Game Night: Saturday 11-4-2000
Game night is back!
A solid night of game play featuring: Big
City, Ra, Klunker,
This game, our city was beautiful.The problem, if you can call it that, was that on turn 3 I build the uber mall in the middle of downtown thus ensuring victory.The fight for second went on, but it does bring up a thought on this game.If you do not trade land title cards with other players to help one another, you end up with one good turn determining a winner.In the future, we will have to expand the trading options.In a truly cruel fashion, Ed killed all attempts at a comeback by another player by devastating neighborhood '8' with a huge factory smack dab in the middle. (I think it was a chocolate factory.)Hilarious and sad at the same time.
Next I pulled out Ra, and I have to say that it was probably the best game of Ra ever.Everyone was truly planning well and knew what they were committing to at each step.It was a close game, where I came in DEAD LAST. ARGH.There was a 3 way tie for second, and Ed won I think?Each round we had wretched faces as we weighed a bid versus what future bid token we would get and how much value we were getting.This game is just plain good.Hail Pharaoh!Strange, but no one really had a superior lead in monuments.Strange because that is the big final turn money shot. The winner only had 35 points.
No, I was dead last. After a dreadful first round, I limped up to 13 points (you start with 10!). Boy, we need to keep score notes!
I "taught" everyone Klunker, but it is a hard game to teach. Just like in every game of Klunker, someone early in the game got caught with no dollars and had to buy their own window (free).This only happens early on, and you HAVE to account for it so you don't get screwed.Once again, I finished DEAD LAST.I think John won?
Klunker is the game that ended in a three way tie for second. (I was one of them)
Lastly, we played a game of Torres and it was the best one ever.NOW I understand why everyone likes this game.You are building castles, but more importantly, you are positioning yourself to maximize scoring opportunities.Then of course, you have to seize the opportunities. Ed SLAUGHTERED us in turn two.Although we put up a good fight in the final round, Ed finished ahead of me by 15 points.(126-110 ish)
I like this game, I wish we played it more. Next time
we need to use the Master cards. My advise to John cost me 15 points!
Sunday night at the movies ended up being Mission Impossible 2.It was good, but I didn't like it as much the second time.Thanks to Ed for supplying yet another DVD.
No problem. I do love Woo films, but he needs to get some new material, great action, but the same bits.
The game I purchased, Aladdin's Dragons, is conceptually Medici with secret bidding.It won games magazine game of the year.I'll bring it with me this Saturday if anyone is interested.
That would be good, it is getting good reviews.
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Game Night: Saturday 11-11-2000
Dinner at Pete and Michelle's!
Saturday November 11, 2000
4:30 Cocktails and Cheese Fondue
5:15 Dinner: Lasagna
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Noodles and Pesto
Green Salad and Italian Bread
6:15 Dessert: Tiramisu
It was a great dinner, again, Pete and Michelle have outdone themselves!
The evening started off with the 3rd installment of Pete and Michelle's
fabulous dinner spread.This time, I resisted the temptation to become
deathly ill and made it to the dinner on time.Now I know what I was a
missin' (oh boy, oh boy).Everything was wonderful and the atmosphere was
festive.Welcome to town Steve and Suzanne!
Making the migration to game night was 'late for dinner' man, Hernia boy and his wife, the new house couple, the dinner hosts, Mike and Christine, the Mansons, and Ed!!!!(although the Mansons bailed out on game night proper). Games Played: Bamboleo, Aladdin's Dragons, Cloud 9, Ra, Nap Game. (Attempts to distract the kids with the Tigger Movie and popcorn did very well.)
Starting the evening was a 'starter' game called, Bamboleo.It is a circular cut of wood, where you pile on these different shapes of wooden pieces. Then, you take the circular base and place it on the stand.The stand is a hourglass shaped piece of wood with a cork ball on top.It took us several minutes to get the hang of the cork ball setup, but then we were off.We discarded the scoring system and just played to play.Each turn, you can pull a piece off the board (the pieces are your score), discard a piece (pass and lose a point), or abort a turn.Aborting a turn happens when you realize that if you continue to lift your chosen piece, then the whole board will tip over and your a doof.Aborting also results in the 'pass penalty', but you do not lose big for tipping over the board and ending the round.Note:During setup, do not put the bigger pieces on the outside of the circular board or you will NEVER be able to lift them safely. You need to put them closer to the middle of the 'ring area'.This game was silly, and nice to distract people while players are filing in or being social.It would never stand up as a good game once things got going.
While people were still socializing and picking up wooden blocks, I started a game of Aladdin's Dragon with Tim, Beth, myself, Michelle, and John.Ed got pimped (5 player game).It works basically like this.You have 'bid chits' numbered 1-9, with no 3.There are 4 things to bid on: Treasure caves, special squares, the palace gate, and the palace artifacts. The Treasure caves give you money to spend in the palace, the special squares do things like change the starting player or grant a spell, the palace gate bid must be greater than the guard bid our you have to pay the difference to enter the palace, and in the palace, high bid gets to purchase the artifact in that chamber (5 chambers).The tough part is that the break down of what treasures you have is VERY important.If you bid '4' on an artifact, you must pay 4 in all of the same type of treasure.If you bid 3+1, you do not pay 4, but rather 3 of one type of treasure and 1 of an alternate type. So, you can not just bid high, you must bid something you can pay.But highest bid gets first shot at the purchase.In the caves, treasure accumulation often rewards (but not always) 2nd or 3rd place.The advanced rules (more on this later) add spells and the ability for artifacts to be used once a turn.There are 7 or so artifacts and each has a special ability. In our first game, which we played basic rules, Tim had to bail due to baby issues, then later took over for Beth for the victory.There was a 3 way tie for second. This game is excellent, with simple rules that warrant game changing decisions with every move and strategy changes with every placement.I claimed it earlier to be sort of like Medici, but it isn't. It is unique in its own right, mixing blind placement bidding with strategic positioning.
As we played Aladdin's Dragon, Ed, Suzanne, Beth and Pete played a few games of cloud nine.A simple game of betting strategy, and a quick one to learn. I have no idea who won, but I did see Suzanne score a 20 point jump-off. (I can, I lost one and won one. We do need to keep a simple log) During both these game, a game of Ker-Plunk broke out with Mike, Avery and Steve.This classic marble game has always been underrated!(and loud)
At the end of all these games, several people left for home.We took a quick inventory and split into two games.This first was Aladdin's Dragon (this time the advanced rules) for Ed, John and Tim. This changes the game drastically because before the turn, each player chosen from his artifacts which one he will allocate for a special ability this turn.This adds yet another selection choice, plus a timing choice on when to execute the ability (or a spell for that matter).The left-overs (Beth, Suzanne, and myself) played Ra.Steve played the 'nap game'.With 3 players, RA can be played in record time.We finished so early we had time for Liars Dice, which we promptly did not play (huh?).As the others chitty chatted, I watched Tim beat Ed and John for the victory.
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Game Night: Sunday 11-19-2000
Yes, Game Night was Sunday for Ray, John and Myself. We normally have "Movie Night" on Sunday, if we do anything at all. This week we decided to have an impromptu game night instead. I wanted to play Aladdin's Dragons again, I love the game, but I'm not sure if I like the winning objective. The game play is great, I love the hidden bidding. I think treasure should play a bigger part in the endgame.
Game one: Great play, we are getting our strategies together after playing a few times. Ray won but it was later found that he thought the large treasure was worth 5, not 3, the win would have been mine.
Game two: Another good game, the game came down to the last artifact. All three of us bidding three and four chits, (this means you need to pay in four colors, one for each chit). Ray found that he couldn't pay for the artifact, because the large treasures are only worth 3, John was next in line because he used his 3 bid artifact, John had no problem paying the bid. Second game to John.
It was getting a bit late, we had to work in the morning, so we pulled out Condottiere. I still love this game, and we have played it a lot. I have a copy myself and I think it has gotten a lot more use than Ray's. I hate to blow my own horn (it makes my neck sore) (sorry, couldn't help myself!) but I came from last place to win the game. This was one of the longest games we have ever played, but it was great. Ray got the first two provinces, John took the third, Ray took the fourth, and I took five, six and seven. (I think that was the total, or I may have taken the forth and Ray the fifth). I would like to say that I did a little victory dance, but alas, I was too tired!
Saturday is Geekfest 2K, should be a fun time for all!
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