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[SR] MVGA Holliston 2007-03-29

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  • brosiuse
    MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7pm in the Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just east of the center of town. Turn north on Church Place (which is more a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2007
      MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7pm in the
      Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just
      east of the center of town. Turn north on
      Church Place (which is more a driveway than
      a street) to find parking.

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

      Roll call:
      Anton, Paul H., Eric, Dan, Rich, Steve, Walt

      (Eric, Dan, Rich, Steve)

      By the time the rest of us arrived at the
      Masonic Hall, Anton and Paul had already set
      up for the start of the Tabletop Baseball
      League season. The TBL is a 24-team APBA
      league in which several MVGA regulars own
      teams. For the 2007 season, Paul and Anton's
      teams are expected to go far, so the season-
      opening series between them was an event they
      had been looking forward to for months.

      Steve is relatively new to MVGA, but he's
      been coming regularly on an every-other-week
      basis (he plays Starfleet Battles on the off
      weeks.) Steve's bag contained a copy of the
      game "Clue - The Great Museum Caper." Steve
      assured us that, despite the fact that it was
      published by Parker Brothers, it's worth a
      shot. Some gaming groups would laugh a game
      like this right out of court, but we're fairly
      broad-minded at MVGA, and we agreed to try it.

      Clue - The Great Museum Caper is a game in which one player takes
      the role of the criminal (in this case, an art thief) while the
      others work as a team to catch him. The search process is short
      enough that every player can take a turn as the thief, with victory
      going to the player who escapes with the biggest haul.

      Steve was the first player to be the thief. We were happy to let
      him lead off the batting, as we weren't sure what to expect. In
      this game, the thief marks his moves off on a paper map which is
      not visible to the guards, who move their pawns around in full view
      on the game board. The thief can grab a painting, immediately
      revealing his exact location as he picks the painting up from its
      spot on the map and placing it in front of him. He can also disable
      the hidden cameras, making it more difficult to find him. Steve made
      only a few moves before he picked up a painting in the red room, just
      three spaces from Dan's detective. Dan calmly rolled a '3' on the
      movement die and walked over to put Steve into custody. Steve
      sheepishly admitted that he wasn't back in game shape.

      Rich was next to take his turn as thief. He nabbed his first piece
      of art in the green room, and although Steve rushed in, Rich easily
      slipped by him to make his escape. After a brief cat and mouse game,
      Rich grabbed his second painting in the red room. Eric spotted him,
      bringing Rich's pawn out onto the board where the guards could find
      it. As we all rushed in, Rich dashed to the window and tried the
      lock. Much to his relief, it opened, allowing Rich to escape
      with two paintings.

      We re-shuffled the lock tokens, re-arranged the paintings and cameras,
      and gave Dan a shot at a life of crime. For quite some time, Dan did
      not steal any painting, preferring instead to work on disabling the
      cameras. We observed that, if we were to catch Dan, it might be hard
      to find charges to bring, given that theft didn't seem to be in his
      plans for the evening. Finally the motion detector went off in the
      white room, and when Steve entered the room, he crashed right into Dan,
      ending a rather innocuous experiment with the criminal lifestyle.

      Eric was the final quarry to be pursued. He also began with a camera
      disablement campaign, taking out four of the six before stealing his
      first painting, again in the red room (perhaps the color brings out
      aggressive tendencies in would-be thieves?) He made his escape before
      the pursuit could close in, but the motion detector was his downfall.
      He rushed into the green room and snapped up a second painting before
      he headed for the window, hoping to tie Rich. Unfortunately for Eric,
      the window in this room was locked. Eric dodged back and forth in the
      corners of the room for a few moves, but succumbed after a brief

      Final scores: Rich 2, everyone else 0.

      Eric's rating: 5. There's a real game here, as Clue - The Great
      Museum Caper has more in common with Scotland Yard than with Clue. I
      wouldn't seek this game out, but it was fun playing, especially because
      of the company.

      (Eric, Dan, Rich, Steve)

      Midway through our first game, a group came in to set up for a wedding
      reception. Even though the MVGA group rents the Masonic Hall every week,
      we periodically find that it has been rented out to another group. Of
      course, you can't really try to throw the bride and groom out of the hall
      a few days before the wedding, and we were happy to move upstairs to the
      room at the back of the building where we meet when the Live Steam group
      takes the larger hall. Anton and Paul stayed downstairs, as their APBA
      series didn't take much room. When the first game ended, we checked on
      them and found that they still had another hour to go. We decided to
      play Alhambra as our next game.

      Rich got off to a strong start in gardens, supplementing them with an
      early wall chain to take the lead at the first scoring. Towers were
      split as the rest of us were exactly tied.

      Scoring 1: Rich 10 (5 walls,) Eric 6 (2), Dan 6 (2), Steve 6 (2).

      Rich moved into towers in the middle part of the game, but the gardens
      and towers both attracted heavy interest from his opponents, making it
      impossible for him to pull away on the score track. Rich extended his
      wall to 10 while Steve managed to build his to 10 as well. Dan suffered
      from his usual difficulties in Alhambra, trailing by a wide margin at
      the second scoring.

      Scoring 2: Rich 43 (10 walls,) Eric 37 (5), Steve 32 (10), Dan 25 (4).

      During the final stages of the game, Eric grabbed red and blue tiles to
      give him sole first place in both colors while at least tying for second
      in most of the others. His wall remained anemic, but his color scoring
      more than made up for it to yield a comfortable victory.

      Final scores:

      Eric 114 (9 walls,) Rich 96 (16), Steve 90 (18), Dan 81 (8).

      Eric's rating: 8. We've played quite a bit of Alhambra at MVGA, but we
      still enjoy playing it. We use it when we have a 1-hour slot to fill and
      3 or 4 players to fill it.

      (Paul H., Dan, Rich, Steve, Walt)
      [Report provided by Dan]

      At this point Eric and Anton left, but Paul joined the group to bring the
      numbers up to 4. Every few weeks someone suggests a game of Puerto Rico
      at MVGA. Steve, Rich, Paul and Dan sat down for a game, and as it was only
      Steve's 2nd Puerto Rico game, we stuck with the standard buildings. Just as
      we were about to start, Walt arrived so we switched into 5-player mode.
      In the early game, Steve grabbed a few Tobacco planations and the Tobacco
      shed; he was clearly in the pocket of "Big Tobacco". Rich seemed focused on
      a shipping strategy, as usual, and Dan went after sugar to earn some money
      to buy a Factory.
      By mid-game, Dan had his factory. Walt, sitting one seat ahead of Dan,
      bought the other and it seemed like they were playing exactly the same game.
      Steve was earning good money and filling boats with Tobacco. Rich was getting
      good shipping points. Paul, unfortunately, had to leave so we converted back
      to a 4-player game. The proper number of colonists and VP's were removed from
      the game but we did not recycle the buildings or plantations from Paul's board.
      This hurt Rich, who was trying to grab Corn plantations; they were pretty evenly
      spread among the players and Paul had 3.
      People accumulated more money and the big buildings were about to go. Walt
      started off grabbing a Wharf. Dan bought a Harbor (he likes the Factory/Harbor
      combo, if I can get it, as both benefit from the ability to produce multiple
      types of goods.) Rich bought the other Wharf. With two quarries and the
      ability to produce four different commodities and two quarries, Dan was also
      able to grab an early bonus building.
      At end game, Walt, Rich and Dean were each able to buy another bonus building.
      Steve was one dubloon short (or maybe he bought one and was not able to man it?)
      Final scores:
      Walt: 56 = 23 building + 27 shipping + 6 bonus
      Dan: 63 = 24 building + 25 shipping + 14 bonus
      Steve: 48 = 19 building + 29 shipping
      Rich: 53 = 22 building + 24 shipping + 7 bonus

      Eric Brosius
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