Francie had a game party at her home yesterday. We usually meet in a dank cellar that smells like mildew and paint thinner, has shitty plastic chairs and is full of loud mini players. Or we meet in a small, stuffy meeting room which also has hard plastic chairs and hardly enough room to squeeze between tables to walk to the powder room. It was awesome to be lounging about in Francie's big, gorgeous Victorian house, with comfy chairs, a fridge full of beer, and a pool table. Some of us even spent part of the day talking in the living room, or out on the deck, like it was a real party and we weren't socially challenged geeks who needed a game board between us to interact with other humans.
What perplexed me, however, is that any game with a playing time of over 90 minutes was shot down as "too long." Most of us were at the party for 8 hours. Some stayed for 10 hours. WTF! A 2-3 hour game is too long??? Also, the games I suggested somehow managed to get shot down for simultaneously being "too easy" or "too light" AND for being "too complicated." Most of these comments came from people who were new to the hobby and had never even played the games.
Railroad Tycoon is no good because it is just an easier version of Age of Steam, so lets play Darjeeling, GemBlo and Crokinole instead. Again I say WTF!
I was eventually able to get a three player, learning game of Valley of the Mammoths together. This game really needs at least four, or five to play well. However, this did give us a chance to flail through the rules (third time for me, first for the other two players). I decided that I need to make player copies of all the little charts, and a season wheel marked with the special events that happen on certain turns. Since the two first time players liked it, we may be able to convince a couple more to play next time.
BTW, Darjeeling is stupid.