A whopping eleven players were in attendance for the first night of the revived board game night at Ground Zero Games, in Erie, PA.
Al and I made it to the shop around 5, and broke out the Axis and Allies miniatures. We each have a decent sized collection from the first set, Al with a complete Allies set, me with a complete Axis set. We both only have one box of the East Front expansion, and to Al’s chagrin, his rare was a King Tiger, so I now have 2 rares, and Al none.
We played a standard map with 100pts on each side. I took the new Brumbar, a Sig (gotta love all that blast damage), a HamsterFuhrer, 3 SS Pz Grenadiers, a scout car and the new Flamingo. Al took a Croc, Red Devil, Mortar, Vickers, the new Archer, Bazooka, and a few other infantry including one of the new Polish Cavalry. I’ve gotta say, it’s a great little fig. This could bode well for some ACW or Napoleonics in the future.. He won the initial roll, and forced me to set up first. The objective was on a hill top, with a hill on the left flank, and the row of forests on the right flank. Al’s side of the map had a city deep in his DZ, and a forest here and there, very open.
I deployed 2 PZ Grens and the Brumbar directly behind the objective hill, with the flamingo, Hamster, and a few Pz Grens with them. The Sig and scout car deployed on the right flank.
The croc and flamingo ended up squaring off, with both getting destroyed (flame throwers are sick!). The sig and brumbar made quick work of the infantry by turn four. I had lost the scout car and Al had lost everything but the archer. He conceded and had to take off.
The rest of the people started showing up around then, so we broke out Frank’s Zoo. This is a neat little card game that has some an interesting twists. I’d liken it to the great Dalmuti as it’s base, but Frank added some nice twists that make the game interesting. Your cards are land and sea creatures, so not all can beat all. A whale is the highest card, but it can’t beat a mosquito (we figured it wouldn’t bother, or even see the little guy). The other cool twist is that you start swapping partners every hand.
The first game ended with me winning a seven player game with Erik, Crystal, Steven, Pez, Big John, and Beckwith. The favored animal was the stackel swine (my poor German for hedgehog).
I’ve gotta say, this game is light and fun. There was a lot of laughing and groaning at the bad ‘animal’ jokes throughout the game. Everyone agreed I should keep bringing this one to board game night as a nice filler before or after the ‘meaty’ game of the night.
By this time the rest of the players rolled in and we started the Toys for Tots Carcassone tourney. Everyone had to bring a toy to donate, and the winner took home a mint Robo Rally.
Nine players played. I played against Beckwith, Don, Pez, and Steven. The second table was Carol, Crystal, Erik, and Matt.
I was having a bad game. Everyone asked if we were going to play ‘vicious’ and I came back with ‘what else would we play?’ I had a 1 deer meadow that was closed off except for 1 tile. Don chuckled evilly, and placed a tiger in it, to finish out at a whopping 0. At this point I started to pay more attention, and finished a few forests, pulling me back in the group points wise. Don had hutted a 16 fish river, and was doing the happy dance after playing the four fish tile into the river. Pez played a hut next to the river, trying to get in, and I placed my second hut right next to his, also trying to get in. By the end of the game, I had finished another two forests and gotten into Don’s river, that was at about 20 fish by then.
I ended up winning our game with 82 points. We heard groans and ‘Monkey with a Gun’ comments from the other table, who were still finishing up. When they did, the MwaG had won the game (how’s that for poetic justice?) with 92 points, and the tourney.
It was a good thing for me, as my wife hates Robo Rally, and probably would have locked me out when I came home.
The store closed at this point, and about ½ the people at the shop went home. Some of us stuck around for another game of Frank’s Zoo. Erik won, and I came in last, with Beckwith, Crystal, Steven, Carol and Don all coming in at the middle of the pack. I knew I was in trouble when I had 3 mosquitoes in my hand after the pass, and no whales or elephants to clear anything. I figured my only hope was for Beckwith (player to my right) to go out first and play them then. Sadly, he went out about 3rd and I failed to score enough to climb out of the basement.