What Did You Play Last Week? 9/29/2014
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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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/17033692#17033692

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/179473/29-september-2014-w...

Subscribe so you don't miss a single moment of the fun!

Don't forget to thumb the geeklist so we can keep this one on the front page and talk all week about what we played!
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1. Board Game: Völuspá [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1671]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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Good morning folks!!

Diamonds
Played a 2 player game against Gabby, while two players is not the optimal, nor my favorite player count for Diamonds, it does work surprisingly well considering it's a trick taking game.

Terra Mystica
Wednesday evening I was out of town for work, but I managed to find a game group that meets on Wednesday nights near where I would be so I went over and joined them. Terra Mystica was first to be set up and I hopped in and we had a pretty good 5 player game in which I came in second, which if you know me, I consider a win, hahahaha. I think that only one person had played before so we went over rules and ran with it, with me helping to explain everything as we went, all in all I think everyone enjoyed it. Finished up another game of TM online on Terra Snellman as well.

7 Wonders + 7 Wonders: Leaders + 7 Wonders: Cities
Last game of the night was 7 Wonders with both expansions and a full table of 7. Now, I love 7 Wonders, but there are certain people who probably never play this one and it's really not as n00b friendly as we always believe it is, so as it is, I basically played 2 hands, mine and the kid's next to me. It's really hard to not take advantage of that situation but I think I did the honorable thing. Ended up in 3rd but the game took entirely too long.

Side note: If you are ever in Independence MO, check out The Game Cafe, fantastic store and if you happen to be there on a Wednesday night, sit down and play a game!

Völuspá x2
Introduced my wife to Voluspa on Saturday and played a quick two player game with her. I kind of had a feeling this one would be in her wheelhouse, she loves tile laying games and the special powers of the tiles makes this one just a bit thinky without overdoing it, now mind you we haven't added the 4 extra tiles yet. First game she beat me by two, and the second game we played 3 player with Gabby and Kerensa won by 3. I have a feeling I may not have to beg for a rematch, she's pretty confident at this point.

The Castles of Burgundy & Firenze
Also played these online after discovering that Yucata.de now has Castles of Burgundy, not sure but I may like the boiteajeux interface a bit more, but I think we've got more players on yucata at the moment. Well, I won the game of Castles which is kind of a surprise since I don't win it that often. But I got my butt kicked in Firenze by Tiago.

Other than that, not much gaming, still losing 50% of the time in Star Realms, and still pushing to 20 in Destiny(it's slow going when you only play after everyone else goes to bed).

Have a great week everyone!!


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2. Board Game: Ninjato [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:636]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Ninjato - Ninjato was the only game I played at this week's meetup. This was my second play, and it had been a while, so I needed a bit of a refresher. We got some rules wrong last time, and fixing those made for a much better game. This time, I focused mostly on house influence and raiding houses. I was doing pretty well, too. I love the puch your luck aspect to the house raids. I also got a couple of bonus cards that scored based on the number of people cards I had. I felt like I was doing reasonably well, but finished in 3rd place out of 4. The guy who won didn't get any bonus cards at all, just scored massive house influence points. I really like this game. So much so that I keep having to remind myself that I don't need to buy it because my buddy already has it.
Rating: 7.5

Dread Curse - We played a 5 player game of Dread Curse with some friends around mid-week. We picked this up a few weeks ago and this was our first chance to play it. It's a but like a role-selection, push-your-luck game of hot potato. It was fun. The first play was a little long, but that's probably just the standard first game delays. I felt like the black spot was a little too easy to track (the second one didn't even make it out of the bag), and it moved pretty slowly. No one ever drew a Pirate Code card that allowed them to get rid of it, so the only way it moved was by selection the First Mate role (because no one ever stole from the player who had it). I'm guessing that future plays will be a lot more fun, especially since the second Black Spot isn't very likely to stay in the bag every game.
Rating: 6.5

Tragedy Looper - No Spoilers My wife and I played a two player game of Tragedy Looper on Friday. I played the Mastermind and she was the Protagonists. Since I can't really give any specifics about our game, I'll just give an overview of what I thought. I was worried about whether or not this game would live up to my expectations. It sounds like such an interesting concept. I needn't have worried; we both really enjoyed it. I was surprised because the early descriptions made it seem like if the protagonists figured out what was going on, they would win (and, even thinking that, I still thought it would be a fun game). The reality, though, was that even though she figured things out, there was still a game there. She still had to anticipate what I was going to do, and beat me. And from my side, the game wasn't dictated by the script. I still had to think quite a bit about what I wanted to do, and how I was going to get it done. I really liked this.
Rating: 7.5

Concordia - We played a two player game of Concordia on Saturday. The structure of this game is pretty simple: on your turn, you play a card and do what it says. The complexity is in the cards and in the final scoring. As it was our first game, my wife and I both kind of played willy-nilly, not trying to focus too much on how our gameboard actions affected the scoring. Even playing that way, it was fun. We were neck and neck in the final scoring, until my wife and her 4 Minerva cards leapt out ahead at the end. Now that we have one game under our belts and better understand the scoring, I think this game (which was already good) will only get better from here.
Rating: 7.5

Asante - Asante (or, rather, Jambo) is a game that has been on my radar for a while, but I never pulled the trigger on it because as much as people said it was great, and as much as people lumped it in with Jaipur (which we love), no one seems to talk much about why. It turns out that the game is a little hard to describe, at least in gamer shorthand, because it isn't much like other games. Superficially, it's like a stock market game, because you want to buy low/sell high. But the value of the goods isn't set, and I think it would be difficult to fail to sell high. Thematically, it is similar to Jaipur, but that's really where the similarities stop. This card depends on card combos and it has a take that element. You're also using goods cards that allow you to either buy or sell goods, but you can only sell the goods if you have every item on them. We played this twice, with the second game coming down to a tie (that I won). I can see why it's so popular.
Rating: 7.5

Spyrium - Spyrium has been on my shelf for a while. I was pretty sure we'd like it when I bought it, but I also have to admit that, to a certain extent, I bought it because it's so cheap. My wife and I played a two player game. The worker placement aspect is different and interesting. I think it will really shine with more players, but I still enjoyed it with 2. I spent a lot of my placements trying to get money, because money in this game is pretty seriously tight (especially with 2). I think with more players I would be able to focus less on placing for money, and more on getting cool cards and actions. We both had fun with this game, but I think after a few more plays, we're going to end up wishing that there were more cards. You see almost every card in every game (though, not in the same order), and I think it might lack replayability because of that.
Rating: 7
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3. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:464]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Only one lonely play this weekend. Due to some family problems I couldn't play Friday, so, I played a solo game on saturday:

SATURDAY

- Elder Sign - a solo play. It was against Shub-Niggurath (promo), and in this version he do have a thousand young, since everytime an adventure is completed, a monster appears. The investigators were Dexter Drake and Harvey Walters.

Start of the game:


In the first Mythos, "The Time is Right", the doom track advanced 2 spaces, and, thus, two monsters entered the game. It wasn't an easy start, since two dice were locked (including one of the green). The one locking the green was the one I went first, since his ability would be pretty useful there, and he was successful. The theme of the play was Dexter, sacrificing himself in order to take out monsters, so that the adventure became less difficult for Harvey (since, after he completed one Other World adventure, he gained 3 unique items, and, with this, he started to use one to gain other and so on). But, even with the work of Dexter, monsters appeared faster than he or Harvey could take out. I tried Dexter's luck on the Lost & Found, but he received 3 points of damage there. Ouch.

The advance of Shub-Niggurath was constant and there were too many creatures roaming the adventures. Dexter was in charge of taken them out, at least the easier one, for two things: put these back in the bag (monsters of toughness 1 aren't kept as trophies) so that they could return, instead of some tougher ones; and also to make some missions easier for Harvey. The race was close, and when an adventure with a midnight effect of advancing the doom track by two entered, I needed to use most of the investigators resources to fulfill it. A Mythos that made every investigator lose 2 points of Stamine hit hard on them, and I need to use one round to get them back on their feet, and I didn't have time for this, since Shub-Niggurath was close to awakening.

Dexter did a mission that opened a new Other World, and it have the elder signs necessary for the win. But I couldn't go there yet as there were too many locked dice: one green, the yellow and the red. If the doom track advanced by two, Shub-Niggurath would awake - but it was only one, so I had a chance. First, Dexter went to fight a monster, to unlock the red die - I wanted to free the green also, but that would kill Dexter (and awake Shub-Niggurath). So Harvey, blessed, went to the Abiss and was able to seal it, so the power of Shub-Niggurath wouldn't pose a threat to humanity anymore!

It was a really exciting game - but I must mention that I play with two variants: the round of the game lasts 3 turns (instead of 4) and everytime all the adventures tried were accomplished, the Doom track advances 1 space. This is my way to make the game harder and, for us, better. So far (two plays) it is working pretty weel.

How the game was in the end:



And that was it!

Regards,
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4. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:305]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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I was still on travel in the UK last week, and with me accompanying some Thai visitors I did not get any games in during the week at all. I managed to get a couple of games in the plane on the way home though! It sure is good to be back home!

Friday = 1 Play

First up was this solo deckbuilder. I decided it was time to try out level 4, where you start with only 18 life and with the Very Stupid aging card mixed in. This turned out to be the shortest game I've played yet, as my first deck was horrible and I was forced to sacrifice life in order to draw cards, and then get rid of the ugly ones. The 2nd shuffle was much better and I soon managed to clear the hurdles, but I gambled on a tough cannibal card, and even a reshuffle with the draw pile failed to net me the good cards I worked so hard to clear, and I lose as I had no more life to sacrifice in order to draw cards.


Cannibals overcome the green Robinson Crusoe!

Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age = 1 Play

This was up next, and it was quite a good play as I net agriculture early and manage my food and also protect myself from drought. The end was not too good as I could not roll the goods I needed in order to be able to buy more developments, but at least I did suffer any disasters and my citizens were well fed!


My score of 43 (Developments 26, Monuments 13, Bonus 4)
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5. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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After clearing The Civil War off the table, I had just enough time Sunday for a solo play of Saint Petersburg to keep my head in the rules. It would have been nice to set up Suburbia after, but counter cutting for World in Flames was on my To Do list for Friday's gaming group. It'll be refreshing to play a World War II game after so much Civil Was, and it's one more item I can scratch off my bucket list.
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6. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:314]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia showed up in the mail on Monday evening so we had to play that right away. It was certainly a feeling out game and we're both thinking that the next couple will be that way as well while we try to figure out some strategies and get a better understanding of how things interact. Still, that didn't stop us from enjoying our first game. We started off fairly evenly as I forced her to to spend some resources on markets so that she didn't get left out on them. Once most of those were built, she happily worked away gathering water and increasing the faction track for the Subterrainian faction which ultimate won her the game as it let her place her last star; there was just no way to stop it or place the last of my stars before she hit the end. She managed to get all 10 out while I still had 2 left. Certainly an interesting game; we can see where the depth comes in, we just need to figure out how to really take advantage of it.

We played a second game of this on Wednesday evening. I squandered my first four turns as I gathered up some water and got my extra worker, only to roll high enough to lose it when I finally retrieved my dice. I felt like I struggled most of the way through while my wife seemed to be doing really well. She got down to 3 stars left while I had 7, then 2 when I managed to get down to 5. She hit a bit of a roadblock when she ran out of artifacts to claim the few remaining building sites and also lost one of her two dice thanks to a high roll with her +6 knowledge. Constantly taking back the lone die without paying also dragged her morale down to 1 so that she couldn't keep cards either. That finally created enough of an opening for me to claim the last few building sites, get into a market I wasn't in, and boost the strength of one of my exposed factions enough to place my last star... on the turn right before she could place her last die to boost the morale of her faction and place her last two stars! So this one ended up being a really tight game which we were both really pleased with. We made a few costly mistakes along the way as we're still learning the game and figuring out how to approach things but we're really enjoying this one.

We grabbed a copy of Biblios that we found at the mall and finally cracked it open for 3 games on Saturday evening after we got home from a trip out to the mountains. Incredibly simple game to learn and play so getting into it was quick and painless. I won all three of our games, at first by a reasonably large amount, then a small amount, and finally taking the third game in the tie breaker. Not exactly a deep game but a nice quick filler game that involves some bluffing.

Sunday afternoon we decided to play four more games of Biblios between various other things. She finally snapped her losing streak by winning the first game by a large margin (I believe I only won a single die). This was followed by three more wins with one of them coming down to the tie breaker; I felt like I had completely forgotten how to play the game. I felt like I was doing well most of the way through until I'd look back at my hand, find that I didn't have as many colours as I thought I did, and discover that I had absolutely no hope of winning.

We finally moved on to something a little more meaty with Amerigo. She scored a large number of points from completing a couple of islands, namely the single large island in the game that she had 3 trading posts on. I scored a few smaller ones that at least helped mitigate that advantage. We both took a chance with the pirates in the last round; my gamble ended up paying off thanks to the +2 cannon technology I had but she struck out and suffered a loss with them. We both scored a large number of points from our production markers but my high placement on the white track grave me a significant lead. I ended up winning this one by about 25 points.

Next up was Firenze since it was still sitting on the table from whenever we last played it. We both managed to get some good towers built quickly though I claimed the first 2 high valued tower markers. Nobody ever did get around to the III or IV markers. We both thought I was going to win this one as I was getting some higher-valued towers. I was even trying to work on getting some majorities this time. And all of a sudden, I lost. Badly. She got a few extra points from her celebration card that gave her a point for each of her level 3 and 4 towers, 5 points for being the one to trigger the end of the game, and then a bunch of majorities as she quickly built a few small ones to snatch them up from me. Even if she didn't have those advantages, however, I still would have lost. I'm clearly lacking the understanding on how to win at this bloody game!

Biblios came back out for two more games as I was determined to prove to both of us that I could actually win a game of it again. That didn't go so well as I lost the first game again. I got more dice (yay!) but they were completely worthless (boo!). She edged me out of everything I thought I was strong in and I got everything I thought I was weak in. Awesome. Things finally turned around for me in our second game. I completely bluffed on a bid for a church card I needed which got her to bluff and raise it; I was pretty sure she didn't have the money so I called her on it. It cost her a card that I was hoping I was the strongest in which was great news for me. It also meant I got the church card for 2 gold instead of the 7 she tried to get me bite for. After 5 straight losses, I finally managed to win a game!
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7. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:22]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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With work and soccer hoarding our energy thus far this fall, we'll take what gaming opportunities we get...


Tuesday
1x - Concordia


Wife won big as Concordia saw its return to the table after being unkindly forgotten with the influx of Gen Con acquisitions. With that win, my wife issued me my first loss in this one. Hope to see this come out more often.

Thursday
1x - Blueprints

Thursday night my wife and oldest went to watch the boys varsity soccer game and I managed to convince my youngest to try Blueprints. She is the least likely gamer in our family and it took some pursuading, but she agreed and true to form she won (big) her first play.

The challenge will now be to get her back to the table for another play given her track record of oddly rare wins after her first play of anything.

Friday
1x - Merchants & Marauders - New to me


Players take on the role of a ship and a captain. Ships can be upgraded and modified within limits. Captains either lean towards being a trade merchant or a pirate marauder as they sail the Carribean seas, scouting ships, trading and selling goods, and possibly raiding ships if that is interests your captain's fancy. Meanwhile, each round events and other NPC ships enter the mix and patrol the waters.

I lost badly and can't say that I had fun during this game, but I see its potential once all players grasp the various actions and intricacies of those choices to make the best decisions to acquire rare glory points. Given the number of heavier games in our gaming circle that we enjoy the question really becomes will this see the table enough for us to learn, retain, and weild our seamanship enough to have staying power?

Saturday
2x - M44 - mb

While the girls were busy or napping, my BIL and I grabbed the opportunity to play both sides of the Operation Corbra scenario online. We both picked up a win playing the Axis keeping our record close with my one game advantage 16-15.


Ongoing
Diplomacy - 1909 Fall Movement

My orders are in and I may just end the conflict with the win this season unless there is some unforseen move that disrupts those plans. It's been a long, spread out campaign.


Pathfinder Beginner Box

I held a kick-off meeting with four other newbies to go over the basics, walk through our character sheets, answer questions, and schedule the start of our little adventure. I'm finally getting this off the shelf and to the table. I'm hoping it goes well as this is something I wouldn't mind continuing on a monthly basis if there is enough interest.


meeple Keep playing...
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8. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:466]
Bruno Valerio
Portugal
Aveiro
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This past week i didn't play many games... only 3 plays.

Two plays of Panamax





And a game of Nations



meeple
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9. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:114]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I got to play this delightful game three more times this week, once as a solo and twice as a three player.

The more I play, the more I like La Granja. It's a very clever, well integrated design that offers a lot of flexibility in engine building. A real winner.

Also:



I managed to get destroyed playing the Shadow armies. I don't recall such a string of terrible luck as I experienced in this game. Awful combat rolls, awful action dice rolls. Add to that an opponent who is very good to begin with and his exceptional combat rolls and you have a game that ends after three rounds.

Things were so bad for me, that the Eagles were in play that third round. I couldn't even draw Fate Tiles well.

Ah, well. I can't wait to play again

And that's it for me. I had planned to go to the Wisconsin Gaming Hoopla this weekend, but had to cancel at the last second. At least the gorgeous weather was fair compensation.
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10. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
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An absolutely delightful gaming-filled weekend for me!

Friday:
8x Star Wars: The Card Game - Friday was the day of the Baltic regionals, and I was one of the participants. I entered with mono-Navy, focused on Capital Ships, and Rebels, mostly focused on fighters. The overall results, though, were disastrous - I only managed to win 1 game out of 8. The rebel deck was consistently bad, losing all games (I think my worst game was against a Sith control deck, where I only managed to inflict 1 damage on one objective - my big ships never appeared, and the fighters got popped as quickly as they got on the field). Navy was quite a lot better - though it only managed to win one game, all others were very close - the closest one I lost by deciding to hold onto one card during the last edge battle. That decision still baffles me, given that I fully knew that there would be no more edge battles in that game, since, if I won that edge I'd win the game, and if I didn't I'd lose next turn.


Saturday:
A game day at my place, and when four of us were there, we played some light fillers while waiting for the fifth player. For one of the four, all three of these games were new.

And when the fifth guy showed up, we moved on to 5-player Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. In turn order, here's what we were: a guy who's played the full co-op game once was playing Helo, a completely new player was playing Chief, I (quite experienced, at least compared to the others) was playing Baltar (god I hated him in the show and wished he'd die, but it's quite fun to start with 2 loyalty cards), another completely new player was playing Starbuck, and a guy who's played once before was playing Boomer.
There wasn't all that much notable stuff about Helo's play, other than the fact that he used a nuke to destroy a basestar, which I very rarely see in the base game, but his reroll power was used very little. Not that there were no rolls on his turn - in fact, there were plenty, but almost all were passed on the first try anyway. The dice were incredibly good to us humans.
The Chief player identified herself as a Cylon (though I, apparently, was the only one to pick up on that) by starting to laugh when she saw her loyalty card, but I, not wanting to ruin the game for her, pretended not to notice. She spiked a few checks, but none where it was immediately obvious that it was her. She revealed shortly after sleeper, but it was from the brig, so no reveal damage. She spent her first post-reveal turn to draw another super crisis, and then later played one of her cards (but didn't have time to play the other one) - Fleet Mobilization, which we tanked.
I, Baltar, spent almost all game on Colonial One, only returning to Galactica at the very end, to fix FTL control (which a basestar promptly blew up again), and didn't even manage to do all that much with Quorum cards. When looking at starting loyalties, the Helo player said something that made me think he was a Cylon, so the first Q-card I played was Mission Specialist to Boomer. Later, I raised morale once, checked Chief's loyalty (shortly before sleeper) and then threw her in the brig immediately after sleeper.
Starbuck mostly did what Starbuck is supposed to do - stayed in space, shot cylons and occasionally scouted to ensure good destinations and jump preps.
Boomer was human from the start (and gave us a 3-distance jump with Mission Specialist), but turned Cylon at sleeper (not all that difficult to do, with 2 loyalty cards), revealed on his first post-sleeper turn, got Inbound Nukes and used that (we tanked it).

Once the Cylons had spent their super crises (though Chief had one she chose not to use), their strategy became damage - jump was on red and there were 2 basestars on the board, so they activated them hoping for damage victory. Their rolls were rather good, but I managed to fix FTL control between their turns, ensuring they didn't instantly win. And the crises were very helpful with jump symbols, so even when FTL got damaged again, we got enough jump symbols to go to auto jump and win.

And of course I can't not mention our crisis luck - our jumps were 3, 1 and 3, and our very first crisis of the next jump cycle turned out to be Legendary Discovery, which we passed, thus cutting out an entire jump cycle. I am fairly certain we wouldn't have won without it.

Overall, this was one of the tensest and most exciting games I can recall playing in a long time - by the end, I was quite unable to even sit down! Times like this really remind me why Battlestar is my favorite game of all!

One 5-player game of Compounded with Chemical Chaos included. Three new players, my girlfriend who's played once, and me who's played twice. Unlike my first two plays, trading and negotiation for future favors abounded, and deals were mostly honored, which made this a very enjoyable, if a bit lengthy, experience (the game went for two-ish hours). We also used the lab partners cards, and me and my girlfriend completed one on the last turn, right as the game was ending. She was one point ahead as we agreed to complete it, and expected to win by doing so, but didn't notice that I'd kept my wild element (I've actually never used it in 3 games thus far), and so in the end I managed to win by one point. Final scores - 54 (me) vs. 44 (new player) vs. 53 (new player) vs. 42 (new player) vs. 53 (girlfriend).

After Compounded, one player left, and we decided to play Seasons next. Every time I've played Seasons thus far, I've generally gone with magic items as my strategy, mostly ignoring the abilities of familiars. The last time I played, a (mostly) familiar player did much better than me, so I decided to try them this time. I drafted Arcano Leech, both Kairns, Amsung Longneck and the guy who steals crystals from everyone if you're in the lead. Sadly, this was by far the worst game of Seasons I've ever played. My familiars hindered others, sure, but I'd overfocused on familiars during the draft and therefore didn't actually have any good cards to help myself out in other ways. Well, at least I now know what you get if you focus on familiars too much. Final score 39 (me) vs. 101 vs. 83 vs. 59.


Sunday:
One game of Game of Thrones: A Dance with Dragons. For me it was the first face-to-face game of this (but I've played a few times by forum here on BGG) and I played Martell, then there were four people who've played the base game but never the expansion, and one guy who's entirely new to Game of Thrones got Baratheon.
I mostly allied myself with Tyrell, but also had an understanding of sorts with Greyjoy (we made a deal twice about him attacking, using Qarl and losing, and I'd put Gerris Drinkwater against him, which lets us both gain something), and once we agreed that he'd use Rodrik against me. Thus, most of my fighting was versus Baratheon, but the Martell hand is really slow in the expansion (what with some of its cards getting better as I have less cards left) so that took quite a while. Then, on turn 4 or 5, I decided to stop supporting Tyrell (who was quite close to victory at this point) and fight him, and the Lannister player assisted me a bit, but then next turn decided to support Tyrell again - thus neither of us could get enough of an edge to stop him from winning, which he managed with the first march of turn 6.

A 4-player game of Eclipse with some modules from Rise of the Ancients added in (we used the Ancient Hives, new GCDS, rare technologies and developments). We had one entirely new player (playing Terran Union, one who's played only the base game (playing Hydran Progress, and me and one other guy who both have played the expansion once (me playing Orion Hegemony and the other guy playing Mechanema). Despite picking the most militaristic of all races, I wasn't all that aggressive, and instead rushed Orbital research on turn 1, and eventually built 4 of them. Hydran, naturally, spent almost all of his time researching everything in sight (and eventually managed to fill two tracks completely), the Mechanema built lots of ships and sent them against various ancients and the Terran did bits of everything the way Terrans generally do. I fully intended to continue my builder approach to stuff, but Hydran managed to build the Shellworld just one turn before me. And rather deep in their territory, too, where I couldn't just waltz in and take it. Still, on the last turn I researched monoliths and built three of them (with the materials I'd intended to spend on the Shellworld, and some more).
Last turn also saw the only inter-player combat of the game, when I stabbed my Mechanema ally in the back, and sent one cruiser against his almost undefended home sector and three cruisers against the center where he had two less capable cruisers. He reacted by building a dreadnought at home and sending two more cruisers to the center. Thankfully, he had spent little time upgrading that dreadnought (unlike the cruisers) so I managed to take his homeworld, but didn't succeed in taking the center. Still, the point gain from that action was in my favor, and the three monoliths I had gave me an even bigger lead and I won. Final score: 44 (me) vs. 27 (Mechanema) vs. 30 (Terran Union) vs. 36 (Hydran Progress).
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11. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:361]
Greg R.
United States
Indian Trail
North Carolina
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Played Chicago Express for the first time, and then two more times with my wife and son. I loved it. They loved it. Its a keeper!


A Duel Betwixt Us

Played twice. This game is funny and pretty challenging. Played twice with my wife. My only gripe is I wish there were a couple more personalities to play as. Other than that, It was a lot of fun.
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12. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:519]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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A tough start to the week, with some family issues taking over Monday and Tuesday. Come Wednesday my SO was too tired to play, so I tried a couple of new Solo Variants.

Wednesday

I love this game, but it is difficult to get it to the table. There is so much in terms of the interactions between the cards that you need to do an awful lot of thinking if you are not going to miss opportunties, and that can slow things down. As I was solo gaming, I ran through the Life Or Death variant, and nearly took it down - I gained two Core Worlds, defeated the dummy deck, but came up a point short at 34-28. I also slightly misplayed a rule, to my advantage, but this was fun. and I would very happily play this again at some point.


Tucked away in the variants page for this is an amazing solo Football (Soccer, if you prefer) Manager game for Bananagrams. It is less of a reinvention of the original than a whole new game, and has a decent dollop of theme as well. As the yellow package had sat unplayed by us since 2012, I thought I would take this set of rules for a spin, and I was seriously impressed. I ran five seasons, limited myself to three-year contracts, and scored 161 overall, which gives me something to aim at next time. This is a really fun game which deserves far greater exposure, so kudos to
Daniel Hurst
United States
Murfreesboro
Tennessee
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for coming up with something seriously original and really well thought out. Bravo, sir!

Thursday

Both Core Worlds and Bananagrams were games which had not been played for well over a year, so I thought I'd keep up the good work and suggested a game of Backgammon when my SO wanted something fairly quick to play. We ran a best-of-three and, while I lost the first game convincingly, a bold start to the second encounter saw me draw the series, although it was close. The decider went back and forth, but eventually the better player won and I lost 2-1. Still, it was fun to play this again.


Continuing my good run of form in Friday I managed to win my first encounter at Level 3, getting Robinson off my island with a couple of life points to spare. That was my second win in a row, and I think at this level that the game is about picking your fights wisely and thinning out your deck as much as possible at the beginning. It also seems to be important to get those aging cards out of the way, and I paid 7 life points at one point to get three of them out of the deck. Now I think about it, that may have saved me the game. Still enjoyable, and maybe there's life in it yet, even after the arrival of Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game.

Saturday

After a busy and quite stressful week I decided to get down to a bit more playing on Saturday and got Core Worlds to the table once more. I brushed myself off after my narrow defeat of earlier in the week, thought long and hard about which direction to take...and went down to a crashing thrashing, losing 29-22 to the AI and failing to take over any Core Worlds at all. I had worried that the Life Or Death variant might be a little too easy after my near victory the first time through, but it looks as though I might have to revise that opinion. Enjoying the game immensely, though, and very happy to have got the dust off it.

After a tricky start this turned out to be a decent week's play, and I'm hoping to keep up the good work over the next few days as well.

Happy gaming!
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13. Board Game: Six [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3663]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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It was a mighty abstract week, leavened only by a couple of card games.

Six, which was new the previous week, got 7 plays, including my first defeat. I'm still trying to figure out if there is an advantage for either player here. After initially supposing that red (second play) had an advantage, I swung to believing that there was an advantage for black (first play but constrained). Now I just think that red requires a more defensive approach, and that chances are pretty balanced.

I played just two games of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, both very hard-fought. The first had Hastur on both sides, with my "Gangster Apostles" against Goat's "Sarpa Cthulhu." I did manage to win that one, though I lost in pitting my mono-Shub "Woeful Woodland Worshipers" against his mono-Yog "Affairs of Wizards" (deck design from the rules for the expansion box The Key and the Gate).

The other card game was a quick play of GUBs.

Further abstract play included one game of Twixt (I won, thus evening up our short record), and two games of Hive (won one, lost one).

New to us this week was the recently-acquired Ingenious Challenges. We tried out the "tile challenge" and the "dice challenge." My daughter preferred the tiles, while I enjoyed the dice.
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14. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:64] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
James Garcia
United States
Harlingen
Texas
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Monday:


There was nothing on TV for us around 9 so my wife mentioned that we play a game. When we were looking at my collection for what to play she picked up Pagoda. She asked if we had played it before, I showed her the inside, and she was all "oh yeah I remember it, lets play it." I asked if she was sure because the last time we played she didn't like it, which made me not enjoy it as much. She said yes. This time around she really enjoyed it.We had a great back and forth run of big points. It almost seemed as if she was drawing everything she needed, while I only drew yellow and purple. My lack of color still didn't stop our pagodas from being built quickly in the beginning. It was tough working with 2 colors most of the time, but I made sure the pagoda tiles were always one of the two. In the end I won by about 8 points which in this game might as well be 1. This game has received a bump in rating as my wife enjoys it now. I liked it before, but like I said it was hard to thoroughly enjoy it knowing she wasn't fond of it. Glad that changed.



We had about 10 minutes before we were going to wrap it up to start getting ready for bed so we played a quick game of Terzetto. Half way through the game a rules question came up that the rule book didn't answer, nor did bgg so we just played it the way we had been. The question was about the pattern in the shaker, do you follow only what the pattern is, or do you follow the pattern on a 3 by 3 grid making it very difficult to play things on the outer portion of the tray? My answer was only the pattern mattered, but she interpreted the other way. I need to make a post in this section later. Long story short my shakes we horrible, and my tray looked as if a rainbow barfed on it with all the mix of colors. I lost 4-2.


Wednesday:

2 Plays
SPOILER FREE
I'm leaving out what I think would be spoilers so feel free to read on as this will be just a vague review. Yes it is finally here, my copy of Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game arrived. Everybody was so excited to play it that this was the first game out and almost the only. We played 2 scenarios, We Need More Samples and Kill Them, and lost both. Almost immediately we realized this game was not going to be nice to us, and I was surprised by how fast the zombies build up in this game. The crisis cards are a pain in the ass. In my opinion the only reason this game is hard is because of the crisis cards. The moment you fail one BAM instant shit storm, and now everybody is scrambling to figure out how to bounce back from it. The morale track is definitely the silent killer in this game. Almost anything you do drops morale, but you are so busy with everything else that you sometimes forget about it. The exposure die is easily one of the meanest dies I have ever rolled. In an instant this die can go from holding your hand to putting you in a choke hold. The die was brutal especially for my wife. She at one point rolled back to back bites. Ouch. We were fortunate enough to never draw the betrayer in either game, but the way the goals are set you sure think the betrayer is with you all the time. We also learned that Manny is a huge douche. It was his fault we lost the first game. In fact, he had us annoyed so much that we wanted to exile him betrayer or not. My wife, my brother, and I actually discussed later that if Manny starts playing like that again and we can safely deduct that the betrayer is none of us we instantly exile him. Everybody agreed lol. Once the first game was over everybody wanted to play again. So we did. We were very close to victory on this card, but everything seemed to stock pile on us on the very last turn we had and we could not take care of all of it. Overall this game is fantastic. Everybody loved it, and thought how the game works was very interesting. I don't care if you do not like zombies, seriously try this game at least once.



We finished our last game with about 5 minutes before we close up shop so we played Zombie Dice to keep up with the zombie theme of the night. We thought this game would last only 5 minutes. WRONG! It took us 20 minutes to finish a game of Zombie Dice. Wow. Nobody could roll a brain, and the dice might as well have been all gunshots as everybody rolled them 2-3 at time almost every turn. We were getting 2 points, and just stopping. My wife won with 14 points with second being at 8. Very strange game as we have never had our rolls come out like that.


Saturday:

2 Plays
The weather here has been horrible the last week or so. Very hard thunderstorms in every direction so we went out for dinner, and came straight back home. We ended up staying in and played games. The first game we played was Council of Verona with Council of Verona: Poison Expansion. This is also the first time we played with the poison expansion. The first game was funny as we basically helped each other achieve the goals on the cards. I ended up winning that game by tie breaker. The 2nd game saw saw more of a multiplayer solitaire happen. I won as well. The poison tokens in a 2 player game don't help that much as you can usually tell early on what the other player is trying to do so you are prepared for it, or you don't use your token. I can see how this works for 3-4, but not 2.



We played Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small again this week to see how it plays with knowledge from previous games. Wow we had a completely different game, and a better one at that. My wife however dug herself into a hole early by never taking the first player marker from me, because according to her I constantly kept taking the stuff she wanted. She took the marker from me eventually, but half the game was already gone. My board was full of animals while hers was full of fences. She never really got her animal game going. I won with a huge landslide victory. This game is a lot more fun once you get a clear understanding of it.



The last game of the night went to Garden Dice. We actually had to reread all the rules as we had forgotten the basics. Once we read them everything clicked again. I'm just going to come out with it that her dice rolls sucked, and they sucked bad. I won on the simple fact that her rolls left her with little to do. I on the other was rolling miracles. All my seeds were planted perfectly in the 2x area multiple times in the game. I also won this game with a land slide victory. My wife had a tough break this night as she lost each game, which is super rare as she wins the majority of them.


Sunday:


Our only game of Sunday was Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!. She came out the gate strong in this one. Immediately taking 3 fairies on the first turn. I was stuck playing just a card simply just to play it. She again ended up with another fairy. She was trying to collect the 6 fairies to win the game. I decided to get nothing but fairies as she was taking the majority of the cards. I was down to 3 cards and managed in 2 turns a win with all fairies. I think this is the first time I've won in this game.




Decent week of games. Om Sunday we meant to play BattleCON: Devastation of Indines, but we literally took an hour with the rules and had gotten no where. Those rules were literally some of the most convoluted rules I've ever seen. I actually got upset having wasted an hour. I pulled out Goblins Rule simply for the purpose to get a feeling that we didn't was our game time completely. This week I plan on playing Smash Up with the new expansions, and hopefully Trajan. At the end of the week I should receive Rivet Wars so I really want to play that this weekend, and I hopefully will finally learn Battlecon. Till next week everyone.
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15. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:52]
Jeff C
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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Only one game for me this weekend. We gave Five Tribes another go. This is a fantastic game that is even better when played with the right rules! I focused on claiming tiles and accumulating palaces and oases while the wife gathered an absurd amount of goods. In the end I had every palace and scored 220! Unfortunately she had 90?! Points from goods and scored a whopping 240. It was awesome.
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16. Board Game: Agents of SMERSH [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1088]
Jonathan Meltzer
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
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The gaming this week started on Friday with a couple of games of Shadowrift with my wife. This is our newest co-op, and we are trying to see if we can defeat all of the factions. We got stomped by the Glacien (way too many freezes!) and then easily beat the Drow.


Saturday we played our first-ever four player game of Agents of SMERSH. We introduced one friend to the game the week before, and this time we played with both her and her husband. I was not sure if I would enjoy the game as much with four players (since there are two turns out of four where you are not really doing anything), but I was pleasantly surprised. Dr. Lobo's track moved back and forth alarmingly, and we had some very close calls with the dice. We managed to win, but it was not easy, and even during the "down turns" I found myself invested in what was going on.


Sunday Harsk and Seoni finally achieved victory in the Approach to Thistletop scenario of Pathfinder, after three or four tries. We actually had really good luck with the timing, and were able to work together to close three of the four locations quickly before taking on Gogmurt himself and destroying him. Even though this time was relatively easy, the earlier failures at this scenario made it very satisfying to finally take him down and get to move on.

Later on Sunday, we took another run at the Glacien in Shadowrift, and this time we set up a nice little damage-dealing engine using Holy Aura and Flanking skills. It got to the point that any monster that dared to appear in town was defeated before it got to add any Freezes, and we were even able to clean up the town itself of any vagrants and robbers and such who dared to show up. We won by building all eight walls around Haven Town, making it safe for the townsfolk - at least until the Dragons or Demons or Necromancers show up. devil
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17. Board Game: Summoner Wars [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:366] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Star Realms x 2

I split two games with a guy I met at DaveCon. He had picked up a copy as well after I had taught him the game. We both got the Gambit set but only used the added ships so far. My win came via some yellow discarding beatdown. Never a fun time to take 10+ damage and discard 3 of your 5 cards.

Installed a scoring app, Life Counter, for my Kindle Fire and used that. It's super basic for obvious reasons, but I think I'll keep using it versus the cards.

Summoner Wars x 1

I also taught the guy this game and it seemed to go over well. We did Fallen Kingdom vs. Benders. Champions on both sides came out way late. Some of my tactical planning didn't work out so well. I tried to control one of his champions versus finishing it off, but my summoner finished him off before my champion got to take a swing. I wasn't sure if the champion could get the two hits to do it or not, so I figured I would use the summoner to further soften him up. Thinking about it now, that was dumb as I would have controlled him with 1 HP versus if my champion did the "lethal" damage he would of had two HP left. Also, I place my champion in an area where he was virtually surrounded, but I was kind of going for broke with my idea. Oh it broke.

I swore I was beat towards the end until I got two guys around his champion and with 5 attack did 5 damage to him thus taking him out and suddenly seeing a board in my favor. It almost got down to summoner versus summoner action, but I got the roll for the win as I was likely done after my turn. The other guy rolled to see if after I killed one of his units to if it went to his discard pile or onto my magic pile. Every single roll outside of one at the end went to his side. (shakes fist) I felt like I got the chance to try out some new things with the Benders though.

Also, my 20th play which is most for what I have kept track of since joining BGG. Before BGG, well, that's a sliver compared to the number of plays I have for other games.
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18. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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Monday:
British Rails

Tuesday:
Carcassonne: South Seas x2
Carcassonne: Südsee – Freitag x2

Wednesday:
Pleasant Prospect Farm x4
Small World x2

Thursday:
Carcassonne: South Seas x2
Carcassonne: Südsee – Freitag x2
Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition x2
Carcassonne: The Cult x2

Friday:
Kachina x2
Peloponnes x2

Saturday:
Agricola x2
Agricola: Through the Seasons x2

Sunday:
Juwelenzauber x2
Africana
Africana: Die Farbwechsler
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19. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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Played in a Khans draft Friday night. I went 2-2 but my son finished 3-1. The only person he lost to was the only undefeated at the end of the night.
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20. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:629]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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My daughter(who's 8) complains we play games she doesn't understand so I busted out our Can't Stop from when we were kids. She loved it. We played two games, one with my son where I won and one with just the two of us and she won.
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21. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:22]
TheBruce Mac
United States
Arizona
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I played a 4 player game of Concordia for the first time ever. Wow, I thought it was great. It was an excellent blend of familiar mechanics from resource collection/management, role selection, deck building, settlement building, and big end game scoring based on card collecting. The end game scoring is reminiscent of Stone Age to me. The game sometimes led to AP because of all the choices but I was usually ready to go by the time it was my turn again, unless the person before me messed with my plans. A very enjoyable experience I can't wait to have again. In case you were wondering, I came in third. But it was close, dang it.
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22. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:423]
Billy Crawford - Greybeard
United States
Amarillo
Texas
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Saturday night, I ran 2 games of 6 player Betrayal at House on the Hill. The first game, I got to play the haunt and was involved with a giant spider who laid eggs in one of the explorer. Was a good time as my own explorer, who was decked to the teeth, walked around laying the smack down on the rest of the explorers.

The 2nd game saw me NOT getting to be the haunt It was the haunt where the blob spreads through the house. Boy was that one tough, was 1 turn away from winning when the traitor rolled a 2 getting to move the blob one additional space ending the game! Close and intense.

Also, played a 4 player game of Walk the Plank!



I really enjoy this game, there is something gratifying about pushing other players overboard! Oh, and I won.

Tuesday night was my bi-weekly Descent group.



We played 'The Masquerade Ball' quest and I, the overlord, won!

Man, it was a good week.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Edit: oh and i also spent a good part of my weekend assembling the models for Space Hulk 4th!!!! I know that's not really playing, but I was geeking pretty hard the whole time.



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23. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:52]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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"...to excel above the common rate, in frivolous things, is nothing graceful in a man of quality and honor." - Michel de Montaigne
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This week was...

Indigo - 4th play



A quick and enjoyable filler getting us ready for a meaty weekend. My group this time had some players new to this and they got a big kick of when the gems hit each other and exploded.

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game - 2nd play



In our first game we lost because I, as the traitor sunk the game too early and couldn't complete my goal. This time, we all lost because everyone was focusing too much on their personal goals and not enough on keeping morale up. The last straw for us came from a random death of a character to a tooth die roll. As many things as I like about this game, that tooth side on the die is really killing it for me.

Istanbul - 1st play



I enjoyed the mechanisms of this game a lot. I didn't have a good sense of how to play, and needed to use the reset action more frequently than I intended. The player who ended up winning by 1 action never reset even once. Impressive. I can't help but feel a little meh about the game, even though by all rights I should love it, simply because it's a race to the finish. I like games where you get points, so you have a clear first second third place, and you can see how far you were on a nice little chart. In this, a bunch of us were one turn away, so we knew it was a close game, but it felt unsatisfying to me.

Five Tribes - 1st and 2nd play



This is a really interesting game where you pick up a pile of workers, and drop them one at a time along the tiles forming a path to your final tile where you resolve your actions. You get an effect based on the color meeple you dropped and an additional effect from the tile itself. There are a number of different and interesting point scoring categories, which allow you to explore different strategies. There are lots of imaginative djinn cards with interesting abilities to choose from as well. This game hits my euro sweet spot.

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24. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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I didn't get in any gaming all through the week but on the weekend I did. Last week at Toon Con I met and gamed with friends, Rob And Leah, from a neighbouring town. We decided to get in some regular gaming through the winter so we started by having our first game meet on Saturday night.

Saturday

We started off at 6:00 pm with First Sparks, one we all like and had a hankering for.





Rob played Flashpoint for the first time at Toon Con and loved it so he bought it and this was the game he introduced it to his wife. She also loved it and the 3 of us agreed to play another advanced game. I had played once before . This truly is a great co-op.





Next I taught them Castles of Burgundy. I let the expansions stay in but we played without the rules for the boards when one showed up after picking randomly. THey definitely liked it. I won't be surprised if they own it next time I go.





I had taught Rob and one other guy Coloretto at Toon Con. He wanted me to teach it to Leah as well. He suspected she would like it too and of course she did. We played twice.





I had played Dominion at Toon Con and liked it so we had a game of this near midnight. Then back home and to bed.




Sunday

Sunday It was back to Darlene and me and as usual, daughter Ashley came for the day. Ash doesn't play much but agreed to a game of Nacho Incident. She asked for a second game after losing the first which enabled her to win.


11 games played all week 2 of which were expansions.
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25. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I had a pretty good week to close out September. Even a couple new to me games.


I've had Legendary: Villains – A Marvel Deck Building Game for a while now and finally gave it a play on Tuesday. I tried it out solo to see how it plays. Pretty much the same as Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, but from the villains point of view. In this solo game, I used Green Goblin, Juggernaut and Mysterio to defeat Dr. Strange (with the Defenders and the SHIELD Assault Squad). It was good and the playmat that comes with it is nice. Can't complain. I need to get a full blown game in soon. I always like the Legendary games better with more people.


Wednesday in my house is hurry home from church to make sure we are ready to watch Survivor. Now, when I say we, I mean everyone but me. Just never really cared much about that show. My daughter mentioned playing something with me quick before the show started and she picked Exit. We played two quick games, each winning one by getting the black disk out. This game has definitely been a fun little game for my daughter and I.


While the rest of the family was watching the show, I turned to Ghost Stories for a little entertainment. The last time I played, I got a rule a little wrong (didn't affect the game that much) and this time I think I got everything right. This time, I got my butt kicked. The dice did not like me, the ghost just kept coming and coming, I couldn't get the help I needed from the villagers, the village got over run. I don't think I even got halfway thru the ghost deck. Sad, very sad. A group of us are getting together in October for gaming, might go with a Halloween theme, I think I'll see if anybody feels like getting their collective buts kicked with me in this game. It would work for a Halloween theme, right?


My son has been talking with one of his friends at school about Magic: The Gathering. His friend plays and my son decided he really needed to get some cards to play. He's been saving his money to buy a Russian Tortoise, but to my surprise, his need to get Magic was stronger. So, while at Target on Friday nite, we made a deal with him, he could go look at the cards and buy a set if he would try on some new school clothes. You know boys, you have to bribe them to try on clothes. So, after doing his duty (without complaining) we went to the cards. I convinced him (and I hope I'm right, because I don't know anything about this game) to buy a core set. It was a deckbuilder set and came with 285 cards. I said this should allow you to build multiple decks. So, as soon as we got home, I was talked into figuring out how to play. Now, unless I'm mistaken, it's actually not to difficult of a game as far as the basic rules go. We played one game before bed time and he kicked my butt. I just hope this doesn't become a "money pit" for him.


On Saturday, we finally got schedules to work out that my wife's friend was able to come down from the Twin Cities to play some games with us. It was a double bonus, she gets to spend time with a good friend she doesn't see enough, I get to play games with some fun people. Win/win!! My wife also invited her friend's sister to come and play. Her sister lives closer, only about 15 mins away, so that worked out great. While we waited for the sister to arrive with the pizza, my wife and I taught Julie how to play Love Letter. I do enjoy this light quick game. I like that a-ha moment people get when they finally figure out how the cards work together. I got to see that again. Julie beat us soundly in this game.


Christie was taking quite a while to get there with the pizza, so we needed another game that's easy to teach and plays relatively quickly. My wife suggested Octopus' Garden. I truly like this game, although I don't ever seem to win. It's easy, it's got a little strategy, it's not confrontational, just fun. I tried to quickly fille up my garden and end the game while the girls were about halfway done with their gardens. This strategy didn't work out very well for me. I just didn't have enough high scoring tiles. We had a good time playing this one and as expected, my wife won (like she always does in this game)


After Christie got there with the pizza, my daughter wanted to play a game with us. I dusted off Wildlife Safari. Another game that's easy to teach and play, and has some good potential "take that" to it. I forgot how much I like this game as well. I think my daughter just likes to try and stack the animals more than playing the game, but that's ok, as long as she's having fun! Julie squeaked out the victory in this one. It was a tight race.


We then got to the game that Julie really wanted to play and she also wanted her sister to give it a try... Tobago. I always think describing how the ATV's move in this game is the hardest part. But, Christie picked up on it right away. My daughter decided to stick around and asked if she could do the dealing out of treasure's. Sure, it's nice to have an impartial person do that. Every time we play this game, my wife always comments how it ends so quick. She wishes there were more treasure cards, so the game would last a little longer. I tend to agree. It seems we are just getting into it and bang, it's over. Christie won this game. So, everyone but me has won a game so far.


My 100th play of Pandemic!! Since Julie and Christie were newbies to this, we only used 4 Epidemic cards. Just because it was the 100th play, the game did not take it easy on us. We lost on outbreaks. Play 101 went better for us, although we got the player deck all the way down to the last card when we cured the last disease. I was trying really hard to use my Researcher powers and in my last turn, I gave my wife the cards she needed to cure the last disease. She was the next player and won the game for us. Those are the fun ones, the games that go down to the wire, you never know if you are going to win or lose. Great memories. Julie and Christie commented that they have to get this game. They must have enjoyed it.
Before they left for the night, we played one more game of Love Letter. Good way to wrap up the evening.


Little did I know, while I was playing games with my wife and her friends, my son was in his room pouring over his Magic: The Gathering cards. So, on Sunday before church, he brought out his newly constructed deck and proceeded to trounce me like a little rag doll! We played 4 games in total on Sunday and I was lucky to win one game. I was using the same quickly tossed together deck from Friday night for each game. I don't mind losing, it's fun to spend time with him at the table. Can a dad complain??


My wife took the kids and dogs out to the farm to visit her folks and wear out both the kids and dogs on Sunday afternoon. I got the lawn mowed and did some cleaning up of some game stuff. I also did a solo play (Rahdo style) of Atlantic Star. I bought this game over a year ago from an auction and haven't played it yet. Shame on me! I wanted to learn how it works before I try to play it with anybody else. I've found this is a great way to figure a game out before trying to teach anybody else. See how it flows, any quirks to be aware of, etc. It ended up being pretty straight forward. I look forward to playing this with real people. There were plenty of times when I had to decide if I should wait for a card, or spend the money to get one farther down the line? Should be a fun game I think.

Have a great week everyone!
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