There was another game day at Ed’s house. I had brought my camera with the 70-200mm lens to the tournament. But I was too nervous to bring it outside. If I had then it would have been amusing since someone else brought a Canon 20D with a 70-200mm lens as well. We would have looked like Paparazzi. When I brought it inside Ed’s house, I decided to take a picture with it on. I had to walk off into the other room to get this framed. With an effective 1.6 multiplier, this lens at 200mm turns into a 320mm lens.
Ed brought out a new Knizia game for us to try. It is a rather simple game. A dragon starts in the middle of the board. People will play a card that moves it towards one of two gates (a red one and a yellow one) and they will then place a token that will mark where they think it will finally end up. When it stops, they get points based on how close they were to the Dragon. If they were on the other side of the market, then they will get negative points.
As you can see from my one of my hands, I had a mostly one sided card distribution. Which is good if a couple of people before you send the Dragon marching off into your direction. And that is what happened for me. It also helps if the person before you sets you up to be able to end the round early by marching the Dragon past a gate. John on my right did it for me one time. And I was able to get Ed (on my left) to do it on another round. That helped cement me into winning the game.
Ed brought out another free (review copy) game on the table. This game had a theme (boats and exploration), but, for some reason, didn’t really grab me. One of the interesting things about this game is that, at the start, each player is given a secret goal card that scores extra victory points for them. They are mostly different and incompatible goals. One is to be the only person at a site. Another is to have at least one ship at a site. Next was to have 50% of the ships at a site. And the last one was to have the majority at a site.
Mike’s goal was obvious when he immediately filled up a site that didn’t require too many ships to complete. I think mine was obvious as well, when I was placing small ships at a lot of sites. Only Ed and Susan were not obvious as to their goals.
Honey Bears was next on the plate. I like this game. The theme works (bears going after honey). The rules are easy. And the concept is simple: cards, at the end, are worth victory points. However, the cards also move the bear towards the honey and make the bear worth more victory. So you have tense balancing act to perform: you have to play cards to make the bears more valuable but hold cards to score the points.
One of my hands was simple for me. Go yellow bear!! Go red bear!
After the game ended, we tried one round with the following variant. Everyone plays their card at the same time and face down. Starting with the start player, each person reveals their card and moves the appropriate bear. Which was interesting. Often times, only a couple of bears would move because everyone played one of two colors.
To end out the night, I played Canal Mania. Which was alright. But after playing so many games of Age of Steam, I miss having the ability to pick which tracks to lay. In this game, you only have a couple of choices (from five to one) of segments to build. And once you have made your choice, you next have to concentrate on building the segment before you pick another segment.