We usually play from Kellye and Aaron’s game cabinet, since that’s where we have our GameDays. This week, Jason brought over his full library of games. We didn’t really get started until after 1, but still made our way though a lot of games.
Even though we all liked Terra Mystica a lot, Codenames garnered a fair share of our attention. We could be strategic, but conversational. We had some challenging rounds where very similar words were agents on different teams, and had to finesse fringe associations in order to locate the agents. By the end of the night, we had played Codenames with every possible team combination. Switching teams only made the game better, because we all gave clues a little differently. Each new round meant you had to change up your logic a little to understand what your team member was implying.
This game is a beast. We all studied the rules days beforehand, and Jason had played a few mock games himself just to get a feel for it. Aaron played as Nomads, Adam was Mermaids, Jason was Halflings, and Kellye was Witches.
Aaron executed the Nomads perfectly. We also felt that this race has a more straightforward strategy. He may have been helped by the fact that the rest of us didn’t know that we should have been fencing him in. He spread unchallenged through a fair section of the board.
Adam was successful in regulating his flow of power, but didn’t capitalize on his ability to foster indirect adjacency along the waterways.
Jason played the Halfings with a good balance, but didn’t capitalize on their ability to spread until late in the game. He very nearly robbed Aaron’s Nomads of their 18 point end of game bonus.
Kellye started fast with Witches, but reached a standstill early in year 3 due to a complete loss of cash flow. She sat a year out, and was able to finish strong.
The box suggests that Terra Mystica can be completed in 2 hours for 4 players, but it took us 5 hours to play. We are and aggressively analytical group, so we take longer even on games we know well. With a new game, there is a lot of rules clarification and speculative chatter as we absorb strategies.
Hanabi is always a fun diversion, though we tend to get into abstract arguments about the clue that should have been given versus the clue that was actually given. When we’re all operating on the same line of thought, the game is pretty easy… but we are rarely that united. We considered playing Lanterns afterward just to stay on the Asian festival theme, but switched to Seven wonders (after playing Codenames again).
This was one of the first “real” games our group bought after Catan. We’ve played it tons, because the randomness of the cards you get keeps it interesting. We discussed having progressive game days, where we play Sushi Go then Seven wonders, or Forbidden Island then Pandemic. The simpler versions would be like a warm-up for the strategic workout.
By the time we got to Get Bit it was pretty late, but it’s a great game to play when you still want to hang out, but are strategically spent. Despite your best efforts, you can only be so strategic. Don’t tell this to Aaron, who still took it very seriously (and won).
RESULTS: Aaron, Kellye, Jason, Adam
This was an especially awesome marathon gaming day. Maybe it was because we had gotten together last week after a long hiatus, and we didn’t have as many stories to talk about. Maybe it was because Kellye cooked up a bunch of food the day before, so we didn’t waste time discussing if, when, and what we were going to order for food. Or maybe it was just because Jason’s been holding back his great games from us. In any case, we’re excited to tackle Adam’s game library next Sunday (and maybe brew beer again?).