Friday, July 31, 2009

July 30, 2009 Session Report

We had a total of eight gamers for this week's session; Mike brought a newcomer to the club, his daughter Gillian, and the two of them joined Clayton, Greg, Sarah, Alex, Christie and myself for the gaming festivities. Games played: Cheeky Monkey (x2), Ticket to Ride, Ingenious, Ra, Spoons (more often than necessary), Wits and Wagers, Blokus and Cloud Nine. Details on the games (where I have them) follow.

First up was Cheeky Monkey, a game I had learned about at the Main Street Festival. Everyone liked it so we played two games in succession. First game was won by Greg (28) ahead of Gillian (20), Mike (16) and John (7) and Clayton (6) brought up the rear. Second game, Gillian turned the tables on everyone and won with 31 to 27 for Clayton. Mike was third with 17, followed by Greg (11) and I brought up the rear with just three animals at the end of the game.

Sarah, Alex and Christie had arrived by this time and played a very close 3-player Ticket to Ride using the original game components, Christie was the winner (125) to 118 for Sarah and 102 for Alex. Next up for this group was a series of games using the regular card deck called "Spoons," which involved not being the last to collect a spoon after one player went "out" by collecting a set of four cards of the same rank. Lacking plastic spoons, the game was played with plastic knives instead. Meanwhile, at the other table, it was a five-player Ra, a very close game won by Greg over Gillian on the tiebreaker. Each had 39 points, I was one back but third with 38, Clayton had 30 and Mike brought up the rear with 28.

Christie, Alex and Sarah also fit in an Ingenious game, and Christie managed to win that one with a score of 15 (after getting all her other colors to 18). It was close for second, Sarah had 10 to 9 for Alex.

Then everyone got in the act for a Wits and Wagers game, with Mike and Gillian acting as teammates. Alex, Christie and I seemed to be the only ones making any money with correct answers and winning wagers for most of the game. There was an easy basketball question involving Larry Bird and Magic Johnson that put me ahead, and I hung onto win through the last question. Three of the seven players ended with no money.

We juggled the groups for the final two games of the session, with four of us (Gillian, Greg, Christie and I) playing Blokus while Clayton, Mike, Sarah and Alex played Cloud Nine. Greg and I tied for the win, getting all our pieces down except for the four-piece square. Don't have the scores for the Cloud 9 game, but rumor has it that Clayton "dominated" all the way.

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 23, 2009 Session Report

We had a good week attendance-wise, total of 11 gamers, with two (sometimes three) games going on at once. Those present included one first-time attendee, Alex, along with Mike, Doug, Ron, Christie, Jonathan, Paul, Sarah, Clayton, Greg and yours truly (John). We played a bunch of different games, I noted a total of 11 games but may have missed some and was not able to track all the results for those of you who want more detail.

First up was a game Mike brought called Curse of the Mummy that had a double-sided board. Partially due to some confusion about the rules, the game got off to a slow start and a couple of us (Paul and I) elected to join a game we understood a little bit better (Ticket to Ride). That left Doug, Ron and Jonathan to contend with the Mummy (Mike) and apparently the game ran a bit more smoothly although I am sorry to report that Mike, as the Mummy, won that game. The Ticket to Ride game used the 1910 cards and was won by Paul (139) over John (123), Sarah (106) and Clayton (score withheld to prevent further embarrassment). Greg, Christie and our newcomer (Alex) had arrived by this time and played a game of Zooloretto, won by Greg by a single point over Alex with Christie not far behind.

The next series of games included Snow Tails, a four-player (Ron, Doug, Mike and Jonathan) that ended so quickly I didn't get the scores or the winner. Meanwhile, seven of us played Wits and Wagers, Dominic Crapuchettes' excellent trivia/betting game and it came down to the final round and my knowledge of explorers (Ferdinand Magellan in particular) helped me nose out Greg in a very close game.

At this point, all the games finished at around the same time and we reshuffled the groups. Five of us (Ron, Greg, Mike, Jonathan and I) spent the rest of the evening playing Container, which unfortunately we had to call before reaching the final victory condition. Based on the partial scores, we declared Jonathan the winner with an asterisk in his first game. Everyone seemed to enjoy the game (which Greg brought) so hopefully, next time the game can be played to completion.

The other group played at least three games while the rest of us were puzzling over Container. I have Doug down as the winner of a five-player Boom-O, Christie winning a six-player Hoity Toity, and finally Doug was the high-flyer in a six-player Cloud Nine.

Somewhere in there I have in my notes that Alex and Christie played a hand of lost cities, and also that there was one round of a TransAmerica game but can't find the results.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 16, 2009 Session Report

Highlight of the session was the appearance of Corey Kliewer, a local area game designer who brought his card game PowerMage 54 which was played in the second part of the session. We were also pleased to welcome back Sarah to the group. Greg, Paul, Doug, Ron, Clayton, Neil and myself were the other attendees, for a total of nine.

PowerMage 54 is a card game where cards come in four suits, either Health, Attack, Defense or "Thump" cards. Thump cards need either a leader (one of 12 face cards) or a joker to take effect. The object is to knock down the other player's health to zero or less while avoiding that result. We had a large group of eight playing the game (everyone but Clayton) so Corey added some cards from a second deck. First out was guess who, me, guess I attacked the game designer one too many times, and he wiped me out with a strong attack. Next to go was Greg, who was teetering on the brink with just four health for a long time. Then Corey and Sarah got knocked out in quick succession, and then it was a four-player game that went back and forth while several runs through the deck meant everyone's health was cut in half then halved again, speeding the game along to its inevitable conclusion. In the end, Doug emerged the winner and promptly purchased the game. Second was Neil (who had already bought the game), followed by Ron and Paul.

In addition to PowerMage 54, we played Can't Stop (won by Sarah over Clayton, Greg and Doug) and Roll Through the Ages (won by John over Ron and Paul, close game 20 for John to 18 for Ron). Next round of games saw Wasabi, another close game and another win for John (25) to 23 for Sarah and 21 for Doug. The other game was Carcassone-Discovery, the light blue box game which limits the number of meeples in play. Ron won with a score of 50; Neil, Clayton, Paul and Greg also played and finished in that order, scores not available. This same group of five got in one round of TransAmerica, which was won by Ron.

The final game of the evening was Qwirkle Cubes, which could also be called the "PowerMage losers' table." Greg, Sarah and I competed for the consolation prize and the game was won by Greg who came from behind after Sarah had built an early lead. Final scores were Greg 131, Sarah 111, John 104. (The only way I got over 100 was the six-point bonus for ending the game, putting me out of my misery.)

Big thanks to Corey for bringing his game, he also made a few sales as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 9, 2009 Session Report

Attendance in double figures (10) this week, as Mike, Ron, Paul, Greg, Ben, Don, Clayton, Christie, Neil and I took part in the gaming festivities. Ron had brought the newer Avalon Hill version of Risk, Risk 2210 AD I believe it's called, and played a three-player game with Don and Christie that took most of the evening. Winner was Christie (20 territories) ahead of Don (12) and Ron (7). Later Christie told me she could have wiped the two guys off the map, but of course she had the win well in hand, and hey, that wouldn't have been very lady-like, would it?

The other table saw a variety of different games being played. Five of us who were there early played a quick 5-player R-Eco which I won with a really high score of 25; don't think I have had a better game or even seen as high a score, either; I got three colors that counted with no minuses, although I did dump once (bad Ecology karma there). Mike, Ben, Paul and Greg were the other players but I am not reporting their scores to save them the embarrassment. (No one else got into double figures.)

Then six of us played a game that Ben had brought, called Doodle Dice, that was supposed to take about 15-20 minutes but seemed to drag on a bit longer than necessary. The idea was to collect six different colors of cards, but there was this rule that Ben strictly enforced that you had to draw a card before rolling the dice or you forfeited a turn. This rule hit just about all of us except Ben and Clayton, who of course were sitting next to the draw deck. Anyway, it should be no surprise that Ben won the game after Paul, Mike and I all got close but then blocked or "stole" from each other or, in my case, simply rolled the dice before flipping a card.

With the Tour de France underway, I brought a cycling game called Giro d'Italia, which is essentially Leader 1 (a new game from last year) with some more bells and whistles (and sturdier cyclist pieces!!!) that was re-issued in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia (the Italian equivalent of the Tour of France). Greg, Ben and I had some fun with the game, setting up a variant of a pre-made course from BoardGameGeek using some surrogates for some all-time great cyclists. Ben had an all-American team of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie but he used up Leipheimer early and then Hincapie, instead of helping out his team leader Lance, went on to take the third podium position for himself. Greg did a masterful job of setting up his team leader, "Master Jacques" Anquetil to the win, powering his way through the last downhill session to blow past the field to the finish line. I managed a second place with "The Cannibal," Eddy Merckx, who as cycling aficanados know, is the greatest cyclist of all time. Ben took third, fourth and fifth and would have won a team prize had there been one.

Unfortunately for me, the cycling game meant I would miss out on playing one of my favorites, Vegas Showdown which was played at the same time. This was a four-player game that was fairly close and won by Neil (74) ahead of Paul (56), Mike (56) and Clayton. This same group played a game of Power Mage, which (according to my latest information) we may be getting a visit from the game designer at next week's session on the 16th.

Finally, there were a few minutes left after we cleaned up the cycling game, so Ben, Greg and I played another card game called Stone Soup which Ben won. I think Greg and I are still trying to figure the game out, at least I am.

Hope to see everyone next week, including some of you who haven't been there in recent weeks ...

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 2, 2009 Session Report

We had a total of 11 in attendance for this past week's session, with Neil (a former club regular whom we haven't seen often since he moved out of the Laurel area) joining Christie, Ron, Paul, Jonathan, Mike, Doug, Greg, Clayton, Don and myself. We played a total of five different games: Parlay, Can't Stop, Automobile, Powerboats and Snow Tails.

The starting game was Parlay which only lasted a couple of hands as more people showed up right after we started. Paul had the high score of 190 after two hands; Mike and I tied for the first hand bonus and we checked the rules to confirm that both tied players received the bonus.

One group played Can't Stop, which was a four-player game won by Christie, ahead of Greg while Clayton and Ron were also-rans. Don, Mike, Jonathan, Paul and I played a game of Automobile which unfortunately didn't get finish and was picked up after finishing just three of the four turns. Scores were tallied at that point, which saw Don (4650) holding a commanding lead over Mike (3290), John (3130), Paul (2760) and Jonathan (2420).

The other group found time to get in a couple of race games, first of which was Power Boats, won (again) by Ron after Christie who appeared close to victory faded to second in the final few turns. Doug, Greg and Clayton rounded out the field. Then it was dog-sled racing with Snow Tails, and Neil emerged victorious in his only game of the evening, with Christie finishing second ahead of Doug, Greg and Ron fading to last proving he should stick to power boats.