First Games of the New Year 2014
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Whittier
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The New Year is here. Gaming and whatnot.
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1. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:162]
GeekInsight
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Whittier
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Erick, Sai, and I. All three of us got over a hundred points and Sai won by three ahead of me.
 
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2. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:362]
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Whittier
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Sai wins by a mile, the rest of us compete for second.
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3. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:372]
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Three plays featuring Beowulf
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4. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:147]
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Damaged but undestroyed, we accomplished two simulated missions.

Point value on the second: 14.
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5. Board Game: Karesansui [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:4102]
Goo
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Yorba Linda
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I have become my own island state. A ravaged, war-torn land where nothing grows and the horizons are bleak.
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We did 4 player and overall it was a hit. The bidding was a bit slower than I'd hoped, but you have to constantly be recalculating. It's just shy of AP inducing because there are calculable ends to your reasoning directions. This game will open up more as we grok it enough to try and manage each others' boards more. I was only barely able to do it last night (okay, that one hurts Greg, Erick really wants that one, etc.) because overall I had to keep so much focus on my own garden.

One of the biggest complaints I'd read on the forums is the variable end. The game will go 5-10 rounds, but you just don't know how many exactly until it ends abruptly. I actually liked the variable end because it turned into a surprise press your luck game. Once we got past round 5 (in the, it could end at any time area) I found myself taking bigger risks. I loaded up my rock garden with almost no room for one more stone without creating Forbidden Combinations. If the game had gone one round more, some of our Zen Rock Gardens would have turned into bloody wastelands of tears and regret.

Still, I wish the auctions weren't quite so drawn out, but it just takes that long to calculate it. Late game I was getting better at determining my options (how low I can go for each options) so I got quicker at adjusting and moving my bids. But in the beginning, each turn was a whole new spreadsheet from scratch.

Really enjoyed it. Hope we can keep it in rotation for a while.
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6. Board Game: Le Havre: The Inland Port [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:805]
Kevin Garnica
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West Covina
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Played this lovely little 2P game with Gdap. It's "Le Havre" at its most streamlined and elegant, which I really enjoyed. Players are either purchasing buildings or using buildings, all in the name of managing their resources. THe fun part is players can use their own or their opponent's buildings, and the timing element behind that decision is engaging.

Greg scored 208 (if memory serves) and I scored 181. This is actually a tight score, since it basically came down to the last building bought in the very last turn by Greg that secured him the win. I hope to play this some more in the future.
 
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7. Board Game: Power Grid: Australia & Indian Subcontinent [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Stephen Roney
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Ladera Ranch
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Power Grid India

As expected, I played Power Grid on the new India map with other Paul, other Drew, Fred and Peter (a visitor from Sacramento who had never played Poewr Grid). I recovered from some power plant draw issues to finish second to Mr. Bonday, who was pretty much in control the entire time.

India makes extensive changes to the resource market. Resources are bought one unit at a time, in turns (so everyone buys one resource before the first player buys a second), which does slows things down quite a bit, while also making it so that multiple people can get frozen out by only getting 2 of the 3 resources that they need (for example). In the early rounds, only the very cheapest resources are available, so uranium doesn't become cheap enough until the third turn.

Garbage is also less efficient, so garbage plants all require an extra garbage to run (while still storing the same amount as before)

In my opinion, definitely the slowest map.

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