Recap: RPG False Starts and Second Thoughts On Hansa Teutonica | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Recap: RPG False Starts and Second Thoughts On Hansa Teutonica

Curse you, inconvenient auto repair! (That's what the Authority wanted all along)

I had been looking forward to our first play of Misspent Youth all week. The two players who were unable to join us last week came early to make characters and go over the setting and rule set so that we would all be prepared to hit the ground running. It lacked a little of the group dynamic I had been so impressed with in the first creation (because the whole group wasn’t there), but it was a necessary evil. Then one player called and let us know he would be about a half hour late.

A half hour turned into an hour, which turned into two. By the time he arrived and we got everyone settled down, we had two players who had been targeted by the Sandman (our 8:00 p.m. scheduled start time had drifted to about 10:30). The decision was eventually made (and I was out voted) to reschedule for the following week.

So, we did what we used to do when our RPG plans went awry—we played board games. Follow me past the cut for my second impressions of Hansa Teutonica, some Chez Geek action, and Priests of Ra.

Chez Geek. When I first began exploring hobby gaming, Chez Geek was one of the first games. Most of my group was in college and we enjoyed the references and the spite. So, as we waited for Mr. “I’ll be right there, I just have to fix my car real quick” to show up, we broke out the Chez Geek. That is, the original Chez Geek. Since then, there have been Frat, Goth, Cthulhu, Guevara, Grunt, and Dork versions. Steve Jackson Games does like to retheme a proven formula.

I quickly became the envy of the group with my five-point Movie Theater Nookie. And then, the wrath came down. While I was able to defend that particular card, I had burglars steal my stuff, my helpful visitors killed by my opponents, and even—and this truly hurt—my Live-in Significant Other stolen by another player! I thought we had something special. When I had the option to steal a visitor for myself, I refused to take her back. It’s over, baby. She had her chance.

I enjoyed my play of Chez Geek, though I would have to admit that at least half of the fun came from the nostalgia of my prior plays years ago. While enjoyable, it’s unlikely that it will find itself back in the regular rotation of games.

Raw cookie dough seems utterly wasted when She Who Cooks is over.

Priests of Ra. After Mr. “No, I’ll totally be there in a few more minutes” arrived, and RPG night was officially canceled, we turned to Priests of Ra. One player left for the sweet embrace of sleep (as though that would be half as fun as gaming) and the other needed something that wouldn’t take too terribly long. Priests of Ra fit the bill and we went after it.

For probably only the second or third time, I correctly announced the scoring procedure at the beginning of the game. Our first few plays were marred by incomplete reads of the rules and resulted in wildly out-of-whack scores. There were some interesting strategies this time around. One player elected to use only her lowest tile in the first epoch so that she would be singularly prepared in the second round. Though the gambit ultimately didn’t pay off, I thought it was an interesting attempt.

Usually I focus on the workers and get my clock cleaned. This time, I went with the more permanent buildings. Although they are worth fewer points each era, they stick around. So that building I built in round one is eventually worth six points to me over the course of the game. With this in mind, and some crazy tile draws, I managed to snatch a four-point victory.

It certainly felt like I upgraded more than this.

Hansa Teutonica. My first play of Hansa left me wanting a lot from the game. Many players adopted the same strategy and it resulted in a bit of a stilted experience. I’d been looking to get it to the table again and finally convinced my group that it was time. My group, while usually a great gaggle of folks, tends to judge a game after a single play. If that first play is bad, then they are highly resistant to more plays.

But, I eventually wore them down. And we also corrected a minor rules slip about drawing bonus tiles that helped to make the game run a bit more smoothly. This time, I focused on bonus markers and my longest Kontor route. I placed a very respectable second, but more importantly, had a much better time. In fact, everyone seemed to agree that the game was a lot better than we remember it.

I’m looking forward to additional plays and, this time, I think my group will be more amenable to it.

What games did you get up to this week?

Resolution Count: 5415

There is 1 comment.

  1. Robert Bohl said on May 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hey there,

    Sorry you didn’t get to play, but I’m glad that your first shot at the game will come when everyone’s well-rested (and wants to).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *