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.