Friday, August 31, 2007

Session Report August 28, 2007

Attendees(10): Michael, Barbara, Warren, Sharon, David, Andy, Andrew, Steve, Troy, and Adam.

Adam must have dominated this quick game while they waited on others to join. Final: Adam(12), Steve (3), Sharon (Ocean).

Marvel Superheroes
I taught Andrew and Troy this game and David had only played once before. We had fun but I think that it suffers from some downtime (particularly with 4 players) and the game may play better as a 2 or 3 player game. It finished with Andrew and David tied for the win as they completed their headlines and bested their Mastermind Villains who were both attempting to complete their master plans. Final Scores: David(19), Andrew(19), Troy(17), and Michael(11).

Midieval Merchant
I don't know anything about this game except the final scores... Warren(54), Adam(45 w/8 city tiles), Sharon(45 w/6 city tiles), and Steve(24).

Wits and Wagers
Adam, Barbara, Warren, Andy, Sharon, and Steve played this quick party/trivia game. Barbara won on the final round with an "all in" wager.

Amun Re
We had a good late game of Amun Re. This is really a great game with 5 players. Barbara was able to complete 3 bonus cards on the final kingdom and this was critical in winning over Andrew who had played a solid game. Andy played it for the first time and did very well with all the auctions and decisions. Final Scores: Barbara(45), Andrew(38), Andy(30), Michael(28), and Sharon(26).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Session Report August 21, 2007

Attendees (13): Michael, Warren, Sharon, Troy, Andrew, Chris, Jeremy, David, Adam, Eileen, Aaron, Danielle, and Joel.

Shadows Over Camelot
I have been wanting to play this one for some time and I finally read the rules and got it to the table this week. It is an interesting cooperative game where everyone works together to defeat the "game" but with a twist that one player "might" be a traitor. This element of doubt adds the tension to the game and keeps everyone guessing each other's ulterior motives.

The cast: King Arthur (Michael), Galahad, (Chris), Gawain (Jeremy), Tristan (Steve), Percival (David), and Palamedes (Warren) have gathered at the round table to decide how to fight the evil that is invading the land, and thus our epic tale begins...

The brave knights gathered their resources while evil began to act swiftly against the noble realm. No one ventured from Camelot and the fabled sword Excalibur was swiftly drifting away. King Arthur decided to use Clairvoyance to allow his knights time to respond to the evil tidings. Alas it was not enough, as before Tristan could react the fabled blade was lost forever and frozen in Oblivion. It was a sad day in Camelot as Evil began taking over and the Round table lost two swords to darkness. Percival was quick to blame Tristan for not taking a different response to the threat of evil and so the harmony of the knighthood was splintered.

Percival took action and ventured to search for the Holy Grail artifact. This was a daunting quest and he would need help from other knights to succeed. The Black Knight offered a challenge outside of Camelots gates and Sir Palamedes rode out to meet him and defend the realm. King Arthur remained in Camelot, but he supported Percival in his quest with information that led Percival ever closer to the Grail. Unfortunately, Despair began to fall upon Percival and the Quest appeared a daunting and futile effort.

Gawain also had left Camelot and he came upon Lancelot who had fled Camelot after his relationship with the Queen and his betrayal to the crown. Gawain was able to overcome Lancelot and secure his armor which would help the good knights thwart the daunting evil forces that were assaulting Camelot. Meanwhile, Tristan and Galahad teamed up to repel a Pict invasion. This was a heroic battle and Camelot gained much glory in this victory. Gawain's return and Palamedes victory over the Black Knight tilted the balance of Camelot's fate toward the forces of good (4 to 2).

Tristan went to support Percival in the Grail Quest while King Arthur went to repel the Saxon invasion. The Dark Forest delayed the search for the Grail even further and Devastating attacks from the shadows made the quest even more difficult. The siege around Camelot was gaining momentum and Gawain and Palamedes valiantly fought against the growing assault. The King repelled the Saxon invasion and this deed brought hope to the knights that indeed the Grail Quest was not in vain. However, the doubt regarding Tristan's loyalty to the realm had gnawed at Percival and he accused Tristan of disloyalty to the kingdom. Tristan defended his honor but the damage was done and the knights began to doubt each other (4 white to 3 black). To further complicate matters, the Black Knight was unchallenged and this dishonor drove more knights away from Camelot (4 to 4).

Tristan, Arthur, and Palamedes ventured to confront an evil dragon in the land while Galahad took up the Grail Quest with a renewed Percival. Gawain fought valiantly against the growing siege forces outside of Camelot. Galahad called on Merlin's assistance to further the Grail quest and the knights were hopeful that they would soon find the relic and redeem the kingdom. The Dragon was also slain by the 3 knights and they returned to Camelot to assist Gawain in it's defense (6 white to 4 black).

The fate of the kingdom was on a knife's edge. If there was a traitorous knight remaining then the kingdom may fall into shadow forever. The Grail quest was nearing completion, Camelot was about to be overcome by the relentless siege...and Galahad decided to come forward and accuse Percival of disloyalty. It all made sense that Percival had falesly accused Tristan and he had failed to complete the Grail quest. Percival was outraged and proved his loyalty to the kingdom but again the hopes of the kingdom were dwindling (5 black to 5 white).

Percival foresaw evil tidings coming and warned his fellow knights. Palamedes headed the warning and did not tempt fate. The King had a plan though...once again he looked into the future with Clairvoyance to give his comrades time to complete the Grail Quest. Galahad followed his King's lead but was shocked to find that Morgan le Fay had plotted the demise of the kingdom. Apparently, Morgana had desposed of her step-brother, King Arthur, and replaced him with a traitorous spy. Her magic enhanced the deception and this "King Arthur" had misled the chilvarous knights. He had appeared helpful throughout the game, but in the end his betrayal revealed a hidden army that reinforced the siege upon Camelot. The siege forces proved too much and they overwhelmed Camelot. The kingdom was lost to the shadow and swallowed by the Mists of Avalon...Now it is only a whispered legend of a noble sacrifice by the last of the Knights of the Round Table.

I really enjoyed playing this game and would definitely play it again. I think it is great with a large number of players as there is always something to do and it seems quite challenging with a Traitor.

Final Scores: Andrew (98), Sharon (82), Joel (78), and Troy (75).

Puerto Rico
Warren pulled out the victory with a dominant shipping strategy. He had 4 quarries, 4 corn, the harbor, wharf, and customs house. His win was never really in doubt once he got the wharf.
Final Scores: Warren (68), Michael (54), Andrew (52), Sharon (42), and Steve (38).

This looks like a very close finish between Adam and Danielle...
Final Scores: Adam ($464k), Danielle ($461k), Eileen ($395.2k), and Aaron ($277k).

That's Life
Final Scores: Eileen (19), Adam (12), Danielle (6), Troy (6), and Aaron (-15).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Session Report August 15, 2007

Attendees (15): Sharon, Warren, Adam, Eileen, Tamara, Cindy, Marty, Troy, Cheryl, Andy, Michael, Andrew, Steve, Matt, and Jaimie

We gathered at Steve's house this week for gaming and fun. Cindy and Marty joined us again (they are out of town friends of Warren and Sharon) and we are always glad to welcome more gamers.

While waiting on everyone to arrive, I taught this light card game to Andrew and Steve. Adam arrived and joined in for a 4 player game. Zooloretto is the board game based on this card game that won the 2007 Spiel des Jahres. The card game is all about collecting sets of like colored cards to score points but only 3 colors score positive pts while the rest count against your score. Players can draw a card and add it to a set or they may take all the cards in a particular set. There are a number of sets equal to the number of players and each set can only hold 3 cards max. There are also some wild cards and +2 cards that score 2 extra points.
Final: Michael (37), Andrew (32), Steve (28), and Adam (24).

Nexus Ops
Andrew, Steve, and I played about 1 rd of Nexus Ops and taught Andrew how to play. Then Matt and Jaimie arrived and we decided to play Amun Re...

Amun Re
I have already given my review on this great Reiner Knizia game. We taught it to Matt and Jaimie and I think that they also enjoyed the game. I rarely get to play this with 5 and it was a very enjoyable game with a full compliment of players. I was able to generate a lot of income during the first kingdom but never scored any bonus power cards during the game. Andrew grabbed the early scoring lead and Steve was about 10pts behind after the first scoring. In the 2nd kingdom, I had 3 sets and was very close to majority on both sides but Steve and Andrew each managed to win a side. Matt and Andrew grabbed 2 temples each but Jaimie, Steve, and I all played -3 cards during the last sacrifice to keep the level at 2 in spite of a +6 shift from Matt and Andrew combined! Steve and Jaimie both scored several bonus power cards and when we were adding up money there was only a 5pt separation between first and last place. I finished with 33 gold and if it was enough for first then I might be able to pull out the win but Steve had 34 gold and coincidently so did Andrew. This moved Steve into 2nd place and only 1pt behind Andrew who won! Final: Andrew (44), Steve (43), Michael (37), Matt (34), and Jaimie (33).

For Sale
This is another light card game that I found amusing the one time I played it. Today it was Marty (74) proving the best real estate dealer followed by Adam (65), Andy (60), and Cheryl (57).

Notre Dame
This one hit the table again tonight. Troy won with 67 pts followed by Sharon (49), Eileen (40), Cindy (34), and Tamara (30).

This is a clever game fro Ystari. Troy again finished with a win. Finals: Troy (50), Cheryl (36), Andy (35), and Marty (21).

This is a classic Knizia auction game (that I haven't played yet). They had a full compliment of 6 players for this one. Final: Sharon (94), Adam (85), Warren (80), Tamara (72), Eileen (65), and Cindy (57).

To Court the King
This is a fun dice game often referred to as "Yahtzee with special powers". Many of the people in our game group have not liked it very much but I have found it to be very entertaining. Of course I like games with dice and enjoy manipulating the outcome that is so common in this game. My 5yr old also really enjoys rolling all the dice and after a few plays he 'gets' the basic strategies and can play competitively with the family. I was the only player who had played it previously and we used the "Weakened General" variant from Boardgamegeek. I will later give a thorough review on this game along with my adding dice to control varaint. Jaimie ended up impressing the King first (with 7 2's) and she got the Queen for the end-game roll-off. This allowed her to roll last and win all ties. Matt started the final round and impressed the King with 8 5's which was more than Andrew, Steve, or I could muster with all of the courtiers we had acquired. However, Jaimie was able to quickly accumulate her own set of 5's and with both the Astronomer and Magician she was able to roll 8 5's of her own and win the game!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Session Report August 7, 2007

We met at David's house this Tuesday night for gaming.

Attendees (6): Matt, David, Troy, Steve, Michael, Andrew and Mary Ellen

Clash of the Gladiators

We started with this light dice game by Reiner Knizia. Everyone builds their gladiator teams and then try to wipe out everyone else. Gladiator teams consist of 4 gladiators. Dice are rolled for combat with a 1 in 6 chance of getting a full hit, 2 in 6 chance of getting a minor hit, and 3 in 6 chance of missing. Each team can roll 1 die + an extra die for each Sword gladiator on the team. Prong gladiators allow for re-rolls, shield gladiators block minor hits, spear gladiators allow teams to hit first, and net gladiators can cancel the effects of other gladiators that they are fighting. There are also animals that show up in the arena and players can control them when they are eliminated. One Point is awarded for each gladiator you defeat and two points for each animal.

Game 1: David (16), Troy (13), Matt (12), Mike (10), and Steve (10).
Game 2: Troy (19), Mike (18), Andrew (15), Steve (9), and David (9).

Ticket to Ride
Andrew and Mary Ellen played a quick train game of this while we were playing our first game of Clash of the Gladiators.

Andrew, David, Mary Ellen, and I played this interesting Bruno Faidutti game. Players select various roles each with their own special abilities. Roles chosen also determine turn order and there is a lot of guessing what roles other players select. No one has perfect information but everyone has limited amounts of information about what roles have or haven't been selected. Players are trying to build various districts within their cities to score victory points. Different characters allow players to earn more gold, destroy districts, assassinate other roles, and blow up other player's districts. It was a chaotic game with a lot of interesting decisions and I would definitely give this one another play.

Finals: Mary Ellen (28), Michael (25), Andrew (18), and David (16).

Friday, August 3, 2007

Session Report July 31, 2007

Attendees(7): Warren, Sharon, Michael, Barbara, Steve, Troy, David
We had a small group for gaming Tuesday night at our house.
This one has been played a few sessions in a row but I have yet to play it. This civilization game requires players to deliver 4 sacrifice tokens in order to win but there are lots of activities that you can do in order to build up the mana needed for the sacrifices. Sharon won (4) while Barbara (3), Troy (2), and Steve (2) finished behind her.
This is a short game (exactly 30 min) with a clever mechanic where everyone plays the game in "real time" and your actions are limited by sand timers and the time it takes them to "run out" so you can complete your actions. It is an interesting game that probably doesn't have deep replay value but it is light and quick and fun to play every once in a while. We only played the basic game so I'm sure the advanced rules add more depth and strategy to the game. However, since I made an illegal move about 5 min into our game (using the basic rules), I'll just stick to the basic game first... Anyway, we restarted the game and this time I played correctly. The basic strategy is to build up your resources and deliver them to the other player's stations to fulfill demand and score victory points. You can also add more technology to your station which allows you to produce more goods, transform goods, or add cities with large demands. The advantage of having lots of demands is that you receive some victory points for having demands that other players fulfill during the game. I was not able to deliver many goods during the game but I had the most demand and was fortunate that Warren was able to make a delivery as time expired to give me a 1pt victory while Warren and David finished tied for 2nd.

After Space Dealer, I taught David Elasund. This is an interesting game, in the Settlers genre, with some good strategic options but the actions during a turn are not intuitive and take some time to learn. You use Gold and Influence to build various buildings within Elasund, the First City of Catan. City Walls, the Chapel, and many production and Victory Point buildings are avaliable and 2 dice determine resource allocation. In this game 5's were popular and Warren ran away with a fistful of cards and never really was challenged. David made a run at the end and I actually lost several late VP's as Warren built a large building and removed one of mine that also had valuable trade VP's attached to it. Warren won (10), David was 2nd (7) and I finished with only (2).

This is our only copy of the Carcassone series and I am very happy with this game. It has a well balanced mix of tiles with an easier scoring mechanism than its predecessor. Heather joined the adults and played this one too. Final: Sharon (55), Barbara (53), Heather (47), Steve (27), and Troy (22).

Sharon (won) played this light dice game with Barbara (5) , Matthew (8), and Heather (16) to close out the evening.