A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Intrige, Geshenkt, Can't Stop, Bluff, Serenissima, PS2

Colin had called earlier in the week to say that he had a half day Sunday pass for some gaming, so I checked with Cim and called up Uber Spielfriek Mike. Mike had a four hour pass, and so the gaming gods had decided that there would be mayhem at Foster Street Studios.

Colin was going to try and bring Eldon, an old friend that we hadn't seen in a while, but ended up bringing gaming pahdawan Mike H, to be henceforth known as Hendy.

Now, Hendy had played in our first game of Dune, some months ago, and had enjoyed the game, even though his Fremen had suffered mightily at the hands of revealed traitor Stilgar. But that is another story...

While the pizza was cooking in the oven, we broke out the multitap for some 4 player Timesplitters 2. The cries of victory and despair rang out, and Hendy proved himself to be the warrior most adapted to the PS2. (Though I, as cooker of the pizza, was not in the match)

Having five players, I wanted to try out something that the boys had not played much, and so we decided to try our hands at Intrige. As an aside, the only other game I seriously considered at this point was Illuminati, but we are going to save that for another day. Intrige, as a game, requires a very specific kind of gaming group, and, if there were a better bunch of lads to bring to the table for Intrige, I would be awfully surprised.

Intrige is low on complexity, but high on down and out nastiness, backstabbing and other assorted good clean fun. Bribes were accompanied by some truly hilarious playing up of family attributes, as well as lists of scholarly accomplishments to end all lists. (The fact that I had procured a case of Alexander Keith's finest, and that Colin, in his infinite wisdom, had also brought a case, was in no way contributory to this... )

I was fairly sure that I had secured the victory, and imagine my shock and surprise to see that Hendy had come out 2,000 ducats ahead of me. Well played, lad.

After Intrige, we played three rounds of Geshenkt. We used Cim's new clay poker chips, and we had a great time playing this very simple, yet very clever, game. Colin secured the victory, with Cim uncontested for highest negative points.

Since both Mike and Hendy were on short passes, we then started a most riotous and lively game of Can't Stop. Again, I was in contention for the win, but Hendy managed to complete the seven row to claim victory before me. I see a pattern developing here...

Hendy called a cab, and so the rest of us started a game of Bluff. True to form, Cim managed to separate the wheat from the chaff, and was able to win a resounding victory. At this point, Mike's pass had run out, and so we bid him adieu and set to to the lunch pepperoni.

Colin had mentioned that he had been wanting to play Serenissima for some time, so we started a three player game. Strangely enough, things were most peaceful for the first two thirds, until the Cries of Havoc loosing the Dogs of War were heard. The Eastern Med echoed with the sounds of clashing steel, but, in the end, I managed to secure a victory through the dint of my focus on filling my home port, defending it soundly with sailors aplenty and a stout fort, and a late game blockade of the Western Mediterranean.

I must confess I would not have won if my opponents had remembered that there is only 1 gem port in the game, and had concentrated on filling their own ports. Cim managed to generate prodigious amounts of wealth through trades and had built a fleet that made the Royal Navy look small. Colin had spread himself out, and had filled some smaller ports. By the time they realized that I had secured the 10 point bonus for filling my port, they were unable to do me any serious damage, as my home port was too well defended and the rest of the ports in my control were only worth 1 point each. I also managed to claim a poorly-defended two point port from Cim while he was on the other side of the blockade, which I am sure he will never let me do again.

Serenissima is a great game, with simple rules but complicated game play. You really have to pay a lot of attention to the game, and you have to balance aggression with trade if you want to win. Some players feel that investments in sailors, forts and galleys should have some value at the end of the game, in order to discourage late game raids, but I prefer to play the game as written. Sailors, Forts and Galleys are not the point of the game, only a means to an end. I look forward to our next game, which I am sure will be highly contested.

After Serenissima, we adjourned to the den for some Star Wars Battlefront, as well as a very entertaining game of Outlaw Golf 2. All in all, it was a great day with the lads, and I hope we get to do it again soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think Mark is higher ranking in Uber Spielfriek-dom. I had a great time and it's too bad my pass ran out, because I was looking forward to playing Serenissima. Although, I guess I get to keep looking forward to it. ;)

Thanks for hosting Mark (and Cim) looking forward to the next session,
Mike S.

8:57 a.m.

Blogger Karen said...

I am wading in on the debate ...

It seems to me that √úberspielfierkdom can be defined in several different ways. Should it be defined as the volume of games that one owns, then it would seem to me that Mark would win the title. However, should it be defined as the frequency with which one plays games, then I would have to say that hands down, Mike wins.

Mes deux petits sous!

3:31 a.m.


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