Alfred, Come Down Here.

A blog to chronicle the gaming exploits of a small group of Portland board gamers who are a little too obsessed with Christian Bale's Batman voice.
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Session Report #5: November 25, 2012

Lee Benson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Session Report #5: November 25, 2012
aka "Alfred, come down here and bring the Visa."

Hey hey y'all, we're back with another edition of Alfred, Come Down Here, the blog that's a little too obsessed with a certain billionaire's butler. We're introducing two new features. The first is The Ratings, where we score each game on a rather simple scale. The second is The Achievements, where whenever someone performs something impressive, we announce their unlocked achievement.

The Players
Amanda
Collin
Lee
Mike

The Rundown
This week, the plan was to meet at our FLGS, Guardian Games, to try out some games in their library. I scoped out the selection and sent everybody a list to weigh interest in our various options.

We all met in the back room, and after about five minutes of explaining Village, we had to move out of the back room because two of us didn't have IDs. The back room at Guardian starts selling beer at 1:00pm! They were quite nice, and we moved the entire table to the other room instead of having to break down our game and set it up again.

Since I had read up on the rules of Village, I walked everyone through the gameplay. Explanation went well and gameplay went rather smoothly. Not everyone loved the action selection aspect and found it difficult to employ strategies. Everyone chose different routes to victory, which made for an interesting game, but Collin came out on top when he held multiple market days in one round.

We decided to take it down a notch and I'd had my eye on Pack & Stack for a while, so everyone agreed to give it a try. The rules are quite brief and we played a quick round to see how it worked. Everyone enjoyed this one, especially the hectic truck selection phase. After one game, people were keen to play again, now having a better sense of how to play, so we went for another round. My packing and shipping job has finally paid off because I claimed a victory in each game.

It was at this point that Collin brought out Loopin' Louie. We had the game set up and ready to go. Everyone was excited to finally play and be the envy of the entire store! All we needed to do was put in the chickens...which Collin had left at home.

We put away Loopin' Louie and brought out the store's copy of Alien Frontiers, which most of us have been wanting to play. People enjoyed it and there were interesting decisions to make on each turn. Mike was leading for most of the game, but Collin managed a surge near the end and pulled out another win.

Collin then taught Jungle Speed to Mike and me. I did okay, but Mike ended up with almost the entire deck. Collin technically won, when he explained how you win the game in the middle of a duel. It was cold-blooded.

We decided to mosey on out of Guardian, but first had to take advantage of the 20% discount available on Euro Game Day! I picked up a copy of Pack & Stack and Collin picked up The Boss.

We headed over to my place, where we ate dinner. Amanda wasn't feeling 100%, so she watched some television while the boys played games. We started off with Escape: The Curse of the Temple, losing the first round, narrowly winning the second and handily winning the third. Amanda had to put the subtitles on because we were all yelling things like, "I have a gold mask; does anybody need it?!" and "I've got a man man!"

Mike then suggested Poison, which they had played last week when I was absent and we all agreed. He set up the three unnecessary but awesome cardboard cauldrons and took about 60 seconds to explain the game. Collin was ambivalent about it (except when he was winning) so was back to "meh" at the end because I grabbed the win with eight points to Mike's 10 and Collin's 16.

We opted for Collin's new copy of Sunrise City because we really don't play many tile-laying games. Collin briefed us on the game and we understood most of what we were doing, so we soldiered on. I enjoyed the maximization element of the game, as planning out your move to get two victory points instead of one was difficult yet satisfying. I think we all felt that gameplay felt a little disjointed, as actions performed in one phase didn't necessarily mean you could utilize them in the next phase. (Also, the color of the printing on the building tiles didn't match the color of the zoning tiles, making gameplay tricky at times.) We all dealt with it though and had fun with it, and I managed to pull out the win, not by earning the most points, but by landing precisely on the star many times to earn more benchmarks.

We ended our night with 7 Wonders, which took about five minutes to set up and 20 minutes to play. During play, we regaled each other with the most ridiculous Elvis impressions you've never heard. As for the game, I thought I was on the road to victory (with my seven science symbols), but Mike still managed to beat me by five points.

At this point, we called it a night and let Alfred (and Elvis) go to bed.

The Statistics
# of wins per players
Amanda: 0 (To be quite fair, she sat out of a fair number.)
Collin: 3 (Village, Alien Frontiers, Jungle Speed)
Lee: 4 (Pack & Stack x2, Poison, Sunrise City)
Mike: 1 (7 Wonders)

# of games played
11 plays of 8 distinct games

Median year of games played
2010

Average playing time
35 minutes

Total Time Spent Playing (according to game lengths on BGG)
6:15

Total Time Actually Spent Playing
About 10 hours.

The Ratings
means that they enjoyed it a lot.
means that they enjoyed it.
means that they thought it was okay.
means that they did not enjoy it.

Four Players
Village
Lee - Collin - Mike - Amanda
Total

Pack & Stack
Lee - Collin - Mike - Amanda
Total

Alien Frontiers
Lee - Collin - Mike - Amanda
Total

Most popular: Pack & Stack
Least popular: Village

Three Players
Jungle Speed
Lee - Collin - Mike
Total

Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Lee - Collin - Mike
Total

Poison
Lee - Collin - Mike
Total

Sunrise City
Lee - Collin - Mike
Total

7 Wonders
Lee - Collin - Mike
Total

Most popular: 7 Wonders
Least popular: Jungle Speed

The Achievements
Game: Pack & Stack
Achievement: Perfect Fit
Description: Fit every block into every available truck space, paying no penalty points.
Unlocked by: Lee and Mike
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