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SR: SSG @ B&N - March 25, 2001 (Lumberjack, Where's Bob's Hat?, Liar's Dice, Mamma Mia, 6 Nimmt)

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  • Dave Bernazzani
    Another SSG rolls on at the B&N in Walpole. The cafe was not very busy tonight, but we had enough gamers to anchor one table. We had 5 in attendance -
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2002
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      Another SSG rolls on at the B&N in Walpole. The cafe was not very busy
      tonight, but we had enough gamers to anchor one table. We had 5 in
      attendance - including new guy Tom (who makes it down to B2O but since I've
      been remiss in revisiting B2O in a few months, I had not met him). Tonight
      we had myself, David, Adam, Pete and Tom.

      WHERE'S BOB'S HAT? - The Alan Moon re-thememing of "Wer Hat Mehr?" with a
      nod to Bob Swartz from the ill-fated The Board Room internet TV-program
      (loved that show!!). A neat trick taking game that apparently works really
      well for 3 although we played with 4 and it was quite good. It was my first
      time playing, I had managed to miss playing WHM for the past couple of years
      although it had been played at the SSG often enough. Anyway, it's a trick
      taking game with trump suit and a +/-10 hat that get's thrown into the mix.
      The game is a bit like Wizard - you are dealt an increasing (as the game
      progresses) number of cards and you must predict if you think you can take
      more reds, blues or black hats than all other players - or if you think you
      will take the least number of hats overall. You MUST bid - you cannot pass.
      You can bid more than one thing (that is, you may think you can get most
      blue and most red hats). Cards are in 3 suits (black, blue and red hats)
      and two of the cards in each suit have "Bob's Hat" on them - if those are
      played to a trick, the winner of the trick gets the Bob's Hat card. The
      Bob's Hat card can be worth +10 or -10 depending on what the dealer chose
      before leading to the first trick (and 10 points can be a fairly big swing!
      So playing to take/avoid this is meaningful). Interesting decisions and it
      got very difficult to predict as we got up around 12+ cards each. We played
      2 full rounds and I think Adam won with David close behind but I'm not 100%
      sure. I battled it out for 3rd and managed to keep ahead of Tom. This will
      see 5+ plays quickly and should be a great value for the money.

      LUMBERJACK - An Alan Moon theme developing - and this time we through in his
      partner Aaron Weissblum with the game I will always know by a different name
      but will enjoy nonetheless. Lumberjack is basically a set of 100 large
      wooden logs that are stackable to form a tower-of-logs in the center of the
      table. The rules come with 4 different games that can be played by this
      stack - one involves a bit of dexterity as towers are built, one involves
      building up, capping and deciding on when and what to score, one involves
      building foundations of log cabins and getting bonus points for proper
      formation and my favorite (and the one we played tonight) is the Pyramid
      building game (called, "Pyramido" in all 5 languages that the rules are
      presented in - nice to see a company such as Schmit Spiel putting rules and
      box content into multiple languages). The blocks come in 5 easily
      distinguished colors - In Pyramido, you must take a colored log that is
      available (that is, any block that can be taken free and clear from the
      stack) and place it into a growing pyramid structure. With 4 players, you
      have a base that will be 6 wide - and you can build up the upper levels
      before finishing the foundation if you so choose (and this usually becomes
      necessary if you want a high score!). At the end, you score based on
      contiguous color areas - that is if you have 5 red blocks touching eachother
      then you score the area of those blocks (5x5=25). A long chain of 9
      touching black blocks would score 81 (9x9). Single isolated blocks just
      score 1 point - so those must be avoided! The problem is that your fellow
      opponents often have a choice of blocks to take - and sometimes taking one
      type of block can screw you so there is plenty of interaction in the game.
      If you want to look a bit deeper, you can almost predict what players will
      take in the next go-around, and can try to set up so that you have multiple
      good possible choices when it comes your turn. Pyramido not a terribly deep
      game but I think that was the intention - and it hits the mark quite well as
      a fun and fast game. The basic game is a bit deeper - and forces you to
      think a bit more as the choices as to when to pull a block, when to cap a
      tower and when to score are a bit more to ponder. I don't like that version
      as much as Pyramido, but with 4 different games presented in the rules and
      I'm sure more game variants will pop up over time, I think most folks can
      find one or more games to their liking. Anyway, this is a neat game
      "system" that just begs for clever folks to create variants and new
      rule-sets for.

      LIARS DICE - This has now become one of my favorite games - what a
      turnaround from a couple years ago when it was really take-it-or-leave-it.
      I battled for the win but came up short against Tom. Great stuff - glad to
      see this classic get a recent re-release. This game should never be out of
      stock - anywhere!

      MAMMA MIA - The pizza game hits the table every few months and I'm glad as
      it's one of the few memory games that I really enjoy. Light and fun and
      even those of us with far-from-perfect memories can have a blast with it and
      still do fairly well (sometimes it's just taking a chance that someone else
      will not fulfill their orders - sometimes you just need to get your order on
      the table and hope for the best!). Tom and Adam tied for the win as we
      played with 5 players.

      6 NIMMT - This game been on a tear lately since I learned it back a couple
      of months ago at Total Con. A good mid-weight card game from Kramer. There
      is more control than first meets the eye as you have some ability to predict
      what will happen in a round - but there is enough chaos to keep it lighter
      and fun. Another small box Amigo game that hits the mark for good gameplay
      and reasonable cost (and I love the quality of the Amigo cards - they are
      extremely durable). Recommended.

      That's it - a nice evening of gaming. Cookies were plentiful and I hope to
      do it again next week!

      Dave Bernazzani
      http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
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