Seattle Cosmic Game Night, Saturday, 15 February 2003

Make Love, Not War!

Seattle Cosmic met again on 15 February at the apartment of Marty and Ron Hale-Evans in Kent. Present were Marty_Hale-Evans? and Ron_Hale-Evans? (me), Paul_David_Unwin?, Steve_Dupree? and Nat Dupree, Meredith_Hale? and Kisa_Griffin?, Alex_Rockwell?, Tim Schutz, and Jay_Lorch?, for a total of 10 people.

Reason #1 that this newsletter is titled with the hoary slogan "Make Love, Not War!" is that game night took place on the day after Valentine's Day. Reason #2 is that Seattle Cosmic regular John_Braley? wanted to attend, but spent most of the day at the 15 February anti-war protests and couldn't coordinate a ride. As John put it on the mailing list, "Early afternoon Saturday, I'll be attempting the role of a very, very small pawn in a global game of resource management and attack." We (at least I) thank John for his service in defense of our country, and hope he makes it next time.

Reason #3 for the title of this newsletter will become apparent shortly.


An ironic title for a game night featuring 2 games of Cosmic_Encounter?, and 6 games of Wild West shootouts in the game BANG!?. ;) We did make movies however....


Can't Stop

Paul Unwin, punctual as ever, showed up at 5:00 sharp. It was nice to see him again. He is actually a charter member of Seattle Cosmic, having been present at the very first game night, but rarely visits any more because of family obligations (such as his newborn daughter India).

The next people to show up were Nat and Steve Dupree, at 5:30. While Marty baked brownies for a game night snack and I grabbed a sandwich, Paul, Nat, and Steve played a game of Sid Sackson's perennial push-your-luck game, Can't_Stop?. Steve was the first to attain three columns, and was awarded (for this dice game) a bag of miscellaneous weird dice that John Braley had picked up at a Wizards of the Coast store and contributed to the prize bag. Paul said he thought some of the dice looked as though they might be from the game Space_Hulk?.

Nat and Steve can't stop (although sometimes we wish they would). :)


Steve D 3
Paul U 2
Nat D 1

Comments from the players?



Meredith, Kisa, and Alex arrived together at 6:20, with "AlphaTim" Schutz close behind. Alex and Paul started a game of Netrunner while we were waiting to start Cosmic_Encounter?. Enough has been said about Netrunner lately, and I didn't observe the game, so I'll just note that Paul won his Netrunner cards at previous Seattle Cosmic sessions way back when, and that in this game Runner Paul only managed to expose 1 point of Corporation Alex's agendas before Alex enacted enough to win this half of the game. Since a Netrunner game takes place in two halves, with players swapping roles in between games, we'll have to see whether Paul does any better or Alex any worse in the next half.


Alex R Corp 10
Paul U Runner 1


I couldn't pull any icebreakers for the life of me, though I did have a couple of base link cards out. A base link is useful when encountering ice that "traces," and can be thought of what David Strathairn arranged for an important phonecall in the movie Sneakers: "I'm going to bounce this call through nine different relay stations throughout the world and off two satellites. It'll be the hardest trace they've ever heard." These cards gave me the gumption to make a few runs, one of which scored me a minor Agenda. After that, I was too chicken to try anything. I should have just bitten the bullet and punched deck.


The only ice that I had that Paul could break through was the trace-based one. In this, the Runner can pay some amount of bits (money) to increase their link if they have link cards, and the Corp can pay bits up to the value of the trace. Then if the trace is higher than the link, the ice works, otherwise the runner gets through. Both times he ran there, Paul paid the amount he needed to guarantee passing through, while I paid nothing. Thus, I gained several bits on him each time. He did get lucky and accessed one agenda however. The other ice I had in play, guarding my HQ and my primary data fort, were all code gates and walls which he couldn't get through without an appropriate icebreaker. Thus, I was able to protect my agendas and complete them while Paul couldn't do anything. Blame Paul's Runner deck for lack of icebreakers. ;)

Also, I have now bought some Netrunner cards of my own on eBay, and will be making a couple decks once I get them (so maybe for this week, but probably the one after). So all you Netrunner players in the group (Chad, Paul, Eric...) can play me where I won't be borrowing your own deck.


Perhaps I should mention Netrunner on the BiddingGame page, as making an avoiding a trace basically has to do with winning a blind bid in which both players lose the money they bid (as in Fist_of_Dragonstones?). I didn't want to risk the consequences of being traced (basically just being disconnected from cyberspace until I used an action to spend a unit of money -- there are cards with FAR worse consequences) so I made sure to buy a link longer than the Corp's "trace limit" of five. Alex could reasonably expect me to do this, and so knew that any money he spent would be wasted. After the first time (if not before) I really should have expected that he would expect that and spent no money myself. Then it might have gotten a tad bit more interesting.

Yes, my Runner deck has too few breakers. One nice thing about this CollectibleCardGame is that there is no minimum deck size, although 40 is the recommended minimum. Alex suggested that I pare down the deck, which would make it easier to get out breakers and money cards. I may take this advice later, but not before Alex takes his turn with my deck.

By the way, Alex, after you have a chance to make your decks I'll be the one borrowing from you.


I checked online and found that 45 was the minimum number of cards in a deck. What's this about you borrowing from me when we both have our own decks? ;) I'll just have to make both decks have a certain weakness which only I know and can exploit. Mwahaha. Or something like that...


Cosmic Encounter (x2)

The Netrunner game was cut short as a general call for Cosmic_Encounter? players went up. It turned out that everyone present wanted to play Cosmic, so we split into two groups: a "Beginner's Cosmic" game using the unmodified Hasbro/Avalon Hill set, and an "Advanced Cosmic" using the usual Frankenstein set with lots of options.

Meredith brought a cosmic treat to celebrate our monthly CosmicNight:

Cosmic goodies for a double Cosmic Night!

Beginner's Cosmic

The beginner's game. Clockwise from bottom left: Mer, Nat, Alex, Marty.


Alex R Virus
Marty H-E Parasite
Mer H Laser
Nat D Oracle

The Beginner's Cosmic was so basic, they finished their entire game before the Advanced Cosmic game was even set up. The game only ran from about 6:45-7:30, a good 45-minute game, much as I remember playing with my unexpanded Eon set in high school... Alex was Virus, and there's not much you can do against Virus in the H/AH set except gang up on him, unless you're Antimatter, which no one was.

However, on the final turn, everyone had four bases except Nat, who was trying for her fourth. Mer asked if she could ally with her; Nat said yes. (Marty could have forced herself as ally on Nat, except that she herself was the defender.) Nat attacked and won the battle for her fourth base, which meant Mer attained her fifth base, winning the game. A newbie mistake, on the part of all three other players! Do this once or twice and you won't do it again. Mer was awarded a spitting (squirty) smiley face for her devious ways.


I can't believe we let Mer win like that. Sigh... it really was a beginner game. ;) I'm not used to that "5 bases wins" crap. ;) The only other time I played, Ron was Schizoid, so the victory condition was: "Only Ron knows what".

I would've won on my turn, which was right after Nat's, dangit.


Advanced Cosmic

The advanced Cosmic setup drags on. L-R: Steve, Tim, Paul.

Meanwhile, the Advanced Cosmic game setup continued. We eventually settled on the following rules:

  1. Everyone was distributed flares for two Lucre powers and two regular powers, hung onto one of each type of power, and passed one Lucre power left and one regular power right. Everyone then kept one Lucre power and one regular power and tossed the other two.
  2. Each player's system received one Quarter Moon and one Half Moon.
  3. Five Comets were shuffled into the Destiny Deck, one for each player.
  4. Because people complained that among other powers, the Schizoid (with which I won last CosmicNight) has come up too often recently, we decided that we starting retroactively with the previous game (SeattleCosmicGameNight20030125), we would temporarily "retire" powers from the game as we used them, until we had gone through all powers in the set. (That meant that the powers from last game were not available for this game.)

Setup was complicated by the fact that I got a business call in the middle and had to thrash that out. By 7:30, though, just as the Beginner's Game was finishing, we were reading our powers to one another, which were as follows (Lucre powers first, regular powers second). Take a good look, folks; these powers won't be coming out again for months.


Kisa G Whore-Changeling
Paul U Fixer-Trader
Ron H-E Gnome-Colonist
Steve D Butler-Doppelganger
Tim S Lucre-Connoisseur

Kisa struck fear into my heart as the Whore-Changeling -- as the Whore, because it's a very good power and I have won with it myself, and as the Changeling because it's such a damned nuisance. The Whore gets to offer to make a deal instead of taking place in combat; the usual offer is a base for a base, so the Whore racks up bases pretty fast. The Changeling, however, gets to swap itself with one of its opponent's powers when it is a main player, so although Kisa started as the Whore-Changeling and Paul as the Fixer-Trader, when Kisa attacked Paul, Kisa became the Whore-Fixer and Paul became the Changeling-Trader. Damn, I'm glad we're retiring the Changeling for a while, even though I didn't get changeling'ed in this game.

The Whore was a good enough power that if I were Kisa, I might not have used Changeling at all, for fear that the current Changeling would take Whore away from me later -- which is what happened; Paul took Lucre away from Tim and Tim took Whore away from Kisa (I think).

At one point, after having lost as Attacker against Steve's War card, I played the Wild Fixer flare to save myself from going to the Warp: "The battle wuz fixed!", I said. Tim said, "That was mean," but Paul replied, "Well, we were on the take, apparently." Before I was involved in another challenge however, I discovered I had read the card wrong (Wild Fixer only works when you're an ally), and dumped the four tokens I would have lost into the Warp where they belonged. Oh, well; my mistake fostered a good quip from Paul, anyway.

Another Paul exchange:

Paul (raising an eyebrow): "Mind-Doppelganger."

Ron: "Probably an illegal combination."

(Doppelganger gets to grab cards out of other people's hands; Mind lets you see what's in their hands.)

Several people landed on Moons (in one case, Paul was forced to by the Butler, whom he did not tip), but there weren't many exciting ones, so the Moon powers didn't get used much.

Even though Kisa lost Whore part-way through the game, he did well enough Whoring himself that he had a substantial lead. In the Last Battle (see below), Paul and I allied against Kisa on the side of Tim. You can see Lucre on the defensive side of the Cone because the alien Lucre's power is that he gets to use Lucre chits as tokens in a 1:1 ratio. I don't remember why Steve didn't have tokens on the defensive side, but I'm guessing it's because he had four bases already and since we were using the Reverse Cone, it would have given him his fifth base if he won as defensive ally.

Kisa whipped out a War card versus Tim's Attack 9 for an automatic win, leading Paul to suggest that Kisa should have stuck to Whoring and that the title of tonight's newsletter should thus be, "Make Love, Not War!" (Reason #3.)

For his relatively quick victory (it was only about 8:15, so our game lasted about 45 minutes after setup), Kisa was awarded a bootable Knoppix 3.1 CD. This is an "automagic" CD that will, when booted from, temporarily turn your MS-Windows computer into a very capable Debian GNU/Linux box, without harming the MS-Windows file system in any way, or even installing any files. Kisa thought this sounded pretty cool (Marty and I have played with it, and it is), and said he was thinking of trashing his MS-Windows installation anyway (I hope he does).

The obligatory Last Battle shot. Kisa wins, the Whore!


Having noticed that certain powers, most notably Schizoid, seem to pop up quite often, I proposed that powers be "retired" after they are played, to be reinstated at some point in the future after some of the less common powers have seen action. This suggestion was adopted surprisingly quickly for some reason. One drawback for it that occurred to me later is that just because a power is on the table doesn't mean it gets played. For instance, I didn't use Trader once (owing to the fact that I wasn't keen on donating my two Cosmic Zaps and one War card to anyone), and I don't think Fixer was ever used either, even after Changeling swapped with it. Perhaps players should be able to petition to have their powers remain in the pile.

This may sound like sour grapes, but even though War cards might make an appropriate political statement, I don't like them. Specifically, I don't like them in battles for a fifth base, when the defending main player is least likely to play a Compromise card. On the other had, the defender is most likely to play a War card at that time. Even still, perhaps we can do without them.

Okay, I think I've meddled with this game enough for now.


The War cards seem a little too powerful to me, too, and perhaps move the game into the "too much luck" territory, for those who happen to draw them.

I thought I was making good progress between allying and fighting as the main player, having attained 4 bases this way and using my butler power to shunt other players off onto moons instead of planets. But Kisa's Whore power proved to be too powerful. He only actually fought two battles the whole game.


The thing I like about War cards is the essential simplicity of the expansion (War beats any Attack; Compromise beats War; War vs. War results in a loss for both players). I remember one game in which I obtained my fifth base (thus winning the game) by playing a Compromise against someone I was sure would play a War, so I'm less pessimistic about them than you guys are. They make playing Challenge cards even more of a mental game, in my opinion. But if people want to strip all War cards out of the deck some night, I won't put up much of a fuss. One night we actually played with only Attack cards and no Compromises. That was quite a game.



Jay Lorch showed up around 7:30, just as the Beginner's Cosmic game was finishing, so he and the Beginner's Cosmic crew decided to play Traumfabrik (German for "Dream Factory"), the Reiner Knizia game of making classic Hollywood movies. Each player plays a studio; at the beginning you are given three movies to complete, one in each of three genres. Your goal is to line up the personnel to complete the rosters for these movies (actors, directors, cinematographers, etc.). There are four rounds in which players bid against one another for personnel rated by stars (zero to four stars in most cases, with one notable exception: Reiner Knizia, a -1 star actor). The total number of personnel's stars for a movie is the movie's score. Both speed of completing a movie and high score count because studios that complete movies get to draw extra movies, and there are bonuses for completing the first movie in a genre and for high-scoring movies at the end of each round, as well as at the end of the game. There are more details, but that's the gist. Thanks to Marty for this recap.

We own the game in its second edition, Fabrik der Traume (name changed because of some trademark dispute), but Marty wasn't even aware we had a copy and had never played it before (no one had, except Jay and Alex). One nice thing about the first edition is that it includes an audio CD of mostly swing music from the era of the movies being made, which the players put on the stereo while they were playing to add atmosphere. A very nice "bit"; I wish my edition had come with it.

A night at the Dream Factory. Clockwise from bottom left: Mer, Alex, Jay.

A large part of the fun of Traumfabrik is hiring directors and casting actors in improbable ways. Marty said that because so many of the players were film buffs, Traumfabrik was really "Quip City". Examples of incongruities:

Jay won the game by a very wide margin, but as Tim Higgins reminded me when I won the first (and so far only) game of Ad_Acta? we've played at SC, "If you're the only one who's read the rules, you don't get to brag." (Not to mention if you're the only one who's played.)

Jay was offered a Knoppix CD as a prize, but turned it down, saying he already has GNU/Linux on many of his machines. Instead he opted for a bag of plastic clips for paper miniatures, again donated by John Braley.


Jay L 94
Mer H 63
Alex R 61
Nat D 47
Marty H-E 44

Other favourite quips and mismatches?


I don't have any more quips or mismatches to add. I just wanted to give away my strategy for the game, which was to try to be as close to first at the parties as possible. I was first at five of the parties, second at two, and third at only one (the last and least-important one). At one point, I took the negative-1-star Reiner Knizia instead of a 1-star main actor or a 2-star agency token because I didn't have any room for another main actor and I wanted to increase my actor count for the parties. As it turned out, he had another use: he helped make The Three Musketeers the Worst Film, giving me the 10-point award in that category!


I had played this game once before, over a year ago, but I messed up early and blew all my money on a lot with no actors. I was then last or 4th at all the parties, and I wasn't able to get the things I needed to complete a film in year one (which would've given me +5 for first Drama, and +5 for best film in year one). This was because I didn't get enough money back fast enough to purchase the remaining component I needed for my drama (an actor, of course... the thing I was lacking all game).

The parties are important... you get first pick if you have the most actors/actresses. So Jay's strategy of valuing them highly, especially early, is key. It really helps when you can pick up even more good actors from the party... and thus get further ahead. In a way, they are kind of like the Pharaohs in Ra?.

In the end, I only completed 3 of my 5 films, and if I had completed one more I would've got another dozen or so points, plus taken the Best Director 10-point bonus away from Jay, for an over-30 point swing. That would've made it extremely close, but alas, I couldn't get enough music to film Ben Hur. (I think that's what it was.)


Fist of Dragonstones

Next up, around 8:45, all the Advanced Cosmic players except me (Ron) decided to try Fist_of_Dragonstones? by Bruno Faidutti and Michael Schacht. At first glance, I dismissed this as an attempt by Faidutti to cheaply capitalise on the success of his Citadels? and Dragon's_Gold?, both of which this resembles strongly if you don't look too closely. However, as I watched the four others play, I saw that there were some simple, innovative mechanics (bidding on action cards that are turned up one by one, then playing those action cards to get an edge). First player to score three points wins.

Can't tell you much more about it, but it did look like fun, and I would be willing to try it next time.

1. The eponymous Fists.
2. Tim (L) and Paul (R) having Dragonstony fun.

Kisa won around 9:30 and was awarded a bendy rubber snake (a serpent!), which was the closest thing we had to a dragon.


Kisa G 3
Steve D 2
Tim S 2
Paul U 1


While I didn't play this on Saturday, I played it 5 times on Sunday, and I love it. Very cool blind BiddingGame. The Sorcerer card is super-powerful for scoring points. ;) (Dang, I just gave away my strategy.)


I still don't like blind bidding games. And for some reason I think I don't seem to like games that have the word "dragon" in the title, but more research is needed before I can say so conclusively.


Puerto Rico

As discussed on the mailing list, several people decided on a beginner's game of Puerto_Rico?. We run with a fast crowd in this regard; Alex Rockwell has played it over 300 times, and Jay Lorch is a fine player as well. If you're a PR newbie, playing them makes about as much sense as playing John Braley, the group's Chess Master, at Chess.

While people were waiting for the Beginner's PR game to start, Mer made a move in her online Tigris_&_Euphrates? game (some of the other players were actually present), and Alex checked eBay for some game auctions he was bidding on.

Beginner's Puerto Rico.
1. Clockwise from bottom left: Marty, Kisa, Tim, Paul, Mer.
2. Paul (L) and Mer (R), toward the end of the game.

The game actually began around 9:00, and ended prematurely (by mutual prior agreement) when Paul had to leave at 11:30. The expert players in our group can squeeze a PR game into an hour or less; for newbies like the folks in this game, 2 1/2 hours isn't enough. (Marty estimates she has played 3 half-games now. I have played one and a half games.)

Even though Tim Schutz had never played before, he picked up on the mechanics quickly, and obtained a significant lead with 36 points. (His closest competitor, Marty, was only at 28.) I offered Tim a Knoppix CD as a prize, but he said it was too complicated, so I (somewhat snarkily) gave him a couple of lightweight plastic toy blocks (which Marty said he could throw at the dogs in his dog-sitting business), and threw in a smiley ball, because, hey, toy blocks aren't much of a prize.

Paul and Tim left at 11:30 PM. I gave Paul a Knoppix CD even though he didn't win anything, because he had expressed interest in it, and because he wasn't likely to return for a while.


Tim S 36
Marty H-E 28
Mer H 26
Kisa G 25
Paul U 22


One thing I noted was that several players weren't focusing on getting some good production going early, which is a must. In Puerto Rico, if you have 2 indigo or 2 sugar plants, you shouldn't wait to purchase a large indigo/large sugar plant if you don't have enough money, and just sit there and get nothing. Instead, it's best to take the small plant and get something going. Then you can often trade it for more money, and thus afford the larger one, or some other building later. I don't like to have more than 1 plantation of indigo or sugar early. Also, getting a variety of goods going is very, very helpful. If you can get 1 corn, 1 indigo and 1 sugar, you can cheaply build the plants for them, and then you have good prospects in the Trader phase to get extra cash, you will most likely be scoring some points in early Captain phases, and you also are well set up for the Factory or the Harbor, in the mid-game. Also, getting an early tobacco or coffee going can be amazing, if no one else has it and you get to trade it (which of course you should fight for).

An ideal setup might be, for the starting player for example: 1st plantation indigo. In first 4 Settler phases get: Quarry, then 1 Corn, 1 Sugar, 1 (Coffee or Tobacco), in whichever order. First 6 builder phases you build: Sm market, Sm sugar/indigo, Sm sugar/indigo (depending on which you got first), Tobacco or Coffee plant, Harbor, Sm Warehouse. Or alternately: Factory instead of the Harbor. This should now be about turn 8, or halfway through the game. The quarry you got turn 1 would help buy all the buildings cheaply, and guarantee you don't miss Builder phases. The Sm Market could be used to increase your income from an early sugar or indigo sale, and thus allow you to buy an early coffee or tobacco. Sale of that good will purchase the Harbor or Factory, and then you get the warehouse for protection of your goods.

Let's look at how this is feasible: Start with about 3 coins or so (average of starting number of coins). Gain about 6-7 coins from money roles you have chosen => 10 coins. Gain 2 from sale of indigo + Market, gain 4 from sale of tobacco + Market => 16 coins. Costs (with Quarry for all but first build): Sm Market: 1, Sm Indigo: 0, Sm Sugar: 1, Tobacco: 4, Harbor: 7, Sm Warehouse: 2 = 15 coins. So this is not unreasonable.

This is a great start for a mixed Shipper/Builder strategy, which could capitalize on Craftsman through the sale of large cash goods, (or money gained via factory), and on shipping through the harbor/warehouse. Also, you have good building prospects with the quarry and cash good. Thus, you can build large buildings such as the Guild Hall (good for this strategy as you have many production buildings), or the Customs House (good for the Harbor/Warehouse strategy as you get a lot of VPs).

So that's an explanation of one strategy there... ;)

Note that if all players try this, it won't work, of course... at least not for most of them. One of the keys in PR is figuring out what the other players are doing based on their early builds/plantation picks, and figuring out which strategy will work well for you based on that, and on what you got early on. If all other players are going for a heavy shipping strategy, for example, you do NOT want to go heavy on building. If you are set up for building, you should go for a mixed strategy that will lag them a bit in shipping, but hopefully make up for it with large buildings. The reason for this is that if you are the only one going for a certain strategy, you have to do all the roles of that strategy. Specifically, the builder has to do Builder and Trader (and also worry about Mayor), while the shippers need both Craftsman and Captain.


BANG! (x6)

Around 9:30, people started playing BANG!?. Jay predicted Seattle Cosmic would like BANG! because it has elements of both Werewolf and Cosmic_Encounter?. I guess he was right, because most of the people who played it didn't want to do anything else the rest of the night. In all, six games were played.

1. Ron's role and character cards in Game 2.
2. The players of Game 3. Clockwise from bottom: Nat, Jay, Steve, Alex.


Alex R Deputy Outlaw Outlaw Outlaw Outlaw Renegade
Jay L Renegade Renegade Sheriff Outlaw Outlaw Sheriff
Kisa G - - - - Renegade -
Nat D Sheriff Sheriff Outlaw Renegade Deputy Outlaw
Ron H-E Outlaw Outlaw - Sheriff - -
Steve D Outlaw Deputy Renegade Deputy Sheriff Outlaw


Bold: Player won that game.
Italics: Player was killed.
Bold Italics: Player was killed, but their side won anyway.

Note that "Deputy" is also sometimes called "Vice".

BANG! players, if I made any mistakes in the chart above, please correct them.

The iconic language that stated what each card could do was very interesting and reminded me of both the Glass Bead Game, and SC member Lion Kimbro's proposal for an iconic language to specify rules in Nomic.

There's a good chance I'll end up buying BANG! myself, but I doubt I'll ever want to play six games of it in a row.


The Werewolf-like aspect of this game is that each player is randomly assigned a role: Sheriff, Vice, Outlaw, or Renegade. Everyone knows who the Sheriff is, but each other player keeps his role secret until he dies. The Renegade wins if he is the last one alive and if the Sheriff is the last one to die. The Outlaws win if the Sheriff dies under any other circumstance. The Sheriff and Vices win if the Outlaws and Renegades all die. Vices and Outlaws can win even if they are dead, so there is room for heroism by sacrificing oneself for the greater good.

The Cosmic Encounter-like aspect is that each player gets a personality randomly assigned at the beginning of the game. This personality conveys a special power to break the rules in some way. To balance the game, players with better powers get a lower initial and maximum life total. For instance, Paul Regret, a good personality, has an initial and maximum life total of 3; Suzy Lafayette's is 4.

On a player's turn, he draws two cards, plays any number of cards from his hand, then discards cards until his hand size is no greater than his current life total. The most common card to play is Bang!, which lets you do one damage to a player of your choice who's within range of your current weapon. For instance, if your weapon has a range of 2, you can hit the players who are sitting no more than 2 spaces away from you. If you have no weapon card in play, you always have your trusty Colt 45 with a range of 1.

The great thing about the game is the table talk. You can claim to be whoever you want, and usually everyone's claiming to be the Vice, at least until they get into a good enough position to go after their real target. It's up to you to figure out who's on your side and who's just pretending to be, before you wind up bleeding to death on the floor of some grimy saloon.


Awesome game, I can't wait to play it more. Six times is not enough!

I finally got the Renegade on the last game, which is the hardest player to win with, since first you must protect the Sheriff, and kill the Outlaws, then you have to kill the Sheriff! In the last round we played a 4 player, and I was the Renegade across from the Sheriff. It was very quickly clear who was who in this game, and for a long time it was me and Jay against Steve and Nat, the Outlaws. We managed to keep Jay alive, and I was able to kill one of the Outlaws (I think Steve, but I am not sure). Then I got a gun that allows the playing of any number of Bang! cards on one turn. I was able to kill the other Outlaw, who had been wounded, get the reward of three cards for killing an Outlaw, and then use the two Bang! cards I drew in those three to kill the Sheriff too. ;) Even if I hadn't been able to kill him yet, I was in a much stronger position than him (Jay, the Sheriff) overall. (I had a horse which made it so that I could shoot him, but he couldn't shoot me. ;) )

This game is kind of like Lunch Money with structure/order, or like Werewolf/Mafia with a combat aspect, so that once you figure out who the teams are, it's a battle, not just whichever side figured it out first killing the other one.


The game I will remember longest was Game 3, in which I was the renegade in a 4-person game. One outlaw was dead already and I fired the fatal shot that killed the second, who happened to be Nat. This would have given me a 3-card bonus draw and left me as a strong renegade against a weak sheriff. Unfortunately, Nat was El Gringo, and as her power she got to draw a card out of my hand, which just happened to be the only card which could save her - a Beer. She survived just long enough to fire the final shot that killed the Sheriff and won the game for the Outlaws. The sad part was that I could have used the beer on myself before playing the Bang! card, had I been paying attention, and guaranteed Nat's death.

I think the rest of the evening was really my feverish attempts to make up for that one mistake. Like a gambler who plays worse and worse as he gets desperate, I was winning (both games before the tragic mistake) but didn't win or even manage to feel like I had any control of the game after that. Still, the game was great and one both of us will definitely be playing again. I will probably get my own copy so I can start shooting my family when we visit the east coast.


Kisa had joined in Game 5 of BANG!, while Marty, Mer and I sat it out. Marty and I stared at our row of Furbies (Kisa had given me another one since SeattleCosmicGameNight20030125, making a total of four staring down at us). Marty suggested if I ever rip one's guts out and make it fully-programmable, I should make it say, "All your base are belong to us! Ee hee hee!" Marty and Mer reminded me to put G8 Game Timer inventor Don Green's instructions for custom Facts in Five settings on the Wiki (he's been corresponding with us about it, after he read our complaint in the newsletter of 30 November 2002). (This has now been done; see Facts in Five.)

Then Kisa and Mer left around 12:20 (Mer was tired). Nat and Steve left around the same time. Alex and Jay hung around for a few minutes. Alex gave Marty some pointers on her Puerto Rico game, and Jay showed us how he had customised his Traumfabrik set with original English titles for the movies on stickers he made from a BoardgameGeek download. Then Alex and Jay left around 12:30 and it was time to clean up...


Supporting Seattle Cosmic

The Center for Ludic Synergy and Seattle Cosmic Game Night are associates of Funagain Games. This means that 5% of your purchase there goes toward supporting us if you buy games via THIS VERY LINK. Any game you buy during a web session you start by clicking the previous link qualifies; in fact, if you click it and bookmark the Funagain page that appears, you can donate 5% to Seattle Cosmic whenever you buy games, without having to return to this page. It's just as easy to bookmark as not, so why not make this your regular Funagain link? THIS MEANS YOU.

We've never yet earned enough money from the associates program for Funagain to cut us a check, and we're not sure what we'd do with the money -- but we promise not to squander it on booze and floozies.


Saturday, 22 February 2003, 5:00 PM at the house of Tim Higgins in Mill Creek (Bothell). Come play for fun and FABULOUS PRIZES!

Remember, Seattle Cosmic Game Night occurs every weekend, in one of three locations: Kent, Mill Creek, or West Seattle. Email Ron Hale-Evans for a full schedule and directions. If you come, please bring a snack or drink to share (cookies, chips, soda, juice, etc.)

NewslettersFor?2003 | CategoryGameNight? | FrontPage