Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Civ

I'm spending Christmas with Sue's family in a luxury barn conversion buried in the snowy Herefordshire countryside. Even better, I've been playing Civilization with Sue's 12-year-old nephew Tom. We're using my old Gibson's edition, where the playing area for 2 players (Greece and Asia Minor) is helpfully colour-coded. The 2-player game is surprisingly challenging. Space is in short supply so Tom and I have been clashing for room regularly. We had an easy ride to start with, but then the calamities started coming thick and fast, and we are just emerging from a chaotic dark age of civil war, eruptions, epidemics and revolts. Love this game, still my number one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peaceniks at war

Another game of Struggle of Empires last night with the Mennonite boys. Just the three of us, and we were a little worried about the odd-man-out possibilities, but it seemed to work fine, and no-one felt their chances were closed down early in the game. Still, it doesn't matter how many times I play this game, I don't seem to be able to get the hang of how to win. One of my favourite tricks was much in evidence last night - buying a nice tile (such as Reserves) and then forgetting to use it at the critical moemnt. That re-roll could have spared me a lot of pain!

Darren was so inspired by the game that he resolved to buy it immediately, regardless of the OTT prices being achieved on eBay these days.

We finished with a round of Race for the Galaxy, where I managed to scrape a last-turn win against Sam's Spartan war-machine. Very satisfying.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Caucasus Campaign

I've been going quite slow on the game acquisition front - still money left in the 2010 budget - but I recently bought Caucasus Campaign (Mark Simonovitch, GMT) after reading very positive comments from Chris Farrell. Maybe I give too much weight to Chris's opinions sometimes, but I'm very pleased I followed his recommendation on this one.

I'm becoming a bit of a sucker for East Front panzer-pushers, accumulating a small stack of them on the shelf (Roads to Leningrad, Stalingrad Pocket, Von Manstein's Backhand Blow), but this one looks at first sight a little bit special. A beautiful map with large hexes, a small number of large attractive counters, 16 pages of clearly laid out rules printed in colour, and colourful and clear player-aids, all combine to make a very appealing first impression.

It's all laid out on the table awaiting my first solo play-through. Looking forward to it.