Friday, May 25, 2007

May 24, 2007 - Samurai

Finished a 3-player game on MaBiWeb with Matthew Frederick and newcomer Tammy Smolka. This game played out fairly straight forward, though Tammy didn't play overly aggressively - leaving Matthew and I to attack each other. Near the end of the game, Matthew made a swap which allowed me to grab the last of the hat pieces and end the game.

Final scores: (majorities - other - total)
Matthew : 1 - 4 - 8
Charles: 1 - 5 - 8
Tammy: 0 - 5 - 5

Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 25, 2007 - Taluva and BattleLore

Steve and I managed to get a few more games in tonight. We started with a couple games of Taluva. Taluva is a newer game that is probably best described as Java lite. The pieces are the same shape as the Java pieces - 3 hexes in a y-shape. Players take turns placing one of the pieces and then playing one of their hut, temples, or tower pieces. The goal is to rid yourself of two of the three types of pieces (or assuming that nobody does so, getting more of your temples placed). If you can't place a piece, you automatically lose. Having never played before, I had no advantage over Steve and we split our two games played.

We then went ahead and got BattleLore out and picked up where we left off the other night playing the third scenario of the game - Burgos, Castile. Neither of us had much luck under the Fleur de Lis banner as we split the games 6-4 each time. Both times the Banner of the Lion had the luck of the cards and was able to use the goblin cavalary to hurt the opposition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007 - BattleLore

Well, I'm on a training excursion out of town for a few days, and I brought along a couple games - Taluva, Jambo, Hera and Zeus (all new), Twilight Struggle, and BattleLore. I had wanted to play Twilight Struggle, but there just isn't anywhere in the hotel that I think we can play. I talked Steve Wicklund into playing something with me, and introduced him to BattleLore. It'd been a while since I last played, and of course I had to try and remember all the differences between BL and all the other Borg-C&C games. So, the first playing we of course mis-played a number of rules. At any rate, Steve had a good time and we played the first two scenarios out switching sides after each for a total of 4 games.

The first scenario - Agincourt - I managed to lose as the Lion Standard 2-4 and then as the Fleur-de-Lis Standard 2-4. Steve had the charge card to start that second game and the fact that I scored anything was due to pure luck.

The second scenario for the night was First Chevauchee. Here the luck went my way a lot, as I managed an easy 5-2 win under the Lion Standard. I was really hoping for a shutout, but in pushing that hard I left two units vulnerable and Steve snagged them before I could finish him off. As we switched, luck didn't change and I won 5-3.

Neither scenarios offer anything more than the basic system, but since we have a few more nights I figured it'd work out easiest to let Steve get used to the system before we throw in the Lore. If we play again tomorrow, we'll likely jump ahead to the 5th scenario - Wizards and Lore to get a feeling for the additional complexities.

May 21, 2007 - Hansa: Wechselnde Winde (Changing Winds)

They introduced a mod to Hansa on MaBiWeb - the Changing Winds Map. While at first glance, there appear to only be superficial changes, the board has moved good stacks, and changed the directionality of a couple routes in addition to adding new routes and new scoring. You can also pay double if you want to go in the reverse direction of a route. The new scoring would be enough to consider, but all the changes were too much for my little brain. This game was with Seth Jaffee and Matthew Frederick. Seth is a gamer from Tucson that I met last year at the PhoenixConGames and an able gamer. I had mis-read the map and spent the first couple turns trying to adjust and keep up. Far too late I realized I had no idea what the strategy on this map was. Towards the end, I missed that I could have ended the game and Seth grabbed a huge 20 points on the last turn plus bonuses. End scores:
Seth: 64, Matthew 44, Charles 39 (booooo).

May 20, 2007 - Samurai

My streak of not winning 4-player games of Samurai continues. I checked my stats on MaBiWeb (where I just finished this last game) and I am now 1-9 in 4-player games. I've been really bad about being efficient with my tokens. I pulled down 10 pieces, but only 5 were outside my majority. This game was played with Kirk Bauer, Matthew Frederick, Mike Gingold and myself and was tight most of the way. Final scores (majorities - others - total):
Charles: 1-5-10
Kirk: 0-8-8
Matthew: 1-6-10
Mike Gingold: 0-8-8

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12, 2007 - Samurai

We completed yet another game of Samurai on MaBiWeb. This was a three player game between myself, Matthew Frederick and Kirk Bauer. We choose our starting hands and the scoring was public. I played something of an opportunistic game, with most of my focus aimed at the big city. I did an effective job of grabbing pieces where I could and avoided helping the other guys get pieces when they had obviously wrapped up the influence. A little luck in my draws kept my hand full of pieces that were useful nearly every turn. I felt very confident that I couldn't get stopped, but on the last turn, Kirk grabbed two pieces and closed the gap.
Final Score (majorities-others-totals):
Charles: 1 - 6 - 10
Kirk: 1 - 5 - 9
Matthew: 1 - 3 - 7

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10, 2007 Hansa

Finished another game of Hansa on MaBiWeb as well. This was a three player game with Matthew Frederick and Mike Gingold. One of the reasons I've found this game to be interesting, is that you have to balance 3 things - placing markets, getting and selling goods, and denying goods to the other players. This game was interesting to me in that the goods came out such that I almost always had a good selection of goods available to me such that I could get 5+ barrels of the same color each turn easily. What I've also found in the past held true for me this game as well - when I get goods greedy, I don't score well. For almost every good move I had, Matthew ended up having better ones on his turn. In addition, he was able to get markets down nearly across the board - I spent a lot of cash in places he held the market, so I fed him far too much money as the game went on. It also meant he had far too many cities to himself at the end of the game, as evidenced by the scores.

Final score:
Charles: 47
Mike: 36
Matthew F: 59

May 10, 2007 Samurai

Another game of MaBiWeb Samurai finished up! This time around, Matthew Frederick and Mike Gingold joined me. We decided to just play with scoring open, since you can go back and read the log at anytime to figure out the scoring. I set this one up to let us pick our tiles this time (since Matthew had a few games under his belt to remind him of how to play). The game started simply enough with my grabbing of 4 Buddhas. Matthew was grabbing rice, and Mike had a hat majority. about 2/3 of the way through, I made a bad play and ended up grabbing a Buddha that I was pretty sure I wouldn't need right after I did it. Bah! In the end, I was pretty sure that I was not going to be able to overcome Mike, but I mis-calculated the turns and Matthew ended the game (I thought Mike would get another turn). When the dust settled, Matthew and I tied. The game online proclaimed us both winners, though I believe the real rules say the opposite - no winners! Either way, it was well played and fun.
Final score (majorities-other-total):

Charles: 1 - 4 - 9
Matthew: 1 - 4 - 9
Mike: 0 - 8 - 8

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Continuing Saga of the Poker Chip

I was looking around and ran across some new chips - Samurai Palace chips. These are clay chips and are really really sweet looking. But at $1.10 a chip (or more) I'm inclined to say no. If I won some money, maybe.

I went ahead and ordered a sample of Nexgen River poker chips. These seem to be the chip of choice for the crowd that wants a decent chip, but wants to label the chips. I'm leaning towards these now (though it appears that it might be a wait or hard to get some colors - apparently red, green and black are popular colors).

Friday, May 04, 2007

May 4, 2007 Samurai

Another game of Samurai finished on MaBiWeb. This one was a three player game between myself, Mike Gingold and Matthew Frederick. One thing I really like about Samurai, the dynamics between the three and four player games are really different. Some people complain that the four player version is too chaotic, but I don't think the chaos is too much. At any rate, I've been playing so many 4 player games that I think I forgot how to approach the three player ones. At any rate the three of us each had a majority in an area, but Mike made one of the best tactical plays I've seen yet and stopped the game by taking the last Buddha (taking a majority from me). Matthew had a huge number of hats, but only 3 other pieces and Mike easily won. Final scores (majorities - others - total)
Charles: 0 - 8 - 8
Matthew: 1 - 3 - 8
Mike: 1 - 5 - 8

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Back in February, my wife offered to get me a Crokinole board for Valentine's Day / my Birthday. I finally found one and ordered it. Should be on its way this week. This thing will look awesome on my wall. Here's the one I got - Notorious

UPDATE May 10, 2007

I received this yesterday. Its truly pretty. It is also quite slick. I need to get some wire so I can hang it from my wall (which I need to paint, but that requires I clean up my office and so on...) I can't wait to play this thing this weekend.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Meredith

Not gaming related, but truly belonging to Things of No Interest ;)

May 1, 2007 Samurai

I started another game of Samurai on MaBiWeb and had a different set of opponents than the standard group I normally see. This time around the other gamers were: Matthew Frederick (back to screw me again), Mike Gingold, and Rob Smolka. I set this game up with random starting hands for everyone to get a bit of a change in pace. I did not have to go first this time around, and when the others left the big city alone, I went in. Things were going well, until late in the game, when I made the mistake of trying to pad my numbers rather than ensure I had a majority in one of the three areas. I recognized I had screwed up almost immediately, but there wasn't anything I could do to recover. In the end, I had a load of pieces, but no majorities in anything.
Final score (majorities - other tiles - total):
Matthew: 1 - 2 - 7
Charles: 0 - 10 - 10
Mike: 1 - 4 - 8 (winner)
Rob: 0 - 8 - 8