Monday, April 16, 2007

Damascus 04/13/07

Never fear, Friday the Thirteenth did not keep people away from gaming at the Damascus Community Center. We had 23 people total:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin & Andew Fair
  • Marshall Miller
  • Philippe Hebert
  • Scott Percival
  • Scott & Carly Fisher
  • John Stup
  • Bill Trac
  • David Raley
  • Bert Feliksik
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Scott Fox, Judy & Kayla Trent
  • Lance S.
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel, & Ben Jones
When we first arrived, Marshall, Scott Percival, Corwin and Dave Fair played a few hands of Gang of Four. This is a card game similar to Tichu in that you play poker-like hands in an attempt to get all cards played first, but it has fewer kinds of cards, but more of them. It is simpler, with no passing, and no partners. David got rid if his cards first in both hands.

Next up was a 6-player game of Alhambra, using the Alhambra Dice Game as an expansion. The less said here the better. Alhambra is fun, but the dice mechanic is a bit stale and really limited your choices. Scott Percival dominated, scoring 120 points, Marshall gained second with 93 points, Scott Fisher took third with 56 points, Philippe was fourth with 55 points, David Fair with 5th with 46 points, and Carly came 6th with 28 points.

Meanwhile, Ruben and Melinda, and several others arrived, and two games got set up. the first was Thurn & Taxis: Power & Glory - this is an expansion to the base game, and offers a few more interesting choices, in game play, but at the cost of adding some time to the game. Melinda played this with Bill Trac, David Raley, and John Stup, and Bill won with 27 points, followed by David at 20, Melinda at 14, and John at 7.

Ruben joined Lance, Scott Fox, and Bert in playing the classic AP-Game (I meant Action Points, what did you think i meant?), Tikal. the game was very close in the first scoring, and the tightest finish I can recall, with only 4 points separating first and fourth. Outstanding! Ruben took the victory with 95 points, Bert was next with 94, then Lance with 93, and Scott Fox with 91.

Noreen, Andrew, Judy and Kayla played a game of Ticket To Ride with the USA 1910 expansion. Few notes on how it went, but the scores tell that Noreen came out on top with 152 points, followed by Kayla with 103, Judy with 72, and Andrew with 55. Noreen lapped her son on the score track: No mercy!

Scott Fisher joined the newly-arrived Jones' and Bert for Goldsieber's game of exploration and planning, Goldland. I like this game, it has a nice theme and the mechanics make sense for the theme. Fun to play and very pretty too look at. Carol proved to be the most successful adventurer, garnering 23 points, followed by Bert with 21, Scott with 19, and Bob with 3. Three points, Bob! What happened? Inquiring minds want to know...

The Call of The Cards was heard round the Community Center, as Noreen and Judy paired off against Ruben and Carly in none other than... Tichu. It did not go well for Noreen and Judy, with the final score being 1045 to 355. Undaunted, Noreen subbed in Melinda when Judy cried out "No Mas", and the rematch saw Ruben and Carly fall, 1055 to 545.

Bill Trac, David Raley, and John Stup setup and played what is possibly my favorite of the Carcassonne series, Carcassonne: The City. We got no reports on how the game went other than the final scores: Bill 143, David Raley 138, and John 126. How did it go, guys? What was the winning strategy?

As Goldland ended, and Judy staggered away from the Tichu table, Bob, Bert, Noreen, Judy, and Carol got together to play the finest Dice-Rolling, Finger-Flicking, Area Majority, Roll-and-Move game available, Cairo. This is a favorite in our group, and play goes like this: On your turn, roll a die, move your ship the indicated number of spaces, then attempt to send stones (cubes) off your ship to the various pyramid building sites. You can send 3 small stones (1 point each toward control of the area they end in), your single large stone (3 points toward control), or your colored die (1-6 points towards control). The caveat is that you must use the finger appropriate to the number on the die you rolled (6=your choice). If you move back down the river you may pick up stray cubes, and you can build cubes in the pyramid building areas into pyramids, in order to try to make them worth more. Fun game with some strategy, some skill, and lots of "Arrrgggghhhh" moments. On this day, Noreen was victorious with 58 points, and Bob followed with 43. Bert had 24, Judy 23, and Carol 14.

Fire & Axe started just after the Alhambra Dice game, but it was the last game of the night to fold. The game was interesting, with several paths to victory. It had a lot of decisions to make, although, ultimately, it felt as if the dice might overly help or hinder one here as well. Philippe worked hard to collect city tokens, ensuring his raiding forces got the Bloodiest Axe bonus at game end, while Scott Fox and Scott Percival tried balanced strategies of Raiding and Trading, and Marshall worked hard to Settle most prolifically. I got bad rolls, people stole what little gains I earned, and I mostly floundered for much of the game, but I had fun. Ultimately, Philippe "Scourge of Europe" Hebert's strategy paid off best, and he won with 200 points. Scott Fox was the next most feared Viking, with 135 points, Then Scott Percival, with 119, David Fair with 99, and Marshall with 95. Good game, and i can't wait to play again.

Next week (04/20), we will have some neighbors, as part of the rec center is rented out for the evening. Hope to see you there!

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