Al was taking his turn at hosting and we had a bit of a slow start, being just the three of us (Mike, Al, and myself (Tuna). Valerie had promised to come later, as she was attending a distillery; which we all admit was at least a decent reason for not joining us.
At least the Black and Tan Al supplied me with managed to take the edge off my sorrow at losing.
Mike has changed his mind about Smash Up and now thinks it’s a good addition to our roster.
Al had decided that food today would be supplied by the local pizza parlor so while he was out Mike and I played a couple games of Magic: the Gathering. I haven’t been able to play much lately so I was eager to take a hand or two. Unfortunately since I was unprepared for anyone to suggest a game I had not brought my own cards, so I used Mike’s instead.
I chose Black/White and Mike played White/Red. I had to pull a mulligan after it became obvious that the deck had nothing but land at the top. Despite my rigorous shuffle the top thirteen cards in the deck were Swamps. I think I might have been better off without using the mulligan. I made a few good plays, but Mike had the upper hand for most of the game and I conceded the game.
Al came back with the pizza and Mike and I started a second game, switching decks. I was doing very well, cancelling much of Mike’s advantage early on and then settling into a good rhythm of picking away at his health. He was down to 2 when he pulled out a wipe (GOD) card that cleared the field of every creature, followed up with a second card that stole 11 of my health and healed him for the same amount. I was one turn away from winning when he turned the tables on me and I was not able to recover from it, just couldn’t pull the cards I needed to either attack or defend well enough to stop him.
At least the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Al mixed up for me managed to ease the pain and sorrow of losing.
A bit of history for the uninitiated, the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is actually a fictional drink from the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” novels, by Douglas Addams. It contains many fictional ingredients, and the effect of drinking it is described as being hit in the head with a large gold brick wrapped in a lemon slice. Many people have invented recipes to try to replicate this drink for us mere mortals forced to live in the real world, and Al managed to find one that tastes tart, strong, and is a deep electric blue.
Hey, we don’t call it Booze and Board Games for nothin’.
Mike seems to be doing most of the game picking today, and surprises me by picking “Legend of Drizzit”, one of the games Al has universally declared he despises. However, he is in a forgiving mood despite (or perhaps because of) his relative sobriety. He had to drive to get the pizza,I digress.
Mike and I agree that this game isn’t as well balanced as Descent, but it also fuels our Dungeons and Dragons addiction and we figure we can hold it together long enough for Al to not hate it too much. Set up also takes me a bit of time, as we haven't played in months, so I was unprepared.
Still, once we were set up, the game went smoothly for a few turns. We got lucky and didn’t pull any Encounters for the first four Dungeon Tiles explored (a record!), but things started to get a little difficult when we had to spend a couple turns after Encounters started putting out traps of exploding lava and rolling boulders. Overall, things weren’t too bad. That is until we managed to get the Troll. Oh, how we hate that Troll. A few bad rolls and Al went down, using up one of our Healing Surges, and Mike had to use another one.
Al seemed to be on a roll.
It’s still early, so we decide one more game is in order. Thunderstone is chosen as one we all agree on and that we haven’t played much lately. The set up is based on random card picks and it became apparent that we were going to have trouble. The creatures we had to fight had immunities, some of which was Magic, and half of the available Heroes were Magic based. Also, why do the Villagers always suck? I think next time we should make the set up a little less random so things suck a little less.
The game always starts slow while we build our decks, and Mike took an early lead. Actually, he stole a couple creatures out from under me a couple turns. Al had several frustrating turns and Mike and I talked him through a strategy that seemed to help him out a bit. Still, he had enough of a bad string for long enough that he would have to pull something extraordinary to catch up to Mike and I. Mike was in the lead but I made a few unnoticed pulls that I knew would net me a couple extra victory points at the end game.
Mike had the opportunity to end the game decisively when the Thunderstone Bearer was pulled from the creature deck, but he decided he wanted to grab as many points as possible. This may have not been a good move on his part because when the dust settled I managed to claim victory by eleven points over him. Because I’m a sneaky bastard.
"Photo deleted by Al due to its inappropriate and annoying content i.e. he lost."
Al had the idea for a photo op to show how our game collection has grown over the years we have been doing this and asked us to bring all of our games; which is one of the reasons we had so many titles on hand that we hadn’t played in a while.
We took a picture of the two games that Mike had, which started it all.