Sunday, December 04, 2005

Houston Gamers wrap-up: Hail, hail, the gang's all here

Last night, after we had the girls in bed, I headed out to Midnight Comics.

Just about everybody I know was there:

Kevin Nunn, Kevin H., Ed, Lewis, Ray, James, Michael, Maura, Amy, both the Dougs, Doug's daughter Jenny, R.J., etc.

Jenny had scored pizzas from her Papa John's gig. The barbecue chicken bacon pizza was delicious. I asked her how much she was working, since she's still in high school and I know she's in the band (they still have letter jackets... I thought that was dumb back in the early 1990s). She said about 24 hours a week, but they are flexible and she is taking Thursday off for a band competition. She was upbeat about the job, so that is encouraging.

Kevin Nunn bought Deflexion at BoardgamegeekCon. It's got a laser and a bunch of mirrored towers, and only 500 copies were made. He also showed me Easy Come, Easy Go, and we talked about upcoming conventions and some prototypes he's showing off. Since his first published game, Nobody But Us Chickens, was well-received, that opens doors for him at the major companies. He is at the point where his games are getting rejected with "Oh, this isn't right for us at this exact moment, but let me tell you who needs something like this!" Kevin's my hero.

Debra and I played Rat Hot, twice. Yech. There's a sudden-death mechanic where one player suddenly loses, ignoring accumulated point totals. Debra and I lost interest.

I also played my copy of Jambo with Debra. We chatted quite a bit, and I won. It's a good game, but I keep feeling like I'm missing something.

I played Mogul with Ed, Debra, Amy, and Michael, as Maura sat out. Mogul is a short, vicious stock-trading game. There are a number of railroad stocks in the deck. Each stock card represents both ownership and the ability to sell another color of stock. Also, since we're all robber barons, here's the mechanic: you bid by pushing a chip forward. Bids continue clockwise until a player drops. The player who drops gets all the chips. If you're not careful, you can run out of chips, which I did. At that point, the player to your right can pass, take the chips, and you are forced to pass as well, since you have no chips with which to bid.

I had several stocks, but Michael was getting money, and I was having to pass. He buckled and let me back into the game. We actually ended up in a bidding war on one of the final turns of the game. I did the right thing: bid all my chips. He did the right thing: have more chips than me. He won, sold his stock, and the next card flipped was the market crash (dramatic all-black with red stock line plummeting). I love Mogul, so taking second was great.

The store stayed open longer than usual and we all sat around chatting, not realizing that the Magic tournament was probably going to last until 2 am; I determined this later. Typically, the last rounds of the tournament are skipped, in favor of splitting the pot evenly. Tonight, someone wanted to play it out and go for the big money. $48, if I remember correctly.


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