Last Monday was another big night at the Borders Cafe. Fourteen attendees, and several of our regulars weren't even there. We also were happy to see two other area gaming hosts, Todd Heidenreich from Rockville East and Cynthia Lewis from GCOM Frederick.
- Leslie Barkley
- Kevin Bealer
- Aubrey Bell
- Shannon Bell
- David Briggs
- Martha Briggs
- Rose Byington
- Todd Heidenreich
- Bob Jones
- Carol Loman
- Cynthia Lewis
- Eric Reinhold
- Bill Salvatore
- Bill Trac
I arrived at 7PM to find a game of Cartagena in full swing while Rose was getting another group set up for Ticket to Ride. In Cartagena, Eric, Cynthia, Bill Trac, Leslie and Carol vied to get their pirates onto the boat and away from the dread prison. Bill was the first to get his 6 pirates free, playing a strategy of keeping half his pirates in the first leg of the tunnel for over 2/3 of the game, using them to amass a large quantity of cards, then using that huge selection to catapult them to the end. Cynthia followed closely, with only one of her pirates left behind, two squares from freedom. All the players managed to get at least three pirates onto the boat.
I was about to join Todd for a game of Canoe when Bill Salvatore arrived and the Cartagena folk finished. So, we reformed into two groups. Leslie, Todd, Carol and I played Yspahan. Leslie had only played once and the game was new to Carol and Todd, so I took an early lead which I never lost. However, everyone caught on quickly and played quite well. I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Not to my surprise, only a couple of cubes ever made it to the Caravan. The Caravan is very powerful (some say it's the key to victory) but it's difficult to figure out how to use it until you're more familiar with the game.
Meanwhile, Cynthia, Bill Salvatore, Bill Trac, and Eric helped rebuild Blue Moon City, our most played game over the past year. Eric was the first to complete the necessary 4 offerings on the obelisk (helped greatly by managing to complete combinations of buildings that netted 7 or more crystals at once). Bill T offered three, Bill S and Cynthia both placed two.
As we were playing, I watched a young man and his Mom come to the table where my games were stacked, pick up Samurai, and start laying out the game. This happens occasionally so I went over to greet them and saw that it was Aubrey and Shannon Bell! Aubrey and Shannon have joined us a couple of times before. They're very nice people and it was a pleasure to have them back. They pretty much taught themselves the game from the rules (and an occasional tip from me) and played twice. I believe Shannon won the first game, Aubrey the second.
The Ticket to Ride game ended with Kevin and Dave Briggs tying for the longest railroad at 31 trains, but the 10 point bonus wasn't enough. Rose finished in first, followed by Martha, then Dave, then Kevin.
With all games finished, Dave, Martha, Aubrey, Shannon and I joined for On the Underground. I've played this very tactical track-laying game quite a bit lately and I really enjoy the quickness of play and the many choices you have each turn. I forewarned the others that I always try for a big loop to score lots of points and they very effectively cut me off from doing it. Unfortunately for them, I still managed to eke out a win only a couple of points ahead of Martha and everyone else in a pack. A very close game.
At the same time, Leslie, Rose, Cynthia, Bill Trac, and Kevin played the multiple-deck card game, Machiavelli. This is one of the most often played games at Cynthia's Frederick game nights. Rose won with only a few minutes left before closing.
Thanks to everyone for coming out. It was great meeting Todd and Cynthia and I'm happy the Bells were able to make it once again. See you next time!