Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007 Session Report

Another good turnout with a total of 12 gamers, including two newcomers to the club: Patrick Chapman and Eric Sokolowsky, who joined Gabe, Eric H, Sarah, Val, Nicole, Paul J, Beth, Clayton, Neil and myself to play a total of eight different games: Lost Cities, Puerto Rico, Boomtown, TransAmerica, Rummikub, Coloretto, Wits and Wagers and Category 5.

Here's a few comments on some of the games, who played what, winners and scores where I have them, etc. Gabe and I got there first and played a really weird hand of Lost Cities; I think we had a bunch of handshake cards at the start that didn't match any of our cards so it was tougher than usual putting together high scoring expeditions. I believe I pulled it out by getting three colors going while Gabe could only manage a positive score on two of three.

By then more people had arrived and five of us played a game of Boomtown, which was won by Sarah (84) ahead of Eric S (77), Eric H (70), Gabe (59), I was in last (40).
Patrick, Neil, Clayton and Val had arrived by then, and they contested a four-player TransAmerica. The same two groups kept going for the next round of games, which consisted of a 5-player Puerto Rico, where Sarah, who was playing for the first time, managed to win (assisted by a cast of thousands), with a final score of 55 (had the harbor and two large buildings) followed by me (46), Eric S (44), Gabe (39) and Eric (37). Meanwhile, there was a four-player Coloretto, which I heard wound up in a tie between Clayton and Patrick (? -- not sure on this one as the PR game was so intense I had difficulty keeping up with all the other games going on).

Beth, Nicole and Paul J arrived a bit later and Beth and Nicole introduced Paul to Rummikub -- which Paul promptly won (another win for a first-time player at a new game, which seemed to be the theme for the evening). Next up for the non-PR group was a full table of seven for Wits and Wagers, which I heard was another tie involving some of the new players again. Then the evening wound up with a couple of quick fillers (Category 5 and Blink) to keep up our tradition of pushing the envelope of finishing right on the verge of the 9 PM closing time.

Hope everyone had a good time -- hope to see Patrick and Eric S back at some future sessions. I have a new limited edition Cycling game called "Tour" that I hope to try out soon at a future session, but I was happy to have the opportunity to play PR at Eric S's suggestion. Sarah brought an interesting looking card game I would like to try some time soon as well.

Next week some of us (including myself) will be out of town for the World Boardgaming Championships in Lancaster, PA) -- thanks in advance to one of you who I am hoping will track the attendance/games played (there's a couple of sheets in the club's notebook) and either forward the info to me or post it here.

I was pleased to display the GCOM banner which has been made available to hosts at all GCOM locations -- unfortunately, I forgot to leave it in one of the game bins with the club games so it won't be making a future appearance for at least a couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19, 2007 Session Report

This week we had a total of 10 gamers in attendance, making it three weeks in a row we have hit double figures. Clayton, Gabe, Eric, Doug H, Sarah, Paul J, Neil, Beth, Nicole and myself played a total of six different games: Cowpowker (played twice), Stonehenge, Phase 10, Billabong, Take 6 and Slapshot.

I was involved in the first Cowpowker game which I managed to win with a fortuitous card play that let me take an active card from each opponent. Then played Phase 10, which Sarah brought, and the game took a bit longer when it turned out to be more difficult to reach the later goals; Doug was the early leader but Sarah came back -- I think the game was abandoned after Doug was the first to reach Phase 8. After Beth and Nicole arrived, it was a five-player game of Slapshot that ended right before 9 one game into the playoffs. The three players who hadn't played before (Neil, Nicole and Beth) made the playoffs while the two who had played before (Eric and myself) were on the outside looking in.

Hope everyone had a good time. If anyone wants to post comments about the other gamers, feel free to do so.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12, 2007 Session Report

Pleased to report that attendance held strong at 12 this week: Gabe, Paul S., Clayton, Neil, Sarah, Paul J., Stan, Nicole, Beth, Tucker, Bob and myself were in attendance. There were a total of nine different games played, and here are some of the highlights.

Gabe introduced RoboRally to several newcomers, and the game was played at least twice (first a two-player with Gabe and Paul S. and then later in a larger game that included Paul S, Gabe, Tucker, Clayton and Bob. Neil wanted to try out Yspahan and played a four-player with two new players and of course the newcomers (Sarah and Paul J.) finished one-two ahead of myself and Neil, the "teacher" in that game. I felt good about getting all six buildings but little in the way of camels or souks and only narrowly managed to fend off Neil for third spot.

By then Stan, Nicole and Beth had arrived, and the three of them squared off in a game of Ingenious which ended up in a very narrow win for Beth. Gabe, Paul S. and Clayton played Fist of Dragonstones, followed by Fairy Tale (and perhaps a third RoboRally game was worked in at some point as well). Beth introduced a recent TransAmerica variant (we needed to borrow some colored "roads" pieces from the Settlers game) where each player gets to play three sections of track each round where they have exclusive track rights; Stan and I joined Beth in this variant which gave TransAmerica a more "strategic" feel when played with this additional twist. Meanwhile, Nicole joined Neil, Paul J. and Sarah in a game which Sarah brought, called "Speed Scrabble"--a variant on the regular game where each player arranges his/her own tiles to make a series of words. It looked interesting and something worth trying again.

At Neil's urging, six of us (Beth, Nicole, Sarah, Paul J, Neil and myself) played Coyote and, following the pattern of the earlier Yspahan game, the two new players (Sarah and Paul) came home one-two. With 20 minutes to closing time, we started a game of Sticheln but only had time to complete one hand -- the game was a learning experience for most of the players who were playing the game for the first or second time.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 5, 2007 Session Report

July 5 turned out to be one of our all-time best Thursday evening sessions attendance-wise, with 13 gamers present. We welcomed two first-time attendees, Paul J. and Crosby, along with Sarah, Neil, Gabe, Eric, Doug, Paul S., Beth, Nicole, Rodney, Clayton and myself. We played a total of 11 different games -- with that many people, it was often literally a three-ring circus with three games going on at once.

With 11 people there by the 6 PM start time, we split into two groups: Gabe, Crosby, Beth, Nicole and Eric played Ark; the two Pauls, Sarah, Doug, Neil and I played Hoity Toity which accommodates six. Then, Rodney and Clayton arrived and squared off in a game of Lost Cities. Next up was Incan Gold, don't know who all played, but I was informed and am pleased to report that our youngest attendee, Nicole, was the winner.

I had brought a prototype of a new game I have been working on and managed to cajole Neil, Eric, Nicole and Clayton into testing it. It uses timers a la Space Dealer for actions and has a figure skating theme -- you are developing and training a skater for a skating competition that takes place at the end of the game. Working title is Gold Medal Skating. In our game, Eric (who was the only one of the four familiar with the Space Dealer mechanic) managed to get a third timer in play and won fairly easily. Nicole took the Silver Medal while Neil and Clayton wound up tied for the bronze, and I think the tiebreaker favored Neil who did a bit better in the final program.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of action at the other tables: Alchemist, Blokus, Blink, and Beowulf were among the games played. Beth recorded her first ever win at Puerto Rico, besting Rodney and Doug, two experienced PR players, in a three-player game. The final game, Olympia 2000, did not quite get to the finish line as the witching hour (9 PM for the summer months) approached all too soon.

Thanks to everyone who attended and made this one of our best sessions yet!