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Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

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The Purge: British Rails

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

In 2011 we played the Crayon Rail series for the first time at Gen Con in a teaching game. We enjoyed it so much that we wanted to get one of these games, and we chose British Rails. In the past this is one of my wife's favorite games, is that still true or has it been surpassed by something else?

Brief Game Overview
This is like all of the games in the series. After a couple of initial building turns, players will have cards that show three options of goods to deliver to cities. Players will move their trains on the rails they have built to pick up goods and then drop them off. When a good is dropped of the player collects money and gets a new card. After moving players can spend up to $20 million a turn building track. Track is built by drawing lines from dot to dot and connecting into cities. Players build their rail networks, pick up goods, deliver good, and make money. This happens until a player has connected to the prerequisite number of major cities and reaches a certain money threshold. Most money is the winner.

What We Previously Thought
We both mentioned that we liked the game. My favorite aspect of these games is watching the routes expand. My wife especially enjoyed the fact that the map portrays England.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: I could almost just post my comments from Empire Builder from earlier this year. I do not think of the Crayon Rails games as unique games, just different maps of the same system. While I enjoy the system, we do not play it enough to have more than a couple of maps. I am fine with this being one of the two we have.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: These games are one of my favorites. I am not a collector so I do not have to get all the maps. I do really like this one though, and of the ones we have played it is probably my favorite.

Final Judgement
Keep

In a lot of ways playing this game was a bit of a formality. It had been more than two years since we last played it, but we both knew going into it this was a keeper. It is fine though, as this gave us an excuse to get the game off the shelf.
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Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:32 am
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My Favorite Game Experiences of 2015

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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This is on of my favorite annual blog posts to make. I really enjoy looking back and thinking of the highlights I have had throughout the year. This is not a top ten list, but rather goes through each month and picks out the best experience I had that month. One of the thing that making this list always points out is that gaming is a social hobby. Very rarely is a game on this list because the game was mechanically that good, but rather it is a great experience because of who I played with.

I know it is a little early for best of lists, but I am fairly confident that my December experience is not going to get topped this month, so there is no reason not to make the list now.

January
The Game: Berserk: War of the Realms
The Experience: In January one of my friends hosted a two player game day. The idea was to only play two player games, as those are harder to get played at game group things. I played several good games that day, but this one stands out above the others for a couple reasons. First, I played someone else who has some excitement about this kind of obscure game. Second, I truly do like this game and this was the only time I played it in 2015. That makes it stand out to me a bit more strongly.

February

The Game: Star Trek: Attack Wing
The Experience: I was able to work out one evening to play games I do not see much because of distance. We spent the whole night playing several of the scenarios for Attack Wing. This confirmed to me that scenarios are my favorite way to play this game. The real highlight was playing the Kobayashi Maru scenario. I put Captain Janeway on the orignal Enterprise and I got really close to successfully pulling it off.

March
The Game: Empires of the Void
The Experience: This game is way up there in my favorite games list, but I do not get to play it all that often. Consequently, that means it is special when I do get to play it. I got to play this game at Indy Con with friends, and it was absolute blast.

April

The Game: Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn
The Experience: It was a perfect convergence in the game group I am part of. Interest in Dice Masters hit a watershed at the exact time that the D&D set came out. This meant that my weekly game group we ended up doing three rainbow draft tournaments this year. They were all fun, but the first one in April had the most excitement and participation. I used low level blockers to build up a base, green dragons to deal direct damage, and a purple worm as my closer. I finished second in this first draft, and it was in the third one I actually won.

May
The Game: Warlords of Europe
The Experience: I attended Geekway to the West for the first time this year, and I got to play a four player game of Warlords of Europe. It was big, dumb ameritrash dice chucking at its finest. The game went late, late into the night and clocked in at an over five hour play time. I will probably never do this again, but it was easily one of the more epic experiences of the year.

June
The Game: Snake Oil
The Experience: One week a year I volunteer to direct church camp. The counselors and directors get to the camp a day early, and this year in that evening we played this party game. This game was so memorable because one of the counselors was hilariously bad at this game. His products were odd and his pitches were terrible. Because of that we laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Thankfully, he realized his shortcomings and was a good sport about it. Six months later, we still occasionally have a good laugh about the "brick button" and the "shame cliff".

July
The Game: Star Trek: Catan
The Experience: For the past several years my wife and I have tried to play in the mammoth version of this game at Gen Con, but the times we tried always got sold out before we got tickets. This year though we got into it. It was a lot of fun playing on the huge carpet board. It was extra memorable because I won, and I won big. I seemed to have the right helpers at just the right time and they carried me to a quick victory.

August
The Game: Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)

The Experience: This might be cheating a bit because this is not really a board game, but by and large Dungeons and Dragons is my gaming highlight of 2015. I could make a favorite game experiences of 2016 just from my D&D experiences. From an epic fight down a zombie infested street, to an open ended mystery, to a drug deal gone hilariously bad there was a lot of fun in D&D this year. The game really got going in August, which is when we started the Orange Cloaks. This campaign can best be described as CSI meets Game of Thrones in a typical D&D setting. We set the game up with two DMs (I am one) and a pool of players. This ensures that we always have enough people to play even if everyone can not make it the same time. I played a couple of Orange Cloak games earlier in the year, but the campaign started in earnest in August. In the first August adventure I ran "The Curious Case of Charnel End" which was losely based on Edgar Allen Poe's Murder at the Rue Morgue.

September
The Game: Antietam Campaign
The Experience: I just about max out the scale on being an introvert, so I really like time to myself. However with two kids that rarely happens in any kind of concentrated form. In September I took advantage of the resources available to me and went to a campground for a personal retreat. I used most of the time to do professional planning, but I also brought a couple of war games. On a Wednesday night all by myself, with the closest person miles away, I sat in a cabin and played through this game. Usually I like to play games to interact with other people, but in this instance I really liked the time alone.

October

The Game: A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game
The Experience: I love the opportunity to play this great thematic game around Halloween. On October 30th of this year I invited some people over to do that. They brought a couple of friends along and we played a big six player game against the Ancient One. It was of course a great game. What made it excellent though was that everyone I invited had never played. This made the game go a little long, but they all got into the game a lot. This really increased the experience.

November
The Game: Fairy Tale
The Experience: For Thanksgiving we went up to my wife's mom's house. She told us that she wold watch the kids if we wanted to go Black Friday shopping. We really did not, but we were not going to pass up on a day together minus kids! We ended up playing several games throughout the day, and Fairy Tale was the last one. It was a wonderful day spent with the person who is not only my primary gaming partner but the love of my life.

December
The Game: Pictopia: Star Wars Edition
The Experience: I specifically got this game to play while waiting in line for the Force Awakens, and that is what we did. I played with the friend I went with as well as a whole group of people I did not know, but we shared a love for Star Wars. We did not have a lot of difficulty answering the questions, but everyone had fun. It was a great way to both pass the time and build up our excitement for the new movie.
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Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:23 am
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Pictopia: Star Wars Edition (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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I wanted to be really, really sure that I got the seats I wanted for The Force Awakens, and I had a friend who felt the same. We both took the afternoon off, and showed up at the Theater five hours early. I knew that we would need something to do, that could be easily played in a theater setting. I also knew that Target had this game on sale for like 40% off this week. That made for a game purchase. I played the game several times while waiting in the theater and my wife and I played it together after watching the movie. So does the game compare more the prequels or the other Star Wars movies?

Game Overview
This is a trivia game that uses picture cards. Players will get five betting discs (labeled one to five) and during the game players will take turns being the host. The host asks the questions, so the host players can not earn points.

Each turn begins with a new host, who will show the card which contains four pictures to the other players. Obviously all of these pictures are from Star Wars, and they usually have some sort of thematic connection. Based on the pictures, each player will choose one of their betting discs. The host will then rule the die.

Three of the results are group answers. This means that all of the players will work together to answer the question. These questions will require the players to pick one, two, or three of the pictures to correctly answer the question. Another possibility is that each player answers the questions on their own. The final possibility is a question that the host answers, and the players have to guess what the host picked. For example, the card might have four spaceships and the question might be "which ship would I want to fly in?"

No matter what the question if players get the right answer, then they gain points equal to their bet disc. Players can not use a bet disc again until they have used all five. The first player to get to 25 points wins.


Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: This game tries really hard to be a trivia game that is accessible to the masses. The fact that half of the possible questions are answered as a group helps mitigate that some people just know more. The personal response questions had a geeky party game flair as well. However, this game falls into the same problem that many specialized trivia games fall into. People either know the answers or the do not. I am almost positive that I can answer every single question in the box correctly, because I love Star Wars. I thought the questions were often insultingly easy. However, my wife who is a much more casual Star Wars fan struggled to get the right answer. This leads to the issue where the people who know the answers get bored, and the people who do not get frustrated.

Her Rating: 1 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I hate trivia games. I do not know these answers and being told I am wrong repeatedly is not fun. The pictures do not really help or make things easier. Games like this are just a miserable experience for me.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 3.5
I bought this game for one specific purpose, and it fulfilled that purpose. It was a lot of fun sitting with other big Star Wars fans waiting for the theater to open and playing this for a solid hour. I might be able to use the personal answer questions as a geeky ice breaker in the future or as a fun activity with my kids. This game is also not currently in BGG, so maybe I can also get some geekgold out of it.
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Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:51 am
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Star War: Galactic Connexions (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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Putting Star Wars on something makes me at least consider it. This is doubly true if it is a game, and if the price point is low enough it becomes a done deal. That is more or less what happened when I ran across the starter set for this game at Wal-Mart. The fact that this game has practically no information about it added to the desire, because it meant I got to explore something new. The package said age 6+ which meant my son might be able to play it and the price point was low enough to make this a done deal. The distribution for this game is kind of odd. It is exclusive to Wal-Mart, but it seems to be stocked fairly poorly. So is this a great game hiding in plain sight or should it be banished to spice mines of Kessel?

Game Overview
In this game both players come to the game with a team of tiles. Each tile is a hexagon that has two sides with a value of zero and four other sides that can have values ranging 1 through 4 (these are technically stats in different areas but whatever). Two tiles are placed out on the board, one from each player with their zero sides touching.

On a player's turn they will take one of their tiles and add it to the player area, so that it is touching at least one other piece. To connect the touching side of the piece being played must have a greater value than each side it is connecting to. Players will score points for the total value of all connected sides from the piece they played as well as the piece they connected to. So if I played a piece and connected a 4 value side to a 2 value side I will score 6 points.

After playing the piece, the player can then name how the characters represented on the tiles are connected such as being on the same side, working together, etc. The more obscure the character the more points a player gets for making a connection.

The game ends when all of the tiles have been played and the player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 1 (do not want to play again)
My Thoughts: This is essentially a collectible abstract strategy game. I am not sure there is really a market for that. This could have worked as a stand alone game, but as a collectible game it is a complete mess. It is very possible for one person to bring tiles that have higher point values than the opponent's which essentially guarantees a win. The connection aspect is the only area where theme enters in, and it can add some strategy as to where to connect characters. However, that aspect requires some Star Wars knowledge and the game very quickly gets into second and third tier characters. There was some potential for a game here, but the blind boosters format is a complete killer.

Her Rating: 1 (do not want to play again)
Her Thoughts: This game is really bad. It is really boring and the fact that points can be earned for knowing Star Wars trivia is annoying and out of place.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 2
This game is destined for Bargin Bins, Big lots, and Jawas junk dealers. It is not a good game, and should be actively avoided.
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Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:25 am
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MERCS: Conflict (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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I played this game at Gen Con in 2014, and I really liked it. It was a game that I heavily considered buying then, but went for a game my wife had played as well. After playing the full demo game, I really liked how this was a stand alone dice game that had CCG-esque duel game play. As part of their black Friday sale, Miniatures Market had this game for a really good price. Now that we have it and we have both played it is this a game we are in agreement about or do our opinions conflict?

Game Overview
In this game players take the role of a megacorporation and compete to defeat the other megacorp. All players start with several infrastructure dice (which only provide income) and one asset die. The game is played over ten rounds.

Each round begins with all of the dice in the player's corporate section, which contains spaces for the four different colored asset dice (and infrastructure dice). Players simultaneously select which dice they are going to put into their resource zone, which is limited. Players will need to keep some dice back in their corporate sector.

Once players have allocated their dice, they roll them. Then the player with initiative can take actions. One of the actions is buy dice, which can only done once per turn. The dice that can be bought are asset dice. The different faces of these dice have different abilities, and many of these abilities have a cost. Economic dice are mostly for more effective buying or paying the cost of abilities. Espionage dice tend to mess with and trip up the opponent. Political dice are a mix of the other two and have a very powerful attack. Finally military dice are used to attack.

Attacks are directed towards a player board and they will cause a player to lose dice or have areas locked, which means dice can not be reassigned there. Making a player lose dice is important because if there is ever a time when a player has no dice left in their corporate zone they lose. Otherwise the game is played for ten rounds, and the player with the most dice wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: I do like this game. It has combos, tough decisions, and uses dice in a neat way. The dice introduce a luck element, but smart play helps mitigate the luck by creating options. For a dice game there is a lot of complexity. This complexity has a price though. The game is very hard to approach and learn, it is not intuitive at all. It also has rule issues. The rule book itself is problematic. It took us multiple plays just to get things right, and there were still issues we had about how certain abilities interact with each other. Despite those issues, I found this to be a fun duel style game that really rewards repeated play.

Her Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: This game has it's moments, but just not enough of them. I feel like once one player gets ahead it is really hard for the other player to catch up. The rules were also hard to grasp and keep straight. I would play this game if i had to, but I would rather not.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6
I like this game, but it is a two player game with a somewhat steep learning curve. Since I mostly play games with my wife, it does not make sense to keep this one if we are not going to be playing it together.
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Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:09 am
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2016 10x10 Challenge

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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We really enjoyed participating in the 10 x 10 Challenge this year. It really allowed us to get several games played to a much greater degree. We really enjoyed playing games multiple times. I think the 10 x 10 challenge really inspired how e played games this year, because of right now there are actually 23 games that we played 10 times or more.

The 10x10 challenge is a way to get more games played in a year. The concept is to play ten different games ten times in the course of a year. We are doing the Hardcore challenge which means we get to pick 11 games, and we have to get 10 of them played without changing our picks.

We wanted to focus on playing games that we got within the past year that we want to get more plays in. We also picked games we have had for a while, but did not play much in the past year. So here art he games we picked, and why we picked them.

1. Roll for the Galaxy
This is a game my wife really enjoys, and like Race for the Galaxy is a game that rewards repeated plays. We have played it a decent amount. This is a game that will not require a lot of motivation to play, but it is a good inclusion so we can get are plays up in this one.

2. Deus
We got this game this year as our "random summer game" we both really enjoyed the game, but we played it five times in a couple of months and we have not played it since. It will be interesting to play this games ten times over the year. I am wondering if after that we will be done with this game, or if it will vault to one of our favorites.

3. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

This is one that I campaigned to get on this list. We actually got this game played ten times this year, but it has been a couple of months. We are in the middle of a campaign that I wan to finish, and my wife really enjoyed the skirmish mode as well. My wife think we might struggle to complete this one the most, but I hope that is not true.

4. Tides of Time
We think it is a good idea to have some low hanging fruit on this list, and this is a good candidate for this. Tides of Time is a quick playing game. I feel like this is a game that can be played on a deeper level. When we both know all of the cards really well, and keep track of what each other is taking, this game could become extremely strategic.

5. Viceroy
We love it when cards are used in multiple ways. We really liked this game when we played it post Gen Con, and this is a game both of us want to spend a lot more time with. We are both looking forward to playing this one more in 2016.

6. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

We could not avoid the hype of Pandemic Legacy. Pandemic is a sentimental favorite of my wife's, and I am super intrigued by the legacy format. Given that this game has 12 to 24 plays to play to completion, this is a perfect 10x10 pick.

7. Warhammer: Invasion
This is my most played game ever. However, it did not get played a single time in 2015! For that reason alone this needs to be on the list. It has been a while since my wife has played this game as well, so hopefully she find she still enjoys it like she did in 2013.

8. Fleet
This is a bit of a dark horse pick for us. We were tying to think of an underplayed game we both enjoy, and my wife suggested this game. I think it is a great pick. I am really looking forward to getting more plays in with this game.

9. Bruges

This is our euro-game entry this year. In 2015, Suburbia, which took this spot ended up being the 11th game that did not make it. I think Bruges will feel better, because it utilizes our much loved mechanic of cards having multiple uses.

10. Ticket to Ride
This is the pick my wife campaigned for. Ticket to Ride is one of her favorite games and it can be played on our phones. I think most of our plays this year was done with our phone, so I am sure we will do the same in 2016.

11. Glory to Rome
This is another underplayd game of ours. For how much we both enjoy this game it should really have plays than it does. That makes it another good pick for this list.
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:05 am
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A Horse Racing Dice Game (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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This past Tuesday I went to our weekly game night and I was surprised to find there was a package waiting for me! To my surprise it was a gift bag from my BGG Secret Santa. This was a huge shock,because it means my secret Santa is local to the Indianapolis area (or made a long trip!) The package had a card. It seems my secret Santa did read our Secret Santa wishlist, where I mentioned that the past couple of years our secret Santa experience was a little disappointing. The note said that they did not want to ruin our streak of disappointment so that the package contained three "off the list" items. The package had used copies of BrewMaster: The Craft Beer Game and Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game along with A Horse Racing Dice Game. We have played this game was it is as disappointing as promised?

Game Overview
The game consists of five six sided dice that have the one replaced by a horse. At the beginning of the game each player picks a "horse" between 2 and 6.

A horse race is eight furlong , so the first one to eight wins. On a player's turn they roll the five dice. Each horse symbol rolled and each number that matches the horse that the player picks counts as a furlong.

After rolling the five dice and counting up how many furlongs they scored the dice are passed to the next player who does the same thing. This continues until a player reaches 8. First one to do so is the winner.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 1 (do not want to play again)
My Thoughts: This really is the worse kind of game, in that it is barely a game. The game contains exactly one decision, and that one decision is completely arbitrary. From that point on this game essentially plays itself. It is games like this that give most people the impression that games are good for little more than being mindless time wasters.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: As a game this is kind of dreadful actually. However, I think this game does have merit for us. It is simple enough that our youngest child should be able to play it soon, so this might be one of the first games that we can all play together as a family. As a super basic game for families with young children it works, but in every other example it is pretty terrible.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 3
So, yeah this is not a very good or a particularly fun game. Despite that, for the reasons my wife stated we will be keeping it. In regards to how we acquired this game: Mission accomplished, Secret Santa. Mission accomplished.
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:30 am
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The Purge: The Journeys of Paul

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

This is a game we traded for based on the theme alone. Biblical themed games that are not rip-offs of mass market games or roll and move games are far and few between. The last time I played this game was in November 2013 when I used it for a Sunday School lesson. We have had this game for closing in on four years, but it has only been played a handful of times. Does that mean it is time to close the (good) book on this game?

Game Overview
This is essentially a race game where players are trying to found a set number of churches and then make it to Rome.

On a player's turn they first declare an action. The three options are land move, sea move, and build a church. Land move allows players to move 0-3 spaces across land. Sea move is the same, but requires a boat card. Building a church allows a player to add two cells to a church when in a city location. If the city has seven cells of one color then a church is formed.

After declaring an action, the player draws an event card. These will nearly always be a negative effect that may or may not impact the selected action. Many of these event cards can be canceled by certain opportunity cards. If the action was not prevented by the event card the player may perform their action, and then draw an opportunity card. Players can only have seven of these cards that along with canceling events can provide some other benefits.

Once a player builds the required number of churches they need to go to Rome, and the first player to do that wins the game.

What We Previously Thought
We both thought the game was too luck dependent, but I liked how well the game captured and brought out the theme. My wife felt the theme, but still found the game a little boring.

Verdict

My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: The reality is that this is not a game that we are going to play very often. Despite that, it is a game that I want to own. I have played several religious based games, and this is the best non co-op one I have played. I still think the game captures the theme fairly well, and despite the game's simplicity it does have some tension and excitement.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: This is not a great game, but I do not want to get rid of it. This is a game that I want to hold on to, because it is one I want to make sure we can play as a family someday.

Final Judgement
Keep

We are going to keep this game, but we are going to cheat a little bit. I have a shelf in my church office with a handful of games on them. They are mostly party games for youth group, but I will be adding Journeys of Paul to that shelf. That way we still have it, but it also does not take up valuable shelf space in our game room.
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Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:45 pm
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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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This past Black Friday major online retailers had the Force Awakens core set on sale. An idea that I have had for a good while now is using X-Wing miniatures and maneuvering templates as part of a Star Wars RPG. I was already planning on running a Star Wars roleplaying game at Gen Con this year, and the sale price for the Force Awaken core sets were cheap enough that I could justify getting them mostly for that purpose. Of course the bonus is that these are not just miniatures for a roleplaying game, it is also a complete game! But is it a game we will actually be playing?

Game Overview
In this game each player takes a side and puts together their squadron of ships. A standard game is 100 points, but any point value can be used (if playing with just one core set the recommendation is the very specific 36 points).

There are a handful of scenarios but most fights will be to the death. At the beginning of each round players will use a dial to select a maneuver for each of their ships. Some of these maneuvers can cause a ship stress, and that means the ship can not make another "red" maneuver or take an action until they clear the stress with a "green: maneuver.

Once all players have selected the maneuver ships will move in initiative order, starting with the lowest. The ship executes the picked maneuver by taking the selected template and then following the path. After moving the player can take one of the numerous actions the ship has available. These actions tend to either grant some sort of extra movement or manipulate the combat dice rolls in some way.

Once all ships move and take an action it then moves to the combat phase. Each ship activates in initiative order, this time starting with the highest. In order to shoot an opposing ship must be in range and within weapon arc. Each ship gets to roll a number of attack dice as well as a number of defense dice. The evade results are subtracted from the hit results (if any) and the results are how much damage is suffered. If a ship is hit, then it first loses its shields. Once the shields are gone it takes hull damage. Once hull damage meets or exceeds the strength the ship blows up. Some hits are critical hits and they create an additional issues.

Ships can also have various tech upgrades, droids, or weapons assigned to them that all provide various abilities and effects. The side with the last ship standing wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: I have Star Trek: Attack Wing, so I am familiar with the system. I initially chose Attack Wing over X-Wing because I thought there would be less of pull to get multiples of the same ship (which is true). However, I have to admit this system does work a lot better with fighters. The wonderful models help, but this captures the Star Wars feel so well. This is really playing with toys for adults, and I mean that in the absolute best way possible.

Her Rating: 1 (Never want to play again)
Her Thoughts: The ships are pretty, and the theme is good. This did feel like playing a Star Wars space fight. I just dislike everything about this game. I do not like measuring, I strongly dislike that facing is a huge consideration, and I hate having to try and figure out how ships are going to move. This games (and everything like it) becomes so tedious when it comes to moving around and around trying to get shots off. I said I would play it once, but I am done.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5
We knew going into it my wife would not care for this game. Our son though, loves it. He played minus upgrades, but with some assistance he can play this game. I do not think that will be changing. I am really excited about the possibility of using this game in the RPG at Gen Con. I will be a very casual X-Wing player. I think to keep it simple, we will mostly just be sticking with Sequel trilogy ships.
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Sun Dec 6, 2015 4:10 am
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Top Ten Games of 2014 Revisted

sean johnson
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I tend to make a lot of end of the year posts in December. It is a little too early in the month to start that, but it is a great time to look back at last year’s list! One of the list I have made for the past several years is what I think are the best games of the year, and I got the idea from the blog the The Semi-Amateur Gamer to look back at that list.

Now that a year has passed, what do I think about the games I thought were the best I played last year. Do I still consider them one of the best and how many times did I play these 2014 favorites in 2015?

10. Sheriff of Nottingham 1 play in 2015.
I included this on the list last year at number ten after only one play I thought it was fun and had a lot of potential. However, after playing it I was a little curious about how necessary it was to lie. When I played it in 2015, I decided that I was going to play it straight and never lie about what was in the bag until maybe the last turn if it would give me a big win. Here’s the thing, every other player played the same way and this game fell completely flat. Being the sheriff was pointless. I know one could argue that this is the fault of the group, but I think it is the fault of the game. Everyone who played in this game had played before, and everyone thought the best strategy was to play it straight and let other people be the liar that attracts the sheriff’s attention. It was a very “meh” experience, and it kind of soured me on this game. I would no longer consider this one of the best games of 2014.

9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf 5 plays in 2015
I mentioned it last year that my initial impression of this game was less than favorable, but by the end of the year I really warmed up to it. This game really held up for me in 2015, and I greatly enjoyed the game every time I played it this year. I actually appreciate this game a lot more after this year. That is because this year I played the abysmal One Night Revolution and the more convoluted, less fun One Night Vampire. Playing these games that are inferior evolutions of this concept helped me appreciate even more how good it is. This is a game that moves up for me of the best 2014 games.

8. The Battle of Five Armies 0 Plays in 2015

It is not too surprising to me this did not get played again in 2015. It is a several hour two player game that I do not own. Really the only way getting a play in is possible is purposely making a day of it (which is how it got played in 2014). Despite not playing it this year, I would still put it as a top game of 2014. This is a really fun asymmetrical game and every turn is full of interesting choices.

7. Good Cop Bad Cop 0 plays in 2015
I was extremely surprised to see that I did not play this game at all this year. I really did enjoy this game. This is an unique take on the hidden role style of game. It might be in the 9 or 10 spot, but this would still be on my best of 2014 list. The month is still young, and I have three more game nights to attend this year, so maybe I can get it to the table yet this year.

6. Tiny Epic Kingdoms 1 play in 2015
I am like 95% certain that I must have missed recording a play this year, because I distinctly remember playing this twice this year. Either way, this is still a game that I enjoy. I still think it does a good job at delivering a 4x(ish) experience in a small package and small play time. This game has me intrigued in Tiny Epic Galaxies which I want to play, and I have an itchy trigger finger for the upcoming Tiny Epic Western. I still think this is one of the best games of 2014.

5. Castles of Mad King Ludwig 3 plays in 2015

Last year when I made my best of list I predicted that this is a game we would be buying, and sure enough we did! I was a little worried about fun this game would be for two players, but it holds up well. This game does occupy the same space as Suburbia a bit more than I thought it would. However, I still think there is room for both. I like the mechanics of Suburbia more, but I think I might the play experience and the building of the castle of this game more. I think 5 or 6 is probably still the best spot on the best of 2014 list for me.

4. Zeppelin Attack! 2 plays in 2015
This is very much an under the radar game. It is an extremely unique deck building game with really nice thematic integration. I am a little disappointed that we have not taken the time to play this since Gen Con this year. We got a copy of the expansion there this year, but we have not yet played with it. The expansion adds more weapons and more zeppelins so I imagine it will only get better.

3. Among the Stars 10 plays in 2015
This game benefited being part of our 10x10 list. We both enjoy the game, but I would be lying if I said we did not just muscle through our last three plays. For both of us this is a game that is badly in need of an expansion. Luckily the game has one, and we got it right after we finished our 10x10 list. We have not yet played with the Ambassador expansion, but we hope it brings new life into this game we enjoy.

2. Thunder Alley 4 plays in 2015

This game is so good, and with each play it gets better. This is a game that has really held up and stood the test of time. Each play is just as fun as the first couple. I really like that this game is fun with any player count. I am fairly confident at this point we are going to be getting the upcoming track pack, so this will be a game that continues to get plays in 2016.

1. Dice Masters 108 plays in 2015
It is hard to believe this game just came out last year, because we have been playing the snot out of it (a constant infusion of dice helped). I did play in several organized play events this year, but that only accounts for 20 some of the recorded plays. The vast majority of the plays were just my wife and I. We both really enjoy this game and this is one of my top ten favorite games ever, so for me it is still the best game to come out in 2014.

I mentioned some games would probably not be on the list if I made it again here are the games that would be most likely to replace them: La Isla, King's Forge, or MERCS: Conflict
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Fri Dec 4, 2015 12:51 am
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