Seattle Cosmic Game Night, Saturday, 11 September 2004


Well, I did, at least. (Who am I? Fred_Sloniker?, of course.) It's been a long time since my last visit to Seattle Cosmic (SeattleCosmicGameNight20030426, to be precise), owing primarily to my brother Clyde_Sloniker? getting a job at Securitas and working Saturday nights. Since I didn't have a driver's license of my own, coming all the way south from Sedro-Woolley just wasn't in the cards. I finally broke down and got one, though, so here I am! Er. Was.

I got there about 5:20 and was surprised to see the place was still fairly unpopulated; apparently this isn't unusual. People filed in fairly quickly, many bringing soda, and there were some jokes that we might wind up with nothing but. The reality, however, was that there was plenty of everything. (Thanks especially to Tim, who left a game early to go get the pizza. Admittedly, he wasn't going to get another turn anyway...)

Only having been to Seattle Cosmic twice before, I mainly noticed the ways this visit differed from those ones, and most of those differences were absences. Nobody brought digital cameras, so this entry isn't going to have any pictures. The PrizeBag wasn't there, though I was told that the tradition hasn't been retired. No little kids this time, either. No prototype games. The important things were there, though: games, food, and people.

I don't know who came, besides myself and Marty. (I didn't have a chance to learn your names the last time!)

I'm looking forward to the next Mill Creek outing. Next time, I'll be driving my own car! (If you see me on the freeway, give me plenty of room; I drive like a 16-year-old, and my car isn't worth as much as yours...)


Other people I recall attending were: Steve and Nat Dupree, Ben Sklar, John Reiher, Jay Lorch and Michelle Teague (briefly), Julie Strasser, Alpha Tim Schultz, Host Tim Higgins, David Adams, Chad Urso-McDaniel?, Dave Howell, and Ryan Eyers.



Game: Starfarers_of_Catan?
Players: Fred_Sloniker?, ???, ???, ???
Location: Kitchen table
Time: ???
Winner: Fred_Sloniker?
Prize: ???


Fred 15
??? 14
??? ???
??? ???

I was sitting by the snack counter, flipping through the Chrononauts cards someone brought, when I was invited into a game of Starfarers_of_Catan? that was just getting started. I'd never tried the game, and I was curious whether the gameplay justified its steep price tag. My opinion: not really. The bits look interesting, but they're prone to breakage, and they don't do anything some cards and maybe a custom die could do. (The whole 'shake the ship' mechanism is fun, though, and led to much humming of 'Shake Your Body'.) I'm also doubtful how much the whole 'exploring planets' mechanism adds to the fun; you can spend several turns in the game simply making the obvious moves for your ships and waiting for them to get there, only to find nothing but 12's and 2's. I won, so I'm not speaking from sour grapes, but I didn't really feel like I won from anything but dumb luck.



Game: Chrononauts
Players: Fred_Sloniker?, ???, ???, ???
Location: Kitchen table
Time: ???
Winner: ???
Prize: ???

I played two rounds of Chrononauts with the same three people, and neither time did I come close to victory. Perhaps my biggest gripe with the game, in fact, is how difficult it is to know who's close to winning. Secret IDs and missions put the game in the same category as other games where player's identities remain unrevealed until the end, but in other games of this type, such as Clans? (which was played earlier in the evening), at least you know how you're doing compared to the pack and know you probably want to slow down the red guy. Unless you've memorized every ID and mission in the pack, you don't have that kind of feedback in this game.

That said, I enjoyed myself immensely, and I'm seriously considering buying some cards for myself (despite the fact that at least three people own decks, so I'd never lack for one if I wanted to play). I might want to try a couple of rounds with public IDs, if for no other reason than the silly voices the guy with the hyperevolved cockroach could use, but the theme is fun, the mechanics are interesting, and the game's light enough you don't feel like you sold your soul to play it.

At least one other game of Chrononauts was played, but I wasn't in it.



Game: The_Big_Idea?
Players: Fred_Sloniker?, Meredith_Hale?, Tim ???, Marty ???, Dave ???, Julie ???
Location: Dining-room table
Time: ???
Winner: Meredith_Hale?
Prize: ???


Meredith 54
Tim 53
Fred 47
Marty 46
Dave 45
Julie 45

The_Big_Idea? was my last game of the night (I had a long drive ahead and didn't want to endanger others more than usual), and it was a lot of fun, even if I didn't win it either. Part of this, of course, is the silly inventions people are encouraged to come up with. Just making bizarre and/or erotic widgets isn't enough to win the game, though; reading your competitors to know where they're going to put their money is important too. Even if nobody likes your ideas, you can still win by betting on the right horses. I did well enough at this to come in third, but Meredith got a big payout in the final round which swept her to a narrow victory.

There were other games played that I wasn't in. Hopefully others will step forward and wiki them...


Clans (x2)

Game: Clans?
Players: Various
Location: ?
Time: ?
Winner: ?
Prize: ?


Player 1 ???
Player 2 ???
Player 3 ???
Player 4 ???
Player 5 ???

I wasn't in either game of Clans, so I can't say much about what happened. In the second game, the unused color came in second place by two points. The player with the black huts lost horribly in both games.


Age of Steam

Game: Age_of_Steam?
Players: Steve, Tim H, Marty, Chad, Dave H
Location: Dining Room
Time: 6:00 - 10:00
Winner: Steve
Prize: None


Steve 35?
Tim 33?
Chad ???
Marty ???
Dave ???

A long, grueling game of Age of Steam with 5 players. There was debate about which was supposed to be the last round. In the end everyone agreed that the current round was the last round, just because we wanted to move on with our lives. This game is, as the rumors suggested, very much like the big brother of Volldampf. The theme and a lot of the mechanisms are similar. It might be nice if there was a game in this category that came in somewhere between 45 minutes and 4 hours.

In the end, I don't know exactly how I won. The one insight I gleaned was that getting your train beefed up with the locomotive option seems to be pretty powerful. The two players who went after said option were the highest scorers.



Remember, Seattle Cosmic Game Night occurs every weekend, in one of a number of Seattle-area locations. Come play for fun and FABULOUS PRIZES from the PrizeBag! 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.)

Supporting Seattle Cosmic and Games to the Rescue

GamesToTheRescue is a philanthropic project of the Center for Ludic Synergy and Seattle Cosmic Game Night. The aim of the project is to provide game equipment and a book of game rules to hospitals, for use by patients and visitors. You can support GamesToTheRescue by buying games via our Funagain affiliate program, buying Seattle Cosmic Gear, and in a number of other ways. See the GamesToTheRescue page for more details.

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