GCL Meatball Division #151: I Forget...
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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This is a list. I can't quite recall why I'm posting it. Who are you and why are you here?

Rotation:
fateswanderer (NEXT!)
SAMO! No I don't know his username. I'll change it later. Give me a break - I forgot it.
qwertymartin
Sorp222
lacxox
cymric
Jugular
bnordeng
NateStraight
AAArg_ink
ellephai
rarevos
Osirus
Jythier

I sometimes have trouble remembering things. I thought I'd make a list about it. I was supposed to be done yesterday, but... I didn't have time.

Bet you thought I'd forgotten!
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:31]
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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So I went to gameday and my friend, who was having a birthday, wanted to play Eclipse - but I had forgotten it at home!

Have you ever forgotten a game that you were supposed to be playing that day? What game was it, and what did you play instead?
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2. Board Game: An Invitation to the Mad Hatter's Tea-Party [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Have you ever invited someone over for games, or anything, and forgot that they were coming?
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3. Board Game: Going, Going, GONE! [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:2650]
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Have you ever forgotten to go to something you were invited to, and kicked yourself afterwards for it? What did you miss? Share your regrets!

How about, have you ever used that as an excuse to have not gone to something you didn't want to go to?

"Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that this was the day of your party... oops...!"
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4. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15299]
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I had another great question about forgetfulness here, but... I forgot it. So post anything you need to remember or want to forget under this item!

To be more game related, name a game you wish you could forget playing - and one you'll never forget.
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5. Board Game: The Manhattan Project [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:214]
 
Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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A good bit of gaming this week.

The Manhattan Project (3P, Alphabet challenger) — I've been harbouring dark suspicions about this title for some time now, and this game did nothing to dispell them. In fact, the game's going onto the trade pile. The problem: TMP is a game which strongly relies on the interactions of spying and air raids to keep each other in check. But spying can only be taken by one player who then blocks the corresponding WP field until he does a worker recall; and air raids have this incredibly stupid 1:1 unit attack rule meaning that the original agressor loses as many planes himself as he manages to destroy opening him up to attacks from someone else. Yes, the usual counter is, you should negotiate to prevent this from happening. But seriously, in a 3 player-game that is not an option. The remaining player bombs the hell out of the agressor and then for a number of long rounds reigns supreme. What options do the bombed players have? Nothing much: spying on the remaining player just means they get in each other's way, and neither do they obtain the resources they need to repair their infrastructure quickly, so it's basically building until doomsday until their industry is so vast that it's useless to bomb them. The result: it artificially lengthens the game turning it into a pillow fight with air raids until someone scrapes together sufficient fissionable material to win the game.

My, what fun. Really, I have nothing against pillow fights in a game, but please keep them short. The Manhattan Project fails badly on precisely that point. King of Tokyo, Quantum, perhaps even Rattus and undoubtedly some games I'm forgetting: fairly quick games which keep matters moving even when you've been hit. So even while we mild towards each other in this particular episode of TMP, the steps we took were just the first along the way of the above scenario, and none of us felt particularly challenged to walk down that road in its entirety.

Trade pile!

Medina (3P, Alphabet challenger) — Over the years I've played Medina about 10 times now, but I don't think there will be an 11th. This ageing abstract is based on an idea which is not alltogether bad, but the implementation is unfortunately lacking. It is very difficult to stunt the growth of palaces; and the tools at your disposal to do so don't decrease the value of a palace at all. So in practice there is simply a bit of give and take going on until very late in the game when there is simply no more room and what you place where actually begins to matter. Had the feeling of the game in its last quarter been there from the start, I'd have played Medina more often, I suspect...

I could tradepile the game, but I fear noone is interested in this game anymore, meaning I'd have to pay to get rid of it.

Alien City (2P) — My partner and I played another game. It went more smoothly this time, but my game materials are in need of upgrading: the colourful backgrounds I'd created are too distracting and make visualising the road needlessly difficuly. I also purchased a hand-held rotary cutter which makes cutting out the square tiles while keeping them square a lot easier. It's not as good as punched tiles, of course, but I'm fairly certain that it will be hard to improve on the result I now have because it comes down to 0,1 to 0,2 mm-work. But at least we're playing, definitely a Good Thing.

Ginkgopolis (3P) — Playing the game with the natural topology variant suggested on the game's forums was high on my Want to Play-list, but I never got round to sitting down and reading through the description to find out what needed changing. I needn't have worried: not a lot.

My feelings about the variant are positive: because all buildings come into play without a random amount being withdrawn (something the authors prefers) there is a greater sense of being able to accomplish something you actually want. Still, the fact that I ended up with about 45 points against the winner's 70 speaks volumes about the singular nature of the engine you need to construct. I chose to play with the pre-determined sets of character cards, something I should not do anymore. I had set 1, which gives you lots of stuff for overbuilding things. But in the beginning of the game this aspect is useless as you lack the resources and the tiles to do so. The other players had more sensible abilities giving them more resources as well as points; hence could profit from cards much earlier and more often; and subsequently were soon using the influx of resources to improve on their overbuilding abilities, could even afford to overbuild with a lower-numbered building. (The winner had given up about 7 points that way.) I had lost from the moment I began playing, really; it just took an hour to find this out.

Frankly, although I really ought to try out the game with an initial character card draft which probably evens out matters, I am not interested anymore in doing so. Until the higher numbered buildings come out specialisation is really not possible, so your best bet is sufficient resources, a modest amount of tiles, and a nice amount of points along the way, and hoping that you're in a good position to profit from the bonus actions so that you don't have to change your engine too much. Not an interesting pattern, so off to the tradepile the game goes.

OddVille (3P) — The first game I was able to play with my own rule modifications in effect in order to curb the power of a specific character combo. Unfortunately it wouldn't have made any difference because the cards with the specific guild symbols never appeared until the end, so my houserules were mostly for naught.

It was interesting to see how the game developed, for it made me realise that OddVille is actually quite a brittle game. Players have to commit actions to obtaining a building and then resources, but in the meantime the location they are on the lookout for may have been taken thus making the construction less effective. People who for some random reason do better here are likely to obtain more resource bonuses and thus have less trouble with the next building cycle. This ease doesn't grow exponentially by the way; it simply means that all their subsequent builds now take N-1 actions as opposed to the N for someone who is not so fortunate. Anything that can help you lower that 'N' is good; anything that interferes with others lowering that 'N' is also good. Unfortunately once that interference happens to you it is hard to recuperate, as there are few, if any, plan B's in OddVille.

I'm not sure that under those circumstances an elaborate scheme to houserule cards which I deem to be problematic is as effective as I initially thought. OddVille behaves differently than what I first assumed, and any fix has to be in line with its behaviour. More experiments are planned.

Sneaks & Snitches (4P) — Simple filler which saw a lot of blocking because all players thought too much alike. But still a lot of fun to play while waiting for dinner to arrive.

Luna (4P) — I wasn't too enthusiastic to play Luna at the end of a long day of gaming, but my game partners insisted. So I explained the game as well as I could, encouraged them to ask questions of any kind, and we were off. It took a while for the newcomers to catch on, but they eventually discovered how to make use of the game's playing rythm. There was a lot of fighting in the temple and a few nice endgame sprints, with a decent score to be had for all. Again I was surprised by everyone that the game be played anew on some future occasion; one player rather liked the little circle of life where you just had to begin somewhere and see where it led. That is indeed an attractive aspect of this game.

In the post mortem my gaming friend started to wonder about why noone bothered with the Book and Bribery tokens, something which I'd noticed as well. I was on the verge of sending off a discussion on the topic into cyberspace when some impulse made me check the rules. Welllll, lookee here. Seems like I've been playing the Book wrong: I thought you could only move your own book in the temple, but as it turns out you can move anyone's. You can deprive someone of his protection! Ah-haaaaa... Yes, then the Book all of a sudden grows more powerful, taking with it the importance of the Bribery token as you at times Really Want to kick someone out, and set him up for a dilemma: either spend actions to secure his novice, or lose the cumulative point total that novice was to bring in. Our temple was 'too cuddly'.

We're all curious as to how Luna will play once we factor in this small but important change.
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6. Board Game: Linko! [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:704]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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This ended up being a pretty big week of gaming!

Monday: at home

Port Royal - I thought Sarah might like this, and I was right. Didn't hurt that she killed me 12-6

Tuesday: games night at Joe's

I pushed Abluxxen to the table first and it went down pretty well.

Next up was Igloo Pop. Hahaha this game is funny. If you haven't seen it, it involves grabbing little plastic igloos that have different numbers of glass beads inside them, shaking them next to your ear and then guessing how many beads are in them. Hard to know how to rate it but it was a good time and I was awesome at it!

Next I suggested Port Royal. I still really like it but I don't think it scales brilliantly. There are some cards that are much better in a 2p game than a 5p and some vice versa. So it's best as a 3-4 where the strategies are in balance.

Finally Skull & Roses, which I hadn't played in a while. Still a great stripped-down bluffing game. I went death or glory with a bid of all the mats when I was one away from winning or losing. I lost

Thursday: cafe games

A couple of 2p games of Port Royal to start. We weren't sure anyone else was going to show up so we played a 2p Divinare while we waited. This was the first time I'd tried it 2p and I liked the extra twist where you each set aside a couple of cards at the beginning that only get revealed at the end. My new card-counting system works really well and I ended up winning 18-2!

It was still just the two of us so we relocated to Sam's house. While we were on the bus, Sam set up Railways of Mexico so we could get straight into it when we arrived. This was the same table I won a lopsided victory over last time we played, but this was a much better game. I got off to the best start (2 major lines and the first 3-link delivery) but I wasn't aggressive enough in the midgame. I should have expanded to contest some cubes instead of just shipping my safe deliveries. Meanwhile Sam and Andrew had both taken Trading Depot cards (which let you place a train on someone else's track and score a point when it is used). This meant that most of their deliveries were profiting both of them, or in other words disadvantaging me! Before we revealed our Railroad Baron cards, there were a couple of points between all three of us. Unfortunately, I was the only one not to have completed mine, so it ended Andrew 77, Sam 74, Martin 72.

We finished up with Quantum on the 3p Ouroboros map. It's a weird loop with a hole in the middle and for the first part of the game it seemed very non-interactive. We each proceeded clockwise, settling planets and not being able to reach each other. But it got much more interesting when we realised how hard it was going to be to find a place for the last cube and eliminated ships started respawning in unexpected places. Most of the cards on offer had been attack-based ones, which weren't much use on this map. I spurned them for TYRANNICAL, which allows you to turn a research point into a dominance point. I also took a couple of black AGGRESSION cards (+2 to dominance). That allowed me to place my last cube through dominance even without much fighting, much easier than trying to get my ships in position.

Tues/Weds/Fri: lunch time games with Joe

Manoeuvre x3 - weirdly I won all three of these 5-1. I did have some lucky rolls but there must be something else going on...

Weekend: we had friends come to stay and fit a few cards games in as we toured pubs and cafes

Abluxxen x2 - this went down really well. Charlotte, who's the least gamer-y of the four of us, declared that she'd been thinking about her strategy as she went to sleep and was going to beat us in the second game. She proceeded to score a huge 19 in the first hand, though Dave pipped her in the end.

Port Royal - this was fine too though I don't think they took to it as much. It's more of a gamer game, less of a beers-and-cards breeze.

Hanabi x4 - last time they visited we scored the only 25 I've been part of. We didn't quite make it this time (22, 24, 21 and a bust on the last card going for a 22). But it was fun to show them the lovely tactile deluxe set and they're great to play with.

Love Letter - I was out of the first two rounds without playing a card, then took the next three for a win. I won the last hand with a 4 in hand, beating a 3, 3 and 2 (the Princess was the card set aside at the beginning)!
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7. Board Game: Sanssouci [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1287]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Sanssouci (2p)
Innovation (2p)
Fauna (5p)
Khmer (2p)


My neighbor sent me a text the other night asking if I'd like to join his family for a game of Fauna. So two hours later I sat down with him, his wife, and two of his kids (8 and 5) to play. I'd only played it with adults to date, but it was a hoot with kids. I really got a kick out of his daughter reasoning her way to an educated guess. "This looks like a deer, I weigh 40 pounds, deer are bigger than I am, so I'll guess 100 pounds." Even the 5 year old was guessing where anteaters live based on where he thought ants lived, because otherwise anteaters wouldn't have anything to eat. Maybe it's because I'm a parent now, but watching gears turn in a kid's brain is fascinating.

After the game, I stuck around and we played Innovation over a couple beers. It was a long game (for us) and yet another reminder of how varied the base game can be. I had just three piles all game (at the end, all splayed up; thank you, Flight), and while he had all 5 colors, he never splayed at all. We went tit-for-tat for a while before we drained the normal Achievements and I was up 5-4. I eventually won by melding something with a crown so I could get three of each icon type and claim a special Achievement.

My wife then requested "that landscaping game I liked." So we got another play of Sanssouci in, our third in about a week. This time she got a bit more clever with moving her nobles around, and holding them back to score more points. She paused after the game to examine her board and talk through what she was trying to do, and why, and why it didn't work out, and that's a positive sign. This one looks like it has legs.

We closed out the weekend with a quick game of Khmer where she beat me 6-2. This is an odd game, and while Sanssouci is a leisurely game where you can have your Lazy Brain take over for 30 minutes, I'm not sure Khmer is that kind of game. You need to be able to get your most piercing staredown face involved, and take risky guesses, and smirk your most misleading smirk. It's not a game of intense calculation, but it's also not an automatic game. Still wrapping my head around it.

All repeat plays: 2nd of Khmer, 3rd of Sanssouci, 5th of Fauna, and 33rd of Innovation.
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8. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:686] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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.NA. Quarriors! - 4 Players
_8_ The Capitals - 4 Players
_8_ Snowdonia - 2 Players
_8_ Kingdom Builder - 2 Players
_7_ Click Clack Lumberjack - 5 Players (x3)

With the kids...
_8_ Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - 2 Players
_6_ Magical Athlete - 4 Players
_6_ Max - 2 Players
_6_ Sleeping Queens - 2 Players
_5_ Eruption - 3 Players
_5_ Marrakesh - 2 Players


(1) Quarriors! - I'm glad I was finally able to try this. I expected to not like the game based on what I knew about it. I didn't love it, but it was more enjoyable than expected. I doubt I'll seek it out again, but I'd play it if everyone else wanted. It really is Dominion with dice. The only problem with that is I think the last thing Dominion needed was dice.

(2) The Capitals - It's a good game. I like it. As a side note, I dislike Suburbia.

(3) Snowdonia - I'm impressed how well this works for us as a 2 player game. The way in which the game changes weather and pace of game from play to play keeps it interesting.

(4) Toc Toc Woodman - Five adults playing this can really be a good time. If you take it seriously, it would be miserable.

(5) Legendary - My 8 year old daughter, Azalea, and I played this with all of the expansions. I tried my hardest and she beat me 34-9. I was extremely impressed with how she made her cards work together and mildly astonished at my inability to get things going. Thematically, I think this game is magnificent and I'm not even a Marvel guy. I've always enjoyed the characters, but I never really read the comics and I don't know the ins and outs of the characters. Even so, it feels like the abilities of each character really tie into how they should work. I'm really liking this game the more I play it.
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9. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Seth Brown
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Did we play something else too? Possibly. My memory is starting (continuing) to go. But we definitely played some RftG, with the first expansion. That double-settle development (Improved Logistics) remains a very fast game-ender, especially if you can back it up with a few points of military. I was glad though that in at least one game, the person who laid down the most cards didn't win; often I play against people who complain that planet-spam ends the game before their strategy can get going.
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10. Board Game: Port Royal [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:407] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Paul Lister
United Kingdom
London
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I have moved my stock to a warehouse in the country side. So all I have been doing is working with maybe 1 2 player game of port royal last week.
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11. Board Game: Entdecker [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1996]
Justus
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Haven't played anything, but I did listen to Geoff Gambil's Long View Podcast with guest Mark Johnson about entdecker.

Otherwise just doing house stuff...looking for appliances at the moment.
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12. Board Game: Dominion: Guilds [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Lori
United States
Durham
North Carolina
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Not much going on this week. Just Dominion x12.
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13. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:529]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Tuesday, gaming club:

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy 1x
At last, a complex Euro from 2013 that was also fun, thematic and didn't feel JASE, even though it has some worker placement at its core.It's a game of generations, marrying to the friends with the most benefits, getting into ventures, buying castles, giving birth (hopefully) to kids, getting them married to other friends of the family and so on. The funny artwork and names on the cards also add to the thematic fun: it's simply a lot better to make my son marry to the captain's "Neve Campbell in Wild Things" hot daughter than just adding a card to my display. The strong theme and the way generations worked made me forget the little fiddliness and that the game might have a level of randomness that heavy strategists don't really like.

The Cave (with The Cave: Additional Cave Tiles) 1x
I know, you meatballs aren't really a fan of K2 but I like it (especially with the expansion) so I was curious what the designer can do with the spelunker theme. The mechanism is not as interesting as in K2 (it is practically action point allowance system combined with a Carcassonne-style tile placement for exploring and lots of set collection for scoring) and the role of luck is definitely higher. BUT the theme and the atmosphere is quite strong and this made me like it even with these shortcomings. If I were into spelunking, most definitely I would buy it.


Wednesday, another gaming club:
As we had a 4-day holiday it was easier for me to say I spend two evenings gaming - even though this evening was to be rather short (3 hours).

Bang! The Dice Game 1x
This is the game Bang! always wanted to be. Okay, maybe that's unfair, it's better to say that this is the game I always wanted Bang! to be. No unnecessary complexity but still some fun ideas, and the game lasts 15 minutes. Combined with the variety provided by the role and character cards, now this is a clear winner for me, a game that I am probably going to buy.

Hawken Real-Time Card game 2x
I did have fun, I must admit, I played this one even twice - and somehow that still doesn't mean I think much of this game. It's a real-time combat card game where both sides are turning up the cards of their deck frantically before one of them presses the FIRE button and the situation is evaluated. As you keep discarding (as damage points) 3 to 20 cards from your deck without looking at them, it pretty much does not matter if you know your deck or not... It seemed to me the results would not change that much if you simply followed the following no-brain rule: START, reveal 5-5 cards and press the fire button; evaluate, GOTO START. During our two plays it seemed the Scout vs. Grenadier pre-constructed decks were rather imbalanced in favor of the lighter construction but as the game allows custom creation of your own decks this should not be much of an issue.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends 1x
This is pretty much a game I should like and probably I will, once I can play it 2-player. It's abstractish but not abstract, it has many Knizian ideas like the highest lowest scoring or that you can choose two actions for your turn, both about tile-laying. But I tried it 4-player (melee mode) resulting in a game that was very chaotic, quite random and very long with long downtimes. But it seems to me and users also state the game should be played 2-player.


Sunday:

Ticket to Ride: Europe 2x with my wife. This is rare, but I won both (and the game was still exciting as always).

Miska also kept asking me to teach him new games. As I wrote last week, I used to teach him games that fit his age in the first years, but now he is way more experienced than the average 5-year-olds so while he does still play even age:3+ games and his most-played games are right for his age, he likes to learn ones that are sometimes even a bit too hard for him. So we played
Clubs 1x - with open cards. It was definitely too complex for him (this is a 8+ game).
Can't stop 1x - that he enjoyed. Even though I won by 3:2 and I had to explain and help him during game, it seems to me the 9+ age suggestion might be a bit too high for the game (as I can see it is 7+ in some other editions, okay)
Coloretto Amazonas 2x - now this an age: 8+ game that really fit him fine. He liked the theme and the illustrations; the tactics and the rules were simple enough; this one was a winner. While I can see some of the reasons why this game is rated so low (especially as users aren't satisfied with this simplicity) I think this game is underrated (probably partly by those who played it 4-player).

Other kids' games played:
Kangaroo
Alles Kanone!
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14. Board Game: Quantum [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:371]
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
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This past week was a busy one for me.

I got home from work at 1am on Tuesday night. Sophie screamed herself to sleep on Wendesday night and Friday I had to sit a 3.5hr exam toward qualifying for my profession.

During the last hour I felt really nauseous which didn't help my chances.

I had planned to go to LoB following that ordeal though and even though sick I decided I'd force myself over there.

I had brought Quantum since I'd guessed there'd be a receptive audience for the game.

Unfortunately I managed to recruit (of the 3 opponents I rustled up) a certain gamer that's incredibly poor at picking up rules explanations. The constant clarification questions kind've threw me off my explanation but regardless I need to tighten those skills up (it's been too long!). We managed a game and in the end I won by a clear two cubes, showing that experience can really count. The main tool I used was a pair of 1s and the power that let's me use one ship's special ability twice on a turn. It helped that my opponents kept leaving weak ships in striking distance.

We then pulled out The Coachride to Devil's Castle and recruited four Resistance players to join us. We had one explainer hijacked by another who made an even greater hash of the rules. They both throughout the game looked at other players cards to explain them without waiting for a request. They then decried other player's discussion saying it was a against the rules. Stated opinions as if they were rules and generally bossed people about.

It was utterly terrible. I'd been looking forward to trying this game out for years since I bought the game on release. I'm getting very close to trading all my abacusspiele games since they don't get played and aren't good enough (even though they're small!)

So all in all a rough night and reminded me why I've yearned for a private gaming group for some time.

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15. Board Game: Cyclades: Hades [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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Previous week was all about me and my GF finishing the bedroom. Painting, cleaning, putting in furniture. And the result amazed me (as we used bright orange for walls). It's the first bedroom (proper) I feel comfortable in, we had a lot of problems with it in previous apparent.

Monday game night.

A backstory - there's a guy who joined our meetup group who likes lighter ameritrash games, but is very particular about it. Plays one or two games and that's all he wants played. After I was close to renaming him to Mr. Kemet (guess why), he also realised he doesn't like the game as much as he thought he will, so he returned to his original love: Cyclades with Cyclades: Hades expansion. Took a month or two for us to finally meet and I'm happy mr. Kemet learned patience (previously he erased events with not enough attendance and put up a new one, each and every week, so now he just changes the dates and I hope it will continue to work).

So: Cyclades. I've tried a different approach as my usual one (build buildings) didn't work the previous time, so I focused just on getting money and attacking islands (for corncupias). Heroes (expansion) heavily influenced the game - one player got the Amazon queen which enables a player to put one metropolis on far away island which cannot be conquered. I also got pretty lucky for getting Achilles who can be sacrificed to create a metropolis if you control 4 islands (which I did, I also protected myself with one time item that prevented others from attacking me that turn). It really felt good - that you can create civilisation from farming the land, and not just those fancy city folks buildings. Next turn I resurrected Achilles (got lucky with a card) and threatened to win the game. At the same time the player with Amazon queen was close to winning as well - he had 2 philosophers. What followed was one of the most intense bidding rounds (all around 10 coins). My mistake was using a special card to remove Hades from that turn as I expected I need to protect myself (turns out, the most dangerous player to me didn't have resources to compete with our bidding, but I didn't know that). So - the Amazon queen player went first and used sphinx to sacrifice all his units and cards for money, then built his second metropolis and used up all the other cards (which could have helped me as I was on Zeus). Dammit! Anyhow I built the second metropolis, but lost on tie beaker which is: money. Damn you sphinx. Still that was pretty close.

We then played Cosmic Encounter. First time for them. I enjoyed myself, though 4 player is not as fun as with a bigger group. The only thing - my power was killing the atmosphere in the endgame. I was Oracle (I could see the card the opponents plays before I pick one) and I also had the Oracle's flare which is pretty boring (and strong). Basically the opponent plays the card and if I think I can't win I just call quits and everybody goes home, nothing happens. Talk about anticlimatic (everybody was out of card zaps it seems). In the end one player gave in and played negotiate so we could win together. (It was also pretty late). Yay! I won with the power of boredom!

Other aliens were interesting as well - first play with Ethic (if he lost a fight he would get compensations - either from the opponents hand or the deck. The guy also had a flare which enabled him to get up to 8 cards as compensation!). Then we had Merchant who could send cards to battle as ships. And the Fodder, but he didn't use his power as much. I did use his flare though - when you're invited to alliance and you decline, you can join in in resolution with one ship. Tee hee hee. Only after the game I realised we had another interesting alien, but the player didn't pick it - Mind (can see opponent's entire hand before ally step). The player who got him didn't found him as powerful and I just nodded at the time. But when I thought about it I said to myself "Samo, since when did you become an eurogamer?". That power holds such a huge potential for lying, bullshitting and general bluff. It says "creative play" right there on the card if you can see it.

Bottom line: the group was a more silent one. And while CE was a bit better (read: louder), it was still a bit too quiet for my tastes. Will see how this group develops.
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16. Board Game: Panic on Wall Street! [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1306]
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Played 1x 7 Wonders, 1x Panic on Wall Street! and 2x The Resistance.

7 Wonders was nice, I came in second. I mean, I got cards... I passed cards. I felt like I made good decisions but I couldn't keep the good cards out of my neighbor's hands AND play cards that helped me, so I lost by a large margin. I like it for the solo-fun sort of game it is.

Panic on Wall Street came out because we had 9 players (!), so we had 4 merchants, along with 5 investors roaming the room. We split it up into 2 tables because that was the way it worked out. It was interesting because at one table, things were worth one amount, while at the other they were vastly different, and for no reason. Awesome. I got turned down on some rents, and this was the first time an investor (me) failed to pay rent due to bankruptcy. This really got the merchants thinking harder about who they would rent to, given another shot, which they weren't as it happened in round 5.

Then, we had 8 for Resistance, as one had to leave, so we played that twice and it was pretty much Resistance.
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17. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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It's happened, or at least halfway. I've become a (half) Netrunner Zombie.

Small World with all normal expansions was fun as a fast 3p game - often Small World isn't fun because it's played far too slowly. The other veteran and I smashed each other and let the newbie (who picked Marauding Kobolds) win. I'm still kind of annoyed by the Marauding power - it seems to be prone to super-powered combos that aren't costed correctly.

I dislike area control games and am not particularly a fan of Martin Wallace; however despite the annoying profusion of rules Liberté was actually not bad. In this game the revolutionaries won in turn 2, and if I knew what I was doing I could have won! (But that was probably true for everyone else...) The two-layer control was reminiscent of König von Siam and I liked that; I wouldn't go out of my way to play it again, but I wouldn't hate it.

Back when I played 7 Wonders repeatedly I was scornful of its mainly logistical appeal. But with lighter gamers, a quick parallel-play game can be very enjoyable, especially with the funkier special powers. I warned everyone about the science cards - they ignored me, and I crushed them with 38VP from science alone.

I played my first "perfect" game of Blokus - it's not my kind of thing, but its speed and accessibility sometimes win me over.

Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion Expansion hit the table again and "won"; we got more of the rules correct, but I forgot about the Dummy Player after the first couple of rounds (though we were generally within time), we may have played 4 days instead of 3, and the final battle may have involved a basic Mass Expose mistakenly played as the powered-up Mass Expose... Nonetheless it's an epic experience; next time we'll use Volkare so there's no more Dummy Player business, and hopefully we'll get better with the rules again.

Android: Netrunner: I tried to avoid this game, but I'm hooked, and messing around with decklists in my spare time. We started with basic core game decks: I played the criminal Gabriel and narrowly beat Haas-Bioroid EtF with some lucky hits on R&D (and the infamous Account Siphon); we swapped and I won again, coming back from being 0-5 with giant ice towers of stacked bioroids and several Pad/Adonis campaigns.

My friend recently got Android: Netrunner – Honor and Profit so we moved to trying out the new cards. I took the default Jinteki Harmony Medtech against her prebuilt Kate deck and went horizontal instead of vertical, with lots of Mental Health Clinics and a great Diversified Portfolio. I lost our final game playing my friend's Jinteki Tennin Institute deck against her Kate - I drew 3 agendas on my mulligan and from then on it was a slow slide to defeat.

Afterwards in my deckbuilding adventures I wanted to find out how likely 3 agendas in your start hand (5 plus 1 draw) were, so I calculated it. For a 49 card deck with 11 agendas, the hypergeometric distribution says that there is:
* 20% chance of none,
* 39% chance of one,
* 29% chance of two,
* 10% chance of drawing three, and
* 2% chance of drawing 4+.
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