GCL Mafia 142: The Chains That Bind
Mc Jarvis
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Arlington
Virginia
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly list! If you stumbled onto this list by accident (or on purpose!) and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki. If you want to look at past GCL Mafia lists, go here: GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread.

Our current roster in order of preparation (next week's poster in bold):

Dolus
ecargo
McJarvis
badweasel
mith
mattbcha1
eapeas
dutchbaby
Butterfly0038
babymuffin
cferejohn
muffinbaby
touchstonethefool
fdubois

The first few items are intended to foster discussion.

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of Sept 30 - Oct 6, 2013. List any games played along with any other information that you deem appropriate. Also, feel free to give life updates, fun facts, or any other super exciting and utterly interesting thoughts you may have.
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1. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:23]
Mc Jarvis
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Arlington
Virginia
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Step #1: Look at the ratings of the last person to post on this item. (It starts with me)
Step #2: Peruse their games rated 8+
Step #3: Compliment them on their excellent taste in a game which hasn't been complimented yet in this geeklist.

For your convenience, I'll post games complimented so far as I have time:

Brass
Caylus
Dominion
Race for the Galaxy
Loopin Louie
Yomi
Through the Ages
Die Macher
Chicago Express
Ticket to Ride
Pandemic
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2. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
Mc Jarvis
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Arlington
Virginia
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Step #1: Look at the ratings of the last person to post on this item. (It starts with me)
Step #2: Peruse their games rated 8+
Step #3: Complain bitterly about their complete lack of taste for rating one of those games as high as they did. Do not complain about a game which has already been complained about.

A list of what has been harped on as of this edit:

Power Grid
At the Gates of Loyang
Catan: Cities and Knights
Carcassonne
Through the Ages
The Resistance
7 Wonders
Arkham Horror
Pret-a-Porter
Ticket to Ride
Ra: The Dice Game
Bohnanza
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3. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:638]
Mc Jarvis
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Step #1: Look at the ratings of the last person to post on this item. (It starts with me)
Step #2: Peruse their games rated 8+
Step #3: Identify a game which you think they might like which isn't currently rated 8+. If they've rated it before lower than 8+, suggest they try it again.

Do not recommend a game which has already been recommended.

Recommended games thus far:

Wealth of Nations
Bridge
Trains
The Duke
Dominion's expansions
Imperial (But really, 2030 is better)
Witches Brew

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4. Board Game: MindTrap [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:16975]
Mc Jarvis
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Arlington
Virginia
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Step #1: Look at the previous game mentioned in this portion of the geeklist.
Step #2: Think of a game which is associated with it in some way--- whether it shares mechanics, title names, theme or even just a play on words.
Step #3: Post that game title. (Unless it has already been mentioned on this portion of the geeklist.)
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5. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Magic: The Gathering 7
Garden Dice* 1
The King Commands 1

I bought the Heroes vs. Monsters duel deck for Matt and I to do some dabbling in Magic. We also played with some of the other cards/decks we had lying around. (Our collection is rather paltry and true Magic players would laugh at our entire collection being kept in this.) It's been a fun jaunt with Magic. I enjoy the game (though I think it has its flaws), but still cannot get into constructing decks, which is why the premade, balanced duel decks are appealing.

Garden Dice had some interesting ideas, but ultimately was a little long for what it was. I'd play it again, but likely wouldn't ask for it.

And after more than two years, I got The King Commands out again in a six player game. I do think it's a decent enough filler. I know there are certainly better games out there for its playtime, but there's just something about it that I like.
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6. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:166]
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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3x Trajan (BAJ)
2x The Castles of Burgundy (BAJ)
*1960: The Making of the President
*Courtier
Deck of Thieves
For Sale
Martian Dice
Rise!
*Torres (BAJ)

*new to me

I've been playing a lot of Trajan and Castles online. I've been getting better at them, I think.

Last Tuesday was our local math trade, so while we were making trades, I pulled out my relatively new copy of 1960 for a game. Both of us had read the rulebook, but where otherwise new to the game. Still, I was impressed by how the events were not too brutal for not being familiar with them and how the game played and cleaned up in about 90 minutes, as described on the box. I think I do like Twilight Struggle more, but I still enjoyed 1960 quite a bit and definitely look forward to it as a more timely alternative.

After the trades and the game of 1960, I drove up to my regular game group to hand off trades to other participants. I had arrived just after games started, so I got to watch a full game of Power Grid and Legacy: Gears of Time. Legacy looked really interesting and I would like to try it out, or even pick it up. I read the rulebook while they were playing. They kept complaining about their hands being too big and most of their actions going to draw cards cause they had nothing else to do. I then asked, after reading in the rulebook, if they were discarding to pay for cards... Oops.

When I got into a game finally, I got to play For Sale and then Courtier before leaving. Courtier was a terrible experience. Never again, please!

Oh, also, I played Torres online with a friend from our game group. I've wanted to try it for a long time, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I would be happy to play it again.
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7. Board Game: Wealth of Nations [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1286]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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1x Wealth of Nations
1x 18NEB
1x Ora et Labora
1x Innovation

Only a few plays but heavy ones. The sheen is already beginning to wear off the 18Neb apple. The plays seems fairly obvious and timing the breaking of the green tiles so that you can token drop two or three of your companies all at once is a strategy that has to be guarded against. I'll play it again once or twice but don't expect I'll keep it even long enough for 5 plays.

OeL remains a puzzle game. Playing it, I feel like I'm playing the game much more than the players. Looking at Mike's 8+ list above, it struck me that most of his highly rated games fall into this category. I think once upon a time mine did as well, but over time I've grown more and more bored with it. More and more, I'm preferring games where I'm playing the players rather than the game. Maybe that's why I'm beginning to like the trick takers more. OeL was fine. After having not played it for too long, it was a nice diversion and a struggle to figure out the puzzle. In the end, I got 2nd behind someone who figured it out just a little better than me.

Innovation is exactly what OeL is not. It is all about playing the other players, trying to mess up their combinations while leveraging your own. The play last week was frustrating because I couldn't make my cards work for me and ended up trying to rush the deck for some worthwhile 8+ cards. Unfortunately the game ended too quickly and I was left with only 1 achievement to Matt's 5 and Paul's 3 or 4.

Lastly, Sunday night I finally got a chance to play Wealth of Nations. I have wanted to play it for a while but was intimidated by it until I saw it being played at BGF. I described the mechanics above so I won't do that again. However, what struck me the most about the game is that it has simple mechanics, mirrors an economy better than anything else I've played, leaves you feeling like you're managing your own little empire, and finishes relatively quickly (we played with the War Clouds rules which speeds the game up significantly).
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8. Board Game: Guildhall [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:809] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Trains x3
Suburbia x3
Race for the Galaxy x4
Guildhall*
Rolling Freight x2
Mage Knight Board Game

A great week for games! Guildhall was my new play of the week, and I quite liked it. It took a while to wrap my head around it, and I was constantly asking my opponent what each of the cards did, but it has a nice engine to it, and though it has a higher degree of chaos than I expected, it seems to fit the game alright. (Gameplay is this - you have a hand of cards, and you play colors of people to your tableau, without ever playing the exact same color/person down. Each different type of person gives you a benefit, and gives you an even bigger benefit for having more of them. Once you have a person of each type, the whole stack flips and can earn you points.)

A friend let me borrow his copy of Trains so I could play with Kristen. I wasn't sure if she'd like it or not, given her distaste for Dominion, but love of route-building. She enjoyed it as much as I do, and smoked me in the second and third games we played. Deconstructing the game itself, I think part of why she doesn't like pure deck-builders (like Dominion or Thunderstone) is that she doesn't find the deck-culling or pruning part of the game very interesting. It exists only to a very minor extent in Trains, and even then in a very simple fashion. (Waste is bad, you can spend your turn to get rid of it from your hand.) I suspect we'll be picking up our own copy at some point in the near future.

We've been experimenting with trying multiple goals in Suburbia, just to mix it up. We can't wait for the expansion to get here!

Race for the Galaxy, Rolling Freight, and Mage Knight were all top-notch as usual.
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9. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:551]
Matthew C
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Spyrium's clearly been making its rounds, both in our GCL and in the community here in Indy. This is probably the first game (I don't think TtR Africa should count) which I have played shortly after its release. It's an interesting feeling.

My plays for this week are probably the 'heaviest' since moving to Indy:

2x - Spyrium
2x Hansa Teutonica
Dungeon Lords

Thursday I got my first game of Spyrium in with my Race for the Galaxy buddy. He invited me over to his house on Sunday for a game day he was hosting, which is where the other games are from.


The first time playing I was particularly impressed with the two-phases aspect of the game. I have not played another WP game with this particular mechanic involved, and it defintely added to the much needed tension. Also, only having six rounds nicely abbreviates a game that could otherwise have been too long. Balancing money, Spyrium and factories/workers is a very clever design, and I managed to pull 2nd place in a 4 player game.

For the second game, I was easily one of the least experienced, and it showed. I snagged the Spyrium Production 6-cost-development, but never managed to secure one of the expensive factories because I was always poor. As such, I took third place in this game of 5. I can see how important it is to balance the money/spyrium/factory/worker. I made the mistake here of not generating enough money for my next turn.


I brought Hansa Teutonica with me on Sunday, because I had the suspicion that my RftG buddy would like it. I/he was not disappoint. I was the third person there, and they had just concluded a 2-player game, so we dove straight into a 3-player HT game. Rather than focusing on unlocking my tableau at all, I decided to claim the offices near the bag/book/office upgrades. This meant that whenever anyone else upgraded their board, I made massive numbers of victory points on it. This catapulted me into a very fast (less than 45 minutes with rules explanation) win. I am actually in favor of pushing a quick win for the first game, because it acted as a nice tutorial for them.

As a follow-up to that quick 3 player game, we played it again with 5 players. The previous strategy is definitely not as viable with 5, which I suspected. Also, the meta-reaction to my previous strategy was very obvious; people immediately claimed offices in any towns I owned. That type of meta-game is what I probably appreciate about this game the most. So, even though I lost the second game, it was probably my favorite of the day.



When the last person who arrived heard that I'd brought Dungeon Lords, he insisted that we play it. The issue with this was that we had 5 players, and Dungeon Lords is only 4 players. So, I actually sat out my own game. I was actually okay with this, because I had the suspicion that if I played with that particular player, I might end up stabbing him for being annoying. I made the right call.

To clarify, he showed up in the middle of Spyrium (the game we played right before DL), and immediately began criticizing people for their 'bad' moves. He never did this to me, but his quarterbacking to other people only contributed to slowing down the game unnecessarily, and being generally wrong with his advise. The person he 'helped' the most took a solid last place.

So, in Dungeon Lords, I have combined the regular components and the expansion components into one box together. When I start setting up, I tell them that while I can try to separate the expansion from the base game, I can't ensure it. I do a good job of this, properly separating the monsters, rooms, adventurers, and most of the traps. However, every time something from the expansion slipped through (like the monster catapult trap), he would throw a mini-fit about it. However, what really put me over the edge was this: telling someone "I don't think you understand the point of this game" when they save the clearly-last-place from impending doom. No sir, I don't think you understand the point of a game.

/rant

Anyway, I had a great time with some fantastic games this week. I had to deal with one dick, but that happens. I'll probably conveniently avoid playing with him when I can in the future.
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10. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2334]
Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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Another week with no games.

I finished up Tales of Nevèrÿon by Samuel R. Delany. It was a nice collection of deconstructed sword & sorcery tales. I am curious to read the rest of his Nevèrÿon cycle. He focuses very much on how symbols influence culture and shape thought processes. The comparisons and contrasts between the female dominated cultures and that of the titular Neveryóna is great.

I then started reading a collection of 40k Imperial Guard novels for some light pulpy reading. The first novel was basically a mediocre attempt at Catch-22 in the 40k universe. Unfortunately, this was a level of writing well outside the author's ability. The second novel was definitely more enjoyable. It is basically the 40k version of the first Predator film.
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11. Board Game: China [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:696]
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Weekly Plays:

Brass: Lancashire - 2 (OOTH)
Alhambra - 1 (BAJ)
Ginkgopolis - 1 (BAJ)

Haven't even got any solo plays in since I've been back... still super jetlagged. First two nights back I slept fine, but then: Friday, went to bed at 9, woke up every hour until I gave up at 4; Saturday, went to bed at 12:30, had trouble getting out of bed for church; Sunday, could not fall asleep until 3:30; last night, went to bed at 9, slept for 12 hours and I just want to get back in bed and sleep some more.

Ginkgopolis on BAJ = yay. In other news, I am up to 14th on the YINSH ratings... and am currently playing a game against #1 (started yesterday). Eep.

The first round of the Madness 9 knockout stage has been wacky. I developed mills initially, and then ended up drawing 7 port cards and had to switch to undercutting Kristen. Darryl built 3 L1 mills up north which helped, though I still didn't get one of mine flipped - he had the opportunity to flip his L2 in Bolton at my port in Preston, via canals through Yorkshire (which would have been epic), but instead was lame and built a L1 port in Liverpool. Anyway, Purplemore is running away with it (basically going unopposed on high level mills *and* iron), and I don't think I have enough money to catch Kristen. Oh well.
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12. Board Game: Android: Netrunner – Opening Moves [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Android: Netrunner – Opening Moves x2

Old Games

Witch's Brew x1
Dread Curse x1
ZÈRTZ x1
Android: Netrunner (with all current expansions, not going to bother with links from here on out ) x2
Race for the Galaxy x1
Qwixx x1
Clans x1
Olympos (with Olympos: Oikoumene) x1

Some good games in the past week, but only one new. The obvious card up for discussion in Android: Netrunner – Opening Moves is Jackson "Jesus" Howard, which really opened up Corp play for me. It made me less afraid to go digging through R&D for fear of being decked, which made me realize that that may be one of the problems holding me back from better play: I tend to roll with what I draw, but oftentimes that leads me to lots of sub-optimal play because I don't want to get stuck with a hand full of crap if I over-draw. Howard's power to let me re-shuffle Archives back into R&D is incredible, because I feel like I now have more freedom to cycle through looking for the cards I need. I'm excited to get back into regular play knowing what I know now!
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13. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:44]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 10  Android:Netrunner x3
 9  Spyrium x5 (BGA)
 7  Myrmes x1 (BAJ)

Android:Netrunner : 3 weekly matches, as always. We played mostly for NBN/Andromeda and i manage to win with NBN by flatline. Although i won 1 time, this "Scorched News" deck doesn't performed well but my fellow opponent's Andromeda deck is really competitive. I manage to tag him a lot (with Midseason replacements) but he manage to Siphon me so that it is not possible for me to score agenda with Psychographics. I had a hard time to manage to grab 6 credits for double Scorched Earth.

Spyrium was online games on BGA. Really interesting game. I love it.

Myrmes was an online game against Dolus. It was a lost for me (88-74). I wonder if i will ever be able to beat him.

Near future (friday evening at local gaming club)
Archipelago (or Western Town)
Spyrium
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14. Board Game Publisher: Space Cowboys
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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I just learned recently that a new editor was born this year. This publisher is named Space Cowboys, certainly refering to the eponymous movie because great anciens of the hobby had taken the decision to join themselves in order to make different games in a different manner :

- 3 former Asmodee leaders : Marc Nunes, Philippe Mouret and Croc.
- 2 designers/publishers : Cyril Demaegd (Ystari) and Sebastien Pauchon (GameWorks)

3 games are planned so far :
- Splendor (Octobre 2013)
- Pirate (late 2013 / early 2014)
- T.I.M.E Stories (2014)

You can follow them on FaceBook : https://fr-fr.facebook.com/pages/Space-Cowboys/4844355583065...

I will follow their games, for sure.
 
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