Today, NatureBoy and I played two games that were new to us; PowerGrid in the morning, and Wiz-War this afternoon. We enjoyed them both, but Wiz-War was much more fun.
PowerGrid is a "euro-game" where players take turns purchasing power plants and power commodities, and powering cities to create income. To play successfully, you have to balance three resources. It was more of a strategy and math puzzle, which was fun in a kind of academic way. In our session, the really expensive power plants came up for auction early,and one player managed to buy the larger wind-power plants. This allowed him to use his money money strictly for buying cities.
The game ended a little earlier than expected. NB did a good job selecting his power plants, but misunderstood the winning conditions. He was kind of frustrated, but was a good sport. I enjoyed it, but I think I like Settlers of Cattan better. I would play it again, though.
Our afternoon game was Wiz-War, and it was a blast. Here’s the description from the convention book:
B35 Wiz War Classic (GM: Earl Waters Table: TH) Play the cult classic Wiz-War game. Wiz-War is a card and board game of dueling wizards and treasure-stealing. Each player represents a wizard who starts the game with two treasures and seven cards that allow the wizard to cast spells. Each wizard battles the other wizards by casting spells and trying to steal two of the opponent’s treasures to win the game. You can also win by eliminating the other wizards. Cast cool spells like fireballs, waterwalls, and the dreaded "It" spell on your opponents or turn invisible, create monsters, or even affect the board game itself to win. Try this magic mayhem on a custom made 3-D game board with movable (and removable) walls, wizards, monsters, and spell effects. 2-6 players. No experience necessary. (2-6 Players) (Saturday 1pm-5pm)
The 3-D game board consists of six maze sections cast from molds by Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture (and some instructions for making a Wiz War board and accessories) , and beautifully painted (inked, actually); it was gorgeous. I took pictures, but I don’t have the USB cable for my camera : , so I’ll post them later. Each of the wall and door sections can be rearranged, and some game actions caused this to happen. The six square maze sections can be re-arrange, either swapped or rotated, as some cards would indicate.
Each player controls a Wizard, with a home maze section, and two treasures, all color-coded. To win the game, a player must either capture two rival wizards’ treasures or eliminate all the other wizards. On her turn, a wizard can move and use card from her hand to attack, cast spells and create effects. In some ways, the game reminded me of a Ravensburger maze game, the Amazing Labyrinth. The GM mentioned that the game rules and cards sets were available for free online. I will have to look into that. It was a lot of fun and I’d like to play again.