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Alan's Session Report - 3rd October

Soup trading in the Hundred Years War

by Alan on Oct. 3, 2016

Macao

Tonight at Snowdonia Dragons:

--Macao
--Stockpile
--Havoc: The Hundred Years War

StockpileSome people love Stefan Feld's games and others really don't. I certainly haven't come close to playing all of his games yet, but I've enjoyed every one that I've played (some more than others, of course). I've been wanting to try Macao since the wheel idea sounded interesting. And it is! Although Macao does have Feld's trademark several strands of gaining points, there aren't too many, and the whole thing feels a bit more streamlined than something like Amerigo or even Castles of Burgundy. The wheel boggled my mind for about half of the game though. Planning that many turns ahead is too much for my non-strategic brain.

I tend to feel that my favourite Feld is probably still out there somewhere, but Macao is certainly a good one.

After that, we moved on to Stockpile. I haven't played many stock games, but the ones I have played have mostly left me cold. I find they usually feel quite dry, and something about buying and selling stocks just doesn't click in my head. Stockpile really trims the fat away from this game format, and makes it much more accessible. Although there's perhaps more unpredictability than some might prefer, for someone who finds this genre inaccessible, Stockpile is a good option. I enjoyed it and would happily play it again.

Macao 2

We rounded out the evening with Havoc: The Hundred Years War. I've played this one once before, and it appeals to me on several levels. I'm a medieval historian by training, so the theme and (especially) the artwork are reasonably enticing. I also tend to like rummy-ish games, and although Havoc isn't too conspicuously rummy related, it does have that collection, discarding, hand management thing going on. It also has a healthy dose of bluffing and choosing which 'battles' you want to join in on. It's hard to describe without being able to illustrate but I like it. I appreciate that it takes elements from more traditional, standard card games and does something with them

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