We officially got our first game of Cosmic Encounter in this weekend finally. 7 players and it really was a great time, despite me leaving the Invasion! card in the Destiny deck when it wasn't needed and we also allowed red aliens to be used which presented a lot of reading at the beginning of the game. But all in all it was fantastic and can't wait to get it to the table again. For a more specific write up, visit our session report here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/936372/first-play-of-cosmic-...
Also played and enjoyed:
Formula D x1
Carcassonne x4(easily my wife's favorite new game that we have played)
last Saturday, and he taught me this after I taught him how to play Eclipse. I was curious due to the controversy Kingdom Builder brought out due to the mechanic where you are forced to place your house pieces ONLY on the terrain type you draw per turn, so I wanted to see which side of the fence I would end up.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the game. While the house placement WAS limiting, the fact that you can get special action tiles which allow you to do extra actions and even break the rules makes the game fun. In addition, the victory conditions vary per game and the components were also really nice. It is also very easy to teach and is actually more of a gateway game which is accessible to non-gamers, plus the component quality is top notch. 2 Thumbs up and after the 2 games I now understand why it won the coveted Spiel de Jahres award! Both game were played with the Kingdom Builder: Nomads expansion.
Game 1: The gameplay is extremely easy, as I “get it” immediately. I did a better job in making more isolated settlements as well as having settlements in a horizontal line (due to the Hermit and Knights victory conditions), as I barely win with a score of 44 to Jake's 43!
Game 2: The victory conditions change as well as the special action tiles (Merchants, Workers, and Families). I focused too much in linking towers and castles (due to the Merchants) and totally forget about the Workers card, which gives bonus points for settlements around these locations. This cost me big time as Jake wins 64 to my 49!
= 7 Plays (NEW)
This simple push your luck dice game got a lot of plays with my sons and nephews! This made the purchase worth it!
With my nephews (played Sunday):
Game 1: Maki 13 Ethan 6 Me 2 Game 2: Me 13 Maki 6 Ethan 2
With my sons (played at different times over the week)
Game 1: Shawn 13 Me 0 Sherwin 0 Game 2: Me 13 Shawn 6 Sherwin 3 Game 3: Me 13 Shawn 4 Game 4: Me 13 Shawn 6 Game 5: Shawn 14 Me 6
= 2 Plays
Game 1: Played with my nephews Sunday. Ethan, Maki, and I try out the Big Money scenario. The title proves factual, as money did flow! Despite me getting the bulk of the provinces, Maki's domination of the Duchies was enough as he just edges me out with 44 pts to my 43 and Ethan's 38!
Game 2: Played at the FLGS Wednesday. The gals and I were joined by Luiz. We played the Size Distortion scenario from the rulebook, and we all learned the irritating effect of the Thief card. Luiz was going for the Garden strategy, but luckily 3 Kingdom decks ran out to end the game before he hit 40 cards. In the end Vangie was victorious as she had 30 pts to my 27, Luiz's 24 and Julie's 21.
= 2 Plays
Game 1: Played Saturday evening. This time I gamble and be aggressive, and this pays off!
Shawn = 48-33-39 = -24 Me = 53+29+29 = 111
Game 2: Played Monday evening. Shawn destroys me here
Shawn = 18+56+81 = 155 Me = -14+18-13 = -9
= 1 Play
A 2P teaching game with Jake Saturday, as we both use Terrans. Despite some confusion on the trade ratio rule, Jake manages to control more systems. However, I get more discovery and reputation tiles as I manage to defeat the ancients surrounding my hexes. In the end I take over the Galactic Center, and with better upgrades I make a thrust through his fleet in the last turn and manage to deny him VPs from his starting sector and a nearby hex. I get a final score of 33 (10 reputation 12 from controlled hexes 8 Discovery tiles 3 Science) and Jake 20 (5 reputation 11 Hexes 2 Discovery 2 Science), but for me this result isn't conclusive as this is just his first game.
= 1 Play
Shawn was restless for a game Sunday evening, thus we play this tile laying game.
I manage to build an advantage of Chieftains and coins during the game (with the robot player “Glenn” gobbling up a lot of tiles as usual). This enabled me to overcome my 12 pt penalty due to having a larger estate and Shawn's victory point bonus tiles, as I win 36-19.
Other games played during the week at the FLGS
= 1 Play (NEW)
I finally get to break out this game and teach it to both gals. Shogun is basically an area control game with a lot of pre-planned moves, but what made me interested to get this is the unique cube tower which is used to resolve combats, instead of dice. I must say it worked GREAT in this game!
We followed the recommended setup for 3P, using the Sun side of the board. At the end of the first year it was close, with Vangie having 22, Julie 21, and me 20 (I had lost a province due to peasant revolt due to lack of rice!). In the 2nd turn I invaded more territories at the expense of getting more armies, and also strategically build certain types of buildings in order to get the bonuses for having the majority of that building type, at the risk of being vulnerable to invasion. My strategy worked and although I AGAIN lost another province due to revolt since I lacked rice (the gals did a good job of collecting rice and put down all revolts, while I was spread thin) my greater number of territories and building majority bonus enabled me to pull away, with an ending score of 58 VPs to Vangie's 51 and Julie's 46!
The gals found the game OK, the only detriment being the game length (it took us 3 hours, being our first play of this). I expect that future games will not last so long, although I do want to try at least a 4P game of this!
= 1 Play
We had a very nice 3P game at the FLGS. The action was fast and furious as cards and huts were aggressively bought. In the end Julie and my focus on collecting sets of the card symbols proved key as we both ended in the lead, but I just had a bit more bonuses from the Trading track as I edge her out in a very close victory, with a score of 219 to her 216 and Vangie's 174!
= 1 Play
Gladiator cup semifinal game versus Ricky's Dwarfs. The Dawn attack deployment rules left both of our armies with really funny deployments, as my skinks were all strung out the center, and my main blocks were at the flanks, when it should be other way around. Ricky's deployment was not bad as he managed to create a castle on his left flank, but he had an organ gun and a cannon ALL the way to his right flank all alone.
These 2 war machines were automatically my targets as I moved all my skinks froward towards them, and shifted my ground units to my left as well, creating a refused flank situation. My salamanders were made distraction units as they were the only ones to frontally approach the castle. Despite losing my chameleon skinks and a salamander unit, the rest of the skinks destroyed the organ guns and a cannon, while one of my saurus blocks finished off another cannon in an uneven close combat battle.
The Magic War was fierce as the Dwarven Runelord resisted a lot of spells by my Slann, but in 1 critical turn the Slann managed to get the Dwellors Below spell off at the Hammerer Unit, and the unfortunate Runelord was dragged to him doom as well as a lot of Hammerers! I then did not bite as Ricky moved his other Dwarfs forward, and thus they could not reach my units when the game ended. I win with a score of 893-158!
My wife doesn't enjoy any of the abstract games we have but offered to try Pentago again but wanted to learn some strategy. Not that I'm an expert by any means, but I taught her a couple of the basics from the rulue book with some of my own commentary. The surprising thing is she won 4 of the 5 games we played. Not sure what happened there... doh! But it was fun. Now if I can just get her to try Hive again.
Saturday morning I met my college room mate for our first play of X-Wing. He and I both acquired some miniatures for this back in December but struggled to get it to the table, so given we were the only two up for a game early it was an obvious choice.
I lined up with two Tie Fighters (28 pts) against his Luke Skywalker piloted X-Wing (28 pts) for a walkthrough game. I tried a gradual approach with the intent to do a split and force him to choose a target while I hopefully circled around to attack him from behind. Good intentions, but I found my self unable to put any hurt on him while spending lots of time trying to shake off his pursuit.
We really enjoyed the game. The pilot, movement, upgrade, critical hit, and combination variety in this game holds a lot of promise. We talked about it on Sunday with some of the guys who asked how it went. Hopefully it will see the table again soon.
After X-Wing we fit a game of Trajan in so that he could get a refresher on the rules before playing it with his wife later that night. I was able to inflict some revenge for the utter distruction he dished out earlier. So a good morning with a split of the mornings spoils.
As hard as I tried I couldn't muster enough interest for any more games on Saturday night or Sunday. I'm hoping that if I'm in town on Saturday that we can get some of the other guys together for an early morning first play of Battlestar Galactica.
I was never a huge fan of Kingsburg when I first played it. I wanted to like it, but the King's die just made everything too easy. After reading a few comments on here about the expansion fixing that, I finally gave in and picked up both boxes on Saturday. It's a simple, light game, and my girlfriend likes dice games. We started off with the basic game just so she can get a feel for it and things went pretty well. Neither of us are blown away by it but are wanting to finally try it with the expansion to remove the whole "the King killed all of the invaders for you" bit I always seem to encounter. We'll hopefully try the expansion next weekend.
Saturday finished off with 3 games of Mutant Meeples before the lacrosse game came on and demanded our attention. I won all 3 games: 6 - 1, 6 - 2, and 6 - 1. She insisted we leave the game out for the next day so she can settle the score.
Back for 10 more mind-bending games of Mutant Meeples on Sunday! We played with all 10 meeples out. Two of the games were really close with us having 7 each and being decided by whomever could find the last solution first. Unfortunately she only managed to win one of the ten games. Even when I was down by 4 or so and not seeing anything, I'd suddenly hit a string of luck and come charging back to win. She insisted on a rematch after every single game. I still find it amusing since she thought she wouldn't like the game when I first told her about it a few weeks ago. We'd have probably kept playing if it wasn't getting late and my brain had not started seeping out of my ears. I'm sure we'll be back at it next weekend for another rematch.
Friend came over for a couple quick games. He recently traded for Pillars of the Earth, so we started a three player with that one. My wife and I had played this before about three years ago, and it is simple enough to play, so there were no problems getting through it. I played horribly though, getting some early masons for a slight lead in points. The high worker cost of stone proved my undoing, as the other two were getting plenty of points from the easier to get sand and wood. I started stockpiling metal early, figuring it would make up for it at the end, but on the final turn, I was one coin short of getting the craftsmen I needed and ended in a dismal last place by almost 20 points. My wife was also short of money, and went from being in the lead most of the game to second place after the final round.
After that, we played a game of Tzolk'in that we were all already familiar with. My two starting tiles put me on the second space of the building technology track, so I used that to my advantage and built plenty of buildings, making sure to go up the resource track to get extra resources for more buildings. It paid off in the end where I ended the game with a personal best of 101 points. My wife came in second in the mid-60s and my friend (who in the previous two playings of this game beat both beat the other by only 1 or 2 points), ended in the late 40s.
Later on, my wife and I played a game of At the Gates of Loyang, where I won with a record setting 19 points and 13 coins. And it surely wasn't because my wife was being nice to me, she traded away a market stall I needed at one point, as well as used the trader for another vegetable I needed. But I bought an early field that really paid off and set me up for some big early money which advanced me on the track quite a bit.
On Sunday, went to my parent's house and played a game of Beowulf: The Movie with my wife, mom, and brother. First round ended pretty closely, except for my wife who did pretty bad. Than she destroyed us all on the second round to take the lead. The third round was crazy, with my wife not placing her Beowulf figure, and me using a dragon horn to raise the value of my Beowulf and spearman, which ultimately contributed to my win. This was probably the most exciting game of this I had played in a long time.
This Sunday, I took the Germans in the "Paralyzed from the West Down" scenario in Combat Commander: Europe. I carefully divvied up my forces, ensuring comprehensive field-of-fire coverage and multiple possible paths of retreat, and cackled silently while my opponent set up her troops in a way guaranteed to send them right through my channels of death.
And then I didn't draw a Fire card for like three turns.
The Americans waltzed past my impenetrable defenses, took up positions where they could form massive firegroups from the safety of fortifications, and before long, both my leaders were dead. I managed to rally one of my groups, but with the inability to form significant firegroups, it was only a matter of time. The Americans carefully and methodically picked off squads one by one until I hit the surrender limit.
Despite the crushing defeat, still an entertaining game - there were a few real hope spots, such as a reveal of hidden mines stopping one advance completely and hidden wire leaving a big group stranded in the road for several turns. Love to try this one again.
Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
We played Tzolk'in at Maevre's place: our first try at this fancy looking game. As it was my first play I was planning to adopt a basic strategy, focusing mostly on trying to feed my workers. But my starting bonus cards pushed me into the religion track, so I ended up focusing all my energy on that. This meant that I was contuously scrambling for food, but I was also raking in the points. So I ended up winning my first game, yay!
(If people are looking down, it's because I'm kicking their ass!)
It seems to be a fun euro with some replay value. I really like the small tech trees and the starting cards - they already give you a boost to go try a certain strategy. I do hope Meavre paints the wheel, it will look awesome!
I played a couple of solo games on Saturday (Onirim and the GamesForOne variant of Blue Moon City), losing both. Saturday night, we went to visit some friends and took my new copy of Alea Iacta Est. I won that one by one point, with two people tied for second.
No fair! They're using brains against us! We removed our brains to make room for guns and explosives!
Finished running the 3rd part of the Legacy of Fire adventure path Saturday. Was a bit frustrating for the players as they lack many of the skills this arc relied on (gather info primarily) but they managed to get through in the end.
Sunday, my 8 year old and I fought a burning building in Flash Point: Fire Rescue, managing to rescue the victims from a 2-story blaze.
United States Western Burbs of Beantown Massachusetts
Played this for the first time. Love it! Fast to set up, easy rules, but some pretty good strategy involved for such a short game. Played this 3 times, and we finished in under 1/2 an hour each game. I lost 2 out of 3 to my son, because I botched one rule and forfeited the game after we settled our scores. I enjoyed this game so much I ordered Agricola right after we finished. Looking forward to finally playing that one, has been on my wishlist for years.
Also got a game of Catan Seafarers in with the family. My oldest son won that one too.
The other night we had some guests over and played Wits and Wagers and Dixit with 8 of us playing. Pretty fun weekend of gaming.
As usual, the weekend was pretty busy for me, but we managed to get in three plays of this on Friday afternoon before I had to head out to work in the evening. Still hits the spot as a light and quick filler, now up to 47 plays.
A busy weekend, all I managed was two games of Call to Glory with my wife. Both played with both variants (Power of Ninja and Imperial Tasks). I like playing it this way, makes for some interesting play. Gotta write up a review of this game now I played it every which way.
Going back to Thursday (if that is allowed), I taught myself Onirim and surprised myself by winning my first game. Think I got a little lucky.
Saturday game night I taught Age of Steam (well, the rules anyway. Apparently someone needs to teach me how to play, as I lost to the two I was teaching. ) 3 players on base map. 4 players would definitely be better. At least I got to play!
Just got this and a Blu-ray copy of the movie. We watched the movie right before the game then played for 2 hours. This was a great way to introduce MP to the kids, and I had never played any of the Fluxx series prior to this weekend.
Picked this up for cheap on Amazon, and the first copy arrived with a hole in the box. The older kids were already champing at the bit to play, so when the replacement showed up Saturday we squeezed in a game while the wife shopped and the babies napped. My daughter (8) took the win, which seems to be becoming a pattern with new games. She experienced the expected level of twisted satisfaction from fraggin her dad and older brother. The fact that she'd hardly played any cards, because she didn't really know what anything besides the weapons was for, was simply salt in the wound....
Like doomturtle above, my play was The Pillars of the Earth, over a year and a half after I picked it up on EBay. Finally broke open the shrink and tried a solitaire learning game with 3 before trying to teach it. I'm not sure I see anything better in "Pillars" than in any other worker placement game, but one solo play certainly isn't enough to say.
I'm hoping I can get the wife interested after the Stone Age kick has burned out.
Oscars Night Dominion Party! The wife and I had a few friends over for Dominion and Oscars viewing. Everyone filled out a ballot. As each winner was announced, those who picked the winner immediatley gained a Gold. At one point, we were in between games, and they announced two awards back to back. I ended up the two Golds in my discrad pile to start the next game. I won two games and most overall points, thanks to correctly picking 13 of 24 Oscar winners.
Also played a two-player game of the Kingsburg: Shifting Alliances scenario. It was my first time playing with any of the scenarios, and this one worked out well. Lots of playing the dice-rolling odds and figuring out what my advisors my wife wanted.