January 12, 2006

Nobody But Us Chicks - Day 1

by Susan Rozmiarek

Today was my first day at the first annual Nobody But Us Chicks invitational gaming get-together. The special thing about this gaming event is that it is for WOMEN ONLY. Yes, guys eat your heart out! An entire group of those ever elusive Women Who Actually Like to Game spending several days of serious gaming without any of you!

I arrived at the super secret location located in a remote, beautiful location on Lake Travis outside of Austin, Texas at around 11am. I was enthusiastically greeted by the event’s organizers, Valerie Putman and Anye Sellers, as well as a friend from Gulf Games, Sharon Madden. One of them was still in her pajamas but I won’t embarrass her by revealing her name. ;-) They had just finished up a game so my timing was perfect.

My friends and fellow gamers for the day, Valerie Putman, Anye Sellers and Sharon Madden.


This was high on my “want to play” list because the buzz surrounding it made it out to be a game with a mishmash of some of my favorite mechanisms. Action points, but never enough to do all you want, pick-up and delivery, resource management, exploration – this game has got all of that and beautiful components to boot. It also plays quickly in about an hour. I am concerned that we got a few rules wrong, but even if we did they weren’t anywhere close to being game breakers. This may knock Elasund off the throne as my current favorite if I have as much fun with my next playings as I did with this first go around.

Anye, Sharon, Valerie and Susan get the action started with a game of Mesopotamia.

Later in Mesopotamia.


Anye is a big fan of this trick-taking game. I play it so infrequently that every time that I do; I have to re-learn the rules. It comes out occasionally at home, but we have some big fans of it in our game group who play it so much during lunch at work that it is hard to compete with them. Anye had a really good system of teaching the rules, so this time I felt that I had a pretty good understanding of them for a change. Still, experience is crucial to doing well at this game and I made a few blunders. I did manage to call Tichu and make it though. I should really play this game more often.

Getting ready to play Tichu.

Valerie had to leave to pick up somebody at the airport and I only had time for one short game before making the 50 mile trek back home so we decided to play a quick three-player game.


This is a new game published by Mayfair and daVinci Games. Their games sometimes have weird themes and mechanisms as well as confusing rules, so I usually approach them with a bit of trepidation. Even if they did publish one of my favorite fillers ever, Bang! Well, this game has a relatively common and benign theme of controlling areas of Rome, but a few things stuck out as not making sense theme-wise. Still, that’s not too bad of a crime in a Euro-style game. The rules were written fairly clearly although the end game scoring is very confusing until you actually play the game and see it. Players have three types of tokens, soldiers, farmers and merchants, that they are placing out on different terrain types surrounding hills that have point values. Most, but not all of them are placed face down so only the player knows what he placed. At the end they are all revealed. Soldiers may or may not capture and remove merchants or farmers in the adjacent hexes (depends on how many there are) for points. Remaining merchants and farmers are scored for influence on each hill tile to win the points. For merchants, points are based on adjacent people and for farmers it is based on surrounding terrain types. The game played very quickly, but we weren’t thinking too much about our placements because we hadn’t seen how the scoring would play out. I’m wondering if the game would normally bog down with analysis paralysis. Then again, since you don’t know what most of the other players’ tokens are, much of it is guesswork so maybe it won’t. Hmmmm. This is definitely one that I need to play again before forming an opinion on it.

Anye, Sharon and Susan puzzle over Palatinus.

As the weekend gets closer, more people will be arriving. I think we will have a total of nine gamers on Saturday. Stay tuned for Friday’s report!

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at January 12, 2006 9:07 PM


There was gaming going on not 1/2 hour drive away from us and we were denied! Flawed! ;)

Posted by: Mike Chapel on January 16, 2006 10:50 AM

Chicks and Games. I get all goosebumpy just thinking about it. I know you had a great time. I watched this event grow from an idea between Anye and Valerie to it's completion in less than a year. Kudos to everyone that worked on the event.
BTW, the offer is still open to use my local facilities (hot tubs, full size pool, fitness rooms, mountain trails, etc.)should you ever decide to do this again.

Posted by: Charlie Davis on January 16, 2006 11:29 AM

I'm amused that you decided not to embarrass me by identifying by name the gamer in her jammies but then posted the photographic evidence!

Luckily they are newish jammies and I'm not that easily embarrassed!

Long live PajamaCon!

Posted by: Anye on January 16, 2006 4:46 PM

Heehee. You weren't supposed to notice that, Anye!

Posted by: Susan on January 16, 2006 4:56 PM
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