Saturday, August 23, 2008

There they are!

You may remember, a few weeks ago I wrote a post called "I ordered these?"

I am pleased to announce that my group's game order finally arrived. We placed the order with Boards & Bits on May 15th, and the order arrived on August 1st, two and a half months later.

This time around, one guy picked up a copy of Cartagena II, and another guy picked up Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory, R-Eco, and Treasures & Traps: Expanded Realms 1.

As I mentioned before, the Race for the Galaxy expansion was one of the games holding up the game order. Finally, after repeated delays, Tom from Boards & Bits decided to pull the RftG expansion out of everyone's pre-orders because it was now said to have an estimated delivery of September.

Soon after this event, standard RftG came back into stock and the order shipped. A few days later, the sweet, sweet box arrived on my doorstep. Usually, my wife will get me on Skype while I'm at work so I can see her unbox the games and show them to me. This time, we waited until I was home so I could dig out the gold with my own hands.

Besides RftG, I also finally acquired a copy of the cooperative game, Pandemic, and Treasures & Traps: Expanded Realms 1. Speaking of which: sometime soon I'm going to write more about Treasures and Traps and what an under-appreciated and unknown game it is. Really, it's very fun and I think lots of people would like it, if they only knew about it. More on this later.

The weekend we received the games, my wife and I logged five plays of Pandemic and seven plays of RftG. The games were so enjoyable. We interrupted our always-in-progress alphabetical play-through of our collection to pile up a few plays of our new games. I was very pleased with this game order because we had waited for so long and because we hadn't ordered games in months. This was the antithesis of our Thebes/Caylus Magna Carta game order (two games I traded after very few plays). I was so relieved to find that not only I loved both new games, but my wife was having a blast as well. We were both always eager for one more play of RftG.

A couple weeks have gone by now and we've logged 11 plays of Pandemic and 15 plays of RftG. Most of these have been played with my wife (both games are great with 2 players) and a few have been played at work with my Board Game Wednesday group.

I'll briefly summarize my early impressions of the games.

Treasures and Traps expansion: Every player now gets a role with an ability. There are some interesting new cards, especially the Prism treasures.

Pandemic: An amazing design that simulates 4 deadly diseases spreading throughout the world while the players are a team of characters trying to find cures for them. You travel a lot, and you treat diseases. Working together, you race the game to find all four cures. 1 way to win - 3 ways to lose. The game has built in tension that is wonderful.

Race for the Galaxy: Combos, combos, combos. Much like San Juan, but with much more going on. The theme is awesome, especially when your play is accompanied by some good John Williams music. There is unique artwork on every card, really pulling you into the space theme. I can't fathom the amount of playtesting this game must have taken to perfect. Right now, I rank it as a 9 on BGG, but it just might become the first game I rate higher than a 9. I'll reconsider after a load of plays. There is so much card interaction in this game. Very tasty.

I was very pleased with this game order and I'm glad it came soon enough that I hadn't forgotten I ordered it.

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