All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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Catching Up! Holidays Are OVER And This Blog Brings Me Up-To-Date! Please No Snow!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Hia Everyone!

Time to vote for your favorite Boardgame Images from 2018!
Item for Geeklist "The 2018 Picture of the Year contest"
The image I submitted:




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We started Saturday off with Geoff's new ENGLISH copy of The Quacks of Quedlinburg. Geoff likes to upgrade his games as Scott does and he made some awesome discs for the game. A DIY list is here: Deluxified Tokens for Quedlinburg.

I am always happy to play this game even though I know I might never win. I just push my luck too much and fall too far behind to really make a dent.

This time Kim was in the lead the whole game and she just stayed there. She was getting lots of excellent bonus rolls and managed to collect a ton of additional discs. By the end of the game she was hitting the max points she could and just destroyed us. I do get to claim second place though.

I am happy this one is now available in the US for lots of people to check out. I am happy to play it and try out the new token powers and different strategies. Good times with Quacks!















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We had a few minutes and decided on playing a fast game of Streams.

It really is my go-to 5-minute filler game. I can't think of a better game to fill 5 minutes besides Happy Salmon.

I even taught it and we played within five minutes, total. Simple and with a bunch of tension. Love it. I think I managed to sneak a win this time around. It is a game I am always happy to play.




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Earlier in the week, I put out a message saying that we should play Ora et Labora. It is not really a game I just want to pull off the shelf and play. Thankfully Shrey ended up refreshing himself on the rules and helping me and Joel remember how to play. I had played it most recently in like 2017. The player aids are also quite good for helping us remember.

It was super awesome to play again. We all had a great time playing and I think we will be playing again soon because we all had such a great time.

I do think the game plays out great with 3 players. With more, it is just so hard to focus on what people are doing. I was so focused on my board and trying to make my strategy work, I don't have any idea what Shrey and Joel were up to all game. I was trying to get great scoring for my settlements, and was working the grapes and vineyard too.

I thought for sure I would win that game, but I just couldn't manage it. Joel thinks he won, and we're not sure, but we think it was legit.

Anyway, it was great to get it back to the table and I hope we revisit it soon and play the other version.










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During Essen, I picked up a game called Narabi. I got to play this at BGG.Spring and enjoyed my time.

On Saturday, we ended up playing 2 games and that was good. With quick games like this, I like playing a couple times in a row. It is a pretty simple co-op game to play. You randomize rules for the different stone cards then give players the stone cards. The goal of the game is to get the stones in ascending or descending order around the table. On your turn, you must do the action of one of your stones, which will swap the stone with another player.

The only thing that doesn't much work in this game is the scoring. Sometimes you just can't win in 5 moves so why should winning in under 5 moves be better than winning in 6 moves? You have to win within 24 moves or everyone loses.

Anyway, I will say that we won one game and lost another.









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There was a game that showed up that I have been interested in trying for a while called Pirate Tricks. New to me!

I got to demo this game on the BGG live stream back at Origins, I think it was! I am always ready to learn and play a new trick-taking game.

This is a fast game, and there might be a lot that happens in it, but it is fairly simple to explain and teach. There are 3 suits of cards numbered 1-20, but you might have to remove some cards depending on the number of players. The game plays out in 3 rounds and whoever collects the most points will win!

Each round, each player receives five pirate cards. Two recruitment cards and two end-of-round scoring cards are revealed. Each round has 2 phases. The first phase will be forming your hand of cards by betting on the available rows of cards that are on display, starting with the top and auctioning them off one row at a time. What is cool about the rows of cards is that 5 cards in each row are face up and 2 are face down so it isn't perfect knowledge. Once all players bid and acquire cards, they will then discard 2 cards and be left with a 10 card hand. From the 10 cards, they can reveal any number of cards and gain points based on the two recruitment cards. These cards might say "gain one point for each odd green card you have" You show those cards and gain some points. You are giving up information about your hand, but you gain points! I don't really see a reason not to gain the free points this way. Knowing these recruitment cards at the start of the round will definitely influence the bidding for the rows of cards.

The second phase is playing out the tricks. You must follow suit if you can, and Red is always trump. Otherwise, it works just like any other trick-taking game. What you want to watch for are the 2 end-of-round scoring cards. They might read "each red card is worth 1 point" or "all blue cards -1 point and #14 is -4 points". Something very specific.

You just play out 3 rounds and the game is over. It actually flies right on by and is super simple. We were up and playing 4 players in no time, and it plays 3-5 players so I think it could be interesting with 5 players as well.

I was doing really well this game and buying all of the right rows for the right reasons. I honestly thought I would win, but Shrey was very sneaky and ended up winning by 2 points! He had 32 to my 30. I was shocked. I must have spent too much on bidding. Doh! I can't believe I didn't win! I just didn't get enough points on recruitment goals, I think. I was taking all the appropriate tricks too. I will come back for revenge soon!

I had a great time playing this one. I am not quite sure what the theme of the game is, but I think it might be Star Fox... Star Fox is amazing, after all. He is red and Red is trump, as it should be, #best. I can see playing this one anytime. I love card games and it will work great for any trick-taking fan. Very familiar with different goals each round. Keeps it interesting from game to game. I very much look forward to the next play.




















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Shrey requested we play Tales of Glory. I won't ever turn this one away unless we are 5 players. I just don't like it as much with 5 players. Shrey had played before but Kim hadn't so Dan ended up explaining it.

This is another simple to learn and play game that has simultaneous bidding for tiles and tile placement, both of which are mechanics I like. There is so much to think about with the compact play that always keeps me coming back for more.

I never seem to win this game, even when I think I am doing well. I honestly have no idea who won, but it was probably Kim since she had a lot of monsters and collected a bunch of in-game points. Always a good time playing this one.








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Because it was Kim's birthday weekend, we just had to play 7 games of Werewords Deluxe Edition. This has to be her favorite game, or at least top 3 favorites. She will always request it.

We recruited everyone who was left, so there were 9 of us for this game. I think everyone who wanted to be Mayor was able to be the Mayor. Fortunately, it was never me as I always pass up that chance.

Last time we played 10 games and I won 80% of them! This time I managed to win 1/7 games. Yeah it was super lame. I was not on my A-game at all. I did get to be the werewolf a few times. Once when Joel and I were both werewolves, Kim was sitting between us and she was "The Thing" which was quite helpful. "The Thing" taps someone next to them on the shoulder, basically telling that person they are not the werewolf. Haha! It didn't matter - Joel and I still lost.

Good times, I am happy we could make Kim happy for a while! I think everyone who was playing and learning also enjoyed it. That is always a plus!





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Shrey and Adam were wanting to check out the next scenario in Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr.

I was up for that to see how the game progresses. We did learn one critical rule that we were probably playing incorrectly until that point. We were not really directing the conversations correctly. In order to direct a conversation, you must already have a bit from that timeline. I know we had bits on a couple of our scenarios, but we might have asterisks on a couple other scenarios. Regardless, we will continue through.

This was a challenging game for sure. We were DOWN TO THE WIRE!! We needed every single day, but on the final day, we were lucky enough to get the clear picture and the memories to win the scenario. I am shocked we were so lucky. On to Scenario 6 it seems!












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We had some time before the other game broke up so we played a game of The River. I ended up teaching it to both Adam and Shrey and probably did a terrible job doing it.

I didn't recall the game being so difficult but in order to be sure of everything I was checking a lot of small details of the different actions and tiles. I will do better next time for sure.

Adam built 5 buildings in the blink of an eye, but Shrey got higher valued ones. I went for the buildings as I did the last time I played and just couldn't get enough points from them. I need to build buildings faster, it seems. I get caught up with fewer guys and it just kills me! Gotta do better next time! Adam triggered the end and Shrey ended up winning.

It is quite a simple game and I am not sure they were wowed, but I think they enjoyed it. I certainly don't mind the game. I am quite terrible at it.










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Shrey took off and Adam and I ended up playing a game of Dominion: Renaissance.

We didn't feel we got a proper experience with the expansion last time we played so we just played with all new cards.

It was a game I had lost from the minute we started. It was a back and forth dash to get the flag over and over. The flag gives you an automatic +1 card each turn. Adam was persistent in claiming it right after me. The minute I stopped grabbing the flag it was over. It was a disaster for me. I should have fought harder to keep it. He stomped me into the ground, to be expected.

Not really sure what the expansion really adds but it was still fun. Nothing like Empires or Hinterlands, but I like it well enough. No cards or actions really stood out as interesting for me. I like that Adam really likes this game. It certainly makes the game more fun when you play with people who really like it. I am happy to play Dominion.









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I needed a "V" titled game to help with the Alphabet Challenge and I suggested Valentina: The Game – Tutto Crepax Vol. 1. New to me!

I knew this game would just be horrible. I knew it for a lot of reasons, but it was a "V" game and it has been in the collection since BGG.Spring where it was given to me. Might as well try it, right?

It is a speed memory type game. But you are basically just trying to puzzle together all of your paintings first. Everyone has 3 paintings to try and complete. You can play the slow way very memory style, or you can just play free for all in a crazy fit to try and get your pieces. It is more fun with speed, then the game is over faster.

I finished my paintings but I don't think I won. I am pretty sure everyone agreed that we all lost for playing. It was still a pretty game, just saying.









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Next up was a 4 player game of Jetpack Joyride. This was the final letter I needed to complete the Alphabet Challenge. Success! I kinda like the Alphabet Challenge because it gives you something to try for and by doing that you are playing games you might not have selected otherwise.

I like this game since it is real-time in relation to the other players, not because there is a timer. You are just trying to puzzle out the pathway better than everyone else and faster than everyone else.

In our game, Dan and I were doing very well, but we screwed up a few times. In the final round, I just screwed up a bunch and scored little or no points at all. Dan managed to stay in the lead all game and he ended up winning the game. Boooo! I was glad Scott had a good final round though, since he had a rough beginning.

Happy to play this one. I like playing with polyominoes!








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Nearing the end of the night we managed to keep Scott around and we played a 4 player game of The Voyages of Marco Polo. We were playing with the expansion too, and I haven't played this game nearly enough, especially with the expansion.

I wanted to use all of the expansion, but we just ended up playing with the additional board. This time I got the broken character that is a mooch and gains 1 good type whenever anyone goes and collects goods from the market. This proved very helpful to me. I don't ever think I got to play as this ability before because Ron usually takes him first. Ron ended up taking a different one though.

I did extremely well this game. I got all of my houses down by the end of round 4, which is a first for me. I was sailing through the final round just looking to round up some points and didn't have any real plans. It was crazy. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I did extremely well this game and ran away with it. I ended with 128 points and Scott was 2nd with 107. Ron was 92 I think, and Dan really doesn't want to talk about his 44 score. I don't know what happened with Dan, but he was really mismanaging his turns, it seems.

Love this game and I am glad to have won. Wish I got to play it more.












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The final game of the night was メトロックス (MetroX). This game I have been wanting to play more of. I really have to laminate some of the sheets though, I don't want to run through all of them.

It seems to get played without me and I think dang, I want to play that. Dan was willing to play though, and like always, I lost hardcore. I can never seem to get the connections I want or the ability to end the lines. It never seems to work out in my favor, but I do like to try. It is a vicious game. Love it though! One of the best Roll n Writes from last year.



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Monday night games, we started with a 4 player game of Adlung Land. New to me!

I think this passed through the collection at one point and I never got to play it. I was happy to finally get the chance. Joe H is working through his collection and brought it along for us to try.

It is a very simple card game where you are building up an amusement park of all the Adlung Games. On your turn, you get 2 actions. As an action you can either draw a single card or play a single card, paying its cost. Once you play a card you score whatever points the card gives and you play until all of the cards in the deck are drawn. It is pretty cute and very simple.

In the game, I picked up a few heavy hitters for scoring. I waited until the last possible action to play the really big scoring card that netted me like 50 points. It was insane how many points it gave me. Bill had a similar card but he only managed to get 30 points or so.

Because of that one card, I pretty much ran away with it by 20 points. It was silly. Cute game that I could play again, it was harmless.










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We tried to time with the other game that was finishing up so we played a fast game of Extra!.

It had been a while since I played this game, but Dan reminded me it was very much like Can't Stop Express. There are 5 dice that are rolled and you have to combine 2 pairs of dice for their values and then take a hit with the 5th die. It is all about managing the values properly and to the best of your ability.

It is a very mean game and you will most likely end up with a negative score. Hey Hey!! That is just what I did! Fortunately, I didn't lose with my -120, but Bill did with I think -240. You know, Joe H won with a positive score!! Wow, that is impressive. I will have to play that more and try not to be so negative.





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We broke into smaller groups and played a 3 player Scorpius Freighter.

I was happy to play this game again, but I was really hoping to play with 4 players and use drafting. Next time I will definitely be drafting the starting cards. I need new goals and ambitions in this game. Seeing as I always have the red cards, because I like playing red, I have the same cards and scoring each game. I gotta switch it up!

I am not saying, I win though. I never seem to win and I was very far from winning this game. Michael T took home the victory with his 32 point contract. He absolutely killed it. I was having a hard time collecting resources and then getting to the contract space. I think maybe 2 or 4 players is best with this game.

Regardless, I have fun playing and will keep at it. I have been enjoying it.










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The final game of the night was another 3 player game which is probably better with 4, called Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

It has been on my radar to play again for a while. I have been trying to recruit players at gameday but generally not enough interest. Dan was happy to try it this night though and Ron played as well.

Of course, we shouldn't trust Ron and help him out. Since you only get to score your weakest of the 2 castles he was able to pull out the win. I was just trying to get bonuses for both my castles all game. It didn't seem to phase Dan or Ron to try and help with that, but I did what I could. Dan was making sure we were completing the Blue Rooms since we had 3 of them.

Regardless, my score and Dan's were lowest at 51, and Ron won with 54. It was sad! I am glad I got to play again. I hope next time to play with 4 players. I quite enjoy this game, and the scoring much improved from Between Two Cities. Happy to play!













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Got an awesome pack of unloved games from
Madelyn C
United States
Locust Grove
Virginia
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New to the Collection:
Endeavor: Age of Sail
Downforce
Mag·Blast (Third Edition)
God Dice
Meuterer
Legends of the American Frontier
Treasures & Traps
Treasures & Traps: Expanded Realms 1
The Big Bang Theory: Rock! Paper! Scissors! Lizard! Spock! Dice Game
Here, Kitty, Kitty!
Gene Pool
Project Dreamscape
Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:00 pm
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New Year New Goals! Alphabet Challenge? Well That should be easy enough.

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!



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Saturday was game day! It was a full house packed with eager gamers. To start the day off we played a new Japanese game called Madorino Karuta VR. New to me!

This game involves an app that is a VR program. Each turn a player will describe the room they are looking into and all other players will try to find the described room on the mess of cards on the table. Once all players have selected a card then the correct room is revealed and the player who guessed it correctly will keep the card they chose.

It is a super quick game and will play any large number of players. We played with 7 players. You play through 10 rooms and whoever gains the most room cards after 10 rounds wins!

With 7 players it was pretty clear Ron would be the winner once he gained his 3rd room. He totally did too. I didn't manage to get ANY room cards. I wasn't very good at this game at all.

It was cute, and I could play again, not really sure I have to though.









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Joe H was so interested in proving WEM wrong, so he wanted me to play Blöde Kuh. Eric said it is not a game that would be featured on an Instagram post and well that just had to be corrected. I posted the pic to BGG's Instagram & Twitter account for good form.

I got to play this game last year (a few weeks ago) and had a pretty good time playing. It is a harmless card game. I can't say I love it but I am happy to play it.

Jared and Scott joined for a 4 player game and because I did so well with my last play I got beat on! Jared ended up winning this game and I did like 3 times worse than my previous play! I think it was still enough for 2nd place though.

Oh, that silly cow.







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We tried out more new Japanese games from Joe H's bag of wonders, playing 5x5 City. New to me!

A new game from Okazu Brand you don't say? Yes please! Especially if it is a tile placement game. I am always on the lookout for any new Okazu Brand games. I still have yet to try Yokohama Duel.

In this game, you are drafting tiles to play in your city. You are trying to make patterns of the different types of buildings to try and score the most points. There are 12 rounds, and each round a number is revealed. That number represents location(s) on your board in which you will have to place the tiles you are drafting. If the region is a 3-sized region, then there will be several 3-tile sets to select from, and each player will draft a set to place. You will always be passing start player around so everyone will get a chance to draft first. At the end of the game, each space on your board will be filled.

That is essentially the game, but the real game is in the tiles and placement of the tiles and how they are scoring for you. It can be quite abstract in that way.

In our game, I was going all out trying to collect as many office tiles as I could get. The office building scores a lot more for having more offices in your grouping of tiles. I was very much focused on getting them placed well. Factories also score very well but you have to balance them out with parks. Any tile can be a park just by flipping it over.

I took a chance one way and it failed me, so I ended up not winning this time around. Dan totally won - somehow! No one knows how.

This is a game I want to add to the collection for sure. I love games that are so easy to play and teach, and it has drafting which I love! I had a great time with it.













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Wystan was awesome and brought along a game I was super interested in trying out called Architects of the West Kingdom. New to me!

I quite enjoyed the North Sea Series and am interested in the West Kingdom series as well. This first title didn't disappoint.

This is a worker placement game where you have a ton of dudes and you can't easily recall them after placing them. In order to get them back, they have to wind up in jail first and you have to save them from prison life. At least, that is the most productive way, there are other ways of course, just not common and not something you would want to do.

Each turn, you place one guy on an available space and most of the spaces can hold any number of people. The more guys you have placed on a space, the better action you will get. Mostly you are trying to gather resources and gain allies that help the actions you take. You might take the high road and do good deeds and be virtuous or you might take the low road and be a criminal but get tasty rewards at a cost. The goal is the same - to try and gather the most victory points in the end.

There is an action that will steal guys from locations and then you will have to take a supplementary action to put them into jail for money. Normally, you will be taking other peoples workers from the board to stop them from getting excellent bonuses and the more you take the more money you can gather from dumping them into jail.

In our game Wystan was trying very hard on a strategy that hinged on one particular thing, I believe from a card draw. It would have been like a 30 point swing for the win. As it stood, that wasn't what happened and he didn't get what he needed. I managed to keep to the high ground and I did very well helping to build up the church and gain lots of virtue points. I built a lot of buildings which was working well with my strategy so I took home the winning score that time.

I enjoyed this one a bit. I am not sure it really stands out for me, but I would happily play it anytime it showed up on the table. With art from Mihajlo Dimitrievski, I am always interested. Good stuff.


















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There was talk of playing Teotihuacan: City of Gods and I was up for it. I think I even ended up explaining it to Joel who hadn't played before. Shrey and Star had. It was a 4 player game and Joel picked it up easily enough. I think it really clicked for him mid-game though and he figured out all his faults.

It really wasn't a good game for me. We had a weird mash-up of boards and I just never found the right groove to get me lots of points, though I was working very hard on decorating the pyramid. I guess it worked since I still ended up winning, somehow. The final scores were pretty low coming in at like 160. I beat Star by only 1 point so it was wicked close.

Love this game and I just haven't been disappointed yet.






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We had a little bit of time and I retaught Star and Shrey how to play Cities. I am always up for Cities and they were happy to oblige me. They had both played before but needed reminding on how to score.

I don't think I explained it well enough, so I was trying to help Star as best I could throughout the game. It was a clean sweep though. I have been playing a lot online and it was really no contest. Totally unfair grounds.

Basically, that means I just need to bring it to the table more and people will get better and better each week, right? In my dreams, it seems.

Still, I love this game soooo flipping much. Will always play it.




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Since Joe and Jared were there, we just HAD to play a game of 7 Wonders: Armada with 7 Wonders: Cities. They love 7 Wonders so much and are always willing to play it. This is a top favorite game and one I will never say no to. I LOVE IT.

Ever since BGG.CON, I have just been winning all the games I have played of this, and this time was no different. I realllllllllllllllllly did amazing this time around. It was a super tight race all game between me and Wystan though. We were apart from one another and just attacking our opponents. We walked away with about 30 points in military at the end which was no joke.

Since we were playing with the Cities expansion, we got an additional card, so the scores were going to be higher anyway. I can't wait to play with Leaders and Cities and Armada next time! I want to play more and more.

I ended up just 1 point ahead with a score of 102 and Wystan was 101. I felt I was doing well, but I didn't think I would actually win! That was great. I was doing quite well in all categories so that worked in my favor!

I love playing that game with 6 people who know how to play. Makes for a fun time.









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I was interested in trying out X nimmt! again.

There were 4 of us this time around and it didn't change that much but enough to really make the piles sweep more.

I was collecting the points like it was my job, and you don't want points in this game! Bust after bust after bust! I just did super bad this time. It was just dreadful! I was probably lasttttt - if not then two of us did really bad. Dan ended up winning.

I have to say it makes me like the game more when I get beaten like that. It means there is room for improvement and I had a great time playing. I would like to get a copy of this game for sure.








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Next up we decided on a fast game of Dream Home & Dream Home: 156 Sunny Street.

It had been far too long since my last play of this and I don't think Shrey had played before. We played with the expansion since it could give us a few more challenges to work with.

There are a couple of modules and I actually like them both. You can add more goal cards to try and accomplish things like getting specific rooms in specific areas, and there are friends you can invite over who like specific patterns. Just a few more things to try and get points from. It is certainly easy enough to work with and you don't have to do it.

Dan ended up winning this time around. boo. I was not getting my goal cards completed since the cards were just not coming up in the order I needed them to. I didn't even get to acquire the game room!! I could have, but it didn't make sense to... but I wanted to, mark my words!

I think this game is so charming. I very much enjoy playing it. I can see how it might be a bit light for some people but I am always happy to play it. I am glad we were able to bring it to light.










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I was very much interested in trying out Fine Sand. I had played once before and I was curious about the Fable Campaign.

We started Fable mode, and that is basically where the first player removes 3 cards from their deck and draws the next 3 cards from their Fable stack. Everyone else removes and adds the same 3 cards. So everyone still starts the game with 30 cards.

It is so interesting to see how this progresses because you get new action cards and different strategies might form. I think it is clear that you should always discard one card from your hand to your neighbor each and every time. If you aren't doing that then you are wasting potential.

I did it each time no matter what, even changing my plans sometimes to do it, and I absolutely killed everyone! I ended with 8 cards total I think. I quite like this game and I like trying to kill off my cards. It is a fun challenge. I wonder about replay value but I am enjoying it so far and the Fable deck keeps me interested.








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We decided on Hamsterrolle for the next game. I don't think Shrey had played before and Scott was up for a dex game so why not! It had been far too long since I last played this game.

I love this game because it is so simple and colorful! I will always be up for playing dexterity games and this is a classic.

There was one point in the game the wheel got caught in the middle of the table, so we had to adjust it. Thankfully I didn't ruin the situation at hand.

It worked well and I had a good time, I didn't win at all. Scott ended up winning since Shrey made it all collapse at one point. Booooo! I was doing well at making it hard for others. I don't think I made any fall. Or maybe I did, once. I can't recall.

Anyway, always a good time playing this.









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I taught them how to play Kingdom Run. I was up for a little push-your-luck game and I was wanting to revisit this one since my last play.

Having played this game before gave me a slight advantage, but not much. I was not winning for most of the game. I was trying to keep my guys somewhat together on the path, and that kept me behind in the initial place score. I think that helped me in the end because both Shrey and Scott were duking it out and I was just prancing around stealing their money and working up the path for bigger points.

I ended up sneaking the win this time around. I don't think it will be so easily won the next time I go to play it!





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Working on the Alphabet challenge, I wanted to play a game starting with a P, so I suggested Prosperity. This game went under the radar a bit during its time and now you can find it pretty cheaply anywhere. I always enjoyed it well enough and so does Scott. He COMPLETELY forgot about this game. I mentioned it and he was like I don't know it. Of course I showed him the box and he was like ohhhh yeah I like this one!

Shrey hadn't played it before so I think I explained it. It had been far too long since my last play. I looked it up, and it was Jan 2017... so 2 years ago!

It is pretty easy to remember the rules for this one though. I like it a lot. It is a real struggle to balance the different resources. I managed it pretty well and started picking up globes early. I was collecting 8 points a globe score before long and just had a great score by the end. I think it might have been my best score ever!

I usually don't hit 40 points but this time I managed to get 47. I was pulling the right tiles at the right time and just playing a good game. I am certainly happy to play this game upon request. Happy it is still in the collection.








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Nearing the end of the night with a final table, we pulled out Zock 'n' Roll. I needed that "Z" for the challenge and we had 5 people so it was a good time to play. You really want a bunch of people for this so you can gamble better.

Of course, when there is gambling involved it means I will lose. I just push my luck too much and end up getting screwed over in the end.

This time didn't change it. I was so super last place and Ron ended up winning as he normally does. I think Wystan might have given him a run for his money though. It was close between them, it might have been a tie.

Cute game and one I am happy to play.





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Shrey took off and we played a 4 player game of Yokai Septet. The cards in this game are just so colorful and make my eyes so happy!

I love this game and it is always interesting to see how it works out. In this game you have a partner and I love having a partner in card games. This time I was teamed up with Wystan and we were just having dreadful luck and couldn't manage much anything in the first hand.

I don't think we were able to even get one trick and definitely not a 7 at that. All you really want are 7s. Ron and Dan almost won in the first hand, but it ended up being best of 3 because Wystan and I did have a light comeback in round 2. We couldn't hold it for the 3rd round though and lost to the Ron and Dan team.

I am always up for some cards. This is a great card game.







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One more game for the night, and we ended up playing Eco-Links.

This is a real-time puzzle type game where you are trying to map out patterns to the exit points. It is super charming with adorable art. It can be a hard sell for people since it is real-time and that can be a deterrent, but Dan likes it and was happy to play it.

Of course, Dan ended up winning. I am not even sure I got any points. I am nearly sure Wystan and I both failed royally at this game this time. I am not usually so bad, but I was definitely off my game that late at night. Still cute though!










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Monday night games! We played a bunch of games I hadn't played before and we started with London (second edition). New to me!

This was the 2nd edition and I had played 1st edition before and quite enjoyed my play. I honestly couldn't tell you the differences between the two editions very well, but I hear they are slightly different. I do know the 1st edition has a map and this doesn't. The way the poverty works is also slightly different, I think.

Regardless, I had a great time playing this game. I am absolutely horrific at it and probably had an all-time low score in the end. I was just a mess and had far too many cards on display. The more cards you have the more poverty you gain and the harder it is to manage everything.

It is funny since I wouldn't normally peg me as liking this game. But there is so much to try and manage and so much planning to do. You really have to use every action wisely. There is something mean about poverty and in trying to manage that, which I would normally hate, but it doesn't seem to bother me so much.

I lost super hard and will do better next time for sure, and I hope there is a next time. Dan was the one who had played before and he absolutely crushed me and Ron. It was basically a disaster for us, but I learned a lot and will most certainly win next time.












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Next up I wanted to play a game that began with an I and we found Ice Cream. New to me!

How had I not already played this? It is designed by Joe H AND it is about ice cream. Haha, ice cream is my favorite meal. All day every day I will eat and love ice cream no matter what.

This is a set creation game. There are 2 phases in the game and the critical one is really the formation of the ice cream cones. We are drawing ice cream scoops and adding them to already existing cones or starting a new cone. Each cone can hold up to 4 scoops. We are given 1 gallon of ice cream each round and that will be able to provide a particular flavor for the cones being created. If there is a vanilla cone with only vanilla scoops then my gallon of vanilla could provide those scoops. During phase 2 is when we can collect the orders with the gallons we have. You can only claim a cone if you have the matching gallons to fulfill it or it is missing only up to one flavor. If you can't claim a cone then you are given another gallon so the next time it comes to you, you might be able to fulfill an order.

You are trying to fulfill all the orders you can and you gain 1 point per scoop. After 4 rounds you count to see who fulfilled the most scoops ordered.

I guess I didn't love ice cream enough this game since I came in 2nd place. Dan was on a roll or something and he ended up picking up the win this time. He had a ton of left over gallons for the final round and could claim a lot of valuable cones. It was a bummer since I was close behind but didn't get a shot at claiming many points in the final round.

Pretty simple game and cute. I loveeeeeeeeeeee the theme and all of a sudden I need more ice cream games in my life. MOAR! This is one I would be happy to play again, if only to have an excuse to go home and eat ice cream.













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Perhaps against my better judgment, we decided on playing Waterworks. New to me!

This is particularly old and crusty and fits right in with Joe R's collection. I pulled it off the shelf cause it was a card placement game. How bad could it be? Wow, it is not a pretty game.

You are trying to make connections of pipes to find the faucet at the end. You need a least 12 cards before you can place the faucet. There are leak cards you can use on other players, which are quite annoying.

Yahhhhh we picked the small table to play on, and that was also a mistake. I really thought I would win but I couldn't find the cap I needed to close off the line before completing my faucet so Ron ended up winning. It was really unexciting and a game that just didn't do anything for me. Preferably a game I don't play again.









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Next up was a game I had been wanting to play for a long time now called Niagara. New to me!

This has always been of interest to me since you have to use the game box to make a platform and there is a waterfall where you might fall off the board. I didn't know any of the mechanics, but it always looked interesting.

This is a racing game to try and collect lots of gems. You might collect 4 of the same or 5 different or 7 total to win the game. Each turn you are selecting one of 7 tiles from your hand of tiles and that is how many spaces you will move up or down the river. You can use 2 of the movement points to pick up a gem. The catch is that the river will be moving each turn a number of spaces equal to the lowest value a player has selected, altered by the weather conditions. So if everyone plays a 6 and the weather is +2 then the river moves 8 positions and you might fall off the edge. surprise

So yeah, the game can be quite harsh, and we are all gamers so it was super harsh. We all lost our 1st boat and at one point I lost my second boat. You have to spend gems to get a boat back and then you are basically starting over. I really thought this game was never going to end. I was literally at 0 gems for most of it. We were all playing super cut-throat and it just prolonged the game to be unbearable by the end.

Eventually, Ron managed to pick up 7 gems and stay alive long enough to make it back and win the game.

I have to say it is a gorgeous game, but there were just a bunch of problems with it for me to really enjoy it. I think an easy fix would be to house rule that you play through 5 or 6 of the 7 tiles and not have to play EVERY tile before claiming them all back. It would certainly help and give you more control over what is happening. I think they make you play through all 7 tiles because one alters the weather and you have to do that.

As it stands I can't really recommend this game, but if the look of it really interests you as it did for me, it might be worth checking out. It is cute enough, but with the wrong crowd, I can't really say it is much fun. It made for fun Instagram vids though! haha! Happy to have tried it, but I know not to play again.











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The final game of the night was Ubongo 3-D.

A game I knew! Huzzah! I LOVE the challenge of 3D polyominoes, therefore I am always up for this challenge. I never seem to do well at it though. I was particularly bad this night too. I only solved 1 puzzle all game. Ugh it was just horrendous! I am not usually THAT bad.

Everyone else was getting the easy puzzles and I just couldn't make anything work out. Ron is uaully very good at these games and he did end up winning. Dan was easily second place but he was having a bit of an off night too. Regardless it is fun to try and fun to fail at this game!






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Thursday night was Fun Group and Riley was interested in checking out Carson City: The Card Game. He enjoys the board game, but I was concerned that he wouldn't like the card game because he doesn't like bidding so much.

We were playing a 3 player game, which was unusual since we had an AI stand in place for the 4th player. The AI is very good...

I made a city but I was more focused on the character cards I was picking up and making them work for lots of points. Seemed to work out okay. I managed to win the game with like 127 points which was only 2 points over the AI's final score. So hey, I did something right! I finally won a game.

I really love this game. I don't think Riley liked it much because it has the bidding, but he was happy to have tried it.








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Last game of the night was an epic 5 player game of Outpost.

OMG, I love this game. I want to play this game more and more. Two people were learning so that made it a bit longer than I might have liked, but I still love the game.

This time I got screwed over by newbies a couple of times. I didn't want to direct how anyone was playing so I let them screw me over. I didn't want it to seem like I was suggesting a move because it would only benefit me, even if it was in their best interest not to take the lab and let me take it.

Oh, and I went the new chemicals strategy, what?!?! Cray Cray. But I had to because the newbies took my lab. And I managed to sneak a scientist away from Ron. Cost me an arm and a leg but it was worth it.

I am still counting this game as a win for me since Scott bought the Moonbase illegally and that would have given me the win, in the end, had I been able to purchase that. He purchased it with money he wasn't technically allowed to be holding due to his hand limit size. Regardless, it was a super close game (that I won and not Joe...).

I love this game and would like to play it more. People prolly think it is dated now, but NO! NO! Bring back more Outpost!!






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New to the Collection:
Pirate Tricks





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
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Happy New Year! All the Games Played Over the Holiday Break!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone! Happy New Year!

Steph's Top 25 New To Me Games of 2018!

Steph's New to Me List December 2018!!

You might need a week to read this, might as well leave a tab open in your browser... laughwhistle



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After Christmas, Simon was able to come and spend another night with us and we got in a bunch more gaming during the holiday week. I am always up for some bonus games! He brought along his partner Taica who just loves playing games too!

The first game we had to play was The Mind. Since we were playing 3 players it makes it slightly more difficult to play. Simon and I were able to get to level 12 easily enough, though we didn't win. With Taica we were only successful until level 6. We tried twice and made it to level 6 both times.

It was a hit since they tried 2 players later that night and they did pretty well.

Love this game, it's no wonder it is my favorite from the year.





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Since Taica is a math teacher, Simon really wanted to play Sentient. I taught this to Simon last year and he remembered it after all this time.

It is a really great game that I have enjoyed a bunch since it came out.

Turns out this was a huge hit and one that Taica absolutely loved! It was his favorite from the couple days playing games. I think it is because of his math teacher brain. He really liked all the math! It really worked out for him too since he was able to win. It was a pretty close one, and I was happy just to break 70 points, so that was cool.

Always happy to play this one.










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I figured I should teach them the hottest Roll n Write of the year so I broke out Ganz schön clever. There is something to be said about the awesome combos you can create in the game.

Probably not my favorite in the genre from the year but I am always happy to play it. They were able to follow along with the rules well enough and play cleverly. I still managed to crush their souls at it, but they had a good time.

I think my favorite Roll n Write was メトロックス (MetroX). One that I want to play more of for sure. I wish it wasn't a beast to teach.





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Simon had wanted to try out the new Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra since they had just played the other version and wanted to see what this one was all about.

This went over pretty well. Simon absolutely crushed us though because Taica and I were getting the broken glass left and right and there was nothing we could do about it. No one was falling on their sword to get the 1st player marker early and thus leaving all of the big clumps of colors to the very end. I think my biggest broken collection ended up being 5 at once. It was a mess of broken glass!

That was easily the meanest game of Azul Stained Glass that I have encountered yet. It wasn't even aiming to be mean, but still ended up that way.

I definitely want to play the B side of the scoring boards next time. Still loving this game, just gotta brush this one play aside.







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Since it has a bunch of rainbow gems, I figured it would be great to show them Swordcrafters Expanded Edition.

I have been really enjoying this game and really like building up my sword! It is fun times.

No, the largest sword rarely wins and didn't win this time either. I managed to win with my middle-range sword. I succeeded in my hidden goals and got some of the common goals. I was mostly going for quality as best as I could and for my hidden goals.

It was the first time I won this game, so maybe I learned something from the past games I played, I don't know.

I really just like making a pretty sword. The guys enjoyed playing with the swords and I think they had a fun time playing the game too. This game always puts a smile on my face.









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Kim and Joel showed up and we ended up playing a 5 player game of Cheeky Monkey.

A game I actually played earlier this year - I think it was over Labor Day weekend? The monkey is wicked cute so it is hard to miss. Simon remembered it from last year also and had a bunch of fun with the push-your-luck element of the game.

It is a cute game and I always end up losing it. This time was no different. I managed to actually get some points though, so it was a great improvement over other times I have played. Simon cleaned the table with points, absolutely killing us all. Maybe THAT is why he loves the game so much. I think he won the last time we played too... hmmmm.






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Dinner was almost served so we played a quick 5 player game of The Table Is Lava. Seems to be my go-to 10 minute game for 5 players. It is a no-brainer and super-cute dexterity game.

It is quite a challenge to try and throw cards and knock meeples down. It almost NEVER works. At least for me and Joel. I am pretty sure Joel wasn't enjoying the game, but it is fast enough where he wasn't bothered by it. He was just carelessly throwing the cards. I still think I managed to somehow lose the game though. Kim was the winner this time!

Really enjoying this game!








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Simon recalled a game from last year that he had a great time playing called Feelinks.

This can be an awkward game when you get paired with the wrong person or your answer is off/different than everyone else's. I suppose Simon and Taica liked it for the talking points and can drum up some interesting conversation.

I don't mind the game, I certainly don't win the game though. I think everyone was having a good time. We ended up calling the game after twice around the table and Kim won since she was furthest ahead on the score track.









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To keep the energy up we decided to play a couple games of Happy Salmon.

This is a game that I'm always up for playing. Since it is only a 1-minute game, it is really hard to pass up a chance to play it. I always have an amazing fun time playing in this speed-of-light game.

It certainly takes the right crowd to play it, and it helps that Kim adores it and will always play with me. So much loudness and fun packed into a minute-long game. How can you go wrong?

I do know that I won the second game, so I felt like a success after that. There is something satisfying about winning this game, as silly as that sounds.




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Literally every week Kim is around, I get asked to play her #1 favorite game, Werewords. Sometimes you just have to give her what she wants!

We played 10 games!!! Apparently, I am very good at this game. Ever since I have been keeping track of the winners, I learned that I won this 80% of the games I played in this 10 game sitting. That is so awesome!!

I always choose to never play as the mayor since I just really don't like being the mayor. I was happy to make Kim happy. I think everyone was enjoying this game and I am nearly sure everyone would have kept playing if I didn't suggest another game. After 10 plays I can be a bit rundown, though.






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I suggested we play a game of Facecards. I hope Scott brings around his copy more often since he totally customized his to be so much better.

We only played one game and it wasn't as big of a hit as Werewords, but I still have fun with this one. I am still so bad at this one too.

Of course, Ron was able to win this game just like always. No one did particularly well. Everyone was on different wavelengths it seems.





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We ended up playing Trapwords.

This has been a go-to game recently when we have 6 or more players. We played it a couple times over the few days.

Ron is usually on the winning team - he is pretty good at giving clues for people to understand and guess. The game when he was teamed up with Simon and Taica they were able to win.

The game the next day we played we were all equally bad. I was teamed up with Derek and Shrey and I don't think we ever made it past the 4th level. But neither did the other team. We all equally lost/won that game. It was pretty bad all around. Either we were terrible at giving clues or the other team was just really great at writing down buzzwords.




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We finished the night with a series of Roll n Write games. We played Rolling Japan, Rolling Tokyo, Rolling America.

We were on a Roll after Japan so we just kept going down the line of games. It is really easy to play Tokyo since it is on the back of the sheets I have. It is equally painful but plays in half the time as Japan.

I think I might have played my single worst game of Japan ever. I lost by several points even. It was not great. I did however, make a recovery when I won the America game.

I am always up for playing these fine game. It is so painful and still so fun to try and do well at.








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The next day, Simon and Taica were still around and we played a few games. We decided to start the day off easy enough with Let's Make a Bus Route.

One of my top favorites from the year so I was glad when it got noticed from among the many shelves of games I have.

I taught them and we played in under 30 min. It is so much fun. Easy choices and effective. Very different feeling than other Roll n Writes I know and love which gives it a permanent staple in the collection. Taica ended up winning this game. He just made the perfect route it seems!









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I was very interested in teaching them the co-op version for Orléans so we played Orléans: Invasion.

I didn't know that I hadn't played it all year! How did that even happen? I am so pleased I got to play it just at the very last second. We even played twice! The first game was very much learning the ropes to the game and we ended up losing on turn 4 because Taica had the challenge of paying a cost each round. He didn't have the goods needed to pay in round 4 and we weren't able to win!

We learned from our mistakes and were able to play much better in the second game. We scraped by and won in the final round. I didn't do ANYTHING in the final round since we just needed a few more tasks completed and we could! It was just awesome. I am so glad we could play it.

I have the new BGG tokens too and they are just amazing. I can't recommend them highly enough. I hope they become available in stock again soon because you should look into getting some if you enjoy Orleans as much as I do! So awesome!














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The final game of the day was one I knew Simon would just drool over, called Everdell. There is a huge tree in the game. Of course, being a botanist, he would love it. He simply loved the art and mentioned the Redwall series he loved. It is hard not to make a comparison to those books.

I think they enjoyed the game, but it definitely runs long. The game ended up being a closer race than I thought it might be. I thought I was absolutely destroying them both all game. I had all the cards and I was going for the event cards.

I still managed to win, but it was only by a few points. I was pleased they did so well, but I was a bit disappointed I didn't do better. I can do better! I am glad I got this one back to the table. Love my googly eyes! The critters are just too cute!























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Saturday was game day and we started the day off with an easy one that I simply loved from 2018 called Scarabya. Perfect game! Multi-Player Solitaire is a favorite of mine. I love this one for the puzzle aspect of trying to make the best enclosures.

I thought for sure I would win this game. I was doing very well. It was actually pretty amazing since we ended the game with exactly enough tokens that the game provides. It was pretty impressive. Every single one, not more not less.

I was second place to Nate only to lose by a few points. So close!

Love this game!




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Nate, Asher, and I decided on playing Underwater Cities.

I have been really enjoying my plays of this game and will jump at the chance to play it more and more to explore it further. Asher had played before and helped me explain the game to Nate. We ended up playing on the advanced side of the boards and we added in the objectives.

I quite enjoyed playing with all of the additional stuff. Having the goals to try and claim was a good way to prioritize the different actions I wanted to do and strategies to try. I LOVED the variable player boards too. It really kept me interested.

I was all about the tunnels this game. I had them all!!! I had a ton of combos and card bonuses for the tunnels and really gave it all I could. I worked hard on getting the special cards in play and getting as many of those as possible for end game scoring and just general awesomeness.

It was so much fun playing this game. I have clearly gotten better at the game each time. But you score a bit higher with all the extra added stuff. I totally won, so I guess I should retire from playing this one. Haha good times.












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I managed to get a game of History of the World in next. I am always up for this game. I have seriously been loving it. It ended up being #3 of the year for me and it might end up higher as the years go on. I LOVE this game.

There is just so much uncertainty when playing, with what nations are best and what nations might be revealed. There is so much push-your-luck and strategy to how you end up playing. The combat is rather simple, but I like it. It is to the point.

This was a miraculous game. I NEARLY got to play last in the 4th round and go first in the 5th round and that would have been a surefire win. But Joel took the nation I wanted, and I ended up having to go last in the final round, with a milestone I still had to finish. I somehow was able to keep a majority of the lands I had conquered in the 4th era and thus putting me exactly one point ahead of Kim. It was 150 to 151 which was pretty epic.

So much fun! I will play this game as often as I am allowed.













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After that point, we were down to me, Shrey, and Kim, and we randomly decided on Freedom: The Underground Railroad. I mentioned it and Shrey was up for it.

I always like playing this game for the challenge. It is a cooperative game and is pretty heavy on the theme, but works really well.

We were struggling to keep up with emptying the plantations but somehow managed to gain the support we needed and free the required number of slaves to Canada. We managed to barely win that time around. We got pretty fortunate that we didn't have to face many events.

I always think the rules to the game are easier than they actually are. We managed to muddle through the rules though since Shrey had played a long while back. I am glad we were able to play this one again.















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Shrey and Kim were up for playing a quick game of Cryptid. I should have explained the game before handing out the answer booklets. The first thing Kim did was read her clue out loud. Whoops, that was my mistake. We had to reset the whole game up since it was very specific to that card.

We set up another game and they were both learning for the first time. It went on a lot longer than I expected. I just couldn't figure out Shrey's rule at all. I duno why I was having a hard time with it, but he managed to figure mine out after some contemplation and he won the game. I guess I can't win them all!







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Eric and Carrie showed up for some late gaming and I thought they would enjoy a game of Fuji. Shrey joined us to make it a 4 player game.

I had a cool power where I could travel up to 4 spaces away. I am actually not sure I ever used this ability since I was mostly traveling along with Eric who was sitting across from me.

There were a few rounds we were nervous for Carrie who was struggling to keep up with us. Her rerolls and our rerolls just didn't line up properly and we were forced to use a lot of equipment cards. We finally managed to get her caught up and we won the game!

We were playing on level 2 difficulty and it wasn't so bad. No one was even close to dying because of damage. We nearly died from lava though.

Always a good time playing this game.















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The final game of the night was 4 player Menara.

This was a game I was sure Eric and Carrie would appreciate and they very much did! We got to use a new promo, the Chameleon, which was a very cool tile.

Our tower was most impressive. We kept drawing really bad tiles and having to make new floors from it. I always get so nervous when I have to go and place on a tall tower.

Ultimately, we did very well. We not only won this game - we won 3 times over!! Not meaning we played 3 times, but we managed to play out the game to win in all 3 possible ways. All of the pillars were placed, all of the tiles were placed, and all of the cards were played, and we met the height requirement for a 3-way win!

Always happy to get this one to the table. Happy to own it even, since it is hard to find (unless in Europe. More people need to play it!



















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NYE we played games all day long! I had 7 games to learn before the new year to hit my target goal of 500 games learned, which is a crazy insane amount of new games.

We started the day with Big Bang 13.7. New to me!

This was one from the Essen crop I hadn't managed to get to the table yet. This is an abstract tile placement game. You are given a color and a shape that you want to score for. You are trying to get rows of 3 or more on the common board for the colors and the shapes you hold secretly, and each will score separately. When placing a tile, it must share at least one feature with the tiles it will be touching, either color, shape, or background.

Each tile you place will consume an amount of time. The person furthest behind will always play until they catch up and surpass the other players. You want to be careful of the tiles you are placing since you might not get to play again for a while if you get too far ahead. Some backgrounds are worth more points but they cost more time to place.

Some tiles are special tiles that give you a special ability. Some will destroy tiles, and others might move tiles around the board. They cost a lot of time to use but can be very handy.

The game is over when all of the tiles are played out. Everyone will evaluate their score from the board and figure a winner.

I was going for red asteroids and I thought I could figure what other people were going for but I was very far off. It ended up a very close game at the end - we were all within points of one another. Dan won with 37, I was 36, and Ron 35. Boo!!!! Really thought I would have it. I forgot that all lines of 3 or more would score (not just the longest line) so that was my mistake. I needed a lot of smaller chains to be less obvious.

It is a pretty simple abstract game. I like the use of the special tiles and their abilities. I had a good time and it was pretty thinky so I was happy to give it a go at last. I would gladly play again.

















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We had 6 people around for games, so we decided on First Contact.

I was happy to get this one back to the table. Carrie and Eric decided they wanted to be aliens with me. It is easier to explain the game when I can play as an alien. For whatever reason, this game is super complex to try and explain and is best with an example.

We got going and eventually people started understanding the rules. I think it took 4 rounds to find a winner, but Carrie on the Alien side and Dan on the Human side managed to win. She was the green alien.

This is good times and I think works well with a bunch of players. I have to figure out how to explain it better for sure.






















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Shrey had a new game for me to try out called From Batavia. New to me!

This is a drafting and resource management game. You are trying to fill up three ships as quickly as possible by playing cards to your ships. The top number is the cost that must be paid by giving that many of your cards in hand to the player on your left. The bottom number is how many slots you are filling on your boat. Each card will also give you bonuses, such as coins that fill boat slots or wheat cards that can be used as payment.

The trick to the game is forming combos with your cards. You want to get the best combos and bonuses so you can fill the boats faster. The goods on your ships will activate any buses for the rest of the game, so choose wisely.

Eric and Ron won that game. I think it was a shared victory, or maybe Eric had the tiebreaker. They were both filling the same boats and it worked out so they were complete at the same time. Shrug.

This game handles a great number of people, which is nice. But I am just not that into race games and this feels very much like a race to the finish for me. It didn't hold enough interest for me and I felt I was doing what everyone else was doing. It was at best okay. I could play again, but I am not sure I would want to.















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We broke into smaller groups and I ended up playing in a 3 player game of Intrigues of Asgard. New to me!

Another game I hadn't gotten to the table yet from Essen and it has the lovely Asgard theme. This is a small card game with some drafting and set collection with a bit of take-that from the different actions.

You are trying to score points depending on which gods appear. There is a display of the gods and you can see some of them, how much they will be worth, and when they will score. More gods will be revealed as the game progresses.

Cards are dealt to each player. You have to place these cards into a tableau. All cards contain 2 gods to choose from and you have to select one of them. Cards displaying the same god are placed on top of one another.

Then there will be a draft. You will select and reveal simultaneously, adding the card to your stacks. Once all of the cards have been drafted, the gods will all activate. The person with the most of each of the gods will get to perform that god's action. If that god is a scoring god, then the person with the most of that god will score points.

It was a pretty standard card game. Nothing too out of the ordinary and it was pretty easy to follow along. The rules weren't great and it was probably a translation issue.

In this game, I needed more Odin cards for the tiebreakers. I was tied a lot but didn't have the tiebreakers so I ended up losing a lot. I only ended with like 4 points and Dan won with maybe 11 or so. It was not a very high scoring game at all. I could be convinced to play this game again, but it wasn't all that exciting on this first play. Harmless though.













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Dan was willing and wanting to play Geschenke für den Radscha. New to me!

This was a random game I picked up from the BGG Spring Storage Sale. I didn't know anything about it or even hear of it before. I saw the bits and it looked interesting enough so I picked it up.

Turns out this is an abstract race game. You are trying to move around the board and collect a few objects and get back home. You can make pit stops and pay for extra bonuses that help you move along the board.

I managed to pick up a camel that helped me move 1 extra space per turn, and that was basically the only reason I was able to win that game. I was caught in a lot of dead ends in need of discs, but the camel saved me.

It was a pretty clever abstract game but it all seemed a bit fiddly. I can see the game-changing up each time since you can randomize the tiles and setup situations. Might be too much work to draft and place starting tiles instead of using the suggested setup though.

I could easily play this game again. I had a good time kicking butt this one play. Could end up being too much trouble for its worth, though.














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Shrey had expressed interest the prior week in checking out Coney Island. New to me!

This game has been on my unplayed shelf for YEARS! I have often wanted to get this one played so I was finally happy to get this one to the table. I love the idea of carnival and theme park type games. Dan was willing to give it a go and Eric joined in for a 4 player game.

To be fair, we didn't play correctly, so I should probably try again before judging it, but that won't happen. I just had a miserable time playing this one and would rather forget it. There are 3 main actions you can take on your turn, but we played that you can only do one of them. I am not sure it would have saved the game for me but probably would make it better.

I didn't like the different vendors that you can buy off people and use their abilities. It really felt like the rich get richer in this game.

Anyway, this was not a game for me, unfortunately. I believe Shrey ended up winning this game. I am not sure how pleased he was with the game. Haha we tried anyway!














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A game I have been itching to play for years has been The Majority: Complete Edition. New to me!

Mina promised to teach me a few times and we never got around to it with the short time we had to play together.

When playing with 4 players, it is played as a 2v2 partner game. It is a very unusual card game where you and your partner are trying to get the highest and 2nd highest number of points for each color.

Cards are dealt to each player and drafting occurs. After drafting is complete, each player will select one card from their hand and simultaneously reveal them. Some cards have powers that alter other cards. If no special cards are played then each player will get to keep the card they played in their own stacks of cards. This continues until all cards have been played.

Afterwards, each color is scored. The player with the highest total value in a color gets only 2 points for their team. The player with the 2nd highest total value gets 1/3 of the highest total point value for their team. Ideally, you want to win 1st and 2nd, and usually the 2nd highest player gets more points than the 1st highest.

This drafting, playing, and scoring process will continue 4 times, and your collections grow and grow and after each hand. Most points wins.

Dan and I were partners and had a good first round but managed to lose control over the next 2 rounds. We pulled through at the end and finally picked up lots of points in the final round for the win.

It is a crazy card game that takes a few rounds to get used to and understand. It was fun though and I just love the artwork. Super cute game and one I would easily play again. Not sure why it was so hard to get played but I am glad we finally did!













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I needed one final game to hit the 500 mark and that lucky candidate was Pepper & Carrot: The Potion Contest. New to me!

This is an abstract puzzle type game based off of a webcomic. Everyone is trying to get 3 different potions in order. The first to complete all 3 potions is the winner.

You will get a random set-up of ingredients on your player board. The ingredients have lines that connect them. Each turn you are given directionals to rotate an ingredient or move a row/column of ingredients. You want to line up the ingredients on your player board so they are connected in the same order as on your potion board. As soon as you complete a potion, you will get a little cat token that indicates which potion you have completed.

There are a few variants in the rules to add different directionals and there is a whole other mini-expansion that was part of the KS.

The game is pretty simple in a brain burny kind of way. The mechanics and motions are easy to understand, but it is the puzzle that is the interesting part. Since it is not a timed game, you can be planning out your turns well in advance. You can see the next 3 directional cards, so while people are still thinking about their current turn you can be planning out your next turns.

It is a race game, but not timed. I do much better under a time constraint - or rather, I tend to do better under time constraints than other people do. In this game, people have all the time they want, so I didn't do as well. I needed specific actions and it just never worked out for me. I had only managed to complete 1 potion before the game ended. I was working on both of the other potions and was just a few turns away from completing both of them. Dan managed to complete all 3 for the win.

I had a good time playing it and the artwork is so super cute!! Really reminds me of a Ghibli film which is an automatic A+ in my book. I would definitely be interested in playing the different modes of play and see how that changes it up and makes it more complex. Maybe there is a speed variant!










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I suggested a favorite from 2018, so we played a 4 player game of Blue Lagoon.

I do not get to play this game enough. I LOVE it! There is so much planning to do and hard choices. If you don't want to be cut off over here then you have to sacrifice over there! It is a battle at every turn. You get a lot of tight choices in such short gameplay. I love the different phases. I would play this game anytime.

Playing 4 players is super mean and cutthroat. I do think I like playing with 3 better. I can't seem to get all my plans in order and the board is so tight. Everything is ruined before you can blink!

Joel was the master this time and managed to win with all of his island majorities and big points. He quite enjoyed the play, which was surprising. I thoguht it might be a bit light for his tastes, so I was pleased.

Always willing to play this one!











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We had 6 players for a quick game of Pictomania (second edition).

Oh, I love this updated 2nd edition. Compact box and easy setup. I like the pencils it comes with as well. A few people were playing or relearning this one so we started off easy enough. We played through to the very difficult levels and let me tell ya, the hard level is so stinking hard! But I was pleased with my "hermit" drawing of a hermit crab. He was cute.

I didn't play so great, but I thought I still did better than others, so I thought I would win that game! But Dan managed to win this time around. I screwed up just enough times!

This is another party game I will always love to play. There is something just so fun and fast about this game which makes me want to play more and more. I wish more people enjoyed drawing games.









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After dinner, we split up into groups again, and Shrey, Dan, and I found interest in Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King & Isle of Skye: Druids. New to me Expansion!

After the Journeyman expansion, I was interested in trying out Druids. To my delight, this was an easier expansion to learn and play with than Journeyman. I almost think this one should have been the first expansion. It incorporates very well with the base game and is very easy to understand and follow.

There are a bunch of tiles from which you can purchase one on your turn. Some give powers or discounts when buying tiles from players. There is a lot to explore for sure. We played with a few new goal tiles which were interesting.

Shrey's board ended up this huge diagonal map because it was scoring so much for diagonals. It was crazy! It was also pretty cool. It didn't matter much since Dan won this game too.

I was so super behind, I might have even been lapped. Nothing was working out in my favor at all. Dan and Shrey had a pretty close finish though because they were paying attention to the end goals.

Love Isle of Skye, but I think the Journeyman expansion kinda scared us away from the game for a while. I should check that one out again. It is just a LOT for an expansion - it might be too much.













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We decided to play a 3 player game of Raiatea.

I first got to play this in the Netherlands before Essen. It was about time I got to play it again! Dan got to play it once before and was willing to give it another go. I let him explain the game to Shrey and remind me of the details. Some of the cards can be a pain and complicated to try and remember.

Man, this game is so totally different with 3 players and I think I have to say I enjoy the 5 player game a lot more. With 3 players you get more rounds but you only get to do 3 of 6 actions each round. With 5 players you get 5 of 6 actions each round, so it just seems like you get many more different options.

According to my records, Shrey won this game, but I remember doing incredibly well! Apparently not well enough. I didn't manage to get my masks all paired up so that was a bummer.

I had a good time playing this one, and I am not sure they did. We were playing with the mean cards and they were pretty mean. I managed to kill a bunch of cards they were counting on. I laughed a lot, but I am evil. I didn't mind it even when they attacked my cards later. I could play with the evil cards or not, doesn't matter to me.

I want to play with 4 players next time.


















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Perhaps the highlight of the night (always) and the game that took us into the new year was Ginkgopolis.

Love this one so much! We played 2 times, and the 2nd game was the first game of the new year!

So the first game we played was basically teaching Joe C and Shrey how to play since they had forgotten since our last play. Their combined scores managed to just barely pass my score. I don't even know how I scored so high. I had a great set up.

I didn't think I did AS well in the second game, but it seems I did. They improved greatly but I still won by a very large margin. It is only preparing them better for the next time we are able to play. Still my top favorite game ever! Will always want to play it!











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Hey there ending, how have you been. We have made it to the final entry of the week of games. We ended the celebration with Skylands.

This was Joe C's favorite game of 2018! With good reason too! It is just wonderful. I love The King of Frontier and this is that game but with a lot of interesting buildings and easier to follow. Plus, it is so nice not having to look up every building tile.

There is something special about the original game but I quite love this reimplementation as well. Only a few rules have changed from the original game. The biggest one is that you cannot select the same action twice in a row unless you give up a couple points to do so. This is major! It still works well though. You just really have to plan for your actions ahead of time and hope people play into your plans.

This game is so beautiful. I love all the art and tiles. Planning is fun and trying to build up your city in the sky is exciting.

It is no wonder that Joe C loves this game so much because he won with flying colors. I was so far behind. I wasn't able to put the blue guys to work at all because I was never able to close off a blue region. Joe and Ron were getting a lot of victory points for them and I was getting all my points from endgame tiles.

Oh I love this game and am so happy to have a copy to play more of. It is easy to play and fun to puzzle out. Always happy to give this one a go.















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New to the Collection:
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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
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Steph's New to Me List December 2018!!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2018!


This year I have made the goal of learning 300 400 500 games!



Steph's Awesome Spectrum Rating System!










Steph's Sad Cloud Rating 1-2.5/10
Steph's Bland Rainbow Rating 3-4.5/10
Steph's Primary Rainbow Rating 5-7/10 (Solid Play)
Steph's Super Rainbow Rating 7.5-8.5 (Keepers)
Steph's Double Rainbow Rating 9-10/10 (Top Favorites)




December List






1. Forbidden City:

New Knizia title. More than meets the eye with this one. Very enjoyable tile placment game that doesn't outstay its welcome. Will gladly play this anytime.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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2. Cupcake Empire:

Clever dice game to make the cupcake recipes and deliver them to customers. Very quick game and you get a lot accomplished. I enjoy this one.



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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3. Tournament of Towers:

Simple dex game with amazing quality. Love the weird shapes and the heft to all the pieces. Would gladly play this anytime. Similar to Junk Art.



7/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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4. The River:

Pretty simple worker placement game. Entry-level, but still interesting. I could play this for a filler anytime. Harmless and cute. Not terribly innovative or exciting.



6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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5. Railroad Rivals:

Tile drafting and placing game. Pretty mean-spirited and cut throat when playing properly. The randomness of the tiles was not great but didn't affect me that much. Can't say I am excited to play this one again, but would.



4/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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6. Let's Drink:

A re-theme of one of my favorites Cha dango. This is just slightly different but still the same amazing fun. This is a great version of the game and it comes in a fuzzy bunny plushie!



8.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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7.City of Gears:

Felt I got a good feel for the game in the first play. Not sure it is really my type of game. Not enough to do on your turn since there are so few resources you can possibly get. It was about 4 rounds and seemed wicked fast and I never got an engine built. It was weird and nothing really grabbed me. Something seemed off for me.



4/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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8. KOI:

Relaxing and beautiful abstract game. I found a few issues with the turn order, but I think that is can be houseruled with ease. Perhaps it is best with 2 players? It is easy to teach and play and one I can see playing in a casual setting. I really love the art in this one.



7/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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9. Hokkaido:

Definitely enjoy this one more than Honshu. I love the drafting and the added complication of the mountain range. Quicker also helps! If you like Honshu, I think you would enjoy this too. Fun!



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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10. The Table Is Lava:

Super cute and fun dex game where you get to throw cards on the table and try to knock people into the lava. Easy end-of-night game where you don't have to think too much. I will gladly play this anytime.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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11. Once Upon a Castle:

Roll n Write game where you get to color in a castle! A very simple game to try and collect the walls and towers of the castle and gain lots of points. You can be creative like me and use sharpies to help color in the castle you are forming. Super cute!



6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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12. Cryptid:

Clever deduction game. Seems unique - very different than any other deduction game that I have played. I could easily play this anytime.



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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13. X nimmt!:

This game was awesome. I love 6 nimmt! and this is a different take on that one. It only plays 2-4 players with minor but effective changes. I would highly recommend this one if you like 6 Nimmt.



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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14. Futuropia:

Easy-to-learn rules but took me a while to figure out strategy. I did not fully understand it until it was over and we were scoring. It is a game I will have to revisit to form a full opinion. For now, I am on the fence.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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15. Ghosts of the Moor:

Plays up to 5, but I would probably suggest 3. The more dudes you get, the more fun you will have since you will have more decisions to make. It was cute, would play again.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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16. Word Domination:

Area control word game. You want to make clever words and steal letters from the map and control locations. It was a cute game. It certainly helps if you know really long and obscure words. I would play this again, but I know I will lose every time I do. Still can be a fun challenge.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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17. Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr:

Interesting theme. Played a few scenarios. Puzzles changed up over the different scenarios and I am interested in playing through the campaign.



7.5/10 After 3 plays (Owned)



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18. Alice:

Amazing artwork and theme. Not sure there are enough choices in the game. I need and want more cards to perform the actions with. Seemed to be a bit slow too. Will have to give it another play.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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19. Kingdom Run:

The more I play Ankama games, the more I love the look and play of all of them. This one is a super cute race game with some dice rolling and take-that. Very simple with lots of options. I would play this anytime.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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20. Dice Age: The Hunt:

Las Vegas with a twist as you are also trying to collect different sets of hunting game. It was definitely a refreshing take on Las Vegas and I could play this in its place anytime.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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21. Trash Pandas:

Top-notch artwork and a push-your-luck game to boot. I had to see what it was all about. Very cute game. Probably a bit long for my taste since I seem to always push my luck too much. Would play again, but not itching to do so.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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22. 3x8:

Small colorful card game. Really didn't like the gameplay at all. I could see keeping the cards to be used for The Mind, but this is not a game I would want to play again.



3.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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23. Wing Spirits:

Not the best game to play on the fly. You really need a good table and playing surface. Not the best dex game and probably not one I will play again.



3.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

No Photo!

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24. 1st & Roll:

I don't even like Sportsball, but this was a lot of fun. I love push-your-luck dice games! It is super clever and the board is magnetic!



7/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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25. Kero:

2-player game. You get to roll lots of dice and try to get the symbols needed to buy the cards you want and take control of locations. Wicked cool sand timer trucks.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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26. Ringo:

2-player simple abstract game. Shiny rings! Harmless and quick so it is one to play anytime. It was okay.



5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)



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27. Spirits of the Forest:

Deluxe version is so pretty! Simple gameplay to gather sets. Very easy to play and a bit relaxing. Interested in playing more with variants, but base game alone is a bit too simple for me.



6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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28. Now Boarding:

Cooperative gameplay to try and pick up angry passengers and drop them at their proper destination. You work with the other airlines to make sure everyone is happy. It is a clever theme. Probably not a game I will return to often, but I would gladly play it again.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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29. Ocean Crisis:

OCEAN DEFENSE TEAM! Cooperative game to clean up the waters and not get too much pollution. Pretty easy to learn and different levels of difficulties. I could play again.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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30. Cerebria: The Inside World:

Love this game. Probably don't need to rate again, but it has changed a bunch since I last played it and this was a new experience, but still gave me the same feeling. Really excited to play this more and more.



8.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)



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31. Marble Bobsleigh:

Not a game for me. Seems like it could be cool but there were a bunch of issues with the marble releases. Wanted more to happen.



4/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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32. Cave Paintings:

Silly drawing game. I would totally play this if requested or in the mood for a drawing game. I don't think it is above other drawing games like Pictomania, but it was cute.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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33. Mesozooic:

Real-time puzzle game to try and make your best park by sliding the cards around the grid as fast as you can to make the connections you want. It was cute. I am interested in the advanced rules to see if that makes it a bit more interesting. For now, it was just okay.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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34. Prototype- Roll n Write Designed by Kane Klenko:

Early Proto - Not going to rate it. Looking forward to final result!



-/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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35. Home Alone Game:

Clever 2 player game with a pretty fantastic theme. Will definitely be making it a holiday tradition to play this one. Super fast and some good choices. Hard to win as Kevin but not impossible. I like a good challenge.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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36. Cerberus:

Not really a game for me, but I can see how it will have its place. Cute Cerberus meeple. Not really hidden traitor but can kind of feel like it. Simple card game to try and escape the cave before Cerberus gets you. Or do you want to join Cerberus? It was okay.



4.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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37. Hardback:

More streamlined than Paperback and I quite enjoyed it. I am always up for some word games and this was a delight. Happy to play this.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)




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38. Walking in Burano:

So colorful! Love the theme and card drafting. I didn't like the use of money in this game though - I feel it might play better without it. Happy to play it anytime, but might not request it. I try too hard to put the buildings in rainbow order and get disappointed if I don't.



6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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39. Thwarted! A Game of Super-Villainy:

Very much a take-that card game in the realm of Munchkin. Not much here for me to stay interested for very long. Didn't wow me, but was fine.



4/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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40. Big Bang 13.7:

Tile placement and very abstract. Interesting gameplay and one I could play whenever requested. Has a bunch of take-that though.



7/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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41. From Batavia:

Very chaotic resource management game and a race to fill 3 boats. Ultimately not a game for me, but wasn't horrible.



4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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42. Intrigues of Asgard:

Cool theme - duel purpose cards. Set collection with take-that elements. Not really a card game for me and I would advise not to play with larger player counts. Could play again.



5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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43. Geschenke für den Radscha:

Interesting abstract game to collect tokens on the board and use them for buying the items needed. Really a race game to get a couple items and return back. Could use more development work but overall interesting. Happy I played.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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44. Coney Island:

Painful to play. Can't seem to get anything done if people keep ruining what you did the turn before. More frustrating than fun.



3/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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45. The Majority: Complete Edition:

Partnership game to try and collect cards for value. Interesting scoring and I love the art Ayatsurare Ningyoukan offers. Happy to play this.



7/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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46. Pepper & Carrot: The Potion Contest:

Amazing artwork. Never read the webcomic but love the Ghibli feeling the game holds. Very puzzley and thinky. Wish it were real-time.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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New Expansions!




1. Santa Maria: American Kingdoms:

Really good exansion for this game. If you are a fan of the base game then I would recommend this to add in additional modules. Lots to explore and content available here. #recommended.



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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2. The Table is Lava: Coconuts edition:

Not really needed with the base game, but allows for a 5th player! It will get played a lot because I am always looking for good 5 player games. Good add-on.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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3. Imhotep: A New Dynasty:

Excellent expansion. Really offers a lot more boards and replayability. I love mixing and matching the different boards and getting new goals and objectives. If you like the base game I think this will be an obvious pickup.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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4. Dominion: Nocturne:

Didn't get a proper feel for the expansion but I like what I was seeing. One I want to play more of!



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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5. Dominion: Renaissance:

Not much overarching feeling for this expansion, but I liked what I saw. You always need more Dominion cards right?



7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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6. Isle of Skye: Druids:

Easier expansion to take in vs Isle of Skye: Journeyman and might suggest it even before playing the 1st expansion. Quite enjoyable and would be happy to play it anytime. Wishing the base box was a little bigger now.



8.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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The Tally


January: 23
February: 24
March: 48
April:58
May: 56
June: 44
July: 29
August: 59
September: 30
October: 27
November: 56
December: 46





Total new to me games for the year: 500!



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MY GAME OF THE MONTH IS: Let's Drink




8.5/10



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For those keeping track, I watched 18 movies in December, 0 of which were with Movie Pass (Canceled Dec 2018).

Total movies watched with MoviePass: 42
Total movies watched in 2018: 135
Favorite new to me Movies: Captain Fantastic / Aquaman / Mary and the Witch's Flower









Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing 2019.


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


If you like what you saw, please thumb!





I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow



All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in anyway.
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All I want for Christmas is to PLAY ALL THE GAMES!! Lots of Christmas Gaming to be HAD!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Hia Everyone!


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Monday night games, we managed to get in a bunch of new titles! I am nearing the goal of 500 but I don't want to go OVER it - that would just be crazy. Even still there are a bunch to learn before Jan 1. We started the night with Marble Bobsleigh. New to me!

This is a very silly game. You release marbles from your chute and if there is a matching marble already on the board then you have to pull the matching flag and blow on the marble to try and make it get to the finish first. If you win that then you get to collect marbles to your chute. You just keep doing this and maybe someone will run out of marbles eventually and you will count to see who has the most.

This game just didn't work for me at all. It was also faulty - one of the chutes wasn't working. We couldn't figure out why. Jared and I actually tied for the win, but I am pretty sure everyone lost by playing it.

Definitely not a game I would want to play again, but it is so fast, I could be convinced. Meh.










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Since Jared was around we just HAD to play 7 Wonders: Armada.

I will let it be known that I still remain champion, but I made it very clear that this was not a game for champions.

I love love this game and will always play it anytime anywhere. I LOVE it. I still have yet to try it with Cities and Leaders. I really want to soon but is hard to find players who know all the expansions.

I had a few guild cards worth max (10) points and scored me a LOT! It was all very good. #wanttoplaymoreandmoreandmore










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We decided to try out Cave Paintings. New to me!

I am always up for a drawing game. You have to draw 6 images and then pass your drawings around and try and guess what everyone drew. Even though you are timed for the initial drawings, there is plenty of time to get the images drawn, which is nice. It is all very simple and works well with 6 players.

We only played a few rounds since it wasn't a game for everyone at the table and you really get a feeling for the game after a few rounds. I thought my drawings were pretty good, but no one seemed to get them, or they would get like half of them. I thought they were really obvious! Some people didn't finish drawing their images but everyone tried!

Dan ended up winning this game. I don't really know how - he is terrible at these games!

With family and non-gamers, I can see playing this to be easier than, say, Pictomania, but I quite enjoy Pictomania more. I think this is also a bit too long for what it is. You are supposed to play over a number of rounds and it just goes on and on. It was definitely cute and a game I could play whenever requested, but it won't ever be the drawing game of choice for me.
















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We split up into groups, and 3 of us decided to play Mesozooic. New to me!

This is a small box card game that came out this year. It is a puzzle type pattern building game. You first get to draft cards and then they are randomly placed out in a 3x4 grid with one empty space. You have to slide cards around into the available space (like one of those little sliding handheld puzzle games) before the sand timer expires to try and create matching patterns. You play over 3 rounds and score your best 2 rounds for the end score.

There is an advanced mode we didn't try out. But we played through an entire game and I was the clear winner. Maybe I was just better at drafting cards. People caught on by round 3 and I played the worst out of anyone, but because you cancel your weakest score I still took the win.

I found this game to be okay. I wasn't wowed and I was a bit bored by the end of it. I wasn't even sure that I wanted to play the 3rd round. I am semi-interested in playing with the advanced rules. I will definitely play again, but it didn't impress me at all. I heard such great things so maybe my expectations were higher than normal? I duno. S'ok.










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The final game of the night was a very early prototype from designer Kane Klenko. He is working on a Roll n Write and wanted me to check it out. New to me!

I won't get too much into it, but we played and had a good time. There are a bunch of options and replay with how it is now. I like that there is advanced play, and I look forward to trying it out. So far so good.





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Friends!! Our Annual Friends Party! Always a good time.




Simon is in town!! YAY! He came to visit on Friday afternoon and we got to play some games before traditional Friends Night. We got in a couple games of Fugitive.

We each played the detective once. I started off as the detective and caught him pretty early into the game. He was learning, and I think he was a bit confused about the footprints. When I played as the fugitive, I was getting really separated numbers and ended up using a bunch of cards at the end to get to 42 and escape. He just never caught on my trail. He was always 2 steps behind me.

Never thought I would win as the fugitive so that was pretty cool. I quite enjoy this game.








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Once all the friends got together we managed to get one game on the table and that happened to be Trapwords.

We ended up playing girls v boys and I was on point this game. I am usually not on point, so that was pretty awesome.

I was getting Kim's clues and Alison was getting mine, so it was working really awesome. We ended up winning!! Woohooo!! I am really pleased we were able to take the boys down! One of the words was Excel and we had to write down clues for it. We had a timer curse and were able to write down 10 words! Kim wrote about 8 words and I wrote 1 word and I chose green, thinking Excel is green. It was silly and I got some looks but they let me keep it. Sure enough, Simon said Green and I got him! BUZZZZZZZZED! That was awesome, I felt proud. I never really pick the words that become the traps.

Seriously loving this game and I think it was great for this get-together. It will be coming around for a while, I think. So much fun.







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Simon was staying with us, so later that night, we played a bunch of games at home. He is a botanist so plants and animals are always are of interest for him. So we ended up playing Planet.

I knew this would be a game he would quite enjoy and I was not wrong. He picked it up really quickly since it is a pretty easy one to grasp. He wasn't asking what everyone had each turn so that was great and kept the game moving along.

I managed to do better than I normally do, but I am still awful at this one and lost anyway. Ron was going for all the cute animals so that was lame since I wanted them! It didn't matter since Simon and Ron tied for the win anyway! I am just not sure I will ever win this game.









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It only seemed fitting to play a game of Habitats.

I rarely play this with 3 players so that was a nice change. It moves super quickly and I can focus and play quickly. I was gifted a fox mini a while ago so I always get to play with this sly fox piece.

I think I might play better when there is a constant stream of turns and it is back to me before I have time to really think about it.

I ended up winning by nearly completing all of the requirements for all of the animals on my player board. It was awesome. I don't even think I won any of the end of round bonuses. Simon did though. He had a great time. I am happy to play this one when requested, but it is usually with 5p and I just don't like it as much with 5. Still enjoy it though.











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Simon was interested in learning more about the game Cryptid. He was intrigued by the name.

I quite enjoy this game and always want to play a couple games back to back, but for some reason, people aren't into playing this game back to back. What's up with that.

So yeah, we only played one game. I was on the right track for the right reasons and searched the area even though I knew it wasn't the area from an earlier deduction. I cycled back to a thought I had after I already negated it. I was quick to guess. Simon had an idea too, but he was incorrect. By my next turn, I totally knew the correct answer.

It was a few more turns than the first game I played. I somehow still won, but Simon would have gotten it on his next turn. I am still intrigued by this game and will gladly play when requested. It almost takes more time to set up which is why a couple games in a row makes more sense. Still lovin' it.










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The final game of the night was a 2 player game of The Mind.

It is one of my favorites from the year and I figured we would be pretty good at it. It was good times. We ended up playing just the one game and we made it all the way to level 12 with him learning. We should have used a shuriken in the final round since we had them. We would have won for sure if we did. We ended up playing it out to see how close we were to winning - we were one life away.

Still a fav.







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Saturday morning gameday!! Simon was awesome and took out the rules and learned a very Christmasey-themed game called Home Alone Game. New to me!

I mean, Home Alone!! One of my all-time favorite holiday movies. How can it not be? So so so good! This is a 2-player game where Kevin is setting traps for the Wet Bandits. They are trying to steal $2000 worth of items and cash. Kevin is just trying to stop them! It is super thematic and totally pulls you right into the gameplay. The game has all the traps you know and love from the movie. It is hard not to reminisce when playing this.

Each round, Kevin reveals 3 loot cards and sets them down by the front door/side window/top window. Then he chooses to set traps or not for each of the locations. The Bandits get to choose which entries to try and loot. Traps are revealed and they have to get by them all using the cards in hand. The game will end if the Bandits get to $2000 or the Loot deck of cards runs out!

It is a super cute game and plays out very quickly. I was Kevin and was really struggling with laying the traps down and what loot to put where. It was a very tight race between Kevin and the Bandits right until the end! The Bandits, played by Simon, managed to get to $1900 stolen, but since he didn't have enough to win, he spent some loot and tried to push his luck. He was just not lucky enough to pull out the extra cash! That means I won as Kevin! It was good times.

So glad he was able to help me out and read the rules to this holiday game. So happy I could play. I will be playing this each year for sure!














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Once everyone started to show up, we decided to play an early game of Cerebria: The Inside World. After last week I was looking to get this played again soon and I knew Simon would be up for playing as my partner.

This week I was Love and he was Empathy vs Star and Nate playing Hatred and Malice! I was too focused on trying to help Simon understand the game. Thanks to Star for explaining it though. It is a beast to try to explain to 2 people who hadn't even heard of the game. No small task.

We eventually started playing, and the game lasted about 2 hours once going. Again, the happy side of emotions started off strong and had a strong ending with a lower midpoint. It probably helped that I had just played the week before and I could guide a bit. Simon had his own ideas and plans so that was great too. I definitely focused more on building the fortresses and less on the common goals. We were still able to complete the common and private goals early.

The game ended because we had no more smaller pieces to place onto the game board. Simon and I were working really hard to get the points in the game since, really, nothing else matters. We ended with like 30 points total at the end. It was a pretty great score, I think. A lot more than my first game.

Everyone had a great time playing and that is what matters most! Love this game. It might be a few weeks before I play again though - it is a lot!










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We had 6 players now and I felt it could be a perfect time to play the new game called Cerberus. New to me!

This is a race type game to try and get to the lifeboat with the help of others. You might get caught by Cerberus and, well, then he turns you to his side and then you start working as Cerberus.

In this game, you have a hand of cards. If you are Human, you use the human side of the cards, and if you have turned to Cerberus, then you use the other side. Players choose one card to play each turn, and the game continues until the lifeboat is filled or Cerberus eats everyone!

Each card side has 2 possible actions. Lots of actions will help other players but will help you even more. You can try and team up, but no one wants to give someone too much help, because the lifeboat might have only one seat on it. So there are a lot of shifty eyes.

Sort of feels like a hidden traitor game, but not. You can choose to do poorly and get eaten up by Cerberus and then you are playing against everyone and others might join your team. As it turns out I was trying to stay alive as a human, but no one wanted to help me out, so I just went with the dark side. Once the maximum of 4 players are on the Cerberus side it is easy to have some powerful moves and take the rest of the humans down. This is exactly what happened and the humans were unable to get to the boat and sail away before Cerberus was able to announce victory. Turned out that Simon, Dan, Chris, and I were the winners that game by turning to the dark side. Maybe I just wanted to be the cute 3-headed puppy.

It is a cute party-type game. Not really much going on or enough choices. I didn't mind the change over from human to Cerberus like I thought I would. I like that people don't really get kicked out of the game. Definitely a lighter game for the not-so-serious gamers out there. It won't really work with my group and it is not really my type of game, but I could play again. It is pretty harmless and the Cerberus meeple is amazing after all.
















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Joe was willing to give Rebel Nox a shot. We ended up playing with 6 players. I do like it better with more players, but the upkeep after each trick can be a pain. I do like that there are more options for Rebels v Loyalists with more players so you really don't know who you are working with.

You are really only playing a few rounds before the end of the game. I was shocked at who my team was at the end of the second round and also the end of the game. Not who I was expecting at all. I really thought I was going to be on the winning Rebel side of things, but turns out that we totally lost! So uncool! I thought we all were winning that thing, but Shrey and Adam both abandoned sides and I picked up Dan and Joe for teammates.

Definitely a bit crazy, so that was interesting, and a bit chaotic. I would play this again, not sure how much I enjoy it vs other trick-takers though.













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Dan was willing to teach me and Chris how to play Hardback. New to me!

This reminded me of Paperback, but it had been so long since I had played. This seemed a bit more streamlined since there aren't decks of cards but just one common deck with a bunch of letters on display for the taking. It certainly makes the setup easier.

In this game, you are making words from the cards you have in hand. What is really nice about it is that you can use ANY card as a wild if you just flip it around. I really like that since you don't get any reward for doing it but it is still available to you, giving you a lot more options to get creative with words. You can press your luck and add more cards to your 5-card hand, but if you do this then you have to keep the ones you revealed face up and in play for your word. You don't want to reveal too many and not be able to make an actual word.

Every card has a power, and if you have multiple cards of the same color, you can get a synergy bonus. Red cards often trash cards from your deck. Lots of cards will offer money and victory points. Early, you want the money ones so you can buy the better cards, but you really want to be scoring the points. Whoever can reach 60 points first wins!

Pretty simple game and I think there are a bunch of variants included in the box to try out too.

I am always up for a word game. I have always loved them, though I am not sure why. Maybe I like the challenge of trying to find the best word in a situation. I just wish I knew more words. It is not all about knowing bigger and better words though. I still managed to win the game. I had a better strategy of thinning the deck and making my higher valued point cards surface more frequently than the rest. I managed to get to 60 points pretty easily. I was getting 15+ points in the final turns, so it wrapped up fairly quickly once that happened.

Very cool game, I am happy to play whenever requested. Love word games. Reminds me I should play Boggle again soon. Love Boggle!

















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Dan offered to read the rules for Walking in Burano. New to me!

I have been wanting to play this for a long while now. I just love EmperorS4 and their titles. This one is beautiful and it really pulls me in. It is a card drafting and card placement game. You try and collect 1st/2nd/3rd floors of the houses. A house has to be all the same color, so you can't put multiple colors inside a house (though I don't see why that is a problem ). You also can't have same-colored houses adjacent. You can alter the rules at a cost of 3 points to misplay a card.

Each turn you are selecting from a column of cards and taking up to 3, always taking at least 1. You can choose not to take them all and get $1 for each one not taken. You should try to take as much money as you can since you need money to build the houses. Each time you complete building a house with all 3 levels, you get to occupy the house with a resident or tourist. These people will provide points for different characteristics from your buildings. Once someone completes their 5th house the game will be over.

In our game, I desperately wanted to make the houses in rainbow order. I think that is and will always be #TopPriority and therefore I might just always lose in this pursuit.

Definitely lost in this game, though I was able to end it. Chris took the win this time. Here I thought I was doing well, but I had to mishmash the last house in the final turns to get them all complete. I just wasn't getting the residents I needed. I got Santa, because, well, SANTA!! It is the holidays and all so it felt natural to get him. I only just learned he was a resident of Burano, so that was exciting.

I had fun playing this one. I am not sure it is my favorite small boxed game from EmperorS4, though. The rules need to be clearer in spots, and I didn't like the money part of the game. Will still be happy to play this one again.



















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Shrey and Adam were up for Level 4 of Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr.

After playing a couple games last week, it was of interest to continue the story and see how it goes.

Playing with only 3 players this time was interesting and it definitely felt more challenging. We were able to manage though and still won the game. Maybe we won't ever lose? Not sure, but I am still enjoying it. I am not sure Adam and Shrey are still liking it, but I think so?

I talk a bit about it in the BGG Show at the end of this blog. I look forward to playing more.






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Next up was a 3 player game of Tales of Glory.

I have been wanting to play this again with fewer players. Tiles don't automatically cycle in 5p games, which can be frustrating. Tiles cycle automatically with fewer players. So I definitely think 3 or 4 players is a great way to play this game.

It was pretty vicious even with 3 players, with everyone going for the same tiles. I still love the simultaneous selection for tiles though. It is really multi-player solitaire except for that aspect of the game. Highly enjoyable and I like the bonus tiles everyone is given to get some goals going.

Hey, I played very well this time and managed to get some end game scoring awards for the most potions and flags of a specific type. Those extra points pushed me over the edge to win the game. Sahweet!

Love this game and look forward to many more plays! Totally right up my alley.















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Next up, Derek and Chris wanted to join me for Imhotep & Imhotep: A New Dynasty. New to me Expansion!

I was definitely excited for this new expansion. I like the base game just fine and am willing to play it, but with the expansion, you get a whole list of new features and different objectives. For example, the market has an option to be a black market and you don't really know what you are going to get from there, but you get to draw 3 cards, choosing 1. I quite enjoyed the chariot race and trying to beat people around the ring to get an income of a few points each round.

There is another added element for the scarabs and goal cards where you can try and claim additional points. You have to prepare though, and if you go earlier you get more points, but you also lose more points if you don't complete the goal. The goal might be to have the most bricks in the temple or to collect 4 statue cards.

I think this is a clever addition to a fun game. We had a great time playing, and I got to test out the new Imhotep mat that I got. It is awesome and so pretty. I love pretty. Because I was able to complete some of the new goal cards, I managed to sneak the win by just a few points this time. Derek sort of forgot about the goals and he ended up in last this time around. I don't think he will forget about them next time though!

I will always be using the expansion going forward. I liked it a lot!

















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Adam has been requesting Dominion and Dan doesn't mind it so we ended up playing Dominion: Renaissance & Dominion: Nocturne. New to me Expansions x2.

I just got Renaissance in Secret Santa and I have had Nocturne on my shelf of shame for a year now. It is not really fair to not give each expansion a time to shine on their own and just play a full game with the new cards only. I feel like I didn't get the full experience by combining the sets.

I can tell you up front, they aren't as good as Dominion: Empires. I still had a great time playing them though. I got to learn some new cards and try and figure out a winning strategy. I saw how some Nocturne cards were working and that they will be in effect for several turns, possibly. We saw the Crypt card and it seemed really cool.

It was a close one and I think Adam ended up taking the win with 31, I was 29, and Dan was in last place with 27. At least I think that was the score. I definitely had 29 though. I really thought I would win that one! I bought Estates!! haha Estates not for the win! I tried though. I always love a good game of Dominion. Great stuff.











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Since I was given a newly updated prototype of Paint the Roses, it was definitely time I played again!

Three of us played - Dan, Adam, and myself. Neither had played before so I taught them. I hadn't played with 3 people before and it definitely seemed harder than normal. Maybe I was working with teammates that didn't want to try for harder cards.

In our game, we only managed to complete 2 red cards and worked the rest from the blue and green cards. Yeah, we ended up losing. This was the first time I lost this game!

I feel like there was a rules update since the last time where you HAVE to make at least one guess each turn. I am not sure if this was addressed in previous games but I read it this time and we played with that rule. Can't remember if it had mattered in the past but it certainly mattered in this game. haha we were so screwed this time from the beginning.

It was pretty awesome that I was just on a mind meld and guessing the cards absolutely correctly with like a 25-50% chance of getting them right. It was really cool. I felt all powerful. I probably should have played the lottery!

It was great fun and I look forward to more plays and seeing how the game progresses further!











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The final game of the night was the 3 of us in a game of Thwarted! A Game of Super-Villainy. New to me!

This has a supervillain theme and Adam was interested in trying it out. Dan is always willing to play a few new games, so that is exciting since he knows how to read.

We started playing this game and Adam compared it to Munchkin, a game I have yet to play. But, I suppose if you are familiar, then you will understand this one.

In this game, you are trying to use the symbols on the cards in your hand to defeat the Heroes in the lineup display. If you do, you get to take them to your score area and use their abilities which are sometimes on-going. You can also use the cards in your hand to keep other villains from beating heroes or to give yourself more cards, etc.

It is fairly easy gameplay. You just keep taking turns trying to take the hero cards and gaining as many points as you can from them. You play until either the hero deck or the villain deck runs out.

I somehow managed to win this game. Maybe I was the only one focused. I know people didn't think I was winning so that might have helped my cause a bit. I was sad since Adam picked up a few of the favorite hero cards that I was eyeing for their colorful artwork.

This is totally not a game for me, but I think there is probably a place for it, much like Munchkin and Exploding Kittens have a place. For me, it just seemed repetitive and too much take-that attacking. Not really my cup of tea. Harmless enough where I would play again, but wouldn't ever request it.




















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Sunday in Maine we had Pre-Christmas Christmas with the family! Lots of games were played! Has anyone played the SOLITAIRE game pictured below? Love that one.












I started everyone off with Facecards.

I am so happy to now own this game! This game is amazing fun and my mom immediately wanted to own it. It is so much fun, and anyone can easily play this one. I totally forgot to bring to Thanksgiving, but I should have. I hope they come out with an expansion for it.

Everyone was playing, so there were 6 of us. We played this game 3 times and Ron ended up winning 2 of the games. #typical In the 3rd game, Nick and Mom ended up tied for the win. That was good.

This game just makes you smile. I don't say that about a lot of games, but this one does. Trying to connect the faces and hearing some explanations is just priceless.

Totally fun times. #recommended











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