Friday, August 31, 2007

August 2007 Recap

August had 2 sessions at Germantown, 4 in Damascus, and 1 each in Middletown and Brunswick. 8 Sessions total! So, what did we play in August? Let's take a look:

Game Qty
Outside the Scope of BGG10
Can't Stop7
Khet: The Laser Game5
Carolus Magnus2
Downfall of Pompeii, The2
San Juan2
Ticket to Ride2
Ticket to Ride: USA 19102
Volle Wolle2
Zooloretto - Erweiterung2
Zooloretto - Erweiterung 32
Zooloretto - Streichelzoo Erweiterung2
Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery1
Big City1
Blue Moon City1
Blue Moon City: Expansion Tile Sets 1 & 21
Category 51
Caylus Magna Carta1
Citadels: The Dark City Expansion1
Descent: Altar of Despair1
Descent: Journeys in the Dark1
Descent: The Well of Darkness1
Dilbert: Corporate shuffle1
Dragon Parade1
Give Me the Brain!1
Heave Ho!1
Hoity Toity1
Hollywood Blockbuster1
Igel Ärgern1
Ingenious: Travel Edition1
Louis XIV1
No Thanks!1
Notre Dame1
Power Grid1
Stack Market1
Thurn and Taxis1
Thurn und Taxis - Der Kurier der Fürstin1
Tiki Mountain!1
Traditional Card Games1
Um Reifenbreite1
Winner's Circle1

There were, as you can see, 48 different games that were played only once. In total, we played 64 different games 100 times, and 9 expansions 13 times. The expansions were: Ticket to Ride USA 1910, the Blue Moon City Expansion tiles, the Descent: Altar of Despair and Descent: Well of Darkness expansions, the Three Zooloretto "Erweiterung"s, Citadels: the Dark City Expansion, and the Kurier der Furstin expansion for Thurn und Taxis..

Also, the entry for "Outside the Scope of BGG" is for Air Hockey and Foosball games, and the entry for "Traditional Card Games" is for Machiavelli.

Middletown 08/31/07

Seventeen gamers gathered in Middletown for the best gaming they could find... This summary is going to be rather abbreviated, both because I am late, and because I have another one to write...

In attendance:

  • Scott & Carly Fisher
  • Scott Fox & Judy & Kayla Trent
  • David, Noreen, Corwin & Andrew Fair
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Jason Cheng
  • John Weber
  • Tom McCorry
  • Wade Hyatt
  • Raphael Lehrer
  • Marshall Miller
  • Steve Lollis
First was a 6 player game of Metro. Bryan was able to leave a pawn on until late, and score well with it to secure his win (36 points) over Scott Fox (35), Kayla (25), Judy (23), Jason (21), and Carly (18).

The new game Cash-A-Catch was next, with Tom (the only player who had played before) winning (112) over Scott Fisher (75), newcomer Wade Hyatt (73) and John Weber (53).

Noreen managed another Can't Stop victory, this time in a game with 5 players. Her opponents were Jason, Kayla, Carly, and Bryan.

Raphael, David, Judy, and Scott Fox headed to Thebes next, to play the new, and very popular, Queen game. Dave was the only experienced player, but it did little to help him as Scott and Judy tied for the win with 59 points each. Dave (52) settled for third, and Raphael (48) played cleanup.

Off to the races with Royal Turf. Bryan was a shrewd bettor and managed to win with a tidy sum ($2,950), followed by Jason ($2,350), Carly ($2,000), and Marshall ($500).

The Thebes crowd next played Phoenicia, another new game, this time based on Outpost, but a bit quicker... Raphael won (40) as the others learned the game. David (31) came in second, Judy (30) third, and Fox (29) fourth. At least it was close among the newbies...

A 5-player game of Imperial was next, with John earing 130 for the victory, followed by Tom (104), Steve (103), Scott Fisher (100) and Wade (70).

Go Read Bear! the players cried in Honeybears. Raphael won with 119, followed by John (1010, Jason (95), Tom (94), and Scott Fisher (74).

Finally, a 4-player game of ShowManager. I have never played with less than six, and did not realize that you use dummy players... Interesting. Jason (51) managed the win, followed by Tom (41), Scott Fisher (40), John (37), and Thing 1 & Thing 2 (27 & 24).

See you next month!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Damascus 08/24/07

It was a good night, we had 23 gamers show and play 17 games and 6 expansions a total of 22 times. Who was there? Glad you asked...

  • David, Noreen, Corwin, and Andrew Fair
  • John Weber
  • Jason Cheng
  • Marshall Miller
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Dan Barnett
  • Howard & Nathan Wagner
  • John Stup
  • Tim Rothenhoefer
  • Martha & David Briggs
  • Melinda Carbonell
  • Bill Trac
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel, and Ben Jones
  • Bill Salvatore
We started off the night with Marshall, John W, Jason, , Corwin, Andrew, and David F playing a quick game of the beautiful Fire. this is a great looking game, but it has some difficulties with first-player advantage. Still, fun to play and lovely to look at, in a sort 70's-shag-carpet-lava-lamp sorta way.

Dan and Bryan played a quick game of Khet: the Laser Game (AKA Deflexion), in which Dan prevailed. Bryan then played Corwin, and was able to "sneak into" a win as he put it.

Diamant was next, and Jason, Andrew, Marshall, John W, Bryan, Tim, and I headed down into the mines. Tim had an amazing run in mine 4, followed by a gallant attempt at a comeback by Jason in mine 5, but it was ultimately not to be. Final scores were Tim (70), Jason (63), John W (28), David (23), Marshall and Andrew (22 each), Bryan (21). this might be the highest scoring game of Diamant of all time. I am looking up the Guinness Book right now...

Howard and Nathan played Can't Stop with John S. and Dan. Dan captured the win, capping the 6, 7, and 10. Nathan had the 9 & 12 capped. The others say, "We had a bad day."

David, Marshall, Corwin and Andrew played Descent (using both expansions: the Well of Darkness, and Altar of Despair). More on that in a later post. For now i will just say that is was a lot of fun, a much more streamlined system than I expected, and a great pseudo-RPG experience.

John W. , Jason, Raphael, Tim, and Kevin played Emerald. This is fun little tactical game that is hybrid of race game and set collection. I only played once, but would like to do so again. Jason (23) won, followed by Kevin (19), John W (18), Raphael (17) and Tim (15).

Martha and David B played Zooloretto (with all three expansions) with Bill T., Melinda, and Bryan. No word on how they enjoyed the expansions, but I find that at least the Petting Zoo is essential to my enjoyment of the game. Bill T (25) won, followed by Bryan (25), Martha (23), David B (21), and Melinda (7).

Raphael, John W, and Bill (Salvatore, I think) played Caylus Magna Carta. No word on what strategies were employed, but Raphael (55) won over John W (50) and Bill (45). This is a great game that really does a nice job of distilling the essential parts of Caylus down to a much more manageable time frame.

John W, Tim, Jason, Kevin, and Raphael played the new Tom Lehmann "economic engine" game, Phoenicia. The game, like Das Zapter von Zavonder before it, is based on Outpost, but cuts down the time to play over both previous offerings, mostly by reducing the turns required to build up wealth, and removing the endgame victory point items (sentinels from DZvZ). this has the effect of reducing strategies, and increasing the importance of not making a mistake. Raphael's experience with the prior titles proved helpful, as he won with 35 points, to john W's 31, Jason's 29, Tim's 28, and Kevin's 27.

Nathan and Howard played a few games of Air Hockey & Foosball. nice to have the option to get a little physical activity in, isn't it? Nathan won 5 games of Air Hockey, and Howard won 3 Air Hockey and 2 Foosball games.

Nathan, Howard, and Bill S. played Lumberjack. Bill used the caps to top three towers, but then got stuck unable to score for some time, while Nathan used his treetops more effectively, winning 117 to Howard's 111 and Bill's 71. It seems there might be some pieces missing from my copy...

Bob, Carol, John S, and Noreen went on archaeological expeditions in Mykerinos. Carol effectively used Mr. Brown to nab 3 of the 5-influence spots, giving her clear sailing to victory with 45 points to Bob's measly 43. John S was next with 34, followed by Noreen with 33.

David B and Martha, Carol and Bob played Ra! singing that age old classic:
Ra is the Sun God
He is a fun God
Bob led after the first age, and again was in the lead after the second Age,. Martha scored well in the final age, but it was not enough, as Bob still won, scoring 35, and followed by David B (30), Martha (29) and Carol (24).

Nathan and Howard played a trio of Khet games, trying all three initial setup positions. Howard won 2 of these, and Nathan won the other. they enjoyed the game immensely.

Melinda suckered Bryan and Bill T into playing her favorite, Thurn and Taxis (with the Princess expansion). they had only played the Power and Glory expansion, so she had a slight bit more familiarity with the rules. Still, the drubbing they received at her hands (27 for Melinda, 15 for Bryan, and 12 for Bill T.) can't be explained away by that alone.

Tichu Time? It was for Noreen and Melinda, Carol and Rachel. The Jones Women started strong, and after 3 hands were ahead 270 to 30, then they were suddenly down 670 to 430, thanks to a 1-2-Tichu and a 1-2. Then they went on a tear, going out 1-2, then scoring 95 points, making Tichu and grabbing 70 points, and then capping it off with a 1-2-Tichu to pull out the amazing comeback win, 1195 to 705. A very exciting game!

Nathan, Howard, Marshall, and I played the new Knizia game from Z-Man, Dragon Parade. It took a few minutes to get used to it, but Howard did so quickly, winning 13 to Nathan's 9, Marshall's 7, and my 6.

Nathan, Howard, Marshall, Carol, Noreen and I then played a quick few rounds of Password. We only played 4-5 words. Marshall and I were clearly the superior force ;) it was a tough game for Nathan, as I find it usually is for most younger folks.

Bob, Jason, and Tim played Carolus Magnus. Bob was ahead for much of the game, but a big turnaround in one territory gave Tim his last 3 castles to trigger the end of the game and give him the win.

Marshall, Dave and Bob tried again with Carolus Magnus. Bob won handily with a superior understanding of the game mechanisms, and Dave's wretched dice rolls that forced him and Marshall to fight, never allowing either of them much room to take on Bob.

Next week at Fishers, in Middletown. see you there!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Germantown 08/20/07

Returning from a two session absence, I found ten gamers at Borders, ready to play.
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Dave Briggs
  • Martha Briggs
  • Rose Byington
  • Jason Cheng
  • Andrew Fair
  • Dave Fair
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Bob Jones
  • Eric Reinhold

First up, the Hedgehog racing game Igel Agern with Andrew, Dave Fair, Doug, Eric and Jason. Nearing the end of the race, Eric had 3 markers stacked on the final space of the "2" row, but was unable to get them across the line as other players kept sneaking up and placing their markers on top of his stack. Final places were Andrew (1st), Doug (2nd), Rose (3rd), Dave (4th), Eric (5th), and Jason (6th).

After the race, Rose, Jason, Dave Fair, Andrew and Doug played the fun little filler Flinke Pinke aka Loco!, aka Quandry, aka Thor (yes, there are that many different versions.) Rose ended both rounds by playing the last card of one color. Dave, unused to rounds ending so quickly, was caught off guard. After 2 rounds of play, final scores were Rose (36), Doug (34), Jason (27), Andrew (26), and Dave (19).

As I arrived around 7PM, Eric was setting up to play Yspahan with Martha and Dave Briggs. I joined them. I attempted to emulate Dave Fair's "cards, camels, and caravans" strategy to great success. After a round or so, Martha also starting dumping guys into the caravan at every opportunity. Despite a scoring glitch (which we were able to mostly correct), the strategy was as successful as always with me and Martha far out ahead. Final scores were Bob (82), Martha (73), Eric (54) and Dave (34).

Having finished Flinke Plinke, the big group broke out Bruno Faidutti's Citadels with the Dark City Expansion. Dave Fair ended the game by building his 8th building and had one building of each color to capture both the four and three point bonuses. This despite being the target of the Warlord three times! Final scores were Dave (37), Jason (27), Doug (25), Rose (22), and Andrew (16). Dave notes that the new expansion buildings offer some nice variety.

During the Yspahan and Citadels games, Kevin arrived. Since it looked like it might be a while before either game would finish, I engaged him in a two player game of
Ingenious: Travel Edition while my opponents took their turns. Kevin was the superior player and managed to beat me 8 to 7, although it wasn't really that close as his next two highest colors were significantly higher than mine.

The Citadels folk finished and Rose left. Kevin joined them in the zombie fast-food game, Give Me The Brain. Jason acquired the brain, and the extra hand early, and kept winning the bid whenever the brain was dropped, so Andrew and Dave suffered through several rounds of no turns, and a sudden no-card victory for Jason was no surprise. Dave still had 7 cards in hand. Ouch!

With time for one more game, we broke into two groups. Dave and Martha Briggs wanted to learn San Juan so Doug and Eric taught it to them, not quite finishing the game before the store closed. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the score sheet. If anyone knows the scores, let me know and I'll post them.

Meanwhile, Dave Fair, Andrew, Kevin, Bob and Jason chose to try Zooloretto with Expansions. This was my first time playing and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a good use of the Coloretto mechanics and the theme was engaging and fun. Dave says: "A better game than I originally gave it credit for. There was more money in this game, a much needed fix thanks to the Petting Zoo expansion. I really liked how it played out." Final scores were Jason (33), Andrew (25 - 2nd on Money tiebreaker), David (25), Bob (22), and Kevin (20).

Thanks to everyone for coming out!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brunswick 08/18/07

GCOM - Brunswick finally returns. We had six players at the Beans in the Belfry coffeeshop this Saturday.

  • Karl Musser
  • John Weber
  • Mike Goshen
  • Jami Beck
  • Sean Williams
  • Tim O'Genshain
John was the first to arrive and we played a quick game of Fjords while waiting for others to arrive, John eked out the victory by one point.

By the time we were done Jami and Sean, two Brunswick regulars, and Mike Goshen from the Frederick gaming group had arrived. I had pre-release copies of the latest from Slugfest Games and we decided to try out Tiki Mountain. This is a light and silly game about racing to the top of the volcano to be the first to offer yourself as a sacrifice to the angry volcano god. Jami was the first to reach the top but her cards failed her at the last minute allowing John to be the first to throw himself into the lava, but his sacrifice is deemed unworthy by the god for the lack of an item card to give up. I'm the next fling myself in and fortunately I'm accepted and take the win.

We followed that up with Hollywood Blockbuster in which John manages to beat us all with only finishing two movies. I didn't get the point totals, but it was pretty close all around, if there hadn't been quite so much spending in pursuit of the worst movie John could've been caught. It was my first play with the new edition, I think I like the look of the Traumfabrik a little better, but the game play is the same.

Jami and Sean have to leave, but Tim joins us a late addition and we play a game of Louis XIV in which once again John takes the victory finishing one more mission than the rest of us and 47 points. Tim comes in second at 40 and Mike and I close on his heels at 39.

All in all a good time. We'll be back next month on the 15th.

Also want to make a quite plug for TCEP 14: Gamers of the Caribbean coming up on Labor Day weekend in Laurel, this is one of Maryland's best gaming conventions and doesn't get a lot of press, highly recommended. I'll be there with a full load of pirate games.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Damascus 08/17/07

Wow, what a night for gaming. We had 29 people, including one we hadn't seen for a few months, one for whom it was his second visit, and two for whom it was their first visit (one had never been to any GCOM locations before). That's great, and very exciting to see this kind of growth. In Attendance:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin, & Andrew Fair
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Dan Barnett
  • Howard Wagner
  • Lance Slifka
  • Bill Trac
  • Jennifer, Seth, & Justin Weinstein
  • Rick Pasquale
  • Jason Cheng
  • Joseph Lin
  • Marshall Miller
  • Rose Byington
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Raphael Lehrer
  • Scott Fox & Judy Trent
  • Scott & Liz Percival
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel, and Ben Jones
  • Tim Rothenhoefer
We played a total of 13 (or 11, depending on how you count) games. Lets see how things went...

First up was a game of Can't Stop with Noreen, Andrew, Jennifer, and Howard. Things were looking good for Noreen, but Howard capped the 3's and 5's on one turn, and then capped the 6's his next to complete a come from behind victory.

Marshall, Jason, Joseph, and Seth played Pompeii. This is fun game wherein you spend half the game getting your pieces onto the board, and the next half getting them out, meanwhile hoping that no one throws your people into the volcano. Joseph won, having rescued 10 noble citizens, while Jason and Seth tied with 9 each, and Marshall saved 8. A very close game!

Zooloretto made another appearance, but was played sans expansions, since 3 of the 5 players were new. Ruben and Judy tied for first (Money is the normal tiebreaker, but they both had none!) with 19 points, Raphael was third with 17, and The Scott's (Percival and Fox) tied at 13, though Fox had more money, taking 4th and leaving Percival alone in 5th.

About this time, Bryan, Dan, Lance and I were finished with our Archaeological expeditions in the new game from Queen, Thebes. This game has great production values, a fun theme, and pretty fast gameplay once the rules are done. I really enjoyed it and look forward to teaching it to more of you soon. Final scores were David (59), Dan (52), Lance (48), and Bryan (39).

Scott Fox, Judy and Raphael played a very fast game of Notre Dame. I really enjoy this Alea game, and find that it rewards multiple plays to truly understand the strategy options, a point shown here quite well. Raphael was the only to have played before, and he won with 64 points, while Scott (47) and Judy (44) learned how to play, and will definitely do better in their next game.

Liz, Ruben, Jennifer, and Scott Percival played Ingenious. This is an abstract tile-laying game that looks pretty and plays at a nice pace. Scott managed the victory with a score of 15, followed by Ruben (9), and Jennifer and Liz (6 each). this was Liz's first playing, and the score system can take some getting used to....

They followed this up, when Jennifer left, with a 3-player game of Ingenious, with the remaining players. Scott won again, this time with 13, followed by Ruben at 9 and Liz at 8.

Tichu returns after a 1 week absence. And we have the end of a streak, Noreen finally redeems herself and gets a mark in the win column. She partnered with Bill against Rose and Melissa Melinda (I am such a dumbass), winning the first game 1130 to 670, and the second game 1050 to 350.

Bob, Carol, Lance, Marshall, and Tim played the Franz-Benno DeLonge game, Big City. Carol managed to build a shopping center, while Bob, who carefully and painstakingly prepared for one was only able to manage to have his hopes and dreams crushed by Marshall and his Factory of Really Nasty Stuff. This didn't help Marshall much, though, as Lance cruised to a 66-point win. Tim was second with 62, followed by Carol with 53, Marshall with 46, and Bob with 30.

Bryan, Rick, Joseph, Jason, Howard and I played Power Grid, on the Germany map. this was the first time to play for Howard, Jason, and Joseph. The game was a close contest, and bidding for the early plants became critical when the board stagnated heavily just before the end game. Needing only 15 powered cities to end things was not enough here, as the final scores (Houses/Capacity/Money) were: Howard (17/17/68), Bryan (17/17/42), Joseph (17/17/15), Jason (16/16/80), Rick (16/19/15), Dave (14/14/68).

Jason, Joseph and I played a quick 3-round game of Flaschenteufel, which I was teaching them both. I love this unique trick-taking game, and they both caught on quickly, and final scores were David 61, Jason 48, and Joseph 35.

The final game to end was Amun-re, with Raphael, Tim, Bob, Carol, and Marshall. Marshall had not played before, and it had been some time since Carol had played. After the first round, scores were Bob 18, carol 15, Marshall 12, Raphael 9, and Tim 3. The second round went much differently, and Raphael won the game with 40, followed by Carol with 36, Tim 31, Bob 30, and Marshall 28.

Remember, this week is the 4th Friday, but not the last Friday, so we are at Damascus. hope to see you there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Damascus 08/10/07

Eighteen gamers on a Hot August Night...

  • David, Noreen, and Corwin Fair
  • Jennifer, Justin, and Seth Weinstein
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Dan Barnett
  • Jason Cheng
  • Rick Pasquale
  • Bill Trac
  • Rose Byington
  • Ruben & Melinda Carbonell
  • Marshall Miller
  • Martha & David Briggs
  • Leslie Barkley
We played a total of nine games. What were they? Oh, I thought you would never ask...

Noreen, Bill, Rose and Jennifer started with Can't Stop. No notes on how it went, but Noreen won. I guess the string of Can't Stop wins for Noreen makes up for the Tichu losses. (Whoa! for the first time a long, long time, no Tichu got played!)

Next was Um Reifenbreite, a great team bicycle race game. unfortunately, they chose a very short course, making luck a little too strong. Final scores were Rose (105), Ruben (102), Rick (97), and Noreen (68).

Next, Rick and Seth played Heave Ho. Seth was not keen on the idea of speed sorting the deck, and Rick won, 2 barrels to none.

Jason, Dan, Bryan and I finished our game of Age of Empires III: Age of Discovery about this time. This is a decent game with what appears to be multiple paths to victory, and many points of contention on the board. Nice game overall, I really liked it. Jason had a devastating combination of Capitol Buildings that made his missionaries very powerful, and he swarmed the new world with them, winning handily, 126 to Dan's 89, my 83, and Bryan's 53. I look forward to playing this again soon, especially now that I have a better grasp of mechanics and possibilities.

The city of Pompeii was destroyed by a volcano, and we commemorate tragedies like that with games, this time with the Downfall of Pompeii. Rick taught the game to three uninitiated, and Marshall won, saving 9 citizens, while Ruben and Rick tied with 8 citizens each, and Jennifer watched her family be consumed by lava, saving only 5 citizens.

Melinda, Martha, David B. and Bill played Blue Moon City. No game notes or scores, but we do know that Bill won.

Martha, Dave B, and Bill next played Zooloretto. The game was quite close (I think it has that tendency in 3 player games). I have printed and made all three of the expansions from BGG for this game, and I am eager to try them out soon. Final scores were Bill 34, Martha 30, and David B 30.

Bryan, Leslie, Jason and I played Midgard. We actually played it twice, once with a fundamental misunderstanding of 2 vocabulary terms, leading to a bad game, and again with a corrected view, leading to a very good game. Bryan won handily, with 104 points, followed by Jason with 90, me with 82 and Leslie with 74.

The final recorded game was Showmanager, one of our favorites for 6. The game progressed well after a quick rules explanation. I mentioned that you would most definitely need to take a loan during the game, but Marshall proved me wrong, taking no loans and doing very well! First time I have ever seen that happen. Jason made a critical error early on, collecting too many of a particular color/letter combination, but he was able to recover a respectable show out of it... Final scores were David 59, Marshall 43, Bryan 35, Bill 30, Jason 28, Leslie 27.

I am not 100% certain that all games played got recorded. Did you play something I missed? Let me know in the comments, please!

See you this Friday. Good Gaming!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Germantown 08/06/07

Wow, what a night. We had 18, that's right eighteen people packed into Border's. At the tables:

  • Andrew & David Fair
  • Eric & Laura Reinhold
  • Jason Cheng
  • Joseph Lin
  • Bill Trac
  • Carol Loman
  • Leslie Barkely
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Rode Byington
  • Todd Heidenrich
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Shannon & Aubrey Bell
We played 12 games. On the table:

First up was Machiavelli, in which Rose beat Leslie. Neither BGG nor Pagat has any info on this game, and I am as stumped as they are. Any help?

Next, we played a game of Alhambra. It was the first time to play for Bill T, Jason, and Laura, but Andrew and I had played before. This experience worked for one of us, and against the other. The game ended thusly: David (104), Bill T (98), Jason (59), Laura (56), Andrew (45).

Joseph joined Bill S, Doug, and Carol for a game of Ticket to Ride (Played the "Big Game" from USA 1910). It was a tight contest for the south, with Doug and Bill getting in each other's way. In the end, Bill's Longest Route was not enough as Joseph Globetrotter beat him by a single point. So Close! Final scores: Joseph (124), Bill S (123), Doug (90), Carol (84).

Meanwhile, Todd joined Rose and Leslie for a game of San Juan. Rose furiously stuffed cards under her chapel, but it was not enough to beat the others. Todd (30) squeaked out a win over Leslie (29) and Rose (24).

Kevin, David B, and Martha played Zooloretto for the first time with veteran Eric. Experience proved helpful (as did the discovery of a rule I was unaware of -- the ability to pay 2 coins to get rid of animals in the barn!) as Eric (30) won over Martha (29), Kevin (18) and David (16).

Bill T, Laura, Jason, Carol and I played the Rock-Paper-Scissors-esque game, Hoity Toity. I jumped out to a quick lead, but then got continuously outplayed and outguessed. In the end, Bill won despite a massive jump by Laura at the end, though she came in a close second, followed by Jason, me, and Carol.

Joseph, Bill S, Doug, and Andrew played Vikings, with Doug being the only veteran. This is an interesting set collection game with a nice auction system that really is unique. The theme is quite thin, but the game is quite fun. No word if they used the advanced rules (I suspect not), but Joseph continued his winning ways, scoring 58 points, to Bill S's 50, Doug's 36, and Andrew's 35.

I played No Thanks! with Bill T, Jason, Carol, and Laura. A tough game to wrap your head around sometimes, and with big risks sometimes paying off, and sometimes crushing you, it can be a lot of fun. Laura (-82) played very well, and very consistently, winning easily. She was followed by Bill T (-102), Carol (-107), David (-142) and Jason -154.

Another game of Ticket to Ride, also with the Big Game variant was next, this time played by Todd, Rose, Shannon, Aubrey, and Leslie. I didn't get to see the board while the game was in progress, but final scores were: Todd (124), Rose (115), Shannon (79), Aubrey (77), and Leslie (50). Leslie must have missed a few tickets...

Bill S, Doug, and Andrew played Can't Stop next. This is the best of the push-your-luck dice games, and Bill rolled back-to-back 12's to steal the win and cap three columns to Andrew's 2 and Doug's none.

Dilbert Corporate Shuffle is a fun variation on the Great Dalmuti and similar climbing games. Poor David B. spent the entire game as Jr. Intern, only advancing out of the lowliest of positions on the final hand of play. I was the only fawning, obsequious weasel in the bunch however, so I feel like I really won... After 5 hands the scores were as follows: Kevin (11), Martha (9), David F (7), Eric (5), Laura (2), David B (1).

Leslie, Shannon, and Aubrey played Volle Wolle as the final game of the night. They missed the rules on getting wool chips, as well as how to use them, but Shannon didn't need them to carry her to a 110-point shearing of Aubrey (44) and Leslie (29).

See you on our next night, Monday the 20th. Look for the triumphant return of the one called Bob.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Damascus 08/03/07

A great night for gaming, we had 21 attendees, and we played 13 games. At the table:

  • Jennifer, Seth & Justin Weinstein
  • Rick Pasquale
  • Lance Slifka
  • David, Noreen, Corwin, and Andrew Fair
  • Bill Trac
  • Ruben & Melinda Carbonell
  • Jason Cheng
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Scott & Carly Fisher
  • Rose Byington
  • Scott Fox & Judy Trent
  • Bill Salvatore
I started out the night by setting up and trying to read the rules to Age of Empires III: Age of Discovery, but alas, found no takers. Maybe next week... Meanwhile, Lance played Can't Stop with Corwin, and won 3 columns to 2.

When we reached critical mass, I got Jennifer, Jason, and Rick together for a few hands of Poison. It was the first play for both the J-initialed players, and Jennifer (16) did very well, winning by a single point over Rick (17). Jason was close behind with 23. In other news David Fair (32) was also playing.

Jennifer and Rick rustled up new arrivals David & Martha, and they set off into the abandoned mines in search of Diamonds, in Diamant. Rick reports:
No misprint. Rick foolishly kept gambling against disaster to catch up, but instead ended up poisoned, bitten by snakes, trapped by a cave-in, and finally, caught in 2 separate explosions.
Keep in mind the results of this game if Rick ever offers to take you spelunking... Martha (41) won a narrow victory over Jennifer (40) and David (27). In other news Rick (3) was also playing.

Ruben, Melinda, Bill T, and Lance played Wizard. This is a trick-taking card game played with a 60-card deck (1-13 in 4 suits, plus 4 Wizards and 4 Jesters). The game is played over a set number of rounds (number varies with number of players) and each round, you deal each player only one more card than they received in the previous round, then players have to predict how many tricks they will take. This can be very hard in rounds with few cards in hand, but it gets easier as the game goes on. Ruben (440) proved most adept, while Melinda (410) and Bill T (410) tied for second. In other news Lance (290) was also playing. OK, I'll stop that joke now...

Jason, Scott Fisher, Carly, and I played Stack Market. This is an odd mixture of dice and dexterity. I feel like we may have gotten a rule or two wrong as it seemed that the first round would never end. Eventually, we finished the round, and called the game. David (80) used his tallest building bonuses to win, followed by Scott (40), and Jason (30) and Carly (30).

Scott Fox taught Rick, David, and Martha, the wonderfully painful game of Sticheln. In this game, you try to duck taking tricks that have your "pain" color cards in them, while taking tricks without it. Rick (37) mastered the concept quickly, and was followed by David (35) David (37) mastered the concept quickly, and was followed by Rick (35), and Martha (29). It seems the three new players punished the experienced player, as Scott Fox (-1) pulled up the rear...

Judy, Rose, Noreen, Bill T, and Carly played a game of bean-harvesting goodness, Bohnanza. This was Judy's first play, and she grasped the concepts here well, as she won with a score of 16, followed by Carly (14), Bill (13), Rose (12) and Noreen (9).

Bill S, Bill T, Corwin, Carly, and Judy played Can't Stop. 5 players is about my top limit for the game, as otherwise it can get very hard to have the game end. Judy pushed her luck into a win, followed by Bill T, Bill S & Carly (tied), and Corwin.

Meanwhile, David F, Lance, Melinda, Ruben, Scott Fisher, and Jason played Volle Wolle. This is a dice game played with an 8-, a 10- and a 12-sided die, and you have to bid a total, then roll to try to reach that total, taking cards if you make it. Fun game, with a cute little sheep shearing theme. Ruben won handily, with 54 points, followed by Scott (36), Dave (34), Jason (29), Melinda (26), and Lance (4). Lance played well, but was almost always contrarian in his bidding, and paid for it, sometimes painfully.

Next up was Tichu for Ruben & Rose vs. Noreen & Melinda. The R's took the game, 1025 to 775. No score sheet, so I am not sure of Tichu calls or slams...

Jason, Andrew, Scott Fisher, and I played Tikal. It was Jason's first time exploring the South American Wilderness. I made a crucial mistake just before the second scoring which let Jason into a pyramid where I could have placed more men. He was able to dig it down to 9 and cap it, and the points from this and his prior cap easily carried him to a crushing victory. He ended with 116 to Andrew's 94, Scott's 86, and my 79. Ouch!

Carly, Scott Fox, Martha, David B, and Rick played 6 Nimmt!, a good game for later in the evening when no one wants to think too hard. Fox returned from the dead to win (22) followed by David B (41), Martha (47), Carly (61) and Rick (85). When I came over, they had played 2 rounds and Carly was at 49 points already, well ahead of the pack, so it is impressive to see that she was able to turn the tables and not go over 66 first.

Last game of the night was Zooloretto, with Corwin, Judy, Bill S & Bill T. This is a nicely themed variation on the card game Coloretto. It's growing on me. Final scores in this round were, Bill T 32, Corwin 27, Judy 27 (Corwin had 3 coins to Judy's 2 to get the tiebreaker), and Bill S 19.

Thanks to everyone for coming out, I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you on the Tenth!