Game Night April 15

edited April 2016 in FWGN Events
Game Night is slated to return to 11403 Red Fern Place this Friday. Depending on the numbers, I have a few game choices in mind. There are some GMT Euros I'd like to get to the table, plus a few others I have that would be suitable for GN.


  • It's looking good for me for Friday.
  • Count me in, baby!

    We're at the time of year where school-related events may intercede at any time - but at the moment, the coast is clear....
  • I shall be there.
  • ps. I also plan on bringing my daughter Bethany. Paul said he has games that can accommodate 6 or more players, if more show, so we should be good.
  • Looks like I'm in.
  • A thousand apologies.

    I grabbed Manilla and another couple quick-play games, and hopped in the minivan to head north. I was armed with a map from Google maps, and utterly failed to find where I was going.

    In the course of the next 70 minutes, I traversed Union Chapel Road, Tonkel Road, Popp Road, Diebold, SR 1, and several others...and as the clock pushed past 8, I scrubbed the mission and headed for home.

    What I think learned is that you cannot turn off of Tonkel and onto Red Fern Place; whatever road you turn onto off of Tonkel is not named on my (essentially worthless) Google map printout.

    But I did see (and stop for) a herd of deer crossing the road on Union Chapel, and I learned that I never want to live in Leo-Cedarville (those people don't really believe in street signs)

    Here's hoping all the folks who DID show up had a great time!
  • Just before the appointed hour, Mark arrived, followed by a car full with Tom and Rob and Rob's daughter Bethany. I had already set up GMT's Dominant Species so after a brief wait, we started in with an explanation of the rules. DS is a game with a lot of moving parts. While very simple, there is a lot of interaction between the main components on the board, whether it is the terrain tiles, the tundra tiles that modify them, the species cubes or the environmental elements.

    We assigned the animals randomly. Tom got the insects, Bethany reptiles, Mark arachnids, Rob Mammals and I had the birds. The amphibians sat this one out. The game mechanics are not complicated but it does take a little time and experience to figure out what affect each of the choices may have. This is essentially worker placement in the same vein as Carson City. Workers placed in the planning phase then allow certain actions on the board conducted in a certain order.

    I got taken out of the game early and was unable to recover. What amounted to a nuclear strike on my sole strong position removed most of my species from the board. I ended up the first round with only two cubes on the board with the tundra survival card as the consolation prize. By mid game I only had 10 VP's, which coincidentally would be one for each of Bethany's years of age. I got pummeled at a game I knew how to play by a 10 year old. Survival of the fittest indeed.

    Rob seemed to struggle with the game options, expressing his disdain for the game on at least one occasion. Whether he truly disliked it or not would be an interesting followup. Even still his mammals finished well ahead of the birds. Tom's insects did quite well as did Bethany's reptiles, but no one could compete with the Arachnids, who were within another round of actually lapping the birds in VP's. The others were well behind Mark, with Tom, Rob and Bethany in line, although I may have that order wrong. I know Mark won and I lost soundly.

    I like DS quite a lot. There is a lot going on and it has an interesting theme. Once the game gets a few rounds in, the choices become more and more urgent. Because there are limits to all of the choices in the planning phase, one can find himself locked out of key actions. I found this a lot, most of the time in fact, since I had to rebuild my population on two separate occasions. It is a bit long, although with an experienced group of players, I think it would play in under 3 hours.

    DS is GMT's number 10 best seller of all time, which means there are probably 20,000 copies out there. There are over 11000 BGG ratings and it sits at #27 on the boardgame chart. It is the 5th highest rated game I own behind Twilight Struggle (#2), Agricola (8), Robinson Crusoe (17) and Seven Wonders (24). It is a game I will likely hang on to, although I think it would only ever get played at Game Night, so it could literally be months if not years until this one sees the table again.
  • Greetings! Good recap Paul, I found it both accurate and clever.

    I suppose I do owe a follow-up to the discussion, since I was indeed the one who expressed my disdain for the game on multiple occasions. I have a general theory about life. You get out of it what you bring into it. Or to quote Yoda from Star Wars, as Luke is going into the cave, "“You will find only what you bring in.” So it is likely true with some games we play. If I was to be honest with myself, it was a rough week at work, although I was trying to "push thru" I was still tired and cranky that evening.
    So, if we played it again, the chances of me liking the game are fairly good.
    In that regard, it leads me to wonder how many games we've viewed as "good" or "not great" may change over time, based off of a number of variables, including ourselves.

    I was about to say..."play it again, Sam!" but here's a fun fact, the actual phrase "play it again Sam" is a misquote that was never said by either Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman in the movie Casablanca.
    See ya'll soon!

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