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The two games that killed Euros for me

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KB Updated
There Will Be Games

 

This happened last year.  I picked up a couple of Euros in the B&N/Tanga frenzy of last year:  Oasis and Niagara.

 Up until that point, I'd been pretty okay with light Euros.  I always kept an eye out for new ones to try.  But these two exposed the flaws in such titles that sent my interest dropping like a stone.

 Oasis is garbage.  I thought when I opened it, "Hey, cool camel meeple things, this will do okay with gaming at work."  But then you play it and...what the hell are you doing in this game exactly?  Placing tiles on a board that is appropos of nothing.  Parking your camels close together to get points.  The only thing really clever or unique about it whatsoever is the auction/card offering mechanism, and that's not saying much.  Even the 'casual gamers' crew at work was pretty blah after playing it, so I put it away.  Unfortunately any trade value was destroyed forever because the game is flagged as "Was on clearance one time and is now only worth $1."  To be honest, $1 would be about just right because you do get a pretty bitchin' draw bag in there (that is used for...NOTHING in the game!  The hell?)

 Niagara was the other brick in the wall.  We just played it again today at lunch, someone told me I was "missing something" when I'd played it with the lunch crew last year and it bombed.  Well, during our game today everything "cool" that can happen in the game did...we had boats teetering on the precipice as their owners paddled madly; we had boats falling over the edge by the handful; we had gems stolen left and right.

 Still, just as suddenly, the game was over.  Yep, you guessed it, someone got the "four gems of one color" victory.  Sadly, the next turn I or my brother would've won with the same victory condition.  Euro fans like to piss and moan about AT games being "broken", but *clearly* Niagara needs a little help here.  There are just too many gems of each color to try and block, and if there aren't enough of one color left for you to pull out the win that way, that means someone else is and it's too late anyway.   I don't even think the "five different or seven total" win conditions are even feasible if everyone is going for the four-fer.

 

Plus, with all these damn gems, it looks like you're playing Pretty Pretty Princess or something.  Here we were, four guys in a conference room playing with gemstones that looked like they were from a Beauty and the Beast costume jewelry set.

 

 

Speaking of games getting a second chance, we played Drakon the other day with six and HOT DAMN did that make a difference.  I almost wouldn't play with less than that again.  This is the kind of stuff we need to be playin' at work.

 

 

There Will Be Games
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