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.