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Cincygamers Session Reports
Cincygamer Home -> Game Sessions

Planned Sessions

We try to meet the first weekend of every month.
Impromptu sessions are also often held.

Next sessions: April 10, 2004, hosted by Bonnie
                            May xx, 2004, hosted by ??                           

Here you can find recaps of our gaming sessions. Any of our members can post session reports. Look at the bottom of each entry to find out who wrote the report.
 

Previous sessions:

April 10, 2004
March 12, 2004
March 10, 2004
March 4, 2004
February 20, 2004
February 11, 2004
February 7, 2004
January 29, 2004
January 22, 2004
January 15, 2004
January 10, 2004

January 2, 2004

2003 Sessions
2002 Sessions

2001 Sessions

2000 Sessions



December 31, 2004
special session hosted by

Gamers in attendance:

Games played:  

Report by - top
April 10, 2004
monthly session hosted by Bonnie

Gamers in attendance:

Games played:  

Report by - top
March 12, 2004
monthly session hosted by Rick

Gamers in attendance: Rick

Games played:  

Report by - top
March 10, 2004
special session hosted by Scott and Cheryl

Gamers in attendance: Scott, Cheryl, Luke, John P

Games played:  La Citta, Four Dragons, San Juan, Attika

Report by - top
March 04, 2004
impromptu session hosted by John Mc

Gamers in attendance: John Mc, Luke, John P

Games played:  San Juan, British Rails
SAN JUAN
Luke just couldn't wait for Rio Grande to import San Juan, so he made his own home-brewed copy!** He did a
nice job, using some old Magic:TG cards, card sleeves, and clip art culled from the Internet. Rather than
spend a lot of time carefully studying the available buildings and their powers, we dove right in.

** He has already pledged to buy a real copy when it is actually published, so please no flames about
intellectual property rights.

As things evolved, I used a blacksmith card to build as many production buildings as possible, while John P
and Luke were stashing a disturbing number of VPs under their chapels.

In what would prove to be the final round, John P took the builder role, allowing me to build my 12th and
final building. Luke was caught just 1 card/doubloon short of being able to build an important bonus
building. Had the builder lasted just one more pick, Luke would've used the builder privilege to secure the
victory. As it was, I edged him by one measly VP.

While it's a card game, the rules do a fine job of mitigating the impact of the 'luck of the draw'.
There's also a lot of shuffling during the course of a game. Everyone plows through scads of cards, since
they are:
1. Drawn in bunches (draw 2, keep 1)
2. Used as money
3. Used as goods

I sure hope Alea and Rio Grande didn't skimp on cardstock.

I love Puerto Rico and I love card games, which makes San Juan a must buy. I sure missed those little
wooden barrels, however.

BRITISH RAILS
Ready to try something meaty, we grabbed our crayons and started criss-crossing the English countryside
with track. Generally, my head spins when confronted by the seemingly endless array of railroad games, but
this one turned out fine.

Unlike several other railroad games I have played, British Rails has no stock shares to issue and track.
Players start with an initial treasury, spend to lay track and/or upgrade their locomotive, and then earn
income when they manage to complete a delivery. There are a couple dozen different commodities ranging from
lead to pigs to beer to automobiles, and each is only produced in 1-4 cities scattered around the map.
During your turn you drive your one train around England picking up goods and delivering them to the
cities on your cards.

These demand cards are the major feature, and some might say weakness, of the game. For all of the
intense route planning and rail maneuvering required, you are still at the total mercy of your three demand
cards, which cannot be discarded or exchanged. Each card depicts three city/good combos, so you've always
got nine to work with. That seems like plenty, but in practice you'll get a couple clunkers clogging your
board, and then you're in trouble.

Throw in the often painful random event cards, and you have an unsettling luck/skill ratio. It's a long,
heavy game that takes plenty of skill to play well, yet poor card draws can ruin even the best laid plans.

We played with a "quick start" variant, and only played to $150 Million rather than $250 Million, but
it still took about three hours to play. I hate to think how long a six player game would take!
Admittedly, a lot of the downtime was due to our unfamiliarity with English geography. "Where's
Glouchester again? Ayr?"

One major gripe that Luke surfaced, and I agree with, is the lack of penalty for dumping goods from your
train. Without such a penalty, there is a strong incentive to pick up goods on sheer speculation, on
the off chance you will later draw a demand card featuring the good. This happened to me for a quick
$25 Million, and it felt like stealing. Plus, why not keep an extra good on board as insurance against the
dreaded derailment event card?

Overall, the jury is still out on British Rails. I won't be buying a copy for my own collection, or go
around recommending it to others, but I will play it again under the right circumstances. A fun game, but
a bit long for what it offers. (Note: we missed the rule about trading in your delivery cards as your turn,
which is an important rule to know about - JP)

Report by John Mc - top
February 20, 2004
impromptu session hosted by Scott and Cheryl

Gamers in attendance: Scott, Cheryl, Dale, Luke, John Mc, Rick

Games played:
Here's what I remember:

Volltreffer - Scott, Cheryl, Dale/Luke tag team
Scott pulls off a quick victory after just 2 hands.

Nimm's Leich! - Scott, Cheryl, Dale, Luke, John
My luck holds to win another game.

Age of Steam - John, Luke, Dale, Rick, Scott, Cheryl
John wins by a landslide!

Rick's prototype
- John, Luke, Dale, Rick, Scott, Cheryl
Fun game of auctions/bluffing. Can't remember who won this one?

King me! - Rick, John, Luke, Dale, Scott, Cheryl
After 2 rounds of "chicken", we actually played a real round. Rick takes the victory.

KKK - Cheryl, Scott, John, Luke, Rick, Dale
Cheryl sneaks in a victory as we were all worried about John and Luke.

Willi - Rick, Luke, Scott, Cheryl
Very odd trick taking game - Rick was in control the whole game for the victory.
Report by Scott- top
February 11, 2004
impromptu session hosted by Luke

Gamers in attendance: Luke, John P

Games played: Carcassonne: The Castle, Scarab Lords, Battle Cry, Fight City(x2)

Report by - top
February 7, 2004
monthly session hosted by John and Trish Mc

Gamers in attendance: John Mc, Trish, Rick, Luke, John P, Dale, Phil and more

Games played:   For Sale, Attika, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Santiago, High Society, One Man's Trash, Thingamajig and more

Report by - top
February 4, 2004
impromptu session hosted by Dale

Gamers in attendance: Dale, Luke, Mike R, John Mc, John P

Games played:  Princes of the Renaissance, Keythedral

Report by - top
January 29, 2004
impromptu session hosted by John Mc

Gamers in attendance: John Mc, Trish, Luke, John P

Games played: Attika, Big City, Industrial Waste
ATTIKA

Trish was busy kid-wrangling, so we needed a three player game. To no one's surprise, we dove right into
Luke's copy of Attika, the hottest game going these days.

Ever the game component craftsman, Luke has augmented his set by adding quarter-sized plastic poker chips,
color-coded to three of the four player mats.

It was my first game, so Luke quickly ran through the rules, and offered a few helpful hints. They must
have been helpful hints indeed, as I managed to nip Luke and John P for the victory. I went out in a
furious building blitzkrieg, using 2 amphorae to extend my turn, allowing me to build my last 4 or 5
building all at once.

Attika is going on my buy list, but I must admit that it didn't really live up to the hype. After all of
the breathless analysis and debate on spielfrieks, I expected a more complex game. With nary an auction in
sight, Attika certainly is a refreshing cure for "auction fatigue". I'm eager to play again.


BIG CITY

Big City is another game that is at its best with three players. It sports awesome bits, but gameplay
is a tad shallow. As Luke said, "I think it sort of plays itself." Luke proceeded to back up this comment
by pulling down the win.

This was a notable game of Big City in that both of the 30-point shopping centers were successfully put in
play. Usually, a group is hard-pressed to satisfy the strict zoning requirements to place one shopping
center, let alone two. A series of bonehead placements by yours truly allowed Luke to place both
churches, while John P cleaned up with the shopping centers. I was quickly kicked to the curb, while John
and Luke raced well over 100 VPs apiece. Luke eventually edged John by 7 points.

In the future, I really need to play more defensively, and keep an eye out for shopping center placements.


INDUSTRIAL WASTE

With young Will safely tucked into bed, Trish was able to join us for what turned out to be the longest game
of Industrial Waste ever! As you may know, one of the distinct mechanisms of IW is a variable, yet
player-controlled game length. Specifically, the game will end as soon as one player improves his plant to
20. With the right cards, this can be accomplished in just 4 or 5 turns. The flip side of this however, is
the game will go on forever if no one makes it to 20 before the cows come home.

I set out to earn my VPs by moving up the innovation tracks. Luke immediately fired everyone in his plant
but the janitor, in order to save on salary expenses. Trish used the growth cards to rocket her plant up the
income chart, making it to 19 in relatively short order. She was in position to end the game by moving
up to 20. I didn't really notice a pattern to what John P was doing.

The game soon reached a sort of protracted midgame equilibrium, in which:

* Trish had the power to end the game, but didn't have any motivation to do so. A glance at our player mats
showed that she wouldn't be the winner if she did!

* I believe I had sufficient innovation VPs to win, but lacked the means to trigger the endgame condition.

* Luke was gaining money on the rest of us each turn by paying next to nothing in employee salaries, and
holding several raw materials auctions, but he lacked the manpower to actually produce anything with his
factories thanks to his Draconian layoffs.

* Again, John P was playing a more balanced strategy, or at least one I couldn't decipher.

A series of nasty industrial accidents forced me to take out a loan to pay fines, and really dropped the
hammer on Trish. Luke was able to bribe corrupt EPA officials a couple of times, and the rest of the time,
he was actively rooting for accidents, in order to trip up Trish and myself.

Losing 5 or 10 million euro is bad enough, but the worst part of these accidents was having to move our
plants back 1 or 2 spaces on the income chart. Every time Trish or I got close to 20, we were slapped back
to 17 or so.

Finally, I horded a plant upgrade card from a previous turn, then selected a lot with another in it.
Combined with an advisor card, I zoomed from 17 to 20 in one turn, ending the game. When the smoke and
fallout cleared, John P had secured a solid victory. John attributed his win to never having to take out a
costly loan like the rest of us did. John was able to rake in VPs by maxing out all three innovation tracks.

Even though this particular playing outstayed its welcome, all involved agree that IW is a fun game that
should hit the table more often. The game pulls off an engrossing business theme without resorting to
brain-burning decisions, interminable rounds of auctions, or even trading in stocks.
Report by John Mc - top
January 22, 2004
impromptu session hosted by Scott and Cheryl

Gamers in attendance: Scott, Cheryl, Luke, John P

Games played:   Attika (x2), China Moon, Bridges of Shangri-la
Instead of playing a single longer game, we opted to play a few shorter games.
We had a few fresh purchases that we were anxious to try out...

Attika.
I was able to get this one hot off the presses thanks to Dave Jones
and timewellspent.org. I received it last Friday and have already played it
6 times now! I can't remember ever playing a game that much in a week.
One of the reasons for playing it that much is that it is excellent as a
2-player game and Cheryl & I have played it twice. All four of us last
night enjoyed this game quite a bit. It plays in about an hour or
maybe 75 minutes with 4 players playing at a pretty good clip. In our first
game, I won a cheap one by connecting two of the shrines. This is not the
usual way of ending the game. In my opinion, the game is a little less
satisfying when it ends this way. Anyway, I'll take the victory.

China Moon.
A new Bruno F. title. It is a quick race game that uses
no dice. Collect lotus blossoms with the jumping frogs. Luke completely
kicked everyone's "you know what" at this game. I found it a little
less than satisfying as about halfway thru the game I knew I was totally out
of contention with nothing I could do about it. At that point we all knew
Luke would win - it was just a matter of finishing the game. I will
definately try it again, but I have my doubts about this game.

Bridges of Shangri-La.
Cheryl & I are currently enamoured with this game.
John P. is an expert at the game (having won both of his first 2 attempts)
but is less enthusiastic about it than we are. It is by Leo Colvini of
"Clans" fame (among others). John thinks it is similar to Clans and
Cherylthinks it is similar to Muscat. Anyway, it is an abstract game. We
played it nice and quick - about 1/2 hour. John won handily. I would
recommend this one (John wouldn't).

Attika.
Yes - another game of Attika. John P. won this one in overtime. I
think it lasted almost 1.5 hours which is longer than usual. It went
down to the wire as John, Luke, and Cheryl were all close to going out.
You've gotta try this one!
Report by Scott - top
January 15, 2004
impromptu session hosted by Luke

Gamers in attendance: Luke, Matt H, John P

Games played:  Age of Steam - Eastern US, Dice Run, Chick-A-Boom

 John smoked Matt and I in AoS, in a rare (for this game) come from behind victory.  I had an early lead with Matt looking strong at the 2/3 point, but a mistake by Matt and I, bidding 12 and 13 on an auction that Matt really didn't need set up John's victory.


Report by Luke -
top
January 10, 2004
special session hosted by John P

Gamers in attendance:  John P, Luke, Matt H, Dale, Scott T, Cheryl, John Mc, Mike R and more
Games played:  Flashenteufel, Seven Seals, Princes of the Renaissance, Princes of Florence, Keywood, Modern Zeiten, Age of Steam - Ireland

Report by  - top

January 2, 2004
monthly session hosted by Scott & Cheryl T

Gamers in attendance: Scott & Cheryl T, John P and more
Games played:  Feurio(x2), King Me!, Blink, Santiago, Ark of the Covenant, Ra, Alhambra

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