Friday, May 30, 2008

May 29, 2008 Session Report

This was our first 2008 session with the shortened summer hours, and our second session with the expanded games inventory. A total of eight gamers were in attendance: Sarah, Clayton, Paul, Ashley, Gabe, Ben, Nick and myself split into two groups for most of the evening. We played a total of six different games: Cloud 9, Blackbeard, San Juan, a handmade prototype game, Executive Decision and Ticket to Ride-Switzerland. (Because we were pushing it on time, the last two games did not get completed.)

First up was Cloud 9, and the balloonists were Sarah, Clayton, Paul, Nick and myself. Turned out to be a three-way tie as Paul and Sarah reached 50 and then I bailed out at 35 for 15 more points with Nick left holding the bag as the pilot with a bad die roll. Oh, well ...

The Blackbeard game was a four-player using the game with the new GMT edition. Ben (whose two pirates were Lowther and Tew) won the game, which used the shortened victory conditions. Ashley had the colorful "Calico Jack" Rackham and Quelch as her pirates: Gabe had Conant and Taylor, and Nick had De Lusan and Roberts after losing his initial pirate (Bonnet) to a first-turn mutiny ... gosh, I hate when that happens.

The four of us at the other table played a hand-made prototype game that I had put together based on a recent playtest; final scores on this one were John 35 with Sarah a close second at 32. (Sorry, can't post more details here, the final version of the game is expected to be released some time later this year, however.) We then played San Juan, and Clayton ended the game by building to 12 with a Smithy, Guild Hall and bunch of mills. Paul had all purple buildings, and I got lucky and got three bonus "6" buildings down. Turned out I needed all three of them as the final scores were really, really close: John 30, Paul 29 Clayton 28 Sarah 21.

The final two games of the evening were Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, with Clayton and me playing as a team versus Paul and Sarah. When we had to clean up, Sarah had a huge lead with like 45 in completed tickets so we declared her the winner. The other game, Executive Decision, and old 3M/AH classic, barely finished one or two "months" activity before being called with no winner.

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 22, 2008 Session Report

We had another good turnout for this week's session: Doug, Ashley (back for her second session), Paul, Clayton, Gabe, Sarah, Nick and myself were present and, with great fanfare, we added around 15 games to the club's collection which had just arrived courtesy of a grant from your PG County Government. We had two games going for most of the evening, and my notes show we wound up playing nine different games, many of which were the newly-opened copies played for the first time at this week's session.

After spending a few minutes unwrapping, bagging, punching and labeling the new games, we started off with Can't Stop at one table, featuring Gabe, Ashley, Sarah and Clayton -- Clayton was victorious. The other table of Doug, Paul, Nick and myself tried Zooloretto, aptly described by Paul as "Coloretto on Steroids." Doug, who seemed to know the game fairly well, wound up the winner with 26 to 24 for Nick and myself (Nick second on the most money tiebreaker) with Paul at 20 bringing up the rear. A close game, one I enjoyed and am looking forward to playing again.

Meanwhile, the Sarah-Ashley-Gabe-Clayton group got in two more quick games, Hey That's My Fish, another close one won by Sarah with Clayton and Gabe not far behind. Then it was Moose in the House (another one of the new games to the club's collection), and Gabe was the winner.

Then we split into different groups for the next group of games. At one table, it was Nick, Gabe, Doug and Ashley playing Nexus Ops, a game that Nick brought and -- no surprise -- Nick was the winner. The other table of Sarah, Clayton, Paul and myself played Ticket to Ride with the new cards from the 1910 edition, and -- after complaining about being blocked out on two of my tickets -- I drew a bunch more, made them, and managed to edge out Sarah for the win. Whew -- usually when I miss on two tickets and take a -21 point hit, that doesn't happen! Sarah got her revenge in the very next game, Hollywood Blockbuster, winning with a solid score of 91.

Then Clayton took a break and the rest of us played Boom-O, the card game of the ticking time bomb. Sarah, who seemed eager to play, was eliminated first, then Doug, Paul and I were eliminated and it came down to Ashley, Gabe and Nick. I didn't write down the final result -- but I believe Nick won.

The final game of the evening -- Cloud 9 -- saw Nick and I wind up tied at 35 when the session time ran out. I believe there may have been a game going on at the other table, but us balloonists were really focused on our piloting efforts -- in particular Nick, who made an impressive solo flight to move from the 12 cloud to the 25, putting him in contention after the rest of us had bailed out.

It was great to have the new games arrive -- everyone should plan ahead though, because starting next week, the CC's summer hours will be in effect -- we will close an hour earlier, at 9, not 10.

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 15, 2008 Session Report

Attendance this week was up to a total of nine -- one first-time attendee along with a couple of people we welcomed back after not seeing them for awhile. Ashley was the one newcomer, and we also saw Sarah and Val who had been missing in action for the last couple of months, along with "regulars" Clayton, Ben, Paul, Gabe, Nick and myself.

We started off with a game of Can't Stop that was abandoned after a couple of rounds when more people arrived. We then played a seven-player Boom-O, and people who were knocked out early joined the new arrivals for more Can't Stop. I had Gabe down as the final survivor in Boom-O, with Ben second and Ashley third. Nick, Paul, Sarah and myself also participated.

The Can't Stop group included Sarah, Val, Clayton and myself. We wound up playing a total of two games, I won the first and Sarah won the second. The other group of five (Ben, Nick, Paul, Ashley and Gabe) played the "Zombie" game, Last Night on Earth which Ben had brought. Ben was nice enough to play the Zombies and, in the initial play, went down to defeat in what I was told was one of the "easy" scenarios for the good guys. (Any excuse for Ben losing as the zombies.) In the second game, with a more difficult setup, Ben was able to pull out a win as the zombie player.

In the meantime, the other group of four (Clayton, Val, Sarah and myself) got in two more games, first Ingenious, which was a really close game, won by Sarah with 14, John 13, Clayton 9, Val 9. Next up was Quiddler, this time Val and I were battling it out until one hand where Val got no vowels -- and a -57 (ouch!) for the hand. Needless to say, that put the end to Val's chances. Final scores were John 273 Sarah 230 Clayton 193 Val 157.

We still had around 25 minutes left so we brought out an old favorite, Category Five, that all nine of us could play. We got in only one round, but this time Val (2) was the winner, followed by Paul (7), Gabe (9), Ashley (10), Clayton (15), John (16), Ben (22), Nick (24), Sarah (30).

A good time was had by all and hopefully we can keep up the strong attendance next week, which will be our last session before Memorial Day, when the CC closes an hour earlier.

Also, some new games for the club's collection have been ordered, so hopefully they will be making an appearance soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 8, 2008 Session Report

Finally, getting around to this week's session ... six of us (Doug, Nick, Clayton, Paul, Ben and myself) wound up playing just three games.

First up as an "opener" was an out-of-print, privately-produced simulation of drag car racing, the Vallco Professional Drag Racing, autographed by game designer and former drag race competitor Greg Zyla. After a series of elimination round races in which everyone got to try out the game (averaging like one or two minutes per race), it came down to a final between Doug (who was Connie Kalitta) and Paul (Don "Big Daddy" Garlits). In a real close race, Doug managed to get the measure of "Big Daddy."

Next up -- and kind of the main event of the evening -- was Merchant of Venus, a game I have owned for a long time but not played much recently. We played with a full table of six, maybe a mistake as the game seemed to drag a bit at times. We called the game at about a half hour before closing time. A few of us (notably Doug, Clayton, Paul and myself) were nowhere close to victory, but Ben needed less than 500 bucks and Nick was not too far behind. Ben had the "Jump Start" relic that seemed to be really strong with four teleports out there once Ben traded for the four-dice spaceship, the clipper.

That left just enough time for some Cloud 9 action, with the #1 trash-talker Ben having to take his leave to get up for some Mothers' Day Weekend travel commitments. Nick selectively chose the right time to bail out to grab the early lead, and, in the end, only Doug was in a position to challenge. Finally, Nick pushed it to over 50 and Doug was victim of a balloon crash with Paul at the pilot. I got off to a terrible start, crashing three out of four voyages and never recovered. Final scores: Nick 51, Doug 38, Clayton 27, Paul 26, John 22.

Final reminder -- Main Street Festival rain-or-shine this Saturday, starting at 9 AM. Our booth location is 512-B-and-C. Hoping for good weather.

May 1, 2008 Session Report

Thanks to Paul Sabol, who kept track of attendance and games played while the rest of us were at Games Days, here is the report from last week's gaming action:

Roll Call: Paul, Clayton, Tucker, Bob and one newcomer, Beverly.

Games played: Carcassone (x2), Coloretto (x2), Ticket to Ride, Lost Cities, Hearts (!), Ingenious.

Carcassone game one: Paul 100, Clayton 56, Beverly 44.
Lost Cities: Paul 108, Clayton 16.
Ticket to Ride: Paul 122, Tucker 101, Clayton 80, Bob 61.
Hearts: Paul 0, Tucker 27, Bob 45, Clayton 58.
Coloretto game one: Clayton 29, Beverly 27, Paul 26 -- a really close game!
Coloretto game two: Paul 53, Beverly and Clayton 30
Carcassone game two (no scores available): Paul first, Tucker second, Bob third, Clayton fourth.
Ingenious: Tucker 14, Bob 12 (5), Paul 12 (4), Clayton 3 (!)

Main Street Festival This Saturday!!

Sorry, but I missed out on last week's session because of Games Days which started on Thursday night, May 1. I saw many of our regular attendees there, including Nick, Ben, Doug, Neil, and others. I expect to get caught up on attendance reports and the like after tonight's session.

An update on this Saturday's Main Street Festival in Laurel: We will be at Booth Location 512-B and C, which should be on the South Side of Main Street between 5th and 6th. The festival starts with a parade at 9 AM, will last until the booths close at 4 PM. We will be handing out flyers and have several tables set up with games. Stop by and join us, particularly since the weather forecast for Saturday looks good.

For those of you who haven't heard, here's another piece of good news: Our games club, along with three other nearby clubs (including Beltsville and Greenbelt) has received some funds to purchase additional games, courtesy of the Princes Georges County Government. Nick and I have submitted a list of games to John Goon, who is coordinating the effort. Games are expected to be ordered in the next week or so.