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Taiwanese Games are ALL the Madness These Days! Tons of New Games This Week! - ***With Gaming Photograph!!***

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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From gallery of punkin312


Hey All!

Last week was super eventful and then Ron had to go away for work almost immediately after the long weekend. I didn't get in as many games as I might have liked this week, but I still made it worth my while!

I didn't talk about it but Ron and I did get in a few late night games on Monday night! We started with Dominion: Empires mixed with Dominion: Seaside.

I knew I wanted to play some games and this one seemed perfect. We continued with the Empires mixed with another expansion and we choose Seaside. I actually don't think I have played my copy of Seaside, I picked it up used like 3 years ago and don't think I have broken it out before. I used to play it all of the time online- those were the days.

We had some cool cards in play like the wharf and monument (which I didn't end up picking up ). There was this REALLY HORRIBLE EVENT CARD! I should say horrible but it was quite the mean card that said END OF GAME all cards past 15 in your deck are -1 points. What! With only 1 trash card in play, that made the game a very low scoring game. 15 cards!!! That is like the starting deck basically.

I think Ron had 31 cards in his deck and I had 27 so we both ended up with a huge starting negative score. hahah I was doing a pretty good job of not buying cards. I tried to get the necessary cards in order to proceed and collect Provinces. I started early, and early enough in collecting them. I had SO MANY turns with paying off debt since I put it upon myself by adding debt to cards and then ultimately having to take the card with tons of debt piled high.

I took a lot of castles but ended up trashing them for money with the salvager, but I still never got a good combo of cards all game. It still worked out well enough for me since I won the game. I just don't feel very accomplished. So much negative just barely cut it. I think I won with like 23 points or something quite shockingly low.

It was a great game, and I am VERY MUCH enjoying my dominion plays. Such a great game. Really really good! I want to play more!!!!!!!!!!




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







We were at a loss as to what to play next to end the night. I convinced Ron to play The Staufer Dynasty with me. It had been far too long since my last play and I recalled it playing well with 2p.

I had to refresh Ron on the rules of the game and we played with the basic advancement cards. Thinking about it, I don't think I have played with the alternative advancements and I would really like to do that! We went through them at the end and they seem really cool. I guess I will have to play again.

This game I got my bonus 2 points when I score in a region. This is my favorite card and I always like to get it if possible. I had a major screw up in round 4 this game. I was thinking the MIN treasure Chests meant most empty spaces - but that is not what it means it means the least amount of present treasure chess. So everything that round I did I did in failure and it really screwed me over. I scored 0 points and was all sorts of messed up going into the final round. Nothing was placed accurately for my end scoring. I am surprised I managed to get over 100 points that game.

So of course Ron creamed me since I just failed so badly. It is a great game, I just need to be more careful with my planning. I love love love this game. Why doesn't it get played more?!!


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






Tuesday night Ron was away for work but we managed to get in an online game of Seasons. I forgot to click all of the buttons to make it a special game so we were just given cards to allocated into 3 years and no passing or expansions.

I was fine with this because I was given Boot and Chalice. Heck yah! I had this game in the bag! I was also given the card worth 30 points and the card that put cards into play for free.... it was like almost the perfect set up. Of course I managed to fuck up this game too.

I was doing so well with so much transmuting and in game scoring. Ron had BOTH of the cards that scored for all magic items in play so one minute he was at 30 points the next he was at 80. I mean it was just insane! I needed to get out and use Karin more than I did. That was my error as well.

In the end it was still pretty close, I managed to get 215 and he was around 225 - so I say that was pretty good. I am still steamed that I screwed this game up so badly. I think I was distracted by ice cream and tv, maybe. That's why you shouldn't multi-task, kids.

I love this game, Why is the tabletop game so fiddly. We need a better score tracker, that is for sure!



Board Game: Seasons





Thursday night was FUN group night! I guess no one is really fun anymore except for me, Joe (host), and Scott as we were the only 3 people to show up. Everyone else has RL problems like family and stuff... w/e I try to avoid RL by playing all of the games. Priorities, man. GAMES! It turns out this was JOE'S night for the games as he WON THEM ALL. I suppose that is a spoiler but I said it just so I wouldn't forget. He claims I always forget.

First on the table was Colony. I taught them both (all of the games played that night) and it was pretty clear that 3p is the best count for this game. There is enough for the trading cards to make sense and perfect for the dice drafting. Right amount of time spent and everything works very well. Definitely, 3p is where it is at!

We did the starting scenario that I had learned back in April. It was good I had just played with Ron and I could jump right into it. This game the dice weren't my friend. I got a manipulator that allowed me to change a die to a solid 5 which was really nice. I had a ton of 6's so I had started on the fallout shelters. But, I really needed more of an engine getting more fuzzy dice automatically. I needed to upgrade my upgrade sooner is what I really needed to do. This game I actually started upgrading the fallout shelters. Such a good source for points. It was really cool. Next time I will for sure do it better.

I forgot to tell them the rule about discarding cards for an extra die to roll. If it becomes clear that someone might win on their next turn you really want to push it for what you can get so I can see discarding a card might be worth it for the extra die or 2. I don't think it would have helped me at all on my final turn, but I really need to remember that. As I mentioned a bit ago, Joe cleaned up this game. I think I would have had it on my next turn, if it got to me, so that was a pretty close game. Scott was doing well and had he upgraded the construction then he might have won the game a bit earlier. He was collecting TONS of extra dace and could/ should have been buying 2 or more cards in a round.

All in all it went over really well, they both really liked the game. That means two more people I can play with! whoop!!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






Next on the table was a game Joe was really interested in learning called World's Fair 1893.

This game is so easy to teach and play I just love it. So whimsical and pretty. I really just gotta love it. It definitely hits the mark. Plays smoothly, plays in great time, perfect for newbies, enough to think about. All around really great.

This game I was just going for whatever colored cards were coming up. Unfortunately, I was in control of the red area but no red cards were coming up. I did managed to get 1 of them but it was silly. I needed more area cards and it seemed mostly tickets were showing up and clogging the board. In the red section was 3 tickets for over half of the game before someone took them. Of course they are points but it that enough? Probably not if you aren't going to win the majority there. Tough call.

I love all of the choices you have in this game. I did OK the first round, but I did better in the second and 3rd rounds. I do blame Scott in the final round since he should have placed on yellow but choose to screw me out of majority and then I didn't get that but I could still sell 2 colored shares but it wasn't as good. I suppose he probably screwed himself out of the better deal since he would have gained majority in yellow and gotten a ton more points since he didn't have the yellow token he needed for the completion of the 15 vp set. Again, this was a pretty close game and Joe won with 65 I had a solid 60 and Scott was 57, I think. It was super close. Really, had Scott put some more consideration to his final move- it might have been a different ending for him!

Great game, really digging it!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







The final game of the night was Quadropolis. I have been bringing this a bunch to fun group and even got it played once. Joe always mentions he would like to learn it. So, with fun group being very small recently I felt it might be a good time to teach him, and I was correct!

We just played the basic game since I was teaching both of them and I just like it better!

This game both Scott and Joe were going towards the Harbors and I was like "what? nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" But, I managed ok and went with high scoring civic buildings. I totally misplayed and locked myself from using a 1 action, again! can you believe it? I could at least play a resident building on a resident building but it was minimal points and not what I wanted to do. I really needed a convenience store to hold all of the extra meeple intake I was having. I hadn't worked this strategy before and wasn't prepared for the extra meeples on board. So, as my final action I could take the yellow building I wanted with tons of - points associated with it for the meeples, OR I could take the civic building that gave a point and used a meeple in my supply that I had collecting negative point. We I went with the extra civic building since that seemed to be best.

It didn't matter since my score was in the 40s- which is quite terrible according to me. I can usually do better than that! Nope, not this time. Joe took home the medal again for the final game and he was quite pleased. Again, this is a game he was happy to finally learn and all 3 games he said he could see in his collection eventually. I agree!

Both Joe and Scott had a great night of learning games and all of which they enjoyed and would play again. I call that a successful night! I am trying to convince Joe to teach and play The Battle of Five Armies with me. We will see if he takes the bait.


From gallery of punkin312







Friday I had a super pleasant surprise waiting at the post office from Mr Smoox! He sent me some games to play and review/ photograph.

I immediately wanted to play Hanamikoji. New to me!

SO FREAKING EXCITED to play this game!!!! Look how amazingly beautiful it is. This is just a 2p game card game. Much like many other tug of war card games- so I was a bit nervous on the actual game play. I am not a big tug of war 2p gamer. I haven't like many of the past games I have played with this mechanic. I was still very excited and anxious to this this simply to photograph it.

This is very unusual tug of war game and plays much better than the others I have played. There is a card that is discarded before the round that is unknown. In the game play, players are trying to win the influence of the Geisha's by playing cards and winning majorities. You win the game if you have influenced 4 Geisha's (or more), or 11 points of influence between 3 of the Geisha's.

The round and possibly game, ends after each player has performed each of their 4 actions. Each player has 4 action tiles they flip in any order 1 at a time alternating turns. Each player starts with 6 cards and at the beginning of each turn you draw a card and add it to your hand. The actions are - 1) trash 2 cards from your hand, 2) save a card face down to be revealed at the end and added to your side, 3) put 3 cards on display and the opponent takes one you get the other 2 added to your side, 4) place 4 cards down in a set of 2 each and the opponent takes a set and you get the other set added to your side.

There are 7 Geisha's all with different values 2-5. The number on each Geisha represents how many matching colors/value is in the deck of cards. So, if you are holding both 2 red cards then you can trash 1 of them and win the influence with just 1 red 2 if you can acquire that on your side.

Since you don't know what your opponent is doing or what they are trashing/ holding till the end then it makes it quite tricky. You can do a bit of deduction and guess work but you don't know for sure. If there is no winner at the end of the round you keep playing until there is. the difference between rounds is that if you had the influence token on your side it stays on your side and will remain there until it is taken by full majority in a future round. It wins tie breakers and such.

Ron and I played 2 games that night and it is quite a fast game. The first game was just one round since I didn't figure things out well enough and he just demolished me! I figured that you want to gain control of the 5 Geisha because she is worth the most points. I thought I had it all figured out. I had nothing figured out. I think the major thing I did wrong was lay out the 2 sets of 2 on the first turn and it gave him too much information.

The second game was a lot more tight and lasted 3 rounds since we were being way more sneaky. Trashing cards early and hiding cards. Playing the 4 cards as the final actions. There is a lot to consider and the cards you are given make for really interesting decisions and critical thinking. Lots of fun for such a fast game!!

I thought I lost the second game since he managed to get 4 influence, but I manged to win because the tie breaker is more influence points and I won with 12 influence! It was awesome. One second I was sad for losing then Ron said "but you won"- then I looked again and I totally did! Thanks for being honest Ron! Mwahahah I won that time. I look forward to playing this for sometime to come!

Beautiful, simple, and simply beautiful!!




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







We finished Friday night with a fast game of Karuba using Karuba extension: bonus tiles. I don't think I am going to call it an expansion so much as variant. The bonus tiles just award a bonus to the person who finishes the task first.

While the new bonus tiles provide some excellent points and direction, it is circumstantial. It is also something you can just print and have- so you should!

This game I placed all of the travelers and temples while Ron was busy figuring out what all of the bonus tiles did. It is pretty straight forward like first person to get all guys in temples gets 2 points, or if each traveler has a gem gain 2 points. A little incentive to picking up gems when you might not want to.

So, in our game I was planning on going for the gems to try and get the bonus tile/s but as it turns out I didn't pull like any gem tiles until the ending when it was just too late for that. It seems all of the travelers had to go opposing sides and travel the real far distances. I made almost the perfect board but I was incredibly lucky. I needed a 4 cross way or 3 specific way before ANYTHING could happen, and I was fortunate and picked that cross way. I could have been really hosed had I not picked that. Ron had a similar problem and that tied him up for a good many turns.

Turns out I was better at planning this time and totally kicked butt! Perhaps my best score, I don't know but I had 26 at the end- that's pretty good! Ron doesn't want to talk about/ remember it.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






Saturday was Topsfield game day! Ron and I made out way to the library and first on my list of games to play was Cat Town. New to me!

OMG this game is amazingly cute. The kitty meeples are top notch and eye grabbing. I already got so much response from one image I posted on instagram with the kitty and mouse. Great production with those meeples. adorable and awesome. Dan read the rules and it was a 3 player game.

The game play is pretty easy and there are 3 different mods we could play easy, normal or advanced. We just played the normal game. Had we played 4p then we would have been playing in teams of 2, anyway, so perhaps it is better playing with 2 or 3p.

This is a light card game that ends when I player has claimed 6 points. You can gain points when you have cats and items in front of you the cat is worth a single point and a pair of the same item is worth a single point. To gain these cards you are searching cat town using actions cards and plain old instinct. Cat town is set up with 6 regions with stacks of cards on each region and a station with a face up stack to be used with action cards.

On your turn you can do one of 4 things- 1) Take a walk (from one area to an adjacent area) Draw top card and add to your hand 2) Take a walk Search the deck by flip top card of deck and if it is an item or a cat then you get it placed in front of you in your tableau for scoring. Action cards get discarded. 3) Play a card (green/blue) from your hand as the printed action indicates, or 4) search your hand, which means have a player randomly pick a card from your hand and if it is a cat or an item it gets played in your tableau- (this is the only way to get cards from your hand to your tableau).

A lot of cards provide information when played as an action. They might say look at a stack of cards without changing the order you can look at any stack and then have full knowledge of what is there. If there are cats in the deck then you know to search that stack, etc. Or you can just play as I do and search random stacks and get lucky.

There are some symbols on the card that trigger an action when played as an action. Some might be to visit the station, or make a player hold their mouse token which means they have to play a card as their next action. Game play proceeds until someone has reached the 6 points or only 3 locations left since the deck of cards have been depleted.

In our game I was being random and just decided to go for searching the deck. I can't remember things very well so playing a card that allows me to look at the top of 4 stacks or top 4 cards in a stack isn't going to help me very much. Things are getting changed around a lot and it is very easy to lose track of who is doing what and why. Ron was lucky and got the face up cat from the station since he was the first one to get a station card played. I visited the station and ended up picking up 2 cats!! That was a lucky time for me.

The game actually ended with 3 locations being depleted. I ended up winning!! I was at 5+ points I say + because I had a bunch of single items that just needed to be paired up! Ron was close on my heels but I am the better kitty. It is a cute game, super light and not one that I will be playing frequently. I want to try the advanced game this weekend and take some better pictures. As it stands, The art and meeples are a driving factor for me and wanting to love it. However, it is a bit too random for me to really enjoy since I have a terrible memory. OOOh Squirrel.




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Next up we took on Scott for a 4p trick-taking game called PaiMiahhh. New to me!

I love trick taking games and was excited to try this one. It is Halloween themed and is actually with pretty good timing since it is the season for monsters!

Dan read the rules and it states that one player who wins the bid their team mate lays their hand on the table and it is then played by the active player. Lame and this is the main reason why I hate bridge. Scott and I felt the same way when we heard that but we stuck through the rules and figured out the game play.

In the deck there are 5 suits 0-8 and a couple special cards. On the table are tokens 1-6 of each color and those are collected in the game play and are used for bidding at the beginning. Start player can make a bid starting at the bottom right side they can bid on the amount of tricks they think they can make. All of the tokens have a smaller number on the bottom right side that indicates how many tricks they need to make the bid 1=6, 2=7 etc. The color in which you bid on will be your trump for the round. Bids go around and around until everyone passes. If I bid 1 green and then Ron bids 2 green, I know he is holding some decent cards- I might bid 3 green.

Now, these tokens are collected in game when a card is played off of the called suit then you take the matching color token starting with the least valuable. The idea is that you want to win all of the tricks but play off suit when possible to collect the tokens which are all face value in points. At the end of the round, the team who didn't win the bid gets points per trick = the value of the bid 1,2,3 etc. If the active bid team makes their bid then they would also get points per trick= to the bid. Frist team to 150 points wins!

If you enjoy trick-taking games this is a lot easier than Bridge and with a fun theme could get many people/family members playing.

In our game Ron and I were just terrible and not learning our lesion. I think 3 rounds in a row we had a bid of 3 and just could not get the 9 tricks needed to win the bid. Between both of us we had 8 or 9 of the trumps but because of "trump" and "honor" card it got all out of whack and I couldn't short suit myself fast enough to claim the tricks with trump cards. I should have had them all but Ron's hand lined up with my hand too well. Because of our failing start we gave up TONS of points to Scott and Dan with their token collection and claiming so many tricks @ 3 points each. We were just scoring the tokens we were collecting.

Eventually, Ron and I figured out our errors and stopped bidding high, but the time we could have bid 4 we just bid 2 so it could have been a 20 point swing for us. But, Dan and Scott had only needed 1 point to win the game so, it was inevitable that we would lose. But we had a pretty strong comeback in the final round.

I definitely think I will do better in the next game. I actually quite enjoyed this little trick taker. I am generally not a fan of someone sitting out a round but it worked ok this time. I didn't seem to mind it as much as I had in Bridge. There are a bunch of extra cards you can add/ exchange that have special powers for variant conditions. I would definitely be interested in trying some of those out. Scott also enjoyed the game since it is easier than Bridge and has a cool Halloween theme, he approved. I look forward to my next play!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312





Since it felt like forever since my last play, I suggested we play Scythe.

We played the same group for a 4p game. I ended up picking the yellow guys and SCOTT'S AWESOME PAINTED SET, OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG #WANT! That is pretty much my reaction and I wanted a painted set so badly, I might have to actually paint them. They are so cool. Where is the emoji with the face with hearts for eyes? I need that. Scott always has the best everything, Riley is close behind.

I was yellow, and yellow always wins right? Wrong! It always wins except when I play as yellow, since I always manage to screw things up!

I collected a crap ton of coins in game since my board actually worked really well for me. I was building mech and gaining recruits and doing all of the things I needed. I had some popularity.

Ron was nearing completion and I should have known better. I spent my final turn getting out my 3rd star. Had I moved instead I would have gained a lot more control of the board for a lot more points and gotten an encounter, I think. It was a tough call but I went for the last mech which gave me a star and 4 coins. Not terrible but gaining control of 4 more hexes would have been more points.

As it turned out it was pretty close but Ron quickly ended the game as the black faction he won with 54 points. Scott was blue and hoarding $ all game he was 2nd with 51 and I was 3rd with 50. So, just the few extra points could have done it for me! Dan was so far behind he might have been an ant. Otherwise SUPER close game and I was feeling good about it all. My objectives were impossible and just unattainable for me. The F**king card that says 0 mechs. I HATE that one.

Awesome game, I still love it. I love Scott's copy more.


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Scott's pic of me and Ron! Thanks Scott!

From gallery of fsnam






Dan made me play a couple games he got at Target recently and the first on the table was called Suspicion. New to me!

Target exclusive! This is a very light deduction game and we played with 5p. Every player is assigned a person/ color whom is hidden, your goal is to deduct each other player and figure out who they are all while collecting sets of the 3 types of gems.

You know it is an easy deduction game when I win it. Or did Scott win? I don't remember because we tied I think and I thought I won on tie breaker. It was clearly not interesting enough to remember.

You get 2 cards and on your turn you roll the dice move the indicated characters on the dice and then play a card. There are two actions on the card. One might be to claim a gem, another might be to claim a gem from a room your character is standing in, the card might have a picture and then you get to ask a player to tell you if they can "view" that person- that means they respond with a card "yes" or "no" if the indicated person is within line of sight.

The game was just too simple and ends when the first gem stack runs out. The problem is that the gem stacks are pretty big and everyone seemed to know everyone else by the time the game had ended. I think there should be an alternative ending or maybe just use half of the gems it says to use. Something to end it faster than it states.

All in all, I think people will enjoy this- people being families and target- goers. It doesn't quite work for gamers- it is missing that extra spark.




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312







Next up was game #2 that Dan wanted to play called Really Bad Art. New to me!

Another Target exclusive, this time it was actually a pretty hilarious game that was a bunch of fun to play. Better with more people, we played with 6p and this game you have 6 seconds to look at your word/phrase and draw a pic of it. 6 SECONDS!!! It takes me 3 seconds to freaking read the card and process.

After 6 seconds is up- cards are shuffled and you have to guess each drawing/ scribble that people have come up with and hope you get it right. 6 players but 7 cards on display. Mostly Scribbles but sometime works of art.

So yeah we got to playing and the name of the game holds true. I MEAN IT WAS HILARIOUS- Some really really really bad scribbles. In no way will I name Scott's drawings as art.

For every guess that is correct that you make you get 2 points. For every guess that others make on your drawing that is correct you get 1 point. Get more points for drawing something well enough!

Game ends when someone reaches the finish line. We all made it past the finish line this game but Dan won being the further along. I have to hand it to him for beating Ron. Ron is usually much better at this type of thing but he did come in second! I was tied in the last place with Scott. We apparently stink. I had a bunch of fun with this one though. Definitely a good laugh!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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Scott's funny pic of my with 2 thumbs up. Not bad!

From gallery of fsnam






Folks went for dinner and we ended up playing a 5p game of Roll for the Galaxy with Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition.

I don't particularly enjoy this 5p or really much at all anymore. I have definitely grown out of love with this. I am still happy to play it occasionally. Since everyone wanted to it made sense that I agree since it was fast enough.

This game I got the new BGG promo tile that is pretty cool. I didn't have a single planet to produce on so I was all about settling this game since I was getting $$ for settling with orange and purple dice in my supply. It worked out well and I was doing very well managing all of this. Everyone else seemed to be on the same wavelength since I think in one round every person picked the settle action. Settling was my main deal. I was exploring a bunch to get the tiles I wanted/ needed but it wasn't good enough when I would roll all ships. I ended up shipping for 2 points that game.

I am usually all about the shipping but not this time. I did quite well and managed to score enough for 2nd place. I don't recall who won the game, but I was just one point behind. It was a bummer. I like it well enough but I don't trust people to treat the dice with respect. I just expect cheaters- maybe not with Ron and 2p but I duno, it kinda leaves me feeling incomplete when I play this game.



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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Next up Dan and Star taught me and Ron how to play Costa Rica. New to me!

This was a game at GenCon I would have liked to have tried but didn't get the chance. Happy that Bob had a copy for us to borrow, and Dan and Star had played it earlier in the day and were happy to play it again.

This is a really simple push your luck, set collection game. It is ridiculously cut throat and mean, if you play like me and Ron.

On your turn you can pick up a collection of adventurers and move one space. You reveal the tile and take the tile. If you don't wish to take the tile you offer it around for someone else to take it. If everyone passes you keep going by revealing another tile. You then have the option of taking all revealed tiles or passing allowing the next person to take them and so on. This happens until the tiles are take or 2 threat tiles have been revealed. If 2 threats are on display then you discard those tiles and keep the left over ones.

Each player has 6 meeples to acquire tiles with, potentially. Once you take tiles your meeple in that pack gets removed and you are not considered when taking tiles again with that group.

Somehow I was going first and I didn't know what was good or bad. I made the mistake of giving star 4 tiles with 1 different animal on each. Apparently that was pretty good. I duno- I hadn't played before. I was moving in a straight line basically across the table. I guess that is not normal... I am a very lineal person, what can I say.

This proved to be a VERY cut throat way of play and ultimately screwed me over majorly bad. Ron and I like to push our luck and Dan and Star were playing it safe, therefore they were collecting tiles and Ron and I was getting cut off and abandoned left and right. I am quite shocked I ended up getting as many tiles as I did in this game. I still didn't do as badly as Ron but I got 23 points and Star got like 50 or 60. Star completely demolished us.

Yes, if I were to play this again I would play differently. It would be highly unlikely that I would play this again, however. I like pushing my luck, I don't like other people benefitting from me pushing my luck. I don't like playing it safe and this game seems to lead you in that direction. Ultimately, I didn't enjoy it at all and I will try to avoid this title in the future.



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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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Star wanted one more game and it seemed as if Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King was the right fit.

I was happy to play this since it had been too long since the last play. I think I like this game least with 4 players, however.

I was last place for the first 3 rounds of the game. I started getting a lot more income and worked my way to 3rd place. I was sett up for the long game in the first many rounds and positioning my board to score lots of points in the later round. This worked out for me since I was able to get extra money and price my tiles a bit higher so others might not buy them. It worked to some extent except when I actually needed the tiles, why is that?

Turned out to be just the right combination of end game scoring banners and final points because Dan and I were tied in the lead for 1st place at the end. I won on the tie breaker with a crap ton of money! He had nodda in the way of money. I won on the tie breaker! yay! I think we were 86 and Star and Ron were about 10 behind that. Not bad, and I won!

I was happy with my finished product.



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From gallery of punkin312


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The final game Dan, Ron and I played was Via Nebula.

I was happy to give this another play. We explained the rules to Dan and got to it. I was off all by myself all game and Dan and Ron were buddy buddy working together. This of course was a terrible plan for me. No one was helping me lay down fields or put their worker by me so I could snag their resources. I was all alone and failing.

I have a couple good starting cards but I wasn't able to get the one I needed to down. that one would have given me another card to add to my hand that I could work on. I should note that we were using the advanced side of the map. There were a lot of purple/ unusable spaces and it made it that much harder with more petrified forests!

Dan and Ron both had 2 buildings down just before I got my 1st one down. I was THAT far behind. I wonder if there are other strategies to this game. For me this is my second play and I am getting kind of tired of it. While I still like the game and I found out after the fact that we played wrong it makes me even less interested to play again. What we were doing wrong was that resources left over on construction sites and fields all go to your negative pile. This is how the first game was explained but I couldn't find that rule- but I don't know how to read, so that explains that. I personally don't like that rule at all. It might as well just be whomever placed their 5th building first wins. because you get the bonus 2 points and then everyone else loses a bunch of points. is essentially what that rules does.

I duno, with that rule I don't really feel the need to play this game again. I don't mind the game and I would play again, but once was on my wishlist has now been removed from the wishlist.

The game is very simple and after 2.5 plays is starting to feel samey. While I like the wooden bits and the actual game play I don't think it is one I will be playing for years to come.

As it turned out Dan ended it and he won. With the extra rule that we didn't play with Ron and I would have lost even harder by a LOT more. It didn't work out for me this game.



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From gallery of punkin312


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Late night Saturday Ron and I got home and I wanted to play a game of Fields of Arle. I figured we wouldn't have time on Sunday and this seemed like a good time!

This game I was not focused. I might have been sleeping, even. I knew I wanted cows to pay for my summer feeding costs so I aimed for that. I ended up getting 2 sheep and a cow before the end of the first season. Ron was already shipping things in the first season, I mean really?! Yah, I knew it was down hill from there.

In the coming seasons I managed to pick up a ton of animals and stalls to host them. still with no real goal in mind, I eventually got some buildings that helped get me some more resources and additional horses. I didn't really have any buildings of value. I think my building score was like 43, which is about 20 points below what I might actually want to be at. I ended the game with 7 of each animal, so that actually was very nice.

Little too late I picked up a few plows for their points and field production. I still managed to get my average score of 116.5. Ron completely demolished me with 140 points. Are you F kidding me?! My eyes can't roll enough. I felt OKAY with my game play and I knew I would lose but I mean he shipped SO MANY material goods and got my 9 point carriage. He was just on fire and I was sleepy so less focused than normal.

Don't play this game when you are sleeping, Ron will win.


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Sunday was a bonus game day with friends Rose and Dave, again! They had such a great time last week they were up for the trip to play games again this weekend! So fun!

First game on the table I ended up just teaching Dave and Rose. I thought they might play as a team but Rose ended up just spectating. I taught them Tides of Madness.

I already knew they would LOVE the theme and it is a simple 2p set collection game, I knew would be up their ally. This was of course in preparation for the next game.

So, I explained this game, probably badly, but he caught on and did QUITE well the first round with getting 29 points. Yeah he totally creamed me in that first round. I only managed a 17 or something. I really had to pick up my game and focus in if I wanted to win this. Turned around for the better on my part. I managed to get a TON of points in the 2nd and 3rd round. I also managed to pick up a TON of insanity. Unfortunately, for me- I went inane in the final round.

As it stood I would have won 72 to Dave's 70! He put all of his energy in the final round to make me take the tentacle cards and go insane. It worked. I had to take 10 and could get rid of 1 for 9 insanity causing me to lose the game!

Noooooo I nearly had him! NEARLY HAD HIM!!! GAHHH THE MADNESS!!!


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Riley brought over (very early) Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. I am now the proud owner of this GINORMOUS game and we were able to get this game played. Rose and Dave love the Arkham Horror setting and were very interested in giving this a play. Thanks to Riley for selling me his additional copy of the game and bringing it over so hastily.

I am not the best one for rules but since there are not many "rule" in this game I explained on a whim. Ron had not played the new version of the game so he wasn't even up-to-date so it was all me. We had to reference the rules a few times but all in all it went pretty well. Ron downloaded the app to his ipad and we started with scenario 1.

It was the first game I was playing with 4p and I wasn't sure how different it would be. This scenario was more in line with the first game I had played a few weeks back. The set up of the house was about the same and a similar story unfolded. In any case it was much different than the last game of this I played (still scenario 1).

I was Agatha this game and my lore was quite good. I knew I was in search of the puzzled and information and my strength was basically weaksauce. At one point I was faced with picking up an axe, but I was too weak... haha not true since anyone can hold anything but my strength test was 2 so I really never wanted to use the axe since it would mean only rolling 2 dice!

Dave was playing with the athlete and running all over the place beating up cultists and deep ones. Rose was the butler and was trying to stay out of the way of combat. I am not sure what Ron was doing but he was off searching whatever needed to be searched. Funny enough it worked out really well for us. Ron was off alone looking in the study and suddenly the star spawn showed up when we broke up the ritual. The 3 of us were off fighting Vanderbilt and cultists but Ron was trapped in the southern part of the house and it lured the Star Spawn in his direction.

Our goal was to get the evidence out of the house and then we would win. Ron was a bulls eye for the star spawn and he drew it into the kitchen so we could get by to escape! Ron was bait! hehehehe

It was a fun game and relatively easy since no one went inane or got wounded. It was all around nice and easy. Rolls were decent and everyone did what they needed to do. I can't wait until we lose this game as a group. That will be a crazy game.

So I felt as if I should paint my miniatures. I didn't actually paint them but I colored them with lightroom. It means I can change them EVERYTIME I play! like the multicolored horse in Wizard of Oz.




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Since we had just played last week, I suggested Tichu.

Rose and Dave needed their redemption and I was feeling good. I was feeling good for the first 3 rounds then I was feeling like it was a huge mistake to play this game.

Dave was literally getting all of the cards. Ron and I were getting crapola!

I finally picked up a hand and called tichu! It was a Sweet hand 10 card straight and aces pairs KQ it was like perfect! I took a pic! yah, Dave also had a 10 card straight with the phoenix, and dragon. he over played and then was able to go out no problem. Cmon!!!!! not fair!!!

I did manage to make one grand tichu call and at the end lose a few grand tichu calls sine we were so far behind.

Yah the game ended and Rose/ Dave won that game. Ron and I were catching up, finally, and ended with 10 points.


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Rose sat out a game and Ron and I taught Dave Caverna: The Cave Farmers.

Yay Caverna!! I don't play this as much as I would want to play this one. I was happy to play it with 3p vs 2p that I normally play.

After the rules it wasn't clear what I wanted to do. Ron was off doing everything and since I was first I had dibs at getting the first adventurer. I picked up the coal and got to adventuring on the first turn. Dave went for farms since he was semi familiar with Agricola and could relate what he should do in that case. Ron started on the caves.

As the game progressed, I started building up my mines and spent the first half of the game doing that before really focusing in on the farming/pastures. I even got 2 dwellings this game! 4 working dwarves!!! This is a rare thing for me. It was actually VERY nice having the extra actions and I could plan better and do more. It worked out quite well for me. I was getting ruby mines and TONS of Rubies. I was mostly using the rubies for single tiles like pastures and tunnel spaces. At the end of the game they all turned into sheep. Since I had so many mines I had less opportunity for furnishings and had to be very selective on which tiles I was getting. I picked up my weaving parlor to score for # of sheep, and Fodder Chamber for my overall animal counts. I ended the game with 105 points! Definitely one of my better games to date.

I owned the boys this time. Ron was mixed up and focused on too many things and never honed in on a special skill. Too all over the place. He ended in second with 73 points and Dave the newb was final with 63. All in all they did okay and Dave knows the game a bit better now. He picked up the dog school and put it to good use by taking dogs on his expeditions.

Awesome game, and I rock! I think Dave had a good time and Ron had to rush out of there before final scores were tallied since he was going to watch football. Boo Football! Takes away from gaming time.




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After Ron had left Rose was interested in learning Letters from Whitechapel. I had given this and Arle to them for their wedding gift and they hadn't tried it. Dave had read through the rules but they just didn't try it.

This game Dave was Jack and Rose and I were the coppers. Dave reminded me that the carriages can move through cops and I had totally forgotten that or I never knew it. That is like a HUGE rule to have forgotten all of these games I have played since forever, it seems. Anyway, so for that rule alone I was automatically recalculating all of jacks potential moves. I was mostly playing against Jack and Rose was observing and giving input when she felt comfortable.

All of my instincts were basically dead on and we were on Jack's trail very easily. 3 times we ended up searching a location when I had a hunch that he was in the location. Sure enough he was there. Frequently we knew where he was. He had made it back to his hideout in the first round. Unfortunately for Dave, we knew the precise location 103 and could easily block it from all entries. We ended up not playing night 2 since we could literally just keep 2 coppers from blocking his hideout.

Good efforts, I usually lose in the first night too. Except that one time I nearly won! It is so hard to play as jack, SO HARD. Maybe that is why I am so good at being a copper since I can think like him...

Awesome game, I think they were impressed with my instincts and had a good time. I hope they try it out and enjoy it. It is a cool game!




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From gallery of punkin312


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The final game of the night was Dave's choice he had mentioned last week called Small World.

I wasn't convinced Rose would enjoy it since it can be a very mean game. She is not really a fan of the mean games. I was definitely not up to date on the rules but Dave did a pretty good job recalling them. Freaking huge player aid, which is needed since there are so many races and special abilities.

Last time I played was the underworld edition so I was really not familiar with the basic races and abilities. I forgot who is better than who and what ability to look for. I was just lost for a good strategy as I normally am when I play this game since it is so infrequent.

I think my copy of the game has been played like 3 times but I keep it because I like it, even if Ron doesn't like it. So It was actually the perfect time to play this game with Ron being out. It worked out very well.

I had a strong starting position owning the board with humans and getting a ton of bonus points. From that point forward, I screwed everything up. Race after Race and my guys kept getting eaten up and I was getting very few points. Perhaps I changed over my races too many times I think 4 times in the game. On Dave's first turn his picked up a killer combo the spirited trolls and had all of his trolls lairs still in play once in decline. Yeah, we let him get like 3 mountains and just keep 5 of these guys in play for most of the game. Rose and I should have made more of an effort to defeat them.

As it happened I was the big loser with 98 points Rose was ahead of me with 100 points and Dave was crazy far ahead with 127 points. No contest really, but it was still a great game. To my surprise, Rose actually liked the game well enough and they will be looking to buying a copy. Well there you have it! Small World!

Great little game, I should play it more since I really do like it, but it kind of gets forgotten about. The game play is so fast though it is essentially harmless. I don't mind losing! So pretty!!




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So happy to get in the extra game day on Sunday. I only wish I could get in that much gaming next weekend too! Here's hoping!




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


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Labor Day Weekend - Good Time With Good Friends and Fun Events!! -- Weekly Update with Photography!

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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From gallery of punkin312



Hey Everyone!!

I am a bit late to the posting due to the holiday. I hope everyone had a great holiday if you had one as well! This week was full of non- gaming events up until the weekend! Then a bunch of gaming was had!

Monday night games was canceled and there was no Fun Group in sight, I just had to make due and play games with the Ron.






Fortunately, Monday night I arrived home and found Colony on my doorstep!

This game I was able to learn back in April and was super excited to try it out again. In the rules there are few different 'scenarios' to try out and I figured I would probably be playing the basic set up this weekend with more players so I wanted something different. We choose the VP one where there is no confrontation and attack cards.

I like the variable set up and you get totally different game plays and styles. The number of players also affects how many cards might be in play depending on the type of card. What is cool, is that, even though there is qty 2 of the black mart card, 1 for each player, both card could be bough by the same player. You have to be careful when playing with sharks like Ron who eat up all of the good cards before you get a chance.

The game lasts until a player hits the target victory point condition and the round finishes out. Players have 4 starting cards that provide an action or they can give storage for the white dice. On your turn you roll 3 dice and take the one you want then the next player takes one and then, finally, the 3rd player takes one. In a 4p game that 4th player doesn't get one. In a 2p game the 1st player gets the 1st and 3rd die. I really enjoy the drafting of the dice. The dice you get in the draft go into your storage and can be then used on your next turn. If you are the active player you can spend "chipis" to roll extra foggy dice that must be used that round or lost, if not used. You have to decide before the initial roll.

Once you collect your dice for the round you have the option of buying a card or activating to get chipis and not getting a card. You might spend dice to upgrade a card. All cards can be upgraded to a better advancement of the same general purpose. So, the storage holds 6 but when upgraded then holds 9! What is really nice when you start having basic production cards that give free foggy dice each round- when upgraded you get free solid white dice! Also, at the bottom of each and many cards you get points. When upgraded you get more points. Points help win you the game! Upgrading = good.

We got to playing this 2p game and It is a bit different with 2p since you will get to have 2 of the 3 dice that are rolled. It is almost a different game because of that. You really want to be rolling like-numbers and getting sets that line up with the cards you want to buy. Usually high numbers are better, because they get you the better cards, in theory.

The fallout shelters you want to collect a bunch of those because if you have 6 of them you have 15 points that is like an automatic win, basically, You need a 6 and then 4 of a kind, to claim the card. It is usually something you build up your tableau first then start rolling in the fallout shelters at the end.

In our game we had the "stockpile" card which gives points for each pair of doubles you have in your storehouse. Ron was sneaky and picked up BOTH of those cards and totally owned me in the final turn. I was working my production cards and upgrading a bunch of things. I managed to pick up 2 fallout shelters in my final turn but it wasn't enough to stop him. He had surpassed the 20 point mark and I was at 17. I was feeling pretty good about my combos. It wasn't enough for the Ron master.

This game is definitely one of the best dice games which is card driven, that I have played. I can't say I am a fan of Machi Koro and I liked To Court the King/ Favor of the Pharaoh well enough but not really enough to own them. This, to me, takes the cake. I know it is an implemented game of Age of Craft, unfortunately, I haven't played that one so I can't give the reasons how it is different. I think Colony is the best in the genre so far, that I have played. I love the dice drafting and different card set ups to play with. Very happy to have it in house now. I know it will be a big hit come October.



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Tuesday night it was time for Fields of Arle. Why hasn't anyone made me an insert for this game yet? No One!? I demand more attention! I need an insert! *looks at Ron whistle* I could really us a nice insert for this game for the amount that I have played it, and continue playing it.

Ron asked me how many games he thinks I have played this year, I said average maybe 30-35 games in a week. I would say definitely over 1100 games this year. I know I have played 430 different games and that is not including the repeats from Arle, Caverna, scythe etc. It is up there, for sure. I AM JUST SAYING I need an Arle insert.

This game, I wasn't feeling particularly aggressive or strategizing much of a plan. I did managed to get all the forests and flip 4 of them. I had a couple stables bringing in the animals. I was hosting a bunch of carriages by the end but I was not producing the materials to ship! That was something I had failed on. I had to lose some points to mimic Ron on my last turn to get 2 (!) ONLY wool fabric. It didn't make sense at all to do this but it did since I had literally nothing else to ship and it would get my 5 points. HAD I been smarter I would have already had the materials to ship and could have done something else.

It all comes down to NO TIME, I never have enough time!

It all worked out for me in the end when I BEAT RON! Yay!! 2nd time in the month! I am on a roll! I ended with only 124.5 which was only slightly better than my last score of 124 from Sunday. Ron was misguided this game and ended with 116. I felt badly, but really, I didn't. I totally kicked his butt! devil


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We topped Tuesday night off with a fast game of Tides of Madness.

This game I was trying to be sneaky with my plays and of course I was failing miserably. I really need to focus more on what Ron is doing and try to stop him by all means. I really needed him to go insane so I could win. I tried actually getting points this game, and not focusing on the insane bits.

I ended up nearly going insane from this. I was trying to get my majorities and points and I did actually okay with my score. I think I was on the brink with 8 insanity though!

Ron was also not doing so great with his sanity but he was also getting tons and tons of points. I think he ended with about 82 points for the win and I was only at 64 points for the losers position.

I am definitely enjoying this game, but I should play it less because it does/ can be samey. Otherwise it is beautiful and fun to play.



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Wednesday night I was feeling like I should play Trajan. It always seems like far too long since my last play and I really should play it more. It is such a wonderful game and I always win! Maybe that's why Ron never suggests it or alters the choice if I mention it. I am just amazing at it!

Definitely a top Feld game for me, while it might not be my favorite it is in the top 3, I think.

This game offers a lot of consideration in the actions you take. There are different paths you can follow and plan for and different goals to work on.

Ron was working on the military and construction route. I was going for the political and shipping routes. I spent a lot of my time collecting goods for my set collections and shipment fulfilment. I made this my primary route for points because I knew I was going to get the first or second choice each round with the extra VP senate tokens I would be collecting from the political track. With 2p you will always get one and there are a lot of points to be had for the symbols you play with the ships.

Ron was getting a lot of points from the construction he was doing and got a 10 points set. He also wasn't paying as many points per round with the payment that was due. I was paying 9 points a round it seemed like but he was usually paying 4 so I suppose it was pretty even.

Turns out that the boats were for the win! I totally won that game. I had a TON of end game points and passed Ron in the end. I have no idea what the scores were maybe 120 to 110ish. Yaya! Another game I am good at, it seems! Now I REALLY have to play this game more often!



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Just to be different, I suggested we play Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age. What?! I haven't played this in FOREVER! I sold my copy of Roll Through the Ages Bronze Age. The Iron age is a game we had only played once before. There is a lot more going on and I was getting rules all jumbled. I think I might have been making Ron frustrated at me since I really was asking a lot of questions.

I had wanted to play with the Mediterranean expansion- it looks to be similar to the base but you use a wooden map board with the game play. I have no idea how it works but I am definitely interested in it.

After some rolling and figuring out the game play, again, I was feeling pretty good about how it was going. I was completing all of the monuments and fighting some barbarians and such. the problem I was having was that I was getting too many skulls and nothing to negate them. Ron was causing pestilence and making me sick so I was getting even more negative points!

I was definitely not in enough battles to get the tributes I needed to make up for the negative points I was collecting. I had the big monuments and a bunch of points from the techs I got. All in all Ron still kicked my butt even with my final score of 61. I think he was around 80 or so, it wasn't even close.

I am happy I brought this game back to life. I will have to try and keep it in the rotation, it is a cool title and I really like the civ aspect to it. I don't want to play with 4p since it really is a solo game with some room for attacks if the correct roll happens. There is just too much down time to play with 4p. I fear the same for even 3p, too. I would definitely be willing to give it a go, however. Cool game, it needs more love in my house.



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Friday night Ron and I got to playing a few games. I gave him a few choices and we ended up playing both of them. We started with Suburbia. We played with INC, but not 5.

This game of suburbia I forgot to look at the common goals before selecting my own goal, and I should have since I had the opposing one. The common goal was least yellows and I had the one with most yellows to pick from. I ended up going with least lakes- which didn't work out for me at the end Ron and I were tied. Gah! So dumb!

Not that 15 points would have saved me this game. Ron was too far ahead all game. I was building this crazy airport peninsula. It was working out for me well enough until Ron started snagging all of the buildings I needed/wanted because I seemed to always be a few $ short. Really?! Boooo

Of course my Essen promo tiles didn't come up after I got one of them. I obviously had the most yellow tiles and lost the common goal so I most certainly should have kept the most yellow tile I handed back. Doh!

It was a good game, and I thought I would have a chance but it just didn't work out since I needed a few more rounds to double the important buildings for the extra points. I do really enjoy this game, and am happy to play it.



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We ended the night with a game of The Castles of Burgundy.

This game I was going first so I had first dibs at Mines. I was on it. I ended up getting and playing the yellow tile that gives workers and silver for each mine space so I was getting workers too. I had to remain first player so I could keep getting those mines. It worked out well enough and I was able to complete my mins first.

However, Ron was scoring about a million points from all of his little onesies he completed in the first few rounds. He had the easiest of all the boards. points after points after points. All my regions were larger and harder to complete. I managed to do a few larger regions and score lots of points, but it was far too late by that time and I missed out on several points.

I still did OK with a score of 180ish. But, Ron blew me away with about 210 or so. He just had so many end game points. I needed the right kind of animal to shoe up in the final round and they did not. None of the animals int he final rounds matched up and I ended with all of the animals in the same region which is definitely counter productive. I didn't even get the bonus for it!

Ron seems to get all of the good boards lately and I get all of the harder boards. What's up with that?

Still like this game, A lot more than the card game.




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Tell me the board you think will auto win this, so easy!

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Saturday was game day! So many awesome people and so many awesome games were played. Drew, Star, and Trina showed up pretty early and I forced them into playing a game I have been meaning to play for a long while now called Piratoons.

I had first read the rules and played in April, so I might not have been the best teacher since I kinda had to refresh my memory on the rules. But, we got to playing and it wasn't to bad.

I still stand by my thought on that the rule for displacement of a pirate is a bit harsh. If you are to knock of a piece in the game then you are out for the full round. With 8 rounds for the entire game, that can be painful.

In this game Drew and Star were making HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE boats and filling them up was about second thought. Half way through I reminded them of the negative points given for most empty types etc. I think I got Drew a bit nervous with that since he was rushing to get lots of little tiles and ended up bring too quick and knocking off another pirate so he was out for the next round. whoops!

There is a time element to this game and you want to claim as many things as you can but you don't want to be fighting over tiles spending tons of guys. If you have left over guys that you end up not placing you get money! This is good because you want $ to bid in the auction phase for tiles that were cast overboard.

It is a fast fun little game! Now that I recall how to play I should bring it to fun group. I think they will enjoy it for sure. I am not sure if the folks I taught it to loved it but they were happy to have learned and played with me!

In our game I was having a hard time collecting many tiles to fill my board. I was definitely not focusing as best I could. I ended up the game with 13 points I think. Trina was the winner with about 20. Poor Drew had 8, but he was not negative!! Star did better than me with about 18 I think. It was a close game. It is adorable!



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My friend from BGG
David Luchetti
United States
Manchester
Connecticut
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showed up all the way from CT! So happy he could come! He brought along a bunch of new games for me to try out! Yay new games!! We started with Gulo Gulo. New to me!

This game is adorable! It is dexterity to try and get the egg from teh cup in the middle without making the stick fall over. Some push your luck element to try and go further but might not work out.

I was actually playing a careful game mostly. It kept me in the front of the pack for most of it. Ron was helping me out a lot by making the stick fall over and it caused the basket of eggs to be reset, and easier for me to claim the correct color egg when I needed to.

I did push my luck at the end and had to dig for the purple one on the final turn. I was nervous and it was going to fall, I was incredibly luck and managed to pull it out with ease and the stick didn't fall over!! It was quite insane that it didn't fall, But it was awesome! I totally kicked butt!

Pssh that is my game! I had a great time playing it. Adorable dex game and if the box wasn't so freaking huge, I would definitely own it.

Happy to play it again if it was brought around.


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We started to play 4p game of Mord im Arosa- then Eric and Carrie showed up so we included them and played 6p!

This game was a crazy one! One of the dead bodies was in the basement and we all knew it. Everytime a cube dropped to the bottom it was hilarious and tons of laughter. There is a rule for finding the body on the bottom floor that you have to have a cube present there to accuse there. It is so tricky. I was keeping track very well but David was not. He had forgotten he had a cube in the basement, otherwise I would have been toast!

Fortunately, Eric had a major accusation before Ron could accuse me of being on the basement floor. This accusation Eric had caused the game to end since Scott had TOO MUCH evidence presented and thus ended the game. It was perfect for me since I was only at 3 points, and I came off CLEAN. I was the winner! Scott lost really badly. One more turn or id David had recalled he was in the basement- it would have been my neck!

This game is so great, I am really having a great time with this. I am happy to play it when given the chance.



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David brought along some other games for me to try out and I have been meaning to try Walnut Grove for a long while. New to me!

I was very excited to try it out since I have heard good things, without even really knowing much about the game. David was an excellent teacher and taught me, Eric, and Kim how to play.

In the game there is a nice use of a Rondel. I am not a big fan of how turn order works in it, but I suppose it makes sense. I kinda wish it was more like Thebes in a way. The thing with this game is that you really only get 8 actions to try and get points. Only 8! You can get more workers, or housing, or end game points, or trading actions for coins. It is a very tight game. Then after the yearly action you have to have this HUGE feeding time. Paying goods as food and campfire. Most of the time with an additional cost.

I hate to say it but it gave me a very similar feeling as I got with Agricola. At least this one plays fairly quickly and there is no luck of the draw for card benefits. There is a bit of luck of the draw regarding the tiles you pull, however. A few times I really needed more yellow fields and just didn't pull any yellow fields to place. That wasn't so good.

Everyone caught on well enough and we were working the fields and paying for our workers to remain alive. I was having a hard time getting to the spaces I wanted/ needed since they were being taken by the others. 4p game you really have to manage your $ well enough and make sure you can cross the street and be able to pay the fee. Going into debt is an option but at a very high cost.

As it stood, if you had debt it is -2 points. Which might not seem like a lot, but When David and I tied for the win @ 19 points, well -2 is a big deal. I was going the worker strategy and managed to get my storage full of $. David was going for the storage full of goods for the extra points per good tile he had collected. Kim was right behind us with about 15 I think and Eric just behind her. It was a pretty close game.

I was very fortunate he brought it along for me to try. I enjoyed the game, I don't think I will be playing it again soon, anyway. I do find it interesting that this game is from one of the designers of Eclipse.




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David also brought along KLASK. New to me!

This game was QUITE THE HIT! Once we played a game basically everyone else wanted to give it a try. It is hilarious and for such a simple game it is very addicting. So happy he brought this along. It is sort of like air hockey- but there is a rolling ball. You are using a magnet under the table to move your pawn on the playing field. You don't want to get your pawn in the goal or you lose the round, if you let the ball in the goal you lose the round, or if you collect 2 of the little magnet chits on your pawn you lose the round. When you lose the round the opponent gets the point. We played till the first player got to 7 points wins.

In our game I was failing quite miserably! He was all the way at 5 points before I got one. Then he got 6 points and it was full on pressure. I managed to have a super come back scoring 4 points in a row and then I was at 5 and he was at 6! But, with my clumsiness, I picked up 2 magnets for the loss. Boo!!! I was doing so well!

I had a full audience by the end and Scott managed to snag a few photos of me losing! It was quite hilarious to me. I had a great time playing this and I would happily play this whenever it becomes available in the future! Great game!



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Awesome photos from Scott! Thanks Scott!

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From gallery of fsnam






When I was starting Walnut Grove, Riley and Scott were going to try and set up Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. I yelled and yelled and cried for them not to play without me. With a shrug they agreed and then we got it played right after Klask!

We just played the 1st scenario since Scott hadn't played yet and he had his all painted very nice! It makes for MUCH better photographs than the normal. I was happy they waited for me. We just played 3 player which I think is best and less dragged out than with 5p or whatnot. I didn't want to play with 5 people and a few of them who were only semi interested in it. That worked well. Joe H was actually a spectator for us and was cheering us on. He didn't play but he was enjoying watching and hanging out.

Playing the 1st scenario, I wonder if I had played the second scenario for my initial game. It was quite different, and Riley said it was still pretty much the same for when he had played it 2p with his GF. So I am not sure how much it does vary from game to game. Dustin seems to be getting old with the 1st Scenario after only 4 plays. That makes me a bit nervous. They already need an app update? surprise

I wish I could have picked up the game with the 40% BN coupon, That would have been ideal. Alas, it was sold out by the time I was given the coupon for use or I would have bought it.

This game I was the gravedigger and Riley was the priest and Scott was the girl with the candlestick. We found a few sliding puzzles that were a bit challenging. I was surprised there were no mastermind puzzles. I like those best!

I really like the picture of the priest and the cultist- they look like they are about to hug! Aw, the love in this game.

I was separated from the pack due to a horror I incurred that made me want to be away from others or causing bad things to happen to me. Eventually, we all ended up by the ritual site where all the horrible monster appeared and I was totally wounded then I went insane. As it turned out- Scott deciphered the code and made it out alive! He and Riley were winners! I was left inside the house looking for more clues and went insane. I ended up the loser this time around. Really?! That insane card was INSANE! I needed to make sure all of the "?" tokens were searched and cleared. As it stood, we had 5 ? tokens still left on the board. There was no way I was getting out alive.

It was a great time playing this game. I even think Joe H had a decent time watching it. We all had fun! I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Scott's painted copy. Uh, if I got this game I would have to paint it. Maybe I shouldn't buy it after all.



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Next on the table was a game David brought to teach called If Wishes Were Fishes!. New to me!

Eric and Carrie sat in to learn this game with me and again, David was an excellent teacher. This game is pretty cute. The art is weird and literal, but was cute. The gummy worm pieces were used as the currency for gaining the cards you want and a small bonus at the end of the game. this is a market game where you are trying to collect fish to sell for the best pricing you can in the market. The cards are multi- use and you can take a fish on your turn and add it to you boat or use a fish for their wish. Each card has a different action to "wish" for. It might be to move one of the meeples which increases the market cost per fish and then gives you the option to sell a fish or more. Another action might be to disperse the meeples round the board. Ultimately, you are trying to sell the fish you have collected for the most money possible.

It took a bit to get going but the rules are pretty clear and David has cheat sheets for the card uses. The stalls on the market close when it reached the next capacity and then the majority scores for the individual market. Not all markets will score and once a market is closed, you can still sell there but your fish will spoil. Spoiling is bad if game end triggers by that way.

I managed to get a few really good sales in, but I was straggling behind for most of the beginning of the game. Nothing seemed to be falling in line for me. With the few big sales it worked out better for me and I caught right up. I was aiming to get majorities on a few of the bigger end game stalls but they were snatched away from Carrie who managed to take the final stall. David was winning at this point but then Eric and I were tied for most worms at the end and both Eric and I pull ahead for the tie winning position. We were 1 point over David and Carrie was just behind. It was a very close game.

I think we might have shred victory in our win. I can't say I loved this game. I didn't mind it, but I think it was a bit long for my taste. I could be convinced to play again in the future but I don't think I would request it.



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Pizza was happening but I managed to get through the rules to Thief's Market. I taught Eric, Carrie and David how to play then we went to eat!

When we finally got in the game it was going smoothly enough. There is definitely room for AP in this game. I don't really have a lot of AP myself but there can be a big problem for those who really like to over analyze the situation on hand. This game played a lot more smoothly than the first game. I had a much better time. People were enjoying the game better than the first time. I have a feeling this game might be best with 3p. It can just be drawn out too long with 4 or 5p. We were going through the cards fast enough but even with 8 rounds or so the allocation of dice just takes a while.

For whatever reason We just let Eric hang on to start player for like 4 rounds in a row and he was collecting all of the good cards and getting the dice. Why, did we allow this, I have no idea. I was playing all sorts of wrong and focusing too much on what I thought I could do but then everyone was buying the cards I wanted and I ended up just being screwed. Eric was flying high! He had a ton of tower points and cards with dice manipulation. Finally we stopped him for always getting start player and I did a bit better.

I think I lost the whole game with like 10 points or something crazy bad like that. I know Eric was the winner since I have proof! He was the KING OF THIEVES! I know David was really close in points to him and we were shocked that Eric beat him out by a point or 2. I think it was like 29 to 27 or something. Carrie was high teens I think and I was definitely low man. It was not a pretty sight for me!

I enjoy this game but you have to play with the right crowd. I like the dice mechanic of splitting and taking. Perhaps people just need to take dice and not give too much thought about it. That would keep the game fast.



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Everyone was still in a game and David suggested that we play teams for Crokinole. Excellent idea, I haven't ever played teams before. Carrie and I teamed up and Eric and David teamed up.

Carrie and Eric hadn't really played this before and David is well versed and knows this game very well. We have the same board so he felt at home!

With teams all the same rules are applied but players get 6 discs each. Otherwise, you sit across from each other and just go around and around until everyone has played.


Carrie and I started off strong. We got some points and we were good! But then, the guys had a SUPER round and scored like 80 points. It was pretty much downhill from there for us. they got us in a few rounds more. I think we ended up playing 6 rounds total and the boys took the crown. It was a ton of fun to play that way. I will have to try and bring it out more often for some team matches. I think Eric and Carried really enjoyed it too!

It also reminds me that Ron should wax that damn board. We haven't done that yet. I need it more slippery!



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From gallery of punkin312






Most people have left by this point with one game of Scythe going on in the background, but I convinced Joe H to play a final game with Ron and myself. We decided on BASIC The Voyages of Marco Polo. I was sad we weren't playing with the push your luck good stack. I love those tiles. I even love the new characters.

This game I was the teleporting traveling merchant. I was everywhere in a blink of an eye. Right off the bat I moved in to a location that provided me with a super awesome action. this action was to spend 2 camels and move my figure. I could do this any number of pips and camels that allowed me. SO I was essentially moving twice in a round. I had all of my huts down with ease and I got all of my bonus points.

Joe H was eating up the contracts like it was his job. Ron was on his heels but it wasn't enough. I actually had a fair amount of completed contracts but I was not in the running for the bonus points.

Ron and I ended and were about 75 and Joe was about 85- I consider that a loss for me but it was pretty close and I always expect to lose to Joe H. He is the best. But he was also playing with Marco Polo the character. Ron had picked the other traveling guy that drops houses along the way. he should have taken a similar route that I did to try and snag that space away from me. It also didn't help that Joe H was going first each round. I am surprised that Ron allowed him to keep doing that.

I really do love this game. I love the dice placement and all of the planning you need to do. I was very happy to play it even without the bonus characters in play.


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Scott had stayed after the Scythe game and Joe H was leaving so I said Scott could pick the game. Perhaps that was my error, but I allowed him to pick the game called Uncharted: The Board Game. New to me!

I was willing to learn a new game. Scott hadn't played in a long while so was a little bit fuzzy on the rules. It turned out to be OK, but he had forgotten to take out extra cards and it caused the game to drag on FAR FAR LONGER than I would have liked. Scott was like I am going to leave at 10- this game lasted like 2 hours and it ended around 11pm. Like FAR TOO LONG.

I guess the normal is that the players usually end up dying- or having players fight off cards faster and the deck runs out faster. I just don't know. Whatever the reason this game lasted forever.

This is a card game based off of the video game that I haven't played. I don't really like guns so I was not into the theme at all. I ended up not getting any weapon cards played much or even fighting any of the enemies in the game. I was focused more on the searching for objects and getting points that way.

It was late and I was forgetting rules - the rule about only having 3 of each color played at a time. NO ONE said anything to me and I had like 5 yellow cards down since I was going to score them all in the end game with a green card that I had in play. They were all expecting me to discard all of the cards I couldn't hold. I was pissed. they should have reminded me or said something sooner. I would have played totally differently I was just in a bad mood by the end. I am pretty sure Scott was winning this game. I just didn't care by the end. It is not my type of game. It was not fun to play for 2 hours. I won't play it again. It had some interesting things but I just did not have a good time. Sorry Scott!



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Here is a pic of the Kitchen after game day! I am super grateful for everyone who participates and brings snacks along to share. Apparently everyone was hungry since it was like almost all gone! Very successful day.

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My good friends Rose and Dave who are also gamers got married the weekend that I was @ GenCon. I was happy Rose had asked for some photos- I was pleased with how they turned out- here are some of the favs! So Pretty- Love those two. Happy Marriage Guys!


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Since they were in our area we decided to make a game day of it after the shoot. We got to playing a bunch of games starting with Tichu.

This game I know Rose and Dave enjoy but were rusty so Ron and I gave the overview of the game and we got to playing. Ron and I have been playing a lot on the ipads recently and he knows how insane I am. Basically if I have the phoenix in my initial 8 cards I am highly likely to call. I love that card and I always think I can make it work.

I think this game I might have missed a Tichu call, or Ron did- I am pretty sure he did if I did too, I can't recall. I know I called grand once or twice and I definitely called Tichu a few times. My grand call was legit and I had it pretty easily. The other time I had called it was less obvious that I would make it. Ron really had to help me with that and fortunately, he had the pup and from there is was a long single card play turn after turn, but I managed!

On the other hand Dave had called Tichu a few times and I know we set him the first time but they made up big ground with a 1-2 Tichu call hand. But That had been right after Ron and my big hand of 1-2 grand call. Finally, on the last turn Ron and I went 1-2 for the win. It turned out to be pretty close in scores in the end and they were feeling good! I hope they had fun. Ron and I get to play about weekly, if not nightly on the ipad. We are pretty well versed and he knows me pretty well. It works out most of the time.

Such a great game!! Always happy to play it. AND we played with my pretty deck. It was a good day.



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Ron was amazing and made us his famous Fried Chicken, that night. That left Dave and Rose to play a few games with me 3p. We started with Quadropolis.

I had taught them a few months ago when I first got it and I knew they liked it well enough to try again so I suggested it.

This game we just played the basic, but works for me since I like the basic better! It had been far too long since I last played this and I was looking forward to playing this if they were interested. I really do like this game. I am not so much a fan with just 2p, though.

I took too many tiles out for the first round but corrected my mistake for the rounds to follow. I still managed to get 2 big lines of harbors and did very well with that. Rose and Dave were working on getting the civic buildings in play and getting points for them. I am realizing as I am writing this I think we forgot to count the bonus points on the civic buildings and harbors. There should really be a spot on the scoring sheet for the "bonus" points. Just saying.

I counted my bonus points since I know to look for it. I forgot to remind them to do so, so that was really my bad!

I managed to completely screw myself over in the final round and misplayed my final tiles since I could not take a single "1" tile and place it accurately on my board I had no 1 space available! Whoops!

Turns out I still won the game with like 47 points or something. Rose and Dave were about 10-15 points behind me and I know Rose beat Dave and was quite pleased with herself. I am calling this game an asterisk because we totally forgot to count the bonus points for them. I don't think it was enough to pass me but it was enough to get them pretty close to my score and make it an even closer game!

I hope they had fun!



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From gallery of punkin312






We managed to play 3 hands of Linko! before Ron finished cooking.

Dave had played before but I explained the rules for Rose. Like always you need a round to really get a feel for this game. I mean Dave figured it out well enough and he was dealt AMAZING cards right off the bat. He was able to go bing bang boom out for 17 points.

One round and Dave was clearly far in the lead. I managed to catch up in the next couple of rounds but all in all he creamed us. I still got in the 20s by the end but Dave was on his way to 30. I think Rose ended in the teens so she wasn't too far behind. I had a pretty solid final hand but everyone had been playing a bit easy and not really abluxxing at all so cards were getting played and not taken.

This is always a nice easy game to play and enjoy. Not stressful and easy to pick up. I figured it was one that Rose might enjoy. I don't think she hated it!


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After dinner it was a discussion on what to play. Rose felt she could learn a solid game and I thought Glass Road isn't too confrontational.

The game isn't that hard there is a bunch to consider, however and can be a bit overwhelming. Rose and Dave picked it up fine as any gamer would. I made sure to explain the resource wheel first and how it works. Then it was clear about everything else.

Dave picked the game up very quickly and even played the same card as me and Ron (fuel Collector) on the first turn. Ron gets me so he knows I will do that almost 90% of the time will I play that first. Rose was off doing her thing but playing the charcoal Burner for 6 coal on the first turn. Same idea different execution. She ended up not matching any cards in the first round and Dave, Ron and I matched all cards. It is okay, she caught on in the next many rounds and managed to match up a lot of the time going forward.

I always try to help with strategy and how I see the board and she and Dave were appreciative of that fact. I was doing my own strategy and I got the building that allowed me to spend personal buildings for resources. Then I also picked up the building that got me points per resources on 4-7 spaces so that combo was awesome! Then I also managed to get the building that turned my 1 vp bricks to 3 vp per brick and of course I had all 3 bricks. It was the bomb!

I totally won that game with 23 points and Ron was behind me with 21. Rose and Dave got 17 each so they tied. I reinforced that a score of 17 was indeed very good. I have seen far fewer points scored in that game. They did very well!

I was particularly happy to play Glass Road since I really hate it 2p- I should say I really hate it 2p with RON who just knows me. He is a jerk. This is a game I wish got played more at game days. I think it gets forgotten about because it sits behind Caverna and Arle. Might get lost or is just out of sight or something. I really do enjoy it a lot. It helps when I win, too!



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The final game of the night was one Dave and Rose brought along called Star Trek: Catan. New to me!

It had been a few years since playing Catan, I don't know why but it is not one that gets played very much anymore. This is essentially the same game except there are these character cards in play. I have no emotional connection to Star Trek so I am not exactly excited for the theme but I didn't hate it.

I am not going to lie, I was a bit overwhelmed with the character choices and abilities and it was all just so much. Rose and Dave know the characters well and hand a plan and were sticking to it. Ron, of course, picked up right away which characters were good. I still was clueless and no idea. I think I might have needed a cheat sheet for the characters or something. Maybe that would have helped.

The board was a complete mess and the set up was terrible. Unfortunately for me, I was going 1st and the best space was 5/6/11, really? I should have known better than to go there. I should have taken 5/9/10 or 5/9/3 space which would have been better. 6 was rolled 2 times all game and it didn't matter since it was covered the entire time with the "robber" figure. It was just a mess for me.

I got cut off 2 times in the game. I only had 6 points since I was longest road and could maintain it. I was generating no resources, and when I finally did I rolled a 7 on my turn and had to toss most of it. Ugh it was just a terrible game for me. Not to mention the change over of the characters was crazy overwhelming for me. Everyone was like I was Spock, I was kirk- gimme him or her. They were just changing every turn and I was sitting there with Janice who was useless since I couldn't ever have enough resources to use her with.

I have to say I hated the cards. I know people like them, but my experience was that if there is a card or 2 that are just SO MUCH BETTER it is just stupid to use them. All cards should be the same, at least when starting the game. One being strictly better than another is just stupid. It seems imbalanced to me. People seems to think it helps balanced the original game. Yes, it makes things easier to accomplish and get around but I felt totally trapped. Everyone else was getting lots of good stuff it seemed. I still have no idea what they cards actually did/do. I was just trying to get more than 5 points.

In the end Dave won the game with a few hidden points cards he pulled from the dev card stack. Ron was working the deck too so he was probably going to win on his next turn if Dave hadn't pulled it out. At least the game was only about an hour. It played really fast and I have been in a Catan game lasting 2-3 hours and those are the painful ones. I like the game. I didn't like the cards. The bits were awesome though.

I wouldn't ever choose this game over basic Catan. I don't like Cities and Knights but I haven't tried the additional expansions before. I would be willing. I like the game enough to see, but I also just like he base game too. It was nice to play it even if it meant getting totally owned! I didn't mind!



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That's it folks! Ron and I went to Canobie Lake Park on Monday, Labor Day. We had a great time! We played some games but I will get to that next week.

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Oh! And in case you missed the latest NEW TO ME list:

Steph's Freaking Huge 'New to Me' List - August 2016



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





Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Caverna is One Delicious Dessert After Dominating Europa. A Weekly Update With Gaming Photography!

Steph Hodge
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It is the end of the month, again! Since I am a big supporter of Imaging and board games, I invite you all to go vote in the monthly photography contest:



Board Game: Scythe








Monday night Len had agreed to play Dominant Species. Yay! We had played at LT last year and it was a bunch of fun. Ron joined in and Dan was learning it.

We ended up taking out the cards that give and take pawns away, this is what I like to keep the game brisk and to the point. If you don't the game would likely go on a few extra rounds.

Len taught the game only missing a few rules. I ended up playing as the Mammals a species I hadn't ever played with before. I was also red for those confused faces out there with my photographs. Ron was Spiders and black, Len was reptile and green and Dan was Amphibians and yellow.

The first two rounds I didn't place any new species on the board, or very minimal. I was holding out until the volcano hit. It came out pretty early and thankfully I wasn't hit too badly. Ron was able to pick up and place that card to his advantage. He was working the tundra tiles all game and getting serious points for that.

I was having a hard time adapting since the other players kept taking that space before I could make it there. All game I also wasn't dominating enough or taking the action to acquire the cards. I jumped on the band wagons too late and it caused me to have a pretty low score of 111 points. Still better than Dan since he was 94 points. Ron ended with 159 and Len was 136.

I had my major come back moment with a few rounds to spare but Ron was already 50 points a head of me and I didn't have enough pawns to do everything I needed. There was a the mean card to take away an action pawn, adaption, or cubes from the board- I choose action pawn and it was really painful for me.

I really needed to migrate and it just couldn't happen. I needed to try and take over the tundra to stop Ron's progression. Didn't work so much. When the ice age finally took control and I only had dominance in 3 areas. It was quite terrible and not what I was expecting or hoping for at all. doh!

It was so fun to play and we managed to play the game in 2.5 hours so that is not so bad. I look forward to my next play with Len hopefully this November.



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Since the game finished pretty early into the night Dan, Ron and I played a game of Le Pâtissier.

I learned this game last year and had been asking Dan to bring it around for us to play again. It is a really nice set collection/ abstract game with a delightful theme of pastries and deserts. I love the start player and round marker tokens that are unique for each game and erasers. Japanese games are so fun.

I would love to own this game but I am sure it is like impossible to locate for my collection, but I am on the lookout.

As I said this is a set collection/ tile placement/ drafting game and it is wonderful. Cool mechanics where you want to score tons of points but you need the tech points to help you along. If you are last man on the tech track at the end of the game you lose before the final scoring happens. So you don't want to focus too much on points without enough tech then you are screwed!

Different type sof cards lead to different scorings for the cards. All of the cards require some form of colors to place on and next on your personal player board. Once a space is covered then you can't use the color of that space anymore for the other cards you are collecting. It is a tough game to manage but so much fun to try.

As it so happens I was focused on trying to getting all of the tech points as best as I could. I did really well in that regard. It meant that Ron lost the game because he was low man and I don't know if he enjoyed this game at all. He messed up but the game is so fast it is okay since then it was over!

My focused paid off since I got some points from the tech track and a few points from my player board and managed to score about 360 points in total. Dan was doing whatever he was doing and only scored about 300 points. I totally won this game.

It is so much fun. I really enjoy this one. I hope I get to play it more. Fun times! And adorable!


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We topped the night off with a 5p game of Rolling Japan.

omg Lou hadn't ever played this game before!? What?! Ron taught him and we going to playing.

This was definitely one of the worst games I have played of this game. I mean I was making all of the wrong calls. Changing wrong numbers to go into spaces they should. The way it played out I should have just taken the numbers I was given and tried to not make it "better".

Awful! ahha Ron and I tied for suck place at 17 points. I am pretty sure Dan won that game with 12 points and Lou did pretty well too with like 14 or something. All I know is Ron and I lost pretty hard. It was not our finest moment.

Still love the game - I just love that torture!



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Tuesday night Ron and I had a late night game of Subdivision. I really wanted Caverna but he said it was too late.

This game I focused too much on the bonuses at the beginning of each round. I made it happen! I focused less on the tile placement and more on the bonuses. It was NOT the way to play the game. The game is all about placing the highways to get the most points from the connected tiles. I am SO BAD at placing those highway tiles and it is something I need to work better on.

So yeah, I am quite terrible at this game, but I will learn! At least my neighborhood was educated unlike Ron's...whistle

I was beating on in all categories but the highway scoring where he got 25 connected and I only got 5. He demolished me that game. It was just TERRIBLE. My parks did not save me from failure this game.

I had a great time playing it however!


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Wednesday night Ron and I got to playing Caverna: The Cave Farmers. I had wanted to play it the night before so Ron suggested it this night.

This game I was all over the place but focused in on getting the plants growing in time for the first harvest. One plan at a time. I had no real end game plans.

I collected 16 sheep this game, and was feeling pretty good about that. I had some build up caves but needed more spaces to fill with rooms. I was buying all sorts of crazy rooms this game. I think my biggest mistake this game was that I bought a dwelling but never ended up getting the 3rd dwarf and I totally needed him at the end. I picked up the dwelling in an adventure time so it was at least discounted but I could have put in some other higher scoring building in its place, instead. So, that was really my bad. What did work out was the space 7. I picked up from one of the expansions the tile that gives extra goodies from someone placing on space 7.

Ron went there 4 times and I was able to collect some extra stuff from that space. Worked out better than anticipated for me.

Ron was working the overhang strategy and had like 30 points in gold at the end, alone. gah- I really thought he CREAMED me. As it turned out he still won with 94 but I was just behind with a score of 90. Not too shabby. I had 24 animals and had the scoring tile for animals and sheep so that all worked out well enough for me.

I had a great time playing this. I really do enjoy this game a hellava lot!

I am always happy to play this one.




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Thursday night was Fun Group! We only had 5 people for gaming however, and Ron was a special guest. Well with 5 we were able to play Scythe.

This time I was randomly given the white guys. That was good since I had wanted to give them another play since the first time I played with them it went pretty sour. This was definitely better in that I managed to pick up more encounters and get most of my stars on the board! I was feeling pretty accomplished but dang this game is so hard. I was given a medium difficulty board and picking up the worst possible encounter cards for what I was aiming to do.

I did manage to get 5 stars on the board before Joe was able to end the game. He was the Yellow people and totally kicking butt. Having his move action as the final turn meant he was able to spread out and then claimed like 4 or 5 hexes in the process of dropping 2 stars.

It was Scott's first game and he was playing as blue. He did manage to get a single star down, but he was just trying to figure everything out. I think he still had a good time.

As expected, Joe kicked out butts! Yellow seems to win all the games I play in except when I play as yellow.

The middle factory cards were terrible this game. I managed to pick one up and I never used it. They were all SO BAD!!! 4/5 when I visited needed a card as payment for use and I was not holding onto cards very easily so that was not happening.

It is always exciting to play this game, I am still loving it! I think I am at 11 plays? Quite a bit for the short time we have owned this game.





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Riley left and we topped the night off with a 4p game of Kreus.

I think Ron taught the rules to Joe and Scott and we got to playing. By mid game they were figuring it out a bit more and it was going poorly.

The 3 headed monster figure is a really hard card to pass over. It really needs to be played earlier in the game so you might not get screwed over. It worked out in our game after re reading the rules- since it was a bit unclear.

This game we managed to get the planet down with no elements on it. In the rules there is no win/lose condition for this exact ending. If you don't get the planet you lose. Then it jumps into win conditions with elements on the planet. So, We are in limbo until the next game to see if we can win.

I have really been enjoying this game. I would really like to win at some point... then I can move on to the harder game!! I think my friend Simon has to come home and then we will win. Simon and I will be on the same wavelength, I know it. I know we will win.



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Friday night Ron and I got in a late night game of Mystic Vale. Since the cards are plastic and clear I hate shuffling these cars and I hate playing with them. They are getting all scratched up. It is like my OCD kicks in and I almost would rather not play then to ruin the game. It seems silly, I duno I am sure I am not the only gamer out there that feels the same way.

I have been enjoying this game a bit more than my initial play, which is good. I do look forward to the expansions they will have. I am curious how it will be switched up.

In our game I got an early card that gave 4 points when it showed up. Of course I was on hot pursuit to bring it to the turn whenever possible. This of course helped me collect lots of in game points and I was also a bit focused on symbols. I only managed to collect a couple of the tree cards for points though.

In the end I won this game and Ron was not shocked. I guess I am better at this game since I seem to win a bunch. Just saying, this could be the reason I have been enjoying this game more now than I did when I first learned it. It is growing on me.


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OK so Saturday we didn't go to a game day and Ron and I just hung out. I wanted an epic game and suggested War of the Ring: Second Edition. We have owned this for a year and a half and it had been over a year since the last and only time we have played it.

It took quite a while to get set up and ready to play I think about 90 minutes to do this. Yes, playing this game was about a 5 hour investment. It took a long time to get going and a while to play. Now once we finally got to playing to me the game just plays so fast. I was totally into it and time flew by. I can't help but LOVE this theme and there is a real struggle for the fellowship and good guys.

For me, this game, I was having a very hard time. I only need 4 points of enemy territory, but, it is not that simple. I have like enemies on all sides and Ron can produce guys like anywhere at any time and they just multiply. I was finding it very difficult to produce guys. I am also a lot less with actions since I have less dice. I have to try and move Frodo to Mordor all while battling and mustering armies. So many avenues to take and SO LITTLE TIME!

It was some serious awesomeness to play. It is a game I would like to play more of than just once a year. I think Ron had a good time destroying me. I guess I will have to play the bad guys next time since Ron wants to be the good guys. It is so incredibly hard to be the good guys though. Ron will probably do it with ease, of course.

Ron ended up taking 10 points of my cities for the win. I brought in Gandalf and Legolas into Mordor and ended up taking control of Morannon and moving and since it was un attended I could just take Barad-Dur. This got me the 4 points of spaces I needed to win the game. Since Ron had more points he was the game on the tie breaker. Thing would have been a bit differently if I just left Frodo behind and not tried to push him along as I did. He made it into Mordor and on the first steps of the mountain. Had I left him behind it would have been better for me so I could have fought better and more with Gandalf.

I had a lot of fun trying and it does make me want to try the battle of five armies game.

Definitely a game I would like to play more of. Someone should paint all the minis for me.



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After that we HAD to play Fields of Arle. Was there even a question?

I was so happy to win last week! I was feeling good about this game. I knew I wanted to get fields planted and turned to forests. It took a full year in order for me to turn them into forests but I did, and I started with the plowing.

I was aching for additional board space since I wasn't cutting enough peat and I needed to get the dikes up further. That definitely hurt me when I wanted to buy a building or two and just didn't have the space.

It worked out since I ended up getting the buildings I wanted but I still ended up losing to the Ron who ended with 134. Really?! Gees- I made him add with a calculator this time and even still. He had done lots of shipping and collected a ton of material goods. I was working mostly from the forests turned to stalls. I didn't even get a 15 point building this game and I still managed to get 60+ points on my farm land.

I didn't really have anything to do in the final season which was not a good thing so I was just trying to get the most points I could. I even had a PEAT left over at the end of the game! Really?! PEAT! I think I ended with 124 10 points behind Ron. So, all in all it wasn't a bad play for me it was just Ron played better.



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I wanted to play one more game before dinner and we settled on Dominion: Empires & Dominion: Prosperity.

We had a lot of excellent cards in play. Bishop, monument, peddler some favorites from Prosperity. But, it didn't really work so well to out advantage since there was no card that offered an additional buy. We had tons of money to buy buy buy but only 1 buy action. We had a landmark card that offered 3 points for each set of copper/silver/gold we had. I managed to get 4 sets and Ron messed up and trashed too many coppers. He only got 3 sets.

I managed to get 7 (!) of the provinces and Ron still beat me! This was one of the highest scoring games I have played of Dominion. I think I ended with 82 and he was at 95! I mean it was simply outstanding we had so many points. Tons of in game points were given out and lots of additional points from the landmark and victory cards lead to a very nice winning score.

Oh my god I am just loving dominion more and more. I am psyched to be playing it as much as I have been. Maybe I can get it played at the game day this weekend. I need more people to play with other than Mr. Ron who is just amazing at all things Dominion. (and all things Games)



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Later that night we were going to learn Sakura Arms, but the English rules are just so hard to interpret we didn't have the effort. Ron read the rules to Strife: Shadows & Steam instead. New to me!

I backed this project on KS because I really liked the look of this game. I mean the art is gorgeous and I love steampunk. That is about all I knew. I hadn't played the first one and I didn't know much else. This is a game for 2p (I think you can play with more with combining the other set or something, but I am not sure). It has the basic card mechanic from Mission Red Planet. Each player has the same cards 0-9 and they hall have 2 abilities. One that will activate before the majority is calculated and one if the card is the leader then they will activate the legacy ability.

You are fighting over the location cards that give points and different persons might get a bonus depending on the location. Ultimately you are looking to get the most points.

Ron was definitely not impressed by this game at all. He didn't find it very innovative. You are supposed to play this game over 3 rounds each round is going through all 10 location cards. We only played 1 round.

I was at 2 points and Ron was at 20 points. I am clearly not very good at this game. Ron is much better at figuring this kind of game out and reading me like a text book. I can't fool anyone and the only way I would win the game is if I was playing blind. There is still the power of deduction. You can see all of the cards played on display so you can process of elimination know what the other player has in hand. But, so many cards break rules and switch out cards and this and that. It is hard to keep track. I was just learning everything but Ron seemed to know it all already.

He totally creamed me. This is a game I would play again, but I don't think Ron would. I really enjoy the art work and I think it is a fine game. I am just not sure how it holds up for multiple replays.



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Sunday we went up to Maine to visit my grandparents. More on that below. Ron and I played a few games with grandpa! We started with Scrabble. It had been a long long time since I have played Scrabble.

I have definitely lost touch with this game. I mean, in college I was addicted. I wanted to find Scrabble groups and really learn the game. I had learned all of the 2 letter words and I was working on learning all of the 3 letter words. I mean I was INTENSE. That was before I found my love of gaming, of course.

This game Ron was getting a lot of good letters. He managed to make 2 x7 letter words getting the 50 point bonus twice in the game. He was not getting very high valued letters, however. He still managed to win the game with 20 points more than me at about 285 or something. I wasn't too far behind considering I didn't manage to make a 7 letter word. I had terrible tiles like XCGSI- really really bad. I didn't want to take forever on my turn so I ended up just playing to play and not playing to win. I did alright. Grandpa was having a good time even though he is not very good at this game. He was about 160 points at the end.

I got some nice photos though. heart


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Next up was 4x4 Boggle. I was happy to play this since this is a game I do quite well at. At least I used to once upon a time. Playing this against Ron and Grandpa I still dominated. I really need more practice. I do love this one. The 4x4 grid is just so small!

We were playing with 3 letter words since Grandpa is a bit slower but he was still holding his own. I think he even beat Ron. Ron doesn't like boggle.

I think we played 5 rounds and I totally kicked butt! It was a lot of fun playing these games with grandpa, I hope he had a good time with us.


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The final game we introduced to Ron was Shut the Box. I honestly want to know if anyone got to my blog with the BGG push of "shut the box". Does anyone actually "follow" that page? I wonder. *Things Steph thinks about*.

So this is basically a game of pure luck. Very few decisions to make. You roll the dice and take the value and turn down numbers that = your rolled value. If you rolled a 10 you can close 9,1 or 8,2 or 6,3,1 etc. You are trying to close all numbers 1-9. We kept going around the table until someone finally won by closing all of the numbers. Normally you just go once around and see who has the lowest value. But, we kept going and finally grandpa picked up the win by shutting all of the numbers first.

It worked out since we all got a turn at winning a game that day!

I love visiting them in Maine and I know I am lucky to have my grandparents. I still have all 4 of them all in their 80s.


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While in Maine it was my grandparents 62nd anniversary for being married all the years. We had to take a pic!

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I snapped some pics of their garden since the flowers are so pretty!

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Later, on the way home Ron and I went see one of our favorite singers, Alan Doyle with his new band The Beautiful Gypsies. He was the lead singer for Great Big Sea so I will follow him as long as he is touring. Love his music! Turned out to be an amazing concert and it was free! Outdoors and gorgeous night. It was so much fun!!

Here is Ron and I before the concert!


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Here is Alan!

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This is the feeling I have when I finally am able to hit "publish" when my blog is complete!

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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Cthulhu, A Fish and a Mad King Walk Into The Fair.. Then They Get Married. ***Weekly Update with Photography***

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!




Since I already posted about Monday night games I will jump into Tuesday! Ron and I got to playing a few games I requested. We started the night with Five Tribes and the New to me Mini Expansion Five Tribes: The Thieves of Naqala.

So, I really like this game. I strictly only play it 2p because I am used to it at this point. You get more turns and there is more "game" to play with only 2p. I saw at GenCon they were coming out with the new mini expansion and I had to have it. It comes with some new cards one that gets mixed into the Djinn stack and a NEW Thieves stack. Only one Thief will be available in the round and all of the cards when triggered are one time effect cards that influence all of the other players to "give up" something. Giving up something might be a Djinn card, an area you control, a meeple... etc. All players must lose one of whatever and the player who played this thief card gets to take his choice. The thief card then gets discarded. If it is not going to be used then it is worth 6 points. There is a lady that gets shuffled into the Djinn stack and she prevents the thieves from striking.

In our game it was not even really in effect. I got the lady right off the bat to prevent Ron from stealing anything from me. I ended up not following up with buying any thieves since my favorite Djinn came out and I immediately went to purchase that one. It was a while before I had the means to getting another Djinn/ thief (purchased in the same manner) then I happened to never land on the space.

I was doing very well all game until a few really terrible plays. Ron was angry with me most of the game since I was being incredibly AP this time since I picked up a few artisan tokens that required extra thinking and planning. Ron thought he was losing all game.

Then he really pissed me off at the end of the game with his attitude and then he ended up winning. It was just not a fun game for me at all. While I love this game I can't seem to make good choices. I do win this one 50% of the time it seems so I suppose that is good. The expansions are good and the game is gorgeous. For some reason it just brings out some stressful gaming playing sometimes. perhaps Ron and I were too tired for it.

Ron scored VERY high like in the high 200s and I was in the lower 200s He was a good 40-50 points higher than me. It was terrible and I couldn't put the game away fast enough. Of course this terrible game play had nothing to do with the mini expansion and everything to do with just the game in general. I liked the expansion I think it adds a few new tricky choices!


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To help put me in a better mood we played a game of Dominion: Empires mixed with Dominion: Guilds. Guilds was actually New to me!

I picked up Guilds what seems like forever ago, my friend was selling his copy and I wanted it. We haven't been playing a lot of Dominion but this spice of Empires has really rekindled my love for Dominion and I was interested in finally getting Guilds a shot.

I am counting Guilds as an expansion play and Empires as a New games played- why the difference. Well Guilds is the small box and not much added. Empires adds a whole lot of new abilities and interesting ideas.

Since we were only really playing with 5 Guilds cards I am not sure I got a good taste for the expansion but I definitely understand it better. It is revolving around coins and the coin tokens it presents. They can be used in addition to any purchase you do in the buying phase of your turn or you can just hang on to it when you want to use it you can. Some of the cards allow you to "overpay" to get benefits to maybe trash a card for example.

The expansions seems very cool and works well with Empires. We of course had the castles in play because they are just the best. I think they should always be an automatic addition to any game as 1 of the supplies for cards. They are just so awesome!!!!

This game it was beneficial to go into debt early since the event card was providing victory when not buying any cards. When you go into debt you must first pay off your debt before buying any card. So, that definitely works well with the event we had.

Ron and I were racing to get the castle cards, because they are awesome, then we went in different directions. He started curing me and I was going into debt. Both of us were focused on getting the gladiator cards and that card works extremely well when you have a castle in hand since no one will have the same castle (in a 2p game) so you get an automatic $1 added which is nice. Eventually that opens the fortune card that when played multiplies your $ amount 2! It gives so much money and additional buy! It is the bomb! You have to go into so much debt but it is worth it if you are able to acquire it.

We had another event that triggered when the first province card was taken and that was to bid in debt tokens for 8 points. Ron was bidding first since I triggered it and it allowed me to over bid by 1 debt and take the 8 points. He bid a measly 16 debt. So I bid 17 and was in the hole for 17 debt. I think it took me 2 or 3 turns to get out of that debt so it was well worth it!

In the end I forgot one Province card so Ron won the game but I had enough for the next turn to buy the 'technically' last Province card for the win!

I totally declare myself the winner of this game of Dominion.

I have to say the more I play Empires the more I am loving it. Really, really good expansion!


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Wednesday night Ron and I got home at a reasonable time and managed to get in a few games. We started with everyone's favorite Fields of Arle.

I recently learned there was going to be an expansion for this game. I heard it was going to expand the game to include 3p. I really don't know how I feel about that, I also don't think I will ever find a 3rd player for the game. I say that considering my track record for this game. Nonetheless, I look forward to the expansion immensely and will be over the moon when I finally get it in hand.

This game I went in planning on getting the animals, there were a lot of good tiles that revolved around the cows so I was off to collect the cows. I played towards to buildings this game. I managed to get some forests to produce that small amount of extra wood, which is totally helpful.

It was going well and I slowly built up the transportation and getting the upgraded buildings. I also picked up a stable for a double stall.

Animals up the wazoo and Ron was off doing his own thing. I was not focused on tracks at all this game, I don't even know how I managed to get 5 points! But I did.

When Ron finally tallied the final scoring I was very disappointed with the 119.5 that he said I had. I really though I had done better. He had a whooping 124. I took the score sheet and added it up. Then I added it again and again on the calculator. Yes- he TOTALLY failed!!! I ended up with 131.5!!! He was SO FAR OFF LIKE CRAZY. He was trying to Rob me of my win! I barely win this game as it is- so when I finally do and he fails so hard- I was pissed and happy all at the same time.

I went back to immediately re calculate the other recent scores, which all seemed to be accurate. Apparently he usually uses a calculator but not this time. mmhmm - I don't trust him at all!

shake


Happy I finally won a legit game! It has been far too long!



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We topped the night off with a quick game of World's Fair 1893.

I was really looking forward to playing this last week but it just didn't happen. The game got played but without me. So I was itching to playing it since I picked it up at Gencon. I wasn't sure how well it would play with just 2p but we gave it a shot.

The game is very nice. There is a good sense of drafting and getting the cards you want but not wanting to add more cards to a location to sweeten the deal for the next player. definitely good decisions to be made and it was a very tight game.

In 3 rounds I was not feeling well with my position. Ron seemed to be turning in a lot of cards for tokens but I did manage to get 2 complete sets of each of the 5 colors.

All in all I had gained more area control than he and I managed to win by a mere 3 points. It was excellent and I felt accomplished!

This is a super game. I LOVE the drafting mechanic and the race to finish the round ahead of the other player (s) so you can get the most optimal position. Area control is not my favorite but it isn't so bad with the drafting and special character powers that alter cubes and add extras, etc. I also love the set collection aspect. It is all around a great game and I am super happy to have it in the collection.

It played much better at the 2p count than I was expecting, so I definitely look forward to my next play of this game with more players. Very cool and gorgeous game!



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Friday night Ron choose the game and he picked Castles of Mad King Ludwig. We were also using the expansion with the swans!

This game I choose my starting hidden goals to be 200 size rooms and green rooms since what are the chances no greens will show up.

So of course no green rooms showed up at all... what the heck! Apparently, in all of the stacks of tiles only 2 greens even had the POTENTIAL to show up, and they didn't. So that was an epic fail. I also went into this game thinking I am going to do moats!

Ron has the same thought process and he got a jump on them first so he was able to complete his first. C'mon really? There is only enough for 1 person to complete the moat and I ended up with 3 edges.

Perhaps it was just meant to be, I was able to get a lot more rooms since I could fit them and score more points accordingly. I really screwed screwed Ron up! He put the dungeon tile in the cheapest spot not realizing I could take it. Basically I bought the stairs and closed off a yellow room and took another turn. It was totally something Ron would do to me so I was super proud of myself for thinking of that. And then it was MINE!

Turns out I got the majorities of the common goals and I won the game- it was amazing and I was super happy with how I played that considering he stole the final moat from me. he was only getting 3 points for his moats and I was getting like 5 for mine so it was much better on my end.

I really like this game and I am still thinking maybe I should buy it in the Polish edition.


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The final game of the night was Tides of Madness. I got to play this in prototype form in April and it was awesome then and it is still awesome now!

For me this game TOTALLY replaces Tides of Time. I mean there is no question. TIME was getting old and seeing less and less plays. This is a fresh new take on the same game but adding a new element of madness to it so your opponents can go insane! Even if they have the most points- they might still go insane!!! then you get to win.

It is just stunning artwork and there seems to be a new rule that when you take back your cards to choose which ones to keep you take them ALL back and you do not have to keep the ones you have already claimed before- so that adds a whole other layer to game play. When you expect symbols might be gone well- they might NOT be gone suddenly. It is very cool and very interesting for a 2p game only that plays in 15 mintues. This is one of the best. I should have gotten more copies @GenCon for people.

I was hoping I could make Ron go insane this game but I was throwing away too many insanity cards and couldn't quite get him there and he was just 1 short! Doh!!! I nearly had him insane.

As it stood, I was able to remain sane, but I didn't score the points needed to win the game. I did well but Ron just did better, of course. I still think I broke 50 points and Ron was over 70 I am pretty sure. Doh! Failure for me.





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Saturday was Game day in Salem NH. I ended up playing a lot of 'longer' games and didn't get in as many as I might have liked but at least all of the games I did get to play were top notch!

First game of the day was Via Nebula. I was really looking forward to playing this game again since having played the demo @ GenCon. My friend Tim had a copy and he taught Gary and Franklin who to play.

The game play is pretty simple and fast, but since there were some newer players it was going rather slowly. I was focusing more on building up my sites and collecting the higher valued cards for points.

One of my sites collected all 5 type of resources and it was sad since someone took the 5 resource card from me. But, I still managed to get a 4 resource card and the left over went to waste and became negative points in the end. Boo- I was the only one with "waste" at the end- but it paid off for me. I was able to place 4 cities and I cleared some fields and ended with 23 points. It was enough since all of the the other player scored the exact same with 21 points. I managed to win that time! It was pretty amazing that each other player scored 21... And they were all TIED for the tie breaker.

Alas, I won! So it was an excellent game for me. I have to say I quite enjoyed this game. It is considered pick up and delivery but it is really just delivery. No real "pick up" involved and it is on the lighter side of gaming. I quite enjoyed this game. I would happily play it anytime. I might try to get it in a math trade sometime if it ever shows up.



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Next on the table was a 4 player game of Thief's Market. New to me!

Finally getting this to the table after a long while and rules clarification and cheat sheet. The final product became in my possession and we were able to play it!

This is a dice game and the start player rolls all of the dice and takes any number of them for himself and then the next player takes either from the available pool of dice or steals the first players throwing one of the dice back to the middle by re rolling it. This continues around the table until each player has some dice in front of them. The start player is also included in this mix of options.

Then starting with the 'new' starting player there is the option to purchased cards using the dice you got and by spending money to make up for the dice you didn't get. You can activate the cards and trigger any points you might get.

It is actually a very simple game and you go through the stack of A's B's and C cards and the game will then be over. The game moves quickly (when playing with the correct people) and there are a lot of good things to consider. Unfortunately, in our game I was playing with a bunch of un-fun people and the game more like dragged on than was a joy to play.

Dan took the winner's card for this game. I made him pose in a picture he was less than enthused. angry I managed a second place victory but would have rather been head thief!

You know, I actually really enjoyed the game, I just need to play with fun people who enjoy dice games. I can't say I recommend the game for gamers who don't enjoy dice games. Simple as that- they sour the game.

I really look forward to my next play with fun people.



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Next on the table was a game I convinced Randy to play when he walked in. One of my recent favorites that I am finding harder and harder to get to the table of Mombasa.

The more I play- the more people gang up on me.

I duno why but Ron was trying to push every track and be a jack of all trades. It was actually working well for him except that Ron pushed too hard to make Cairo work. Randy was all up and about Cairo. He had 10+ shares in that company and was getting 10 or more points by the end. I mean he was rolling in points at the end. Ron was a close second but if he could have knocked Cario down even by $1 I think Ron might have won that. So, it was a tight race. Randy took home the crown this game with a score of 174 or something and Ron was less than 10 behind him. I was sitting around 135 so still better than Dan who was trying to work the books and was failing at it with 105 points.

Yah this game I was all about diamonds but randy took the diamond merchants I was most interested in- grrrr. I managed to open my 4th slot in the 4th round so that was very handy for me. I still never got an upgraded exploration which would have helped me tremendously. I just didn't have enough exploring to make my St Louis and Mombasa track matter. Of course in the last moment everyone seemed to be pushing Mombasa so after I stopped putting in effort there and into St louis, my St Louis became useless and in the end very painful to score.

Still loving this game. It is a constant battle to try and gain people to your side while you are the current leader in the company. Very fun game, I can't seem to get enough!




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I found it hilarious that there was dueling Outpost games going on. I would have liked to have played in one of them. But, alas I didn't get to try it out. There was also dueling Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power 1936-1945 games going on... impressive.


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I really wanted to get in a game of Scythe. There were 7 of us and no one wanted to make a decision- it was very frustrating.

I ended up sitting down playing with Randy, Ron and New player Brett.

Randy went through the rules and was very clear about everything that I could find. Brett just didn't wan to try and understand it. I know he is a smart guy but he wasn't in the mood or something, I don't know. Very sour and it was quite a miserable game to be honest.

I was playing the yellow player and knowing the track record of the winnings of this color I put a standard for myself and just failed. I was doing alright and got all of my stars down! It might have been the first time I got all of my stars down. But, I didn't have the back up points and game play to make it a winning score.

I managed to get to the center first, I also picked up 3 or 4 encounters! I mean, I was on top of it. My encounters were not welcoming since most of them I had to just take $2 and 1 pop- which was lame since I got them pretty early. I was teleporting to other home bases and I had a lot of movement so I was like bing bang boom all over the board! I got my guys star and my attacking stars and my objective star and my mech star eventually. I felt like the king of the world and really happy with my performance.

I was sad I didn't win, Randy ended up winning with white at 58 points. Ron was right on his tail with blue player and 55 points. I was 3rd!!!! with only 45 points. cry

Brett was miserable the whole game and was hating everything about it and had a crap time and had a crap score. It is just frustrating to play a game with people who are clearly not enjoying the game or having a good time whatsoever. I feel like I am just wasting time. I hate that.


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We ordered some dinner and I agreed and wanted to play Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. New to me, sorta!

I have played and did own the Mansions of Madness edition 1, but playing this new shiny edition it is completely different. While in actuality it is the same idea of going through the house and fighting off the monsters it is a far superior game, now.

For $85-100 price point I am not sure I will be picking up this game but I did have a great time playing. I think the way the app works is just amazing. they really did a phenomenal job with that. Charles had to explain the rules again since I had forgotten most of it and Japhet joined in for a 3p game. Japhet hadn't played before but was wanting to learn. We went over the rules and ate some food and then started to play.

The app basically tells you everything you need to know. You pick the starting scenario and the characters selected. We actually picked the 3 available girls. We were girl power all the way. I was Rita the athlete... laugh. The app is awesome, as I was saying, in that it tells you everything. What to set up and what goes where. Charles said he had played the 1st scenario solo to get the feel of the game so he could come in to the game day with a sense of how it works. That definitely helped us along. He said it was very different with this game play. The rooms were set up differently and there were different tasks to accomplish. So, I think there is a good number of replay value with the app even if there are only 3 scenarios at the moment. I have a feeling there will be more added later.

So, we got to playing and I was thinking there would be more to set up- like the remainder of the house. Nope! You have to literally explore the door to find the rooms and what they might hold inside. The app tells you when and where to add the rooms you have explored. It is SO AWESOME. You have no idea where you are going. This is different than the base game since you have to pre- determine all of this in the initial set of the game. It was very cool. We were sort of moving around together. I had additional movement when I moved so I was zippy. I had minimal sanity and lots of strength to I was trying to do most of the fighting. I really needed/ wanted a larger weapon I only had a glass bottle that I broke... .

I was beating up all of the monsters that came our way. We were all rolling particularly well. It was shocking on how well we were rolling! It was awesome! Of course next time we play I will get no successes- the way of the world and all.

I hav eto say when we finally got to the puzzles in the game I was very excited. I saw the moves and totally did differently. Ugh, okay the first puzzle was just a stupid error. I did get it on my next try. there is NO UNDO what the heck. The Boss puzzle is a couple master mind games.

LET ME TELL YOU- (I don't think it will be the same, at least I hope not but I will put in spoiler just in case)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
the first mini puzzle was a 3 digit code with the number 12345 to choose from apparently you can have repeat numbers and what not. since it is my favorite number and all I HAD to guess it. 312 first guess and I had 3 chances- BOOM that is the number 312!!! Are you kidding me. I freaked out it was so exciting! I know it probably doesn't mean much to you but I swear the number 312 shows up everywhere. In tv shows on the clocks in movies on the hotel doors. It is just everywhere and I see it everywhere. Of course it is my birthday and it means more to me- but I have been in awe as to how often this number appears.

I was psyched to have guessed it on the first try. It was great. SO HAPPY!



The second puzzle I had 5 guesses and it was a mastermind game with 5 slots and 5 colors of course with repeats, probably. I aced that in 5 moves. I ROCK at mastermind, just so you know. DONT try me. *sidenote: I wonder if I can count it as a game of mastermind played? I will take any comments on this, please*


In the end we totally kicked the codes butt and didn't have to battle the flying scary guy at the end. Owned it!

I had a super awesome time playing and I hope to play again soon! I know Scott has a copy - I definitely want to give it another play. I don't know if I want to own it. But, it was super fun. I want to try a harder game!


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Sunday Ron and I drove up to Warren, NH like STICKS 101. No signal service for the phone- really really far away from home NH. Our friends Eric and Carrie whom I posted their engagement shoot picture a while back were getting married. So we spend the day up there with them.

There was actually a lot of gamers present at this gathering and I managed to get in several games. I rallied a few folks outside for a couple of games of Happy Salmon.

I can't say this was a hit but it was fun for a few rounds then everyone sort of dispersed. I definitely didn't win either of the couple of games we played I was trying to explain the passing of the card rule during the first game to many people. I was definitely not focused on my game for that one. The second one we have a few new people to play and it didn't go great for me either. I still had like 4 cards left when it had ended...

All in all I am happy I got to play it a couple times. I don't think it was a 'hit' but I also don't think it was a 'miss' either.

Still fun for me!



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Later, Carrie asked me to play a couple games. She was the bride and all so well, I HAD TO OBLIGE, the torture... We settled on a few new games to her and Faux Ron. I taught The Grizzled and we played a 4p game with 2 learning and Ron.

Since they were new to the game I ended up playing without the traps. I think I should just play with the traps when teaching going forward, it keeps things so interesting.

We were cautious and used our special abilities pretty quickly, but that ended up really helping out and letting us have smaller hands that we could slowly swindle down from.

We were moving 3 cards a round from the bad stack to the dove stack during the morality drop. That is the minimum you can move. It ended up being a very mild game of Grizzled and everything seemed to be working out for us. We didn't have a whole lot of BADBADBAD knock cards early so that definitely helped us a lot move forward with the game and uncover the dove pretty early. It took many rounds after the reveal of the dove to really win the game but hey we won!

We did a great job with this game. Carrie and Faux Ron caught on really quickly and played wonderfully. I think they really enjoyed it. When we told them what the trap cards do they were like GAH HOW CAN YOU EVER WIN?! lol basically.



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Since we were in a cooperative mood, I wanted to show Carrie and Faux Ron my new game called Kreus.

I went over the rules it is a pretty easy game to understand and play. It is a lot harder to KNOW what to play. We did an all around good game. I still have yet to win this one, it is proving to be a very difficult game to beat. I haven't even introduced the harder game yet!

We made it all the way and got the planet in play and only with 2 elements attached. Dang this game is SUPER hard!

It is so interesting to see what happens since I have one idea of what has to get played and if they don't have the cards in hand then it is just not going to happen!

I am happy with the progress we made but it just wasn't good enough. I can't wait to actually beat this game... one day - it will happen!



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Carrie took off to do the bride deal and entertain a few folks. Faux Ron had a new game he wanted to try out with us called Android: Mainframe. New to me!

I was happy to learn a new game, I need more for the month... I recalled Mina had played and liked this one enough, I believe. *shrug* I was up for a short abstract game regardless.

It is just as I said. A short abstract game. Each player has a few power cards that makes each faction a bit different. On your turn you can place an access point on the board, take a pattern card from the display or use a power card from your hand. That is the game. When you place an access point then you discard the top of the deck and the deck is the time for game over, unless there is no more playable moves on the game board.

When you create a fully enclosed region it must only have one player color and those access points flip over and nothing can change from the enclosure. At the end of the game you score points for your # access points in a region multiplied by the number of squares in the region.

This game Ron was having it rough. He hated his "powers" and I don't think ended up scoring a single region by the end. I think he was planning for too many things and wasn't able to follow through and complete the regions. I was doing much better with the board and making the enclosures work better. I managed to win that game with 18 points and Faux Ron did a bit less with 13 points I believe. It was a pretty abrupt ending when the deck ran out and I was holing out for a certain card that just didn't show up.

I still won so I can't complain too much I don't think Ron was having a good time with it he was saying my cards were over powered blah blah. I didn't think they were that great since they could easily be reversed in the next few turns before it was my turn again.

Oh well, I think it comes down to being a game I would play again but I am not going to end up buying it. I liked it fine though.



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Later in the afternoon we picked up Carrie and Alex for a 4p game of America.

I thought Faux Ron would be joining us as well but he didn't show up till we were almost done.

This game I explained and I will use that excuse for my poor performance. I don't think I got ANY point until round 3... yah I mean it was VERY VERY BAD for me. I was just wrong all over the place. I didn't know anything about Rollercoasters, bonnie and Clyde, or Breaking Bad! I really thought I would do better with Breaking Bad. Yah, not so much. FAIL!

I really lost- really really really badly. While Carrie and Alex won that game! Well Alex was a few points in front I think but they were tied basically the whole game and Ron had to subtract his handicap of 50 points and ended just behind them!



Board Game: America






The final game of the day before Ron and I took off for home was 6p game of Pictomania.

Alex and Carrie hadn't played before. I was shocked that Carrie hadn't played before! I just KNEW she would love it so it was shocking to learn she hadn't played! I was even more pumped to get this game played. Faux Ron and Miira joined in this game and they love it. They actually brought their copy along too! They were excited to play.

We started off with 2 rounds at level 2 and then 2 rounds level 3 and the final round at level 4. It was awesome.

I meant to take more pics. There was one round that you have NO IDEA what my drawing is below that Miira drew the wrong card and actually picked the wrong card to draw from. She drew the word on MY card so I couldn't guess hers since I had no idea what she was doing. It was pretty funny.

I actually did pretty well this game. There was one round where Ron only scored 1 point! That IS AMAZING He royally messed up that time. I think he till managed to win the game, of course but it was a lot closer than a normal game. Alex was a close second to Ron and she had a few final scoring round that gained her a ton of points. It was a super fun game and I am pretty sure everyone had a great time! Including the bride!



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Here is an image I snapped of the couple - so pretty!

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This was the illegal Dam they were making. They promised they were break it down before they left for the weekend. haha I thought it was pretty hilarious, anyway.


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That was it for the week! Hoping I get to play Dominant Species tonight with Ron and Len! I am certainly looking forward it!




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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Back From GenCon = All the games to play! Learning 7 More Games THIS WEEK! Dang... Weekly Update with Tons of Pics!

Steph Hodge
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Oh man so it took me a solid 4 days to get my last post ready and written. It was a lot even for me! It resulted in much fewer games played than I might have liked in during the week! It also resulted in the delay of this post since I had so much to do@ work and I was just tired when I got home. Gencon was awesome and exhausting!





On Wednesday I was determined to play a game. I made Ron read the rules and gave him his choice of games to read the rules for. He ended up picking 7 Ronin for us to play. New to me!


I was really happy when I saw this on the GenCon list of available games. I was going to pick it up at Essen '15 but either forgot or couldn't' find it. I then tried to order it from Boardgamebliss and they said they were sold out (mind you after I already purchased it from the website).

This is a 2p game only and it is simultaneous playing. One player is the defender and one player is the ninja attackers. They are trying to take control of the lands. On the board there are special powers for each land section. If the ninja is there alone at the end of the round then the powers of the land happen and mostly all terrible for the defenders. If the defenders end up alone or in a region with the ninjas then the powers of the defenders might go into effect depending on occupancy and if their power triggers with or without ninjas present. In order for the Ninjas to win they need to control 5 areas or 4 areas if they both include the fields on the board. If at the end of 8 rounds the defenders are still alive and the Ninja's haven't won then they will be the winner.

It is actually a pretty straight forward game when it comes down to it. There are nifty powers for both sides and you have to be fully aware of everything and what you think your opponent will be doing.

In our game I wanted to be the rainbow of colors which turned out to be the defenders. Ron was the little ninjas- but he had about a million little tokens and I was thinking 'dang that is a lot I have to destroy'.

I wasn't wrong- all of his guys were a lot of damage to me. If they end up in battle together all of the ninjas in the region end up being hit points for the defender I send. Of course each defender can only take so much damage then they die off. The yellow defender is the healer and for him to activate then he has to be in a region with no ninjas and he heals another character by 1. ONLY 1! It was like impossible to get any healing ton the ninjas were coming at me left and right.

Before I knew it Ron had 5 out of 7 of my defenders killed and the game was barely half over. I mean I got totally hosed! I can't see how the defenders will ever win. I can't wait to play it again to see if it is actually possible. I want to beat up on Ron more so maybe I should be the ninjas- then I will most certainly find out how the defenders will win. haha It is sort of like a Whitechapel scenario- Jack never wins but we still love to play since it is fun to try.

For now I am optimistic for this game. Once we get to know the symbols and actions better I think it will be easier to play it and understand it and of course to hopefully like it more. I am happy to have it for now. The GenCon edition came with a mini promo chit so we will have to see what that is all about.

The game is super pretty, I only wish it had the symbolism on the player boards to MATCH the main board- it got a bit confusing there and having to keep looking at the main board was a bit annoying. Cool game.


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Friday night Ron and I got to learning some new games since my new game shelf is overwhelmingly growing... If only I knew how to read! I was a team player and read the rules to one game and he read the rules to another. We started with my game called Kingdoms. New to me!

An older Knizia game that is pretty readily available even still. I picked it up in a math trade and I traded away Mascarade Expansion- dang that's a good trade, at least for me.

This is actually a very simple abstract game. On your turn you can do one of 3 things- place a castle in an open spot, draw and place a tile, or place your special tile that you got at the beginning of the round. The goal is to score the most points. You score points by trying to gather resources from the surrounding land tiles that provide positive numbers. When scoring every row and column scores. Basically you add up the values of each row and times that by the number of castles you have and you either get a positive or negative number (yes you might have to pay). You do this for 3 full Epochs and then the player with the most $ wins. There are a couple of special tiles that totally screws with the tiles and they are fun.

In our game, Ron is much better than me. I got crazy good pulls which meant I had to place them on the board for him to immediately be able to react to. Hahah So I guess the idea is that you want to pull the -6 tiles so you can go place them next to your opponent.

One round I was pretty fortunate and my hidden tile at the beginning was the dragon- so i waited until he got his big castle placed to then cancel out most of his points. So, that was very pleasing.

Everything I did= I seemed to just screw myself over with. This is a very difficult abstract game, which I quite enjoyed actually!

When we finished he had about 300 points and I was about half of that. It was a sad sight. He might have only been about 100 points over me, but still 100 points!!!

When we cleaned it up he noticed that it played 4 players and I tolkd him it did and there are a few variants listed in the rule book. It must be crazy with 4 players but I would be interested in trying! It is a fast and fun little game. Very cool and for the price point I can't recommend it more!!



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The game Ron decided to read the rules for was Theseus: The Dark Orbit. New to me!

This has been a long time love for Dustin I think in his top 5!I felt the time has come to try it out. I got it in a math trade and was excited to learn it. To be honest I didn't know anything about the game.

It is a pretty abstract thinking game and the whole theme is more exciting than actual game play. Each player is trying to attack the other players and diminish their life and/ or gain data points in this game. There are a few ways for the end game to trigger, but in our game it was by one of our deck of cards running out.

In the game you are trying to program your cards onto the board so that when you land in that location with your guys you can perform the actions. There is a lot of planning you have to do and a lot of error that can go into your planning since the other player will mess everything up each time.

The way you move around the board is that like Finca- where you count the number of guys in the location and move that many spaces. Where you land determines the area action that happens and then triggers any additional actions you have in the location- it might mean to collect data points or trigger onslaught fighting to happen. It is definitely a lot to process and plan for.

In our game I was red, of course. They are the fighters. When upgraded, They can cause damage to everyone in the room. They can not collect data points. Ron was blue and he could collect data points pretty easily and had a harder time fighting me off.

In the game we were just getting a feel for it and it seemed to play rather quickly which is nice. I am not quite sure why the suggested player count is 2p since it seems like it would be more interesting with more players and more combat. But, I will take everyone's word for it.

So all game I was running around never managing to hit a section where I could fire outright against Ron. Maybe he was just setting his moves up better or I really suck at meta planning. I duno- I couldn't get anything happening the way I wanted it to be happening. All of the cards I was planning on adding to the game board Ron was able to kick out. I only managed to get the ring of Fire up in the nick of time before the end game. I managed to cause some damage to Ron which helped me out a bit.

Otherwise, I was never really able to land in my home sector. Nothing worked out well for me, I guess.

In the end Ron was able to out smart me with his data points and he won by 1 point. He was able to get a few guys in a location with me and attack me twice dealing more damage than I would care to admit. Doh!

Al in all it was an okay game and I would give it another chance. Nothing blew me away, maybe I had my expectations too high, I am not sure. In the end it might be on the trade list soon since Ron was only okay about it as well.


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Saturday was game day! Tons of folks showing up at 11am which was awesome. Scott brought along a new game for me to try called Mord im Arosa. New to me!

This is a bluffing and memory game. You have to try and hear the cubes fall down the tower and catch the other players on the floors they are on.

Dropping players cubes in the tower. Then on your turn you can accuse any number of people of being on a floor and if you are correct they have to add their color to the suspect board, if you guess incorrectly then you have to drop your color cubes into the tower = to the number you guessed incorrectly.

Of course I am awful at this game. I accuse everyone of being on whatever floor I am picking up. Then I would have to drop in a number of cubes. The dead bodies were on the same floor #4 and if you are accused of being on that floor and is accurate you have to lose a bunch of points for being on the suspect board on that floor.

It is actually a very clever game and I had a lot of fun playing it.

In our game it was going pretty slowly since people weren't being dramatic with their guessing. What's the fun if you aren't playing wildly.

To keep it going I was guessing pretty crazy. It is fun to see what actually happens though. In reality I should have been targeting Ron more since he is Ron and all.

Ultimately I lost I think... Scott was close to losing too. Dan was playing right before me and kept taking all of the floors I wanted to guess so then I was left with crappy guessing. So, that wasn't cool. I suppose I should have tried to clear my name on some of the floors where I was suspect but I was more interested in catching other people.

It is a sneaky game and I really enjoyed my play, I have added it to the wishlist. This is definitely a fun group kind of game. very enjoyable!

I am pretty sure Ron won that game with only 5 points (lower points wins). We eventually caught on to Leanne otherwise it might have been her!



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From gallery of punkin312




Scott's amazing pic of me taking a pic of the box, I think... hahaha it is the only way I can remember things

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More folks showed up and we were playing 3 tables I think. I started a game of ICECOOL.

Kim showed up so we were 5p and we teamed up just alternating whose turn to flick for red penguin.

I explained the rules and we got to playing. I started off as the catcher and Leanne, Scott, and Felix were the runners.

Kim and I actually did a pretty good job catching them in the first round and we were able to end it! Other were getting used to the flicking and concept of the game so round 2 is really when people were playing well.

We had a pair of 1s so we used that wisely. Kim was able to secure 2 doors in a turn because of the pair of ones. That was awesome! Kim and I make an excellent team! This is the second game that I can think of where we are just the bomb working together!

I was a crap runner so Kim did a lot of the leg work for the few rounds more, but I did bring us home in the final round ending that one too.

Kim and I won that game with 23 points or something awesome. Many other people did well though and were just a few points behind. I think everyone liked this game a lot.

Then of course we all had to practice our flicking skills for a few minutes trying to jump to other rooms and get interesting flicks that we weren't able to do in game.



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We were at 6p now and the new co-op game I picked up actually plays with 6p so we played a (few) game (s) of Kreus.

Since Dan doesn't like to listen to me explain rules I just gave him the rule book and he read them out. It was crazy since he didn't even listen to his own words. It says clear as day DO NOT PLAY A RED CARD ON THE FIRST TURN. So, of course, Dan plays a red card on the first turn and we all give him a hard time.

It resulted in us losing and having to re-deal. Something happened again and people were messing up so we ended up starting this game 3 times before actually playing, it was pretty much a mess. We were talking far too much since there was confusion.

Once we got going it was more clear to everyone what we should be doing. With only Minimal cheating in the first game we ended up with the planet down and 2 elements needed to win. Of course we were no where near close to succeeding since cards were all in terrible placed for us to actually win, but it was still pretty good.

For the second real game, we did far worse. We kept the talking to a minimal and failed since we need the mountain card in play so we could get our final cards played. It was just not working out for us and never got the planet card down at all.

I think everyone enjoyed the game even if they were a bit confused with it. I am still very much enjoying this game. It is just so pleasing to look at! So pretty!!!!

Rainbow!



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Next on the table was a 3p game of Haspelknecht.

Felix expressed interest in this game and it had been a while since I played it so I was happy to play and teach him and Leanne.

I am so terrible at this game. I don't know why- but I always seems to fail miserably. This time I was going to go for technology points and I still ended up digging for coal.

Felix was doing very well with his technology advancements and managed to pay off all of the feeding costs in the game. Same with Leanne. Of course I was sitting there with 3 debt tokens at the end so that was not helping me at all.

Felix was ahead all game far far in the lead. When end game scoring came around it worked out for me in that I managed to come within 10 of him when all said and done. Ultimately, he was able to still win with exactly 50 points. I was close behind but not enough enough where the debt tokens would have made up for it.

It was a good game. Felix doesn't like winning on his first play's of games but he said it was one of 2 games he learned on Saturday that he wanted to own. So hey that is awesome! He really liked it!

Leanne liked the game too- she rolls with the punches and likes a good Euro game. Yay! Another winner- I lost because I was teaching... right?



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Other tables were finishing up and I ask Kim what she wanted to play and she suggested Hearts of AttrAction.

I think there were like 8 of us playing this one around my black table.

it turned out to be a pretty good game for us. Pat was his normal terrible repellant self with dexterity magnate games. I was a steady 2 per turn collection. That worked quite well for me. I managed to end the game with 10 points and tied with Felix but Shrey has us beat with 11!

It is a cute filler game and I am happy to own it. Good so such occasions with lots of players and in need of a fast filler.



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Up next we were going to wait for Joe C to finally show up be decided against it when we had a full 5p game ready to go for Scythe.

This was definitely the hot game of the day. It was first set up and then played 3 times in a row all by different groups of players. I know Ron ended up playing 2 times without me. I think Joel ended up playing in all 3 games! It was definitely the spotlight of the day in our house.

I was in this second game and Felix and Kim were learning it and Joel and Riley were explaining the game. I don't know why they were both explaining it but they were.

I ended up being the white faction and Joel was black to my right. Nothing on my board lined up well enough for me. I was having a terrible game. I needed one thing and I wasn't able to get it. When I was finally ready to make a move Joel moves in on my area and wipes me out. Ugh it was just terrible. There was nothing I could do to prevent this from happening. Maybe I should have spent a few turns collecting resources from the trade action and then I could have gotten a mech sooner, as it stood I was trying to complete an objective by expanding onto villages. yeah, failed that.

All game I only managed to get one star for getting my people on the board. I was near in getting a few others but kept getting pushed back. I never got a mech out on the board and was having a very difficult game. I did managed to get my popularity up to the 3rd tier, so that helped my score a whole lot.

Kim didn't get any stars out which wasn't so great for her, but she went back and played a second game and did much better.

I think I ended with 35 points and the winner had about 60 or something. It could have been a lot worse for me, but I should have done better. It was just a terrible game for me. Oh well, until next time.

Felix won the game and he was very much unimpressed with it. While he was learning this as the yellow player, he was really not enjoying the game play. As I said earlier he doesn't like when he wins on the first play but he was just not excited by the whole game anyway. This did not make it to the top of the list or even on the wishlist at all for him. Oh well, I guess you can't please everyone!




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OMG Riley brought over his FREAKING HUGE EDITION of River Dragons.

This is the special edition it must be like $300 or more it is just gigantic! The pieces are a work of art and the whole game is just awesome. We were playing the full 6 player game.

I really like this game. I love the programming aspect of it and to see who will screw you over this time. It was like 4 rounds before I was able to even move my dude onto the planks. Everyone was ruining my plans. The board was the entire tables it was so huge!! We really had to stand while playing so we legit had to reach across the table at times.

Of course everyone was out to get me, I have a target on my head!

Riley was making his way around the edge of the board and nearly got there. Dan kept getting pushed back to his home island and Pat was sneaky at the end. I am pretty sure Riley won this game but Felix might have won also if we finished out the round.

It is am awesome game and I was so happy to play it! Riley's edition just fits on the kitchen table so I was happy we could get the chance to play it! Super cool!

Happy to play this anytime!



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We had 6 players and we were looking for a fast-ish game. I pulled Voilà! from the shelf. New to me!

This is a game I picked up for pretty good cost @ Gencon with the CSI booth sale. It is a game that just came out at Essen and I was curious about. It seemed pretty light so I never got around to trying it and for $10 I figured it was worth a try.

It is a fast paced dex game to try and complete the mini taks at hand presented by the cards you may or maynot draw. On your turn if you are the active player, the player to your left flips the 45 sec timer and you go. Pulling gems from the bad you then perform the action yellow= nothing, red= pull a card and do what it says, blue = pull a card then once completed pull another card.

Once you finish a task you can pull another gem or call voila and score your cards. If you run out of time you lose everything you have accomplished in the time you were going, so that sucks- don't do that.

Things on the cards vary in difficulty. The more difficult the more points the cards are worth. You want to complete everything as quickly as possible so you can keep going and do more cards.


It is pretty simple game and with 6 players we each performed 3 times each. Kim joined us mid-game and we actually played 7 players. There were enough cards to complete this so it was OK.

It is a cute game and definitely one for a family who enjoys games. The rules aren't hard and the kids would really like this one.

I was playing this game very well on my turn. Completing many 3 pointer cards and really pushing my time limit cutting it very close. But I think I ended up winning this time. Ron and Kim were doing VERY poorly. Running out of time and even their combined scores didn't beat me.

Maybe I am just too much of an expert, I duno. For me the game didn't have enough differences. There was a lot of repetitive mini games and I was less and less interested and it was only 3 rounds! Perhaps, you shouldn't play with so many people. Maybe it is best for 3p filler game and it will go super quick. I would play it again but for now it is on the trade list. I have too many light dex filler games I could play in its place.



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next up was a 4p game of Yokohama. I mentioned a ton of games and this is one that sparked the most interest. I explained the rules to Felix and we played a 4p game including Scott and Dan.

I was happy to play this one again with the full count. I don't have handy player aids and custom pieces like Scott does but it is still good to own and play!

This game I was 'challenged' to go for the trading houses. It was hard to acquire money but was in the 4th player position and that is just where I like to be to hit on the end game hard.

I was placing my houses but to get the final 2 were quite challenging. I never managed to get the common goals completed. Any of them! gahd it was terrible. I am usually much better than that. I picked up a few tech cards, far too late to do any good. I got some order cards completed but all in all I played the fast game and worked my hardest to get the trading house out asap and drop the end bomb when I could.

It did come to a surprise to everyone and Dan would have liked like 3 more turns to get a whole lot of points. As it stood, NO ONE pass 100 points. Which I think it is a first for me. There is almost always someone over 100 points but I brought the ending along super fast. It was awesome.

I still didn't win of course! I think Felix was even behind me. I am pretty sure Dan took the win on that game even though he was still complaining he should have gotten more points...

It was sad for me, but there was also no more hope for me for dragging out the game any longer.

Love it!


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Another game I recently got from the BGG store is called Take The "A" Chord. New to me!

This is a trick taking game with some weird rules. The game has English rules but it is a Japanese game and the player aids are in Japanese, so that is not so helpful. It is a standard trick taking game with "changing the key" plays and it then changes the lead player there is also something that happens if you are the last player and you match the lead player in the key so the trick doesn't happen and you play another hand. It was definitely different game. It is also hard to explain without actually playing so I am sure nothing I just wrote actually makes sense. When you lead you can lead anything and the other players can match the color OR letter. If they don't have the letter they must match the color if able. Other players can match ANY letter on the table if they so choose to change the key. If the key is B then the highest card is B and if the player leads a Red C someone can play a RED B and win the trick of if anyone is able to play any B they would win. If the last player played another C card to match the start player then the round is essentially forfit and cards are turned over and they start again. Whomever wins the next trick takes both tricks. You ideally want to win only 3 tricks in the hand anything more than 5 becomes negative and the most you can get is with 3 tricks.

Very strange game and I definitely need to play it again now that I think I understand it.

Our game we were all really trying hard to figure out game play. It was kind of difficult. Dan seemed to understand and he was collecting a TON of points.

I was just trying to win a trick and that was failing me but I ended up getting some points. I won a few rounds with the double tricks and got the bonus points for those but then ended the round with 5 tricks so it didn't pay off, if you will. I think I ended up coming in second place but Dan was well over double my score and ended with like 130 points. I mean he totally crushed us.

I am not sure everyone enjoyed the game but i think we would all give it another chance. At least I want to give it another play.


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From gallery of punkin312


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We had 6 players and I managed a good portion of them to stick around for a game of Medici. Riley was please we could play his new edition copy and he was soon displeased with how we were all judging it so harshly.

I am pretty sure I heard 'I will murder you all in your sleeps' a few times from him since we weren't being very nice about the new edition and making a crap ton of fun about it.

In reality the new edition is fine and it looks pretty amazing in my photos. More amazing in my photos than it does in person, FYI. I have played this game several times with cards but this was the game that turned me into liking the cards more than the tiles. I am not sure why but it was just nice to pass the deck of cards around the table.

The score track is still dumb, it is just the curse of Medici, I believe.

We got to playing and I was overspending SO MUCH, I suppose Ron was too since we actually ended in the same spot at the end of the game. Respectively 4/5th place. Really not good.

I nearly made it to the top of 2 tracks and making it to the top of one track in round 2 was not good enough to secure the win.

Pat was playing manly enough, I guess. We kept making fun of Joe to bid the manly bid of 28, he never did. Pat was far far far in the lead, I am not sure if it was a collection of track and biggest boat points but he was way past the 100 mark and kicked out butts!

All in all I think everyone had a good time, give or take Riley, I am not sure.

I really do love the game, I don't care which edition we play as long as I get to play!

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Scott's amazing photo of me! haha Riley is so happy!
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I managed to keep a few people around for another fast game. Shrey pulled out his copy of Plums.

I picked this up at Essen 2015 because it is just so damn pretty. I played it a couple of times and then it hasn't seen game play at all this year.

For me the game play just isn't there. I don't get excited about it. There is a bit of luck and take that in this game that doesn't suit me well. You are essentially bidding for turn order to acquire the newly played cards to your tableau in order to complete sets and score points.

It is a nice concept, but when you get all middle of the row value cards it can be very painful and hard to overcome.

In my game that is exactly what was happening everyone seemed to be stealing from me since Ron seemed to always have the dog on hand blocking any theft from happening. Scott was scoring points and using the cards he had claimed and Shrey was just master of all the cards. He collect so many cards from stealing and taking 4th place each round which gives that extra plum card. If is actually quite nice to be going last in this game to get the extra fruit cards.

In our game Ron was really getting some good points and sets of cards. I think he was able to beat out Shrey for the win, even though Shrey got all of the cards all game. I am surprised I managed to get any points since I was being stolen from a lot. Scott also seemed to be scoring a lot, but I think he was getting the small valued point cards but he was able to keep a clean tableau so Shrey and Ron would almost be forced to steal from me! Not cool!

For me this game relies a bit too much on the cards you are given and if you are able to get first dibs or last dibs. I am just uninterested in the game play even though the whole game is so beautiful. I think I have to put this on my trade/sale list since I just don't think it belongs in the collection any longer.



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Scott took off and I convinced one more GAME out of Shrey with my amazing version of The Game.

It has been a bit since my last play of this so I was happy to give it another play. We were just 3p and Shrey said he always had played with the cards displayed on the table. It is how I used to play too but then we were told we were playing wrong and that you aren't supposed to know which numbers have been played. Not fair if you are playing with a guy who can remember everything like that, but I suppose.

We managed to get through the pile and to cards that were remaining in our hands but we were hosed going into the final turns. There was no where to play the middle of the road cards. so I think we ended with 4 or 5 cards remaining that were un-played.

Of course once it ended it was an asterisk game because I found like 8 cards in the 40 range that were not in the deck for some reason. So that was a major fail and they totally would have helped us with game play and or screwed us, hard to say!

Still enjoy this game and it is much prettier with my deck of cards.



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Sunday was just a relaxing day with the Ron. We (of course) started with Fields of Arle.

This game I was feeling really good. I nearly got to the top of what seemed like every track. I made 23 points from the tool track! That never happens. I never focus on the tools. For some crazy reason I felt it was my mission this game. Ron's mission, apparently, was to get all of the animals and make lots of baby animals.

I was having a tough time managing my food. I used 25 food for the that one building that gets you dike movement and 10 food, but more importantly gets you 10 points. It is a very valuable tile. I had the food so I decided to go for it. Ron was a bit shocked I picked it up, and I was too, it was a bit of an after thought thinking I had the food so I should just do it. I had a lot of advanced resources so I was planning on getting a 15 pointer but that came later.

All in all I was very pleased with my gaming performance and thought I would actually win. That is just silly, I never win this game and this was no exception. I did manage to get a respectable score of 119 but Ron was sitting high with 134. Gawd- he sucks!

#stillafavorite




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I wanted to break he shrink to Mystic Vale next. Had I known it would have been such a time sucking project I might have thought differently. It took over 30 minutes to set up the game with the card sleeves and I was put to the task of PEELING ALL OF THE CARDS. There is a thin layer of protected film on each card. It was a B*TCH to remove. It took a solid 30 minutes+ to do this. It was worth it so the cards don't look all cloudy and yuk. It does mean the cards will be getting scratched up more easily which is lame, but I will live.

I got a couple really good valuable cards that collected 3 and 4 points when played. Those are when kept me going. I pushed my deck hard in search of these cards even if it meant busting. I was cycling through my cards faster and therefore collecting the points faster.

It is a neat game, and I am actually enjoying it more than the first play I had. Though, I still feel the same in that it needs something more in order to keep my interest after so many games. I will be picking up the expansion when that comes out.

This game I was collecting all of the symbols and ended up getting 4 nature cards all with points on them. My other focus was on getting the cards with the points out so I could collect a lot of in game points. It worked out quite well for me and I ended up destroying Ron this time. I think I ended with about 35 points and Ron was mid 20s.

Owned it! For now I am happy with the game and I am happy to play it.



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Ron felt like reading the rules to a new game called Edo. New to me!

This was a game that had gotten a bunch of good reviews and I wanted to try it out so I picked it up in the recent math trade. Awesome trade for me since the guy I was giving my game to backed out and said keep it to my Byzantio. So this was, in fact, free!

Ron read the rules and it seemed easy enough. Dang, this game is HARD!

While the mechanics are simple and straight forward my brain was just not having it. You are trying to collect resources and make the buildings for area control. The way you do it is hidden planning with the actions. Every player has 3 action squares they start with all with 4 potential actions. Of course you can only use 1 space per square so you have to make sure you are doing what you intend. then you allocate the guys according to what you are planning.

Players then reveal one action at a time and perform it then the next until everyone has played their 3 actions.

For me this was incredibly hard. I needed like 3 actions but they were all located on the same square and nothing was working out. I was collecting more workers to help me but they didn't help either. ugh, for some reason this game just broke me!

I have no idea how Ron was getting so many buildings and resources for those buildings there is a lot of planning involved and he was apparently a master at it. I was collecting too much Rice and too many workers. I really needed to be focusing on the resources more than the 'other' things I was doing. I don't even know what I was thinking!

You get points for having guys left on the board at the end of the game so I made it priority to get them on the board and keep them there. I ended with 5 on the board which is not an insignificant amount of points. The game ends when someone hits 12 points. Then the round finishes and final scoring takes place. 12 points! That is it! It is hard to do this but Ron did it with ease. I was able to semi- catch up with my end scoring stuff but he still creamed me by like 3 points! It was a disgrace!

All in all I quite enjoyed the game play but it was just too much for me to process all of everything that the action selection forced of me. I don't know how I actually feel about the game. Unfortunately, I think that means it is now on the trade list. I want so much to love it but the amount of AP this game caused me is nothing something I take lightly and actually really hate that- so it weighs to being in the trade pile more than the actual likeness of the game play, for me. I know, I am crazy.



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We topped the night off with breaking the shrink to the new game Dominion: Empires & Dominion: Hinterlands. I just love Hinterlands and it still is my #1 Dominion game. So many amazing cards in that game.

Empires is pulling a close second, however. This second game was just so interesting and fun! We were introduced to the castles deck which is a deck of castle cards with all different point values and actions/ happenings ranging from low cost to pretty high costing cards.

They are SO MUCH FUN!!! I love those cards! We used the recommended set up 1 of 2 combinations that included a bunch of cards from Hinterlands that I really like. devil I judge every Dominion game based on the hinterlands cards included. OK not true but it should be! This game we had one of my favorites, the tunnel. Unfortunately, there were no real cards that allowed you to discard cards off turn. There was an attack card in play but neither Ron or I bought that since it would only help the other player (if they had a tunnel in hand). I suppose I should have bought it since Ron wasn't collecting tunnels.

We were kind of alternating between getting the castles from the castle deck. I was working on getting the tunnels and farmlands. I wanted to turn my farmlands into provinces it worked to some extent. I actually had a TON of victory point cards and I THOUGHT I was going to win this game.

Alas, Ron had a lot more valuable castle cards and managed to win, but only by a few points.

Empires is a VERY cool expansion and I look forward to playing a lot more Dominion in the coming weeks! I am so happy we picked it up!



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I wanted to include Monday night gaming in this post since it is fresh on the brain and I already edited the pics. We started the night off with 4p Outpost. Last time I played this with friends at DTC in July so actually, not that long ago!

Oh man this was a rough game of outpost. I knew it would be going in but I still played anyway.

I started off with a hand for 30 point and it was awesome. Every hand following that was bottom of the barrel and I couldn't make anything work. When we FINALLY managed to break into Era 2 I was holding on to good values and tons of cards- I was good to go. Sure enough the Labs flip out and I was $3 short! That was the beginning of the end for me. Had I been able to afford that then I would have run away with the game.

As it stood the game lasted far too long and I got out bid on EVERYTHING. Eventually I just sucked it up and bough heavy Equipment and starting producing metals. It was a nightmare game for me and I was so happy when it FINALLY ended. Longest game, or so it seemed of Outpost, ever.

Brett ended up winning the game hitting exactly 75 points. and Ron was behind him I am not sure how far behind. All I know I was in dead last and not a hope in the world. I got out beat on EVERYTHING All of the time. It was a terrible terrible game for me.

Ah well, I will play again when requested, I still really enjoy the game- imagine that! I don't think I will play with kickers next time though. I think that might have ruined the experience a bit, but I am not sure if it REALLY mattered for me. The other players were able to draw two look at one kinda deal and that gave them a lot of opportunity to improve their hands. I duno. Maybe it was just my bad luck in the draws.


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I was kind of in a sour mood but Geoff brought over Tichu and I drew to be Marsha's partner.

OK, OK, Everyone knows I HATE THE Q's- Like I REALLY HATE THEM.

I think Marsha passed me 3 Qs in this game. WTH! I call Grand and she passes me a Q. Really, really!?!!?!? I was going to scream. yuk (I was also in a sour mood from the earlier game.)


Ah well. I think I still managed to make the Tichu call, but I also lost a Tichu call so I might have been even for the night.

Whatever we did, didn't work since Ron and Geoff crushed us so hard!

I kept getting shitty, shitty hands with no face cards and just crapola!

I love the game but perhaps it was just not my night to play games. I was having a hard time with the gaming on Monday, apparently.

Still a top 5 which I am happy to play all the time!


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That was about it for the week! I need a nap! I hope to get in a lot more gaming in before Monday- hopefully not learning QUITE as many as it has been in the past few weeks.






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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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TIME for more games! Can't Stop Learning Crazy Games! ***Weekly Update with Photography***

Steph Hodge
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Hia!

So as you can see I have this new header image. Hopefully you don't hate it too much. If you do please let me know.




I wanted to finish the month out with a bang! So I ended up learning a few more games this week! You know I needed to bump my totals for new games for the year a bit more!


Monday night I was planning on a number of different games and hopefully playing one of the 3 on my list. Yes, that didn't happen, of course. It turned out to be OK though since I still managed to play 2 games in my top 10!

We started the night off with Me and Lou vs Marsha and Ron in a game of Tichu. Lou and I needed a come back from the game last week, even if it meant playing against another team.

It is so great to play this game weekly. It seriously makes me really happy to play this one. There is a sense of achievement when I call grand or tichu and succeed! I love that challenge.

Lou and I had a much better game this time around. We started out strong and had a middle game lull but ended super strong with a 1-2 and took home the crowning victory.

Glad we got our revenge (with different opponents). I am also glad that Lou puts up with my crazy calling habits.

I could be happy and play this game every week or even more. It is a super amazing card game. I just want more options for deck artwork. NEED MORE PRETTY DECKS.


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I suggested a game of Can't Stop. It had been a long while since I had played this.

We were looking for a very fast game. This turned out to be a huge failure and long game. I think I might have had 10 turns before we decided to call it.

When we finally called the game I won! I was at the top of one track... not one other person had hit the top of another track. I was the only one who got anywhere!

It was hilariously horrible. We kept going and kept busting! We wanted to move on to a different game so we just called it. With me on top.



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Dan had been lugging around Orongo. New to me!

I had asked him a while ago to bring it for me to try out. It is a Knizia game and has some sweet pieces.

I mean the bits are just awesome!! Too bad they are impractical and kind of a hindrance to the game play since the shells roll around.

It is a pretty simple abstract game to try and get all of your stone heads placed on Easter Island. You can do this is you have connected a path from the symbols listed and have control of a space to play him.

It is an auction game where you are bidding shells to place control markers on the board. If you bid the most you lose them all and place 3 discs. If you bid 2nd most then you get to place 2 otherwise you get to place 1. If you bid NOTHING then you take all of the shells that were in the pool of shells that were given up from the bidding.

You have to place the stone head on the outskirts of the island so you kind of want to build clumps of your colors so the pathways are convenient for you to make it to the outskirt.

In our game 2 of the volcanos came up in the first pull of the game. Those are the only symbols that require only one hex to fulfill. each other symbol requires 2 symbols to complete in order to place a stone head. I KNEW I had to win that first auction for those volcano spaces. With a 5 bid I won the opportunity to place 3 discs on the board.

This was the beginning of the end. I totally had them in the palm of my hands after that. I had a cluster of red spaces and it was just a matter of time before I could end the game. Sure there were a few unfortunate turns where I didn't want the spaces and needed to collect shells. On those turns I almost always match other players so we would have to split the shells in the available pile. Not cool.

I was able to finish it by placing the final stone head and winning the game.

It was definitely a cool game. Very simple and cool auction mechanic. definitely not a favorite Knizia game but I could try it again sometime. I would rather just play Through the Desert, however. Very cool bits but can be quite annoying in game play.




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






Since everyone was asking ME what I wanted to play and the other table was about finishing up, I suggested one of my favs! Cities!

I love Cities- I can not get enough! It is so fast and so interesting. I am glad folks agreed to play with me since I do love it so much.

This game I was playing it risky. Mid game I got a tile I sort of needed but changed my risk to 0 by placing it in the space I was holing out for. It ended up being the correct play since the tile I was looking for never showed up. I totally won that game with 65. I think everyone else was in the 40s. Boom like a boss- totally dominated them.

But yeah, had I not I would have been quite upset with myself.

Still top 10 material. It is SO GOOD!



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From gallery of punkin312






We finished the night with a 6 player game of Team Play.

I asked Geoff to be my p this game since we did so well last time. Dan and Bill were a team and Ron and Joe were a team neither of them had played before.

I choose what was an easier task than last time and I was going first, again! dang. It still took many turns to complete my first goal card and it didn't even get me many points. Geoff was doing ok on his side of things but all in all we weren't completing the objectives like we needed to be.

The other teams were completing the tasks and almost immediately completing the next ones. It was totally luck of the draw and Geoff and I had zero luck of the draw.

We ended up losing that time around. I am pretty sure Dan and Bill won that game but as Monday night group know, I don't remember who wins, if I don't win.

So my take on 6 players is that it doesn't ad much except time. I can't say I loved it but it didn't hurt to play 6. The objective in the middle changes more, it seems so there is that which could be not good or good considering the card in your hand and what you are trying to accomplish. I still think I like it more with 4p however.



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From gallery of punkin312






Tuesday night it was getting late but Ron picked a game from the shelves to play. It is a TMG game that I have owned a while and have never played my copy before. I honestly don't recall the last and only time I played this game, but it was a LONG time ago (before blogging)- definitely over a year maybe 2! So, Ron pulled Il Vecchio from the shelf.

Ron hadn't ever played it- and I could definitely not teach it, though I remembered it being fairly easy to play. He read through the rules pretty quickly and we spent about an hour playing it.

This is a pretty standard euro game- so if you don't like euro games you won't like this one. Moving around the board to collect items and try to get to the cities to gain points and benefits. There are different powers players start with and different goals to collect and score for at the end of the game.

You are spending your actions to do various things. If you use a worker on a space then he is tired and has to go to sleep. You have to use a full action to stand up your workers so you want to use them wisely. When you send your guy to a city they simply live there for the rest of the game. You run out of workers pretty quickly so you have to spend actions to get more. You only do one action on your turn before the next player goes. This just goes around and around until the game has ended.

The game flies by with 2p once we got going. I had a super cool bonus that whenever I stood my workers up I could gain one new worker so that eliminated me having to actually spend actions to getting workers. That was cool. Ron was getting $$ for something it seemed like all of the time.

It is an OK 2p game but I think there is more of an urgency for spaces and goals with more players. It is a solid game and I am happy to play it.

Now that I have played it again I am sure I could teach it easily if there was interest (provided I don't wait 2 years to play it again).

In our game Ron was clearly winning it. I was unable to complete my 8 point objective and I was SURE I was going to be able to do it. Nope. I was able to get more points elsewhere and choose to do that in its place. I made a few big errors but mostly I was just trying to optimize my moves and it was not working in my favor.

I think Ron won by about 30 points, I mean I got HOSED! I definitely enjoy it enough to keep on my TMG shelf! It is a happy shelf.


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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312










Wednesday was the day to learn CO₂. New to me!

I needed to see if I should make it available in the Math Trade. The quick answer is that it did not trade in the math trade. I can't say I have had the best of luck playing Vital Lacerda's games since they are generally just too much for me. I still haven't played Vinhos. Kanban was my favorite of his titles, until this game!

This is a pretty heavy economic game but nothing compared to Gallerist heavy scale. However, there were a few similarities between the games, but CO2 is much more straight forward and not as abstract. hey, I don't mind an economic game hell I learned Arkwright recently... wow Gotta manufacture those buildings!!!!

This was a lot to wrap my brain around, even more so than the spinning jenny of Arkwright, and Ron took over and made me mad. Vital's games can make me mad, but I feel that I can get past it and try it again with an open mind and more players. This game of CO2 might be best with 3p since there will be more interaction and it wouldn't run TOO long as I suspect 4-5p might.

This game I can actually plan at least somewhat better than I could in gallerist. You can still "screw" over other players by flipping or buying their buildings before they get the change, but you could do the same in return. There is a bit of area control that is calculated for each continent that you need to be aware about at all times.

It is a very clever design if a bit fiddly. There were many times were Ron and I were going so fast we forgot a few bumps on the tracks or this bump causes this to happen but I also got this for this one... It could be a bit fiddly and frustrating. On a whole this game surpassed Kanban for me making it my favorite of Vital's titles. So beautiful and photogenic.

In our game we were just figuring it out. I made a couple of terrible choices, to be expected. I would do things a lot differently.

I was trying to work on gaining control of areas with a lot of discs. This proved to be very helpful for end game scoring. Ron was collecting a TON of point cards for being in control of different types of buildings. As long as he met the conditions he was able to get to take a card for points. I was missing a wheat building so I missed out on a lot of scoring cards. Ron collected about all of them, which was very unfortunate for me since my hidden goal was to collect those cards and I managed to get only 1 of them. I was too focused else where and we were playing too fast for me to really consider all options each turn. When I play a game for the first time I like to keep it moving quickly since it is only the first game- I try and see if I like it enough to pursue further.

While Ron collected a TON of in game points- I had a SURPRISING amount of end game points- even I was shocked. I had 90 value in the purple discs from the area control I took over which is 45 points. I caught right up to Ron, I could tell he was shocked. I didn't have points from the tracks or from the hidden objective so he still won by a mile but he was worried for a moment. I think he ended up beating me by like 30 points or so.

This is a thinker, that is for sure. I would NOT play this with a majority of people. I will keep it on my self in hopes of revisiting it. I just fear that I will end up only playing it 2p. While it is OK 2p, I can't imagine it being better than 3p. I will hold out for a little while to try and get it played with 3p. Since it ended up not trading in the math trade. I had only put it in there since there was a request for it to be added.

For now I am happy and plan to keep it. So pretty!



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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312







Thursday night I joined the Fun group for some games! We had 6 players and I was immediately allocated to playing a game of Pictomania. We had a new girl joining us and she was a trooper.

We played the very easy level and of course for the first 3 rounds I got all of the hardest things to draw, it seemed. i was late to the guessing party more than once and ended up with a lot of low scores. It was funny since Colleen the new girl, she was kicking butt in the first few rounds. Guessing very early for lots of stars.

I managed to have a major come back in the final rounds where I was drawing well, still not enough people were guessing mine but I was able to guess everyone else's drawing well, and managed to get a LOT of points. The final round I got 3 stars from EACH other player and the center. I ended up losing 3 from others not guessing my drawing. It was a NEAR perfect round for me though.

In the end I won the game with the magic 42 number. Boom!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






I brought America and it seemed to be the most opportune time to play it! It really is one of the most perfect "party" gamers game there is. They did a great job with it.

This time we got awesome categories and I score much better than last time. I still only managed middle of the pack at the end of the game.

I was highly entertained with the categories though. While I don't know much about Gone with the Wind, having never seen it, I managed to accurately pick an accurate answer cause I am SMAHT! And used power of deduction and I was going first! boom! Like a boss.

I am pretty sure Joe still won, however. He totally cleaned up in a few rounds so yeah... no shocker there!

Everyone had a great time, how could they not!


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I suggested Tajemnicze Domostwo for the next game. I wasn't sure that anyone would go for it but they liked the idea of shutting me up.

Yes, I got to play as Ms. Ghosty. It is always a good time. I am excited for the expansion whenever the Italian edition comes out to match my copy of the game. I know the cards like the back of my hand so I could easily give them as clues if people would just think like me more.

I managed to get a lot of players finished. I was playing on semi hard. Giving myself 3 chances to discard but we were using 9 cards for each set for them to choose from.

Joe couldn't get past the weapon. I always seem to have a problem with ONE player not getting past the weapon until too late. It came down to Joe and Colleen on night 6 on the people and everyone else had finished.

Joe didn't guess correctly but she had. Boo! We were SO CLOSE. I had no discards left and I needed a clue for the barber. I just didn't have anything. It was funny since I think I had given Joe a clue that was the same to a past game and he specifically said that this card meant something I had giving him before but he couldn't remember.

So no luck this time. Maybe I am just a terrible ghost. But, at least I keep the game moving!

Still love it. I am debating if I should buy the American version so I can get the expansion. Tough to say.



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From gallery of punkin312








We finished the night with a 6p game of Crazy Karts.

This was the first time I got to play this game in final production and it is simply gorgeous! Really beautifully done!

I was teamed with Victor and we were the Elves, and though we were supposed to be green or yellow or some other color, we ended up being red, since that is my color! Erin and Colleen were the goblins and Joe and Riley were Dwarves, maybe.

We only played the first round since MANY were just learning and the game was going longer than expected. It took a while to get all the kinks out and figure out what everything did.

Victor and I were ahead most of the game then we got slammed into the corner and we had to get out of that bind. He had a cool power up that got us a lot further than expected in a turn so we ended up winning that race!

I think everyone had a great time playing and learning it. I hope we can play it again on a fun group night! I do think it takes a certain crowd to enjoy this one. I don't know if I will ever play 8p but it is something to consider especially with the right group of players!

It is a cool game fur sure!


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From gallery of punkin312


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Friday night Ron got back kind of late but we got a few titles to the table starting with Deus.

This was his choice and we set up the game and got to it. Ron was going first so he got a HUGE advantage placing on the board first. He had easy access to 3 barbarians and I was left with the other side of the board which was a mess of water spaces and no connections anywhere.

I definitely had a difficult game I am surprised I still managed to have a decent score even though I still lost.

I got out 3 temples and was able to end the game that way. Ron was collecting about a billion points a turn, it seemed, with his orange cards and whatever he was doing on his side.

I got some points from shipping and from orange buildings but more from the temples I was able to place. I think I still managed a score in the 40s but Ron was in the 60s I am sure about 20 points over me. Boo!



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From gallery of punkin312


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We topped the night off with MY SHINY NEW GAME STRAIGHT FROM JAPAN OF Yokohama.

My friend Scott was in Japan and was so kind to bring this game back for me! So awesome of him! Yes, I will also be getting the TMG version but there is something special about the Japanese version that I want to own both. And, I didn't want to WAIT for the KS release before obtaining my own copy. So, this worked out.


I hadn't tried out the 2p version of this game until now! Wow the pyramid is so small! So many tiles are taken out and it was SO FAST. Ron and I knew what we were doing but the game went on for like 30 minutes I think- I mean it was very fast. Took longer to punch the game than to play it.

This was not a game I was confident I was going to win. Ron was ahead all game and he was collecting a lot of points in flags and tech majorities. Now with 2p if you are present on each of the end scoring you will at least get partial credit so I was able to keep up with him since I was in the lead on customs and I was getting secondary for everything else. I managed to have a pretty good last turn fulfilling a contract and being able to go to customs to ship the imports goods I collected for lots of points.

It was neck and neck but I ended up winning with 145 to Ron's 139. By the skin of my teeth! I think he was a bit shocked I was able to get my stores down so quickly. I am getting pretty good at that.

I think I have a plan for the next time I play it 2p and I will win even harder!

Awesome game and I am so psyched to have it now.



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From gallery of punkin312


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Saturday I had plans with my mom at night so I didn't go to any game days- which was sad. Ron and I got to playing a few games in the afternoon though. Of course we had started with Fields of Arle.

There was a recent thread of someone questioning the rules saying they weren't sure if the building tiles were face up or down. WHAT CRAZINESS WOULD THE GAME BE IF THE BUILDINGS WERE HIDDEN!? It is MADDNESS TO HAVE SUCH A THING!

I insisted to Ron that we play with hidden tiles. Of course all tiles were flipped over and we still knew MOST of the information. All of the orange buildings and the red builds that we had in play. You at least knew which light green building would be a before Nov. The only thing we were really taking a chance on was blue buildings and yellow buildings and the random draw of the green building could alter your play.

Yes, I am crazy for wanting to try this. But, hey! I like a bit of random in my life. I love the thrill of not know what I will get! Ron just puts up with me.

Right off I wanted to buy a Nov building and another green building. I ended up getting the building I think is broken turning a stall into a stable at anytime.

I ended up getting my favorite red building along the way with the carriage, but I knew what tile that was. I took a shot in the dark for a blue tile and ended up with the junk yard! I love that one. I got a peat boat and some clothing. Ron got a very unlucky pull and he says it caused him the game. mmhmm sure. He pull the blue tile that give points for stalls and stables. I would have liked that... or the cow one.

So, as it happens I totally won this game. I had 120 to Ron's 109 or something. He was having "such bad luck!" Poor baby!

hehe hey I won the game it took a bit of randomness but its about time! I had a lot of fun. I don't think we will play random again, but I might propose it at another point in time.



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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







He suggested La Granja for our next game.

It is a game I would like to get played more with more players. We play every once in a while with 2p but it doesn't feel as cut throat as it should.

This game I was working on completing the market spaces on the board to get the on-going benefits from the small chits you gain for completion. You get the tokens but you also get fewer points the earlier you complete any. The middle market when you ship to the cards gains you crates and vp based on the card. you will also get vp based on how many space you have in the center at the end of each round. It is good to get lots of control in there too. Of course you can't do everything and generally focus on one or another but in the 2p game you really have to fight to do both as best you can before the other person does it and gets more points etc.

This game I was working on getting to all of the extra points on the board that were placed. I did a pretty good job with that. But, Ron was just destroying the center board and collecting a lot there. I needed more deliveries. I always need more deliveries, and I know it! I should just get lots of money and tons of cards that allow for extra deliveries if I pay...

My score at the end was 73 and it seems to be a pretty common score in this game low 70s. Ron LOST with a score of 63! Woohoo! I didn't actually think I was going to win this game so that was a nice surprise.



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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312







We got to playing one final game before I left. We pulled out 7 Wonders Duel.

It had been a long while since out last play of this. Ron got first dibs at the wonders on tap and was going first. thankfully no military right off the bat. Hardly any in the first era as well.

Ron, of course, got all of the yellow buildings so when he decided to trash he was collecting a BOAT load of money and I was still only collecting $2. He managed to do some wonky things with his wonders and complete them all rather quickly. I was completing mine but they weren't helping me a whole lot. 2nd and 3rd eras provided a lot of opportunity for Ron and Military. I felt it very hard and was losing a lot of $ I had acquired. I was trying to hold him off but the way the cards flipped it was just not working out.

In the 3rd era I was aiming to try and collect the science. Nothing helped and Ron was a few steps away from beating me with military.

For the first time in months and months and maybe even the second time ever we scored this game. No auto win from Ron or myself. We pulled out the score pad. There were MORE PLAYS with OTHER peoples names than with our own. I think Kim and Joel had like 4 games played. hahaha it was funny since Ron and I have played this a bunch but we hardly ever score.

So we scored, I wasn't playing for a score, otherwise I might have picked up some more blue cards. Ron totally demolished me. He had more points everywhere and got some for military. I got a lot from my wonders but still lost pretty epically!

I didn't know what to expect for scoring since it never happens!

In the end I like 7w better and not so much Duel. Apparently there is an expansion for Duel coming out- so we will see what that brings.


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Sunday night I head over to Boston Pavilion to see Josh Groban! He is one of my all time favs! I caught this cool shot of the venue.


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Sunday was a pretty lazy day! I had invited Pete and Riley over for some games since I really wanted to play the next installment of TIME! Pete got there a bit early and we played a few quick games. First up was Hula Hippos.

Riley brought this over once upon a time last year, and I ended up picking it up in an auction.


It is a simple dexterity game where you are shooting your hippos to try and land in the center of the spinning ring. You don't want to shoot too early but wait until the ring is falling to start shooting.

First player to get 4 hippos in the ring wins! It is silly and fast. Pete and I were neck and neck in this game. Each getting one then the other getting one. Ron was falling very far behind. It came down to Pete at 3 and I was also at 3! Luckily for me, my next shot was a hit and landed in the center of the falling ring.

Like a boss I take the win for that game! It's cute and I will play it once in a while. Maybe I will just give it to Joe R.



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312








Riley still wasn't there so we played another fast game called Stellar Conflict.

The more I play this game the more I like it. I was playing red since that is what I do. I will have to try another one soon since there are different powers that happen. Pete was just learning and he picked out Yellow.

So I drafted a pretty reasonable sized deck to place. I put my cargo ship off to the side where no one hit it but of course I hit myself causing me to lose all of the cargo it was holding. #IAMSOBADATTHISGAME

That was the only time I was hitting myself though so that was ok. It is like the cargo ship never happened. I did pretty well knocking ships left and right. I picked up a few of them but only managed to get 10 points at the end.

Pete totally demolished us. He collected a ton of high valued ships and I think ended with like 20 points or something crazy high. He wiped us out. I guess I helped him too much by telling him the rules.



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






The highlight of the day was next! Riley was there now and we took out T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons. New to me!

Before I use the Spoiler, I just wanted to comment that this was my favorite of all the games so far. I liked it so much that I would consider playing this one again.

Now for some minor spoilers but I will still not go too deep into the story.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We managed to start with game picking almost the exact perfect characters. There were 8 to choose from and Riley and I were same faction and Ron was a wizard and Pete was a fighter.

I was immediately engaged with this storyline. We start in the town and have to go off and buy lots of things we may or may not need. We didn't know since we were just playing for the first time. Riley was attempting to steal things and failing miserably!

Once we got to the second half of the game we were hooked. At least I was. We were OWNING it. We had incredible luck and were well prepared, thanks to me!

There was an hilarious challenge that was clever and fun, even Riley appreciated it.

We got to a hard challenge but it turned out to be luck of the draw and we passed with EASE.

The final challenge we had a few deaths but when they recovered we were able to beat the game. We never MISSIONED FAILED! It was incredible. I was super pleased.

A few lucky rolls and luck of the draw and we had it easy. Perhaps that is why Riley didn't enjoy it as much. I don't know. To me this was SO MUCH BETTER!

A few new mechanics going on and new ideas, it felt like it had a lot more options and routes to take. I would definitely play this one again since we didn't even see all of the cards there were to see. I am sure the luck factor would go south for a future play, as it happens and it would be a totally different experience.

Ron said it seemed too easy, but again, I think it was only since we were really lucky.




In the end it was super awesome and I would even play it again. Riley didn't like it more than Marcy but he doesn't like "fantasy" or some craziness. He is whack! I think Ron and Pete both liked it better than Marcy.

here are my ratings so far:
Dragons- 8
Asylum- 7
Marcy- 5


I am super excited to try the next one!



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Not really spoilers but some images- I didn't really ruin anything but I wanted to take some pics.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
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From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312








I managed to convince Riley and Pete to stay for one additional game of Kung Fu Zoo.

Recently I got in the mail some more dice! It was the Kangaroo! Charlie said it would be on RED dice but I guess something with the prototype lead it to being Orange, so I was kinda bummed with that but he said it should be red in the actual game. So Riley was orange since that is his color.

We ended up playing a caged match. It is easiest and shortest of the 2 types of games to play.

This game you have to try and knock your opponents in the corner pockets and to not be on your back, ie feet up. You want to be the last one standing.

Pete was doing very well. I was shooting my dice out of the ring. I managed to control myself not hitting any dice out of the ring and not even my own! Riley was not playing very well and managed to get feet up and all of this dice were knocked out. Ron was almost as bad but somehow Pete started failing. It was down to me and Ron with one of Riley's dice feet up.

I managed to hang on and Ron messed up o his own. Yay I win by default!

Fun dex game and I just LOVE those dice! I will have to let you know when that gets on KS!


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Ron and I topped the afternoon off with a 2p game of Brew Crafters.

It seemed to fit the bill and round off a good weekend!

This was a very high scoring game for some. I was trying to make it all work but Ron kept taking all of the spaced I needed. 2 rounds in a row he was able to take the space I NEEDED to acquire the second worker I so desperately needed. He took the skilled workers I wanted as well. I just was not having any luck. He said I blocked him a few times. shake

I just don't believe him. I thought I was doing well but it was really not that well. I had a ton of 7 point stouts but still not good enough. I was managing everything well enough for what I had. I very nearly bought a 3rd worker but he stopped me since he took the spot, again.

In the end he totally creamed me with a score of 103. I had a tiny score of 69, and I was thinking that I was doing well! HA not so much.

Ron beat really hard that time. But it was still a great game. I was using my skilled workers all of the time and they were paying off well.




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From gallery of punkin312


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In case you missed my New to Me post from yesterday-
Steph's New To Me July 2016 List!






So, I downloaded Prisma, a new app. I was having a VERY good time with that app this week. Here are some of my creations!

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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312









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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Scythe Remains TOP Priority! Simply Can't Get Enough. *** Weekly Update with Photography***

Steph Hodge
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Hey Folks!

Before I forget- Don't forget to go vote in the Images contest for July!


Thanks for voting in the monthly Photography contests!




Board Game: Quadropolis







Monday night I head on over to Joes for some gaming. No Ron still, but I got in a few great games. First up was no other than Scythe. Geoff explained the rules this time to Lou who was playing for the first time.

I picked at random the white player. Bears! It worked out since the time before I was black and the time before that I was yellow even before that I was Red 3 times. I played red a lot since it is my color and then I started moving my way around the board. It leaves me with only blue remaining then I would have played them all.

I was happy not to teach it since I am not that great at teaching this one. I don't mind but would prefer not to. I like to be thinking about my master plan instead. Playing white I have some cool mech abilities. This game I had the stupid objective to get 3 structures and 7 pop with no mechs in play. Yeah, I did this. I made it my goal to make it happen. I choose to ignore lake skipping and just build the mine. Since I was white I also have the super cool ability to collect 2 benefits from the encounter cards. So I made it a goal to collect as many of those as I could. Of course one of them was like buy a mech for $4 and I sighed and ended up not doing it and taking only 1/3 benefits.

Somehow I managed it all, and got ALL 6 stars on the board. I have no idea, I felt the game should have ended a few turns earlier, like I wasn't playing it fast enough and there was always something else I had to do first. The game plays in like slow motion and it is genius. The time flies right on by and then it is over. I think everyone knew the ending was coming when I finally plopped the final star on the board. No one sneaked in at the last second and beat me to the 6th star first. It was all excellent. I had exactly what I needed to end it and end it well.

I managed to win this game with 58. I don't think anyone was really very close to me mostly ending with mid 30s. Geoff would know, and I am probably wrong. But as he claims there are 3 modes to Steph- Steph Wins!, Ron's a Jerk and won, and someone else won. Probably accurate though I do TRY and recall who wins. I don't always recall the scores though.




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Next up was a game that was talked a lot about during The Gathering and Dan was able to snag a copy of it called Team Play. New to me!

I had wanted to play this one for a while. You work in a partnership and you are trying to match the cards to the objectives in play. On your turn you draw 2 cards 1 at a time either from the draw deck or from the flop. On your turn you can complete the objective in front of you at any time or the common objective. By doing so you will reveal another objective card in its place and trash it or keep it in play. If you trash it the next one to come out stays out. This might alter your next card draw if you did these actions before or during card draw.

The objective cards might be a run of blue cards 5 in length. Or 2 pair using either red or blue cards not specific. It might be 3 even red cards. You get the gist. Some are easier than other and are worth less points.

At the end of your turn you have the opportunity to pass up to 2 cards to your partner for them to potentially use for their objective or the common objective.

This game is simple and fun and I had a great time playing.

I was teamed up with Geoff! I was going first and had NO clue what a good strategy might be. my first objective was 5 card blue straight. worth 6 points! Little did I know, it would take me nearly the ENTIRE game to fulfill that. The game ends when a team has collected 8 objectives and then each player gets a final turn. By the end of the game I think I single handily scored 2 objective cards only for our team.

I was still helping though passing Geoff tons of cards he was able to use to fulfill higher valued objectives. In the end Geoff actually triggered end and we had those 8 objectives fulfilled. Dan and Lou had their final turns and managed to get like 3 or 4 objectives completed in that last second! With that Geoff and I thought we were hosed.

I think I got my second objective in the final turn. As it happens Geoff and I totally kicked butt! We scored 39 to Dan and Lous 34! They were SHOCKED they didn't win. I think they were too confident- but they scored a lot of lower valued cards and Geoff and I got the higher ones!

It was awesome to see their faces. Mwhahahha!


Fun game I am happy to play any time!.



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Tichu was next on the table. Since the 4 of us love some Tichu it was only accurate that we play it!

I was teamed up with Lou this game. Lou doesn't mind my CrAzY, if you will. See photos below, I called tichu for the first 2 hands and Grand for the final hand. Those were my STARTING 8 cards. 2-9 straight. I mean HOW COULD I NOT!? Show of hands how many people would call GRAND with that hand?

I think me and Lou were the only ones who would call grand at the table and Mashra said Hell no and she wasn't even playing the game.

It is not like we NEEDED points it was that I am a risk taker and love the thrill of calling grand.

In the end I didn't make 2 tichus but I made the other ones and it was a close match till the end. 810 to 750 then 810 to 950 and it was over in the next hand. Geoff and Dan for the win!

It was a close call and Lou and I just got crap in the final 2 hands so we ended up losing that battle. It was a good time and I am always happy to play this one!



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Wednesday night Ron was still away and we ended up playing a few late night games online. We started with a game of Hawaii.

So fast- this game plays SO FAST online. So much better

This game I really thought I was gonna get Ron. I had 2 super long rows of everything and scoring lots and lots of points for them. I think i had 65 points on my board. Needless to say Ron scored a TON of in game points and I didn't.

As it turned out it was pretty close though. Ron did win with 134 and I ended with 124. Doh! He stole that last island from me.

I really love this game and if it wasn't such a pain to set up I would play it more, for sure!


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I needed my revenge from last week so we ended up playing a game of Seasons. with, of course, expansions.

This time I really didn't think I was going to get the win. I had some nice combos using Karin over and over. I was keeping Ron at zero or close to zero points all games. He kept making mistakes and collecting crystals. I was being dumb too and making mistakes all over the place.

I don't know how since he had tons of cards end of game worth 10-24 points and I was all like piddly 7 points or even 0. Some how I managed to win this game with a terribly sad score of 103 to Rons 91.

It was a very low scoring game for us. Neither of us were proud of what happened that game. But, hey, I won! So, I suppose, I got my revenge!

Mwahahahah I win! Still shocked about that one.



Board Game: Seasons







Friday I actually stayed home from work and hung out with Ron. He was taking his Motorcycle classes this weekend and I was't going to see him all that much.

First up was an early game of Fields of Arle. I HAD TO PLAY SOLO LAST WEEK! I needed to play for real against the Ron and this was the first game I wanted to play.

This game I was working on getting an early 15 point building. I picked up the clearing of all the mashes and boom in the 3rd round my marshes were kaput! Gone!

I then had to work towards getting more buildings and I desperately needed peat and wood. I started bumping the tracks since I always seem to forget that.

I know exactly the moment I went wrong in this game. I bumped the wrong track in the final moment and could have scored 3 extra points if I did a different track instead.

I was juggling too many balls and figured out too late I couldn't do what I had intended to do all game.

I ended up scoring 119.5 to Ron's 121.5 so those 3 points would have won me the game if I was paying attention and calculating better for actuality and not hopes.

Still love this game even though I just lose and lose. Ron gets better and better. He wasn't having a particularly "on" game, either. it was my chance! I blew it!



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I really wanted to get Simurgh back to the table with new shiny expansion: Simurgh: Call of the Dragonlord. New to me Expansion!

I am not sure we ever played Simurgh 2p before I think we might have. This expansions adds about a billion modules you can mix and match and play with. You can't play with them all since some don't overlap but many of them do so we picked a handful and went with it.

I really wanted to test the water with the new board. THIS BOARD IS HUGEEEEEEEEEEE!! The board also finds a new way to end the game! The game ending was always a problem with the base game with many players. I think this new board will help focus players more and give meaning to ending the game at an appropriate time.

there are other little mods like when you pass to take your guys off the board you can claim one of the cards with some benefit- this give you something good and the other players will also get a small benefit. It helps get simple resources that might not be easily attainable in other means directly at that time. Some are CLEARLY better than others so grab 'em while you can.

We had also played with another starting card which says something like "when you play 2 scrolls for something put a dragon token here" after 2 dragon tokens have been added it flips over to reveal "when collecting 2 scrolls gain 2 points. This was my benefit and worked VERY well with the starting dragon I had that GAVE me 2 scrolls when activated. Ron says this was called "noble house card". These seemed to vary in strength greatly. Like mine gave points and Ron's gave resources- I think mine was FAR better. Not 100% sure those are balanced and I am not sure we will use them in the future.

I think that was all we used up front. The new board was a lot to embrace. It comes with a stack of spell card you are paying off to move up the tracks on this board. You get points for doing this and benefits from where you land. The catch is you have to utilize a main action to do this. If you want to advance just the small spell then you can do it as a secondary action.

You have to be careful since you only have so many spell cards to use before you have no more. There is a bonus to making it to the end of the track 1st 2nd and 3rd. So there is reason to do that and end the game.


So, in our game I was just exploring the new board and there are 2 sides I picked one we were to play with and started out collecting the resources needed to cast the spells to move on the tracks.

It was awesome since my dragon was working so well with my special card and I was getting a ton of points from that. The game really flies with 2p and there is not much interaction. The tiles that get placed on the game board tend to go away quickly since they get put on and then almost removed immediately if there are no riders left on it.

As it happens I totally kicked Ron's butt! yay! I exploited my benefit very well and ended with about 60 and Ron was high 40s. So it was a solid win!

I really enjoyed my game and look forward to playing again with a few more people. As I recall, many of the players who have tried it enjoyed it enough where they would be willing to revisit it. So here's hoping! So far so good!



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Before Ron took off I requested a game of Arboretum. It had been a while since our last play of this and I was feeling a light card game.

This fits the bill. I love the art and the colors are gorgeous.

This game I was going for what seemed like every color. I was making my 1-8 path then working off from there.

I was collecting cards in my hand to ensure my winning at the end. I held a few extras but still Ron managed to out play me and TIE me on 2 of the colors.

Yah, Ron demolished me that game, of course. Maybe not demolish but still won with 18 to my 15. I like this game but only once in a while I think it might get a bit repetitive with lots of replay. There should be some cards removed at the beginning of each game so you don't know which color and cards are and are not being held. You won't know perfect information. Something for consideration!





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Once he returned, Ron suggested a game of Ginkgopolis.

Well I wouldn't say no to Gink! Best game! I was super tired but we made it happen.

Of course this game NONE of the blue tiles started on the board. I needed to start with a blue card in my tableau if I had a hope in hell of staying alive. the only card I could take was blue card as a card action. I started the game with that and red and yellow build up action.

I ended up picking up a lot of card as a card action cards. I worked that strategy. One that I haven't done in a very LONG LONG time. This strategy is hard because you need to get a TON of in game points to make it work. You are essentially losing actions to get things you need by throwing the cards away. You lose the opportunity to place a tile on the board each time you opt to throw away a card.

I was doing well with this strategy and was scoring a ton of in game points. It was definitely working for me. I picked up more building up action cards and had a nice engine going. Ron was saying how I was getting all of the cards. It was true, I was picking up all the cards to work in my favor.

Lots of end game point cards and taking over the board with the best of my abilities.

The game eventually ended with Ron placing his last guy on the board but we were down to 3 tiles, regardless.

I had a SUPER high score of 165 and Ron was about 140. Boom! Owned it!


This is MY GAME- don't mess with the boss!



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Saturday I booked it up to Justin and Michelles for an all day gaming event.

First on the table was Karuba. Michelle was teaching her grandkid who was about 9 or 10 I think. Kevin and I had played before so we were just chatting. Scott then showed up and found a ghastly above our game. How rude!

This game I was getting to all of the locations late but managed to pick up a bunch of 4 point tiles. The girl was collecting all of the little gems on the board and getting a bunch of points that way.

I ended this game with getting my last guy into the temples but still only scored 19 points. The girl ended up getting 22 points and winning the game.


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Scott suggested a game of Aviary. New to me!

This was perfect since I had been bringing it to Monday nights and it wasn't getting played. I own it and hadn't played it yet! I was itching to learn, and Scott knew!

This is a trick taking card game and to win the trick means you get the current card from the display of 10 cards. In a row we go through and try to win those cards, or not. There are 2 cards put out to determine whats good and bad to take and an objective card for players to work on- like collecting 3 different types of birds.

So, you have a hand of 12 cards and discard 2 of them creating a hand of 10 cards. The trump is always brown Owl cards. They range from 1-14 in 5 suits. There are some pidgeon cards which if collected from the center are -1 points otherwise are counted as a negate of a pigeon or to start a trick as a wild and you can't win it.

You collect the cards as normal if you get cards with green cubes on it then you gain a point per. If you gain the nest card that is 2 points. If you gain with red cubes you don't lost points but if you collect the LEAST amount of red cubes then you collect some number of points.

You play 4 rounds or until each player starts once.

In our game it was an all out battle between me, Scott, Brandon, and Justin. We just let Brand take all the points in the first round. It seemed. When in reality 4 points isn't all that much. I came back in the next many rounds though. Getting a good hand of cards always helps too. And being able to short suit yourself.

In the end I took the crown with 13 points and Brandon was at 10 then Scott with 9 and Justin with 8. Close game and I actually very much enjoyed this one. Might be a little long with 4 players though. I would like to try it with 3!



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On the menu for the day, I had requested a game of The King's Abbey. I was really hoping for a 3p game of this since 4p is just so freaking long.

This game lasted about 3 hours with 2 people learning. It is just a long game- even when everyone knows what they are doing it will still be 2+ hours if not 2.5 hours. It is just a long game. I hope when and if I pick this game up our 2p games will last about an hour 15.

We got to playing and 4th round in we were forced to lose a die. We seem to always get that one. We had the good two first events then the 2 disasters and finally we had 3 Viking attacks. It didn't appear to be shuffled very well.

So, I was working on my abbey and building it up. Having played once before I was able to plan better and accurately get the buildings I wanted for the bonuses I wanted. I was unable to gain brewery. I still have a MAJOR issue with the first player. I almost HATE the game because of that. It is a simple fix of many different options so when I play this again I am house ruling the first player rules. It is simply the worst part about this game. Followed closely by crusades.

I was building up my abbey and I took on the farm and some cows. I expanded my abbey for the 5 points since I needed room and that was awesome. I think totally worth it. In the end I was getting a point for ever 3 resources left on my board so I converted all of my money into wood!

Scott was close behind me but I ended up winning with 93 and Scott was 88 so it was a close race. Scott #2 and Michelle were far behind. Michelle had a few crusades left over and it CREAMED her score at the end since you lose points for not completing quests and building tiles.


While the game is far too long, I really do enjoy what it does and I would really like to get this in a trade. So, if you know anyone!? Very enjoyable and awesome bits. The game is beautiful!



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We were at a 5p count and it so happens that Samara plays pretty well with 5. Everyone seemed opened to learning a new game and I hadn't played in a while so I brought it along.

I had to recall the rules, but it is actually quite easy to remember and explain. Everyone was fascinated with the moving months and who it all worked. Definitely a cool mechanic. We had all the tiles mixed in from the expansions so I had to do some reading of the tiles. Thankfully, the Alter was not in play since that tile is just mean. I don't know if I like that one. The Alter kills the top tile each other player has in their possession.

So we got to playing and we were having a hard time since early on someone took a tile that made out strength 2 person down to strength 1. So we were all hurting for guys to show up. Needless to say the women started making babies and it was long whiles before getting turns. I think we were all piled on to one space at one point in the game. It was pretty funny!

We were playing with another expansion bit to have a hidden objective to work on. My hidden goal was to collect green tiles and I was given a bonus of a point for each green tile I collected +1 I ended up getting 7 green tiles to make that bonus worth 8. Not bad! I was still not wining that game despite all the tiles I collected. I think I actually tied for the win with 30 points. I know Scott #2 was close behind saying if he only got 3 points!

I think everyone enjoyed the game. It is a nice game and does have some interesting things about it! It is good to bring around every once in a while!




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Next up was perhaps the highlight of the day with a 5p game of Scythe. I simply can't get enough of this game.

This time I was finishing my experimenting and trying out Blue. It was the last color I hadn't played with and was looking to finish the circle. My 7th game and I still feel there is SO MUCH to explore.

Ron taught Scott #2 the game and once Joe C showed up we got to playing. Ron was to my left playing Red and Scott 1 was to my right playing white. We had Joe playing black and new Scott was playing yellow.

My objective was to be moving around a lake and enclose it on 5 sides. I eventually got this going. I was almost complete with my enlists and I was GOING to be on a roll with my Mechs. I needed to get all the upgrads to make the mechs super cheap. It was a very slow process and I managed to get 2/4 of them out.

I was getting $4 a mech but I needed metal and I didn't have any. I think Scott was mad at me since my smurfs were all over the place and in his way. He was trying to get the encounter that my dudes were on so I had to spread out so it would have taken him 2 turns to get there with movement.

He ended up going the other way and Joe fought him causing him to lose. It was not good since Joe was doing a lot of beating up on Scott and ended up getting 4 stars from combat. He was sitting at 0 pop all game which I think it what black is supposed to do so they can go around knocking people down.

I was getting ready to strike the middle which would have ensured my victory with the controlling of 3 hexes. I was second tier for end game score and I needed control of more hexes to win this game. I really thought I was going to end the winner but it was a tight match between me and Joe. To my dismay, Joe took this. He is so smug! angry

Anyway I ended with 51 and he was 54 I think. It was really close and I wanted to shove it in his face! But, I couldn't and didn't.

Everyone else was around 30s I think and the new guy didn't do very well but he was learning and had a great time.

Joe accused me of always turtling. My response was I was ready for a fight but didn't have any movement available to go and fight. I had only got my mechs out super late in the game since I wasn't producing metal!

It was an awesome game and I like it even more each time I play. averaging 2 times a week and I am scared I won't even get it played this week! Here's hoping I do!




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The final game of the night was 6p America. It might just be easier to REMEMBER #192297 then to have to search for that title each and every time I link it. Dang- always a pain to find it.

We got to explaining this one. Many people hadn't played before. It is very simple game and has gone over VERY well with everyone who has played it thus far.

All of the categories I basically knew nothing about. I think it was cookie and Pizza that I had a hope of knowing about. But there were 2 (!) movies that I hadn't seen. I was accurate with the Baskin Robbins. But, If you ever play and come across Baskin Robbins please note that there is an ERROR on that card. I let Ted know about it, but we just called it and everyone got their tokens back. The card had pictured EAST of the Mississippi River but the answer was on the West. Pretty big difference- but it was funny since we were all talking about how someone should just guess "random state" and then it turned out to be the random state on the west. haha

That was an awesome game. I think I have gotten so many people to pre order it because we have played. Scott F really liked it a lot more than he thought he would. I had though he already had played but I guess not!

I lost quite badly. Ron is Ron so of course he won that time! Fun stuff. Definitely a keeper- I can't wait to play with my family for the next gathering, I know they will love it.




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Sunday Ron still had more classes but when he returned we got to playing a couple of games before dinner. He broke the shrink and the rules to Barony. New to me!


Mina had talked it up so much! We had to get it played. I picked this game up from Dice Tower Con and it was only $20 ding and dent with not a ding or a dent on it! they were just trying to push merch out the door, it seemed.


So, this game is pretty much area control. The bits are outstanding! Like sure amazing bits. The art is lovely and the colors are lovely. I don't quite enjoy area control, but this game was simple enough. Ron could have run me to the ground taking all my goods for points.

The goal is to get tons of points and end the game by hopefully pulling the rug from under your opponents. In a 2 player game the scores were pretty close if not exactly the same.

In this game you are building up your settlements with your knights and collecting point tokens. You have a handy player aid that tells you the actions in which you can take on your turn. If you place your 4th or 5th kingdom piece you get to move down the track for points. If you turn in land tiles you turn them in in groups of 15 and move to the right on the score track. Once your score marker reached the last column on the score track then after even turns the game ends.

Ron stole a tile from me by taking over one of my settlements and with that he was able to take victory at the ending of our game. There are all sorts of little rules with pretty good iconography. It was easy to understand once you heard what the rules were so that was nice.

Our game was super close both ending on the best spot available and Ron won on the tie breaker, thanks to me. I hadn't realized he was going to get another turn, otherwise I might have done something else, first.

It can be clear if you make a mistake and then you will lose. Since the game is so close any major mess up will cost you the game. It is pretty abstract but it is more area control for the good land tiles and victory points.

I cant say there was much innovation with this game. I am curious as to what the expansion might bring. I don't think anyone will love it after playing once. I am curious if the more players you play with how different the game becomes. You have to time everything perfectly. I definitely want to try it. It is a fast game and there is some potential. For whatever reason I compare it to Seeland but it is not really at all like seeland, really. Much simpler. I duno why, but I do like Seeland more. I can't say I was wowed by this game but it has me intrigued to see if it might get better with the expansion or more players.

For now, I will try again and see what happens.



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Before we had some dinner there was a final game of Caverna: The Cave Farmers.

Ron really knew how to piss me off this game. I was going all over the place and trying all sorts of crazy things. I ended up breaking the game which was fixed from Uwe and I just didn't know it or could locate it at the time.

At best this is an asterisk game - one that I won with an infinity high score!

Mina was talking about how much she loved the gold stream that gave her money. I never took it and I didn't know it required a level 7 adventurer to purchase it. I figured out how you can tell it needs a looter- because the cost is boxed in parchment. I don't know how that actually represents looting but it is the only common features between the two tiles that require an adventurer.

Yes, the gold Stream was fun but Ron went right on ahead and went all ore strategy and took the scoring for ore at the end and taking all the spaces I had planned to go. It was not a happy game for me and I ended up doing quite terribly at it.

I score 68 and Ron scored 77 I think. We both failed pretty hard, according to me. I was trying all sorts of crazy things and nothing seemed to pan out according to what I was actually thinking would happen.


I was not happy with that play or that game. This might be shelved for a few weeks, at least if the only option is 2p.

Still love it but Ron's a jerk.



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Since I had a lot of time to kill on the weekend, I ended up going to Benson's Park and it was pretty. I may or may not have caught lots of Pokémon.


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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Back From DTC - Still Lot's To Play! MORE SCYTHE! --- Weekly Update ** With Gaming Photography**

Steph Hodge
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Hey Folks!


Back to reality is always a huge bummer. Ron had to go away almost as soon as we returned. But, we did get to Monday night gaming at Geoff's house on Monday.

I walked in and there was only 5 of us that night. We, of course, played Scythe. OF COURSE!

Ron brought it along, I am actually kinda surprised Geoff hadn't backed it on KS. Ron got to teaching the 3 others and we got to playing.

This game I was YELLOW! Gah! I had no idea what I was doing or why. I just sort of was figuring it all out. I like playing the different factions- it certainly makes for a different puzzle to figure out each game. I was working on getting my mine out and then my mech so I could go fulfill my objective. Of course Geoff ended the game 1 turn too early before I could get 2 more stars on the board. Dang!

It was funny though since 2 turns before the ending, I was talking about the end game and NO ONE suspected it would end in simply two turns. I was estimating 4 turns and they were even shocked at that. It is a very fast game and the end can really come at anytime.

The whole game I was just on my starting 3 hexes working on building up and getting the resources need to get the mechs out that I needed to cross the river etc. That never happened then I was focused on getting the Mine- that was ABOUT to work. I got a bunch of in game money and had a good decent score at the end but I am pretty sure Geoff won that game.


Geoff had one pet peeve in that you don't know where people can move to easily and what might be a barrier. There is no easy way of know how different colors move around the board. Maybe iconography on the board would be better he suggested. I think it is fine the way it is. There are different methods of moving depending on the mechs out and players abilities. It would be hard to track who is doing what at which time. If you play the game often enough it will become second nature and I surmise that will happen for me. I am already seeing patterns in the different abilities. As soon as I play every color then I will have an even better understanding. I can't wait!

Even though I lost this game, I won! Since I got to play! I am seriously loving this game.


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Next up, since we had a bunch of time was 5p Factory Funner.

Bill and Geoff were learning it and of course Dan went through every little rule. It is the same game- what do you need to know.

Ok ok a few tweaks but they could easily pick it up.

Right out the gate Dan got my Rainbow tile- I am jealous. That is MY TILE. It was ok since I got the Spectrum which is almost as good.

Yah I ultimately failed this game really hard. Nothing was working for me and I was spending too much to make it work without the connections to pay off in the end.

Yep I was the big loser I think I lost by 20-30 points. It was not my finest moment. I think Ron might have won that or Bill. Dan made the comment it was the first game he lost, which I think is inaccurate, but it means he definitely did not win.

Still love this game. I was shocked to hear that there wasn't going to be a reprint of it for retail. I think it would do very well, the game is so good. So, if it interests you then you should get it sooner rather than later. Just a heads up. Excellent abstract puzzle game. Loving it!


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We finished the night with a fast game of For Sale. Ugh I forgot the Monday group likes to play with the old and terrible rules. The insist are the correct and better rules. Then a) Why did they revise them in the reprint and B) no they are just wrong. It is not more fun. I would not have suggested it had I recalled they like the old rules. It is why we/ I don't play it more often.

While I do very much enjoy the game, I don't like the match bidding that you can do in the original.

Anyway, we played and I was not doing very well over bidding and then not bidding enough. It is so much more interesting when you have to increase your bid when it is your turn to bid. It is much harder and it is not a stupid game of chicken.

So yeah I lost this game by a lot. I have no idea who won. haha I can't say I had much fun playing it. I do enjoy the game though but with the real rules, Dan.


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On Tuesday Ron was taking off for work to fly away. I actually had a scheduled day off and we took the opportunity to play Subdivision before he left.

I have to say it is a pretty great game. very easy to take out and play. Yes you have to take out some tiles before play but maybe I will just make separate baggies or something. I like all of the goals you are trying to me in the game. Like the expansion to Suburbia adds.


We were fortunate in that 2 of our goals lined up rather nicely and Ron and I were both easily able to meet the requirements. We needed Schools and we got stuff for having them. Boom that was easy!

I was working on trying to build out my roads and get things connected. I needed more sidewalks though.

Ron was doing lots of sidewalks and I was focused on parks and lakes.

We ended up EXACTLY TIED! I mean really?! REALLY? I think it was 106 TIED.

I won on tie breaker with my ENTIRE board covered except the +2 space. It was great. I am happy with a TIE if and only when I win the tie breaker.

I had a lot of fun playing it.


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Thursday night Riley came over and played a bunch of games with me. I was in DIRE NEED OF PLAYING GAMES! Fun group was canceled due to Joe and Scott both being away and people don't want to drive to NH. Riley lives in NH and was happy (or not so happy) that I made him come play games with me. He did find out that Bensons Park next to where I live is FULL OF Pokestops where he stopped by really late at night like a creeper and stocked up on pokeballs. I might just have to get into this pokemongo thingy. He was STOAKED about it.


First game on the table is a strict 2p game called Foodfighters. New to me!

Mina has been playing this and it got me interested. It is a very light, VERY VERY LIGHT, 2p duel game. You are a food type fighting against another food. I was Grains, since they are the most yummy of the yummy, and Riley played Smores. I guess these are expansion groups but they are definitely the most yummy. The grains and smores are part of the expansion for the game. I find it odd that the base game only comes with 2 food groups Meat and Veggies. Doesn't seem like enough.

Each player has 3 specific foods in the category and they are randomized and placed in a 3x3 grid. Then revealed the object is to collect 3 of the same food type- all of the chocolate, or all of the marshmallows etc.


You can use the foods on the front line to attack opposing foods on the front line IF your food is thinking about it. So, my croissant wants to be thinking about chocolate in order to attack the chocolate directly across from him.

There are some dice and if you choose to attack then you roll the dice and if you get a splat then you get a hit and take the food. If you collect all the of a single type then you win. If you roll all beans then you get the bean tokens and can potentially buy shields and spoons and pans that do all sorts of silly things.

I mean this game is silly and easily for kids. I found it charming but not a game I would ever have to revisit.

It helps that I totally kicked Riley's butt! But, in reality, he could have won a turn or two before had he simply rolled better. I wasn't rolling very well either. Finally in the last roll I had acquired 3 dice and got 3 hits! If only that was like a super bonus for something amazing.


In the end I won! So all is right in the world!


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I didn't have a choice in what we played next Riley was insistent and pulled out Taluva Deluxe.

he knows I now own it (yay!) but he bought 2 (!!!!) copies and wanted to play DOUBLE the board and DOUBLE the pieces for an EPIC game!

Obviously the goal is still to get rid of 2 types of pieces before the tiles run out.

I had a tremendous lead right out of the gate. I was already killing my huts and forming more temples like in the first 5 turns. It was the bomb. I think it was so well played Riley was a bit shocked. He caught on and started causing me problems. I had a much harder time getting them out later. I had such HUGE formations that all melded together mid to late game. I was getting the level 3 towers down pretty easily though. There was a SUPER good time where I placed the level 3 tile and one tower. Riley was unable to place on the other space and then the next turn I could utilize that space with ANOTHER 3 tower wish a different city. Boom, like a boss!

In the end we were down to one final tile that Riley was going to place and win since he had more medium buildings out. BUT! I had just placed my last HUT and caused the game to end since I had all my level 3 towers out AND all my huts! It was amazing and a definitely schooling.

Kicked Riley's butt again! 2 for 2!


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The final game of the night was Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft. New to me!

I saw this being played a lot at DTC and talked with Cynthia from Meeplesource about it. I guess they are selling the game and special meeples for it.

It is a simple set collection game. You have 3 meeples that move along the board "collecting clues". Some actions get you cards from the display, some actions give you magnifying glasses that help you buy the cards you need.

Each "day" you get to use all 3 meeples but they can not go to a space with your own meeple and they lay down when they do the action. You have to plan accordingly.

You are trying to get the single majority in a given color. You get the number of the card value 3 through 9 and then you have to subtract your opponent's # of cards in the same value. If you have every single card in the same value you get a +3 points. Most points wins.

In our game we messed up pretty early and didn't realize it. When Riley used the lady to steal a card from me my #3 he was supposed to make it a hidden card, a card I couldn't steal back. I stole it back and then continued to get all of the 3s. It definitely would have made for a different game for me.

He didn't catch it and I caught this mistake when we were nearing the ending. oh well.

My favorite card was Toby! He gave me magnifying glasses for my variety of cards on display. The problem with this is that Riley went to the space too. If we both end up using the same space the card flips over in the next round and is closed off for us. Boo!I loved that card!

I sort of missed the part that I just needed the majority in the #. I thought i needed to add up my cards and subtract his cards for my value. Not the card value minus his cards.

I really pushed too hard for the 8s. That was dumb of me. I managed to get a lot of majorities and my bonus for 3s...

I totally won by 3 points. Riley said it didn't count and I say- YES IT DOES! 3/3 for the night! MWahahahahhah Victory is mine!

I have to say I enjoyed this one. It is definitely light but as set collection 2p games go this wasn't so bad. I won't own it but I would play it again if Riley is forced to come to a 2p game night with me again. He needs his revenge.



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Friday night I was hanging out all on my own so no games for me. Ron called me late and we ended up playing online game of Seasons on Boardgamearena.com. We used to play all the time so it was nice to play again even if we were in different locations.

This game I was replicating a little bit and I had a lantern that I got into play a cheating way by use of another card.

It was a mess I don't know if I used my Idol enough and I was trying to steal all of his crystals as much as I could! in the end I lost by 2 points I think it was 169 to 171. Like SUPER CLOSE. I really thought I had it. And I KNOW I missed one time with my Idol. Doh! I totally could have had him this game. I just didn't focus well enough.

Next time I will get him for sure. Dang! I had him! He just got incredibly lucky, he would admit that too. Pulled the divine chalice and with it got Hand of fortune. The 2 best cards. He was later able to pull back the chalice and use it again. It was just a ball of luck at the end for him.





Saturday Ron was still away and I went over to the all day gaming event at Salem, NH.

Craig wanted to play games with me this time and I recruited Pete and Riley to join in on a 4p game of Caverna: The Cave Farmers.

This game I tried my overhanging strategy again. I really needed more workers to make it work better. I ended up never getting the opportunity to get more. I was working the adventuring angle and needed more dudes to actually get the tiles to overhang.

I think you really don't want to focus on adventuring and overhanging. There is too much else you need to focus on. I got my donkey reduction to feeding too late. It didn't help in this game we didn't get the RED tokens until the FINAL 3 rounds.

Riley did a TERRIBLE job shuffling those tokens, I mean really?! NO REST EVER. Full harvests until the end. It was just bad. Everyone was feeling the pain.

Pete was plowing through and ended up destroying us! he did a great job for his second play. Craig was doing alright. Not the fastest player in the joint but he liked the game well enough to play it with me again.

Pete won this game with 103 and I was sitting 10 behind him with 93. Craig was 3rd with 80 and Riley bringing up the rear with 54 or something he doesn't want to talk about. He said he thinks he likes it best with 5 players for the additional spaces.

I really like it at 4p. But, I just really like the game and want to play it all the time, if possible!



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Riley hadn't ever played Quadropolis and brought it along. Where the heck as he been?! Gees! It is Quadropolis so yesterday's news.

I ended up teaching him and Craig. Pete had played before but was happy to play again.

We just did the basic game. for the teaching purposes and that is find since I like it better anyway.

This game I was definitely lost for what I needed to do. I did some HUGE errors in rounds 1-2 covering almost all of my available 4 slots. I had ONE space to place a 4 in 3-4 rounds. ugh, very bad planning, indeed. I had to build up a yellow building to get all my tiles used. I wasn't PLANNING on building up my yellow building otherwise I would have gone Higher, obviously.

It actually worked out for me since I won, but I don't/ didn't feel like a winner for this game. Riley made the common first mistake on playing this game and collect all of the civic buildings in the first round and place them on the board in not so idea places. Craig was working the harbor rout and got a 4 and 3 line so he was doing well. Pete and I were fighting all game for the same buildings so it was on.

Good game and everyone liked it, even if I smoked them.




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Before folks went to dinner we played the very charming and adorable Go Cuckoo!. Every since my first played about a month ago.

It is a simple dexterity game to get you eggs in the nest first. You are pulling and placing sticks and it is just a delight to play. I can't wait for retail in the US- it is MINE!

This game I was having unbelievable bad luck. I think I dropped 2 eggs and when the game finally ended with Craig (!) as the winner, I still had 4 eggs in hand. Yes, definitely not my best play. I need to work harder at this game and balance better. Pete would have had it on his turn if Craig messed up. Riley was failing a little less than I was but not by much. He was all laughs when I lost harder than he did.

I love this game! So cute and simple. NEEDS IT!




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Folks went to get some food and I pulled out Loony Quest. Pete, Scott and I played this one. I recently picked up the expansion but wanted to make sure I played all of the levels before pulling that out.

We played level 4 which I am not sure I have played before or not. I know I had played higher and lower levels. 4 was the only one that didn't seen familiar. So we played that one!

I was playing with my snow fella which was a promo from the advent calendar. We ended up not seeing any power ups with the mini promo expansion tiles but apparently they are cool.

We were all failing really hard at this game. I don't think anyone broke 20 by the end. I am pretty sure I was still at 9 points. Dang those were hard levels! I am usually much better.

I do have a rules question. Can you draw over the box at the bottom right that are telling you the rules of the world? What happens if you do?

Ah well, I enjoy the game and look forward to pulling out the expansion soon!



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Scott took this amazing photo- I had to share it!
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Next up was the ever so spectacular game of Scythe.

It was a full 5p game and I had to teach... ugh. I don't think the game is hard but I wasn't ready to teach it. I think I did ok. I was really teaching 3 of them and Scott had played before.

I actually did a pretty good job with the rules. I don't think I missed anything too major.

I tried playing as the wolves this time and black. I hear they are the hardest faction to play with. They weren't wrong. I was having a very difficult time.

1st I was deal with Joe C next to me all game. Mr Rules, we should just name him. Questions about everything and Ron wasn't there to deal with him. Riley didn't know the game so it left me. I guess I got a rule wrong which wouldn't have effected out game play at al anyway.

I always seem to be 1 turn away from a big play when the game ends. This time Joe C ended the game he was in the clear lead all game and of course complaining the whole time. He was very much enjoying the game, however and kept saying things like "Why didn't you peer pressure me into backing this on KS?" All I was thinking was you should know better it is Jamey S's game, of course it will be good!


So yeah, Joe C was yellow and sitting next to me on my Right. He ended it a turn before I could have gotten a couple more stars on the board. It was a mess for me. I was about ready to attack. Doh!

Joe absolutely demolished us. I only managed 28 points. I wasn't last but I think I might have been 4th after all of that. Joe had up over 50 points. As black I had 2 near impossible objectives and that is less than Ideal. I wasn't able to complete either of them. I have heard complaints of this before. Usually you can get at least 1 that isn't so bad. The 2 I was given were just incredibly hard. I needed $20 at the end of my turn. the other was 1 of each thing- recruit, build, mech, upgrade and 1 of each resource at the end of my turn. Crazy hard to do this. It doesn't sound hard but in practice it is. It took me forever before eventually getting my building out and my first recruit. I was ABOUT to make it happen the turn after Joe ended it. Too late for me.

It was an excellent game and I look forward to my next play, hopefully tonight. Everyone loved it!



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People were taking off left and right and I managed to wrangle a game of Mombasa.

Scott, Randy, and Paul joined me for this 4p game. Randy needed a bit of a refresher since it was a long while since I taught him this game. Paul had played once before and was happy with a refresher.

This game I was pushing Mombasa track all alone. I was trying to hold off St Louis by helping Paul and his Cairo track. No one was working Cape Town. Randy was ALL IN on St louis. Putting everything into one basket scoring him 120 points in the end, so it was working for him.

Ugh I should have jumped on that track earlier. I didn't score anything for that company. I might have had a share in my deck of cards but it wasn't enough. I was selling cards for money all game and it was working wonderfully. Everyone thought I was killing it. I did have a very HIGH pile of money ending with $45. But, it wasn't enough to make up for not being higher on the company tracks.

Randy totally killed us and I was saying it all game. I don't know why Scott was helping him push the St Louis track since Randy was doing so much better than he was. It was actually pretty close. Randy 166 and Scott 154. I was further behind with 136 and Paul behind me at 123.

It was an excellent game and Randy had a great time. He was saying how he will probably have to get this game at some point. Well yes, of course! It is the bomb!




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Scott took these last and totally fabulous Mombasa pics. I thought I would share!

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From gallery of fsnam








The final game of the night we actually played 3 times. First game was 4p and the second 2 were 5p. We played The Grizzled.

Since I was teaching everyone, I decided not to play with the expansion I picked up and brought along.

the first game we played with traps. It didn't go over well. We lost but it took like 5 rounds before that happened. We saw out name on that tomb.

The second game I had to teach Shawn how to play and we did explain it but he had forgotten a rule about speeches etc. We did okay. We weren't playing with traps that time. We kept supporting 2 players equally so that was definitely not helpful. Our demise came soon enough. there was not much we could do.

Finally, in the 3rd game things were looking better. We had learned from our first two games that we should be trying to get head of the cards and using out persons abilities to try and get rid of cards in the middle so we could potentially play more in the early round/s. It worked out well and we were able to actually win this game.

We weren't playing with traps but I still feel the success! I think I might teach this game with that in mind and perhaps not play with traps. I always like a challenge so generally try to enforce the traps.

We had a good time and I think I left there around 1:45 am! It was so late! I was shocked it had gotten to be so late. It was a very fun day!




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Sunday Ron was still away so I was all bored and what not. I decided on playing a solo game of Fields of Arle

I don't normally play solo games but I needed to get in my Arle and this was how I was going to do it! I had set my goal of getting at least 150. It didn't work out. I rigged the game with the buildings I would most want to get and see where that lead me.

It was my single best game I have played scoring a record 141. Record for me. I know I made some critical errors and probably could have squeezed out a few extra points tipping the line for 150 but I guess only time will tell if I will be able to do that.

I should have flipped my 2nd marsh sooner. I missed out on a cutting since it hadn't been flipped so that was a huge error. I needed that final peat to pay at the end. I really needed the wood I then I had spend in its place. Boo.

I know (!) I could have done better, but I am proud with how it turned out. I scored next to my previous solo game and you can see the improvements. I did, however score the same for animals. I used the broken building (I think- at least when playing against Ron) that allowed me to build stables off turn. Yeah it is just too good. it is how I was able to get so many points for sure!

I put into play a lot of builds I knew I would be interested in getting and ended up only getting like half of them. Doh! Mis-planning and alternate focus lead me to getting fewer building than I might have enjoyed and missing out on points there.

I had a good time and I probably spend too long analyzing and over analyzing all of the situations and board plays. Playing solo I felt like super AP. It was a good time and I will make sure to break 150 next time.


Arle is MY GAME, you know!?



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Later my mom stopped by and we played a couple games of Crokinole.

She has played this with me before and I recall her very much enjoying it. I pulled it off in anticipation of her arrival and sure enough she was excited to play.

We played 2 games each to 100 points. The first game I pretty much kicked her butt and won with her score only at 5 points.

The second game was a bit more lax and I took a picture of her since she was excited to have gotten a good shot. The time the game was pretty close. Maybe I was being too lax.

It was 75 to my 80 and the next round I was able to score 25 for the win. She was proud of her score and had a great time playing.

We went out to dinner after and it was a good time spending some time with her.

I was thinking since she liked it so much I might get her a copy of the game for her and my dad for Christmas. I don't know if they would enjoy it but they could hang it on the wall when they were not using it, or something. It is something to consider. I think they might like it.





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Sunday I was hanging out by myself so I watched a few movies. I did a brief write up here if you are interested: Item for Geeklist "Movies You Watched in July 2016"

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I actually went for a walk around Benson's park. May or May not have been to catch Pokemon. You might never know. Hey, I was bored with out the Ron.


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


I hope to get in more gaming this week!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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DICE TOWER CON PART 2!!! Gaming Days Friday- Sunday! Weekly Update Concluded! *** SO Many Pics!!!***

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Microbadge: Robin Williams fanMicrobadge: Picture of the Year - 1st placeMicrobadge: All the Meeples of the Rainbow blogMicrobadge: Great Big Sea fanMicrobadge: Peter Lik fan







Friday morning we had a scheduled game lined up with
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Microbadge: 2021 Platinum SupporterMicrobadge: This one goes to 11Microbadge: KISS fanMicrobadge: The owls are not what they seem...Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.


to play Arkwright. New to me!

He had offered to teach me at the con and that was awesome of him. We have been in competition for most diversity of games on this geeklist: Item for Geeklist "The "100 games x 1" challenge 2016 -- Exploring diversity 2" . I am at 353 and he is at 298 for different games played this year so far. He definitely games a lot and I was so pleased to get the chance to game with him.

I actually purchased Arkwright from CSI since there was one copy left and I didn't want to miss out- I am a sucker, yes.

Murr had played Spinning Jenny 2 times before and did a fantastic job teaching me and Ron for the 3p basic game. As far as I understand there are different levels to the game and we were just playing the basic one to get the mechanics down. But, there is a whole other world to the game which gets longer and in way more depth.

So, during the explanation I was trying so hard to focus and I did a pretty good job understanding, mostly. When you say shares in a game I kinda cringe a bit since that is lingo I don't quite enjoy but sort of understand. I basically missed the whole part about buying shares. I heard about the selling part of the shares but it was unwise to do this. I quite totally missed the part where # of shares at the end of the game wins *in Spinning Jenny, not sure about the other versions.

I definitely would have purchased more Shares in game. Yes, you only get VERY limited actions in this game before it has ended and Money is super tight but I would have found a way.

As it stood I only had 2/4 factories open all game and managed to kick butt! I was able to sell lots of produce for a fair amount of profit and was able to purchase shares in the final turns to give me the winning title at the end of the game.

It was super close. Ron forgot about having to pay his workers at the end of the final factory phase and had to spend money on them otherwise he would have been able to collect one more share than me.

Hey! I will take the win! It means I optimized the best and where they were opening and closing factories I stuck to the 2 I was given at the beginning and made them the best I could in the short 3 year span that I had.

We could only upgrade out factories to a level 2 but in the deeper game there are more upgrades to be had and more demand to create and profit to be had.

It was a very nice game. Only just before learning this did I hear that Geoff had a copy and they were going to be playing it. So, I think i will be able to get the chance to play with him sometime soon. I very much look forward to that before breaking my shrink on the copy I have. I will likely be keeping it but, you never know. The full game might just be too long for my taste. The spinning Jenny only took us 2 hours with rules and 3p so that worked well for me.



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After that game Ron and I went looking for another game. We sat down to a "hot game" table with Vikings on Board. New to me!

Anna and Geki stopped by to play with us and Ron was nice to me and read the rules! Geki soon renamed the game to "No Vikings On Board" Since we never once put our viking workers on the amazing boats the game had to offer. Please see our correction:

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The game falls in the same easy category as you would find Camel Up. There is some betting on the ships for when it goes to sail and the leader at the time. This game is worker placement, however. You have to take the action to bid on the ships leaders when it sets sail. Other actions might be to swap or move boat pieces. they have different strength in player colors. To control the boats you have to have the most strength and tied winner is closest to the front of the boat. Other actions might be to find trade goods and place them on the boats. These are worth min 1 point per token at the end of the game and you claim them when the board set sail and you are the player with the most strength- handed out in order. if you are the only player with parts on the boat you would claim all the goods on the boat when it set sail.

There are a lot of ways to mess with your opponents and try to help yourself with potential for them to just screw you up again. The game ends when 7/8 boats have sailed so min 7 rounds.

In the 4p game each player gets 2 vikings to use and depending on the actions you take it will issued turn order for the next round. You just move back and forth from side to side until the game ends.

In our game it seemed like everything Ron was doing was to beat up on me, nothing ever changes. I was betting on ships and he would change the ship to have a different owner. I was moving my ship parts to the front and he would swap it out. It was just not the best for me.

It can be very take that. There is a random set up element which isn't exactly fair since Anna had like 3 value 3 ship parts at the front of different ships and i have 0 parts in front of any ships... so it immediately gave her a 1up on me. I got hosed in that regard I never took home any real points from goods or anything.

Of course we were playing pretty cut throat and shipping lots of boats with no goods or minimal goods. Anna won that game by a land slide and had a bunch of goods and bet wisely and got her bets on the successful boats. I think I got like 5 points maybe and she was around 20. It was a bad game for me. I could have just been playing poorly, I am not sure but for me I was like wow- bad luck- Or just Ron beating up on me?

As it stood I can't say I loved the game or that I would return to it. It is a bit light for my taste with a lot of confrontation if you happen to do something to someone then they can just gang up on you for the rest of the game. It is fast though and the art and component quality is top notch. Anna really liked it but Geki and I weren't the biggest fans.

I would play it again though.


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Geoffrey and Elias check out Quadropolis and were looking to learn. I was looking to teach and it worked out perfectly! I had another game scheduled about the time Quad would end.

I taught them the basic version since I gave them my little spiel about how I liked expert least then basic and best of all the Steph Special.

So we went with basic and I explain the expert and Steph Special after we had finished. They caught on to the game quickly and soon realized that placement was quite important. Elias went to town making the city buildings happen early. This was good but he had the problem of adjacency for points later in the game. Geoffrey was working the harbor angle and did pretty well with that. Ron was playing like me and trying to spread everything out.

I still managed to win this game! I remember this because they didn't write my name on the score sheet but just S. I was hoping they would write my name so I could be a legacy for the next person to play the game and see that I WON!

It was a very positive game though since the guys really liked it and played the expert mode immediately after Ron and I left the table. They said they did much better the second game after seeing and playing the first game.

Elias liked it so much he bought a copy, I believe! No doubt. It is a great game! I am happy they loved it!


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OMG so a definite highlight for me was my next game of Outpost. It had been far too long since I last played this game. I really need to get it played more.

I had scheduled this game with
Stephen Buonocore
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Basically, Stephen owed me a game and this was a perfect time to play. I had told Mina I would teach her the game and she was excited to learn it after fining out she loved Scepter of Zavendor.

Outpost! Yay! We played 5p with Ron and Peter, of course. It was awesome. This game is such a fun one. I don't know why I love it so much. Maybe it is just the suspense and luck of the draw. This is also a hurting factor for sure if you get the shitty cards. I do take out the 1s in ore and the 4s in water to try and help it out.


It took a minute for Stephen to recall the rules and remember what is what. Mina and Peter were being sort of aggressive for Titanium. But, no on estopped Ron in getting ALL 3 of the Data Library's in play. Ugh so he was getting HUGE discounts for Scientists and Labs in the Era 2. I know better but no one tried to stop him until I said someone has to and Mina at least made him spend his money on it. I passed too soon to realize what he was doing but he ended up getting all of them.

With no real surprise Ron total kicked our butts. I went with a New Chemicals path, a path I hadn't ever gone before! It was new and exciting! I ended up 3rd place behind Stephen. He got an early moon base and was getting some nice cards.

It ended pretty close though I think Ron was 82 or something and I hit 75 but Stephen was 77 or something. He still beat me and it ended up pretty close. I am not sure where Peter and Mina ended but they enjoyed the game.

I am pretty sure Mina said she enjoyed Scepter much more. I definitely do not enjoy that one as much and think outpost is great with 5/6 players. It is just hard to find the players.

Love this game and it was so much fun to play.



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Stephen wanted to play a game of Bear Valley. We all stuck around and it is possible that I was the only one interested in playing it but everyone stayed and we played. Stephen is such a sales guy he explains the rules like it is a pitch. We went over it and the items. We were NOT playing with the player powers and negatives, which I liked a lot better already. I didn't like those cards it only really hurt me in the first game.

This is really a push your luck game. You will get lucky or you will fail and have to stay where you are located. I didn't know about the 3 coins rule if you were to pick up 3 coins and make it back to start then you can call a chopper and win the game that way.

In our game it turned out to be VERY close. Mina was about to win on her next turn by the way of coinage but I actually just in time made it down the river to the other side right before her turn for the win.

Hey I am happy with my win. I was nervous I would find a bear since we only saw one bear all game. Seemed unusual. No bears and perfect luck in the flipping of the cards. I never had to push my luck like crazy and took it slowly. I think by like turn 6 I had made it. It was cool and fast.

I definitely liked this game better with more players. It makes for a larger map and more possibilities. Peter was off on his own doing the southern part of the map. Everyone else had traveled SW or at least tried to and ended up being more like West only.

Boom owned them! cute game! Not sure the other folks enjoyed it since they didn't win.



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Stephen wanted to show us a small card game called Doppelt und Dreifach. New game by Friedemann Friese. Now this was a game that was handed out in secret during the Gathering and many of my friends got a copy and I had played once before.

I can't say I love this game. For me it is a simple card game. I don't think Friedemann was happy with me and commented this: Item for Geeklist "Futschikato - The Story Must Be Told!" .
I don't want to make him sad My quote was almost a direct quote from Dan and with a laughing Joe Huber I believe agreeing with him at the time. Joe has since played it a bunch more times and I only had played it the one time. I don't know if we played a rule wrong, perhaps, I am not sure. If we are supposed to remove cards from the game and not just discard cards then of course there would be a definite ending. I only had just learned that it was Friedemann's game at this moment when Stephen said. I came back to find that post by him.

For me this game is a luck of the draw card game and you do your best to get rid of the cards in hand to got out first. First post with the play: The Funner the Dingo has On The Road to Mombasa the Better the he will be. Weekly Update! **Now With More Photos! **

That post explains most of the game play and my reactions to it. I don't mind playing this game I just think I enjoy Abluxxen better as far as simple card games go.

Peter won this game and I was a close second.



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Next up I had gotten the copy of Yokohama again. It was time I taught this game to Mina and Peter! So Ron was the boss this game and started teaching Mina and Peter for me. I promised to teach Kris and Co. how to play Between Two Cities. So, Ron offered to teach Yokohama for me.

It is funny since it took about the same amount of time since Kris's group was wild and crazy and took a while to settle down and listen up. I forgot a few rules but it came back to me and they kept asking lots of hard questions. I went back over there when they were scoring and asked why they weren't scoring on the score board... they felt silly about that and FORGOT the HUGE scoreboard in the middle of the table. Hilarious. I love those folks.

Our game started quickly enough and as the first game generally goes having to keep remind people of what they can do and what to look for. I was trying to help best I could.

I just was getting blocked and blocked in this game and Ron was being a jerk so clearly he won the game. I was having a tough time figuring out how to best utilize my actions with everyone being in my way all game. I did end up ending it with Stores, again. But, it wasn't good enough since Ron had a lot of majorities and was already in the lead. I did alright and was about 10 points behind him in the end. We were over 100 points and I am not sure Mina or Peter were. I kinda sprung the ending on them and they were shocked! devil

They were really engaged in the game and had a great time playing it. Mina was quite excited for it! I wonder if it was the game of the con for her.

I know it was for many folks so that was exciting to hear. I swear I am not bias I just love the game!




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After dinner Ron and I made our way back down to the con to find Guilds of London. New to me!

It was on my must play list. We picked up our friend Mike to play with us. Ron was nice and read the rules for me and I went scouting for a TMG member to hopefully teach it. With no luck in finding anyone Ron was having a hard time with the rule book but we got to playing it. This is a very tough game. Tough in that it is VERY confrontational. I mean you will be pissing people off left and right, if you are playing the game properly. If you aren't fond of games of this manner then you should definitely not be playing it. There is a LOT of take that.

If you have read anything about the game you know there is also a lot of iconography. Not much you can do there but to read and re-read the player aid. The player aid is HUGE and double sided- I do wish it were a smaller aid.

On your turn you can do any number of things with the cards in your hand. Tons of different actions or just move your meeples from the guildhall to the surrounding tiles to try and gain majority. You can spend card of the same colors and go to the tiles with those colors. Or you can simply discard a card to place a guy in the guildhall. If no actions if what you want to do you can just draw 4 cards, otherwise you get 2 cards at the end of your turn. You can play as many or few as you want on your turn, however.

All players have secret goals they are working towards and there are ways to get more of them by controlling tiles. It is really beneficial to be going last so it means you are in last place. But, after all actions, there is a "voting" phase for players to use neutral meeples to try and regain majority. You can use these neutral meeples to knock out other players and it can be really mean and cut throat.

After about 15 rounds the game will end.

Mike was really not enjoying our play of this game. I am quite sure he hated it and rated it a 2. I don't want to say it influenced my opinion of the game but if you have been in this situation then you know that playing with folks who aren't enjoying themselves make for a not so fun game.

I wasn't hating it I was just trying to figure it out and how to best utilize my cards. There can definitely be luck of the draw here. You might never see a yellow card which generally allow getting more meeples on the board of neutral meeples.

You have to work with what you got, and I generally like that in games (ie gink) So I am interested in playing this again and I look forward to it. I will NEVER bring it to the Monday night group. I know they would not enjoy it. It definitely takes a certain group to enjoy this game.

I do know some folks who will enjoy it and I really need to play it again.

In our game Mike and I beat up on Ron in the first round and going forward it was Ron beating up on us pretty badly. I kept getting hosed and hosed again. I didn't mind though. I get hosed and hosed again by Ron every game we play.

As it happened Ron completely demolished us and I am pretty sure I was last or very close to Mike either way and we got destroyed.

I like that the board grows and I love the variety of cards. There is a ton of replay here and that is always a good thing. I just know 2p will be a full on battle and very vicious. I wonder what 4p will look like.

I can't wait to try it again. I need to beat Ron up better.



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The final game of the night was with a few of my favs Geoffrey and Elias. Ron and I taught them Karuba.

We ended up playing 2 times- since that is what you do! The first game I completely dominated except I ended up tying with Ron and Geoffrey. I was totally winning! But, not so much. It was a 3 way tie! What sup with that?

The second game I was on point. I was setting up my paths well. I was doing alright but then I needed ONE TILE to pass through and I wasn't able ever draw it. It was literally the last tile in my stack.

So, yeah, I epically lost the second game. I think I only got 7 points. How embarrassing! It was quite hilarious actually and typical.

I love this game and was happy I could teach them since they were asking about it earlier in the con.

I think they liked it a lot but think the pricing point was a bit high. I am sure they will get it eventually.



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Saturday was my final day since Ron and I had scheduled the plane for early EARLY Sunday morning. I wanted to get an early start to the day and I left Ron behind in the room.

A guy was looking for a teacher for The Grizzled and I was happy to oblige him.


I pulled in a few other folks and got to teaching. One of them had played before but the other 2 were interested in learning.

We went all out and put in the traps and just went for it. There were a few really crappy starting knock cards which caused us to lose pretty bad.

I think the major error was that in the shuffling. In the first hand 2/4 players were given 3 knocks each and so it was basically me and another playing to the center of the table. Having a lot of knock cards early is not a good thing at all. It starts adding cards faster and causing for people to withdraw early or stay in too long. It was painful for us. The leader kept giving 1 card out and we really needed to be giving more like 3 a turn to try and make use of our speeches.

When I gave a speech not ONE player could follow! Are you kidding me!? Yah most people had knock cards still. Then the next player to give a speech same thing- crickets, if you will. It was a mess. We ended up surviving to see the dove but ultimately we had too many remaining cards in hand to get it to work.

After the game they were shocked at how crazy it was but I think they all enjoyed it. We all went over to the CSI ding and dent sale. I bought WAY too much stuff.




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Next up I found Mina, Peter and Ron and I had Ron read the rules to World's Fair 1893. New to me!

This was on both My and Mina's list to learn and I was happy to play it. I love the art and theme. It is beautiful. I was nervous since I heard it was area control. It is actually a pretty light game and would be very easy to teach new gamers. For me this would replace other light weight entry level games like Splendor or lanterns. I try to avoid playing those as it is, but this game is different.

You are trying to gets sets of cards and sell them off for matching tokens. You get more points for having different colored tokens at the end of the game. If you have the complete set of 5 colors you get 15 points. The more you have in the different colored sets the more points you get. If you collected a BUNCH of green tokens but they aren't paired with anything it is worth less than a few different colored tokens combined together. To sell off your cards you are trying to gain majority in the given colored area with your cubes. When you take cards from a region you drop your cube there. Once the Ferris Wheel goes around then the regions score. You get more points for being the single most on a region and then you get to sell up to 3 in that color, if you have collected them. You get the colored tokens to match. Second place might also score one card. Ties are broken up for points and amounts to sell.

The game is pretty easy and everything is clear and makes sense. I didn't realize until half the game that I needed DIFFERENT colors to score well- so it was a made rush to collect the final colors I needed to do well. I did so well in the first round without trying I thought I had this game in the bag. Nope- didn't get the win this time.

Ron came from behind and totally won this game. I really thought I had it. I did so well in the first round. The second round I did OK and the 3rd round I was fighting with Mina to get majority in a region and wasn't spending my cubes wisely. That is where the area control is being dumb and you end up losing focus since you are too busy fighting over silly regions that might not matter as much if I thought about it clearly.

I love the tokens and the art. This game is a gem and I will definitely have to pick it up in my purchasing in the next many months. I actually very much enjoyed this game and look forward to playing again. I think Mina really liked it too!



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Michael Mindes, of TMG, was contacting me and wanted to play a game. While we finished up Worlds Fair- he went to get Pictomania from the library for us 5 to play.

He hadn't ever played it and I taught the game. Very good social game and full of laughs with the right people. I am not sure Michael enjoys drawing games but Mina and I had fun.

Ron is, of course, kicked butt. I WAS KICKING BUTT in the first 2 rounds scoring 11 each time. Yeah it went all down hill from there with the harder levels. I am just super suck at those levels.

You can see from my drawing below- That was supposed to be Senator. I mean HOW does one draw Senator?! Ron suggested something like Roman times etc. I was clearly not thinking in that manner. Oh well. It was a good time.

I liked my arrow picture was supposed to be "purple" since Mina was playing purple. It worked incredibly well.

This is a great game and I should definitely play it more! Ron is still a jerk! heart


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We couldn't decide on another 5p game but we settled with Eminent Domain & Eminent Domain: Escalation & Eminent Domain: Exotica.

I was happy to play it since I had only played it 2 (!) times before. This was my 3rd game of EmDo. I was pretty rusty but I caught on quickly and with my scenario card I was able to customize my deck of cards how I saw fit. She was THE BOMB- I loved that card that starts with no cards but gains you 2 cards when you activate her as the action. This allows for total control of what you have in your hand at all times. It was a crazy game!

First off, I had only played it twice before and that was strictly 2p. This was now a full blown 5p game and I was literally wide eyed at the possibilities. I picked it up ok and focused mainly on military and survey for the planets to show up. I was picking planets that gave me military bonuses and higher points when I did the survey roles. I had tons of ships and upgraded my conversion rate (new to Exotica). I totally forgot about the researching for military cards by paying ships as their cost! Dang I could have had so many more points if I recalled that.

I was drawing so many cards in game since I wasn't following most peoples main roles. By not following- you are able to draw a card. I had HUGE hands on my turn and ended up just spending one military to destroy a planet or survey for more planets. It was super awesome when someone else called for military I was read to take in SO MANY ships.

Michael was in his own universe and had a question. He just picks up his phone and called Seth Jaffee, since that is how he does. Michael had the correct instinct and didn't gain much knowledge from the call but we all said hi.

In the end Michael and I TIED for the win. I am pretty sure we were at 26 or 27 points. It was pretty good! I can't believe we tied! I forget what tie-breaker was but we also tied on that so it was just an overall tie.

I am pretty sure Ron was 3rd and Mina and Peter weren't having a very good game. They weren't "escalating" enough during their turns. It is hard to come away from so many 2p games into this large 5p game. YOu certainly get fewer turns and less advancement.

I have to say my enjoyment of this game went really high in this 5p game. It moved quickly and I REALLY enjoyed it. I love the Puerto Rico style where someone does something and others can follow. it is nice since you have the option to follow or draw a card. It allows you to get a lot more cards in between turns to have an even bigger turn when it comes to you. The likelihood of being screwed over diminishes and there are plenty of options.

I REALLY liked this game with 5p. I will have to try and bring it out to teach one of my regular groups. The problem now, That I have is that all of the expansions are mixed in and it will be hard to separate them now they are mixed. Just a pain more that it is hard. However I don't really know the differences from the expansions having played a few times only. I will figure it out.


So happy to have played this one. Unexpected and amazing.


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Everyone went separate ways and Elias showed up wanting to play Lancaster. Its our game! It is how we met 3 years before when Geoffrey and Elias were setting it up and Ron and I decided to stay and teach them. It was nearly the final game of the con back then.

This game we picked up other local gamer, Jason who I ALSO met 3 years before in Gink! Every time I go to Orlando I let Jason know and we can generally meet up and get in a few games. Jason is cool peeps and I am always happy to game with him!

I think Ron taught this game to Jason and we got to playing. It took a minute for me to recall this game- I played it 2 years ago and then bought it at GenCon 2014. Still in shrink on my self- clearly it gets played a lot. I really need to rip the shrink soon. It is an awesome game and I would love to play it more.

the game is so fast. I got screwed over in the first round and it butchered me for the next round. Ron is just so mean!

I think the real problem was in the second round I had to level up my fighting in France so I could get my guys back without having to pay for them. I had both guys locked up in there and basically missed the second round. It was terrible. I needed more guys and couldn't get them.

I was voting to the best of my ability to help my situation but it didn't really matter since by the 3rd round everyone was rolling in the votes and I still had 2.

Jason was just figuring the game out and managed to upgrade his castle. He didn't use his squires for anything and managed to get a TON of extra bonuses for this. Picking up a lot from the laws and happening on the board.

In the end Jason totally dominated this game. He was in the lead the whole time. Even though Ron picked up all of his council members he was still too far behind to take the win. Hey Ron didn't win! Nice job to Jason for kicking our butts!

Poor Elias and I were like dannnnnnnnnnng we failed. It was so awesome to play this game again. I really enjoyed my time playing it and MUST break the shrink as soon as possible!



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The TABLE HAVE TURNED! It was Geoffrey's turn to TEACH ME A GAME! I was psyched. I generally don't get to learn many games at DTC since I am usually the one teaching the games.

Geoffrey actually learned this game earlier in the week and I was itching to learn it so he checked out The Networks to teach me and Elias. New to me!

This was excellent since I am going to GenCon and wanted to know if I should look into picking this one up there or not. I love the theme of running your own tv network to try and score points and get the most viewers. For me that is awesome. I love the quirky titles of the shows on the cards and the actors you hire for different roles.

So there are 5 rounds in this game and each "year" you will get actions to take different tv shows/ ads for $/ actors for hire and special bonus cards. Players take one thing at a time and continue around and around until all players have passed. The earlier you pass the more $ you get. But if 2/3 players pass early then the 3rd player gets ALL the remaining things on display and can be quite beneficial since a lot of the pink cards are end game bonuses.

I really just needed money to get the shows to air. You have 3 time slots and you want to do the best you can to accommodate the shows and their requesting time slot. You get more viewers if you allocate them to the appropriate slot. It is all about the viewers, aka points.

after the year is complete the show ages and might get better or worse as it goes on and on. If you fire a show it goes into the rerun slot and you still get some viewers in the rerun slot. After being there a year it gets pushed out. All genres of tv shows are accounted for and if you are "known" as a specialized network you get bonuses. If you have 3 of the same type, comedy, sports etc, you get something and then again if you collect 5 of a type. It is a cool thing to work towards in game.

So at the end of year 5 There is one more opportunity to score the remaining shows and then final scoring it tallied most viewers and popular network wins!


This is a very cool game. I was failing miserably since I only managed to pick up one show in the first round and it was near impossible to make up for it later on. I needed more money and it was just not generating. The upkeep costs for the shows I had were manageable and I was making money from the ads to off set it but I wasn't generating enough to fulfill for the next round as well.

It just meant I kept going first since I was losing so badly. Not that that helped me at all. I got first dibs at the board. People kept taking what I needed to complete my sets of 3 and whatnot. I needed the 8pm ad and it would be gone I needed the 10 show and there wouldn't be one to take etc. Nothing seemed to go my way. I was passing early for $ and it wasn't helping me either. Geoffrey was getting a LOT of pink cards for end bonuses and that brought his total through the roof! He totally owned us. I guess you do better with experience in this game.

Geoffrey kicked our butts! I think I was just behind Elias but still in 3rd place for the losers title. I had a great time playing this game and was probably the best new game I learned. It is close between this and Arkwright and World's Fair. This one has me wanting to revisit it soon though so that is a good thing. I will have to look into picking this one up. I think with the expansion @ GenCon.

I quite enjoyed this one.




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So against my better judgment, I purchased a game from CSI called Lost in R'lyeh. New to me!

It is like near impossible to find a Cthulhu game that is not co-op that is enjoyable. I still went on the limb and bought this small card game to try. Ron was nice and read the rules and it is actually a simple card game.

Players are dealt cards for in hand and 5 cards face up in front of them and secretly one card is placed from hand as their FINAL card to play.

The major issue with this game is that you have to get through the deck before getting rid of the cards splayed in front of yourself. You are trying to trash cards from your hand - but then you have to draw back up to hand size. You must play a card higher or equal to the last card played on the stack. It just goes round and round and some are elder cards that do special things like trash cards from hand or make you pick up the discarded stack. It just goes on and on. It really comes down to the cards on display so my thought is just play with 5 cards on display and see who wins. It would cut like 30 minutes from the game... for the better.

Ron ended up going out first for the win but you are supposed to play until there is one loser. Elias and Geoffrey were left and then it was just me and Elias. Yah I totally got him good! But he was then down to 1 card so it was a close match but I came in third in the end!

Yah I can't say anyone really enjoyed that game. It was just play this to draw cards it didn't really matter. You wanted to get the lower cards out first and then you might not get screwed over. But ultimately you had to keep picking up cards until the stack was out then the real game started. It was weird and for 20 minutes it felt longer. Unfortunately, it will be hitting the trade pile for me.




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Ben stopped by and asked if I wanted to play Ginkgopolis. WELL YAH I WANTED TO PLAY. So I finished the Cthulhu game and hit up the Gink table. We ended up just playing 2p and no expert modes. Just basic game and SUPER FAST.

Ben knows the game well and he has his cards with nice sleeves and it was really awesome. This game I was having a harder time collecting workers to use and I needed more of an engine. But, he was having the same difficulty. Our playing was fast and we were like at the tile discards in 15 minutes. I think this was a 20-25 minute game it was probably one of the fastest games I have ever played! It was the bomb!

Once we triggered the tiles it was a bit slower while each card was evaluated by each of us. I was collecting end cards as soon as I could. I actually taught him a rule that each dude on a tile is counted when counting dudes on the specific colored tiles. So he was playing that wrong all along. I was like either you or I have been playing wrong all these years. I was confident it was him, however, having played all those games online.

I am happy to report I made up for my miserable play earlier in the week with this game and completely dominated. I think I was around 135 and he was at 88. So, I did pretty well. I had a ton of end game cards that scored me a ton of points and I was collecting a lot of in game points after I stopped spending them all to upgrade lower tiles.

It was a great game and I am so happy he asked to play it. He was saying how it was his favorite too and he got to play it a lot more than I did. We will have to make it an annual thing! Best game! Still my #1! Just scroll over my avatar:
Steph Hodge
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While I was off Gink-ing around The boys had checked out and set up Scythe. Yay! I randomly selected Red... Just saying! It was random. Geoffrey splayed the player boards face down and I picked RED! It was meant to be. Fortunately for me I got the SAME player board assigned to it as the previous game a few days before.

I definitely had the advantage here, I had my plans set out right away and bang in the first 3 turns I had gotten my factory action space and was working that basically out of the gate.

Ron was pissed at me since he was just getting there and was about to seize that hex maybe the next turn. It cost him his objective etc. He was legit mad at me. Really? How could he be mad at me!? He does things that like EVERY GAME IN ALL GAMES esp Arle. I didn't feel badly.

So, I was just working on making my way up the popularity track I was spending military force for $2 as often as I could. I had a ton of in game money I was collecting.

This game I won! yay!! But, I was the only one in the 3rd level of Popularity when it was ended. I would have had another star if I had one more turn, as always, it seems. But just because I was able to collect all the coins in game and level my popularity up over everyone else to the 3rd level at that! I did have a commanding lead in the end.

I had about 56 and I have no idea who was second but I think all the guys had around 33-38 points like I dominated! It was awesome!!!

Perhaps unfair since I was the only one playing a color I had played before and better yet since I had the same action board as before. devil It was super awesome.

I am really really enjoying this game!




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The final game of the con for me was with Elias, Geoffrey, Bethany, and Aron. We decided on a 5p game of 7 Wonders. We were going to play with ALL expansion but learned that Geoffrey and Elias had never played with Leaders and Cities I felt as if we should leave Babel off.

I taught them the expansions we were playing with and we got to playing. I was playing as China and Elias next to me picked Roma side A. Aron on the other side of me picked Babylon Side B.

I was all out for the cities cards- I had no bonuses or anything but I wanted them all! I did a really good job. I was getting discounts and trying to just collect the most points as possible. I had the leader card to give me points for guilds in age 3 so I made it a goal to get those. That worked out well for me.

I actually won this game with 77 points and Bethany was on my tails with 74!

We played pretty quickly considering the fellas hadn't played the expansions before. I hope I wasn't rushing them. They seemed to be having a good time playing the game and was happy to have played it!

It was a nice way to end the con. Look at the photo of all of us! Yay!



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After the 7 wonders game I walked around for about another hour saying my good byes and everyone was shocked I was leaving so early. Ah well, I wanted to get in a few more games but Ron was playing Terra Mystica with Nathan and co. SO it was chance to say bye! I loved seeing everyone and I will have to figure out what to do next year. My high school friend is getting hitched on the Friday of the Con in 2017, back home in MA. I am thinking about flying home for the day and flying back down to Orlando in the same day and make it work. I don't want to miss out on one of my favorite cons and some of my favorite peoples. It would make me seriously sad!









So Ron and I took the EARLY 8am flight home and made it back to NH in record time for lunch. I think I took a nap after that. I really needed one.

Later in the afternoon we got to playing Fields of Arle. A week wouldn't be a week without my Arle. No one wanted to play at DTC and that was sad. I am not linked to Ron like some couples are linked to each other. Ron can figure out something to do if I wanted to play Arle. No one wanted to play with me though. I should have tried harder.

So, in our game on Sunday it was backwards day and my set up was all wrong. I focused on getting a bunch of buildings but still had this feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn't going to be enough. I had like ALL OF THE BUILDINGS. Well Ron had a few and 2 of his were 15 value.

Yah I didn't have enough animals and tools points. Ron still managed to kick my butt. I had ALL my travel the full 10 points- first time for everything! Still was not good enough.

Ron took it home with 125 points and I had 117.5. It was close but no cigars. Still another top favorite!



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Since I know you were all SO EXCITED to see my haul from the con- Here is it! I picked up a few games just because the pricing was so good. Sure there was a HUGE gash in the Robinson game but $20 I would definitely try it again for that price! T2R wasn't for me but for a friend- other wise yep I have some games to learn and play! I am so happy Ron puts up with me!



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Starting on Sunday when we arrived until the Sunday when we returned. I learned 8 games, only! But, I played a total of 52 games! That's not so bad. I did get in some longer ones. It was an amazing time and I was so happy to get play with all my friends and make some new ones! One of, if not the best con there is. I might say that about all cons though since I love them! Games games games! What more could I ask for!





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

Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Dice Tower Con and My Amazing Time!! Part 1 - Pre Gaming And Days Wednesday + Thursday!

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
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This week has been VACATION!!! DICE TOWER CON!!!



Monday night Ron and I were in Orlando and spent the 4th of July with gamers at a local store called Sci-fi City and then later back at the hotel.

When we got to the all day gaming event Ron and I found Mystic Vale on the table. Another couple had just showed up when we got there and were looking to play a game. Since Ron and I had learned it the night before we were all fresh on teaching this game. It is actually a very simple game.

We taught them and put of the correct number of cards from each stack.

Adrienne was doing a very good job with her deck and and managed to negate a lot of decay for high value turns for purchasing. She was collecting a few points from the cards you can claim with the symbols that match. But she was getting a lot of points from her in game cards.

I really thought she was going to win it, but I managed to get early upgrades that give points during play so when the game ended I had about 20 points in actual points I had a TON of points. My final score was about 37 and she was right behind me with 33 or so. It was actually very close and it was a pretty huge difference from the first game we played the night before.

I managed to take the win for that game. I don't think her hubby did well and only got like 11 points. I know he spent a lot of the game busting with too much decay each turn. I think Ron only got like 20 points.

It is a cool game, I still feel the same as I did when I wrote about it last week but I enjoy it enough where I would play it when requested. I do look forward to where the game can grow from here - so I will be on the lookout for some expansions.


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We played another game with the couple and I picked out Shakespeare. It had been a while since we played this game but I was confident I could teach it. Ron did the honors of teaching though and that worked well.

Adrienne was really confused and asked the same questions like 4 times. She was just not getting it. But, she was doing well with what she was getting. She spend a lot of the time collecting objectives and building costumes for lots of points. She totally built her entire stage from 1s and 2s. very very cheaply.

I was just trying to ruin peoples day and that didn't go according to plan. I duno what I was doing, but I was working on the acts of the show and the feathers. I got some points there but it wasn't enough for me to take the lead on that one.

In the end she killed us! I think she was at 27 and Ron was second with 21 she was in a substantial lead. the rest of us don't wish to talk about our scores.

I like this game ok. I really don't think I need to play it again for a very long time. maybe with the expansion I will see what it brings to the table but I am not very excited by this game.


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New friend Richard brought along his copy of Nations.

He hadn't actually played before and Ron and I played a 3p game with him.He had read the rules so Ron went over everything quickly with him before we started the game.

It was an interesting game. No real military cards were available or no buildings for the first MANY rounds. I got the one and only military upgrade in the first round and then no more showed up for a fairly long time. I was very militia this game conquering all of the colonies. I think by the end of the game I managed to take 8 colonies!! That is definitely the most I have ever gotten. Why, you ask? I did that because my awesome advisor was giving me $3 income for doing this- and there was even an event card for conquering colonies. Since I was the only one doing it I kept doing it! I was profiting from it.

It all worked out. I set a number of wars which the guys failed at miserably. Ron snagged a few wars to mark at 0 before I could SET the war but I hit them a few times.

I managed to get out 5 guys during game play and they gave me a lot of end game points.

I was actually quite pleased with my play, there was one thing I should have done differently but it all worked out since I ended up winning by a few points! I won with 35 and Ron was at 31 and Richard was somewhere 20s.

Richard very much enjoyed the game which is awesome since he enjoys TTA, I wasn't sure he would enjoy this one. He found it very easy to play and grasp and very happy to have played it!

He said he was bringing Scythe to DTC so here's hoping!


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Ron and I left Sci Fi City and head back to the hotel. We found some folks playing when we got back and Ron and I just missed on the chance to play Guilds of London.. boo.

A guy was available and we taught him Rolling Japan.

He was a nice guy named Burky from MN. I think they are all nice in MN.

This game Ron did all of the rolling and we each did pretty well considering. It took a while for Burky to catch on but I was helping him the best I could to understand.

In the end he and Ron tied for the win @ 12 points and I had 13, boo. I should have checked everyone's board to make sure they didn't make an error.

Always a good filler!


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People were coming and going for food and Ron and I jumped into a 6 player game of 6 nimmt!.

I quite enjoy this game, I don't think Ron likes it so much. Well, he said he doesn't mind it but he was having a quite a terrible game this time.

We played to 66 points and it took only 3 turns before Ron crushed that score and lost the game.

I was played quite well. The first round I managed to collect no points and the second round only 2 points which wasn't so bad considering I had the 3,4,6 I was expecting at least 3 points. Worked out for me!

The final round I didn't do as well and collected 9 points. I still stomped on everyone else's scores bu having only 11. Check out the image for the scores. Ron really took home the loser title this time. Excellent!

I really like this game and I wish more of my groups enjoyed it. I think it is really clever.



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We then had 7 players for a 7 player game of 7 Wonders. I know many people would groan at this comment but I actually don't mind it. Everyone knew the game (pretty ok), and we could get going and start pretty quickly.

There was one hic-cup in the game but it worked itself out. I was working the Babylon wonder and collected a bunch of science cards. 34 points for my science score, which isn't so bad, considering.

Ron was working Rhodes and sneaked in a few military victories with his use of completed wonders.

Ron won with 57 and Mitch was 2nd with 55 and there was a tie for 3rd me and Amy with 54. It was a pretty close game. John lost that one with 41.

I think everyone had a good time with it though. It lasted about 45 minutes which isn't so bad. I do with there were expansions but I suppose it would have taken forever to play that game then.




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A few folks left for food and Hutch and John stayed around and obliged me on my request to play Asara. It is a game I sold in the auction but still wanted to play one more time to see if I made a mistake.

I recalled most of the rules, it is actually a fairly fast and easy game of constructing towers. I do enjoy K & K titles and this is such a gorgeous game but I guess it has to be since game play is pretty repetitive.

You are buying tower parts to then do the actions to build the towers. there are points to be had in basically everything you do. The interesting part to the game is once someone allocates a card to an area- all cards in the area must stay the same color so if you need a piece but don't have that color card in hand then you are somewhat screwed. You do have the option of playing 2 cards for = to one of any color.

As I said the game is fairly simple and I hadn't played in a few years but could recall most of the rules. We got to playing pretty fast and I was working on the green and black towers. Hutch was working the white tower and lots of baby towers. Ron had a HUGE red tower that got him biggest tower for the game. John was collecting a bunch of points for the charms on the towers.

I think John actually linked the game. I am not sure Hutch did or not.

Ron ended up winning but Hutch was on his tail. I was failing miserably behind everyone and John was actually just 2 points behind me at the end, but had he calculated a bit differently then he would have beat me easily.

I like the game but I have no remorse for selling it. I think it is absolutely beautiful and I would have liked to try the mini expansion board that was added to the game that was in the box but never got the chance. I am ok to playing this game every few years but my copy just never got played so now is the time to sell it!

Happy to have played it a final time, however.


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Tuesday before the con I managed to get in PLENTY of games. Everyone started showing up and by the end of the evening the lot of tables outside the hall were almost completely filled up. It was a mad house like the con actually started Tuesday afternoon!

Ron and I went to lunch but when we came back we got into a game of Tichu with our friends from back home Lynda and Mike. We didn't have time to finish this game because they had to head out to dinner but we managed to top the night off with the ending to our game.

It was a crazy game of Tichu. I was partners with Ron and we kept getting all of the hands. I mean we went 1-2 a lot it seemed. I messed it up by calling grand and not making it otherwise we would have won a lot sooner.

I had a ton of bombs but many hands I didn't have the follow up to make it happen. I don't think Mike was having a lot of fun. It was funny Ron and I went up and down since we kept missing calls but having really good hands. haha the torture for the other team just kept going!

They would call Tichu and we would set them. It was actually quite a long game of Tichu but it was over the course of 2 portions of the day.

In the end Ron and I managed to win. Ron called two final tichus and we didn't go 1-2 but we got 190 points both times which is essentially like calling and going 1-2.

It was great fun!


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My friend Jason (who I met 2 cons ago and is a local here) stopped by to pre game with us. He brought along some awesome games for us to play and we got to play Luna first!

I kinda force Ron to playing since I know how much he just LOVEs the game, not. He really doesn't like it, and I am not sure why.

I was super happy to play I love this Feld game and my copy NEVER sees the light of day. It is actually pretty easy to teach and the player aid is wonderful. It was Jason's game and I only needed to refresh Ron's memory on it.

Once we got playing it was clear I screwed myself over. I didn't plan accordingly and needed to build one more temple and missed my opportunity to do this. Boo. It might have made all the difference for me.

I did everything else well. I got my council seat all the way up for the 10 extra points and I was working the inner sanctum for points. In the end Jason just did it better than me since I miss played and forgot to sent dudes to the place to get the final temple down in the middle of the game.

The final scores were Jason 90 I got 84 and Ron was just behind with 77 or something. All in all it was a close game and I had a great time playing it. I thank Ron for obliging my request.


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Jason mentioned that he hadn't played Deus. The boys decided to pick that one for our next game.

At this point we changed locations to the convention hall there were tables located outside of the actual area. Sweet! Tons of gamers were showing up now! It was awesome.

We set the map up to something I haven't played before and it was pretty clear it would end by military means.

Early on I was collecting lots of resources and placing my production buildings. I was also working on trying to get more orange buildings down for points. I wasn't seeing any temples to build until the final few turns and it wasn't even worth it for me to try and build it. Ron had 2, 12 points temples in the end, of course.

I was doing pretty well but it wasn't well enough since I didn't get any temples out. It really hurt my score. Jason got some temples and built in his own little world while Ron and I were spread out like it was our house.

I collected a bunch of barbarian points and in game points but it was certainly not enough to win without temples.

The final scores had it with Ron winning at 50 and Jason and I were a miserable 30 points range. I think I was 39 and he was 34. It was not very good. Jason was reminded how much he enjoyed the game and that he should play it more. He said he had not played it all year!

I really love this game but sometimes you just don't get the cards you need to do well. Still a great one though. He is missing Jamey S's upgraded component kit though.


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Nathan was going to show up soon but we taught Jason Rolling Japan and Tokyo first. He knows since I talk it about it a lot and wanted to try it out.

We played both sides of the board and I managed to do very poorly in both. Now my photo of this Rolling Japan game has RON winning by 1 but we double checked it and he actually tied Jason for the win. Basically i ended up losing by 1.

What the heck the exact same result happened in the second game of Tokyo. Jason and Ron tied for the win and I lost by 1. It was not my night on the dice games. FAILED that one. Jason really enjoyed the game though and was really happy to have played it.



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Nathan and Brandon showed up but on in the middle of the next game we had started. Jason mentioned he wanted to learn Qwixx, but I didn't have that so we taught him Qwixx: Big Points.

This is my favorite of the qwixx series and I love it more than Qwinto too.

He caught on really fast and it got a little side focused when Nathan showed up. I played a VERY good game of Qwixx BP though. I managed to take it home closing 2 lines and cleaning the table!

I got 234 points! Ron only managed 2nd place with 180 points. I am not quite sure what Jason ended with but he wasn't really that close to Ron. I should have helped a little bit more but I was talking! I am such a talker!

Great game though and a perfect filler.


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So, Nathan brought along some friends and we had 8 players for a very fast game of Rolling Japan. It was all Jason had time for before leaving to go get his sister.

So yeah, we played 8 player Japan and then 7 player Tokyo. It is crazy with that number and I am thankful I had 8 sheets to hold that many players!

It was a crazy game and much better than the one we had played just before. I did far better this time. I still lost! I got 11 points! It is a good score! There were like 5 of us that score 11! But Nathan got 9! he totally kicked out butts! He thought 8 but I recounted and double checked and it was really 9. I am such a stickler for things.

I knew I would lose Tokyo with my score of 10 and I think Nathan won that game too with 8, but I really don't recall. Not sure everyone liked it or not but I had a good time. I really like this game and I am happy I brought it along.


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Nathan, Ron and I played a 3 player game of *everyone's favorite* Ginkgopolis. By Everyone I mean mostly me but they both enjoy it as well.

So, friends Robyn and Deron stopped by when we were allocating the starting position cards and I didn't even evaluate the board or the cards I was selecting.

Yeah, I might have been tired, I am not sure but man did I fair in that process and that is about 40% of the game drafting the initial set up. Not realizing no blue was on the board and drafting 3 red cards is about the worst idea. Do not do this.

Only after we flipped our cards did I go sh*t! I guess i didn't recall drafting 3 red cards I thought I had taken 1 blue one. Yeah, no.

Anyway, as the game went on and on I only managed to pick up 1 blue card that gave me a tile for expanding. It was basically a nightmare!

Nathan was rocking the card strat, but it could have been better, or at least I have seen better. He still destroyed me in the final count.

But Ron won that game with like 90 points. He wasn't hurting that badly for blue it seemed.

Had I played dangerously I could have totally re arranged the board but that would have involved planning to be kicked off a tile so I could have enough workers to do what I needed to do. OF course Nathan kicked me off and then I didn't do the action since I played SAFE and did something else that was so dumb.

Yah Steph loses due to being a talker. DOH! I need a rematch as soon as possible!


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Wednesday was the first day of the con!! Yay!! I was up super early and ready for the line @9am. Apparently everyone else had the same reaction. Some people were there 2 hours early. Dice Tower Con really has the registration line in BAD FORM. It is one of the worst. If you don't wait then you have to wait until like 2p before the line is completely gone to have NO LINE. I was there an hour early and still had to wait 30 more minutes before getting my badge. They REALLY need to fix that for next year- something better- there has to be!

Nathan and Brandon we a few spots behind us for reg so we got in approx the same time and we played a couple quick games of Karuba. They had played it before and we got right to it. It was on display so it was quite easy to get right to.

I think 2 games in 30 minutes we win for awesomeness and fast playing.

The first game I was not optimizing my path to victory but I did manage to TIE Ron and Brandon for 18 points for a shared victory. Really? It was very unsatisfying.

So, we played again, naturally.

The second game I had a clear vision, which didn't work out, at all.

I did SO MUCH WORSE this game than the first game. I could manage to get my adventurers to their homes and when I did I only got piddly points. I think I ended with like 11 points it was shameful really.

I insisted at that point we must stop playing this game and be done with it. haha

Great game and I love it. Apparently, I just need to be better at it!


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Ron and I wandered around for a bit and found Andy at TMG. He said I could borrow Yokohama to teach in teh evening. But he was demoing it all day long so that is awesome. I did get a lot of inquiries when I played it later in the evening. Well deserved for this fine game.

After looking around Ron and I stopped to talk to new friend James who was demoing for his Kickstarter that was about to be released in a few weeks for a game called Barnyard Roundup. New to me!

So, I suppose the easiest way of explaining it that it is like Cockroach Poker but opposite. If you enjoy Cockroach Poker then you will most likely enjoy this game. I am IMPOSSIBLE at this game. I can't bluff for my life. If I say I have 2 goats I probably have 2 goats.

You are trying to collect the most of the different animals for a bonus. If you collect a set of each animal you get a bonus and you get face value of all the cards. There is a crow with is -5 per crow and I did a VERY good job of picking those cards up.

When you pass cards you can pass to anyone and you can pass any # of cards but they all have to be the same animal, you can not pass one crow and one pig at the same time.

The next player going clockwise plays next. This goes on and on until the deck of cards runs out and you always draw up to 6 cards. It is adorable and James is awesome.

In our game we were playing 5 player and since apparently EVERYONE knows how bad I am at bluffing I almost immediately had 3 crows in my pen. Eventually I managed to pick up some animals and I even bluffed my way into collecting a full set of animals. I ended up not losing but Ron had about a billion points so he totally won.

I very much enjoyed this game and will have to look for it on Kickstarter. Very good family game and bluffing game. There are some advanced rules with tokens which we didn't use but that would be more for the gamers group and I look forward to playing that.


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Ron and I found Joe K wandering around and I asked him if he wanted to play a game! He said yes! He pulled out a sheet of games he typed up and I was like WHOA look at this list. It was awesome - I never thought of writing a list- but I don't really have any games I am dying to learn. I might check out the library list and make a very small one.

My goal is to play the games I don't get to play that much.

From Joe's list I picked out Medici. People were buzzing around everywhere and I figured we could find 3 more gamers to make for a 6 player game of Medici!

I was correct! New friend Anthony sat down and joined us. He said he was a follower of the blog so that is always fun to hear! It honestly shocks me that people can point me out and say nice pictures! I am always shocked! So, thanks for that for the folks who have done that to me already!

Joe's long time friend Tom joined and another player whom didn't talk too much and can not recall.

Everyone was learning and I set Ron to that task of teaching. Thankfully, this is a pretty easy game to teach and we got to playing really soon after. The game was moving quickly and everyone was catching on very well. I somehow managed to sneak by with a win this time. It was SUPER close though. I think the player right behind me was just a couple points short.

This is a great 6p game and I was happy to play especially when it is on a friends list to learn. I think everyone enjoyed it, well maybe not Tom. He lost and said he remembered why he didn’t play it in many many years.



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Next up was Viticulture: Tuscany – Expand the World of Viticulture. Anthony saw a copy in the library when we were looking for a game to play and Mombasa was not available. He was interested in learning Tuscany. Ron was happy to oblige and we found another friend Mike and his son Jordan.

Ron taught the game and it lasted about 3 hours with teaching for 5p. It wasn’t too bad considering he was teaching 2 players. This game I had pretty terrible starting cards that didn’t help me get much or work towards much. I started planting right away and getting my vineyards growing with grapes. I never had the opportunity to get extra workers since I had so much I was focused on. I was VERY fortunate to pick up the School structure though so I could essentially hire a guy for free and have him be used in the current round. That was about 3 rounds in, however. I was already quite far behind.

Ron had about all of his guys before the end of round 1, as per usual. He gets special cards etc. This game we were not using the special workers. Mike was all about the money, he had TONS AND TONS of money every time I looked over at him. I was in shock how much he seemed to have at all times. I had about nothing!

In the end it was a super close game and was a tie with Mike and Ron and Mike was winner based on the 2nd tie breaker rule. I think I came in last or 4th, it was not a fine performance for


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Yay! We ran into a couple of our friends Elias and Geoffrey and they were looking to learn The Golden Ages. I thought I could teach the game alright since I had played it pretty recently with the Monday night group. I gave it a shot.

It was a pretty rough start but they had most of the set up all set. It took a minute for me to recap on the rules and go through what we were doing, but I managed ok. A lot of it is quite simple once you remember. So it played pretty nice.

Ron completely demolished with the diamonds and I got hosed with my Rock strategy and got overtaken for the bonus I had at the end. Booo Ron. I ended up passing first and I shouldn’t have passed so soon so it was a mistake but I did get to take the final scoring condition and get a lot of points for that.

The boys liked it but were pretty far behind Ron and I was like in the middle of Ron and them for 2nd. In the end we made the map of the world, since we could.



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It was about the time the vendor hall was going to close so I went over to the TMG booth and snagged the copy of Yokohama to play with folks that night. I found Nathan and played with Ron and BGG friend David S. I was teaching and I think it was an excellent job, thank you very much. I got all of the rules and did pretty well. There weren’t printed copies of the player aids in English so I had to wing it with the rules and it flowed nicely.

I was teaching, but this game just worked for me. Everything fell into place and I just completely destroyed everyone. I nearly tripled Davids points… I didn’t mean to but I did sort of pull the rug and end it early by stores. That is definitely my favorite way to end it so if you are playing with me you should be on the lookout. I managed to get ALL 3 top bonuses before ANYONE got one. I took the picture too late but yeah, all 3 of my cubes were up there first before another color joined it. It was crazy. I got top points for customs AND Church AND techs.

I felt kinda bad, but I didn’t. No one passed 100 and I was like so far past. It was a great game and I think everyone enjoyed it. I think David went to go back it on Kickstarter, so that was cool. Awesome game, I am happy to play and teach it.



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Next up was a game of Scythe with Ron, Elias, Geoffrey and Nathan. It was EPIC- I have been so excited to play this since having learned it the weekend before. It is BIG and Beautiful game. It works incredibly well with 5p and is just plain awesome. I got to be red again since that is my color. I had an awesome board I was working with that was randomized.

This game was another learning game to get acquainted with what the powers of Red actually are and how to use them properly. Someone compared the game to Terra Mystica, and I sort of get that. For me it is quite different and there are a bunch of different goas and paths to take to victory. I guess I would say if you enjoy TM you will enjoy Scythe, but if you don’t enjoy TM I still think there is a lot more to discover and you can’t be completely hosed. There is always opportunity to recover and do better. I enjoy Scythe a whole lot more. However, I see how TM is a great game and why people love it.

Our 5p game with teach lasted about 2 hours. It is a fast game and we were playing with fast players. I needed like at least one more turn to cross the threshold of the heart line for the higher points. It really makes all of the difference in the point values. I think in the games I have played many aren’t valuing the heart track enough.

I got a special action card that I was spending military for coins. I had a ton of coins at the end and was just sitting on the military action space and the then getting a bunch of coins for it.

In the end Ron destroyed with Nathan ending it. Ron had the highest heart level and a ton of stars to back it up. I was doing very well with my money but only managed about 58 to Ron’s 77. I think the other folks were 60-70 range as well. I am not sure if I was last or not but the game was epic and I had a great time playing with great people!



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I found miss Mina and we set up a game of Brew Crafters! She had mentioned she wanted to learn and so Ron and I brought the game along to teach her. It was getting pretty late and you could tell how tired they were and I was. Jason from Dice Tower spotted us and came to talk in the middle of it so Mina was pretty distracted and perhaps not on her best A game.

During the game I was working on just one line of ale and never managed to work another. Ron, naturally, picked up the farm as he does and started planting. In the 3+ player game there is collaboration which is nice for a few points and bucks here and there. I rarely do this since I need my precious resources.

This game I had plenty of money and seemed to be managing OK. I didn’t get too many upgrades I never hired my second shift worker, but I should have. I have no idea how people manage to get all 3 of those dudes. It must be so expensive. I was just doing my own thing and making my ale. Ron managed to with this game with 57 and I was just 2 points behind with 55. It was so super close I could TASTE the win. Yeah, not so much. Mina and Peter didn’t do so well and were about 20 points behind us.

In the end Mina really loved it and is so excited for the reprint. It is a pretty excellent game, even for a terrible theme like Beer. Why can’t there be a game about the rainbow process… how rainbows or formed.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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Thursday morning I was up later than anticipated but we managed to get down there and find some folks for a quick game of Codenames: Pictures.

I teamed up with random guy Brett. Ron teamed up with our friend Sonia from last year. She purchased Loyang from me and is still loving it, yay! I love when my past games find a good home!

Poor Brett had to deal with me and my clues. I have a hard time looking at all of the cards before giving a clue. I did a pretty good clue without realizing that one of them was on the same wavelength. At least it wasn’t the assassin. In the end Blue team Ron won the first round. The second round I was guessing and doing pretty well. We were down to 2 clues! He gave the clue “footage” and I wasn’t thinking in terms of “video recording” but more like “length” so I was thinking height not tape. I guessed big foot accurately but I didn’t managed to get cassette tape- I guessed Eiffel Tower and found the assassin. Boo.

Blue team for the win with 2/3. It is a good game but I still like the original better.




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Subdivision was next on the table. I had just bought it from a guy from the Virtual Flea Market for $10! Dang, for $10 it was a steal and I was happy to try it again. I played it once when it was first released in 2014 and was underwhelmed. Perhaps I was expecting too much. Going into this play I wasn’t expecting to love it but I wanted to give it another fair shot.

I was actually quite blown away with how much I enjoyed it. I really must have hyped it up for myself back 2014 when I tried it at GenCon- but this play was just awesome. Ron did a quick recap of the rules and Sonia joined in for a 3p game.

During game play I had forgotten that you place double roads when doing that yellow action. I would have had 6 roads for the first bonus had I remembered to place 2 roads and not just one. It was a good learning/ recap game for us and we could really see the potential for this game going forward.

The final verdict was Ron wins 79 Sonia 67 Steph 64. SO I failed, however It would have been a totally different game if I was able to place 2 roads! It would have been much better.  I think Sonia really enjoyed it too so there is always that win!

I am really happy to have this in the collection now to revisit it more. Quick and fun drafting tile laying game. I find it far more enjoyable than some other games out there. I will have to reevaluate my rating on this game. I need a few more plays.




From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Next up was an epic 6 player game with friends Kris, Pricilla, Bethany, and Aron. We played Mare Nostrum: Empires. It wasn’t high on my list of games to play again but I really wanted to play with my friends and this was what they were playing. I don’t hate this game and I wanted to try it again, eventually.

We had to play with the 6 player Atlantis expansion which Kris offered to play. I was playing yellow as Cleopatra. After the past game with Shrey I was worried, especially with Ron to my Right playing purple and their crazy ass power to just expand 1 area for free each turn. Totally insane. To keep Ron at bay I had to immediately move in and take the adjacent city that would give him +1 for the end condition of conquering 4 major cities/ capitals. It worked for a little bit but I didn’t man it enough and I started buying leaders. I should have been manning the posts with lots and lots of dudes. I really needed dudes in there to secure it.

So, what I learned from this game was that Cleopatra really needs to get some serious defensive's up. I didn’t have enough and about turn 4 or 5 even that Ron stomped on that city and then the next turn stomped on my capital and took the win by conquering 4 cities since he already had 2 others on the map before stomping on me.

I tried to warn everyone to go attack Ron but they had other things to do and couldn’t see his potential. There was nothing I could do at that point after having lost my battles but no one could see that he was closing in on the win. It was essentially a sneak attack win and Ron did it.



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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Friends and their cool toys!

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After a late lunch I joined Elias and Geoffrey for a 3 player game of Caverna: The Cave Farmers. It was my goal to play that one and Mombasa on that day. I was so totally excited to play this with them since we had done it last year as well.

This game I took the overhang tile and started collecting those early points. I don’t usually get to try that strategy since Ron is normally doing it. The guys were working on their military and advancements in the mine. I went all out for workers and managed to get 5 of them by the end of the game. I don’t know how or why I did thins but I did and then I had to feed them all! I had a pretty huge farm full of planted veggies and a few animals by the end. I was scoring for the pairs of veggies that I had and got 18 points from that.

It was awesome and I was super happy to win that game with 85 points. I think they had 65-75 points though. It seemed pretty close but I got in the 80s and they did not.

Everyone had a great time and the moral of the story is: get more friends who enjoy Caverna to play.



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







The final game of the night was Mombasa with Mina and Pete. This plays in about the same time as Caverna or maybe slightly longer depending on the players.

I was so happy to finally get around to playing it, and of course Mina loves it too and was happy to play.

Everyone knew the rules so that always helps. I was starting player and started on the St Louis track. I know St Louis never does well but "Team Peter!" He and I were pushing white the whole time. We did very well.

I hadn't ever seen so many white houses on the playing field. By the end of the last turn I had the FULL white track and was scoring 120 points for white. It was AMAZING I hadn't ever seen St Louis do that before. Ron jumped on the bandwagon too late and missed out on a lot of points.

I took a picture of the score before and after Ron corrected it and found some company share in his stack...

Either way I totally kicked butt and it was an amazing game! I wish I got to play it more when at the con. I totally owned them. YAY! Makes me feel good to win sometimes especially when Ron is at the table.


I do love me some Mombasa!

Team Steph!



From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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corrected score...
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Stay Tuned!






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

Until next post!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph



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Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:05 am
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