Thursday, June 28, 2007

Damascus 06/22/07

We had 17 in attendance, and we all set off for different corners of the globe...

  • Kevin Bealer
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Rose Byington
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • David and Noreen Fair
  • Bert Feliksik
  • Philippe Hebert
  • Raphael
  • Marshall Miller
  • Rick Pasquale
  • David Raley
  • Lance Slifka
  • Bill Trac
  • Jennifer Weinstein
Rick, Bert, Jennifer, David Raley and I started a whirlwind trip around the world with a game of Die Dracheninsel. between the poorly formatted rules translation, my poor memory, and the length of time since I had last played it, we got so much of it wrong that what we really played was a game that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Die Dracheninsel. Rick won with 815 points, followed by Bert with 625, David Raley with 540, Me with 450, and Jennifer with 150.

Philippe, Rose, Noreen and Bill played the dice-rolling, worm-eating, domino-collecting game, Pickomino. Phillippe (9) won, followed by Bill (6), Noreen (3), and Rose (2).

Bill, Raphael, Lance, Rose and Marshall set off for the bright lights and fast action that epitomizes Vegas, playing one of the best euro-american hybrid games of the last year, Vegas Showdown. I really like this game, and we don't play it often enough. Combining tile play, Amun-Re style auctions, and a decent theme makes for a very nice game that plays in the right amount of time and offers some fun challenges. Bill won (62) in a tiebreaker over Raphael (62), followed by Lance (55), who brought some really nice looking chips to use with the game, and Rose (45) and Marshall (43) whose Amish upbringing hampered him in Sin City.

Ruben, Jennifer, Melinda, and Rick then set about playing Qwirkle. It was the first play for both Melinda and Jennifer, but Ruben (129) won the abstract tile-laying game, beating Rick (125), Melinda (91) and Jennifer (79).

Meanwhile, across the pond, Philippe was playing On the Underground with David and Martha Briggs. they worked together to build the London Subway system, and Philippe (56) ensure he was recognized as the greatest bloody engineer alive, followed in prowess only by martha (45) and David B (42).

In the southern half of the new world, David Raley, Bert and I tackled the jungles of Tikal. We had an excellent game that i felt was much closer than the score indicate. David Raley (131) proved the most intrepid of explorers, helped by his easy sole possession of 3 temples in one corner. Bert (102) and I (121) just couldn't get close!

6 Nimmt! was firing up in Pamplona, with Kevin, Ruben, Noreen, Jennifer, Melinda, and Rick each trying to outwith each other, and the bulls. Melinda (31) proved adept at dodging the horns, with Kevin (35) only a little less able. Rick (55) showed he still has it, and Ruben (58) had just barely enough of the right stuff. Jennifer (60) teetered, but Noreen (96) showed them all how to get impaled with panache!

Martha and David Briggs got David Raley into a game of Yspahan, and the three set off for the caravans and shops of the Silk Road. David Briggs scored an impressive 87, followed by Martha's 81, and David Raley's 55. This is all the more impressive when you consider that neither had ever played before. Which, considering how much we seem to play this, is pretty impressive itself.

Notre Dame, that haven for rats and den of easily bribed city officials was the next stop on the world tour, this time for our players Lance, Raphael, Bill and Marshall. Lance (50) proved most adept at gathering prestige and avoiding getting burned at the stake. Bill (48) followed in his footsteps, and Raphael (47) avoided the fate of Marshall (47, but lost on tiebreaker to Raphael), who was disfigured and force to ring the bell and cry out for Sanctuary. We will miss him.

Also in France, Bert, Rose, Philippe and I stopped in at the small border village of Caylus Magna Carta to aid King Philip the fair in building up another castle and surrounding town. I really like this game, and it plays much faster than the full version of Caylus, while maintaining much of the feel and the theme, yet it still feels fresh. Well done Mssr. Attia! Philippe (31) and Rose (31) were recognized for their many contributions, but David used his great stores of gold to ensure that he was allowed to marry the kings daughter (35) and Bert (27) was given the job of town jester.

Heading off to Moscow, Ken and Ruben were joined by Noreen, Jennifer, Melinda, and Rick, as they searched for spies left out in the cold, in a game of Top Secret Spies. They ran about town, looking for clues and trying to determine who the others were working for, but Rick (43) was wily to the end, besting Kevin (37), Ruben (37), and Melinda (37), Jennifer (30) and both Noreen (29) and her double (28). It appears they may have played without the action cards, as these add a lot to the game, but no one was very enthused about it afterwards.

What was left but to head to China and play Tichu? Rick and Ruben (1165) paired off against Noreen and Melinda (335), and showed the ladies that in Red China, the men rule, while the Killer Bees (Bill and Bert - 1000) made Kevin and Rose (600) work in the rice paddies to earn enough for the plane ride home.

Finally, Rapheal, Marshall, and David Fair, set off for the shores of Scandinavia, to explore the homeland of the Vikings. Marshall (55) led after the first big scoring, and Rapheal (55) after the second, but David (58) took many of the end game bonuses to end up with the highest score after the final scoring. This is a fun game that combines a unique auction method with the viking theme, set collection mechanisms, and tile-laying to make a good solid game for 3-4 players.

Have a great week, see you at Middletown on the 29th!


Lance said...

Actually, I didn't bring the chips to the game for Vegas Showdown. I assumed they were yours. But I did place an order for it on Tanga. Can't pass a deal like that. I'm just not sure about the other game that comes with it.

David Fair said...

Nexus ops is really quite good. Its a light 2-4 player wargame with a sci-fi theme. Think Axis & Allies meets Twilight Imperium, but playable in about 45 minutes.