GCL Amoeba 190 - PnP
Garry Rice
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Perkasie
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GameChat League - Amoeba Division 189

ABOUT | AMOEBA DIVISION | SUBSCRIBE

Welcome to this week's Amoeba discussion list. If you have found us through a subscription and are wondering where you are, see the links above. Non-trolling comments from non-members are welcome and encouraged, but please leave adding items to the members.


Max DuBoff (MD1616)
Larry (larryjrice)
Jeroen Doumen (jmdsplotter)
Eric Brosius (Eric Brosius)
Jevon (cadavaca)
Joshua(Joshuaaaaaa)
Mikko (msaari)
Doug Faust (phrim)
Toms (painkiller)
Carlos (sprocket314)
Garry (garry_rice)

Perhaps some of you have noticed, but I build a fair number of print and play games. I'm relatively new here and I'd be curious to know if any of you have ever attempted a pnp or if you're quite happy to stick with published games
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1. Board Game: Argent: The Consortium [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:462]
Garry Rice
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Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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Have you ever built a game to get access to it sooner? Or to try it to determine if you want to buy the actual game?
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2. Board Game: Supermarché [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:9312]
Garry Rice
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Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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Have you ever looked into the many free pnp games that are developed and hosted here on BGG. There are a number of contests that seem to run fairly regularly for micro games, solitaire games, and the like.
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3. Board Game: Forged in Steel [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:3008]
 
Garry Rice
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Perkasie
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Have you ever put together a pnp of a prototype? Provided feedback to the designer?
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4. Board Game: Skyway Robbery [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:5708]
Garry Rice
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Will your game group play a pnp game if you make it cheaply (i.e. paper stuffed in sleeves, cardstock board, etc), or does it need to have near final art with good quality parts?
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5. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:129]
Garry Rice
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Nothing new this week Hoping to receive Clinic early this week and give it a try in my game group this Saturday!

Couple of games revisted:

Galaxy Trucker: The app came out...I've played it several times with my son now using the turn based version, and it works pretty well, although I still prefer the original draw/build like mad, since the turn based version can get a bit frustrating if you can't draw the "better" parts. It's still an excellent way to play though!

VivaJava the Dice Game: I enjoy this dice game, especially since you can set up every game differently. One of these days I'd like to try one of the variant boards that were included in the game to see how it affects the game...Caleb wound up beating me to 21 points by one turn...sigh.

Bohnanza: Caleb and I seem to play this one on the iPad fairly regularly. I finally mentioned something about the two player variant to him this week, so we may actually pull out the physical game to give it a try in the near future, but we'll see
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6. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:645]
Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
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_8.5_ Julius Caesar: I had a particularly exciting win in this over my normal WGR opponent (we use VASSAL, of course, but he and I are both WGR regulars). I was took Pompey, and I had started out with Jupiter and got Legio X (potentially the best unit in the game), only to have him respond with Apollo on the next card play and take it back. He never really got anything going in Spain, and I managed to hold Spain for the duration of the game. I vacated Italy but was slow in building my navy. I got Athens and determined to keep it. He got the Ancyra unit pretty early, but I was making Antioch into a fortress since I was never able to use the units there to make other advances in Asia Minor (my first hand was low on activation points). The Caesarian navy shored up control of Ephesus, and Byzantium remained in Caesarian hands until the middle of the game, when I managed to capture it. It was only lightly defended because most of the Caesarian forces in the area were deep in Asia Minor. I killed Antony at some point. Caesar laid siege to Antioch. When he stormed the walls, he managed to narrowly capture the city, forcing the three Pompeian units left to beat a hasty retreat. Fortunately for Pompey, no leaders died, and Pompey was soon strong again. Utica was captured, but I brought a bunch of units to Greece. Caesar made a last-second play for Alexandria, but it was not to be. The final score was 9-5, but the game was much closer than the score makes it appear. I have some lucky die rolls at key times, I admit, but it was a tense and exciting game.


_5_ Rummikub: A cousin of mine, who's not much of a boardgamer, was in this weekend, but he did agree to play this. There were three of us. I somehow managed to win, actually.


_8.5_ Commands & Colors: Ancients: I played another league game of this. I had the Caesarian forces at Zela. I didn't quite live up to the historical expectations, since much of my heavy infantry was demolished at the beginning, but I did manage to pull off a close 7-6 win.


_8.5_ 3x Manoeuvre: I played a playoff series of this again Riku, who I'm sure you all know is no slouch at anything. (He's a former league champion of this, actually.)

Game 1: My French lost to the British 12-13 at sundown. I went second.
Game 2: My Prussians beat the Spanish 13-9 at sundown. I went second.
Game 3: My Russians lost to the Spanish 4-11 at sundown. I went second.

Overall, Riku definitely outplayed me, cycling a bit quicker and not being as risky with unit positioning.
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7. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:286]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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New to Me:

None

Return Visits:

d10-6 Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set x2
d10-7 Linko! x2
d10-7 No Thanks! x2
d10-7 Concordia x1
d10-7 Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia x1
d10-8 Five Tribes x1
d10-7 For Sale x1
d10-7 Istanbul x1
d10-9 Keyflower x1
d10-7 Macao x1
d10-8 Nations x1
d10-7 Run, Fight, or Die! x1

Random Musings:

No Thanks, For Sale, and Linko are all excellent fillers that I continue to enjoy.

My group finally lost a Pathfinder attempt for the first time in Adventure 6, scenario 3. We survived, we just didn't win thanks to a stupid spider almost taking me out. My character almost died if it hadn't been for Mike's character just saving me. We beat the spiders in our second attempt.

This was the first time I played Nations where each person started with a unique nation board. I found it fun and did win as Rome. Our three player game played quickly as we all knew the game and we finished in 90 minutes.

I didn't do any better in a second play of Macao in a week but I still won.

I am starting to tire of Istanbul - starting to feel a bit samey after 11 plays. Time for some expansion tiles!

=========================================

Looking forward to trying out a couple new games next week with CliniC, Evolution, Panamax, Core World Revolution, and Tiny Epic Kingdoms coming... Also, there is a strong likelihood of attending GMT West on Saturday and Sunday so I'm looking forward to that (although the 4-5 AM start to drive out on Saturday is less exciting!).


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8. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:928]
Mikko Saari
Finland
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1 x _9_Carcassonne
1 x _9_Tarock
8 x _8_Coconuts
2 x _8_Splendor
1 x _8_Animal Upon Animal
2 x _8_The Magic Labyrinth
2 x _7_Walnut Grove
1 x _7_Indigo
1 x _7_Dragonland
1 x _7_Subdivision
1 x _7_Lost Valley
1 x _7_Quantum (new!)
1 x _7_Lewis & Clark (new!)
2 x _5_Kayanak
4 x _4_Don't Rock the Boat

A box of games I bought used arrived, containing China, Lost Valley, Lewis & Clark and Walnut Grove. I also got my copy of CliniC, but haven't had time to try that out yet. The rulebook is a bit daunting.

These were mostly games I got in order to play with my son, and Lost Valley and Walnut Grove have already proven successful. We did try Lewis & Clark, but that sure is a long game. We played for an hour or so, and then stopped, when it was clear that I would win in a camp cycle or two.

Quantum seems interesting, but it's too early to say anything else.

I started doing a Top 100 list. Well, I made it already, but now I'm working on publishing it. The first part is online on my blog.

Hmm, I'm being a bit harsh on Kayanak there, it wasn't as bad as I remembered, a 6 is a more accurate rating, I think.
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9. Board Game: Peloponnes [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:677]
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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2x _9.00_ Unpublished Prototype
2x _5.25_ Black Box
1x _7.25_ Twixt
1x _6.50_ Peloponnes
1x _6.50_ Pente
1x _6.25_ Panthalos

A slow week of gaming, as some of the plans got cancelled. I played a few older abstracts (Twixt is still a great game).

The new Peloponnes expansion was quite nice - even if both of us got the opportunity to sacrifice humans every round fairly quickly. It's a nice way of building up some population points. And I still enjoy the base game every now and then, especially with a fresh expansion added regularly.

We also got a 2p Panthalos in. I suspect it's much nicer with more, as it felt like we had a bit too much space, and the underworld monsters were too easy to defeat. But all in all an enjoyable worker-placement game, with a few added twists: your workers collect experience, which allows them to use extra spaces on the board. And they have to rest a turn after performing an action...

Work on the new prototype continues, but it is too fickle to bring to Essen. Pity. Still, I'm happy with where it is going now - it seems like we got all the needed ingredients together now. Let's see what disappears next .
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10. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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I have just one title to report on so far, though I expect to add more after tonight.

_8_ Star Realms x5 -- Claire is going away for a few days, but last night she asked me if I wanted to play some Star Realms. We played three games, and as I started to put it away, she said "we need to play one more!" So we did, and then she needed to play yet another. It was pretty exciting, as we've started the adopt the "forget defense, I'm going Blob whole hog" approach when the cards are right. In one exciting game, she got me down to 1 authority and agonized over scrapping her big ship to draw 1 more card to try to kill me. She decided not to, and I then laid down about 28 hit points of mostly Blob to kill her. She had to look at the next card, and yes, she would have won the game if she had drawn it!

I'm now up to 21 plays for a game I received on August 27. And Claire had played just about as much (we've each played some with other people.)

[ Edited to add games from last night ]

.10! Saint Petersburg -- It was a holiday for most people yesterday, and even for those of us who went to work the traffic was much lighter than usual, so we arrived a little early. I started with the by-now-standard opening game of Saint Petersburg, with Marsha and John. The early worker cards were expensive, with no 3's until the last turn and a lot of 5's and 6's, so it was a cash-poor game. The first building flip had two Observatories, which John and Marsha took before it even got to me, but at least I didn't have to take a blue card to clear space. I decided I'd better play for a game where there were plenty of nobles every turn, nullifying their Observatories, and for the most part I managed to do this. In turn 3 I managed to build four Customs Houses, giving me a big building VP income for the rest of the game while also freeing up a batch of nobles (I had lots of hand space all game while they were clogging their hands) and this proved to be enough for the victory. John was even left with a card in hand while Marsha was too poor to take all the juicy nobles on the last turn.

.10! Outpost -- It's sad, but I had only played two games of Outpost in 2014: quite a comedown from the 23 I managed in 2011! But Marsha came to my rescue by suggesting that the same group play a 3-player game of Outpost, given that the other tables were nowhere near finishing their games. I got some bad luck early with lousy card draws, but managed to nip at my opponents' heels all game. You know, detractors complain about the "runaway leader problem" in Outpost, but I don't see it in games with experienced players. In this game, the final scores were 78-75-74, with Marsha winning and John finishing second. That's pretty close, if you ask me.

_8_ Samarkand -- One of the other tables finished and some people left, but we had time for a shortish 5-player game. This one was really short, as Marsha rolled big numbers on the die several times to rocket around the board and make it to $500 just about as quickly as I've ever seen anyone do it.

It was still early, but I was tired and left after just three games.
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11. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:381]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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2 x Camel Up
1 x Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary

Only 3 games played, but highlight of the week wasn't game playing. We received big package of games from Germany ordered in Amazon and ebay. And what games these are. I just wish I could finish my doctors thesis as fast as possible to start playing them.

It all started with El Grande. Everyone keeps talking, how good this already classic is. And then package of games in ebay came up, including 4 (!) Spiel des Jahres winners: El Grande, Niagara, Wacky Wacky West, Mississippi Queen, and Lord of the Rings. We managed to buy it for 18.50 EUR, which seems like a reasonable price. Maybe we should've stopped there. Now, now. Not this time. Considering combined shipping costs, German Amazon was visited. And they had sales... 3 other games were purchased: Thebes: The Tomb Raiders, Time 'n' Space, Camel Up.

When package arrived, I had another pleasant surprise. My girlfriend somehow managed to find Colosseum for decent price and added it to our purchase without me even knowing.

Pile of great games waiting to be tried. Not much better feelings than this one.
My number of games+expansions owned now is 98. Now what could be number 100 to buy?

Last weekend we already tried Camel Up. I didn't have high expectations, because reviews are very different. Bought it as a light game, and Spiel des Jahres factor worked. And I'm glad to see that game's fine and definitely fun.
Also nice experience with our gaming group partners recently acquired Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary edition. Actually the game itself is still the same. But those components are gorgeous.
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12. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:119]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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This weekend I went to Tom DeMarco's house con.

-SATURDAY-

_7_ The Princes of Florence - This was with me, Anni, Tom, Mike, and Barbara. Everyone had played before, but Mike and Barbara were rusty. I ended up getting the first turn jester, and nobody worked on the first turn (which shouldn't surprise me). What did surprise me, though, is that nobody worked on the second turn either, except me. I realized that I wasn't going have room for all the buildings for my works, so my buildingless 2nd-turn work won me best work. I managed to get best work in the third turn too. From there, I laid low until late in the game, and because I got a couple of specific prestige cards that said I needed to get extra stuff, I didn't end up buying a bonus card all game. Six works and two fulfilled prestige cards was all I needed though, and I ended up winning.

_9_ Vegas Showdown - This was with me, Anni, Paul, Mike K., and his 8-year-old son Aaron, who was playing for the first time. FYI, my last game of Vegas Showdown with Mike was in the finals at WBC (he won). I bought a $9 slots on the first round, and followed it up with an early sports book. On the blue side, I got a lounge out from the opening, put a restaurant above it, and two fancy lounges below it. It was a good opening, but Mike got a fancy lounge too, so I knew I'd have competition for the theater if it came up. I got a nightclub in the midgame, but I was disappointed I couldn't use it to fill my yellow section, as all of my lounges were in blue, so I put it unhelpfully in the middle. I kept trying to connect this nightclub to my yellow section with a lounge, but the first time I did this I was outbid by Aaron (who seemed a little obsessed with lounges), and the second time I was outbid by Paul, who just wanted to keep me from connecting. I tried to overbid him once, but he raised and I was too stubborn to go to 15. When what was sure to be the last turn of the game came around, the other nightclub came out (no theater this game), and because of the unfortunate placement of my previous nightclub, I didn't have any spots next to a lounge to place it next to. I ended up winning a bidding war over a sports book to fill up my yellow. Of course, in the cards that flipped before the game ended, ad campaign came out and I didn't have any money. It was pretty closely bunched in the end, Mike won, Aaron surprised everyone by getting second, and I think I was fourth.

_8_ Russian Railroads - This was with me, Anni, Anne, and Steve. I tried to go heavy on the Vladivostok track, and was aggressive on the turn order for engineers that help me build track. Anne, on the other hand, was very aggressive on the Kiev track, and was the first to pick up cards, grabbing the 9 train and putting it on Kiev. She rocketed out in front, earning $70/turn before I was even making $30. I managed to get enough engineers to be in the running for most engineers, and on the last turn, Steve didn't have any coins left, so he never could grab the last engineer to beat me. (Oddly, no one actually picked up the final turn engineer.) By the end, my per-turn income had finally exceeded Anne's and Steve's, but it just wasn't fast enough. I finished with 400 points, which seems like a decent score, but I ended up in 3rd as Anne won.

_6_ Elasund: The First City (new!) - This was with me, Anni, and Jim; only Jim had played before. We all figured out pretty early on that money was essential, and the other cards were not nearly as powerful, so I built my money building in the middle on the good numbers. Unfortunately, it got plowed over by another player, so I had to rebuild it (but still got it on the good numbers). Anni and Jim went more aggressively after both the walls and the windmills than I did--in both cases, I did enough to get one point and then I was done. Instead, I focused on income and trying to build the buildings worth points, trying to build them out of the way where no one would bother them. Toward the end of the game, I did manage to get out the giant building that is worth two points, which was pretty satisfying. Unfortunately though, Jim won by getting two points at once (one of them was windmill) before I could get my final point cube on the table.

-SUNDAY-

_6_ The Seafarers of Catan - This was with me, Anne, Marsha, and one other. The set up here was a bit of a mess--apparently Marsha wanted to play after having played some computer implementation, but no one actually knew the setup rules. Complicating this was that Anne's set was a mismosh of different editions with tons of expansions mixed in, with rules in many different languages. We ended up just setting it up how it looked on the back of the box and playing until 12, but I'm not convinced that this was an actual scenario. Anyway, the initial board only had 3 wheat spaces, an 8/4 off to the edge that was far away from the islands, and an 11 that was closer to the action. I plopped an initial settlement on the 8/4 spot, and no one else joined me in that corner of the board. Anne unfortunately kept getting (unintentionally) cut off no matter where she tried to build. I easily had the best production on the board (plus I was pretty much the only one with wheat), so I worked on my infrastructure on the main island, whereas everyone else took off sailing right away. This reinforced my resource lead, which I used later on to build out to an island for the points. (On a side note, I was able to lay low with my actual point total for a while, since others had the 2-point bonus for building on and island and the longest road early.) In any case, I continued to churn and eventually won with largest army.

_6_ Daytona 500 (new!) - This was with me, Tom, Dave, and one other. There were 6 cars for 4 people, so I thought it would be advantageous to make sure to win two of them. I ended up with blue and yellow, which placed 4th and 6th in the standings. Well, I guess getting 2 cars isn't as advantageous as I thought. However, I am a glutton for punishment, and got 2 cars again for the second round (coincidentally, again the blue and yellow). My cars finished better this time, which was encouraging. So, third round comes around, and I again grab two cars. (As an aside, having two cars just might be more fun than one car, regardless of whether it's better.) This time though, I manage to play my cards right and come in second and third. Tom ran away with it because his single car kept coming in first, but my 2/3 finish in the last round catapulted me into 2nd place overall.
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