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Subject: Session Report rss

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Jonathan Degann
United States
Westlake Village
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I've had three game sessions since my last report. Damn! It's so hard to find time to keep up, and there is also the difficulty of finding just what I want to say about my sessions. I write more than I intend, but less than I want to. Finally, I'm so egocentric, that I hardly ever manage to notice what happened to players other than myself.

I) Three weeks ago Friday, our Adam Spielt order finally arrived! I was naturally losing sleep over the prospect of opening and playing my new goodies on Wednesday, as well as being the Candyman for everyone who had an order in. The big irony was that when Wednesday came, I was *swamped* with work - and had to stay in the office until 11:30pm to get a critical project out on time. I would not give up - and decided to show up at midnight anyway. It's not uncommon for there to be late gaming, as we have many people with untraditional hours in the group. It turned out the house was still buzzing at midnight.

I really wanted to play a "full bodied" game, but settled for two light ones - although the latter card game took *way longer* than I had anticipated.

(Me, Mark Johnson, Fen)
We'd been curious about this after Frank Branham, king of the "misfit games", called it to the Diger's attention. It is a small wooden dexterity game. The essence is simple. The "board" starts with a thin dowel stuck into a base. The dowel has three holes in its top. Players each have a bunch of thin (1/4"?) dowels, each with a peg on one end, a hole on the other, and numerous holes in the side, and they have green wooden "leaves" that fit in the holes. Play one piece per turn into the existing "tree", take back anything that falls off, first person to "go out" wins.

Where's the catch? There are two. One is that the base is not flat; the dowel that sticks out of the base also sticks out of the bottom (players control the degree at the start), and so the whole thing tilts and rolls. Two is that the pegs in the dowels are thinner than the holes, and so all the individual pieces are held in loosely, and will flip around chaotically when the tree shifts position. Cute. It took a few turns to fully appreciate the effect, as Mark played to a side opposite of where the tree was tilting. That's a standard "Bamboleo" type move - even things out. In Arbos, though, such a move cause the entire tree to roll around on its base, and as it does, all the branches jangle around in their holes. Mark had to pick up the odd piece that fell, and I also found myself sticking a piece in that cause several below it to come unglued in my hand. Fen took a novel approach - the "anti-Bamboleo" tactic. He just kept adding branches to the same side, causing this giant weeping willow bow to arc to one side. It makes sense - doing that prevents the tree from becoming unstable. To a point. Fen was the clear leader until one too many leaves cause the whole thing to topple. Well deserved, ya little stinker! Mark and I could clearly go out, now that there was not much of a tree remaining, but since Mark had fewer pieces, he was the winner.
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