GAMING NEWS: The Secret of A-1 Alchemy (7-19-2006)!
This past Wednesday Dick, Kimbo and I got together at A-1 Comics on Sunrise (as we do almost every week) and played a game... it was a longer game so we only got that game in. Dave Story managed to show up for a little, but had to leave later.
The game we played was:
And we had a good time.
The game reminded me in many ways of other card-drafting, resource bidding and set-building games such as Thurn & Taxi or Ticket To Ride, but it added a lot of complication to the "card" theme. Each turn had eight parts and the biggest gambit was in how you used your special cards called "mysteries." Unfortunately, a good number of the special cards were worded poorly or were only good when used in such a way as they disadvantaged the user as much as his opponents. I'm not a big proponents of games where I have a choice of hosing myself or hosing myself.
Most of all, the biggest shortcoming of the game was the length it took to play... We started early in the evening (probably around 5:00pm) and didn't end until late in the evening (almost 9:00pm). While I had a good time thanks to Dick and Kimbo, I felt that the playing the game wasn't a good use of my limited gaming time. I get alot more out of other games in the same amount of time.
Oh, and Mazel Tov to Dick on his victory! Well played!
And that remined me of another "alchemy" themed game that I have in my collection:
I'll have to bring Theophrastus to the next meet this upcoming Wednesday. It has many of the same game mechanics but the special cards are better designed and the set collecting is more dynamic. The sense of background and story is also greater with Theophrastus than Ars Mysteriorum.
And although it will sound silly, all of the apprentice pawns in Ars Mysteriorum resembled lawn gnomes and that kept me from taking the game very seriously.
Who wouldn't prefer the mortar and pestle of Theophrastus to the lawn gnomes of Ars Mysteriorum?
Oh, and if you really have a thing for gnomes, check out this site:
And if you're one of those "political activist" types, help the poor oppressed garden gnomes here:
Bottom line: I wouldn't recommend Ars Mysteriorum. I would recommend Theophrastus.
Have a great day!
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