Replayable Blog A Race, a Marathon, and a Mistake

A Race, a Marathon, and a Mistake

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A race, a marathon, and a mistake. That sums up game night.

A racing game with Odin's birds

The evening got off to an early start with David teaching me Odin’s Ravens (Second Edition). We started out thinking it was going to be quick to learn. The game features the two eponymous birds racing around Midgard, which is represented by 16 cards set out in a line. The cards depict terrain types on their top and bottom halves. One raven races clockwise, the other anti-clockwise.

Players have their own deck of terrain cards. Playing a terrain card that matches the next step for your raven allows you to move through as many consecutive cards of that terrain, stopping on the last one. To make things more interesting you also have a deck of trickery cards (Loki!). These allow you to do mischievous things with the terrain cards, making your race easier or your opponent’s more difficult.

David and I quickly ran into every edge case conceivable! We were unable to finish our game before Greg and Paul arrived. We cleared the table. I look forward to trying this one again.

Drawing track segments on the map in Iron Dragon

Game Two

We quickly moved on to the main event: Iron Dragon! After recording the third episode of the podcast, I wanted to try a modern crayon rail game. I played Dampfross once in 2015, and several games of Rail Baron back in antiquity.

You pay for train track segments and then draw them on the map using dry-erase markers. Or grease pencils in this case, which clean up better. Pick up goods, make deliveries, earn money, and buy more track. This went on for three hours, not including the time it took to learn the game.

The winner is the player who earns $250 in money and whose network is connected to seven of the eight major cities on the map. There is even an underground city because the game is set in a fantasy world. Both Greg and Paul accomplished this feat in the same round. Greg won by just $5!

This is where mistakes were made. I should have called it an evening here.

Game Three

Instead we pushed ourselves to the limit, which was appropriate for our last game of the evening! We played on the UK track with its brutal, quick curves. I started in third place and didn’t pay attention to the weather at the first turn. I had to pay an extra heat. Then I boosted to make the next turn. More heat spent.

I navigated the dangerous sections carefully. The rest of the field caught up to me. Then my hand gummed up with heat cards before the straightaway. I downshifted to second gear while the rest of the pack sped off. I managed to stave off a last place finish, and I am paying the price this morning!

Heat: Pedal to the Medal game cover
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