SR: Zombies!!!, Goldland
- I'm behind in my session reports. I'll try to catch up later, but
here's the latest one. Here's the link to the report, but I forgot
my camera, so no pictures. (How frustrating! Tile-laying games make
for the most interesting pictures.)
August 26, 2002
S.O.G. session. 4-player Zombies!!!, 5-player Goldland.
Chris was gracious enough to host gaming at his home once again.
Zombies!!! with the Zombie Corps(e) expansion.
Players were Sarah, Chip, Andrew and myself. Andrew played for the
first time. We played the Quick Play Rules. We used my setup variant.
I'm still fiddling with my setup variant. I was afraid to commit to
dumping as many tiles as I stated in the draft with the Zombie
Corps(e) expansion (down to 30, then 2 more for each player) and ended
up removing five tiles from the main set, and three from the
expansion. This was a mistake, because the game did drag out longer
than it should have. Also, I think the game could've worked with less
than the zombie goal of [25 - (2 * number_of_players)]. I think [23 -
(2 * number_of_players)] will work better as the required number of
zombies to win.
In this game, I started out badly, rolling low for movement and ending
up with zombies too far away when Andrew placed the tile I drew with
his "I Think It's Over Here" card. I played my revenge on him by
playing my ""You Lookin' at Me?!?" card on his shotgun card which
makes him choose a different target for the card. He inevitably chose
me, because the other players would have a bigger advantage. (I would
merely be catching up with the shotgun to my advantage.)
Sarah went off on her own. That, of course, means that she ended up in
the wrong part of town when the helipad showed up. I was boxed in a
dead-end myself. As it turns out, the army front gate game out a
little before that, and soon after that, the army helipad. This did
not effect the game at all because they were essentially equidistant
from a T-intersection that everyone needed to reach.
It was between Chip and Andrew, as they raced to the helipad. In blind
desperation, Chip cleared a path through the zombies, stopping one
space short of the center of the helipad. This just gave Andrew a
clear path to get there himself. Sarah played the "Your Shoe's Untied"
card which halved Andrew's final movement roll. He rolled a one, which
is all he needed. But, he had three life, which, with the quick-play
variant rule, let him move three instead of the die roll. Andrew,
anticipating some clever play of cards, walked right into victory
without any resistance from the other players after a little under two
hours of play. His was a two-pronged victory because his reached the
center of the helipad, and killed the 17 zombies in the process which
he needed for the alternate victory.
Because I want to reduce playing time to about 30 minutes, this just
makes me think I should really be as aggressive in pruning tiles out
of play, and to slightly reduce the number of zombies needed to win.
Also, there should have been more action with the cards, so I'm
thinking of changing the hand limit to be the same as the number of
players. Andrew thought the game would be better if any number of
cards could be played during a round.
* Andrew: 17 (helipad & zombie kill victory)
* Chip: 10
* Vitas: 7
* Sarah: 6
Players were Rob, Chris, Mark, Andrew and myself. I'm the only one who
The game of Eupherat & Tigris at the other table ended as our game of
Zombies!!! ended. So we consolidated the gamers who stayed late and
played a game of my newly-opened Goldland.
We took 20 minutes to go over the rules, then began the game.
We encountered a lot of adventures early on, except that we generally
didn't have the supplies we needed to complete the adventures, let
alone pick up the treasures along the way.
Eventually, the temple area was explored, and Andrew stepped in. Chris
had to reach the temple through an ordeal. No one else had the
resources to get there through the remaining adventures. Rob
aggressively set up camp at the different adventures and tried to pick
up treasures. Mark was despondent over the lack of chance of winning
against Andrew who was ahead all around. I was able to take over more
adventures of one type from Andrew and reduced his score which gave
Mark momentary hope.
After a little over an hour, the game ended when the reserve gold from
the temple was recovered by Andrew and Chris.
Mark thought the game may have a better strategic element if
exploration tiles could be placed adjacent to any tile. Perhaps we'll
try that as a variant in the future.
* Andrew: 22
* Chris: 17
* Rob: 17
* Vitas: 9
* Mark: 6
- August 14, 2002
While I was visiting relatives in Lithuania, I introduced some games
Private session. 2,3-player Icehouse Volcano, 4-player Royal Turf.
Players were Augie, Algis and myself. Everyone else were new players.
Augie gave up early, considering Chess *the* strategy game to play.
Algis found the game quite engaging, however. Even though I stayed
ahead of his score, he kept up. Though, he did end the game too early
the first time, letting me win.
* Vitas: 27
* Algis: 21
* Augie: 4 (quit early)
Algis liked the game enough for a second try.
* Vitas: 17
* Algis: 12
Players were Zivile, Algis, Steve and myself. Everyone else were new
players. We played with the full rules (including the face-down bets,
and the bluff bet.)
I brought this game along, because it'll be easy to explain, and could
be engaging for everyone in the family. But I couldn't generate enough
interest in as many people as I hoped. Surprisingly, my horse-loving
buddy, Steve, who I brought along on the trip didn't find the game
engaging -- maybe because his horses didn't do so well. Algis did his
best to keep his best horse going. Zivile kept advancing all her
horses, even the one with the bluff bet, because she forgot which she
put it on. (So did I. But hey! It's all for fun.)
* Algis: 2650
* Zivile: 2600
* Vitas: 2250
* Steve: 400
August 15, 2002
While I was visiting relatives in Lithuania, we engaged in another
round of gaming.
Private-session. 2-player Icehouse Volcano, 3-player Royal Turf,
Players were Augie, Algis and myself. We both played this before.
Algis surprised me by requesting this game. He's what I'd call a big
lug, so I wouldn't have pegged him as an abstract strategy gamer. Goes
to show you can't judge a person from their demeanor.
As before, he played a good game, but I was able to stay ahead of him.
We played two games.
* Vitas: 17
* Algis: 14
* Vitas: 26
* Algis: 16
Players were Algis, Zivile and myself. We all played this before. We
played with the full rules (including the face-down bets, and the
I couldn't get Steve to try this again, which is a shame, because this
game plays better with more people. Though, I think it starts to drag
when playing three races in a row for the full game.
I tried to spread my tokens onto the same horses as other players. I
didn't want to go the race alone. Once again, Algis did his best to
keep his best horse going. Zivile kept advancing all her horses, even
the one with the bluff bet, because she forgot which she put it on.
(So did I. But hey! It's all for fun.)
* Algis: 3050
* Zivile: 3050
* Vitas: 1800
Players were Zivile, Steve and myself. We all played before.
Zivile brought out the Jenga set she received as a gift during her
visit to America last year. It was a good game to wrap up the evening.
We didn't seem to reach the impossible heights I remembered before the
game ended with Zivile toppling the tower.
- August 29, 2002
Danger Planet open gaming. 3-player Piecepack Hanging Gardens,
3-player Pueblo, 3-player Burn Rate, 5-player Goldland.
Piecepack Hanging Gardens
Players were Ralph, Karl and myself. We all played for the first time.
I've wanted to try an actual Piecepack game for a while, and Karl
brought his set to try a new game.
This game is about creating terraces, planting gardens, and placing an
observer. The idea is to create a garden with many different colors
within the observer's line of sight, elevating him for extra points,
and creating symmetry for extra points.
We spent ten minutes going over the rules. Ralph had a hard time
following the rules, but Karl seemed to pick it up fairly well, after
mulling over the line-of-sight rule. I was somewhere in between,
grasping it a little, but not realizing the implications of having
Karl's observer beside and above mine, reaping all the points I gained
and then some. The game lasted 15 minutes, and Karl won.
The game is quick enough that I'd try it again to see how additional
games could play out.
* Karl: 14
* Vitas: 13
* Ralph: 11
Players were Ralph, Karl and myself. Karl played this game before.
In this game, players lay cublets onto a game board, and move a pawn
around the board. If the pawn has line-of-sight to a player's cublet,
that player gains a point for each exposed face at ground level, two
points for the second level, and so on. When the pawn is at a corner,
players gain a point for each exposed face in that quadrant as viewed
from above. The goal of the game is to have the lowest score when all
players have played their cublets, and then the pawn makes a final lap
around the board.
Karl is great at these sorts of games. Ralph and I were floundering,
playing this for the first time. Though I was doing well towards the
beginning, my score shot ahead later on. The game ended at 40 minutes
(including rules explanation.)
The game is interesting enough for me to try again to see how
additional games play out.
* Karl: 35
* Ralph: 49
* Vitas: 58
Players were Ralph, Karl and myself. Karl and I played for the first
This game is about failing dot-coms. Each player runs a dot-com, and
starts with $100. Players hire development managers, sales reps, human
resources personnel, and managers. Players need engineers to work on
bad ideas that other players play on them through their sales reps. If
a player doesn't have enough engineers, they'll need to hire expensive
contractors. Bad ideas stick around (eating away at the budget) until
a skillful development manager can release the project. (Higher
salaried sales reps accept the most bad ideas in their self-important
roles.) Additional cards help hire, fire, get funding, poach opponents
employees. Plus, you can get opponents to make bad hires. Cards are
played based on the level of skill of your or your opponent's
employees, so it's important to retain the best employees, while
leaving the worst for your opponents. Game continues until only one
player has money. (We grabbed the money from Karl's copy of Kingdoms
to keep score.)
Ralph took about five minutes to explain the game. I started out
pretty good, spending the least amount of money each turn. However, I
had a horrible VP of sales and I couldn't get rid of him. He kept
attracting all the bad ideas that couldn't be played on the other
players, so I lost all my money first. Karl and Ralph seemed about
even, money-wise, through the game, though the expenses were piling up
on Karl. Ralph seemed to have cleared his problems when Karl, who
didn't find the game engaging, resigned, leaving the victory to Ralph.
The game took about 50 minutes.
I thought the game had an engaging concept. The theme seemed to
superficially reflect the workings of high-tech companies in that
Dilbert-sort of way. Ralph though the game plays better and quicker
with four people.
* Ralph: 47
* Karl: 43
* Vitas: -20
Players were Ralph, Doug, Jeff, Karl and myself. Ralph and I played
We spent 17 minutes going over the rules. Doug and I ended up
following the edge of the map to get to the temple. Ralph was close
enough to jump in on that path. Karl and Jeff went off in another
direction and had no hope to get to the temple. Jeff, however, focused
on setting up camp everywhere possible. I was able to get to the
temple first, then hop over to a desert and collect the treasure on it
in a desperate attempt to boost my score. (I wasn't setting up enough
camps to score well.) The game ended in a little over an hour and a
half, Doug scoring the win because he stole an adventure token from
* Doug: 21
* Jeff: 20
* Ralph: 15
* Vitas: 15
* Karl: 3
This game emphasized an ambiguity (or is it my misconception) in the
rules. I thought a player gets an adventure token for setting up camp
in the plurality of unique adventure tiles. Everyone else interprets
the rules literally and says that a player gets an adventure token for
setting up the plurality of camps in like adventure tiles. We flipped
a coin and decided to play the later ruling.
- Hi Vitas! I wish I had gotten there earlier to play Hanging Gardens! Thanks for writing up our Goldland game. I think this is the first time I've shown up in someone's session report! I have some minor corrections and comments, and a rule we got wrong:
--- In Unity_Games@y..., Vitas Povilaitis <vitas@g...> wrote:
> Players were Ralph, Doug, Jeff, Karl and myself. Ralph and I played
I'd played it twice before, also.
> The game ended in a little over an hour and a half,
It would have been 15-20 minutes shorter without the rules debate in the middle...
> Doug scoring the win because he stole an adventure token from
Actually, I snagged it from Ralph on the last turn; if I hadn't, Jeff would have won, and Ralph and I would have tied for second with 18 each. I don't think either Jeff or Ralph were happy with this...
One important rule we got wrong is that after the first round after players first reach the temple, the pile of bonus gold is removed, but the remaining amulets stay around (we had removed those also). This means that later players can still get some points for going to the temple, as well as reduce the other player's scores by taking some of the gold income that they would have gotten. At one point Jeff asked whether there was any reason to go to the temple after the amulets had gone, and I had remembered that later players did get gold income, but the rules said that only players with amulets get the income-- I didn't think to question the removal of the amulets. I think Jeff probably would have been able to win if we had played that rule right.