Board Game Session Report for February 22, 2003: Ben Hurt, Crokinole, Guillotine, Magic: the Gathering


Chip's SOG session. 5-player Ben Hurt, 4-player Crokinole, 4-player Guillotine, 2-player Magic: the Gathering.

What I like most about Chip's SOG sessions is that he has a mix of people -- gamers and non-gamers -- over for the social event. And we get into all kinds of gaming: German board games, party games, conventional games, Dance-Dance Revolution video games, and Magic: the Gathering games. A well-rounded evening, if I may say so!

Ben Hurt

Players were Chip, Justin, Sean, Kye, myself. New players to the game were: Justin, Sean, Kye, myself. Kye had the first turn.

We spent 33 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

This is a dice game with a racing theme.

You are a chariot racer in Rome, represented by a die on an oval shaped track. Your chariot starts with a value of one, which represents its speed. You have a second die that you roll which represents movement. You roll that die and add the number on the two dice to determine movement around the track. Can't go through other chariots, but you can go around them.

Also, cards are dealt out and auctioned off before each race. Cards add drivers, improvements, events, all of which boost or hinder movement, speed or position.

We had a great time with this game, especially by the third and final race. The auction is a penny auction, which, if you know any game theory, is a nasty game that deteriorates into two players trying to outbid each other long after the value of what they're bidding on has been exceeded. This happens because the losers pays his bid as well, and the belief is that it's better to go for broke and getting something out of it, than to fall behind and lose.

Read the book Prisoner's Dilemma by William Poundstone to gain an appreciation for how game theory like this drove the nuclear arms escalation during the cold war.

I used this theory to good effect, engaging Kye in a bidding war (and losing) on the theory that if I win the race, I'll get a good chunk of money back. Then on the next race, players bowed out when they saw they'd get into a bidding war with me. This was great by me because additional cards is a tremendous advantage in the game.

Meta deals were allowed, and I also sold a valuable driver to Justin for a good chunk of money, though it didn't impact our ranking by score anyways.

Sean went nuts during the third race buying up drivers, even though he could only use one. I guess he thought if anyone had a driver, he'd be at a disadvantage. Ironically, we all passed him on the second lap before he finished his first. At that time, he bowed out and put his remaining money in the pot.

It was a very close race, otherwise.

It's agonizing, though, that a game with low production value and cost should take so much time.

Ben Hurt
Caption: Sean realizes he can't win at Ben Hurt.

Game lasted 107 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Ben Hurt at

Click here to learn more about Ben Hurt at


Players were Rob, Lajunes, Matt, myself. New players to the game were: Lajunes, Matt.

We spent 6 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Actually, I played four separate two player games.

We played this as a filler. The board captivated the interest of new players.

Game lasted about 15 minutes per game. Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Crokinole at


Players were Rob, Kye, Chip, myself. New players to the game were: Rob, Chip.

We spent about 9 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

This game was a fun filler as ever. This time, Chip ran across the same bad luck I had when I played the game the first time. He tried to cross me, though, and I played nasty cards on him out of spite.

Game lasted about 25 minutes per game. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Guillotine at

Click here to learn more about Guillotine at

Magic: the Gathering

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

I felt bad because we spent time drafting cards from pseudo boosters that Chip created using a random mix of cards with rarity distribution found in real boosters. and didn't play while I was off playing Crokinole, thinking I was waiting to play the game.

Sara played a white deck, I played a green/white deck.

Well, we both felt bad after this grueling game. We were at a deadlock for most of the game. neither one of us could penetrate the other's defenses, but Sara was continuously gaining a life.

The game ended with my loss because my draw pile of forty cards ran out. (Sara was on her last card.) I could kick myself because I played a card that allowed me to draw an extra card, and that's why I ran out of cards first!

Game lasted a long time. Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Magic: the Gathering at

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