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SOG SR: Westford 4/11

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  • Josh Bluestein
    It was a light yet exciting SOG session last night, with several regular attendees otherwise engaged, travelling, laboring, what-have-you. We did get a brief
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 12, 2005
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      It was a light yet exciting SOG session last night, with several
      regular attendees otherwise engaged, travelling, laboring,
      what-have-you. We did get a brief visit from the fire department,
      though, and how many people can say that about *their* game nights?

      In attendance were Mark T, Rob, Lowell and myself. Once the
      formalities were attended to (lots of blah blah and me putting my son
      to bed), we decided to start with a light game in case anyone else was
      going to show up. I pulled out Fossil, and Lowell only vaguely
      recalled it and Mark and Rob had never played it before.

      The game is much-maligned because of the dreaded 'player to your
      right' syndrome, where an unskilled or inattentive player on your
      right can set you up for substantial gains. It's essentially a set
      collection game, and after bringing it out again I have decided that I
      still like it. It's never going to be a frequently-played game, but
      it certainly isn't a bad one. (This was its trial run -- if I
      couldn't muster enthusiasm after this play it was going on the
      trade/sell pile.)

      The board is a 9x9 grid, with a tile on each space. There are nine
      fossils, with nine pieces each. Each piece of a fossil has a relative
      importance to the whole: there are 6 1s, 2 2s and 1 3, signified by
      the number of little symbols on the tile. These are important because
      your score when a fossil is completed is the product of the symbols
      you've collected and the number of tiles you've collected. So, if you
      were to somehow manage to get all nine pieces of a fossil for
      yourself, it would be worth 117 points, which is pretty darn good.
      Additionally, any other player who has no pieces of a scored fossil
      loses points equal to the number of tiles taken by the person who
      scored the most points in that fossil. In any case, you can spend a
      long time at the bottom of the score chart and suddenly shoot up when
      a fossil you've been collecting gets scored.

      As noted by Rob, the game is fun when played reasonably quickly, but
      I would avoid playing with anyone who wanted to mathematically
      optimize every move. At 45 minutes to an hour, it's enjoyable. Past
      that, I would grow bored quickly. We had a photo finish when I zoomed
      past Rob int he final scoring, only to lose to him by one point due to
      not having collected any fossils of a particular type. Final scores
      were, roughly:

      Rob: 109
      Josh: 108
      Mark: 102
      Lowell: 76

      A certain honorable mention must be given to Mark who managed to
      multiply 9 and 5 together and end up with 95. Find the marketing
      person!

      At this point, it was clear we were on our own, so we pulled out
      Medieval Merchant. I was just finishing going through the rules when
      Rob looked out the window and said, "Hey, there's a fire out there!".
      Now, I'm fairly used to Rob interrupting rules explanations with inane
      nonsense, but this one really took the cake. Except, actually, as it
      turned out, there was a fire. It was in the forest in front of my
      neighbor's house, fortunately right next to a drainage easement
      running through the area. I alerted the neighbors and they called the
      fire department...and we spent a few minutes beating it down (it
      wasn't a huge fire) until the pros got there and finished it off.

      This took a small chunk out of the evening, though, so we decided to
      go with something a little lighter instead, as Lowell was hoping to
      make an early night of it.

      So, we played Frank's Zoo. It's a lot less chaotic with four players,
      but still a good bit of fun. Interestingly enough, the partnerships
      never changed during the course of the game, although who was senior
      and who was junior swapped around a bit.

      Final scores:
      Josh: 23
      Rob: 20
      Mark: 20
      Lowell: 15

      Lowell headed home, and we decided to do one last short thing before
      wrapping up. I suggested Vom Kap bis Kairo, as it had been sitting
      unplayed in my collection for several years. I bought it some time ago
      based on a recommendation from...somewhere...but in any case I had
      never managed to get it to the table.

      Well, I'm glad I finally got a chance to play it, but I am sad to
      report that, well, we all hated it. It's not without an interesting
      decision or two, but mostly it's a luck-of-the-draw, boring, clunky
      game. In reexamining the rules translation, I believe we played a few
      things incorrectly, mostly involving turn sequencing, but I don't
      think anything significant was missed. All in all, a disappointing
      experience. Rob won when I overbid on the final round and left myself
      with very little chance of building over my eighth terrain. We were
      all happy to be done.

      And that was all for the night!

      Josh
    • Richard Spoonts
      Vom Kap bis Kairo is one of my favorite Adlung games, and is one of the few auction-based games that I thoroughly enjoy. I disagree that the game is largely
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 14, 2005
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        Vom Kap bis Kairo is one of my favorite Adlung games,
        and is one of the few auction-based games that I
        thoroughly enjoy. I disagree that the game is largely
        luck-driven. It is a game of careful timing and a bit
        of risk-taking, and I find it enormously enjoyable. I
        would be interested in playing it with you sometime to
        see why you hated it so much.

        Richard

        --- Josh Bluestein <josh@...> wrote:
        > I suggested Vom Kap bis Kairo, as it
        > had been sitting
        > unplayed in my collection for several years. I
        > bought it some time ago
        > based on a recommendation from...somewhere...but in
        > any case I had
        > never managed to get it to the table.
        >
        > Well, I'm glad I finally got a chance to play it,
        > but I am sad to
        > report that, well, we all hated it. It's not
        > without an interesting
        > decision or two, but mostly it's a luck-of-the-draw,
        > boring, clunky
        > game. In reexamining the rules translation, I
        > believe we played a few
        > things incorrectly, mostly involving turn
        > sequencing, but I don't
        > think anything significant was missed. All in all,
        > a disappointing
        > experience. Rob won when I overbid on the final
        > round and left myself
        > with very little chance of building over my eighth
        > terrain. We were
        > all happy to be done.
        >
        > And that was all for the night!
        >
        > Josh
        >


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