GCL Phoenix 140: Some they win, and some they lose (2013-09-08)
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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mb Welcome to the Phoenix Game Chat League! mb

mb ABOUT GCL mb PHOENIX DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD mb

If you stumbled upon this geeklist by accident or through your subscriptions, please read the GameChat League Wiki page for information about what this is all about. Visitors are welcome to make constructive comments, but please leave adding items to members.

This week I want to talk about winning. And losing. And caring.

Phoenix Roster:
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BennyD
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Eeeville
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1. Board Game: Winner Spinner [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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How much do you care about winning games? Do you remember who wins most of the games you play? (For that matter, do you log who wins the games you play?)
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2. Board Game: Beat the Competition [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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What will you do to win? Some games encourage or even require backstabbing (I'm thinking of you, Diplomacy!), but in some games you can be fiercely competitive without ever breaking a deal or attacking another player.

Does it matter who you're playing with?

Will you help another player to the detriment of your own position if you think they won't have fun otherwise?
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3. Board Game: There's Only One Winner! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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How do you feel about tiebreakers in games? What are some examples of tiebreakers that do or don't make sense? What about games that can end in an absolute tie?
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4. Board Game: Monopoly: Fishing – Prized Catch Edition [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Do you ever play in organized tournaments? Does it make a difference if there is a tangible prize on the line?

I know some of us feel that organized competition brings out the worst in people...
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5. Board Game: Gurgitate!: the Game of Competitive Eating [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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OK, I'll admit it, when this game showed up on my search I decided that I just *had* to find some way to use it for a GCL entry.

What's the weirdest thing you've competed in?
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6. Board Game: Krosmaster: Arena [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1052] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Duel of Ages: Worldspanner x 1

Dusted this one off and reintroduced it at the game shop. It went over very, very well and I'm thinking it may see some time in the spotlight for a while. That would be nice, as it feels unlike anything else I play and hits a lot of high points for me (team play, large variety in cards and characters, pick-your-own-playtime).

Guildhall x 3

We played a 3-player session in which 1 player complained a lot then very nearly won (he doesn't care for card games though). The other player in the game played a couple of 2-player games with me a few days later and seems to dig the game more than I do. It's my kind of game, but I'm just not finding it very engaging so far. I'm happy to play it, but I don't think I need to own it. I expect this one won't last around here.

Krosmaster Arena x 3

I just finished my 3rd play of this, and I'm LOVING it so far. It's tactical combat between 2 teams with spells, skills and equipment. It sounds like a slew of other AT games out there, but it's captured my attention like none of the others have. Final Fantasy Tactics is my all-time favorite video game, and Krosmaster Arena feels very much like it. Best of all, games (so far) take about 30-40 minutes each with not a whole heck of a lot of complex stuff going on. It's engaging without being over rules-heavy or complex.

The downside is that I feel compelled to track down all of the characters for the game now. whistle

Robinson Crusoe x 1

We scored a win in the Castaways scenario with 3 players yesterday. We used the Dog (grants an extra pawn to help hunt or explore). The game was very much in doubt at one point (one player had all but given up) but we pulled through and won in round 11 (of 12). I'm very glad to have this game.

Castles of Burgundy x 1


The wife and I enjoyed our comfort game today, and she won 180-174.



Big week coming up. I'm continuing to adjust to being back to school (as is firstborn). We're having our baby tomorrow via C-section, so Kat will be laid up for several weeks. We're going to have friends and family help out thankfully. Good god, I hope this one sleeps through the night the way firstborn did.

I'll update you guys tomorrow.
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7. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1224]
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Ra: The Dice Game 6
RtTA: Late Bronze 2
Piece o' Cake



Today I have been working on this colored pencil sketch while Sam is grading.

The last few days it has definitely started to feel like fall, and it's getting dark noticeably earlier. I have been making homemade soups this week. Last night was a creamy carrot with rosemary and ginger, and a no-mayo coleslaw with red cabbage, carrots, radishes, and lemon zest.
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8. Board Game: Pandemic: In the Lab [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
Canada
St.John's
Newfoundland
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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2 Weeks of plays: 08-26-2013 through 09-08-2013

Digital plays:

Ascension + Expansions (41)


Face-to-Face plays:

Ascension + Expansions (2)
Pandemic (8)
Pandemic: In the Lab (5)
The Castles of Burgundy (4)
Seasons (3)
Can't Stop (2)
Troyes (2)
Category 5 (1)
Lords of Waterdeep (1)
Ora et Labora (1)
Ra (1)
The Resistance: Avalon (1)

---

So, here I am in Grand Falls-Windsor!

I played Ascension a bunch digitally. Not much more to add to it than that. Not really much on the horizon of interest on the iOS field for me, so I'm guessing Ascension will be the game of choice.

Here's what was played the week prior to me leaving:

My friends and I play Pandemic once with the On the Brink expansion. I also managed to play Troyes twice which was fantastic. Once was with the ramparts and purple die, the other game was with a newbie, so I only used the basic stuff other than expansion activity cards/goals/events. Love Troyes so much! I even did a non-holy strategy in one of the games though I think I came last place in that particular game =P

I also taught the newbie Seasons which was fun but ran a bit longer than I would have liked. The same day I also taught Ora et Labora using France. It was good to play it again and I even ended up winning which was cool.

I had a chance to play another game of Lords of Waterdeep with the expansion. This time we didn't play the long game and only used the corruption module. It was much better and played much shorter. It was still an anomaly in that not a single Mandatory Quest was thrown out. I'm beginning to wonder what's with that. I think it's a good thing though, and if I owned the game, I would probably remove them from the intrigue deck or use some sort of variant with them.

Also, before we left, we somehow managed to have 9 people for games. We ended up doing a game of 6 Nimmt which was completely chaotic but still fun. We also played Resistance: Avalon. It was my first time playing this version of the Resistance. I liked it better than the original game even when we only played with the basic roles (Merlin + Assassin). Good ended up winning 3 quests but the Assassin killed Merlin. Sadness pie! After those 2 games, 4 people left and we tried a 5 player game of Ra. I seem to always do terrible at Ra when playing anything other than the 3 player count. I guess I'm just used to the 3 player game/timings.

Here's what was played after arriving:

I had been talking to a girl that I had met online a few weeks before moving to GF-W because I thought it would be nice to actually know someone before moving here. I told her about games and she said she was willing to learn.

I taught her 3 games the first day we met which was the first day I arrived: Castle of Burgundy, Can't Stop, and Pandemic. She actually beat me in Can't Stop and Burgundy. We lost our game of Pandemic. She enjoyed the competitive games more than Pandemic but maybe it's because she won. No harm in having fun when you win!

Over the next few days, I taught her Ascension and Seasons as well as replayed the other games too. Her favorite is Burgundy and her least favorite is Pandemic. Though on 2nd play of Pandemic, she said she was enjoying it more.

I received a game order that I previously mentioned last list on Friday. I played 5 solo games of Pandemic (3 roles): 4 times playing the Lab Challenge and the new Mutation challenge once. I won 2 Lab challenges and lost every other game. I've tried all of the new roles and I think all of the new events. I don't really like the Pilot... in the lab challenge specifically but even in a normal game, I don't think it would be a very desirable role. I still want to try the CDC solo challenge and head-to-head 2 player team game.

The other games want to teach the new game girl are as follows: Bruges, Palaces of Carrara, Goa, Carcassonne H&G, Glen More and down the road: Race for the Galaxy and 1989.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to participate much in GCL with school work and normal work too, but I'll try to make the time. I didn't even think I would have this one done, but despite having school late last week, it was more introductions and course outlines than actual work + home work. We'll see how intense things get over the next few weeks. Cheers!
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9. Board Game: 18MEX [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:2941]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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No one game really stands out as the best or most significant thing I played this week, but I guess I'm happiest with the 5p 18MEX game.

Monday, the tail end of Pacificon:
Power Grid: Northern Europe 4p game at 9 am on the Monday morning of a con. Yeah. Really.
Power Grid: France 5p. Yes, back-to-back Power Grid. Lack of critical mass for anything else.
Caravans of Asia: Arabian Sails 4p. I know, I was so scarred by this experience that I posted details last week. But really, it was worse than that.
Shift: The Single Card CCG: I tried out Michael's new game with him. It's a cute idea: you have one 4-sided card, with a special slant on its abilities, and try to kill the other player. We played 2 rounds and it was dreadful. It turns out we had an important rule wrong, so maybe I'll try this again some other time.


Tuesday at SVB:
Caylus 3p Me, Dave E., Eric P. Dave crushed us. Experience shows. (I did cleverly get 2 of the 3 big producing stone buildings by pounding the favor track. That kept me within, um, 20 points of Dave. :-( )

Hanabi 3p -- I opened my new Amigo copy of Hanabi and discovered a distinct lack of English rules. By consensus we played completely by memory, no notes, no advance discussion of conventions, and 2 rules wrong: no clue token for playing a 5, and we ended the game when the deck was empty.

We still got to 18 which is pretty good, I think.

Thursday at Dukefish:
Agricola 3p - me, Albert, Dante. The family game is HARD. I made one egregious mistake (did a lot of planning to get first crack at Family Growth, only to fail when after securing start player I went to build my room, and realized I was a reed short because I'd misremembered the requirements. D'oh!)

Still got 30 points, though Albert had 37. Ended the game with only 4 workers on my 5-room clay hut...

Friday night at Jeremy's:
Terra Mystica 5p John (Auren), Don (Chaos Magicians), Jeremy (Halflings), Hugh (Swarmlings), me (Nomads.

With single-minded focus I got 3 cities all connected, and a clear lock on the 18-point bonus, but it wasn't enough to beat Don and his swarm of bonus ovals.

Saturday was GamesDay:
1846 4p
Me (Steamboat/Chicago/B&O), Shelby (Mail Contract/Big4/IC@50, later NYC), Eve (MS/GT, later Erie floated way too low), Chris Dodd (second play, O&I/Penn@112).

I had the Steamboat and the B&O (as well as the Chicago token.) Nobody attacked me and I won, even though I had a hard time using all my early trains.

The brown trains moved REALLY fast and Eve was left with 1 green train in 2 poorly-capitalized companies and the first gray on deck (very expensive trains which kill the green.) Chris sold her the "spare" green train which he'd bought in the well-funded Penn just to get to the first brown train.

While I'm normally highly skeptical of train sales between different Presidents, this may have been a win-win, as without money for track and tokens the Penn had a hard time running 2 trains, let alone 3.

So there it sat with
Me: B&O with 3/5 and 4/6
Chris: Penn with 4 and 4/6
Shelby: IC with 3/5 and 4/6, and NYC with 5
Eve: GT with 3/5 and Erie with 3/5

I thought we were going to run out the game without killing the green trains but Eve's unloved companies had lots of shares paying in and eventually she was able to buy a pair of gray 6Ts, which ran only twice.

Le Havre 4p

Me, Eve, Shelby, Chris Dodd.

Funny -- Le Havre had been absent for a few previous GamesDay sessions, and today it was played by at least 2 groups.

This was an odd game -- both Wharf cards were buried deep, and by the time they came out (I built them both) everyone had more important things to do than to build ships. Most of the wood and Iron ships never got built at all!

Chris said he'd never seen anyone with more than 5 or 6 loans... well, I ended up with 12, which I paid off in "last licks" when I shipped 9 steel, 1 Coke, and some other stuff.

Chris had the Iron Works, Steel Mill, and Cokery; I had only the Colliery of the "heavy industry" quartet, but I pulled out a win with a sad amount of leftover goods (a huge pile of steaks, 8 hides, grain I never touched, 5 wood held back for a wooden ship I never built, and no time for a trip to the Seine to sell everything.)

(I made one visit to Chris' Cokery, 12 coal to coke, and one visit to the Steel Mill, 13 iron to steel.)

The lack of ships made this a poor game overall. Please don't show this game log to Jack, we collectively floundered the economy... winning score was only 161.



18MEX 5p

Me, Eve, Shelby, JC, John Hart.

Mex is a game with an artificially slow train rush - companies can only buy 1 train per OR from the bank, until the first rusting event (the 4T). With 5 players I knew there was a chance for a very fast start, and when I didn't get any of the minor companies (that die when the next-to-last 3T is bought) I worked to make that happen; I had 4th choice of companies to float and I left the Chihuahua for Eve, since she only had enough money to float a company with a share already in a player's hand. (I had the private that comes with a share of the Chihuahua.)

Shelby got the UdeY minor and floated the UdeY high enough to get first crack at the important token north of Mexico; he's won with that combo before but not today.

As predicted the minors only ran twice; in OR2 I got a 3T and bought in my private for $150, and the resulting share advantage gave me a big lead. In SR4 Shelby and JC had priority over me, I expected them to float the last 2 companies, but Shelby bought a share and let me get a second company.

Eve bought 2x4T with the NdeM, letting me buy 4t/5T with the new FCP (and nobody tossed a company!), JC got the second 5T with his new Gray Mex, and the rest of his capital went down to the in-the-yellow Tex-Mex (the last company to run) to buy the first 6T. Shelby got the second 6T with the UdeY, soft-rusting the 4Ts, so they got exactly one run.

I held to get a 4D in the FCP, John sold one share to get a 4D in the SoPac, and Eve had to sell down to 2 bare presidencies to get 4Ds in both of her companies. (Train shuffle not an option since the NdeM will only buy/sell at face.)

John suggested that we call the game at that point.

Lokomotive Werks 4p
Me, JC, Shelby, Eve.

4p has problems. Game called when Eve was taken out after not advancing past her Green 1. Pity that, because I think I would have won. (I had Red 1, Yellow 1, Blue 1, alone on Yellow 2, and as many workers as JC alone on his Green 2. )
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10. Board Game: Elements [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2986]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 7Sep2013:

8/8/291 plays of 5/5/148 total games, with 1/1/27 expansions employed.
Plays with 7/7/78 distinct opponents.

0/0/23 games acquired (plus 0/0/7 expansions.)
0/0/14 games ordered (plus 0/0/5 expansions.)
Orders for 6 games and 2 expansions still outstanding.

With son #2:
1x _8_ Elements - The first in our trifecta of logic games. He demolished me 6-0. Which was lovely, even if I did get to enjoy the "It's too bad you're not more competent at this" look at the end of the game.
1x _8_ Battle Line - We'd played back in January, but I had thought this hadn't made much of an impression on him then. I was wrong. I pulled this off the shelf and he agreed both that there was a substantial logic component to the decisions, and that he'd found it amusing the last time. Our game was tightly fought, and worked pretty well.
1x _7_ Robotory - This one didn't work so well for him: he liked the card format of the others better. He acknowledged that the game was cool - but it wasn't quite "his style."

With daughter #1:
1x _8_ Elements - She found it fun; but I think she prefers her games more thematic. She's noted I've been inflicting games with deduction elements on her; and noted (after the game) that some of the game here is figuring out the (rough) possibilities for what one's opponent has still in their hand.

With the Wednesday Night guys:
1x _7_ Urban Sprawl - Random and yet amusing. It's definitely not completely serious, and is likely too long for what it provides, but it's still entertaining. One of the opponents noted that there was less randomness than Combat Commander: Europe, and in that context, it all seemed pretty appropriate: perhaps this is a eurogame for wargamers?
1x _8_ Elements - (Ad-libbed with a deck of cards. The Real Thing are much nicer.) Particularly fun for me because John has taught me so many card games over the years. He was amused by this one.

With the back-on-Fridays lunchtime gamers:
1x _7.7_ Samarkand: Routes to Riches (35 months dusty) (with Family Connection New!) - The expansion was quite delightful - and it was cool to get the base game back in play
1x _8_ Elements - This was more of a demo game (the two of us playing had played before; but the fellow watching us hadn't seen it.) But we played as if "for real" and found it quite amusing. Our observer seemed intrigued too - even if he prefers multiplayer things.

Owned-and-unplayed: 13 (+0/-0)

Outlook for the week: Pretty much the normal thing, I expect. Remote chance of a Die Macher sighting on Wednesday. Or Continental Divide. Not sure what might be on tap for Friday. Sad I didn't get to GameDay last Saturday.
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11. Board Game: One Night Werewolf [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4988]
Jon
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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Games Played:

_7_ Keltis x1
My wife and I joined me for this and once again I prove that the luck of card drawing is not with me. I scored 12 while my daughter had 31 but just missed catching up to my wife who won with 35.

_7_ One Night Werewolf x1
Actually, this was about six hands in a row but I'm counting it as one session. This is really quick with three players (my two boys and I) in a Love Letter sort of way. Twice my oldest son and I were both werewolves and we managed to kill me youngest son as he couldn't do much about it, and there were other shenangans. This is farily amusing and I look forward to playing this more!

_7_ Khmer x1
My oldest son and I played a few quick hands of this just to get the rules down. We both liked it but both of us are still unsure how to play well. Love the quality of these cards!


TRACK:

Tabled: 9 unplayed. (-1830, +Mission Red Planet, +Xanadu, +/- Khmer, +Mythe, + /- One Night Werewolf, +O-saki ni shitsurei shimasu, +Bruges)
Removed: 35 removed. (-1830, -Capek, -Hab & Gut, -Tammany Hall, -Zombie Fluxx)
Acquired: 38 acquired. (+Mission Red Planet, +Xanadu, +Khmer, +Mythe, +One Night Werewolf, +O-saki ni shitsurei shimasu, +Bruges)
Cultish: 12 worthy / 13 played. (+One Night Werewolf)
Kudos: 03 achieved / 16 progress.

2013 TRACK - Tabled, Removed, Acquired, Cultish and Kudos
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12. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:314]
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Games Played

_9_ The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game x4
_7_ Trains x4 New to Me!
_8_ Archipelago x1 New to Me!

Expansions Used

_8_ The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - Khazad-dûm x3


The Gaming Week in Review

As weeks go, this one went pretty well. It started Wednesday with the arrival of Trains (and Archipelago). After one of the briefest explanations of the rules ever, we played two games of Trains in quick succession. And over the next couple days, played two more. S won them all.

As a diversion from Ascension, Trains appears to be a success. S is happy to play it and while I'd enjoy something meatier, it's good for an evening when our brains don't want to fry.

And fry, they did on Saturday when K came over and we played four games of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game over three hours. We just did not get a single break in any of the first three games (playing the first scenario of Khazad-dûm). The third and best chance we had at winning got crushed in the end by our inability to get rid of locations.

In the end, we played the very first scenario of the base game (Mirkwood) just so we could end the evening with a win. With cards from the Khazad-dûm cycle, it was rather easy.

This evening, S and I played Archipelago for the first time. Archipelago is a Euro with a well integrated theme. It is not a Feld. When I play Trajan, it's a flat two dimensional pasted on theme. The build action gets me a token. The forum action gets me a different type of token. Flat, flat, flat.

Boelinger's game has actions that make much more thematic sense. Exploring means adding a new land tile and moving an explorer onto the tile. Building a ship, gives you a ship. Building a port gives you a port - and the ability to send goods back to the Old World. In short, Archipelago is my kind of Euro.

There are a couple of things though that prevent me from absolutely loving it. One is the blind bidding to determine who gets to determine turn order. With S and I, blind bidding has always fallen flat. Two is the negotiation aspect. I definitely get it for this game and with the right bunch (like the group I played The Republic of Rome with), it would be a blast. But with just S and I, it's less successful because I can't negotiate without being completely honest with her about my motivations. Maybe when we're better at the game, I can be more devious, but for now, I feel it would unbalance things.

The final issue I have with the game is the hidden victory conditions. Don't get me wrong, I like hidden victory conditions (Troyes is one of my favourites) and I like how the victory conditions and the end game conditions are distinct. My problem with them is S. She doesn't always learn game iconography very fast (if ever) and even after consulting the rules, she doesn't always get the meaning. Hopefully, she'll get them with this game, but until then, we'll play with open conditions.


The Week Ahead

We left Archipelago on the table, so hopefully we'll sit down tomorrow night for a second game. If I can convince P to come over, I'll submit him and S to a three-player game.

In the meantime, Trains will probably get a few more plays with just S and I.
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13. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
W M
United Kingdom
Rugby
Warwickshire
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_10 _ Agricola x 3

Saturday was the 1st ever official UK Agricola Championship - and qualifier for this years' world championship. This was the first time I'd organised a tournament of this scale and while there were some willing helpers it was quite a bit of work, both getting the word out in the run up, finding a venue, gaining prize support, preparing the format and adjudicating on the day.

I'd decided well in advance to participate - the reason for holding the tournament in the first place was because I wanted a shot at getting to the World Championship and no-one else was going to set anything up. At times playing and running the event was tricky, as it meant there was always a rush to update scores/standings, and any decisions I made that affected players lacked moral authority.

Fortunately we had tried to anticipate problems and there were only a few issues where players wanted to know the exact formula on how ranking was calculated and players at individual tables decided - we were able to put up a powerpoint with this information and kept the score tracking public. I was also lucky that my games finished earlier than others. If I do it again next year I'll need a better way to ensure timely finishes, and to encourage the slowest players.

Another issues was numbers, we had tried to ensure 4 player games but we had quite a few drop outs on the day despite advance registration and payment. To fill a last gap we managed to persuade a browser in the shop (who had never played Agricola before) to participate. He said he was just getting back into boardgames after a long hiatus, and I rather thought he'd be eaten alive - but he was very enthusiastic as Agricola was one of the games he was considering purchasing and wanted to learn the rules. He had to leave before the last turn, and another player took over, he ended in 2nd place, which in a first game against 3 other experienced players is incredible.

Of the 16 entrants I managed a measly 6th place, my wife came fourth, and Rich P. managed an impressive joint first in the final giving him 2nd place overall.

_7.5_ Boggle

Back home and post tournament we played 5 or so rounds of this fun word game, Rich's superior vocabulary led overall with Kate taking a round, and I made a single second place showing. Learning is fun, and it was amusing for everyone laughing at my astonishment that words I thought sure existed, were in fact complete fabrications - Meer, Crewer, Jeet, Scyr, Trak, Shan, the list goes on...

_8.5_ Terra Mystica x 1

Sunday morning we managed a 3 player. Kate went first with Giants, I picked the Auren, and Rich the Darklings. With the 5 point bonus first turn, Kate upgraded to Stronghold turn one and dominated the centre of the board and the point trak, Rich was blocked off in the middle and stuck on his own on the far side, I also upgraded to Stronghold first turn and finding terraforming prohibitively expensive, worked instead shipping to expand while creeping up the cult tracks moving 3 steps a turn. By the last turn Kate was well ahead on points with Rich not far behind and me somewhere in the distance.

It was clear Kate was in the winning seat, with 3 cities and the largest settlement. On the last turn I built a bridge creating my first city(not great), Rich made a play for the settlement points, but I blocked and spent a horde of resources to expand managing to tie with Kate for 12 each. The end scores saw Kate in a commanding lead with me 1 point ahead of Rich, catching up via the cult tracks.

Maybe the internets are wrong and Giants are not the worst race - I've seen them win several times now. I didn't play brilliantly but the Auren seem pretty pants, and the Darklings also not great.

I continue to enjoy Terra Mystica, it has a lot of depth to offer and the asymmetry adds interest and leads to in game balancing between players. I do still think though, that the player order is an issue that needs addressing, with the first player staying first, and the second player second, meaning last place suffers, particular once power has had a chance to develop and money gets snatched first each round. Maybe I just need to be aware of this and pass more early in the game, taking one less action to develop infrastructure.

_7.5_ Bruges x1 - Rugby on Board

I liked this. Feels like a mash up of Notre Dame, London and Ankh Morpork. Somewhat random for a Feld with an interesting risk/reward balance. Lots of Feld's trademark punishment.

In our game I had some nice combos, and gained two points a turn from the second turn, building up a lead on the score board. The others couldn't quite catch me, despite Stuart pushing me down the influence track on the last turn, preventing my sole potential scoring bonus from kicking in. The was revenge for him beating me by one point at Rialto a few months ago. Looking forward to playing again.

_2_ Zombie Dice x 1 - Rugby on Board

Managed to avoid this up til now. It was better than Martian Dice - in that it ended quicker. So many turns with zero decisions. I won and plan to retire undefeated.
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14. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Games Played

_9_ Magic: The Gathering 8
_8_ Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set 3
_7_ Dungeon Petz 1

Week in Review

Another quieter week as August's slower pace seeps into September.

This weekend was the annual Magic Celebration, so I went to my FLGS and enjoyed some casual-level, free-to-play Magic. I then had a night of EDH at my house on Sunday. I am testing a new deck for EDH that slows down the game for everyone (as a byproduct of its strategy). Initially it annoyed them, but then they realized I was not winning and no one was running away with the game. I rather enjoyed the more sedate pace to the game. People had more opportunity to respond to each others' threats.

I had not played Dungeon Petz in a very long time. After playing it several times upon release, it had gone dormant for a year and a half. It felt a little random for me, even more so than is to be expected by the Needs Card mechanic. I love Vlaada's ideas and the art in this game is amazing, but I probably don't need to own it.

The same group that played Pathfinder last Saturday reconvened this week to bust out three more adventures. We are enjoying it quite a bit, though I felt the third game of the night extended a little past the fun limit. Sometimes you have to stop before you burn out for the day. Regardless, the advancement of characters is quite enjoyable. We are three adventures from completing the initial set of scenarios. With a new pack releasing next month, that may be just about right for now.
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15. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:282]
Nicolai Broen Thorning
Denmark
Ebeltoft
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Games Played Week 36:

I am still in LOVE with Uni. The one snake in Paradise seems to be juggling the workload. I am still getting used to classes and homework plus work on top of that. Last week I had a total of 50 hours either at school, work, studying or commuting (which equals studying for the most part). That is a big increase over the modest 37 I had before which was just work and then off.

Slowly I am getting things settled though, so I expect to see improvements in the coming weeks.

It also means (much)less gaming and I am actually totally fine with that. I enjoy coming here for the discussions but I have no need to game myself.

Monday with V.:
1x _7.4_ Glen More
I won this one big with plenty of cash on hand and scoring on Villages and Yellow tiles (or Green). We enjoy this as a quick alternative to card games on a weeknight.

The Week Ahead:
Well, considering it is Thursday on my side of the Pond there is not much left. I am going on a weekend trip with my classes at Uni so expect lots of partying and merriment.

Will be back home Sunday evening - leaving tomorrow.
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16. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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-10- Agricola (x5)
|9| Race for the Galaxy (+TGS; RvI; TBoW)
|9| Boggle (x12)
-8- The Castles of Burgundy (+2nd Expansion)
-8- Terra Mystica (x2)

I played in Walt's wonderful Agricola tournament at the weekend and scraped into 2nd place. Luckily, there were two qualifying places available for the World Championships, so I now get the opportunity to compete in Vienna. I messed up my second game by holding onto resources a little too long (hoarding with Storehouse Clerk) and being rightly blocked out of renovating in the last Round. That game was much more cut-throat than we usually play and was quite stressful. After that, I didn't feel like I was in with a chance of getting into the top four, so I relaxed for my third game, and it went very well. It turns out that Wood Distributor and Wood Cart is a really fun combo, stopping other players from getting much wood in one action while making weak actions much stronger for you. I tied for the win in the final, which was a very low power game. We'd drafted a mix of E, I and K cards but none of the really powerful ones had come up. I think I benefitted from this game being played to a strict time limit as it meant everyone had to play by gut feeling rather than precise analysis: I prefer quick, instinctual play.

I was in two minds about whether to go to Vienna, as I'd have to pay my own way there - the qualifying place doesn't include any travel or hotel costs. But looking into it, flights and hotels don't seem too expensive and it'll be a memorable experience getting thrashed by Agricola experts from around the world. I also won a copy of the revised Pandemic, so I could consider getting the new expansion after all (I wasn't having anything to do with that Upgrade Pack nonsense).

The two games of Terra Mystica took place on the same day, 90 miles apart. As part of my goal to try every race once, I picked Darklings and Fakirs, the last two races I hadn't played. I did poorly with both. I think Darklings have potential, but the setup wasn't ideal for them and I probably shouldn't have picked if I'd given the round bonuses more consideration. Bonus points for a Round 1 stronghold favoured the Giants and despite internet comments that they are terrible, I've yet to see them lose. In the second game, I found Fakirs hard to play well. Their special ability eats up priests, so I never had many to spare for the cult tracks. I had hoped that their magic carpet rides would enable me to get a large connected area easily, but other races caught me up and stole those points away. So, fifteen games in and I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and should stick to some of the easier to play races until I understand the strategies better! laugh
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