Last night I played some games for the first time in over 5 years.
After playing the new game Clank!. I agreed to play Eminent Domain, a space theme civilization deck building game. After that time was running short so we needed something quick and easy. Jon suggested the bluffing party game called Skull. I soon realized that although I own all of these games. It had been years since I I had not played the latter two games.
Eminent Domain, with two expansions, is an evolved game. With so long having elapsed since I last played I knew I needed help with both the rules and the strategy. Ted and Jon were past-masters at the game so they helped answer questions once we got going. It did not matter to me that I was not going to win. Just trying to get some synergy in my strategy was enough for me. While mostly ignoring what Ted and Jon were doing; Alan, John and myself competed in our own 2nd tier contest. Even before the game had ended I was itching to drag out my copy of the game, read the rules and play it again. Perhaps I should not wait 5 years before I play it again. Luckily, that will not be a problem as Eminent Domain is one of the regular games in my local gaming group.
The game called Skull was fast light and fun. This was a good game to round out the evening. Despite the long time since I had last played I still sort-of remembered the rules, and (more importantly) I had a grasp of the fundamentals of the bluffing strategy required. The 5 people playing were all long time gaming opponents which meant the table talk was rather lively. Some of the other gamers gathered around to watch the game and listen to our banter.
There is little in common between these two games. To master Eminent Domain it would need many plays to develop effective strategies. Regular plays are required to learn all the possibilities within the many cards within the game. On the other hand, Skull is quick to teach and relies more on reading people than understanding detailed game mechanics.
This made me reflect on my own game replay habits, and that of my local gaming groups.
- Battlestar Galactica
- Stone Age
- The Game
- Vegas (dice game)
- Eminent Domain
- Star Wars Rebellion
- Love Letter (various versions)
- Napoleonic Wars
- Sword of Rome
That is quite a variety of games.
Advantages of go-to games
- There is no need to teach the game. Teaching a game takes time and effort.
- Players have evolved past just simply playing the game – they know different strategies and can play the game competently.
- The game is setup and running quickly.
- The time it takes to play the game is shorter.
- Not everyone always wants to put the time and effort into learning a new game. This is especially advantages on a weekday evening.
Repetition is good for newcomers
8th March 2017