Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bonus Gaming

Early on we had Jon, Michael, Jacqui and I. So we broke out the Race expansion ... well the new homeworlds, anyway. Jacqui was the separatist colony (look at 2 extra cards during exploration, +1 military), Jon was the Ancient Race (Gene Windfall, only keep three cards instead of four at the start) and Michael was the Damaged Alien Factory (Alien Production world, but you have to discard a card to produce). Two of the new homeworlds are shown below. We didn't use the Doomed World...
I randomly rolled for my HW and got Epsilon Eridani (from the base set). I had a great hand, assuming that I got one more military, so I explored +5. Fortunately for me the opening was slow (with Jon trading and Michael producing). Early on, it seemed that we got into a ping-pong rhythm, two people trading one turn, the other two trading the next (since most everyone was on a windfall). Eventually things sorted out. Michael got out the trade league, a few other small planets and tourist world, so he could consume x2 vp and trade ("6 Cards, 6 VP, please"). Jon had put out an early Pan Galactic League (+2 VP per green world, +1 per military) and a contract specialist. The PGL paid off nicely, earning him more cards than he spent over the course of the game, as well as 12-ish VPs. I did get a reasonable start which included the mediocre new economy, but I needed a bit of luck (an explore +1, hoping to get a good card and a bonus card to spend paid off) and I got a huge piece of luck when Jacqui settled on the final turn that I developed, allowing me to end the game before Michael got in an 8 or 10 point consume. (I dropped New Galactic Order and the Lost Alien Battlefleet, for a total of 13 VPs. Those two items allowed me to eke out victory, 39 to 36.

We broke out Glory to Rome with Chris, but Tiffany arrived so we switched to Stage II. Michael has added to the list of categories where he has successfully stated the theme, but only as an off-hand comment and not an actual guess. He also got a theme on the first clue, when the correct answer was so awkwardly worded ... well, you try. The answer to the first question is "The left field fence at Fenway Park." I think Chris won, but I'm not sure. I lost, although I did get a few categories.

Next was celebrities. We did have a simpson, a superhero, but no muppets. We also had Oda Nobunga, Benjamin Disraeli, Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones, Han Solo (that was a brutal combination, all put in by one evil person), the surprisingly difficult 3rd rounder Tom Hanks (I considered putting in Otm Shank, but decided not to), Aaron Copeland, Bon Jovi, Peter Cottontail, Bugs Bunny (twice), the Trix Rabbit and Gregor Mendel.

After that the inevitable split occured. Jon and Michael got the band back together, with the help of some aspiring groupies (Thanks to J&M for letting Rebecca and Aidan play). The rest of us became farmhands. Chris quickly got out the devastating-looking occupation that let him pay to take the first action (and then let it revert to the start player and go around the table normally, so he could get his second action before anyone else got the first). But the real impact play was Tiffany's "You must pay me a food to go on the grain space." This froze that space out for most of the game ... which made my grocer (stack 8 goods, buy them one at a time for one food each) powerful, since the first or second item was a grain. I also dropped the outrider, who gives grain when you take the newest action. I quickly had two grain, and played some acreage (basically, two fields for grain) and had 3 grain fields before the second harvest. Combined with the master brewer (convert 1 grain to 3 food) and I was off to the races. Chris got the first family growth, but was on the bleeding edge of hunger. I got the next two family growths and never had problems feeding my family.

After that the full band played a set or two, and things dispersed... thanks to everyone for showing up!

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At 9:53 PM, September 06, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Thanks again for hosting.

So I have now officially exported my Rock Band songs for use with Rock Band 2. So the second I get RB2 I'm pretty much ready to plug and play and have full access to 180+ songs. Mmmmmm.

It is a 400 point license fee. (I think this is around 5 bucks).

Dennis (or any other late adopters who don't actually own RB) can borrow that disc and the OXM disc for its free songs to immediately get a bonus of 58 songs for the license fee. Pretty sweet deal for them I think.

Anyway, the release date for RB2 is a week from Sunday but I'm not sure if that means I will be able to walk into a store at midnight on Sunday and pick it up and host a RB2 party that night or what. If so, consider yourself warned.

Oh yes, and I finally got paid, which is good. But this means I will have to actually work again, which is bad. Stupid tradeoffs.

At 9:59 PM, September 06, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

Steve and I were considering going to the other group tonight.

But cooler heads prevailed and we decided to Rock Band it up. The lowlight of the session was a 5 song setlist ending in Green Grass which is usually not an overwhelming problem for Steve on guitar, but tonight there were some issues. We failed 3 times before we moved on.

The highlight was doing the 11 song 90s marathon setlist in one of the cities and leading off with I believe the first 6 songs gold starred.

I think we ended up gold starring 9/11 but I'm not positive about this. I know sabotage was a pitfall (only achieving 5 stars) and I believe enter sandman also was only 5 stars. But we demolished that setlist. It was pretty sick.

At 11:00 PM, September 06, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

I must add that The lovely Stage II handicap still meant that I lost, but at least I had points at the end this time.

And that it is thanks with Michael that I didn't totally suck at Celebrities. Charades like things is not my thing, and my brain works in odd ways, as some of my clues would indicate, but a good partner can save your life.

Medium on Rock Band isn't that bad. I was surprised.

I think thats about it for the moment I won't be getting an X-box anytime soon, so while Michael's offer of song sharing is generous, it isn't applicable.

Gaming was fun as per usual. See (some of) you peoples monday.

At 11:13 PM, September 06, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

Well, I'm officially owner of a 360. Gamertag is StompK. I'll be getting Ticket To Ride tomorrow... I've been playing Viva Pinata while the boys are awake and Rainbow Six Vegas while the boys are asleep. I don't know if I'll be able to spring for RB2 on day one, but will definitely make use of your songs, Michael...

So what are you xboxites playing these days?

At 9:06 AM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

We have been playing alot of rock band surprisingly enough.

Dennis has been running through all the downloadable demos.

I still may pop in Madden every once in a while but I think with the *getting paid* event I might have to pop in civ revolution more often. But I wouldn't recommend it to those who aren't being rewarded for it.

Ben and Steve sure seem to be on TTR fairly often.

I love peer pressure. It's the best. Brian might become a 360 owner at some point too.

Tiffany, there are JRPGs and RPGS on the 360. You cannot resist.

At 9:27 AM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Hooray, Sean! I'll send you a friend invite shortly. It'll be nice in a few months when we can create a sort of clan via the new X-Box Experience.

For new X-Box buyers, seems to have pretty good prices on lightly used games. No need to pay $60 for the new stuff when you have so much catching up to do... though I do keep hoping for the ultimate co-op campaign experience to appear.

I'm about 50% through Mercenaries 2. I'd say Fallout3 is probably my next acquisition, though if Force Unleashed gets good reviews I'll probably cave. I picked up the original X-Box Fable a few weeks ago to see if I should get excited about Fable 2... yawn.

Yesterday Steve and I played C&C: Ancients, Manoeuvre, TTR: Nordic Countries, and Warriors of God. Successors should be here early in the week, so we're looking for two more for next weekend to make a 4-player game. Takers?

At 10:40 AM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

I am not trying to resist, Michael. I am trying to afford it. Plane tickets are expensive, and for some odd reason, my parents want to see me for Christmas. Go figure. ;)

At 5:15 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

Random X-box relation question. So I have gathered that I need one with a hard drive, but does the size of the hard drive matter? I am rather x-box illiterate. which i don't think is the word i want, but it shall suffice.

At 5:20 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Depends on how much downloaded content you want. I think the 120 GB one is overkill for most people though. I've only used about 20 GB of mine so far.

At 9:22 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

So how many games have downloadable content? Also, does one save progress onto the hard drive? (I am used to memory cards, but I don't think I have seen one)

At 10:45 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Yes, progress is saved to the HD. Almost every game has some form of DLC, though it varies greatly in quality and necessity. All of the XBL arcade games are stored on the HD as well. Apparently the new interface is also going to allow you to save entire games to the HD, so you'll be able to play without the disk after the first play, thus giving you one less reason to ever leave the couch.

At 10:47 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

My latest board game order was expansion fest:

Arkham Horror Black Goat of the Woods
RftG Expansion
Power Grid China/Korea
All the new Memoir stuff except the bag
...and Battlestar Galactica

I almost added Dominion to the order, but I'm hoping someone else will be the guinea pig.

At 11:34 PM, September 07, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

Power Grid Korea/China..... I cannot wait until that hits the table. It is always nice to change things up.


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