ABX Boardgamers' Group (What we're playing)

A weekly AAR for what we've been playing at our weekly Boardgame Day at Augusta Book Exchange in Augusta, GA. http://comics-n-games.com/backlot/

Archive for Mark Bakke

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AAR for 20 Apr 2105

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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It's that "taxing" time of year again...

Baseball Highlights 2045
Got to the store a bit early today, so I played the solitaire challenge in this game while waiting for the other group members to arrive. I took a few lumps during the 3-game mini-series, but came back nicely to win the World Series, 4-2.

Legendary Encounters
We got our first in-depth session with this one. We played all four movie scenarios in order. The first two were with two players each and were both fairly easy wins. In the second game, we got very lucky and hit all of the Objectives very quickly. If that game had been a "normal" spread of goal cards, we may have had more problems. We added a third player for the third scenario and also got a win although it was more difficult this time. For the fourth and final scenario, we had a fourth player and looked for the sweep. Unfortunately, this one proved very rough as Strike damage took out three of us only a little way into the second Objective. The sole remaining player held out well, but simply got overwhelmed by the end of the third Objective's strong Hive cards. Everybody enjoyed how the stories played out and we're looking forward to exacting a bit of revenge on that final scenario.

Coup
We had four rounds of this quick lie-and-bluff game, one with six players and three more with four. I made the mistake of winning the first game and drew a big old target on my back for each of the other games.

Dark Seas
Four players set out for plunder and pirating goodness with two newbies earning their sea legs. I had a terrible time drawing unplayable Plunder tiles and getting horrible dice rolls that often permitted me no more than one hex of movement. Fortunately, it ended up being a rather low-scoring game, so I didn't take to bad of an overall drubbing.


Other games played today included: Dragonball Z, Red Dragon Inn, The Cards of Cthulhu, Ascension, Pandemic, and Android: Netrunner...
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Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:52 am
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AAR for 13 Apr 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Great weekend for Jordan Spieth at the Masters and for gamers at International Tabletop Day...

Dark Seas
This pirate-themed, tile-laying, strategy game was part of the International Tabletop Day kit and turned out to be a big hit. We had two games today with different groups. The first was a three-player game and the second had four players. The first game turned out to be a runaway with the winner scoring a massive 62 Infamy. The four-player game was much closer and came down to last-round maneuvering to obtain the margin of victory. Plenty of good strategy and easy rules.

The Cards of Cthulhu
More new players introduced to this recent favorite. I played the Psychiatrist as part of a four-player team. We were drawing six cards per turn for much of the game, but only got into difficulty once due to the Minions being spread out enough that they couldn't awaken the Horrors. Our one spot of real difficulty happened when both a Minor and Major Horror awakened on the same board and five Minions were also in play on that board. Fortunately, I had a Soldier Follower who was able to take care of one of the Minions and the active player's 6-dice Combat roll turned up *both* necessary combos to take out the Horrors in addition to rolling a '6' to take out a Minion. After that, we breezed to the eventual victory.

Thunder Alley
We had six players directing their three-car teams on the 4-lap short track. As expected, we lost a few cars to being lapped, but a fortuitous Yellow flag saved one of mine from the same fate. That came in very handy as my team ended up winning the race by a scant one point after a wild sprint to the finish line.

Trains: Rising Sun
Three-player game with one new player. This one turned out to be a rout as the winner was able to buy out most of the big 6VP victory cards. Things were kept interesting, however, as both Charitable Contributions and Junk Yard were in the game so lots of VP were earned during play before Final Scoring.

Star Realms
First time trying out the new Gambits expansion. We played three games and I went 1-2. The game I won was one where I was able to buy *eight* Green ships early and combo for massive damage. The last game saw me get locked down rather nastily as I was facing a combination of Yellow bases and ships that regularly forced me to discard 3-4 cards each turn.


Other games played today included: Super Dungeon Explore...
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Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:54 am
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AAR for 06 Apr 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Duke wins the title. Now, that's out of the way and Major League Baseball can begin!

Star Realms
A couple of two-player games to get the day started. Won one and lost one, but both were very tactical battles with lots of Outposts and Hero cards getting played. The new Gambits expansion should be here later this week.

Legendary: Villains
Two games today, the first with three players and the second with four. Both featured the new Fear Itself cards. The first game was a rematch with the five Foes of Asgard members of The Worthy taking on the Uru-Enchanted Iron Man. For the first time, we managed to take him down. We got lucky to cycle a few Command Strikes to the bottom of the deck and that kept him from getting more weapons and getting stronger. In the second game, we swapped out Nul for Skadi to try her out and went up against Odin. Fortunately, we were able to get out one of the big Rares that beefed itself up to 10-11 Fight every time it was played and laid some stompage down on the All-Father.

Firefly: The Game
Four of us played the story entitled "Respectable" Persons of Business. This one is essentially a race to $12K. I took the Bonnie Mae with Marco as Captain and had designs on hitting those lucrative Illegal jobs fairly quickly. I got a solid Crew assembled and had six of the essential green keywords in play along with good stats. Even with all that, I managed to fail 6 Misbehave attempts in 7 tries and got myself beaten down badly. Then, the Reavers would take up positions on the destination planets that I needed to go to in order to complete jobs. So, I had to just sit back and watch others get to the ending goal. Gorram it!

Naruto Shippunden
Three of us played this Anime version of Cryptologic's standard deck-building system game. I took Sakura and had an awful time trying to put any Power together. So, I had to go for getting Quest cards and trying to maximize points from them. In that respect, I actually did pretty well even though I couldn't even think about taking down an Archenemy.

Roll for the Galaxy
We finished up the day with a three-player game. I had a nice Green world production engine going on, but the game ended one turn before I could drop a huge turn of VP collection, so I ended up losing by just six points.


Other games played today included: Space Hulk, Zombicide, Android: Netrunner, and D&D Dice Masters...
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Tue Apr 7, 2015 5:30 am
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AAR for 30 Mar 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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International Tabletop Day is April 11. Come on out and have a great time!

The Cards of Cthulhu
Two rounds of this increasingly-popular DVG game with more new players getting into it. Our first game was extremely exciting as it came down to the very last turn and a "perfect storm" set of successes being necessary to win. I was faced with an Awake Minor and Unspeakable Horror along with *six* Red Minions and only 3 XP to work with. The only way I could see as a winning combo was to roll the three basic dice against the Minor horror and hope to hit a 2-dice combo. Fortunately, I rolled one set of doubles and gained 2 more XP. I then spent them for another Attack and spent the remaining 3 XP for extra dice. So, on the game's final roll, I needed a 4-dice combo plus at least a '3' and a '5' in order to take out two Minions. Amazingly, I rolled a 3-4-5-6 along with the two dice necessary to kill the Minions and we escaped with the narrowest of wins. Our second game wasn't quite as dramatic, but did have a few hairy moments that required plenty of cooperative use of Followers and Items in order to prevail. Great stuff!

Baseball Highlights 2045
I soloed a game in order to test out the expansions that came with the Deluxe version of this game. The new cards proved to be quite powerful and added good stuff to the games. I was able to end up winning the World Series by a 4-1 margin. Looks like the expansions will now be a permanent part of the game.

King of New York
Three-player game with two new players. Once again, I taught the game far too well and was the first monster eliminated. So, I sat back and watched the entertaining slugfest that broke out between the remaining players. Five claws on the final roll and that was all she wrote.

Legendary: Villains
First time trying out the new Fear Itself expansion with the group. We went up against the Uru Iron Man and the Fear Itself Plot, so it was destined to be a real challenge. The new expansion Allies take a little while to build up large amounts of Fight points, but we got our strategies figured out. I had a card-drawing and New Recruits engine going that boosted one of my Artifacts quite nicely. Unfortunately, a furious finish ended up just two card draws short of winning the game. We'll be back for more!


Other games played today included: Smash Up!, Boss Monster, and Star Wars Armada...
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:27 am
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AAR for 23 Mar 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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It's "officially" spring!

Star Realms
Got another player introduced to this great deck-builder. He had been thinking about buying it and wanted to take the chance to see it before spending his money. I won our game, but he really enjoyed it and is looking forward to picking up his own copy.

The Cards of Cthulhu
Three-player game with two new players. Both caught on quickly and we did a pretty good job of working together to keep the boards clear. We ran into one brief problem when we drew seven cards per turn for a couple of turns and had to deal with a potential five Minions on one board with two sleeping Horrors. Fortunately, I had both the Soldier and the Soldier Follower and was able to send away two of the Minions and keep us in the game. After making a maximum effort to clear that board, we had no more serious trouble for the remainder of the game.

Francis Drake
First time on Monday for this one after having played it both Saturday and Sunday. This is a worker placement game with the theme of provisioning and sailing ships to voyage in the New World in search of plunder and profit. The very busy map looks intimidating at first glance, but the game plays very smoothly and quickly. In each of the game's three rounds, players begin by attempting to acquire sufficient crew, guns, and supplies to achieve their voyaging goals. Players can also gain the favor of certain nobles for advantages. After provisioning, players sail to the New World, select their target destinations, and try to be the first to successfully attack towns, forts, and galleons and/or to trade goods for valuable commodities. Lots of bluffing, second-guessing, and getting in the way of opponents here, but no direct conflict between players. We had a three-player game that I just barely managed to eke out for the win during Final Scoring. Looking forward to a full four- or five-player game where there will definitely not be enough stuff to go around and the battles for it should get very intriguing.

Baseball Highlights 2045
Another new one that is new to Monday Game Day, but was played a few times over the preceding weekend. This is not a typical baseball simulation game, but is more of a deck-building game with a futuristic version of baseball as the theme. It's played in a series of short games played using six-card hands. After each game, players get to buy Free Agents to improve their team. After an initial three-game mini-series, the teams go on the the best-of-7 World Series. Each individual game can easily be played in five minutes and is a very strategic battle of card plays. You don't have to be a baseball fanatic to enjoy this game. I was able to win our game after taking the World Series, 4-1.

Suburbia
A couple of quick two-player games between old hands at this great game, so the action was fast and furious. I lost the first game as my Income melted away and I went broke and had to give up Population. In the second game, a very tight battle ended with my taking the narrowest of 1-point wins, 125-124. We're looking forward to the upcoming release of the new expansion, Suburbia 5*.

Roll for the Galaxy
Three-player game with one new player. Every new player picks this one up easily and usually plays well right from the start. At least, they end up beating *me* -- as happened again in this game. Of course, my rolling 4-5 dice every turn that ended up being unusable didn't help my cause very much.


Other games played today included: Android: Netrunner and Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures...
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Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:35 am
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AAR for 16 Mar 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Lots of plays for favorite new games among different groups and players. Good stuff!

The Cards of Cthulhu
Two two-player games today, both ending up in victories. First, I took the Ritualist and joined together with the Journalist and we had a fairly easy time keeping the board clear and rolling to a win. The second game saw me as the Psychiatrist joining forces with the Doctor. This one had some hairy moments in it as I nearly went Insane twice. But, in the end, we scratched out a narrow win.

Roll for the Galaxy
Three two-player games and one three-player game. I was able to win all of the two-player games, but had a very poor outing in the three-player game. Two-player games are routinely being completed in around 20 minutes as we get more experienced with this game.

Star Realms
This game is just exploding in popularity, both at the table and with the app version. After having added in the four "Crises" expansion packs, we're now finding it fun to play a best-of-3 series without reshuffling the draw deck between games and just playing with the cards that were left over from previous games. Three games is almost exactly enough to get through the entire deck once and we get to see all of the available cards. I played two best-of-3 series today, each against a different opponent, and had one series loss and one series win with each going to the third and deciding game.

Heroes of Normandie
First time on the table for this one. I got a bundle of the core game and a ton of expansions for a very deep discount so I had to snap it up. Two of us played the first scenario, "Godsend", in which we each have a small force trying to find, retrieve, and escape with important documents from the scene of a fallen parachutist. I was playing the German force and after a brief scrum in the middle of the board, I had to watch the American grab the documents and play a card to give himself enough extra movement to be able to escape with them for the win. I had a chance to shoot his LT to cause him to lose the game due to lack of orders, but missed the Fire roll.


Other games played today included: D&D: Attack Wing and Dragonball Z...
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Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:28 am
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AAR for 09 Mar 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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OK, fess up. How many of you forgot to turn your clocks an hour forward?

The Cards of Cthulhu
Taught this one to another new player today. He enjoyed the game, but, we got horribly crushed. Gates on all four boards overwhelmed us with cards and we ended a turn with two different boards with six Minions along with one active Unspeakable Horror, so there was no chance we could take it all down sufficiently to stay alive. The Elder Gods win this round.

Star Realms
Two of us had a best-of-five series. We split the first four games and I lost the fifth game largely due to his managing to get a Dreadnaught on his second turn after turning an Event card that gave him +4 gold.

Roll for the Galaxy
Two two-player games that we blazed through in about 20 minutes each. Each game turned out very close. I lost the first one, 34-36, but came back to win the second game, 38-37.


Other games played today included: Dragonball Z, Boss Master, and Betrayal at House on the Hill...
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Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:40 am
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AAR for 02 Mar 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Almost dated this "30 Feb 2015"... Oops!

Star Realms
Four games today playing with all the new Crisis expansion packs. Events throw some interesting wrinkles into the game and all the other new cards just add more depth to the game. I won three of the four games and also updated my Android app of Star Realms to the full version. Good stuff!

Marvel Dice Masters
We had a small three-round tournament tonight with one game per round. I went 2-1 and finished 2nd overall. Imprisoned is a very threatening Action that I was able to use to good effect in one game while forgetting all about it in the game that I lost to the eventual champion.

Dead of Winter
Lots of talk and hype about this new zombie game, so I was happy to get a chance to try it out. We had a full five players. I started with two characters that looked rather useful and proved to be decent -- especially when one them managed to get armed with a rifle that allowed her free shots against zombies wherever she wanted to take them. Unfortunately, we failed a Crisis card in the third round and ended up getting overrun and turned into zombie food.

The Cards of Cthulhu
Got in one solitaire game of this one in between other game plays. I got a nice rhythm going where I was able to take down enough Minions to pay for plenty of extra attacks and keep the numbers game from wearing me down. When the Cult deck ran out, there were only three Minions on the entire board and two sleeping Horrors so I took my victory!


Other games played today included: Android: Netrunner and DC Heroes Deck-Building Game...
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Tue Mar 3, 2015 5:44 am
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AAR for 23 Feb 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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I watched a wrestling pay-per-view last night instead of the Oscars. It was far more believable and had much better acting.

Star Realms
This game came out last summer, but has regained popularity due to an app version having been released. It's a two-player deck-builder set in space where each side is raising and commanding bases and fleets of ships in order to pummel his opponent into submission. The game escalates into some brutal combos and gets more tense with each passing turn. Each player starts with 50 Authority (i.e., hit points) and the first one to be reduced to zero loses. I won our game after surviving a harrowing turn where I took 34 damage points when I had 36 Authority remaining. Then, my return fire destroyed the opponent before he could finish me off.

XCOM: The Board Game
Got two new people into this one and they both loved it even though we got thoroughly decimated. We actually had all six continents end up hitting the orange Panic level. That's not a good way to try to survive.

Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game
This is a new release and features dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs. So, it has to be good, right? Each player has his own personal and unique deck built around one specific type of dinosaur (which may or may not be strictly historical). On your turn, you Hunt prey for food and consume food to raise new dinosaur and gain evolution advantages. The game plays over 12 rounds that end in the asteroid impact and extinction events. Each round, a new Environment card is drawn that affects the entire round. There are also Boss fights against mega-dinosaurs and are the primary way to try to win the game. There's some very careful management of your deck involved here in order to maximize your potential. Nine different decks are provided that vary in playing difficulty. We had a couple of rules issues that I'm going to try to get the answers to, but the game has plenty of potential.

The Cards of Cthulhu
First time with three players in this one. It was also the first time I've been involved in a winning game. We had a couple of hairy turns where we almost got swamped by Minions, but some clever play and fortuitous dice-rolling saved us. We ran out the Cult deck and had no Awakened Horrors, so that gave us the win.

Roll for the Galaxy
Three of us fired this one up for a quick game at the end of the day. I had an engine with Military dice set up, but couldn't get a Production/Shipping cycle going to take full advantage of us. In the end, a big combo of Blue Worlds ended up dominating the final scoring.


Other games played today included: Dragonball Z, DC Heroes Deck-Building Game, Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing, Fireflly: The Game, Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, and Android: Netrunner...
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Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:22 am
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AAR for 16 Feb 2015

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Bit of an abbreviated Game Day for me today as my car decided it needed some attention...

Firefly: The Game
Always fun to play this one on the special huge GenCon mapsheet that includes the Blue Sun expansion. So, four of us went off into the 'Verse in the "Jail Break" scenario, where we needed to raid the Alliance Cruiser to free a captive crew member and then run like hell to get our Warrants cleared and be the first to get to Three Hills for the win. I took Corbin and the Bonnie Mae and was looking decent early on as I used my special abilities to obtain half-priced Ship Upgrades to let me Full Burn for no fuel and also to Mosey two spaces at a time while ignoring Breakdown checks. Unfortunately, I was both cash-poor and Fight poor and that cost me some time to correct. As such, I ended up about two turns behind the eventual winner in the wild race to the finish.

The Cards of Cthulhu
I picked up this card-based game to add another one from Dan Verssen Games to my collection. Anything Lovecraftian is a big hit in our group and this should prove to be popular, as well. I tried it out solo to learn the rules and found it quite easy to get into. I was able to win the first time out although there were some hairy moments. I can see where one bad turn could get you in a whole lot of trouble quite easily.


Other games played today included: Android: Netrunner, Smash Up, Art of War, and Star Fluxx...
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Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:39 am
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