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Lobster Trap - The Misses!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Part 3 of Lobster Trap!
Here I discuss the games that just weren't that enjoyable for me.
Some I would be happy to play again, some I wouldn't.

In case you missed them, here are Parts 1 & 2:
Lobster Trap - The Hits!
Lobster Trap - The Neutrals



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Derek was awesome and brought home some Essen games for me. I was excited to learn a new roll n write game called Florenza Dice Game. New to me!

With so many roll n write games these days, they can't all be winners. This game wasn't even that bad. I think the main issue is that there is just too much that is available. I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to with ease. Perhaps it would be better if there was one fewer round or if there was more restrictiveness with what you are allowed to take with the dice.

I might play again, because I liked a lot of what the game has to offer. But there were no difficult choices to make - there was always a 'best' choice. I just see this getting ‘samey’ after multiple plays.

Michael won our 3 player game with 62, with me and Shrey in the 50s.

Happy I got to try it, but I am definitely ho-hum on it.







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I thought for sure I would enjoy Paris: New Eden. New to me!

Everything in Paris: New Eden suggests I would enjoy it. I love dice drafting, I love the art, and I love the various goals you are trying to meet.

For whatever reason, I just got screwed over the first round and was never able to fully recover. I mismanaged my dice and never won majorities in the first round, so I never got the chance to really build up an engine. Shrey and Michael had gained a lot of cards before I even had a few. They were generating points early, but they were also in desperate need of food.

I somehow managed to gain some materials and people that gained me a bunch of cards before the final season. It didn't win me the game, but I wasn't as far off as I thought I was. Michael won with 33 to Shrey 32 and my 27.

That first-round really left me sour, though. I’m not saying I won't play again, since I would, but I would likely find a different dice drafting game to play first.














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Joe H had lots of new games, so we checked out Grizzly. New to me!

In Grizzly, you want to collect the most fish. The active player will roll the dice and add fish to the river upstream or push water through and make it fall over.

Grizzly is a push-your-luck game. Your goal is simply to catch some fish and not fall over the waterfall.

I like the gimmick of the waterfall and the cute bears, but I just didn't care about what I was doing in this game. We were playing for 30 minutes, and it seemed much too long. The game has a 20-minute play time, but I wanted it to be over in 10.

Looking back at my game logs, I apparently won this game. That is how exciting this game was to me - I didn't even remember that I won. Definitely forgettable. Not a game I would want to play again.











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With a cute name like Fast Sloths, I just had to try it. New to me!

I missed out on trying a prototype of Fast Sloths at the Gathering. I knew Joe H really enjoyed it.

In Fast Sloths, the first sloth to collect 8 leaves will win. But these sloths are too lazy to move on their own - they need other animals to help them move.

Sure, there is a lot to like about Fast Sloths, like the cute animals and the variation of the types of animals you see from game to game. On paper, it all sounds good. But it’s a race game. I don't mind trying race games, but it is an understatement to say that they are not a favorite.

We ended up playing a 5 player game and it just dragged on and on and on. There’s a lot of time between turns and too much upkeep with card stacks.

All game, I knew I was behind. People kept taking "my" animals, leaving me stranded. But that is all part of the game. I was probably 3 turns from being able to end it when Dan had a magical turn which gained him his final 2 leaves for the win.

This game just doesn't excite me at all, and there is even a unicorn. I wanted to love it but it just didn't click for me. Happy I got to try it though.












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I was totes excited to try another new game in Joe H’s stack, Squire: The Collector of the Glorious Rarities. New to me!

Such an appealing cover! Squire had my interest since that cover was first shared around the Geek. Noble animals collecting rarities, what's not to love? Inside the box, the components and artwork was much less impressive.

Everything happening in the game is pretty straight forward. I liked the rolling market for the various prices for the rarities. Everything else was just standard. Move, then buy or sell. I guess I never found that “Wow” moment that enlightened me. It was just boring.

Michael ended up winning our 4 player game by quite a lot. He ended with 52. I was all the way back at 41.

Happy to have played, but I think that was a one-and-done situation. It was pretty forgettable.














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As I like to bother Dan a bunch, I kept bringing up Coloma. Eventually he got tired of listening to me and agreed to play. New to me!

Dan had a bad first game with AP players, so he insisted that we had to play with fast players if we were going to play. We ended up playing a 5 player game with Shrey, Joel, and Kim, all of whom are fairly fast players. None of us seemed to have any AP problems in this game, but I can see how other players might have AP with Coloma.

I generally like simultaneous action selection in games. However, my main concern in Coloma is this mechanic. I think for a game of this length it is more of an issue for me. I am often selecting the same action as other players and then getting screwed over because of it. It was pretty detrimental in this game too.

I generally like simultaneous action selection in games. However, I didn’t enjoy it in Coloma. I kept selecting the same actions as other people, turn after turn after turn. So I would get 1 action every turn, and most of the others would get 2. That’s pretty detrimental. Perhaps I would like it more with fewer players since no action spaces are removed with lower player counts. Maybe I could get more accomplished. I duno.

Dan won with 98 points since he had played before. Shrey was super close, ending with 97 points. I was super last with 74.

Happy Dan was able to teach it and that we could play. Coloma is eye-catching and beautiful, but frustrating by the end, so perhaps it is just not for me.














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Sometimes, I am just dumb. I wanted to play Babylonia but grabbed Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea instead. I had forgotten it was the NEW Snowdonia. New to me!

I am not a fan of Snowdonia, and Alubari didn't change my opinion on the matter. The game is essentially Snowdonia with some tea. I suppose the tea makes the weather patterns a little less punishing, but ultimately Alubari gives me the same feeling.

Dan, Joe H, and I ended up playing a 3 player game. We literally zipped through our game, and it was still painful. But I’m grateful for Joe H and Dan's promptness to get this game completed.

Joe was in his own little tea world and won with 145. Dan and I were working in the fields in the rain and ended with 103.5 and 101. We were nowhere in range. Hey, I was just happy to beat Dan! I managed to hold my own while not caring about anything I was doing.

This is just not a game for me. Glad to have tried it, I guess.










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The final game of the con we tried out was Majolica Painting. New to me!

I didn't particularly care for Majolica, but this was a coloring game so I couldn't pass up a chance to try it. Shrey did pass it up, but watched us suffer through playing it. He was probably laughing at us.

I just didn't find the joy in placing colors in a line to form groups of colors on the board. Something was just off. Maybe I wasn't focused enough, but it wasn't happening for me.

Dan won with 74. I was super last with 46. Ouch.

Glad I got to try it, but not one I would want to return to play again. Just not a game for me. If anything, I was happy that I got to color.







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New to the Collection:
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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:22 pm
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Lobster Trap - The Neutrals

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Part 2 of Lobster Trap!
These games mentioned in the Neutral list are games that I might not seek out but I enjoyed playing and would totally play again if requested. In no particular order.

In case you missed it:
Lobster Trap - The Hits!


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Barrage has been on my radar since last fall when they were demoing the game at Essen. Star knows the game really well so I asked him to teach me how to play. New to me!

Barrage is a big, involved, worker-placement game with a lot of interlocking systems. To get a good feeling for how everything flows, you really just have to go with it. The basic gist of the game is that you are creating dams to hold water so you can turn that water into energy. The more water you can use to create energy, the more points you will get.

When you build a structure, like a dam, a power plant, or a conduit, you have to lock up your construction tools by placing them on a special rondel wheel. Those tools will come back to you when the wheel makes a full rotation. Your workers can also take actions to advance your wheel, to take contracts, or to produce energy. Each player has a unique ability and specialization.

Star taught me, Michael, and Ray how to play, and it was quite a long game. There’s a lot to wrap your mind around, with trying to figure out how the water flows and with so many options to consider.

I controlled a lot of the basin power plants, but I didn't have any control over the water flowing into those power plants. I was at the mercy of Ray's conduits and would have to pay him to use/steal his water. Nothing Michael and Star were doing in the game helped me at all.

I thought for sure Star would win the game since he was getting all sorts of free energy from the water flowing over dams and through his power plants. Nope, Michael figured out how to successfully block lots of water for some big energy points at the end of the game. He totally demolished us with a score over 100 points and I was about 40 points behind him. Dam. I mean, damn.

It was a bit long for my taste, which is why it wasn't a 'hit' for me. I enjoyed what I was doing and the puzzles I was trying to solve. I like the cool wheel mechanic. Lots to like about this game, so I would play again.
















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Oh, hai there, Tapestry. I finally joined the club by playing this hot new Stonemaier Games title. New to me!

I surmise everyone has played it by now, so I am not going to run down the full rules. I’ll just give a general overview.

In Tapestry, you are aiming to get the most victory points from all sorts of possible places - very much a point salad game. Each turn, you will likely get a small number of victory points from doing different actions.

Everyone will start the game with a civilization that will help guide you on a path during the game. There are tracks you will want to advance on to give you better actions, but the higher you go, the more resources it will cost.

Dan GEOFF did a great job explaining the game. Dan and Geoff had both played several times and ensured me that I HAD TO play with them in order to have a good time. Apparently, there have been cases of severely AP players that have ruined games. When AP is bad, I tend to not care about the game by the end, so I was happy to play with them. And the game did move along nice and briskly.

I was dealt the Futurist civ, which I didn’t choose since I wanted to win without the * of me picking a civ that everyone thought was AP. Instead, I chose the other civ I was dealt: the Historians, which gave me points and resources whenever another player gained a building. I ended up scoring a ton of points that way. Booya!

I didn't bother much with the area control on the map. I was all about science and getting up that green track, which seemed to have the most options for advancing up the other tracks. Turns out that was a good play since I ended up winning the game with 265. I was trying to lap Dan but wasn't close enough to his 196. Geoff finished with 206. I mean, I crushed it! Maybe I should retire from this game after all.

I enjoyed my time playing Tapestry. There is certainly a lot to think about with regards to the different tracks. I most enjoyed the struggle to build the small buildings for income and fill in the grid with the houses. The military and area control parts were less exciting. Gorgeous production, and one I would like to play again.














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I was happy when Dan said he would teach me how to play Tajuto. New to me!

It seemed to be a big hit of LT, since it looked like it was being played constantly. While it might not have been a big 'hit' for me, it was certainly well-loved by almost everyone that I spoke with.

Tajuto is a unique game in that it mixes strategy with your sense of touch. You will be drawing tiles from a bag in hopes of 1. getting a tile you can place freely on the board and 2. getting the color of tile you hope to.

We played a 4 player game. Early in the game, it is really easy to pull the ground floors from the bag. You can feel that they are bigger and that they have stairs on them. But ground floor tiles score only 1 meditation point, which is much less than the 6-point level 6 pagoda tiles if you can successfully pull and place those. Meditation points are used to acquire action tiles and end-of-game victory tiles.

I somehow managed to win our game. I was collecting a lot of tiles with high scoring points on them. Dan was doing something totally different than I was and managed to end up 1 point behind me. I won with 19 points. It reallllllllllllllllly should have been 22 points, but I misplayed. I will take my win and be happy though.

Tajuto is a very simple game that is fun to play. Definitely a game worth checking out. I would happily play it again but I don't have to own it. Enjoyable!













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Dan had an early copy of Wavelength, so we ended up playing it a few times. New to me!

Wavelength is a party game where your team tries to gain 10 points first. Each round, one team will be given a card with a spectrum, for example, good and evil. One player will randomize the spectrum wheel, then secretly look at where the target range is on the wheel. They will then have to say a word or concept so that their team will guess somewhere in the target range. For example, if the target range is more towards the evil side, the cluegiver will want to say something that is more evil.

We ended up playing Wavelength 3 times. The first 2 games were just horrible losses for my team, and I totally blame me. I was just not giving the best clues. I thought they were valid, but my team was just not understanding me.

In the 3rd game, I did much better. Hey, it’s time for another game of Play Games With Steph! See below, the 2nd image down... the spectrum was "Happens slowly- Happens suddenly". My clue was “Preparing Thanksgiving.” Now, where on the spectrum would you put the answer? Decide, then look at the spoiler!

Fortunately for me, my team totally understood me and guessed it SPOT ON! It was amazing!!! I was so happy.

Fun times playing this, and we had some good laughs. I definitely think it is a great convention game and will look to play it again. Not sure it is one I have to own, but good times playing this one for sure.






Spoiler (click to reveal)


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Dan and Derek were excited about a new game called Formosa Tea. New to me!

In Formosa Tea, players are harvesting tea and figuring out how to dry the tea and perhaps make it scented to fulfill contracts. Lots of processes happening in this game, all to get the most points.

Dan had played before, so he taught us how to play. There is a lot going on in this game. For the most part, I was just lost at what I should be doing. I was more frustrated than not. Derek and Michael seemed to catch on to good strategies, but what I thought I figured out, I really didn't.

Dan really took over and won with 91 points. The rest of us were all clumped together with 78, 77, and I was last at 76.

There was just a lot thrown at me this game. I can generally figure out a game when it is explained to me, but I was just so lost and had no idea. After playing this once, I can now see how I will want to change up my actions and focus more on particular types of teas. I would try again, but it wouldn't be my first choice. Felt more like work than fun.








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Dan and I needed something fast while other tables were finishing up. We decided on the new Noch mal so gut!. New to me!

If you know Noch Mal, this will be quite similar, as you are still filling in the board the same way. The major change in Noch Mal so Gut is the new special die that will give you super powerful bonuses! You have very limited amounts of times you can use this new die, but along the way, you can unlock more opportunities to use it.

Dan is just terrible at this game and only scored 26 points. Yeah, I won with 52. He was clearly misled with the dice.

Noch Mal so Gut will still run about the same length as Noch Mal, which was always a bit too long in my past experiences. I do think this is MUCH better than Noch Mal and I would always choose to play this over the original. I enjoyed it and will want to play again for sure.






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Joe H. had a new game with rainbows on it that I was excited to try called Carillon. New to me!

In short, Carillon is very much like Coloretto, with card placement for the set collection. You have to arrange your cards in a particular pattern for sets in the rows and columns to score points. It can be tricky, but it is a fun puzzle to get the bells in the right places.

We played 4 players, and much like in Coloretto, I was often last to select the card stacks because I wanted to push my luck. Now the major difference with claiming the cards is that you someone can pay you 2 points to take the cards you claimed. However, if you claim the stack that was in your own color building, nobody can steal your stack.

I quite enjoyed Carillon, not only for the colors but for the gameplay too. Dan somehow won this one with 51 points. It should have been me! I came in 3rd with 47 though. Doh!

Joe didn't love it, so he instead sold it to me! Now I can play it again! The biggest downfall of this game is that you need 3-4 players. Boooo. Regardless, I had fun and I will want to play again.








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During the con, I saw a lot of people playing a very pretty game called Yukon Airways. It was my turn. New to me!

The artwork and dice really caught my eye. Dice drafting is always a fun mechanic.

In Yukon Airways, you are picking up passengers and delivering them to various destinations using the cards in your hand. You will gain money for the furthest distance you traveled and other bonuses you might meet in the round. You want to collect the most money by the end of round 6 to win.

It took me a round to really understand the mechanics of the game. I screwed up a bunch in that first round, but I made sure to fix my errors in the later rounds. Since we were all learning, it seemed to be a rocky start for everyone.

There are bonuses for delivering to lots of different places, so you really want to get a good mix of cards. You have to also be aware of the different upgrades you have and bonuses you can get from the icons on the cards and the colors of the dice you draft.

I wasn't spending my cards wisely, and I missed out on a bunch of locations because of it. Playing cards for the sake of playing cards is not a great idea since those cards might be more useful to you later as part of a different destination. You might get stuck with some bad luck when drawing cards at the end of the round, but you can upgrade the number of cards you can draw to mitigate some of that luck.

I had no idea where I would fall in the final scoring of the game. I was getting a lot of points here and there throughout the game, so I was feeling pretty good. But I had no idea how anyone else was doing. Michael took home the win with 112 points. I ended up 2nd with 106, Dan at 93, and Shrey at 83. I needed a few more locations and I would have totally won that game.

As I am not generally a fan of pick-up-and-deliver games, I wasn't expecting to love this one. Turned out to be better than I thought. I really enjoyed the dice mechanic. I don't mind the randomness of the cards - you just have to try and plan better. I think there is more to explore here and I would be happy to play again.












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Dan was interested in trying out Orchard Ocean. I am always interested in tile-placement games, so how could I say no? New to me!

Orchard Ocean is a game about building up your island locations to produce goods and ship them off to commercial locations to generate money and points. You want to have the most points at the end of the 4th season.

This game is far more complicated than it needs to be. I think we were all having a difficult time really planning out our boards to make everything work. When it came time to produce, we had to use all these small bits to keep track of what we were generating and where everything was going. It just seemed like a lot of upkeep and management for very little gameplay.

I am not sure, but I think I got lucky when I was forced into the wine business. Later, I had an easier time delivering to the different vendors that wanted wine. Still, I was desperately low on money all game.

Dan ended up winning with 85 points. I have no idea how he scored so high!? I managed to get 69. Michael was at 54 and Shrey at 45. It was quite a range in victory points.

While I wouldn't mind playing again, I don't think it is high on my list of games to play again. It was all just too fiddly. There are other tile placement games out there I would rather play.








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Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel created a Habitats/Patchwork mash-up game called Nova Luna. It was definitely on my list to try, if only for the designers involved. New to me!

Nova Luna is a race game. You want to fill up your board with discs. If you can use all of your discs you will win the game. Alternatively, the game will be over when there are no more tiles left.

In Nova Luna, you are drafting tiles that you will place in your own area to try to meet the requirements of the tile by using the adjacent tiles. Tiles are drafted from a circular display, much like Patchwork, where you can take one of the next 3 available tiles. The tile you take determines how long you have to wait until your next turn.

Although Nova Luna has elements of Patchwork, it is most comparable to Habitats. In fact, Dan and Shrey both mentioned, "I would rather just play Habitats". I also like Habitats more because you actually score points and it is harder to know who will win. Plus, Habitats has cute animals.

Michael totally crushed us and actually got rid of all of his discs. it was a bit anticlimactic since I knew I was going to lose anyway. I was the epic loser with 5 discs left. I just kept getting screwed over with having to take high valued tiles.

While the game is gorgeous, I don't think there is really room in the collection for this and all of the other games with similar mechanics. But, in the end, I would happily play again.





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New to the Collection:
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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:00 pm
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Lobster Trap - The Hits!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

This past weekend I spent playing tons and tons of games with my Boston gaming family at a con called Lobster Trap. It is a small con where some Essen games and other new titles are available to play that people bring to share with everyone. I played 40 games with 26 of them being new-to-me. This year, I am separating my blogs into sections: Hits, Neutrals, Misses, and Everything Else. I start you off today with all the games that were Hits, in no particular order!



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Derek was super amazing and ended up picking up some small-box games from Essen for me. The Mind Extreme was very high on my list of games to try, so we ended up playing 3 games of it on the first day! New to me!

Many of you know I LOVE The Mind! I played over 200 games of it last year. The way Extreme differs is pretty dramatic. In this new version, there are 50 white cards and 50 red cards numbered 1-50. The white cards must be played ascending and the red cards must be played descending. As the levels increase, sometimes you will have to play cards of one color or both colors face-down.

We ended up playing a 3 player game and a couple of 4 player games. It was quite a challenge, and it’s certainly more extreme. It is really hard to gauge where both stacks are at any given time. In the 3 player game, we only got to round 4 before we died. In the second game, we added a 4th player and boom, died in the 3rd round. Fortunately, we did slightly better in the final game and made it all the way to round 5 before we died.

After 3 games, we felt it was time to play something else since we were so defeated. Ouch! I think Michael and I will end up playing better in a 2 player game, so I look forward to trying that out! I don't think it will surpass my love for The Mind, but I still enjoyed this one a bit.









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I am always excited to try a new Days of Wonder game. They always have gorgeous art and fun components. Deep Blue did not disappoint. New to me!

In Deep Blue, you are divers looking for treasures. You will send out your boats and initiate dives in search of high valued gems and the 4 Sunken City tiles. Once all 4 Sunken City locations have been found, the game will end.

Deep Blue is a deck-building game where you build up your hand of crew cards that will help you on dives. Each turn, players will select 1 of 4 actions: purchase a crew card, move your ship, initiate a dive, or recover up to 3 random cards.

If someone initiates a dive, they become the divemaster, and any boats that are on the tile can join the dive. What's cool is that other players can rush to the dive site if they are only one space away. There is a push-your-luck mechanic where the divemaster will pull gems from a bag one at a time, and ONLY the divemaster can end the dive. Creature gems and air gems can cause players to have to surface and lose out on treasure if they don't have appropriate protection. Players who end up surviving the dive will get the treasure payouts and whatever bonuses they were able to acquire during the dive.

I had a great time playing this one. I even played it 2 times during the con! The first game, we were all playing for the first time, so we were exploring the map super slowly. Most players were able to go on each of the dives. We all wanted to gain as many rewards as possible! Nobody rushed out to locate the Sunken City tiles.

I had poor luck, either busting out early or not finding the gems that would give me some major points. Michael ended up crushing us in the BOTH of the games, with the first game being a significantly higher score. Apparently, he knows how to dive. He ended the first game with 175 and Wystan was second with 151. I only managed a 129 and Shrey 118. Pretty dramatic score differences.

In the second game, we played with 5 players. My poor luck continued. Dan rushed out early and found all the Sunken City tiles he could manage. We had a lot fewer dives to participate in and we were all under 100 except Michael, who won with 129.

Anyway, this is a fun, easy-to-play game and one I will definitely want to acquire and play more of. Totes fun!
















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My friend Scott has been talking a lot about a new game called Promenade. It was high on my list to try out so I was pleased when Wystan was happy to read the rules. New to me!

Promenade is a deckbuilding game to collect artwork and eventually display it for points. The museum can hold artwork and will score points. The game will be over when 12 paintings are hung or if the value of any colored painting reaches 70.

During the game, players will purchase cards and increase the market value of the artwork. The market value will also increase when paintings are hung in the museum. The tricky part is knowing what artwork to purchase because the artwork cards will also be used during the game as cash depending on their market value.

I focused on getting a bunch of purple cards early because there were so many available for purchase. Mark caught on to that as well and also dove in for the purple cards. Early purchases boosted the market value of these cards, so we were then set with more valuable cards in hand.

It was a pretty close finish. Mark ended up winning with 79 to my 73. Wystan and Chris scored in the 60's so they weren't too far behind.

This was a pretty fiddly game with a lot of upkeep depending on the cards people are buying and displaying. With that being said, it is still one I enjoyed. It is fun to try and manipulate the market to work in your favor. Definitely a game I want to play again.



















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One game that was getting a lot of buzz from Essen was It's a Wonderful World, so I was excited to try it out. New to me!

I am always a fan of drafting games, so Wonderful World was high on my radar. Over 4 rounds, players will draft 7 cards and either use them for quick resources or prepare them in the construction area. Each card will require resources to build it. Any resources gathered in the production round can be used to help build the buildings in the construction area. Once built, the building is moved to the city where it will start generating resources. Some buildings are also worth victory points. At the end of each round, each resource type is evaluated, and the city that produces the most of that resource will be granted an award.

We played a full 4 player game and we had no problem learning it. Everything about this game is pretty straightforward and seems very familiar. We ended up playing so quickly that I forgot to take pictures, so I have only one!

I was so focused on gaining lots of black production cards since I was scoring a few other cards that wanted lots of them. It worked out for the most part, except Michael was doing something slightly better. He won by 1 point with 61! No! I thought I was doing well enough. I didn't play the right card in the final turn and it ended up costing me the game.

#mistakesweremade. There is always next time. Cool game.




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There is a new cooperative trick-taking game called Die Crew: Reist gemeinsam zum 9. Planeten. It sounded so interesting, I had to play it. New to me!

I am always on the lookout for more card games. There aren't many co-op trick-taking games, but the idea of them is always amusing.

Die Crew has 50 different challenges to complete. As you work through the challenges, they will increase in difficulty, offering different objectives to complete.

In general, players will work together to meet goals. At the beginning of the hand, some mission cards are revealed and assigned to players. These cards will show different cards in the deck, like yellow 4 or green 8. If a player is given a mission card, they will have to acquire that card in the round by taking a trick that contains that card

We ended up playing 3 hands with 5 players. As we played, we decided to increase the difficulty level slightly.

Everyone seemed to be a nervous Nelly, but I was cool and confident. I was thinking, “we've got this,” probably because I had more control than what the others were gauging. I like tension like that. It keeps it interesting.

We ended up winning each of the 3 hands. These were all beginner-level difficulty. There are some incredibly difficult modes - I guess you just have to luck into winning those! I really want to try though!

Very enjoyable card game and with so many different challenges to complete. I want to win them all and become a master of Die Crew! Very fun!






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Yes, there is another Azul game. Yes, it is most beautiful! Yes, I loved it! It is called Azul: Summer Pavilion. New to me!

I wasn't sure how this new Azul game would play out. I was really blown away.

If you are familiar with Azul, you will find the drafting of tiles mechanic here as well. When you draft tiles, you will initially place them to the side. At the end of the round, you will take turns adding them to your board, one space at a time. If you surround a window on your personal board, you can collect additional tiles from the center common board.

Not only are there new ways to acquire tiles from the common board, but there are also wild colors each turn. These wild colors can be used as their own color or combined with any other color to complete sections. If a wild tile is present on a spot with other tiles during drafting, 1 wild tile can be drafted with your normal color set. I love how the wild tiles add so much flexibility!

Deb did an awesome job teaching! She came well prepared for LT, reading 20 rulebooks ahead of time. Wow, I am impressed at how dedicated she is. I can't read that much!

Since you score a bonus for completed flowers, I aimed for completing the most valuable of the flowers, which I was able to do with ease. That focus enabled me to get some big window bonuses early for additional tiles.

Later in the game, I was less focused, throwing whatever tiles I could into spaces and getting fewer and fewer bonus tiles. But I managed to get more bonus points for getting all of the #1 spaces filled in. I also ended up taking 1st player several times, which really helped set me up for success. While taking 1st player cost me several points, I still made up for it in having first dibs for the following round.

Hey, my strategy worked! I ended up winning with 123 to Michael's second place with 101. I was definitely behind all game, but managed to get some major end game points to make up for it.

Can't wait to play this one again. It deserves to be photographed properly! Gonna be great!













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Since we had Deb available to play, she wanted to teach me Masters of Renaissance: Lorenzo Il Magnifico – The Card Game. New to me!

I liked Lorenzo well enough where I definitely wanted to check out this smaller card game version of it. I felt Lorenzo was a bit too long, but I would definitely play it again. Masters of Renaissance seemed to be more in my wheelhouse.

In Masters of Renaissance, you are trying to get the most points from the developments you have gained and the leader cards you have played.

Each turn there are only 3 possible actions you can choose to perform. You can acquire a development card by paying the resources, you can gather resources, or you can activate your development cards. The game will end when someone has 7 development cards or reaches the end of the faith track.

At the beginning of the game, I was thinking "Man, I need to get those faith points!" Then I proceeded to do everything but get those faith points. I knew it was important to have them for extra bonus points, but it just never seemed to work out for me. I was always focused on getting the development cards that would allow me to play my leader cards, but those developments didn’t produce any faith points.

Now, the really cool mechanic in this game is the market tray, which uses 13 marbles. These marbles are used to collect resources. Whatever row or column you push, you will gather the resources in that line. I wanted to collect a bunch of faith that way, but it never really seemed to work out.

I did complete a leader card that allowed for the white marbles to be used as rocks. That was awesome! It really helped me to gather more development cards and have a stronger production line, which actually won me the game. I was able to score 54 points, which was just 1 point above Michael's 53. Deb came in at 47 and Riley was just behind at 46. All in all, a really close game, and everyone was doing different things during the game.

Masters of Renaissance really impressed me. I had a great time playing. Super quick and easy to play. This is one I will be looking to add to my collection for sure. Thanks to Deb for the great teach!









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Dan was hyping up a new game I hadn't heard of called Yin Yang. We had to play to keep Dan happy. New to me!

By the title, I figured it was an abstract, but I was totes wrong. No, Yin Yang offers interesting choices using a coin flip mechanic, set collection, and programmed actions. Your priest meeple (priesteeple) will move around a map, placing temples and gaining gems, all in order to have lots of points at the end of the game. After 5 rounds, the player with the most points will win!

Yin Yang has amazing components. It is impressive to put a brass turtle shell into a game and have it be useful. I mean, that thing has some heft to it! It is so cool! On your turn, you will insert your 6 coins into this brass shell, shake them around, and spill them out.

These coins will be used in a couple of ways during the round. First, you will arrange your coins into 2 sets of 3. One set will give you an action tile and the other set will give you a cool one time bonus listed on your player sheet. Afterwards, you will use coins in pairs along with all of your action tiles to program your movement and actions for the turn.

Gems that are collected by your priesteeple are placed on your player board grid. Any rows, columns, and diagonals that you fill on your grid will give you end game bonuses.

We played our 4 player game pretty quickly after we figured out the flow of how everything works. There is some area control with placing temples in regions on the map, so I was trying to get into as many different regions as possible while collecting the gems I needed for the lines I wanted to complete. It was quite a process in my brain to make it all work.

The game was over so quickly! I ended up missing a few gems and not getting into as many regions as I wanted to. I needed more turns! Michael collected a bunch of gems and took home a bunch of end game bonuses, crushing us all with a score of 60. I was sitting in 3rd place with 45. I really needed some more gems!

Yin Yang is such a clever game. Really, that brass turtle is not necessary, but it is so enjoyable that I can't imagine playing again without it! It is music to my ears! I can't wait to play this one again! Really a surprise hit for me since I didn't even know about it. #recommended!



















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New to the Collection:
Air Baron
Amun-re
Anubixx
Black Hat
Blindside
Blunderful
Bugs on Rugs
Captains of Industry
Carillon
Castles of Burgundy (new ed)
Code 777
Cornwall
Council of Blackthorn
Deckscape Curse of the Sphinx
Decktective
Die Staufer
Dragon Rage
Dragoon
Eko
Expedition to Newdale
Forge War
Fury of Dracula
Hellweg
It's a Wonderful World
Keyforge + 8 Decks Nice case
Neom
Neuroshima Convoy
Oregon
Palm Island
Pandemic Legacy 1
Papa Paolo
Peloponnes
Rampage
Rome City of Marbles
Shifting Realms
Silverton
Tattoo Stories
The Lord of the Rings (Knizia)
The Mind Extreme
Thor
To Court the King
Urbania
Ursuppe Frisch Abgeschmeckt
Valdora + Expansion+ Promo
Valletta
Warrior Knights
Waste Knights
Wizard Wurfelspiel







Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Gen Con Edition Final Part #3!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Recap here with Parts 1 & 2:
Gen Con Edition Part 1!
Gen Con Edition Part 2!

Bonus Photo Guide Blog
Steph's Photo Guide to Gen Con 2019!



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You know when they say "get out, the doors are closing"? Well, I say there is always time for one more game! One late night we decided to play a game of 5211.

This is shaping up to be a pretty great end-of-night filler game. Easy to teach and play so I was happy to get a chance to play it again since my last play was at Origins.

I believe Michael and Adam were learning the game and Shrey already knew it from earlier in the convention.

This time I really thought I would pull out the win. I tend to play this game fairly well, or so I thought. It really came down to the final round. So many colors tied and I missed out on ALL the points I thought I would get to score in that last moment.

Turns out Michael still likes to tie for the win, so he and Shrey took home the victory with 19 points and I was just behind at 18. Adam doesn't want to talk about it. Doh! So close!

Cute game and one I am happy to play anytime. It is certainly fast enough!







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I was really interested in checking out a new game called Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates. New to me!

This game is a looker. I love all of the meeples and ship pieces. The whole game seems to be well-produced and it totally caught my eye. After talking with Glen D about the game on the BGG Livestream, I was excited to try it.

Pirates is a pick-up and deliver race game. There is also a deckbuilding mechanic that allows you to upgrade your deck of cards.

In Pirates, you will be using 3 cards from your hand of 5 cards to move your ships along various paths. Along the way, you will want to plunder ships to collect goods, then use those goods to fulfill orders at ports which will give you points. When you collect goods, you also get a slightly better card advancement for your deck. When you visit a port, you will get an even better advancement for your deck.

On the board, there are 3 different tracks that all lead to the same destination. Each player has one boat on each track. Whenever someone reaches the end of one track, the game immediately ends. You will gain points for the orders you fulfill and for your position on each track.

This game plays up to 6 players, and I think playing with 6 might be a bit too chaotic for my taste. We ended up playing with 4 players. I ran into an issue where I was fighting for a track with Michael, while Shrey and Adam were sailing freely on their own on the other 2 tracks. Everyone seemed to have an abundance of goods except me.

We were actually playing the cards slightly wrong. Some of the cards abilities are one time uses, and Michael ended up using one of them a few times. We corrected it near the end.

Adam totally pushed the ending and it was over, super fast. If someone focuses on just one track and doing very little, the game can end rather quickly. There is a high reward for ending the game, but if you do that, you are likely not going to score very much for the other two track positions.

Adam still absolutely crushed us all with 56 points. Shrey was in 2nd place with 38. Accidentally cheating didn't seem to help Michael, in 3rd with 36. I was the super last loser at 28.

Again, we played a few things wrong. I don't like playing with 4 because of the inevitable track conflicts, and I surmise playing with 3 or fewer players is better. I will definitely be playing again with 2 players really soon to see how that plays out. I think it will shine with lower player counts. I look forward to my next play!












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OH MAN! There was an auction game released at Gen Con! I didn't know of this before the con or I would have had it high on my list of games to check out and play. Hitting the table with 5 players, we played Pappy Winchester. New to me!

Auction games are always a draw for me since I think bidding is a fun mechanic. Trying to gauge the group-dependent value of something is always a fun challenge for me. One reason why I love Medici so much since there is also a strong element of push-your-luck.

Pappy has an auction mechanic where players will bid on a randomly selected territory. Bidding will continue around the table until one player remains with the high bid and everyone else has passed. All territories will be auctioned off and then the game will be over. Each player has hidden goals to help them decide which locations to bid on, but there are also tokens that are randomly placed on each location that provide a bonus and incentive to bid as well.

Money is super tight in this game, as with most auction games, so you don't want to be bidding crazy amounts. The winning bid will be divided among the other players. The person with the most money at the end of the game will win.

I definitely had fun playing this game with 5 players. You want more players to get that bidding interaction and tension. There is one mechanic in the game I just hated and will choose not to play with it in my next play: a dueling mechanic. If there are 2 players left in the bidding phase, one of them can spend a dueling token to call a duel. 2 cards are randomized and each player pulls one. One will win the bid and pay the last bid value. This left me with only emptiness and I don't think it is needed at all.

Michelle was the clear contender to win this game. She was rackin' in lots of territories and what seemed like a ton of money. But I was challenging her, making her pay for those plots of land. In the final round I really wanted a territory, and she ended up getting it but losing points in the process. I thought I had a decent shot to win. Michelle ended up winning with 37 points and I had 36! Dawww man, just 1 point behind her! It was a close call for sure.

I had a fun game and enjoyed the common goals. I do wonder whether you could simply never bid and just take in all the money from the other players' bids and still possibly win or have a fair chance of winning. That does worry me a bit. I think the fun of auction games is actually participating, giving players tough choices by competitive bidding. I think it is all what you and your group make of it.

Pappy didn't win over this group, I am not even sure people enjoyed it except for me. Shrey seemed okay on it. Regardless, I had a fun time playing and I hope to play it again really soon. It makes me want to play all the auction games right now! I love bidding on stuff! I am such a gambler. Happy that I was able to get this one to the table to try it out.













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Since I had heard so many delicious things about the new game Foodies, I decided I had to try it out! New to me!

This was one to try before buying since I haven't really been a fan of the "Machi Koro" type games I have played. This one definitely falls into that same genre. This one, however, does it better in a lot of ways.

In Foodies, players take turns rolling the die and collecting bonuses for the area on their board that matches the die result. Everyone starts with basic rewards, like gain $1, etc. You will be purchasing food dishes to upgrade those spaces and gain better rewards throughout the game. There is a line up of food dishes that you can buy and add to your restaurant on your turn. Different types of dishes will score depending on other adjacent dishes and play off of each other in different ways.

What's great about Foodies is that there is a set ending at 30 points. The game plays out super quick and there is a huge variety in the types of food you can have each game.

We played a quick 4 player game, with Shrey reading through the rules for us. It was easy to learn, so we were playing in no time.

I was going first and was very limited on cash, so I had only a few options for my first dish. That lead me down a path I was never able to really fulfill. We hardly ever saw more of that first type of food dish I collected, which left me in a frenzy trying to figure out another path and strategy for the rest of the game. Since the game is so quick, there was never really time to change my plan and focus on something else.

Shrey completely ran us over. He was getting a lot of points and bonuses, and once that started, everything ramped up very quickly. I was never able to get that fast engine, but I was trying. I think I ended with 19 points by the time Shrey won the game with 30. It was definitely a learning game for sure.

Again, I think this is the best game in its genre with its roll-and-collect mechanic. I won't ever request this one, but it is fast enough where I would play again. I think it will be a major hit for the casual gamer crowd.









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On the final day of Gen Con before the big tear down, I managed to catch a fast demo of the upcoming title Namiji. New to me!

You can immediately tell, if you look at the box cover, that this is in the same line as Tokaido. Sleek, clean, and elegant appearance and artwork. It is certainly a statement.

I enjoy Tokaido well enough, but it hasn't ever really grabbed me enough to suggest playing it.

With Namiji, you have the same time track mechanic - as your guy walks down the path, he will be taking actions, but you have to wait for everyone to pass you before you get to take another turn. The more turns you can take, generally, the better off you are.

Namiji gives me the same feeling of Tokaido, but there are more actions and even some push-your-luck. There is a card draft that happens a few times in the game that helps give players goals to accomplish. There is a puzzly element to collecting fish. You will still get to create beautiful panoramas, but, overall there is a whole lot more added in this game.

I had a fun time playing the few rounds we were able to. It is a light and relaxed game. I do think this is for more casual gamers, but Michael was playing this with us and he was all in on trying to find the best cards and scoring the most points. I hardly paid attention to the cards and would have totally lost if we had made it all around the board.

Namiji is definitely the gamer's version of Tokaido. I could easily play this one again and will always select to play this one over Tokaido. I thought it was just lovely and look forward to seeing its release.






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Thanks for following me through my Gen Con adventures! I can't wait to share tons of reviews with you in the coming weeks! So much awesomeness to play from all these hot new releases! Today I will leave you with:



BGG SHOW Live from Gen Con 2019!





New to the Collection wow









Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:00 pm
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Gen Con Edition Part 2!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!




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One game I didn't know much about but wanted to check out was Honey Buzz. New to me!

This is another game I am just super excited for after having gotten to play it. Easily one of the best games I learned at Gen Con. Will be heading to KS this year.

Honey Buzz is a puzzly abstract worker-placement game. You are taking actions with your bees to expand your hive and generate bonuses. You are ultimately wanting to get the most points for the contracts you fulfill and the nectar you can sell. There is a market that will lower the value of the nectar the more it is being sold, so sell early!

Oh my goodness, there are a lot of moving parts in this game and I got my ass kicked by the designer Paul in the 2 player game I played.

I was just going to play a few rounds, but I was really into it and we were playing really quickly. Our play lasted only about 30 minutes, which was great. I knew I would so lose since Paul was getting a ton of contracts complete and I was just buzzing around. I got more bees early on since worker placement games usually benefit from more workers if given the opportunity. I probably should have focused on getting more types of nectar and working the market values a bit more in my favor. There are essentially 6 bonuses you can claim when completing a hive section and it is pretty critical that you complete the sections when it is most beneficial to you. Timing is everything.

Now, I still have a lot to learn since Paul nearly doubled my score. I told him not to go easy on me and he most certainly didn't, which was great. Shows me that I have a lot to discover still.

I love that there is so much to plan for and everything happens really fast. You get a lot of gameplay in a fast game, and it all just works really well for me.

I will definitely be looking for this game in the near future. I think Elf Creek Games has a hit on their hands. It will be super awesome with all their planned upgraded components. One to look for. It is very cool!













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Michelle, Adam, and I got to play a fast game of The Sherlock Files: Elementary Entries. New to me!

Well, it is not really THAT game, but a demo version of THAT game. The game I linked has 3 cases in it and the demo copy I played is essentially a 4th stand-alone case to show off how the game actually is.

Without giving away too much, you are trying to figure out the mystery by using cards that are randomly shuffled in a deck. You will have 3 cards to look at, and you can expose only part of what is on a card. You can choose to play one card on your turn either by discarding it out of the game or putting it face up as evidence if you think it is important enough to the storyline.

There will be a number of questions at the end of the game and you will get a score based on how well you answer the questions and the cards you have chosen to keep as important. You can't keep all the cards since you will have to choose at least 6 cards in the game to discard.

Michelle and Adam were totally into this game. They offered a lot of choices and opinions. I was definitely lacking in that department. I like the challenge of trying to figure out which clues might be relevant to the case. It was a fun puzzle to solve.

I think we ended up doing pretty well. We were 2 off from a perfect score, I believe. I don't recall the ranking system so well, but we did figure out the story to the best of our abilities, even if we didn't have all the right cards to go along with it.

Pretty cool concept and I liked this a whole lot more than the Undo series. I would definitely be interested in playing the full-boxed version of this game when I can. I look forward to it!







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Perhaps the most whimsical game to be released at Gen Con was Hats. New to me!

I wanted to play this game for so many reasons, including theme, artwork, colors, cards. I was pleased that Shrey had already read the rules and was able to just go ahead and teach us how to play.

Hats is a very odd game where colors will score only if there is a matching colored card on the scoring board at the end of the game. On your turn, you can displace a card from the scoring board by playing the same color, or by playing a card of higher value. The card that is displaced will get added to your scoring pile. There are a lot more quirky rules, but that is the basics.

It was a 4 player game, and when playing with 4 players you are actually in 2v2 mode, and I was teamed up with Adam. Shrey was teamed up with Michelle.

I had to be fully aware of what Adam was playing and what he was trying to clue me in on. It was really hard to gauge the situation. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of higher valued cards and could almost lock out certain spaces. It was really difficult to control what was happening though.

In the end, Michelle and Shrey just killed us. I kept looking at Michelle's rainbow of cards and thought "I want a rainbow." I never got my rainbow!

I definitely want to play this one again. With 4 players, there is perfect knowledge of the cards, and with fewer players, not all cards will be used. That could be interesting. This is going on the wishlist!












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I was looking to play one of Gen Con's hottest releases called Letter Jam. New to me!

I kinda saw it around at Origins, and since I didn't get to play it there, I knew I wanted to try it at Gen Con. I was pleased that Michelle had played before and was willing to teach it.

In Letter Jam, players are working together to try and clue in everyone's letters. The letters I have in front of me are hidden to me and will be slowly revealed throughout the game with clues from the other players. There are a bunch of letters that will eventually be unscrambled for a specific word that is picked by your neighbor at the beginning of the game. Ultimately, all players will reveal what they think the word is at the end of the game.

In the gameplay, players will give clues to the letters around the table. No words are ever spoken, but tokens are placed down in the order the letters are presented in the word. For example, if the word is AUGUST, I would place the 1 token next to the A on the table, the 2 token next to the U, and so on. That word is pretty distinct and most people should be able to figure out the word from the remaining letters. It is harder when it could be a variety of words - for example, when the word is GRASS, the person who gets the 1 token might think their letter is B or C. You might be able to narrow it down a bit though.

We were playing with only 4 players, so there are dummy players which will allow you to have 6 letters on the table at all times.

I was figuring my letters out left and right. But I was having a harder time trying to figure out my 5-letter word that I was supposed to get from the letters I was given. In the end, I made an educated guess and totally ended up correct! Woo! We used every possible round in order to clue in everyone's remaining letters. It was a close call for sure.

On the positive side, everyone else was able to create 5-letter words with the information they were given. I think one of them was not the right word, but it was dang well close! I am not sure if we actually get a score in this game, at least I don't recall getting one.

I do think my best clue was that AUGUST word that I used in the explanation. I was super proud about that. Trying to clue in 2 U's is super hard! Everyone picked up on it though. I will never be clever again. I used it all up with that one clue!

I had a great time playing Letter Jam and it was a huge highlight of the con for me. Easily one of the best games I got to learn. I can't wait to play again with more players!!














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The room was closing up but we wanted to fit in a final quick game and settled on Tricky Druids. New to me!

Michael arrived in time to play this one with Shrey, Adam, and me. I think we even allocated Michael to read the rules.

The cover artwork really had me interested in this one. The title "Tricky Druids" also lead me to believe this was a trick-taking game. I am always up for some new card games. I was a bit disappointed to learn this was not a card game, but a dice game.

In Tricky Druids, you are trying to complete recipes using the ingredients pictured on your hidden recipe card. After you roll the ingredient dice, you must offer one or more of the displayed ingredients to another player who can accept them or decline them. If they are declined you can take them and use them. Any ingredients you can't use are placed in the trash. If your trash overfills, you lose all the trash tokens and your recipe card and you get a fresh start. You are simply looking to fulfill 2 recipes.

My main issue with this game is that no other player HAS to offer you anything. You might simply never get ingredients. It might happen that I offer my ingredients to another player, and they take it. EVERY TURN. Nobody is required to offer to you specifically. Something seems wrong about that.

Anyway, this game went very poorly for me. I was trying to get the last two ingredients for my recipe, but people kept offering ingredients to me that would overfill my trash. So I just declined. They were filling up recipes pretty easily. I duno, I just don't get it.

Eventually, Michael put us out of our misery and ended the game.

Now, there is a variant where you can roll a die and you have to offer as many ingredients as the die suggests. This might have made my life a bit better, since I needed exactly 2 ingredients offered to me, and no one ever did.

This is not a game I will be looking to play, but I would still recommend playing with that variant. I am glad I got to try it. I still wish it was a trick-taking game instead. Now I know!











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Gen Con Part 3 Coming Soon!





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Gen Con Edition Part 1!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Checked into the hotel...





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This is the Unpublished Prototype section of the blog where I got to play 2 prototypes while in Indy, both of which were new to me!

Tuesday night before Gen Con I was able to play a game that was still in prototype form. Since I can't really talk about that one, I will just say that I think I was able to help out by suggesting different theme ideas, and who knows, maybe they will use my ideas!


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Later in the week, I was able to check out another prototype game that I can talk about with a little more information. I was even able to take some pics for you. Now this game was described as being pretty heavy, taking over 2+ hours to play. Well, it turns out we played in 80 minutes, so it really wasn't that long of a game. I found it really thinky and puzzly, but nothing I couldn't handle, even on very little sleep.

It has been through a lot of development and it shows, but I still think it needs a little more refining to be an excellent game. Lots of clever choices. There were only a few things that didn't grab me. I don't like the mechanic where you can place your worker on another players building to activate the ability. You actually play a card in your tableau for abilities and all of your workers will be assigned to other peoples building spaces. Other than that, I think this is a pretty great city-building type game that will appeal to a great number of people. I think there is something special about this one and I will be sure to look for it in the future to see how it changes.

Here are a few pics.







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I somehow didn't manage to get any pictures of Medium this con. Much like Origins, Gen Con found us playing Medium whenever we got the chance.

We were right next to the Greater Than Games booth and literally, everyone was playing this game. I managed to get in a few games. I taught Jason Levine how to play and he had a ball with it. We were absolutely horrible at the game, but we were laughing nonetheless.

Later on the livestream, Ace and I got to try our hand at the game and we played a few rounds.

Let's play!


The only specific example I can think of - I played Ring and he played Voyage. 3, 2, 1, GO!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
My answer: Hobbit

His answer: Fellowship


Did you match either of us? It was just all downhill from there! It should have been so easy, but, just too many answers can derive from that. I do think I was in the wrong though.

This game is just silly fun and a great time killer. I look forward to owning this one.



No Pics!! yuk


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During a rare break from working the BGG booth, I was able to sneak on over to the Funko room and get my own personal demo to try out the new Funkoverse Strategy Game. New to me!

Funko really knows how to make a splash entrance into the scene. They did a number of things right including my hotel room key! They were smart and got their own room right across from the big vendor hall so they could control the space.

This new release actually comes in a variety of themes. You can choose from DC Comics, Harry Potter (the best, obviously), The Golden Girls (what?), and Rick and Morty. All of these games use the same mechanics, so once you know how to play one game, you can play the others. But as I understand, they are all slightly different and cater to the characters in play. For example, I got to play the Harry Potter Funkoverse game, and since they are all wizards, there were a lot of ranged attacks happening.

Funkoverse is a tactical battle type game. You are trying to get a number of points in order to win the game. You can get points by knocking out another player's character or by activating a space on the board, whether it is a lettered space or a flag on the opposite side of the board.

Since I was just learning and playing a demo, we played with the basic rules. There are other scenarios in the box that include more advanced play.

On your turn, you get to choose one of your characters to activate. They will get 2 actions. You can use an ability or move, or you might have to spend the whole turn standing up if you were knocked over by your opponent. There are tons of actions and abilities and half of the fun is figuring out what works well together and what your characters are really capable of. After you take your turn, the other player will go, and then you will take your turn with your other character. Once all 4 characters have been activated, you will do the round upkeep. You just keep playing until someone hits 10 points first.

What is cool about the Funkoverse game is that you can buy the large game with 4 characters or you can buy a smaller game with only 2 characters. For example, the large Harry Potter game has Harry, Hermione, Voldemort, and Bellatrix. The small HP game has Ron and Malfoy. You can buy either or both sets, mixing and matching characters for added variety.

In my play, I was playing with Harry and Hermione and going all out. I was using my big spells early and often. This was a big detriment to me, however. Using big spells means I have to wait a long time to recharge, which means fewer spells I can cast in the meantime. I thought for sure I could capture the flag on the other side. Voldemort was just too powerful and kept me away.

Turned out it was a pretty fair fight though. I managed to get 2 points and my opponent managed to get 2 points before the demo was over. It was looking bad for me anyway, so I am happy to call it where we left it! haha!

This game has a lot of promise and I walked away with a smile on my face and an eagerness to play again really soon. Good thing I got the large and small Harry Potter versions and even a small Golden Girls version. I wonder what kind of powers the Golden Girls have...

It is a fairly abstract game and I think it is fun to try and outwit the other player. Learning a bunch of powers and combos can be fun. I look forward to exploring this one further and seeing the different scenarios. I think they have a pretty big hit on their hands. I am excited to see what else they will think of.
















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I had a few favorites that I got to learn at Gen Con and it is kind of hard to narrow down the best but Obscurio was near or at the top! New to me!

Now, I love Mysterium. They managed to take the familiar concept that is Mysterium and turn it totally around and make it crazy! Now, there is a hidden traitor. Yep! There are very few hidden traitor games I enjoy, but this is definitely one of them!

One person will be playing the book of knowledge. One person will be the traitor and the person in control of the book will know who the traitor is. Everyone else is just trying to figure out the clues.

The group is trying to make it through a number of doorways in order to beat the game. Each round, one card will be an "exit" card. At least ONE of the players will have to select the "exit" card in order to progress to the next doorway and advance the game. The book person will know the exit card and try to clue the team by using features on 2 random cards that are revealed. For example, if the exit card is a wizard holding a staff outside under a tree. I might try to clue in by pointing to a tree or a beard or a robe. I get 2 clues to give and I want to try and be as specific as possible. Once I select the clues, everyone will close their eyes and the traitor will look in my book of 8 random cards, they then have the opportunity to select up to 2 of those cards to add to the mix of 6 exit cards. So if I posted to a tree with my clue, the traitor will select cards with trees or other features I might have clued in to try and derail the rest of the group.

As the book player, I know what cards are in the book, so if I have a lot of tree cards in there I might try to clue in another feature. It is so hard to manage it all!

This is the basic game flow. There are other traps and obstacles that players will have to overcome throughout the game which makes it even more of a challenge. Each wrong guess will deduct a token. If you get low on tokens the team will have to call out who they think the traitor is. If you run out of tokens you will lose the game.

So many great things happening in this game. I absolutely loved it. As you can probably tell, I got to play as the book. Scott Alden was the traitor. I had a very hard time managing the book information and the clues I was giving. Some clues were necessary or were the best I could do with what I was given. It made Scott's job VERY easy.

We seemed to have a pretty easy time of it with the traps. When it came time to guess the traitor, the team incorrectly guessed another player, which cost them more tokens. Eventually, they figured it was Scott, but ouch! Scott still got to play as the traitor and select cards from the book to try and throw off the team, but he was no longer able to "help" the team guess the outcome.

The team started doing well after they called out Scott. Surprisingly, we made it a few more rounds before ultimate defeat. It gives me hope that this game is possible to win. Man, it is so hard though!!

I love everything about Obscurio. The artwork is fantastic and I love all the small details, like the magnetic clue tokens. Love it all. I can't wait to play it again!! Maybe I will get to be the traitor. I do enjoy being the book though. So much fun!!















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Next up was Pictionary Air. New to me!

This is probably the biggest surprise for me. It's pure fun. I took a bunch of videos of us playing it at Gen Con. I added those videos to my Instagram page where there are highlights under my bio. I labeled it "GenCon2019": https://www.instagram.com/punkin312/

This is probably a game you already know how to play just by the title of it. You are playing Pictionary drawing with a pen in the air. Now, what is special about this is that the pen you are using will talk to an app on your iPad where everyone else can see your drawing on the screen. HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT!?

This was was nothing but laughs and good times. You get to draw and then motion if you want. So you can draw a saxophone and then use your hands like you were playing it to help out and try and clue in the word. It is almost a mix of Pictionary and Charades.

Of course, when I was drawing, my words were simply impossible!! I had words like "hearing aid" while other people would get words like "mountain". I failed my first time up to bat, but I blame the words. I was told I was a pretty good drawer, so it wasn't because of that.

It ended up with a close race at the end. We had some killer final rounds taking 4 points out of a possible 5. Somehow our team won by 1 point.

Scott Alden had the word "oval" and no one could get it. That was in my video if you wanted to check out what was guessed. Too funny. I will have to video more of this because it is just so much fun to watch and play.

I am excited about this one, and I know my family will LOVE IT. I will likely get it for my mom since I know she will flip out when she plays.

Great times.







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Random assortment of my favorite images from Gen Con 2019!!








































Gen Con Parts 2 and 3 Coming Soon!






Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:00 pm
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DTC Part 4 - Sierra West and the Monster Lands at Aeon's End is just Grand!

Steph Hodge
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Collin and Cindy had scheduled a time with Rainer to play Sierra West and Michael and I tagged along. New to me!

Sierra West has been on my radar and one that I have been very excited to check out this game. Multi-use cards are generally appealing to me and often leave me with tough choices to make, which I quite enjoy. Another cool defining feature to the game is that it comes with 4 different game modules. Next time I play, there will be totally different objectives and possible gameplay conditions. I love that you can so easily manipulate the game to have a whole different gaming experience.

In Sierra West, you are looking to make the most victory points in the game. Players have a hand of 3 cards, each with different possible actions depending on how you arrange the cards on your board. The cards will form a pattern under the board (think La Granja), and on your turn, you will activate those actions in order if you choose to do so. You have 2 meeples that will move along their designated pathways and you will get to perform each of the actions by paying the resource cost or simply collecting the resources provided. Once the meeples hit the end of the trail, they will get the opportunity to perform a special action on top of a card, which might be to spend resources to move up different tracks or something that might have to do with the specific game module. In our game, the module had us looking to collect apples and convert them into victory points in different ways. At the end of your turn you take the 3 cards you used and discard them, then draw 3 more from your deck and start planning for your next turn.

It is actually a fairly multi-player solo game, which I love. But there is a reason to pay attention to other players' turns, because your resting meeples might have the ability to activate an off-turn action. Some of the cards feature an animal type, and if another player uses one, you can pay a resource to turn over one of your animal tokens. If you don't turn over all of the animal tokens by the end of the game, they are -3 points each! You definitely want to be turning them over if you have the extra resources.

Sierra West is a deck builder for sure. Some of your actions will allow you to climb a mountain of cards, while others allow you to dig up a card and place it into your deck. Most of the cards you claim will have to do with the module for the game you choose to play. So for us, most of the cards had apples featured on them and had to do with the apple tracks and gathering the apples.

Rainer gave us a very fast explanation and it left Michael a bit frustrated since he had a lot of rules questions. I think he might have been better off with some sort of goal card to give him focus on doing one thing versus another. I totally just went for tracks and flipping my animal tokens as best I could! It is actually quite a snappy game once you get going. It felt like there was very little to do at first with so few resources, but it picked up really quickly. We were all rolling in resources before long. I was still spending the resources left and right.

Our game was tight on time since Michael and I had to get to the VFM. We managed to finish everything with no time to spare. Collin and I had to run to the room to get the games while Cindy and Michael finished up and tallied the scores!

In the end, I ended up tied with Michael, the 4th game he wound up tied for the win that day! Can't believe it! With 29 points, I don't know if there was a tiebreaker but I want to believe I would have won the tiebreaker!

I had a great time playing Sierra West. I am very much looking forward to the upcoming release! I had to think the entire time because of having to make clever plays. There wasn't much of a take-that feeling to the game. It was a race to collect cards and upgrade tokens, but that was about all. Really cool game.












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A game I was very curious about was Monster Lands. New to me!

I have been hearing so many mixed reviews on this one so I was really unsure. I actually just picked up a copy from the VFM so I wanted to try out the library copy before opening the copy I bought.

Monster Lands has a lot of interesting mechanics using dice worker-placement, which I particularly really like. The look of the game is cool too.

In Monster Lands, you are in control of a clan with a leader and some followers. You can recruit more and give them some cool tools. You will want to gear up for the quests that you will go on to try and capture or kill the different monsters.

The flow of the game is actually not hard at all. Everything is very straight forward. Michael and I actually killed the monsters each round and because of that we never saw a monster survive to try to attack the castle.

Since you are simply trying to gain prestige points, I was critically ruined when I sent in basically all my dice one round and didn't manage to defeat a monster. I did literally all the work and Michael came behind me and took all the credit. It was detrimental and since it happened around the mid-end game, there was no coming back from it. I was much too far behind after that and my mood towards the game severely soured.

I might have been able to defeat the monster if I sent out 1 guy to die first and take the second guy to get the massive hits. I duno, it is hard to say. I felt so defeated. It wasn't a good feeling and I know that probably makes me a poor loser, but I swear I am generally not a poor loser. It can just be frustrating to be playing a game for so long after a LONG rules explanation only to effectively lose mid-game and then have to finish. I am sure everyone has been there.

I think there is a good game in here, and it is solid. But I don't know if I would play this again. I think I could be convinced, but I won't be requesting it. I do think I would play differently going forward, so I did learn something from this experience, and I certainly didn't hate the game. I am just not sure it is the game for me.













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My annual game of Caverna: The Cave Farmers with Sonja commenced! We have been playing this every year since I met her, maybe 4 years now? Better yet, our score sheet from last year was STILL IN THE BOX! How crazy!

My score from last year was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY better than this year. I haven't played Caverna since November and that was with the new expansion. I was sad to not get the chance to play with the expansion this time.

We played with Sonja's friend and a random dude who was looking to play. He needed a rules teach/refresher, and we got to playing.

I am always too kind to new players, so I tell them all my strategies and plans. Then they proceed to take everything I want and then I lose. This is exactly what happened and the new guy stomped on us! Well, at least he learned the game properly and effectively.

I am just so happy I got to play some Caverna and hang out with Sonja. She is the bomb! I really want to play this more with the expansion. Luv it!






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As I was finishing Caverna up, Nathan was explaining the rules for Nations to Michael. Brandon really enjoys it too so we were able to recruit him in our game as well!

This game, I was Persia. I don't really enjoy being Persia, because it means I have to work hard on the military and be ready to grab colonies. I hate fighting for colonies, though they are awesome.

I had no shot at books, and I was gaining no points at all from that track. Nathan kept zeroing out on points. In all honesty, he should have just stayed there and tried to get all his points in other areas. Why focus on gaining points in-game when you will just lose them to all the dang wars that Brandon was starting??

Michael seemed to be holding his own and playing very well. Brandon and I had pegged him or Nathan to win this game. I just didn't have the engine I needed to make it all work well enough.

It was a close race: Michael 35, Nathan 34, Brandon 27, and my pitiful 25! I just remember kicking serious butt last year. I need to play this game more and figure out how to kick butt again! It was an awesome game and just makes me want to play more and more. Maybe we can play it again at BGG.CON! Love!!






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Over the course of DTC, Michael, Nathan, Brandon, and I played 3 games of Tichu. I wish we played daily, but I can't have it all.

On Saturday, Brandon's awesome cards arrived! He illustrated and designed his own Tichu deck! I was super fortunate to be featured as my own card! I am the QUEEN OF TOWERS (AKA Dice Towers)! He gave me my own deck to play with and I LOVE IT! I guess I have to start collecting Queens now. #madness

In the 3 games we played, we each got to partner with everyone at the table.

The first game I was paired with Brandon and we absolutely crushed it. I think it was one of the fastest games as we won the majority of hands. I had made some big calls and that helped progress the game a lot too. Boom, Brandon and I won that game.

The second time we played I was teamed with Michael and we were just getting the worst cards ever!!! Super crummy hand after super crummy hand. We just couldn't pull out the win that time.

The final game I was partnered with Nathan, and it was more of a give and take the game. Brandon and Michael would be ahead then we would be. It was a slower game for sure. In the end, Nathan and I had it!

So Nathan, Brandon, and I ended up winning 2 games each. Michael was the only one to not win any games of Tichu, and he couldn't count on any tie games to save him!!!

Love this game so much and I am so grateful that we got to play 3 times! we will have to play this at BGG.CON too! MOARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.













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Brandon had taken off and Nathan was up for a quick game so we played Dizzle.

I was super done with playing level 1, so we started him on level 3. It was totally fine, he is a smart gamer and knows how things work.

In Dizzle, I have found the increased difficulty levels make the game much more interesting. Level 3 seemed to be much more engaging than the previous ones. I was trying so hard to get different regions and there was just so much more to look at and plan for. I know level 4 will have even more choices like that.

Hey, I ended up winning this game with 74 points! Booyah! Maybe I won because I didn't push my luck like I normally do. What a weird feeling.

Love this game and very much look forward to playing again soon.






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The final game I want to talk about is my 3 player game of Aeon's End with Michael and Nathan. Nathan had been asking me about the Legacy version of this game and I felt it was best to just show him the base game to see how he might like that.

Aeon's End is great and always a challenge, but I do think the Legacy version is even more fun, mostly because of the exciting things you get to reveal and build up.

This game, we were dead in the water. We couldn't seem to get our spells prepped and cast. We were just getting hammered. The monster was Glutton, I think, and it was just devouring our card supply stacks. It was over almost before it began. Not entirely true - I think we held our own for a good part of the game, but then it all just fell apart.

I was losing too much life and couldn't heal up people. My deck was trimmed to about 6 or 7 cards, so I was cycling it through really quickly. The turn order deck was just not ever in our favor. It was a vicious fight, but ultimately, we were losers.

I have no idea how Nathan felt about the game, but I don't think he hated it. He said he is unsure who he would play the Legacy game with, and yeah, I can see that being an issue. I think it was great as a 2 player game, so he really just needs one other person.

It was great fun to get to play all those games with Nathan and Brandon. They are good peeps! I will definitely have to catch them at the next BGG.CON!





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Dice Tower Con Games Haul! Cuz of course I needed more...






Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:00 pm
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DTC Part 3 Where the Rainbow Waters Reveals the Skull King Kingdom

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Dice Tower Con Part 3!



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A new trick-taking game I was asked to look at is now on Kickstarter and it is called Rainbow. New to me!

I want to play every and all games with Rainbow in the title. I love card games and trick-taking games at that, so this was a no-brainer.

As far as the art style goes for this one it really reminds me of the 60s/70s. I wish it were bright bold colors instead.

Rainbow is a deck of 5 colored suits, with cards ranging from 10-Ace. There are 3 of each colored card and some rainbow wild cards that can be any color.

Rainbow is actually kind of tricky to figure out. There is a poker element to the sets you will be creating, but you are primarily looking for the same color groupings.

There is an initial bid for how many of the 5 tricks you think you will take, and the person who bids the most will have to make their bid. If they make their bid, they get points equal to their bid. If they get all five tricks, they get +2 points. If they miss their bid, everyone else gets points equal to the tricks they take. First to 11 points wins.

What's unique about this game is that you will create 5 tricks with your 15 cards. The first trick is with 2 cards, then 3 cards, then 4, then 5, then finally 1 single card. You have to divide your hand properly for what you think you will win. Everyone reveals their chosen cards for each trick simultaneously.

The best set is 5 different colors of one number. But you can only play that on the 5-card trick. Most of the time, you will want to play cards of the same color, because only those cards will be counted when calculating card rankings. It can be confusing to have 2 purple Aces and a blue Ace lose to a red Queen-Jack-10. It was definitely confusing for me at first, but I got the swing of things after a while. Fortunately, there is a player aid with the ranking of colors and hands of cards.

When there's a match, like two players play a pair of Kings, the highest ranked color wins. Colors are ranked in reverse rainbow order, with purple the highest and red the lowest. So a pair of blue Kings would beat a pair of orange Kings. If the colors also match, the high bidder becomes the tiebreaker.

I did manage to play this game a couple of times. The first game didn't go over very well at all, a 4 player game with Michael, Nathan, and Brandon. Brandon was just not into it at all. I didn't ask him what was bothering him, but we played a few rounds and then declared it complete.

Later in the week I wanted to revisit it, so Michael and Collin joined in for a 3 player game. We had a pretty good time playing it, so this game can definitely be group dependent. We all actually planned out our 5 tricks before the round even started. I am sure you aren't really supposed to do that. For us, it was easier to visualize the hands if we could separate them and then it just played out super quick after we sorted the cards like that.

Turns out I am wicked bad at this game. To top it off, in the final trick of the 3 player game, we all had purple Aces! The single highest card in the game. What the heck! Michael won the trick since he was the high bidder. He was able to secure victory with that too. Doh!

I think the game plays quick enough for me to enjoy it for a short while. Playing more than a few rounds it might be just too much. I know there are probably clever plays, but I am not at that point yet. I don't know when to try and bluff or save my good sets or not. Timing is important but also having a good hand is important. I felt Michael was getting all the good hands. He had purple Aces every time, it seemed. I am happy to play it, but it wouldn't be the first choice to play off the shelf.














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Since we were playing trick-taking games, I got Nathan and Michael to play Tricky Tides. New to me!

I saw this game at Origins and just had to play it. I just had to find out how a trick-taking game could also be a pick-up and deliver game as well.

In Tricky Tides, you are looking to get the most points by fulfilling the different contracts on the board. Everyone also has a hidden goal card where you will get additional bonus points for the monster type shown on each contract. Some monsters are worth more bonus points than others.

The game will end after a number of rounds. Each round, players are dealt 7 cards of which 6 will be used. Each turn, the leading player will lead a card, and all other players in turn order will have to play a card following suit if they can. If they can't then they can play whatever card they want. You are essentially bidding for turn order. The higher you bid following suit, the sooner you will be in turn order. We were also playing with the advanced monster rules in which the lowest card also gets a cool ability to move the monster of the lead suit. Each monster has an ability that will generally help the player out.

Depending on the card you played, will determine the direction you will be moving. Each value 1-8 will have 1-8 directions you can move in. 8 is the highest card and will give you all possible directions to move in. You will always just move one space away, in a possible direction. When you land on a land space, you can either collect all resources of one color from the location or you can complete the contract at that location.

There are event cards that will be in effect for the entire round. For example, we had an event that said you may not land on a land space with another player.

The game is pretty simple and clever. I like the use of the cards. While no one is really collecting a trick, you still have that restriction of the type of card you can play since you must follow suit. More reason to "win a trick" so you can lead the next trick.

Nathan and Michael joined for a 3 player game. The board is made up of card and when playing with fewer than 4 players there will be water spaces which are essentially just filler spaces. Every player has 2 starting locations to choose from, and if there is no player of that color their spaces are simply turned over to make water passageways.

I thought the game was pretty snappy once we got going. We played the 3 rounds and it was over before we knew it. I actually had a pretty strong start. I collected a lot of contracts that matched my top bonus point monster. There was a big lull in the middle of the game when I just couldn't get the directions I needed or the resources I needed. This gave everyone a chance to catch up to me. It was an incredible ending where Nathan and I tied with 42 points and Michael had 41 points. I can't believe how close that game was! It could have been anyone's shot. If only I didn't overfill my boat that one time, I could have had more resources. So many things!

I really enjoyed playing this one. The look to this game is just gorgeous too. For me, this is really an innovative game and one I will definitely look forward to playing again soon. So many different event cards which will keep the game interesting and the advanced monster rules are always going to be included too. Lots to think about. Very cool!











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Michael and I had some time to kill and we wanted to check out a new 2 player game called Kingdomino Duel. New to me!

A 2-player roll n write game! YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I love it already.

As far as I know, it is being released at GenCon and the pre-orders have already sold out! As well they should! This game will be HOTSTUFF!

This game is simple and clever. You are aiming to get the most points by creating groupings of shields. The number of shields in the region multiplied by the number of X's in the region will be that region's score. You will score every region you have.

Each turn the active player will roll the 4 dice. The active player will select 1 of them to use and the second player will select 2 to use leaving 1 behind for the active player. Each person will combine the dice to make a domino shape and place it on their board, connecting at least one shield to another already placed on the board. This mechanic will be very familiar for people who have already played Kingdomino. The castle in the center is a "wild shield" and any shield can connect to it.

It is not that simple. When you draft a dice that has no X's on it then you get to mark off one box in that shield's row. Players are trying to complete those rows to get a cool 1-time ability that will really help them later in the game. Each shield type will provide a different ability. One ability allows you to separate your 2 dice for one round. Another allows you to select the die face you want for one die this round. These abilities can be game-changers and quite powerful! A little something more to keep you on your toes!

It was a close race for Michael and me. I thought I was way ahead of him all game. I was getting some major points for one of the regions and was just crushing it. Turns out he was a lot closer than I expected. He got some slick bonuses that really pushed him right back in my league. I still managed to win with 80 points to his 78. Close call.

Super love this one. You are at the mercy of the dice being rolled, and how you set yourself up for placement totally matters. We were rolling a bunch of X's so our scores were pretty high. It was great fun and seriously a perfect game for a restaurant setting. Can't get enough! I LUV DRAFTING! #MOARDRAFTING (Yes I am still on this hashtag!)



 







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Good times with good friends! I ran into Spencer, my friend who is a very talented photographer. He spends hours and sometimes days on just one image and it is inspiring! You should totally check out his work on his site, Board Game Photos!

I was pleased he had time to play some games. He was with his buddy Dan, and I was hanging with Michael and Derek, so we all played a few 5 player games starting with High Society. New to me!

This one was actually new to me. I wonder if the Massachusetts crowd just doesn't like it. I don't know how I hadn't ever played it before. #weird

Anyway, High Society is an old-school bidding card game by Knizia. If you haven't played before, it is exactly how I made it sound.

Each round, there is a stressful bidding process where you are bidding on a card with a number 1-10 or one of the four special cards. You have money cards to bid with, and once they are gone, they are gone.

The catch is that if you have the least amount of money left at the end of the game, then you automatically lose. Anyway, our game was pretty flawed since Derek ended up spending all of his money so he was clearly going to have the least money.

Because of this, the game ended with some crazy high bids for the final cards. Michael ended up winning. It is definitely an asterisk game though. I would have to play again to really get the full feel for the game. I am not sure I liked it better than For Sale or other quick bidding games, but it was fine.









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I then got to show them all how to play Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale.

This was great!! The more I play this game the more I love it. I will definitely want to add in the event cards the next time I play to see how those change it up.

Everyone caught on pretty quickly once I explained the rules. I still had to help with scoring, since that is always what trips people up the most. By the end, everyone was a pro and had a great time playing.

I did end up winning, but I also had the most experience with this game. I think Spencer's friend Dan plans to go buy it since he knows his wife would love it. Woo! I love teaching games that people just love! It is always rewarding.

Next time I play this, I need to use markers or colored pencils! Gotta color in my map!









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We were able to get in one more game with the 5 of us, so we played Skull King.

On the plus side, everyone knew how to play already. We gave Michael the flow sheet since he had only played once before and I don't even think he had played with the special abilities of the Mermaids/Loot/Kraken. I gotta say I love that Kraken card! It really just throws a wrench into the entire hand of cards! Totally insane!

Turns out that Spencer and Dan had been playing the game wrong. I was happy to inform them that the special cards could be played into a trick instead of the lead suit. They didn't know that. It makes the game so much better IMO and offers a lot more strategy. It is a pretty big rule to miss! Their minds were blown!

Of course, I lost this game, because I always lose this game. My motto is "go big or go home"! So I usually go home. lol! Dan absolutely crushed us with his massive score of 350. What the heck! He was just getting tons of points from all directions. Must be nice!

Love this game and I am so pleased that we were able to get in a game. It was great times!







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ONE MORE DTC post left to go! Be on the Lookout!





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:00 pm
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DTC Part 2 Adventures with The Fleet of Camels Visit the Tiny Towns and 7 Wonders

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Part 2 of my Dice Tower Con Adventures!




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I had the greatest time playing with my gaming buddies: Bethany, Priscilla, Aron, and Kris! I rarely get to see them! I used to only see them once a year during DTC! Lucky for me, I now get to see them at BGG.CON too.

They were busy setting up Camel Up when I saw them. There was room for me to join in and I was happy to get a seat to play with them. They are all such fun people and I love to play with them any chance I get.

I can't say Camel Up is a favorite of mine, but I am happy to play it on occasion. Our game was actually pretty hilarious. At the very start of the game, everyone was INSISTENT that yellow ALWAYS loses. So, early on, many people were betting on yellow to lose. Yeah, yeahh, yellow was losing for the majority of the race.

As you might have guessed, Yellow had a MAJOR come back and took home the win. I think I managed to get some last-minute points for that but it was nothing major. I still did okay with scoring in-game points and ended up in second place with 21 points, losing to Bethany who won with 24 points.

Every time I play this game going forward, I am sure I will recall this game in particular, since it was just too funny how everyone insisted, "Yellow is the worst!"

It was a fun game, not one I will ever request, but one I could definitely play again.










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Bethany and Aron both LOVE 7 Wonders, so it was time to play it with Priscilla. Stefan happened to walk by just at the right time, as we were finishing up the other game.

Championship commenced!

Now, Stefan, of Repos Games, donated 6 (I SAID 6!!!) copies of the Armada expansion to the DTC library. But NONE of them were ever placed in the library and therefore we could not play with Armada. I was furious! How could a con not have games in the library that were donated to the library? Maybe there is a reason, I don't know, but man, it boils my blood. I would have loved to shown Armada to Bethany and Aron - they would have loved it. I hope they get to try it out sometime.

We ended up playing with 7 Wonders: Leaders & 7 Wonders: Cities. Bethany and Aron knew the game well, and we kinda did a quick re-cap for Priscilla, but she caught on quickly and we all played pretty fast.

It was amazing fun to play 7 Wonders with some serious 7 Wonders fans. It had been ages since I last played with Leaders. Good to revisit that, and I love Cities, of course. I have to say I missed my Armada though.

Stefan absolutely crushed us. He was saying how he hadn't played with Leaders in so very long, which is probably true, but he still has all the skills of a high ranking 7 Wonders player. King for a day, so I suppose we will give the Championship Crown to him.

Such a good time as always. I wonder if we will get in a game of 7 Wonders at GenCon! Here's hoping!










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Next on the table, we ended up playing a 6 player game of Tiny Towns. Kris rejoined the table and Stefan took off, but we also picked up a random passerby who was very interested in trying out this game.

OMG, I thought it was so chaotic at 4 players, but it was just insane with 6. I wanted to try it regardless because I could say I did it once (plus I wanted to play with my friends). Who knows, I might have enjoyed the chaos! You don't know until you know. Now I know. It was just a hot mess for me.

I am already bad enough at this game. Even with 2 players, I fail miserably, but at least I have more control. With even fewer choices, it was just a wreck. I really can't advocate playing this game with higher player counts.

The random guy who played with us ended up winning by a LARGE margin. I think he just about doubled my score, which is nothing new for me.

I am happy to play Tiny Towns with lower player counts going forward. It's just not the right game for me with high player counts.




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A game I picked up and wanted to try out was Nētā-Tanka: Deluxe Edition. New to me!

This was a game I picked up from Murr, who quite possibly plays MORE games than me. To be honest, I was hesitant to buy a game he wanted to sell off, knowing that he likes a LOT of the same games I do. But, because I have FOMO, I had to check it out.

Lucky for me, he was selling the swanky Deluxe Edition with all the cool upgraded bits and boards. #sweet. We were told to play our first game on the winter side, as it offers more opportunities. I trust Murr's advice!

Michael and I started to set up a 2 player game of Neta-Tanka, but I was trying to get in some game time with Nathan, so I messaged him to come play Neta-Tanka. He agreed and brought Jens along. Even better, NATHAN KNEW HOW TO PLAY IT! So we put him on the spot to teach us how to play.

In Neta-Tanka, players are managing their resources in order to build tents, feed their tribes, construct totems, and craft objects. It is almost a race to do all of these things. There are great rewards at the end of the game for building the biggest totem and making lots of tents. Each player will place their workers to gather the resources and perform the various actions to build those tents and totems.

The worker links are where the game really shines. If you manage to place your workers in adjacent spaces that create a link, you will gain a bonus. This is really where you have to think and plan creatively to make it all work. Turn order is of the utmost importance, because if you are going last in the turn order, you can get really hammered. Resources are limited and you can't rely on something still being there when it is your turn.

I was crazy focused in this game, going for those totem builds. I had a hidden goal that called for me to do a lot of that and to fill up my food area. I like when there are hidden goals because it helps give a drive toward something. Not having a goal to shoot for could cause some people to lose interest, I think.

I felt I was doing pretty well this game. Things were moving at the right pace for me and I sneaked in a few builds at the end. It came down to the final round where turn order was in my favor. I was going before Nathan so I was able to complete that top tier for the totem track before he did. Because of that, I gained 4 points more than he did and I ended up winning by those 4 points. It could have easily been the other way around if I had been behind him in turn order. It just goes to show how important turn order is in Neta-Tanka!

I had a great time playing Neta-Tanka. I ended up keeping it and not selling it, so that should tell you something. I look forward to seeing what other Kickstarter goodies and modules are included in the Deluxe box. Pretty cool.



















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Crystal was walking around looking for a game with her friend Brandt, so Michael and I invited them to play something. Brandt was talking up Fleet: The Dice Game, so we decided that we should check it out. New to me!

This was great since I had been wanting to play Fleet Dice for a while. How have I not played this game until now!? It's so amazing!

I am so pleased that Brandt is such an advocate for Fleet Dice. He explained it well and made us all fans of the game.

Fleet Dice is all about drafting dice and filling in bubbles. I mean filling in LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of bubbles. This is easily a gamer's roll n write game. People who are heavy gamers but don't like roll n writes will still probably enjoy this. There are so many paths to take and ways to score points. This roll n write has it all. I like it 100x more than Fleet.

I had initially written "Captain Rainbow" on my sheet, but Crystal was wearing more rainbows than me. She loves rainbows as much as I do and had her hair all dyed so beautiful! I was wearing my Captain Meeple shirt (for the 4th of July) so I changed my name to "Captain Meeple". This is perhaps the only time I will give up the Rainbow name to another person.

After counting my score, I thought I had won by 4 points. But it turns out that I had 4 points incorrectly marked on my sheet. Oops. #mistakesweremade. I had to correct my score to be TIED with Michael. And no tiebreakers. Boooooooo.

Fleet Dice is on the to-get-ASAP-list. LOVED IT!!! Really a great game and one that will remain fresh for a while. Drafting always leaves me happy. #MOREDRAFTING!







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Speaking of drafting and roll n writes... I got to play a couple of games of Boomerang, one of the few games I took with me to Florida.

I ran into Anthony and Alexis as they were about to leave for the night, but I convinced them to play at least one more game with me and Michael.

Fortunately, Michael could teach the game since we had learned it back in April. It is not hard to teach at all. I think the most tricky thing to figure out is the "boomerang" mechanic, where your first card can score you points if it is equal to or less than your last card.

Both Anthony and Alexis seemed to enjoy it. I was flailing all over the place, it seemed. Nothing seemed to work out. Michael and Anthony ended up tied for the win. They both did really well and got their great combos. The weirdest part is that Michael had tied for the win for four games in a row: Shop n Time, Fleet Dice, Boomerang, and one other game that I haven't mentioned yet. It was really quite impressive.

Later in the week, Michael and I showed this game to Collin. In that game, I did much better, but Michael still took home the win (no ties this time). I think Collin really liked it. It is hard not to.

I am loving each and every play! Then again, I want every game to have drafting. #MOREDRAFTING

One of the best travel games around. I could bring it everywhere! Love it!









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More from Dice Tower Con soon!!




Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:00 pm
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DTC Part 1 Unlock the Adventure to Awesomeness

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!




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Dice Tower Con was wonderful! I got to see tons of my friends and play a lot of games I wouldn't have played otherwise. I also had a very successful time selling my photography which was great! So happy for the positive response at the Flea Market!


Michael and I drove the long 10-hour drive (14+ on the way back!!) and got in a little pre-con gaming with Collin and Cindy. Over the long weekend we ended up playing 3 different Unlock games. This worked out since I could then sell them in the Flea Market. laugh

We played Unlock! The House on the Hill, Unlock! Night of the Boogeymen, and Unlock! The Nautilus' Traps. New to me!

The first game we played, House on the Hill, got our confidence up. We didn't do too badly at all. I actually felt like I helped out!

Night of the Boogeyman was interesting and offered a few new gameplay mechanics, which made it pretty challenging!

The one that left us the most frustrated was The Nautilus' Traps. We were just totally stuck. There were 2 votes against my idea to link 2 cards for a number. I let it go, but then, of course, we came back to it late in the game when we just couldn't figure out what to do. Mmhmmm... guess who was right? Somehow we still managed to get 2 stars that game.

My favorite of the 3 was House on the Hill. Still happy I got to try them all! Good stuff!















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I managed to talk Cindy and Collin into trying out The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth with me and Michael. New to me!

THIS GAME IS FREAKING AWESOME! The End.

Okay, let me back up.

We ended up starting a 4-player campaign game. What is cool is that the app will remember everything. So I can have multiple campaigns going simultaneously with various groups. The hard part is re-sorting everything when switching between campaigns. So much easier to keep the acquired cards with the characters.

The app is wonderful. There's amazing background music and it's so easy and awesome to fight the monsters in the app. They took what I love about Mansions of Madness and wrapped it up in my favorite Lord of the Rings theme. What more could I ask for?

In Journeys, there are no dice. You use a deck of cards for your skill checks. It is quite difficult too!

We played out the first scenario, which is actually quite long! I have been told Scenario 3 is much shorter, which seems like it would have been a better first mission to help get people into the game more. *shrug* I didn't mind the length so much.

At one point in this game I was called "Leeroy Jenkins". So we had to stop the game and Google this. Apparently, Leeroy is a World of Warcraft player who just didn't want to wait on his teammates and rushed right in, getting everyone killed. You have to watch the YouTube clip, so Google it if you don't know it. My impulsive actions didn't much matter since we managed to win that first scenario!

Later in the week we came back to our campaign and played the 2nd scenario. Yeah, this time, Cindy was our Leeroy. She left the rest of us pinned in our space, and we couldn't evade. It was all death and doom for us in that second game. I'm definitely putting the blame on Leeroy *ahem* Cindy. It was still epic fun and I think everyone was enjoying it.

I didn't know this but even if you lose a scenario, you will still progress into the next scenario! I was told that, anyway. Maybe Michael and I can meet up with Cindy and Collin we can continue our campaign!

Seriously impressed with this game. I simply love it and want to play it more and more and more. Maybe the Game of the Year? Likely a top contender.


























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Hey, the first game of the con that I read the rules to! OMG! No, it was super easy and I found a passerby to play with, so we played Ticket to Ride: London. New to me!

This game very much feels like Ticket to Ride: New York. If you know that, then you know this. The only real difference is that the coins you find in NY aren't there and instead you are trying to connect regions of London for additional points. It is super similar and easy.

Over the course of the con, I played this 3 times and won once. I feel it is harder to score a bunch of points in this new challenge. I rarely even looked to scoring points from the region bonuses and focused solely on my route cards. None of my routes ever seemed to match the region bonuses.

I was definitely less impressed with London than I was when I first played New York. I have a copy of New York and feel no need to go and acquire London now. I think it scratches the same itch as NY does, and I would be happy to play it. I just don't need to have them both! Maybe the next TtR title will be different enough.













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Michael and I played a couple of late-night games of Twice As Clever.

We ended up playing 2 games since the first game I lost by just 2 points! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

I was much too tired to play the second game, but I did so anyway. Yep, I lost horribly! Always happy to try. I think playing in person is harder than playing on the app. The app is so fast!

I still love the game and it is easily one of the best roll n writes on the market! LOVE IT!







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One day of the con, Michael and I were able to show Collin and Cindy how to play Shop 'N Time.

I figured it would be one that Cindy would enjoy. I was not wrong! We had a fun time playing this one. I had the game with me since I had picked it up from the Virtual Flea Market after giving my copy to my mom!

I had screwed up the first round by going way over. I made up for it in the second round where I was the only one who underbid. I got some serious points. It didn't matter though, because I didn't come close to winning the final round. I way underbid. Collin and Michael ended up TIED for the win that game. Or should I say, "Levondreous and Cylon"?

Such a great little game.








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BGG SHOW!!






More from DTC coming soon!




Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:00 pm
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