Jon-boy and M. in attendance last night. Due to time constraints, we opted for some shorter, if not lighter fare, though I had been holding out hope for another crack at commanding the Waiqar in RuneWars. E opted out of game night, so we settled on Ra, which M. had played once before and Jon had never played.
I love this game, and am always happy at the thinky-hurt it causes each turn. Truly a Knizia masterpiece. Jon was having a bit of trouble keeping the rules straight, but I think he was just having an off night.
Slight Misplay: We got just about all the rules right EXCEPT that I incorrectly stated that the person who voluntarily invokes RA must bid. While this is true in the case of ties, it is not necessary for the RA player to bid if there is a prior bid on the table. We only messed this up once, and it was with Jon. I think he was leaning towards bidding anyways.
Great game overall, though Jon seemed a bit overwhelmed near the end, and made the conscious choice to bid himself out early in the third epoch.
Slight Mispronunciation: Okay, when I was first taught this game, the other gamers at the table pronounced the word “epoch” thusly: eh-pic I had a strong feeling that this was incorrect, but not wanting to seem like a complete English nerd/douchebag, I let it go, and since that was the group I primarily played Ra with, I picked up this pronunciation habit. It was driving me crazy. So last night, Jon-boy and M. were consistently chiding me, insisting that the word is pronounced in this way (the one marked in blue), which prompted me to do a quick online search. It turns out that both are correct, one being the British pronunciation, the other American. As an anglophile when it comes to words, I’ll be doing my best to adjust this.
The game ended with me using my 11 sun on a small row of tiles with one Ra tile space left to go, as I didn’t want to chance losing out to the last Ra tile.
Jon ended up with 5 total points having lost quite a bit in the Pharaoh war and having few monuments and no civ’s at the end (iirc). M middled out on Pharaohs, but had a ton of monuments, just shy of the 7 needed for the bigger bonuses. I had misread this on my own board, somehow thinking I’d get a bonus for 5 different monument types, so I ended up losing to M by 5 points, even despite my 3-civ bonus in the third epoch. Well-played game.
We then opted for another light-ish game. Rampage came up. Jon-boy has played a bunch with his kids (though without the special cards), and M. has never played. It’s a nice mix of wacky dexterity with some very light strategy thrown in. I do think the cards are a bit annoying, as they can be very situational/unbalanced, and the iconography is not very clear.
Oh, and you will notice I am calling this game by it’s original name, as I was lucky enough to get a copy before the cease-and-desist order came out, forcing the publisher to rename it “Terror in Meeple City.” So there.
Not really much to report on this one. There were a few rules quibbles over whether one could munch on a meeple atop a fallen roof/floor tile, and also whether one could then subsequently eat the floor as well. Overall, a fun game for sure, but it does suffer from some rules holes that just add confusion and annoyance to what should be a very fun dexterity romp with amazing theme and components.
Jon’s practice with his kids paid off, and he beat me soundly by 10 points. M was out of the running, as she had the misfortune to lose more teeth than she had, having to take meeples out of her belly. She and Jon also were picking on each other with special cards, stealing meeples back and forth, so that hurt her, as well, as she ended up on the losing end of that battle.
I really need to find more monster-themed music for this game. The Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark worked great for Ra, but with Rampage, I was stuck with just a couple Wolfmother and Blue Oyster Cult songs to evoke the mood.
At any rate, an enjoyable session sponsored by the letters “R” and “A.”