The night was cool and clear, and a nice one for gaming. Many in the group went up to Game Days, but we still had 12 gamers in attendance:
- David, Noreen, Andrew and Corwin Fair
- Lance S.
- Raphael L.
- Melinda Carbonell
- Bill Trac
- Dan Hucker
- Philippe Hebert
- Rose Byington
- Marshall Miller
- The Great Chili Cookoff
- Pillars of the Earth
- Puerto Rico
- Power Grid (France Map)
- To Court the King
- Tichu (4 games)
As others arrived, it seemed a good time for Lance's earlier suggestion, Showmanager. Rose, David, Marshall, Lance, Dan, and Melinda all played. Rose absolutely crushed us all, getting excellent cards and carefully spending her money. The final scores were: Rose 58, Dan 41, Marshall 37, Dave 34, Melinda 29, Lance 23.
While Showmanager was getting going, Raphael, Noreen, and Philippe played a quick game of To Court the King. This game has been described as Yahtzee: the Gathering, and that is fairly apt. I got to see the prototype expansion that Tom Lehmann was working on while I was at the Gathering, and it looks like it will be a nice set of alternate and additional cards. I hope it comes out this year. Raphael won this game, having acquired the King by rolling 8-5's and holding off the other two who both tried to roll 8-6's but were unable to make it happen.
Raphael, Philippe, and Bill then played a game of Pillars of the Earth. No game notes, but the final score was recorded as Raphael 61, Bill 52, Philippe 46.
Marshall (seat 1), Dan (seat 2), David (seat 3), and Lance (seat 4) then set off for Puerto Rico. It was Dan's first play, and he did very well with a Factory-focussed strategy, combined with the Guild Hall. Marshall had money problems but used a Residence-Hacienda-Construction Hut in nice combination. Lance did a quarry-ship-build game, and David focussed on shipping, with a Harbor/Customs House setup to complement his tobacco. Final scores were all very good and were (Buildings/Shipping/Bonuses): David 54 (16/31/7), Dan 44 (18/20/6), Marshall 41 (18/15/8), Lance 38 (17/14/7).
Tichu began during Puerto Rico, right after Pillars ended, and Raphael and Philippe played a 2-player game of Power Grid on the France map. This was Philippe's first game, and it looks like it was a good one, as he was eager to try it again after Puerto Rico was over, but we couldn't get a quorum. Raphael won when the 21st city was built, as he could power 18 cities to Philippe's 16. Power Grid plays best with more players, but the 2-player game can be an interesting game occasionally.
Over at the Tichu table, Noreen and Bill played 2 games against Rose and Melinda. In the first game Noreen and Bill made 4 successful Tichu Calls, while setting the other pair twice to win 1005 to 285. In game two The unstoppable juggernaut of Noreen and Bill went 1-2 with a Tichu Call 3 hands in a row to win the game in only 4 hands, 1000-100. Ouch!
Dan joined on for some Tichu next, when Melinda had to leave, and he hooked up with Bill to beat Noreen and Rose in 2 straight games 1045-455, and 1000-300. At first Dan was tentative, not quite remembering the rules, but after a few hands he started calling Tichu quite a bit, with a very high success rate.
Meanwhile, Dave and Marshall were joined by Philippe and Raphael for a game of Imperial. It was a great game, very closely matched and with excellent play by all players. In the end it was Austria-Hungary that advanced to 25 spaces, and the yellow chips were all over the south of the board, even as far as Spain and Algiers! Final scores were (AH/IT/FR/GB/DE/RU/$$), Raphael 156 (60/52/6/1/5/12/20), Marshall (45/60/12/2/3/16/6), David (50/24/27/4/3/32/1), and Philippe (25/8/24/5/4/52/0). Excellent game, everyone.
We had a great week, and I learned that I need to remember to throw a few 2-player games in the bag, so we are better prepared for those times when shifting start and stop times leave 2 people hanging for a bit. See you next week!