Last Thursday we had our monthly meeting at Ayioi Omologites. There were only four of us but we got to play a few interesting and good games. We split into two groups of 2 and got started!
Myself and FA had decided to go for Stefan Feld’s, Trajan, which i had acquired through Maths Trade a few months ago. It’s an abstract game where you win by earning the most victory points. The choice you have of how to earn points is very overwhelming. Each player has the option of several actions to take and each action is not very complicated in terms of what it does. However the manner in which an action is taken is something i’ve never encountered in a game before.
It goes like this:
Each player has two differently colored pieces in each of the six sections (bowls) of his tableau.On a turn, the player picks up all the pieces in one bowl and distributes them one-by-one in bowls in a clockwise order. Wherever the final piece is placed, the player takes the action associated with that bowl; in addition, if the colored pieces in that bowl match the colors shown on a Trajan tile next to the bowl (with tiles being placed at the start of the game and through later actions), then the player takes the additional action shown on that tile.
I started the game with two basic ideas. To have as many Trajan tiles as possible on my board which would give me more options, actions, pts etc. The second thing was to try and do a little bit of everything, exploring the game’s ways of winning points. That resulted in taking quite a few extra actions during the game but maybe not earning enough points and not paying a lot of attention on the final scoring. FA did not have that many Trajan tiles but she used the military action a lot more effectively than i did and also managed to get more points in the final scoring by having a set of contstruction tiles and also cards that earned her more points with the bonus tiles and won the game. In fact she could have gotten more points had she not made a mistake in choosing the final bonus tile.
I was a bit concerned about this game’s reputation of providing you with an overwhelming choice of ways to score points. That is one of the reasons i’m still lukewarm to Ora Et Labora. I just can’t get my head around the game. It’s simply too much. Trajan is similar but in contrast i found it extremely enjoyable to play, especially the Mancala mechanic (explained above). That’s a pretty sweet mechanic. You spent most of your time staring at your board thinking of how to move your Action Markers around to get to where you need to go. It’s a game i can see time investment paying off by thinking 2-3 turns ahead. All in all i really enjoyed my time with it.
Score: FA 153, CT 134
I love it –
I like it – CT, FA
Not for me –
MA and AP bravely attempted to take on the mighty game of High Frontier. In fact, i had been invited to join them but, sensibly, i declined. High Frontier is a space game, or rather a simulation, which was designed by Phil Eklund, a rocket scientist, and has a fearsome reputation of being almost impossible to play. The best way to do it is for someone else to teach it to you. Of course, here the guys did not have that option and after 90mins of frustration they gave up.
I love it –
I like it –
Not for me – MA, AP
I love it – AP
I like it – MA
Not for me –