Weekend Gaming: Finally Football!

Saturday night started out with a short game of Zombie Dice while everyone was arriving.  Joe jumped out to a quick lead while everyone else was having trouble scoring anything.  Kevin eventually managed to catch up a bit and hit a good streak setting the game to finish with a score of 16 brains.  Joe managed to get within one, but then busted out.  Ryan had a good streak as well, but he was trying to come back from nothing and just couldn’t get enough.

7 Wonders then hit the table and I ended up playing as Giza (a Wonder I don’t normally play).  I focused heavily on Civilian points and my Wonder and it worked out alright.  I had very minimal resources, so I was buying a lot from my neighbors.  Louis had a much more balanced game and picked up a lot of points from military, to take the win by about 8 points.

Ryan had brought Le Havre over, so we broke that out.  Since it only supports 5 players, Ryan sat out to get a break and help with the rules.  It was Gina’s and my first time playing and there is a lot of detail to the game.  It was designed by the same person as Agricola, so the gameplay is similar.  There food resources that need to be paid each round, action selection is similar to Agricola, and there are a ton of little pieces to the game.  That’s about where the similarities stop.  In Le Havre, you are trying to gain money/points by creating the best harbor.  Each round is made up of 7 actions split among the players.  So in a 5 player game each player typically gets 1 action, but two players will a second.  This rotates over the course of 20 rounds for a 5 player game.  At the end of each round, there is a food cost that is needed to pay your workers, which increases over the course of the game.  The actions consist of taking resources, building buildings and using buildings.  Only one person can use a building at a time, and you can’t use the same building multiple times, so that is a big part of the strategy.  The other interesting thing is that you are not limited to your own buildings.  You can use other players buildings any time you want (provided they are unoccupied), but many of them have a cost that must be paid to the owner.  So a big part of the strategy is to get buildings that other players will want to use, so you can get paid.

It was definitely different and I was having a tough time taking it all in.  There’s just a lot of options.  I didn’t do terribly, but I started off the game taking on a ton of debt that haunted me all game.  I was able to finally get rid of it at the end, but it took up turns that could have been better used for other things.  Also, my building choices were a bit weak.  I was trying to get a lot of buildings to maximize the benefits of my Arts Center (the player gets cash for the number of other players in his buildings), but it didn’t really work out.  It was pretty obvious that Joe, Kevin and Louis had played before, since they knew exactly what they were doing as they all ended up with at least 15 more points than Gina or I.  Joe ended up winning the game by a couple of points.  I like the game, but I will definitely need to play a few more times before I can really make a call.

After that, Kevin, Louis and Ryan took off, so Gina, Joe and I played another game of 7 Wonders.  While we had played a number of 2 player games, we’d never tried it with only 3.  It was definitely a different experience from the 5-7 players we’re used to.  There’s a lot more planning involved in what cards to pass and more foresight into what you’ll see in later hands.  In our game, Gina ended up with a very strong military strategy and took a bunch in Guilds as well to take the game by 10 points.

Sunday was spent enjoying the first real weekend of football and it was a nice relaxing weekend overall.  The first in quite a while.  Until next time, happy gaming.

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