A brief two-player evening was arranged between Sam and I on Thursday. I arrived as he was packing away Lords of Waterdeep, ruefully telling me that his son, Stanley, had beaten him again.
First to the table was Small Print, Sam's own creation. Although meant for three or four players, but Sam wanted to give it a test run. It was okay, but with only two players, it was pretty easy to remember who played what. Also, very little chance of going bust. But Sam seemed happy that a few wrinkles had been highlighted, and what he should do next.
After this came Memoir 44. The tiny plastic soldiers were enough to bring back memories of playing as a child with miniature soldiers. But the game itself has nothing to do with trying to retake the sofa and footstool from the enemy. It's a fairly lightweight recreation of various military episodes from 1944. The game comes with a number if scenarios, each one of which should be played twice, with the players swapping sides after the first go.
Orders are given to your troops by playing cards, and battles are decided with dice. Towards the end of both games, I had a hand of cards which didn't let me give any orders to the troops I needed to move. I suppose there are finer details about hand management. Instead of just using the strongest card, I might have held some back. Sam seemed happier with it, but I'm not so sure. Cards and dice is a tricky combination, and I'm not convinced this game got it right. Maybe my cynicism is due to my sound 12-3 thrashing, though.
We then considered our next game. At first we considered 7 Wonders, but instead chose The Castles of Mad King Ludwig on the grounds that it was already out. We like this game so much we decided on a “long” game, with only ten room cards removed.
But now it was my turn to get lucky with cards. I got two bonus cards early on: 8 points for a castle with each room size and 7 points for a castle with each room type. In a normal game, these two would be very difficult. But with so many cards available, I felt confident. And, in fact, I did it. It was close though: only one 450 room came out and I had to nab it fast. Meanwhile, Sam did not get his bonuses working, and I came out a distant winner 152-116.