Friday, February 29, 2008

Damascus 02/29/08

We had a nice-sized crowd for gaming, which saw the return of some familiar faces:

  • David, Noreen, Corwin, & Andrew Fair
  • Jason Cheng
  • Scott, Calvin, & Carly Fisher
  • Philippe Hebert
  • John-Paul Pizzica
  • Lance Slifka
  • Bill Trac
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • John Stup
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel, and Ben Jones
First up was a pair of quick games of Sticheln. this is a great Trick-Taking game where the focus is on what suits each player does, and does not, want to take. In the first game, Jason (13) won over Dave (8), Scott (5) and Philippe (-8). In game 2 John-Paul (16) won over Jason (13), Philippe (11) and Dave (8).

Next we played Oregon, a quick and fun tile-laying game with the theme of exploring a new state. It plays fast and while is not overly deep, it is pleasantly engaging. John-Paul (77) won over David (61), Carly (60) and Jason (40).

A pair of back-to-back games of Raj were next. Raj is a core game with little theme, but its central mechanism is used in many other favorites (El Grande and Niagara, for example). In game the first Jason (16) won over Carly (12), Dave (8) and John-Paul (4). In game the second Dave (18) won over Jason (13), John-Paul (7) and Carly (-1).

Next up was In the Year of the Dragon, another excellent game from Alea. It can be very unforgiving, but it is still engaging. In this match-up, Calvin (96) crushed the opposition: Philippe (79), Scott (74) and Lance (55).

Another game of Ticket to Ride: Europe took place. The continental train battle is both more brutal (the tunnels) and more forgiving (the stations) than the regular game. Carol (116) proved most adept at completing her routes, followed by Bob (106), rick (98) Linda (95), and Noreen (95).

Three players is probably my favorite way to play Agricola, and this night Philippe and I taught the game to John-Paul. Philippe was able to get some amazing synergy with his stone collecting and food gathering going, and proved unstoppable. Philippe (51) won over Dave (44) and John-Paul (20).

Two games of Tichu were next, with Ruben & Melinda winning game 1 over Bill & Carly, 1005 to 895. Close game! Game 2 was more of a blowout with Jason & Noreen winning 1180 to 520 over Linda & Rachel.

Zooloretto made another appearance, and in this game, Rick (31) managed the win over Carol & Bob (tied with 22 and 3 coins each), Linda (19), and Noreen (15). the used most of the expansions we had...

Key Harvest is the latest from designer Richard Breese, and it looks to be an interesting territory-building/set collecting game. In this playing, Jason (31) won over Lance (27), Calvin (25) and Scott (24).

A quick game of For Sale is never a bad thing. After teaching the rules, the game was underway. Rick (61) continued his dominance of the classic auction filler, with Carol and Bob (57 each) again tying for second, followed by John-Paul (54).

Tonights final game was Web of Power, in which players vie for influence in Europe of the 1800's. Bob (53) used his advisors well and won, followed by Dave (48), Rick (40), Carol (35) and John-Paul (32).

See you soon!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Damascus 02/22/08

Arrrggghh, another post of catching up. Whew, almost there...

In attendance:

  • David, Corwin, Andrew & Noreen Fair
  • Lance Jones
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • Marshall Miller
  • Rose Byington
  • Bob, Carol, and Ben Jones
  • John Stup
  • David & Martha Briggs
Games played:
  • Felix: The Cat in the Sack, won by Lance with 65, followed by Dave with 36, Rick with 29, and Marshall with 15.
  • Queen's Necklace with David B. (190) winning over Martha (110) and John (100).
  • Ticket to Ride, with the USA 1910 expansion, won by John with 120, followed by David B. with 115, and Martha with 110. Close Game!
  • Tichu, with Rose & Lance winning over Rick & Linda 1140 to 755 (Note: This score is actually impossible... must have a math error in there somewhere...).
  • Frank's Zoo, with Rick (14), Linda (12), Lance (4) and Rose (4).
  • Tichu, with Rose & Rick winning over Noreen & Linda 1150 to 850.
  • Agricola, with Farmer Dave (48) winning over Bob The Tiller (44), Carol The Butcher (32), Marshall the Baker (31) and Noreen the Perpetually Pissed at Having to Give Dave Food (20)
  • Traumfabrik, with Carol winning with 107 points over Martha (88), David B. (61) and Bob (30)
  • Keythedral, with Marshall (72) winning over Dave (62) and Lance (47).
  • Finally, Medici, with Carol (106) winning over Marshall (98), Dave (97), Bob (95) and Lance (89).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Germantown 02/18/08

Hey, everyone! Here's the report for our mid-February session.

  • Leslie Barkley
  • Aubrey and Shannon Bell
  • Dave and Martha Briggs
  • Todd Heidenreich
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Bob and Ben Jones
  • Eric and Laura Reinhold

For the first time in memory, when we arrived at 6PM, there were no tables available. Not a single place. We stood around looking forlorn, but finally, after about 20 minutes, two small tables next to each other opened up and we were able to seat one group. A bit later, the large pub table opened up and was nabbed by Todd.

My son Ben was attending for just one game, so first up for the night was Africa. A game of African exploration, Africa is light, quick and easy. This night, Leslie proved the most brave and adventurous. Final scores were Leslie 51, Doug 47, Bob 44, Laura 39 and Ben 37.

Meanwhile, at the pub table, Todd and Eric took on the challenge of teaching the simple yet daunting rules of Race for the Galaxy to Shannon and Aubrey. An excellent game with a steep learning curve, Todd and Eric obviously did a great job as first-timer (and all around great gamer) Aubrey mopped the floor with them. Final scores were Aubrey 43, Eric 36, Shannon 32 (won tiebreaker), and Todd 32.

With Dave and Martha's arrival and Ben's departure, we had six players at the other table. So, we broke out the globe-trotting game, Around the World in 80 Days. Doug gained an early lead and held onto it for the entire game. Even so, Martha managed a strong comeback and nearly caught him. Final days to complete the trip were Doug 72, Martha 78, Laura 86, Bob 93, Leslie 94 and Dave 95.

We then split into two four player groups. Dave, Martha, Shannon and Aubrey played our perennial favorite, Blue Moon City. They were unable to finish in time for closing, but the scores were Dave 3, Aubrey 2, Martha 2 and Shannon 1. It was Shannon's first game and she said she really liked it.

Meanwhile, I played Thurn & Taxis with Doug, Leslie and Eric. It was a quick, tight game, well-played by all. Final scores were Bob 22, Doug 19, Eric 15, and Leslie 12.

Thanks to everyone for coming out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Damascus 02/15/08

Still catching up...

In attendance:

  • David & Noreen Fair
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Lance Jones
  • Luke Conte
  • Kevin Bealer
  • Steve & Noah Meyers
  • Helen Powell
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • John-Paul Pizzica
Games Played:
  • Gumball Rally, a kid-themed racing game by Ted Cheatam, won by David B (11). over Lance (9), Martha (8) and David F (7)
  • Schotten-Totten, with a three-in-a-row win for Kevin over Luke
  • San Juan, in which Helen won over John-Paul 48 to 40
  • Ticket to Ride: Europe, in which Lance (120) won over Noreen (118), Linda (94), Martha (66) and David B (59).
  • Rails of Europe, in which David F won (53) over Steve (47) Helen (45), Noah (39) and Rick (36).
  • Ticket to Ride, with the USA 1910 expansion, won by Steve (137), followed by Helen (130), Rick (103), and Kevin (81).
  • For Sale, with Rick (65) taking the win, Steve (57) and Helen (57) tying for second, and Kevin (47) coming 4th.
  • Shogun, with Luke (40) managing to hold on for the win over David F (35), Lance (32), John Paul (28) and Noah (23). Thanks to helen for filling in for Noah on the last two turns.
See you soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Damascus 02/08/08

Wow, am I way behind... This post and the next two for Damascus are coming all at once, so expect sparser info than normal as I try to get caught up...

Seventeen in attendance...

  • David & Noreen Fair
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Lance Jones
  • Marshall Miller
  • John Weber
  • Rose Byington
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • Raphael Lehrer
  • John Stup
  • John-Paul Pizzica
  • Melinda & Ruben Carbonell
  • Bill Trac
  • Howard Wagner
Games played...
  • R-Eco, won by John W. with 9, followed by Lance and Dave F. both with 7, Rose with -1, and Marshall with -2.
  • Felix: The Cat in the Sack, won by Raphael with 49, followed by Rick with 42, Linda with 39, and John S. with 23.
  • Ticket to Ride, with the USA 1910 expansion, won by Linda with 111, followed by David B. with 108, Martha 97, Rose 91, and John 88.
  • Race for the Galaxy, won by Raphael with a consumption strategy, and a score of 45. Followed by Howard with 42, and John-Paul with 31.
  • Tichu won by Melinda & Noreen 1105 to 595 over Bill & Rose. This took 17 hands!
  • Rails of Europe, won by David F. with 48, followed closely by Rick with 44, Marshall with 39, John W. with 37, and Lance with 26.
  • Zooloretto, with Martha winning 37 over David B 34, and Linda 32
  • Double or Nothing with Melinda winning 58 over Linda 44, Noreen 34, Rose 33, Ruben 33, and Bill 15
  • In the Year of the Dragon, with Marshall winning 103 over Dave F. 102, Rick 93 and Lance 84
  • Three quick games of Raj with the following results:

    Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
    Dave Fair -2 14 7
    Marshall 12 15 8
    Lance 22 -5 15
    Rick 8 16 10

  • Kingsburg, with Raphael winning 46 to John-Paul's and Howard's 36, and John W's 35
  • Felix: The Cat in the Sack, with John W winning 76 to Raphael's 53, and john-Paul's 38
See you next week!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Germantown 02/04/08

With Bob unable to attend due to his youngest child's birthday, we found ourselves only 10 for the night...

  • Doug Hoylman
  • Carol Loman
  • David Fair
  • Aubrey Bell
  • Todd Heidenreich
  • Martha & David Briggs
  • Nick Schroedl
  • Doug Mercer
First up was a game of Cartagena II. We started with 4 players, but Eric had to leave due to a family emergency (did you get the keys out of the sewer?) so we finished as a 3-players game. The game was very close, and each player has 3 actions on their turn. Carol was able to get all of her men out, but did not have 1 action left to "raise the flag", so on my turn, I moved my last man out and raised the flag. Doug was next, and had i not ended the game, he could have done so with 2 actions. Like I said, very close!

Next was Uptown at table 2. I keep brining this hoping to get to play but others always seem to play it with out me. I still know very little about the game, but it looks interesting. In this playing, Martha came in 4th, David 3rd, Nick 2nd, and Aubrey won.

Chang Cheng is a game about building the Great Wall of China. On your turn you can play 2 walls to separate regions, 2 action cards to separate regions, or 1 wall and 1 action card in the same region. Players with majority in a region score points for that region. At the end of game, players lose points based on regions on the other side of the wall (where the Mongols attack from -- and those regional borders do not match the ones from the other side). So you have to work hard to avoid losing points on one side while still gaining them on the other. Interesting game. Carol had a bit of trouble managing things, but did end up in the positive, scoring 1 point and taking 4th. Doug H. scored 13 and 3rd place, I had 20 and 2nd, and Doug M. had 26 and 1st.

Strut is a race game with a yahtzee-like twist to the game play. Players roll dice in a communal pool, then try to score points from cards in hand. Todd taught it to the others and they played for quite some time. Nick won the game, and as there is no mechanism for second, we simply have recorded that David, Martha, Todd, and Aubrey were also playing.

Race for the Galaxy
is one of my new favorites. I swear I could play this all night. Our first game was 3 player, and the first time playing for Doug M. we ended the game by building to 12 cards and running out of shipping chips on the same turn. Doug M. had 22 points for his cards, and 7 for his consumption, but no bonus dev's hurt him and he ended in 3rd with 29 points. Doug H. had 25 for his cards, 10 for his consumption, and 8-points from bonus dev's for 43 points and 2nd. I had only 17 from my cards, and a whopping 28 from my consumption (I had been consuming for 10-12 a turn there at the end), no bonus dev's, but it was enough for 45 points and the win.

Meanwhile, there was a battle to have the best planned vacation at the other table, as the players played 10 Days in Asia. I like this version of the game a bit more than others, as the railroads really add to things and make them interesting. Aubrey had trouble with his travel planner, and lost a shoe in Bucharest, so came in 4th. Nick had his Travelers Cheques stolen, and ended up in 3rd. David got slapped by a cocktail waitress in Kuala Lumpur and ended in 2nd. Martha was hailed by all as a superior travel guide and good haggler in the market stalls, and took 1st.

Race for the Galaxy was the last game of the night, and for round 2, Todd joined us. Todd played New Sparta but was hampered by the lack of a bonus dev at game end, scoring (15+2+0) 17 points in 4th place. Doug M. played an excellent game but was also caught short by the bonus dev and scored (23+5+0) 28 for 3rd place. Doug H. had very good luck getting high VP worlds down, scoring (22+4+5) 31 and 2nd place. Dave scored most of his points consuming and got a late bonus dev down for (10+19+6) 35 points and the win.

See you on the 18th!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Damascus 02/01/08

Sixteen gamers in attendance...

  • David, Noreen, Corwin, and Andrew Fair
  • Marshall Miller
  • Rose Byington
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • John Stup
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Bob, Carol, & Ben Jones
  • Luke Conte
  • Helen Powell
Race for the Galaxy was first, and it was Rick and Rose's first time to play. Rick and Marshall both scored 27 points, rick doing it almost all with shipping and 6-point developments (4+18+5), while Marshall went the opposite way (19+6+2). Rose had 20 points for cards on the table, and 10 for shipping, which is phenomenal for her first game. I emerged victorious with 12 points for cards, 17 for shipping, and 10 for my 2 6-point developments.

Zooloretto was next, with John (22) at the back of the pack, followed by David B. and Linda (both with 25), but Martha came out way ahead (33) for the victory. No word on any expansions used...

Helen and Luke played a quick game of San Juan, which Helen won 37-21.

Bob taught Noreen and Carol to play the wonderful 3-player game, Flaschenteufel. Despite a few bumps in the road, it looks like they got it. They played 9 rounds, and Noreen won (243) over Bob (229) and Carol (104).

Next was Kingsburg, a game of strategic dice-rolling and role-selection. This game definitely has a few "gotcha" moments. Rose got hammered in the final round and did not pick up any points, ending with 24. Marshall got crushed during one of the invasions, losing a building, and this hurt him for a long time, leaving him with 31. I had some decent luck and ended with 35. Rick crushed us all and played very well, winning with 38 points.

Queen's Necklace was next. I haven't played that in a very long time. No word on how it went, but the scores show that Linda (70), Martha (80), David B (100) and John (130) all played, and it was over in just 2 rounds.

A game of, what else, Tichu came next, with Rick & Rose winning over Marshall & Noreen, 1030-870.

Power Grid is a game of careful timing and game management. I proved that in my stunning come from ahead loss on the Benelux map, using Deck 2. I might have been able to end things on my turn, but instead I bought 2 rounds of resources and extended the game another turn, allowing others to match me in capacity and surpass me in buying ability. Bob won, (17/17/2) over Helen (17/17/0), Luke (16/16/26), Dave (16/16/15), and Carol (15/15/25).

See you next week!