Thursday, April 25, 2002

Gathering Report, part III

Today I'm going to write about the good "new" games I played. None of
these were amazing, but were quite good and I look forward to playing
them more. Those games are: Alles im Eimer, How Ruck!, Clash of the
Gladiators, Dschunke, Die Sieben Weisen, Maginor and Zahltag.

color=f8f0ff>Alles im Eimer

This is the closest of this set to making the "great" list. It's by
Steffan Dorra, has an unique theme and is rather amusing. The basic
idea is each player has a pyramid of buckets and is trying to knock
down their opponents pyramids. This is done by playing colored cards,
which the next player must play higher than, followed by the next
player, until someone cannot play higher, at which point they lose a
bucket of the appropriate color.

A lot of different opinions on the strategy of building the initial
pyramids existed as well as differing approaches on how to attack
one's neighbors. No matter how many cards are played (1-3), you only
draw one more, so an all out assault costs you two cards.

The game is fun, though with 6 it doesn't have much control, but still
works well. Jay suggested the variant of allowing players to attack
left or right, and I look forward to trying that.

color=f8f0ff>How Ruck!

This is a cute tug of war game by Richard Borg. The game is quick and
has some nice elements, but it has a very unusual property which was
reported by several people; when you win, you feel like it was because
of good play, but when you lose, it seems as though it was completely
out of your control. As a result, I'm not sure there's a lot of real
control here. It's enough fun in any case to continue playing.

color=f8f0ff>Clash of the Gladiators

As many have mentioned already, this is a dice-fest. It's a really
fun dice-fest, but it's definitely not a lot of deep strategy. The
features that set this apart as an especially fun dice fest are the
customized teams and the animals.

The customized teams give you the ability to try out different styles
of carnage ranging from the full out attack to the net throwing
rerollers. Further, the game is such a dice-fest that no strategy has
a conspicuous advantage.

The animals are a nice touch as well. Risky to attack, but worth
extra points, and they provide an enjoyable and fun role for
eliminated players that speeds the game toward the end especially once
more than one player has been eliminated. Be the bear.


I played this one twice, once with some rules missing, and once
without. With the wrong rules, this game is pretty dull. I'm glad I
played it with the right rules. It's not amazing, and it's not
exciting, but it has some interesting decisions and some nice
mechanics. I'm not sure the whole is much greater than the sum of the
parts, but the parts add up reasonably nicely.

color=f8f0ff>Die Sieben Weisen

I only played one aborted game of this, but it was rather enjoyable.
This game has a nice feature that I haven't really seen elsewhere,
which is freeform negotiated partnerships. Unlike something like Mu,
in which partnerships are chosen in a structured way, here it is
entirely up to the players to decide the partnerships.

The gameplay itself is similar to the Attacke/Ivanhoe/Taj Mahal
mechanic where the last to quit a fight wins, but all contributors
lose their committed cards. The injection of some powerful magic
cards mixes things up nicely. I'll pick it up when it comes out in


This much maligned remake of Knizia's Vegas was actually fun. It's an
interesting influence game with a substantial share of luck. The
theme fits well and the components are decent. Overall, it's a game
of choosing your battles and carefully spending limited resources.
It won't get played a lot, but I'll play it again.


This was the first game I played at the Gathering. It's cute game of
hand management. Each player has a hand of various types of workers
which they can put to work on a job, if they are the lowest bidder for
that job. Nice artwork and some interesting tactics.

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