift store, as this mechanical game is ferociously addictive. (I'm still not sure how this one missed appearing on The One Hundred.)

#74: Maskenball der Kafer
The English title is "The Ladybug's Picnic" - all I can tell you is that it's not only the prettiest cooperative game I own, it's also the toughest. (We win less than 40% of the time.) And it's got the got the cool magnetic ladybugs. Awfully expensive for a kids game - but well worth it.

#73: Ra
I hate-hate-hated this auction/gambling game the first time I played it... but then I gave it a second chance and it's now a beloved member of the Jackson gaming family. I like it best with 3, but 4 or 5 is ok, too.

#72: Mamma Mia
I don't get to play Mamma Mia nearly as much as I would like - first, it's about pizza-making, and I love me my pizza pie! Second, the central discard mechanism - what with the card counting & the press-your-luck elements - is a master stroke from Uwe Rosenberg.

#71: Fresh Fish
I've never won this game. Ever. Doesn't stop me from loving to play it, though. (My problem is that I never see the consequences of my "brilliant" play until it's too late.)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Due to some of the odd vagaries of the tile mix, I will ONLY play with 4 players

Explain, please, as I think this works great with 5.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Good question, Dave.

In a five player game, there is too little "stuff" for each player to make deals with. Playing by the original rules, you only get to see 27 properties & mark 15 of those. Unless one of the other players goes nuts and gives you a 2 for 1 deal, building larger businesses is pretty much out of the question.

The same problem is true with business tiles - you only get 17 for the entire game.

It just feels too limiting and makes the luck of the draw pretty strong. (If I get deeds no one wants, I'm hosed. The more deeds I can get, the better my chances are!)

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you're speaking from experience. I can say that I've never played in a 5-player game of Chinatown in which people couldn't make some cool deals, often from the get-go, regardless of how little "stuff" they had... though I'll grant you, that first turn usually goes pretty quickly (not necessarily a bad thing).

"Only" 15 properties for the whole game has never stopped one, usually two players from completing a 6, and all three 5's often get made, as well.

That said, I've never actually played a 4-player game of this because I've always assumed it was best with 5 (from my experience) :) I wouldn't mind trying it, but it could be hard to convice others, as most of them don't think of Chinatown *as* a 4-player, especially with so many other choices for that number.

4:42 AM  

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