02D04: Three Game Discussion

Saturday - Gaming Crew

 We've largely been playing the same board games over the past week as part of the cycle of (1) these games being newly added to our collection and (2) the heavier games need more than a single play to fully grasp. And we typically progress from just me and Tobie playing the game as a trial, then introducing it to other friends as we continue to test the game loop when more players are involved. Realistically, most modern board games really shine at around 3-4 players and play somewhat differently at 2 players unless the game was specifically designed as a 2-player experience. 

Last night we played a total of three games with two of them being quite heavy.

The first game was a 4-player session Inventions: Evolution of Ideas by Vital Lacerda. We've been tackling this game for the past week and like any other game by this designer, it's a LOT. But to be fair, his game design principles, particularly how he approaches writing his game manuals, have come a long way. He has always had a big love for shifting to symbol-based game principles to make the games a bit more language-agnostic...provided someone can still read the rulebook to explain what each symbol stands for. Thus far we had only played various 2-player sessions and this was our first time to play the game with a full table. It was a LOT but in a good way. It's not immediately apparent, but there are a number of paths to victory. But we're still trying to figure out some of the tile combos and strategies that enable particular methods. 

Our second game was more of a palate cleanse - the delightful and quick-to-play Let's Go! To Japan! game. This is quite the charming game and our core circle has been enjoying it a lot so far. Creating a game all about planning a trip to Japan - namely Tokyo and Kyoto - is a theme that is rather relatable to a lot of people. I think it especially resonates with me as I've never been to Japan and it remains something that Tobie and I really want to do together. It's not the most complicated one but it's a solid one and the mini-expansions that came with the Kickstarter release help add a bit more complexity for those who need more moving parts without ruining the game's overall charm. For now, I'm pretty decided that the Grab Your Passport mini-expansion is pretty much essential for future games while the Day Trip expansion is a little meatier and remains optional depending on the group.

Our final game for the night was a 3-player round of From the Moon by Johannes Goupy and Gilles Lasfargues. This game was a bit of a gamble when I backed the project but it is shaping up to be quite the enjoyable Euro-style game. And the fact that it's the product of a company we're not super familiar with adds to its collection value to some degree. Maybe they'll be even bigger globally one day. Maybe they'll limit future efforts to their home country. But for now, I'm pretty happy with the game and I hope more people get to try it as well. It has some pretty wild random swings in the game based on the different faction powers and such, but that's part of its appeal for me.

Today has been pretty light after a full night of gaming. I got up for my monthly foot spa appointment to help manage my walking- and exercise-related calluses. Tobie and I linked up for lunch and tried other dishes at Tang Korean Restaurant. It was a very hearty lunch and we made sure not to go overboard with the spicy stuff since we'll be going to O Bar later tonight. 

Unfortunately, he dropped his phone on his way to meet me and it resulted in a rather significant crack across his screen. Now Tobie and I have very different tech profiles and his phone tends to be more the bare minimum that he needs to stay in touch as most of his device-related activities are on his iPad. I function mainly on my phone with my only supporting device being my Kindle. Tobie's phone wasn't the newest model and was probably due for a replacement anyway. But it was quite the inconvenience as it was a rather nasty crack. 

Thankfully, Tobie's not actively under contract, so we managed to get him another bare minimum phone as a speedy replacement at the nearby Globe store. We should still get him a case to help protect this new phone, but at least we managed a speedy solution. I've helped him through all the joys of modern phone switching with things like Samsung Smart Sync and Google One's phone backup service and I think Tobie will be ready to roll for tonight.