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SR: Dante's Inferno, Time Control, Steam Tunnel

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  • Vitas Povilaitis
    Hello all! It s been a while since my last session report. Not that I haven t been gaming; just haven t been typing. Here I go back into the flow of things.
    Message 1 of 2 , May 30, 2003
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      Hello all!
      It's been a while since my last session report. Not that I haven't been
      gaming; just haven't been typing. Here I go back into the flow of things.
      Tried out three new games and the excitement of playing them just
      encourages me to share the joy. I hope you enjoy the read.

      This session report can be found at
      http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games/20030529.html

      Board Game Session Report for May 29, 2003: Dante's Inferno, Time Control,
      Steam Tunnel
      ______________________________________________________________________


      Danger Planet session. 4-player Dante's Inferno, 4-player Time
      Control, 3-player Steam Tunnel.

      Dante's Inferno

      Players were Cindy, Karl, Rich, myself. Rich was a new player to the
      game. Cindy had the first turn.

      We spent 15 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

      Game Overview

      Dante's Inferno is a resource-management, tile-laying game set in the
      nine circles of Hell.

      Each tile has two of circles of Hell on it and two numbers printed on
      it. Players start with three pawns on the first (outer) circle which
      is laid out at the beginning of the game, and work their way down to
      the ninth circle to defeat Lucifer to win the game. Along the way,
      players collect souls (resources) and spend them on actions.

      There are four different types of souls, and different combinations
      are needed to do different things.

      There are three phases in a turn:
      1. fight a demon in the same space as a pawn. Winning eliminates the
      demon from the board. Losing kicks the pawn up one level to the
      nearest corner.
      2. Roll for resources. A player with a pawn on a number rolled
      receives the soul represented by the tile.
      3. Perform actions. Perform as many actions as resources available.

      These actions are:
      * Move your pawn one space for free
      * Move one demon one space for free
      * Move your pawn one space
      * Move a pawn between circles
      * Flip an existing tile making it unpassable/passable
      * Draw and play a tile to start filling in the inner circles where
      resource production is higher
      * Move an opponent's pawn
      * Add another pawn for a maximum of six

      Other interesting rules: Rolling doubles means players may add an
      additional soul of their choice, rolling 7 means the player adds a
      demon to a corner tile, rolling 2 or 12 means the player may add or
      move a soul doubling chit to a tile or a zero production chit to a
      tile.

      The game comes with beautiful plastic bits for the pawns and demons,
      sturdy tiles, and dice.

      Session Overview

      OK, so this game is like Settlers of Catan meets Carcassonne (Settlers
      of Hell?) -- and I mean that in a good way.

      The game starts out slowly because everyone is building up resources,
      and it takes a bit of strategy and luck to get what you need. When you
      have enough pawns in lower levels, you'll start rolling in resources
      and can make a mad dash for the final fight with Lucifer. (Or for the
      many successive fights if you keep rolling badly.) All the while, the
      opponents will try to inhibit you and get there themselves.

      Well, at least that's what our game was like. Cindy and I were finally
      getting comfortable with resource production, when Rich and Karl made
      a dash for the ninth circle. After many bad rolls, Karl finally won.

      This game seems like it'll be more fun with more players rather than
      less, because the fun is in the interactions on a crowded board. Also,
      don't allow players too much time to think, because the down-time is
      deadly boring.

      Karl asked for clarifications about the rules and got the following
      response. As it turns out, we interpreted the rules correctly :-)

      > From: "Kerry"
      > Date: Fri May 30, 2003 7:47:02 AM US/Eastern
      > Subject: Re: Dante's Inferno Rules Questions
      >
      > Hi Karl,
      >
      > I'm placing a FAQ on the website very soon - as soon as my web guy can
      > make
      > it active.
      >
      >> Hello. I just played Dante's Inferno for the first time, and this is
      >> truly an excellent game! However, I have some rules questions that I
      >> am
      >> hoping you can clear up.
      >>
      >> - When you roll a 2 or a 12, in addition to placing the "good" or
      >> "bad"
      >> token, do you also get a resource of your choice like you do on any
      >> other double?
      >
      > Yep.
      >
      >> - If the result of a resource roll would push you past 9 resources of
      >> one color, do you lose all of the resources past 9, or can you
      >> actually
      >> retain the extras?
      >
      > You max out at 9.
      >
      >> - The rulebook is rather terse on the topic of fighting Lucifer. When
      >> you move onto Lucifer, do you fight him at the beginning of your next
      >> turn like with other demons, or do you fight him right away? If the
      >> former, does that mean that no other players can move onto the 9th
      >> circle, since you are occupying it?
      >
      > As soon as you pay to move to the 9th circle, you fight Lucifer. If
      > you
      > fail, you go back to the 8th level. If you have enough resource, you
      > can do
      > it again. He's a special case.
      >
      >> If the latter, then suppose you fight him and lose, and get pushed
      >> back
      >> up to the 8th circle. Can you immediately move back down and fight him
      >> again, assuming you have the resources to move down a circle?
      >
      > Yep - answered above.
      >
      >> Thanks in advance for any clarification you can give.
      >
      > No problem. I'm glad you like the game.
      >
      > I know that it was unclear in the rules not to shuffle the corner
      > tiles in
      > with the rest of them as they can be placed at the beginning of the
      > game or
      > as you need them. Did you figure that out? It was my biggest
      > concern, but
      > it was too late to change the rules as it was already in production.
      >
      > Take Care,
      >
      > Kerry Breitenstein
      > Twilight Creations, Inc.
      >
      > "I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some
      > humor in
      > it."
      > - Frank A. Clark

      Game lasted 130 minutes. Final scores were:
      * Karl: won
      * Cindy: lost
      * Rich: lost
      * Vitas: lost


      Time Control

      Players were Cindy, Karl, Eric, myself. New players to the game were:
      Cindy, Karl, Eric, myself. NA had the first turn.

      We spent 35 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

      Game Overview

      Time Control is a real-time strategy game.

      Each player has a board representing his timeline. Each player has a
      set of twelve agents (many with special abilities) starting in Today.
      The object of the game is to not lose -- last man standing. A player
      loses when he accumulates three or more Problems in each of three
      categories: Cultural, Societal and Technological.

      Each round of Time Control has two turns. Each turn has three phases.
      During each phase, players act simultaneously. But once an action
      starts, it continues unless another player interrupts that action with
      his own action. Each phase ends when all player have taken their
      actions and agree to go to the next phase.

      The turns are: Time Agent Turn and Time Wave Turn.

      The Time Agent Turn contains the Launch Phase in which agents are
      assigned to different times from "Today," the Alert Phase in which
      agents are flipped from a "busy" state to an "alert" state, and the
      Action Phase in which agents perform actions: attack another agent,
      create time waves, attack time waves move to time zones, aid/sabotage
      attacks, move and invade, and snap back to Today.

      The Time Wave Turn contains the Advance Phase in which time waves are
      advances one time zone towards Today, the Resolve Phase in which a
      time wave that enter Today (a situation in which players get Problems)
      or that enter a time zone with agents are resolved, and the Grow Phase
      in which a Create token is added to each time wave.

      Battles are fought by selecting a token from a personal pool with a
      number from 1 - 21, or a "fate" token. The higher number wins.
      Attacker wins in a tie. The loser has a chance to call for one
      re-duel. A fate token means a fate card is drawn and the number on the
      card is used for the battle resolution. When the battle is over, the
      highest number token each player used is discarded. Fate tokens are
      never discarded.

      There's a little more to it, but that's it in a nutshell.

      Session Overview

      Did I say that was it in a nutshell?!?!

      I just received the game and was eager to try it out at Danger Planet.
      We spent the whole time just going over the rules. Because I wasn't
      familiar with them, I just read them straight through for the group.
      After trying half a round as a dry run, Karl gave up -- rather wanting
      a light game after Dante's Inferno -- and Cindy wanted to catch her
      bus home. So we left it for another session.

      I don't think this game is overly complex, but there is a lot of rules
      to wade through to get the gist. Plus, there's no illustrations in the
      instruction booklet, so the game has to be absorbed purely through
      text.

      The game is printed on light cardstock, and contains simple artworks
      that is colorful and effective.


      Steam Tunnel

      Players were Kevin, Eric, myself. New players to the game were: Kevin,
      Eric, myself. Vitas then Kevin had the first turn.

      We spent 5 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

      Game Overview

      Steam Tunnel is a tile game.

      The board is a 6 x 6 grid of face-down tiles, four of which are
      face-up tiles with scoring end-nodes. Players take control of tunnel
      segments with the intention of owning the highest-scoring tunnels.
      Each tunnel is scored at the end of the game by adding the node values
      of a tunnel together, and counting the number of segments making up
      the tunnel, then multiplying those two values together. The player
      with the most tokens on a tunnel system gets the score -- ties are
      divided evenly.

      Each turn, a player does two things:

      1) Flip a tile

      2) Either claim a tunnel segment, or bury a tile.

      Burying a tile means tunnels pass straight through that tile, but
      doesn't count toward the score of tunnel systems connecting to it.

      Session Overview

      This was such a simple and engaging game that we played two times.

      This game had a bit of luck and strategy. With three people, I found
      that two people ended up competing for a potentially major tunnel
      while the third player eeked out lots of small tunnels unnoticed. The
      competition for the big tunnels ended up with someone losing out in
      our case. That explains the wide spread in the scores.

      Overall, this is a quick, light and engaging game.

      Game lasted 20 minutes. Final scores were:
      * Kevin: 203.66
      * Eric: 110.66
      * Vitas: 31.66

      * Kevin: 122
      * Eric: 159
      * Vitas: 89


      ______________________________________________________________________



      Vitas Povilaitis
      http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games

      Check my What's New page where I collect interesting news and links:
      http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games/2003_history.html
    • Vitas Povilaitis
      Hello all! It s time for my gaming update. Hope you enjoy reading it. This session report can be found at
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 3, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Hello all!
        It's time for my gaming update. Hope you enjoy reading it.

        This session report can be found at
        http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games/20030530.html

        Board Game Session Report for May 30, 2003: Time Control, Alhambra, Dante's
        Inferno, Steam Tunnel
        ______________________________________________________________________


        B20 session. 4-player Time Control, 4-player Alhambra, 4-player
        Dante's Inferno, 4-player Steam Tunnel.

        Time Control

        Players were Dave, Ralph, Matt, myself. New players to the game were:
        Dave, Ralph, Matt, myself.

        We spent 36 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

        Game Overview

        Time Control is a real-time strategy game.

        Each player has a board representing his timeline. Each player has a
        set of twelve agents (many with special abilities) starting in Today.
        The object of the game is to not lose -- last man standing. A player
        loses when he accumulates three or more Problems in each of three
        categories: Cultural, Societal and Technological.

        Each round of Time Control has two turns. Each turn has three phases.
        During each phase, players act simultaneously. But once an action
        starts, it continues unless another player interrupts that action with
        his own action. Each phase ends when all player have taken their
        actions and agree to go to the next phase.

        The turns are: Time Agent Turn and Time Wave Turn.

        The Time Agent Turn contains the Launch Phase in which agents are
        assigned to different times from "Today," the Alert Phase in which
        agents are flipped from a "busy" state to an "alert" state, and the
        Action Phase in which agents perform actions: attack another agent,
        create time waves, attack time waves move to time zones, aid/sabotage
        attacks, move and invade, and snap back to Today.

        The Time Wave Turn contains the Advance Phase in which time waves are
        advances one time zone towards Today, the Resolve Phase in which a
        time wave that enter Today (a situation in which players get Problems)
        or that enter a time zone with agents are resolved, and the Grow Phase
        in which a Create token is added to each time wave.

        Battles are fought by selecting a token from a personal pool with a
        number from 1 - 21, or a "fate" token. The higher number wins.
        Attacker wins in a tie. The loser has a chance to call for one
        re-duel. A fate token means a fate card is drawn and the number on the
        card is used for the battle resolution. When the battle is over, the
        highest number token each player used is discarded. Fate tokens are
        never discarded.

        There's a little more to it, but that's it in a nutshell.

        Session Overview

        Am I doomed to repeat the rules without ever playing the game? This
        time, knowing the rules better, I tried to go over them along with a
        dry run of the game.

        Matt kept incredulously whining about not grasping the rules. Ralph
        was drawn in to Matt's attitude about the game. Dave, to his credit,
        was open to try the game.

        So, once again, I didn't draw people to try this game. What am I doing
        wrong?

        Alhambra

        Players were Dave, Ralph, Matt, myself. I was a new player to the
        game. Ralph had the first turn.

        We spent 13 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

        Game Overview

        Alhambra is a resource management game with a city-building theme.

        Players start with money cards which could be four different colors. A
        pool of four town tiles are available for buying, in each of the four
        colors. The tiles themselves come in seven different colors and have a
        value, The tiles' colors are worth different values during a scoring
        round.

        Each player builds his own city. Players try to get the most tiles of
        specific colors to score the most points during scoring rounds. Some
        tiles have walls, and the longest line of wall in each city is worth
        additional points.

        During a player's turn, he may do one of:
        * buy a tile using money cards greater than or equal to the value of
        the tile. (Paying the exact amount as the building value gets the
        player another turn.)
        * place a building from play into reserve
        * place a building from reserve into play
        * swap a building in reserve with one in play

        There are three scoring rounds. The first two occur at semi-random
        points.

        Session Overview

        Matt was still very punchy during this game. This game didn't have
        much interaction otherwise. The rules were simple and the game went
        quickly.

        Game lasted 46 minutes. Final scores were:
        * Matt: 9/29/107
        * Dave: 11/45/105
        * Ralph: 3/30/94
        * Vitas: 4/28/72


        Dante's Inferno

        Players were Jim, Dave, Ralph, myself. New players to the game were:
        Jim, Dave, Ralph. Ralph had the first turn.

        We spent 16 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

        Game Overview

        Dante's Inferno is a resource-management, tile-laying game set in the
        nine circles of Hell.

        Each tile has two of circles of Hell on it and two numbers printed on
        it. Players start with three pawns on the first (outer) circle which
        is laid out at the beginning of the game, and work their way down to
        the ninth circle to defeat Lucifer to win the game. Along the way,
        players collect souls (resources) and spend them on actions.

        There are four different types of souls, and different combinations
        are needed to do different things.

        There are three phases in a turn:

        1) fight a demon in the same space as a pawn. Winning eliminates the
        demon from the board. Losing kicks the pawn up one level to the
        nearest corner.

        2) Roll for resources. A player with a pawn on a number rolled
        receives the soul represented by the tile.

        3) Perform actions. Perform as many actions as resources available.

        These actions are:

        . Move your pawn one space for free

        . Move one demon one space for free

        . Move your pawn one space

        . Move a pawn between circles

        . Flip an existing tile making it unpassable/passable

        . Draw and play a tile to start filling in the inner circles where
        resource production is higher

        . Move an opponent's pawn

        . Add another pawn for a maximum of six

        Other interesting rules: Rolling doubles means players may add an
        additional soul of their choice, rolling 7 means the player adds a
        demon to a corner tile, rolling 2 or 12 means the player may add or
        move a soul doubling chit to a tile or a zero production chit to a
        tile.

        The game comes with beautiful plastic bits for the pawns and demons,
        sturdy tiles, and dice.

        Session Overview

        This session went much faster than the last one. People didn't spend
        too much time think about their moves. Playing an hour feels about
        right for this game, though other players seemed to think it was a bit
        slow.

        I was kicking myself because I traded a soul Dave needed to get into
        the ninth circle, guessing he'd roll badly, but he didn't.

        Game lasted 69 minutes. Final scores were:
        * Dave: won
        * Jim: lost
        * Ralph: lost
        * Vitas: lost


        Steam Tunnel

        Players were Jim, Dave, Ralph, myself. New players to the game were:
        Jim, Dave, Ralph. Dave had the first turn.

        We spent 1 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

        Game Overview

        Steam Tunnel is a tile game.

        The board is a 6 x 6 grid of face-down tiles, four of which are
        face-up tiles with scoring end-nodes. Players take control of tunnel
        segments with the intention of owning the highest-scoring tunnels.
        Each tunnel is scored at the end of the game by adding the node values
        of a tunnel together, and counting the number of segments making up
        the tunnel, then multiplying those two values together. The player
        with the most tokens on a tunnel system gets the score -- ties are
        divided evenly.

        Each turn, a player does two things:

        1) Flip a tile

        2) Either claim a tunnel segment, or bury a tile.

        Burying a tile means tunnels pass straight through that tile, but
        doesn't count toward the score of tunnel systems connecting to it.

        Session Overview

        We ended up connected together a huge tunnel network, quite
        unexpectedly. It took time to track down all the forks in it, and the
        game time doesn't include scoring time! :-)

        It was generally agreed that this is a good filler game.

        Game lasted 15 minutes. Final scores were:
        * Jim: 109
        * Ralph: 91
        * Vitas: 87
        * Dave: 47


        ______________________________________________________________________



        Vitas Povilaitis
        http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games

        Check my What's New page where I collect interesting news and links:
        http://www.GracefulBoot.com/board_games/2003_history.html
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