The Eternal Summer of the CBBS Game Night
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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On June 26, 2010, thirteen gamers put down their vuvuzelas and descended into the Official CBBS Gaming Basement for a session of gaming. It might just have been to get away from the heat, but we shall take it as evidence that game playing in Eastern Washington is alive and well. The attending gamers were Tim, Joe, Bryan, Counterclockwise Scott, Nyck, Nathanial, Scott, Birgit, Nolann, Krista, Mary, Vincent, and first-timer Lindsey.


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1. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:579] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 6:30pm
End time: 7:05pm


We began, in perfectly reasonable fashion, with a game of Ricochet Robots. What more can be said about this traditional straggle-inner? Only that Tim, Joe, Bryan, Counterclockwise Scott, Nolann, Scott, and Birgit all got at least one solution.
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2. Board Game: duck! duck! Go! [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:3956]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 7:00pm
End time: ~9:15pm (two games)


As the plenary session of Game Night began, we had eleven gamers but were missing some of our traditional splainers; thus, we needed a 5-6 split for the first games of the evening. Fortunately, Nyck had come prepared, bringing his game of duck! duck! Go!, which can easily handle six; those six were Birgit, Bryan, Nolann, Joe, Nathaniel, and Nyck.


There were actually two games of duck! duck! Go! played (the second included late-arriving Mary and Vincent), which we shall represent visually by providing a second photograph:


In both games Birgit apparently got all her buoys first, but was ultimately snaked out of the victory, first by Nathaniel and then by Joe. Such is the life of a duck circling the drain.
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3. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1599]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 7:10pm
End time: 8:30pm


Meanwhile, on Table Two, Tim ran a five player game of the classic Spiel des Jahres winner Mississippi Queen for Counterclockwise Scott, Krista, Lindsey, and Scott.


Tim won the spinoff to go first, but the first few tiles included sandbars, logs, and archipelagos, and his lead position meant he couldn't plan for the obstacles and was forced to take a long, slow path to get back on track. Scott emerged from the awkward maze in first place, and managed to maintain that position for most of the race. As we headed to the final stretch, Counterclockwise Scott and Tim had finally caught back up to Scott, but both had to burn all their coal to pick up their passengers, while Scott still had some coal left. Tim might have been able to slip by CCWS on the left to pull into the final docks in first, but Scott got in his way and cost him a precious hex of movement, which he couldn't make up for because of his lack of coal. It looked like CCWS was lined up for a classic 3-2-1 victory - when suddenly Krista, who had been hoarding coal all game, came barreling onto the final tile at high speed, pushing everyone around and messing up everyone's lines. Unfortunately, she didn't have enough coal to slow down for the win herself, and had to take another loop around the central island on the final tile - allowing Scott to slip into the docks first, followed closely by Tim and CCWS. An early push left Lindsey on a sandbar, and she never fully recovered, finishing in fifth.
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4. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1622]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 8:35pm
End time: 8:45pm


The second game of duck! duck! Go! was taking, predictably, longer than expected, so Table Two would require a couple five-player fillers. First up was the game this situation was made for, Zack und Pack, with Tim, CCWS, Krista, Lindsey, and Scott the z/packers.


Only one game was played, but we shall provide a second picture simply because Tim accidentally uploaded both rather than choosing the best. You are welcome.


From the beginning everybody declared their undying hatred of this game, although most players had at least one good round to buck up their spirits. Counterclockwise Scott would prove the exception, however, dropping below 0 on round 4, leaving Scott the winner with 55 points, Krista in second with 48, Lindsey in third with 35, and Tim in shameful fourth, with but 31.

This game saw the notable situation of Krista rolling just two white cubes and nothing else; apparently, she was merely packing for a quick weekend trip. As she did pretty well overall, one assumes that a small truck was, in fact, available that round.
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5. Board Game: Finito! [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:3356]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 8:50pm
End time: 9:00pm


Obviously, Finito! was going to be played to fill in the remaining ten minutes before the reconfig. Tim, Counterclockwise Scott, Krista, Lindsey, and Scott played, and the latter two won. Voila!
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6. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1257]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 9:00pm
End time: 10:00pm


Thirteen gamers means a three table reconfig, so on Table One we pulled out Samarkand: Routes to Riches. This has seen a lot of recent play, and for good reason, because it plays quickly, is fairly easy to splain, and can handle a good number of players. This time around we had four, with Tim, Counterclockwise Scott, Lindsey, and Mary as the traders along the Silk Road.


This time around Tim tried something different, buying into only two families and trying to get them to both connect to five of his cards. The problem with this strategy is that you don't get a big selection of cards to choose from, and it's hard to get a lot of connection points with only two colors to work with. The other problem is that it requires your two colors to travel along the same paths, and if somebody dumps a camel of another color in the way you can get blocked pretty easily.

The upside is that you aren't spending extra turns and money buying into families, but in the end it wasn't enough, as Counterclockwise Scott's three families with lots of interconnections brought him 61 points, while Tim had to settle for second place and 53 points. Lindsey and Mary scored 51 and 50, respectively, which are fairly decent showings for first time players.
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7. Board Game: Lectio [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2305]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 9:08pm
End time: Perhaps the chick with the axe got the timekeeper


Meanwhile, Nyck decided to run Lectio on Table Three for Birgit, Scott, Nathaniel, and Nolann.


The scoresheet calls this the "Deathmatch Edition"; apparently Nolann had 3 2s and 3 1s in the first round and ended up scoring big, while Scott in one round found a "sweet finisher" of four sets of pairs. Nathaniel was the Lord of the Fivers, able to play a five tile set apparently at will. When the dust settled, Nolann was able to hold on for a narrow 169 to 164 win over Scott. Nyck earned 154 and Nathaniel gained 142, which means that Birgit funded everyone else all game and finished with 111 points.
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8. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:73]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 9:25:17
End time: 10:15:56


Finally, Bryan stepped up to the plate as emergency splainer and ran Pandemic for Joe, Vince, and Krista on Table Two.


Unfortunately for the world, while the crack medical team made good progress and cured two of the plagues, time ran out before they could find the other two cures. I'm sure the aliens that discover the long lost remains of the human race will be moved by their efforts.
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9. Board Game: Louis XIV [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:540]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 10:24:25pm
End time: midnight, exactly


Eleven gamers remained for the reconfig, which meant another three table split. On Table Two, Nolann volunteered to run Louis XIV for Krista and Joe.


Louis XIV is quite an involved game, and it is impressive that Joe and Krista, as two first timers, were able to play as well as they did. But Nolann managed the win with 59 points, while Krista had 42 and Joe finished with 31.
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10. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:661]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 10:30pm
End time: 11:20pm


Meanwhile, on Table Three, Tim, Scott, Mary, and Lindsey played a four player game of Qwirkle.


The key to this game is to try and position yourself for big rounds (usually involving Qwirkles), if you can draw the right tiles or if someone else set you up. So it becomes a dodgey kind of waiting game, as you try to hold onto tiles that can make Qwirkles with some help, while trying to avoid playing tiles that the other players might be able to use.

Unfortunately, the abstract, tactical nature of the game makes it hard to recap, so we shall just have to provide the final scores: Tim pulled out a late Qwirkle to beat Scot, 136 to 124; Lindsey and Mary faded down the stretch to finish with 110 and 102 points, respectively.
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11. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:365]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 10:30pm
End time: 11:45pm


Counterclockwise Scott had noted the similarities (and differences) between Samarkand: Routes to Riches and Chicago Express; as we needed one more splainer, he offered to run the latter, in order to compare and contrast. He found three willing foils in Vince, Bryan, and Birgit.


CCWS bought just two red shares the whole game, but was almost able to pull of the victory, finishing with 116 dollars. But Vince bought many and varied shares, including in the elusive black company (which turned out to be third most valuable at game's end) to pull out the victory with 122 dollars. Birgit and Bryan finished with 98 and 85 bucks, respectively.
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12. Board Game: Nuns on the Run [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1316]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 12:30am
End time: 1:30am


We had seven people willing to stay past midnight, which offered Tim the opportunity to bring out new acquisition Nuns on the Run. Tim played the two guards, while Joe, Scott, Nolann, Counterclockwise Scott, Vince, and Mary were the naughty novices.


Unfortunately, while this probably is a pretty decent late night game, it was rather hard to get it fully splained on this late night, as all of the assembled gamers were a little punchy. Furthermore, as much of the game is played hidden, when someone misinterprets a rule there is often no way to know until it is too late.

Nolann spent the whole game running, and the two guards never really got close to him, so he was the first to find his key and secret wish and make it back to his cell. Joe also got his nun back on that turn, but admitted to at least two different rules violations (one with line of sight, one with his Blessing card.) Speaking of Blessings, it was also not particularly clear to everyone that you actually turned in your Blessing once it was used; they knew it was a one-use action, but thought it still remained hidden all game long.

So, it was not a completely successful playing of this new game, although it was still pretty fun. It was hard, as the guards, to try and take actions that would let you capture the wayward novices; Tim managed to capture Scott twice and Vince once by getting both his guards in the same area, which let him triangulate the sounds he heard. But moving both guards by the library meant that Nolann was free to roam on the other side of the board, so that tactic has a serious downside as well, especially in games with lots of players.
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13. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:3720] [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:69]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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We did a respectable job of eating in this session; while very few snacks were completely finished, almost none of them were untouched. The chocolate enrobed minidonuts were finished fairly early, and the three flavors of dipped pretzels eventually sold out as well, but the Sea Salt and Vinegar and Honey BBQ Kettle chips just had a couple handfuls left, as did the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, the Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits, the jellied fruit candies (Fred Meyer was out of Swedish Fish), the Pretzel and Peanut Butter M&Ms, the Ginger-Os, and the Digestive Health Mix. The only snacks that were not eaten at all were the sour Warheads, and that's because Tim forgot to actually put them out.

Tim was unable to acquire any drinks other than Light Lemonade and Fresca; we also had half a case of Cherry Coke Zero left over from somewhere. Given the heat it is not surprising that a gallon and a half of water was also drunk on this night.
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