Friday, July 31, 2009

New Month Gaming

Since I haven't seen a gaming post, we'll through open Casa de Bankler at 10am, if there is sufficient interest. RSVP in the comments .... note that CdB will probably be closing by 4-5pm. Also, we'll determine "sufficient interest" at some point, perhaps as late as tomorrow am. 3+ people will be sufficient, but 1-2 depends on if any of them have a copy of Automobile (or other cool games). Just saying.

And the Guitar Hero 5 setlist ... is full of win. Johnny Cash, Arctic Monkeys, Dire Straits, more Muse, Under Pressure (probably the greatest collaboration of the 70s, although I'm also partial to the Bowie/Crosby Little Drummer Boy), Fame, Frampton coming alive. Granted, it's also full of lose. It's just full.

And I'm personally stoked for DJ Hero, which got the rights to lots of interesting songs, then let DJs mix and match them for the tracks. Which I was reminded off when I saw DJ EarWorm's remix of numerous Annie Lennox songs (with video)...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Game Time

Anybody up for some games tonight or tomorrow night? I'm just itching to play StarCraft the Board Game or some War of the Ring. But I wont be picky, ill play anything that's available.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Chillin'

On Sunday Hornsfan and I were able to set up a gaming session consisting of some old classics, along with something new.

When I arrived he had already set up Tom Wham's Search for the Emperor's Treasure, (and, link), perhaps the best game The Dragon Magazine ever published (issue #51 to be specific). Chris played the Black Knight, while I was the peace loving, perhaps even self-flagellating Cleric. The goal of the game was to find the most treasure through all sorts of adventuring across a wild fantasy continent. Sir Chris seemed to have a secret pact with the Pirates, as twice he somehow found the hidden Pirate treasure map pointing the way to 1D6 treasures! I was poking around in the desert, rolling for maybe one treasure every four turns, and he as literally falling ass backwards into the Seven Cities of Gold! As he sailed back from Skull Island with his plunder, I dropped a giant kraken, the ubiquitous ancient huge red dragon, and then the mother of all mega-whales upon him, but by then he was well equipped with vorpal sword and +99 plate mail. All loyal woodland friends of mine were swiftly sent packing. Nonetheless, I had been busy earning an honest living, and it all came down to a final turn. I plunged headlong into the maw of the forbidden Mines of Doom, to pluck forth the Emperor's Magic Emerald from the Crack of Doom (at the bottom of the Mines of Doom, of course). The game ended due to the fourth imperial treasure being found. We tallied scores, and..... a tie! Ugh! Good fun though.

Next I dared crack open the crusty seal on one of my rarest, and most prized games of yore: West End's Star Wars: Assault on Hoth. After my usual succint and captivating rules explanation, Evil Chris assumed the controls of an AT-AT and began deployment of the Empire's assault force. I loaded Luke Skywalker and his merry band into snow speeders and gun turrets, waiting to hold back the wave. The combat was intense... perhaps a bit more than necessary due to a rules mistake, but we'll ignore that for now... but anyway, it all ended badly (but, perhaps historically), as I soon heard Chris radio a nearby Star Destroyer: "Yes Lord Vader, I have reached the main power generators. The shield will be down in moments. You may start your landing." Boom, the shield fell, and Luke had to quickly scuttle off the planet in defeat. Boo!

Finally, continuing the frosty theme, we set up the latest Runebound expansion, Frozen Wastes. The theme of this game involves finding the crashed colony space ship containing the cryogenically frozen wife of a rampaging alien warlord before his robot minions burn the world to a crisp.... oh, all set in a fantasy world. Pretty wild theme, if you ask me. We were only able to make it halfway through the game before I had to cast Word of Recall and teleport home, but I have to say, so far this is the best incarnation of Runebound I've yet played. Its firmly lodged in my shopping cart.

Thanks, Chris!

PS: GMT is demoing the new Washington's War on-line tomorrow night at 1930 hours CST.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

monday dl planning

So who is in for Monday night at DL?


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Gaming Moved

I'll host people over at my place today (Saturday), since Jeff is not feeling well. We'll start at 9am. Send me Geekmail at bigtex01 if you need directions.


We have to cancel gaming today. Jeff came down with a fever at 1:30 this morning. And he already had the flu this year, so you probably know what I'm suspecting. :(

Please post here if you were coming to confirm that you know. Thanks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Blame Society

...for creating the devilish creation that is eating all my spare time: tower defense games! In particular the best ones I've played are on the iPod Touch (or iPhone). Having such quick fun in a portable gaming device has just burned through practically every lunch hour in the past month. Defender Chronicles is my current favorite, though Sentinel 2 is a close second. Both are highly recommended if you own such a device.

On the PC, I suppose I would pick Antbuster just because its free and ants going after pizza is kind of cool. On the DS, Desktop Tower defense is the best I've found so far.

Any other recommendations?

What else is everyone doing on the periphery of board gaming (where I seem to exist now)? Battlefield 1943 on XBL is a awesome, though I miss all the European theater maps from BF1942. I'm still having fun playing Magic, though its mainly a quick diversion.

Board games I am most anticipating: Hellenes and Middle Earth Quest. You?

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hearts of Iron...

has anyone ever played Hearts of Iron? I think it's been mentioned here before, but I may be wrong. HoI III is coming out, and the wargamer in me finds it intriguing.


Diplomacy and Fantasy Football

Is there any interest in starting up another Diplomacy game? Is there any interest in setting up a free auction fantasy football league for this year? For the latter I will likely set up a free ESPN auction league this weekend or next and set up a date and time towards the end of August for the auction.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The error is gone! Our blog is saved!!!!!!!

And there shall be rejoicing.

Saturday Gaming

This is a bit early for a planning post, but we just found out that some friends will be coming in from out of town and we'll be gaming with them on Saturday, so we're throwing the house open to anyone interested. Interested in games, that is. Not to anyone interested in having a miniature rodeo with midgets on Shetland ponies in the living room.

We hope we're not wrecking the plans of anyone who had their heart set on hosting.

Doors open at 8:30 but feel free to drop in later.

RSVP in the comments.

Monday Session Report

Monday is back! Even without BSG being present, we had ten people last night, including new member Fred. My games played:

Rebel vs. Imperium
Played three games of the Race expansion without using takeover powers. Took two seconds and a third (typical for me; always a bridesmaid in this game). I found that the new powers were tempting me to over-Explore when I should have been Producing, especially with the Uplift 6-development out. Goals are much more interesting with choice of homeworld.

The Resistance
Werewolf-ish game where just over half of the players are Rebel Alliance trying to blow up Imperial bases, and the rest are Imperial Spies trying to sabotage the Rebel Scum. The first player must select "planners", and the selection must pass a vote. Each planner then secretly throws in an Alliance or Empire card. All Alliance cards, Imperial base blows up. Any Empire card, Alliance base blows up. First team to blow up three bases wins. Two other twists: the Imperial players know who each other are, and the Rebels must add one extra planner after each success, so by the end they must know who everyone is. The analysis was pretty simplistic with six players, with only a couple of clever moves, but it might be more entertaining with more (there's a seven-player forum game on BGG that might come to blows soon).

Are You The Traitor?
This game, however, is totally unsalvageable. Apparently someone thought Werewolf had far too much information for a proper party game. Each player has a role, some information, and a target; point to your target and your team wins, fail and you lose. But since no one with information knows who is on their team, and no one who needs information has a reasonable way of getting it, the game devolves into a staring contest. It doesn't help that every round, someone called me out as evil, and I always was.

I love trick-taking games and "climbing" card games, and I so want to love this one, but too often I feel like a spectator as the hand plays itself out. My passes are usually obvious (if lots of pairs, give away singletons; if few pairs, break them up and hope for long run; low odd left). When I go out early, and replay the hand in my head afterwards, I often see that I could've played it a dozen different ways and still gone out first. I frequently don't get a card in edgewise until one or two people are out. I don't think I missed any Tichus, since I only went out first twice, and both required generous single-card leads from others. I so want to make a clever play in this game, but I'm nearly 40 hands in and have never found one.

So Race wins the evening, I guess, though it's been so long since I attended on Mondays that I even enjoyed Are You a Traitor, and would've played almost anything. Almost.

Brian has a thread on his blog about games you're looking forward to for the next year. For a long time, my list was blank, but Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop have decided to torture me:

BSG: Pegasus
Blood Bowl (for XBox in September)
Chaos in the Old World
Warhammer: Invasion (Living Card Game, starting from the ground up, unlike Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu, which had CCG predecessors; I'll only buy in if I think someone else might be interested)

And the biggie, if the rumors are true: Space Hulk. (And did you hear the other rumor? Prepainted figures?)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hi folks

I've been lurking around here for a couple weeks now, and it looks like I'll finally be able to make a session at the Lair, so I'll introduce myself a little in advance. So hi, everyone!

I'm a transplant from the East Coast, originally from Rochester, NY. I got started with Magic in high school when it came out (still have a beat-up alpha lotus), then Settlers came out my freshman year of college and I got hooked. I played an awful lot of games (Britannia and Age of Renaissance were my favorites). After college I spent a fair amount of time playing with my friends on BrettSpielWelt, but I haven't been there in a while. A lot of my game time over the last few years has gone to hold'em poker, which is what I do for a living, so I haven't been playing other games as regularly, but I do have a copy of Agricola that has gotten a fair amount of use.

Looking forward to meeting people and trying some new games!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mega - Sleevage

I have located a wholesaler for low cost, but good quality (e.g., Ultra Pro) card sleeves with free shipping and no tax for orders of $150 or higher. The prices are pretty good... about $2/box cheaper than I can get at, for instance. Anyone interested in collaborating on an order? Unfortunately, I'm not seeing Euro or mini sleeves here, but I may be just missing them. If anyone has a better wholesaler, just suggest it in the comments.



Who is in?

I will be there about 5:30 this week. Shocking I know.

And I will be brining this :)

I will also bring The Hanging Gardens, Wasabi and Tikal. Maybe Le Havre. We shall see.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

At Long Last

I started this project years ago. Started and stopped several times. I thought I'd never finish. But the freedom of tenure inspired me, and beginning last March, I plowed through uninterrupted to the end. And now I finally have it: my first DBA matched pair, Later Crusaders vs. Ayyubid Egyptians. In other words, the Third Crusade, Richard the Lionheart vs. Saladin. That's a lot of horses!

But hey, I'm done! Except now I need to make a camp...for each side...and desert terrain...and I bought three more armies in London...sigh.

Euros -- I want to play them

As we all know I like them. I also miss playing them, since for the most part I do not.

I would like to play Amyitis again. I would like to play Hermagor at all. It has been months since i played Agricola, and that is sadness. I would love to play a non SBW game of Tikal, though anyone who does want to do SBW let me know and I can start a game. Or Java. Or Puerto Rico.

Something that isn't BSG, or Talisman or Prophecy. I would like a change of pace from Dominion (at least until I get my hands on the expansion).

So - I am thinking, since I know I am not the only one who likes them, that unless they start making the table on Mondays, of hosting a maybe every other Friday night or maybe Saturday or Sunday I want to play Euros event. What do people think? Is there any interest?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekend Planning

So what are the chances of some gaming breaking out sometime this weekend? I would love to offer my place as a site but the combination of postage stamp size; zero table space; 3 cats; and Boerne location pretty much preclude the possibility. (I will volunteer to do the session report if that will help since it will help to get me back in to the proper planning/session report balance.)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Gaming Session Report

Let's face it. This blog is at its best when we have session reports to balance out all the planning posts. Many times, it seems like a lot of us are actually at the sessions, rendering the reports sometimes a bit moot. But Monday, only three people showed up: Brian, Sean, and myself. And perhaps the session is most memorable for what was not played rather than what was played.

Brian and I started with our usual perusal of DL's offerings. They had several new games in, including the new Race for the Galaxy expansion (2 copies) and the new Dominion expansion (2 copies). Brian showed his support for our gaming hosts by buying one copy of RftG. I passed on the second, figuring on getting it another time. Brian grumbled a bit as he bought it, though, realizing that he didn't have any extra card sleeves with him. Playing with some cards in the sleeves and some without makes shuffling more difficult as well as leaves the cards somewhat "marked," since you know the unsleeved cards are probably the new cards. So we realized we wouldn't be able to play it that night. Still, Brian opened his base RftG to add in the extra cards and--surprise! Extra card sleeves. So we started sleeving the cards...28, 29, 30...we ended up being about 10 sleeves short of the 40+ that were needed. Our brief ray of hope was dashed. No Race was to be played, even though we had the cards in our hands.

We started out with two quick games of Target, in which each player has a hand of cards similar to an Uno deck (in that the cards are all numbered and have suits represented mostly by solid colored backgrounds) and tries to lay down sets of cards (like Rummy) that satisfy certain goals listed on goal cards in the center of the table. Goals include things like 3 cards of the same suit, 4 cards in a sequence that includes a 2, or three cards totalling 4 or less. The idea is to be efficient and lay down sets of cards that satisfy two or three goals at the same time, because meeting those goals nets you points listed on the goal cards and keeps your opponent from getting them. You're limited in hand size, so you can't just collect 20 cards and lay them all down. You can draw to a max of 6 and then must discard an unwanted card to get down to 5, so part of the game is figuring out how to meet two or three goals with only five or six cards before your opponent can. Anyway, I'm a sucker for card games of all sorts, so I really liked it. For a quick card game, it's enjoyable.

Sean showed up during our second game, and we told him about the other copy of the RftG expansion available. He went and bought it, and we figured, "Great, we'll play with Sean's unsleeved set and won't run into the problem of some cards sleeved, some not." As we looked forward to our first game of the new expansion, Sean opened his base game...and his base game cards were sleeved as well. And like Brian, he didn't have enough extra sleeves for the new cards (and DL's sleeves didn't match Sean's). Once again, so close, yet so far.

To console ourselves, we glanced at the new O deck for Agricola that I got from Z-Man games this weekend, which is just more of the same crazy stuff, like the Schnitzel Mallet (one extra food and a bonus point when you cook cattle if you have a cooking implement) and the Emergency Housing (a family member gets to sleep in the stable--good times). After amusing ourselves with these for a bit, we moved on to Ticket to Ride, and Sean lapped me on the victory track at the end, getting both victory bonus cards and beating me by over 100 points when all was said and done. Ouch. Lesson for next time: fighting over all of the two car length track in the eastern US while everyone else builds the four and five car tracks in the west and midwest is not a great way to rack up points.

We then got Tribune to the table, a game which I didn't really care for during the first few plays but has grown on me. Most of my games of this seem to end up being very close at the end, as we all met our victory conditions on the same turn. Brian pulled away in points at the end, with his advantage in legions outweighing Sean's and my supplies of laurels. It's a game that's pretty convoluted the first few times you play it (favor with certain factions in Roman society have pretty different effects, and cards are collected through worker placement but using quite a few different mechanics) but I like that it has several paths to victory if you stay attentive. Plus, as Sean remarked, it has one of the most over-produced pieces we've seen in a game, with a three-dimensional cardboard chariot used solely to mark a faction as protected from takeover for one turn. It's the only three-dimensional cardboard piece in the game, and it hardly ever moves. And there's two of them in the box (even though only one is used in the game), in case your dog (or child) gets a hold of one of them or you want to have chariot races or something.

Finally, we wound down with Pickomino, a game in which you want to get worms. (Supposedly you're a chicken farmer and you need the worms to feed your chickens.) You roll dice on your turn, setting aside all dice of a selected rank and rolling again and again until you either choose to stop or bust. If you choose to stop, you can take a domino from the pool in the center of the table that matches or is less than your total or take a domino from an opponent that matches your total exactly. If you don't stop, you bust by being unable to claim any more dice because you've already claimed dice of that rank (for example, you roll a 3 and a 5 but you've already set aside 3's and 5's on earlier rolls) or you don't roll any worms (6's on the dice are replaced by pictures of worms, and you have to have at least one worm in your final dice pool to take any domino) or you can't find a domino to take that satisfies the conditions above. Each bust returns one of your dominoes you claimed on an earlier turn and puts it back in the pool of dominoes in the center of the table and at the same time (usually) removes a domino from the pool in the center of the table and puts it back in the box. The game ends when all the dice are out of the center pool (either players have taken them or they've been returned to the box). You count the worms pictured on the bottom of all of your dominoes for your final score. I managed to roll pretty well (Ben would hate this game) and claim several early dominoes, which Sean and Brian managed to keep stealing from me with surprisingly little shame. At least twice I'd roll a number exactly to take a domino from Sean, and he'd roll exactly the same number (and we're talking on a combination of EIGHT dice here) to steal the domino away from me. In the end, though, I wound up with more worms and fed my chickens the best...or something like that.

But as I mentioned, we were tempted several times by the fickle mistress that is gaming, thinking we were going to get to play some new Race for the Galaxy on several occasions but each time being a few card sleeves short of making it happen. I'd bet good money it'll be ready for next time, though.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday Planning

So what does turn out for Monday at DL look like? At this point I am on the fence.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

This time, it counts

No, I'm not talking about the MLB All-Star game. No, I'm referring to something much more relevant.

1 vs. 100 is now giving away prizes--Microsoft points, arcade games, all that. It's all being given away now in the 1 vs. 100 Live shows, so check your local programming guide for the next one.

I played for about 30 minutes tonight and saw a guy get down to 1 vs. 3...and lose. He was so close to 10k MS points. (I can't remember what he would have had if he had walked away...I think it's the 6k tier if I'm not mistaken.) The less exciting news is that if you win an "Arcade Game," it's predetermined which one you win. Apparently it changes every week, and this week, it's Worms, which I know a few people have already. Still, MS points aren't bad.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekend Gaming

I'm totally up for some gaming tonight and/or tomorrow night if anybody is interested. I wont be able to make it until after 6:30ish but if anybody wants to game please let me know.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I am speechless

Ben, I guess you might not want to deshrink yours after all.

At least the shipping is free.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I don't need an excuse to shove that last post off the top

But if I did, I'd use gaming tomorrow night. I'll be there are the normal time.

Still, to cleanse the palate -- the national anthem on a baseball bat.

H/T -- John Scalzi. Story here.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

I'm also hooked on 'em, but...

...this might be a bit too much.

Friday, July 03, 2009

SABG Top 50 -- 2009

The people have spoken, with one voice, and there is a new favorite game in SABG. As always, the results are posted on a geeklist on BGG.


Weekend Update

I am hosting Saturday. I won't go into the various machinations that led me here, but suffice it to say, I'll host SATURDAY at 9am.

No more changing.

Go America.

Absolute Last Chance

Screwing up at bridge has made me late and tired, so I'll accept votes if they show up before 8pm or so. In a related note, we have decided that the Patron deity of Bridge is Crom. You pray a lot, then say "To hell with you!" when things don't work out. He doesn't really care, anyway. He's probably the guy our little friend was praying to, when he went for the cheese...