Alfred, Come Down Here.

A blog to chronicle the gaming exploits of a small group of Portland board gamers who are a little too obsessed with Christian Bale's Batman voice.
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Session Report #24: April 7, 2013.

Lee Benson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Session Report #24: April 7, 2013.
aka "Alfred, come down here and get some cats in here to take care of these mice.

The Players
Amanda
Collin
Lee
Mike

The Rundown
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Alfred, Come Down Here where our plucky adventurers build, bid and bargain there way to the top. This week, we met at my place.

To get things started, we put a pile of games on the table and narrowed our choice pretty quickly down to Clocktowers. I picked this up mainly because the artwork was just so freaking adorable. As for gameplay, you build clocktowers and attempt to keep out the animals. This proves difficult as half the cards have an animal on them. The game ended surprisingly close: Amanda and I both had 11; Mike had 12; and Collin had 13.

Next up, Amanda and I nominated Last Will and Qin and our group decided on Qin. We were excited to play a Reinier Knizia game that didn't involve auctions. Mike explained the rules, which are quite simple. In the game, you attempt to control districts in order to get more of your pieces on the board. Once you have all of your pieces out, you win. It came down to the wire, as everybody had less than five pieces left, but I was able to get my last piece out for the win.

Our choices for the next game were Glory to Rome and Ad Astra. I think we mainly chose Glory to Rome simply because we all knew how to play. Collin got the game set up and gave a rules refresher. The rest of us were a bit rusty though and it took us a while to get going. Collin was having no trouble however and had a huge lead. Mike finally decided to surrender, something I didn't even know was allowed. Amanda and I quickly followed suit and the game was over.

Next it was the battle of the Knizia auction games because Ra and Medici were our options. Our group chose Ra. There were some different strategies employed this time and our group was clearly taking stock of what other players did and did not need. It was nice to get a little deeper into this game as I think it will come back to the table again.

Mike put the games Innovation and Mag Blast on the table and while reading the rules for Mag Blast, even he realized it didn't sound fun, so we played Innovation. It was a four-player game, so we played teams, with Collin and I on one and Amanda and Mike on the other. Team Mikemanda got off to a good start and took the lead. I used a first age card throughout the game to constantly trade up in points. It turned out to be a good move because I was able to grab a couple of achievements, slowly climbing to the win.

After Innovation, we grabbed dinner. As Mike and Amanda were running for food, Collin and I played some Elk Fest and then later some Blokus Duo, which Amanda seemed quite keen on trying, so we may have to pick up a copy of regular Blokus at some point.

The last game to hit the table was Ad Astra. This was a recent acquisition by Mike. Ad Astra has a unique turn order mechanic, where you place your action face down on a numbered space. Once all of the spaces are filled, you go through each action in order. Our first time through, it was hard to plan based on what other people would do, and we often were putting down the same card and essentially wasting an action. We had a good time and I think we enjoyed trying something quite different from our usual fare.

Well that's all. Come back soon for our 25th session report, which is to be followed a special statistics post with interesting numbers, ratings, and maybe even a graph or two!

The Ratings
This is the average rating our group gave each game played.

- Equivalent to a BGG rating of 9–10. Loved it and would play it every session.
- Really enjoyed, but wouldn't want to play every week.
- Could take it or leave it.
- Did not enjoy it, but could be talked into playing it again.
- Equivalent to a BGG rating of 1–2. Hated it and would not want to play it again.


Qin (3.75)

Ra (3.75)

Glory to Rome (3.60)

Ad Astra (3.50)

Clocktowers (3.00)

Innovation (3.00)

Blokus Duo (3.00)
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