Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gaming in Dayton

Dayton's game group generally only meets on shabbat, which would preclude me from attending. Perhaps in response to my request for an alternative day for gaming while I was in the area, or simply by coincidence, one of the gamers - Bruce - held a day of gaming in his house this past Sunday.

Bruce. Note the three shelves stacked with games behind him.

Although Bruce's house appears on Google Maps if you know where to look, searching for the street, or the cross-street, or any other street nearby only yields locations in other parts of Dayton. I managed to find his street on GM only by visually tracing the directions he gave out on the Dayton gamers mailing list (directions which were not otherwise helpful to me, as they assumed an origin from the north) until I located his street. Then I clicked the street and asked for "directions to here". At which point GM grudgingly admitted that the street existed, and spit out the directions.

Upstairs, from sometime before I arrived at 2, until sometime after I left at 7, four or five people played one of the Axis And Allies games.

Football games were shown continually and in succession on large screen TVs upstairs, and smaller screens downstairs.

Downstairs a group was playing Chaos in the Old World when I arrived.

When I left, some of these same people, and some additional ones, were playing Battlestar Galactica.

I saw a copy of Dominion Intrigue, and although I already have a copy waiting for me in Toronto, I wanted to get in a play. It also played quickly and for two to four people, which would make it convenient while I waited for others. We played four players: myself, Jim, Bruce, and David. I think. I may have the names or people wrong.

Our kingdom set contained none of the new hybrid kingdoms, which made things a little less confusing. There were a number of cards that looked quite good but that I didn't get to play: such as the card that gave you two of +2 coins, actions, or cards, depending on the top two cards in the deck of the player on your left.

I played Upgrades and a lot of trashing. After a dozen turns, I still had around 12 to 15 cards, just none of them were Estates or Coppers. I also trashed curses as they came in. I also played another card that we misplayed: I read it as giving you +4 coins if you trash an Estate, but you actually have to discard the Estate, not trash it. Oops. Luckily I'm not the only one who played it incorrectly.

I began drawing Provinces well ahead of everyone else. I won, but a little closer than i would have liked. I had 36, David 29, Bruce 22 or so, and Jim, who had played the original much less and seemed to have some trouble grasping the game gestalt, finished with 3 (13 less 10 curses).

After that we briefly considered a few games that could accommodate 6 players (or splitting up into two groups, or not letting Bruce play) and settled on History of the World.

I'd played once, and wasn't too impressed, it being a dice-based combat game, and a fairly long one at that. However, I was willing to play nearly any game, so long as it wasn't Fluxx.

My opinion of the game went up a notch; ok, it's more enjoyable than Risk. And the game experience was certainly fun, since the group of players was good company. However, the game is still inordinately luck based. You don't lose too much when you lose as defender, like you do in Risk, but failing to win combat as the aggressor is just as painful as it is in Risk. Furthermore, so much depends on the kingdoms you draw in each of the seven rounds, and there is far too little control about that.

Whatever, we had a good 3.5 hours rolling the dice and moving our counters on and off the board. I rolled fairly well most of the time. Bruce rolled fairly poorly most of the time, and he still equaled my score. Jim and David both shined. We only made it to the end of the fifth turn. It was running late, and one of the players had to go. Our points ranged from 115 to 95, with me tied with Bruce for fourth and fifth place at 100 points even.

The players were nice, and the day was enjoyable. It was good to meet them. Unfortunately, I didn't get to show off It's Alive. And I didn't get a chance to see anything else in Dayton.


Anonymous said...

Yehuda - Offer still stands for the Bookery if you make it next Sunday - and I'd be happy to try It's Alive.


Yehuda Berlinger said...

Thanks William. Maybe next time.