Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 11, 2007

Five people, including two newcomers, played six games.

  • Battlelore - John and Brendan, both new to GCOM Glen Burnie although Brendan has been to the Salisbury location, played a game of Battlelore. I don’t have any details on the game, but John won.
  • Yinsh - Phil and I played a game of Yinsh. Phil achieved his first row of five quite early. A bit later in the game, I had a choice of getting my first row of five, and letting Phil get his second, or of stopping Phil from getting his second. I chose to take my first row. After some tough maneuvering, I was able to get my second and third rows before Phil got his third, winning me the game.
  • Fibonacci - this is one of my favorite two-player abstracts. Phil and I played two games. In the first game, I crushed Phil pretty quickly. The second game was a long, hard-fought game, in which Phil was eventually victorious.
  • Hive - Phil and I played a quick game of Hive, which I won.
  • That’s Life! - Eli joined Phil and me for a game of That’s Life! Phil crushed us both with 48(!) points, to my 7 and Eli’s 6.
  • Kanaloa - After Battlelore, Brendan had to leave, but John joined Phil, Eli, and myself for a game of Kanaloa. John seemed to be doing quite well early in the first round, as Phil, Eli, and I all picked on each other. It didn’t last, however, as Eli surged near the end of the round. The first round ended with Eli in the lead at 10, me in second place with 5, John with 4, and Phil shut out. Eli continued to dominate the first part of the second round, but we all worked to bring him down. With his last move, John caused Eli to lose control of his last four islands, shutting Eli out of the second round scoring. I won with 15, Eli and John were tied for second with 10, and Phil had 5.

The fourth Tuesday of this month is Christmas, so our next session won’t be until January 8. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November 27, 2007

Seven people played seven different games tonight.

  • Chateau Roquefort (Burg Appenzell) - Played by Hal, Phil, and myself. This is a cute game about mice searching an abandoned castle for cheese. Each player controls four mice, and starts the game with one of his four mice on the board. Rooftops block the view of most of the board. On a turn, a player has four actions. He can choose from 1) peeking under a rooftop, 2) moving a mouse one space, 3) adding a mouse to an unoccupied corner space, or 4) shifting one row or column of the tiles that make up the game board. Most of the tiles are printed with one of several types of cheese, some of the tiles are just blank, and a few of the tiles have holes in them. If a player can get two of his mice on tiles with a matching type of cheese, the player gets a marker for that type of cheese. In the standard game, collecting four different types of cheeses wins. If a player shifts the tiles so that a hole moves under one of the mice, that mouse drops through the floor and out of the game. If a player gets down to one mouse, the game ends, and the player with the most types of cheese (excluding the player down to one mouse) wins. Phil won by getting 4 types of cheese.
  • Kanaloa - This is a four player version of the two-player game Kahuna. The board consists of 16 islands, each island with 3, 5, or 7 places to place a bridge. Players play cards to place bridges to connect islands. If a player controls a majority of bridges to an island, he takes control of that island, and kicks off all bridges belonging to other players. The game is played in two rounds, and at the end of each round, players score one point for each island they control, plus one point for each bridge space to that island that they don’t control (so you score maximum points by just barely maintaining your majority of bridges). Phil had a huge lead at the end of the first round, with me in second, and Hal in third with no points at all. In the second round, Hal made a huge come-back, while I continued my middling performance, and Phil really got hammered. Phil still managed to win by a narrow margin. Final scores were Phil 22, Eric 18, Hal 16.
  • Poison - Played by Lance, Joey, Tim, and Katie. This time they played by the correct rules. Lance won.
  • Mmm... Brains - Played by Lance, Joey, Tim, and Katie. Lance won.
  • Phoenix - Phil had to leave after Kanaloa, so Hal and I played Phoenix. Hal finished first in the first and third rounds, while I finished first in the second round. Final score was Hal 23, Eric 19.
  • Munckin Cthulhu - Played by Lance, Joey, Tim, and Katie. With Lance and Tim already cultists, Katie lost a fight with a monster that turned her into a cultist, giving Joey the win as the only non-cultist.
  • Fibonacci - Hal and I played two games of this great, but relatively unknown, two-player abstract. I won the first game, and Hal won the second.

Our next session will be December 11.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

November 13, 2007

Nine people played four games.

  • Before the Wind - I introduced this game to Eli and Phil. This is a card game where the players take on the roles of merchants, trying to obtain and ship various goods for victory points. This is a three step process: the player has to get the goods into his hand, then move the goods to his warehouse, and then move the goods to one or more ships according to the demand of each ship. A certain number of ship cards, each with a demand for goods and a number of victory points, are dealt out face up. There are three action card decks, each deck corresponding to one of the three steps. The start player flips three action cards face up, and then chooses one. The other players may then offer bids for that card, or pass in the hopes of getting one of the other action cards. The start player can either accept one of the bids, taking the money and giving the action card to the bidding player, or he can pay one of the bidding players the amount of his or her bid and keep the card for himself. Then, the next player who has yet to get a card or money chooses from the remaining cards. The process repeats until all players receive either cards or money. Players then execute their action cards in turn. Once players have filled the demands of a certain number of ships, the round ends, and players may lose some of their goods due to spoilage. Then new ship cards are dealt out, and a new round begins. The game ends when one player reaches 50 points. I took an early lead in the first round by concentrating on the larger ships. Both Phil and Eli caught up in the second round, but I was able to pull ahead again in the third round and win the game. Scores were Eric 57, Eli 53, and Phil 47.
  • Munchkin Cthulhu - Lance, Joey, Diana, Brian, and Tim played Munchkin Cthulhu. Lance won.
  • Hive - Phil had to leave after Before the Wind, so Eli and I played two games of Hive (see the session report for 9/11/07). I won the first, while Eli won the second.
  • Bushwhackin’ Varmints out of Sergio’s Butte - played by Joey, Brian, Diana, Tim, Katie, and myself. This is one of Z-Man’s series of B-movie card games that started with Grave Robbers from Outer Space. Players can add characters, props, or locations to their own movies, or attack the movies of others. The player with the most points in front of them when the “Roll the Credits” card is played, or when the deck runs out, is the winner. We each spent far more effort in attacking each others movies than we did in building our own. Diana emerged victorious.

Our next session is November 27.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23, 2007

Our next session will be on November 13.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October 9, 2007

Ten people played four games tonight.

  • Sequence - Phil and I played a quick game while waiting for the others to show up. I won an easy victory, completing my two sequences before Phil completed any.
  • Vegas Showdown - Hal, Eli, and Jennifer joined Phil and me for a five player game of Vegas Showdown. This was a first time for Phil, Eli, and Jennifer. Phil and Eli were the front runners early in the game, with me bringing up the rear. Phil was able to get a nightclub early on, which gave him a substantial lead. The scores evened up somewhat as the game progressed. Right near the end of the game, the theater came up, and I was the only person with enough money to buy it; the 12 points gave me the victory. Final scores were Eric 53, Phil 49, Jennifer 48, Eli 45, and Hal 38. All three new players did quite well.
  • Munchkin - Diana, Lance, Joey, and Katie played Muchkin with the Munchkin Dice expansion. Lance won.
  • Quiddler - Pete joined Hal, Eli, Jennifer, Phil, and me in a game of Quiddler. We only had time for 4 hands. Pete held the lead the first three hands. Jennifer and I trailed most of the game. I was dealt all vowels twice, and CL, W, X, G, M, I on the fourth hand. Phil scored a longest word bonus on the last hand with “TOXINS”, which was enough to give him the win. I ended up in last place with a barely positive score.

Our next session will be on October 23.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September 25, 2007

Only three people tonight: Phil, Eli, and myself. We played two games.

  • Infernal Contraption - This is a humorous card game for two to four players. The deck consists of contraptions, upgrades, consumables, and power sources. Each player gets a power core to start. The deck is then divided up equally between the players, so each player has his own draw pile (called a “parts pile”). Each player then draws an initial hand of cards from his parts pile. On each player’s turn, the player gets a chance to add parts to his or her machine by playing cards from the hand. Then the machine is aimed at an opponent and activated, and each part is evaluated in order. Contraptions do things like take cards from the opponent’s hand or parts pile, or give the player parts from the “scrap pile” (discard pile), or remove parts from the opponent’s machine. Upgrades make adjacent contraptions more powerful. Consumables are powerful one-use-only cards. Power sources are necessary for other cards to operate. When a player runs out of cards in his parts pile, he is out of the game. The last player remaining wins. Phil built a machine with a contraption that stole one card from the opponent’s parts pile, and added that card to his parts pile; he then attached three x2 upgrades, so he was taking 8 cards a turn! This gave Phil the lead early in the game. Both Eli and I attacked Phil. Phil concentrated on me, and eventually ran my parts pile out. But, Eli was able to take Phil out, and won the game.
  • Wiz War - This is an old favorite (from 1983) in which each player is a wizard, running around a dungeon, trying to steal treasures from the other wizards. Each player has a hand of spell cards to use against the other players. Early on, it looked like it was going to be an easy win for Phil. But then I played “Swap Home Bases” on Phil, and turned the tide in my favor. Eli set up Booby Traps to stop me, but to no avail. I created a skeleton, and sent it through the traps, and then walked onto my home base (formerly Phil’s home base), dropped my second treasure, and won.
Our next session will be on October 9.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

Tonight, it was just Hal and I, so we played several two player games.

  • Phoenix - Hal won the first two rounds. I made a bit of a comeback in the third round, but it wasn’t enough. Hal won 18 to 17.
  • Hive - This is an abstract strategy game with no board. The pieces are bakelite hexagons with insects painted on them. Each type of insect has a different move. The object is to surround your opponent’s queen bee. This was the first time Hal had played. We played two games; I won both, but the second game was much closer than the first.
  • Octi - Another abstract strategy game. In this one, each turn you choose between moving one of your pieces, or making one of your pieces more powerful. The rules list several different variations of the game, depending on how complex you want it to be. We played the “fast” game twice. Hal won both times.
  • Fibonacci - And yet another abstract strategy game. You move your pieces around the board in amoeba-like groups, trying to surround your opponent’s center piece. This is one of my favorite abstract strategy games, but it doesn’t seem to attract much notice. Hal and I played twice; I won both times.
  • Tantrix - And still another abstract strategy game! This game also has pieces that are bakelite hexagons, and does not require a board. Each piece has three line segments on it, each line segment is in a different color (there are four colors total). Players place pieces trying to make the longest possible line or biggest possible loop in their chosen colors. At the end of the game, each player scores the one line or loop that would give the most points. Hal won 17 to 13.
Our next session is on September 25. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28, 2007

Eight people played three different games tonight.

  • Power Grid - played by Eli, Pete, Adam, Phil, and myself. We played on the U.S.A. map. Adam tried running on all environmental plants for a while. I held a monopoly on garbage plants throughout most of the game. During what turned out to be the second to last turn, Pete bought a little too much coal, and ended up missing out on the win because he was a couple of electros short of building into his 15th city. Eli won on the next turn. Final scores: Eli 15 (won on cash), Pete 15, Adam 14, Phil 14, Eric 13.
  • Munchkin Bites - Lance, Katie, and Joey. Joey won.
  • Poison - Lance, Katie, and Joey. They played by a slightly incorrect version of the rules (they weren’t leaving the card just played in the pot when it went over 13). Lance won.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007

Seven people played four different games tonight.

  • Thebes - Played by Gabe, Hal, Philip, and myself. This is a light board game where players take the role of archaeologists in the early 1900s. Players must divide their limited time between gaining knowledge, equipment, and assistants in Europe, putting on exhibitions and giving talks, and going to several historic sites to excavate. Gabe won with 57, Philip had 44, I had 43, and Hal had 41. I had played this several times at WBC, but it was a first playing for everyone else.
  • Infernal Contraption - Played by Tim, Brian, and Joey. Joey won.
  • Unspeakable Words - Played by Tim, Brian, and Joey. This is a Cthulhu-themed card-based word game, where after a player forms a word, he has to roll a 20-sided die to see if he loses some of his sanity. They played two games. Tim won the first game by default, when both Joey and Brian went completely insane. The second game was won by Brian, when he reached the goal of 100 points.
  • Qwirkle - Played by Gabe, Hal, and Eric. I held the lead during the first half of the game, but then Hal passed me, and stayed in the lead for the rest of the game. Hal won with 156, I had 137, and Gabe had 119.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24, 2007

Nine people played seven games.

  • Hive - Eric (won), Gabe
  • Phoenix - Gabe 23, Eric 10
  • Qwirkle - Eric (won), Gabe, Hal
  • Munchkin (with all 5 expansions) - Lance (won), Diana, Tim, Brian, Joey
  • RoboRally - Gabe (won), Eric, Hal, Phil. Played on the Whirlpool board, with two flags on conveyor belts. Gabe managed to hit both flags in one turn!
  • Poison - Gabe (won), Eric, Hal
  • Quiddler - Gabe 189, Eric 156, Hal 132. We played six rounds (the standard game is eight rounds) before we ran out of time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 10, 2007

Tonight’s session had eight people.

  • Caylus Magna Carta: Hal taught this to Phil, Rush, and me. This is a card game based on Caylus, and it plays faster while retaining much of the feel of the original. It was a fairly close game: Hal and Phil tied at 46, Rush had 43, and I had 40.

  • Super Munchkin: Lance (won), Diana, Joe, Katie

  • Pirate’s Dice: Lance, Diana, Joe, Katie. Several games were played.

  • TransAmerica with the Vexation expansion: Rush (won), Hal, Phil, Eric. Hal’s train went off the edge in the second round.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26, 2007

Tonight, we had nine people play six different games:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 12, 2007

The first person to arrive after me was Jamie. Jamie and I played a game of Split, which Jamie won. Then Tim joined us for a game of Aquarius, which Jamie also won. The three of us started a game of Bohnanza. Jamie won with 22, Tim had 19, and I had 18. While we were playing Bohnanza, Diana, Lance, Joey, Brian, and Katie played several games of Pirate’s Dice.

Rush and Phil arrived, and along with Jamie and I, played a game of Fluxx. The game ended when Phil was forced to play a card that gave Rush the win. Meanwhile, Tim, Diana, Joey, Katie, Brian, and Michael started a game of Run for Your Life, Candyman! with real gingerbread cookies. Cookie carnage ensued, and Katie reached the finish line first, with nothing left of her gingerbread man except its two arms, each one down to one hit point. Phil and Jamie left after Fluxx, and Rush and I played a game of Sequence, which I won.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007

Phil, Derek, and I started with a game of Domaine. This was Derek’s first game of Domaine, but he jumped to an early lead, as Phil and I battled over one of the corners. Eventually, Phil and I stopped picking on each other and went after Derek. We brought him down, but then Phil started to pull ahead, and eventually won the game with a commanding lead.

Next, we had just started to play Lord of the Fries, when a new person, Rush, joined us, so we dealt him in. We only played one round, which Derek won.

We then played several hands of Category 5. I do not remember who won.

Phil left, and Rush, Derek, and I played a quick game of Guillotine, which Derek won.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May 8, 2007

We had one new-comer this session, Ed. Ed was already there when I got there. He and I played a game of Yinsh, which he won, and then a game of PĆ¼nct, which I won.

By this time, Phil arrived, and the three of us played a game of Domaine. I concentrated on one region, and pretty much dominated the game. Phil tried to fight back from the center of the board, but by the time he got his central region closed, my one large region surrounded it on three sides, and I immediately played an alliance card, which pretty much doomed Phil. Ed was in third most of the game, but to be fair, it was his first playing, and I don’t think he quite “got it” until near the end.

Hal arrived, and the four of us played Masons. All four of us were extremely reluctant to give anyone else an opportunity to form a city. As a result, there was a lot of stuff on the board when the first city was finally formed, and I jumped to an early lead by scoring 27 points on it. I rapidly fell behind, however, and Phil held the lead for most of the rest of the game, and was the winner.

We then played Guillotine, which Hal won with 29 points.