I went to the Tuscany group last night, and we played three games, all of which I had played before. The first was Dragon’s Gold, the second Bohnanza and the final one was Formula De’. I am going to talk a little about each one.
I like Dragon’s Gold, I think it can be a fun game for the right group of people. Bruno Faidutti (the designer) always believes in creating a little bit of chaos in the games he makes. One of the other games he makes, that more of you will be familiar with, is Citadels. We had a pretty quiet game of it; I believe part of the reason for that is due to no one knew each other so there was not as much cutthroat bargaining. Two of the group had never even gone to a games night before, so they were new to it all. Everyone seemed anxious to deal and only one treasure trove was not resolved. I finished last, I angled for the black diamond bit did not get it, but I think everyone liked it and if any of them played it again, we would see a different style of game.
The same group, less one, played Bohnanza and 3 of us had played it before, I taught everyone the rules and we settled down to play. In this game the trades were truly marvelous as the goal was usually to improve the fields rather than extract the most from the person looking for the card. I think the first game seemed to loosen up the group and since there is forced player interaction in this game, there was a better feeling amongst everyone by the end of it. I won, by two points, but I never built the third field whereas all my opponents had purchased it.
The final game for the night was Formula De’, we played a ten player version of that. One of the things I found out is that there is too much downtime in a ten player game, so the other players would get distracted. I think I prefer to play it with 6 or less. Since there were 10 of us, the game took about ninety minutes and featured a little too much downtime. There were 5 new people to a games night there, and I think that game may have been wrong for them. We played only one lap, and since we did that, the people that started 7-10th never really had a chance in the race. The players that started at the back, (with the exception of me) finished in the last half of the pack. Of the top three starters, one won and one finished third, the second place finisher blew out her tires and lost control, finishing 8th. There was far more collisions in this race then usual, every turn had at least one, and usually two collision checks. I did not finished, having my car eliminated on the second last turn.
One interesting group I did meet at the Tuscany game night was a couple that was always willing to play Twilight Imperium III