I didn't expect too many people this evening, with three of our regulars off in Germany, but I did expect more than just Laurent to show up. Dave had cat issues (with a good outcome for the cat), Eric wasn't feeling well, and Patrick had to work. I'm starting to get a complex with the last two, they've never made it to my house yet.
Since I didn't realize that Dave wasn't coming, Laurent and I started with the basic version of GIPF, which I've discussed earlier. My second "real" game, Laurent's first, so I had a bit of an advantage. Quite a bit, as it appears that Laurent wasn't "seeing" threats as well as he might have. As such, despite a bit of a lead on his part to start, I managed to take the game. This game is growing on me quite a bit, I may have to find more opponents.
By now it was evident that it was just the two of us, so I taught Laurent Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. I'd played once about 18 months ago (really) at GameStorm 2004, and won as the good guys when my opponent got out of position. You'd think that would be a good lesson for me, but I found myself late in the game with Frodo marching on Mordor, and in real peril of finding myself in the same position. I still had my Winged Death From Above unit, but otherwise I really didn't have enough units to sidetrack Frodo from his sideways retreat trick. At the critical moment, I realized that all I needed to do was let him make the next move, so Saruman went to the Shire, and there were no moves that Laurent could make to save the game. A historical ending, at least for the Shire (sans scouring).
I didn't feel too bad, as Laurent had pasted me in two games the previous Tuesday.
For the last game, I remembered that I hadn't gotten to try out Blood Bowl the week before, as Laurent's set was in French and was first ed. He plays in a French league, but it's online. I have the second ed, so we pulled it out (with a little looking for the actual teams - 2nd ed came in a box that was far too skinny). We played basic rules, but only got through the equivalent of the first quarter, with Laurent managing the only touchdown as the "hyoomies". The orcs are tough to play, as they have no catchers and fairly poor agility. However, they do have a lot of goons, and in the next game I'd make it a point to block every chance I got.
While the rules are far too GW-ish for me, and the game is a total luck-fest between equally skilled players, I love this sort of thing. My wife likes NFL football, and I'm really hoping that the pizza box game that comes out late this month will be something she'll be interested in. Blood Bowl is far too involved for her, but it might be a good game to take to Mike's Super Bowl gaming party he throws every year. It certainly would be relatively fun to watch, compared to most euros. Great, another 2-player game competing for my time. As though wargames weren't enough...
Thanks for keeping me from looking like a complete loser, Laurent. I can hardly wait for folks to get back from Essen and back to multiplayer games.