Daily Blog July 2, 2021: Late Night Gaming

Working from this late morning, we decided at 10PM-ish to play the new game Space Race. I had watched a few short videos, so I had a general idea of how to play, but we discovered that the game is not easy to learn. Unfortunately, this game iconography is hard to read and understand. We learned a bit later that you turn over the player card, and there is a key to the iconography. Worse, each player’s process or flow card is not provided in the game, which you see in most games, creating dives into the rule book. However, new player mats are being done as a DIY addition that includes this flow and helps organize the players’ cards. This will likely make learning and playing the game more intuitive.

After struggling with the Space Race’s flow and getting the process moving, the last four rounds played better. In the project part of the game, we began to understand towards the end. The iconography is lines of blue and white, and this makes mistakes very easy to make. One is tempted to photo-shop the project to make the white sections hashed or something to make them clear. Also, the meeples cover the colors, so it is hard to see what happens in a project. But, again, this might play better now that we know the game.

Overall, as we reached the end, the game began to flow and go very fast. However, there are concerns that the seven turns may not be enough as you have so few cards at the start of the game. Also, we thought projects in a three-person game were tough to finish, and in more player games, it might feel completely different.

Three rounds to go. This is about the time the game started to flow and go fast for us.

Generally, we think we like the game. It would be a filler game as we think it will fly when you have it down. Due to the slow build at the start and Space Race having only seven turns, the game may feel a bit random and not provide for thoughtful engine building. Thusly, we think it would be a fast and fun game between those brain-crushing engine games.

Kathleen, finding how to build an engine even in a game she does not know, crushed Richard and me in Space Race.

You can see the 3D tiles on the map of mars. Those are domed cities, forests, and seas.

As I usually predict, I was last in our four-person run of a basic Terraforming Mars board game. Richard has the big box version with all the 3-D tiles that add much to the look and feel of the game. Terraforming Mars is the fourth-best game, according to Board Game Geek’s website. It has endless add-ons and extensions. Even or basic game had a few promo and preview items.

The basic game plays well as there are no extra steps, so the turn flow is quick and clear to understand. Not diving into the rules book or suddenly running some sub-system in turn. Instead, just getting cards, taking actions to improve your resourcing and options, or improving mars and closing in on the end-game condition, mars terraformed. An enjoyable three-person game that took us three hours.

I was ahead on the track for much of the game and still, as usual, scored the least. I was very busy improving mars and building up my money. Richard reminded me of what I forgot. Planting forest next to your cities is how you get lots of points. I also forgot to score an award; my other players did not forget. I should have focused on plants.

I also never get the engines going. I need to learn them better in this game. Kathleen scored huge on running microbes and animals. Richard was also scoring with bears and others engines. I still enjoyed the play and will remember the plants and awards next game.

To get to all of the games, I had a pleasant ride into Portland today. Just a few stops and starts on highway 26. The Oregon-styled driving has returned to slow and meaningless braking. The aggressive and poor driving I saw a few months ago is mostly gone. However, traffic is still moving faster, likely from reduced cars on the road.

I drove Susie in Air Volvo to McDonald’s; the crows have already started their next painting o Air Volvo. Susie got her fav Happy Meal. I got a shake and fries for dinner. I had a large lunch, and I did not want to be sleepy for driving and gaming at Richard’s.

Before this, I started work at home and mostly Zoom meetings at 8:30. These were a few status meetings, and I saw that some of the checks I made after blogging last night were being worked on. I am mostly monitoring and fill in when I can.

I stepped out and drove Air Volvo to Beaverton. I stopped by Tammy’s Hobbies to pick up some fine metal screens I think I can use for my kit-bashing hell war machine I am building. More on that when I get started.

I stopped by Batter-up in Beaverton and was happy to see the customers masking; the cooks and servers were not masked.  Batter-up is where you can get waffles with chicken and other good breakfast-style food. I had a Monte Cristo and fries that weighed me down all afternoon. It was delicious. Interestingly, I was the only white, old guy there besides the cook. The clientele is scantily clad; it is a bit warm on Friday (85+), tattooed, and not white. Beaverton certainly has changed! All masked except when eating.

Writing on Friday with games most Friday nights will be hard to do on Friday. So I think we make have to declare Friday the weekend too.

I will stop there as I am already so late.

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