Things of No Interest: What I Played from June 13th - July 10th
Sometimes, life just up and rears its head. I fell off posting here and am way behind in posting anything. Let's fix that. Because of the odd span of time, I list these in order of most plays.
Yeah, I'm still playing this on my iPad. Over the last few weeks, my plays have tapered off, and I'm not playing vs real people as much, but I still fire it up occasionally against the AI (I'm a horrible 25% win clip against the Hard AI). I'm slowly getting better, but still of the opinion that luck plays much too big an impact in the game. Get the right draws at the right time or lose. The expansions change things up some and I like the new cards and game goals, but I'm about done exploring combos and still wouldn't choose to play this at the table. Will I pick up the expansion when it is released on the the app version? Probably. But I can play a head to head game against the AI in under 5 minutes so it makes a good iPad game. It won't surprise me if Race is named for best boardgame app this year, but that doesn't make Race itself a great game.
I got pushed into trying this online (Yucata.de). I'm really glad I did, as this is really a fun race game / bag builder. I played a number of games of it head-to-hed with my buddy Robert (though we've both decided that one particular blue card is not cool with only two players). I don't need this right now, but I'd consider it in trades down the road. There is a series here (Trains, Planes, and Automobiles and as far as I can tell, not related to Steve Martin and John Candy). I actually will probably not end up owning this as it is like Trains - a pretty good game, but not so much that I have to have it.
More Yucata.de gaming! Inevitably when I play anything on Yucata.de, I find a quick game or two of Can't Stop along the way. I love this push your luck game. I've played it wayyyy too much though (yucata.de stats alone: 899 games, 464 wins). That doesn't count playing the app version on my iPad (which I did with my son a week ago) or any of the numerous times face-to-face on the table. Despite that, I still like playing this game from time to time. I think I won a head to head game and just came up short in a three player game.
7 Wonders Duel
My daughter got over her last devastating loss and asked for a game of this again. I had a decent game path and got the resources I needed and handily won. I probably won't get to play this again for another month... I still enjoy this and it is quick with interesting choices. The shine is starting to fade a little, but it is still a solid game.
I foolishly created a 4-player online game for my love and two other friends. Async 4-player Carc with Princess and the Dragon is just a bad idea. I think it took us a month to finish. I think I've solidly in the camp that Carc is a two-player game - as a tabletop game or as an async-online game. There is just too much randomness in the draws for the game to be fun for lots of players. And its too long. You can shorten it with less expansions, but I don't enjoy the game without most of the expansions I have available. Catch-22. I may just give up my Big Box #2 collection and stick with Carcassonne the City and the Castle. For the rest, I can just play the online app (which is still one of the best app implementations to date). I kept it for various reason, but I think this last game may have pushed me to let it go. For the record, my love Alyson won the game by 3 points over me (the master of farming).
I saw Brandon Kempf with this at a Geekway one year and figured it must be ok, so I acquired it in a math trade. I finally managed to talk my son into playing it one afternoon and found something not entirely dissimilar to Machi Koro - though perhaps more interesting. In Dice City at least each turn feels like you can do something (it might be less interesting, but at least you did something). That being said, the game isn't vastly superior. I also only have the one two-player game to go by so, Caveat Emptor. Dice city is an engine game where your dice rolls give you actions. You can upgrade the spaces on your "city" such that hopefully the dice give you better and better actions.
Because of the rather sporadic play I do on yucata.de, I often discover games I know have been implemented. This was one I saw, so one day I started a random game with some friends. This is a little press your luck against others dice game that plays best when using the neutral dice. Good stuff for a filler and interestingly, its still just filler even online. A filler for playing in between the slightly meatier other offerings on yucata.de.
One of my new Punch Board Media buddies, Eric Buscemi, mentioned never having played Thunderstone, so we jumped on yucata.de and I taught him the game. And of course, because it always happens when I teach a game, the newbie starts thrashing me. About halfway through the game, my deck hits its stride and I managed a comeback, but Eric still keeps applying the pressure. I ended up getting a lucky last draw and win the game (non-scored of course). I was surprised how much of the game I still knew all the rules for. Thunderstone is still a blast to play (though the full tabletop game became a little bit overdone, which is why I think they "reset" it with Thunderstone: Advance.
Ticket to Ride: India
After that ridiculous Carc game (which we ended by managing to all be online at the same time), we all decided to play a reasonably quick game of Ticket to Ride. I let Alyson pick and she choose India. Alyson, Matthew and I all started hosing each other immediately while Amelia pretty much was in the clear, which makes it pretty easy to guess who won. I did beat Alyson by a point, which made me feel better about losing Carc, but only a little. Amelia beat us all by about 40 points. I managed a few loops, but drew tickets and was forced to keep one I couldn't finish when I drew it.