Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 20, 2012 Session Report

Eight for this week's session:  Tim, Mike, Doug, Greg, Patrick, Rembert, Helen and myself.  We played a total of three games:  Lords of Waterdeep, 10 Days in Asia and CO 2. 

Lords of Waterdeep was a four-player, extremely close game:  Six points from top to bottom, and an absolute tie for first.  Mike and Doug, each with 110, each tied on money, shared the win.  Patrick (105) and Tim (104) were not that far behind.

10 Days in Asia was won by Patrick.  Tim, Doug and Helen were also in this game.

Finally, Greg, Rembert and I played CO 2.  To speed things along, we played without the lobby cards which made the game a bit more challenging as we were tight money, cubes or expertise at different points in the game.  Greg, who was playing for the first time, came away the winner with 99 points to 95 for me, and Rembert not far behind at 85.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 13, 2012 Session Report

A group of nine in attendance this week:  Mike, John B, Doug, Patrick, Eric, Ben, Helen, Tim (back from a trip to Japan) and myself.  Games played:  Piece o Cake, Power Grid-China, Stone Age and Cloud Nine.

Piece o Cake was a three-player, won by Doug (45) to 37 for Patrick and 33 for yours truly (John W).

We split into two groups for most of the rest of the session.  One group played Power Grid, using the China map.  This game was a four-player, and a very close one as it came down to the money tiebreaker to break a three-way tie for first.  Winner was Eric (17 cities, 75 cash), ahead of John B (17/26), Mike (16/8) with Ben (10 cities) bringing up the rear.

Stone Age was a five-player using the new expansion but without the tusks and related new cards/materials. Helen was the winner, with a score of 126.  Others:  John W 117, Doug 108, Patrick 97, Tim 86.

Finally, some of us stuck around for one more game:  Cloud Nine.  This was a win for Eric, with 51 points.   Order of finish for the rest of us:  Doug 2nd, Helen 3rd, John B 4th, John W fifth and last.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 6, 2012 Session Report

Attendance of ten for this week:  Ben, Mike, Alex, John B, Neville, Greg, Doug, Helen, Rembert and myself, no newcomers to the club this time around.  Four games were played:  Piece o Cake, Seasons, Poseidon and Timeline.

Piece o Cake was the quick warmup game while waiting for everyone to show up.  Five of us took part.  Final scores:  John W 32, Mike 29, Alex 25, John B 23, Ben 21.  First one-two for the host/co-host combination in quite some time.

We then split into two groups for the two main games of the evening, which were Seasons and Poseidon.  Seasons was a four-player, won by Neville who scored a nice come from behind victory as  Greg, the early leader, plummeted to last.  Final score counts were Neville 115, John W 103, Doug 100, Greg 76.

The four of us were joined by Rembert for a couple of quick games of Timeline.  Greg and I tied for the win in the first game, each going five for five.  I also managed to get five in a row the second game as well, obviously the best I have ever done at the game, and I have to credit some fairly easy questions plus a few lucky guesses never hurts.

The five-player Poseidon game (Ben, Mike, Alex, John B and Helen) never quite made it to the finish.  No word on who was winning, but the game was picked up around the start of the final stage when the larger boats became available.

News from John B regarding a special session of the Beltsville club:  Saturday March 16th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, emphasis on teaching gateway games to attract newcomers to the hobby.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 29, 2012 Session Report

A very good turnout out this week after a two-week hiatus due to Thanksgiving.  We had two newcomers, Tom and Korey, along with Neville (who has missed most of the sessions this fall due to another commitment on Thursdays) plus Alex, Mike, Ben, Jack, Rembert, Doug G, John B, Jay, Helen and myself for a total attendance of 13, our best in several months.  Five games were played:  Power Grid:  First Sparks, Doctor Who:  The Card Game, Automobile, TransAmerica and Lords of Waterdeep.

First game to finish was Power Grid:  First Sparks.  The winner was Doug, who won the race to 13 ahead of Jay (11), John B (10) and Ben (9).

Tom, one of the two newcomers, took the Doctor Who card game, with 25 points, ahead of Mike (20), Korey (16) and Rembert (8).  My guess is Tom and Korey had both played before.

This same group then played TransAmerica.  Scores were Tom 12, Korey 8, Mike 6 and Rembert 2 or maybe it's minus -6 for Mike and -2 for Rembert (can't tell from the scoresheets).  Good showing by Tom to go two-for-two in his first two games at the club.

The Automobile game was the longest, an intense brain-burner.  I managed to win with a score of 4,640 with Alex (at 4,200) in second followed by Neville (3,800) and Jack (3,120).  Neville was quick to point out that a different tile draw at the end would have moved him into second ahead of Alex but, with a low number of 2 for the luxury cars, he was forced to take two losses instead of earning $400 for the cars.  Overall, all of us played a bit too conservatively and didn't really push the envelope except in the final turn on those luxury cars.

Final game to finish was Lords of Waterdeep.  Jay, who seems to have a good record at this game, took the win with 147 points followed by Doug (131), John B (112), Helen (111) and Ben (101).  Good to see everyone score over 100 in this game.

Again, very pleased with the turnout this week, let's keep it up for the rest of 2012!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 15, 2012 Session Report

A good turnout of nine for this week, including a couple of people who hadn't been to the club in awhile:  Patrick, Greg, Doug, Tim, John B, Rembert, Helen, Mike and myself were the attendees.  We played a total of three games:  VivaJava:  The Coffee Game, Agricola and Cloud Nine.

VivaJava was the first game set up, but the number of players kept changing as more people arrived: eventually we wound up with a six player game as three split off for a three-player Agricola.  The winner was Patrick, who I am sure won with inspired play based on his repeated trips to the JavaDivas coffee hut in Glen Burnie.  Final scores were Patrick 28, Greg 25, Rembert and John W 24 (tiebreaker to Rembert for third), Doug 22 and Mike 20.

The Agricola game took up just about the rest of the session time and ended in a win for John B.  Scores were John B 39, Tim 30, Helen 25.  I have a note from the game about how Tim let John B claim five sheep after missing the fact that John had built a Fireplace to cook the animals.

Most of the players from the VivaJava game stuck around for one final game, Cloud Nine, which took up the final half hour of the session.  Mike, who had three of the four Wild Cards, managed to pull out the win on the final turn with a 25-point balloon trip after Doug, who was in the lead, bailed out for 20 points when Mike was the final pilot.  Scores were Mike 57, Doug 53, Rembert 49, John 44, Greg 38.

A reminder that the CC will not be open next week (Thanksgiving) so our next session will be Thursday, November 29th.  Happy Turkey Day to everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012 Session Report

Back after being away last week at EuroQuest.  We had a total of six in attendance for tonight's session:  Tim, Doug, Mike, Alex, Helen and myself.  Games played:  Piece o' Cake, Tsuro, Saint Malo and VivaJava:  The Coffee Game, the latter of which we did not have time to finish.

(Pardon the partial game notes, as I have misplaced the sheet of paper with the actual scores.)

Piece o' Cake was a four-player, waiting for others to show, won by Tim with John second.  I seem to recall Mike was last.  Doug was first divider twice, which meant that seating order may have played a role as Tim had first pick twice, I had second pick twice.

Tsuro, Alex joined in and won.  First game for Mike and possibly Alex as well.

Alex had purchased Saint Malo at Essen and taught.  He managed to win the game as well.  I believe Tim was second, tie for third, I know I was dead last as I couldn't collect Stone to complete the Walls.

By this time Helen had arrived, then Alex left, so we were at five for VivaJava, but with only a half hour remaining, we barely got through the rules and a couple of turns before it was closing time.  Doug had a narrow lead at that point, but still lots of game left.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October 25, 2012 Session Report

Sorry for not posting this report sooner, as the rush of EuroQuest prep items took priority in recent days.

We had a total of nine in attendance for this session:  Mike, Ben, Tim, John B, Rembert, Matthew Martin (a first-timer at the club) were joined later in the session by Helen and Stan.  We only played a couple of games, both new Essen games that Mike and I were planning on demoing at next week's EuroQuest convention:  CO 2 (designed by Portugese game designer Vital Lacerda) and CopyCat (designed by Friedemann Friese, German game designer best known for Power Grid).

The CO 2 game saw global pollution reach a high of 480, just short of the all-players' lose scenario at 500.  With five players, plus a huge learning curve for a rather, long meaty game, it was quite challenging.  I sat out and tried to keep things moving, in addition to responding to any questions.  We finished four of the five decades and then tallied the score as if the game had ended.  The result was a three-way tie between Rembert, John B and Matthew, each with 43 points.  The tiebreaker (most plants built) favored Rembert, three to two for the others.  Tim (at 39 points) and Ben (at 35) trailed.  Everyone seemed to find the game challenging and interesting.

Mike split off from the group to take a look at Copycat.  Helen arrived later in the session and joined in.  Stan arrived even later but did not play any games.  Mike was able to get the rules down well enough to conduct a teaching demo at EuroQuest.

There will be no session report for Thursday, November 1, as Mike, I and many of our attendees were at EuroQuest, so regular reports will begin with the November 8th session.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 18, 2012 Session Report

A down-week, with attendance of only six:  Tim, Jason, Doug H, John B, Rembert and me (John W).  We played just three games:  Piece o Cake, Vanuatu and Agricola, and the Agricola game barely made it to the finish line.

Piece o Cake was the warm-up game, and it was a four-player that wound up in a runaway win for Doug but very close for the rest of us.  Scores:  Doug 37 John W 26 Tim 25 Jason 24.

Vanuatu was a new game I had just bought but only played a couple of times.  Another big win for Doug, who went undefeated for the evening.  Rembert edged me for second, so being the teacher and experienced player did me no good this time.  Final scores:  Doug 75 Rembert 60 John W 58.

Agricola was also not that close as John got a really good set of cards at the start.  Final scores:  John B 49  Tim 34 Jason 16 -- it was Jason's first play.

A reminder that next week will be the last session before EuroQuest, and I hope to have some of the new Essen games on hand, and also am hoping that Alex (who went to Essen this year) shows up with some new games as well.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 11, 2012 Session Report

Eight for tonight's session:  Mike, Ben, Tim, Jack, Jason (now up to three sessions and eligible for GCOM Associate Membership), John B, Helen and myself were the attendees.  Games played list:  Piece o Cake, Ticket to Ride - Asia, Power Grid, 7 Wonders and Straw.

Piece o Cake, a good opener which we played five-player for the first time, and the game seems to be even more difficult with a full table.  Another close one, with Tim winning by one.  Scores:  Tim 29, John W 28, Mike 26, Ben 21, Jack 15.

The two longer games of the evening were Ticket to Ride with the new legendary Asia map and Power Grid with the regular US map.  Ticket to Ride-Asia was a three-player, won by Tim by a wide margin.  He had 125 points, ending the game while Jack and I each had uncompleted tickets.  Jack took the 10-point Asia explorer bonus for the most connected cities to edge me for second, 86 to 84.

Power Grid came down to the money tiebreaker, and Helen built to 15 when she and Mike had the capacity to power 13.  Helen correctly surmised that Mike had less money, so final scores were Helen 13 (31 electros), Mike 13 (26), Ben 12, Jason 11, John B 10.  I believe it was Jason's first play, and he managed to finish ahead of an experienced player like John.

Jack, Tim and I managed to squeeze in a three-player 7 Wonders.  This was Jack's first play, and the finals scores were John W 61, Tim 48, Jack 41.  I managed to max out my military at 18, while Tim had over half his points (28) come from Science.

There was a half hour left, and we played a game called Straw, which Jack had brought, which was new to everyone except Jack.  Good quick filler, and Helen and Jack were tied for first at 86, I was next at 71, followed by Tim (56) and John B (48).  John B broke the camel's back twice, Helen never, while the rest of us each did so once in the five hands that were played.

Reminder that you have one week left (until Thursday October 18th) to pre-register for EuroQuest:

Pre-reg form here:

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 4, 2012 Session Report

Well, we were due for a bit of a down week, attendance-wise, only six (Alex, Doug, Tim, John B, Eric and myself) for this session.  We split into two groups for most of the session (although I had to be away for a bit due to a medical type emergency, i.e., getting some medicine from a nearby pharmacy).

Alex, Doug and I played a game of Piece o Cake and then two games of Timeline: Discoveries.  I managed to win another close game of Piece o Cake, 48 to 42 for Doug and 41 for Alex but really struggled at the Timelines:  Discoveries game, which seemed much more difficult than the regular game.  I missed like six straight questions and watched as Doug won the first game and Alex, the second.  I managed to finish with some momentum to come from behind to take second in the second game after getting about three or four questions in a row where I actually knew some of the answers.

Meanwhile, the other group (John B, Eric and Tim) played Power Grid and added a robot as the fourth player.  As it turned out, when I returned from my trip to the pharmacy, I was drafted as to take over the "robot" position, which was struggling and far back in last position, to say the least, having overspent on resources through the first few turns.  The game didn't last that much longer, as Tim managed to build to 17 and win it while others either lacked the capacity or were holding back for another turn.  Final scores:  Tim 17, Eric 11, John B 10 and John W 10.  I managed to tie with the other John but was far behind on money, not bad for a poorly programmed robot.

Doug and Alex had managed to complete a two-player Castles of Burgundy in record time, or at least much faster than a four-player game I played the other day.  It was a very tight finish, 168 to Alex and 164 for Doug.  Very well done by Alex in what I believe is his first time playing, but then Doug is a very good teacher of games.

We wrapped up the evening with a 6-player Bohnanza, but we ran out of time shortly after the first re-shuffle.  Final scores at that point were:  Alex 11, John B 10, John W 9, Eric and Tim 8, Doug 6.

Hope to see many of you at Congress of Gamers in Rockville this weekend.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 27, 2012 Session Report

We had eight at this week's session:  Mike, Jason, Tim, Greg, John B, Helen, myself plus Mike P, who was at the club for the first time and brought a game of his own design for us to try.  In addition to a couple of games with Mike P's creation -- called Domination -- we played Piece o Cake, Puerto Rico, Ingenious and Vegas Showdown.   A few details follow.

Greg, Jason and I played Piece o Cake which was the first game to finish.  The scores were incredibly close, and Greg and I were tied for the win at 46, Jason had 43.  We then went on to play Ingenious, and it was another close finish.  Greg and I once again tied for first at 11, but the second worst color had Greg winning (with 12 to my 11), while Jason (at 10) was once again a very close third.

The other group played Puerto Rico,  John B won the game with a whopping 46 points in shipping, and his total score of 55 was higher than that of two of the three remaining players.  Helen, who constructed three large buildings, was runner-up with 48, followed by Mike (45) and Tim (35).

At this point, Greg left and Mike P arrived with a prototype of his design.  Jason and I listened to the rules explanation, and then Mike P and I locked horns in a couple of games.  The game is a two-player, a bit chess-like, where not all the pieces start on the board but where you can gain an extra piece by having your "Commander" piece" sit in a particular area of the board for a few turns.  Unfortunately, whenever that happened the other player tended to try to create a situation where the Commander could be captured.  I managed to "get lucky" and win one game from Mike, while he had the upper hand (or so it seemed) in the second game when we reached the 9 o'clock witching hour.  The game had promise, and would seem to have its greatest appeal to fans of abstract type games.

There was one more game to complete the evening, a four-player Vegas Showdown, played by the same four players as the Puerto Rico game.  This game was a win for Helen.  Scores were Helen 55, Tim 46, Mike 37, John B falling to last at 27 after his excellent showing in the earlier Puerto Rico game.

Once again, it's now less than a week to the next big gaming event, Congress of Gamers, October 6th and 7th at the Rockville Senior Center.  All the information can be found at the website at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 20, 2012 Session Report

Another strong week, with a total of 12 in attendance:  Alex (whom we hadn't seen in awhile), Doug M, Doug H, Eric and his sons Nathan and Ryan, Ben, Mike, Jay, Rembert, Helen and myself.  We played five different games over the course of the session:  Samarkand:  Routes to Riches; Aeroplanes:  Aviation Ascendant; Imperial 2030; 7 Wonders; and Circus Flohcati.

Samarkand:  Routes to Riches was a two-player and the first game to finish.  Final scores:  Eric 99, Ryan 55.  I had kind of confused this newer game with an earlier game by the same name from several years ago, but it turns out the two games are entirely different.  The game had an attractive board and components, and Eric told me he thought there was alot of strategy, so I am looking forward to giving this one a try.

Four of us tackled the new Martin Wallace release, Aeroplanes:  Aviation Ascendant, which had just come out from Mayfair Games the week before.  Doug H had the early lead but faded near the end as those who had taken on riskier routes outside Europe came on strongly in the last era.  It was a close finish, and I edged out Alex by one (38 to 37) for the win.  Doug M with 34 was third, while early leader Doug H was fourth with 29.

By this time Helen had arrived and joined Eric, Nathan and Ryan for a four-player 7 Wonders.  Eric used a "big Science" approach to win this one.  Scores were Eric 62, Helen 47, Ryan 39, Nathan 27.

The final half-hour saw a game of Circus Flohcati.  Helen took that one, collecting all 10 colors in her hand while the rest of us had focused on laying down sets of three.  Final scores were Helen 82, John 65, Doug M 63, Doug H 50.

For the second week in a row, the Imperial 2030 game did not quite make it to the finish line.  The four protagonists this time around were Mike and Jay (once again), this time joined by Ben and Rembert.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 13, 2012 Session Report

Nine in attendance tonight:  Mike, Jay, Eric, Patrick, Doug H, John B, Rembert, Doug M and myself (John W).  We split into two groups for most of the session.  Games played:  Fresco, Imperial 2030, Puerto Rico, Piece o Cake, For Sale (two plays).

Fresco was the first game completed.  Final scores:  Eric 76, John B 66, Doug H 60, Rembert 53.

Mike, Jay, Patrick and I tackled Imperial 2030, which Mike had brought.  It took a long time to teach, and unfortunately the game was unfinished after Patrick left.  While there was still some time left in the session, we decided to pick up the game.  The three of us then played a series of shorter games, some of which were very close:
   Piece of Cake:  Mike 45 Jay 44 John  W 43
   For Sale game 1:  Mike 72  Jay 63 John W 60
   For Sale game 2:  Jay  66  John W  62  Mike 55

Final game of the evening, which really tested the patience of the CC staff as it ran over by about five minutes, was a five-player Puerto Rico game.  Scores on that one were Doug M 51, Eric 49 Doug H 49 (Eric edged Doug H for second on the tiebreak and also won the prize as "best of the non-Dougs" in this game) John B 43 Rembert 39.

On a serious note, I want to remind every one that this club only exists because of the willingness of the CC and Laurel Parks and Recreation Department to make the space available for free, and that we should be very very careful in selecting games that would not run over the time limit, and in picking up games before the 9 PM closing time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 6, 2012 Session Report

Good attendance of 14 (!) this week, boosted by six first time attendees, including Jason and a family of five (Bryan, Heidi, Ariel, Kaniela and Jada) along with Mike, Doug, Tim, Neville, Rembert, Patrick, Helen and myself.  This week we focused on the shorter games, which meant three games going on at once, and just about everyone played at least two games, some of us as many as four.  The list of games played:   San Juan, Ingenious, Can't Stop (played twice), Power Grid:  First Sparks, Hollywood Blockbuster (aka Traumfabrik or Dream Factory), Chrononauts and For Sale.

It was tough to collect details on all the games, but here is what I have.

San Juan was a three-player, won by Mike (28) just ahead of Tim (27) with Jason (19) in third.  It was Tim and Jason's first play of the game.

Ingenious was also a three-player, final scores:  John (12), Neville (7) and Doug (6).

No report on the participants or result in the Chrononauts game.

Power Grid:  First Sparks was another win for Mike.  He had 13, with Tim and Jason (each with 11) trailing.

Hollywood Blockbuster was a five-player, won by Doug (84) ahead of Neville (79), Jada (53), John (49), Rembert (44).  It was the first play for Neville, Jada and Rembert.  Neville almost won but Doug (with some help from Rembert) got a piece he needed at the final party to complete a movie and win the game.  Good effort by Neville in his first play of the game.

Bryan, Heidi, Ariel and Patrick played Can't Stop.  I heard Bryan won, Patrick was last, no further details.

There were six of us for For Sale.  Final scores:  John 54, Helen 48, Doug 45, Rembert 42, Kaniela 36, Jada 34.

The final game of the evening was a four-player Can't Stop.  We hit the 9 PM witching hour but I made one final die roll to secure the win over Doug, Helen and Rembert. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August 30, 2012 Session Report

We had a nice crowd of 11 for our final session of the summer.  Attendees were Tim, Eric, Greg, Brandon and Rob (both returning for their second session at the club), Jay, Rembert, Eugene, John B, Patrick and myself.  We played a short warm-up game (Piece o Cake) and split into three games for the rest of the session.

Piece o Cake was up first, a four-player, won by Eric (34) over John W (31), Tim (26) and Greg (25).

We then split into two groups to play Rolling Freight, which I had brought, and Railways of England, which Eric had brought.  So, it was all set to be an evening of rail games until Patrick showed up, and a third game (Homesteaders) formed.  Oh, well, there's a Railroad track in homesteaders, so I guess that counts.

The Homesteaders game was the first to finish.  It was won by Jay (58) ahead of Eugene (53), Patrick (47) and Greg (41).

Railways of England was won by Tim (58) ahead of Eric (52), John B (39) and Rembert (27).

Last to finish (and we picked it up a few turns short of the actual ending condition) was Rolling Freight.  I managed to hold on for a narrow win (126 to 121) over Brandon with Rob (101) in third.  I had a large lead, but Brandon made some really nice deliveries in the last couple of rounds to narrow the gap.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 23, 2012 Session

Ten in attendance this week:  Mike, Tim, John B, Greg, Doug, Ben, Jay, Rembert, Eric S and myself.  We played three games:  Power Grid - Quebec, Quarriors (with the new Quarmageddon expansion and Lords of Waterdeep.  A few details follow.

Power Grid-Quebec is one of the new maps just published.  Mike won the game, powering 15 cities when no one else could power more than 12.  Also playing in this one were:  Greg (12 cities, 19 electros), John B (12 cities, 15 electros), Ben (12 cities, 14 electros), Tim (7 cities).

Quarriors with the new Quarmageddon expansion turned out to be a runaway win for Jay.  Final scores:  Jay 16, Rembert 9, John 8, Doug 6.  The four of us were joined by Eric for Lords of Waterdeep.  I had a fairly sizable lead for most of the game but could not hold as Jay also won that gone, fairly close scores as everyone topped 100:  Jay 121, John W 115, Doug and Rembert 111, Eric 104.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 16, 2012 Session Report

A bit of a down week, attendance-wise, only seven us:  Mike, Doug, Patrick, Jay, Neville, Rembert and myself.  We only got in three games:  For Sale, Blood Bowl Team Manager Card Game and Castles of Burgundy.

First up was For Sale, which three of us played while waiting for others to arrive.  Final scores:  John 77K, Doug 58K, Mike 55K.  Doubt I will ever have such a high score in the game ever again.

We then split into two groups.  Patrick, Neville and I played a game we had all played before, Blood Bowl-Team Manager Card game, it evolved to an intense battle with Patrick seizing an early lead that he was able to maintain all the way through until the end. Final scores were Patrick 47, Neville 34, yours truly last but with a respectable total of 31 fans.

The last game to finish was Castles of Burgundy, which Doug had brought and, with some new players as Doug did the teaching.  Doug did emerge as the final winner as the game just barely managed to finish by the 9 PM witching hour.  Final scores:  Doug 227, Mike 204, Jay 177, Rembert 167. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 9, 2012 Session Report

A bit late with this session report, but here goes ...

We had nine for the Aug. 9th session. Attendees were:  Jack, Doug, Mike, Hsien (new to the club, pronounced "Shane"), Ben, Jay, Rembert, John B and myself.  Games played:  Decathlon, Ticket to Ride - Asia (teams), Power Grid;  France and Qwirkle.

In honor of the Olympics and the 100th anniversary of the first Olympic decathlon (the final day of the decathlon in the real-life 2012 Olympics was that same day) I dusted off my AH Decathlon game and brought charts for all 20 prior Olympic gold medalists, from Jim Thorpe in 1912 to Brian Clay in 2008.  I invited each attendee to pick one but, we only got through one day's worth of competition.  The winner by just one point was Doug, with Erki Nool, who had a score of 4544 points, one more than Jack, who as Jim Thorpe had 4543.  Jim Thorpe was slowed by an injury in the second event, the long jump, or otherwise it would have been a runaway victory (sorry for the pun) for the first Olympic decathlon Champ.  Results for the rest of the field:  Ben (Nicolai Avilov), in bronze medal position at 4532 points, just 12 back of the winner; Hsien (Bruce Jenner), 4368; Mike (Bob Mathias), 4360: me (Bill Toomey), 4310; Jay (Paavo Yrjola), 4301; John B (Helge Lovland), 4287.

At this point Rembert had arrived, so we broke into two groups for the rest of the session.  One group played Power Grid-France, a five-player game.  Final scores were reported as Jay 15, Mike 12, with Ben, Rembert and John B all with 11 cities and finishing in that order on the money tiebreaker.

The rest of us got in two more games.  Jack and Doug teamed up against Hsien and I for a the team version of Ticket to Ride-Asia, which was a very close game that went to the Jack-Doug duo, 214 to 186.  Jack and Doug had the longest route, and both teams made 14 of 15 tickets.  We then played Qwirkle, a big win for Jack in that one:  Jack 116 Doug 108 John W 93 Hsien 69.

Thanks to everyone for coming, see you this week (later today as I write this)!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 2, 2012 Session Report

I was away at WBC and missed this session, but Co-Host Mike was on hand and filed this report:

"Tonight, we had 7 people at the club. They included Ben, Doug H, Patrick, Rembert, me and two newcomers Rob and Brandon (they saw our web page). We broke into two groups.

The first group (Ben, Rob, Brandon and me) played Power Grid with the US map. This was both Brandon and Rob's first time playing the game. Ben and I explained the game. The game was interesting as every power plant draw early on was for a very small plant. Ben and I debated on how quickly to buy the permanent plants. As it turned out, I got lucky with some draws toward the end. The game ended when I built 17 cities but could only power 14. This was still better than everyone else. The final scores were me with 14 powered cities, Brandon with 13, Rob with 12 and Ben with 10.

Patrick, Doug and Rembert started with Infiltration. Patrick had 17 points but got caught escaping . Doug won the game with 10 points and Rembert had 7. The three of them then started a game of Fresco but I don't have the final scores for that game."

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 26, 2012 Session Report

It was looking for awhile like the hot weather may have kept many people away, but in the end we had a total of 10 for this week's session, including three first-timers.  The attendance roster was Ben, Tim, Jay, Neville, Patrick, John S (who had been to the club once before) and myself, plus the newcomers:  Scott (who had driven all the way down from PA) and two local Laurelites, Troy and Heather.  A total of three games were played:  Tour:  Cycle Free, Outpost and Cheeky Monkey, which was played twice.

Scott had come specifically to try out Tour: Cycle Free, a free PnP Tour de France style cycling game designed by Luke Morris that I have been championing for awhile.  After a bit of coaxing, we were able to talk Patrick in to joining us.  I gave everyone their choice of teams.  Scott went for the bag with the green cyclists (representing the Italian Liguigas team).  Patrick originally had the bag with the yellow cyclists (representing an Albert Contador-led SaxoBank team) but then said he wanted the team with "that British guy" who had just won the Tour, so I handed him the black cyclists pieces of the Sky team, led by Bradley Wiggins who just recently had become the first British Tour de France champion ever.  I selected red cyclists representing a hand-picked Radio Shack squad, mainly because I knew they had Sammy Sanchez (drafted on to the team for my 2011 replay series) as he had done quite well in my recent 2011 Tour de France replay.  We only had time for one stage, so we tackled the very tough Stage 19 from last year's Tour, the Alpe d'Huez stage, partly because it was a section shorter, but also because it would likely provide some exciting action.

Each of us put a cyclist in the early break, I went with Johnny Hoogerland, can't remember who the other two were, but I noted they were doomed because of using up too much energy early.  Undeterred, Patrick made the unusual move of sending Wiggins out to chase after the break, eventually joining his teammate up the road.  Then all heck went loose when Scott decided to attack with both his top guys, Cunego AND Basso. This put me in a tough spot, so I rotated three guys (Brajkovic, Greipel and Horner) at the front while trying to save some energy with Sanchez and my #2, Andreas Kloden.  Water bottles came out around turns 4 and 5.  Next thing I remember was the break being reeled in but then Patrick sent Geraint Thomas off on a power move.  So, heading into the final climb up the Alpe, Thomas had a minute on the Peleton, but I had messed up with an illegal play with Kloden, trying to escape with both he and Sanchez at the same time, which of course shot my whole strategy to you-know-what.  In fact, I never got Sanchez out ahead of the Peleton in a small group where I would have a chance to use his special 8-star ability.  Anyway, we finally had an incident on one of the downhill sections, which seemed to please Scott (who was cheering for more and more carnage), and we each lost a couple of guys but one of them was Scott's best guy (Cunego) who lost a minute and never caught back up.

To make a long story short, Thomas got reeled in on the final climb, and everyone -- including the aforementioned Bradley Wiggins -- got tossed back to the cars except for five guys:  two from Patrick's team, two from mine, one from Scott's Liquigas team. It came down to a sprint for the win, and who had the most form points remaining (which we had kept secret the whole time).  Sanchez, not a great sprinter, had one left, so 6 +1 = 7 but Scott had Sagan at the front with a higher sprint rating and a form point left over.  Patrick's guy at the front, Gadret, had no form points left and was out of it but , wait a minute -- his second guy, Uran, was in the middle and had THREE form points left.  However, this just left him tied with Sagan and ties go to the guy in the front over the guy coming from the middle.  So, final results:  1.  Sagan (Liquigas) 2. Uran (Sky) 3. Sanchez (RadioShack) 4. Kloden (RadioShack) 5. Gadret (Sky).  Everyone had a fun time, and I enjoyed playing a game I usually only get to play solitaire or via email.

Sorry for the long post, but on to the other games.  Outpost was a 5-player, won by Jay, he had 76, Ben was second with 68, Neville and Tim had the same score (59), John S was in the 40s but that doesn't include his final turn.  Jay won by collecting both Data Labs and ignoring the Titanium stuff.  He the got into Science and Research in a big way, had four New Chemical plants up and running by game end.

Cheeky Monkey was played by Troy and Heather, no word on who won.  I then played a game with Scott as Patrick took his leave, and the Outpost game was still going on, gaining some measure of revenge for my defeat in the cycling arena, scores were John W. 53 Scott 41.

Next week I will be away at WBC in Lancaster PA (as will Tim) but expect Mike to be back after a hiatus and taking over as Co-Host.  Hope to see everyone in two weeks' time then.

Special thanks to Scott for coming down and playing the cycling game, it was alot of fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 19, 2012 Session Report

After a long run of good attendance, the numbers took a dip as we only had six for this week's session.  Jay, Patrick, Doug, Rembert and myself were the attendees, along with Peng, who was a first-timer at our club.  For most of the evening, we split into two groups of three.   One group played Olympus, which Patrick had brought.  Jay (playing the game for the first time) proved to be a quick learner, winning with 55 to 44 for Patrick and 27 for Rembert, who was also new to the game.  The other group of three (Doug, Peng and myself) played Endeavor, which all had played before, although a couple of us were a bit rusty on the rules.  It was a competitive game, with Doug coming away the winner, with 51 to 48 for Peng and yours truly was third and last at 46.

The group then spent the final half hour of the session playing a couple of games of Tsuro.  Rembert proved to be the Tsuro "master," winning both games, the first a six-player and then a five-player after Patrick had left.

Hope to see attendance pick up, although I will be away week after next due to WBC.  However, I expect to see one out-of-town visitor this coming week who has requested to play Tour:  Cycle Free, a Tour de France-style cycling game that I am a big fan of.  Hope some of you will join us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 12, 2012 Session Report

Eight for tonight's session:  Patrick, Jay, Ben, Tim, Rembert, Neville, Alex and myself were the attendees.  We split into two groups and, in a bit of a departure from the normal routine, we played two longer games that took just about the entire session.  One of the games was Agricola, and the players played with the World Championship expansion deck which had some pre-set Occupation and Minor Improvement Cards that were supposedly fairly balanced to pose an extra challenge.  Winner of the game was Ben, with a score of 37, followed by Tim (34), Alex (28) and Patrick (22).

The other game was Founding Fathers, and this one ended in a bit of a controversial tie between Neville and myself.  There was a question about the interpretation of the event text on one of the cards, and it happened to be one that Neville played the card once, I played it twice, all three times for alot of points. According to a rules Q and A on BGG, we played the card (George Mason) correctly, but what we did not do correctly -- something Jay pointed out at the conclusion of the game -- is start with the appropriate (historical) side up on all the articles up for debate.  This led to a skewed outcome, favoring the Anti-Federalist faction (which the Mason card benefits) whereas it should have been the Federalist faction with all those articles passed in its favor.  Anyway, the final scores of this game (with a double-asterisk now) were Neville and John 21, Jay 16, Rembert 13.

Hope to see everyone next week, hope you all remembered to sign up for the GCOM Family Picnic which is this Sunday, July 22nd.  Looking forward to seeing co-Host Mike back at the club soon after his trip to Japan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 5, 2012 Session Report

"Only" eight for this week's session, snapping our longest run of double-figure attendance in the club's seven-year history.  Attendees for this past week's session:  Alex, Patrick, Tim, Jay, Doug, Rembert, Stan and myself.  Games played:  7 Wonders, Blood Bowl Team Manager Card game, Wyatt Earp, Chrononauts, Modern Art card game.

7 Wonders was up first.  Scores were John 54, Patrick 52, Tim 52, Alex 51, Jay 47, Doug 45, a total of three points separated first from fourth wit Patrick edging Tim for second on the money tiebreaker.

We then split into two groups.  One group played the Blood Bowl Team Manager card game.  First play for Rembert and myself.  Jay edged Patrick by one (36 to 35) while I had 31, Rembert 26.  Enjoyed this one alot, think it has alot of thematic flavor and variability.

The other group got in three games.  Wyatt Earp was a win for Tim, with 32.  Doug had 28, Alex 21, although there's a note on the scoresheet indicating Doug's score may be off.  Next, this same group played Chrononauts, won by Tim with Doug and Alex considered tied for second.  Then, Alex left but Stan had arrived, so there was a three-player game of Moderen Art - the Card game.  One round had been miscored, so it was a win with an asterisk for Tim, who had 127 to 88 for Stan and 75 for Doug.  Good night for Tim as, assuming the scores were reasonably accurate, he won his last three games in a row after coming very close in the 7 Wonders game.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June 28, 2012 Session Report

Our string of double-figure attendance continued with this past week's session, as we had 12:  Patrick, Mike, Jay, Tim, Eric S, Neville, Rembert, John B, the rest of the Sokolowsky gang (Ryan, Nathan and Mary Jean) and myself.  Games played:  J. Patrick's Grand Prix racing, Puerto Rico, Power Grid-Russia, 7 Wonders, Cheeky Monkey and Too Many Cooks.

For the past couple of weeks, Patrick had promised to bring a racing game of his own design, and this was the week.  He also brought some very nice-looking expensive models that I recognized from my youth in Indianapolis as models of several former Indy 500 winning race cars from the late 50s - early 60s.  As for the race, there were five of us:  Tim, Neville, Rembert, the game designer (Patrick) and myself.  Neville won the pole but drifted back in the pack as he eased off the gas too much heading into the first corner. Patrick stormed into the lead, but it turned out he went into corner #2 a bit too quickly and went off course, dropping all the way from first to last.  Tim and I battled for the lead, then I moved to the front by taking some not too risky chances.  Patrick was the first to head to the pits, while the rest of us waited until lap two.  I managed to come out ahead of Patrick, who obviously was familiar with the track and the game system, and he gradually began to put on the pressure.  With just minutes left in the session, I managed to spin out, and  Patrick went past to claim the win.  But, because we didn't quite finish the full three laps, it was a win with an asterisk.  Great fun!  Thanks to Patrick for sharing this game.

Other games, can only report on the participants and the scores.  7 Wonders, it was Nathan 49, Mary Jean 44, Ryan 34.  Cheeky Monkey, at first I thought it was some poor handwriting or a misprint, but yes, Ryan won with 72 to 26 for brother Nathan and 6 for Mom, Mary Jean.  Puerto Rico was a three-player, with Jay winning, 41 to 34 for Mike and 24 for Eric. 

Eric still found time to get in two more games, Power Grid: Russia, which was very close:  John B winning, 19 to Eric's 18, second on the money tiebreak ahead of Jay (18) and Mike (17).  Then, Eric took on Nathan at Too Many Cooks and managed to win that one, 24 to 1 for Nathan (another misprint on that score?  I doubt it).

Anyway, pleased with the attendance these days which generally means a choice of what games to play when showing up at the 6 PM start time.  Let's keep it up.

Two news items:  There's been a price reduction at this year's GCOM Family Picnic, and the pre-reg deadline (Friday July 13) is little more than a week away.  Remember, this is a pre-reg only event, so sign up and check it out at the GCOM website!, click on "Family Picnic" at the middle, bottom of the main page, for more details.

Second, this Friday evening there will be an unscheduled gaming session at the Laurel-Middle Earth club, hosted by Rodney.  It is replacing the regular Elkridge gaming session, and it offers a full nine hours of gaming from 5 PM to 2 AM!  For details, check out the "Gaming Calendar" and click on the location information for Friday, July 6th.

Happy Fourth of July!  Hope to see y'all on the 5th at the Community Center.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 21, 2012 Session Report

Apologize for being a bit late with this report, as it's been a busy past few days.

Last session we had attendance of 11, including two first-time attendees (Jack and Kristina) along with Tim, Jay, Mike, Doug H, Patrick, Ben, Eric K (whom we haven't seen in awhile), Rembert and yours truly.  We had three games going most of the time.  We played the Blood Bowl card game, Helvetia, Ticket to Ride 1910, Ingenious (twice) and Cheeky Monkey.  Here's a few details on the games we played.

First up were two games that took most of the evening.  One, the Blood Bowl card game, turned out to be a rout for Kristina, who outdistanced Patrick, Jay and Doug.  Final scores were 48-33-31-24 in Kristina's favor.  The other "long" game was Helvetia, which Mike had brought.  I joined in and one of the two new players, Tim, managed to edge me for the win.  Scores were:  Tim 24, John 22, Mike 17, Rembert 13.

Eric, Jack and Ben played a couple of shorter games.  One was 1910 Mega, using the US map with the newer version.  No scores available, but the report I got had Eric winning with Jack second and Ben third.  This trio then played Ingenious, which Ben won.  Eric was second, Jack third.  Then Ben took his leave, and Eric and Jack played a two-player Ingenious.  That one was won by Eric.

Still there was time for one more game, and it was Cheeky Monkey.  Doug and I cleaned up as the other three players had problems building a stack to withstand the numerous steals and forced trades.  Doug won most of the bonuses to take the win, 49 with my 36 (usually a winning score with 5 players) only good for second.  Rembert, Jay and Kristina collectively had nine animals at game's end and no bonus points.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 14, 2012 Session Report

Another great week attendance-wise, with 12 present and accounted for:  Neville, Doug, Tim, Mike, Patrick, Jay, Scott (back for a second time), Ben, Greg, Kay, Rembert and myself.  We split into three groups for most of the evening.  Games played were:  Quarriors, King of Tokyo (2 plays), Automobile, Poseidon, Shadow Hunters and Coyote.

The one group that got the most games in (because they were playing shorter games) was Doug, Neville, Kay and Rembert.  They started off with Quarriors, which Rembert (who I know had seen the game played but believe it was his first play) winning, using the power of a creature I don't recall seeing before that actually took points away from other players.  Final scores were Rembert 13, Doug 9, Neville 8, Kay 0 -- yes, Kay had scored some points but lost it to Rembert's unique creature/spell, which I now need to check out.

This same group then played two games of King of Tokyo.  Doug actually won both games, one with 15 points and the second by being the last left alive.  They then had time for a game of Shadow Hunters, and my notes have the team of Neville and Rembert winning but Neville "died" in the process.

The Automobile game was a four-player (as were just about all the games).  Greg took out two loans early on, and it turned out to be the right play has he got more production and eventually more income in a game that saw relatively few loss cubes handed out.  Greg benefited from the conservative play of the other players to win by a wide margin:  Greg 4610, Patrick 3940, John 3810, Tim 3520.  We then had about 20-30 minutes left and wrapped up with a game of Coyote that was won by Tim, with Greg second, Patrick third after yours truly was the first to be eliminated.

The other group got in a game of Poseidon that barely finished by 9.  Very close scores, very similar counts to the Automobile game, interestingly.  Jay (3885) nosed out Scott (3835), with Ben (3509) coming ahead of Mike (3369), a bit of a surprise since Mike is probably the most experienced player at this game.

Anyway, another great session.  I believe this makes four successive weeks of a dozen or more, no doubt a club record. Let's keep it up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 7, 2012 Session Report

Another really strong turnout, a total of 14 people which meant 3 or 4 games at some times.  The attendance list included Greg, Mike, Eric, Neville, Jay, Alex, Tim, Doug H, Patrick, Rembert, John B (at the Laurel club for the first time), Kay, Doug M and myself.  Games played:  Power Grid - Atollo Modulis; Lords of Waterdeep; Endeavor; Homesteaders; Show Manager, and Puerto Rico.

Power Grid-Atollo Modulis (hope I got the name right) is a modular Power Grid board with islands on it.  The board we played with had some high connection costs, so board position was even more important than usual.  I trailed from very early in the game and never caught up.  Final cities powered count:  Eric 17 Mike and Greg 15 John W 12.  Mike edged Greg for second on the money tiebreak.

Endeavor was a three-player, won by Jay (61) just ahead of Alex (58) with Rembert (45) in third.  I believe it was the first play for both Alex and Rembert.

Lords of Waterdeep, another three-player, scores were Neville 156, Tim 140, Doug H 132.

The last game to start up was Homesteaders.  Doug M won that one, with a score of 56, ahead of John B (51), Patrick (48), Kay (30).  I believe it was Kay's first play while everyone else had played before.

Two more games were played to wrap up the evening.  I managed to come out on top in a four-player Show Manager.  Scores were John W 59, Greg 41, Neville 35, Doug H 32.

Then, in a 5-player Puerto Rico, the winner was Mike (47).  Other scores were Eric 39, Tim 37, Rembert 30, Jay 27.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May 31, 2012 Session Report

Another strong week attendance-wise, with three first-time attendees to bring the total up to 12 this week.  New attendees were Scott, Joe and Jimmy, who joined Mike, Tim, Neville, Alex, Ben, Kay, Rembert, Eugene and myself for a session that included the following games:  7 Wonders, Small World, Quarriors, Power Grid and Puerto Rico.

Started the evening with 7 players, so we played 7 Wonders.  This resulted in a win for Alex.  Scores were Alex 64, Kay 54, Ben 52, Neville 48, Mike 47, John 47, Tim 41.

We split into three groups for the next series of games. First of these to finish was Small World, won by Joe (51) to 49 for Eugene and 48 for Neville.  Eugene had to leave at this point, so then Joe and Neville played a 2-player Quarriors.  Joe had the early lead but Neville came from behind to win, 20 to 16.

The Puerto Rico game was a 4-player.  It was Scott, Tim, Rembert and myself, and I believe it was Rembert's first game.  He did well by not finishing last and not being that far behind.  Final score counts:  John 47, Tim 43, Rembert 41, Scott 34.

The other game played was Power Grid, using the US map.  It was a five-player.  Winner was Mike.  No tiebreakers needed, as everyone had a different number of cities powered at game-end:  Mike 16, Kay 15, Alex 14, Jimmy 12 and Ben 10.

Off to a good start with great attendance numbers over the past couple of weeks.  Let's keep it up!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012 Session Report

A huge throng descended upon Laurel Community Center for this week's gaming session:  no fewer than 15 (!) attendees, for our best attendance figure in a long, long time.  Roll call included three Dougs (Doug H, Doug M and Doug G), Jay, Tim, Neville, Mike, Alex, Rembert, half the Sokolowsky clan (Eric, Nathan and Ryan), Kay (a first-time attendee), Ben (back for his second session) and myself.  We played a total of eight games, seven different titles:  Ingenious, Star Trek-Catan, Village, Outpost, 7 Wonders (played twice), Dice Town and Puerto Rico.  We had four games going on for most of the session, which was held in the games room as our regular meeting space in the pre-school room was being used for a one-time event.

Details and scores of the games played follow.

Ingenious was won by Eric.  Scores were Eric 16, Ryan 12, Kay 10, Nathan 6.
Star Trek Catan was won by Mike.  Scores were Mike 10, Neville 6, Doug H 6.  Neville had 8 but Mike took a 2-point bonus card from him to win the game.
Village was a three-player.  Scores were John 52, Ben 39, Alex 31.  Lower scores than usual probably meant we were much more efficient at killing off our people sooner than most games.
Outpost took a bit longer to finish, and it was a close game, a battle of the two Dougs, going to Doug G (81) ahead of Doug M (78).  Jay (66) and Tim (53) were not that far behind.
 Second round of games started with 7 Wonders, Rembert joining Eric, Kay and Ryan while Nathan sat out.  Eric won by just a single point (50 to 49) with Rembert a close second.  Kay had 45, Ryan 39.
The second 7 Wonders game was even closer with even higher scoring:  Doug G 60, Jay 55, Tim and Doug M 54.
Neville had brought Dice Town which he taught to Doug H, Rembert and myself.  Neville was sheriff for most of the first part of the game, and he stole a nice property from me to coast to the win.  Rembert was best of the newcomers.  Final scores:  Neville 46, Rembert 43, John 38, Doug H 37.
Wrapping up the evening was a three-player Puerto Rico.  Mike won with 40 to 39 for Kay and 37 for Alex.  Mike had the edge in shipping while the other two players had multiple big buildings. I believe it was Kay's first play of the game and, if so, he did very well to hang in with PR sharks like Mike and Alex.

Excellent weather and excellent attendance, let's hope both continue after Memorial Day as we head into the summer months.

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 17, 2012 Session Report

Another good week attendance-wise, once again in double-figures, with 10 this session.  Thanks to Jay, Alex, Tim, Mike, Doug, Neville, Patrick, Alan (whom we hadn't seen for awhile) and one newcomer, Ben Auer, for joining me as the club host for an interesting evening of gaming.  We played five games:  Pairamid, Trajan, Agricola, Settlers of the Stone Age and 7 Wonders.  We also had three games going for most of the session, filling up the table space fairly well.

Doug brought Pairamid, a Knizia design I had not seen before, and taught it to Neville and myself.  I managed to eke out a narrow win, 21 to 18 for Doug and 17 for Neville.  The other games were still going on, so we then played an old favorite, Settlers of the Stone Age.  The game was new to Neville who was familiar with basic Settlers so the game was a snap for him to pick up.  I had an early lead which began to erode as the other players traveled successfully to Australia and the Americans while I was stuck in Europe and Asia.  I got to 9 VP but ran out of city-sites in Asia and Europe and belatedly moved to the Americas.  But Doug, who had the max allowable movement, got to claim the last VP token there to take the game, which was extremely close, well-played by all.  Final scores:  Doug 11, John 9, Neville 8.

Ben, Mike, Tim and Patrick played Agricola and managed to finish in less than 2 1/2 hours.  Patrick was the winner.  Final scores:  Patrick 34 Tim 32 Mike 29 Ben 27.

Alan had brought Trajan, and Alex and Jay joined him for a game of this new, hard-to-get ahold of 2011 Essen release.  First time the game has made an appearance at the Laurel club, I believe.  This game finished around the same time as the Agricola game, and it was a win for Jay.  Score counts:  Jay 111, Alex 103, Alan 97.

There was a little more than a half-hour left in the session, and those remaining played a 7-player game, 7 Wonders.  The game moved quickly, for some of us -- too quickly.  The winner was Mike with yours truly in second.  Scores were Mike 64, John 56, Ben 55, Jay 49, Tim 48, Doug 43, Patrick 42.  A nice 1-2 for the club Co-Host and Host.

Thanks again to everyone for coming.  Ben, the one newcomer, had learned of the club at the Main St. Festival so I hope to see him at future sessions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 10, 2012 Session Report

Nine in attendance for this session:  Jay, Mike, Doug, Rodney, Patrick, Tim, Eugene, Rembert and myself were the participants  Games played;  Cheeky Monkey, Slapshot, Serenissima, Lords of Waterdeep. 

Cheeky Monkey was first up, we had five players.  Jay won a relatively close game, with 28 points.  Following in order were John (23), Doug (20), Mike (10), Rodney (9).  We then broke into two groups.  One group -- Tim, Eugene, Patrick and Jay -- played Serenissima, which Patrick had brought.  The game didn't quite finish, I believe they scored after 6 of 8 turns with Jay (32) the winner, ahead of Patrick (28), Eugene (22) and Tim (15).

The rest of us got in two more games.  One was Slapshot, which was a four-player:  Mike, Doug, Rodney and myself.  Everyone went after Doug's team as it was perceived to be the weakest, until Doug started winning some games and became a threat to make the playoffs.  Rodney's team got off to a strong start and led the way into the playoffs.  I managed to take second and then defeated Rodney's team to take the Stanley Cup!  Good comeback by Doug to be competitive after a miserable start.

We also played Lords of Waterdeep, joined by Rembert to make this one a five-player.  Rodney led most of the way, and he had the most buildings, but somehow I came from behind in the end to win a very close game with Mike and Rodney right behind.  Final scores were:  John 97, Mike 94, Rodney 93, Doug 79, Rembert 75.

Thanks to Rodney, the Laurel Middle Earth host and Mike, the Laurel CC co-host, and everyone else who participated -- including Laurel club attendees (current and past) Eric, Ryan, Nathan, Mary Jean and Sarah -- we had a very successful outing at the Laurel Main Street Festival.  Just learned that there will be a similar event this coming Sunday at the Beltsville Community Center, it's called Beltsville Day, from 12 noon  to 5 PM.  I believe this time the games club will be set up indoors, a good thing if there's bad weather.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 3, 2012 Session Report

We had a really good attendance of 11 for this most recent session, including one first-time attendee (Matthew) along with Doug, Neville, Alex, Mike, Jay, Tim, Patrick, Eric, Rembert and myself.  Games played were:  Martian Dice, Lords of Waterdeep, Tikal, Racko, Quarriors and Tsuro (x2).

The Martian Dice game, which was on-going when I arrived, was won by Alex.  We then split into two groups for two longer games:  Lords of Waterdeep and Tikal.  Lords of Waterdeep was a five-player, with Alex nosing out Mike for the win.  Final scores:  Alex 123, Mike 116, John 98, Doug 81, Neville 80.  Neville had jumped to an early lead but faded near the end.

The Tikal game was won by Eric, but the scores were close:  Eric 107, Jay and Patrick 100, Tim 88.  This same group played two games of Tsuro, both won by Eric, which means Eric went unbeaten for the night.

Rembert and Nathan arrived while Lords of Waterdeep and Tikal were on-going, and they hooked up in a really old game, Racko, which Nathan won.  The final game for this table was a four-player Quarriors game, which was won by Matthew, with John, Alex and Neville as the other players, which meant Matthew went undefeated for the evening.

Doug, Mike and Rembert played another game, I believe it was a second game of Racko, not 100% sure. But I did have the final scores as Doug 375, Mike 360, Rembert 335.  Very close game, I guess I was focused on Quarriors.

Anyway, this coming Saturday will be the Laurel Main Street Festival.   Rodney, who is the host for the other Laurel location (Laurel-Middle Earth) and I will be running a booth for GCOM.  The event lasts from 9 AM to 4 PM and our booth location (512 - B and C) will be situation on the South Side of Main Street, near 5th street, in front of the Laurel Playhouse and the Cork and Bottle (formerly Highs).  We will be handing out club flyers and introducing new people to board games.   Stop in and join us!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Info re. Laurel - Middle Earth location

I should mention that there is now a second games club in Laurel!  The host is Rodney Bacigalupo, and the next meeting will be this Sunday afternoon.  Here is the webpage with all the details:

April 26, 2012 Session Report

This particular session conflcited with Game Days, and I later learned that at least four of our regular and semi-regular attendees (namely Doug, Eric, Greg and Jay) were at Game Days.  So, our overall attendance was just five (Alex, Mike, Patrick, Rembert and myself).  This meant we had just one table going, with two games being played.

First game was Power Grid: First Sparks which has been played quite a bit recently.  The winner was Mike with 13, followed by Alex 11, John 11, Rembert 10 and Patrick 9.  Alex beat me for second on the "most food" tiebreaker but was foiled by the rule that limits you to five cities per build, otherwise he might have had a shot to catch Mike.

The other game was a long-time club favorite, Vegas Showdown.  I am thinking it may have been the first play for Alex as I recall having to teach the rules.  Unfortunately, we didn't finish although one stack ran out.  We scored as if the game had finished, with a couple of us (notably Mike and I) having altered our strategy just to try to get the game in.  Partial scores showed a close game, with Patrick ahead (32) of John and Alex (31), Roland (26) and then Mike (22).

A friendly reminder -- a week from Saturday, i.e., the second Saturday in May -- May 12 I believe is the date -- GCOM will be renting a booth at the Laurel Main Street Festival.  Rodney and I will be there promoting the state-wide organization as well as the two local clubs in Laurel.  The Main St. festival is a huge, open-air event held every year, sponsored by the Laurel Board of Trade, here is a blurb from their website about this year's event:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 19, 2012 Session Report

Eight for this session, with Alex, Doug, Rodney, Jay, Patrick, Neville, Rembert and myself in attendance. Jay had just bought Eclipse, one of the "hot" recent games, and was eager to give it a try. Patrick, Neville and Rembert joined in, and the report I got was that the game did not finish. Patrick was reportedly winning after about six of nine turns, with Rembert in second. Jay claimed to have a great long-term strategy that was going to take effect some time.

The rest of us played some shorter games. First up was Martian Dice, which turned out to be a win for Alex in a very close, tense and fairly low-scoring contest. Final scores: Alex 23, John 16, Doug 15, Rodney 13. (We played to 20 instead of the 25 in the rules, in order to get more games in.)

Rodney had brought Power Grid: First Sparks, which was the next game played. It was another nail-biter at the end. Going into what Rodney said would surely be the last turn, both he and Doug were at 11, two short of the endgame condition. But then the two of them were unable to add more than one to their tribe. I, too, was stuck at 12, but Alex moved up from last to first, winning with 13. Rodney won the tiebreak (most remaining food) for second.

Alex took his leave at this point, but Rodney, Doug and I still had time to get two more games in. Planes, Trains and Automobiles proved to be a bit more confrontational in the early going, as the nasty cards flew back and forth. In the end, Rodney was first, getting the necessary 7 destinations for the win. Doug (with 6) was a close second. I had 4, making me a distant third and last. We wrapped up the evening with Volcanic Disaster, which Doug had brought. Barely managed to finish, with Rodney completing five volcanos worth around 20 points. Doug had a negative score, I was barely positive, but there was alot of back and forth jockeying earlier in the game.

Next week is Game Days, which starts on Thursday the 26th. I plan to be at the Club Thursday night as usual but then will be at Game Days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hope to see you there.

Game Days information:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 12, 2012 Session Report

Nine for this session, attendees were Rodney, Alex, Jay, Mike, Neville, Doug H, Greg, Rembert and myself.

We played a short warm-up game, Resistance, that went the way of the "bad guys" (Jay, Greg and myself) with one round left to go as Jay did an expert job of reeling the other guys end by letting the first mission succeed and then pointing the finger at a couple of other players who really were "good guys." Everyone else but Rembert participated as this was an eight-player game.

We then split into two groups for the two main games of the evening, which were two recent releases that both used a worker placement mechanism: Lords of Waterdeep and the Manhattan Project. Lords of Waterdeep had five players, final score counts were Doug 148, Mike 133, Alex 127, Jay 121, Rodney 103. Mike's comments on the game: "All players considered it a fun worker placement game; good to teach the mechanism to new players." According to Mike, Doug says "best game ever."

The rest of us played the Manhattan Project, where you are racing to a specific points goal by hiring scientists, engineers, contractors to build bombs, while also obtaining uranium yellowcake and turning it into plutonium or uranium fuel. Greg won this game after Neville seemed to be off to a good start. Greg attacked my position earlier and then coasted to victory; my bombs touched up his bomb-producing ability a couple of turns too late.

In the 20 minutes or so left in the session, we played a quick six-player game of Tsuro, which was won by Jay who I believe was playing the game for the first time. Rodney, Doug, Greg, Rembert and I were the other five players.

In the days since last week's session, I noticed a couple of BGG posts comparing these two games, see links below, indicating once again that the Laurel Club is on the cutting edge of gaming these days.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 5, 2012 Session Report

Sorry for being a little late with the session report from last week. We had an attendance of eight (Neville, Greg, Patrick, Mike, Doug, Jay, Rembert and myself). Two games were played and, unfortunately, both took the entire session time and neither game finished.

Patrick, Doug, Neville and I played Vinhos, a game Patrick had bought recently that was a favorite of mine from last year's Essen releases. However, the game has a number of very intricate rules, and it takes awhile to see how everything fits together. We managed to get through five of six turns and two of the three wine fair competitions, and then scored the game as if it had ended. Doug was ahead at that point, but everyone seemed to think that, with another turn, Neville (who had won both the wine fair competitions) was in a good position to win after another turn.

Poseidon was the other game. We've played it before, and it's a tight fit to get it done in three hours. Greg, Mike, Jay and Rembert were the players; only Greg and Mike had played before so it was a learning curve for Jay and Rembert. Sorry, I didn't get a report on who was ahead or who was winning from the participants.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March 29, 2012 Session Report

We had a total attendance of eight for this session: Greg, Mike, Patrick, Jay, Eugene, Rembert, Alex and myself were the attendees. Three games were played: Martian Dice, Empire Builder and a new game (courtesy of Patrick) called Dark Horse.

Martian Dice was the warm-up game played while waiting for more people to arrive. We played two rounds with six players. Patrick scored 10 on his first set of rolls, then 6 on his second. Eugene was second at 7. Greg and Mike each had 5. Jay and I failed to score.

We then split into two groups. Greg, Mike, Alex and Rembert played Empire Builder. Unfortunately, the game did not finish. According to Mike, Greg and Alex had established good routes while Rembert had a poor start and was hurting for funds.

Patrick, Jay, Eugene and I played Dark Horse. It was a worker placement game using dice that reminded me alot of Kingsburg. The setting is the Wild West and you are trying to develop settlements and towns (a la Settlers) by connecting them to each other and worthwhile resources. I found the game to be quite interesting and challenging. The final scores were close, but Patrick prevailed: Patrick 15, Jay 13, John 12, Eugene 11.

Hope to see everyone at the next session.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 22, 2012 Session Report

Eight for tonight's session, including one first-time attendee. Patrick, Jay, Mike, Doug, Greg, Rembert, Adam (the first-timer) and myself were in attendance. Games played: Timeline, Vegas Showdown, Drum Roll and San Juan.

Timeline was our warm-up game and was won by Mike, with "Black Powder" being the winning card. Greg was second, Patrick third and surprisingly, Doug (who is our club expert at these sort of games) was a non-place. Alot of the "educated guesses" were off by a year or two, which made for an interesting game. Jay and myself rounded out the group as we had six for this one.

We split into two groups, and Adam and Rembert joined us. One group played Vegas Showdown, a long-time club favorite. This game was won by Greg, but it was a close one. Final scores: Greg 60, Adam 56, Mike and Jay 46, Rembert 41. I believe it was Adam's first play of the game, and he came home a creditable second.

Meanwhile, Patrick, Doug and I tackled Drum Roll, a fall 2011 Essen release which is about managing a circus. I had played just once before, first time for Doug and Patrick. The game moved slowly at first but picked up after people had mastered the mechanics. The strategy was another question. Patrick had done a good job getting money and collecting cubes with alot of bonus "Investor" cards. But Doug had done a solid job selling tickets for all three shows and emerged the winner, with Patrick a close second. I, obviously, came last, with my excuse being I was the teacher for the game. Hope to try it again soon.

We barely finished the game before the 9 PM witching hour, and the other table, which had started a San Juan game, did not finish. Mike, Jay, Adam and Rembert were the four players, and Mike and Jay had 10 cards down when time ran out.

Hope to see everyone again next week, including a couple of you who have been AWOL for the last session or two.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 15, 2012 Session Report

Getting caught up on these session reports, here's the most recent one.

Another week of double-figure attendance, a total of 12. Present and accounted for were Mike, Jay, Patrick, Rodney, Ron, Kevin, Neville, Doug, Alex, Greg, Rembert and myself. It literally was a three-ring circus as we broke into three groups after starting off with a couple of games of Resistance.

Resistance was played by John, Mike, Greg, Kevin, Jay, Ron, Neville and we added Rembert to the group for the second game. The first game was won by the Government (i.e. the "bad guys" who foiled the missions) who were Greg, Jay and Mike. Ron and I started accusing Neville falsely, then Neville started accusing me and by the time we got it all straightened out, it was too late. The "Good Guys" (the Resistance) won game two, with Ron, Neville and Rembert coming out on the short end).

Alex, Doug, Rodney and Patrick played a Z-Man release, Heads of State, which Patrick had brought. Final scores were Alex 110, Rodney 90, Doug 85, Patrick 32.

Helvetia was played, taught by Mike. Scores in that one were Mike 20, Jay 19, Neville 14 and Kevin 12.

Finally got in a game of Village, one of my new favorites. It was a three-player and we actually cut it short and scored as if the game was over. I won with 54 but Ron (who had already left) was a close second with 52, Rembert had 43. I think Rembert like the game but Ron did not.

Looking forward to continuing our record of strong attendance next week!

March 8, 2012 Session Report

Looks like I am getting a bit behind in posting these session reports.

For Thursday, March 8th, we had 10 gamers in attendance: Kevin (here for his first session), Ron, Neville, Jay (who has now attended three sessions), Mike, Tim, Patrick, Doug, Rembert and myself. We played Last Will, Agricola and Timeline.

Last Will, which I missed out on the first game, is a game with a unique objective: You need to spend all your money, and also sell off all your property, and the player who is most negative wins. The game can last 7 turns, this one ended a turn early (turn 6). Final scores: John -6, Kevin -1, Ron and Neville 3, Mike 7. Lowest negative score (that's me) was the winner, so I ended Neville's streak at one and started a new one for myself that I am sure will end the next time I play.

Agricola was a win for Patrick, who has been itching to play the game for some time. Final scores were Patrick 35, Doug 29, Tim 27, Jay 17.

Those of us in the Last Will game were joined by Rembert for a game of Timeline. I believe I won that one as well, to go undefeated for the evening (a rarity for me).

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 1, 2012 Session Report

Attendance-wise, this was one of our best sessions in a long time. We had 12 people total, including just about all the "regulars" and several recent and sporadic attendess. The list for this week: Patrick, Tim, Mike, John, Doug H, Neville, Greg, Ron, Rembert, Eric, Alex, Jay (back for his third session) and myself.

Started with a game of TransAmerica that broke up after one round. Then, it was literally a three-ring circus as we split into three groups, three games at once, all 4-player. First game to finish was JetSet, won by Greg. Players and scores: Greg 30, Eric 25, Jay 16, Rembert 15. I was in the Helvetia game, and the scores there were Alex 23, Mike 20, John 19, Doug 10 (Mike and I had played once before, Alex and Doug were new to the game). Alex was randomly drawn as the first player, don't know if there's a built-in edge to going first or not, there could be.

The other group played Power Grid-First Sparks, the winner was Patrick (15), followed by Tim 12, Ron 12, Neville 11. The JetSet group was already wrapping up a game of 7 Wonders, scores were Eric and Greg 54 (Eric winning on the tiebreak which is most money), Jay 46, Rembert 31. Then there was another game of TransAmerica, won by Neville, scores were Neville 13, Patrick 6, Eric and Tim 4. Looks like from the scores that Neville won every round, although time ran out before the game could finish.

The rest of us got in a couple of plays of a trivia-line game Doug had brought called Time Line, Greg won the first game, Doug the second. We made Doug go last which was kind of a disadvantage, the second game he still won going next to last.

I was pleased to see the strong attendance, hope we can keep it up. GCOM will once again be running a booth at the Laurel Main St. Festival, Sat. May 12th.

Also, condolences to Patrick who lost his father recently.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 23, 2012 Session Report

This report is courtesy of co-Host Mike Brazinski, who kept track of everything while I was away at PrezCon. Thanks, Mike!

"We had pretty good attendance. Including me, we had Ron, Neville, Greg, Tim, Rembert. Jay returned for a second week. John Schussler, a GCOM regular at other locations, visited our humble club for the first time too!

Before Tim and Rembert arrived, we started with a game of "The Resistance", a game that falls right in between Werewolf and Battlestar Gallactica (okay, more on the Werewolf side.) Greg and I were the Government spies. I was pretty quickly discovered but Greg managed to evade detection and led the spies to victory in the last round.

We then broke into two groups. Neville, Greg, John and I played "Last Will". As this was the first play for all of us, it was a bit rough in the beginning but things started to gel for us as we played. It looked like Greg was going to run away with game but Neville managed to sneak in and pull out the win. The final scores (with the goal being the lowest amount of cash) were Neville with -$12, Greg with $4, John with $9 and yours truly failing to spend, ending up with $24. Now that we figured out the game, we're looking forward to trying again.

The second group (Tim, Jay, Rembert & Ron) played Power Grid with the German map. I was only partially watching that game but as 9pm started to arrive, the game got into a gridlock I've never seen before. It was towards the end of Phase 2 and all four players had 14 cities. No one was able to expand until the Phase 3 card was pulled and the power plants were all low values. The game had to be called. Jay had the most cash on hand as time ran out but I don't think we can really call a winner on that one."

Glad to hear there was good attendance and, even in my absence, someone named John was present. Hope to see everyone this Thursday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 16, 2012 Session Report

Seven in attendance, and a total of four different games were played at this session. Jay (who was attending for the first time) joined club regulars Mike, Doug, Ron, Tim, Rembert and myself.

We started off with a quick game of Cloud Nine. The Gods seemed to be on the side of the balloonists this evening, as there were some fairly successful trips which meant a short game. Winner was Ron (56) followed by John (43), Mike (27), Doug H (22), Jay (19). I made the mistake of bailing out early when in second place, allowing Ron to float a bit higher and cinch the win as everyone else was too far back to catch him.\

Jay had brought Shadow Hunters, which we played with a full table of seven. I got lots of clues but had trouble figuring out who was who right until the end. Doug revealed himself to be a 14-point shadow, but everyone took shots at him. I was a neutral and my victory condition was to take out a high-hit guy, so I went after Mike who was a 14-point hunter because Doug had some defensive ability, but the dice foiled me. Jay, who was revealed as a Shadow, was taken out, and then Mike managed to take out Doug, who was the last remaining Shadow, so the Hunters (Mike and Rembert) won. At least that's what my notes say. In addition to the fact that Tim, by remaining alive until the end, was a winning Neutral.

We split into two groups for the rest of the evening. One group played Puerto Rico, with the new 10th anniversary edition. The four-player game was won by Mike (56) who executed a big shipper strategy with lots of corn, a warehouse, no wharf, but yet he rarely got blocked out of the boats. Jay (49) had three large buildings to place second, while John (39) and Tim (33) brought up the rear. The other game was Roll Through the Ages, and the result there was a very close game, won by Rembert (28), just ahead of Ron (27) with Doug (20) in third. I believe it was Rembert's first play against some experienced players, so well done by Rembert.

Next week I am planning to attend the PrezCon convention in Charlottesville, so Mike (the official Co-Host) will be in charge of tracking attendance and games played.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 9, 2012 Session Report

Seven in attendance for this session: Doug H, Mike, Greg, Neville, Tim, Rembert and myself. We played four games: For Sale, Flash Point, Power Grid-Robots and San Juan.

Started with a quick game of For Sale while waiting for everyone to show. Greg was the winner. Scores: Greg 61K, Doug 55K, John and Neville 45K, Mike 42K.

We then split into two groups. Four of us (Doug, Greg, Neville and myself) played a cooperative game, Flash Point, where the players play the role of firefighters putting out a four-alarm blaze. Neville was the fire captain and had some very bad die rolls, usually hitting a hotspot and spreading more fire rather than putting it out. We lost when the last damage cube was placed after having done a fairly good job rescuing victims.

The other group (Mike, Tim, Rembert) played Power Grid with the Robots expansion. It was played on the Germany map with the robot taking over the role of a dummy fourth player. Didn't get a report on the result, think the game didn't finish in part because the robot made life more difficult for the players.

The Flash Point game finished with about 45 minutes left in the session, so we broke out San Juan. Please to report I was the winner, getting three "6" builds down. Final scores: John 41 Greg 33 Doug 31 Neville 27. It was Neville's first play of this Puerto Rico spin off.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 2, 2012 Session Report

Seven us of attended this session. Roll call: Mike, Doug H, Patrick, Neville, Greg, Rembert and myself. We split into two groups and played a total of three games: Power Grid - First Sparks, Walnut Grove and Expedition Sumatra.

The PG-First Sparks game had four players, and it was won by Doug (13), followed by Greg (11), Rembert (10) and Mike (7). The comments on the game suggest Mike made a fatal error at the beginning that left him hopelessly out of the running. This same group played a second game, Expedition Sumatra, which Doug had brought. Greg won that game by a point. Scores: Greg 18 Mike 17 Doug 13 Rembert 9.

Neville, Patrick and I played Walnut Grove, which Patrick had brought. I had played once before, it was Neville's first time. Scores were fairly close at the end: Patrick 27, Neville 24, John 21. I had got alot of guys early, but Neville and Patrick got going on the bonus tiles and hence that strategy paid off. Patrick claims not to have lost at the game.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 26, 2012 Session Report

There were six of us for this session -- it was Mike, Greg, Neville, Tim, Rembert and myself. We played a quick game of Cloud Nine as a starter, followed by two longer games: Agricola (which Tim had been hoping to play for some time), Power Grid with the new Robots expansion, and finally Lost Cities.

The Cloud Nine game was a four-player as we were hoping for more people to show up. Final scores were Mike 50, Greg 35, Neville 34, John 33. Mike got to 50, bailed out, and waited for the balloon to crash -- which it did. Good strategy there.

The Agricola game was also a four-player, with Tim and I introducing two new players (Neville and Rembert) to the game. We unfortunately were a couple of harvests from finishing, but it was clear that Tim, who had expanded twice early on with one action, was off to a big lead. Neville seemed to pick up the game and was probably second, while Rembert and I were playing catch-up.

Mike and Greg took on the new Power Grid expansion with the Robot as a dummy third player. It was mostly a case of figuring out how to apply the robot special abilities. No word on who won the game, except that the two human players did outperform the robot. Mike and Greg played a couple of hands of Lost Cities after that, which ended with a big margin in Greg's favor after Mike went negative on hand #2 after trying to close a fairly solid lead that Greg had from the initial hand.

Missed some folks this week, hope to see more of you next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 19, 2012 Session Report

Eight of us attended this week: Mike, Neville, Eric, Doug H, Patrick, Tim, Rembert and myself. We played Cloud Nine, Core Worlds and Sodbusters, the last two games running overtime.

Cloud Nine was a warmup game consisting of the first five people who showed. The final scores were John 57 Eric 54 Doug 50 Mike 48 Neville 35. Doug was the first to hit the 50 mark, but in the same balloon trip, Eric passed him, then I passed Eric right before the balloon crashed.

The Sodbusters game was Patrick, Tim and Rembert. Tim won by a wide margin, paying off his mortage fairly early in the game. Rembert was second, with Patrick third, when the game was picked up -- not sure they got through all 20 turns.

Core Worlds was a five-player, the first play for everyone, but we skipped the beginner setup and went with the card draft which took some time which meant finishing on time was going to be a close call. Interestingly, the order of finish mimicked the starting positions, with Mike (who went first) winning. Final scores: Mike 31 Neville 29 John 27 Eric 20 Doug 19.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 12, 2012 Session Report

Attendance was down a bit, but we still had seven which meant two games going for most of the session. Doug, Tim, Patrick, Neville, Greg, Rembert and myself were the attendees and we played a couple of lower games, Steam and the recently released Ora and Labora, plus Rembert and I played a game of Can't Stop while the longer games were going on.

Ora and Labora was the latest game from Uwe Rosenberg, creator of Agricola, Bohnanza and LeHavre, and the game definitely had a LeHavre-like feel to it. Neville, Doug and I were the guinea-pigs for this one, where the players play the role of monks building up the economy in the area around their monastery. It was an extremely close game, final scores were John 174, Neville 172, Doug 164 -- I pulled it out with a nice build and cash-in on the final play although Neville pointed out he could have claimed a tie with a better location for one of his last settlements. I actually thought Doug was winning, that's how close it was.

The other game (Steam) was played by Greg, Patrick and Tim and it, too, was a close finish that came down to the tiebreak. Greg and Tim were tied at 59, Patrick was not far behind at 50. The tiebreak was highest income level, which meant Tim was the winner.

The Can't Stop game turned out to be another come from behind win for me, I got three numbers to the top after Rembert cashed in on the 2 column -- but he didn't get another number the rest of the way, bombing out with some bad rolls at crucial moments.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 5, 2012 Session Report

Apologies for the delay in posting this ...

Got the New Year off to a good start with attendance of ten, which meant two games for most of the evening. Patrick, Doug H, Tim, Mike, Alex, Neville, Greg, Eric, Philip and myself were the attendees. We played five different games: Puerto Rico (with the new 10th anniversary edition, which Patrick had brought), Power Grid, 7 Wonders, Vegas Showdown and Nightfall. Some details follow.

Puerto Rico was a five-player, and it took a bit longer than usual. It was a close three-way battle between the three players with the most experience, and it turned out to be a narrow win for Doug. Scores: Doug 48, John 47, Alex 45, Neville 39, Patrick 37.

The other table opted for a "speed" game of Power Grid (at Greg's request) using the Central Europe board and the New Power Plant deck. The game finished in just a little over an hour and Greg, who requested the quick game, dominated. Final scores: Greg 13 (he built to 17 to secure the win when noone else could power more cities), Tim 12 (74 money), Eric 12 (13 money), Mike 10. Greg even had time to play another short game, so it was the four of them and Philip for a five-player 7 Wonders. Greg won that one, too, with three guilds for a total of 57 points, ahead of Mike (51), Tim (48), Eric (41) and Philip (38). Greg then retired for the evening, after going undefeated.

Final round of games was a five-player Vegas Showdown and a two-player Nightfall, as Alex and Patrick departed. The Nightfall game, brought by Neville, has won by Doug. The Vegas Showdown game was very exciting, as Eric got off to a huge lead but then John gradually clawed his way back, scoring well enough in endgame scoring to take a narrow win. Scores: John 58 Eric 55 Philip 45 Mike 42 Tim 35.

Good turnout for the New Year, let's hope we can keep it up!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December 29, 2011 Session Report

We had a group of five for our final session of 2011: Ron, Mike, Neville, Alex and myself. Started out with a game of Martian Dice. First play for Alex and Ron. Neville and Mike tied at 22, and Mike won the special tiebreaker roll by the low score of 1-0. (Note the tiebreaker is the number of Saucers which are on two of the die faces, each player rolling six dice.)

Second game up was Panic Station. Neville and Ron were the two experienced players, Neville spent most of the game in sick bay. Ron started out as the bad guy, at least that's what most of us suspected, when he went in a Parasite room and unleashed four parasites. Nonetheless, he managed to slip the virus to Alex (who was new to the game) and myself, by cleverly confronting two of our guys on successive moves, figuring out we didn't have two gas cans. Mike had lost his human so it was just a matter of getting to Neville's one remaining guy in sick bay. Neville managed to turn back one of us bad guys, but eventually the three of us ganged up on him, and Mike's force (down to just one guy) wasn't much help.

Final game of the evening was Martian Dice, as we lacked access to any of the shorter playing club games. Final scores: Alex 25, Ron 13, John 12, Mike 9, Neville 5.

Next week I plan to bring a couple of shorter playing games (like Cloud 9 and Cheeky Monkey) just to make sure we have them available if needed.