Thursday, May 28, 2009

Up and Coming Blog Posts

I still owe posts for the last two sessions at Germantown, May 5 and 19, 2009. I'll get them posted ASAP.

We are on for this Monday night, June 1. Hope to see you there.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boardgamegeek Microbadge

I'm very happy to announce that if you're active on Boardgamegeek, you can now purchase a GCOM microbadge! Yes, a microbadge that shows your fealty to the Games Club of Maryland! (Okay, maybe not fealty, just a fond association.)

Check it out:

Isn't it adorable?

I admit I have a selfish interest in the distribution of this microbadge, but that's because I designed it. GCOM had a contest a few weeks ago and my entry won.

If you haven't been over to Boardgamegeek, you should really check it out. It's the best resource for games, especially Euro Games, in the world.

-- Bob

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

05/18/09 Germantown


  • Leslie Barkley
  • Shannon & Aubrey Bell
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Ben & Bob Jones
  • Chris, Tiffany, Alidia & Clarisa
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Carol Loman
  • Doug Mercer
  • Eric & Laura Reinhold
  • Claire
  • Wei-Hwa Huang
When I arrived, three groups were already deep into gaming.

At one table, the three girls, Alidia, Clarisa, and Claire were playing Spy Alley. I don’t know how the game finished but they seemed to be having fun.

At a second table, five folk were building their Spanish Alhambra’s with the Limited Gold Edition of Alhambra. In a fairly tight finish, Doug won with a score of 100 to Laura 94, Eric 93, Carol 63 and David B 41.

At the third table, a large stack of altered playing cards and home-made chits signaled that a prototype was being played. It turns out that Wei-Hwa Huang, who was visiting from out of town, was demonstrating a new Race for the Galaxy Expansion. In a commanding victory, Chris won big. Chris 74, Wei-Hwa 50, Tiffany 34, Leslie 23.

Ben and I broke out Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation which has seen many, many plays over the last several weeks. Ben represented the forces of Darkness and crushed the Fellowship of the Ring controlled by me.

Reiner Knizia’s auction game, Ra, always has a welcome place at our table. Everyone had played before and we had a very good game. Final scores were Bob 47, Shannon 42, Ben 37, Aubrey 33, and Doug M 30.

A high scoring session of the Puerto-Rico-light card game (and second cousin to Race for the Galaxy), San Juan, was played. Final scores were Doug H 37, Eric 35, Carol 27, Laura 23.

Two more games of the Race for the Galaxy expansion prototype were played. In one, Leslie squeaked out a victory over Wei-Hwa, 50 to 48, with Aubrey at 24 and David B at 21. The final game with three players was less close. Wei-Hwa 45, Leslie 24, Aubrey 16.

Playing Qwirkle with Doug H is dangerous due to his awesomeness at Scrabble, which has some very big similarities. In this game Doug won by quite a bit. Doug H 132, Martha 111, David B 102, Shannon 95.

I thought Chris and Tiffany might enjoy one of my favorite Knizia games, Blue Moon City, and so was happy to bring it out. Despite my early lead of two cubes into the bottom row, I was unable to keep up with Eric who powered past everyone. Final scores were Eric 4, Bob 3, Chris 2, and Tiffany 2.

Finally, the hedgehog racing game, Igel Argern, closed the night. Shannon 3, Doug H 2, David 1, Martha 1

Thanks to everyone for coming out!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Germantown 05/04/09


  • Leslie Barkley
  • Aubrey Bell
  • Dave Fair
  • Ethan Goffman
  • Ben & Bob Jones
  • Christopher and Tiffany Bass; Alidia and Clarisa Findley
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Nathaniel Klinger
  • Carol Loman
  • Doug Mercer
  • Eric & Laura Reinhold
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Love, Liberty & Bless
With twenty players, a lot of games get played . . .

I don’t know anything about Castle for All Seasons but it seems to be getting some buzz. Dave 73, Bill 72, Doug M 65, Aubrey 27.

Likewise, I’ve never played Bombay. Click on the link for more information. Final scores: Leslie 39, Eric 27, Laura 21, Carol 21, Doug H 20.

With Bless looking for something to play, Ethan and Nathaniel kindly taught him Small World. Alas, they didn’t get to finish the game before Bless had to leave.

A quick game of Go Nuts gave Clarisa the victory over Tiffany, 40 to 19.

Since they enjoy Zooloretto, I thought I’d show the Findlay-Bass family the simpler card game from which it was developed, Coloretto. My experience gave me an edge for the victory. Bob 24 Tiffany 20, Clarisa 16, Chris 15, Alidia 14.

Ben played a rotating game of Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation with Liberty and Love. No info on who won or lost.

With ten people available, we broke into two groups. One group played Masons and had the unusual situation of only creating 1 smallish city during the game with only 3 scoring rounds. (see pic) Remarkable. Scores were Eric 56, Doug H 48, Leslie 36, Bill 27.

Meanwhile, I brought out a game based on the sport of kings, inbreeding, I mean horseracing, Royal Turf! In a very close game, Chris came on strong in the third race to just squeak ahead for the victory. Chris 2100, Bob 2050, Clarisa 1750, Tiffany 1100, Martha 1100, Dave B 750.

Another game of Go Nuts was played in which Chris crushed us while I appear to have been absent. Chris 54, Clarisa 40, David B 20, Bob 17.

Ethan proved to be the cheekiest monkey in Cheeky Monkey. Ethan 19, Leslie 18, Doug H 16, Ben 15, Alidia 13, Nathaniel 8.

A full game of Small World was played with Carol crushing Dave F and Aubrey. Scores were Carol 134, Dave 82, Aubrey 75.

Ethan, Leslie, Doug and Nathaniel brought out the classic push-your-luck dice game, Can't Stop. Nathaniel won.

Finally, Dave F. Aubrey, Leslie, Martha, David B and Bob played a quick hand of Monty Python Fluxx. Dave F won.

Whew! What a night!

Monday, May 04, 2009

FYI - Upcoming Gaming

The Laurel and Columbia Chapters of the Games Club of Maryland Present

Join us to play your favorite games

Saturday, May 16, 2009 5 PM to 1 AM
Location: Canterbury Riding Clubhouse
9240 Canterbury Riding
Laurel, MD 20723

There is a refrigerator and microwave in the Clubhouse. Menus will be available from local carry-out and delivery restaurants. We will break for dinner at approximately 7 PM. Feel free to bring your favorite beverages, snack foods, and [of course] games. We are asking for a small voluntary donation of $5 per person to help defray the cost of the facility.

Directions: From I-95, take the 216 Exit East toward Laurel. Stay to your right and take the ramp for Stephens Road. Make the first right on to North Laurel Drive (Sterling Drive goes in the opposite direction). Then make the first left into the Canterbury Riding Townhouse Development. Make an immediate left inside the development and follow the road until you come to the parking lot entrance for the clubhouse.

We will have balloons at the parking lot entrance for the clubhouse. The clubhouse is to the right at the end of the parking lot, adjacent to the pool.

From Laurel, take 7th Street (Rt. 216) towards I-95. Make a right on to All Saints Road. Go through the next light and make the first left into the Canterbury Riding Townhouse Development. Make an immediate right and follow the road until you come to the parking lot entrance for the clubhouse (see note above).

Please do not park in the clubhouse parking lot. Please park on the exterior road facing the trees. Also, the Clubhouse is located in a quiet residential neighborhood. Please be considerate and quiet as you come and go.

Game Days Report

Well, I got back today around 6pm-ish. The wife & kids were off seeing the new Wolverine movie, so I came home to an empty, quiet house. I went to bed almost immediately.

I had a great time at Game Days, arriving Friday around 11am. Played Vegas Showdown with Brian Carpenter, Howard Wagner, James & Paul. Brian crushed us all. It was great to see Howard again and play a game with him. Been too long...

We followed this up with about 6 games of Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside, and a game of Galaxy Trucker with Brian, Lije, and Tom McCorry who arrived right around 7pm. I had almost forgotten how much I liked Galaxy Trucker so it was great to play that again. Brian won again despite my stellar 3rd round. My 3rd ship was great looking at the end, and had lost NO pieces during the running phase. Truly a feat!

Ended the night by getting crushed at Tichu, 1040 to 160. We will not be discussing that any more. OK, maybe a little. I started making desperation calls when we were down 700-ish to 200-ish and made 3 of the 5, but it was not enough. We did manage to set them on both a GT and a Tichu call early on, so this was just Karmic revenge, I guess...

On Saturday I started the day with a game of 1861 with Jason Cheng, Dan Karp, Tom and Ray Pfieffer. We had a great game and it was very close. Dan did not have much investment in his second railway, and did not think I would sell a stock of my primary to take it over, but I did, and the ensuing run on its stock made it a rich company with a moderately low price, enabling it to buy and run one of the special trains for 3 rounds, making it a lot of money. The Russian State Railway never actually even opened (!!) which lengthened things a bit, but despite that, the game end caught us all a bit short when the first 8 was sold and there was a lot of cash in hand but no ensuing stock round. In a game with scores in the 3600 range, only 60 points separated me in first place and Ray in second, so it was quite a nail-biter.

I played 2 more games of Dominion/Intrigue/Seaside and then headed off to Overlord some Descent. I had selected a Tomb of Ice scenario, but the stellar play of the heroes combined with terrible dice luck for the overlord (I rolled 6 misses in a row at one point) meant that it ended up being an easy day for them.

By this point, I was a bit fried so I played Street Paintball with Brian, Lije, David Kudzma, Kathy Kudzma, and Eric Haas. Followed that up with a quick game of Six. Then we sat and talked about going to bed, but I was finally able to convince enough folks to play BSG and we started that at about 2am.

I was Athena, Dave was Kendra Shaw, Kathy was Tyrol, Logan was Helo, and new player Nathan was Roslin. We set about doing well early but after the sleeper phase, I began to suspect Helo and a subsequent toss of him in the brig failed when Kathy tossed in a hand of blue cards, so I suspected her as well. The humans were losing slowly, and progressing slowly, but when President Roslin gave suspected Cylon Admiral Helo a choice on a Crisis Card where he could force a Cylon Victory, and he didn't take it, my world got shook up. The shock was even greater when Helo revealed a few moments later and tossed Tyrol in the brig! at this point, we just needed to jump again, and Tyrol provided the orders to Kendra Shaw that made it happen, and we found our way to Earth despite the frakkin' Admiral and President being Cylons from day 1. Humans Rule. So say we all!

I headed back to the hotel room and hit the bed at 6:20 am, then turned around and got up at 9 and had breakfast and returned for more gaming. after a quick game of the Z-Man games 2-player abstract Magnet with Brian (he crushed me). I spent the next 2 hours manning the booth and the organizers found out how bad an idea it is to give a sleep-deprived Dave access to a microphone. I played a game of Race For The Galaxy while up there as well, with Brian Stallings, Josh Cooper, and Eric Haas. Eric won, IIRC.

It was then time for another game of BSG, and this time I played Romo Lampkin. Rodney was Apollo, Brian was Dualla, Sheila played Doc Cottle, and John was Aaron Doral. I started out as a Cylon but stayed hidden early on, encouraging bad decisions and only tanking 1-2 skill checks, but being very careful as Brian has an almost 6th sense about who is doing that. After the sleeper phase, I got XO's to draw Quorum Cards, but instead threw Apollo in the brig and made Doc Cottle the next to choose our jump. Then I revealed, tossing Aaron in the Sickbay and making Apollo the President (him finding the Pardon card in his hand but being unable to pardon himself was a juicy little knife in the back!). Shortly thereafter, Sheila revealed and we spent a few turns activating the dwindling Cylon fleet. A sudden rush of our brothers and sisters arriving in "Welcome Wagons" meant that there were a ton of Colonial Civilian ships on the board, and suddenly the fleet went from 4 Population, 3 Morale, 2 Food and 2 Fuel to 1 Population, 1 Morale, 2 Food, and 1 Fuel. All in the space of 1 round. 1 more round meant the loss of 2 more civvies and the Population loss meant it was a great day to be a Cylon. Cylons Rule. So say we all!

I drove home, fighting hard to stay awake. I had a great time and saw a lot of our regulars (Eric & Laura, Rick & Linda, Doug, David & Martha, John-Paul, Howard, Jason, Tom, Shannon & Aubrey, Tiffany & Chris) but didn't get to play with many of you guys. :( The time at these things is so short, and my predilection for long games makes it tough to play with everybody. I hope you all had as good a time as I did. I also saw a lot of our regular convention folk (Brian & Denise Stallings, Beth & Nicole, Jeff, Michelle, John & Sheila, Dave & Kathy, Kevin & Kat, Eric, Don, Will, Hal, Sandy, Rick, Keith and a lot of others) and only got to play games with a few of them. Almost everybody asked about Noreen & the boys as well as Bob & Carol. They were all missed.

It was a great time, and I look forward to the next one, almost as much as I do to getting back to bed...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Germantown 04/20/2009

Another big night for Borders Cafe.

  • Leslie Barkley
  • Christopher and Tiffany Bass; Alidia & Clarisa Findley & Claire
  • Aubrey Bell
  • David & Martha Briggs
  • Dave Fair
  • Doug Hoylman
  • Ben & Bob Jones
  • Doug Mercer
  • Eric & Laura Reinhold
  • Bill Salvatore
  • Bless, Liberty & Love
Welcome to Claire who came with the Findley-Bass family.

First up was the fun The Hanging Gardens, a spatial placement and set collection game. Laura won with 42 to Dave's 38, Eric 22 and Doug 21.

Chris & Tiffany had just learned Race for the Galaxy and so were eager to try it with the expansion, allowing for five players. Obviously they figured it out as they finished first and second. Chris 41, Tiffany 40, Doug H 38, Leslie 31 and Bill 25.

Diamonds Club is a game of marketing gems to equip a country estate. Dave F won with 73, Doug M 69, Aubrey 58 and David B 56.

Leslie and Aubrey played a two player game of Roll Through the Ages to hilarious results. Final scores were Leslie 34, Aubrey 2. Wow.

When Ben and I arrived, Ben joined Leslie and Aubrey for Cheeky Monkey. Although Ben won in a squeaker, Aubrey got his revenge on Leslie. Ben 46, Aubrey 44, Leslie 0.

As an experiment, we let the kids play without adult participation. It was a bit chaotic and loud. The older kids played several games of Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. The other kids played Travel Blokus, and Uptown to mixed success.

Bill won the game of escaping pirates, Cartagena, against Leslie, Chris, Tiffany and Doug.

Continuing my schedule of playtesting Continuum, I roped in Eric, Laura and Martha. The game went a bit long, but more good things were learned. Eric scored a ton of points using the "Chart New Worlds" action and was the best at mastering combat. He won easily. Final scores were Eric 86, Bob 70, Laura 64, Martha 51.

One of my favorite newer games, Lost Cities the Boardgame, made it to the table again. Dave F narrowly edged out Doug for the win. Dave F 330, Doug H 325, Bill 275, David B 170.

The Germantown location has really been growing. If we see much more growth, we'll have to think about a bigger venue.

Not a terrible problem to have.