March 11, 2004

Session Report for March 4, 2004

by Susan Rozmiarek

Tongiaki

Despite the griping about how chaotic this game is, itís still getting requested so I guess that says something in favor of the game. I was able to claim a nice, 4-point island mid-game, effectively blocking further development in one area of the board and driving it in another. Unfortunately, the game ended just before I was able to really invade this new area. I still feel like the decisions are fairly easy and there is too little control, especially with more players. It does play fairly quickly though, and does have some novel mechanisms, so it works okay as a filler for me.

Results: Doug 29, Mark 26, Ed 21, Mike 18, Susan 14

Tongiaki mid game.

Bang! with High Noon

This game is a favorite of our group and the expansion only makes the game better. Iíd love to see some of the ideas from Bang! taken and re-themed into a new game. Maybe a game about spies? Vampire/vampire hunters? The hidden roles and different goals really appeal to me. Rick wanted to play this one tonight because in his first and only game previously, he was killed before he even got a turn!

I groaned when I turned over the role of sheriff. Itís a real chore dealing with those bloodthirsty outlaws and itís hard to win. Fortunately though, I had a very strong character, Calamity Jane. Her special ability is being able to use Bang! and Missed cards interchangeably. She also has four bullets with an additional one for being a sheriff bringing the total to five. Lots of health points and a large hand size Ė very nice and it actually gave me hope that Iíd live to see good prevail.

One of things I like about this game is it plays differently each time. As the sheriff, I sat there just waiting for some impulsive outlaw to come after me with both barrels. It always happens. Tonight it didnít happen. This gang of outlaws was a very cautious bunch who decided to try and sniff out and eliminate my trusty deputies first. So, I sat there hoarding Bang! and Missed cards for protection, while watching everyone else start cautiously taking potshots at each other. Deputy Mike was the first to cast suspicion upon himself, and was quickly eliminated by outlaw Ed. Then the bullets really started flying as peopleís true natures started to show. It eventually came down to a showdown between Renegade Rick and me. Things were looking pretty good for Sheriff Jane but those pesky outlaws would not rest in their graves. The Ghost Town card came up in the high Noon deck, bringing everyone back to life for a single turn. The outlaws nearest me came blazing back to life and wounded me badly but left me alive, much to their disappointment. Things were looking hopeful for the still-living Renegade Rick as he waited to finish me off. But before he got the chance, ghostly Deputy Robert foiled his plans and sent Rick to join him in the graveyard, leaving me the last one standing. Hooray! Justice prevails!

Deputy Robert shows the card he about to play in trying to take out Outlaw Ed. Doug (outlaw), Rick (renagade), Susan (sheriff) and Mark (outlaw) await their turn.

Rumis

This is a nice little three-dimensional placement game that is kind of like a cross between Pueblo and Blokus. Itís more balanced and best played by experienced players, though. If you arenít careful, your pieces are quickly blocked and you are shut out of the game. Mark, Ed, and I have all played before, but it had been awhile and we are still experimenting with our moves. Plus, there are several different boards and the play is different on each one.

The pyramid board was chosen and Ed made the first move. He realized that it wasnít a wise one and could be easily blocked by Mark or me. Neither one of us did, however. I didnít want the game to end so quickly as Iím still trying to figure out the placement strategies myself. Newbie Mike wasnít shown the same mercy that Ed was, and got blocked in fairly soon after that. It then became a hotly contested battle between Ed, Mark and me, with no clear leader until the blocks were counted at the end. This needs repeated play soon while it is fresh in our minds.

Results: Susan/Mark 15, Ed 10, Mike Ė25

Rumis near the end of the game.

Pig Pile

We could only keep the very tired Mark around for another game if we chose something light. Nobody can accuse Pig Pile as being anything but and we were soon Hogwashing and Ewe-turning. Mark and Mike ended up battling for Top Hog honors while Ed and I competed for runt of the litter. Mike emerged victorious while Ed continued a long losing streak at this game. At least heís consistent.

Results: Mike 11, Mark 9, Susan 7, Ed 3

Mike, Mark, Susan and Ed end the evening with the highly random Pig Pile.

For more pictures from this gaming session and others, see our Gaming Picture Gallery.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at March 11, 2004 4:44 PM

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