OCBG

Session Report

8-8-02

 

Where:      Pazzy’s

Who:          Paz, DTDB, DaveO, Lisa Lisa, Ricker

When:       5pm-midnite

 

 

OCBG finally got together for a regular game night, after a busy month which included taking a trip to Ensenada and hauling ass all the way up to Montrose for Games Day 8.  The Ricker was unable to attend either function, so it was about a month since we last met.  Reunited, cause it feels so good. Reunited, cause we understood.  El Rickor scored some new merchandise and was anxious to give them a shot.  We managed an early start, and it was an excellent evening with a smattering of gaming genres.

 

Ricker was first on the scene and was anxious to give his new acquisition of  Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation a try.  This two-player game by Reiner Knizia is yet another LOTR themed game, but damn does it ever work!  This is a Hera & Zeus/Stratego type game that has some solid components, and some excellent artwork.  Players each control a force of 9 characters (light vs. dark) whose identities are hidden from their opponent at the beginning of the game.  After strategically placing your pieces, battle ensues and victory is determined by your character’s power number, your character’s individual power, plus whatever you throw down from your hand of cards, which contains additional power numbers or special powers.  White wins if they can get Frodo into Mordor (Black’s home area), and Dark wins if they capture Frodo OR  invade The Shire (White’s home area).

 

This is definitely one of the best Kosmos two-player games to come down the pike in a long time, and the theme matches perfectly.  You’ve got some great bluffing, tactical, and strategic elements in this one, and it’s fairly medium fare.  It does take a game or two to fully understand not only your character’s powers, but your opponents as well.  Rick taught me the game and we went for it.  It’s a bit of a learning curve, and Rick stomped me pretty good.  Upon checking the game information on the Geek this morning, I discovered Rick failed to enlighten me about an alternative victory condition for the dark side,  which was the Frodo Capture.  He claims that the FF version didn’t have this rule.  We’ll see, Ricker, we’ll see.

 

 

Next we busted into the SDJ winner Villa Paletti.  I was all set to hate this game for robbing PR of the vaunted award, but as the box broke open, and were pretty impressed with the components.  Colored wood, a cool blood-tipped hook, and palettes of various sizes.  We were all pleasantly surprised with this one.  Foremost, it’s a fun game with some great tension.  Dexterity games usually bore me, but this one keeps you on  the edge of your ass from beginning to end.  Players get three types of columns in one color and are taken from the bottom of a floor and placed on it’s top.  As one top fills with columns, another smaller floor is placed on top of these, and now you must continue on until the final crashing conclusion.  Columns are worth various values, and the more you have on the top, the better.  Although I still think Puerto Rico should have taken the SDJ, this game is excellent for what it is: a fun game to play with the family.  Forget the comparison to Jenga…it’s no contest.  There is one thing that is unusual about the columns though. The columns were not all exactly the same length, so this meant that sometimes they did not support the floors and could be removed with little trouble and added to higher floors. The differences were very small (maybe half a millimeter), but enough to make a difference. But perhaps that adds an additional element of strategy?? We were all doing pretty well in this one, and our tower was balancing precariously on two logs on the third level.  Rick misplaced one, the collapse ensued, and DaveO painted the town victory red.

 

The next game was Quandry, one of my oldest games that the rest of the group had never played.  DaveO played the game as Flinke Pinke, which is the same game just produced differently in a little box with cards and coins.  Quandry is a placement game by Reiner Knizia, this is a unbelievably well-produced game (circa 1994 - would you believe Milton Bradley?) with nice, heavy tiles similar to Mah-jong pieces in weight and feel. Players in turn lay numbered pieces on tracks leading to the center, and then take a share in a different colored tile. The round ends when a track is filled. Scoring is based on your total share multiplied by the value of the final tile played on each track.  This one has some “tasty” choices in it, and plays pretty quickly.  It was a close one for the three guys who never played before, but my experience didn’t help me out of this Qua..(NO!)

 

Ricker             78

DaveO            76

DTDB             75

Pazzy              61

 

 

We hadn’t played a card game in quite a while, and it was close between Gargon and David & Goliath, but we went with D&G.  This game adds a very interesting twist to the standard trick-taking genre. There are five suits and players must follow suit, if they can. However, the winner of the trick is the highest card played, regardless of suit. The winner gets all the cards from the trick, minus the card he won it with. That card is given to the player that played the lowest card. After all tricks have been played, the scoring begins. Players score the face-value of the cards in the suits that they only collected one or two of, and one point per card for suits with more than two. The player with the most points after a number of hands wins the game.  I bought this one off e-bay about six months ago and played only once, with three and the other two were casuals who are mostly “eh” about any game I introduce to them, so needless to say my D&G game was disappointing.  I knew a good game existed there, I just needed to right group.  Enter OCBG….After round one, I jumped out to big-ass lead, and started my usual proclaimation of supremacy and talk of insurmountable leads…which didn’t last long as DaveO came back strong to best me by 3 going into the second half of the game.  Ricker and DownTown were pretty far back in the rearview the whole game, so it boiled down to me or O’Connor taking each other out….DaveO held onto his lead, and won his second game of the night.

 

DaveO            189

Pazzy              164

Rick                144

DTDB             107

 

 

 

 

Lisa made it home from work, Al’s delivered some meatball sandwiches, so we ate and moved on into Downtown’s request and main event of the night, The Traders of Genoa.

 

In Traders of Genoa, players take the part of Renaissance traders, moving about the city acquiring goods and filling orders for goods. Messages need to be delivered and privileges obtained. Of course none of this can be accomplished on one's own. Much negotiation and deal-making is the order of the day in an effort to become the richest deal-maker in Genoa.  Did someone say….negotiation?? That is the heart and soul of this game, and one of the many reasons why I would rank it in my personal Top Five Games I Would  Give Up Masturbation to Play.  Seriously though, it’s a tremendous game that incorporates fun, strategy, social interaction, and some damn tough choices all into one long mofo of a game taking three and a half hours.  But it passed the Pazzy test, as I stayed in the whole game, attentive, courteous, and honest.  I wasn’t bored ever.   You’re not sure who is really winning, as the money is hid away, so it came as a bit of a surprise when we counted up and Lisa Lisa kicked our butts badly.  How she did it, I can’t tell you, but it was pretty damn impressive.

 

Lisa Lisa        835

Rick                690

Downtown      675

DaveO            675

Chris               615

 

 

We ended up playing till 11:45, a late one even for OCBG, but it was a damn full evening of fun and games.  Next stop, Game Night next week, then next Saturday….it’s DEVIL DOG at The Ricker’s!!!!!!!!!!!