Why We're Here in the First Place: Werewolf Gamers (5/13/13)
Goo
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Yorba Linda
California
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This is a geeklist for BGG Werewolf players to talk about games other than Werewolf.

Let's try our games discussion in Geeklist format. I'm not sure what, if anything is to be gained, but let's see.

Post what you played in the last week, your rating of the game, and thoughts on the games.
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1. Board Game: Locomotive Werks [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2758]
Goo
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Yorba Linda
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The only games for me this week were with my usual Monday night group. This week I played 3 new games. I'm usually pretty curmudgeonly about learning new games all the time, but all 3 were winners.

7 Terra Mystica - A straight up euro cube pusher. I was a little put off by the length and downtime, but I think that will work itself out as we learn the game more. I think 3 of us were brand new and the other 2 had played once before. The variable player powers will make for unique experiences with each play. I am happy to play more of this, but it needs to be quicker for me. Rating may go up with more plays.

8 Paris Connection - A fantastic short cube rails game. It's one of the simplest games to explain (on your turn, exchange 1 stock for 1 or 2 of another color or build 1-5 track of any color). But the decisions quickly become interesting. You always have to be building your portfolio to get to the maximum share count, but if you do it early, you don't know what companies are going to be valuable and if you do it to late, well, it's too late. At 30 minutes, this is a nice quickie for any game night.

8 Locomotive Werks - The highlight of the night for me. I really loved this game. It's very mathy, so we need some pencils and paper next time. I think this is a very tactical game where you need to know when to stand pat, when to push ahead, and even sometimes, when to back off (well, when to buy something that's phasing out of the game). I've been thinking about this since I played and I want to play it again right now.

Ongoing:

9 1889: History of Shikoku Railways - I'm playing 2 PBF games of 1889 here in BGG and using rails + dropbox. I really like 18xx, but the long games make it hard to play much in real life. The rails java app is fantastic and I get my 18xx fix on the daily.

? 1856: Railroading in Upper Canada from 1856 - I'm in my first game of 1856 using rails + dropbox. The jury is still out on 1856. It's a weird one. In fact, the game has stalled for a few days because I need to go read the rules again. I keep scratching my head. So far, seems pretty good, though.
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2. Board Game: Core Worlds: Galactic Orders [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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This was the only game we managed to fit into the boardgames evening this time around. Three hours and change. Comments from the thread:

Quote:
Played Core Worlds for the first time last night.

First obvious observation: that's a long game. Especially with five players, especially when some of them haven't played before, and especially when the owner insists that including the expansion is necessary.

Second obvious observation: there's a lot going on. You're constantly managing cards and actions and energy for efficiency. It feels like to play the game properly, you need to be very aware of what your opponents have in play and what their capabilites are, but it was hard enough to keep track of your own. And given how much space you need, people were having to get out of their seats just to look at what was available in the central display, let alone trying to keep an eye on opponents' warzones.

Still, I felt like I did pretty well. I got a workbot and a repair station in the sector zero draft, so I was able to deploy cheaply and keep stuff in play after invasions. Early game I picked up two assault troopers and two clawfighters, conquered a lot of planets and buried a lot of cards. I was leading in energy production for most of the game, ended up with two core worlds, a big prestige card and the worldship. Had a slight stumble at the end, where I had enough troops left to take another planet but they were all gone, whereas I probably could have got a small prestige card if I'd saved the energy. But ended with a score of 47, which seemed pretty good.

The winner had a score in the low fifties, though. About twenty of that came from galactic order tokens, and about fifteen from conquering Raven and scoring a big batch of tokens again. Obviously it's a valid tactic, but it feels like he was playing a different game from the rest of us - even including Raven he had the least points on the table from the 'main' draft-and-conquer game, but the points from the area-control thing over to the side were enough to push him from last to first.

I don't know, just left a bad taste in everyone's mouth since it felt like this really long game was pretty irrelevant next to the endgame points and we should have just been constantly playing symbol cards and never using them. The area-control mechanic seems a bit wonky, since you get points for your own tokens rather than a set reward. You can have ten tokens in an area nobody else is contesting, and you're still rewarded for spamming more because each one is a VP, or in this case two VPs.


I think that's it for this week so far, unless you count top trumps with the sproglet. Played For Sale and Small World: Realms over the weekend, though.
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3. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:277]
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I played a few games last night with my gaming group:

Avalon: Always goes over well. I like Avalon more than the Resistance because people generally feel like there is enough information out there to go on but it doesn't have the cards that The Resistance has (which I find to be broken/overpowered). We had 10 players, and Good won after the Assassin made a poor decision on who Merlin was.

Rating: 7-ish

Hanabi: The firework game. A simple cooperative card game, but one that we have been playing a lot of over the past couple weeks. Giving limited hints is surprisingly entertaining, and with the right crowd this game plays very well.

Rating: 8

Werewolf: It's official. I have made another wolf den, and this one is deeply rooted now. Since I moved to Halifax and brought Werewolf to them, my gaming group has played it almost every week without fail. We close out game nights with it, we've had noise complaints because of it, and we still have new people watching and joining in to what has become a staple of the gaming night.

Rating: 10 (still my favorite game....)
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4. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:42]
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
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Not sure how Goo matched those rating colors. I'll join in the fun. Now that I'm making an effort to denounce the cult of the new, I'm playing a lot more of my favorites. (sometimes I do feel a twang of guilt that I'm bullying my playmates though - they sure do love learning new games)

d10-9 Netrunner - 3 plays. This game... THIS GAME. Back in the day this would've been my only d10-1d10-0. After expanding my gaming mind via BGG and moving to SoCal I realized it had it's problems, but the rerelease fixes all of them - really. The only thing preventing me from increasing this to a d10-1d10-0 is that I don't have a hardcore opponent (and I don't own it)... yet.

d10-7 Nieuw Amsterdam - first play. This game is quite good. Very "euro-ish" where the players can seek victory via three different paths. The interactive blocking comes from auctioning lots of up to three different actions every turn. Back before I became a people-powered gamer I would've loved this game.

d10-9 Age of Steam Expansion #1: England - first play. The Ireland map is my favorite Age of Steam map. I have now played both sides of Expansion #1. Southern England is good, but not as good as Ireland. There was one new player, and the other 4 of us had to knock the rust off of our Age of Steam heuristics. It was a rocky start, and a rough map; especially with the number of red cubes in the production chart. Everyone built blocking routes so that there were zero monocolor routes available in the last third of the game.

d10-8 Terra Mystica - second play. This game is good! I think it feels the same as Brass, except instead of being limited by cards you're only limited by the other players actions. The unique races are what I really like about this game since they open up everyone's choices and make it very replayable.

d10-8 Paris Connection - first play. Wonderful people-powered game that finishes in 30 minutes. I'm looking forward to more plays so I can get my head around it.

d10-8 Locomotive Werks - third play. I was happy to teach this game. The design is so simple, but within the rigid structure are a lot of decisions and valid choices. Another game I need to play more to get my head around.
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Blue (They/She)
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Guelph
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So far this week:

4 plays, Rating 7.5: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland - This is included since this year I've started including iPad games if they're against someone face-to-face or on the phone. Ruth's in Michigan this week and so we've been playing a nightly game of TtR Swiss on iPads against each other before bed while chatting. I like the Swiss map a lot more than the US map for our 2-player games, since the US map basically ends up being multiplayer solitaire where we barely even get into the same half of the board with each other. Switzerland is confrontational because it HAS to be, there just isn't space for anything less. While I think the ticket distribution isn't perfect after a bunch of plays (going into the southern end of the country usually ends up being a deathtrap, points-wise, it seems like), it's still a fun game to play against each other.

1 play, Rating 8: Love Letter - I can't get over how clever this game is, and how great a filler it is for four people. Played this on a Monday game night and was disturbingly prescient at guessing people's cards and knocking them out.

2 play, Rating 8: Shadow Hunters - Haven't played this since BGG.con, I think, which is a shame--as party-ish games go, it's a great one. Two five-player games with the expansion against some Werewolf-liking people, everyone loved it.

2 play, Rating 8.5: Shadow Hunters Expansion - I mixed this in even though people were new because the variety is so nice for this game. Particularly for people like me, who could easily memorize all the base game roles and sort of have an unfair advantage in guessing others' powers, etc., the fact that this makes such information much less trackable (particularly the new Neutral win conditions adding a lot more ambiguity to people's actions) makes this basically a must-have when we play.

1 play, Rating 5: Mord im Arosa - Cute game and I like the gimmick, but there's not a ton of game in it, and what game there is just isn't super-fun to me (while I have a good memory, a game that is basically entirely memory just isn't my bag). Still, I'm glad I got to try it.

1 play, Rating 7.5: Lords of Waterdeep - Three player game to wrap up Monday game night. I was the only one who had played before and ended up winning (as usual, I managed to get the "get 2 points for X quests" that matched my character card pretty early--I'm starting to feel like that's basically the strategy). I'm still impressed with how quickly this game moves along for a worker placement game. While I like Caylus more, this game scratches in the same vague area and always ends before I start banging my head on the table from impatience.

----------------------------------------------

Update for 5-16 to 5-18:

4 more plays, Rating 7.5: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland - Not much to add from the last entry. Ruth and I miss each other a bunch so this is a nice way to chat and do something together.

1 play, Rating 6: Niagara - After some Artemis, a few of us (Disp, Blue, Pete) and I went on BGA and played a couple games. First was Niagara, which I'd never played. It was alright, though I think it'd be more fun with the actual board thing--I feel like a lot of the draw of this game is the whole waterfall thing and that's way more fun when it's an actual boat going over. Playing online feels like playing Fireball Island online would be.

1 play, Rating 6.5: Can't Stop - It was kinda late for me, so we played something else that was quick. Fun game--I'm so used to playing it with 2 (Ruth loves Can't Stop so we play it at restaurants on iPad a lot), I forgot how much more tension there is with four. The game's definitely better with more crowding.

The rest of my plays are from a totally awesome long gaming day I did yesterday at a local friend's:

1 play, Rating 7p: The Castles of Burgundy - I'd been wanting to try this for awhile. I like Euros that use dice to add randomness and make things more tactical and less long-reachingly strategic. Overall, I'm happy with it, it was a quite decent game and I felt like I made a lot of interesting decisions. I wouldn't say it's anything amazing and it's not going on a wishlist or anything, but I'd play again, for sure. I can see this game seriously being an issue with APers, though--the beginning of each Phase has a LOT of options, especially if you have some workers.

2 plays, Rating 7.5: The Resistance: Avalon - Two 5er games, the first with just Merlin and Assassin (I was Assassin, Evil won by 3 lost missions), the second with Merlin, Percival, and Assassin (I was Percival and made a strong attempt to read Merlin's cues and act like I knew exactly what was going on, but I made a misguess at the second Evil at one point that cued the Assassin to my fakeness. Evil won by Merlin assassination). My previous experience with Avalon was a 10-player game late at night at BGG.con when the room was loud and people were having trouble focusing, so I had a poor first impression--now that I've played more, I really appreciate the additional layers it adds to the Resistance experience. I think 5 may not be the best number for it (the Assassin in particular seems to have a pretty easy job of it with so few, especially when it's not a bunch of super-experienced people playing), but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

3 plays, Rating 7.5: Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas - People really love this game, I find. We played 2 5-player games with the setup Clint suggested to me (a map that is a 2x2 square with the starting tile on one corner, and then the treasure tile sticking off the square on the opposite corner) and the Dubloons variant, and had a fun, chaotic mess each time. Someone actually sank, which I had yet to see happen (she got shot while taking the turn to heal from 1 HP), and we had a couple tiles that really bottlenecked us. We played a 4-player game later with one of the gamers' 7-8 daughter who doesn't like games with lots of rules or reading and it went well. At least one person stated that they're going to have to buy it.

1 play, Rating 7: King of Tokyo - Yay! Haven't gotten to play this in a long time. 5 player game with a lot of people who yielded Tokyo at first damage, to the point where Tokyo Bay probably spent more time empty than filled. I started to run away with it at first thanks to two turns where I rolled 4 or 5 3s, but due to some leader-bashing and smart ability-buying, someone else managed to win it (the card that drops everyone else 5 points got me just as I hit 19 points ).

1 play, Rating 7: King of Tokyo: Promo Cards - Played with these included. Several came up and were bought; I had Reflective Hide and thought it was awesome. Someone else had Thunder Stomp and had it go off once. They're nothing amazing but I like 'em.

1 play, Rating 7.5: King of Tokyo: Power Up! - Yay!! Finally got to use this for the first time. I can't see not including this in the future, it's easy to add to the rules and gives more variety to the monsters. Obviously there's added randomness (some people got mutations that were nigh-useless, whereas my Kraken mutation that docked anyone a point when I attacked them was really strong) but it gives more personality and makes hearts valuable even when you don't need to heal.

2 plays, Rating 8: Kingdom Builder - Played 2 3-player games of this with the Nomads expansion. The first game was all base boards but one of the Nomad score-as-you-go cards, the second game had a couple Nomad boards (including the one with the Quarry, which just totally changes how the game is played in an amazing way). This game is so interesting to me. Decisions aren't obvious once you learn the tricks to giving yourself space to grow (or shutting yourself off to strategically jump across the board), and the game feels so different depending on the victory conditions. I liked the Nomad instant-scoring card in our first game (build your 3 mandatory houses in a straight line for 2 points), it gave more things to think about and meant that your turn wouldn't have to be wasted even if you couldn't reach any of the end-game scoring with it.

2 plays, Rating 8: Kingdom Builder: Nomads - Just what an expansion should be; adds a bunch more variety with few extra rules, has a couple cards and locations that really change how things feel. I'm not sure if the Nomad powers are really all that great in general, especially with their "Use next turn or lose it" facet that means that even if you get a good power, it may not be useful when you get it, but they add some nice variety anyway.

1 play, Rating 10: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - Oh god, TtA, I forgot how much I missed you. 2-player game that was half-teaching game (the other player had been taught by someone but had never played, and a lot of the intricacies both of certain rules and of the strategy hadn't settled in), so I took it easy--didn't play any Aggressions or Warfare, really limited the number of "weakest civ gets stomped" events I seeded, and did quite a bit of "You might want to build a worker with your last action so you don't get corruption" sort of low-level coaching. Even so, it was enjoyable, and the other player obviously felt more comfortable with the rules by the end. I love this game so much, though it saddens me how hard it is to teach. Need to get a good 3-player experienced game in soon.
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6. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:29]
Dr. Urza, PhD of Dungeon Crawl
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Two games this week:

d10-9 Through the Ages: Three players, took about four hours. One opponent has played about a hundred two-player games online, the other a few dozen. I've only played face to face, maybe ten times. The hundred-games friend beat us badly by 50 points or so. I finished second. The biggest weakness in my game was lack of military. I had a lot of early tech thanks to Moses and libraries, but the military techs were being snatched ahead of me for two actions, and although some were available for 3, getting anything for three in Age 1 seems like a mistake. So throughout the game I was bashed via events, agressions, and a War on Knoledge but not severely so. By the time I did get some military tech it was too late to make much difference.

d10-0 Bridge: Thursday night session, matchpoints. Finished with 45%, much lower than expected as I felt we played decently. Since we're still in G class, we earned about a third of a masterpoint, enough for my partner to make Sectional Master. We still get to play in G class for the rest of the month, but after that we're in F class so getting points will get a bit more difficult. I still need about 5 points for Sectional Master.
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7. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:722]
Pete Sellers
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
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d10-8 Game of Thrones: The Card Game - I have to admit, I've tried my best to avoid this one for a long, long time. After being addicted to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game AND The Lord of the Rings LCG, I figured it would be best to take my monies elsewhere (since I'd already spent a small fortune on all the expansion packs for CoC and LotR). PLUS (as horrible as this may sound to some), I detest the books and think the show is just O.K. at it's best, so it only seemed natural for me to steer clear of the game... which turned out to be an awful mistake, because the game is pretty awesome when played with 4. Backstabbing, ridiculous card combinations, I mean, it was everything I wanted in an LCG and more! I might not be 100% familiar with the source material, but that didn't bother me - I still enjoyed the game more than I thought I would.

d10-6 Salmon Run - I'm not really sure why I picked this one up, but I did and I have to say it's pretty fun, but nothing to write home about. At it's most basic, the game is nothing more than a racing game with a deckbuilding element thrown in for good measure. It's fast paced and the components are nice, but the game itself is kind of lackluster. There is very little in terms of confrontation, apart from causing your friends to be attacked by an occasional bear (which only delays them - it would be more fun to have them start over with a new fish or something). Again, some good ideas, but just not fleshed out enough for me to keep.

d10-9 Drum Roll - Ok, this is probably my new favorite worker placement game, even though it doesn't really have the same feel as a worker placement typically does. I guess I mean to say "It doesn't feel like Caylus", which is what I typically find when I try a worker placement. Everything about the game is fantastic - the art is simply gorgeous, the gameplay is pretty cut-throat and the different mechanics seem well balanced, enough so that you never feel like you're ever competing, even though you really are. I'd love to see a version with upgraded components, but overall, this game is tops in my book.

ON DECK FOR THIS WEEK:

Star Trek: Fleet Captains w/ the Romulan expansion. I will be the Romulans. The Federation WILL pay for their crimes against the Empire. James T. Kirk stole our cloaking technology and now everyone has it - that fucker.

Quarriors: Quartifcats. I hate Quarriors, but the expansions do make it better. Sadly, my family and game group think it's a fun filler, so... blah.
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8. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2484] [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Played a round of this with the sproglet while dinner was cooking. We built half a dozen mini-decks (thirty cards, three prizes) a while back, and for the moment we're just playing with those. It's a good length of the game for his attention span, but long enough that there's a bit of thought involved. He won.

Also played face-to-face two-player games of Ascension and Small World on the iPad (not against the sproglet). I won Ascension by ten points, and I lost Small World by ten points. My opponent got Dragon Master Skeletons on the first turn. I fought back as best I could.
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9. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1155]
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Played a few games at a local game day (Let It Roll).

Clans: We played a couple rounds of this, and I got trounced pretty soundly in both. It was somewhat frustrating because a couple of opponents, who routinely play much more complicated games than this, couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the rules explanation and were confused when it came to how villages scored. Regardless, they won one round apiece. I still enjoy the game, and I find it to be a good light filler game.

Rating: 8

Node: Now this is a sweet filler game. Feels kind of like Acquire, but much simpler. You're trying to get as many avatars of yours on the board by placing cards and building upon nodes. If you build the biggest node of a specific colour, you place a matching node on it. Game goes until the deck runs out (you play with half the deck) or when someone places all of their avatars. For 20$ I've already got more value for my buck than I expected!

Rating: 7

Battlestar Galactica: I was playing as Boomer, and I became a Cylon at the Sleeper phase. I got sent to the Brig, but since I still had my once per game, I decided to wait it out until a crippling crisis card came up. My Cylon conspirator (Adama), revealed and went to the Cylon Resurrection ship. I asked them if their Super Crisis was a card I could play my OPG on, and they said it wasn't worth playing on but they wanted to keep the card. The humans won because we were ineffective Cylons, and when I saw the Super Crisis card after the game, I saw it was the Bomb Colonial One card. It would not have won us the game, but it certainly would have put the hurt on the humans! Ah well, still a fun and interesting game!

Rating: 9

Werewolf: We ended the night with Werewolf shenanigans. I tried a couple different rolesets (we had 9 and 11, both without a beginning moderator). They were:

5x Villager
Seer
Sorceror (also knows the Werewolves)
Werewolf x2
(no N0 views)
The games were tilted towards Evil and Evil won the first game, so I took away the Sorceror's ability and that seemed to balance the game out more.

5x Villager
Seer
Prince (becomes revealed good upon death - chooses someone else to die in their place)
Martyr
Sorceror (knows the Werewolves)
Werewolf x2
These games were a bit more entertaining to watch and play in, and they ended up equal - 1 win for Good and Evil.

Rating: 10

Libertalia: I played another game too, but I can't remember the name of it (Now I do - Thanks BlackSheep!). It was a pirate game where you get random shipmates and everyone employs them on the ship to do different actions. Plays over 3 rounds with six phases, and the lower your number on your card is, the earlier you get to take your action but the later you get in on the treasure for that round. Okay game but we had a runaway leader that nobody tried to stop.

Rating: 7
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