Plagues and velcro foreheads at Dragons West
Tonight at Dragons West:
Pow Wow is ridiculous. Wear a headband thing, stick buzzard tokens on it with velcro, tuck a feather in it, and try to guess the total number of everyone's feathers without being able to see your own. You look like a berk when playing it, but it's also more fun than I expected. Actually not a bad occasional play.
It's increasingly difficult for game designers to do anything particularly interesting with new deckbuilders. Still, Dale of Merchants was a very pleasant surprise and, although not quite in that league, Xenon Profiteer brings enough to the table to be worthwhile. Needs a second play now I have some idea what I'm doing.
I haven't played many of Stefan Feld's games but I've enjoyed the ones I have played. Whether the card-based reimagining of his popular Castles of Burgundy can equal the original will require more plays to determine, but I can already say I enjoy it amply. It's not just a straight conversion to cards, but it also retains so much of CoB that it feels reminiscent throughout. I'm not sorry I bought this one.
Rattus is becoming a new favourite for me. It's simple, pretty easy to teach, reasonably quick, and has generally got a good reception. It helps that I also have a couple of expansions to swap in new roles for added freshness. Area majority gameplay with enough random chance to be spicy, but not so much that it's annoying.
Heckmeck Barbecue is a Reiner Knizia game but doesn't entirely feel like one. Like most of his games, the theme (chickens barbecuing worms) is a thin veneer over number juggling. Unlike most of his games, it doesn't feel like you need a calculator in hand throughout. It's basically a luck-pushing dice game in the vein of Yahtzee, Fistful of Penguins, etc. While it lacks the off-turn interactivity of something like Wurfel Bohnanza, the jockeying for position on the barbecue does actually keep the game feeling pretty lively. The brown and gold dice are nice, too.
P.S. - scratch one more off the unplayed list: Burgundy cards. Admittedly it's only just gone on the list anyway...