Session Report 02/06/06
South Bay Boardgamers Session Report February 6th, 2006
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I have this great quote of the week for you...it was sorta like how Julien
didn't have any Uranium and then I said it was analogous to how the French
didn't have any shells, or is it ammo, on the Maginot Line."
"That isn't very funny."
"Yeah, it was more like the Babble of the Week."
(Ted), Karen*, Randy*, Ryan*, Jesse* (Arcania)
Hank, Julien, John, *Marcus (Power Grid)
Eugene, Clark, Dirk*, Andrea* (Goa)
Winner: Eugene Best newbie: Andrea
JC, Daniel (1825)
Hank, Julien, John, *Marcus (Ra)
Andrea, Dirk (Blokus)
Eugene, *Dirk, Marcus, Andrea, John (Bang! + High Noon)
Winners: Eugene and Andrea
Eugene, Dirk, Marcus, Andrea, John (Bang! + High Noon)
Winners: Andrea and Marcus
* = first-time player of this game
Last week was another good turnout, with 15 people showing up. New to
the group was Dirk, an experienced Avalon Hill gamer who has recently
discovered the joys of Eurogames.
Ted had yet another game prototype available for us to playtest, and
four brave souls tried it out....
--- Arcania ---
In Arcania, you've completed your graduate work at the renowned Arcania
University in upstate New York, and are ready to receive your Masters in
Sorcery. Each year, one student is given the honor of Supreme Sorcerer.
In order to win this prestigious title, you'll be competing against your
classmates in a task that challenges not just your magical talents, but
your business savvy as well. The professors at Arcania have organized
a vendor fair in the common area at the university to facilitate this
This game has been in testing for a few months, as I've tried to narrow
the scope and keep the playing time down. Monday's session included
Randy, Ryan , Karen, and Jesse. Ryan eked out an early lead after
"getting it" before anyone else at the table, but Karen started to come
on strong midway to late in the game. Randy was unfortunately out of it
by the mid-game, and did his best to keep Ryan initially, and then Karen
as well, from claiming victory (or allowing the end game conditions to
be met so one could claim victory). Meanwhile, Jesse was nickel and
diming his way up the VP track and in the last turn of the game pulled
out a convincing victory.
Big thanks (as always) to the four testers, who provided invaluable
feedback, all of which has been incorporated into a newly updated prototype.
Now it's shorter. Really. =)
--- Goa ---
When I announced my desire to go spice trading to Goa and Clark
enthusiastically signed on, it soon became difficult to find other
players. Eventually, Andrea and Dirk graciously (foolishly?) joined us
in our expedition to India. It's been a while since this game has hit
the tables at Mondays, and Clark proved to be a formidable opponent as
usual. Andrea was quick to pick up the importance of bidding for the
flag, while Dirk belatedly realized the unusual way money flows in this
game (from player to player) makes generating money less valuable than
in other games. At the end, Clark had all 5 of his development tracks
down to the 4th level and one track down to the 5th level, for an
amazing 34 points from tracks alone. With 6 points from colonies and 6
points from cards, he had a commanding 46 points. However, although I
only had 24 points from tracks, I had 10 points from colonies, 6 from
cards, and 7 from tiles purchased at auction, for a total of 47 points
to nip Clark by the smallest of margins. As Goa is a game that tends to
favor experienced players, it is worth noting that Dirk managed to get
the 3-point bonus for most money, but Andrea still came out ahead in the
--- Power Grid ---
Meanwhile, Hank had pounced upon one of his favorite games, Power Grid,
and with Julien and John, taught Marcus the rules. At first blush he
appears to have been a good teacher, as there ended up a three-way tie
between Hank, Marcus, and John at the end of the game, each powering 17
cities! However, as Hank also had been cunning enough not to clarify
the tiebreak (remaining money), Hank ended up winning the tiebreak over
Marcus, who claims he would have won had he understood the importance of
saving money in the final round.
--- 1825 ---
JC and Daniel showed up too late to get into another group's game, so
they pulled out 1825 and ended up absorbed to the point of pulling out
calculators. Unfortunately, they were unable to finish in time.
--- Ra ---
Oddly enough, although Power Grid began last, it finished first. So
this group then proceeded to play one of the group favorites, Ra. Hank
was fortunate (or skillful, depending on point of view) early, getting
lots of different monument tiles. In the end, John ended up gambling by
risking the drawing of many tiles from the bag for an increased reward,
and the gamble paid off...in the form of finishing a distant second to
Hank, who ended up with 7 different monuments and a dominating victory.
--- Blokus ---
Andrea wanted to try 2-player Blokus again, so she challenged Dirk (who
had also played only once before) to a game. Andrea ended up winning a
tightly fought game.
--- Bang! + High Noon ---
Finally, we closed the session off with a couple of games of Bang! In
the first game, I was the Sheriff, and I ended up taking out my neighbor
Marcus (Willy the Kid) by repeatedly throwing him in Jail until enough
people took potshots at him to kill him. It turns out I did the right
thing, as he was a no-good Outlaw. Dirk fired a shot at me, and then
John and Andrea both had an entertaining dialogue attempting to convince
me that they were each my Deputy. Eventually Dirk killed Andrea, my
Deputy, but not before she had seriously wounded the others. Then the
High Noon card turned up, to loud complaining by John, who was far more
wounded than I. I then unloaded my stored up cards on Dirk (the
Renegade) and John (the other Outlaw), and killed them both to win the
game for me and Andrea.
In the second game, Andrea was the Sheriff. Dirk and Marcus both
announced themselves on missions to kill me. John egged them on, but
quickly found himself the target of his neighbors. Every time he played
a card, it would get stolen or discarded, causing him no end of
frustration. Eventually, I was the first one killed, and revealed as
the Renegade. After John stole a card from Sheriff Andrea, Dirk stole a
card from John, so Outlaw John essentially outed himself and turned his
guns on Dirk. Unfortunately, Dirk turned out to be the other Outlaw!
With a 2-to-1 advantage, Deputy Marcus and Sheriff Andrea ended up
killing John and once again, the Sheriff's side won.
Till next time...
Eugene Hung eyhung@... http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/users/eyhung
If you really want to do something, you'll find a way.
If you don't, you'll find an excuse.