Thursday, September 27, 2007

September 27, 2007 Session Report

This week we had a total of nine attendees, one of whom was attending her first session at the club. Gabe, Paul, Nicole, Beth, Eric, Clayton and myself were joined by Sarah who brought her mom, Joan, to the club. While Joan was new to the club, she was not new to gaming and was familiar with a couple of the games we played.

The first five to arrive (Gabe, Nicole, Paul, Beth and myself) played Turn the Tide, aptly described as "Category 5 on Steroids" -- with five players, we played five hands (passing each hand around the table) and the winner was Gabe with 17 with Nicole in second at 13, everyone else had 9. The second group to arrive (consisting of Eric, Clayton, Joan and Sarah) decided not to wait around and played a four-player Blokus Trigon, won by Sarah who got all her pieces on the board.

We then split up for two more games, with the five-player group of Gabe, Sarah, Paul, Joan and Clayton playing Boomtown (won by Sarah) and Ticket to Ride (won by Gabe). The rest of us (Eric, Beth, Nicole and myself) played Himalaya, which ended in a victory for yours truly over Eric, 32-29 on yak points after Beth was eliminated on stupas and then Nicole on political influence.

The next round of games say Clayton joining Eric and me for a series of Sequence games, which wound up being a total of five games, Eric winning three and me two while Clayton was (surprisingly) shut out although this has become a recent favorite game. The other game was Queens Necklace, with the final scores reported as Gabe 120 Paul 80 Sarah 60 and Joan 20.

With around a half hour left in the session, the entire group played three hands of Category 5, with Paul hanging on to win despite being zinged for 22 points on the final hand. Sarah came in a respectable second place while Eric was a close third.

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 20, 2007 Session Report

Attendees: Paul, Doug, Stan, Eric, Sarah, Clayton and myself (7 total).

Games Played: Qwirkle, Sequence (4x), If Wishes Were Fishes, Winners Circle, Lost Cities, Twilight Struggle, Amun-Re, TransAmerica.

Highlights: Three of us got there are few minutes early and we played a game of Qwirkle using the interesting homemade bag brought by Doug who also supplied the game. The scores were very close: Paul 131 John 127 Doug 121. Doug got the 6-point bonus for ending the game but Paul and I got more of the 6-point bonuses during the game.

Clayton and Eric arrived and played a game that seems to be Clayton's new favorite, Sequence. Clayton and Eric split a pair of two-player games and were joined by Stan in a couple of three-player games, of which Clayton and Stan were the two winners. Meanwhile, at the other table, Sarah joined the earlier trio of Doug, Paul and myself in a game of If Wishes Were Fishes, and ran away with what started out as a fairly close contest. Final scores in that one were Sarah 86, John 76, Doug 60 Paul 53.

At this point there was a bit of chaos as Eric, Stan and Clayton had started up a game of Winners Circle, while Doug took on Sarah in Lost Cities. Stan and Paul took a bit of a break, so I filled in for a round in the Winners Circle game, then Paul finished up the game while Stan and I started up Twilight Struggle. The final totals of the Winners Circle (a remake of Royal Turf that uses the names of real-life champion horses) was Eric 2700 Stan/John/Paul 1950 Clayton 1150. The Lost Cities game was a high-scoring affair, Doug 171 to 120 for Sarah (I assume they played three hands).

While Stan and I relived the Cold War with Twilight Struggle, Eric, Doug, Paul and Sarah went back to ancient times for a game of Amun-Re. The Twilight Struggle game ended with an automatic victory for the Russians (me) as I pushed the VP marker to 20 on Turn 4, with the world tottering on the brink of nuclear war at Defcon 2 for much of the game. The Amun-Re game lasted close to the 10 PM closing time, with a win for Eric (48) ahead of Doug (44) Paul (41) and then Sarah (32).

The Cold War ended earlier than expected so Clayton joined Stan and I for a quick game of TransAmerica using the new variant where each player gets to lay three sections of track that only they can run on. (Forget the name of it -- we used some Settlers pieces to represent the special track sections.) I believe I won after about 3 rounds or so over Stan when Clayton went off the ledge.

All in all, a fun session, hope to see everyone back next week in addition to a few of you who missed out this week!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

September 13, 2007 Session Report

Strong attendance this week, a total of 12 gamers (one newcomer) to the club: Clayton, Gabe, Paul, Doug, Nicole, Beth, Sarah, Eric, Rodney, Val and Kathryn B. -- newcomer, friend of Sarah's -- and myself. Games played (11): Thurn & Taxis -- Power and Glory; Qwirkle; Blokus Trigon (x3); Quiddler; Lost Cities; Incan Gold (x2); Sequence (x3); Fairy Tale (x3); Gnadenlos; Parlay; Category 5.

Here's the details: Four of us (Gabe, Paul, Doug and myself played the Thurn and Taxis sequel, Power and Glory. This game uses the houses from the original game but a whole new board and set of cards and victory chits. It's a bit longer and more strategic than the regular game, as city cards can be played as horses to pull the carriage or for the city itself. The endgame is different, too, as players aren't collecting those carriage cards and the Cartwright is not part of the game. Gabe was doing real well, picking up multiple VP chits with a nice 6-city route. I was going last in the turn order and, for once, everything clicked as I set myself up for a nice 8-route to put five houses down to end the game. Paul and Doug wound up barely registering on the positive side of the scoreboard, and I nosed out Gabe for the win.

By this time a group consisting of Nicole, Beth, Clayton and Rodney formed to play two "Q" games: first Quirkle, which was won by Clayton by virtue of the six-point bonus for ending the game; final scores were 101 for Clayton, 95 for Beth, 87 for Rodney and 76 for Nicole. The Quiddler game was a close one, with Rodney and Nicole battling it out for the win; final scores were Rodney 144 Nicole 139 Beth 117 Clayton 89.

Kathryn and Sarah arrived at the other table, and they joined Eric to play several three-player games of Blokus-Trigon, two of which were won by Eric with one win for Sarah. I also have scores for one hand of Lost Cities between Eric and Sarah, 24-4 for Eric. By then the T&T players were looking for another game, and it was Incan Gold which was played twice -- first game had seven players, and somehow I managed to win a really close one, with 32 points versus 30 for Gabe and Sarah with Paul not far behind at 29. (We figured out that Sarah could have won by staying in the cave for one more turn.) Second Incan Gold game had Rodney moving over from the other table to score a decisive victory, with 33 pts, well ahead of Eric (20) in second.

At this point we re-split into two groups. Rodney and I took on Clayton and Eric in Sequence (playing as two-player teams). We played three quick games, and I'm pleased to report Rodney and I won two out of three. The other table played three hands of Fairy Tale -- if I am reading the scores right, it was Doug and Kathryn winding up tied with 106 pts overall. Clayton, Eric and I convinced Val, who had just arrived, into joining us for a game of Gnadenlos. The game ended when Val picked up her third Vulture and it turned out the winner was Clayton. Meanwhile, the other group played a game of Parlay -- no scores to report on that one, unfortunately.

Finally, the nine of us who were left played a hand of Category Five, and Paul, who played two low numbers and took no other rows, wound up the winner with only two negative pts, ahead of Doug and Eric who tied for second with 7.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

September 6, 2007 Session Report

Once again, we had a total of 8 gamers in attendance: Gabe, Doug, Nicole, Beth, Clayton, Sarah, Eric and myself. With the added hour, we got in more games than in most of our recent sessions. Games played (and I hope this is a complete list): Parlay, Sequence (4 times), Lost Cities (5 times), Hey Thats My Fish, Tsuro, Power Grid, Guillotine, Blokus Trigon and Loco, for a total of 16 plays of nine different games, at least that's what I counted on the sheets.

Details: The Parlay game was a 6-player, with Sarah joining after missing out the first two hands and winning her first hand with a nice score of 100 pts. The game was won by Gabe with 545 pts (winning condition is 500) with Doug second at 400. Sarah wound up third at 250 and Nicole, Beth and I also participated (scores withheld at personal request).

Eric brought a game called Sequence that proved to be fairly popular. He taught the game to Clayton, winning two out of three. Later, Sarah won a three-player game over Nicole and Gabe. Sorry I missed out on the chance to play this one -- it looked interesting.

Lost Cities had a nice revival, as both of the club copies were in play at once for a good part of the evening. The scores had Clayton edging out Nicole in one game, Gabe and Sarah tying in another, Gabe topping Sarah in a third game (I believe Sarah was playing LC for the first time, however), while Beth and I had quite a tussle which finally turned my way in the final hand as I wiped out a 41-point deficit as Beth got some bad cards, or so she said. I think there was a fifth game played involving Clayton and either Sarah or Gabe, but sorry no results reported. (Another tie, perhaps?)

The one long game played was a four-player Power Grid on the always challenging Italy map. Eric, Doug, Beth and I had played before so it was a tough game that got even tougher as the Power Plant market got jammed up. When the first jam occurred in Phase 1, it looked like Doug had the advantage. But when Phase 3 got started, Eric got a nice 7 garbage plant that let him get to 17 cities and take the win with Doug just one city behind, followed by Beth and then yours truly in last.

Other games: Tsuro, a three-player won by Gabe versus Sarah and Nicole: Hey That's My Fish, two-player, Gabe with 57 and Sarah with 42; Blokus-Trigon, another three-player won by Doug who got all his pieces on the board, followed by Eric with 4 and Nicole with 11 (low scores are better); then Guillotine, with Doug coming out on top in a close one, 21-19 over Nicole while Eric came in third despite bagging Marie Antoinette.

We wound up the evening with a game of Loco, which I thought I knew but didn't. The game was a 4-player but since there were six of us, we had a played with a couple of teams. Eric took the game with 18 points; other scores were 13 for the John/Clayton team, 12 for Doug and 10 for Nicole/Beth team. However, I claim a moral victory since Clayton and I were the only new players to the game.

I got to play a wide variety of games and enjoyed the session even though I didn't do that well in many of the games. Looking forward to this weekend's TriadCon convention in College Park and hope to see everyone next week.