Sunday, April 22, 2007

Damascus 04/20/07

A great evening of gaming, and we had 15 people in attendance:

  • David & Noreen Fair
  • Rose Byington
  • Raphael L.
  • Scott Fox
  • Phillippe Hebert
  • Marshall Miller
  • Scott Fisher & Sarah Upwright
  • Bert Feliksik
  • Bill Trac
  • Tom & Katie McCorry
  • Ruben & Melinda Carbonell
We started off with David, Tom, Scott Fisher, Raphael, and Marshall playing a game of Quo Vadis. This is an almost pure negotiation game, with players vying for advancement in the senate. To win, one must have garnered the most laurels, and be present in the senate main chamber. this can be tough to do. In this game, Dave saw that Marshall had set himself up for easy solo entry on his next turn, and Raphael, Tom, and Scott were already there. This left only one seat, and the only hope he had of getting in took two turns to accomplish. Dave worked hard, pressing the flesh, encouraging the others not to conspire against him to keep him out, and gave away a ton of laurels in the process. It paid off, and Dave reached the chamber last, but with 23 laurels to get the victory. Scott and Tom both had 16, and Raphael and Marshall both had 13. A fun game that plays fast and gives unique gameplay.

While Quo Vadis was being played, Sarah and Katie set off for 2-player On the Underground, Philippe, Bert, and Scott Fox played Yspahan, and Noreen, Bill, Melinda, Ruben, and Rose played a game of 5-player Settlers of Catan.

Katie and Sarah ended up tied at 83 points in On the Underground. This game looks like it would be an interesting 2-player battle. I have only played it with 4 or 5. How did it play, ladies?

Meanwhile, Noreen, Ruben, Rose, Melinda, and Bill sat down to play 5-player Settlers of Catan. Bill, Ruben and Melinda had good setups and where in a dead heat for most of the game. Rose and Noreen suffered from what Noreen confesses to be poor starting positions, and lagged somewhat. Ruben had the Longest Road, and Rose had the Largest Army. It came down to the wire, with the three leaders all tied at 9 points, and Ruben upgraded a settlement to get his last point.

Yspahan plays quickly and Scott Fox taught it to Philippe and Bert. They all seemed to struggle early on, and poor Fox could not seem to gather any camels. Philippe worked on gathering gold and camels, building all of his buildings, while Bert gathered as many souk groups as he could. In the end, Bert and Philippe tied for the victory with 87 points, while the teacher with the poor dice rolling ended with only 60. I wonder what happened to Fox's much-mentioned Horseshoe?

After Quo Vadis, Tom & Scott Fisher played a game of Medici Vs. Strozzi, the game of starting with 300 dollars, and losing less than your opponent. It has an interesting auction mechanism and really translates the feel of the parent game, Medici, to a two-player form. Tom proved victorious, with 207 dollars to Scott's 105. See what I mean about losing less?

Meanwhile, David, Marshall, and Raphael were joined in a game of Imperial by Bert, Philippe, and Scott Fox. This is a terrific game that combines a wargame with a stock market game, and ownership of countries passes back and forth among the players, each trying to be in control when the country is doing well (so that they may suck out some money) and happy to relinquish control when it is doing poorly. Scott proved to be the most adept at manipulating things to his benefit, winning with 129 points. Bert was next with 114 (I made a math error at the table, and listed Bert third at the time...Sorry Bert!), followed by Dave with 113, Raphael with 99, Marshall with 93, and Philippe with 79. A great game that everyone enjoyed, though it did run a bit long.

After Underground and Medici Vs. Strozzi ended, the two groups joined together to play Die Baumeister von Arkadia, a pretty highly thought of new game from Ravensburger and Rio Grande Games. Scott was generous enough to give us this summary:

Interesting and quick playing game by Rudiger Dorn. The game is played over 2 rounds. A round ends when 10 palace pieces (side note: palace pieces are the same as Torres pieces) have been placed onto a palace square. During your turn you can either place a building in the area surrounding the palace or place any number of your playing pieces around previous constructed buildings. The buildings (ala Princes of Florence) have different sizes and shapes, and each building has an assigned color. The only other option is to cash in accumulated coins, at the end of your turn. The optional action may be done only 4 times per game. The value of each coin is determined by the number of that particular color which is displayed on top of the palace pieces at the time of scoring. Coins are collected when a building is surrounded orthogonally. The player who places the final piece that surrounds the building gets a coin from the building. Additionally, all players receive a coin for each of their own pieces which are surrounding the building. When the 20th palace piece is placed every player including the player who triggered the endgame are allowed one final turn.

Our particular game was very tense. Each of us only scored 3 times by the time the game ended. We all missed a scoring opportunity. The game was enjoyed by all. The final scores were Scott (84), Tom (76), Katie (57) and Sarah (51). Nice tight game with some very interesting options for "take that" and "push your luck" in regards to when to cash in your coins.

The Settlers Group played To Court the King next, the game was hard fought, but when Ruben managed to roll 7-6's, only Melinda had a chance, and she rolled her 8 dice, but failed to exceed his accomplishment, giving Ruben the win.

Noreen and Bill paired off against Tom and Rose for the traditional Tichu action. Despite a clash in players styles for Rose and Tom, they managed to lay down the smack on their opponents. They called the game just a bit shy of the actual end, with Tom and Rose winning 995 to 305. Ouch!

Remember, next week we are at GCOM-Middletown, and the Fisher place is ideal for gaming. We'll see you all there!

1 comment:

David Fair said...

Somehow i missed it, but there was a game of Nacht Der magier played as well. All I know is that Sarah won...