Solitaire Games on Your Table - November 2013
Mikolaj Laczynski
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Warsaw
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Welcome to the Solitaire Games on Your Table Geeklist for November 2013!

If this is your first visit to one of these geeklists make sure you subscribe to the Solitaire Games on Your Table Monthly Geeklist SUBSCRIPTION THREAD.

With the days getting shorter and less incentive to stay outside there should be even more opportunities for playing games at home. And writing about them here.

The 16th of this month is the deadline of the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest. I wanted the theme of this geeklist to support this contest in some way. So here it is. This month's theme is:

Print and Play games

I would like to encourage everyone to craft at least one Print and Play game and post a photo here.

There will be rewards

d10-1 100 to a random picture picture of a PnP game crafted and played this month and posted on this list: one game crafted is one contest entry

d10-2 50 + any tipped to this Geeklist will go to the crowd favorite: the most thumbed post containing a picture of a PnP game crafted and played this month

d10-3 I will also give to individual entries.

I won't be doing any checking whether the game has been crafted this month. I am counting on the posters' honesty.

I will try to craft some games myself, but because I am running this geeklist I will not be eligible for the prizes

A Word of Warning:
Since fractaloon had the initial idea for this kind of geeklists they have become on one side an invaluable resource for solitaire gamers, but on the other side - a wallet cleaning vacuum ;-)
Under the influence of these geeklists:
-some contributors (for example me) have bought solitaire games they didn't plan on buying.
-some contributors (for example me) have bought expansions for solitaire games they don't even have yet, because they happened to show up at a shop they visit.
-some contributors (for example me) spend more time reading and updating this list than actually playing.

So browse at your own responsibility.

Credits

I wanted to give a shout out to the kind people running the previous geeklists:
Albert, Ryan (twice!), Mo, Tracy, Jack,

Watch out for the next geeklists:
December 2013 run by Mo
January 2014 run by Chris
February 2014 run by Tracy
March 2014 run by Jack
April 2014 run by Ryan
May 2014 run by Albert - the circle will be complete.
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1. Board Game: Hostage Negotiator [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:847] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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I entered the The 100 Play Challenge with this game, but have neglected it in the last couple of weeks, while I focused on the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest. I would like to make up for it this month.

2013.11.11: I finally played two games of Hostage Negotiator. I won both of them even though the situation looked quite grim in both.
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2. Board Game: Galactidice BSG [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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I will certainly play some more games from the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest. I was hoping to play all of them, but it looks like I won't make it. I still want to try out as many as I can before the 16th of November deadline and try the rest later.

Update 2013.11.07: I haven't had much time to play this month, because I have a programming project I'm doing in my spare time.
I managed to play one game of Galactidice BSG. It is a remake of Dice of Arkham which I enjoyed some time ago.

It is a quick game with a very good theme and lots of dice chucking.

In the beginning I was losing badly (also because I got a rule wring and made life hard for myself). Then I got my act together, had a few very good dice rolls and managed to win.
I got the impression that the game was rather easy, but after one play I don't think this is a valid opinion. Especially since I'm usually very lucky when I play a game for the first time

The game is enjoyable and the theme works very well making this game a story rather than just a dice throwing fest: civilian ships and Vipers get destroyed, Galactica gets damaged, the loyalty level can move, and there are Events which add variety.

I will certainly play this game again.

I gave the designer some comments.
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3. Board Game: Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:4458]
J Y
United States
Peoria
Arizona
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I've been diving into Last Frontier for the last week or so, and it will continue for another week at least.
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4. Board Game: Field Commander: Rommel [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1871]
Matt Hiske
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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Very challenging for the Germans to win In North Africa, good stuff.
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5. Board Game: Red Poppies: WWI Tactics [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:6172]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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This will be my primary game this month.
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6. Board Game: Astra Titanus [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:3689]
Chad
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Took this on holiday with me and played a couple of times - both times scenario 2 and both times the Titan won.

First time It rolled ridiculously and killed my heavies before they could do much damage - and get any sort of mass together for the kill.

Second time I had better luck - but it kept repairing its drive before I could disable the spinal mount - allowing it to kill the star base. soblue
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7. Board Game: The Mean Streets of Chicago [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Chad Mestdagh
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Um ... does a picture of a vassal module game that I made and played count as a print and play picture? Because I have a bunch of those and have been playing one almost every other night or so.

The latest game I played would be this game. Here is a picture of my game at the end:


The module can be found here.

I actually played a whole bunch of this game while testing it, but this was the first game played to completion. This game probably was the game that helped me delineate the difference between agonizing and frustrating. Agonizing gameplay is fun because there is a what if tension that wonders what will happen if the thing that I wanted to do doesn't happen. Frustrating gameplay is not fun because the thing that you wanted to do doesn't happen over and over and over and over.

Funny thing is that my fix for this part of the game (which is listed in the variants part of the rules that I put in the module) alleviates this problem a lot. But then it makes the game to easy. Which therefore caused the need for an additional variant. But it all kind of came together in the end.
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8. Board Game: The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:1056] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Having a brand new Type VIIC U-boat (which becomes available for use in Oct. 1940)I decided to join The Hunters and set course for the Allied shipping lanes.

Choosing a name and a designation for the U-boat is purely for the narrative and this game provides you with historical designations according to the type of U-boat used. (But you can use your name and designate your boat according to your username on BGG.)

Setup on the U-boat mat is easy and your main descionmaking here is what Torpedo type to load and what number of each as you have a chance to modify a certain amount based on U-Boat type.. Electric Torpedos are harder to hit with from range, but Steam powered ones leaves a nasty wake that makes you easier to detect by Escorts.(More on this later)

My chose 10 Steam and 4 Electric and loaded Steam ones into the tubes both For and Aft.

After rolling on the Patrol Assignment Table I'm assigned the Atlantic as hunting ground.


A shiny new U-Boat ready for The Atlantic.

With spirits high U-79 sails into the Bay of Biscay transit box and rolls 2d6 to see if any Aircrafts spot us. Having read Iron Coffins, I wisely dreaded the Bay of Biscay and the tenseness of the roll was present. There are no Targets to atttack in the Bay of Biscay, there are only Aircrafts Targeteing you. My dice came to a halt showing a total of 5. Narrowly avoided being attacked.


Beyond Biscay and safely through the next Transit box I'm ready for my first Encounter roll in the Atlantic proper.

Two dice rolls across the table and comes to rest with 6 pips showing.
CONVOY SPOTTED!
4 ship targets and a nasty Convoy. (Convoys always have Escorts)
The next die roll shows me this Encounter will take place during the day.
Rolling for Identification of the 4 ships they come up as a 9200 ton Tanker, 14600 ton Large freighter(Ulysses), a 6900 Large freighter and a 5500 ton Large freighter.
Rich pickings for a new U-Boat Captain, but first I need to decide if I attack Submerged during the day or try to switch to a Night Attck with a danger of losing contact with the Convoy. I choose to try my hand at attacking during the day, because that 14600 tonner is just to tempting a Target.

Next I need to determine what Range I will attack at. Staying at long range makes it easier for me to avoid detection by Escorts, but it also makes it harder to hit the Targets. Going in Close gives the Escort a chance to detect you before you can fire anything at the Target.
Staying at Medium seems to be a good thing for me now and I decide to fire my 4 Forward Torpedos at the Tanker and Ulysses to try to take out the two largest ships among the Convoy.


2 Torpedos Steam towards the Tanker and the first one runs wide for a miss and is lost. The second hits the Target, but is a DUD so the Tanker is safe for now. I will hopefully get another chance to take it out.
My two Torpedos heading for the Ulysses and the grand price in the Convoy, gives me a overwhelming sense of being in a Submerged U-boat holding the clock to see if they hit or miss.
First one Hits, but no Explosion: Another DUD torpedo.
Second one Hits, but alas no Explosion. A third DUD, (Insert inappropriate German swearing here) Blasted DUDS! Life as a U-Boat Captain would be less stressfull if the Torpedos were more reliable.

ESCORT! DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!

The Escort Detects us and drops it's charges. I am no longer a Hunter, I am now The Hunted and it is a game of Survival.

Explosions sound and the U-Boat shakes from the blasts.
"Forward Torpedo Doors Damaged" Arrgh, no more Torpedos up front unless I can repair them after I hopefully escape this blasted Escort.

He's coming back!
Depth charges in the water!
"Diesel Engine Number one damaged!"
"We have Hull damage!"

The Escort is making another round!
I'm Exceeding Test Depth to hopefully avoid it but my Hull suffers for it.
Depth charges in the water! He found us again! Brace for explosions!
All hell brakes loose and the U-Boat shakes, grinds, toss and creack!

"Report status!"
"Flooding in the back"
"Batteries damaged"
"We have Hull damage!"
"Crew down"

"It's back! Hush!"
Not dearing to Exceed Test Depth because my Hull has taken it's toll I stay within the safe depth(Yeah, like any depth is safe when Escorts are near)
"Depth Charges in the water"

The long silence before the charges explodes are tense seconds, but when the charges go off you just hope you live to see the end of it.
"Fuel Tanks Damaged"
"Hydrophones Damaged"
"Hull damage"

The tension among the men is raising, as the Escort makes another run on the surface. The sound of propellers are all that fills the U-Boat. Will it drop it's charges this time?

"It's leaving the area" "YEAH!"

Escorts are some nasty boats and while they hammer you there is nothing more to do than to Exceed Test Depth and take some HUll Damage to try and avoid them. The Asdicpings are in your head the whole time.

The way to describe it is best done with the Destroyer scene from Das Boot. Extremely tense and you really feel trapped down there.


"We have survived for now"

After an Encounter ends you try to repair the systems that took damage and you pump out the Flooding.
My repair roll for the Damaged Diesel Engine comes up as a horrible failure and that means my Patrol has to be aborted and that I must roll twice for Encounters in the Transit Boxes back towards France.


This image shows moment it is clear the Patrol must be aborted. Engine Inoperable.

After that I Pumped out the Flooding, failed to repair both my Fuel Tanks and Hydrophones, but managed to repair the Batteries and Torped Doors. But the last one doesn't matter much as no attacks can be initiated when you Abort the Patrol.

Limping back home towards France has me rolling four (4) times for Encounters with a chance of being attacked by Aircrafts. My damaged fuel tanks provide me a nasty negative modifier for Aircraft attacks if I'm spotted.

Luckily for me, my U-Boat and my Crew I manage to sneack home without having to Encounter any Aircrafts.

I survived, but my Patrol was a failure as I failed to sink any ships.

My U-Boat will now go into a 4 month Refit period due to the amount of Hull Damage and Inoperable Systems. (1 month for Refit, +2 for Hull Damage, +1 for 3 or more Inoperable Systems)


I had such high hopes when I set out on the Patrol, that a Knight's Cross would be waiting for me on my return after sinking several Capitol Ships, but even if I spotted and fired at a Large Freighter of 14600 tons, the main thing in this Patrol became Survival and that was some tense moments.

I hate Escorts as they just keeps coming until you can successfully avoid Detection. You can ofcourse go deep, but there is a chance it will damage your Hull more than you want. And the 8th Hull damage sinks the boat, so you can do the math on how wise a desicion it is to keep Exceeding Test Depth.

I am very much looking forward to getting this game and trying out a full campaign that starts in 39. I suspect it might get difficult to survive untill June 43, let alone best Otto Kretschmer and his 273,043 tons of sunken Allied shipping.

An awesome experience!

Ps: Thanks to John, Jack and Greg for bringing us this gem of a game soon.
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Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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I am playing all three COIN games at the same time solo.



I have asked Patton for some help as I have gone along:



but he hasn't been much help as the Government in Andean Abyss got destroyed by FARC in the third Prop Card:



The other two games at the third prop card:



And



Wish me luck with the other two, as George Patton berates me for being so incompetent.
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10. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:503]
Ryan King
United States
Stockbridge
Georgia
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Just set this one up again. Last time I learned all the rules except for scoring...doubt I'll make it far enough to need them.

Love this game. Best part is the space to put the cards on top of the map...or maybe I'm just weird!
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11. Board Game: RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:1176]
Ryan King
United States
Stockbridge
Georgia
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This one is set up on solo table number 2. Playing the Lion scenario, having a real hard time determining how many squadrons to send. The combat chart is hard to break down when I am at the advantage and when I am not.

Still, I like th procedural nature of the game, I can listen to podcasts and play without losing my spot, much more of a relaxed game since the charts and rolls do most of the work. I think it has (just) enough decisions to still be a game and not just an experience.
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12. Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:1401]
Ryan King
United States
Stockbridge
Georgia
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On solo table number 3, a game that I can not win. Too be fair, I don't really ever win any (except for Hornet Leader), but this one is especially mean. It lets me get close, then abolishes me. I usually get the expert rating, so I am close...

Last game I would have had but all my heroes died in a series of bad luck draws. Just waiting for that perfect storm to win.

Only downside is that it may be juuuuust a bit too long for what it is. I play fairly quickly, but the stack of cards you have to go through is quite big. I usually split this into two sessions, since the turns are all too similar to play in one sitting. I am still playing Classic Nightmare, though, and I know the game is a bit more dynamic with the new stuff in 2nd edition...I am just assuming I should at least beat CN once before I move up to full 2nd Ed.
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13. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:330]
Scott Koon
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Bought this and printed out a few play mats. I'm going to try a few more stand-alone scenarios and then go full bore on an adventure path.
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14. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Scott Koon
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Still clunking away, building decks.
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15. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:878] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
chris leko
United States
Brooksville
Florida
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So. I hate all of you.

You've forced me to buy YET ANOTHER game, though I had been eying this one for some time. I'm going to get it to the table very soon, though I need to unpack the advanced rules so I can try some of the solitaire scenarios. I might also just do some "training" missions where I assign myself one of each basic component and try to fly to various places and set up some factories. See what I can get done.

Also might try to get
Field Commander: Napoleon
Fields of Fire
and a few other select choices back to the table. It's been way too long since I've played Mage Knight Board Game (I think about a year), so that's day is coming soon... it's just such a bear to setup!
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16. Board Game: Level 7 [Omega Protocol] [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:711]
Andy Cowen
United States
Union Springs
New York
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Punched, skimmed rules and set up the first scenario. Really looking forward to playing this, I love dungeon crawlers. So far, I like the customizable options available to both sides. One thing that I noticed...the team leader(presumably an officer) has an intelligence of '2', while the rifleman(presumably a enlisted man grunt) has an intelligence of '3', message??

The art is good, evocative and thematic. The component quality is generally good, but not as good as the D&D series, Claustrophobia, Descent or Gears of War. Also, the miniatures aren't as good as those other games, which is surprising since Privateer Press makes Warmachine and Hordes, what the France?
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17. Board Game: Navajo Wars [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:1282]
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Last month was a bust for solo gaming (and for board gaming in general, thanks to a vacation and the release of the awesome console version of Diablo III). But now I have this, so November is going to be a great month for solo gaming. I've been reading up on the period and can't wait to see how well this game captures such a vast historical sweep.
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18. Board Game: Case Yellow, 1940: The German Blitzkrieg in the West [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:5015]
James Parks
United States
Newark
Delaware
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Playing the historical scenario. Actually seems like a tough go for the Germans (the victory conditions force you to do better than the Germans did in real life).

Solid hex and counter effort, lots of chrome. Not spectacularly fun but solid.
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19. Board Game: Nemo's War [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:3330]
Red Moss
United States
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Just ordered this from Victory Point Games. Really looking forward to trying it out. Reviews are almost universally positive.
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20. Board Game: Star Trek: Expeditions [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2173]
Kyle Mann
United States
Fontana
California
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Curse your sudden but inevitable action denial!
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Well, I didn't think I'd have anything to add this month, but a good trade with a fellow thrifter + a thrift store find this morning means I'll now be soloing:

Star Trek: Expeditions -- I know people complain of the mathiness and dryness, but I can't resist the theme and designer. Hope I'll enjoy it.

Moonshot the Game -- Not sure how well this solos but we shall see. Love the theme as my father has worked in aerospace on the Shuttle program and others for nearly 30 years.

The Journeys of Paul -- Love the theme and we'll see how the solo play goes. Rules seem pretty malleable.

Edit: almost forgot--

DungeonQuest (third edition) -- Have recently fallen back in love with this one after introducing it to a few people from church. I got the idea from a few of the comments and reviews to add a high score log and a "journal of deaths" to my game box, which should add to the hilarity.
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21. Board Game: Soviet Dawn [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2690]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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I have been playing a fair bit of Soviet Dawn of late and have recently started using the Soviet Dawn Expansion Kit. Quite a challenge but good fun.

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22. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game: Krang Character Expansion [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
John Hedges
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria, UNITED KINGDOM
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So I'm all set up and Krang is ready to take on Volkare.

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23. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Nate Milbrath
United States
Blaine
Minnesota
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I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. - Isaiah 45:7
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I just can't get enough of this game. It's been fun working my way through the "gauntlet" challenge of playing all the start world combinations. I'm so addicted
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24. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1311]
Phil Davies
United Kingdom
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
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Chin chin!
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As I mentioned in last month's list I have a great friend who has lent me his copy of the game. I'm planning on making this the main focus for the month and I'm hoping to try something a little different in the way of session reports. And by way of an introduction:
* * *

Date as postmark

Dear Mom

I hope this letter finds you Dad and sis well. So here I am here in London, England, though as most of the guys I talk to are American too, you could almost think we were back home (the ghastly weather here would soon remind you otherwise). Everyone here seems friendly enough, and you'll be glad to hear that the food is serviceable and I'm eating well.

Life on the base is routine so far. I've not done much else than talk about you folks back home and practice. The base itself is busy with planes taking off everyday, the guys say we'll get our first chance to take the fight to the Nazis soon. I'll be flying in one of those big B-17 planes, the guys here call them the 'flying fortress'. The one I'll be in is called the Wailin' Jennie, our radio operator, Davey Hampson, told me its called that because it best described his old lady when he told her he was coming to England. Some of the crew just laughed at this and the ballgunner 'Gonny' Williams suggested I ask Sammy Whelan the Jennie's Engineer. I've not done this though as Sammy Whelan isn't the kind of chap who takes to lots of questions.

In the short time I've been here I've spent a bit of time with each of the crew I'll be flying with and it doesn't feel right to not introduce them each to you all.

First there is the pilot of the Wailin' Jennie, Glenn 'Mac' McIlroy. He doesn't say too much and spends most of his time smoking and talking with the co-pilot. It is Mac that tells the crew to write a letter before each flight out. Some of the guys have flown with him before and say he likes things to run smoothly on his planes.

The co-pilot is Jack 'Gillie' Gillifroy. He seems to spend most of his time with Mac and once again I've not had much chance to talk to him. He seems like a decent guy all the same.

The bombardier is a guy called Benny Jackson, but everyone calls him 'whistler'. Benny is the reason we fly the Jen. He's the guy that drops the bombs on the Krauts. We just have to make sure we get him and his bombs to where HQ wants us to get to. Whistler seems to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror and always has an eye for the ladies or 'dames' as he calls them!

Teddy 'Ginger' Thompson is the navigator in the plane. He gets called Ginger because of his ginger hair. He seems a swell guy but is quite serious. I'm sure Dad would get along fine with him as he knows a lot about Europe. I heard Gonny ribbing him once when Ginger was trying to explain why we shouldn't be bombing certain sites. Ginger was talking about the history throughout Europe and how we were destroying ancient buildings. Gonny said surely the Europeans would be happy as we were getting rid of those dangerous old buildings maybe we should even send a bill of expenses after we'd finished. We all roared with laughter and even Mac joined in!

I've already mentioned Sammy Whelan, he is the Engineer in the plane. He is easily the oldest of us all as Gonny always seems to be telling him. Sammy spends a lot of his time in theJennie 'fiddling about' Gonny calls it.

Davey Hampson is the radio man (but you know this already if you've been paying attention!) Davey is friendly enough and has played cards with us gunners on a couple of times but he is also part of Mac and Gillie's group so I haven't spoken to him as much as some of the others.

My position in the plane is in the middle on the port waist gun. There isn'ta lot of space and unfortunately I share this space with 'Tiny'. He is one of the biggest people I've seen and I'm sure his nickname is another of Gonny's jokes that has stuck. Tiny seems to resent the fact that I take up valuable space in the plane, space he could be filling.

At the back of the plane is Charles Trent known more commonly as 'Tail end Charlie'. As you may expect from someone who gets to see a lot of action Tail end Charlie is a bit nervous and prefers to keep his fingers on the triggers so the others tell me.

And of course there is Gonny. Or Francis 'Franky' Williams to give him his proper name. I don't know where he got his nickname from but it always seems to rise a smile when I ask the other guys. When I first met Gonny I didn't like him:

'Weismann?' He said when I told him my name 'more like wise a___!'
Everyone laughed of course, as everyone does when Gonny is on form.
'Isn't Weismann Kraut for white?' He asked around and so I ended up with the Gonny given nickname of 'chalky'.

Despite this I've grown to like Gonny a lot. He makes us all laugh and we spend a lot of time talking when he goes into town with Benny he keeps trying to get me to come along with them to 'see the sights' and meet the dames (or should I say ladies).

Gonny is the ball gunner. Or as Gonny puts it: he's the reason why Jennie is Wailin'.

So there they are, the whole team and really a swell bunch of guys. With teams like us, Uncle Sam will have the Nazis licked in no time!

I must bring this letter to a close. Mac has told us to make ready, pens down and head to the plane, the Wailin' Jennie is flying again!

Your ever loving Son,

Petey
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25. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Matt
United States
Central Coast
California
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I beat the Mirkwood scenario handily this afternoon (after a great start last night) with the premade leadership deck; my final score was either 98 or 108, depending on whether it took me 6 or 7 rounds. Once I realized I needed to keep track of the rounds I decided to do so by adding a progress token to the player 1 token at the beginning of each round.

I put together a leadership/lore deck for Anduin, but ended up getting my hat handed to me (with a huge hole punched in the top). I got through the Troll with no damage (two sneak attack Gandalfs in successive rounds helped a lot, but I would have preferred a forest snare), but once I got on the river it just fell apart. I couldn't stop getting evil storms and necromancer's reaches, and kept losing my allies.

I finally lost Denethor and couldn't pay for Lore cards any more. Aragorn was the last to fall in round 12.

It was great. I need to tweak the deck somehow to get card draw, but I'm looking forward to the next attempt. I am also tempted to go leadership/spirit this time, and try to get some benefit from Celebrian's Stone...

Edit: 3 Nov 2013
Graaaaah! I just looked at a very handy player reference, and realized I had been playing a crucial rule wrong: I did not realize surplus willpower (in excess of an active location's quest requirement) carried through the active location to the quest itself! (I remembered reading clearly that extra willpower does NOT carry over from one quest to the next, and I guess I retrofitted it to active locations, as well. Idiot!)

This should help quite a bit, especially on the Journey down the Anduin. I got the Banks of the Anduin location card, which is VERY nice, tonight, and then realized my huge mistake and scrapped the game in favor of starting over.

Edit: 19 Nov 2013
Finally beat Anduin tonight. It was close. Too close. And it was great. I used a core-only Leadership/Lore deck, and finally got good card draws in the early game. Mid-game was rough, though, with orcs, goblin snipers, and locations piling up. Fortunately I kept pumping out allies, and Faramir made them all good questers.

The main reason I survived the endgame was a last-minute Gandalf draw that popped in right at the final quest of the second phase to 1) reduce my threat from 48 to 43, 2) defend against the largest of the five orcs in the ambush that occurred at quest card changeover, and 3) attack after being readied by Ever Vigilant. (A late-game Snare helped with the heaviest orc, too, in the round following the ambush, but fortunately I had two Daughters on the table to mitigate that first round damage.)

MVP: Denethor, for probing the encounter deck before each quest phase. (Well, Gandalf too, of course, but he always wins MVP when he decides to show up...)

Edit: Leadership != Legends
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