GCL Mafia 145: Double Jeopardy
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly list! If you stumbled onto this list by accident (or on purpose!) and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki. If you want to look at past GCL Mafia lists, go here: GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread.

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

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

The first few items are intended to foster discussion. This week's theme is all about... Games! Board games, video games, sports games, all kinds of games!

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of Oct 21 - Oct 27, 2013. List any games played along with any other information that you deem appropriate. Also, feel free to give life updates, fun facts, or any other super exciting and utterly interesting thoughts you may have.
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1. Board Game: Waterworks [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:15476]
Matthew C
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Classic games (ones I like to call "Parker bros. games") get a lot of flak from us. What was your favorite one to play growing up? If you have to pick one to play now, which would it be, and why?
 
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2. Board Game: Family Feud [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:15020]
Matthew C
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I grew up watching a lot of game shows. My mother had a bit of an obsession, so I've seen too many to list. If you watch[ed] them, what is your favorite one, and why?
 
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3. Board Game: GridIron Master [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:10883]
Matthew C
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This question is a follow-up to Beau's from two weeks ago. If you had to select only one sport for the entire world to play, and disregard all others, what would you pick?

For these purposes, let's consider chess *not* a sport.
 
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4. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:370]
Matthew C
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When people call themselves 'gamers' they're usually referring to video games. What is your favorite video game of all time? Also, what is your current favorite to play?
 
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5. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:2451]
Matthew C
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Have you played "pen and paper" games, like Dungeons and Dragons? If so, what is your favorite story from playing?
 
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6. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:120]
Matthew C
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Finally, what is your favorite board game right now? We often get so caught up in discussing games that we forget to ask what peoples' favorites are.
 
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7. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:217]
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This week marks an important milestone in my board gaming: I finally played my first Feld game. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Wednesday:
Lost Cities -- I rarely get to play Lost Cities with the same person. Despite having played a dozen times, my wife has played the most with me, and she has only played 4 times. This was no exception; I introduced the game to someone new and played it twice before we packed it in to go carve pumpkins.

Thursday:
Dixit -- When I showed up to the game store on Thursday everyone was already playing, so I joined in as well. This was the first time I've actually played Dixit, although I was familiar with the game. It played exactly how I expected it to, but I was impressed with how quickly it played with 12 people.

Race for the Galaxy -- After Dixit I asked if anyone wanted to play a Feld game, since I hadn't played one yet. A game of Bora Bora was being set up, but they only had room for 1 more, which would have put the other two eurogamers out of play for the night. The three of us pulled out RftG and played the three most pathetic games of our lives. The first game, I overplayed my alien hand, spending big for an alien world before I had a consumption ability on the board, and consequently never got one. Ouch. A horrible 15 point victory for me there. Sadly, that was not the lowest of the night. I did pull out a military win on the third match, but the other two were sitting under 20 points, so it was hardly a hard-won game.

Bruges -- Finally. After RftG none of the other tables had opened yet, so we decided to sit down for a 3-player match of Bruges. Mechanically, I think the game scales perfectly from 4 to 3 (I have watched a 4 player match before). In my starting hand I was dealt a 9-cost character who allows you to forgo the cost of a canal once per round, so I spent my first round getting him into play. The second round I pulled a character who, for the cost of one purple meeple, allows you to build a canal without using a card action -- but you have to pay double. I combined those two cards together and became the canal king for the game. While I never hit any other particularly exciting combinations, that one was enough to put me into a 1st place finish by 2 points.
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8. Board Game: Indonesia [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:193]
Mc Jarvis
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Had my last monthly game day of 2013--- the remaining Saturdays are all filled up with convetions, work travel, and holiday travel.

Indonesia is always a treat when I can get it to the table. I think this game could be condensed into two moves which had strong influences over the rest of the game:

1) Early in Era B I opted to merge the two largest spice and rice companies to create a fast food company. My starting bid left the only other player who could bid $1 short of the ability to bid the next increment.

This had the result of putting me in a strong position with the only high value company on the board that was developed. The guy who got outbid was then highly subsidized, so he was easily able to form another fast food company in a few turns.

2) The game developed to the point where the two players controlling fast food were trading turn order. We each would pump turn order tech, then the player bidding 2nd would bid $1 more dollar than the first player. This had the effect of us trading fast food sales from turn to turn, more or less. I developed rubber as a secondary source of income, the other player developed a fairly profitable rice plantation.

This led to my next big move. I figured out we were in the penultimate turn of the game: I was moving first, and with the money I got from sales of fast food that turn I'd be able to outbid the other fast food player outright for turn order in the last turn. So I announced a merger between the remaining spice company and the other fast food player's rice company. This had the charming effect of killing the incomes of spice and rice completely for the rest of the game, since the resulting fast food company would have zero profits due to demand being met completely. This combined meant two things:

1) There wasn't enough time to develop a new enterprise through acquisitions for big profits( it was the penultimate turn)
2) If they outbid me on the fast food company, I would pass. If they didn't outbid me, they were effectively just getting 1 more payout for those companies. This means I effectively cut their incomes for the last half of the game down to one-third of the previous expected value. One of the other players miscalculated and bid on the company, I let it pass, and so I got this effect without even having to pay the $275 minimum bid for the company.

Overall I felt pretty pleased with myself for managing to knock out two other players with a single move at a pivotal point in the game. It's worth noting that against the remaining player I only won by about $10, though--- so if I had been hung with the fast food company, I would have only effectively been a kingmaker. So my tactic was nasty and secured me the win, but if players had punished me for my aggressive play I would have lost the game. I think this is one of the reasons why I love Indonesia--- there is room for sneaky back room deals, but ultimately it's the players ability to properly valuate that makes or breaks their games. Also, understanding the nature of positional play in the game and making sure you are not set up so that your empire will crumble due to mergers is important too--- especially for spice and rice owners.

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9. Board Game: Nefertiti [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1133]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Nefertiti (with Nefertiti Expansion) x1
Lifeboats x1
Wizard's Brew (with the expansions) x1
Zombie Dice 2: Double Feature x2

Old Games

Serengeti x1
Little Devils x1
Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas x1
Zombie Dice x2
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire x1

Some good new games hit the table this past week!

I'd been trying and TRYING to get Nefertiti to the table with only 3-4 players, but I unfortunately got suckered in to playing with 5 (I'd gotten the expansion to have it on hand in case, but I was really trying to not get a full compliment as BGG consensus is that 5 isn't great). The good news was that it wasn't *bad* with 5, but it was still bloated and not terribly dynamic. I really want to get this going with the better player count, and hopefully will get a chance to this Tuesday.

But! The game itself. It's a worker placement/auction game where players are Egyptian nobles trying to buy unique gifts for Queen Nefertiti's birthday. Each player sends servants out to one of three markets, and each market has different closing conditions (like a certain number of servants, the sum of the bids being bigger than a certain number, etc.), which are always triggered by a player placing one of their servants. It's got some really neat elements like a closed economy, dynamic market shifting, and a sort of "depreciation" element whereby gifts are valued less as more players acquire them (thus making them less unique). I think it has the ability to be a really nifty little auction hybrid game, but I haven't had the chance to play it as it should be played

Lifeboats is an evil little game about kicking people out of boats. It's got some good opportunity for collusion and negotiation, but I actually found it to be a little bit...dull? Mechanically the decisions are pretty straightforward (with the hopping out/hopping in being particularly cut-and-dried), and most of the fun seems to come from the wheeling and dealing that results. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for a game that's supposedly this dynamic, it just felt sorta flat to me. It might have been the group I was playing with, but we're pretty raucous in most games (see: Little Devils), so I strongly suspect that this just isn't a game for me.

Wizard's Brew looked like fun, despite my local word of mouth being that it's predecessor, Das Amulett, was perhaps too chaotic for it's own good. I found it to be a pleasantly swingy family-weight game where clever play would even out any shifts of luck and produce a surprisingly close game. Our play did suffer from a "one person was able to dictate the entirety of the last round for the win" thing, but we'd also noticed that it wouldn't have been cut-and-dried if one of the players had remembered to take their bonus element cards from one of their spells. While it went over OK with the other players, I had a lot of fun with it and enjoy it for it's fluidity, even if it's a bit lighter than I imagined.

And finally, Zombie Dice 2: Double Feature was a goofy little addition to the base game, which I enjoy as a light filler.
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10. Board Game: Tinners' Trail [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:521]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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d10-9 1x 18Ruhr
d10-8 3x Tinners' Trail*
d10-8 1x Masques*
d10-7 2x La Strada*
d10-7 1x 1824: Austria-Hungary*
d10-7 1x Railroad Barons*
d10-6 1x Carson City*
d10-6 1x 18NEB

A lot of new plays this week, and as normal when playing new games, rating vary widely. My favorite play this week was 18Ruhr. It continues to grow on me. After one play, I rated it a 6. Two plays raised it to a 7 or (8?) and this last play moved it to a 9. It has the fastest train rush of any 18XX I've ever played. The twist in 18Ruhr is that there are Montagne companies that buy "trains" as capital improvements and then generate fixed revenue based on the number and type of capital improvements they have. While there isn't much to the stock market in this one, the operational aspects of this game are overwhelming. Starting Montagne companies, running them well (still haven't figured this one out), growing Montagne companies up, connecting them to railroads, laying track to work with the Montagne railroads, laying tokens to avoid being blocked out, and, of course, managing the train rush. Finally, there are several scenarios that change which Montagne companies are in the game, changing a lot of laying of track and som of the relative valuation of companies. The only issue is the rulebook which is ambiguous in some areas and the difficulty in getting the designer to provide clarification.

My second favorite play this weekend was Tinners' Trail. I got this from Bryan (Mr_Nuts) in his recent auction and it exceeded my expectations. I've been trying to collect Wallace games so that I can try them all. Tinners' Trail was on that list and I was hesitant due to the ambivalent reviews I've read. The game is great! Luck plays a big role due to dice determining what types of cubes are available, how much they cost, and how much they are worth. However, there's still enough brain-burny-ness to make this interesting and it plays in right at 1 hour. Longer or more brain burny and the randomness would bug me. But at this length and weight, I think it's great. Can't wait to get more plays.

A second Wallace game I played this weekend was La Strada. We played two 2-player games in an hour. It's quick, thinky and doesn't outstay its welcome. Players need to manage tempo, work together to reign in the leader and advance their own causes. A short game that I look forward to playing more.

Friday night was a great night with my first play of Tinners' Trail, two plays of La Strada, and Masques. I bought this on a recommendation and because it was cheap, but it was much better than I expected. It's a card game that plays like a board game. Players lay cards trying to score points in five different categories. First player to score one point in all categories or 4 points in one category wins. The mechanic is simple, but the strategy is deep and it's all about working together to stop anyone else from winning until you do. Our 3-player game took about 1 hour and it flew by (I actually got to play two games of La Strada plus Masques while the other table played one game of Merchants of Venus -- glad I picked the right table!)

My second train game on Saturday was 1824. I had heard such good reviews on BGG (including a rating of 8+ from JC) that I had high hopes for it. While it was a good operational game, it didn't suck me in. There's definitely a decision space. Trying to manage companies, time the starting of the nationals (there are 3 of them) and figuring out when to grow your minor companies to majors (as well as deciding on "G"oods trains versus regular trains) makes for a thinky game. However, unlike the other O-O games Iv'e played, this one fell into the "interesting; I'd play again but wouldn't ask to play" category.

On the other hand, I was really impressed with what Ohley did with Railroad Barons. It is a 2-player 18XX card game and while it won't set the world on fire, it delivers an 18XX experience without any track laying in about 90 minutes (my guess is it could be shaved down to 60 - 90). I'm not sure if it will survive more than 3 - 5 plays with the same person, but, for what it is (and what I paid - $25 at an OLGS), it is definitely worth trying out.

Lastly, I finally got try Carson City. We only played a 2-player game and we played it "nicely" so I can definitely see it shining with more players when the duels really mattered. However, it left me underwhelmed. The tile laying, economic thing should have got my attention more than it did, but I was left with the feeling of "it's nice; I'd play again, but myeh."

In other news, I've slipped and ordered a few new games: Keyflower: The Farmers, Council of Verona, and Mauna Kea. I'm still on the fence about importing Russian Railroads. I'd order Concordia in a second if I could find it for a reasonable price, but so far, no love. Hopefully, the Essen releases will start showing up (at least as pre-orders) on the online sites.

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11. Board Game: Ascension: Apprentice Edition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1717]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Ascension: Apprentice Edition 5
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Big Bad Bunny Promo 1
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Shuffletron 2K13 Promo 1
Ascension: Storm of Souls - Moon Staff Promo 1
Bohnanza 1
Vegas 1
Zooloretto: The Dice Game 1

No new games this week (as I don't count Ascension since I've played the base game before). I did get the above three promos with my order from Stone Blade. They're pretty cool and are permanently part of my Apprentice Edition set; I just only logged their plays once.

Bohnanza was one of the worse plays I've had of that game, with four new players who seemed more keen on making trades last as long as possible while attempting to break the trade rules with loopholes rather than just simply playing.

Vegas also took longer than it should have.

My 4-player play of Zooloretto: The Dice Game reinforced for me how, despite it being a good game I rather dislike it with four.
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12. Board Game: Nuclear War [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2502] [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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No games this week.

There is a gameday in a couple of weekends that should allow me to finally get in a couple of games.

As for books, I finished reading Jingo by Terry Pratchett this week. Overall it was very solid, but I thought the resolution was a little meh. The asides and cultural interactions were solid to the very end. The continuing racism by some characters was very well done as they constantly adjust their prejudices to allow for exceptions, but still maintain their dislike of the "enemy" culture.

After that, I read Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb by Philip K. Dick. This was great. The story focuses on an assortment of characters before, during, and at various points after a nuclear attack. The overall plot is just so-so, but the highlight are the great vignettes throughout the story. Similar to Dr. Strangelove (where it borrows its naming convention from), the main plot is really just a framework to tack on all kinds of insanity. The chapter during the nuclear attack is a serious look at the character's actions during this time. That chapter is the best thing I have read from PKD. The ending resolution is easily one of the weirdest things I have ever read.

I then tried to start Titus Groan (the first Gormenghast novel), but due to the soft binding and thin pages I couldn't manage to physically read it while holding the mini-human without damaging the book. So I have regrettably set it aside until I can manage to hold it. cry

So, I moved on to another Philip K. Dick book: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said. I am about halfway done and am quite enjoying it so far. PKD definitely improved by the end of his career. This book and Dr. Bloodmoney are significantly better than the earlier works I had read.

I also picked up a few more PKD novels from the used book store: Lies, Inc., The Counter-Clock World, and The Simulacra. The construction of the books makes them pretty much ideal to read while holding Moira. They have stiff paper, low page count (usually 200-300), and wide pages.

After FMT,TPS, I am undecided. I may read a 40K novel for some pulpy action or continue with PKD.
 
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13. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:956] [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Games played over the past two weeks (and one a while back I forgot to mention):
*Parade x2
Lords of Waterdeep
7 Wonders x2
Race for the Galaxy
Jet Set
Power Grid: United Kingdom & Ireland* (new to map)
Lords of Vegas
Vikings x2
Cloud 9 x2
*Ghost Blitz
Serengeti
Article 27: The UN Security Council Game
Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War x2
Loopin' Louie
Suburbia
Mage Knight Board Game x2
*The Duke x4
*Mr. Jack Pocket
The Castles of Burgundy
Nefarious x2
King of Tokyo x3
Arkham Horror

Time for some catching up! The previous weekend I attended a mini-con with some friends, which really ramped up the game count. I'm going to start by highlighting games new to me, then give brief rundowns of my experiences with other games.

Parade is a neat card game, composed of a deck of 66 cards, ranging from 0-10 in six colors. The game begins with a set number of cards laid out (6?), and players start with 4 cards in hand. On your turn, you play a card from your hand to the end of the row. Then, you count cards equal to the rank of the card you just played, and ignore those. From the cards left in the row, you acquire as points in front of you all cards which match in color, or whose rank is less than or equal to the card you played. So, if you play a sufficiently high number, you can ignore it all and take nothing. That won't always be available to you, though. Also, points are bad. At the end of the game (when someone has all 6 colors), if you have a plurality in a given color (or two more than your opponent in a two player game), those cards count as 1 point each rather than face value. It was full of interesting decisions, though still somewhat lighter. You can be affected by what cards you draw, certainly, but it plays nice as a good filler. 7.5 out of 10.

The Great Britain & Ireland map for Power Grid is an excellent addition to the set. The "new" mechanic for this one is that there are two landmasses, and you can jump to anywhere on the other one for a one-time connection fee of $20. Also, Step 3 comes a bit earlier (by three cards), and in our game, we never had a Step 2 building phase, jumping to step three. Worth a look. 10 out of 10 (as is Power Grid for me).

Of all the new games I played over the last two weeks, the most memorable one by far (and the next must-own game for me) is Ghost Blitz. In it, there are five wooden objects placed on a table - a red couch, a green bottle, a white ghost, a grey mouse, and a blue book. One player will flip over a card, which will feature two objects in two colors (e.g. a red book and a grey bottle). The first person to grab the object not represented in any way (in this case, the white ghost) scores the card, and incorrect grabs are penalized by a card. EXCEPT - if the card has an object represented exactly (e.g. a green bottle), you have to grab that item instead. We found that even for people who aren't terribly good at twitchy games, they were competitive (or victorious!) in this one, as when a card is flipped up, there's a moment's pause while everyone ponders - what's missing? 9 out of 10.

Duke was another fascinating game. It has similarities to chess, in that there's a gridded board (6x6) and both players start with a king-like piece whose loss ends the game. Both players also start with a footman piece with some limited but useful movement. Each players remaining pieces are put in a cloth bag, and on a player's turn, they may (instead of moving) summon a piece from the bag. Each piece has varying utility and usefulness, but notably they have two different (sometimes radically different) sides which tell you how they move. Whenever you move a piece, it flips to the other side. We have a few very quick games, and one more drawn-out one, but all were enjoyable. For the chaotic chess-lovers out there. 8 out of 10.

Finally, Mr. Jack Pocket is a pale imitation of the original. Cute, but I'd rather play the original every time, and there are other games I'd rather play if table space is an issue. 5 out of 10.

The games played were great over the last two weeks. I was reminded of how excellent 7 Wonders, Jet Set, Lords of Vegas, and Jet Set are. Cloud 9 was more fun than it ever had any right to be. ("What do you mean you don't have red? You have 17 cards!") I still have no grasp of Don, but still love it. The structured negotiation of Article 27 continues to impress, though whining and dismissive players are no fun to play with. Shub-Niggoroth was Elder-Sealed with one doom token on the track to spare, and I played my first game of Nefarious where I never speculated or researched, when inventions were half cost and drew you a card. And I got to beat Philip. (Then he beat me. And we both were clawed to death.) Good times.

On an unrelated note, testing continues to go well. ninja
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14. Board Game: Libertalia [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:341]
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Weekly Plays:

Hanabi - 7 (Robin's Site!)
King of Tokyo - 2
Nefarious - 2
Android: Netrunner - 1
Catacombs - 1
Libertalia - 1
Lords of Waterdeep - 1
Love Letter - 1
Navegador - 1
Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game - 1 (solo)

Other than joining a bunch of Hanabi games since the site just went up, no new online games... scaling back a bit there again and letting some things finish. The quality of play in the Hanabi games has been pretty poor so far overall. But that's ok.

Space Hulk: Death Angel was alright, but pretty random... I'll have to try it a couple more times to decide if it's worth keeping. I have plenty of solo games.

Netrunner

I built a few decks for teaching Claire while Chance was at a work thing, so we did that Saturday morning. She played Kate, which was quite strong once she found her third breaker, while I played Jinteki, which was pretty weak. I got a couple Chimeras down to slow her, and she had trouble finding that last breaker, but when she finally did, my servers were too easy to get through.

On Sunday, I taught Chance, and he played the Kate deck against Claire's HB. Chance didn't draw Magnum Opus early, but he also just wasn't clicking for credits enough, so he struggled to get going. He got his rig set up quicker, but then lost programs to Ichi running without enough money. Claire got a little confused about playing cards to remote servers a few times, but otherwise did fine, and eventually got to 7 without too much difficulty. Anyway, Chance was a little frustrated by not knowing the cards well enough to make decisions, Claire liked it ok, maybe we'll give it another try next time I see them.

Love Letter

After lunch with Serena and Luis, the five of us played Love Letter until Robin arrived (taking turns sitting out). Great filler for burning a few minutes like this.

King of Tokyo

We had quite a few options with 6, but we settled on a game with dice so that we could use Adam's dice tower. I somehow won the first game, just barely rolling enough hearts each round to stay alive (I think I was at 1 or 2 at the start of my turn for four straight rounds) and eventually knocking out Claire head-to-head. In the second, Robin got the extra life card and later (after using his extra life) Jets (to avoid damage in Tokyo), so he looked pretty unstoppable, but it got down to him and Chance with Chance (in Tokyo) needing 2 points to win (+ a card which he already had enough energy for)... and then Chance rolled 6 claws instead to deal 7 damage, which was just enough to finish Robin off. So that was fun.

Nefarious

First game was very fast, with favorable plot twists (half price inventions, and draw a card after inventing). I predicted several of them would speculate on invent in the first round, so I invented something to make them lose a minion, which amused me, but Robin dominated that game. The second game required losing a minion when inventing (but also gave 2 money per round), and I managed my minions a bit better - Luis got stuck on 19, after I caused him to lose his last minion while researching, and then Serena made him lose his card while speculating, and then I finished it off the next round. Another light game that always goes over well...

Navegador

Robin had to head home, so with 5 I taught Navegador... which I hadn't played in a while, so I had to look up a few things. The past couple weeks, I had sent a few game matchups to determine which games I should bring with me (focusing on the less frequently played games in my collection), and this was the only one that was a unanimous pick (over Tribune). Anyway, Luis looked like he was going to run away with this one, amassing a huge number of sugar colonies and really being the only one to make big money in the market, but Chance edged out Luis and Serena with a lot of exploring (and the corresponding privileges). Claire and I tied for last, but weren't all that far behind. We'll have to try this one again sometime... the rules really only clicked for them about half-way through.

Libertalia

Luis brought this, which I was happy to play again having enjoyed it the first time. This play was just as enjoyable, and it went over really well with the group. It's just a solid design... the play becomes asymmetric naturally (through previous play, starting from an almost symmetric position), there is a good variety in how to score (day/dusk actions, booty selection, night/rest actions), it's light enough to pick up quickly but has meaningful decisions throughout. Might have to get a copy eventually.

Catacombs

The second of the voted on games (beating Ca$h 'n Gun$, though we might have played that too except Luis doesn't like the idea of pointing fake guns at people, which is not something that had really occurred to me as a potential issue... maybe Mafia has desensitized me to stuff like that). It was alright... I think it's a nice idea, though I was left wanting to implement some house rules (some penalty for flicking your own piece hard enough to go off the board - no damage to enemy, or incapacitation, perhaps), and it also seemed like it would be nice to have some sort of boundary (and gutter), like a Crokinole board. Anyway, I would rather play Crokinole or PitchCar, but there was certainly some additional strategy here, and especially if you like theme in your games this might be for you.

I also decided I don't particularly enjoy playing the bad guy in these types of games. It may have just been the group I was playing with and that everyone was new, though - I care more about everyone having a good time in that particular setting, and felt a bit bad when I was shooting so well with my spiders and stunning them all every other turn. (It did end up being pretty close though; if I hadn't been able to incapacitate Luis, he probably would have finally managed to use his poisoned knife to finish off the Lich.)

Lords of Waterdeep

Sunday (after the second Netrunner teaching game, and a trip to Austin Beerworks' Oktoberfiesta) I taught Lords of Waterdeep to Claire and Chance (the third vote winner, beating Ra). They liked this one pretty much immediately - it's such an easy game to start playing - and Claire took it on the Lord scoring (which I again failed at, focusing more on buildings after I got the quest which gave me 4 points per). I'm warming on this a bit - it's lighter than I prefer, but it's such a good gateway game that I can forgive that.

Bought

Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner ($10)
Lord of the Rings ($10)
Phoenicia ($10)
Puzzle Strike ($15)
Scotland Yard + Snorta! ($20)
Neuland ($10)
Quarto ($15)
2 de Mayo ($17)
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper ($10)

Sold

1955: The War of Espionage + Highland Clans + Leonardo da Vinci ($20)
Acquire ($16)
Munchkin Fu ($10)
Suburbia ($25)
Forbidden Island ($10)
Cities ($7)

Still to Sell

Terra Prime - BGG.con freebie, have never had much interest in trying it.
JAB: Realtime Boxing - BGG.con freebie, slightly more interest but not enough to keep.
Masons - won't be sad if this doesn't sell, it's not a bad game, just haven't played it in a while.
Forceball - BGG.con freebie, no interest.
The BoardGameGeek Game - it feels like this should be in my collection, but not interested in actually playing it.
Shogun: Tenno's Court x2 - BGG.con freebies for a game I've never played.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – A Journey to Rhosgobel - an extra copy was included when I bought an extra core set last year.
Jet Set: Investor & Business Expansion - BGG.con freebie for a game I've never played.
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15. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:316]
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
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I guess I forgot to add our plays from last week so I'll catch up here:

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game***
Chinatown***
Bora Bora
Modern Art
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set***
Mascarade
Compounded***
Roads & Boats***
Unhappy King Charles!***
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition)***
Streams
Liar's Dice
Speculation***
Glory to Rome
Amerigo***

*** = new to us

So we have had a pretty good couple of weeks. The highlights were:

Learning Roads & Boats, Amerigo and Unhappy King Charles, as well teaching Bora Bora.

Roads and Boats was a grail game for us and ours should be here this week or next from Splotter. A buddy has owned a copy for awhile and once I learned that, I asked him to come to gameday and teach a few of us how to play. It's heavy on strategy, but not terribly complex, really. Just have to have a plan.

Unhappy King Charles is a very well thought of wargame on England's First Civil War in the mid 1640's. Man, I'm so glad I played this as it was a ton of fun. 4 of us got together for our wargame group and we had two copies of this, so Chris obliged to teach it to the other 3 of us. Really fun CDG that I'm anxious to play again.

Amanda got a chance to play Amerigo on Saturday and she is in love with it. I mean, we both love Feld, but he's had a couple that Amanda didn't like (Rialto and Notre Dame), but this is on the other end of the spectrum. Not her favorite Feld, but it's way up there, probably second only to Trajan. I'm hoping to play it this week...maybe tonight?

And I love teaching games, (see the new video series I just started: Across the Table) and I got to teach a couple friends of ours how to play Bora Bora. Its garish looking, but it's probably the 'heaviest' Feld out there. Everyone loved it and we had a blast playing it.


Hoping for 10 games this week, or at least 5 if I make another video. thumbsup

Excited for our list next week too...we've had the idea for a couple of weeks now!

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16. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:163]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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For those who are fans/interested, this is up on BAJ. I should learn to play this game now.
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17. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:553]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 10  Android:Netrunner x3
 9  Spyrium x3
 9  Chaos in the old World x1
 9  Eclipse x1
 8  Blood Bowl Team Manager x1
 8  Ur x1

On Chaos in the old World (new!) : it was a 4 players game. Great majority game with a lot of interaction, decisions and the right amount of fun. More and more tense as the game progresses. I am eager to play it again.

Final scoring : 56-49-44-37

On Eclipse : it was a 4 players game. I played for the Orion Hegemony. So my orientation was necessarily to fight early on. I killed Great Ancient and take the galactic center. I was hesitant to destroy Hydrane Technocracy. It must be said that he had shield its borders with well equiped starbases (plasma cannons and quantum computers). So go risking vessels to occupy 1 PV hexes because he was turtling in zone III... He built many orbital though.

Mechanema and Eridani Empire were allied from the beginning for unknown reasons... I was aware that sooner or later, the big Eridani fleet will conquer my possessions in the center of the galaxy. Indeed, at the beginning of the last turn, i hold 3 big hexes (4, 3 and 3 PV). I built ships to defend myself but the two allies destroyed my fleet and push me away from these 3 hexes, depriving me of 10 PV and therefore of the victory.

Final scoring : 34-31-23-21.

On Spyrium : 3 FTF plays on 1 week (2,3 and 4 players). After 15 plays, it is a solid game of my library. Such lots of interesting concepts, decisions anc choices in a small box.

At first sight, one can think that having a lot of workers is the definitive strategy/choice early on because it is a worker placement game after all and because of the "take-back-for-money". But it is far than obvious and systematic :

1) having lots of meeples entice you to pass to phase 2 later because you want to optimize your work power. But it is risky as you can be screwed (possibly twice, money and cards to activate) by players who switched early on phase 2.

2) a possible work-around is to have building activated by workers in your tableau (mines, factories, universities...). This will help to switch on phase 2 if needed, if you really have to activate a card for your strategy.

Spyrium strategy (mines and factories) are very risky and time consuming : you will need a lots of workers and spyrium in order to activate your big factories. So you will have to balance the fact to be present on the market to screw other players vs to keep your workers for your own strategy. You will have to take this into account against a residence player for example (mostly in a 2-3 players. With more players, the others will certainely fight your you).

Also, events are both a means to temporize and to gain time/power for your development/combos.

On Blood Bowl Team Manager (new!) : it was a 3 players game with children. They enjoyed it a lot and want us to play it again. I was expecting more cry...

On Ur : great little abstract game along with König von Siam and Carolus Magnus. 3 games i will never sell.
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