Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 23, 2010 Session Report

Four (Patrick, Paul, Doug and myself) of us in attendance, we played just two games (Inca Empire and 7 Wonders).

Inca Empire is a remake of a game with a really long name beginning with a T I don't know how to spell or pronounce. I had played it once before; this game had superior graphics but was still on the long side, consuming most of the session time. It turned out to be really close, as heading into the final turn we were separated by just six points with the leader (me) at 100. I thought I was headed toward defeat because I wasn't connected to enough high scoring locations when I drew one of the Wilderness cards that let me connect. This gave me 10 extra points, which turned out to be the eventual margin. Final scores: John 143 Patrick 133 Paul 129 Doug 125.

I guess I probably like the game a bit more than the initial version played several years ago, so would play it again but probably still a "no buy" for me.

We wrapped up the evening with 7 Wonders, all but Paul had played this hot new Essen game before. I am still getting the hang of it, and the game wound up a tie between Patrick and Doug at 51. Doug had more coins at game-end, which was the tiebreaker. Other scores: John 44, Paul 40. 7 Wonders is a good, solid, quick-playing game that also has the advantage of playing well with 7.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 16, 2010 Session Report

Not much to report for this week. It snowed the day of our session but, because the CC decided to stay open, I dutifully showed up at 6 PM with a couple of games. No one else came by 6:30, so I left. Everyone who stayed home probably made the right call, as driving conditions were a bit treacherous. Hope we can enjoy a session this week, as I have managed to snag a copy of 7 Wonders, this fall's hot new Essen game, and hope to have a couple of other new games on hand as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 9, 2010 Session Report

Nine in attendance this week, and seven different games were played. Roll call: Doug, Ron, Paul, Mike, Don, Greg, Eugene, Rodney and myself. Games played: Speicherstadt, For Sale, Founding Fathers, Vegas Showdown, London, Igel Agern (the Hedgehog racing game) and Ingenious -- Card Challenge.

First up was Speicherstadt. It was a close game, Paul kept taking the Firemen to the frustration of Ron and Doug who didn't get any. This gave him enough points to come in third, but he didn't get any contracts. To my surprise, I came away the winner with 19 ahead of Mike in second (17), followed by Paul (16), Doug (11) and Ron (10). Like the unique bidding mechanic but somehow the game seems a bit too short and shallow.

The other group, while waiting for Speicherstadt to finish, played For Sale. Rodney was the winner. No scores, but Don, Eugene and Greg were also in the game.

Then we split up, one group played Founding Fathers and the other group wound up playing London. Founding Fathers finished first, with Greg (20) the narrow winner; John (19), Don (17), Paul (12) and Rodney (10) were also in the game. The London game was even closer, coming down to the tiebreaker (least poverty). This gave the win to Mike over Eugene, as they each had 47 points. Not far behind was Ron at 45 (good effort for his first game) with Doug at 40, last, but still within 7 of the winner.

Meanwhile, a five-player Vegas Showdown was won by Rodney (45) ahead of Paul 36, John 34, Greg 27, Don 18. This was one of the lower-scoring and quick-finishing 5P games of this I have seen, as one stack ran out while the other two had plenty of tiles remaining. The Theater did not even come out.

Final games of the evening were Igel Agern, the Hedgehog game, won by Mike and then a three-player Ingenious-Card Challenge, won by Greg over Paul and myself just before closing time. We thought the game may have had a kingmaker/endgame stall problem as it turned out all three of us needed the same color (purple) to win. Greg finally broke the stalemate by moving another color to 10, earning another turn which enable him to get the one purple point needed to cinch the win.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 2, 2010 Session Report

A good turnout of nine for this week's session: Ron (who was back in the area for most of the rest of the year), Patrick, Paul, Doug, Mike, Eric, Tim, Don and myself were the attendees. It turned out to be the night of the incomplete games, or more accurately, games without winners as there were a couple of games that were unfinished, plus some cooperative games where the cooperation among the players wasn't enough to defeat the game system.

Patrick and I had both brought the same game (once again), which was the recently released Civilization Board game, the third such game issued trying to capitalize on the popularity of the computer game series designed by Sid Meier. Tim and Mike joined in, we probably got less than halfway through after a half-hour of rules explanation and three hours of playing. Mike had a well-developed city but had taken it on the chin in a couple of battles. I was gradually collecting Coins while Patrick had developed a strong military presence. Everyone seemed to enjoy playing the game although obviously it was too long for a four-hour time slot.

The other group of five (Ron, Don, Doug, Eric and Paul) took Tales of Arabian Nights for a spin. After about two hours, the game was picked up -- unfinished. Noticed a couple of thumbs-down from some of the players. There was some mention of Power Grid, but that never got going. Don and Eric played a two-player game, leaving Ron, Paul and Doug to try to cure some diseases by playing Pandemic. Again, two games were played -- the players lost both. These same three tried their luck in another cooperative (Forbidden Island) but again, no success. Turns out Eric, who won a two-player Patrician game over Don, was the night's only winner, and the two of them left early.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 18, 2010

Good turnout for this week's session, as we had a total of nine. Included (for the first time at the Laurel CC) Laurel residents Lee and John Mewshaw, who had helped arrange for a joint Laurel-Columbia meeting in the spring of last year. Back after missing a few sessions were Neil and Tom, along with Mike, Greg, Paul, Patrick and myself. Games played: Carson City, London, Speicherstadt, Slide 5 and Cloud 9.

Patrick taught Carson City, joined by Neil, Tom and Paul. Final scores: Patrick 46 Paul 37 Neil 34 Tom 27. The other game was London, a three-player with Greg, Mike and myself. That wound up John 69 Mike 64 and Greg (eaten up by loans and poverty) at 19. Lee and John joined us for a 5-player Speicherstadt, which had John M. the winner (24) followed by Mike (17), Greg (13), John W (9) and Lee (5). Got to have some Firemen to put out those fires at the end of the game!

There was still time for one more game at each table after the longer games were concluded. Neil, Paul and Tom played Slide 5, final scores (remember low is best): Paul 32 Tom 94 Neil 96. The rest of us (Patrick had left by this time) played Cloud Nine, won by yours truly (51), then Greg (43), Lee (42), John M (30) and Mike (26).

Next club session will not be for two weeks due to Thanksgiving holidays. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 11, 2010

No session report for the prior week (November 4). Just about everyone who would have come, myself included, was at EuroQuest. See post here concerning this year's EuroQuest convention:

Post-EuroQuest, we had a good session as Nov. 11 happened to be Veterans Day, meaning a few people could come who might otherwise not have made it. We had a good attendance of eight: Clayton (back this time because his brother-in-law had the day off and was able to drive him to the session); Mike, Paul, Doug H, Greg, Patrick, Eugene and myself were the group. We split into two groups of four.

One group (Mike, Doug, Paul, Eugene) completed two games. First was Speicherstadt, which was won by Doug (23) on a tiebreak from Paul (23), Eugene (21) and Mike (20). Very close game. I like the unusual bidding mechanic but the game seems to end a bit too soon. Second game for this group was Settlers of America, and Doug once again was victorious. Looks like it was very close for second between Eugene, Mike and Paul.

The other group (Greg, Patrick, Clayton and myself) played Age of Empires III, which I had brought, at Greg's request. It took up most of the session time, and it turned out to be a very close finish between Greg and me. Final scores: John 116, Greg 108, Patrick 72, Clayton 40.

After the AoE III game, we still had some time left and decided to fool around with Martin Wallace's latest game, London, which I had received in the mail the day before. It was my second play (having learned it at EuroQuest), but Patrick had played the game like 4-5 times. Didn't get much out of the A deck, hope to play it again soon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 28, 2010 Session Report

Sorry to report another down week attendance-wise, just four of us: Patrick, Mike, Paul and myself. We played three games: For Sale, Go-Su and Homesteaders.

First up was For Sale, there were three of us playing as Patrick had not yet arrived. It was actually a bit longer with three, as there were 10 rounds of bidding for stuff. Final count scorewise was John 95K, Mike 81K, Paul 63K.

Patrick brought an interesting game called Go-Su which however began to drag a bit as anyone who got out to a lead was subject to multiple attacks. Also, it seemed to be tough to actually make progress in the game at times. We picked it up after Mike, Pat and I had each got one victory token, but you need three to win, so the game still had a ways to go.

We then played Homesteaders which Patrick had brought; turned out to be a highly competitive game, scores were six points from top to bottom. Patrick and I tied for first with 45, Mike had 43 and Paul had 39. The tiebreak was most remaining silver, and I had one more than Patrick. Very satisfying win for me as I had never beaten Patrick before at this game in several previous attempts. However, scores in the high 30s to mid 40s seemed a bit low in comparison to previous games, but maybe it meant we were bidding more for the good tiles late in the game.

The club will be open next Thursday but many of us will be at the EuroQuest convention at the Hilton in Pikesville, Maryland. See everyone in two weeks then.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 21, 2010 Session Report

We had seven for this week's session: Doug H, Paul, Patrick, Eugene, Doug M and myself were joined by David for the first time. David was interested in playing some chess, so Patrick obliged him. They completed three games in just over an hour; David won the first one, Patrick the next two.

Other games played: started with Cheeky Monkey, final scores were John 33, Paul 28, Patrick 26, Doug H 10. Then, while the chess games were going on, the rest of us completed a five-player Vegas Showdown; blowout win for Eugene: Eugene 73 Doug H 57 Doug M 54 John 49 Paul 47.

We then split into two groups for the rest of the session. Three of us played Constantinopolis, which was a big win for Patrick, 55 to 45 for Doug M and 39 for yours truly. There was a three-player Settlers game, won by Doug H. Then Eugene left, and Paul and Doug H played a two-player TTR-Switzerland that ended in a tie. Then, it was more two-player action with three games of Slide 5, Paul won two and Doug H won one.

And that wrapped up our session for this week.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 14, 2010 Session Report

Attendance took a nose-dive this week, only four people showed up. On the positive though, there was one first-time attendee and one attendee whom we had not seen in a LONG time.

The group this week was Mike and myself, joined by Jonathan (who had been unable to make many sessions since last year) and Alex (a first-time attendee whom I had played a game with at Congress of Gamers the prior weekend).

Mike had brought his Alea Treasure Chest so we decided to try out the expansion for Puerto Rico. Mike, Jonathan and I set up a three-player game and got about a third of the way through when Alex showed up. We decided to re-start it as a four-player and played it out to the finish. Alex was the winner, and scores were a bit higher than the standard PR game: Alex 63 John 57 Mike 51 Jonathan 43.

I enjoyed the new expansion as it seemed to add some interesting options to the game. I went for a heavy Noble strategy, getting the building that let you get an extra noble per Mayor phase and later adding the bonus building that gained you extra points for nobles. (I believe I had like 10 or 12 by the end of the game!) But Alex had the best income generation, got three large buildings, to take the win.

After this, it was around 9 but Jonathan and Alex wanted to leave early. I convinced Mike to stay for a quick round of Lost Cities. We both earned the eight-card bonus, so it was a high scoring affair: John 112, Mike 103.

But, where were the rest of you this week? I know the weather was bad, just hoping for some better attendance next week.


Friday, October 8, 2010

October 7, 2010 Session Report

We had an attendance of seven for this week's session: Doug, Paul, Don, Greg, Rodney, Patrick and myself. After the usual discussion of what games to play, we split into two groups: One group played a series of shorter games, while the other group (of three) played basically one game, Shogun, which Patrick had brought and wanted to get in some teaching and playing time because he's demoing at another gaming event. His opponents in the game were Don and Greg. Either Patrick was a really good teacher or a really bad player, either way he came out on the bottom: final score count was Don the winner (39), Greg second (31) and Patrick third and last (25).

The other group played the following games:

1. ShowManager. Four-handed, which meant we had two "dummy" par values on the board to occupy the remaining two slots. Final scores: John 52 (a rare victory for me in this game), Doug 50, Rodney 42, Dummy #1 34, Paul 25, Dummy #2 17.

2. Vegas Showdown. I tried a different strategy, going for income early and sort of ignoring the points-paying buildings (except when there was Fancy Lounge out there). It worked! I managed to get the Theater one turn and then have enough dough for the Space Age Sports Book a turn or two later. Final scores: John 77, Rodney 62, Doug 56, Paul 51. Game note: Paul monopolized all the Table Games (getting all 3) and the High Roller Rooms (getting both). As you can see from the scores, that strategy did not work, at least in this game.

3. Innovation: Three of us had fooled around with this new card game a couple of weeks back, but this is the first full playing at the club. Turns out Rodney came away the big winner, getting four achievements when no one else had more than one. Seems to me there may be a front-runner problem with this one, don't like the idea of not having to turn in any cards at all from your score-pile when you claim an achievement (other than a Special Achievement). Reviews on this game so far are mixed at best.

4. Final game of the evening, after Rodney took his leave, was Parlay. Doug started off like a house on fire and had over 300 points after the first 2-3 hands. Looked like he was headed for a runaway win until he stalled out, then Paul started putting together some long words, lot of points, etc., and he wound up the winner with 610 (first to 500 wins), Doug had 435, I had a paltry 245 (the only hand I think I won was when the other two folded when they had more points than me).

Anyway, looking forward to the third edition of Congress of Gamers this weekend in Rockville, hope to see many of you there; if not, hope to see y'all next week.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September 30, 2010 Session Report

Final session for September on a very, very rainy evening which may have helped keep attendance down to a total of six: Paul, Ron, Rodney, Patrick, Eugene and I were the participants. Games played included Defenders of the Realm, Constantinopolis, Forbidden Island, Slide 5 and Cloud Nine.

Ron had brought Defenders of the Realm and also made up a set of very nice-looking new characters for the game. He and Paul spent the first half of the session trying to beat the game for the third time, and for the third time in a row, the game won and the players lost.

Meanwhile, the rest of us played another recent offering, Constantinopolis, which both Patrick and I had brought. (Great minds think alike!) Well, either we are great teachers or bad game players or both, as Eugene and Rodney wound up battling for the win. It was a close one, final scores: Eugene 62, Rodney 61, John 44, Patrick 43. Patrick and I had a close race for third, but boy, did we get smoked by the other two guys!

Comments on the game: It's a typical Euro, borrows heavily from other games like Puerto Rico, St. Petersburg, Homesteaders. Different paths to victory, you often have to make a decision between the short term and long term. Money is tight for the first few turns, then more prevalent later on. You have to be very careful with how you invest your initial capital as it will take some doing to get the money flowing, and you need to constantly finance expansions to produce more resources each turn. After two plays, this is one of my favorite new games from this year.

Other games played, Paul and Ron played Slide 5, which was won by Ron. Rumors were that Forbidden Island was played, another cooperative game, normal start, players lost (same as Defenders of the Realm).

When we put away the Constantinopolis game, there were about 20 minutes or so left, so we played a game of Cloud Nine. I managed to get to 50 and hung on for the win just as the clock struck ten.

Thanks to everyone who put up with the inclement weather to attend this week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 23, 2010 Session Report

We had a total of nine participants this week: Don, Paul, Mike, Doug, Greg, Clayton, Patrick, Rodney and myself were the attendees.

Games played: San Juan, LeHavre, Carson City, Slide 5. Two rather long games and a couple of short ones.

Paul, Mike and Doug were first to arrive and they contested a three-player San Juan. Final scores: Paul 33, Mike 32, Doug 23.

Don, Greg and I played LeHavre, which Don had brought. It was Greg's first play. The game occupied just about the remainder of the session. Greg proved a quick learner, winning by a fairly impressive margin with 172 points. Don, who was behind on building, constructed a Luxury Liner to pull into second, 145 points to 143 for yours truly.

Patrick arrived and he and Clayton played Carson City with the three from the San Juan game. Final results: Patrick 52, Mike 36, Doug 31, Paul 27, Clayton 24.

Final game of the evening was Slide 5, which was won by Rodney, who had patiently waited for the Carson City game to finish. Looks like seven rounds were squeezed in right before closing time. Final scores: Rodney 62, Paul 76, Doug 78, Clayton 128. (I keep trying to tell Clayton this is a game where high scores are bad, low score wins!)

EDIT: One late addition. After finishing the LeHavre game, Greg, Don and I had a few minutes so I introduced them to Innovation, we played a few turns but were nowhere close to finishing. Greg and Don each had one achievement, I had none, which meant I was losing at the time we were forced to pick up the game as the session ended at 10.

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 16, 2010 Session Report

We had eight in attendance for tonight's session. The group consisted of Ron, Paul, Doug, Gabe, Tim, Don, Clayton and myself. We had two games going for just about the entire session. Games played: Defenders of the Realm, Tour-Cycle Free, Beowulf and Ticket to Ride-1910. Some details follow.

Ron had brought Defenders of the Realm back for a second try; Paul, Doug and Gabe were the other players in this cooperative game. No details, except that, for the second week in a row, the players lost. From what I could tell, the game went a bit faster this time, ending around 8:30 or so.

I convinced the rest of the group to try Tour-Cycle Free, a new cycling game I had downloaded the rules and most components, using some plastic cyclists from other games. The game has six-man teams of cyclists based on real-life performance in races like the Tour de France. Tim took the purple cyclists from the SaxoBank team, featuring Fabian Cancellara (nicknamed Spartacus) from Switzerland and two-time Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck. Don opted for the RadioShack team (wearing red) included Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer. I went with the winner of the last two Tours, Alberto Contador and the Astana team (in yellow). Clayton, who arrived while we were still setting up, wound up with the blue team (featuring Cadel Evans of Australia). To test the game over various terrain types, we used a stage from this week's Tour of Spain that seemed particularly challenging.

The race took an interesting turn when Tim put his top rider, Andy Schleck, in an early break. The rest of us stayed with him, but with lesser cyclists while holding our top guys back in the Peleton. Tim really stomped on the pace at the front of the Peleton with Cancellara, who was rated high on everything except the challenging high mountains that were coming. Since this was my first play of the game with live humans, there were some rules issues -- not sure I had all the right answers. Anyway, we decided to end it early after the finish of the first really tough climb. With this understanding, everybody sent their key men out on a break. It came down to a battle of six cyclists with the top rating on the mountains, and in a sprint, it went to Contador (John's team) by a narrow margin over Evans (Clayton's team). Third was Schleck (Tim's team) followed by Leipheimer (Don's team). Lance Armstrong didn't figure in the final sprint as his mountain rating in this game was one lower than the others.

Thus abbreviated, the cycling game was on its final turn when the other table was finishing up. So, we re-split the groups and played two more games: Ticket to Ride and Beowulf. Ticket to Ride, using the 1910 Mega version with the US map, finished first, with Doug coming out on top with 146, John 122, Tim 101, Clayton 61. Tim went for long routes but didn't take additional tickets. I focused on additional tickets but most of mine were of the single digit variety although I did get the bonus for most completed tickets. Doug had the winning plan, completing all his tickets, most with higher point values than mine. We actually forgot to award the 10 points for longest train (as you can see from the scores, it didn't matter), but I think Doug would have gotten that as well.

The Beowulf game barely got done before closing time. Final scores were Ron 28, Gabe 26, Paul 20, Don 9. Sorry, no details on the game, as everyone had to pick up and leave.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 9, 2010 Session Report

Attendance of nine (9) for this week's session: Mike, Ron, Doug, Don, Rodney, Eugene, Tim, Clayton and myself. List of games played: Defenders of the Realm, Settlers of America, Chess, Lost Cities, Quiddler, Wits and Wagers. Slide 5.

Ron brought a new game he had just brought, Defenders of the Realm. It is a cooperative game. Ron, Don and Doug were the players. Took most of the session, and the players lost when there were too many negative tokens on the board. Seemed to take awhile to sort out the rules. I was originally in the game but dropped out when Clayton arrived and we had an odd number.

Clayton and I played a series of three player games: three games of Chess (I won them all); Lost Cities (three hands, Clayton won two out of three); Quiddler (full game of eight rounds, very close up until the end, final scores were John 242 Clayton 221.

The other table had Eugene, Mike, Rodney and Tim playing the new Settlers of America game which Eugene had brought. This game also took most of the session and came down to a very close finish with Mike winning. Clayton and I then joined the four of them for a six-player Wits and Wagers. Very close finish with Eugene and Rodney going into the final question as the two leaders, with Clayton not far behind. Rodney went "all in" on what proved to be the wrong answer. Clayton wound up the winner with 24, Eugene 16, John 11, everyone else (Rodney, Tim and Mike) wound up with all they started with (two free chips and no money). We went on to play a second game without Clayton, who took a break. I managed to win by remembering that Julia Roberts, who certainly looked like a million bucks in the movie "Pretty Woman," made a lot less than a million for playing that part.

There was time for one final game after the Defenders of the Realm game finished. It was Slide 5, we got in one hand, final scores Rodney 0 John 7 Doug 9 Ron 11 Mike 11 Clayton 19 Tim 25 Eugene 29. We had to keep explaining to Eugene that it was low score, not high score, that wins.

Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to keep the momentum going next week.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 2, 2010 Session Report

End of the summer brought a really good crowd out this week -- a total of 14 people were in attendance, but really only 11 people actually participating in playing games, so here is the list: Ron, Paul, Mike, Eric, Doug, Clayton, Patrick, Tim, Eugene, myself, and (joining us for the first time), Dee. Also present for part of the time were Eric's wife, Mary Jean and two sons Ryan and Nathan, also saw his daughter Rebecca very briefly. Hard to keep up on all the games played, but here is at least a partial list: San Juan, Can't Stop (played twice), Forbidden Island (played at least twice), Puerto Rico, Hollywood Blockbuster, and Ryan and Nathan were playing with dominoes not to mention several of the other items in the storage room.

Started with San Juan and Ron joked he might be playing with "John 1" and "John 2" since he'd only played the game once before and Mike, Paul and I had played it quite a bit. Actually, it turned out to be "Paul 1" and "Paul 2" as Paul, sitting on the same side of the table, was Ron's main adviser and it worked out well with a 1-2 finish for Ron and Paul. Final scores were Ron 30 Paul 28 John 25 Mike 20.

Meanwhile, the next four to arrive (Eric, Clayton, Doug and Patrick) played a four-player Can't Stop. Word has it Eric won the game, Pat and Doug got one number to the top each while Clayton got shut out -- zero.

Then Tim arrived and we re-split the groups. Five of us (Mike, Eric, Clayton, Patrick and myself) played Puerto Rico while Ron, Doug, Paul and Tim tried their luck at the cooperative game, Forbidden Island. I heard the players won the first game but got no report on the second or any subsequent games. Then Eugene arrived and that table continued with a five-player Hollywood Blockbuster. Turned out to finish right before closing time, with a big win for Eugene: 111 (Eugene) with Ron in second (59), Paul (52) Doug (48) and Tim (39 but no Academy Awards) were the also-rans.

By this time, our Puerto Rico game had finished. No one had a manned large building when the game ended, and I had the Factory-Harbor-Wharf combination, something you don't often see in the same player's hands. I mayored as Governor on the final turn when I saw my two main protagonists, Eric and Mike, had the money to buy a large building but no one else did. This led to a narrow win, John 42 Mike 40 Eric 39 Patrick 30 Clayton 24. Fun game, Mike and Eric were very competitive as the scores would indicate.

Dee who I have seen at other gaming sessions in the Baltimore area happened to be in the area and dropped in while we were trying to wrap up our Puerto Rico game. Unfortunately, there were only about 10-15 minutes left so we got her into a quick game of Can't Stop with Mike and Eric -- but time ran out before anyone could get even one number to the top.

Eric informed he is in the process of setting up something in the gaming session arena for a Wednesday night, once per month session, at the West Laurel Community Center. Will try to keep everyone informed as to dates and times when we have something more specific to report.

For next week, we should be back to our regular non-summer hours of 6 PM to 10 PM, and also back in our regular meeting room, the pre-school room although being in the larger Multi-Purpose Room (closer to the storage area) these past few weeks was nice.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 26, 2010 Session Report

It was good to see a couple of new faces at the club this week, as David and Tanay joined us for the first time; we certainly hope that they will return soon and perhaps become regulars at the club. Paul, Mike, Eugene, Tim and myself were also present which gave us a total headcount of seven for this week. Games played: Bottle Imp (3 times, maybe more), Founding Fathers (twice), Ticket to Ride -- USA and For Sale (once). Have to admit it's possible I might be missing a game or two here; we had two tables going for most of the session.

When I arrived -- actually a few minutes early -- four people were already there, including newcomers David and Tanay, along with Mike and Paul, and Mike was teaching a new card game he had brought called Bottle Imp. As far as I could tell, you score positive points by taking tricks but the catch is you don't want to get stuck with the Bottle Imp, because you lose all positive points and gain some negative ones. Anyway, two hands were played, looks like Mike (who understood the game a bit better than anyone else) had the best of it for the two hands that I witnessed, although we didn't really track scores.

By this time Eugene and Tim had arrived, so we broke into two groups. Three of us (Mike, David and myself) played Founding Fathers -- this time with the correct rules which that sharp-eyed Doug Hoylman (who I assume was co-hosting at his once-a-month club in Rockville this week) had pointed out to me at another club recently. I managed to pull ahead with some debate tokens at the end. Final scores were John 30 Mike 24 David 21, so it was a fairly close game. The other four played Ticket to Ride, and the winner (no surprise here) was Eugene, final scores: Eugene 146 Paul 106 Tim 94 Tanay 67. I believe it was the first play for both Tim and Tanay. This same foursome played another hand or two of Bottle Imp, sorry no results to report.

After a brief break, Mike and David were willing to give Founding Fathers another try, and we were joined by Paul who had played once (probably with the wrong rules). This time I did not fare so well, and Mike and David put to use what they had picked up in the earlier game to finish 1-2: Mike 25 David 21 Paul 19 and yours truly in last at 17.

There was still 20 minutes or so left in the session, so the four of us played a quick game of For Sale. Scores on that one: John 71 David 62 Mike and Paul (tie) 51. Now, I am probably missing one game as I know Tim, Tanay and Eugene were certainly not idle at the other table. I know Bottle Imp may have been played again, but I am thinking there may have been another game or two that I, as host, did not record in any way. I guess that second game of Founding Fathers was just too intense.

Anyway, a reminder that next week is our last week on the summer schedule. Starting after Labor Day, club sessions will last until 10 PM instead of 9.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 19, 2010 Session Report

For this week, we were moved to the more spacious Multi-Purpose Room across the hall as there was some work being done to our regular room. Unfortunately, we didn't have the attendance to fill the room, but it was a good crowd nonetheless. There were six of us (Paul, Doug, Eugene, Neil, Tim and myself) and we played a total of four different games: Lost Cities, For Sale, Settlers of America and Twilight Struggle.

First to arrive, Paul and I got through a quick hand of Lost Cities. I managed to get down more handshakes to win, 90-27. Then Doug arrived and we played a three-handed game of For Sale. This is one game that probably takes longer with fewer players, because you still use all the cards so the game lasts twice as many rounds as with a full table of six. Nevertheless, it was a very very tight game. Final scores: John 82K, Paul 81K, Doug 80K.

Eugene then joined us for what became the main event of the evening, first play at the club for Settlers of America: Trails to Rails. This is a new Settlers game based on the Westward expansion in the 1800s in the USA. It combines elements of Settlers with Railroad Tycoon, as the objective is to be the first to deliver all your goods cubes which are generated by founding new cities on the board. Catch is, to deliver goods cubes, you need trains and rail lines to get you to other players' cities. It took us about 2 1/2 hours (much longer than a regular Settlers game) and we barely finished when 9 PM rolled around. Eugene emerged the winner despite being targeted as the early leader while Paul made a late surge. Doug and I, who had played before, didn't manage to do quite as well.

At the other table, Neil and Tim relived the Cold War years by trying out Twilight Struggle, this being the newer 2d edition game which Neil had brought. A couple of times when Tim asked me for advice, I realized how long it has been since I actually last played the game! The game didn't quite finish, but two turns were completed and Tim, who was the Russians, held a narrow 2-point lead. Fairly typical for the initial turns which tend to favor the Russians.

Thanks to everyone for coming. We will continue with the 9 PM close time for a couple of more weeks, then after Labor Day it reverts to 10 PM for the rest of the year.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 12, 2010 Session Report

Now on to this week's session to bring this blog up to date. Attendance was seven: Mike, Paul, Doug, Greg, Patrick, Eric and myself. We played five different games: Lost Cities, Hotel Samoa, Infinite City, the Railways of the World Card Game, For Sale. Results and details follow.

First up was Lost Cities. This was Mike versus Paul. Two hands were played. Mike had a slight edge in hand one, but really did well in hand two, winning that hand by 100 (119 to 19) for an aggregate score of Mike 164, Paul 50.

Next we played a six-player game of Hotel Samoa. First play for everyone but myself; it was my fourth game but I am still yet to figure out how to win. It's a quick-playing game over 12 rounds where you are trying to attract tourists to your hotel. Final scores: Mike 134, Doug 110, Patrick 104, Greg 102, Paul 95, John 74.

By this time Eric had arrived, so we split into two groups. One group (Doug, Patrick and Paul) played Infinite City. Two games were completed. Scores of game 1: Doug 23, Patrick 21, Paul 15. Game two finished: Patrick 23, Paul 17, Doug 7.

The other game was another new one, the Railways of the World Card Game. It seemed a bit like a cross between Railroad Tycoon and Ticket to Ride, except you get new cards every turn in addition to taking one of five actions. Eric pulled ahead on the score track, but things changed when we tallied up the final scores for being connected to cities. These calculations put me ahead. Final counts were John 61, Mike 55, Eric 52, Greg 47.

Finally, it was down to six of us with 20 minutes left in the session for the final game of the evening: For Sale. This one was a really tight game, Doug winning by a point. Final scores: Doug 50 John 49 Greg 45 Eric 40 Mike 37 Paul 35.

August 5, 2010 Session Report

I was not present for this session, thanks to those who attended and kept track of the games played.

Based on those notes, I see we had five attendees (Eric S, Doug H, Paul, Mike and Tim). Two games were played: Power Grid and Slide 5.

Power Grid (no word on what map was played), final results were: 1. Eric (16 cities, 48 electros) 2. Tim (16 cities, 7 electros) 3. Doug (15 cities, 39 electros) 4. Paul (15 cities/20 electros) 5. Mike (15 cities/1 electro) -- seems like a fairly close game from top to bottom.

Slide 5: Tim 19 Paul 23 Doug 31 Eric 54 (Eric would have won both games except for the fact that lower scores are better in Slide 5.)

Anyone interested in reading what I was up to during the week of gaming at WBC in Lancaster PA can check out this post on BGG:

Monday, August 2, 2010

July 29, 2010 Session Report

For the last session of July, we had a total of five in attendance. It was Ron, Paul, Gabe (back after a long hiatus), Clayton and myself. Games played: Forbidden Island, Founding Fathers and Roll Through the Ages.

First game was Forbidden Island, a cooperative game that we have played a few times before. Hopefully we had the rules down right this time. We started at the "normal" difficulty level and managed to get off the island without too much difficulty.

Then it was the initial play of Founding Fathers, a game that I had been waiting for for about six months (it was a pre-order) that had arrived just the day before. The game is about the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and each card in the game features one of the delegates to that convention. Turned out to be a very close game after Gabe (in the guise of Founding Father Roger Sherman) appeared to be running away with it. He was brought down by Ron (masquerading as William Paterson) by an admittedly "very nasty" card that cost Gabe five VPs. Nevertheless, Gabe came back and wound up tied with Clayton (aka Charles Pinckney) for first with 16, while Paul (James Madison) and I (Alexander Hamilton) were not far behind at 15. Ron, who performed the nefarious deed and literally "took one for the team" wound up in fifth at 11.

Final game of the evening was Roll Through the Ages. Clayton had taken a break and was a spectator although he became the designated die-roller when my turn came up. Another close one, and a low-scoring game to boot, Ron and I were tied at 10 with Gabe at 8, Paul at 5. I decided to end it on five developments once it became apparent Gabe (with seven cities) would crush us if he got Empire, which he didn't. While I was happy to share the win with Ron, we later checked the tiebreaker and found out I would have won because I had one good left over at game-end.

Next week is WBC, myself and a couple of others who might come will not be there. Based on an informal survey, it looks like there are going to be at least three or four of you who are planning on coming, so there will be a session. Please use the game record sheets I left in the club notebook to track attendance and games played, etc., so we can post a session report. Thanks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 22, 2010 Session Report

Attendance of seven for tonight's session: Ron, Mike, Paul, Greg, Clayton, Ben S and myself were the attendees. Got to play two of my favorite games: Maillot Jaune and Puerto Rico, plus Ben had brought Blox, which was also played.

Last week of the Tour de France, so I dusted off my prize OOP game called Maillot Jaune. We randomly rolled for a course with a nice downhill finish and played with the all-time great teams set I had put together last year. I had the US team and managed to set up Lance Armstrong for a nice win. There was a four-way sprint for second, which went to Greg (with Indurain, Spanish team) ahead of Ron (Eddy Merckx, Belgian team), Mike (Coppi, Italian team) and Paul (Zoetemelk, Dutch team). Clayton (French team) and Ben (German team) also participated but were at a bit of a disadvantage since they came in late and couldn't close down the distance on the leaders.

Still had almost an hour and a half left in the session, so we split into two groups for the second half. Ben, Ron and Greg played Blox, won by Ben (who had brought the game) with 57 to 56 for Greg and 45 for Ron. Greg and Ron were complained they hadn't figured out the strategy, but it looks like Greg came close to beating Ben, the "teacher" for this one.

Mike, Paul, Clayton and I played Puerto Rico. Mike and I seemed to be on parallel tracks when we built the Harbor on the same turn. Then I got the Small Warehouse, Mike went for the Factory, I got the Guild Hall while Paul and Mike scarfed up the other large buildings (two each). I had a good shipping position and managed to win by just two points over Mike. Final scores: John 52, Mike 50, Paul 37, Clayton 23.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 15, 2010 Session Report

Eight for tonight's session: Paul, Ron, Mike, Doug, Clayton, Patrick and I were joined by Ben L, who was making his first visit to the club. We played the following four games: Olympia 2000, Word on the Street, Fresco and Automobile.

First up was Olympia 2000, turned out to be a five-player while waiting for others to show up. Paul was the winner with 12, followed by Doug and Mike (9 each), Ron (3) and John (1).

Doug had brought Word on the Street, which we played as teams. The games with a timer, and you respond to a question by "spelling" a word, pulling all the consonants in the word to your side of the table in a kind of tug-of-war. First team to collect eight letters wins. Really close game, came down to the final word when the team on Doug's side (Ron, John, Doug) pulled it out 8-7 over the other team (consisting of Ben, Paul and Mike).

We then split into two four-player games which took up the rest of the evening. One of the games was Fresco, when Ben won for his first win at the club. Final scores: Ben 110, Paul 100, Patrick 93, Paul 92. Seems like a really close game.

The Automobile game also came down to the wire. I prevailed, with 4420 in cash and factory value to 4290 for Mike. Turns out, had Mike not cut the price of his low-price cars on the final turn, he would have prevailed. Other players in this game were Clayton (3500) and Ron (3120).

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 8, 2010 Session Report

We had six gamers for this week's session: Mike, Paul, Doug H (who had missed the last couple of times), Ben, Alan (whom we hadn't seen for awhile) and myself. Games played: San Juan, Citadels, Archaeology, Stone Age, Cloud Nine.

First up, four of us who were there by 6 started with San Juan. Paul got two 6 buildings, the City Hall and the Palace, and won with 27 points. I had no 6 buildings (didn't see one the entire game), but nonetheless I build most every turn with the Poorhouse and the Carpenter and came in second with 24, followed by Doug (20) and Mike (19).

Ben and Alan had arrived, so we played a six-player game of Citadels. Doug won, partly because the Warlocks didn't do their job and knock down his buildings quickly enough. Then I made the mistake of passing him the Architect when he had enough Gold to build his last two buildings. Game over. Final scores: Doug 32, Alan 25, John 19, Ben 15, Paul 14, Mike 13.

Citadels went quickly, and so there was still plenty of time left in the session. Alan had brought Archaeology which he taught to Ben and Paul. From what I could see, it looked like a set-collecting card game that played really quickly -- so fast they got in three games before Ben and Alan had to leave. Each of the three players won one of the games.

The rest of us (Doug, Mike and myself) opted for Stone Age. It took us slightly longer than the three Archaeology games to finish our one game, and it was a tie! Mike and I had 132 each, Doug wound up with 108. We checked the rules for a tiebreaker and I came out on top by 10 to 9, but I was happy to share the win with Mike.

Twenty minutes left, we pulled out an old favorite, Cloud Nine, trying to finish before time ran out. It was a quick, interesting game. Doug pulled ahead to an early lead when he played two Wild Cards for solo flights, but his efforts in that regard left him short of cards for the following series of balloon trips. Then Paul made a miraculous four-die roll -- all blanks -- to move from the 20 pt. cloud to the 25 pt. cloud. This propelled him and his one remaining passenger (Mike) into a commanding position on the score track. Paul went on to win, followed by Mike (46), Doug (40), yours truly way back in last at 31.

A good time was had by all. Hope to see many of you at the GCOM Family Picnic this Sunday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 1, 2010 Session Report

Seven in attendance for this session: Ron, Mike, Paul, Don, Greg, Ben and myself. Games played: Lost Cities, San Juan, Jet Set, Macao, Roll Through the Ages.

Paul and Mike arrived first and finished one hand of Lost Cities (won by Paul, 44-10) when others arrived. There was a four-player San Juan that got started but abandoned after a couple of turns. Then, we split into two groups. One group played JetSet, which Greg had brought, that game was won by Ben, scores were Ben 44, Don 41, Greg 39, Paul 32. The other group played Macao, which I had brought. The Macao game, which included Mike, Ron and myself, took the rest of the evening. I managed to win, pulling ahead in the end after trailing most of the way. Sorry, didn't write down the final scores.

The other table played Roll Through the Ages after finishing with JetSet. Ben won again, final scores were interesting: Ben 28, Paul 18, Don 12, Greg -1. Love to hear Greg explain how he managed to wind up with a negative score.

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July holiday weekend, looking forward to this week's session.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 24, 2010 Session Report

Just four of us for this week's session: Mike, Greg, Patrick and myself. We played just two games: The World Cup Card game and Homesteaders.

Since the World Cup was in full swing, first up was the World Cup Card game, which had all 32 World Cup teams. We played through Groups G and H, then when with the pairings based on the results in the real-life World Cup. Greg, Mike and I picked four teams each, the remaining four starting as "bank" teams. Greg's teams did the best and we had to give one of his teams (Holland) to Patrick who arrived in time to contest the second round of elimination games. Turns out Holland was the team to win the tourney, so Greg and Patrick share the credit for the win.

Patrick had brought Homesteaders, which everyone had played before, and that game took up the rest of the session. Patrick was the winner, final scores were Patrick 61, John 53, Greg 48, Mike 41.

Attendance has been a bit sparse recently, hope to see more of you next week. It was good to see Patrick back at the club once again, and he proved he's still a tough hombre when it comes to Homesteaders.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 17, 2010 Session Report

Attendance this week (7): Ron, Mike, Paul, Don, Doug, Greg and myself. Games played: Power Grid (Italy map), Cleopatra, Forbidden Island (x3), San Juan. Some details follow.

Cleopatra was the first game to finish. Final scores: Don (59) was the winner, followed by Doug (49) and Paul (32). Ron was the one eliminated for being the most corrupt.

Power Grid was played, using the Italy map and the new power plant deck. Close finish, with John building to 17 even though he could only power 16. Final scores: John (16/74), Mike (16/46), Greg (15). Greg had plant capacity of 16 but overspent on the cool-looking Flux Capacitor and couldn't build to 16 on the final turn.

San Juan (three-player): Mike 30, Greg 22, John 20. Mike got the Library down very early and was able to use it effectively to take a fairly comfortable win.

Forbidden Island: The four players (Paul, Ron, Don and Doug) had a struggle on their hands, losing two in a row before finally pulling out the third game with just two land sections left that had not flooded. Fortunately, they included the final take-off spot to helicopter off the island and on to victory!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 10, 2010 Session Report

Attendance was up some this week, total of eight: Mike, Paul, Ron, Doug H, Don, Greg, Tim and myself. We played a total of six different games: Lost Cities, Cheeky Monkey, Forbidden Island (x3), Fresco, Top Race and "Speed" Settlers -- a Settlers of Catan variant.

First up was Lost Cities, Mike versus Paul. They got in one hand waiting for others to arrive, final score: Mike 78, Paul 28.

Next game was Cheeky Monkey, won by Greg (29) ahead of John (25), Doug (19), Mike (9).

Three games of Forbidden Island were played. This time we played with the correct rules which mean you flip six areas which go underwater at the start of the game. Much tougher, and tonight the players won once, the game won twice. Ron, Paul, Don and Tim were the participants.

Meanwhile, the four of us at the other table played Fresco, which Doug had brought. Much closer than the first playing, final scores were Mike (67), John (65), Doug (61) and Greg (59).

We reshuffled for the final two games of the evening: Top Race, played twice, one race won by Tim, another won by Greg. Don and Ron also participated. Doug, Paul, Mike and I played my "Speed Settlers" variant where you roll four die instead of two, pairing them together for two production numbers a la Can't Stop. Turns out we didn't quite finish, but conceded when Mike informed us he had the necessary cards to clinch the win.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 3, 2010 Session Report

First session of this year's summer session with the 9 PM close time. We had a total of six in attendance: Mike, Doug H, Paul, Ron, Don and myself. Played a total of four different games: San Juan, Forbidden Island (x4), Maori and Fresco. It was the first time for Forbidden Island and Fresco at the club, as both games are recent new releases.

First up was San Juan, a four-player. Scores were John 35, Doug H 30 Paul 25 and Mike 21. I got the Guild Hall, City Hall and a Chapel to run away with the game. Mike discarded an early Guild Hall and then had trouble getting a high bonus building.

Ron brought Forbidden Island, which wound up being played several times. It is a cooperative game where the players are trying to collect some treasures and exit the island before it sinks. First game, all six of us played although the rules suggest you limit the number of players to four. We found that with six the negative cards came up too quickly before players could react and prepare damage. For the remaining three games, Ron, Don and I played with three, losing the first one but winning the last two, including one where we started at a higher difficulty rule and played with a variant that the turned in treasure cards are removed from the game, making it more difficult as the negative cards came out sooner.

The other three (Mike, Doug H and Paul) played a couple of games that Doug had brought. Maori, an island-hopping game, proved to be a close one, won by Mike. Scores were Mike 50, Doug 47, Paul 34. Doug pulled away to win the Fresco game, scores were Doug 97 Paul 74 Mike 72.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 27, 2010 Session Report

This week's session had six gamers in attendance: Paul, Greg, Clayton, Ben, Ding and myself. A total of eight different games were played in our last session this year before Memorial Day (and the CC goes to its summer close time of 9 PM).

First up was Lost Cities. Paul and I played a quick hand waiting for everyone to show up. I got the best of it and won, 65 to 26.

Four of us played Tinners' Trail, first time play for everyone. It's a Martin Wallace game that just got re-released as a reprint. Very close scores: John 94, Clayton 88, Greg 86, Paul 78.

By this time Ben and Ding had arrived and occupied themselves by playing a couple of two-player games, first of all TransAmerica and then a couple of games of Ingenious. No details except for the fact that Ben won all three.

Next we played two games of Olympia 2000. Ben won both games, I was last both games, everyone else was somewhere in between. First play for Greg and Ding. Clayton was taking a break but came back for the last round of games.

We then split into two groups for Ticket to Ride-Switzerland and Ra. Ra was a three-player, very close game won by Ben 37 over Greg 36 and myself at 31. Ben took 5 pts. from Greg on ending sun values and that was the difference. The Ticket to Ride Swiss game was a romp for Paul, who make 14 of 15 tickets and won with a score of something like 175. Ding was second, Clayton was third.

We had 20 minutes left, so we wrapped up the session with some balloon-flying with Cloud Nine. Ben, who had not lost a single game yet, was leading most of the way and was the first across the line to 50. However, the balloon trip kept going. At the 20 level I rolled all four die and Greg jumped out to pass Ben and take the lead. But, I had a Wild Card left and managed to win -- an exciting finish. Final scores were John 65, Paul 64, Greg 62, Ben 54, Ding 40, Clayton 36. Probably the highest-scoring game of Cloud Nine ever, three players above 60, finishing with a 25-point trip!

Final reminder, next week we're back to the summer schedule, the sessions will still start at 6 PM but finish at 9 instead of 10.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 20, 2010 Session Report

A bit of a dip attendance-wise this week, as we had six gamers for this week's session: Paul, Mike, Doug H, Eugene, Jane (back for a second session) and myself. Missing some regulars, notably Clayton. Games played: Cheeky Monkey (x2), Ra, Wits and Wagers, Settlers of Catan.

Started with five of us playing Cheeky Monkey. Got in two games, Eugene won both. Scores of game 1: Eugene 35, John 30, Mike 15, Doug 9, Paul 6. Game 2: Eugene 45, Mike 24, Paul 10, Doug 9, John 8. Eugene was the only one of us who had not played the game before.

Next up was Ra, which we haven't played that much recently. Something unusual happened, I actually won a game of Ra. Final scores: John 45, Doug 40, Eugene 35, Paul 19, Mike 18.

At this point Jane arrived and Eugene left. Jane wanted to play Wits and Wagers which she had learned last week. I managed to win a close one over Mike after the last question was a sports question about when Jackie Robinson made his major league debut.

There were four of us left for a final game, so we chose Settlers. We played with the quick start variant where your second placement is a city with an extra road. It was a close game with three of us in contention. I managed to eke out a win, Mike and Paul were one point short at 9 while Doug, who got pounded mercilessly during the game, still had 6 points by game end.

A reminder that with Memorial Day coming up in a week or so, we have one more week with the regular 6 PM - 10 PM schedule, then the Community Center will have a 9 PM close time during the summer months, starting with the week after Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 13, 2010 Session Report

Nine gamers in attendance for this session. We welcomed two first-times to the club (Art and Jane) along with Mike, Paul, Clayton, Don, Eugene, Ben and myself who were among the "regular" attendees. Counted a total of seven games that were played over the course of the evening: Can't Stop, LeHavre, Vegas Showdown, TransAmerica, Wits and Wagers, Homesteaders and Cloud Nine.

Here's a few details. First up was Can't Stop, it was a four-player, with Clayton, Mike, Paul and myself. Clayton had been on a bit of a winning streak, but this time he couldn't pull it off despite some very strategic decision making. It turned out to be a really close game, I won over Mike who was one space short of his third number. Clayton only got one number to the top and came in third, ahead of Paul who was shut out.

Don was itching to play LeHavre, which Mike had brought, but it turned out Mike wasn't up to playing it, so I took on the role of "teacher" and Eugene, who had not played the game before, was the third player. Even though we started around 6:30, the game ate up all the rest of the session time and we still were three rounds short of completing the required 18 turns. We totaled up the scores after 15 turns (each person had an equal number of turns going first), plus one extra turn, Eugene did well with some late building to take the win in his first game, I came second and Don, who got off to a good start with some strong buildings, seemed to flounder when he picked up a couple of loans which he eventually paid off, and came third but everyone was over 100 points, so it was a fairly good game.

Vegas Showdown was a four-player, very close game, with Paul ending the game by filling all his Casino spaces (unusual for a four-player game). Mike scored well on diamond points to win a squeaker, 57 to 54 for Paul and 53 for Ben, with Clayton bringing up the rear with 38. With LeHavre still going on at the other table, this same group tackled Homesteaders. This time Ben came through with the win, with a very good score (65) to 58 for Mike, 51 for Paul, 22 for Clayton. Seems Ben has a knack for doing very well at this game, even going back to the days it was still a prototype a couple of years back.

Art and Jane had arrived and while I tried to get them interested in Lost Cities, they settled for TransAmerica instead. I understand they played two rounds, with Art winning both times, while waiting for the Homesteaders game to continue. Then Art and Jane joined Paul and Clayton for Wits and Wagers, with Paul winning by a wide margin while Art edged June by one for second. Once again, Clayton finished in last. Final game for this group was Cloud Nine, looks like it came down to the wire, final scores were Paul 52 Art 51 Clayton 48 -- don't have any scores for June who I don't think participated, at least for the full game. Well, at least Clayton was the most consistent performer this week -- last in every game. CORRECTION: Clayton was actually next to last in one game, so this statement is incorrect.

Mike, I have your LeHavre game and will bring it to next week's session. Thanks for letting the three of us play with it.

Also, thanks to everyone who showed at the Laurel Main Street event last week. While it was quite windy (such that we had to take the tent down), everyone had a good time and I am hoping the club got some new members (Art and June, who were at the Festival the preceding Saturday).

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 6, 2010 Session Report

Seven in attendance for this session: Clayton, Paul, Mike, Don, Doug, Ron and myself. Games played: San Juan, Top Race, Mermaid Rain, Homesteaders, Can't Stop, Hab & Gut, Cloud Nine. Some details follow.

San Juan, first up, four players (Mike, Paul, Doug, John). I got the Guild Hall/Smithy combo going and won with 35 to 30 for Mike, 28 for Doug, 27 for Paul.

Top Race. Three players, Clayton, Don and Ron. Won by Don, Ron was second. This is the newer version with nicer components, maybe a couple of new rule changes from the original.

Mermaid Rain. Four players, John 60 Doug 50 Mike 41 Paul 36. Doug and I had played before while Mike and Paul were new to the game.

Homesteaders. Four players, very close game. Doug won by a point (54) to Mike (53), Don (51), Paul (44). Mike and Don had more buildings but Doug got alot of points by building the Church fairly early in the Town phase.

Can't Stop, three players, won by Clayton (who else) -- Clayton did not bomb on a single roll in this game. Ron and I also played, Ron was the only other player to get a number to the top.

Hab & Gut, a popular quick-playing stock market game I discovered recently. Taught it to Ron and Clayton. Close game, I won by a narrow margin over Ron, who probably would have won had he not donated to charity on his final turn. Clayton was third, eliminated after donating the least to charity.

Cloud Nine, final game of the evening, we had to call it short as time ran out. Five players, final scores: John 41 Clayton 36 Doug 31 Paul 30 Ron 24.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Main Street Festival Information

Here is the information for the Laurel Main Street Festival, which will take place on Main Street this Saturday May 8th 9 AM - 4 PM.

Once again, the Games Club of Maryland will be running a booth at the Laurel Main Street Festival, promoting the club and club events. Our booth location this year will be 512-A-B which will be the south side of Main Street between 5th and 6th near the entrance to the Highs store. We expect to have several of tables of games set up for people to play. Please join us at this open air, come rain-or-shine event.

For more information about the festival, see:

Here's hoping for nice weather this Saturday for the event!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April 29, 2010 Session Report

Things were a bit back to normal this week, attendance at nine. We had Mike, Paul, Don, Ron, Steve, Clayton, Tim, Eugene and myself for a total of nine. Games played: Stoplights, Sam Grant, Nostra City, Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, Tribune w/Expansion and Lost Cities, the first three games were new to the club.

Started off with a quick card game, Stoplights, three-player between Mike, Paul and John, Paul won after about 10-15 min. It's a quick playing card game where you try to get your color (or the neutral white color) lights in a row of five on your turn.

By then Ron and Don had arrived and started a game of Sam Grant. Not sure it was completed, Ron was the Union and Don the confederates.

Steve had brought Nostra City where Mike, Tim, Paul, Steve and I tried our hands at organized crime. Paul and I were "snitches" and when the verdict against the crime boss was Guilty, the two of us finished at the top although the other three thought they were competing for the win. Even though I was next to last on the all-important "Respect" track, I won the game and Paul, who was last on the track, came in second, because we had turned Snitch and ratted out the boss.

Then we had three games going for awhile as Clayton, Paul and Tim and played Ticket to Ride-Switzerland, a very very close game with Tim coming out the winner (97) by just one over Paul (96) and Clayton not far back in third (85).

Eugene had arrived, and we played a recent favorite (Tribune) that Mike had brought, using the expansion. Players were Eugene, Mike, Steve and myself. Game lasted four turns and it came down to the tiebreaker between Mike and myself. Mike won by one, but with an asterisk -- we had a rules question that wasn't answered (after checking that evening and also today just before this posting) on BGG. The question was whether a Tribune counted as a Scroll for the pre-requisite of obtaining a Favor of the Emperor tile. If the answer was Yes, then I would have won with five more points on the tiebreaker. Still, a fun and close game.

Speaking of close games, Clayton and I wrapped up the evening with a quick one-hand game of Lost Cities. I got too many handshakes (in four different colors), took some negative hits, which enabled Clayton to win a squeaker, 34 to 31.

April 22. 2010 Session Report

Unfortunately, I missed this session due to Game Days. Attendance was four (Don, Ron, Paul and Clayton). Games played: Top Race, Ticket to Ride and Manuever.

Scores for Top Race: 1. Clayton 360 K 2. Ron 290 K 3. Paul 260 K 4. Don 200 K

Scores for Ticket to Ride: 1. Don 125 2. Paul 121 3. Clayton 85 4. Ron 72

Sorry, no report on the Manuever game, played between Don and Ron.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 15, 2010 Session Report

Had a real nice jump in attendance this week, mainly through the appearance of the Sheas (Mike, Lynda, Lexi and Jordan) who were in the area from Connecticut for a few days looking at potential colleges for Lexi. They joined the club "regulars" Paul, Mike B, Doug H, Greg, Clayton, Ben and myself for this week's session. Games played: Dominion (x2), Puerto Rico, Vegas Showdown, Ticket to Ride, Lost Cities, Ben's prototype game, Medici, Wits and Wagers and Cloud Nine. So, it was a fun-filled evening with lots of games played, turns out the big winner was Lexi who went through the evening undefeated, sort of duplicating the feat of Doug a few weeks back.

First game up was Dominion, which we actually played with five (although the game was meant for no more than four) while waiting for more people to show up. Final scores on this one were John 30, Mike 22, Doug 21, Greg and Paul 12.

By this time the Sheas had arrived, as had Clayton, so we split up into two groups of five. One group played Puerto Rico, turned out to be an interesting game (it almost always is!) with Lexi pulling ahead with the Wharf near the end after having gone for the Hospice as her first building. I had the Harbor, Small Warehouse and Customs House but was still far behind Lexi on shipping VPs when the game ended. Final count on the scores were Lexi 58, John 48, Mike S. 47, Mike B. 43, Paul 30. Vegas Showdown was won by Greg, with 56 to 47 for Jordan, 45 for Clayton, 41 for Doug and 32 for Lynda. (Sorry, no details although I know Clayton did quite well when the Lounge Lizard card came out.)

At this point, Ben arrived with a new prototype game of his own invention. Mike B, Greg and I were the guinea pigs for this one. The theme was you are running a company, trying to promote employees, research new technologies, produce products, establish trading partners and then, later on, conduct espionage on your former trading partner. Ben won the game (no surprise), afraid I messed up the endgame scoring and don't have an accurate count, but I believe I finished in last, behind Greg and Mike.

At the other table, it was a four-player Ticket to Ride game, using the US map, very close scores, 13 points top to bottom: Doug 138 Mike S. 133 Paul 126 Lynda 125. In the meantime, Lexi and Clayton played some Lost Cities, Lexi winning that one. Then Lexi extended her winning streak by taking a three-player Dominion game from Jordan and Clayton.

There was still about an hour left in the session, time for some more games. Medici was won by Doug, another close score: Doug 115, Paul 109, Lynda 100, Mike S. 93. The rest of us played Wits and Wagers, and Lexi came on strongly to take the win over Greg and myself with Mike B, Clayton and Jordan joining us.

Final game, which barely got completed at closing time, was Cloud Nine. Lexi kept her winning streak intact, jumping out on the final balloon trip when Jordan didn't have the needed cards. Still, it was a fairly close finish, as Greg was in position to win had Jordan not crashed on the final balloon trip.

Thanks to the Sheas for joining us and making this week's session a memorable one. Next week we will be up against Games Days, so while there will be a session, some of us will be at the convention in Timonium. (I left some attendance sheets in the club notebook just in case I don't make it back to Laurel by 10 that day.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 8, 2010 Session Report

Attendance of seven this week: Paul, Mike, Doug H, Clayton, Tim, Ben and myself. Games Played: Lost Cities (x2), Tulipmania 1637, Anno 1701, Ticket to Ride-Swiss, Cloud Nine, San Juan.

Some details. Mike had brought the Tulipmania, played with Doug H and Paul. Winner was Doug with Mike second, Paul third. It's kind of a stock market game with a tulip selling theme. (The tulip futures market, perhaps?) Anyway, in the meantime, Clayton and I got in three hands of Lost Cities, final count John 248, Clayton 169.

For the next round of games, we were joined by Tim and Ben. One game was Anno 1701, which I had brought, which Doug was keen on trying for a second time. The game was new to Paul and also Ben, who joined us a bit late. Fairly close game, the objective is to get 5 "favors" placed. Ben and Doug were in Riot early on, but a late surge gave Ben the game. Paul and Doug were not far behind. I was doing OK until Ben took over my Trade VP, then Ben and Paul beat me out to the 7 colonies bonus.

Meanwhile, Tim, Clayton and Mike played Ticket to Ride with the three-player Switzerland map. Mike won that one, as I recall with something like 15 completed tickets! Scores were Mike 170, Clayton 107, Tim 96.

Tim and Mike played Lost Cities, this one was a win for Tim (his first game won at the club, perhaps) by a narrow score of 35 to 27. Perhaps all the coaching from yours truly the week before was beginning to rub off.

Two more games to wrap up the evening: Cloud Nine, a 5-player which ended in a flat-footed tie between Ben and Doug; we checked the rules, and it was a tie for the tiebreaker as well (most cards in hand), so a shared victory.

Finally, a close San Juan game, final scores Doug 33, John 30, Paul 27, Clayton 15. Paul did well to get that many points without any "6" buildings. I got bonuses for the Guild Hall and the Palace, but Doug built out the Triumphal Arch for the win.

Hope to see everyone next week, as I am expecting a group of out-of-town gamers who have expressed interest in visiting our club.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 1, 2010 Session Report

April Fools Day Session, we had nine gamers in attendance tonight, one newcomer to the club (Sulma) along with Doug H, Mike, Greg, Clayton, Tim, Ben, Ding and myself. We played a total of six different games (Gloom, Lost Cities, Can't Stop, Ticket to Ride, Automobile and R-Eco) with two tables in play for most of the time.

Sulma had brought a few games, one of them was Gloom, which several of us had not played before. It's a game with a rather macabre theme where you have bad things happen to your family members, gradually killing them off during the course of the game to score point. Doug and Sulma, who had played before, seemed to be doing well, but it was one of the newbies (Greg) who came through with the win. Final scores: Greg 220, Sulma 105, Mike 100, Doug 65, John 60.

While the Gloom game was going on, Clayton and Tim had arrived and I got them going on Lost Cities, which Tim had not played before. Tim had trouble his first hand, partly my fault for skipping over the rather important rule that you have to play the cards in ascending order. They got in a second hand which was much closer (five point margin), with Clayton coming on top. Ben and Ding arrived and the four of them played Can't Stop, which Ben won.

While the Can't Stop game was still going on, the five of us who were playing Gloom started a game of Automobile. Turned out it took most of the rest of the evening, which was a bit longer than Sulma had planned on, but Clayton took over her position for the final turn. Everyone played fairly conservatively and there were few losses taken in turns one and two, but things changed -- particularly in the final turn when three of us with triple low-cost car factories overproduced. A very tight finish, three of us within 150 and no one really out of it: John 3990, Sulma/Clayton 3890, Greg (who had taken out two loans but had the highest factory value at the end) 3840, Doug 3690, Mike 3240.

The other table got two more games in after finishing with Can't Stop. Ticket to Ride: Ben 138, Ding 95, Tim 93 and Clayton 61. Then, finally, R-Eco, which ended in a tie but a check of the rules found the tiebreaker favored Ben. Scores: Ben and Tim 8, Ding 4, Clayton 2. Thus, a good night for Ben, who went four-for-four and decided to leave with a half-hour left in the session.

Hope to see everyone back next week, as well as some of you who have missed the past few sessions.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 Session Report

Attendance took a bit of a dip this week, we only had five gamers in attendance: Doug M, Clayton, Patrick, Tim and myself. Five games were played: Lost Cities, Can't Stop, Ticket to Ride-Swiss, Endeavor and Slide 5.

First up was Lost Cities, Doug M and I got in one hand. I had a positive score, Doug did not.

Clayton arrived, the three of us played Can't Stop. Clayton won. It was still just the three of us at this point, Clayton suggested Ticket to Ride-Switzerland. It was a close game, we gave the win to Doug M although he got confused on a couple of tickets between Locarno and Lugano, so it goes as a win with an asterisk.

By then Patrick and Tim had arrived, Patrick brought Endeavor. It was a four-player game, won by Doug with Tim second, Tim's first play of the game.

Finally, to wrap the evening up (we had about 20 minutes or so until 10 at this point), it was Slide 5. Close game (again time for just one hand) Doug 3 and Clayton 4 had the low scores, first time for Doug and Patrick.

Everyone had a good time, hoping for a better turnout next week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 18, 2010 Session Report

Turned out to be a good night for Doug Hoylman at this week's session, as he won four out of four games played. Still a bit short of the all-time record, but very impressive. Overall, attendance was down a bit to eight, but we did welcome Steve back for his third session, along with Doug H, Clayton, Paul, Ron, Don, Doug M and myself. We played a total of six different games: R-Eco, Manoeuvre, Ad Astra, Automobile, Hoity Toity and Hollywood Blockbuster. Some details follow.

R-Eco was first up and took about 20 minutes or so while more people were showing up. Doug started his winning streak, taking the final chit to score 13 with Clayton (8) in second, Paul was at 6, Steve and I at 3. It was Steve's first play.

Steve had brought Ad Astra, which was new to some of us but had been played by a couple of people once before. It wound up being a three-player game as others moved on to other games after the explanation. Final scores were Doug H 71 (win #2 of the evening), Paul 55 with Steve at 53, a close race for second.

Ron and Don had arrived and once again played Manoeuvre (hope I have the spelling right). It was a repeat of last week, Don winning with the French over Ron's British. Ron vowed that Don will not be allowed to play the French next time.

Doug M, Clayton and I played a three-player Automobile that wrapped up in about an hour and half (the game goes much quickly with just three). Very close finish, I edge Doug by just 10 dollars, 4740 to 4730. Clayton, who won his first game, seemed to be slipping in this one, dropping to third at 3480.

Don and Ron were still going at it at Manoeuvre, so six of us played Hoity Toity and Doug H won his third game. I got to second with the best set at the end but still couldn't catch Doug. Paul (with second best set) nosed Doug M for third, and Clayton and Steve rounded out the field.

Final game was Hollywood Blockbuster which we barely completed under the wire. This was Steve's first time with the game and he did very well, falling just four points short of Doug who once again could not be denied. Final scores: Doug H 79, Steve 75, John 67, Clayton 46, Paul 38.

Hope to see everyone next week. Would be nice to get back into double figures attendance-wise, once again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 11, 2010 Session Report

This report from last week's session should serve to bring the blog up to date.

Attendance (10): Paul, Mike, Greg, Doug M, Doug H, Ron, Don, Tim (back for the third week in a row), Clayton and myself.
Games Played (7): Maneuver, Power Grid - Spain/Portugal, TC Tennis, Campaign Manager, Roll Through the Ages, Vegas Showdown and Ingenious.

A few details on some of the games.

Maneuver (two-player, Ron versus Don): Not much in the way of comments, but Don won by what appeared to be a fairly decisive margin.

Power Grid (6-player, full table): Won by Doug H on a tiebreak by $5 from Tim. Greg, Doug M, Paul and Mike were also in the game. Good result for Tim, who I was informed was playing Power Grid for the first time.

TC Tennis: This was a beta of a game I am signed up as a playtester for Victory Point Games. My opponent was Clayton; he was Jimmy Connors while I was Ivan Lendl. Our matchup ended in a win for Connors (Clayton) in a tiebreak.

Campaign Manager 2008: Clayton and I then changed into the roles of Presidential candidates in another two-player game, the recently released replay of the most recent U. S. Presidential election. This time McCain (John) beat Obama (Clayton), although I probably had a slight edge from having played before. It came down to the final three states.

Roll Through the Ages: Four player, Ron gets his revenge on Don, winning by three (43 to 40) with John (24) and Clayton (22) far behind. We used the new "Late Bronze Age" variant which has more player options but also makes the game quite a bit longer.

Vegas Showdown: Four-player, Doug H won and Paul was last. Greg and Doug M were also in the game, no report on who got second and third.

Ingenious: Three-player, won by Greg (13). Paul and Doug H had 8. Nice win for Greg.

We've had a good run attendance-wise, so hopefully we can keep it up for next time!

Monday, March 15, 2010

February 25, 2010 Session Report

Here's a session report, courtesy of Mike, for the session I missed. Better late than never:

I found the sheet from a week ago last Thursday. Attendance included: Mike (me), Patrick, Paul, Ron, Don, Clayton, Doug the Younger (Doug M) & Tim. Games included:
- Megacorps, with Clayton winning with $92, Paul & Doug each with $90, me with $72 and Patrick with $61.
- Snow Trails twice: with the races ending Ron - Don - Tim and then Ron - Tim - Don
- Roll Through the Ages: Ron ended with 29 pt, Tim 15
- Homesteaders: Doug ended with 58 pts, Pat and I had 51 pts and Paul had 47 pts
- Can't Stop: Ron beat Clayton is the only score I have.

Thanks to Mike for keeping the notes and providing this report.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 4, 2010 Session Report

Attendance of ten for this past week's session: Mike, Doug M, Doug H, Paul, Greg, Ron, Don, Clayton, Tim C (whom I had not seen in a long, long time) and myself. Games played: Power Grid-Factory Manager (game was actually abandoned midway through the first turn), Pitchcar, RoboRally, Homesteaders, Vegas Showdown, Qwirkle Cubes, Mississippi Queen, San Juan, Roll Through the Ages. Some details follow.

First up was Power Grid-Factory Manager which a couple of us were willing to play but, for some reason, the game was abandoned once more people showed up with other games in mind. So, it wound up with one table setting up a Pitchcar game (Don, Ron and Greg were the participants) while the rest of us (Mike, Doug M, Paul and I) played Homesteaders. No results on the Pitchcar, Homesteaders was won by Doug M (56) ahead of Mike (51), John (48) and Paul (40).

Then my scoresheets have Greg, Ron, Doug H, Don and Tim playing RoboRally, will the win going to Greg ahead of Doug and Don. Apparently Ron and Tim dropped out and may have played a Thunder Road game in there (I was finding it difficult to keep track of everything, obviously). Meanwhile, Clayton had joined the four Homesteaders players in a five-player Vegas Showdown. Once again, Doug M was the winner, scoring 65 to best John (57), Mike (54), Paul (45) and Clayton (38).

Clayton took a break and Mike, Paul and I played San Juan -- close game, as reflected by the scores: Mike 35, Paul 34, John 30. Qwirkle Cubes was next up for the other table, final scores Ron 105, Doug H 97, Don 73, Greg 71. Then, the four of them moved to the riverboat racing arena for a game of Mississippi Queeen, and Don was the winner ahead of Ron, Greg and Doug.

Final game of the evening, Roll Through the Ages, won by John 25 ahead of Clayton 24 with Paul at 20.

Apologize for no report on last week's session -- due to attending the PrezCon games convention -- still hope to post attendance and games played here if someone gets the information to me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 18, 2010 Session Report

Back after a two-week hiatus after some record snowfall levels in our area had cancelled the prior week's session. Nine in attendance: Mike, Ron, Paul, Greg, Doug H, Doug M, Clayton, Steve (back for a second session) and myself. We played a total of five different games: World Cup Skiing, Homesteaders, World Without End, Roll Through the Ages and Tribune with the new expansion.

First up was a game celebrating the season and also the Winter Olympics, called World Cup Skiing from Lambourne games in UK, we each selected a real-life skiing great and took off on the Whistler downhill course. Unfortunately, everyone seemed more interested in trying out another game so we ended the race after the second time check. Winner was Paul, who selected Kristian Ghedina as his skier. Also in the race were Jean-Claude Killy (yours truly), Franz Klammer (Ron), Bill Johnson (Mike) and Helmut Hoeflehner (Doug H).

We then split into two groups. One group (Mike, Greg, Clayton and Doug M) played Homesteaders and this time Mike made up for a subpar performance in an early game, winning with 54 to 49 for Greg, 42 for Doug, 40 for Clayton. Seems like a fairly competitive game. The other game was World Without End, which I had brought -- as the game was new, it was everyone's first play. Doug H went out to an early lead, fell back, then Paul did the same, finally I pulled out the win (perhaps due to having studied the game for a bit). Scores were John 46, Doug H 39, Ron/Steve (who played as teammates) 37, Paul 34.

Still time for some more games, so at one table it was Roll Through the Ages, which saw two games completed, one won by Paul (against Ron and Steve) and the second, a four-player, won by Steve (against Ron, Paul and Clayton). Mike had brought Tribune with the new expansion, but with some new players and a new rules set we only completed three turns. Doug H and I both had three out of four victory conditions at the end, Mike (who had brought the game) had one victory condition on turn one but none on the second and third turns. Greg and Doug M were the other two participants.

Next week is PrezCon, a gaming convention in Charlottesville, Virginia. Greg and I plan to be there, but the club will be open on Thursday as usual (providing the weather cooperates, of course).

February 11, 2010 Session Report

Nothing to report as the Community Center was closed while everyone was digging out from the snowstorm.

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 4, 2010 Session Report

Another cold wintry evening and we still had ten gamers in attendance, including one first-timer to visit our club. Roll call: Mike, Doug H, Paul, Ron, Don, Clayton, Patrick, Ben, Ding (first timer -- friend of Ben's) and myself. Games played: R-Eco, Giro D'Italia, Lost Cities, Homesteaders, Maori and Racko. Some details follow.

First up was R-Eco, played by the five of us who arrived at or near the 6 PM start time. Final scores were close: John 9 Doug and Mike 7 Paul 5 Ron 3. I won by getting the last chip and ending the game. Mike was the only player who didn't dump, yet he still had an impressive stack of chips by the end of the game. It was Ron's first play.

Ron and I had brought Giro D'Italia, the cycling game (original version was called Leader 1) and we had boned up on the rules. Don, Clayton, and eventually Ben joined up so we went with all 15 cyclists (5 teams of 3 each), something the rules warned against and, as a result, we had a bit of a traffic jam heading to the finish line and much longer race than any of us anticipated. Still, it was fairly exciting and Don had two of his cyclists positioned at the head of the field coming off the final turn. I was right behind, took a risk to try to catch up, and unfortunately had a fall that took my top guy out of contention. Clayton was right behind, but he asked me to make his final set of moves for him and I did, succeeding on the die roll where I had failed with my own guy. While Don was still ahead, his lead guy ran out of energy and finished one space short of the finish line. This gave the win to Clayton, but I think Don would have won easily if none of us had taken a risk. Ben and Ron wound up being the also-rans.

There were other games being played. Homesteaders, probably our most popular game thus far in 2010, was played once again, with Patrick once again coming out on top, final scores were Patrick 57, Doug 50, Paul 46, Mike 44. Doug did quite well to get second in his first game. A question arose about whether or not resources (gold, in this instance) were limited by the counter-mix, and it turns out the answer I gave off the cuff, that they were not, is in fact the official interpretation as posted by the game designer on BoardGameGeek.

Ben and Ding played three hands of Lost Cities, with Ben multi-tasking while playing Giro D'Italia, and Ding came back after falling behind in the initial hand to score an overwhelming victory, 114 to 50, to win in her first game at the games club. Perhaps if Ben had been focusing on either one game or the other instead of trying to play two games at once he would have done a bit better.

For the other two games, no highlights, just the scores as the cycling race was just too intense:

Maori: Doug 49 Patrick 44 Mike 33 Paul 31 Ding 15

Racko: Doug 320 Paul 205 Ding 115

WEATHER REMINDER: Anyone who is unsure whether or not there will be a club session due to inclement weather is advised to call the Community Center office by around 5 PM The number there is (301)-497-0300.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January 28, 2010 Session Report

Cold weather this week may have played a part in keeping attendance down, at least compared to last week. We had a total of eight gamers in attendance: Patrick, Ron, Greg, Paul, Don, Trent (back for a second time), Clayton and myself. Four games were played: Homesteaders, Regatta, At the Gates of Loyang and Thunder Road.

First up was Homesteaders, which turned out to be a three-player among Patrick, Paul and myself. This time we finished the complete game and Patrick was the winner with 66 to 59 for John and 35 for Paul. Second group played Regatta, Ron won the race with the "Ted Turner boat" with Don in second; Greg and Trent also played.

Greg expressed an interest in At the Gates of Loyang which we played four-player but unfortunately did not quite manage to finish. Scores (after about six of nine turns) were John and Greg 12, Paul 11, Clayton 10. I won on the money tiebreak. Greg and Clayton each had one loan subtracted from their scores. Doubt the result would have been the same had we finished, as I was not set up for the final turns very well.

Two games of Thunder Road wrapped up the evening's activity, the results were reported as one win for Ron and one win for Don.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 21, 2010 Session Report

Great turnout for this week's session, a total of 13 overall, including two first-time attendees and a few others whom we hadn't seen in awhile. Roll call of attendees: Greg, Gabe, Doug H, Paul, Don, Ron, Mike, Alan, Steve (new to club), Clayton, Patrick, Susie (also new to club) and myself. We played a bunch of games, had to move in an extra table for more room, so this report may not be as complete as I would like in keeping track of all the action as it was a real three-ring circus for just about the entire session.

When I arrived there were two games being set up: Cape Horn, which Mike had brought, and the Adventurers, which Gabe had brought. Cape Horn I know is a racing game from the age of sail, Adventurers I hadn't seen before but it looked like the you were trying to use your character to capture the most treasure and survive. For Cape Horn, the players were Alan, Mike and Ron, and Alan won. I had Gabe down as the winner of Adventurers with Paul, Greg, Don, and Doug H all participating.

Right after these games started, some more people arrived so the third game was Vegas Showdown, which was a four-player won by Steve with 53 ahead of Doug M (46) and John (46), Doug M getting second on the money tiebreaker, with Clayton (37) filling out the field. Steve and Doug had not played before, so they seemed to pick up the game just fine.

Next round of games saw Patrick arrive and introduce a self-designed game that we simply call Patrick's racing game which involved simulating a lap around the circuit used near RFK stadium when there was some sports car racing event there a few years back. Ron, Don, Gabe and Patrick participated and I believe Ron was the winner. Susie had also arrived and we started her out in a four-player Dominion game, which wound up with yours truly as the winner: scores were John 33, Doug M 27, Susie 21 and Steve 19. Susie did quite well considering everyone else had played before, with a helpful assist from Patrick. In the meantime, there was a Small World game taking place, final scores reported as Alan 73, Greg 73, Doug H 69, Paul 58 and Mike 51 -- Alan taking the win on a tiebreak which I believe gives him a nice winning streak of games at the club going back to last year some time.

There was still time for a final round of games, with Ron and Don sneaking in a couple of games of Thunder Road (sorry don't have complete results). I do know there was a four-player Pandemic (Alan, Paul, Steve and Susie were the four players) and the note on the sheet says "the game won" which doesn't sound like good news for those seeking to stop the spread of disease. Patrick, Doug M, Mike and I tried to finish a game of Homesteaders but wound up a couple of turns short, so we picked it up without doing any final scoring. There was also an Ave Caesar game of chariot racing, I believe Don, Greg and Ron were the participants, but sorry -- no report on the results on that game.

Thanks to everyone for making this week's session a fun one, and hopefully we can continue the momentum from this week with some strong attendance at upcoming sessions as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 7, 2010

Attendance of eight for our first session of the new year: Patrick, Doug H, Doug M, Ron, Paul, Greg, Clayton and myself played a total of four different games. Games played (one of them twice): Homesteaders, Jet Set, Giro D'Italia Card Game (x2) and Steam Barons.

I brought Homesteaders while Greg set up Jet Set, and these were the first two games that lasted for about half the session. Homesteaders was a three-player, won by Patrick (57), John (49) and Clayton (46) in a close race for second. JetSet was won by Doug M. (40) ahead of Greg (37), Doug H (35), Paul (30) and Ron (27).

Second set of games saw Greg win Steam Barons (a game that both he and Doug M had brought) by a wide margin, 81 to 60 for Doug and just 40 for yours truly, but the win was somewhat tainted because of an illegal tile play by Greg which we didn't catch until a round later. The other game was the Giro D'Italia Card game, a bicycle race simulation game brought by Ron. Two games were completed, both race won by Paul with Ron, Doug H and Patrick being the other participants.