Mike bought two new Knizia games yesterday (before me even!!). And we brought them to Tim’s house to play today. This is my first time playing with Tim’s gaming group. He has a lot of games, more than Ed even, and a lot of non-game toys like a Mame arcade game and a projection home theatre system.
Pickomino is a dice game where you are trying to roll a number from 21-36 where at least one of your dice contains a worm. If you make a number that is showing on a dominoe, then you get to keep it. Otherwise, you must give one of your dominoes up and flip over the highest domino (which acts as a count-down clock). It is a light, fun game with a weird theme (roasted worms on a barbecue?).
Its main weakness is that it is a dice game and dice can roll strangely in the short term. In this game, I must have had twelve turns where I could not roll a worm at all!
Tower of Babel
For the second game, we played another new Knizia game, the Tower of Babel. This is an majority area control game with some twists. There are eight wonders of the world that we are building. Each wonder has three spots for the resources that it requires (one of 4 types). On your turn, you either pass or try to build a wonder by picking one of the remaining resource chits. The other players will then select some number of cards to play (1 to the number on the chit) and then reveal simultaneously. You may then pick combinations of players that exactly fufill the resource requirement. Players put the number of tokens on the board that match the cards that they played if they were chosen. If they were not chosen and they played the correct resource cards, then they will instead score points based on the number of cards played.
One twist is that the other players may play a “trade” card as part of the cards. You can only chose one of the players who played a trade card. You will place your own tokens for the number of cards that they played and they will get the chit instead of you getting it.
Only the first and second place players score when the wonder is completed. Others score only three points. Another twist is that ties are bad (you score the next lower ranking). As wonders score, the amounts grow larger. At the end of the game, you score points for two or more similiar chits (from one to twenty points which can be quite large).
It was a good game. But the playing of it was runined for me because everyone spent the entire game kibitzing and group thinking. This hurts me because I am a quiet player and I can’t influence what others do. The other players were vocally offering one person advice that would hurt my position in the game. But what I don’t like is that this advice secretly helps those people. They tell person A to hurt person B out loud but, at the same time, they won’t say that it helps person C, D, and E.