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Eastbourne part two

My most fun game of the weekend was 'Moongha Invaders' - a dice festing blattathon - it's possibly the best light Wallace game I have played; a curio hybrid of chance and the distinctive action selection method that Wallace uses so well in his more serious euros. The difference between this 'entertainment' ( to borrow from the distinction Graham Greene used between his serious novels and lighter fare) and his other simpler output is that 'Moongha' has no constraint to shoe horn the design into a marketable theme and the game has playfulness and exuberance oozing out of the design , both graphic and game play wise. My own copy is sitting in shrink at home, and with the game commanding well over $200 on the secondary market, its only going to get played if everyone wears white gloves , in a a germ free bubble.

My 7th play of 'Santa cruz' convinced me that it's an also ran, a shame as I always have high hopes of the HIG Nuremburg release. As a four player family game it's passable - with less it's poor and with the minimum number it's a shocker. Traded, and Kingdom Builder appreciated that little bit more.

I played 'Dungeon Rampage' twice it has a neat core mechanic and premise that just does not seem to work though into an enjoyable game - Dungeon experiences should be tense affairs, with death lurking around each corner. In both games no one came near to death, and the winner was the best at running away.

Also played twice was 'The Manhattan Project' it is a pleasant worker placement game with nothing new to add to the cannon, there are some interesting but seen before conversions. And were it not for the contracts to deliver spices and cloth to Genoa being Nucler bombs that need 4 workers ,five uranium six money and a bomber I don't think i'd want to play it again. The worker placement and removal is the best part of the game, and I am sure the potential for some take that will add spice for some gamers.

After Moongha highlights for shorter games were a game of 'Vegas Showdown' and 'Navegador' - the more I play 'showdown' the more I like it , a perfect light medium 'entertainment'.

I have not played 'Navigador' for a year (i hotched up 10 games in six months) and loved my revisit, which turned into a ship sprint - I won with no ships but a lot of factories and churches, which I thought I wouldn't as the speed of the game meant I had to miss the Market and really on worker/prvilidge to make cash with the prvilidges grabbed as often as possible. My eleventh game felt as fresh and interesting as game number one.

The two most enjoyable gaming experiences were reserved for games released in the nineties - 'Foppen' is a 1995 trick taking card game- how this is not in print today is beyond me as its fantastic, up there with 'Bottle Imp' as trick taking game of simplicity and ingenious design.

The other experience was an eight hour game of 'Age of Renaissance' - i love having the time to play longer games and its four days since we finished I am still thinking about what I could have done better.

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