Monday, July 4, 2011

Somewhat Annual Fourth of July Gamefest - 2011 Edition

Each year we try to have a small potluck & game session on July 4th - some years we are more successful than others in arranging it. This year the event went off perfectly. Ann and Todd Smith came over bringing not only Steve Jackson Games' The Stars are Right game but Ann's famous pulled pork, potato salad, corn salad, and an ice cream maker to make what was easily the best vanilla custard I have ever eaten. Nick Gillispee arrived shortly afterwards bringing his new Faux*Cabulary game and more importantly, a dish of Rosie's rice pudding. We supplied a bowl of ambrosia, scalloped potatoes, and green beans. Everything was truly amazing!

Image from BoardGameGeek

We started the gaming with Lords of Vegas by Mayfair Games. Truly, I am beginning to love this game. The combination of interesting twists on area control mechanics and a strong theme are destined to make this a long time favorite. I pulled ahead quickly as the other players watched the Aqua casinos pay out repeatedly and when the Aqua looked played out I deftly switched to silver. This continued until Ann eventually wrested control of the nine tile silver casino from me in the end game. My large early lead lessened somewhat but I still won handily. I am looking forward to playing this more as we all become more comfortable with the rules. One criticism of the game, the included turn sequence card starts out after the rather complex card drawing procedure ends. A card detailing the steps in this procedure would have been appreciated.

Image from BoardGameGeek
After a break for a fantastic lunch we continued with The Stars are Right. I had been wanting to play this for some time and everyone really liked the game. Nick pulled out the win through deft manipulation of the stars but I finished as the only one to have summoned a Great Old One.

Image from BoardGameGeek

Next up was Ingenious, which Todd and Nick had not played. This game was tight throughout and I managed to win by a single point. I do believe I may have made Dr. Kniezia at least an iPhone sale to one or both of them. I'll be expecting my cut anytime that is convenient for you Reiner :-)

Image from BoardGameGeek
Last up was the deceptively simple co-op game, Castle Panic from Fireside Games. As Nick explained, "you start feeling confident as you take out the initial group of monsters but they keep coming". Things went well early on except for a nasty series of giant boulders rolling down on our castle from the forest. A few Draw Three Additional Token chits later and we were positively overwhelmed. Luckily we cooperated well and managed to save the castle with even a few walls standing. Great game. Simple, yet challenging and easy for less experienced gamers to pick up (though our four were all veteran gamers).

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic day of games and food and friends.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Updated 7/5/11 to add links,images, and to correct one misspelling.