GCL Eclipse Division: Episode 102: The Pros of Cons
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Back in Episode 98, there was a bit of informal discussion about a bunch of Eclipers (Eclipsoids? The Ecplised?) getting together. Particularly after getting to game with Jason a week ago and gaming w/ Lorna the last few days, I was interested in exploring the possibility further.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

This is the Game Chat League: Eclipse discussion list for the week of August 4, 2013.

Lurkers, see the Eclipse wiki for more information about the discussion group.

Next up:

Froggy McFrogface
United States
FORT COLLINS
CO
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————————————————————————————————————————————————

Please read before posting:

If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Eclipse, feel free to read along with us. And if you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it—if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members. However, if you'd like to join in regular discussion, first post to the current discussion list inquiring about the possibility of becoming a member, with full discussion privileges.

To that end, GCL Eclipse members may from time to time request that nonmember posters refrain from commenting in the discussion lists for reasons that may include aggressive or confrontational commentary, disruptive or irrelevant discourse, and overly frequent or habitual posting without first requesting and being granted membership.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please peruse our wiki. If what you see interests you, contact Jason to inquire about the possibility of becoming a member:

Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Thank you for respecting these guidelines in our place of regular discussion. We hope the discussion we create here is rich, informative, and, most of all, fun for members and nonmembers alike.
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1. Board Game: Together [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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OK, first and foremost - would you have any interest in an Eclipse get together?

(Note - if not, I've included a couple of questions later on which are completely unrelated; feel free to skip ahead to those.)
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2. Board Game: Your Own Private Idaho [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Assuming you're interested in a get together, there seem to be two main options: meeting at an existing, public convention, or setting up our own private get together. Which would you prefer?
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3. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4370]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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If we were going to get together at a public convention, which would you prefer? BGG.con? Origins? GenCon? Essen? Somewhere else?
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4. Board Game: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:15688]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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If we were aiming for a smaller, private get together, where would you like to have it? Where do you think you might be able to make it to?
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5. Board Game: Cross Factors Cross Multiply [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Other considerations, assuming we're doing some variety of get together:

How much advance notice would you need?

How long would you prefer the event last? (If at a public convention, for the Eclipse-focused portion.)

If there's enough interest to justify a get together, would you be interested in organizing or helping to organize it? (FWIW, having created this list, I am volunteering. But I'll be happy to let someone else do so, if there's interest.)

Any requirements (other than cost - I assume we'll look to minimize cost, and then everyone can make their own call about whether they can afford to join) which you'd have for such an event?

Would you want the event focused on games, or with other non-gaming events mixed in?

Would you prefer an event restricted to Eclipse members, welcoming guests, welcoming families, or even something larger?
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6. Board Game: The Con Game [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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OK, on to a couple more general questions for those not interested in (or available for) an Eclipse get-together...

What games do you particularly enjoy playing at get-togethers (of whatever sort - whether family or convention or something else)? Are there any icebreaker games you particularly enjoy?
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7. Board Game: Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1330]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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OK, a challenge:

Try to remember the game you have played - but have not played for the longest time. If it's a children's game, try to also come up with the non-children's game you have played, but not for the longest time. Having thought of it - would you consider playing it again now?
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8. Board Game: Speak It Not [Average Rating:5.69 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Last but - well, OK, probably least.

Name a game you wouldn't be willing to play - but think at least one other Eclipse member _would_ be willing to play. (Or, if there are no games you're unwilling to play, then one you'd prefer not to play.)
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9. Board Game: Whist [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4102]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Games Played of late:

Whist - Some friends of ours are fans of Bridge. They have been trying to break in some friends to the idea of playing Bridge. For their inaugural session they taught a form of Whist to get people on board with the card play portion of Bridge. I have played a certain amount of Bridge over the years, but am badly out of practice. Whist is a pleasant enough game. I enjoyed our evening of cards. But I'm not likely to seek out other opportunities to play Whist.

Fortress America - I had my second match on the new version. This time I avenged my poor performance of the inaugural match.

Helvetia - Played this twice. I like this game. I may eventually decide I don't need to own it. But for now, I am enjoying the game enough to hang on to it. I like how you need to marry into the neighboring villages in order to get access to certain goods and to free up more action disks. I somewhat dislike the obstacles to reading the board, as the board is each player's display (the le Havre factor).

M - one more play of this nice abstract.

Saint Pete - Still fun, and still getting requested occasionally.

Mord im Arosa - It is always fun introducing this clever game to a new player!

El Grande - one of my few 10's

Auf Fotosafari im Ombagassa - Sadly we tried a variant that wasn't so good. Need to play this again soon to correct that.

Big Boss - I seem to be bonding well with this game. A few more plays and if it holds up, I expect it to joing my elite group of 10's.

Medieval Merchant - an old favorite. We used to play this frequently. Then Power Grid came out, and it got set aside. Nowadays it has trouble competing against the new stuff. But it handles six players pretty well, which gave me an excuse to dust it off. Everyone enjoyed it. Yay!
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EGG Head
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Here is a geeklist of what I played over the weekend.
New to me:
Rise of Augustus good for intro game but not that interesting to me
Rialto I'd rather play San Marco
Circus Grandioso cute memory game, I learned from Joe
Wunderland good intro game which I enjoyed more than Augustus, it seemed somewhat more interesting to me
You Suck trick taking game
Ultimate Werewolf: Inquisition
King's Forge lots and lots and lots of 1
Columba tile placement with pasted on pigeon theme (M is much better)
Via Appia
Crude: The Oil Game I've played McMulti before but my first play of Crude. lol I did just as bad as I do at McMulti.
Ab in die Tonne dex game


Games I played previously and continue to enjoy:
Terra Mystica x 2
Sail to India x 2
Bruges x 2
Tigris & Euphrates x 1
The Castles of Burgundy x 1

And a few others
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11. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:98]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Only one play this week, but more to report on the acquisition front.

Acquired:

As I mentioned in last week's list ICYMI, our local store had a huge used game sale, and sadly I showed up too late to grab all my top picks, but I did get a couple good ones, and a couple I took a chance on:

Sleuth
Hansa with The Compass expansion
Hotel Samoa
Starship Merchants (in shrink!)

Then we picked up one new game - after narrowing down to 4 choices, Scott picked Suburbia.

Speaking of which - I was surprised/impressed our store is carrying Tammany Hall - is this a must-buy folks?

Plays:

For my one gaming opportunity from 7/29 - 8/4, Scott and I tried Keltis again. I won rather handily, mostly because Scott just couldn't catch a break on his card draws. The good news is he still likes the game, and we're both intrigued to try the new board.
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12. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:76]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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Games Played 7/28 - 8/3

Crokinole x28
My son got a bug in his bonnet to play crokinole. We waxed up my board, and played. Again and again and again. It was loads of fun. At first, I won a bunch in a row. But by the end of the week he was winning his share of matches.

Did I mention we played a LOT of crokinole this week?

A la carte x1
My daughter's favorite game. We played, but she had a little more trouble than usual, and by the end she was sabotaging her own dishes with salt on purpose. But anyway, we had a lot of fun.

My son pointed out that you can earn 'perfect' stars on the German version, but not the English version. I can't verify that.

Brass: Lancashire x1
Maybe the most exciting game I've played. 3p, and the final scores came out: 193-192-191 (I was the 191, and $1 from having 192).

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers x1
Not much to say about this.

The Downfall of Pompeii x1
I think I'm down to just 2 or 3 Yucata games in progress, total. My little competitions have winded down.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue x1
We've played this a few times now. Its fine as a cooperative, and the theme is very engaging. But I guess I was hoping for a bit more.

King of Tokyo x1
I think I've finally come to the conclusion that this is a better game WITHOUT the expansion. There is less incentive or reward for pursuing hearts, and the game tends to not overstay its welcome so easily.

Mice and Mystics x1
We only ended up getting through about half the missions. The game is fun, and I want to complete the campaign. But it also lacks a bit. The game play becomes repetitive, and there needs to be a bit of a gap between game plays or it can start to feel dull. I doubt I'll need to revisit this one after we complete the campaign.

Micro Mutants: Evolution x1
My first playing again in quite some time. We played 4p with teams. It was still fun, and my son managed to guide his team to victory at my expense.

Streetcar x1
I'd played Linie a long time ago, but we tried this one out. I enjoyed it. I'll try bringing it to game night and see how it goes over. As a rule, I like Dorra games but they can tend to come across as fairly dry. This one seems to have a bit more life breathed into it than most of his stuff.

Thunderstone x1
This is the only competition I'm in (I think) that is currently still active. Although, I'm not quite sure what became of the St Peterburg event.
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13. Board Game: Sail to India [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1177]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Highlights of games played 7/30-8/5:

Lots of highlights, as I made it out to West Coast Meeplefest for the fifth time.

Before that, played Minister and Schützenfest, both Rudi Hoffman games, back-to-back. Very enjoyable.

Tried Wunderland; I'm not convinced of the balance, but it's a pleasant game, in any event.

Lorna was kind enough to bring Sail to India, which is now #3 on my "must acquire" list. (Neither #1 nor #2 are published games, at this point, FWIW. Oh, and I played #2 on the list over the weekend as well - and won for the first time in multiple years...)

Ab in die Tonne is no Ocean Limbo, but it's a reasonable enough game. Not one I'm tempted to pick up, though.

The English edition of Targi is on my buy list, now. Though I'm still tempted to swap the English components into the German box; I just like the German box better. (The other two games I can think of for which this is true, Timbuktu and Brügge, the problem is just with the name on the box; here, I prefer the artwork of the original.)

Speaking of Brügge, I played it for the fourth time, and I think I'll buy it. And, if I can get one cheaply, a German edition, so that I can swap boxes.

Tried Firenze, which did nothing to convince me that Andreas Steding is designing games aimed at me. Tried Guildhall, which did everything to convince me that Alderac Entertainment Group is - other than for their Japanese imports - aimed about 180 degrees away from me.

Played a partial game of Handy, which was a pleasant dexterity game.

Thanks to Lorna, I acquired a copy of Decathlon, which I really enjoy - I'd had the chance to try it last month, and almost ordered a copy, but restrained myself. I got to play it again last night, and still thoroughly enjoy it.
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14. Board Game: The Mystery of the Templars [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:11182]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
FORT COLLINS
CO
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Concerning the Playing of Games:

A bit light on plays over the past two weeks:

7/28 Worthy Gamers: one of our regular members had learned Caylus the week before, but felt she hadn't played well, so she wanted another crack at it. I reported last week that what transpired turned out to be one of my finest gaming experiences ever.

7/30 The Once & Futures turned out to be me and Matt, along with our wives. Matt had been wanting to try Merchants of the Middle Ages for quite some time, so we played it. I forgot how nasty this game can get!

8/4 The Worthies again. We played a 10P game of The Resistance: Avalon, including Percival, Morgana, and Merlin. The Minions of Mordred easily won.

After that, and based on reminders from other members of Eclipse, we played Tower of Babel. I came in a close 2nd.

Concerning the Acquiring of Games:

The Mystery of the Templars: I've been following this game for the better part of a year, at least. It seemed the mystery of the Templars was whether the game actually existed: little fanfare, no publisher support here on BGG...and then suddenly, my pre-order was waiting for me at my FLGS. The Once & Futures have this in their future...

Also, couldn't resist a sweet offer (50% off, free shipping) from Tasty Minstrel Games to order a copy of Il Vecchio, from one of my favorite designers, Rüdiger Dorn. Should be here today or tomorrow. Edit: it is here.
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15. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:20]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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The week that was.....

This was quite the week for gaming for me.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game x2
Seasons
Arctic Scavengers
Agricola
Uchronia
DC Comics Deck-Building Game
Morels
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16. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:245]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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I only played one game this week - but it was loads of fun, and it was one I had looked forward to playing for a long time now (and actually played like four times solo already). The game is great indeed, pretty much what I had hoped for.

Three players, my brother and me plus a friend who doesn't play board games that often. The game was really close between my brother (Dark Elves) and me (Undead), he won with 41 to my 39 fans (VP) - and the other guy with Dwarves had, uhm, 16.
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17. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:390] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
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Purchases:

Trains - Finally. I've been WAY over importing things since German stuff began seeing regular localization. While there's a few Japanese titles I'd love to have it seems Alderac is doing me the favor of making them cheaper and easier to get.

Suburbia - Somehow I missed the entire first run. Hopefully this lives up to my expectations.

Planet Steam - Finishing out the trio of "I'm glad I bought it later than sooner".

Plays:

König Salomons Schatzkammer - Abstract but rewarding. Supposedly a Indiana Jones version was made to tie in with The Crystal Skull.

Dungeon Roll - This one is right there with Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age in terms of actual decisions and pressing your luck. It's a nice game that I am very glad to have.



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18. Board Game: Stronghold [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:595]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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From July 28th to Aug 3rd:

3
Gongor Whist

2
Scattergories

Airlines Europe
Citadels
Dixit
For Sale
Stronghold

We had a getaway weekend with my wife's family so we got to play a few games. Gongor Whist is a solo-Decket game I tried for the sake of trying something new. I don't feel a huge desire to explore it further, though I did terrible all 3 tries. Stronghold finally saw the table again. I still feel like it favors the defender. Since the attacker always acts first, and has to give lots and lots of tokens to the defender to move his units up, the defender can quite easily respond to what you are doing. They don't need to make guesses often. That said I'm not sure if it could be balanced the other way at all. In any case I was happy to play again and wish I could play a lot more regularly. 2 games of it a month would make me very happy.
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