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.