Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 20, 2014 Session Report

Much of last week's snow having melted, this week we were back in session, with a total of six in attendance:  Mike, Doug, John B, Neville, Rembert and myself.  We played a total of five different games:  :Love Letter (twice), Maori, Power Grid:  India, Volcanic Disaster and Cardline:  Animals.

Love Letter was the opener while waiting for people to show, and later on in the session we managed to play a full game.  The first game just lasted one round, was won by Doug with Mike second while the two Johns (John B and myself) were the two losers.  John B's first exposure to the game was a very short one indeed, as he was knocked out without even getting in one play.

We then split into two groups for the rest of the session.  One group (John B, Mike and Neville) played Power Grid, with the new India map.  They added the robot as a fourth player, but it turned out the robot was a weak one, always buying the cheapest plant and only building to capacity.  Someone commented that the Power Plant deck was not well shuffled, meaning the highest numbered plants (42 and above) were the ones randomly excluded.  Despite this turmoil, John B emerged the victor by powering 17, one more than Neville, two more than Mike.  The robot (with 9 cities powered) trailed badly.

The rest of us (Doug, Rembert and myself) played some shorter games.  First, we tried Maori, and this time Rembert ran away with the win, 51 points to 42 for Doug who was second.  I was last with just 30, alot worse than the last game.  Next game for us was a card game called Volcanic Disaster, which Doug had brought that I hadn't seen before.  I had a nice lead until Doug managed to steal my highest scoring Volcano and he won easily, 31 to 13 for Rembert and 6 for yours truly.

I recovered a bit in the next game, Cardline:  Animals, which we played three times, using a different criteris (Weight, Age then Length) each round.  Once again, Rembert was on fire, getting 11 in a row until faltering in the final go-round when we made him go last.  Doug and Rembert tied in the first round (weight), Rembert and I tied in second category (age), going 4-for-4 each time, then I managed to pull out a solo win in the final category (height), going 4-for-5 as we all missed some.  Finally, there was time for a three-player Love Letter, where I managed to blow an early lead, winner being Doug (5) followed by John (4) and Rembert (3).

I plan on being away at the PrezCon convention in Charlottesville next weekend, so look for Mike to fill in.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Gaming This Evening, Thursday, February 13, 2014

Due to the inclement weather, tonight's gaming session is cancelled.  It appears that Prince Georges' County schools are closed, so I suspect that the CC will be closed as well.  Therefore, everyone should stay home and stay safe.  See you next week.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 6, 2014 Session Report

Very strong turnout, total of 11 in attendance this week, which meant two (and occasionally three) games at once throughout the session.  We welcomed to the club for the first time Ben Rosset, who is a published game designer as well as designer of BrewCrafters, which is set for a formal release later this year.  Also back after a long hiatus was Stan Hilinski, who is also a game designer/developer.  Club regulars Ben A, Doug, Karl, Neville, Tim, Rembert, Helen, co-Host Mike and myself rounded out the list of attendees.  We managed to get in a total of six different games:  Love Letter, Mars Needs Mechanics, Cinque Terre, Building the British Royal Navy (one of Ben's prototypes), Agricola and Jamaica.  Some scores and details follow.

Love Letter was the quick filler game while waiting for people to show up.  So, we didn't complete a full game and we actually switched out a couple of players from one round to next.  Doug/Tim won 2 rounds, the rest of us (Mike, the Stan/Karl duo and myself) each won 1 round.

Then we split into two groups.  One group of five played Cinque Terre, which Stan had brought.  Close battle for the win which went to Neville, 137 to 135 for Stan.  Others:  Karl 124, Doug 107, Rembert 63.
Another group played Mars Needs Mechanics, which Mike had brought -- a game which it turned out was designed by Ben Rosset.  Ben showed up in the middle of the game to answer rules questions but strategy tips (which I desperately needed) were few and far between.  Ben A (perhaps because he shared the same first name as the game designer) figured the game out the best, and took the win with 55 while the rest of us were bunched together in a close race for second:  Tim 46 John  46 Mike 45, Tim second on tiebreaker which was fewest components remaining in hand.  The only tip I jotted down from Ben was to keep track of which of the components has already been sold, as those are removed from the game permanently.

For the second round of games, we had three groups.  Ben A and Tim played a two-player Agricola that finished in about an hour, final scores:  Tim 43 Ben 36.  Mike, Helen and I joined Ben R to try his latest prototype, Building the British Royal Navy, a game which Mike and I had tried out a Unpub 4 a few weeks back. Ben had made some revisions that definitely streamlined play.  Although the game didn't make it to the finish line (we only completed three of five rounds), I managed to pull ahead (31 to 21 for Helen, 20 for Mike, 8 for Ben who was obviously focused on getting some feedback on ways to improve the gameplay.  I believe we did come up with some suggestions, particularly with regard to how to apply the tiebreaker system on winning bids, that Ben may subsequently adopt in one form or another.

That leaves Jamaica, a game which Neville had brought.  Since Stan had brought and taught everyone a new game that Neville had won, I guess it was appropriate that Stan came out on top in this game that Neville had brought and taught.  What I don't understand is how the scores worked out to be:  Stan 36, Neville and Rembert 0, Doug -1.  I guess I will have to play the game to find out.

Hope everyone enjoyed the session.  Ben (the game designer) says he hopes to make some future club sessions, I thought it was great that he could come and show us his new creations.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January 30, 2014 Session Report

Ten in attendance this week:  Mike, Patrick, Tim, Neville, Eric, Ryan, Helen, Rembert, Lee (who had been here once before last fall) and myself.  We got in a total of four games:  Suburbia, Ticket to Ride - Netherlands, the Lord of the Rings Card game (the one by Cryptozoic) and For Sale.  Some details follow.

Suburbia was a four-player.  Final scores were Patrick 75, Helen 62, Tim 44 and Rembert 38.
Ticket to Ride with the new Netherlands map was interesting.  You have to pay money to build your routes and you could run out!  In the end, the host/co-host duo dominated, as Mike and I came in 1-2 in a five-player, first play of this one at the club.  Scores:  Mike 229, John 226, Lee 170, Neville 134. Eric 91.

Lord of the Rings card game was won by Lee after I got off to an early lead, killing a bunch of the Enemy cards.  Score count on this one was Lee 45, John 43, Neville 37, Mike 20.

Finally, Eric's son Ryan joined us for For Sale.  Eric was the winner, and I kept up my string of second place finishes.  Scores were Eric 53K, John 49K, Lee and Neville 45K, Mike 41 K, Ryan 33K.

Next week we expect to be joined by Ben Rosset, a noted game designer from the DC area.  He is planning on bringing a prototype of one of his unpublished games, so it promises to be a fun session.