What Did You Play This Weekend? 12/16/2013
Brandon Kempf
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Jefferson City
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Greetings fellow geeks! The weekend is now over, and as we toil at our assorted labors, we should recount our past weekend gaming exploits.

So, all you weekend gamers, bring your mini-session reports and stories of weekend gaming greatness, as you pop in here to answer the question:
What did you play this weekend?

The forum version can be found here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14273605#14273605

Check out the subscription thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4115320

Subscribe so you don't miss a single moment of the fun!

Don't forget to check out the VideoGameGeek Geeklist for all your videogaming
action from the weekend!

http://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/166734/16-december-2013-wh...
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1. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:315]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Was a quiet gaming weekend, even while participating in the 2013 Advent of Christmas Gaming Challenge.

On Friday my wife and I got in another two player game of Ginkgopolis, not sure if she likes it as much as I do, but it was her suggestion to play this evening. I started out quick amassing success points and creating a couple nice size territories that just kept expanding. By the end of the game, most of the red tiles were attached in one territory for a nice bonus, which I won by one resource. That allowed me to run away with the scoring 89-65.

Never fear though, on Saturday evening my wife got her revenge against me in a game of Firenze. My daughter joined in the fun as well. This is only our 2nd face to face game of Firenze but it seems to be clicking with a certain member of our family. My daughter started out quick and grabbed the first two bonus levels, but my wife wasn't letting anyone else grab the last two and picked them up herself. My daughter closed out her seals first forcing me to miss out on a couple towers I was working on, but my wife managed to finish up another 7 level to just pull away. She finished with 62 points, to Gabby's 47, to my 39. This game will click with me if it's the last thing I ever figure out, but hey, at least I scored 9 more points than I did our first play!!



I will probably add a couple more games later since we have our monthly meetup tonight.

Yeah, got two games in tonight at the meetup!

First one was another play of Ginkgopolis. Played with two players that had played before and one who had never seen it. My scoring started out slooooow, but I finally started getting the combination of cards and tiles that would let me get involved in the territories. Game ended fairly quickly with a lot of tiles being drawn, fairly quickly. And in the closest game I've played of this yet, I won 64-63-48-28. The new guy kind of struggled, but I think he got a grasp of it.

Second game was 1812: The Invasion of Canada. My first exposure to Academy Games and I quite liked it. Person teaching us claimed that he's never seen the US side win and tonight was no different with our British/Canadian side winning in the 6th round 8-3. Really was a neat game and I wonder what 1775: Rebellion changes and if it's better. If it changes it for the better then it may be a game that I look into a little more.



Hope everyone has a great week!
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2. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:268] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Hello!

Staurday we had a local event named Curitiba Ludica, so quite a few more plays than usual for me!

Friday

Sentinels of the Multiverse x2 - Both times with 3 players. In the first we played with Chrono Ranger, Tachyon and Vanish, againt the Great Warlord Voss, in Wagner Mars Base. It was my first time playing against him and it was a total beat down. His minions destroyed us, and Voss only took 6 points of damage (and that was because of the environment!). In the second play, we went with Absolute Zero, Unity and Haka, against Akash'Buta, in the island of Insula Primalis. This time we did better, but not by much. Unity and Haka did manage some nice hits, but Absolute Zero struggled with his modes and was lacking in the kick-ass department. In the end, fighting not only Akash'Buta, but also velociraptors and a T-Rex, the heroes lost, with Akash'Buta with more than half of his life points.



Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game - A three player game. It was, easily, the easiest game I ever had of this. The team had Brother Adron, that kills 3 genestealers at once, bother Leon that attacks three times, chaplain Raziel, that stopped the attack of a swarm, but the main man was Librarian Menelauis, that rolls the dice and kills that many genestealers anywhere in the formation! And he only dies if the player rolls a 0 and Menelauis doesn't have a support token. The most strong attack I seen by a country mile. With some much firepower, the marines only lost half of the team on the way to fight a Mowloc. This poor bastard never had a chance, and the marines accomplished the mission.



Hanabi - A three players game. We made a good amount of mistakes, and the yellow color eluded us. All in all, the 18 points was rather good.



Saturday

Shadow Hunters x2 - Two plays with 7 players. This game was, both times, really fun. In the first, the Shadows won by the skin of our teeth, as I was the last one, with only 1 point of life left, and I was attacked, but the attacked gave no damage! In my turn, I attacked and killed the second Hunter, for the win. In the second play, the Shadows won again, but this time I was a neutral, Catherine, that wants to die first. No luck, even though I tease everyone in the table.



Mascarade x3 - Three plays with 7 players. My debut with the game and is was awesome! The game went great and everyone had fun. Sure, there is chaos, but in this sort of party game, is works. Lots of challenges and some great looks in the face of players that were sure that they were something and weren't! I don't know if I will be able to play it often, since it requires more players than we usually have for one game, but I will surely try.



Parade x3 - Three plays with four players. I really enjoy this game - it appears to be light, but the decisions tend to be hard! My frieds were jocking that they would put Parade at weight 4 here on BGG! I won one of the games, and came in second twice (and both times I was leading until the final leg of the game, but couldn't manage to hold the cards off).



Shadows over Camelot - A seven players game. It was a walk in the park, since 5 were learning the game, and one of them ended up being the traitor - so he did almost nothing to really disrupt the path of the loyal knights. The picts and the saxons were pushed back, the Graal and Excalibur were found and Lancelot was beaten by King Arthur himself. Eleven white swords and only one black (due to the Black Knight).



Skull - A six players game. A quick game to end the event, and it was, as usual, fun. Two others and I got one bet right, but the win went for the player that bet 6 roses with 6 coasters in the table, and, of course, he was right.



And that was it!

Regards,
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3. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:569]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Anniversary getaway to Ravenwood Castle.


Friday
2x - Guildhall - morning coffee game
3x - Rialto - New to us

We started our Friday morning off with what has recently become a typical skirmish of Guildhall over coffee while the kids get ready for school. My wife embarrassed me in the first game with a 21-7 beat down after which I crawled back to a 22-17 win.

After a few morning things around the house my wife and I head out on our annual anniversary getaway. It was my year to plan and thought I'd change up the venue and try Ravenwood Castle a little over 2 hrs northeast of us. This bed and breakfast has also gained a reputation over the past year as being a gamers getaway.

After some shopping and checking in we pulled out the Feld game in the castle's library that we hadn't tried yet, Rialto. We headed downstairs to the pub and got the fireplace going and I began to teach my wife how to play. I succeeded in being patient, answering her questions and we got through a new game with out the tension, frustration, and fighting that usually occurs.


We proceeded to play three consecutive games of Rialto. This area control, majority influence game was a new mechanism and feel for us and it wasn't bad, but it felt a little underwhelming and flat for a 2p game. We both felt it would probably play better with more players. I'm sure more plays would reveal new insights, I'm not saying the game was a dud. But thus far it was the least exciting of the Feld games we've played. My wife confided in me during the drive home that she had already ordered it for me for Christmas and was not sure it would be a disappointing gift. I don't think so, and I really hope that with more players it will prove to add something we felt was missing.

Saturday
1x - Core Worlds -new to me
6x - Roll Through the Ages - new to us


Seeing Roll Through the Ages in the castle's library piqued my interest so I checked it out the night before and read the rules. After waking up and getting coffee our plans to go hiking were postponed due to cold rains so we started our morning off with what ended up being four plays of Roll Through the Ages.

After lunch my wife took a nap while I went down to the pub to see if anything was happening. I ran into Steve (the Inn Keeper) and he showed me his personal collection. I asked if he was able to show me Core Worlds, a game that had been on my want to play list for quite some time. He was able to show me one round before I took over and tried teaching an observer. One round in another observer took interest so we reset for a 3p game which proved interesting. I say that because it seemed that each round we learned we were playing something wrong or not playing something the way that we should have been... the whole game.

I honestly believe playing now would go much smoother and faster, but suffice it to say that our game dragged on with some things really out of balance, but I learned a lot. In the end with three newbies trying to figure this heavier deck builder out for the first time I see it as a worthy game to remain on my Wishlist. My only concern now is how much play time it would receive. I see this game in a simplistic way as a cross between Dominion and Race for the Galaxy and then some. Both of those games are enjoyable to play and exist in my collection, yet neither sees many plays right now. My wife expressed she didn't see anything in the little she observed that drew her to the theme that garnered any interest from her. So we'll have to wait and see what happens with this one.

After the Tudor Christmas Dinner in the Great Hall we retreated to our room and played another two games of Roll Through the Ages at my wife's request (i.e. she has found another game that she likes). I read the rules to Lost Cities before going to bed to see if it might not be another quick game we could play in the morning.

Sunday
2x - Roll Through the Ages

Once we smelled the coffee brewing downstairs from our room we were up and opted against Lost Cities for two more plays of Roll Through the Ages.


While my wife took a shower prior to breakfast I returned the two games we had checked out back into the library and brought back Jambo another Kosmos 2p game that I've heard a lot about and read those rules since Tsuro was apparently being borrowed by someone else. It seemed more interesting but we didn't have the table space or the time really before we had to eat and get back on the road to get my wife to Christmas Play practice.

We had a great time a the castle. Steve and Amanda were great hosts. We met a lot of wonderful people and will definitely return again. Next year's anniversary is a big one so we won't be back for it, but I'm sure we'll find our way back for some other occasion.

meeple Keep playing...

UPDATE: I just added photos due to upload delays associated with BGG Image Server issue.
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4. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:333]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Friday

My deep-discounted copy of Nexus Ops from the FFG holiday sale arrived last weekend; I punched it this week, and tried it out for the first time on Friday with a learner game to 6 VP. It was great. The only rule I think we got wrong was failure to place the miners with the 1-rubium mines during exploration, which just made the game move a little slower than it otherwise would have.


Saturday

Played a game of Caldera while the snow fell outside.

Later, played some Hive with my daughter in her new bedroom "fort."



In the evening, I had a solo go at Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game. I played with base missions, culminating in the Launch Control Room. Three marines survived to the Control Room, and two fell quickly thereafter, leaving Brother Gideon the tiniest of hopes, soon extinguished. I never even got a token on the Control Panel.

Sunday

We had a full two-player game of Nexus Ops, with the Time Is of the Essence variant. Still, Ares Inc. won with a battle that vaulted them from 9 to 13 VP (fulfilling the mission Death from Above).
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5. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:283]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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On Friday Lindy and I played 2 games of Clocktowers which we learned earlier this week. This is a delightful 20 minute filler game by Allan Moon and in my opinion deserves much more than its current rating here. I gave it an 8.


Saturday morning Lindy and me FINALLY got to playing Archipelago with the 'long' cards. I agree with those I have read from here, it is much better this way. However I do not rule out the short games as some have.


Sunday we did some Christmas decorating so there was not much time for games. However Lindy and I played 2 games of Scatterrgories.

5 games this weekend.
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6. Board Game: Rialto [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:755]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Rialto - Got this to the table for the second time, another 2 player game with my wife. She still trounced me, but not as badly as before. I did a better job of juggling bridges/gondolas/councilmen, but neglected buildings which I think made the difference for her. Still, I had fun and I was happy to see some improvement.
Rating: 7.25/10

Tales of the Arabian Nights - We've had Arabian Nights for a month or two now but every time I tried to read the rulebook, I found it kind of frustrating (and worrisome considering how few meaningful choices everyone says there are). I ended up watching a tutorial video that I found here on BGG and the game is actually super simple, so I finally felt comfortable bringing it out. My wife doesn't tend to like learning new games on weekdays much, but I told her this was basically a choose your own adventure style story telling game and she relented. Everything everyone say about this game is true. Total luck-fest, nothing you do really matters all that much, but it's still a fun time. I don't know that I would want to play it with more than 2 or maybe 3, but we had a pretty good time reading the strange things that were happening to each of us. I can understand why it might not be for everyone, and it won't be our most played game or anything, but it was definitely a good buy.
Rating: 7/10

Guildhall - Played a quick 2 player game of Guildhall with my wife before bed. We haven't played in a while, even though we both really enjoy it. My wife and I are about even in this. She won this time (I'm not positive what her score was, I think in the 22-24 range), while I was still in the mid-teens. We both get a little hamstrung by our own soft hearts playing this game (we frequently use Weavers and Historians to put Assassins and Traders in our guildhalls without using their powers). I think the winner is generally the person who played just a few more cutthroat cards than the other. I'd like to play this with 3 or 4, just because it would mitigate the harsh feel and we could both cut loose a little more.
Rating: 7.25/10

Yedo - Got to enjoy a two player game of Yedo, which hasn't hit the table in a little while now. This is such a fun game. It was a tight one, too. My wife and I finished the rounds with me up by one (42-41), my wife scored 7 in bonus card points to pull ahead, but I had made a point of getting bonus cards early and had been able to set myself up for 8. I think I leveled up my play somewhat, taking a different approach to what I normally do. I never blindly drew a new mission, opting to either go for one in bidding or use foresight, which made it much easier for me to be selective and utilize the same weapons over several missions. I also used my annexes more deliberately, rather than as a last resort. There were a few harsh events, but we both managed to work around them with little difficulty.
Rating: 9.5/10

Suburbia - I've been really excited for the iPad version of Suburbia since it was first announced. It came out earlier this week and I took no time to download and try it out. Some have reported some lock up bugs, but I have thankfully not experienced that. The game itself is... Well, I'm not ready to judge it. I think the implementation is a good one, it looks to be very close to what I've seen of the board game. I can absolutely see how all of the things you have to track would make the actual board game a little fiddly, and the iPad app definitely takes care of that for you. I am having a problem, though, which is that the iPad app makes it a little too easy for me to divorce the theme from the game. I end up thinking almost entirely in terms of the little box that pops up and tells you what the hex will do to your totals when you place it here, and not at all about what it is I'm placing (a tactic which I think probably hurts my scores because there is almost no long term planning). I don't think I would have this problem if I played the physical game first, but I'm also fairly positive that if I did play the physical game a few times and then played on the iPad, the iPad version would become my preferred way to play.
Rating: no rating
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7. Board Game: Jet Set [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1810]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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Saturday-3 plays of Extra!, 1 play of That's Life!.

Sunday-2 plays of Pyramid of Pengqueen, 1 play each of Kingdom Builder and Jet Set.
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8. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:6388]
Kris Van Beurden
Belgium
Leuven
Vlaams-Brabant
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On Monday, David & I played another session of Paths of Glory. At the end of the last session, I was almost dead in the water as Germany, but thanks to not-awesome rolls for David (no 5/6's in 3 rolls) I could stabilize the west front and start pushing a little on the east front. That is in fact the last front where I can get some progress ... the Italy front is back into stasis now as the French have arrived in force there and the West Front is beginning to stabilize too - on the Rhine line alas. I'm at only 10-ish points, 3 more Winters to go and a UK player who is eyeing the Middle East ... I need Russia to fall NOW and a treaty of brest-litovsk asap!

On wednesday I played LOTR with Juleske & Conlaen ... we lost 3x shadow and flame against an unstoppable Balrog and then defeated the trolls of Hobbit 1 (had a lot of fun against the trolls - we were at 48/48/47 threat when we revealed the third quest card with lots of locations in the staging area, after the combat phase in which we killed the last troll, and we had totally forgotten what the Third Quest card's text was. Pretty exhilerating!)

On Thursday Pluizebol & I played some X-Wing. She tried her Slave 1 against my bomber squad.
Boba Fett (Ion Cannon, Gunner, Veteran Instinct)+ Howlrunner (Adrenaline Rush) + Mauler Mithel (Adrenaline Rush) + Nightbeast
vs
Dutch + APT + PT + R5-K6
Wedge + Expose + R5
Garven + PT
I got all of her TIEs to 1 hit point and removed all the shields from the Firespray, but ended only with Garven when we finished our game. The horror!

On Saturday, Pluizebol and I played Commands & Colors: Napoleonics Expansion #3 – The Austrian Army, the first 2 scenarios. In the first one, she hurt me for a few initial banners and lots of casualties, but eventually my cuirassiers could send her cavalry off. After some slow maneuvering, my right wing finally arrived and killed a Lasalle with his last light cavalrist, buying me the last two banners I needed. I won this one purely on dice luck (I killed 2 leaders in a five banner scenario!). In the second one, we both had moments of good & bad dice luck, but again the cards were mostly with me, and my grenadiers (who have no problem with bayonet charges) could clear the way for my victory.

On sunday, Eleandor and I played Lincoln's War. I had already played half a turn solo to get a feel for the game, but that was clearly not enough because questions kept popping up during the game (some of them not cleared up yet). Some game events felt off, though ... I attacked a small army (I think only one star) with my 12 star army but could only get a +7 ... which means that for defeating this little roadblock I got 4 IT! It was a cavalry army too, which means I started at 2 IT already (got harrased by this & one other cavalry guy upon reaching this hex) ... after the battle I had 6 IT, and that was when *his* main army attacked me. Two attacks later I had accrued 37 IT ... (granted, I might have made some strategical mistakes here ).
This was still an okay part, but the part where we could really count what would happen felt gamey: in mountains, if you opponent has 6 stars with him, it is pretty hard to win battles (same as on the plains with 12 stars). You can have all the manpower you want, but you cannot really throw it at your opponent :/

Still, it felt nice and I'll have to play it again...
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9. Board Game: BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1759]
Darth James
United States
West Virginia
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Bioshock Infinite: Siege of Columbia – 1 play – This was a much better, more visceral experience than last weekend's game of Bioshock. It even inspired me to write up my first session report, which was so much fun that I think I'll be doing more in the future. I squeaked out a win as the Founders, though looking at the map, if the game had gone on maybe a turn or two more, the Vox would have wiped me off the map.


Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – 2 plays – Lil Gric continues to be a hit in our house, with Dawn pulling off a few wins as she acclimates to the system. I rarely grab more than one farm extension. I find it's more beneficial for me to focus on developing a basic 9x9 grid, and it's usually enough to hold my 4 cows, 4 horses, 8 pigs, and 18+ sheep. Dawn, though, goes big. Big farm, big open pastures. It's worked for her a few times, but more often than not, my densely packed little farm wins the day.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game – 2 plays – A couple of quick, back to back games of DCDBG are perfect for scratching that deck-building itch without busting out some of the heavier builders. Setup is quick, the art is fantastic, and you don't necessarily have to do a lot of deep thinking during the game.


Tanto Cuore – 3 plays – It wouldn't be a gaming weekend if we didn't play Tanto Cuore at least once. This is absolutely one of Dawn's favorites. Our first game was massive, taking cards from all 3 sets. That's a LOT of piles of cards out on the table. The set-up and tear-down took longer than the actual game, so when we played TC again later in the weekend, we decided to choose a single set and play using those cards. Much more thematic that way, too, especially with the Dokidoki Vacation expansion, which made up our final two Tanto Cuore sessions.


Android: Netrunner – 1 play – Dawn finally built her new deck, an Andromeda deck with Atman and Crypsis. Definitely not the kind of deck I'd run with Andromeda, but we're the only two in our meta, so it doesn't HAVE to be great. As it was, I think she realized it needed more work. We only played one game, but my NBN deck absolutely dominated, despite the fact that Dawn is like a freaking bloodhound when it comes to sniffing out traps. Eventually she'll modify her deck, slowly but surely, until it can beat mine.


Warmachine: High Command – 1 play – I played Khador, Dawn chose Menoth. This session left a bad taste in my mouth for High Command, and at first I thought that HC had more problems than I initially thought. It seems like there's not much disparity, in terms of power, between low-cost Menoth units and high-cost Khador units. Later, upon reflection, I realized the issue wasn't necessarily the cards; the issue is that I was playing Khador in the exact manner that I play Circle Orboros. Next time we try High Command, I will need to be sure to suit my playing style to the strengths of the faction I select.


Elder Sign – 1 play – This was a solo play of Elder Sign to wrap up the gaming weekend. I randomly chose Bob Jenkins as my investigator, and the GOO was Yog-Sothoth. Bob got eaten.
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10. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:14]
Max Lampinen
Finland
Espoo
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Caverna: The Cave Farmers - Still intro game, this is even harder game to learn than Agricola: Farmers of Moors was, so many options and strategic paths.. I love it though. It's very long game (especially including setup) but expensive too, so will have to try to make time for it as often as possible.
Africana - First game, quite underwhelming experience. It felt bit too difficult and long to be family game, yet too light to be satisfying gamers game.
Small World - It was fun as usual, but soon we'll probably have to start using Small World: Tales and Legends, which I bought recently, to keep it interesting.
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11. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2033]
J H
United States
Chesterfield
Missouri
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Canterbury is my new favorite game. I lost on the tie breaker.


Great 2-player game. I won this one.


Beautiful, action planning game. I won this one as well.


One my all-time favorites. I won this on the tie breaker. I had a streak going.


It all came crashing down as I was crushed in this game. A 4th place finish out of 5.


Aggressive, Zen gardening! I thought I had won this, but lost by 1 point.

A great gaming weekend!
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12. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:377]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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The First Minnesota played a slew of games this last Friday.

First up was an oldie but a goodie Robo Rally.

Others we played: Pax Porfiriana, Moonbase Alpha, 1775, Twilight Struggle, Up Front, No Retreat North Africa, and K2.




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13. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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Friday:
Diamonds Club
San Juan
Treasure Chest
Fairy Tale x2

Saturday:
In the Year of the Dragon
Take it Higher!
Fairy Tale x2

Sunday:
In the Year of the Dragon
Cherokee
DuCo x2
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14. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:912]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Gamers group saw a full table playing Puerto Rico and an ongoing campaign of the Civil War. I sat in as deputy CSA commander to "re-learn" the rules, with Willy Hughes in overall command. Jim Story played the Union but kept rolling ties to end the turn too soon to do much. He pushed south from Tennessee into Alabama to cut the east-west rail line, while the big fight over Memphis was indecisive.

After eight turns, the USA still has lots of work to do. I really need to get back into this one.

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15. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:283]
Dave
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Conan! What is best in life? Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
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Friday night started with a quick game of Colossal Arena before seeing the new Hobbit movie. Saturday morning, went to the local Charleston Area Gamer's meetup for games and a gift exchange. Played in a close game of Archipelago and then got whopped in Rise of Augustus. Not bad considering I walked out with Star Trek: Attack Wing (which I played later that night) and Conquest of the Empire as gifts! No games on Sunday unfortunately with visiting Santa and cleaning.
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16. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:138]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I got to play L&C twice with three. Both games were close and enjoyable. However, I'm not sure I would ever play with four or five. There is a lot going on, and some turns require a lot of time.

All in all. I think the game is very good.

Also:



Unfortunately, the one game of Amerigo I got in was incomplete. We started late and simply ran out of time.



I was visiting friends out of town and played several games of The Resistance with them. Always a good time.

That's it. I played fewer games than usual, but those I did play I enjoyed.
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17. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:18]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Friday

Finally I get some family gaming with my daughter Sharlene!

Lost Cities = 1 Play

My daughter maintains her dominance over me in this game, as I get totally clobbered after 3 rounds of play!

Shari: 67+52+54 = 173
Me: 15+36+24 = 75

Kingdom Builder = 1 Play

I teach Shari this network building semi-abstract game. The victory conditions were Workers (1 point per house besides a location) Merchants (4 points per connected location to each other) Lords (12 points if you have the majority in a sector, 6 if you are second). I did a better job spreading my settlements around the different sectors and thus did better in the Merchants and Lords objectives, as I also had more special action tiles giving me more flexibility during placement. I thus win with a score of 81 to 62.


Me (blue) 81 Shari (white) 62

Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age = 1 Play

I also teach this dice rolling civilization game to Sharlene. She managed to roll very well despite not growing her cities to beyond 4 dice, and I was again outbuilt in the monuments department as I focused more in growing my cities to the max 7 dice.


Shari (black paper) 62 Me (red paper) 39

Saturday

Cheat = 2 Plays (NEW)

I get in more family gaming as Sharlene teaches me and Shawn this card game. In this version the lead player can place any number of like cards face down, and the other players must try to follow with the same kind of card. In either instance players may lie and claim a card type even though the card laid down is not. The other players then can call "bluff" if they think the cards laid are not true. If this is the case the player who laid the false card(s) get the entire cards in the pile, otherwise the player who called "bluff" gets the cards. The player who first gets rid of all their cards wins.

Shawn, Shari, and I play 2 games wherein Sharlene bluffs the best and wins both!

Nothing special with the game as it is just a simple card game, but the kids played me and that's more important!

Sunday

Jim, Kent, and I have another McDonald's session, while Paulo first attends a kiddie party and joins us after!

Seasons = 1 Play

Jim request's this game and we oblige. I get an early start in terms of prestige crystals, but Kent and Jim soon have leeching and point shaving engines out and my lead was cut down by the midgame. I also struggle to cast cards as the guys denied me dice required to increase my summoning gauge. The end result was that I lost 20 points due to uncast cards as well as my use of special powers and I finish with a mere 61, while Kent ends up with 131 and Jim with 103 points!


Kent (yellow) 131 Jim (purple) 103 Me (grey) 61

Innovation = 1 Play

Another chaotic game was played immediately after. Early on I abuse the Metalworking card and score 2/3 of the Age 1 cards, which enables me to dominate Ages 1 and 2. The guys soon have advances which totally mess around with the influence cards, and soon it became a intense battle where each player's influence piles grew and shrunk like a balloon. Jim managed to dominate the Military and Democracy achievements, while there was a point where Kent had a lot of influence and thus dominated ages 3,4,5, and 6. Jim then had a huge influence and was 1 turn away from dominating turns 7 onwards, but I managed to nuke this through the use of the Vaccination card. Kent finally wins the game with the use of the Bicycle card, that made him exchange all the cards in his hand (which were age 8 and 9 cards) with the cards in his influence (which was none!) and that gave him enough to Dominate Age 7 for the win!


Kent wins this wild game with 5 Dominations (0 Influence), with Jim (2 dominations 16 Influence) and myself (2 dominations 0 influence) behind!

Guildhall: Job Faire + Guildhall = 1 Play

We were finally joined by Paulo for this since I had not played this for a while after lending it to Kent. The randomized roles were the Assassin and Weaver from the base game and the Bricklayer, Hunter, Peddler, and Tax Collector from Guildhall: Job Faire. The guys really used the Assassin, Bricklayer, and Hunter for Draw Deck and Discard Pile manipulation, and all 3 managed to finished sets early before I was even halfway through completing a profession. However, I really maximized my starting Guildhall of Tax collectors as I slowly collected VPs while giving away cards, and used the Peddler card to bring back Tax Collectors to my hand as my guildhall was inevitably assassinated. I was soon up to 12 VPs from Tax Collection alone, and the race to buy VP cards was on as the others realized this. Everyone was on the verge of getting to 20 and finishing the game, but I was the first to do so by buying 4 VPs to get me to 19, and then I peddle Paulo's Tax collector into my hand and play it for 2 VPs and thus get the winning score of 21!


Close game! From upper left clockwise Paulo (17) Jim (16) Me (21) Kent (16)

I then had to leave, but the guys play a game of Carson City where the Sheriff and Singer roles ensure a high scoring game won by Paulo (who won with a score into the 60s!).

OTHER GAMES PLAYED DURING THE WEEK:

I traveled to Taiwan in the middle of the week, so I took the opportunity to bring some solo games with me.

Wednesday

Friday = 1 Play

I take another crack of this solo deckbuilder. I have only won once in 8 tries, so I want to see if I can finally win another game. I again try out the game at level 1 difficulty, with the following progress:

Phase 1: it was not looking good at the end as I was down to 3 life, although I had managed to cull out a lot of the weak starting cards.
Phase 2: my investment in going after the life giving cards is paying off as I actually gained more life, ending with 6 at the end of this phase.
Phase 3: this is where I usually lose, but lo and behold I manage to defeat the challenges at the highest difficulty, partly due to my going after the high power cards at the cost of life. I did not die and end with 3 life, and thus get to go after the 2 Pirate Ships!
Pirate 1: I pick the weaker 9 card 35 point pirate as my first end game challenge, and I defeat it and end up with 6 life to boot!


The first pirate is defeated!

Pirate 2: Can I actually win this? I then go after the second 10 card 40 point pirate. My deck was really humming at this point as the life giving cards really enabled me to draw more cards, and I end up beating the 2nd pirate with 8 life to spare, and thus I get my 2nd victory versus this game!


Lots of skullduggery in activating the cards makes Robinson Crusoe defeat the 2nd Pirate and thus he escapes the Island!

I then tally up my score, and with the values of 41 points for the cards + 30 points for the 2 pirate ships + 40 points from my remaining life -15 for undefeated hazards I get a best ever score so far of 96 points!

Mage Knight Board Game = 1 Play

With the evenings being just dinner, I then have the opportunity and time to get this meaty and lengthy game played again. I needed to refresh myself so I played the First Recon walkthrough scenario using Wolfhawk (from the Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion Expansion expansion), with Goldyx as the dummy player. The objective again is to scour the countryside in order to find the hex with the city, trying to gain as much points as possible by defeating enemies, recruiting allies, and levelling up, all within 2 days.

My game had the following progress:

Day 1: By the end of the morning of day 1 Wolfhawk is at level 3 and 12 XP, having defeated 2 Wandering Orcs as well as conquered a keep and recruiting an Utem Guardsman unit. The onset of night has slowed down Wolfhawk, but the end of the evening of Day 1 has her at level 5 and 26 XP, as she has defeated 2 more Wandering Orcs as well as a Werewolf from a dungeon she raided. She has also managed to recruit a unit from a nearby Monastery.

Day 2: The end of the morning of the 2nd day has Wolfhawk at Level 7 and 50 HPs, as she was really busy in conquering a Mage Tower and even defeating a Wandering Dragon, and she had time to offer 3 blue mana crystals to gain more XP in a ruins. The start of the night of the 2nd day has Wolfhawk finally discover the location of the city, and after totalling the end game scores she ends up at level 8 and 69 points!


Wolfhawk has a successful First Recon with a score of 69 points!

Thursday

Friday = 1 Play

I try the game again at the easiest level, with the expectation that I can finally progress to a more difficult setting if I beat the game again. Alas this was not to be as I tried to duplicate going for the life giving and powerful cards early, but I stumble and lose a lot of life over a couple of challenges, and I die in the 3rd phase trying to ride the raft to the wreck after finishing with 7 life in phase 1 and 2 life in phase 2. Back to reality!


Final score = 43 points due to cards - 10 from aging cards - 24 undefeated hazards = 9 measly points!

Mage Knight Board Game = 1 Play

I felt confident enough to try a full solo conquest scenario. Here the Mage Knight has 3 full days and nights to find and conquer 2 cities. I used the Elven Knight Norowas for the mission, with Tovak as the dummy player. The game is made more difficult since the hexes are now randomized, unlike in the walkthrough scenario where they are arranged in a pile numerically.

Day 1: Norowas ended up at only level 3 and 10 XP at this time as he had to skirt around the dungeons and towers in the first 2 hexes as he was still too weak to take on them. He did manage to defeat 3 Wandering Orcs and recruit 3 units though (1 extra through Norowas' special ability).

Day 2: The end of the morning of day 2 has Norowas at level 5 and 26 XP. He had managed to conquer a Mage Tower and had gained many spells there (which turned out to be a mistake, as I will explain later!). He also managed to find the Red City, but I felt he was too weak to assault it so he needed to spend more time levelling up and getting more powerful. Norowas then discovers the location of the white city by the end of the evening of day 2. He ends up at level 6 with 36 XP by that time, and has managed to conquer a keep (and recruit a siege engine there) as well as defeat a giant worm in a dungeon. Norowas has only a day left to fulfill the mission of conquering 2 cities!

Day 3: The next day had Norowas REALLY struggle to move across the map in order to assault the Red City. This was because the spells acquired earlier were useless since I could not get the green mana to cast them, and they just ended up clogging my hand! Norowas did manage to raid a double dungeon though, and thus got to 47 XP, which was not enough to make him advance beyond level 6. He did however arrive behind the red city through the use of Magic, and thus had just the evening to conquer BOTH cities and fulfil his mission!

The onset of the last night has Norowas successfully assault the red city, although it took him 2 tries to conquer it. He then managed to use spells and power up his cards to move all across to the White city, but even the recruitment of the powerful Altem Mages from the Red city would not be enough to conquer it as the rest of the units were already spent in defeating the Red city. Norowas then took out his frustration on a wandering dragon beside the white city, as he could not complete his mission! He ends up at level 8 and 76XP!


Endgame map


Despite the loss Norowas ends up with 127 points after end game scoring!
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18. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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We had a very full weekend of gaming, inviting our gaming friends over for a long weekend of gaming - although we did have interruptions for my birthday meal, and my daughter's school carol service.

Saturday:

Princes of Florence
Factory Fun
Goa
Tzolkin
Burn Rate
Qwixx
The City
Egizia
Take it Easy (with the kids joining in)
Outpost
Peloponnes (where I won by a ridiculous margin as everyone else starved!)
Hare and Tortoise (finally got this to the table again!)
Lords of Waterdeep
Them and Us
Qwixx
Farming (I really shouldn't have bought those 10 cows!!)
GiftTrap
Telepathy
Aargh!Tect
Und Tschuss

Sunday:

Core Worlds
El Grande
Tichu (where we were nearly on a negative score when the other team reached 1000!)
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
Agricola
2 x Alchemist (we played a few rules wrong the first time, so played again to get it right!)
2 x Blokus (so much fun - now on my buy list!)
Cir*kis (new to me - and I wish I hadn't bothered!)
Hansa Teutonica (they actually managed to convince me this was an ok game with this play - up until now I really haven't enjoyed it)
The City
Palaces of Carrara
Galaxy Trucker (with the new ships, 2, 3 and 4 sides - it all went HORRIBLY wrong!)
Escape: Curse of the Temple (I escaped just as the temple crashed down on top of me - the others all died - thanks to one room where it seemed that whenever two of the players rolled the dice they would always come up with all black sides!)

An excellent weekend of gaming as always with this particular crowd!! Can't wait until the next time!

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19. Board Game: Villa Paletti [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1391]
James Garcia
United States
Harlingen
Texas
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I got some gaming in every day this past weekend. I have the Christmas challenge to thank for this. Normally I would have passed on a few days, but I'm determined to complete the challenge.

Friday


Technically this is the digital version, but it was all I could salvage on Friday as I was home for at the most 45 minutes and it was mostly to shower and get dressed for a night out. Luckily I have the digital version of Carcassonne. After an extremely long and tiring day for me it ended with my fiancee and I going to watch the Hobbit. While waiting for the movie to start we play a quick pass and play game of Carc. I seriously thought I had this the whole way, but when final scoring happened I lost by 2 points. 99-97. I don't know what happened.


Saturday


Our night ended early Saturday so we had a little more time than usual so we played a few games. We finally got to try my new game Villa Paletti. We ended up playing the variant to where you roll the block and pull what the color says best 2 of 3. This game is a ton of fun. It was just a two player game and we had a blast. I guess I have gentle hands as my fiancee knocked it over twice. Great game I highly recommend it.



After Villa Paletti we played Kingdom Builder. I almost never stood a chance at this game. The terrain card draws were just never in my favor so I had just one giant colony while my fiancees was spread about. I ended up losing by 6 points which surprised me because of how bad the deck was hosing me.


Sunday:


The final game of the weekend came in the form of Forbidden Island. I picked it because it is a quick and easy game and we weren't looking for anything to thinky. Well I was half right in this was quick, but it sure wasn't easy. The tiles basically put anything important all within a corner and the first tiles drawn were all holly crap we need to save those tiles. The draws just kept getting worse, and because we had to stay at the corner so much or lose the game we had a hard time collecting the treasures. It usually came down to do I move and save tiles or do I collect the treasure. Fun game though despite losing horribly.



That was my weekend. I know there will be a small amount of games this weekend. I'm hoping next weekend will be awesome seeing as I'll have a whole bunch of shiny new games.
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20. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:464] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Had a solo play of legend of Drizzt and a game of UNO-Moo with the kids.

LoD I did a variant of Adv 5. I took two heroes from WoA to investigate Drizzt's party and every time a black arrow came up I flipped an hero tile to bring an NPC on the board to help. The last NPC is the traitor and attacks me. After easily defeating the NPC a random villain is chosen who was pretending to be the NPC. It was a fun variant and works well solo.



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21. Board Game: Star Wars: Epic Duels [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:890]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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Most of my weekend was filled up by work (12 hours of overtime), a birthday party, and wrapping presents. That left just a little bit of free time for a few games.

2 games of Epic duels with my son. His new thing is pitting good guys vs. good guys and bad guys vs. bad guys. He can't read, but somehow he can identify/memorize the words on the special cards. So, now he can really play on his own.

1 game of Zingo! 1-2-3. This game plus Epic Duels have really helped my son with basic addition and subtraction. So, now I have another excuse for playing as many games as possible. They're a teaching tool!

The next challenge is to justify Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game and Memoir '44 as teaching tools.
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22. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:160]
Keith Leonard
United States
North Canton
Ohio
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I have only this game for over a year, but this was only the second play. I forgot what a really good game this is. My wife and I agree that we need to get this to the table more often.

I alsom played:

&
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23. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:35]
Stefan Kaiser
Germany
Kriftel
Hessen
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Finally !

I finished studying the rules around Saturday afternoon and decided to give it a go that night. My more than a half solo game took about ages but it was a much needed solo experience. No way could i teach this game to my group without having played solo once or twice.

I am sure i made mistakes but at first i thought "oh, that will be quite an easy first scenario"... that feeling lasted for about 4 turns and then the game hit me with its entire brutality. whistle

After 7 or 8 turns i called it a night since i was simply too exhausted to finish the game and i could not leave it on the table for the next day. I was nowhere near reaching my goals.. well, i COULD have invented Fire though...

Can't wait to give it another go solo and then introducing the group to this wonderful game...
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24. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:368] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Jason
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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Taught this to my Dominion-loving daughter, this weekend. She enjoyed it but found the card synergies and the added pressure of the board a little more complex than I'd presumed. I ended up explaining many of the cards in terms of Dominion's actions, which helped. We were both racing to build our rails, too, which led to the swiftest game of this I've yet played.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
Second weekend running. Last week with three new people, this week a rematch with my daughter. I don't think this loses anything as a two-player game. Games always seem very close with this. I sealed my first win with Vimes by forcing the deck to run out. To my daughter's credit she sussed out who I was well in time, but I got lucky with several "play another card" draws and burned through my hand in a blur. Managed to get all our buildings out, and were both sitting on pots of cash, before the event deck extensively remodelled the city. My daughter actually would have won, if she hadn't played the "change your identity" card. She was ultimately quids in with Vetinari. Fun game, but I'm starting to think we should spread out the plays a little more for a while.

SOS Titanic
I do hate making disparaging remarks on a game, or giving up on one without giving it a fair shot. This just isn't very engaging; three plays and I've sucked all the fun out of it (or vice-versa). I think people will sober up on this one rather quickly; I'm well aware I'm going against the grain by suggesting this is tedious.
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25. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:123] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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This weekend was busy for the family, but we had room for games in there as well.


On Friday, my son had a wrestling meet, so we didn't get home until late. Got the kids to bed and to keep the Advent Challenge alive, my wife and I played a quick couple rounds of Mastermind before shipping ourselves off to bed.


On Saturday morning, as we were getting ready for another busy Saturday, my son surprised me by asking to play a game of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. It'd been a while since we've played this one. It was a pleasant surprise, this is one of my favorite games.


I had invited a co-worker over on Sunday to game. He texted and said he'd be a little late, so my son and I enjoyed a game of Othello while we waited. It went back and forth on this one.


We had Letters from Whitechapel all set up and ready to go when my friend got to my house. We gave him the option of being Jack for this game, but he didn't think he was ready for that. So, my son stepped up to be Jack. He was Jack last time I played and I never caught that little sneak. This time would prove to be different. We got a number of clues on the first night that led us to believe we knew the general area of his hideout. The next night, we figured out where he was and caught him. First win for the detective side for us (only 3 plays so far tho!).


Since we caught Jack so quickly, we were discussing what to play next. We were checking out my game shelf and Libertalia caught my friends eye. I apologized to him that I had not even read the rules yet, although I've watched a number of vids on it. He didn't mind, so I read the rules while the other two played Mastermind while they waited for me. Luckily it's a short rule book. We started slow thru the first campaign, but eventually picked up speed. We all enjoyed it, but thought it might be better with more than just 3 people.


After dinner, the rest of the family was watching Survivor (which I don't really care about), so I decided to play some solo Legendary. I played 3 games before I decided to truck off to bed. It's ok solo, but I really do prefer this game with others. It's just more fun that way for me.

Happy Holidays everyone!
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