Houston Gamers wrap-up: July 30
Doug, Joe, and Chris B. showed up right around noon, and together we launched into Medici. It was Chris B.'s introduction to the game, with Doug providing the explanation/refresher for the rest of us. Chris' unorthodox bidding threw off Doug and I - Joe won, Chris came in a close second, and then about 30 points behind sat Doug and myself. Wow, I like Medici and am glad I bought it.
After that, lots of people showed up, and I lost hope of keeping track. Here's what I caught (corrections/clarifications are welcome and encouraged):
Mike Dew and Ray Mulford did some hex-and-counter wargaming with Empire of the Sun. In spite of how long they played, I didn't get more than a glance at it. Mike, Ray, got those reviews ready yet?
I started up Steph, Alan, Crystal (co-worker), Lin (new), and Jaime on Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, and bowed out after explaining the game. No one had ever played before, although Steph and Alan had played the original.
Matt S. joined us for the first time, having seen the Houston Gamers calendar entry.
Kevin Nunn taught me how to play Blue Moon. I had previously bought the game on his recommendation, and hadn't mustered the gumption to work through the rulebook. I liked it, and completely understand the appeal.
Beth, Jimmy (new), and I played San Juan. I bowed out to haul my daughter Alexis around, and had Larry take my spot. He cruised to victory on my totally sweet setup.
Lewis, Raymund E. (almost new), Liz (new), and Amy played Saint Petersburg. I met Raymund a few years ago as part of the Rice crowd, and when he played in my ApolloCon events, I talked up the Houston Gamers meetings.
I taught Coloretto to Orlando (co-worker) and Beatrice (new), then we added Alan to the mix and played again.
I started, then bailed on, a game of Saint Petersburg with Stephanie and Chris B. (had to split to go haul the baby around). Liz graciously took over my position and went on to win a thrilling one-point victory!
Other tables: uh, Alexandros got played. Shadows over Camelot got played: no traitor, they all won. Also more St. Petersburg, I guess.
Somewhere in there, Traders of Genoa started.
At the same time, two Arkham Horror games fired up simultaneously. I think the table split was 5 and 7 players. My table of 5 (Kevin Nunn, Joel Garrick, James Spurny, Ed, and I) served the beats on the minions of Nyarlathotep, only getting one point on the terror track, and only up to about 7 on the Doom track. We sealed 6 gates handily, serving the forces of cosmic evil and delivering a victory for humanity.
Alison and Tim (my co-workers) dropped by. Not being huge gamers, they examined everything in the boxes, and ambled around nervously. Upon a request for Scrabble, I produced Fluxx, which they enjoyed. Lewis and Amy joined that table as Traders of Genoa finished up.
The other table beat the Mythos, eventually. While that was still going on, I played Sword and Sail twice (w/Kevin Nunn, James Spurny, Ed, and Joel Garrick). This is a freebie PDF game, which James had done a fine job of printing on backing-board, so the counters had a pleasant heft. It's a diceless game of area control, and is reasonably cool. The second game started to drag, and then continued to drag. To win, a player must occupy all provinces in a territory. It's easy to prevent that from happening, and Kevin Nunn finally permitted me to conquer Germania.
Bull Market hit one table, while Kevin Nunn, Joel Garrick, and I examined Inga, which is a Japanese game by Aeronauts. The cards looked cool and vampire-y, but turned out to have ability text in kanji at the bottom of every character card. Lots of cards, lots of kanji. No paste-ups available yet, which is a shame because, as I stress, it was really cool. With much regret, we put it away, and got out Oval Trick.
Kevin Nunn DID have English rules for Oval Trick, also a Japanese game by Aeronauts. It's a car-racing game of simultaneous card play, followed by movement that's affected by other cars' positions; the slip-streaming rules are forgiving, much more so than Formula De, for instance. We played a short sample game. Joel Garrick thought Oval Trick evoked a Formel Fun-type feeling: Racing, just slightly goofy. Interesting, would try again, probably needs more people for best results.
Final attendance around 25 or so, depending on who you want to count. This was a good mix between regulars and newbies.
The food worked out perfectly, with plenty of great snacks during the event, very few leftovers, and no messes created! Cleanup was easy, and the final posse's help in straightening and hauling was much appreciated.