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 January 2012

Bobby Warren
United States
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The days are getting longer so the sun is back to being out when I leave work, the temperatures have been in the 70s, and baseball is almost upon us.

I have started the slow process of unpacking and organizing the games onto the new bookshelves. The Benno DVD towers from IKEA have proven to be really useful for organizing smaller games and card games.

I did miss several opprotunities to play games during the month, but I still get to play more than many of you so I can't complain. I played and logged 19 games a total of 37 times and five (kinda) expansions a total of 13 times. I played seven of the games for the first time in January and I played nine of them in December.

Here they are:

1st & Goal
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

Mike picked this up and wanted to play, and I have always like a good sports simulation so I was happy to give it a try.

There is a separate deck of cards for the offense and defense which indicates the plays available for that down. Each player has a hand of eight cards from which they pick a card. The cards are compared the plays to determine which of the special dice are rolled. After determining the results of the play, they draw a new card and repeat the process. When the ball is turned over to the other side, players switch decks. When the last offense card is played, the half is over and another half is played. When the deck runs out a second time, the game is over.

I had fun playing it and would play any time, but I prefer Pizza Box Football because I like having the control of calling any play I want at any time. The disadvantages of Pizza Box Football are that you have to manually track the time and it is also less elegant to consult charts than it is to have the results of the dice to roll on the cards.

I'd play either 1st & Goal or Pizza Box Football.

Oh, and I beat Mike 45 to 0. I couldn't fail to mention that and live with myself.

7 Wonders
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/11

Expansion Played: Leaders.

Played once with three players, which is a terrific number to play this game. I'm looking forward to the next expansion but I also wonder when it will reach the point of having too many expansions?

Ascension: Storm of Souls
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/11

Three-players with Nico and Ben. I suspected this might have been played some more this month, but it wasn't. Instead, I played a couple of other second-tier deck-builders.

Castles of Burgundy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

Mike got his hands on this and we played a two-player game.

I was likely going to get it because it is an alea big box game, but playing it just made me want to get it even more. I really enjoyed the dice being used to pick which tiles you could acquire and where you could play them. It's a game I would like to play a few times in a relatively short period of time to see what kind of strategies there are in the game.

Core Worlds
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

I'm not sure there is much of a point to this. Calling a deck building game is a stretch. You acquire cards over 10 turns, but there isn't much of a chance to use the cards you acquire because of the large starting hands and the minimal number of cards played on a turn. In a two-player game, you also only see a small fraction of the cards in the game which means tuning a deck is impossible to do.

There are a lot of nice things about how the game is played, but they just don't mesh into a good or compelling game. I was ready for the game to end half-way through the game because the short fallings were so obvious once a couple of turns passed.

Dark Minions
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/11

We were soooo wrong! This is a really fun game! Mike bought another copy, after selling off his first copy after out tragic misplaying, and he, Hilary, and I really enjoyed playing by the right rules. This wouldn't have happened without designer Alan Newman taking the time to quiz us on the issues we had and working out what did horribly wrong.

Now, if he could only make the game box a little deeper...

Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/11

This was a four-player game where nothing went wrong. We failed only one adventure and cruised to a victory over Nyarlathotep.

Eminent Domain
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 12/11

Michael and I played a two-player game and then Nico and I played another later in the month. It really works best with that many players.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 12/11

While the goal of the game is to save the victims, I've come to the conclusion that it's very important to put out the fire as much as possible because the victims will still be there when the fire is out or under control.

Mike, Hilary and I played two games, winning the second and quitting while we're ahead.

I then played three games at the store with Michael, Anne, and Kevin and we won the first and third games and the wins were fairly easy.

The next Saturday there were two games played with Ben, Anne, Kevin, and Nico. Ben and Nico were rookies so we started with one of the basic buildings, which we were successful at rescuing the victims. We then decided to try the high rise out, so I opened mine up and we gave it a whirl. We should stick to real buildings and leave the high rises to the professionals.

Kingdom Builder
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 12/11

It was played significantly less than it was played last month, but any time I can play a game four times in a month is a good number of plays.

I thought this might be a game I was going to be good at, but in the end I just don't seem to adapt to the different scoring rules for each game to be sufficiently good at it. I still really like it and am looking forward to Kingdom Builder: Nomads and the variety added by adding more scoring cards with four more boards and types of action tiles.

Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 12/11

Expansion Played: Rise of the Demons for all games.

The go-to filler right now on Saturdays in the store the designer used to frequent.

Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/11

Expansion Played: The Gathering Storm for all games.

A two-player game with Michael.

Resident Evil Deck Building Game
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/11

Back after a long absence, once by itself and twice as an "expansion" to, and because of...

Resident Evil: Nightmare
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to Me

Expansion Played: Played with the original Resident Evil serving as an "expansion".

I like the new cards and the new mansion deck and the box and dividers are awesome, though it would have been nice if the mansion deck dividers were labeled to distinguish the different decks from each other. I was tempted, for a short time, to re-buy the game and the expansions, but I just can't see playing it enough without either Mike, Michael, or Nico around.

While playing the base game with Anne, Michael, and Ben in the last Saturday of the month, Michael ended up selling the copy he got from me (along with Alliance) to Ben, who is a fan of the video games, so I had to change the statement above.

This one really needs to a randomizer to select the cards available to play with.

Santiago de Cuba
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

It's a tactical game which is fun and fairly quick to play. You move the car one space along the road to the port, or more than one space if you want to pay to move the extra spaces. You then activate the citizen in the store where t he stopped. You then move your worker to one of the buildings in the neighborhood indicated by the worker and activate it. If the car stops at the port, the players take turns loading goods onto the ship for victory points until the ship is full and sails, or every player passes. The game ends when seven ships have sailed.

It's not that deep, but I felt like the choices I had to make did matter while playing and found myself hoping Mike didn't move the car to where I wanted to move (or past it). I suspect it is better with three players because it was too easy to track how many goods the other player has when there are two.

I really tried to come up with something bad to say about the game for Rick's sake, since I seem to have something bad to say about things Gryphon when he's around, but not this time.

Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation - The Next Phase
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

The expansion/sequel to Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation. We played with just cards in this set.

It is still a slightly inferior combination of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer and the Resident Evil Deck Building Game. Fun, but not as polished as those other games.

Struggle for Catan, The
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to Me

Neither of us were expecting much from this game Mike had picked. When I saw the box in his hand, I thought he was going to try and force me to play the

Catan Dice Game
. We played this with Hilary and it turned out to be a decent filler where you are collecting the resources and building the things you would build in the iconic game.

It's not something I will ask to play that often, but wouldn't complain about when it gets brought out.

Through the Desert
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 2/11

We played a three-player game, which is the ideal number of caravan masters. I taught the game to Nico and Ben and thought they were making a big mistake as I was creating a huge line of the strawberry group which was going to enclose a large area. It turns out Nico did a better job of playing the game by grabbing as many instant points as possible and maintaining the longest caravan in two of the colors, so he pulled out a narrow victory.

Like so many other games, this needs to be played more than it is.

Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 12/11

Expansions Played: All the available ones were in the mix for all the games.

A two-player game with Michael. We had two monster types that were mostly immune to Magic Attack, and five or six cards in the Village which either had Magic Attacks or made attacks magic, plus the Polearm and the Lantern. It was a fairly brutal game, but still fun.
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