Friday Oct. 2, 2009 - Gamer's Inn
This was an interesting evening. The Gamer's Inn was having some crazy large Magic thingy, so we had been "relegated" to another location! The owner of the store is supposed to have the area next door, but doesn't yet, so the building owners let him have use of another empty store area nearby - this is where we ended up for the evening. The cool part being, we had this nice big quite area without the boisterous Magic crowd. We also ended up having a large turnout of folks, so it worked out well. The evening started out for me playing my new ding and dent copy of Metropolys. Join me were Nathan Winchester, Amelia Boli and newcomer Doug Oppedahl. This smart little game has one major flaw I think - since it is pretty easy to figure out what people are going to try and score, it sucks if you get the hardest secret goal - the tri-area fountain bonus. Doug actually ran away with the game: Doug-49, Nathan-19, Amelia-18, Charles-36.
As there were so many people out this evening (and more had come), Amelia left us and was "replaced" by Matt Longieliere. I finally picked up Dampfross for us to give a go at. We played with the rule that everyone used the same roll for the initial build to keep things even despite none of us ever having played before. The first part (building track) went fairly quickly and we got to the racing right away. Interestingly, Matt and I were heavily favored by the dice gods in the early races and often it was just the two of us racing around. Nathan was especially in a hole early as his outlier tracks were never on the routes. I had a fairly decent network, but not always the fastest/shortest routes. We played all the way through and despite the amount of time we spent playing the game (I want to say it was nearing 3 hours) I was actually entertained for the vast majority of the game. This is definitely not an all the time game - maybe once or twice a year kind of thing, but it was fun and we could have easily ended early by lowering the amount for the win. I won here at $225 - the other scores were Doug-179, Nathan-189, Matt-144.
Amelia came back over to our table and Doug called it a night, so I pulled out Chicago Express and the expansions. I really like this game and was interested to see how different the expansions make it. The Narrow Gauge gives you blocking tokens which become available when towns are built into. The Erie is a single share company that comes online in the middle of the game. Though both are interesting, I doubt I'd play them together again. The Erie just isn't as interesting with the additional ease with which other players can just screw you. At any rate, the game started with a stall as Nathan tried to figure out what I was going to start bidding for the red company. We were opposite each other for a change, and I believe Nathan won the share for $14. He immediately felt screwed (anyone ever win red and not?). I went for yellow. On my second action, I used a Narrow Gauge train to force Nathan into a more expensive route - he retaliated in a move that won me the game. He cut off yellow - effectively making it worthless to anyone that wasn't already invested. I was the sole holder of that stock. Since it had no value to anyone else, all the future shares put up were other companies. Basically, I collected full value from the start of the game for my company while everyone else was getting split value. A few turns later, Nathan realized he had to buy a yellow share to keep me from expanding my lead away from him, but I was able to end the game before he could make up what he needed. Final tally: Matt-42, Nathan-57, Amelia-29, Charles-60