Game Night on the CBBS Homeworld: August 16, 2008
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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On a hot and sweaty August evening, in the steppes of Eastern Washington, 17 brave individuals engaged in a contest the likes of which have not been seen in these parts in well over 21 days. The contenders included Joe, Andy, Bryan, Alan, Nyck, Lyra, Tim, Eric, Devan, newcomer Maili, Michael, Lynette, Sandy, Richard, Zontziry, Bianca, and Nate.

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1. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:569] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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At precisely 6:30 pm, eleven players showed up simultaneously, to much grumbling about the lack of prime parking spaces. Many of the group chose to engage in idle jibber jabber, but several wandered over to Table Two where the traditional opening puzzle game of Ricochet Robots awaited. After a half-dozen robots found their way home, the quick establishment of a quorum led to the early end of this game, in order to free up the table for the plenary game session. We'll say Andy won, because he otherwise won't show up very much in this session report.
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2. Board Game: Liftoff! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4355]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Biological relative Joe was in town, and boldly reserved Table One for a massive and CBBS-atypical game of Liftoff!. Andy, Bryan, and Alan were lured by the promise of being the first to reach the moon - a fateful decision, as Table One would remain occupied in this pursuit for the next six hours.

Many of Joe's European rockets blew up on the pad, while Andy accumulated many rubles but was unlucky in his several attempts to land his comrades on the moon. Alan faced crippling budget cuts from Washington, but Bryan's patience allowed China to build the expertise needed to ultimately win the race to the moon.

Andy's plaintive cry that "that was... statistically... abberant!" had no impact on the final standings.

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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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With Table One so occupied, the lean, mean, gaming machine of Richard, Zontziry, Nate, and Bianca retired to the Lounge to indulge in a game of Rich's newly-acquired Agricola. (Tim notes, with some bitterness, that it sometimes sucks to be the host, where one cannot abandon one's guests without the requisite number of game splainers for several hours just because one wishes to play one specific game. Grumble.)

But the Agricolholics were actually able to finish in a timely two hours, a feat even more remarkable because three of the players had not played before. Nate scored an impressive 47 points, besting Rich's 45 (after the latter made a three point error on the final turn), Bianca's 29, and Zontziry's 16.
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4. Board Game: Ys [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:899]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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On Table Two Tim attempted to general a game of Ys, which was on both his and Nyck's list of hot games to play one of these days. Lyra completed the troika.

After many false starts and rules fumbles, only some of which can be attributed to the crippling heat outside, the game was successfully played. To be fair, this early Ystari effort does not have the rules laid out in the best manner for reference during the game, and a player aid would have helped. But once the game is in swing the decisions are interesting and the mechanisms work together in an interesting way. Tim rode a third-round play of the merchant along with a sweep of the commercial districts to build an insurmountable lead.
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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As a few more stragglers were expected, Lynette and Sandy sat out the other games for a few minutes until Maili, Michael, and Devan finally arrived. The traditional gateway game of Ticket to Ride was chosen to offset the heavy gameplay occuring on Table One and the Lounge. Lynette ultimately prevailed with 109 points, with a very close race for second won by Sandy (92), followed by Devan (90), Maili (89) and Michael (88).
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6. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:868]
Tim Shippert
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Richland
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Eric arrived just in time to join Tim, Nyck, and Lyra in this relatively quick puzzle game, which was chosen as the other tables were still in the midst of their games. Tim fell behind early, as Nyck and Lyra were able to place their machines with a minimum of pipe laying. But the last three turns saw Tim able to turn a prodigious haywire of piping into several 2 and 3 value connections between his machines, and he edged Nyck with the bonus points so accumulated.

Eric also played.
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7. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1218]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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As the other three tables still weren't finished (actually, no surprise for a couple of them), yet another quick game was desired. Nyck was able to gather more SETs than Tim, Lyra, and Eric.
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8. Board Game: Metro [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1453]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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With some hint that the Agricola game might be approaching something resembling a conclusion (we won't even discuss Table One at this point), Table Three decided to try and squeeze in a game of Metro, which is another fine choice for new players.

Lynette achieved gold medal standing in, apparently, the 1924 Olympic Track Laying competition, with 45 points. Sandy won the silver with 30 points, while Devan, Maili, and Michael, according to the scoresheet, were all relegated to bronze medals, despite also scoring 30 points each. This chair was not aware of any tie-breaking rule in Metro, so perhaps a formal protest to the IOC is forthcoming.
 
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9. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:317]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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With the Lounge finally free of farm animals and clay miners, the first (!) reconfig of the evening saw seven traitorous traitors convene traitorously in the back room for a rousing game of Shadows over Camelot. Despite the presence of several new players, the Shadows over Camelot: Merlin's Company expansion was also in play, because what could possibly go wrong?

As expected, the new travel cards made things much harder, despite almost every knight spending a turn or two in Camelot stocking up on cards to combat being Lost, Ambushed, or Charged. Much of the game involved a fierce tug of war between Light and Darkness on all quests, and an hour into the game saw a mere two black swords and one lone white sword on the Round Table.

Eventually, a concerted effort allowed the Knights to acquire Excaliber, but a run of Despair cards left the Grail on the brink of failure. With no traitors uncovered, the sword count sitting even, and several Witch and Black Special cards blocking any progress, the fall of Camelot seemed certain. But a run of good white cards and a successful campaign against the Picts eliminated the black specials, and the endgame saw the Knights with 7 white swords to 4 black - but with the Dragon and the Black Knight both one card away from ending the game, where any traitors would flip enough white swords to black to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

A fortuitous play of Clairavoyance bought the Knights just enough time to draw enough cards to finally find the Grail. The tally was 10 swords to 4 - but shockingly both Maili and Eric were revealed as vile undiscovered traitors, flipping three whites swords to black and evening up the score! However, on the last turn Sir Galahad had invoked Divine Favor, allowing loyal knights Lynette, Sandy, Devan, Nate, and Tim to win any ties and thus prevail. The golden age of Camelot was therefore established for the next thousand years.
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10. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:721]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Meanwhile, in the main room, six intrepid Hunters, Vampires, and Normals fought it out in Shadow Hunters. Bianca was killed within the first five minutes, taking Zontziry with her. Nyck lost when Rich and Lyra combined for victory, but Michael was able to share in the victory due to his special victory conditions.

A second game was immediately played with the same players; this time Z, Rich, and Michael prevailed.
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11. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:288]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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With Shadows over Camelot still in progress, and, well, you know about Table One, another lighter game was required, and Biblios fit the bill. Rich lost to Nyck on the tiebreaker, while Lyra and Michael looked on.

Tim notes that he has never heard of this game, and that it has been many years since that has happened.
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12. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:476] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Meanwhile, having apparently grown weary of the company of the others, Zontziry and Bianca engaged in a fierce battle of this excellent member of the GIPF family. Z reigned supreme, and danced a jig of disrespect over Bianca's defeated corpse.
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13. Board Game: DVONN [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:345] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
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In revenge, Bianca destroyed Z's hopes and dreams by crushing her physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, in yet another excellent GIPF descendant.
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14. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:621]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Your humble narrator cannot begin to conjecture upon what twisted series of events must have occured to find Rich playing Michael, Lyra, and Nyck in this Sid Sackson game of dice rolling and risk taking. Lyra was victorious; the lack of additional notes shall be remarked upon no further, for fear of what dire secrets they conceal.
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15. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:682]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
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The final filler of the reconfig was a mighty clash of the titans as Nyck, Lyra, Richard, and Zontziry fought tooth and nail to defend their chickens from Loopin' Louie. Songs shall no doubt be written about how Zontziry vanquished her rivals; further details will have to wait for a more accomplished chronicler than I.
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16. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:721]
Tim Shippert
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Richland
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With Shadows over Camelot finally complete, the six remaining non-Table One gamers engaged in yet another game of Shadow Hunters. Shadows Nyck and Lynette were victorious over Hunters Tim and Z and puny humans Lyra and Rich.

During this game Lynette accidentally lied to Tim about being his teammate; the fact that her power allowed her to lie did not come into play, because she thought she was telling the truth. Philosophers will have much to discuss about the morality of her ultimate victory.

Nevertheless, in a feat that overshadowed that piker Michael Phelps, Lynette won every game she played in over the course of the evening, and only slightly cheated some of the time.
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17. Board Game: Airships [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1622]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
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When Table One finally finished their game of Liftoff! at 1am, they wanted to add a second game to their account of the evening, and thus Bryan, Andy, Nyck, and Tim finished the proceedings with a rousing game of Airships. Tim's failure to secure the third stage of the Hindenburg left the door open for Bryan to nab the last two stages in one double turn, and therefore the victory.
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18. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:3723] [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:71]
Tim Shippert
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Richland
Washington
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It was a confusing night for the foodstuffs. The M&Ms and nuts were consumed ravenously, as were most of the Sea Salt and Vinegar and New York Cheddar potato chips. Six Crows and four Strawberry Whoppers were all that remained after the last game was played. But the Rainbow Goldfish were largely ignored, and the Spice Drops were much less popular than their candy Fruit Slice cousins. A phantom bag of empty tortilla chips is all that remains of what, one must presume, was a snack brought by one of the attendees. In fact, many players brought something to contribute, including many baked goods, but most took whatever leftovers there were home before a proper accounting could be made. I know from personal experience the chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips were yummy, but the number that were eaten and who provided them are lost in the mists of time.

There was an additional, spurious claim that a vegetable platter, including vile and poisonous broccoli, was completely consumed this night. Such transparent lies are outragous and shall not be born.

Potables were much more consistent; the Mandarin Lime and Cherry Vanilla Creme sodas were consumed in equal measure with the YooHoo and diet sodas. Precisely one gallon of water was also imbibed, as precious fluids lost to the approximately one-grillion degree weather were replenished. However, for unknown reasons, many Pomegranate sodas still remain undrunk.
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