365 Days of Gaming

This blog started as a game-a-day challenge for a whole year - now it continues as a game log, but not always daily!

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Let's dust this off and talk about Tapestry

Since I'm one of the few lucky ducks who have actually played it, and I have a few pics, I thought I'd share.

I'm lucky enough to be friends with Mike Dilisio of Solomode Games - or at least, I have friends who are friends with him and are friends enough with me that they invite me along for board game nights Dave and Mike and I all worked together at The Game Preserve (they still work there, I just sweep in for the holidays and show them how it's done) and set up a night to play Tapestry, along with our friend Jack.

Setup with the main board:
From gallery of Denise


I don't remember all the details for a play-by-play, but I remember my civilization was all about tech. I had the Technologists that let me advance not only my own tech, but also advance my neighbors' tech AND THEN STEAL IT. Plus I had some other card early that let me get an early tech, so yeah, definitely the way to go.


Setup showing more of the player board:
From gallery of Denise


And it worked well - by mid-game, Dave was bitterly complaining that I was going to win and convincing everyone else that I was the one to attack. Of course, like many of my strategies the first time I play a new game, it burned bright but fast and didn't have the strength to carry me through to the end...


After a couple of eras:
From gallery of Denise


Well, as pretty as those tapestry cards are, they didn't do much for me. I got a little benefit from each one - and btw, even if you don't focus on these, you get enough that you should have some good choices. I really just got ones that didn't do me as much good as they seemed to do for the other players.

Player grid, mid-game.
From gallery of Denise


All right. Let's get into The Tapestry Controversy. The buildings are over the top, yes. They are pretty, yes. But I have to confess, I would have been happier to have really nice tiles for this instead BECAUSE the 3D buildings actually interfered with my gameplay. It's not so obvious with this mid-game shot, but I got a LOT of buildings, and a lot of landmarks, and at the end of the game I realized I had 3 rows and columns that I had NOT BEEN SCORING because I COULD NOT SEE THEM. I am not the most spatial of all people everywhere and adding the 3D element to the grid just messed me up. Now, I will know next time to check more carefully. But GEEZ I wish these were just pretty tiles.

(That said, the components are gorgeous. Even the way the player boards feel is luxurious. And yes I have ordered it. )

Big shot of the board, mid-game. Yes, I said mid-game.
From gallery of Denise


Yeah, this was mid-way through the game. I know, there's not a lot going on on this continent. We were not big explorers Jack did some, and then Mike came and knocked him over, but mostly the action took place on the tracks.

Final verdict - Jack won (thanks Dave for sending everyone to mess me up yuk )but we all had a really good time, and I'm glad I got to play it, especially since I try REALLY HARD not to buy games I haven't played any more, and I am really glad to have a copy coming
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Fri Sep 6, 2019 2:13 am
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The Obligatory Pre-Origins Squeeeeeeee!!!! (And sheep. THOUSANDS of sheep.)

Thursday I'm going over to Columbus for a day with a few friends with plans of walking around, buying a few games, getting ice cream (Jeni's, of course), and finishing out with a dinner and a beer at Barley's. This is I think the fourth year we've done this? And at this point, some of it is about the people I'm hanging with rather than the con - I'm fortunate to have some pretty cool friends

But I digress - this isn't about my social life, this is about ORIGINS! And anticipation! And over-planning!

First off, a big shout-out to tabletoptogether.com for making a really awesome way to make your convention list, organize it by booth number, and even include little pictures of the game to prevent the inevitable "Why the hell did I mark this game?" moments that are invariably resolved the moment you see the game itself. I have three pages, double sided, sorted and with my own comments for what I want to see the game for exactly. It's made the Excel spreadsheet I normally do obsolete, and I can't wait for the Gencon one!

So what am I excited for? As usual, it's a mix of oddball items, some of the new hotness but a lot of 'off in my own little world' games too. Flatline and Century: Spice Road are probably the big new things that I am most interested in. But I'm also looking for Unreal Estate, The Fox in the Forest, Okey Dokey, and Lost Expedition, among a HOST of other games, but those are probably the tops.

What? I hear long-time friends say, she's not interested in the new Uwe? Well, actually - not really. All Creatures Big and Small did not thrill me, and Caverna did not thrill me, so putting the two together for a two player only version of Caverna just doesn't do it for me. Friends will have it. I'll get to play it and may change my mind. But for the moment, I'm just not that worked up about it.

I'll have more about Origins - I actually am planning to live-tweet our trip, you can follow me at @deniseibase if you are interested - I'm fairly new to Twitter, though, so holler if I'm screwing something up!

Now, a week or so ago, Mike loaned me Shephy.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I had been wanting to play this for a few years now, but never had that chance. It's an interesting puzzle. The first several plays, until I learned the deck, I actually never made it through the first pass of the deck, I'd always lose my sheep before the deck ran out. Then I started have small numbers of sheep at the end, like 62 sheep or 41 sheep. Then I started having bigger numbers of sheep, but not QUITE 1000. THEN I had 1000 or more sheep, but not a 1000 sheep card. FINALLY I won - and then once I had figured it out, I can win about half the time now. I really enjoyed solving the puzzle, but now it feels solved.

But the sheep are SUPER cute

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr
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Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:50 am
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Sometimes the only thing you can get done all week is to save the world

It's been a slow week for gaming. I did manage to get in a game of 7 Wonders Duel early in the week, which I won through an amazing military victory - I was basically getting the snot beat out of me all game, then I got the token that let me get one extra symbol for military cards. THEN the setup in the third age favored me. Sadly, I did not get a picture, though, sorry

The main gaming of the week was on Friday though - the theme was to play games that let us avoid an apocalyptic end, so CO₂ was on the slate.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I had played CO2 four times, Steve two or three, Mike once, and Dave and Christina not at all, so I taught. I truly love this game - all of Vital Lacerda's game's give me this wonderful sense of turning a gear that makes some complex machine move in a dozen ways at once, and CO2 in addition is, I think, the easiest and most accessible of his games. I know that a streamlined version is supposed to come out later this year or next, but honestly, it's hard to imagine how they intend to improve it.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

The five player game is kinda rough, it's really hard to get anything constructed in that first decade. No one is ready yet to poach anyone else's project, and with only two turns each in the five player game, none of us could construct a plant without help. Biomass and recycling naturally came out early because they at least are quick to get the expertise to do construction. Steve went into forestry early, and spent a lot of time forgoing construction to build his expertise and funds.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I found it pretty tough to get funds myself, but had plenty of resource cubes for once - I usually struggle with those in this game. I was trying to get permits too, because I had the goal that gave me 2 points per permit in hand at the end of the game, which is usually pretty easy to work out. But I ended the game with a mere three permits in hand.

Fortunately, that was enough - I was yellow, and as you can see below, the final scores were quite close.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

(Green was JUST behind us, but on the other side of the lap)

The other disadvantage of the five player game is it does take longer - it was almost three hours, which actually was not that bad for a game that supposedly takes two and usually runs two and a half.

One final note - we started the night with a quick game of Cheeky Monkey so my son could play a quick game with us. There's a truism in that Friday night group that the person who complains the most about losing is probably winning. My son complained the whole second half of the game, and then won, 24 points to 23, 22, 10, 5, and zero. So I guess he's officially part of the group now
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Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:47 pm
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Hobby? Or hobby-obsession?

So I've been filling out my online dating profile (which is a completely different kind of game, but I digress), and you have all these weird questions to fill out.

Like what are you good at? Well, board games.

What do you do on Friday nights? Well, play board games.

Do you have a hobby? Uh, yeah, board games

What are six things you can't live without? Oh, geez, I can't put 'board games' down for EVERYTHING, criminy!

And I'm realizing that I don't have a hobby. I have a hobby-obsession. A 'hobbysession'. A 'hobsession'. All of those SOUND better out loud than they look on paper. And I'm not sure how to handle that for online dating - do I tone it down? Or play it up? I mean, if there IS another single boardgamer guy in my area on that site, I would hate to miss him But on the other hand, I think I'm gonna scare everyone else away...

Not a lot of gaming this week even - I went over to Mike's today and play Near and Far with Mike, Ben, and Christy.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

So this is a sequel to Above and Below, sorta, but it's much, much better. It's simpler to understand. It feels more 'complete' - when I played Above and Below, it felt like we just barely got to do some of the most interesting stuff before the game was over. With Near and Far, it felt much more like we had an opportunity to accomplish something. And I love the campaign idea - maybe it's just because I'm into campaign games right now, due to Gloomhaven and the campaign games we are playing on Sundays with Christy and Ben and Dave. But the maps are a great idea.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

As far as this game, Mike explained the rules and then we drafted the artifact cards. They all seemed SO expensive, plus I forgot momentarily that the reputation is just something you have to HAVE, not that you have to PAY, so I passed on everything that wasn't super super cheap. Which meant that I was able to build all of them pretty quickly, and in combo they let me get a good jump on adventuring. I think being able to get a few adventures early is kinda key. I managed to get extra steps and 5 skill on my characters, and that made a big difference.

Happy to play this again - I'm thinking about suggesting it for our next campaign game, since Andor is just about wrapped up.

After, we played what was SUPPOSED to be a quick game of Mythe.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

The pop-up board is COOL. It's too bad it doesn't stay flat... And it went on a LONG time, we all kept drawing every skull. But it's interesting, and easier when people don't remember to shuffle their hand

Back to work in the morning! But there will be more gaming this week than there was last week, so that's something to look forward to!
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Mon Jun 5, 2017 2:45 am
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Andor and/or other gaming this weekend

I have been enjoying that rarest of all rarities, a kid-free three day weekend, by sleeping in until almost 6AM, dejunking the kitchen, and, of course, gaming. Friday I had my usual game night (see previous blog post), Saturday I had no FORMAL gaming but did try a game of two-player Honshū while at work at Game Preserve North (verdict - it's really better with more players), Sunday we tried again to finish our campaign game again, AND hey look, one of my kids came back so I got in some gaming with him, and finally on Sunday I went to a friend's and got to play a game there.

Sunday afternoon, we had scheduled a game of Legends of Andor at 1PM. That was ALMOST too close to Gencon event registration opening - I figured 40 minutes to get my registration would be LOADS of time, but turned out I was about 8000 in line for processing... I got MOST of the events I wanted, though, including BGG Hot Game Room tix from 6-10 on BOTH Friday and Saturday night, woohoo!

And, I still managed to make it to Dave's for Andor on time!

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

We were hoping this would be our LAST game of Andor, having attempted the final scenario once before. Unfortunately, it had been a few weeks, what with everyone's summer travel schedules, so we all sat down and asked, "So, who remembers what we said we needed to do differently to win after last time?"

None of us, as it turns out. We DID do better this time, and came VERY close to winning, but just couldn't quite get over the last round of battle. We DO think we remember what to do for next time, and I'm gonna WRITE IT DOWN just in case!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Get LOTS of strength, the runes, and at least two witch's brew.


After Andor, I had to go home to one of my kids, but it's still ok because it was my gaming kid We played Chemistry Fluxx.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

And we all hate on Fluxx, and not without reason, BUT for my kids, this is a hit and so it gets played and enjoyed, along with Uno, Sorry, and Just Desserts. A game does not have to be great to be enjoyable, and a great game can be horrible with the wrong players - sometimes, it's all about the company you keep

But I will grant you that the BEST scenario is a great game in great company, so after that, we played an AWESOME game of Gloomhaven! No spoilers ahead - but I HAVE to tell you how the fight ended. Freeman's character had just because exhausted. The last foe we had to kill had FOUR hit points left. I only had TWO cards left in hand. I took my main attack, which was a base four attack - and drew a -1 modifier. The card I had left would still left me attack with the move power, but only if I moved first, and the ONLY place I could move and still be in range was on a trap. I had five hit points left. I stepped onto the trap, took four points of damage, and managed to do ONE final point of damage, toppling the baddie and causing my son to cheer It was one of the most exciting and cinematic endings to a fight we have ever played We are just LOVING Gloomhaven.

We had to settle down after that, so we played a little Kingdomino.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I had just picked up the last copy the Game Preserve had - by the time they get more, they will probably all have the SdJ nominee seal and I wanted the 'hipster' copy I know, foolishness! But I'm very proud of my tiny cards on my Ticket to Ride game for the same reason, *I* knew this was a great game BEFORE it got famous. And Kingdomino really is a great little game.

Monday - not a work day! I took my son out for lunch and while we waited for our food to arrive, we got in a game of Star Realms.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

He beat my butt - he played blue and green, and I played mostly yellow with some red. I had some powerfully damaging combos, but didn't get any outposts until way too late, they just never came up on my turn unless they were unaffordable He on the other hand, had about eleventy-hundred of them, so all my damage was going to his shields angry

One last game of the weekend - Mike sent out a last minute call for people to play Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black. I had just played Tiny Epic Galaxies without the expansion the week before, and had NOT cared for it at ALL, but had been convinced by my faithful blog readers that the following action, which we had not been doing, was what it was all about, so I felt I should give it another whirl.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

We played a five player game, three of us having played the base game before, only one of us knowing the expansion at all. I have to say, I think five players may be a bit too much, there was a lot of downtime, and YES CHRIS I know you can use following to make the downtime more interesting but if you have used all your following and there are still three people to deliberate over their turns it is still TOO LONG

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I had to choose between two secret goals, and ONE of them was the secret goal I had LOST with in the previous game, so that was right out. The other gave me 1 point for every full set of four exploration badges I had, and I LOVE exploring. Seriously, any game with exploring in it in ANY way, I'm there, I'm all over it, going all the way back to Entdecker and Goldland. So, after loudly pointing out that two points for getting the most of an exploration badge at the end of game really didn't seem worth it, I then proceeded to build an exploration-heavy strategy and ended up with something like 16 points for colonies, 3 for pilots, 8 points for having the most badges in EVERY category (see, TWO points is not a lot, but EIGHT is ) AND 4 points for my secret goal, giving me the win by a pretty margin.

I LOVE this game NOW! OK, maybe not love - but it IS better when you play it correctly. I would play it again a time or two, but still don't see it becoming a favorite. But I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!
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Wed May 31, 2017 12:36 am
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Boogity! Boogity! Boogity! Let's go racing!

My Friday night game group has honestly been the glue that has kept my psyche together the last couple years as my marriage has fallen apart. Whatever had gone wrong that week, I always knew I had gaming to look forward to. I am very grateful for opportunities gaming has brought me to connect with other people and to lift my spirits.

Which is why I show up even when the theme is something ridiculous like racing games. On Memorial Day weekend. In Indianapolis! I mean, really, how could they have come up with that one?

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

First game up was Championship Formula Racing. I did really great at first, despite the fact that I was in last place to start. I had a knack for rolling really low, so I managed to make a lot of rolls without having to spend as many tokens as the other people did. Eventually, towards the end of the game, I was in second place and if I could make one big risk, I could overtake the first place player. All I had to do was roll a ten or lower.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

That was mean of you, dice. Mean.

After the obligatory racing game, I asked Dave if he had Among the Stars, which I wanted to play because I am trying to decide if I want to buy Fields of Green at Origins.

Dave responded, if you want to decide about Fields of Green, why play Among the Stars?

A little surprised that Dave didn't already know this, since he usually knows everything about a game well before I do, I said because Fields of Green is a reimplementation of Among the Stars and should be pretty similar other than the theme.

No no, Dave said, if you want to decide about Fields of Green, why not just play Fields of Green? I have it.

Oh.

It's good to have friends

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Verdict - definitely getting it. I love drafting games, but I don't have either 7 Wonders or Among the Stars. 7 Wonders I just got too burnt out on when it was new, and Among the Stars I considered several times but never quite pulled the trigger. I like the farming theme of Fields of Green better, and the game play is a little different. With Among the Stars, I felt like the spatial organizing got a bit complicated. With Fields of Green, while there were still plenty of spatial considerations, you also always had more pressure to build up groups of similar things. It felt more balanced to me. Really enjoyed it.

Speaking of Origins, it is convention planning week for me - finalized my Origins Road Trip 2017 plans with Christy, Chris, and Mike (Yay!), mailed my registration and made my hotel reservation for Great Lakes Games in November for my son and myself, AND participated in the Great Race for the Server for Gencon 2017 events. I and several friends were all wanting to get tickets for the BGG Hot Games Room on Friday night at 8PM, and fortunately, most of us managed to get tickets. This is going to be the first Gencon where I sign up for more than one event ahead of time!! In addition to BGG Hot Games room time, I also am hitting the Renegade Game Studio room and getting in a play of Summit: The Board Game in co-op mode. AND I may finally have a roommate for the BGG@Sea 2018 cruise, too, my friend Corinna might be able to go with me, fingers crossed that she can make it! I've got a lot of gaming to look forward to!!
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Mon May 29, 2017 1:54 am
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I just do NOT have enough testosterone for some games

That's probably not TOO big an issue for a single woman, to not have TOO much testosterone. I don't wanna grow a beard or anything

But there do seem to be some games that are so unabashedly MALE that I just can't really appreciate them. I know, I know, I'm stereotyping like crazy. (Words on the internet alert - I'm also trying to be funny.) Sometimes it's a title, like Blood Rage, which makes me snicker and roll my eyes every time I hear it. I've heard it's a great game! Very Euro, and I'd actually like to try it. But I am ALWAYS gonna smirk at that title.

Sometimes it's not a title, but the gameplay itself, which is something I discovered Wednesday when playing Dominant Species with my friends Phil and Anna.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Now, I had played this game once before, a long time ago. The circumstances had been less than ideal, and I had disliked the game immensely, but had not been sure whether I disliked it because of the game itself, or whether it was the unpleasant circumstances. So I had been wanting to try it again. But it had left an impression of being just really really brutal and not for any fun reason.

So Wednesday we gave it another chance. And I have to say, it was not as brutal as I remembered. It was brutal, sure, but it didn't seem as mean as it did the first time.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Until we got to the end. Then there were all these turns where, say, one person would score 21 points, someone else would score no points but destroy the third person's board state, and then the third person would score two points. And there just seemed no rhyme or reason to it. Like how you get points for dominating the tundra. How does that make your species better in real life? Tundra ain't so great.

Phil suggested that maybe it's just too mean of a game. Well, maybe, but I love Agricola, which a lot of people say the same thing about. The nhe suggested that maybe it's too unabashedly competitive? Welllll, that FEELS a little closer, but I like lots of games like Combat Commander: Europe that are pretty much one-on-one competitive, and those are fine.

So I've been thinking about it for a couple days, and I've decided that it's just that I lack testosterone. Dominant Species is competition in the service of competition. The theme is there to support the competition, not the other way around, and the other way around is hte way I like it. Agricola is a great game because its brutality is highly thematic. Combat Commander: Europe is a great game because everything revolves around your objectives.

Dominant Species reminds me of when my kids were younger and we'd go to homeschool park days. At one point there were a BUNCH of boys, ages 8 to 11 or so, and they would jump out of the car, run over to each other, and say "Hey! Wanna fight?" And the moms would just look at each other and shake our heads. I kinda feel like the same thing is happening here.

But, at this point, I feel like I've given Dominant Species a fair shake and it is just not for me. It's clearly a good game. But it's just not speaking to me the way it CLEARLY speaks to a lot of the guys I know
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Sun May 28, 2017 1:30 am
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Well, let's dust this sucker off

Where have I been the last two months? Will you believe on the moon? With Steve?

I've been having real life happen - as evidenced by my fancy new-old last name! 5 Geekgold to the first person to post the correct pronunciation of "Lavely" (Indy people who have heard me say it are NOT eligible for this contest!) One interesting thing about going back to your maiden name, post-divorce, the first time you sign your new-old signature, you look at it and think, oh my god, did I really sign my name like that? It looks awful! And then the second time it looks normal again, just like it always did before you got married.

It's probably a metaphor.

I'm not going to try to recap the gaming of the last two months. There has been plenty. I'm going to pick back up with this weekend, when I arrived at the usual Friday night gaming SLIGHTLY late, just in time to get into a game of Xenon Profiteer that I had missed the rules explanation for.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

And Dave's famous chicken mole. That's it on the left there, it is damn amazing.

I remembered the rules for Xenon Profiteer after a couple rounds and a couple dozen questions. ("OK, so I distill this? And then I air? How do I get money? Oh, from the air? Can I make that work in real life?") I did well enough that it came down to who ended the game, and unfortunately Tina was two seats to my right and was able to end the game JUST before I could. It was close!

Then we played Tiny Epic Something or Other.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Oh, ok - Tiny Epic Galaxies. It's the second Tiny Epic Game I've played, and I have to say they are more tiny than epic to me. The two I've played just seemed more complicated and convoluted than they should be for their weight class. Maybe other ones are better? But so far the series is not doing it for me.

Now a MUCH better game got played on Saturday - Sagrada

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Got to introduce this beautiful, wonderful game to some friends on Saturday - this has been a lot of my gaming the last several weeks, never had a game hit my dime list in the first week before. I love the Sudoku-y puzzle about it, and how the decisions get harder as the game goes on. Play it when you get a chance, that's a command. I know it's getting compared to Roll Player a lot, but they are different critters. Sagrada is more cerebral. (And I love Roll Player, too.)

One more mention - Coldwater Crown.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Played it two player - missed the rule about taking the action of BOTH the token you place AND the token you TAKE and had to reset the game once we figgered it out I liked it pretty well, would like to try it with three or four though.

That's all the news that's news this week - the good news is, life is settling down, and I should have more time to write. So stay tuned!
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Wed May 24, 2017 2:43 am
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Gloomhaven! (And some other gaming, but mostly - ) Gloomhaven!!

I got to play Gloomhaven! Sorry, no pics as I couldn't figure out how to do that and not be spoilery... But I got to play, and I'll tell you as much as I can without telling any serious plot.

As regular readers know, we recently disappointment-quit our campaign of Seafall. We DID take one last evening and went through the rest of the stuff in the box, as if we were playing in Minecraft creative mode - instead of moving ships according to their limits and rolling to see if we were successful, we were just as gods and did as we pleased, taking turns around the table of course. "I'm going to explore this spot." "I'm going to do this spot." "I'm going to do this other thing." And we kept going until we had unlocked the other 6-7 games worth of stuff that we had left. It was by far our favorite session of Seafall and if you too have decided to quit but peek through the boxes, this is absolutely the most fun way to do it.

But now we need another campaign. OK, maybe technically not NEED. We are having fun though and want to keep playing a campaign. A lot of titles have been floated, but since Dave actually HAS a copy of Gloomhaven, we of course had to at least TRY it

I had not paid much attention to Gloomhaven previously. I have grown weary of trying to find the 'board game replacement for D&D', and besides, I was not that impressed with Forge War. So until the "OMG no one can get this retail and did you SEE the size of that box?" mania, it was just another forgettable Kickstarter. It made me think of D&D 4th , which I wanted to love but ended up hating because OMG downtime and two hours of combat where your most interesting decision was on which of the 20 rounds of this combat will I use my one power that does something other than 'roll die & add bonus'. Ugh.

But Gloomhaven has been inescapable lately, and so I looked into it more. And started to really like what I saw. An actual plot, not random encounters. Combat that was neither super complicated nor 'roll a die and compare your score to the monster'. Actually, the combat mechanics were what really got me thinking this could be interesting. Lots of choices, but still simple enough to have the system down in your first few plays. The whole 'top of one card and bottom of the other' was intriguing. And the way your deck shrinks until you are worn out in the last room is brilliant.

So we gave it a try on Sunday night. Christy and I were really psyched! The boys maybe a little less, but still happy to try it. We formed a party of a Brute, Scoundrel, Spellweaver, and Mindthief. We got our personal goals and items and set off to the first fight.

And the very first card of the baddies' attack deck turned out to be literally the worst possible card in that entire deck for us. I went from 8 to 2 hit points in that first round and had to burn one of my lose a card powers to survive in the second turn. In retrospect I think I may have been better off to burn a lesser card to avoid some damage, but that was kind of the point of this first scenario, it may as well be titles 'Lessons to Learn' or similar. We got our butts handed to us and had our first TPK.

But even before the scenario was over, I was thinking of what we needed to do next time and how to make it work. The card management is huge, and we barely understood it at first. The first few games I don't see how you do that great, but once you learn your deck it will go faster. And some of it was bad luck - like I said, we got literally the worst possible card for the first enemy attack, and I pulled all my negative modifiers and only ONE good modifier all game. But mostly it was us bumbling.

Unfortunately, because of the length of the game and the confusion, half our little group wants to move on and play Andor for our next campaign instead. I'm not sure if Gloomhaven will continue - if it doesn't, I'll definitely get in on the reprint. Still thinking about tactics and things I could have done better - I don't think another game has had me thinking this much about it outside the game since Duel of Ages II, and for me that's saying something

But there has been other gaming! I got to play Path of Light and Shadow which I have been asked to write a review of, and really liked it. For now I'll only say that I approve of this recent trend of Indie Boards and Cards to make games that say 'deckbuilder' but actually offer up a much more complex and thematically satisfying experience than you expect in a deckbuilder. I'm looking forward to a few more plays before I say much more, but I expect Good Things.

And I finally got to play Vast! with other people! We played a four player game Friday night (and will be playing again this weekend). I played the Cave, Mike was the Knight, Steve was the Goblins, and Tina was the Dragon. I turned a few tiles early on to make life difficult for the Knight and ended up making things WAY too hard for him, sorry Mike! It just turned out that he never got any treasure and only got one event, which is ludicrously bad. It handed Tina an easy victory, she surfaced and the Knight tried to damage her and barely dented her scales. Oh well. I think everyone liked it though.

More gaming soon...
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Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:49 pm
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Indycon 2017

Woohoo, Indycon! This year was the TENTH ONE - I took lots of pictures!

I actually started with a light game instead of a big huge game like last year's Duel of Ages II. I taught Scoundrel Society to a full table.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

This was a good con-starter as it's light enough to tolerate a LOT of interruptions for greetings, glad handing, and math trade arrangements

Anna and I next went over to the very fabulous India Gate for a bite of lunch - most Indian food in Indianapolis seems to take the menu from the same playbook, but India Gate has a wider variety of more authentic dishes, and spicier than the average around here too! Definitely worth checking out for the Indian food fan!

Got back from lunch in time for an excellent game of Concordia that was one of my few pre-planned games.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

My plan was to get a LOT of colonists but I found myself stymied by those stupid forts and the restricted-ness of the waterways. It was much harder to get anywhere on this map than I was used to! Still, I came in second to Christy - and no one beats Christy at Concordia

We wanted to play something lighter, and Christy had also brought her copy of Coloretto - the pretty art version

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

And then we wanted to play something from the play to win table, but we still had five people, and there weren't a lot of choices. So we got stuck with - I mean, we played Emergence: A Game of Teamwork and Deception.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

I dislike hidden role games for the most part - I think I got spoiled with Agnespoodle's online WW and everything else just doesn't seem that much fun... But I disliked this one more than most, and by the end I was asking people to please not put my name in for the play to win... Kevin was stealing all my little tokens and my team was losing and it was just NO fun...

After dinner, it was silly game time. We got sucked into a game of Wizard School.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

We didn't really know the rules, and it's a fairly silly game. I liked the art and that's probably the best I can say about it. It's too long for as sill as it is, kinda like Munchkin...

But after that was one of the DUMBEST FUN games I've played at a con - Doctor Panic.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

This was SOOO ridiculous - I'm sure it looked pretty ridiculous to the onlookers too, especially once we donned our surgeon's caps! It was a lot of fun though - I wasn't sure it would be worth the investment because it DOES take awhile to teach, but yeah, it's worth it

After that, Mike wanted to try his newest, Assault of the Giants, which had the very poorly named 'minis' that were HUGE...

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

This was really interesting, and much more Euro-y than I expected. I focused on goals, Dave focused on cards, and Mike did lots of stuff. It was interesting to see how the results were, all seemed like viable options although I believe Dave's cards comboed in just the right way at the end.

Final game of the night was Doughnut Drive-Thru.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Now if that's not a game CRYING OUT for a components upgrade I don't know what is! I mean seriously, slices of hollowed out dowel rod are NOT doughnuts!! I went to the local craft store the next day with every intention of picking up some of those little Japanese erasers that look like doughnuts, but they were out I showed Mike where to find them online, though.

Saturday I unfortunately had to work and missed a lot of the con, but I did manage to make it over for two quick games - Quests of Valeria

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

And Villages of Valeria.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

Both were really good - I still like Kingdoms of Valeria best, but I'd happily play either of these anytime - in fact, I played a second game of Villages of Valeria on Sunday with my son!

Also on Sunday, I got to play a game of Pandemic: Iberia and help the world die of cholera AGAIN...

From gallery of Denise


Left to right, that's Mike, Christy, Chris, and me! This really is the gamer's version of Pandemic, but MAN I haven't won a game yet...

Finally, Kevin and I played our annual game of Power Grid.

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image by deniseibase, on Flickr

This was our TENTH annual Indycon game of Power Grid, and we STILL both lost to Todd!!
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14 Comments
Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:51 am
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