Are you up for a game of Wellington?
I really do have a wonderful life.
When I popped over to Bobby Tweaks' Wednesday game evening, I was approaching a new personal milestone in gaming: a game of Gangsters not at the World Boardgaming Championships.
I played my first game of Gangsters at the WBC about three years ago, and ever since then, I have always played Gangsters at the WBC and only at the WBC. That is, until now.
Bobby Teaks, VuduJoie, Dan, and I sat down and set up the board. We did not play advanced rules. Here is the setup:
Dan - Downtown Bus Station (Racketeer), Bizelli's Riverside, and Taylor's Machine Shop (Thug and Vamp)
Bobby Tweaks - Greenwood Park (Racketeer and Thug), Grinde's, and Hucks Marina (Vamp).
VuduJoie - Franklin Hotel, Jacguar's Clothier (Vamp and THug), and Belmont Theater (Racketee).
Me - Ambassador's Club (Racketeer), Brisowski's Emporium (Thug), and Lou's Diner (Vamp).
Bobby Tweaks had piled into the yellow joints, Dan into the green, I had started a little in the blue, and VuduJoie was not in a particular color. My opponents started with five racketeers and two or three thugs, while I started at four racketeers and three thugs in order to upgrade one of my blue joints.
Rule number one in winning Gangsters: Always start with five racketeers.
And you know why you have to. Because you are going to get vamped or a cop is going to show up when you are gunning down a vamp, and eventually you are going to lose the second move you have and go down to one move. Which is what happened to me on my third turn, when VuduJoie vamped my racketeer. I only had two turns with two moves.
Dan scored big early with three public wandering into one of his green joints for $900. Dan would continue to score big in the money column for the duration of the game. The rest of us could never seem to get the public to cooperate for more than $500. I, in fact, never had the public land in a joint of mine. I was just happy to have two turns to get my vamp and my thug extorting long enough to get me some cash.
Our racketeers would make the rounds of acquiring and upgrading properties throughout the game. Bobby Tweaks built up yellow, VuduJoie started working towards his ten joints, Dan continued to collect big bucks, and I limped my way along collecting blue properties, supported by a vamp and a thug.
Bobby Tweaks (who admittedly I had sent a number of cops against) sent his thugs in to take out my vamp, and succeeded. I sent 12 dice worth of cops against his thus and did not succeed in taking him out.
VuduJoie took another opportunity to vamp my racketeer on his way towards victory. My racketeer continued to move along to blue properties, supported now only by a high rolling thug.
As you might expect, as I approached the last blue property, everyone noticed that it was the last one left.
Bobby Tweaks took out my thug in a one-on-one shoot out. His gun worked, mine did not. But no one else could get into the blue properties.
It would take me four turns to get in to the last property. which was fine because I needed one to get my vamp back, and another to recover my thug after the police visited him. On my last roll I had $700. I used $400 to buy the property, then rolled a two on the thug to purchase him, ending with one Franklin in my pocket. Not a lot of wasted resources.
But with my extorting cash and one move per turn from essentially turn three, I did eventually get the game victory. Dan was a very close second with $9,700. Bobby Tweaks was two away from a yellow monopoly, but he had upgraded one joint five times. The public simply were not being cooperative. And VuduJoie was about two properties away from winning with ten joints.
This was my second victory in Gangsters, and as usual I tried to keep a low profile. My first victory was a fluke of three players taking each other apart, while this game seemed a lot more challenging. I look forward to trying my hand at the 2008 WBC in just seven short weeks!