Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 2007 Recap

July had 3 sessions at Germantown, and all-too-rare treat, as well as our sessions at Damascus and Middletown. Take note that Brunswick makes it's long-awaited return this month, on the third Saturday (August 18th). So, what did we play in July? Let's take a look:

Game Qty
Caylus Magna Carta3
Arkham Horror2
Blue Moon City2
Category 52
Circus Flohcati2
Duel in the Dark2
Fury of Dracula2
Outside the Scope of BGG2
Age of Steam1
Age of Steam Expansion
- 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California
Arkham Horror - Dunwich Horror Expansion1
Ave Caesar1
Balloon Cup1
Bean Trader1
Blue Moon City: Expansion Tile Sets 1 & 21
Carcassonne: The City1
Great Wall of China1
Heave Ho!1
Hollywood Blockbuster1
Keep Cool1
Modern Art1
Munchkin Cthulhu1
Pegs and Jokers1
Rat Hot1
San Juan1
Tanz der Hornochsen1
Ticket to Ride1
Ticket to Ride: USA 19101
Unpublished Prototype1
Villa Paletti1
Web of Power1

There were, as you can see, 39 different games that were played only once. In total, we played 55 different games 78 times, and 4 expansions once each. The expansions were: Ticket to Ride USA 1910, the Blue Moon City Expansion tiles, the Arkham Horror - Dunwich Horror expansion, and the 1830's Pennsylvania map for Age of Steam.

Also, the entry for "Outside the Scope of BGG" is for the game Einfach Genial: Knobelspass, and the entry for "Unpublished Prototype" is for John Weber's game, "Gold Medal Figure Skating".

Germantown 07/30/07

We had a light crowd, and played several good games. In attendance:

  • David & Andrew Fair
  • Leslie Barkley
  • Eric Reinhold
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Bill Trac
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Carol Loman
  • Kevin Bealer
We started out by splitting into two groups. the first played Pegs & Jokers, and the second Zooloretto.

Pegs & Jokers is a game where players play cards to move pegs around a racetrack, hoping to be the first to get all their pegs back home. Players play in partnerships, and in this game, first-timer Carol and Bill T. partnered against newcomer Bill S. and Leslie. No notes on how it went, but Carol and Bill T. ended up victorious.

Meanwhile Andrew, Eric, and Dave played the new Spiel des Jahres winning Zooloretto. In this games players try to collect sets of animals to fill the pens in their zoo, while avoiding having too many animals in the barns. I have to say that I liked it much more here with 3 players than when I played it previously (with 5). Andrew was unstoppable, and scored 38 points, followed by Eric with 32, and me with 31.

Around this time, David & Martha and Kevin arrived, so we setup a 6-player game of Tanz Der Hornochsen, while a game of Tichu broke out at the other table.

Tanz der Hornochsen is the board game version of the 6 Nimmt! card game. It last a little (in this case, a lot) longer but it gives a few more decision points, and some new kinds of decisions. the game see-sawed back and forth, with players going up and down in large point swings, right up until we ended. The final scores (low scores are better) were: Kevin (38), Martha (40), Andrew (41), David B, (43) David F. (56), Eric (60).

Tichu is the card game o choice at GCOM-Damascus, but I think this might be the first time it was played at Germantown. A full game was not attempted, but they did play 4 hands, keeping the same partners from Pegs & Jokers. The score after 4 hands was Leslie & Bill S. 125 and Carol & Bill T. 375.

The final two games of the night, Ticket to Ride (with the USA 1910 expansion) and Caylus Magna Carta both had to be called before they ended when the store closed. We did not capture score from either game (TTR players: Bill S., Bill T., David B., Martha; CMC Players David F. Kevin, Leslie, Eric).

Next week will be the first Monday of the month, so we hope to see you there!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Middletown 07/27/07

I am guest-posting for Scott as his schedule is somewhat chaotic at the moment... We had a nice crowd, including several regulars and a few first-timers:

  • Scott Fisher & Sarah Upwright
  • Steve & Noah Meyers
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Chris Trimmer
  • David, Corwin, & Andrew Fair
  • Scott & Liz Percival
  • Philippe Hebert
  • Jason Cheng
  • John Weber
  • Rose Byington
  • Marshall Miller
  • Steve Lollis
First up was a six-player game of Alhambra. There are those who complain that there is not enough control in a 6-player game, but we found it fun. There was a lot of contention right from the start for the green and purple tiles, and walls were a big factor for most in the early scoring. In the end, it looked like this: Liz 52, Steve M. 59, Chris 61, Scott F, 64, David 67, Scott P 72.

While we were playing Alhambra, John (German team) arrived and began setting up his prized copy of Tour. He was joined in the Tour de France style racing game by Philippe (French team), Rose (USA), Jason (Italy) and Bryan (Holland). In Tour, each player controls a team of racers and competes to score best overall, meaning that you can have a racer win, but if another player does well in the finishing order, they can win the game by outscoring you. this is exactly what happened, with Rose (USA) winning on points despite not winning the race. John (Germany) was second, Philippe (France) third, followed by Bryan (Holland) and Jason (Italy), who suffered 3 miserable crashes, and was unable to recover.

After everyone had a shot at the chili Sarah had prepared, I induced Steve & Noah, Andrew, Scott P, and Marshall to join me in a game of Arkham Horror (with the Dunwich Horror expansion). We seemed to do OK as an investigatory group, but as the game progressed, we found we could not seal all the gates in time and we decided to face Hastur, the King in Yellow.

Fighting Hastur eventually drives you mad, but we all stood in the breach and gave it our best. Philippe (who had taken over for Noah when he had to leave) was the first to fall, and then Marshall, followed by Scott P and Andrew. Rose (playing for Steve) and I were left, and while she was dealing copious damage, I had more sanity, thanks to a rejuvenation spell I cast. In the end, we were all driven insane, and Hastur was unleashed on the world, but we had done 73 of 78 points of damage to him, so we only hope that there were others left in Arkham who could stop him...

Chris, Liz, Scott F., and Sarah played Zooloretto next. This time, they use all the pieces. :) the game is light, and decently fun, with many small but tough decisions guiding the game. Chris managed his park well, scoring 25 points, and Sarah was close behind (20). Liz scored 18, and Scott F 16. They played again after Steve L. arrived, and the scores for game 2 showed that Scott can learn: Scott F 25, Liz 23 Chris 22, Sarah 20, and Steve L. 19.

John had a prototype game and convinced Sarah, Liz, and Bryan to join him for "Gold Medal Figure Skating". I can't make out the notes too well, but it seems that Sarah performed an amazing quad axle John wiped out on a triple lutz, but Bryan's Artistic Merit was what won him the gold. John earned the silver, Sarah the bronze, and Liz the, I dunno, aluminum?

Jason joined Chris, Steve L, and Scott F for a game of Colosseum. They played with the "Intense Auctions" variant, and I heard a lot of trading going on. It seems that no one wants those ships, though... Jason proved the most entertaining arena owner, scoring 97 points, followed by Steve L (85), Chris (84) and Scott F (83). A very close game!

The final game to end was a great game of Age of Steam. We played on Ted Alspach's 1830's Pennsylvania map, which is usually pretty kind to first timers. It has some ways of making great amounts of money by shipping coal for double you locomotive length, or for double link value, depending on how you work it. In the end, experience paid off, and David (80) won, followed by Marshall (61), Philippe (56) and Rose (46). This was the first play for both Rose and philippe, and they both did very well in what can be a truly difficult, and cutthroat, game.

That is all, see you here in Middletown again next month on the last Friday, and before that, at Germantown and/or Damascus.

Good Gaming!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Damascus 07/20/07

Twenty-one people in attendance:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin & Andrew Fair
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Steve & Noah Meyers, & Dennis Wang
  • David Raley
  • Rick Pasquale
  • Lance Slifka
  • Bill Trac
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Jennifer, Justin, & Seth Weinstein
  • Kevin Bealer
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • John Stup
  • Leslie Barkley
David Raley, Noreen and I were just about to start a 3-player game of Bohnanza when Lance and Marshall walked in and joined us, to make it 5. It was an excellent game, very close with lots of trading and donating going on. Still no expansions, but honestly... we are having so much fun with the base game, it doesn't matter. Final scores were Marshall 11, David R. 15, Noreen & Lance tied at 16, and 17 for David F.

Meanwhile, Steve and Bryan arrived and played the new Z-Man game, Duel in the Dark, not once but twice, switching sides for the second game. they each won one round, when playing as the UK. Steve scored 2, but Bryan scored 20, so I think we have to give the overall win to Bryan here. Duel in the dark is a 2-player air-combat game (rules for solo play are included). The components are over-the-top, and the gameplay has achieved very good initial ratings. there is an excellent review over at BGG, which is summed up thusly:
This game is a 9 in my book, and could easily become a 10 in the next few plays. I love the graphics, the pieces, the ease of getting new players into a basic game, the options with the weather....the ability to scale the game based on how much time you have (we played 3 nights yesterday because we had a timeslot of 2.5 hours. How many other games can do that easily?) Despite some bad cards, an insert I had to put together myself, some lumbering rules....I enjoy this title very much. I can recommend this to anyone looking for a light game about World War II or to anyone who likes a two player game and doesn't mind the War theme.
Next, Noreen taught Justin, Martha, and David Briggs how to take your steer surfing, in the card game Cowabunga. It wasn't until the next day when Noreen was explaining to me how to play that I recognized that this game was a redevelopment of one I had picked up at Essen a few years ago, Fettnapf in Sicht. The game was good, but the theme and artwork was a little off putting, so it is good to see that this was re-done, and this time, with cows.

In the game, players play cards to add or subtract from the current score, looping back and forth from 0 to 30. the trick is that you want to avoid hitting a total another player has on his obstacle cards, or you get a wipeout marker (a plastic cow in swim trunks, holding a surfboard). get three wipeouts, and you are eliminated. Justin wiped out the most, followed by David B. and Noreen, and Martha showed she had the chops, as she won with no wipeouts at all.

Ruben, Melinda, David R., Bill, and Jennifer all played Robo Rally. they left no word on what scenario, boards, or options were in use, we just know that the order I listed the players was the order of finish, so congrats to Ruben on the win. If anyone can add more info on the game, please do so in the comments.

Dennis and Noah joined Martha, David B, and Noreen for some chariot racing in old Rome, in Ave Caesar. They played 3 races, with Noreen winning the first, Dennis the second, and Noah the third. After tabulating the scores from all races, Noah won with 12 points, Noreen and Martha were tied with 10, Dennis managed 9, and David B had 7.

Around this time, Fury of Dracula ended. I was playing Dracula again, with Kevin in the role of Lord Godalming, Rick as Dr. Seward, Marshall as Van Helsing, and Lance as Mina Harker. Lord Dracula's diary reads as follows:
It was while I was in Sarajevo that I became aware that the so-called Vampire Hunters League was once again attempting to foil my plans of raising up an army of undead to rule the night. My plans were going to be a bit delayed by this development, but I was certain they would be no more trouble than I could handle.

I decided to leave a false trail for my pursuers, and as the majority of them were in Western Europe, I traveled around Eastern Europe, leaving minions behind in as many places as I could, to harass and trouble them. I left Sarajevo, and traveled first to Sofia, then on to Bucharest, Galatz, Klausenberg, Budapest, and Vienna.

It was while I was in Vienna that the vampires I had left behind in Sarajevo awoke, two more undead servitors to add to my army. I needed just a few more.

I traveled to Zagreb, using the power of my swiftness to bypass the hunters between me and that city. Then I returned to Sarajevo. Dr. Seward was there, and we did battle. I had him nearly in my power, but he slipped away, just three inches from death.

I went to Varona, and Seward found me there, but he also found my rat companions. They nearly did him in, reducing him to an inch from death as it were, and he was almost mine, but again, a timely escape had me clutching at the edge of his cape.

I returned to Sofia while the good doctor rested, then, I hid there, waiting for him to come and find me. He did, and in this battle was I victorious, defeating him soundly. But the rest of the league showed up. Godalming was first, and we did battle, but I was able to bite him and begin the process by which he would join me.

Then Van Helsing arrived, and he wounded me in battle, for which he will pay. We fought on, neither willing to give an inch, but finally, I was able to mesmerize him and taste of the blood that flows in his veins.

I stayed in Sofia, and fed on a local woman to renew myself, and did battle with the combined forces of Lord Godalming and Van Helsing. Van Helsing was still strong, and Godalming my chosen target, but having to deal with them both was difficult, and I paid dearly for it, suffering many wounds such that I was on the verge of true death.

I had a choice, make this my last stand, and turn Godalming into a Vampire like me, or run and hide, hoping to last for another battle. I am not a coward, and fleeing is not in my heart. I stayed, and just as Van Helsing's Stake was aiming for my heart, I was able to seize the weakened form of Godalming, and add his blood to mine, turning him into my servant. Together we killed Van Helsing and the others, and my task of raising up an Army of the Night can now continue, until all of Europe lies at my feet.
This is such a fun game to play, and I really hammed it up as Lord of the Dark, taunting my pursuers, and relishing each small victory. I can't wait to play again.

After that, Leslie, Martha, Marshall, David B, Kevin and Rick played Gemblo. This is a fun abstract game of laying hexagonal gem pieces into a board until there is no room left. Rick won, followed by Kevin and Leslie (tied for second), Marshall, Martha, and David B. Kevin reports:
The game was pretty good. I would like to play it again. I found it surprising how people can slip into areas that you think you have effectively blocked off.
Ruben, Melinda, and Bill tried to play Zooloretto, but were hampered by some missing pieces. Luckily, I was able to find the pieces at my office (where I had the game shipped) on Monday, so we can give it another try this weekend.

Bryan, Steve, John, and I played Carcassonne. The basic game, with no expansions. A good game, and one I had not played for a long time (shows in my score). John has been playing a lot lately, and he won (67) followed by Bryan (63), Steve (62), and I (55).

Did someone call Tichu? Ruben and Bill teamed up against Melinda and Noreen for the favored card game... The ladies made 2 Tichu calls (and failed 1), but it was not enough as the men made three, and 2 1-2 finishes, one of them on the last hand, to take the win, 1060 to 240.

Steve, Bryan and I played a 3-handed game of Attika. Steve threated and early connection win, but could not complete it, and when Bryan came close, we slowed him down once, then trusted in his low number of cards to help stop him, but alas, he was able to place both of his blind-draw buildings for free, to make the connection win.

Marshall and Leslie played a pair of 2-player games: Heave Ho and Rat Hot. Leslie won Heave Ho 3 Barrels to 1, but Marshall managed to leave enough green rats showing to win quickly and salvage some dignity in Rat Hot.

Noreen joined Steve, Bryan and I for a quick game of 6 Nimmt! It took 4 rounds to send Bryan to 84 bull heads. I was left with 51, Noreen with 44, and in what must be an error in accounting, Steve only had 43. What's up with that?

We had a great time, and we hope you did too. See you at Middle town on 07/27/07, and back at Damascus on 08/03/07.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Germantown 07/16/07

Twelve people in attendance:

  • Leslie Barkley
  • Dave and Martha Briggs
  • Aubrey Bell
  • Rose Byington
  • Dave Fair
  • Todd Heidenreich
  • Bob Jones
  • Carol Loman
  • David Raley
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Alex Smith

Unfortunately, records are somewhat incomplete for this session. I have a note that some folks played Fluxx, but not who played or what were the results. I'm sure it was wild and wacky.

Dave Fair played Rose at Balloon Cup. This is a very tight, fun game for two players with simple rules and many tough choices. In that way, it's similar to Lost Cities. Dave won 3 to 2.

I also have that David Raley, Carol and Leslie played the classic, Carcassonne. Alas, there is no record of a winner there either.

As I arrived at 7PM, Dave Fair, Martha and David Briggs, Bill and Rose were playing the psychologically-intense game, Raj. Final scores were Dave Fair 27, David Briggs 21, Rose 2, Bill 1, and Martha -11. The two Daves completely dominated. Apparently, this is not Martha's game.

Having advertised that I wanted to play the "Bohnanza board game" Bean Trader, I set it up and recruited four other players. Joining me were Carol, Martha, David Briggs, and Rose. The rules are completely horrendous and we stumbled a couple of times while playing. Turns out, we did get one rule wrong that extended the game somewhat. The correct rule is that when you play a new harvest card (except when it's played on another player's turn), you immediately put new beans into the towns. We were not placing the new beans until the player's following turn. This made the game go one extra round. A repeat playing would undoubtedly speed play considerably. After much trading, wheeling and dealing, Rose and Bob tied with 187 each. The other scores were David 156, Martha 153, and Carol 147.

As we traded beans, Dave Fair, Leslie, David Raley and Bill played the Caylus card game, Caylus Magna Carta. This is an excellent distillation of the great game, Caylus. Final scores were Bill 35, Dave 31, David 28 and Leslie 25.

While these games were happening, Aubrey Bell arrived with his friend, and first time attendee, Alex Smith. They played a quick game of Blue Moon City which Aubrey won.

Todd had arrived and so joined up to teach Carcassonne to Alex and Aubrey. Unfortunately, Aubrey and Alex had to leave for dinner and so didn't finish the game.

With Bean Trader still going, the Caylus MC group, minus David, added Todd and played our "game of the moment", Bohnanza. Dave had an impressive victory of 21 points, with Bill at 16, and Todd and Leslie tied at 15. This was a very high scoring game!

After Bohnanza, Dave Fair, Bill and Leslie played Loco. Final scores were Dave and Bill tied at 78, Leslie at 74.

Finally, Bean Trader finished and there was just enough time for me, David Briggs, and Martha to play two rounds of Poison. Martha won with 14 points to David and my 15 points. Very close game, quickly played to avoid the dreaded 10PM deadline.

That's all for this week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Damascus 07/13/07

It was a light night for gamers, as many of or regulars weren't able to attend, but the following 13 brave and stalwart souls made it to gaming on Friday the 13th. Coincidence? Perhaps...

  • David & Noreen Fair
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Philippe Hebert
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Rose Byington
  • David Raley
  • Marshall Miller
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Raphael L.
Started off the evening with a quick round of the new Einfach Genial Knobelspass, which is a puzzle-race type of game where each player competes to solve the same puzzle in the shortest time. In these puzzles, you have 21 Einfach Genial pieces and you endeavor to make them match a pattern on the puzzle sheet. Very challenging, but like many games of this type, it is all heads-down thinking, with little talking or interaction. Philippe, Bryan and I played, and I managed to solve the puzzle first.

Next up was Bohnanza, a great trading game. We (Bryan, Philippe, Raphael, Rose, and I) played it without expansions. It was a very close game, with lots of trading and donations being made. Rose won, with 18 thalers, followed by Raphael and Philippe with 17, and Bryan and David with 14.

David and Martha Briggs joined Marshall and I for a game of Yspahan. I followed my mantra of cards, camels, and caravans and managed to score 94 points. Marshall scored 65, Martha 56, and David 51. This game may have a single-winning strategy, but I still find it enjoyable despite that.

Raphael, Philippe, David Raley, and Bryan played Vikings, a new set-collection game with a Norse theme. All the players but Raphael were new, so after a quick rules overview, they were off. Experience proved helpful, as Raphael (69) won over his opponents Philippe (65), david (64) and Bryan (47).

Ruben and Noreen paired off against Rose and Melinda for a game of Tichu. melinda and Rose managed 4 1-2's including one with a Tichu call, and won 1000 to 400.

Philippe joined Rose, Ruben, and Noreen for a game of Qwirkle. This abstract tile-laying game has been getting a lot of play of late. It is both good-looking and fun, so that is really no surprise. Ruben (98) won over Rose (94), Noreen (88) and Philippe (74).

Meanwhile, Modern Art got brought out, and the classic auction game never fails to delight some while confounding others. Melinda proved most adept at acquiring, selling, and manipulating value, winning 516 to Raphael's 514 (wow, that is close!) and Kevin's 405, and Bryan's 299.

Another game of Bohnanza, this time with Philippe (17), Martha (15), David Briggs (14) and Noreen (12). Bohnanza is a great game, we just need to try some of the many expansions!

Ubongo, another simultaneous puzzle game, was up next. Melinda taught the rules, and the players raced to see who could fit their Tetris-like pieces into their puzzles first, and capture the gem combinations they needed to win. Raphael (7) won in a close match over Kevin (6), and Melinda and Bryan (both 5).

Keep Cool is an older game that the publisher describes thusly:
Within Keep Cool each player takes a role within global climate politics. You have to put through economic interests, e.g. of the USA and its partners or of the Developing Countries. Yet you must not forget the strong lobby groups in your country like the oil industry or environmental groups as they also decide whether you win or loose. Within each round of the game you have to decide between measures for climate protection good for all and egoistic decisions just for your owns sake. The risk: catastrophes like droughts, floods or pandemics. The chance: welfare and a stable global climate. Whoever reaches his or her targets first wins, yet if you are not cooperative enough all players might loose due to a collapse of the world climate.
No one had played before, and scores were not tracked, but Raphael won over his opoonents, Melinda, Kevin, and Bryan.

The same group then played Die Baumeister Von Arkadia, a set-collecting game with a city building theme from Rudiger Dorn. the game is supposed to be quite good, and has terrific bits. Raphael again was the only one who had played before, and he won (72) over bryan (61), kevin (58) and Melinda (44).

Finally, Lord Godalming (David Raley), Dr. Seward (Marshall Miller), Dr. Van Helsing (Ruben Carbonell), and the tormented Mina Harker (Rose Byington), attempted to thwart the plans of the master of the night, Count Vladimir Dracula (David Fair) in Fury of Dracula. The journals of the count are revealed here, for the first time:
I found myself in Leipzig, and the four adversaries who call themselves my Hunters were spread across Europe around me. Lord Godalming was nearby, Van Helsing further away, and Dr. Seward and my stolen Bride, Mina were nearby in Eastern Europe, where my power is greatest.

I began by heading up the coast to Hamburg, with the idea of edging along the coast into Western Europe, and having the dreaded sea as a possible escape route if it were needed. At the last moment, I changed my mind, and began heading toward Eastern Europe, with an eye towards eliminating one or more of my Foes. i headed first to Berlin, then to Prague.

At this point, I was almost undone. Godalming's agents picked up my trail, and my foes were lucky enough to deduce my plans. I changed into wolf form and traveled to Munich, to throw them off, and while my agents in Leipzig injured Godalming, he was not out of the fight yet.

Dr. Seward arrived in Munich and picked up my trail. For a moment it appeared that this would be where the battle would take place, but I wanted more of an advantage, so i departed in haste, ending up in Marseilles, as Van Helsing and the Harker woman were blocking my other routes of escape.

At this point, I turned south into Italy, traveling to Genoa, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, leaving New Vampires in my wake. The fools bumbled about in the rest of Western Europe, but when i put to sea from Naples, they discovered my trail of spent funds, and they knew then where I was heading. My ship landed in Constanta, and only Harker was nearby, but the others were closing in. I made for the shelter of my castle, prepared to do battle there.

This proved wise, as the stores of blood there sustained me, and the hunters were unable to gain the upper hand. Indeed, I bit Godalming twice, sending him to the nether realms, and I could have sworn that Seward would succumb to my will, but he proved eerily resistant. Knowing that I could defeat my hunters merely by waiting for the rise of a new dawn, which would herald a new age of undead entering the world, I escaped just as Van Helsing and Harker arrived, craftily hiding in nearby Szeged, while my agents sabotaged the rails just in case they came looking for me there.

The did not, and my undead minions arose all across Europe, plunging the world into a blood-drenched darkness in which I alone rule. None can stand against me, and the fools dare not try again.
I discovered afterwards that we got several minor rules wrong, but no matter -- we all had a great time, and we look forward to playing again very soon.

Hope to see you all this Friday, Harry Potter notwithstanding.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Damascus 07/06/07

With a new record number of gamers and kids, we had a full night. Luckily the new room has more, well, room, and it didn't feel crowded. In attendance:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin, and Andrew Fair
  • Jennifer, Seth, & Justin Weinstein
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Judy & Kayla Trent, with Scott Fox
  • Bob, Carol, and Ben Jones
  • Rose Byington
  • David Raley
  • Marshall Miller
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Raphael L.
Before others arrived David Raley, Jennifer and I played a quick game (3 rounds) of Flinke Pinke (AKA Loco!). A cute game with dead simple rules it costs less than $5.00, and many of you own copies from when i was giving them away. I may still have a few copies. Leave a comment if you want one. Experience helped here, and I was able to best the two newcomers, 97 to David's 83 and Jennifer's 78.

As more players arrived, many people were checking out the Arkham Horror game David had setup, but there were no takers yet, so some simpler games were played.

David Raley and Rick Pasquale joined me in Knizia's Samurai-like card game, Great Wall of China. I sprung a surprise on Rick near the end, playing all 5 of my guard cards at once to take the lead on a valuable tile pair. I was able to use that tile to pop my score up to 36, good enough for a win over Rick (29) and David (28), who were quite close up until then.

I lost track of the order of games played (once again), so this is my best recollection. Let me know how I did in the comments section...

David Raley and Judy played 2 games of Fluxx with Rick, with the first two each winning one game. Judy had never played Fluxx before, and commented, "What a strange game..." I'm with you, Judy, I'm with ya.

Melinda, Linda, Jennifer, Martha and David played 6 Nimmt. It only took 3 rounds for Melinda to be pushed to 75 bull-heads. Ouch! Melinda was followed closely by Martha (50), Jennifer (33), Linda (32) and David (17). David took fewer bull-heads the entire game than Melinda did in any round she played! Maybe a strategery guide is in order...

Melinda and Marshall joined David Raley in taking on the great powers and facing the great old ones in Arkham Horror. Here is what Marshall said (with some minor editing):
The magician, Drake was the last one to face the doom that was the Unnamable one. A portal to the beyond opened, claiming the lives of his companions, both of whom were pretty much clueless anyway. Drake battled on, and lasted for almost 3 hours (rounds) before having his very soul devoured. Were it not for the potent boom-stick (shotgun), he would have died much sooner.
Bob and Carol setup and played Traumfabrik with Linda, Martha, and David. This is a great classic auction game from Knizia. it is now available in English, re-titled Hollywood Blockbuster. Each player takes the role of the head of a movie studio, competing to produce movies, attract stars, and win Oscars. It's a great game and very well done. Linda proved to be a mogul, scoring 75 points on just 3 movies made. Carol was next with 68 followed by Bob with 58, Martha with 57, and David with 45.

Raphael, Scott Fox, and I played Caylus Magna Carta. This was an exceptionally high scoring game, with every single prestige building getting built. Never seen that before, and I don't expect to see it again anytime soon. Raphael won 72 to my 65, and Scott's 53.

Jennifer, Judy, and Rick played 3 rounds of Villa Paletti, the Spiel des Jahres winning stacking game. They did not keep score. Honestly, I never understood the scoring of that game anyhow.

We then had a big game of Pit. We played three rounds, and three different players, Bob, Kevin, and Linda, each won one round. Other players were David Fair, Martha, David Briggs, Carol, and Raphael. (I thought there were 8 players. Carol says she didn't play. Did I miss someone else?)

Ruben, Rose, Kevin, and Noreen played a trio of games: Tichu, Snap, and Exxtra. In Tichu, Ruben & Rose paired off against Noreen & Kevin. The game took 12 hands, no one ever made a Tichu call, thought there were five 1-2's. R's won 1010 to 590. Snap was next, and Kevin (11) won in a close race over Rose (10) and Ruben & Noreen (8 each). Finally, they played the dicey classic, where Ruben crushed them, and listened to the lamentations of there... Oh wait... Ruben won, 21 to rose's 6, Kevin's 4, and Noreen's 2. Owie-ow!

Kevin joined Raphael, Bob and Rick for a game of Amun-Re, While Judy joined Rose, Noreen, and Ruben for some more Tichu. Judy and Rose were ahead for much of the early game, then lost the lead when Ruben and Noreen out scored then 325 to -25 in 2 hands. But they never gave up hope, and came back to win 1000 to 900. Nice game!

Amun-Re was close after the first scoring, but in the second age, Raphael pulled out all the stops, spending heavily for the sections with many pyramids. his score was obscene, winning 55 to Kevin & Bob's 36, and Rick's 26. The man had most pyramids on both sides of the river, as well as 4 sets. Oh my!

In a different Egypt, Carol, Scott Fox, and I played Ra! It seems to play a bit oddly with 3, and I took advantage of this to get out of auctions early, never getting bitten by that last Ra tile. this served me well, and I won 49 to Carol's 39 and Scott's 20.

After Ra, the three of us played my favorite 3-player card game, Sticheln. This game is wonderfully evil and makes you really enjoy sticking it to your opponents. Carol lost with 2 points, and Scott and I tied with 19. I demand a recount!

See you all next week. Be sure to avoid downtown Damascus, and many of the main roads will be closed for the Damascus days parade. Leave a comment below if you want directions to help you avoid the downtown area...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Germantown 07/02/07

Record attendance for GCOM Germantown this week!

  • Kevin Bealer
  • Leslie Barkley
  • Rose Byington
  • April and Mike Charbonneau
  • Andrew, Dave and Noreen Fair
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Ben, Bob and Carol Jones
  • David Raley
  • Eric and Laura Reinhold
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Antwann Rawls
We had a crowd at 6PM and so jumped right into a couple of games.

Tsuro is a quick, fun tile-laying game with diminishing choices as the game goes on. With seven players, I doubt there's a lot of opportunity for decision-making in any event, but it's still fun to see how things develop. Players were eliminated from the board in this order: Bill, April, Laura, Eric, David Raley, and Mike, leaving Doug with the win.

Since my son, Ben, came with us, we broke out one of his favorite games, Gemblo. Gemblo is a Korean version of Blokus which, because of it's shape, can play up to six players. It's a beautiful game requiring some thought to play. The object is to place all of your pieces on the board. Any segments left at the end count against you. Leslie proved the most adept. Final scores were Leslie 12, Bob 13, Ben 18 and Carol 24.

After Gemblo, we played another of Ben's favorites, Emerald. In Emerald, each player controls four knights making their way through a Dragon's cave, stealing treasure. If a knight ends its turn on a space near the Dragon, watch out! The knight may get eaten. The treasure consists of colored gems and gold cards. Collecting sets of gems gives bonus points at the end of the game. Ben was the first to collect one of each color gem, getting a bonus card worth 4 points. Dave collected the most yellow and green gems for 8 points, while Leslie collected the most blue and Bob the most red for 4 points each. Final scores were Leslie 30, Carol 23, Ben 20, Dave 20, and Bob in the rear with 19.

Rose arrived and joined Bill, Eric and Laura for another Germantown favorite, San Juan. Final scores were Rose, Eric and Laura tied with 20, Bill with 17. The tiebreaker is the number of goods left on production buildings plus cards left in hand. Rose and Eric both had three to Laura's two.

Meanwhile, Doug, April, Mike, and David Raley began the process of rebuilding Blue Moon City. The game was new to April who apparently really liked it, ranking it a 10. I don't blame her. Final scores were April 4, Doug and Michael 3, and David 2.

Kevin having arrived and Noreen looking for a game lead to another table in play. At one point we had four separate tables with games in progress. Joining Kevin and Noreen were Carol and Dave Fair for a game of Qwirkle. Final scores were Kevin 155, Carol 140, Noreen 112, and Dave 108.

I was happy to introduce one of my favorite games, Web of Power, to Leslie and Antwann. Just before we started, Bill joined us. Web of Power is a game that definitely rewards experience. The strategy involved is rather subtle, putting new players at a disadvantage until they've played a couple of times. This proved true as I was able to generate significant points using all of my Advisors. Still, the game was hard fought with final scores of Bob 61, Leslie 54, Bill 49, and Antwann 38. I suspect a rematch would result in a very different outcome.

A large group then formed to play another in the interminable, I mean eternal, Munchkin series, Munchkin Chtulhu. Final scores were Mike 10, David Raley 9, Doug 7, Laura 6, Eric 6, and April 5. It's not easy but I really enjoy it when we can get in a game at Borders with a whole bunch of players. I was told afterwards that the players had fun struggling with the minions of the Great Old Ones.

Meanwhile, Dave Fair, Bob, Kevin, and Noreen sat down for the newish game, Alchemist, where players design and produce potions for victory points. This was another game with a learning curve where experience would seem to be very important. Final scores were Dave 70, Noreen 58, Kevin 51, and Bob 50. A beautiful game, I look forward to trying this one again.

At another table, Bill, Leslie, Carol, and Antwann sat down for the second game of Blue Moon City of the night. Just before closing, Bill built his 4th cube for the win. Following were Leslie and Carol with 3 each, Antwann with 2.

Finally, having finished Alchemist, Bob, Kevin and Dave were joined by Andrew for a rousing game of the excellent filler, Zircus Flohcati. The first game was won handily by Dave 46 to Kevin's 41, Bob 35, and Andrew 30. In the second game, Kevin won with 64 to my 60, Dave 54, and Andrew 48. This is a quick fun game we should play more often.

All in all, we played 11 different games over 4 hours. Incredible!

Our next session is July 16. Hope to see you there.