Gloomhaven as usual
Auztralia, a cooperative game where you’re still trying to win as a player. You’re in Australia, expanding out across the outback and fighting Old Ones. On your turn, you can build railroads, mine resources, recruit military units, put down a farm, take a personality card, import/export resources, recruit military units, and attack. For each option, you place one of your cubes. To do an action again, you have to pay 1 gold for each cube you already have there. You start with a home port tile on the coast, if this is destroyed, you all lose. At first its only player turns, without any interference from the Old Ones. Each action takes a certain amount of time. After all the players discs on the time track pass the purple disc, the Old Ones start taking turns. A facedown unit is flipped, revealing which Old One it is, and then it starts moving towards the nearest farm to take it over. Old Ones can range from a basic zombie, up to that old rascal, Cthulhu himself (itself?). In attack, you have various units: soldiers, armoured cars, artillery, armoured trains, and airships. Each type of military unit has a degree of effectiveness against an Old One type, from poor to good. Each unit also has a off-track range, which is how far from a railway they can be to attack. Unfortunately when you start an attack you don’t know what you’re fighting, and it costs extra time to take different types of unit. Once you begin an attack, you start drawing cards, which will show which units will do damage against the current enemy (if any), and how much damage they do back to you (if any). You can also lose sanity during battles. Its a bit of push your luck, do you risk having a unit destroyed? If you withdraw, damaged units are healed, and you get all your sanity back. And you could attack again of course.
It took us all afternoon to play, none of us had played before (although the owner of the game had watched a video or two). Its not a difficult game to pick up. Choose an action, move enemies around. I’d play again, now we have a better idea. Most of the enemy cards seemed to be “activate the lowest hex”, so we would probably stay away from those hexes during initial placement. It also seemed a bit easy, I’d play the fully cooperative version next time if I had the choice (you start closer to the Old Ones marker on the time track, so have less time to prepare). Also you get to share railway networks and resources.
Ganz Schon Clever - this is becoming my favourite roll and write game. I even got a work mate playing it on the browser version. Bit more fun with actual people, even tho its pretty much multiplayer solitaire. You do have to be aware of what dice you give to the other players.