What Did You Play Over The Last Week? 8/18/2014
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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GENCON Edition!!

The weekend is now over, and as we toil at our assorted labors, we should recount our past week in gaming.

So, all you gamers, bring your mini-session reports and stories of your week in gaming greatness, as you pop in here to answer the question:

What did you play over the last week?

The forum version can be found here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16630387#16630387

Check out the subscription thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4115320

Also, don't forget to relive all your Video Game excitement over on VGG!

http://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/177547/18-august-2014-what...

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1. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Will expound later in the day, but until then, I'll be lurking and seeing what everyone else played this weekend with eagerness.

Bruges
We played this over a couple nights, and my "strategy" may have been lost between those because I did horrible, I think I scored maybe 35 points. Lots going on here for such a simple game but my main struggle was keeping up with the disasters, I think I got hit with the -3 pts one twice and even lost a canal to fire. Interesting and look forward to playing again, hopefully in one sitting this time though.



Sanssouci
Since I saw Rahdo's run through video I knew this one would be a good game for me, and I hoped for my wife, we love tile laying games and in the recent math trade I picked up 3 of them(Sanssouci, Voluspa and Tikal). I think that my watching Rahdo's video and reading the rules a couple times definitely helped me win this one 90-64 and I hope I didn't ruin her experience with the game. At one point she was kind of stuck and I jokingly said, "You only have two cards to choose from". Which kind of got her going because with those two cards, you can have an awful lot of choices. Looking forward to playing this one some more.



These guys got out of the box and set up, but no one ever wanted to play, but that may change this evening if the meetup group agrees to it.

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2. Board Game: Forbidden Desert [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:263]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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It was a good week as I get to try out new games and get to play a lot of games with family!

Tuesday

Forbidden Desert = 2 Plays (NEW)

I was supposed to pick up a reserved copy of Eight-Minute Empire: Legends, only to find out that it was sold to someone else. Luckily, there was an unowned copy of Forbidden Desert and Shawn had just mentioned a few days ago that he wanted this, so I went ahead and got that instead. Shawn and I then played 2 games straight.

.
Game 1: We played the inaugural game on Normal mode. I was the Archaeologist (who could remove 2 sand per action) and Shawn was the Explorer (with the ability to take actions diagonally) and the combo proved good in managing the sand. The Sun was merciless though and my archaeologist stays too long out in the open and gets incapicated due to dehydration, and we lose.


Game 2: This time I set the difficulty on Novice level. I was the Water Carrier (who could draw water from wells and pass water for free) and Shawn was the Meteorologist. He did not maximize his ability and for this game we were overwhelmed by the sandstorms as the sand tiles all run out!

Friday

I end up alone in the house and so I invite Jim over for some gaming!

Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan = 1 Play (NEW)

I finally get to try out this block wargame, as we time that afternoon. The game mechanics are quite simple since in essence you decide on how many cards to spend in order to move (0,1, or 2), move, then resolve any combats that occur. Combat itself has a symbol chaining mechanic very similar to Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, since you need to play a card with the matching Mon (icon) of the unit you want to deploy, and units of the same Mon (or special attack icon like guns/cavalry) you deploy afterwards gain bonus "impact" in the attack depending on the number of like mon/icons deployed before it. Thus, large stacks can look menacing but in reality be a "paper tiger" if the owner does not have matching cards to deploy those units, while a small uniform force can be more powerful if the owner has cards which match their Mon. Finally, the game also has a "Loyalty Challenge" mechanic where you can challenge the owner who deployed a unit to show another card in his hand with the same Mon, otherwise that unit turns traitor and fights for the opposite side just for that battle! That was great fun and I used that to greater effect over Jim, much to his consternation!

The challenge in the game really lies in hand management as well as deciding which stacks move where, and also trying to deduce which of your opponents stacks are really powerful and where the Leaders are. The game also has VPs for capturing Castles and controlling resource locations, and this is used too determine the winner in case the autowin conditions are not met (kill the opposing Shogun, or capturing the Prince Regent if you are the Tokugawa player (black)).

Jim decides to go defensive and selects to use the Ishida forces (gold blocks). I start by being aggressive and march my Maeda army from Kanazawa in the north plus Fukushima from Kiyosu westwards towards Kyoto, to directly challenge the large stack in Osaka. My Eastern forces then move in order to capture the VP locations on that side of the map. The battles in the West were very bloody as the early turns had me at the advantage, only to have my advantage shattered by Jim as he reinforces in Osaka and uses a uniform Kobayakama army too sweep away my shattered and scattered remnants from both armies. Jim also sends another army down the main central highway all the way east to Takasaki while he continuously reinforces Aizu, daring my armies in the East to attack that city. I do not take the bait but instead use Edo as a reinforcement point as I send Tokugawa's army up North and manage to capture the key enemy city of Aizu after a siege, then continue Northward to Takeda using the lesser roads, then moving West and capturing VP locations. The final turn of the game has that army encountering the enemy stack holding Miyazu, and that stack turned out to contain Ishida himself! It was unfortunate for Jim that the forces accompanying Ishida were a mixed lot while mine was a pure Tokugawa force, and the result was that I defeat Jim's army and capture Ishida for the autowin! It was a great game and Jim and I agree that we should play it again!


Tokugawa catches Ishida's mixed force army in Miyazu (upper left) and defeats him in combat!

The game took some time to play (2.5 hours) and we had to adjourn after, but the guys were available for a gaming council in the evening, so Jim, Kent, Karl, and myself head over to Paulo's house.

Airlines Europe = 1 Play

This game was brought out from the dust, but it wasn't difficult to re-acclimatize ourselves with the game as this was played a lot a year ago, although this was Karl's first try ever. He gets the flow quickly though, and soon everyone was focusing in building up the value of the airline companies and struggling to have the majority of shares in the most valuable companies. Karl won the battle for control of Air Abacus shares, but Paulo and Kent managed to develop the green and red companies respectively. I helped Karl develop the blue, while Jim focused on orange. The funny thing was that the late game had the stock market feature predominantly yellow shares, and NO ONE had developed the yellow company, so these yellow stocks became fodder used to buy Air Abacus shares. In any case, the 3rd scoring card came up in no time, and the final scoring had Kent just edge out Paulo by 2 points to be the best air magnate for the evening!


Kent (top right) 77 Pau (bottom left) 75 Karl (upper right) 62 Me (bottom right) 61 Jim (top left) 55

7 Wonders = 1 Play

This group favorite comes out next, and the standard "draw 2 wonder cards, select 1 and pick a side" has Paulo use Great Wall A, Jim Ephesos B, Kent Petra A, Karl Halikarnassos B, and me Giza B. We then draft the Leaders and we were off building our civilizations. I had the misfortune of being sandwiched between Pau and Karl's armies, and I was crushed militarily. I also made the mistake of ignoring both Blue and Green cards, while Pau and Jim were slowly building up their science tableau. Kent focused heavily into blue, but in the end Pau did well in several departments to totally crush everyone, setting a new high score of 91 in the process (the previous high score was 88 set by my daughter Sharlene)!


Pau (Great Wall A) 91 Jim (Ephesos B) 64 Kent (Petra A) 64 Karl (Halikarnassos B) 62 Me (Giza B) 55


A new high score for 7 WONDERS!

Walk the Plank! = 1 Play

The guys wanted a light game with a lot of interaction, so this game would be the perfect solution. Karl really wanted payback versus Jim (who was ribbing him the entire evening) so he changed seats just to be beside Jim. It was no surprise that their pirates ended up the first overboard and into the belly of the kraken. More jostling and shoving led to Karl then Jim getting knocked out, and I soon followed by my last pirate charging headlong into the drink after he was shoved onto the plank. Kent and Pau duked it out but Pau had 2 pirates to Kent's 1, and with Pau getting the first player token and Kent at the edge of the plank we knew that the game belonged to Pau!


Karl (orange) and Jim (light green) are the first to lose men to the drink, while Pau (blue), Kent (red) and myself (yellow) jostle on the ship!


There can only be 2 remaining, and Pau shoves Kent's meeple off the plank for the win!

Rise of Augustus = 1 Play

There was still time for a short game, so this game of Gamer Bingo was up next. Pau managed to grab the objective which rewarded pink provinces, and with plentiful pink provinces he focused on the higher scoring ones and again ran away with the game!

Paulo (bottom left) 75 (Bonus 19 Obj 32 Var 26) Me (bottom) 50 (Bonus 8 Obj 42) Jim (upper left) 46 (Bonus 10 Obj 17 Var 19) Kent (right) 40 (Bonus 10 Obj 16 Var 14) Karl (upper right) 29 (Bonus 5 Obj 24)


Pau (bottom left) uses pink power for the win!

Fortune favored the host of the evening, as Paulo wins 3 out of 4 games!

Saturday

Forbidden Desert = 2 Plays

My clan gets to meet for dinner, so Shawn and I manage to rope my nephew Ethan in for a couple of 3P games.


Game 1: Shawn was the Explorer, Me the Archaeologist, and Ethan the Navigator. We play the game on Novice level. The heat wave from the sun came in waves, and this caused us to lose as Ethan was knocked out. This was a quick game and we did not pick up a single relic, and with the Storm level just at 3.


Game 2: We play again, and tis time Shawn was the Archaelogist, Me the Meteorologist, and Ethan the Water Carrier. We play at Novice level again. This time we did not die quickly as Ethan's ability to draw water from the wells as well as ability to look at the Storm deck and put cards at the bottom prolonged our lives, and this enabled us to dig up 2 Relics. However, this also meant that all the bad cards would hit us hard when the deck ran out (although we could prepare for them a bit), and I ended up separated from the other 2 due to the sand dunes on the left side of the map. This meant that Ethan could not share water with me and thus we lose when I get knocked out and the Storm level was at 5.

This game obviously has similarities with its older siblings Forbidden Island and Pandemic through the use of a deck to challenge the players. What makes this different is that it does away with the fiddly card set collection mechanic in order to "solve" the game, but rather has the more thematic sand buildup from sandstorm mechanic, and clearing these in order to excavate and find the relics. This game is also HARD even at Novice level since those sand can REALLY pile it on, and trying to combo the roles is not as easy and obvious as those older games. This won't stop us from trying though!

Sunday

My niece Sandy has her university entrance exam on Sunday, so since the university was near our rented condo Sherwin and I accompany her and my brother Sunny and his wife Michelle that day. We came in in the morning and scoped the campus so that we would have an idea where the exam building would be, then went to the coffee shop near the condo in order to kill some time before Sandy's exam. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce Splendor to both Sandy and Michelle!

Splendor = 4 Plays

Game 1: Sandy won the game by going big as she focused on reserving Level 3 cards then collecting chips to build them while the rest of us tried to build up our engines. It is the first time I saw this strategy win so I now know that it can be done. Sandy (1st) 15 Michelle 7 Sunny 5 Me 5.


The ladies enjoy their first game of SPLENDOR (it helps they both did better than us guys!)

We then bring Sandy to the university, which took some time due to the traffic. The rest of us then had lunch and headed back to the same coffee shop, which meant more games of SPLENDOR!

Game 2: Sherwin decided to join us for the second game. I manage to build a good engine and manage to get a couple of Nobles to visit me for the win! Me 17 Michelle 13 Sunny 12 Sherwin (1st) 10 (Sherwin then realized that he could have bought a level 3 card in order to end the game after the game!).

Game 3: Sherwin then left us and went to the Condo, so Sunny, Michelle, and I had a 3P game. It was a repeat of the previous game as I again build the best engine for the win. Me 16 Michelle 11 Sunny 10 (1st). Michelle seemed content just to have a higher score than Sunny than winning though!

Game 4: The final game had Sunny had the initial lead as he built the majority of the level 1 red cards, then kept on reserving red cards just to deny me access to red, but he was not scoring points in doing this and soon stalled in the late game due to his lack of black cards. Michelle on the other hand reserved level 3 cards early, then focused on building an engine just for those reserved cards. This proved to be the winning strategy as she wins! Michelle 15 Me 14 Sunny 12 (1st).


Michelle ends up "addicted" to the game, with her win influencing her of course!

It is a testament to the game that Michelle (who is a non-gamer with her only previous game experience was Click Clack Lumberjack) ended up liking it a lot. Sunny and Michelle ended up borrowing my copy of the game after we adjourned, as they went back to the university in order to wait for Sandy to finish her exam while I went back to the condo before driving back home.
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3. Board Game: Dominion: Hinterlands [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
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Friday-

Ticket to Ride

Saturday-

Ticket to Ride (again!)
Acquire

Sunday-

Dominion with several cards from Hinterlands
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4. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:95]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Actually, the weekend started off with gamers group resuming the multi-commander play of The Civil War.
Our vacationing Union East/Naval commander had returned from Colorado and resumed his seat, which moved me back to CSA West/TransMississippi. I left after a couple of turns at 9:30 or so, starting turn 8. It turns out things heated up after I left, and after 9 turns, the Union has taken central Tennessee and almost captured Chattanooga. No CSA states have converted yet, nor have blockade effects started, but it could fall apart quickly.
We're going to try and set something up before our next scheduled meeting the first Friday in September.

Next came "Suburbia." Just starting to learn this one and don't know quite what to think of it yet. At first play, it was "okay for what it is," but I immediately wanted to set it up again. Worked in three solo plays to get the rules down, two three-handed and one four. Too soon to give it a rating yet, but it'll be in the d10-7 or d10-8 range.
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We played two games of Galaxy Trucker on Wednesday night. In the first game, everything seemed to go right for me as my ship routinely made it through all 3 rounds with little more than a couple of scratches and a bunch of cargo while she lost several parts and was forced to give up once when a slaver took all of her crew. I won quite soundly 46 to 1. She insisted on a rematch. In the first two rounds again, my ship was largely undamaged and I collected a good bit of cargo. She managed to finally collect some and come in first on the second round and finally earned more than they spent on insurance. The third round started off well enough for me as I managed to avoid any sort of damage while a few of her parts came off. That is, right up until the meteoric shower. The first large meteor sheared off a quarter of my ship, all of my valuable cargo, and two engines. The next one punched a hole in the purple alien life support. Then an epidemic hit and wipe out most of my crew and killed off the brown alien. That left me limping along with two lasers, two engines, two astronauts, and 3 credits worth of cargo. A few cards later (after she rocketed ahead in open space so she didn't have to hear the pathetic sputtering of my puny engines), the slavers came! She no longer had the weapon strength to fend them off and had to give up the last of her crew. My ship posed no challenge to them and they snapped up the last two men on board. While she had only lost a few parts off of her ship and managed to sell all of her cargo (albeit at half price), I took a loss on the last round thanks to the 17 lost parts (yay for insurance!). For the first time every, she won a game of Galaxy Trucker with a score of 64 to 51!

Friday night's first game was Fresco: Big Box which finally arrived on Tuesday. We played just the base game since we've never played it before. It's a little bland without any of the expansions mixed in but I can certainly see where the appeal is and there's a lot of potential for the expansions to introduce some cool stuff. I haven't read through any of them yet but I'm sure we'll end up mixing a number of them in. I managed to edge out a win by about 5 points and she managed to be Leonardo by about 8, so a pretty tight game overall.

We ended Friday night with her not feeling very well and an incredibly long game of Carcassonne with the new Hills & Sheep expansion mixed in which we picked up earlier in the evening. Hills & Sheep adds a push your luck element with taking a chance on drawing sheep tiles and potentially scoring them later or losing everything if you draw a wolf tile. I managed to steal this game with a large farm that touched 14 cities, 371 to 329. I should mention that a "short" game for us is about 2.5 hours as we play with enough tiles to completely fill the tower, have a sizable stack on top of it, and the river tiles as well, so there are a lot of tiles to pull.

Saturday saw the return of Merchant of Venus which hasn't seen the table in just over a year. Things started off great for her and poorly for me as she was completing missions left and right while I couldn't get my first one done. I instead picked up a large amount of cargo and passengers to get enough money to buy a second mission, upgrade my pilot, and eventually get a few things chugging along when she ran into a problem of not being able to complete her mission... right up until she got her second one and got really lucky with a bunch of stuff again. I tried to catch up but the last turn came up much sooner than I needed it to. Her wave form emitter added a staggering number of points to her stack of completed missions as she absolutely crushed me by about 1,000 credits.

We finished off Saturday evening with another round of Carcassonne as she was really itching to play it again. Her greed would get the better of her early in this one as she tried to merge two of our cities together (with her big meeple and builder vs my small meeple) but it got into a situation where only a couple of tiles would finish it off and would just never come up which ended up costing her the resources for probably half of the game. Meanwhile I was scoring everything quickly and getting some really fast turnaround on my meeples. While she did manage to land a high value farmer with 14 cities, I managed to get a 15 city farmer with a pig. She did much better this time but locking up a lot of her meeples for too long ended up costing her the game: 452 to 377.

Sunday's first game was Rococo which is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. The first round was horrible for both of us as none of the fabrics lined up with any of the available dresses, so it ended up being a big preparation round. Things took off fairly quickly for the next two rounds until we once again got into a situation where fabrics and what we had did not match the dresses and neither of us had masters to hire anyone. And then things ramped up again. It was a really weird game but interesting in trying to figure out how to mitigate the disaster of the bad round and trying to predict what might be coming up and reacting to the changes. I managed to snap up 3 final scoring cards and denied her every one of them. Combined with the statue bonus I got, it ended giving me the winning advantage with a final score of 86 to 64.

Suburbia was our last game of the week. I figured I was safe in ignoring my private goal of fewest grey buildings to try and focus on getting more points through reputation. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out that way as I couldn't get the tiles I needed as she kept snapping them up over and over. While I managed to steal the lowest wealth on the very last turn, it just wasn't quite enough as she beat me by 5 points.
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6. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:642]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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NOt much this week. We were at a conference most of the week.

Monday

Monday before we left I played 3 games of Crib with my 71 year old friend, Abe.




Tuesday

I brought a few games to the conference but had little time. I did get in this one game of Metropolys, a favourite of mine.



Friday

At the conference we stayed at Lindy's (and Stacey's). Lindy has moved all her games with her there so we played one game of Sequence between sessions on Friday.



Sunday

On Friday I played Sequence but on Sunday I played Friday! Good to play this again. And now that I have, and seeing as I will have to play solo games more if I want to play, I think I will try it again a few times.

Only 6 games all week.
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7. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:351]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Gears of War: The Board Game - I introduced a few members of my weekly gaming group to Gears of War this week. We played a 4 player game of the first scenario, Emergence. It was a fun game, everyone had a lot of fun. We also got spanked in a way that I never have before in this game. We never even got off the first tile! We started on a tile with 2 Boomers and no one had a movement card that would get us out of the corner we were in. So, while we were taking care of the Boomers, the other locusts activated and overran us. We were bleeding out constantly, but we didn't have a situation where someone got revived and then started bleeding out again before they got to take their first turn, which is always frustrating. Everyone had a good time playing, though, and I think it will make it to the table with this group again.
Rating: 8/10

Eminent Domain - We had a little time after we finished Gears of War, so we decided to learn Eminent Domain. The guy who owned it taught it pretty quickly and after spending a few rounds stuttering through our turns, we were off and running. Everyone else seemed to be focusing on colonizing in their first turns, so I committed to Warfare, right out of the gate. The strategy worked well for me, I came in second with 26 points (the winner had 27). I think I was hurt a little bit by the fact that no one else did much with Warfare, though, so I never got to take advantage of other players choosing that role. It didn't bother me too much, though, because I got to draw through my deck much more quickly. Early on, I invested in a little research to acquire a couple of Improved Warfare cards. I should have pushed a little more on research and picked up the Mobilize card, because that would have saved me later in the game. I had a lot of fun with this one, and would love to play it again.
Rating: 7/10

Doom: The Boardgame - Our "Doom Crew" group hasn't gotten together in several months, so we made an effort to schedule a time this week. The marine players have never won the first scenario, but we voted to skip to the next one anyway, just to get some variety in. It's possible we should have stuck with the first scenario until we got good enough to beat it. Much like the Gears of War game earlier this week, we never made it out of the first room on this one (well, the first room we went into). It was our shortest game of Doom to date, we lost with 6 frags in just a couple of hours. I still love this game, but I'm starting to get frustrated with the difficulty level. We've tried a bunch of balancing rules, but it almost seems to be getting more difficult.
Rating: 8/10

Dice Town - We had a lot of time after finishing Doom, so we played a quick 5 player game of Dice Town. I really like this game. There's quite a bit of luck involved, but it's just so much fun. Between the Sheriff, the Saloon, and Doc Badluck there is a lot of interaction. We had two players constantly go for queens, just to steal the same General Store card back from each other. It was the 8 point card, which I know because I stole it from them on the last turn . I didn't focus much on property cards in this game, but I did manage to get some good cards with my one "Town Hall" win, because I rolled some aces and got a General Store card that let me take the top card from the deck in addition to what was there. I also managed to get a Dynamite General Store card just before winning the gold mine, which turned a 4 nugget haul into an 8 nugget haul. In case you aren't picking it up, I won the game pretty handily. Everyone had a lot of fun, though, as always.
Rating: 7.5/10

Coal Baron - I've been itching to introduce my wife to Coal Baron for the last month and a half. I think I had some trouble getting her to sit down for a game of it because the theme just didn't appeal to her at all. And, really, the theme is meh. But the game mechanisms are really great, and present interesting decisions at every turn. My wife took to the game immediately, and actually cleaned my clock pretty good. We were both pretty diverse in our contracts, but she went a little more black heavy, while I spent a lot of time working two 10 point one-of-each-type-of-coal contracts. I've decided that, unless you get one right at the start of the game, those contracts just aren't worth the resources required to fill them. Anyway, she took a majority in black and train deliveries, and, not surprisingly, she also won the majority in empty black coal carts. Those 3 combined spelled my doom and she won, something like 160 to 119. The best part was about half way through the game when she looked up and said, "This is actually pretty fun. I did not expect it to be."
Rating: 8/10

Nauticus - After Coal Baron, I didn't have too much trouble getting Clareann to give Nauticus a try, too, since they share a design team. I think I might like Nauticus a little better (and it had nothing to do with the fact that I won this one). It has a role selection mechanism that is sort of similar to that of Puerto Rico and Race for the Galaxy, but the role/reward pairings are completely randomized. It makes less sense, thematically, but it gives each game a nice bit of variety. The scores in this one were much closer than those in Coal Baron. My wife was right on my heals the whole way, even pulling ahead briefly at the end. I was able to use my extra action to score crowns, though, which gave me about a 6 point lead that I kept in final scoring.
Rating: 8/10

One Night Ultimate Werewolf - On Saturday, we went over to a friends house for a game day, and kicked things off with 4 games of One Night. We played with 7 and 8 players, and we used the variant that says that if you are the only Werewolf in the game, then you can look at one card in the middle. I've not played with this rule often, but it seemed like a good way to balance things. The highlight of the games was when I woke up as the only werewolf and peeked at a center card and saw the Robber. Awesome! For once, it wouldn't be a huge gamble for me to say something other than, "I'm a villager." So, we woke up, and the player to my left, who had been a werewolf in every one of the previous 3 games, said, "Okay, this time for real... I'm a Villager." I jumped at the opportunity and said, "I can confirm, because I was the robber and I switched with her. She was a Villager." She was so relieved! She gave me a hug and said thank-you-thank-you-thank-you (she doesn't like being a werewolf). And then the player to my right said, "That's really sweet, but it's also a lie, because I'm Seer and that card in the center is the Robber." I was taking a sip of my drink at the time and my face just fell. I completely forgot about the Seer! I said, "I think my soda went bad..." and left the room. When I came back, they all voted to kill me. So much fun.
Rating: 8/10

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - After One Night, we played a 6 player game of Battlestar Galactica. I've played this once before, but it's been close to a year. My first game was just a slaughter. We played with at least one of the expansions, and the Cylons revealed early on and just pounded on the humans. There were a ton of raiders and basestars surrounding us. It was brutal.

This time, though, we just played with the base game, and never drew a single battle plan card, so we didn't end up dealing with raiders and basestars at all after the first jump. On the downside, this made several of the ship actions largely useless. The upside was that the intrigue and paranoia got ratcheted up. Our first Cylon revealed after just a few rounds at a particularly painful moment, and started drawing Crisis cards to hurt us. At the sleeper phase, she was dealt the second Cylon card and handed it to me.

I didn't particularly want to be a Cylon, but I decided quickly that I was going to stay hidden as long as I could, just to see if that was a viable way to play. I also decided that, rather than tank every skill check, I was going to pick my spots. I was playing Helo, and had been the Admiral since the start of the game, so I figured I could do some damage in secret whenever we jumped. I also figured that with Helo's special ability, I could pick a spot to reveal, when someone else thought they had avoided a particularly bad Crisis card. So I bided my time, passed pretty much every skill check, and waited for my moment. My wife threw me in the brig with a Quorum card, but admitted that she did it just to see if I would reveal, which turned the other players against her, allowing me to steal the presidency from her without anyone suspecting too much. I was tempted to reveal, but it wouldn't have been devastating enough, so I stayed in the brig for the rest of the game. The next time we jumped, I picked the a card that brought the humans to within one jump of winning the game, but it also took us down to only one fuel. I lied and said with the other card we would have needed two more jumps and would have lost some fuel anyway, just not as much. Then I figured I'd just wait. As soon as someone drew a Crisis card that would cost our last fuel, I would play Helo's moral compass ability and that would be it. So, I waited. And waited. The next few turns went really well for the humans, and the guy before me drew a crisis card that got the jump track out of the red.

"Go jump us, James!"

"I cant! I'm in the brig."

I drew my Crisis card with my fingers crossed. Lose one food. We had plenty of food.

Before the next human could activate the FTL, though, it was the other Cylon's turn. She drew two Crisis cards, and read them, a smile growing on her face. She said, "These are both really bad, but I'll do this one... Admiral chooses! Lose one morale or one fuel." And she handed me the card.

I looked at it, "Well, the choice is obvious."

"James, so help me, if you're a Cy--"

"We have to lose the fuel."

Game over.

It was fantastic.
Rating: 8/10

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8. Board Game: Blue Moon Legends [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Jason
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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Is this it? Is Blue Moon Legends the best two-player game I've ever played? A handful of plays, this weekend, isn't enough to make that kind of call, of course, but right now it's really starting to feel like a contender for the title. I've had no awareness of this game, prior to this re-issue, but it's already apparent that this is a masterpiece of design. Gorgeous art and components, but it's the gameplay that really elevates it. We're already playing each other, as much as the game. An incredible amount of variety in all these decks, too.


Legend of the Five Rings
I invested in the Ivory Edition box set of clan decks a few weeks back, so I have all nine to choose from. Looks to be a fascinating game, already, but I'm not convinced the rule books (tiny little things that they are) are the smartest way to teach the game. Early days, with two plays, but looking forward to expanding the scope of this one.


Tales of the Arabian Nights
Fab solo fun, once again, as Sindbad experiences my first death at the hands of the game. Ended up as the toy of the efreet children, who broke me and left my bits on the floor beside the toy box. Was actually surprised that it was possible to be killed in this terrific family game... nice that it continues to surprise.


Innovation
I think this may very well be my last play of this one. I don't know why, but it just rubs me up the wrong way. Too fiddly for too little payoff.


Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp
I'd forgotten just how thematic and enjoyable this game was. Will be parking it on the priority shelf in the lounge, once again, to remind myself to keep it in rotation. Highly recommended to you solo gamers out there. I think this has typically more replayability than many of us have given it credit for.
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9. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:92] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
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Played two games this weekend.
First a 5-player game of Ticket to Ride: Europe. Things looked good for me, I was behind a bit but I knew I had the most points in tickets (6 of them made, noone else had more than 4). But as another Player S ended the game a little bit too early for my taste by making the Stockholm - Petrograd tunnel. I still had 9 trains left and had to contend with second place, only 5pts behind.
Friend S 131
Me 126
Wife 113
Friend E 110
Friend J 70

E & J dropped off and the 3 of us played The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game. S first time, and while it looked like he was doing well, as he was the first to defeat an Archenemy (The Nazgul), somehow he didn't manage to defeat anymore and his score was a surprisingly low 29. My wife had one of those games where she just collected Corruption - I believe she had 13 or 14 at the end of the game. Too bad, she had defeated 3 Archenemies and had more positive points than me before counting our corruptions.
Me 56
Wife 47
Friend S 29
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10. Board Game: Abyss [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:324]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Gen Con Week!

Thursday - Gen Con Day 1
2x - King of New York - New to us
1x - Alien Frontiers - New to us
1x - VivaJava: The Dice Game - New to us

We started off the convention walking around the Dealer Hall to check out a few things we wanted to see first, then we retreated to the Iello room to try King of New York. We are fans of King of Tokyo so were interested to see the similar what happens when monsters play in the big city. I'll admit I didn't know what to expect and had low expectations, but was proven wrong.

In KoNY all monsters start in a burrow of NYC and when you move into Manhattan the longer you stay you move from Lower to Midtown to Upper Manhattan and gain increasing levels of bonuses the longer you stay. In each borough you can smash buildings (there are no 1, 2, or 3's on the dice, rather crumbling buildings, stars, or skulls instead) for bonuses (life, energy, or stars) afterwhich they are flipped over and become military units which upon skull rolls either attack you or other monsters within your borough or the entire city.

I won our first game by KO with 3p. Next we setup a 4p game and things really began to click and escalate with me being KO'd first. My wife placed second in both games. Enjoyed playing with James and Hans.

Next we checked out the Library for which we had bought morning tickets. Our hope had been to try out some of the newer games and things that had come out in the past year that were on our list, but the library was mostly older games than that and was a bit disappointing. Certainly there were good games to play, but not what we wanted to use this time to try. I stumbled across Alien Frontiers which I have been wanting to try for a few years now and this was as good a time as any. Better, actually! Two guys, Andy and Theo, saw us holding the game and offered to teach us if we were interested for which we were grateful. I really liked it and get the love for this sci-fi dice chuck, action-selection game. My wife who ironically won did not care for it much. (Bummer)

We went and got some lunch and decided to start our systematic walk through the Dealer Hall and pick up tomorrow where we leave off. My goal was to pick up at least one game we could play back at the hotel after dinner. That game was Viva Java: The Dice Game which I regret not backing on Kickstarter last year. After our initial play my wife wasn't blown away but seeing its potential was willing to play it more to get the basic feel for the game. I think the variable Research actions will spurce up the game quite a bit when we are ready.


Friday - Gen Con Day 2
1x - Istanbul - (Demo) New to us
1x - Valley of the Kings - (Demo) New to us
1x - Abyss - (Demo) New to us
1x - Lost Cities

We made a beeline directly to the AEG booth to get in some demos since the wiats were long the day before. Unfortunately the plays we got were extremely abbreviated, four turns and done, which wasn't enough to really evaluate the game. Subsequently, we were not convineced enough to buy either of the two games we got to demo.

Istanbul was a beautiful game which exceeded my expectations but it was hard to determine the replayability given only four turns. My wife felt it was average and didn't feel she saw enough to want to buy it.

Valley of the Kings is an Egyption themed, small deck-builder. The cards were too busy to grasp and in four turns it was again hard to explore our options, grasp the goal, or how your decisions influence scoring. In the end the theme really didn't work for us.

The game we got to demo (to three lords, instead of seven) that did impress was Abyss. The artwork alone warranted a play. I could not grasp the game in the game rules from watching the last 40 mins of the previous game, but after a brief rule explanation it made more sense and we were off an playing quickly. This is a really nice game with beautiful components, interesting mechanisms, and some meaningful decisions and trade-offs. After watching the designer demo the game on BGG Live later, I realized that there was a rule left out which only increased the importance of decisions for me. This will be a great game to play with our game group. Easy purchase.

I got in line to buy LotR: The Card Game at Fantasy Flight while my wife hit the food trucks to get us some lunch. We ate in the Game Library where it was quieter, air conditioned, and we were able to eat while playing something simple and familiar, Lost Cities. Then we finished walking around the Dealer Hall and called it a day and went to dinner.


Saturday - Gen Con Day 3
1x - Evolution - New to us
1x - 7 Wonders - with (New to Us)Leaders and Wonders Pack expansions

The last game we tried at the show before heading out was Evolution which Vacabck talked very highly of on the forums. The artwork interested my wife and the interesting Population, Body Size, and evolutionary Traits worked for me. I admit that this one exceeded my expectations and may be a game I put on my radar once I get through the pile of newness we added this week.

When we got home our kids were excited to see us and my oldest chose 7 Wonders so we could try the new Wonders and the Leaders expansion. None of us leveraged them very well but we liked the added twist to the game and are excited to experience the new variety as we continue to learn this game. We picked up the Wonders expansion and got the Catan Wonder and the Stevie and Wil promos to add to the mix.


Sunday
2x - VivaJava: The Dice Game
1x - Rummy

After dinner my wife and I pulled out Viva Java for a quick 2p game with hopes of ironing out a few minor rules we got wrong the first time which proved to be no less frustrating for my wife since it always seemed to favor me in the conclusion. We convinced my mom to join us for the second game to help cool frustration flares a bit which also gave us a glimmer of what a 3p game feels like. I think once we graduate beyond the Lite game and begin mixing the Research actions the game will find its legs.

We then headed across the street to my sister's for a 7p game of Rummy during which I was in the negative the entire game until a huge last hand which got me into the black and ironically a second place finish before it was time for bed for me. Back to making the donuts in the morning...


Ongoing
Diplomacy - Fall Movement 1907

I continue to close in on the win condition. If I can pull off the next few moves I will put an end to this initial play and come out the victor!


--> If you went to Gen Con, consider posting in my geeklist: Your Gen Con Indy 2014 Pick for "Game of Show".

--> I hope to resume my weekly blog posts on Thursdays starting with: Our Gen Con Indy 2014 Breakdown.

meeple Keep playing...
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11. Board Game: Summoner Wars: Master Set [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:144] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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Two games of Summoner Wars on Sunday. My Benders defeated my son's Filth. Then my son's Mountain Vargath defeated my Fallen Kingdom. No time for a tie breaker though.
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12. Board Game: Summoner Wars [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:369] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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My biggest concentration of gaming was on Wednesday, when I played four different games. At lunchtime, I inaugurated my Summoner Wars: Jungle Elves – Second Summoner with a game against Swamp Orcs. Mugglug prevailed without taking a scratch, and he got to strike the killing blow against Nikuya Na. But he really owed his victory to Splack.



In the evening, I had my monthly game session at the lodge. We warmed up with a little three-handed Martian Chess, which was probably my most dominating play ever for that game.

Then we played a four-handed Gnostica game, which was blazing fast; perhaps the credit should go to the Iron Maiden soundtrack? In any case, we wrapped it up in 40 minutes. Br. Goat, playing green, marched relentlessly to a deserved win, while I (clear) skirmished with one of the other players (electric yellow), and the fourth (orange) spun his wheels in virtual isolation.


Since Gnostica finished early, Br. Goat and I went on to play some Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game with my new Legit Racket (Syndicate with Criminal Agency) and his Swimming with the Deep Ones (Syndicate with, er, Deep Ones). It was so very close! The Racket activated The Terror Out of Dunwich, and then Swimming activated The Thing at the Gate, so that with two stories won by each, we were effectively back to the start with single-card domains and no characters. Then the Racket lost by a stupid commitment, since I had overlooked the opposing Bag Man's fast keyword. I asked for a take-back to see how it would play if the Racket had held back (like they obviously should have). Sure enough, they won on the very next turn by playing Small-Time Magician to force Bag Man back to hand.

Friday evening I played a few games with my daughter. I beat her twice at Caldera, which has had a new vogue at our place since I picked up a sixth Xeno pyramid stash.


Then she beat me at Hive. It's been at least three games of this since I've been able to win against her.

Saturday we played a game of Scrabble at my parents place. I came in fourth out of four.


Sunday my daughter and I played Elder Sign against Daoloth, and we had terrible opening adventures that loaded up quickly with monsters! Basically, Rita Young and Leo Anderson were on a quick ticket to hell, so that after multiple investigator devourings, a fresh and fortified Amanda Sharpe and Monterey Jack were looking at 10 doom and only one Elder Sign. But they were able to fight and handily defeat the Ancient One once it awoke.


In the evening, we played Kingdom Builder, taking the new Caves for a spin in a setup that used entirely base set boards except for Villages (from the Nomads expansion), scoring with old-fashioned Farmers, Citizens, and Discoverers. As usual, my girl bombed out on Farmers, even with Caves to help her. I was quite satisfied with my score of 60.
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13. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Jeff C
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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While everyone was at GenCon I was at a work conference. I am gong out on a limb and guessing GenCon would have been more fun. Fortunately since my office rents a house for us to stay in at the conference I was able to wear down the resolve of some of my coworkers and got them to play some games with me.

The first and most successful game was Splendor. We ended up playing this at least 6 times. Two people went online after the first game to try and order copies, one ended up borrowing my copy to try with her husband when she got home. Love it and still think it's a shame it didn't win SdJ this year.

I also managed to teach one person Parade while we waited on the others to finish up what they were doing between games of Splendor. This was not as big of a hit but I still enjoy it.

The only other game played was Say Anything. The older members of the group loved it, the younger complained it wasn't Cards Against Humanity. Not coincidentally the ones that bemoaned it gave the most vanilla answers and the ones that enjoyed it routinely gave off the wall hilarious answers. This is still my favorite party game.
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14. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:466]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Well, GenCon has come and gone. I didn't get that much gaming in there as I spent a lot of the time catching up with friends, wandering the dealer hall, and trying game demos.

The Con was a great time as always, but the gaming highlight for me was definitely Panamax.

As I knew I would likely not get to the Con in time to get a copy, my friend Kris very graciously agreed to get me one first thing Thursday am. I then got a chance to play in on Saturday.

It's as good as anticipated. In Panamax, each player runs a shipping company taking contracts to move goods across the Panama Canal. The goal is to amass as much personal wealth as possible by the end of the game.

Running your company efficiently is key, because if you don't, you'll be required to cover shortfalls out of your personal money supply. If you can't even do that, you'll have to take a bank bailout which has to be paid back with interest at the end of the game.

Worse yet, if your company is poorly run, it will not be able to pay out dividends, and your stock will lose value. This might make your stock more attractive if the other players think your company might recover, but since you start out the game owning one share of your own company, this means at least one round of loss to your personal money.

I can't recommend Panamax highly enough.

Only one other game I played came close to Panamax, and that was:



I normally don't care much for deck builders, but I had heard great things about Star Realms and went to the dealer booth to try it out. One of their very enthusiastic employees sat down to play a full game with me, and I was hooked.

The game was designed by two former champion MtG players, so it's not surprising that SR has Magic elements. The primary one is that instead of trying to get victory points, you are trying to kill your opponent. This is a very important distinction for me as it makes the game far more interactive than the solitary experience of many deck builders.

Highly recommended.

From there, my gaming experiences were far less good.



I loathe Bang! A lot. I really didn't think I would like the dice version, but it was very late on the second night of the con, and I was sitting around a very large table in our hotel lobby which was just begging to have games played on it.

Due to the hour, something light seemed in order and a friend happened to have BtDG on him.

I may actually have to revise my BGG score on Bang up to a 2 simply to reflect just how much more I hate the dice version. I wouldn't play it again with my least favorite person's time, let alone my own.



Certainly the most excruciating experience of the con. A friend owns this "game" but it's still in shrink so he bought three tickets for a night time play, and I went along, curious as well.

Things started off rather poorly, as the gentleman who was supposed to teach showed up late...for a game with a very long setup time. Added to that he had absolutely no idea how to play. He sat there and read us the rules. After about 45 minutes of this, one of the other players simply got up in frustration and walked off, leaving the "teacher" to mutter "This is a Tree Frog game...you don't just jump into a Tree Frog game".

As it turns out, this is exactly the kind of game you jump into. It's entirely luck based. Absolutely nothing you do has any impact on any future turns, so it's really impossible to screw up.

Roll a die to move. Roll a die to see if you have an adventure. No? Sit around bored out of your mind until things get back to you. Yes? Roll a die or a series of dice and then read a card.

To make matters (much) worse, this can go on for hours. The goal of this clunker is for someone to collect enough artifacts to score 15 victory points. Sadly, other players will likely have collected cards that prevent you from doing that, or for devaluing an artifact you just turned in.



Prior to GenCon, I played this with my Tuesday evening group. I very much like this game and hope to play it again soon.

That's all. Another great GenCon despite the minimal gaming

Edit: I forgot one.



I completely forgot that I played a full game of this at the AEG booth.

I almost walked right past Pagoda. I was with a few friends who wanted to demo Istanbul. As that table was crowded, we noticed pagoda, and I sat down with a my friend's 17 year old son to get a rules explanation.

The rules are very simple, the game itself is not especially physically appealing, but the game play was unexpectedly good. This is an abstract strategy game where one plays color cards to take actions, trying to build structures to gain victory points.

It's pretty clever, and you constantly have to assess if your moves will offer your opponent too much of an advantage on their next turn.

The only reason I did not pick it up is that it's two player only, and I'm unlikely to ever get to play it.
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15. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
James Garcia
United States
Harlingen
Texas
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I finally am back into the swing of things. 3 long weeks of no games changes a man. It felt so good to play again.

Wednesday:


My Wednesday game was back in full circle, and as a celebration it was player's choice. Each of us picked one game and that is what we played. My pick was Lords of Vegas. I wanted something that made you think, had confrontation, some dice rolling, negotiating, basically had everything. I felt this was a good pick and we had a good game. I came out the gate strong. I was really the only person scoring more than 1 point at a time. That abruptly stopped as 2 different players went after my casino. Grrrrr. About half way through, 1 player was essentially out of the game. Nothing went right for him, people took over his stuff, he couldn't roll anything, and his casinos weren't scoring. It was now a 3 player game, with my wife and brother fighting hard. They each had big casinos, and there was one spot that they both kept fighting for. My wife had a great turn that saw her build into 2-3 other players casino's at once including one of my brothers bigger casinos. She also was sitting on a huge pile of cash. She scored big on this turn and ended up on the score track spot just under my brother who was the leader. She was 1 point away from joining him. The game ended on his turn as he turned over the game over card securing his victory. He literally won by one point. If my wife had gotten that one extra point she was have won with the tiebreaker. Great start to the night.



The next player made the pick of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. I love this game, but setup and take down is a pain in the ass. I almost vetoed this due to that, but went through with it anyway. This game also included the expansions Legendary: Dark City, Legendary: Paint the Town Red, and Legendary: Fantastic Four. We used an app to create everything randomly and got the weirdest setup. Mole Man was our villain (he has beaten us before), and our team was so random. Our team consisted of Scarlet Spider, Emma Frost, Forge, Professor X, and Jean Grey. Since we had played Mole Man before we were prepared for him. Our strategy was whenever one of the Subterranea villains showed up immediately kill it. Who cares if you can kill this person blah blah blah...kill the Subterranea. It was because we didn't do this last time that Mole Man got super strong. This strategy worked awesome, and while it took some time we were able to defeat Mole Man. Due to this taking some time we also had little time to spare as our hero deck was also 2 cards away from running out. I forgot what our scheme was, but if our hero deck ran out there was no draw we flat out lost. That was a close one. The player who requested it was also the player with the most points at the end of the game. First time we won this game in awhile.



The next game was my brother's pick and he picked Kingsburg. My wife stepped out during this game to get something to eat, so we ended up having a 3 player game. I really need to get the expansion for this game, as all 3 us of started out building the same buildings. I need more diversity, but the game is still really fun. Seeing as we all were basically doing the same thing it came down to who beat who to what spot. I had a hard time getting anything going as my rolls were not in my favor, but I made a strong push in the last round. I went from being in last by 6 points to being 1 point behind the leader. In the end though I could not pull out the wind, and our friend won his second game.



My wife jumped back in and picked her game. She brought out Carcassonne Big Box 3, in which we only played base Carc. We didn't have the time to teach new expansions. The gaming Gods looked down upon us with hateful eyes on all of us as no one really got anything going. We were all drawing non helpful tiles, which caused everybody to try and steal points. Normally we don't have this much stealing. I honestly don't remember who won this game, as there were so many uncompleted things on the board. Very crazy game.



We had a few minutes before we were going to shut it down for the night so we played 1 game of Love Letter. Wow this game was close. In the final round 3 players had 3 points, and I had 2. This game was odd as so many people were guessing right with the guard, and this was all done first turn. My wife ended up winning the game. Not much of a write up here, but describing each round in detail would make this really long.


Sunday:


After a weekend of errands my wife and I got some free time Sunday night and decided to play a few games to close out the weekend. The first game we played was Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland, specifically the Switzerland map. This game was close. We somehow ended up not building our routes near each other so it was free pickings, but neither one of us could draw the colors we needed. There was a part in the the middle of the game were we just drew cards for about 5 minutes. As the game progressed I started to get nervous as I could not connect this one purple route which basically would kill any chance I had of winning. I had 5 destination tickets that needed this route. I finally got it, but my wife was so close to finishing the game and I still had routes to claim. I was able to finish all my routes on the last turn. After scoring the tickets and adding the bonus I won with a final score of 151-132.



Last game of the week goes to Parade. This is such a good little card game. I had the worst hands in this game, and my wife kept leaving me with situations to where I needed to take multiple cards. Due to this my strategy went to get only the 3 colors that you majority in. This ended up working as I won 19-28. You need the lowest score to win which his what I had.



With the change of to what did you play this last week, I should have something to add now every week. Also it's great to be back.
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16. Board Game: Heimlich & Co. [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1544]
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
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Found this at a thrift store a few weeks back. We had an inaugural family play with my wife and two kids on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, the kids both asked to play again, so I played another 2 games with them. Enjoyable title, perfect SdJ game for the 1990's. Holds up well; even the corny 1970's/1980's artwork. Taking this up to Maine for our summer vacation; I predict it'll get a LOT of play.

We also played Love Letter as a family, the first time my 5yo son joined us. He understood the concepts readily and actually ended up winning
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17. Board Game: First Train to Nuremberg [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1364]
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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Monday:
Kingdom Builder x2
Kingdom Builder: Nomads x2
Kingdom Builder: Crossroads x2
Kingdom Builder: Caves x2

Tuesday:
Iron Dragon

Wednesday:
First Train to Nuremberg
The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet x2

Thursday:
Terra Mystica x2
Terra Mystica: 4 Town Tiles x2

Friday:
First Train to Nuremberg
Big Points x2

Saturday:
Napoleon's War II: The Gates of Moscow x2

Sunday:
First Train to Nuremberg
Caro x2
Finito! x2
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18. Board Game: Lost Legacy [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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This week was...

Lost Legacy - 1st through 5th play



This is a mircogame that is the sort of sequel to love letter. My group plays a bunch of these microgames and this one is absolutely my favorite. The original art is fantastic, the cards all have interesting abilities and there is a modular system where each of these little boxes comes with 2 decks and you can mix and match cards from either of them to create tons of re-playability. Our first 2 games were 4 players playing with one deck at a time, and then more people came and our last three were with 7 players after mixing in Lost Legacy: Hyakunen Senso to Ryu no Miko. I'm so happy to have found a microgame I can really get excited about. Now I just have to find the second expansion somewhere.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Forgotten Souls - 18th play of Descent, second run at this campaign



On our second try at this completely co-operative campaign we came a little more prepared. We all chose characters that could pass their checks and this time we made it all the way to the final boss before running out of time. We likely would have died in that final chamber as at that point we had all blown our once per game and we didn't save a farmer at the second mini boss, so we lost out on getting our 3xp skills. Still, it was a blast and I'll absolutely try it again. I'm normally the overlord, and I enjoy being the overlord, but these co-op campaigns really challenge you a lot and it's great to be a player character for once.

Glass Road - 5th play



Since I was playing with a group of people who had never played before, I probably should have scored higher than I did. I was set up well, but took one last bad move at the end where I built a building that didn't ultimately get me points. Fantastic game though. The thing here is that the game is really hard to wrap your head around the first time you play, and keeping in mind that when you spend glass or stone you are actually spending points is sometimes hard to properly think about, since you always feel pressure to build buildings.

Peloponnes - 1st play



This is a quick playing bidding game where you place your bid on one of the tiles, and if you get outbid you can move your bid to another tile, but you can't ever change the amount of your bid. There are some quirky rules in terms of which resource production tiles you can take, as production of resources have to go next to production resources of the same kind, and you can only build on one side, which means you either diversify with terrain that produces multiple types or you super specialize and get all of one type so it overflows and turns into luxury goods which becomes 2:1. Additionally it has a very similar disasters system as Bruges, where each round 2 disaster tokens flip up and when the third of a type flips the disaster will happen. I have not wrapped my head around this one yet in terms if I like it or not. It's certainly interesting, and I'm very curious what the expansion content will bring to it.

CV - 3rd play



I've yet to find someone who doesn't enjoy this game. I have decided that I need to rebox it though. The huge box this comes with is more insert than game. The next time a small box descent expansion comes out, this is going in there and I'll do something to decorate it properly. Even though this game is great, my shelf-space is limited.

Carcassonne: South Seas - 4th play



After 4 plays this is starting to feel a little anti-climactic for me. I think I need to transition over to Carcassonne: The City as my go-to Carcassonne variant.

Vanuatu - 4th play



It had been too long since this had gotten to the table, and I was in a rush refreshing the rules so I forgot that you didn't draw the fish and treasure tiles randomly, but instead got the tile based on the number of tokens in the sea, before depleting the tokens. It was an easy correction for us, but then later when someone placed a tile they misread the teeny tiny number on the fish, and thought 4 should be placed instead of the 1 that was actually written there. Other than that players enjoyed the game.

Coup - 14th play



This was my favorite microgame before Lost Legacy came along, and the expansion makes it even better than it was. The idea is each player gets a double sided loyalty card. While you are the same loyalty as someone, you can't harm them other than calling them out for not being who they claim, UNLESS everyone is the same loyalty. You can spend a buck to swap your loyalty, or two bucks to swap someone else's loyalty. It creates a really interesting tension.

Mission: Red Planet - 1st play



This game is a basic area control game, where the actions are fueled by player's simultaneous role selection from their symmetrical series of cards. At this point I've seen the role selection element a few times already in games I love such as Glass Road and Rococo, but here it's still enjoyable even if it feels a little basic now. I will say that not all the bonus cards are of equal usefulness, and the game plays fast once people are familiar with the roles so it can be hard to get a significant board presence if you don't get a strong start.

The Bridges of Shangri-La - 1st play



This is an interesting abstract game where you have a number of different towns where you place tokens. On your turn you either add one new type of token, duplicate 2 tokens or send all the duplicated tokens of you and your opponents to attack the city next door. When you do, the bridge breaks behind you so the city of origin can't be attacked back from the same direction. What this amounts to is having players work together to reinforce certain places or expand other places, but in the end whoever has the most token spots wins.
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19. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:305]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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A slightly better week than the last one, although still busy. However, we are away on our summer break, games in tow, so that means that things should pick up substantially over the next fortnight.


I played a single game of this early in the week, trying out one of the base box adventures but playing as two players. As usual I was completely humiliated by the game, but I was also utterly confused by the timing of various different things and am gradually coming round to the school of thought that this is a game with basic rules, but that every card provides some kind of exception to those rules. I am teetering on the edge of getting rid of this game as I feel that I have neither the patience nor desire to get involved with deck-building, but keep hold of it because, simply, it is a fantastic play.


In search of some new solo thrills I bought a copy of this during the week, and have played it twice. I like this a lot - it is easier and more charming than The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, although we will have to wait to see whether it has the longevity of its bigger brother. I have played it twice and lost both times, of course, but that grinding inevitability one gets from revealing Orc after Orc is replaced by a gentle cartoonish humour and whimsy. A probably keeper, fun and eminently portable too.


Lastly, two games of this with the cards from Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts thrown in, as is usual now. I lost both encounters to my other half, but these two plays took us past our 100 mark, making this, with Dominion, one of only two centenarians in our collection. Our wins have been divided up 52-48 to my SO, which is a more flattering stat for me than I had thought. No sign of this one running out of steam either...

Happy gaming!
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20. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:430] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Brandon M
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.” ― Gary Gygax
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I participated in a month 2 organized play event this weekend and I won!

My first OP win. Which was a sharp contrast to my last event where I lost four out of five event matches.

This event was three games vs three opponents.

I finished with 18, 11, and 18 remaining life for my three games.

I did get to see a new combo that I will have to make plans to neutralize or prevent in the future (Tsarina as a quick build to the Venom that gives a -1/-1 to non-fist opponent characters).
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21. Board Game: I Hate Zombies [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:14968]
George Parker
United States
Aggieland
Texas
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Well . . . I'll start off with I Hate Zombies One of my friends got a playtest copy and brought it to our Meetup group and we test drove it. I didn't know anything about it and soon learned we were playing a large, 12-player game of rock, paper, scissors. Well, that's what it is! Half zombies...half humans...and the zombies are attacking (and each human has some unique power). You play until all zombies are dead or all the humans are turned into zombies. Lots of laughing and I think everyone enjoyed it. It's a very quick filler that is being published by BoardGameGeek . . . imagine that! Other games I played at our Meetup were Glass Road and my favorite big game in a little box . . . The Great Heartland Hauling Co..


Friday night gaming brought Pax Porfiriana, Sushi Go!, Safranito, and Lords of Waterdeep. I love Pax and will play it anytime it comes to the table. Also enjoy Lords of Waterdeep and Safranito, a dexterity game at which I suck! On the other hand, I got to try Sushi Go for the first time and really enjoyed it.


Other games this week included me starting to learn Panzer, and plays of a couple of train games published by Mayfair Games . . . Express and Station Master.

And last but not least,
I wrapped up the weekend with a Sunday afternoon movie
and then a game of Le Havre with my sweetie.
It was a great 32nd Anniversary weekend!

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22. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:486]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Tuesday

Qwirkle - Back and forth game with my wife. She jumped ahead early and I thought it was over, but she was too aggressive and set me up for several Quirkles so I pulled ahead by what I thought was a convincing lead only to have her be first to go out and win 195-194.

Navajo Wars - Still playing the initial scenario, once again the end vicotry condition came early and I suffered a minor defeat. I was doing much better in the early game, but wasn't able to get any traction after the Pueblo uprising.

Wednesday

Dominion x2 - Continuing to play this regularly with my wife, we just play the same 10 cards twice so we can explore the combinations. I won the first game and the second was a tie.

Saturday/Sunday

Cuba Libre - Playing solo as the government. Just finished the 3rd propagana card and things are looking really good for the Syndicate. The government has a good chance as well, but I'm really going to have to simultaneously protect my own situation while cracking down heavily on the syndicate.

Throughout the Week - 2 Facebook games of Scrabble.
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23. Board Game: Madeira [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:295]
Morten K
Denmark
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Madeira was the only boardgame I played this weekend. But what a game it was! I played it with two of my friends from my regular gaming group of four people and it was new to all of us. I was interested in the game when heading to Essen last year but when I saw it, I knew I would never get it played with the people I played with so I didn't brother with it at all. This year a lot of praise has come its way and I have changed groups so I now play with people who like the complex heavier euros that I have come to love. At some stage during spring I got Madeira as the second game in an order to make shipping look cheaper but never got around to playing it. We should have played it a lot earlier I now know. A very good experience!
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24. Board Game: Darkest Night: Necromancer Bundle [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Scott Carvalho
United States
Rhode Island
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Managed to play one solo game over a three day span. Psyched for the upcoming expansion.
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25. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
Steph Hodge
United States
New Hampshire
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I am all over the place with all the events that happened in just a short week. Ending with GEN CON!! Here is my Geeklist

GenCon 2014 Every game I managed to squeeze in 4 days.


Monday night was as normal with Game night

Dan thought I would enjoy Pueblo so we played that. I did enjoy it! I like games like this where we are making a puzzle trying not to collect points. low score wins. I destroyed them all.






After that we played Tichu. I love Tichu I think it is just so great. Anyways, Ron and I teamed up and basically destroyed. We got 1000 in 30 minutes. I called 3 grands and a tichu I think and I let him call a tichu on the last hand though- I could have called. We ultimately went 1-2 for the bonus score ending the game. Owned it!




After that we played 2 games of Blokus. I don't remember much because in the second game I got a text saying about Robin Williams.

Devastated since he was/ will always be my #1 favorite. We left early and then I made a geek list.

Tribute to Robin Williams - One of the Greatest Actors


Still so sad about that. He is my childhood and favorite - right there with Steve Martin. It is just a shame.


Wednesday after work we left for GenCon!

I will update the link once I create the geeklist.



Definitely the "Hot" Game of the con was Doomtown: Reloaded. I did not get the chance to play it but it seemed cool. I would probably like it. I saw this game being carried and played everywhere.


My highlights were Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Abyss, Lords of Xidit, Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis, 7 Wonders: Babel

GenCon 2014 Every game I managed to squeeze in 4 days.

So tired. Probably no game night tonight for me.
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