The Low-Key Potluck

This past Saturday, it rained. While ideal for staying inside and playing board games, it also limited attendance as people were understandably reticent to travel. We hardy few tried out the new table protector and talked and ate and gamed.

We broke the ice with Bananagrams.
Does that make us predictable?
Also, hilarity ensued, thanks to Steve.

We tested Belle of the Ball by Daniel Solis.
It's definitely a beta, but I think it's got potential.
My biggest issue? Very few cards actually score points.
I typed up some feedback and sent it to Daniel, the game's designer. And the next day I had a few more ideas for optional rules that I sent along. Daniel posted those ideas on his site to generate some more discussion about the game. For those of you interested in reading my email or joining the discussion, jump through here. And yes, having beta feedback published by a game designer makes me feel almost famous. (Insert a brief pause for fanboy squee-ing.)
Ticket To Ride ? Europe
We broke in Ticket to Ride Europe.
Tunnels, Ferries, and Stations add a
whole new dimension to the basic game.
Kim asked about the differences between Ticket to Ride and Europe, so I've made some edits here to talk about that.

Ticket to Ride Europe adds a few new elements to the basic game.
  1. Ferries require a locomotive or two to buy the route, so they're harder to afford.
  2. Tunnels introduce a little randomness into building. When you buy a route with a tunnel, you turn up the top 3 cards of the deck. For each turned-up card that matches the color of the set you just played (including locomotives), you need to play an additional card from your hand to afford the route. If you don't have any matching cards in your hand, you take your cards back and lose your turn.
  3. Stations let you "claim" a city and borrow someone else's route out of that city to score your tickets. If you don't use your stations, they're worth 4 points each at game end.
The Europe board has longer routes (1-4, 6, or 8! cars long) that fit together much more tightly making it much easier to get cut off, so stations become much more important. I got lucky with my tickets and didn't use any stations, so I ended up winning by the largest margin I've ever seen in Ticket to Ride. Ouch. I will gladly play again and have my pants handed to me.

We had a ball. Stay tuned for the next one!

All articles in this series so far:
- The Low-Key Potluck (See above.) (11Jun11)
- What we played this weekend (14May11)
- What have we played lately? (30Apr11 and prior)

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