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Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas and A Friedrich New Year.

Been a slow month for blogging. I've been spending more time at work in order to pay for all the games I bought Dame Coldfoot for Christmas. I'm quite sure she will enjoy and not mind sharing her copies of Amun-Re, Um Reifenbreite, End of the Triumvirate, Canal Mania, Hollywood Blockbuster, GemBlo, Kreta, etc.

I have had a few chances to play games recently and I must report that I am quite impressed with Friedrich. I am especially impressed with the short rulebook that my rule-lawyer friends found to be quite satisfactory. I tend to like the German style games, and my main gaming buddies tend to prefer wargames. All of us were pleased with Friedrich and I look forward to this game hitting the table frequently in the near future.

Friedrich is a 4 player wargame with the twist that combat is based upon card play. OK, that is not much of a twist, you are thinking. But the cards utilized are 4 decks of common playing cards in the four standard suits numbered 2-13 with wild cards. The board is arranged in a grid pattern with every grid square labeled one of the 4 different suits. War is conducted by playing cards in the suit corresponding to the grid square your army is located. Every round players draw a number of random cards, and to be successful they must maneuver their armies into grid squares that compliment their hand of cards before engaging in combat.

One player plays Prussia and its ally Hanover against three other players. The other three players control 3 major powers: Russia, France, and Austria, and two minor powers: Germany and Sweden. Every player has objectives, which are cities on the board marked with a flag in their respective color. If a power can achieve all of their objectives they win the game. Prussia has objectives, but also wins the game if he can prevent other players from achieving their objectives. After 5 rounds of play an event card is revealed every round. Some of the events take the nations opposing Prussia out of the game. If the Prussians can hold out for long enough with delaying actions they will be the last power in the game.

In both of our games Prussia fell in round 5. Playing France I could have won and ended the game sooner, but I sent an army to help my allies instead of using it to capture objectives. That was the learning game. In game 2 I played Prussia. Near the end of the game I was holding a hand of 30+ cards, 2/3s of which were hearts. I was not in a position where I could get into a heart battle to slow my opponents. I still liked the game, and did not consider the battle system to be overly luck dependent. I suspect that I made newbie errors with my hand management. One stupid thing that I did not do that would have strengthened my position was to spend those hearts to bolster existing armies. Players can spend cards at a rate of 6 points to build one army (ie. a 4 of hearts and a 2 of spades would buy one army). Even so, I doubt I could have held on for more than 1 extra turn.

Friedrich could easily cross over to the Euro-game market and become the 4 player equivalent of Hammer of the Scots. Time will tell.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Thursday, December 07, 2006


You can all go to sleep now. The judges have spoken. Our governor is the hottest.

According to the Wonkette, a D.C. based gossip column, Governor Sarah Palin is the hottest Gov in the U S of A.

Still no word on how many "hot" votes the new First Husband and children had after the initial ballots were cast.

This bit of news is quite a relief for most Alaskans, as the previous governor was not only arrogant, but severely photogenically challenged. The combination of two did not serve the former governor well. At one point former governor Frank Murkowski was less popular than Ohio's corrupt governor Bob Taft. The one thing keeping Murkowski's approval rating from dropping even lower was that John Kerry was even more arrogant, less photogenic, and in the news much more often.

The staff and management of &games offers a hearty handshake, wink and nudge to the lucky Mr. Palin.


117 118 119 and Counting

Found another one. Oriente has been lying inconspicuously by my bed for months. And another. Pieces of Eight was handed out to all BGG.CON attendees.

I had a little time on my hands, so I entered my un-entered games into the BGG database.

Looks like I have 117 unplayed games. (Click here to view)

Many of those games are that I picked up at thrift stores with no expectation to play, such as 3M games that I've acquired just for the sake of collecting. Some, such as Tongiaki, Manga, Manga and Warriors were picked up at bargain basement prices when I had money burning a hole in my pocket. Some were thrift store finds that looked like they might have been good, such as Freedom in the Galaxy, and Dragonhunt.

Some of the games have been played, but not enough to fairly rate.

Card games in particular are tough to find opponents for.

Many need to get played. Die Macher, Keythedral, La Citta, Ur: 1830 BC and Tichu are at the top of the list, and have been for a couple years.

Friedrich was acquired today. Leonardo Da Vinci, Blue Moon City, and Medici are recent acquisitions.

Alas, the list will be growing. My local game store got some must have titles into stock. End of the Triumvirate, and Perikles in particular, and Battlelore should be arriving soon.

My Boards and Bits order should be arriving in a week or so. Balancing Aliens and Um Reifenbreite will be going on the unplayed list.

Come to think of it, I think I have a few more Avalon Hill games in my shed.

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