Xia + the expansion
I think I might have too many boardgames.
The expansion (something something Ember something) for Xia is good, quite good, but we haven’t played Xia in maybe a couple years because Xia without the expansion is uh…not great. And because it wasn’t great (although arguably it is pretty good), it didn’t get a lot of play. So my players swam ever forward, like sharks.
We played this today but it took hours of relearning the rules, stumbling through edge case stuff, grinding through web searches for faqs and forum threads. It didn’t put us in a great mood to want to try it again. It’s not the game’s fault! If we were playing between eight or ten games, gosh, we’d know them all very well. This wouldn’t come up. And because the collection has so many genuinely great games in it, it’s very hard to rationalize investing the time to master something that might not ever prove to be great.
It’s quite a conundrum. And its leading to some real frustration among my friends.
Anyway, so Xia is a sandbox space adventure game. There are a dozen ways to earn points, you can upgrade your spaceship, you can dodge around NPC ships or go exploring or carry out missions. It’s a physically beautiful game, full of painted ships and gaudy boards. The expansion fixes just about everything we had problems with (however many years ago), and I think with regular play it wouldn’t even take that long to play. There are now more map sections, more missions, more titles, more ships, more more more.
Maybe in some alternate universe I could play several days a week and keep my hundreds of games straight in my head. I could be okay occasionally inflicting less than great games on people just for the pleasure of the journey. The opportunity cost of free adulthood time would not be so high.