Hooah! Attack on my unplayed in 2012 (#75. Belfort)
Dea Draper
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Boise
Idaho
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At the end of 2012 I want to have reduced my total un-played games by 100. This means keeping up with new purchases as well.

I had the same goal in 2011 and even though I played 230 new games, I failed miserably by only reducing my un-played games by a total of 11. Last year's List: Hooah! Attack on my unplayed in 2011

Below is a list of some of my un-played games.

I will enter them as they are played, with a rating and notations designed for my own purposes. Most of my ratings are based on multiple plays.

20th Century, Age of Discovery, Airlines Europe, Alhambra Expansions, Amytis, Anno 1503, Atlanteon, Augsburg 1520, Babel, Basilica, Battlefields of Olympus, Battlelore Expansions sold, Battue expansions, Before the Wind, Bellfort #75, Bison: Thunder on the Prairie, Blue Moon expansions sold, Bootleggers, California, Canal Mania, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers #49, Carolus Magnus , Carson City, Castle Merchants, Cave Troll, Chocolati, Constantinopolis, Dakota, De Vulgari Eloquentia, Deadwood #57, Die Handler, Doge, Dominion: Cornucopia#11, Dominion: Walled Village Promo #14, Drakon, Duell, Egizia #16, Eketorp, Elasund: The First City of Catan, Eminent Domain #1, Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets #15, Emira, Entdecker, Era of Inventions #65, Fresco expansions, Furstenfeld #62, Ghost Story expansions, Glen More #47, Goldland, Granada, Greed Incorporated, Hameln, Hansa, Homesteaders, Ilium, In the Shadow of the Emperor, Indonesia, Industry #56, Intrigue, Isla Dorada, It's Alive!#3, Jerusalem, K2, Kaigan, Key Harvest, Key Largo #64, Key Market, Keythedral, Kontor, Krieg und Frieden, Krysis, La Citta #5, La Strada, Lancaster, Last Night on Earth Expansions, Marracash, Marrakech, Mecanisburgo, Medina, Merchants of the Middle Ages, Mesopotamia, Meuterer, Moai, Mr. Mouth #66, Mystery Express, New England, Nightfall: Blood Country #34, Nightfall: Ahmad Hassan Promo #44, Nightfall: "Pale Fury" Promo #46; Oltre Mare, Opera, Outpost #33, Panic Station#2, Pizarro & Co., Polizei-Alarm! #55, Power Grid expansions, Power Struggle, Princes of Machu Picchu, Quarriors! Quaxos Promo exp #41, Quarriors! Rise of the Demons exp. #42, RoboRally expansions, Royal Palace #60, Samarkand: Routes to Riches, Serenissima, Shark, Sherwood Forest, Shipyard, Space Alert: The New Frontier #17, Sumeria, Survive!, Talisman expansions, The Castles of burgundy, The End of the Triumvirate, The Mississippi Queen, Thunderstone expansions, Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, Tikal II: the Lost Temple, Tobago, Trias, Utopia, Valdora, Wars of the roses: Lancaster vs. York, Water Lily#4, Way Out West, Witch of Salem

Games, Expansions, & Promos played for the first time in 2012:

Owned prior to 2012 (My goal is 100)
Jan- 6
Feb- 6
March- 0
April- 6
May- 6
June- 2
July- 1
Aug-
Sept-
Oct-
Nov-

Grand Total Toward Goal: 27

Acquired & played during 2012 (My goal is to keep up):
Jan- New: 19 /Played: 5
Feb- New: 24/Played: 16
March- New: 12/Played: 2
April- New: 16/Played: 8
May- New: 5/Played: 3
June- New: /Played: 0
July- New: /Played: 1
Aug- New: /Played:
Sept- New: /Played:
Oct- New: /Played:
Nov- New: /Played:
Dec- New: /Played:

Total games (28) & exp.'s (53) acquired during 2012 = 73
Total of these games played: 35

Small World: Tunnels exp; Poseidon's Kingdom; Cutthroat caverns: Relics and Ruin exp; Cutthroat Caverns: tombs and Tomes exp; Get Bit! #6; Ora et Labora #9; Dungeon Petz #10; Mondo #50, Principato; Poseidon; Resident Evil deck Building game: Nightmare exp.; Ascension: Storm of Souls exp.#7; 51st State: The New Era exp. #13; Power Grid: First Sparks #18; Puzzle Strike Upgrade Pack exp #19; Nomads of Arabia; Porto Carthago; Dominion: Hinterlands exp. #12; Ascension: Storm of Souls,Soul Collector Promo exp #27; 7 Wonders: Catan Island exp; Dominion: Governor Promo exp. #32; Dominion: Carcassonne Promo exp; Pastiche Expansion set #2 Exp. #29;Pony Express #30; Ascension Promos: Journeyman Sage exp #28, Ring of Life exp #20, vortex exp #22, Pathwarden exp #25, Vedah, sage of Swords exp #26, Void Mesmer exp #21, Nethersnare exp #24, Control Room exp #23; Nightfall:Shadow Seven Exp; Nightfall: Lisaveta Florescu Exp; Yggdrasil: Vidar Exp; Alhambra: Magical Buildings exp; Fresco: Bishop's favor exp; The New era: Spiel 2011 Promo Pack exp; Panic Station: Survival Kit mini-exp; Kingdom Builder #37; Kingdom Builder: Capitol Card Exp#38; Mundus Novus; Steam: Outer Space & Reversteam Exp; Steam: Rails to riches Map Expansion #1; PAX; Mecanisburgo: Mutants on Mars Exp; Steam: Africa Mines & Taiwan Exp; "BattleLore: Code of Chivalry expanion; "BattleLore: Horrific Horde expansion; "BattleLore: Creatures expansion; "BattleLore: Scottish Wars expansion; "BattleLore: Heroes Expansion; sold; Cyclades: Hades exp #39; Nanuk#71; castle panic: Wizard's Tower Exp #43; Age of Empires III: age of Discovery-Builder's exp#48; Upon a Salty Ocean; Stone Age: Style is the Goal exp #58; Star Trek [Deck Building Game]: The Next Generation - The Next Phase exp; Steam/Age of steam: Australia & Tasmania exp; Nightfall: The Coldest War exp #35; Mondo: Zusatzpieler Set A exp #51; Mondo: Zusatzpieler Set B exp #52; Lords of Waterdeep #40; Puerto Rico: Limited Anniversary Edition #45; Herding cats #54; Mord im Arosa #53; A Brief History of the World; Antics! Powerboats; Mage Knight Board Game; Vinhos; Steam: Rails to Riches Map Expansion #2; Dixit Jouirney; Kingdom Builder: Nomads; Edo; Small World Realms; MIL;


Goal: 181, Current Status: 62

Non-owned played for the first time: (Record kept for curiosity, doesn't count towards goal)
Jan- 1
Feb- 1
March-1
April- 0
May- 3
June- 0
July- 6
Aug-
Sept-
Oct-
Nov-
Dec-

Yomi #8, Civilization Western Extension Map #31,Indus #36, Sunrise City #59, Wiz-War #61, Uncharted: The Board Game #63, Puzzle Strike 3rd edition #68, King of Tokyo #69, Dark Minions #70, Alcatraz: The Scapegoat #72, Mage Knight: Board Game #73, Toc Toc Woodman #74,

Totals for all Games played for the first time:
Jan- 12
Feb- 23
March- 3
April- 14
May- 12
June- 2
July- 8
Aug-
Sept-
Oct-
Nov-
Dec-

Grand Total of ALL games & expansions played for the first time in 2012: 74


My favorites so far: Eminent Domain,Power Grid: First Sparks, Egizia, Outpost, Kingdom Builder, Lords of Waterdeep, Glen More, Mondo, Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers, Royal Palace, Deadwood, Furstenfeld, Lords of Waterdeep, Mage Knight: Board Game


I also Enjoy a Lot: Key Largo, Alcatraz: The Scapegoat,

Favorites of my Gaming Friends (input from around 50 throughout the year): Eminent Domain, Ascension: Storm of Souls, Power Grid: First sparks, Outpost, Lords of Waterdeep, Kingdom Builder, Mondo, Alcatraz: The Scapegoat, Mage Knight: Board Game,

Also enjoyed, but eventually has seen less table action:

NOTE: As of early May we decided to unexpectedly move out of state which won't be completed until early fall. In the meantime I am running numerous game auctions, and although won't have time to play many new games, will be reducing (hopefully drastically) my games owned, including some un-played.
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1. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:297]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-1-2012 (owned prior 2012)

My rating: 8 (increased rating)
Players: 2-4
Type: deck-building
Time: 45 mins

New Years day. This is my first new game played in 2012.

Another deck building game, but another good one. I guess I am not tired of them yet.

This is one of the easier to play deck building games. Even though it is not complex, the combination of familiar mechanics creates a new strategy platform. This game is not interactive, yet paying sharp attention to how an opponent plays is vitally important.

The interesting mechanic that makes this game unique, is that the more you do a particular role, the better it becomes. However, at some point it can choke your hand, and end the game very fast. Like other deck building games, thinning the deck can be a key to winning.

There are strong similarities to the Client mechanic in Glory to Rome. If your hand does get choked with one type of card, many actions that you could share with your opponents are lost. Like Race for the Galaxy, the planets on your tableau can produce one resource which can be exchanged for V.P.'s. Like Dominion, there are different stacks with identical cards, and when a certain number is gone, signals the end of the game. And the start deck is the same for everyone, as it is with many of the deck building games.

Components: The plastic fighters are great looking, but there seems to be no reason for the very different sizes and shapes. Will this be addressed in some expansion? The cards are of very poor quality--before the first game finished some of the corners showed wear--I sleeved immediately. In contrast, the start planets are thick cardboard with a nice finish. I'm not sure why they are so different from the rest of the cards. The game is visually attractive. The rules are nicely written, but a clear explanation of how the symbols on the tech cards are used is sadly lacking.

Despite my displeasure with the horrible card quality, and my lack of understanding some of the components' design logic, I enjoy the play. I am looking forward to testing different strategies, but doubt this game will get as much play as some of the other deck-building games.

Edit: Got 10 plays the first week, and is getting a good response from the group.
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2. Board Game: Panic Station [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:1940]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-3-12 (owned prior to 2012)

My rating: 6.5
Players: 4-6
Type: Co-op
Time: 40 mins

I was excited to play this Co-op game. It isn't a bad game, just not as good as I hoped.

I like the concept, the graphics, the short duration, and the building of an area that changes with each game. Unfortunately, by several means it is easy to identify the infected person. It is humorous to try to avoid or kill off the infected, but humor isn't enough to encourage repeated game play here.

The components could have been better quality, but then the price would have escalated, and since I don't think this game will see the table often, I appreciate the lower price. It does come in a nice metal box.

I need to play the revised rules posted here on BGG--hopefully it will improve the game. I have to wonder how much this game was play tested before release.

EDIT: New rules have improved the play, rating increased. Here is a first--I actually threw out the old rules.
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3. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1875]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-4-12 (previously owned)

My rating: 6
Players: 2-5
Duration: 30 mins.
Type: auction, set collec.

The graphics are fun and kids love the theme, which is cute. Rules are short and easy and the game is light, but there is enough strategy in the game with decisions on whether to buy, sell, auction, or ransom, to satisfy me. The luck is quite heavy, however. There are 6 Villager's uprsing cards in the deck and I drew all 6 in my first two games (each were 5-player games)--impossible bad luck & impossible to win--but did finally in the 4th game when I didn't draw any. Card counters will love this game.

As for ages, the box says 12+. This must be for content and not ability to play which I put at 8+. I don't see a problem with the theme that is tongue in cheek, and the graphics cartooney. (Good grief, if you read some of the old German fairy tale bedtime stories, they are down right sadistic and threatening.)

The game is very poorly punched. It was evident immediately so I was very patient and punched as carefully as possible, yet 4 still ripped and had to be repaired. On many of the other chips I had to file off the rough paper edges. I find it distressing to have a game look so ratty before it is even played once. Furthermore the cards are LESS than 2" square. The deck of 60 is supposed to be shuffled! On the first try I bent 2 of these flimsy, way undersized cards.

I am disappointed in the shabby quality especially since this game particularly appeals to kids, and therefore should be sturdier. Box is small & doesn't take up much space on the shelf. Since the game is short in duration, I found it a little addictive. When playing with older children and adults, we use the advanced scoring. Perfect Halloween game.
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4. Board Game: Water Lily [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2521]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-5-12 (acquired prior to 2012)

My rating: 7
Players: 2-4
Duration: 20 mins
Type: children's racing
Age: 7+

I rate children's games according to how excited I am to play with the appropriately aged child. And although fun for adults too and a good family game, this leans towards more of a child's game.

Simple, well explained rules. Easy to set up. Short duration. Good quality, nice components. Box used as gameboard with a built-in slide.

Fun strategy with the covered slide. Can't reach the hidden slide too early or too late. Most points wins. First in the slot scores 1, on up to four. Those after position 4, score nothing, so remembering how many have entered the covered slide helps win.

Players can move any frog, not just their own, to position their frog for the highest points. This encourages good planning.

This is a fun game to play with children, one I hope they request more often than others.
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5. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:361]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-7-11 (acquired prior to 2012)

My rating: 7
Players: 2-5
Duration: 3 hrs.
Type: strategy, city building, worker management, area control, set collection

Like: Nice insert designed for pieces. The board setup can change from game to game, with advanced rules which engenders replay-ability. Rules clearly written. the People's defection/relocation mechanic, very clever--one I have not seen before. A player has to be very careful of its use because a defection may cause a loss of action for the player who built the more attractive city.

Dislike: Small fiddly pieces; Setup extremely fiddly and time consuming; It also takes patience putting away; I find the color scheme hideous; Cards are small and hard to shuffle. These numerous reasons have made it very difficult to get it to the table--other games are just more inviting. Only repeated encouragement from others, especially Iron Gamer, has finally brought it out again. I believe the Hospital to be an over powering building which can only be built with a card--therefore, a strong luck feature of the game when that card appears. Long with a lot of player downtime because planning ahead is not always possible, and recalculating necessary.

Tough decisions and a lot to keep track of. To help keep track, and reduce time spent by repeatedly adding up advantages, people, and food before each turn and at the end of each year, found this score-keeping file here on BGG, Citta Ref.doc, by txaal, essential (going to laminate & use wipe-able markers).

The unusual mechanic gives a nice 7 score to this game. I didn't rate it higher due to the length (3 hours min. at best) and because a lot of time is devoted to rechecking & recalculating even with the use of score keeping aids. In addition it is just fiddlier than I like, and playing mistakes are easy to make. Still it is a strong game with hard decisions, and many possible decisions so that players often make surprising moves.

Due to the length it is going to be harder to get this to the table, but am looking forward to more plays.
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6. Board Game: Get Bit! [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:1431]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-7-12 (arrived 2012)

My rating: 5.5

Players: 2-6
Duration: 10-20 mins
Type: Children's, racing
Age: 6+

I bought Get Bit! for the components--colorful, Lego-type robots and a shark, and a really cute goal: Swim faster than the other players or get eaten. As a swimmer gets eaten he loses one of four removable appendages.

On the robots each appendage is composed of more than one part and in a variant extending the game, it takes more chomps to kill a person. I find however, that the shorter version makes for the better game--otherwise it is too repetitious and furthermore, dead victims are out of the game.

One problem, the robots' hands fall off easily and are very tiny and can get easily lost. I think I will glue these hands on since I really don't want to play the longer version.

The publisher recommends ages 8+ (is this because of content?), but a 6 year old can easily play. This can be fun on rare occasions with adults as a filler game, but I prefer this as a quick child's game.
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7. Board Game: Ascension: Storm of Souls [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:313] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-8-11 (arrived 2012)

My rating: 7
Players: 1-6
Duration: 30 mins
Type: Expansion to Ascension

New board with two new category spaces: one for The Fanatic Trophy Monsters and another for Events. Interestingly enough, I don't feel this complicates the game. when all the cards from all the expansions are added in, you may or may not get an event during the game. A player can have only one Fanatic Trophy Monster in front of them to end events. However, a player might not want to eliminate an event which gives bonuses for other cards he holds. Other trophy monsters that hit the center row are no more complicated than the other cards, just more variety.

I actually think this expansion improves the game, because the Leprechaun expansion is overpowering, and in this humongous stack of cards now, there is a reduced chance of multiple draws (somehow mostly by Kyle).

I am very disappointed this last box did not come designed to hold all cards from the expansion & base game, which is now a considerable number. I bought one of the standard Magic Card boxes, but since that meant the board & Honor Stones would be carried separately, modified one of the Ascension boxes instead.
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8. Board Game: Yomi [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:424] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-15-2012 (don't own)

My rating: 2
Players: 2
Duration: 30 mins
Type: Rock-Paper-Scissors

I detest Rock-Paper-Scissors types of games. (I don't like the graphics either.) Only one play, but never intend to play again, which I rarely say about any game.
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9. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:48]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-15-2012 (acquired 2012)

My rating: 7.8
Players: 1-4
Duration: 3 hrs
Type: economic & city building

I wish Ora et Labora were a completely different game, which it isn't--it has strong elements of Le Havre, and to a lesser degree, Agricola. Le Havre has similar bits, conversions of resources, and building. In Agricola resources build up and then someone gets to them before you do. Despite the similarities, this plays very differently, and I like the play.

Pros: Replay-ability with two different countries to play and short and advanced games. I like the scoring of the settlements, and the various avenues to gaining points.

Cons: It is fiddly, even more than Le Havre. The boards are of poor quality--thin cardboard, not the heavy boards in Agricola. Like Le Havre, lots of two-sided chips--one side with an item, the other side with the item upgraded. But unlike Le Havre, the two sides are of completely different colors and we all were continually getting misled and mixing the chips up.

Uwe Rosenberg is making some very strong games. My order of ranking for the series:
Gates of Loyang
Le Havre
Ora & Labora
Agricola

(I am also a great fan of his Merkator.)
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10. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:86]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-16-2011 (acquired 2012)

My rating: 7.8
Players: 2-4
Duration: 90 mins
Type: worker placement

I love the graphics and colors, and again the components are terrific, especially the pets. The mechanic for collecting cards is very unique, and I think the pet entertainment aspect is clever, as is an escaping pet, and the need to keep the cage clean. Very thematic. Planning ahead is vitally important. Rules are entertaining and well written. Lots of different pieces--extras of everything were included! HOW NICE!

My main complaint is that it is rule heavy, and therefore a hard game to pull out once in awhile.

We could not figure out what the arrows on the board mean which looks like an intended flow pattern--expansion? However, these "flow" arrows do not appear on the board pictured either on the bottom of the box or on the two page lay out in the rule book. I don't see a question about it in the forum either. (???) (EDIT: see notes below)

As in Dungeon Lords, the only player interaction is when you beat someone out of a placement. No fighting in this one. They are very different games, and I do prefer this one over Dungeon Lords.
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11. Board Game: Dominion: Cornucopia [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-24-12 (acquired prior to 2012)

My rating: 8

Type: expansion

In a two player game the prize cards seem over powering. The first person to get a prize takes the attack prize, and then usually manages to get the rest. Have to play with more players. It is a nice touch that the prizes are attached to the Tournament cards.

I have played a number of games with 3 people, and we have had some very good combinations--the prizes were not used in any of these games.

I like the mechanics of the Young Witch, and that the associated Bane card can change every game. The Jesters' attacks do create laughs. I like a number of the cards in this expansion.

With all these expansions, there is infinite variety, relatively speaking, anyway.

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12. Board Game: Dominion: Hinterlands [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-29-12 (acquired 2012)

My rating: 7

Type: expansion

Expansion only that adds 26 new cards, many of which do something immediately upon acquiring them. This includes 3 Victory and 3 Treasury cards, 5 of which have additional benefits.

I was ready to stop buying the expansions (a lot of the cards have familiar actions), but since my husband recently latched onto Dominion, I am delighted to have ALL the expansions, even Alchemy, and all those to come. (We have played over 7,000 games of Lost cities and are on our 9th box.) If we play as many Dominion games at least they can all be different!!!
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13. Board Game: The New Era [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:434] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-1-12 (acquired 2012)

My rating: 7
Players: 2-5
Duration: 90 mins.
Type: Hand management

Stand alone or expansion. Nice. (I rated the base game, 51st State, an 8.)

I was excited for the addition of the new faction which increases 51st State to a 5 player game--a real bonus for our group, I thought, and increases the number of times it will hit the table. Also of interest to my group were the new rules for invading, which didn't interest me as much.

Huge improvement: cardboard tokens are now twice the size (this was a major complaint of 51st State.) Nicely laminated Faction Cards & Rule Sheet with score track. Workers are now wood instead of cardboard, as are many of the resources. The rule book is printed on good paper and will hold up to use much better. It is also much easier to read.

The 51st cards can be added, but they are lacking the defense value, which was assigned to them in the new rule book. With my handy-dandy label maker (so it is neat), I added that number to the old cards.

And some complaints:
Some of the card symbols have been modified--such as the Victory Points. I thought the symbols close enough, but there was a complaint.

Because for me, this is an expansion to the 51st State, I wish "51st State" had been included in the "The New Era" game title. When I am looking up here on BGG, it is not listed as I keep expecting it to be. (Have to open up 51st State, look for the expansion title, in order to access New Era. Wearisome.)

Everyone is pleased the score track is no longer on the bottom of the box. However, it is now smaller than it was and the new faction tokens are too big for the circles--the old, smaller faction markers work just fine (the one new faction gets to use the teeny-tiny 1st player token from the base game). As mentioned, the score track now rings the rules review--so, it's a problem if someone across the table needs to look at the sheet. Therefore, even though we didn't like the score track on the bottom of the box in the base game, we will probably start using it again.

Even though the four resources are now wood, they are incredibly small, difficult to handle, and easy to lose (and their favorite sport is rolling). Not only that some of the resources, and the people, ran out as early as the 3rd turn (5 players). Luckily I have The 51st State so we doubled the supply.

Yes, I was delighted to have another game for 5, but unfortunately, with reading new rules, it took too long to play (2 1/2 hrs, not 60-90 mins). Three players at this point, is the optimum number. Part way through the game we decided to cut out the attack capabilities due to the already lengthy game.

I am afraid Portal Publishers skimped on the game with the score track and few too little resources. I would like to see the rules summary larger, and then the score track separate. I still do not think the attack capabilities improve the game, and I am lukewarm about the new rules for cooperation between two players. Luckily, the rules for attack and cooperation can be disregarded. I am still delighted with the game, consider it one of my favorites, and therefore am happy to just have more cards.
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14. Board Game: Dominion: Walled Village Promo Card [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-1-12 (acquired prior to 2012)

My rating: 7
Type: expansion

This is a one-stack promo. the card gives +1 Card, +2 Actions, plus a bonus during the clean up phase which allows a player to return it to the top of the deck if conditions are met (cost 4). It is more useful early on than later, and takes some practice to remember to use.

A smaller than normal sized font was used for the bonus text--difficult to read for older folks.
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15. Board Game: Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-1-12

My rating: 7.5
Type: epansion

This was an expansion I forgot to rate and comment upon when played New Year's Day, one month ago. This is my 15th play.

This is one of the nicer mini-expansions (for any game) with 9 bonus planets, 3 of which just gives big points, and 6 are "wild cards" when purchasing the tech cards. I think it makes the game more interesting because it is easier to get the higher tech cards which in turn speeds up the game.

It seems like such a natural part of the game, that I had forgotten it was an expansion.
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16. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:183]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-5-2012 (owned prior to 2012)

My rating: 8 (increased rating)
Players: 2-4
Duration: 75 mins
Type: Worker Placement

Really excellent rule book with easy to follow rules and easy to teach. Well supported theme. Interesting board. Plays in little over an hour.

Interesting decisions involving the mechanic of taking actions by placing ships on the Nile. Your ships are coming down the Nile & must be placed somewhere below one another. Each placement selects an action, and then that action is gone. It is a tough decision when your most timely or important action is near the bottom...and there are lots of juicy choices along the way...but who else might try to grab it first?

Replay-ability: Each game is a different mixture of Nile cards and Grave tiles, and a choice of different goals to reach. Due to varying, secret goals, it is uncertain who wins until the end of the game. The winner might be someone who trailed behind on the score track the entire game.
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17. Board Game: Space Alert: The New Frontier [Average Rating:8.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.62 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-5-2012 (acquired prior to 2012)

My rating: 7
Players: 1-5
Duration: 30 mins
Type: Expansion

New threats, Specializations which take the place of the Heroic actions, Crew badges that assign everyone a role, and since the new missions have many more threats, there are double action cards.

The Specializations are powerful, the crew badges give everyone something to do, and the double action cards are vital to winning, especially when some of the invaders send out multiple ships or call in other threats. Also at times during the Yellow phase, the enemy cannot be targeted.

This certainly steps things up a bit...however, the game still plays in the same amount of time, and it is just as chaotic (and that's a lot of the fun). I think new players will do better with a few of the base games before tackling the expansion.

Rating might well go up with more plays.

(Eat your heart out, Kevin.)
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18. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:583]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-6-2012 (acquired 2012)

My rating: 8
Players: 2-6
Duration: 30-60 mins
Type: networking

Rules are simple, math is simple, cards are easy to read.

Unique wooden components. One player commented that instead of green & yellow wheat being worth 1 & 3 respectively, it would have been nice to have the 3-value wheat with 3 stalks (instead of just a color difference).

Replay-ability: Board and layout can change with each setup, and so does the mix of cards.

It is easy to fall behind in this game, and difficult to catch up, but it is so short, doesn't matter that much. (Taking technologies too early can do this.) This is a game all wanted to play again immediately, and several said they like it better than the classic Power Grid. Some also thought the modified auction is better.

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19. Board Game: Puzzle Strike Upgrade Pack [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-7-2012 (acquired this year)

My rating: 5.5
Type: Expansion & Upgrade

The best things in this expansion are the player shields & mats.

Kevin has always enjoyed playing the Panda from time to time, but does like the revision better.

3 New chips: the 15-action chip (custom combo) is very helpful..used it with a handful of crash gems. Combinatorics creates an ongoing advantage which can stay in play turn after turn. Dashing Strike is an attack, allowing you to thin your hand and gift 1 to your opponents Gem Stack.

Until tonight I had played the base game 18 times. I liked Puzzle Strike because it was a fast, down dirty game. Out of the three games I played tonight, two were the longest Puzzle Strike games I have ever played, by FAR, each lasting around two hours. Our draw bags were stuffed and many stacks gone. It was far too repetitive..crash, counteract, crash, counteract, etc. In one of the games two players were knocked out an hour before the last two. That's no fun.

The character modifications are few, and 3 additional chip stacks aren't much to add, but somehow the combos they help create so extend the game with monotonous actions that I did not enjoy two of the games played tonight. Perhaps it was a coincidence; we'll see. In the meantime, I am giving this a low rating despite the nice mats & screens.

EDIT: A friend last night told me about a rule change in development called Panic time, which address insanely long game problem. It is called the Panic Time, and essentially says when two piles are gone the ante gem is now 2, 3 piles gone the ante is 3, etc. That also means to me that Gems are never returned to the stock unless a chip specifically says so. There is a long discussion about it on http://www.fantasystrike.com/forums/index.php?portal/portal/. This potential rule NOT appear on Sirlin's official rule's website page.
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20. Board Game: Ascension: Storm of Souls – Ring of Life Promo [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (just acquired)

My rating: 5
Type: Promo expansion

Text on the card:

"Once per turn, if you have played a Lifebound Hero, gain one Rune.
When Ring of Life enters play, choose a faction. Your heroes of that faction are also Lifebound Heroes."


I dislike cards that give me another thing I have to remember to do, so this doesn't rate very high with me. Glad I have only one of these.

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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21. Board Game: Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Void Mesmer Promo [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (just acquired)

My rating: 8
Type: Promo expansion

2012

Great Graphics.

The card gives some assault points toward a kill, plus can gain a free kill. Since I lean toward assaults, I like this one.

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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22. Board Game: Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Vortex Promo [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (acquired this year)

My rating: 6
Type: Promo Expansion

The cards reads, "Flip this onto the center row from a height of at least one foot. Once it lands, choose a card it touches. You may acquire or defeat that card."

Funny card (funny, as in ha, ha). And guess what, I always miss the cards altogether. So, even though I love the new monsters, since I usually miss the benefit of this one, it doesn't rate very high with me! (For others it is a great card!)

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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23. Board Game: Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Control Room Promo [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (acquired this year)

My rating: 8
Type: Promo Expansion

The Mechana Construct reads, "Once per turn, you may put a Mechana Construct you control on top of the center deck. If you do, acquire a Mechana Construct in the center row and put it in your hand."

This one gets a high ratings for its creativity! What a clever way to upgrade the hand, and keep it thinned at the same time. Print very readable on this card--better than many of the others.

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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24. Board Game: Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Nethersnare Promo [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (acquired this year)

My rating: 9
Type: Promo Expansion

The Void Construct card reads, "Once per turn, if there is no Monster under this, you may put a Monster from the center row under it. You may defeat Monsters under this as though they were in the center row. If this leaves play, put any Monster under this on top of the center deck."

This is another really creative card! And what a useful card, too. This is one I want but don't want anyone else to get.

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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25. Board Game: Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Pathwarden Promo [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-13-2012 (acquired this year)

My rating: 8
Type: Promo Expansion

The Lifebound Hero card reads, "Gain 2 runes. You may spend runes as though it was power this turn."

Straight forward, easily & quickly read. That alone in my book gives it a thumbs up, but I also like what it does.

EDIT: I recently placed an order from the publisher's web site, and had a complaint which I registered by email. Gary responded immediately with apologies and corrected the problem with a very surprising bonus. This is a top notch company who cares about their product and customers, and they go the extra mile. Thank you, so much!
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