Had another great time at Beyond Monopoly at the weekend, and got to play quite a few games I'd not played before.
First up was Karuba, a fun little tile-laying game. You draw tiles and place them to try and get your explorers across uncharted territory to the temples. Each tile has a different configuration of paths on it, and can be used to either extend your paths on the board or to move your explorers. There are gems to collect on the way and bonus points for being the first explorer to reach the destination. I lost spectacularly, but quite enjoyed it. It has more depth than it first appears.
Next came Troyes, a solid Euro game where you use a pool of dice to place workers in different parts of the city, to gain influence and special abilities. Each turn, there's an external threat that you have to join forces to fight against, and these continue to affect each subsequent turn until they're defeated. It took a short while to get the game running smoothly (lots of rules), but after that it was fine. I liked it. Think I came second (four player game).
Imhotep was next, a game where you're building structures in ancient Egypt. Each turn you can choose to take stone from your quarry onto your wharf, move stone from the wharf onto a boat, or drive a boat to one of five different locations to contribute to different buildings. Each building scores in a different way, and the trick is to maximise your points and minimise your opponents' (boats will have other people's stones on besides your own). I already own this and always enjoy playing it.
Medici: I really enjoyed this a lot, and would say it was my favourite game of the day. It's a deceptively simple auction game where where you're bidding on cargo to load onto your boat. For each consignment that comes up, you only get one bid each, with it then going to the highest bidder. You get points based on the tonnage (each cargo tile has a weight), and on how many of each type of good you have. Money is points and points are money, so you're reducing your final score with higher bids. It makes for a very tight, very tense game. Came second, I think. I think I'll probably get myself a copy of this.
Last was Isle of Skye, where you lay tiles to build terrain in a very similar way to Carcassonne. As we were pressed for time, we played a simpler variant where you draft tiles rather than buy them at auction. It was quite good fun, but I think I prefer the elegant simplicity of Carc.
Had a lovely time, and look forward to going again. My only regret was not being free at the right time to join in with Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, a game I'd really like to try. Maybe next time.