Impromptu Gaming Session – IGS III

I organized an impromptu gaming event at my house for a small group this past weekend. We didn’t finish up until almost 2am so although that may sound horrible to non-gamers…it was an awesome afternoon and evening of gaming. We took a break and walked a couple of blocks to Chipotle for dinner but other than that…the gaming was on!

Rich arrived a little late so we set up one of my favorites Tigris & Euphrates. Jason was new to the game and Bob had only played once but it didn’t take us long before play was under way. Bob was really into introducing chaos into the mix by repeatedly causing external conflicts between Jason and I and since I was sitting to Bob’s left I was always the attacker. Arg! The sweetest moment of the entire game was when Bob triggered an external conflict in blue with Jason and ponied up 5 blue tiles to Jason’s zero. Jason, having just swapped away 5 blue tiles on his turn just before Bob’s attack managed to tie the attack because the managed to draw 5 more blue tiles in the swap.

Next up we played Pandemic at the “medium/normal” level. This was my first playing and I found it a pretty good game. Pandemic is different than all the games I own because it’s a cooperative venture. All players either win or all players lose. You work together as a group to beat the game. The theme is appealing since everyone wants to stop the spread of disease across the globe and the rules are easy to grasp. It’s going to be tough for me to pick up a copy since the game is in such high demand and the number of printed copies tends to be pretty low. There is a restock coming in July so maybe I’ll jump on the bandwagon then with a portion of my $100 gift certificate from Father’s Day.

After the Chipotle run we settled in to Reef Encounter. It’s been years since I’ve played but since we only had four players I wasn’t going to squander a great opportunity to get it back to the table. Unfortunately, the rules are a bear to get through. I was prepared to teach the game having studied the night before but the circular nature of the actions and their ramifications can make it mind numbingly complex for new players to grasp what makes a good move. Unlike many games each action is simple to grasp you gives you few clues on why you’d want to make any of them. However, the power is in understanding how best to stack your actions so that a seemingly uninteresting move can position you better to make a subsequent move later in your turn. I greatly enjoy the game but it is a brain burner and suffers a bit from analysis paralysis. You can somewhat plan your move when it’s not your turn but by the time it gets back around to you…a lot can happen to completely destroy even the best laid plans.

And finally, we closed the night with the first playing of my copy of Inkognito. For non-gamers, the game is Clue on steroids. By that I mean, the game holds hidden information and your job is deduce information based on knowledge you learn during game play. The game ends once you know the secret information and can attain the secret goal. I’ve played the game in other venues four times and have enjoyed it every time. I think everyone at the table had a good time and I can’t wait to inflict it on my sister’s family in the next few weeks when we head back to Indiana for a wedding.

Thanks for coming guys, it was great.

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