Board Game Session Report for February 1, 2003: Magic: the Gathering, Starfarers of Catan, Haste Worte, Crokinole


Matt's session. 4-player Magic: the Gathering, 6-player Starfarers of Catan, 1-player Haste Worte, 4-player Crokinole.

I hooked up with Chip and played a game of Magic at his house before heading out to Matt's weekend gaming bash.

Magic: the Gathering

Players were Sean, Sara, Chip, myself. I had the first turn.

We played a team game with Sean and Chip on one team, Sara and I on the other. Sean had a creature-laden white deck. Chip had a goblin-laden red deck. Sara had a tapping blue deck. I had a meager black deck.

Chip and Sean got many creatures out. For a long time, Sara was foiling them by tapping creatures, making them ineffective. Unfortunately, we didn't have many creatures of our own to attack with. Eventually, Sara and I were overrun.

Game lasted 28 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Magic: the Gathering at

Starfarers of Catan

Players were Bruce, Mark, Chip, Ralph, Alec, myself. New players to the game were: Bruce, Chip, Alec. I had the first turn.

We spent 21 minutes going over the rules.

This is a space exploration themed, resource management game.

Players start on a fixed board of planetary systems and alien starbases. Each player rolls dice to find out what resources everyone gets that turn. Then the player trades for resources he needs, and buys ships with the intention to colonize or trade, or upgrade ships to go faster, shoot enemies, or increase trade level. Then use the funky space-ship to determine if a random encounter occurs, and how much movement they have for each ship. Encounters are novel in that they occur as questions with different results based on the answer. Sometimes a benefit results, sometimes a detriment. Establishing trade with an alien gets the player a card with a valuable ability.

The object of the game is to gain the most victory points, and game ends when someone reaches 15 victory points. Victory points come from establishing colonies, upgrading to a space port, establishing trade with an alien, shooting pirates at a planet, and colonizing a planet with ice rings and earning bonuses.

This was a grueling game with this many people. I think fatigue was more of a problem than downtime, but I'm starting to think that's true for any game lasting over two hours.

I shot to the lead in the middle of the game, but stalled as many players shot ahead.

Unlike the previous game I played, this one had many more opportunities to warp, though only I succeeded.

Chip made an incredible leap in logic, thinking that he didn't want to lose half his cards when the pirate was rolled, so he traded them away to Mark. Unfortunately, I was in the kitchen getting a snack at the time, so I couldn't stop him. I don't know what everyone else's excuse was. (But I'll give it to Settlers fatigue.)

Mark, being the man he is, took full advantage of the situation for the win.

Starfarers of Catan
Caption: Starfarers of Catan mid-game.

Game lasted 184 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here and scroll down to "1st" for Ralph's take on our games.

Click here to buy Starfarers of Catan at

Click here to buy Starfarers of Catan 5-6 player expansion at

Click here to learn more about Starfarers of Catan at

Click here to learn more about Starfarers of Catan 5-6 player expansion at

Haste Worte

This is a custom game Rob set up for the group.

Everyone breaks up into groups of four players. Rob reads a category and teams have two minutes to come up with a list matching the category.

Players then make a bid, saying how many items they have, and Rob checks it against the list of correct answers. Keep going until the team names the number of items of their bid to get that bid added to their score. Otherwise, they get zero points for the round.

The catch is, that when a team names an item, no other team may then name it. The twist is that the lowest bid goes first.

Fortunately, I had someone who played this before, Greg, on my team. He was able to throttle back my ambitious bid suggestions to good effect. The first category stumped us, because we weren't Star Trek geeks, but we held our own in the rest of the categories. It was mostly the other members who could rattle off a list faster than I could even think of them.

Our team tied for first place, and we ended up losing the tie breakers question (movie series of four or more movies.)

Click here for Rob's Haste Worte categories.

Click here to learn more about Haste Worte at


Players were Greg, Rob, Chip, myself. Chip was a new player to the game. Chip had the first turn.

We finished off the evening with a quick game of Crokinole. Chip tried it for the first time and really liked it. I pulled off an effective trick shot without intending to.

Game lasted 29 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Crokinole at

Click here for Chip's take on this session.

Click here for Matt's take on this session.

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