Friday, November 30, 2007

Is any Saturday Gaming going on?

May as well ask. I'm not definite (depends on the weather, actually), so I can't host. But if gaming happened, I might be able to swing by. If nobody's hosting, but there may be the option, shoot me an email.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

friday gaming?

Is any friday gaming going on?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

BGG.con pictures

For those who are interested, I put a few pictures from BGG.con 2K7 on flickr (because I didn't know if or how I could post them here). I wish I'd thought to take more pictures. I hope the link works.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Games @ Ted's

Sean came over about 6:30, and we set up BattleLore. I taught a friend a few weeks ago starting with the first Lore scenario, and he was a little overwhelmed. This time I decided to take DoW's advice and start with the very first scenario, Agincourt. We also skipped a bunch of the rules, per their advice. I think is absolutely the way to go, especially since it's only to 4 flags. In the second game we added in bold and pursuit actions; we swapped sides and repeated the battle.

Historically this is the battle where the long bow defeated the French knights. To keep the game reasonable, archers are fairly weak w/ only 2 attack dice; to compensate for their preponderance of low attack units, the English side gets a 6-4 advantage in command cards. Both games were fairly close, 3-4 if I recall.

Next up we played Betrayal at House on the Hill, a pure Ameritrash game if ever there was one. The mechanics are OK but not great, the balance varies wildly, and the errata are like 50 pages long. But this game isn't about any of those things. It's about theme, and on that score it gets high marks. I especially enjoy the discovery portion of the game. I guess if I played it many times, some of that thrill would wear off. Given how often it gets to the table, however, I don't forsee that problem any time soon.

(spoilers below)

During the game, Sean explained to me how on-line werewolf works. This was coincidental because Sean turned into a werewolf halfway through the game. I needed to find a revolver, make silver bullets, get the bullets to the gun, and then I could kill him. Unfortunately, Sean picked me off one by one while I searched for the research lab. Still, this game oozes theme like crazy.

Note: this game is very dark and not appropriate for children.


Twilight Imperium

There has been some talk about a TI3 game this week. Nothing would please me more than a good game, but if we go this weekend then I will have to be content with a good session report. There is too much going on at my house this weekend. So if there must be a TI3 game, then please allow me the honor of starting the planning post here and now. If a game does not come to pass, then perhaps I can suggest that we plan for one on or around the week of Christmas or New Years? I may be able to host then.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Yep, it's the most wonderful time of the year...for those partaking of the GMT Holiday Special! I know a few people this weekend were talking about their GMT emails and the wonderous specials therein. Looking on the website, I see that you can get 50% off of one or two in stock games if you've ordered from them earlier this year off the P500 list. I assume that's the special that's mentioned in the emails, but correct me if I'm wrong.
Looking at the website, I starting saying, "I want that, and I want that, and oooo I want that!" Needless to say, that+that+ooo that too = mucho dinero. Is there anyone in the group that isn't going to completely use their 50% off deal if they're eligible? I'm probably going to order from them anyway, but it doesn't hurt to ask around first.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Monday, Nov 26

I'm surprised there's no planning post. Is anyone playing? Post in the comments.


Saturday Gaming

The day started with Carlos and Ben showing up and we broke out Arkham Horror. A promising start was soon derailed by an event card that acted like a Lovecraftian time bomb, forcing us to repeatedly dump sanity points in a neighborhood street location like so many UPS deliveries and chew up valuable time. As we finally chased away that bit of evil, Steve showed up and got pulled into the game. Soon, though, more monsters started to appear. Gates started to open all around. As things looked bleakest for our heroes, Rob stopped by.

At this point, we agreed to call the game so that we could start something fresh and have Rob join in. Something fresh became Wings of War. In our scenario, Ben, Rob, and Steve (the Allies) were tasked with taking out a zeppelin while Carlos and I (the Germans) mopped them up. Unfortunately, Carlos and I forgot our mops. In fairly short order, my plane, and soon thereafter the zeppelin, disappeared in spectacular explosions, and the Allied forces carried the day with not much more than a few scratches.

Carlos departed to go to the movies with his family, leaving Ben, Steve, Rob and I to try Zooloretto with the expansions. The cute panda on the front has got to be one of the most misleading box covers of any board game, as the addition of building sites turned a deceivingly cutthroat game (after all, it did win the Golden Geek awards for best Family Game and best Children's Game) into something even more vicious. These sites are obtained by drawing tiles and planting them in other people's zoos. They become immobile blocked spaces in your opponent's pens or barn that prevent scoring or add penalties. They can also be sent from one player to another as a money action, turning them into virtual "hot potatoes." Essentially, they are money sinks, as you constantly must pay money to shift them from yourself to someone else, all the time hoping they don't come right back when the recipient gets their turn. As Rob duly summarized after the game was over, "The game was nasty before..." I don't know that we found the right word to adequately convey how much screw-your-neighbor was added, but suffice it to say, more nasty falls well short. Overall, it feels like a very different game. I'm not sure if we came to a consensus as to whether it makes it a better game, but everyone seemed to have a good time. Congratulations to Steve for building out a zoo that became impervious to attack and having money left over to ship his extra animals away to other happy animal homes. Well done.

Finally, Rob had to depart and the rest of us played Conquest of the Empire. Steve quickly swooped in and took control of Rome on the first turn. Ben followed shortly thereafter, and after taking a detour to smack down my armies for trying to develop influence in his territories, he seized Rome and took control of the Senate and their votes. This gave him further influence and money that strengthened his grip. As Steve tried valiantly to retake Rome (thereby drawing Ben's attention and ire), I swept around and quietly took over Asia and a few outlying countries and protected my gains with a naval blockade. As Ben withstood Steve's final all-out assault, I snuck in behind him and grabbed just enough influence in Rome to claim the slimmest of victories when all was said and done. Another tough, vicious game.

Thanks for a fun day, guys. When are we playing TI3?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Malevolent Lifeforms at Jeff and Amy's

I arrived right at nine, and after a few minutes we had a crowd. Expecting Mare Nostrum to get started, I suggested Race while we waited for everyone. Let it be noted that at 9:15am, I finally played on my copy. After that we broke into two groups ... Downstairs Ben, Chad, Dennis and I worked our way through Brass. I liked it well enough (and won), although I've got a few concerns. I'd certainly be willing to try it again. Upstairs, the rest of the crowd played Power Grid, with the new expansion deck. I hear that Chris won because he got an absurdly cheap wind plant (4 cities for 25 Euros?). After the caloric interlude, the much talked about Mare Nostrum game broke out. Since there were six, I happily ducked out.

Amy was teaching Tiffany Magic (and later, Blue Moon), so Dennis and I played Magic, and then Wings of War. Wings of War is quite similar to Blue Max, which I like. Seeing as how the Horse Nose game was still going strong, once Tiffany left Dennis, Amy and I broke out Race for the Galaxy. After each game, Dennis would head upstairs and hear "Just one more turn." Occasionally, one of the upstairs lifeforms would come down and grouse. Overall, we got four games of Race in. Amy, tired of "gaining experience," demanded a change. This led to Hare and Tortoise and Coloretto. Mare Nostrum was still going, so Dennis, Amy, and I declared ourselves winners of Saturday Gaming (along with Tiffany, winner in absentia! )

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


Austin Game Convention

I just saw on BGG that Austin is having a game convention in Early January. I think I've met the organizer, but I'm not sure. In any case, Austin is close enough that you might consider going up just for a day or so. On the other hand, we'll probably have a day of gaming that weekend too.

Anyway, thought I'd mention it. Here's the convention website.

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Happy Thanksgiving, SABG!

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving! SABG is one of the best of the many things I am thankful for this year.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday Gaming: Life after BGG.Con

Anyone up for gaming on Saturday? Personally, I'd like to play something epic. WoW (with expansion), TI:3, or even just Hannibal, StarCraft, or War of the Ring would be great. If you too would like to play on Saturday, even if not epic games, please post a comment.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Friday Gaming

Amy and I will host an all-day and into-the-evening session of gaming this Friday starting at 9 AM. I hope all of you lucky punks who went to BGG.CON saved up some Brownie points.

As per Ted's request, Mare Nostrum with the expansion will be (one of) the centerpiece games.

RSVP in the comments section and make any plans for specific games in that same comments section.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back from BGG.Con

....and boy, am I tired. I'm too fried to muster a proper report, but I thought I'd at least post a placeholder. A few highlights for me:
  • Playing a game of Arkham Horror with Chris, me, and the designer, Kevin Wilson
  • Playing a 4-player game of Successors against some good, nice, experienced folks and managing to pull off an auto-victory. I carried Alexander's body from Babylon all the way to Macedonia, fending off assaults on my army from the other generals, then planted it in a ceremonial burial, crowning Alexander IV as my puppet. Great game.
  • Rails of Europe: Fantastic reworking of Railroad Tycoon. Keeps all the good and gets rid of the bad!
  • Thanks to Sean, my first game of Werewolf


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Planning for Next Week

Well, since Ted brought it up in the comments, I figure it deserves its own post. So, what's going on this Turkey week, and post-turkey weekend? This is my last hurrah, as I start my job a week from monday...

As it stands, I can make gaming Monday Night (at 6:30 ish). I may be free for part of the post-turkey weekend, but that's still up in the air.

As for games -- Well, I'm always up for Race, and I just got my Combat Commander expansions ... a long game on Friday does sound like a good idea (especially if I can make it).


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hello? Is there anyone here?

Almost all the SABGers have gone to BGG.CON for the weekend, but that's no reason for the blog to be a desolate wasteland until the session reports roll in on Sunday night. What's currently occupying your mind? (Game-related and not your raging jealousy of the guys in Dallas)

Z-Man games is taking pre-orders for the English version of Agricola. It's a 2007 Essen release where each player is attempting to create a successful farm. If you've managed to not hear of this one yet, prepare yourself for a wave of hype similar to what we saw for Caylus two years ago. Speaking of Caylus, there are some similarities between it and Agricola. In both, there are a finite number of actions to be chosen each round, and players take turns claiming those actions by placing one of their workers. Additional choices appear as the game progresses. What's different? In Caylus, all the buildings are in a pool that all players have access to. In Agricola, each player has a hand of card representing Minor Improvements that only they can attain (there are also Major Improvements that are in a pool accessible to all). In Caylus, your workers simply represent the maximum number of actions you can take in a turn. In Agricola, you start with two (a farmer and his wife) and generate more through normal biological processes. The family in Agricola requires food (two units per worker) every round, so in addition to working to improve the farm, you also have to generate enough food to feed the family. It sounds like it'll be right up my alley and I'm already drooling in anticipation. I'll definitely be picking this one up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BGG.Con Departure Day!

At long last today is the day that many within SABG make the 5-hour pilgrimage northward to the bleak, frosty wasteland of Dallas-Fort Worth for BGG.Con. I am so very appreciative of the support my wife and coworkers have provided to let me get away during an otherwise busy time, and I plan to use this time wisely for maximum fun!

Last night I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve, tossing and turning with thoughts of board gaming fun dancing in my head, along with various rulesets for Star Craft, Brass, World of Warcraft, Hannibal, etc., that I'm trying to keep straight. At 3AM, frustrated with insomnia, I fired up the computer and saw that Jon, too, was up surfing the net waiting patiently for the next day to arrive. If only we had Halo 3, we could have joined Michael who was probably just getting started gaming.

Anyway, I hope we all have a very safe journey to Dallas and have a wonderful time this weekend. The plan is to play Star Craft tonight at Red Roof #129 across the street from convention site!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

I can haz dice tower? aka. Monday Planning

Ben has the day off I think, and odds are hes not going to be completely sore right? I have a phone interview at 10am but things look pretty clear after that. So....

Whats the plan? Haloing? Galaxy racing or trucking? Heroing of guitars? Cashing and/or gunning?


Friday, November 09, 2007

Is any gaming going on Saturday November 10? I am probably in if anybody is in search of a player.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Friday November 9 gaming planning

So is there definitely gaming going on Friday? Is it starting 5pm, sooner, later? Will there be two sessions; one at DL or mystery location 1 early and another later?

If I have kept up I think there was some expressions of interest including one who indicated house bound interest combined with evening interest and another who indicated after work interest?

Personally I am a probable who should upgrade to a definite later today and will be available starting right after work; but assuming folks really don't want to come up to Boerne to game and given other logistical issues with same I have to defer on location.

Please post your plans and my apologies for lack of cut picture/graphic with this post.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Night Session: Kendahl's return!

Kendahl, one of our dear departed founding members, made a return visit to our fair city this week, and Ted and I were able to meet him for a visit and quick game. As you might expect, I suggested we give a little game called Race for the Galaxy a try. We decided to play with the variant called playing with the published rules, which seemed to work surprisingly well.

Both Kendahl and Ted were experienced San Juan players, so within a few turns they were cranking along. I had Sparta, plus Galactic Imperium, so I was chasing techs to increase my military power. Ted had a good mix of production and consumption and was building a healthy economy. Kendahl, however, discovered the power of the x2 VP consumption card and he had a world which gave him 3 VP for every two goods. So, he proceeded to produce, consume, repeat, like crazy and run away with it. Great job, Kendahl! Great to see you again!

PS: Hannibal arrived


Monday, November 05, 2007

Mon Night Session Report

While the main troops were engaged at DL, Kirk and I got in a CC:E skirmish of his own design. Meredith had a meeting, and that gave me the chance to paradrop behind enemy lines to try to secure a bridge before the main tank columns arrived. I sent in high quality US troops. Since it was behind the lines, the Germans used green recruits to defend the location.

While I had superior forces, the clock was against me. If I didn't get my objectives accomplished quickly, the efforts would be wasted; time was of the essence. My forces landed in disarray and I took some casualties during the deployment. I was able to capture some lightly defended locations and bring my forces into orderly formations quickly, but then the battle stagnated into three somewhat independent fire-fights for three different objectives: two buildings and the crucial bridge.

Going into the end game, time began slipping away while I didn't seem to make much headway. I was eroding the defenders, but it didn't seem fast enough. I made a risky and dumb assault which failed utterly, but led me to rethink my targetting tactics. With time running desperately low, I finally eliminated the defenders on the bridge. The green Germans, seeing their appalling losses, surrendered.

I've now gotten in several games, and I enjoy this game a lot. I especially like the feeling that the world doesn't end at th edge of the map. You can have snipers and other things coming at you from all over.

Finally, Kirk mentioned that the build-your-adventure works really well. The battles are mostly tactical encounters, but Kirk find that buying units adds a deeper strategic level. I'm intrigued, and I plan to read up on those rules next.

What else got played Mon night?


Sunday, November 04, 2007

1/2 Birthday Today!

Today is Henry's 6 month birthday.

So here's an updated photo of Henry. Granted you can't actually see alot of him here, but take my word that his whole body is this cute, too.

Looking forward to games with Kendahl on Tues.

Looks like I'll have some available time for games the day after T-day. I would love to get a full game of Mare Nostrum or Here I Stand. Does anyone know if DL will be open?


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Session Report Part I

Brian and Jacqui were our gracious hosts for this Saturday gaming session.

We started things off with the Announce Pregnancy game, which is played in teams of two. Amy and I won. We're planning a two-player session of Go To The Hospital in May.

Haste Worte was next on the agenda. This is a Kramer & Kiesling word/party game that is only available in German. It was so intriguing to me that I made up some English language cards. Basically, a card with a category is flipped up. Something like: Things a cowboy uses. Then everyone gets one minute to write down as many things as they can that fit in that category. There's a round of blind bidding where you bid on how many items you think you will be able to read off your list. Starting with the lowest bid, players read off items. Once someone else has read off an item, no one else may use it. If you are able to read off the number you bid, you get that many points, otherwise you get nothing. The game ends when someone hits twenty points; high score wins.

Next up was Ca$h 'n' Gun$ with the long-awaited Yakuza expansion. Now you play with teams instead of every gangster for himself, and one lucky team gets to be the Yakuza. The Yakuza use Tanto and Shuriken instead of Guns and come with their own set of special power cards. The Tanto can only be aimed at an adjacent player (teams are scrambled so that no two teammates are adjacent), but if that player drops out, the next player around the table feels cold steel. The Shuriken have to be thrown, there's now a bit of dexterity involved. The expansion adds a LOT of gameplay with a minimal addition of rules. Amy said on the way home that she's not crazy about the base game, but she'll play again wit the Yakuza in the mix. We enjoyed it so much, we played it twice.

Let it be known - Tino is the man: 16 rounds, zero wounds.

The Black Coach to Devil's Castle (AKA the fart game) came next. Apparently, this went more smoothly than it did last week since it wasn't a learning game for everybody involved. I managed to work out who was on my team (mostly) but got no game-winning items. Luckily Dennis was paying more attention and trading more effectively, so the Good Guys won.

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The Coming Week

After a week competing for the title of most lame member of SABG, I expect next week to be a major week of gaming activity for me. Here's my agenda:

Monday: I can be at Dragon's Lair starting as early as 2:30 PM. Who is going to join me? Worst case, we can try out 1960, Duel in the Dark, or even 2-player Race for the Galaxy, though it seems like 2-player would be quite different than the base game.

Tuesday: Our old pal Kendahl, one of the SABG founding members, will be in town for work, so I'm meeting him Tuesday evening for a couple hours of gaming. The more the merrier!

Friday: I'm hoping to have Hannibal in hand by then, so perhaps someone would be interested in a game on Friday late afternoon/early evening? Perhaps starting at 4 PM or so?

All in all, it shouldn't be a bad run-up for the extravaganza that will be BGG.con the following week.

PS: Anyone else have November 12th as a holiday?