Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dec. 16, 2006 - THEY STOLE MY CAR!

Friday Dec. 15, 2006 - Gamers Inn
I arrived at the Inn around 4:30 with no specific plan, but a desire to try and get in a game of BattleLore and possible either Twilight Struggle or Antike. Before long, we had a group of five or six and Jason Maxwell pulled out Fearsome Floors for all of us. Joining the two of us were Eddie Hinan, Jason Sato, Matt Cullinan, Rich Frangiamore, and Jerry George. When you play with Jason Sato, he isn't in to winning as much as he is in to causing mass havok by getting the monster into everyone. We played the advanced rules and Jason saw to it that this game was no exception - he managed to get the board setup such that the monster wiped 5 or 6 guys out in the first move. Eddie managed to race a couple guys out as the rest of us just scrambled around trying to get the monster to hose each other. Still not a great game for me, but I admit that it can be fun getting the monster to wreak a little havok.

At this point, we broke up a bit and Jason Sato and I sat down to play BattleLore. Jason is an old wargamer, so I knew he wouldn't have much trouble picking the game up. He asked to throw it all at him, so we played a scenario with all (most) of the trappings. Unfortunately for Jason, the dice were not his friends. He rolled a lot of misses early on and to top that off, almost all his cards were on his right flank, limiting his choices. A slight bit of experience (very slight) and a run of bad luck for Jason helped me to a 5-3 win.

Next up, Jason Maxwell and I setup Twilight Struggle, which Jason was interested in give a try. The rules are actually fairly straight forward, so in no time we started playing with Jason as the USSR and me as the US. Now, I really enjoy this Cold War game - the theme fits in so well and it plays out a lot like history (the early war is in favor of the USSR, the focus shifts throughout the game, there are times when things are on the brink of losing for a player, etc). I know some other folks dislike the luck factor of the cards and dice, but it doesn't really bother me here. It bothered Jason this particular time. Jason was playing the USSR, because its typically easier for the USSR player the first time through - its harder to really screw up. However, luck was on my side, as my initial hand was devistatingly good for the US and Jason's was mediocre at best. Throughout the first three turns, I had good cards - which turned out to be good news for me, as I could not stop Jason from pushing to within a couple points of disaster for the US. However, about turn 5, I crushed Jason. I was able to play a card, Bear Trap, which forced Jason to discard a card and roll a die. If he rolled a 5 or 6, he had to keep repeating the action each action phase. The card worked TOO WELL, as Jason ended up rolling 5's and 6's until his hand was gone - essentially giving me a free turn to do as I wanted. I couple turns later I had a 13 point lead and had a card that allowed me to end the game with a US victory. We both agreed that the card (and its USSR match) are a bit unbalanced and turn up the unfair luck factor too much. However, this playing did confirm that we will probably start playing over VASSAL, which seems to be the perfect vehicle for this game.

Some other folks were 20-25 minutes from the end of their game, so Jason and I raced through setting up a Command & Colors:Ancients scenario. While it looked to be a bit unbalanced at the start, a crappy hand of cards for me and an excellent set for Jason made the early game look like this would be more than a fair fight. After advancing nearly his whole army, we finally clashed. Back and forth it went, until we were both exposed. I was able to grab the last point before Jason though, thus securing a 6-5 win.

It was getting late, so Jason Maxwell, Jason Sato, Matt and I were joined by Miles Antwiller for a wrapup game of Landlord. This was a card game I had never heard of before. Turned out that this was a total TAKE THAT! game, and was actually pretty fun. To bad for me, I got thrown in Jail for two turns (for bombing a building) and it pretty much took me out of the running. No biggie, as it was pretty fun.

Now, the interesting part of the night. Jason and I headed out to our cars, so he could unload all his Heroscape stuff on me (we are doing a trade). As we get outside, he asked where I had parked, so he could figure out if he had to truck the stuff all over the lot to my car. The thing was, I couldn't find my car. Now, given how scatterbrained I can be, I started wondering what the hell was going on. I own the car, so it wasn't going to be repo'd. Stephanie wouldn't have taken it without telling me (since she had the kids). Plus, I always park pretty much in the exact same spot. BUT DAMNIT, MY CAR WAS NOT THERE. I turned and put my armload of games on Jason's car and told him my car was gone. He said, "Seriously?" - turns out, that has been the most common reaction when I tell people. Now, given my retardedness, he starts asking if I'm sure I parked where I thought I did. Unsure of myself a little (I mean, why wouldn't my car be where I thought it should be?) - I start walking the parking lot. Its like 12:15AM at this point, and there are only like 3 small groups of cars, so it doesn't take long to realize that my car really is missing. At that point, I call my wife, who asks if I'm coming home soon. I explain that I am not, since I don't seem to have a car anymore.


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