Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Battlelore Specialist Unit Publishing Errors

For those interested in the new Battlelore specialist units, Days of Wonder has acknowledged two publishing mistakes:

And mine just shipped--too late for me to cancel and wait for the reprints!

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Saturday Gaming Fever

Amy and I are having casual gaming friends over on Saturday starting around 8 AM. If the SABG want to join us, that'd be great, and you're all welcome. We'll be playing mostly light/medium fare, so be forewarned if you're looking for a game of 7 Ages or Civ to follow on the heels of last week's TI:3 you'll want to BYOE (Bring Your Own Epic).

RSVP in the comments.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

sabbl-deconstructing the tigers' season

Ok, so it appears that the Tigers have played weeks 1-3. From somebody I need to know the player usage for series 3 and to confirm that the series was split 1-1; and having the actual scoresheets from series 1 would help to confirm some usage guesswork. (Query; I know I am the new guy to the league but why keep all the stats you are keeping and not keep games played if that is what usage is being limited by?) As best I can tell usage was as follows for weeks 1-2 combined ignoring those who can play in all 16 games; if anybody can confirm or deny please do so:
Casey 3 GP out of 6 available
Gomez 2 GP out of 3 available
infante 0 GP out of 7 available
polanco 4 gp out of 14 available
santiago all 3 gp out of 3 available? (11 PA after 2 weeks; 3 PA in 1 NYY series game so remaining 8PA would be 2 more games)
shelton 1 gp out of 11 available
stairs 1 gp out of 10 available
thames, wilson, and young all unused in first two weeks

starting rotation:
robertson or verlander (can anybody tell me which comes first in the rotation to date?)
verlander or robertson
(and if I understand no off days means I am stuck with that rotation unless I want to plug in spot starter to let me adjust it)

grilli 1 gp out of 7
jones 0 gp out of 7
ledezma 1 point used out of 6
maroth 0 points out of 6
miner 3.67 ip which could have been 1 or 2 relief appearances in the first series
rodney 1 gp out of 8
walker 0 gp out of 5
zumaya 4.67 ip which could have been 1 or 2 relief appearances in first series (normally I would say 2 for sure but since it appears verlander was injured or ejected from his start in the first inning I can't be sure)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Victory Snatched from the Jaws of a Death Star

The image above is a picture of Chad's people, the Naalu Collective. Believe it or not, they are now the supreme overlords of the galaxy. Here's the story of how this amazing feat happened.

We had a wonderful session today of Twilight Imperium 3, with about 99% of the expansion added in as well. Carlos hosted, and we drew the following races.

Race Tally:
Ben: The Embers of Muaat
Carlos: Mentak Coalition
Chad: Naalu Collective
Jon: L1z1x Mindnet
Jerry: Federation of Sol
Chris: Emirates of Hacan

For some reason just because I started the game with the power to construct War Suns (a.k.a. Death Stars), I was perceived as huge a threat by everyone. Throughout the entire game I was beset on all sides by evil gotcha cards, bounties, senatorial sanctions, and whatever anyone else could through at me. It just wasn't fair to me gentle, peace loving people. Alas, the bounties on my head were never collected, as I never lost a single space combat... not that it helped me win..., but I digress.

Each player, in turn, implemented their own unique strategy towards attaining galactic conquest. Jon, with a race of evil Terminator-style robots quickly invested maximum effort in technology development and military production. It wasn't long before he had an iron grip on Mecatol Rex, and he dominated the Senate throughout the game through threats and intimidation.

Chris played his part as the master of trade quite well. He was rolling in wealth the entire game, and he used his gold to build a massive fleet. With the evil Jon on one side, Chris decided he had a better chance of beating up on the poor humans, and spent most of the game beating Jerry all the way back to his homeworld.

Jerry was my ally for the entire game. We had a nice demilitarized zone between us, and we used this as a foundation from which to expand in opposite directions. Jerry made a daring assault into the wormhole nexus against Jon, but evil Jon had forbidden experimental weapons hidden on his Dreadnoughts and quickly blasted Jerry's fleet out of space. Chris, the Italy to Jon's Germany, quickly dog piled on Jerry, and Jerry spend the rest of the game fighting to stay alive.

Carlos controlled the space pirates. He too spent most of the game hurling nasty cards at me. Carlos captured a solid quadrant of the galaxy, and by the end of the game was quickly pumping out a fleet each turn, almost faster than I could blow them up. Carlos was solidly in the camp of Jon... sort of like the Japan to Jon's Germany... I had my eye on an assault against his inner worlds, but alas the game ended too quickly...

Chad was the crafty Naalu and my next door neighbor. For most of the game, I couldn't figure out what he was up to, though it seemed he was steadily managing to get VPs almost every turn. Chad initially pushed towards Mecatol, but his advance seemed to stall as Jon rushed forward on the other side. Still, by the last stage of the game he was ahead by one VP.

I watched Chad inching upwards in VPs for several turns, and I knew I had to deal with him before he got too far ahead. On turn one I managed to secure Hope's End, the Imperial elite soldier planet and training place of shock troops. I bought just enough technology to upgrade my War Suns to speed two, then launched a second one for my fleet. I rallied my massive fleet at Hope's End, two spaces from Mecatol Rex; two spaces from the worm hole nexus, and two spaces from Chad's weakly protected home world. Chad quickly built, doubling his home fleet. Jon threw signal jamming on me, which delayed my fleet a turn. Then I struck, hitting Chad's strengthened home world. A huge battle ensued, but I decisively won, only loosing a good portion of my fighter cover, then seizing Chad's home planet.

Carlos, seeing me with two War Suns with only a few fighters left jumped in with his fleet to try to take me down. A second huge battle ensued, and again I emerged victorious, losing just about everything except the two War Suns. Carlos' own War Sun went nova with a blinding flash, and I reset my jump coordinates to target him next.

Chad had a small, rag tag fleet of refugees a few hexes away, fleeing the colossal destruction of their home system. If I wanted to, I could blow these paltry remnants out of the game the next turn, but I figured it wasn't worth the effort. Chad was out of the game.... Or so I thought.

The last turn arrived, and Chad picked Bureaucracy. He searched through the objective deck and pulled out Imperium Rex, a.k.a. game over! Argh! He ended the game, and because he was ahead in VPs, he won! So, though I had virtually annihilated him, the galaxy was his. Apparently the burning down of his homeworld awakened the galaxy to the madness that our struggle truly was, and Chad represented peace and prosperity.

Congratulations, Chad! Masterfully played. Many thanks to Carlos and his family for hosting us, and thanks to all the players for participating in such a mammoth game.

Monday Gaming

Just your regular planning post for Monday. I'll be there at the typical time ....

For your reading pleasure, I've got a new Geeklist on Tom Lehmann, and a political geeklist (don't worry, its humorous, not one of those serious ones). I could bring one or two of Tom's games, if there's any interest. Been a while since I played most of them...


Friday, July 27, 2007


Don't know why, but the idea of playing a hard-er core Railroad Tycoon has never really been appealing to me. But, I have to say, I'm intrigued by the latest Age of Steam expansion.

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Republic of Rome

We once talked about RoR, and someone mentioned that it might be released again. Well today I saw that it is soon to be released. So does anyone (Brian?) know what the story is? Is the game exactly the same? Are there changes? Hopefully the rules do not require a course at the local Jr. College? Someone tell me please!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So it looks like I will be taking over Detroit in the SABBL and I guess I need to start by confirming that the team has played weeks 1 vs. Oakland and 2 vs NYY and that is it and then getting the games played information from the first series and if the above is correct then getting contact information for my week 3 opponent (LA?) so I can get that series scheduled and get caught up. Thanks.
Scott Shacter

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hail Caesar, pass the Dragon...

I arrived to Dragon's Lair to observe the end of the ubiquitous Notre Dame being played by Ted(oops, Ben), Michael, Jon, and Brian. Several people left for a brief food hiatus at the end of this game, so Chris, Brian, Ben, and Myself pulled out Through The Desert. I'm a sucker for interesting looking bits, and not too many games have pastel camel chains... The rules are pretty simple, but the game has the potential to be a real brain-burner. There are always about three more moves than you have time to make, and choosing which to delay and for how long can be torturous. Throughout the game Ben appeared to be losing the "area capture" game, but he was silently amassing a wealth of oasis points and blew everyone out at the end. I was trying to judge the endgame and add one more camel to a color chain that ended up being a three way tie, but I delayed too long...

Next came Stage II, which we tryed to get up and running quickly since Dennis was showing up soon - we wanted a head start to try and have a chance at winning. Somehow I stayed out of last place this time. This is the streakiest trivia game I've ever played - you'll have five or six answers that everyone is racing to get the answers in for, and then five or six that no one has any hope of even stumbling upon. I got one answer correct because I incorrectly thought I had a category clue - "golf club manufacturers", and guessed the city Cleveland based on that. Cleveland was correct, golf clubs were not. Luck is a fickle mistress... Somehow Dennis avoided jumping to the lead (perhaps he threw the game just so we will play it again with him later ;) ) and if I recall correctly Michael pulled out the controversial win.

Ave Caesar came out next, with the "clog the arteries" variant employed - if you were directly blocked by someone you could swap your positions by playing a 1. This apparently caused mass spaghetti confusion, and the folks who were ahead of the mess flew to easy victory. I'm either as amazingly consistent as the tortoise of fable, or else I'm really good at slowing down at least one person who winds up behind me, because I finished next to last in all four races.

Next came the newly purchased and punched Cash N'Guns, which always draws some interest from the spectators. The new version has orange guns to protect players from over zealous viglantes with poor eyesight and fear of styrofoam guns. It doesn't diminish from the play any, and we zipped through two games with only minor argument over optimal play - it's every man for himself, but we all need a little help from our friends!

Finally, with only four remaining, I pulled out my Tichu deck. I really really like this game, and love learning more about it and how to pass cards / control play / work with your partner to achieve victory. The game started off with a total of five bombs in two rounds, which gave the impression that bombs were the norm, but that quickly leveled off. I think everyone at least didn't hate the game - I'd like to pull it out more often.

Please please correct me if I've mis-named or mis-spelled a name - it's a weakness of mine, and I do remember you all, even if I don't remember your names. :)


Monday, July 23, 2007

Talisman - What do the members of the council think?

I have never played this. A friend of mine thinks a lot of this game. I see that it is being released again. Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Monday Planning Post

Monday Means Gaming! I'll be at DLair at around 4. People may be around earlier or later? What will be played? Who knows?

In baseball related news, I'm taking over Ted's Detroit Tigers. I'll hopefully make up any games from weeks 1-4 the Tigers have missed...
other than that it's anyone's guess!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Vaht, I forgot two major rules?

Ben and I gathered at 10am for a rousing game of Fury of Dracula. The game itself was an exciting cat-and-mouse chase with Ben playing the hunters and myself playing the Count. About halfway through the game, Ben began to pick up my trail and embarking to sea seemed the best way to hide again, as Dracula cannot be encountered at sea and after spending a few moves sailing about, the range of ports for landing increases, making Dracula's trail somewhat difficult to pick up again. Shortly after going to sea, however, Ben's Stormy Seas card forced Dracula to seek shelter at a port and reveal where he had landed. With limited options, I landed on the Iberian peninsula. Its connection to the rest of Europe is a bottleneck which Ben's hunters would reach before I could, especially since it was daytime and my best evasion powers were unavailable until the sun set. As Ben closed in and cut off my escape routes across land, fog in Madrid slowed his pursuit long enough for me to hide in Cadiz until dusk. By the time he reached Cadiz, I had managed to just catch another ship and head out into open waters again, making an incredibly narrow escape.

I sailed through the Mediterranean, figuring to land far away in Eastern Europe where I could avoid capture until the passage of time gave me enough victory points to win the game. Ben, however, managed to fast-travel two of his hunters to my destination ports, which meant he would find me as soon as I set foot on land again. Frustrated, I managed to double back into the Adriatic Sea, finally landing in Venice and sneaking past the closing hunters to avoid capture until the end of the game.

Overall, it was an exciting game with great chase action. There was almost no combat, however, as I managed to elude capture (which, as Ben pointed out at the end, is kind of the point for the Dracula player). I had a great time and I think Ben did, too, and we both are looking forward to the next time we play this. It plays from two to five, with one person being Dracula and the remainder splitting control of the hunters (one person controls all four, two people control two each, and so on). Certainly, with one person playing all of the hunters, they all could share a joint strategy which shortened decision-making time and thus play time to a very manageable degree. I think we were both surprised by how well this plays with just two people, although I'm sure having a few more would be a different dynamic and fun all the same.

As I looked for a fitting Dracula picture to write up what was going to be an exciting session report, I saw a blurb of text that caught my eye discussing sea movement. Something had felt wrong about the way I had conducted my sea movement after escaping Cadiz, but with the rulebook being 30 pages, I couldn't find it at the time and wasn't even sure I had done anything incorrectly.

Mea culpa--I was right to have been suspicious. There were not one, but two major rule transgressions on my part that I discovered tonight when reviewing the rulebook.


Dracula cannot use any of his Powers while
at sea. He is weakened while crossing running
water and cannot call upon his most potent
abilities. This effectively restricts him from
backtracking or staying in place at sea. (p. 10)

Oops. You can't turn the boat around, even if you're Dracula. Once I reached Eastern Europe, I should have been forced to land, where Ben's hunters would have been waiting.


Timekeeping Phase:

This phase only occurs at the start of Dracula’s turn. If Dracula is currently located in a sea zone, nothing happens and Dracula proceeds to his Movement Phase. Otherwise, the Dracula player advances the Day/Night marker one space clockwise along the Day/Night track. (p. 7)

Oh, the shame. It's even in bold in the rulebook. Time should essentially stand still while Dracula is at sea to prevent him from sailing around to chew up time (which is a necessary rule--Ben observed as we played, "So, you can basically sail around until you win the game, right?" This prevents that). Both rules also act to discourage sea travel by Dracula in general, thus giving the Hunters more of a chance to find him. With this rule played correctly, one of the Hunters (but not both) would have had the power to fast-travel to Eastern Europe to meet Dracula as he landed (the other fast-travel power was only available with the dawning of the new day, which, played correctly, would not have occured). Despite this, Dracula would still have been found, since the cards tell when (but not where) Dracula lands, and when a Hunter would have been in one port and Dracula didn't show up, it would have been a simple matter to travel one road to the other port and give him a little welcome home gift (with a stake through the heart).

Argh. Still a very fun game--straightforward and exciting without a lot of extra side-mechanics to remember. The theme is a good one and fits well with the game for the most part, and the game doesn't have an obscene number of components like some of FFG's other games (cough cough Arkham Horror cough cough). I definitely want to play again. Playing according to the rules will be a good bonus. Sorry, Ben.

Near the end of the game, Steve and his son Jake showed up and broke out Steve's new copy of Nexus Ops while we finished. Steve won the first game against his son with his creepy crawly spiders hanging out on top of the monolith in the middle. After they finished, Ben and I joined in for a four-player Nexus Ops game. Jake claimed the monolith in the middle early and was never seriously challenged there. However, Ben skillfully manuevered around his strike force of spider fighters with their human meat shields, completing multiple secret missions and racking up victory points at a dizzying pace, usually by conducting at least two battles a turn. In the end, Ben claimed galactic domination with Jake coming in second. Steve and I moved a few pieces around as well but never got enough momentum to challenge the others.

We then broke out Citadels, which I had been wanting to try. I managed to lay down a few cheapie buildings to scoot out to an early lead. Ben gave me a bit of friendly advice as we played, stating that I might want to consider using the Warlord's special power to knock down a 1 gold cost building for free rather than skipping it as I had planned to do (since it was my first game and had already forgotten that one gold cost buildings were indeed free to destroy). Ben, of course, had the only one gold cost building at that time (and, knowing this, pointed at his own building grudgingly as he gave me the advice). So of course I thanked Ben graciously...and proceeded to knock down his one gold building to show my gratitude. From that point on, I managed to grab the Warlord and Bishop on most turns to prevent the same thing from happening to me and slowly built my way to victory. Again, this was the kind of light, quick, fantasy-themed filler game that I was hoping it would be, and it reminds me that I need to solicit suggestions for some other light games (Ave Caesar comes to mind) since I have mostly a glut of theme-heavy games requiring significant time commitments at this point and not a lot else.

We finished up with Ticket to Ride with the 1910 expansion (Chris' games still in cellophane = Chris' games still in cellophane - 1 -- yay!) Jake and I started claiming some short north-south routes early that we needed to complete our destination tickets--and it cost us. Ben and Steve collected cards...and collected...and collected. Then they both went to work claiming most of the 5 and 6 car east-west routes while Jake and I kept working on the shorter ones out of concern that those would be taken up by competitors if we waited. By the end, Steve completed multiple east coast and central US destination tickets with those high-scoring 5 and 6 car routes and claimed the win with something like 150 points. Ben joined the Atlantic and Pacific and came in a close second. Jake came in third and played very well, while I, despite claiming longest route network, came in a distant fourth. Next time, I think I'd definitely be less conservative and try to claim more destination tickets, as I came up woefully short in that area at the end of the game. Glad I got this one out on the table.

Overall, a great Saturday. Thanks to everyone who played!

Time to go look at my TI3 tutorial videos now.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saturday Gaming

While Ben is planning TI3 for next Saturday (the 28th), it's time to start planning this Saturday. Ben and I have both been wanting to get Fury of Dracula on the table. I've spent a few days going over the nitty-gritty of this game and am pretty excited to have the chance to teach it (and play it). Join us as Van Helsing and his band of hunters try to find Dracula as he moves through turn-of-the-century Europe creating an unholy army of vampires. Can they stop him? Or will they be caught unaware and succumb to Dracula's bite as well?

We'll plan for the 10am DL start unless plans change in the comments below.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Rohan Gone Wild

Jon and I met this morning to give WotR another run-through. Jon had never played witht the expansion before, and I was more than happy to show him the ropes. Jon volunteered to take the Shadow, so I packed up my pipeweed for a long journey.

Despite my warnings, Jon seemed less than impressed with the Ents lurking in Fangorn. Jon repeatedly sent many of Treebeard's pals through the buzzsaw, and before long Fangorn was teaming with angry bushes. Jon sallied forth to lay siege to Helms Deep, but right behind him shot about 10 Ent miniatures making a beeline for Orthanc. After making the journey, the Ents were able to roll a total of 30 dice against Orthanc, then the army outside Helms Deep. Despite atrocious rolling, the Saruman was squished down into maple syrup, though the army outside Helms Deep only took minor losses.

Jon recovered quickly, sending the Snakemen up to snatch Erebor, then lay siege to the Woodland Realm. Jon also sent a strong party of the survivors from Isengard northward to capture the Shire (!) and move onward towards the Grey Havens. Jon also activated the Corsairs and was moving up the coast to Dol Amroth. His plans were well afoot.

Unfortunately, he wouldn't have enough time to carry them out. Emboldened by the example of the Ents, Theoden launched Rohan on a massive jihad, killing everyone who looked like they might have a little bit of orc blood in them from Edoras all the way to Moria. He took Orthanc; he destroyed the Hillmen villages; finally he and his merry band of madmen besieged Moria, defended by the Balrog, two Nazgul, and three orcs. It took a few turns, but in the end, Theoden achieved a Free People's military victory! Meanwhile the Fellowship was taking a nice long picnic nap just south of Lorien somewhere...

Jon then retaliated by taking me to school in Epic BattleLore. I was taken apart, scrambled, beaten, roasted, then sent home without any supper! I must be hungry.... Anyway, Epic BL is, in my opinion, the only way to play BL. More of everything! I also like the shared command card mechanic. If only Memoir had this kind of setup.... I did see an Origins 2007 picture of Mr. Borg playing what looked like Epic C&C: Ancients, so I'm hopeful...

My last game of the day was a quick game of Cowboys with Chris. I picked what looked like a short scenario, since it looked like SABG baseball was on the agenda for the rest of the evening. We played Lynch Mob, which had me guarding a prisoner in the jail against 14 angry townsfolk and a ringleader. The scenario itself was pretty lame, with Chris just running zombie-like townspeople in, and me gunning them down at point blank range. There was no decision making to be made, and I can't imagine spending another 20 minutes of my life replaying it. In the end, I miraculously won by one bullet, so it was a little exciting. However, the only reason I won was winning a pretty uninteresting dice rolling contest. To be fair, I'm sure there are more interesting scenarios later in the book, though I think this one was #10/26. I think the game will work best as an icebreaker, doing an every person for themself massive shootout. The game itself is actually simpler than Epic Duels, which I'm a bit suprised by. Still, I'm still keeping hope alive that this doesn't suck.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Twilight Imperium 3, July 28

Plans are forming for a game of Twilight Imperium 3 with the full set of expansion options in play on Saturday, July 28. Location and host (if any) is not definite yet, but somewhere in the San Antonio metropolitan area is a safe bet.

If you want to play, here are some things you can do now:
  • Comment on this post, communicating your commitment to play. A four player game will probably take 4 hours (not counting setup and any rules explanations needed), with an hour added for each player beyond four.
  • If you haven't played before or need a refresher, watch the videos here. These are well produced and give a great introduction to the game. Take a look at the show notes to see a couple minor rules mistakes they make.
  • To study a fully detailed session report of the base game, I heartily recommend this site. The three-player demo is extremely well put together.
  • Of course, you probably want to actually look over the rules for the base game and its expansion, plus maybe the FAQ.
I think if we get at least four total players who are familiar with the game, good times will be had. If anyone would rather just have me teach them the game beforehand, send me an e-mail.

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Monday Gaming

When is everyone showing up at DL? I'm actually off work on Monday, so I can play early if anyone is in the mood and able. Now, back to playing with my new Wings of War minis...


Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Knight to Remember...

The day started splendidly. I woke up at an ungodly hour in order to get a quick mind-rousing jog in, then headed over to Steve's for our semi-weekly game of War of the Ring, the expanded edition. Steve played the Free People's player and delivered upon me a thrashing I will not soon forget. We have collectively decided, due to the amount of FP victories we're seeing, that we've both lost our nerve for playing the Shadow as aggressively as we should. This was definitely true with me today. I had pretty much every Shadow army in the box on the board, but still only had 5 VPs when Steve dunked the ring. The key for the Shadow is to push hard until you feel the wheels are about to launch off the wagon!

I then dashed over to Dragon's Lair to meet Chris and Jose. We played quick games of Zooloretto, which Chris dominated, and Colosseum, which Chris again dominated. Ouch! Still these games are great fun, and they seem to get better with each play.

Chad arrived, and we decided it was time to go big! I busted out Warrior Knights with its new Crown and Glory expansion. Now, it had been probably 9 months since I last played the vanilla version, so we chewed through the rules explanation. This is a pretty complex game, almost along the lines of Arkham Horror in its level of detail. Adding in most of the expansion, I think it took at least 30-45 minutes for us to get rolling. Still, once things got started, the game system started to click.

We played with all of the expansion rules except the King and secret mission, which I later wished we had added. These two rules add a great deal of suspense to the end game, but I was a bit concerned already with overwhelming everyone with the complexity level. We did add in the new fate deck, technology development system, riots, garrisons, town levees, mercenary leaders, and new order, assembly, and event cards.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I squeaked out a win. We flubbed a rule early on, so my win gets an asterix, unforunately. Anyway, I'm very pleased with the expansion, and I'm sure now that we've played, we could probably cut the play time down by at least 25%.

Thanks to Chad, Chris, Jose, and Steve for another great Saturday of gaming!


Friday, July 13, 2007

"The Nigh Mets are my favorite."

Yesterday Chris and I managed the Mets against each others team. In the opener, I had the Mets against the Dodgers. Not much good came of that, as the other NY team dropped them both, the second game a one-hitter. Cliff Floyd was consistent, though ... hit a weak groundball to 2B, get thrown out. This happened every AB in the first game, and once or twice in the second.

Then Chris took over for the Subway Series. In the opener, Randy Johnson again pitched well. He gave up two runs in the first inning, but then held the Mets Scoreless. The Yankees also got two runs in the first, but then did nothing. Johnson just can't get reasonable run support (much less the Unreasonable support provided to other pitchers). He stayed in for a tie game, before eventually leaving. Scott Proctor gave up a run, though, and again the "Bombers." In the 8th inning A-Rod tried to squeeze home the tying run, but failed. The Yankees lost the opener 3-2. Pedro Martinez got the win, pitching 8 innings and striking out 10.

Nothing much to say about the second game ... Here's the Yankees total Batting:
44 Plate Appearances, 3 Singles, 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 3 HR, 8 Walks, 12 Ks, 10 Totals runs.
Mussina went 5.3 Innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits. Mike Myers came in for long relief and allowed no hits or walks. Yankees win 10-2. Sorry Mark.

The Mets did have the bases loaded in the sixth (which is when Mussina was yanked), only to hit into an X-2-4 double play (I'm not sure who the X was). The Yankees had typical gaudy stats (after the 2nd game), but managed to strike out 24 times in the series.


This place doesn't suck any more...

....mainly because it's close to Houston. I saw this on the Houston Chronicle yesterday. I bought tickets today as soon as they opened this morning. Check out the trailer video. Wait for it to download completely. Try to listen to it with decent speakers/headphones. Michael, Jon (?), Ben will recognize the theme song. VERY nice stuff.
If anyone is coming over, I'll have the guest room ready. : )

Thursday, July 12, 2007

SABG Member Wins a 2007 Origins Award

Congratulations to Steve for winning a 2007 Origins Award for co-designing Vlad the Impaler, a Warhammer Ancient Battles supplement by Warhammer Historical! Here are the official press releases:

I knew Steve was an awesome gamer, but I had no idea he was an awesome designer as well!

Steve: When are we going to bust out the Kingmaker variant you designed? I'm now just a bit more confident it won't suck!


Saturday Gaming

I can start early if someone is willing to host or just kick things off at Dragon's Lair at 10:00 AM. Please post if you're interested in playing and any specific games you'd like to play.

Games highest on my list (besides TI:3): Warrior Knights (with expansion), WotR (w/exp), Britannia, Tide of Iron, Cowboys (new from Worthington), Arkham (now with three expansions).


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday Night, and revisiting the Classics

Last night got off to a slow start with a few games of To Court the King, where I managed to roll poorly often, actually only about one roll out of 7 went poorly. But always the last one. By then Chris had shown up and we played Goa. Has it really only been out 3-4 years? Rudiger Dorn has quietly become one of the premier designers (he also has Jambo, Louis XIV, and Traders of Genoa to his credit). After that, we tried the newer version of Leaping Lemmings, people should send me their comments (or just put them here) and I'll pass them along...

At this point, several people had to leave, so I pulled out a classic. Titan. I've been on a kick to revisit old games, and this is one of the worthiest.
Why Titan? Well, it's a direct conflict game with lots of dice. But there are three reasons it remains played (over 25 years after initial release).
  • It's hard to gang on the leader -- The masterboard forces you to manuever ... you can't just go after someone wily-nily.
  • "Lets you and him fight" doesn't work -- In almost every other battle-y game, if A & B fight while C watches, C comes out ahead. Here, A or B may gain strength (compared to C). Fighting and winning is rewarded.
  • Titan rewards multiple plays -- Even after (literally) hundreds of games, you can still spot new things.
Anyway, Jeff and I taught Sean. I had a good opening, but then managed to put my Warlock in the wrong spot (obvious after I started rolling the dice). In the right spot, I needed average luck, and for my opponent to not get slightly above average luck. In the wrong spot, I needed good luck (and none for my opponent). In the right spot, I win the battle in the nick of time ... my Titan exits with one hit remaining. (All hits heal between battles). So I was the first one eliminated. Jeff made one blunder ("I thought that was his Titan stack"), but several turns later maneuvered a crunchy kill stack into Sean's Titan.

You can play (against AIs who were reasonably competent if not great, last time I checked) via Colossus. You can order from Valley games, although I have no idea about the quality. I'd love to see this getting played more. A classic. (There are other classics I'd like to see played, too. Hence the new label).

PS ... (I downloaded the Colossus ... it still has a few egregious bugs. But I remembered David desJardins' strategy page ...)

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Wafer Thin Day of Gaming

I've just finished a day long gluttonous feast of gaming. Games I played today:
  • War of the Ring (with expansion)
  • Star Wars Epic Duels (x2)
  • Fearsome Floors
  • Zooloretto
  • Caylus Magna Carta
  • Merchants of Amsterdam
  • Colosseum
I also saw Age of Empires 3, Mississippi Queen, and Mexica being played on the other table. What a great session! My thanks to the hosts for a wonderful day.


Saturday Morning Gaming

This morning Mark and I met at my house for a game of “Columbia EastFront” (We played the original version). The session was great as we simulated the “Kursk” scenario where the two sides are powerful both defensively and offensively.

In the summer of 1943, Mark’s German army launched the offensive into the bulge near the town of Kursk. The flat and open terrain was ideal for the many divisions of tanks that were deployed here by both sides. The German armor slammed into my defenders and caused massive amounts of damage. In response, my Russians delayed by reinforcing the crumbling line, but keeping most of my own armor in reserve behind the line. Meanwhile, in the far north, the city of Leningrad was under siege as the defenders begged for help.

As the summer dragged on, my line at Kursk finally gave in under the pressure and I called for a pull back to the Don. The defenders of Leningrad were desperate, hanging on by their fingernails. However a relief force was on its way. Mark took a desperate gamble as he sacrifices his precious HQ so as to take the city, but the defenders manage to hold. The Red Army finally relieves the siege and the German army withdraws from the area. This gives hope to all Russia.

In the center, another huge stroke of luck for the Russians: The Germans rush to fill in the void left from the Russian withdrawal. Sensing that the HQ resources of the Germans is low and noticing a weak spot in the line, Carlos calls on his armor reserves. A blitz opens a hole in the German line allowing Russian armor and cavalry to penetrate deep into the German rear so as to disrupt enemy supply. The plan worked as no less than 12 German corps and at least one HQ are left without supply and forced to pull back.

Finally mud and snow come to the aid of the Russians to give them a little more time to prepare for the next major attack. With the weather turning sour, the rest of the game was more a war of attrition with a few more big battles, but no mentionable exchange of real-estate.

In the end, the line was stable, but with the noticeable exception of Leningrad now back in Russian hands and the Germans having caused massive amounts of damage and pushing the line back closer to Moscow. This was a great game that ended with a Marginal German Victory. Good going Mark!


Monday Night Gaming

Just your weekly placeholder post to see who (and what) is planned for this monday. I'll be at DLair at the normal time. I imagine there will be some baseball games and other things.

Note to Mark -- My starting pitchers are Randy Johnson (LHP) and Mike Mussina (RHP).


Friday, July 06, 2007


So has anyone else seen the latest USAF recruiting film, aka Transformers: The Movie? What did you think? No spoilers here, but my favorite part had the cameo by Furby.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

War of the Ring, Jul 1, 2007

Steve and I met again to roll out War of the Ring (with expansion) at Dragon's Lair. For a change, we had the store completely to ourselves, and the pristine quiet of the surroundings enabled us to focus closely on the task at hand.

We rolled for sides, and Steve took the Free People. Remembering our last game where Steve successfully rushed the Fellowship to a ring victory, I suspected Steve would push them hard once again. I was correct and almost before I knew it Steve had them on the other side of Moria. I mounted the Witch King up on a Nazgul beast and sent him and his boys to go hunt. Gandalf the Grey died quickly, and a long series of successful hunt rolls and draws shot the Fellowship up to 8 corruption. (Cue evil laughter)

On the military front, I focused everything on Saruman. I took Helms Deep almost without a fight and was about to sweep up the rest of Rohan, when almost out of nowhere Steve played card combos and dice to bloom a huge Rohan army in Edoras. I kept Helms Deep, but he beat my main force all the way back to Orthanc. The crowned Aragorn rode up to join in the final assault. I hatched wolf riders like mad along with Hillmen to fortify Saruman. Steve launched three full assaults (using two cards) of Ents upon Orthanc, eventually killing Saruman. Luckily I was able to muster a garrison before he was able to claim my stronghold (i.e., we truly battled to the last man), but the power of the White Hand was gone. Argh!

Steve and I continued to trade body blow for body blow for the rest of the game. I took Minas Tirith and finally cleaned out Rohan. He took Dol Guldur, which I eventually reclaimed. I moved up to squash the Wooden Realm, but it was all taking far too long.... Steve had parked the Fellowship in Dale and healed them from 8 corruption all the way down to 1, then shot them down to Mordor in just a few turns. I hit him a few more times, but that little bugger Smeagol helped him more than once, as did Galadriel. Alas, though I was perhaps two turns from taking Dol Amroth and the Wooden Realm to win, Steve dunked the ring quite handily.

What a crazy, tough game that was! We totally beat the snot out of each other the entire game, killing off a good portion of the game's pieces and burning through most of the cards. I think we are both at the level of play now where every game is going to be a very brutal cage match. We were both on the edge of our seats the entire game, and by the end of the game I felt I had been on a 4 hour roller coaster ride.

In the end, I failed to close the deal quickly enough which will always be one's undoing in WotR. I had Steve on the ropes early where he positively couldn't afford to move the Fellowship. Knowing this, I should have totally switched over to military mode. Instead I continued to put dice aside for the hunt, though it was very unlikely he'd move. Steve played an excellent game all the way around, and I'm going to have to work very hard to reclaim the victory laurels.

We followed this game with Zooloretto and Colosseum, both of which Jon ran away with. Zooloretto is still a very light tasty snack, and Colosseum I'm not quite sure about... Right now I'd say it too is in the light, fun category, but I was never that excited while playing it. Perhaps that was due to it following the most taxing game of WotR ever, so I'm reserving final judgement.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Twins/Yankees -- Game #2

"Welcome to the second road game of the Yankees/Twins series, only on the YES network. Last night's game had Randy Johnson pitch a complete game, giving up only two runs, but the Yankees offense was blanked to Johan Santana, who pitched a complete game shutout."

"Yes, only Derek Jeter could get anything going, hitting three times in four bats, for almost half of the Yankees offense."

"Tonights starters are Mike Mussina for the Yankees, and Liriano for the Twins."


"...and here we are at the top of the fourth, Yankees down 3-0. So far they've only gotten two hits. Bernie Williams leads off with a hit, grabbed by Nick Punto ... who bobbles the ball! Tough play for Punto. Williams reaches. Next up is Gary Sheffield, who got two hits last night, and reached on a Punto error in the first. Speaking of which, the scorer gives him a second for that play on Williams. Sheffield fouls off a pitch, and then takes ball four. Up strolls Jason Giambi, pitch down the middle and a line drive deep in the corner. Williams comes home, and Sheffield stops at third."

"Next up, Johny Damon. Things could get ugly for the Twins now."
"That's the thing about the Yankees, they'll be cold for most of the game and then just explode in a single inning, and drive a pitcher from the game. [1]"
"And Damon hits a nice single down the 1B line! Sheffield scores, Yankees down by one!"
"Craig Wilson is up. He's paying for Miguel Cairo, who pulled a hamstring after trying to beat the throw to first in the 2nd inning. He was useless against Santana last night ..."
"... like everyone. Santana makes you look stupid..."
"...and takes a called third strike."

"Cano comes up, and quickly strikes out for the second time in the game. Looks like the Yankees will strand a few again ... and Posada grounds weakly towards shortstop."


"And Damon hits a single to left field. That loads the bases in the top of the sixth with no outs after Liriano walks the previous two ... he's getting pulled. It looks like Gurrier is coming up."

"Now Wilson gets pulled for a Pinch Hitter. It's Hideki Matsui. He's not quite healthy, but I guess Joe Torre feels that one bat won't kill him. Matsui drives a deep hit! Two runs score, Yankees up by one. Cano comes up, he's having an atrocious series. Good swing, and it's back to the warning track. Torii Hunter gets it, but Damon tags up and scampers home. Yankees up, 5-2."


"Bottom of the eighth, Yankees up 6-3. Punto on first, no outs. Mauer at the plate, he swings, and it's gone! It's a one run game."


"Bottom of the ninth. Bartlett on 2nd, after the bunt by Castillo. Two outs. Scott Proctor pitching, as Rivera has a small bout of the stomach flu [2]. Punto comes up and bloops one into right field ... tie game. Next up Mauer, who homered last inning and has just been brutal all series. And he gets a double! Punto rounds third and then turns back."

"No way to stretch that into a run ... next up is Cuddyer ... and he strikes out! We are going to extra innings, with the game tied at six."


"Welcome to our post game rap. Certainly an exciting game, although the extra innings turned into a joke. Proctor gets the win, despite giving up four runs in the bottom of the tenth, as the Yankees bats come alive at the top. A walk and error started the inning, followed by a double to bring Giambi home, and another walk. After a sacrifice fly, the top four batters all single, and then Giambi empties the bases with a deep home run."

"Yes, the Twins made a valiant attempt and score four runs, but just can't keep it going."

"The key to the game were errors and walks. The twins got seventeen hits to our thirteen, but gave up three errors and seven walks, while the yankees only walked two. Mussina gave up an error (that cost a run) in the third, but things just came together. The Yankees are somewhat lucky to survive without Rivera available, but they'll take the split."

Game #1
Yankees 0R -- 7H -- 0E
Twins 2R -- 10H -- 0E

Game #2 (10 innings)
Yankees 15R -- 13H -- 1E
Twins 10R -- 17H -- 3E

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Sunday, July 01, 2007


I'll be at Dragon's Lair at the typical time (4pm). Jon and I are going to knock out my week #1 game (vs Michael's Twins). I'm sure there will be some baseball games after that, but I'm going to try to play other things too. (If someone wants even more baseball, you can run Michael's team for its week 2 match against Jon). What will be played? Depends on what everyone brings.

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