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The Ross-on-Wye Boardgamers :: Friday September 30th - Puns, Troyes, Thebes Times a Lady

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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A mourny-eyed John met me outside the White Lion on our return this week:

'Back room's shut', he muttered.

I steeled myself to storm into the pub for a showdown with the owners, only to find they had dolled up the restaurant instead into a more-than-acceptable games room. There was no hint that it was done with us in mind, but it's certainly a premises we'll be happy to accept for now.

Tony had - as usual - brought his collection of 'never mind everyone else, THIS is what I want to play' (I mean, really? Does he really think any of us want to sit through The Networks again?), while I had obliged Gary who had nicely requested Troyes. We settled to it quickly with Bill while Tony began inducting John into Scythe, determinedly ignoring my snortings every time he mentioned a 'bottom action'. Scythe was also playing host to occasional-visitor Phil (from Aberystwtyth), turning up at a very opportune time to convince the landlords that we were a diverse and welcoming group. I wasn't really paying enough attention to find out who won.

The city of Troyes was giving us an easy ride this week, with no big deals in the Events deck, and no more than three black dice in play at any time. Nevertheless, Bill was accursed with dire throws all the way through (REALLY bad. Really can't-mitigate-THIS bad) and pottered around doing what he could, while Gary played a strong Cathedral-and-Events game, very impressively for his first time. I saved up for a couple of megaturns, but I had piles of cash and no influence (like Prince Philip, say) and faltered to two points shy of Gary.

I'm a score of games into Troyes, and the richness just continues to grow with every game. The card combinations alone produce extremely harsh games, powerfully rich games and diverse populous games, and every experience is subtly but genuinely different to the last. I can see it lasting another score without trouble, but I'm not sure I can say the same of Thebes. If anything, tonight's game sent it in the other direction.

The rules quickly dispatched, we were quickly underway (apart from Gary, who had about a year's worth of problems with the time track), only for Bill to pull out a MASSIVE first excavation in Mesopotamia and suck all the fun out of it straight away. I don't mind a bit of luck from time to time, but - combined with my Egyptian monopoly - the whole thing was just over about half a year before the appointed finish and we just ended up meandering about without enthusiasm until Bill's inevitable victory. There are some aspects I like in Thebes (not least some silly storytelling-lite about giving lecture tours, disastrous digs, and buying Russian cars), but another game like this could well kill it for good.

Tony's group had opted for some gentle 6 Nimmt in the Scythe afterglow. After John had unsurprisingly won a couple of games, we all got to join together for Codenames. John randomly dealt teams ("none of this bloody drafting business again") and I wound up with Tony receiving his usual aimless cluing. After three clues we had identified precisely one spy and had identified John's clue of 'Death' as being relevant to about 16 of the remaining cards, when - completely undeservedly - we were gifted the game by Gary unexpectedly fingering the assassin. This was a win of such barefaced cheek, I felt I ought to show you a representative gif:



No? Made me laugh.

The second game saw me cluing alongside a highly reluctant Bill ("I always claim I don't want to clue, and look what happens...") and I could see a few nice combos waiting. But Bill suddenly hit his stride with several inspired guesses (to his credit, Phil made an excellently perspicacious team-mate), and was just two away from victory when he dropped 'Thorin: 1'. About three seconds later, it dawned on Tony that neither of the opposition guessers had a blinding clue what this meant, and the giggles started. All I had to do was negotiate John's random-association ("Tube? Yes, that's an organ"), and wrap up a second win, thankful that Tony was reliably on my wavelength as always.

So, does a new era beckon at the White Lion? We're not sure yet, but I'm cautiously hopeful.
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Today 9:55 pm
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TJ's SeaFall Campaign :: Game 1 - "The Dream of Empire"

TJ Jacksn
United States
Burbank
California
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WARNING: This post is full of spoilers for SeaFall, none of the six boxes have been opened.

THE DREAM OF EMPIRE

Before starting our first real game of SeaFall, we were instructed via the “The Dream of Empire” “milestone” to pick new leader cards and then from highest to lowest rank read our province’s story entry on the back of the province board. Each player in their respective story entry was given a choice between three things they could do improve their province, and the choice would result in a permanent upgrade from the reward sheet for winning a game. Much like the story events when exploring island sites, it wasn’t always clear what the result would be for each of the choices.

Nick - “The Mighty” appellation (can pay 2 gold to use all 3 of the Soldier Guild’s actions)
TJ - “The Mariner” appellation (can use any good type as an upgrade discount)
Josh - “The Efficient” appellation (can use any good type as a build discount)
Joe - +1 Fortune

Joe admittedly got the short end of the stick, as an appellation is a lot more interesting than an extra fortune token. Nick’s basically allows him to get a gold when he sails and raids, and he’s the type of player that plays aggressively, so he’ll probably make a lot of use of this. Josh and I’s appellations give us a lot more flexibility for getting structures and ship upgrades built. I have a feeling mine in particular will give me a lot of flexibility for what style of of play I want to pursue in a given game.

THOUGHTS GOING INTO GAME 1

SeaFall starts out with the following milestones available:

The Finest Treasures (2 glory) - Have treasures totaling 3+ glory in your treasure room
The Continent Awakens (3 glory) - Have three structures
An Island Revealed (3 glory) - Explore the highest numbered site on an island
Darkness Stirs (3 glory, unlock) - Raid a site with 6 difficulty without sinking

You’re somewhat limited early on in what you can do, as very little of the game board has been revealed, the initial islands are largely unexplored, everybody is still relatively weak, and a number of game mechanisms are still locked away. I expected that people would focus on activities that would get them these milestones, specifically exploring and raiding a 6-difficulty site to unlock new content. I figured I might focus instead on getting the milestone to build three buildings.

HOW GAME 1 PLAYED OUT

Joe and Nick both immediately went after "An Island Revealed" and "Darkness Stirs" milestones. After a failed explore endeavor by Joe that resulted in a sunk ship, Nick was quick to complete the milestone to explore the highest-difficulty site on an island (the 6-difficulty site at Pearl of the Sea), scoring him a glory for the endeavor, three glory for completing the milestone, and a permanent upgrade to draw 2 cards instead of 1 when he researches, still can only keep one (the story entry also promised researching was coming soon!) On the flipside, the advisor he used to achieve the milestone was a little shaken up by the endeavor and now costs Nick an additional 2 gold to hire in the future.

Joe shifted his strategy to go after the milestone to raid a 6-difficulty site now that one was available to raid, also getting four total glory for the endeavor and milestone, and a permanent upgrade that at the end of the game when rolling for enmity removal he gets one extra success (effectively he always gets to remove an enmity token at the end of every game now). This milestone also unlocked the first box, but we were told not to open it until after the end of the game.

The Renowned Builder was available in the forum early in the game, who gives you a discount on upgrades and builds, but also gives you an additional glory if you build the structure just with gold. I was quick to snatch him up. I managed to get five glory in the first year of the game, three of which were from using the Renowned Builder, and on the first round of year two I used the Renowned Builder again to get six glory total: one from a ship upgrade, one from a structure, one from the Renowned Builder for paying for the structure with just gold, and three glory for completing "The Continent Awakens". Furthermore, the milestone provided me with a permanent bonus that whenever I have a structure built in one specific build site in my province, I gain +1 additional glory, bringing my total glory to 12 and enough to win the game.

Nick still had one final turn before it would be end of the game, and was able to successfully raid my province and destroy my structure with the +1 glory bonus, bringing my total glory down to 10. He only had a 30% chance of succeeding, but in retrospect I probably should have built some gun towers! The game ended up going on for one more round, giving everybody an opportunity to close the gap a little, but I managed to raid an island for a quick glory and end the game with 11 glory. Nick came in second with 10 glory, Joe 9 glory, and Josh 7 glory.

WHAT WE EXPLORED/DISCOVERED

During the course of the game, five more sites total were explored, four wood production sites and one iron production site. We’ve officially explored all sun-symbol sites, so going forward exploring sites will be a minimum difficulty of 4. Pearl of the Sea is completely explored.




GAME END UPGRADES AND CAMPAIGN SCORE

As my game end reward, I upgraded one of my provinces from 4 gold to 6 gold. I’ll get 4-6 extra gold a game, which seems better than 1 more reputation. I upgraded my smaller ship’s Sail from 3 to 4 at the end of the game, gave the Renowned Builder advisor a -2 Build upgrade (aka builds cost 2 further less gold), and was able to keep the Carpenter advisor for the next game. We also opened the contents of Box 01, but I won't go into them in this post.

Prince TJ - 11
Duke Nick - 10
Lord Joe - 9
Baron Josh - 7
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Today 7:08 pm
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russblog :: Monthly tournament results (September 2016: Tides of Time) + October = Games for 2 or more players

Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Our Most Assiduous Reader will recall that during September, we played Tides of Time each day. We turned out to be fairly evenly matched, although coincidentally the last day of the month was a huge blowout victory for Anna, who won 96-45. 96 was the biggest score we'd seen, and doubling the opponent in Tides of Time seems impressive in any case! In the 2nd round (of the 3 rounds) she got over 50 points!

That final September 30 game even inspired my Esperanto poem of the day:

En "Tajdoj de Tempo" ni ludis
multfoje, sed nun ĵus sin trudis
rekordaj poentoj
por Anna, kaj sentoj
ke mia progreso testudis!

(If you want to see various Esperanto poems I've written based on boardgame experiences, I've been posting them in this thread: Poemoj pri tabulludoj (Limeriko pri Crusader Rex, robajo pri Ottoman Sunset , ktp).)


Anyway, Tides of Time is an 18-card "microgame". In the end we enjoyed it OK but had mixed feelings about it:

1. The cards are physically annoying: unnecessarily large sized, which makes shuffling more awkward and takes up uncomfortable amounts of table space (and feels done to justify the larger box instead of a usual tiny-size card box). What's worse, again Portal has devoted too high a proportion of card real estate to pretty art, and made the text needlessly small and in a harder to read weird typeface. Grr. And there are 5 suits with various symbols (some clear, some a bit odd), in green, gold, blue, and ... two shades of red. Why two shades of red? I have no idea.



2. After our binge-playing of Greed, we found we simply like Greed's gameplay better. Like other donaldx games, Greed has very variable setup, using only a subset of its cards each game. In contrast, you see the same 18 cards every game in Tides of Time. Granted, that goes with the territory for "microgames", but it does mean that Greed feels less repetitive and has more replay value for us.

Still, I enjoy Tides of Time (enough that I was motivated to create Tides of Time FAQ in the BGG wiki) and I think it's a clever little game, even if it's not one we'll want to play as often as Greed.

-----------

Recently we've been playing 2-player Concordia (with the set a friend loaned us) and Anna recently proposed Caylus which we had not played in a while, which all gave me the idea to play games for 2 or more players as a monthly theme in October. (We often play strictly 2-player games.)

Today we played Concordia for the first day of the month, and it was an interesting one which Anna won in the end. I had a few rounds where I inefficiently had to play tribune too early with several unplayed cards still, which unsurprisingly put me a bit behind. I managed to rush and buy the last 3 cards, ending the game and getting the 7 point bonus for that, and in final scoring I was 1 point ahead until we got to the final goods cards: Anna had 3 of them and I had 2, and she pulled ahead. All our cards were worth less than in some games because of the game ending by cards so soon, while we both had 5 or 6 unbuilt houses.

-----------

Unrelated possible entertainment, a rare session report by me:
An alternate history of Jesus
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Today 5:54 pm
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The Game Shelf :: The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 24th – 30h September

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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It seems like a long time since the two of us have sat in a board game cafe and dedicated a few hours to trying new board games, but last weekend we had a few hours at Draughts in London and did just that. It’s not my favourite place to play games due to the really bad acoustics of sitting under a railway arch, but the library is pretty good and they’re kept up with enough new releases to keep me satisfied.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;


Potion Explosion is quite simply Candy Crush the board game. It’s quite surprising that no-one has done this before, but actually it makes quite a good game in the cardboard world. You are aiming to brew spells which use different numbers of 5 colours of marbles. To obtain the marbles you need to take one marble from the 3D board and then you will get the marbles in any matching vertical lines that are created as the marbles fall. Potions are worth more money if they’re harder to make and they each have single use powers once complete. You can also gain points from two different types of set collection with your completed potions. The game is pretty simple, but it definitely tested my brain and spatial awareness to get the marbles I needed, Amy definitely was better at this part. It’s a great gateway level game and I can see it as a great introduction because of the obvious similarities to phone apps.

Imhotep is a game I regretted not picking up when I got the opportunity at the UK Games Expo. When I saw it I had no idea it was a Spiel des Jahres nominee and by the time I knew it had sold out. In the game you are stacking your cubes onto boats and each turn sailing each boat to a different port. Most ports require you to drop of cubes and depending on the order that cubes are placed will score you different amounts of end of round or end of game points. You can also visit the market where you can purchase special actions or different end of game scoring cards. The mechanics are very simple, with placing a cube, taking more cubes or sailing a boat being your only basic choices, but there is a lot of back and forth deciding what your opponents want, what order you want to be placed on the boat and when you should cut your losses. With two players a lot of these decisions seemed very clear cut and therefore the game played out and was a bit boring, but with 3 I can imagine these decisions are a bit less clear and the game a bit more fun. For me Imhotep isn’t a game with the calibre to be a Spiel winner, it’s just fine.

Roll For It! is a small filler, and was picked off the shelf as a break between learning other games. I knew it was just a luck-based dice roller, but will pretty much try any game once. In Roll for It there are 3 cards in the centre of the table depicting a combination of dice faces. On your turn you roll 6 dice and can assign any matching faces to one of the 3 cards. You are essentially racing your opponents to see who can match all the faces first and win the game. Win the cards, add up points and first to a given total wins. That’s it – a tiny bit of push your luck and not a lot else. We need at least some more meat, even in a filler, so Roll for It is a pass.

Dominion: Dark Ages is one of the Dominion expansions that we’ve not yet tried. We put a lot of research into our choice of Seaside and Prosperity, so to be honest, I was a little nervous of trying an expansion that I hadn’t noticed when looking for the ‘best’ in the past. Dark Ages makes a few interesting twists, mainly changing your starting victory cards and making a big deal out of trashing cards. After one play, Dark Ages sits in a weird place. I felt like there were some great combos to be had, but we didn’t get our heads round them in our first game, so it’s a bit difficult to be excited about it. Right now I think we have plenty of Dominion, but Dark Ages probably deserves to be up there as one of the ‘best’ expansions.

So another good session of new games overall, but fortunately (in some ways) nothing new for our shelves. Now we need to start playing a bit more at home to rationalise the collection – it’s already overflowing our newest shelving solution

Please check out thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk for more weekly reviews from this UK-based board-gaming couple.

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Today 4:31 pm
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Volley Fire: A Wargaming Blog from the 1st Minnesota :: First Minnesota Friday Night Gaming--Thunder Alley League, Seki, Scheldt Campaign, MBT, Star Wars, Polis, and More!

Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?" -- Sgt. Oddball


Yep, some inspirational words to live by coming to you on this early October morning by one of the best motivational speakers ever. So dig the positive waves man, dig it. And how can you not dig it when there are so many games...

No Retreat, Pax Baltica, Commands & Colors, and MBT bringing the first positive waves:



Jared, Evgenii, Gordy, and Todd with some Falling Sky:





The Scheldt Campaign with Craig and Andrew. Craig was definitely feeling the positive waves. You couldn't lose right, Craig?



Pax Pamir, PQ-17, Evolution, Bonaparte at Marengo, and For Sale(?)



2pm First Minnesota Friday Gaming:



A close up of Drew and Brian with Bonaparte at Marengo:



Polis, Seki, and Star Wars Rebellion:



Washington's War with Todd & Logan.









First official First Minnesota Thunder Alley League officially got started last night. League Commish Brian got things rolling with passing out personalized Team Cards. Gordy was ready to rumble with Charles in Charge Racing. Leading the pack with Team Gordy was the driver Scott Baio:



How can you lose with a face like this:



Anyway, racing got started at Wellington Raceway in South St. Paul:



We used the twisty-turns part of the track which provided to be quite a challenge and added a lot of tactical play not usually found in a typical TA game. Scott Baio was the first place finisher, but it was Team Paul I believe who won with his team of cars.



The 2nd race of the night was the tiny Launius Raceway. Which at first glance looks like it would take about two seconds to race and not very interesting, but actually turned out to be a surprisingly tough grind to the finish. I don't think I ever pit any of my cars in that race, and there was a ton of weaving in and out of line to get position, so much so the lines only crept to the finish line. It was a damn close race, with Brian pulling out a win. But again finishing strong, lead driver Scott Baio, came in 2nd, and may be the best driver so far in the league.







And where would any good report be without an 18xx shot:



Excellent night. I'd say at least 40 boardgamers in all. Magic came on strong later in the night, but we were half the room for sure. So many good games, so many positive vibes, you just can't go wrong with First Minnesota.

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Today 2:46 pm
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2016: A Year in Progress :: 9 Months

Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Just felt like looking at the first three-quarters of 2016...

Statistics

Plays: 581 (2015 Q1-Q3: 664)
Distinct Games: 173 (2015 Q1-Q3: 156, 2014: 322)
Average plays/ game: 3.33
Games played exactly once: 79 (2015 Q1-Q3: 82)
Games played for the first time: 70 (2015 Q1-Q3: 79)

Plays with the kids: 174 (2015 Q1-Q3: 199)
Distinct Games with the kids: 76 (2015 Q1-Q3: 77)

Purchases/Additions: 62 (2015 Q1-Q3: 61)
Sales/Removals: 89 (2015 Q1-Q3: 55)

Quarters: 1 (2015 Q1-Q3: 3)
Agricola (46)

Dimes: 10 (2016 Q1-Q3: 12)
Race for the Galaxy( 18), 1861/67 (15), 1817 (14), Castellion (13), Splendor (12), Grand Austria Hotel (11), Onirim (11), Loco (11), Patchwork (10), Agricola: ACBaS (10)

Nickels: 24 (2016 Q1-Q3: 20)
Arkwright (9), Bohnanza (9), Ticket to Ride (9)
Elfenroads (8), Imhotep (8), W1815 (8), Zulu on the Ramparts (8)
Enemy Action Ardennes (7), Factory Funner (7), Navajo Wars (7), Trambahn (7)
Napoleon's Triumph (6), Outpost (5), Pickomino (6), Volt: Robot Arena (6), Warfighter (6)
18SW (5), 'Gric Family (5), Dixit (5), Finca (5), King Chocolate (5), Liberty or Death (5), NY 1901 (5), Pax Pamir (5), Quartermaster General (5)

Kid Nickels: 8
Bohnanza, Elfenroads, Volt, Loco, Dixit, Finca, Quartermaster General, Patchwork


Thoughts
1. Plays are down (both with and without the kids) due to summer stuff.
3. Reductions are greater than last year, but more improvement is still needed.
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Today 1:47 pm
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2016: A Year in Progress :: A Month in the Life - September 2016

Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Summary

Total Games/Plays: 38/ 77 (average: 2.03 plays/game)
Average rating of Games/Plays: 7.24/7.66
Games/Plays with kids: 19/ 30 (39%)
Solo Games/Plays: 1/2 (3%)
Games Played for the First Time: 7/10 (18% of games)
Acquisitions/Removals: 9/9
Owned but Underplayed (<5x) Games: 12 (0/2/0/4) (Never,7-12,13-24,24+)

BLUF: First time cresting 70 since May. Maybe it was just the summer? Things seem to be getting back to normal, with solo plays almost non-existent while plays with my kids and Amanda are higher. That said, many of my plays with Amanda were at BGF, so that may be an anomaly. Curious to see my numbers in October.



Gaming with my kids



New Games


Agricola: Family Edition - Five plays in and I still am not sure what to think. Certainly it succeeds as an introduction to Agricola. It's shorter, simpler, but still has the same feel of 'Gric. The biggest difference is that in Family, players can specialize. Scoring is so much easier - 1 point per tile, 1 point per wood on tile, 3 points per worker, and the only negatives are begging cards. Where I'm still unsure is how well it performs as a play-the-player game. In other words, does 'Gric Family take 'Gric from being multiplayer solitaire and turn it into a game where nothing is intrinsically good. A grain strategy is now as valid as an animal strategy both for points and for feeding and growing workers is no longer required (though still good). So, if there are three strategies (grain, animals, workers + resources) and it remains easy to switch between them, then how much can this game be a perpetual game of messing with each other? I'm still not sure. For me, it's a quick, light game like Race for the Galaxy. Probably a half-step heavier than Splendor and a half-step longer than Patchwork. Currently rating this as an 8 but that could go up or down a point.


Mississippi Queen - Like 'Gric Family, this definitely succeeds as a family game. It continues to confirm my faith in using the SDJ to pick games. It's a great, simple race game, but with the expansion added, there's enough to think about to keep everyone engaged. While adding the expansion tiles (and not removing any) does make the game stretch a little longer than is probably ideal, it's not much and I'll probably continue to play with all the tiles. The kids really love getting Dad and Amanda. Initial Rating: 7


The Voyages of Marco Polo - the jury is still out on this one. Comparisons with Grand Austria Hotel are unavoidable. The biggest difference is puppet master versus slave driver. In GAH I feel like a general, pulling strings to make these super cool combinations happen... "if I get this customer and complete this other customer, than that lets me play this helper which lets me complete this other customer which gives me two free rooms which I can then fill using the cubes in my kitchen to complete my yellow area and satisfy the emperor's track." In VMP, I feel like a squad commander trying to squeeze every drop of life from the pathetic dice I have. There are more of them, and even more opportunities to get "black" dice, but I'm not seeing the grand terrain. I'm only seeing the next few yards of the trail in front of me. Initial Rating: 7


Fading Glory - my son and I played this and struggled. After a single play (Waterloo scenario), it felt like the dice had more control over our fates than we did. However, we were struggling with the rules as well. Unlike most games that have such a difficult first play, FG is one I'm eager to get back to the table. It has the stickiness of ZOC that I've only previously seen in Napoleon at Waterloo. It also has simple rules once you get them. We played without any variants and I do want to try some next time (probably just leaders and weather). If my son and I like it, it's short enough that playing it on a weeknight is very doable. Fingers crossed. Initial Rating: 6.5


Paris Paris - an enjoyable short Schacht game. There's a decent amount to consider as player stake out terrain to improve their scoring chances but the terrain they leave behind may cause areas to score that they don't want to score. Randomness is relatively high, so it's not one to take too seriously, but played with the right attitude, it's a game I can't see ever turning down. Initial Rating: 7


Karuba - I'm glad the SDJ committee didn't choose this. It's not bad; it's bingo meets euro, but it just felt a bit too random and light for me. I have yet to try Camel Up and after playing Karuba, I'm curious whether I'll get a similar vibe from Camel Up. Initial Rating: 5


Thief's Market - one of TMG's light, short, simple games. This one is a combination of dice drafting and engine building and it does it well. It's nothing to set the world on fire, but played at a decent speed, it's not a bad game. Initial Rating: 5


The Walking Dead: The Board Game - my son got this for his birthday. It's a fine Ameritrash game. Not too much to think about and highly dependent on the luck of the cards, but fun enough. We played our game with all of us going on our own way. This can work if you get lucky with the cards... we didn't. Next time we need to try banding together. Initial Rating: 5



Game Acquisitions
I purchased and received The Voyages of Marco Polo and Splendor as well as Agricola: Family Edition.

I also preordered Haspelknecht, Rhodes, Agricola, Master of Britain, Pax Renaissance and Bios: Genesis.



Games Sold/Traded

I sold Rheinländer, Hold the Line, Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Filipino Fruit Market, The End of the Triumvirate, CLASH: Jihad vs. McWorld, Byzantium, and Backyard Builders Treehouse.

Underplayed Games (<5x)

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Today 1:36 pm
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Polyhedron Collider :: Pioneers Prgram kickstarter review

Steve Tudor
United Kingdom
Malvern
Worcestershire
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Steve heads out into the wasteland yet again as a member of the Pioneers Program. Can he build up his settlement and survive the raids in this review of the new board game from GCT on Kickstarter today



As a board game community we are obviously very pessimistic about the future as we are constantly playing games about the end of the world. Whether it's zombies, nuclear attack or the mysteriously named 'the event' (please remain indoors) we all seem to be convinced that civilisation as we know it is about to end and we're all going to be scratching for survival in a nightmare future. The Pioneers Program from GCT Studios treads this familiar scorched ground as you attempt to build a settlement and attract notable personalities to your cause.

Continue reading the Pioneers Program Kikcstarter Review
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Today 11:24 am
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Shefford Friday night games :: Friday 30th September 2016

Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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This Friday we were 8, but the Carpenters were running a bit late, so we played a couple of hands of Linko! while we were waiting. I had a good first round, but then in the second round Sami bounced a 6-size collection of mine just before the end, and this knocked me into joint second place with John, while Sami himself went into first place, by one point.

We then split into two tables. Simon suggested Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, which instantly found a number of takers, but some players were wanting lighter fare, and after a bit of discussion the Carpenters and Seb took Grand Austria Hotel downstairs, while the remaining four of us sat down to a game of Trickerion, only the second play for John, and the first time he'd played the full game. My cards set me up for a nice cash strategy, and after Simon put some valuable goods in the market, looked which 36 tricks I could buy, and found that the cash one was very doable for me, so went all out for that. It got slightly tricky towards the end, as I was rather light on actions compared to the others, but I did manage to get it, and also even put it on once (but failed to do it twice, thanks to forgetting to go to Dark Alley to take another Performance card, so didn't have enough actions!). I had amassed over 40 cash by end game, so although Simon had been leading all game, getting an early 16 trick and putting it on regularly, I was able to jump past both Sami and him at end-game, although it was fairly close.

The other table had finished just before us, and the two younger Carpenters had gone home, so we were left with 6, and as John had to leave in half an hour we decided to go for a party game - Knowing Me Knowing You. Seb was worried he'd be at a disadvantage, being newer to the group, but actually it was Marion who lost, and Seb came joint third behind Sami or I - for once we had an advantage for being married, as Sami's had his usual drink, his waist size, and his preferred TV option from three (none of which he'd usually watch!), all of which were easy for me, and I was asked similarly easy questions for Sami to answer, such as whether I'd prefer to play a ukelele, bagpipes or didgeridoo.

At that point John had to leave to pick up his daughter, and took Seb home at the same time, leaving us with 4 people for Breaking Away. Simon looked like his start wasn't going to be great on the first turn, as he picked up a few threes, but then his next few turns he was at the back of the pack and picking up some large numbers, which he managed to keep until the rest of us were heading for the second sprint with nothing greater than about 6, and he went pacing past us. I picked up the most sprint points at the first sprint (all four bikes getting points), and Simon the most at the second sprint, with neither Sami or Marion picking many at all. Then going into the final sprint Marion lost her second bike, and Sami managed to lose a pair, trying to use one to save the other and losing both instead! Simon managed to get the most points off the final sprint, as he actually still had some decent numbers left, and finished in both first and second place, but I again managed to score with all four of my bikes, but ended up overall just one point behind Simon, with an impressive score of 62 to my 61. As you might imagine with us having huge scores like that Sami and Marion had not done well, Sami just holding on to third place with 17 points ahead of Marion's 16.
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Today 11:03 am
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QWERTYUIOP :: Q3 2016 review

Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
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Just a quick look at what I've been playing and buying so far this year, and a comparison to last year.

Total plays: 41 (2015 had 169, 2014 had 100, 2013 had 199)

Distinct games: 29 (2015 had 67, 2014 had 54, 2013 had 74)

New-to-me games: 9 (2015 had 15, 2014 had 18, 2013 had 27)

Dimes: 0 (4 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 4 in 2013)

Nickels: 0 (4 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 3 in 2013)

Gaming continues to be somewhat restricted! The only significant session was with Jimmy (Butterfly0038) while visiting Sarah's family in Cincinnati.

And now a look at the collection.

Acquired: 3 (6 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 4 in 2013) - Team Play, Evolution: The Beginning, Qwixx

Removed: 0

Owned: 159 (excluding expansions - up 3 from Q2)

Unplayed: 0

Pretty reasonable - a couple of acquisitions from Target while visiting the US.

Best new-to-me: Team Play is a really nice simple set-collection partnership game for 4 or 6.

New 10s: 0
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Today 10:26 am
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