The Bearded - Last Game Night before BGG.Con - Nov. 9, 2013
Makis
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The Bearded came together once more to quell the excitement in our hearts as BGG.Con approaches. Gaming has become our lifeblood and we thirst for more and more as the Con draws nearer.

That being said, our wives are probably growing tired of our incessant late night meetings and this is most likely our last get together before we meet again at DFW airport for 5 days of gaming bliss.

This weekend we played a couple of new games, introduced an expansion, and played a game that is quickly becoming a bearded favorite.

Oh, and we played Rattus for some reason. snore

The Bearded who gamed this weekend were:

Serious? Lee
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Coppell
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Lost in thought.
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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 few friends of The Bearded:


greyfedora
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Paul Maletic
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& a non-BGG user: Ryan.
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1. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
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I had heard much about this game since last year's Con. For whatever reason no one in our gaming group ever played the thing outside of Sten who played with a couple of his lighter gaming friends. We'd heard the game was lite and I think that's why we avoided it.

That being said, when I realized it was a Richard Garfield creation and that it could play up to 6, I was intrigued. Then I saw it played on TableTop and the Wil Wheaton affect took hold.

I picked up the game about 30 minutes before heading to game night and we ended up playing two 5-player games and one 6-player game.

Holy smoly this game is fun. Obviously the dice rolling brings a certain amount of luck to the game, but there is a fair bit of strategy involved as well. What dice do I keep? How long should I stay in Tokyo? What cards can I get, or should I wipe the cards hoping someone else can't get that one game changer?

Richard Garfield, you've done it again my friend!

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2. Board Game: Coup: Reformation [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
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Coup has become a constant in The Bearded's list of games-to-be-played. I think we've played the game 20+ times since it was introduced. The game itself is simple to learn (minus my continued struggle with the Assassin's stupid rules) and we love introducing new people to the game.

Then we introduced the Reformation expansion to the game and all hell broke loose! Now we're on teams that can flip flop at a moment's notice. You can't attack someone on your own team, but you can challenge their play. And anyone can flip you on their turn for 2 coins which makes everything super interesting.

The expansion is a game changer and does a solid service to an already solid game. And it adds another 3 copies of each card to the deck so bluffing becomes a bit easier earlier in the game.

And here I am after not winning a single game of Coup:
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3. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
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This is a game I was particularly interested to get to the table. I demo'd the game at BGG.Con 2012 and immediately bought it with the expansion boards they had available at the time.

For me the game is a fantastic co-op where each person has a lot going on. It has the same feel as Pandemic, but I feel Pandemic can be a little one dimensional in the base game. Sometimes you just move and get rid of cubes and that's about it. In Flash Point: Fire Rescue each person can do something different enough on their turn, either through the Action Point options or their character roles. The variety of options is nice and makes for some good team strategy planning.

That being said, this game didn't go over too well with the rest of the group. I think this may stem from one reason. We don't play co-ops as much as we used to. We used to play Pandemic all the time and haven't gotten it to the table in at least a year. I think we got tired of the game play involved in co-ops. We don't ever have anyone who turns into an Alpha Dog, but some in the group see table chat and suggestions as everyone else being an Alpha Dog and that's a turn off for those players. It's a group game and there are a fair few of us who'd rather have a distinct winner.

Luckily it's a co-op and I can play the thing by myself. It's also fun and easy enough to teach that I might be able to get my wife to play it.
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4. Board Game: Mundus Novus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1459]
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This is the first time we played the game with the promo development cards. I'm not sure they added a whole lot to the game but it's really hard to measure the impact of a handful of promo cards.

We've enjoyed playing the game since the summer and find it on our table more and more. Strategies have really started to emerge and a serious understanding of the game plays has made this a game I want to play even more now.

So here's what we've found in our first 6 plays of the game. First, the rules are doodoo. We finally got clarification of the rules from the designer and now have a firm grasp on what we can do and when we can do it. Second, the game should, at the very least, last for 11 rounds. Anything more than that and you are all terrible at the game and should just stop playing altogether. Third, the game has become a race in a sense. Do you play the safe bet and try to get as many VP per turn as possible through random developments, or do you bypass that, go for ships and warehouses, and make a run at the sequential cards? Strategies are set pretty early and the game progresses from there.

In 5 of the 6 plays I've played, it was the safe bet that won. Only once have we seen someone win by the sequential cards rule. I think now that we have an understanding of the game we may see the sequential cards rule win a bit more often, though the battle for ships and warehouses can get pretty pitched during a 5 player game.

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5. Board Game: Rattus [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:768]
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And finally Rattus.

I don't hate Rattus. I really don't. I promise.

That being said, I don't ever have to play that game again. I talked with Sten about this game afterward and we discussed what it was about the game that irked us the most.

For Sten he feels that it comes down to that last turn when everyone gangs up on the leader and tries their darndest to defeat that one person. This is the same problem he has with Power Grid.

For me the game is all luck with VERY LITTLE strategy involved. I even got into a bit of an argument with one of the other players (who happens to adore the game) who tried to argue that there is ample strategy in the game. Wrong.
The tiles could easily be replaced with dice. You play an entire game trying to keep as many pieces on the board as possible only to lose everyone in a last sweeping tile flip. The person with the most cubes left on the board wins. Yippee! Listen, the game could be played in 3 minutes if you just bypassed the pointless rounds where people kind of move around the board effing with each other. Lay out your pieces where you want to on the board. Toss the tiles in the air over the board. Where they land is where they get flipped. Flip away. The person with the most cubes after that wins. The end. Next game.

Again, I repeat, I don't hate Rattus. Just don't try to sell me on the strategy of the game when there is virtually NONE! It's luck of the draw and that's that.

Rant over!
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