GCL Episode 82: Your gaming genealogy, March 10, 2013
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Hi, welcome to the GCL: Eclipse discussion list for the week of March 10th, 2013. Hopefully you can point to a group of people who constitute your 'gaming family'. These could be people you are actually related to, or they could be people you game with, or people whom you discuss gaming with. It is in this spirit I will pose a few questions...


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Kenny VenOsdel
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Saint Paul
Minnesota
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1. Board Game: Papa Bear [Average Rating:5.03 Overall Rank:13837]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Who's your daddy? I don't mean to be sexist, so if you prefer, "Who's your Mamma?"


Can you point to that one person in your life who made gaming important?
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2. Board Game: Famiglia [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1461]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Do you have a close group that constitutes your immediate family of gamers?
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3. Board Game: Nexus [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Are there people in your life that have served to extend your gaming reach? I call these people "nexus points".
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4. Board Game: Family Reunion: The Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Do you have any big special events with your gaming family?
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5. Board Game: Baby Chicks [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Do you have 'gaming children'? These could really be your kids. But perhaps you have people who have followed your lead and become gamers because of your influence?
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6. Board Game: Skittle-Bowl [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:9757]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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This past week I have been traveling (Hong Kong), so no gaming action. Prior to that, I did manage a small amount of gaming:

Skittle Bowl is fast and fun. It was a treat to get my wife and father-in-law to play.

Snowdonia - A second play for me, and a odd instance of the game, at least I hope so. The weather was FOUL. The entire first half of the game was either rainy or fog. The game largely built itself due to events.

Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944 - We played the basic game, which worked reasonably well. I want to move on to the advanced game next time. Then I can consider the expansion.

Würfel Bohnanza - Good fun. We played with 4, but I think 3 may be the best number.
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7. Board Game: Decktet [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1852]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Plays last week:

10
Adaman

3
Decktet

2
Mr. Jack Pocket

Cribbage
Dixit Jinx


Decktet plays were the initial test plays of a game I'm designing for the 2 player PnP contest. I am temporarily calling it "Deck[tet] Building" and it is a combination deckbuilding and trick taking game for the Decktet. Essentially you start with similar hands of cards and play to tricks in order to claim more cards from the middle of the table. Cards claimed and played go into personal discard piles and when your hand is empty you pick up your discard pile as your new hand.

The initial tests resulted in some very quick drastic changes. I'm looking forward to testing it more since I think it has promise to be a nice and quick game that isn't overly complicated but still quite unique. It also strikes me as a good introductory game for the Decktet but you know, rose-tinted glasses and all that. If you'd like to check it out more officially here is my entrance thread. I'd love feedback from anyone who cares to give it.

Deck[tet] Building
I also decided to enter one of my older designs: Pauntel's Got Talent

Mr Jack Pocket was acquired for real cheap and is an alright game. Pretty fast with relatively simple game play. The first game we played was a good fight with me edging out a win. The second game I was Mr Jack and due to the layout got absolutely hosed almost right away. There is potential for imbalance depending on how the action tokens end up. Overall it was okay though. I can see it being a decent game to play with younger kids since the nasty theme doesn't really come through.

We played Dixit Jinx and it was a huge disappointment. Perhaps it was just group think or maybe us trying to hard but we had a really hard time making clues people could guess. The game was just really slow and not really worth it. It definitely didn't feel like "Dixit-Lite" which is what I had been led to believe. I'd like to give it another chance but I'll probably be getting rid of it.
 
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8. Board Game: Empires of the Ancient World [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:2891]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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Play:

I got to play three games this week:

Go Away Monster! with my son - and this time, we managed to finish the play we had started. He won, too, though he was confused when I told him.

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game solo, twice, with the Deathwing terminators and the Tyranid enemies. Of course, after so much time of not having played at all and with me kind of sucking anyway, I lost both games.

Empires of the Ancient World at the Friday night meeting I've mentioned. A great game, with quite some luck, but also lots of strategic and tactical choices. It's great how some games manage to last exactly as long as they should - this one doesn't feel a bit too short, and doesn't overstay its welcome.

Acquisitions:

While I was at my FLGS, I picked up the Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild that I had preordered. Quite the box really, almost as much content as the base game has.

Wave 2 of my X-Wing collection came in. I'm in the process of crafting a Realistic Corellian Corvette for the Custom Mission : The Redeemer (and probably also a larger scenario or two that also feature a Corvette), and have these ships now:



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9. Board Game: Hanafuda [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2641]
EGG Head
United States
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I was very excited to have won a copy of the Modern Hanafuda deck in a baglottery. My partner and I tried Koi-Koi tonight. The cards are beautiful.
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10. Board Game: God's Playground [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1407]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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Games Played:

Played a full game of this last night, and I quite like it. It has some rules issues (mainly sections just could be better written), but it is an interesting game, and very unlike any other game I have played. I look forward to trying it again fairly soon before all the rules slip out of my head.

Acquisitions:

1969 (Lenny will be excited)
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11. Board Game: 1829 Mainline [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:5312]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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Games Played 3/3 - 3/9

Balloon Cup x2
I'm enjoying dusting this one of (so to speak). It plays a little slow on Yucuta though, but if I can coordinate semi-live games its more interesting.

Combat Commander: Europe x2
Scenario 7 of my ongoing series. We're really making good progress now. This was a really fun scenario (we each play each side for a 2-game match). The Russians had a random hex set-up, but pretty easy movement representing partisan help. I'm having a blast with this one. I'm going to have to check out Wargameroom.com (its been years) and see how the CC:E Beta testing is coming along.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game x2
We polished off (very easily) the Hills of Emyn Muil scenario. Basically we are hunting for Gollum along the Anduin River. I left the decks intact from our last scenario, so they weren't very well suited to this adventure. But it was such a (relatively) easy adventure that we won it pretty readily even with suboptimal decks. I doubt the next couple adventures will be so kind.

Thurn and Taxis x2
I'm in another Yucata tourney. I've eclipsed some kind of critical number of games, though, and I'm doing horribly. I just don't have that much time to think about my moves. I'm going to have to be a bit more selective about which events I enter. St Petersburg is starting soon, and I think I'll make a better showing in that one.

1829 Mainline x1
I finally got this one out. Its fun as a bit of a solo puzzle, but I have to admit I was underwhelmed. Anyway, its a lot different goal than playing multiplayer, and it took me a while to figure that out. You're just trying to run out the bank....so you don't really need very much personal money. Just need enough to buy what shares you can which will allow companies to buy trains and lay track.

The Castles of Burgundy x1
I'm starting to get frustrated with the layout of a few of the alternate boards. The starting tile distribution can really ham string you, if you're unlucky. I'd prefer to have a bit more flexible in the early game.

El Grande x1
This one is an ageless wonder. Every time I play I wonder why its been so long since the last time.

Thunderstone x1
Yay! Yucata got new cards, which I assume represent an expansion or two. I got my butt kicked, but I'll enjoy playing some more with the additional new characters/spells/items.

Vikings x1
This is a game where I entered the tournament without being entirely sure how to play the game. Well....I've learned quickly. I'm at least a competent player now. Its a fun game, but not good with 4p (at least by the rules supported on Yucata).
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12. Board Game: Löwenherz [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:821]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Games Played 3/6-3/12:

New to me:

D-Day Dice - I'm not a fan of cooperative games - but I enjoy playing them. (I just don't tend to want to play them again and again.) But I really enjoyed my play of D-Day Dice. Still not tempted to pick one up, but I'd play it again.

Postcard from the Revolution - very, very simple wargame. Which can be good, but there really needs to be a unique twist, and there isn't one here. (We played the Battle for Brandywine Creek, specifically, but the rules are essentially identical.)

O.R.B.I.T. - reasonably interesting try, but in the end just so-so as a game.

Kermit the Frog Card Game - other than Kermit, little to recommend it.

Other games played:

Targi - sticking in there; I like the game, and I suspect it's safe until my next two player game purge. The only game I own which I haven't played five or more times.

King of Tokyo x2 - safely in my collection. I should do this more often - play a game I'm not certain about multiple times to decide. But for some reason I never do...

Catan - yea, got to play my favorite game.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar x2 - has dropped a rating for me, but still in my collection. The reason is simple - while I like what's going on in the game, I'm increasingly convinced that the temples are too strong. While there is some balancing to this, it does take away from the game for me.

Macao - I really like this game, and would like to be playing it more often. Gotta see if I can manage that...

Löwenherz - I have been playing this more, if just a bit more. I really enjoy this game; it's a _mean_ game, but in a very interesting way.

Race for the Galaxy - believe it or not, my first play in 2013...

Bridge - of course...

1846: The Race for the Midwest - played it horribly, but had fun.

Kardinal & König: Das Kartenspiel - finally used my Artscow deck; definitely shuffles better.

King's Breakfast - it's been a decade since this was released; it remains my favorite game released in 2003, which was a bit of a down year.

In other news - I have booked my plane to Essen...
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13. Board Game: Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:280]
Rick Goudeau
United States
Moody
Alabama
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Games played

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery
The game has some good ideas. Liked the intrigue phase where you get to mess with the other players or thwart their schemes. Even when they fail it is interesting since you are bleeding resources. Hadn't figured out the value to place on fighters and slaves versus gaining from hosting the combats. The combat phase is short as it should be since the focus is on behind the scenes manipulation - we went in and started hacking, didn't see much need for maneuver perhaps we should have.

Wouldn't my retrying it.

Hanabi
A cooperative deduction game, where you don't see your own cards - but see the others and have to supply clues to the others of what to play or discard. Ok for what it is, but didn't get me too excited.

The Resistance
Werewolf style games are not my thing, but this is a better implementation of it. At least most everyone else had fun with it, so I was happy to play along.

Pacific Typhoon
One of my favorites and on that to me plays better with more players. Like how your form ad-hoc teams each round. This time we had 6 players and something that never happened before. We had one battle that had a 4 round tie, then another 3 rounder! So many cards were pulled from the mix in these series that by the last few rounds we almost couldn't play any more - too few ships remaining. Reminds me to revisit the rules on extended battles and see if we should adjust the number of battles when that occurs.

As a side note - I haven't been commenting much this week, I was tired from participating in a living history during the weekend at Andersonville Ga National Historic Site as Union prisoner. http://www.nps.gov/ande/planyourvisit/livinghistoryweekend.h...

A photo from last year to give you an idea of what it looks like.

I'm in the back center in front of the shebang with the faded black hat. I think I'm playing checkers with my son's homemade set which used buttons for the pieces.

It was a good weekend to be wearing wool, mid 60s in the day mid 40s at night. We had around 1500 visitors over the weekend. I have to commend the park staff, their interest and enthusiasm of the history of the park is evident. They've done a lot of personal research into a tragic part of American history.
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