After my Friday gamers arrived around 7:35 pm, we chatted a bit about stuff over a light tea break, and then got down to playing games. We started off with a set of games of Poo! The Card Game during which everyone got to play as it's set up to be played by between 2 and 8 players. The games lasted about 10-minutes, and were a lot of fun. The goal in Poo! is to inflict sixteen (16) points of poo on your opponents; if everyone else is out of the game, you win. I didn't win any of the three games that we played, with Nick winning the first game over Joanne, Kathy winning the second game over Ellie, and Angela winning the third game over me. Lots of fun that game, with flinging poo everywhere, but the group treated the game more seriously (other than Ellie, of course), and all the bad jokes are found on the game cards! :)
The second game of the night was the brother card game to Poo! The Card Game, Nuts! The Card Game. Similar in style and feel to the former, Nuts! The Card Game is set up for between 2 and 6 players, with the victory conditions being the winner is the first player to have a stash of 20 or more points of nuts. Since the maximum number of players for this game was 6, we played four games of this, each lasting about 10 minutes once more. Ellie played in each of the games this time out, and won two of them, beating Kathy the first time and Nick the second time, while in the other two games Tom beat me and Kathy beat Ellie. Lots of fun in this game, and in some ways I actually prefer this one to the previous game.
With Ellie all tucked up in my bed around 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm (I can't remember the exact time), the adults turned to another game, longer this time, for the final entertainment of the evening. The Sword and the Stars is a game of galactic Empire building in which one to five players guide the destinies of star-faring races as they expand from star system to star system. Based on SPI's popular Empires of the Middle Ages, The Sword and the Stars simulates the dynamics of an empire that stretches across hundreds of light years. Each player controls the central government of one race; during a year, the race may attempt to expand its range of operation through the creation of a StarGate, defend its system through the construction of a GuardianWeb, improve its technical level, encourage trade, or go on raids of pillage and conquest. Special rules cover the Confederation of Worlds, random events (from advances and failures of technology to the toppling of governments), colonization, and the appearance of alien raiders. The game includes a 17" x 22" map showing one quarter of a spiral galaxy, 56 Year Cards, 400 cardboard playing pieces, rules, and various playing aids. The Friday night players had expressed an interest in the game for some time, and this seemed like a suitable evening to play.
Since the game is only meant for five players and there were seven of us, it was decided that I would play with Kathy and that Joanne and Angela would team up to give us all something to do. We played what is called the Galactic Cycle of the game, and the gamers agreed by and large that it was an enjoyable game, though not as simplistic as stuff like Ticket To Ride, The Princes of Machu Picchu, and some of the other board games that they have done over the past few years. That said, David said that he liked the strategy of the game, and was quite fond of how it played. We didn't finish the game, of course, but suffice to say that the Draka were a menace to all the player Empires throughout the game, and several conflicts were fought over strategic star systems. Oh, and raids were...common. :)
Had a good evening playing the two card games and the board game with the Friday night group. It's been a while since we did this sort of thing, and I've missed it quite a bit. Nick suggested that perhaps during my birthday month we take one week out of the month and do board games again on the Friday night, and the others thought this was a wonderful idea. Just gotta make sure that the games chosen can also include Ellie until her bed time.