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Subject: Two games, one six-player, the other with seven rss

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Valdir Jorge
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Date: January 13th, 2006

Game: Sticheln

Players: Arash, Chantal, Colin, Denis, Fury, Guity, Rudy, Tasia and Valdir (myself)

Many times in the past few months I tried to host my monthly board gaming meeting at work and I didn't have enough quorum. I insisted on having it on the first Friday of the month and I think that was my mistake. This time I offered the group the choice between the first and the second Friday of the month and I was more successful, three people (of the fifteen in the group) replied saying they wanted to play on the second Friday.

Therefore, I sat up the meeting for January 13th. During the week leading to the event, Denis, one of the players in the group who had not replied, said that he wanted to host the event at his apartment if we were interested. I consulted the other three who had replied and they were ok with the idea.

Still during that week, two other players of the group decided to join us, pushing our number to seven, a bad number for game playing... Oh well, I should not complain about having too many people, should I?

I took the Friday off, but I went to Concordia University (where I work) close to the end of the day, because I would meet the other guys in the lobby and we would walk to Denis' house together. As he lives only a few blocks away from work and the weather was unusually fine (five degrees Celsius!), it was a nice walk.

Another person who works with us but had never played in our meetings also joined us, pushing the number to eight players. I naively dreamed of having two groups of four playing two games simultaneously. Silly me...

When we settled down in his apartment, he told us that three other people who were friends of some of the players would also come in. The gaming night was becoming more and more a party than a gaming night. Oh well...

In the next two hours or so we played two games of Sticheln. Yes, two hours for two one-round games. Sad but true. Check the details below for each one of these marathons:

First game

Before some of the other guys arrived we were able to play one more or less sane game of Sticheln. The starting players in order were: Chantal, Rudy, Fury, Tasia, Denis and myself.

I explained the rules showing the examples in the little rule book. People complained that it was hard to distinguish the colours in the low light of the room. Denis brought another lamp but it only helped a little. It was really difficult to tell purple from brown, for instance.

After a few rounds the players were a little more comfortable with the system and the game flowed better, but I still had to repeat "the first colour never wins" at least twenty times during the night. Tough crowd, I guess...

During the game, Guity arrived and as Denis had other things to do, she took over his cards after I gave her an overview of the game.

The other people who had been invited to the board-gaming-night-turned-to-party arrived during this game, we talked about ordering pizza, complained with Denis when he ordered pizzas that were too expensive (almost Can$ 60 for three pizzas!), etc. It was very confusing to finish the game but we somehow managed to do it.

Final Score
Player: Other - Misery = Total
Tasia: 16 - 4 = 12
Rudy: 23 - 13 = 10
Chantal: 5 - 3 = 2
Valdir: 11 - 12 = -1
Denis/Guity: 15 - 18 = -3
Fury: 5 - 15 = -10
Tasia came out the winner by a narrow margin over Rudy.

Second game

The players liked the first game a lot and wanted to play again, now that they understood the rules better. Fury had to leave us, but Colin (who had watched most of the first game) and Arash (who arrived when we were finishing the first) joined us, so we were seven.

More confusion ensued as the other people were deciding if they would watch, play or do something else. We finally started and played one turn. Chantal, going third-to-last made a bid to win the trick which had started in her misery colour. A bad decision, I guess. Colin, going last, dumped the 17 of her misery colour, essentially taking her out of contention. Nasty move...

Then the pizza arrived, it was distributed to everybody and we simply stopped right in the middle of the second turn to eat the pizza...

Half an hour of chat and pizza-eating later and we resumed the game from where we had stopped. The other people took a guitar, played a few tunes and sang, it looked more like a bazaar than a game night. I have some talking to do on this one for next time...

Final Score
Player: Other - Misery = Total
Valdir: 20 - 3 = 17
Arash: 26 - 22 = 4
Tasia: 13 - 14 = -1
Rudy: 6 - 8 = -2
Colin: 0 - 4 = -4
Denis/Guity: 12 - 22 = -10
Chantal: 12 - 29 = -17
In spite of the noise and all in the room, the game progressed well, there were some nasty moves here and there and in the end I won the game with 17, the second player being at a distant 4 and everybody else in the negative.

Some of the players said they want to try again this one, they liked the opportunity to be nasty to their colleagues...
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