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BLAH SR: Wyatt Earp, Royal Turf, Medina, Palmyra, Dschunke

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  • Dan Schmidt
    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
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1, 2002
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      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
      of $3).

      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
      strong in.

      Other games played: Caesar and Cleopatra (2), Puerto Rico (5), San
      Marco (3).

      Dan

      --
      http://www.dfan.org
    • Sean Donohue
      ... Well, 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
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 1, 2002
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        >Other games played: Caesar and Cleopatra (2), Puerto Rico (5), San
        >Marco (3).
        >
        >Dan

        Well, 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.

        Sean
      • Richard Spoonts
        Dan, What an excellent session report! Your observations are quite interesting and insightful. It s almost as if I was actually there. Richard ...
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 1, 2002
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          Dan,

          What an excellent session report! Your observations
          are quite interesting and insightful. It's almost as
          if I was actually there.

          Richard

          --- 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.


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        • Richard Spoonts
          Sean, Thanks for the additional report on last night s session. Your comments and observations suck. Nearly as bad as you do. Richard ...
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 1, 2002
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            Sean,

            Thanks for the additional report on last night's
            session. Your comments and observations suck. Nearly
            as bad as you do.

            Richard

            --- 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
            http://health.yahoo.com
          • Dave Bernazzani
            ... Hey.. I enjoyed reading a BLAH report form both you and Sean. A nice addition to the great reports that Andrew does on his site (although, I have a hard
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 1, 2002
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              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.

              Hey.. I enjoyed reading a BLAH report form both you and Sean. A
              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)
              >
              >First time I had played this with 4, and I liked it.

              We played this at SSG a couple of weeks for the FIRST time since
              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.

              Nice reports!

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