GCL: Eclipse: Episode #115 - New to you a year ago - Has it stood the test of time?
Kenny VenOsdel
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This week I thought I'd pose a series of quiz type questions. I will post the answers (if needed) later this week.

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Eclipse, feel free to read along with us. And if you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it—if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members.

If you are interested in becoming a regularly-contributing member, please contact:
Jason Lott
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Cheverly
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I've been planning to do this list for awhile and since we just had a list that was all about new gamesit seems very relevant!

There are monthly lists that talk both about new gamesand about new games from last year. I thought it would be neat for this episode of our GCL to look back to last year and see what was new for us then and how we feel about it now.

So look back in your played games list and try to spot whatever was new for you last November (or close around there). Share your initial impressions or expectations and how that game has or has not lived up to them. Looking back at last year can you see any serious trend shift in the way you play or view games. Was it caused by any of these new experiences?

Bonus Question: Since last November what are your most consistently played games? List A) Game played the most times and B) Game(s) played at least once a month (or closest to it) for the last year. These are likely to be the same game I realize but oh well.

(I apologize to any who already contribute to the new to you lists as this is then redundant.)

Next Up:
Jennifer Schlickbernd
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1. Board Game: Prolix [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:4643]
Kenny VenOsdel
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Saint Paul
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I purchased several copies of Prolix for cheap on a Tanga sale. It seemed a decent word game and I liked the concept of not being forced to use what's on the board. In practice we found the game much harder than it would seem and it hasn't been too enjoyable. I think I would like it as a puzzle, played liked I would a crossword, but it hasn't seen much table time. Total plays: 4, Last December '12

Scarab Lords: My wife and I really like Blue Moon (should play it more really) and I wanted to try this even though I expected it to not be as good. We just wanted to mix things up plus it was really cheap. It was okay but we just found the system lacking. There seemed to be a big imbalance in the cards and it just wasn't too much fun. There really is no reason to play this over Blue Moon or even many Decktet games. Total plays: 4, Last November '12 (sold)

Reverse Charades: I enjoy party games and have a large family as well as a large small group that are not really even casual gamers. This game seemed a good fit for both groups, just silly fun. I've really enjoyed playing it and we have a good time whenever it comes out. We've even played with only 4 people, just rotate the guesser and don't worry about keeping score. If you don't mind being goofy or jumping on the floor now and then I suggest checking it out. We may not have played it tons but we have tons of fun when we do. Total plays: 7, Last August '13
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2. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:588]
Kenny VenOsdel
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Adaman was my top with 267 but with the app it doesn't really count. The real winner is Cribbage with a total play count of 53 since last November. Not bad!

As for consitency Cribbage was also played every month except this September which happens to be the month I started grad school so no surprises there. Sadly no other games were played very consistently by me despite my attempts to focus my playing on games I own.
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3. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:176]
Jason Lott
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Cheverly
Maryland
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I do participate in that other list, so I'll just copy and paste over my item here, and am then open to discussion!

*******************

My selections last year were all at least OK.

Still want to play all the time goes to Seasons. Sadly we've only played it a couple times since, but that' just because the learning curve is a bit steep so I haven't brought it out all that often with friends. I've thought about getting the expansion, but only if I can get this to the table more.

Want to play again, but just haven't goes to Bezzerwizzer. It made for a perfectly fine party game at our Thanksgiving celebration last year. Maybe I need to break it out again in a couple weeks?

They were OK, but I've had better goes to Egizia and Torres. I'd tried both on Yucata a number of times, but neither of them really jived with me. I'd still really like to at least try the latter face-to-face.
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4. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:11]
EGG Head
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Still seeing fairly regular play which is unusual for us as a big and longish game.

Other winners:Seasons, Sail to India, Patronize, Edo, Love Letter, Keyflower

There are others I enjoyed quite a bit but see less play
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5. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:608]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
FORT COLLINS
CO
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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A year ago I was preparing to go to my first con ever - BGG.Con. I had subscribed to a number of Essen lists, had researched new games, and was excited to have the opportunity to try them out in Dallas.

My number 1 game of interest, and my 'Must Buy' at the con was CO₂. Although I didn't actually play it at the con, I did bring home my coveted copy, and played it shortly after. A year later it remains a hot title, although I'd say I'm overdue for a play of it. I still love all the moving pieces of this game, as well as its theme and its artwork.

Flavor note: after I cut off my BGG.Con wristband, I put it in the game box, to commemorate the event and the buy.
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6. Board Game: 1969 [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:4335]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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This was another game I was keen on, going into the con. I did get to play it there, although could not purchase a copy, which I wound up pre-ordering afterwards. This game is still attractive to me, in part because it's easily teachable and accessible. Also, as an 'Apollo Child' the theme is very nostalgic for me.
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7. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:314]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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Hanabi was also hot a year ago. My wife loves this game, although I think she's overly generous with her table talk! Last time we played this was camping on the fourth of July.
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8. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:410] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
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Albuquerque
New Mexico
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It was in November of 2012 that I got my copy of Trains (the 1st edition from Japan). I am still very happy with this game. I've not been a deck-building fan. I barely tried Dominion and Thunderstone. I didn't dislike them, I just never got motivated to really hop in. With Trains, I finally made the plunge into deckbuilding.

For me the major two motivating factors were, and remain:

1. I am enticed by railroading themes.
2. I like the addition of the board, finding this adds a focal point to the proceedings.

I have slowed down on my plays of this game. But I would happily play it anytime it is requested, and I plan on requesting it again soon.


Other games I tried roughly a year ago included:

Kingdom Builder - nice enough. I've played it a few times since.

Greed Inc. - Not really for me, but a well designed game. I've never played it again.

Megacorps - I recall I liked it more than I expected. But I've never seen it since.

Divided Republic - Once was enough.

Fury of Dracula - I liked it a fair bit. I would be happy to play more of it.



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9. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:964]
Rick Goudeau
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Moody
Alabama
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As I am rather erratic in recording plays, it is hard to tell. These were some from end of last year. I've not replayed any of these.

Innovation Enjoyed this civilization building card game. At first glance it seem a lot more chaotic than I think it is. There is a good tension between using your cards to cash in on the current situation our build your infrastructure for the long game. I like how some cards are strong early and fade during the rounds, while others gain power. Also that you have a lot of different options to follow. It is a lot to absorb. I'll have to see if I can get back to the table.

Factory Fun Forget where I picked this one. Played last year with my family. I found it to be a nice puzzle pipe building game. I found the spoons style tile grab at the beginning of a round seems to be at odds at the more cerebral puzzle of how to place the machine minimizing future restrictions. Probably could use a timer during the placement phase ala its successor - Galaxy Trucker. Fortunately there are several ways to handle the initial selection - auction, draft etc, I may experiment with a few as part of play.
It will be hard to get back on the table since my wife and daughter-in-law were not impressed.

The Resistance I found it better than werewolf - at least you have something to deduce during the game. The group had a good time. As for me I'm glad others enjoyed it. However, it is not my style of game

Zombies!!! Yep it is a dice fest. you roll to try to get to the escape point and and to keep from turning into Zombie fodder. More than a bit repetitious. Like a bad B movie don't have any desire to revisit.

Interestingly most are a few years old, when I finally got around to them. I find myself looking at games a few years old rather than the just published.
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:324] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Rick Goudeau
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Moody
Alabama
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My wife and I get together with a good friend for a weekly game night. They both prefer to play a familiar game than something new. To get some new games in the rotation, I find myself introducing one with similar mechanics, but with a twist.
Mostly we've been playing
Various flavors of Ticket to Ride including Ticket to Ride: Europe, Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland, Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa

Catan My friends favorite game without a doubt.

Metro for some tile laying
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11. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:44]
Dave Kudzma
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Millsboro
Delaware
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NOVEMBER

Terra Mystica - Our plays of Terra have suffered a bit as of late mainly due to some new blood in the club. I need to change that soon as our enthusiasm hasn't dwindled.

Puzzle Strike Shadows - It's a deck builder in the sea of them I have. I think I've played it a few times and want to play it again. At least the desire is still there.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 3 of us played, and instantly dislike, this one. Never again.

Briefcase - I think this would have seen more play if I wasn't the only person who really liked it in my group. I think it also suffers from being too similar to other, better, games of this type. A few plays then nothing.

Winds of Plunder - Choices? Arbitrary. Never again.

Meridian - While it's a nice, light, solid game, but not nice enough to draw us back.

Go West! - 1 forgettable mechanic. Never again.

Long Shot - We've tried a few betting/horseracing games over the year and none of them have really grabbed us. This one didn't either.

Godzilla: Kaiju World Wars - What a TERRIBLE game. You'd never know it at first glance, and given the designer's pedigree.

Ostia - Another single, though this time less than clever, mechanic that a game was built upon. Never again.

Quo Vadis? - While we haven't played this in a while I do think it's a keeper. We need to play with the variants, I believe, to make it really shine.

Quarriors! Quest of the Qladiator - I think that Quarriors will see play, but the system is a bit fragile, like the original Thunderstone; it requires some intentional manipulation in the setup in terms of costs and variety or the game becomes a real slog. We gave it a rest and hopefully we'll return.





THE REST OF THE PAST YEAR


Android: Netrunner - I've played nearly 100 times since its release last August, participated in the Plugged In Tour put on by FF, and started a league at my FLGS. 'Nuff Said.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - Given that we played Wings of War: Famous Aces so many times I had no doubt this would be a game we followed and played regularly; and so we have.

Mage Wars Arena - My personal interest is far higher than the rest of our group (I think mainly because of my extensive knowledge that has lead to an undefeated streak ), but they still request to play, and I will never turn it down.

Battle Beyond Space - This has seen a monthly play since we purchased it, so that 's not too shabby.

Wiz-War (eighth edition) - While not frequent, the plays have still been there. No one ever turns it down when I suggest it, so that has to mean something, right?

Smash Up - This one is another that sees a couple of plays each month. It's a nice shortish filler.

Star Wars: The Card Game - I've played all of my LCGs in the last year, including this one. While I've been primarily focused on playing Netrunner I still deckbuild for all of them as I get expansions.

D-Day Dice - This game is simply too easy. It's fun, and sometimes things get a bit tight during play but once you hit a certain tipping point you know you will win. Sad really.

Clash of Cultures - I think this one is destined for the trade pile. It just doesn't hit the right notes as a civ game. I actually like Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game far better.

Keyflower - No plays since our first few. This is something we definitely need to correct.

Lords of Waterdeep - Unplayed after our first 3. This game is completely average.

Myrmes - Our first two plays were great but it's been the better part of a year since then. I'm totally uncertain why it hasn't hit the table.

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12. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:46]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Let's see...

The item I chose for the list last year was Keyflower - but it faded quickly for me; I got rid of my copy a few months later. Ginkgopolis was #2, and held up better; I own a copy and am happy to play it, but it didn't get any better for me. Which makes the big winner for me Snowdonia, which did get better for me, and which I do expect to continue playing. For a long while, it was my favorite 2012 release; I believe Machi Koro has now passed it. I've not played any of the other 20 again; the one I'd be most willing to play again is Feudality. There hasn't really been any change in what I'm looking for in games; it just happens that the 2013 crop has caught my interest _FAR_ more than the 2012 crop.

My most consistently played game is always Bridge; this should come as no surprise.

Other games I've played every month - without verifying, but if I missed it's been close - are Mü & More and 1846: The Race for the Midwest. It's _possible_ I've played King of Tokyo and/or For Sale every month, but it's less likely, and I've certainly not aimed for that.
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13. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:19]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Highlights of games played 11/12-11/18:

...and various ramblings...

So - there are five measures I use to look at the question of how good a year is:

* My average rating for games released that year.

* The number of games I rate a 9 or 10 from that year.

* The number of games I own from that year (remembering that, for me, not owning a game is an indication that I don't care for it).

* The percentage of games I've played from that year which I own.

* The total happiness I've received from games from that year.

This mix is intentional; the last of these necessarily works against recent years, which offsets items such as number owned and percentage owned which tend to peak early.

2013 is currently the 7th best year of games for me, 1991-present. It's 2nd in average rating, 17th in games I rate a 9 or 10, 1st in games owned, 3rd in percentage of games played owned, and 22nd in total happiness. (As an aside, managing anything better than _last_ in happiness is a big accomplishment during that year; I've already received more happiness from 2013 releases than from 2012 or 1994 releases. And counting...)

Overall, that places 2013 7th for me. The last five years, at present, are 22nd, 20th, 23rd, 19th, and 21st. (1994 is 24th, in case you're curious.) But - that's likely to go _up_.

One of the big reasons for this is that there could be multiple games I rate a 9 or higher for the first time since 2009 (and more than two for the first time since 2004). Russian Railroads (Joe=8) is already there. And Concordia (Joe=3), which I played for the first time at Lobster Trap, has an excellent chance to make it there as well. It's a really good sign when you really like a game, save for one annoyance - only to discover that you've forgotten a rule, which perfectly eliminates the annoyance.

Glass Road (Joe=6) also has a chance to get to a 9 rating for me; I'm continuing to _really_ enjoy the game, and particularly the pace of the game. And others may well reach that point...

Getting back to other games played (_not_ a complete list, as I played 51 games this past week):

Pasha (Joe=2): Not my favorite dice game; competent but not inspiring. Gone.

Arche Noah (Joe=2): Much as with 23 (Joe=2), it's a game I'm happy to play, but I don't need to own it.

Wilde Meuterei (Joe=1): Cute memory game, but I prefer a memory element to a game rather than a focused memory game.

Bremerhaven (Joe=1/6): Abandoned, as it was clearly not for us.

Madeira (Joe=1): Decent game, but I ran out of interesting things to do mid-game. My own fault, but still - I don't feel compelled to play again.

Machi Koro (Joe=6): I can imagine this getting to a 9 too, actually.

Kohle & Kolonie (Joe=3): Holding up well for me so far; I don't think this will ever be a game I play a huge number of times, but I'll enjoy it when I do play it.

Ka-Boom (Joe=2): Very cute & fun die catapulting game.

Twin Tin Bots (Joe=3): You know, this is _another_ game that could get to a 9 for me. My third play was more enjoyable than my second, which is always a good sign.

Coal Baron (Joe=1): I'll be buying this. (Which, to be honest, is what I expected.)

Strajk! Skok do wolności (Joe=2): A very interesting occasional game. Not best with five.

Actually, this game is a wonderful example of how I look for games. This year, I was paying very close attention to the Spiel preview, as you might expect. Prosperity, to pick out a game which I mostly ignored, garnered 100 thumbs on the preview. Caverna had even more, and the Tzolk'in and Suburbia expansions had still more. Strajk had 9. But - I ordered Strajk as soon as I read about it; I haven't played (and don't particularly expect to ever play) any of the others.

Café Melange (Joe=3): This game uses some of the same mechanism Stephan Riedel pioneered with Old Town (Joe=18), but in a different manner and with a very nice theme.

Steam Park (Joe=2): This worked much better with the basic rules variant. Without them, it's a bad mix of mechanisms - speed dice rolling with long downtime as folks take their turns. Without, the game is the right length for the chaos.

Sanssouci (Joe=1): Very pleasant game - but not one I think I need to own. Might grow on me if I play it more, but I don't think that will happen (the playing it more piece).

Zahlen-Mobile (Joe=4): Speed dice rolling game, of the more traditional puzzle variety. Quick, clever, and a clear winner. And one of five games that I seem to be the only Opiniated Gamers writers to have played.

Loreley (Joe=3): Very clever little Parchisi-like game from Rudi Hoffman.

Nauticus (Joe=3): I'm continuing to enjoy this, but I'm beginning to think I might enjoy it more with 3 than 4.

Lewis & Clark (Joe=1): A very good first impression; I'll buy one. I really like how well the history is integrated into the game.

Gear & Piston (Joe=3): I fear that once again, a game about the early automobile industry fails to stick for me. The problem here is that I just don't think the game holds up to repeated play; I've enjoyed all three games I've played, but now I'm done with it.
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14. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:71]
Dave Kudzma
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Millsboro
Delaware
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Purchases:

Spyrium
Bruges
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Nightmare Deck: Passage Through Mirkwood
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Stone of Erech
Pirate Dice

The above list might look incredibly familiar (save Stone of Erech). That's because after 6 weeks of waiting I had to file a dispute with Paypal over my B&B order, which by the way, was never even responded to. CSI gets my business now I suppose

Expansions:

For Seasons, Elder Sign, Mage Knight (Krang), Village, and Kingdom Builder (Crossroads)


Also, I got these awesome tokens for Netrunner:



I was at Euroquest for a day and a half this weekend and here's what I managed to play:

Rococo - I had heard some mixed feelings about this game, and to be honest everything I had read negatively seems quite accurate. What we have here is one in a few attempts this year to create a hand-building game that is nearly a deck builder; the other two being Concordia and Lewis & Clark. I'd have tried to play the latter first but there was never a copy of either available, and they've both gotten fairly good feedback, especially L&C (though not from the person who taught us Rococo).

In the game you're all dress makers. Everyone has the same starting deck of a with 3 tiers/suits of cards. You get to choose 3 of your cards from your deck and the rest go back to your stack. On your turn you play a card. You either get goods, make dresses, or upgrade your stack. Some cards have secondary powers, which are used after you choose your primary action. Some actions are restricted as to which suit you can use, such as the master is the only one who can upgrade or make certain dresses. Essentially the apprentice can only fetch you goods. The Journey man enjoys the middle road and can do most things. The secondary powers range in income and vp bonuses based on board state to deck thinning; sometimes their secondary action is just another set primary action. When you upgrade your deck those cards go to your hand, so you get to use them in the same round. After everyone has passed you discard what you used or gained, then you choose 3 new cards from the leftovers for the next round. One crucial point that was left out until late in the game is that if your stack is exhausted then you get to choose from all the cards you own for the next round. It made sense however I've played other games, such as Spectral Rails that essentially cycle your deck piecemeal and never allow you to have access to your entire deck after the game begins.

One of the things this game has going against it is that it's LONG; not just that it's long, but that there are so few actions and actual decisions to make that it has no right being drug out for such a lengthy play time. The second issue with the game is the dress/suit row. You've got your classic "more expensive the further left into the display" mechanic, however this only refills between rounds, and what's worse you telegraph what you're after and it's VERY easy for someone else to intentionally (or not) to take the dress or suit you worked 1-2 rounds to pick up. Pair this with the varied combinations of cloth you need coupled with the random refill of said display, and you have all the makings of frustration.

My first point about play time and variety of actions is the most cruicial, however. You're honestly only either:

- Buying cloth
- Making a Dress/Suit
- Buying new cards for your deck

There are other minor actions, that while important to your score, seem fairly trivial in the grand scheme of what I'd call having fun. I'm assuming that the designers made the game longer to try and balance out some of the luck in the game however I think they failed to see that the fun runs out several rounds before the game ends.

Bruxelles 1893 - I tried REALLY hard to like this game. There are simply too many elements that change between player turns to allow intelligent play. Our game was with 5 and while others found the game quite good, and 2 of those had played previously with fewer, I thought the game was still far too cutthroat and the mechanics too loose.

The main action happens on the right hand side of the play area. It's essentially a grid of actions. You pay a worker and a buck to an unoccupied action space and perform the action. You can pay more and 1 because at the bottom of each column is a bonus tile and at the end of the round, these are awarded to the highest bidder. There are primary and secondary uses. If there is a tie for highest each player gets only the primary. There's a trick to this grid each round a tile is drawn that determines which 2 sets of coordinates a marker will go on. The start player chooses one of these and the grid is divided into 4 areas, the largest of which will be the active area for the round. This entire part of the game I actually liked, though with 5 the active area really couldn't move that much, so the available actions hardly varied in frequency.

To the left are more action spaces, though the person(s) having the most workers among them at the end of the round lose a worker. They're moderately hard to get back, so it is a decision to make carefully.

The actions:

- Art - You get a random piece of art that will be one of 5 colors. Random art sucks

- Sell Art - Here's why it sucks: There are two boxes above the valuation chart for the art. You cannot sell a color of art that is already present on one of these two spaces. If you can sell, you place it on one of the two spaces, normally changing what can be sold. The problem is, what if 3 of the 5 players have only those two colors of art and the other two never sell? I was part of the latter set of players, and it still seemed awful to me. There's also this odd mechanic that changes the value of the art in terms of coin and vp earnings, but while clever I find it somewhat weak.

- Personalities - There is a row of people cards. They have an ability. You can use it as a one shot when you buy them or you can keep them paying some gold at games end else suffer a penalty. Some of the people just aren't worth it to me, and some really seem too good. This was an area often ignored, clogging up the rest of the action spaces further. For the last half of the game these were spaces players actively avoided, which is a bad sign in my book.

- Resources - Get 2 resources

- Building - You have a chart of 6 buildings. Each two costs 2 resources each, then 3, then 4. Here's another issue I have with this game, and it's two-fold. the first issue is that every building requires resources based on this wacky clock mechanism. It seems brilliant at first, that is, until everyone starts building frequently. The one of the clock's hands advances after each build which changes the required resources WILDLY and unpredictably. This is where the game really started to lose me. When you build a you place said structure on any action space. If someone later uses that space you get a perk. The other problem I have is that there's no reason not to place them on the building action spaces first. They earn you VPs equal to the number of buildings you have built. Early adopters have a crazy advantage and no surprise that the person who won used this strategy. I was told in their previous game that the person who did the same did not win but was still in contention. It's not that the strategy is good, it is that the strategy is one that shapes the game to itself and forces others to stymie anyone who'd try and take advantage.

I could go on and on, but needless to say that everyone else enjoyed the game much more than I did. Sadly this was one of my games I was really looking forward to.

Russian Railroads - RR is finally the game that didn't let me down.

Every round players take turns placing one or more of their workers and/or rubles to take actions. The actions either:

- Advance one of your tracks. The top most track will unlock new types of rail tokens. The basic token, the black rail, isn't work anything unless you advance it along track 3. Unlocking few rail types and advancing them is one of the ways you get points. Each rail type you unlock is more valuable than the last. The trick here is that you cannot advance each token past the one that came before it, so you'll have to advance the black to advance the grey, to advance the brown, etc.

Track two will eventually grant double points to all scoring on it if you advance your grey far enough. You can also get a bonus for getting the black to the end. Track 3, in addition to allowing the black to score some points, also had a bonus space you can unlock for big points; that is if you get the grey there. You can also get permanent bonus workers and bonus tokens (which are quite powerful) by advancing certain track types far enough.

- Build trains and factories. Its not just about advancing track but also increasing the value of your trains next to your tracks. In order to score, and in many cases activate bonus spaces, the value of your train must be high enough to "reach" that space. For example, a 5 train means only the first 5 spaces score or could have bonuses activated. Buying new trains allows you to shuffle around the ones you have, so it's simply another task.

Factories are on the back side of the trains. Because you can only keep 4 trains at a time you'll be forced to discard old ones face down and they become available factories. In this way the lower numbered trains never come back into play and only increasingly larger ones are available. You can also choose a train and turn it over into a factory when you add it to your board. At the bottom of your board there is a production track. There is a saw toothed cutout that creates gaps which must be filled with factories. As you advance your token you'll score more points for that track each round. In addition when you advance onto a factory it gives you one of a variety of bonuses.

- Gain an engineer. There are two spaces that are extra actions anyone can take, which are engineers. These serve as a bit of a futures market as at the end of each round one rotates into a space where you can purchase it the next round. It then becomes a personal, private action. There is also a sizable bonus for majority of engineers at end game. They also serve as the games timer as only so many are available during the course of the game based on the number of players.

- Turn order. READ: CRUCIAL. If you don't manage your turn order you fail. There are action spaces under the top two spots of the turn order track. At the end of the round not only do those players bump everyone else back in order, they also get to place the workers they used, so the action is a double dip of goodness.

I really liked the game. I had read about some so-called dominant strategies before our play, however I saw all of these in action and not one of them seemed any better than the others; some things just pay off bigger, later.

The short list of my other plays:

King of Tokyo: Halloween - I like the new costumes and monsters; the latter really have some over the top powers. This set also comes with special orange dice which are simply for aesthetic purposes. I have an older edition of the game, so it's nice to finally have etched dice.

Carcassonne - The copy we played had the tiles for Inns and Cathedrals (minus cathedrals) and Traders and Builders. It had the big meeple but no builder, pig, or goods. So the big meeple became the scoring token and we played essentially vanilla Carc. Strange set.

Plunder - I saw this being given away on BGG. I'm not sure I'd be able to give it away. It's the blandest deduction game ever. I'm not sure why you'd want to out simplify Sleuth. BLECH.

UnNatural Selection - gulp

Android: Netrunner x3

Clubs - I liked it. It's simple, fast, fun, and can do 6.

EDIT:

I had overlooked:

The Palaces of Carrara - a shortish Kramer that feels very Kramer. It really didn't grab me.
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15. Board Game: Oh Quay [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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From the 10th to the 16th

8
Adaman

Jacynth
Oh Quay
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 - India & Switzerland

I didn't get to play much last week, this week is even worse so far. Jacynth and Oh Quay were special though. I played them at a bar with a friend while we waited for a show to start. It was 2 guys doing nerd based acoustic music (Paul and Storm) followed by an hour and half talk by Patrick Rothfuss author of The Name of the Wind which is a phenomenal fantasy novel and the first of 3 in the series. It is Pat's first published work and you can tell he's new to the scene. He was quite anxious while talking but he did a good job, was entertaining, and generally seemed to enjoy himself. It was my first time getting to meet an author I really enjoyed so I was very happy.
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16. Board Game: Boxcars [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:6206]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Our FLGS just got in a reprint of this game, and it sounds like a predecessor to many of today's train games. Anyone familiar with it? Just wondering if it would be a good way to ease into the genre.
 
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17. Board Game: Picture Link [Average Rating:5.68 Unranked]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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Games Played (11/10 - 11/16)

Picture Link x8
I found a local game store in Little Rock that was having a bit of a sale to clear out some room for holiday merchandise. I bought a few games, some I should have known better. But they had this neat little bingo game that my daughter really loved. As you can see, we played it a lot.

Each player has a unique board (seen above) and you call out a picture. You're trying to connect two opposite sides of the board with a connected path from pictures you've marked. The thing I love about this game is that the pictures are quirky and fun, and that you can surreptitiously look and see what pictures will help your daughter win without anyone really suspecting it.

Sumo Ham Slam x4
Another fantastically fun game when played either by adults, or by a father and his two children. We played a few times. My daughter had a bit of a challenge with the magnet and stick, but still seemed to have a lot of fun with it.

1849: The Game of Sicilian Railways x1
This was a new-to-me 18xx title, and one that I had been wanting to try for quite a while. Also, it really made a strong good impression on me despite the fact that we goofed a couple crucial rules. This is a game that JC Clearclaw has described as having "a hovering sense of dread oppression". That comment alone pretty much let me know I'd love it. And I do.

The companies limp along. Building track is expensive. And then there is an earthquake half-way through the game.

A la carte x1
This is my daughter's favorite game. I gave her a copy for her birthday or Christmas a couple years ago. She requests it whenever I visit (and I've got my own copy). I think the thing that really grabbed her was the pancake flip. OK, that's what grabbed me, too.

Crokinole x1
I'm pretty sure this play logged was the first play on Kevin's new board. And I believe I haven't seen him lose on that board yet, either. It was a pleasure to get to see so many of his friends chip in, and to see the idea turn out so well.

New Amsterdam x1
My first playing of a game I knew little about. Well, it really impressed me and as you'll see more playings followed. I think the action auction is extremely clever, and have seen it played increasingly shrewdly as our local group has become more experienced with this game. I've also seen a nice variety of strategies succeed. Great game, and one of the best new games I've played in several months.

Smash Up
Purchased at the above mentioned clearance sale. I've played only once so far, in a 2p affair. And that was pretty dull and disappointing. I'd like to play more and see if there's some life there. It has a better reputation than what I experienced.
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18. Board Game: Libertalia [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:339]
Rick Goudeau
United States
Moody
Alabama
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Libertalia - All right mateys, who can manage the role powers and selection to best collect loot. Since the all have the same roles - it is a timing game, I do like how not all cards are played so by the end their is good mix of what hasn't been played. A lot of roles are "take that" but it is a pirate game, so what would you expect.

Puerto Rico Dusted off at the last game night. I always seemed to be behind the curve in this session, I was definitely rusty. I think I came in next to last or was it last?

Small World Used just the just the base game, I came in last, was thumped. I guess the Heroic Ghouls was not a good choice.

Acquire Won by 3k was able to keep just diversified enough to get some money to keep purchasing, didn't get many of the the first bonuses but got a lot of seconds.

Shadows over Camelot Managed to pull out a victory even though the grail challenge failed early. However, we did get Lancelot's armor, Excalibur and won a couple of wars to get enough white swords.

Munchkin I wanted to remind myself how much I dislike it. Got almost no monsters so I was at level 4 when everyone else was at 8 or 9, and yes I'm reminded why I rated so low.

Tammany Hall - New to me - sucker for the theme and I always liked area control. I liked its use of double area control - win precinct for the election and dominate immigrant groups. I found the blind bidding of influence worked in this context. It is an unforgiving game, and if end up being a target (like I was in the last turn) you can get easily wiped out.
PS I liked the old style map.

7 Wonders - Played to end up a game night. Didn't do that well this time. At the other end of the table the fellow collecting green got way too many fed to him, and won going away. I just was bumping along at the bottom, while I had money our end of the table was short on resources.


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