Oct 23 Session Report: Night began with a Bang!
I arrived about 6:45 or so to find many guys on a food run. There were 7 of us, and after a little discussion we settled on Bang using Jeff's copy of the expansion Fistful of Cards. We had a deadly rule from the expansion wrong due to strange phrasing, but we got it fixed. The first game ended in the first turn, so we played again. I think everyone enjoyed it a lot. The outlaws won the first game, then the sheriff & deputies took the laurels.
I've had very mixed success with Bang. If folks are loose, social, and fast, it's lots of fun, but I've had some games that were quiet, slow, and took far, far too long. I'm willing to keep trying. Brian and I both bought copies of Fistful of Cards which I had confused with High Noon. I already have Fistful, and if someone wants my copy let me know. High Noon was a very small printing and is somewhat hard to find.
We dropped down to 5 players and went for Beowulf. There was lots of risking, lots of wounds and scratches, and generally a good time. Poor Rob had terrible luck and actually ended the game with a negative score. Despite his sufferring he held in like a trooper. It's such a rush when anyone wins a critical risk, and several times people got 3 symbols from their risks. That push-your-luck element embedded in a bigger strategic scenario is a blast in my book (though as Rob showed it can bite you badly). While risking is central, there's a clear elements of both long-term planning (how will you handle the dragon battle?) and immediate tactics (how to bid this auction). I like this game quite a bit. I think Brian won and Michael took second.
Finally we played China. I dreaded it as Brian explained the rules, but I enjoyed the game play. You try to achieve majorities of either houses or emissaries in various areas. I did OK in first half of the game, but terrible in the second half of the game. I came in last, but I enjoyed the game anyway and I would play again. I forget who won.