Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weekend Gaming

Most people just glance over these Weekend Gaming posts, so I can say anything I want and no one will know.


Let's start with what I've been reading - actually re-reading. I always need to re-read once in a while anything by William Gibson, and Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.

Gibson is the writer we use to prove to the rest of the world that science fiction can first and foremost be good fiction. And Tam Lin is just something lovely and literate that strikes something in me. Soothing.

El Grande

For lunch on shabbat we hosted Nadine and Adam from the game group, Zeke who used to come to the game group occasionally, and some other nice folk.

After lunch we played the classic El Grande, which Nadine has wanted to play again for some time. Zeke didn't mind playing it either, and Adam had never played.

I started out not worrying about intermittent scoring, which left me behind a bit in points but better in position. So at the first scoring, I pulled out in front by about ten points. The others caught up some and then I pulled ahead more by the end of the second scoring round, about fifteen points.

It ended with another catch up and pull ahead, with me ending at about 106 to 93, 91, and 88 (roughly). Still pretty close, actually, although I feel I played pretty tightly, and area control games are my thing.


Nadine then left to go to the shiur with Rachel, after which Adam and I would meet them to play Puerto Rico. Adam asked to play Go, which I was thrilled to oblige.

I had thought I was already advanced enough to graduate from the 9x9 board to the 11x11 board, but apparently I'm not. We started off giving Adam a two stone advantage and the game ended very closely. For a new player, he is quite strong. Some forced battles in the corner, and I lost with 36 points to his 45.

In the second game he only received the first move advantage, and aside from one wrong move on my part, I played a slightly better game. Of course, the one wrong move - not securing a double eye for a territory that I needed, but felt that I could just get later - was a fatal mistake. I noticed it immediately, and would have asked fro my move back, but I wanted to see what would happen. I watched for fifteen moves as he forced my moves in some other area of the board until he finally looked back at that location and then took the spot that I should have. So I lost again. Very nicely done on Adam's part.

Go is a great game.

Puerto Rico

We met up with Nadine and Rachel for Puerto Rico, still the best game in the world despite a wee problem of imbalance when a new player plays. Adam made some mistakes - perfectly reasonable ones for a new player - which resulted in Rachel being able to capitalize on them for some huge bonuses. I struggled along, but without much hope.

The strangest move was when I, with a Harbor, took Captain, which was practically begging for Adam to monopolize a coffee boat (he had a monopoly in coffee). I did this just to prevent Rachel from having continuous access to free boats in order to stop her from shipping her four corns every round. But Adam wouldn't bite, since he wanted to trade the coffee.

For a change, we tried to play with minimal advice given, which was nice.


A forum site for tabletop sports games. Not that I've ever played any, or likely ever will.


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