We met at Paul’s house this month. Thanks for hosting Paul! While we waited for our sixth player, we started a round of Formula Motor Racing by Reiner Knizia. The game is still new to me having only played once with my kids but there’s not much to it. After a five minute rule presentation we got started and took our lumps in the chaos that ensued. All twelve cars are in play regardless of the number of players so with five, one controls only two like-colored cars with one “uncontrolled” pair of cars going along for the ride. In the end, we might as well have just flipped a coin to determine the winner but by having cards in one’s hand and by having bits on the table I suppose one would call it a game. From the way the cars progressed, I’d say all of them were fairly “uncontrolled”. The copy of the game that CABS owns has little soft-ish rubbery cars and my copy has hard plastic cars. I enjoyed the little rubbery ones better. They looked…I don’t know…yummier? Like little gummy cars.
About half way through the chaos, our sixth arrived and so after we finished FMR, we broke out Union Pacific. We’d played this at Paul’s house recently so after struggling with the cards a bit (I’d arranged the dividend cars appropriately through the deck twice only to realize that I’d forgotten to deal shares to everyone and then forgotten to flip up the face-up draw pile first) we got started building the links. Every time I’ve played, the final dividend card has come up within the last 10 cards and last night was no exception (next to last!). However, this time the first three dividends flopped out very early in the game. Most everyone was busy focussing on retaining dominance in non-UP links only to have the dividend card flip up causing that nauseating wave of realization that we had once again missed out on the UP dividend payout. How can that dividend card come out again so quickly! Damn you purple dividend card!
I enjoy Union Pacific and I greatly enjoyed being able to replay a game with my group. Jason mentioned to me that we have fun as a group playing all the new games but that we’re missing another level (not better just different) of fun when everyone is familiar with the game. I’m beginning to agree with him. It is satisfying to play a game that we’re all comfortable with. But damn you purple dividend card!
Tim, Keith, and Jason cut out after UP so Rich, Paul, and I talked a bit about Railroad Tycoon. I got out the board and we talked at a high level about the game. I really want to play again! It was starting to get late so the three of us closed with Hey! That’s my Fish!, a neat abstract that warms up the brain nicely.
Thanks everybody for coming and see you all next month.