Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Judged Red

Today’s GNN outing was a sparse affair: just the three of us available on a Tuesday. I was hosting, and Ian and Martin were in attendance.

Martin was keen to play Impulse again, and I felt it deserved a second go. Ian was given a walkthrough of the rules and we were sped off into space. As before, I scored quickly, trading in cards to gain points. Alas, this just aroused the interest of Martin’s evil space empire who, in one turn, build six cruisers, most of whom seemed to be facing my way.

Before long, the wave of green doom swept across the board and I was running for my life. I ran towards Ian’s sector with my last remaining ship, only for him to blow me out of the skies the first chance he had. Oh well. I did try to sabotage his ships earlier, I suppose.

I remain unconvinced by Impulse. The problem is that despite the appearance of a lot of options, your opportunities for reacting to another player’s moves are quite limited. I felt like I was being told what to do by the cards in my hand, rather than the other way round.

Martin 20
Ian 3
Andrew OUT!

After this, just like the last time we played Impulse, we followed it up with Red again. This is starting to feel like a kind of sorbet that can take away the taste of the previous meal and leave you refreshed again.

It’s a great little game. Very easy to pick up, but not so easy to understand. The constantly shifting rules make for an endlessly changing game.

If our last game was quick and decisive, this was an epic, as we all clawed our way to the magical 35 point target. In the end, Ian just made it across the line. And you know what? He won with the boring old “Highest card wins” rule. Yawners!

Ian 36
Andrew 34
Martin 28

Finally, to fill the time before Ian’s train home, we broke out Love Letter. This was Martin’s rare (possibly. I didn’t ask) Japanese version. Some of the names of the characters had been changed, but the mechanics were identical. Find the Princess, and avoid being found out first.

Martin 3
Andrew 1
Ian 0

And so we finished at a terribly civilised 10.30ish. Martin sits atop the form table, with Ian in a close second

Martin1 3 1 3 1 9
Ian3 1 2 2 1 9
Andrew2 2 3 1 2 10
Adam 1 3 3 2 2 11
Chris 1 2 13 5 12
Joe 2 2 2 3 3 12
Sam 3 4 4 2 1 14
Matt 2 3 5 3 4 17
Hannah 2 2 5 5 5 19
Paul 2 2 5 5 5 19
Steve 1 5 5 5 5 21

And since it’s the end of the month, let’s take a look at the Division. There's one more month until the end of the season, and everything is still up for grabs!


  1. Very nice. Really want to try Red. Impulse, not so much - think I'd rather get Glory to Rome played a few times first - my black box edition has lain dormant for two years!

    We continued the light game-a-thon down here in Polruan with a few more games of Incan Gold and Magical Athlete.
    This last, I've noticed, has a definite curve, particularly with kids. The first game is enjoyed immensely; the second invariably ends in tears and players throwing things/storming off.

    The kids here have persevered, however, and I can report that games three, four and five are more relaxed affairs - lots of laughter amongst the rule/name-calling. It remains a brilliant game.

    Fauna has been the grown-up hit of the summer - the only board game in existence that Charlotte will ASK to play! She did so tonight, and we did - my Ma, my sis, cha and I.

    Faced with having to decide where meerkats came from, my mum was adamant - Eastern Europe. I tried to tell her "Ma, that's just in the adverts, they're not really Polish", but she wouldn't have it. Oh the insidious power of advertising.

  2. Wow Andy, 49 games! 49. I'm quite envious!

  3. I totally failed to get my head around Impulse. I approached it entirely wrong, ending up with a large hand of cards with no idea how to play them. Collecting a hand might be a good move had I known what I was doing, but for the first play it just obfuscated things further. I'd give it another go to see if I can get my head around though, certainly.

    I found Red very intuitive and enjoyable straight away, though. I enjoyed how changeable it could be, how many twists it could take.

    As I walked to the train station Martin and I briefly talked about Red and Impulse. I mentioned that I found Red very reactive, and Martin pointed out that Impulse was also reactive, which is true, so I guess the two games do share some traits.

    Cheers guys, was fun as always.

  4. Oh Joe, don't be put off Impulse before you've even seen it! I think it's really interesting. I'd be up for some Glory to Rome too though, it's been ages!

  5. I know I know, fair enough - I'll give it a go. But why have we never played Glory to Rome!?

    Okay I say never; Han, Sam and I played a learners game (no card powers) at the first cottage-con. And prior to that, Adam and I played at StabCon - but we we're taught by the three other players simultaneously and it was 1am.

    Thinking about it that'll be it. 'Twas a horrid experience...