Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 19, 2009 Session Report

Attendance of eight for this week's session: Doug, Paul, Mike, Jonathan, Don, Clayton, Gabe and myself. Games played: R-Eco, Through the Ages, One More Barrel, Agricola, Roll through the Ages.

Doug, Paul, Mike and Jonathan were setting up R-Eco when I arrived, so we played a five-player game of this quick filler. I managed to win with 11 points, Paul was next with 8, Doug and Jonathan had 6, Mike brought up the rear with 3. Doug, Mike and I were the three dumpers, while Paul and Jonathan were the two ecologists.

Don, Clayton and Gabe had arrived and so we split into two groups. At one table, Gabe, Don, Mike and Jonathan tackled a four-player game of Through the Ages, an ambitious project given our time constraints. As it turned out, the game was abandoned part way through, as everyone conceded to Gabe who was running away with it. Then Jonathan and Mike departed early, leaving Don and Gabe to play a two-player Agricola, which was won by Gabe, 48-22.

The other group of Doug, Paul, Clayton and myself played another new game that I had brought called One More Barrel that simulates the invasion of an oil-producing country in the Middle East by military superpowers. (Sound familiar?) Anyway, with rules explanation and all, the game dragged on for about three hours, and Doug discovered the winning formula, just control a region and move on the contracts chart even if you have no troops or oil, and he prevailed with a winning score of 95 to 56 for Paul, 12 for John and -35 for Clayton who had trouble managing his Pacifism level. Makes me wonder if I missed something in the rules translation, as the game turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

There was still about a half hour left, so we tried to finish a four-player Through the Ages, had to cut it short, so we ended the game after everyone had an equal number of turns. Final scores were reported as Doug 12, Clayton and Paul 11, yours truly last with 7, as the low scores reflect the fact that we were unable to complete a full game.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 12, 2009 Session Report

Total attendance of ten this week: Doug, Clayton, Paul, Ron, Mike, Don, Jonathan, Gabe, Chris and myself played a total of seven different games: Princes of Macchu Picchu, Through the Ages, Lost Cities, Roll Through the Ages, Formula De, Hoity Toity and Cloud Nine. Some details on the games follow.

Princes of Macchu Picchu: This game was a new one that I had purchased, and I wasn't sure how well it would be received. Ron, Paul, Mike and Doug and I started a five-player game, later joined by Clayton who kind of partnered with Mike. The game ran alot longer than I thought it would, and in the end I wasn't sure it was worth the time and effort to try again. The game ended in a Spanish Conquest, which meant Mike (who had the most gold) won with me in second. Had the game ended differently, Ron who had the most points, would have won. Final scores (points, gold, multipliers) were Mike (18 points, 27 gold, x3 multiplier); John (20 points, 26 gold, x2 multiplier); Ron (23 points, 21 gold); Paul (21 points, 16 gold) and Doug (18 points, 23 gold).

Through the Ages: This long game was played for the second week in a row, this week it was a three-player game, with Gabe edging Jonathan for the win, with Don once again claiming he would do better if the game went the full three ages. I have played this game on several occasions, but getting through the three ages in less than four hours is lasting alot. Looks like the three-player game clocked in at just about three hours, which is fairly close to my rule of thumb for the game, which is one-half hour per player per age.

Lost Cities: Chris arrived for his third session, and while the longer games were finishing, he and Clayton played a couple of two-player games. They played three hands of Lost Cities, Chris taking an early lead and holding on to win, 61-56, for his first recorded win at the club.

Roll Through the Ages: Chris and Clayton then hooked up in this still relatively new game, which I introduced to the club in the prior week. This time Clayton, who had learned the game the prior week, had the edge, building up his cities early on to get more dice and win handily, 21 points to 9 for Chris. Nice job, Clayton!

Hoity Toity: Paul, Clayton, Doug and I hooked up for a four-player Hoity Toity game which started a few minutes after nine. Turned out to be the shortest game of this I have ever played, lasting only about 20 minutes. I waltzed away to an easy win with repeated success at the castle.

Cloud Nine: Doug, Clayton, Paul and I wrapped up the evening with this push-your-luck filler game of balloon piloting, and Doug wound up the winner. Final scores: Doug 53, Paul and John tied at 41, Clayton at 36.

Formula De: Jonathan, Gabe, Don, Ron and Mike participated. Believe they may have engaged in more than one race, but the race I remember was trying to finish the lap of the treacherous Hockenheim circuit right before the 10 PM session close. Jonathan swept past Ron and Gabe on the final two turns to claim the victory.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 5, 2009 Session Report

Total attendance of nine tonight, with Pete, Paul, Clayton, Don, Doug, Gabe, Mike, Jonathan and myself in attendance. A total of six different games were played: Through the Ages, Roll Through the Ages, Ticket to Ride (1910 version), Hollywood Blockbuster, Ra, and R-Eco.

We split into two groups and one group (consisting of Gabe, Don, Mike and Jonathan) stayed with one game, Through the Ages, that lasted the entire session. They made relatively good time given the complexity of the game and finished two of the three Ages right before the 10 PM closing time. Final result was a tie (!) between Gabe and Mike at 70, Jonathan at 59, Don at 31 (but Don told me was set up to come on strong in the 3rd Age).

The other group played five different games. We started out with Roll Through the Ages, a dice simulation of the Civ-Building game taking place at the other table. Paul won this one with 22 points, followed by the Doug/Clayton team at 16, then Pete at 8 while I was a miserable last with 6 points, losing 20 points to various disasters and epidemics. (I was the teacher in this game -- making its first appearance at the Laurel club -- which of course is an excellent excuse for losing.)

Next up was Ticket to Ride, we played the 1910 version will all the tickets. I managed to pull out the win although not without some tense moments as I was able to secure the last route into Montreal which kept me alive for completing my largest (20-point) starting ticket. Final scores: John 157 Paul 129, Clayton and Doug each with 94, Pete at 86. Doug had a Miami ticket that he had to give up on once Paul, Pete and Clayton all started building in the same area. (Just about all the tracks in the Northeast/Eastern Seaboard were used in this game.)

We then played an old favorite, Hollywood Blockbuster, and I managed to pull out a very close win, 84 points to 80 for Pete, after getting an award-winning movie completed at the final Party. Doug (57), Paul (56) and Clayton (47) were the other would-be movie moguls in this game.

Pete left us at this point, so were we four for the next game (Ra) which also proved to be a real nail-biter, final scores were Doug 33 Paul 31 John 31 Clayton 25 for an eight-point spread top-to-bottom.

The four of us had time for one more game, R-Eco, and it was an even closer, but really low scoring game. Clayton was last with just one point. Paul and I tied for second with two points. Doug, the winner, had ... you guessed it ... just three points.