Saturday, February 10, 2007

Damascus 02/09/2007

Scott Percival Wrote:

Yet another great night of gaming. I especially enjoyed mixing some ping-pong and pool in with the boardgaming. I also really enjoyed Pillars of the Earth (?), even if I didn't get to actually build a real model cathedral. I had so much fun I feel guilty not paying...
Lance Slifka Wrote:
My thoughts exactly. Another great gaming session. I certainly had a blast. I really enjoyed playing Pillars of the Earth twice this week. I thought the theme was so good that I looked into reading the book. You can buy it off of Amazon for only a penny! But then I saw it was a thousand pages long, so I'm having second thoughts about that:)
David Comments...
Pillars of the Earth has a great theme, and looks just terrific; very visually appealing. the German text is a bit annoying, but since all cards are public is less of a problem than it could be. One of my new favorite games. If you haven't read the book, I can recommend it too, despite the length it is very engaging and tells a great, epic tale.
We had another great week, with an amazing turnout. 23 gamers gathered and played 14 different games, a total of 17 times.

Roll call: David, Noreen, Corwin and Andrew; Bob, Carol, Ben and Rachel; Scott and Judy; Melinda and Ruben; Scott and Sarah; John, Rose, Bryan, Dan, Rick, Scott P, Lance, Marshall, and Bill.

Games played: Go, Bamboleo (x2), Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome, Tichu (x3), For Sale, Pillars of the Earth (Die Saulen Der Erde), Commands & Colors: Ancients, Ra, Babel, Blue Moon City (with the expansions), Saint Petersburg (with the expansion), and Can't Stop. Also in the mix: Pool & Ping-Pong.

Here is what I did get recorded:

The game night started with David and Andrew playing a few quick games of Go on a 9x9 board. Andrew has started asking me to teach him to play, his interest growing thanks to his reading the manga Hikaru No Go, about a young boy who becomes a Go master thanks in part to the ghost of his great-great-grandfather, who teaches him to play. Andrew and I will play more in the coming days and weeks I am sure.

Scott Percival and Ruben arrived, and Andrew took off to play with his brother. Scott and Ruben setup Bamboleo and Bryan and I joined. We played 4 rounds, getting a bit better each round. I lost track of the scores other than to report that I came in last.

John, Scott Fisher, Sarah, Rose, Marshall and Melinda arrived.

Scott setup the new Kosmos Catan Histories Game, Struggle for Rome, and he was joined by John, Bryan and Marshall in the defense of the Empire from the invading hordes of barbarians. Some rules problems and unfamiliarity with the game made it much longer than expected, and Bryan was able to prevail, earning the envy of the other senators.

Meanwhile, The Chicks--Noreen, Rose, Sarah, and Melinda, that is--setup to play, what else, Tichu. I have no report on who won... Anyone care to enlighten us?

Bob and Carol arrived with Rachel and Ben, and Rick and Dan were close behind. A new-to-Damascus gamer joined us, Bill, and many of us had met him earlier in the week when he came to Germantown.

Rick, Dan and Bill tried a couple of rounds of Bamboleo, but things did not appear to be going too well... I am not sure if they kept score or not. Any report guys?

Ben, Carol, Dan, Bill and Rick setup to play For Sale. Again, no winner or information. Please let us know how it went.

Ruben, Scott Percival and Dave were getting set to play Pillars of the Earth (Die Saulen Der Erde), and Lance arrived just in time to make it 4. We set off, using our workers, craftsmen, and Master Builders to build the Cathedral at Kingsbidge. I was able to acquire a good supply of Metal, and get Prior Philip on my side, but I never could find a competent worker for my metal, and I ended up selling it off and buying stone, as I had good workers there.
Meanwhile, Lance was working his carpenters hard and capitalizing on his early craftsman that gave victory points every round, and Ruben was able to flexibly manipulate his men each round, taking good advantage of the cards available. Scott maximized his efforts to acquire a lot of resources, and was able to work his men hard, and he took good advantage of several of the townspeople to continue with his strategy.
The end came rather suddenly, and when all was said and done, Lance eked out a narrow victory.
This is a terrific game that really follows the flow of the book well, and having read the book, I get a great deal of enjoyment from the game. Even those who have not read it found it very good. Might be my favorite of 2006.

In other parts of the room, Rick and Scott Fox played Commands & Colors: Ancients, and then Babel. No word on which scenario, or who was vanquished by whom...

Rick Says:
The Command and Colors scenario that Scott and I played was Ticinis River. In this setting Hannibal and the Carthaginians (who I played) have a superior force of light and heavy calvary against medium calvary, infantry and trowers from the Romans.

After initially getting overextended with a couple of light calvary units that I quickly lost, the tide gradually turned with the Carthaginians crushing the Romans at the end, aided by a command card that allowed six calvary units to move & fight in the same turn, with the heavy calvary also getting a bonus of extra distance. Even without that coup de grace card, I think it would be very difficult for the Romans to win this set-up unless the cards really when their way.

Thanks again to Scott for teaching me both C&C Ancients and Babel.
Bob, Bill, Judy and Dan were setting up Ra, and i joined them, While Scott Percival, Lance and Ruben headed off for the pool tables. Ra went well, and Bill had a terrific second round which catapulted him to a stellar victory in his first game.

After pool, Scott P and Ruben faced off against Lance and Rose in another game of Damascus' Unofficial Official Game, Tichu... I have a feeling that Ruban and Scott won, but I am not certain of that...

Bob, Bill, Noreen and Judy played Blue Moon City, which Bob won with judicious use of the teleporting expansion tile, to get to the obelisk with a surplus of crystals and build several levels at once.

Bob Writes:
I believe Rick won For Sale quite handily.

That's not exactly how I won my awesome victory in Blue Moon City (one turn ahead of Judy). After I built my third part of the Obelisk, on the next turn I teleported to the teleport tile, built the whole thing using all my cards and winning a large number of crystals, and then used its special power to teleport back to the Obelisk. Next turn I built my fourth part of the Obelisk and won the game. Had I not been able to get to the tile and back in two turns, I would have lost to Judy who was very close to winning. It was a good game, well played by everyone.

I am really enjoying the increased space of the rec center. All in all, the change has been easy and comfortable.
Dan, Bryan, Marshall and I set off to play Saint Petersburg, with the banquet expansion. The game was well-played on all fronts, though I was able to secure victory, thanks in no small part to my early mistress and a mid-game observatory.

Marshall, Bob, Bryan and I then played a rousing game of Can't Stop, which seesawed back and forth, but left Bob just needing a 2, a 12, or a 9 to get the win, and the 9 made it happen. It was very close, and there were a number of turns that gave the players crap-outs on their first roll!

In the final game of the night, Scott Fox, and Judy, faced Tichu Newbie Bill and Noreen in a game of Tichu, and Noreen and Bill went 1-2 in four consecutive hands to snatch victory away!

It was a terrific night. They just keep getting better and better.
We'll see you next week!

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