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Saturday, April 16, 2005


Entdecker, Break Up, and Soliciting Comments for "A Line in the Sand".

Entdecker (New Version)- Finally, played Entdecker a couple more times. I enjoyed it, but it lasts a little too long for what it offers. It has downtime issues. I don't see the downtime getting much shorter with more familiarity. I'd call it simply an average game. I don't foresee it hitting the table very often.

I do like the way the game handles luck within the exploration theme. Luck is usually a big, negative factor in exploration games. Luck is still a factor here, but Sir Teuber has managed to manage it by making known tiles sell for $4 and not requiring a player to place all the unknown tiles ($1 each) he had purchased.

I also like the two means of scoring, completing islands and scoring the "native huts" at the end of the game. I do wonder if the +10 point waterfall is overvalued, however.

One thing I don't wonder about, is that you don't want the be the guy who always rolls the dice. It can be a difficult position to get out of if you roll more than 2 or 3 times in a row. Every time you roll every other player gets extra money, and you stay broke.

7 Ages- Score. Now I just need a weekend to play.

A Line in the Sand- Anyone familiar with it? Looks good to me, but seems to be held in low esteem by the few users who've rated it on BGG.

Scored this 14 year-old TSR game at a garage sale. It is a diplomacy/war game based up on Desert Storm. (Sheesh, was it really 14 years ago I was over there? Seems more like 4.) The kid who took my money said it had never been played, indeed, that looks to be the case.

I think it looks intriguing. I am pretty sure the game needs a full compliment of 6 players to be worth playing. Each player has unique diplomatic options, and goals. It is possible for multiple players to win. Players choose their victory conditions at the start of the game and keep them secret. For example, Iran may choose Islamic Jihad as a goal and wins if 10 western units are destroyed. Reconciliation with the west may be the goal, in which case Iran wins if the US makes its secret goal and Iran controls any portion of Iraq. Revenge against Iraq is the third and last possible goal. Holding Basra and Baghdad at the end of the game are the requirements for that.

There are a couple tracks, the US can only go to war if a certain level is reached, but Jihad can be declared at a lesser number. Dice are rolled to calculate the effect of certain actions, such as how well a speech was received. A poor speech may cause jihad to increase or war fever to decrease.

I haven't had a chance to look closely at the rules, so I may have some of the particulars wrong in my description. I don't think it is a game that will hit the table in the foreseeable future and probably never. If I ever get 6 war gamers together we will play TI3, Civilization, Struggle of Empires or 7 Ages. Still, I am looking forward to yard sale season. It starts about the time the snow melts.

The snow is still quite deep here, yard sales won't start popping up for several more weeks. I've heard reports that the bears are coming out of hibernation in the Anchorage area, but it is still too cold here.

We really don't have a spring here like you do in warmer climates. Instead we have "break-up". For about 1 month starting in the latter portion of April we are up to our armpits in mud, and the ice on the rivers starts to break up, hence the name. By the first or second week in May you will be driving home at midnight and you notice how bright it is. (The sun is set, but it is too bright to see the stars, much too bright.)

Then one day in late May you notice that there is a tinge of green in the trees and you see a couple dandelions on a south facing slope. In most places that would be a sure sign of spring. Here we call it the first sign of summer.

Still waiting patiently for the mud,

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