Session Report – 13 December 2011

With a week away from my regular fix of gaming due to the house move, I was really looking forward to the return to the group and gaming. I was not disappointed. Although I came nowhere near winning any of the games I played in, I left Laurie and Daniel’s house on a high. I had a great night. I enjoyed myself. I had fun. That is what it’s all about.

Now, Laurie can fill in the details…

Dominion

Players: Ellis, Yehuda, Laurie and Daniel.
We were playing with cards from the Dominion base set plus expansions including Intrigue and Prosperity. Everyone played Sea Hag and Swindler, the two attack cards, so a lot of curses ended up in everyone’s hands and everyone had to part with valuable cards. The Masquerade action enabled everyone to pass over their least-desired card to their neighbor, a handy way to part with a curse. The Bishop action gave everyone a chance to trash a card and gain victory points in coins, which was a refreshing way to pile up points without them cluttering the hand. Yehuda and Ellis often played the Tactician cards that enabled them to discard their entire hand and combine their next hand with the hand drawn for the next turn. It was an incredibly powerful combination that resulted in a lot of extra actions and buys. Yehuda stacked up three Provinces and a pile of silver victory point coins to win with 27 victory points. Daniel, loaded down with curses, trailed with 4 points, Laurie with 9 and Ellis with 12.

[I lost track of Yehuda’s victory points. And he, cleverly, ended the game one turn early for me. I had just cleaned my deck out so it was all money and high level action cards. And I had played the Tactician card the turn before. Well done, Yehuda. Poor Laurie, and especially Daniel, got bogged down with those damn curses, and suffered too many turns with minimal buying power.]

Settlers of Catan

Players: Yehuda, Rochelle, and Rochelle.
Yehuda taught Rochelle, a first-timer, how to play Settlers of Catan. Rochelle T had played it once before but was happy for another session to refresh her memory (or lack thereof) of gameplay.

Yehuda reports: “Rochelle had played this once before but had forgotten many of the rules. So it was essentially a first play for both of them. They both picked it up without much difficulty. The resource distribution was pretty even, and so were the dice rolls. No one had to toss out cards from a roll of 7.

Rochelle took Longest Road fairly early. She also acquired a port mid-game, but it wasn’t one she could use. Rochelle 2 built a few settlements and was often one road away from taking Longest Road from Rochelle, though she never threatened to do so. Luck was against her, and she often rolled up a resource right after she had traded for it.

I built an early settlement and then city on the ore, and then city on the brick. I had a port for brick and used it nicely. I ended the game with my ninth board point and a revealed development victory point.”

Race for the Galaxy

Players: Ellis, Laurie, and Daniel.
In the first game Laurie had the windfall Alpha Centauri start world and quickly developed the six-point Mining League. Ellis started with New Sparta, but wasn’t able to draw high-point military worlds to settle, and didn’t draw any cards with decent consuming powers. Laurie was able to rack in eight victory points when consuming powers were doubled. It wasn’t enough to beat Daniel who trumped her by settling half a dozen Rare Elements worlds plus Mining Robots and Mining Conglomerate, essentially all the cards that would have helped Laurie’s strategy. Daniel scored 41, Laurie 37 and Ellis 26.

In the second game Daniel developed a card-generating machine that brought in bucketloads of cards for producing and consuming and blew away the competition. He was able to settle two high-point production words and develop five six-point development cards. He won with 51 points. Laurie played Galactic Trendsetters which helped on consuming but didn’t manage to draw decent military cards to build on her military start world. She came in last place with 29 points by game end. Ellis developed and settled a dozen cards earning him 32 points.

[I would love to play this game to a higher level of skill, but suspect I lack the patience. I don’t like the symbology and I get frustrated by my card choices. That having been said, I like to play the game and watch what others do. Laurie knows what she should be doing, but didn’t seem to get the breaks. Daniel’s play was impressive. He deserved his wins. ]