Brettspill på Hamar bibliotek
Jason Woodburn
Norway
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A gaming club, Terningkast7, has been organising gaming evenings at the Hamar library since the beginning of the year. I finally made it to one of the events, and decided to make a geeklist that I can use as an ongoing record of the games I play when I make it down there.
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1. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:527]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I was one of the first to arrive. We moved some tables around, set up some chairs, and someone pulled this out. I squeaked in as the fourth, and played two games. I tied for first in the first game, and finished second in the second. It's been years since I played this, and I think I only ever played it once, at one of Chris S.'s game days in Iowa City. I'm pretty sure my play was flawed then, and remains so now. I just head for the middle with my biggest pieces... but nobody really gets blocked off that way, anyway. A nice, fast, cognitively straightforward game to get the afternoon started off right.
 
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2. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I'm sort of amazed at how seldom I've played this game, given that I acquired it right at its release, I like it a lot, it's quite popular, and it's quick and easy. Since the Essen where it came out, this is, I think, the third time I've played it? Unbelievable. Anyway, two of the people from the Blokus group decided to pull this out, we got a Norwegian explanation from someone more familiar with the game than me, and everyone seemed to pick it up pretty quick. I got a couple Smithies, and a couple cards to give me extra actions in the first few plays, grabbed a string of golds, and then progressed right into a bunch of provinces. The other three, first timers all, kind of dawdled between different action cards, only buying any vp cards very late in the game, and ended up with lower scores. I hope to have a marathon session of this game at some point to "make up for lost time".
 
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3. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:374]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I played this once, a long time ago, at Mary and Ravindra's. I remember thinking it was all right. One of the guys in the Dominion game really wanted to play this, though he didn't know what it was called. He just kept saying "get the bean game... the bean game!" I said "Bohnanza?" and he replied "No! Not Banana! Bean! Like you plant in the ground!". So I just went and got it. He did the teaching, as he had played it just the week before. A couple rules were left out (we didn't start with the 3rd field in a 3 player game, some one bean fields were sold when they shouldn't have been), and we only played through the deck once. It was about as fun as I remembered it, I won by one coin.
 
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4. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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Throughout the day there were several guys playing Magic at one of the tables. A fellow I had played against at one of the pre-release tournaments showed up, we chatted for a couple minutes, and then one of the other players invited me to play using his decks. It was a bit of a mis-match, but fun to see how the cards worked. He killed me on about the sixth turn with a big, copied burn spell and some goblin tokens.
 
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5. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:579]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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The three other Magic players expressed interest in playing a boardgame. I had stuffed this and a few other small games in my bag, and they decided they wanted to try this one. It's pretty straightforward and quick to teach, and everybody got the basic idea. We had a fairly even run to five developments and a close game all around, which I won with 35 pts. They were happy to have tried it, and seemed excited to pick up a copy for their club.
 
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6. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:284] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I arrived a little bit late today. There was one game of Blokus in progress, and a couple people standing around. Thomas, the organizer, herded four of us together to play Settlers. There was a brief rules explanation, Thomas gave up his seat so he could play Go, and we were off. Stone was hard to come by in our game, but I ramped up to nine points fairly quickly buy grabbing both longest road and biggest army. However, I had made a mistake laying two of my road pieces in the wrong place, so I knew I wouldn't keep longest road. I bought a couple action cards hoping to get a lucky winner, but it wasn't to be. I lost longest road, but was able to pick up a couple vp cards, and then had a huge round in which I amassed massive quantities of sheep which allowed me to trade for the resources I needed to build a city and win. Ruben wanted to play again, and we were joined by Federica, replacing one of the other players. However, her and another player had to leave to catch a bus after about half an hour. There was no point trying to finish, and it was too late to start another game. If I would have known they were leaving, I would have suggested something shorter. Oh well.
 
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7. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I was a little unhappy to have made the trip just for 1.5 games of Settlers, but, thankfully, some guys that were playing Magic invited me to join them for a couple games after the library event was over. We took a short walk to one fellow's apartment, where I played a one on one game of Commander, which I won, and then a four player game in which, sadly, it was my turn to leave early so I could catch a train. I was running Vela the Night Clad, the 1v1 game was against a mono red Krenko goblin tribal deck, and the two of us were joined by Rakdos and Tetsuo Umezawa (I think?) for the group game. I think the Rakdos player probably had the strongest deck. Maybe I'll bring Karador along next time. I'm not a huge fan of constructed Magic, but I do enjoy casual Commander games.
 
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8. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:423]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I had been unsure about bringing this along, as we play in a library and the game can be quite loud. However, I really wanted to introduce it to the group, as it's fun and by a Norwegian designer, and I also wanted a game that would fit in a smaller box. I separated out the stuff that's needed for the basic game, and just took that. The only other game I played was Magic, and rather than make a separate entry for it, I'll just lump it in here.

I played one game of one v one Commander MtG while waiting for people to show up. Sindre, Tom, and Kim-Erik showed up and were willing to join in for Escape. Then they were eager to play again, and, finally, a third time, which we finally won. I have played this game with a few different groups now, and it's interesting watching people develop a strategy between plays.

Sindre and I played another one v one Commander game while waiting for other games to finish. Kharador pulled out a fairly tight game against Krenko, when he had a chance to go infinite with Kikki Jikki (I exiled his other creature) and got to attack me with something like 23 3/3 tokens two or three times. Good thing Spike Weaver was around.

After the library closed, we went over to Sindre's apartment and played a group game of Commander MtG. My deck got a good draw, and, I think, was a little overpowered compared to the group of decks it was facing. I achieved a pretty silly board state without too much disruption, and soon got to a point where nobody else was going to be able to either keep creatures or meaningful permanents on the board, or disrupt me at all. I won shortly later with an increasingly gigantic Vish Kal.

Daniel arrived and was eager to try Escape, as he had watched us having fun at the library. We played two five player games, winning both, the second one handily. Daniel commented that he liked the idea that you could modify the difficulty by adding gems or starting with fewer dice. Everybody was really enthusiastic about the game, so I was happy and, of course, will bring it again.

I think next time I go, I will take the curses and treasures.
 
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9. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:582] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Jason Woodburn
Norway
Halden
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I arrived a little early this week, and there were just three other people waiting. As soon as Thomas showed up with the games, Federica was excited to play Settlers, and immediately plopped it on the table. We had just gotten started when a big influx of people came in, and mostly started to settle in for A Game of Thrones (which seemed a little ambitious, to me, given the need for a rules explanation and the library closing in less than three hours). One of our players left to join this game, and was replaced by Kai. A pretty standard game of Settlers, Kai was able to jump out to an early lead, gaining both longest road and biggest army. I, however, was also in the action card race, which allowed me to eventually take both away from him and win by trading piles of sheep to the bank for stone and upgrading a city.

After Settlers, Kim-Erik was interested in Escape, so I taught it to Kai and Federica and we played one game with the basic rules, winning, and then decided to add curses and treasures. We played twice with the added modules, and failed on both occasions. However, the second attempt was a nail bighter, with everyone in the exit room when the game ended. More than anything else, the extra time it takes to get the curses and deal with them really makes the game significantly harder.

At this point, time was a bit short, so I pulled out a game I was interested in introducing them to - Ricochet Robots. We went through a quick teaching of the game, and played 4 or 5 rounds. I think people were starting to get the hang of it by the end. I have a bad habit of rushing my announcement of a solution, sadly.

One of the interesting things about this group is that there don't seem to be too many people who are very experienced with different games. Consequently, there's no real pressure to play new games, and many of them have been surprised by how much they liked games I've brought. They are hoping to get some funding to buy some games, so it will be interesting to see what they get.
 
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