Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 17, 2009 Session Report

Attendance of seven for our final session of the year, with Mike, Patrick, Paul, Greg, Clayton, Ron and myself in attendance. We played a total of five different games: Power Grid - Factory Manager, Can't Stop (played twice), Lost Cities, Chicago Express, Winners Circle (also played twice).

First up was a game we started but didn't finish the prior week: Power Grid-Factory Manager. This time there were five of us, including all four from last week's game (Greg, Mike, Patrick and myself) along with Paul. I had a nice lead heading into the final turn and hung on to win, despite having a couple of players pass me on the income track. Final scores (with final turn income in parenthesis): John (216) 320, Paul (196) 314, Greg (272) 290, Patrick (232) 288, Mike (228) 229. Interesting game, as the player with the most income on the final turn only came in third.

Meanwhile Clayton and Ron had arrived and occupied themselves in some two-player games while waiting for Factory Manager to finish (and thus far the game has taken a bit longer than the 60 minutes advertised on the box). Clayton reportedly won two games of Can't Stop, then Ron got some measure of revenge winning his first ever game of Lost Cities (with some coaching from yours truly) by an overall score of 132 to 60 after three hands. Then some horse racing, with Ron narrowly edging Clayton, 2400 to 2300, in the first of two games of Winners Circle.

Then we re-split the groups, and I joined Ron and Clayton for three more races of Winners Circle, which again came down to Ron and Clayton, with Ron taking first with 2150 to 1650 for Clayton while I was far back at just 900. Last race both Ron and I put our 0s on the same horse, so of course the nag came in last.

Mike, Greg, Paul and Patrick played Chicago Express, and the game was fairly close, Mike (73) making up for his poor performance in Factory Manager with Paul once again a close second (69) followed by Greg (55) and Patrick (49).

Wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We will re-convene (weather permitting, of course) on Thursday, January 7, for the first session of 2010.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 10, 2009 Session Report

We had a group of eight for this week's session. Patrick was back for the second week in a row, joined by another new attendee (Trent), along with club regulars Doug, Paul, Clayton, Mike, Greg and myself. We played five different games during the course of the evening, including three games that were played for the first time at the club: Power Grid (Brazil map), Power Grid (Factory Manager) and Sodbusters. Ticket to Ride-Switzerland and Ingenious rounded out the games played list.

First up we had two four-player games, Sodbusters (which Patrick had brought) and Power Grid-Brazil (which I had brought but where Greg took over the role of the "teacher" as I had committed to joining the Sodbusters group). Patrick taught Sodbusters to three would-be farmers: Paul, Doug and myself. Sodbusters is a relatively straightforward game put out last year by a Canadian company, where you start with a parcel of land and a mortgage that you need to try to pay off at some point. The game had quite a bit of luck in it, as Paul got wiped out by a tornado but got back into the game a few turns later with some successful "Prospecting." Then the rest of us got hit by some Indians, which reduced our income considerably. A couple of well-timed oil strikes and Paul was back in contention. We decided to pick up the game around the halfway point when the other game was finishing, and the count at that point had Doug winning with 1230 to 1180 for Paul, then 400-500 each for Patrick and myself. Not sure what would have happened had the game continued, as Patrick had invested alot in land and other infrastructure, but Paul had guaranteed income from a couple of oil wells. Interesting game that left me wanting to try it again, perhaps even buy it, even though there was alot of luck and randomness.

The other game, featuring Greg, Mike, Clayton and Trent, was Power Grid with one of the new maps, Brazil, whose special rule involved production of Biogas (which is the same as the yellow garbage plants in the base game). However, as I noted, the players used the new Power Plant deck although the rules specified the original deck. (I checked on BoardGameGeek where it says they are still working on rules for the newer deck.) Anyway, the game turned out to be a fairly close one, the win going to Greg with an asterisk as apparently the adaption of the game to the new deck led to a couple of anomalies. Anyway, there was alot of talk back and forth between the Power Grid game (talking about "Biogas") and the Sodbusters group (talking about getting into sheep) which was quite entertaining.

We re-split the groups and wound up with one table of three and one of four for the last hour fifteen minutes left in the session. One group (Paul, Doug and Clayton) played some familiar games, first Ticket to Ride-Switzerland and then Ingenious, both of these games were won by Paul. (Scores in the Ingenious game -- 6, 4, and 3 -- seemed really low.) The rest of us (Patrick, Greg, Mike and I) tackled the new Factory Manager which is like Power Grid in some respects, but supposedly alot shorter. Nonetheless, with some new rules and new mechanics we didn't manage to finish the game but I think everyone was willing to give it another try. Scores after three of the five turns had John ahead with 89, Mike at 80, Greg at 61, Patrick 43, but that is probably not very reflective of what the final scores might have been as turn order and double income in the final turn would play a big part. Hope to try the game again real soon.

Again, a reminder, one more session next week before a couple of weeks off for the XMas and New Year's Eve holidays when the CC will be closed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 3, 2009 Session Report

Attendance of eight for this week's session, with Mike, Paul, Doug, Ibrahim, Ron, Clayton and myself joined for the first time by Patrick. We played five different games during the course of the evening: Hollywood Blockbuster, Chicago Express, Can't Stop, Citadels and Cloud Nine. Some details follow.

The Hollywood Blockbuster game was a four-player with Clayton, Doug, Paul and John as the players, and the game was a very competitive one where all four of us had a chance to win. Final scores were Paul 80, Doug 77, John 75, Clayton 68. Paul won by having the most director points (13) despite the fact that he had no four-star directors and Clayton had three of them. Had Clayton won the Oscar for best directing, he would have won with 78 with Paul coming fourth instead of first. That's how close the game was.

The Chicago Express game was a win for Ron, scores reported as 68 for Ron to Mike (53), Patrick (48) and Ibrahim (40). Meanwhile, at the other table the four of us got in a game of Can't Stop with Doug emerging victorious ahead of Paul, John and Clayton.

At this point Ibrahim left and we played a seven-player game of Citadels that took most of the rest of the evening. Final scores were John 33, Patrick 26, Paul 20, Clayton 17, Doug and Mike 16, Ron (whose character got assassinated alot) wound up in the rear at 13. Final game of the evening was Cloud Nine, and Ron got his revenge, winning that one with a tally of 58 to 37 (John), Clayton and Paul tied at 31, Doug at 24 and Mike at 20 -- all of us who were behind had to gamble on a final balloon trip that didn't pan out.

Reminder that there will be just two more sessions for the rest of the year, as the Community Center will be closed on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Years Eve (Dec. 31).