Seattle Cosmic Game Night, Saturday, 22 March 2003

A Springtime Bouquet of Daves

Seattle Cosmic held its first spring meeting of the year at 5 PM on 22 March at the house of Tim Higgins. As usual at Tim's house, the turnout was sizeable. Present (in rough order of appearance) were Timothy_Higgins?; Marty_Hale-Evans?, Ron_Hale-Evans? (me) and John_Braley?; Mark_Purtill?; Kisa_Griffin? and Meredith_Hale?; Nat_Dupree? and Steve_Dupree?; Steve_Vall\xE9e?; John_Tanner?; Dan_Crouch? and Alex_Swavely?; David_Adams?; Dave_Howell?, Eric_Yarnell,_ND?, and newcomer Dave_Rodenbaugh? ("Daver"); and Meryl_Douglas? and Mark_Haggerty?, for a total of 19 people.

Dave H and Eric donated a stack of Landyland? games, a CheapassGames convention freebie that incorporates any Magic:_The_Gathering? Land cards you might have lying around. Many people received this as a prize during the evening.



A game of Acquire started in the kitchen almost right away. John Braley was the big winner, with Steve Dupree only a thousand or so behind.

Mark Purtill (center) banks with uncharacteristic glee.


John B $42,100
Steve D $41,000
Steve V $26,400
Mark P $23,900
Nat D $23,800

Comments from the players?


Mare Nostrum

Mare Nostrum started at 5:20. It was the first game of MN that Mer and I had ever played, and Kisa, Marty and Tim's third. (I believe our rankings reflect this somewhat.) Seattle Cosmic played with the correct rules on Influence and retaining Tax cards this week, which gave some of the weaker nations more of a chance.

Mare Nostrum: Carthaginian pawn's eye view

The object of Mare Nostrum is to have four Wonders and/or Heroes (everyone starts with one Hero), or to build the Pyramids. The first Wonder in the game was built by Kisa (Colossus) and the second by Tim (the Temple of Artemis). By 7:30, Tim had three Wonders and Heroes, Kisa had two, and everyone else had one.

Tempers flared as Rome (Tim) spread across the board. Babylon (Marty) tried to get Greece (Kisa) to help stop him, but because of some earlier skirmishes, Greece was distrustful of Babylon's motives and more interested in retribution. "But Rome's winning!" shouted Marty. Egypt (Meredith) also felt resentful because of Babylon's earlier exploits and hobbled by the effects of them.

Sure enough, in short order Rome sailed and invaded a Carthaginian province that I had left only weakly defended, and obtained enough different Resource cards to build his fourth Hero/Wonder. We all conceded, but played out the game anyway. My mistake was in not building any ships and invading Rome.

Tim finished with four Heroes/Wonders, Marty and Kisa with two, and Meredith and I with only one (no more than we started with). I was close to building a Wonder on one turn, but misread my player aid and thought I needed only 8 different Resources, not 9. Time to get new glasses, Ron...


Tim H Rome 1st
Kisa G Greece 2nd (tie)
Marty H-E Babylon 2nd (tie)
Meredith Egypt 4th (tie)
Ron H-E Carthage 4th (tie)

Tim said, "It's not a wargame," and while it isn't entirely, for some strange reason, I just didn't find myself up for something that was even partly a wargame this week. (The ancient city of Babylon is now part of Iraq and is only about 70 miles south of Baghdad.)

Tim was awarded Landyland? for his victory.


I swore that night that I would never play this again, but I think I've been swayed. I would like to try it again at some point. I often feel in games like this that it takes so much time to build up to where you can do anything (especially when you don't really know what you're doing) that by the time you feel like you have the hang of it, someone sweeps in and wins. So maybe if I played again I would already know what I was doing, but it seemed a bit stacked to me. I suppose everyone has their advantages in some way and it's just a matter of playing a few times and learning what each civilization needs to use to be strong.


Star Munchkin (x2)

Dave Howell, Eric Yarnell, and Dave Rodenbaugh showed up around 5:55 and quickly plunged into a game of Star_Munchkin? with Dave Adams. So, it was three Daves and an Eric. ("That's going to cause a little confusion. Mind if we call you 'Dave' to keep it clear?")

Three of a kind play Star Munchkin in a full house

Game 1

Dave R 10
Eric Y 9
Dave A 8
Dave H 6

I am asked to report that Dave R killed a Level 1 Chair, and that Dave H ended the game as a Psychic Psychic Feline Feline. This first game lasted about an hour and a half.

The second game of Star Munchkin took place around 10:15, and featured three Daves and a John (John Tanner, in this case). We left before the game ended, so I can't report scores, but eavesdropping revealed that a certain amount of sex-changing was going on.


What would a game of Munchkin be without sex changes? ;) (Especially one with all male players! All those female only items would go to waste!)


King's Gate (x2)

Around 8 PM, two successive games of Reiner Knizia's King's_Gate? started in the living room. Steve V won the first game, for which he was awarded Landyland?.

Steve V explains the finer points of King's Gate

Game 1

Steve V 24
Meryl 23
Nat D 20
Mark H 18

In the second game, everyone's ranking was the same, except that first and last place were switched. Mark H was the big winner in this game, with Meryl a point behind. Mark was awarded the Global Imperialism prize -- the world on a string (well, a globe, anyway), and two American Eagles that run toward the brink (of a table) and then plunge off. (Can you tell I'm bitter about the war?)

Game 2

Mark H 29
Meryl 28
Nat D 14
Steve V 11


Well, for the second game I tried a new strategy. I'm used to hit hard right at the beginning and keep the tempo as long as I can, usually finishing the game with no more power. For the second game I tried the opposite : save myself the more I can to hit hard at the end. I miserably failed, so I guess I'm back to my first strategy for now on :)

As for Mark H, by some unknown way, he succesfully awakened himself.


Fast Food Franchise

Around 7:45, five players started a 2 1/2 hour game of Fast_Food_Franchise? in the kitchen.

The Fast Food Franchise board


Mark P $1 million
John T $250K (approx.)
Steve D eliminated 3rd
Dave A eliminated 2nd
Dan C eliminated 1st

After he and Dave A were knocked out, Dan came to report on the game. "We're into the vicissitudes now," he said.

Unlike the game of two weeks ago (SeattleCosmicGameNight20030308), someone (Mark P) actually fulfilled the victory conditions of making a million dollars, for which he was awarded... a bird whistle, to go with his previous prize of a train whistle. Dave A was also awarded a Matchbox car for his de facto victory in the last FFF game, with which he was much pleased. "It's even blue!" he said, blue being his favourite colour.

Mark P then left around 10:20. Steve and Nat Dupree left a few minutes later.

Comments from the players?


La Citta

From 8:00 to 10:40, five people played La_Citta? in the dining room. Most of the players were rather tired after the Mare_Nostrum? game, as can be seen in the following photo.

La Citta pain and suffering. We do this for fun -- no, really!

9:15: It's halfway through La Citta, and I'm queasily listening to Alex S and Dave H debate the merits of various operating systems in the kitchen. I join in briefly but realise the argument is going nowhere.

10:35: The La Citta final reckoning. I could swear I hear Mer say, "Please don't let my city be cool!" As Kisa leaves the room, he complains he has gotten "completely boned"; in his absence, the other players come to consensus that this is not necessarily a bad thing...


Meredith H 28 + tiebreaker
Eric Y 28
Tim H 28
Marty H-E 23
Kisa G 13

Meredith bought some gold on the last turn, and her gold broke the tie. Marty awarded her a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure time-travelling phonebooth toy that had been kicking around the prize bag. Mer gets a lot of the "weird" prizes (like the Big Bag o' Ballerinas) because her taste is so different from many other Seattle Cosmologists.


It's true that we were all too tired in reality to play this game, and Kisa did get fenced in pretty badly. I'm very proud to have won this against such admirable players. If I hadn't lost a farm during the last round, I would have had 6 more points too, which wouldn't have needed the tie-breaker. Oh well...

PS - I'm not sure how I should take the comment about the prizes and how I have such different taste... Hmm.


I wouldn't know -- I've never tasted you.

P.S. Do you like Kipling?


Web of Power

Two Daves and an Alex started a game of Web of Power. I declined to join them because I was feeling sick and because I also tend not to enjoy MajorityPlacementGame?``s.

Weaving the Web of Power


Dave R 62
Alex S 60
Dave H 56

The winner was Daver (that is, Dave R). I believe he was awarded Landyland?.

Comments from the players?


Spite & Malice

Several games of Spite_&_Malice? were played.

A little S&M never hurt anyone.

Alex won a couple of, er, S&M games, for which he was awarded Landyland?. Dan C won another of the games, breaking his self-touted perfect loss record at Seattle Cosmic. He was awarded the Big Money prize (a yoyo shaped like a U.S. coin, and a notepad shaped like a $100 bill).

Dan and Alex left around 10:30, Dan consoling himself with the fact that he had lost 2 out of 3 games that evening. Dan mentioned he is moving, and his attendance (and thus that of Alex, who usually rides with him) might be spotty over the next few weeks.

Alex S asked me to snap a photo of a demo S&M game, which you can see on the Spite_&_Malice? page itself, annotated in living colour by Alex.

Comments from the players?



John wasn't feeling much better than I was, and wanted to leave early too, but joined in a game of that SC favourite, Blokus, while we were waiting for Marty to finish La_Citta?. (In the end, Marty and I had to wait for him to finish.)



Steve V 8
John B 12
Meryl 15
Mark H 20


Actually, it's more like "Three Blok-Heads and a Frog" :) Amazingly enough, the frog managed to win the blok game.


Zoff im Zoo

Marty was feeling fit and energetic, but I managed to drag her away from starting a game of Zoff_im_Zoo? so John and I could go home. We left around 11 PM, just as Zoff im Zoo was starting, so I don't have any scores. Can anyone else provide them?


Tim H ??? 1st
Meredith H ??? 2nd
Kisa G ??? 3rd
Eric Y ??? 4th


I was trying to remember the scores, but I suddenly can't remember. I know Kisa and I were very close, and the order was Tim, Me, Kisa then Eric. It was a completely pitiful game on everyone's count. I was kind of hyper (for once!) but mostly the attitude was very tired. It wasn't the best game played. I can just say that 3 hands in a row I had either 4 or 5 elephants and still sucked. Which isn't my nature in TrickTakingGame``s...



Steve Vall\xE9e writes:

[There was an Evo? game] that started around 11:30 and ended around 12:30 between Meryl, Mark H, and myself.
I can't remember the final score, but Mark H won, and Meryl and I both tied for second place about 5 points behind Mark.
This is definitely a great game. Hope some other people would like to play again soon!


Mark H ??? 1st
Meryl D ??? 2nd (tie)
Steve V ??? 2nd (tie)


I apologise for the low quality of the photos this week. It's often said that a photo reflects the photographer. After Mare Nostrum, I started feeling very queasy, partly from too many rich snacks and partly because of my usual springtime allergies. I didn't play any other games. Mostly I sat on the couch and read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, worked on my new piecepack game, and waited for Marty to finish La_Citta?.

Thanks to John Braley for recording scores of several games this week. Thanks to Marty Hale-Evans for help with captions, newsletter title, game clarification, and general editing.


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Saturday, 29 March 2003, 5:00 PM at the house of Dave Howell and Eric Yarnell in Tukwila. 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.)

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