Monday, August 16, 2010

Essen....and Sci Fi!!

As October approaches I guess thoughts of board gamers turn to Essen. Whether you are going to make the trip or not it is always an exciting time for gamers as a whole crop of games, good, bad and indifferent emerge into the public domain. I am no different and although I am not going this year have been checking out the prospective new releases on the excellent 'Boardgame News' website. There is an indepth preview of every game slated for release at Essen, and it is constantly updated. That must mean a lot of work, and I for one appreciate the effort.

Being on a limited budget and as most of the games I play at this time are two player I have to keep a tight rein on which games I am interested in. At the moment on the list is 'London' from Martin Wallace and this is how he describes on the Treefrog website.

London lies devastated after the Great Fire of 1666. This is your opportunity to build a new city on the ashes of the old. It is up to you how you employ the talents of the people of London to this end. Will you favour the business classes, who will earn you money? Or would you prefer to spend more money than you can rightly afford on grand monuments and sumptuous palaces? You must also deal with the problem of rising poverty and how to employ the many paupers of the city. Throughout the game you will be forced to make tough decisions. To achieve one aim you must sacrifice another, which may open an opportunity for a competitor.
Almost 250 years of the city's history is recreated in this game. Many of the most famous buildings and monuments are captured in detail on illustrated cards. These elements are presented in a relatively simple game that can be played easily within ninety minutes.

Sounds intriguing....and can be played by 2!

Next on the list is 'Great Fire, 1666' a game by Richard Denning and published by JKLM games. Sounds pretty similar to the Wallace theme eh! Well here is the description from the designer.

September 1666. A careless baker in Pudding Lane forgot to put out his fire and it spread creating an inferno which would destroy 13,000 houses and make 70,000 of London’s 80,000 population homeless. The Lord Mayor fails to act and it is down to the trained bands of militia led by a few worthies to fight the fire and finally put it out. To do so they must decide which districts to demolish to protect others. These same individuals own much of London and making such choices is painful. In the end though it is an opportunity for many. Someone is going to come out of this with the most property intact and someone will be seen to do the most to fight the fire. Could that someone have enough influence and popularity to become the next Mayor?
The players are men of wealth and standing who own property around London. They can use the trained bands to fight the fire, use demolitions to destroy blocks of housing to prevent the fire flowing or turn a blind eye and allow the fire to spread and damage rival’s property. Victory can belong to the player with the most property left but putting out fires can give you a boost. In addition each player will have several hidden objectives which might include helping another player or protecting parts of the city.

Only drawback for me is that it's only 3-6 players.

Triumvirate is a 2- player card game from Travis Worthington, originally released in 2009 as a self published game of 350 copies. It now gets a professional production and looks interesting.

7 Wonders is getting a lot of buzz. A card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Again only 3-7 players.

Lastly, Inca Empire. The board and components look gorgeous in this new edition and the gameplay sounds interesting. No 2 player though.

So, most of the games I am drawn to because of gameplay or whatever don't play 2....doh! Still looks like I won't be spending a lot.

Now for something completely different. I have a liking for fifties sci-fi movies and have just bought a great collection on DVD. From Universal Studios it contains one of my all time favourites...'This Island Earth'. It's the only movie in colour in the collection, the other titles being, It Came From Outer Space, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Creature from The Black Lagoon and The Thing From Another World. Body Snatchers is presented in the original B & W but also in a colourised version. If you like this type of movie it's a must have. Tina is not so impressed and tends to laugh a lot at the creatures!!!

Happy Gaming!!