Friday night I dug into my box of goodies and pulled out ZÈRTZ and my wife and I played a quick best of three session with me winning the first game and her winning the last two. Kind of surprised by this, wasn't expecting to enjoy an abstract as much as I did, I kind of knew my wife would. Now I just have to get TZAAR out as well.
Apparently our child can't eat Chocolate ice cream without wearing a bit of it, haha, just noticed that.
Sunday evening we tried out Primordial Soup. I won this one but I don't think anyone was too enthralled with it. I probably picked the wrong time to try it out, late on a Sunday after everyone has been busy out running around. There is something to this game other than the obvious poop jokes, but no one seemed too excited to keep playing.
Birthday weekend coming up, we'll see if we can get anything to the table or not. Have a great week folks!
I really like Tzolk'in, but no game I own pwns me more. I've finished dead last in every game I've played of this, which is something I can say about no other game. Usually, I'm right up there contending for the win.
Despite my best effort, the evening included more than its fair share of drama, as the person who asked me to teach called late to say she was not coming. This after my careful setting up of the game. By then, the rest of my game group was starting Yedo. So I asked whether I could join.
Halfway through the Yedo rules explanation, the store owner handed me the phone again. I was then informed that the person who asked me to teach Tzolk'in had changed her mind due to a change in circumstances and was indeed coming again, albeit 30 minutes later.
Hmm. Begrudgingly, I excused myself from Yedo and resetup Tzolk'in for two. When my opponent arrived about 75 minutes after game night had started, I started to explain the rules. That's when another player arrived. So I quickly adjusted the game for three. About halfway through explaining the rules, a fourth player arrived, and an exasperated me considered how it is that these things get so out of control. Fortunately, at this point, he deemed the game too long to play, so it looked like we had three only, and I would not have to explain the rules again. Let's face it: Tzolk'in is not a difficult game to play, but it is loaded with options and little rules that can't be glossed over.
Let's just say this about Tzolk'in that evening: Between trying to teach the game, manage it, and the banter between the other two players about which option was always the best to play, I was not my best for playing. In short, I got my shorts handed to me—again—by that third player, and while I wasn't trailing by a ton, I still came in third. Ouch.
BTW, 3½ hours after they began, the Yedo players had to abandon the game midway through because the store was closing. Yikes!
Despite getting killed again, I really enjoyed Tzolk'in. In fact, I raised my rating on BGG. That almost never happens for a game I've owned for months. Great game, and one of my faves.
Driving home from the game store, we witnessed a spectacular meteorite/fireball that lit up the night sky to as bright as daytime. A one-in-a-lifetime event, I think. Wow. (Oh, and ignore the bogus title on this video. No one was killed.)
Even though Friday was stressful, my son and I had a nice couple sessions playing some favorites the next day.
On Saturday evening, he and I played Ace of Aces: Wingleader, a gift from a good friend. I'd had the old Handy Rotary series as a teen. Well, my son's P-51 Mustang pounded by Messerschmidt something fierce that first round. In the rematch, I kept doing lazy circles around him, and I don't think he caught on to what I was doing, as I sent him down in flames after a while.
We then moved on to an abstract game we both like, Pentago. Simple rules, but some brainburning goodness. We repeated our previous game in that he got me quickly that first round. In the rematch, he developed a great position, but I kept rotating his best section away from a win. Eventually, with the board filling, I found a winning position for myself and took the second game.
All that said, it was sort of a bittersweet weekend for me. My wife doesn't game anymore, and my son won't play the games I like best. I was actually dying to play Tzolk'in again (or any other Eurogames I own), plus I need to review Black Spy, and it needs a minimum of three to play. Getting folks together spontaneously is so difficult anymore, and everyone was booked. Welcome to America 2013. Sigh.
My Wife's first win and it was big, 51-46. She focused more on gaining VP and her character card bonuses this time and it paid off.
I'm encouraged that she finally won. She has struggled to appreciate it the first couple of plays, and was only recently willing to give it another try. Admittedly not her favorite, I think it will be rescued from collecting dust going forward. (How do I get her to experience a 3p game of this? Hmm???)
We had been alternating between Troyes and Bruges during the week. I had hoped to finally get Guildhall to the table, but it looks like it will have to wait until October.
My parents were in town for the weekend so we decided to play a game of Power Grid on Saturday night since we've all played it before. I had been doing really well for a while with some green plants, powering up to 14 cities with a single barrel of oil and making huge profits, eventually getting up to being able to power 16. Mom was hot on my heels, buying everything she needed for cheap and powering just as much. I thought had her for sure when I got up to 16 cities and she was sitting back at 12. There was nothing useful to me on the current market so I passed, figuring I'd build the 17th city and win based on still being able to power the most. Turns out one of those plants was really useful to Mom which let her power 17 and still left her enough money to buy up 5 cities and let her steal my victory.
We also decided to play 2 quick(ish) games of Love Letter before running out to eat. The first game didn't go so hot for my parents as my fiancee and I won every single round though she'd go on to win the first game 4 - 3. The second game went much better for them as we all tied at 1 token apiece, then 2 each. Dad ended up with the Princess 8 hands in a row and lost all but one of those rounds as he was constantly force to discard her. A number of times playing the guard we'd name the Princess as a joke and end up being right. Everyone but me had managed to work their way up to 3 tokens. I tried to hang in there but just couldn't manage, letting Dad finally win the game with the Princess in his hand. Turns out this game is a lot more enjoyable with 4 players.
I had become familiar with this game watching Radho's Runthrough, and was very happy to see it arrive at my FLGS. I picked it up, and got a chance to play it. I enjoyed it a great deal and look forward to playing it again.
I really like this overlooked title from Michael Cramer. Unfortunately, a couple of rules irregularities (one by me) forces me to put an asterisk next to my victory. I hate asterisks.
On Saturday, I attended the Fall edition of the Wisconsin Gaming Hoopla and played:
No Ladies this time, just the original. I lost, but still fun playing this great game.
My first time playing with five. It's definitely better with more, but five does drag a bit. I still enjoyed the game and look forward to playing it again.
My second weekend in a row playing a Majorcan fruit farmer. My oranges and figs were apparently the most delicious as I was able fulfill more orders than my opponent farmers.
I like this game, and love the new artwork. This was a nice way to end Hoopla for me.
Finally, I set up one of the Volkare scenarios to play on sunday. I played slowly over the course of e day while doing other things (including watching the finale of Breaking Bad with some friends). What a brilliant addition to the base game. Makes the best solo game around even better.
Oops...forgot two games.
I bought this a while ago, but had yet to try it out. While I don't think it's an essential addition to The Speicherstadt, I liked it well enough. The base mechanisms remain the same, but there are more ways to execute them.
I own 1812 from the same designer, so I was familiar with the system this game employs (it's essentially the same as 1812).
For whatever reason, this game just bombed. We played with three, the owner playing the British sides. The game ended after just three rounds in a tie.
I like 1812, and as above, this game has largely the same ruleset. I'm just going to write this one off to an unusual set of circumstances, so I'll give it another shot and hope the next play goes much better.
Trains - This was a pretty sad week for me, not a lot of gaming. I did finally get to play Trains, though, which was really nice. My wife and I played 2 games together and really enjoyed it. I think I'm going to print out the user made 2 player board from the BGG files, though, because I think the map would benefit from a little less space in those games. All in all, though, a really solid game.
Poo: The Card Game - This is the only other game we got to play, a couple of quick games with my family. It's a fun little take-that card game with a great theme. There's nothing terribly special about it, though. It's more of a novelty, but it will see play with new people, for sure. I wouldn't call it a gateway game by any stretch, but it's a nice ice breaker anyway.
Sadly, that's it for me this week. I did receive my order of Troyes, Dungeon Petz, and Tales of the Arabian Nights. I'm very excited about all of those. They will join Copycat and Village on the "to play" pile. Hopefully, they'll see the table soon.
No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
Over the week end I’ve played Defenders of the Realm four times: all games have been two-player, with the other player being quite new to the game.
We’ve lost every game: once due to Sapphire coming to Monarch City; once due to tainting (all twelve crystals had been used up); twice due to excessive Orc population (all 25 minions were on the board).
My weekend really started on Thursday night. Two of my co-workers were in town and ready to game. We got a foursome lined up to play. While we waited for the fourth, the three of us played a game of Bohnanza. Two of us had played before and were teaching the other person. Of course, the newbie won. Did we take it too easy on him?
After the fourth got there, we pulled out Stone Age. Two of us had played before and the other two had not. The game went a long time. I shot out to a huge lead, but got reeled in and passed by the time it was over.
The last game of the evening was Goldbräu. I've wanted to play this since I got it in a math trade quite a while ago and haven't had the right group. After muddling thru the first couple of turns, we all got the hang of it and had a really good time. Everybody give it a thumbs up afterward and would like to try it again.
Saturday morning, my daughter wanted to play something with me. We decided on Forbidden Island. We were cruising along, had two treasures in hand when bad luck set in. She got a waters rise and two cards for one treasure came up in her drawing. I was not able to reach those times to shore them up and I also drew a waters rise and sunk those two spots. We were done.
Then I asked my son if he'd like to give 1775: Rebellion a try. I told him it was a Revolutionary War game and he was in. Why didn't I just try that approach before. He took the Continental and Patriot Armies and I was the British Army and Loyalists. With the help of the French, I was pushed out of the southern colonies and lost a 6-5 game after he sneakily played both his truce cards to end the round. He proclaimed it is now his favorite game. Sunday morning, we had another go and this time the British side (aka Dad) came out victorious. I had a lot of help from the Hessian forces in this victory. I must say, I really enjoyed this game as well.
For Sale - It was a even-matched game all the way. I din't win a single auction, but did save a good amount of money, but it wasn't enough (especially because I made bad decisions in the sell phase). The winner got 46 money, and I, with 41, was in fifth place.
Samurai - A four player game, everyone learning except me. I thought I was going really well, but one of the other player went to do an amazing game, taking two majorities, both with 6 pieces. I got one majority and five other pieces, so even if he had only one majority, I would lose in the tie breaker. It was a great game!
Fairy Tale - Another four player game, also everyone learning except me. No one was really concern in blocking the others, so, everyone did what they wanted. I lost again, but the game was really close: the winner got 41 points, and everyone else was with 37!
Masters Gallery - Yes, again, four player and everyone learning. I do teach awesomely great, because I lost again, this time well behind the winner. I tried to make everyone see that Renoir was the man, but nooo, everyone wanted to buy Degas. Humpf.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island - Two four player games. The first was in the Castaways scenario. We struggled to get resources, because many rains and storms depleted our gathering places. Somehow we did manage to take wood, and use the bed to sleep to balance the effects of the hunger (it was wood or food, seldom we could get both). By the 10th round the castaways light up the fire to call for a ship! The second game was in the Cursed Island scenario - my first go into it. We thought it was going to be an easy scenario, since we would face only one weather dice (the white) and to build the Cross only takes 2 wood. But the fog is a dammed hard thing to overcome. Even more when we couldn't find the land type that allowed the Bell to be build. So, in the 9th round, we lost due to the death of the Soldier.
Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game x4 - It was my first games, and I enjoyed quite a bit. It was somewhat easy, though, so I will made a few changes in order to be more challenging. Anyway, in the first game I lost, because I went head on in all the biggest numbers and I didn't use the Ring. The second one I played wrong, because I assumed I had all the equipaments (which I didn't). In the next two everything was OK, and I won both, one in the 17th round, the other in the 14th round.
I randomly got some games in on Saturday. It wasn't on my lineup this weekend but my fiancee surprised me with a copy of TTR: Europe. She absolutely loves this game so we both set up something so we could play.
Of course after I got my new game I contacted my brother if he and and my Dad wanted to play Ticket to Ride: Europe. I ask them because they both also love this game. I went to my place to grab a few extra games and then we went to my parents house. I must say I really do like this version. The add ons of the train stations is a really cool idea, the tunnels is ok (I do like the suspense it brings flipping over the cards), and the paths for ferries is just different without changing anything. I think the thing I liked about this game the best is that the majority of the routes are short and quick so everybody was constantly finishing routes. It brought up the pace of the game and gave you the feeling that you were always accomplishing something. Anywho the game was really close. I got last place as always, but my Dad surprised the hell out of everyone by finishing 12-13 routes. I had finished 8 and I thought I did an awesome job, but yes my Dad with all those routes just shot out to the front and won the game by 6 points over my fiancee and my brother who were both tied for 2nd.
Up next was just a quick filler game. We played Hey, That's My Fish!. I showed the rules to my Dad and that was that. I thought I was killing it the whole game. When the game was over and we were counting our tiles I was sure I had the game won, but nope my Dad came out of left again and with 4 more points then me. I really don't know how that happened. Oh well foiled again.
Our last game of the night was Forbidden Island. It's a good thing everybody already knew how to play or least played before so no rules explanation was really needed. The game came straight at us hard. It went straight for our treasure that looks like a cup. We fought the whole game to keep treasures alive and somehow the cards kept flipping over the pairs of treasures. I'll spare the detail on this one and say it came down to the final 4 tiles when we won. We completed it with probably 2-3 turns left. High pressure lol.
I get paid today so I'll more than likely be putting in a game order so I will hopefully have new games to play this weekend.
I taught Lindy the game on Friday night expecting she would like it ok but because of the theme she might play once more or twice if I was really lucky. She is one who tends to play a game a number of times back-to-back immediately after learning based on how much she likes it and then only once in a long while thereafter. Well, on Saturday morning we played again over coffee. Then, in the evening, after a day of work, she asked to play again. Sunday morning, guess what? We played Shipyard over coffee in the morning. In the afternoon we played again. So far, we have each won games alternately. If we play again it is my turn! Am I tired of Shipyard yet? NO!! I would gladly play again!
Saturday afternoon for a break from work we also played Sequence. Lindy won badly so I talked her into a redemption game, which, yes, I did win!
My wife and I had a go at Elder Sign, facing off against Ithaqua. Great cooperation. We were able to beat him with about 3/4 of his Doom Track full with her delivering the final blow. She was pretty happy about it.
We then played two games of City of Thieves. I won the first game and we tied for the second.
Lastly, we had three rounds of Smash Up, using at least one faction from the new Cthulhu Expansion each. - Round 1: My wife had Miskatonic University & Dinosaurs and destroyed my Innsmouth Locals & Steampunk - Round 2: Beat her Innsmouth Locals & Ghosts (Horrible Combo, I know) with my Miskatonic University & Aliens - Round 3: Again, got destroyed by her Elder Things & Steampunk vs my Cthulhu Minions & Pirates
My sologame adventure pits my party comprised of the Dwarven Calignite Thief and Sternkin Fighter, the Human Glamercast Bard, and the Elven Spellsword versus Mowtil the Lich and his Abyssal Incarnate bodyguards, supported by Trolls and Kobolds in a deep Dungeon. The delve was initially successful as I encountered Kobolds first, and I even let a couple escape as they would cause more harm to Mowtil's band. However, upon going deeper the party then encountered a lot of the elite Abyssals, and they had no choice but to evade as these were just too strong. The party did find a lot of Venery Charms, but these became more of a hindrance since I could not visit the Village and level up when these were present, even though they did give 2 VPs each. As a result not one of my heroes reached level 3, and while they did manage to defeat a few trolls they simply could not handle Mowtil, and he ended up escaping. The party also learned that the monsters really caused havoc on the village above, as the final score had Mowtil with 59 while my party could only manage 29!
Mowtil's warband (Upper rows) easily defeats the heroes (lower rows)!
I then play this game with Shawn. Shawn tries to gamble by getting rid of early pairs in order to grab some walking sticks to forage better, but I ended up doing the same and managed to capitalize on the Moon cards better and thus cooked 4 sets, while Shawn was denied some cards which I foraged earlier than him. He thus managed to cook only 2 sets of mushrooms and thus I win with a score of 45 to his 23!
My brother Sunny then arrives in the evening to relieve me of my guard duty, but before Shawn and I leave I teach him how to play this. He picks up quick and the game was vicious as usual, and it was very close. I managed to end the game by getting a VP card which brought me to 20, then playing a Farmer card on my next turn to get me to 20 points and the win versus Sunny's 15!
Sunday was devoted to some family gaming in the house.
I teach this to both Shawn and Sharlene. Both get the game quick and Sharlene went for collecting Pink provinces, while I gunned for the greens. I was initially in the lead but Shari later caught up, and thus it was only us who managed to grab the completed objective bonuses first. I actually had a chance to end the game earlier but i decided against it and shifted my focus too a bonus card. I still was the first to the 7th objective and upon counting the scores Shari's Pink province focus paid off as all of her cards except 1 were Pink provinces! She ended up with a score of 78 points (6 Objectives completed Bonus 16 cards 42 variable 20 pts) while I had 57 (7 Objectives done Bonus 10 Cards 21 Variable 26 pts) and Shawn had 39 (4 Objectives done Bonus 5 Cards 29 Variable 5).
The night was capped with 3 straight plays of this. Shari ended up having a scratch on her hand after a couple of games, and in both I had the least mistakes which meant I won both. The last game was just between me and Shawn, and the game had a lot of cards accumulate underneath the totem before Shawn lost a critical duel, and this meant I manage to win again!
OTHER GAMES PLAYED DURING THE WEEK:
The week was started with a short FLGS visit after some errands!
Finally I have a chance to try out the new wonders from my new copy of the WONDER PACK. I let the gals choose their wonder board first, and Julie uses Stonehenge A (whose 3rd level gives 2 points for every stone resource produced) while Vangie used Abu Simbel A (whose 3rd level gives you VP equal to the value of 1 Leader you choose to be buried). I chose Great Wall A (which lets me build the Wonder levels in any order I choose).
The Leaders I drafted plus the 2nd stage if the Great Wall decided the direction I took. With bonuses for Gray and Black cards I built as much of them as I could, and with the choice of any science symbol with the 2nd stage of my wonder I also went for the green science cards. The gals went heavy into the blue VP cards, and this helped me since I also built the purple card which gave me 1 point for every blue card my neighbors built! In the end I scored high in many fronts (especially science where I got 31) which offsets the high blue scores the gals got (26 and 27 for the gals) as I get a very high score of 80 versus Julie's 66 and Vangie's 58. Julie did not get to build the wonder stage for stone bonus points as she was denied all Stone producing cards by Vangie (she managed to buy all her stone from us)!
My Great Wall A 80 points
Julie's Stonehenge A 66 points despite getting no brown stone cards!
Vangie and I then teach this to Julie. My starting objectives had a lot of green cards, so I immediately went for 3 geen cards which I achieved first so that meant I got the 4 point bonus. I also managed to be the first to complete 1 green, orange, and pink province which netted me the 6 point bonus. Vangie got 8 points from completing 3 pink provinces, and she also was the only one to complete a wheat producing province for 5 points. Julie struggled a bit as this was her first game and she didn't know what she was going for, and that caused her to miss out on getting the bonus objective for completing a certain amount of cards, in which I got 8 for being the first to finish 5 and Vangie got 10 for the 6 card bonus. Julie and I did finish off the 7th card at the same time, which triggered the end game, and Julie managed to get 2 points for completing 3 senator cards. The final scoring had her scoring 26 points from the variable ? cards which gave bonuses for having certain symbols, but with a final score of 46 this was way behind the 72 Vangie and I managed to get, and with the tiebreaker of having more senators also being tied (we had 1 each), we then had to share the victory!
I had an afternoon meeting near the FLGS, and this meant a couple of quick games afterwards with Vangie and Jenny Rose!
We actually drew the Miners, Fishermen and Farmer objectives again (like the previous game), so I dump the Farmer and this time drew the Knights objective (2 points per settlement in the horizontal line with the most settlements). Vangie and I did a good job in the Knights objective, but Vangie did a better job as the Miner and she just managed to edge me by just 2 points for a score of 64 to my 62 and Jenny Rose's 49.
Vangie (black) 64 Me (blue) 62 Jenny Rose (orange) 49
We then proceed to play "Gamer Bingo" again, teaching Jenny Rose for her first game. Jenny Rose and I sprint out to an early lead from which Vangie could not catch up, as Jenny Rose and I collared different completed cards bonuses. I invested a lot in the cards with the ? (ie variable) points value, and in the end this was a huge factor as I score 48 points from this which when added to my 15 point bonus and (only) 6 points from cards gives me a final score of 69. This was way ahead of Jenny Rose's 38 points (15 bonus 17 cards 6 variable) and Vangie's 35 points (6 bonus 24 cards 5 variable).
I managed to get some gaming with Enrique and Jim in the afternoon.
We decide to play this game again, but this time we added the expansion buildings plus used the entirely new roles from the GOLD AND GUNS expansion. The all new roles really changed the dimension of the game. The Indian, Auctioneer and the Miner meant that it was easier now to get land, and Jim and Enrique used these roles at least a couple of times in order to grab parcels of lab. Early on I used the governor role twice to try to get a few VPs from building roads, and I ended up building around the center of Carson City, which ended up peaceful (ie without gunfights) as I built a church nearby. This was not the case further out of the city, as Jim and Enrique engaged in a couple of gunfights for control of certain actions. They also built on the outskirts of the city, again connected by a single road. It was a close game and in the final turn my selection of the Miner meant that I was the starting player, and since this was also the tiebreaker this meant I beat out Jim when we ended up tied for first with 38 points each! Enrique ended with a score of 31. This was another fast and fun game!
Carson City at the endgame. My properties are in Orange, Jim's in green, and Enrique's in blue.
I then teach the both of them this very interactive network building game. The guys got the mechanics soon enough, and Jim really went to town building a network on the northeast part of the board, and he REALLY focused on collecting the extra action plates in the center. I invested a lot of effort in increasing my action track early, which I maxed out. I then proceed to max out in almost all my abilities. Enrique, on the other hand, did a bit of everything, but this cost him a lot as he ended up not accomplishing much of anything. In the end Jim's large network of offices and his huge bonus from the collected plates overcomes by domination of the tech track, as he wins with a score of 68 to my 55, while Enrique really got left behind with a score of 21.
We end the afternoon with this supposed light card game. In a surprising twist this ended up to be the most serious game played, as we all really concentrated hard in order to win. The gameplay was really vicious as we traded and assassinated characters to no end! Enrique and I had the early lead in points, with Enrique sprinting out to 16 due to a lot of points from the Farmer. Jim, however, managed to hoard 3 completed stacks, and in a very lucky final turn he bought 1 VP card with his first action, and the next VP card to turn up was luckily the 9 points 2 stack cost VP card, which he then bought for the win for his last action! He comes from behind to win with a score of 22 to Enrique's 16 and my 12!
In the evening Shawn and I play a quick game while waiting in a fast food joint for our take out. His SpellSword becomes a Village Hero with a score of 21, but my Undead Viking does better as a Seasoned Adventurer, as he managed to reach level 8 in 1 delve and amass a score of 26.
Was at Fallcon 2013 this weekend so got in quite a few games. Had a great time as usual. All the games on Friday were new to me. First game I played was a 4 player game of Kemet. Really loved this game, I think I like it a little better then Cyclades due to more going on and the creatures staying on the board. I had three out: Scarab, Scorpion, and Sphinx. Early on when I bought the Scarab, there was a real live beetle crawling on me. I guess it was an omen because I won the game with 12 VP.
The 2nd game played was a quick 7 player game of Ca$h 'n Guns. I never played before so wanted to try. It was fun for what it was. I was a bullet magnet. This was not really my type of game but still fun.
The 3rd and final game of the night was a three player game of Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I really loved this game. It took some getting used to the symbolism and what was going on but I enjoyed placing my workers on the wheel and deciding when I would move them off. The Gear mechanic I had not seen before. I loved it.
Now onto Saturday. The first games I played was 7 Wonders. Had 1 game of 6 players, and two of 7 players. This game isn't new to me but I have never played with 6 or 7 before so it was fun. I could not convince the players to try the leaders expansion though. But still a very good time.
Then I met up with Shane (See What Shane played) and we were corralled into a 6 player game of Citadels. This is an OK game and not one I was really expecting to play as I play it quite often with my wife but the tables were mostly full so sometimes it is best to play what you can get.
The final game of the night was a 2 player game of Le Havre. Shane (See What Shane played) and I tried to get a few more players but everyone seemed pretty busy or not interested. So We just played with 2. This game was new to me but I really liked it. I would rank it slightly higher then Agricola for me. A really good game.
On Sunday before heading to FallCon for my final game I played a game of Take The Cake with my two youngest children. I had not had much family time this weekend so managed to get in a few minutes with my kids.
Then it was off to FallCon for one of my favourite games, Clash of Cultures. This was my first 4 player game of Clash and a very interesting one. I think we saw a bit of everything there were Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and a sort of strange map. I was cut off from the rest of the world by a large river that extended all the way down to a single hexagon. The river made expanding very difficult. It forced me into concentrating on going with technologies that dealt with ports, ships, and trading. The River also protected me from being attacked by other cultures. So in the end while off to a difficult start the ships and trading strategy pulled out a win due to a food and gold surplus that saw me build two wonders for a very close win. The final score was 35, 31, 30, 29. Best game of Clash of Cultures I have played. Shane came 3rd (See What Shane played) and did not have a wonder so a very good score along with 4th who also did not have a wonder.
Played 2 games of Dominion with my wife and 3 friends. In the first game, I bought 2 witches. Everyone else bought only 1 or none. No trashing cards were available. And that pretty much sums up the game. I finished with 33 points. Second place was 15 points.
In the second game, my son played on my team. He gets the mechanics, but doesn't quite understand the strategy. He's 3, so I'll cut him some slack. He made all of the buying decisions until he got bored and left to play with his toys. I struggled to piece together a winning deck after that and finished in 4th.
My son and I "played" Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game. Basically, I moved all the ships and explained everything to him, and he got to roll all the dice. We set up Han + Luke + Chewbacca + MF vs. 5 TIEs. Han won fairly easily by staying towards the edges and evading a lot.
Saturday A fine afternoon game of Summoner Wars: my first play of Torgan went deep into post-draw play. In the endgame, Queen Maldaria still had some commons, but all of the action then was with champions and summoners. In the early game, Maldaria came on surprisingly slowly, but effectively. A Fire Dancer drew first summoner blood. It took Ugg and Grok together to defeat Fanessa (Ugg falling in the process), but she brought Duke Ramazall in her wake. Ramazall killed Grok, and Torgan killed Ramazall, which left Torgan vs. Kaebeeros, and Maldaria vs. a late-summoned Krom. Still, Torgan got crisped at the end.
Then we crowned the day's gaming with a lovely three-handed game of Survive: Escape from Atlantis. The most hilarious moment was late in the game, when I sent a meeple from a mountain shore to swim with a dolphin, then (stupidly) picked up the tile he'd just been on, to reveal a whirlpool that sucked both swimmer and dolphin into oblivion!
Sunday Played a couple of games of Hive at various locations around town in the course of biking about with my daughter.
Came home and played a great game of Castles of Burgundy. At 226-172, both players got personal high scores. My girl scored impressively well, considering that she got only one bonus tile (small castles). I got bonuses for mines, castles, rivers, and pastures.
The final gaming of the weekend was to inaugurate an 8-color variant of Caldera.
It was a great weekend of gaming, despite no games on Friday and no Yog-Sothothery at all.
Got a game of this in Friday night before a hectic weekend. This is one of my wife's favorite games, because she read the books. We succeeded the mission of closing 4 Fissures and destroying all the monsters, including the Matron Mother herself.
Gaming Tip: When reading the game scenario (I believe #7), replace the word fissure with the word crack. It's a great read
Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
We played Take 5 at our RPGGeekMeet, a quick little abstract filler that was riotous fun after a long day of gaming. We bought it right away.
The next day we had a bit of a Boardgamegeek meet with Katvippa and Garion, a BGG'er who turns out live really close to us! We played Kingsburg and I tried bravely to catch up with Garion but just failed.
Started the weekend with Open Rails Origins, a Print-n-Play title that is sort of an "intro to train games" mixing 18xx scoring with Winsome cube laying (and some "special ability" cards that I think were supposed to have been inspired by Railways of the World(?) but that I've always found irritating and left out). We were originally going to give 18AL a shot with three players but it turns out one that was being hoped to join had recently moved out of state - so I grabbed this as a two player alternative. It was pretty fun for two players, still hoping to eventually play this one with 3.
Then after a bit of a break it was time for Gonzaga - and I was a bit surprised that several people were looking to checking this one out. The original players who signed up as interested all ended up being late in other games, but as it turned out I had a full table worth of people waiting as "fill-ins" in case that happened. This is a fun game - not exactly a brain-burner but it's a neat area control game that even my wife admits to liking.
Another little break, and then it was time to finally get First Train to the table! I'm now not 100% sure what I think of it - I enjoyed it, but there were multiple rules that were ambiguous and there's so much going on every turn that it was really easy to forget something. I think if I get to play it more I may like it after another try or two though.
Then, after commuting an hour each way to go pick the game up (because in my morning rush I went and left the %#$% thing sitting on my dining room table! Gah!) I got to play M:RP again, a game that I had only played once before and it was yeaaaaaaars ago. This one also had frustrating rules issues, which may be one of the reasons it's no longer in print. Wording on the character cards was sometimes different than the explanation for the card in the manual, but who wants to look up cards in the manual every turn to see if what the card says means what you think it means. It also repeatedly refers to scoring for "ice" resources without actually showing anywhere what an "ice" resource looks like, so I had to simply guess that it must be the light blue one. Very, very frustrating for about the first 20 minutes but it went pretty smoothly afterwards. Would probably be enjoyable if it was played often enough to be able to remember the glitches, but I doubt that's going to happen.
Mississippi Queen is a game that I first found out about over a decade ago and have been wanting to try it out ever since, but is a game that I've never met anybody who owned it. When I found it out was on the Hoopla schedule this time around, I jumped at the opportunity. And wow, this game was seriously fun! To the point where it is now on my "Why the heck is this not in print???" list. Admittedly that was with a full compliment of five players fighting each other for position down the river - I suspect this probably loses something if you only have 3 resulting in less conflict. But still, great little game.
This is another game that needs more love - yes, the theme looks boring, but wow is this a fun trading game (and, BTW, it loses something if you've only played it on Yucata - it's way more fun in person). Sunday's game was enjoyable as always.
And to finish off the event, there was Wits and Wagers, "game show" style. In this version a small room full of players split into six teams, and raced against a 30 second timer for initial answers and then again for deciding on bets - it's amazing how fast those 30 seconds go by! I think my time was one of the most losingest losing teams ever, much of which was probably because of my poor trivia skills, but still this was a blast. Near the end of the game donations were taken so teams could buy chips to bring them back up to the winner's chip level if they wished to do so, which of course everybody did. We bet the whole thing on one last question and lost all of it, but even losing was such a blast I didn't mind, and the bets/donations went to charity.
In all, I think at the end they were estimating the event had raised nearly $3000 for the American Cancer Society - Hoopa rocks
[Edit/Add] I almost forgot a couple non-planned games that got squeezed in between the others:
Interesting little abstract I tried out for the first time - lining up four pieces in a row, trying to get them all to match one of four different attributes. It was interesting, don't know if I could say I enjoyed it enough to want to keep playing it though.
I was pretty happy to be offered a round of Hive - I really dig the game but I honestly can't remember the last time I had a chance to sit down to it with a live human opponent. The "carbon" edition with the mosquito and ladybug was new to me but no harder to pick up. Great game, but unfortunately only had time for one round before I had to join one of my scheduled games.
I also taught my nephew Summoner Wars this weekend, and we played three or four times. So far I like the Benders deck the best, but Jungle Elves and...whatever deck I played yesterday with the Vine Walls are fun too.