Tuesday, April 28, 2009

GCOM Game Days is this weekend!

April 30 to May 3. Timonium, Maryland.

Four days of open gaming. Open to the public. Have fun, learn, bond, make friends and compete with the best group of gamers around. The camaraderie is great!! The convention known for learning new games and playing your favorites as well. Experienced Game Masters available to teach most games.

Check out the details here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Reminder - Special Guest & Theme

Just wanted to remind everyone that this months session is this Saturday in Middletown beginning at 11AM. We will have the pleasure of a number of special guests. The first guest is a published designer/game reviewer and a hoot to play games with ... Ted Cheatham. Some of his published games are Carpe Astra, Silk Roads and Captain Clueless. Ted is flying a few friends up with him from Charleston, WV. The friends scheduled to attend are Charlie Davis, Dave Gilligan and Travis Reynolds. If you haven't met this quartet you are in for a real treat. You will not meet a more fun, outgoing group then this posse from southern WV.

The special theme is Races: Through the Ages. We have selected a number of race games that will began in the distance past up the future. Some games selected but not limited to are :

Pre-civilization: Igel Argern or Billabong
Roman: Ave Caesar
Victorian: Around the World in 80 Days
SteamBoats: Mississippi Queen
Old West: Canyon/Grand Canyon or Pony Express
Modern Times:
Bicycle: Um Refenbreite
Animal: Really Nasty Horse Racing Game or Snow Tails
Car: D-C Grand Prix or Formula D (street racing side)
Water: Powerboats or Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
Future: Vapors Gambit or Race through the Galaxy

Pick your favorite! Come along and lets play some games. Hope to see you all on Saturday -- don't forget we are beginning at 11AM. Texas Chili Mac is the main course for the meal.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Germantown 04/06/2009

Herein lies an epic tale. After years of existence, the GCOM Germantown location had an unprecedented event. An event so awesome it challenges me to even describe it. Here goes.

On April 6, 2009, at Borders bookstore in the cafe area, we hosted 25 gamers. Yes, 25. It was crowded but amazing.

Here's the attendance:

  • Leslie Barkley
  • Christopher and Tiffany Bass; Alidia and Clarisa Findley
  • Aubrey & Shannon Bell
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Dave Fair
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Ben & Bob Jones
  • Nathaniel Klinger
  • Carol Loman
  • Doug Mercer
  • Mike Mullins
  • Eric & Laura Reinhold
  • Ethan Goffman & Marianne Szlyk
  • Bless, Liberty and Love
When Ben and I arrived at 6PM, there were already 9 players so we broke up into two groups. One group played the simple but fun Reiner Knizia game of exploring Africa called, Africa (what else)? As we were setting up a young boy came over and asked about the game so we invited him to play. With the permission of his mother, Bless played with us and then stuck around for the rest of the evening. Final scores in Africa were David B 53, Ben 47, Bless 39, Carol and Bob tied at 35.

Meanwhile, the other group played the quick and fun race game, Snow Tails. The order of finish was Eric, Dave F, Mike, Doug H, and Laura.

Of course, more people continued to arrive. With the arrival of Chris, Tiffany, Alidia, and Clarisa, I decided to get all the kids together to play one game. First up, Cartagena. As the game went on, Bless's younger sisters, Liberty and Love, helped me secure the win. Final scores were Liberty/Love/Bob, all 6 pirates escaped. Then came Clarisa 5, Bless 4, Ben 3 and Alisia 2.

Chris was interested in a meatier game and so got together with Ethan, Nathaniel and Marianne to play the game of evolution and poop-consuming, Primordial Soup, a great game I don't think has ever made it to the table here. They apparently had an excellent game. Final scores were Marianne 44, Nathaniel 40, Chris 35, and Ethan 25.

Dave was hoping to get Battlestar Galactica to the table again and with so many people, he had no trouble getting a quorum. The Cylons have had a run of success lately and this night was no exception. The two Cylons, Aubrey and Doug H, triumphed over the last remnants of the Human race Dave, Tiffany and Doug M.

And at the same time we still had enough people for a game of Around the World in 80 Days. In a very close game, Eric made it around the world in the winning time of 75 days, followed by Carol who also finished in 75 days but lost the tiebreaker. Then came Shannon at 76, Mike at 79, Leslie at 80 and Dave B who didn't make it back to London as he was eaten somewhere in the United States.

A three player game of San Juan was played. Eric won 16+2+10+0=28. Leslie had 15+2+0+4=21 while Mike had 16+0+0+0=16.

Most of the older kids played round-robin games of Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. As far as I can gather, at least eight games were played by Ben, Alidia, Clarisa, and Bless.

Meanwhile, Love, Liberty and I played Pickomino. Love won 5 to Liberty and my scores of 4.

When Martha arrived, I played a couple of rounds of my prototype, Continuum, with her and David.

Finally, a quick game of Chronology was played. Marianne won with 11 points. Doug H had 9, Ethan 7 and Nathaniel 6.

And so ended this, the most epic night. Thanks to everyone for coming out to this historic occasion. I hope we'll see you all again very soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Game Days Needs Volunteers!

Hey, everyone, Bob here.

Volunteers are needed for the annual Game Days game convention. I've copied an e-mail from President Keith Levy below.

Game Days 2009
Holiday Inn (formerly Days Hotel)
9615 Deereco Road
Timonium, Maryland 21093
April 30th- May 3, 2009
Game Days is less than three weeks away!
We will need additional volunteers to help make it happen!.

1. Registration desk: - Contact Michele Mazzola at gcom.vicepresident@gmail.com
Two hour shifts.
2. Loading/unloading/set up/Breakdown : Contact Keith Levy at gamesclubofmd@verizon.net
Set up Wednesday, April 29th. 7pm Start at Holiday Inn
Breakdown; Sunday 4pm Start. Loading 7-8pm.
3. On site Game inventory organization.- Contact Keith Levy at gamesclubofmd@verizon.net
4. Table & Trash clean up- on site. Contact Keith Levy at gamesclubofmd@verizon.net
5. For Refreshments. Contact Michele Mazzola at gcom.vicepresident@gmail.com

For more information contact:

General information: Keith Levy at gamesclubofmd@verizon.net
Registration Desk, food and beverage: Michele Mazzola at gcom.vicepresident@gmail.com
Tichu Tournament: Rick Bynaker at gcom@bynaker.com
Trashfest & Warfest info: Peter Putnam at pputnam1966@yahoo.com
Math Trade: Boomer at jeff@theboomer.us

Thanks, Keith
"Have Fun, Learn, Share, Grow, Play"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good publicity is something to be treasured

There's a surprisingly good article about gaming in Wired Magazine. The article focuses on the groundbreaking, Settlers of Catan, but also discusses the broader phenomenon of Euro Games.

Monopoly Killer: Perfect German Board Game Redefines Genre

Because of this enthusiasm, board game design has become high art—and big business—in Germany. Any game aficionado will tell you that the best-designed titles in the world come from this country. In fact, the phrase German-style game is now shorthand for a breed of tight, well-designed games that resemble Monopoly the way a Porsche 911 resembles a Chevy Cobalt.


Instead of direct conflict, German-style games tend to let players win without having to undercut or destroy their friends. This keeps the game fun, even for those who eventually fall behind. Designed with busy parents in mind, German games also tend to be fast, requiring anywhere from 15 minutes to a little more than an hour to complete. They are balanced, preventing one person from running away with the game while the others painfully play out their eventual defeat. And the best ones stay fresh and interesting game after game.
The article gets all the facts right and is really quite an excellent introduction into "German-style games", a.k.a. Euros. The one problem . . . it's only about 15 years too late. I know that Euros are just now coming into wider acceptance in the United States and it's still a niche market, but I can't help but be amused that this article is discussing events that happened in the early nineties and they've only now noticed.

In any event, check it out. And the next time one of your family or friends asks you about your hobby, e-mail them the link.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Germantown 03/30/2009

Attendance on this, the 5th Monday of the month.

  • Aubrey & Shannon Bell
  • Dave & Martha Briggs
  • Dave Fair
  • Todd Heidenreich
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Bob & Ben Jones
  • Nathaniel Klinger
  • Carol Loman
  • Mike Mullins
  • Tiffany, Chris, Alidia & Clarisa
First up was Drive. Unfortunately no specific records were kept but Carol won with Dave F close behind, then Doug and then Mike.

When Ben and I arrived, Chris, Tiffany, Alidia and Clarisa were playing the dungeon-crawl game, Drakon. Tiffany mastered the dungeon with 10 points, Alidia and Clarisa tied with 6 and Chris with 3.

Metro made it to the table for the first time in a while. Players built sections of the Paris Metro while trying to foil their opponents. Final scores were Mike 58, Doug and David B tied at 48, followed closely by Martha at 45.

With a large group still waiting, we broke out the six player filler, Cheeky Monkey. Final scores were Carol 25, Shannon 21, Dave F 13, Ben 12, Bob 9 and Aubrey 4.

Dave got a group together to play his current favorite, Battlestar Galactica. Aubrey and Todd turned out to be the Cylons while Tiffany was the Sympathizer. This left the Humans, Dave F, Carol and Nathaniel in bad shape. The game was called as a Cylon victory when the store closed before the end. It was pretty clear that the Humans were toast.

Tiffany and Chris asked for some family games they might enjoy, so with Shannon's help I taught Ticket to Ride to Alidia, Chris, and Clarisa. I thought I had it won but once again failed to account for Shannon who is VERY good at this game. Scores were Shannon 126, Bob 118, Christopher 96, Alidia 88 and Clarisa 31 (she missed some of her tickets).

Another game of Ticket to Ride broke out with the more experienced players. Estimates of their final scores were Doug 143, Dave B 137, Mike 119 and Martha 115.

Ben taught Alidia one of his favorites, the two player Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation and they played two games in a row. After a fierce struggle, Alidia won both games.

Finally, I played the fun filler, Tiki Topple with Shannon, Christopher and Clarisa. Clarisa walloped us, 31 to Christopher 18, Shannon 9 and me a pathetic 7.