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[SR] MVGA, 11/6/03

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  • Walter Hunt
    MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7:00 in the Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just east of the center of town. We welcome visitors. We ll even waive the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2003
      MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7:00 in the
      Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just
      east of the center of town.

      We welcome visitors. We'll even
      waive the $3.00 fee for your first visit.

      Roll call: Walt, Eric, Rich, Paul, Anton,
      Evan, Dan

      This is the first MVGA session report for a
      while. Eric travels almost non-stop in
      October and early November, so there�s a
      backlog. Be patient and watch for the
      missing reports.

      (Walt, Eric, Rich, Dan, Evan)

      Many of the MVGA regulars are members of an
      APBA tabletop baseball league that�s been
      running for over 20 years. Anton and Paul
      had a 4-game series to play, so they went
      at it while the rest of us sat down to FFF.

      FFF is another Friedemann Friese game that
      is published by 2F in a green box. It seems
      Herr Friese is fond of the letter �F� and
      the color green because many of his games
      come in green boxes and make liberal use of
      the letter �F� (shades of �Sesame Street�!)
      FFF is at its heart a game like Merchants of
      Venus or even Empire Builder; you move
      around the board buying and selling in an
      attempt to amass the victory requirements
      before any of your opponents can do so. The
      setup is random, so the optimal trading
      routes vary from game to game. In addition,
      some games are �easy� (with many lucrative
      routes) while others are �hard� (so that it
      is not easy to increase your wealth.)

      Walt, Rich and Dan had played FFF before, but their experience was
      with an �easy� game in which one player hit the jackpot and won going
      away before the other players had even gotten started in any
      significant way. They were unimpressed with the game due to this
      perceived runaway leader problem, but they wanted to try it again
      because it had gotten good reviews from others. This week�s game was
      a �harder� game, and it was close all the way, and thus much more
      enjoyable. The shops that buy and sell goods were clustered near the
      bottom of the board, while the trading posts that allow you to trade
      one good in for two other goods were up near the top. The fetish shop
      (where you buy fetishes---three fetishes are needed to win) was way
      down in the lower left corner and hard to get to.

      Most of the players started the game by trading their way up to the
      three goods needed for the first fetish. They were hampered by the
      high prices, which made it hard to buy in the quantities needed for
      fast turnover and high profits. Eric took a different tack, buying
      three Food (everything in this game starts with �F�) and selling
      them at an exorbitant price, giving him most of the money he would
      need for the rest of the game. Pretty soon everyone but Eric had
      a fetish and was poor, while Eric had no fetishes but was wealthy.
      Rich then bought his way up to two fetishes. Dan got a �move another
      player�s pawn� action and used it to hurt Eric, who protested that he
      was losing, though only half-heartedly, because he was almost
      immediately able to buy a first and a second fetish in rapid
      succession, putting him in contention for the lead.

      There were only two decent routes in the game, and the one in the
      middle of the board generated huge quantities of Fennel, so that the
      players were virtually choking in Fennel for most of the game. Evan
      greedily bought up several large loads of goods, only to realize that
      he was at his limit of 7 goods and could not buy or trade until he
      sold off. This left him at one fetish while the others all had their

      It wasn�t long before Rich and Eric both made a dash for the fetish
      shop to purchase their final fetishes. Rich had used his special
      action tokens, but Eric had saved one hot foot, which gave him two
      extra action points. He purchased the winning fetish as Rich�s pawn
      stood on the doorstep of the fetish shop.

      Final scores: Eric 3, Rich 2, Dan 2, Walt 2, Evan.

      Eric's rating: 7 for a game that is ingenious and interesting, but
      that seems quite dependent on other players making moves that favors
      you over other opponents. You need a tolerance for chaos to enjoy
      this game. There is an interesting option to play 2 or 3 boards with
      up to 15 players moving between boards, but none of us has tried this
      option yet.

      WYATT EARP (Walt, Eric, Paul)

      The baseball series finished with Anton�s team clinching the division
      championship, so we had seven players ready for the next game. Walt
      and Paul had to leave by 10:00, and Eric was tired, so the three of
      them played a quick game of Wyatt Earp while the other four started in
      on Acquire. Wyatt Earp is a rummy-like card game with an Old West
      theme and a number of special action cards. The winner is the player
      with the most money when one player has at least $25,000, but we
      decided to stop at 10:00 regardless of whether someone had reached
      this level or not.

      In the first hand, Walt laid down some good melds and then drew all
      three Hideout cards. He managed to play both hideouts on Eric, wiping
      out two good suits. The score after one hand was Walt $11,000,
      Paul $10,000 and Eric $4,000.

      In the second hand, Eric managed to lay most of his hand down all at
      once, but unfortunately Walt had already gotten a lot of the cards on
      the table to keep up. Time was up, so we ended with final scores
      Walt $24,000, Eric $18,000 and Paul $14,000. Eric barely caught up
      in the second hand (he probably should have found a way to play his
      hideout on Walt.)

      Eric's rating: 8. This is an enjoyable quick card game either for
      gamers or for non-gamers. The only thing it needs is a new edition
      with better cards (some of the other Mystery Rummy games are being
      re-printed, so perhaps there�s hope.)

      ACQUIRE (Rich, Anton, Evan, Dan)

      This game started off in a lopsided way, with Rich and Anton getting
      all the merger tiles while Evan and Dan suffered. I left before it
      finished, but I�ll bet Rich or Anton won.

      Eric's rating: 8. The merger tiles really matter, but it seems like
      the better players (and I am not one of them) can overcome poor tiles.
      It�s simple and challenging.

      Eric Brosius

      Walter H. Hunt

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