GCL Amoeba 134 - A Plethora of Media (2013-09-16)
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Welcome to this week's Game Chat League Amoeba discussion group!

Visitors are welcome and encouraged to post constructive comments, but please leave posting new items to the members. We're friendly symbiotes in real life, though vicious competitors at the game table. (Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most dangerous predator on earth!) For more info on GCL and the Amoebas, please use the links above.

Current hosts:
Larry (larryjrice) mb
Eric (Eric Brosius)
Carlos (Sprocket314)
Jevon (cadavaca)
Jens (fizzle)
Joshua (Joshuaaaaaa)
Mikko (msaari)
Doug (Phrim)


mb This week's list is about board game media and news sources. mb
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1. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4165]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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What sources do you use to get board game news on BoardGameGeek? Geeklists? Reviews? Eric Martin's news section? Which is your favorite, and why does it work so well for you?
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2. Board Game: Media Mogul [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Which board game media sources do you follow off of BoardGameGeek? Blogs like Opinionated Gamers? Podcasts like The Dice Tower? Video reviewers on YouTube? Social media sources like Facebook and Twitter? What types of media fit the best into your life? Which media outlets do the best job of covering the board game hobby?
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3. Board Game: The Good News! Bad News! game [Average Rating:2.33 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Are there areas of the board game hobby that you wish were better covered by the board game media? Are there media formats that you wish were more widely utilized? What would you like to get from the board game media that you aren't currently getting?
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4. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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Week of the "7" games!

d10-7 Bruges 6x
d10-7 Space Alert 5x
d10-7 7 Wonders 1x
d10-7 King of Tokyo: Power Up! 1x
d10-7 Last Will 1x
d10-5 Mansions of Madness 1x
d10-7 Spyrium 1x

New to Me:

I played Bruges SIX times in one sitting at all three player counts - largely because other people kept wanting to try the game and there are 130+ unique cards to explore so combinations feel almost endless. There is definitely a chance that luck of the draw will keep you out of the winner's circle, but the game plays relatively quickly that this doesn't faze me overly so. Definitely enjoyed the game, but I don't believe I want to play six times in a row in one day again...

King of Tokyo: Power Up! was also new to me (I have played the base game before). I really like this expansion as it adds in more flavor and options to the game - seems like it would also encourage more conflict and games won by survival instead of by fame (which also seems to me to fall more in line with the theme of the game). My only frustration with this game was that my monster apparently didn't feel a need to evolve as I couldn't roll three hearts to save my life...literally. I was one of the first dead monsters but the game only lasted another round or two after that.

Spyrium was interesting but I remain uncertain about where I fall on this one. The worker phase/mechanism is interesting as players can be out of phase with each other and the placement which increases a cost for a tile is also interesting, but there is little time for buildup in this game in just six rounds. Thankfully, variety and spice for future plays exist as not all event cards or phase A/B cards are used every game. Not sure why they chose Steam Punk theme here as it really doesn't come across at all...but since this is by the designer of Caylus, I shouldn't be all that surprised I suppose!

Other Games:

When the clues hint that one should not enter a freezer in Mansions of Madness, one probably should heed that warning and not enter. However, one of my investigator friends couldn't help himself despite an earlier warning shot where the first one who went in died and entered the freezer and we all died right away, losing the game. Curiosity truly killed the cat in this one! This isn't my favorite game by any stretch of the imagination, but I put up and even enjoy it from time to time as this is with a group that I play with every Monday night and I feel I should play their preferred tastes from time to time. (I know not everyone agrees with this philosophy and I usually do not in larger game days, but I enjoy being with this group of four regardless of the game.)

Space Alert was the next game of choice after that ill-fated end to our investigation in Mansions of Madness and we fared somewhat better in this one winning 2 of 5 missions. We did really well once we figured out how to communicate well by our fourth mission! Playing this one makes me regret selling this one and I am considering re-acquiring this one - we'll see yet.

Last Will was enjoyable to revisit and I'm curious to see what the upcoming expansion adds to the game experience. As well, 7 Wonders was fun since it was played at a relatively fast pace.

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5. Board Game: Prolix [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4107]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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I was down in NJ at my parents' house for my dad's birthday and my parents' 40th anniversary. (Yes, my dad got married on his birthday--he never forgets the date!) Only got to play one game, though...

_7_ Prolix - I traded for this after playing it at a convention a few years ago and liking it, so it was good to get it on the table. This was with me, Anni, Jon, Lauren, and Tina, all of whom were new except me and Anni. I opened the game by interrupting Tina, but then laid off on interrupting until the very end of the game. Don't want to interrupt unless it's really worth it, after all. I started out a little slowly, getting 13 point words on my first two turns. I did pretty well after that, though, scoring 17, 20, and then 18. On the last round, I interrupted one last time, which let me replace a 13 for a couple of points. I finished with 99, which was good enough to win.
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6. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:948]
Mikko Saari
Finland
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http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
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1 x _9_Gulo Gulo
1 x _8_Viva Topo!
1 x _7_Fleeting Foxes
1 x _7_Animal Upon Animal: Balancing Bridge
1 x _7_Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye found it! Game
1 x _6_CLACK!
1 x _9_The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game
1 x _7_Ghost Blitz 2

Had to miss the Thursday games last week, thanks to my kids being ill. Hopefully this week I can go. New games are coming up - I should be getting a big box of review copies from Lautapelit.fi, some games from Ravensburger and the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Deck-Building Game is also heading our way.

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7. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:673]
Jens KH
Germany
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Games played

_6_ Wizard

Not much gaming at all, mainly due to family business this time around.

I'll instead use this space to relate a story Larry's entry reminded me of. It already happened a couple of weeks ago but I forgot to write about it at the time. My largest gaming group is (unsurprisingly) a public one, and we get new members or visitors every couple of weeks, typically. So, one game day there's another new guy who introduces himself as William. There's a bit of chatting, and then we sit down to play a game or two. William returns the following weeks, playing games like everyone else. It is only at one of those later game days that one of those compulsive play loggers asks him for his full name, and it turns out that we've unknowingly been gaming with William Attia for the last couple of weeks! Should his French accent have given him away earlier? In any case, he's quite a pleasant guy to game with, and I'm looking forward to more gaming in the future, assuming my current drought doesn't last forever.
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8. Board Game: Northern Pacific [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:6041]
Jevon Heath
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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_7_ Dominion x5
_8_ Northern Pacific x4
_7_ Trains
_5_ Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Look, games!

Northern Pacific was great, but playing it made me miss my old Winsome group back in Santa Barbara. I think I accidentally led at least one person to think the game was named Cube or Train?.
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9. Board Game: R-Eco Recycle [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:9822]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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I managed to play 4 games this week. I'm still recovering in various ways from our trip to Spain.

_4_ R-Eco Recycle -- The first game we tried was this card game by the designer of R-Eco, Susumu Kawasaki. We pulled the cards out of the box, set the game up, and then realized that we were missing 4 yellow cards, without which we couldn't really play the game. This only slowed us down for a moment, though, as we decided that Bargain Hunter has the right number of cards in each color to play, as long as you ignore the numbers. It was charming playing a recycling game with cards that have pictures of old toasters and such on them.

It's a game in which you try to claim rewards by playing sets of cards, but in which the rewards can be worth positive (good) or negative (bad) points depending on what the cards are. Only the last person to play in a color gets the reward, so it's possible to bluff by claiming a reward while secretly playing cards that increase the chances it will be a bad one, hoping that someone else will outbid you and get stuck with a bad score. The original R-Eco presents a delicious blend of control and lack of control. This version leans too much toward lack of control. In summary: It's no R-Eco.

_6_ Bruges -- I had wanted to try this game, which sounded less overwrought than many of Feld's recent designs (you should understand that I rated The Castles of Burgundy a _4_ and Trajan a _3_.) And in fact it turned out to be a pleasant little game that doesn't outstay its welcome. It's short enough that a high luck factor is acceptable, but in our game Dan got a card that gave him 2 VP for each different personality type, and that was the game. So we enjoyed the game, but nothing the rest of us did had anything to do with winning or losing. I'll play it again---maybe this was an exception---but at this point I don't see myself buying or asking for it. It's sort of in the category of Blue Moon City, which my wife asks to play every so often. It's my favorite Feld design since In the Year of the Dragon (well, maybe it's in competition with Rialto, but if the luck thing isn't a huge problem, Bruges probably is better.)

.10! 1846: The Race for the Midwest -- Michael had a little over an hour left, and we decided to play this "super filler" (as Geof Gambill would call it.) In the private company draft, Michael got the Michigan Southern, I got the Meat Packing Company, and Joe got the Big 4, C&WI, Lake Shore Line and Mail Contract for $70 leaving him with $130. He started the Erie at $60, buying just the President's certificate, and despite having to pay $250 out of pocket for a 4/6 train, he won. Just another day at the 1846: The Race for the Midwest office for Joe...

_8_ King of Tokyo -- Now, this one we did play with the expansions. We used the Brockenbar figure from the King of Tokyo: Heidelbärger Brockenbär (promo character) expansion and the Giant Panda from the King of Tokyo: Power Up! expansion, but we did not use the rest of the cards from that expansion. We killed Steph almost right away (she seemed reluctant to yield Tokyo, and we convinced her with claws.) Joe Huber got Wings and looked good, but Dan went on a notoriety spree and won just before Joe was going to (I had 14 notoriety at the end, so I was reasonably close.)

Interestingly enough, I only played games to which I have given even-numbered ratings.

[Edit: fixed typo]
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