Friday, January 02, 2004

Board Game Geek



My friends and I have been playing a fair number of board games lately. So I did some searching and stumbled across the BoardGameGeek web site. One of the features is a gaming calendar, where you can see what board games I've played recently. (Hey, I did say Geek, right?) I also added that link to my now slightly more detailed gaming page.

As you can see from the calendar, the two games we've played the most lately are Carcassonne and Robo Rally. Carcassonne is a tile-laying game, which sounds wierd, but it's actually fairly simple and fun. You place tiles, which have roads, cities, farms, and cloisters. You then have a certain number of people pieces (called "meeples"), which you can place on the various board elements -- for example, as farmers on the farms, or as monks in the cloisters. It has a number of interesting elements -- it's somewhat cooperative, and it doesn't have the "get knocked out of the game" feature of a lot of other games. I'm not very good at it -- we've played 4 times, and I've been last every time. But it's a lot of fun.

Robo Rally is an older game, and in fact is now out of print. The basic concept of this game is that you "program" your robot by laying down 5 cards in order. The cards say things like "Move 1", "Turn Right", "Back Up". Your robot does things in the order that you tell it to -- except if you run into another robot programmed by someone else. Then your robot keeps doing those things, but he might get bumped off course and do completely unintended things. The other possibility is not paying attention and having a "bug" in your program. Running into other robots and my continual inability to tell my left from my right worked together pretty well yesterday, when I started doing the wrong thing, got bumped by Martin, and then ended up on a "healing" square to end the turn. Another source of fun/danger is the board itself, which represents a "factory", complete with conveyer belts, crushers, pits and other dangers.
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