Wednesday, February 25, 2009

January 22nd Tournament Outcome

Dungeon Twister Tournament 2/22
We had a Dungeon Twister tournament on Sunday. Ten people turned out - Ben, Bob, Chris, Eric, Gahan, James, Natalina, Nick, Sammy and Shoe.

James and Shoe had never played before. They showed up about an hour early to learn to play. Bob was early for some warmup. Chris was late, but we'd expecteed that so it didn't set us behind.

We started at about 2:30, and played until there was a clear winner - four rounds. The software we used (Swiss Perfect) would have run us for two more rounds, but at that point we had a clear winner and we were running out of time. Here are the pairings and scores for each round:
Round One:
Bob vs. Ben = Ben 5/4
Eric vs. Shoe = Eric 5/3
Nick vs. Gahan = Gahan 5/1
Sammy vs. James = James 6/4
Chris vs. Natalina = Chris 5/0

Round Two:
Gahan vs. Ben = Ben 5/4
James vs. Chris = James 4/3 (Incomplete due to time)
Bob vs. Eric = Eric 6/0
Shoe vs. Sammy = Shoe 5/2
Natalina vs. Nick = Nick 5/0

Round Three:
Eric vs. James = Eric 5/1
Ben vs. Shoe = Ben 5/3
Chris vs. Gahan = Gahan 5/1
Nick vs. Bob = Nick 5/0
Sammy vs. Natalina = Natalina 5/4

Round Four:
Eric vs. Ben = Ben 5/4
James vs. Nick = Nick 5/1
Gahan vs. Natalina = Gahan 5/2
Chris vs. Shoe = Chris 7/2
Bob vs. Sammy = Bob 5/1
As I said: A clear winner. Well played, Ben.

Gahan is my most regular opponent. He's played more DT than nearly anyone else, and I was surprised when he lost to Ben. Several of the games had lopsided scores but were extremely close until the last turn or two.

I tried very hard not to pay close attention to games I was not in - I didn't want to learn too much about what to expect from my opponents.

This is the largest turnout we've had for DT in the store. Lessons learned:
1) With more than eight players, we need to go to forty minute rounds. We did sixty minute rounds, and could have squeezed in another round or two had they been shorter. It means more games would have been incomplete, but thats not unacceptable. We probably should also have started without Chris.
2) With ten playes, the software may want to go for seven rounds. I think it depends on how the rounds go.
3) Even experienced players may have missed a rule or two. At least one player had missed the fact that you can jump around a corner and that you can place on Rotation Gears when a room is revealed.

All in all, we had a good time. Thanks to Ben and Nick for coming up from Seattle, and to the rest of you for showing up.

I hope to have another one in May. And this time, the English expansions will be in the mix.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Game Night at Dawn & Jim's Wedding

I've gotten into the (good) habit of writing these posts during the weekend before they are scheduled to go up. In a few cases, posts have been written two and three weeks in advance.

I think I'm getting better at this whole blogging thing.

But this last weekend was busy. See, two of my favorite opponents got married to one another.

I put up a geeklist, but didn't manage to get an actual post together for here.

I hadn't realized how many people I consider "core" to my weekly Game Night gatherings until we gathered at the wedding for this photo. Not pictured? Ron, Brian, Jason, Jason, Ellen, Eric, Duane, and Devin. Off the top of my head. And there are other people I know I'm overlooking.

In person, I often talk about family - I believe that there are two kinds of family: Family of Blood and Family of Choice. Pictured here is a good-sized chunk of my Family of Choice, and we're about to lose the presence of both Jim and Dawn as they move to Bakersfield.

Congratulations to Dawn and Jim. We'll miss you here in the Seattle Area, but I think they probably need you in Bakersfield.

Either way, I'll see you online.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Few More New Year's Resolution Notes

Evidence of Gaming
So I have another New Year's Resolution that will directly impact my blogging fodder: This year, I will not buy an RPG book that I will not use. Meaning that if I buy a book, I need to use it (either running a one-shot or playing in a game).

This is because I have probably three thousand RPG books in my apartment. No exaggeration. I even managed to get a copy of Last Unicorn's Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium at cover price (without being at GenCon that year). And these games aren't being used. They're just sitting and taking up space (with the exception of the 4E D&D books, which I'm using). So I need to use them.

Maybe using them for one-shots will spark further sales for the publishers. If you're not Wizards of the Coast, you need the sales. :)

The only exception to the "use it before buying more books" rule is books purchased through Indie Press Revolution, as those are purchased as much for their ideas as for actual use. I'm still not sure if Polaris is playable in my group.

I have a similar rule for boardgaming this year - I need to use each new game within a month of purchase. The exception here is the month following GenCon. I usually bring back a lot of new games and playing them all in one month is damn near impossible. That'll directly impact my games played.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Gaming Online

I keep talking about how I'm tracking games played online this year, but I haven't talked about why or where, yet. This is to remedy that.

First of all, the why:

As my friend Brian commented in my last post, he doesn't track games online because he sees gaming as (first and foremost) a social activity. So the act of tracking games played where I can't see my opponents must seem rather odd to him. And if Brian thinks its odd, he's probably not alone.

I, also, see boardgaming as being a social activity. Most of the time. The important exception to this rule is tournament play, where the social aspect (while still present) takes a back seat to the competetive aspect of gaming. I consider "rated" or "ranked" play to be comparable to tournament play. Many of the places I game online, my performance is being rated.

That said, here is where I play online and why I'm counting the games played. I've included a photo of one of the games features on that site for most of them.

Neuroshima Hex
Neuroshima Hex Online: There's only one game here, but it's rapidly become one of my favorites. Neuroshima Hex Online allows me to play with people around the world - and it's rated, so I know exactly how well I stack up. I'm also becoming familiar with many of the players, as it's the same faces over and over - so the social aspect of the site is growing for me.

Settlers on XBox Live
XBox Live: There are a growing number of board games available on XBox Live. I can do casual play with my friends, or rated/ranked play with whoever happens to join. There are some very good games here, too - this page has a partial listing.

Power Grid
BrettspielWelt: It's mostly in German, but there are a lot of very good games here, and most of them have been translated into English as well. Check this list. That page also has some excellent resources for people getting started - BSW is not easy to navigate. BSW also rates your play - not with a strict number, but it tracks games played. There is a definite social aspect to the site, as well - the more games you play, the more people you meet, and the more social you'll tend to become.

GameTable Online:
Sorry, but I don't have any pictures of any of the games they feature on GTO. GameTable Online is in English, and you earn points by playing. Here is a list of the games features on GTO.

DT Online: Game 2
Dungeon Twister Online: Sorry, but no link. It's a closed beta. It's all about the social aspect for me. Well, and learning new strategies. It's also 100% in French.

There are other online gaming portals out there - and some of them are excellent. But these are the locations in which I play.