JUNE 25, 2002

There: Paz, Lisa, Downtown DB


After my recovering from my birthday weekend, I was ready for some medium to light gaming, and called the troops.  Most of the group was busy, but DTDB and Shannon confirmed so wed have 4 with Lisa and I.


DT showed up (sans smoothie?) and we caught up a bit on the events of the past week.  Lisa started slicing cheese (still left over from PDOGII) as we waited for Shannon to arrive. 


Lisa had yet to play Kingdoms, by Reiner Knizia, and its an excellent three player game, so we got to it.   The board is a 5x6 grid into which negative and postiive tiles and castles are played. Each turn, players may play the tile in front of them, a tile from the top of the shared deck, or one of their castles. These can be placed anywhere on the board. The round ends when the board is filled. Players score for each row and column of the board on which they have a castle. The score is the sum of all cards on the row or column multiplied by the value of the castle. The special cards allow a row/column to be split, reduce all positive cards to zero, or double the value of a row. You take back any one point castles played but discard the rest. Three rounds completes the game.
I really like this game, and have introduced to many non or casual gamers over the past few months with great success.  Its easy to teach, easy to learn, and everyone has a shot to win their first time playing it.  Lisa was hesitant to throw any negatives down on DaveB, but after assuring her he planned on throwing her a negative or two once he got the chance, she decided to storm the castles.   I was the victim of severe brutality, as both didnt hesitate to stick me with the negatives (including one costing me neg 36).  I never had a chance.  DTDB and Lisa were fighting this one all the way down to the last placement, and the game ended in the closest game Ive ever come across in Kingdoms. 


DTDB      267

Lisa      264

Chris     188
 As the chances of Shannon showing up became dimmer, Lisa had a call to make so DTDB and I decided on a two-player game of
Zertz.  I won this game at the last P-DOG prize table, and was anxious to give it a try.  DTDB had actually been taught the game by DaveO over the weekend at some Secret Gaming Society Function, so he was well versed in the rules. In this highly abstract affair, players compete to acquire sets of multi-colored balls. This is mostly accomplished by jumping one ball over one or more others, checkers-style, on a hex board. A player's turn consists of either jumping (which can be forced) or placing any color ball on the board and removing an empty space from the edge of the board. This one is really tough.  Youve got to plan well in advance to form your strategy, and the board shrinking every turn throws a cool element into the game.  I got beat by DTDB in all 3 games we played, but in this one, the more you play, the better you get.  Look forward to playing this one again.


DTDB won all 3 by:

Game I 2 of each

Game II 3 white marbles

Game III 3 white marbles



Lisa finally finished her call, and with Shannon now for sure not showing, we decided to do a little Samurai.  This was one of the first games that Lisa and I played with DaveO and Sarah, and we both are fans of it.  DTDB brought his copy, so after a quick Tonys NY Style Pizza, we went medieval.

Players use hexagonal tiles to surround cities, which have one to three different figures: rice paddies, buddhas, or high hats. The tiles represent influence on particular facets of the cities, and the highest influence on a figure when the city is surrounded takes that figure. The object of the game is to have more of any one else in one category, and then have the most remaining figures. 

The art and pieces in this one are excellent.  The theme is a nice fit, and I like the screens to hide your winning pieces.  The gameplay moves right along, and there are some great decisions to make at the beginning, the middle, and especially, the end.

Some nice moves were made during the game by all, but I proved to be the strongest of the Seven (or in this case 3) Samuari.


Chris     Majority in Hats AND Rice Patties

Lisa      Majority in Buddhas

DaveB     8 assorted pieces


A great game night, albeit with just 3.  Thanks to DTDB for making the trek out even after a full weekend of gaming.  It was great having him over, and we look forward to seeing both you and Marcia on July 6th!