Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Games Played June 17, 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

Sue and I were traveling for three weeks, and we certainly missed gaming with the family. So, we were happy to all get together again.

We had time for only three games, so we played some of our favorites. We started with Alhambra. The first two tiles I bought had no wall segments, and I figured I was in a good position, but (as usual) the tiles I wanted/needed were snatched up before my turn, consistently. Even so, I felt I was doing okay after the first scoring, but things deteriorated after that. Results: Mason first, Katrina second, Dan third, Joel fourth, Sue fifth, me last.

Ticket to Ride was next. My initial three tickets were long stretches from the west coast to the east coast (Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City). I decided to keep all of them, planning to connect the west coast and run a quick line east, where I would split off for the connection cities. Unfortunately, my plans were destroyed early, as the other players had drawn short tickets, almost all of them with eastern city connections. Immediately, we were all jockeying for connections to NYC, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, etc. Having to constantly build alternate short routes in the east soon used up my trains, and I discovered it would be impossible to make all my needed connections. I managed to complete only one ticket, which was murderous to my score, although I did have the longest train. None of us managed to score 100 points, which is unusual for our games. Results: Sue first, Mason second, Dan third, Katrina fourth, me last. Man, what a lousy start back at gaming for me!

With time for one more game, we naturally selected Settlers of Catan. As is usual for us, the finish was close. The game was not overly long. We played several rounds before anyone bought a development card. During the entire game, I bought three of them – two Monopoly cards and one Road Building – wow. No one acquired the Largest Army, and no one challenged Sue for the Longest Road. It was a very different game for us. My Monopoly cards really paid off. I had very early built on a port with 2-for-1 Ore, and I was on an 8 Ore space. The dice rolls turned up 8’s fairly often, so I really benefited from that. As the game was coming to a close, it was obvious three of us were in a tight race. On my turn, I used the Road Building card and a massive hand of Ore I had accumulated during that last round, to build two new settlements and win the game. Mason had the winning hand (the third Soldier, for the 2-point Largest Army card), but it was not yet his turn, and I believe Sue, who played after me, might have won before Mason, had I not ended the game. Results: Me first (10), Sue second (9), Mason third (8), Dan fourth (6), Katrina last (5).

My win helped cancel the two ignominious defeats in the other games. Maybe my “luck” will turn, since I’ve just won my second game for the whole year! Unfortunately, we won’t get to game this coming weekend, but I do hope to break out Australia by the end of July. Then, I can begin prioritizing another game order. Yesss!

--- Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa -- A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming