daspore's 10x10 2014 Challenge List
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
My entry to the 10x10 Challenge for 2014. My resolution this year is to get games I want to play to the table.

Link to my challenge entry
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2540]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I made a challenge board to display on my games shelf so guests can track my progress with me. I insist that players initial gameplays and add s.

January: 11% complete. I managed to squeeze in some plays of Cosmic Encounter at the last minute. Still need to find people interested in trying Space Cadets also.


February: 19% complete. I appreciate that people will gladly offer to spend an evening playing 10 games of Crokinole or Cribbage with me, but this challenge is about more than playing my two shortest games. I pushed to have one play of each game recorded by the end of the month. Despite being reasonably sick for about 10 days, I pulled this off, so I am quite happy.


March: 36% complete. About halfway through the month, I started having an anxiety attack about my progress in this challenge. Scanning through other 10x10 challengers, I found Adria's list, who then pointed out WildFx's list. Two more local gamers! We don't have much overlap in our game choices, but it makes me want to play more and more games.


April: 42% complete. This was a slow month in comparison. Got a nasty cold early in the month that cut into some game time. Student gamers were busy taking finals. I focused on bringing new gamers into board games and didn't quite have time to play many of these games specifically. Jason is excited to play more Mage Knight, which should be more exciting than beating my head against the solo mission over and over.


May: 52% complete. Got a mix of games played to bring me over halfway. Even my mom came up to visit and got in a game of Cribbage. Space Cadets is really falling behind, but I have a few groups lined up to play games with me moving forward.


June: 57% complete. I was ready to play lots of games this month, with gamer friends coming into town to visit. Instead I picked up rock climbing as a hobby and a summertime cold, both from Jason. I'm glad I am at least past the halfway mark after the first six months.


July: 64% complete. Wow, I have somehow avoided finishing any one game thus far, but many are getting close. I missed a few opportunities for catch-up with Galaxy Trucker and Space Cadets, likely due to distractions from great weather. Nevertheless, I have a couple of game groups lined up for when we feel inspired to spend some time inside. My mom drew a cake on my birthday Cribbage game laugh.


August: 69% complete. Summer is out, and now that a lot of my friends are settling back into school, I expect games to pick up again. I finally got around to finishing Takenoko and Hanabi. However, my December is looking to be busy, so I must stay vigilant with playing my lagging games.


September: 79% complete. I hinted to people that I needed to pick up the pace on some of my games, and friends delivered! Many games are on the tipping edge of completion. My mom visited and we got some plays of my lighter-weight games out of the way, though she found it hard to believe that I was purposefully not marking game winners on my board. (Hint: if I get to play my games, it's a win ).


October: 83% complete. I was trying to hold back Friday to convince me to push my original 10 plays up. Looking at the time available in the rest of the year, I needed to boost my total plays. Friday seemed like the best way to get there, and it turns out to be almost all the 10x10 plays I had this month. I think my gaming groups are getting burnt out on the games in my list, so I need to motivate or find other players in November. Holiday schedule is ramping up, and if I don't get in plays now, this challenge will be lost.


November: 92% complete. This was one of my most active months for board games, with Victoria's Day of Boardgamers, a traditional gaming trip to Denman Island on the long weekend, and a busy gaming day with Adria and company. Yet somehow I hardly got any 10x10 plays in the first few weeks. So I dug around and found some local people that really enjoy the remaining few games on my list. In the last couple of days I racked up a couple more plays to put me in position to complete this challenge. Many games are finally wrapping up, but my vacation starts December 12. It is time to push to the finish line.


December: 100% complete! I was on a mission. Set up board game nights and blast through the final lingering plays. Finally, as of December 9th, I have finished my plays for all 10 games (replacing Space Cadets with my alternate Friday). Sometimes I felt silly asking people to star and initial my game tracker board. Yet everybody seemed to enjoy witnessing their active involvement in my challenge. For me that was the point of this whole adventure, to become bolder with meeting and interacting with people through board games. I was introduced to a wide assortment of gamers in the Victoria area during this process, and I got invited to way more meetups would I likely would have otherwise. I give my thanks (and many ) to everybody who helped push me throughout the year to make this goal attainable. I appreciate the enthusiasm everybody brought to the table. Now I can go on holiday without having this challenge looking overhead the whole time. Good luck to all the other Challengers!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
After a crushing domination in my first game, where Mutant kept stealing saved cards from Filch and Fido, 2 out of 4 players vowed to never touch Cosmic Encounter again. I like the wildly varying character powers, and I want to try playing more. I won't let one fluke game stop me from giving it a fair chance.

Play #1: Jan 31
Played with: Ashley, Sam, Tom
Scores: Paul (Oracle):3 Ashley (Vulch):2 Sam (Loser):5 Tom (Miser):2
Comments: We added the Cosmic Incursion reward deck to the base game. My second game ever, Ashley and Sam were helping clarify the rules. Tom got stuck at 0 (first play, kept forgetting to use the Miser's hoard hand), but the game was otherwise progressing evenly. I accidentally invited Loser to a defense when he had a small hand, which let him collect enough strong attack cards to finish the game next turn.

Play #2: Jan 31
Played with: Ashley, Sam, Tom
Scores: Paul (Amoeba):5 Ashley (Tripler):3 Sam (Parasite):5 Tom (Shadow):2
Comments: Follow-up game with new characters. Sam as Parasite decided to only help players to explicitly did NOT invite him to battles. There were hardly any Negotiate cards in our initial hands, but I managed to score early wins to take a quick 4,2,2,0 lead (oops, sorry again Tom!). Once everybody realized I was leading the game, they ganged up to take me out (wait, did you just Hand Zap / Plague my hand of 7 Incursion rewards? shake). Yet nobody ended up attacking (or Shadow executing) my foreign colonies. With a crippled hand on attack, I could have reneged a Negotiate for the solo win, but instead went for the joint victory before Sam could steal a second win.

Play #3: Mar 1
Played with: Andrei, Ben, Betsy
Scores: Paul (Zombie):2 Andrei (Barbarian):3 Ben (Vulch):2 Betsy (Warrior):5
Comments: Out of the available skills, Andrei's Barbarian seemed the most dangerous. However, the first two times around the table, nobody was able to make a successful offensive push. Ben got hit the worst, losing well over half his ships very early. Then Andrei made three successful negotiations for a mid-game lead. My Zombie ability got Reincarnation-flared so I was forced to switch to Mirror. However, while everybody was focused on keeping Andrei tied up with his Barbarian skill, Betsy snuck in a second attack to win the game.

Play #4: Jul 14
Played with: Adria, Darin, Sam, Toshi
Scores: Paul (Grudge):2 Adria (Kamikaze):3 Darin (Hate):1 Sam (Reincarnator):2 Toshi (Remora):5
Comments: I was the only player to get a red alien race, Grudge. I used my Grudge ability on my turn and got other players to lose ships by defending against weak attacks. People played Negotiates early, so everybody got to 2-3 points, except for Darin at 0. Then Darin, as last player, used Hate's ability to discard an Attack 23, which nobody could match. So Darin destroyed everybody else's small colonies to effectively reset the game. Once Darin and I had shown the power of our abilities, the others started to attack us as hard as possible. Meanwhile, Toshi used Remora's ability to slyly pull back all his ships from the warp. He lined up a final attack against me (with an empty planet Attack -1 and +7 reinforcements) with an Attack 16 x2 Kicker, with a Kamikaze wild flare to crush all the rest of our defences for the win. Overall, this felt more like a screw-your-neighbor game than any actual strategy, which makes for good laughs.

Play #5: Jul 15
Played with: Sam, Ashley, Josh
Scores: Paul (Mind):2 Sam (Dictator):5 Ashley (Clone):2 Josh (Fido):1
Comments: I think it may have been too late in the evening for this game, as we did not think our actions through snore. Ashley and Josh had the ability to keep encounter cards around, and I was able to foresee other people's hands, but Sam as Dictator was able to control the whole game. On my turn I convinced him to let me attack him, but he played a Negotiate to steal most of my hand early on, including some strong flare cards. We all barely started the game, but somehow Sam got in the right position to claim a few early planets as ally. Ashley gave him a successful negotiation right before his first turn for a 4th planet. Then Sam played a Human flare on his attack to immediately get an Attack 42 power for a quick dominating win. I guess this proves that not all CE victories will be hard-fought, which is cool that the game felt so different from the last one.

Play #6: Sep 16
Played with: Andrei, Eric, Katherine, Steven
Scores: Paul (Mind):4 Andrei (Anti-Matter):4 Eric (Chosen):4 Katherine (Clone):4 Steven (Fido):5
Comments: This was mostly with new players. People were quickly agreeing to negotiate or play all-out attacks to conquer planets. Steven used his ability to draw cards while playing the Grudge flare to prevent anybody else from building up a hand. I took the early lead to 3 vs 1 planets, but soon everybody was at 4 planets. Finally everybody wised up and started ganging up on defence. We went once around the table with failed attacks, negotiates, etc. (so many artifacts stored up). But in the end, Steven drew a Wild destiny card, attacked Katherine (with the smallest hand), and dominated with Attack 40 vs Negotiate. I was hoping to see Andrei's ability do crazy things, but Steven continually used Clone wild flare & Cosmic Zap to continually cancel his power.

Play #7: Sep 20
Played with: Jason, Jess, Josh, Erik
Scores: Paul (Virus):4 Jason (Fido):5 Jess (Chosen):5 Josh (Citadel):3 Erik (Locust):2
Comments: I shuffled in the CI and CC expansion aliens in hopes to avoid another Mind/Clone/Fido/Chosen game. Sure enough, Fido and Chosen come up again, and I choose Virus to avoid Clone. People were scared of my high attack skill, but my first hand was Reinforcements and Negotiates. Jason used the Fido super flare after I spent my reinforcements as ally to draw up a huge hand. Josh built up huge defences. Erik was way far behind everybody else mid-game, so he laid a large attack when I had a weak hand to devour one of my planets. Jess was playing nice with Jason, and used Wild destiny to negotiate a shared win.

Play #8: Nov 28
Played with: Ashley, Sam, Marion, Dennis
Scores: Paul (Chronos):4 Ashley (Cavalry):5 Sam (Fungus):2 Marion (Mirror):4 Dennis (Mimic):1
Comments: Yay, I thought people were burnt out on Cosmic Encounter, but by mixing two groups together, we got a solid 5 player game. Marion took a massive lead on her turns by playing lots of 08 and 09 attacks (which is massive for Mirror). Sam tried to steal ships in battles, but was largely unsuccessful. Ashley and I didn't get to use our abilities much, but we negotiated for good position. Then Ashley played a Sorcerer wild flare to swap with Dennis' Mimic ability ninja and draw lots of cards and next turn, attacked Sam when he only had a hand full of Negotiate cards.

Play #9: Nov 28
Played with: Ashley, Sam, Marion, Dennis
Scores: Paul (Loser/Masochist):5 Ashley (Vulch/Virus):2 Sam (Zombie/Saboteur):4 Marion (Guerrilla/Plant):4 Dennis (Vacuum/Mite):3
Comments: My first attempt at a "draw 3, keep 2" game. Everybody else revealed their second abilities quite early, but I kept Masochist hidden. Marion and Sam quickly negotiated to 3 colonies, and between Zombie & Plant, it was difficult to get rid of their ships. Ashley kept soaking up lots of artifact cards, but couldn't get a strong offensive strike. Dennis used an interesting combo of Loser wild flare (to lose battles) with Vacuum to drain away other people's ships. I tried to drain away my ships as much as possible while slowly building up foreign colonies, though Mobius Tubes gave me all my ships back twice. Deals were quashed until it came around to me, and I went up against Marion with no home colonies and an Attack 30 to pull off a solo win.

Play #10: Dec 9
Played with: Jess, Josh
Scores: Paul (Locust/Vacuum):3 Jess (Zombie/Empath):4 Josh (Warpish/Miser):4
Comments: For my final game, I could only coordinate three players. We were all experienced, so we went for "draw 3, keep 2" alien powers, with added Defender Rewards and Hazard decks. Josh tried to play as Warpish/Sadist, but was forced to discard because of Zombie's presence. We played with only 1 attack per turn to even out the game. We found that with only 3 players, it was difficult to invite allies, more than in the other games I played. However, this was balanced well with the interaction of double alien powers. We all slowly built up foreign colonies equally, and I eventually managed to clean off one of Jess' planets to devour it with the Locust. Then we drew the Entropy Beast hazard, and planets with foreign colonies started dropping. We each ended up losing a planet to the beast. Jess could have used her Empath ability to negotiate a joint win with Josh but they forgot about that ability. Then the beast struck again, taking a third planet from Jess and forcing all of us to lose. So, congrats to the Entropy Beast angry.

Recap:
Second to Galaxy Trucker, I really wanted to play Cosmic Encounter more. The alien powers feel pasted onto the core game mechanics, and I teach the game as such, but their interaction really drives the game to interesting situations. After playing with Tom, who aptly referred to Cosmic Encounter as "space poker", I tried to sell it as such. It took some work to find groups willing to play, but I am so glad that I was able to get such a diverse group of people to try it out. Even only winning 2 of these games, I saw such wildly different outcomes each time. To all the people who played and despised their experience (and I know there was more than one), I am truly sorry for dragging you into the game. Cosmic Encounter is meant to be a touch of random fun. Maybe it is not meant for everybody, but I certainly enjoyed all the games I played and I expect to continue playing Cosmic Encounter for quite a while.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:554]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I grew up playing Cribbage with my family. I have met people who will play with me, but we never get around to it. I just need to keep it accessible so I can rack up some more plays.

Play #1: Jan 19
Played with: Andrew R
Scores: 115v121 (L)
Comments: Late night game after curling. I had first crib. The game stayed close, with tied scores around 40 and then 90. Only had one 14 point hand. We both needed about 10 in the final round with me counting first, but I could only get a 4 point hand. Congrats to Andrew, who self-proclaims to have the worst Cribbage luck. Ha, I beat your losing streak!

Play #2: Jan 31
Played with: Derrick
Scores: 101v121 (L)
Comments: Game during lunch break at work. A couple of people walked by to see what was happening, so I was able to gauge interest for future matches. The first half of the game was even, but then Derrick kept either scoring KJ44A hands for strong 10 points or pairing ALL my cards during play.

Play #3: Feb 11
Played with: Derrick
Scores: 121v111 (W)
Comments: Another lunch break game. I took the early lead, scoring a couple of 10 point hands. Derrick got his fair share of points mid-game to tie it up around the 80 line. The deciding hand was when I was dealt JJTT and I cut a 9, turning my 4-point hand into 16 to seal the win.

Play #4: Feb 22
Played with: Malcolm, Aurora
Scores: Paul:121 Malcolm:96 Aurora:93
Comments: To my knowledge, this is my first game of 3-handed Cribbage ever. Cribs seem to be more luck-of-the-draw, and Aurora used this to get an early 15 point lead. However, I managed to squeeze in lots of mid-game run & 31s for bonus points during play. Then, right as we were all edging towards the skunk line, I scored a QQQ5+J hand with a KKK6 crib. This 20 point swing launched me to 115 points, giving me the solid victory next hand.

Play #5: Mar 13
Played with: Seth
Scores: 103v121 (L)
Comments: I finally had a chance to challenge Seth tonight before he went climbing. We had been discussing playing since January (both of our moms' side of the families have avid players). He started out with some 12 & 16 point hands out of the gate (Dealt three 555Q, huh? Let's shuffle the deck a bit). Seth pulled farther ahead every hand. Finally when I had crib with 70-ish points, Seth with 115 points finally got a bum 2 pair hand. I scored a 99TTJ plus a double-run crib to scrape past the skunk line. Seth pegged out immediately next hand, game over.

Play #6: May 25
Played with: Robin
Scores: 118v121 (L)
Comments: My mom came up to visit this week. Everybody on my mother's side of the family played crib, which was how I learned to play. My mom started out scoring 12 point hands to my 6, until I was dealt K55567. I chose to stick with the 5567 double run, and a 3 cut gave reasonable points. I caught up mid-game with a few more double-runs. We were tied at 110 with me counting first. I got a useless deal for only a few points, while mom played 8876+6 for 20 points to crush me at the end. She is not a fan of heavy strategy so I'm glad I kept a light game on my list to play with her.

Play #7: Jul 22
Played with: Chee Sing
Scores: 119v121 (L)
Comments: Chee Sing and I were hoping to get in some other games on my list tonight, but besides Hanabi we could not get a large enough group to play anything else. So we settled on Cribbage. We were both getting a couple of points during play, but our hands ended up quite weak. I managed to score a 5TTJ+Q hand for 16 points around mid-game to tie the score, and the game was even up to the very end. I got to count first on the final hand but just fell short cry. Chee Sing squeaked in a win with only 2 points to spare. So close!

Play #8: Jul 24
Played with: Robin
Scores: 115v121 (L)
Comments: For my birthday, I played a game of Cribbage with my mom. It was a balanced, moderate paced game with lots of double-runs for each of us. Then at the midpoint of the game, my mom laid down a 3335+4 hand. 15's, runs, pairs... 21 points surprise! She edged past the skunk line, leaving me in the dust. But then I immediately drew a 6689+7 hand for my own 16 points cool. So we were both even in the home stretch, but she counted first and crossed the line right before me.

Play #9: Sep 28
Played with: Robin
Scores: 118v121 (L)
Comments: I started off this game with a few big hands, including a 12-point crib. I was pegging points during the hands while my mom was not. So after two hands, I was up 34 to 12. I kept up about a 20 point lead until the 90 point mark, where the flipped cards did not work in my favor. My mom caught up quickly with a few high point hands. She was one point away from winning on my crib, and I could not find enough in my hands. So final hand I was down 116 to 120. I needed to peg points, but my cards were all way too high value. I got a 15 for 2 points, but then my mom got a pair to win.

Play #10: Nov 5
Played with: Michael H
Scores: 107v121 (L)
Comments: We had 22 minutes at lunch before Michael had to join a meeting, so we decided to try a speed round of cribbage. Michael started off with a 7889+T crib for 14 points, and I quickly followed up with a 4567+4 hand for 16 points of my own. Michael's hands then had potential but never got the right cut, so I worked up a 20 point lead by scoring 8-10 points to his 2 many hands. Then right after mid-game, he got 78TJ+6, all clubs, for 11 points, followed next hand with a K933+3 crib for another 12 and we were tied. Tied at 100 with Michael's crib, he pegged a couple of points and drew a 7666+2 crib for 12 to blast into the end. Game over in 19 minutes!

Recap:
I originally thought Cribbage would be a game I could play mostly with my mom when she visits. However, as I told people about the 10x10 challenge throughout the year, a surprising number of people knew how to play. I could have finished this game a lot earlier by keeping my game board at work and playing during lunch time, but I decided to pace myself, especially with shorter games like Cribbage. I guess I ended up losing 8 out of these 10 games but never by much. I got a first taste of 3-handed Cribbage because of this challenge, and I am interested to try more in the future.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I got my first Mayday Games Crokinole board late in 2013. Who doesn't like a quick dexterity game? If I am going to spend $100 on a game, people ought to play with me.

Play #1: Jan 16
Played with: Jason
Scores: 100v55 (W), 100v70 (W)
Comments: Best 2 out of 3 match. We both have about 3 games played to date. I have yet to wax my Mayday board, and before today this was not an issue. Today the disks were stopping short, or spinning off-center in place. I will take this win, but I need to polish up the board before I bring it out again.

Play #2: Jan 19
Played with: Salimah
Scores: 100v45 (W)
Comments: Learning game with a new player. Close until an 45 point round to take a dominant lead. Very fast play, more focused on practicing for a follow-up game.

Play #3: Jan 19
Played with: Salimah vs Jason & Seth
Scores: 95v100 (L), 40v100 (L)
Comments: First game ever with 4 players. Best 2 out of 3 match. First match was very intense! 30 & 65 points to take a strong lead, but then Jason/Seth got a 90 point comeback. Second game was rushed, which led to a Jason/Seth 85 point first round. Tried to fight, but couldn't quite get enough.

Play #4: Feb 7
Played with: Andrew W vs Michael & Jane
Scores: 100v40 (W)
Comments: I got some carnauba wax and wiped down my board and disks today. I can tell some of the disks are a bit rough, which I didn't notice before. Michael was the most experienced player, but he tried for some difficult shots that didn't quite pan out. There were a few rounds with good center-hole shootouts (each team got about 4). Andrew ended up making a few key shots with hard angles to claim the win. We played on the floor, but nobody was comfortable. I would suggest we move the board up to the table next time.

Play #5: Apr 14
Played with: Michael
Scores: 70v100 (L), 100v85 (W), 100v45 (W)
Comments: Best 2 out of 3 match. Two out of every three rounds, only one of us would score 10 points at most, so a lot of the match felt very close. The few rounds otherwise would be about 40 point swings, which really determined the flow of the game. Michael seemed to lose a bit of focus in the final game, so I was able to take the overall win. I could definitely tell that some of the disks were quite over-waxed, so I will need to look into fixing them up.

Play #6: May 9
Played with: Jason, Andrew W
Scores: Paul:8 Jason:3 Andrew:5
Comments: Three player game with tournament scoring, with Andrew sitting across from me & Jason on the side. Most people were playing casually, making a couple of decent takeouts each round plus a few total misses. I started out playing the worst out of all 3, but then I realized that I could get away with making easy shots leaving my disks in undesirable locations so they would be left alone. In the last two rounds, I managed to bank shots off other players for two center hole shots, the only two of the game. This game me enough points to take the victory.

Play #7: Jun 9
Played with: Dennis
Scores: 90v100 (L)
Comments: Dennis had grown up with Carrom, but Crokinole was new. We were evenly matched at getting disks into the center hole, and a lot of the early games only scored 5 points. The single match lasted 12 rounds, which is the longest game I have played yet. I had a 90 to 25 lead, but I missed some takeouts late to even the game. I accidentally bumped a few of Dennis' disks into the middle on the last round, and he ended up crushing the game with a 90 point final round.

Play #8: Sep 24
Played with: Robin
Scores: 100v35 (W)
Comments: My mom is visiting for the while. We kicked off the weekend with a game of Crokinole. We owned a small family version of carrom/crokinole board but rarely played when I was younger. We could each usually sink our first disk in the center hole to keep the score pretty even. After 5 rounds, my mom was winning 35-25. I put up a few defensive disks on my side of the board, and with the final shot, I luckily used a double bump shot to knock my mom's last disk off the board to make a 90 point round, finishing the game handily.

Play #9: Sep 29
Played with: Robin
Scores: 100v20 (W)
Comments: To round out the weekend, we tried a follow-up game of Crokinole. It was a slow game, usually only scoring 10-15 points each round, but usually with me squeaking out the lead to edge up the score track. The overall game ended up taking about 9 rounds, and in the last few my mom kept hitting the center pegs. I tried to ease up a bit, practicing harder skill shots, but we both ricocheted a few of my discs into the center hole. I had clipped my nails recently, while my mom's were quite long... Can this affect performance in a dexterity game like this?

Play #10: Nov 29
Played with: Natasha, Jeremy
Scores: 25, 20 (W)
Comments: After an evening of other games, Jeremy and Natasha brought out their Crokinole board. It had slightly smaller disks than mine so it played a bit differently. I played one round each (15 shot) with Natasha and then Jeremy. Against Natasha, she built up a little force of disks in the middle ring, but eventually the action migrated over to our weak side of the board. I played final disk, and with a lucky bounce to the inner ring I finished with a 25 point lead. Then Jeremy stepped in. Early some of my disks got wedged in behind posts on my side of the board. This led to a large pileup of disks all over the board. I got a good bounce in mid-game to the center for a 20 point advantage, which turned out to be the only bonus points I got. It was late so we called the game there.

Recap:
Crokinole is easy to teach and play, which makes it a good game to have. Through this challenge, I got to experience both people who wanted to do well and others who didn't bother to put in effort. The largest issue I have with the game is space, as the board does not fit on any shelves or walls in my current house. "Out of sight, out of mind" mentality made it hard to get the game to the table. Nevertheless, I am glad I was able to find a board via Kickstarter when I did. Once I figure out how to maintain my board better, perhaps I can consider looking for a more expensive replacement board.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:1991]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
A light competitive game that my partner will actually play. I got the character pack, and I want to see how the different character powers will affect gameplay.

Play #1: Jan 13
Played with: Jason
Scores: Jason:26 Paul:22
Comments: Characters drawn randomly, I played as Occultist while Jason got the Knight (new for each of us, as most of these entries probably will be). By the second round, we were tied for exp. I managed to grab a few extra treasures, though they turned out to be invisibility rings and monster meats, a costly way to get past dragons. Jason got a lucky reroll on level 7, getting 2 goblins and 4 treasure chests. I, on the other hand, had to deal with 3 dragon fights starting on level 2. I pushed my luck with a town portal and no heroes on level 7 to hope for some lucky roll, but to no avail. Alas, I was only destined to make Village Hero status... more adventures to come!

Play #2: Jan 17
Played with: Ryan, Mark, Callum
Scores: Paul:28 Ryan:24 Mark:29 Callum:40
Comments: I randomly picked the Tracker and had a reasonable delve, though I did not get nearly enough goblins to be very effective. Ryan play as the Viking and died the first delve. To come back to 24 points is scary! Mark took the Enchantress and had a solid run. Callum scored huge with the Scout, getting lots of treasures (3 dragon scales + 3 town portals) and potions for long delves. The game took a bit over an hour, and we ended up just taking all the treasures amongst the 4 of us.

Play #3: Mar 6
Played with: Jason
Scores: Paul:25 Jason:30
Comments: Jason chose Scout. Having been decimated by the scout last game, I decided to try Dwarf with bonuses for champions. I then proceeded to never roll a starting champion. Gah, drink those potions, my minions! Neither of us leveled up first delve, and we both finished the second delve with 10xp. Yet Jason had 8 treasures, including 3 dragon scales, compared to my single dragon scale.

Play #4: May 3
Played with: Jason
Scores: Paul:32 Jason:25
Comments: I tried Archaeologist for lots of artifacts, while Jason played Dwarf. We each had a pretty standard first round, with each of us levelling up. Jason managed to use the Dwarf abilities (unlike my last game) to keep some strong scoring, but as Dungeon Master, Jason kept rolling lots of potions and chests for me, so I really built up a strong treasure supply. Jason had some dragon meat, so he could get dice and escape as necessary. I only picked up one dragon scale plus a single town portal the entire game, but it was enough to get a winning final score.

Play #5: Sep 5
Played with: Sam, Ashley
Scores: Paul:19 Sam:20 Ashley:22
Comments: To finish out a night of games, I gave Mercenary a shot, while Sam went with Scout and Ashley took Sorceress. We each made it to floor 5 for a level up in the first delve. The next two delves ended up being quite anticlimactic, though, as hard dungeons made it difficult to get past level 5-6. Ashley was able to go slightly deeper by skipping dragons, but Sam and I each dealt with a dragon or two. Each character handled the dungeon differently, but it is surprising to see such similar results.

Play #6: Sep 28
Played with: Robin
Scores: Paul:28 Robin:17
Comments: To train my mom, I tried to find a simpler character. She chose Enchantress while I took Knight. My first delve ended with me defeating a dragon on level 4, just enough to level up. My mom got stuck after level 4 with only a treasure. My upgraded skill allowed me to defeat dragons easily, so I conquered one each subsequent delve. On the final round, I got a lucky 4 treasures on level 6 for a large final score boost. My mom, on the other hand, constantly got stuck with two different monsters (skeleton/goblin), which made it difficult to ever delve deep. So it was a bit lopsided, but it shows how random this game can be sometimes.

Play #7: Oct 5
Played with: Jason
Scores: Paul:23 Jason:27
Comments: I was debating whether to play as the Leprechaun or the Alchemist, as their skills to modify treasure types seem somewhat useless. I ended up picking Leprechaun, and Jason tried Alchemist. First delve I got 2 treasures and defeated a dragon on level 5 for a decent start. Jason also just managed to get through level 5, though he never had a good opportunity to use his skill. In the second round, we both got a mid-range level with 4 treasures, so I picked up a hefty load of adventurer treasures while Jason got lots of dice back. A lucky town portal allowed me to push all the way to level 8. In the last level, I got lots of treasure chests with dragon meat & invisibility rings, allowing me to skip levels. I spent all the treasures I could and finally made it to level 10. Jason got a healthy number of potions to keep himself alive through level 8, while defeating one final dragon for a bonus treasure. Thanks to multiple dragon scales, I was holding on to 13 points of treasure tokens, but sadly had to dispose of them all.

Play #8: Nov 9
Played with: Jessica
Scores: Paul:16 Jessica:21
Comments: Rounding out a series of short games, Jessica and I decided to play through Dungeon Roll. I picked up Mercenary (oops, played him recently?) and she went with the trusty Bard. She defeated a dragon to get her level 4 +1 exp bonus to level up on the first delve. I got stuck burning through dice early and took on level 5 with only a champion and a scroll. All three monsters appeared, so I got stuck with a total wipeout on my first delve. My second delve was easier and I got my level up, but by the end of a slow third delve for both of us, I could not quite catch up to Jessica's lead.

Play #9: Nov 9
Played with: Jessica
Scores: Paul:18 Jessica:25
Comments: The first game was quick, so we switched up our characters and went for a second adventure. I took on the Crusader and Jessica chose the Archaeologist. She took a treasure heavy approach, grabbing lots of tokens and spending them quickly to explore deep each delve. I only picked up enough to get me leveled up to Paladin, and then spend whatever remained on smashing deeper levels with Divine Intervention. Both of us had slow dungeons, not getting many potions. However, right at the end of level 7, Jessica got used a scroll token to reroll all the monsters and got a whopping 4 treasures, including 3 town portals. Even after giving up 6 treasures at the end, the bonus points on those portals gave Jessica the definite victory for the night.

Play #10: Dec 8
Played with: Andrew R
Scores: Paul:18 Andrew:19
Comments: I decided to try Viking this time, as it seems like a difficult class to play, and Andrew randomly drew the Tracker. He went first and only got through four levels after battling through lots of spread out monsters. I proceeded to draw an early dragon bait treasure, and used it to travel to level 6, where I played it and evaded the dragon (Viking special) to level up. Andrew got bad rolls with very few goblins to complete another level 4 delve to level up before his final delve. As Undead Viking, I was hoping for lots of skeletons and potions, but they did not come. I got a level 4 delve also. Finally, Andrew got the right rolls to score 4 treasures on level 6 in his final delve. He pushed forward to level 8 and then used a town portal. I once again got stuck with assorted monsters that didn't let me use my skills. I got a town portal for 2 points, but it wasn't quite enough.

Recap:
I got this game because it was easy to learn, and I was able to get Jason to play it. It is enjoyable as a casual game to draw in non-gamers (I even got my mom to play!). For such a simple game design, I like that the characters abilities are so varied. It is interesting to see what characters people gravitate toward based on their personality, be it strategic, foolhardy, tricky, cautious, or whatnot. I tried to play as most of the characters during this challenge. Despite the praise I have for this game, after trying most of the abilities, I feel like I have reached the conclusion of the game's offering. The dice rolls are just too random, and final scores only show how lucky players got from the dungeon dice rather than long term strategic decisions. So this game may not last on my shelves much longer, but I will enjoy it while I have it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Some people have trouble with shipbuilding Galaxy Trucker, and others find the gameplay lackluster. However, I love Galaxy Trucker's ability to make me smile while I get utterly crushed. Possibly my favorite game to date. I am tired of watching the expansions collect dust on my shelf.

Play #1: Feb 16
Played with: Andrew R
Scores: Paul:38 Andrew:68
Comments: Used 1st expansion ships and tiles. Jason started the first round with us and was looking strong, but he jumped ship to make dinner. Andrew's ships were precarious at best, having to abandon one of the pair ships in Round 2 almost immediately. I was leading about 50-25 going into the third round. Then, an early combat zone blasted off all my engines, and slavers took all my remaining stranded crew. Andrew finished off the round solo with stellar performance for the comeback victory. I had so much cargo space... why couldn't we hit the planets first! Hilarious.

Play #2: Mar 23
Played with: Andrei, Seth, Salimah, Michael D/Jason
Scores: Paul:93 Andrei:48 Seth:45 Salimah:76 Michael/Jason:69
Comments: A lot of new players showed up for a game today. I finally got to experience a 5 player game, though we only used the base tiles (wow, this cramps up round 3). The first two rounds were pretty safe and standard, and points were mostly even. Michael had to leave for Seattle, and Jason filled in. The final round had some big asteroids that hit the sides of everybody's ships, but nobody took any particular damage. It came down to who was farthest ahead to collect lots of cargo. Still need to work on teaching the game to new players so building is less frustrating.

Play #3: May 10
Played with: Sam, Tom
Scores: Paul:73 Sam:49 Tom:53
Comments: Sam was interested to try this game. Tom had played once before, but needed some rules corrections. Sam got hit with a combat zone in the first round, and unfortunate rolls destroyed his central cabin, cutting his ship into two useless halves. Round 2 was pretty standard, with Sam and I pushing ahead in open space and collecting goods on planets ahead of Tom. Round 3 had lots of planets, but some pretty nasty asteroid fields. A combat zone destroyed some of my cannons. Both Tom and I lost both sides of our ships, while Sam resisted using tons of batteries with shields. At least everybody finished with a decent amount of goods.

Play #4: Aug 23
Played with: Jason, Tom, Jess, Josh
Scores: Paul:76 Jason:74 Tom:53 Jess:30 Josh:44
Comments: I finally got Jess and Josh over, after having them say they want to play Galaxy Trucker for the last two months. Tom and I took an early lead in the first round by collecting lots of cargo. Round two was pretty normal, though I started to notice that Jason and I were the fastest builders, quite evenly paced. So for round three, we decided to upgrade to the expansion ship 3B, where we rolled 3&5. This combo blocked off the right portion of the ship except for one tiny connector along the top of the ship. Josh joined with our design, while Tom and Jess took on 3A. Epidemics, slavers, and pirates showed up right away, and we all lost crew and random bits. Jess was looking to take a strong cargo lead, until a ninja Saboteur blasted off the bottom half of her ship. Everybody lost chunks of their ships here and there, around 13 points worth, but Josh got both sides crushed in for 22 points lost. So Jason almost caught up, but there were lots of laughs otherwise.

Play #5: Sep 13
Played with: Jason, Malcolm, Aurora
Scores: Paul:65 Jason:58 Malcolm:49 Aurora:37
Comments: First game for Malcolm and Aurora. We played using only the basic ships. I was lucky to collect goods first round, while others lost them to combat zones or smugglers, giving me about a 10 point lead. The second round gave everybody lots of goods. In the last round, there were lots of open space and asteroids, but only 2x 2-planet cards, so everybody had a hard time with gaining points to catch up. I think this was the first game where I never saw epidemic cards, but I did get hit by the Saboteur (only got a single battery from me yuk). I think everybody enjoyed the game, and with another play or two, Malcolm and Aurora would likely become competitive with us.

Play #6: Sep 23
Played with: Andrei, Sam, Ashley
Scores: Paul:112 Andrei:111 Sam:36 Ashley:74
Comments: I was the quickest builder this game, though Sam was usually pretty close. In Round 2, we had some hard pirates lined up to blast us apart. I built a fast ship with enough guns, but open connectors pushed me back to last place, so everybody else got shot up. For Round 3 we all used 3A except for Andrei (the newest player). More enemies struck our ships, but moderately at most, while I hid lots of cargo in my ship core for decent points. We decided to continue on to Round 4 with Big Expansion components. Andrei and I engine boosted past lots of early asteroids that knocked off the sides of Sam and Ashley's ships. Slavers captured crew members, and then a combat zone forced Sam to lost all his crew before he could collect anything. Andrei hung out in the back with lots of firepower & batteries to take out multiple pirates for lots of quick cash, while the rest of us got shot up. Ashley ws lined up for more points, but got smuggled in the late game. In the final card, Andrei lost his merchant cyan alien worth 8 credits, while my manager gave me a bonus 3 for the hairline victory.

Play #7: Nov 27
Played with: Eric
Scores: Paul:81 Eric:73
Comments: This was Eric's first game, so I tried to watch his building progress. He seemed to pick up the building process well. An early combat zone crushed one side of my ship, while small asteroids knocked out both of Eric's ship's wings, and we both hobbled to the end of the first round. In the second round, Eric out-built me by a few seconds, but forgot to add much cargo space, so I grabbed about a 20 point lead. Finally in the third round, there were almost no attacks in sight. A stray large asteroid knocked out a cannon on each ship, but it was otherwise quite a harmless round. Eric took the lead in open space and grabbed some abandoned stations, but couldn't quite collect enough to catch up.

Play #8: Nov 29
Played with: Natasha, Jeremy, Rob
Scores: Paul:59 Natasha:49 Jeremy:75 Rob:53
Comments: I met Natasha and Jeremy at one of Adria's parties. Both Jeremy and I are looking to integrate our currently unused second expansion components. So we met up for a warmup game, with Rob joining in for his second game ever. I focused on building quickly while others took a bit more time to make pretty ships. The first round was quite standard. In the second round, Rob took the first position and got a good lead by destroying a few pirates as well as taking some abandoned stations. Nobody bothered to check the cards, and we were a bit shocked to find no planets, so there was not much to be had for points. I managed to get a few bonuses by bringing in VIPs and some cyan alien bonuses. In the final round, there were many planets and everybody got loaded up with red/yellow cubes, to the point where we ran out of yellow cubes! Jeremy paid 16 credits to sabotage all the ships for minor damage, but got some late game pirate kills to take the victory.

Play #9: Dec 6
Played with: Andrew W, Cole B
Scores: Paul:68 Andrew:90 Cole:57
Comments: Finally Andrew and Cole wrapped up their classes and were able to come over for games. They were new and took some time to ramp up their building process. The first round was more about learning what pitfalls you can encounter while building, but there weren't any notable issues during the adventure. In the second round, Cole misinterpreted the Epidemic card and lost his pink alien, which caused him to lose parts of his ship to pirates as a serious setback. The final round, most cards in the preview were Open Space and Planets. So I worked to add engines and cargo space. However, my cargo filled up quickly. Andrew used his larger crew to collect on some abandoned stations, and the final Combat Zone card made me lose 8c of cargo and 5 ship components. Somehow that was enough to leave Andrew way out in the lead, but I'm glad Cole managed to catch up from his unfortunate second round.

Play #10: Dec 8
Played with: Andrew R, April
Scores: Paul:90 Andrew:35 April:81
Comments: I had a few potential subgroups lined up to play this final game, but it ended up working out with Andrew and April. This was April's first time playing, so we kept the game components simplified. I have been trying to slow down my building process by helping new players, but still I managed to finish clearly first each round. In the first round, I blasted ahead with lots of crew and engines to capture a good haul of cash early on. In the second round, I tried to filter some goods back amongst the other players, but I ended up keeping my lead and a few late pirates gave me a full load of cargo. In the final round, Andrew and I upgraded to 3A ships. April ended up outbuilding Andrew, and with lots of batteries and double engines, she pushed into the lead halfway through the round. I still managed to pick up some quality goods to keep the game close. On the other hand, Andrew got struck by an early saboteur, who destroyed large parts of the back of his ship. Meteors came in and knocked out his cargo. Hi limped in, gaining prettiest ship (only 1 exposed connector leading to the gaping hole that was the back half of his ship) but only breaking even based on the number of lost pieces.

Recap:
Galaxy Trucker was the #1 game I wanted to play as part of this challenge, way more than any others. I knew I enjoyed it, even though I had only played the base game. It was enough to get me to buy the expansions (blast, Anniversary Edition!). However, looking back during this year, I was having so much trouble finding other players. Leading into August and November, I assured myself that this game would (disregarding Space Cadets) singlehandedly ruin my 10x10 hardcore challenge. I dug deep and found more groups to call upon and I am glad that I did. I tried my hardest to make it fun, especially for other new players. Even though I ended up winning 7 of 10 games cool, I only got positive responses laugh. I also managed to line myself up with other experienced players who want to play the big ships with all the expansions. Trucking in 2015, here I come!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:274]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Hanabi is one of the few games I have already tracked 10+ plays since joining BGG. It takes time to learn how to communicate good clues to each other, but I enjoy watching people's faces light up with joy when they figure out that perfect subtle hint.

Play #1: Jan 26
Played with: Andrew W, Andrei
Scores: 20
Comments: New game for Andrew and Andrei. Early on, I mistakenly told the color of a 1, when I meant to tell Andrei of his three Green cards (to show that his 1 was non-Green). There was a point where, if Andrew had pointed out Andrei's Green 4, I could have immediately played my 5 (seeing all the other 5s in both of their hands). Instead, they each ended up discarding a 5 to seal our fate at a non-perfect game. But they are both excited to try again!

Play #2: Mar 9
Played with: Jason, Andrew R, Shaun
Scores: 21
Comments: Shaun's first game. This game seemed much more linear than most 3 player games I play. Andrew started with three distinct 1s, and then proceeded to draw three duplicate 1s. A blue 3 got discarded early and the other one was at the bottom of the deck, so we could not reach a perfect game. Mostly solid play, but a bit more longer-term communication could have given us a few more points.

Play #3: Mar 20
Played with: Jason, Keelan
Scores: 18
Comments: Keelan's first game. We got three 1s down quite fast, but Jason discarded a red 1 early on. All the other red and green 1s were at the very bottom of the deck. We quickly scored all black, and yellow soon after. I tried to make a play at Keelan's hand to point out his 2s to help Jason realize he also held some 2s, but he blocked out the green stack by discarding the last green 2 too quickly. With one more clue token, we could have scraped out an extra few points at the end, but the deck just worked against us this game.

Play #4: Mar 28
Played with: Randy, Garrett, Shevaun
Scores: 18
Comments: New game for all the other players. I tend to house rule that players can repeat public knowledge of other players' and their cards (trying to remember your hand can be frustrating), though everybody else was less interested in using this rule. Randy started the game with two 5s, and discarded a third right after he drew it early on, so we knew we were doomed from the perfect game. A few times, there was confusion about whether information was presented on specific cards (like, was I aware this 3 was NOT green?), which burned us on a few plays. Yet, we tightened up in the end game and easily completed 3 stacks for a good comeback score of 18.

Play #5: Apr 10
Played with: Jason, Jesse
Scores: 21
Comments: Within the first few turns, we had Play Red 1, Discard Red 1, Discard Blue 4. Immediately afterwards, I told Jason "You have a single 4." He responded with, "I don't know what that means... wait, I know EXACTLY what that means." Lots of 1s and 3s early, but hardly any 2s. Mid-game we ended up blocking out Red by sequentially discarding both 3s. By the end, Jesse realized half his cards were playable without any hints, and got two successful plays. On top of otherwise strong end game, this turned out quite well.

Play #6: Jun 14
Played with: Dennis
Scores: 20
Comments: Both Dennis and I have played a reasonable number of games, but we developed our strategies separately. I started with Black and Blue 1s, but others were not available through the first half of the game. After a little miscommunication in our play styles, we ended up discarding both Green 4s and the Red 5 somewhat early on. In the end game, Dennis knew he had the Blue 4, I had the Blue 5. I drew the Blue 3 as the second-to-last card, and we managed a quick 3-card play to get a decent ending score.

Play #7: Jun 28
Played with: Jason, Will, Nick, Alasdair
Scores: 22
Comments: I haven't played 5-handed Hanabi in so long. Most players were at least marginally familiar with the game. There was a good spread of 1s across the players that made it easy to get all the piles started. However, we quickly burned through our tokens. A few times, somebody would misread another's hand and give the wrong clue ('you have a single 3... oops, you have two. now you have no idea what to do'). We ended up losing both blue 4s by midgame. The end game came very fast, as can happen with many players, and a few lucky plays gave us a bonus two points to end with a very high score overall.

Play #8: Jul 22
Played with: Chee Sing, Chrissy, Cherise
Scores: 18
Comments: Chee Sing and I were about to try 2-hand Hanabi (his first attempt at a real, full game), but Chrissy and Cherise joined at the last minute (also new). We accidentally discarded the Blue 5 early along with a Blue 1, and we didn't see another Blue 1 for the majority of the game. The other decks got started quickly and made good progress. Eventually the Blue and Black decks got locked by discarded 3s, which really hurt our final score. I think a lot of us were too tired to really focus on our cards, but with another attempt we could do better having seen the general strategy.

Play #9: Jul 23
Played with: Jason, Chee Sing, Chrissy
Scores: 21
Comments: As a follow-up to yesterday's game, Chrissy wanted to see how Jason fared at Hanabi. We got most 1s out fast. Chrissy and Jason both ended up with two 5s in their hands, so we worked to avoid discarding any vital cards through the mid-game. Both Green 2s were buried deep in the deck, so we focused on finishing up the other colors. By the end we managed to complete the other four colors, but Green just had no chance.

Play #10: Aug 17
Played with: Jason, Ryan, Mark, Callum
Scores: 21
Comments: As expected in a 5 player game, there were a wide spread of 1s around. We quickly got the 1s and most of the 2s down quickly, but we ran out of clues. Callum randomly discarded the red 5, and others got rid of both green 4s to lock us out of a few points. In the end-game, we played two 5s successively to lead to the final round, and a lucky guess got us a third 5 to round out a good final score.

Recap:
I ended up teaching Hanabi to about 15 people throughout the course of these ten games. I have read a few strategy articles on BGG, but it is interesting to watch new players who do or don't catch on to some subtle clues. I often played with Jason, and we are able to read each other quite well by now. Hanabi is definitely still a brain-burner of a game, but I am glad that so many other people were able to enjoy it with me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:17]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I bought this as a solo game when I am stuck at home alone for an evening. Maybe some people will agree to play co-op missions with me, but I have no qualms bringing this out for myself on quiet nights.

Play #1: Jan 26
Played with: N/A
Scores: 105 (L)
Comments: Solo mission, first time playing as Arythea. There were lots of keeps, but hardly any accessible mage towers or monasteries, and slow moving terrain. Ice Shield (advanced action) and Endless Gem Pouch (artifact) were strong in my deck. Found Red city and White city right near each other with a keep in between, so I could fight with a hand size of 9. Defeated the Red city, but could not deal enough non-physical damage in the White city to fully conquer it. Ended with base fame 76, and a total of 105. I realized in this game that I hardly ever deal with monster dens, tombs or dungeons, which may be what I need to succeed.

Play #2: Feb 8
Played with: Jason
Scores: Paul:43 Jason:52
Comments: Played First Reconnaissance, even though Jason had already played half a game before (he gave up because 4 player was too slow). We were both moving & conquering at an even rate. I made a big push by finding the city and conquering a dragon in a turn, but then Jason raced halfway across the board to destroy a mage tower. The conquer & spell card gave him enough end-game bonus points for the victory.

Play #3: Mar 9
Played with: N/A
Scores: 112 (L)
Comments: Solo mission with Norowas, and first game with Lost Legion expansion cards mixed in. Got an early influence bonus skill, with Training and Chivalry advanced actions. There were no keeps throughout the realm, but I picked up a Fire Mage and a Fireball spell with the intent of blowing up somebody in the final city. The Green and Blue cities were adjacent. I easily tore through the Green city in the final day, and with +5 reputation I prepared my deck with 9 advanced action cards, and got Altem Guardians from the city to help with magical attacks. However, all four enemies had fire resistance! Knocked out everybody but an Altem Guardsmen before Arythea finished the round. Base fame of 90 with final score of 112.

Play #4: Apr 19
Played with: Jason, Adria
Scores: Total:191 (W), Paul:81 Jason:122 Adria:87
Comments: Played with all the Lost Legion components. Adria took Arythea right to find a couple of early keeps. Jason played Goldyx and moved middle to grab an early artifact. I played as Norowas. I tried going left to a maze but got paralyzed to end the first day with 3 wounds and no artifact. I encountered the Green city first, but was too weak to attack it solo. Then we discovered the Blue, White, and finally Red (lvl 11) cities clumped in the middle. Jason/Adria attacked Blue while I caught up in levels. Jason/I assaulted White together, and Adria powered up her deck (bye bye monastery). In the final night, Jason/I pushed on the Red city with enough powers to cancel their attacks (easy win). Adria pushed left as fast as possible, and defeated the final Green city with 2 turns to spare. Wow, this was long. It took about 7 hours, double most of my solo missions, but the time flew by.

Play #5: Apr 25
Played with: Jason
Scores: Total:183 (W), Paul:75 Jason:88
Comments: Jason took Tovak to the right side, past two mage towers to conquer two keeps for a large early hand size. I went left side with Wolfhawk to try fighting orcs and a monster den. A paralysis monster made me spend all my attack cards, and then I got stuck between lakes and mountains facing a strong orc. Instead I doubled back to a mage tower and picked up Offering for a steady stream of crystals. Jason powered ahead to another keep, and then moved left to find the Red city. He defeated it and collected siege attacks. I moved right to beat a keep and the Blue city. Jason discovered the final Green city in the center of the map. I had to run through forests and swamps in the last night, but we were able to swiftly defeat all the remaining enemies. We both ended with no wounds and average reputation. I just need to stop getting paralyzed every first day angry.

Play #6: May 4
Played with: Jason
Scores: Total:158 (W), Paul:62 Jason:96
Comments: Jason went left with Norowas and I took Goldyx right for some standard early fights. I encountered the only two monasteries of the game early on, and tried destroying one to pick up an Endless Gem Pouch (massive crystal stash for Goldyx). Jason grabbed the Magic Talent AA to try picking up spells. We each conquered two keeps for large hand sizes, but I revealed a city tile too early to build up an army of cheap units. Jason got stuck pushing through two dragons, and I wasted my second day walking around the Green city (all swamps gulp) to find more battles for fame. We finished the last day defeating the White city together. For the final night, Arythea had picked up 3 red AA with 5 red crystals and quickly burned through her deck. Jason rushed to the massive Red city and smashed it by himself. I moved back to the Green city and defeated it right before end of round.

Play #7: May 29
Played with: Jason, Andrei
Scores: Paul:40 Jason:37 Andrei:34
Comments: First Reconnaissance as a teaching game for Andrei (we started late to play anything longer). I played as Norowas and charged through the middle. Jason tried to head left with Wolfhawk, but kept getting cornered and pushed against me. Andrei stayed right with Goldyx. Early game was very standard. I ended up finding the Red city at the end of the first night, but before I burned down a monastery to grab the only artifact of the game. Jason hung left to try fighting more keeps, but didn't have time to defeat anything. Andrei defeated a dragon with the last of his deck for huge base fame. Andrei was ahead 27 vs Jason's 19 and my 16 fame, but with post-game scoring bonuses I shot into the lead. Andrei wants to play again, but we need to figure out a time to sit down for a longer game.

Play #8: Jun 29
Played with: Jason, Andrei, Jonah
Scores: Total:202 (W), Paul:66 Jason:88 Andrei:86 Jonah:102
Comments: First game for Jonah. We were going to play a blitz co-op, but I botched the blitz rules whistle, so we went for a full 3-day/night game. I played Arythea, Jason was Wolfhawk, Andrei was Norowas, and Jonah took Tovak. We house-ruled that each player started with a bonus advanced action, spell, and artifact. The game progressed pretty normally, though Jonah rushed ahead and stayed about 2 levels higher than everybody else. The Red city (5) fell early by Jason and me, and to catch up I rushed Delphana Masters over to Green city (8) to solo crush them. Jonah and Andrei teamed up against the White city (11). Right before the end of the final day, we decided to weaken the Blue city (11) to make the final fight easy to end the game. It looked like mountains/lakes were going to block off all players but one, but everybody used actions/spells to fly to surround the city. First turn of the final night, we all rushed in to crush the few units left in the city. Exciting until the end, but it was a 9 hour game.

Play #9: Sep 9
Played with: Adria
Scores: Total:188 (W), Paul:95 Adria:92
Comments: I tried Krang for the first time while Adria played Goldyx. I swept along one side of the board taking out mage towers, while Adria took the other side with keeps. We both managed to snag an early Guardian Golems for damage resistance. An early mana ruins gave me 10 fame for some good starting levels. Adria took her time to build up crystals and a bunch of artifacts (Druidic Staff, Sword of Justice, and Diamond Ring). Midway through the game, I grabbed Fireball and Adria got Snowstorm, so we both had access to lots of siege attack. I found the first White city (5) and barely scraped through a solo win. We ended the final day surrounding the Green city (5) with Volkare's camp (8) nearby. Adria used her powerful cards to bring down the majority of the Green city. We both obtained Amotep Freezers, and went to Volkare's camp. I saved up my cards to take out the hardest enemies, while Adria cleaned up the lower ranks. I had a Horn of Wrath artifact for siege damage, but never ended up using it. It ended up being a crushing victory, but we barely made it before the dummy player called final round.

Play #10: Nov 11
Played with: Jason
Scores: Total:174 (W), Paul:81 Jason:89
Comments: I took Tovak while Jason picked Norowas. Jason blasted through the middle of the map taking out a string of keeps to build up a large hand size and keep recruiting options open. I went left and tried to take out an early mage tower, but got hit hard by a medusa. After resting, I pillaged a nearby village for a larger hand and charged back and picked up Wings of Night so I could travel quickly and catch up. Along the left side I beat another mage tower for Fireball and ruins to get Sword of Justice. As we advanced on the cities, I had lots of attack strength and Jason had unit ranged power. We beat the Red city (5) first, with me taking 2 monsters to catch up in fame (boosted Chivalry and Sword of Justice gave me +4 fame & +2 rep). Next was Blue city (5) in the middle with a bottleneck, Jason tried to find a path around and got stuck looking at a mountain/lake barrier with dragons blocking access to the White city (8). So we charged through the Blue city. I was standing closer, so I again took on more enemies. By end of the final day, we were standing around the White city with two keeps nearby. To start the final night, we each attacked a keep to build up hand limits, rested to clear wounds and draw my Sword of Justice, and smashed the final city quite easily. I was down by about 15 fame, but I had enough ranged attack left over that I ran to a close labyrinth to beat a final dragon to wrap up the game.

Recap:
This come in as my fifth game completed. Jason had tried Mage Knight back before New Year's, an epic 4-player game, and he got fed up with the pace halfway through. So this was going to be my solo game, to be completed while Jason went rock climbing. Instead we tried again with 2 players on First Reconnaissance and Jason had a blast, so he championed the rest of my games. I also met Adria as a result of both of us having Mage Knight on our separate 10x10 lists, and she taught me both some deeper strategies and how to speed up turns. While I tend to enjoy shorter games, the theme and brain-burning puzzle nature of Mage Knight really pushes me, and I am excited to play it more.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Competitive games with direct conflict almost never get played. I thought Race for the Galaxy would be a good solution with its indirect interaction through the action cards. It isn't long or difficult, but people shy away from it. I want to play it more.

Play #1: Feb 5
Played with: Salimah, Eric
Scores: Paul:30 Salimah:18 Eric:23
Comments: To date, I have been struggling to find experienced players to have an in-depth game of RftG, as opposed to playing ten introductory games. As such, I have been resisting bringing this one out until I could get a mass training game set up. 3 players is as close as I could get so far. I got an early Investment Credits for cheap development, followed by a Merchant Guild 6-cost for bonus cards on production. I apparently did not explain the "Get VP on cards in tableau" well enough and accidentally cheated by playing 2 Space Marines. Good refresher to the game, though.

Play #2: Mar 15
Played with: Jason
Scores: Paul:29 Jason:45
Comments: I decided to try teaching the game our cards up on the table. This way I could introduce definitions and small strategies throughout the game. I played a couple of trade bonus cards, and followed it up with a Trade League 6-cost development. I also got some development bonuses, but never got high-scoring cards. Jason took New Sparta and built a huge army to conquer big planets. He also grabbed some explore bonuses, and dropped the Galactic Survey: SETI 6-cost dev for a massive 12 points on the last round.

Play #3: Mar 22
Played with: Michael D
Scores: Paul:47 Michael:40
Comments: Michael had already played RftG somewhat, so we decided to try playing with full 2-player rules (play two actions each round), which was my first time doing so. Michael worked on playing explore bonus cards and blue planets. In the last two turns, Michael played out Galactic Survery: SETI and Trade League for a final bonus of 13 points. I instead started out focusing on brown Rebel planets and related trade bonuses. I was eventually able to play out Galactic Imperium and New Galactic Order (only noticed after that the Imperium military doesn't count for NGO, dang!) for 14 points. Also, in the last two turns, I drew and played the Rebel 6-point and 7-point worlds for the win.

Play #4: Mar 25
Played with: Adria
Scores: Paul:25 Adria:35
Comments: First game with another 10x10-er! I tried to build up some good trade action early in the game, but Adria focused on building up military with New Sparta. Late in the game, she drew some high scoring military planets, while I got stuck with some low development cards. Even when I tried to catch up with a 2x consume, Adria just countered with windfall planets to sneak some extra points of her own. I need to work on my strategy when starting with Earth's Lost Colony.

Play #5: Mar 25
Played with: Adria
Scores: Paul:34 Adria:29
Comments: I got New Sparta this time against Adria's Epsilon Eridani. My starting hand included a small green military windfall and an Public Works for some quick lay downs. I built a strong military, but could not draw any worthwhile planets. I finished up with a Galactic Federation (9 points) followed by a Mining League (5 points). Adria had lots of novelty goods down and played a last ditch produce/consume for about 8 points, but drew cards that were too small to catch up in the end.

Play #6: May 10
Played with: Jason, Andrei
Scores: Paul:39 Jason:38 Andrei:27
Comments: First game for Andrei. I started with Earth's Lost Colony. My first play Mining Robots allowed me to bring out some production planets. Two produce/consume combos later, I had a full hand of cards with 11 VP, without helping anybody else. Andrei played Alpha Centauri, but played a New Contact Specialist which hurt his ability to play out quick military worlds. Jason had Epsilon Eridani and quickly played a Galactic Reconnaissance for boosted explore power. Jason built up his military, and finished with a 12 point New Galactic Order. Andrei played a Mining League for 7 points, but couldn't quite find his foothold (we were up before 7AM for the TC Book Sale, so snore by this game). I got a 6-point Merchant Guild and a cheap planet in the last round to just get the win. Seems like Jason might be starting to understand this game.

Play #7: Jun 13
Played with: Dennis
Scores: Paul:33 Dennis:39
Comments: I started on Old Earth. I quickly played Galactic Engineers, Mining Conglomerate, and Destroyed World to get a renewable 5-card trade action. I played more general cards to give small bonuses in all phases, finally finishing with a Galactic Survey: SETI worth 7 points. Dennis played Earth's Lost Colony, starting with three novelty worlds early. In mid-game he played Investment Credits, followed by a Galactic Federation for -3 development costs. He then proceeded to play out three 6-cost devs, Galactic Renaissance, Free Trade Association, and Trade League. The federation and trade association matched his tableau to give him 23 end game points to take the game. Interesting focused strategy.

Play #8: Jul 23
Played with: Jason, Chee Sing, Chrissy
Scores: Paul:27 Jason:22 Chee Sing:31 Chrissy:34
Comments: I started with Old Earth. I played some cards for more bonus trade actions, but had trouble getting a production world to take advantage of my card engine. Jason went heavy military power with Epsilon Eridani, but could not find an adequate supply of military worlds. Chee Sing went for a quick game playing lots of cheap cards, but Jason complained to make him slow down a bit . In the meantime, Chrissy built up a supply of production worlds and played some 2x Consumes to gather up lots of VPs. I managed to sneak in an Investment Credits and Galactic Federation for -3 dev costs, followed with a Free Trade Association, but I didn't have enough time to get a steady stream of bonuses to catch up.

Play #9: Aug 17
Played with: Jason, Ryan, Mark
Scores: Paul:35 Jason:34 Ryan:37 Callum:42
Comments: To get Ryan & Mark up to speed, we played with revealed hands. I started with Old Earth. A lot of players were interested in using Produce/Consume (Trade) builds to rack up lots of cards, so I jumped on to get some big hands of cards. I eventually got down Galactic Renaissance and a Merchant Guild but ran short of time to really build up points with them. Ryan took Epsilon Eridani with some cheap development & planet building bonuses. A New Economy got him lots of points, but a Free Trade Association didn't help much. Jason tried to take the Galactic Federation route with other plus 2 other 6-dev cards, but could not get them to score much. Mark started with New Sparta and Space Marines. So without any good trading ability, he managed to get out a couple of huge military worlds worth about 25 points, plus a New Galactic Order to get a massive end score.

Play #10: Oct 19
Played with: Sam, Ashley
Scores: Paul:41 Sam:33 Ashley:28
Comments: I bought The Gathering Storm expansion but wanted to finish off this list before I integrated the cards. Sam and Ashley were new to the game. I started with Old Earth, Investment Credits (cheaper techs), Genetics Labs (better genes worlds), and two genes worlds. I quickly built a strong trading engine for massive cards. Sam had Earth's Lost Colony, but drew Alien Tech Institute and two alien planets, so he spent the first part of the game drawing cards to play those. Ash went Alpha Centauri, with Contact Specialist and Replicant Robots (which seem to combo quite well together for cheap planets). Towards the end, I drew a lucky trade to get Galactic Federation, Merchant Guild, and New Economy 6-dev cards for an end-game 22 bonus points. Ashley tried to 2x consume and Sam played out alien worlds, but it wasn't enough to catch up. Still, it was a strong showing for their first game.

Recap:
This is the third game checked off my list. I like the mechanic of using the deck for multiple purposes (tableau, currency, goods). Sam pointed out that this happens in Bohnanza as well, which I thought was an interesting comparison. I noticed during this year that some players have trouble wrapping their heads around this game, but playing open handed really seems to help curb this issue. I still find it odd that some people really despise this game, when I find it quite compelling. Now I just need to diversify my strategies away from just playing with trade bonuses.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Space Cadets [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1161]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I love Space Cadets' structure with quick, distinct mini-games, yet this is the one major flop of a co-op game in my collection. My games to date have been plagued by apathetic players who fall asleep before the roles are even introduced.

Play #1: Feb 27
Played with: Sam, Ashley, Tom
Scores: Success
Comments: Mission #1 with normal enemies & easy damage cards. I tried a different teaching technique for the new crew. First round we did each task one by one, in order, with just-in-time rules explanations. This way each player got a glimpse of each job in action. We knocked out the first four enemies and collected the crystals fast enough. Then jump drive got the worst rolls possible and our ship got hammered. Finally with the nemesis bearing down and an imminent 6-card core breach, we got our break with a 33344 jump roll to sneak away.

Play #2: Jul 13
Played with: Adria, Darin
Scores: Failure
Comments: Mission #1 on normal difficulty. The first crystal was a simple pickup. Some low rolls allowed us to get through without any damage. Around the second crystal, a bad turn at the end of helm allowed a Frigate enemy to exactly wipe out our entire fore defence. We decided to do random shift changes by dice rolls. The final crystal was guarded by some toughies, and we opted to reduce speed to try to get a crystal lock and tractor beam to quickly finish the mission. Unfortunately, before we had a chance, Darin got shift changed to sensors and just missed the lock. We tried to ride out the damage to our ship, but by the time we were able to get the lock, we had an impending 7 core breach that was one card shy. Otherwise we would have made it that turn. Intense mission, very close!

Play #3: Aug 1
Played with: Jason, Jared, Kai
Scores: Failure
Comments: Mission #3 on easy difficulty. I wanted to try another mission, but this one (Ambush!) involved dumping tons of enemies all around us. The mission rules stated that enemy locks could only be lost by breaking their lock, but we decided that risking flight through asteroids would also shake them. I insisted on taking Helm to get us to the crystal quickly. Jared took Captain and Engineering, Jason was on Sensors, Shields, and Jump, while Kai took on Weapons and Tractor Beam. We used equipment to immediately boost helm speed up, and Kai destroyed a proximity mine early on. We got the crystal, and then one turn of miscommunication got us stuck taking lots of left/rear damage. Kai could not destroy any enemies, and Jason panicked on Jump to get good cards. We would have been able to jump away at about the 8th round, but a Level 5 core breach did us in.

Play #4: Aug 6
Played with: Jason, Andrei
Scores: Success
Comments: Mission #1 on easy difficulty. New game for Andrei. I started out on Helm, Damage Control, and Weapons. Jason took Captain, Sensors, and Jump Drive. Andrei played Shields, Engineering, and Tractors. I tried to move us slowly at the beginning, but a close proximity mine hit us for some damage and a shift change. We rotated, and I got my favorite Jump, while Andrei ended up with Weapons. I tried to oversee Andrei's work on Helm to keep Jason in the loop. My Sensor skills were marginal, but Andrei demolished all the enemies out of our way regardless, usually hitting the 4-5 section of the weapon track. We quite easily drifted through the crystals while building up Jump skills, and as soon as we got to the final crystal, we grabbed it and got away before the nemesis could get close. We never even came close to core breaches, so extra to us!

Recap:
I have now completed the other 10 games on my list (including the alternate) so I feel it only fair to write a report for Space Cadets also. Jason and I are fans of co-op games, and I thought the quick, wild nature of Space Cadets would be a big hit. However, it took a while to ramp up new players. For a game that comes equipped with a 30-second timer, it is hard to sell the game to new players with an expected 2+ hour game time. I enjoy the mini-games that prevent AP and provide a way to get everybody engaged, but I found some players are not puzzle solvers and that is key for this to hold their interest through an entire game. I am all about puzzles, but I need to find 2+ other players to join in? I may have passed up a few opportunities to squeeze in a couple more plays, but the timing and groups just didn't work out. I will keep Space Cadets and I will play it when it seems appropriate, but based on my current gaming group that may only be 2-3 times a year. I can accept that and I will cherish the chances I get to play again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:211]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I bought Takenoko for the panda figure, and I love having the panda showing on the box. Yet I have difficulty getting people interested in trying it. I almost bought the huge collector's edition, but I need to prove that I can get others to play the game before I will consider spending that much money.

Play #1: Jan 19
Played with: Seth, Salimah
Scores: Paul:41 Seth:28 Salimah:30
Comments: Learning game of Takenoko. After scoring my initial pink plot card, I managed to score my next two (all pink) plot cards automatically for a bonus 8 points. I tried to play a bit slower game to let the other players have a chance to score some points, only scoring my 8-9th cards when the others had made it to 7 cards. The cards were definitely in my favor. Compared to previous plays, this was a panda-heavy game. Yay panda!

Play #2: Mar 7
Played with: Mark
Scores: Paul:39 Mark:32
Comments: Mark's first game of Takenoko. He took an early lead with some medium scoring cards, but moved the panda the wrong direction to allow me to score a 4x3 green gardener card for 8 points to quickly tie up the game. Lucky last-turn draws allowed me to score a few bonus points to wrap up the win.

Play #3: Mar 22
Played with: Michael D
Scores: Paul:46 Michael:41
Comments: Michael's first game. We were close in number of victory cards played for most of the game, but I was scoring slightly higher value cards. Michael tried to make a big push to get his 9 cards down, but I drew a playable 5-point gardener card to get enough points for the victory.

Play #4: Mar 22
Played with: Michael D
Scores: Paul:43 Michael:48
Comments: We immediate played a follow-up game after the previous one. I started with a 4-red plot card. So I immediately grabbed a second plot card, which had 2-red 2-yellow plots. I decided to build plots off one side of the board without irrigation, and Michael just grew bits of bamboo and ate them with the panda. It was very unusual having a huge, barren board. Eventually we filled it in with irrigation channels and scored the rest of my cards. Michael again ended the game, and I could not catch up with my last turn.

Play #5: Mar 23
Played with: Michael D
Scores: Paul:44 Michael:48
Comments: Glad Michael is enjoying this game! I started with cards that required totally different setups (yellow plot, pink gardener, green panda). I tried to play a game balanced with cards, but the plot cards ended up taking way too long to complete, clogging up my hand. Michael instead went almost strictly for panda cards, and proceeded to score off of all my work. Interesting strategy that I may have to explore later.

Play #6: Mar 28
Played with: Randy, Garrett, Shevaun
Scores: Paul:35 Randy:31 Garrett:25 Shevaun:42
Comments: Had an initial meetup with a second 10x10-er. Went for a lighter game to start the evening. It had been a while since I played a 4-player game of Takenoko. We were all slightly getting in each other's way, by placing plots in blocking locations and eating the scarce bamboo. Randy and Shevaun had already scored 4 cards by the time I could get 1 down. Finally we had the gardener explosion, and I decided to end the game when I thought it was even. However, Shevaun had a few extra points tucked away and drew a lucky gardener card for free 5 points in the last round.

Play #7: May 10
Played with: Tom, Marcus
Scores: Paul:35 Tom:38 Marcus:37
Comments: New game for Marcus. I played first and immediately drew a pink gardener plot, and then moved the gardener there to score my initial gardener card (first play of the game!). Tom and I were on par for collecting objectives, but Marcus pushed ahead to steadily get down 6 objective cards when we were still around 4. At one point, I could have played out enough cards to end the game, but figured I would not have enough points. Tom went out right afterwards and also drew two freely playable objectives. Marcus played out the rest of his hand and also finished a bonus drawn card. After playing my scorable cards, I had one unobtainable gardener card left. I tried to draw another to ensure enough points for a win, but drew a tile not showing on the board at all. Close game, basically determined by the Emperor score card.

Play #8: May 26
Played with: Sam, Ashley
Scores: Paul:37 Sam:35 Ashley:41
Comments: Ashley bought a new copy of Takenoko (she also recently got Tokaido, another Antoine Bauza game... pattern?). I went over to help break in the copy. It started out with lots of yellow and pink tiles surrounding the lake, with only a single no-panda green space. Ashley quickly got out 7 objectives, while we were both at 3. I held onto a few low-scoring cards and forced the game when I drew useless objective cards. Ashley had just enough points tucked away to take the victory.

Play #9: May 26
Played with: Sam, Ashley
Scores: Paul:40 Sam:34 Ashley:25
Comments: Second game looked much more normal, with green tiles on one side, pink on the other, and yellow scattered around the outside. I managed to draw three green plot objectives (crooked line, stright, triangle), all of which were satisfied very early through cooperative board layout. I got down 7 cards (~25 points) reasonably fast, then tried to slow down my pace and gather bonus points. Ashley was showing 15 points mostly in panda cards, while Sam had 16 with his (presumably) starting cards. I played 2 medium panda objectives to round up the game. Both Sam and Ashley dumped a good amount of hidden points, but couldn't quite catch up to my early card lead.

Play #10: Aug 16
Played with: Andrei
Scores: Paul:39 Andrei:42
Comments: I finally got Andrei to play a game with me. I started with the double red/yellow plot card. I started to work on that, but the rest of my hand as I drew cards ended up being all green, and I couldn't find a green tile. I made my yellow/pink shape, and then Andrei proceeded to score 5 cards for about 22 points before I could play anything else. Andrei kept rolling rain to grow more bamboo, while I rolled a lots of clouds for improvements that I didn't need. I got a lucky farmer draw plus a double 3-pink farmer in the same turn late game to make it a close game, but Andrei got down his ninth card for emperor's favor and the win.

Recap:
I knew that Takenoko would be a popular choice amongst my list, likely to be one of the first to finish. The rules are easy to explain, the components are beautiful, and it plays in just the right amount of time. My only gripe is that, no matter how careful I explain the scoring cards, new players seem to play cards that are not complete (wrong improvement, no irrigated plots, etc.). I enjoy Takenoko, but I feel like my desire for the collector's edition has subsided. I will be satisfied with my copy, but perhaps I will get a large panda figurine whistle.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:302]
Paul Strauss
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Alternate. I will keep Friday as a purely solo game in case I cannot convince other people to play the other games with me.

Play #1: Mar 19
Scores: Level 2: -38, Level 1: -5
Comments: While I technically played two games, the first was such a pathetic loss I am opting not to count it as an official play. Both games were against the 7x 25 and 7x 16 (double life loss) pirates. The first game was my first attempt ever at level 2. I lost some big hazard cards early on that crippled my health supply, while all the easy 'raft' cards were at the bottom of the deck. I finished the first round with only 8 new hazard cards and 4 life. I was not prepared at all for the increase in yellow phase, so I crashed hard. So I tried again at level 1. I had reasonable success obtaining a variety of hazard cards in the first two rounds. I tried using some destroys against my 0 (+1 life) cards in yellow to strip down my deck, but was unable to get rid of 2 aging cards. This came back to haunt me with back-to-back 6-life losses, knocking me out right before the final battle. So dumbfounded, as my last few games were easy wins.

Play #2: Apr 13
Scores: Level 2: -60
Comments: The pirates were the 7x 25 and 10x 40 pirates. I went for a couple of light hazards right away, and ALL my positive fight cards showed up. So with only 0s and -1s left in my deck, I had to deal with the next few hazards, which would be a mix of the Wild Animals or Cannibals. I was able to thin out my deck on the first pass. During green phase I collected a variety of skill cards. Yet I was never able to snag a new fight card worth 2+ fight by the time yellow phase started. The yellow phase hazards were too tough, and my life points quickly drained away.

Play #3: Apr 30
Scores: Level 1: 80
Comments: I decided to step back to level 1 to build up my strategy again. The pirates were the 6x 20 and 7x 16 (double life loss) pirates. I started with some easy hazards just to start building up some skills. After a few, I encountered Cannibals to work on clearing out my deck. I managed to draw a total of -3 fight. I spent two life to get +2 extra, so I really paid for it but cleaned up my deck. Soon after, I went against Wild Animals and immediately drew Stop. I spent the rest of the game hovering around 4-8 life. Right before the pirate fights, I drew a Vision card and saw 4 & +1 (double) cards. This start led me to a clean victory against the 7x 16 without spending for extra draws. I drew the 'Hightest Card = 0' against the second ship, but replaced it using 'Below the Pile' for enough strength to win with only 1 spent life. Small cards are easy skills early on, but I need to remember to chuck them for higher damage.

Play #4: Oct 4
Scores: Level 2: 77
Comments: The pirates for this game were the 10x 40 and 5x * (aging cards x2) pirates. The first half of green phase was about clearing out my Distracted cards and picking up a few simple combo skills (Double, Copy, +Cards), which worked quite well. Right at the end of green phase, I got a Cannibal card with Genius +2, Focused (+1), and a Double skill, ending the phase with 10 life. In yellow phase, I successfully cleaned out the rest of my weak starting cards and the Stop aging card (most annoying!), ending with a decent deck but only 4 life. Through red phase I was able to grab all the cards I wanted and Destroy any aging cards, maintaining 5 health. The coolest grab was a Wild Animals with Cannibals (+4), a Phase -1 skill and a Copy. I fought the 5x pirate first, who had 12 health. My initial deal was 1, 1, 1, -1, 0 (Below the Pile). I chucked the aging card away and using +Card combos, I got some +2s, a Double and 2 Copy skills. So I just beat him without spending health, and using weak attacks. The other pirate got 10 initial cards adding up to 23 attack. I managed to draw +4 health, and used a bit of that to draw my last few cards and shuffle my Copy cards back. Just spending a few health got me enough skills to rack up the remaining attack points for the victory. First Level 2 victory! arrrh

Play #5: Oct 27
Scores: Level 2: 62
Comments: This time I happened across the 10x 52 (+1 per fight card) and * * (fight remaining hazards) pirate cards. Knowing this, I wanted to grab lots of cards for my deck to keep that second pirate from growing too large. I drew the two Cannibals cards right away, so I had no chance to collect them. Instead I went for lots of +Life cards. I finished both green and yellow phases at 8 health and built up a steady deck. In the red phase, I kept having the choice to either lose 6 health because of aging cards, practically losing the game, or drawing to win more cards. I ended the red phase with 4 life, 2 weak cards & 3 aging cards, and 7 remaining hazards (mix of rafts & wild animals). I burned through most of my deck defeating the 10x 52 pirate, staying about even. The other pirate ended up with 16x 45 strength. I immediately drew +5 life and then drew my 3&4 attack cards with double and copy skills to back them up for a solid win. 4 remaining aging cards in my deck hurt my final score, though.

Play #6: Oct 30
Scores: Level 2: -14
Comments: My pirates were 7x 25 and 5x * (aging cards x2). My goal was to obtain high value attack cards without burning through my deck fast. Unfortunately, the green phase did not play in my favor. My positive value cards were very spread out so I could not get a large offensive early. I obtained most of the destroy cards and used that to trim out weak cards. So in yellow phase, I made some big moves to obtain cannibals, but they were too diluted in my deck. I started red phase with only 2 life, not enough wild animals collected, and having burned through 7/10 of my aging deck. I drew small hazards which did not let me draw enough combos to survive two hazards.

Play #7: Dec 2
Scores: Level 2: -48
Comments: My gaming evening fell through, so off to the solo games! The pirates were 9x 35 and 9x 22 (half attack cards). During the green phase, I was able to collect all the rafts I wanted for a variety of nifty mid-game bonus effects. However, whenever I tried to go after wild animals or cannibals, I would immediately draw 1 or 2 distracted (-1) cards. I was at least able to get a single attack 2 card, finishing the green phase with 7 life and a weak deck. A few cards into the yellow phase, I had to face either wild animals or cannibals. I drew all weak (0) or destroy cards and drained away the rest of my life points trying to draw attack strength that just wasn't there in my deck.

Play #8: Dec 2
Scores: Level 2: -4
Comments: Disappointed by the previous game, I reset and tried again, using the same pirates, 9x 35 and 9x 22 (half attack cards). I avoided the 0 (+1 life) cards in the green phase in order to collect better attack cards. I managed to build up a stronger attack deck, but finished the green phase with only 3 health gulp. In the yellow phase I went for high value cards that required drawing lots of cards, to average out bad draws and avoid losing my precious few life points. It worked with me destroying pesky aging cards, but unable to skim out all the remaining weak cards. In red phase during a mid-range adventure, I drew a (Highest Card = 0) which crushed my chances of getting enough points to collect it. GG. -4 points. However I noticed that had I been lucky enough to draw my attack 3 (destroy), I would have succeeded this battle. So I cheated whistle and played the card, and proceeded to finish the red phase. I limped into the pirate battles. In each one, I started with 1 life point but gained +5 in the initial 9 cards that I drew. I ended up beating both pirates which would have given me a final 76 points. If only...

Play #9: Dec 6
Scores: Level 2: 87
Comments: While waiting for laundry, I went up against the 7x 16 (double life loss) and 9x 22 (half attack cards) pirates this time. During my first pass through, I drew all my positive attack cards. So I went slowly against easy cards, collecting nice skills and culling out useless cards. By the end of the the green phase, I had 10 life, one Wild Animals, a couple +Cards and Double skills, and only 3 basic 0-attack weak cards. During the yellow phase, I was able to focus on getting high attack cards with some Destroy skills to wipe out the aging cards. In red phase, I dropped down to 1 point after hitting an poorly times Highest Card = 0 aging card, but pulled back to 3 health for the pirate. Against the 9x22 pirate, I gained 4 health from the initial card draw. A few +Card skills let me build up an array of cards, and a well timed 4 attack + Double skill brought me a solid win. Then against the 7x16 pirate, I drew another +3 health and +5 card draws. Without having to spend any life points, I built up enough attack to heartily win the fight.

Play #10: Dec 9
Scores: Level 2: 64
Comments: I drew the 7x 25 and 8x 30 pirates, so I was looking for straight attack power this game. I drew my genius card very early, and so I used the first pass through my deck to slowly whittle down my weak cards. By the end of that first pass, I had gotten rid of all -1 attack and all but 4 basic weak cards, still with 10 life left. Then I drew Cannibals, and immediately pulled 3 weak cards and the new aging card. So scrap all those cards and 5 health, ouch. However, my deck was trim and I quickly grabbed a few stronger cards before the end of the phase while recouping back to 8 life. The yellow phase was a simple card grab with my deck, targeting large attacks, Destroy and Double skills. In the red phase, an unlucky draw dropped me to 2 health, but I quickly recouped with a +2 life, Copy, and Below The Deck combo on the life gain to build back to 7 life before the final fight. I went after the 8x 30 pirate first, and ran through my remaining deck to finish it off. I shuffled in an aging card, and I drew it early along with a Destroy card (bam! 5 points devil), but I did not get +Life or +Cards. So I spent down to 6 life to build up enough attack for a solid win.

Recap:
I definitely enjoy puzzles, and Friday helps prove this. As my alternate game, I tried to hold off breezing through these 10 plays so I could focus my efforts on playing group games. This is why my plays are skewed toward the end of the year. It definitely took a couple plays to learn the strategy for higher levels, but that effort shows in my later scores. Friday forced me to review my status constantly to know when to push ahead, even though I usually avoid card counting. Unfortunately I was expecting this to be my go-to lightweight solo game. While holding back from playing it for the 10x10 challenge, I grabbed Onirim which I can complete in about half the time. As such, Onirim may end up just beating out Friday when it comes to picking a quick game to squeeze into my schedule. Friday will stick around though, and I would like to push to deeper levels in the future.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.