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. :)
Labels: session report