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January '19 Review - "I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste." -WS

Am I one of those guys who creates a BGG blog, then only posts to it once a month to review the past month? Well, maybe I am. I'm at least trying it out. Baby steps.

Games played:

 10   Shogi (7 all-time)
 8   Agricola (4 all-time)
 8   KeyForge: Call of the Archons x5 (10 all-time)
 8   Root (6 all-time)
 8   Transatlantic (2 all-time)
 7   Azul x2 (9 all-time)
 7   Get Bit! x2 (6 all-time)
 7   Gettysburg x2 NEW!
 7   Hero Realms (24 all-time)
 7   The Mind x3 (4 all-time)
 7   Ziegen Kriegen (12 all-time)
 6   Century: Spice Road NEW!
 6   PitchCar (12 all-time)
 6   Trains NEW!
 5   Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin NEW!

Most of these plays were with my children, as I only made it out to two game nights this past month. I'm still loving Keyforge. I'm undefeated against my children. :-) I've thought about playing in the local competitive scene (one gaming friend of mine is currently dominating the scene), but I just can't get excited about guys who have memorized every bit of errata, card combos, etc. I love Keyforge, but I don't luuuuuuuvvvvee Keyforge, if you get what I mean.

24 plays of 15 unique games. 4 of them new to me.


New-to-me games:

Gettysburg. My rating on this could go up. It's a short and simple "intro-level" hex-and-counter wargame. Between this and Fort Sumter, I've become a big fan of Mark Herman, making me want to re-visit Washington's War (which is the only other game I've played by him), and dive into some of his deeper, longer designs (like For the People).
Two notes on these recorded plays.
1) I've decided this year to track solo plays, IF I play through the entire game start to finish, and not just muck around a little to learn rules. So, one of these plays was a solo play.
2) My second play was with my 14yo daughter, who said that she enjoyed the game, which means I should get it played again. She's also the one who played Shogi with me this past month.

Century: Spice Road. I found this one tedious, generating cubes to trade in for cubes to make more cubes to spend cubes. I won the game I played, and felt it was overall pretty obvious. It's weird to me that people describe this as a Splendor killer. I'd rather play the simplicity and directness of Splendor any time over Century.

I mostly liked Trains. The "waste" mechanism is what is holding me back. I get why it's there, but I think that it mostly slows down the game instead of really providing for more interesting decisions.

I've decided that I really dislike the Exit games, but my family enjoys them, so I'm sure I'll keep experiencing them.


Special Explanation:

Get Bit! is not a great game. Rules as written, I don't really like it at all. But playing with house rules with my 5yo and 3yo, it's one of the best games around. The house rules are simple. Me and the 5yo both pick a specific colored lego man and the corresponding colored deck of cards. We shuffle our personal decks. Each turn then happens simultaneously, with each of us flipping the top card of our deck, war-style. Whoever has the higher number gets to tear a body part off of his opponent. After the turn, my 3yo, playing the shark, gets to roll a die. If she rolls a 6, the shark gets to eat everyone and instantly wins. That's the game. If the shark doesn't win, then last lego man with any part of his body left wins. It's a total luckfest, but it's fast and frantic, bloody and brutal, over in 5 minutes, and the kids have a loud, crazy, fun time, which means I have a loud, crazy, fun time.


Other thoughts:

-I broke down and bought a copy of Transatlantic yesterday. It was only $27 on Amazon, which is a steal.
-I don't think I ever want to play Agricola with 5 players ever again. 3 seems to be the sweet spot for me.
-I've finally gotten to the point at which Root is quite simple to teach. I think it may be time to add in the Lizards and Otters.
-The Mind is so much better than it has any right to be.


Non-board-game-related:

Albums listened to:
13 Rivers - Richard Thompson
Aeonic - Balsam Range
Ain't Nothin' to It - Cody Johnson
All Ashore - Punch Brothers
All for Money - Greensky Bluegrass
Magnolia - Randy Houser
Old News - The Steel Woods
Warrior Queen - High'n'Heavy

I have been using Goodreads and Letterboxd for books and movies. Is there any equivalent for music?

I didn't love any of these, though I did listen to the Thompson multiple times, so that's probably the winner. Richard Thompson has been making consistently good music for 50+ years (the first Fairport Convention album dropped in June '68). The rest of these listens were me checking out newer country/Americana stuff, and I guess also one doom metal album, just for the sake of keeping it eclectic.

Probably my favorite song of the month was this simple country song of fatherly advice from Cody Johnson:


Second favorite song was this Randy Houser track, mostly for the delivery behind the clever phrasing of "no turn unstoned." The rest of the Houser album doesn't live up to this (whereas the Johnson album is pretty good all around), but it's not bad, just not to my tastes.


My favorite track from the Thompson album:


Books/comics/journals finished:
Goodreads profile - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/52593427-oedipuss-wrecks
Best new-to-me book: The Burial at Thebes - Sophocles/Seamus Heaney

Films/TV watched:
Letterboxd profile - https://letterboxd.com/Oedipuss_Wrecks/
Best new-to-me film: Hereditary - Ari Aster
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