Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009 Session Report

We had our best attendance in some time, as a total of 14 made tonight's session, including a couple of first-timers to the club. Regular attendees Doug, Paul, Mike, Ron, Don, Gabe, Clayton, Chris and myself were joined by Doug M., Greg, Eric S., along with Neil and Robert, who joined Eric for the last hour or so of the session. Games played were Parlay, Automobile, Through the Ages, Roll Through the Ages (x4), Powerboats (x3), Cloud Nine and R-Eco. Details follow, although there was so much going on, it was tough to keep up as we had 2-3 games going just about throughout the entire session.

First up was a quick hand of Parlay, which Mike won before we abandoned it to try some other games. First up for a group of five intrepid would be automakers was a prototype of Martin Wallace's Automobile, based on a mockup of the game I had seen at PrezCon. Turned out Clayton was the the #1 auto mogul, winning with an impressive score of $4730 (including $2800 in endgame factory value). As the only person who had played before, I came home second with $3940 despite taking out two loans and also accumulating numerous loss cubes. Paul tried a more frugal approach that was good for third, with $3790. Mike came in at $3120, with Doug trailing at $2900.

Through the Ages turned out to be kind of a learning game with two new players. Gabe won just ahead of Greg, the top newcomer, in a four-player with Don and Ron that lasted just through the first age (the introductory version). By this time Doug M. and Chris arrived, so they played two quick games of Roll Through the Ages, both of which Doug won. Later, Eric and his two gaming friends (Neil and Richard) played two more games, first one a three-player (won by Neil) and the second a four-player, won by Gabe with the aforementioned trio, in a game in which everyone wound up with at least 20 points.

Powerboats was also a popular game at the club this week, played a total of three times. First game was won by Don (over Greg, Doug and Ron), then Greg came on to win games two and three. The Automobile game ran a bit longer than planned, but that group (Doug, Paul, Clayton, Mike and myself) managed to get in a game of Cloud Nine (won by Paul) and finally a four-player R-Eco, final scores Doug 11 John 7 Clayton 5 Paul 4.

I plan on being out of town next week and will perhaps miss as many as the next two sessions. I left some attendance and games played/games record sheet in the club notebooks, so I am hoping those who attend will help out in tracking attendance and games played. Have a great time!

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 12, 2009 Session Report

We had a total of nine gamers present for this week's session; Mike, Don, Ron, Paul, Clayton, Doug, Chris and I were joined by Eric S, whom we haven't seen at the club in awhile. Games played: McGartlin Motorsports Stock Car Championship racing, Agricola, RoboRally, Roll Through the Ages, Power Grid, Union Pacific, and the Ticket to Ride Card game.

First up was the McGartlin game, which Ron had talked me into the bringing. After some shifting of seats, it was Ron taking the early lead and holding on to win in a short 100-lap race of the one-mile oval. Doug, Clayton and John were the other three drivers. Mike, Don and Paul contested a three-player Agricola, which wound up to be a hotly contested affair, Mike winning over Don by two (35 to 33).

Eric had joined us and he brought RoboRally, and Doug's experience with the game at the Potomac club proved to make the difference as he won despite being shot up while headed to the third and final flag. Most of the rest of us (Eric, Ron, Clayton and myself) spent much of the game floundering around, falling into pits, getting shot up and going the wrong way on these conveyer belts.

Chris arrived and challenged Clayton to a rematch of Roll Through the Ages from a couple of weeks ago, and this time Chris was the winner, 16 to 3, as Clayton sustained too many disaster points for famine and other calamities. We then broke into two groups for the second half of the session. One group (Don, Ron, Clayton, Paul and Mike) played Union Pacific; the rest of us (Eric, Doug and I) played a three-player Power Grid on the Benelux map with the new deck. This made for a really quick game (we finished in less than an hour and half) and it was real close, ending with me winning by one city with Eric second and Doug third. Doug had the highest plant capacity but lacked the funds to build the necessary cities on the final turn.

The UP game finished with Ron the winner (108) ahead of Clayton and Don (101) and Mike (100). Eric wanted to try out the Ticket to Ride card game which we barely got in right before closing time, and Eric won with something like 108 points ahead of Doug and me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 5, 2009 Session Report

Garnd total of eight for this week's session. Ron, Paul, Don, Doug, Gabe, Clayton, Ben and I played a total of five different games, one of them twice: Iliad, Roll Through the Ages (played twice), Age of Steam, Atlantic Star and R-Eco. Some details follow; sorry, don't have complete results for all the games.

The Iliad game was going to be a team game, but Clayton and then Ben arrived so I split up to join them in the first game of Roll through the Ages. No big surprise, Gabe won the Iliad game against the other other four. Scores from the Roll Through the Ages game were John 25, Ben 23, Clayton 16, so Clayton's undefeated streak (one game) was snapped. Ben had brought the new edition of Age of Steam, so Don joined us in that game, which lasted the rest of the session. Turned out to be a close game between Ben (who won) and Don, while I came home third ahead of Clayton, who teetered on the verge of bankruptcy after falling behind midway through the game.

No report on the other three games, which would be four-handed Atlantic Star, Roll Through the Ages and R-Eco played by Doug, Ron, Gabe and Paul. Hope to see everyone next week, including some of you who have missed some recent sessions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February 26, 2009 Session Report

I was not able to make the session this week due to the PrezCon convention in Charlottesville, but Mike Brazinski who was there provided the following recap:

"Attendance for this week's session was light. Paul, Don, Clayton and
me. Games played: TransAmerica, Agricola and Puerto Rico.

Paul, Don and I started a TransAmerica while we waited for others to
show up. Paul won the game very quickly by completing all his routes
first in three rounds while I kept falling four links short each
time. Don did pretty well but Paul kept finishing his routes just
before Don had a chance to go.

Clayton showed up and we played a four-person family-variant of
Agricola. Paul had troubles getting his farm progressing. Don had
his farm going but was a bit slower growing his family and upgrading
his farm. I ended up winning the game with 31 pts, Don had 26, Paul
had 22 and Clayton had 6. I think if Don had one more family member
and improved his house, he would have had me beat.

While picking up the Agricola game, a debate arose on whether Anthrax
killed more in the Dark Ages than Bubonic plague. The question was
left open although both sides thought they were right.

We wrapped up with a Puerto Rico game. The game was close with Don
shipping 5 corn pretty well along with a harbor. I had a building
strategy with two large buildings at the end. Paul tried focusing on
quarries but fell behind in the game early and couldn't catch up. The
game ended with Don and I tied at 49 points. Don had 36 points
shipping, 13 building points and no big buildings. I had 16 shipping
points, 22 building and 11 bonus points. The tie breaker gave the
game to me because Don had 5 corn left over but I had six coins and
one corn."

Mike, thanks for the write-up. Nice effort by Don to wind up tied with Mike, who everyone should know is the reigning EuroQuest Puerto Rico champ.

As for me, I had a great time at PrezCon going all five days from Wednesday through Sunday. The high point came on Saturday when I won my fourth different tournament there in the past three years, the McGartlin Motorsports Stock Car game. The GM had a special prize in addition to the usual plaque and T-shirt, a 1/24 scale car. This one was especially sweet since McGartlin was the one tournament that first attracted me to PrezCon over 10 years ago and, as many of you know, it's still one of my top three favorite games. (I will be happy to bring it to the club some time and teach others although some of you have played it before.) Didn't do quite so well in Puerto Rico and Imperial where I was the defending Champ in both games. Lost in semifinals of PR, but no disgrace finishing second by 3 points to Dave Platnick who then went on to win PR at PrezCon for the third time. Imperial I didn't even win a game in two tries, but I was stunned to win my first tournament game in Settlers, and the guy who beat me in the semis, like Dave, went on to win the tournament and also earned a free trip to the World Championship Settlers qualifying event later this year at GenCon in Indianapolis. I also sold some older games at the auction there for some cash, so all in all, it was a very good week for me although the weather forecast was looking a bit bleak on the return trip but fortunately I beat the worst of it, getting home before dark.