LGG - Games Played, August
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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Welcome to the fifth Lanarkshire Gamers Guild - Games Played list, or Gathering of Lanarkshire based BGG addicts and compulsive cardboard collectors.

Highlights:
From an all time high of 59 unique titles in June we dropped to an all time low of 39. Why did this happen? Was everyone out enjoying the summer? Did the sunshine make everyone to sleepy to write? Or like me, were you all kept busy by work and visits to A&E after falling down stairs? Let's hope next month is more of a games fest!
In other news, the number of contributors appears to have reached a plateau. But worry not! I have no doubts that as the club continues to grow, our valued contributions will attract new members to our Lanarkshire Gamers BGG gang laugh

Rules:
Please add to the list as often as possible. This list won't survive without YOUR contributions.
Only one entry per game please. If the game you want to list is already on the list, please comment on the previous entry. It's great to see which games are popular and read about different experiences.

meeple Finally, please remember to click subscribe, below.
.. what will you play today?~
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1. Board Game: Zpocalypse [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4035]
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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This arrived in the post today so we broke it out for some 1st of the month, new geek list, gaming! Don't you admire my dedication?

Main Scenario (one possible scenario of six).
We played using the hotel lobby base tile with tile side A (lots of variation in this game!). First let me point out just how awful the rules book is. Entertainment and humour aside, rules are ambiguous, details are easily missed, and you'll be lucky if you can find a reference a forgotten rule. Regardless, we'd like to think of ourselves as experienced gamers now, we can handle it, the rules seemed simple enough...

Well really the rules are simple, this game is really easy to play. There's just a few little things that we missed (in this game).
Movement ends after a yield space (obstacle), not on it. Thematically this makes sense, diving for cover.
When rolling for attacks, we roll the number of dice on the weapons card, not the skill value.
When rolling for attacks, we do not get the special actions until they are unlocked.
The later two of these exceptions meant that Gavin destroyed, guns blazing! It was awesome!!

Otherwise it's a great game! I really enjoyed it. Lots of theme, great story, fun personal side quests, lots of stuff to collect, great strategic play, and the funniest flavour text I've had the pleasure to read. Time for a rematch!
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2. Board Game: Yahtzee Jr. [Average Rating:5.02 Overall Rank:15180]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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I felt like playing something quick and this (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles edition) is probably the quickest game I own. In fact, my first solo game finished so quickly I decided to play it twice more. The results are as follows...

Solo game 1: 20/25
Solo game 2: 21/25
Solo game 3: 18/25

I'm pretty sure if I ever get a perfect 25/25 the stars will align and I'll be transformed into an unstoppable supernatural ninja warrior. I'll keep you all updated.
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3. Board Game: Solitaire [Average Rating:4.28 Overall Rank:15412]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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I hadn't touched Hi-Q Euclid in a month and a half and figured it was about time I had another go. After about 20 minutes of my head on the verge of exploding I was close to admitting defeat, for the third time, but I decided to keep going. 5 minutes later, just as I was about to return the box to the shelf, I placed the final piece. The puzzle was complete. SUCCESS!
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4. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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We randomly selected roles and my Contingency Planner joined Miranda's Medic in trying to rid the world of four nasty diseases.

I made good use of my Contingency Planner's special ability a few times, reusing previously discarded event cards, and Miranda's Medic (arguably the best role in the game) made light work of infected hot spots. We seemed to have things under control and were feeling, dare I say it, pretty confident. Our confidence appeared to be justified as we managed to eradicate three of the four diseases, but our deck was dangerously low on cards. In the end, the disease spreading through the middle east proved to be our downfall. We tried in vain to clear up the final disease but the remaining time slipped away.

You know, in a possible "end of all humankind" situation, maybe they should have sent more than two people. whistle
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5. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Adventure Deck 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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And here we go again... more of the same with bigger numbers, and some truly brutally big numbers too! Once again the dominance of Wisdom & Survival checks meant Lini was acting as official closure agent, and once again we were a bit too confident early on & lost a couple of relatively easy combats by not investing enough in them. We did, eventually, win, but it felt close and hinged on a few major combats.

Lots & lots of new Level 6 cards appeared, but nothing nice to keep. All Banes (there was one new Blessing I kept, and a Mountaineer Ally that we failed to get - the Level 6 cards seem to have quite a few bonuses to Survival, which should serve as a warning!)
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6. Board Game: oddball Äeronauts [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:5013] [Average Rating:5.98 Unranked]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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A quick filler to end the day, I at last got in a game of my latest Kickstarter. We got plenty wrong, and wasted a lot of time figuring things out, but eventually it played well and quickly, and, yes, you really can play it without a table or any other playing surface.
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7. Board Game: Two Crowns [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:12464]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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This was my first play of Two Crowns. It's a simple card game and the two 20-sided dice that come with it are only used to determine first player, to display health (of your castle), and to gamble by rolling it during the game in the hope it lands on a number greater than your health at that point. Players take turns as the Attacking player and select up to four cards from their hand (or draw new ones) then play them face down, the Defender (if attacked) may play up to four of their own cards face down, the cards are then revealed to determine who wins that battle. If the Attacking player wins, they cause damage equal to their attack points minus the Defending player's attack points. Attack points are scored when a player uses "knights" (cards displaying 1-3 swords) and there are also special cards, paid for with cards displaying gold crowns, which alter the battle in various ways.

I worked out how to make the most of the cards early on, and was fortunate enough to have some strong hands, so I got off to a good start and blitzed my way to victory.

I didn't expect much from this game but it's interesting. The more I think about it the more I realise it can be quite tactical.
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8. Board Game: Heap [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:11353]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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This was my first play of Heap. The artwork and chaotic content make this look and feel like a Games Workshop game, to be specific - a Games Workshop game from the late 80s or early 90s.

Each player has four vehicles which can be upgraded with parts. You add parts, compete to find more parts in the scrapheap, and eventually do battle with your opponents (using the parts cards you didn't add to your vehicles). Both the scrapheap and end battle stages are resolved with an UNO-esque colour matching process. Cards have colour-coded attack and defence, so if a player puts down a card with a red attack the following player must play a card with red defence, which in turn has a different attack colour, and so on. A final round of combat is triggered when one player has three or more parts on each vehicle, attacks are made until one player remains and is declared winner.

That's really a simplified version of what goes on. The game isn't overly complicated, most of it is very straightforward, but there are various symbols on cards which result in damage to opponent's installed parts or cards drawn/discarded - depending on what stage of the game you're in. Unlike Two Crowns, I'll need one or two more plays of this before all the little bits clicks into place.

It was a very close game, and we used up all of our cards in the final battle, but I played the last card and Miranda, with no cards left, wasn't able to defend. This, like Two Crowns, was better than expected.
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9. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:95]
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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After a long day of typing a game was in order, so last night we whipped out Suburbia for a 2-player session. This time it was Gavin's turn to completely ignore the public goals. For some reason we both have a ridiculous tendency to miss these huge score bonuses whilst trying to outplay each other and make our suburbs as awesome as possible. Perhaps that's a sign of a good game! The expansion arrived in the post today.. *drool*
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10. Board Game: RoboDerby: Express [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:4190]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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Took a break from the Renaissance to finally put together this PnP game I've been meaning to construct for a year or more... Enough for a 2-player game (12 dice with stickers, 2 player boards & 4 maps).

Poor blue got off to a bad start taking 2 hits before leaving the starting board, leaving 1 of the 4 program slots locked for the whole game, and never managed to get off board 2 of 4! Possibly I should have shut down for a turn to repair...

It includes all the frustration and chaos of RoboRally with half the components. I'll put together another 2 sets of dice and more boards to give some variety.
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11. Board Game: Suburbia Inc [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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After another hard day of typing, we played the expansion to Suburbia. Money was very tight in this game due to least income and least money being public goals and very few cash boosting tiles. Game play was incredibly tight, not least for myself who managed to squeeze an elongated suburb into a 3-tile wide gap between a mountain range and a huge lake (and a couple of smaller lakes between for good measure).. I think someone got a little too excited about the border tiles.. shake

Good:
New tiles and goals
Shared, public, bonus and challenge tiles
Border tiles

Bad:
There's only one expansion! whistle
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12. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2203]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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Pax Renaissance, upcoming game by Sierra Madre Games, Playtest copy, played twice now (plus lots of experiments).

The latest game worked extremely well, with the two bankers (players) playing the Fuggers (slave traders based in Novgorod, in the Baltic) vs. Strozzi (gold traders from Algiers, in the Western Med). Both went in different directions, Fugger looking to collect influence in as many locations as possible (collecting & playing Tableau cards with Influence icons of various sorts), while Strozzi went for income (creating more Concessions around the map, sales points in ports generating income).

Strozzi rapidly became able to buy whatever card he wanted from the Market, but Fugger had more, and more varied, influence, and a few War Loans (investment in a Regime that offers no regular income, but can be used to manipulate events). Quite soon, Fugger had managed to convert the Holy Roman Empire & France to reformist Theologies, and was hoping the Reformist paradigm (victory condition, like as Topple cards in Pax Por) would appear. This worried Strozzi, as he had no reformist influence. He did have some Catholic Influence, but had mixed Islamic & Catholic Influence in Aragorn when Fugger changed that to a Catholic Theocracy too, and quickly removed the Islamic cards!

It was then war broke out... all over the place... A series of Casus Belli cards appeared involving first the Holy Roman Empire (Fugger's base), twice, then Aragon (Strozzi's), twice. Casus Belli cards can be bought as normal cards, but can be Speculated on to start wars - it's cheaper, since the first Speculation is free, even if the card is in the 16 gold cost Market column! And, so, first Fugger, then Strozzi, lost their income & investments as war disrupted profit. Fugger, with more influence, was better set to manipulate things once the dust settled. But Strozzi decided who won, by buying more Speculation cubes while the war continued, so got more Concessions and Loans.

Despite setbacks, Strozzi was still powerful, with lots of banked cash, plenty of ships (they came home when the war disrupted Trade Routes), and, by now, plenty of Loans in various Regimes (left over from Speculations during the wars). But when the first Paradigm card appeared, it was indeed the Reformist victory card, and Fugger had first access to it. The first player to Speculate on a Paradigm chooses which way it goes - in this case, it could have been Reformist or Catholic - you can flip it, but that's another action you need the right card for.

To win, Fugger needed the most Reformist Influence - easy, 3 to 1 - and a Reformist Regime in the top 3 on the Military Track. That would have been difficult, but the Paradigm itself flips the weakest Regime able to become Reformist, and with France & the Holy Roman Empire already reformist, the 'weakest' remaining was actually the strongest on the Track - England, ranked No.3... Fugger wins!

Clearly, it's great having lots of income, but you need to collect Influence fast, and in various categories - and you need to spread out over the map to stop wars destroying everything at once! Strozzi was especially unlucky being at war between Aragorn and the Papal States - two adjacent map cards with most of his income & Tableau cards! - just as the Paradigm appeared.
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13. Board Game: The Isle of Doctor Necreaux [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:12267]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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There are solo rules for this game. They should read
"Roll 1 die. If the result is even, you lose. If the result is odd, you lose badly."

Without a few initial successes & some Item cards, you don't stand a chance, really...

I'll try again though, possibly with 2 characters.
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14. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:317]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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We played this at Glasgow Eurogamers last night.

Nik won. As poor put-upon Scheherazade I became wounded, imprisoned, enslaved, wounded again and pursued among other things. Being enslaved sucks mightily.

I loved this, I'm somewhat reluctant to call it a game though, but it's a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours with friends.

Now paying even more attention to the Agents of SMERSH kickstarter.
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15. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:70]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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We've been threatening to play this for well over a year and finally got it to the table last night.

with only two players we got busy building civilisations in our respective corners of the board, I was able to get some powerful early temples built which soon produced loads of VP cubes.

We did some offensive moves early on, mostly instigated by Nik which I managed to get the best of by having loads of red tiles which we quickly burned through.

Towards the end the combat became much more fierce, especially after I launched a catastrophic (for me) clash based on farmer tiles.

Thankfully I had enough of a VP cushion that even losing 12 tiles and giving Nik 12 VP's couldn't hurt.

I suspect this would be brutal with more players.
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16. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:440]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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First choice at the Unplugged Games club this afternoon.

We played 3 games of this, I managed to lose all of them. Despite that I really enjoyed the bluffing and luck pushing.

Another excellent filler to put on the list.
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17. Board Game: Concept [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:567]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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This apparently just missed out on the Spiel des Jahres, it's a really good family game. Players take turns to team up and pick a subject for the others to try and guess. the team will progressively add hints based on a wide range of categories on the board.

You score points for guessing but also for having your subject/category guessed correctly, so it discourages being a dick!

I probably wouldn't buy it, but I would play it again.
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18. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:274]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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We played a 4 player game of this, with a teeny bit of not quite accurate hint giving by some of the newer players.

We still managed a reasonably respectable 19 points.
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19. Board Game: P.I. [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1550]
Michael Ross
Scotland
Motherwell
Lanarkshire
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I couldn't resist the chance to play a Martin Wallace game even if we didn't quite have enough time to finish it.

We were all (just about) able to solve our first crimes though, I really liked the mechanics particularly the deduction rules.
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20. Board Game: A Duel Betwixt Us [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:13461]
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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Probably the second Kickstarter we've ever backed. It took ages to arrive and was a bit of a gamble. We played half a game but weren't too impressed. It's too light and too random and has thus earned a place on the trade list.
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21. Board Game: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:518]
Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
Renfrewshire
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Thanks to the brand new BGG marketplace I spied this little beauty! Unfortunately it got a bit drenched in perfume in the post.. but none of the components were harmed in the process. Most importantly though, the game plays fabulously! After a couple of false starts due to rules mishaps last night.. rules were figured out.. and we played through a game this afternoon.

Difficult rules aside, it was a joy to play. Lots of options, most of which were impossible to achieve without meticulous planning of resource and actions. Everything is tight, money, prestige (actions), goods (to trade for food and money), and food (to feed your population). You can build troops and conquer cities or send out an ambassador to incite a civil war. Where do you expand to? The only negative, it's a shame it only plays two. Wonderful nonetheless.
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22. Board Game: Dungeoneer: Dragons of the Forsaken Desert [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3706]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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I think there are a couple of different solo rules variants for Dungeoneer on BGG. The ones I use are very simple, and remind me of the Tomb Raider Collectible Card Game solo rules, so easier to remember.

Separate boons & banes into 2 decks, move room to room (each room gathers you a bit of Glory & a bit of Peril), drawing boons to buy with Glory and banes to 'buy' with peril. Each room also has some 'business' to deal with, and the overall target is to fulfil 3 quests - each typically involves finding a room and either defeating it or recovering something from it, or disposing of something in it (no rings, no volcanoes). Rise one level per quest completed.

Felt quite easy at first, as I kept drawing banes too powerful for my peril total. Soon realised my Peril total was rising the further I got, so, when banes did start attacking, they came thick & fast. reached level 2... just... zombie
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23. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:201]
Doug Martin
Scotland
Lanarkshire
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Played a 2p game of this yesterday evening with David.

Really pleased with the way the 2p game pans out due to the NPC naval and pirate ships. They give you far more to think about than just your opponent.

I have to confess though, that I was enjoying roleplaying my merchant captain so much, that I didn't really keep too much of an eye on a winning strategy and made a few inefficient moves. David, being far cannier than me, took the win when I was still two turns away.

It's a game I've had on my wishlist for a looong time though, so I'm really glad I had the opportunity to pick it up and get it to the table!
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24. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:258]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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In the reverse of our first game, Miranda went the good guys and I went the baddies.

Following a period of back and forth action, I was down to my final four characters and Miranda only had two. I had previously encountered Gandalf (when he destroyed my Wargs) so I knew his location and, because of that, the location of Frodo. I waited until Gandalf moved closer then struck with my Orcs whose power, as attacker, instantly defeats the first enemy encountered. With Gandalf out the way, it was Frodo against three of my guys (Shelob was behind Frodo, in Cardolan, so was no longer an attacking threat). Frodo moved up the middle, from Eregion to Fangorn (via the Tunnel of Moria), and encountered the Witch King who used his power to attack from the adjacent Rohan. Frodo's power would ordinarily let him retreat sideways but he was sandwiched between the Witch King and the Orcs who were in Mirkwood. The hobbit had nowhere to go. Had the Orcs not been in Mirkwood, and Frodo had been able to retreat into that region, Saruman, who was waiting in Gondor, would have been powerless to stop Frodo from marching all the way to Mordor for the victory.

I'll play the variant next time. I'm very impressed with this game.
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25. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:162]
Patrick Morrison
Scotland
Glasgow
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This was my first play of Alien Frontiers.

I decided early on that I would add more ships then hammer the Colony Constructor to get my colonies onto the board. By controlling the Colony Constructor it meant the only way Miranda could get her own colonies into play was by using the Terraforming Station, at the cost of a ship each time and only if she rolled a 6, or by using the Colonist Hub, which is a lengthy process. Miranda started the game with the Mind Control Helmet and being able to use one of my ships as her own helped her quite a bit, but my decision to focus on the Colony Constructor whenever possible, coupled with the fact she waited too long to make good use of the Colony Hub, stopped her from expanding. After non-stop pressure, I placed my final colony and won the game 14 points to 3.

Alien Frontiers feels like a simplified version of Castles of Burgundy, in space. That, to me, is a very good thing. I think a combination of fortunate rolls and figuring out good tactics early on helped me greatly on this occasion and I expect my second play will be much closer. Either way, I look forward to playing again.
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