Sunday, November 13, 2011

So I finally got to play "High Frontier" on Saturday. I persuaded Nick Simon and Iain to come over to Wood Green for a Big Games Day, and spent weeks preparing for the big day by studying the rules over and over.

It was a partial success I would say. It took an awful long time - 6.5 to 7 hours I would guess altogether. I was the only one who had read the rules, so the first few hours I had to answer a LOT of rules questions for every turn. I felt like I was planning everyone's missions at one point! It's not that it's a complicated game - every one of us has mastered more complicated games - but it's unfamiliar, so not much in the way of conceptual landmarks.

Having said that - I loved it! Such a fascinating game, the time just flew by for me. I did very poorly, possibly because I was so busy answering rules questions that I didn't have time to think very clearly about what I was doing. Towards the end I did make some good progress claiming asteroids with a 4.1/3 thruster and a raygun, but too late to get back into the running.

Simon and Nick both seemed to enjoy it too, both expressing a willingness to play again. But Iain, having enjoyed the first few hours, seemed to lose the will to live a few times when he was trying to figure out how to organise his next mission. He won by a good margin (lots of glory points), but his final verdict on the game was "overwrought", "a prog-rock game"! So I don't anticipate persuading Iain to play it again any time soon.

So, this is a fantastic game, but not for everyone. And I'm sure it can be played a lot quicker than we managed by even slightly experienced players. A serious contender for my top 10 list.