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SR Bits & Pieces - Ultra Long

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  • Craig Massey
    Comments from sessions and games from the last several weeks as a precusor to the latest Top 10 Games Played 5//27 WAG Attending: Alan (sort of), Pitt, Mike,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2002
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      Comments from sessions and games from the last several
      weeks as a precusor to the latest Top 10 Games Played

      5//27 WAG

      Attending: Alan (sort of), Pitt, Mike, Matthew &
      Carrie, Dave & Emily, Scott & Noreen, Richard, Craig,
      Karmen, Mark & Tery and Maddie, congenial host and
      sponsor.

      Games Played: Hands Up, Zahltag (x2) Des Pyramiden der
      Jaguar, Affenraffen, Trans America, Abstracts, Die
      Sieben Weissen, Wildlife, 25 Words or Less, Tin
      Soldiers, Quiddler, X Bugs, Crib Wars, and a few
      others that I missed.

      Well, its been a while since I posted an offical WAG
      (Wakefield Area Gaming - so named because it takes
      place at my place in Wakefield and I have a very
      friendly dog who greets and entertains everyone who
      comes) session report. But with the holiday weekend
      affording some extra time, all day gaming and a
      cookout commenced at my place yesterday. First of all
      - thanks to everyone who came and brought goodies to
      eat. As usual, there was enough food to feed the
      Prussian army, but the dog likes this - especially
      with lots of people around because the opportunities
      for a stray chip falling off a plate increase
      dramatically. Onto the games - at least those that
      were new, interesting and previously undiscussed.

      Der Pyramiden des Jaguar x2 - Alan/Craig,
      Richard/Craig: I mentioned this one last month a few
      times. It is the latest in the Kosmos 2 player line
      and it is very enjoyable. It is a further development
      of Pacal by Gunter Burkhardt and it takes a game that
      worked, but was very dry and made it into something
      that works even better with more depth and more fun.
      Unfortuanately after trying it at the Gathering and
      being rather successful winning the game, I have
      fallen on hard times and was thrased soundly in both
      games yesterday.

      Zahltag x2 - Game 1 Pitt, Mike Craig. Game 2 Pitt,
      Matthew, Richard, Craig: This is a new card game by
      the guy who did Trans America. The theme is one of
      completing construction jobs using cards as resources
      in an effort to get the most money. Resources come in
      four suits (shovels, foremen, cranes, steam shovels).
      Players start off with 7 cards and $20. On a players
      turn they can draw, discard or exchange one card from
      their hand (each suit is a face up stack). Then a job
      card is turned over showing the current job up for bid
      or a payday card. If it is a job, players can bid for
      the right to complete the job. Players have 5 bid
      cards representing the numbers 0-8. Cards for 1/2,
      3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 are on the same card. Bids are made
      secretly and revealed with the lowest bid taking the
      job. You then put the cards required for the job down
      on the table on your left and get paid the money that
      you bid. If a payday card comes up, players must pay
      unemployed workers (cards) in their hands. The player
      with the least cards doesn't pay a cent, but the other
      players pay $1 for each card they have over the number
      of cards held by the player with the fewest. On a
      players next turn, any jobs on his left slide to the
      right and jobs on the right are completed with the
      resource cards going back into his hand.

      The first game was a three player game. I bid low on
      a couple of early jobs getting a lead and then watch
      as Mike and Pitt bid low for some large jobs leaving
      their hands stripped of resources. I quickly got my
      resource cards back into my hand and when a big job
      came up, I was able to bid high knowing that it was
      unlikely that Mike and Pitt could effectively bid.
      This gave me an early lead which I was now able to
      steadily increase by bidding very low for jobs the
      rest of game denying them the chance to make any big
      money and keeping cards in their hands which forced
      them to payout a fair amount of cash on paydays.

      After the game we all agreed that it seemed very easy
      to stay in the lead once you got it so we talked about
      modifying the game. Mike suggested that the card you
      bid should go down on the table with the resource
      cards needed to complete a job and it doesn't come
      back to you until get the resource cards back. So we
      tried this with 4 players and it worked pretty
      effectively making for a very tight game between
      Richard, Matthew and I. Unfortunately, Pitt still
      stunk finishing in last. Matthew edged Richard and I
      out by $2 after the 5th and final payday. The game
      was light and enjoyable. And with a small adjustment,
      it worked even better. It's well worth trying as is
      or with the variant and its pretty quick serving as a
      reasonable 30 minute filler. Besides, Pitt didn't
      come close to winning either game which has to be
      good.

      Affenraffen - Matthew, Carrie, Richard, Pitt, Craig,
      Mike: This is the old children's game Memory on
      steriods. The idea is to collect matching pairs -
      animals and colors - and meet a goal for the round.
      The goals are as simple as collecting any 5 pairs to
      collecting 3 pairs of different animals of different
      colors. The tiles have 5 different animals on 3
      different colors. The kicker is everyone is searching
      for pairs at the same time - no turns. Also, once you
      take a tile it goes face down in front of you and you
      can't check it again. So if you take a green penguin
      for your stack, you can't go back later on to check if
      it is green when you are looking for that matching
      penguin. Once a player hits the goal for the round,
      they take the 1st place chip. The second person to
      finish takes the 2nd place chip and the round ends.
      Then you check everyone's pairs to see if they
      achieved the goal for the round. Pairs that don't
      match the goal or mismatched tiles score negative.
      Everything else is a positive point. The game takes
      15 minutes and worked very well. This should be a hit
      with kids.

      Abstracts - Mike, Dave, Emily, Matthew, Craig, Carrie:
      This is an older party game that I picked up a while
      back for dirt cheap someplace. The idea is that
      players are trying to guess a person, place or thing -
      usually pretty specific - through some interesting
      clues. The best way to describe this is through an
      example (this one is is from our game)

      Place - American Samoa
      Mike and I were clue givers. Cards are turned over
      with questions like these.

      A. If you were a reptile, what would you be?
      B. If you were a flavor, what flavor would you be?

      The clue giver has to give clues to get his team to
      come up with the answer. If they don't, then the
      other team gets a new question and a chance to guess
      based on what their clue giver says.

      I can't remember the other questions and clues for the
      above example, but I gave the following answers to the
      questions

      A. A constrictor (hoping they are thinking boa)
      B. Graham cracker (hoping they are thinking smore)

      Put the two together and you get Samoa - Matthew did
      get this one.

      This was enough for Matthew to guess the question
      along with a few others. We all enjoyed the game,
      though the rules as written needed work so we changed
      the rules to the first team to get 10 cards. The was
      a lot of scope for creative thinking. Looking forward
      to trying this again soon after tweaking the rules.

      Tin Soldiers - Scott/Craig vs. Dave & Emily: A new
      trick taking game for partners. There are a few new
      ideas as far as trick taking games go. Players have a
      reinforcements pile that allows the normal trick
      taking rules of follow suit first and then play others
      to be broken. You can play a card blind off the
      reinforcement pile and if it wins the trick it is
      worth bonus points. Of course sense this is a random
      thing, you want to try to set it up so the chances are
      improved. There are spy cards in the suits and if you
      win a trick you can look with a spy card you can look
      at the top card in your reinforcments or a card from
      your opponents hand or reinforcements giving you some
      extra knowledge. The has a similar feel to Twilight
      and Dia de los Meurtos - at least I thought so - and
      this is a good thing. I highly recommend this to
      trick taking fans.

      Other games not played at WAG:

      Nautilis - Pitt, Mike & Craig: This is an undersea
      exploration game. Players are trying to score the
      most points by developing their technology and
      discovering underwater treasures. The scoring twist
      is your technology points are multiplied by your
      discovery points. Players start out with a fixed
      amount of cash and have very little scope for getting
      more so money is very tight for buying things and you
      need to buy everything in this game. As an
      exploration game, it worked much better for me than
      the other new exploration game from Nurenburg -
      Goldland. It is on the long side though - 2 hours.
      The theme worked well and there seemed to be a pretty
      large amount of choice on how to best spend your money
      to maximize your victory points. The way the
      technology worked reminded me a bit of Industrial
      Waste.

      Tyros - Mike, Craig & Pitt: Not much to say about
      this game except a few comments. For those who tried
      this at the Gathering, give it another shot. It seems
      that all kinds of rules were being played wrong there.
      But after my second play - the first being at the
      Gathering with a ton of wrong rules - it felt like the
      game was missing something. Or maybe we were. I had
      a very different experience with this one the second
      time around, but didn't find it to be all that fun.
      I'd be interested to hear other opinions on this game.

      La Guerre des Moutons (War of the Sheep) - Mark, Tery,
      Pitt, Craig: This is a tile laying game from the
      French company Asmodee. The idea is players are a
      secret color as in Drunter and Druber. Tiles are laid
      to create the largest herd in your color while trying
      to keep the other herds small. The game felt like a
      strange cross between Carcassonne and Drunter &
      Druber.

      Wallenstein - Pitt, Mark, Tery, Craig, Mike/Bob: This
      was my second play. If you want a German game with a
      little more direct conflict than is typical, give this
      one a try. Tery took an early lead with Mark and Pitt
      close behind. Mike proved that early conflict with
      another player is probably the wrong way to go as he
      smacked me the first turn and both of us spent the
      rest of the game recovering from slow starts. Tery
      then weathered attacks from everyone to hang on for
      the win. Bob took over for Mike for the second half
      of the game and dug his way out of last place stepping
      on Pitt in the process. Mark and I make late runs at
      Tery, but both fell short. I'm giving this game very
      high marks and can't wait to play it again.

      Craig



      =====
      Craig W. Massey
      cwmassey@...

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