T5: Day One

First day is in the books. Three quarters of the folks have arrived, and I’m lucky I had my wife to “run registration” as even with 20 people, name tags, food, a tour of the house, room assignments, and what not took some time. Also thankful for Dale making us name tags and John being our airport shuttle – a job that took longer than anticipated due to an incident with a dog on the runway at LAX earlier in the day.

Here are a few photos of the main gaming space.

The library titles folks have brought is exciting. Titles I knew I wanted to try, titles I haven’t heard of, and rare editions of things. Here is a rare version of Flaschenteufel (Bottle Imp), where the bottle was a piece you had to cut out and assemble (and with incredible art.)

More library coverage later this weekend, but the first game we played was BON (Boast or Nothing). I’ve talked about this one several times before as I played it at PaxU and again later, and I really enjoy it.

The conceit is, you either take x tricks (depending on the number of players, but 2-3) or 0. Otherwise you don’t score. The stack of yellow, red, and blue discs in the middle means that currently any red card beats all yellow cards, and all blue cards beat all red cards. Whenever a trick is won with a certain suit, that suit’s disc moves to the bottom of the stack. There are also a few “pass” cards, like the gray one you can see in my hand below, that allow you to sit out around –even if you could follow suit.

I’m grateful to Rand for letting us borrow several titles for the library -but especially this one as I’ve now played his copy each of the three times I’ve played, but he hasn’t yet had a chance to play it. You’re a true friend!

I also had a chance to play Operation Master, a recent Tokyo Game Market release. Suits are equal to the number of players, and cards are ranked 1-8. Suits are shown on the backs of the cards, and players take (and roll) a number of dice that match the suits in their hand. A trick goes around the table twice: the first time you play a card, and the second time you set a dice of a corresponding color on the card. The highest sum of card and die wins.

What it wins you is the ability to take all matching dice from this trick (and leftover from previous tricks) onto your score card, with each die being worth 1 point at the end of the hand. However, if you are ever win a trick and are not able to take any dice that match the face you previously were collecting, you lose all dice from your score card, and will start again collecting dice (of any face) with the –next– trick you win.

There is also a variant where the die you place on a card triggers effects that allow you to alter dice faces which haven’t been played yet.

I did not enjoy the effects so much and was disappointed that one of the main potentially interesting twists –where you lose your points for needing to take non-matching dice– never came up. Without any decision points triggering around this concern, it came down mostly to what hand you were dealt and what your dice rolled.

Next, Lucas taught us Skull King: Das Wurfelspiel. We have a review of Adam Porter’s Thrown coming up, and so to brush up on my knowledge of trick-taking games that use dice in lieu of cards, I checked this one out.

Similar to Skull King with bidding and hands lasting a number of tricks equal to the round number, but here bidding is simultaneous, and you don’t know what die face will be the “card” you’ve played.

Wow, that was a lot of fun! The AirBNB house has some rules about not throwing parties, which seems odd for a place that claims to sleep 18 or so, but I wasn’t worried about that, as we are a fairly quiet group playing some card games, but I had not properly appreciated how much drama a game of Skull King: Das Wurfelspiel would involve! Much hooting and hollering and a good time was had by all.

I didn’t take a picture of dinner, as, well, this is local to me, so the places we may eat are the places I would go to regularly and it didn’t occur to me, but I went with some folks to Kung Food Chu’s AmerAsia. Around half the folks are local, and Dale put a tiny car icon on the badges of folks who can take you on a food or supplies run if you aren’t.

Speaking of which, Jason made a run to Moonlight Donuts, a local bakery that is only open around 6PM-11PM or so, with a standard menu of donuts, but also offering 1 special flavor made hot all night. Tonight was an orange glaze and he brought enough for the house. Delicious!

The West Coast people may have played some things after I left, but here’s what I saw being played yesterday: BON, Jupiter Rampant, Nicht die Bohne!, Fool/Foppen, Blindes Huhn, Skull King: Das Wurfelspiel, Thrown, and Peter’s Two Sheep Dogs.

I’m off to pick up today’s pastries, well, today is baked goods, the next two days are pastries, and then to see who is up at the house!

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4 Responses to T5: Day One

  1. Jacob Lee says:

    Those doughnuts make my mouth water.

  2. Dan says:

    Really wanted to join you guys but my schedule didn’t allow it (and the $500+ airfare :( )
    Next time!

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