July 2001

July 13, 2001: Lunchtime Gamers
Traumfabrik: Ed, Dan, Andrew, Jon, Mark
First time for me to play this Reiner Knizia bidding game concerning movie making in Hollywood. Dan, Jon and Mark played it a few weeks ago but Andrew and I missed out on that game. I am notoriously bad at bidding game and figured this would be no different. Although, I have gotten fairly decent at Ra after several plays since I can now judge the value of the lots better. I expected to not do well since it would be hard to value the lots up for bid. So, I went into the game deciding to wait, not over bid and see how things went.

After the final party the best picture awards were given out. I got the best picture in the blue category (I forget the category name) which I know I had, but I also got it in the yellow/Adventure category, which was a surprise to me since I didn't think about it. Another surprise was the best director award which I won. The two 4 star directors I had help push me into the lead in that category. Those 20 unexpected points pushed me from a mediocre finish to a very surprising first place finish. I guess I need to be better prepared next time and have an acceptance speech ready. 

Results: Ed 75, Dan 70, Jon 59, Andrew 58, Mark 46

July 12, 2001:

Attendees: Ed, Susan, Jon, Doug, Mark, Andrew, Theo
On the table: Call My Bluff, Undercover, Carcassonne, Die Magier von Pangea, Exxtra, Battle Cry, Evo

Call My Bluff: Ed, Susan, Jon, Doug, Mark
We needed a quick game to fill the time waiting for Andrew and Theo so "the call of the cups" was answered by the five of us. It was a short game for me as I was knocked out in by the first three bluff calls. I lost three dice on the first (on a masterful bluff by Jon) and one on each of the next two to be out quickly. The other were not weeded out more slowly with Mark and Doug being the next two to lose their dice. I came down to Susan with 3 dice and Jon with all 5 left. It was Jon's night with the dice (see the Exxtra report below) because he was able to hold out for the win and still had all 5 dice.

Results: Jon, Susan, Doug, Mark, Ed

Undercover: Ed, Susan, Jon, Doug, Mark, Andrew, Theo
Summary to come.

Results: Susan, Doug/Theo, Mark, Ed, Jon/Andrew

Carcassonne: Jon, Mark, Andrew
I didn't play this one as I was busy playing Die Magier von Pangea. The final score had Jon winning by a pretty good margin but Andrew and Mark were only separated by one point.

Results: Jon, Andrew, Mark

Die Magier von Pangea: Ed, Susan, Doug, Theo
Summary to come.

Results: Doug, Susan, Ed, Theo

Exxtra: Ed, Jon, Doug, Mark, Andrew
As the Carcassonne game finished up, Jon, Mark and Andrew set up Exxtra to kill the time until the Pangea game finished which did just as they were about to start, so Doug and I jumped in to fill up the game. I actually had some good early rolls and I was in the lead after about three rounds. Jon was able to take the lead with some high rolls and a few doubles. I stayed within striking distance with some fast talking with Doug to convince him he wanted to go for points instead of knocking me off the ladder. Mark made a late run and almost caught me with a good string of doubles but a couple of X-outs pushed him back as Jon continued his luck with the dice and took the easy road to victory.

Results: Jon, Ed, Mark, Andrew, Doug

Battle Cry: Ed, Jon
Jon was eager to play this popular Civil War game and I was happy to give it another go. It was getting late and I didn't think we would be able to get two games in (playing one scenario twice, switching sides) so we played the Brawner's Farm scenario which Susan and I had played earlier in the week. This time I took the Union forces and Jon had the rebs. A quick overview of the rules and we were off.

Jon had a good selection of cards for most of the game (and his earlier luck with the dice from Call My Bluff and Exxtra seemed to carry on into this game). It seemed like he was able to play a card each turn that ordered multiple units whereas I was stuck with several single unit cards. His early rolls were usually effective and was able to weaken several units and forced a couple to retreat. He eventually took the first two flags and the early lead.

Results: Ed 6, Jon 5

Evo: Susan, Doug, Mark, Andrew, Theo
While Jon and I were battling it out in Battle Cry, the others play Evo (standard one mutation per player version on the 5 player map). It's funny how the mutations in this game seem to be streaky. In this game it was legs that were in short supply. Through the entire game only 4 leg mutations were drawn, so there was very little movement. Eggs, fur and parasols were the order of the day. Andrew built up a big lead midway through the game as he was able to get all ten of his dinos out and score them all. A turn or two later, he lost 7 of them due to lack of movement and places to birth new dinos. However, he was able to hold to claim the victory as the asteroid hit on the first chance. Had it not, the final standings most likely would have been different as the final scores were all separated by one or two points.

Results: Andrew, Doug, Susan, Mark, Theo

July 11, 2001:
Zero: Ed, Jon, Mark, Dan
First time for me to play this Reiner Kzinia card game. The goal of this multi player Gin Rummy like game is to score zero points each hand by collecting sets of numbered or colored cards. The hands are pretty short so with four people we decided to play four hands with the lowest total winning.

A recap of the game would be pretty boring as the play consists laying a playing a card into the open collection of cards on the table and taking one of the others. Like Gin Rummy, the key is collecting the cards you need while trying to figure out what the other players are collecting and not helping them out too much. Our game went pretty quick and we played the four hands in about 20 or 25 minutes. I stayed in contention for most of the game by scoring 6, 8 and 11 points on the first three hands. In the last hand, I was able to complete a set on my last play and only scored 6 points. This allowed me to slip by Dan for first place.

This is nice light filler game, but nothing really to get excited about. It would be a nice starter or closer or a game to play when you don't want to think a lot.

Results: Ed, Dan, Mark, Jon

6 Nimmt!: Ed, Jon, Mark, Dan, Scott
After the short Zero game and the arrival of Scott, we figured we had time to get in another short game so 6 Nimmt! was pulled out. Now, I really like this game, but I'm getting a little burned out on it (and light card games in general) since I have played either 6 Nimmt! or its cousin Hornochsen! six or seven times over the last two weeks. In any case, it's still fun and always frustrating.

This game lasted four rounds. I was

Results: Jon, Dan, Mark, Scott, Ed

July 9, 2001:
Midnight Party: Ed, Susan, Shea
Summary to come.

Results: Susan -25, Ed -54, Shea -65

July 8, 2001:
Battle Cry: Ed, Susan
After spending several hours cleaning out the garage in 95+ degree weather, it was time to kick back and recreate a little American history. We had read several Battle Cry session reports over the last few days and that had reminded us that we had only played this game once since getting it. We picked out the Brawner's Farm scenario since we had heard that it was suppose to be very balanced. Susan took the blue clad Union soldiers while I took the grays from the South.

Most of the action in the game, especially early on, was concentrated in the center and my left (Susan's right) flank. This was because I couldn't draw a right flank card and Susan did not get any left's. Susan jumped out to a quick early lead picking up two flags. Meanwhile, my artillery in the center was able to pick away at Susan's troops and forced them to retreat several times and I eventually captured three flags.

On the left flank, I had one infantry unit dig in on the building hex while the other tried to move in to take out Susan's artillery. This was partially successful as the unit in the buildings was able to harass the Union forces from a distance but the unit in the open was wiped out without causing much damage.

About half way into the game I finally got a right flank card. Using this I set up my cavalry in the woods ready to make a strike at the Union artillery on that flank which had moved in closer. I then used a "coordinated attack" card to send the cavalry on a do-or-die mission against the artillery. This partially failed as I was only able to roll one canon and one retreat. This doomed my cavalry to wait the inevitable defeat which ended up being several turns later as I could not get another right flank card to attack again or move the init out of harm's way.

I slowly worked back to get a 5/5 tie in flags by slowly picking away at Susan's units, but she had gained an upper hand on my right flank and was one roll away from getting her sixth flag. Luckily (for me) she did not get the roll she needed when she played her "All Out Offensive" card. I had just drawn the "Counter Offensive" card and played it right after she played, so I was able to do a counter all out offensive. This allowed me to move in on a couple of the Union units and took one of them out, giving me my sixth flag.

Results: Ed 6, Susan 5

July 7, 2001:
Sequence: Ed, Susan, Kevin, Shea
Sequence may not be a "German" game, but it's a nice card game that the family can play. In fact, that's what we did tonight. We got in three quick games after dinner before getting the boys off to bed. The age range on the box says 7 and up, but our 5 year old plays it just fine. In fact, it's a little scarey how well he plays it. I can only hope that he talent for board games continues to grow so we can move him up to the more challenging games.

Tonight's games were pretty straight forward and nothing unusual came into play. The first two games were fairly quick lasting about 10 minutes each. The third was a harder fought battle lasting about 20 minutes. This last game saw a lot more defensive card play.

This is a nice light filler or family game. Not something one would center an game session around but quick, easy to learn and short enough to get in several games or play best 2 out 3.

Game 1: Susan/Shea, Ed/Kevin
Game 2: Ed/Kevin, Susan/Shea
Game 3: Ed/Kevin, san/Shea

Schotten-Totten: Ed, Susan
After playing Sequence earlier and being a little late, we opted to play this short Reiner Knizia card game tonight. The game started well for both of us with Susan getting a early set of 9's and I got an ordered clan (three sequential, like colored cards). I was able to claim my stone right away since Susan had committed a '2' on the other side and I could prove she could not beat me. This closed out one possible "trash pile" for her. This was about the best I would do tonight.

The middle game was the normal routine of both of us complaining that we didn't have any good cards to play. In the end, Susan was able to organize her cards better and got the luck of drawing cards that filled out several her sets. I on the other hand had several potential winning sets but was unable to draw the cards I needed to complete them. The game ended quickly after I draw the last card from the draw deck and we figured out that I was only going to win one additional stone and Susan would win three.

Results: Susan 6, Ed 3

July 6, 2001:
Hornochsen!: Lunchtime Gamers: Ed, Mark, Dan, Scott
Three quick games of Hornochsen! at lunch today. Although Dan has played 6 Nimmt!, he had not played Hornochsen, so a quick rules review was held. The first game was pretty usual for this game with the scores being a mix of positive and negative values. The interesting game was the second one.

The second game started out with 3 negative cards in the initial circle of nine cards and it only got worse. The first couple of times around saw nothing but red negative cards get played with several -5 cards being laid out. At one point we counted 36 negative points on the board with only 30 cards left to play. By our estimates, we figured that there was at most about 35 positive points in play, but then it got worse when Dan played two more negative cards. This was definitely a game where you did not want to take any cards because just about every pile was going to be negative. In the end, we were right because all three of us ended up with a negative score with Dan winning with a score of -5.

For the third game, we snared Scott, a co-worker, and introduced him to the game. He caught on fairly quickly to the strategy of the card play and came in with a positive score even though he had to take a pretty negative pile near the end. I got lucky in this game. I had taken two good sets of cards and had a positive score with only one more card to play. But it looked like I was going to have to take a pile with several negative points that might be enough to push me negative overall. Luckily for me, Dan was forced to take the bad set I thought I would take and that left me the chance to discard my last card without taking any more cards. To bad Mark snuck in with a score of 6 with a 2x multiplier to edge me out by two points.

Game 1: Mark 24, Ed 8, Dan -1
Game 2: Dan -5, Mark -6, Ed -12
Game 3: Mark 12, Ed 10, Scott 4, Dan 2

July 5, 2001:

Attendees: Ed, Susan, Jeff, Rhonda, Doug, Mark, Kevin
On the table: Formula Dé, Capitol

Formula Dé: Ed, Susan, Jeff, Rhonda, Doug, Mark, Kevin

Results: Jeff, Mark, Ed, Doug, Susan, Rhonda, Kevin

Capitol: Ed, Susan, Doug, Mark
Summary to come.

Results: Doug 48, Ed 47, Mark 42, Susan 30

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Copyright © 2001, Ed Rozmiarek