In what was a really cool Christmas surprise, the baby got more clothes than I did. So I got lots of stuff that I wanted, including two new games:
Electric Football: (Actually, my game is called "vibrating football", don't know why they changed the name). This is a real nostalgia choice- I had it when I was a kid, and remember having a lot of fun with it, until my 2 year old sister stepped on the board, ruining it forever. It's not a great game (it's very hard to make everyone go straight), but it's fun to set the players up and turn them loose.
I don't know if it's my memory being faulty, or me being old, but we had a lot of trouble following the ball when it was kicked or passed. So much so that we had to put our hand behind the player we were passing to, to see if we felt the ball hitting the area. I seem to remember being more able to follow the flight of the ball visually. Oh well.
Le Havre One of the "hot new" games, by the guy who made Agricola, which is a game I like, for the most part. Le Havre is currently rated #7 on BoardGameGeek, and while you shouldn't take the ratings too seriously, it does mean that this game has a lot of people who really like it.
It's very similar to Agricola- on your turn, resources get produced, and you can either take a batch of a resource, or you can "do something", which usually involves going into a building that gets you a special ability. Every so often, you have to feed your people, so worrying about that serves as a drag on your point-scoring efficiency.
A big difference, though, is that Le Havre has tons of different resources (8, each with "normal" and "upgraded" sides), and the cards are more communal, so even if one person "owns" the card, it won't stop other people from being able to use the card's power for themselves (for a small fee). Compare that to Agricola, where each player gets a hand of cards that gives them individual powers when played, and if one player gets really powerful cards, or cards that form ridiculous combinations, well, they'll probably win.
The other difference is the "flow" of the game- in Agricola, you're always feeling pressured to feed your people, and that pressure increases as the game goes on (and the feeding cycles come faster, and your family gets larger, so you need more food). In Le Havre, by the middle of the game, you have enough food for the rest of the game, and you can stop worrying. In fact, some players online take this to the extreme, and basically don't worry about food much at all and just concentrate on scoring points. That may be a little extreme, but I think I like the constant struggle of Agricola better regardless.
Still, Le Havre is a pretty deep game, and one that I'd like to play again. I even spent dinner last night discussing strategy in the game with my wife, which is always a good thing :)