Yesterday was a good day for my games habit. It started off with the first real playtesting of Jorvik. I played three games against myself, changing the balance a few times to try to get it to play out like I'd imagined. When I felt like it was beginning to get there I asked The Wife if she would mind play against me. She's not usually up for playing 2-player games with me, and she grudgingly offered to play it, but warned me that she'd likely only play it twice during it's development - did I really want to waste one of those today? I thought so, it's important to see how the game plays out when you don't know the contents of your opponents hand.
She played a game, and won it - particularly enjoying one of the cards. Then she wanted a second game. I won that one. Still, she enjoyed it enough to play it again - an encouraging first outing.
Next up was a lot of box construction and some tiles preparation. I'd not got done as much as I wanted (where have you heard that before?), but it was still good progress - I'm getting there.
I rounded the day off with a trip to Paul's games night. It was just Andy, Paul and Paul's wife Lisa - the others were all off on holiday. Again, it was all new games for me - just what I need to improve my design skills.
First up was Diamant by Alan R. Moon and Bruno Faidutti. That's two big names right there, coupled with the fact that I'd heard good things about this, already I had high hopes. It's a quick and simple filler where you all compete in the same exercise, trying to collect diamonds and rubies. Players have to push their luck, trying to maximise their income by staying in the mine the longest, but the longer you stay, the more likely you are to lose everything. It was a really nice game. Quick, simple to explain and understand and nicely played out. The pieces are really nice too - the gems are really well done. Only that morning, The Wife had suggested using square cards for Jorvik, and here they were in action - I thought it was the first time I had seen them, but now I come to think of it, I've seen them in Power Grid too.
The second game of the night was Masons by Leo Colovini. This was an interesting game of building cities, with each player holding a hand of cards which score various components when a city is completed. The components scored are either part of the just completed city or not part of any city, depending upon the card. The game progresses with each player trying to complete cities that will score them lots of points, while hoping that other players don't have cards to capitalise on that city. The game ends when you run out of any one of four types of piece, and since the pieces can get recycled back into the spares pile it's not clear when the game will end - so there's that to contend with too. I coped fairly well, with another second place. I like this one too, an interesting game with lots of tactical planning. Again the pieces were nice, and the use of dice to determine which pieces you get to place doesn't make the game feel too random, as you get to choose the locations of your original wall piece and the additional, dice-determined, pieces.
Last game of the night was Guillotine by Paul Peterson. This was another quick and simple filler. The artwork was nice, if cartoony, and it fit the humorous style of the game well. You are competing headsmen, trying to manipulate the queue of nobles for the guillotine to maximise your bragging rights in the locker room at the end of the day. The game is good fun, and the action cards that allow you to change the order of victims are, in some cases, laugh out loud funny. A great end to a great day of game action.