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Age of Steam Con 2021 Recap

Joshua Acosta
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Howard University College of Medicine
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The following is a recap of my experience at Age of Steam Con 2021.
To read about the experiences some others had, feel free to check out:
Ashley Miller's Age of Steam Con 2021 Recap
James Nathan's Age of Steam Con 2021 Recap OR
Rick Byrens' Maps I played at Age of Steam Con 2021.


Storytelling
Age of Steam Con is an annual gathering of AoS enthusiasts who spend 3+ days together partaking in bankruptcy, share issuing, route building, and cube delivering, all while trying out new variations (maps) of the game they all love. This year's gathering took place over the first weekend in November (November 5-7, 2021), and it was my first time in attendance. The get-together, marvelously hosted by both Chad DeShon and Kevin McCurdy, was held at the Hollis Renewal Center cabin gathering space, nestled in a large wooded area on the western edge of Kansas City, KS. The star of the show was Chad's mother in law, Kay, who masterfully and single-handedly (so to speak) provided 60+ attendees with fresh, warm, and delicious food around the clock, allowing us to lay track tiles and overpay in auctions 'til our hearts' content, all without ever needing to leave the cabin. Be that as it was, it was hard to ignore the allure of authentic Kansas City barbecue, and several people (myself included) stole away once or twice for some sauce-slathered local meats.

The 'Con is structured in such a way that attendees could hope to play about 12 different games of Age of Steam, all during pre-defined time-slots to ensure everyone's ability to join an active game:

Breakfast: 8:30AM
Session 1: 9:00AM
Session 2: 12:30PM
Meal: 3:45PM
Session 3: 5:00PM (5:30PM Sat)
Session 4: 8:30PM (9:00PM Sat)

Of course, not every game of Age of Steam runs 3.5 hours (thank God), so there was often time to play some lighter fare between games, as time would allow. A modest selection of boxed Winsome and other such games were available in the gaming library for this purpose, though several people (including myself) brought along our own games to fill the gaps during downtime.

Some cool little quirks about the gathering:
-The hosts had an authentic pull-chain train whistle mounted on a tall pillar, which attendees were encouraged to TOOT for when they encountered a bankruptcy or orchestrated a 6-engine cube delivery. How fun!
-Extra-large, vinyl-printed Age of Steam maps were hung from every otherwise-bare spot on the many walls of the cabin, and on a projector screen, videos of steam engines and iron horses played silently throughout the duration of the 'Con; these together helped to create a perfect, train-centered ambience for the weekend of gaming.
-The remote woodland location of the 'Con and the unseasonably warm weather made it possible for attendees to enjoy some outdoor fun around the convention area, including hiking excursions, frisbee golf, and deer watching.
-Together with the name badges, attendees were provided with a "scavenger hunt" of sorts - a kind-of Age of Steam gameplay checklist for players to mark when something specifically noteworthy happened while playing (see Scavenger Hunt, below). Those who realized at least 25 of those checklist items were entered into a giveaway drawing for some odds'n'ends games. Though the giveaway itself was really just a bonus; playing Age of Steam and having Eureka moments when a checklist item would happen was fun enough, such that marking items off was its own reward.
-There were a few people in attendance who did not yet own a copy of Age of Steam, and some folks from Eagle-Gryphon Games generously donated a Deluxe copy of the game to whoever did not previously own it.

For me, the 'Con started on Day 0, Thursday, the day before the actual convention. Jose Silva (Zezzo) and I flew in together and arrived at the renewal center around 4PM. After a couple quick hours of chipping in to help setup, the gaming began...

Multiple Maps
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Thursday, November 4 - Day 0 (Pre-Con)
1857
An 18xx variation of 1830, set in Argentina, wherein even non-floated Companies start with station tokens on the board, potentially blocking route potential for other Companies. Often ends in bankruptcy.
Board Game: 1857
Board Game: 1857

As a way to get in our 18xx fix prior to a weekend full of Age of Steam, several of us pre-con'ers decided to use the evening for some no-nonsense train rusting. Myself, Zezzo, and Robert got in our first play of 1857, while several others played a prototype of 18...TOP?
1857 is generally known for a brutally fast-rusting train roster, causing the game to very often end in early bankruptcy. In our case, however, bankruptcy was just barely avoided, causing the game to run the full course: Zezzo dumped a single 3-train company with some treasury money left onto Robert and shortly thereafter started a new venture, rusting the 3's in that and another of Robert's three companies. Some well-timed treasury shuffling allowed him to purchase the trains he needed to stay afloat after divesting all but two of his sellable shares. A couple OR's later we all agreed that the game should have killed him and there was no way of stopping me from running away with the win. Rather than draw the game out a few more OR sets, we called it in my favor and went onto the next thing. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I don't think the 3-player game is the sweet spot. The 4-player game with less potential for treasury manipulation is sure to not overstay its welcome, and I hope to try it out soon.

Me: $6,277
Jose Silva: $4,543
Robert Masson: $4,307

South African Railroads
A 40-90-minute economic bloodbath
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta

Having recently obtained this hard-to-find game for cheap in a bulk buy, I was eager to get it to the table. However, not yet having played any of the other Prairie series games, I made some assumptions about the rules (not otherwise clearly laid out in the rule-sheet) that significantly altered the dynamic of the game in a negative way. During the "Pay Dividends" phases, companies received dividends for their unsold shares, which bloated their treasuries and made track-laying too easy, in retrospect (hence the runaway Brown company in the photograph above). In the rules' defense, it could have been that I read them too quickly or hadn't read them thoroughly enough. Regardless, we later replayed the game, this time with the correct rules, and I enjoyed it much more (see below).

Me: $234
Daniel Leonard: $212
Jose Silva: $152

Crokinole
A traditional dexterity game played on a circular, wooden board with wooden discs as playing pieces.
Me & Matt Roy: Lose
2 others: Win

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Friday, November 5 - Day 1
Age of Steam - 1830's Pennsylvania
Coal deliveries (black cubes) from western side are worth double income or double Locomotive.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California

The perfect choice for a 5-player map to start out the convention, this one had some real appeal. For the most part, players are incentivized to begin route-building on the eastern side of Pennsylvania, expanding westward toward the coal (black cubes), seeded onto the left side of the board. Coal deliveries offer the potential for great gains - either by delivering them for double-income with standard locomotives or for standard income by using up to double a player's current locomotive capacity. This is met with some challenge, however, as journey over the Appalachian chain is achieved only with great ardor; building over a mountain hex costs $5, compared to the standard $4 cost.

Having lived in Pennsylvania for the majority of my life, I was smitten with this map and enjoyed it quite a bit. Not to mention the fact that I was favored to win for a majority of the game. That is, of course, until Eric swept in and stole my high-valued coal right from underneath my nose... three times in a row! I heard from others who played this as a 6-player game later in the day that it was too crowded and drawn-out, and after our enjoyable play, I definitely think the 5-player game is the sweet spot.

Eric Knell (red): 73
Me (pink): 68
Chad Krueger (green): 64
Jose Silva (blue): 40
Brian Wilcutt (yellow): 35

Crokinole
A traditional dexterity game played on a circular, wooden board with wooden discs as playing pieces.
Me & Jac: Lose
2 others: Win

Age of Steam - Bay Area XL
Earlier implementation of Northern California. Tougher map due to distances between Cities. San Jose is a three hex red city; Port of Santa Cruz has cubes lined up for delivery. Difficult to set up early deliveries. Bankruptcy more likely.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Bay Area

When it was time for the next session to start, several of us were debating about which map to play next, and we realized that the XL-equipped table was available. Against the warnings of an onlooker (Jonathan), we opted to play the Bay Area (XL), a map notoriously known to have caused so many bankruptcies that the designer felt the need to redesign it (as Northern California). The maps preceding reputation did not disappoint (though the same can't be said for its gameplay). Both Chad and Michael bankrupted out of the game, and Zezzo and I barely held on by the skin of our teeth. This is the only game of Age of Steam that I've ever played where only the winner had a positive score. Maybe I'm a masochist, but I'd be willing to give it another go... though maybe I should just try the updated map.

The multiple bankruptcies of the Bay Area map really propelled the speed of the game forward, so much so that we all had AMPLE time before the next session began, affording us the time to play several shorter games in the meantime.

Kyle Curlett (pink): 70
Jose Silva (blue): -13
Me (red): -24
Michael Richard (purple): 2nd Bankrupt
Chad Krueger (yellow): 1st Bankrupt

Hiawatha Connection
An expansion map for SNCF released in Volume 1, Issue 1 of Mainline Traxx magazine
Board Game: Paris Connection: Hiawatha Connection

A first for everyone at the table, we decided to try out one of the Mainline magazine games, Hiawatha Connection. Though mostly a re-skin of SNCF, this game has some particularities that add an extra layer to the thinking process of how routes are planned and de-legitimize wasted track-laying in a positive way. Having played the base map to death, this was a nice departure for me. I'm concerned that the preprinted terrain will cause games to follow a similar path, but the game is quick enough that it probably won't be much of an issue. Still, I enjoyed it quite a bit and probably prefer it to the standard map. Now I just need to get some plays of the Moon/Mars maps in...

Kyle Curlett: 210
Me: 190
Jose Silva: 184
Michael Richard: 164

Iberian Railways
A Winsome game with wonky end-game scoring, high track costs, even higher debt potential, and a recently announced non-"list" expansion map
Board Game: Iberian Railways

After learning that I've had the opportunity to playtest Balkan Railways, Tyler had asked if I could teach Iberian Railways so he could make a decision about buying its new expansion map. For the life of me, I don't know how I messed up as badly as I did, but somewhere in the middle of the game I wasted several actions merging two railroads that should have been built as a single railroad to begin with. #GoodTeacher

Kyle Curlett (black): 7
Jose Silva (blue): 3
Michael Richard (green): 3
Me (red): 1

Bus
Deliver passengers to home/work/pub or break the space-time continuum trying.
Board Game: Bus

Always a rewarding time, we had about 45 minutes before the next session to get in a play of Bus. This is probably one of the highest combined-scoring valued games of Bus that I've personally played. And it was definitely the only game I've played where a player having taken a clock stone made the difference between them winning or losing (unfortunately for Richie, losing in this case).

Me (red): 8
Richie Turner (green): 7
Jonathan Jang (blue): 7
Jose Silva (black): 4

Age of Steam - Brummie Rails XL
The main twist of this map is there are no special actions at the start of the game; these have to be revealed using the Develop special action.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Brummie Rails / Southern China

Still having access to one of the XL-equipped tables, we wanted to try out last year's 'Con map, and what better way to do it than in extra-large format! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game. Largely just a vanilla Age of Steam map, the dynamic of having only limited, incrementally-revealed actions from which to select by winning the auction really added to the game's enjoyment for me.

What makes the post-auction action selection phase so intriguing in this map are the first-time bonuses afforded to players when they choose "Develop" to then choose a previously unavailable action for that round. Specifically: First Move - use another player's link as if it were your own. First Build - Build up to 4 tiles instead of 3. Engineer - Normal engineer, but one of the tiles is free. Locomotive - No bonus. Urbanization - place two random goods on the newly placed City tile. Production - Put 2 random goods on the Goods display and 2 random goods on any City on the map. Turn Order Pass - Automatic first player next turn.

Five players was definitely the right choice for this one, and I find myself eager to play it more at that count.

Richie Turner (pink): 66
Jonathan Jang (orange): 53
Jose Silva (blue): 49
Me (red): 49
Mason Haworth (green): 47

Age of Steam - Paris
Hexless and no track tiles are used. Flyboat action replaces Turn Order Pass; allows a player to move a cube along the Seine to another district, it counts as 1 link for downstream movement and 2 links for upstream movement.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow

I'm a fan of the Weird, and as such I set out to play maps that I didn't think I would get a chance to play otherwise - either because others might not be interested or because the map is hard to find (see 20,000 Rails below). So I made it a point to get in at least ONE play of one of Alban Viard's hexless maps. Enter Paris.

The map was amazing as a 4-player game. Just enough tension and jockeying for cubes in a nicely condensed play-space, all without the extra time and mental energy of having to consider track tile placements. In fact, unless you choose the Engineer action, you can only place a single ownership disc each turn! Of all the maps we played over the weekend, this one was definitely a Top-5 map for me, and I'd be down to play it again anytime.

Of note: The included rule-sheet does raise a slight amount of ambiguity as to the placement of goods cubes north of the Rhein, leaving it up to interpretation whether or not a cube should be placed on each of the non-colored, landlocked districts during setup. Assuming non-ambiguity, we played as if they each started with a goods cube, which I later (kind of) cleared up with Alban via e-mail, asking if they should have started that way. His answer was classic Alban, essentially saying "I don't think so, but maybe!"
Quote:
If my memory is good for this map, I think they are no cubes on the non-colored districts. But if you put some, that should be because there is something in the rules saying to put?
Mason Sokol (green): 84
Jonathan Jang (blue): 81
Jose Silva: 75
Me (red): 60

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Saturday, November 6 - Day 2
Age of Steam - Greece
6 cubes start in Athens. Issue shares: the first 5 shares pay $5, shares 6-10 pay $4, shares 11-15 pay $3. The rate of Income Reduction is increased.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Greece and Cyclades

My greatest disappointment of the convention. Not because of the map! In fact, the map was great. But because I narrowly lost this game through no fault of my own. You see, whereas usually the income reduction for successive income brackets increases linearly by two's (-2, -4, -6, -8, -10), the income reduction increases linearly by three's (-3, -6, -9, -12, -15). Additionally, issuing shares becomes less valuable as you take more shares (shares 6-10 are worth $4, shares 11-15 are worth $3). The reason why I am so salty about this play is that Jonathan was unnecessarily "king-made" by Zezzo on the very last turn of the game. I was sitting at 20 on the Income Track, with Jonathan close behind at 18 or 19. Zezzo purposefully delivered over one of my links to bump me to the next Income Reduction tier, causing me to reduce my Income by 6 on the last turn rather than 3. As you can see in the final tallies below, this cost me dearly.

Still, the rules intricacies of this map, at 4-player, were really intriguing, and I would love to play this one again.

Jonathan Jang (blue): 48
Me (red): 46
Chad Krueger (yellow): 27
Jose Silva (black): 22

South African Railroads
A 40-90-minute economic bloodbath
Board Game: South African Railroads

With some time to kill before the next session, we opted for a rules-correct play of this gem. I liked it much more the second time around and look forward to playing it more, however hopefully I won't make the same mistake next time I play... Note to self, do not cross-invest in green and brown to start out the game. In fact, don't start the game with two shares at all if you can help it!

Chad Krueger: $232
Jonathan Jang: $200
Jose Silva: $150
Me: $118

Age of Steam - The Netherlands XL
The color of Cities is randomly determined during setup. Each City has number on it which is the number of goods it starts with every turn. Shares are worth $3. No more than 5 shares may be issued. Demand action allows a player to switch the color of two Cities with each other. Liquidate action gives $2 cash. Income action increase the players income +1. Engineers allows 2 links to be built.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Netherlands

Another game at the XL table, this map was PERFECT for seven players. Similar to the Paris map where only a single link can be built each turn, this cleared up a lot of the decision-space, allowing the 7-player game to play super smoothly with minimal downtime between turns. The way the rules for this map are setup allows for a single player each turn to swap the colors of two different cities, which can add a nice amount of screw-age and delivery-maximization to their turn. The rules allow for only a maximum of five shares to be issued per person over the course of the game, further simplifying the auction phase and helping to indirectly decrease the game length, which I appreciated. Surprisingly, only two people issued a maximum of two shares, the rest of us opting for only the single share we optionally started the game with. Though terribly difficult to come by, I think this map is well worth adding to my collection, given how excellently it played at 7-players.

Jose Silva (black): 70
Jonathan Jang (blue): 62
Me (red): 61
Noah Moskat (purple): 58
Chad Krueger (yellow): 52
Kyle Curlett (pink): 44

Age of Steam - London
Union Overtime Fees must be paid to build track which increases with more track built in a turn; Engineer lowers the fees for this. Up to 5 track tiles may be built per turn. Towns may only be Urbanized if there is track built on them. Goods Growth used instant production.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta

One of Matt's goals for the 'Con was to play more maps designed by J. C. Lawrence, and this one did not disappoint. A variant of this map allows players to choose to start with zero shares and issue up to 25 shares; however, we played the standard variant, issuing up to 20 shares. Track cost in this one is br00tal. Up to five tracks can be placed per turn, but union overtime fees cause track placement to cost more for each successive track laid on the same turn (triangular numbers starting with $1 for 1 tile). I made some critical errors in over-issuing shares early on to build longer links, which caused me to barely scrape by for a majority of the game. I lasted until the penultimate round (I think) before my first bankruptcy of the 'Con. Would love to try this one again. Hey, thankfully I now own a copy!

Matt Roy (blue): 28
Kyle Curlett (purple): 23
Jose Silva (black): 7
Jac (green): 5
Me (red): Bankrupt

Corporation
A 2-4-player highly abstract race game in which the rules governing gameplay are immutable, but in which players can manipulate the rules governing the movement of pieces.

I bought this awhile back and had been wanting to play it for quite some time. Really like this one but would love to try it at 4-player.

Me: 3
Jonathan Jang: 2
Jose Silva: 2

Age of Steam - Central New England XL
Played on both the New Hampshire and Vermont map. The Goods chart is not used. All rules (except setup) from New Hampshire and Vermont maps are in effect. Deliveries must originate in one state and terminate in the other state. Smuggle action allows both deliveries to be in one state.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Vermont, New Hampshire & Central New England

Another XL play! Normally, to play this map, you must own two copies of the double-sided map to duplicate each map side's complement counterpart; however, Kevin's XL redesign fits the two together in a much more visually pleasing manner. With seven of us looking for a game and the unique opportunity to play this one without all the black dead-space in the area adjoining the two separate maps, we opted to try this one out. When combined, the rules governing the two maps make this one pretty hard. EVERY delivery must be made across state lines and cannot be delivered to another City within the same state unless the "Smuggling" special action is selected. Furthermore, anti-competition and anti-revenue-sharing rules prohibit players from duplicating routes between the two Cities or using another player's track for delivering cubes. Talk about a challenge! More or less, the players who outperformed the others were the ones who largely had little competition in their corner of the world. I think Jonathan would have been favored to win, but he issued more shares than his closest competitor, Kyle, who eked out a win over him. I enjoyed it for sure, but this was not one that I would easily gravitate to in the future over some of the other maps that play well at 7.

Kyle Curlett (purple): 53
Jonathan Jang (blue): 47
Jose Silva (black): 44
Noah Moskat (pink): 34
Me (red): 28
Jac (green): 16
Matt Roy (yellow): Bankrupt

Pax Transhumanity
A Pax-series, non-dystopian, post-apocalyptic machination of potential future events. Win by solving humanitarian problems, demolishing societal and technological barriers, and guiding human progress towards a future of your design.
While others (who were likewise still burning the midnight oil at Day 2 of the 'Con) decided to play one of the maps released at the convention (Pacific Electric), we opted for a late-night game of Pax Transhumanity. And it was SUPER compelling. This was my 5th play of the game, and it did not disappoint. At a certain point, each player's turn was critical in preventing another player from taking the win on one of their next turns. This provided everything I love about playing Pax games, and it was great to play with others who knew the game and appreciated its gameplay just as much as I did.

Jonathan Jang: 5
Me: 3
Matt Roy: 1

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Sunday, November 7 - Day 3
Age of Steam - 20,000 Rails Under the Sea
Modular 7-Hex tiles are used to build the map as the game progressive. The cost of each successive track lay is additive of the one laid before it. Goods are delivered from Seabed hexes to Cities with unfilled Demand.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: 20,000 Rails Under the Sea

The final day of the 'Con I made it a point to START with one of the maps I set out to make sure I played that weekend. If I can help it, this map will be a staple of my future Age of Steam Con experiences - it was that good. Although it literally took us an hour to come to a collective understanding of the way the rules are to be interpreted, it was WELL WORTH the added effort. Uniquely, you are not limited in the number of tracks that you can lay each turn; however, the cost for each successive track lay is additive of the one laid before it. Light-colored sea hexes cost base $1 and dark-colored (deep) sea hexes cost $2... So, for example, if you build over a light, then dark, then dark, then light hex, the cost is $1 + ($2 + $1) + ($2 + $3) + ($1 + $5) = $15, yikes! Our imagination of map-tile placement configuration was admittedly conservative, and we later realized they could have been placed in a more freeform fashion. Regardless, the gameplay was amazing. Although this map is impossible to find nowadays, the map itself is actually incredibly easy to create. So I plan on making myself a Print 'n' Play copy of the game very soon and will be playing this one for several years to come.

Jose Silva (black): 87
Adam Sequoyah (blue): 83
Daniel Leonard (yellow): 56
Me (red): 61

Age of Steam - Moon
Can only build 2 track tiles per turn (3 with Engineer). Day and Night phase results in one half of the map being night in which all Cities on this half are considered black and only black cubes. The next turn the night side switches to the other side of the map. Track builds can go off one map edge and connect on the other side (wrapping).
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon

This was my 4th time playing this particular map, but I made a CRITICAL error on turn one which cost me the game. Although I was the one who explained the rules for this particular map, I completely forgot when planning for the first auction that I had to begin my build at either the center "landing pad" hex or a previously connected city. Instead, I issued several shares, became first player, and selected Engineer, all while planning to join the southeast City with the northwest City via wrapping. Not realizing until after the fact that this was impossible at the beginning of the game, I completely hosed myself and bankrupted by turn... 4? Still love this map and look forward to playing it again. We played with the Satellite expansion, opting to change the rules for satellite movement slightly (Last player in turn order roles 3 dice and selects 2 or 3 of them to add the values to determine the distance the satellite moves anti-clockwise after dropping off a goods cube). It seemed to work pretty well, and I prefer it to both the original and updated satellite movement rules.

Jonathan Jang: 84
Jose Silva (black): 66
Adam Sequoyah: 60
Me (red): Bankrupt

Corporation
A 2-4-player highly abstract race game in which the rules governing gameplay are immutable, but in which players can manipulate the rules governing the movement of pieces.
Got in another play of this. Again, it didn't disappoint, but it feels like it will shine at 4.

Me: 3
Jose Silva: 2
Jonathan Jang: 1

Age of Steam - Pittsburgh
3-Player-only map. Game is 8 turns. Curve tiles are $3, tiles with a straight are $10, complex tiles without a straight are $4, all builds on towns are free. Commonwealth Grant action replaces Production action and allows a player to build 1 straight track file $7. The 6 Cities on the map receive goods from both sides of the Goods Display.
Board Game: Age of Steam Deluxe Expansion: New England/Pittsburgh & Switzerland Maps

With both Zezzo and I hailing from Pittsburgh and Dan having previously lived in Pittsburgh, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to play this excellent 3-player map together. I isolated myself to the western half of the map, securing strong connections and preventing a lot of competition on my side. The game, however, did not want me to do well. EVERY SINGLE TURN during the Goods Growth phase, NONE of my "Cities" received new cubes, instead beefing up their delivery selection on the eastern side of the board. Had the dice not so vehemently denied me access to valuable cubes, I might have won this one. Either way, it was a great map, and I'll surely play it again.

Daniel Leonard (yellow): 96
Jose Silva (black): 76
Me (red): 76

Bus
Deliver passengers to home/work/pub or break the space-time continuum trying.
Board Game: Bus

Dan's FIRST Splotter game. We had some time to kill, so we broke out this one. It helped that Dan had previously watched a couple of playthrough videos, so he knew all the rules before we started playing. It ran almost double the time that it should have otherwise run due to some painful analysis paralysis by players other than me. Still, I'm always happy to get this one to the table, and the end-game score situation evidences how stiff the competition really was!

Jose Silva (black): 8
Daniel Leonard (yellow): 8
Me (green): 8

Age of Steam - Ireland
The game is one turn less than normal. Green Cities are depressed Cities and produce no goods and accept no goods. Overseas destinations are connected by ferry routes. Goods can be taken from green Cities, but may not pass through green Cities. Urbanize allows a player to remove 1 cube from the map. Locomotive allows a player to increase their Link level twice by skipping both deliveries.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland

Of all the maps I played over the course of the weekend, this one was the most depressing. We almost unanimously agreed that we would never play it again. Although, like I said for Bay Area, I'm a masochist and would probably play it again. I was actually doing really well early on, but I made a mistake which put me out of the game for sure. The main issue was other players taking way too long on their turn, which made pre-planning my turns a chore, such that 10 minutes would sometimes go by before it would be my turn, by which time I would play as though I already performed the move I'd planned. Anyway, this map is designed to be exceptionally mean and depressing, and it achieved just that. Because of some mistakes I might not have otherwise made, it was easy to tell that I would bankrupt late in the game, so I mostly went through the motions. I voted to call the game in Jose's favor, but the decision was made to play it out, and I respect that. I can't explain why, but I think I actually want to play it again...

Jose Silva (black): 105
Daniel Leonard (yellow): 98
Me (red): Bankrupt

Age of Steam - Disco Inferno
No Goods Display. New Cities have 3 cubes. Production action draws 2 cubes and places them on a City in play. Chain Reaction deliveries allow more than 1 cube to be delivered, within Locomotive level limits, and deliveries must be chained together in order. If no more cubes are on a City it burns immediately, flip it over to the black side or cover it with the black side of a simple track.
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Disco Inferno / Soul Train

The very last game of the 'Con was a standout for me, a true highlight. You see, several of the key gameplay mistakes I made over the weekend were a result of analysis paralysis. Not on my part, however. Oftentimes, others would take SO LONG on their turns, THINKING, while I already had plans 2 or 3 turns ahead, with contingencies in place for if those plans were disrupted. With others taking so long on their turns, by the time it got back to me, I played as though some of the plans I had in mind were already enacted, completely destroying my advantage in the process. In other words, I play my best and have the most fun when I and the other players are playing at a steady clip without long, drawn-out pauses during individual turns.

The 'Con for the most part had ended, most people were gone, and it was approaching midnight. My partner in crime, Jac, had just finished up another game of Age of Steam, and, like me, just wanted to play one last game of Age of Steam but with fast players (or at least in a way that facilitated fast play). We decided on this map at 5-players and had all players at the table agree to play fast, and it was the perfect way to end the convention. This map has a few fun rules that make its gameplay unique compared to other maps. For starters, there's no goods display; rather, production allows direct seeding of Cities on the board. Additionally, when all the goods in a City are exhausted, the City becomes a colorless Town. Deliveries can be somewhat daisy-chained in a way that's easier for me to explain when sitting at the table. And players go backward on the income track each time they sing/hum a disco tune when it's not their turn! Of course, this only added to my enjoyment of the map.

I was doing really well for myself in this game, actually. However, in order to maintain my isolated position, I issued too many shares over the course of the game, putting me out of the running for first by a good margin. Additionally, being so isolated prevented me from receiving income from other peoples' deliveries on the left side of the map; whereas Jac issued minimal shares, happily accepted last in Turn Order several times to good effect, and effortlessly gained Income bumps from others. To me, it didn't ultimately matter who won, because I was just enjoying actually PLAYING the game in a fast and competitive manner. We finished this 5-player game in 75 minutes flat, and it was awesome.

Jac (green): 82
Jonathan Jang (blue): 70
Kyle Curlett (purple): 57
Me (red): 47
Jose Silva (black): 40

Stat Check Resolution
Unique AoS Maps: 13
Unique AoS Map Designers: 6
Unique Opponents: 16
New-to-Me AoS maps: 12
Most AoS Wins: Jose Silva (3)
Most Bankruptcies: Me (3)
Highest Score: Jose Silva (105)
Lowest Winning Score: Matt Roy (28)
Favorite Map: 20,000 Rails Under the Sea
Least Favorite Map: Ireland

Scavenger Hunt
Many of the Scavenger Hunt items occurred more than once. Instances noted below denote their first occurrence

Player connects five cities of same color
Player chooses TOP two turns in a row - Me, 1830's Pennsylvania, Turns 4&5
Illegal delivery attempted (cube in bag) - Me, Central New England, Turn 1
First player in auction passes - Me, London, Turn 1
Player places 3 complex tracks, in 1 turn
First bidder bids an odd number, not 1 - Eric, 1830's Pennsylvania
$1 wins the auction
Same person wins the first 3 auctions - Jose
Player redirects two tracks on one turn
<= Six points between 1st and 4th place
Someone is profitable on turn two - Chad, The Netherlands
A player delivers > 6 - Eric, 1830's Pennsylvania, Turn 4
Last in turn order is urbanizer (>= 4p) - Jonathan, Paris, Turn 3
Final income = 25 - Daniel, Pittsburgh
All players, 2 6 deliveries, on same turn
Someone issues five shares in one turn - Jose, 1830's Pennsylvania, Turn 4
All players issue the maximum number of shares
No cubes produced on a turn
No track built by any players on a turn
Auction winner pays 12 or more - Me, 1830's Pennsylvania
Winners tie
Someone wins by one point
Someone goes bankrupt - Chad, Bay Area, Turn 2
Player passes w/o increasing loco, not turn 1 - Chad & Michael, Bay Area, Turn 2
Urbanizer chooses not to urbanize - Matt, London, Last Turn
First in turn order chooses first build - Richie, Brummie Rails, Last Turn
Someone with max loco chooses loco
Someone claims abandoned track - Chad, Greece, Turn 5
Complex track laid direct, not upgrade
Winner behind before counting track
All bow-and-arrow or x-cross tiles used
1 delivery in turn 6 or later

Critical Hits
Prior to attending Age of Steam Con 2021, my favorite convention had been HeavyCon. Though I still love HeavyCon, there's just something special about getting together for a weekend with other fanatics who all enjoy the exact same game as you and want to play as much of it as possible in the short time you have together. Other than some brief pre-game discussions about the peculiarities of each map, there's very little TEACHING that needs to take place in order to play a given game, which makes playing at this 'Con that much better. Everything about my time spent there over the course of 3.5 days was everything I'd hoped for. The people, the atmosphere, the games, the conversations, the laughs, the trains... I can't wait for the next one.

...literally. I'm thinking of hosting a local AoS weekend here in the interim just to get my fix!

Worker Placement
Regarding the medical world, residency interview season is churning along nicely. I have had a couple interviews so far with some very promising general surgery programs, and I'm hopeful for one of them to pan out. In the meantime, I'll be doing some cancer research at a well-established firm here in the 'burgh, primarily doing pharmacovigilance for a study while we prepare for FDA filing next fall.

Memory
(i.e., Recent plays with current ratings)
∞ = too numerous to count; not all plays logged


 10.   Age of Steam x13 (20 all-time)
 10.   Age of Steam Expansion: 20,000 Rails Under the Sea NEW!
 10.   Age of Steam Expansion: Sun / London NEW!
 10.   Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon (4 all-time)
 10.   Bus x2 (12 all-time)
 10.   Paris Connection (9 all-time)
 9.75   Age of Steam Deluxe Expansion: New England/Pittsburgh & Switzerland Maps NEW!
 9.75   Age of Steam Expansion: Greece and Cyclades NEW!
 9.75   Tramways (4 all-time)
 9.5   Age of Steam Expansion: Disco Inferno / Soul Train NEW!
 9.5   Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow NEW!
 9.5   Age of Steam Expansion: The Netherlands NEW!
 9.5   Hive x13 (∞ all-time)
 9.5   Paris Connection: Hiawatha Connection NEW!
 9.25   Baltimore & Ohio NEW!
 9.25   Pax Transhumanity (5 all-time)
 9.25   The Estates (5 all-time)
 9.0   1857 NEW!
 9.0   Age of Steam Expansion: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California NEW!
 9.0   Age of Steam Expansion: Brummie Rails / Southern China NEW!
 9.0   Crokinole x2 (11 all-time)
 9.0   Food Chain Magnate x2 (13 all-time)
 9.0   South African Railroads x2 NEW!
 9.0   Terraforming Mars (13 all-time)
 8.75   18CZ x4 NEW!
 8.5   Age of Steam Expansion: Vermont, New Hampshire & Central New England NEW!
 8.5   Balkan Railways (3 all-time)
 8.5   Corporation x2 NEW!
 8.25   Acquire NEW!
 8.25   Skull x3 (10 all-time)
 8.0   Iberian Gauge (3 all-time)
 7.75   18Chesapeake NEW!
 7.75   Iberian Railways (3 all-time)
 7.75   Takenoko (4 all-time)
 7.5   1830: Railways & Robber Barons (3 all-time)
 7.5   1889: History of Shikoku Railways x3 (4 all-time)
 7.25   1822MX NEW!
 7.25   Russian Railroads (4 all-time)
 7.25   Suburbia x2 (4 all-time)
 7.0   Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland NEW!
 7.0   Armageddon (2 all-time)
 7.0   Azul (6 all-time)
 7.0   Chicago Express (2 all-time)
 7.0   Clans of Caledonia NEW!
 7.0   Scattergories (3 all-time)
 7.0   The Mind x3 (6 all-time)
 6.25   Mine! NEW!
 4.0   Age of Steam Expansion: Bay Area NEW!
 N/A   Unpublished Winsome NEW!

Pool Building
Additions:
Board Game: Paris Connection: Hiawatha Connection
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: 18Milwaukee
Board Game: The Hiawathas
Board Game: Irish Gauge: Hiawatha Gauge
Board Game: 18Hiawatha
Board Game: ConTrack: Switzerland & Austria
Board Game: Express Line
Board Game: Congo Line
Board Game: Norgesbanen
Board Game: Luzon Rails
Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio: Maine Lumber Expansion
Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons
Board Game: Tracks to Telluride
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio: Expansion #1
Board Game: Preußische Ostbahn: Berlin-Stettiner Expansion
Board Game: Preußische Ostbahn: Oldenburg Expansion
Board Game: Chicago Express: Nickel Plate Road Expansion
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Finland & Portugal
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Texas, Oklahoma & New Mexico
Board Game: 1817
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden: Leticia Colewort promo card
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden: Donty Monn promo card
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead is Away and Neddance Saves the Day
Board Game: Transsib
Board Game: Paris Connection
Board Game: Veld Spoorweg
Board Game: HoverTank: Death and Destruction in the fight for Oil in 2022
Board Game: Prairie Railroads
Board Game: South African Railroads
Board Game: West Riding Revisited
Board Game: Erie Railroad
Board Game: Mine!
Board Game: Gold Train
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Tramways: Tile Expansion Packs
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Double Base USA / Pacific Electric
Board Game: Westward Rails
Board Game: Acquire
Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons
Board Game: Robber Barons
Board Game: Pampas Railroads
Board Game: Länderbahnen
Board Game: Wooden Shoes & Iron Monsters
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Brummie Rails / Southern China
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Brummie Rails / Southern China
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Special 2008 Spiel Limited Edition – Essen Spiel & Secret Blueprints of Steam Plan #3
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Mexico, Spain/Portugal
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Mexico, Spain/Portugal
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: War in Iraq & New York Subway
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Bay Area
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: North Eastern USA / South Africa
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Austria & India
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: China / South America
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Disco Inferno / Soul Train
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Sun / London
Board Game: Final Girl
Board Game: Final Girl: Carnage at the Carnival
Board Game: Final Girl: The Happy Trails Horror
Board Game: Final Girl: Slaughter in the Groves
Board Game: Final Girl: Frightmare on Maple Lane
Board Game: Final Girl: The Haunting of Creech Manor


Discards:
None

Futures Market:
Board Game: Seize the Bean
Board Game: Mystery Wizard
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Journey's End Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Marauder Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Landmarks Pack
Board Game: Root: Riverfolk Hirelings
Board Game: Root: More Hirelings Box
Board Game: Root: The Clockwork Expansion 2
Board Game: John Company: Second Edition
Board Game: AuZtralia: TaZmania
Board Game: AuZtralia: Revenge of the Old Ones
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Irregulars
Board Game: 1848: Australia
Board Game: 18 India
Board Game: Unsurmountable
Board Game: Unsurmountable: Big Climb
Board Game: Unsurmountable: Dual Peaks
Board Game: Rail Baron
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: America / Europe
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Jamaica / Puerto Rico
Board Game: West Riding
Board Game: Rising Sun Railroads
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Great Britain
Board Game: U.S. Rails
Board Game: Dutch InterCity
Board Game: Ferrocarriles Pampas
Board Game: Trainsport: Switzerland
Board Game: TrainSport: Austria
Board Game: Union Station
Board Game: Verdant
Board Game: GROVE: A 9 card solitaire game
Board Game: Skulls of Sedlec
Board Game: Railways
Board Game: City Planner
Board Game: Empire
Board Game: Weather Machine


Cooperative Play:
Audio: Once Nothing
Visual: The Blacklist on Netflix

Edits (4): The usual typographical errors. Corrected errors noted by Noah in comments section. Fixed broken link.
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Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:00 pm
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Joshua Acosta
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Howard University College of Medicine
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Reptar, King of the Ozone
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: DoctorMicrobadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Brave Browser userMicrobadge: Parent of One Boy
FYI: For those new to this blog, the layout is divided by sections, each with a kitschy heading insinuating a game mechanism.
By now, readers of this blog are accustomed to the rarity of my posts, so I'll spare the "it's been awhile" notions.

Storytelling
When we last left off, our hero was just beginning his third-year term in medical school… Since then, I’ve taken and passed my USMLE Step 2 CK and CS exams, graduated medical school, got “the ‘Rona”, began raising our firstborn son with my wife, moved to Pittsburgh, and completed a preliminary year as a PGY-1 general surgery resident. Having finished my one-year contract, I am currently (F)unemployed, applying again to residency positions, and studying to take the final exam toward licensure, the USMLE Step 3. What does it mean to have completed a preliminary residency year? Well, not much. You see, whenever the once-yearly residency MATCH completes, doctors who failed to match to a residency program have the opportunity to scramble for 3 days to snag up whatever positions remain unfilled. This is how I found myself a position as a general surgery resident for one year, which sparked our moved to Pittsburgh. As you can imagine, there is more work to go around for surgery interns than programs can justify a five-to-eight-year salary commitment. Thus, the position of preliminary resident was created, which separates those working for only a single year from the “categorical” residents contracted for the whole tamale. I was misled to believe that I was going to be reemployed as a categorical resident starting in July 2021, which is why I’m once again waiting for the March madness that is the MATCH. The good news, however, is that after having worked as a general surgery resident for a full year, I can confidently say that I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that General Surgery is my preferred field of choice. Residency applications went out last Tuesday, and now comes the waiting game for interview requests to roll in (hopefully). Granted, I would love to stay here in Pittsburgh or close-by - seeing as how my wife and I bought a home here when we moved - but truthfully, I would be happy with anywhere so I can just continue doing what I love doing. Until that day comes, the winds of fate will blow where they please… Applying for residency is a game of output randomness - sometimes you can do everything perfectly and still lose.

What else? Oh yeah, The Shuffle Podcast was fairly shortly lived. So, after the podcast went dormant only 5 issues in, I’m not doing much of that anymore. Back at the end of 2018, I wrote up My 5 “Should Own” Games from 2018, A Conservative Approach. Not that anyone was asking for it; I just felt like writing it. Shortly before the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdowns in 2020, I was a guest on the Dukes of Dice podcast for an episode, talking about TOKYO METRO, which was fun. I made guest appearances on The Cubist Podcast (after dark) and on the Heavy Cardboard YouTube channel for a game of Age of Steam. I got crushed. And that about catches us up-to-speed as far as board game media is concerned.

As for actually playing games, I feel very fortunate to have found many people (both in DC and now here in Pittsburgh) who enjoy the same kind of games that I do. My tastes have gotten weirder, heavier, and train-ier as the years have gone by, and it’s great that I’ve been able to make friends with others who share that particular bent… as you’ll see below in the “Point-to-Point Movement” section. This has, however, meant that my collection has exploded with hard-to-find (and expensive) games since my last blog post… see the “Memory” section below.

Hexagonal Grid
One of the unfortunate byproducts of starting a family has been decreased one-on-one board gaming time between me and my wife. First, her struggle with hyperemesis gravidarum (for seven out of the nine months of pregnancy) left her unable to perform most regular activities, let-alone board gaming. Then, with me working 80-hour weeks during our son’s first year of life and using the hours at home to spend time with the two of them, virtually no gaming happened last year. However, since I completed my one-year contract, I’ve been spending much more time at home - probably more than all the time combined in the preceding five years! My wife was looking for a new way to connect with me, given our relatively abundant free time, so she asked me to teach her how to play one of my favorite games, Hive. Since the end of July 2021, we’ve played Hive together more than 35 times, and in the immortal words of Dave Luza at Dice Tower Con 2018, that’s a win in my book.

Point-to-Point Movement
There are a few isolated board gaming instances from the past few years that stand out over the others. Here are some of the highlights since my last blog post...

HC/DC Heavy Game Day Mini-Con - June 24, 2018
With the limited time medical school would afford me to attend game Meetups, I needed to find a way to meet local heavy gamers and schedule some games. So, I created the Washington, DC Heavy Games Scheduling Geeklist. Through this endeavor (along with the Heavy Cardboard Slack channel), I met several people and organized many heavy games meetups, including this game day plus the other game day and the month-of-gaming listed below. For details, please see the indexed Geeklists for the respective events, where applicable.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate


Pax Unplugged 2018
My friend Chris and I decided to steal away to Philadelphia for a few days back in November/December 2018. We stayed at a lovely AirBnB where the host provided us with a delicious and nutritious breakfast. It was awesome. It was a lot bigger than I'd imagined, and I definitely want to try and make it a more regular thing to attend, if possible. The highlight of that weekend was staying up until essentially 7AM with Jac and Matt playing Brass: Lancashire and TOKYO METRO. That. Was. Amazing.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta


HC/DC Winter Heavy Game Day - December 15, 2018
With such a successful turn-out for HC/DC Heavy Game Day Mini-Con back in June, we decided to have another game day in December.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: The Estates
Board Game: Voodoo Prince


Game'pril Fools 2019 Month of Heavy Gaming
This was largely my way of getting in as much gaming as I could before my eight-week-long, third-year surgery rotation started. It was exactly what I needed.
Board Game: Bus
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Paris Connection
Board Game: Bausack
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta


Game'pril Fools 2020 Solo QuarantineCon
This was a solitaire convention I created and hosted back at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a way to draw everyone virtually together in the then-unprecedented period of forced confinement, I designed the convention in a way that everyone could participate. Each day was assigned a letter of the alphabet or a general theme (e.g., the number 13, 4/20-related stuff, Easter, etc.), but if you didn't own a solitaire game for a particular day, there was always a Print 'n' Play option available that fit the bill. It was a lot of work, especially since I was having serious Covid-19-related illness symptoms midway through the convention month, but it was super fun and rewarding.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Dual Powers: Revolution 1917
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Journal 29: Interactive Book Game
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta


Pittsburgh and train games
Before I moved to Pittsburgh, a few people mentioned on the Heavy Cardboard slack channel that Dean and other "herd members" live in the area, and that I should try to meet up with them whenever I had free time. The 80-hour work-weeks in residency didn't really allow me much time to do so, but I got in some gaming before my contract ran out and then even more after the fact.
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Roads & Boats
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
Board Game: Dual Gauge
Board Game: Kanban EV
Board Game: Rococo: Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Tramways
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Zombie Apocalypse
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta

Additionally, one day when I was out running errands, I stopped in a local game shop and had a chance encounter with a Pittsburgh-local train game designer who invited me to his house for gaming that weekend. Since then, I've been going over his house every weekend for games, playing mostly older games that he and his group have played together for years. If you're trying to guess who I'm talking about, you're probably right. It's been great getting to know them and the other Pittsburgh locals, helping to make this place feel more like home.
Board Game: Iberian Railways
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Locomotive Werks
Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches
Board Game: Russian Railroads
Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: City of the Big Shoulders
Board Game: Advanced Civilization
Board Game: The Princes of Florence
Board Game: Saint Petersburg


Role Playing
Somewhere back in 2011 or so, a friend at college gave my a bunch of D&D 4th edition PDF books. It was my first exposure to D&D, to be honest, and I later dove headlong into the core rulebooks. I thought the combat system was both brilliant and dreadful, but I’m sure other blogs have spoken about that at length. When I moved out to Las Vegas in 2014, I had my first real foray into the roleplaying hobby, playing a home-brew campaign with a guy who made an “LFG” post on CraigsList. He became one of my closer friends during that time, and we still keep in contact. Once 5th edition came out, and I got to dive into those sourcebooks, I was hooked. Unfortunately, other than a few isolated sessions with some medical school buddies during first- and second-year, I haven’t gotten the chance to actually PLAY very much D&D, but I still love it.

One thing that surprised me, however, was how much I would find myself looking for and purchasing D&D 5e-related supplementary sourcebooks. There really is a treasure trove of them over on Kickstarter, and it seems like there’s more and more coming out, such that I'm finding it hard to keep up with all of them. In fact, at this point, I should probably stop backing them, because I have way more than I’ll ever need (or maybe even ever look at). If you’re curious what I’m talking about, here is a list of all of the 5e-optimized books I’ve picked up to-date (some from Kickstarter, others from their respective publishers)…

Already acquired: Strongholds & Followers, Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks, Remarkable Shops & Their Wares, Architects of the Deep - Book of Monsters, Tome of Beasts, Magwa’s Magic Item Compendium, Spectacular Settlements, Treacherous Traps, Deep Magic, Monsters! Monsters! and Toughest Dungeon in the World solitaire adventure, Advanced Rules Miscellany - Five Fifth Edition Rules Modules, Names, GooeyCube Adventure Box Sets & Campaign Setting, The Griffon’s Saddlebag
Backed and awaiting fulfillment: Tales of Arcana (5th Edition) Race Guide, Fantastic Lairs: Boss Battles & Final Encounters for 5e D&D, Esper's Emporium of Esoterica, Zargoth's Tome of Familiars for 5e, Dragonbond: Great Wyrms of Drakha, The Ooze and You, Eldritch: The Book of Madness for 5e, Voyages of the Vagabond, Allies & Antagonists: A Big Book of D&D 5e NPCs, Dangerous Destinations, The Seeker’s Guide to Twisted Taverns, Hexbound: A Witchy Supplement for 5e, Remarkable Cults & Their Followers, Encyclopedia boxed set, Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire, Aizendore's Vault of Tragic Treasure, Dungeons of Drakkenheim, Mag of Holding: Pirates and Seafaring, Druids: Secrets of the Primal Circle, and Herbalist's Primer

Action Point Allowance System
A formative experience for me was getting to attend HeavyCon back in 2017. It ignited the spark deep within me that still today burns with a passion for the heavier end of the board game spectrum. I missed HeavyCon in both 2018 and 2019 in favor of studying for my board exams, and I was so looking forward to finally getting to go back in 2020. I’d finished my big exams, graduation was approaching, nothing could stop me from attending! …You already know how that story ends. Same thing for 2021. Thankfully, there’s a convention worth going to that’s still on-schedule as planned and less than 30 days away! Next time I post in this blog, I hope to regale you all with tales from Age of Steam Con 2021.

Memory
(i.e., Recent plays with current ratings)
∞ = too numerous to count; not all plays logged


 10   Age of Steam x5 (7 all-time)
 10   Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon (3 all-time)
 10   Bus x9 (10 all-time)
 10   Coffee Roaster x3 (6 all-time)
 10   Hive Pocket x14 (∞ all-time)
 10   Knightmare Chess x3 (6 all-time)
 10   Lisboa x4 (16 all-time)
 10   Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden x13 NEW!
 10   Paris Connection x6 (8 all-time)
 10   Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog NEW!
 10   The Gallerist x2 (5 all-time)
 9.75   Tramways x3 NEW!
 9.5   Brass: Birmingham (2 all-time)
 9.5   Brass: Lancashire (3 all-time)
 9.5   Hive x45 (∞ all-time)
 9.5   Hive Colony (fan expansion for Hive) NEW!
 9.5   Onitama x13 (21 all-time)
 9.25   Leaving Earth: Stations x3 NEW!
 9.25   Roads & Boats x14 (15 all-time)
 9.25   The Estates x4 NEW!
 9   Age of Steam Expansion: Barbados / St. Lucia NEW!
 9   Age of Steam Expansion: Kansas City Interurban NEW!
 9   Agropolis x2 NEW!
 9   Arkwright (2 all-time)
 9   Baseball Highlights: 2045 x8 (9 all-time)
 9   Chess x3 (5 all-time)
 9   Clinic: Deluxe Edition x2 NEW!
 9   Crokinole x9 NEW!
 9   Food Chain Magnate x10 (11 all-time)
 9   Food Chain Magnate: The Ketchup Mechanism & Other Ideas NEW!
 9   Last Will (4 all-time)
 9   Leaving Earth x13 NEW!
 9   Leaving Earth: Mercury x4 NEW!
 9   Leaving Earth: Outer Planets x4 NEW!
 9   Pax Pamir: Second Edition x6 NEW!
 9   Sprawlopolis: Construction Zones (2 all-time)
 9   Sprawlopolis: Points of Interest NEW!
 9   Sprawlopolis: Wrecktar x2 NEW!
 9   Terraforming Mars x8 (12 all-time)
 9   Terraforming Mars: Prelude NEW!
 9   Terraforming Mars: Small Asteroid Promo Card (2 all-time)
 9   Tesla vs. Edison: Powering Up! x2 (8 all-time)
 9   The Great Zimbabwe x2 (3 all-time)
 8.75   &Cetera x5 (6 all-time)
 8.75   Age of Steam Expansion: Human Body/Synapses NEW!
 8.75   Age of Steam Expansion: Mars – Global Surveyor NEW!
 8.75   Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala (3 all-time)
 8.75   Stockpile: Continuing Corruption x3 (5 all-time)
 8.75   Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization x2 (4 all-time)
 8.5   Feudum: The Queen's Army (2 all-time)
 8.5   Five Tribes x3 (4 all-time)
 8.5   Root NEW!
 8.5   Snowdonia x2 NEW!
 8.5   Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set x5 NEW!
 8.5   Sprawlopolis x10 NEW!
 8.5   Sprawlopolis: Beaches NEW!
 8.5   Stockpile (5 all-time)
 8.5   Stockpile: Investor Card Promo Pack #1 – Opulent Oprah and Royal Robins NEW!
 8.5   Stockpile: Investor Card Promo Pack #2 – Moneymaker Mitt and Socialist Sanders NEW!
 8.5   Stockpile: Investor Card Promo Pack #3 NEW!
 8.5   Suburbia x2 NEW!
 8.5   Tramways Engineer's Workbook x7 (12 all-time)
 8.5   Viticulture Essential Edition x5 (11 all-time)
 8.25   1882: Assiniboia NEW!
 8.25   Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure NEW!
 8.25   Cockroach Poker NEW!
 8.25   Fields of Arle x2 NEW!
 8.25   Go NEW!
 8.25   Kanban EV NEW!
 8.25   Onirim (Second Edition) x18 (32 all-time)
 8.25   Sagrada (3 all-time)
 8.25   Skull x5 (7 all-time)
 8   30 Rails (3 all-time)
 8   Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea NEW!
 8   Bravo! x2 NEW!
 8   Can't Stop x9 (23 all-time)
 8   Carcassonne x6 (10 all-time)
 8   City of the Big Shoulders NEW!
 8   Codenames: Duet x13 (14 all-time)
 8   D'raf NEW!
 8   Escape Plan (2 all-time)
 8   Friday x5 (28 all-time)
 8   Heavy Cardboard (fan expansion for Age of Steam) NEW!
 8   Indonesia (2 all-time)
 8   Irish Gauge x2 NEW!
 8   Istanbul x2 (5 all-time)
 8   Journal 29: Interactive Book Game NEW!
 8   Kakerlakensuppe x3 NEW!
 8   Lewis & Clark: The Expedition (2 all-time)
 8   Mombasa NEW!
 8   Pax Transhumanity x4 NEW!
 8   Q.E. x4 NEW!
 8   Saint Petersburg NEW!
 8   Sapiens (4 all-time)
 8   TOKYO METRO x3 NEW!
 8   Terror in Meeple City (2 all-time)
 8   Ticket to Ride (2 all-time)
 8   Town Center (Fourth Edition) (2 all-time)
 7.75   Bites x2 NEW!
 7.75   Dominant Species x2 NEW!
 7.75   Encore! x3 (5 all-time)
 7.75   Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space x2 (3 all-time)
 7.75   Healthy Heart Hospital x3 NEW!
 7.75   Iberian Railways (2 all-time)
 7.75   Jamaica x2 (3 all-time)
 7.75   Locomotive Werks NEW!
 7.75   Noch mal!: Zusatzblockset (2 all-time)
 7.75   Rumble in the House (2 all-time)
 7.75   Samarkand: Routes to Riches NEW!
 7.75   Splendor x6 (9 all-time)
 7.75   Takenoko x2 (3 all-time)
 7.75   Tears of a Goddess NEW!
 7.75   Ticket to Ride: Europe (5 all-time)
 7.75   Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 (2 all-time)
 7.75   Welcome To...: Easter Egg Hunt & Doomsday Thematic Neighborhoods NEW!
 7.75   Welcome to New Las Vegas NEW!
 7.5   1830: Railways & Robber Barons (2 all-time)
 7.5   1849: The Game of Sicilian Railways NEW!
 7.5   Bausack NEW!
 7.5   Endeavor: Age of Sail x6 NEW!
 7.5   Feudum (5 all-time)
 7.5   Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar NEW!
 7.5   Istanbul: The Dice Game NEW!
 7.5   Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport (9 all-time)
 7.5   Sylvion x3 NEW!
 7.5   Welcome To... x4 NEW!
 7.5   Welcome To...: Halloween Thematic Neighborhood NEW!
 7.5   Werewords NEW!
 7.25   1836Jr NEW!
 7.25   18Lilliput NEW!
 7.25   Age of Steam Expansion: Montréal Métro NEW!
 7.25   Age of Steam Expansion: The Zombie Apocalypse NEW!
 7.25   Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War NEW!
 7.25   Fleet: The Dice Game NEW!
 7.25   Formula D x3 (5 all-time)
 7.25   Memoarrr! NEW!
 7.25   Russian Railroads x2 (3 all-time)
 7.25   Sushi Go Party! x3 (4 all-time)
 7.25   Venice Connection NEW!
 7.25   Würfel Bohnanza x2 NEW!
 7.25   YINSH x2 NEW!
 7   6 nimmt! NEW!
 7   Advanced Civilization NEW!
 7   Alhambra (2 all-time)
 7   America NEW!
 7   Azul x5 NEW!
 7   Black Friday NEW!
 7   Blue Lagoon x4 NEW!
 7   Bohnanza (4 all-time)
 7   Campaign Trail NEW!
 7   Fafnir NEW!
 7   Food Chain Island x2 NEW!
 7   Jaipur x3 (5 all-time)
 7   Kingdomino x6 (12 all-time)
 7   Kobayakawa x2 NEW!
 7   Lords of Waterdeep x2 (8 all-time)
 7   Luxor: The Mummy's Curse x2 NEW!
 7   Paperback (3 all-time)
 7   Penny Press x2 NEW!
 7   Railroad Rivals NEW!
 7   Rococo: Deluxe Edition NEW!
 7   Sabotage NEW!
 7   Scattergories (2 all-time)
 7   Steam x2 (3 all-time)
 7   Tesla vs. Edison: Duel (2 all-time)
 7   That's Pretty Clever! x2 NEW!
 7   The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine x2 NEW!
 7   The Mind x3 NEW!
 7   The Princes of Florence NEW!
 7   Welcome to Dino World NEW!
 7   World's Fair 1893 (2 all-time)
 6.75   Azul: Summer Pavilion NEW!
 6.75   Bärenpark (3 all-time)
 6.75   Century: Spice Road x5 NEW!
 6.75   Herbaceous Sprouts NEW!
 6.75   Kitchen Rush x2 NEW!
 6.75   Knapp Daneben! NEW!
 6.75   Nautilion x2 NEW!
 6.75   Pentaquark NEW!
 6.75   RIBBIT: The Jump, Move, and Block Game NEW!
 6.75   Smash Up (2 all-time)
 6.5   Arkham Horror: The Card Game NEW!
 6.5   Bananagrams x2 (9 all-time)
 6.5   Bug x2 NEW!
 6.5   Fort NEW!
 6.5   Gùgōng x3 NEW!
 6.5   Let's Make a Bus Route (2 all-time)
 6.5   Mercado de Lisboa NEW!
 6.5   Mint Works NEW!
 6.5   Patchwork x2 (6 all-time)
 6.5   Renature x3 NEW!
 6.5   Wits & Wagers x2 (3 all-time)
 6   Above and Below NEW!
 6   AuZtralia x2 NEW!
 6   Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker NEW!
 6   Circle the Wagons NEW!
 6   Dual Gauge NEW!
 6   Flash Point: Fire Rescue NEW!
 6   ICECOOL2 NEW!
 6   Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp NEW!
 6   Lincoln x2 NEW!
 6   Luxor x4 (5 all-time)
 6   Medici: The Card Game x2 (5 all-time)
 6   Modern Art x5 NEW!
 6   Pandemic x2 (3 all-time)
 6   Queendomino x2 (4 all-time)
 6   Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition x2 NEW!
 6   Supertall NEW!
 6   The Sudoku Game x2 NEW!
 6   Tien Zi Que NEW!
 6   Voodoo Prince NEW!
 5.75   Card Rails NEW!
 5.75   The Science and Seance Society NEW!
 5.5   Catan x2 (7 all-time)
 5.5   Maskmen NEW!
 5.5   The Mushroom Eaters NEW!
 5.5   Point Salad NEW!
 5.5   Villagers & Villains NEW!
 5   Dixit: Daydreams NEW!
 5   Filler NEW!
 5   Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King NEW!
 5   Potion Explosion NEW!
 5   Quarantine NEW!
 5   Stone Age (3 all-time)
 4.5   Mint Delivery x2 (4 all-time)
 4.5   Mouse Guard: Swords & Strongholds x2 (3 all-time)
 4   5 Minute Chase NEW!
 4   Banana Bandits NEW!
 4   Creatures and Cupcakes NEW!
 4   Terraforming Mars: Turmoil NEW!
 4   Terraforming Mars: Turmoil Promos NEW!
 4   The Quacks of Quedlinburg NEW!
 3.5   Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 NEW!
 3   Castellers! x2 NEW!
 3   Sojourn NEW!
 3   Teotihuacan: City of Gods NEW!
 1.5   HashTagIt!: Family Edition NEW!
 N/A   Fog of Love NEW! *withholding judgment until after at least one non-tutorial play

Pool Building
Additions:
Board Game: CO₂: Second Chance
Board Game: Ratz-Fatz
Board Game: Tramways
Board Game: Tramways: Paris / New York
Board Game: Tramways: Grand Station
Board Game: Tramways: the Heart of Commerce
Board Game: Town Center: London / Hong Kong
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar – The Last Adventurer
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar – Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bees!
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar – Treasure Trove
Board Game: Filler
Board Game: Dual Powers: Revolution 1917
Board Game: Fleet: The Dice Game
Board Game: Kitchen Rush
Board Game: Kitchen Rush: Piece of Cake
Board Game: Kitchen Rush: KS Promos
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden: Maisy Ballentyne
Board Game: Envyra
Board Game: Envyra: Equilibrium
Board Game: Lincoln
Board Game: Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog
Board Game: Journal 29: Interactive Book Game
Board Game: One Week Ultimate Werewolf
Board Game: One Week Ultimate Bonus Pack A
Board Game: Gùgōng
Board Game: Herbaceous Sprouts
Board Game: Senet
Board Game: Aseb
Board Game: 18Lilliput
Board Game: Creatures and Cupcakes
Board Game: One Night Ultimate Super Villains
Board Game: Sneaky Cards
Board Game: Sneaky Cards 2
Board Game: Railroad Ink: Promo Board #1 – Blue Train
Board Game: Onitama: Way of the Wind
Board Game: Onitama: Mejika and Okija Promo Cards
Board Game: Onitama: Goat and Sheep Promo Cards
Board Game: Santorini: Golden Fleece
Board Game: The Bridges of Shangri-La
Board Game: Conspiracy
Board Game: Bausack
Board Game: Page Quest SEASON 1: Mythical Artifacts
Board Game: &Cetera
Board Game: Saboteur
Board Game: Colt Express
Board Game: Tak
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Argentina / The French Riviera
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Argentina / The French Riviera
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Old Europe / 51st State
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Old Europe / 51st State
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Fukushima/Chernobyl
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Fukushima/Chernobyl
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Human Body/Synapses
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Human Body/Synapses
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Holland / Madagascar
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Holland / Madagascar
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Mars – Global Surveyor
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Hawaiian Islands
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: San Andreas Fault
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Congo/Sweden
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Congo/Sweden
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Iceland/Texas
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Iceland/Texas
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Panama/Corsica
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Panama/Corsica
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP
Board Game: The Maiden in the Forest
Board Game: Chain Mail: Adventures of Earthshine
Board Game: Modern Art
Board Game: String Railway
Board Game: Welcome to Dino World
Board Game: Leaving Earth
Board Game: Leaving Earth: Outer Planets
Board Game: Leaving Earth: Stations
Board Game: Luxor: The Mummy's Curse
Board Game: Pax Pamir: Second Edition
Board Game: Villagers
Board Game: Villagers: Kickstarter Expansion Pack
Board Game: Villagers: Promo Pack 1
Board Game: Antinomy
Board Game: Antinomy: Solo Flare
Board Game: Supertall: Spires
Board Game: Sojourn
Board Game: Mystery
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes & Moriarty: Associates
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: The Challenge Of Irene Adler
Board Game: Pirates: The Great Chase
Board Game: Pirates: The City of Skulls
Board Game: Handsome
Board Game: Handsome: The Brilliant Expansion
Board Game: Irish Gauge
Board Game: Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set
Board Game: Sabotage
Board Game: SpaceShipped
Board Game: Lovelace & Babbage
Board Game: Mombasa
Board Game: Mombasa: Nomeie Sua Companhia
Board Game: Pax Transhumanity
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
Board Game: Pax Emancipation
Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe
Board Game: TOKYO METRO
Board Game: On Mars
Board Game: On Mars: Beacon Promo Card
Board Game: The Perfect Moment: A Little Espionage Gone Wrong
Board Game: In Vino Morte: Caseus Vitae
Board Game: Seasons of Rice
Board Game: Seasons of Rice: The Water Festival
Board Game: Tussie Mussie
Board Game: Tussie Mussie: Flower Shoppe
Board Game: Die Mauer
Board Game: Zimby Mojo
Board Game: Stockpile: Illicit Investments
Board Game: Stockpile: Investor Card Promo Pack #3
Board Game: Stockpile: Investment Strategy Card Promo Pack
Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
Board Game: Fog of Love
Board Game: Import / Export
Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045
Board Game: Millennium Blades
Board Game: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Board Game: King Chocolate
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate: The Ketchup Mechanism & Other Ideas
Board Game: Escape from Iron Gate
Board Game: RIBBIT: The Jump, Move, and Block Game
Board Game: Duck Dealer
Board Game: Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens
Board Game: Bamboleo
Board Game: D'raf
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S)
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Montréal Métro
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #1
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #2
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #3
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #4
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #5
Board Game: Jamaica: The Crew
Board Game: Quadropolis: Public Services
Board Game: Onirim (Second Edition): Mirrors Promo Cards
Board Game: Onirim (Second Edition): Sphinx, Diver and Confusion Promo Cards
Board Game: Sylvion: Below Ground
Board Game: Root
Board Game: Root: The Vagabond Pack
Board Game: Root: The Riverfolk Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Underworld Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Exiles and Partisans Deck
Board Game: Root: The Clockwork Expansion
Board Game: Antiquity
Board Game: The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
Board Game: Spöl
Board Game: Kiek: 20 years of Splotter
Board Game: Tramways: Busan/Halle Merseburg
Board Game: Tramways: Adelaide / Shanghai
Board Game: VOC! Founding the Dutch East Indies Company
Board Game: Find Your Seats
Board Game: Find Your Seats: Bonus Appétit
Board Game: Northern Pacific
Board Game: Nautilion
Board Game: Castellion
Board Game: Ur: 1830 BC
Board Game: Oraklos
Board Game: Greed Incorporated
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition – The Extension
Board Game: Clinic: Deluxe Edition – Covid-19
Board Game: Bites
Board Game: Feudum: Rudders & Ramparts – Kickstarter Edition
Board Game: Feudum: Rudders & Ramparts – Lone Isle Promotional Card
Board Game: Kakerlakensuppe
Board Game: Urbion
Board Game: TOKYO JIDOHANBAIKI
Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
Board Game: Leaping Lemmings
Board Game: Tramways: The Leisure Expansion
Board Game: The Soo Line
Board Game: Supply Lines of the American Revolution: The Northern Theater, 1775-1777
Board Game: Supply Lines of the American Revolution: The Southern Strategy
Board Game: Quarantine
Board Game: Quarantine: First Aid Expansion
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Board Game: Greenland (Third Edition)
Board Game: ESSEN
Board Game: Mars Open: Tabletop Golf
Board Game: Hierarchy
Board Game: Hierarchy: Emissary
Board Game: X is Y
Board Game: Welcome to New Las Vegas
Board Game: ELL deck
Board Game: Kitty Cataclysm
Board Game: Neuland
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor
Board Game: Garden of Zen
Board Game: 18Chesapeake
Board Game: Circus Maximus
Board Game: Chessplus: Pure Genius
Board Game: Aerion
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition)
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Nautilus Upgrades Expansion Pack
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Dramatis Personae Expansion Pack #3
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Bold and Caring Expansion Pack #2
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Holidays on the High Seas
Board Game: Black Friday
Board Game: Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr
Board Game: Fields of Arle
Board Game: Fields of Arle: Tea & Trade
Board Game: Fields of Arle: Advent Calendar Expansion
Board Game: Ride the Rails
Board Game: Ride the Rails: France & Germany
Board Game: Ride the Rails: Australia & Canada
Board Game: Roll Player: Fiends & Familiars
Board Game: Stick 'Em
Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
Board Game: Hanabi: Master Artisan Expansion
Board Game: Tales of the Northlands: The Lost Trilogy
Board Game: The Great Barrier Reef Card Game
Board Game: Azul: Crystal Mosaic
Board Game: Nuclear War
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: The Beginning
Board Game: The Crusoe Crew
Board Game: Sprawlopolis: Interstate
Board Game: Pirates: The Cursed Isle
Board Game: Lilly Van Helsing
Board Game: Hold-Up
Board Game: Your Theme Park
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: The Shadow of Jack the Ripper
Board Game: Kansas Pacific
Board Game: American Rails
Board Game: Mint Cooperative
Board Game: Mint Bid
Board Game: Mint Control
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Tibet and Cyprus
Board Game: Boom & Zoom (Second Edition)
Board Game: Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea
Board Game: Russian Railroads
Board Game: Russian Railroads: Mini-Expansion
Board Game: Volldampf
Board Game: Lift Off! Get me off this Planet!
Board Game: Age of Steam Deluxe Expansion: Detroit Bankruptcy & Heavy Cardboard Maps
Board Game: New York Zoo
Board Game: New York Zoo: Solo zoo board Spielbox Promo
Board Game: Renature
Board Game: Curious Cargo
Board Game: Kanban EV
Board Game: Lisboa: Queen Variant
Board Game: Apocalypse Road
Board Game: Paperback
Board Game: Paperback: Unabridged
Board Game: Rail USA
Board Game: Chicago & NorthWestern
Board Game: Southern Pacific
Board Game: London & Northwestern
Board Game: Trans-Siberian Railroad
Board Game: German Rails
Board Game: Southern Rails
Board Game: Iberian Railways
Board Game: Continental Divide
Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio
Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio Expansion Set
Board Game: Groundhog Day: The Game
Board Game: Dominant Species: Marine
Board Game: 1861/1867 Railways of Russia/Canada
Board Game: Beest
Board Game: Corporation
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Outer Space & Reversteam
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Amazon Rainforest & Sahara Desert
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Mexico & China
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Time Traveler
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Vermont, New Hampshire & Central New England
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Mississippi Steamboats / Golden Spike
Board Game: The Mushroom Eaters
Board Game: Psychic Pizza Deliverers Go to the Ghost Town
Board Game: Grand Prix
Board Game: Tumblin-Dice
Board Game: Loopin' Chewie
Board Game: Union vs. Central
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Belgium
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: 1867 Georgia Reconstruction, South Carolina & Oklahoma Land Rush
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Alabama Railways, Antebellum Louisiana & Four Corners
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: South America / South Africa
Board Game: Ugly Gryphon Inn
Board Game: Ugly Gryphon Inn: More Patrons
Board Game: Ugly Gryphon Inn: Local Dragons
Board Game: Food Chain Island
Board Game: Food Chain Island: Tough Skies
Board Game: Food Chain Island: Friendly Waters
Board Game: Food Chain Island: Lost Beasts
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Eastern US & Canada
Board Game: Thousand Islands Railway
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Hungary
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Washington DC and The Berlin Wall
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Washington DC and The Berlin Wall
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Reunion Island
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #2: Western United States and Germany
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #3: Scandinavia and Korea
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Poland
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Robot & Hexpansion
Board Game: Pax Renaissance: 2nd Edition
Board Game: Mercado de Lisboa
Board Game: Pax Viking
Board Game: Hinkel & Stein
Board Game: Card Rails
Board Game: Agropolis
Board Game: Agropolis: Invasion
Board Game: Agropolis: Points of Interest
Board Game: Combopolis
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California
Board Game: Azul: Summer Pavilion
Board Game: Azul Summer Pavilion: Glazed Pavilion
Board Game: Cockroach Poker Royal
Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest
Board Game: Tracks to Titicaca
Board Game: Colorado Midland
Board Game: Colorado Midland: Mayors
Board Game: Cantaloop: Book 1 – Breaking into Prison
Board Game: Rebel Rails
Board Game: 1857
Board Game: Roundhouse
Board Game: Freight Yard
Board Game: 1830 Cardgame
Board Game: Trans Europa & Trans Amerika
Board Game: Locomotive Werks
Board Game: Blabel
Board Game: Lancashire Railways
Board Game: Texas & Pacific
Board Game: SNCF: The Moon/Mars
Board Game: SNCF: The Moon/Mars


Discards:
Board Game: Pirates Blast
Board Game: 1844/1854
Board Game: Risk
Board Game: Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Board Game: The Awful Green Things From Outer Space
Board Game: Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer
Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Board Game: Catan: 5-6 Player Extension
Board Game: Asante
Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Board Game: Caverna: Water Expansion
Board Game: Caverna: Mini Expansion
Board Game: CO₂
Board Game: Cthulhu Gloom
Board Game: Cthulhu Gloom: Unpleasant Dreams
Board Game: High Frontier
Board Game: High Frontier Colonization
Board Game: High Frontier Expansion
Board Game: Imperial Settlers
Board Game: Imperial Settlers: Aztecs
Board Game: Madeira
Board Game: Nyet!
Board Game: Rum & Pirates
Board Game: Trick of the Rails
Board Game: Alchemists
Board Game: Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game
Board Game: The Great Heartland Hauling Co.
Board Game: Kitchen Rush
Board Game: Kitchen Rush: Piece of Cake
Board Game: Kitchen Rush: KS Promos
Board Game: Scythe
Board Game: Shadows in Kyoto
Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons
Board Game: World of Yo-Ho
Board Game: World Monuments
Board Game: Solar City
Board Game: Gruff
Board Game: Gruff: Clash of the Battle Goats
Board Game: Dragon's Breath
Board Game: Lincoln
Board Game: Healing Blade: Defenders of Soma
Board Game: Healing Blade: Defenders of Soma – Kickstarter Exclusive Promo Cards
From gallery of nnf1


Futures Market:
Board Game: Seize the Bean
Board Game: Tramways: Tile Expansion Packs
Board Game: Mystery Wizard
Board Game: Final Girl
Board Game: Final Girl: Carnage at the Carnival
Board Game: Final Girl: Slaughter in the Groves
Board Game: Final Girl: The Happy Trails Horror
Board Game: Final Girl: The Haunting of Creech Manor
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of zefquaavius
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition): Journey's End Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Marauder Expansion
Board Game: Root: The Landmarks Pack
Board Game: Root: Riverfolk Hirelings
Board Game: Root: More Hirelings Box
Board Game: Root: The Clockwork Expansion 2
Board Game: John Company: Second Edition
Board Game: AuZtralia: TaZmania
Board Game: AuZtralia: Revenge of the Old Ones
From gallery of JoshuaAcosta
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Irregulars
Board Game: 18Hiawatha
Board Game: Irish Gauge: Hiawatha Gauge
Board Game: The Hiawathas
Board Game: 18Milwaukee
Board Game: Unsurmountable
Board Game: Unsurmountable: Big Climb
Board Game: Unsurmountable: Dual Peaks
Board Game: Italian Railroads
Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons
Board Game: Luzon Rails
Board Game: Congo Line
Board Game: Express Line
Board Game: Norgesbanen
Board Game: Tracks to Telluride
Board Game: Tracks to Telluride
Board Game: Cobra
Board Game: ConTrack: Switzerland & Austria


Cooperative Play:
Audio: Tales from the Crypt podcast, New Spring by Robert Jordan
Visual: The Office reruns, Halloween-themed movies, Sex Education, and patiently awaiting the new season of YOU

Edits: 2, added Russian Railroads and Russian Railroads: Mini-Expansion to "Pool Building" > "Additions"
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Thu Oct 7, 2021 1:00 pm
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Welcome To... 3rd year

Joshua Acosta
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Howard University College of Medicine
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Reptar, King of the Ozone
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: DoctorMicrobadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Brave Browser userMicrobadge: Parent of One Boy
FYI: For those new to this blog, the layout is divided by sections, each with a kitschy heading insinuating a game mechanism.

Storytelling
Much time has elapsed between my last (first) blog post and now, and to attempt to recount everything would be an exhausting and futile endeavor - and, to be honest, it wouldn't be all that interesting - so I'll recap the recent state of things. By the title of this blog post, I'm not only shamelessly attracting readers (hah! gotcha!) by invoking the title of a popular board game (Welcome To...) currently killing it on Kickstarter for its 2nd printing, but also, I'm hinting at the fact that I have begun my 3rd year of medical school. Today marks the end of week 7 of 8 for my junior pediatric clerkship rotation, the first of many rotations that I will be on this year.
I've spent 2 weeks in the pediatric nursery, 2 weeks in the outpatient pediatric clinic, and will have spent 4 weeks at a Top 5-ranked children's hospital for the inpatient portion of my rotation by the end of next week. I'm learning a lot about what it means to be a doctor and where I as a physician fit into the team-based patient care model for wholistic medical practice. I've had some very interesting cases, many of which have presented very similarly to how they are presented in the textbooks and in case presentations, which has helped me to conceptualize and integrate what I've learned in my studies. After this rotation, I'll go on to do a 2-month integration clerkship of Family Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine, Ambulatory Medicine, and Neurology, and I'm looking forward to the challenges that will bring. I'm happy to report that I've been enjoying working alongside my 2020 colleagues during this rotation and have gotten very close to them, which had been something very much lacking in the previous 2 years of medical school for me.

Route Building
I'm still feeling out exactly which branch of medicine I'd like to practice as a physician, but I hope to elucidate that aspect of things as the year progresses. I guess my current leanings are toward Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, or some type of surgery. The question "What do you wanna be when you grow up?" is still a constant presence in my life right now.


Player Elimination
Remember last blog post where I did myself no favors by stating that I don't study nearly as much as I should? Well, that reality almost did me in quite dramatically. I've always gotten great grades throughout my life, even through university, graduating with a 3.89 GPA, while studying only very little. In fact, when the time came to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which is a huge deal, I neglected to study for it and decided to take it after being 3 years removed from my studies... Not ideal, but it worked out in the end.
Now, when I say studying very little, that doesn't mean that I didn't study. The method by which I would approach my studies was very contrary to that of my classmates. Rather than memorize notes and formulas and exam questions like many of my peers, I would simply attend class, BE attentive, and read the textbooks thoroughly; this way, I'd understand everything that I needed to and could ace the exams based on my understanding.
Well, this is the way that I approached much of the first two years of medical school, and was the way I'd hoped to approach my medical licensing examination. Needless to say, it didn't pan out very well. Following the end of 2nd year classes, we are given 6 weeks to intensely study for our licensing exam. A strong majority of students will use this time to sequester themselves in their rooms for 16 hours per day, pounding information into their noggins. Having never really had to study intensely for anything, I found it very difficult to attempt studying for the exam in this way, and rather decided to take the exam with very little preparation. This was almost my undoing. I received my scores and found that I had just narrowly missed the minimum passing score for continuation in medical school. I was emotionally and physically defeated by this information and fell into intense depression for about 2 weeks. The silver lining here is that I, and several others, were afforded the opportunity to re-take the exam 4 weeks following the receipt of our scores for an attempt to receive a passing score and late admission into 3rd year. After these 2 weeks of depression, I studied harder than I'd ever studied before for 2 weeks straight before re-taking my exam.
Well, as is evidenced by the preceding sections, I'm happy to report that I did not suffer player elimination. However, several of my classmates were not as fortunate...
I have begun to understand exactly what studying in MODERN medical school actually means, and how I can succeed and exceed expectations herein by putting my best foot forward, and have begun acting accordingly. This means new ways of approaching studying and taking every opportunity to hone my clinical knowledge base and expand my medical understanding. Consequently, I'm happy to report that I've been flourishing in my current clerkship and feel on par with (or in some cases ahead of my peers), which is what any great medical student could hope for.

Variable Player Powers
From a board game standpoint, it has been very difficult to get to game as much as I'd like to (or even at all) while I've been on the pediatric clerkship. My schedule has had me waking up at 3:30AM to get ready and be at the hospital, and not getting home until 5:40PM Monday-Friday, with on-call days scattered here and there. During the summer months while I was awaiting exam results and such, I had the pleasure of attending Dice Tower Con again with my wife, attending and volunteering at Origins Game Fair again, and collaborating with Paul Grogan with some minimal rulebook editing/playtesting. I would so love the opportunity to do things like that more often, - especially the rulebook editing - but my schedule of late has been very prohibitive in that regard. But I realize this is a season of my life, and it's only temporary. And whereas I may never have the luxury to have free time to edit rulebooks and volunteer at conventions again given my career trajectory, I had an immense pleasure doing it while I could.
Regarding podcasting: The WDYPTW Podcast Thing has become a thing of the past, and has now become the hub of content for several spin-off podcast segments. I am very pleased to still be able to contribute regularly to the content being published on this channel, specifically THE SHUFFLE podcast (hosted by WDYPTW Productions). The Shuffle podcast is a magazine-style issue-based monthly podcast a la Game Trader magazine. Of the now 2 extant issues, I have been featured in each, covering both Lisboa in September and Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer in October. The November issue will be going live on Monday, November 5, wherein I'll be covering Tramways Engineer's Workbook by Alban Viard.

Memory
(i.e., Recent plays with current ratings)
|9.5| Brass: Lancashire x2 NEW!
|9.5| Brass: Birmingham NEW!
|9.0| Bus NEW!
|8.5| Tramways Engineer's Workbook x5 NEW!
|8.0| Roll Player: Monsters & Minions NEW!
|8.0| Viticulture: Tuscany Essential Edition NEW!
|7.5| Roll Player x2 NEW!
|7.5| Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport (8+ all-time)
|7.0| Lords of Waterdeep (6+ all-time)
|7.0| CO₂ NEW!
|7.0| SteamRollers x2 NEW!
|6.0| Luxor NEW!
|4.5| Mint Delivery (2 all-time)

^^^Not an exhaustive list. Comprises maybe the past 2 months or so

Pool Building
This is the section wherein I will list the recent state of my collection in each blog post.

Additions:
Obviously, recent additions to my collection. (Since last post on 4/4/2018)
Board Game: Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game
Board Game: Peptide: A Protein Building Game
Board Game: Century: Spice Road
Board Game: Lewis & Clark: The Expedition
Board Game: Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis & Clark
Board Game: Madeira
Board Game: Chicago Express
Board Game: Chicago Express: Narrow Gauge & Erie Railroad Company
Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Board Game: Caverna: Mini Expansion
Board Game: Caverna: Water Expansion
Board Game: Unlock!: Mystery Adventures – The House on the Hill
Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – Temple of Ra
Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – Doo-Arann Dungeon
Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – The Elite
Board Game: Unlock!: Secret Adventures – Tombstone Express
Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – Fifth Avenue
Board Game: Above and Below
Board Game: Mini Rails
Board Game: An Infamous Traffic
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Board Game: The Great Heartland Hauling Co.
Board Game: The Great Heartland Hauling Co.: Badlands
Board Game: Tsuro
Board Game: High Frontier
Board Game: High Frontier Colonization
Board Game: High Frontier Expansion
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Dunwich Legacy: Expansion
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Blood on the Altar: Mythos Pack
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Essex County Express: Mythos Pack
Board Game: The New Science
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
Board Game: Suburbia
Board Game: Last Will: Getting Sacked
Board Game: Roll Player
Board Game: Roll Player: Monsters & Minions
Board Game: Roll Player: Frogkin Promo Punchboard
Board Game: Terror in Meeple City: The Space Cowboys
Board Game: Blend Coffee Lab.
Board Game: Feudum: Royal Signet Ring Promotional Card
Board Game: Twilight Struggle
Board Game: Railroad Dice
Board Game: Railroad Dice 2
Board Game: Railroad Dice: Germany
Board Game: Railroad Dice 2
Board Game: Hoity Toity
Board Game: Pandemic: Promo Roles
Board Game: Imhotep: The Stonemason's Wager – Mini Expansion
Board Game: Imhotep: The Pharaoh's Favors – Mini Expansion
Board Game: Zooloretto: Familiarisation Area
Board Game: Custom Heroes
Board Game: Dragon's Breath
Board Game: Bad Doctor
Board Game: Shadows in Kyoto
Board Game: Cahoots
Board Game: Let's Make a Bus Route
Board Game: Lignum (Second Edition)
Board Game: Alchemists: Ring of Favor
Board Game: Shipyard
Board Game: Encore!
Board Game: Noch mal!: Zusatzblockset
 
Board Game: Haspelknecht: The Foreman Promo Tile
Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Even-Steven Cards
Board Game: Kingdomino
Board Game: Queendomino
Board Game: Würfel Bohnanza
Board Game: Bubblee Pop
Board Game: CVlizations
Board Game: SUPERHOT: The Card Game
Board Game: Memoarrr!
Board Game: Smash Up: Big in Japan
Board Game: Meeple Circus
Board Game: Cockroach Poker
Board Game: Bärenpark
Board Game: The Ares Project
Board Game: Venice Connection
Board Game: Istanbul: The Dice Game
Board Game: Three Kingdoms Redux
Board Game: Islebound: Festival of Ivories
Board Game: Good Cop Bad Cop: Undercover – Smuggler Promo Card
Board Game: Coup: Socialist
Board Game: Bus
Board Game: Luxor
Board Game: Expedition Luxor
Board Game: Pioneers
Board Game: Pioneers: Queenie 1 – New Frontiers
Board Game: Pioneers: Queenie 2 – The Specialists
Board Game: Pioneers: Queenie 3 – The Farmers
Board Game: Occam's Razor: The Diagnostician's Dilemma
Board Game: Card City XL: The Crime Expansion
Board Game: Sushi Go Party!: Sukeroku Promo
Board Game: Sushi Go Party!: Sake Promo
Board Game: Deception: Undercover Allies
Board Game: Deception/CS-Files: Theme Pack – Southern Europe
Board Game: Deception: Undercover Allies – Kickstarter Pack
Board Game: Deception/CS-Files: Theme Pack – North America
Board Game: Deception/CS-Files: Theme Pack – Western Europe
Board Game: Blue Lagoon
Board Game: Feudum: The Queen's Army – Atticus Promotional Card
Board Game: Roads & Boats
Board Game: Sprawlopolis
Board Game: Circle the Wagons
Board Game: Circle the Wagons: Lone Cowboy
Board Game: Avignon: A Clash of Popes
Board Game: Pentaquark
Board Game: Cunning Folk
Board Game: Mint Works
Board Game: Supertall
Board Game: Tramways: Home of Industry
Board Game: Tramways: Exclusive Residences
Board Game: The Estates
Board Game: Brass: Lancashire
Board Game: Brass: Birmingham
Board Game: Tramways Engineer's Workbook
Board Game: Endeavor: Age of Sail
Board Game: Viticulture: Moor Visitors Expansion
Board Game: Viticulture: Visit from the Rhine Valley
Board Game: Dominant Species
Board Game: AuZtralia
Board Game: Railroad Rivals
Board Game: Mottainai: Wutai Mountain
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Ice Pack & Solar System
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Cuba & Sicily
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Secret Blueprints of Steam Plans 1 & 2
Board Game: Heavy Cardboard (fan expansion for Age of Steam)
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Human Body/Synapses
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Kansas City Interurban
Board Game: Pax Renaissance
Board Game: Pax Renaissance: BGG Promo Pack
Board Game: Captive
Board Game: Loup Garou
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations
Board Game: Tears of a Goddess
Board Game: Your Town


Discards:
Games I've recently sold, traded, or given away.
NONE.

Futures Market
Games I've recently Kickstarted/Preordered, or for which I've otherwise recently placed an order and am awaiting on receiving in the mail.
Board Game: CO₂: Second Chance
Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
Board Game: Dragon Keepers
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar
Board Game: Tramways
Board Game: Tramways: Paris / New York
Board Game: Filler
Board Game: Dual Powers: Revolution 1917
Board Game: Fleet: The Dice Game
Board Game: Kitchen Rush
Board Game: Kitchen Rush: Piece of Cake
Board Game: Mr. Cabbagehead's Garden
Board Game: Envyra
Board Game: Lincoln
Board Game: Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker
Board Game: Tales of the Northlands: The Sagas of Noggin the Nog
Board Game: Villagers
Board Game: Sojourn
Board Game: Journal 29: Interactive Book Game
Board Game: One Week Ultimate Werewolf
Board Game: The Seals of Cthulhu
Board Game: Forbidden City
Board Game: Herbaceous Sprouts
Board Game: Senet
Board Game: Aseb
Board Game: 18Lilliput
Board Game: Creatures and Cupcakes
Board Game: Escape Plan
Board Game: Sabotage
Board Game: One Night Ultimate Super Villains
Board Game: Pax Pamir: Second Edition
Board Game: Football Highlights 2052
Board Game: Lovelace & Babbage
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
Board Game: Pax Transhumanity
Board Game: Welcome To...


Wow. Not only was it exhausting to complete the above "Pool Building" section, but also having done it has opened my eyes to the definite need to slow waaaay down from an acquisitions standpoint.

Cooperative Play:
The section where I list my current non-board game-related entertainment selection.
Audio: Sleeping With Sirens - Feel (album)
Visual: The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna (Ibn Sina); On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays; The Essential Rumi; A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar (still)

(Edits: 3, typographical errors and image corrections)
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Sat Nov 3, 2018 1:27 am
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Joshua Acosta
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Howard University College of Medicine
badge
Reptar, King of the Ozone
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: DoctorMicrobadge: ChristianMicrobadge: Brave Browser userMicrobadge: Parent of One Boy
FYI: For this and all future blog posts, the layout will be divided by sections, each with a kitschy heading insinuating a game mechanism.

.....As this is the first post of what I hope will be a ongoing endeavor with frequent additions, it only makes sense to describe who the writer is (me) [i.e., Storytelling] and the blog's purpose (however perfunctorily contrived) [i.e., Route Building].

Storytelling
.....At the time of this writing, I am a second-year medical student living in Washington, D.C. I was introduced to the board gaming hobby roughly 4 years ago when some friends showed me The Settlers of Catan. From there, I was led down the rabbit hole of Wil Wheaton's TableTop YouTube series and local board game Meetups, which drew me deeper into the hobby. As with many things in my life, I became enthusiastically consumed with learning everything there was to learn about the hobby and proceeded to binge-watch YouTube video reviews and playthroughs, which, let's face it, I still do to this day. I spent the better part of 3 years playing and learning about all of the games that were most popular with the people around me, as well as trigger purchasing games that I thought looked cool or had cool titles. This led to me picking up some good games that I mostly still enjoy to this day like Lords of Waterdeep, Takenoko, Small World, Munchkin, King of New York, and Pandemic.
.....Last year, however, my perspective on gaming took a dramatic turn when I attended the 3rd annual HeavyCon. Though I'd been to some local conventions before, this was the first convention I'd been to where I could actually play the heavy games for which my ever-active brain had always craved. It was here that I finally got the chance to sit down and enjoy titles like Pax Renaissance, Arkwright, Three Kingdoms Redux, Shikoku 1889, Food Chain Magnate, Lignum (Second Edition), and The Great Zimbabwe. I also made several friends at HeavyCon whom I ended up getting to game with at other conventions over the summer; during one of these conventions, they introduced me to my first true Winsome Games title, Iberian Gauge. The combination of the experiences at HeavyCon and this introduction to the strange world of Winsome Games pretty much solidified my new perspective on the board gaming hobby: I have developed a strong taste for the heavy, the unusual, the brain-melting, and the locomotive.

Route Building
.....So, why a blog? As a medical student, you wouldn't think that I have a lot of free time, and you'd be right. Or at least you should be. The truth is that I don't study nearly as much as I should, and I let my attention be drawn to everything else in the world, taking my focus away from my studies - one such distraction is board gaming. I do not see this particular distraction as one that is incredibly detrimental, though, as there are many times when I use board gaming as a way to decompress from the stresses of medical student life. I do, however, find myself absent-mindedly scrolling through BGG on occasion when I could be studying. I do this also with TV series-watching, YouTube binging, video gaming, and more. I've come to the conclusion (and I could be wrong) that the reason I let myself get distracted with these other interests is not largely due to boredom with schoolwork, because I definitely find the content of my studies to be fascinating (for the most part). But rather, I think all of the YouTube and Hulu watching, board game news consumption, and random internet browsing is a way for my ever-active brain to satisfy its thirst for creativity by consuming the creativity of others in small doses. These small doses are not nearly enough, however, to easily satisfy its cravings, so I oftentimes end up spiraling down internet blackholes for hours on end without even a hint of studying. Thus, I've decided that I might benefit from finding a way that I can channel this creative energy into something more mentally stimulating (and hopefully more adequately satisfying creative cravings).
Enter blogging. I hope to use this blog as a creative outlet of sorts and a way to productively channel my need for periodic distraction while studying. I plan to write about my recent board game plays and ponderings, as well as my introspective thoughts on the hobby as it applies to my personal life and professional aspirations.
.....In addition to the reasons above, I'm hoping that managing a blog without the obligation of posting will prove more manageable than a year-long Geeklist that requires continual updating. I have attempted such geeklists in the past to catalogue plays of games and recent acquisitions, all of which fell to non-completion and somehow eat away at the OCD completionist in me for this reason. Some such Geeklists I've failed on are: JA's 2017 "Play Friday Every Friday" Challenge, [geeklist=220377][/geeklist], [geeklist=219816][/geeklist], [geeklist=219814][/geeklist], and [geeklist=219815][/geeklist].
.....Finally, on a personal note, I hope writing this blog will force me to reflect on my personal thoughts, life aspirations, and my life in general. By writing about the things I'm doing or to which I'm looking forward, I hope to gain a better perspective on what I believe is or should be important in my life and what things I might do better without for the time-being.

Simultaneous Action Selection
.....At the time I'm writing this post, I'm in the middle of studying for my two mid-term examinations in neuropathology. Although I should probably be studying and not writing this blog entry, I am finding the writing to be somewhat cathartic, and I'm already feeling as though the writing is satisfying that need for creative and productive distraction, which I intimated at above.
.....In the broader sense, I am juggling the following hobby and life endeavors at the moment, keeping me quite busy: Actively attempting to study for my USMLE national licensing exams; scheduling Meetups for certain games; reading and editing various rulebooks; playtesting/translating a prototype game for a designer whose work I enjoy; actively contributing to the What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing; and trying to be the best husband to my wife that I can be.

Memory
(i.e., Recent plays with current ratings)
|9.0| Last Will (3 all-time)
-8.5- Viticulture Essential Edition (6 all-time)
-8.5- Feudum: The Queen's Army NEW!
-8.0- Captive x2 NEW!
-7.5- Feudum x2 (2 all-time) NEW!
-7.0- T.I.M.E Stories NEW!
-7.0- Bohnanza: The Duel NEW!
-6.0- Sheriff of Nottingham (4 all-time)
-4.5- Lemonade Stand NEW!


Pool Building
This is the section wherein I will list the recent state of my collection in each blog post.

Additions:
Obviously, recent additions to my collection.
Board Game: Tales & Games: The Grasshopper & the Ant
Board Game: Tales & Games: Aladdin & the Magic Lamp
Board Game: Tales & Games: Jack & the Beanstalk
Board Game: Doctor Panic
Board Game: AssassinCon
Board Game: Captive
Board Game: Trick of the Rails
Board Game: Yggdrasil: Asgard
Board Game: John Company


Discards:
Games I've recently sold, traded, or given away.
Board Game: Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Board Game: Risk
Board Game: Tides of Madness


Futures Market
Games I've recently Kickstarted/Preordered, or for which I've otherwise recently placed an order and am awaiting on receiving in the mail.
Board Game: Endeavor: Age of Sail
Board Game: CO₂: Second Chance
Board Game: Viticulture: Moor Visitors Expansion
Board Game: Viticulture: Visit from the Rhine Valley
Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
Board Game: Dominant Species
Board Game: AuZtralia
Board Game: Dragon Keepers
Board Game: Railroad Rivals
Board Game: Mottainai: Wutai Mountain
Board Game: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar

Board Game: Tramways
Board Game: Tramways: Paris / New York
Board Game: Tramways Engineer's Workbook
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Paris & Moscow
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Ice Pack & Solar System
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Cuba & Sicily
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Moon
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Human Body/Synapses
Board Game: Pax Renaissance

External image


Cooperative Play:
The section where I list my current non-board game-related entertainment selection.
Audio: Asking Alexandria (self-titled album)
Visual: A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar


On a side note: does it bother anyone else that there is no way to justify the text alignment in a post on BGG, or is it just me?
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Wed Apr 4, 2018 6:25 am
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