Monday, April 30, 2007

April 2007 Recap

Ok, so what did we play in April?

Here it is:

Game Name


Thurn and Taxis4
Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga3
Blue Moon City2
Nacht der Magier2
No Thanks!2
On the Underground2
Power Grid2
Struggle for Rome2
Störrisches Muli, das2
Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory2
Ticket to Ride2
Ticket to Ride: USA 19102
Unpublished Prototype2
Age of Steam1
Age of Steam Expansion - Mississippi Steamboats / Golden Spike1
Alhambra - The Dice Game1
Blue Moon City: Expansion Tile sets 1 & 21
Bohnanza - Erweiterungs Set1
Carcassonne - Hunters and Gatherers1
Carcassonne - The City1
Category 51
Dia de los Muertos1
Easy Come, Easy Go1
Edel, Stein & Reich1
Gang of Four1
Great Wall of China1
Hare and the Tortoise, The1
Hera & Zeus1
Hunting Party1
Igel Ärgern1
Medici vs Strozzi1
Mr. Jack1
Pillars of the Earth, The1
Puerto Rico1
Quo Vadis?1
Settlers of Catan, The1
Settlers of Catan, The - 5-6 Player Expansion1
Taj Mahal1
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization1
Thurn und Taxis - Der Kurier der Fürstin1
Time is Money1
To Court the King1
Too Many Cooks1
Winner's Circle1
Witch Trial1

To sum up, that is 81 playings of 56 different games, and 12 playings of 9 different expansions. Of the games played, 43 games were only played once (6 expansions were played but once), and 13 had multiple plays (3 expansions were played more than once).

Which ones are expansions? Unpublished Prototype is for the Power Grid Expansion (the alternate Power Plant Deck), then there is Alhambra - The Dice Game, which was played as an expansion, although it can be played as a stand-alone game as well, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910, Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory, Age of Steam Expansion - Mississippi Steamboats / Golden Spike, Blue Moon City: Expansion Tile sets 1 & 2, Bohnanza - Erweiterungs Set, Settlers of Catan - 5-6 Player Expansion, and Thurn und Taxis - Der Kurier der Fürstin are all expansions to other games.

Good Gaming!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Special Saturday Session GCOM Middletown

This is a short recap of the special session of GCOM Middletown in honor of Tony moving back to Raleigh from Cincinnati (he used this point as a resting place (+ 2 days of gaming).


  • Scott Fisher (host)
  • David Fair (co-host)
  • Noreen Fair
  • Rose Byington
  • Judy Trent
  • Scott Fox
  • Tony Svaljenka
  • Scott Percival
  • Liz Percival
  • Carly Fisher
  • Calvin Fisher
  • Bob Jones
  • Carol Jones
  • Rachel Jones
  • Steve Meyers
  • Constance Meyers
  • Sarah Upwright
  • Rick Pasquale
Games played:

  • Tichu X 3 (Rose/Noreen vs. Carly/Constance),(Carol/Liz vs. Scott Fisher/Sarah Upwright) & (Calvin/Noreen vs. Rose/Carly)
  • Puerto Rico (Tony, Scott Fisher, David and Steve)
  • Hunting Party (Rick, Judy and Scott Fox)
  • GemBlo (Scott Fisher,Liz, Sarah, Tony, Carol and Calvin)
  • Paternoster (Liz, Tony, Rachel, Carol, Scott Fisher and Calvin)
  • Pueblo (Constance, Rachel and Noreen)
  • Nacht der Magier (Carol, Noreen, Rachel and Bob)
  • On The Underground (Bob, Noreen, Rachel, Calvin and Carol)
  • Fire and Axe (David, Judy, Scott Fisher, Scott Fox and Tony)
  • Das Storrisches Muli X2 (Calvin, Rick, Calvin and Scott Fox) &(Tony, Steve, David, Scott Fisher and Noreen)
Summary of games played:

Tichu x3 - again this game is proving to be one the most popular games among our gamers. Sarah and myself vs. Liz and Carol was the game that would never end. We had to have played at least 20 hands!!! I did not get any feedback on the other games but there was some hooting and hollering going on so I suspect there was "trash talking" going on.

Puerto Rico - Final score was David 55 (3rd seat), Tony 52 (1st seat), Steve 42 (4th seat) and Scott Fisher (39 2nd seat). A fun game which was played very quickly (a positive for me). This game was very well played. Puerto Rico is truly a classic game. It is still one of my favorite games. Steve always enjoys this game and I welcomed his suggestion to play it.

Hunting Party - Final scores were Scott Fox (5 gold & 2 silver), Rick (3 gold) and Judy (2 gold & 2 silver). This was the first playing of this game by our group. It took quite a while for the rules to be digested and played. After one false start a complete game was played. The strategy of this game became apparent too late into the first game. All said they enjoyed this game. If anyone is interested in purchasing a good deal is available on ebay. I would be interested in purchasing as well and shipping for 2 is only $13 vs. $10 for 1 game. Drop me a line if interested.

GemBlo - Final score was Calvin (8), Tony (11), Scott Fisher (12), Sarah (13), Liz (18) and Carol (19). This game is a great looking game when played and I enjoy it more than Blokus.

Paternoster - Final score was Tony, Carol and Cal (0 cards), Scott & Liz(1 card) and Rachel (4 cards). This is a memory game where each person has a hand of cards depicting 9 different characters. A pawn is moved after rolling a six sided die. The 10 spaces each which represent the cars of an elevator. Inside each "different" elevator is one of the 9 characters. The blank space is replaced by the just revealed card. On a turn each person secretly selects which character is thought to occupy that elevator card. If you are correct you discard the card. Object is to rid yourself of all your cards. Pretty standard memory game.

Pueblo-Final score was Noreen (66), Rachel (97) and Constance (108). I did not get a report on this game. I am pleased that Consie (pictured below) joined us for a GCOM event. She and her husband will play with my family frequently after Mass on Sunday. Welcome to our group!

Nacht der Magier - Final Score -Carol was able to push her playing piece into the ring of fire (which was missing). Apparently, when the game was first setup the ring of fire was not placed under the fire pit. This game won the Spiel das Jahres this year as a kids game. It is quite an impressive game to see glowing in the dark.

On the Underground - Final score was Bob (39), Noreen (36), Rachel and Calvin (33) and Carol (26). The margin of victory for Bob was attributed to his large loop which enclosed 9 points.

Fire and Axe - Final score was Scott Fisher (201), Scott Fox (129), Tony and David (116) and Judy Trent (Bad! - was all reported). Scott Fisher dominated Norway cards for nearly 70 points. I enjoyed this game. It is a nice game with multiple paths to victory. It seemed that all of us were pursuing different paths in hopes of victory.

Das Storrisches Muli x2 - First game was a shared victory by David and Noreen. Oh my the lovebirds even play to tie instead of win. Sickening isn't it! The second game final scores were not reported.

Pillars of the Earth - Final score was Bob (54), David (49), Steve (48) and Tony (34).

Thanks to everyone for bringing some goodies. I am sorry to Noreen and Consie for running out of food. :( If you two were not so devoted to your game you could have fought for some food. Next schedule session is May 25, 2007. Hope to see you all.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Middletown - 4/27/2007

This is a short recap of the last meeting of GCOM Middletown.


  • Scott Fisher (host)
  • David Fair (co-host)
  • Noreen Fair
  • Rose Byington
  • Bill Trac
  • Ruben Carbonell
  • Malinda Carbonell
  • Judy Trent
  • Scott Fox
  • Tony Svaljenka
  • Steve Lollis
  • Bryan Snyder
  • Scott Percival
Games played:

Summary of games played:

Tichu - continues to be a favorite game within our gaming group. It was played multiple times by at least 3 different foursomes. The theme of this night seemed to be set your own partner's "Tichu" call but then finish 1-2. The 3 different foursomes played at least 5 matches.

Battelore - a match up called "A complex web" which is number 6 in the scenario book from the base game. This scenario includes using the Giant Spider. Steve played the "banner" player which had the Giant Spider as part of his army. This scenario also used goblins and dwarves. It was a very interesting game as usual with Steve (as usual) prevailing 6 to 3. I really, really enjoy this game even though it does not seem like it should be my kind of game.

Thurn and Taxis : Power and Glory - Final scores were reported as Malinda (30), Bryan (19) and Judy (8). Quoting from the official score sheet "Mel played her best game ever. :) One route earned me (Mel) 14 points. Bryan played well considering "suckful" card draws at the start of the game.

Gold Land - Final scores Ruben (21), Bill (19), Steve L. (11), Scott Fisher (10) and Bryan (10). This is my second playing of this game. It has been on my shelf since 2002 I am very disappointed that it was unplayed for so long. It has been very enjoyable both playings. This game was tale of 2 different races. Bill and Ruben on just about every exploration drew a tile that was passable. On the other hand Steve and myself almost always drew "ordeal" tiles! The game then became a race for everyone but Bill and Ruben to rush up to the temple.

Age of Steam: Mississippi Steamboats - Final scores Scott P. (81), Scott Fox (78), David (75) and Tony (54). The only feedback I heard about this playing was how unique the game was as the cities (= boats) moved up and down the Mississippi. Sounded a little like trying to hit a moving target. This variant seemed to be well liked.

Time is Money - this is a quick game that is played in rounds. The first round lasts a total of 10 seconds per player, the second round lasts 20 seconds per player and the final round lasts 30 seconds per player. This does not seem like much time but it very fun watching your fellow competitors frantically grabbing money and counting seconds in your head. The final scores were $1000(David), $590 (Scott P. ), $630 (Tony) and $580 (Scott Fisher). It is a real shame that I lost by such a large amount since my mouth is obviously a better player than my mind!

Fire and Axe - Final scores were Judy (123), David (115), Bryan (102), Malinda (96) and Scott Fox (77). No recap was given but I heard all favorable comments after the conclusion of the game.

Struggle for Rome - Final scores were Scott Fisher (10), Steve and Tony (6 each). Steve was awarded 2nd place by tiebreaker method which is most money. I won the game with Scourge of Rome (2 VP's) X 2, 5 cities (5 VP's) settled and 1 card (1 VP). The game tends to be a little long but I did enjoy it neverless.

All in all a really good session. It was a nice surprise to have Tony join us on Friday instead of on Saturday as originally planned. My gaming habit can be directly traced to Tony. When I was in high school I spent many a day and night playing many of the classic games of the time such as 1830, Titan, Civilization, Circus Maximus and of course D&D. It is always a high point to rekindle those old memories!

Next scheduled session is May 25, 2007. I look forward to seeing you all.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brunswick 04/21/07

Hello all, I'll start off with a report of our last session.

For those that haven't been there the Brunswick GCOM session are held at the Beans in the Belfry coffeeshop in Brunswick. It's a great place, built in a converted church. They have good food and plenty of space.

The afternoon started off with 3 local Brunswick folks in attendence, Lynnette, Jim, and Noelle. First played was Dia de los Muertos, which is a neat little 4-person trick taking game that I really like, but rarely get to play. Lynnette and I paired off against Jim and Noelle and we managed to eke out the victory 3 to 2. We followed that up with Witch Trial, which is one of my favorites of the Cheapass games. Much fun was had selling out the innocent for money and explaining how your evidence bears on the case. One of my favorites - defense against of a dead woman against the charge of heliopropism, "her loving family turned her away from the sun regularly." Lynnette proved the most rich prestigious lawyer in the end.

They had to leave early and as it was already late afternoon and I wasn't expecting anyone else I headed home. To my suprise I got phone call from Scott Fisher saying that he and Sarah were over at Beans. I must of just missed them. Since the car wasn't even unloaded yet I headed back over.

We played Kreta, which was new for both of them. I ended up running away with it, somehow I don't think I'll have it so easy next time though. After that we played Bohnanza which I also won, but by a much narrower margin.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Saturday Gaming at Scott's House in Middletown


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We are going to start at 3PM and go until ... I will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and snack will also be provided. I hope to have a nice turnout. Please respond if you can attend so I can get enough food. Hope to see you soon.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Damascus 04/20/07

A great evening of gaming, and we had 15 people in attendance:

  • David & Noreen Fair
  • Rose Byington
  • Raphael L.
  • Scott Fox
  • Phillippe Hebert
  • Marshall Miller
  • Scott Fisher & Sarah Upwright
  • Bert Feliksik
  • Bill Trac
  • Tom & Katie McCorry
  • Ruben & Melinda Carbonell
We started off with David, Tom, Scott Fisher, Raphael, and Marshall playing a game of Quo Vadis. This is an almost pure negotiation game, with players vying for advancement in the senate. To win, one must have garnered the most laurels, and be present in the senate main chamber. this can be tough to do. In this game, Dave saw that Marshall had set himself up for easy solo entry on his next turn, and Raphael, Tom, and Scott were already there. This left only one seat, and the only hope he had of getting in took two turns to accomplish. Dave worked hard, pressing the flesh, encouraging the others not to conspire against him to keep him out, and gave away a ton of laurels in the process. It paid off, and Dave reached the chamber last, but with 23 laurels to get the victory. Scott and Tom both had 16, and Raphael and Marshall both had 13. A fun game that plays fast and gives unique gameplay.

While Quo Vadis was being played, Sarah and Katie set off for 2-player On the Underground, Philippe, Bert, and Scott Fox played Yspahan, and Noreen, Bill, Melinda, Ruben, and Rose played a game of 5-player Settlers of Catan.

Katie and Sarah ended up tied at 83 points in On the Underground. This game looks like it would be an interesting 2-player battle. I have only played it with 4 or 5. How did it play, ladies?

Meanwhile, Noreen, Ruben, Rose, Melinda, and Bill sat down to play 5-player Settlers of Catan. Bill, Ruben and Melinda had good setups and where in a dead heat for most of the game. Rose and Noreen suffered from what Noreen confesses to be poor starting positions, and lagged somewhat. Ruben had the Longest Road, and Rose had the Largest Army. It came down to the wire, with the three leaders all tied at 9 points, and Ruben upgraded a settlement to get his last point.

Yspahan plays quickly and Scott Fox taught it to Philippe and Bert. They all seemed to struggle early on, and poor Fox could not seem to gather any camels. Philippe worked on gathering gold and camels, building all of his buildings, while Bert gathered as many souk groups as he could. In the end, Bert and Philippe tied for the victory with 87 points, while the teacher with the poor dice rolling ended with only 60. I wonder what happened to Fox's much-mentioned Horseshoe?

After Quo Vadis, Tom & Scott Fisher played a game of Medici Vs. Strozzi, the game of starting with 300 dollars, and losing less than your opponent. It has an interesting auction mechanism and really translates the feel of the parent game, Medici, to a two-player form. Tom proved victorious, with 207 dollars to Scott's 105. See what I mean about losing less?

Meanwhile, David, Marshall, and Raphael were joined in a game of Imperial by Bert, Philippe, and Scott Fox. This is a terrific game that combines a wargame with a stock market game, and ownership of countries passes back and forth among the players, each trying to be in control when the country is doing well (so that they may suck out some money) and happy to relinquish control when it is doing poorly. Scott proved to be the most adept at manipulating things to his benefit, winning with 129 points. Bert was next with 114 (I made a math error at the table, and listed Bert third at the time...Sorry Bert!), followed by Dave with 113, Raphael with 99, Marshall with 93, and Philippe with 79. A great game that everyone enjoyed, though it did run a bit long.

After Underground and Medici Vs. Strozzi ended, the two groups joined together to play Die Baumeister von Arkadia, a pretty highly thought of new game from Ravensburger and Rio Grande Games. Scott was generous enough to give us this summary:

Interesting and quick playing game by Rudiger Dorn. The game is played over 2 rounds. A round ends when 10 palace pieces (side note: palace pieces are the same as Torres pieces) have been placed onto a palace square. During your turn you can either place a building in the area surrounding the palace or place any number of your playing pieces around previous constructed buildings. The buildings (ala Princes of Florence) have different sizes and shapes, and each building has an assigned color. The only other option is to cash in accumulated coins, at the end of your turn. The optional action may be done only 4 times per game. The value of each coin is determined by the number of that particular color which is displayed on top of the palace pieces at the time of scoring. Coins are collected when a building is surrounded orthogonally. The player who places the final piece that surrounds the building gets a coin from the building. Additionally, all players receive a coin for each of their own pieces which are surrounding the building. When the 20th palace piece is placed every player including the player who triggered the endgame are allowed one final turn.

Our particular game was very tense. Each of us only scored 3 times by the time the game ended. We all missed a scoring opportunity. The game was enjoyed by all. The final scores were Scott (84), Tom (76), Katie (57) and Sarah (51). Nice tight game with some very interesting options for "take that" and "push your luck" in regards to when to cash in your coins.

The Settlers Group played To Court the King next, the game was hard fought, but when Ruben managed to roll 7-6's, only Melinda had a chance, and she rolled her 8 dice, but failed to exceed his accomplishment, giving Ruben the win.

Noreen and Bill paired off against Tom and Rose for the traditional Tichu action. Despite a clash in players styles for Rose and Tom, they managed to lay down the smack on their opponents. They called the game just a bit shy of the actual end, with Tom and Rose winning 995 to 305. Ouch!

Remember, next week we are at GCOM-Middletown, and the Fisher place is ideal for gaming. We'll see you all there!

Reminder and Announcement

Next Friday is the next scheduled game night at GCOM Middletown. It will begin anytime after 6PM and last until ...

Also, there will be a special Saturday event here as well. Many of you know my friend, Tony Svaljenka, well Tony will be here on Saturday, and I thought we would get together for some gaming. He is moving back to Raleigh, NC. from Cincinnati, OH. I hope many of you will plan on attending. I will provide more information tomorrow or Tuesday so you can plan accordingly.

Peace and hope to see you soon!

Germantown - Mike Fitzgerald

May the First is Mike Fitzgerald's Birthday. Mr. Fitzgerald is the designer of the game Wyatt Earp and the Mystery Rummy series. I will be bringing these games for gaming on Monday, and I hope to have a chance to play some of them, great games all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Germantown 04/16/2007

Once again, 13 gamers gathered in the somewhat tight quarters of the Borders Cafe to play some games.

Attending were:

  • Bob Jones
  • Dave Fair
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Eric Reinhold
  • Laura Reinhold
  • Leslie Barkley
  • David Raley
  • David Briggs
  • Martha Briggs
  • Bill Trac
  • Ruben Carbonell
  • Melinda Carbonell
  • Kevin Bealer

I arrived just before 7PM to find Dave Fair, Doug, David Raley and Bill just finishing a game of Taluva. Dave Fair won by a Huts & Towers instant win. I haven't played Taluva yet so I have no idea what that means but I'm sure it's impressive. :-) In any event, Dave has been playing the game A LOT so it must be pretty good.

Meanwhile, Melinda, Ruben and Leslie were engaged in a game of Thurn & Taxis with the Princess expansion. The expansion was helpful to Ruben who stayed in the game by having the messenger for the majority of the game, despite having to flush his route twice. In the end, though, Melinda had a dominating victory with 26 to Ruben's 15 and Leslie's 12.

At the third table, Eric and Laura were teaching Ticket to Ride with the 1910 expansion to David and Martha Briggs. Martha did especially well for her first game but was narrowly beaten by Eric. Final scores were Eric 120, Martha 112, Laura 83 and David 70.

After Taluva ended, I joined that group for the classic Hare & Tortoise. After a bunch of useless bets on position early on, I leaped into the lead and approached the finish line short of carrots, needing an extra turn or two to restock. This was all the break the rest of the field needed. In quick succession, Bill, Dave Fair, Doug, then I crossed the line in that order. Unfortunately, David was never able to recover after some bad beats and finished last.

As Kevin had arrived, he joined Melinda, Leslie and Ruben for a game of San Juan. Leslie was the only player new to the game. From my seat, it looked like a hard fought game and the results bear that out. Leslie won an impressive victory with 31 points to Ruben's 28, Melinda's 27 and Kevin's 22.

Following the tight race in Hare & Tortoise, Bill, Dave Fair, David Raley, Doug and I played the very good auction, canal-building, irrigation game, Santiago. The auctions were fairly punishing and placement of plantation plots typically wicked. Near the end of the game I was pretty much out of cash and counting strictly on the size of my plantations and workers for my score. Alas, it was not enough as Dave Fair scored all over the board, winning despite Doug's maxed-out potato plantation. Final scores were Dave Fair 102, Doug 94, Bob 92, Bill 92, and David 44.

After San Juan and Ticket to Ride ended, the two groups merged and Laura, Eric, Kevin, Martha and David Briggs played the very popular bean-collecting game, Bohnanza. Final scores were Laura and Kevin tied at 13, Martha 11, Eric 8, and David 7.

The final games of the night were two quick games of Geschenkt. Doug readily admits he doesn't do well at this game and despite some good breaks, he proved himself correct. Scores for the first game (low score wins) were Bill 32, Bob 49, Dave 74, Doug 93. The second game was a bit tighter with Bob at 27, Dave 31, Bill 35 and Doug 99.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on April 30.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Damascus 04/13/07

Never fear, Friday the Thirteenth did not keep people away from gaming at the Damascus Community Center. We had 23 people total:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin & Andew Fair
  • Marshall Miller
  • Philippe Hebert
  • Scott Percival
  • Scott & Carly Fisher
  • John Stup
  • Bill Trac
  • David Raley
  • Bert Feliksik
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Scott Fox, Judy & Kayla Trent
  • Lance S.
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel, & Ben Jones
When we first arrived, Marshall, Scott Percival, Corwin and Dave Fair played a few hands of Gang of Four. This is a card game similar to Tichu in that you play poker-like hands in an attempt to get all cards played first, but it has fewer kinds of cards, but more of them. It is simpler, with no passing, and no partners. David got rid if his cards first in both hands.

Next up was a 6-player game of Alhambra, using the Alhambra Dice Game as an expansion. The less said here the better. Alhambra is fun, but the dice mechanic is a bit stale and really limited your choices. Scott Percival dominated, scoring 120 points, Marshall gained second with 93 points, Scott Fisher took third with 56 points, Philippe was fourth with 55 points, David Fair with 5th with 46 points, and Carly came 6th with 28 points.

Meanwhile, Ruben and Melinda, and several others arrived, and two games got set up. the first was Thurn & Taxis: Power & Glory - this is an expansion to the base game, and offers a few more interesting choices, in game play, but at the cost of adding some time to the game. Melinda played this with Bill Trac, David Raley, and John Stup, and Bill won with 27 points, followed by David at 20, Melinda at 14, and John at 7.

Ruben joined Lance, Scott Fox, and Bert in playing the classic AP-Game (I meant Action Points, what did you think i meant?), Tikal. the game was very close in the first scoring, and the tightest finish I can recall, with only 4 points separating first and fourth. Outstanding! Ruben took the victory with 95 points, Bert was next with 94, then Lance with 93, and Scott Fox with 91.

Noreen, Andrew, Judy and Kayla played a game of Ticket To Ride with the USA 1910 expansion. Few notes on how it went, but the scores tell that Noreen came out on top with 152 points, followed by Kayla with 103, Judy with 72, and Andrew with 55. Noreen lapped her son on the score track: No mercy!

Scott Fisher joined the newly-arrived Jones' and Bert for Goldsieber's game of exploration and planning, Goldland. I like this game, it has a nice theme and the mechanics make sense for the theme. Fun to play and very pretty too look at. Carol proved to be the most successful adventurer, garnering 23 points, followed by Bert with 21, Scott with 19, and Bob with 3. Three points, Bob! What happened? Inquiring minds want to know...

The Call of The Cards was heard round the Community Center, as Noreen and Judy paired off against Ruben and Carly in none other than... Tichu. It did not go well for Noreen and Judy, with the final score being 1045 to 355. Undaunted, Noreen subbed in Melinda when Judy cried out "No Mas", and the rematch saw Ruben and Carly fall, 1055 to 545.

Bill Trac, David Raley, and John Stup setup and played what is possibly my favorite of the Carcassonne series, Carcassonne: The City. We got no reports on how the game went other than the final scores: Bill 143, David Raley 138, and John 126. How did it go, guys? What was the winning strategy?

As Goldland ended, and Judy staggered away from the Tichu table, Bob, Bert, Noreen, Judy, and Carol got together to play the finest Dice-Rolling, Finger-Flicking, Area Majority, Roll-and-Move game available, Cairo. This is a favorite in our group, and play goes like this: On your turn, roll a die, move your ship the indicated number of spaces, then attempt to send stones (cubes) off your ship to the various pyramid building sites. You can send 3 small stones (1 point each toward control of the area they end in), your single large stone (3 points toward control), or your colored die (1-6 points towards control). The caveat is that you must use the finger appropriate to the number on the die you rolled (6=your choice). If you move back down the river you may pick up stray cubes, and you can build cubes in the pyramid building areas into pyramids, in order to try to make them worth more. Fun game with some strategy, some skill, and lots of "Arrrgggghhhh" moments. On this day, Noreen was victorious with 58 points, and Bob followed with 43. Bert had 24, Judy 23, and Carol 14.

Fire & Axe started just after the Alhambra Dice game, but it was the last game of the night to fold. The game was interesting, with several paths to victory. It had a lot of decisions to make, although, ultimately, it felt as if the dice might overly help or hinder one here as well. Philippe worked hard to collect city tokens, ensuring his raiding forces got the Bloodiest Axe bonus at game end, while Scott Fox and Scott Percival tried balanced strategies of Raiding and Trading, and Marshall worked hard to Settle most prolifically. I got bad rolls, people stole what little gains I earned, and I mostly floundered for much of the game, but I had fun. Ultimately, Philippe "Scourge of Europe" Hebert's strategy paid off best, and he won with 200 points. Scott Fox was the next most feared Viking, with 135 points, Then Scott Percival, with 119, David Fair with 99, and Marshall with 95. Good game, and i can't wait to play again.

Next week (04/20), we will have some neighbors, as part of the rec center is rented out for the evening. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 10 & 11

The last day of the Gathering started out with Noreen and I driving 4.5 hours round trip to get the kids, hoping we would be back in time for the Can't Stop Tournament, which I was the GM for.

In fact, we had plenty of time, and I got back to the hotel in time to play Alchemist with Kevin & Rhonda Bender and Bobby Warren. It was an interesting set collection game, but I am unsure how much control there was there, and how much was illusory. Bobby spanked us, winning 69 to my 58, to Rhonda's 56, to Kevin's 52. I liked it well enough, and if I get a chance to play it again and I feel more in control, then I will pick it up, but I won't buy it without another play first...

I then ran the Can't Stop tournament, which had 60 players. We had 8 boards, so there were a few who had to wait, but the games were not too bad, and everyone seemed to have fun. At one table, a player locked the 6 & 7 on her first turn, but then could not get any advancement for the next 20 minutes, she just kept crapping out by rolling 3-3-4-4 or some other roll that did not help her.

Noreen lost in the first round, and the eventual winner was Jeff Goldsmith, who ran the Duplicate Tichu tournament. I can't wait to see his choice next year.

After the tournament, I played a game of Yspahan with Jay Bloodworth, Noreen, and Rhonda Bender. I gave everyone a quick rules refresher, but I must have been asleep, as they all reminded me of stuff during the game that i forgot to mention. Sigh. Still, it worked out well for me as the scores were Dave 100, Jay 77, Noreen 74, Rhonda 70. That caravan can be a killer....

Next up was dinner. Sundays at the Gathering are capped by dinner on Alan at the Hunan House, a very nice Chinese place with excellent food. This year, 90 people attended. We sat at a table with Bob Downing, Jim MacDanold, Craig Feldmann, and Kevin and Rhonda Bender. Dinner was excellent as always, and we had a great time, reminiscing, planning, and talking.

After dinner, we met back at the hotel for a few final games. Kevin and I joined Sterling Babcock, Marcia Babcock, and James Davis (who has more than 12,000 games in his collection!) in a game of Colosseum, the new release due soon from Days of Wonder. I liked the game a lot. It is basically a game of set collection, but it has trading, auctions, and takes a great deal of planning. It feels a lot like a more interactive version of Princes of Florence. I held back until the final round, and then used a double-build tile I had collected earlier to acquire a new work card, and get a 5-point bonus "season-ticket" tile. I then acquired one of the three musicians I needed, and used a wild-tile to count as the second of those three, and put on my show one musician short, for 40 base points. I had two four-point bonuses from my Orators and Priests, I had three 5-point bonuses from my previous shows, I had two of the 5-point Season Ticket bonuses, and I got lucky on my dice rolls and was able to get the Emperor, a Senator, and a Citizen all to attend my show (15 total bonus points), and finally, I turned in two medallions for 6 more bonus points, netting 94 points, 25 points ahead of Marcia, who had 69, Kevin was third with 56, Jamed fourth with 52, and Sterling, who taught the game, had a terrible set of tile choices in the last 2 rounds, and ended the game with 40.

I went to bed after that. How could I have improved on that?

Today we got up at 10, got packed, and left the hotel by 11:30, and arrived home at 6:00pm. We are all exhausted, happy, and well. We can't wait to see you guys Friday.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 9

This morning was the Flea Market, and I picked up a few items: Marracash, Graenaland, Pepper, and some Adlung card game. Then we went to Penzey's and lunch with the Bender's, then returned to the hotel, where we played Tichu again. Noreen & Jon Ferro against Michael Weston and I. It was 920 to 880 on the last hand, when Michael called Tichu on the lead trick (there was a 5 & he played a K). John called Tichu, laid down a played a Queen bomb, then a 10-card straight. Noreen was able to pickup the last 5 points they needed and we lost again, 1080 to 820.

We are heading to dinner, and the Prize Table ceremony is at 7:00. The best looking candidates for Noreen's pick are Nacht der Magier (which I have had trouble trying to get for some time now) and 1001 Arabian Nights. I am sure we will play more games after the ceremony.

At the time I wrote that, there was not all that much interesting and special up on the prize table, and there were some pre-release items but as i could get those soon anyway, they did not grab my attention.

HOWEVER, Alan was holding back, and several items came out at the last moment, and one of them was a beautifully constructed Ticket To Ride: Switzerland map (Switzerland is part of the PC game, and not available in a printed form) mounted on a 1-inch thick wooden base with painted frame and suitable for display. When we saw it, we knew it was what we wanted, and of course, it was our pick. We had Alan sign it, and had the maker, Jesse McGarth, sign it as well.

Noreen also got a copy of Quarto, and I got the new viking game Fire & Axe (a remake of Viking Fury), and a copy of the Ys+ expansion. We also got 2 copies of the Spielbox Thurn Und Taxis expansions (which we already have)...

Good news came during the Prize table ceremony, Jay Tummelson of RGG is springing for the sodas for next year, so instead of dropping about $25.00 on sodas for the two of us for the week (at $.75 per can), they will be FREE. Make sure to buy lots of Rio Grand games this year so he can afford it.

After the prize table ceremony, we settled into party game mode, as much of the Gathering does every year at this time. We played Cineplexity which Kevin O'Brien won (8), followed by Bobby Warren (7), Me (6), Rhonda Bender (4), Rob Smolka (2), and Kevin Bender (0). The game is a bit like Apples to Apples in that a judge draws two cards and decides who wins. The cards have different movie things on them: scenes, characters, locations, props, etc. and people have to name a movie that the judge knows contains both items. they then get one point.

We then played Smarty Party, and Kevin O' won again, followed by me, Rob, Rhonda, Kevin, and a three-way tie for last with Michael Weston, Noreen, and Bobby Warren.

Finally, we played 2 games of Act One, in which players try to get their teammates to name a movie based on their reading of lines from the movie. We had different teams each game, and i was the only player on the winning side bothe times:

Game One: The Annoying Kevins and A Couple of Dicks (Kevin O'Brien, Kevin Nunn, Kevin Bender, Richard Bethany, and Richard Meyer) scored 8 points...
The Witches, Bitches, and Us (David & Noreen Fair, Rhonda Bender, Rob Smolka, David Fair) scored 27

Game Two: The Fives (Kevin Bender, Kevin O'Brien, Richard Meyer, Me) scored 27 points... The Knot Fives (Noreen Fair, Rob Smolka, Richard Bethany, Rhonda Bender, and Evan Tannheimer) scored 24 points.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 8

Awoke late, and had lunch with the BoardGameNews gang, had a great time. Got back to the hotel just in time for the Duplicate Tichu Tournament.

Each team played 2 pre-set hands against each other team, then moved to a different table and played a different set of opponents. We had 9 teams, so we had to play 16 hands, and Noreen and I did quite well. The winners were Nataline Viray-Fuong and Scott Simon with 2030 points, and The Fairs were in second with 970. Derk Solko and Dan Karp took third with 320 and Christine Simundson and Tom Lehmann were fourth with 110. .All other teams ended in the negatives.

PS. Ted Alspach and Matthew Monin won the regular Tichu Tournament.

Next up was a silly dice-rolling game called Volle Wolle, which I played with Eric Handie, Ava Jarvis, and Matthew Gray. I won with 56 points, Eric had 43, Ava 41, and Matthew 30. The game is light and quick and has a theme of shearing sheep and really cute artwork, so I may pick this up soon.

Played a game of Igel Argern with Mary Prasad, Rhonda Bender, and Terry Bailey. The game was a lot of fun, and Mary was able to ensure her victory despite crappy rolls for the first 2/3rds of the game.

Dragon Parade was next, and we played with the same group, with the addition of Larry Whalen. This one was a lot of fun, and we were being really silly and goofing around. It was great. Larry won with 16 followed by Rhonda 15, David 12, Terry 10, Mary 9.

We played Gemblo next, and it went over well. We added Kevin bender in and swapped out Mary for Ravindra. Bad move as Ravindra sat to my right and is a shark. He and Rhonda tied at 4, I had 5, Kevin & Terry had 15, and Larry 22.

We then played the Gathering Wits & Wagers Game Show, our team was Rhonda, Kevin, Noreen, David, Terry, and Larry. It was a lot of fun, with game trivia, gathering trivia, bgg trivia, and general trivia. We bet poorly, and ended the game with a single point, ahead of only one team (Derk Solko, Matthew Gray, Aldie, Dan Karp, and One Guy I Did Not Recognize).

I then taught Tichu to Julie Luxenberg, and we played against Jon Ferro and Mark Delano. We had them 890 to 410 at one point, but I was card dead in the last three rounds, and they went 1-2, 1-2/Tichu/ and 1-2 to win 1110 to 890. Ouch!


This is a short recap of the last meeting of GCOM Middletown.


  • Scott Fisher (host)
  • Sarah Upwright
  • Raphael
  • Karl Musser
  • Jenny Foster
  • Marshall Miller
Games played:

Summary of games played:

Royal Turf - (new game to Marshall, Sarah and Raphael) - after the final race the scores were as follows:

Scott 13K, Marshall 11K, Raphael 9K, Karl 7K and Sarah 6.5K.

Thurn and Taxis - I was the last player and I triggered end game hopefully depriving the leaders even more victory points. Final scores were Raphael 24, Karl 21, Scott 13 and Marshall 11.

Struggle for Rome (Settlers of Catan Historical Scenario) - (new game for Karl and Jenny). The final scores were Karl 10 VP (8 conquered cities and diplomacy card), Jenny 7 VP (3 conquered cities and 2 Scourge of Rome cards) & Scott 6 VP (6 cities conquered).

Through the Ages - (new game for Marshall) - played the full game. Raphael reported a victory (apparently convincingly). I think the game was really enjoyed by both as well though.

Mr. Jack - (new to Jenny) - Played 2 games reversing the roles. Jack the Ripper was captured by the each of us on the 5th turn!

All in all a really good session. It was a little short on people but it was high on entertainment value.

Next scheduled session is April 27, 2007. I look forward to seeing you all.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 7

The first game played on day 7, was a 4-player version of Notre Dame with Noreen, Anye Sellers, and Jay Bloodworth. It was another Second Place Finish for me, as jay just racked up points like mad, and I floundered. Jay scored 65, I had 45, Anye 39, and Noreen had 36. I really like this game alot, definitely my pick for Gathering Hit.

Terry Bailey wanted someone to teach him Rette Sich Wer Kann, so we obliged, and made sure he was the first one drowned. He recovered somewhat, and the two of us tied for last place along with Thor Samuelson (we all had 12) Rhonda Bender scored 19, and Kevin 20, but Noreen had first place again, with 26 points.

We then took part in the Puzzle Hunt. I am not sure why. One of the reasons I stopped doing Tanga puzzles was the complete lack of direction, and this was more of the same. Only it lasted more than three hours. We played with Larry Levy, Jay Bloodworth, and Michael Weston. Some of the puzzles were clever, but trying to do 21 of them in that time, with little direction was more frustrating than fun.

Michael then taught R-ECO, and I played with Jim Fairchild, Michelle Corbin, and Earl Bailey. Michael was to my right, and I paid for that mistake, scoring only 5 points. Jim had 8, Earl 11, Michelle 13, and Michael 20. the game is interesting, basically a set collection game, but with able to force those coming after them to draw extra cards, and thus go over the hand limit and lose points, It had some interesting decisions.

We then did dinner at Schmidts Sausage House, a German eatery that has amazingly good food. We dined with Greg & Gail Schloesser, Kevin & Rhonda Bender, Craig and Jan Kim Berg, Earl Bailey & Michelle Corbin, Doug & Shelley Garrett, Anye Sellers, Ward Batty, Jay Bloodworth, and Jim Fairchild. It was great, and I highly recommend it for any trips to Columbus.

When we came back, we played Tichu, teaching Kevin & Rhonda how to play. Tichu went poorly for the team of David and Kevin.

We then played and unusual French game whose name translates to Found Objects. There we basically a bunch of strange things in the box (a rock, a toothbrush, a rubber band, a balloon, a feather, a key ring, a plastic astronaut, a wooden pawn, etc.) and you had to make one of six
items on a card and get the others to guess which it was. Early guesses scored more points than later ones, and the maker scored points equal the the number of people who guessed correctly. Rhonda won with 43 points, Kevin had 30, I had 28, and Noreen had 17.

We then played Can't Stop, and Noreen won again. It was tough towards the end and each of us had two columns locked, but Noreen just kept rolling fours...

Diamant was up next, and Rhonda won handily, with 41 points. Bobby Warren scored 24, i had 23, Kevin had 21, as did Terry Bailey, and Noreen had just 13. It was a lot of fun with tons of smack talk and laughing.

It was almost 3am, so we went to bed...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 6

I started my day playing Deduce... Or Die! with Michael Weston, Larry Levy, and Ted Alspach. This is a really hard deduction game, and Ted and i were just learning, so we got spanked, hard, by Michael. Larry Levy is the designer of the game, but he wrote one of my answers down as an answer from Ted, and thus ended up sidetracked.

We then played an interesting poker-type game prototype called Rapscallion (not about a hip-hop green onion) that has a card drafting mechanism. Played with Jay Greer, Michael and Ted. Michael won this one as well, Jay and I tied at 60, and Ted had 45 points.

After dinner, Rob Smolka wanted to learn Sticheln, so Micheal and I taught him that while waiting for the Tichu Tournament. Michael won again, 70 points to my 54 and Rob's 28.

It was time for the Tichu Tournament. Eric Martin and I played Corbin Nash and Bryan Bowe in the first heat, winning 1020 to 980. The game was a blowout at first, with us up 830 to 370, but a 1-2/Tichu followed by another 1-2 brought things much closer. We reached 920 points but it took us three more hands to get to 1000. In the next round we faced William Attia (designer of Caylus) and John Garnett. They both played very well (they are in the finals today), and despite
some valiant efforts on our part, they won, 1160 to 640.

Noreen arrived on the Hotel shuttle, back from Washington while I was playing Tichu. You didn't think I was going to stop playing to go get her, did you?

Ended the night playing Thurn & Taxis - Power & Glory, the new expansion that I bought from Jay/Rio Grande. Bobby Warren placed first with 19 points, Noreen was second with 18, Satish Pillalamarri was third with 13, and I was fourth with 12. I really like the expansion as it gives you some options for hiding cards opponents may need, and for taking cards you don't really want while not screwing yourself over completely.

After sitting around and gabbing with friends for a while, we headed off to bed.

Germantown 04/02/2007

At our last session (03/19), we had three new people in attendance. This week, we also had three new people in attendance. Awesome! Some of the newcomers have come in "off the street" so to speak, while others have come through their association with members of the group. I really appreciate all of you spreading the word.

Attending on Monday night were me, Doug, Bill S, Eric, Laura, David R, Melinda, Ruben, Leslie, Kevin, Dan, and the three newcomers, Mike, David B, and Martha B.

Unfortunately, I didn't take detailed notes so my discussion of most games below is sparse. It's also likely I've gotten some details wrong. Please feel free to reply with any comments or corrections.

While others arrived, Doug, David R, Eric, Mike and I started out with a quick game of Coloretto. Coloretto is fast and very easy but nearly every turn presents a difficult choice. For a short filler, it's a winner. After one round, I was ahead and we called the game.

Meanwhile, Bill S, Leslie, Laura, Ruben and Melinda started an apparently epic game of Great Wall of China. Leslie and Melinda fought over an 8/2 spot for ages, putting more cards into that single battle than any I've ever seen in the game. It wasn't an effective strategy, though, as at the end, Ruben was the winner by a significant margin.

While the Coloretto group was setting up to play Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, Kevin arrived so I left to play the deep and fulfilling, two player, Hera & Zeus with him. Just after we started, Dan, David Band Martha B arrived so Kevin and I hurried through our game. I won after taking out all of Kevin's cards. Kevin and I then settled down to a game of Edel Stein & Reich with the new arrivals.

The Hunters & Gatherers game was won by Doug. Then, Doug, Mike, Eric, Ruben and David R started the great game, my favorite game, Taj Mahal, while Leslie, Laura, Melinda and Bill S played Blue Moon City. The one melancholy aspect of having enough people in the group to play several games simultaneously is that you can't play all of them. I love both Taj and BMC and it is a bit painful to see them played without me. :-)

After two rounds of Edel, Stein & Reich, Dan was in last place with 27 points to Kevin's 46 or so. Martha, David B and I were in the high 30's to low 40's. After a surprising and fantastic last round, Dan pulled off an impressive victory with 71 points! David B was his closest competitor with 63 points. Well done, Dan!

About that same time, Blue Moon City was won by Leslie while David R won Taj Mahal. Most everyone departed at that time.

The last game of the night was a very quick game of Cartagena played by me, Doug, Leslie and Kevin. The pirates ran crazily down the corridors, hoping to be on the boat before it departed (and Borders closed). I was first to get all my pirates aboard and we sailed with about two minutes to go before the store closed.

All in all, it was a fun evening with great companions and some great games.

Our next session is April 16. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 5

Started the day at 2:00pm, as I had gone to bed at 7:00am...

Terry Bailey and I Taught Taluva to Brian Fealy, and Terry won by building all his huts and all his towers. I had one tower and 5 huts left, and Brian had one temple, one tower, and 8 huts. The game plays better in 3-player than it does in 4.

Next, I taught Brian Fjords, which he won, 5 to 7.

I played Montage, and interesting crossword type game. I partnered with Randy Cox, and played against Stephen Glenn and Nate Beeler. It was a very close game, which we just squeaked out a win in.

Next I played Die Saulen von Venedig with Rob Smolka and Bobby Warren, and Rob won on the last turn 69 to my 66 to Bobby's 56. Rob has a habit of passing me just as the game ends...

Power Grid - Germany
was next, in which we played with Freidemann's prototype expansion due out for Essen. It is basically just a new deck of power plants, but it was startling how much it changed the game. Jim Fairchild was shut out of coal on the last turn, and thus ended the game with $64 dollars, 5 capacity (15 potential), and 12 houses (shorthand: $64/5(15)/12) and ended up in 5th despite it looking like he was going to win... John Garnett ended with $76/7(7)/13 for 4th place, Warren Madden took third with $7/10(15)/12, Michael Weston came in second with $93/11(11)/14, and I snuck in a victory with $129/12(12)/15. The new deck is very interesting and adds a lot to the game. I will be making a copy for us to try until the deck is released.

Michael Weston and I teamed up for two games of Tichu against Curt Churchill and Rob Smolka. They were pasting us early on, but we found our rhythm, made back-to-back 1-2/Tichus to get right back in it, then they responded with a 1-2/Tichu, to make the score 920(us) to 980. On
the final hand I made a Tichu call again, and we scored every point to win 1120 to 980. Great game. Luckily, the next game followed the pace of the first, and we were in the zone... It took us only 7 hands to win 1050 to 250.

Followed this up with Outburst. Team "A" was Lisa Johnson, Nate Beeler, Dan Blum, Curt Churchill, and I. Team "B" was Rob Smolka, Jessica Robert, Tom Lehmann, Richard Bethany, and Benjamin Corliss. Outburst is like Speed family Feud, but you just shout your answers.
Through careful use of our passing chips (which allow you to decline a category) we were able to get categories like Cooking Methods, Cheeses, US Allies, and The Roaring 20's, while forcing our opponents into categories like Beers of the World, Janes and Jaynes, and British Actors. We crushed them by an astounding 65 to a paltry 63.

I ended the night playing Factory Fun with Eric Martin, Patrick Korner, and Larry Levy. Patrick Eric laid down the smack, only building one pipe the whole game, and scoring 82. Larry had 51, I had 50, and Patrick had 42.

It was now 7:00am, and I needed some cash, so I went to the car only to find one of the tires was flat. It had felt funny the last time I drove it, so I was not completely surprised. Luckily, there was an NTB 2 doors away, and I got two new tires on the front, and found the alignment was off, causing uneven wear and the flat was cause by wear on the inside down to the cords. After getting the car fixed, I got some cash, and came back to the hotel and hopped into bed at 8:30am.

It's now almost 2:00pm, and day 6 is starting. Tonight is the Tichu Tournament, and Noreen will be back around 10pm.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 4

I awoke, and after breakfast I joined Brian and Jacqui Bankler and Tom Lehmann in a game of Yspahan. Tom was new and the rest of us had all played before. Tom won by building heavily and using the occasional caravan piece. Final scores were Tom:86, Dave:81, Jacqui:68, Brian:65.

Next up was another game of Notre Dame, this time with Scott Simon, Anne Churchill, Tony Soltis, and Brain Fealy. In my first game, I used my carriage a lot, and mostly ignored my rat problem, in this game, I used the park, the hotel, and the hospital almost exclusively, and
scored well, but was second again. Final Scores: Tony:70, Dave:57, Brain:51, Scott:46, Anne:30. I am really enjoying this game, and think it is the best Alea release in a while.

Next up was the eminently forgettable Zooloretto... Think Coloretto, redone with tiles, player boards and a lot more fiddly rules. I will not be buying this. I played with Buzz Aldrich (26), Lisa Johnson (19), Chris LaRue (17), and Kris Gould (15) - I came in last (14).

Then I played Guatamala Cafe with Buzz Aldrich, Dale Yu, and Matthew Baldwin. Ugh. Bad production values, and uninspired gameplay. The beginning 20 minutes were odd, and frustrating, the middle 20 were ok, but the endgame was just awful. Another I will not buy. Dale won with 42 points, followed by Buzz with 27, and Matthew and I with 11 each.

Played a 4 player Imperial game with Curt Churchill, Richard Bethany, and Markus Welbourne (the M in JKLM games...). It was a great game, with a lot of maneuvering and very fluid ownership. At one point or another, I had each of the 6 flags in front of me... Curt won with a
score of 150, followed by Markus at 144, Richard at 132, and me with 127.

Two games with Terry Bailey, Bobby Warren, and Rhonda Bender followed, first was Taluva, which i won buy building all my temples, one tower, and all but 2 huts, Bobby was next because he built all his temples, one tower, and all but 10 huts. Rhonda built all but 1 of each item, and came in third, and poor Terry, who kept getting built over by everyone as he played to easy to exploit places, came in 4th by building no temples, both towers, and all but 3 huts.

Can't Stop was next, which Rhonda won by advancing the 6, 8, and 2.

I then played 2 games of Werewolf, with a ton of people. Ted Alspach moderated the first one, and Heli Barthon the second. Bill Cleary won for the wolves in the first game even though he was outnumbered 9 to 1 when the village lynched the other two wolves on days 1 and 3 (I was lynched on day 1). In game two, the wolves killed me first, but the villagers battled on and won out in the end when Roger Breitenstein could not break up the Mason voting block...

I then played 2 games of Tichu with Christine Simundson and Tom Lehmann, and partnering with W. Eric Martin. Eric and i won both games, with score of 1035 to 265, and 1385 to -85. We had a 1-2/Tichu on the last hand. It was very ugly, and I was a card rack all night, getting 4-5 bombs total, and the 4-kings bomb twice.

I went to bed after getting breakfast. It was 7:00am

Monday, April 02, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 3

After breakfast in the hotel with Bobby Warren and Buzz Aldrich, I made it down to the game room about 11:00am.... Zack Boatman and Evan Tannheimer joined us and we played Notre Dame. Interesting game with a lot going on. There were a few points which produced the "Ah, so that is how I completely screwed myself over..." and the "Don't let this happen to you..." thoughts as well, but the game was a lot of fun and the board is ingeniously made so that the pieces fit together in 3 different ways to accommodate 3, 4 or 5 players.

Next up was a game of Pillars of the Earth with Brian and Rebecca Leet and Julie Luxenberg. This is new for a lot of players here, and Brian edged me on the final scoring by just enough to win by a point. I was followed by Rebecca, and Julie was just a few points back, her heavy investment in metal not paying off sufficiently when we took all the metal craftsmen, forcing her to go to the market and sell 5 metal for 25, then use it to buy stone and wood for her craftsman. Had she got a metalworker at the end, it would have gone much differently.

Next up was a (Full, not the shorter Advanced) game of Through the Ages with Doug Hoover, Kevin Bender, and Rhonda Bender. We started around 3:30, and finished around midnight, having broken for about 90 minutes to eat in the middle. Great game, and I whisked off to an early start, at the end of the Age of Antiquity scores were Dave:20, Doug:3, Rhonda:2, Kevin:1. After the first age, I was still doing well, scores were Dave:44, Doug:16, Rhonda:5, Kevin:4. Doug then got a lethal combination we dubbed the "Shakespeare Gambit", getting all the bonuses his leader (William Shakespeare) could get him, and began scoring 14 every time. I had a strong military, but could not seem to find any war or aggression cards to knock him back. After the second Age, scores were Doug:83, Dave:61, Rhonda:24, Kevin:20. My inability to use my military continued in the third age, and I could also not find a scoring card to add to the events to save my life, and all of the scoring cards were put in by my opponents, so the final scoring benefited them much more than I (they held back the ones for largest military, most Smiley faces, most spors complexes, etc, to prevent my scoring them). Final scores were Doug: 188, Kevin: 167, Rhonda: 166, Dave: 165. Oh how the mighty fell...

If I find that on the prize table, it is a must take...

Finally, i ended the night with a trio of light games with Rob Smolka, Sharon Madden, and Terry Bailey. We played Taluva (Rob won over me by a single hut, followed by Sharon and then Terry), Yspahan (Sharon won with 81 points, scoring 37 on the final turn alone!, followed by Rob, me, and Terry) and To Court the King (AKA: Um Krone Und Kragen) in which Sharon caught the king with 7-6's, only to be passed by Terry's 8-1's, which was passed by my 8-4's, which was passed again by Sharon's 8-6's, for the win. Rob played, but didn't understand the strategy of rolling what he needed. We pointed him to the strategy guide on BGG...

I hit the sack at 3am...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gathering Report - Day 2

I started the day out by teaching Pillars of the Earth to Mario Lanza, and Jennifer Schicklenberg, and Jim McDonald joined us. It was a great and close game, with 1st-4th spread being only 8 points.

Next up was 6-player Imperial. I leaped out to an early lead when I was able to quickly grab 3 countries, tax them all, and have a ton of money. The early lead made me a target, so I ended up coming in second. great game. Joe Rushanan won, I was second, Brian Leet 3rd, Leo Tischer 4th, Ravindra Prasad 5th, and Mario Lanza, one of the 4 players new to the game, was 6th.

I then played Leonardo DaVinci with Dan & Julie Luxenberg (who live in Montgomery Village, and are going to join us at DGN soon, they said), Brian Stallings, and Bobby LaBoon. This was a learning game for Bobby and Julie. I got very lucky, winning all of the blind bids I was involved in and amassing 6 cards total at the end, with all 5 symbols, for a 19 point victory over second place. Yowza! Brian came in second, followed by Julie, Dan, and Bobby.

We then left for dinner at Buco de Bepo, and it was terrific: Escarole, Pesto Salmon, Chicken Glorioso, and Baked Manicotti followed up by cheesecake. Molto!

After dinner, I played Yspahan with Matthew Monin (octavian on the geek), Dan Blum, and Tery Noseworthy. I had another luck filled game, amassing much coinage and using both coins-to-VP's cards to get 19 points on the last day, and scoring the caravan solo all three weeks for 3, 14, and 27 VPs. I won with a score of 90, a 22-point gap over Tery, who beat Dan by 2, who beat Matthew by 4.

ShowManager was played next, and I did horribly, coming in 5th out of 6. I just couldn't ever get anything I needed. I had no show higher than 3rd in any city. Ugly. Tery Noseworthy won with an impressive 59 points, then it was Buzz Aldrich, Charlie Davis, Brian Leet, Me, and Zev Schlasinger. Fun time, and nice in that no one had to be taught the game for once...

Next we played Smarty Party, and I realized that we have been playing one or two minor things wrong, so we have to fix that for the next game. Warren Madden won, as he has a great grasp of geography and politics (he is a meteorologist for the Weather Channel) and there were a lot of cards in his areas of expertise. Also playing were Nate Beeler, Lisa Johnson, Kevin O'Brien, Ray Dennis, Matthew Monin, and Evan Tannheimer.

I played a quick game of Taluva next, with Kevin, Evan, and Warren. I was able to eke out a win by building all but one Temple, all towers, and all but 3 huts. Warren was second with 1/0/5, followed by Kevin with 1/07, and Evan with 1/1/2. Very close game.

The last game of the night was Santy Anno, which we played with all the tough expansion cards. It was horribly difficult, especially as late as we were playing..I did awfully, coming in 4th, followed by Evan, Warren, and Matthew took the win.

I called it a night at went to bed. It was 4:00 am...