All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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Off to Canada! Gaming with Mina @ Board Game Bliss! O Canada!!!!!! - andalittleconcalledthegatheringoffriends *** Photos!*****

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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Last week has been epic! the Epic-ness continues ALL week this week too!

Yesterday, Ron and I had the pleasure of driving up to Toronto, Canada and meeting Mina and Peter to play some games! It was great fun!! More on that further down the post...

I was fortunate this year in making the cut and getting an invite to the Gathering of Friends. I am grateful to all of my already GoF goers who helped and nominated me to join the fun. It started on Friday and goes for so many glorious gaming days!






I suppose I will write about my mundane week BEFORE driving north.


Monday night games happened per usual but the crowd was much less due to the snow storm we had all day. It was terrible. Why oh why was it snowing in April. So dumb! I am glad I kept my snow tires on my car for a while longer.

Dan took out Basari to start us off. New to me!

Since I enjoyed the card game Dan said I should try the board game so he brought that along to play. It works pretty much the same way as the card game but a bit better. Each player chooses 1 of 3 selection to collect gems, points, or roll the die to move along the track and potentially gain points. The game ends after 3 rounds. The round ends after someone had made a complete circle around the board. You get a better reward if you select the "reroll" option than if you were to select the person action in the card game.

This game I never went for the gems. I selected either re roll of points every round and I did very well. John ended up doing better by getting a bunch of gems at the end. He was selecting his tiles very well and managed to sneak by me for the win.

I actually liked this game very much. I thought it played faster and better than the card game. Not much of a difference but enough where I would choose this one over the card game anytime. I liked it a bunch!

I feel like it might get repetitive after a few plays. I still liked it well enough!



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The table was up for learning Samara. Ron had taught me the day before but it is an easy enough game to teach no problem.

I know I said the rule if you go to the end of the months you are able to buy any of the tiles that go out further. I perhaps wasn't clear enough so Dan called this game an asterisk game. Geoff did too... but Geoff ended up winning!! So- he might have changed his mind.

This game we used a lot of expansion buildings since I just put them all in together when I packed up the game. There was one tile that was extra mean and perhaps too strong called the Alter. This tile makes all other players discard their last face down tile in their possession. Dan lost a 6 pt and John lost a 4 point building because of this. Needless to say they lost by a LOT of points. yes it was just one building but still 6 points is a great deal and that was pretty much game break for him and both of them. Dan said he might not play with that tile in the game when he gets his copy.

I think I agree with the alter being a bit too strong. I still plan to use it against Ron- I want to RUIN him... hahahahha

I really enjoyed this with 4 players. I think it will be even crazier with 5p. It is a nice fast game and I look forward to many more plays!



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We topped the night off with a game of Tichu. I was teamed up with Ron. He gets me and understands how I play. Basically that I am very aggressive and just go for it when I have a half way decent hand.

Right out of the gate I called two grands and made them both. I love calling grand- super blind grand but they don't allow me to do that.

Ron knows about my crazy and can play towards it. He ended up calling 2 tichu calls later in the game and making them. I am glad I called when I had the chance since the rest of the game I had nuthin! Ron and I won that game by the skin of our teeth. since Dan kept getting all of the Bombs. No one called a tichu and got set so this was a "pleasant" game as Geoff put it. Very peaceful game not harsh name calling.

Love this game! I can't wait to play it a whole bunch in the coming week!



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Tuesday night was Fields of Arle night! Of course! one of my most cherished nights! I always look forward to my Arle game.

This week I focused on getting some animals and working on my board points. I was doing well with my animals and trying to not ship for food. The more I don't ship for food the happier my game play generally is. I managed to screw Ron out of some buildings he was working towards so that made me happy. He still beat me but I did a respectable 124.5 to his 130.5. It was a close game and had I gotten one more something I totally could have beaten him. Doh!

I think I know where I made a mistake- so I will have to just play again and make up for it!

More Arleeee zombiezombie



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Wednesday night I wanted to get some games played. Ron suggested the first one to be La Granja.

We hadn't played this in a while and by the end we could tell. We forgot a few major scoring rules (even though it is printed on the card) hahaha fail. We had forgotten to take points when completing the delivery sections on the board. and I had also forgotten to take points for the cubes on the markets spaces from round to round. I could remember how many I was supposed to take so that helped me catch up to Ron by the end.

I was doing okay but I felt like I was getting beaten up. He was collecting so many points. It helped when I finally took my final points the ones I had forgotten so I felt better about it. I had also completed 2 sections on the delivery spots on the board in the final round and I took points for one of them but not the other. Ron said he handed them to me but I don't think he did. He was rushing the end- and wouldn't let me finish all of my MANY extra deliveries.

As it ended He had 71 and I had 64 but it really should have been 70 since I don't think he did give me the 6 points for the final delivery. And whatever bonus I was supposed to get from the chit I acquired. so who knows!

Not our best play. We should play it more often so we can actually remember the rules better and play correctly. He still won either way but I call it an asterisk game.

It is a good one and I look forward to more plays coming soon.



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I wasn't ready to call the night quits. I still had a few games left in me and we broke the shrink to my copy of Taluva.

I bought Riley's spare copy of this basic game. I had forgotten how TINY those pieces are. But, they are still adorable. I guess I have been spoiled by his luxurious deluxe copy of the game.

Ron and I played a fast 2p game. I had made the mistake of growing my first city larger than I should have. It made it more difficult to branch out and make a 3rd city when the time came. I couldn't break it up so I was hosed. Ron ended up getting all 3 temples out by the time the tiles ran out and won based on the temples he was able to place. I had nearly all of my huts down but still needed another temple.

Ron ended up winning that game too! yuk

I guess I need to brush up on my Taluva strategies. Simple abstract very easy to play definitely a wonderful game.


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We ended the night with 2 tough games of Connections. This is a simple tile laying game with the simultaneous playing happening. In the family of Karuba. Trying to connect the ribbons to not get the most missed points.

The first game was just awful. I ended up pulling both end tiles in the first 4 tiles! un freaking believable. haha I ended up scoring like 11 points I think it was and Ron beat me that time with 8.

I finally won a game that night after the second game of connections. Nothing special just Ron played a very bad game. I had some unfortunate pulls but made it work out in the end. I think our scores swapped and I got 8 and he got 11 points.

Hey, at least I won one game that night!!


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I told Ron if he wasn't nice to me this week he would get my +1 to the Gathering and that I would take Riley instead. It was a good thing Ron was nice to me! We worked half day on Friday and head up to Niagara Falls to play some games at the gathering. I was also so excited to drive up to board game bliss and play games with Mina!





Friday night we got there super late but still managed to get in some gaming. by Some gaming I mean I learned 5 games!!! holy moly!

We showed up at 9pm looking for some games after having checked into the hotel. Ready to game We found familiar faces to play with. Scott and Dan were looking to play a game and they were both pretty excited to show me and Ron Codenames Pictures. New to me!

Still in prototype form but I am able to talk about it. I am not allowed to take pictures since the art is not finalized. The art they had can be a bit weird and left to interpretation but that is cool. I have seen people play this game using dixit cards for months on instagram so it is something I have seen before being done. I haven't tried it with dixit cards but it looks really hard. I think this game I played is easier than what dixit card might be but same idea.

I was teamed with Scott and we ultimately failed miserably. We are just not on the same wavelength. dan and Ron beat us 2/3 and 4/6 in 4 games. I really thought Scott and I would come back and win the second time around but we are just terrible at connecting words and pictures. Everytime I said a clue I looked and there was another picture that it could easily have represented. ugh I was just terrible.

I think after those 2 games I came to the conclusion I like the word Codenames better than picture codenames. But I know I will own them both since that is what I will do. Maybe you can mix and match them wouldn't that be hard. hahahah Not a proposed variant. (yet...)

Very cool. I look forward to at least a few more games of this in the near future. Hell maybe I will try it with Dixit cards.


crycrycry No photos crycrycry


But at least I could write about it a bit.




Since I was heading up to Board Game Bliss on Sunday I wanted to try out the new game called Micro Robots. New to me!

This is a TINY boxed game of Ricochet Robots. It is very small and super cute. It played very fast and is a light filler. I don't own the big version, and I want to. This I was hoping would fill its shoes but it really is much easier. the major difference is if you find a path you yell the # of spaces the bot has to move and you do it. There is no timer to try and find a faster route you just do it and get the point or lose a point if you end up being wrong.

All in all I definitely like the bigger version better. But, this one is much faster and very portable.

In our game Dan was finding them all at first. Eventually I chimed in and got all the way to 4 chits. The game ends when someone collects their 5th chit. I nearly had it but Dan got his 5th one before I could claim it. He won that game. Doh!



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Dan was telling me about another game he had learned in the past day at some point and was willing to teach it to us called Dynasties: Heirate & Herrsche. New to me!

Not gonna lie I was not familiar with this new title. It is not available in the states yet so I am a bit less familiar with it. A new game from Matthias Cramer and I am a pretty big fan of his. He has a lot of titles I very much enjoy. This game did not disappoint.

We only played 3 player and perhaps would play even better with 4 or 5 players. I can see the tension rising in the game with more players. As it stood it worked perfectly well with 3 and we scored probably a lot higher than if playing with more. The game lasted under and hour after the rules explanation. surprise That is a lot of game in a short time. That adds a lot of positive energy from me- we also are very fast players. Dan had actually explained the game to us and another table at the same time who happened to pick up the game to learn at the same time we decided to play. we were at 6p other wise would all would have just played the 1 game. We had finished and they were mid round 2/3... of course they were all just learning too.

Anyway, this is a pretty standard Euro game. Get cubes to use cubes to do things and best utilize your actions and aim for hidden goals. I mean you get the idea. I don't want to make it sound dry but on the surface- it is standard run of the mill euro. There are a lot of ways to score points and you have to figure the best way to do it.

You have a hand of cards that might provide different actions. The actions all cost a specific color cube and varies in cost for the number of cubes needed. You can only keep one action card from round to round - or you can play them all. Each player plays one card at a time until everyone passes. There is intermediate scoring and you do the same thing over again for rounds 2 and 3 and a big final scoring at the end.

The main map of Europe has Dynasties and you are trying to get majority in the colored regions. Most of this is public knowledge but there is some way to get hidden crests to help count towards majority. That keeps it a bit interesting. Do you really know you are winning or- not. The good thing about this is once you have a guy on the board you never lose him if he is married. The board reminded me a LOT of Royals and I was nervous since I really didn't like that game at all. While this has majorities - you can never lose a location you have claimed unless you allow that to happen- which of course there are ways if you don't plan accordingly.

Each dynasty can have a man and wife. You can not marry your own family- that is right out. But if another player decides to marry you then you roll the special 3 dice. I actually like a bit of luck in my games so that was what I was focused on. Rolling the dice and getting the benefits! There are 3 dice and the inferior position splits the 3 dice into a set of 2 and a single die. The superior gets first choice of reward and the remainder goes to the other player. It is a nice mechanic and happens a few times in this game not just with the dice but with the shipping action as well. You find this mechanic in games like San Marco. It is a nice easy feature that adds a bunch of tough choices. Very fun.

In my game I managed to get a bunch of points from unmarried people in teh intermediate scoring. The downfall with that is if you don't have pink cubes to "save" them then they go off the board. I had to lose one of my guys from a region since i didn't have enough pink cubes. But, it was still worth it. I picked the best of the ones and still managed to score majority for the region. I had a TON of end game points. While Dan and Ron were working on getting VP cards I was working on getting majorities in the regions and the extra points to go with them. This got me a ton of extra points. I ended the game with 130 points and Ron was 2nd with 110 points. I was 20 points over him.

Boo Yah! Crushed them!!!! I didn't think I was doing that well but it worked out aye ok! Dan really messed up along the way and came in last I think around 100 points or so.

This is a very clever game and I look forward to more plays. I love that it played in an hour. I mean it will last longer for most groups and if I bought this and played with Joe C- it would last double the time. There is room for AP in trying to figure out how to best optimize. But, playing with the correct players will lead to a fast enjoyable game!

After first play I think I still enjoy Lancaster more if comparing the 2 but, this was only 1 play- so it is really hard to tell. It did just remind me that I should play Lancaster more. Like WAY more.


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So, we were looking for the next game to play and this amazing rainbows amusement park game was already set up on the table waiting to be played... I had to play it. It was called Alan's Adventureland. New to me!

I had seen this box cover before on some site where I could pre order it. It is just overwhelmingly beautiful up close. All the rainbows and bright colors- I was in love at first site. More games need to be this color crazy. I love it!!

Dan offered to site read the rules and we got to playing this game. It is a pretty easy game of set collection and drafting. Players get initially 6 cards to start and there are 4 rounds of 3 turns each round. At least in a 3 player game. The cards are 1 of 5 types of attractions you might find at an amusement park. I.e. thrill rides, water slides, theater events, food stands and family rides.

This is as much about set collection as it is about abstract placement on the board in front of you. You get big points for getting the full sets but you get JUST as many points for how you place these attractions on your board. Dan had to go over the end scoring like 5 times before I thought I understood that. I think I do understand it and could teach it if I were to play again. But, I won't get into it here.

Players have variable set ups on their board to issued different point incomes for intermediate scoring if you fulfill the matching patterns. If you don't like what the boards have to offer then you can use the blank sides and a mixture of cards that offer patterns and goals to work towards. There is potential for a lot of replay value.

We got to playing and it actually plays pretty quick 4 min box time seemed pretty accurate. I like the theme of building this park. There are end game goals to work towards by collecting same types of things and each type scores its own which we almost forgot to count. it is a very high scoring game where we were all over 200 points by the end.

In teh turn starting with the start player they choose a card from their had and play it between two players which can be him or not. each player does this then it goes around again and players play a card from their hand that matches one of the card types between him and the other 2 players. Those cards played from their hand to match then take the tile that matches and places it on the board. It might be an upgraded piece or a new attraction. the cards used to dictate what players can play get mixed and added to the bottom of the draw deck.

Each tile for rides and whatnot has a matching card 1:1. So if you are holding a card you can't be shut out of that matching tile. I like that feature- then it isn't like a mad rush to collect what you think is the best tile.

We build up out park. I can't say it pays to be diverse since I was diverse and felt I messed up a whole lot with my placement. In retrospect I would have placed much differently with the board I had. But in the end it was still a very close game. I got 225 and Dan won with about 235 so Ron was somewhere in the middle and it was really only a 10 point spread. I think we all would have played slightly different to potentially gain us more points. All in all it was pretty fun.

I do look forward to playing again soon. Super easy to play and teach. can be a fun family game for sure. I think it is very solid. Knowing me I will probably own this one.


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The final game of the night was that of Animals on Board. New to me!

This game I had never heard of but seems like an easy filler to end the night with. dan was happy to read the rules and we got to playing this set collection game.

Simple mechanics where there is one set of animals available for the taking but you need food. If you don't have food then you have to split them up as you see fit. If you split them up then you take a food token. This goes around and around until everyone has taken a group of animals. Your Ark can hold 10 animals. Once someone reaches 10 animals the game ends. If you have a pair of the same type of animal then Noah takes them away and you score nothing. If you have a single animal type then you get the face value. If you have 3 or more of a type (5 ADORABLE animal tiles of each type) you get 5 points per tile you have collected.

I was the only one to go for a few sets of 3. I didn't even realize how the scoring worked until someone told me what I scored. I thought I lost badly since I thought the set of 3 was ONLY worth 5 points but really it was 5 per tile so that was WAY better than I thought. I crushed them all with my foxy set and my tiger set. Oh yah!

I mean this game was so simple and SO adorable. I might just get it for the cute baby animals. My heart just melted! I love them!

I want to play that one again. Simple fast filler. I know I have a lot of those but cmon so cute! It helps that I totally crushed Ron and Dan but 10 and 20 points. mwahahah!


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Saturday morning started off a bit later than I would have liked but still we found a few friends wandering around. Since i knew Joe H likes to read rules I suggested a game that had peaked my interest in the past months called King Chocolate. New to me!

I generally like abstract games like this and had wanted to play it before actually buying it since the price was not dropping.

It is a pretty simple abstract tile placement game. The catch is the production flow of the chocolate bean has to move on the the different stages. You bring on in stage one and then move off into stage 2 etc until stage 6 where they just go off the board. You are trying to get good cubes from one section to the next and get the points for them.

I can't really get into detail since the game was so wildly hated by 2/4 people that on their turns they decided to just take tiles as their actions as to rush the game end. I said since they were all hating it so much we should just stop. So, in the end I didn't get to actually play a full game but I got the gist.

I honestly didn't hate the game play= there was some issues. When to help people and when to not. It definitely seemed like a repetitive play and just churning out the points. For a fast game it didn't hate it. I wish the other players gave it more of a chance than for 2 rounds. I would probably give it another shot from the beginning but- I would be hard pressed to find players in my group.

Ah well, you can't win them all. Though technically I won that game since I had the most money at the end.



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In the welcome bags Ron and I got a copy of Alan Moon's card game called Gloria Picktoria. New to me!

Joe H offered to teach this game and we picked up Dan to make it a 5p game.

It was about 2/3s the way through before I actually started figuring out what I was doing wrong and what I sound be trying to focus on. it is a simple set collection game that you will benefit if no one else is working on the same type of reward. You don't want to be caught in a pissing contest for biggest collection of a same type.


To no ones great surprise Joe H demolished us all. But I blame Dan I was going to put Joe in his place but then Dan decided it would and then didn't... mmhmmm I think Ron came in the second place but he wasn't even close. hahah

Not it is a game I own I will have to try it again soon to see if I can make up for the terrible play I had.


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So what happened next was all a dream sequence. Nothing I can speak about other than it was a Friedemann Friese game and it is in the final stages of Unpublished Prototype.

I can't talk about it or take any pictures. It is like it never even happeend.

While the game was fun- I hate not being able to write about it so I think I will stay clear of the prototypes that don't allow me to do this. oh well.

I guess I will talk about it when I can.


No unpublished prototype pics allowed cry









Probably the game I was most excited to play and learn was Quadropolis. New to me!

I have been hearing about it for months and it looked great. I read some reviews saying it was a bit lighter than many had anticipated or liked but the overall consensus is well received. Craig M. punched his copy on Saturday night around 9 when I got there and everytime I looked at him after that he seemed to be playing. By Sunday morning he had he had played 3 times. He said it was really easy.

Early afternoon on Sunday I found some folks, Collin and Ben, that were also interested in this. Craig was in a meaty game but I asked him if he would be able to teach us in his downtime since he said it was pretty easy.

He was able to teach us in 5 minutes. It is a very easy game to teach. It is more challenging to stay focused and place your tiles accordingly.

There are 4 rounds and each round you have 4 opportunities to get tiles. Your actions are labeled 1-4 but can be used in any order. There is a common board of tiles that allow you to draft them using your action markers. Every side of the board is available and you place your marker pointing to a row. You snag the tile that the number on your action said. If it says 1 you take the first tile in the row. 2 then you take the 2nd, etc. The restraints happen with the black pawn. The black pawn jumps to where the last tile was picked up and blocks both rows it is in. no player may then take a tile in those two rows. This happens until everyone has played all for actions. If you don't plan accordingly you might miss an opportunity to get a tile if there is no "3s" available in the available spaces around the for for example.

After 4 rounds of drafting the game is over. That is the main mechanic where players are fighting for tiles. There is a whole individual board placement thing happening as well. This is where it gets super tricky. If you take the tile using your 2 action then you MUST only use the "2" row or column on your player board for placement. OR if you are building a yellow building they allow you to place up so you could in theory place it @ LEVEL "2".

So when I first started playing i snagged a yellow tile and placed it in section "4" and "4"- this meant that I had to use my 4 action each round to grow my yellow building up if I wanted max points for height. That was not every good planning on my part but at leas you can work with the level as well. So it ended up working okay for me.

This game scores in many ways like you might find in cities and between two cities. Adjacency scoring for the factory likes to be next to the wharf or local shops. The residential likes to be next to the parks. Wharf likes to be next to other wharf tiles. Simple scoring. We just played the "classic" mode which was totally great. I can't wait to play the advanced rules!!

So in my game I really don't know what other players were doing since I was focused on my board and playing as best i could. I know Collin was going for lots of points on the connection of the Wharves. Had I placed a bit differently I might have won the game. But since I didn't know what I was doing I messed up my whole first round quite a bit.

The tiles you acquire get you either meeples, energy or points. I suppose also nothing happens as well. These meeples and Energy are what you use to power the buildings you have on your board at the end of the game. If you don't have the required power then you lose the building and all hopes of points that goes along with it.

I knew I was doing well- but I needed more meeples to score for my local shops! Ugh I kept buying buildings that required meeples and the meeples were so hard to come by since Collin was collecting them. It is very important to go first in this game. there is a tile that when you get it gives you the first player marker for the next round. It is just tough to go last each round. Some tiles are clearly much better than others like they offer 3 meeples instead of 1 or something. You want to be getting first dibs if you are able.

I ended up in 3rd at the end of this game. I did well but I just needed more meeple to tie for first place. My shops could have help 6 more meeples to get full points as it stood I only for 4 points or so. The scores were pretty close- Ben 44, Steph 49, Tom 51 and Collin 53. That was a good first game. I know I will play better next time. I can't wait.

Fora very light game I think it is so great. A bunch of replay here and we didn't even get to the advance side. I wonder what that offers. Defintieyl very abstract city building. Everyone that played loved it and was very happy to have learned it. Again, super easy to teach and play. It plays quickly too- with the right people. It could also be cause for some AP if people take it too seriously.

Wonderful exciting game.


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Tom had brought out Qwinto next. He had it in his pocket and threw it on the table. The other guys had learned it the day before so they were all for it.

This game I had 14s and 13s in my highest spots. Normally no one rolls higher than 15. This game was all the high number and I still rolled my normal 5 and 6s with 3 dice. So I missed judged the competition and went too early for tough rolls. Never 11. I needed 3 11s and they just never came! What the heck!

The game ended and the winning score was around 77. Really great from Ben I believe. Tom hadn't seen that high of score before he was impressed. I got a sad 41 score.

Always an acceptable game to play at anytime. I still like qwixx better and rolling japan better than that.



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Ron was in another game so I went seeking faces I knew to say hi. Joe R was playing trains but said he would be done in a short while. I offered to set up a game I thought he would like called Captains of Industry.

Ron was finishing his game and came to play. Joe was playing with another friend Ron and he joined in. My Ron was playing with Dave who expressed interest and joined in as a 5th player.

No one had played but me so it was somewhat of a rocky start since I had to recap on the rules and small details. It wasn't my best teach since I learned it in Feb, but we managed. The game is not hard but there are some not so obvious things that happen.

This was a learning game so it took time to see how the market would play out. I was invested in oil and durable goods. I really needed stone to make the transportation buildings to get the demand for my material. I did very well the first age while everyone was getting used to what was happening.

Everyone saw me as a huge threat after that and started on producing what I was doing. Then before I knew it all the demand I created was being undercut by other players. We had produced so much and I wanted best pricing but they were driving the price way way down.

No one else up competing with Ron and his steel production. He was making a killing with that and his tech for additional point. He ran out of MS chips early age 3 and I still had piles. I knew we were all doomed. Joe had been running the knowledge game but was in competition with Dave. For most of the game we kept the pricing at max and things were all in demand to be bought. Most of the time the resources would be bought before we ever had the chance to use our own goods. Crazy.


As expected to no one's surprise Ron won with steel. Team Ron follows me even to Niagara Falls... cmon really? Unacceptable. I think I was 4th place after all of that. Ron even beat me on money when I was sure I was going to get that super bonus at the end. Nope. Wth?? Hahah oh well.

This game was well received by everyone. It was just ok for most but no one hated it. Joe liked it and would play again. Ron enjoyed it. Now he can explain the game next time. Hehe devil


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We went to dinner after that. When we came back Wolfgang was looking for a game he choose Porta Nigra to play. He had played it one time last year so I did a fast teach and we played a 3p game.

It had been a while since my last play but I was still ready to go. I always seem to go for the 4 stack of whites for the 24 points. I am not sure why I always try to do this. I think the real quest should be to plop as many bricks down as possible. I will have to try that next time. It was fine I still manages to get 11 down before the second round. This time I took all $22 and not one point going into round 2.

I did alright. I ended up buying a bunch of white bricks and getting the other 24 point stack for whites.

At the end of the game Ron cleared 200 points but I was just shy. He won the game. I would have been just one point behind him if Wolfgang played slightly different. Wolfgang got pretty destroyed this game but he still enjoyed it a lot. It is a nice game and we played fast enough.

I am still enjoying this one. Might be getting tired but I am not quite there yet.


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312








After that game we found a couple of guys that were looking to play Blood Rage. We had to wait on another to finish up so we played a fast game of Rolling America.

I ended up teaching the game and they picked it up no problem.

I thought I was killing it. But at the end I had SO MANY blank spots I ended up crashing an burning and ended with 12 points!

I was doing so well. Maybe another round would have helped? Haha oh well. Always a good time and I like the additions America game makes from the original. I especially like the dupe action.

I think the winning score was 10. So we all played pretty poorly. Haha



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The final game of the night with 5p was the new sensation called Blood Rage. New to me.

I have been hearing only great things from it. I heard the term eruo-trash used. I pretty much agree. Hahha it felt very take that but there are a lot of way to benefit from the losses that happen to you.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game it is a drafting and battling for areas type of game. You are building up you warriors and clan for bonuses and abilities. You can also recruit monsters/ gods to your clan which provide amazing and powerful abilities when alone or comboed with others.

Drafting is certainly the most important part of the game it defines your strategy and focus for the game. There are different types of cards. Upgrade cards allow to upgrade you clan, quest cards give you bonus points at the of the round if completed, and battle cards give you + strength when battling.

You have to really hone in on the good cards to stop others from getting them. The problem is there are usually a bunch of good ones in the first hand so you have to watch where the cards go so you don't end up helping the player to the left out more. So hard.

In our game I got a bunch of points from the quest cards in the first round so I thought I could keep it up in the second round. Turns out I couldn't keep it up and managed just to get no points for them.

I put into play too many powerful cards that took up all of my rage points and that forced my hand out of the round early. It is very bad to be out of the round early when everyone else has a bunch of cards and action left to still take. They will move in and take over you land. Worse if you have no cards in hand. They would easily calculate how to best kill you. Hahah

Having no cards in hand happened to me in the final round. But, it was okay. When my boat was killed I was getting 12 points... so that was ok. I also picked up a Loki card that said for each guy in Valhalla I got 2 points. That got me a bunch of point from my dead crew.

The guys that knew the game stomped all over us 3 newbs. Like major combos and full tech track for max 60 points end of game. Like hosed us. I was doing ok but not good enough with the pillaging and tech advancement. I was focused too much on the quest that ultimately failed. I managed a 30 point tech end game points.

I ended up in 3rd with a pretty big lead over the 4th and 5th. So I did ok and I am still happy with what I accomplished.

In the end I found the game ok. I would try it again but in reality I probably wont. The game just didn't sit well with how it all played out. It was a bit long for my taste with 5p. Too much down time. I don't generally like the fights like this. S'ok.


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312






OMG Sunday!!!! SUNDAY was the day we drove up to Canada to visit everyone's other favorite blogger the one and only Mina! Peter was also there too and he is awesome as well! Ron and I spent the morning in the casino on the Canadian side of Niagara which was great!

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Then we drove up to Toronto to meet Mina and Peter @ Board Game Bliss for 6 hours of amazing gaming!



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The store is nice. He has tables set up for gaming. Not many were using the tables but he doesn't charge for us to be there. He loves Mina and is a wonderful guy. I wish I had a game store like BGB down the street from me. Really great place he has there.





Rialto was the first game on the table. I was happy to play since it had been sooooooo long since my last play. It was on my my top 20 for a long while.

I think it has a very clever use of drafting and actions. I have played San Marco more recently and people generally like that more than Rialto. I am on the Rialto side - I like it much more than San marco.

Mina brought the game for us to play since she has been on the Rialto kick lately. I guess the game has a pretty good dummy player and they like it with only 2p. I haven't tried it.

I have to say I really like the gondola strategy and typically go for them -always. It wins me the game about 50 percent of the time. It really depends on what the cards offer.

In the game I didn't bump one space on the doge track. They were all fighting over that. I was focused more on goldolas. To my surprise picking last each turn wasn't so bad. They all left me the gondolas!! I had all my guys out of prison wicked quickly and then I was just scoring point for my gondolas in the final few rounds. So good!!!

Ron was working on getting a ton of points from buildings and collecting all the cards. Mina seemed to not be focused in anyone thung. Here and there. Peter was working on majorities in the regions.

I somehow killed it this game. I was up around 80 points and they were around 15-20 points behind me. I pretty much ran away with that game.

It was a good thing since I got hosed in the other games we played. Hahah it was great fun to put that game back on the table.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312








Mina asked me to bring Samara to teach her and Peter. I knew it would be a game they enjoyed. I put Ron in the teacher seat and we got to playing.

We added in the end goal cards get 2 keep 1 type of goals. My goal was to have the least amount of tiles. I thought that would be fun to go for all the really high valued tiles and hang tight. I ended up getting the monastery too early. That tile makes you bring all of you guys to El the end after each action you peeform. Ugh painful. It was especially painful because I had killed one of my guys and then Ron killed one of my guys so I was down to 2 workera. To make a baby took both my guys and by the next action I could of ford anything.

All that considered I did very well. I managed to buy 3 tiles total value of 17. I got 9 point for my end bonus so I ended with a respectable 26 points. Peter was 27 and Ron was 36 though he thought more but I am pretty sure about that. Poor Mina she got last around 20 or less I think. She still liked it and the mechanic of the moving months. My guess is that she will go buy it.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







Next on the table was Far Space Foundry. New to me.

I asked Peter if he was going to teach and he looked at me like deer in the headlights. He had NEVER taught a game before. He didn't know how! Haha that made me laugh his stunned face. grin emoticon

It is a game I was interested in learning since it will never appear at any game days I host or go to. She and Peter liked it so much I was interested!

The game is super complex. Ok no entirely true but it took me all game to wrap my head around the mechanics. That is usually not a good sign for me.

The mechanics are a bit wonky and fiddly. You have to gain from the rocks then add to ship in phase 1. Phase 2 everything ships and you have to deliver goods to upgrade your ships to then load them back up with hopefully advanced goods.

For me it was a bit much to handle. I can see in maybe a 2p game it being easier to control and predict and that might help it a bit. As it stood with 4p it was a bit of a miss for me. No predictions allowed so you can't really plan for your turn until you see the board and what it has to offer. That can be find but it can also be cause for AP. I fear I was the AP person this time since I was having a harder time figuring out the mechanics than normal.

Fin the final turn for me I needed to load up my ship and fly away. I had one card and no money. If I had money I could have done what I needed to tdo to some extent. It would have at least put me in respectable losing state. As it happened there were no ships for me to load and take flight with so I couldn't do that leaving me with 2 empty ships which are -2 a piece. Not to mention all of the goods I didn't get to ship for points at the end.

I had the quite terrible score of 9. I think every one else was in the high 20's with their points. Ron ended up winning somehow and yahhhhhhhhhh I suck. hahah It is possible in the second to last turn I could have taken a $1 but then a ship wouldn't have been upgraded. The problem is I didn't know what the board was going to look like on my turn so I didn't want to "undo" my huge mistake. I suppose if I had played the game more I would perhaps concluded that it would happen as it did. So I just left it as I was. Since loading a ship wouldn't have added THAT many points. I still would have been dead last by 10 points or so hahahah.shake


In the end this game won't work with my gaming groups and I will unlikely play it again. For me it was a solid shrug.



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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





To lighten up the game play a bit I pulled out Dragon Racer. I asked Ron to teach but he just stared and said I never have played and I said so what?

Nah it is not a hard game to teach and I am getting better at remembering the rules. I think this was my 4th or 5th play so it is actually quite simple.

I don't think I have ever won this game, though I still think my rainbow character is the best one. But, obviously not since I haven't ever won! Ron picked red which seemed totally broken since he advanced an extra space in a tie and winning. gah! He was the 1st player like all game. Well it was a toss up with him and Mina but toward the end it was always him in the lead. Mina had the move 3 spaces if you power all of your dragons. Peter took the power that gives you 2 movement if you swap a dragon each round with a new colored dragon. Easy points. My power gives me +1 when I activate a 6 or higher dragon.

The real power is that I have a wild gem to use to power a sinlge point for any dragon. That is why it is wild.

This game was terrible for my and my ability since I didn't see a value 6 dragon until round 4!!!! They could in theory come out in the second round. Then the next round I wasn't even able to POWER my speed 6 dragon so no bonus. Oh I was just a mess. I was in 4th place all game. I didn't even come CLOSE to the final winners.

I was able to help Mina win by making Ron's 10 dragon hard and on her turn she could make it even harder in the final round. Ron wasn't then able to power his 10. I had attacked Mina the turn before so it seemed fair to attack Ron after that. He was winning after all. Peter and I were just do do do in the back seeing the sights.

Very cute little game. I think Mina will end up buying it since it is so damn cute. It is WHY I bought it. It is a nice drafting game. Easy to teach to new player potentially.

Mina won that one!


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







The next game on the table was a recent goto game for me and Mina called Steam Time. I hadn't played it in a while now so was itching to get it back to the table. I wanted to try it with the adviser deck and see what they were like.

So, Ron's thinking was to use his broken means to try and win the game. We were playing with advanced players here who knew the game so he went with his normal strategy and destroyed us- as per usual.

So Ron likes to collect end game conditions. Use all of his actions to collect just end game conditions. He gets a few gems and a few bucks and he just takes green cards to get in game points and a shit ton of end game cards. Perhaps the game is unbalanced in that way. He nears 120 points and I was in second pretty much no where near him.

We all pretty much stayed CLEAR of the expeditions. No one did ANY of them. It is pretty telling is no one does one whole action the whole game. It is not good enough. Perhaps if they were cheaper depending on the levels you were completing. But spending 6 gems for maybe 12 points is not a great use of gems when you could be doing other things with them. Hard to say. Ron says he has won a game with Expeditions- but it is Ron and he was teach so, yah, I believe it.

Mina and Peter were pushing hard for the swirly pink that provides and extra action eventually. Like I hadn't seen anyone push so hard for that before. They were getting extra swirlies with the adviser they had both gone for the blue cards bonus. I was getting a discount on placement for the slot that require $2. Perhaps I made a mistake about that but I still ended up saving like $10 over the game. I then changed it to the one that allows me to change steam into 2 vps when taking the start player. That was cool I grabbed 14 points with that.

In the end it just wasn't enough. I managed to get a few end game cards which pushed me over Mina and Peter but they were just behind me. Ron was still 30 points ahead or more. shake

The team Ron fans rejoice.


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312







We topped the night off with a few faster games. Perhaps it was unkind of me to suggest and bring out Cha dango.

Mina and Peter aren't really the speed type of gamers. At least it was a five minute game. Mina was laughing a lot which was making us all laugh so I think and hope she still had a good time.

I still love it. I was off my game but was was right on point. He hammered us. I think Peter and Mina ended up with no cards by the end and I was at 14 and Ron was probably mid 20s hahaha Speed games are a hard crowd pleaser but I still try to play then when I can. It might just be best as a duel game between me and Ron anyway. It gets harder with 4p.

Still always happy to play this one. One of my favs!!


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From gallery of punkin312





Mina brought along one of MY favs!!! We got to play Cities next!!

Yay for cities a game I don't get to play enough. I used to play ALL of the time online. I was more than happy to play this. Ron decided he would be picking the tiles at random- this was a huge mistake. He picked about the 16 worst tiles in the game. If I had to go and fish out 16 tiles that were the worst these might have just been them. so terrible.

In the final counting I only got 55 points. I was like there is no way I will win with that score. Never say never! I ended up winning with 55. My normal score for this game is usually like 70s. 55 is just not my good game. They had been playing a lot of Limes recently so they were getting a bit mixed up but everyone did well near or at 50. So it was a pretty close game.

I blame Ron for pulling the terrible tiles!

Still a top favorite. I could play anywhere anytime. I love love love it! #somuchbetterthanlimesriley


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





We sneaked in a few games before the store closed @9:30. Ron taught them
Rolling Japan. I guess Mina and Peter don't play very many small dice games- fillers if you will. So we were going to teach them Qwixx but I said lets just make it a brutal dice game and took out rolling Japan and Tokyo.

Standard terrible rolling was happening.the pain was inflicted as it does. I was afraid they might not like it so much since it is not everyone's favorite. At the end Peter was asking for the files so he could make the game. He really enjoyed it! As I expect any rational game to say.

In the first game it was a tie. Me and Peter won! We tied with 12 while Mina and Ron tied @ 13! I will take a win when I can.

We had 3 minutes to spare so we played the Tokyo game- since that is what you do! I was doing so well with my greens but got really hosed in the final round where NOTHING was rolling correctly for black and red. grrr. Ron won that game with 6 while the 3 of us all got 8.



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From gallery of punkin312





That was it! Ron and I had to head back in the blizzard to Niagara Falls. Why did it have to snow. Just to make out life a little more hectic.

It was super fabulous to game with Mina and Peter and I am even more looking forward to playing with them at DTC!! Many days of gaming with them will be a joy!! Why can't we all just live in the same town and game every day! Life would be so much happier! Wew ill at least try to make it happen once a year when we head to Niagara for the gathering. They are a few of my Favs!

I love that we are such good friends though BGG. It is truly and awesome experience gaming with friends from BGG. It needs to happen more!!






That is the full recap! Onto playing some more games! Enough blogging for the minute and time to play MORE MOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE GAMESSSSSSSSS

I am turning into a Zombie! Getting hardly any sleep- it is a bad idea but amazing at the same time! I can't sleep too excited! *also needing to blog* hahah







I hope you all have a great week!!

Thanks for reading!


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph





I just wanted to end with this....


I can't help but think of this when I think of Canada, I am sorry.
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