A brief mention of some recent board games:
A group of us played Talisman again last night. It was much faster and smoother the second time through and we opted to play with some of the 'alternate rules' for faster play. Even so, it took nearly 3 hours, but that could largely be due to the fact that we had 6 players. It was an amusing and enjoyable game. However, i've decided the game is a good 50% luck - as poor Robb and Llama couldn't get a break, yet i somehow managed to defeat ogres and dragons as a lowly thief (I think i used up all my board game luck for the next 3 years in that game. Seriously.). Oh yeah - it should also be noted that we've played this game twice, and Robb has been turned into a frog 3 times. Hehe.
Sheri and I spent some time this afternoon learning to play Pillars of the Earth - a game that my sister got us a *long* time ago and we'd yet to pull out. In this game, you play master builders each trying to contribute most to the grand cathedral being built. To do this, you send workers to gather wood, sand and stone and hire skilled craftsmen to make the most of your resources. Some other elements in the game (some predictable, some not) make these tasks easier or harder. We've only played it half a time (we only made it to round 3/6), but it was cool and i look forward to playing it again.
In other news, I saw a game called Agricola at Hobbytown a while back. I've not played it yet, but as i understand it, you basically start out with a family of two on a small homestead, and as you produce resources, you're able to expand your population, capacity, etc. I'd not heard of it, but i thought it looked really cool. I've since heard from some others that it's been very highly rated and some people i know who have played it say it is indeed most enjoyable. This is on my list of games to play.