Monthly Archives: April 2006

Disc Golf 04/21/2006

far away from the hole

Another day of disc golf at Old Settlers park. And I’m off at the start. John’s second throw is touching the goal and I am a distance aways…


The day was hot and humid. Hot because it is Texas and Spring time. And humid because it rained a lot yesterday. So much so that a small stream was flowing where there would normally be nothing.

Hole 11

I finally got around to tracking down the extra hole. You see, after hole 10, we cross the road and throw from to rocks that are spray-painted red. And then continue to the basket. We have always assumed that this was hole 11, but it was closed when construction for the water park had started. So we have a bonus hole now.

old hole 11

See? The old basket is there… Tricksies, that one is… It decieves us, it does….

bottle time

And on the real hole 11, my brand new TeeRex was stuck in a tree. Unfortunately, we did not have tree-climbing Jon with us. So we resorted to throwing water bottles at it. Fortunately, John was a good shot.


And while we were in an exploring mood, we wandered down the other side of the dike that we throw discs off across the water. We heard running water and wondered what it was. Apparently, the big drain like contraption sitting in the middle of the lake drains through the dike over to the other side. Too bad lost discs were not strewn across the river. Sadly there is some gate that keeps stuff like that from happening.

Game Day 04/20/2006


Well game day started off scary for me. I had asked Adam to show up earlier than usual because I knew IH-35 would be bad. However, when Adam showed up in my office soaking wet and describing the 2-inch golf-ball sized hail, I knew I was in trouble. You see, I baby my truck. Ok. I drive the snot out of it, but I keep it indoors in a garage whenever possible. So the thought of hail damage was one that I was not willing to consider. However, we looked on the weather sites and determined that the hail storm had just passed. Another one was coming in from the south-east but it had a ways to come. So I thought it was safe to drive the gap. Fortunately, no hail (or heavy rain) was spotted.

Game #1

Mauer Bauer

Well, after getting games from Adam Spielt, we of course had to play them. And first up on the table was Mauer Bauer. This is another abstract game from Leo Colovini. And I like it. You are building towns on a triangular grid. And when a wall is placed that surrounds pieces on the board, everyone has the opportunity to play score cards. These score cards are based on a number of different conditions, like white towers or red houses inside or outside of completed areas. Two Grimms were playing and this was our first time, so it was a little slow. But I expect future playings to be quicker. This would be a good lunch time game and I definately liked it.

Game #2

Thurn und Taxis

Another new game and this one was by Andreas Seyfarth. This game was about completing routes (loosely described as mail routes but that theme is lightly applied). This game was also played slow. However, it did suffer from a couple of problems. First, you cannot plan ahead for your next move. This is because one of the actions a player can do is “clear the board”. So the chances of a city card that connects your next hop staying are slim. The next problem is that it is played like a multiplayer solitare game. There is not much interaction other than getting a better score chit for the section that you completed.

Game #3

Die Dolmengotter

The next new game was a completely abstract game (well, there was a theme about Druids but that was more distracting than thematic). And this new game was the worst of the bunch. Maybe we got some rule wrong (like that never happens). But my problem with it was that you have a limited number of initial moves (4). And this game requires that people cooperate in scoring sections. However, the lesser majority goes on the bottom of the score pile and consequently receives a smaller multiplier (ex: 4x 3x 2x 1x). So, Mike wants me to help complete a score (so you can get more points that allow you to score more sections). However, if I were to do it, I would receive the worst multiplier. So I didn’t. And tried going somewhere else.

We actually had to restart the game when we realized that we got a rule wrong but it still didnt provide any incentive for people at the worse end of the deal to complete the deal. I actually hope that me missed something major here.

Lunch Time Tichuers 04/20/2006

When we were picking for partners, Adam picked a Queen and I picked an 8. So I was joking that Ed and Mike needed to pick 7 or below. Then when Ed picked a King, I joked that now Mike needed to pick an Ace (or King). And what did Adam draw for Mike, but an Ace! So our fates were indeed sealed.

This is another game where Tichus (or Grand-Tichus) were called on every hand. In fact, it was more extreme, since there were multiple over-calls! On my first hand I was tempted to call Tichu but I had a single 4 and 10 to get rid of. So when Mike called Tichu, I was happy to set him. Unfortunately, our team got no points. So it was 0 to 0 after one round.

The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
Ed & Mike Adam & Mark
T-   0  
T+ 140    
  140   T+ 360  
    495 T+
  5 GT- T+ 795  
  T+ 925  
  180 GT+  

Lunch Time Tichuers 04/18/2006

Mike’s second Tichu call was late in the hand. So I thought that he was very sure about his ability to go out first. Sadly, it was not meant to be. This left us 100 points more behind. Which meant that we needed to call Grand-Tichu towards the end. And, for Mike’s desperation Grand-Tichu call, I apparently forced him into it. He had 34567TJK with a rainbow of colors. He made it, so I don’t know what he was whining about ;).

The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
Ed & Adam Mark & Mike
  T+ 295  
    185 T-
  T+ 300  
  GT+ 510  
  920 T+   580  



Wilson! favored me today and delivered my Adam Spielt package today.


The popular games were Antike and Tichu (of course). Many new and interesting are waiting to be played by our group…

Game Day 04/16/2006

Game #1

Ticket To Ride: Marklin Edition

Wow, another day of games. But this one was more social than gaming. Jon and Roxana invited John and Gina Gravitt and myself over for an Easter party. The house was decked out with cute Easter themed items. Jon had just recently bought this new game and I was happy to try it out. Although I am not generally fond of Ticket to Ride.

This game has more choices going on. It introduces a passenger piece that you can place on the board when you lay a track down. One of your actions is to move it along your segments and collect points chips (which start out at some number and get progressively less valuable). You can play ticket cards to move along someone else’s track. Also, this game introduces another type of engine card that is only used for tracks 4 or greater. If taken face up, it does not cost you the turn. And this game splits the destination goals into two groups (a short path for less points and long path for more points).

So they have made some progress into turning this game into a slightly meatier version. Another bonus is that all of the train cards have unique pictures of the Marklin model trains.

Kids running rampant

We took a break while the kids ran off trying to find Easter eggs.

Game #2

David and Goliath

Next up was this trick taking card game. It was interesting as a three player game. Quite different from a five or six player game. However, I don’t feel that you have many choices in leading or playing cards (since you are forced to follow suit). It was rare that I was able to get only one or two of the cards in a suit (which score you the most points).

Game #3


To finish up, we played Hacienda. Jon was able to build off by himself and created a long chain. Which put him next to a lot of markets and gave him a lot of money when he brought his herds to the markets. And which easily gave him the win.

Game Day 04/15/2006

Game #1

Power Grid Italy

Its been a while since I have played Power Grid. And I generally prefer Funkenschlag over Power Grid. But I wanted to try it out with the new maps. We decided to try Italy this time. What was interesting was that with 6 players, we only used 5 sections. And because of the layout of the map, there was not many choices in which section you could leave out (otherwise you would cut the map in two). Connections up north were cheaper than connections in the south. So four of the people started off in the north. Ed decided to go to the boot. And I went a little north of him.

One of the problems in Power Grid was that phase 3 is quick or missing. However in our game we had a 3 or 4 turns in phase three. That made the game a little better. And supposedly, oil was rare in this game. So I was lucky to get a couple of wind plants when I was the last player to bid for a power plant. Unfortunately, Susan was a little out of my reach and she won the game.

Game #2

Age of Steam: Germany

Since Adam and Mike were both playing Zepter, we took this opportunity to start an Age of Steam game. And we chose what looked like a hard map. Mike starts off in one area. I started out in another. And then Ed and Susan jumped right on top of us and took advantage of our positions. This effectly took Mike out of the game. And I was hurting badly (although I might have finally ended the game breaking even. But I would need to start over somewhere else). So we decided to call the game and start over.

The next time, no one else played in the area where I went. For the whole game, I was alone and was able to set up a good network. Only Susan had some slight problems in tring to make a profit.

And then for the rest of the day, we would joke about just giving up and starting over.

Game #3

Settlers of Nuremburg

I realized that it has been four years since I last played this game! Wow, how time flies… So we started out the game using the recommended positions. Unfortunately I chose white and the distribution of the deck of dice meant that I never got many resources. So I was out of the game. In fact, Susan got most of the resources. So much that she was able to win the game in the first third of the timeline! The starting roads were also unbalanced. I only got tolls once during the game. Flawed!

Game #4

Wings of War: Famous Aces

We ended up play this light and cute game of dog fighting. In each turn, you program three manouvers from a set of cards. These cards have arrows that describe the flight path. If your plane is within a distance and arc to an enemy plane, then that person will draw a damage card.

Susan was my partner. And whenever one of us was off a distance from the others I would use the term “off picking flowers”. In the above picture, I am on the left and Ed and Kevin are flying towards me. Susan is off picking flowers in the far right-hand side of the table!

Unfortunately, she was the first to die. So it was me against Ed and Kevin. I thought that both Ed and Keven were close to dying. Ed was a good opponent with an acrobatic plane. I took quite a lot of hits from him (and Kevin). And luckily enough, they were mostly 0s. In fact, I had 10 zero cards, 3 one cards, 3 two cards, and one three card. Which gave me 12 hit points of damage out of 15. What was cool was that I was able to take out first Ed and then Kevin for the win!

Disc Golf 04/15/2006

Sign for hole 6

Jon, John and I went back to Georgetown’s Rivery course. I was afraid that all of the temporary signs would be missing and we would be unable to find the holes. Fortunately, that waqs not the case. We only had problems finding two holes (where we had to use our Jon-Positioning-System). As you can see above, the small wooden signs were still there (although only one spray-painted arrow remained).

Jon throws

When I described the course the last time, I was remiss in describing how cool and interesting this new layout is. It is certinaly different than all of the other courses that we go to. The wooded section provides some holes that need accurate throws (a small hole through the trees) and also general tree avoidance throwing skills (along a 400 foot hole). Also, there are changes of elevation where you have to throw up hill.


We came across some snakes going at it. They quickly fled in a tiny crack in the wall.


The one bad thing about this course is the tough and thorny vines. They will scratch you up as you maneuver around the trees. I even found some four inch high vines devoid of leaves sticking out of the ground. They remind me of caltrops.

Game Day 04/13/2006

Game #1

Princes of the Renaissance

Since we played Age of Steam last week, we played the pre-empted game Princes of the Renaissance. What is sad is that I have owned this game for 2 1/2 years. Sigh. Anyways, I am glad that I played since it turned out to be an interesting game.

In this game, players are one of six families in Italy. You can bid for personalities that correspond with one of the five cities on the map. These personalities may give you income (in gold or influence), and/or special abilities. You then purchase army units. These army units are used when a fight is chosen by a player between two cities. Everyone then bids influence to be able to fight as the offender or defender in the battle. The results of this battle will move the winning city up and the loosing city down in the prestige levels and give the victor a victory counter (worth triangle points). At the end of the game, cities are then ranked by prestige and assigned point values. For each personality tile you own, you add up the corresponding point value. You can also get points for 1st or 2nd gold, 1st influence, and event tiles.

Normally, if you had a strong army, you would not want to be the defender of a city that you did not own personality tiles in. And conversely, if you had a weak army, you would want someone stronger to defend that city. However, in our game, I realized that you do not have many opportunities to initiate a battle (which would allow you to move one of the cities that you favor over one that someone else favors). And, since victory counters are worth triangle points (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, …), this caused us to really bid for one side or the other in a battle. Even when it was not in our best interests.

I hope to play this game again soon!

Lunch Time Tichuers 04/13/2006

For my failed Tichu, I knew it was a risky call. And Ed gave me conformation by over-Tichuing on it.

For my last Grand-Tichu call, I waited until Mike picked up his eight cards before calling it. Luckily, I had the Dog in the last six cards and Mike passed me an Ace. Unfortunately, Ed gained controlled and played Phoenix-J-10-10 and was left with two cards (little did I know they were Ace 2). I was worried that they were a pair and Ed would go out. So, I cratered my hand and played A-A-K-K. I led singles and Ed kept passing out of fear of my Dragon. Adam then plays a King on one of my singles and I could not play the Dragon on it (since I still had singles left). And sadly, I was not able to go out first.

The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
Ed & Adam Mike & Mark
T+   10  
  430   GT+
  725     575  
T+ 835    
  970 T+  
    460 GT-