I finally got a chance to teach Lisa how to play Tigris & Euphrates last night. T&E was one of the first games I bought when I was just getting into the hobby. I can remember struggling and struggling through the rules; how difficult it seemed to the uninitiated. Now…it’s not bad at all. In fact, I play it rarely but still can teach it without much difficulty. It’s one of my favorite games but due to it’s heaviness (on par with Reef Encounter another one of my favorites) I don’t get to play it that often. I have several in my group that like it as well but during a normal game night we usually pick something lighter so that those that don’t like the heavy lifting can enjoy the evening too.
This was the first true use of the Nile Variant Board I made back in August. It’s sad to think it took that long to play a game on the board but I’m still happy I made it. I learned a lot in the process. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure Lisa enjoyed the game all that much. I think she was a bit tired and was struggling a bit. It does take a few games to begin having a clue what are the ramifications of any particular move. The gaming engine is very clean but keeping straight conflict types, how cubes are awarded, what tiles you battle with, monument construction, treasure gathering rules, etc. can be relatively taxing those first few times. For that matter…it’s taxing just about any time you play but if you’re like me, that’s where the fun is. There are some great interviews with Reiner Knizia on the game that I highly recommend if you get a chance.
I like the layout of the two-player board. With two less treasures (8 instead of 10) the game is a bit shorter and with the smaller board, conflict is about on par with 3 or 4 players playing on the standard board. There are more opportunities for river tile placement and 3 locations where blue tiles can trigger monuments although a pair of them overlap meaning only two are capable of being built in any particular game. All in all, I like it and hope that Lisa will be up for playing a few more games to get her over the “hump” and/or I can find another opponent.