2014 10x10 Challenge
Crookneck
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These are 10 games I'm intending to play 10 times each in 2014, per SilvaShado's 2014 Challenge: Play 10 Games 10 Times Each.

For my personal reference and ease of star-filling, here's a link to my entry on the Challenge Geeklist.
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1. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:238]
Crookneck
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Game 1.
2/07/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 14

Started with a radish field, played a rather conservative and unspectacular game. But radishes were abundant for all.

Game 2.
8/12/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 9 (scoring error)

I tried to make more use of Loans in this game than I have previously - probably to an unwise degree, judging by my low score (I had three loans at the end). I think I waited too long to start up a regular customer and didn't smartly manage my regular/casual customer balance. Radishes were my opener again, based on opportunities in the card grid.

Game 3.
8/22/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 14 (scoring error)

Well, this is embarrassing. During this game, I realized that I was making a bone-headed scoring error and that I'd made the same error back in game #2: I was paying the price printed on the stone for every move I made instead of paying just $1 for the first move. Augh! I discovered this during round 7 of this game, so the score is messed up (though not as messed up as in the previous game). Bright side - I'm relieved that my score of 9 last time was due to playing a rule wrong rather than playing horribly. At any rate, this game seemed to go well. I had to deal with a lack of regular customer cards in the grid for the first few turns; the only ones that did show up both wanted expensive and not-yet-plantable leeks. Now I can only wonder what my real score should've been.

Game 4.
8/29/2014
Players: 2, me vs. Ryan
Score: Tied at 16; Ryan wins the tiebreaker

Ryan's learning game. A close one, but Ryan's $14 leftover beat my $3 leftover at the end to swing the tiebreaker in his favor.

Game 5.
9/28/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 17

According to the rulebook, 17 is the "Good" score. Hooray! I'm good! Another milestone: this was my 75th game of the challenge.

Game 6.
10/01/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 15

Not as good this time - too slow to get a cash-happy customer base started. I passed on buying an extra field early, but I think I should have grabbed it. Also, next time I need to try weaving in more casual customers; I think I under-serve them.

Game 7.
10/29/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 15

Pumpkins aplenty in this game, fitting the season. I took out one loan in the second or third round so I could buy a common field; I think it paid off, though I was really inching up the track at first. No casual customers showed up in the card grid until the fifth round!

Game 8.
11/06/2014
Players: 2, me vs. Ryan
Score: Tied at 16; money tiebreaker tied at $10; veggie tiebreaker tied at 9; thus, we both win!

As neck-and-neck as neck-and-neck could be. Ryan's strategy was beaucoup markets, whereas I enlisted the aid of two Bookkeepers and regularly bought and sold from my shop. Interestingly, we ended in the same place on all fronts.

Game 9.
12/09/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 15

Once again, I faced the debate over whether to buy an extra field early and whether to take out a loan. I did buy the extra field, but I didn't take out the loan, and there was one round where I was unable to plant a field - so either the former or the latter was a poor decision. I think I'm in a scoring rut for the solo game and need to shake up my strategy. I definitely don't take advantage of two-packs enough - for my next (and tenth) game, I'll try two-packing it up.

Game 10.
12/26/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 17

"Good" again! Glad to re-achieve this benchmark within my 10 plays for the challenge. I even had $13 leftover in this game - I wonder what decisions I should've made differently here and there to gain the $5 I was missing to hit 18! I went boldly into leek-selling in this game, with two regular customers (leek + pumpkin and leek + bean) and one casual customer (wheat + cabbage + leek) all wanting the dark green stuff. Despite my plan in the last game, I only picked up one two-pack this time - some very good market stalls came out early (one-for-one trades on leeks and beans), increasing my two-pack cost.
 
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2. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
Crookneck
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Game 1.
1/04/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Green and Black
Score: Green: 159, Black: 124

This was my learning game, though I'd read the rules extensively beforehand when I brought Castles of Burgundy to a gaming weekend in October; it didn't wind up hitting the table then, though. I didn't make any rules mistakes (for once), but there was a large mix-up midway through: I forgot which board was which and played the Green player's actions on the Black player's board. I tried to undo this, but I'm almost certain that the Green player wound up credited with one large scoring action that should've been the Black player's, explaining the gap between the final scores. To prevent this in future solo games, I'm adding four PennyGems in the player colors to my gamebox; I'll place these on the player boards to serve as a shiny visual reminder as to which is which.

Strategy-wise, Black had more all-color region completions, earning the big bonus tiles for finishing the mines, buildings and knowledge regions, versus Green's lone castle bonus tile. However, Green made better use of chaining actions, kept a lock on first player (with the help of the turn order knowledge tile from the second expansion), accumulated more unsold trade goods, and created a sprawling, high-scoring pig meadow. A pig meadow that smelled like victory.

Game 2.
1/30/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Red and Blue
Score: Red: 166, Blue: 159

I thought Blue had this game in the bag: with three different +/- knowledge tiles and the +4 VP/boarding house knowledge tile (hence a lot of boarding houses), Blue had extreme flexibility with the dice and a towering stack of workers. There was no roll that Blue couldn't turn into what Blue wanted. Blue's accolades at the end included the large bonus tiles for knowledge, buildings, mines and castles. Blue also beat out Red to two tiles Red was gunning for: the +1 VP knowledge tile for sold goods and the last boat tile that would've given Red the large bonus tile for boats. And yet: Red was scoring points piecemeal throughout the game by selling goods and building a high-scoring pig and chicken meadow, and ultimately Blue's surge of endgame points didn't quite surpass Red's steady accumulation. Truly a tortoise-and-hare parable. Of Burgundy.

Game 3.
6/17/2014
Players: Two
Score: Me: 152, Ryan: 174

Ryan beats me in his very first game by getting a far lead on mines and creating endgame VP synergy with the two types of sold goods science tiles. I focus on buildings and get the big completion bonus tiles for buildings and castles, but it doesn't win me enough points in the end. I think my main mistake was letting Ryan get two good sources for silverlings (mines and being able to sell goods while retaining VPs for them) while I had none. This is also the first game in which I didn't aim for a high-scoring pig meadow. Triumph is in the swine!

Game 4.
9/12/2014
Players: Solo, using the solo variant posted by betsychuck
Score: 190

This was my first try of one of the solo variants posted to BGG - betsychuck's version in this case. It worked well, and I think it's a better solo option for me than playing both sides (even with my PennyGem idea, I found it hard to keep the player boards straight and inevitably built a hex on the wrong board when playing two sides). I'll give this a few tries when multiplayer isn't an option and see what scores I can rack up; 190 seemed like a respectable start. I finished the mines, pastures and rivers regions and was one tile away from completing castles, but I couldn't reach the right combos to get that last castle on my board.

Game 5.
9/22/2014
Players: Solo, using the solo variant posted by betsychuck
Score: 201

The dummy player kept rolling doubles in this game, so trying to maintain first player was a tense affair. I completed all color regions except for buildings, and my score was boosted by a fortuitous chicken meadow (amazingly, two 4-chicken meadows and one 3-chicken meadow all came out in the same round, and I was able to grab all three of them; no more chickens popped up during the game, so I filled the last spaces with two 4-cow meadows). The #6 knowledge tile (you can use silverlings to buy tiles from all 7 depots, though still just one buy per round) added great flexibility to my late game.

Game 6.
9/27/2014
Players: Solo, using the solo variant posted by betsychuck
Score: 214

Interesting knowledge tiles in this game - four different "4 points per specific building type" tiles came out. I got - and used - the City Hall (+8 points) and Bank (+12 points) knowledge tiles; I was setting myself up for the Boarding House tile, too, but the dummy player beat me to it. I used map #2 for the first time (actually, my first time using any map other than #1), and it was a very different experience. Much harder to complete regions! I only completed mines, castles and meadows.

Game 7.
10/04/2014
Players: Solo, using the solo variant posted by Glad8r
Score: 169

Challenging dummy in this variant! It went nuts for buildings and ships, and it dominated start player throughout most of the game. I completed mines, meadows and castles, while it completed buildings and knowledge; it nearly beat me on castles, but a castle tile luckily came into the market on the final round, and I pulled off a double-castle chain move to catch up, surpass and win the big completion tile. I nearly had an 11-cow meadow before which all would tremble, but the dummy took the 3-cow tile I wanted. I'll just be over here sulking with my 8 cows.

Game 8.
10/29/2014
Players: Solo, using the solo variant posted by Glad8r
Score: 237

Knowledge tiles were my focus in this game - I used board #3, with the ring of knowledge tiles around the central castle (I finished the ring, but not until the last round). I had the +4/bank tile and four banks; the +4/shipping house tile and two shipping houses; the +1/shipped good tile and eight shipped goods; the +4/animal type tile and four animal types (cows, chickens, sheep and goats); and the +3/color of good shipped tile and five colors shipped. Knowledge is power! I had completions for mines, castles and knowledge; the dummy completed buildings, as usual. I need to try a game in which I beat the dummy to the building completion tile.

Game 9.
11/22/2014
Players: 2
Score: Me: 151, Ryan: 148

I win with a bare lead on Ryan. He had a pile of silver, thanks in part to the knowledge tile that grants you one silver in addition to two workers every time you turn in a die, and he also scored the full 18 bonus points for his 3 points/color of sold good knowledge tile. Additionally, he had the knowledge tile that always keeps you on top in the turn order stack, which meant he had start player for all but 1-2 turns of the game. I gave up on start player early on and focused on a high-scoring animal meadow, since Ryan wasn't working on those and thus wouldn't be competing for animal tiles. Adding up all the points I scored for the individual animals and the region completion, my meadow was worth a total of 46 points and is probably most responsible for getting me the win. Not an uncommon theme in my games of Die Burgen von Burgund!

Game 10.
12/26/2014
Players: 2
Score: Me: 221, Ryan: 167

This was the 100th game played in my 10x10 - I chose Burgundy for the last play, since it might be my favorite (Caverna is a close contender). Ryan was very tired tonight, but he wanted to help me finish off the challenge, so he generously played anyway. I used board #8, with a ton of single-hex regions; finishing several of those in the first round for 11 points a piece gave me a far lead that I kept throughout the game. Ryan had the board with all of the boat tiles arranged in a north-south river (#6, maybe?). He got the big completions for boats, mines and knowledge, and I got meadows and castles, plus the small mine completion. As usual, Ryan locked down start player and stockpiled an obscene stack of silverlings, while I built a giant chicken meadow.
 
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3. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:14]
Crookneck
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Game 1.
1/24/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 79

Woohoo, finally got Caverna to the table(s)! I had to use two tables in an L-shape to fit everything. I made small mistakes here and there, but I think I caught and fixed most of them during the game. I tried to do a little of everything but wound up not adventuring as much as I meant to. Despite initial plans to solve food problems with grain and vegetables, heavy build-up on the sheep and donkey tiles (partly due to my forgetting to add sheep to the sheep tile for four turns, which created a sudden sheepvalanche after I rectified the oversight) led me to buy the Slaughtering Cave (-1 vegan point for me) and go heavy into husbandry. I also went big into rubies and built the Treasure Chamber. Next game, the Dwarves will be better questors.

Game 2.
2/08/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 83

This was another livestock-heavy game; I wound up buying the Weaving Parlor and Fodder Chamber to take advantage of my flocks of sheep and droves of donkeys. I also had an ore surplus in the late game, so I grabbed the Ore Storage. Next game, I think I'll try pushing for five family members to see what happens; I've stopped at four in both of my games so far (partly due to ill-preparedness when family growth first came out in both instances).

Game 3.
3/01/2014
Players: Me vs. Ryan
Score: Me: 48, Ryan: 76

Ryan destroyed me in his very first game. His livestock + farming + Writing Chamber strategy beat out my stone- and ore-hoarding (with respective storages). I also only raised my family to three members, which cost me a lot.

Game 4.
5/24/2014
Players: 3
Score: Tristan: 94, Me: 89, Ryan: 86

With the Working Cave and the Slaughtering Cave, I found it easy to feed my Dwarves, but my livestock strategy (Weaving Parlor and Milking Parlor) couldn't match Tristan's towering pile of grains and vegetables and the matching storage bonus room (the tile name is slipping my mind). Ryan was right behind me with a ton of points made off his Beer Parlor and multiple storage caves; I think he had the stone, ore, ruby and main storages. Things I did well this game: promptly expanded my family, for once. Things to try: have adventure Dwarves bring home coins more often.

Game 5.
7/27/2014
Players: 3
Score: Tristan: 81, Ryan: 74, Me: 62

Unremarkable game for me; I didn't pull together much of a plan. Getting the Weapon Chamber and outfitting all of my Dwarves with weapons netted some nice points - except I only had three Dwarves throughout the game, so it didn't pay off as well as it could've. Some notes for future games: establish a food source sooner. Try out a heavy ore mine/ruby mine strategy + the respective storages. Worry less about negative points at the end (I find that I get fixated on filling all of my empty board spaces, even if it's inefficient). Remember to try adventuring for coins next time, since I forgot this time!

Game 6.
9/22/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 80

I've been curious to try out a mine-heavy strategy with just the base building tiles, and here's my result. I had the highest furnishing/pasture/mine tile score of any game I've played thus far, though not by much (33 vs. 30). One thing that worked well in this game was forging a high-level adventurer on - I think - the third turn; Adventure Dwarf started with a 9-level weapon, which was immediately raised to a 10 (and soon a 14). Being able to bring home cows regularly kept my dwarves well-fed. I didn't plan very well on my yellow furnishings, though - I got 18 points from the combo of the Food Chamber and the Stone Storage, but I think I could've done better. I definitely had the resources to build more than I did. UPDATE: And while playing the next game, I realized I made a mistake: you can only forge an initial weapon at level 8, so my starter 9-level weapon was illegal.

Game 7.
9/22/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 73

As long as Caverna is all set up, I figured it made sense to play a few games back-to-back. This was my first game using all of the furnishing tiles instead of just the base set. I tried out the Mining Cave strategy - wow, that's a fun strat, though I didn't play it particularly well. I filled up too much of my cavern with Ore Mines (should've switched to Ruby Mines earlier to leave room for more furnishing tiles) and only had room for one more dwelling and one more points-scoring tile; I went with the Ore Storage for my points tile, since I could generate 8+ ore in one visit at both the Ore Mining and Ore Delivery spaces.

Game 8.
9/22/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 64

I was intrigued by the State Parlor and aimed to score it with full points; I achieved that, but I gave up too much to get there, as my low score indicates. The Stone Carver was a great help for a build-heavy strategy; I should have grabbed the Carpenter, too. Also, despite all of my dwellings, I only had three dwarves. A fourth would've given me a lot more options. Time to pack up Caverna for today, but next time I think I'll try a livestock- and pasture-focused strategy.

Game 9.
12/13/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 77

This was Caverna with everything: not only all of the furnishing tiles, but also every promo I have (Christmas Chamber, LARP and Cosplay chambers, and the Mayfair promo set). I wanted to try out a Mining Cave strategy again and did a bit better this time - I had 42 points from furnishing tiles/pastures/mines, compared to 27 from my previous Mining Cave game (game 7 on this list). But I lost some well-roundedness in doing so; I had zero grain or veggies, for example. At the end, I could see some moves that I'd wasted, too. Still perfecting this strat!

Game 10.
12/13/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 90

Caverna double-header tonight. Going into this game, I thought, "What strategy do I never try?" The obvious answer was, "Go for the sixth dwarf." So I did! I centered my plans on using the Dormitory from Mayfair's promo set - this costs 8 wood and 6 stone, takes up two adjacent cavern chambers and only grants 1 point, but it gives you room for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth dwarves (and it has a picture of Snow White on it, which is cute unless you read the Fables series, in which case it's horrifying). I shored up the Dorm with the Beer Parlor, Broom Chamber, Prayer Chamber, Cooking Cave, Peaceful Cave, Slaughtering Cave and Working Cave to variously feed my dwarf army and score extra points. I think I built the Dormitory one turn too early, and the Working Cave turned out to be unnecessary, but overall this strategy worked really well - 90 is the closest I've gotten to Uwe Rosenberg's "magical" solo score of 100. And that's 10/10 for Caverna!
 
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Heroes [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:4515]
Crookneck
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Portland
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Game 1.
1/15/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Loss, got two chests

An intriguing feature of this particular dungeon map was the arrow tile that was positioned to shunt me out directly into an insta-death trap. Because insta-death should always be faster. I didn't push past this problem area of the board fast enough and got boxed in; when the last hero (the Wizard) perished, there was still an ogre, two skeletons, one goblin and one orc up. Alas!

Game 2.
1/27/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Loss, got one chest

I thought I was off to a stellar start in this game, but I didn't deal well with a tile reveal that put a row of three monsters on the board; they promptly killed my warrior, and I got boxed into the start area again. My party was whittled down until it was vanquished.

Game 3.
1/27/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

Victory! This time, I was able to slip my rogue out past the monster clump. The warrior, cleric and wizard perished, but the rogue was far away on the other side of the dungeon collecting chests (a fortunate layout had all of the chests on the western half), and the remaining monsters - a pack of one skeleton and four goblins - couldn't close on him in time. Goal: eventually beat the dungeon with more than one party member alive.

Game 4.
1/28/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Loss, got one chest

I lost this game on my second move - the wizard flipped a tile that turned out to be an orc, right where the warrior couldn't reach it due to the other party members being in the way (all were on the starting spaces). Even getting one chest was by chance; the rogue happened to step on one while trying to escape. An ignominious defeat.

Game 5.
1/28/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

The monsters came out in clumps; the warrior killed as many big ones as possible, then died. The rogue grailed the warrior, and he and the cleric took some blows to keep the warrior alive long enough to clear a hole through the mobs. Rogue, cleric and warrior died, but the only monsters left were two goblins. The wizard - at one health point - managed to lead them on a merry chase around the board and collect all four chests. Yes! But, utterly boneheaded discovery: I had overlooked the Last Man Standing rule for solo play until now. Well, whoops. That will make things easier.

Game 6.
2/09/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Loss, got zero chests

Sadly, no trace of them was ever found.

Game 7.
3/13/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

This one came down to the rogue leading a pack of one ogre, two orcs and three goblins around and around the board, trying to get into position to safely nab the final treasure chest. The rogue had three health points left, but fortunately picked up the holy symbol, healed to five, and was then able to step onto the goblin-occupied tile with the last chest and survive with two hp to spare! So far, all of my wins in this game have been nail-biters - I'm left with a genuine sense of having prevailed against towering odds.

Game 8.
7/19/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

The wizard steps into the treasure vault and hoists an overflowing chest above his head triumphantly; gold coins spill forth from it and bounce off the brim of his hat. A shadow makes him turn in surprise. "Oh, hail, friend rogue!" says the wizard. "I hadn't realized you'd also survived the dire perils of these grim corridors." The rogue holds a weighty chest under each little arm. "Indeed," he says, "but you won't believe..." -- "There is much to be said for mobility and lightness of foot," interrupts the wizard. "Though if not for the sacrifice of our more heavily armored and, hmm, ponderous companions, surely we too should have perished. Now, let us turn to the matter of dividing the loot betwixt the pair of us." "No," says the rogue, "They..." -- "Well, there you are," says the cleric, coming around the corner. "I thought you'd absconded with the booty and left us behind." The wizard looks flabbergasted as the rogue sighs.

"...us?" the wizard eventually chokes out, even as weighty footsteps and the clink of metal on stone announce the warrior's lumbering arrival. "Hey good pals," he says, sheathing his sword. Grinning through a fat lip, he counts the chests, "One, two, three -- where's the fourth?" Mutely, the wizard makes a vague gesture, and the fourth chest appears with a sparkle. "Rift storage," he mutters. "AWRIGHT!" yells the warrior. "So much gold!" "25% of so much gold," corrects the rogue. The wizard looks stone-faced. The cleric's eyes flick from the four chests to the four heroes, and she frowns. "Yeah, who'd've thought we'd all make it!" says the warrior happily. "Usually one of you guys has to haul all these out by yourself. Don't worry, I'm here to help this time. We're the best adventuring party ever!" He pumps a gauntleted fist in the air.

"Aye," says the cleric, "Mm," says the wizard, "Right," says the rogue, "Clink," says one of the thick gold coins rolling across the cobbles.

Game 9.
7/26/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

Another win with four chests nabbed and all party members alive. During Game 8, I realized I was misplaying another rule that was making it harder to win: I forgot that monsters would move ON to a hero's square (when they reached a hero-adjacent square, I was having them stop there and not move further on the next turn). Playing it the correct way makes it much easier for the warrior to slay mobs; as long as he can withstand the damage when they join him, he gets a free kill on the next turn. I was wasting a lot of movement points by having him join monsters on their squares. This game is still quite challenging, but after battle-hardening myself through rule errors, victory seems a lot more certain now. A high-drama moment in this game was when a full dungeon column of a goblin, a goblin, a skeleton, the ogre, an orc and another skeleton was inexorably trudging across the map toward my party.

Game 10.
9/09/2014
Players: Solo
Score: Win!

Not the most noble of my Dungeons Heroes victories: here, only the rogue made it out alive after slipping past the mobs to grab the second and third chests after the warrior died, leaving the cleric and finally the wizard to distract the marauding goblin, orc, ogre and skeleton. Well, rogues are inveterate survivors. I'm pleased to end my 10 games of DH with more wins than losses.
 
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5. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:302]
Crookneck
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Portland
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Game 1.
1/02/2014
Players: Solo
Score: -40

I've played this game about four times prior to this challenge, always very poorly. This was actually one of my better games, despite the dismal score. I lost by running out of life points on the second draw of the red phase (technically I ran out of life points a few draws before, but I didn't need to spend any points until this particular draw). Perhaps I'll achieve a positive score in the span of this challenge.

Game 2.
1/15/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 82

My first Friday victory in a half-dozen games played! My pirate cards were draw-7-for-16 and draw-10-for-52, both of which I defeated. I went into this game aiming to be more aggressive about dumping dud cards at the start. Next time I will try to build an even leaner, meaner deck.

Game 3.
3/24/2014
Players: Solo
Score: -57

I'll admit, I was hesitant to bring this back to the table out of concern that I would never win again. Here, I wasn't aggressive enough in getting rid of aging cards, and I pulled a "stop" card while trying to conquer a 7-point hazard with only 6 life points left. Typing it out, it seems obvious that I should have prepared for that risk, but whoops.

Game 4.
7/25/2014
Players: Solo
Score: -38

Died in the red phrase when the two aging cards in my deck came out back-to-back (including the "STOP" card), making me lose a battle by 5 when I only had 3 life points left. Need to get rid of those aging cards promptly!

Game 5.
8/25/2014
Players: Solo
Score: -53

This game seemed to be going well in the Green phase: I promptly destroyed my first aging card and thinned my deck considerably. However, I must have paid too many life points to thin the deck, because I quickly died about three cards into the Yellow phase.

Game 6.
8/27/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 18

More interesting loss than usual, and a positive score! I made it to the pirates and beat the 30-point pirate. However, my second pirate was the "Fight all remaining hazard cards" pirate, and after adding up my unbeaten hazards, I found myself facing a 63-point pirate with 22 free card draws at my disposal. Yikes - I did not prepare well for that foe (definitely should have taken on more cannibals earlier); in fact, I only had 21 cards total in my fighting deck to draw. This made all of my extra card and extra life abilities useless. After using all of my doubling power and copy-doubling power, I managed 38 points - not nearly enough to down this cannibal-fueled pirate ship. Honestly, this was still so much better than my recent games that it felt like a victory.

Game 7.
9/02/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 77

At last, another win! I beat the "+2 hazard points for each aging card" pirate (who had a value of 14) and the 52-point pirate. The Green round of this game went particularly well - I dumped nearly all of the lousy starter cards in my first go-through of my deck, except for a single zero-point card. I was proud of a play I made in the Yellow phase: I had beaten the hazard with two cards and had a "destroy" and a "+1 card" ability on my fighting cards. I decided to draw the extra card in hopes of finding the aging card I knew was in my deck and then destroying it. Lo and behold, there it was, and there it went. I didn't understand the cards and deck composition well enough to see such a play in earlier games (even though the rulebook gives a similar example, I know) - I think I'm finally improving at Friday. No doubt there will be more negative scores in my future, but this feels like the tipping point where things start getting better.

Game 8.
9/12/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 1

Loss! I ran out of life points in the red phase and hung on through a few hazards before one got me. I let too many aging cards malinger in my deck, and I didn't have good combos to refill life; generally, I think I should've picked my card abilities more thoughtfully. I wound up with 34 points from fighting cards and -33 points from leftover hazards, for a spectacular total of... 1.

Game 9.
9/22/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 87

Best win yet! I beat the 30-point pirate and the 16-point "each additional fighting card costs 2 life" pirate - handily, too. I tried to choose hazard cards more carefully to get a better mix of abilities than last time, relying particularly on destroys, doubles and visions. We'll whip some sense into Robinson yet.


Game 10.
9/28/2014
Players: Solo
Score: -47

And so we end as we began, with quite a loss - but much less hapless floundering on my part. No, now I flounder with great conviction. I made an imprudent move early on, when I chose a high-value hazard to flush some bad cards and unexpectedly found myself nearly beating it; I decided to press on and win the card, but at the cost of keeping two zeros and a -1 that I'd drawn. In retrospect, not worth it! I quickly ran out of life as the phase turned Yellow, then died a few hands in.

That's 10/10 for Friday, and I have to admit, back around games 4-5, I was planning on selling this game after I finished the challenge, having determined that it was not my thing. And if I hadn't committed to ten games of Friday, I probably would have sold it, and I would've missed out! I can sincerely say that I'm much better at Friday now than I was back in January, even if my scores don't always indicate that. Now that it's clicked for me, I really enjoy it (even the losses!), and I have hopes that it'll make me a bit better at deckbuilders in general. Despite my earlier thoughts, Friday will remain happily marooned in my collection.
 
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6. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:256]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Game 1.
1/28/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Red and Yellow
Score: Red: 33, Yellow: 37

Learning game. Yellow took the lead with more whiskey barrels and more bonnets, plus the dorf multiplier castle. Both sides would have had more points if I'd remembered to convert extra resources to coins in the market on the last round. The dummy player had a knack for knocking off the lochs in this game (and/or I lacked a knack for promptly nabbing lochs).

Game 2.
2/24/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Yellow and Green
Score: Yellow: 55, Green: 41

Yellow went big into whiskey and scored heavily off Iona Abbey; Green's strong lead in bonnets and early stockpile of special tiles (which Yellow caught up with) weren't enough to make up the difference. I remembered to convert market goods to coins for both sides during the final round this time. As a side note, before Glen More had even arrived in the mail, I spent quite a few hours making custom whiskey barrels for it, and they're making me really happy in play.

Game 3.
3/17/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Yellow and Red
Score: Yellow: 43, Red: 39

Red's error was not collecting chieftans/bonnets and letting Yellow get too far ahead in them - Yellow got the full 8 points for having 5 chieftains/bonnets (partly courtesy of Castle Cawdor) to Red's zero.

Game 4.
3/23/2014
Players: 2
Score: Me: 49, Ryan: 35

This was Ryan's learning game. He grabbed all of the early grain fields and became a distilling machine; I couldn't compete with his whiskey barrels and upped my chieftains and special tiles instead. Grabbing the 3-points-per-dorf castle won me the game - I made 21 points off that alone. My estate was four tiles bigger than Ryan's, costing me 12 points in the end, but the dorf castle kept me in the lead.

Game 5.
9/09/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Red and Green
Score: Green: 30, Red: 38

Green blocked Red out from the distilleries until late in the game, netting the full bonus for having 6 more whiskey barrels than Red in the end; Green also stayed just one behind Red in both chieftains and special tiles and nabbed Iona Abbey. However, Red had both Duart Castle and Loch Morar and ultimately built with two fewer tiles, leaving Green with a loss (but a lot of whiskey with which to console herself). The dummy player had a peculiar predilection for taking every Tavern that appeared at the market. I guess everyone but Red was boozy in this game.

Game 6.
9/14/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Yellow and Green
Score: Yellow: 53, Green: 30

Blowout by Yellow, nearly all thanks to Duart Castle (21 points). At the beginning of the game, Green pushed to start up a distillery, and Yellow kept pace by purposely grabbing all of the dorfs; the dummy player also knocked off a few dorfs, to Green's misfortune. Green had a skip over a lot of tiles to finally get a second dorf, while Yellow had an overabundance of them - and was prompt to pick up Castle Duart when it appeared. Green did have some good plays, though, including an eleventh-hour catch-up from zero to four bonnets by buying Cawdor Castle and promoting the meeple, costing Yellow 6 points.

Game 7.
9/23/2014
Players: 2
Score: Me: 58, Ryan: 61

Tight game that Ryan wins by three points. He made a big move to get Loch Ness when it came out, then used its tile activation power to activate his Tavern nearly every round, creating a nice 3-point engine. Meanwhile, I was banking on endgame points and grabbed both Loch Morar and Iona Abbey. Ryan beat me to Castle Duart, so between his Loch Ness-powered points and a parcel of endgame points from Duart, he slipped past me to victory.

Game 8.
9/29/2014
Players: 2
Score: Me: 20, Ryan: 54

Absolute slaughter. Ryan focused aggressively on getting barrels, chieftains and special tiles, making big board jumps from the very start; meanwhile, I went for too many resources that ultimately did me no good, and I couldn't keep up in the scoring categories. I also had a larger estate by one tile, so I failed in every capacity. What I should've done to counter his strategy was try to throttle his market access, I think, so his resource-light estate couldn't produce enough to build. At any rate, this was embarrassing, and I cringe to record it.

Game 9.
10/5/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Blue and Yellow
Score: Blue: 19, Yellow: 39

It was neck and neck for this full game, with Blue slightly in the lead and earning about 3 points each scoring round. However, Yellow built more smartly for tile activations and did more selling than buying in the market. One error, though: as soon as I finished sorting the tiles back into stacks at game end, I realized that I forgot to get the tile counts for each estate - d'oh! I think Yellow's estate was larger by at least one tile, so Yellow's score was likely more around 36 - still a win by a good margin.

Game 10.
10/29/2014
Players: Solo, playing both Blue and Yellow
Score: Blue: 39, Yellow: 30

Ha, I didn't realize that I'd picked the same player colors as last time - Blue gets revenge, I guess! Yellow established a nice cow pasture + fleischmarket combo early on, nabbing 2 points per round for several turns, which quickly turned into a lead (I honestly despaired for the Blue side's chances in the first phase). Yellow also locked down distilleries; Blue had a space prepped for one but was never able to build it. So Blue went into special tiles and chieftains instead and built a tavern + Loch Ness combo that gave a guaranteed 3 points per round. Blue also offloaded spare resources in the market first, so there weren't many coins left for Yellow to earn.

And that's 10 for Glen More! What did I learn? That I need to play it against actual opponents more often, given the trouncing I took from Ryan in Game 8. Maybe I'll try out Yucata.
 
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7. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:344]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Game 1.
1/21/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 1 L.A.D.A.S.
Score: 131

Learning game! The rival company trounced me on progress, clearing most of the rubble and laying track like a maniac. I made one rules error (when I reached Event space four, I returned the white cubes to the bag, but then I accidentally replaced them on spaces 1-3 in their next draws rather than moving on to 5-7), but everything else went smoothly. Problem areas to address in my next game: I had trouble depleting the iron ore from the stockyard, which resulted in Event cubes popping up at a too-frequent rate; I also should have grabbed more Contract cards. I love that the solo play in Snowdonia is a 7-game series featuring a different train in each game. Once I finish that, I have multiple expansions to bust out, so all ten of my games for this challenge are going to seem like fresh scenarios.

Game 2.
1/22/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 2 Enid
Score: 96

I enjoyed my first game of Snowdonia yesterday so much that I decided to play again today, but d'oh - I got a much lower score. However, I realized that I set up the cards somewhat incorrectly in yesterday's game, which may have contributed to the 131 score. Anyway, allowing resources to pile up too much was once again a mistake of mine in game 2. Then, I got over-eager when laying track and accidentally used the bar I'd been saving for train maintenance; when the Event cube triggered maintenance immediately after, I lost my train. Alas, Enid! That was a truly smooth-brained move. I paid more attention to obtaining Contract cards in this game but less attention to grabbing ones with diverse endgame bonuses; I wound up with two that stacked up with each other, negating two bonus opportunities. Once again, things to remember for the next game...

Game 3.
2/08/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 3 Wyddfa
Score: 135

Terrible, endlessly foggy weather in this game! But it gave me a good chance to get my surveyor hiking all the way up the mountain. I'm embarrassed to admit a huge mistake I realized that I've been making for the past three games: in sunny weather, I was only sliding the excavation rate up once instead of twice. Somehow I overlooked the helpful graphic on the board that tells you to move it twice. Augh! At least this was a mistake that made it harder for me to play rather than easier.

Game 4.
3/04/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 4 Snowdon
Score: 86

Okay, I didn't think through that "mistake that made it harder for me to play" statement enough - although advancing the excavation and track-laying rates correctly did make it easier for me to progress, it also made it much easier for the dummy player to progress. This game came to a sudden end when the Event cube triggered the dummy player to lay the final four tracks in one go (accursed sunny weather!).

Game 5.
6/20/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 5 Moel Siabod
Score: 133

This was the first game that ended after I placed my 16th ownership marker instead of after the dummy player reached the summit - it was a honest surprise when I realized I'd just caused the end. Also a d'oh moment, since I cheated myself out of 10 points by not laying the single extra track I needed to score one of my contract cards. And I'd been creating a green cube empire of station buildings, yet I never grabbed a building bonus contract. On the positive, I played my best resource management game yet and kept the dummy player locked down (that, plus a bit of cube-draw luck).

Game 6.
8/22/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 6 Padarn
Score: 136

Interesting train! Two coal for the extra worker was challenging, but the building bonus was useful. The building contract bonus cards were less useful - I had five "extra" building cubes at the end and no bonus to apply them toward (maybe I overbuilt due to the lure of the Padarn ability). I had one blue cube left to place when the dummy player laid the track to the summit. I think I need to work on planning better around the levels in the draw bag and the upcoming weather - I get focused on the short-term need to remove resources from the board and my supply, then the long-term restraints sneak up on me.

Game 7.
10/03/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 7 Ralph
Score: 159

Good round for me, though I didn't make very good use of Ralph's +1 tracklaying ability. I chose my contracts carefully and fulfilled them all; I really could've used another pure building contract (I had at least three build cubes go to waste), but they just wouldn't show up in the draw. Still, stopping on contracts earlier than usual let me get my surveyor all the way up the mountain over the last three turns - I often have trouble timing when it's best to survey.

Game 8.
11/22/2014
Players: Solo
Train: Ivor the Engine
Score: 180

Ivor's anti-fog technology finally gives me equipment as good as the dummy's! I had my highest score in contracts yet, by far: 83. I did more stockpiling in the beginning of the game than I usually do, which worked well. Next time: even more hoarding.

Game 9.
12/10/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 1 L.A.D.A.S. (Lost)
Score: 103

Yikes! L.A.D.A.S. (Lost) is a tough train - not having a third worker available made it hard to keep up with the stockyard accumulation. The dummy really thumped me here, especially when I had a 4-day streak of sunny weather and also reached the 8-9-10 Event cube loop around that time. I abandoned my attempts to keep up with the cubes and tried to score what I could before the dummy triggered the end. I did score the full 9 points for removing the rubble from the lost train, and I completed three contracts. I was thinking this was an awfully low score, until I looked back over my games here and realized that my second and fourth games had lower scores (despite having fewer train limitations). Progress!

Now I've played a solo game with each of the standard trains and two of the promo trains. I do have several scenarios - including the recently arrived Necropolis line - but I'll save the tenth game for a 2-player round with Ryan, who hasn't even tried Snowdonia yet!

Game 10.
12/26/2014
Players: Solo
Train: No. 11 Prototype Engine
Score: 158

I realized that I had another unplayed promo train - the prototype engine! This one gives you 3 VP at the end of the game, but it doesn't allow you to hire a worker from the tavern if it's raining (I can't blame those workers). Another fun train - this game went pretty well despite the rain restriction, though I didn't pay enough attention to building contracts - I had 5 unscored building cubes at the end. Looking back through my solo Snowdonia scores, they vary wildly, but I still feel like I've made marked improvements in my game through these 10 plays. I'll have to retry some of the earlier trains and see if I improve on my scores - after I play all of the scenarios, that is!
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8. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:184] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Game 1.
1/11/2014
Expansions: None
Players: 6; myself and Ryan were teamed up
Score:
* Me + Ryan: 82
* G: 79
* C: 79
* K: 78
* T: 78

A game with actual other people instead of versus myself - zounds! This is an infrequent occurence since my game nights are only once per month. This was a close game; we won, but we had the advantage/disadvantage of a teammate (PRO: two brains, CON: two brains). If I'm remembering correctly, our races were Forest Ghouls, then Heroic Amazons, then Flying Orcs. The Orcs clinched the win.

Game 2.
2/03/2014
Expansions: Grand Dames, Be Not Afraid, Cursed, Royal Bonus
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 117 to 111

The Heroic Shrubmen followed by Bivouacking Pixies scored 117, overcoming the succession of Underground Dwarves, Ransacking Kobolds and Seafaring Homunculi by 6 points. The Shrubmen, unuprootable from their four forests and unassailably Heroic in two other regions, clogged the board throughout the game, while the onslaught of Kobolds was thwarted by the blitz of Pixies.

Game 3.
4/15/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 97 to 96

Seems like a low score for a solo game, but crazily close. The 96-pointer had a surging start with the synergistic Mounted Humans, heavily outscoring the Seafaring Orcs, but the 97-point Orc player was able to whittle them down (and catch back up) with the Wealthy Tritons.

Game 4.
4/16/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 93 to 86

Tough choice at the beginning of this one: the top two combos on the list were Hill Giants and Mounted Tritons, which have overlapping advantages and can pretty easily undo each other's moves. Paying more at the start for a unique combo further down the line may have been wiser (I think the third combo was Bivouacking Halflings), in retrospect, but the first player went for Hill Giants. Which were promptly destroyed by the Mounted Tritons, who spread fast, took over the board and seemed unstoppable - except by the Flying Amazons, who cost the Hill Giant-declined player 4 coins but were fully worth it. The Tritons declined into Underground Orcs then into Bivouacking Halflings, but they ultimately lost to the Hill Giant/Flying Amazon/Seafaring Human side.

Game 5.
4/18/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 101 to 79

I think the 79 side lost this game by trying to push the Alchemist Someones (...don't remember) one turn too many, possibly two.

Game 6.
5/02/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 107 to 92

An April move has hampered my gaming time; most of my 10x10 games are still packed in boxes (though they're destined for some far superior shelves compared to their previous residence). But some strife in Small World surfaced today! The 92 side took the lead mid-game with some high-scoring rounds for the Hill Wizards. Despite their semi-lofty hilltop perches, the Wizards sadly could not withstand the back-to-back hordes of Swamp Ghouls and Berserk Orcs that the 107-scoring side threw down. Oh, Orcs. There's always money in Orcs.

Game 7.
5/07/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 111 to I-can't-find-where-I-wrote-it-down-96?

Failed to jot down notes for this game, and now I've forgotten everything. I think there were Seafaring Elves. Or maybe that was LOTR.

Game 8.
5/14/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 110 to 76

Several days passed between the start of this game and the conclusion, and I don't remember what the Seafaring Sorcerers and the Stout Humans were scheming about when I left them. When the battle picked back up, the Sorcerers took over half the board, declined into Underworld Halflings, and effectively took over the other half. The Humans tried to regain the lead with Hill Giants, then Diplomatic Wizards, but it wasn't even close.

Game 9.
5/28/2014
Expansions: None
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 114 to 92

The Heroic Elves tried to expand their reign for a few too many turns; the Forest Triton player, on the other hand, efficiently declined into the Seafaring Orcs and racked up big bonus points off the spread-thin Elves. The rise of the Pillaging Trolls from the ruins of the Elvish civilization could not surpass the Orcs.

Game 10a.
8/01/2014
Expansions: None, but we played with the Small World: Underground set
Players: 2
Score: Me: 144, Ryan: 106

I enlisted Ryan to help me get 10/10 with Small World, and he chose to try out Underground. Ryan started out with the Muddy Kraken, while I chose the Mining Gnomes. The Kraken promptly declined into the Adventurous Liches after nabbing all of the river spots, and the Liches had the great fortune to turn over a Popular Place (Mine of the Lost Dwarf) on their first monster kill. I wanted to knock down the Liches before they spread, forcing Ryan to decline his Krakens, so I paid extra for the Martyr Shadow Mimes and swapped their Power to Flocking, then swarmed the heavily guarded Mine of the Lost Dwarf. Ryan switched to the Royal Flames and started a flame trail on the east side of the board; I was forced to cross the river and give up my Flocking bonus to continue my Mime spree. Next turn, I declined into the Vampire Mudmen to extinguish the Flames, but their flame power plus possession of both the Royal immunity and the Lara Croft ghost immunity made that unsuccessful. Abandoning my flamefighting attempt, I crossed the river again and flung my Mudmen in every spot that didn't already have a declined Mime in it. Ryan's Flames declined into the Thieving Ogres to grab a few endgame points, and the battles in Small World Underground ended. For this day.

Only when I came here to record the play did I realize that a game of Underground might not count for the 10x10 challenge, given that I listed just "Small World" as one of my picks. I'm not sure - even though Underground is a standalone box game, it plays like an expansion, and you can mix it with the base game as you would an expansion, too. Still, to remain safe and hardcore (in challenge terms), I'll do a "10b" play of regular Small World before I call this game done.

Game 10b.
8/03/2014
Expansions: Grand Dames
Players: Solo, playing both sides
Score: 89 to 77

The losing player led off with the Dragonmaster Humans, while the ultimate winner successfully countered them with the Flying Giants. The Humans tried to fight back, then declined into the Swamp Sorcerers on the next turn. The Giants spread as far as they could, then declined into Stout Halflings, popping up from their Hole in the Ground right in the middle of the Sorcerers' swamp neighborhood. The Sorcerers jumped ship into Seafaring Amazons in an effort to depopulate the map of both declined Giants and active Halflings, which worked well but spread them very thin. However, a late decline of the Halflings (thanks to Stoutness) into the Berserk Elves paid off; the Berserk dice let them grab several extra plots of land. I was actually expecting the Amazon side to win until I counted the coins and found the Elves on top.

With that, Small World is officially and legally completed! Irony: when I was creating my 10x10 list in December, our most frequent gaming friends had just gotten Small World and were excited about it. I added it to my challenge almost as a freebie pick, thinking it would show up regularly at game nights. Then we played it once in January, and never again! So, while this was still one of my first games completed, I did almost all of the plays solo. Not what I expected, but still fun. I definitely trained myself to be a better Small World player through this challenge - I feel more able to determine the optimal time to go into decline, for instance. And I learned to love Orcs.
 
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9. Board Game: SOS Titanic [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1663]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
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Game 1.
1/02/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 78
Crew Member: Harold Lowe

This was my learning game, and I made a large mistake that made it overly easy to save passengers: I placed all of the passengers I drew in the 'Setting Up the Passengers' Rescue' stage instead of just placing one. I blame my flu-ridden state for the rules mix-up.

Game 2.
1/02/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 30
Crew Member: William Murdoch

Trying to make up for my first-game errors with a "real" game, I coincidentally drew the crew card that allowed me to place all of the drawn passengers instead of just one - yet somehow, I scored much lower. I made another error on a few rounds; I forgetfully drew Action cards after unfruitful passenger draws, though my crew card forbade that. 3/4 of the lifeboats were stuck in the fourth pile and never made it to the top, which was a hindrance in this game (three consecutive full shuffles of that pile placed the second-class non-anchor #2 little boy on top each time!).

Game 3.
1/07/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 35
Crew Member: Reginald Lee

An unspectacular score, but I had a mistake-free game at last (or so I think). I found Reginald Lee, who can draw up to 6 passengers but doesn't gain new action cards when the boat sinks, to be challenging. I also did poorly on anchors (3 in first class, 1 in second class). I think I need to work on depleting the 10-card pile earlier; similar to Game 2, two lifeboats were stuck in that fourth pile and didn't surface in the game at all. The second-class #9 card that bears an uncanny - or maybe just canny - resemblance to Orlando Bloom was the annoyance in this game, reappearing uselessly on top of reshuffled stacks twice.

Game 4.
1/14/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 15
Crew Member: Andrew Latimer

I played this game while on vacation and didn't jot down detailed notes for typing it up later. My note just says:

Game 5.
1/15/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 52
Crew Member: Joseph Boxhall

As above, but:

Game 6.
1/27/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 49
Crew Member: Frederick Fleet

Last of the solo crew members - next I'll go back and try to improve my scores with them (I'm looking at you, Andrew Latimer). Too bad I didn't rescue all of the passengers and couldn't count anchors - I had a row of 8 in first class, my best yet.

Game 7.
3/04/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 17
Crew Member: Andrew Latimer

A whole two points' improvement over my last Andrew Latimer game. I think I'm not skilled enough in general to focus on anchor-aligning. I may put this crew card aside until I up my Solitaire skills.

Game 8.
3/19/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 17
Crew Member: William Murdoch

Worse and worse! I might have spent my action cards too early.

Game 9.
6/19/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 26
Crew Member: William Murdoch

I forgot to check which crew member I'd last used three months ago, so I unintentionally chose William Murdoch again. I filled one purple lifeboat early on, but I didn't manage to complete any others. All I needed for one boat was a yellow 11 to rescue passengers 10-17 from the ship, but I couldn't turn up either 11 card, and the waiting line all got shuffled in with a sinking deck. Augh! Also, somehow I'm still playing this game incorrectly: I realized that, with the last game I scored in March, I forgot to count the highest cards on the incomplete lifeboats in addition to the complete one. No idea what that score really should've been, but I know it still wasn't very good. I enjoy this game, but it's a constant embarrassing exercise in how terrible I am at Solitaire. Note for myself: try Joseph Boxhall again in game #10.

Game 10.
7/26/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 38
Crew Member: Joseph Boxhall

My first game with 10 plays in this challenge. We end (well, "end" in challenge-fulfillment terms - I'll certainly still keep playing SOS Titanic) on a respectable-for-me score of 38. Not my highest scoring game of this, but one of my better-played ones - success was due less to luck than it has been in the past. No counting anchors in this score, since it wasn't a win, but I had a good run of 7 in first class. Ten plays and zero wins! My next goal with SOS Titanic will be, simply put, victory.
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10. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:111]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Game 1.
2/02/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, playing both Yellow and Gray
Score: Yellow: 28, Gray: 38

Yellow (the Jaundice family) focused on travel and also nabbed the most prestigious spot in the church. However, Gray (the Greyscale family) went into crafting and selling, and their market sales created a point gap that the pilgrims couldn't close. The Jaundice family also had the token feckless boozer on the board - the black sheep. Meanwhile, Greyscale had the most powerful politician in the land (clearly backed by market money).

Game 2.
7/25/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, playing both Red and Yellow
Score: Red: 46, Yellow: 55

Red (the Waddlingtons) were an extremely pious family, focused only on the church - sans bribery - and pilgrimages. Late in the game, the Waddlingtons had to send one member into politics in order to afford a wagon for their pilgrim, but he strove to avoid corruption. Meanwhile, Yellow (the Gossfordeths) went straight into boozing and nabbed the Artist, Scrap Dealer and Mayor cards. The Artist's influence made the family members hasten to shuffle off the mortal coil, dabbling in a variety of trades and spheres of influence without mastering any (low-level politician, church acolyte, lazy traveler who only visited one town). The Gossfordeths also racked up several market sales, thanks to the Scrap Dealer's influence. Although the Waddlingtons were far ahead on the scoreboard for the whole game, the Gossfordeths' endgame bonuses - particularly their six ancestors in the Chronicle - brought them more glory in the end.

Game 3.
9/14/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, playing both White and Yellow
Score: White: 61, Yellow: 60

Close score for two different strategy sets: the Whites scored most of their points from selling goods, also scoring well in the church (three members at endgame, including one at 6-points (aided by a beer-bribed Abbot card)) and with the influence of the Mayor (6 points for green cubes) and Artist (extra points for chronicle). Meanwhile, the Yellows threw all their resources into journeying and got the extra bonus for visiting castles for the Count. The Yellows also had the top member of the council and a lot of coins to turn into VPs, thanks to the Miller they had in their pocket.

Game 4.
9/22/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, playing both Red and Blue
Score: Red: 15, Blue: 25

Ridiculously short, low-scoring game, apparently due to both families going on pilgrimages. A lot of time was spent making wagons, which resulted in the artisan part of the chronicle filling up quickly. This game ended in the second round when the last unmarked grave filled. (Honestly, I wonder if I goofed up somewhere - maybe charged time twice? - since I've never had a game of Village end that quickly.) Blue pulled ahead mostly off points from sold goods.

Game 5.
10/03/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, playing both Gray and Yellow
Score: Gray: 50, Yellow: 55

Here's a game in which nobody went pilgrimaging. Gray focused almost completely on the market, racking up 30 points there alone; Gray's secondary focus was the church, and the Gray family kept the majority all the way through. Meanwhile, Yellow focused on the City Council, promoting one relative quickly to the top, then using a windmill-fed wheat-to-money engine to turn coins into points as many times as possible each round. Like Gray, Yellow's secondary focus was the church. Yellow also befriended five different bonus folks in the tavern, including the saucy Abbot who took one of the Yellow family's novices straight to the most prestigious church position - due to extreme evidence of holiness, no doubt.

Game 6.
10/19/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: 2
Score: Me: 67, Ryan: 55

Ryan's learning game. His family, the Gundersons, focused on beer making, beer drinking, city council and the church. The Gundersons had a colorful history; the most notable event was when Jonah Gunderson, a former brewer, got himself elected to the lowest position in city council, then immediately changed his platform to "Kill everybody in the village who is not Jonah Gunderson," at which point he was promptly assassinated... by Jill Gunderson, the head of the city council. Dun dun dun! My family, the Monkees, had two famous travelers, Karissa and Moona Monkee (Moona had to take up the wagon after Karissa perished in a foreign town during a misunderstanding over "saving the town from ensorceled gold coins" versus "robbery"); the barstool-warmer of the family, Stewie Monkee, had bribed befriended the nominal Traveler in the tavern, bumping up my travel score to 25. The Monkees also dabbled in the marketplace and sent one daughter, Twinsy, to a modest position in the church.

Game 7.
11/11/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, using the single-player variant posted by elad and schiavonir
Score: Me: 32, dummy: 26

I was glad to see this solo Village variant posted on 11/03 by elad and schiavonir, since playing two sides gets wearisome. I enjoyed it! Here, I focused on doing a big market sale, aided by the Barker; my secondary goal was church majority. The dummy pushed hard for the City Council and otherwise scattered its family members across the board, then wantonly offed them for chronicle positions; this game only lasted two rounds. I only managed to place two family members in the chronicle, but my market points and church points got me the win.

Game 8.
11/11/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, elad and schiavonir variant
Score: Me: 58, dummy: 37

Since the first game was short and Village was all set up, I did two games back-to-back. I walloped the dummy this time, thanks to some good fortune in the Inn patrons - all of the travel-themed cards kept turning up. I had the Count, Traveler, Wagon Maker, Tollkeeper and Messenger, scoring a total of 31 points for my full travel route (and costing less time/resources than it would have without my barfly buddies). I also palled up with the Scrap Dealer to get a free market sale. In this game, the dummy was chucking as many family members into the church bag as possible, in addition to locking down start player in the City Council. I managed four chronicle members this time, mostly due to being more careful about bringing home wayward relatives so they could go down in the book as farmers.

Game 9.
11/16/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: 2
Score: Me: 71, Ryan: 75

A close game that devolved into chicken at the end: Ryan's family, the Spudmonkeys, had a 2nd generation member named Botswana at the highest position in the church. Meanwhile, my family, the Hudgepaars, had a 2nd generation member named Brenjamin at the highest position in the city council. These two were the last #2s on the board; the unmarked graves were full, and there was one spot left in the chronicle for the church. Ryan only would have lost 1 point if Botswana passed, since he'd gain 5 points for adding her to the chronicle (against the 6 she was worth in the church), but he was reluctant to drop a point due to the tightness of the game. I stood to lose more; I had also spent the game building a coins-to-points engine with the level 4 city council benefit, and I thought I could squeeze some more points out of that. Then the Abbot turned up in the Inn, and Ryan bribed him, boosted a level 3 to the top church position, bid farewell to Botswana, and had his cake and ate it too. I probably should have pushed for the end when I saw that coming, but I got too greedy with my council points; by the time I sacrificed Brenjamin, Ryan had the lead and the win. Good times in the Village!

Game 10.
12/26/2014
Expansions: Village Inn
Players: Solo, elad and schiavonir variant
Score: Me: 25, dummy: 13

The dummy player was laying its family members to rest left and right, aided by a rules goof I made: I forgot about the Well rule in the solo game, which would've gotten the dummy more family on the board. Oh well! ...pause for horrible pun... I'd been hoping that Village Port would hit the States before this challenge ended, but there's no way my pre-order could arrive and get shipped to me by the 31st, so no sense in saving my tenth play for it anymore. I did play with the 1st and 2nd customer tiles expansions, newly gotten from the BGG store, though none of those customers made an appearance in this particular game. I'd been going for a market strategy and made most of my points off satisfied customers.
 
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11. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:529]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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(Alternate)

Game 1.
1/24/2014
Players: Solo
Score: 19

Learning game, pretty abysmal. I struggled with the rulebook for this one; I'll look up a player aid and/or get some clarifications before my next game. I forgot to give Generation II children automatically once their arranged marriages kicked in, among what I imagine were numerous other mistakes. I'm happy with the games on my main list and don't expect to activate this game's "Alternate" powers - I just wanted to play it.
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