Seattle Cosmic Game Night

(Saturday, 17 March 2001)

The St. Patrick's Day Massacre

by Ron Hale-Evans

Seattle Cosmic met again for a delightful evening of love, laughter, and ass-kicking on 17 March 2001 at Marty and Ron's house in Kent. Present were Marty and Ron Hale-Evans (that's me), Paul Unwin, John Braley, Karl Erickson (who really ought to come more often), Bronwyn Thomas, and Bronwyn's friend, New Guy Jeanine James.

A Hex on Karl

While we were waiting for others to arrive, Karl (who loves abstract games) and John played a couple of games of Hex. This is a classic game wherein you try to connect two sides of a diamond-shaped board using chains of Go stones. Karl and John played the first game wrong, since both of them played parallel lines of stones, trying to connect the same two sides of the board rather than criss-crossing and connecting different pairs of sides. John won this "variant". Then they played the "real" version, and John won that too. Don't mess with a former chess master when it comes to abstract games!

Since John is a science fiction geek as well as a chess geek, and not too averse to slumming, I awarded him as prize a copy of Star Trek: The Final Reflection, by John M. Ford, which has as its central metaphor Klin Zha, or Klingon Chess. Although most Star Trek novels rank barely above serial romances in my regard, John M. Ford is a "real" SF writer and John (Braley, not Ford) admitted to me later that though he had been doubtful, the book was pretty good.

The Last Panther and More

Bronwyn and Jeanine showed up during the second game of Hex, and we decided to break in my copy of the German card game (or game system) Mü & Mehr ("Mü & More" in English). The actual card game Mü made our brains hurt, so we decided we'd play one of the other games that comes with the attractive Mü deck called "The Last Panther".

This game is similar to Hearts, except that there are cards worth both positive and negative points. I'm normally lousy at trick-taking games, but I won this game with 45 points. In some ways The Last Panther is Baby's First Trick-Taking Game (there's nothing in it like "shooting the moon", for example), but in other ways it's, er, trickier; Marty, an inveterate Hearts player, said she (at least) had some trouble with the positive/negative scoring.

Wimping Out on Wimpout

Next up we tried to play Cosmic Wimpout, but gave up on the rules because none of us were stoned enough to understand them -- which is to say, at all. (We had this problem trying to read the rules to Grass too; even Mark Purtill couldn't help us.)

Fortunately, Jeanine knew the rules to Ten Thousand (or, as she called it, "Ten Thousand Aces"), the folk dice game from which the commercial game Cosmic Wimpout is taken. Frankly, I think Ten Thousand is a better game, since it is more strategic; it seems to me there are all kinds of mandatory rules in CW that force you to reroll and reroll until you crap out ("wimp out") at least half the time. I guess it's fun if you're stoned...

Paul suggested a new alien power for Cosmic Encounter called "Wimpout", with which an Attack 1 becomes an Attack 100 and an Attack 5 an Attack 50, like the die rolls in Ten Thousand and CW. Then Karl and John got into an extended statistics discussion about the probabilities of various rolls, until Marty said, "OK, new Seattle Cosmic rule: John and Karl are not invited the same night." Hey, different fun for different folx.

I was in the lead for most of Ten Thousand, but Marty pulled ahead in the last couple of rounds. I didn't crap out once until it came to the desperate "last licks" to beat Marty, but everyone except Marty crapped out during last licks, and Marty won.

A Hex on Paul

Next Paul and Karl played a quick game of Hex, and Karl won. Marty awarded him a small prize for a small game: a sea monster finger puppet.


Next up was Democrazy, which was new to both Bronwyn and Jeanine. It was crazy, crazy I tell you... I won, which I think might be my first win for this game too.


Despite so much (figurative) blood having been spilt, game night ended amicably at 11:00 PM -- WITH NARY A DRIVE-BY SHOOTING!

Although there have been no drive-by shootings at our apartment for, oh, months and months and months (at least), we have decided that the new regular location for game night will be the house of Dave Adams and Kathy Kizer in West Seattle. Our apartment (Marty and Ron's in Kent) will serve as a backup location, in case we can't use Dave and Kathy's for some reason.

Games played or discussed this week:

The Center for Ludic Synergy and Seattle Cosmic Game Night are now associates of Funagain Games. This means that 5% of your purchase there goes toward supporting us if you buy games via the following links or the Funagain logo at the bottom of the page.

Even if you don't want to buy the games, the Funagain pages often contain lengthy, useful game reviews.


Saturday, 31 March 2001, 7:00 PM in West Seattle. Come play for fun and FABULOUS PRIZES!

Remember, game nights are every Saturday at 7:00 PM, at Dave and Kathy's house in West Seattle. Please bring a snack or drink to share (cookies, chips, soda, juice, etc.).

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All photos on this page copyright © 2001 by Ron Hale-Evans except where otherwise noted.

Maintainer: Ron Hale-Evans, rwhe@ludism.org
Page last updated 5 April 2001.