Through the Ages
Tried the full game of Through the Ages with Van on Sunday. It was a struggle for me to come to grasp with all the rules and communicate it clearly without overwhelming. On Van's part, it was a struggle bearing with the lack of direct interaction in a game which went on for hours. We finally aborted the game when we were halfway through Age II and it was then when I realize that I'll probably never be able to get Van to give it another go. It is clear to me that interaction in Through the Ages is subtle like most typical Euro-games, in particular Race for the Galaxy. I too prefer somewhat more direct interaction in my games but nonetheless am keen to give Through the Ages another shot, perhaps with someone more diehard. For the record, Van was leading me by almost 20 culture points when we aborted.
The Princes of Florence
Introduced the game to Da-win, Huifen and Mie on Monday. Once again, it reaffirmed my opinion of PoF as an excellent deep game to intro to casual or even non-gamers, which was the case for the 3 of them. While the strategic options are varied, the mechanics are simple to grasp with merely an auction in phase 1 of each round and 2 actions to execute in phase 2. And in essence, the 2 actions boil down either to a purchase or a production of a piece of art. I commented during the game that PoF appeals particularly to gals because at the heart of it, it's a game to do with shopping - you 'buy' stuff for most of the game to enhance the pieces of art you produce. Makes me wonder whether a fashion show theme could be used for it instead to gain even greater appeal with the opposite gender. Anyway, we all ended up somewhat bunched up in terms of prestige points (another reason why it's actually a rather accessible game) with the exception of Van who won with close to 50 points. I made an early and late mistake which cost me the game but was glad the 3 new players enjoyed the experience.
Catan Card Game
Van and I decided to have a go at the game on Tuesday. We re-drafted in view of my dismal record against her. The draft we utilized involved us splitting all duplicate cards initially, and drafting 4 cards at a time of the remainders. We would alternate picks, so I get the first and third choices for the first 4 cards flipped, and the second and fourth choices for the 2nd set, so on and so forth. While I was trying to avoid building a Wizards and Dragons deck, I ended up with the better cards from that expansion deck. Against my better judgement, I went ahead building my deck around those cards and ended up crumbling to Van's superior principality 13-7. In particular, I fell behind her in terms of commerce points, and the event die was brutal in allowing her to steal numerous resources for me. You would think that after so many defeats, I would know better. Guess not.