Why We're Here in the First Place: Werewolf Gamers (8/26/13)
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 8/26/13 to Sunday 9/1/13.

Post your ratings and/or any thoughts on the games played.
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1. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:52]
Greg Wilson
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Monday:

Bank holiday. Three-player Waterdeep with K and the sproglet. No expansion yet. The sproglet did better than usual, getting the Lieutenant early and tearing through a bunch of quests, but without much attention to efficiency or type. And he still has a habit of grabbing and using too many Intrigue cards, which was unfortunate for me since I was sitting to his right and ended up going third for most of the game. Or fourth, actually, on account of the Ambassador.

I did okay, but had a bunch of off-type quests I never even looked at from the stat and bidding wars. With two mandatory quests from the sproglet, I had enough trouble doing the good ones. Also probably spent too much on buildings trying to bring out the stuff I needed, but got a decent point return on those. Did three of each type, including the two type-bonus ones and the 25-pointers. Ended up in second behind K, 171-157-113.

Tuesday:

Five of us for boardgames night, and with everyone running late and heading off early we broke out some fillers. Every game came down ridiculously close.

I decided to pay more attention to puddings in Sushi Go!, sice I keep losing at the end to them, but A snuck up later in the game and tied me for the lead. That gave her the win with me in second, 33-31-31-31-27. Need to remember that sashumi/tempura sets are a bit safer with more players.

Eight-Minute Empire had an interesting start. The opening-deal zero-cost card was a wild with a sea move, an amazing first card. Usually I don't bother bidding much for first, but this was well worth it. Unfortunately the player to my left bid one more, leaving me going fifth. I got one sea move later on, but by that point I should have stuck on the main continent. I probably paid too much attention early on to collecting valuable sets, and certainly spent too long building up forces instead of spreading them out. Fighting two people for the big continent is not as profitable as taking the little islands, especially when they've already claimed spaces. Landed second place again, though, 10-9-9-8-7.

And finally For Sale. I made two big mistakes here. One was dropping out first of an auction that looked like it was going to get expensive, only for others to do the same and the valuable properties to end up going cheap. And then during the selling round I didn't notice a big drop between the offers for third and fourth, and ended up playing the fourth-highest card. Leftover money from the buying round wasn't enough to keep me out of last place, 51-51-49-48-48.

Wednesday:

Game of Ascension: Rise of Vigil with K. Got off to a good start landing a couple of Mechana early, but K had a lot more energy and was consistently using it to get cheap Constructs. I had a pretty good money deck but the middle clogged up with monsters and I was mostly buying rubbish. Got the Nyxian Spellcaster which helped my energy shortage a bit, but my deck was big enough by this point that it came up rarely. Midgame I took some guaranteed VPs over a gamble at getting the Omincron, which turned out to be a mistake when K grabbed it straight after. We were pretty even until I had a ridiculous turn, killing a Vault Sphinx and using the energy to trigger the Tablet which killed the Herald which killed Terrus. That nailed the win, and on the very last turn I got an extra boost when a streak of energy cards followed by a Monk meant we both got six extra cards but K never got a chance to use them. 89-69.

Thursday:

Quick round of Pokémon Trading Card Game with the sproglet. I put a Rhyhorn up-front as a roadblock while I powered up a Growlithe, but ended up energy-starved and perpetually paralysed and couldn't do much to fight back while he nickel-and-dimed me with minor damage. Eventually I got the Growlithe up and doing damage, but by that point he had a Dark Rapidash who was hitting back just as hard. Both went down. I took a risk and nearly decked myself to draw a bunch of cards, got the energy I needed to get Rhydon going and managed to flatten a couple of his smaller monsters, taking the match a turn before I ran out of cards.

Friday:

Two-player Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport with the sproglet, since he was so excited sbout it arriving. Skullport expansion only. He did surprisingly well, but as expected he took Corruption too freely and lost a lot of endgame points. Also, he drew the building Lord and only bought two buildings. But he did well with his quests, and paid better attention than I was expecting. I took the chance to play with Intrigue more than usual, and for the first time felt like I was making efficient use of the Harbour and giving as good as I got. It helped that I was getting a free Intrigue card every time I took wizards, and was doing Arcana quests. I took some Corruption, but only as much as I could burn off by the end. Final score 175-125, a comfortable win but a solid performance from the sproglet.

Saturday:

Quick iPhone game of Ascension: Immortal Heroes with A. Wow, that's a small screen. A got more points from fighting than me, including fighting a bunch of Gromites. I got a few from Lifebound heroes and the Beast Staff (which combos nicely with the Druid that lets you gain heroes onto the top of your deck) but most of my points were in my deck. Too short a game for our banishing to have much effect. In the end I came out on top, 70-66, thanks mostly to a couple of turns where I just managed to eke out the runes needed to buy a big Mechana construct.

Four-player game of Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport with the grownups. Skullport expansion again. I started off the game by using the two Skullport adventurer spaces, gaining two corruption but completing a quest on the first turn that gave me two big buildings straight into play. Unfortunately they didn't get used as much as I'd have liked, since everyone was being cautious about taking corruption. For my part I probably took too much corruption; early on I had 29 points on the board and a -32 penalty. I got rid of it all by the end, but had a quest I left uncompleted because the penalty would have been too high.

I had a handful of intrigue cards that were no use to me as well, so that was a fair few wasted acitons. With all the new spaces and buildings available the first-player space was largely ignored, and I ended up second for half of the game and then first for the rest of it. I miscounted actions at the end, where I'd finally drawn an intrigue card that could have helped me complete my last quest but got locked out of the Harbour and had to take another corruption instead to get the adventurers I needed. So plenty of mistakes, but I thought I'd made a decent recovery and had a lot of bonus points stored up. End result turned out to be 98-97-96-96, with A taking the win and me in joint last.

Sunday:

First crack at the Undermountain expansion of Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport, three-player with K and the sproglet. This is definitely the more straightforward of the two, just bigger-better-more with very little in the way of new mechanics. Again the first-player marker didn't move much, presumably because the extra spaces make the board a bit more open. The sproglet wasn't focusing very well on scoring, using the new spots to stock up on Intrigue cards and not playing the ones that helped him, just messing with everyone else.

I got a really nice combo going, where I completed an early quest that gave me eight adventurers of my choice, basically solving my wizard needs for the rest of the game. I also managed a nice turn where I completed a big quest that gave me all my agents back, giving me three turns in a row where I seeded a couple of spaces with money and then took it all. On the back of the wizard windfall, halfway through the game I completed a forty-pointer, but got a bit directionless after that. Didn't help that I flushed the quests and the one I took was replaced by the five-wizard one, which K instantly snatched.

At the end of the game I needed a wizard to complete a small quest, and there were two spaces that would have got me one. Despite putting bribes on other spaces, those two spots went next and I ended up missing out. By the end of the game K had caught up with my lead, and ended up pipping me 172-170-73. Annoyingly, I could have won since I had a handful of mandatory quests and attack cards that would have ruined her last quest, but we both thought I was in the lead and I didn't want to needlessly aggravate her. That'll teach me to pull my punches.
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2. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked]
Pete Sellers
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
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d10-9 Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport

We also played a bunch of LoW yesterday, adding in the Undermountain expansion. It's a great add-on, featuring a number of different quests that award some serious points (40 a pop) and some fun new buildings and Intrigue cards. Some of the cards seem a bit unbalanced - I completed one new quest that awarded me 13 VP, but also allowed me to build ALL of the buildings currently available at the Builder's Hall - for free.

It's a very easy expansion to add, so I'll add Skullport in for the next session. So far, though, I'm pleased with the expansions, though the cards have some niggly issues that bug me. Orientation doesn't match the base game and there are color variations, but meh, not a huge deal imho.



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3. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:241]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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Interest in these lists looks like it might be waning. We'll see how it goes.

d10-8 Love Letter - I bought this for a large group weekend away. I taught my family before we left and everyone loved it. It was a hit with the non-gamers at the getaway. It had been a while since I'd played with total non-gamers before. After under 10 plays over the weekend, I think my new game may now be unplayable. The cards are bent all over (one Guard is actually bent in half and creased). I might be able to fix it with sleeves (might have to go solid-back sleeves for the creased card). Anyway, big hit with everyone.

d10-9 Brass: Lancashire - This was my 12th game of Brass this year. And I finally learned that rail points are not supplemental, but primary. I played before thinking of rail as points you snap up here and there to build your network and when you have nothing else to do. But really, you need to focus on getting your share or more of the rail pie. It's the best bang/buck as far as money and actions spent per vp earned.

d10-7 Erie Railroad - The rating is dropping and will continue to drop if we cannot find a way to mitigate the luck of being able to capitalize on the location of the locomotive. I've begun a discussion on the game's BGG page to hear what other players are doing about it. But for now, our games are won by the player who has the stars align for him at the right time (and the stars are not controllable).

d10-9 Android: Netrunner - Maiden voyage of my new NBN deck. It held up very well and won with a surprise Snare. It did make me think that the deck is divided in what it wants to be. I have traps and things to flatline the runner, but it's also fast advance. Not sure if I should pick one and focus on it.

I almost played Race for the Galaxy. It's been years for me. We set up the game and dealt opening hands, then one of the players said she didn't want to play anymore, so we packed it up. She is learning the game and I think she just got overwhelmed. And it can be overwhelming (especially since one of the other players really wanted to have some of the expansion elements in play). Anyway, I realized I miss this game and would like to play it more.
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4. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:488]
United States
California
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But listen again. Is it really the wind, or is it the sound of somebody running one step ahead of the dark?
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d10-7 Kingdom Builder I played this with the two friends I have locally who are mildly interested in board games. I won this easily.

d10-6 Kingdom Builder: Nomads Played with same friends on same night. One of them won. I like some of what this expansion brings. This was my first play, so I'm waiting to see if I like it after a few more plays.
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5. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:5]
Dr. Urza, PhD of Dungeon Crawl
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Twilight Struggle x2 d10-0 Two games with the GF, both with me as the USSR and her as the USA. These were her first two games ever. In the first, she played Five Year Plan for the event on Turn 2. DEFCON was 2. What did she pull? Duck and Cover. A valuable lesson was learned.

That game having come to a swift end, we began again. This game was much more straightforward, and I won with 20 VPs on Turn 4 on Africa Scoring. She's eager to play again.

Puzzle Strike x2 d10-8 Another two games with the GF. I won both.
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