Friday Nights@Hobbymania: March 4 and 18

23 03 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? March is the start of the Korean school year so even though I’ve been able to drop by Hobbymania two times, I’m still haggard from doing work to do a proper update. Heck, even the short Image Tax and Youtubery posts.

Since I managed to squeeze a little bit of time in, I’m doing a dual update for the past two game nights at Hobbymania. Hopefully, my workload lightens up a bit, or at least I go into Zen mode, and I can get to actually blogging. Writing is hard – and disciplined writing is even harder.

Anyway, for March 4, we played two games. Lords of Vegas and Chicago Express, both nice competitive economic games.

Chicago Express is pretty much a stocks game. At the beginning the only thing you own is money. As the game progresses, you buy stocks into railroad companies and earn a controlling interest, letting you have a hand at the company’s development and profits. The name Chicago Express comes from the fact that in the boom times of the late 19th to early 20th century, Chicago was the economic/industrial center of America – and your goal is to get those railroad lines to Chicago with as much profit as possible. It’s a very good and light game that can substitute for Monopoly to introduce people to economic boardgames to.

Anyway, there were stocks for four companies up for grabs and since me, Jay, Adrian, and Thea were four, we did the smart thing and went for a railroad line each. After that, it was off to the races, as we set up railroad lines for maximum profit. I managed to snag several stocks that made me confident tyhat I was in the lead, getting me profit from the yellow, blue, and red lines. Fortunately, two of those managed to get to Chicago – earning a sizable payday for me. I would have won the game if I had not miscalculated on my last stock purchase. As it was Jay won by a hundred dollar margin – a hundred being the lowest denomination in the game.

Next up for March 4 was Lords of Vegas. It’s pretty much a game where you are casino owners competing to be the most profitable in the game. The game itself is an exercise in controlled luck. Profit and locations owned are determined by a shuffled deck of cards, while ownership and occasional profits are governed by dice – tons of dice. They start at a particular number when placed on the board but you can reroll them by investing a bit of money.

We played it for three players and it was a pretty even game. I had a run of bad luck as the profits rolled in for a particular color that I just dumped for another – luck as much as keen business sense are needed to win this game. In the end, I didn’t earn as much as I thought and Thea won the game.

For March 18, we played three games: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, Small World, and King’s Blood.

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects is a gorgeous and fun game. In it, you are a bunch of architects hired to help complete Cleopatra’s palace. The victor is decided by the amount of money you earned before Cleopatra arrives at her palace. Of course, the fun part is that since you can use corrupt methods to build it, the person who has the most corruption tokens at the end of the game – no matter how much money he has – is sacrificed to Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god. Why can’t we do that in the Philippines? I mean, I’d worship pagan gods to get rid of corruption here. Plus throwing Filipino politicians to croccodiles is always cathartic.

Anyway, the thing that makes it so gorgeous is the eye candy. The palace is built in 3D, which means glorious plastic parts going up in front of your eyes. You can just see the slaves dying as you build up your part of the palace. Anyway, as for the game, me, Mark, Jay, and Thea competed for the win. I was scrupulously honest – which meant I was paid less. Unfortunately for Mark and Jay, they tied in corruption and got thrown to the crocodiles. Unfortunately for me, Thea was slighly less dishonest than those two, so she didn’t get thrown to the crocodiles – but she was dishonest enough to get a sizable score – she had 43 talents to my 26 talents. The lesson for that game was too much corruption may kill you but a little bit helps you to a big payday.

Next up was Small World. Small World’s a nice little civilization game. There’s a map of a fantasy world and a random bunch of civilizations are thrown up for you to pick and choose. Your goal is to stay on that board as long as possible and earn points. Of course, your civilizations will end up losing steam – which means its time to throw them under the bus of history and pick a new one to enter the fray. It’s a neat little simulation of the ebb and tide of rising and falling civilizations – with Berserk Necromancers and Seafaring Skeletons. A good game to introduce players to.

Anyway, it was the same four of us, and we had a rousing little game of cut and thrust parry and counter-parry across the landscape. I managed to snag the Corrupt Leprechauns and that got me a sizable lead. However, Thea managed to the Ransacking Goblins – which netted her the one-point lead that won her the game. Alas, ces’t la vie.

We ended the game with King’s Blood, a nice little Uno clone. It’s not for everyone but it’s a great game for those who like anime sensibilities. Me and Thea liked it. Mark and Jay were a bit lukewarm in their reception – but still Jay won the game.

Well, that’s it for the past two sessions.

Unfortunately, Jay also announced last week that he was refocusing his business efforts and was closing Hobbymania down after a three-year run. I understand the decision and agree with him on it. However, that leaves me high and dry for my boardgame fix. Well, that’s a worry for later – rest assured that I’ll be gaming at HM until the day it closes.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: