Online with some BGGers
7 UR NEW!
I played a 4 player game of UR with verandi, tumblesteak, and slothninja, taking the win! An agressive early play, when partnered with taking advantage of pace-setting defensive plays from others (i.e., building too many ziggurats) meant that I was in a position to lock it down. It's not new-to-me, but its my first logged play! (due to qualifying to my online counting online plays if I "know" who I am playing; i.e., not random). No one congratulated me by saying "UR the winner!"
ThursdayWednesday (I think) night with Patrick
7 Schnipp Es! NEW!
8 Food Chain Magnate NEW!
So I finally played Food Chain Magnate and I (think I) get what all the fuss is about. It's at once deep, simple, and actions are highly intuitive. The similarities to TGZ abound, but this is also its own beast with an open economy rather than one that is closed. Here are my thoughts-to-come in the new-to-you:
Food Chain Magnate is pretty darn cool: it's a competitive fast food economy in the era of booming fast food. It's quirky, it's vicious, and surprisingly pretty straight forward for a game of its weight.In our two player game, both of us laid down a short game card; nonetheless, I still played (dangerously) the long game. Patrick had secured many of the production bonuses, the freezer -- but I had snuck in and undercut his early efforts and kept afloat with overpaid waitresses. My engine EXPLODED on the last turn when the board opened right up.
As the newest Splotter on the block, this game offers more of what they boutique publisher is known for heavier Euro fare with a focus on economics, logistics, timing, and positional play -- all of which pulled together by a sensible theme. FCM does not buck this trend but rather pivots on it a bit. It's closest relative, the Great Zimbabwe, has a closed economy, but not here! Money is earned, money is spent in ways that are open (who knows where that money goes, its the American dream/nightmare!) -- in turn, you are *almost* wholly responsible for your revenue... if it weren't for everyone around you undercutting your costs, advertising products you can't deliver on, or even hiring key staff before you can! The small-ish map means that every game has players coming into inevitable competitive and collusive relationships: this is where the fun occurs! Throw in a bit of typical Splotter turn-order shenanigans and it is tense. As an economic game, it provides milestones (i.e., powers) as an incentive to not treat the structure strictly as a snowball: this encourages many different approaches (e.g., early food spoiling means you get a freezer for keeping up to 10 food items between turns - great if demand surpasses supply!).
While this isn't the most mechanically accessible Splotter, the congruence between theme and mechanics create a real sense of narrative that many players may already be familiar with. Splotter definitely has a hit on their hands with this one.
With two, I think that, like with many other multiplayer games that play two, the game is a bit more fragile (in that there is little room for collusive balancing) due to the open economy. Getting cut out (i.e., undercut) might make for low/no/negative income for a round or two.
And, I also played Schnipp Es!: a cool little flick'em soccer game. The cool twist here is that the flick-able players also stand vertically. If they fall over, you don't get to cash in the remainder of flicks you would have for the turn (determined by a die roll). In turn, you have to be a bit more precise with your flicking. Furthermore, there are throw ins (for going out of bounds) and yellow/red cards (for knocking over opponents' players!). Really neat take on something that's been done many times over. The game, however, comes in a box that is grossly huge for the size of the components (which means you could hide entire other dexterity games in the box, I guess).