01/18/2014: The Third Last Game Day
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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With the semester starting next week, we couldn't resist squeezing in one more game day in which I could fully participate. Due to weather and short notice, a lot of the people who regularly come were unavailable. Thanks to some shoddy behavior from the potential buyers of my house, this is our third one-last-game-day at this house. (I secretly suspect that perhaps it's partly the-boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome - we keep saying it's the last game day here and then we keep having another)

Given that there were less people than usual, we didn't make as much food as usual. On the menu were hummus with artichokes and cracked tellicherry pepper, red pepper cheeze with scallions, the usual chips and veggies for dipping, and a tex-mex sort of bean/rice/mole sauce casserole topped with a cornbread crust. Oh, and Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes because I was seized with a chocolate/sweet craving during the evening.

Thanks again to

Nate Walker
United States
North Andover
Massachusetts
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So many douchebags, so few bullets.
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and
Einmal ist keinmal
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
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You'll Never Walk Alone
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for attending and for bringing lots of games along. I'm very much glad I got to try so many new games!

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1. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:368] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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First up was a fun deck builder in which the cards allow players to build trains and stations on a map. Some cards have victory points, but most are earned through map placements. If I played again, I'd cull waste sooner and more often.

Hatemachine won this with 48, RnR was second with 40, I trailed a distant third with 31.
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2. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Having had a chance to try this at the game day hosted recently by
Kiri Naiman
United States
South Deerfield
Massachusetts
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I have been eager to try it again. I had ideas for strategies to try during the game. I forgot all of them by the second round. Nonetheless, I placed second with 127. RnR won with 138, while hatemachine scored 115.
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3. Board Game: New Haven [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:3432]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Spatial relationships are not my thing. 'Nuff said.

RnR: 34, hatemachine: 22, me: 8
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4. Board Game: 10 Days in Asia [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1798]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Knowing that Desiderata would soon arrive, we brought out this quick game. I won pretty quickly, despite having to wait 3 turns for something, anything, that connected by rail to Iran.
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5. Board Game: Operation Corndog [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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As we debated about another quick filler to play, I ran downstairs to find this one. I knew that all my very little games were packed away in a smallish plastic box. I even knew exactly where the box was. I found this at a hobby store selling off their games several years ago as we were getting into gaming. I couldn't resist the $3 price tag. It's a fun, silly game in which players use cards to build their carnival fairgrounds, building rides. Rides can be modified to make them Super Fun Extra Pukey gulp mismanaged by Drunken Carnies cry or even by Honest Carnies! And, if you get that Dead Body, you better be prepared to exact Carnie Vengeance.

Players take turn playing cards. At the end of your turn, add up your Take from the cards in front of you and take that many points out of the pot. There is an initial pot of $100. Whoever has the highest take when the pot runs out wins.

(message to buyers: keep delaying, and we'll keep unpacking more stuff)
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6. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:96]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Desiderata having arrived, the guys set out to teach me Nations. I was the only one who hadn't played before. I thought I was doing very poorly because I rarely had nearly the amount of resources of the other players. It turned out to be a fairly tight game. Desiderata and Hatemachine both had 31 points, with Desiderata winning on the tie breaker. I had 28 points, RnR finished with 27. I liked this one and would like to try it again.
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7. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Several games were suggested next but this one hit the table mainly because we were all familiar enough with the rules to dive right in. RnR exploited the Engineer bridge points to finish well ahead of the rest of us at 104. Desiderata used the Chaos Magicians to finish at 88. Hatemachine, as the Cultists, finished with 77. I trailed with 71, having been the Alchemists.
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8. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:109]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Steam was the last game of the night. Desiderata performed a quick teach and refresher. Things started out ugly in the northeast as Hatemachine challenged my monopoly of short routes and early urbanization. As so often happens when RnR is in on the auction, bid costs spiraled out of control, so we were all taking lots of financing steps. Thanks again to Desiderata for getting through my thick-headedness with the track tiles. Hatemachine, who had never played this or Age of Steam, and I tied for first at 33. RnR was third with 28, and Desiderata finished with 24.

This wasn't really a valid play since we discovered a rules mistake about 3/4 of the way through. We'd thought that track builds were 2 tiles when in fact they should have been 3 tiles. It was still an enjoyable experience, with all the tension and frustration that typically builds through the game.
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9. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:3763] [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:71]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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The list wouldn't be complete without mentioning Puzzle Craft. This crazily addictive hybrid of city building and match 3 had RnR and I collecting goods and taxes during downtime. How could we not? Our people missed us!
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10. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Ron Lacer
United States
Cobalt
Connecticut
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An honorary mention for Race for the Galaxy. Since Kiri was unable to make it, this turned out to be (iirc) our only game day where this game did not get played.
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