My Games Played Over the Christmas Holiday
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I have the good fortune of getting to play games with both my family, and my wife's family.
This is a chronological list of all the games we played during the long holiday while various relatives were around. Almost every game was a "learning game" for one or more of those playing (except Kingdom Builder and some of the repeat plays later in the week).
(I have named it the "Christmas of the Co-op Game" having never played a co-op before, and learning four of them in about a week)
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1. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Started off the gaming late friday night with my brother and his wife. It was their first play, so it took a while to teach and then play, but they enjoyed it. I had 40 points from end-game bonuses, which felt good.
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2. Board Game: Strozzi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1696]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My brother-in-law and his wife came over Saturday, and a college friend came down. This was everyone's (including my own) first play of Strozzi. A lot of ways to score points and maybe a little busy with 5, but we had fun.
 
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3. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:319]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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We played this next with the same group Saturday. Again, everyone's first play of this game. Things got a little tense at points. We played without the traitor, and decided things would be really hard if someone was actively trying to sabotage the team. Good thematic fun.
 
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4. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:451]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This was to close the night out since everyone was familiar with it. Five players gets pretty crowded. I much prefer this with two or three.
 
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5. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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After everyone else got tired, my brother-in-law and I played Hanabi. It is a nice lighter game, and is easier after playing it with the same people a few times.
 
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6. Board Game: Animal Upon Animal [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:728] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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One of my nieces has a birthday soon after Christmas. We gave this to her to open early on Sunday afternoon, and we played a few times. Probably the most fun kids' game I have played.
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7. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:859]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Sunday evening lots of extended family came to my parents' house. I brought this out specifically so a couple teenage cousins-once-removed wouldn't get too bored. It is loud and quick, and soon drew in all the younger kids. Though the young ones couldn't keep up with the speed, they enjoyed just waiting to get a purple cat when they saw one. This is one of the few party games I'll willingly play.
(When she went to bed, my niece was asked if she wanted me to bring it back on Tuesday. She said, "No, I want him to leave it here.")
 
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8. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:584]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My brother got this for his wife for Christmas. We played it Sunday night after all the extended family left. It was somewhat challenging and fun. I can see how it could suffer if someone directs everyone else in what to do rather than discussing options as a group.
 
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9. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Played this for the first time with my mother-, father-, and brother-in-law while my niece napped on the 23rd. The parents will play lighter games. I think they were a little skeptical of this theme, but seemed to like it ok. I enjoyed it enough to play again, but I don't understand the hype it got.
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10. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This is my new favorite I've had for a few months. My wife, her brother and his wife, and I got to play it later Monday night. It took longer than the girls wanted it to. Hopefully we'll get to play it with them again. At least my wife likes it.
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11. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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After the too long game of Terra Mystica, my brother-in-law and I played a couple more games of 2-player Hanabi. His thought was it would be a relaxing game to wind down the long day. After my one previous play, I felt like it was a rather tense game. It proved a nice wind-down in any event.
 
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12. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:319]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Christmas Eve, we brought this out with my two brothers and sister-in-law. Still no traitor, since three of the five of us hadn't played before, and my wife and I had only played once. We got lucky a couple times to avoid an early loss, but ended up winning with 9 white swords to 3 black. My brothers really got into it, and it was good fun.
 
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13. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:895]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Brought this lighter game for my family to play during the kids' nap time Christmas day. 6-player with my wife, brothers, sister-in-law, and mom.
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14. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:859]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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After nap time, of course we played some Spot It! with my nieces.
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15. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My wife got me this for Christmas (though she isn't a big fan of it). We played it Wednesday night with her brother and his wife. They did not like it either, much to my confusion and dismay.
 
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16. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:174]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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The night of the 26th, we got together with some of my wife's extended family. Her brother brought The Resistance, and we played a 10-player game. It went pretty well considering it isn't their usual type of game, but one cousin really dominated the discussions.
 
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17. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:197]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I got Bruges from my parents, and finally got to play it with my wife when we got home Thursday night. As I suspected, she really enjoyed it. It has chips to represent scoring over 100 points, but I do not yet see how that could possibly happen.
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18. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Got a couple 3-player games in Friday afternoon with my brother- and sister-in-law.
 
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19. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1036]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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We got this for my brother-in-law. He and I played a 2-player game Friday night (we knew it would be long, so encouraged our wives to play some 2-player Kingdom Builder). It did indeed take a long time (4 hours). It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, though we did not win (needed the captain's map to escape by the last event card, but didn't get it). It ought to have a more reasonable play-time now that we know how to play.
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20. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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There were no games played Saturday the 28th.

I conned my wife into playing another game of this after church Sunday. I think she is starting to like it more as it gets more familiar.
 
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21. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Finally got a 4-player game in with my wife and brother- and sister-in-law.
 
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22. Board Game: Strozzi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1696]
Matthew Purcell
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Another game of Strozzi with the four of us on the 29th. I think it is better with 4 than 5.
 
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23. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:197]
Matthew Purcell
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Columbus
Ohio
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Last game of the long holiday week. The four of us again. My brother-in-law didn't like it, but didn't dislike it either.
My wife continues to love it, so the two of us will be playing it often.
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