Friday, August 31, 2007

August 30, 2007 Session Report

This was our final session before Labor Day, when the Community Center moves to the 10 PM closing time (so now four hours of gaming instead of three).

Attendance was down a bit but not much as we had eight gamers in attendance: Gabe, Sarah, Eric, Paul, Rodney and myself were joined by Neil and Stan, whom we welcomed back to the club after a brief absence.

First game was Atlantic Star (the remake of ShowManager), which was a 6-player contested by Eric, Paul, Gabe, Sarah, Neil and myself. Paul had difficulty getting the right cards for his first cruise, which unfortunately for him wound up being the five-star one. However, he borrowed on it right away and finished the game in a strong third place. The game actually ended in a tie for first (something fairly unusual for this game) between Eric and myself, and I had a few extra bucks on hand which was the tiebreaker. Final scores were John and Eric 53, Paul 42, Sarah 26, Gabe 25, Neil 22.

Next up was Fist of Dragonstones and Sarah made up for her tough luck in the cruise line business by being the first to three points for the win. Eric and Rodney were not far behind with two points apiece, Gabe and I got one point, Paul had zero.

By this time Stan had arrived and the seven of us (Neil had left by this point) played two games. Gabe, Paul, Rodney and Sarah played a four-player If Wishes Were Fishes which Rodney (who may have been the only person to previously play the game) won. Eric and I were looking to try out a sailing game, called Race the Wind, and we persuaded Stan to join us. It turned out to be a real close race as we had to contend with wind puffs and wind shifts as we zigzagged up and down the course. I fell in behind Stan and then blanketed his wind after he led the way past the first mark. I pulled ahead briefly but then came a key moment where Eric and I were about to collide and he explained to me the starboard/port tack rules which I got wrong and had to give way. This put Eric and Stan ahead but I was in position to play kingmaker, which I did, by blanketing the wind of the only other boat I was close enough to mess with, which in this case was Stan. So Eric won a very, very close race.

A reminder that weekend after next (Sept. 8-9) is TriadCon at U of Md. in College Park. Pre-reg. deadline (save $5 off admission price) is today, Aug. 31. Here's the website:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23, 2007 Session Report

Another strong week attendance-wise as we had 11 gamers in attendance, including two first time visitors to the club: Kathy (Rodney's mom) who was visiting from Arkansas and Kathryn, a friend of Val's who was visiting from North Carolina. Gabe, Sarah, Doug, Eric, Clayton, Paul S, Rodney, Val and myself made up the rest of the group as a total of 10 games were played, three at once for a good part of the evening.

Gabe, Paul, Clayton and I played the recent Queen/Rio Grande release, Thebes, which turned out to be a nice win for Paul (aided by 15 pts from speaking tours) with 51 pts to 43 for Clayton; I came in third with 41, followed by Gabe with 35. After several initial turns to collect cards (extra shovels, learning, etc.) we all "got our hands dirty" with some excavating, some of which was more successful than others. Clayton dominated the Greek excavations, and interestingly, he and Paul (the two new players to the game) finished one-two -- setting up a trend that lasted throughout the evening's games.

Rodney (one of those new to the game) won a game of Skip-Bo, playing with Doug, Kathy and Sarah. Eric and Val tied for first in a really close game of Guillotine, 26 each for Eric and Val and 24 for Kathryn. Kathryn then won two games in a row (Mamma Mia with eight completed orders and Loco) playing with the same group of players. There was also a four-handed game of TransAmerica contested by Doug, Kathy, Rodney and Sarah -- sorry, don't have the results for this one.

After this, we went for larger groups and played an eight-player game of Incan Gold (formerly known as Diamant). Clayton seemed to be one of the first to return to the tents, sometimes with alot of treasure, while Rodney seemed to be the one pushing his luck. The winner, however, turned out to be Rodney's mom, Kathy, with a score of 21. Clayton at 17 was second, followed by a large group at 16 (Doug, Paul, Rodney and myself), Sarah at 14, and Gabe bringing up the rear with 11.

The final two games of the evening were Saboteur and Category 5, again with 8 players in each game. All three rounds of Saboteur saw the dwarves outsmart the Saboteurs, and Doug and Sarah tied with 8 gold. Other scores were: Eric 5, Gabe and Kathryn 4, Paul and myself at 3 followed by Val with 2. Category 5 also lasted three hands, and Val hit the incredibly high score of 100 but, unfortunately, low score wins in this one and Doug edged out Gabe by 3 points after Paul held a slender lead going into the final hand.

A reminder: We have just one more week with the summer closing time of 9 PM, then after Labor Day the sessions will revert to the normal hours of 6 - 10 PM.

Friday, August 17, 2007

August 16, 2007 Session Report

Ten attended last night's session: Gabe, Paul S., Rodney, Clayton, Doug H, Eric H, Sarah, Nicole, Beth and myself wound up playing a total of nine games during the course of the evening. We had three games going at once for the part of the time.

Gabe, Paul and I got there a few minutes early and we played a card game called Treasures and Traps which Gabe had brought. We decided to abandon the game when others began arriving, as it wasn't clear how long it would take before the game would finish. By then we had seven players and split into two groups, one for a four-player Vegas Showdown which began as a close battle between Clayton and myself, but I managed to score some points for diamonds near the end to pull away while the one new player to the game (Sarah) came home second. Final scores were John 62, Sarah 49, Clayton 41 and Paul 40. Clayton had five (!) lounges in the game but, unfortunately for him, the Lounge Lizard card did not come out to give him a big points bonus. The other game, a three-player game of Thebes (the recent remake of Jenseits von Theben), was claimed by Eric, 80 to 65 for Gabe and 59 for Doug, the only new player at the game.

By then Nicole, Beth and Rodney had arrived, and they set up a third table to play Alchemist. Rodney and Beth, who had both played the game before, finished 1-2 with 85 and 81 points, respectively, ahead of Nicole, the one new player, with 61. That same group played For Sale, and this time the winner was Beth with 82, followed by Nicole at 71 then Rodney at 64.

For the next round of games, we split into two groups of five. One group played Cash n' Guns, which was won by Eric (now 2 for 2 for the evening) ahead of Beth, Nicole, Gabe and Rodney; final scores were reported as 110-85-80-75-55. The other game was an old club favorite, Hoity Toity, and Paul managed to snag the win by taking best collection on the "oldest" work tiebreaker just ahead of Sarah and Clayton, all of whom made it to the finishing spaces; Doug and I also played in the game but we didn't come close to winning, having both our thieves in jail for a good part of the game.

The final two games of the evening took us right up to closing time. There was a four-player Category 5 which was won by Sarah based on consistency -- defined as never taking more than 25 pts on any one hand. I had the early lead but could not hold it, while Doug recovered after a 38 pt first hand to wind up challenging Sarah for the win. I think we played around 6-7 hands and the final scores were Sarah 74, Doug 84, Paul 92, John 112 (lower scores are better in this game). The other game was Beowulf, and this time the winner was Gabe (34) followed by Rodney (29), Beth (23), Nicole (20) and Eric (16) who finally had his winning streak for the evening snapped.

Hope everyone had a good time, looking forward to seeing you all again next week.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

August 9, 2007 Session Report

A good bounceback week attendance-wise: With a total of 13 people, we had three games going on at once for most of the evening. I instituted a new system with some slips to record information on specific games (courtesy of Dave Fair, host of the GCOM-Damascus group and co-host at two other locations).

In attendance: Sarah, Val, Paul S., Gabe, Eric, Clayton, Doug H, John Locke (John is a regular at GCOM-Potomac who was attending at our location for the first time), Carlos (welcome back, Carlos!), Rodney, Nicole, Beth and myself were the group.

I brought a newly-purchased copy of Phoenicia and Paul, Val and Sarah joined me in a four-player game for its initial play. The game took close to two hours, but it should go faster once all players are familiar with the rules. Val took an early lead and pulled away to win with 34, while Sarah (27), John W (27) and Paul (26) were bunched closely together at the end, but nowhere close to Val.

Clayton and Eric squared off in a game of Lost Cities. The scores were reported as 194 to 94 in favor of Eric, a 100-point win. Thought Clayton would make it a bit closer.

Gabe, Carlos, Doug, John L and Rodney tackled Beowulf, another game that lasted for more than half the session. Final scores were reported as a tie between Gabe and Rodney at 30 apiece, followed by John L at 25, Doug at 23 then Carlos at 18.

Nicole and Beth had arrived and joined Clayton and Eric for Quiddler. Nicole was dominant, scoring 148 while Eric edged Beth for second, 126-124 and Clayton was not far behind at 117.

Clayton took a bit of a break and Rodney subbed to play several games in a row with Beth, Eric and Nicole. For Sale was won by Eric (82) ahead of Rodney (66), Beth (50) and Nicole (49). Then Incan Gold was played twice, Nicole winning the first game and then finishing a point behind Rodney in the second. I will not embarrass Beth and Eric by reciting their scores.

In the meantime, Doug joined Sarah, Val and myself for a four-player Blokus which Doug won. The results (remember in this one, low scores are best): Doug 4, John 11, Sarah 14 and Val 30. We also played a game of Coyote and the results were totally different (girls beat the boys) as I was out first, followed by Doug, then Sarah won the final head-to-head confrontation with Val.

The other four (John L, Gabe, Carlos and Paul S) were locked in a Duel of Ages game that unfortunately did not finish when the 9 o'clock witching hour arose. (Looking forward to the week after Labor Day when we return to the four hour sessions lasting until 10 PM!)

A couple of more quick fillers -- Sarah and Val played a couple of games of Blink, a game that Doug and I only watched as they were moving way too fast for us older guys to keep up with them. Doug then produced a really short card game called Pepper (every one starts with five cards and tries to get rid of them) which turned out to be the final game of the evening for Doug, Sarah, Val and myself. We finished two hands, first one won by Doug, second one by Val.

Recap: A total of 11 different games played, three more than once, 15-16 games in total (depending on how many games of Blink Sarah and Val worked in, as I really couldn't keep up!)

Hope everyone had a good time. I know I did.

Thursday, August 2, 2007 Session Report

At least four of our regular attendees were at the WBC convention last week, so not surprisingly, our attendance took a bit of a nosedive.

Thanks to Gabe Cornett, here is the belated report from last week:

Attendees: Gabe, Val, Sarah and Clayton

Games Played: Tsuro (won by Val); Wings of War (won by Sarah, Gabe and Val tied for second); Phase 10 (won by Val)

For anyone interested, I filed a recap of my activities at WBC on BGG. Here's the link: