Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The burn of Ora and Labora

Seven this week, 3 to play Kemet and Kingdom Builder - Sam, Matt and Moritz, and 4 to play Ora and Labora, Pete, Stu, Dean and myself.

Kemet has been a regular for 3 out of 4 weeks now - everyone getting a turn at playing the new hotness. This week Sam saw off the challengers to reign supreme, Matt confessing he made some serious mistakes. A couple of games of Kingdom Builder followed with a win for Matt and one for Moritz, giving everyone a very fair and distributed win for the evening.

Pete finally got round to playing Ora and Labora which he has often been interested in playing but never quite got round to. Stu was new to the game too and after a reasonably straight forward rules session everyone got dug into figuring out just what the hell this list of buildings could possibly mean. The rules in Ora are not particularly tricky. The interplay of buildings, actions and just what to do next however is very challenging.

In fact if I think about it, Ora and Labora may just be about the most tricky and brain burny of games that I have played - and yet it looks pretty simple and cuddly at first glance.

This fact is not lost on new players - it induces much grimacing, head scratching and general despair, especially at the start of the game when the choices seem limitless. Pete managed to ask the same question no less than half a dozen times during play- where can I get whisky. On reflection he may not have been talking about the game however.

The nice thing about Ora - it doesn't punish you for not playing optimally. Unlike Agricola which can always be nipping at your heels and threatening to punish you for running out of food, Ora doesn't care. No pressure.

It's been a while since I've played this, but it was really good fun - I forgot just how cool this is, and also of course entirely forgot how to play even slightly effectively.

Dean won on some 200 points ish - a fairly clear winner 20 points ahead of everyone else.

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