The southern hemisphere and a game that's not about farming
Tonight at Snowdonia Dragons West:
As some of you know, I'm a sucker for games which try something novel or unorthodox. Antarctica is Euro to the core, and combines mildly odd things in such a way that the whole is bizarre enough to be up my street. It has an odd looping thing, a bit of worker placement, a bit of area majority, a bit of building, a bit of turn order manipulation... It's not an all-time favourite but I enjoy it, it's not, and it looks pretty once it's finished.
Saint Petersburg is a venerable game with I've heard of but never played. Its sequence of several different decks which accumulate in a tableau is interesting, as is the fact that you earn money and score points in different stages of each round. I didn't start to get a handle on it until halfway through, so I think I'd perform better a second time. I must have given the impression that I didn't like it, because Tim and Aaron seemed to think it wasn't my sort of thing. It didn't dazzle me but I think it's a decent game which I wouldn't be averse to playing again.
I had no idea about Cheops other than I'd seen the title somewhere before (probably in Aaron's bag). It was the second game this week (the first being Freya's Folly) which is mechanically very simple but surprisingly cutthroat and cunning. Pleasant.
We ended the evening with a 7-player game of Nottingham - one of the less known Uwe Rosenberg games. It's a small-ish box card game about stealing cards from other players to make sets. Surprisingly for a Rosenberg, there's no farming involved. It was a fun game, and I really liked the faux-medieval art style. It's no Bohnanza but it's enjoyable and easy to pick up.
Good crop of games all round!