Thursday, July 20, 2006

Night of 1000 Aghrrrrr's

I will go on record as saying that the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie may well be the last mass-release movie that I will ever go see in a theater. 20 minutes of ads, another 20 minutes of loud trailers, followed by 2.5 hours of very impressive effects and not much entertainment. At least King Kong had Naomi Watts doing acrobatics in a slip.

So it was when Dave decided to make our Central Tuesday session pirate-themed that I was a bit concerned. For those of you who have blissfully avoided the film, there is the world's fastest game of Liar's Dice, now being marketed as "Pirate's Dice", so a gaming night may have seemed like a good idea.

And you know what? It was.

While Dave, Matt, Alex, and Liz played Corsairs, the out-of-print title more commonly known as "Pirates of Produce," Ben, Chuck, George, and myself played that wacky pirate game Wyatt Earp. Think of it as pirates on horses. This was a strange game - the first round saw most of us earn something like $3000 each, a pretty small number for this game. In fact, it took four rounds to finish. In the first round and last round I was drawing sheriff card after sheriff card, the only benefit of which was that I was able to stymie Chuck's attempts to grab the increasing cash piling up on Bob Dalton. By the fourth round, Dalton had yet to be poached, and had $11,000 sitting on him. By the end of the round, he had something like $15,000, but it wasn't enough to help me as two other players took their portions of this rich bounty, me buckos. In the end, Ben won handily with $33,000, with Chuck in second with $27,000. George beat me out for third place by $1000 at $24,000.

Corsairs was still going strong (and everyone having a good time from the sound of it), so we played Liar's Dice, Speed Edition. We used wild 1's and also the variant that when the bid is exact everyone but the guy who was called loses one die. In fact, this knocked me out of the game. With this variant, it isn't enough to avoid having to make a risky bid, in fact you should be forcing the next guy to have to call - at least that way you have a shot at making the next first bid and if you are dead on you are the only one not losing a die. Ben's luck didn't hold out, and George's goalline stand against Chuck failed when he forgot that in this game, you can *lie*. When it's you and one other guy, your best bid is one 6 (maybe one 1).

Corsairs was done, and Alex and Liz had to leave to get their beauty sleep, so Dave taught (and moderated) the new Alea title Rum and Pirates. Or maybe Pirates and Rum. Dave's bad pirate accent in explaining the rules of what can only be called an anomaly for Alea had me heading to the fridge for not one but two beers (I rarely drink at these sessions, I save that for after everyone leaves). To be honest, after Dave had described the game, which consists of moving the captain around to get a wide variety of types of spaces that mostly end up with people getting points, I figured it might require three beers.

And what was truly amazing was that this game was a blast. I still came in third or fourth, despite a very strong showing in the mid-game. Chuck's blowing of three straight rum counters to reroll a dice-off and never getting higher than a three in seven throws was the stuff of legends. However, as Dave said in his recap, I can't help but think that like Piratenbucht, Bang!, and Puerto Rico, this is one of those games that we love the first time, like the second time, and consider burning after the third playing. Definitely a late-night game, although the dice offs are a lot of fun (hint: give everyone a dice cup of their own, it saves a lot of time).

I can't even tell you who won, but I think it was Chuck.

This is one I doubt I'll buy until we get three games under the group's belt that are equally fun. We'll see how that works out, especially since Dave is the only person who owns the game right now!

A great night of gaming, thanks to Matty G for hosting. Next week is at Mike's, although at least three of us leave next Tuesday for what we respectfully call "WBC West", five days of gaming at Sunriver. I hope to report from the field, although it's mostly about the gaming, not the typing!

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