It’s the final countdown, doo doo doo doo, dooby doo doo doo. Imagine that soundtrack to the first part of this diary entry. I will be providing track changes as the entry progresses. I mean Jim, isn’t this the high quality multi-sense production that you didn’t know you needed!
We had a lazy day and did not even contemplate getting up until after 11am. The benefits of not having kids! If you have kids, re-read that filthy sentence. Then I’ll repeat it for effect again; lie-in until we fancied getting up. Imagine that!
We have four games left. It is NYE and we have a zoom call booked with Tora and Rob to learn Metro X at 5pm. AND we have a plan to drink gin and play Azul and Herd Mentality (again, because it was such a hit) with my mum and sister. AND we have a games date with the other half of our games group to drink bucks fizz and play My City until midnight strikes. So what I’m saying here is we need to put a shift in, and get our skates on.
We started with a warm-up game of Ticket to Ride Europe. This game serves mostly to remind me that my European geography is not that good, neither is my pronunciation of the non-Anglicised of any European cities. Ticket to Ride is not a quick warm-up game like Point Salad or Monopoly Deal, but it is pretty straight forward. At two players it plays in about 30 minutes. MJ was absolutely diabolical at this game, which is really unusual, normally he beats me at this. Perhaps it was the colour choice? Taking yellow from the yellow-queen clearly did not do well for him!
And now onto the final games. The finale. We have the full century trilogy. We originally got Century Spice Road after playing it a few times at our local board game cafe. This is a quick resource and hand management kind of game with excellent components. On your turn you are either gaining action cards, collecting spices or gaining point cards. This the first in the series, and we bought it not long after playing it for the first time at our local cafe. We have probably played spice road maybe 10 or so times in the last few months, and it is one of those games where your scoring always seems tight. Until the scoring at the end, I never know what score I am going to have, let alone anyone else.
Unfortunately in October, our local game cafe closed down. This was gutting, but did give us a chance to pick up the other two in the series for a bargain price, and complete the collection. I do enjoy having a complete set of something. So even though these games are a defined part of a series, have very similar components and artwork, the games do not feel the same. The second one (Eastern Wonders) is about shipping and trading goods and is a totally different affair. You move your ship around the board to collect and trade goods. There is a ton of replayability because the board is made up of tiles and changes from game to game. It isn’t as sleek or polished as the spice road version. It is a touch more fiddly, but it is still a great game. We played this a couple of times in November and enjoyed it, although for neither of us did it usurp the original for the top spot.
The third game in the series (A New World) was an unknown going into this challenge. We had never opened the box let alone knew anything about how to play it. It is a worker placement game where you place one, two or three workers out on the modular board to gain resources, upgrade or downgrade resources in order to fulfill victory point cards. Or you can rest to return all your workers to your player board for use. This mechanic always seems to come at the time you don’t want it to, which is a theme in the first game too.
Ah, I hear you say, Hannah there are three games remaining. And you said it was the finale. You are a liar! Well dear reader, that there is slander and libel! Tora will set me right on the legal terms here, I think it is one of them though. I am not a fibber, not sitting in a web of lies, for you see, all the Century games can be played all at once. All three games at the same time! You can play any combination of the three as well as playing them as stand-alone games. 7 games for the cost of three. Which by the way are incredibly reasonably priced as well.
So we finished our challenge by learning and playing the Triple Century. This was complicated to set up as you needed to take pieces from all three boxes. Luckily the set up and rules for any of the Century games is on a two sided A4 sheet of card. This is a feature I appreciated even more than usual at the end of this challenge.
But onto the game, you are placing workers out to spots that feature mechanisms from every game. You can collect and trade resources by going to worker spots from the third game. You can place workers to gain action cards from the Spice Road game which gain you resources or trade actions and collecting these cards will also win you bonus tiles as well. You can place workers to move your ship (from the Eastern Wonders game) to trade resources and place outposts, which again can gain you bonus tiles too. Bigger better ones than those for the Spice Road actions, although they are harder to achieve. You collect cards to fulfill victory point cards (although these also cost workers too) which also have extra bonuses attached to them too.
The Triple Century is a mega point salad experience. There are so many different things that you can do, and you only have enough time to do at best half of them. The game is over as soon as one player achieves 8 victory point objective cards. Which means the game doesn’t outstay its welcome. And even at the end of this mega challenge and with loads of game playing stretching out in front of us, at the end we just wanted to play again. Explore more and think of new strategies to execute.