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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 May 2011

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I played 25 games a total of 49 times and five expansions a total of 28 times. Six of the games were new to me.

I don’t have any overall comment right now, so let’s let the games do their own talking.

Here they are in alphabetical order based on the editions I own or have played.

51st State
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me

There are some clever ideas, but the implementation is bad. The rules are poorly written and incomplete. The iconography is not clear and there desperately need to be an index which provides card clarifications. The card stock is flimsy -- practically Resident Evil flimsy -- and it definitely needs card sleeves because of the card quality and a gritty film coating the cards. Also, what fool came up with the idea of having a score track on the box back? Really?

During the second game were trying to figure out why a particular card would even exist and I questioned being able to redevelop without a card that allowed it. We checked the rules and couldn't find the answer. After the game, Mike found a clarification which explained everything which we couldn't find in the rules. I thought I had won the game, but I did too many redevelopments on the last turn and Mike would have been the winner.

If this were my game it would be up for trade just because of the frustrating iconography. Mike compared the complexity to Race for the Galaxy, but this is so much worse. There is a consistency and elegance to RftG which is completely missing here. I'll play the game when Mike wants to, but I won't be asking for it to be brought to the table.

7 Wonders
Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 4/11

In case you have never heard of it, this is an okay quickie card game.

Arkham Horror
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/11

Three heroes took on the minions of Nyarlathotep. Two survived, and were joined by another, as the gates to the elder worlds were sealed, preventing the Crawling Chaos from entering our world.

Asteroyds
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 3/11

Five players, and three of them new to the game.

I placed a whole lot of asteroids on the board and by the end of the game too many of them were stuck on the border of the board. Is this bad luck, or just the way the probabilities will normally work out?

Dominion
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/11

Expansion Played: Seaside (x2).

My second favorite expansion is Seaside and it was goof to play some games with it.

Egizia
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/10

Always fun. I taught Nico and the original Greg, who paid us an unexpected visit because the Playstation network was down. I never thought I would say this, but "thank you, hackers."

Fairy Tale
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 10/06

With the drafting in 7 Wonders being the hit it is, Mike decided to break out his unplayed copy of this drafting card game.

It's lighter and even easier than I remember and my complaint is still the same: committing to scoring points based on seeing one particular card is a losing proposition because you see such a small percentage of the cards in any single game. It's still fun and playable, though, and I do enjoy it.

Granada
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/10

I'd been in the mood to play Alhambra lately. I got a gift certificate in a math trade and was looking at possibly ordering this since there just aren't many new games that I want which I haven't bought already. I then noticed that Mike was willing to trade his and asked him about it and ended up buying it off him and was able to play it a couple of days later.

With the double-sided tiles, I like having to make the choice of playing a tile with the building side up which you purchased, or paying 3 money to flip it before you play it. The variable scoring is also an improvement over the original game.

Hive
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/10

Expansions Played: The Mosquito and the Ladybug

It hasn't been played in a long, long time and this was the first time using either of the single-tile expansions. I also did not log the expansions since they are so small. I wish there was a better way to mark expansions being played on BGG.

Jena 20
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me

It's a small Napoleonic war game which plays in about an hour which came in an issue of C3i from GMT games. It is part of a series of Napoleonic games by Victory Point Games which have about 20 counters on the map at any time.

Mike played the French and I was the "anti-French" Prussian forces. The French units are much stronger, but less abundant and it looked like the Prussians were in dire straits. I managed to group my units up and hold my objectives, but I was unable to grab the French objectives and we ended the game in a draw.

I enjoyed playing this a lot. It's not often that a war game can be played in about an hour and still have the feel of a traditional hex and chit game. This one did.

GMT is releasing a collection of these games at some point in the future, plus Mike is likely to pick some of the others up from Victory Point Games in the near future. So it looks like I will be playing more of them in the future.

London
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/11

Two playings with three players. Each one had me trying something different. The more I play this game, the more I like it.

Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/09

This game usually last three or four hands. We had a couple of shut-out hands, and some low-scoring rounds and it took us six or seven hands to finish up.

Nightfall
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/11

I may well be done with this game until the expansion comes out and adds something to the way the game plays. Nothing about it is bad, but the parts just don't add up to being fun enough to take time away from other games.

I really do hope the expansion does spice the game up, but there are a lot of good ideas that are fun for a while.

Pastiche
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 4/11

When people talk about a game being a "soulless Euro," this is one game I will think of. Collect resources, trade them in for better resources, collect victory points (paintings). It's not a game I look forward to playing, but I will play it, because unlike bad Ameritrash games this has a limited playing time and ends before Armageddon. (See Zombies!!! below.)

There is a rule which was put in because of theme which I believe adds too much randomness to the game. That is the rule about collecting bonus points for painting both the available pictures by an artist. In the last game I played in May, I believe we only saw three pairings. Mike and I each got the same artist dealt to us, Hilary managed to have a pair in hand and got one painted, and another pair was revealed when we added a new painting to the common available paintings. The available bonus points can easily give someone who paints both an artist's painting the win just because they were able to draw both the paintings for the artist, which seems really out of place for a game which is essentially a math puzzle.

Pergamon
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me

A fun game that works with both the two or three players I played it with. I like it a little more with three, but the dummy/robot player in the two-player game does a remarkable job of simulating a third player pulling the good tiles the players would like to acquire. I hope I get to play it a few more times just to see if it has staying power.

Ra: The Dice Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 4/11

Another two-player quickie against Mike, but this time I managed to win.

Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 4/11

Expansion Played: The Gathering Storm.

Mike and I playing with just the cards from the first expansion added in.

Resident Evil Deck Building Game
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 4/11

Expansion Played: Alliance for one game.

Michael needed purple sleeves for his expansion, and the store didn't have them. When it was time to play this again, we played with just the base set because Anne hadn't played before. The first game ended quickly with Kevin killing the big baddie quickly, so we played another right afterwards.

After the purple sleeves made it back in stock, we played a game using the combined market suggested in the rules which had us combine the piles of various types of weapons. it was fun, but there weren't any cards which let you draw extra cards and I missed that.

Roll Through the Ages
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/11

Two games and more misery for Mike. He should change his name to "Dice Hate Me".

Samurai
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: Before 6/03

Wow, this is my first recorded play of this since I started recording games in June 2003. We played a four-player game and I was sure I did not win because I had captured too many rice patties and not enough of the others, but in the end I won by one piece. I thought Kevin was going to win because he did a great job of capturing a lot of pieces, but he was too well spread out and didn't have the most of any one of the types.

Small World
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/11

Expansion Played: Cursed! and the Grand Dames of Small World.

A three-player game which had first place winning by one point over second place.

Thunderstone
Times Played: 6
Last Month Played: 4/11

Expansions Played: Wrath of the Elements, Doomgate Legion, and Dragonspire in all games.

I need to create some more set-ups to play.

Troyes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me

The rules are clunky and we did some minor things wrong but I liked the game. Something is lacking because the different mechanisms do not share any obvious connection which could prevent some of the confusion we had learning the game. I think a different theme might have solved the problem, though maybe a different graphic design would have linked things together better?

No, I don't have a suggestion for a better theme or a better way to lay the game out. It could be that this game has to be the way it is, but that will make it difficult for some people to learn the game, or at least enjoy it while learning it.

Yggdrasil
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me

If I was prone to playing solitaire board games, I might pick this up. But as a cooperative two- to six-player game I find it a little repetitive and boring. I'll play it, but it just doesn't strike a chord with me.

Zombies!!! (Second Edition)
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me

When non-gamers say they don't like board games, they're talking about something like Zombies!!! Roll. Move. Roll a 50/50 chance to kill a zombie. Move another space, repeat. After moving, roll a die and move that many zombies a space. Repeat over and over for 2 hours.

Oh, wait, I did forget to mention one bit of interaction. You get to play cards which screw over other players. Yippee. Let's delay the end of the game even more.
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