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Y2k Comments and Figures

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  • Craig Massey
    Y2K Games - A Weasel s Year in Review The end of the year comes around and all of a sudden, everyone feels the need to compile lists of the best and worst,
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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      Y2K Games - A Weasel's Year in Review

      The end of the year comes around and all of a sudden,
      everyone feels the need to compile lists of the best
      and worst, recaps of the year's events, deep
      introspection of another year in the life, and so on.
      Part of me wants to ignore these stories and articles,
      but I just can't so instead I decided to write my own
      and inflict it upon everyone reading the list.
      Besides, I had plenty of time on vacation to put pen
      to paper so to speak.

      Let's get right down to brass tacks and the hard cold
      facts.

      - 150 different board and card games played
      - Over 440 games played altogether
      - 6 games hit the ten times played mark: Oh Hell,
      Hearts, Liar's Dice, Taj Mahal, 1856, Schotten Totten
      (not including Battleine)
      - 20 more games hit the five times played mark
      - A ton of games played only once

      Enough with the facts, what about the opinions. Here
      are my votes and comments for best game of 2000 and
      worst of 2000. Since Andrew has already taken care of
      I'm not going to officially name them, but if I did,
      they would be the Weasel Awards and I would hope they
      would become as prestigious as the Oscars someday or
      at least the People's Choice awards.

      Top 5 games in 2000 in no particular order
      1. Taj Mahal - It was the new game I played the most
      and the one that I liked the best by a significant
      margin over the others. The amount of strategic
      choice puts this at the top of the list and despite
      opinions to the contrary, I think this game is very
      low on the luck scale, despite the card drawing
      factor.
      2. La Citta - Often criticized for being too long,
      another game where the luck of card draws is mitigated
      by the strategic and tactical choices that abound in
      the game. The need to balance aggressive expansion
      with solid infrastructure buildup is well tuned as is
      the options for different strategies - one large
      metropolis while ignoring your other starting city
      verses balanced growth in both verses adding a 3rd and
      4th city. With reasonably quick play, the game should
      last 30min. per player. I'm greatly looking forward
      to the designer's next effort
      3. Princes of Florence - For a game that doesn't have
      a lot of direct player interaction outside of the
      phase one bidding, the different strategies on what to
      buy and build make this game one that I have yet to
      figure out, but I have a great time trying. I think
      it has more staying power than many have given it
      credit for and this game tops my list of games I try
      like hell to win, but just can't seem to, including
      finishing second to Alison about 4 times.
      4. Meuterer - This card game plays like a board game
      and is probably the best bang for the buck of the
      year. A large improvement on Verrater using the same
      system. The theme makes the game great fun too.
      5. Babel - My favorite of the Kosmos 2 player line to
      date. I can't figure the best way to play and I don't
      think you can do any amount of long term planning, but
      the tactical choices you have to make on your turn are
      very cool and either are very deep or at least provide
      a dame good illusion of both. The ebb and flow of the
      game is great as just when you think you have the game
      wrapped up, your opponent will smack you back down and
      claim the victory.

      Other games I say good things about:
      Battleline - the best of the GMT Knizia rereleases for
      me
      Web of Power - probably should be in my top 5, but
      just misses the cut
      Attila - Same as Web of Power, but I think it is a
      better game
      Carcassone - Despite my giving Dave a hard time about
      the love affair he seems to have with this game and
      the fact I think he is getting a cut by promoting it
      so heavily, it is actually a pretty good game, though
      I don't like it all that much for 5 and prefer to draw
      my next tile at the end of my turn.

      The worst games of 2000 (these are the worst I played
      and may include some pre-2000 games)
      1. Dragon Delta - I like Roborally and I can see how
      this game compares to it in its central mechanism, but
      to me, it feels like one big luck fest where all
      planning goes out the window after turn one. There
      are so many better games that play in the same amount
      of time that have more strategy to them, or if that
      isn't your cup of tea, are a lot more fun to play. I
      was bored five minutes into it.
      2. Azteca - If there is a good game here, it is buried
      under hard to understand rules and fiddly mechanisms.
      I don't even think I played a full game, but was so
      frustrated trying to figure out what was going on that
      it wasn't worth the effort to finish.
      3. Letterhead - This is a word game that seemed like
      it would be interesting at the start, with a bluffing
      element where you played cards from your hand to form
      a word. Cards are played face up or down or in a
      combination. Opponents then doubt or accept your
      word. Points are scored based on the length of the
      word played verses the size of your hand. If you get
      caught bluffing, the doubters score points. The whole
      scoring system seemed off kilter making the game very
      unsatisfying. More play testing and tighter tuning in
      the scoring system was needed with this one before its
      release.
      4. Verrat - I can't remember what I didn't like about
      it, but do remember that after one playing the game
      ended up on a trade/sell pile
      5. Veld Sporrweg - Part of Winsome's prarie railroads
      series - having played another in the series, this one
      was a disappointment. Again, I played it too early in
      the year to remember details, but I remember that I
      don't want to play again.


      Games etc. that I'm looking forward to for '01

      1. San Marco - can' t wait to play Mr. Moon's latest
      again after getting a sneak preview
      2. Roads & Boats - now that I finally have my copy put
      together and the rules read, I'm dying to play it.
      3. Smacking Diamond Dan Cashmore around at Liar's dice
      (that's actually a new year's resolution!)
      4. Trying to beat Rich Meyer at any game (also a NYR)
      5. Meeting and gaming with more people both on this
      list and off.

      That's all for now - Happy New Year to everyone.

      Craig





      =====
      Craig W. Massey
      cwmassey@...

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    • Dave Bernazzani
      ... I ve actually put mine on a webpage :) http://www.wavemotion.bizland.com/Games2000.htm For those who find this sort of tracking a bit too much (!!) I ll
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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        Craig wrote:
        > Y2K Games - A Weasel's Year in Review
        > The end of the year comes around and all of a sudden,
        > everyone feels the need to compile lists of the best
        > and worst, recaps of the year's events, deep
        > introspection of another year in the life, and so on.
        > Part of me wants to ignore these stories and articles,
        > but I just can't so instead I decided to write my own
        > and inflict it upon everyone reading the list.
        > Besides, I had plenty of time on vacation to put pen
        > to paper so to speak.
        >
        > Let's get right down to brass tacks and the hard cold
        > facts.

        I've actually put mine on a webpage :)


        http://www.wavemotion.bizland.com/Games2000.htm

        For those who find this sort of tracking a bit too much (!!) I'll just
        report that I played 181 different games in 2000 and a total of 567 games.

        As for 2000 games, my gut feel is that the 2000 games are, on average,
        slightly better than the 1999 released games and not as good as 1998 or 1997
        released games.

        Big winners (IMO) of 2000:

        Carcassonne
        Die F├╝rsten von Florenz
        Metro
        Battle Cry
        Lord of the Rings
        Web of Power
        Taj Mahal
        Zertz

        --
        Dave Bernazzani
        dber@...
        http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
      • Walter Hunt
        ... By the way, I went to Wal*Mart and bought a small plastic tackle box to organize the Roads & Boats components. It s almost Bernazzaniesque in its elegance,
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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          --- In Unity_Games@egroups.com, Craig Massey <cwmassey@y...> wrote:

          > 2. Roads & Boats - now that I finally have my copy put
          > together and the rules read, I'm dying to play it.

          By the way, I went to Wal*Mart and bought a small plastic tackle box
          to organize the Roads & Boats components. It's almost Bernazzaniesque
          in its elegance, and I recommend it. (Careful Dave, that's a
          compliment...)

          I'm considering the possibility of a Roads & Boats evening at MVGA
          sometime this month. I can't justify a visit to SSG until I deliver my
          novel rewrite on January 19, so if you or anyone else on the list
          would like to play this game, would you consider coming out to
          Holliston?

          > 4. Trying to beat Rich Meyer at any game (also a NYR)

          By the way, I make this resolution every year.


          And regarding Dave and Carcassonne, at least he's promoting a damn
          fine game. I seem to really suck at it, but I'm eager to play again.

          > That's all for now - Happy New Year to everyone.
          >
          > Craig

          And welcome back !

          Walter.
        • Matthew Horn
          ... Count me in for that! Oh, and my resolution is to be more like *South* Korea this year. That and practice Ricochet Robot.
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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            >>I'm considering the possibility of a Roads & Boats evening at MVGA
            >>sometime this month.

            Count me in for that!

            Oh, and my resolution is to be more like *South* Korea this year. That and
            practice Ricochet Robot.
          • Mark Edwards
            ... You know what I d like to see sometime this year? Rich M, Andy L, Rich Z (one of my GSGers) and Jonathan play a game or three of T&E, Acquire, Modern
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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              Walter Hunt wrote:

              > > 4. Trying to beat Rich Meyer at any game (also a NYR)
              >
              > By the way, I make this resolution every year.

              You know what I'd like to see sometime this year? Rich M, Andy L, Rich Z (one of my GSGers) and Jonathan play a game or three of T&E, Acquire, Modern Art, Tichu or something together. Just to see who'd win. And while we're at it, throw in Aaron F, Brian T, Jenn, Alison, David H and Dave R. All these folks have always struck me as very sharp gamers.
              Oh yeah, toss Dave B, Joe M, and Craig into those game sessions also. Just so they can get their arses kicked up and down the game board. ;-)

              Mark


              --

              http://people.ne.mediaone.net/dangermouse/index.htm
              Home of the Guy Stuff Gamers & the XFFL!
              "Ahh, humor you seek . . . fail you will!" - Yoda
            • Dave Bernazzani
              ... In my case, this is likely quite true!! I tend to do poorly in games that are helped by having a good memory. Also difficult are games that require any
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                Mark Edwards wrote:

                >Oh yeah, toss Dave B, Joe M, and Craig into those
                >game sessions also. Just so they can get their arses
                >kicked up and down the game board. ;-)

                In my case, this is likely quite true!!

                I tend to do poorly in games that are helped by having a good memory. Also
                difficult are games that require any significant min/maxing. That doesn't
                mean I don't enjoy the games - so long as they are still enjoyable
                regardless of what order I finish in.

                I love Modern Art, and really enjoy hawking the paintings and the general
                laughter and banter at the table. But I'll admit that I'll almost always
                lose this type of game to a "Jonathan" or an "Andy" simply because I use
                seat-of-the-pants tactics! I guess this is why I prefer games with a
                modicum of luck - gives me a fighting chance!

                BTW - Mark, you're mostly in this last category too! hehheh...

                --
                Dave Bernazzani
                dber@...
                http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
              • Mark Edwards
                ... Don t I know it! I also know that in a hard fought well thought out and contested game between me, you, Joe, and Craig I d probably lose. But only because
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                  Dave Bernazzani wrote:

                  > BTW - Mark, you're mostly in this last category too! hehheh...

                  Don't I know it!

                  I also know that in a hard fought well thought out and contested game between me, you, Joe, and Craig I'd probably lose. But only because one of you bastards would get lucky! Heheheheh.

                  Mark

                  --

                  http://people.ne.mediaone.net/dangermouse/index.htm
                  Home of the Guy Stuff Gamers & the XFFL!
                  "Ahh, humor you seek . . . fail you will!" - Yoda
                • Craig Massey
                  ... Noone would win, they would all spontaneously combust along with the game. ... Nothing like starting out the year with a goodly amount of smacktalk - no
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                    --- Mark Edwards <dangermouse@...> wrote:
                    > You know what I'd like to see sometime this
                    > year? Rich M, Andy L, Rich Z (one of my GSGers)
                    > and Jonathan play a game or three of T&E, Acquire,
                    > Modern Art, Tichu or something together. Just to
                    > see who'd win.

                    Noone would win, they would all spontaneously combust
                    along with the game.


                    > Oh yeah, toss Dave B, Joe M, and Craig into
                    > those game sessions also. Just so they can get
                    > their arses kicked up and down the game board. ;-)

                    Nothing like starting out the year with a goodly
                    amount of smacktalk - no surprise that it is from mr.
                    edwards. Looks like 2001 will be the year of the
                    weasel.



                    =====
                    Craig W. Massey
                    cwmassey@...

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                  • Craig Massey
                    ... Well, we would certainly conspire to keep you in your proper place, but you know, the game would be damn funny. Maybe if we use our collective super powers
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                      --- Mark Edwards <dangermouse@...> wrote:

                      > I also know that in a hard fought well thought
                      > out and contested game between me, you, Joe, and
                      > Craig I'd probably lose. But only because one of
                      > you bastards would get lucky! Heheheheh.
                      >
                      > Mark

                      Well, we would certainly conspire to keep you in your
                      proper place, but you know, the game would be damn
                      funny.

                      Maybe if we use our collective super powers (what
                      those are I don't really know), we could take Jonathan
                      and company out

                      =====
                      Craig W. Massey
                      cwmassey@...

                      __________________________________________________
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                    • Dan Cashmore
                      ... Alas, Grasshopper, have you not yet learned that such foolish boasts will only earn you even greater defeats?
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                        Craig Massey somehow got it in his head to say:
                        > 3. Smacking Diamond Dan Cashmore around at Liar's dice
                        > (that's actually a new year's resolution!)

                        Alas, Grasshopper, have you not yet learned that such foolish boasts will
                        only earn you even greater defeats?
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