Saturday, March 7, 2009

Game Night Session Report: 03.06.09

The Mrs. and I had guests over last night for board games. We played For Sale and Say Anything for the first time, and Pandemic, a game we'd all played previously.

For Sale

This being our first play, it was unclear at the beginning how much we should be bidding on different properties. It seemed that we overestimated property values near the beginning of the game then gradually reduced our bids on subsequent rounds when it became clear that we might run out of cash. Near the end of the game Lucy realized that she had done much better than she had anticipated much of the game and indeed she finished in first with 70+ points. I took second, the Mrs. third, and Chris fourth. For Sale didn't blow me away, but we somewhat stumbled through the game this being our first play. I anticipate playing this again soon.


Lucy and Chris had each played this once at previous game nights at our place, so everyone was up to speed with Pandemic. Feeling like we knew the game fairly well at this point, we decided to play with our cards hidden and included five epidemics in the game to increase the difficulty somewhat. Although there were a few tight moments and we found our fourth cure with no cards left in the player deck (one turn from defeat!), the game did seem like somewhat of a comfortable win. Fun and challenging, but not quite as tense as some previous sessions.

Say Anything

The box of Say Anything claims the game only takes two minutes to teach, and that really isn't far from the mark. This game feels a bit like a more complicated Apples to Apples. There is more strategy, but turns also take considerably longer because players need to think up and write down answers instead of simply choosing a card. I enjoyed the betting mechanic, which seemed to work quite nicely. Many of the questions were interesting, however I was surprised at how many were fairly dry. This is the sort of game that begs silly or outrageous answers, and many of the questions didn't seem to leave enough room to accommodate that style of play. Overall I enjoyed the game, albeit with a few reservations. I'm certain this one will require the right group with the right frame of mind to be truly entertaining. Chris was in the lead much of the game, consistently scoring points in almost every round, and held on for the win. All final scores were within a few points of the leader, however.

I greatly enjoyed the evening, however at the end I was left wishing we'd played a heavier competitive strategy game: the game selection really left me wanting just a little bit more. I am glad we got two of my new games to the table, though, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

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