I haven’t played a lot of games at Spiel ’15. I was only there for two days, but I will share my thoughts about a few of them with you. Here’s the first batch with Carcassonne: Star Wars, Pitch Fleet and Casting.
Carcassonne: Star Wars
This is basic Carcassonne with a Star Wars sauce. The roads are trade routes now, the castles are asteroid fields and the monasteries became planets. There is no grassland, so there are no farmers. One difference between regular Carcassonne and this version is that you are part of a faction, like Boba Fett or Darth Vader. These symbols can be found on several tiles and give you extra points.
The biggest difference, however, is that there’s fighting in this game. Fighting over planets. When somebody has his meeple on a planet, you can attack him by placing a trade route tile with a meeple next to it. You battle each other by rolling dice. One die if you have a small meeple, two dice if you have a large meeple and another extra die if the symbol next to a planet matches your faction. The player who rolled the highest number wins and kicks the other player from the board.
I enjoyed this version. The battling was fun. I was sceptical, but it worked. It does mean that this one is meaner than regular Carcassonne, so not everyone will like this one, but even if you get kicked out of a planet, you still get some points.
Because there’s more direct interaction through fighting and more randomness, plus the farmers are absent, this game feels lighter or less strategic than the original. However, I played it only once, so who knows. It gets my approval for now.
Pitch Fleet from TwoPlus Games is a team versus team flicking game. There’s this space map with planets, asteroid fields and satellites, and you have to flick your spaceship from one planet to the another. If both you and your team-mate arrive at all the desired planets you win. You don’t just flick your ships as you would like to. No, you choose a way of movement from a couple of movement cards on the table that show you the way you need to flick and the way you can score extra points. Sometimes you have to flick with your pinkie, with your eyes closed, with a ramp, or with a stick, you name it.
This was also a game that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The flicking was fun, the way you could work together as a team was fun and the fact that you could score points in many ways was also fun. However, the game took far to long at that moment. That’s bad news. However, I read the rules when I came home and the rules were explained wrongly to us. The demo guy explained that the round ends when both team-mates arrive at the destination planet, but to earn points you could knock your opponent from the board. Which is fun, but it also made sure that the round took forever. The rules, however, state that a round ends at a specified point and then the teams switch. You still have to reach all planets, so I don’t know if the game takes too long or not. If it really plays in half an hour, I’m OK with it, otherwise it’s not for me.
Casting from Blue Cocker Games is a party game, at least that’s what they said. There’s a line of seven faces, all linked to a letter of the word casting. One player is a director, the other players are agents and they draw a letter and that’s the face they have to write something about. The director reads a question out loud, ‘What does this person regret the most?’, and the agents have to write, in secret, the answer for their character, like “Having an affair with the postman”.
Then the director places every answer next to one of the faces and after that the agents bet on how many the director has guessed correctly. Players get points if they are correct and the director gets points if she guessed correctly. Every player gets to be the director once and the player with the most points wins.
Oh my, I did not like this game at all. It might be because of the game, or maybe it’s just me, but it was an incredibly unfunny and boring game. The faces were very, very generic and everything you wrote as an answer could have been written for every face on the table. Not fun at all, let’s move on.
I will post part two of the Spiel ’15 quick reviews soon. See you later!