As a fan of Puerto Rico, I liked the premise of Race for the Galaxy — it’s like Puerto Rico, but with cards and no chits beyond the VP markers. Neat. Maybe it’s my childhood income and time spent on Magic: The Gathering, but there’s something appealing about a game whose mechanics revolves entirely around decks of cards (was excerpted from an article that’s now offline):
There is absolutely no interaction between players.
This isn’t strictly true; the phases one picks are a tool to try to control the progress of the game, maximize personal gains, and minimize gains for the other combatants, but there are virtually no direct interactions between players, at all.
Puerto Rico, on which the game was based, at least has some amount of player interaction: The ships, the trading mechanic, and the limited plantations, workers, and buildings available.
So, I think the game sort of fails in that department, but still remains fast and fun, once one understands it.
Also played the first full game of Caylus with the favor board included. It’s a surprisingly simple game when one is used to it, but the mechanics keep it challenging and dynamic. I don’t think it does quite as well at re-balancing the playing field as, say, Power Grid. I think it and Power Grid remain my favorite eurogames at the moment.
This weekend, rumor is we’re going to be playing Twilight Imperium. Am I a massive dork for thinking that some sort of mash-up of Risk, Axis & Allies, Trade Wars, and Die Macher sounds fun? Not a casual game, to be sure, but I think it could be entertaining 5 or 6 games in when I actually get it.