Theme Day #11 – Scott Day!

4 Feb

So yeah, it was my birthday a couple weeks ago. So as the by-laws of my Monday game group go, I got to pick all the games that day. First off, the obligatory embarrassing picture.

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Smooth.

Let’s get to the games.

Game #1 – Formula D

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I love racing games. Formula D is one of the best (although there are a couple of titles on the horizon that are going to give this a race for its money). We only ran a 1-lap race because people kept coming in. We ran the recently released Nevada map which has a jump. Two of our racers fell into the river. I really love this game. Great group game that still plays pretty quickly, even with large numbers of players.

Game #2 – Winner’s Circle

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Another racing game. This classic Reiner Knizia game is mostly luck with a really fun hidden betting system. I do wish the horses were a little bit more contrasted. There are a couple of shades that are difficult for those of us with good eyesight to tell apart. For my color blind friend, most of the horses looked exactly the same. Another very fun, chaotic racing game.

Game #3 – Saint Petersburg

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Moving away from racing, I requested this Euro classic that, even with a recent Fantasy Flight reprint, still seems to not get much respect. Saint Petersburg combines set collection and engine building to make an extremely pleasant gaming experience. I will note this it was immediately after this game, as I was checking out the (kinda terrible) rule book that I discovered I had been playing a critical rule wrong for 10+ years. You get money / points etc. at the END of each phase, not at the beginning. Whoops. I will say that this game is starting to show its age. Many other games seem to do the set collection aspect a bit better than this one. Still love it. Still think it’s under appreciated.

Game #4 – For Sale

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One of my favorite little filler games. For Sale has two phases: an auction section where you are trying to gain the best houses, and a simultaneous card playing section where you are trying to sell those houses for the most money possible. If there is a negative of the particular version of the game (the Uberplay edition for at least 10 years ago), it’s that the check cards used in the second half of the game, while thematic, can’t be read very well from more than a foot away. I believe more recent versions (Eagle-Gryphon Games) use easier to see cards. Find that version. This is a fabulous game that should be in every game collection.

Game #5 – Power Grid Deluxe

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My favorite game in all the world is Power Grid. I have a couple different versions of the game, and every expansion. Except this one. I didn’t really feel like the game was “Deluxe” enough to warrant the price. After playing this, I think I need to buy it. Now, the version we played with had been even extra modified with custom bits, but I do quite like the larger map and more colorful plant cards. For some reason, the game seems to be even faster now than it did before. Our game ended at least one turn before I was expecting. Power grid is full of tough decisions in every phase of the game. There are other games which have some of these elements, but I don’t like many of them as much as I like this one. There’s just that extra something special here that hits me just right.

Next article: we begin celebrating the month of Feld-uary. That’s right. Every Monday for the entire month, we play nothing but Stefan Feld games! I’ve been on record saying that I’m not a huge fan of his games…so we’ll see if that changes after playing a dozen or so of his games in rapid succession.

 

 

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