John Gravitt decided to hold a convention to celebrate his 40th birthday by gaming. He uses the conference rooms at the Wingate often enough to get a good rate for it. And he came up with the acronym Games In the Heart of Texas (G.I.T.H.O.T.). It was well attended too. I think that there were around 60 people that showed up. I even made a tee-shirt at Cafe Press.

Tichu Tournament

There was even going to be a Tichu tournament during the convention! With shirts created by Mike Chapel.

Sadly, he did not recruit any Githotties… It would have been really neat if he had asked Chantal to come!

Game #1

Race For The Galaxy

The first game was Race For The Galaxy. I was pretty in tune with what actions people were going to choose. A couple of times, I was one short to develop a card. But I took a chance that someone would choose the Explore action. If they did, then I would get a card and could use that card to complete my Develop action. Fortunately for me, someone did both times. I also had set up a good infrastructure that netted me a high income of cards. This allowed me to develop a lot of 6 priced cards. And that won me the game.

Marty's red hair

Marty died his hair red recently… I wonder if I should try that sometime…

Game #2

Chang Chen

Ed took this new game to the table. It is an area control game with a couple of minor twists. I had a so-so first impression.

Game #3

Vegas Showdown

Fortunately, someone else had introduced me to Vegas Showdown. Because I doubt I would have played it on my own. It is not a bad game. You bid for tiles to complete your casino. The tiles can give you more income, more people, or victory points. At the end of the game, you score for filling in a yellow and/or blue area, connect one side to the other, and having majorities in income or population.

Speaking of which, during the final round, we ignored the action text on the card that ended the game. And that cost me a place in the final score. Oh well.

Game #4


While I am not a fan of dexterity games, I did play a short game of Crokinole. At least until I played a real game.

Game #5

Can’t Stop

… of Can’t Stop. Which is a great, light, press your luck dice game.

Game #6

Keven and R. J. were up for a Tichu game, so we challenged them to a tournament. Wow, I think Marty has set a record. He was able to stop the first seven Tichu calls from the opposing team.

01/12/2007 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
MarkH & Marty RJ & KevinNunn
  90     10  
T+ 260    
    -25 T-
  525   T- -125  
  T- -185  
  615   T-
  T- -270  
    0 GT+
  800   T+ 300  
T+ T- 235  
  1015     285  
Game #7

Kevin Nunn’s Finished Prototype

After our glorious win, we played a game of Kevin Nunn’s prototype. Well, its more like in its final form and waiting for a printing. Its a dice game about bicycling racing. The good thing about it is that there is little downtime. Because, on another person’s turn, you have the ability to tag along.

Game #8

High Society

I like Knizia’s High Society. It has a great mechanism where the person who spends the most money automatically looses the game. So there is great pressure not to spend the most money. My problem is tracking who has spent the most. And if I could have done this, I would have done better in the game.

Game #9


I have played this second printing of Jenseits von Theben a number of times. And I have come to the decision that I like the first edition better. I think that the Exhibits are too few, too limited, and flawed how they show up during the game.

I did pretty well in this game. No, let me restate that. This was my best game eva! I had majorities in three of the knowledges, had decent luck in digging for artifacts, and even was able to display my artifacts for one exhibition.

Game #10


For our next tournament Tichu game, we played J. P. and Jeffles. Jeffles usually wants to play to 750 and this time was no exception. I am not a fan of the shorter Tichu game. And to add insult to injury, J. P. and Jeffles decide to start calling GrandTichu halfway through the game! Fortunately, we were able to win the game.

01/12/2008 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
MarkH & Marty JP & Jeffles
  T- -60  
T+ 190    
  100 T-  
T+ 235    
  460   GT- 340  
    560 GT+
  840 T+   560  
Game #11


Oooh, another game of Neuland for me. I can’t wait until the reprint comes out…


Mary and Dnatt were both new to Tichu, so we played a learning game. I partnered with Mary and Mary with Dnatt.

01/12/2008 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
MarkH & Mary Marty & Dnatt
T+ 305    
  305     295  
T+ 430    
    495 T+
  GT+ 730  
Game #12


Wow, another dexterity game for me. But at least it is quick.

Game #13


It is interesting to play against someone who claims that they have played hundreds of games against the computer and that they have won 98% of the game with a certain strategy. That strategy is to pretty much collect cards during the first week. Then, you build the Hammam, collect camels, and place cubes in the neighborhood such that you have two cubes across the street from each other. Once that is set up, you move the supervisor and place two cubes in the caravan. This can score quite a bit of points for you. And it did for J. P..

Game #14


Next up was Hamburgum. Initially, I thought Gravitt was going to run away with it. He jumped out to a commanding lead in the beginning. But, eventually, he petered out. I stuck with it and slowly built up my empire. Towards the end of the game, I knew I had to make a move. Unfortunately, I could only buy two sets of brick and timber and one bell. But the final church had three stages that were left to be built. I just had to sit back and hope. So it really surprised me when the person upstream from me built one stage of that church. This allowed me to end the game on my turn. And I also won with all those victory points that I secured.

Game #15


Ooh, I had an opportunity to play a rare game called outpost. I happen to like both of its follow-on games Zepter and Phoenicia. This game is set in outer space. So it wins points for its Sci-Fi theme. We played with the advanced rules which balance out the game better. Since I was new to this game, I made one major mistake. I was lucky enough to win a bid on a scientist which produces research. I then went on to buy some Orbital Labs for some Microbiotic income. Later on, I realized that I could use my research income to build New Chemical Factories. New Chemicals offer twice as much income as Titanium. Oh well. Next game.

Game #16

Um Reifenbreite

Ed brought out this older bicycle racing game. It sounded and looked interesting but the random event cards were just too many and too hosing. Every time you roll a 7 on two six-sided dice, an event card appears. They are usually bad. For example, one of the cards is that the rider (whose turn it was) falls over and also causes a domino-like chain of falls behind him. After two of those showed up within a couple of turns, Ed claimed that there were only two in the deck. However, there were more.

These event cards soured my game experience enough make me not like this game.

Game #17


Marty won the new version of Mu and Lots more. J. P. suggested that we play Njet from it. Its been a while since I have played Njet and I definitely wanted to try out the new version. Boy, this game certainly has changed. This thread discusses the differences. I think that the worst change is that the sevens and zeroes have been reduced in power. In the case of a tie, the last played card will now win the trick. I don’t think that I like the new version…


Jon Grimm is a firm believer in never giving up in a Tichu game. And I must agree. With the score being 920 to 180, they started calling GrandTichu and making it. We could not score the 80 points necessary to win the game. Argh, so close, yet so far away!

01/13/2008 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
MarkH & Marty JohnG & Jon
  300 T+   0  
  515     185  
T+   165  
T+ 870    
  920     180 T-
  950   GT+
  990     1010 T+