GCL Eclipse #144 - What 'cha playing?
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I fear I have nothing clever up my sleeve this week for our new list.

So let's go with the tried and true. What games are you playing lately? What is worth suggesting to others, and what should we avoid? Are you playing new stuff, or familiar games?

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

This is the GCL: Eclipse Division discussion list for the week of Jun 8, 2014. Please visit the GCL: Eclipse Wiki for information on this Game Chat League.

Visitors are welcome to post so long as comments maintain a friendly, non-confrontational, and applicable nature to the GCL Eclipse discussion. If you are interested in becoming a regularly-contributing member, please make a request to me.

Thank you for respecting these guidelines in our home of regular discussion. We hope the conversation created here is rich, informative, and most of all, fun for members and nonmembers alike.

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Chester
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Temple
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1. Board Game: The World Cup Game [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1846]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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We just had to play this last week. One friend of mine had mentioned that we needed to play it in June. So I had it set up when he arrived. We had a great game.

This is a game that I have a lot of fun playing. It isn't filled with all that much cleverness. It just allows you to experience the thrills and agonies of competing in a bracket system.

And of course, it is the World Cup! With the whole world dialed in to soccer/futball it is just fun to share in the fun by playing this game at the same time.

Do you have any soccer/futball games you like to play during the World Cup?

Do you care about the World Cup? If so, what team are you cheering for?
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2. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:237]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I played my 6th session of Risk Legacy recently. This is the version of Risk where the players alter the map, destroy cards, and make permanent changes to the game, literally consuming it as it gets played.

I'm finding it amusing. We're about 18 months into this experience, so we are not playing at a rapid clip. But all of us are hooked, and we plan to check out Seafall when it gets issued.

Apart from some linked race seasons of Formula De, I've never participated in any campaign of a game like this before. Oh I have been in rpg campaigns. But this feels very different.

Have you played in boardgame based campaigns? Do tell!
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3. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:111]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I played Hansa Teutonica for the 16th time recently. I was reminded that I really like this game. I was rusty, and upon checking I realized I had not played it for over 1 year (14 months).

Have you dusted off any game that reminded you why you like it so much, even though you left it on the shelf for a spell?

Do you ever pace yourself with a game, so as to prolong your enjoyment of it?
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4. Board Game: Twin Tin Bots [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:3005]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Twin Tin Bots is my newest game (shifting Russian RR over as my next-to-newest). No doubt about it, getting new games played is much easier than trying to get people to try a recently acquired "older" game. Why is that?

For me Twin Tin Bots has been amusing, and I foresee a few more plays in my future. I've played twice, and I am pretty sure it will make it past my third play (a good sign for long term retention in my collection).

What new games are on your table? What would you recommend? What should we avoid?

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5. Board Game: C. C. Higgins Rail Pass [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:9103]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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What game is on your "I want to play this" list, but you have trouble getting to the table?

C.C. Higgins is my example case. I have played it once. I was entertained, and enticed to play again. But I feel playing with more than 3 might not be ideal. So I've been stalling. I'm taking it to a game gathering over Independence Day weekend, so maybe I will finally get my second play.

Do you have trouble getting certain games played? Which games are on your "wanna play" list these days?
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6. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:383]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Highlights of games played 6/10-6/16:

OK, let's start with a 3x18x10 update. I've decided to re-order things into four bucket:

And Then Some - minimum of 5 plays

1846

Bridge

Race for the Galaxy

Russian Railroads

Saint Petersburg


Over The Line - 3 or 4 plays

Bohnanza

Res Publica

Schnäppchen Jagd


Getting There - 2 plays

2038

Frisch Fisch

La Citta

Merchant of Venus

Die Siedler von Catan

Thebes

Ticket to Ride


Need Some Work - 1 play

Advanced Civilization

Euphrat & Tigris

Freight Train


OK, so what else did I play this week...

Galaxy Trucker (Joe=25) - At work, we tend to drop the first adventure, to be sure of fitting the game in. This really doesn't take away from the experience...

Sextet (Joe=79) - Yay! It's tricky to get this played - the pool of players isn't as large as it used to be - but I continue to try every other week.

Mü & More (Joe=287) - For a long time, this has been a Friday tradition; of late, it's been hard to get a quorum. So I tried arranging the game, with success!

Indonesia (Joe=27) - Another game I'd like to get to the table more often...

Istanbul (Joe=2) - I'd rather play Constantinopolis.

Big Boss (Joe=20) - I decided to try something different, focusing on buying cards early in the game. Amusingly, when I started a couple of companies - to get cards out of my hand, and give myself the chance to buy _some_ stock - one of the throwaway companies I started ended up being the most valuable. And - having less stock, but a lot of _good_ stock (60% of the two best companies) works well.

Mississippi Queen (Joe=28) - Got to play pewter again!

Camel Up (Joe=2) - I finally played the game I predicted to win the Spiel des Jahres - and it did nothing to change my mind. It's a very clever game - much more clever than Splendor - and for me, much more enjoyable. It's hard to compare to Concept (which I haven't played), but I _think_ Camel Up will win.
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7. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:3314] [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Chester
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Temple
Texas
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Games Played (6/8 - 6/14)

Eldritch Horror x3
I've added the expansion and its great. Just provides the right amount of cards to the various decks to add variety without bogging anything down. We've started using 4 investigators every time. But as it happens, each of these playings was with my kids.

I was shocked that 9 year old Vivian has stayed engaged and really enjoys this game. Even when her investigator dies, or some other set-back, she has grasped the cooperative nature of the game better than my teenage son. Anyway, we're having a blast with this one, recently defeating Cthulu in a tight game. I'm looking forward to many more playings, and pleased at how quickly the game is flowing.

Piece o' Cake x2
Another one that the kids request. This is a wonderful filler. It takes the "I divide you choose" mechanic and boils it down into a fun little 5 minute game that simply works.

Apples to Apples x1
I remember owning and enjoying this game ages ago. Anyway, we were dinner guests with some new friends who heard we like playing games. After dinner, they invited us to play a game...and pulled this out.

I posted it as the honorary photo game this week, because although I find it a marginally fun game, this particular playing was so thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable due to the circumstances. It was entirely the company and the sentiment, but it just goes to show you that the quality of the game itself is sometimes an almost trivial contribution to a great evening.

Diamant x1
My fledgling Wednesday night gaming is still shaky. We had 3 of us, and this was one of the featured games. A lot of fun, and I'm pretty sure my wife won every game that night.

Liar's Dice x1
Including coming back from losing 3 dice early....she won this one, too.

TransAmerica x1
One of our players didn't seem to grasp this one, which usually makes me think I did a poor job explaining it. But we still had a lot of fun. I haven't played this game but a handful of times, so it still feels very fresh. I realize there is a large element of chance, but the decisions are so subtle and so pleasing, the game works for me.
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8. Board Game: The Cards of Cthulhu [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2989]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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The Week that Was


Played:

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game x2-- my journey through season 3 of the online league continues. Still fun.
The Cards of Cthulhu--I almost Kickstarted this, but I am glad I didn't. It is fully mediocre at best. Not terrible, but this has maybe 1 or 2 plays in it at most, and I don't ever see the gameplay really varying between plays.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set--played one round of our campaign again, but since we were missing one of the main folks, we called it after one game. We shall move on later.

PBEM:

Here Come the Rebels-- Patrick still is awaiting my turn, but this one is over for the Union. Learned some hard lessons in this one, but I am looking forward to the next scenario.

Space Empires: 4X--my turn, still. I need to be better on this one. My first economic phase slowed me down. I will get to this one tonight.

Pax Porfiriana--my first PBEM of this game, and it is going fairly well. I can't remember the rules or how to best to play at all, so I expect the others may be annoyed with my newbness. I haven't played this one since it came out.

Advanced Squad Leader I have 3 games in the wings, but only one is active due to me--Gavin Take in which I am teaching full ASL, hence it is taking awhile.

Thirty Years War: Europe in Agony, 1618-1648 -- just starting this one. I need to read the rules, and then get my turn off.

Acquisitions:

B-17: Queen of the Skies
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9. Board Game: Winds of Plunder [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2819]
Rick Goudeau
United States
Moody
Alabama
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Gaming from last week

Winds of Plunder - This hasn't been on the table for a while, I've always liked the mess with other players aspect of the game, and bidding on the wind direction. I got pounded by the weapons leaders and couldn't escape.

7 Wonders - An early night, so we pulled this out for a couple of rounds. Decided to use the B sides for some variety.

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa - A close game all within about 20 points, I was able to get one extra ticket which was the margin.

Metro - My wife is happy since it finally clicked for her and she was able squeak out a win.

Alhambra - Lost again as usual.
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10. Board Game: Maskmen [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:3681]
EGG Head
United States
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Acquired: Maskmen, Isaribi, Long Live the Queen, Dragon Teeth Washer, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Adventure Deck 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast, A Fake Artist Goes to New York, Aristo-Maze

Played: Terra Mystica, Nations, Maskmen, Volo

Maskmen is a cute ladder climbling card game with wrestlers! The difference in this game is that the relative strengths of the wrestlers change from round to round.
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11. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:120]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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I finally, FINALLY got to play some games, so here's my item.

Acquired:

Nothing at the moment, because I can't justify acquiring when I'm not playing very much.

Plays:

These are my face-to-face plays from 5/14 - 6/22:

Castle Panic 1
Lords of Waterdeep 1
Splendor 1
Takenoko 1

*sigh* Work travel is always big for me in June, so my gaming decreases dramatically, and it's been even more acute this year. So what you see is all I got to play for over a month.

That being said, at least Scott was willing to play them with me - all the above are 2-player. Splendor is the new one for us, and I was impressed with how easy it is to explain and pick up - I think the rules teach took 5 minutes. It also felt nicely balanced - while I started off a bit behind, I was able to catch up and just barely edge out Scott for the win.

Takenoko & Waterdeep are still charming and I know we'll play them often.

Castle Panic was the game we dusted off this month, and it was very easy to get back into. It always feels like a solid challenge to roll with what fate brings you, and I appreciate that. Anyone tried the expansion? I'm curious if I should bump that up on my wish list.
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