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Re: Invitation to Play - Games - May 31

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  • carebear_zb
    Well it looks like I am in for tonight. It s one of the only nights this week that I will be in Pleasanton, and possibly one of the few nights I will be able
    Message 1 of 8 , May 31, 2006
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      Well it looks like I am in for tonight. It's one of the only nights
      this week that I will be in Pleasanton, and possibly one of the few
      nights I will be able to play this summer.

      Carrie


      --- In trivalleygamers@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Pardoe" <RPardoe@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Well, I, for one, find myself unable to attend Kublacon this
      weekend, so I
      > am eager to play games this Wednesday. Anyone else not gamed out that
      > wishes to join me?
      >
      > Wednesday Night, ~18:30 to ~21:00
      > My house in San Ramon
      > (Contact me off-list if you need directions)
      >
      > Rich
      >
      > PS - As a heads up, it looks like I won't be able to host games at
      the end
      > of June (28th) and the start of July (5th, 12th) - just mention this
      so if
      > anyone wishes to consider hosting - you have plenty of advance notice to
      > work out the details.
      >
    • Richard Pardoe
      Dave, Carrie, and Jeff arrived at Rich s and we quickly settled to playing games. First up for the eveing was a lunchtime favourite for Dave and Carrie -
      Message 2 of 8 , May 31, 2006
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        Dave, Carrie, and Jeff arrived at Rich's and we quickly settled to playing
        games.

        First up for the eveing was a lunchtime favourite for Dave and Carrie -
        TICHU.

        The rules state (perhap with more seriousness than I imagine) - "Tichu
        cannot be explained!" So I won't even try. I will just copy the
        description from the geek as it is a nice summary:

        Partnership climbing card game -- object is rid yourself of your hand. The
        deck is a standard 52-card pack with four special cards added. When it's
        your turn, you may either beat the current top card combination or pass. If
        play passes all the way back to the player who laid the top cards, he wins
        the trick and can lead the next one. The card led determines the only
        combination of cards to be played on that trick. So if a single card is led,
        then only single cards are played. If a straight of seven cards is led, then
        only straights of seven cards, etc. The last player out gives all the cards
        he won to the player who exited first, and the last player's unplayed cards
        are handed to the opposite team. Five's, Ten's and Kings are worth points,
        with each hand worth one hundred points (without bonuses). The first team to
        1000 points wins.

        We doubted we would play to 1000 points, but instead played 4 hands (each
        person dealing once) so as to allow us to play another game later in the
        evening. As Rich and Jeff were the Tichu newbies, they were paired with
        Dave and Carrie respectively to spread the experience around.

        The first hand saw a rather interesting series of plays. In Tichu, multiple
        pairs can be played, but they must be sequential (eg a pair of 2's and a
        pair of 3's is fine, but a pair of 2's and a pair of 4's is not.) Dave led
        with two pair (2-3). Carrie passed. Rich followed with 3-4 (to help empty
        his hand) to be followed by Jeff with 5-6. Dave passed, but now Carrie
        jumped in with J-Q. Rich passed, then Jeff played Q-K to trump out Carrie.
        (A bit of a misplay on Jeff's part as he didn't realize that Carrie had the
        dog card and was hoping to win a trick to lead with the dog.) So five sets
        of 2 pair were played. In the end, the points were almost evenly split:
        55-45 for Carrie/Jeff.

        The next hand saw Carrie play a 10 card straight but she hadn't called
        Tichu. Amazingly despite voiding her hand first, not many points were
        scored for her team and Dave/Rich scored 60 points to Carrie/Jeff's 40.

        The third hand saw Jeff open with a 6 card straight (1-6). Dave responded
        with a 6-J only to be beaten by Carrie's 7-Q. Carrie/Jeff score the slight
        advantage here (55-45) bringing total scores to 150-150 after 3 rounds. A
        key factor was the Phoenix (-25) and Dragon (+25) had ended up with the same
        team each round, so no net gain/loss from those cards.

        The final hand saw Dave call Tichu. He then proceeded to bomb a trick with
        four 2's (revealing after the hand that Carrie and Jeff had each passed him
        a two to complete the bomb). A full house and a few plays later and Dave
        was out first gaining the 100 point bonus. Rich hoped to empty his hand
        next and shut-out Carrie/Jeff, but it was not to be. Carrie almost down to
        a single card. Winning the trick on the table and she would be out next.
        But Jeff took the trick and then proceeded to go out, followed by Carrie -
        leaving Rich with his single card in hand. But no foul there as Rich's
        captured cards were given to the first player out (Dave) and his remaining
        card in hand (a single 4) given to Carrie/Jeff. As a result, Dave had 90
        points in cards plus the Tichu bonus of 100 points for 190 points for the
        hand while Carrie/Jeff had only 10 points.

        We thus ended the game with Rich/Dave at 340 points to Carrie/Jeff's 160
        points. Normally the game is played to 1000 points and I can see why. This
        allows for sufficient hands (say 10 ~ 12) to allow the dealt card
        distributions to even out a bit over the course of play. But just about
        perfect for a quick introduction to the game.

        There is a lot to think about. One aspect I like - no card play is forced
        (as it is in other games). Therefore, any card(s) played is the result of a
        player's decision to do so. This adds a wonderful timing dimension along to
        the hand management dimension resulting in a very enjoyable card game.

        With just over an hour left to play, Rich pulled out STIMMT SO! as the final
        game of the evening. A game board has spots representing 4 international
        bourses (stock exchange). At each bourse, a single share in one of 6
        companies is available for purchase. The key is that each bourse will only
        accept payment in its currency (dollars, euros, rubles, or yen). Therefore,
        on a turn, player's can either select from the face up currency on offer or
        purchase one of the shares.

        But change is not given. If a share costs 10 million at the Tokyo Bourse
        (yen) and the player only has a 5 million yen and a 6 million yen card, the
        extra million yen is lost. But if a player pays the exact amount, that
        player takes another turn (though the shares are not replenished until that
        player has finished all their acquisitions). At a few points through the
        game, scoring is conducted and players gain points for having the most
        shares in each of the 6 companies. The winner is the player with the most
        points at the end of the game.

        Early on in our game, the rubles seemed to be deficient, but lots of banking
        shares came up. In fact, 7 of the 11 bank shares had been purchased by the
        first scoring round. But scores were realtively close. Similarly in the
        second round, most companies were now owned by 2 or 3 players. With no
        clear majorities, the scores stayed very close as everyone was within a
        point of each other. But in the final round, the stocks started to spread
        out a bit more and the majorities clearly established. Rich didn't have any
        petroleum stocks and when one of the final two shares was offered on the
        Japanese bourse, he saw no need to purchase it as it wouldn't even get him
        points for 3rd place holdings. So he waited until it was purchased, only to
        see it replaced by the final petroleum stock. So much for having utility of
        the yen accumulated.

        We did play with the Stimmt So! rules, but I see some suggestions from
        Alhambra (a game that is a redevelopment of Stimmt So!) that might be nice
        to add in. We had several rounds were the money on offer was a series of
        1's. In Alhambra, players can take as much currency as desired provided the
        total is less than or equal to 5. I think this might be a nice addition to
        the game and allows for a nice seeding of hands with the smaller valued
        currencies.

        The other change is the initial distribution of money. In Stimmt So!, 5
        cards are dealt to each player. In Alhambra, cards are dealt until the
        total is greater than 20. The player with the lowest total is then the
        first player. I can see this also being a nice starting tweak to add to
        Stimmt So! Also.

        By the end of the game, a variety of majorities had been established, with
        Jeff having or sharing in majority for 4 of the 6 companies. With such a
        postion, Jeff was the clear winner of the game. By scoring round - the full
        details:

        At the first scoring event:

        Entertainment:
        Jeff = 1 share
        Jeff = 1 point

        Automobiles:
        Rich = 1, Carrie = 2 shares
        Carrie = 2 points

        Airplanes:
        Rich = 1, Dave = 1 share
        Rich/Dave split 3 points = 1 point each

        Computers:
        Jeff = 1 share
        Jeff = 4 points

        Petroleum:
        Dave = 2, Jeff = 1, Carrie = 1
        Dave = 5 points

        Banking:
        Carrie = 2, Jeff = 2, Rich = 2, Dave = 1
        Carrie/Jeff/Rich split 6 points = 2 points each

        Rich = 3 points
        Carrie = 4 points
        Dave = 6 points
        Jeff = 7 points


        At the second scoring event:

        Entertainment:
        Rich = 2, Carrie = 2, Jeff = 1 share
        Rich/Carrie split the 8 points = 4 points each.

        Automobiles:
        Rich = 2, Carrie = 3 shares
        Carrie = 9 points, Rich = 2 points

        Airplanes:
        Rich = 1, Dave = 3
        Dave = 10 points, Rich = 3 points

        Computers:
        Rich = 1, Dave = 2, Jeff = 3 share
        Jeff = 11 points, Dave = 4 points

        Petroleum:
        Dave = 3, Jeff = 3, Carrie = 3
        Dave/Jeff/Carrie share 15 points = 5 points each

        Banking:
        Carrie = 2, Jeff = 2, Rich = 3, Dave = 1
        Rich = 13 points, Carrie/Jeff split 6 points = 3 points each

        Rich = 25 points
        Carrie = 25 points
        Dave = 25 points
        Jeff = 26 points


        At the final scoring event:

        Entertainment:
        Rich = 2, Carrie = 2, Jeff = 3 share
        Jeff = 16 points, Rich/Carrie split the 8 points = 4 points each.

        Automobiles:
        Rich = 3, Carrie = 4 shares
        Carrie = 17 points, Rich = 9 points

        Airplanes:
        Rich = 3, Dave = 5, Carrie = 1
        Dave = 18 points, Rich = 10 points, Carrie = 3 points

        Computers:
        Rich = 1, Dave = 3, Jeff = 5 share
        Jeff = 19 points, Dave = 11 points, Rich = 4 points

        Petroleum:
        Dave = 3, Jeff = 4, Carrie = 4
        Jeff/Carrie share 32 points = 16 points each, Dave = 5 points

        Banking:
        Carrie = 3, Jeff = 3, Rich = 3, Dave = 2
        Rich/Carrie/Jeff split 40 points = 13 points each

        Rich = 65 points
        Carrie = 78 points
        Dave = 59 points
        Jeff = 90 points

        A couple of nice games tonight. Until next week,

        Rich
      • Richard Pardoe
        We recently played Um Krone und Kragen, one of the many games released at Nürnberg 2006, there were many other games released at that time also: Thurn und
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 3, 2006
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          We recently played Um Krone und Kragen, one of the many games released at
          Nürnberg 2006, there were many other games released at that time also:

          Thurn und Taxis
          Mykerinos
          Mauerbauer
          California
          Einfach Genial Reise-Edition for zwei
          Hart an der Grenze
          Flussgeister am Niagara
          Los Mampfos

          Anyone interested in trying a few of these? Or any other game? I am ready
          to host:

          Wednesday Night, ~18:30 to ~21:00
          My house in San Ramon
          (Contact me off-list if you need directions)

          Rich

          PS - (repeat) I won't be able to host games at the end of June (28th) and
          the start of July (5th, 12th) - just mention this so if anyone wishes to
          consider hosting - you have plenty of advance notice to work out the
          details.
        • Dave Wilson
          ... am ready ... I ll be there. Dave
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 5, 2006
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            --- In trivalleygamers@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Pardoe" <RPardoe@...>
            wrote:

            > Anyone interested in trying a few of these? Or any other game? I
            am ready
            > to host:
            >
            > Wednesday Night, ~18:30 to ~21:00
            > My house in San Ramon
            > (Contact me off-list if you need directions)

            I'll be there.

            Dave
          • Richard Pardoe
            Despite all the new games on offer, only Dave showed up tonight, so we decided to revist the town of Arkham and see what sort of Horror was brewing. As is our
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 8, 2006
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              Despite all the new games on offer, only Dave showed up tonight, so we
              decided to revist the town of Arkham and see what sort of Horror was
              brewing.

              As is our usual practice when playing Arkham Horror, we randomly dealt out
              characters. Dave got Kate Winthrop (Scientist) while Rich drew Jenny Barnes
              (Socialite). We then randomly drew Nyarlathotep as our monster.

              The first gate opened on the Unvisited Isle bringing forth a Mi-Go with it.
              As Arkham was celebrating "Witch Burning" Anniversary, the Black Man and a
              Formless Spawn were seen roaming the streets of Rivertown. This also
              triggered a clue to appear under Kate's very noise which she readily
              grabbed. Kate then headed to the Unnamable for another clue token while
              Jenny took her bankroll to the Curiousitie Shoppe and was lucky enough to
              purchase an Elder Sign from the offerings. Nyarlathotep's tried to open a
              gate at the Unnamable, but Kate's Flux Stabilizer forestalled that event.

              Kate turned out to have a nose for clues as another appeared at the
              Unnamable as Nyarlathotep managed to open a gate in Independence square and
              summon forth a cultist. Jenny decided to go after the cultist armed only
              with a knife. A quick stab and the cultist was dispatched as Jenny was
              swept into the Great Hall of Celeano.

              Kate went after the Mi-Go at the Unvisited Isle, dispatching it before
              entering the Plains of Leung. Kate's first encounter was a rope which led
              the way directly back to Arkham for a very quick trip to the Other Worlds.
              A quick skill check and five clue tokens later - the gate was closed and
              sealed.

              Jenny traveled a few turns through Celeano and returned safely to use the
              Elder Sign to seal that gate. Looking at the board, we realized that we had
              no open gates on the board, we each had a clue token, so we appeared to have
              won. As we didn't find any contradictory information, we decided we had won
              with an elapsed time of about 30 minutes.

              Thinking why it was so fast, we realized that several events conspired to
              keep the open gate count low. The first mythos card opened a gate under
              Kate - but her ability (flux stabilizer) stopped that, so a couple of turns
              into the game, we were still at one open gate. Another factor was Kate's
              fortunate encounter in Leung which allowed her tor return and seal the gate
              in one move (instead of the normal 3). This closed a gate before more could
              open. The final bit of luck was an opening of a gate at the Unvisited Isle
              after it was sealed. So again, no additional gates opened on the board. A
              game of circumstance for sure, but still a quick win.

              With the game over so quickly, we decided to launch into another playing.
              Our random characters this time were Joe Diamond (Private Eye) for Dave and
              Carolyn Fenn (Psycologist) for Rich. Our monster this time was Azathoth.

              Joe headed over to Hibb's Roadhouse and turned down an invitation to talk by
              a gin-breathed Ryan, losing a chance to gain an ally. Carolyn headed over
              to the Curiositie Shoppe and picked up the Blue Watcher of the Pyramid which
              allowed her to lose 2 stamina, but automatically succeed a skill check to
              close a gate (or a combat check). But Carolyn next heads to the Unnammable
              only to be assaulted by rats and finds herself lost in time and space. Joe
              on the other hand, sneaks by a maniac to the Black Cave which is guarded by
              a Nightgaunt and Gug as well as an opening to a gate. Joe intentionally
              rolls a poor fight against the Nightgaunt - losing the combat check and is
              sucked into the nearest gate (same location) and enters the Plateau of Leung
              with a nice tactic to avoid the Gug on the way.

              But then the Rivertown residents clean up the streets removing several
              monsters from the board. But a rumour then surfaces about disturbing the
              dead. Until we could discard 2 gate trophies, the terror level would
              increase each turn on a roll of 1 or 2. Joe by this time returned for the
              Plateau but can't close the gate, even with spending the extra clue token.
              So Joe sits at the spot to try again next turn. But to do so, means evading
              the Dark Young hovering around the gate. Joe does this and is more
              successful closing the gate.

              Recovering from her sojourn, Carolyn finds a witch but shreds it to pieces
              with a double barreled blast from her shotgun. But while exploring the
              Unvisited Isle, Carolyn has a gate open under her sucking her into the
              Abyss. While Joe is in the Curiousitie Shoppe hoping for the Elder Sign,
              Carolyn makes it through the Abyss and seals and closes the gate upon her
              return. Seeing a Shoggoth roaming the streets, Carolyn uses her Powder of
              Ibn Gaza to kill the Shoggoth.

              The rumours about town were not helping as the terror level continued to
              increase. Furthermore, gate's kept opening at the Witch's House (already
              with an open gate) triggering monster surges throughout town. Clue tokens
              had disappeared and were hard to acquire - so Joe and Carolyn often went to
              the Science Building to spend a gate trophy for clue tokens. With much
              effort, 4 gates were sealed, but the doom and terror tracks were both quite
              high.

              Carolyn plunged into the Dreamlands but lost her Stamina to again fall
              unconscious only to waken lost in time and space and losing half of her
              possession (including those all valuable clue tokens). Having recovered,
              Carolyn tries again, but in R'lyeh. But again loss of stamina results in
              unconsciousness and another experience lost in time and space.

              Having gained clue tokens, Joe headed into the Dreamlands and makes it out
              to close and seal the gate (#5). So we needed only one more gate.

              Joe went to the Great Race needed to pass a luck check to avoid going
              insane. Unfortunately, the initial roll was no good, so perhaps spend a
              clue token, then another, then another. By the time Joe passed - 5 clue
              tokens had been spent. The gate might be closed, but it couldn't be sealed.
              As a result, Joe left the gate open as Carolyn was approaching and needed an
              easy gate (ie unguarded by monsters) to enter. By this time the terror
              level had reached 10. Now if 10 monsters were on the board, Azathoth would
              awaken and our players would lose.

              Carolyn did manage to make it through the the first half of the Great Race.
              To keep the monsters at bay, Joe found a coven of 2 cultists and witch on
              the streets and quickly dispatched all of them. Carolyn survived the second
              half of the Great Race and returns to Arkham with 3 stamina. Spending 2
              stamina to use the Blue Watcher of the Pyramid, the gate is closed.
              Spending 5 clue tokens, the gate is sealed and there are now 6 sealed gates
              on the board meaning victory for Carolyn and Joe.

              And not too soon either as the Terror Level was 10. There were 4 monsters
              on the board (thanks to Joe's massacre of 3 reducing that from 7 - but a
              monster surge would have been very nasty.) And the Doom track as at 11. A
              narrow victory, but a satisfying one as we were struggling against the brink
              of failure at the very end.

              Unlike the first, this game was a bit longer clocking in at 2 hours or so.
              So in a single evening, we find both extremes that the game Arkham Horror
              offers. The situation could result in a very quick game, but games have
              tended to be more like the second affair - a tense race between the players
              and the advancement of the various elements that can trigger the awakening
              of the ancient one.

              And both games were enjoyable tonight. I did enjoy the second one a bit
              more as we had to work for our victory. Looking at our progress - we had
              sold quite a number of gate trophies and monster trophies hoping to gain the
              items (mostly clue tokens) necessary to gain our victories.

              A fun evening facing extreme horror.

              Until next week,

              Rich
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