Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Support Your Local Monday

I showed up at 5:30 to find Brian sitting alone. He helped me look for a pink or light-purple shade of paint for some of my Saracens, but Games Workshop doesn't make such a color, apparently because there are no pink skulls in the grim darkness of the far future. Guess I'll mix my own.

We placed two-player Race. As Alpha Centauri, I quickly got the two small blue worlds that boost the sell value of blue and brown goods, got a couple more blue worlds, got the 6-tech that profits from blue worlds...and lost by two to Brian's Terraforming Guild.

In the second game, I had both the Terraforming Guild and Terraforming Robots by the end of Turn 1; that plus *six* windfall worlds finally put me ahead of Brian 41-38. But unbeknownst to me, Sean had arrived and was also in the game, and his Trade League + four big-point worlds had crushed for 45.

Sean and Brian were nice enough to try my print-and-play King of the Tabletop. My brother and I played this to death when it popped up in Dragon magazine a quarter-century ago, and I wanted to see if it held up. It does, except for one rule -- the initiative die roll for battles nearly decides the game. Brian suggested various "you-go-I-go" fixes, but I think the game needs speed to not outstay its welcome. At first I thought "attacker always sets up first" would be a good fix, but the more I think about it, I prefer "defender sets up first", since (a) it encourages aggressive play, (b) it encourages you to spread out your fortifications instead of massing everything in one huge castle, like I did, and (c) it likely ensures that attackers will always have to fight at least a couple of token guys, and maybe take a couple of token hits. Anyway, Sean and his massive standing army were grinding toward inevitability, but on Turn 6 Brian stole his Gran Muniment and won one turn later.

Continuing the theme of big monsters bashing each other, we played Titan: the Arena. Brian looked strong for most of the game, though we couldn't know that his secret bet had died in turn 2. In the last round, I was able to engineer a situation where if Sean wanted Brian's Unicorn dead, he could kill it, but inadvertantly give the win to me. Alas, Sean revealed that his secret bet was *on* the Unicorn, and used its power to keep it alive. One turn later he dropped a 10 on his Ranger, killing the Troll 10-10-10-9. This appeared to crush Brian, since he had six points in bets on the Troll, but it was also my secret bet, giving Sean the 10-7-1 win. Some chit-chat followed, and then we dispersed.

And now for a little reminiscing. An old friend recently closed an email to me by saying, "Watch out for Cylons," which prompted me to send him this link, probably the funniest post and subsequent thread I've seen on this blog. Do you have a better one?


At 7:14 PM, April 14, 2009, Blogger Chris said...

I can't believe it! You guys played a Tom Wham game and I missed it! Growing up, I was a big fan of Tom Wham games, especially the quirky art. My favorite by far was Search for the Emperor's Treasure. I played that game too many times to count. No depth to speak of, just dice rolls, but an absolute blast when I was a kid. It's still around here somewhere...

At 8:20 PM, April 14, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

Search for the Emperor's Treasure is awesome! I have the Best of the Dragon edition.


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