I found my way to Dueling Grounds, one of the sites of the Toronto Board Game club. I arrive at 5:30 and there were only two others there. People began streaming in, however. Especially, a horde of Magic players eventually arrived for a weekly tourney of some sort. There were eventually around 40 people in the mid-sized basement, about half of whom were only playing Magic. Two distinct groups, really.
I nabbed the fourth and fifth person to arrive to play It's Alive with me, including my Toronto contact, Steve Xombe from BGG. Steve was nice and friendly.
I taught the rules and we were off without any difficulties. Both Villagers and Coffins didn't make much of an appearance until we were halfway through the deck, at which point they began to appear with regularity. The three 10 Coffins came out one after the other, and each of us picked up one at decreasing cost.
Steve eventually completed his game, but even with his bonus, I was slightly ahead in points owing to a strong board. The other player only managed to collect four parts, and most of his excess cash was wasted.
Next up was Bohnanza, owing in part to a lack of games brought to game night, strangely enough. We played 4 players, and the other three players were all named Steve. I didn't think I was dong too well, as my RHO was doing dandy. In the end, however, I wasn't too shy. RHO had 21, OO 17, me 16, LHO 14 or something like that.
Steve Xombe drifted to another table and two other guys (Rob and Kevin) sat down to play Princes of Florence with us. Unlike my group, we didn't play with any fix for the extra Profession card. Not surprisingly, second player won - and that was Kevin, the guy who said that we didn't need the fix because it all evens out. :-)
I thought I was doing just dandy in the game, but I was paying quite a bit more for my items than anyone else was, for some reason. Kevin got a Recruiter in the first round for 200 (!!!) while I pad 1100 for my Jester. Then Jesters sold for less money, while I paid 700 for my recruiter. That's just the way the ball rolls.
I came in third behind Kevin and my RHO, while my LHO was only a point behind me. Rob never played more than 3 works, and was trying to build his way to success. He even saved the last work for the last round and best bonus, but it wasn't nearly enough; he ended up 10 points behind fourth place.
Meanwhile I had been trying to negotiate with Dueling Grounds to sell me bulk Magic commons at a reasonable rate, but the most they would do for me was 10 cents a common, which I thought wasn't low enough for me. As I suspected te Magic players were more than happy to simply give away their common cards or sell them to me at much lower rates that that. I picked up a whole bunch of the newest commons with weird new abilities.
I even played one guy using one of his decks against him. Despite having to read the cards each turn and learn the new abilities, I managed a win with some nasty trample and extra elves, despite what looked like a nearly unblockable wall he had set up.
Anyhoo, looking forward to next week's game session.