Games I Got For Christmas

I received some games for Christmas. Here’s the haul.
the Exotic expansion for Zooloretto
Cloud 9
Settlers of Catan + 5-6 player expansion
Seafarers of Catan + 5-6 player expansion
Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries
10 Days In The Americas
plus Call of Duty: World At War & Halo: Reach for the 360.
There’s a whole lot of gaming going on!

Gameathonapocaloozafestacon 2010 #1

We had a game day on the 11th of December.  After more than a month of scheduling issues, Gameathonapocaloozafestacon #1 happened.  Terry and Cindy arrived, ready to game, about 1pm.  I had prepped a couple of scenarios for Dread because Terry had requested it.  He brought Heroscape and Monsterpocalypse.  He had just gotten MonPoc and was itching to play it so he and I set up the Voltron version.  I played Lo-tron and Terry of course was Voltron.  In the end Voltron was victorious.  MonPoc is a fun game though it is looonnngg.  It plays similar to the Clix games without the clicking.  It has a cool dice pool mechanic where your big guy and his units (army) share dice.  You get activation dice for destroying units.  These are used to power your big guy and to use his special powers.  All in all it was pretty neat and I may get a set of my own.

While Terry and I were fighting for control of the universe, Cindy, Barry, Olivia, and Zachary broke out Saboteur.  Livy taught it pretty well and I think they all had a good time.  I believe Barry won.

Next was the main event of the day – Dread.  I had been playing up Dread for a while and Terry and Barry were really wanting to see it in action.  I gave them a choice of scenarios: Beneath A Metal Sky – an Aliens riff, and a homebrew based on an episode of The Gamemaster Show.  They chose the first one.  They picked their characters and filled out the questionaire for that character.  We had The Medic, played by Cindy.  Barry was The Captain.  Terry played The Navigator.  And Olivia played The Researcher.  They made up most of the crew of The Jimmy Olsen, Captain Kirk Ford’s ship.  They received a distress call from another ship and went to investigate.  Everyone but the captain entered the ship (he was a germaphobic).  They explored the ship and discovered that the crew is gone.  But something was there.  And they wanted The Jimmy Olsen.  Now the entire crew (the captain joined them) was trapped on the other ship.   The crew found out that the captain really didn’t care that much about them.  All he wanted was the precious cargo – an extremely valuable ore.  He ordered them to help him retrieve it.  They decided that their lives were more valuable.  They made their way back to the airlock while the captain headed to the hold.  Bad move on his part.  He found his valuables but also the queen and king of the creatures.  In the end, the captain sacrificed himself to save the others.  They escaped.

Dread was very successful.  We had a huge blast.  Terry proved himself the Jenga master.  The gang was so lucky.  The tower did not fall.  We had three single blocks at the end when Barry made the final pull to blow  himself and the creatures to pieces, saving his crew.  Everyone agreed that Dread was awesome. But the best thing about this game is that it was Olivia’s first rpg.  And she loved it and did a fantastic job playing her character.  She definitely wants to play again.

After Dread we played Pandemic.  Terry was very much wanting to play this having read so much about it.  We barely won with only two player turns to go.    Pandemic is such a fantastic game.  It always provides a fun time filled with tension.  It is just elegant. 

Next up was a quick game of Forbidden Island.  Again Matt Leacock comes through with a winner.  The kids and I knew it was good but Terry and Barry were pleasantly surprised.  Unfortunately we lost the game.

Gameathonapocaloozafestacon 2010 #1 was a big success.


There will be more.

What I Played Last Night

I got to game night late (8pm) for various reasons.  Most everyone was in a game of 7 Wonders except Kenny.  He was setting up Command & Colors: Napoleonics for he and Chris.  Once he got it set up we played a game of Parade.  He beat me pretty handily.  Around then the 7 Wonders game finished.  Adam, Shawn, Keith, and I started a game of Homesteaders.  I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining the game but my fears were alayed soon enough as Adam jumped out to what seemed to be a substantial lead.  He and Shawn went back and forth for the first several auctions.  Shawn picked up some good properties early and got a $ engine working well.  He was taking in 5-7 silver each turn at first then 9-12 by game end.  Adam picked up 5 debt tokens by the fifth round but had some good properties for it.  Then he built the bank and those debt tokens began to disappear.  Meanwhile Keith and I were struggling to keep up.  Keith picked up a couple of workers to get some income coming in.  He started gaining some victory points with the meatpacking plant.  Early on I realized that I was not going to do well competing for properties as I could not get any $ or trade tokens coming in.  So I decided to go strictly for victory points.  I worked up the railroad development track and also was able to get the church.  That earned me 10 vp and generated 2 vp per turn.  That seemed to be pretty weak to me, especially since I only had 2 workers on my gold mine.  So I was getting some gold each turn and was able to buy some resources once in a while.  The last auction was a battle with Adam for the 6 vp charity token.  He had the lawyer and was upping each time.  He finally bowed out at $12.  I had to take a debt token to pay but I got it.  That enabled me to take the lead.  The final scores were 41, 37 – Adam, 32 – Shawn, 28(?)-Keith.  My second win at Hypermind!

Next up was Hansa Teutonica.  Chris has been raving about this one so I was eager to play.  He set it up for Keith, Adam, himself, and me and explained it to Keith and I.   It took a minute or two but I got a control of a couple of important cities and kept scoring from them.  I also started putting a chain together.  Keith was really working his cube bag, enabling him to replenish his supply each turn.  Adam was having some trouble getting a strategy going.  But Chris was eating the special tokens up.  This enabled him to take extra actions at key times or wide a threatening opponent (usually me) from my strategy of getting a long chain of controlled cities.  In the end, Chris’ accumulation of the special tokens did us in.  I did not realize that they were worth points at the end so I didn’t pay them much attention.  Keith was able to get control of the central chain of cities for 7 vp.  And he activated his key to get a multiplier on these to get second place.  I came in a respectable third.

It was a good if short night.  Parade is fun and one I will be picking up.  I was very glad to get Homesteaders to the table again and introduce it to some new people.  Everyone rated it an 8 and want me to continue bringing it.  I enjoyed Hansa Teutonica.  I didn’t think I would but I was surprised.  It is going on the buy list.  Only downside is that I did not get to play Eminent Domain.

MACE part 3 – Boardgames and Savage Saturday Night

So after Fiasco Chris and I headed over to the boardgame room to play some games.  Chris had brought several games with him.  While we were deciding what to play, one of Chris’ friends showed up.  Jim also had some games. One of them was Alhambra which neither Chris nor I had played.  Alhambra is a tile laying game about building the best, most luxurious palace.  You buy tiles to put together your gardens and rooms in place.  Points come from most tiles of the same color, longest outer wall, and points on the tiles themselves.  Chris won if I remember correctly.  Alhambra is a fun and thinky game.  We both decided that it is on our buy list.

Next we decided to play Death Angel, The Space Hulk card game.  This was a fun quick game of space marines versus genestealers.  And it’s cooperative.  This went well for us.  We won with just a

hair’s breath to spare. 

By now it was time for me to head out for Savage Saturday Night and some Shiantar action.

Savage Saturday Night (SSN) started last year at MACE.  Savage Saturday Night is a Savage Worlds event.  Lots of different Savage Worlds games run at the same time in one room.   It was bigger this year.  I think there were about 12 Savage Worlds games going on at once.  This year I signed up for Sean Patrick Fannon’s Shaintar: Immortal Legends game.  Shaintar is the Savage Worlds high fantasy setting.  I got there a bit late.  To my surprise there were 11 other players plus Sean.  I had been told that Sean likes to GM large games but wasn’t ready for this.  So I sat down, got passed a couple of pre-gens to choose from, and away we went.  My character was basically Legolas – elven archer extraordinaire.  The game was a continuation from an earlier game.  So some of the players had gelled pretty well already.  I was lucky enough to be sitting next to Sean’s wife (whose name I have forgotten).  She helped re-acquaint me with the system.  I also announced that at midnight everyone should tell me Happy Birthday.  Sean then gave me a birthday present – a golden bennie.   He explained that spending  the golden bennie would allow something that I wanted to happen to happen, if at all possible.  Very cool.

We were playing a group ‘like the Texas Rangers’ (not the baseball team the lawmen).  The first encounter was on a ship headed to find a magical rock.  As the moon appeared we found out that some of the crew were werewolves.  The ogre in our group immediately swiped at one in the rigging causing him to drop to the deck, right in front of me and the priestess played by Sean’s wife.  Fortunately (kind of) Ogre’s momentum carried him onto the deck too.  He landed between my guy and the werewolf.  And Ogre’s attack was gone.  The priestess was prepping a spell but I had initiative.  So Tok (my guy) climbed up Ogre’s back, jumped off of his shoulder, flipped in the air, and nearly decapitated the werewolf with my two swords.  Very cool.  I got some high fives for that.  And that set the stage for Tok.  He assisted in killing one of the other werewolves too.  We landed on an island and were greeted by a lot of undead of various forms.  I was near the end of the initiative line so I waited and watched as Tok’s comrades took out the bad guys.  Ogre was awesome.  The guy playing him was really good, playing in character, which was a lot of fun.  A couple of bone lords showed up and things started to look bad for us.  But Tok’s turn came up.  He was still in the rowboat.  He drew back his bow and landed a head shot on one of the bone lords, piercing his eye socket, killing him.  Ogre and a couple of the others took out the other one.

We ended up at some ruins where a troll and hobgoblin were asleep in a hut.  Our captain sent Tok and two others out to scout out the situation.  We discovered some ninja elves guarding the ruins.  I stayed put while the rest of the group, in two parties, engaged the ninjas and the troll and hobgoblin.  The priestess blasted a magic user that popped up and the rest of group one knocked out most of the ninjas.  Ogre and party 2 attacked the hut with the troll and hobgoblin.  Ogre actually jumped on the hut, collapsing it on top of the bad guys.  By this time some dudes had showed up in the ruins a bit away. Along with… a giant werewolf.  The werewolf swiftly attacked Ogre’s group.   One of them turned out to be a vampire who attacked me and a crocodile guy on my team after I got another good shot on the necromancer.  As the vampire went by Tok, Tok (who had no attack) tripped the vampire.  He was not expecting this.  He face planted and slid up to the feet of the crocodile guy.  Who promptly whacked him enough to allow the priestess to finish him off with her special wood staff.

Ogre and the others had pretty much dispatched the troll but the hobgoblin was giving them problems.  Then the werewolf showed up.  They were doing pretty good against it though.  All the while the necromancer was in the process of casting some spell.  I decided that he was the big threat and set about figuring out how to do him some damage.  I decided that I would once again try for a called shot.  I rolled to hit and did hit.  I then spent my golden bennie.  And this is what I wanted to happen.  As the necromancer weaved his spell Tok’s arrow would pin his hands to his chest and pierce his wicked heart.  Cool idea I thought.  But it gets better.  Sean took my idea and made it awesome.  He described the scene.  ‘You draw your everwood bow, thinking about how much evil this creature and his like must have caused, how many had lost their lives, how many had had their rest in death disturbed by him.  As you think on this, the magic of the bow grows and engulfs the arrow, changing it to everwood and the head to silver.  And as you focus on the evil sorcerer you see a shimmering form behind him.  You realize that it is a ghostly unicorn, the spirit of Shaintar itself.  You let loose your arrow.  It flies true and hits the necromancer in the chest, pinning his hands and piercing his evil heart.  At the same time you see the unicorn drive his horn into the evil creature.  The necromancer explodes a blast of magic, incinerating his attendants.  You have vanquished your foe.  Happy birthday.’

Everyone cheered.  It was pretty awesome.  Sean then did something I had not seen.  We voted for MVP – most valuable player.  We all wrote down the names of the three characters that we thought contributed the most to the experience of the game.  I voted for Ogre, the guy playing him was pretty awesome.  I voted for Sean’s wife for helping me so much.  I voted for me as I thought I did pretty good.   Ogre won as expected.  He got a PDF package of stuff from   And I won second and got a dice bag and some stones from Beautiful Brains.  It was fun.

That pretty much concludes MACE for me.  It was a blast.  Can’t wait until next year.



Fiasco Playset Contest

There was a contest on RPGgeek for building Fiasco playsets.    It was kind of like Game Chef as it had a requirement – a mention of sports.  I took this a bit more literal than the other entrants.  I made a playset about minor league baseball.  You can find it here.   It was a lot of fun.  And I think the playset is pretty good.  It could use some work.  Like a Fiasco cover.  But I like it.  The Bull won but I did get 10 geekgold for best sports theme.

MACE part 2 – Fiasco

Ok, Saturday morning didn’t have any actual gaming.  I had left it open in hope that Chris and I could get a couple of games in before my 1:30 rpg.  So on to that.

1:30pm – Fiasco with Jason Morningstar.

This was the first game I signed up for when I registered.  I saw that Jason was facilitating a Fiasco and I really wanted to see how he played the game.  I was not disappointed.  And as a bonus, Chris had been able to sign up that morning.  The players were Jason, Chris, Steve Long and Darren Watts from HERO Games (see part 1), and myself.  Jason had most of the playsets available and we decided on Los Angeles 1936 – crime noir.

I was playing Harry Devereaux, a semi-dubious insurance agent.  I was in a frozen marriage with Janine, played by Jason.  Steve was Sergeant Phil Resnick, a crooked cop under Janine’s thumb.  Darren played Lola LaMontagne, Resnick’s daugher in law and the sultry singer at The Eiffel Tower Club.  And Chris played Lenny Leslie, retired cop now owner of The Eiffel Tower Club.  The game started with Janine and Sergeant Phil and we found out that Phil and Janine had known each other in high school.  Janine had something on Phil and was using him to do her dirty work.  Lola and Lenny had a scene in her dressing room next.  Then Harry got a visit from Lenny.  Seems Lenny had come into possession of some evidence that Harry had a local motel burned down for the insurance money.  Lenny forced Harry (not that difficult a job) to upping the insurance policy on The Eiffel Tower Club to ONE MILLION DOLLARS.  We found out just how frozen Harry and Janine’s marriage was next.  The game continued with Harry becoming the punching bag of the story.  He fell for Lola and she kind of for him at first.  Then Janine appeared at their date at The Brown Derby with some pictures of Lola and Harry in the throes of passion.  Harry blew up at Janine and her hypocrisy.  Seems Janine had her own affairs over the years that Harry had turned a blind eye to until now.  Janine was very rich by the way.  Harry stormed out.  Lola slipped out, highly embarrassed.  Later she and Janine had a little talk where we learned that Lola was a lot like Janine.  She was manipulative and willing to do almost anything to get her singing career launched.  One of those things being letting Harry be her sugar daddy.  Janine didn’t let her off the hook and told her to stay away from Harry.  But Janine did find that she liked Lola and said she would help her.  Though her kind of help Lola didn’t realize she didn’t want.  Meanwhile, Lenny has had a change of heart.  Lola reminds him of his true love, the one that he corrupted, who became a tarnished flower.  Who happened to be Janine Devereaux.  Anyway, Harry gets another visit from Lenny.  Lenny has Harry change the policy to make Lola the beneficiary.  Meanwhile, Janine wants Phil to torch The Eiffel Tower Club.  Phil is not too thrilled but has his own ideas about this.  He pays Harry a visit.  Phil wants Harry to change the beneficiary on The Eiffel Tower Club to … Lola.  Harry is happy to comply, since he has already done so.  Well, Harry returns home to find Janine waiting for him, drunk and packing a .22 rifle.  She shoots him after letting him know that Lola and her club will be gone soon.  Fortunately for Harry, Janine is a poor shot and even more so full of booze.  He rushes  to the club with a bleeding wound.  While all this was going on, Phil’s son shows up at the club with the photos of Lola and Harry.  He confronts her and she tells him that he’s a loser and to get lost.  Lenny interrupts this domestic scene right before Bill (the son) whacks Lola.  While all this is happening, Phil shows up, locks the club doors from the outside.  He sets the place on fire and walks around to the back of the club.  Harry shows up at the front to hear Lola screaming as the flames engulf the place.  He runs around the back to see Phil.  He begs Phil to help him get the doors open.  Phil answers by shooting him point-blank.  Harry falls and dies in the alley.  Phil puts a bullet through Harry’s head just to be sure.  But Phil’s plans get sacked because somehow Lola escapes and Phil gets tagged for Harry’s murder.  Lola gets the money and her career.  Oh, we forgot about Janine.  Janine, burned out, turns the gun on herself and ends it.

It was a really fun game.  The players were top-notch and kept things interesting.  Steve was great.  His corrupt cop was nearly perfect.  He was imaginative and fun.  Darren’s Lola was spot on.  Her turn was really neat.  And Darren had some real rpg chops.  Chris was fun as always.  He played Lenny with a gravelly voice and gesturing with his hand as if always holding a cigar.  He too is a good role player.  I felt like I was the weak link.  I didn’t get my character in hand for several scenes.  It wasn’t until the scene with Phil that I figured out just who Harry was.  After that I felt pretty good about how I played.  It was really good to see Jason run the game.  I needed to see how it is done.

Next time, Shaintar with Sean Patrick Fannon