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.