GCL Beehive #52: One Year
Clay Blankenship
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Owens Cross Roads
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This marks the end of one year of our list. (The first post was on June 3, 2013.) Thanks to everyone for participating. It has been interesting and fun to be involved.

GameChat League - Beehive Division

Welcome to this week's discussion list!

If you found us by accident, you are invited to join in the conversation. Friendly comments are always welcome. We ask only that visitors respect the GCL convention that only the group members should add new items to this GeekList.

For more information about us, see our group Wiki.

Our group is full for new membership at present, but spots will open up from time to time. Interested in joining a GCL Division, or maybe starting one up yourself? For more information about what GCL is all about, check out the GameChat League Wiki.

Hosting rotation:
We host in alphabetical order of our BGG usernames. Current week's host indicated by the asterisks.

Ed_the_Red
fowlerj
freddieyu
HilkMAN
JesterPoet
polyobsessive
sa266
saccenti
**snoweel**
UncleDragon (hosting next week)
x2fer
Xelforp
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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Clay Blankenship
United States
Owens Cross Roads
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What games do you recommend that get a lot of gameplay out of a small set of rules? Bonus points if it evokes a theme rather than being a pure abstract.
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2. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game – Fame and Fortune [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Clay Blankenship
United States
Owens Cross Roads
AL
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Who is the most famous person from your hometown, or where you now live? Have you ever met a celebrity?
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3. Board Game: Summertime [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:11262]
Clay Blankenship
United States
Owens Cross Roads
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Got any summer vacation plans? (We seem to all be in the Northern Hemisphere.)

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4. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Splendor is still going strong here! Last Monday was a bank holiday, and we organised a games day, so quite a few games played then! The rest of the week was half-term and most days my children had a mini games session in the afternoon, so quite a few games with them. Then at the weekend we visited both sets of grandparents for my son's birthday, and my youngest played quite a number of games with my dad, most of which I also joined in. He also played 3 games of Guess Who with him, and on the first two got a "Yes" to a question on the first question, so won easily, then on the third one his grandad was much quicker to guess right, getting down to one tile while my son still had about ten standing. My son carefully studied all the options, and picked one (the one he could read most easily - Alex) and it was right - you should have seen my dad's face!!! He was not impressed at being beaten three times in a row by a four year old! With my husband I've had very little gaming - either too tired out after a busy day or had other plans for the evening, but one evening we did play quite a number of games of Magic the Gathering.

Games with other adults:

12 x Magic the Gathering
7 x Splendor

1 x Mausen, Alles im Eimer, Batavia, Burn Rate, Escape: Curse of the Temple, Expedition, Family Business (haven't played this for years - was worse than I remembered!), Flash Point Fire Rescue, Formula De, Guildhall, Haggis, Hanging Gardens, Medici, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy, Thunderstone, Wiz-War

Games with my children:

2 x Mausen
2 x Beep Beep
2 x Halli Galli

1 x Alles im Eimer, Creationary (my 4 year old can finally play this on his own!), Jungle Speed, Lego Create It, Memory, Quit, Qwirkle, Travel Blog, UNO, Where's My Bone?
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5. Board Game: The Palaces of Carrara [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:532]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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You can view my week in greater detail here: Item for Geeklist "What Did You Play This Weekend? 06/02/2014"

I basically had a "free pass" last week, since my wife was in the province Tuesday until Friday. I thus manage to go around a couple of branches of the FLGS midweek, and had a great time!

The Palaces of Carrara x 3 (NEW) = I got my Dutch copy played, and enjoyed the elegant design of the game!
Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men x 3
Tales & Games: The Three Little Pigs x 3
Dominion family x 2
Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature x 1 (NEW)
Agricola x 1
BANG! The Dice Game x 1
CapCom Street Fighter Deck-Building Game x 1
Going, Going, GONE! x 1
Kingdom Builder x 1
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6. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Clay Blankenship
United States
Owens Cross Roads
AL
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Ben (older son) and I went on an overnight trip to a giant Magic tournament (Grand Prix) in Atlanta and had a blast. This is a big tournament that draws over a thousand people. We didn't play in the main event but we played in a couple of side events. Strangely enough, Ben and I got paired in the first match (and he beat me). We got to meet a few artists and a couple of pro tour players that Ben recognized.

Other games played:

Apples to Apples
Ruse and Bruise x2
Telestrations

and I played a cooperative space game last night that was way too complicated (and whose name escapes me).
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7. Board Game: Castle Crush! [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4396]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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11 x Castle Crush!
5 x Osaki ni Shitsurei Shima-su!!
3 x Res Publica
2 x Pandemic
2 x Pari
2 x The Settlers of Catan
2 x Tichu
1 x Banana Split
1 x Category 5
1 x Doppel-Grübel
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8. Board Game: North Wind [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2825]
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
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Looking back over it, this was a great family-gaming week. It began on Monday morning, with the arrival of a box from Germany. Four newish titles (three of them don't have official English rules yet): Burgenland, Helios, North Wind, and Port Royal. We managed to get three of them played (Helios is a heavier game, and will have to wait).

North Wind got the best response, and rates the Game-of-the-Week. I would recommend this to my fellow Bees for a family game with younger children. At age five, Preston can play competently with only occasional suggestions about a better move.

It is getting mixed reviews, maybe--it must be said--somewhat negative reviews. What can I say? I give this a -7- , which on my scale is quite strong.

I notice that the negative reviews seem to fixate on two things: the luck element, and the memory element.

With regard to luck, I believe this is greatly exaggerated. You can mitigate the luck of this game almost to ZERO if you make the right improvements to your ship (Lookout and Sails).

As for the memory element--fair enough. If your idea of Fun doesn't involve some light memorization, then North Wind is certainly not for you. But I found the memory element in this game to be extraordinarily thematic, and while I usually DISLIKE games with a memory element, I find this one works for me.

The components are knock-out gorgeous. The idea of making your personal board a 3D ship was just genius. And any game where Preston (5) can play competitively (memory games are his thing) with the family is a hit for me. Here is what he looked like after beating me at a two-player session:



One thing worth noting: we have played these first four games of North Wind using a mistranslation of an important rule. There is only an unofficial English translation to work with at present. The way we have played has made the game a bit tighter, and perhaps a bit longer. We will try playing correctly next time, and see if we like the difference.



4x -7- North Wind - Preston (5) likes this (and got mad the one time we played without him). He beat me at it fair & square in a two-player game. I like the game best with two I think. It gets just a little Long For What It Is at a higher player count.
4x -7- Splendor - Continues to please. North Wind will get my second nomination for Family Game-of-the-Year. But Splendor--my first nomination--is running away with it.
3x -6- Port Royal - Quick-playing card game, just our kind of thing.
2x -6- Coal Baron - Antony (14) asked to play this a second time, after losing earlier in the week. He likes worker-placement games.
2x -7- Rondo - My runner-up for 2012 Family Game-of-the-Year continues to get played.
2x -7- Sushi Go! - The wife joined us for a rare appearance at the game table
1x -6- Augustus
1x -7- Bruges - Antony resumed his streak of beating me at this game, after my briefest of interruptions.
1x -6- Burgenland - The kids like this a bit more than me after one play, but I do like it. We played open-information (despite the game coming with screens) but I think that we will use the screens next play. It would have added some tension, and made things less mathy and calculated--which is appropriate to the family-niche this game is aiming for.
1x -7- Chicken Cha Cha Cha
1x -6- Coloretto
1x -7- Guillotine
1x -5- Gulo Gulo
1x -7- Incan Gold
1x -7- Koryo
1x -8- Love Letter
1x -7- Metropolys - First play, and I like the potential here.
1x -7- Montgolfiere
1x |9| Race for the Galaxy

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9. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:693]
Rob Harper
United Kingdom
Wantage
Oxfordshire
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Not a bad week for playing with Miss B, including a trip to UK Games Expo where we worked together to play a couple of demo games...

With Miss B:
* Castle Keep - Fun once in a while.
* Love Letter - Keeps on giving!
* Runebound - A favourite for Miss B that rarely gets played due to its length. We managed about 4 hours this time!
* Dobble - Unusually, we just played this once.
* Coloretto - Just a great game.
* Pylos - The giant version they had at UK Games Expo. Lovely kit.
* Oware - Improvised with an egg box and a pile of pennies.

Demo games played alongside Miss B:
* Downfall of Pompeii
* Kamisado

On my own:
* Friday - First play of this rather neat solo-deckbuilder.
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10. Board Game: Villa Paletti [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1392]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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A slightly threadbare week, mainly because we're changing ISP (our previous one's prices went up by 50%), necessitating an awful lot of updating contact details with people and organisations!

Villa Paletti x 1
Love Letter x 2
Kleine Fische x 2
Zeus on the Loose x 1
TransAmerica x 1
De Beer ist Los x 1
Galaxy Trucker x 1

+ Ave Caesar and Kleine Fische at the school games club
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