Last weekend was my stag party, organised by my son Phil who is also my best man. I didn't have the usual routine of paintball, go-karting, tequila slammers, strippers and waking up next morning chained to a lamppost in Glasgow. No, my stag party was.... a weekend of boardgaming! Phil specified retro games were to be played (because I'm an old classic presumably) although we didn't stick strictly to that rule as you can see below. My gaming friends Dave, John, Steve, Les and Simon turned up at Saturday lunchtime, as well as my son Gavin. Phil produced an amazing joint of roast rib of beef with all the trimmings, followed by an erotic apple pie (possibly a world first) to compensate for the lack of strippers. Here's a summary of which games were played and how I rated each experience (out of 5 stars):
Merchant of Venus
Experience rating: *****
I finished: 5/5
It's been too long - many years - since I last played this. I loved this game. Interestingly, so did Phil, who wasn't so keen when as a child he used to be pressganged into games with me. Sadly we had to stop after two hours so that Phil could make a start on cooking dinner.
Homeworlds (2 games)
Experience rating: ***
Winner: Phil, Phil
I finished: 2/2, 2/2
Played this for the first time ever. I lost the first game almost immediately by vacating my homeworld! Next play went better but I was overwhelmed by Phil's cunning aggressive play. Interesting game this, I love the theme and the luckfree tactics are interesting. I want to play it a few more times to clarify my opinion.
IceTowers (6 games altogether)
Experience rating: ****
Winner: Phil, me , Gavin, Gavin, Me, Steve
I finished: 2/3, 1/3 , 2/3, 3/3, 1/4, 3/4
Various people played this at different points over the weekend. It was very popular - easy to teach, quick to play, interesting tactics. Embarrassingly, I forgot a small but important rule - that you are not allowed to mine from a tower that you already control. Steve spotted my omission on the very last game of the weekend, so we were playing it wrong all weekend! Oh dear!
Experience rating: **
Winner: Who knows?
I finished: probably 5/5
The dark side of retro gaming. Lots and lots of fiddly bits, fiddly rules, trash-talk and whining, and long, long, looong. We stopped at midnight and carried on next morning. Finally canned it after 4 or 5 hours total of play - no end in sight for at least another 2 hours. Not for me.
Experience rating: n/a
I finished: (I didn't play in this one. Steve beat Dave's and Les's scores combined!)
Experience rating: *****
I finished: 2/2
When everyone had left Les and I indulged in a quick game of Blue Moon. This time Les's Mimix ground down my Aqua. This game is just superb, every time I play I appreciate it more.