Posts Tagged 'Hawaii'

Weekend Gaming: Anniversary Edition

DSC_0034-1024My wife and I celebrated our anniversary over the weekend, and our friends were in town for the occasion.  On Friday, Nick, Laura, Gina, and I played a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig.  It was a tight game throughout, with plenty of competition for the bonus card and basement rooms that were fairly plentiful.  I had managed to take a commanding lead on the first goal for most square footage of activity rooms.  I was was also in the running for most basement rooms, but Laura overtook me late in the game.  The surprising one for me was the number of external exits that I wasn’t really focusing on.  My bonus cards fit well with my game plan and ended up leading to a victory.

On Saturday, the four of us started the evening with Flash Point: Fire Rescue using the expansion laboratory board.  Things started off well, clearing out a couple hazmat items and rescuing one victim.  Then things devolved quickly.  We weren’t able to extinguish the fire on the upper level quickly enough and it started a series of explosions, quickly reducing the structural integrity of the building to the point of collapse.

Joe joined us at that point for The Manhattan Project.  I had decided to use espionage as much as possible, mostly focusing on Joe’s strong mines.  I had picked up a nice university that provided either engineers or scientists, so I quickly expanded my workforce and picked up some decent uranium bombs.  Joe was expanding his airforce and bombed my buildings, but not before I was able to quickly build and load a small bomb.  I was still spying regularly, though, and was able to get close to building the bomb I needed to win.  Joe sensed I was close and bombed everyone’s uranium plants, making it difficult for me to finish.  He didn’t count on me having a backup bomb that I was able to build and then load into a hastily built bomber to grab the win.  Laura revealed her hand and was only about one turn away from building two bombs and taking the victory as well.


We finished the night with Hawaii.  After teaching Nick and Laura we were off and running.  Joe started off by buying the boat and surfer bonus point god, but I got to the actual boats first, buying two.  Gina grabbed a spear hut, while Laura focused on fruit.  Nick was running all over the island building small villages for his kahunas.  With my boats and a few extra fruit and foot resources, I was able to concentrate primarily on visiting the islands.  I did get the god that increased the end of round bonuses along with a couple surfers, so I was pulling in points that way as well.  The final scores were fairly close between Gina and I, but my large village provided more bonus points to hold the lead.  Joe pulled in second.


Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Smoke on the Water

Flashpoint was yet again the game of choice to begin the night.  Gina, Kevin, Louis and I started with the alternate side of the base board on the Veteran level.

Thing started off smoothly.  Kevin was mastering the deck gun, clearing the fire while Louis and I took care of rescuing the people in the other part of the house.  Gina was putting out the rest of the fires around the house.  It was looking like it would be a quick win, when suddenly some hazardous material burst into flames in the bedroom, quickly raging out of control.  Kevin had moved away from the firetruck to help with rescues, so there wasn’t much that could be done.  It quickly spiraled out of control and the house ended up collapsing on us before we could recover.


The second game introduced the Merchant Ship from the Dangerous Waters expansion.  It started off badly and then just went downhill quickly.  I managed to save two people, but the hallway running down the center of the ship caught fire and we never managed to get it under control.  Kevin was knocked out twice due to standing too close to the hallway, and the game ended with the cabins taking too much damage, destroying the ship.


We finished the night with a less stressful game of Hawaii.  Boats were far away on the island, but started cheap, so Louis and Kevin went for boats early.  Gina was looking at spears, while I went and bought a cheap shell hut.  I continued to buy shell huts with the intent to meet the quota each round, but even with a decent income I came up short in a couple rounds.  Louis, Kevin and Gina were all scoring points throughout the game.  I was relying on my Kahunas to do most of my work, but they weren’t enough.  Kevin scored 51 points in the end, and Louis had 61 bonus points from a single huge village.  Louis was just able to sneak past Kevin for the victory.


Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Warming Trends

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe weather certainly isn’t getting any warmer, but Joe, Louis, Kevin and I made it through Saturday with CO2 and Hawaii.

CO2 started off well with only 190 PPM.  I was able to quickly build a solar plant in Europe and started work on forestry in Africa.  Turned out that solar was very popular as nearly everyone was working on a project.

Things were pretty well under control, so everyone was working on their own projects with a bit of theft here and there.  Joe was the first to start completing UN goals, and I followed it up with my own as I was the only one with any forestry.  That did change pretty quickly, though, as Africa was a hot spot for forest projects.  Holding the company goal to control continents, I held Europe, Africa and Asia until the last turn.  Louis was able to build a forest in Africa, and with more expertise he took control.

It ultimately didn’t matter.  Joe had been gathering CEPs as fast as he could.  I tried to help tank the market, but he still ended up with 30-plus points from them alone.  Kevin managed second place, and Louis last.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe followed that up with Hawaii.  All of the huts were far away on the island, so no one ended up trying the spear tactic.  Instead, Joe and I quickly snatched up the cheap boats, while Kevin went for Kahunas and Louis started grabbing fruit.

Joe was able to get the god that provided bonus points for surfers and boats before I could, putting a serious damper on my game.  Instead, I ended up with the gods that allowed cheaper travel around the island and the one that gave bonus points at the end of each round for keeping my people happy.  With three surfers, I was easily able to keep my surfers happy and my boats helped grab enough to fill three villages.

I had a solid 89 points, but Louis and Kevin ended up with 97.  Kevin had a full compliment of kahunas and a couple improved long huts for a huge end game bonus.  Louis also had a tone of bonus points from all of his fruit.


Until next time, happy gaming!

Happy New Year!

IMG_20131231_115438_776New Years Eve was going to be a quiet one, but after a last minute invite to go with Gina and the kids over to Joe’s, the games were afoot.  Phil join us as well and we played a quick game of Hawaii.  I managed to grab the spear god, and spear huts early.  Joe headed for the boats, and Phil was picking up income buildings to fill all of his village spots.  I was able to maximize my spears to get six points per buy most times and cranked out two decent sized villages, one full of delicious fruits.  Joe had a single massive village, with nearly every tile.  I had racked up a ton of points with my spears, though, and even with a nice end game bonus he wasn’t able to overtake me.

After lunch, Phil had to leave, and Louis joined us and brought Ticket to Ride: Netherlands with him.  It was an interesting new take on the game, with tolls that needed to be paid, and tons of double connections.

I wasn’t able to decide on my initial routes, so I kept them all, which proved to be a mistake.  I had a decent going, and nearly got them, but actually ran out of trains before I could complete them.  Louis had completed a bunch of the long connections around the outside of the board, and did so without spending much of his toll funds.  Joe completed all of his routes for over 100 points, but spent all of his tolls.  Louis ended up with the toll bonus and the overall victory.  After losing 45 points from uncompleted routes, I came in dead last.


IMG_20131231_153911_056We finished the afternoon with Garden Dice, a neat little game where you are trying to plant seeds to harvest vegetables for sets.  The trick is that the dice decide where and what you are allowed to plant.  I was going for one of each plant, and got out to an early lead with a double pointed artichoke.  Louis and Joe had built a massive network of plants in the middle of the board, that I had managed to sneak a few plants into before Louis harvested them for a big bonus.  Eventually, I ran out of good things to buy and plant, so I dropped my bird on the board and ate a few seeds, cutting into their ability to complete sets.  The big one, though, was when I ate Joe’s eggplant seed that would have been worth double for harvesting and completed his set of one of everything.  The game ended with Louis and I both having a full set of vegetables and a set of four vegetables (artichokes for him, and tomatoes for me).  Joe had four squash and five carrots.  I had lead Louis by two going into the final scoring, so having identical vegetable sets, and my sun bonus lead to my victory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally in the evening, Kevin, Joe, Louis and I sat down for a game of Clash of Cultures, while the girls chatted.  Everyone was pretty militaristic in the game, which was an oddity.  I was attacking the barbarians around Louis, but hadn’t attacked him directly.  With no barbarians to attack, though, Louis decided to go straight for me, taking one of my cities after a pathetic defense on my part.

Kevin and Joe had been pretty content to just sit with trade routes to each other, but in the last round Kevin shipped an army over to take one of Joe’s cities.  Joe did take it back, but Kevin had the last chance and flipped it again.  I built the Great Mausoleum, thinking it’s ability would defend me long enough to build an army, but that was a mistake.  I should have built the army first, because Louis was able to gather what he needed and marched right in to take it.

The game ended with Louis playing a Negotiation card on Kevin, preventing Kevin from marching on the city with the Wonder.  I had  one settlement left at the end, Joe was second to last, with Kevin taking second and Louis winning it all with 36 points.



Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Hawaii and Agricola


Gina wasn’t feeling well on Saturday, so I ended up heading over to Joe’s for games.  I brought Hawaii with me at Jaime’s request, so we started that with Jaime, Kevin, Louis and I while Joe was watching their baby.

I decided against going for boats, before realizing how strong the starting islands were.  I was going for spear huts and trying to maximize the end of round bonuses.  At this, I was mostly successful.  I was able to get two basic spear huts and the spear god.  With that I was able to buy up locations to complete three villages out to the starter tiki on my island.  Louis was pushing boats and keeping it pretty close all game.  Kevin had a bunch of small villages with kahunas for each.

In the end, it game down to a gift from Kevin.  I had two shells left and Kevin decided to buy a Hula Girl for six shells to score some spear points, leaving one available for two shells.  I was able to grab that, giving me enough to make the quota from the round and an additional six points for my island.  That six points proved to be the difference.  I finished with 101, Louis at 96 and Kevin with 94.



0127130002aJaime decided to head to bed, and Joe joined us for Agricola.  I was looking at a hand with a weak grain feeding engine, but I really wanted to get a Manufacturer and Tradesman down to pick up Major Improvements easily.  It didn’t quite work out, as I grew my family too quickly and was struggling to feed my family most of the game.

Kevin also grew very quickly with the Midwife, but leveled out earlier than I could.  He ended up with a nice sized stone house, and a little of everything for end game points.  I managed to finish a stone house and a Mansion improvement, significantly boosting my points, but it wasn’t enough.  Joe had the feeding thing figured out, but didn’t have much for end game, while Louis only had two family members, but filled his plot very well with animals and fields.  The end game down to empty spaces and family members primarily and Kevin won that battle and the game.



Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Return to Gaming

After a couple weekends without much gaming, this weekend was a distinct change in the right direction.  On Friday, Gina and I played Thurn and Taxis, Hawaii and Eminent Domain.  Thurn and Taxis was relatively uneventful.  I was performing well with smaller routs, but quickly grabbing control all over the board.  I managed to get a size 7 cart on the same turn I ran out of offices, ending the game for a narrow win.

P1187601-1024In Hawaii, both of us ended up getting a strong supply of fruit.  They were plentiful on the board, and I was able to use my one boat to get one as well.  We both ended up with two large villages on our islands, but I was able to score the bonus points on the end of the last round.  That combined with my end game bonuses were able to outscore Gina’s spear points and fruit bonuses.




We finished the night with Eminent Domain.  Gina was spread too thin, while she could have been doing well with a Produce/Trade game.  I was focused heavily in Survey, Colonize and Research.  I was able to get a bunch of planets colonized while also picking up a couple level three technologies for a dominant win.

Then on Saturday, Joe and Kevin joined us for Agricola and Lancaster.  I was feeding my people easily with grain and bread, and was able to quickly expand my family.  I didn’t really develop my farm all that well, but I did get a couple nice improvements with points.  I ended up limiting my negatives well enough and actually squeaked out a win.  It was pretty close between Kevin and I, but I always seemed to be taking exactly what Kevin needed one turn before he was about to do it.


Kevin had brought Lancaster, so we took some time to learn it.  It was an interesting combination of worker placement and voting that worked out pretty nicely.  There was some confusion with the order of voting and scoring, and we ended up playing the laws wrong so we didn’t have any voting in the last round.  It was a close game with Joe getting a decent lead from some conflicts and board locations, but I was positioning myself for the end game bonuses.  Kevin and I both mistook the order of actions in the last round and battled for some rewards that ended up not benefiting us in scoring.  because we wasted those resources, Joe was easily able to keep his lead at the end of the game.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013!


Joe, Jaime, Ryan, Louis, Gina and I spent New Years eve playing games at our place.  We started with Hawaii while Ryan sat out to just chat.  I got into the boats early and used them heavily to propel a Kahuna/Tiki strategy while also scoring a bunch of points with the boat god.  Joe came close with a strong spear hut strategy, but came up just short.

PC317569-1024 PC317571-1024

PC317572-1024Jaime had to take off at that point, and Ryan wanted to play 7 Wonders.  I didn’t think I was doing too well, sitting low on military and science.  I was able to use the good provided by my wonder to push heavily into civilian cards in ages two and three, though, and picked up 37 points from them alone.  I ended up edging out Louis for the win.

PC317573-1024The last game of 2012 was King of Tokyo.  Joe stood in Tokyo too long and was eliminated early.  I managed to get in at that point and then picked up the Jets card to allow me to escape without damage.  I scored some points and managed to eliminate Louis while in Tokyo.  Gina eventually knocked me out of the city, but not before I had scored 13 points.  I regenerated some and then took control again when Gina had to yield.  It was looking tight between Ryan and I , but I had a nice roll, scoring the last 4 points I needed to take that game.

PC317575-1024So after finishing three for three on New Years eve, we started the new year off with Castle of Burgundy with Joe, Ryan, Louis and I.  I didn’t have a real strong idea of how to progress in the game, and I was trying to get some decent animal and city points.  I came close, but Ryan took one of the bonuses I desperately.  Louis had been hitting the boats and shipping early, plus he had the estate with the city area that he managed to complete to launch himself into the lead for good.  It was a closer game than some, but I fell a bit short in the end.

PC317575-1024 PC317576-1024

On New Years Day,  Joe and Jaime joined us again for some Star Trek Catan.  I started off hot with some nice Tritanium ports and locations, but then slowed down.  Joe started slower, but eventually started picking up cards with the McCoy ability.  I held the Longest Supply Route card for a while after stealing it from Joe, but then Gina swooped in and built a bunch of roads to take it, putting her within one of winning.  It wouldn’t be enough, though.  Joe managed to grab the last point card from the deck to get him to ten and the win.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: End of the Year


The last Saturday of 2012 was spent with Joe, Jaime and Kevin.  We started off with Hansa Teutonica.  I was focusing on getting bonus tokens, but got distracted a bit with building my chain of offices in the middle of the game.  I did end up with 9 tokens, for 15 points, which helped get me to second place.  Joe was building a nice chain while scoring points in the game with his offices.  Kevin was all about the upgrades.  He managed to clear most of his board and pick up a could of the end game bonuses for having the colors unlocked.  Jaime and Gina had more sporadic strategies.  The game finished with Kevin leading and Joe and I tied for second.


PC297566-1024Hawaii was up next.  I decided to go for Kahunas and Tikis, even though both were at the opposite end of the island.  I was able to get a couple early, and fill my island so that I only needed three long villages to score each Kahuna.  The kicker, though, was that I was able to use an early exchange hut to really boost my buying power and managed to score the end of round bonus every round except one.  I had the god that increased that bonus and then late in the game picked up the god that gave bonus points for surfers and boats, which bumped my score up a bit.

Jaime was focusing on boats, Joe had the spear huts working for him and Kevin had a nice bunch of fruit that was providing him a nice income.  Jaime was the closest to me at the end, though.  She had managed to complete most of her villages for Kahunas, and did so with upgraded Long Huts.  So she scored nearly as many end game points as I did.  It was only my end of round bonus that made the difference for the win.


Until next time, Happy Gaming!


Weekend Gaming: Trains to Hawaii

This last Saturday, we were joined by Joe, Jaime, Kevin and Louis for some games.  I had been itching for some Railways of the World, so out came Railways of Western U.S.  Jaime sat out this game, so it was just the five of us.

The opening round of cards included four hotels (Denver, San Francisco, Tuscon and Oklahoma City) and only one service bounty for the city south of Oklahoma City.  The opening bidding was pretty low, and I won it, taking Hotel Denver.  Kevin grabbed Hotel San Fran, and Louis took Hotel Oklahoma City.  Gina and Joe passed on hotels in favor of building.

I was focused on the area around Denver since there were a bunch of red cubes in the upper midwest that I could ship to Denver.  It took me a couple turns to get things in place, but I was eventually making regular five point deliveries.

Gina was shipping into and around San Fran, which provided Kevin some points.  She also managed to complete the route from San Fran to Promontory.  Kevin was working in the upper west coast and built from Tacoma to Ogden.  Joe had the lower west locked up and ended up picking up the Tuscon hotel, a service bounty to Tuscon and  the bonus for having the first level 4 train.

Louis was alone in the lower midwest and making the most of his hotel.  He managed to get the original service bounty as well.  Eventually he exhausted his shipments and started building near Salt Lake City, which seemed odd.  Everything became clear, though, when he completed two major lines from Promontory to Kansas City and Grand Junction to Oklahoma City.  This managed to provide the final points to ensure the win.

Me – Grey, Kevin – Yellow, Louis – Red, Gina – Green, Joe – Blue

The entire game was very close throughout.  It was rare that we’d end a round with more than 5-6 points separating first and last place on the score track.  In the end it came down to Louis having one more point than Kevin and tying for the fewest bonds, which gave Louis the points for his baron.


Following that, Joe sat out so Jaime could play Hawaii with us.  Boats ended up being pretty cheap, so I grabbed a bunch of upgraded boats and the god that allowed me to get anywhere on the island for one foot.  Louis grabbed a couple boats as well and the god that gave bonus points for boats and surfers.

Jaime was focusing on Tikis and Kahunas, maximizing both for an island full of tiny villages.  Kevin hit the spears hard while picking up the end of round bonuses three out of the five rounds.  Gina and Louis were more rounded in their games, while I was focusing solely on the islands.

I was able to pick up a bunch of points with the islands, but I couldn’t quite catch Kevin in the end.  The final end of round bonus ended up being the difference maker.  Since everything on the island tended to be quite cheap there was a lot of upgraded stuff being bought, which meant that the end of round scores were pretty low.  Kevin was focusing more on maximizing the spears, so he was in a better position to capitalize each turn.

Me – Green, Jaime – Red, Kevin – Yellow, Louis – Blue, Gina – Black

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Relaxing

Gina and I played Hawaii and Race for the Galaxy Friday night.  In Hawaii, I was trying to be efficient and only bought a single side two fruit.  I was getting good deals and had quite a bit of fruit, but I really didn’t have enough goods each round and I still failed to meet the target at the end of a few rounds.  Gina, on the other hand, was playing with Spear Huts.  She was regularly picking up around 10 points each turn, and I just could catch up.  I did come close, only losing by 15 points.

In Race for the Galaxy, I started with some strong military cards and with some nice Uplift windfall planets.  I also had a Genetics Lab that let me refill those planets so I could trade the genetic goods for cards.  I picked up the New Galactic Order about halfway through, and that was the difference in the game, adding about 15 to my final score.

On Saturday, Ryan, Jaime, Joe, Louis, and Kevin came over.  We started the night with 7 Wonders with Joe sitting out to watch their newborn.  I was trying a money to science/civilian strategy, but I didn’t get enough money and didn’t really see much science.  I did score quite a bit off of civilian cards, but not enough.  I was in last place with 46, while Ryan had a nicely balanced setup and 60 points.

Then Ryan took off, and Joe took Jaime’s place for Hawaii.  All of the huts and the tikis were close to the beach, so I started with the intent to fill my island with Kahunas.  Problem was that I was going last on the first turn.  I missed out on any huts, but I did spend everything I had on Kahunas, which were pretty cheap.  In round two, when I wasn’t able to get a long hut early and the other huts were too expensive, I went to plan B.  I was able to get a side 2 boat relatively cheap, and I grabbed the top island for a foot hut.

From there I continued on my island dominance.  I was able to get the boat/surfer god, and a few more islands, netting me some nice points.  I did end up with huts in all of my villages, but I wasn’t able to get any tikis until the last turn.  Because of that I was only able to score three of my villages.  Even though I was in first going into final scoring (Gina was in second from spear huts and Joe was in third from getting end of round bonuses all game), I didn’t think I had a chance.  Louis pulled in 45 points from all of his kahunas, but not much more.  Gina and Joe only had about 20 end game points.  Kevin had a ton from his irrigation, hula girls and fruit god, but it wasn’t quite enough.  My three kahunas, one hula girl and my boat god were just enough to eek out the win by two points.

The group finished the night with a game of Dominion with Intrigue and Prosperity.



Everyone seemed to either have a Militia or Goons, so having 5 cards on a turn was a real treat.  I was pushing a Peddler, Minion, Trade Route strategy that started with a couple Militias to get things rolling.  I was off to a slow start, while Joe had started minting gold and was buying Provinces fairly regularly.  He wasn’t able to push the end of the game soon enough, though and started to stall, while I started hitting runs of Peddlers and Minions with 4 coin Trading Posts.  I was able to grab three Colonies to go with my two Provinces and Estates to put me at 44 to Joe’s 41.


Gina and I weren’t tired after everyone left, so we played a game of Agricola.  My hand seemed to just go together well, and I actually ended up playing all of my cards.  I had the Bookshelf to help play more occupations, and my Animal Tender allowed me to keep animals in my house early, which I used for food.  The other two major occupations were the Adoptive family allowing me to use my new family members more effectively and one that let me fence in stables when I built them, keeping my wood costs low.  I ended up filling in all but on space and had points in nearly every category.  It was an incredible game that scored me 57 points.


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