Friday Oct. 12, 2007 - Game Shoppe
After a bit of confusion on what we were going to do tonight, I headed out to the Game Shoppe in Bellevue. My only real plan was to meet up with Steve Wicklund to try and get in some Power Grid. As luck would have it, when I arrived, Mike Garrett was at the store when I arrived, so things looked good. Bob Huntsman and his lady friend Isabelle were there waiting for their group, so we all sat down to play No Thanks! while we waited for folks to show up. My copy was new and Mike didn't do a great job of shuffling the cards, so there was a lot of grouped cards that first game. Bob and Isabelle weren't impressed, so Scott and Sam joined us for a second game. Mike easily won both games.
By then, the other(s) had shown up in Bob's group, so Scott, Mike and I broke off to go setup Power Grid while we waited for Steve. He was along shortly, so I jumped head first into explaining the game. I sort of pushed him into the deep end, but he seemed to grasp everything really quickly. We played the American map, with the most eastern (cheaper) areas. What made this game really strange was that nuclear power came out early and often and Steve and Scott were fighting over it. There was at least one turn that Steve wasn't able to power his 5-city nuclear plant because he had no fuel. I stayed away from that, but ended up with a couple expensive oil plants. Coal and garbage were not seen much, nor used much. In fact, we had a lot of expensive plants early (a bad sign that the mid game would stall with bad plants) and sure enough, things stagnated right after we jumped to step 2. At this point, I could power 12 cities, so I kept plowing ahead in my purchases of cities. I grabbed a garbage plant to power 3 cities and when the others stalled, I simply built to 17 and ended the game powering 3 cities in more than the others. Scott and Steve were new and the weird plant battle the had going on hurt them a lot, but I give a lot of credit to the AZBoardgamers for my success - playing with that ruthless efficient bunch really honed my PG skills and it showed - I was able to pour it on when they slowed down. For the record, I started with the #06 (garbage) plant, not the #04 plant. The Noah garbage strategy wins again!
After we finished up, we had time for another game, so I pulled out Mykerinos - a neat little area control game that I'm terrible at. This game was no exception. I only got a couple guys into the museum and I failed to notice that all of the red patron cards were gone before the final round, eliminating my chance to get the full set of patrons. I scored a load of boards the final round, but it was too little too late. I easily ended up in a last with Steve pulling out the win. This game is fun, but there is a lot going on to try and think about, and I'd need to play it a lot more to really get a better handle on it.
Scott was done for the night, but Steve wanted to try No Thanks!, so the three of us played a quick hand of this. I was finally able to do some damage and won the last game of the night.