What Did You Play This Weekend? 10/14/2013
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Greetings fellow geeks! The weekend is now over, and as we toil at our assorted labors, we should recount our past weekend gaming exploits.

So, all you weekend gamers, bring your mini-session reports and stories of weekend gaming greatness, as you pop in here to answer the question:
What did you play this weekend?

The forum version can be found here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13681235#13681235

Check out the subscription thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4115320

Subscribe so you don't miss a single moment of the fun!

Don't forget to check out the VideoGameGeek Geeklist for all your videogaming action from the weekend!

http://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/163813/14-october-2013-wha...
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1. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Despite it being a long weekend here in the US for Columbus Day, we used our time around here to do our fall cleaning so very little gaming actually happened, hoping to maybe remedy that a bit today, we'll see what happens though.

My daughter and I did get a couple games of Magic in this weekend when we could and I even got a match in against my BiL who hasn't played in years. Good fun and we're still using the Intro decks and the Gods vs Monsters decks but I am planning on building a deck soon.

Last night we did get in a 4 player game of San Juan, introduced it to my SiL who ended up winning last night. There was a lot more production and trading going on this time around with 4 people than we saw with 3 last week. Good fun game, glad I held on to this one for so long.
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2. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Daybreak Expansion [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
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I'm at work right now and can't write too much, so I'll just leave a placeholder for now and do the full write up in the evening. And there will be a *lot* of writing to do.

Edited:
On Friday evening I went to a game night hosted by our FLGS. Normally my Friday evenings are reserved for D&D games, but we weren't playing this weekend, so instead I got some board gaming in with gamers - my usual crowd is absolute non-gamers, so this was a nice change of pace.
We began with two games of Ghost Stories. Just the base game, because two of the players hadn't played before. I'd played three or four times sometime before, so I was fairly familiar with what was going on.
Naturally, we lost both times, though in one of the games there were only 12 or so ghosts remaining in the deck above the incarnation when we lost. Everyone had fun, though, as evidenced by 1) We played a second game and 2) when I left to play something else, the other three found another fourth and played again.


So, now I went to play something else. See, I'd found someone who had played Call of Cthulhu LCG several times, had his deck with him and agreed to teach me - I only own the core set and hadn't managed to play it again. He played Miskatonic University + Cthulhu, while I combined the Hastur and Yog-Sototh packs.
One other gamer who was nearby said the game reminded him of Game of Thrones LCG. I probably wouldn't have come up with a comparison myself, but after he'd said it I couldn't disagree. The different kinds of struggles really do feel similar. Not in a bad way, though - I do like both games.
We only managed to play one game of this, though, since others were waiting for me to teach them the next one on the list. So, when the game ended (with my victory, too, which gets me quite excited!), we agreed to play again some other time, and I moved on.


And so we come to the next thing, my favorite game of all time and the biggest, most impressive game of anything in quite a while - Battlestar Galactica with all expansions. 5 players (so no Cylon Leaders, which is kind of a shame - I do like the concept and would like to try the Daybreak ones), Pegasus, Conflicted Loyalties, Daybreak treachery cards, Mutiny and Search for Home.
Looking back, playing like this was not the greatest idea of all time - two players had never played BSG at all, two players had played the base game and Pegasus before, but neither was very experienced with any of that, and I'd played base game quite a lot, Pegasus several times and Exodus twice, both times a long time ago (this is why I decided against including the Cylon Fleet board at the last minute - the game would already be more confusing than it needed to be if we used the crisis cards for Cylon attacks). My lack of experience showed in the rules explanation - it took forever to get through that, and I'm pretty sure my players were at least as confused in the end as they'd been in the beginning.
Still, after quite some time we got through all of the rules and began playing. We had Bill Adama, who started as Admiral, original Baltar, who started as President, new Helo (me), Starbuck and Romo Lampkin.
Very early on, we decided to tank a crisis skill check which would make the president give up his title - we didn't trust Baltar, with his two loyalty cards. I said it would be a pretty bad idea to give the title to the admiral, and our only actual pilot (since I never actually went into space the whole game) would also have other things to do. This narrowed the decent options to me and Lampkin, which everyone else objected to (naturally), so I suggested giving the title to Lampkin. And then on my next turn I took the title for myself with the appropriate Colonial One location, since Lampkin had managed to get a Mutiny card. Of course, that raised an incredible amount of suspicion, but nobody actually did anything about that. They simply avoided XO-ing me for a while after that.
I've already managed to forget most of what else happened in the game. I remember we managed to pass the mission that removed one of the basestars from the game, which made dealing with cylon attacks significantly easier. Immediately after Sleeper phase hit, Baltar used his OPG to check the admiral (people were naturally urging him to check me, remembering my president stunt, but he listened to my words about the admiral being a far more critical position than the president), and that turned up a Cylon card and a "you are executed" Final Five card - so, forced reveal for who turned out to be our only cylon, and from that point on I held both titles for almost all of the game, until drawing a second Mutiny card brought me to the brig, robbing me of the admiral title.

Despite having only one cylon player, and an inexperienced one at that, the game turned out to be very tight. Probably because the rest of us weren't all that experienced either. We reached 10 distance fairly easily, but then attack cards started coming up one after another. Within moments we had two centurions onboard Galactica, and an attack card disabled the armory, so we couldn't even fight back. I removed one with Authorization of Brutal Force, but digging in the Quorum deck for the other one didn't succeed. In the end, we made our final jump when the remaining toaster was one step from 'Humans Lose', and our Cylon player would've had the next turn, killing us. We failed the last FTL roll, so we finished with population 1, and the other resources being marginally better (I think all of them were red, though, after one of the players revealed a failed personal goal which reduced fuel).

There is one thing I really didn't enjoy about this game - true to my shiny new GeekBadge, I was once again on the human side. This is why I made the president title grab - I hoped I'd be the Cylon after sleeper, and I really want to be Cylon and have a title. But, while the latter one is not a rare thing for me, the former is. I think I've only been a Cylon about two times ever.

A game that big took a predictably long time to play - the game night itself started at 7 PM, and we finished with BSG a bit after 4 AM. Quite naturally, at that point everyone was very tired, and our host wanted to go home as well, so the very successful game night ended there and we went home. Which, for me, meant walking for an hour and a half, since buses don't go where I live at 4 AM. And this is where I'll end my story for now - I'll edit some time tomorrow and add Saturday and Sunday to my post.

Edit 2:
So, I woke up a bit after 11 AM on Saturday, which meant I was already late for a gaming event I'd been invited to - that started at 11 on the other side of town. So I got out of bed quickly, and was on my way. All in all, I ended up being an hour and a half late, which meant we didn't get to play anything very long.
The plan had been to play Arkham Horror, since the host has all the expansions for that (and he prefers to play with all of them mixed in, which, honestly, is a bit too confusing for me), but instead we went with Conquest of Planet Earth in the competitive mode with active resistance. I'd played once before, but that was quite a long time ago and I didn't remember much. I picked the Trun (or is it Thrun? I'm not quite sure) for my species.
The game took a while - three hours or so, and it ended with a crushing human victory, since the highest any of us had got was 3 terror points. None of us managed to even enter the center board. We managed to nuke each other quite a lot and do other similar things, though. And that was a part of the game I did not enjoy. I guess take that mechanics are simply not for me, which I really should've seen coming from the fact that I really hated Munchkin the one time I played...

Anyway, after that one game I headed home, since I'd invited a few people to come to my place for gaming in the evening, and my apartment was really messy and needed some cleaning So I did all of that, and waited for my friends to show up. When they did, it turned out that they were even less familiar with board gaming than I'd expected - I knew two of them were completely new to everything, but the other two I'd expected to know at least Ticket to Ride and 7 Wonders, but it turned out that Settlers of Catan was pretty much all they knew. So I got to teach even more games. On the one hand, it's a good thing because I get more people into the hobby, but on the other - it seems like teaching games is all I do lately, and it's a little bit exhausting.
What I did at the start was put all the 5-player compatible games I had and was okay with teaching to non-gaming people on the table, described each game in two sentences and let them pick.
The first pick was Central Market. A good game, though not very suitable for the role of first game for newcomers. Also, I forgot that 5-player games only go for five rounds instead of seven, so the game ended up being a bit longer than it should have. Still, everyone said they would gladly play it again next time, so I guess it worked out okay.
I've no idea about the order in which we played things next, so I'll just give a list:
Hanabi - two games. Very fun, but we're finding it tough to not give more information than the rules allow.
The Resistance - three games. Resistance won twice, and the spies won once. And, once again, I'm a terrible spy - whenever I'm a good guy I talk very, very much, but I just sort of freeze and can't talk if I'm a spy.
Tsuro - three games. At least two of them ended in a tie, and I'm not sure about the third.
Ticket to Ride: Europe - one game. As is my habit, I ignored the tunnel rules because we have new people. The game ended with surprisingly high scores (may or may not be related to the absence of tunnels, I'm not sure) - of the five players, only one finished with less than 100 points, and the game was won by one of the new players with 135.
Cheating Moth - approximately five games. Hilarious for everyone involved, as always. Seriously, if you don't have this game, go out and get it!
Halli Galli - three games. We played this at 4 AM when we all needed to wake up so we could continue playing - there is no public transportation available before 6 AM, so we needed to stay awake until then.
Carcassonne - two games. Both games included the river, which I view as part of the base game (since it was included in my sister's copy, which is the one we were playing - I don't own one myself) and the phantom mini-expansion, and we added inns and cathedrals for the second game.
7 Wonders - three games. I added the wonder pack (except Abu Simbel), Catan promo and Petra from the Cities expansion, because all of them can be played without using any expansion mechanics.

All of the games were received well, and everyone seemed satisfied as they were leaving, and agreed to do something like this again when the opportunity next presents itself.
That left me time for a few hours of sleep, since another group was set to arrive at about 11 - this time, some university friends and one gamer friend.
The university friends all turned out to be busy on Sunday, though, so it was just me and that one gamer friend. She's usually a part of the group from choir that I invite for games, but she's not really enjoying playing with non-gamers, so this was a nice change of pace for her.
Since my friend had never played Arkham Horror but wanted to, that's what we did. Just the base game, because I forgot to mix in either of the two expansions I have. Not that that's a bad thing - I don't get to play AH often, so it's not like I know the events and mythos all that well and am bored by it all.
My friend picked Carolyn Fern, while I went with Joe Diamond - his special ability is just priceless, IMO. We were faced with Nyarlatothep - a fairly weak opponent, I think. The Mask monsters hardly ever came up, spending most time either in the bag or in Outskirts.
The regular monsters were a far bigger threat, though - we had 4 or 5 gates open at almost all times, because we lacked the clues to seal them, and monster surges were very common. In the end, when we had sealed two gates and there were three or four open spaces on the doom track, the terror level hit 10 and another monster surge immediately after that brought the monster count to 10 and awoke the Great Old One. Who promptly died without leaving so much as a scratch on either of us - we had just obtained a lot of clue tokens almost immediately before his awakening, and I spent almost all of mine to add to my attacks and we killed him in three combat rounds. A great game, but a fairly anticlimatic ending. I'm not sure - is this a common thing for 2-player games, is it just Nyarlatothep or was it really a freak occurrence and we should expect a far tougher game even if it's 2-player against Nyarlatothep again?


After that, we decided that something simpler is in order, so we picked the Switzerland map for Ticket to Ride. We had both played this map once before, with another player participating, and we know Ticket to Ride fairly well, so the game went really quickly. I do believe we played the whole game in about 30 minutes. The game ended in a decisive victory - 125 vs. 96 points in my favor. I wish I could claim superior skill here, but the simple truth is I was really lucky with my starting tickets - they aligned so well that I decided to keep them all!


And, for the last game of the weekend, I decided to introduce my friend to pick-up-and-deliver games, of which I only have one, and that's Tahiti - a fairly decent, light game. We played through it fairly quickly, though we somewhat messed up the start of the game - for the first couple of turns we only drew two cubes from the bag during the 'Seed island' phase instead of the three we were supposed to. Still, the game ended with quite high scores - 39 vs. 33. Again, I won, but that doesn't really mean much, since I'd played before and my friend had not.
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3. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2241]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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Friday night at my FLGS, we played three games:

Sushi Go! is probably the hottest filler game at my FLGS. Super-fast to play, it's 7 Wonders distilled into its purest mechanic: card drafting. My son had played, so I let him explain the rules to me and others. The aforementioned 7 Wonders was a bust for him, but he likes this game.


Mansions of Madness followed. One of the attendees for the evening really wanted to leverage the fact it was October and dive into this horror homage of a game. Sadly, we ended up rushing through it and didn't do the game justice. Hey, even FLGS owners have a life and need to go home at a decent hour. Playing this made me realize I don't really enjoy board games that try to replicate RPGs. Really, just play the RPG and dispense with the insane fiddliness of a board game mimic.


Unpublished Prototype is something of a lie here. It's a published game, but I have reasons for not mentioning it by name (and I hope those who played it with me do not divulge the title here--thanks!). Let's just say it may be my game of the year. Not without its problems, but still, an ultra-satisfying game. Sorry for the cloak and dagger, but again, there are reasons. I may divulge more in the future.
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4. Board Game: Mansions of Madness [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:258] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Only a few plays on Friday for me:

Friday

Hanabi - A five players game, where 4 were learning the game. And we went rather poorly. We manage to discard all the "1" for the red color (in a series of misunderstandings), so we were stuck with only 4 colors, and not even these we could complete. Final score: 17 points.



Mansions of Madness - Another five players game, in the Classroom Curses scenario. The premiss in this scenario is odd, to say the least: plumbing and heating problems are "plaguing" an University. Well, hã, right. Anyway, I add a few keeper action cards that add cultists and monsters, in order to fuel this scenario with something to do for the investigators other than walking in the dark. The investigators had some major problems due to poor decisions right from start, but since I was playing more for fun sake than to win, when the final objective was revealed (they needed to leave the University through the Gallery), three of the four investigators were near the exit because I keep battling them. It was really fun once the investigators decided to face the monsters and had some major sucessess - Ashcan Pete's guitar breaking the skull of a Mi-Go was the high point! In the end, with the Urges and some mythos, I blocked one of the investigators to reach the exit, and thus the Keeper won the scenario.



Legends of Andor - A four player game - we played the third scenario: Darkness Descends. In this scenario each hero must complete one personal goal, while also defending the castle and dealing with a sorcerer. The first part we did - everyone complete their goals, but three of the four involved killing a monster (my hero needed to kill two), so the time for things passed really fast. We also must have made some mistake in not dealing with the monsters in a proper way, so they advanced fast up to the walls of the castle. This made us stay and fight. So, when Varkur, the sorcerer, showed up in the forest, we just couldn't reach him in time to destroy him. Therefore, we lost the scenario. It is a tough scenario! And one I'm looking foward to face again soon.




And that was it!

Regards,
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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The Castles of Burgundy - A very light week for me, sadly. We did get in a two player game of Castles of Burgundy. Great game, nice decisions. We're still new enough that our games tend to be fairly low scoring (150s-ish), so I'm looking forward to exploring it further.
Rating: 9/10

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age - After Castles, we wanted a quick, light game, so we tried Roll Through the Ages for the first time. This is a pretty good dice game, perhaps my favorite of those that have reimplemented the Yahtzee mechanic. Some decent decisions to be made. I find it interesting because right now, I'm almost always happy with my first roll. I only ever re-roll if I need food, or if I roll a coin and don't have enough money to buy a development. As I play more, I'll be curious to see if that changes at all.
Rating: 7/10
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6. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:772]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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A good gaming week where I get to interact with my different gaming groups!

Saturday

The weekend was memorable as finally my clan gets to get together for the Mooncake Game in my brother Sunny's house! This was supposed to happen earlier in September, but was postponed due to my mother’s hospitalization. It finally went down last Saturday!

bo bing (AKA Mooncake Dice Game) = 1 Play (NEW)

It was actually the first time my clan tried to play this ancient Chinese game. Instead of mooncakes however, the prizes were changed to more mundane day to day things, with the grand prize being cash instead. 4 is the lucky number as rolls of 4s, as well as rolls of 4 of a kind, generated different levels of prizes, and everyone managed to get at least something to take home. My family was quite lucky as we got a lot of the level 3 and level 4 prizes, including a level 2. My sister Annie however had the lucky roll of 4 4's, and no one was able to steal this from her and thus she pocketed the prize money!

Walk the Plank! = 1 Play

I taught this game to my son Shawn, my brother Sunny, and my nephew Ethan. Sunny was quickly booted out, as the rest of us picked on him. Shawn and I then tried to kick out Ethan, but I was too aggressive and got eliminated instead. Shawn was left with 2 meeples to Ethan's one, and he got very frustrated due to Ethan's defensive play , so much so that I houseruled on the spot and removed the Extend the Plank action. Still, Shawn didn't know how to catch Ethan so I had to help him out and basically sacrificed one meeple to drag Ethan's man out to sea, then dropped both of them into the drink by retracting the plank, thus leaving Shawn's lone meeple as the survivor.


Ethan enjoyed being slippery in Walk the Plank!

Rise of Augustus = 1 Play

Gamer Bingo was next, and Shawn got frustrated again as attack cards were played, which affected his play. Ethan had fun chaining the objective actions together as he had several cards which enabled him to place more meeples on the other cards, so he surged ahead and was the first to 7 to end the game. Sunny, however, managed to snag the gold bonus from me in the last turn and his large bonuses made him overtake Ethan for the win! Sunny had 53 points (6 Objectives Bonus 22 Cards 27 Variable 4), Ethan had 48 (7 Objectives Bonus 10 Cards 38), I had 39 (5 Objectives Bonus 12 Cards 21 Variable 6), and Shawn was last with 14 (3 Objectives Cards 10 Variable 4).

Guildhall = 1 Play

Sunny and I teach this to Ethan. Ethan is just 11 but he also plays CardFight!! Vanguard a lot, so I knew he could handle this game. This proved to be right as he got into the flow of the game quick, although he did like to discard and draw in order to setup up "combos" in his hand. Sunny quickly jumped into the lead by deviously using our guildhall cards, and it came to the point where Ethan and I desperately assassinated or traded cards away from the professions we thought he wanted to complete for the win. Sunny deviously traded farmers back to his guildhall, then played another farmer to get 2 points to get to 21 for the win! I was second with 12 and Ethan had 8.


Ethan handled the viciousness of this game quite well!

Forbidden Island = 1 Play

The last game of the evening had Sunny's son Maki join me and Ethan in this game. Maki was the Engineer, Ethan the pilot, and I drew the Navigator. Maki's younger brother Mikkel wanted to join so I let him play as the Forbidden Island (ie he drew and read out the flood location cards). The game was very quick as the Island flooded very quickly, and the flood cards were drawn very close to each other, and this had the effect of sinking the 2 locations needed to recover the Sphinx, and this means we lost in just 4 turns without recovering a single treasure, and also means Mikkel wins as the Forbidden Island!


Mikkel the Sunken Island is the victor!

Sunday

The Sunday turned out to be a gaming day at Paulo's house! I lent Kent some games as he and some of the others started in the morning, while Enrique and I followed in the afternoon. By the time I had arrived sessions of Guildhall and Carson City were over, and it was time for some 6 player games!

Airlines Europe = 1 Play

We tried out the 6P variant where each player started with 6 cards (instead of 8) and the stock market had 6 cards on display (instead of 5). Other than this the game had no noticeable difference and the action was fast and furious. This game was marked by some players "piggybacking" of the efforts of others in building up the value of some companies, then suddenly laying down shares to gain majority in the company. Jim and Pau also spent a LOT of effort in fighting for Air Abacus as well as developing some of the smaller companies, and this proved to be key as the endgame had them score a bunch of points. The final tally had Paulo prevailing with 83 to Jim's 73, while the rest of us lagged behind with me at 61, Keith at 59, Kent at 55, and Enrique with 46.


6 players make for a busy board!

Rise of Augustus = 1 Play

I teach this to the guys, and it was off to the races as people strove to complete their objectives. I had the early lead as I played an attack card which destroyed their objective as well as remove their legions, but I then got bogged down with a poor choice of replacement objectives which had the less common symbols. Paulo then sped up front as he completed cards which had him interchange some symbols, and in the end he was first to 7 to end the game, and even got to complete an 8th card as his 7th objective had him autocomplete another card as a result! He ran away from everyone with a huge score of 91, way ahead of everyone else.

The Resistance: Avalon = 1 Play

With me and Enrique having to leave soon, we then decide to play this fun game. We decided to include just Percival for the good side without Mordred, as we thought this should help the good side have a better chance to win. This was not the case though as Kent got mistakenly accused as a Minion of Mordred (I was the accuser) and this meant some missions were rejected when he was part of the team. Evil quickly won the game by sabotaging the first 3 missions, and it turned out that Kent was Merlin, while Pau and I were the bad guys, and Enrique was Percival and Jim was a Knight! Good still has not won this game!


L to R: Enrique (Percival) Jim (Knight) Me (Minion of Mordred) Keith (Knight) Pau (Assassin) Kent (Merlin)

OTHER GAMES PLAYED DURING THE WEEK:

Monday

The week started with a quick swing to the FLGS to steal some games in!

Rise of Augustus = 1 Play

A quick game of "Gamer Bingo" characterized by Vangie completing an attack card which forced the rest of us to destroy one of our fulfilled objectives, and also Julie choosing difficult to fulfil cards, which means she only finished with 2 objectives done! The scores were Vangie 62 (Bonus 26 Cards 31 Variable 5 7 objectives), Me 39 (Bonus 10 Cards 11 Variable 18 4 Objectives), Jenny Rose 33 (Bonus 8 Cards 25 6 Objectives), and Julie 21 (Bonus 2 Cards 13 Variable 6 2 Objectives).

Walk the Plank! = 1 Play

This session showed me the weakness of this game. After the 3 gals focused on getting rid of me, they all then proceeded to play defensively and thus extended what should have been a 20 minute game into an hour long one. In the end Julie finally wins the game, but this means I will not play this with the gals again, or possibly house rule that some defensive cards be removed as players get eliminated, or after a certain count of meeples remain.

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small = 1 Play

Vangie and I played with Cow Stall, Pig Stall, Sawmill, and Animal Trader expansion buildings. These were for naught though as we went "old school" and did not touch these. Vangie did much better in collecting more animals as well as maximizing her 2 extensions and thus she won with a score of 54 versus my 47.


Va (red left) Me (blue right)

Thursday

Another afternoon weekday session in Jim's house!

Village Inn = 1 Play (NEW)

Since the session of this game was prematurely cut off previously, Enrique requested that we play another game. This session had us all invested in crafts early, with Jim and Enrique persisting there after my first gen family member had died off and gotten commemorated in the Book. Jim and myself had barflies in the Inn, and we managed to befriend several patrons, especially Jim. I recalled my drunkard so that he could die peacefully in the farm, and a couple of my family did a lot of travelling. Jim and Enrique had a lot of members enter the church early, while mine could not quite graduate from the seminary. All of us had some family members enter the town hall and rise to prominence. By the end game my family members finally entered the church, and one really rose up the ranks quick, as the family members in politics also ended the game in high government positions. All families also did good business with the market throughout the years, and that action was pretty much even.

In the end my good participation in all actions plus the 2 patrons which gave me better end game bonuses were the key factors in making my family the most prominent, as I end up with a score of 80 versus Jim's 57 and Enrique's 42.

I believe this expansion makes the game better without overcomplicating things. The patrons at the Inn can really help define a strategy for players (similar to what 7 Wonders: Leaders did for 7 Wonders) at the cost of a drunken meeple, unless you pull him back to hopefully die a memorable death. Solid expansion.


Me 80 (yellow) Jim 57 (blue) Enrique 42 (red)

Hansa Teutonica = 1 Play

This game was marked by Enrique upgrading his action tree early, with me focusing on the refill action. Jim was muscled out several times in his attempts to also upgrade this, and this may have cost him as this delayed his action early. I then manage to also max out my tech trees, and focused establishing offices as well as upgrading my end game office bonus keys for the rest of the game. Enrique went for the valuable end game scores in Coellen (he managed to get 20), but both him and Jim did not manage to create long networks of offices, and this was the telling factor as I scored a whopping 48 points alone with my end game key bonus, and I pull away from everyone with a score of 98 to Enrique's 77 and Jim's 29.


Me (purple) Enrique (red) Jim (green)

Guildhall = 1 Play

We were joined by Jim's brother Jay in this newly established house favourite. This was a fantastic and tight game as we all managed to steal and trade away cards to complete set after set. It came down to the last few rounds as Enrique and Jim were tied at 19, and I was also close behind with 16, and Jay was at 12. Jay traded and got my 2 trader cards, and this was key since if those were in play I could have traded and gotten the 2 cards I needed to complete a set and then buy the winning VP card in my turn, but this was not to be as Jim then played a farmer card to get the 1 point he needed to get to 20 and win! What a game!


From L to R: Jim 20 Enrique 19 Me 16 Jay 12. So close!!!

Walk the Plank! = 1 Play

We closed the day by playing this. Unlike the game with the gals at the FLGS, this was a hilarious in your face session, as we shoved, pushed, charged, and dragged meeples overboard to the Kraken. Jim got kicked out early, but we all had people in the drink as well. The game ended when I retracted the plank and dumped Enrique and Jay's last pirates overboard, together with 1 of mine, leaving my last meeple as the only guy standing for the win!
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7. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Friday my daughter Melissa and her boyfriend, Pat, came home to stay for 2 nights and one day. Friday evening Melissa and I taught Pat Railroad Tycoon. Pat liked it ok but had the end come to soon for him to have been able to make a lot more points and, so, lost quite badly.




Saturday afternoon I taught Pat Caribbean. I think he liked it ok but, again, lost quite badly. I will have to pick a game next time that gives a better chance to a newbie.

Only 2 games played this weekend which feels pretty hollow after last weekend's 24 games.

Oh well, 2 games and one of them Railroad Tycoon at that, is much better than nothing!
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Five games of this with my other half, during which I think I finally worked out how to play effectively. We had one of our tightest matches (111-109), and my SO also recorded our lowest score, a paltry 15 after she failed to complete either of her 18-point routes.

Also two goes at Last Will, a year and a day after our last play. 10 games in and still my only win has come as the result of a tie-break. My SO is clearly significantly more effective at spending money than I am, and wiped my out during both of these games. Make of that what you will...

Happy gaming!
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9. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Friday
Friday night was Cthulhu gaming at a friend's place. First was a three-handed game of Cthulhu Gloom. It had been long enough since our last play that I had to quickly review the rules about dealing and draws.


Then I played a game of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game against Goat. His Gentle Breeze monofaction Hastur deck trounced my Steal This Book Miskatonic/Syndicate action. I was relieved to win a single story. It seemed like the only tools I could manage to pull out against terror were low-cost characters to deliver up to insanity.

Saturday (Crowleymas holiday)
My Saturday was dominated by the acquisition of a pair of kittens.

Gaming was limited to a couple of quick abstracts with my daughter. I beat her at Hive, where she brought thirteen bugs into play. She beat me at Supercalifragilisticaldera.


Sunday
A good variety to our gaming on Sunday started with a fine game of Hive to warm up.

In a family game of Survive: Escape from Atlantis! I repeatedly used the following evil sequence: bring a shared boat to shore, disembark my meeple(s), move a sea monster to eat the boat and its remaining passengers. This made me predictably unpopular, and my brother still managed to beat me by two points.


We had a three-handed game of Chupacabra: Survive the Night, which was much more fun than two-player, as anticipated. Not enough more fun for me to like it even as much as Martian Dice, although the simultaneous throws are a point in its favor. My daughter is still quite taken with the glow-in-the-dark dice.

Finally, my daughter indulged me in our second session of Summoner Wars for Orctober. It was all-tundra: Grognack vs. Torgan. The starting setup is terrible for Torgan if Grognack goes first. Torgan took two wounds from the Shaman (with a Fighter first taking out the interposed Shooter) before his first move.


Things turned around pretty quickly, though. Crushers are excellent anti-Smasher units. Krom can use enemy Ice Walls against them, which is pretty sweet, and accounted for two of Grognack's many wounds. Krom was, in fact, the only champion to be summoned in this game, and neither player decked.

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10. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:159]
William Snider
United States
Midlothian
Virginia
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I cannot beat my daughter at Seasons to save my life. I'm glad to see her enjoy it though. It's tough to get a 16yo girl to enjoy a boardgame.
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11. Board Game: Reef Encounter [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:487]
Ryan James
United States
Commerce Township
Michigan
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A flood in my basement had prevented occasional weekend game nights from happening at my house for nearly two months. Well we finally got it all back together again, humpty dumpty style, and I both needed to kick off the new basement with a game night, as well as have one last game night before my second child is born (my wife is probably going to pop today or tomorrow).



Two of my friends arrived first, and while we waited for my other friend to arrive, me and my one friend played a game of Ascension. I was getting hammered early, as my friend was able to defeat a bunch of monsters, thus giving him a ton of honor gems, and it took me about five rounds to get anything at all, as I was just buying rune cards to get the big point cards. Would it pay off?? We totaled up the points at the end, and my friend said I needed to get 54 points to tie him and win the game (the tie breaker going to the player who last took their first turn, and that was me). Well I obviously had nowhere near the amount of honor gems as him, but then I had my big stack of cards to go through. 48-49-50-51-52-53..............53 He shouts "YES!!!" as I fall ONE point short of victory! He had been on such a hot winning streak before today, winning the last five or so games he played, now adding Ascension to his list. It was pretty awesome.



So we moved on to a new game to all of us, Reef Encounter. I got it in a math trade and thought it would be a good game for the group. It's a very cool game and such a brain crunch. You're growing your coral to then later eat it and earn points. In typical euro fashion, there's never enough time to get done what you need, and you need to make the best of the situation. If you don't properly protect your coral, the other players can eat away at it, earning you less points. It's a very cool game, and I took third out of the four of us. The scores went something like: 53, 48, 44 (me), 36. My friend's winning streak continues, as he took first place.



Next up was Dungeon Lords with the Festival Season expansion. This is my friend's favorite game (the one with the winning streak), and we had just played a few days before, though without the expansion, so he wanted us to try it out while the game was still fresh in our memories. Now I'm always terrible at this game. It's a great game, but I just seem to always take third or fourth place for some reason. Probably because I suck. That would explain it. Well this time things were shaping up as normal. I seemed to get the most terrible heroes (I got THREE bards in the first year) and had my dungeon ravaged to pieces, so much so that heroes managed to escape. For the second year I decided to embrace being the most evil as I just concentrated on getting high power monsters and a bunch of traps. It ended up paying off for me as I was able to kill all of my heroes (their total combined strength was a whopping 38!), including a Paladin, and it was enough for one of my best finishes ever at this game. I got second place behind another friend of mine that also won his first time playing, and was the least experienced of all of us! Unfortunately for my other friend, his winning streak was snapped as he took last. He had a rough time with taxes and had to take a lot of negative points at the end.

The night came to a close after that, as it was about 2am and we were pretty mentally taxed after the last two games.



The friend of mine who won Dungeon Lords came over yesterday (he comes over every Sunday to watch Football) and we had a little GIPF day. We started with my copy of ZÈRTZ. It was the first game for both of us, and we ended up almost breaking it! We played into a cats game and shared the victory, and what happened to us was listed as the third thing in the "this probably won't happen to you" section of the rulebook. It was pretty funny. The game was cool. It's insanely quick and has very cool components. You capture marbles checkers style in an attempt to make a set and trigger the winning condition.



We then played his copy of YINSH that he had played a couple times. It was my first time playing and I really enjoyed it. I think I liked it a bit better than Zertz, tho the fact that I won probably has something to do with that . Again the components are very awesome, and the quick gameplay has me really enjoying these types of games. I may seek out some more.

It was a great weekend of gaming, and possibly my last for a while as my family is about to drastically increase in size!
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12. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Saturday
1x - Bruges
1x - Guildhall

Saturday night we ordered pizza and grabbed a table for a 4p game of Bruges.

There was no obvious leader in this one as we were all very close on the perimeter VP tracker with relatively similar canal/statue bonuses. To be honest I thought I was in winning while keeping a watchful eye on my college room mate across the table. Much to my surprise my wife and I finishing with the same number of VP (59, 59, 56, 55), yet she had one more Guilder to take the victory to much dancing and hoopla.

"Money is not everything, but it is the tie-breaker in Bruges."

Our friends left and my wife and I setup for a quick game of Guildhall, which my wife has really taken a liking to. She was out to a 14-1 lead relativley quickly while hindering my efforts to get something going. With great effort I managed to conjure up a few combination of plays to threaten a win only to be beat to the punch losing 20-18.

Everyone was tired after a long day. My wife was exhausted but delighted with her dual-win closer. We had a great weekend and glad to fit in a couple of games.

meeple Keep playing...
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13. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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This is one of my favorite games, but I rarely get to play it, or any other 2P for that matter. This is a game, more than almost any other, where players benefit from repeat plays. I taught the game to someone, and won a VP victory early in the fourth round.

Also:



My first time playing, I played one of the heroes. Sadly Sauron won. I thought the game was fairly interesting, but far more so for the Sauron player. That person has something to every turn, whereas the heroes can only act on their turn. In between, it's pretty boring.

Still, the combat system is very good, and ultimately, I think I'd play again.



I tried this for the first time. Despite the theme, I very much liked the game. It's well put together and an excellent euro-style game. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to finish, but I look forward to playing again soon.



I picked this up and tried it solo a couple of times. I'm a bit on the fence here, but I'd like to try this multiplayer before forming a final opinion.



My second play. This time, I won. I still think this is an undervalued game.
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14. Board Game: Thunderstone [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:528] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Jules
Belgium
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We played Agricola during the week with a friend and our BGG-neighbour Garion. It'd been a long time ago for all of us (except Garion who had never played it surprise).

One of Garion's occupations put a tax on getting grain (evil!), but luckily one of my investments gave me grain for three periods, and my Clay-shoveller (?) allowed me to get an extra clay with each wood or clay action and so build up a brick economy (One geekgold for the first person to know by heart which three occupations/investments I'm talking about!). Then I found out how many points children are worth and I spawned my way to victory. Good game, and nice to be able to take an oldie off the shelf for a change.

Played our new copy of Thunderstone twice. Quite like it! It's not the best game in the world, but it's fun, casual and a bit different everytime due to the randomisers (last time we had no weapons except that crappy dagger. None!). Also, I won twice, so I'm happy with it.
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15. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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My parents came for a visit, so we broke out lots of games. Saturday morning, before my son's soccer game, we played a game of Bohnanza. Usually one of my kids win, because Grandma makes ridiculous trades with them... but somehow, Grandpa pulled out the title as best bean farmer in this round.


After the soccer game, we all played a game of Zooloretto. We haven't played this in a long time, so it was fun to get it to the table again. This time Grandma had the best zoo.


Grandpa like his dice games, so I brought out Phase 10 Dice while my wife and kids ran a couple errands. Just me and the folks playing. As is par for the course, the dice hate me. Grandpa won both games pretty handily.


I decided to introduce them to Bottle Topps. Oh, we had some good laughs over this one. I ended up being the most dexterous of the day. Surprise, surprise!


After dinner the whole family got to the table to play Lifeboats. Now, we've played this game 4 times with all six players (me, wife, kids, Grandparents) and of those 4 times, my daughter has won 3 of them. I don't know how she vexes everyone at the table. I warned her... she's going to get ganged up on next time!


After the kids went to bed, the adults played a few games of Wildlife Safari. Oh, my wife gets mad at me playing this game. devil I'm not sure why?? devil I'm always so nice playing this game. devil


Sunday afternoon, we decided to build a zoo again and played Zooloretto. My wife didn't get to play on Saturday and really wanted to play. She won a game and I won a game. I really like playing this with the full 5 people. Just makes it more unpredictable.


After the kids went to bed, we finished up the weekend where we started, with a game of Bohnanza. My wife won this one. Close game as always.
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16. Board Game: History Maker Baseball [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:3632]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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I decided to spend some time using the fictional Century League set (one of the many extra historical and fictional sets you can get for History Maker Baseball) to draft some teams and plan a season.

I created 8 complete teams of 25 players (including all positions, pitchers and relief pitchers, and various utility players and replacement players), divided them into 2 leagues, and named the teams:

Water League:

Hydropolis Muskrats
Bayouville Alligators
Lochport Serpents
Geysertown Lizards


Rock League:

Moonstone Hamlet Owls
Obsidian City Iguanas
Silver Junction Jackrabbits
Quartzburg Chameleons


That was fun, in itself , but now I am planning to gradually play out a season of 24 games per league, and then have a 7-game championship "World" series with the best team from each league.

That's the plan, anyway.

So, far, in addition to the team/league creation, I've played one game of the season, with a Bayouville Alligators home-team victory over the Geysertown Lizards.


EDIT: fixed typo: 25 players not 26
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17. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1035]
Claudine Finlay
United States
Herriman
Utah
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Friday:
First up was

This is a really fun game. It has a great storytelling element to it that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also liked the way that each persons makes decisions even though you are working together. There were two of us playing. We wrote help in the sand and built our bonfire, but couldn't manage to get to the top of the mountain to be saved. Maybe next time.

Next we played
I had only played this once and that was a couple of years ago. Fantastic game. It can be a little tricky explaining this to others (esp when you can't remember the rules yourself) but the game itself is not hard. We had a five player game and a lot of laughs.

Sunday was my daughters 25th birthday, so she picked the game of the night. We were playing
when she arrived, so we finished that up. She chose
and we spent two hours laughing. This game is very group dependent but this group was tons of fun. My two biggest goals when I play this game are to get my husband to pick my answers, (which he did twice!) and to not pick his (which I didn't). So even though he won the game, I really won the evening.

Good times.
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18. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Jason
United States
Arnold
Missouri
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A bit of light gaming this weekend.

Played a couple rounds of Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game with the family (won one, lost the other to the wife!)

Went up to Game Nite to meet up with a friend who was working, and played a few rounds of Tsuro, learned and taught my youngest how to play Battle Line and then some other card game thing that reminded me of Egyption Ratscrew. That wrapped up Saturday night.

Sunday only played a round of Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game, with my sons' buddy (I owed him a game). Lost horribly, but had fun (which is the point!!)
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19. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:109]
Adrian Iordache
Romania
Bucharest
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Saturday

Steam x 1


Manila x 1


Santiago x 1


Antike x 1


Sunday

Manila x 1


Ticket to Ride: Europe x 3



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20. Board Game: Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:283]
CD Harris
United States
Louisville
KY
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Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery -- full length game, in which I got my first win.
Merchant of Venus (second edition) -- a surprisingly short game (using the Classic rules). Just over two hours.
Aladdin's Dragons -- SeerMagic found a copy of this still in shrink and brought it to the MeetUp. It was pretty good.
Drakon (third edition) -- less here than I expected (another SeerMagic find) but okay.
Tsuro

Earlier in the week I got a full 10-turn win as the USSR in Twilight Struggle; played a few games games each of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, Android: Netrunner, and Star Wars: The Card Game; and finally got to play Clash of Cultures.
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21. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:133]
Paulo Soledade
Portugal
Leiria
Leiria
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In my non-oficial 'back to the classics' program, have decided to play AoE. Something very wrong happened to me or to the game (or both) in these past 3/4 years! Seriously! This game is unbalanced since second turn. We had tons of money, loads of guys to place in the board and an immense feeling that everything was obvious and not tense. One of the good things about worker placement games is the decision taking on whether I place my guy there or there. If I do something, I'll lose something else. That's the tough choice to make. With AoE no one felt anything like this. We played it straight forward with no tension at all. I'm guessing that this game is too old now and it didn't age very well. Plus, there are lots of uncontrolable factors that make it slightly absurd for an almost 3 hours game. Unbalanced buildings, lucky discoveries or cahotic moves in the new world are examples of what I'm trying to say.





Hansa Teutonica is a good game but it also revealed to be a bit more dry than I was hoping for after not playing it for so long. But apart from the bonus tiles (both the actions they provide and the VP they grant in the end) I liked playing the game. It's not a fun game but it's clever enough and maybe deserves to be played more often. Probably without the bonus tiles, though.
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22. Board Game: Mage Wars Arena [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Michi Kohlbacher
Austria
Graz
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On Saturday Niels and I tried Mage Wars Arena for the first time. After studying the rules we played four rounds, until Niels had to leave, but at least we understood the rules and how to play the game. So we are prepared for the next time to which we already look forward.



On Sunday I had a special Suit Up Day gaming night at my place. Of course there was a dresscode cool

Eva, Niels and me started, according to the theme of the evening, with 2 plays of Las Vegas. Eva and Niels each managed to win once, while I finished second in both plays.
Since the rest still hadn't arrived, we decided that the next game should be Anno Domini: Showbizz.

Finally Roli, Pete and Susi arrived and after quite a bit of talking and the search which games were for at least 6 players we agreed to give Betrayal at House on the Hill a try. Since no one had played the game before we had to read the rules first, but luckily they were quite clear and easy to understand. In the Haunt there were hidden traitors, which were Susi, Eva and me and we won in the end.

Afterwards Niels and Eva left and the rest of us played a 4-player game of Lords of Waterdeep. I had a quite good start, but soon was in the last place while Roli and Pete had a battle for the first place. But in the last two rounds a came up from behind and managed to steal the win.It always pays off to take and finish quests, which give you less victory points, but additional game advantages such as gaining an extra intrigue card when hiring a wizard, early in the game.
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23. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:52]
Dave
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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What daring! What outrageousness! What insolence! What arrogance!... I salute you.
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Conan! What is best in life? Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
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To think I almost didn't get to play any games this weekend! Luckily I received a phone call Saturday evening and brought over Dominant Species. I took 2nd place with the Insects, while my friend Joe took first with Amphibians in a four player game; Mammals and Reptiles were also represented.
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24. Board Game: The Downfall of Pompeii [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:446]
James Garcia
United States
Harlingen
Texas
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My only game entry for this weekend. I normally have a nicely done layout but since it is for only one game I'm just putting it this way. I received two new games this weekend, The Downfall of Pompeii and Relic Runners. On Sunday my fiancee and I sat down to learn and play both games. We started off with Pompeii first. This is a fun game. Instructions are ok, but the examples clarify it so much. I found myself rooting for the guy farthest away from any gate. I was all "C'Mon you can make it" and found myself moving him more then anybody else. Hard to explain more as I'm half asleep and at work, but it's a good game that we both had fun with.

We tried to learn Relic Runners next and stopped after reading the instructions. I understood maybe half the rules and she was lost. This is in my opinion a poorly worded instruction manual. I can see that how to play is there, but the wording just makes it more complicated than what it really is. My fiancee was immediately put off with her not understanding the rules and didn't want to play so we decided to let it be and that I would do more homework on the game to learn how to play. The rule book seems to be a common complaint with this game. It's a good thing someone put up a video on how to play.
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25. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:92]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Suburbia x3

This was my birthday gift from my wife. I got it as it looks like a game that plays well with two, minimal direct confrontation, but still requires some planning. After a learning game earlier in the week that I played by myself to get the flow down, I tried it both solo and with my wife on Saturday. We found the theme very strong, most of the tile interactions make a lot of sense (although the power plant next to the retirement community caused us to chuckle). I ended up with 5 airports as my wife had trouble getting income going at the beginning of the game, so it turned into a bit of a runaway as learning games sometimes do. I expect it will get a quite a bit more competitive going forward.

I expect we'll get a lot of value out of this game.
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