Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 11, 2009 - Some New, Some Old

Location: Yoda's House
Players: Yoda, Steve, MichaelP, MichaelU, Mark

Since the last Game Day, Steve acquired a copy of Puerto Rico. It was under consideration for the day.

Since Mark wasn't able to be there at 8:00, we started the day with a couple of filler games of Perudo. As before, Yoda won the first one. Then he was first out in the second one, and MichaelP won a showdown with Steve.

We decided to go ahead and try Puerto Rico. After Steve explained the rules, we started in, recruiting colonists, buying plantations, building warehouses, factories, and various other buildings, and shipping goods off to the Old World. It is a game with very simple rules with many complex interactions. Steve won this game as well. This one definitely rates a repeat.

After lunch, we embarked upon our second attempt at Power Grid. We played the German map, and this time we knew to watch the rules for things that they emphasize not to forget - but hide very cleverly by putting said emphasis in footnotes at the end... Yoda zoomed to an early lead which he never relinquished. Apparently Yoda knows power.

To close out the day, we played a game of Quiddler. Yoda won quite handily, accompanied by grumbling from MichaelP that he didn't have any chance to make interesting words when he only got one turn each round.

June 6, 2009 - Two Old Games and a Filler

Location: Yoda's House
Players: Yoda, Steve, MichaelP, MichaelU, Kay

Once again Merchant of Venus started the day. We played a longer game this time since everyone was familiar with the game now. Steve managed to establish control of the best cycle on the map and gain control of the key port of Ice Station. He won easily, with everyone else trailing at a respectable distance.

After lunch, we decided to try LOTR game again. This time we had five players instead of four. Since this spreads the protection markers more thinly amongst the larger number of people, you would think that would make the game a bit harder. We tried applying our learning from the previous session a few months earlier, but it wasn't clear this actually helped all that much. Yoda was sacrificed to Sauron relatively early in the game, and he kibbitzed for the duration. We actually made it all the way to the end of the path on the last board, where all the remaining players have to roll the die to face Sauron. One after another, facing Sauron resulted in yet another Sauron minion... until the last roll, when Kay rolled and won the game for everyone.

To close out the day in the small time remaining, we tried Perudo, also known as Liar's Dice. Everyone starts with five dice under their own cups and engages in rounds of bidding and guessing about how many of what number is hidden by all the cups, until one person challenges a bid made by a player. This game developed such that before the end Yoda had more dice remaining than everyone else combined and was able to convert that to a win. Steve declared that we finally had found a filler game that met with his approval.

May 2, 2009 - Two New Games

Location: Michael and Danielle's House
Players: Yoda, Steve, MichaelP, MichaelU

Today was a day of new games. Since the last Game Day, Yoda, Steve, and MichaelU had made a foray to a game store in Overland Park and browsed for a while and engaged the store personnel in some discussion about games. Between net research, looking at the boxes, and talking with the helpful lady at the store, MichaelU purchased Power Grid. The morning started with a quick perusal of the various parts of this new acquisition before putting it aside to start a game whose rules someone knew...

Merchant of Venus was the first order of the day - a game played previously by Yoda but new to the others. After Yoda explained the rules, everyone set to, revealing the various secrets in the game and settling into their chosen routes. Steve reached the goal of 2000 first, with MichaelU trailing not too far behind.

The ordering of pizza for lunch contained revelations. Pizza Hut's Pizza Mia is a Pizza No-No. You don't get normal Pizza Hut pizzas - you get pizzas made with special crust and sauce (sweeter), both of cheaper quality, no doubt. At least we discovered before we ordered...

Post-lunch, we decided to dive into Power Grid, despite none of us having read the rules prior to Game Day... rules which have been translated from German... poorly... (To quote Bloom County... "Foreshadowing, your key to quality literature" : ) What is a phase? What is a turn? What is a round? All exist in this game, but which is which still isn't exactly clear to us. Sometimes the translation uses the same terms to describe different concepts at different sections of the rules.

Coal, oil, uranium, garbage and wind fire power plants of various efficiencies. Profits from said activities allow you to build your network into more and more cities stretching across the board (the eastern U.S. in this case). Steve chose to become the king of garbage, a position which no one else challenged the entire game. Everyone else fought over the coal and oil, with the occasional dabbling in uranium and serious anticipation of and bidding wars over the truly green plants that produce power without consuming resources.

After navigating the shoals of the various turns/phases/whatevers, Yoda found himself in the catbird's seat with several rounds left to go, and the game marched to its inevitable end. Only after said end had been reached, did we discover upon looking at the rules a bit more that we had violated several of them along the way, making it harder for everyone to get enough resources (particularly Steve as the garbageman), and revealing that the catbird seat was on really shaky ground. We expect to get more things right next time...