Showdown time!


Last week’s regular gaming session saw Laurie, Rosalynn, Sheer, and Yehuda join me for a nice duo of games.

First up was Las Vegas Showdown.

Introduced and explained by Yehuda, this is an auction game with a Las Vegas casino theme. You are competing with the other players to fit out your hotel and casino complex with the best combination of money earning, fame earning, and foot-traffic generating attractions. You need slot machines, restaurants, lounges, and other features. And you need to fit them into your area. And you compete for what you and everyone else wants by bidding in an auction over a series of rounds.

On the plus side, it is easy to play, and has some subtle touches. It’s fast, accessible, and certainly challenging enough.

On the down side there is a random element that comes across as being there to satisfy a non existent demand. The random element is a card draw that can penalize or reward some players and not others. It can also affect minimum bids and the type of asset available. I don’t think the game needs it as it stands. In short, the luck element could be curbed and that would improve the game.

Returning to the plus side, the game is a good ‘bridge’ game – one that can be used with non gamers to introduce them to the hobby. Not bad.

After Yehuda won that game, with Rosalynn retiring, we remaining four turned to Ticket to Ride Marklin Edition, a first time experience for Sheer, and Yehuda.

I spent too long trying to get my most difficult ticket sorted out, and although it came reasonably right in the end, the other players had been more effective. I was never really in contention.

Laurie was in a good position, closely shadowed by the others. Sheer could not quite keep up the challenge in the closing stages. Yehuda made one of his rare bad judgement calls and tried to take extra tickets. He couldn’t make them and the penalty drove him down. Without that, he would have won. That left Laurie to claim a good win.

Update: Sheer swears blind that he won. He may be right, and it may be that my memory is fading. On the other hand, this may be a windup. On balance, he’s probably right: Sheer won! Sheer won! Sheer won! Apologies for the malfunctioning memory. I will have a word with the owner.

This is one of the meatier Ticket to Ride versions and is still easy to play. It’s also a good bridge game, but perhaps best for a second or third outing.

A good night (I hope) was had by one and all.