This week’s gaming session wasn’t as packed with games as last week but I still enjoyed myself. Once again I was late due to train problems, so when me and Kim arrived the guys where latter stages of a game of Skull. Once that was over with we divided up into two tables of three. One to play Five Tribes, their other Cyclades.
Both were mine and Kim’s games and while I love Cyclades I elected to play the equally good Five Tribes. I think the reason I enjoy Five Tribes is that there is a lot going on at a given moment yet it never gets overwhelming. In fact the longer the game goes on the simpler things tend to get as the possible moves players can make dwindles down to nothing. Another reason is that there are multiple paths to victory. Even though the collecting of sets of cards from the market is a tad unbalanced the other paths make up for it. To play the market you need a lot of luck. While the other paths tend to be about seizing opportunities as they arise.
I also adore the movement mechanic because it is both fun and requires some thought before making your move. Picking up a handful of meeples and dropping them on tiles one by one as you reach your intended destination is brilliant. It’s an action you can use to help yourself, hinder your opponents and open up new opportunities all at the same time. Five Tribes is also a game that is surprisingly easy to teach. New players have a look of fear as they initially stare at a fairly large play space littered with tiny wooden people. But usually after two rounds everyone has grasped it. Although a better alternative if you have a lot of time is to set up a smaller board to have a couple of quick rounds on before setting up the game properly.
Sadly I did not win Five Tribes. I thought my aggressive claiming of tiles on the board with my camels would quickly secure me victory. I came last. Still I had a lot of fun along the way though.
The game of Cyclades finished around the same time so we joined up both tables once again and played a game of Guillotine. While slightly haphazard due to having six players it sort of worked due to the chaotic back and forth that takes place in the game. The presentation for Guillotine is darkly comic as you have a line of noble cards all shuffling towards their doom at the hands of the players as they each in turn man the French death machine. The constant flow of action cards keeps everyone on their toes as nobles change places in the line and claimed cards get stolen or you are given a card you really do not want. It’s quick, simple and you get to screw each other over.
However due to the nature of the game you do occasionally get the sense that things just happen and you have no control over them. The end result was me surprising myself and actually winning the game when I was sure one or two other players had more points than me. Still I wouldn’t mind playing it again to see if now that I know the general ebb and flow of the game if I can mitigate the chaos a but to earn more points.