Monday, August 25, 2008

Game Night

Friday Aug. 22, 2008 - Nielsen's Custard
Friday was game night for the AZ Boardgamers and this week was the trial run of having the game night at Nielsen's Custard rather than the Gamer's Inn. I arrived at around 5:30 and found - nobody. I settled down to wait with a Philly Cheesesteak (very tasty), wondering how many folks would show up. Turned out to be 21! We didn't nearly have enough space (there was a wedding reception or something else taking up most of the rest of their place). I'm not sure how this will work out in the end, but the bright areas and easy access to food and frozen custard is not a bad thing.
Eventually folks arrived and I after finishing my messy diner, I sat down with Dion Garner, Amelia Boli, Matt Cullinan and Thomas Dunaj to play In The Year of the Dragon. I have not played with a full compliment before (having only tried 3 and 4 player games), but found that it played equally well - in fact I like this best with 4 or 5 I think. Dion dumped all his cash early for the double dragon points, despite having double taxation in the first half of the game (turns 3 an 5). That was apparently enough to keep anyone from catching him. He finished the game 8 points in front of Thomas and I, who didn't manage our populations very efficiently (we both dumped people left and right throughout the game). Final tally - Dion:89, me:81 (with tiebreaker), Thomas:81, Amelia:73, Matt: 67.
Next, I broke out Age of Steam, which I insisted I would get to the table when I got back to AZ. We were going to try out the N. Cali map, but when we had newcomer-to-AoS-Ric join us, we switched gears and played Scandinavia. Joining Ric Alpers and I were Noah Antwiller and Matthew Frederick. As is typical when playing with Noah, he sat back and let other players play aggressively and go into deep debt before he did. It also helped that he picked a prime position on the map that nobody else ever challenged him for. Matthew picked a decent position, and promptly put himself so far behind he never recovered. Ric spent far too many turns not moving goods and trying not to die. I'm not sure how he did it. As for me, I started with a good position, but my short sightedness never left me with any endgame routes and while I moved a couple of 5s, I never really prospered. Being few shares in front of Noah, I never had a chance. Final scores - Noah:81, me:56, Matthew:26, Ric:19.
We ended the night teaching Tichu to Linda Sandusky. Matthew and I teamed up against Linda and Noah. The game was not even as close as the score was, as Linda had a number of hands that a more experienced player would have murdered us with. In fact, her first had a straight flush bomb, pairs of kings and aces, the mahjong, and little else. Maybe the Dragon too. All I remember is thinking WTF!!! Noah also had a bomb and the Dog, and we had to laugh at how quickly Linda went out, without having any clue what she was doing. She caught on quickly and Matthew and I seemed to be tired and out of sync. We managed a few decent hands, but nothing special. In the end, we lost 405-295 (we had to retire when the shop closed).


Matthew Frederick said...

We so would have won if we'd played it out, trust me. :)

The Spoony One said...

Re: Age of Steam

It also helps to know where the newbie is setting up and to take advantage of their inexperience. Much like Puerto Rico, where the best winning strategy is to sit to the left of the worst/newest player.