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Session Report for November 25, 2000 (by Dave Bernazzani)

Normal SSG gaming was back tonight but with a few cancellations and we were only at 8 for the evening. An excellent number anyway since it works out to dual 4 player tables which works out well for most games.

Roll Call: Dave Bernazzani, Mark Edwards, Alison & David Hansel, Jenn, Andrew, Pat, Dan C.

Games Played: Morisi, Meuterer, Carcassonne x2, Get the Goods, Showmanager, Honor of the Samurai, Das Motorsportspiel, Pit

Great to see Alison and David made the session after a long trip back from NY (and they had gamed the day before at the LI group).

Here are the games I played:

MORISI - enough said on this one. Another tense game with 4 players. David, Alison and Jenn and I managed quite a battle for some central cities and it was one of the most complex transport routes I've seen created (one or two important hexes had all possible traderoute connection points occupied - some doubled!). Good game with 4 players and the slightly stretched board made it difficult to use up all ones victory cubes (which I nearly did - Alison and David had to take the last two blue cubes to force a normal end-game and scoring). I still took the victory with the most presence in the capital cities. Alison managed 2nd from a late clever placement connecting to outlying cities to net a bonus of 8 points (4 for each of those cities even though they were not connected into her main network). Jenn did not like the 'chaos' as much with 4 players - and prefers the 2 player game after just one playing here. I'm about 8 games into MORISI and still quite enjoy it.

Scores: Dave=39, Alison=31, David=28, Jenn=22
Ratings: Dave=8, Alison=8, David=8, Jenn=5 (8 with 2 players)

Carcassonne - I got my 2nd and 3rd plays of this light tile laying game tonight. I like it! Of course I'm a sucker for good tile laying games - usually they have just the right blend of luck and skill (and are usually fast). This one did not disappoint. There are 72 tiles - each turn you pick one up, lay it on the board (so that it makes sense - roads to roads, cities to cities, etc) and potentially place a little wee-wooden person (which we called 'Meeples' which I think stood for 'My People' but you'd have to ask Alison who coined it) on the tile just played. In this way, you try to score for completed roads, cities, cloisters and later in the game for farms (depending on where you put your Meeple, you created either a thief, knight, farmer, or monk to correspond with the terrain features of the tiles). It plays a little long for a simple tile-laying game - all three games were just over an hour. But the turns come around fairly fast and so long as players don't agonize over the "best" placement it should play in just under an hour. I look forward to playing it with 2 players (all my games have been 4 player games) to see how it scales down.

Additional Comments: I've now played this game 8 times - with all numbers of players and I find it one of the very best Essen releases. Quick, light and fun in a game that scales well from 2 to 5 players. The 2 player games were surprisingly good - this is a keeper.

Das Motorsportspiel - we played with the 30 second time rule and it does make the game more fun. My 2nd playing with the time rule in place and with the Nuremburg track. We still had some concern about when the timing takes place and what penalty it is for not completing in time (besides the white flag). According to W. Mulder's translation, timing is from the point where you roll the dice to the actual placement of the dice in the boxes (and hence the start of actual movement). If time expires, a white flag is given and the move is completed normally (with whatever dice were assembled into the box at that point). I think this makes the most sense - as we had slight problems the way we played (which required us move the car as part of the timed action and to stop immediately if time ran out - which could cause an avoidance of an accident if you just sit and wait for your time to expire before running off the road!). So next time we will time the dice roll and gear shifting and maybe make that 20 seconds and see how it plays. Anyway, it was good fun and I have enjoyed the game much more with the timing aspect. Not my favorite game by far, but one that I look forward to trying again soon.

Pit - We ended the evening with an 8 player game of Pit. Boisterous and fun as always - with Pat finally winning his first ever hand of Pit (we didn't bother to keep score this time - just counted number of hands actually won).

As always somewhat disappointed to miss out on Showmanager which is simply a great game. Get the Goods looked interesting as did the 'Samurai Smalktalk' which came from the Honor of the Samurai table.

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Copyright 1999, 2000 by David Bernazzani
Last modified: December 07, 2000