Why We're Here in the First Place: Werewolf Gamers (8/12/13)
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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This is a geeklist for BGG Werewolf players to talk about games other than Werewolf.

Post what you play during the week of Monday 8/12/13 to Sunday 8/18/13.

Post your ratings and/or any thoughts on the games played.
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1. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:340]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Tuesday:

Five people for boardgames, and not the usual crowd. First up, a quick round of Sushi Go!. First play with the real set, and one new player. I went too conservative, scoring solid points but missing out on big sets that I ended up passing to J. Lots of wasted cards at the end of hands, and a rubbish third round with four sushi roll cards only netting me three points. Final score 35-35-32-25-16, with me in third and R taking the win over J thanks to the dessert tiebreaker.

Then the main game was Village Inn. I did...okay. I had efficient farming and spent a lot of time turning grain into coins, but it just wasn't generating VPs quick enough compared to politics or the market. I got the church bonus every round, I think, thanks to always having plenty of grain and coins and a bit of luck. Got five guys into the chronicle including a last-minute swipe of a couple of empty spots, but had to switch from spending time to conserving it later on. Dipped into travelling but didn't have the resources to get a decent return on it. Basically I just didn't have a plan. Made a second ox at the start of the game for market purposes, which was a mistake, and that just sat there all game because the few ox-wanting customers kept getting sniped out from under me. Barely used the pub, either.

Final score was 55-50-48-46-33, with me taking fourth. J got the win, with meeples in the top church and city hall spots. K got second with no points from the chronicle at all, thanks to extensive travelling, and using the miller to generate a pile of coins and then using city hall repeatedly to turn gold into VPs. R went pretty much pure marketplace and came last.

Wednesday:

Two Ascension games on iPad with K, and two pretty crushing defeats. Ascension: Immortal Heroes was 68-43, and Ascension: Storm of Souls came down 85-68. In the first game I grabbed Lifebound early but they never came out together, while K killed four Gromites in the first few turns for a huge stack of points. In the second I had Mechana and a pretty decent deck, but I passed up a Snake Shaman early and K used that and combat to race the VP pool down before my stuff got going.

Sunday:

Two-player Sushi Go! with A trying to make up for her performance on Tuesday. Close game, with a lot of us simultaneously going for the same set and a lot of wasted cards at the end of each round. I had some inefficiencies from puddings and second-place sushi rolls, which didn't help. She beat me 45-41 in the end.
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2. Board Game: Agents of SMERSH [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1079]
Dr. Urza, PhD of Dungeon Crawl
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Agents of SMERSH d10-7 This just arrived, so I played a solo game last Monday. I didn't realize the book of encounters was so big. There's hundreds of pages with small font, and several thousand encounters. The book alone accounts for the majority of the game's weight.

I really love the spy theme that is pervasive in this game. It's like Tales of the Arabian Nights but with more structure.

Bridge d10-0 Day trip up to the Baltimore regional in Hunt Valley. Played a two-session Gold Rush pairs. We sucked, scored in the low 40s both sessions. No points, gold or otherwise, for us. Frustrating, as it seemed like we played decently. Lately, we've done well in the weekly Unit Game and at sectionals, but bomb in the regionals.

Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) d10-8 (Provisional) New acquisition. Played the tutorial scenario, then jumped right into the standard-length full game. I won an Exceptional Victory by discovering a cure, developing an anti-Zed super weapon, and holding out until the National Guard arrived. I love the theme, and there's some agonizing decisions to be made, with a lot of tension. There's lots of heroes with different abilities lending a lot of variety, and it really sucks when a poor decision (or just a series of poor rolls/draws) kills one of them. The way the event deck is constructed lends to a game that starts fairly tame, and crescendos into an exciting climax towards the end. Each event card (which you draw at the start of each turn) is color-coded by difficulty and you gradually mix in more difficult cards as you build the deck downward.

I expected it to be a bit more difficult, but I probably got more than my fair share of breaks. In particular, the Zeds weren't showing up much in the Mountain track, which is perhaps the most important one as the Mine thereon is the only place you can reliably scavenge for ammo if you don't have a hero who's good at it. (I didn't) I found a pack of explosives just when I really needed it, as a huge ultra-nasty Zed was approaching through the tunnels. I'll give it another go sometime, and if I do as well again, I'll look at the pro-Zed optional rules.
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3. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:109]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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I have become my own island state. A ravaged, war-torn land where nothing grows and the horizons are bleak.
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I feel like there is so much I want to play right now that I keep shying away from long games. If I played more frequently, I'd enjoy the luxury of long games more. Which is silly because I really want to play good games. Sai was lobbying for Terra Mystica, which I like, but have been avoiding for some reason.

d10-7 Northern Pacific - This is a 20 minute game that is super simple and super interesting. We played with 4 and though I liked our 3 player games last week a little better, I feel like 4 is really the sweet spot. 5+ is too chaotic. It's an interesting game of emerging alliances. Cube or rail, cube or rail, what's it going to be?

d10-7 Steam - For reasons totally unknown, Steam and Age of Steam don't excite me. They have everything going for it for me: trains, Martin Wallace, depth, insane variety (maps, rules changes), etc. I think route building is one of the most difficult gaming mechanisms for me. I'm not very good at abstracts and I'm not very good at finding the efficient or best ways to dissect the board. Just when I think I've got it, another player gets in the way. But I do like Steam (and Age of). I just feel like I should like them more.

d10-8 Hoity Toity - I love this game. It's deceptively light. But as the players know it better, it really becomes a huge mind game. I'm happy to keep some of these oldies in rotation.

d10-8 Erie Railroad - 8 is probably too high of a rating for this, but I'm intrigued. We had a huge rule error on the first play so we tried again and it was pretty good. I am concerned about the luck factor. You can sell stock only if you have the locomotive. But you have no control over the locomotive movement and can only see one turn ahead to know which type of stock you might be able to sell. Like Northern Pacific, though it's a totally different kind of game, it is short (about 30 mins) so it has a huge bang/buck ratio for time.
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4. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion Expansion [Average Rating:8.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.83 Unranked]
The Original Thumb #50
United States
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Out of nowhere, I got in a week of many games.

d10-6-d10-7 Saboteur: Technically last week but still within the past 7 days. My wife picked this up earlier in the year but we hadn't played it yet. This was a first play of the game and there were 3 of us. Over the 3 rounds, all of us got a chance to be a Saboteur so that was good. The game was quick and by the 3rd round, there was some suspicion around on everyone. This one will probably end up in the "wanna play something light?" bin but it was enjoyable.

d10-9 7 Wonders: I played this on Sunday with 5. We were going to play with Leaders and Cities (birthday acquisition) but my daughter wanted to play and it was her first game. I really like this game. It's an enjoyable experience, even with people that don't like to go deep into games.

d10-7-d10-1d10-0Go: Blame Phel and Sai for this one. I decided to learn this and have been playing and thinking about this game daily for the past week or so. I've currently got games going with Phel, Sai, and adiamant. Good stuff. I'm not a huge abstract fan but this one seems different. There's a lot going on for such a simple game (rulewise).

d10-9-d10-1d10-0Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion Expansion: I've been wanting to get this one out for a 2-player game but we play so slowly that it's a challenge. So, last night around 7:00, I said, "wanna play MK?". By 7:45 we were set up and off. It was our first time with the Volkare Scenario so there was a lot of rules consultations as we progressed. As it always does, time seems to warp and speed up. Soon it was midnight and we were near the end of Night 2 I think. But, we were making progress and wanted to at least conquer the city before getting smashed by Volkare's army. At that point, we were beyond the point of no return and had to see the scenario to its end! Finally, at 2:30 am, we were victorious. This game is so enthralling. It didn't feel like 7+ hours that we were playing this. I think we're going to have to move to Blitz Scenarios until we can get our speed up.

d10-6: Qwirkle: I played this with my young daughters this afternoon. We didn't keep score but we made patterns. Like I said up at Go, I'm not a huge abstract fan but there is an advantage to playing them in that it's quality time with the kids.
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5. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:489]
Ludes
United States
Honor
Michigan
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Petosky Regional (split regional with Kalamzoo): Wednesday-Friday-Sunday.

We played in two double-session Gold Rush Pairs events, had one 59% session, otherwise we played slightly above average and earned only Red points. For the Sunday Swiss team game, we finished 3-3-1 in the middle of the pack, missing 5th for Flight C by a point. So, not a particularly notable tournament.

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6. Board Game: Mamma Mia! [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1277] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Phelan
Portugal
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Forgot to add this in the meantime.
Played Mamma Mia! with 4 players, 1 who had already played, and two others. One of the newbies beat us by a lot, almost managing to make all the orders.
I really like this game.
Still an 8.


I also played Sushi Go!, for the first time!
Amusingly, I had a copy of the game made for quite a while, but had never got to play it yet. Only after showing it to Blacksheep, and seeing all his session reports did I manage to play.
Played the first game wrong, scoring puddings every turn, which let to one of the players getting a big lead due to that, but me almost making back the score loss on the third round.
P1 didn't really get this game, sadly.
P1 - 20, Me - 49, P3 - 54

Second time, with correct rules, scores were closer, at least between me and P3, with me winning by a single point.
P1 - 36, Me - 48, P3 - 47

I liked this one a lot too.
Gave it an 8.

Had some actual cards printed at artscow to use a promotion, but should have taken more care with their dimensions, as I got some cropping. Nothing major, it's still playable, but it's quite noticeable.
 
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