Saturday, October 30, 2004

Duell, Cosmic Eidex, Die Fugger, and Von Kap bis Kairo

Rob hosted this month and even though I arrived late, I got plenty of good gaming in.

They were playing Goa when I arrived. Brian also arrived late so I decided to teach him Duell. James Miller game me a copy of this a few weeks ago and I really like the game. We played with the advanced Duell rules (which use the round modifiers and parries, but not lunges). Of the round modifiers, I like the open round the best. I wouldn't want to play every round this way, but it changes the game significantly and keeps it fresh. I think I will play with the lunge rule from En Garde next time.

With 6 players we decided to break into 2 groups of 3. One group played Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride while we played Cosmic Eidex. Josh and I had played several times and Scott had played once before, but this game always requires a rules refresher. Since everyone had played before, we decided to use the special powers. My power allowed me to refuse the selected trump (which is determined by the last card dealt) and use the trump determined by the second to last gamer. Josh's power allowed him to swap the value of 2 consecutive cards, which could determine whether or not he took a trick in certain instances. Scott's power allowed him to steal the card I put face down and swap it with a card in his hand. Scott's power seemed farily useless. He used it often, but it rarely helped him. Both Josh's and my power seemed very useful. Josh won. I had a chance, but slowed down my trick taking too early and ended up just a few points shy of Scott, putting me in the middle (I'm sure if you've never played this game you have no idea what I'm talking about... sorry about that). I highly recommend Cosmic Eidex for groups that like odd trick taking games. It's a game designed for 3 players only, which makes it difficult to get on the table, but also ideal for what is often perceived to be a tricky number of players to accomodate.

Next, the other group played Evo while we played Die Fugger and Von Kap bis Kairo. I really like both of these games. It was my first playing of Die Fugger. It's very clever. I think it has just the right amount of tension. I consistently found myself wishing I could a little more on my turn, but not so much that it was frustrating. Josh won this game but just a few points. I look forward to my next playing of this.

Josh had modified his version to use chips rather than the cards to keep track of the value of a commodity. He also uses the chips to indicate how many of a commodity have been played. The chips start above the card. When the first card has been played, move the chip to the top of the card, then to the middle, bottom and then below. When a chip is below the card, the next time that commodity is played the round ends. It's much easier than try to count the cards constantly to see how many of each have been played.

I had played Vom Kap bi Kairo once before and was excited to give it another shot. I managed to win by moving forward whenever possible. Josh and Rob tried to time a run at the end of the game, but Josh had forgotten that you could pay 10 to move ahead and failed to account for that during the final bid. I out bid him and was able to go first and finish my track. I really like this game and look forward to playing it again.

Next up... Great Lakes Games.