RE: [trivalleygamers] Session Report - July 13 - "X?"
- Damn!!!! that sounded like fun!!!!
No One Expects the Spanish Inquision!!!!!
The easiest way to make God Laugh is to make plans.
From: "Richard Pardoe" <RPardoe@...>
Subject: [trivalleygamers] Session Report - July 13 - "X?"
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 23:37:17 -0700
As this is "X" week - we dutifully took Xactica out of the bag, saluted the
box, then donned our armour and proceed to Camelot as the shadows of evil
Shadows over Camelot
King Arthur (Jeff) has summoned knights from around the realm to discuss and
defeat the perils that threaten Camelot. Responding to the call were Sir
Gawain (Rich), Sir Kay (Kern), Sir Galahad (Dave Wallace), and Sir Percival
(Dave Wilson). The first proclamation was to stategize for the events...Sir
Galahad felt strong and able to quest for Lancelot's Armour, so the other
knights gave some support to Sir Galahad as he left to claim the Armour.
The other knights milled about Camelot gaining strength before Sir Kay went
in quest of the Holy Grail. With both the Saxons and the Picts rumoured to
be gathering strength, Sir Percival went to quell the Picts before they
could threaten the peace in Camelot. Sir Percival's legendary strength was
spread by rumour as the Picts were slow in coming. Seeing an advantage, the
Saxons though gathered on the opposite unguarded shores
Fully rested and full of supplies, Sir Gawain joined Sir Kay in the Grail
quest. While Despair was about, the two knights worked well together as one
would calm despair while the other edged closer to the grail. Sir Galahad
successfully captured Lancelot's armour, but the Saxon strength had
increased as ships could be seen on the horizon...it would only be a matter
of time before they landed. With Lancelot's armour in hand, Galahad
prepared to face the fierce Dragon.
Back at Camelot, Arthur had remained to survey the land and coordinate the
efforts of his knights. Looking around the castle, he saw 5 siege engines
with more being built in the forests. He surveyed his knights, Gawain and
Kay were close to the grail. Percival was handling the Picts but no one was
facing the Saxons. The Black knight roared challenges to the other knights,
but none heeded the call to dual.
But the going was not smooth, Gawain and Kay faced a dark forest just before
the end of the grail quest...with no other quest close to completion,
Merlin's help was summoned to show the way out of the dark forest and to
remain on track. Exhausted from the effort and running low on supplies, Sir
Kay was forced to retreat back to Camelot. Sir Gawain assured him that the
quest was nearly over and that his efforts would not be for naught. A bit
later, the Grail was firmly in hand as Gawain returned to Camelot.
Arthur had noticed that the forces of evil had been tempting the Lady of the
Lake to yield Excalibur to the forces of evil. To prevent such a evil
occurance, Arthur launched on his quest to save the might sword. He would
be joined by Sir Kay and manage to prevent Excalibur from landing on in the
hands of evil. Resting at Camelot, Sir Gawain explored the grounds and
managed to destroy a siege engine, reducing their number to 5. This was a
good thing for Morgan le Fey soon brought 2 more siege engines to the battle
ground as Camelot was surrounded by 7.
Despite repelling the earlier barbarian hoards, the Saxons continued to
stand at the brink of invasion. Furthermore, the Picts were again
marshalling despite Sir Percival's earlier victory. Each invasion would
bring with it 2 more siege engines when the knights could not afford many
The round table held 6 white swords (Lancelot = 1, Grail = 3 + 1 (Heroism),
Picts (1)). A single quest victory would assure victory in the game. Only
a couple of black swords (for ignoring the black knight) sat on the table.
The Mists of Avalon descended upon England and each defeat would now bring
an additional black sword. It was at this moment of darkness that the
Saxon's finally landed...bring the siege engines to 9 and the black swords
to 4. With the Pict invasion imminent, the only hope of the Round Table was
to vanquish the Dragon, who lay wounded as a result of fierce battle from
Sir Galahad. Sir Gawain was the first to join and helped deliver a couple
of blows, but as the other knights gathered to offer assistance, Sir Galahd
dealt the mortal blow to defeat the Dragon and claim 2 more white swords for
an 8-4 victory for the Knights of the Round Table.
And so endeth the tale of our Knight's quest. We even had Sir Not Appearing
in this Film (Sterling) present in spirit.
As this was our first game, we avoided the traitor focusing instead on
getting a feel for the games mechanics. Interestingly, at the beginning,
the choices feel benign and easy to make. But as the game progresses, the
tempo increases. Cards that would have played to the evil side of a quest
now trigger siege engines. Before too long, loss to siege engines is a real
possibility. As we approached the end of the game, we had 6 white swords
and needed just 1 more to win a 7th (and ensure victory). But the Saxons
and Picts threatened to add 4 siege engines to end the game should each
invade. The Mists of Avalon (adding an additional black sword to each lost
quest) actually helped us as it gave us enough swords to reach 12 total when
the dragon was defeated. So while time was running short, we did win.
With the mechanics understood, it is now time to try again with the
possibility of a traitor. In our game, with no threat of disloyalty, we
cooperated fully. Also, without the threat of revelation - we could play to
7 white swords confident with the win. A very enjoyable romp for a
With about 30 minutes left, Kern asked to play It's Mine by Reiner Knizia.
The game is a combination of speed and push your luck. A dealer deals cards
out one after another. When one of the other players decides they want the
dealt cards to add to their score, they slap their hand on the table and cry
out "It's Mine!". That person is the next dealer and play continues until
the cards are all dealt. One limitation, each player can call "It's Mine!"
only 3 times during each round (or time through the deck). Once all the
cards are dealt, points are added. The cards represent various positive and
negative points with a bit of wild cards, jackpot cards, and other variable
scoring features for variety.
The game plays quickly - perhaps 5 minutes through 1 round, so we managed to
get in 3 rounds. As with any speed game, there is a bit of dispute about
who cried out first, etc, but this don't interfere greatly with the game.
It pays to have a memory of cards captured as the value of the cards dealt
can have an impact...Have half of a double 6? Need to claim another one,
might be worth something to you but not to another. But in the end it comes
down to who can judge the fastest they need the current offer.
With the game moving so quickly, can't really describe the play itself, but
here are the final scores:
DavW: 16+32+24 = 72
Jeff: 25+23+ 5 = 53
Dave: 18+ 0+26 = 44
Rich: 3+35+ 0 = 38
Kern: 12+ 0+10 = 22
As you can see, the rounds tend to be high or low, with only a bit in the
middle. Certainly a quick game that might be enjoyed by those who like the
dual dynamic of speed games and press your luck games. Looking at the geek,
the prettiest graphics appear to be the Italian "Slam Dunk" version with
imagery from the Simpson's. Just seems to work. Doooh.
Until next week and the letter "Y",