Sunday, June 08, 2008
Geekway to the West 2008 - Saturday
And after a slight delay, we continue. Saturday was shaping up to be a good day. We had planned to start the day with Indonesia, which Jay Moore (MuKid) had said he'd play with us. Jay had been my secret Santa this last year and had made that event pretty fun, so I was glad to just have met him, but wanted to get in some gaming. We were going to play Age of Steam, but the library copy (Jay's) was missing a couple bags of tiles (I heard he found them) so we had to change plans. When we got to the Con Saturday morning at 8:00, I heard some guys say Jay wasn't going to be there until 9:00. I was supposed to be orchestrating a Tichu tourney, so I knew then I would not get Indonesia in over the weekend - c'est la vie. I still wanted to game a little with Jay though, so when Jason headed off to something with the Illinois gang and Justin and I checked out Manoeuvre from the play-and-win table.
I had been reading about this one a little bit on the Geek and was interested. It sounded like a scaled down version of C&C:A (if there could be such a thing). After playing, that is actually the best description I could muster. Since neither of us had played before, we banged our way through the rules (short) and started playing. Of course we missed some, and Justin cheated (I told him I would report him in my blog), but overall it was about like you'd figure from a first playing. If you like the C&C type games, you'll probably like this. Once players know the rules, it probably plays even faster. This is not as in depth as C&C, but its faster and has a number of different armies out of the box. The "Cheater" won of course. Jason was nearly done with whatever he was doing, so Justin taught me Balloon Cup while Jason checked out AoEIII and began sorting the UNBAGGED game.
This one is pretty simple, and there were only two things I remember about the game: Justin repeatedly reminded me to draw to "make up for cheating" - which I told him I'd also mention in the blog. So - "If you play with a cheater, he'll be nice in the next meaningless game so you will keep playing with him". :D The other thing I remember is that someone walked by and mentioned they remember us playing this with a different theme the previous day (Battle Line) - which in retrospect was a fair comment. Justin beat me here, though I really didn't care, because I just wanted to get to our next game.
Our next game being Age of Empires III. Jay Moore and Matt Dimmic (mdimmic) joined us to round out the table. I've only played this twice previously, but I really love this game and was super happy to get it played. I sort of went with what was available to me, but got screwed right off the bat with a failed discovery - which has happened to me every game I have played on my first discovery try. Oh well, what are you going do? Justin was sending soldiers to the new world left and right, so I gave up on that game pretty early, only grabbing points in one territory all game (I got three guys there for the good). I finished in 4th place. Justin killed guys most of the game and won by like two points. All told, still a good time. I'm really glad I got to game with all these guys and wish I had been able to play with Jay and Matt more than the one game.
After that, I had to go play some Tichu. I had tried to run a Tichu tourney this weekend. The results were mixed. I think everyone had fun, but in all honesty, it was a sloppy effort on my part. I really didn't want to have to try and lock people down for a long chunk of time. As it was, we only had 6 teams, which meant two teams got byes anyhow. At any rate, I teamed up with Ravi (snoozefest) and we managed wins in our first three games to head into the winner's bracket semis. There, we would have been up against Timothy Hunt and Jason Little, but Jason had to head out to Minnesota to start his new job with Fantasy Flight. Timothy recruited Roger Dominick (atholbrose) to be his partner and the game was on. It was a strange game. Timothy called Tichu the first hand and they easily went one-two in about 2 minutes. Now, since we were only playing to 500 (to keep the games from lasting forever), we were in trouble right off the bat. Only thing was, I had two bombs the next hand and Ravi and I went Tichu one-two. Roger called Tichu on the 3rd hand and they grabbed 80 points to sit right on the brink of winning. Next hand, I went out first and just needed Ravi to go out next to save the win, unfortunately not and we fell to the losers bracket. I was unable to attend Sunday, so Justin Heimburger (juheimbu) stood in for me. Timothy recorded the results in his geeklist. A really good time, and in retrospect, I would have just blocked off time for this and run it that way. Oh well.
Somewhere in between playing lots of Tichu, the trade table started. Basically someone is picked at random to start, then they pick something. Whoever's game got selected makes the next pick and so on. I threw in two games: Winds Of Plunder and Sudden Death!. I felt I got a little hosed because Winds of Plunder is a bit small and it got buried beneath a lot of CRAP. When it finally got picked, the game I wanted to get for it was hidden behind a lot of crap. Sudden Death was avoided until nearly the end (probably due to large box size and the fact that the box was in super crappy condition (the game was not though). So whatever - the only thing that ended up being interesting about the trade, was the game of Eketorp that I won. Ravi and I sat down to play with Ryan Parish (who was one of our next Tichu opponents). We were joined by Chris Reuber (sikeospi) who was wandering by. Ryan went through the rules (a bit slowly to my mind, as this wasn't that hard a game to pick up). We started and got about say 1/2 way through one round when the trade table guys asked that everyone with games come stay near the trade table to speed things up. I had to leave, so the group basically played my player as RANDOM. Turns out I won. Heh.
After a bunch of Tichu and the trade table ended, I hooked back up with Jason and Justin. I wanted to play a little Edel, Stein and Richt so one of Jason's Illinois buddies Adam Osborn (atomzero) joined us. It was interesting and boring at the same time. I can't remember how many times it happened, but we often had 3 guys picking the same action. I have Justin down as the winner in my notes, but I thought I had a good amount of cash more than he did in the end. Whatever.
. Next the four of us played Bamboleo. Now, I had no desire to play this whatsoever. It looks dumb as hell. But, the guys wanted to play and I was too tired to care, so I caved to trying something new. Guess what? It is still dumb as hell. It was also a little cool and yes, a little fun. We spent a long time getting everything on and then getting it balanced for the first round. After that, we just threw the crap on the disk and played. Adam was the guy dumping the disk nearly every time, so the guy after him (Justin) ended up winning.
Adam left and we caught Karen wandering around and sucked her and Brian into a game of Medici. CJ Faria (CJHeart) asked to join and we had six. I was the only player who had played before, so I explained everything and away we went. My first ship sucked as far as matching goods up (though it was valuable), so I had to settle into trying to just grab valuable ships cheaply. It payed off as I was often able to run the other player's bids up and then dump it on them. I really like this game a lot and think its one of my favorite Knizia games. The beauty here was that Medici was one of the play-to-win games. Turns out Justin won it. Justin, Jason and I had to leave before the drawings Sunday and we had asked Brian and Karen to grab any games we won. Turns out I also won something - Manila (blech). I gifted my free game to Karen to thank her for getting up early Sunday and running me to the airport. I traded with Justin for Medici since he doesn't have much interest in it. So maybe we all made out a little. Well, not Jason. He didn't win any play-to-win games. Though I thought he won a door prize. Whatever. Overall, it was a good experience and I had a good time. I'd do the Tichu tourney differently and I might have skipped the trade table, but for the most part, it was a great weekend and I met a lot of really nice folks.