We played several games today at DGM. Here's a quick rundown of them:
. We tried this one last night and played a bunch wrong. So we packed up and tried again this morning. It's pretty great. It's essentially a very complicated rondel. Your workers are dice, which start at value 1. The higher their value, the more they can do at many spaces, and after taking actions, one or more at the space will power up. If they power up to 6, they "ascend", earning you a bonus and resetting them to 1 at the starting space. Based on that, add a money economy that causes you to pay your workers and to enter spaces, a locking mechanism for secondary action spaces, several progress tracks w/ bonus and scoring implications, lots of randomization during setup, and just a ton of stuff, and you get a very very complicated game to learn, but one which really gives lots to think about and is pretty fun. We'll definitely play again, but wow there is a lot going on.
2. Blackout: Hong Kong
. This is the newest by Alexander Pfister, creator of Mombasa and Great Western Trail. It reuses some of the card mechanics from Mombasa, but centered around network building, with a side of engine building, and a very weird and unique resource wheel mechanic. The graphic design leaves quite a bit to be desired, but the game itself is solid and quite good. It's not GWT, but it's still an absolutely excellent euro game. Will play again.
. This is an /old/ Stonemaier game which is about to get a new expansion, so we revisited it. It's a dice worker placement game, set in a dystopia, where you have to try and keep your dice from getting too much knowledge lest they flee. It's got the Stonemaier "race to get rid of stars" thing going, which is an odd thing in a worker placement. And it has a LOT of negative effects that can apply to you, so it generally does start to feel dystopian. It's not feel good. It's mean. And it's pretty light for all of that. I actually liked it more this time than I did when I first played it, so I think it's pretty player count driven. I will likely play again and explore a bit more. Definitely going to read up on it further, to see if my observations from playing are echoed elsewhere.
. This is another older game I wanted to finally try. It's a Stephan Feld game, about people in Europe doing stuff. This one has boats. The core mechanic is a 7 sided "wheel" with spaces as follows:; an arrow, then clockwise, dice symbols from one to six. On each round, you have to take a card (which you are obligated to supply cubes to), then choose two of the seven different colored dice and place the depicted number of action cubes of that color next to the wheel on the side matching the number. After you've done that, you rotate the wheel clockwise one space, so the arrow points at where the "1" space was, and all other spaces dropped in value by 1. Then you use all of the cubes in that space to do various actions that can give you points or help you avoid negative points. Some of these things are network building, some are delivery, some are engine building, etc. And they intertwine. You do this 12 times, then score 1 small endgame thing, then you see who won. It is sort of a classic older alea feld. It doesn't go too far, doesn't overstay it's welcome, and gives just enough to think about. I think this is a very good game, but I'm not sure how long it will hold up to repeated plays. Still, out of all his games from that era that I've played, I think I like this one best, and would absolutely play again.
All in all, a very good day of gaming!