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Subject: Session Report rss

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A Derk appears from the mists...
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George, Neil, Elizabeth, Derk

George suggested this little game of collecting pieces of fossils. Well, it would be about collecting fossils if there was anything like a theme on this game. I gotta say. If I never play this game again, I’ll die a happy man. In my opinion, this thing incorporates some of the worst qualities of German-esque board games: little if any good moves available in each turn without computing every little decision and poor graphical execution. The board is a matrix of spaces, which are randomly filled with tiles. The tiles depict puzzle-type pieces of several different fossils. On top of the tiles are two markers, which are polished rocks. A turn consists of a player taking one of the markers and moving it either horizontally or vertically as far as you would like, taking the tile that you land on into your stock. The one catch is that for each tile you skip over, you must pay one point, which encourages fairly limited movement. Once all the pieces of a particular fossil are removed from the board, owners of the pieces are given points. You take the number of pips on all your tiles and multiply that by the number of tiles you’ve got, and that’s the number of points you score. Plus the person that took the last tile gets a bonus: he can exchange one of his tiles with one other player.

Anyway, the game started and George would jump out to an early lead. He was able to take most of the first fossil. I took a more balanced approach and collected little bits and pieces of several different fossils. That is not the way to play this game. Despite the fact that you get negative points for not having any pieces of a fossil when it’s scored, those points pale in comparison the amount of points that you can score for getting lots of pieces of one fossil. So George was able to score a bunch of points and I thought he’d dominate the rest of the game. But the game is rather balanced in that respect, and it’s difficult to capitalize on early successes. No one scored for a while after George’s initial strike. Neil and I were major holders for the next two fossils, but nothing really exciting happened. I was worried that Elizabeth would just get smoked for the game, because she really only had pieces for one fossil. But she had the good fortune of being able to close out a couple fossils, enabling her to exchange some of her tiles for a corner on another fossil. After Neil, George and I each messed around with a some trifling points, the game ended and Elizabeth was able to finally score her points. And she walked away with the game quite easily.

Elizabeth: 170, Neil: 134, Derk: 112, George: 99
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