Board Game Session Report December 31, 2006, January 3, 2007, January 7, 2007


This will combine a few sessions.

New Year's Eve at the Rusty Scabbard

We had a great turn out.

Nathaniel and his wife, Jamie were new. I met Nathaniel browsing games at the Scabbard. He just moved to the area and was an avid gamer at one time, so I invited him to join in on the fun.


First up was Shogun. This is a resource management game with a feudal Japanese war game theme. It's a re-theming of Wallenstein with a few minor changes, but the significant one being bidding for turn order which also wins players a card bestowing a bonus for the round.

Players were Richard, Melinda, Nathaniel, Jamie and myself. Everyone but me was new to the game.

I was weakening myself in an effort to expand. I lost a couple provinces at the end, but I can't say that that was a deal buster. Nathaniel played a strong game through out the session.

The game lasted about 3.25 hours plus a half-hour to go over rules.

Shogun end-game
Shogun end-game

I broke the scores down so you can see points for provinces, number of buildings, and ranks of building.

Click here to buy Shogun at

Click here to learn more about Shogun at


Nathaniel and Jamie left for the night. Melinda stepped out to do an errand. So, Richard and I played a game of Blokus. A two player game of this was less satisfying, trying to keep track of two colors at once. I ended up with one of my colors blocking my other color because I didn't switch that mind set! It's my fault, really, for losing track of the fact that I was playing two colors co-operatively.

Final scores were:

Click here to buy Blokus at

Click here to learn more about Blokus at

Electronic Catch Phrase Tsuro

More people arrived, so we played a couple games with the entire group: Melinda, Chris, Nicole, Richard, Dee, Andy, Mike and myself played Electronic Catch Phrase. Then, except for Dee, we played Tsuro, with Chris winning.

Click here to buy Electronic Catch Phrase at

Click here to learn more about Electronic Catch Phrase at

Click here to buy Tsuro at

Click here to learn more about Tsuro at

Fish Antics Five Crowns Killer Bunnies

We decided to break up, because some of us wanted to play longer strategy games, while others wanted to keep it light.

Chris, Richard, Andy/Eric, and Nichole played Fish Antics, Five Crowns and Killer Bunnies. I say Andy/Eric because they swapped places at some point.

I grabbed their score sheet for Five Crowns. Seems like the game ended after about five hands:

Click here to buy Fish Antics at

Click here to buy Five Crowns at

Click here to learn more about Five Crowns at

Click here to buy Killer Bunnies at

Click here to learn more about Killer Bunnies at


Then, Melinda, Mike and myself played Caylus. We all played the game for the first time.

Caylus is a resource management game with a them of castle building to win the favor of the king.

It took a long while to go over the rules, because the concepts didn't sink in right off the bat. But as we played, we understood the ramifications of the different actions we took.

One thing I didn't realize was how valuable getting gold and then monuments were, though I was actively trying to prevent players from getting gold when I could (mainly by moving the provost back when someone was at the mine.) When Melinda built her monument, her score shot up greatly. And, because that was the final turn of the game, I couldn't react in time to catch up.

Fortunately, I had an action to convert my gold to victory points, so I didn't straggle too far behind Mike.

The game lasted about 4.5 hours with rules explanation and a break to ring in the new year.

Caylus end-game
Caylus end-game

Final scores were:

Click here to buy Caylus at

Click here to learn more about Caylus at

January 3, 2007

Gaming at the Rusty Scabbard

Piece Pack Icehouse

I encouraged Melinda to bring her Piece Pack and Icehouse pieces. They are game building blocks, and there are many games available on the Net that build on those pieces.

First, we chose Snowman Meltdown. This is an abstract strategy game with a battling alien snowmen theme.

Each player has four snowmen made of three parts. A 5 x 5 grid is randomly created and snowmen are placed on their starting colors. A piece can only move in the directions and distance (0 through 5 with wrap-around) stated on their space. Players also start with coins which may be spent to add or subtract a space of movement.

When a snowman lands on a space with another snowman, she can ask the opponent for a coin or just melt a piece of the snowman. The opponent can refuse which amounts to an automatic melting of a piece.

Melinda won the game which lasted 1.25 hours.

Then we played a couple games of Icehouse Volcano. I had a big advantage over ShaunB and Melinda because I played it before, and could easily see the moves to my advantage.

Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Piece Pack at

Click here to buy Icehouse at

Click here to learn more about Icehouse at

January 7, 2007

Gaming at the Rusty Scabbard


I arrived late to find a game nearing the end. Seth, Chris, Nicole, Tom, Nathaniel and Jamie were playing Dragonology.

Dragonology is a roll-and-move game with a dragon-hunting theme.

Players are explorers who are traveling the world in order to discover three of the nine dragons. Then they travel to the mystical island to win.

Nicole had the three dragons and was on the parcheesi path to win the game -- if only she could roll the exact number she needed to advance to the winner's space.

Tom was ready to concede, but Nathaniel had one of the two cards which let him steal a dragon from Jamie. Then he reached the parcheesi path.

The other players had no hope to stop them and were two to three dragons away from having enough dragons to even consider going on the parcheesi path. They were going through the motions, while waiting for Nicole or Nathaniel to win.

In the end, Nicole rolled better for the win. The game lasted about 3.5 hours.

Click here to learn more about Dragonology at

Fish Antics

Then, Nathaniel and Jamie had to leave. Shaun and I joined in. We played some light games seeing that the store was close to closing.

We played Fish Antics. Chris and Nicole played the game before.

Fish Antics is a Go Fish variant in which cards specify how many matches you need to play it. Cards have special abilities that activate once played.

We played one hand and Seth, Shaun and I tied for the win.

The game wasn't very satisfying, and no wonder: it's for a maximum of four players, and we had six players. Chris did mention that he could buy more decks to make it playiable with more players.

Click here to buy Fish Antics at

Five Crowns

Then we played Five Crowns.

Five Crowns is a Gin Rummy variant in which players try to get a straight or run in the same suit. Cards not completing a run or a straight are counted against the player at face value. wild cards are 15 points. Jokers are 20 points. A round starts with three cards, and goes up to 13, in which the value of the card is wild if it matches the number of cards dealt. A turn consists of drawing a card, optionally going out, then discarding.

I messed up big time towards the end, forgetting that jacks and queens were wild at those times and discarding them, to Seth's advantage. But I went out with zero points on the final hand which seemed to throw Seth, who was consistently leading to that point to nearly double his score for the loss.

Final scores:

Click here to buy Five Crowns at

Click here to learn more about Five Crowns at

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