Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Party Back On

Well, I'm pretty sure I'll be watching the game no matter what, so I'm happy to have people over. People are welcome to come over at 4pm (the game is at 5:30pm) for Rock Band (or Portal) beforehand. Cake will be served.

Oh, by the way...Steelers 38, Cardinals 17.

(the cake is a lie)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Friday Night Gaming

Special friend of SABG davek will be in town this weekend, so we're having a special night of gaming for him.

Our place. This Friday. 7 PM.

(That start time is a bit late, but I want to make sure The Boy is down for the night.)

Standard Operating Procedure - Comment if you're coming.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's that time again

Once again, it's time for the Super Bowl err...THE BIG GAME.

Remember when David Tyree made that incredible ball-stuck-to-his-helmet catch?

Remember when Eli Manning was the Super Bowl MVP?

Remember when these nigh impossible events both happened in the same game?

What kind of craziness will happen this year? It's going to be hard to top last year, but we're going to watch nevertheless because, well, that's what we do. I've got a few people who seem interested, and I think the game is at 5:30pm, so if you want to come join in for some fun, I'll have people over probably about 3pm for some pre-game Rock Band. No wardrobe malfunctions, please.

Wargames Next Saturday, 31 Jan 2009

Inspired by Steve's post regarding wargaming today, I thought I'd get a head start on next weekend to see who might be interested in playing more wargames next Saturday. I have a day out of the house scheduled, and what I'm most interested in playing is a wargame of some kind.

Chris and I have tentatively discussed Combat Commander: Pacific, but I'm really up for just about anything if that doesn't work out. If there are more who are interested, 4-player Memoir, Successors, Pacific Typhoon (Axis vs. Allies team variant), or Britannia might be fun. Twilight Struggle with the new Chinese Revolution official game patch seems interesting. With three, After the Flood would be good. Of course, if all else fails, War of the Ring or Hannibal never disappoint.

Certainly having a dark wargaming corner as part of a larger gaming session is always good if someone is hosting a bigger gathering... My 3-month old probably isn't quite ready for such an experience yet, unfortunately.

In unrelated news, I'm officially obsessed with playing Angband. Of course the game does make me want to bash my laptop into a zillion pieces, but its great fun nonetheless.

Games my brain doesn't have capacity to absorb right now, but I want to play sometime with others so inclined: Android, Unhappy King Charles, Barbarossa to Berlin, Paths of Glory, Pursuit of Glory, Napoleonic Wars, Lock 'n Load....

Quick, shameful gamerscore: X-Box 360 Doritos game. 190 points in about 10 minutes.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday wargaming for duh-mes

Jon and Scott showed about 1, and we couldn't get in touch with Chris, so we played a 3 player game of Pacific Typhoon. I was behind in the last round, but a tie and the last battle's second round gave me a chance to distribute a larger than normal pile of cards among the 3 of us, which meant I could keep enough big cards to end ahead.

T & E was next. I think my lowest was 11, while Jon and Scott both had 12, but Jon won the next tie breaker.

Chris showed and all agreed to humor me through a game of Hordes of the Things. HOTT is possibly the most universal set of miniature rules ever written; it can handle any period of history, just about anything from a fantasy novel or setting, and it even does a very good job for science fiction space operas like Star Wars. It is also one of the best balanced gaming systems I know.

None of which guarantees that it's fun for everyone.

HOTT defines troops by function. First, it has foot, mounted, and aerial classes. Foot includes magicians, clerics, blades, spears, hordes, shooters, and so on. Mounted includes knights, riders (faster, less potent, but controllable), heroes, paladins, behemoths like elephants or giants, etc. Aerials include such things as flyers (harpies, flying monkies, etc.), dragons, gods, and aerial heroes. There is a definite rock, scissors, paper aspect to the game, and the person who best manages their random movement points to seek the best match ups wins a significant majority of the time. But rolling 6s against 1s at the right time can carry the day.

Chris and Jon took the forces of evil, which I selected from my Lord of the Rings figures.

Center command.
CnC: Balrog, an aerial hero
8 orc warbands
1 troll, a behemoth

Right command
1 nazgul, a knight general
1 giant spider, a behemoth
8 goblin hordes
3 goblin warg riders

1 magician general, Saruman
4 uruk-hai, blades
2 uruk-hai crossbows, shooters
1 artillery, a berzerker with a torch and gunpowder
2 goblin warg riders

Scott and I took the good guys

Aragorn, hero general
Gandalf, cleric (protective rather than offensive magic)
2 gondor sword units, blades
4 gondor spears
1 sneaker, hobbits (we never put these to good use)
1 dragon (no reason, just had one and wanted to use it)

1 paladin, Eowyn
1 knight general, Eomer
3 rohan knights
2 rohan riders
3 rohan spears
1 rohan bow, shooters

2 elf blades, one the general
4 elf shooters
Treebeard, a behemoth
2 elf riders
2 flyers, owls since the figures looked better than the eagles from WotC

HOTT is one of those games where no single rule is hard, there's just a lot to absorb, and it's far better just to muddle through and play. I think everyone picked up the general flow very quickly, and if they're willing to try it again, then they'll be a lot more comfortable with seeking the good matches and avoiding bad. The grid I use makes it a lot easier since there's no need for measuring, which I've found is one of the largest sources of hard feelings in many miniatures games.

Scott had to leave around 5:30, so we played a bit more and called it. Evil had lost 26 of their original 72 points and was close to breaking, but another elf loss followed by a bad command roll would have made it very tight. This is a game you usually can't win everywhere, so pushing your advantages while delaying where you are weak is a good overall game strategy.

Hopefully Dennis and Ben can play soon, as well as anyone else who'd like to give it a try.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Roll Call

I started off with Jon and Scott and the federally mandated game of Race. I'm pretty sure that Scott and my combined score beat Jon. Almost positive, in fact. After that Steve and Chris showed up for our US RDA of cylons. Humanity was looking good, so I figured I'd get dealt a cylon in the middle. Which, of course, happened. And (loyal president) Baltar quickly eliminated Boomer as a cylon, which meant I was practically forced to reveal. Anyway, Chris and I had back-to-back turns. Adama had been shot (good times) and boomer was brigged so we got a round or two of running roughshod on skill checks (including incoming nukes). Then the fleet showed up and we put on some boarders. Mainly for giggles. On the down side, humanity got the bonus point of distance which saved them a full jump. Still, wee managed to force the fleet to make a risky jump for the win, and they failed. It came down to a straight 50/50 shot, but both Chris and I had a decent chance to win on our turn, and almost any skill check would have been great.

I like our Roslin fix (and we need to make the Ambush super-crisis fix standard as well ... it only backs up the jump track one space).

After that we had newcomers Karl & Kathy, and Travis. After a caloric interlude, we split into Vinci and Through the Ages. [Actually, we started on Starcraft before Jon put on his Derek Lowe face and muttered something about "a lot of rules."] I must say that the 3rd editions "boards" (instead of card setup) are nice, although they still aren't clear about happiness. Anyway, after getting off to a slow start I Pillaged Karl and razed his two Cathedrals to the ground to make sure he didn't run away with it (and to show what is best in life). Then me and Captain Cook circumnavigated our way to a huge score.

The Vinci people will have to enlighten us on their day.

Anyway, thanks to all who attended. I still need to play Starcraft. Perhaps I'll read the rules again myself.

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Sunday Wargaming

A little late, but I had to be sure there were no imperial entanglements.

Sunday around 1 PM we hope to play a few lowbrow multiplayer wargames at my place. Jon and Chris felt like things looked good for them, and anyone else is welcome, just e-mail me at Schifani (at) if you need directions.

We do have a dog and a cat. They aren't especially bright, just in case you are allergic or are bothered by animals with lower than normal brain sizes.


So I totally missed todays gaming (much sadness)

I forgot how horridly long car shopping takes.

So will there be a gathering on Monday? Please?

I wish to game. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday Gaming

Since there was no gaming yesterday (Boo!) There will be gaming saturday (Yay!). Starting at 10:00 am. Jacqui and I will host, RSVP in the comments.

[Why the picture? Why not, I say! It's been too long...]


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monday part two; Diplomacy

So Tiffany indicated her availability for gaming Monday (MLK day). I indicated availability after 5pm (aka yes I am working). Ben, Chris, and Dennis all seemed to indicate they were out. Is anybody else available either for extended gaming or for gaming after 5pm? Inquiring minds want to know.

On another topic, the inaugral online SABG diplomacy game has ended in a two way draw between myself playing Austria and my friend Dave Morrone playing Turkey (invited in since we found ourselves stalled at 6 SABG'ers interested in playing). I hope to post a session report of sorts once I finish going through the Press from the game. Thanks again to Amy for GMing.

Is there interest in another Diplomacy game? Standard or variant? 2 or 3 turns a week?

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Saturday Gaming.

Session report in brief.

I arrived. Steve and Chris were present. We loitered. Dennis, then Jon and Michael arrived. Some played rock band. We didnt.

Prophecy was played. LIke slight better than Talisman. Might be cause of the house rules. Might be cause Michael didn't kill me off (he wasn't in the game) but he did suggest it to the others). It is like a short 1-4 hours RPG for multi players. I still like FInal Fantasy better. But that is neither here nor there (Dennis, me, Chris and Jon played)

A few rock band songs were attempted.

Then Dominion was played (Me, Chris, Brian). I think I did well. We did the pick a random 10 cards variant. And I had not played with the witch and/or garden. Then Chris and I got to figure out how to put things back in the box. Which was fun. And I mean that. (As a side note, i have far too much fun organizing other peoples stuff. So anything wants something organized/sorted let me know.)

Ave, Caesar was played. I did better than my first game. Ended up in a 3 way tie for 2nd. Decent game. Relies entirely too much on luck of the card draw and not enough on skill. Or player choice for me too love it. Which now that I think about it might be my issue with Talisman, Prophecy and Descent. Its those pesky dice. Or something.

Then I went to work and counted cells. The others did Something. Then left at a reasonable hour of before dinner. Or so I hear.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Texas Glory hits the table

Mark and I got together and played Texas Glory by Columbia Games this morning. This is not too different from the other block games that Columbia puts out with a similar look and feel.

I will say that I was pleased with this game and would like to play again. The play is simple and quick and there is a very manageable number of blocks on the table. Now we only played the 1835 game and we did not take it into 1836 but I would imagine that as the war progresses that the blocks start to come into play and the board gets more and more crowded.

I think that Mark will agree that the game is fun, simple and fast moving and there are a few tactical things that one must master - mostly centered around supply and hex engagement/disengagement.

We also both agreed that even though the game was simple to play that the rules had some holes that required us to talk about and agree upon.

In our reenactment of Texas history, my Mexican forces were able to hold out against the initial Texan attack that took Goliad (after a very bloody siege) but failed to take the Alamo.

One final thought - It was very interesting and fun to play a war game on a map of an area that I have called home all of my life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's about time

Believe it or not, the Bush Administration is in its last few hours.

Sounds to me like enough reason to celebrate--with a few games. I'll host Saturday at 10am.

PS The Agricola/Dominion/etc. thick card sleeves are available for preorder. Or maybe they're in stock. I'm not sure--this page says both. Who knows? But I figured some people might be interested.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bonus Gaming Friday Night

I'll host tomorrow night from 6:30 on if anyone is interested. RSVP in the comments.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The 26 game challenge

I was thinking recently about the SABG Top 20 list and how fun it is to see how your ranking of certain games differs from that of your friends. Well, the SABG Top 20 of 2009 is still about six months away. But I came across something on BGG (I suspect most everyone else here has seen it as well) that kind of scratches the same itch. A kind of tide-me-over thing until the 2009 list gets compiled:

Derk's Decree - Cutting Your Collection to 26 Games

For those that have not seen it, it's games ordered by BGG ranking and then split into groups of 10. The challenge--keep only one from each group. #26 is any game ranked 251 or lower.

So, I picked mine and thought it would be fun if a few other people posted theirs. I sure would like to see them and I thought others might as well. I can guess a few of the choices from certain other SABGers already. I'll put mine in the comments--others can feel free to chime in as well, especially if anyone wants to comment about particularly tough choices.

(Yeah, it's a bit of work to actually vote in all the polls then pull your votes into a post in the comments section, and this may end up being one of those "Where did everyone go?" posts, but, hey, it's an excuse to talk about games for a moment with people we know. So I'll put myself out here with this post and see what happens. Besides, this is a long way for me to come since being too unsure of myself to even vote in the SABG Top 20 of 2007.)


Is a holiday. I was curious as to who had it off (other than me). And if there might be special gaming-ness occurring.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Barnes & Noble Post-Christmas Clearance

Discounted boardgames are currently at 30% off. Not amazing, but it will get better as time passes.

Last night, the DeZavala B&N had Acquire, Diplomacy, GifTrap, Great Wall of China, and Modern Art on sale (plus other titles not worthy to mention).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monday at DL

So who is coming? Anyone?

I should be there about 6 ish. I don't know how late I can stay, I have a presentation to give on Wednesday, so it will depend on how much progress is made.

Friday, January 09, 2009

WOTR veterans!

If i can get anybody up for a game of War of the Ring either tonight or Saturday night we may be able to have a good four player game. Travis is up for a game and ill more than likely have my brother in law with. If we can find one more WOTR veteran it would be a blast. Post in comments if your interested.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Saturday Gaming

Jacqui and I will host this Saturday starting at 10am. (See below) RSVP in the comments So say we all.

Update: Since everyone seems to be arriving at noon, we may run some errands, so we'll through the doors open a bit before noon.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Insanity Update

I've now painted almost all the humans in the base game of BattleLore. I have to do the blue cavalry and a few more units of blue infantry. It's been quite a time commitment, but it's been more fun than I would have anticipated. I guess that's part of the point of a hobby, right? I'll try to post some pics sometime.

The setup/tear down is prohibitive for a general game night, but if you're going to do several battles in a row as an evening's activity then it's reasonable. Also, at Steve's suggestion I got a case. By storing everything already in units, the set-up should go much faster.

Whatever it's flaws, BL is a great way to play with little army guys.

Gaming Resolutions

My main gaming resolution is to make a point to learn a few games well. I figure that unplayed games are a poor investment.

A corollary is that I'm trying to minimize the cult of the new and also the flavor of the day.

Don't get me wrong: new games are fun, too, and I certainly like to expand my horizons and see what else the world has to offer. I just want to make sure I'm actually savoring things once in a while.

Games on my target list include but are not limited to: Princes of Florence, El Grande, chess, EastFront, BattleLore, go.

Actually, I've been on this kick for a while now. Hence why I bought and started bringing Princes and El Grande. Also why I decided to renew my chess membership.


The SA chess club meets weekly on Mulberry at the Lions something or other public rec center. They have several rates tournaments each year, and there's a monthly 1 round per week tournament at the Methodist hospital, too. Pretty good.

I've been getting out some old chess books and reading up. I have a vague hope that I will someday achieve the rank of Expert. That's pretty far off from where I am right now, but it's achievable.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mon, Tue, DL?

I was wondering if anybody will be at DL on Monday or Tuesday night. I may have a freind with me for some team games of War of the Ring and Fortress America if anybody is interested. I probably wont be able to make it there until around 6:15. I dont know how late they stay open though. If anybody is interested in playing lets schedule something. Thanks and look forward to gaming.

Sunday Session Report

I arrived at Chris's at 10:30 to find him in a Race game with Michael and Scott (not sure who won, but I think it was Michael with five billion developments in front of him). I was dealt into the next one and was dealt the nigh-unbeatable combo of Colony Ship and the Lost Ark world (the 5-green production world that gives two extra cards in the production phase). The hand culminated in a 12-point Pan-Galactic League but a surprisingly narrow 4-point win over Michael, who was one Settle away from locking me out on the previous turn. In the second game there was a lot of complaining from Michael about his horrible start. Turns out the Terraforming Guild was his "only good card" as he wrote "won easily" in his notebook.

Next up was team WoW miniatures, two minis per player. Scott and Chris took Alliance, while Michael and I chose Horde. We went with a melee-heavy strategy. Warrior Wilton Thorne and rogue Delyn Darksun both reduced a target's armor on a crit, which we hoped would allow our shaman's huge melee attack to one-shot some folks. The evil Alliance built their army around an epic figure, the nigh-unkillable paladin Bolvar Something-or-Other...but his extra cost meant the Alliance would need 25 VP to win, while the Horde would only need 21.

In the end, our strategy worked...sort of. Delyn was the MVP thanks to his Cold Blood action bar card, which allowed him to change a die to a crit. In fact, we only scored three crits all game, and two came from this card. Our shaman was almost useless, doing only four hits of damage on her first four attacks (24 total dice, minus armor). But her high resists allowed her to soak up a lot of damage, and Bolvar wasn't dealing much out. On turn 17 it came down to a single attack from our shaman on the defenseless Alliance druid -- if she critted, we win. Of course, she didn't. Then all Bolvar had to do was crit on his attack and the Alliance would win. Surprisingly, he didn't either. Delyn stepped and finished off the hapless druid for the really close win. What did we learn?

- A rogue (particularly Delyn) with Cold Blood is awesome
- It's great to have an unkillable figure, but Bolvar may not have enough offense to justify his cost
- As Michael predicted during our setup, we can't roll to save our lives
- WoW minis is always close and surprisingly tactical

After some food came BSG. We've played this waaaaaaaay too much now, and the level of table talk is making me cranky. Go here, not there, do this, not that, if that happens we win, oh no that card means we lose, we're saved, we're screwed, what the hell are you doing? I scarcely need to be present for my own turn anymore, and can't hear myself think anyway. The inevitability of this particular round didn't help -- Baltar (Scott) got both Cylon cards off the deal. He insta-revealed, gave his other card to Roslin (Jon -- did I mention he showed up?), and the humans were lucky to jump five units. It did reveal a severe weakness in Boomer; if there is a Cylon to her left, her scout ability is completely neutralized.

Finally there was much rocking, using Chris's XBox for once. Right after Jon left, we discovered that Chris hadn't unlocked any songs, so we cranked through the first four band challenges to start the process. Which means I've had enough of punk girl bands for 2009.

And thus does the curtain close on a long and slothful vacation. I have to go to work tomorrow? Seriously?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thinking about New Year's and Monday

Like any other resolution, gaming resolutions are easy to make and usually forgotten. But we may as well make them. For me, I'd like to get in a few old classic games this year. Among the games I should play this year (according to my Friendless Stats page) are: Age of Steam, 18xx, Ursuppe, Indonesia, Paths of Glory, Cash N Guns. A good list. And we didn't get in 7 Ages or Here I Stand over the holidays (not that I'm terribly surprised).

I think this is the year I try to actually make BGG con.

I'm trying to get one of my designs better than 'mediocre.'

But overall I'm just happy to play games. Everything else is a bonus.

I'll be at DLair on monday around 5:30.

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Tide of Iron

Hey, I am curious about Tide of Iron. I have not seen too much activity on our site regarding this game (for those of us who like games such as these). Do any of you have or play this? I have not played this with anyone in the group, but I have played a few games with my son.

At first I was disapointed with the few scenarios that the game came with, but have found them to be very challenging. We have only attempted the first 3 or 4.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Saturday gaming postponed until Sunday (UPDATE)

Ok, folks, I'm awfully sorry for the late notice. I have been pretty sick the last 24 hours, and it is now stretching past that into more of a 48 hour thing (I hope). So I need to postpone tomorrow's gaming. I expect I will be fine to host Sunday, but I don't know what other people's plans are. So if someone wants to emergency host tomorrow or meet at DL tomorrow, maybe they can post here. Likewise, if anyone wants to try to make Sunday morning work, post your thoughts here and if that works out then I'll have people over.

Again, sorry for the late notice. I've really been hoping I'd be better by this point but I'm reluctantly forced to admit that I need one more day to shake the got-run-over-by-a-truck feeling.

UPDATE: I'm feeling better as the day goes on. So, presuming I don't get worse, I'm open on Sunday at 10am. FWIW, bad pizza got me into this position, so I don't anticipate ordering pizza tomorrow. But bring a few bucks and we can make a TC run or something.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009, SABG! See ya, 2008!

Anyone have any board game-related resolutions? Mine is to learn and play, even if solo, NLT one of my unplayed wargames per month.

I hope everyone has a great game, filled holiday weekend.