Back before Christmas, my friend Chris and I started talking about all the boardgames we have that we hardly ever play. Not because they’re not fun, or we don’t like them, but because the roleplaying games always seem to fill up the schedule. So, we decided to see what we could do about that – we scheduled an all-afternoon-and-evening boardgame event at my place for December 30th. The idea was for people to come by when they wanted, play what they wanted, sit around and kibitz, and enjoy the company and refreshments. In particular, I wanted to try out Carcassonne and Battlestar Galactica with the Pegasus Expansion.
Talisman, with all three expansions, turned out to be the big hit, though. It ran essentially all day, with a short break for one person to go pick up someone else while we played Carcassonne. Yeah, Talisman will take all day when you get seven or eight players around the table. It was a lot of fun, despite the fact that I never seemed to have a chance of winning. I’m not going to talk much about the play of the game, because I did that back here. I will say that it’s pretty easy for people to join and leave the game during play, though obviously it’s not ideal if you’re trying to win.
This was also my first time ever playing Carcassonne. I’m pretty sure everyone else in the entire world has already played it, so most of what I have to say will surprise no one. The game is very simple to learn and play, but the scoring system reveals a complexity under the surface that supports pretty deep strategy. We played without any expansions, so the game went quickly – about an hour from opening it up to closing it up again. There’s an interesting combination of laying tiles for maximum benefit – or minimum detriment, as the case may be – with the resource management of using the little wooden people to claim various things. There is a danger to being both too daring and too cautious – sometimes long shots pay off, which is good for the person taking the risk, but not for those avoiding it.
It was a lot of fun, with various folks coming by and playing for a while at various points, and we’re going to do it again.
After all, I still haven’t had a chance to try out the Pegasus Expansion.