Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Out of Practice

Apparently one starts slipping if one goes too long without gaming, as evidenced by my horrendous results Monday night.

"6 Nimmt" with letters; form the beginning of a real world or scoop the longest row. Toward the middle of the game we had some decent words forming (EQUATE, CLUBS, ZIPS), but most of the time people were scooping two-card rows. Either there are too many wacky consonants, not enough vowels, or we are too evil to each other. Sean went out first with Tiffany only one card behind.

Strat-O-Matic Baseball
Three home games against Jon, the current league leader. In Game 1 Jon walked over El Duque 11-4, hitting all four of his homerun splits with rolls of 1, 1, 1, 3. Game 2 saw Brandon Webb enter the bottom of the ninth with a slim 7-6 lead and his rotator cuff sticking out of his neck. Even after a Travis Hafner double and a Chase Utley walk, Commandant Jon kept poor Webb out there, and pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida stroked a two-out, two-run double for the 8-7 win. C. C. Sabathia finally pitched well in Game 3, scattering five hits and no walks over eight innings, and allowing only one run on a leadoff homer -- and lost 1-0, to real-life teammate Fausta Carmona's three-hitter. How did the Cleveland Indians not win the World Series?

Fun with stats:
Two of my top three picks, Sabathia and John Lackey, are 0-4 in six starts with an ERA of 8.72. Lackey, a starter(7), has yet to clear the fifth inning without exhausting.
Todd Helton's hitting streak was stopped at 11 games, but his OPS held steady at 1.126. But that's barely good enough for third on the team, behind Utley's 1.176 and ahead of Nick Markakis's 1.118.
In five pinch-hit plate appearances, Justin Hermida has 4 RBIs on two walk-off doubles.

Race for the Galaxy
I guess I've forgotten how to play. In four games I had three last places and one third, and in one game was 10 behind third. It didn't help that I drew only two 6-cost advances in all four games combined. But at least I played Malevolent Lifeforms once.

Microscopic Nim variant. Give me a couple of days to see if I can break it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Games with the Neighbor

My neighbor Aaron and I have been trying to get together for games for quite some time, and this afternoon we finally connected.

I got out my new copy of A House Divided, and we set about recreating the American Civil War.

This game was first published in 1981, and it's still in print in the 3rd edition. This longevity speaks well for the game, and it didn't disappoint. Part of the reason for the long-standing popularity of the game is the various optional rules. In the basic game you've got an outstanding gateway wargame. Some good history, lots of theme, while keeping things very manageable. Adding in all the rules give a lot of chrome, more tactical depth, more strategic depth, and even better flavor; of course this comes at the expense of more complexity.

Aaron and I decided to play the 1862 scenario. The first year of the war both sides have to spend a lot of time building up their armies. By the 3rd year of the war the North is beginning to develop a large military edge, making the South play a strictly defensive game. In 1862 the military differential is real, but contained. The South has to play a strategic defense, which will include offensive thrusts. Both sides have attacking capability.

I took the North, and Aaron took the South. After going over the basic rules, we dove in. I had some good success West of the Appalachians, and I started racking up a big lead. The Confederacy made some gains in Tennessee, and the front stabilized, but I had a strong presence in Georgia and Louisiana.

Realizing his only chance for a victory lay around Washington, Aaron began focusing his moves in this area. He slipped around DC to Baltimore, and then we both said, Hmm, if the South takes NYC, Philly, and Scranton, that's a 20 pt swing...

That, together with a deep cavalry raid to pillage Chicago secured the decisive Southern victory.

On a strictly historical basis, this is a little silly. We both agreed, however, that if the south actually had achieved this then the history books would have been written a bit differently.

Next time we play, I plan to add a few of the advanced and optional rules. In particular, the supply rules would have dramatically limited both my invasion of Georgia and his invasion of New York. This would add an important element both from a game-play stand-point and a historical stand-point.

I am very pleased with this initial playing of AHD. It fits nicely into my sweet-spot: simple yet flavorful wargames w/ relatively short playing times.

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Around the Horn ... heading for Monday

Sorry I missed Saturday, but I plan on being there tomorrow PM. I've got my copy of Wabash Cannonball, and hopefully I'll remember to bring some games, too. I should be there at 5:30 ish. And now for some baseball.

I hadn't realized it, but my two shortstops (Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria) are feuding. No wonder I'm 4-6. Poor chemistry. And who would have thought the Orioles would be tied for the AL East lead after almost a full month of play? Wow. The Rockies and Oriolies are a combined 14-14, though (which is still better than the RockOrioles). And the most impressive thing I saw yesterday was White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle. Not his ERA (which is over 5 this year, but under 4 for his career, which stritches back to 2000), but the fact that he takes almost no time between pitches. A joy to watch. I couldn't stand Steve Trachsel, though. He's killing the Orioles. And not softly. And not with his song. Although if I had known he was going to be yanked after 3IP, I might have kept watching. (3 IP, 5H, 5ER, 5BB, 2K, 1HR, 19 TBF).

All of which reminds me that I still need to finish my series with Michael. And that I have a lineup of 5 Steve Trachsels. Sigh.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Back at Dragon's Lair

SABG was back at the old, familiar haunt of Dragon's Lair today. I arrived shortly after 1000 hours and watched the original Mothra on DVD for a while with the clerk while browsing. I successfully talked myself out of a few impulse buys: new Wings of War minis, Star Wars mini starter kit, more Heroclix I could kitbash into Heroscape... aka, stuff I really don't need.

Luckily Scott arrived before I became further bored. We sat down and play an old favorite, Lord of the Rings: Confrontation. I just had the mini version with me, so we played the classic vanilla version. A close game, but I prevailed with a nice Frodo ring dunk.

Next, Travis and Jon arrived, and Travis busted out Iliad. I used to own the game, but I traded it away a while ago. I now own the new FFG version of Condottiere, which apparently is very similar, but I haven't played it yet. We decided to play the game team style with Jon and I versus Scott and Travis. I took the masterful strategy of totally sucking most of the game, withstanding insults and ridicule from both opponents and partner at how bad I was sucking, then having crazy lucky card draws to gear up for the last, most important battle. Score!

Though hunger was now setting in, we decided to press on with a game of GMT's new Pacific Typhoon. Jon had played Atlantic Storm before, so he was able to quickly guide us through most of the rules. We decided to play the shorter version since this was our learning game. I moved out quickly to a dominant lead, which, as most SABG members know is usually a terrible strategy because then you get dog-piled. Scott and Jon quickly caught up, and Jon was a few points ahead of me going into the final battle. Luckily Travis decided to join my side in the final fight. We won, but it came down to a die roll how the spoils of battle would be distributed. Luck prevailed, and I squeaked out a 1 point victory over Jon. I have to say I enjoyed this game even more than I thought I would. There is just enough historical theme smeared all over the cards to make things quite interesting, and I found the card play pretty engaging.

Lastly, Scott, Travis, and I played Age of Gods after Jon bolted. This is a quick, light, very chaotic fantasy wargame, which involves a lot of bluffing and misdirection, both of which I'm terrible at. Consequently I came in far last place, while Scott finished 1 victory point ahead of Travis, who was playing the God of Love.

All in all, a solid day of gaming. I think my favorite of the day was Pacific Typhoon, but Iliad with teams was a close second.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Saturday Planning

Time to plan for Saturday.

Unfortunately, I can't come out to play. Work related obligations are hanging over my head and I need to really get them done before having fun. So, for those about to game...you might want to start making plans here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday Night Exploits

So I suppose I shall do this -- since I seem to do a lot of these recently.

I arrived in the 6 or so ish hour to see Brian, Chris and either Travis or Rob playing Glory to Rome. My memory fails me. I apologize. By the end of the game I do know that Rob, Travis, Sean, me, Brian and Chris were present. And we settled down for a game of Bang. Jon arrived during the game of Bang, and Rob did an amazing job as sherrif considering Sean accidentally dealt out four outlaw, one deputy and one renegade cards to assist the sheriff's in his exploits. Once the 'final' outlaw was eliminated we called it, only to find out that I was an outlaw, and I was alive.

So Sean, who was playing baseball with Chris, was given a little bit of a hard time.

And then Brian, Rob, Robs friend Roli(sp?), Travis, and I played Vegas Showdown. Brian ran away with it.

Jon watched the baseball while we played, then Jon and Chris left. And I darted back to work for about 30 min to go play with fluorescence.

When I arrived back at DL, Brian, Sean, Rob and Travis were playing Power Grid, the Italy map. So I watched that.

And then people dispersed and Sean and I played Mr. Jack. I forget how much I like that game. Until I play it again. Sean won both rounds, and I will blame my failure on the observer that we had. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Then Sean and I left, and I went to the gym to play with the elliptical machine of death and bronchiospasms. And that is my account of the Monday night evening of gaming, avoidance and stress relief. No one died. Which is an accomplishment, though the elliptical almost got the better of me. Maybe now that I am exhausted and got some gaming in, tomorrow will be a good day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

When Hell Is Full, The Dead Will Walk The Earth...

To drum up a bit more support for Urban Dead, I present the following mini session report detailing the miserable exploits of SABG Vs the rotting, wretched hordes:

I was airlifted into Malton about two weeks back into the relatively pristine country club of a suburb, East Greyside. My plan was to travel south and meet up with the group I had joined under who were veterans to the game and quite well stocked, holed up inside a mall paradise of over 300 survivors. What could go wrong?

Cabin fever had drawn one of them to madness and he began indiscriminately killing off the higher leadership. This launched the group into a civil war of sorts and I was forced to stick to the nearby hospitals, gathering experience sewing up nasty zed bites found on hapless, wandering victims.

Ben, Sean, and Travis dropped into the city some time later scattered to the winds. In their attempt to meet up with me, Ben and Travis fell to the dead. Rob later joined and suffered the same fate. Fortunately there are means to reverse the effects of zombieism given the right equipment. Upon shaping up a new plan to meet at another mall nearby, things took a turn for the worst. Our target suburb became overrun and I was forced to flee. Death cultists began over-barricading buildings leaving survivors without the "free running" skill to fend for themselves in the streets. A wave of PKing serial killers took out lone survivors and generators at the NT towers and hospitals cutting off valuable means of healing and shelter. The s@#t hit the fan so to speak…

This leaves us at our current predicament. Chris has vowed his allegiance to our cause and I have pleaded sanctuary with my initial group having now exiled the crazed members of their guild. We’re traveling far to the (redacted) to the suburb of (redacted) to meet up with them now. Most of us are traveling alone, living off luck and intuition. If you want to join this crazy mess and help us survive, leave a comment and see my initial post here to get started:
Do The Shuffle!

(Also to current UD players, do not post any sensitive information that gives away locations, inventories, etc. The zombie spies scour our networks to help their undead masters)

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Sunday, April 20, 2008


Anyone? Yes? No? Maybeso?

I would be willing to attend. Why break the tend of burying myself in boardgaming as a means of avoidance? Hmm?

Mk, off to work I go.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday events

So I don't know what went on Friday night, hence the title about Saturday, but I would imagine that there was some gaming. When I arrived at the house of Chris, Brian, Chris, and this new individual who introduced himself as the other Rob, were playing Enter the Dragon. I watched them for a turn of two, flipped through the rule book, and drank a lot of coffee (my travel mug and then some of the house coffee) to finish waking up. Ben arrived with a container full of games, and to pass the time while Enter the Dragon was finished, we played Fjords. Which was fun, and quick, and a nice easy to explain game. Ben won -- he had 4 tiles left to my 6. As Enter the Dragon finished up two members of the Band arrived, though there was not much rockin going on.

Michael and Brian played some baseball while Rob taught the rest of us to play Cuba. After various comments about the game being broken, we more or less for the hang of things, though Rob had to leave with his game before we could finish (though 5 of 6 rounds gives a very good feel for the game. (I guess it could be described as a hybrid of Pillars of the Earth meets Puerto Rico. That might just be me.)) Then there were five since Brian left sometime during the came of Cuba -- before Rob -- I think --

And then is where things got interesting. It was try and figure out what game to play -- and in the land of Tiffy and her Euro tendencies vs. the land of anti-Euro (though it might not be that stark of a division -- it was suggested that we play Descent. And I agreed.

Yes you read that right. I agreed. Why -- still not certain. But I did. I suppose that since I said I would be willing to try just about anything, that I should indeed try it, and we did not have the horrific campaign that happened last time they tried to play.

I might go so far to say that I enjoyed myself -- though I am still stumbling around trying to figure out what it going on, and am I doing things right -- so we shall see if my opinion changes as the weeks of the campaign wear on.

And thats all I've got.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Weekend gaming part deux

For those who don't get their gaming fix Friday night, I'll open the tavern doors at the usual 9am, again until about 4 or so for some second-chance gaming.

Personally, I'm in the mood to try new games. Might just be me. But if you're looking to get a new game on the table (and willing to teach), this might be the day, as I don't think anything epic is planned.

(Bring a couple of bucks and we'll get pizza.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Gaming Returns!

Jacqui and I will indeed be hosting on Friday night from 6:30 until whenever. RSVP in the comments. Anyone who needs directions should use the email link on my blog (or post your email address below in the comments, if you don't care who sells it off to a spammer).


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

gaming Friday the 18th...?

Hey.... I'll be in town. Unfortunately I won't be able to do the Saturday thang this time. I might be able to game Fri night. Anyone interested? Just checking..... nothing set in stone.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Its phantom nun ghoul of prophecy...or something

So when I arrived at about 6:30 Sean was sitting at a table with Inkognito spread out on the table and Travis was headed out the door. While Travis wandered off in search of sustenance Sean and I attempted to tackle the rules. Travis wanders back with this food, and Jon and Brian trickle in. At this point Inkognito was set aside in favor the the attack of the easter color palet pastel camel game -- rather Through the Desert.

After a phenomenal game of wait -- what color is that-- wait thats a tree I need those points and you blocked me, Jon wandered off with Chris to play some baseball while Rob tried valiantly to get Tikal on the table.

(And I do appreciate it. Really I do. I will always play Tikal, always, and should people who don't know how to play wish to learn, I will be more than willing to corrupt the innocent. I might even be willing to learn to play war games or things of the like in return, corrupt the corrupter, or something.)

Brian, Travis, Sean and I ended up playing a lovely soothing game that reminded me of dominoes in a very vague fashion. I cannot remember the name of the game, but Sean and Brian were victorious over Travis and me. During this time Rob left with his copy if Tikal (it is a shame that you could not stay and play. next time, there shall be gaming.you should join and play Tikal on spielbyweb)

After a brief diversion/discussion into/on the world of epigenetics with Brian, Travis, Sean and I played Cartegena. After some hopping around Sean got tired of not winning and took the game, stranding two of my pirates and two of Travis's pirates on the prison, watching their comrades sail away with all the rum.

Chris and Jon finished their game during this, and while Chris left Jon watched the end of our game, and tired to foil Travis while he was playing to keep him from victory, but Sean had the game in hand and did not need the assistance.

And so at 9:30, we four brilliant players decided that playing and learning Inkognito would be a fantastic idea. Sean and I had a pretty good handle on the rules, but I will say that a game of logical deduction at the end of an evening of gaming and working is not the best idea. We got distracted several times by the Phantom of Prophecy, who's Identity and Attributes were much debated. Finally Jon ended the game, declaring that he and Sean were, correctly, the winners, and away we went, back home to sleep and rest until another fantastic Monday of gaming.

This was the first Monday that I got to stay the entire time, and it was fantastically enjoyable (and a much needed distraction from life) so I thank all of you who came to play games. It was fun. And will happen again.


Another SpielByWeb, Anyone?

Well, Rob, Tiffany, Sean, and I just finished up a game of Tikal. Rob was the outstanding victor! Surprisingly (to me, at least), it took just under a week to finish it up.

So who's up for another one? I could go for Amun-Re, Hoity Toity, Santiago, or even another game of Tikal (although I'd like to try the auction variant). I wouldn't mind learning Hacienda, either. Jeff and I had played a game of Reef Encounter on SpielByWeb once before, and it was very confusing since we hadn't played it with a real copy yet. Now that we own the game, I think it'd be great to play online but probably not for someone who hadn't played the game before.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monday Gaming

Is anyone going to be there? I know there was mention if it Saturday but...more importantly will there be anything played that is not baseball? Should there be people with which to game at DL tomorrow evening I will be there at 6:15 or 6:30. If not -- hope everyone has a good week and I should be glad that I got my fill of wooden bits in for the week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sat Gaming Notes

We met at Chris's about 9. We munched on some goodies while Chris's cat frolicked.

Steve, Travis, Tiffany, Ben, and I played El Grande, while Chris and Scott played Strat.

I enjoyed El Grande. There's a lot going on, and there's a lot to think about. The game is a serious meat-and-potatoes meal, and it's no substitute for popcorn. For the next few times I play, I plan to use the shorter variant. I've read some on-line strategy articles, but I think I misunderstood them. They talk in vague terms about moving the king to create conflicts among other people. I tried that at the end, but I had mixed results.

Steve joined Jon and Michael playing video games. Chris and Scott were still playing their best of three.

Travis, Ben, Tiffany, and I played Colossal Arena. It's a great card game. Ben, Travis, and Tiffany all bet on the Colossus. I almost joined, but then I realized my best bet of winning would be to kill the that beast and destroy their bets. If I had pulled it off it would have been quite a coup, but with all three of them trying to keep him alive it was too much for me to overcome. Like so many of Knizia's games, I enjoy this game a lot, but I don't begin to understand the strategy. I think that I play another 5 or 6 games of this, I might begin to understand how to play well.

At this point it I was almost 2 hrs late for lunch, and I was starving. Strangely, no one else seemed to be hungry. I hoped to get a 2 player wargame to table, but when that failed my hunger drove me in search of food.

Ben, Tiffany, Chris, and Travis were setting up Kingsburg (?) when I left, while Steve, Jon, and Michael were still playing video games.

I don't know what happened after I left.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Do the Shuffle!

Hey guys. I've been very busy with work, setting up my move/lease, and various family emergencies (thus explaining my current invisibility at the moment). I don't know if I'll have the time or energy to make it to anything soon, but I would like to share a great game I've been enjoying in the meantime!

Urban Dead is a low-tech (read: mostly text-based) MMO sans time sink. Basically you play in a huge city with about 30,000 other players in differing states of 'living'. You only get so many action points per day so you can play very leisurely and at your own pace. I spend about an hour cumulatively on it a day. The system is pretty cool, too. If you are interested in holding off the undead masses with me in my undisclosed personal fortress, I'd be happy to feed you some links to get you started:

>> Main Site
>> Wiki for Game Info
>> Toolbar Extension for Firefox to Improve the UI/Graphics

Quick Notes from Ohio

In no particular order:

1) You should see the game customization up here. I've pre-ordered Agricola (as have several of you), but the amount of work some people have done on their sets is amazing. (Scrounging pieces from other games to have actual sheep, cattle, boars, donkey, goat. Buying nice coins (at $1 each) to use for components. Wow. I'll review Agricola once I'm back (and post it to my blog and BGG).

2) There's a celebrities variant that's amusing. Many stories.

3) Played a prototype of a strat-like baseball game. 500 All Stars represented so far. Down 1-0 in the top of the ninth, runner on first, two outs and I smack a home run. You get one guess who hit it, Dennis. Up one run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, I gave up a single to tie it, but eventually won it 4-2 in the 17th. (Ted Williams giving me a heart attack by dropping a fielding error in the bottom of the 17th to put runners on 1st and 2nd)... It will be a very limited print run, but I'll get one (if I can).

4) Jacqui made it up. Giving that she was flying on American (originally), that was not at all guaranteed. Many people were stranded by the collapse of Skybus.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back to Top Gaming Condition, Saturday Board Games

So, its been over a week since my last board gaming session, and I'm feeling as out of shape as these poor Iraqi Army trainees. How about some gaming on Saturday?

Who wants to host?

What do people want to play? My earlier suggestion of Road to Legend elicited a nothing but the sound of distant crickets, so I'm up for other things. Perhaps I'll play a campaign solo just to get a better feel for it (sniff, sniff...). TI:3 is always a given on my want list. I'd like to do something warlike if anyone is up for it... perhaps Combat Commander, Twilight Struggle, Tide of Iron, Hannibal, War of the Ring, C&C: Ancients... you get the drift. Otherwise, Arkham might be nice... Die Macher was mentioned... not my first choice, but I could be convinced. My copy of Kingsburg still smells new. My copy of Merchants of Venus is still speeding down from Canada. FAB: Bulge is still in shrink, but I could be convinced to stickerize if someeone commits tonight.

Anyway... whatever... its all good!


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Old School

Lots of not-very-new games being played and planned by the SABG recently.

Tikal, Die Macher, Die Mauer, "The Big", Puerto Rico (Amy stomped Tiffany and me on Saturday.)

Good to see some the classics getting some love.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mon Night

Anyone planning to play games Mon night at DL?

I don't know whether or not I'll be there. We just got back today from a Caribbean Cruise, and I am not sure if I'll be caught up or not. If I do make it, I'll be sure to bring The Big, er, El Grande.

One of our side-trips was to some major Mayan ruins, so I'd kinda like to try Tikal, too. Someone else would have to bring that since I don't own it.


Lassen Sie die Wahl anfangen!

Hello all,

Being that election season is upon us, I believe it is time for a gruelling four-hour session of acquiescent back-patting and premeditated back-stabbing. If anyone is interested in playing Die Macher in the near future please respond and we can put something together. I have completed a solitaire "dry-run" and although it proved to be both enlightening and victorious; I believe the game would play better with real-life opponents --The Fatherland is calling... summon the Shadow Council!

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Sunday - Board Games and Smash Bros

I've got both, and the doors of my casa will be open at 6pm for gaming. Full disclosure - we've got pets of multiple types. Stock up on Zyrtec if needed... Dinner not provided, but we'll have the usual sodas and chips. My kiddos will be 2 of the possible 4 players on Smash Bros for the first hour... they're getting pretty good. Once they learn how to block I'll be in trouble.

SpielByWeb Anyone?

The discussions of Shogun/Wallenstein and Vassal in the other threads have got me wanting to game (more than usual). I can't make it to any real-life sessions anytime in the near future, so is anybody interested in playing anything on SpielByWeb?

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Has anyone tried this yet? Looks interesting, though on-line board games aren't really my cup of tea since I converted to X-Box 360.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Since we have a lot of war gamers on here it seems

And I have way way way way too much time to kill today (too bad there was not gaming tonight. So sad) I thought i would share this link.


Back to twiddling my thumbs and reading papers and things till the next time point.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Friday Night Gaming

Since Saturday is spotty, Jacqui and I will host Friday evening (6pm until whenever). I'll try to avoid bailing for baseball, but I've got a losing streak to turn around, so you never know. RSVP in the comments.

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