What Kind of Rap Name is Steve?
Guido Van Horn
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Othello
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In my never ending search for regular gaming partners. I was hopeful when one of my friends, Steve, moved back to the area. After some chit-chatting it was discovered that both of us have a regular time in the morning where the rest of the world is usually working where we had free time. So we've been playing some basketball and trying to play some board games occassionally. Steve is newer to the hobby board game scene but has a history of playing Risk and the such.

Mid-way through a game we were in an odd situation and Steve said it would be cool to keep a game journal to keep track of the games we played and what happened. Well well well, I know just how to remedy that. We'll see how long this lasts, but here are the games we've played and what happened (to the best of my memory)

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1. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:288]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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Our first get together was sort of an ease in type of game. So I was searching for something easy to teach and something that would play quickly, so if he didn't like it we could try something else and maybe get two cracks at finding something he liked. However, it turned out that he enjoyed this one quite a bit and we played 3 games of it before he had to take off. My wife joined us in this game, which I think is the best way to play this. 2 player auctions aren't as fun, and 4 player gets a little too difficult to track anything at all.

I ended up winning all three games, once on the 2nd tie-breaker. We had one game where all of the red cards got thrown out in money card auctions and no one won those 2 points. So this game was a success. We made plans to play again the next week.
 
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2. Board Game: Copycat [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1163]
Guido Van Horn
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Othello
Washington
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It turned out that the day we had planned for had a conflict so we pushed it back another week...which turned into another week for a couple of different reasons.

I decided to take a chance on this unproven game, figuring it would give me a chance to introduce the idea of a couple other games all in one shot. I played it the night before with my wife (she killed me) and looked for some rules explanations and clarifications, I found a couple of things we did wrong or didn't understand, for example, I misunderstood the PhD. cards, skull sessions and we used the double victory point marker card wrong (which helped my wife win by so much).

This game is surprisingly easy to explain, and Steve picked up on the game fairly easily. He struggled a bit with the iconography, but by the end of the game he got it.

This game was interesting, in that I aggressively attempted to thin and optimize my deck to score huge points in the end game. Steve kind of floundered a bit but then decided to go simple and just focus on grabbing as many points as he could every round by picking offices that had accumulated points and mostly abandoned buying cards midway through 3rd phase (round??) cards. By aggressively doing this and me allowing him to grab all the point offices he built up a big lead.

After round 9 Steve had a 46 point lead and was 8 points away from 95. Meaning that this game had a real chance of not going the full 11 rounds. I aggressively tried to block Steve getting points in round 10, by taking the 4 pt, however, to have a chance I also had to get some cards in my hand so while I used one of my campaign workers to get +3 cards Steve was able to position himself to get 7 pts from his campaign workers. So my hope was that I was able to get enough points to get close and that he didn't have a VP card in his hand. I was able to get my two 10VP cards in my hand and double both of them and pick up a couple more to get me to 89 points. However steve did get 1 VP in his hand which brought him to 95 and ended the game one turn earlier.

Both of us kind of felt that if we would have gone one more round I would've been able to outscore him, but that is just conjecture at this point. And in this case the tortoise definitely beat the hare.
 
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3. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:569] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Guido Van Horn
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Washington
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It's been a while since I updated this, because Steve up and took an extended trip to Columbia, but he recently got back and it was my birthday so Steve and another friend, David, came over and we played games.

Steve was just a tad behind schedule, so David and I played 5 or 6 chips before Steve showed up. He picked it up fairly quickly and was able to score 3 or 4 before the end of the game.
 
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4. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:522]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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It was my birthday, so I made them play my favorite game, however that did not help me one bit.

I started the bidding and for some reason bid 1...they both outbid me and ganged up to play matching Banana tiles and I was the odd one out. In the ensuing rounds they blocked out the crop I had started and were able to add to their joint Banana crop and totally aced me out of any of it. In the mid game a huge potato crop showed up and David struggled to keep any workers on his tiles that got added to it, thanks to some not-so-subtle maneuvering on my part, however David had the last laugh when he was able to be the low bid on the last two rounds, somehow I paid through the nose to add to the potato crop, but David refused to let me water them at all, I think I spent something like 10 escudo for a net of 0 points over the last two rounds. However, quietly, Steve was able to get a bunch of workers and take a big advantage in a midsize sugar cane crop that developed over the last 3 rounds. Steve walked away with the win, with something like 112, David was a little behind with around 90ish and I was well behind in the 60's.

One reason I love this game is that it can be strategic and nasty...but for some reason that nastiness always comes back to bite me, and often being non-controversial helps your case in the end.
 
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5. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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I admit it, I killed her, I killed Yvette. I hated her so much
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Steve had expressed an interest to learn Dominion way back before he took off to Columbia. David had to leave, but my wife loves Dominion and was finally available to play, so I cracked open my brand new copy of Guilds and taught Steve the game. I ended up doing a complete random setup and had the baker and butcher from Guilds and various other cards from Prosperity and base set, cards that featured prominently were the moneylender, mint, and village.

The details are fuzzy, but Suzie was able to get a Platinum pretty early and used the Moneylender to bleed out the coppers. Steve was a little all over the place like new players do, but seemed to get it by the end and didn't too bad.

I like to tinker and really focused on the Baker to get another card and coin to spend. I used the mint a couple times to dump coppers, but I got a little bloated with terminal actions and had some inefficient turns.

Suzie beat us pretty good and had at 5 or 6 Colonies plus a Province or two among her winning score.

Steve ended up edging me out 33 to 30 or something like that.

So even though it was my birthday nobody let me win.

 
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6. Board Game: Masters Gallery [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1613]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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I admit it, I killed her, I killed Yvette. I hated her so much
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Flames...flames on the side of my face...breathing...breathle...heaving breathes
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I decided to have a small game night, I wasn't up for hosting and preparing a full blown event like I normally do, but I wanted to play, so I invited Steve, Jonathon and Steve over for a little gaming.

Steve showed up on time, unlike anyone else, so I pulled out this game which plays fairly quickly and plays well with two. I messed up the rules a bit by forgetting to mention that you can play additional cards from your hand after the winners are determined...which I noticed messed up the play and we both ended up with a pantsload of cards in the end, that I don't recall really happening in previous plays of this. I ended up winning, but it was a somewhat tainted victory because we didn't really play correctly.
 
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7. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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I admit it, I killed her, I killed Yvette. I hated her so much
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Flames...flames on the side of my face...breathing...breathle...heaving breathes
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Jonathan showed up and we had previously discussed playing my new acquisition, Pandemic, so that is what we did.

This was sort of an odd play because Steve showed up in the middle of it and we decided to deal him in anyway, which probably tainted the result a bit, but we were able to cure the 3rd and 4th disease on our last available turn before the player deck would have run out. Red diseases were coming out strong and heavy in this one, but one nice thing about that was we were able to focus in that area and keep the diseases tamped down and were able to escape with just a few outbreaks. I forget the role names, and who had what, but we were able to share cards more easily, build research stations and use actions to not turn over infection cards.
 
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8. Board Game: Dice Town [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:719]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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I admit it, I killed her, I killed Yvette. I hated her so much
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Flames...flames on the side of my face...breathing...breathle...heaving breathes
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Suzie was ready to play and convinced everyone that Dice Town was the bomb, so we did that.

I honestly don't even remember who won (I think it was Suzie)All I know is that I was out early and hardly ever won anything that I wanted.

Call me bitter..but Suzie was right, because both Jonathan and Scott asked to borrow this the next weekend, it was that good.
 
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9. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Guido Van Horn
United States
Othello
Washington
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I admit it, I killed her, I killed Yvette. I hated her so much
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Flames...flames on the side of my face...breathing...breathle...heaving breathes
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Scott really enjoys For Sale, so we busted this out and played a couple rounds. I know I abused the noobs and ran away with victory in round 1. In round 2 I severely overpayed early for a couple of cards and had a terrible hand and lost badly . I believe Scott won that one. We may or may not have played a third game and I do not remember what may have happened. I really should have written stuff down.
 
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