Saturday, September 30, 2006

Game Night Sept 29, 2006

Friday Sept. 29, 2006
This Friday, we gamed at my place. Jason and Hope Maxwell, Matt Cullinan, Matthew Frederick, Steve Bauer, Dion Gardner and Rob and Tammy Smolka attended. Jason and Hope were the first to arrive, so I pulled out Tumblin Dice, which I knew Jason was interested in trying. Steven arrived shortly after and we all played. Tumblin Dice is something of a dexterity game, in which players push dice shuffleboard-style off a ramp onto platforms. Each platform further down increases the amount the face value of the die is worth (x1,x2,x3,x4). Off course, any die not on the board (forced off or due to your ineptitude) is worth nothing. Though no expert, previous experience and a load of luck let me win. Dion had arrived, so I pulled out Pitchcar and the expansion (action set), which Dion wanted to try. Again, experience with playing helped me pull out a win. By then, Matt had joined us, so Jason pulled out GemBlo for us to play. I've played Blokus many a time, but not this game. While similar, its quite a bit different and take a little getting used to - its definitely not as intuitive as Blokus. I realized early on that there were two big pieces that I wasn't going to get in play and they were the only two I had left in the end. However, Matt had only twol small pieces left for the easy win.
Matthew and Rob and Tammy had arrived, so we ordered some food and broke into two groups. I joined Steve, Tammy, Matthew, and Dion for a first play of Matthew's new Age of Steam map - Ants of Steam. <EDITED> DETAILS SOME OTHER DAY. It only took about three turns to realize we were going to be screwed (no problem - it was a playtest). Matthew upped the deliveries to 3 per turn, which worked out well. Unfortunately, we had already been bidding too much as a few turns later Tammy went bankrupt and Dion hit zero. Steve and I had maxed our credit/shares and were only profitable the last turn of the game. We all seemed to like it and agreeded it probably only needed a few tweaks (that and a slightly different approach to playing than our group normally goes for).
Rob and Tammy left after that, so we all sat down for a game of Citadels. I was between Hope and Steve, Hope was willing to take the King, Steve was not, so I pretty much had bad choices a lot of the game. Not unexpectedly, I was pretty close to last. Even though it was fairly late, everyone felt like getting in a game of Tichu. I teamed with Hope and Matthew. Though the first few hands were good enough for us, the third hand did not look good. I wroted **SCREWED on the scorepad before we started and sure enough, the other team went 1-2-3 to pull ahead. They beats us down again the next hand to go over 500, so we called it a night.

Recent purchases

I bought a few new games recently. First up was Terra Nova. This looks like a light area control game (that's not really the right description - its not like El Grande or San Marcos, more similar to Domaine and Lowenhertz). It was mis-priced for $19 at the local game shop and they gave it to me for that price. The next purchase was Manifest Destiny. I played Age of Renassaince and liked it, but found it to be too long for what it was. This is supposed to be the spiritual sequel that plays in much less time. I'm really interested to see how this plays. I also found a copy of Liberté. I'm a big Martin Wallace fan and have heard good things about this one. In addition, a fellow on the BGG put together a new version of the game map that looks really really nice. I may have to print or mount one of my own. The last purchase was Axis and Allies: Europe. I played a lot of Axis and Allies growing up, and was able to get this version for $10.71 delivered. Even if I play only once or twice, its probably worth it (and of course, it fits my AH/Hasbro games collection). Of course, I've played none of these games. however, if I don't like them, I suppose I can trade them. The list of games I'm willing to trade is shrinking due in part to the large number of math trades I've been in this summer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Online game ending Sept. 26, 2006

Played a game of Samurai on MaBi web with Jason S and Mike G. I've played a number of games with them and I typically get killed. Today I mark my first win in this game (live or online). I don't normally count my online games in my games played list, but this blog is not my games played list, so I'm going to record it :D
Knizia's Samurai keeps climbing my list of favorites. I like it on a table, as the game just looks nice. I enjoy it online as well, because it really plays well in a turned based play-by-web format and doesn't drag on and on. With 4 players, it is a bit chaotic, but even with 3, a string of bad draws can screw you pretty good. That's ok though - its going to be like that with any game with luck. Its the small tactical battles and the ability to screw your opponents that are the fun here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Game night Sept. 22, 2006

Friday Sept. 22, 2006

Friday night was game night for the AZ Boardgamers and the Gamer's Inn. We had also arranged to play a game of Memoir 44 - Overlord style. There were a number of people that were interested in trying this out and really looking forward to it. I started the night out playing a quick game of Schnäppchen Jagd with Noah and his brother Miles. Technically, it was not a real Schnäppchen Jagd deck, but one I put together from two Corsari decks. This is a fun little trick taking game with three players. Miles somehow killed us both. By then, a number of other players had arrived, including Jason S. I had asked Jason for a rematch in Backgammon (he had destroyed me earlier in the year). Backgammon is a classic game that I enjoy a lot, but don't play very often. The first game, I rolled a lot of ones and couldn't get my back pieces out to save my life. The next game, I rolled a lot of sixes, but most of the time it didn't matter because Jason had blocked out most of those moves. A few more players had rolled in, so we called it a match. Some day I'll give him a decent run. Jason and I joined (or were joined by) Steve, Scott, Rich, and Rob for a game of Power Grid (specifically Funkenschlag Atolla Modulis). I brought out my boards and we set about creating a nice map. I picked an area that I thought would give me good chances to get to 14 cities, but that also didn't look attractive enough that I'd have to fight with too many others. I put myself in good position throughout the game, but made a mistake in ending up with three coal plants and spent too much for resources to afford to build to 15 cities. Steve, who had the good fortune of picking the cheapest spot on the board, and competing against Rich (who has only played a couple time) meant that he was able to power 15 cities easily.

After a short break, it was on to the main event - Overlord Memoir 44. The teams were: Axis - Jason S (Supreme Commander), Matthew, Rob, and Bobby, Allies - Jason M (Supreme Commander), Dion, myself, and Matt. We sat down, layed out the game and went over the rules. Three of us (myself, Matt Cullinan and Matthew) were new to the game, and nobody had played the Overlord version. But, most of us were familiar enough with the system that we were able to jump right in. It ended being a pretty tight game. Both sides had a bad string of dice rolls just when it would have let us put the game out of reach. Fortune was smiling on the Allies this night though, as Jason M managed to get a large number of good cards that let us pull ahead at the end. Everyone agreed that the game had been quite fun and we all vowed to do this again.

After sorting the two games back into two games, we sat down for a quick game of Bang!. Playing were Scott, Jason S, Jason M, Matt, Matthew, Dion, and myself. Turned out to be far quicker game than anyone thought. I ended up as sheriff, and within a couple turns, Jason S (as Billy the Kid) opened up with his volcanic ability and took me right out. Given how fast that game was, we opted for another fast card game to end the night - Frank's Zoo in partnerships. My first hand was a good indicator of how the game was to go - I had two mosquitos, no elephants and a lot of crappy singles. Thankfully, the game ended after 3-4 hands.

Game night Sept. 21, 2006

Thursday Sept. 21, 2006

My friend Dion Gardner stopped over as it was my wife's turn to host her Bunco group. We closed ourselves off in my den and settled down to a few games. Dion has been trying to play all the games in top 100 of the BGG, so we started the night off with a game of Carcassonne: The Castle. This is not only a great two player game, but one of my Top 10 games. Dion started building a huge mansion, which I warned him would be hard to finish. Somehow though, he managed to complete it halfway through the game. However, I managed to grab a huge number of bonus tiles and was able to put the game out of reach. Next, I introduced him to a light two player game that I like - Fjords. We only played one round to give him a feeling for the game. He seemed to enjoy it, so I'll probably try to get it out again for us sometime. To finish the night, I pulled out Battle Cry and we quickly setup the first of the senarios. I've only setup and played the game solo before, so it was basically a first game for us both. The game played quickly and the Confederates (my side) pulled out the win. We didn't have time to reverse the field, or I'm pretty sure Dion would have had similar results. We talked about the differences with Battle Cry and Memoir 44 and we resolved to both bring our Memoir games to the next Friday night game night in order to try for an overlord game.