Friday, December 19, 2008

December 18, 2008 Session Report

With the Community Center being closed for the Holidays for the next two Thursdays, this week's session would be our final one for 2008. We had strong attendance once again, a total of eight, including one newcomer (Chris) who joined Don, Ron, Paul, Mike, Jonathan, Clayton and myself for the session. We played a total of five different games, one game twice: Mississippi Queen, Can't Stop, Ra (x2), Agricola and Ticket to Ride.

First up were Can't Stop and Mississippi Queen, which Don had brought. Mike, Jonathan and I were the Can't Stop game, joined by Clayton starting the second round of turns. The game turned out to be a tough one after three of us got two markers each to the top. Mike, who was behind, battled his way back into contention. Clayton was just one space away but missed rolled the needed number, and I finally won it by rolling a 12 when needed. A really close game.

I was keeping my on the Mississippi Queen game which finished just about the same time as Can't Stop. Ron had raced ahead to an early lead, but at some point he was slowed down by picking up a passenger, facing the wrong way, running low on coal, maybe all three, and Don came blazing back from behind to take the win. I believe it may be possible that Paul, who was trailing most of the way, may have nipped Ron for second. Don't recall hearing anything about anyone ramming into another paddleboat, but who knows, anything was possible.

We then resplit into two groups, with Mike, Jonathan and Don playing a three-player Agricola game that took up most of the rest of the session. Ron, Paul, Clayton and I played Ra, joking that we might finish the game before Mike finished with the Agricola explanation. Well, this didn't quite happen, but as I recall they were still looking at their cards (not the Family Game this time) when we finished scoring the second epoch. We were close to wrapping up when Chris (whose daughter was in a ballet class across the hall) wondering in, having looked at one of our flyers. In part because I was distracted talking to Chris, I lost track of whether I had been given a proper 5-point scoring token, which wound up being the difference in the game between Paul and myself, who had the top scores. So, I was credited with the points but was quick to think my win might be tainted.

Chris had been watching us for the last few plays of the Ra game, and we readily agreed to include him in a second game since it fit his time requirement. The second game also ended in a five-point win for me with Paul again in second, 43-38, but at least this time I believe we got the scores right. Clayton was third with 26, followed by Ron and then Chris. We hope to see Chris back at future sessions of the club!

Clayton, Ron, Paul and I then had a little more than an hour left for the final game of the evening, and we played Ticket to Ride -- another close finish between Paul and myself, Paul winning 115-112. It was Ron's first time playing Ticket; he did really well, finishing in third with over 100 points. Finally, that left the Agricola game that had been going on for two hours or so. I recall Jonathan and Don expressing dismay when Mike played the "Ratcatcher" occupation -- apparently there were a couple of interactive-type cards that worked their way into the supposedly "easy" deck. Anyway, it was a close finish, and the final scores of that one were Mike 37, Jonathan 35, Don 28.

Wish everyone a Happy Holiday season -- our next scheduled session will be Thursday, January 8th -- next year, of course.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008 Session Report

Total attendance of 10 tonight (despite some rainy weather): Jonathan was back for a second time, along with Doug, Paul, Nick, Ben, Ron, Mike, Clayton, Don and myself. We played a total of seven different games (one of them twice), and we had two tables going at once throughout the entire session. Games played this week: Can't Stop, Wasabi, Lost Cities, Power Grid, Ra (played twice), Dominion, and (for the second time in the club's history), The Amazing Labyrinth.

First game up was Can't Stop, played by Paul, Doug, Ron and Mike -- Paul won that one. Nick, Ben, Jonathan and I played Wasabi, which was played for the second week in a row. Final scores were Nick 26 John 23 Jonathan 19 Ben 11. Don and Clayton had arrived by this time, making it a literal three-ring circus; they played one hand of Lost Cities while waiting for the Can't Stop game to finish.

Next up was a five-player Power Grid, using the US map but with the new Power Plant deck. It came down to a three-way tie on money, with Don winning ahead of Doug and Ron, as all three of them powered 15 cities. Doug and Mike also played. Clayton moved to the other table and joined Jonathan, Ben, Nick and I in a five-player Ra game, won by Ben with a whopping 56 points while Nick and I (who tied for second) had just 22 points. We then played Dominion with the new club game brought by Ben courtesy of John Goon. I managed to pull out a win with just 25 points despite having only two Provinces to four for Nick (who came home second with 22). Clayton took third with 18 points, followed by Ben (14) and Jonathan (10). We then wrapped up the session with a four-played Amazing Labyrinth game -- Clayton and I played as teammates against Ben, Jonathan and Nick. Ben, Jonathan and Nick got their six victory conditions first but successfully blocked each other from making it back to base, giving Clayton and me a chance to catch up. We abandoned the game -- calling it a four-way tie -- with just a few minutes left in the session.

The other table, once the Power Grid game was concluded, played Ra -- final scores in that one, which barely finished by 10 PM -- were Mike 36, Ron 33, Doug 30, Don 23 and Paul 21.

A reminder that this coming Monday, December 15, is a scheduled Family Game Night from 7 to 9 PM at the Laurel public library. We have one more regularly scheduled session at the Community Center, next week, before the Holiday season which happens to occur on Thursdays this year, causing us to cancel on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008 Session Report

Attendance tonight (7): Ron, Paul, Mike, Doug, Clayton, Rodney and myself.

Games played (7): Can't Stop, Daytona 500, Wasabi, Industrial Waste, We Didn't Playtest This Game At All, Dominion, Slide 5.

First game up was Can't Stop, played by four of us but Clayton subbed for Paul who wasn't doing very well, at least Clayton got one number to the top. Mike won after he and John had two each. Ron also played.

Next we split into two groups. Mike, John, Rodney and Paul took on the role of sushi chefs in Z-Man's new game, Wasabi. Final scores were Mike 27, John 21, Rodney 19, Paul 17. Meanwhile, Ron taught Daytona 500 and Industrial Waste to Clayton and Doug; no details, I heard Ron won both games, though.

Mike, Paul, Rodney and I played a couple of shorter games while waiting for Industrial Waste to finish. One of them, We Didn't Playtest This At All, ended real quickly, hard to say who won (either Paul or Rodney), as it depended on how you interpreted a particular card play. We threw up our hands and played Dominion, this one won by Rodney over Mike, 20-16, with Paul and I finishing far, far back with 4 apiece (and quite a few curses).

All seven of us participated in the final game of the evening, Slide 5, which lasted for five hands. Paul won with a score of 38. Ron, Rodney and Mike tried playing a hand or two at random, generally it didn't work too well, except for Mike, who managed to take zero points once.