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[SR] MVGA Holliston 2008-02-28

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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 , Mar 2, 2008
      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. The Masons generously
      stopped charging us for the space, so there
      is no longer a $3.00 fee for anyone!

      Roll call:
      Anton, Eric, Mikey, Walt, Dan, Rich

      (Anton, Eric, Mikey)

      The Race for the Galaxy craze that has swept
      the gaming world hasn't missed Holliston.
      As soon as we had 2 people at the Masonic
      Hall, Anton pulled the chapter's copy out of
      the game locker and started to set it up.
      Mikey arrived before we started, and he was
      happy to join (he says he's played this game
      more times than Joe Huber has, and that's
      saying something!)

      Walt arrived during the first turn of the game, but Dan came in on his heels,
      so instead of re-starting the game to add Walt, the two of them used Walt's
      copy to play another game at the other end of the table. In our game, Mikey
      used Trade League and New Economy to blow Anton and Eric out. Anton had the
      Merchant Guild for some respectable VPs, but Eric never built more than his
      first brown world, even though he'd build Mining Guild, so it scored a meager
      1 VP for him at the end.

      Final scores: Mikey 31, Anton 24, Eric 19

      Eric's rating: 10. I've played Race for the Galaxy 68 times now, and I'm
      still learning new ways to lose. The key to this game is being able to see
      one or more ways to win using the cards you have and playing so as to give
      yourself the best chance that one or more of them will come through.

      (Walt, Dan)

      The second game finished at almost the same time as the first. Dan cranked
      out a huge pile of VP chips with a Produce/Consume strategy. He never got a
      6-cost development out, but he walloped Walt, who played Pan Galactic League,
      a card I haven't yet managed to figure out. Walt mentioned that his wife
      Lisa is especially fond of Race for the Galaxy. The two of them are playing
      almost every evening.

      Final scores: Dan 35, Walt 26

      (Anton, Mikey, Rich)

      Rich came in just as the first two Race for the Galaxy games were starting to
      give us our full complement of 6 players for the evening. Eric had a new game
      he wanted to try with 3, and he recruited Walt and Dan, so Anton, Mikey and
      Rich looked for a 3-player game. What do you think they chose? Why, another
      game of Race, of course! This one was close, but Rich managed to dent Mikey's
      winning streak.

      Final scores: Rich 43, Mikey 40, Anton 40.

      (Eric, Walt, Dan)

      Eric brought his new copy of Through the Ages to MVGA this week, and he wanted
      to try it out. Through the Ages takes 2 to 4 players, but the new FRED edition
      is missing some components and there aren't enough to play with 4 (FRED has
      promised to supply the missing components once they're available.) This was
      okay, as with 6 players on hand it made the most sense to split into two groups
      of 3.

      Through the Ages is a civilization-building card game with no map. The heart
      of the game is a set of small cards that players can draft and then build to
      increase the capabilities of their civilizations. Cards are available to play
      three ages (Age I, Age II and Age III,) with small stub periods before Age I
      and after Age III. We decided to play the Advanced Game (Ages I and II only)
      rather than the Basic Game (just Age I) or the Full Game (all three Ages.)
      Eric has been practicing how to teach this game, and it took a little more than
      half an hour to teach, so that we got underway at around 8:30.

      Dan was first player, and he snapped up Julius Caesar, adding 1 to his strength
      and 1 military action. Walt went the peaceful route instead, taking Moses to
      facilitate growth in his population. Eric never got around to taking an Age A
      leader, taking and completing the Colossus and adding the Hanging Gardens just
      after taking Michelangelo as an Age I leader. Now, Michelangelo can pile up
      a lot of VPs in Ages I and II, as he awards an extra VP for many of your happy
      faces, but taking him involves a juggling act with a weak military.

      During the first turns, we walked through each player's actions carefully to
      make sure we were all on the same page, but Dan and Walt picked it up quickly
      and by the end of their first game, they had the mechanics down solidly.

      In this game no one got out to a large military lead. Eric pulled out in
      front in the VP race, but Walt was scoring points as well, and Dan with the
      strongest military was able to play an event card almost every turn. When the
      colonies came out, Eric was fortunate enough to have more than his share of
      the Defense/Colonization cards, so he grabbed two key colonies while Dan and
      Walt got just one each. Dan took Christopher Columbus, hoping for a free
      colony, but after that he never drew another colony, making Chris an exercise
      in frustration.

      The game cruised along smoothly, and we finished just before 11pm. It took
      us less than 150 minutes to play the Advanced Game, suggesting that we'll be
      able to play the Full Game with 3 on a Thursday evening once all the players
      have learned the game.

      Final scores: Eric 89, Walt 70, Dan 60.

      Eric's rating: 10. This is a fantastic game in which the mechanisms make
      sense to me. I think of the yellow tokens as "room for a person to live" and
      the blue tokens as "room to store stuff," and this seems to help me understand
      the rules. There are many things you need in this game (people, food, rocks,
      science, military strength, room to live, room to store stuff, cards, civil
      actions, military actions,...) and you're always going to be short of several
      of them. The fact that you face different problems every game makes it

      (Anton, Mikey, Rich)

      While the 3 gamers who weren't playing Through the Ages could have played
      Race for the Galaxy all evening, it seemed appropriate to play at least one
      longer game in the middle somewhere. Mikey had brought a copy of Vegas
      Showdown, Avalon Hill's casino building game, and it served as a nice break
      among all the Race games.

      Mikey won with the help of the Dragon Room, a high-scoring attraction that
      requires that you have a Fancy Slots room before you can even build it. You
      will notice that my write-up for this game is sketchy; I was so busy helping
      with Through the Ages that I had little attention to spare for the games the
      others were playing.

      Eric's rating: 7. Vegas Showdown is a well-designed auction game that plays
      quickly and is visually attractive. I find it just a little bit clunky, which
      keeps my rating from rising above '7', but I'll be happy to play it with
      someone who wants to give it a shot.

      (Anton, Mikey, Rich)

      I don't have any details about this game except to note that Mikey won.

      Eric Brosius
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