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SOG SR: 2/27 in Westford

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  • Josh Bluestein
    We managed to have a total of 10 participants in gaming last night at my place: Mark, Mike, Jess R., .chip, Lowell, Evan. Paul, Jeff M., me, and special guest
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2006
      We managed to have a total of 10 participants in gaming last night at
      my place: Mark, Mike, Jess R., .chip, Lowell, Evan. Paul, Jeff M., me,
      and special guest star Jess T. (aka my wife), who joined us for a game
      of Electronic Catchphrase and seemingly even enjoyed herself in the
      process.

      People arrived in a steady stream from 7:00 to 7:30. We were planning
      on starting with a round of 6 Nimmt!, and when it finally came time to
      play the first round the number of players had grown from five to
      nine. So we played one round of that and called it. Mark and Paul
      both managed to take no cards at all, and Mark won the special
      'arm-wrestling' tie-breaker.

      At this point we had a game of Electronic Catchphrase. Teams were:
      Mark, .chip, Lowell, Jeff and me vs. Mike, Jess, Jess, Evan and Paul.
      Things were pretty even until Paul started getting items like 'Nipsy
      Russel', which I have to admit he gave a stellar try on, but really.
      In any case, Team 1 took the victory.

      We then fragmented things a bit. Lowell headed out, as he had
      somewhere to be in any case. Evan, Paul, Jess, and .chip played an
      abbreviated game of La Citta, while Mike, Mark, Jeff and I played
      Elasund: The First City.

      This is the newest game in the Catan Adventures series (of which
      Candamir was the first). The gameplay centers around building
      different parts of a city and scoring victory points for it.

      It's interesting -- I couldn't get a feel for the game at all from
      reading the rules, but the gameplay is really pretty easy. It has
      some of the same feel as other Catan games -- you set up buildings to
      generate resources (money and influence in this case) and when the die
      roll hits your buildings you get the money and/or influence.

      Unlike the other Catan games, there's no trading. I don't consider
      this to be a problem, though -- I never really cared for the trading
      aspects anyway, and since you're dealing with a much more limited
      number of resources (gold and influence), I don't think trading would
      add to the game much.

      The game is much more contentious -- many of your VPs can be lost if
      someone manages to remove a building that you built for VPs. The only
      VPs that are 100% safe are those generated by building pieces of the
      Church and by building towers on the City Walls...and both of these
      can be quite costly to build.

      And, of course, there's the Pirate Ship, which attacks whenever a 7 is
      rolled. It has a clever mechanism, which is that it can only hurt
      people who have VP markers placed on the board. But more opportunity
      for screwing the leader, if you're so inclined.

      Well. So it took about three turns for Mark to really turn his whine
      machine up to maximum volume, loudly proclaiming that he had no chance
      of winning and he might as well resign now. Somehow, though, he
      managed to pull out the win in a closely contested game.

      Final scores: Mark: 10, Mike: 9, Jeff: 9, Josh: 7

      Had Mark not ended the game on his turn, I would have been able to
      build a building that would have taken two VPs away from Mike and put
      me at 9...so I don't really feel too bad about my 7.

      I really enjoyed my first play of this one, the gameplay is
      interesting and tense, and you understand more about the gameplay as
      you go through the game. Definitely one that merits additional play.
      I confess to having some concerns about the advantage given to the
      first players -- there doesn't seem to be any balancing done in this
      area, and early players have a cheap and easy shot at the cheap
      wall-building locations. Still, considering that Mark was third and
      won, I don't know that it's actually unbalanced -- just wondering
      about it. I would like to see how that shapes up after further plays.

      Once we finished up, Mike, Mark, .chip and Jess all went home. This
      left me, Evan, Paul and Jeff.

      We played Doge, a fun blind-bidding area control game set in what must
      be the gaming capital of the world: Venice. We conceded the game to
      Paul once he was one house placement away from victory, since there
      was no way that anyone could stop him from getting that house. I
      enjoy this game a lot.

      We finished up with Fantasy Pub, a very light and silly game about
      fantasy creatures (Hobbits, Dwarves, Warriors and Orcs) hanging out in
      a bar together and trying to drink as much beer as possible. The goal
      is to drink as much beer as you can and exit the bar without being
      bounced for drunkenness or running out of money. It's reasonably fun,
      quite random, generally amusing.

      I won this one, with my Warrior bringing home my last four beers just
      a turn ahead of Evan, who was about to score his very last one.

      And that was all for the night.

      Same time next week, eh?

      Josh
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