SR: GSG 11/18 & 11/25: A Game of Thrones, Fish Eat Fish, King Me!, Amun Re plus...
- GSG 11/18
Roll Call: Tami, Jason, James, Phil, Eric, Bill, Kostas, Bob, Matt and Mark
I fetched Tami and Jason from downtown Providence. I've been meaning to
have Tami up for a session and Jason just happened to be working in
Providence this week (he's from California). We bumped into him on
Saturday during our GiP session and I invited him over for the Tuesday
night fights, er, festivities. Kostas somehow had the night free for some
travelling, so in total we had 3 new guests. Probably a record. Note that
none of them returned the following week. Special thanks to James who
actually VOLUNTEERED to taxi Jason and Tami home at the end of the
evening. Thanks James!
Eric's already written about the adventures at the "kiddy" table, but I
figured I'd let folks in on what the "big boys" did.
A Game of Thrones: Kostas, Bill, James, Jason and Mark
I think Jason was the only new player here with everyone else having played
it once before. This time we played it all the way through turn 10. I
think I agree with Bill in that this second playing took some of the shine
off the game. After a quick initial expansion our play started to
stalemate and see-saw into some predictable patterns. The sea zones were
practically deadlocked and although the land expansions were sometimes fast
and furious the game's balancing mechanisms kept the leaders in check just
long enough for the downtrodden to recoup their losses. For instance Jason
and I swapped a few of the same territories about four times throughout the
game and Kostas went from just a few pieces to a power house by game's end.
The other reason for the stalemated lines were the way we played, fairly
straightforward and "nice" in that there was very little
backstabbing. Jason and James forged an early alliance after James opened
the game by ousting Jason from a choice area. And with them cooperating so
early they beat up on us unallied players until we came together. I had no
border with Bill, but Kostas and I drew a line in the sea shortly after I
kicked him out of the mid-eastern sea zone and we kept to that border
throughout the game. After a short time Kostas and Bill were also
cooperating in order to stave off the steady advance of James and Jason.
By midgame the tide had started to turn against James and Jason, although
coming down the stretch it was anyone's game. None of us got close to 7
cities (I think 5 was the high water mark) so it came down to who was ahead
on the last turn. And given the seesaw nature of the game it felt a little
bit silly to have played for hours to arrive at around the same point we'd
started at. I jumped the shark on the 2nd to last turn where I gambled
that another re-vote for positions card wouldn't come up on the last
turn. The card came up and I had no power tokens so I was swept from the
top positions down to the bottom of all three ladders. I was quickly
ousted by Jason from one of his cities (again) and knocked down to 4 cities.
In the end it came down to whether or not psycho Bill would stab Kostas in
the back in a bid for the victory. He amazingly declined to do so, thus
handing the game to Kostas. Old age is just starting to mellow Bill out.
I still like the game but there's gotta be a way to make it about half as
long. Perhaps going 5 turns instead of 10 (take out some of the cards to
bring event distribution in line with that) and reducing the sudden victory
total to 6 instead of 7. In such a shorter game I think backstabbing might
be a bit more prevalent as victory can be so tantalizingly close.
Roll Call: Bill, Bob, Eric, Phil, Matt, Brian, Bruce and Mark
Despite the chastisement he took during my trolling for warm bodies this
week, Bruce showed up with a basket of his "games". We played a few to
placate him and then went on to the stuff we like.
Fish Eat Fish: Bill, Bob, Bruce and Mark
I ended up at the 'B' table. Apparently your name had to start with the
letter 'B' and you had to be an old Bastard or simply just a Butthead to
qualify for this table. I'm not sure how Brian got out of it. Bill
refused to play FeF, probably because of the theme and festive color scheme
or perhaps the bits were too nice for him. He's just not happy unless
there are a few thousand cardboard chits as well as plenty of charts and
The game wasn't all that exciting. There's obviously a large bluffing
element, and plenty of info for the card counters out there to keep track
of, but the board play was blah. None of us were very impressed. Bruce
thinks I must've misread the rules somewhere and vows to retry it after
re-reading the rules.
King Me!: Bill, Bob, Bruce and Mark
I'd misremembered the description someone had posted somewhere so I kept
describing it as "Intrige-lite". Yet Bob immediately corrected that to
"Kremlin-lite" when I started explaining the rules. Another game of bluff,
but this time it worked better. Not great, but it could be a decent filler
as it moved very quickly.
Amun Re: Bill, Bob, Bruce and Mark
After the fluffy stuff Bruce brought we returned to a game we hadn't played
in quite a while, I'm not sure why. I completely choked the chubby on the
last auction of the first kingdom when I bid 15 for a province yet I only
had 13 gold in my hand. I had to ditch 2 bonus scoring cards to pay for it
and the whole reason I bid on the province was because the scoring cards
applied to it. Doh! So after the first scoring I was one point out of
last place, but unlike Bruce (last place) I had no money (he collect
something like 38 gold that turn). Bob was about 7 points ahead of me and
Bill not far behind him. That single move not only effectively put me out
of commission for the game, it pissed me off royally. The old Bastards at
the table found it quite amusing and they reveled in my misery. I turned
the whine factor on high, but soon quieted down to play out the string,
vowing that if I didn't finish in last they should be embarrassed.
To make a long story short I finished in 3rd, ahead of Bill, who dutifully
should be embarrassed. The cheap old Bastard bid too low on a juicy
territory in the final set of auctions, basically handing me the 5 point
bonus for most pyramids in a region on that side of the river. Bob took
the well deserved victory and Bruce did a creditable job of coming from
last place to within a few points of the win.
Bill, Bob and I always enjoy Amun-Re and Bruce actually liked the game a
little bit more after this his 3rd playing.
Hopefully Eric or Phil will come out with an SR for what the other table
did last night. I know they played the Ireland expansion of Age of Steam,
but that's about all I know.
Hey, next week is December. Any volunteers to host?!?