Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Finally Stopped Snowing

The Lions Head

It has been snowing for 16 days or so here, and today it finally stopped. I don't think for good as the sky looks full of it. Anyway here are some snowy pictures for you all.

Walking Round the Lake

Sunshine in Winter

The Schafberg Railway!

In the first picture you can see the very distinctive outline of the Sparber, or Lions Head mountain, it features a lot in my pictures because it dominates the lake and is so picturesque. In the next we have been on one of our walks, the road follows a route above the lake, then turns and comes back along the lakeside. A lovely walk and only takes about an hour. This walk offers wonderful views of the lake and mountains and if you take the camera you are guaranteed some beautiful pictures.
The next picture was taken on the same walk. On the opposite side of the lake to the Sparber, ie the side we live on, the Schafberg mountain rises to 1,783 metres and in the last picture you can see, or rather you can't, the cog railway track that winds its way up the mountain. It only runs in the summer months because as you can see the track is deep under the snow.

On the gaming front there hasn't been much happening, I have played some Settlers online and that's it really. Been to busy walking and taking pictures!!

Happy Gaming!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Second Games Session in 2 days .....

Today Pauline and Stephen found there way through the snow blizzard to come and play some more games....with the occasional glass of wine! Talking of snow it hasn't stopped today, snowing constantly and very heavy at times. The snow plough is in constant use, driving past our house at regular intervals.

I thought Settlers would be a good choice for this evening, a classic euro and a decent gateway game. After explaining the rules and dishing out a crib sheet for the improvement cards (my copy is in German), off we went. Of course placing your initial towns is crucial to get off to a good start and Stephen (blue) thought he could have done better when he realised that he had no source for bricks. Everyone else seemed OK and the game developed smoothly. After we had played for a bit Stephen's initial disappoint diminished somewhat and he had a nice little development going. Unfortunately Tina (Red) got really blocked in with little room to build. I thought that I (White) wasn't in a very good position but it turned out not too bad. Pauline (Orange) managed to build a nice road right round the edge of the board and claim the longest road tile.

I was also running out places to build and as I had placed my four cities started to buy improvement cards to try and get some VPs that way. I did get caught with the robber rather badly having 17 cards in hand! What made it worse is that I actually rolled the 7. I did get the VP cards that I wanted and having 9 points on the board I played the 3 VP cards I had to claim the victory (we played to 12 points).
I think everyone enjoyed the game, Stephen said he didn't enjoy it quite as much as TtR, but I think next time everyone will get a better start as they have more knowledge of what's going on.

Final Score
Colin 12, Pauline 9, Stephen 9, Tina 4

Next up was Carcassonne, Pauline and Stephen have the Mayflower edition which they haven't played so I thought we could play the vanilla version first so they could get a feel for the gameplay. After a short rules explanation we jumped in. I couldn't seem to get going at all in this game, just didn't seem to get the tiles (that's my excuse anyway!!) The others were all scoring decent points and getting right away from me. I didn't actually score anything until about halfway through.

I think this was another game everyone liked, again another classic gateway game.

Final Score
Stephen 77, Pauline 66, Colin 59, Tina 45

Here is a picture from our balcony so you can see the snow.

That was taken over a week ago, it's much thicker now!!

Happy Gaming!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Games Session for a while

Ticket to Ride - Marklin

We have had plenty of snow here in St. Wolfgang, almost a foot this past week. And quite cold as well, -4C or thereabouts. We have been settling back into a routine after being in England so much over the last 3 months and looking forward to our next gaming session. Pauline and Stephen are over for a week during half term so we hope to get a couple of sessions in. Our first was yesterday, Pauline and Stephen had a copy of TtR Marklin which they had played a few times over the Christmas period so that was first on the table. I have played it once a few years ago and Tina had not played at all. It's most involved of the the TtR series involving passengers and another train card for 4+ routes. The bonus card is not for longest continuous track but for most completed route cards. Stephen started off early collecting passenger cards and not laying too much track. I concentrated on completed the routes I had initially drawn and then getting more route cards, taking 1 long and 3 short most times.
In the end I had 11 completed route cards for 83 points plus the bonus and surprisingly came out the winner.

Final Score
Colin 182, Pauline 167, Stephen 144, Tina 130

Enjoying TtR Marklin

The next game we played was Metro. This Dirk Henn game by Queen Games was published in 1997. Basically each player is trying to construct rail routes and trying to make them as long as possible while restricting their opponents as short as possible. Each tile in the route is worth 1 point, tiles can be counted more than once if the route doubles back upon itself. Again I had played this several years ago but everyone else had not played. We played the first game, and it was a bit of a learning curve.

The board for Metro

We decided to play a second game as everybody had a bit more idea what to do. I don't think we liked this game too much, you have to restrict your opponents routes to low scores as much as trying to score as much as possible stuffage. It's a nice little game but probably not our first choice for table time.

Final Scores
Game 1 - Colin 62, Pauline 54, Stephen 52, Tina 45
Game 2 - Stephen 57, Colin 50, Tina 48, Pauline 43

We are having another session tomorrow, report to follow.

Happy Gaming!!