Session Report 9/10/11

Here marks the first of many session reports I intend to do.  I will dive right into it, post comments on items you wish for me to explain differently!  My main goal is to just lightly talk about my personal experience with the game, how I strategized based on the number of players, and how my overall feeling was.  I will start other posts on this blog with actual game reviews, but I felt each post would be too winded if I spent a lot of time on each game we play every week.  It will usually involve myself and my wonderful wife, Amy!

We played many games while over at our good friends house John and Michelle.  We went on a shopping trip the day before, and mixed a few new games in with old games to celebrate their recent marriage!

Tichu –

Players:  4

Time:  30 minutes

Difficulty:  Easy

Ahhhhhh, Tichu.  The staple of any gaming session I have with four people.  Wonderful little card game that is simple to learn and full of card strategy to keep folks interested.  We always play with two house rules, only play to 500 points and we don’t use the Mah-Jong wish.  We played battle of the sexes throughout the night, and this first game the boys ran away with a 400 point margin of victory over 6 rounds of play.

Times played:  Way too many.  Score:  10/10

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects –   

Players:  5

Time:  90 minutes

Difficulty:  Easy

This was everyone’s first experience with Cleopatra, it was a game that was picked up the day before.  John did a great job explaining the rules of the game, and we were off.  It was rather hard to develop a strategy for this game, the main mechanic revolves around your hand of cards of resources, just like Settlers of Catan.  There is no trading or discarding existing cards in your hand for new, so its a luck of the draw vs. your opponents building your item before you get the cards to do it yourself.  Despite my best efforts, although I ended up with the highest victory point total, I also ended up with the most corrupt tokens as well, which booted me from the game.  My wife ended up winning with a score of 48, with second place a distant 47.  😀  I would probably peg this game being best played with four people taking about 75-90 minutes of game time, with 10 minutes of pre/post game setup.  If you come in knowing it is a light game along the vein of Settlers, you won’t leave disappointed.  Its a Days of Wonder release, so the rule book is decent, the art is wonderful, and the fact that the box becomes a part of the game all adds to the ambiance of a good light game.

Times Played:  1  Score:  7/10, light strategy.

Dixit  –

Players:  5

Time:  30 minutes

Difficulty:  Easy

Our 5th player was gearing up to leave, so we decided to play Dixit before he took off.  Everybody has played before, so it went quick, without a single innuendo of any kind!  My wife won, with 3 players all following directly behind her.  For some reason I was 10 points behind 3rd, oh the humanity.

Times Played:  ~20  Score:  8/10, party style game that always depends on who you play with for a good time.

Tikal – 

Players:  4

Time:  2 hours

Difficulty:  Light-Medium

This is everyone’s first experience with Tikal as well, the other game that was picked up with Cleopatra.  I was expecting a bit more out of this game, as it won the Spiel and its in the top 100 of BGG.  I had no idea what difficulty to expect, or what type of game it actually was.  Turns out Tikal is a action point allotment style of game, which is good and bad.  Rules explanations for AP allotment games can go on forever, as everything you can do needs to be front loaded to the gaming crew, and people that don’t intensively listen to the entire description might lose out on the early starts.  Michelle and John ended up storming ahead by mid-game, and I really didn’t see a catchup mechanic that can help out players that got blocked by the other 3 players.  Compared to the other non party game we played, Cleopatara, I see myself playing Tikal a bit more overall, more my flavor.  Ended up in last place though.  Bleh.  As far as the game itself, the production overall was nice, the rule book had a few loopholes that we house ruled solutions for the sake of time.  The teaching of the game soaked up a lot of time, I think another play through will get the game time to about 90 minutes with 4 people, with about 15 minutes of pre/post setup.:D

Times Played:  1  Score:  8/10, light-medium.

Times Up Title Recall! –

Players:  4

Time:  90 minutes, played across 3 games.

Difficulty:  Its a charades game.  So everyone’s flavor varies.

Times Up Title Recall is an epic party game.  Charades meets comedy.  Much more enjoyable as a party game where a few folks are tipsy.  I always bring Times Up, and its always played.  Fun times.

Times Played:  ~10  Score:  9/10.

Tichu (again)

We closed the night out with Tichu.  The girls stomped ahead to 300 points within the first three hands.  Then, in epic fashion John and I climbed back in the next 8 hands to get us within striking distance, and I tichu’d the final round and got it, giving the men a 520-480 victory.  Great way to end the night, even if it was almost 1am.

GREAT GAMES.  WOOO!  I’m thinking about doing my first video rules and review of Tichu and branching from there.  Check out my games list at to give suggestions of what games you want to see on video!