Saturday, July 28, 2018

Kanban, Grand Austria Hotel, and Other Games

One of the most interesting new board games recently is Kanban: Driver's Edition. This is one of the most complex games I had played in a while. The premise of the game is that you are a worker at a car assembly line company and you are looking to achieve the strongest results that will be noticed by plant manager and the board of directors. These results can be in the form of the number of cars, car part upgrades, and tested designs you have, certifications you've attained, and performance goals you've achieved.

Kanban: Driver's Edition

It's really quite complex since you need to keep track of so many things at the same time. I had to ask our game master to explain how to get tested designs and do upgrades on more than one occasion. So I was pretty shocked that I ended up winning since I didn't think I was being that competitive. I guess my strategy of getting as many tested designs as possible - even without knowing how they were scored LOL - and getting seats at the board and achieving many performance goals helped.

The Kanban board gives you an idea just how busy this game is

Kanban: Driver's Edition is from the same maker as The Gallerist - Vital Lacerda - and a friend of mine asked me whether I preferred The Gallerist or Kanban. I had to tell him that it at this point in time, it feels like I like Kanban more, but I'm not sure if it's because of the car theme, because I played it more recently, or because I won. That said, I do think The Gallerist is not as complex (although it is complex enough as it is) and I do like the premise of that one as well. I would definitely like to play Kanban again.

While we're on the topic, I also broke a promise I made to myself late last year: that I wouldn't any new board games until I had played 75% of the games and expansions I had. I hadn't reached that target quite yes - I have only played 2/3 of my games and expansions - but an opportunity presented itself that warranted this oath to be broken. Someone posted on a social media page I follow that he was selling three games at a steal price - Dinosaur Island, Grand Austria Hotel, and Super Motherload - and two of them were games that I really wanted to get. Grand Austria Hotel had been in my radar since last year and none of my friends have it. I also thought my other boardgaming groups would enjoy Dinosaur Island because of it's theme and its gameplay. As such, I decided to forego my promise to myself and get those games. The cool thing is that soon after I made this purchase, I got to play both Dinosaur Island and Grand Austria Hotel already.

My new games

While I had played Dinosaur Island before, I hadn't played Grand Austria Hotel yet so in our July game night, I read the rules and taught my friends (not very well, unfortunately) how to play. The object of this game is to run the most successful hotel by having the best and the most guests stay in your hotel rooms, hire the best staff, and achieve game objectives. I ended up in second place but I was happy that I got to have the most guests. It was the first time any of us played Grand Austria Hotel and I didn't explain the rules well enough so my friends said that we should play it again soon.

My hotel and staff in Grand Austria Hotel

The problem with getting new games is that it kinda opened the floodgates a bit. It didn't help that Ludo in Makati was closing so all games had 20% discount when paying with cash (and 10% with card). Because of this, I ended up getting a couple of new expansions as well -Scythe The Wind Gambit and Dungeon Petz Dark Alleys. With so many new games and expansions, I need to be a bit more disciplined and not get more of them LOL. Hopefully, I get to achieve my 75% target by the end of the year. :)

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