Saturday, December 08, 2007

Local Warming

Last night we hosted the Gathering of Friendless Episode 8, "Local Warming". We had six players - all the usual suspects and the kid. As we weren't sure what time everyone was arriving we played a quick throwaway game which CyberKev had to teach several times as everybody inevitably arrived just as the rules explanation was almost complete again.

The game was Throwing Golden Sevens which is one of Reiner Knizia's dice games from "Dice Games Properly Explained". Basically you roll 3 dice, and you're trying to minimise your score. Any number of dice which add up to seven count as 0. You can reroll any, all or no dice twice. Scoring high is bad, as when you reach 21 you're eliminate from the game. It's somewhat a game of luck, but also somewhat a game of maths. If you roll 1, 2, 6 on your first throw you could take the 2 points, (6 + 1 is 7, which counts as 0), or you could roll the 6 again hoping to get a 4. If you get a 4 you're better off, if you get 6 you're the same, if you get a 5 you score 1. Other rolls are not as good, but you're still scoring 6 or less (though 6 is quite a lot). As the game progressed players were eliminated due to blowouts - Hubertus scored a 14, Kevin a 16, Scrabblette a 9. I hung out to win, but it was noted that I had had a turn less than everyone else.

We then progressed to a serious game, I'm the Boss! This is one of the very few "fun" games that I really enjoy. The kid started by being a hard-nosed vindictive bargainer, and fairly soon people were refusing to trade with him. He needs to learn about the velvet glove and the big stick. CyberKev somehow got into his head that Jane was losing and Scrabblette was winning, so directed his deals towards Jane at Scrabblette's expense. Sadly, he was wrong, and managed only to give the game to Jane. At the crucial part of the game I was left holding some quite useless cards and couldn't make much of an impact.

CyberKev had brought Rumis+ (the 5-6 player expansion for the German edition of Rumis, which I have), so we tried that. This is a very good game, but with 6 players crowding to see the board from above I began to feel claustrophobic. Through some good management and some good fortune I saved some easy-to-place pieces till last, and was the only player to place all of my pieces and managed to win comfortably. I do like Rumis, though I sometimes feel I succeed because other people make mistakes which help me.

Hubertus and Jane had to leave to get up early, so we had 4 players and brought out TechnoWitches. I played this once about a year ago, and I was very bad at it, and this time I was no better. CyberKev parked his broom in front of me and I was unable to move. I should have thought my play through a bit better. BTW, we play that if you crash into something on your first move you MAY discard your tiles. The official rules say that you do not discard them, which is an awful problem if you crash into a castle, or into a witch who keeps crashing into a castle. Anyway, while CyberKev and I went nowhere Scrabblette and the kid headed off towards the cat. The kid was very close to the cat before I even crossed the start line. He won easily. Scrabblette was a close second, and CyberKev and I played on for third place. Showing that crime never pays, I pushed the evil blocker into last place.

The evening ended with a couple of games of Unspeakable Words while the kid whined that we never get to play Star Munchkin, or Battle of the Bands, or some other thing I don't need to play very often. Scrabblette won the first game, as she always does, but I did beat her in the second game - for the first time in maybe a dozen plays. Woohoo!

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