Thursday, September 20, 2007

Conan the ...Eurogamer (?)

"Between the time when the first game of Chess was played, and the rise of the sons of Caylus, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Essen upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!"
Ouch suggested we throw off the burden of heavy thinking and play using only our Conan-brain - quick and intuitive play without deep strategy. Amid much thick Austrian accents and exhortations to "get out of the tunnel, it's not safe," we completed a full game of Power Grid in just over one hour last night. Conan-thinking!

Interestingly, despite the low-brow intent we played a relatively close game of Ticket to Ride - Shemp and Ouch tied at 101 (I trickled in at 80 with a poor mid-late-game ticket draw unfulfilled, Hilaria - something less... she elected not to count, I believe) - it came down to destination tickets filled - of which Shemp had more.

Power Grid was a lop-sided win for Shemp. I did my initial placement poorly (grabbing easy early connections rather than going for long-term strategy) and then Ouch was persuaded to blockade me rather than go for a more long-term strategy himself. Consequently, Shemp had the western half (we played with the top three regions of Germany) all to himself for most of the game. He earned it, but we helped by playing poorly.
"He did not care any more... life and death... the same. Only that the crowd would be there to greet him with howls of lust and fury. He began to realize his sense of worth... he mattered. In time, his victories could not easily be counted... he was taken to the east, a great prize, where the war gamers would teach him the deepest secrets. Language and writing were also made available, the designs of Knizia, the philosophy of Ulrich and Kramer.. But, always, there remained the discipline of dice."
Oh, I finally won a game of Trans Europa! Wooooooo! Apparently all I have to do to do well at games is to say "This is the time I will not suck at playing X." Power of positive thinking! (gag)

We played Carcasonne stupid-fast. It was... interesting. Any faster and it would have been pointless-fast. The layout was a mess.

Ticket to Ride (~0:50) [Shemp 101, Ouch 101, Kozure 80, Hilaria >80), Power Grid (~1:10) [Shemp 17, Ouch, 14, Kozure 11 - not even close] , Trans Europa (0:35) [Kozure 1, Shemp & Ouch - 14+] and Carcassonne (0:20) [Ouch (by a wide margin), Kozure, Shemp (scores not fully calculated after Ouch was shown to be easily the winner)], all after a 7:45 PM start time. Not bad, eh?
"So, did Conan travel to all his destinations in America, power the grid of Germania, connect the cities of Europa and lay waste to the fields of Carcasonne. And having no further concern, he and his companions sought adventure in the West. Many wargames and euros did Conan play. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand... And this story shall also be told."

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