Whilst the GNN party began in Easton last night, I was stuck at home - so I emailed my puppy eyes at Chris, who succumbed and popped over to keep me company.
We played Orléans, which takes the bag-building mechanic of Hyperborea (they both came out the same year) but applies it to the type of generic-influence-building-theme that's so prevalent in Euros. But nonetheless I enjoyed it - and preferred it to Hyperborea.
In a two-player game there's not much interaction, as you're busy with your own plans in the style of a Rosenberg game, albeit with additional bags. But as Chris pointed out, with four the experience would be very different, as you are moving around a map picking up goods and our gentle perambulations would be more of a bunfight with more players.
The other thing you're doing is increasing your support from various parts of the populace: Farmers, Traders, Craftsmen, Boatmen and Scholars. These 'followers' make your bag grow with potential - and theme-wise how they help all makes sense - but it's a game seeded with potential upsets, as you might desperately need to pull out a Trader to pull off your game-winning move, and get three boatmen instead.
I liked it, though my lack of focus on scholars meant I ended the game as a medieval ignoramus:
For our evening-ender we played Haba's new(ish) family game: Adventure Land! Move your adventurers across the board, picking up herbs (magic!) crafting swords (death!), gathering followers and killing fog monsters. The catch is your adventurers must always move onwards (down, or right) which gives the game a kind of vague story feel to it.
Unfortunately, in a game of very few rules, I outdid myself by getting the key one wrong, and we ended up with an underpopulated boards and our adventurers roaming the landscape looking for things to do. And I was too tempted by far-away lands and ended up with my adventurers clustered in the bottom corner of the board whilst Chris took the fame and glory...
Chris - lots of points
Sam - not so much