Seattle Cosmic Game Night

(Saturday, 16 September 2000)

Surfing the Web of Power Has My Brain in Fluxx...

by Ron Hale-Evans

Seattle Cosmic met again on 16 September for a night of fun and frolic (actually rather light on the frolic). Present were Dave Adams, Marty and Ron Hale-Evans, Kathy Kizer, and Mark Purtill. We played Web of Power, Give Me the Brain!, and two games of Fluxx.

First up was Web of Power, a German game so German that even the English edition from Rio Grande had German written all over it; they seem to have merely translated the instructions.

The Web of Power board

Web of Power was pretty interesting. The object was to score points by placing cloisters or monasteries along key roads, and advisors (Marty called them "lobbyists") in the courts of medieval Europe. The most interesting aspect was its scoring system, wherein the first-place player, for one round, in one area, gets all the points, the second-place player gets the first-place player's score, the third-place player gets the second-place player's score, and so on.

Confused? Suppose the Green player has 5 cloisters in Frankenreich (France), the Purple player has 3, and the Blue player has 1. Green then gets 9 points (= 5+3+1), Purple gets 5 points (Green's "score"), and Blue gets 3 points (Purple's "score"). This makes for some interesting strategy; sometimes placing a piece in a country is more advantageous to your opponents than to you.

That's the main mechanism, but there are a few other special scoring rules, such as the one that someone with 4 or more cloisters in a row can score for them. Below you can see my row of yellow cloisters stretching across Switzerland or someplace (my European geography's a little rusty), with the Slug entwined. I scored 7 or 8 for this chain.

The Seattle Cosmic Slug marches mercilessly across Europe

Dave didn't do too well this game; below you can see him playing with his Web of Power cards...

Dave's strategy was a house of cards

Advisors had to go right into the logo-circles in the center of each country; these represented the countries' courts. You count advisors in a given connected pair of countries, as specified on the board, by a mechanism similar to the one above.

Close-up of board. "Houses" are cloisters; cylinders are court advisors

The winner of the game was Mark. Although Mark had never played the game before, it was his copy, and he had played through once or twice by himself. I'm happy to say I was 1 point behind him. Kathy was 1 point behind me, Marty came next, and then Dave. Exact scores are hard to give because the little scoring track around the edge of the board didn't have any numbers, as such tracks usually do in German games (see the picture just above). For his domination of medieval Europe, Mark was awarded five miniscule six-sided dice, or as Marty likes to call them, The World's Smallest Yahtzee Game.

Mark's prize: The World's Smallest Yahtzee Game

Next up was Give Me the Brain!, a perennial favourite of me, Marty, and our family. It usually takes 20 minutes or less, but took a lot longer this time.

Kathy grabs the Brain (quite masterfully for a zombie)

In my opinion, Give Me the Brain! is Cheapass Games's finest game. I believe it won an award at Origins: Best Traditional Card Game or something like that. In GMTB!, you play a zombie operating a fast-food restaurant (no, a real zombie). You're trying to close up and go home, but for some of your assigned tasks, you need a brain, and there's only one to go around. The Brain is actually a six-sided die; we got our hot-pink special (matches the cards) from the deluxe edition of another Cheapass game in the same setting, Lord of the Fries:

The eponymous Brain

Play took forever, and because whoever manages to steal the Brain gets the next turn, I didn't get a real turn for the first two-thirds of the game. (Mark didn't get one for the last two-thirds, which may explain why he didn't seem to like the game too much.) I did finally get a turn, and managed to bring the game to a satisfactory solution quite quickly (i.e. I won. I was the undefeated champion of this game for something like the first 10 times I played it with people around here, so no big surprise (Marty claims this is because I am the most used to operating without a brain)).

Everyone voted me a prize this time: to get to go first in Fluxx, which we played next. We played two games. Not much to report on: things went the way they usually go in Fluxx (chaotically), only more chaotically than usual because in one game Dave played a Hand Limit 0 card. I believe Draw 1 and Play All were also on the table, so Fluxx resembled Candyland (or Snakes and Ladders) remarkably for about 15 turns, as we simply drew cards and obeyed them...

Dave won one game and Marty won the other. Dave's prize was a Farty Frog, as we like to call it: a plastic frog that squirts air from where its cloaca would be. Below you can see the Seattle Cosmic Slug doing something unspeakable to the Farty Frog in a manner that recalls the hideous subterranean rituals of the abominable batrachian god Tsathoggua...

The Slug does something rude to Dave's prize, the Farty Frog

Ahem. Sorry. Spaced for a minute. Where was I? Oh yeah; see you next week!



Saturday, 23 September 2000, 8:00 PM at Ron and Marty's in Kent.

Remember, game nights at Ron and Marty's are every Saturday at 8:00 PM. Come play for fun and FABULOUS PRIZES! Please bring a snack or drink (cookies, chips, soda, juice, etc.).

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Page last updated 23 September 2000.