Nick Rohn, the Alpha Weasel beta and veteran of the club's second game back in November 2005, finally strolled into the Red Lion at about 7:15 last night, the heavy rain having doubled the duration of his commute from Parts Unknown. And still, the evening's second board didn't start.
Nick brushed the water off his jacket and sat down to join our wait for Kelsey Trotta. Jake and Ian's older sister had gone to the wrong Red Lion and was still en route.
Jake, meanwhile, anxiously vacillated between our table, where he feverishly worked his phone for status updates from his sister, and the Lion's back room to watch Game No. 325, which had started on time at 6:30. He was in the back room when a woman walked in at around 7:45, did the about face at the bar, and approached our table cautiously.
"Are you Kelsey?" I asked.
"No," she retorted. "I'm the Easter Bunny."
Six new Weasels helped funk up Game No. 324, played yesterday at Mick Johnson's Uptown apartment. Two of the newcomers hit their hallelujah (whoo), sharing the board-top, while two others tied for second.
Don't believe me? Just watch. The game ended by draw vote during the Spring 1907 turn in the following center counts:
Jake Trotta has been spicy hot lately. In last Wednesday's bonus game at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, the resurgent Trotta bagged his third board-top (counting the Brawl Championship) in four tries, and this one was another whopper.
Game No. 323 ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:
Tolkien warned us of Gudrun in a lay edited by his son, Christopher. And still, no one saw her coming.
Playing in her first face-to-face game ever, John Gramila's beloved turned their Humboldt Park home into a funeral pyre for their guests. Game No. 322, played today, ended during the Spring 1908 turn in the following center counts:
We fielded two boards Wednesday night at the Red Lion, our third two-board session in four tries so far this season. There were no pear trees, but we did pick up a new Weasel in Jake Trotta's Second City classmate Nicole Campbell and welcome back old friend Roland Cooke, who was in town on business. On a scale of one to five, I'd definitely give the evening five golden rings.
Game No. 320
Played in the Lion's back room, Game No. 320 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:
In a season dominated by the club's New Guard--in terms of games played and boards topped--it was the vaunted Old Guard that crested the ridge on the final day of play yesterday at our 11th Weasel Pyle in Wayne. Carrying the colors were Eric Brown, Christian Kline and Matt Sundstrom, veterans of our first, third and ninth games, respectively.
Last night's final Red Wednesday of the season was, paradoxically, as typical as it was atypical. On the one hand, Brandon Fogel ran his board-topping total to a gaudy 6.5. He now has a real shot at tying, if not breaking, Peter Lokken's longstanding record of 7.5 board tops in a season. That one has held since the 2010-11 season.
On the other hand, we had two new recruits, which is something of a rarity in this down year for new blood. But even more significant, both were female, which is as unusual as it is welcome. Not for lack of effort, our progress at diversifying the player base has been inconsistent at best.
In addition to the backstabbing, players in Game No. 306, played Saturday at Pete McNamara's home in Evanston, were treated to ribs and brisket courtesy of grillmaster Pete.
"The barbecue turned this one up to 11," remarked Bryan Pravel, who, having now played in 13 club games, all since January, is something of an authority on the Weasels scene.
Could the club now have a third host extraordinaire to rival Messrs. Brown and Burgess?
As for the game, depsite being a house game with a generous 11 hours allotted for play, it ended by draw vote during the Spring 1906 turn in the following center counts:
For the 10th time, we gathered at Eric and Muy Leng Brown's beautiful home in bucolic Wayne to wrap up an exciting season of Windy City Weasel Diplomacy. This season, a total of 72 players competed on 28 boards. Eighteen of those players showed up for Weasel Pyle Ten, and 16 of them got to play on three boards throughout the day.
War Weasel Dan Burgess and I never got in a game. Instead, we played four other games, including Caverna, pictured above, and Clue. Yes, Clue.
But you don't care about that. You want to hear what happened in the games. So here goes.
At one point last night at the Red Lion, Ali Adib threw up his hands in disgust and said to his fellow Easterners, "We're obviously doing something wrong. None of us is gaining centers!"
It was that kind of night as we played Game No. 276, the final match of the 2015 Bar Room Brawl Series. Play ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:
Our club has held numerous multi-board sessions in our 10-year history, but prior to last Saturday, we had never fielded two boards in two different locations. The 14 players featured three first-time Weasels. Here's how the games went down.
Ali Adib continues to be this season's greatest recruiting success story. He found us on the Chicago Game Lovers site back in September and joined us for the season opener. That was the first of his eight league games this season.
He's topped two of those boards and currently leads the Bar Room Brawl series. But more than that, he's brought new players into the fold. The latest of those is Andre Dankha.
This week's Red Wednesday at the Red Lion was one of those rare Dip and Drinks nights when we had exactly the right amount of players for the game. And once again, that wasn't the case the day of.
We were sitting on 10 early Wednesday morning, and I was trying hard to find two others so we could force two boards. One of them, Jason "The Dude" Raynovich, a Founding Weasel, showed up, but instead of 11, he turned out to be No. 7. Two players cancelled and two others didn't show, so for once, I didn't have to sit out. I actually got to play.
And wouldn't you know it, the Blackhawks were playing, too.
Once before in our club history--at the first CODCon back in 2007--we asked three people to play on two boards to make numbers work. Since then, our threshold has been two. Any more than that, and it just gets too disruptive.
So, after a third cancellation on Wednesday night left us with just 11 players, we decided it would be better to sit four and field one solid board than stretch for two and disrupt both. The short straws went to Matt Sundstrom, John Gramila, Sam Bassett and me, although Sam sat in for the first few turns for a late-arriving Nathaniel Olson.