Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 1

Day one is over...

We left the house around 9:30 and drove here stopping only for gas and meals. Arrived around 5:30 after a bit of a mix-up finding the hotel. I had not printed directions, and we made 1 wrong turn, backtracked eventually, then found our way. Not bad...

After checking in and getting settled, we went back and got the games we brought, and took them down to the con hall. I wasn't in the room 30 seconds before a lumbering Ted Alspach grabbed me and asked if I would join him and Valerie in a game of Age of Steam - they had a prototype copy of the new Mayfair version. We played the game 3 player, and it was pretty good, though in many ways, it felt simply like a new map with a set of variant rules. Much of the normal tension was gone. I suspect that this sill go over well with non AOS fans, and not so good with AOS fans...

Went to dinner with the family, and then headed back to the game room while the kids went swimming with their cousins. Dan Blum invited me to join him and Tom Hilbert (who works for Hans im Gluck) in a game of Wikinger, and Tyler Putnam joined us. After a typically Gathering-esque confusing rules explanation, made all the more fun by the fact that Tom is not a native English speaker and he has a heavy German accent, we got down to play.

Wikinger has some interesting mechanisms, and we played the game and it was OK, but Tom explained the advanced options after the game was over, and we all felt they would have added a lot of depth to the game. In the basic game, luck overshadowed planning a bit too much.

After that, it was two games of Tichu, in which I got spanked (hard) once, but lost both times. I did make 2 grand Tichu calls, and made both of them (A-A-K-K-5-5-Dragon-Dog was my hand in one, and A-A-A-K-Q-Dragon-Phoenix-forget was my hand in the other) scores were 1035 to 35 and 1065 to 835. Ah the joys of getting great cards when you are desperately behind.

Went to bed around 3, after sitting around and shooting the shit for a while, rose at 9am. Noreen is already on a plane to see her family, and my kids will be joining their cousins and heading off to Indiana in a few hours.

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