Usually after the holidays I’ve played a bunch of new boardgames, just like “last year”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/2004/01/board_game_revi.html. I did get a fair bit of game-playing done in Michigan this time around, but much of it turned out to be one of last year’s games, “Alhambra”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/6249. Which was fine, actually — not only did the game hold up, but my estimation of it has increased somewhat. I described it as a beer-and-pretzels game last year, but playing it a few more times has made me think it has a few more subtleties, strategy-wise, than I noticed at first. And it’s still very easy to learn and plays quickly.
I did manage to get one game of “Bang!”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3955 in as well. That’s another fast playing one, provided everyone at the table knows the rules, which, of course, is almost never the case.
The game I _should_ be talking about is “The War of the Ring”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9609, which, much to my shame, I hadn’t even heard of before it came out, and which my buddy Joe bought before I did — I finally got my copy as a Christmas present. It’s big and complicated and beautiful, but I’m going to need to play it a third time before I feel remotely qualified to talk about it.
“Ticket to Ride”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9209, last year’s Spiel des Jahres winner, is a decent gateway drug if you suspect the people you’re trying to suck into the world of boardgaming might find “Settlers of Catan”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13 too long and complicated. But if, like Alhambra, it has hidden depths, I haven’t discovered them yet.
“Traumfabrik”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/904 and a good “crokinole”:http://www.crokinole.com/ board are still on my long-term wishlist Other recent games I’d like to try, had I world enough and time: “Bang!: Dodge City”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/59991, “The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/925, and “St. Petersburg”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9217.