Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gaming before the storm...

Anyone going to San Jac this weekend for their Labor day weekend of gaming? I'll be there on Sat from 10am until my wife gets tired of calling me back home.

Also (assuming no storm will hit us on Monday) I'm off on Monday... is anyone interested in gaming at my place from 9am on? I'd love to do any 2 player wargames (from Hannibal, War of the Rings, to any other), but if more sign up, maybe we can do Arkham Horror, or Starcraft, or anything else that is longish.

Let me know.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gaming last night... Now Agricola-FREE!

Last night was your regularly scheduled League City gamers meetup. The crowd was small and cozy....about 7 total?

I played a few fluffies like Circus Flohcati x2, and Fluxx (urgh!). Of the lighter stuff, Hey That's my fish was the best. It's a great quick 15 min brain-teaser, where you are moving penguins around ice flows trying to catch the most fish. Denise, a guy whose name escapes me, and I played this. My penguin got locked out on the third to last round, isolated on ice flows that weren't connected to the I ended up in 3rd place.

The Heavy of the night for me was Caylus Magna Carta...also played with Denise, and 'the other guy'. Excellent, excellent game. It's the 'essence' of Caylus in a quick 45-60min deep card game. I won, but only because I was the only one who had played before (read, the only one who built a Prestige building...the ones that give you bucketfuls of VP's). I'm sure next time it'll be different.

It was an Agricola-free night. Yes, fun can be had without Agricola.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Game Order

Thanks Rob, Marty, and Joseph. I took a little bit from everyone's suggestions and just placed my first order with Thought Hammer. I ordered 8 new games and I bought 3 used games from Kerry. I've only played a few of the games before so I should be very busy learning the rules. Unfortunately they won't be here in time for Coffee Culture. I did order Agricola if anyone is up for a game. Schedule permitting, I am always up for a board game. Hope to see everyone this Tues. at Coffee Culture.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Last night... more Agricola.

Last night we had 4 and yours truly... Mike, JD, Lewis (he's back), and Ben (for his second time... good to see you again).

First game of the night was Agricola. We are still sticking to the 'easy' cards. Still after 5 games using the same cards, I find new cards and combos I hadn't seen before. As a 5 player game, I think the game runs a bit too long for my taste. I'll probably stick with the 4 or less player games if possible, BUT I won't turn down a 5 player game either.

Then we did 2 games back to back of Liar's Dice. Mike and Lewis left after this, as we moved on to the fluffy games of the night. Ben, JD, and I played a game of Kill Dr Lucky, and Gloom... both very goofy games, not my usual cup of tea, but still very entertaining. Some cards in Gloom reminded me a bit of Munchkin, so I wasn't super excited about those. Still the game is great for what it is: a simple take that game with a goofy dark theme. I'm curious to try Dr Lucky with more players.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gaming Tue 8/19 at 7pm

Yes indeed, I'll be hosting again this Tuesday at 7pm. Lets celebrate that the newest tropical storm is not coming to the gulf.

Let me know if you'll be able to swing by.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Feed your people, people!

Last night we had an impromptu game session (sort of impromptu). Lance, Andy, me and my lovely wife played Agricola. It was my first 4 player game. I played with 5 last year once, but I can't remember the details of how it went. Needless to say, it was a blast. This game scales extremely well; it's good with any number of players.

Like the respect you have for an old war veteran, I can't just remove Puerto Rico from its rightful spot in history. Yes, it is aged, but like good wine, it retains its value with the passage of time. Still, I can't STOP thinking about Agricola, all the possibilities, the past few game sessions, the things I could have changed, the things I could have done better.... it has possessed my brain. On my way to work today, I thought about Agricola. On my way back, Agricola. On my way back home from dinner with my wife we discussed strategy in last night's game...

The game we had last night was the 5th for me, 2nd for my wife, and first time for Andy and Lance. I felt cocky and made a risky move before a feeding round, that left me without enough food for all my family members. Like other games that have risk management (In the year of the dragon, Notre Dame, etc), besides scoring VP's, you have to allocate resources/time/etc to prevent some bad thing from happening. In this game, it's feeding your family every few rounds. Well, right after a round that I had a baby, I was short by 1 food (adults need 2 each, baby 1). Every food you are down by costs you 3 VP's at the end of the game.

I took a gamble by growing my family on a round that I knew that action was going to leave me short of food..... and sure enough, I lost to Lance by LESS than 3 points (in other words, I would have won if I had fed my family well that round). Oh well. He did have a very impressive Animal Farm, that was on par with my Autopilot Bakery... but that penalty cost me the game. Oh the agony...

With so much replayability, I can see this game becoming a dime fairly quickly. In less than 2 weeks, it made it to my nickel list. :)

BTW, I'm planning on hosting next week on Tuesday. Mark your calendars.... Surprise surprise...there might be some Agricola.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meetup at Coffee Culture

It was another nice group meetup, IMHO at Coffee Culture. Several people were there that I had not met before, including a couple of NASA folks. One thing I like about this group is that folks are willing to play the same game multiple times in the same evening. So we opened with Qwirkle, which is quite a nice set/tile game while at the other table folks played Ingenious another set/tile game.

The only real problem with Qwirkle came up when one of the new guys had a little trouble because he could not tell the colors on the tiles apart and only color distinguishes them. I'm not sure how you get around that problem in Qwirkle since shapes are used for other purposes... Maybe you could put a white dot on each of the tiles of one of the colors that look the same. At least Ingenious does not have that problem, although for some reason they decided to use lots of star shapes instead of squares, etc. This can make it difficult to refer to the tiles by shapes.

We mixed up the groups after these games with both tables ending up playing Zirkus Flohcati, twice. Then my table played High Society twice while the other group played Ticket To Ride (our two games took longer than their TTR game, though). High Society is definitely a game that improves and deepens with replays.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gaming tomorrow 7/12

Just a reminder that gaming tomorrow is at Cofffee culture with the League City meetup group. I can't make it though because my grandparents will be in town (and they want to see my place for the first time since I moved to LC).

I might host Thursday... let me know if you'd be interested.

BTW, just played two solo games of Agricola (I'm at home today ...sick... and there's nothing better to do when you are sick than play games that allow for solo gaming). I have to say, the solo game is pretty darn hard. I did better on my first than my second, but still didn't beat the 'expected score'. Can't wait to play this with more players, but yes, it's very satisfying even as a solo game.

This game oozes with theme, and cool mechanics (worker placement). You are basically competing with other players trying to build the best farm. And like any farm, you plow, sow and harvest, you breed sheep, cows, and pigs, you use these to feed your family, which can grow and give you more 'workers', etc etc. Plus it has almost limitless replayability given the number of 'special power' cards the game has. It may not be as clean/balanced as a luckless game of Puerto Rico or Caylus, but it surely does provide a good challenge in trying to optimize your special cards with the available actions every round.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I am Gluteus Maximus....

....Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

Sorry, getting in the mood...

Last night we had a strong showing: Mike (coming in for the first time...and hopefully not the last), Tom, JD, and Andy. Hey, that's 5...perfect for a game of Tribune: Primus inter Pares (First amongst equals), the latest game from the guy that gave us a much meatier political game, Die Macher.

This to me was one of those games that I just ccouldn't picture well in my head how it was going to work simply based on the rules. Knowing this, and knowing that first impressions from new games are really important among the gaming literati (hey, I think highly of you all), I went with all the recommendations made at to have the best experience with this game. First, the game should be played with 4-5 players...and secondly, they recommend that you try one of the shorter game 'scenarios' before committing to the longer ones. I happily did, again, given that I had no clue how it was going to flow. Well, we fumbled and stumbled a little bit along the way, but the rules were played right, and the game ended quickly. WE all had plenty of "ooooooh, I see now....I should have (blank)" moments towards the end.

But was it fun? Heck yes, I say. The game has a good amount of depth (but not overly complex) that is not apparent until you play a few rounds, and in a game that probably consists of 3-5 rounds depending on the length of game chosen, it may take 2 games to REALLY appreciate how everything gels together. My interest is piqued, and so I think was everyone else's. We have to play again soon before we forget the lessons learned.

So basically in this game, you play the head of an up and coming Roman family, wealing and dealing (read, placing followers on the board to claim faction cards), to gain influence and control over one or more Roman factions (Plebeians, Gladiators, Senators, Legates, etc etc). Each faction will in turn grant you special benefits/powers that help you get other stuff much easily, or they actually just give you 'assets' you need (Armies, Favor from the Gods, Money, etc etc). Very interesting game, with MULTIPLE multiple choices each round, with very few followers to use to pick from these (so every play is critical!). All of this in a 1-2hr long game. Excellent. We finished our short scenario in just a bit over 1 hr, IIRC. Personally, can't get enough of worker-placement games (Pillars of the Earth, Caylus, Age of Empires) if they keep making them this interesting. Stone Age for some reason though, doesn't seem as appealing, but I'll definitively try it if anyone gets it.

Then we played the grand daddy of worker placement games: Caylus. I wish I played this more often. Everytime I play, I have to relearn the 'flow', and make a few painful (COSTLY) mistakes along the way. Playing Caylus Magna Carta a few times between last night and the last time I played real Caylus, simply adds to the confusion. Needless to say, I ended last due to 2 TERRIBLE rounds were I got NOTHING essentially. By the time I had 'some' form of an 'engine' going, it was too little too late. Still, my opinion of it never changes: the game is simply brilliant.

Tom, Mike, Andy left... so JD and I sat down for our obligatory late night session (from 11pm until way past Midnight). We played Airships, the zeppeling-building dice game (JD kicked my Hindenburg), and Dungeon Twister (finally I win something for the night!).

Thanks for coming guys. As always, it was a blast.

Andy: Maybe someday we'll play Leonardo. Oh, and thanks again for the banana bread.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gaming Tue 8/5 at 7pm

The title says it all. Come one, come all.

Besides Tribune because it needs some love, I'm also in the mood for anything: Power Grid, Zooloretto, Monastery, Canalmania, Ticket To Ride Marklin, Tigris and Eufrates, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Vegas Showdown, leonardo da Vinci....whatever.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh here it comes!

Well, I better go empty out my collection of games. They will all be on sale. Agricola is officially on its way to me.

Unfortunately it won't be here on time for next week's gaming (Tuesday 8/5...mark your calendars). I may just have to host again on Thursday. :)