Rob Smolka's House
I headed over to Rob's for a bit of gaming, hoping even to teach and play a little Combat Commander. That didn't end up happening, but I got to try a whole lot of new games this night. We started out playing Take It Higher. Joining Rob and I were Noah Antwiller, Bobby Warren and Jeff Claussen. Rob was the only one to have played this version (I believe Bobby being the only other person to play any version of this series) so he explained the 50,000 ways in which one can score in this game. Basically, like in the other Take It... games, everyone places the same hex with different color lines going through it. The goal being to complete lines of the same color to score the points for the line x the number of tiles in the line. Unlike the others, the center is either silver or gold. If you complete a row of gold, you get X number of gold points (10pts) for each. If you do the same for silver, you get silver (9pts). You can also play a rocket for the color line you just completed. Each player has a line of rocketes - the more you complete, the bigger your possible bonus is. I say possible, because you only get the bonus for the lowest rocket space you open up. So if you clear all the rockets at the end of the line, but never the first one, you score no bonus. So each time you go to place a tile, you are frozen with a bazillion options. Other games have worse AP by far, but there is just a lot to consider each time here - maybe a little too much for this kind of game. Didn't stop me from winning though. Final scores were: Jeff 308, Rob 494, Bobby 438, Charles 507, Noah 0 (he wiped his board and didn't count).
We continued down the train to newsville by riding the Orient Express. Noah has been bringing this for a couple weeks now, trying to get us to play it and we finally caved and indulged him. Us being Matthew Frederick, Amelia Boli, Rob and I. This is an older murder mystery / whodunit kind of game where there are clues available to everyone. On your turn, you roll and move to different parts of the train to gain knowledge. Then you roll a die and on a 1 or 6, ONLY YOU get the clue, otherwise everyone gets it. So basically, everyone is trying to solve a logic puzzle but some people gain clues others don't. Rob guessed early (he wasn't enjoying the game at all) and Noah and I guess a couple turns later. We were both correct and "won". This was ok, but really just random luck helps players win.
After our murder mystery, we broke into Rob's Animal House Liar's Dice set and made a lot of noise. The fraternity players were: Gary Passmore (Robert Hoover), Bobby (Bluto), Noah (Pinto), Matthew (Boon), me (Otter), and Matt Cullinan (Flounder). Making plenty of noise, we knocked out Bluto then Boon. Then Pinto fell and I was out shortly after. Flounder and Otter went head to head, but Flounder had the dice and won.
We finished the night out playing a game of Diamonds Club. Bobby, Matt C, Rob and I played, with me being the sole newbie to the game. This is your standard "collect a bunch of one thing to buy a bunch of other things" game. The interesting portion of the game is in trying to collect the stuff. There are a couple of paths to victory, but it helps to play it once to see any of it - yeah, I finished way in the back. Scores were me 43, Bobby and Rob 58, Matt 59. Rob professes not to care for this type of game, but likes this one. It was ok, but not something I need to own. It is a lighter engine game, but an engine game none the less.