Well, it’s been a few weeks now since I attended mini-mace II, so I thought I’d better put it to bed with whatever else I wanted to say about it. So, here we go!
Chris and I got there before the event organizers, and after we grabbed some breakfast, the two of us played Race for the Galaxy a couple of times. This was not very easy for me, by the way, because I was having some serious vision issues that day (especially seeing things up close). Basically, anything that I couldn’t read or remember what it did, I ended up discarding to pay for other stuff. We actually split the games anyway, with Chris winning the first 36-29 and then me taking the second 29-23. I don’t remember any details from the game, but then again, I’ve played enough Race now that they all seem to run together.
Next, we joined Ron, Jeff, and Joe for our game of Battlestar Galactica that I’ve already talked about. Despite my previously stated slight disappointment with the game, I find myself falling more and more into anticipation due to the subject matter and how price for the game will jump up $10 after its initial release. I guess that I’ll just have to wait and see how my willpower holds up when I actually see the game on the shelf…
After BSG, we ate again and tried to figure out what to play next. We considered Arkham Horror, Wings of War, and a couple other things, but decided to stick with the traitorous cooperative theme (and a game that could handle 7 players) and pulled out my copy of Shadows Over Camelot. Joining me were Chris, Jeff, Denise (owner of Hypermind), Jill, Ian (Denise’s son), and Ron. Jill had never played before and some of the others were a bit rusty on the rules, so I gave a pretty in-depth teaching of the game (including the new Merlin’s Company expansion) before we got started, and then I passed out the ever-important loyalty cards, including the two traitor cards from the expansion.
The game went pretty smoothly early on, and it looked like we were going to do pretty well. I managed to collect Lancelot’s Armor while Chris took on the Black Knight successfully. Two or three of the other knights jumped on the Grail Quest, and made some pretty good progress there as well. The only place where we had trouble was with the Pict and Saxon wars, but when the seige engines started building up, pretty much every knight returned to Camelot and go busy fighting them back. Somewhere in this part of the game, Denise started acting fishy and I directly confronted her about being a traitor. Her total lack of a poker face gave her away, but no one wasted an action at this time to actually accuse her.
In the midgame, we also managed to claim both the Grail and Excalibur, and Merlin’s presence at the completed grail quest saved us at least half-a-dozen seige engines. Then things made a bad turn. As they always do, seige engines built up anyway, and both the Pict and Saxon wars continued to plague us. On one turn, using Lancelot’s Armor, I managed to bury the special black card that added both a Pict and a Saxon when both of them were sitting at three figures each and we only had two open seige engine spots. Despite narrowly missing that cataclysm, in the end Chris (once again a traitor) had the opportunity to play the 12th engine to defeat Camelot and claim victory for himself and Denise.
So far, that makes two lost games for me using the expansion. I wonder if it’s even possible to win, especially with 2 traitors. I still love the game, and I’m really glad that I had the chance to teach and play it at mini-mace!
Ron had to leave in the early afternoon, and Chris had offered to teach him Race for the Galaxy, so that’s what they did at this point. Jeff went and joined another table to play some Settlers, and I was left looking for a game. To fill in the time, I let Ian teach me the relatively new “eco-friendly” CCG Xeko. Since I didn’t read the rules myself, I don’t know if he covered everything, but the game was pretty decent. While it wasn’t the greatest game ever, it was at least very original in both theme and game play in comparison to most every other CCG I’ve tried out.
Jill then joined Ian and me for three games of my favorite dexterity filler, Tier auf Tier. We actually split the games one win apiece, which seemed just right.
Chris and I then set up and taught Agricola to Denise and Jill. Either Chris or I tend to win most every game that we play in at Hypermind, and I had just finished winning both games we played that previous Tuesday night. We gave pretty heavy coaching to Jill and Denise, who both really liked the game, so they did pretty well overall. Meanwhile, Chris and I were neck-and-neck as we came into the final round. Despite me being the start player for the turn, Chris then proceeded to take my “next” action three times in a row and ended up winning by 2 points.
The day was almost over at this point, but we decided to play one last game, and Chris’ tricked-out version of Robo Rally hit the table. Having seen someone else do this on BGG, he had picked up all the figures from the Pixar movie Wall-E and replaced the robots that come in the game.
Because it’s almost the only thing to do to have a reasonably-long game, we used a one-board setup with three flags. Chris is the real expert in this game, and he jumped out to a quick lead. I had a rough few turns to start, but then got going pretty well. In the end, however, I had just tagged the second flag when Chris “moon-walked” aroud a corner to land on the third flag and win the game. I really like RoboRally, and I need to play it more often.
The only game that I was hoping to play but didn’t get the chance was Fury of Dracula. I haven’t gotten the chance to play it since last October, and the more that I think about the game the more I like it and want to play it again. Well, it’s October again, and hopefully the gang at Hypermind will fell obliged to give it at least a few plays this month!
Even with that, mini-mace was a great day. I just can’t wait the month or so now until “real” MACE comes!!!