Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

More Reading: Rules & First Impressions

Posted by sodaklady on October 31, 2007

I finally read the rules to In The Year of the Dragons.  The first thing that gave me pause was: “the player whose person marker is farthest ahead on the person track” selects their choice of action first.  Wait, what happened to the typical Euro balancing act that gives an advantage to the player in last place?  Well, o.k., you can spend money to take the same action.  I kept reading.  By the time I’d gotten through the Events phase, I was wondering, “where’s the fun in this?”  If everyone knows which Events to plan for, won’t everyone want to do the same thing, if possible?  It seems that each round, you’re just trying to keep that firecracker from going off in your hand, metaphorically speaking.  I found a review by Kristof Tersago who had the same feeling after playing it.  PASS.

 Race For The Galaxy caught my interest when I read about it on BGN.  I like San Juan, which this is a first cousin to, and the tweak in role selection as well as more card combinations sounded very good to me.  Unfortunately, in trying to make the game language independent, they were forced into Icon Madness.  This is fine if you have a regular group of gamers to play with but my family would mentally run screaming from the table.  PASS.

 As soon as I saw that the rules for Z-Man’s Pandemic were available, I was there.  Why is a co-operative game about curing diseases so appealing?  Maybe somewhere deep inside of me I want to save the world.  Or maybe it was as simple as liking the look of the board, or needing another co-op game (besides Shadows Over Camelot).  Whatever the cause, after reading the rules, this has gone into the number one spot on my Want List.

 Most of my playing is now limited to 2 players and Pandemic sounds like it will play as well with 2 as with the full compliment of 4.  It also includes a way to adjust the difficulty level, a plus in my opinion because I think this is going to be a tough one to beat even on the beginning level.  The players take on one of 5 different roles, each with a special ability that breaks the standard rules.  Here is the one thing I’m not sure about since it seems that a couple of them (Scientist and Medic) are a lot more helpful than others, especially the Researcher.  This is in no way a deal-breaker; this just sounds way too cool.  The whole idea of a frantic race to slow the spread of these diseases and find cures before they get out of control is enough to get my blood pumping.  BUY.

 Like most of you, I love the cute figures in the Lamont Brothers’ recent games (Shear Panic and Hameln) but the game play didn’t grab me in either case.  Still, I found myself reading the rules to their newest game, Antler Island, and loving it.  This one is more family friendly, I think; a little more fun and a little less brain work.  I can see my family enjoying this one, a prerequisite for any game I buy these days.  I hope it soon finds its way to the U.S.  BUY.

Finally, I’ve been waiting patiently (but not terribly so) for the rules to Scrapyard Wars to be posted.  My husband and I were regular viewers of the tv show Junkyard Wars and if Steve Sisk can bring a little of the zany, let’s-give-it-a-try feeling from that show to a board game, I want to know about it.


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