J. R. Tracy(jrtracy)United States
We had nine gamers tonight to play old games, new games, and bid farewell to a departing member.
Natus and Dutch tried Sekigahara, with Dutch taking the basic black of Tokugawa. Dutch systematically reduced the north, and judging by Nate's squeals, treachery cards played a role. However, Nate's Ishida clan gathered its forces for a decisive battle in the center, with Mitsunari himself at the head of his troops. It all ended in tears for the forces of the West, however, as Ishida's noggin was soon atop a Tokugawa naginata as the game drew to a close with a victory for black.
Ishida Nate-sunari is bemused by the fall of cards
Jim and John tried Paths of Glory, Jim's first experience with the game and John's second or third. They used the historical variant, and John's Central Powers hammered the west while keeping an eye on the Russian bear to the east. Jim held on as best he could, wondering when the pushover Turks would show up. The Italians entered, the Bulgars entered, the Romanians entered, but still no Turks. John suddenly wondered if the card was even in the deck. After an intensive search of hands, draw piles, and discards, the rules were consulted, and the Limited War careless auto-entry of the Turks was discovered. Not too much damage was done by the late entry, and as the witching hour approached the Allied cause was looking a touch brighter. The CP stands at 16 VP but the tide may be turning with an unscathed Russia and a vulnerable Turkey ripe for the plucking.
Plucky Serbia fights on
A truly international dead pile
Dave, Herr Fuchs, and I broke out Eclipse, my first game but the second for Dave and David. We all played human empires since we're still getting the hang of the rules. Dave and David focused on exploration, but all my exploration efforts yielded alien guardian ships so I researched some military tech and built up my war fleet. I soon ripped through three alien systems and conquered the center of the galaxy. Careful orientation of wormholes protected me from Dave, while David's fleet was off in the far reaches of space, away from my holdings. As the endgame approached, Herr Fuchs researched the monolith tech, and started building massive monuments to himself all over his corner of the galaxy. I was planning to do the same but Dave began building out his fleet, maneuvering for a play at the center of the board. I had to respond with research and builds of my own, and we fought an apocalyptic battle on the final turn. My superior technology prevailed, but it was a near-run thing. I ended up winning 38 to David's 34, with Dave coming in at 14. I really enjoyed the game, and once we had the bits sorted the interface was a breeze. I thought the alien tile were a bit of a pushover and therefore a logical focus of aggression, but otherwise there were some difficult decisions.
Dave decides between two VPs or alien-developed Ion Turrets
After Eclipse, Dave, David, and I cranked out a quick 7 Wonders. My Mausoleum of Halicarnassus needed shiny rocks to build the middle stage, and I foolishly let a double-shiny-rock card pass me by, thinking I'd get a shot at it next time around. Unfortunately, David buried it under his board as he built *his* wonder, leaving me stuck on the first level and falling behind. My green cards kept things respectable, but were no match for Dave's blue monuments or David's war VPs, as we finished Dave, David, JR at 49, 44, 41.
Roberto Setola has been a part of our group for the better part of a year, but his assignment in New York is drawing to a close and he is headed back to DC. Tonight he taught Dr. Rob A House Divided, emphasizing the need for the Union to protect Washington. Rob did as he was told, but unfortunately lost every other space on the eastern seaboard for a Rebel win. Roberto blessed us with Italian truffles and something called a pandoro classico, which for you non-Italian speakers means "sugar-dusted cake bomb of deliciousness"; all this was washed down by a nice grappa. Arrivederci, Roberto - you know how to depart in style!
Dr. Rob makes a brash attempt to steal a veteran from Roberto's reserves
Next week, maybe some Festung Budapest, maybe some Where Eagles Dare, maybe some more Eclipse.