Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gaming Update

Let's see, what have I been up to (Gaming).

Zombies!!! and Humans!!!

Recently we noticed that there is a new Gaming Store that opened close to our home (Noticed before it was open and attended the Grand Opening). Which is exciting; Hastur is a good store, but I hate driving all the way over there, and the Mall store that is close to us really has a limited selection. The new store is awesome. Since it is close I have made a decision to support a local business. I purchased Humans!!! and Zombies!!! 7: Send in the Clowns from them, despite the fact that it cost a little more.

Humans!!! is great. I'd almost venture to say that I like it more than Zombies!!!. The Mechanic is a little more complex, and I don't think we quite have the intricacies of Humans fighting back figured out yet, but I liked this game. I've played it twice. The first time the first round of moves took. . . forever. The second time I thought it would be much easier, but I didn't remember the rules as clearly as I thought I did, so it took some time to get off of the ground as well.

Zombies!!!: 7 Send in the Clowns, unlike previous expansions really feels different. The setting is a circus and you begin trapped in a "Fun" House, when you escape the Fun house, your placed in the Circus by another player. The goal from there is to get a clown car from the Big Top and escape via the entrance to the Circus. The Zombie clowns aren't any different from standard Zombies!!! zombies, other than the Creep Factor of a Zombie Clown being much higher. I guess what really set this apart was the size of the Map. It's much smaller, and though there are only 30 Zombie Clowns included, we did not run out. The scramble to get a clown car and get out first had us stopping each other at all cost. By the end of the game there were no more Zombies on the map and we were just scrambling to get out before someone could play a card and send us away from the goal — it was quite fun.

Then there is Ticket to Ride the Nordic Countries edition.
This "Expansion" was previously only available in the Nordic Countries. It has now been released in the U.S. as a standalone game. When this originally was released in the Nordic Countries, I read about it and thought it was exactly like the Swiss Expansion, but with a different Map. While that is mostly a correct assumption, there is a key ingredient that makes the flavor very different.

It is well established in Ticket to Ride, that if you want to take a wild card from the visible draw piles, you were allowed to take only the wild card. The Disadvantage here being that instead of taking two cards as normal you only get one; by drawing from the hidden draw pile sometimes you luck out and get a wild and another card, or sometimes you get two wilds, by drawing from the visible pile you can get two colors you need to complete your goals — or one wild. Taking a wild becomes a move of desperation when the colors you need are not coming up.     Nordic Countries changes all that by requiring a wild card on many of the routes — taking a wild is no longer done in desperation, but necessity. It really is different, and it really is quite fun.

Now, let's talk about thrift stores.
Sometimes, when you go to a thrift store, you score.
I have in the past mentioned, that I am no longer a fan of Settlers of Catan. At one time it was my favorite game, but now I can hardly stand to play.
I sometimes get this itch to go to thrift stores and check out what they have. I recently scored an unopened copy of The Settlers of Catan Card Game for a Dollar. That's not something to be passed up. The Settlers of Catan Card game has the same Flavor of the original, without the annoyances. I actually really enjoy it. It is a 2 player game and I find myself enjoying the game. So much so, that on a recent trip to the recently opened Friendly Local Gaming Shop I picked up the Expansions. I bought this because it was too good a deal to pass up, and I have played it enough and am not sick of it. The Set Up is a breeze and the play feels quick, though I don't think we've finished a game in under an hour yet. The Expansions are like different spices on top of the game, it's still the same dish, but each has a little different flavor.

We did an experimental 4 player version of the game, utilizing a friends sets. It lasted too long. It was harder and felt tedious. We may try again with an adjustment to the rules.

One More Catan note before moving on. We played one Scenario from the newly released Catan: Traders and Barbarians, and I still don't like traditional Catan.

Now, on the same Thrift Store Trip, I picked up a mysterious game for one reason, and one reason alone.
The Oddly Shaped D4 that was in the box.
Even if pieces had been missing I would have gotten it just for that Die (I have an obsession to feed).

Then I got it home and realized that there was some sort of Green Stain on the bottom of the Box that stunk like death. The Box (as cool and Triangley  as it was) had to go.

The Game is called: The World According to UBI.
It comes with a HUGE outdated map of the world. (The game was published in 1986)
The first read through of the rules was very confusing, that's part of the flavor of this game.
I had to read the rules 3 times to even get it.
Instead of saying, throw the 2D6. It says Roll the Rubis Cubis.

Ultimately, it is a Geographic Trivia Game, and as weird and impossible as the game is, I found it oddly satisfying. We didn't even finish the only game we played. But it is fun.

You get questions that are phrased like: Ubi Rodin's Thinker Think?
And the Answer is Not Paris. You cannot answer Paris. You have to Take the Rubicon Reticule (A hexagon window) and line it up on the map on the location you think the answer corresponds and state the Hexagon number; so the correct answer to this question is 5, or if you answer with Triangle Precision 5-A.

The rules are insane and make for a really long game for those that are not historical and geographical geniuses. Like I said, we didn't finish, not even really close, and we had to implement house rules to even get as far as we did.

The Rules state that The player Born closest to March 15 begins first. I think I should take this to the next Ides of March Party.

Then of Course there's Spore. But this Blog is already too long.


  1. Humans!! sounds pretty cool. I'm not a Catan Player either but lot's of people like it. so where is this new game store and what is it called.
    PS I also expected a detailed post for Spore

  2. I like the Catan card game, but only as 2 player 4 was just too much (maybe house rules would help)! I actually liked the Settler's board game variation, maybe because I won. = )
    Ubi is different but fun, I don't think I'll ever win it though. But luckily I usually play games for fun factor not out of a competetive need to win.
    Send in the Clowns was fun too, I almost won straight out the shoot until I made the mistake of playing that card on you, grrr.
    I really enjoyed the Nordic countries Ticket to Ride, even though I lost big time.
    I haven't played Spore yet, but your game looks pretty intriguing I'll have to try it soon!

  3. Spore Update coming soon. I just got to the Space Stage.