Friday Jan. 23, 2009 - Gamer's Inn. Well, after a very late night Friday, I needed a couple days to recover ;). Friday was a pretty good game night with six different games getting played - including two being new and plus one new expansion. The night started off with a game of Ra. Nathan Winchester had wanted to try some more auction games, so I had pulled this one out (though I would have rather played Vegas Showdown, Amelia and Matthew had not arrived with it in tow yet). So joining Nathan and I were Dan Brugman, Noah Antwiller, and Rob Smolka. This was an odd game, in that we saw hardly any Ra tiles or bad tiles. Rob also sucked down most of the flood tiles, which made the other two rounds less interesting. The first round also saw Dan make a HUGE lead that he never relinquished - he won easily.
After that, we had something like 7 folks milling around, so Noah grabbed Smarty Party!. This was something I had heard the group playing a couple weeks ago that sounded like a bit of fun. This time, joining the five of us from Ra were Rob Ehlers and Filipe Lopez. As far as trivia games go, it was decent enough fun, though near the end, Rob Ehlers and Noah were apparently annoying each other as the playful jesting was getting a little nasty.
Things broke up into a couple of different games after that, so when Noah suggested A Game of Thrones: LCG, I was happy to give this a whirl. Nathan, Noah and I were joined by Amelia Boli, who also had wanted to try this out. So, the four of us set about seeing what the rules had for us and what the cards and houses were like. Noah was Stark, Nathan was Baratheon, Amelia played the Lannisters, and I was the Targaryens. The first couple of rounds made it look and feel like the game would last forever, but I then saw what I had been missing - to generate the winning power you need to win uncontested conflicts. By spreading around your attacks, it was often very easy to grab power two or three a pop (renown+red(attack)+uncontested conflict win would be worth three). There is a lot to like and a little that was annoying. The combinations of the core decks were a lot of fun to get into play. It was pretty annoying seeing some of the other deck's awesome combinations. Amelia also got smacked a bit, since Noah and I had awesome RED characters in play (though we each lost those in some nasty business). Really, our first game was a bit long, but I thought it was pretty fun. There is a lot of text to read and try to absorb, but having played through once I now have a better feel for the flow of the game and I also know that there are some nasty cards out there (there are some cards that will wipe out every standing character on the table - fall behind? Make it even!). I thought play was pretty aggressive, but I think it'd be even more nasty now. Really a fun game despite how long our first playing was. Once I realized what needed to be done, I went for it, only to come up with only 14 of the needed 15 power for the win. Noah was able to easily get to the 15 he needed immediately after I tried.
Our game had gone on a bit long, so Matthew had moved onto his own long game of Le Havre. Still just the four of us, I suggested Power Grid, since Nathan has been bugging me to try that out. Knowing the others would be game, I suggested to Amelia we play with the new power plant deck since that would level the playing field a bit for Nathan (since we wouldn't have much clue on what the coming plants might be like). So, that's what we did. We played the American map (all eastern zones) and away we went. I'm not sure I care for the new deck - seemed to be lot of power that took a lot of fuel too. At one point, I got lucky and snagged a nice 1 oil-->4 cities plant and Amelia got hosed with the next draw. She paid me back by keeping me out of oil for that plant a turn later, which I figured would cost me the game. We actually hit Step 3, and I grasped at a power 7 cities plant, but figured Noah or Amelia would snatch up all the oil for the last turn, and screw me. Instead, neither did and Noah pushed us to the finish, but powered one less plant than I did.
Matthew's group was finishing up their game of Leonardo DaVinci, so I suggested a quick game of No Thanks! with Amelia and Nathan. This game takes about 10 minutes with three, so I figured was a good finisher for the night. It was, despite finishing a point behind Nathan.
I was ready to head out, but Steve Bauer was complaining that it had been weeks since he'd been able to sit and play something together, so he and Dion Garner talked Nathan and I into staying for a game of Dominion (which turned into two). This was Nathan's first go round with the game, so after playing a quick game of Big Money, he was immediately ready for the next. Steve wanted to try Size Distortion (that's what she said), so we played that too. BTW, I don't think I care for that combination of cards. Not that I minded the interactive cards, it just wasn't my thing. Still, a good way to end the night