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Subject: South Arlington Gamers - 9/27/07 rss

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Michael Kandrac
United States
Grand Prairie
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Eleven Geek faithful gathered for the 20 consecutive Thursday evening meeting of the South Arlington Gamers. Our good friends Ken gamesnight and Gail gail2525 from the Mid-Metroplex Boardgames Group joined our happy gathering and hosted two games, Notre Dame and Himalaya.

If memory serves, Deborah Cubist, Dan Skullsplitter and Boon ymir joined Ken and Gail for endearing romp through the streets of 15th Century Paris in this intricate cube-pushing and card-passing game. I was predisposed to like this game as it borrows its name from my high school in Harper Woods, Michigan, but after one play I was put off by Notre Dame. Perhaps it was the rat mechanic...well, whatever. Notre Dame is the current Caylus insofar as I can tell, and I was out of step with that one too, although Notre Dame plays in far less time.

Deborah won her very first game of ND, while Boon did not. Here's a conditional statement for you...

"If Boon plays a game, Boon always wins." Well, a counter-example has been found! Truth value of conditional statement = False. I was gladdened to see our old friend after a long time away from us, and I hope he returns soon. Deborah once again demonstrated why she is one of the more formidable players of our game group.

This merry bunch left the rat-infested streets of "Gay Pair-ee" donned their parkas and mukluks and journeyed off the mysterious and ancient mountains of Himalaya.

I'm not sure how this one ended, perhaps Deborah prevailed again. But I'm certain Boon did not win this game. As he left Borders he muttered something about must win next time! Boon is very goal-driven, you know.

On behalf of all South Arlington Gamers, wherever they might be, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks for the Spontellis for gracing us with their presence and all that they do to advance the cause of adult board gaming.

Meanwhile, at the Big Round One...

Alan chargetheguns acquainted us with Reiner Knizia's Kingdoms.

Alan writes...

"Kingdoms is a very solid little math game with an amusing theme and good "Reiner" mechanics. A fun way for the kids to practice their (very basic) math skills. We make them take turns to see who can add up the score fastest."

I write...

"Kingdoms was a game I started to like until all the people I thought were my friends screwed me over so that I finished dead last. The Dragon Tile is particularly worthy of my deepest hatred."

The final scores were:

Alan chargetheguns - 265
Fort Worth Jim - 231
Greg Chezzilla - 202
Whilst I -175

Next up was Stephen Apocryphile and his nifty little copy of Citadels.

Six of us played this game to its conclusion, and although I knew I do not prefer to play Citadels with this many players, I participated with no less enthusiasm. This was my first opportunity to touch and feel the newest edition of Bruno Faidutti's brilliant cardgame, the 3rd Edition, which like the 2nd Edition, includes the aptly named Dark City Expansion.

I've chosen images from the Geek that allow you, Gentle Reader, to compare and contrast at a glance the differences between Stephen's 3rd and my 2nd Edition. Many consider the much smaller box of the 3rd Edition to be a plus, and some prefer the smaller "butterscotch" gold pieces of the 3rd Edition to be superior to the larger, and dirty gold color of the 2nd Edition.

But gold when handled by the ambitious, the heartless, and the ruthless soon reflects its owners, does it not? The bigger box allows space for all the neat player aids that one might wish to include with his copy, as I have done, and in my particular case, the larger box allows me to include the leather "Marlboro" pouch which holds my 30 dirty gold coins and just plain looks cool.

One big plus for the 3rd Edition is a set of linen-finished cards that would appear to be of a higher quality than the 2nd Edition. Stephen added some nifty blue-backed card sleeves for his role cards, and he has yet, as of this writing, to share with me a set of these sleeves so that I can upgrade my copy of the game in similar fashion.

The Dark City Expansion includes optional role cards and a set of optional district cards. We substituted the Witch and the Tax Collector for the Assassin and the Thief, but we should have left the Warlord in the box in favor of the Diplomat. Why you ask? With six players the "bash the leader" by wacking his or her districts with the Warlord just slows the game down far too much. When you start to think, "someone please get eight districts soon!" then the game has overstayed its welcome.

Final scores were:

Stephen Apocryphile - 31
Alan chargetheguns - 28
Beth LadyGodiva - 25
Fort Worth Jim - 21
Michael Gamegrunt - 21
Greg Chezzilla - (a measly) 16

Sorry about the late posting; I hope you enjoyed something about it.



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