Kel had a goal to play 21 different games at The Austin Board Game Bash-- did he Make It?????
PK WADDLE
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A couple weekends ago I had a spectacular time at the Austin Board Game Bash-- and I went in with a goal of to try to play an average of 7 games a a day -- 21 total for the three days-- with a happy mix of quick and light and BIG and HEAVY-- did I make said goal... ??.. read on to find out !!


NOTE 6:42PM 8/13 LIST SUBMITTED Plays not yet logged/Unranked games not yet ranked

7:26 PM -- all plays logged, unranked games ranked, all games for Play 10x in 2014 and off unplayed list cross-posted.
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1. Board Game: Valley of the Kings [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:627] [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
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The very first game to start my 3 day extravaganza of playing starting even a few minutes BEFORE the official convention start time was this pleasant, if not terribly exciting Dominion deckbuilding relative. The mechanics are somewhat interesting ( a falling pyramid/replacement card mechanism for what can be purchased on its bottom row instead of just a flat always-available bank of cards) but for me I couldn't really see that there was much going on dyamically with the card powers and I just resorted to scoring as many things as I can. ( Here the Dominion contrast in this theme it is putting cards in one's " tomb" as opposed to buying point scoring land types.)

I completely screwed up something rather important however, thinking again a la Dominion you had, unless affected by an action card, One Buy and One action-- when the case was you were able to do as much as you wanted to with what was in your hand on the turn-- by the time I corrected this my Icy/Death guild pals Grant and Dave had totally left me in the dust.

A certainly pleasant little game, though it left me wondering what exactly was the POINT of yet another deckbuilding title -- IMHO I see no need for any more titles added to the already too populated and overrated Deckbuilding what-hath-Dominion-wrought morass unless they have something WHOLLY unique to bring to the table-- this game doesn't have that at all.

That said, it's still a pleasant enough little game and I am ALWAYS glad to help others get more titles off their unplayed lists ( This was from Dave's ) and I would indeed like to try this out at least one more time playing the WHOLE game with the awareness of how much I can do per turn instead of just the last 1/3 of the game !

I shall give this little ditty a middling 5.2 with a possible later alteration on another playing.

SCORES :

Grant 36
Dave 37 WIN
Kel 20
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2. Board Game: Black Sheep [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:3960]
PK WADDLE
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Said same members of said guild then happily indulged yours truly to get another title off MY unplayed list with this obscure little Knizia. This is basically an expanded Battle Line into four people with a farming theme where quite cleverly the animals are " RANKED" a la the numbers in Battle Line , the animals have ranks that make poker hands as well as secret values stamped on their undersides. ( Yes, I win this field, I have a Full House of Horses and Chickens that beats your 3 of a kind of Cows.)

I can't really judge the flow of this game because I taught a major rule wrong in the first 1/2 that was escaping me in the minutiae on the 2nd page--- this rule was RATHER drastic in saying how many or how few cards you were allowed to play per what was already on your side of the field-- which I think ( not that he didn't manipulate the cards well) -- once we re-situated said Rule-- by his playing and much luckier card situating Dave was pretty much getting EVERY set of ANIMALS for EVERY field resolution hence making the rest of the game sort of pointless even though the rest of us got a modicum of scoring animals. Nothing super special here either but not unpleasant and I MOST DEFINITELY will play again with the correct card-amount-placing rules set from the BEGINNING as to not wonkily throw off the turn placing -- which I think is why Dave basically destroyed us. ( He might have done so anyway , but I don't think quite to this magnitude. )
Until then-- another middling and cute, but nothing to gameorgasm about rating of 5.2 from me.


SCORES
Dave 95 ( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) WIN
Grant 21
Kel 12
Brian 3

 
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3. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:559]
PK WADDLE
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Dave and Brian went to greet more arrivals and meet up folks so I was quite tickled for the 2nd time lately someone in a 2-p situation suggested this classic. I held up my end well at the beginning, then got woefully behind, then thanks to some lucky 3 face card and a 5 and 7888 and 8778 cribs , I ended up losing by only a fairly small amount.

SCORES
Grant 121 WIN
Kel 111
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4. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
PK WADDLE
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Austin
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At long last !! I get to see what all the fuss is about !! And the hype is genuine and real folks !!

What an incredible, amazing design -- one of those that's simple enough to explain to the most novice non-gamer in 3 minutes but provides endless replayability to the hardcore capital G gamer. ( I will admit.. iy sure has mighty purty cards and chips.. but I STILL am a bit perplexed why this game needs such a bleeping huge box and costs as much as many heavy euros -- If I weren't trying to practice some shopping austerity I would run and order this immediately !!)

Well as much as I loved this-- we have the 7,918th repeat of what Kel does on first play of these sorts of games and 7,910 times it turns out shitty. ( The extreme few examples -- The first time I shockingly won Grand Cru... and the few times this worked when I played many succeeding plays of Modern Art-- however I have dumped this whole strategy in that game-- much to the better result !!) : That story is :

If there is an engine to create-- I try to BYPASS everyone making said engine and just drive the point gathering as fast as possible to get to the end in case all the people busy building said engines can be passed. I also make some sort of plan at the outset and idiotically refuse to change in midstream when it's not working. ( Why do I not learn this USUALLY never works and just decide NOT to wait for 4 of 5 plays to change this??? ::SMH: So as usual-- I have all this optimism-- I have 7 points before anyone else has 3-- I also have a 7 point card that needs a buttload of white chips-- If I can just get said white chips and wilds then lookie here-- I am one point from winning. Well we can see where this is going...

...while my pursuit of the pile of white chips for the 7 card was futile and NEVER happened-- I didn't hardly get anything ELSE scored and by that time everyone else's fancy engines came to fruition, my dumbass self who thought I was on the verge of a win or a close 2nd was .. yes., LAST.

Amazingly fun, an amazing design,.. and I want to play this more and more and more !! A high 8.9 from me.. and while tt may not be fair to count this in a game's ranking. I would give this a 10 easily if it weren't so $$$$ !!


SCORES:

Alex 14
Robin 15 ( loses tie breaker)
Kel 11 ( )
Mark 15 ( Wins tie breaker-- fewest cards in tableau)
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5. Board Game: Quietville [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3079]
PK WADDLE
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(( BULL IN A CHINA SHOP incarnation-- now only sold in the remake/retheme QUIETVILLE)


We now had 5 people in our table's crew Robin leaving to go to another game -- with my friend Lance arriving after horrible traffic and a wandering about fellow named Barry joining us-- I didn't think it was time for anything heavy so I said " How about a Schacht obscurity that involves getting your stuff broken and having always virtually no money to get what you want???" -- people laughingly said " Well, How can we refuse THAT?--

This ended up quite fun despite how I got the unluckiest possible color-fall and turn order per the colors of china destroyed and what number values we were able to buy-- and our new addition Barry came along, had perfect planning of what he scored each round, swept the floor with all of everyone's else's broken China-- and then departed, never to be played with the rest of the con again !! ( Very nice fellow-- we didn't castigate him for beating us so bad-- he just never turned up in our environs again ! )

SCORES :

Barry 82 WIN
Mark 63
Alex 52
Kel 42 ( )
Lance 57

NOTE: Everyone seemed to have a good time -- but it was heartily concurred why this is so under the radar compared to Mr. S' big hits because this game is SO frustratingly unforgiving, the minute you build up a set of china it will be most likely destroyed, and the timing of when it's left unbroken to score it the best way possible MAY happen when scoring time comes, or perhaps may not. ( If you are Kel this time, it will be most definitely the latter ) So there is pretty much no middle on this game-- love it or hate it-- everyone pretty much said they had a fun time but it was far too stressful and quixotic for a " little" game-- so I don't think anyone will be rushing to find their copy of this out of print obscurity.
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6. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:119]
PK WADDLE
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At last -- what is that scent? No, it's NOT just Kel's cologne he drowns himself in so he doesn't "smell like a game convention person after 15 hours or whatever" -- that is the fragrance of REDEMPTION.

After my devastating and disastrous first play of this , spending all of my money when I thought I was about to rock 2 workers at once to stay close to the lead and instead being the alleged Genius-leve-IQ holder-yet-moron who can't count to 17 and ending up destroyed-- all I wanted to do was not repeat that mistake.

YAY !! I DIDN'T!!

COngrats to Lance for his spectacularly close finish to the middle of the pack first playing -- I actually would have been right there in the close standings except for my usual downfall-- SPACIAL issues!!-- I didn't plan my building set up well enough and when I was about to be right with everyone else's scores still-- I had to skip a points-making turn to get my 2nd builder to negate the building proximity issues -- hence I was indeed last--- but I shall take the moral victory, please. Brian had by far the best synergy in his worker peeps AND made the very smart choices of his bonus cards and takes the win -- again with everyone else but me all right together in a very exciting and well-played game by all.


SCORES :
Grant 49
Alex 48
Lance 47
Kel 40
Brian 54 ( WIN )
 
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7. Board Game: The Price is Right [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
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Nothing perhaps in my gaming goings-on makes me happier than to successfully corral more people to play my WAY obscure titles-- especially those that are ancient ( and again ESPECIALLY ancient in terms of BGG -- which often features people calling games published in the 21st century " OLD") TV Game show games.

So after our thinky Princes of Florencing most people went off to other light gaming or to rest for the next day-- but NO not us vampires and vampire friends. So happy that Jim, who I played with at the VERY 2nd game meetup I EVER went to years ago as I proceeded intensely back into serious gaming was around and he decided he would also join us for " Kel's weird old titles" late night fun.

Everyone actually got into this and people ( especially Alex) played the hell out of the bluff element here-- often bidding in the high hundreds or even over a grand when they only had 20 or 30 $ of info cards in their hand . And as is the case in many games, be them silly/light/old trifles such as this or a mongo heavy game the teacher-introducer , instead of winning in colossal manner, often gets destroyed !!-- This is my first playing of this where I didn't get one single prize !! Not only did I have 2 devastating close calls that Lance took where I was less than $150 over-- I even got TERRIBLY close to the nigh-impossible grand prize guess window of $500 missing my one guess at the Jewelry grand prize by only $650 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great fun and and superb bidding by Lance to take a huge win.

SCORES :

Jim 0
Alex 1
Kel 0
Lance 3 (!!!) WIN !!

And what do I like to hear so much after people's first introductions to a game of this ilk ?? Everyone said " Wow!! That was actually really fun !!"
 
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8. Board Game: Say When!! [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
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So of course I said well THAT one was a big hit-- let's drag out for more late night fun my other ancient game show game that is in my "Play 10x in 2014" list-- and we once again had a blast. And again.. this followed the previous game in that yours truly was successful at getting people into the spirit but I not so much in my game play this time, this being my only play where I busted the $10k barrier EVERY SINGLE round and was always shut out and giving my cash to the rounds' victors. This playing DIDN'T follow in that Lance followed up his 1950s TPIR triumph with one of the most unlucky plays of this yet. He declared SAY WHEN way too early ( but not invalidly as people could have easily still busted since none of the huge prizes were chosen yet ) at $1150 .. and then later had the most devastating over 10K$ bust I have ever seen in this game on JUST TWO cards ( the sports car and the swimming pool on his first two draws !!-- a sad instance that I photographed then tweeted ) -- JIm and Alex totally destroyed people in this game to a close finish-- Jim very smartly getting teeny prizes while everyone else drove themselves over the $10 to bankruptcy and Alex in one round getting down to 30$!!! Hence Jim takes an incredibly close win with him and Alex having virtually ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the money in the game's economy at the end !

SCORES:

JIm $98k
Alex$96k
Kel $1k ( yes, 1)
Lance $5k

.. this we were to about 3 am and this fun ended our first splendid day of BGB...
 
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9. Board Game: Adam & Eva [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:8441]
PK WADDLE
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While Hector set up the next game.. our first of two BIG game to bookend this 2nd day of playing ... Lance and I played this underrated little gem from my 2p and Play 10x in 2014 list. Lance did a much better job of setting up the round completetions and was in a much better position after the first half of the game to get the sets-- whereas I totally screwed myself in card choices and not very many big numbers PLUS no small number sets giving Lance the huge win. (Everyone looking for more 2-p games with a bit of think but that are very straightforward to play need to hunt up one of the many copies of this floating around-- it really is a excellent little title. )


Lance 88
Kel 60
 
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10. Board Game: The HellGame [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3875]
PK WADDLE
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And the day proper started with this obscure heaviness.

And it was totally magnificent! Not only have I been so happy to have Hector as a new member of my gaming circles but many weeks ago-- ( before he realized.. " Do not get in an obscurities pissing match with Kel about if he has or has heard of something WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY off the beaten path, you will lose.)-- he said.. well I have this way underground game called THE HELLGAME I bet you haven't heard of. I happily dissented " WAIT !! WAIT !! you can teach the HELLGAME? REALLY? OMG ! HOORAY !!!-- Not only do I have it !! I have an unpunched copy !!!"

Now happily punched and set up for this day -- I was thrilled to finally see what this was all about and 2 more people from where I once lived and where Hector is from, ( THE RGV-- The Rio Grande Valley for you non-Texans) signed up to play with us -- and well, this was interesting beyond my wildest expectations.

It is really an out and out tragedy this game never gained any traction due to an admittedly terrifying rulebook ( I have only talked on BGG to 4 other people other than Hector and I about this game-- and THREE of them sold it unplayed because they said they just could not parse the rules) -- the tragedy indeed is while yes, there is a WHOLE LOT to process and a buttload of possible fiddliness when and if certain game processes are activated-- if you have someone who teaches this as amazingly as Hector AND you have the play-breakdown in front of you-- it's really not all THAT complex to get a handle on after the first turn.

This game mixes card draft and combat and area movement mechanics in a way I honestly say I don't think has ever been done QUITE this way in ANY other game of this intense weight I have ever seen. And the THEME is beyond spectacular. ( I think the theme is perhaps SO intense is why a lot of reactionary people wouldn't touch this game with a 10 foot pole but I will get to that later.) Even if you are someone like me who usually sees " COMBAT" as a mechanic and thinks : " OMG-- here we go with a mess of fiddly modifiers where it takes 20 &*%^*ing minutes to figure out who wins a melee of any sort-- no thanks !!" -- you will be thrillingly surprised that the combat in this game is really straightforward and if you have such a game as we had-- things can be decided with hardly any combat at all !!

As for our playing :

Through the random initial set up -- Joe and I were both already set that we had 3/5 of the win condition situated with some of the other areas that would give us said win, unguarded by any other players' demons. Again I made the oft-Kel-grievous-mistake of so concentrated on my OWN game that I wasn't trying to STOP anyone else's. So here we are -- all into this game and prepared for a multi-hour slog ( and I mean slog as a GOOD word this time meaning there will be lots of involvement before we get to an end game) and in a scant three turns and only TWO sets of Combat-- NO ONE tried to build up a demon legion in time to run Joe out of any of his already captured areas -- and VOILA !! -- Joe does something-- I get ready to plan " Well .. ok.. i need to get a demon there and attack here.. and then I will have 4 of the 5 to win, oh boy this is so cool.. and .. and,.." AND THEN HECTOR interrupts : Stop. Joe has won. He has all five of this circle controlled. We're already done. ( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Our playing took less time than the explanation !!

Nevertheless, this wasn't a bad thing.. we were all still excited and thinking " Wow, when can we play this again??" As a last cheer about the mechanics -- the way that each phase is executed ( ha ! pun !) is really very clever. You do not take turns in any sort of usual way-- there is a chart that is sort of a demon " roll call" ( everyone has 3 demons to start.. you may through a longer game by card mechanics get another demon or lose one of yours if he ends up going to heaven and gets neutralized) that when your demon comes up in the roll call-- then you do your action. That is correct; action-- not ACTION(S) plural-- because another fantastic aspect of this game that keeps it from remotely bogging like some other games of this magnitude is that yes, there may be a WHOLEEEEEEEE lot of less-fiddly-than-they-seem-at-first choices to make of WHAT to do on your demons' particular action turns -- but you only get ONE single action. That makes the choices so much more dire and also keeps the game moving quite expeditiously.


This is absolutely an underrated masterpiece. Why you say? In this day and age of manic political correctness-- I have this suspicion that I cannot prove-- that a lot of much more reactionary folk than I would look at this scary large black box with a big honkin' pentagram on the front and think " Wow, no way.. I ain't playin' no game created by satan worshippers !!" And granted, let's say in the EXTREMELY rare hypothetical you have a right wing southern baptist Grandma who for some bizarre reason wants to get into a heavy game-- you PROBABLY aren't going to introduce her with a game where you say things like one of my personal quotes" Could you please put my extra legion into the circle of the damned and burning molesters and rapists? Thanks.".. or my other " Oh look I have a card that says my demon gets an influence boost by causing a serial murderer to start killing people with more flair and in less mundane manners" -- that said-- it's A GAME. I am sure the Swedish fellows who designed this amazing game are perfectly fine civilized folks, I doubt they are the Scandinavian Jigsaws of their area with body dismemberment games occurring in their basement as they watch them on video feed. ( Saw movie reference for those of you wondering where the hell that analogy came from.) So I say to anyone wary of this game for such bookish sensibility reasons: Yes the stunning artwork on the cards is rather detailed and macabre , yes the names of the areas in the circles sure as hell ( so to speak !! ha !! Pun again !!) might raise eyebrows if you chose to play such a game at your church's game meet up while other people are playing the Bible version of Apples and Apples -- but IT'S A GAME FOLKS. ANd I have no proof of this but I presume all this unrelenting horror and darkness is PERHAPS meant to be at least somewhat tongue in cheek-- so perhaps try to please get over that /past that and if you really like heavy games PLEASE give this amazing title a chance and my friend Hector is proof that yes, there ARE people who can parse the short-novel-length rule book and if you just give this a chance-- this game is INFINITELY better than a ton of other games of it's depth that are known in the mainstream.



By FAR the most amazing gaming " discovery" of this con-- discovery in quotes in that it's been gathering dust on my collector's items' shelf for almost 3 years.

GO. PLAY. THIS. ( Satan and Kel both say you should !! ::EVIL LAUGH:::!!!!)

( I only give this a 9.2 instead of a 10 because I am rather perplexed that with all the amazing card artwork and the oodles of tokens-- WHY is the involved and incredible BOARD made out of borderline-flimsy cheap paper?? ::SHRUG:)

RESULT:

Joe Wins 5 areas in a circle captured
Kel 3
Lance Hector Cassie all tied at 2
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11. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:507]
PK WADDLE
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Austin
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Well, After all of that darkness-- despite my preaching ( as it were) that it's just a game no matter how dark and creepy -- I voted we should all have a fun palate cleanser and everyone happily concurred-- so one of my favorite party games and another title from my 10x in 2014 came to the table.

Our notable hilarities :

I was so busy laughing I didn't even put the question in question in my notes -- but for one of the date questions we had a range from 500BC to 1810 AD.

My taking and for most of the game KEEPING a big lead came from a big bet and a closest to correct estimation of the publication of Moby Dick -- I said 1833 ( actual date 1851)

--everyone was totally shocked that 19. 2inches was the actually number of the average length of the adult male femur.. seems all of us were going to low as we were in the wrong part of the leg !!

Unfort. my ultra conservatism in final betting to try to hold my lead was the death of me-- on an IMHO ambiguous question about the highest recorded speed of a bird's flight ( I totally overthought this.. I knew that the hummingbird's wings " flap" the fastest of any other bird.. but is that the same thing as measuring MPH of a flight? I should have stopped thinking and just answered the damn question LOL) -- so not only did I not get the closest answer-- I bet terribly small on indeed said correct answer-- but Lance's going all in AND getting the closest answer causes him to leap ahead from the win !!

SCORES :
Lance $180 WIN
Joe $0
Cassie $30
Kel $135
Hector $130

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12. Board Game: The Blue Lion [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6324]
PK WADDLE
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Perhaps my brain before our late lunch was weak from hunger and " shot to hell " as it were ( HA !! I am so obsessed with these puns as I make this list with how much I loved The Hellgame !!) that Lance and I had a scuttled first play of this as I left out a huge rule -- once we got Kel's dumbassery in that straightened out I got to capitalize on Lance missing combinations I was about to make to finally take a legitimate win on this little title also from my Play 10x in 2014 list.

Lance 4
Kel 8 WIN
 
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13. Board Game: Elements [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2861]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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Obviously weak from hunger from my assinine mis-teaching of the previous game -- Lance and I went to eat overpriced sandwiches and had 2 awesome playings of this little 2-p gem-- another from my Play 10x in 2014 list .

This was a very special playing because Lance thought through the math more intensely than anyone else I have ever played this with before-- hence in the first game there was actually THREE hands/rounds in a row that used the fold option -- when in my playings it had rarely been used at all !

I still took the first game giving Lance his only point by myself folding when I seemed to have nothing but all the 5s and 6s -- but I knocked TWICE in the 2nd game after getting half the win points needed and Lance had beaten me by ONE point in those totals-- and he goes from 0-3 to three wins in a row to take the 2nd game !!

SCORES : GAME 1 Kel 6 WIN Lance 1 GAME 2 Lance 6 WIN
Kel 3
 
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14. Board Game: League of Six [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1202]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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My only disappointment ( other than my clueless playing in the last 1/3 of the game ) of getting to play this under-the-radar title that Robin happily taught us was that I didn't bring my own copy so that I could have gotten another game off my unplayed list !!

We had more new folks wandering about join us for this rather clever " easy" side of medium title. This is a game of trying to use a certain resource ( guards) to place your marker in one of the six cities that in each phase have different goodies available. ( More guards, gems, points, horses that control the turn order etc. are among said goodies. ) The extremely novel thing going on in here is that once you are in a city for X number of guards-- if someone else wants the goodies in that city before the resolve of that turn is complete-- they can " bribe" you in some sort of auction-like twist to make you move to another city-- and if someone else is in the OTHER city you want to go to-- you do the same thing to them -- and so on and so on making a rather interesting cutthroat battle as the game progresses for people to get to be IN the city they want to get the resources they want. The determination of what said resources are available in each city each time is also determined by the eventual city's capturer by use of a " mini hexagonal rondel" with arrows pointing at various goodies and said " winner" of the city of that phase turns said hex to what they want. It's all extremely clever and unique and I really don't know why as of now I have never even talked to anyone who has even HEARD of this game but Robin and me, and now of course our crew that played it!!

I seemed to do well until the last third-- then my dumbass self was so happy I was getting so many guards to get where I wanted to go I forgot to GET anything else-- namely the gems you "SELL" in an interesting Knizia- twisty set of rows. (( Rows where you HAVE to fill a row that someone else has started if your colors match because you get a bonus for STARTING a row but only indeed are allowed to do so if no other row can be filled with your gems from that round.)) Hence I went from a steady 2nd to disastrously last -- will be stoked to play again !!

SCORES:

Robin 68 WIN
Alex 65
Kel 38 ( )
Chris 44
Trent 59
Bobby 66

Notable Quotes :

How is Koblenz this year? It's horrible.. it's full of lepers and diseased prostitutes-- don't come here !!

Wow, the Blue Gems really suck-- who wants that shit?

Robin the Hun is just going from town to town, raping and plundering and stealing people's stuff.
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15. Board Game: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1014]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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Oh yes what a thrill to get this off my unplayed list in cardboard reality-- I say then because I have been a long time massive fan of this on Yucata and have been always constantly involved in 4 games of this at a time for years-- I adore all of these designers' work and now all that's left is to finally play Twilight Struggle !!

But just because you parse rules on screen doesn't mean you didn't miss something and that there isn't something to learn !!

Mainly-- well no bleeping wonder I hardly EVER win any debate tokens, until Robin's excellent explanation of the rules from the book told me you can indeed play MORE THAN ONE matching faction card to move the debate markers just like you can play more than one to place a state's vote !! Whaddya know?


As is sometimes the case-- Robin went from the big winner in the prev. game he taught to our table to the back of the back and while I did a good job allegedly having played this game far more than anyone else at the table.. the best I could do was tie for a distant second behind Chris who got the most spectacular event cards at just the right times and played them all expertly !! I cannot wait to get this BACK to the table and teach it myself !


SCORES :
Chris 23 WIN
Alex and Kel 14
Lance 11
Robin 8
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16. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
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Well this day as planned was bookended to start with a BIG game ( that turned out to be over with infinitely quicker than any of us previously imagined ) and bookended at its conclusion with another big game .. 3 of us finally losing our " BIG TRAIN 18xx" game virginity taught by the experts Brian and Grant.

Well well well .. what to say ....

Well, I know the regular reaction seems to be either you hate all these monstrosities with a passion OR you become a cult-like devotee of playing them. Ironically, my usually uber-opinionated self does indeed fall in the middle.

Before I say what I found somewhat Meh and mind-numbing -- lets accentuate the positive : I don't mind the mathiness at all-- I find that quite intriguing. I like mathy games and even my little game I am about to start testing here in a few weeks is somewhat mathy for just a little cards and dice game . I also don't really mind the length-- while I might be renown for carting around dozens of " little " games-- I really do enjoy the experiences of many hours of " heaviness".

What didn't thrill me is the SAMEYness of this. I do understand that is part of their allure-- despite how " massive" they are the mechanics really couldn't be any more straightfoward; in one phase you buy and sell stocks.. in the other phase you do stuff for a railroad if you own one like buy track and run the route.

But that is ALL you do. To go back again to an earlier listing.. one reason I am now so madly in love with the Hellgame is that game seems to easily be prone to going on for four plus hours-- but there are DOZENS of things you can execute on your turn -- there's plenty to do in each of the involving phases of Die Macher as well.. here once again.. you do this, then you do that.. then rinse and repeat this for A VERY LONG TIME. ( So long that our game was actually called around the 4 1/2 hour mark since it was quite obvious none of the newbies had a chance.. BUT indeed that we had played well enough from G and B's splendid teaching that we weren't going to go bankrupt as we all were able to sell enough even in our weaker positions to follow through with the phase that marks the purchase of the level 6 diesel trains. )

Again I am thrilled to finally have experienced one of these.. I would like to play THIS one again, and the one that involves railroads buying stocks in other railroads and which ever one that was discussed that might be a tad shorter than this one-- and I would like to play them all to completion. ( --because as quasi-glacial said game arc might seem at times-- I DID indeed enjoy said arc .. watching what develops and what occurs when certain low level trains rust and how all of this affects the game's closed economy-- ) But after all of those playings occur -- If I am not any more enthralled with the process than I am only moderately so feeling now, then I shall declare my 18xx career over.

Hence, I am thrilled G and B deigned to be so kind to teach this to three newbies and to at times walk us through decisions -- but while I am still glad we planned the bookending of the day this way-- perhaps next time I will make this a FIRST game of an extended game day-- not the end. ( I felt this same way when I played the IMHO much more involving Nations-- a splendid game but a little much to try to process into the third hour when even us vampire and coffee folk start to feel a tad brain dead.)

A wonderful end to a wonderful day of gaming.. as for now.. my rating is a moderate ( for me ) 6.1-- simply because while I understand those who find the designs of these games wonderful -- I find them just a tad too much of the same ol' same ol' process once again for a VERY Long time !!

SCORES:

Again game was called when it was obvious Grant was going to win -- I played very "observantly" choosing to not even run a railroad until Hector dumped one on me very late in the game instead choosing to just concentrate on diversifying my investments. ( Which is a good thing-- as I was processing I TOTALLY TOTALLY blew even HOW you count the route until into the 4th hour-- I kept still counting the HEXES and not counting the groups of track from station to station !!) --- thanks once again so much to Grant and Brian for getting our feets wet in the deep scary lake of 18xx.

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17. Board Game: Timeline: Historical Events [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:928] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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After a needed rest and after seeing Lance back off to Dallas.. I went back on Sunday about 11 am to start my third and final day of bash gaming--- while waiting for more people to arrive Alex and Chris and I played this little awesome ditty that is yet another item from my Play 10x in 2014 list. We had a fairly quick game that Alex took handily as Chris and I made mistakes on :


---Puttting the actions of William W. from Braveheart fame 500 years too late...Postage stamp also several hundred years too late, and "The Rights of Man" document way in the wrong place which I had never even heard of!! These games are always an excellent way to start the brain moving and thinking on a game day!!


SCORES :

A 0 WIN
C 2
K 1
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18. Board Game: Ninjato [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:636]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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Our first medium weight game of the day Alex happily agreed to play again as I had seen him playing it the day before. I think the mechanics for this game are incredibly clever and I always have a great time with this title. I manifested a big early lead with the Green house and got the Green elders all lined up in my area and took some big Green influence points that Alex and Chris' ninjas couldn't quite muster the fight to completely alter. Chris did an excellent job taking over the red house and getting some of the green to change over after the 2nd scoring phase and Alex and I split what was going on int he blue house... but miracle of miracles.. despite the veritable buttload of abilities and special cards Alex and Chris amassed when I did nothing but get number cards, bonuses and elders-- my early huge lead ( instead of the usual inevitable Kel-collapse ) was insurmountable and the first " meaty" game of Sunday-- Kel actually wins !! WOO HOO !!


SCORES :

Alex 89
Chris 90
Kel 104 WIN
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19. Board Game: Bid It Right: The Price is Right Card Game [Average Rating:5.79 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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This crew broke up for a while.. so I was in close proximity to old SAGN pals Greg, Nate and Dave P. and once they said they didn't seem like were in the mood for something terribly heavy-- I took the chance to spring another of my " cause" games on them-- with the promise as usual that if they thought the whole idea was ridiculous, it wouldn't last very long. Considering Nate especially had taught me lots of heavy games, I totally was not sure how this was going to go over and Greg also asked more details of what the hell this game was about before committing.

But happily.. just like everyone else I introduced this game too.. once the first 3 way tie of 120 for a 150 rize happened, all of sudden everyone's at least moderate skepticism at what the hell Kel was setting in front of them with a 50 year old card game based on a TV show dissipated into all kinds of shouts of " OH YES... OH SHIT.. OMG.. WHY DID you play that? I HATE YOU !! OH Damnit stop playing what I am playing !!" Greg and Dave P especially through the first round realized they were into this because they are big fans of the similar Raj!! Great fun by all !!

As I have said before ,in this game I am either totally in the zone, or I can't get jack shit. This time I was actually in the zone despite the oft-noted insanity that happens when Greg decided to play the entire last round blind-- in which he amassed a rather huge score and closed my game winning lead to only 100 bucks !! Happy to have gained more converts to this ditty and another play for my 10x in 2014 list !!


SCORES :

David $730
Nate $1050
Greg $1460
Kel $1560 WIN


 
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20. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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Next up for this group was more classic Knizia auctioning that always makes me happy. I totally expected a disastrous score in that I might have been piling on the monuments-- but I couldn't get a flood for my rivers to save my life and tiwce I also got the lowest Phararohs penalty. How shocked and happy was I to actually end up a respectable 3rd !!!



SCORES:
Alex 21
Dave P 19
Nate 45
Greg 47 WIN
Kel 32
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21. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:111]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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My crew from Round Rock moved back into the room environs as my Ra and Bid It right friends from south Austin decided to call it a convention and go home --and so we proceeded to enjoy this next medium weight selection/worker placement of the day. I loved this game on my first playing of it but I did very awful so I decided to take a whole different tack. Instead of trying to diversify too much,I made sure to get married as much as possible to get more people, to get promoted in the clergy , and to actually totally ignore shopping in the marketplace. ( When is there ever a time in real life I have ever said that??) Dan and Dave took more involvement in the politics mechanic and especially Dave made a lot of amazing shopping purchases. So despite all my colossal travel, I ended up last with Dan's politicking pushing him over Dave's purchases for the win-- but at least I kept this one close unlike the first time I ever played this -- therefore I need to mix travel with shopping perhaps next time to try to place higher-- I travel and shop in real life all the time-- surely I can figure out how to combine them successfully in this game !!


SCORES
Dave 41
Dan 44 WIN
Alex 38
Kel 37
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22. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1004]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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Just as awesome as playing with all your regular peeps at a convention is meeting cool new people to play with .. who live in many of your other peeps' neighborhoods .. completely by accident !! I had left to get some more hydration and such and when I came back, a nice couple had put my stuff to the side of our table and said " I am really sorry.. is this OK that we took half your big table?" I of course said that was OK and noticed they were about to start playing this and seemed to be learning it-- so after giving them a few tips and pointers on how this simple but awesome game worked I said-- you know.. my stuff is still here-- I can help teach this-- Can I just play WITH you? So they happily obliged and Alex came back and joined is and we had a great time and I have two more new game friends that again live in the same Round Rock/Cedar Park environs as tons of my other gaming compadres do !!


Needless to say.. this game sort of falls in the same category as my adored The Name of The Rose-- which is that of the mighty paradox of "Kel REALLY REALLY REALLY loves to play this game. Kel REALLY REALLY REALLY sucks at it so he doesn't grasp WHY he loves it so much." ::SHRUG::

Our new gaming pals Cleveland and Megan certainly grasped this well.. especially Megan who started out the whole first half of the game WAY WAY behind to come out with a respectable third. I, stop me if you have heard this less than 3,817 times, was actually doing well through the first half but then I couldn't double think anyone to save my life and I most of the time ONLY had the 5 base gold to bid with. However the star of this game was most definitely Alex who not only mastered the double think on everyone but on a regular basis took all the brown row of point gathering squares and completely destroyed us! So glad to play this neat game again ( many of my friends aren't much into this title) and to make 2 new friends ! YAY !


SCORES:


Cleveland 111
Megan 100
Kel 83
Alex 193 ( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) WIN
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23. Board Game: Tessen [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:4427]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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And our new friends as well as 95% of all my old friends had left as BGB was winding down-- but as it always is-- I am so manically happy about convention time that I try to always be one of the first ones there and one of the last to leave--- so Alex and I decided we should have two more 2-p games before we packed up and departed.

This awesome little speed variant published by my dear pal A.J. Porforio I knew Alex would take to readily since he had already talked throughout the weekend about how much he loved Jungle Speed. Well "readily taking to it " was the understatement of the century as he absolutely demolished me in the first round of our 2 out of 3 match. I made a more laudable effort in the 2nd round but Alex still handily takes the win.

ROUND ONE -- Kel 12 Alex 30
ROUND TWO -- Kel 21 Alex 24

2-0 -- Alex WIN
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24. Board Game: Lamarckian Poker [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:7715]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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And finally-- to end such a spectacular weekend.. something SPECTACULAR should happen, no? I am not sure if the fine folks at Cheapass have run any simulation programs to see what the odds are of each player getting certain cards-- but I guarantee you-- the odds of what happened in this playing of our final game of the weekend HAVE to be in the trillions.. if not more.

Alex actually said he wasn't all that lately familiar with the poker hand ranks, so he double checked them with me before we started-- then... MY GOD...



I had iffy luck getting ANY cards to fall that I wanted-- and when I did .. I had to commit to the agonizing decisions that make this game so inventive and cool for having to BID with cards I really wanted to KEEP in order to desperately try to get stuff from the pool to make a decent hand. But this was a quixotic and futile battle for me as.. -- not ONLY does Alex get the 2nd possible highest hand in the ranking.. in his LEFTOVER cards --- yes .. his LEFTOVER cards he has.. FOUR ACES. A straight flush PLUS four aces-- again.. someone needs to run a simulator to see what the odds are of this happening !! A very exciting end to my wonderful weekend-- despite Alex's seemingly one-in-a-trillion set of cards demolishing my pathetic hand.


Alex -- straight flush diamonds 2-8 WITH FOUR ACES
Kel -- 2 pair Qs and 10s
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25. Board Game: Last Word [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:14722]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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SO yes.. I indeed made my goal of 21 different games with 3 extra !!-- and even more playings with the repeats of Blue Lion and Khmer. Thank you Jonathan Grabert and all of the BGB staff for such a fun weekend-- and of course thank you to all my new and old friends I played with -- I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful time!!-- though I certainly hope more of my many regular gaming pals get to join us next year !!
 
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