Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 21, 2008 Session Report

Unfortunately and perhaps not unexpectedly, there was big dropoff from last week's record attendance as we were down to a more "normal" core group of seven, including Neil, Nick, Clayton, Ben, Sarah, Gabe and myself.

We started off with one of my favorite games, McGartlin Stock Car Racing, and Nick was all set up for the win when he lacked a pass card for a crucial yellow flag crash just five laps from the end. Nick dropped to the rear and finished there. Neil inherited the lead and eventually won the race, with Ben in second and Gabe third. This game will be part of a special event, TrashFest, at Maryland Games Days during the first weekend in May -- everyone who reads this should note the Early Bird Pre-Registration (with a special discount in addition to a discount for GCOM Supporting Members) is coming up soon (March 8). For details see:

After the McGartlin race we broke into two groups: Clayton, Ben and I played Coloretto which was won by Ben with Clayton not too far back with me in last, much farther back. Nick, Sarah, Gabe and Neil played a couple of rounds of Tumblin Dice, both of which were won by Sarah. Then Ben joined the dice group while Neil joined Clayton and me for more Coloretto action. I have Nick down for ending Sarah's streak at the dice game, and Neil and Clayton finished 1-2 putting me in last (again) in Coloretto; although I had a much higher score than the first game, so did everyone else.

The seven of us re-organized once again, and Ben, Nick, Neil and I became Indian tea collectors in Darjeeling. We decided not to play to a full game but declared the winner after someone hit 70 points. That someone turned out to be Ben, who won with 69 (suffering a -1 penalty for an unfinished half-crate). I was second with 67, ahead of Nick (59) and Neil (57). Interesting game with alot of leapfrogging over each other -- no telling what would have happened had we played to 100.

The other group of Gabe, Sarah and Clayton played Hey That's My Fish and TransAmerica (both won by Gabe) and then started the Artifacts variant of Chrononauts that was not completed. (Heard from the next table over that there may have been some rules controversies in this one.)

Final game of the evening was a five-player Fairy Tale; final scores were Gabe 49 Ben 44 Nick and John 37 Sarah 36 but hey, I had five mischievous fairies at the end.

Hope to see more of you next week, including some of the folks who were here last week that I didn't have the chance to welcome to the club.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 21, 2008 Session Report

As many of you already know, I wasn't there last week. But that apparently did not stop people from attending -- indeed, a record crowd for a Thursday night in the brief two and a half year history of our club.

Thanks to Nick Schroedl for the following entertaining report on this past session. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and reading it makes me very enthusiastic about next week's session and the future for our club.


Without further ado, here is Nick's report.

"I believe we had the biggest turnout ever at Laurel game night this past Thursday night, at least since I've been attending. I was fortunate enough to bring along five friends to play some games, including old timer Abe but introducing for the first time my buddy Brandon, Dustin, Mike and Mandy. Already playing games when we arrived was Paul, Gabe, Sarah, Ben, Bob, Neal, Tom, Clayton and Tucker for a grand total of 15 for the night. So many in fact, that we had to get another table to accommodate everyone.

I'll do my best in recalling all the games played and their winners, perhaps others can help me with anything I'm missing. All games were recorded and are in the club binder. I believe there was a total of 9 different games played.

First game played was Princes of Florence brought by Neal, it was Ben, Neal, Paul and myself (Nick). Both Ben and I were new and as it turned out we badly botched some major rules involving the amount of money and the number of points awarded after turning in a work of art. It was pretty comical seeing myself being lapped on the scoring track as Ben ran away with the game racking up over 90+ points (and with over 8k in his coffers) causing us to concede and declare him the winner in round 5. I want to try this game again but next time with fewer "house rules" wink, wink.

On the other table a big game of Atlantic Star begun including Brandon, Gabe, Sarah, Bob, Tucker and Clayton. Unfortunately I don't have the score for this one on hand but the game lasted quite a while.

New comers Mike, Mandy and Dustin were taught Kingsburg by Abe on the new table. All said they enjoyed the game and were only starting to get the hang of the strategy when the game ended in a tie between Mike and Mandy both in buildings and victory points. Mike only just eeked out the win by having more goods stored up.

A game of Transamerica started after the Princes of Florence game with Ben, Neal, Tom and myself (Nick). It was a quick game but only because my train simply plummeted off the chart after the fourth round. We crowned Neal the winner then Ben then Tom.

A game of Wits and Wagers followed the Alantic Star game and Transamerica game. Players included Brandon, Mike, Dustin, Neal, Sarah, Paul and myself (Nick). It was a good game with plenty of big bets in the final round. Neal was able to increase his already substantial lead in after betting correctly in the final round to be declared the winner. I took away from the game a strong urge to go study up on the Boston Tea party, sheesh I was waay off on that answer!

Gabe taught Bob, Ben and Tucker his game of Beowulf which looked very interesting but unfortunately I don't have the scores for.

In the meantime Clayton taught Mandy how to play Lost Cities. They split two games. Afterwards Clayton entertained many with some of his amazing card tricks.

After the game of Wits and Wagers, Sarah, Brandon, Dustin and myself (Nick) played Ingenious. After Sarah taught us the rules we dove in. It was a very close game. Sarah took a strong lead and Dustin surprised everyone in his last turns, I was unable to get yellow symbols even after turning in my tiles twice. And although we had to cut the game short because of time we were very close to filling the board so after one final round Sarah edged out Dustin by one point leaving Brandon and myself tied in third.

A fantastic turnout this week which drew lots of attention from passersby, four or five people stopped in to ask what kind of club this was and what kind of games we were playing. A few even stayed to watch a few turns of Transamerica and Wits and Wagers. Great atmosphere, hope to keep it going strong next week!"


Thursday, February 14, 2008

February 14, 2008 Session Report

Attendance: down to 6 this week, as Doug, Paul, Nick, Sarah, Ben and myself were present.

Games played: 7 (Lost Cities, R-Eco, Hoity Toity, Imperial, Anno 1503, Qwirkle, Guillotine).

Some details: Paul and arrived first and we completed one hand of Lost Cities (won by Paul, 127-99 who scored the 20-point bonus). Nick arrived and we played another short game, R-Eco, which resulted in another win for Paul (19 to 9 for me and 1 for Nick; all three of us dumped). Ben, Doug and Sarah joined up as we played a 6-handed Hoity Toity and, in an incredibly close game where all six of us were in the running at the end, Doug pulled it out by putting together an 11-card set for best in final show. I nosed out Nick for second on the best collection tiebreak after Nick had triggered the endgame after trailing in the early going.

We then split into two groups of three. Following on the heels of Hamburgum last week, Ben, Nick and I tried another rondel game, Imperial, which took up most of the remaining session time. Ben won going away by pushing Russia to the end of the chart first. Nick did well, too, good enough to put me in last. Final scores were Bem 217 Nick 156 John 146.

The other table got in three games: Anno 1503, won by Doug with Sarah a close second. Paul then took the Qwirkle game, 137 to 127 for Doug and 122 for Sarah -- sounds like another close one. Guilltoine went to Doug, followed by Sarah and Paul.

I anticipate being at the PrezCon convention next week, so I will probably not see everyone until Thurs. the 28th. I left some attendance and games played sheets in the notebook that is packed away with the club's games, so I am looking forward to someone posting here or emailing me with the information from next week's session.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

February 7, 2008 Session Report

Attendance bounced back up to 12 this week, as regulars Doug, Paul, Abe, Gabe, Ben, Nick, Sarah and myself were joined by Joan (Sarah's mom), Tucker, Bob and Susanne (friend of Gabe's). We played a bunch of games, including Wicked Witches Way, Clock Solitaire, Lost Cities, Hamburgum, Settlers -- Kandahar variant, Ingenious, Quiddler, Saboteur, Hollywood Blockbuster, and Category Five. Hard to keep track of everything, so here are the highlights as I was able to jot them down ...

First up was Wicked Witches Way, a game Doug brought that involved quick reactions where you tried to match your cards with dice combinations. I didn't do very well, winding up last, Gabe was the winner ahead of Doug, who got to the end first but lost out because Gabe had collected a couple of bonus point cards. Nick, Paul and Abe also participated.

Sarah arrived, set up a game of Clock Solitaire but wound up playing a couple of Lost Cities hands with Ben while the first game was wrapping up. We then broke into two groups, one group (Sarah, Doug, Gabe and Paul) played a Settlers variant, Settlers of Kandaharr -- no report on who won. The other group (Abe, Nick, Ben and myself) played a new release, Hamburgum, which is about setting up an infrastructure to score points by making "contributions" to one of six churches using the "Rondel" mechanism from two earlier games (Antike and Imperial) by the same designer. I was the only one with any experience (having played once before), so I managed to win with 78 to 66 for Ben, and Abe nipping Nick by one, 58-57, to avoid coming in last. This same group of four then played Hollywood Blockbuster, which Nick had brought, and the results were exactly the opposite: Nick over Abe by one (81 to 80) while Ben scored 64, three ahead of me in last place. Nick did well to score 30 pts in Oscars, twice for best movies in the early years and also for best Gold picture while Ben edged me out for the 10 pt. bonus for the crappiest movie.

Other games played (and what results I have) included Joan over Sarah, 209-175, in Quiddler; Bob over Tucker in a close game of Ingeious, no report on the Saboteur game, and then the finale -- Category 5, which was an 8-player free-for-all, final scores (remember low numbers are good): Bob 22 Sarah 23 Doug 40 Gabe 40 Susanne 47 Joan 53 Tucker 57 and Paul 67.