The Bearded - Epic gaming weekend in preparation for BGG.Con - Nov. 1-3 2013
Makis
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As we get closer and closer to the start of BGG.Con (16 days at the creation of this Geeklist) we've gotten more and more excited about the upcoming gaming event. We've been getting together periodically to game when we could manage and this weekend, although it was only suppose to be one relatively short evening of fun, turned into 3 days of gaming for my brother and me. After all was said and done I think I managed to game for nearly 18 hours. This included 3 games I'd never played and 1 game I had last played 20 years ago.

Friday night: Somehow it ended up being my brother, my dad, and me gaming from about 10pm-5am. It started off as an innocent couple of games but turned into an all-out nostalgia night.
Saturday night: We met at Lee's and played from about 6pm-4am. A bunch of fun was had.
Sunday afternoon: My brother and I managed to get a game of Magic the Gathering in, so I'm counting it!

The Bearded are:

Serious? Lee
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Lost in thought.
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Mike Walker
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let's keep the Geek a happy place!!
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Sten
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Red Oak
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Fly you fools!
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Makis
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We were joined Saturday evening
by a friend of The Bearded:


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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
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Once again one of the newest and, most assuredly, the smallest game in my collection made it to the table. Lee was busy tending to his kids, getting them fed and whatnot, so we decided to teach the game to Stephen (greyfedora). Beginner's luck I guess because he ended up squeaking out a win with Sten hot on his tail.

We also introduced the game to our dad who really enjoyed it. I may have to buy him a copy for Christmas. I think he would enjoy getting it to the table with the family on occasion.
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2. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:15008]
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This is a game we played throughout our youth. It was easier to play than Monopoly and a whole lot more fun. We lost our copy for whatever reason about a decade ago. A couple of years ago my brother and I went in together, dropped $100, and found a complete copy on eBay for our dad at Christmas.

We've played it a couple of times since then, but Friday night it was just the three of us and we busted out some nostalgia games.

When we opened the box I realized how dated the game was. It looked like the color palette from Saved By The Bell blew up all over the game board. But this didn't stop us from jumping right in. Sten ended up knocking me out fairly late in the game due to his insanely lucky rolls that gave him all of The Boomerang in short order. After that he got all of my properties and that was that. Dad had a shot at the end, but a few unfortunate rolls cost him the game as well.

Uproarious screams and laughter commenced throughout this game. It will most likely make another appearance Christmas Day as we continue the tradition of gaming throughout the day after presents.
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3. Board Game: Frontier-6 [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:11309]
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Another game from our night of nostalgia. I remember not enjoying this game very much. Possibly because I didn't get it, or perhaps because the rules didn't make any sense to a younger mind. However, after our recent play through, I completely changed my mind and rating of this game.

What a fun roll-and-grab game. The fact that you can completely F*&K with somebody's plan by literally robbing them of their cattle is awesome! My first move of the game I bought a cattle ranch, placed the max cattle on the ranch and went on my merry way. The very next roll my dad rolls a perfect number to land on my ranch, then proceeds to race across the badlands to Mexico as I was in hot pursuit. There went $4000 down the tubes almost instantly.

It took me a few more turns but I eventually got back in the game with a rocket shot across the badlands, $2500 in stolen money in my pocket, as Sten tried in vain to chase me down. I think I rolled 3 straight 6's to get to Mexico.

What a fun game! This one will also be out at Christmas for a rematch!
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4. Board Game: Screaming Eagles [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:6866]
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The third in the line of nostalgia games from Friday night.

We have probably played this game 50 times since we bought it back in the 1980's. I have probably come closer to pissing my pants during one of these games than any other game ever. And not from tension or suspense. It usually stems from me laughing so hard my bladder takes a beating. And I usually have to use my inhaler as well after one of these games.

Sten ended up absolutely hammering dad and me. I had a couple of solid hits on Sten's jets but not before some very ill advised maneuver decisions and very bad rolls.

In all, this is a game that will most likely never die for our family. We will continue playing this until it falls apart. And the good news is, you can usually find a copy on the BGG Marketplace for like $5!
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5. Board Game: Fireball Island [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2370]
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And the last game during a night of nostalgia was inspired by the recent Board With Life Halloween episode. By the way, hilarious video if you haven't seen it!

Fireball Island has been a family favorite since the first time we pulled it out of the box 25+ years ago. We bought the game new when it first came out and I don't think a year has gone by where we haven't played it.

This night we had probably the most cut throat game ever and with a misfired boulder my brother was able to pull out a win. And no, you can't buy this from me, so don't ask.
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6. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:426] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
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I recently purchased this game on the BGG Marketplace. The guy wanted way too much money for what he had and I was able to talk him down to a number I was comfortable paying. I still think I paid too much, but I really wanted the game.

Sten and I played a practice 2-Player game Saturday afternoon while watching college football. After the game I was pretty happy with my decision to buy the game.

Later that night we had our game night with The Bearded and I was able to play a full 4-Player game with everyone minus Sten. He was still headed back from the TCU Game. Since all of us had played 7 Wonders, the game was simple to pick up and learn. Lee ended up squeaking out a win with me in a close 2nd place.

I really like 7 Wonders and when I found out this game was similar with a sci-fi theme, I was all in. I love the aspect of building a space station with your cards. The placement of certain cards in the station and what that possibly meant later was really interesting to me. The game did not disappoint, though I think the verdict was still out for the others. While I don't think anyone hated the game I don't think they liked it as much as I did. I'm sure none of them would be against playing it again when I bring it to the table.
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7. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica: East Expansion [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
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Hansa Teutonica has always looked like it would bore me to death. However, I've always wanted to try it at least once before passing judgement. I'm glad I did. That game is a pure Euro through and through and I would gladly play it any time.

We played the East Expansion map, which from what I understand, fixed some of the issues with the first map. Once I got a handle on what I needed to do the game flowed nicely.

I have to say that while the theme is virtually non-existent and as dry as an over-cooked steak, the game is phenomenal and one I plan on playing any chance I get.
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8. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:372]
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We hammered out 6 games of Coup: City States. Most likely this was in honor of the fact that Lee got his hands on the upcoming Reformation expansion. Of course, this game hits the table pretty much every time we get together with 3 or more players.

I'm still very impressed by this game. I love the bluffing aspect, though it becomes pretty clear who is okay with lying and who really has a hard time with it. And man the assassin and the rules for that card really screw me up sometimes. Do I challenge? If I challenge what happens? Oh I lose both of my cards. Well I don't want to do that. Instead, I have the Contessa. Oh now you're challenging me on that? Well I don't have the Contessa so you got me. Oh crap. I lose both of my cards that way as well? DAMNIT!!!
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9. Board Game: Key to the Kingdom [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:15077]
 
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This is one of those games that has been on my shelf for about 23 years. It also happens to be one of the roll and move games that others tend to see as a "Holy Grail" game, evidenced by the fact that there are currently two copies in the Marketplace priced $75 and up.

This game can really drag after a while. And while the roll and move, avoid traps and the demon lord, and gather treasure can be fun, it just tends to take way too long. We didn't finish the game because of this reason.

That being said, I'm glad we got it to the table. A fun game with a cool component in the board flipping periodically and the race to avoid being smashed.
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10. Board Game: Mundus Novus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1459]
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The more I've played this game the more I've enjoyed it. Once you get the handle on the game it can really run quickly, even with 5 players. The resource hand manipulation, trade, and the augmentation cards you can purchase instead of VP make for a really nice game.

I ended up destroying everyone else in this game. I was able to work my cards to where I was getting 14 VP every turn. The last hand I was able to save up to 4 Incan Idol cards which gave me 18 VP. That coupled with my 14 VP per round gave me the 75+ VP requirement to trigger end game.

Game, Set, Match! MAKIS WINS!
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11. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:588]
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Unlike Mundus Novus, I've started to find that the more and more I play a Feld game, the less I enjoy a Feld game.

I like Speicherstadt enough to play it when it comes to the table. And it was a lot more interesting with a full compliment of players. But its not a game I would say that I have to have.

That being said, if I EVER win this game, it will be from pure luck. I am awful at this game. I thought I was doing well only to find that I ended the game with 5 total VP.
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12. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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All told I think I played 6 different games of Magic throughout the weekend. I've really grown to enjoy this game. I've also come to realize that I can build competitive decks without dishing out major money. By competitive I of course mean, with my friends.

We've been playing for the past year and I've currently built about 12 decks. I'm at 8 decks right now and I've taken apart and rebuilt about 6 decks. Of all of those decks I would say there are a solid 2 that I will most likely never take apart.

This has quickly become a staple in The Bearded's game nights. This one will continue to be played for a long, long time!
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