Visited the Oxford Gaming Club to play a little more Magic. This evening, attendance was low and people had to go early, so we didn't play an entire draft and Swiss rotation like we did last time.
I started with a game of ... I don't remember the name. Oops. I thought it was The Great Wall of China by Knizia, but the description on BGG doesn't match what I played. Here's a description: A partial map of Italy (I think) divided into 17 areas. Each player gets 6 cubes. The object of the game is to win 6 areas, or any 4 contiguous areas.
There is a deck of cards, with various numbers of tan cards valued 1 to 10 (missing some numbers, I think). In addition, there are several special cards, such as a red 10 unaffected by other special cards, a red 1 that gives you control over where the next fight will take place, winter which cancels spring and changes all yellow cards to value 1, spring which cancels winter and gives a 3 point bonus to all highest valued cards, a raven that lets you take back a card, a cross that ends the round immediately (winning the current battle for whomever is currently in the lead), a drum that doubles all your card values, and others.
The play is like Havoc: each player continues to play cards, one at a time, until everyone passes. Once you pass, you can't play any more cards. The winner is the player who has played the highest total value. Every player then redraws back up to 10 cards plus the number of areas he or she already controls (the rich get richer).
I lost a few rounds because I didn't know what I was doing. By round 4 or so, I knew what I was doing. I lost one more highly competitive round, but then took 4 of the next 6 rounds, winning with 4 contiguous areas. The cross cards are deadly, and the drums nearly as deadly. The ravens are worthless.
It was ok. It worked, but it wasn't anything special. Kind of like Odin's Ravens or Traders of Carthage.
Next up I played a few games of Magic. I didn't have any cards, and we weren't drafting, so I played against a guy using one of his decks against one of his other decks.
My deck was WUG with Allies, which are very powerful. So powerful that I beat him while he was playing what he said was the stronger deck. We switched decks, and now I was playing BRG with a number of strange combo cards, such as cards that do damage to your opponent whenever your opponent tosses a card, and many cards that cause everyone to draw and toss cards. This time he won with his "weaker" deck, but I may have played my deck incorrectly, as the cards were all new to me.
One more game against a different opponent, this time with cards that had the new ability to give +1/+1 to any of my creatures until the end of the turn if it attacks alone. And since nearly every card I played had this ability, I did quite well. Especially once I got out another card that gave me a second attack round each turn; at which point I discovered that not only did I get +X/+X for my first attack, but +2X/+2X for my second attack (since the ability triggers twice and lasts until the end of the turn). And some of my creatures were unblockable. My opponent played an Elf deck, which is more annoying than effective, though it was close. He kept gaining life equal to the number of Elves he had in play, but I was still doing more damage than he could gain. Even when he played some Planeswalkers, all of which I believe are terribly overpowered.
After game night, I came home and played Scrabble with Rachel. She had two bingos to my one, and she also scored well with a double triple-letter X. Final score was around 400 for her to 320ish to me.
Now in the CVG airport.
I bought the ticket for this flight together with my entire international ticket, but my travel agent warned me that this particular leg to Dallas wouldn't be counted as part of the international ticket, so I would have to pay extra for my luggage (and wouldn't get the usual two free pieces). When I called American Airlines last night, they told me not only this leg, but also my leg to Toronto from Dallas wouldn't be considered part of my international flight, and I would have to pay extra suitcase allowance for that leg, too.
When I checked in this morning at the airport, the machine let me have two free suitcases on this leg, after all. I suspect that that's what will happen again when I check in for my flight from Dallas.
There was no one else checking through security; no one at all. Just me and six TSA agents. Out of boredom, they took a little extra time to pat me down (upper body only).