A game night before Christmas with pandemic, electricity network and 7 wonders
As the holidays approach, it is possible to spend a lot of family time, but even more opportunities to have game nights at my house. Typically, the day before vacation is half a day at the office, which means it’s easy to get coworkers (and former coworkers) together and have them come over for some cardboard fun. It also helps that most were locals and getting to me isn’t too complicated.
That night we managed to get 7 people in for a game night. Much more than what I normally get (normal is around 3-4 people), but enough that it opens up a whole host of games for you to explore. So with that, here’s what we played and here’s what happened:
Game 1: Pandemic
The implementation: The 7 people didn’t all show up at the same time, but we started with 4 people, which allowed us to play Pandemic. One of our players, KL, picked up the game earlier but hadn’t yet learned to play with a full squad. Despite this lack of experience, we decided to go into Heroic mode, confident in our ability to bring epidemics under control.
What happened: When we put the board in place, the initial disease placement worked in our favor. However, the raffles were far from ideal. We have attracted a doctor, a quarantine specialist, an emergency planner and a dispatcher. All of these roles are great in terms of general utility, but what these roles don’t help us do is facilitate healing from illnesses.
Even with that, we were able to prevent many epidemics. Much of the action focused on Middle East / Southern Europe, so it was an easy decision to send my Quarantine Specialist there. So while outbreaks wouldn’t become a problem, we were distracted by fires elsewhere on the board, which made it difficult for us to transfer maps so players could look for remedies. Bad draws didn’t help either and many of us were stuck at 3 cards of 1 flush for a very long time. Eventually we lost by shooting the bridge with 2 Wanted Cures, one where we got very close and another which was just too far away. Never mind.
Final thoughts: The game itself was quite enjoyable and KL was quite happy with their purchase. After talking, we came to the conclusion that we could have let a few more plagues go by and used those tricks to give people the cards they need to research cures. Basically it means being able to prioritize actions by looking at the state of the game and determining what really needs to be done and what we can do.
Game 2: Electrical network
The implementation: Once we finished the Pandemic game more people started coming and that was enough to start a Power Grid game. Power Grid has always been a favorite of mine due to how easy it is to teach and the game’s tendency to get results at the edge of your seat due to the order of the powerhouse and the psychology of the games. auction. Since everyone knew how to play, we started and left with the German card.
What happened: In the town’s initial placement, Jaune was able to secure the western part of Germany and was in the strongest position because in a mind games crisis no one actually tried to challenge him for that region. specifically. I stuck with central Germany which, although more expensive, gave me better options for expansions with only Blue to fight. Black found himself in the dearly beloved Eastern region while Green took a solid foundation in the Northern region, forcing Violet to do a series of unwanted jumps to gain access to more towns.
Once the game launched there was a lot of resource maneuvering as expected and the garbage factories turned out to play a bigger role in the game than they normally would. Nuclear resources also became very cheap in the middle of the game, as very few nuclear power plants had seen the light of day. Black was stuck in the East Quarter for most of the game, but made an impressive leap in the Southeast, hampering my efforts to expand there and forcing me west. Even if he hadn’t, by mid-game it was pretty obvious that I was in a tough spot and couldn’t make up for it.
Post-mortem and final thoughts: Unlike most of my other Power Grid games, this one was one of the least satisfying I’ve played in a while. Good Power Grid play is a cinch while mediocre play never really comes down to the thread since the person in the lead stays in the lead and is not challenged during the match. The green player, played by JC managed to win this one. This is sometimes Power Grid.
Game 3: 7 Wonders
The implementation: After completing Power Grid, we had 7 people to contend with. So came in 7 Wonders, a game I didn’t play much and didn’t fully understand, mostly because it’s hard to know when to prioritize card denial over high score.
Again, many of those who came that night hadn’t played either, which meant teaching time! As simple as the mechanics of 7 Wonders are, it’s still a bit of a pain to teach because of all the symbols involved in the game. Another player, JH, and I took the time to go through and explain to people what each symbol meant. The explanation would never be quite complete. The large number and variety of symbols meant that people would need reminders every now and then. Explaining how to write down the symbols of Science was also painful and difficult to grasp until the very end.
What happened: The game started and it went as well as a first game of 7 Wonders could go. People started to get used to it after a few turns and the only thing I noticed was that the military wasn’t more contested once a neighbor started investing in the military. In addition, one of the players managed to amass a huge piece of science; no one challenged him on that and he won the science race quite easily.
Results, post-mortem and final thoughts: Despite everything that happened, I managed to win this game. The point margin was pretty slim as the second-place person was only behind me about two points. My investment (some might say over-investment) in the military was the deciding factor, as was my ability to build my Wonder to completion. I wouldn’t say I knew what I was doing completely, so it will take a little longer before all the pieces completely fit together. After 7 Wonders, we took a break for dinner.
Game 4: Coup
The implementation: Once dinner was over the food coma started to set in and we thought it was time to switch to lighter fare. We went for Coup, which is light in terms of gameplay and rule explanations since the game is pretty much BS, but with murder involved.
What happened: I tried to play blind; that is, I didn’t look at the cards in my hand and went into Duke all the way. Unfortunately my shenanigans were called and I couldn’t do much there. The only other memorable play was someone doing an ambassador on round 1 that I should have called because most of the time that indicates a weak hand, but let that opportunity go. Never mind.
Final thoughts: The newcomers to Coup seemed to be having a lot of fun and it was really great to see mind games take their course around the table. The big takeaway from the night was that in a 6 player Coup game, don’t let yourself be portrayed as the captain’s juicy target or you’re just going to have a bad time.
Game 5: Sushi Go
The implementation: Finally, we wanted to end with an easy game. Because people had been exposed to 7 Wonders, I thought it would be a snap to teach people Sushi Go. Most of the people there had played Sushi Go before! and I was able to understand it quite quickly. After 5 minutes of explanation, the game started.
What happened: Unlike what happened in 7 Wonders, people were more proactive in turning down cards that others needed. The most interesting moment in the game was when someone else revealed the Sashimi card on the same turn as me, only for that person to have a position on me, refusing all subsequent Sashimi cards. I also took a Sashimi bet in the early rounds and surprisingly it worked!
Final thoughts: As late as it was in the evening, people there enjoyed Sushi Go! and talked about the quality of a game intro for heavier tariffs like 7 Wonders. And rightly so, it’s one of those lightweight games that’s easy to teach and easy to perform. For this reason, it makes a wonderful appetizer or dessert-type game. A great way to end the night feeling satisfied with everything.