Friday, June 27, 2008

June 26, 2008 Session Report

We had seven gamers for this week's session, as Greg returned along with Clayton (who had missed a couple of sessions), Nick, Ben, Paul, Sarah and myself.

First game up was the Ticket to Ride card game that I had won in a contest, and I wound up winning a four-player ahead of Nick, Paul and Sarah. Meanwhile, Ben and Greg had arrived and challenged Clayton to a three-player game of Can't Stop -- turned out Clayton had not lost his touch as he rolled his way to the top while the conservative approach did not work out for Greg and Ben.

At this point we reshuffled the players and played a couple of more games. Modern Art (which Greg brought) was featured in a four-player game which Nick won, and Ben and I also participated along with Greg. The other group of Clayton, Paul and Sarah played Carcassone-Discovery which was won by Paul. Sarah, who was new to the Carcassone series of games, enjoyed it and finished second her first time out.

We wound up the evening with a couple of hands of Slide 5. Nick and Ben, convinced there was no strategy to the game, decided to play random but it didn't work out as they got stuck with a bunch of negative points. Paul, with a total of 11 from the two hands, was declared the winner once we saw the 9 o'clock witching hour was approaching.

Hope to see some of you at the Picnic this weekend, if not at next week's session. Just got word that a couple of new games I have been waiting on for some time (Wealth of Nations and the English edition of Tribune) have arrived so I hope to have them on hand next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008 Session Report

We had a total of seven gamers tonight, including one first-timer (Greg) and one long-time absentee (Eric). Doug, Paul, Ben, Sarah and myself rounded up the attendance list.

We started off with a game of Parlay while waiting for everyone to show up. The game started with just three (Doug, Paul and myself) but we later added Greg and then Eric who were trying it for the first time. All I can remember was losing out on the poker hand to Doug, who nailed me with a flush for the poker bonus and then flipped over a really great word featuring the X or Z card plus the length bonus for Sextant, worth something like 230 points. Nice going, Doug.

Eric had brought Power Grid with all the expansions so we tried a six-player Italy game joined by Ben, using the new Power Plant deck. I enjoy playing Power Grid with the new deck because (1) it tends to make the game go a bit faster; (2) the resource market is less likely to be stripped of resources) and (3) generally, the effects of Power Plant market jams are alot less. This game clocked in at just under two hours, and it turned out Greg (who had demonstrated his Power Grid prowess in a game at Games Days this year where he beat the current EuroQuest champion) wound up the winner in a highly competitive game, with Eric nosing out Paul for second in the tiebreaker.

I managed to bring up the rear in the Power Grid game, but I had a great excuse. Sarah had shown up a little after 7 and I had promised to get her in a game. So I played some two-player games with Sarah, first Can't Stop -- which Sarah won in a close game -- then Ticket to Ride -- Switzerland (played for the fourth week in a row making it the most popular new game in the club's collection) which I managed to win after getting four tickets covering virtually the same route -- connecting Lugano and Italy to France.

The last half-hour of the session was spent playing several hands of Slide 5, the skiing-themed Category 5 re-make. I missed a hand or two while finishing up the TTR game, but for the two hands where we kept score, Greg was the winner -- making him undefeated in his initial appearance at the games club. Greg, who lives nearby in Columbia, says he will be coming back and we look forward to his return.

Notice: The Community Center will be open in two weeks, Thursday July 3rd, the day before the Fourth.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008 Session Report

A smaller group tonight, such that we only had one game in progress at any one time. Doug, Paul and I were joined by Ben and Nick; later on Sarah stopped in but didn't have the chance to get in any games with us. We played just four games: Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, Carcassone-Discovery, Hoity Toity and Igel Argern (the Hedgehog Racing game).

First game was another brutal Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, played with the newer 1910 cards. I got blocked on one of my routes by a one-train tunnel placement by Paul, but turned out not to matter as I managed to pull out the win in a very close contest, 115 to 108 for Doug, in which the 10-point bonus for longest train proved crucial after Paul and Doug each garnered the 15-point bonus for most tickets.

Then we broke out the new club game, Carcassone-Discovery, where you only get four meeples and can place or pick up (and score) but not do both in the same turn. Ben and Paul shared the win in this one, I was two points back in third, followed by Doug and then Nick in last.

We then played Hoity Toity, and this time Nick emerged as the winner with a strong front running strategy, ignoring the thieves on the last show. I came in second with a good final show, but was too far back to catch Nick. Paul was third, followed by Ben and Doug.

Final game was Igel Argern, which we barely got in. Somehow things worked out for me as Ben and Doug, the two perceived early leaders, faded in the end. Or maybe I just got the right die rolls at the right times.

Friday, June 6, 2008

June 5, 2008 Session Report

There were a total of six gamers in attendance for this week's session: Clayton, Paul, Nick, Doug, Helen and myself. We added four new games to the club collection (the second wave of games from the recent PG County grant). Three of them were among the games played, which included For Sale, Anno 1503, Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, Moose in the House, Slide 5 (a new version of Category 5) plus another run at the prototype I brought from last week.

First game up was one of the new ones, For Sale, and it was a four-player with Doug, Paul, Nick and myself competing -- final scores were John 67 Doug 60 Nick 52 Paul 40. By then Clayton and Helen had arrived and we split into two groups of three. Helen, Doug and Nick played Anno 1503, and my sources later informed me that Doug won a close game with Helen in second. That same group then also played Moose in the House, sorry no report on who won that one.

At the other table, Clayton, Paul and I also got through two games. First, it was Ticket to Ride-Switzerland and I just kept drawing tickets, not completing all of them but enough of them to wind up first (with the bonuses for most tickets and longest train) at 134 with Paul (who completed all seven tickets) second at 111 followed by Clayton with 79. Then we played that prototype game from last week with a different set of action cards that kept the score down considerably. The game turned out to be a well-deserved win for Clayton, with 19 to 16 for John and 3 (!) for Paul, who was figuratively and literally "cursed" through the whole game.

We ended up with Slide 5, the latest version of Take 6/Category 5 with a skiing theme. All six of us participated and we managed to sneak in three hands before the nine o'clock witching hour. Final scores (remember low numbers are best) were Paul 21 Doug 33 John 40 Helen 43 Clayton 44 with Nick bringing up the rear at 72.