Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

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Games Played in August 2015

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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August.

Mr. Tony is still on vacation, but he should be back soon. The worst Fantastic Four movie ever made was released to theaters. The really fun Man from U.N.C.L.E. failed to find an audience. Fake football started, leading to real football in September. I didn't get to play Warmachine or Hordes. I developed a new miniatures obsession. I asked the all-important question: Can you ever not be pre-approved?

I did play 30 games a total of 62 times and eight expansions logged 18 plays. I played six of the games and three of the expansions for the first time August and played six of the games and two of the expansions in July.

So here is what I played in August:


10 Days in Africa
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 3/2010
My Rating: 7

After playing the next game I talk about, I pulled out this one later in the month and played against Nico, who had never played one of the games in the series. That happens again later in the month.


10 Days in Europe
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Michael and I played a couple of games on the original board with fewer ferry connections and with Serbia and Montenegro still being joined as a single country.

Always fun with just the right amount of tension to not be stressful.


Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2013
My Rating: 7

Expansion Played: Even More Buildings Big and Small for one of the games.

Mike and I played one refresher game with just the contents of the box, then added in the special buildings from the second expansion for the second game.

If I played a lot of two-player games with anyone but Mike, I would likely own this and at least one of the expansions. To own both expansions I would have to play the game a lot because only four expansion buildings are used each game.


Clippers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2010
My Rating: 8

A blast from the past which I was surprised neither Charles not Greg had played before. It didn't surprise me that Brandon hadn't played before because he's a young pup. A royal pain. Other things he would expect me to say about him that aren't fit for print! devil

I volunteered to take Japan since they are one of the bad starting positions. In the end, Michael won with Great Britain and I came in a respectable second. I'd forgotten that the other bad starting position was France which has the double base in Australia. I would have suggested that for Michael, but wasn't around when they were pulling the rest of the player positions.


Dark Gothic
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Both games we played were dominated by one player who won all three of the big monsters. That being said, I still really enjoyed the game. It is a nice implementation of the Ascension/Cerberus Engine type of deck builder. I suspect any future games will be closes since we now have an idea of what to expect from the game.

I doubt I will be buying it since I have a couple of the DC Comics Deck-Building Games and will stick with that in my collection, but it is fun and I will definitely play it any time Mike wants to bring it to the table.


Deus
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Greg explained it to Charles and we discovered a couple of minor things we had been playing incorrectly. Nothing too serious, though the game with Arjun, Narani, and Nico would have been quite different because they ended up starting right on top of each other and competing for the same area and they should have started at least three spaces away from each other.

We corrected those things the following week when Michael, Nico, and I played. One of the important things to try and avoid in this game is keeping a card that you want to use much later in the game. I, being all-wise, tried keeping two of them. Sure, I was able to play them both and score well from them, but by that point I had pretty much assured myself of coming in last. Moron.


Dvonn
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2010
My Rating: 8

Mike pulled out this classic game and we went through a rules refresher before playing a game. Always an awesome game and one which we need to play again before too long.


Finstere Flure
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2014
My Rating: 7

Michael did something completely wrong. He played to win from the first turn and managed to get two people off the board before we made it through the monster movement stack the first time. Geez, talk about doing it all wrong!


Five Tribes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Expansion Played: The Artisans of Naqala.

I liked the mountains and the chasm tile. I also liked the new market tiles that let you buy one of the nine cards. I am not so sure how I feel about the random points from the Artisans, even though I used them to cruise to a victory. Michael didn't like that they were another way to score secret points that couldn't be accounted for by the other players. This is less worrisome to me because anyone that wants to count the cards can see how many points the other players have and it's safe to assume that every face-down item is five points and might be worth a little more.

It'd be nice if the mountain tiles could be used in the base game, but that would throw off the mix of the markets and the chasm can't be added because it would mess with the meeple mix.


Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 9

We made a couple of attempts at putting out fires in a high rise. The first time went well until it didn't, and then it went bad quickly. The second went much better.

It really feels like the high rise is one of the best boards to have the Driver/Operator character, especially with fewer players. The board is naturally divided into quadrants which the characters tend to work together, leaving others for the Driver to keep under control.


Flip City
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This sounded like a really dumb game. Truthfully, I thought it would be a dumpster fire hiding under the guise of a mechanism the early adopter crowd wanted to like. I was wrong. It was a lot of fun and I hope to play it again soon.

The second week we played at the store we used the Office in the second game and I bought them up and it made scoring the 18-card victory a lot easier. I wasn't sure I liked the Office, but after playing it again later in the month, with the other players being sure to get in on buying them I liked it a lot more.

The only complaint I have about the game is it felt like it took a little long for what it is, but not so long that I was wishing it was over. This could change as the players get experience with the game, especially since the Office gives you some available cash certainty when the deck is shuffled.


Guild Ball
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Whoa! New obsession!

I have a Brewer's Guild team of seven figures which is painted, a Union Team missing only one of the 12 models in the faction, and a Fisherman's Guild team of seven players which I plan on sending off to be painted. I've also ordered the three-player starter for the Butcher's Guild which I picked up so I could teach the game using the Quick Start rules.

I was trying to find a good way to make a 2' x 2' pitch which I can use for teaching games, and realized I had the mat from Deadzone which is the right size and the lines on it work for the needed lines for the pitch. For the full game, I picked up the official 3' x 3' pitch.


Istanbul
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Wow, this was a fast game with three players. I liked it and a few years ago I would already own it, but I am being significantly more selective in my purchases of board games because of the space I have for games.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 7

Keltis and dice. Or dice and Keltis. Either way it was played. Mike's luck beat my die-rolling skill.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion for all the games and Millionaire's Row for one of them.

One game with four players and another with three using just the Harbor.

The last game of the month used Millionaire's Row. The deck sure is awful big with all the cards and we never saw some of the new ones or some of the classics. It might just be more random with all the card choices and I can see myself removing Millionaire's Row from the mix in the future.


Pandemic
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 9

Expansion Played: On the Brink.

The first time this month was a two-player game which started off quite well and was finished with some tension, but not a lot as we cruised to an easy win.

The second was with Mike and Hilary and just as the deck was running out, the world collapsed under the weight of the crippling blue and yellow diseases.

It's always a blast to play this and I really should bring my copy with me from time to time instead of relying on others to bring it.


Parfum
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

I liked it, but it felt a little lacking. Since it appears to be heavily influenced by Fresco I would suggest that the game would be better if the customers were all laid out in a grid at one point and the players had to manipulate a bishop-like figure to be able to get them their favored scent or to get bonus points. Since it isn't this way, the game is just "meh," but maybe just a little better than that.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: From Hell's Heart for all the games.

Michael and I finished off our two-player campaign. We will also be moving on to Wrath of the Righteous. I can tell you that I will not miss the ship mechanism, which was novel at first, but really just became an annoyance as the game continued.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous
Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I started this with Mike playing Seelah the Paladin, Jerry playing Adowyn the Hunter, Damian playing Imrijka the Inquisitor, and me playing Enora the Arcanist. That is the same four characters that were played when we played with four at the store.

Michael and I also started up a two-player game with him playing Crowe the Bloodrager and me playing Kyra the Cleric.

Generally speaking, it feels like a couple of the new characters are not thought highly of, namely Balazar and Alain and no one has shown an interested in playing Shardra. It looks to me as if the first two become fun to play when you get to pick the advanced role, but before then they are just gimmicky and under powered.

The group at Mike's has also not been enjoying the game as much as we finished out the "0" adventure. There are no real rewards to gain, other than the card feat for suffering through the five scenarios, and the felt like maybe they got too hard without any better cards available or feeling like there is a chance to succeed. Success in a couple of them felt like pure luck. I still think the original set had it right with the three-scenario "0" adventure and that five scenarios are too many not to get real rewards from. Let's see how things look as we advance through adventure 1.


Qwixx
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

Qwixx Gemixxt for one of the games.

This time the expansion play was with the sheets that mix up the numbers in the same color. I'm less enamored with that expansion than the other, but it still is a fun game however it is played.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

This time I won using the many monuments strategy.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts.

Three games against Nico and Michael and three more games against Michael. I've played the game 465 times and many of them have been two-player against him.


Smash Up
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 7

It was my Dinosaur Werewolves against Mike's Fairy Vampires. Was there ever any doubt which side was the most dominant?


Splendor
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 8

I suggested Mike and I play this and, as always, fun was had.

And his beagle puppy ate my shoelace. Well, the tip of it…


Tumblin-Dice
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 8/2012
My Rating: 7

Mike picked up the new board which is my least favorite of the bunch, though it does fit in a much smaller box. The join on his launch board and the 1x scoring board is not solid and it appears that one of them must be warped.

It's always a fun game and the only reason mine doesn't make it out is because the box is so huge. Even though the new box is much thinner, it still has a pretty big footprint and I can't imagine I would want to haul it around either.


Undercity: An Iron Kingdoms Adventure Board Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

After one play, I am glad I did not buy this. It's a decent enough game, but the limited movement and options on player turns feels too restricting, and not in a "not enough actions to do what I need to do" kind of way. There are only four characters to choose from and all four have to be played each game.

It looks like the game might get better with more plays, but like with High Command it appears that Privateer Press has managed to put too many limits on the genre of the game to make it really fun.


Viceroy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 6

The second playing didn't improve my opinion of the game and even reduced it a little. There definitely is an advantage to the players that manage to get dealt law cards that score points so they can plan around them. If a player isn't dealt one or more of them, then it feels like they are not in the running.

The auction mechanism is something I still wouldn't want to play with four players because it interferes with what is the core fun part of the game. Even if two players bid the same color where there are two available characters there is no real negotiation in the game, just take it or leave it, which is not at all fun.

I'm still willing to play it because building the tableau is interesting enough that it keeps me engaged to the point that I don't mind if I am not scoring a lot. I guess I am saying the "game" part is a little superfluous since I didn't play the game so much as build my own tableau this time and it just didn't matter?


Village
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 7

I asked Mike if he could explain it. He said he could with the rules, but it was more difficult than we thought to explain and the game took some time to develop. In the end, I believe everyone enjoyed it but it's just not a great game. It's just solidly good.


Voyages of Marco Polo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2015
My Rating: 7

I bumped this down to a solid 6 from a 7. There is just nothing about this game which is very enticing. It's a functional game and the stress of not having enough time to do anything just isn't there. I suspect I feel this way because it is completely obvious that there isn't enough time and there isn't anything that can be done to mitigate it.

Still, I hope Nico continues to bring it and I get t play it a couple more times to be sure of my feelings towards the game.


Wyatt Earp
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2013
My Rating: 8

Another game which Nico had never played, and wait, there's more! This is the first of the Mystery Rummy family of games he had ever played.

Because of time constraints we had to finish the game after two hands with him a couple of thousand dollars from winning and a few thousand ahead of me. So we called it as a win for him.
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Tue Sep 1, 2015 3:25 am
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Games Played in July 2015

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I only got in a single Warmahordes in July. I ended not being able to make a couple of times Shawn and I were supposed to play so it is all my fault I didn't get to play more this month. I ended up buying into another miniatures game, Guild Ball, this month. My team, the Brewer's Guild, should be here on August 1 and Mike and I should get in at least one game in August.

I played 29 games a total of 45 times and three expansions logged 11 plays. Eight whopping games and two of the expansions were new to me in July. I played six of the games and one of the expansions in June.

Those things played in July were:

7 Wonders
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2014
My Rating: 8

Two games with Mike and Damian. Damian had never played before and won both games. Mike had built the Broken Token insertwhich made set-up and tear down a lot easier. Really, you can say that about any game with one of their organizers, and I bet I say it again soon.


Bora Bora
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Another in the alea line that I can mark off as being played. I liked the game, but it falls into the category of games I will not want to teach.


Cacao
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

A nice, fiarly light tile-placing game which is more similar to Samurai: The Card Game than it is to Carcassonne.


Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

Having the insert from The Broken Token really helps set this game up and put it away.

Again I focused on not going adventuring at all, this time Shawn focused heavily on adventuring, and Nico worked on a balanced attack of the game's mechanisms. Once again, I pulled out the win but think either of them could have won the game. Sometimes it just comes down to who selects certain roles at a certain time.


D-Day Dice
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 6

Two scenarios with four players, which meant they were easy: even after we pulled the Bangalore torpedo from the mix.


Eminent Domain: Microcosm
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 4

This might have been fun if the rules actually explained the game, the terms, and, you know, the goals.

A bad purchase on my part and a terrible job of writing the rules.


Exxtra
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 8

Nico pulled out Excape, which he overpaid to acquire. Here's hoping it gets reprinted sometime soon since we both know people who would like to get their hands on copies.


Guildhall
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2014
My Rating: 8

Wow, it has been a long time since this was played. It's still fun and two sets is plenty of card interaction so it doesn't need to be expanded any more.


Hanabi
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 6

Three players with a score of 19. Not bad, not great.


Hordes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

I played Trollbloods against Shawn who decided to try Khador.

As always, I documented the battle and it can be found here.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Two games. Once with two players and once with four.


King's Gate
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2013
My Rating: 4

Still not a favorite, but I only have to play it ever couple of years. Both Cacao and Samurai: The Card Game handle the process of playing on a board to surround areas better than this, and nothing is quite as ugly as King's Gate.


Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Mike broke out his new copy which has cards that can be easily shuffled. How sweet it is.


Nations: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

A "flavor of the quarter" which I am still enjoying playing, though I suspect I will tire of it soon. The question is who will tire of it first (or get distracted by the new shininess)? Me or Nico who brings it and suggests we play it?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game 2.0: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 10
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: The Price of Infamy for two games and From Hell's Heart for six of them.

Michael and I finished The Price of Infamy in our two-player campaign and then later in the month played the beginning of the last adventure pack. Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I played two scenarios from that last pack, From Hell's Heart, which were supposed to be the first two, but we erred and played the first one and then the third, which we lost and replayed immediately. Whoops...

So the next time we played, we went from scenario 2 to scenario 4, then on to scenario 5 and we ended up finishing the adventure path and are ready to move on to Wrath of the Righteous. We decided we won, since we were set up to kill the boss on the next turn when we ran out of time by the random roll of a die. The last scenario is one which is determined solely by the location of the bad guys in the decks. If you don't have enough explores the you can't win.


Princes of Florence
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2013
My Rating: 10

I taught the game to Michael, Alex, Ben, and Shawn. Michael may have played many years ago when Jason S. was still around, and he played like a pro and pulled out the win over Ben. I was embarrassed because I didn't play smart and waited too long to start a work and never got a jester, which I would have needed to wait as long as I did. My final score was respectable because I managed to pull a couple of eight-point prestige cards and meet their requirements.

Here's hoping it doesn't take another two years before I get to play again.


Qwixx
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico picked up the Qwixx Gemixxt sheets and ordered an extra set for me. How cool is that?

I did have the chance to play with the mixed-colors score pad and it was definitely a different challenge, but still close enough to the original game.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

I decided to focus on getting a lot of monuments and it didn't pay off.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2015
My Rating: 6

What? Not a two-player game and not with Nico? Say what?

Both games were with Mike and Damian.


Saint Malo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 8

This was a brutal game. We ran through all the possible pirate attacks and in the end I lost 20 points and Mike lost 25 from the attacks. In other words, it was fun.


Samurai: The Card Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2011
My Rating: 7

After playing Cacao I wanted to get this played again since it shares mechanisms with that game but the scoring is completely different, which changes the game completely.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 9

Mike, Damian, and I played a couple more games with our Rancher, Preacher, and Scout. Mike's Rancher is significantly more powerful than ether Damian's Preacher or my Indian Scout. Maybe we'll catch up in power level as we increase in level? Mike made it to level five between our two scenarios and Damian and I are probably one adventure away from getting there ourselves.


Sheriff of Nottingham
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

It reminded me of Hart an der Grenze, though I enjoyed this more. I looked and it really is a re-implementation of that game. I wonder if the change is theme is why I enjoyed this game more, or if there was some change in game play? It's been a long time since I played Hart an der Grenze. It wasn't the company, because when we played it way back in 2006 at the Gathering, it was a blast becuase of the bad Spanish accents and acting by the players and soem of the players might have consumed some tequila-like substances.

The one thing the original had over this version is the means of hiding the cards. The tins were much better than the oft hard-to-open bags. Shawn accidentally ripped the snap out of his bag when trying to open it for the first time.


Splendor
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Two players with Nico. I was surprised to see that I only played it three times this year before this.


Valley of the Kings
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 5

I didn't like the pyramid for buying cards and that only cards buried are scored. I'd play again because it's possible my thoughts might change if I played it again, or even a few more times.


Viceroy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

I really enjoyed the building of the pyramid with the cards, but the auction phase for selecting the cards feels like it could make the game really frustrating for the players that end up tied a lot when making their selections.


VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/2014
My Rating: 6

Nico brought this along and we played a four-player game.


Voyages of Marco Polo
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

A game Nico had played previously and he discovered that they were incorrectly placing the houses.

We played it with four players and I put almost my entire focus on acquiring contracts and completing them because my character was the one which received a good every time someone visited the market. I didn't enter a single city that my bonus cards would have scored for, and only moved two spaces on the board the whole time. Some traveller I turned out to be. Still, it proved the explorers might get the glory, but the merchants who stayed safely at home were the winners. You know, like me.


XenoShyft Onslaught
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and Damian have been playing this cooperative deck building game two-players and Damian suggested the three of us play it when we didn't have enough time for another Shadows of Brimstone game. It is a pretty good cooperative game which feels nearly impossible to win, while still hinting that the players could have a chance to win. The possibility of a win snatched from the players in the third phase of the game and all hope is wiped from the game.
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Sat Aug 1, 2015 4:15 am
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Games Played in June 2015

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I did get to play a few games of Warmahordes in June, though not as many as I hoped to get played because real life sprang up and interfered with fun and games. But that is the way it should be, even though we might not want it to be.

It was also nice to get some of the games from the last decade on the table and played and I hope to do more of that in the coming months.

I played 22 games (counting Warmachine and Hordes as the same game, logged separately) a total of 49 times and five expansions logged 13 plays. Three of the games were new to me. I played nine of the games and two of the expansions in May.

Those things played in June were:


Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 6

Beware! Weaponized dwarves live in this game!

This was painfully slow getting started because no one had referred to the rules to refresh our memories before we jumped into to playing with the copy Nico bought while we were at the store. He and I had played before, me just once about the time it was released, and I think it had been a while since he had played. Michael hadn't played before, but is quite familiar with Agricola.

Still, we managed to muddle through the game and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Michael focused on exploring with his guys, I focused on farming and family growth, and Nico played with a mix of the two strategies.

I did enjoy playing it again and Nico will likely bring it the next time he shows up to play on a Saturday so we can play it again and, hopefully, commit some of the differences between this and the parent game to memory. He also is thinking about ordering an insert/organizer from The Broken Token because this is one game that really needs organization.


Dead Men Tell No Tales
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

An average cooperative game with really dark art and a pirate theme. I thought it was okay and would play again, but it would not be the first choice when I wanted to play a cooperative game.


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico brought this along and we played a four-player game with Arjun and Narani, who hadn't played before. Nico played first, placed his army and moved it into the board two spaces, then I played on the opposite side of the board. Narani played right by Nico's entry space, then Arjun played such that his army was between their pieces and stole VPs from each of them.

This meant that I had the inside position on the win after everyone took their first turn. I did end up winning, but the game was closer than I thought it would be with Nico and Arjun being within a few points of me. Narani was blocked off from placing early on and was unable to draw cards of the type she was looking for. I suspect that if the four of us play again the results would be quite different.


Diamant
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 9

Snakes and death everywhere.


Dominion
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 7/2013
My Rating: 9

Expansions Played:: Prosperity and Cornucopia, each for three games.

I brought this along one Saturday and Nico and I whipped through a few games mixing Prosperity with the base set. Three games and not once did the Market show up! It's always fun to play and I still remember the cards from the original set, but need to carefully read the ones from other sets because I don't remember them quite as well as the originals.

A few weeks later I had it with me, this time with Cornucopia. Michael was there and suggested it, so he, Nico, and I whipped through three more games with them mixed in. My tastes have changed a little over the last couple of years, and maybe it is because I am not playing Dominion as much as before, but now I do enjoy the cards from Cornucopia and think I might mix them in using Prosperity as the base set some time. I have also bumped my rating up from a 5 to an 8.


Dungeon Dice
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2014
My Rating: 7

Nico and I struggled through a game of this, coming in cold after not playing in a long, long time. He had a hard time finding things in the rules and I couldn't roll worth a darn, either as the monster or myself and he easily won.


Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 9

A three-story rescue that we won.

Obviously, Dave wasn't playing because we would have lost if he was.


Fresco
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2012
My Rating: 8

The worst part about pulling this out to play is removing all the expansion bits from the mix before setting up the game with what came in the box (including the three "expansion" modules) so we can play with just that. I'd like to play with the expansions, but the game doesn't come out enough and I always end up having to teach someone how to play, or it is a complete refresher game for at least one of the players. It doesn't seem right to add in the expansions to this.


Geschenkt
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 9

Even after more than 10 years this is still a simple and elegant design which is an addictive blast to play!


Great Heartland Hauling Co.
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2013
My Rating: 6

With Isle of Trains being popular, Mike pulled out this older game from Dice Hate Me. I still find it to be okay and will play it, but it is not something I would ask to play all that often.


Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

I pulled out the mini version of the game when Dave, Patty, and I went to dinner and we played most of a game which Dave was winning when the food arrived.


Hordes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2013
My Rating: 8

I played this late in month against Nick. I played the Trollbloods all-in-one (which is why I logged it as Hordes) and he played the Cygnar all-in-one. You'd think after I have spent so much time looking over the nine army lists released so far and coming up with my strategy hints that I would remember simple things, like transferring damage from my warlock to a warbeast. I didn't. Nick beat me and I went into a little detail in this linked battle summary.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

This will definitely be seeing play for a while. Clever, compact, and it scratches the San Juan itch. Who knew something so clever could come out of Tucson?


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 7

Mike, one of his daughters, and I played a game and I managed to win even with the luck of the child working against my superior strategy and die-rolling skills. shake


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion.

Just once with The Harbor. Alex tried going without rolling two dice and buying cards which pay off on a 1 to 6. He did well, but my 'skill' still won the day. I guess living in Okinawa as a kid really does help me with this!?!? :shake


Nations: The Dice Game
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Better than I thought it would be, though I didn't enjoy it as much as Mike and Nico. I suspect that having turn order is quite powerful and think I planned to play to go first as much as I could the second time I played it.

In that second game, Arjun decided to go book-heavy early on and ended up winning because no one challenged him on the book track.

The third time I went blue-die (book) heavy and made sure to grab as many dice as possible. Early on it looked to me as if I was behind, because I wasn't the only one really looking at books and I didn't get out to the front until round three. I did manage a win, though. The moral seems to be to make sure you don't ignore the books and let one person run away with them. If you are in the race for them, you should be able to be in contention for the win.

I noticed how lopsided the dice were. If I was thinking about buying it, I wouldn't because the dice are not at all square and I wonder if it would be possible to get some really malformed dice. I don't know how an experienced company comes out with such low-grade components?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game 2.0: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Island of Empty Eyes for one game and The Price of Infamy for five games.

Six scenarios down in the campaign at Mike's with Damiel, Jirelle, Seltyiel, and Oloch and five more to go. Then we can sink out ships, drop out microphones, and walk off stage to start the next adventure.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game 3.0: Wrath of the Righteous
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

The first time playing was with four players. None of us were strong healers and we lacked the cards to be able to cycle through the decks so we lost the first time playing the first scenario. I was playing Imrijka the Inquisitor and turned in the recommended starting spell for Cure after the loss. We did manage to win the second time we tried the scenario, but it was more because the Henchmen showed up earlier in the decks than our play. Still, it is always tough starting out a new adventure path and this one is supposed to be harder, so let's see how it goes as we advance.

The second time was so I could get the promo character at free RPG day, and a whole lot of thanks goes out to Alex and Nick for indulging me and playing.


Qwixx
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

It's currently the filler I recommend when we're undecided on what to play or looking to play something short while waiting on others.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 6

Nico and I played six games during the month.

I am interested in seeing how they will expand this and hope the announced expansion makes it out before 2020.


Saint Petersburg
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 8

We played this and Jayson was even along for the ride. I was able to corner the market on the nobles and come away with a victory. Everyone I know, including me, who owns it has the original version which is enough for me.


Taluva
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

Two two-player games with Nico who picked up a copy of the original version as we played last month.


Warmachine
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico and I played a game which was his first in a year. He also had never played anything more than a 15-point game so it ended up being a refresher and major learning game. He played the Cryx and I played the Khador all-in-one boxes. I summarized the game here.
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Fri Jul 3, 2015 2:50 am
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Games Played in May 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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I've still been spending a lot of time working on my Warmachine and Hordes army box overviews and trying to get the figures ready, but this month I kept up with my board game plays so I am back to my meandering thoughts.

In May, I played 26 games a total of 61 times and six expansions a total of 20 times. Four of the games and three of the expansions were new to me, and I played six of the games and one of the expansions in April.

Here's what I played in May.

Baseball Highlights: 2045
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and I worked this out and enjoyed it. He won the first, third, and fourth World Series 4-1 and I won the second 4-2.

It makes a small-deck deck builder playable, which other games have failed it. I think I would buy it if it was something that could be played with three players, but since it is really a two-player game which can be increased by groups of two players in a tournament format it really won't work for the Saturday group.

My one gripe is the card stock. Gryphon has always used a highly-textured linen-finished card stock that is high quality. Visually, I'd always prefer less texture on the cards, but that a preference. When trying to shuffle the tiny deck, the texture creates friction and the cards are difficult to shuffle when there are so few. So boys and girls, I recommend getting sleeves for the game. Normally I would suggest that for a deck builder, but the shuffling doesn't happen so much to put wear on the cards. Don't let this minor quibble stop you from trying the game because it is a lot of fun.


Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 6

This is much better with three than it is with two, though I would still rather play its big brother. It's also one of the ugliest games on the table and some of the pieces are tiny.


Ciúb
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 7

Four players. It looked like Nico was losing the entire game, but he finished strong and triggered the end game which made the difference for him.

Being able to remove cards from the top row can speed the game up and prevent it from taking too long. Overall, this is a solid design and a lot of fun.


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico, Mike and I played. A load of fun that Nico and I like more than Mike, but it's not something Mike will avoid playing. For me, it scratches a similar itch to Race for the Galaxy in that the players are making the best tactical use of the cards they get dealt during the game.


Diamant
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 9

I had a great first round and that's all it took to win the game.


Diamonds
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

It's an interesting take on trick taking with the suits having powers related to scoring. We played with three, and if we play with three again we're likely to do the alternate set-up so all the cards are dealt out each hand.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Unseen Forces

We fought Cthulhu's minions and lost. It looked like we were going to lose badly right off the bat and Joe Diamond and Ashcan Pete were killed, but the intrepid adventurers made a comeback and almost saved the world, but we lost in the end.


Elysium
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Eh. In the end it seemed like we didn't get to use the cards we picked but once or twice and there was no engine building in what felt like an engine-building game. Generally, I am not going to complain about some attack cards, but losing one, or more, of your three cards on a turn is a bit extreme, especially when you've made careful plans. I think I would want to leave out the Neptune cards if we played in the future.

Now I am thinking I might want to lower my rating.


Geschenkt
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 5/2014
My Rating: 9

Three times with five players. You have to remember who is nearly out of chips because if you send something around one more time that will fill a straight, it sucks big time when someone has to take it.


Hansa Teutonica
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2011
My Rating: 6

Yikes! Time sure flies! I can't believe it's been over four years since we played this.

Mike, Nick, and I gave it a go, and it took a little while to get the hang of it again. Sure, it may be the most-soulless game ever, but it is a lot of fun and a solid design. Hopefully we will be able to play it again soon.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico taught it to Dave and Mike and it was the first time we played it with four. I like it much better with three since there is still more player interaction than two, but it works with four. I'd rate the number of players I like playing it with as three, two, then four.

Later in the month, Mike and I played some two-player games and discovered we were playing incorrectly. We were delivering routes anytime, not upgrading a route before delivering another. Nico and I might have played it this way the first time we played, I don't know for sure, but we've been playing it wrong since then. The correct way gives you a reason to build up your trains and makes buildings more feasible.

We played it some more later in the month and I might need to up my rating.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 7

I easily won both games, flexing my dominating die-rolling skills over Mike's puny abilities.

That's right -- it's all skill!


Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 4

We played with four and it was completely boring. It was also a bad decision to limit the number of the cards available to players. I think it would also have been better if the cards were tokens. If I never play it again I won't miss it.


Nicht die Bohne
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/2012
My Rating: 7

Another that hasn't been played in a long time. I like this more than the others seemed to, so it might be a while before it gets played again.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 17
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Tempest Rising for three of the games, Island of Empty Eyes for eleven of the games, and The Price of Infamy for another three games.

We're progressing in the campaign at Mike's with Damiel, Jirelle, Seltyiel, and Oloch and we're ready to play the next set.

Michael and I also played through eleven more scenarios in the two-player campaign. We lost the "The Land of the Blind" scenario, which was the extra one included in the fix pack. We didn't replay it because we were just one turn away from winning and because the directions on how to handle the winning conditions aren't clear. This isn't the only one of the scenarios which isn't clear and it's quite disappointing to deal with when sitting around the table in the middle of playing the game.


Qwirkle
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike had two relatively early Qwirkles and had a pretty good lead. I managed one later in the game and went out first to take the game-end lead over him and Nick.


Qwixx
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 8

Two games played this month beginning with 'Qwi' on the same day. Not something that occurs every day!

I also taught it to Michael and Nico this month. It does work as a two-player game, but it is better with more.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 8

Speaking of skill, I drove my slaves, err employees, to build many monuments to my dynasty and the incredible amount of points won the game for me.

Seriously, it was the most points from monuments I think I have ever seen in all the games I played.

Mike ended up winning the second game.


Risiko Express
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 7

Mike, Nick, and I fought over Japan and I once again proved my skill at rolling dice and handled the challengers easily for the win.

Call me Sensei.


Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 7

Michael and I played this while waiting to see if anyone else would show up on a Saturday. I ended up rolling lots of Pestilence and Michael never bought the prevention and he ended up losing because of it.


Run, Fight, or Die!
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Zombie Horde Expansion.

Always fun. I still think the expansion does slow the game down but it is a lot of fun and makes the game a little more difficult.


Taluva
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2012
My Rating: 8

I've been wanting to play this again for a while and it was great to play it with four. Nico hadn't played it and ended up buying an original edition copy off BGG while we were playing.

I attained a premature victory with a couple of turns left and it was satisfying because I was more in conflict with Michael and Mike and not the newbie.


Temporum
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2015
My Rating: 7

I thought Mike might like it, so I made sure to ask Nico to play it when Mike made it on a Saturday, and then Mike bought it and we played it that night with Hilary at their house.


To Court the King
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2011
My Rating: 7

With the Favor of the Pharaoh implementation coming out soon I wanted to play this again.

Mike, Nick, and I played it. Nick hadn't played it before and it had been a long time for Mike and I. I thought I was really in the best position when the end game came around and Mike looked to be in the worst position, but he managed to make a roll that Nick failed to match (since he had the Queen) and I couldn't beat.

Stupid luck-based games.


Vegas
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Expansion Played: Played using Las Vegas Boulevard.

We tossed in the large die and the $100,000 certificates. I like the additions and am interested in trying out the other mini expansions.


Warmachine
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played what amounted to a refresher game with of Warmachine using the 35-point lists from the all-in-one boxes for Khador and Cygnar. That was summarized here.

We played again a few weeks later, this time switching sides, and that little dust-up was summarized here.

I’m hoping to get in a lot more games this month. There are plans afoot...
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Tue Jun 2, 2015 2:50 am
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Games Played in April 2015

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I've been spending a lot of time working on my Warmachine and Hordes army box overviews and trying to get the figures ready so I can get people to play the game with me. That has meant I haven't been good at keeping up my board gaming info in my database, so I am going to do something a little different this month: one-word thoughts on the games I played. Some are meaningful, to me at least, some nonsensical, and some are just made up all together.

In April, I played 20 games a total of 47 times and six expansions a total of 15 times. Four of the games and one of the expansions were new to me, and I played seven of the games and one of the expansions in March.

How for the games and the words.

Blokus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2009
My Rating: 9

Squares.


Bluff
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 3/2014
My Rating: 8

Fibs.


Ciúb
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to Me
My Rating: 7

Transformations.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2014
My Rating: 7

Justice!


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 8

Genesis.


Diamant
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 9

Snakes!


Duke, The
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 7

Chess-ty!


Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 9

Conflagration!


Hanabi
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 6

Work.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Shakin'!


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 6

Allergy.


Patchwork
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me
My Rating: 7

Quiltiferic.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 12
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 8

Owlbeatross!


Qwixx
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me
My Rating: 8

Quixotism.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 2/2014
My Rating: 8

Windfall.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 6

Consumption.


Splendor
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Gemology.


Temporum
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to Me
My Rating: 7

Paradoxes.


Thunderstone Advance: Worlds Collide
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 7

Doomknights!


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/2015
My Rating: 8

Beans.
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Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:25 am
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Games Played in March 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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I played fewer games this month than I have in a while. Lives get in the way of fun. Still, I get to play a lot more games than many people get to, so who am I to complain?

I'm really in the mood to play Warmachine/Hordes again. Hopefully, I will have one or more playings of one of the games this month.

In March, I played 17 games a total of 38 times and two expansions a total of 4 times. Three of the games were new to me, and I played seven of the games and both of the expansions in February.

Augustus
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 8

I remembered to both bring it along and to grab it when we were looking for something quick to play. I need to make a label for the small, white sports card box I am using to store and transport this game.

Nico won both of the games we played.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals: Batman vs The Joker
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Mike and I split a couple of games and I liked it.

Our games highlighted the biggest problem with the game: If one player makes a jump into a lead, it can be difficult for the other players to make a comeback.


Deus
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Nico and I taught Michael how to play and it ended up being a very close game. I believe we all thought I was going to win, and I did score the most end-game points, but Nico had hid is in-game engine going better and ended up winning. The final scores were 72, 69, and 69.

After the fourth play of this game, I am still enjoying it quite a bit.


Diamant
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 7/2014
My Rating: 9

Two games had us all laughing out loud. The Diamant version has vastly superior components to the Incan Gold version.


Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this several times.

The WizKids rule book is weak and does not do the game justice. You'll need to get several clarifications on the new concepts to understand how to use the game.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

We played a three-player and a two-player game of this. I really like it as a two-player and am leaning towards saying it works best that way, though I want to play it a few more times to be sure.

Writing this up reminded me to e-mail Dave at the Game Depot to ask him to order a copy for me.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Played at Mike's.


Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this once. I think it will take a few games to get the hang of the play style, but it was a lot of fun and definitely a much better entry into the series than Bonnie and Clyde.


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 6

With four players, it felt like the player going last was at a disadvantage because the other players were able to best take advantage of the events that popped up, often leaving him not being able to take advantage of it as much as those moving earlier.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea three of the games.

Michael, Shawn, and I played the last three scenarios in Adventure 1, The Wormwood Mutiny with Feiya, Valeros, and Lini.

Then Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I finished the last three scenarios of the Raiders of the Fever Sea adventure and are ready to advance further on. I'm really appreciating playing Damiel. His alchemy powers are awesome!


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Also played at Mike's. I will take this one to the store this month and try and get it played with more than two players.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts but not with the Orb.

One game with Michael and Shawn. I think this was just the second or third time Shawn had played. That's like less than 0.5% of the times I have played the game!


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 6

Nico and I were playing another game at the store when Patty introduced Parker and Justin who really liked this game, and we were happy to play a few games.

I am liking this more than I originally did, though still not enough to buy it myself. Both Mike and Nico own it so I should be able to play it pretty much any time I want to play it.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Just the three times this month, and they were all with Mike and Damian on a Saturday when the store was invaded for the grand-daddy of all CCG's pre-release. Hopefully, we will be able to do this on occasion and get these characters leveled up. So far, level four is highest any of our characters have made, in part because I play in different parties and have tried not to have greatly differences in the levels of the characters playing.

The two base games have still been enough variety for playing it, but I'm starting to hear the call of the wave 1.5 shipping.


Snow Tails
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 8

About half way through the race I decided to commit suicide since not playing would be more enjoyable than playing more.

I realized I had been hesitant to play this of late. My rating did plummet three points from an 8 to a 5 because of my desire to avoid the game and I might end up getting rid of my copy since I know so many people who do own it.


Viticulture
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 7

It works very well with five players. I think I prefer the original Grande worker rule over the new rule. I read over the expansions and found the idea for the "legacy" expansions to be silly. I also don't see why you would need to play all of the level one or two expansions to play the level three ones. Heck, I found only half of the smaller expansions to be something I would be willing to try.

Here's hoping we play more games soon so I can integrate some of the expansions.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2015
My Rating: 8

We played this at the store. We were waiting for Shawn to arrive and Michael had his copy and it seemed like it would last the right amount of time. It ended up being a very close game with me almost winning on Nick's turn, but Nico pulled it out when he began his own turn.

Why have the dice gods forsaken me?!?!?
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Thu Apr 2, 2015 1:30 am
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Games Played in February 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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I managed to play Shadows of Brimstone twice, which is not acceptable!

In February, I played 20 games a total of 50 times and eight expansions a total of 15 times. Four of the games and two expansions were new to me, and I played five of the games and two of the expansions in January.

Here’s what I did play in February:

Carcassonne: The Castle
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike and I played this for the first time in a while. We both thought I was in the best position to win the game, but my luck failed near the end of the game and Mike came away with the win.


Deus
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

I didn't think I would like this, though that was more my reaction to the box art and the art on the game tiles pictured on the back of the box.

Nico told me not to hate the game until we had the chance to play it the next week since he bought it. He brought it to the store the next week and he, Nick, and I played it. Nico and I played it again the following week with Narani and she liked it as well.

I really liked it! It's a terrific design with rules and mechanisms to mitigate possible problems that could cause the game to bog down. Yes, there is still some luck of the draw in the game, but it is not a huge problem.

Mike also picked the game up and we played two-player. He wasn't as big a fan as I was, but it seemed to grow on him some after we played because he mentioned he played it with someone else and said we should play it again. I suspect this might be in the rotation a while.


Duel of Ages II
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Expansion Played: Master Set.

Nicki and Tim both really like this game so we split into teams with Michael and Nicki going against Tim and I with each side having eight people a side.

I liked this more than I remembered liking the original, but it's still not a favorite. I'd play it a few times a year without complaint and if it was quicker I would like it a lot more.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Unseen Forces for all the games and Gates of Arkham for one of them.

Dilettante Jenny Barnes, private eye Joe Diamond, handyman Wilson Richards, and Sister Mary, the nun took on Tsathoggua and the world ended because they were lacking.

Not being satisfied with the world ending, three of the four left behind the unlucky Diamond and added some musical accompaniment with Jim Culver as Hastur was the challenge. This time the heroes managed to defeat the evil before the world ended.

Then something new happened. Gates started opening. New investigators arrived on the scene, and rumors of previously-unknown old ones started up. Three of those newcomers investigated the machinations of Yibb-Tstill. Those three are/were Skids O'Toole (RIP), Akachi Onyele, and Tommy Muldoon (RIP). Picking up the torch for the fallen ones was William Yorick (RIP), Trish Scarborough (RIP), and Patrice Hathaway. The two survivors lasted long enough to see the world end again!

I like Gates of Arkham, though it does slow the game down a fair amount by adding randomness in the adventures by keeping them hidden until the players visit them. For those who feel the game is too easy before the expansion, they might be singing a different tune after playing this.


Harbour
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Mike backed this small worker placement game and we both liked it. My one concern with it as a two-player game is the number of buildings available is less than with more and it can happen that there are set-ups that can bog the flow of the game down.


Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Mike had to have cheated.

Why would I say that?

He had a good game and won.


King of New York
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

I wonder if I should order the Broken Token insert for King of Tokyo for this game, or will expansions for this make that a bad choice?


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion.

Just once with The Harbor. We're beginning to feel as if there are too many purple cards in the mix that tend to clog up the flow of the game.


Marvel Dice Masters
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 4

Nico and I played a few games one Saturday and Mike and I played a few more at his place on another day, mixing both sets released so far.

I'm really looking forward to the Dungeons & Dragons set which is due out soon, and even the Justice League set. As long as we're playing it, I can see myself buying more, though storage is becoming a problem.

Speaking of storage... If you're interested in buying sets of two commons and one uncommon from Avengers vs. X-men or sets of commons (maybe an uncommon set as well) from Uncanny X-men, drop me a private message and we'll see if we can work something out. Any sales would end up being through the BGG marketplace.


Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

When will the reprint for this be out in stores? Mike's copy needs to be replaced, ASAP!


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 6

Who said you couldn't play it just once when it is played?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 12
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea for five of the games and Tempest Rising for one of them.

Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I started adventure 1, The Wormwood Mutiny. As has been the trend with this set, we lost one of the four times we played the first evening we played. Night two had us finishing the first adventure and starting adventure 2, Raiders of the Fever Sea

Michael and I also played four scenarios in a two-player campaign, coincidentally picking up where the group at Mike's finished off and continuing through the first scenario of Tempest Rising.

I like that the level "0" missions are now supposed to be played as part of the full campaign, but I feel that having five of them with minimal character growth was a mistake. Three scenarios, like in Rise of the Runelords, would have worked better. We also got very little from the "Cat and Mouse" scenario which looked to be designed to get a lot of new cards into the decks of the characters. This was because we had already played six scenarios and had done a decent job of collecting things for the decks.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Alien Artifacts.

Michael and I finished a quick game while waiting for others to show at the store.


Risiko Express
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2012
My Rating: 7

WTF? Age of War has a separate entry in the database even though the games is the same with a different skin? I wonder how long it will be before the two entries are merged (then unmerged, then re-merged)?


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 6

Nico and I taught the game to Greg and Alexander. They left after the first game. Nico and I played three more times before putting it away. We then played a few more times later in the month when there was just the two of us playing games.


San Juan
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/2014
My Rating: 8

Michael and I played this to close a Saturday instead of the usual Race for the Galaxy. RftG really did improve on this while making it more complex. The only real fault I still see with this is the Guild Hall and Library can give an advantage and when two players are pretty evenly matched, they will often determine the winner. Still, I will keep it around for those not wanting the steeper learning curve or when I'm just looking for something lighter to play.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/2015
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Arjun, Narani, and I played the "Cursed Idol" scenario. Our Marshal, Saloon Girl, and Law Man found the gate to Jargono fairly quickly and, thanks in large part to the Old Map, we were able to find the burial ground early enough so we weren't killed and completed the adventure. Giving the characters an Old Map item and removing the corridor tiles from the swamp mix was a genius design decision. It made finding the destination tile much more likely in the allotted time, but still meant it might take too long to get to if the players didn't keep up the pace.

The following week, we played the "Night of the Dead" with Michael joining us, playing his Rancher. Unlike the "Cursed Idol" scenario, this one felt like it could go on forever. That was because some moron didn't read the scenario carefully enough and didn't apply all the special rules. It never pays to be in a rush. Now I want to play it again with the right rules, which means we might have a character fatality or two.


Suburbia
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 9

Expansion Played: Suburbia, Inc.

We had not played this in a while, but my assembling the box organizer from The Broken Token, I had to bring the game along to try and get it played. I used to think I was good at the game, but really I am not.

The organizer is awesome! My only fear is the next expansion might have more borders than will fit in the borders area. Here's hoping what is released does fit.


Tiny Epic Defenders
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Tiny? Yes.

Epic? Not so much.

Will I try to look clever every time I play one of these games by repeating the same opening? Probably.

It's a decent cooperative board game. I like how the turns are taken based on a deck of cards for each round, but the characters felt kind of generic because of the limited actions available.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Hilary, Mike, and I played this as part of an evening of dice games.
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Tue Mar 3, 2015 6:03 am
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Games Played in January 2015

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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January was an odd month. People were sick, on vacation, and generally unavailable so the number of different games played was down as Michael and I defaulted to playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game a couple of times, plus I met with the group at Mike's three times for the same game.

I still managed to play Shadows of Brimstone several times and would like to play more, though not everyone on Saturday likes it as much as I do.

I decided to stop the experiment I had been doing which was revisiting what games were new to me last year, so I am back to just covering what I played the past month.

In January, I played a mere 12 games a total of 42 times and four expansions a total of 10 times. Four of the 12 games and three of the four expansions were new to me, and I played five of the games and none of the expansions in December.

Here’s what I did play in January:

Among the Stars
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: The Ambassadors.

I set up the game using one of the suggested basic card set-ups from the Artipia site using the cards from the expansions. I also went through the special cards and created a set of colors which was balanced so one color didn't dominate. It was a fun game and I look forward to using The Ambassadors some more, but can see why some might not like using them.


Glen More
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/2011
My Rating: 8

Nico recently discovered this, not having been a regular the times we played it back in late 2010 and early 2011. We had five, and I thought for sure I was doing poorly, but I managed to grab a VP generating building near the end of the second round and managed enough points to win.

I still like this game a lot, but I wonder if five might be too many for it? It felt like I didn't have much ability to plan on getting a tile I wanted after grabbing the one I would take on a particular turn.


Isle of Trains
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Nico Kickstarted all six of the 54-card Rabbit games from Dice Hate Me Games. This is the one which he had played and liked, so he taught it to Paul and I. After the first game we played it again right away. I really liked it and looked to buy it right away, but it was not available yet.

A week later, Nico, Michael and I played it and Michael wanted to get a copy right away.

It is a quick, fun and a not-too complicated take on the cards being multiple resources like San Juan and Race for the Galaxy. I really am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of it, but it packs so much fun in a small deck.


Level 7 [Omega Protocol]
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

Another cooperative game, but like Descent it has someone controlling the bad guys against the other players.

I liked the game and the mechanisms for the way the characters set how they are moving each turn which changes some of their stats. The adrenaline points is also a nice way of trying to balance the number actions the players get versus the number that the overlord player can use. But in the end it still suffers from the one against many, which I don't like, so I would much rather play Galaxy Defenders.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion.

The Harbor is out so now we can use the actual set and not the PnP version I've had for a while.


Pandemic: Contagion
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Light, amusing, and quick. Maybe it is too quick because it felt like it was missing something? It felt like just as we got rolling, the game ended.

Also, we never saw any purple city cards in our game, which meant drawing a bunch of these was really disappointing. Yeah, you can use two cards as a wild, but that is still less useful than having two cards of a color that can be played.


Pandemic: The Cure
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/2014
My Rating: 8

I was looking for something quick and this fit the bill. We played two games, winning one and losing one. The Scientist is the big game changer: if you want a more-winnable game she should be included as one of the player characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Spires of Xin-Shalast for five of the games.

Mike, Jerry, Damian and I finished off the first adventure path! We hated the last scenario and feel it could have been better designed because it can be unbeatable just because the cards shuffle the wrong way. Are there any issues like this with the scenarios in Skull and Shackles?


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 14
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Raiders of the Fever Sea for two of the games.

After finishing up Rise of the Runelords, Mike, Jerry, Damian, and I went to work tackling pirates, sharks, and other ne'er-do-wells of the Shackles islands. We decided we could choose any of the 12 characters from this set or any of those from the class decks. I chose the Alchemist, Jerry chose the Swashbuckler, Mike picked the Magus, and Damian grabbed the Warpriest. We managed to lose the second scenario the first time we played.

I also played four scenarios in one of Michael's campaigns with Kyle and Caitlyn, though she didn't play in all of them because their kids were being rambunctious.

Later in the month, the group at Mike's ended up finishing the Plunder and Peril adventure, though we had another loss in the mix. That just makes the game more interesting. As a group, we were generally underwhelmed by the five scenarios after coming down from the characters that finished the first set. I think it would have been better to keep the included Adventure 0 as three scenarios than have five.

Michael and I also played two more scenarios in the Raiders of the Fever Sea adventure in his two-player group. A third game that day had Jessica and Jonas joining up as we played another in the four-player game that we played with Kyle and Caitlyn.

My figures for this and the next adventure path are off being painted and I should have them in hand sometime soon.


Roll for the Galaxy
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

In some ways it is over-produced, but the most important component is not. For this price I would have expected the dice to be etched and not just have the faces painted onto the die sides.

The game is also slower to play than the card game without adding any real depth.

Before it was released, I considered this an auto-buy, but with the huge box, painted-on die faces, and slower play, I am not likely to pick this up. Nico and Mike own it, so I am sure I will play it on occasion.


Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 7

Nico and I were the last two hanging out one Saturday afternoon and we played this before he had to leave. I was able to generate more workers early on and was also able to generate more ports than him, while avoiding rolling disasters. I scored 131 points with only four disasters, which felt like a huge score.

I don't believe any of us who Kickstarted it have read the rules for The Mediterranean Expansion. I keep thinking I will, but I don't.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 12/2014
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Arjun, Narani, and I played "The Lost Journal" fixed-map scenario using the U.S. Marshal, the ever-popular Saloon Girl, and the Law Man. We ended up getting to the fifth possible room out of six before finding the Journal. We had the event which made the Hold Back the Darkness roll harder and it sped the end of the game, and we lost the game because the darkness escaped while facing the Goliath and his minions. The best part of the game? Telling Arjun he should roll to kill his wife and saying the opposite to Narani. I'm sick.

The following weekend the three of us were joined by Michael who was playing a new Preacher. We played the "For a Few Dark Stone More" scenario and ended up with a win, but the poor Saloon Girl got a mutation which injures people ending up next to her at the end of their turns. How messed up is that?

Later on in the month, Paul, Michael and I played "Seal the Void Gate," which was the last of the basic adventures I hadn't played. This is a tough adventure, with a slightly-accelerated clock because the characters need to find only two clues to get to the final battle. Paul played his Piano Player (Saloon Girl), Michael played his Rancher, and I got to play my Bandido again. Both Michael and I are about 1/2 an adventure from jumping up to level 4, which will be the first characters in any of the groups that I play that make it above level 3.

Finally, Michael and I visited the "Swamps of Death" with the Rancher and the Bandido. We succeeded.
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Tue Feb 3, 2015 7:13 pm
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My most played games of 2014, or "what's shakin', sun god!"

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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Last year I did three posts indicting the Good, Bad, and the Ugly games I played in 2013. This year I just didn't feel like it and I wasn't going to do any kind of recap. Then I got a bug up my butt and decided to look at the 10 most-games played this year, and then look at the 10 most-plyed of the previous year as well.

My most-played games of 2014

Because of a tie at spot number 10, there are 11 on this list. Eight of them were games I played for the first time in 2014 which I guess means the Cult of the New is strong in me.

Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
Times Played in 2014: 54

We managed to get through three of the six organized play weeks, but then the small group petered out. When the Uncanny X-Men organized play gets started I hope to get a small group that will be able to play through it.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played in 2014: 46

Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I played through most of the campaign and finished it after the first of this year. Michael, Nick, and I are into the fourth adventure but haven't played in a while. I just reorganized my box to include the class decks and reset it so we could start a new campaign at the store, but I have everything recorded so Michael, Nick and I can resume at any time.


Splendor
Times Played in 2014: 39

A terrific game! I know a lot of people think it is dry, but I really dig the puzzle aspect and engine-building competition between the players. After playing Camel Up, I am shocked that Splendor didn't win the SdJ over it, or that it was even nominated at all.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played in 2014: 37

Almost all of these were played with the Alien Artifacts expansion without the Orb part. We thought it was fiddly and slowed the game down, but playing with just the cards was a nice change from playing with the first series of expansions.


Machi Koro
Times Played in 2014: 31

Once we started with the Harbor expansion, we played with it almost exclusively. I want the retail version of the expansion, but it is on the standard Pandasaurus schedule -- really late.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played in 2014: 26

This is both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients mixed together. I would play this all day most Saturdays if everyone else was up for it. With all the extra stuff that should be arriving this year, I expect it to be fresh and blast to play the entire year.


Pandemic: The Cure
Times Played in 2014: 20

All twenty plays were in a three week period in November, and then I stopped bringing it along with me because I ended up with less room in the gaming bag because of larger games and my wanting to play older, deeper games. I can't imagine this being in the top 10 for 2015.


Run, Fight, or Die!
Times Played in 2014: 19

It was a big splash in September and then played occasionally since then. It's a fun dice game which has the feel of the zombie theme. There is a new Kickstarter for another expansion and I plan on backing it.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played in 2014: 16

Yeah, I am counting this both games separately. This one will likely see more plays this year as Mike, Damian, Jerry, and I are starting this set soon and will probably finish it before the end of the year, which would be at least 35 plays.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played in 2014: 16

If there is one game on the list that most people wouldn't expect to see, it would be this one. It's a quick dice game that captures the feel of Ra. Mike and I will play this on those days that we are looking for something that is not too taxing, but still fun.



My most-played games of 2013

Surprisingly, only one of these made the top played games this past year, and it was the game that most probably wouldn't have guessed would be on one of the lists, much less both of them. Some of it was these games grew old and part of it was the games that arrived in 2014 that jumped to the head of the line were so awesome.

Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played in 2013: 31
Times played in 2014: 8

Mike and I still play this. Playing it so many times in 2013 was just a aberration and I suspect it will see about 10 plays a year for the foreseeable future.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played in 2013: 23
Times played in 2014: 9

The Saturday guys suffered from bean fatigue and so did Mike, so we didn't play it with Hilary as much when I was over at their place to play games.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game
Times Played in 2013: 20
Times played in 2014: 8

If the Heroes Unite was more fun I think we would have played this more. Both Mike and bought the Crisis Expansion, but neither of us has actually read the rules. For my part, it seems like an awful lot of work to set it up as a cooperative game and it looks to make it more complicated, but that is not what I want when I play this. I am looking forward to some of the mini-expansions like the Arrow and JSA crossover packs, which will add a few cards to mix and some new characters. I didn't pick up Forever Evil because it was the attacks which I felt made the Lord of the Rings versions of the game system less fun to play.


King of Tokyo
Times Played in 2013: 19
Times played in 2014: 6

Like with the bean fatigue in Würfel Bohnanza, I think there was a little fatigue for this game. Also, Machi Koro, Run, Fight, or Die! and other games took its place at times. I expect it to be around the 10 plays a year range as well from now on.


Dreadball
Times Played in 2013: 17
Times played in 2014: 0

Mantic's handling of their Kickstarters soured me on their games and I was the driving force behind keeping a league going. Even then, it was hard keeping the group on task and I gave up on trying to get their games played.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played in 2013: 15
Times Played in 2014: 16

The one game on both lists. It just keeps plugging along.


Augustus
Times Played in 2013: 15
Times played in 2014: 6

The box size kills this one. I would bring it every week, and brought it a lot but then didn't bring it out because it was in a white card box and would sometimes forget it was in the bag.


Hanabi
Times Played in 2013: 14
Times played in 2014: 1

It flamed out pretty quickly. Sure it is fun, but there are other games that get the attention this might.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played in 2013: 14
Times played in 2014: 10

Not much of a change from year to year, but just enough to keep it out of the top ten plays. Heck, even the 14 plays in 2013 wouldn't have been enough to crack the list in 2014.


Elder Sign
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 2

Another game that gets most of the plays with Mike and Hilary. They also play it with others and get their fix that way. I should try and get it played on Saturdays.


Guildhall
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 1

This one dropped because it wasn't as popular with some of the regulars as it was with me and Eric, who life has prevented from joining us on Saturdays for the past year and probably for the foreseeable future.


Trains
Times Played in 2013: 13
Times played in 2014: 7

I would have thought this would have been played more, but it still wasn't completely forgotten. It spiked a little at the end of the year with Rising Sun releasing and now that there are several two-player maps, I suspect Mike and I might play it more when I am over at his place. I also finally got around to combining the cards from both sets into one box and will probably pack it along several times this year to get played on a Saturday.
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Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:45 am
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Games Played in November 2014

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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November was a month of new games seeing multiple plays, even longer games. Going into the month, I would have bet that Shadows of Brimstone might dominate the month's plays, but it was doubled-up by a new dice game based on another often-played cooperative game.

I'm also revisiting last November at the end of the post.

I played 26 games a total of 70 times and four expansions a total of five times. Nine (!) of the games were new to me and I played none of the games and two of the expansions in October. Here’s what I played in November:

Camel Up
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 5

Light, no real choices, and a horrible pyramid to dispense dice when a cloth bag would have worked perfectly at a lower cost. I can see why it would be looked at as the SdJ nominee, but it just doesn't feel like a winner to me. I really didn't like the moving of a stack of camels when the lower camel is moved, and all it really does is make the scoring more random than it needs to be.

I'll play it when Mike brings it out, but can't imagine ever asking for it to hit the table.


Castles of Burgundy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 8

I never felt like I was having a good game. The tiles didn't appear right for me and I didn't adapt well to the ones that were available. We need to play this again.


Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Just a different take on the Suburbia engine. And where Suburbia is a well-oiled machine with appropriate graphics and iconography, the Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a bit of a graphic mess with a lot crammed onto tiny tiles.

The information on the tiles gets covered up during the selection phases by the coins which are put on them.

I suspect there are too many tile types when playing with fewer players, but because of the reliance of certain tiles on other types it isn't something that can be adjusted when playing with two or three.

In our first game (which was with two-players) we never saw one type of tile and only saw two of the tiles for one of the end-game goal types. This meant the person who was able to get the two tiles by pure luck of the draw scored the eight points for being first and the other got nothing.

The bang for the buck is also low since you are buying a mostly-empty box for $60. After seeing the components, I thought it would have been a little pricey at $50, even with the extra air included in the box.

Like many of the second generation of deck builders failed because they lacked the simple brilliance of Dominion, this fails because it messes too much with Suburbia's streamlined excellence.

The combined graphic mess, apparent messy balance, and my perception that I would be spending a lot of money on an air-filled box means this is a non-purchase for me and is not something I will ask to play.


Cribbage
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 2/2012
My Rating: 10

Mike and I played a game of this for the first time in a long time. I thought we had played it more recently, but looking back it has been over two years. He and I both play it on the iPad and I suspect my playings on there and the phone are why I thought I had played it in person.


Dragon Slayer
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/2014
My Rating: 6

The shiny newness gremlin has left the aura of this game already and my rating dropped a point. After five or six plays, it's just not something I will likely pull out and insist on playing. I'd play it because it is mostly a harmless filler, but there's just nothing exciting about it.

We played with Mike's retail copy and slight differences from the Kickstarter version were noticeable. The biggest was the missing score board, though I also missed the card to hold the dice for the collected dragon parts. I can be such a parakeet at times.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Unseen Forces.

It's been a long time since I got the chance to play this. Mike and Hilary get to play this with others so it doesn't hit the table when we play at their house too often. I've brought it along on a couple of Saturdays, but haven't gotten it to the table.

Jenny Barnes, Monterey Jack and Kate Winthrop teamed up to prevent Shudde M'ell from breaking the world apart. We defeated the tremoring terror in a timely manner.


Eminent Domain
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/2014
My Rating: 7

It had been a while since Mike had played and he wanted me to bring this over. We broke it out, without the expansion, and Mike made the consume/produce strategy work and won a fairly easy victory.

I do prefer playing it with the expansion, though will likely play it again with Mike sometime soon with just the base game.


Five Tribes
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

The best game from Days of Wonder in ages. I can see why some people might be prone to analysis paralysis when playing the game because of all the different options there are in the early turns. The limitation of having to place a worker of the same color in the final space is a great way to limit the choices and helps limit the amount of paralysis.

None of us had played before and Jessica was obviously having the hardest time comprehending the greater picture, but she chose a goal to work for and stuck with it while doing other things she could when working toward that goal wasn't an option. She ended up winning by one point.

Game two was with Nico and Nick. I picked up a Djinn that allowed me to activate to choose one of three Djinns and put them in play. We weren't sure if it activated when I played the new Djinn or not. It wouldn't have mattered much since Nick dominated and scored half again as much as Nico and I did.

Both Nico and Mike own this, so it's not likely that I will pick it up.


Garden Dice
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/2013
My Rating: 8

I'd been wanting to play this again for a while and Nico mentioned an interest in picking it up, so I made sure I pulled it out to play so he could decide if he wanted to buy it or not.

He, Michael, Nick, and I played. I thought Nico was going to win because of the bonuses as he finished with five of the one-point veggies and another three, but Michael eked out a one-point win.

I had forgotten about the bonus points for the Scarecrow when I placed my Sun Dial and placed it in the 1/1 spot early on. That was a mistake and I need to remember that the next time I play, which will hopefully be soon with the expansion included.


Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

We played a four-player game with each player having their own unique color of dice so there was no passing of dice around the table. This does speed up the game just a little as we weren't calling for the dice to passed along.

Mike agreed. Because as we played at his place with his wife, he said to let him know the next time I saw a dice order being made.

I may have overly-pimped the game.


Imperial Settlers
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

We initially played this with three players. It was a lot of fun even though we played one rule wrong (that we know of). We weren't taking the items production buildings produced the turn we built them. I also didn't know the Samurai rules when I played the Japanese which didn't hurt because I ended up with a fairly easy win because of all the deals I made.

The second time was with Narani and Nico This time I got he Egyptians, Narani had the Romans, and Nico had the Japanese. Nico having to use workers for Samurai, slowed down the Japanese deal making we saw the first time, so much so that he finished a distant third. I was able to crank out the VP-generating buildings and lots and lots of Egyptian buildings to again run away with the game. This means I might win one or two more times and then never again as my strategies will stagnate and everyone one will adapt.


Keltis: Das Würfelspiel
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 7

Mike and I played this once. I finished with what may well be the lowest score I ever had -- 2 points! -- though I deliberately started my fourth path on the last turn because I decided to lose with style!


King of New York
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Just another King of Tokyo?

Not quite!

First up, the dice do not have the numbers to score points. Then there are buildings to crush, military units to fight, and a fame face. Yeah, it is very similar, but is different enough for me to consider buying it at some point.


Machi Koro
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion for all the games.

I won the game at Mike and Hilary's!


Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 9/2014
My Rating: 8

Nico and I played a couple of games using a lot of cards from Uncanny X-men and I lost both times. Again proving that my team design skills are not very good.


Pandemic: The Cure
Times Played: 20
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

Wow, this is very hard to win.

I like the game and dice implementation of the original game. It is more random than the original, but it's because there are dice involved. By nature, it'll be more random and if you were expecting something else then I think you might be delusional.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Expansion Played: The Hook Mountain Massacre for two games and Fortress of the Stone Giants for one.

We got in three more games of the campaign at Mike's.

Michael, Nick, and I haven't played any more in our three-player campaign, which is a shame. I would have guessed we'd be into adventure five by now.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Michael and I continued a two-player campaign he started with Oloch the Warpriest and Damiel the Alchemist. We beat "The Grindylow and the Whale" and "Plugg’s Uglies" scenarios from the The Wormwood Mutiny adventure included in the box.


Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

I tried to come up with a line mimicking the Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. comedy bit, but couldn't get past "You can call it Ra."

No, I am not clever.


Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 7

This showed up on the doorstep at both Mike's and my houses. He, Hilary, and I struggled through a first play as we adjusted to the fairly significant changes between this and the original Roll Through the Ages. The second game was 10 days later when Mike and I played with Michael joining us. We still struggled with some of the rule differences, though it was smoother than the first game.

The third time was me teaching it to Nick, Nico, and Narani and it didn't flow well, though I believe Nick and Narani hadn't played the original and Nico said he had only played the IOS implementation of the original game.

The last time was with Michael and Nico. I was focusing on getting my harbors built up and was one turn away from really going to town and scoring big, but Michael ended the game. Nico won and I was a distant last.


Run, Fight, or Die!
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

A quick two-player game with Mike. There is a Location card which gives the player a Follower for each "search" icon they roll the next turn. This always produces a winner for the game. I am thinking about either removing it from my deck for a while or focus only on locations to try and find the card in every game.


Shadows of Brimstone
Times Played: 10
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 9

Played using both Swamps of Death and Cities of the Ancients.

Alex, Mike, and I combined the two boxes and played a couple of "Exploration" scenarios. The first was a small mine with just three rooms and our Preacher, Bandido, and U.S. Marshal had an easy time of it. The second time was a much larger mine and we managed to find the last room but were completely slapped down when we faced the second Goliath in a row.

The following week we played a six-player game. I swore we wouldn't do this because of how much the game would likely drag, but we were all set-up to roll when Tim and Nicki arrived so we just gave them characters and let them join in. Boy, were my expectations wrong – it was worse. Besides the time issue for the game, we had a couple of occurrences where bottlenecks ended up leaving higher initiative characters behind to get ambushed alone by monsters. Four is the limit for the number of players for us from now on.

Mike, Damian, and I also played three games one evening, losing the first one in a corridor before reaching the first room because six tentacles ambushed us and we rolled poorly. The next two games worked better for us and, at the end of the second delve, my Indian Scout came up just two wounds shy of killing a Harbinger in one round (thanks in large part to Damian's Preacher's damage boost).

Later in the month, Jerry joined Damian, Mike, and I and we started with new heroes. Jerry played the U.S. Marshal, Damian the Lawman, Mike the Bandido, and I played the Outlaw. Our motley crew delved three times into the mines, playing the "Escape" and "City of the Ancients" scenarios for the first time.

Finally, Michael had a chance to play the game. Alex was the Outlaw, Michael played the Rancher, and I tried the Saloon Girl. Instead of taking it easy on Michael and jumping into "For a Few Dark Stone More" we tried the "Terror in the Night" scenario. In the last fight both the Outlaw and Saloon Girl were knocked out, leaving the Michael's Rancher fighting it out with the brutally-tough Night Terror, running around the chamber, trying to stay out of its reach. The Rancher was down to one wound, missed the killing shot on the Night Terror which, luckily, missed it's chance to kill the Rancher. The rancher then ducked, moved behind the monster, and put a shot through the skull of the beast to save the day!

In another reference to old commercials, my Bandido is names Fredo (you know, kinda like "Frito")... shake


Smash Up
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/2013
My Rating: 7

From this point on, I am no longer recording playings of the expansions since everyone I know has them all mixed together.

Mike and I battled it out. I had the Bear Cavalry and Tricksters and Mike had the Miskatonic University and Mad Scientists, which seemed like a fitting pairing. I thought I was in deep trouble because I had so many action cards and so few minions. Luckily, I was able to protect a high-point card and was able to finish second in one which was worth more points for not finishing first and eked out a slim win.

Has anyone made randomizer cards for the factions which can be printed at Printer Studio or Artscow?


Splendor
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/2014
My Rating: 8

Jessica, Jonas, and I played this to end a Saturday. Always fun, even though I only played it once this month.


Subdivision
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 8

While it looks like Suburbia, it is more like a the tile-placement of Carcassonne on individual boards. The one down side for some is the only player interaction is the selecting and passing of tiles which doesn't have too much of an effect on the individual player strategies.


Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Tiny, yes.

Epic, not really (in my universe).

On the other hand, there were a lot of people really enjoying the game when Michael Coe was demoing it and some of his other games at the table next to ours at my FLGS so you might want to check it out.


November 2013 Revisited

The most played games in November last year were Bang! The Dice Game, which was new, and Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld which were both played four times each. That particular Mystery Rummy entry still sees fairly regular play at Mike's. We're both looking forward to the upcoming printing with the thinner card stock as both of our copies are well-worn.

There were just a few new to me games a year ago, unlike this past month. Here are the new to me games from last year with some current comments

Bang! The Dice Game
Times Played Then: 4
Times Played Since Then: 4
My Rating Then/Now: 6/6
Owned: Yes

Looking at this reminds me that I need to put it back into game bag.


Eldritch Horror
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 3
My Rating Then/Now: 7/8
Owned: No

We've played it both at Mike's and at the store. As I mentioned above with Elder Sign I haven't played as many cooperative games with Mike and Hilary, so it's not seen as much play as I hoped. Mike also mentioned that he hadn't played it in a while. Also some of our new attendees, Tim and Nicki, also like it a lot and, with a new expansion coming out soon, I expect it will be played either at the store or Mike's.


Lost Legends
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 3
My Rating Then/Now: 5/6
Owned: Yes

I ended up buying this because I was able to get the extra character and level one monster deck. I still don't think we've played it completely correctly but we're close. It's been a while since we played so I suspect the rules will be rusty. The trick is to have three when we play it again. More characters and/or more monster decks would be cool.


Trains and Stations
Times Played Then: 1
Times Played Since Then: 0
My Rating Then/Now: 6/6
Owned: No

I think Mike got rid of this so I doubt we'll play it again.
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Tue Dec 2, 2014 6:06 pm
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