Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kicking it, old school

Scott arrived first, so we broke out the elder statesman of the Command and Colors system -- Battle Cry, the minor battle of McDowell, part of the Stonewall Jackson campaign (released as a supplement for Origins and GenCon in 2000). I took the outnumbered but aggressive union forces and got off to a decent start ... having 6 cards to 4 helps, but I had to discard one card each time I lost a flag. The early skirmish saw each side lose two units, a nearly broken union infantry rushing off the front lines to resupply helped keep things even. As the battle ground on we were tied 4-4 (first to five wins) and I held a reinforcements and a counter-attack. When Scott played an attack left, my counter-attack would be useless ... so I summoned my cavalry to threaten the center, but it was a bluff. The confederate attacked the center and broke the Union's will.

Tiffany had arrived, so we broke out my recently re-assembled copy of Gargon. Dropping a card game inside the big red bag (which has support rods and a surprising number of nooks and crannies) meant that it took me a year or so to find and count all the cards. Gargon is a big game of bully. All the cards show their suit on the back, and players can either play cards face down to battle or draw cards. In battle, high card wins but low cards score better. So the first player may lay down (say) a pair of two red cards. The next players can lay down any pair or draw cards. The last player can play or follow, but can't play any new suit. So the penultimate player may notice "Hm, nobody has played gold, and the last player doesn't have two gold, so I'll play the Gold zero and gold 1, and they'll win and score!". Like I said, picking on the weak.

Tiffany and I had 96 and 98, while Scott bullied us by about 20 points.

Next we had to herd the shy animals into the Ark. As always, for most of the game timid creatures had literally no space they'd enter (because of fear of carnivores, even if safely in another cabin). The end of the game had a burst of provisions placed, which meant the shy animals suddenly had cabins away from the carnivores. So of course shy carnivores were loaded first, scaring the rest of the shy animals. In the end, I snuck out a small victory, partially thanks to having placed lots of slow animals early on. This time we also managed to save the unicorn and dragon.

We also played the "Almost Citadels, but reversed" game of Castle. I really do need to think of a variant to make soldiers more interesting, but I still like the game.

Finally, Tiffany and I flicked moose across a river.



At 9:13 AM, May 31, 2009, Blogger Tiffany said...

I would go with your moose crossed the river. Mine got stranded by my inability to maneuver rocks as well as I could have.

At 10:01 AM, May 31, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

I'm a big fan of Elkfest.

Oh... here is a nice link for Star Wars nerds out there, spotted in Wired:

Something tells me this is a little like what Steve's house looks like now...


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