$10.00
Thanksgiving Board Games Bash
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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For the fifth year in a row, my friends from around the Seattle area have joined us for a day of board gaming and delicious foods. For five years we have hosted an ever-growing number of people for the day in our not-very-large two-bedroom apartment, and this year we set a new record at 13. Alas, this will be our final year in this apartment, as we are soon moving into a house...which will accommodate even more people in the future! The day wouldn't be the same without the delicious dinner (cooked by my culinary school-trained girlfriend, Tammie!), and this year we played fewer games but had a great time anyways.
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1. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:28]
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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The first game of the day was a special treat for my lucky guests--an early copy of Lords of Waterdeep! The copy we played was in near-final condition, with only a few colors for the wood pieces being changed in the final version of the game, so it played just like the game will when it comes out in March. All four of the players seemed to enjoy it, and I ended up in second place after I was wishy-washy on my strategy for a few turns. All three of the other players were new, and only one was a real D&D fan, but it seemed to go over relatively well with everyone.
 
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2. Board Game: Penny Arcade: The Game – Gamers vs. Evil [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1685]
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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At the other table while Lords of Waterdeep was in play, the rest of the guests tried their hands at the Penny Arcade deckbuilding game. I'm growing a bit weary of games whose descriptions are "It's like Dominion, but with XXXXX added in!" but the reviews from the group were universally positive. Of course, it helps to be fans of the Penny Arcade webcomics, but even those who aren't agreed that the game was fun and avoids many of the mistakes other deckbuilding games have made.
 
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3. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:189]
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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Quickly growing to be my favorite large-group game, Telestrations hit the main table as the second game before dinner. Though I played at the other table, the noise of laughter coming from the table playing this one was deafening at times. Yes, it's a party game, but rarely have I laughed so hard as when I have been playing this game.
 
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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It had been a while since I'd broken out Power Grid, and with dinner fast approaching we only had three players, so we got through this one relatively quickly. Despite a rulebook that doesn't flow very well when trying to quickly remember the rules, we jumped into it quickly with two new players and got the ball rolling. This can definitely be a game of "the rich get richer," especially if there's not some good bidding going on to drive up the price of good power plants. In the end, with only three players and some easy auctions the game ended relatively quickly--the whole game probably took less than an hour and a half.
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5. Board Game: Yggdrasil [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:431]
Rodney Thompson
United States
Renton
Washington
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Post-dinner, about half of the guests were lethargically watching the Pixar movies on TV, so a few of us decided to try out Yggdrasil. I'd heard good things about the game, and could see that a lot of work went into the art and flavor of the game. The multiple-bags-representing-different-domains mechanic was probably the most interesting part of the game, and I almost wish that it played a bigger role as, with such a high degree of randomness already present, the interesting bag fishing/bag winnowing mechanics give you a good deal of control. Also, on first play there was a lot of rulebook referencing, since the board and cards don't communicate the complexity of many of the rules. We lost thanks to having too many enemies past the first line.
 
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