Saturday, April 19, 2008

Damascus 04/18/08

With the spring, the weather has improved, and our attendance has dropped... We had 13 for our first Friday session in a few weeks...

  • David, Noreen, and Corwin Fair
  • Jason Cheng
  • Rose Byington
  • John-Paul Pizzica
  • John Stup (Thanks for the reminder, Carol!)
  • Rick & Linda Pasquale
  • Bob, Carol, Rachel and Ben Jones
We started the night with a 5-player game of Darjeeling. While ostensibly about collecting and delivering Tea, the game felt very abstract. It has a clever scoring mechanism, but this, alas, was not enough to raise it above mediocre status. Final scores: Dave 105, Rose 94, John-Paul 29, Jason 29, Noreen 17.

We had more gamers arrive and settled into 2 games, and shortly after these got going, the Jones' arrived. Bob and Carol played a pair of 2-player games, Pick & Pack and Elchfest, as they waited for us to finish. Pick & Pack is a tactical game of moving a shared pawn to pick up crates of apples and trying to score more apples than your opponent, and trying to force them to end the game once you are ahead. Elchfest is a dexterity game that involves flicking stones to make a path for your Elk to cross the river. Carol reports that she "stunk on ice" though i think ice should have helped the Elk cross, unless it was thin ice...Bob won both games.

About this time, Surf's Up Dude ended. Rick won this contest, scoring 53 and followed closely by Jason (48), John (42) and John-Paul (38). No one seemed overly enamored of the game and it's reviews on BGG have been somewhat less than effusive so far. We will see if I can get it played and I will give you my thoughts then...

A back-and-forth see-saw game of Tichu finally ended. Linda & Noreen emerged victorious, 1155 to 845 over David & Rose, going out 1-2 on the final hand to cement the win.

Titan: the Arena is a rethemed and updated, and much more popular version of Grand National Derby by Reiner Knizia. In this betting game, players bet on monsters battling in arenas, killing the weak, and hoping the ones they have bet on survive. Bob and Carol tied for the win (with Bob getting the official Cheesy tiebreaker) with 12 points, followed by John Paul with 10, and Rick and Jason with 8 each.

In Hanging Gardens, players compete to take cards and build temple structures that allow them to grab scoring tiles. Then those tiles are collected into sets at the end of the game and scored. It is a fairly light and quick puzzle game with nice components. Jason won with 66 points, followed by John-Paul with 39 and Dave with 37.

More 3-player gaming goodness came with another Knizia classic, Samurai. Players use hexagonal tiles to surround cities, which have one to three different figures: rice paddies, buddhas, or high hats. The tiles represent influence on particular facets of the cities, and the highest influence on a figure when the city is surrounded takes that figure. The object of the game is to have more of any one else in one category, and then have the most remaining figures. Jason failed to achieve a majority in any one category and so was ineligible to win, while both John-Paul and I had majorities in a single type of figure. However, I had 5 pieces that were not in my majority, compared to John-Paul's three, and thus was I able to secure the win.

We had a few more minutes, so Jason, John-Paul and I finished with a three-player game of Sticheln. Despite a strong lead going into the third hand (17 vs 8 & -11), I was unable to hold on to the win when faced with the determination of my opponents. Final scores: Jason 16, David 8, John-Paul -8.

The final game of the night was a 4-player game of Agricola. The farming game from Uwe Rosenberg has been a huge hit with our group, and me especially. I have found that 4 player is a lot harder than it seems initially as the amount of resources that enter the game is lower per-player than almost any other form of the game. The final scores were:
  • Noreen 16 (no fields or crops, no animals, 4 pastures, 5 empty spaces, 2 stables, a 4-room Clay Hut, 3 people, 7 points from improvements, and 1 begging card)
  • Carol 33 (3 fields and a a good supply of grain and veggies, sheep but no other animals, 3 empty spaces, 1 stables, a 6-room clay hut, 5 people and 5 points for improvements)
  • Rick 34 (no fields but 3 pastures, no crops, but 8 points for his animals, only 2 empty spaces, 3 stables, a 4-room Clay Hut, 4 family members, a 4 points for improvements and bonuses)
  • Bob 45 (4 fields, 4 pastures, a few crops, but only 2 points from animals, 2 empty spaces, no stables, a 5-room stone house, 5 family members and 11 points from improvements and bonuses) (Bob gets a small asterisk here as it was discovered that he paid insufficient reeds to expand his house at one point)
Reminder - Gaming is on for Friday April 25 at Damascus, and for Saturday April 26 in Middletown. The following week is Games day in Timonium, and there will be no gaming on Friday night in Damascus.

1 comment:

CJ said...

John Stup was inadvertently left off the attendance list.