August Library Meetup Roundup

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We had lots of new faces at our August library meetup! It’s great to have new people to play with, and bodes well for the “organization” as we move into the fall of our second year.

It was a good day for current favorites as Roll Through the Ages and Smash Up hit the table. These games hit a sweet spot for the group — easy to play, easy to teach, with plenty of random silliness and a reasonable number of strategic choices. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them in the future.

The other side of the room brought out some new-to-us games. I did not get a chance to test out my current prototype-in-progress, so that offense against gamer sensibilities may have to wait for another day. On the other hand, we did get to unleash the mighty fury of Hanabi!

Okay, Hanabi may not actually be furious. However, it is a clever game of communication and cooperation. The group is allegedly working together to put on a fireworks show, which is expressed by putting five colorful suits of cards into the correct order. All you have to do is play and discard cards, but the twist is that you can’t actually *see* your own cards. It’s Evil Cooperative Indian Poker where everyone sees everyone else’s cards and tries to give each other the clues they need to make the right plays.

It’s a tricky game, and our scores were mediocre, but we definitely did better in the second game.

The other new game of the afternoon was Battleship Galaxies. We jumped in the deep end with the four-player scenario, and almost bit off more than we could chew. There are a lot of pieces and a lot of cards, and it was not immediately clear how everything went together. However, the game emerged once we got into the swing of things. When you take away the cards and other exceptions, it’s a rather elegant light miniatures game with a simple core loop: gain energy, activate your guys, then move them around and blast stuff.

I especially liked the targeting / defense system, where you roll two dice and compare the coordinates to a grid superimposed over a silhouette of the target ship. Big ships fill lots of the grid and are easy to hit, small ships leave a lot of empty space and get missed a lot. It’s incredibly intuitive and a great callback to the original Battleship.

All in all, the August library meetup was a great success. Our next meetup is tomorrow at the Hungry Gamer, and we’ll be back at the San Marcos Public Library on September 21. See you there!

Archived from the San Marcos Board Gamers website.

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