Friday, April 07, 2006

South Tuesday Session, 4/4/06

South Tuesday at Mike's, and eight people showing up, including Chris and his friend Jim from Indy, and new guy Ben at his first regular session. Hope we didn't drive him off...

Three games on the table for our subset of Dave, Ben, George, and myself. First up was Beowulf, the push your luck game based on the historic epic. I am the first to admit that I do not get how to win this game at all, I almost always come in last. Still, I love it. I love the Risk mechanism, where you can draw cards to try to boost your auction bid on the cheap, but at the risk of falling out of the auction and taking a scratch. I had a strong start, but wasn't getting the necessary draws. Ben, on the other hand, was taking up the diplomas (the round tokens that can be gold or VP), and half of them were 3 VP snags. He ended up winning handily over the rest of us, while I came in (wait for it...) dead last. Obviously, I need to brush up on my Middle English lit. Regardless, I really like this game, and will bring it to Sunriver when my family is there next summer.

Next up was Pueblo, which is a great abstract game that is lots of fun when played relatively quickly, especially with four players. Fortunately, we did so. I was first, and while I seemed to take a lot of hits early, by the midgame the points were pretty tight. By the end game, I had no 3 level or higher blocks showing, and felt pretty good about my chances. Sadly, I came in third when Dave managed to hide nearly all of his blocks. George came in second by a few points, with Ben just a couple of points behind me. This game is pretty unforgiving with competent players, and this session was an excellent example. A good game that should come out more often.

Finally, we played what has become our favorite "quickie" game, San Juan. Dave has begun to sour on this game a bit, but it is a hoot when played fast, and we play very fast. Ben did a great job of keeping up, even though we were flying through the game, finishing within 25 minutes. I was doing quite well with my usual strategy of Guild Hall, plus I was getting Silver Mines out quickly. However, I had only one other violet building, and finished with 9 buildings total (although I did manage over 30 points). Dave squeaked by with a Palace as his only 6 building, and I think even George managed to beat me out by 2 points. In retrospect, going for more cheap buildings might have garnered a few more points for the win rather than all of the silver mines, as they end up being 5 points each for 4 "bucks" (my violet building gave me a discount), while sugar (I saw only one tobacco card the whole game), which cost 1, was worth 3 points. Had I build three sugar factories instead of one silver, that would have been a four point difference, nearly enough to catch Dave. Four would have gotten me the game, and there would have been room. Since I rarely sold more than one silver, it would have been well worth it. Maybe next time.

A very entertaining evening, with plenty of jokes revolving around the recent tempest in a teapot that was last week's Gathering of Engineer's blog entry on Podcasts. I hear that Tom, Joe, and Sam had a little fun at my expense on their most recent Dice Tower podcast, I'm looking forward to getting skewered when I listen in! I'm a sucker for publicity...


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