Weekend Gaming Recap – 20100122

My group played Dominion: Intrigue, Kung-Fu Fighting, and Wreckage, and instead of an in-depth analysis or review I thought it might be fun to share a few quick thoughts on the experience with each game.

Plus a card set for Dominion: Intrigue.

Dominion is a fast and fun game, and the stand-alone expansion Intrigue is also fantastic. I play games with my group on a regular basis, but still well shy of a pace that would get us to the point of having overplayed Dominion (or just about any other game worth playing more than once).

Before my friends arrived I took just a couple minutes and whipped up a set of action cards for us to try; this set was named during play after it quickly became apparent which card would sell out first:

Great Halls of Fire – Dominion: Intrigue Card Set

Here’s the version we played (with notes below on what we’ll change next time):

  • Secret Chamber
  • Pawn
  • Steward
  • Swindler
  • Great Hall
  • Minion
  • Mining Village
  • Ironworks
  • Tribute
  • Nobles

This played reasonably well. One of the deck types I enjoy is to have lots of actions and card drawing, which was certainly the case here.

There were a few downsides though. Secret Chamber was completely ignored, and probably unnecessary given the weak Attack cards.

Swindler was also somewhat lame, due primarily to the very widely distributed card costs – at any given cost the options were a bit too slim for Swindler’s effect to hurt anyone, other than the occasional Copper-to-Curse switch. And the lack of options was also a bit of a problem while buying – having cards from two to six coins seemed nice at first, but choosing between so few cards at each cost took some of the fun out of buying.

There was also the problem of almost no extra buys. Thus we agreed next time to alter this set by removing Secret Chamber for Bridge (Baron was also suggested, as another avenue for extra buys), and taking out Swindler for Masquerade.

Next time we’ll try this set:

  • Pawn
  • Steward
  • Masquerade
  • Great Hall
  • Bridge
  • Minion
  • Mining Village
  • Ironworks
  • Tribute
  • Nobles

Kung-Fu Fighting – the Card Game

Slugfest Games’ Kung-Fu Fighting is simple and fast, and we had a lot of fun with it.

To me it feels a little bit like Munchkin, if you take away the monsters, levels, and most of the loot, and focus instead on delivering Fast-Spinning-Wild-Running-up-the-Walls-Kicks to your friends. There are stances, weapons, attacks, blocks, a few healing cards, and the all-important attack enhancements.

But really the most important ingredient is one you might just introduce on your own, the flavor of a poorly-dubbed Hong Kong martial arts flick’s taunts you’ll trade with your friends as you try to punch, flip, and kick them silly. If we didn’t have that I feel the game would have been significantly less entertaining. And entertaining it was.

Wreckage – Car Combat Game

Fantasy Flight’s Wreckage was the first game I reviewed for this site! And then somehow we never played it again – until this weekend.

Apart from setup and going through the rules again, the game was pretty fast to play. It has a little bit of Robo Rally’s turn programming, plus the free-form tabletop movement common to wargames and the likes of The Hills Rise Wild, and of course it features cars with guns!

In order to deal with the problems presented by the ram (see my house rules at the bottom of the review), we agreed to employ both options four and five, with the stipulation of changing four to a minimum of zero damage cards. And then none of us actually picked the ram – I don’t think it was because the changes rendered it useless, just some shared subconscious urge after our discussion to avoid the card that caused such problems in our first game.

Playing Wreckage went more smoothly this time around. We were all pretty rusty so there were some missed strategic opportunities, but it was fun. I think the thing about it I enjoyed least was how the excitement of the game died down once a player was eliminated and only two vehicles remained (both with two gas cans, meaning destruction of the other player was the only way to get a third and end the game).

It’s less easy to maneuver into range when your only target is behind you, and two cars circling the arena in the same direction is not the most exciting action – but it ended with a bang when we collided and both cars, already badly damaged, blew up in a flaming wreck.

I think it would be ideal to play Wreckage with four players, and either end the game after two players are eliminated or introduce some kind of stopwatch (or, if you prefer, timebomb) element to bring a swift end to the last two vehicles. As long as more than two cars are active and skidding around the arena the action is pretty satisfying.

Role Playing?

Finally there was some talk of the Rolemaster adventure I have been working on (once in a great while anyway). Guess my last post on combat strategies for low-level characters sparked some interest, along with this:

  1.  
    avatar
    Mike Says:

    Yeah, I had fun with all 3 games. Kung-Fu Fighting is great for those nights when you have less than an hour to squeeze in an extra bit of fun. I have no doubt we’ll be playing endless amounts of Dominion in the coming months. Finally Wreckage…a game I *should* love, but have some trouble accepting. While there’s certainly worse we could be playing, I really hate the lack of real-life physics (a point with which I’m never shy about vocalizing). I’ll just have to pretend we’re in hovercrafts instead of cars from now on. Then I’ll be all set to enjoy the carnage. =)

  2.  

    While Wreckage does have very nice packaging and artwork I haven’t been blind to the fact that it’s left you unconvinced by its automobile physics.

    Personally I buy into it because I want to have a smooth game play experience; I think you’ve been playing too many computer games where the cost of increased realism is calculated for you behind the scenes 🙂

    As for a car combat tabletop game with more realistic mechanics, the only thing I’ve played that comes to mind is Car Wars. I seem to recall it being on par with Battletech for complexity, which is fine if that’s what you’re in for but that puts it into a whole different category from Wreckage. I’d say we should give Car Wars a shot, but I also know we have a number of familiar candidates for “all-nighter” games that beg to be played first…

  3.  
    avatar
    Mike Says:

    Like perhaps a Rolemaster campaign? 😉

  4.  

    I’ll tally that as a vote 🙂

    Now I just need to make time for it in my schedule of projects…

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    Weekend Gaming Recap – 20100122 – Gaming News & Views – Pair O? Dice Games

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    Weekend Gaming Recap – 20100122 – Gaming News & Views – Pair O? Dice Games