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SR: Titicaca, Face It and More

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  • Craig Massey
    Had the chance to get in some games with Dave B. and others this weekend. Tried another new Essen game - Titicaca as well second plays of Paradox and Hick Hack
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2001
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      Had the chance to get in some games with Dave B. and
      others this weekend. Tried another new Essen game -
      Titicaca as well second plays of Paradox and Hick Hack
      im Gackelwack and played an old favorite - Princes of
      Florence with Richard and Alison - probably my two
      favorite opponents for that game. Enough blather - on
      to the games.

      Hick Hack im Gackelwack - This was the 2nd time around
      for me. Pitt, Richard, Alison, David and myself
      fought over corn. David had over 30 points worth of
      corn in the end as he always seemed to be uncontested
      for corn throughout the game while the rest of us
      fought for every kernel we could. I think this will
      prove to be a popular filler since it only takes 20
      minutes.

      Titicaca - Matthew, Dan C., Andrew, Pitt and myself:
      Titicaca is the latest game from Cwali who did Morisi
      last year. The idea here is players are a South
      American tribe fighting for the best territory around
      the lakes of the Andes. The board is made up of
      Settlers like hexes with lakes and 5 kinds of land.
      There are 15 lakes and these serves as the basis for
      the game turn. Starting with lake #1, players bid for
      the right to build a hut on the adjacent hexes to Lake
      #1. A lake can have as few as 1 adjacent hexes or as
      many as 6. Obviously the fewer the hexes available
      the higher the bidding. Players bid with weapons
      points (the games money). Most points gets to place
      first and so on. Those who didn't bid enough to get a
      hex keep their money. Once a player has placed his
      hut, he forms a country and puts up borders. Now he
      can decide if he wants to merge his country into other
      countries. This can be done only if the new country
      is adjacent to the country just created and only if
      the merger creates a larger country that picks up a
      new land type. So for example I place my hut on a
      mountain hex and create a new country. I can merge
      into an adjacent country if that country doesn't have
      a mountain hex. Scoring is done after rounds 5 and 10
      and at the game end. Scoring is a bit fiddly -
      actually is is probably a lot fiddly, but it works.
      Points are scored for the following

      1. If in a given country you have the most huts on a
      land type, you get points equal to the # of land hexes
      in that country.

      2. You also get points if you have the most huts in a
      country overall. The points scored here are equal to
      the number of adjacent lakes. Ask Andrew about tie
      breakers.

      3. You also get points equal to your remaining
      weapons points.

      Finally, you get new weapons/money to spend at the end
      of rounds 5 and 10. This is equal to the number of
      huts you have on the board as well as your longest
      chain of huts (chain like a chain of camels in DdW) x
      3.

      How was the game? Well it took a while to get your
      head around the value of a hex in the bidding and the
      scoring potential isn't really obvious, but it worked
      pretty well. I jumped out to a quick lead after round
      five having spent the most money. After round 10 I
      was still in the lead, but Matthew and Pitt were close
      behind. Dan at this point had a lot of money and was
      a distant 4th while Andrew was way back. Dan made a
      big rush in the final rounds and took the win with a
      final score of 107 if I recall correctly. Pitt and I
      tied a 100 and Mattew was either a little ahead or a
      little behind by a few points. Andrew - well, he
      cleared fifty, but that's about all I can say.

      I really need to give this game another play. I liked
      it better than Morisi, but the scoring and tie break
      rules are for lack of a better word, very fiddly. I
      think there is a fair amount of depth in judging how
      much hexes are worth and what to bid on. The game
      does accelerate quickly since hexes start to fill up
      early making fewer hexes available later in the game.
      The random setup of the board should help keep the
      game fairly fresh. But these are all initial
      impressions and I do think this game will need a
      playing or two to see what works and if there are
      really different strategies that can be employed.

      Princes of Florence - Alison, Richard and myself:
      Nothing really new to add to what has already been
      said about this game. I've played this game alot and
      it has mostly been with either Alison and/or Richard
      who really enjoy it and both make for a very
      competitive game. I fully expected to come in last.
      I went the Jester route which helped me win three best
      works. Richard grabbed to presitige cards and Alison
      tried the builder strategy. Final scores Alison 62,
      Richard 71, Craig 72 - a surprising, but sweet
      victory.

      Paradox - Richard, Emily, Dan & Craig: We played the
      four player game Richard complained about it a lot.
      Dan won with 2 chips as we called it early.

      Face It - Richard, Emily, Dan & Craig: This is an
      abstract game played on a cross shaped grid with tiles
      in 4 colors. They also happen to have faces on them.
      On your turn you play a tile or tiles of one color
      from your hand of four. You get points from your
      right hand opponent equal to the size of the block
      played plus any adjacent tiles of the same color.
      Then draw back up to four and move on. There is a
      single white tile - Mr. Sneaky that allows you to
      steal a tile from another player (almost always the
      player on your immediate left). The game was quick
      and easy, but in my opinion, the choices were obvious
      and limited by what tiles you drew. You always wanted
      to try to take more points than were taken from you,
      but as long as the player on you left has a tile of
      the same color as you played, that is nearly
      impossible to do. I felt as if I had little control.
      Richard suggested that you play 3 rounds to even out
      the randomness, but I don't think that will make much
      difference. Richard and Emily tied with 15 points.

      Thanks to Dave for hosting and buying pizza! Much
      appreciated Dave. Looking foward to trying more Essen
      games at UGIII. There should be a few there available
      thanks to the Pitt and Alan who made the trek over to
      Essen and brought some games with them.

      Craig

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

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