Gaming in Oregon, Part 2

We transitioned from epic gaming to shorter games on Thursday with the remaining guests arriving throughout the day.


20150226-Gaming-052.jpgIn the morning, I taught Clash of Cultures to David and KC. I played earlier in the week with Chris and Jeff providing a helpful refresh before I needed to explain it to a couple of new players. As with earlier plays, Clash is a nicely streamlined civ game with little down time. Our play lasted 5 hours, including setup and explanation. Experienced players should finish in under 3 hours. Virgin Queen finished early so Chris, David and I were able to play Maria much earlier than expected. Maria is a direct descendent of Friedrich, a game I own but have not yet played. It uses the same point to point style map and cards to resolve battles. Maria was over relatively quickly (little over a quarter of the potential number of turns) due to our (namely, mine) novice mistakes. That said, Maria is a great experience. The mechanics combine to create a wonderfully themed and playable war game about the War of Austrian Succession. As our closer, we played the great (and much lighter than anything else so far this week!) Ra with 3 players. Puerto Rico, Power Grid, 18AL and Texas Hold’em were going on throughout the evening.


20150227-Gaming-031.jpgFriday began with a play of Puerto Rico with Alex, Katie, Greg and myself. Others played Volldampf and Tigris & Euphrates. In the middle of the day, a game of Wallenstein broke out. Wally continues to be a favorite. It’s a great blend of several game styles and the cube tower just rocks for resolving combat! After dinner, we started playing Formula De with 10 players on the Belgium map. Eight of the ten cars finished. Formula De is very fun with the right group of gamers and this was one of those groups. Everyone played quickly and kept the game moving which is a key to a successful play of Formula De. I closed out the night in a game of Tichu with David, Matt and Bryann. After a rough start, Matt and I pulled out a win over David and Bryann.


20150228-Gaming-039.jpgFirst up was a 4 player Settlers of Catan with the Cities and Knights expansion. This is my favorite version of Catan although I like it best with 3 players. I stopped playing 5 and 6 player Catan several years ago because it ends up being longer than is desirable for what it is. Next up was Alan Moon’s Union Pacific. Alan has many great designs and Union Pacific ranks among them. Since you don’t quite know when the scoring rounds will be or when the game will end, Union Pacific packs an amazing level of tension in a game with the simplicity of Ticket to Ride. KC and Rita introduced David and me to the quick, cute game of Pool Position. Pool Position is a blind bidding game where you receive the points of the next lowest bidder to spend on where you place your towel at the pool. Since the lowest bidder wraps around and receives the points of the highest bidder, it becomes a cat and mouse game of timing when to play your lowest bid card to catch a high bidder’s points. It’s quick, light and fun. You can easily play this multiple times in under an hour.

KC and I learned MarraCash from David. We rushed all the shoppers into the mall and ended the game in about 30 minutes rather than the stated 60 minutes on the box. We might’ve been doing it wrong. 😀 We moved on to Knizia’s Stephensons Rocket before spending the evening in a Magic booster draft tournament using Conspiracy boosters for multiplayer matches.

Gaming in Oregon

I’m gaming with good friend, Chris Brooks, on the Oregon coast this week. During the first half of the week, we are playing epic and war games. Later in the week, a few more folks show up and we move into shorter, euro-style games. It is also great to have gaming friends, KC Humphrey (Havoc: The Hundred Years War) and Jeff DeBoer (Funagain Games), involved since I don’t see them more than once every year or so.


Maginot Line in Supreme Commander

Chris, Ken C and I played Supreme Commander. Supreme Commander is a European Theater strategic war game by GMT. Chris wrote about preparing for our play in the weeks leading up to this event. For a grand strategy game, the rules complexity is relatively low. Still, it is a BIG game! We played all day and didn’t progress beyond the end of 1940. After a whiskey, bourbon, rye, scotch tasting20150222-Gaming-002.jpg, we pulled out a few decks of A Game of Thrones LCG and a multiplayer game ensued.


Chris and I started with Richard III: The War of the Roses. R3 is a block war game by Columbia Games in the same vein as Hammer of the Scots. The mechanics of R3 are very much like Hammer but Chris and I felt R3 is a more straightforward implementation of the system and like it better. In the middle of the day, Doug C, Chris, KC, Jeff and I played Manifest Destiny. This is a card driven civ type game with a fair bit of player interaction. I enjoyed Manifest Destiny but, overall, like Clash of Cultures better and we played that later in the evening!


Communist pressure felt in Europe during Twilight Struggle

KC and I played Twilight Struggle in the morning. TS is a favorite of mine and covers the Cold War using the card driven mechanic that originated with We the People. In the afternoon, KC, Jeff, Alex C and I played Eclipse, a space themed 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) game that plays so well, I sold my copy of Twilight Imperium a few years ago.


In Eclipse, no one can hear you scream!

Jeff and I played Legend of the 5 Rings in the morning. L5R is a oriental themed collectible card game. It’s one of the only CCGs continuously published since it first appeared about a year after Magic: The Gathering. The rest of the day was spent deck building with the A Game of Thrones boosters Chris distributed the evening before and playing against each other.

To Be Continued…

The week is half over and has been great fun to this point. Tomorrow, we’ll play a few more epic games before moving on to the euro-style portion of the week.