Things started out small, so we gathered together who we had present for a quick game of "Hey! That's My Fish!", followed by the aforementioned Clay -O-Rama extravaganza. (photos forthcoming at some point) Lots of clay was tossed around and smushed and mushed, and in the end, everyone had a good time. Our friend, Adam, won the day with his large-mouthed Catmandu. This was the second in his streak of wins that day. (he had also won at HTMF! earlier).
During Clay-O-Rama, more gamers arrived, and our groups began to split. A quick game of "Mr. Jack", and then "Ticket to Ride: Marklin". I had heard good things about Marklin, so I gave it a shot. Similar in a lot of respects to "Ticket to Ride", but the map is of Germany, so I didn't know where the towns were. Plus the game adds passengers and freight to the mix, which give you more strategic options than regular TTR. A very good game, but not the one a newbie to TTR should start out with. I held my own, and didn't end up last in the point counts, but didn't win either. You can always tell a good game when you spend time thinking about what you could have done differently hours later. I definitely want to try "Ticket to Ride: Europe" now, and see what else I'm missing.
More games were played after a quick break for lunch, including Carcassone, Bohnanza, Ark of the Covenant, Thurn and Taxis and Starfarers of Catan, plus there was some definite jigsaw puzzle action going on as well. Starfarers was one of the games I had gotten for my birthday, and I hadn't had a chance to play it yet, so we broke it out.
If you haven't seen Starfarers of Catan, the game is very cool. The object of the game is to explore space to obtain more resources to build colonies on strange, new worlds. Plus, there are pirates to fight, icy wildernesses to conquer and strange, alien races to make trade deals with. And the plastic bits are cool. (Have I mentioned the bits yet?) Each player has thier own plastic rocketship that represents their fleet. As the game goes on, you add bits to the rocket to improve your ships: Boosters to increase speed, Cannons to fight pirates, Freight Rings to make trade easier. Plus, the rockets are also part of the game mechanics! To determine how far your ships can travel in a turn, you pick the rocket up, shake it, and look at the colored beads that line up in the little window on the bottom. Colored bead indicate how far the ships can travel, and a black bead indicates that something unexpected has happened (pirate attack, a chance to rescue a fellow space traveler, wily space merchants, etc)
The game was a lot of fun, though I got some rules wrong in my skim of them. (I had resources trading at 4:1 instead of 3:1, and Trade Goods at 4:1 instead of 2:1, plus we had players with no rockets on the board shaking their mothership to see if they had an encounter. (They don't have to do that), and some other things here and there) Altogether a good game, though, and Adam once again prevailed by a huge margin. I'll definitely play this again and again and will keep an eye out for a deal on the 5-6 player expansion set!
Overall a good day, with a bit of overindulgence on mexican food after we got home. (Ooof..) I was thankful that Jenn was there with me. She usually doesn't go to these events with me, but did this time and had a good time. I just enjoyed the fact that she was there with me, and we got to share the day together. Marriage is a pretty cool thing. I don't know how I lived before I met Jenn, I really don't.