GCL Mafia 147 - A Pinch in Time - 10-Nov
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
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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
Butterfly0038
cferejohn
touchstonethefool
fdubois

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of November 4 - November 10, 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.


This week I'm curious about game lengths... do you prefer short games or long ones? what do you think a game of a particular size needs to do to be a good game?
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1. Board Game: 5 Minuten Denk mal [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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The Super Fast game... Love Letter is the first one that comes to mind. Do these super short games do anything for you? Do you see a point in them?
 
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2. Board Game: 15 Minutes Of Fame [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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To me, these are still very short fillers. However, I think there may be games that have actual decisions in this time frame. What about you? Would you play a game this short? Why? Would you rather just chat if all you had was 15 minutes to spare?

What are the best games in this time frame?
 
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3. Board Game: Za! 30 minutes or free [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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For me, this is where the fillers really start. 30 minutes give or take 50%. I'd say there are many good, meaningful games in this time frame.

What about you? What sorts of games do you like for these fillers? At 30 minutes do you still consider them fillers or are they now super fillers?

Are there any mechanics that you think work better in this time frame? mechanics that don't work?
 
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4. Board Game: Rush Hour [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:7331]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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What is so magical about designing a 60 minute game? It seems that most designers aim for games that clock in at an hour (or at least have 60 minutes somewhere in their time description).

Do you consider 60 minute games short? If you have a gaming evening, would you prefer to play several 60 minute games or one longer game?

What are some of your favorites that clock in at around an hour?
 
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5. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:11]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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When do games cross over into the "long" category for you? Are 2-hour games long? Is there a reason to play a 2-hour game over a comparable 1-hour one? Do longer games provide something that games in the 60 - 90 minute time frame can't?

What games are worth a 2-hour time investment? What are some longer games that still have (relatively) simple rulesets so that teaching them doesn't add another hour?

How often do you play these longer games? Would you play them more if you could?
 
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6. Family: 18xx
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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18XX is one. Advance Civ in another. If time was not an issue, are there epic games that you would choose to play? What about in the real world? Is it worth scheduling a game day just to play one game?

What do you consider an epic game? Any favorites? What do epic games do that shorter games can't (if anything)?
 
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7. Board Game: Neue Heimat [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1609]
Mc Jarvis
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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MBGM happened this weekend. I've crossed Chicago Express, Automobile, Neue Heimat, and Milestones off the list & a few others which I've chipped away at, so it was a pretty good weekend leading up to BGG.con, and presumably more game purchases. This leaves me at about 50 games left in my collection which I've played fewer than 5 times.

Neue Heimat was an interesting play, because it was one of the few times I found a group willing to play out a full game of three rounds. It's been awhile since my last play, and the game fell a bit flat for me this time: I'm not sure that anything about the game experience changed, though. Maybe my tastes are evolving themselves? I probably won't be playing this one again.
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8. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:370]
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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4x Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (BGO)
3x Dominion
2x Ginkgopolis (BAJ)
Alhambra (BAJ)
*The Capitals
*Chaos in the Old World
The Downfall of Pompeii
*DungeonQuest (third edition)
*Evo (second edition)
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)
Gears of War: The Board Game
Myrmes
*Qin
StarCraft: The Board Game
Stone Age
Tigris & Euphrates
*Trains
Twilight Struggle

*new to me


I hosted a mini-con for 12 hours Friday and 12 hours Saturday as a fundraiser for our church. We had probably 40 unique individuals throughout the weekend, and tons of games and Artemis. It was all really awesome and I'm happy to see this will become an annual event/fundraiser for us. I brought in 150 of my own board games and 3 of my computers for Artemis for this event. Man that was a lot of work for one person!

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9. Board Game: Ascension: Rise of Vigil [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1099] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Ascension: Apprentice Edition 2
Ascension: Rise of Vigil* 2
Sticheln 2
City of Iron* 1
Relic Runners* 1
Spyrium* 1

Mostly new games this week. I suppose that makes up for last week.

I gave in and bought Ascension: Rise of Vigil, using the following two excuses: 1) Matt and I have been playing/enjoying Ascension quite a bit and 2) it's not an available expansion on iOS. The energy shards add an interesting twist to the play and things can certainly ramp up quickly where you have a mega turn. This happened in our second game in which I scored a ridiculous amount of points with a massive chain/combo.

Relic Runner was TERRIBAD. So awful. We actually messed up the setup, so we had less routes being built. However, upon discovering our mistake, none of us had the desire to restart the game, figuring that even with more of the routes action being available, it would still be dreadfully boring to play. So, this is actually an incomplete play, but enough to get a feel for the game. I have no clue who that game is for since it's too complicated for non-gamers and too uninteresting/boring for gamers.

Spyrium was good, though with five players it dragged on a bit. I didn't quite understand what was going on until about halfway through the game, then it clicked. I would definitely play again and maybe pick it up if I thought it'd get played enough.

After receiving City of Iron in a math trade awhile ago, Matt and I tried it out tonight. It's likely not best with two since having majorities is more interesting with more players. I think the game is okay and it certainly has some innovative ideas, but I don't know how much staying power it has. It's another one that I liked well enough, but I don't see it hitting the table often. I'd like to give it a try with the full complement of four players before I decide to dump it, but we'll see if that actually happens or not.

Also, I played two games of Progressive Rummy, which I don't log for no reason other than I would feel compelled to go back through all the score sheets my dad keeps and log years worth of plays.
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10. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:204]
Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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The Resistance x 2
Ablaze! x 2

Look! I played games! They are both meh, but still... GAMES!

The two games of The Resistance were enjoyable, but I am still not the greatest fan of the Werewolf/Mafia family of games. The second game was fairly interesting as the spies set themselves up perfectly, by first throwing one of them under the bus and then throwing a second spy under the bus. The third remaining spy masterfully setup one of the resistance members as a spy. They still managed to lose due to the perceived spy cancelling the mission.

I do not like Ablaze. It pretends to be a strategy game, but it is almost entirely driven by luck. A best play is fairly obvious on your turn and even with optimal play you can still manage to lose due to the random tile placement system.

Books

On the book front, I wrapped up The Simulacra by PKD. This was very unsatisfying. As I mentioned last week, he introduces a ton of interesting and gonzo concepts. Unfortunately, he fails to do anything satisfactory with them and rushes his ending. If the book was three times as long (600-700 pages), he might have been able to deal with everything. Instead it is just overstuffed.

Next I read Caves of Ice, the second Ciaphas Cain novel, by Sandy Mitchell. This was fairly blah. The basic structure of the book was very similar to the first one, but has a less defined antagonist. Both book feature the Guard getting sent to a planet to deal with a certain enemy. Cain then takes a squad underground into a tunnel system (sewers in the first one, mines in this one), where they run into a second enemy that is more dangerous than the first one. Action scenes ensue.

After that was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I really enjoyed this one. I have not read McCarthy before, but I like the simple, direct prose he uses throughout the book. His imagery is very bleak and depressing, but he still manages to maintain a semblance of hope through the boy. I had previously seen the film adaptation, which if I remember it correctly, is a fairly accurate representation of the book.

Now I am reading through Child of God by McCarthy. This one is fairly short and so far plays as a series of vignettes with a loosely structured plot that is slowly presenting itself. The writing is a lot more descriptive than The Road so far. I like it.
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11. Board Game: Martian Dice [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:2020]
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Weekly Plays:

Martian Dice - 4
Android: Netrunner - 2
Coloretto - 2
Flash Point: Fire Rescue - 2
Diamant - 2
7 Wonders - 1
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game - 1
Coerceo - 1
Hanabi - 1 (Robin's site, with Phoebus)
Love Letter - 1
PitchCar - 1

Only one online/solo play... most of my solo gaming time has been spent on Portal and Portal 2 the past couple weeks, and I'm trying to get my online plays down to a manageable level before BGG.con (I've still got 6 ongoing BAJ games, though 3 or 4 should be done in the next week).

Phoebus and I should have managed 24 in the Hanabi game started the previous week, but Phoebus forgot that he hadn't clued my 5, and so I assumed it was the bottom card of the deck and played it blind - had I taken a moment to look at the clues (or if I had been tracking them on paper), I would have realized that I'd been holding one card long enough that he had given every other number clue and I could determine it was the missing 5. Oops. The current game started off well, and then blew up on us. Maybe next time...

Netrunner

A couple games Thursday night... I played HB:EtF in the first against Adam's Kate (our most common matchup), and I stayed unbeaten though it was very close. I think he made a mistake in sticking with Pipeline over Femme Fatale - aside from the ability which is always nice, my deck's main threats are strong sentries + Corporate Troubleshooter, and Pipeline was just prohibitively expensive to use. (It didn't help matters that I had a turn one Archer via Oversight AI, and a turn two Janus via Accelerated Beta Test.) I was also able to make him waste a lot of credits running on assets - one particularly entertaining turn saw me put down two cards in remotes protected by three ice each, him agonizing over the decision of which to run, eventually deciding to run both, and finding Adonis in each. On the last turn, I was up 6-4 and threw down a 3/2 with him low on credits, then he decided to run R&D with Maker's Eye (protected by the lone Janus), take some brain damage which was irrelevant at that point, and see what came up - there were only two agendas left in the deck at that point though, and he only got one of them.

In the second game, I tried out a Chaos Theory Hardware/R&D control deck, against his NBN. It was a cute idea (early Replicators, then pulling out extra copies of Hardware to thin my deck), but too slow against a fast advance deck. I had a bit of bad luck as well (was able to Femme his lone R&D ice, then Indexing - with R&D interface waiting to scoop up any agendas I could put on top - but all I found was a bunch of ice), and he got a key Chimera down at a point where I couldn't find a code gate breaker. I think this is my third shutout loss (and I haven't lost that many times... I just like to do it spectacularly, I guess).

On Saturday, Adam finally gave in and picked up Creation & Control (we played a few games at Madness, and then later stopped by the McKinney game store/chocolate shop). So I immediately ran back in and bought it as well. Arms race!

Ascension

After Netrunner, and failing to get Casey to join us, I taught Ascension with the Apprentice Edition Grace kindly sent. It's a pleasant enough game, but is lacking in control over your deck (IMO). It didn't help that fairly early on the center row was full of 5+ strength baddies and one lone construct (costing 8), so we piled out the basic 2-power and 2-rune cards before finally breaking through with big turns. I won, 70-69... Adam liked it. And I probably would have liked it more if I weren't a deck-builder snob.

Incan Gold

We had 7 most of the day Saturday (along with Claire, Chance, Adam and Casey, Ryan and Chalyce joined us, two more of the Aggie roommates - I was very badly outnumbered), and were going to end up playing shorter games anyway (breaking to have lunch/drinks and watch the Aggies game, and to walk around downtown McKinney in the evening), so...

7 is a bit much for this, because the gems come out so slowly, but we had higher scores in the end than I was expecting - the disaster cards were mostly kind to us. Casey and I were the boldest, and there were three rounds between the two games where we were the last ones left, played chicken over an artifact or some leftover gems, and then whoever stayed that one more round hit a big gem card. I won the first with 34, and tied Claire in the second with 35 (after making the mistake of leaving too early in the final round - should have protected my lead a bit more).

7 Wonders

7 Wonders next, just the base game as Ryan and Chalyce had only played once before. I managed to back my way into Science (via Halicarnassus), only competing with Ryan across the table (which is just fine in a full game), and managing 3 sets. All the other scores were remarkably close, though, everyone between 42 and 46.

Martian Dice

I put this in my pocket for downtime during the football game... The guys played a couple games during halftime (and Chance and Adam had a playoff as the winners), and I taught the girls later. After the game, we headed up to McKinney and walked to downtown, and they had coffee/dessert and we played a couple with everyone (which actually doesn't take that much longer - with more people, someone is going to hit a big first turn, and I think both games lasted three rounds, plus a tiebreaker in the second between Chalyce and Casey).

PitchCar

Ryan and Chalyce headed home; the rest of us played PitchCar. I had taught Catacombs to Claire and Chance a couple weeks ago, and they own Crokinole, so it seemed like a good idea to compare the three. Chance found it really frustrating at first (and then stopped thinking about it and started playing really well), while Claire also improved rapidly and caught up to the rest of us after starting at the back. I had some good flicks, but also kept getting under the disc and jumping it off the track. Adam was ahead comfortably, then with Casey right behind him flicked it just enough to land in the checkered area but not past the line... at which point we had a disagreement about which was the finish. Anyway, we amused ourselves finishing the raise and declaring him fifth place (Chance, in particular, was happy to claim 4th, after spending the whole day telling everyone who finished 2nd that they lost just like everyone else) while he looked it up online.

Coloretto

My lone experience with this previously was 2 player, teaching myself and Michelle from the rulebook, so that didn't go so well. Was glad I got a chance to try it out for reals, pretty good little filler. Adam won the first (after Claire was basically put in a kingmaker situation between the two of us, with her pretty much assured of second either way), and I got stupidly lucky in the second (no negative points, and I took three cards most of the time) - Casey and I again had a couple rounds were we were the last ones left and pressed our luck with the deck, to our mutual benefit.

Flash Point

After church and lunch, we went to my apartment and played a couple games of Flash Point (joined by Aerial for the first). 6 is a bit tough, with so much time between turns, and we had terrible luck rolling for fire (one room had almost no walls by the time we were done with it), losing on victims. The second game went much more smoothly, and we only lost 1 by the time we finished. No change on my opinion of this game - it's not as good as Pandemic, but it's a nice thematic experience.

Love Letter

Claire and Chance started the drive back, while Casey had to work on some school stuff, so I taught this to Adam quickly, having picked up the Kanai Edition at Madness. We weren't playing with the Tempest edition suggestion of flipping up three face up, though a couple of the rounds ended on the first turn anyway so I'm not sure making the hands go faster is a good thing. I also prefer the Tempest Countess vs. the Kanai Minister - may just house rule that guy. Love the art style though.

Coerceo

Finally, Coerceo. Adam picked this up really quickly... I got out to an early lead, but he clawed his way back and then I made a couple blunders to put him ahead, and he was eventually able to force a lead that he wouldn't give up. (We did get down to two tiles, 3 vs. 1, where he wasn't able to force the last capture - it seems really likely this will happen, but just ruling that whoever has the most pieces wins at that point works fine.) Looking forward to exploring this some more!
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12. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:110]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Koryŏ x1
TSCHAK! x1
Nations x1

Old Games

Nefertiti x1
Pasha x1
Spyrium x1
Android: Netrunner (with all expansions) x3
Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas x1
Ra: The Dice Game x1

Essen-stravaganza continues!

Koryŏ was a super-tactical mini-tableau building game, where you're trying to accumulate more cards than the other players in different categories both to earn points and to gain special powers from the different card types. It's got a bit of the Great Dalmuti card-distribution (2 of one type, 3 of another type, etc. etc.) and plays pretty quickly. My one play of it was certainly fun, but I'm not sure how well it'll hold up given how completely tactical it is. There is a wee bit of card counting in terms of getting a handle on how likely it is you'll be able to beat someones played cards, but for a filler it seems to be a good mix. I'm vaguely hopeful for it and want to give it another go.

TSCHAK!, most definitely not an Essen release, is a goofy little bidding game about using warriors, mages, and dwarves to pick up treasure and get gnawed on by monsters. The game description page here on BGG is pretty thorough, so I won't bother rehashing the rest of the rules, but it was about as light and somewhat tactical as Koryo, if more silly. It's OK, not one I'll ask for in the future.

I'm having a hard time coming up with what I think about Nations, because a lot of the issues I had with it were the first-play growing pains of any civ game (which resources do I need to prioritize in *this* new implementation?), but also because it begets similar comparisons to Through the Ages, which is one of my favorite civ games of all time and one I've played 70+ times. It's not necessarily fair to compare my extensive experience with one to a single play of another, but watch me do it anyway

The overlap is actually quite striking, you're still buying tech, wonder, leader, war, and aggression cards from a central market and growing your various means of production along with military strength and stability (which is a neat addition that sort-of works, more on that later). There are a couple of key differences, however: the first is that each round of play only sees a fixed amount of cards come into the market, and it doesn't get refilled until all players pass. This is the heart of the (correct) assertion that the game is far more tactical, because you only draw from each Age deck twice, meaning there are a lot of cards you simply don't see. Add to this the fact that you can absolutely get screwed out of good cards by turn order leads me to my biggest complaint, the rather stunning influence of military power.

Now, I'm not complaining that being strong militarily is unduly powerful; to me a big part of any civ game is learning how much of a military you need to maintain to both be competitive and dissuade others from stomping on you. The upshot of having a good military in Nations is about on par with TtA, in that it gives you more opportunities to smack stuff around for fun and profit (which include colonies and the now entirely un-interactive "aggressions," which give you resources equal to a fixed "raid" value of your units), but that it also controls turn order. And in a game where you're drafting from a limited pool every turn, that's huge.

What made this stick out even more for me was the addition of a Stability track, which I actually really dug, in theory. The idea is that stability mitigates the resource loss from losing wars (but not the VP loss), so it's something you can invest in that isn't military and thus is less of a drain on your engines resources. In practice, however, the advantages of having a strong military and the incredible difficulty in maintaining stability (at least in our game, one player took Genghis Khan, which lowered each players stability by a non-negligible amount and he *never got rid of him*) meant that it was less a viable alternative to military might and more just another number to juggle. There were bonuses to be had by having good stability/not crap stability, but like the market the events that gave them were random and not guaranteed to be in every game. In the end the benefits of having a large stability did very little to compensate for a poor military.

That said, the way wars and aggressions were handled were even more abstracted than in TtA. Players no longer smack each other around, but play the "you must be this strong to not suffer the penalties of war" game. Again, this is interesting in theory, because it means that a weak player can start a war simply to not have to suffer through it, as the threshold gets set to the military strength of whoever triggers the war. In practice, this was a choice between shit-sandwiches as it's a giving up of a draft choice, meaning if there's a juicy tech card you want you want and a war that will wreck you, good luck hoping the former sticks around while you're taking care of the latter.

Again, most of these complaints hinge on the fact that it took me a game to figure out the correct build-sequence for growing your engine, an entirely valid complaint I had with TtA back in my first game or two. That's not really a fault of the game, it's a fault with my comprehension of it, but I'm not certain I want to try the game again just to see if getting that out of the way fixes the rest of my issues. From what I've read of the designers chiming in on the threads in the games forum, it sounds like they were de-emphasizing strategy in order to reduce AP, which is something I'm normally totally down with. However, because Nations is essentially TtA with a lot more randomness, I'm not sure those those decisions are justified when the latter gives a more controlled experience in much the same package.

The positive point that I will illuminate on is that the game seems to know that it's not about building up a broad engine and getting good at everything, in that having more of one resource over the other is very situationally dependent. Sometimes the market has what you want, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes famine requires you to have a bunch of food, sometimes it doesn't (with the exception of hiring out new workers for a conistent food-hit, which can be planned on but I found hard to manage). To me the best example of this is the slight minimizing of tech and the maximizing of Wonders, the latter of which are a bit easier to complete and serve to more fully supplement your engine than those in TtA. You can only have 5 techs at any given time, but you can build over them however you'd like, meaning that in theory you can minimize or even shut down production of one thing to maximize production of another. This is made somewhat less a reality by the fact that it still is just as tempo-breaking to demolish old building and build new ones as it is in TtA. And since there aren't any bonuses to upgrades in Nations (you literally have to build from the ground up every time you get rid of an old tech), it all seems to come out in the wash.

In short, I'll probably give Nations another go now that I've got a bedrock understanding of how the game functions. However, I'm not sure what it introduces is enough to make me want to play it over other heavy civ games.
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13. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:553]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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d10-1d10-0 1x 18NY
d10-9 1x Twilight Struggle
d10-8 4x Spyrium
d10-8 1x Tinners' Trail
d10-8 1x Masques
d10-8 1x 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight
d10-7 2x Dominion: Intrigue

A good week of gaming, though most of it is due to my wonderful girlfriend Amanda. It was a tough week last week and my first chance to game (after a disappoint 2-player 1860 on Monday) was Friday night. I had emailed our Yahoo group saying I wouldn't get there till between 7 and 7:30 (we generally start our game right around 7). I got there by 7:15. There was only one game going (a 4-player El Grande) and they had obviously started around 6:45. I know at least one of the guys had seen my note, because he posted right afterwards. Needless to say, I was disappointed and went home rather than sitting for 60+ minutes (2 people were noobs). When I got home, Amanda asked if I wanted to play a game. I said yes and then, almost jokingly, suggested Twilight Struggle. She agreed and I got to play one of my favorites that I rarely get to play. So, the evening ended very well.

Then Saturday, I drove to Columbus for 18XX and got to play one of my favorites, 18NY. One of the regulars thinks 18NY maybe the next big thing after it is officially published. I tend to think not. While I love the game and consider it one of the best operational 18XX games I've ever played, I suspect there's enough accountants to keep it from ever being loved as much as it deserves. Still, I got to play it for the 13th time this year, and continue to rate it a "10".

Sunday, Amanda again agreed to play games with me and we played two short ones, a 2-player variant for Tinners' Trail that was much better than I expected and took us about 40 minutes followed by a 40 minute game of Masques. Although I think Tinners' Trail is good enough to play 2-player again, I'm not sure about Masques. It wasn't bad, but it lost the excitement of getting other people to do your dirty work for you all the while claiming, "I'm not the threat; I'm not the threat."

Lastly, I was able to log 4 plays of Spyrium last week before having to return my borrowed copy. I promptly bought a copy of my own; however, my copy was missing a blue "2" token. Asmodee is sending it out, but I haven't decided whether to play with it in the meantime or not. FWIW, I am having the same feeling about Spyrium that I had last year about Terra Mystica. It's a good, but not great game that I just feel like continuing to explore. That said, they're are several differences. Spyrium is alot shorter. Terra Mystica probably has more replayability. Spyrium is more innovative. Terra Mystica takes alot longer to play. Spyrium can be played as a Gateway+ game. Spyrium is a lot cheaper and readily available. and Spyrium plays well across the player count. All-in-all, I think Spyrium is a very good but not great game that may get to 20 plays by the end of the year.


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14. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:102]
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
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Cuba
Macao
Guile
St. Petersburg
Cash & Guns
Ora et Labora
Combat Commander: Europe



Light week this week as I worked almost 60 hours and Amanda flew home to visit the 'rents and get her hair did...so all those are just me playing w/ our game group and my wargame group.


Of the bunch, Ora et Labora was very much the highlight. Absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED that game. I can't wait to get it to the table again w/ Amanda as I know that will become one of her top games, too.

A good buddy had his first copy of Guile delivered and it's a really fast, but fun bluffing/deception/memory game that I really hope does well at BGG Con in a couple of week.

Oh and Cuba was good, if a bit frustrating. Just not enough time, but I hear that the Cuba: El Presidente makes the game better, so we're trying to get that ASAP too.
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15. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:314]
Matthew C
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The theme of the week was apparently Card Games. All of these come from my Thursday group.

Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium -- I never found a focus for my strategy, so I wandered my way through this match. It was an odd match additionally because there were five of us playing. Despite my own lack of focus, I did manage to place second, losing out to my typical RftG partner, who found a military strategy which worked well for him and he was able to combine with the 6-cost developments.

The Resistance -- The only other time I've played was back in July at my family reunion. However, I was the most familiar with the game, so I was chosen to explain it to the five who had not played. We technically played four games, but the first one was redealt because nobody shuffled the first mission cards when they were selected, so we knew who threw the Fail.

As I mentioned on Beau's status, I was particularly happy with my play as The Resistance in the third (but second full) game. We had passed the second mission with three people on it, so I was confident that either no spies were on the team, or there were two who had their signals crossed. So, for the third mission I noted that if we send those three again, then either we've rooted out two spies, or it really *was* a clean team (because the only reason to not have failed the mission as a spy on #2 is if you thought the other spy would). The third mission also passed, so we just needed to include one random person for Mission 4 since it needs two fails to fail.

Hanabi -- Finally, I ended the night with two rounds of Hanabi. We had five people in the game, which is usually fine but one of them did not understand why people were giving him hints. He would consistently not play cards he should have, and discarded cards he shouldn't have. Frustrating, but we managed 18 points anyway.
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16. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:263]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 10  Android:Netrunner x3
 8.5  Bruxelles 1893 x3 New!
 8  Spyrium x1
 7.5  Seeland x1
 7.5  Pocket Rockets x1

On Bruxelles 1893 (2x2 P / 1x3P)
This is not an innovative and thematic game (i expected more theme integration) but there is interesting things put into it. The artwork and components are really engaging.

After reading the rules, i was afraid of a lack of coherence but after the first turn, it plays very smoothly.

Several sources of points in the game :
- constructing your building (60 VP max). There is an ever changing cost to build one stage of your building (there is 6 stages). So you will have to plan ahead and look at what your opponents can build and when in order to not be screwed. Because, as soon as a player build a stage, the compass is moved, changing the required resources to build.

- exhibit works of art. There is an insteresting cursor mechanism to change/fix how one can earn VP/coins. The more you create works of art, the more you can influence and move the cursor at your own advantage.

- majorities on Art Nouveau board. This requires to progress on City Hall track. At the end of a turn, all coat of arms surrounded by 4 meeples will earn VP to the player(s) with the most meeples. You earn what it is mentionned on the City Hall track square your disc is on.

- 4 end game scoring : number of remaining works of art, number of characters, number of meeples and money. Along the course of the game, you will earn bonus cards (each column on the Art Nouveau board rewards a bonus card to the player with the most bid). You can use it straight away to earn an instant bonus (progression on a track, an additionnal meeple....) OR put it under your building in order to boost 1 of the 4 end game scoring, encouraging long term planning (very risky given the amount of opportunities to be screwed by your opponents).

There is jockeying everywhere in this game. This is what it makes it enjoyable to me.

Near future
Bruxelles 1893. My wife enjoyed it a lot. kiss
Android: Netrunner.
Pax Porfiriana. I will have to read the rules first sobluegulp
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17. Board Game: After the Flood [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1906]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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Anyone interested by an online-discovery-game on http://testing.slothninja.com/ ?
 
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