went into SF to have lunch with ronebofh, who I hadn't seen since 1993 in Berkeley at HITT.BOB. Also saw his office and etc. Talked about our histories, work, a little about games, a little about Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn.
This brings my total meet-up-with-Bay-Area-tb'ers-count to 2 since I moved here nine months ago. Boy do I suck.
game night. Played Puerto Rico four-players and Adel Verpflichtet. Much smaller turn-out, presumably because a few people are out of town, and also too soon after the last game night; four people total attended.
Puerto RicoThe host had played it once, and the rest of us hadn't. I went for a lots-of-buildings strategy when I found myself with a bit of money, then it looked bad. Had an interesting last few rounds where whoever took mayor would end the game, since we were out of colonists, but the lead kept shifting around so nobody could ever mayor and win. Finally I was able to buy a ten-doubloon building--as builder, with a couple coins left over; and the next governor round I mayored and won with a significant lead.
(As I recall, it went: Mahk and Jon thought they were fighting for the lead so I kept silent. Mahk finally got the chance to mayor, but he wasn't sure if maybe somebody else would have time to take the lead, so then he went and checked, and discover that he and I were exactly tied for points, and I had the advantage in the tiebreaker. Then after a captaining or two, the scores were 36-37-41-42 or so, with me at 36--my biggest production was four coffees, so I was falling behind there. Then I grabbed a building worth 4 vps and, since I had the university(?) which automatically populated new buildings, 9 more for my five production facilities. That gave me a lead nobody could catch up to.)
I'll need to play the game a few more times to see how it "ought" to play; apparently the game Mahk had played before had a more decisive leader, so the ending was less interesting. However, it felt a bit goofy at the end this way. Mahk felt like the game ends to soon; the exponential growth curve has just started and it doesn't get a chance to flatten back out. Also, it got kind of slow; it's a no-hidden-information, no-chance game (well, there's a bit of chance with the planations, but that's it), which means people can try to make fairly optimal plans based on what they see other people have, and that planning--"what happens if Cassandra captains? what happens if Romeo captains? what happens if I captain? which is best?"--can take a long time. Numerous times I started to try to figure out the "best" move, then just punted and did whatever I was considering without spending the time to work if it was the best thing to do or not, so as not to slow down the game. IMO that's bad design.