BLAH SR: Wyatt Earp, Royal Turf, Medina, Palmyra, Dschunke
- I haven't written a session report in a while, but I had thoughts
about a bunch of games I played last night, so here we go. Thanks as
always to Andrew for hosting.
WYATT EARP (Adam, Andrew, Dan, Scott)
First time I had played this with 4, and I liked it. I had a decent
lead going into the third round, but Adam got a monopoly on one outlaw
and threw in that 1pt/$3 card to vault to the win. I decided to end
the game when I thought that it hinged on whether my 2pt/$1 card would
succeed (it would have enabled me to collect all the money on that
outlaw), and succeed it did not. Turned out that I was right about the
game hinging on it, and wrong about whether it was a good idea - we
were on our second trip through the deck, and I remembered that there
were very few outlaws in the discard pile the first time through, so
the shot was unlikely to succeed.
I think that I should start trying to keep track of what sheriff cards
have been played; it's nice to know that all the hideouts are gone, or
that there are only a couple of Wyatt Earps left. I haven't played
the other Mystery Rummy games, but I'd like to try them.
ROYAL TURF (Adam, Andrew, Dan, Scott)
Andrew reluctantly agreed to play a 'blasted dice-driven racing game'
(okay, he didn't say 'blasted', but he should have). It was all
right. I wish the racetrack were a little longer, to give the luck a
little chance to even out; it seemed like horses were vaulting over
each other all the way to the finish line, with no time for an order
to get sorted out much. I'd prefer to see a fairly clear set of
front-runners, with an opportunity for a surprise ending, rather than
a big mixup that ends abruptly. I'm sure Knizia had good reasons for
choosing the current length, though.
I did horribly in the first round, but all right in the next two. I
think by the last round I was even remembering where my 0 and 2 bets
were. I'm pretty sure that Adam ran away with it.
MEDINA (Dan, Richard, Andrew)
Last week I saw Medina played, and hypothesized just from looking at
the board that I would like it; Andrew thought I was correct to think
so. Then I think he got Medina-envy as well, since it was out on the
table at the evening's start and he was quick to suggest it. It had a
very Knizian feel to me; the fact that you don't own the pieces you
place reminded me of E&T, and the waiting game aspect reminded me of
Samurai. Stefan Dorra seems to be feast or famine for me; I loved
this, really liked Land Unter, and enjoyed For Sale, while not finding
much in Olympia 2000 or Hick Hack in Gackelwack.
Anyway, I enjoyed the game a lot as predicted, and came in first by a
nose despite my big plan being scuttled by a rule misunderstanding (I
forgot that stables had to be next to palace pieces, and couldn't
just be next to each other, so my plan to make the biggest orange
palace for four points fell apart). I can't remember whether I was
lucky or savvy about it, but the third black palace was started when
there were still plenty of black pieces to go, and few opportunities
to sabotage it, so I ended up with a monster. The conga line ended
up being directed towards a palace of mine at the end, which gave me
many points, although it gave a bunch of points to Richard (second
place) too, so I'm not sure if changing the direction would have
affected the results.
PALMYRA (Richard, Dan, Andrew)
I'd played this once before, with 4. Richard commented that it works
much better with 4, as you don't get the two-against-one element that
seemed to happen every round this time. I managed to get an 'ally'
every one of the three rounds, while Andrew did for two and Richard
just one, and that was, unsurprisingly, the order in which we finished.
DSCHUNKE (Richard, Tamara, Dan, Andrew)
This had sounded like my sort of game, so I was happy to see it in the
pile that Richard brought. It took me a while to get a sense of strategy
("oh, I see, I load this boat this turn, and then collect the cash from it
two turns later"). I decided to go whole hog for special cards the first
two rounds, figuring that that way I would have the whole game to use
them, but I forgot that 1) everyone gets two special cards automatically
along the way, making my lead in them less exciting, and 2) only a few of
the special cards are 'have this ability all game' ones; the others are
not so important to pick up so early, since you're either just going to
use them once, or they're a end-of-game goal, in which case you'd like
them later once you know what goals you're likely to accomplish.
Also, I should have tried to remember what was in each stack I looked
through, rather than immediately finding the one I wanted and putting
the rest down without really looking at them.
I got the "exchange two cards at the start of every turn" and "win
ties" cards, which seemed like a sure way to win all the bids or at
least scare others off, but I didn't feel like I got a huge amount of
money from it in the end, and I hadn't really realized how many other
ways besides bidding there are to make money. Also, it turned out
that winning ties wasn't quite as important as I had thought, since
Richard had misremembered the tie rule at the start and realized his
mistake halfway through the game (we were playing that in case of a
tie, no one gets anything and it goes up for bid again).
Other than that, Richard did an excellent job of explaining the rules,
but by the end of the game, the rest of us had all forgotten about the
end-of-game bonus for number of ships with your crates, enabling him
to make up 17 points on the rest of us. Still, Andrew had taken a
large enough lead due to some intimidatingly efficient moves in the
midgame that he still won by a comfortable margin. I think I finished
third, which I suppose was some sort of victory considering how far
behind I was at the first 'reveal your money' juncture (I had a total
I'd like to play this again, now that I understand the mechanisms better
and realize how to plan ahead. I'm sure that a lot of thought has been
put into the composition of the track at the top of the board (what are
the two extra actions, and when do people get special cards), and how it
fits with the 5-cycle of the markers and the 4-cycle of the players.
For example, I think I saw a complaint somewhere that it should be 12
rounds rather than 10, to give everyone a chance to go first, but I see
that players 3 and 4 each get to lead off a "choose special card" round,
so maybe that makes up for it (and in a three-player game, players 2 and
3 do). I think the next time I play, I'd have to keep better track of
the cards; I did pay attention to who was picking up what, but not to
what was being bid, so I only had a vague idea of what cards people were
Other games played: Caesar and Cleopatra (2), Puerto Rico (5), San
>Other games played: Caesar and Cleopatra (2), Puerto Rico (5), SanWell, since I played in all the games that Dan didn't I'll throw in a quick
synopsis of those.
Ceasar&Cleopatra (Richard, Sean)
When I arrived, everybody was playing Wyatt Earp, so I sat for a few minutes
until Richard arrived. I suggested that we play either Babel or C&C, since
I hadn't played either of them before, and he preferred C&C, so off we went.
I think I like the game, but I'll have to try it again to make up my mind
about it. This playing was incredibly frustrating for me, as I seemed to
turn over a "no vote" card after every play, which made it very difficult to
capitalize on my plays. Richard took all but 4 of the patricians, winning
24 to 6. When I mentioned that my bad luck with vote deck might have played
some part in my poor score, he said "Yeah, but you suck too". Okay, I'm
paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.
Puerto Rico (Chris, Sean, Tamara, Scott, Adam)
This was Tamara's first play, so after a lengthy rules explanation (what
other kind is there with PR?), we got started. I tried playing a shipping
strategy, taking the Hacienda and the Hospice very early on, but found that
it took far too long to get the production buildings that I needed to start
producing. I ended up coming in last place with 25, with Scott taking the
win with an impressive 53. Richard came by and commented, "Geez, you really
suck at this game." This time I'm not paraphrasing.
San Marco (Sean, Chris, Adam)
Adam tought this one to Chris and I, so I can finally mark it off of my
mental 'to try' list, and I'm sorry now that I hadn't played this sooner. I
found the cutting and choosing mechanic forcing me to make excruciatingly
difficult choices, and I loved every minute of it. This one has moved from
my 'to try' list straight to my 'to buy' list. I came in last (again) with
~49, behind Adam's ~58 and Chris' ~62. Thankfully Richard was in other
room, and I managed to slip out before he told me that I sucked again.
What an excellent session report! Your observations
are quite interesting and insightful. It's almost as
if I was actually there.
--- Dan Schmidt <dfan@...> wrote:
> I haven't written a session report in a while, but I__________________________________________________
> had thoughts
> about a bunch of games I played last night, so here
> we go. Thanks as
> always to Andrew for hosting.
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Health - Feel better, live better
Thanks for the additional report on last night's
session. Your comments and observations suck. Nearly
as bad as you do.
--- Sean Donohue <seandonohue@...> wrote:
> Well, since I played in all the games that Dan__________________________________________________
> didn't I'll throw in a quick
> synopsis of those.
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Health - Feel better, live better
- Dan Schmidt <dfan@...> wrote:
>I haven't written a session report in a while,Hey.. I enjoyed reading a BLAH report form both you and Sean. A
>but I had thoughts about a bunch of games
>I played last night, so here we go. Thanks as
>always to Andrew for hosting.
nice addition to the great reports that Andrew does on his site
(although, I have a hard time understanding all that Australian
lingo he throws about).
>WYATT EARP (Adam, Andrew, Dan, Scott)We played this at SSG a couple of weeks for the FIRST time since
>First time I had played this with 4, and I liked it.
about February 2002. Prior to that, it seemed to hit the table
every week - I certainly had 20+ plays of it last year. It's
dropped down a bit this year (probably due to overplay) but it is
still one of my favorite games.
>ROYAL TURF (Adam, Andrew, Dan, Scott)Another game I really enjoy. The more the better (that is, I
like 5 or 6 more than with 4).
>MEDINA (Dan, Richard, Andrew)This one has dropped way off the play list for me this year. Not
sure why, I enjoyed my 3 or 4 plays last year, but I don't think
I've seen it at the table at all this year.
http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)