Posts Tagged 'Ticket to Ride'

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.

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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.

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Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Family Visit

We headed to my sister’s house to visit family for a belated Christmas this weekend.  The only game that we managed to get in was Ticket to Ride Friday night with my sister and brother-in-law.  I was doing alright early, but had to make some detours later on.  Gina ended up finishing a couple of long routes that put her squarely in the lead.

Other than that, we spent time with family and watched some football.  It was a nice time.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Birthday Party!

Nick and Laura were in town visiting for my daughter’s third birthday over the weekend.  On Saturday, they, Kevin and us played some Princes of Florence.  We were slightly distracted with chatting, while Laura and Nick hadn’t played in a while, so Kevin was getting away with some cheap auctions (primarily Jesters) because we weren’t keeping him honest.  I was able to get things going a bit as the game went on, and only needed a Forest and eventually a Lake for landscapes to play my Works.  I was forced to buy an unplayable recruitment card on the last turn in order to make the minimum score, but even using my last 6 actions to score Works, it wasn’t enough.  Kevin’s Jesters put his works over the top of mine, and he was able to finish with a bunch as well.  He ended up beating me by 5 points, while the rest struggled to reach 50.

By then, Joe, Jaime and Ryan had shown up.  Ryan, Joe and Nick just wanted to socialize, so the rest of us played Ticket to Ride: Europe.  I had a grand plan that involved travelling from Cadiz to Stockholm by way of Athens, but it wasn’t to be.  I was collecting a bunch of cards to be able to do play a bunch of routes in succession, and I wasn’t really getting everything I needed for the key routes.  By the time I was able to get what I needed, someone else *cough*Laura*cough* had taken the route.  Even the 8-long tunnel route in the North was taken by Kevin the turn before I could take it.  I was able to finish my starting routes with the help of some stations, but when I went to grab more routes to bolster my score I was doomed.  Laura cut me off from the one route I was able to complete, and my last action gamble only had incomplete routes.  I ended up with a whopping 10 points from routes.  Kevin won that one rather handily as well.

Kevin (Black), Jaime (Red), Laura (Yellow), Gina (Green), Me (Blue)

Until next time, happy gaming!

 

Weekend Gaming: Games Away From Home

Between being of town all weekend visiting relatives and our new camera needing to be sent off for repairs, there are no pictures of the games this week.

We did play a bunch of them, though.

On Friday, we headed over to visit Nick and Laura and played Puerto Rico, 7 Wonders and Sentinels of the Multiverse.  I managed to win Puerto Rico with a very strong trade/building strategy.  I was able to monopolize coffee early, and with an Office and both Markets I was buying the large buildings at full price.  I ended the game with only 7 shipping points and 39 points from my city.  Nick was a close second with 38 points and the two large buildings that I didn’t buy.

7 Wonders was a close one.  I was playing Giza, but didn’t have any access to paper, so I couldn’t finish the wonder.  I also ended up with no access to Ore, so the last Age was rough.  Laura ended up dominating all of us for the win.

It was the first time for all of us playing a borrowed copy of Sentinels of the Multiverse.  I was playing as the big robot Bunker, Nick was Absolute Zero, Gina had Fanatic and Laura had Visionary.  We were fighting against The Matriarch in Rook City.  We started off alright, but then we hit a card that brought all of her birds back as the last card in the deck, causing us to face every single bird in the deck.  Between that and her ravens killing of Nick’s and my equipment, the game went downhill quickly.  It’s a fun game, but definitely needs some good luck to have a chance.

On Saturday evening we again joined Nick and Laura.  Joe and Jaime had also come to town for some shopping and Nick’s sister Anna paid a visit as well.  Nick, Joe and I started with a quick game of Agricola with the K deck.  Joe was pushing for a heavy enhancement + rooms game, since a lot of his cards made for easier room building.  I was trying to get animals because of the Tanner, Pelts and Loom, but Nick was making it difficult by grabbing animals too.  We didn’t let Joe get easy access to the wood he needed, but Clay and Stone were undesired for most of the game.  He did get to a six room house, but the rest of his farm was empty.  I did get enough Boars to make the good use of my Pelts and Tanner.  Cows and Sheep were secondary and helped with my Organic Farmer points.  The biggest impact was that Joe lost 9 points for unused space, while I only lost two.  That combined with my end game bonuses propelled me into the lead.

Next up was 7 Wonder with everyone.  I was playing as Rhodes and was able to make the most of my military in ages 2 and 3 for some good points.  I also played a bunch of the yellow cards that allowed me to not worry about resources as much.  I ended up with a pretty balanced score, and even managed to grab a set of the sciences.  The game was close, but I was able to pull of the win by a single point.

Joe and Jaime left for home at this point, and so Gina, Anna, Nick, Laura and I played Ticket to Ride.  My opening two routes were to connect Vancouver and Seattle to Montreal and New York.  I quickly connected Vancouver to Seattle and Montreal to New York, and then spent the rest of the game working to connect the two.  I had to fight with Anna and Gina for a couple spots in the North, but otherwise I was pretty well left alone.  I was able to complete the three 6-train connections and the 5-train connection in the North, which really helped my score.  I did add another route from New York to Nashville late, but the majority of my points were from the long connections and my two initial routes.  I ended the game while everyone else had quite a few trains left, which earned me some dirty looks.  Nick and I shared the Longest Route, but I had him by about 30 points at the end of the game.

Nick, Gina and I finished the night with Castles of Burgundy.  Gina and Nick were grabbing points throughout the game, while I was focusing more on end game points with Shipping and buildings.  Nick had a big field of chickens, scoring himself a bunch of points, while Gina was filling everything else.  She just missed out on finishing her large city area, which hindered her score quite a bit.  They were both about 50 points ahead of me when the game ended, but neither of them had any significant end game bonuses, though, so I knew it would be close.  I was able to pass Gina, but I finished just behind Nick, ending my winning streak.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: So Many Games!

I played a bunch of games this weekend, but didn’t get many pictures of any of them.

On Friday, Gina and I tried out Stone Age for the first time.  It was fun, but we ended up playing a couple rules wrong, which lead to less conflict than there should have been.  As a result, the scores were quite high and I ended up winning about 300 to 250.

We then played Race for the Galaxy, in which I snuck out a win due to some nice development cards.  We finished the night with Eminent Domain.  I was able to get a very nice warfare/trade system going with the tech that allowed me to trade my ships for points.

On Saturday, out friends Nick and Laura joined us for the evening, along with Ryan and Louis.  We played some 7 Wonders, which was won by Laura.  Then Ticket to Ride Europe with the Big Cities cards from the expansion.  Louis was able to rake in a ton of routes, but they were all relatively low points, while I had fewer ones, but with bigger points.  We both finished strong, but I was able to just edge him out for the win by three points.

Next up, Ryan, Louis, Nick and I played a round of Kingdom Builder.  I was doing alright with a big group of settlements in the center, but it wasn’t quite enough.  Louis had connected to every castle and had a strong presents in all regions, which lead to a win by about 10 points.

We finished up the night with a quick game of Monty Python Fluxx, won by Nick.

Then on Sunday, after playing some disc golf and enjoying the park, we headed home for some Eminent Domain with Nick, Ryan, Joe and I.  We played two games, and I managed to win both.  The first was due to a bunch of planets and a strong military presence.  The second was a quick game with nearly everyone either surveying or colonizing each turn.  I had wanted to try a produce/trade system, but ended up with good colonization planets and managed to colonize six planets and win by two points.

We finished up the weekend with a game of Cities and Knights of Catan with Jaime and Ryan (Joe was on baby duty).  Jaime and Ryan were just rolling in cards and resources, while Gina and I were having a tough time getting rolling.  We both managed to get some stuff going late in the game, but it was too late.  Jaime was able to go on a nice run of Cities, and then finished the game with a single settlement.

All in all, a wonderful weekend with a bunch of friends.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Mother’s Day!

Happy late Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

On Saturday, Louis, Kevin, Ryan and Dana joined us for games.  While we were waiting for Dana to show up, we played a game of Dominion using a random set of cards from Dominion, Intrigue and Prosperity.  I was able to us a Chapel to basically trash my entire deck and then build it back up with Quarries and a Workshop.  I was able to build a very efficient engine with Festivals, Cities and Conspirators, and finished the game buying up three Colonies and a Duchy over the last three turns for the win.

Then we broke out 7 Wonders, and I was doing alright, but had spent a bit too much on resources early.  That was necessary, though, as Ryan was to my right and hadn’t grabbed any resources.  That plan didn’t work out too well, as he ended up in last place, while Louis had a nicely balanced kingdom for the win.

Next up was Acquire.  We had taken my in-law’s copy of the game that is about 40 years old last time we visited them.  I had to buy some replacement stock cards on Ebay, but otherwise the game was wonderfully intact.  Conversations were flowing pretty well at this point of the evening, and I wasn’t really paying attention to how the stocks were being distributed.  I ended up with a majority share in the second largest company at the end, but it was Dana who managed to run away with the lead by holding large shares in the two largest end game companies.

Ryan, Louis, Kevin and I decided to play some Nightfall: Martial Law, and while I won, it was a very odd game.  I was able to get a combo where I could exile the top card from everyone’s deck.  I did this three times, and each time I got one of the cards that Ryan had bought.  This meant that after he had played out all of the starter deck cards, he only had 3 cards total left in his deck.

We finished up the night with two games of Monty Python Fluxx, which were both won by Louis.

On Sunday evening, Gina and I played a couple games of Ticket to Ride: Europe with the Big Cities expansion cards.  We each won a game, but the Big Cities cards definitely made the games interesting.  Because everyone is making connections to the same cities, there is a lot more conflict for the routes and more opportunities to use the Stations.  It also means that once you connect a few of the major cities, there is a very good chance that drawing more routes will provide routes that you have already completed, making for a very high scoring game.  The first game Gina won with 13 completed routes and a score of about 190.  I won the second with 18! competed routes and a score of 220.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Game-a-palooza!

This weekend I was celebrating my 30th birthday, so we took the kids to grandma and grandpa’s house and spent the weekend playing games.

Friday started things off with Gina and I playing Agricola and Ticket to Ride: Europe.  Then, on Saturday, we went to see The Avengers with friends.  It was an incredibly awesome movie, and definitely the highlight of the weekend.

After the movie, I grilled some burgers and the I broke out Eclipse.  I taught Ryan, Kevin and Louis how to play while Joe watched on for the explanation.  I had a tough time expanding early, due to a lack of money making planets.  Ryan was walled off in his own sector, while Kevin and Louis were working towards each other in the outer sectors.  I ended up spending my time upgrading and building my Cruisers and Interceptors, then went for the Galactic Center.  I took it out relatively easily, and that opened things up to Kevin’s space.  At that point, Kevin and Louis had a diplomatic agreement and Louis was moving towards Ryan.  On the last few turns, I invaded Kevin’s area until he was able to put Anitmatter Cannons on his Starbases and took out my Cruisers.  But it was too late at that point and I ended up winning with 40 points.  Louis was second with about 30.

While that was going on, Joe, Jaime and Gina played some Agricola and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers.  After that was finished up, Ryan, Kevin, Joe and I played some Hansa Teutonica.  I was able to get to 5 actions and full bag upgrade fairly early, and then I was able to spend the rest of the game building offices and picking up bonus points.  Ryan was trying to accelerate the game, but wasn’t quite successful.  I managed to create a chain of 11 offices with a multiplier of two, and finished the game with a whopping 84 points.

On Sunday, Gina and I played a game of Agricola in the afternoon.  I completely forgot to feed my family one turn and ended up with three Beggar cards for -9 points.  I was trying to plow and bake bread, but I just wasn’t able to get things rolling.  Later that evening, Joe and Ryan joined us for another game of Agricola.  In this one, I was again trying to plow and grow vegetables, while using the Day Laborers and Traveling Players to supply Stone and Veggies due to some Improvements.  That plan worked out fairly well, but I didn’t have a strong way to gain bonus points, so I finished the game in third place, while Joe added 20+ points in bonuses and cards and finished with nearly 50 points.

It was a crazy weekend with a lot of games and a lot of fun.  Until next time, happy gaming.


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