What Did You Play Last Week? 11/17/2014
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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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/17489331#17489331

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/181861/17-november-2014-wh...

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: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Just posting this up top in hope that folks who are looking for challenges for Star Realms can post their IDs and feel free to challenge away! I know there is a geeklist as well, I'll post that link here too.

http://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/180991/star-realms-online-...


Star Realms IDs:

Vacabck
Goldom
Carterjray
Punkin
Tatsu
arthuriovan
DoctorDuck
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2. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:321]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Well, it was another week of lots of plays of Star Realms on the app. Really a great game to play via the app, but I can't help but get irritated at the lack of luck sometimes in my draws, reminds me of Magic a bit. I could never get the right cards at the right time. Oh well, just keep playing I suppose. Also still playing a whole lot of Deus over on boiteajeux.net. Still quite liking the game, it's just hard to learn and get any kind of strategy going when it's 24 hours in between turns, at least for me. But I'm getting it, slowly.

Tuesday afternoon I managed to catch my wife at the right time and she agreed to play a game of Ginkgopolis. Still one of my favorites, I love how the game board evolves and changes as the game progresses. Not to mention the tableau building in this one that kind of gets overlooked. Really a fantastic game. I won this one 103-92.



Last night before bed, Gabby and I ran through a game of Seasons. This time, after about 10 plays, Gabby finally allowed me to put in the remaining 20 cards and we drafted our cards. She tried to chain together some cards that would give her crystals early on from me everytime I activated a card and every time the season changed, so for the first year, I didn't gain any crystals. This irritated her pretty good, haha. Ended up being a close game with me winning 171-162. Still fun and maybe in another few plays I'll get to add the first expansion into the mix.



Game night this evening, not sure what's on the agenda, but I'm bringing along Five Tribes and possibly Lagoon: Land of Druids but I'm secretly hoping for a couple older games, been dying to play El Grande and a few others that I have never gotten to play on the table.

Also, if any of you all are on Twitter, I'm over there as well as @Vacabck

Have a great week!!!

And just in case folks are interested in the big news of the day: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=5212

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3. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:18]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Wednesday

I travel to Yangon, Myanmar early in the week. My negotiations fail to achieve a major breakthrough unfortunately which really disappointed me, but this means I had a bit more time Wednesday to cheer myself up by playing a couple of solo games!

Mage Knight Board Game = 2 Plays

Game 1: I select Krang to be my Mage Knight, with Norowas as the dummy player.

Day 1 AM: Krang conquers a Wizard Tower and defeats a wandering monster, ending up at level 3 with 8 fame.


Day 1 PM: A great evening round as 4 tiles are revealed despite the darkness, and Krang manages to conquer a dungeon and 2 more wandering monsters to reach 18 fame and level 4


Day 2 AM: Krang finally finds both the green (level 5) and white (level 8) cities. He also has been recruiting units by intimidating them, costing him some reputation. With their help Krang defeats a dragon plus another monster in an ancient ruins, and he thus gains an artifact and another unit as rewards! Krang is now at level 5 with 33 Fame.


Day 2 PM: The round has Krang successfully assault the Green City after several tries. The presence of a healing glade beside the city helps him get rid of several wounds sustained during the battle. He is now at level 7 with 55 Fame.

Day 3 AM: Krang's assault at the White City has him only manage to defeat a defender, and he is forced to retreat to the healing glade in order to get rid of wounds. Level 8 and 70 Fame.


Day 3 PM: Success at last! The White City is brought down after 2 more assaults!


Day 3 PM: End of game map plus all the defeated enemies.


Final score: My first victory in the Solo Quest scenario with my high score of 145 points!

Game 2: Encouraged by my success, I start another game. This time I use Tovak with Goldyx and the dummy player.


Day 1 AM: Tovak has a great starting round as he defeats a wandering monster and conquers a wizard tower, and he also manages to get 3 blue mana in order to fulfill a quest at an ancient ruins! He ends up at 14 Fame and at level 3

Day 1 PM: The coming of night slows Tovak down however, as he manages to defeat a couple of weak wandering monsters to end up at 19 fame and level 4.


Day 2 AM: Tovak finally finds the Level 5 red city, but he runs into trouble from an Ice Dragon after defeating 2 wandering monsters. He defeats it but at a cost, and is at level 5 with 31 fame.

Day 2 PM: The accumulated wounds take their toll as Tovak has great difficulty in getting rid of them, and that means Goldyx triggers the end of the round before Tovak has really done something. He does end up with 39 Fame and is at level 6 after defeating another dragon.

Day 3 AM: Tovak fulfills another quest in an ancient ruins and starts his assault on the red city after revealing the level 8 blue city tile. The day ends with him defeating 2 of the defenders, but the red city still has 1 defender left. Tovak is now at level 7 with 53 fame.


Day 3 PM: The final night has Tovak finally conquering the red city. I knew he did not have enough to assault the blue city, so he spends the remaining time in defeating the monsters in a nearby double burrow. He ends up at level 8 and 70 fame.


Tovak's defeated enemies


A loss, with Tovak ending up with just 86 fame!

The difference in both games was that I was more aggressive with Krang in the early game. This meant that I managed to get more rewards such as spells and artifacts earlier, and Krang also managed to recruit more units. Tovak got bogged down by his wounds, and this critically slowed him down in the midgame instead of leveling up. Fortune favors the bold in this game!

Thursday

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game = 1 Play

I bring this out during my layover in Singapore's Changi airport. My random selection had the grey (with the Psychic Librarian), Red (with the Assault Cannon), and Yellow (with the Lightning Claw) teams comprise the squad, and meant that I had a lot of offensive firepower which could theoretically handle hordes of genestealers.


Location 2 and Location 3: The team has a relatively easy time moving from the airlock to the Black Holds then into the Hibernation Chamber


Location 3: Brother Leon (and his powerful Assault Cannon) falls!


Location 4: Despite the loss the squad leaves the horde behind and manage to enter the Toxin Pumping Station quietly. Where is the enemy?


Location 4: The horde emerges and Brother Valencio falls despite the use of Toxic chemicals to flush the genestealers. The red team is eliminated!


Location 4: The remaining marines hold fast and clean the hulk of tyranids with the use of Psychic Blasts, Boltgun shells, and Hand to Hand claws for the win!

Friday

Friday evening was another McDonald's Council session! We were at 4P as Kent, Keith, and Jim joined me for a great evening of gaming!

Homesteaders = 1 Play

The council began with a play of this excellent auction game. It was Keith's first play of this but the mechanics are quite straightforward and intuitive so he got it pretty quick. What is more difficult to catch is what strategy to use in order to win. Keith managed to build up a VP engine through his buildings and a money engine through passing a lot and advancing on the railway development track. Kent had an early money engine and used it to buy valuable buildings mid-game onwards. I had early difficulty with money due to my early expansion of workers which forced me to take a loan, but despite this I managed to get a building built most of the turns. This meant I had more options for actions and my money issues were solved mid-game when I used my workers to mine gold as well as raise cattle. I also managed to collar 2 of the late game buildings which gave me VP bonuses for each worker I had, and this was the critical boost which enabled me to overtake everyone and win by just 1 point over Kent!


Me (yellow bottom left) 59 Kent (red upper left) 58 Keith (blue bottom right) 54 Jim (green upper right) 49


Scoresheet

Straw = 2 Plays (NEW)

Kent and Keith then taught us to play this light filler. Basically you have a camel which can hold a weight of 50, and eveyone plays cards which will usually add weight to the camel, or sometimes reduce weight or change the order of play. You are doing this yet are trying not to be the one that plays the card which exceeds the total of 50, since that means your card broke the camel's back and you are out, and then everyone else tallies their remaining cards the one with the highest remaining total wins. It is a very light filler, and the tension comes as the weight nears 50 since you want to have a high valued cards yet these may cause you to go over the weight limit if your turn comes. The art is nice (reminds me of Guillotine) and the game plays fast enough not to overstay it's welcome.

Game 1: Jim breaks the camel's back, and I had the highest remaining total with 26 for the win!
Game 2: I manage to bring the weight total to 50, and Keith plays the straw card which is an instawin if this is played when the weight is exactly 50!


My winning hand in game 1. Not the straw that broke the camel's back!

Five Tribes = 1 Play

Keith gets to try this hotness for the first time, and the rest of us get a chance to see how this game plays with 4 players from last week's 3P experience. There was a big difference which I attributed more with the tile and meeple layout than the player count, although with 1 more player the bidding war seemed to be more tight and expensive. It was much more difficult to control the tiles and to activate the castle and tree placement. Djinn summoning was less frequent in this game, with Keith being the only one to collect more than 1. Kent and Jim ended up hoarding the bulk of the Viziers, while I did the best job with the Merchants as well as the tiles for card collection. The end of the game occurred when no legal moves could be done, and I really thought Kent would be the winner due to his huge 40 points Vizier score. The card collection I did redeemed me however, and I end up overtaking Kent and winning the game, with the scores being much lower than our initial outing!

Score breakdown: Me 128 (VP 28 Elders 2 Djinn 10 Tiles 20 Castles 15 Cards 53) Kent 118 (VP 35 Viziers 40 Elders 2 Djinn 6 Tiles 29 Tree 6) Keith 109 (VP 25 Elders 6 Djinn 18 Tiles 44 Trees 9 Cards 7) Jim 61 (VP 3 Viziers 26 Tiles 19 Cards 13).


Me (black bottom left) 128 Kent (orange upper left) 118 Keith (blue bottom right) 109 Jim (pink upper right) 61

Fleet = 1 Play

We closed the evening with this nice engine building card game. My copy was blinged out since the promo stuff had arrived, and this meant we had a lot of options for the game. The randomized licences were cod, shrimp, processing vessel, char, swordfish, fisherman's wharf and marina. The randomized dock cards were Inuit fisherman, houseboat, and salty captain, and we used the crab meeples, trophies, and gone fishing bay cards.

The game itself was a contrast of strategies. The presence of several dock and bay cards gave everyone new options. Jim went with a balanced approach and managed to get 2 crab meeples and a trophy. Keith focused more on standard licenses, boat launches, and fishing a lot of crates and even managed to get a trophy. Kent had a different approach by buying a lot of houseboats, which he then used to grab several premium licenses, at the cost of getting few launched boats and crates. I used an early char license to enable me to save cards in my hand from being used as captains, and coupled with a shrimp license mid game also enabled me to compete with Kent for some of the other premium licenses. This was a high scoring game, and the final breakdown was Me 81 (Licenses 36 Boats 13 Crates 25 Crab 5 Marina 2) Kent 81 (Lic 45 Boats 8 Gone Fishing 2 Crates 14 Crab 10 Marina 2) Jim 68 (Lic 21 Boats 9 Gone Fishing 2 Crates 21 Crab 10 Trophy 5) Keith 66 (Lic 21 Boats 15 Crates 25 Trophy 5). The tie was broken in my favor since I had 8 launched boats to Kent's 6, and this means I win another game!


Me (bottom left) 81 Kent (upper left) 81 Jim (upper right) 68 Keith (bottom right) 66

A great night for me, as I win 4 out of 5 games!

Sunday

Zombie Dice 3: School Bus = 2 Plays (NEW)

Sunday morning had Shawn and I test out the new school bus expansion.

Game 1: Shawn was first and the school bus die's 3 brain face definitely helped him boost to the lead, and also later helped me catch up as he was reaching 15 brains. I was still unable to catch up with Shawn, however, and he wins 16-13!


Game 2: The second game was a bit slower as we both got run over by the school bus several times. Dead end symbols did help us get more brains however, and I had a great final turn as I reach 18 brains to Shawn's 8. The school bus made catching up to me very feasible though, but this was not the case as Shawn ended up with just 11.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue = 1 Play

The evening had Sherwin, Shawn and I tackle another burning building. While I still started the game at the recruit setting, this time I flipped over the board to the more difficult map. Shawn reprised his role as the rescue dog while Sherwin started the game as the Fire Captain, while I was the rescue specialist. We had Sherwin do the commanding from the fire truck, as he could use the water cannon to put out flames and then command us to enter the building, and this was precisely what happened as the rescue dog could then enter, identify, and drag out the victims after the flames were doused, and my rescue specialist supported the dog by opening doors and bashing down walls (only if necessary). Things were going well as we had rescued 5 victims and it seemed things were under control, but then the fires claimed 2 victims and it was then a race to rescue 2 more before the flames engulf one more, which would make us lose! Shawn and I spent our turns slowly dragging people towards the door, and every roll for the fires was tense since a poor one could easily cost us the game. Luckily this was not to be and the 7th victim was saved and we win!


The team snatches the 7th victim from the building as the flames escalate!
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4. Board Game: Black Fleet [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:641]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Black Fleet - I played a 4 player game of Black Fleet on Wednesday night. It was mostly the same group who played with us the last time, but my wife was working, so another player sat in. We all still really enjoyed it. It was really easy to teach to the new player. We had tons of interaction, pirates attacking and then being sunk before they could bury their booty. Merchants crossing the board trying to use the shelter of the Navy ships to ease their passing. The first development card I bought gave me 3 bucks for every good I sold, which I thought would make my life easier by allowing me to sail to closer ports to sell. In reality, though, everyone else did such a good job blocking me that I think I might have had an easier time going for the distant ports. I was poised to win in 2 turns, but one of the other players purchased their last card (with $9 to spare!) and I didn't get to finish. Lots of fun in this box, and a decent amount of variety.
Rating: 7.5

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set - I played a two player game of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game with a friend this week. This is a game I had steered clear of because every review I had seen, including the positive ones, made it look to me like an incredibly simple game with few decisions. My buddy picked it up for a good price in an auction, though, so I figured it was worth at least trying. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I sort of blindly picked Lini to play, mostly because I thought her affinity with animals was cool. I didn't realize until later that she didn't begin with any weapons at all, which made me slightly regret my decision. Her special abilities were really pretty great, though. My friend played a barbarian of some kind, so he had a lot of weapons, and passed me a quarterstaff that really helped with Lini's shortcomings. We closed out 3 of the 4 locations and were literally one card away from the final fight when we both died. Like I said, I enjoyed playing this more than I thought I would. I'd definitely play it again, maybe even do a whole campaign.
Rating: 7

Arena: Roma II - After Pathfinder, we had a little bit of time to kill, so I taught him Arena: Roma II. This is a great, fast playing two player game. In this particular game, neither of us drew much in the way of attack cards, so it was more of a tug of war with points. He never filled up all 7 card slots, so he was losing points every turn, but he got some nice rolls with the forum to collect 5 points here and 6 points there. I also had a forum, but was only able to activate it a couple of times (once for 2 and once for 5). The game ended when the general point supply was exhausted, with him winning 26-15 (I think).
Rating: 7

BraveRats - After I left my friend's place, I met my wife downtown for a pint before we headed home. I arrived to discover that her car wouldn't start. So, while we waited for the tow truck, she took BraveRats out of her purse and we played about 6 games. This game is ridiculously simple, but a lot of fun. Each player has 16 cards, and each round you play one. For the most part, it's just high card wins, but each card has a special ability which adds a surprising amount of depth. The game is all about trying to figure out what your opponent might play and countering that (or at least playing something that will mitigate the damage). She took the first game handily, and the next one. I followed up with 2 wins of my own. Then we tied, which was annoying for both of us). We played a tie break and... My wife took it. It was tight, but she is the 2014 Tow Truck Tournament champion. I'll get her next time.
Rating: 7.5

Crokinole - We got together with some of our gaming friends on Sunday. They had a Crokinole board set up when we walked in the door. I've never played it before, but I like disc flicking, so I figured it would be fun. The rules were very simple to learn, so we were off and running in no time. I think we played something like 6 games of it throughout the day and evening. This game is a lot of fun. I always thought I would prefer something like Catacombs to Crokinole, just because of the theme, but it turns out that the Crokinole setup, and the quality of most boards (I think), make it a much more enjoyable game for me. In Catacombs, I immediately started thinking in terms of pool shots. You know, if I graze this disc here and bank it just so... In practice, that never worked for me. In Crokinole, I did the same thing, but it actually worked. The board is heavy and smooth enough, and the pegs are sturdy enough, that you never have to worry about other variables messing up your shots. Don't get me wrong, I screwed up plenty, but I never felt out of control. This game was a big hit. I think everyone left the house looking up boards on Amazon and Ebay.
Rating: 8

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game - I've been wanting to introduce these friends to Dead of Winter for a while and finally got the opportunity. It took maybe 20 minutes to teach everything, but everyone was pretty attentive and it went smoothly. There was some confusion about making noise while searching, but it was easily ironed out. Of course, I got the Betrayal objective. I had to tank their objective (we played "We Need More Samples") and have more followers than anyone else. This did not go well for me. I played it straight for most of the game, hoping to amass some followers before I started to turn up the pressure. Nearly every single other player drew follower cards in searches on their first turn. Not me. The only other person who didn't began her turn by moving to a location and rolling a bite on the exposure die. I was worried that that would ruin the game for her right there, and she did seem pretty upset about it. We continued on, though. The exposure die was just generally brutal for the whole game. At one point, a bite ripped through an entire location, killing, I think, 3 people. None of this helped me, though, since by the end of round 2 I was down to a single follower. Our round 2 and 3 crisis were both medicine related. We passed the first one, but the second was giving us a lot of trouble. We had 4 cards contributed on the last turn of the round, and only 2 morale left, so rather than give up the game, everyone agreed to exile someone. I was pretty happy when I was put on the block, since I wasn't going to win with my betrayal objective. My new exiled objective didn't help. I still needed more followers, but I was no longer a bad guy. It was all for naught, though, as we lost when adding zombies during the colony phase.

Despite the harshness and bad luck, I think everyone had a good time. Hopefully, we'll get to play again soon.
Rating: 8

It Happens.. - We finished the evening with a light Stefan Feld game, It Happens. I watched Rahdo's Run Through of this last week, and I thought it looked like it might be a bit too light. It surprised me, though. Even as restrictive as the rules end up being, the decisions can be really tough and interesting. Luck does play a huge role, though. I won this game but it was reasonably tight (I think the points broke down something like 42-39-36-35-19). I played a mix of trying to win areas, but also collecting items (each pair gives you 5 points). You can definitely be burned by bad rolls in this game, but you can mitigate it somewhat with the set collection aspect of the game. Deciding when to place your dice on a given card is its own sort of push your luck game. I quite liked this. I think anyone with kids might find it worth checking out. I don't have kids, but I might end up buying it anyway.
Rating: 7
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5. Board Game: Cyclades: Hades [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Tuesday was a big gaming day for me, with my tenth play of Gnostica for 2014. We had three players using the Swiss IJJ deck, and it was a close game! It was the first time I'd seen a win where another player also had 9+ points, and in this case the scores were 9-9-8. I really came from behind, having been reduced to a single 'mid well into the game. I grew a territory to Judgment, and then used that trump to draw only the cards I wanted for the rest of the game. My final territories were Judgment, The Empress, and Justice; and I was purple:


After Gnostica, Br. Goat and I stuck around for a couple of plays of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. These turned out to be a pair of brutal sweeps with my new Hastur/Shub "Dark Service" deck against his "Ophidophobia" deck. "Dark Service" was designed as a reset-and-flood deck, but it provided an imposing rush each time.

I played two regular (3-point) matches of Kamisado with my daughter this week. She won the first match and scored first in the second, but I managed to win the second in its third round. (My sumo tower was the scoring piece.)


Saturday, we played Cyclades with the Hades expansion, using all the modules except for Free Positioning. My daughter started off strong, getting priests and buildings, while I focused on prosperity which later paid off. She built the first metropolis, but I built two in the Athena phase of the final turn (one with philosophers, and the other using a cyclops to convert a surplus university)! The divine favors of Hades module 4 were fun generally, but they really shone in the penultimate turn of the game, where I got an Ares-Aphrodite combo that allowed me to go from two troops to six on one island, and then conquer a neighboring island where my daughter had built up to prosperity-4. The final outcome, after subsequent building:


Later, we played a hand of GUBs that used almost the entire deck, with some fun reversals. My daughter had the Cricket Song wild card from the initial draw, and never played it! If she had, I might not have beaten her by a single gub.

Sunday's big game was an amazingly fast session of Nexus Ops. We played with alternate units and king-of-the-hill rules, concluding only a turn or two after exploration was complete. A Magma Blitz brought three Magma Divers from the home base of Zyborg Technologies to the far side of the monolith, where they were joined by a Boulder Blitzer to fight a Black Helix Monolith Wyrm (and the hapless Shardian mining under its protection). Fulfilling the Dragon Slayer mission and continuing as King of the Hill, Zyborg Technologies was ahead 11-3, and Black Helix resigned.


For the final game of the weekend, my girl schooled me at Hive.

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6. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:520]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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What my gaming week lacked in variety, it made up for in excellence. I only played two different games this past week, however enjoy them both tremendously.

This past Tuesday and Thursday I played Hyperborea for the first and second times respectively. For those unfamiliar, Hyperborea is a technology building, exploration game where players operate asymmetric races. Each race has a unique ability and a unique starting homeland.

Hyperborea uses a bag building system, a concept similar to deck building except that instead of adding cards to your deck you add cubes of different colors to a bag.

Each turn, you draw three cubes from your bag. The colors you get determine which actions are available that turn. Actions include movement, attack, population increase, development of your civilization (adding more cubes to your bag), gaining advanced technologies, getting VPs, or combinations of these.

The game takes place over a variable number of rounds. There is a lot of flexibility in the way you play. There is even an option to play with neutral races which all start the game with no special powers and exactly the same set up.

The bits are first rate, the game is tremendous fun, and the only significant complaint I have is that the rulebook is just horrible. It is very poorly organized so that trying to settle rules question in-game is needlessly difficult.

Worse, the rulebook is incomplete, leaving out information crucial to playing the game. Even the very long FAQ is missing information. Normally, this would completely put me off the game, but Hyperborea is so good, it's worth the extra effort.

Aside from the sloppy rulebook, I can't recommend the game highly enough.



The only other game I played was Vir sind das Volk on Saturday. This card driven game is an Essen release which models the Cold War struggle between East and West Germany.

It is a two player game where one side played the East and one the West, using cards for their events, or for their operations points to do various things such as building up economy, improving the living standards of your people, or quelling unrest.

The game is quite complex. It is played over four decades, and interestingly, the East player can choose not to build the Wall and explore the potential consequences of continuing to lose population for the remainder of the game.

At the end of every decade, there is an involved ten step process where your actions during the decade bear their fruit.

I like the game quite a bit. In fact, after playing I couldn't stop thinking about it and neither could my opponent. We exchanged several emails about it through Sunday.

Despite that, I don't think this is a game for everyone. It might be rather dry for someone with either no connection or little knowledge of the events of those four decades of a divided Germany. The process of advancing your economy within the constraints of your governance while keeping your people happy (or repressed in East's case) may seem like a bit of a slog at times.

However for me, I found the interplay between these things fascinating. I can't wait to play it again.
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7. Board Game: Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896 [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2448]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Monday

Before the 3 daughters left on Monday Lindy and I had another go at Lost Valley. With much more rules research under our belts the game went much better and was a very pleasurable experience. Now I want to play again!




Thursday

I have had so little opportunity to go see Abe lately but I finally made it there for 3 games of Crib. He seemed pretty pleased to see me and I was glad I could take and hour in the afternoon to do so. Now I need to make time to do the same with my mother. Maybe next week.




Saturday

Our one a month game group of 3! We had planned to start at 1:00 and went till midnight. It was awesome. We started out with Rob teaching me Brass while Leah did some errands. The rules explanation took a full hour. The game it self took nearly 3. I liked it alright but it seemed to me it is not as good as to be in the number 14 space in rank here. A little too long for what it is perhaps. I know it says "2 hours" but Rob and Leah said they have found it to never be less than 2 and a half at best. Still, it was good and I should try it again.





After Brass we needed something light. I taught them Jericho.





Next they taught me San Juan. Somehow I had still never played this. It was great! As old as it is I found it to be a wonderful game. It really did feel like Puerto Rico light. I think I like it better than the full game. I guess I should have got it all those years ago when I had interest.





Over pizza, I taught Rob Maori while Leah had a short nap.





I had heard of Formula Motor Racing and had not been that interested. Just another racing game I thought. This is awesome! I loved this game. A fun quick filler albeit a little cut-throat.




Finally it was time to teach them Lost Valley. I had been waiting for this all day. As happens so often when I am teaching a game I played very poorly and did some really stupid moves which insured I would come in last. Nonetheless it was just so much fun. Leah loved it. Rob was unsure. He said it was a fine enough game but he probably needs to play again. I have really fallen in love with this game. I can see why Tom Vasel holds it in such regard (although I don't hold to what he likes or dislikes normally.) It is exploration and at tis best.





I had played Ra with Rob teaching it once years ago and I have always wanted to play again so now was the time. It truly is a fun game.





I tired out my copy of Bucket Brigade with them next. It really is a fun filler for 3. It played much better than the 2 games LIndy and I had tried with it last year. I know it says 3 to 5. Apparently there is a reason. We got off to a misunderstanding in the rules so after a good laugh we started again. They thought the scoring cards where from the cards played having missed that I said it was the cards left in your hand. I had a wonderfully high score on that round and then went on to lose the actual game.




Sunday

Surprisingly, Ashley, who usually comes home on Sundays since she lives close, played a game with me. And she even learned a new one. I was very impressed. She does not play games often in the first place so I felt quite honoured. SHe does like cooperatives so Red November went over fairly well. She even got adventurous and drank some grog and passed out! Every now and again this normally reserved daughter surprises me!




13 games played this week.
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8. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:97]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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This week was...

Nations - 1st play



This is a card based Civ game, where you have this player board with a limited number of slots for cards. You buy cards from a main board, and adjust your resource incomes accordingly. You also have a stability stat and a military stat, both of which are used to acquire certain cards or extra abilities. I was initially skeptical I would like this game, since I didn't really connect with Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization and I tent to prefer 'dudes on the map' style civ games. This game reminded me a lot of a heavier Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy which I do like a lot. I've come to understand I really enjoy right resource management games with chartsy personal boards. In particular, I liked how while you were in tight competition with other players, the negative repercussions for losing in a war could be mitigated. The way you can place multiple workers on buildings one per turn at a time was also fantastic as it ads a push your luck element to the areas of tight competition. I'm looking forward to more plays.

Eldritch Horror - 1st play



This game reminded me a lot of everything I liked about Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) without any of the things that annoyed me about it. In this game, you have a character you walk around the board, and when you end your turn in a space, you draw and resolve a card from the deck matching that space's type. The card usually requires you to make a check by rolling some dice. There are numerous ways of mitigating bad die rolls, but it can still happen. When you accomplish certain story goals, you activate more story cards, until either you win, or you flip the endgame card to see what your encounter is. Leveling in the game was quick and fun, which I liked a lot. It seemed like it wasn't too difficult to get powerful and interesting items. All in all I'm happy with this game. With 3 players I was anxious for each of my turns to come along, so I'm not sure how well this would play it's maximum number of players (8).

King of New York - 2nd play



While the general consensus of the players in our group thought this game was more interesting than King of Tokyo, most of them felt like King of Tokyo was sort of played out for them, and they didn't feel that this was different enough to draw them back in.

7 Wonders - 18th play



We played with the new 7 Wonders: Babel expansion. My playgroup didn't care much for the babel portion of the expansion. The tiles effecting all players was an odd idea considering you don't have a great sense of what other players need or are doing all the way across the table in games with 7 players. The did like the other half of the expansion with the great works, where you pay a little more when you build a building of the 'color of the round' to get a participation token, and then at the end it either stops you from being hurt by the event, or gives you a boon, depending if there are any tokens left on the card or not. Some good improvements here, although, again, even more icons to know in a game with far far too many icons.

Patchistory - 2nd play



This game continues to impress my group. I've yet to find someone who didn't like it, and in fact, several people said they enjoyed it better than Nations. While it is similar in that it's also a card driven civ game with a resource production board and interesting limitations on card placement options, I don't know that I could say that I should keep one over the other, since they are both exciting to me in different ways.
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9. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:93]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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It was a good week of games, specially because of a birthday barbecue (a friend's birthday) followed by games on Sunday.


MONDAY

- Yggdrasil x2 - two plays, both with three players. And, yet again, we couldn't continue with our last case in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases. But we could still play something else. In the first game we were beaten pretty handly, still with 19 cards on the deck. At first I thought the power of Frigg (take out the fire giants he gets while searching for vikings) was weak, but, it turns out, it isn't - though, not the best one, hardly weak. Well, in the second game, instead of taking the gods randomly, we choose the ones we think are strong: Thor, Sif and Frey. We did a lot better, but still lost with 5 cards on the deck. Damn, this game is hard!


WEDNESDAY

- Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) - four players. Our last scenario before the Finale. We played The Ritual of Shadows. In the first part, the heroes had some troubles with the Hibrid-Dragons, specially because we were rolling poorly in some important attacks. But, even with this, Reinhart was able to make a breach in the Flesh Moulders defense and Jain was able to take a shot at Merick Farrow, when he was with 4 tokens (ou of 6) for his ritual. But, things were different in the second part. Again, some Xs in the attacks made the win for the heroes a thing of miracle - only the power of the geomancer to push back Merick gave some chance to the heroes. It was for nothing, since the heroes lost way too much time to beat the Flesh Moulders and the Ettins. Jain was still able to catch up with Merick, but in failed in the attack that would give at least one more turn for the heroes to do a miracle (she has a Crossbow, thus I could move Merick one step back). So Merick left the building without a single point of damage on it. The Overlord wins. Therefore the Finale will the The Man Who Wants to be King.










FRIDAY

- Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary - three players. I finally see this beautiful edition. Really pretty indeed. The plays was tight, with everyone doing well. In the second to last turn, a player tried to take new tickets, in the hope to take a completed one - this didn't happen, and the player lost 8 points. It was a poorly made move, since without it, he could instead put some trains (he had a lot of cards in hand). Even with this, everyone passed the 100 points mark.

- Hanabi - three players. Wow, this was tough. We could not find the proper cards and struggled to find the 1 yellow. Early in the game, we discard both 2 reds and both 4 whites. In the final stretch we put some cards in the table, enough only to give us 14 points;

- Splendor - four players. I was the only one with some experience with the game, and, with some luck, I was able to build some black, red and white cards in order for me to take two nobles. With 10 points, I reserved a 5 points cards, and did it in the next turn. With no one else near to take other noble and the biggest scoring card beign a 4, no one else manage to reach 15 points;

- Tasnia - four players. My luck was still on for this game, and several special tiles and two gardens opened up for me in my turn and I was able to grab most of them. Though I didn't build something big (my biggest construction had only 7 tiles), the bonuses I got were enough for me to win with 68 points.


SUNDAY

- Chaos in the Old World - four players. It was a long time since my last play (it was even before I started recording my plays). I took Khorne. In the first two rounds I just could not kill someone in two different places (in a place I rolled 6 dice with no hits), and was only able to advance my dial one step in both turns. I beat the crap out of Nurgle minions, though. I tried to hold Slaneesh back, when it was clear he would win in the 5th round. I sent three of my medium units in a place were Slaneesh had 4 cultists. He need 3 of these alive in order to ruin Kislev. I rolled 6 dice and got the average: 3 hits. But I needed four, to kill two cultists. So Slaneesh was able to end the game, winning with 64 points, while I was one step away from the win by the advancement of the dial. Tzeentch was second;

- Yspahan - four players. I was doing pretty well in the game, and thought I had the game in the bag. But one player rolled the perfect roll: every step with 1 die and no less than 4 dice in the vase region! In a single roll the person got 24 points (20 normal + 4 bonus)! So it was a fight for second place, but a player, with the last move of the game, made the supervisor to take a cube from the 12 points building the other player and, thus costing her 11 points (she got only 3 by going to the caravan) - I could have done this myself, but I choose otherwise. With this, I won with 85 points, against 76 of the player that lost the 12 points building;

- For Sale x2 - two plays, both with 5 players. In the first game, the thing of notice was one player that spent way too much to take the space station (the 30 card) and had to pass in every round after. In the next game, she was more careful, but still didn't improve her score all that much. Everyone, except me, was learning the game and all really liked it!

And that was it!

Regards,
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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November is showing itself to be another busy month, light on the number of plays but focusing on my 10x10in2014 list...

Tuesday
1x - Village - mb

Wife took me to task again, pulling off another win of Village to start our Tuesday winning 62-59. Not much more to say than that other than I'm making some more progress on my 10x10in2014 list!

Friday
1x - Hive - zombie
1x - Hanabi - mb


Friday night was a pre-teen and parent "device night" devotional talking about device awareness and safety followed by parents and kids having fun playing games on devices. My wife and daughter jumped in on a big game of something while I helped teach a father and son Hive while a friend and I also played on another device. Usually I win our best 2 of 3 when we play this one, but this time he jumped out and beat me in the first game and then we got pulled into helping teach some other things.

I went out in the hallway and played a game of Spaceteam which proved to be a riot of fun. Afterwhich I went back into the main room and convinced a couple others to play a game of Hanabi which I needed to complete my 10th play in the 10x10in2014 challenge which resulted in a 19, which has been my average result.


meeple Keep playing...
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11. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:493] [Average Rating:7.32 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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OP Month Six Event at Pack Rat Comics - 8 Total Games

Hybrid Constructed Format

3 Rounds - Best 2 out of 3 each Round - 1 Hour Limit Per Round

Results
2-0 in Round 1 (7-0, 11-0)
2-1 in Round 2 (4-0, 0-8, 13-0)
2-0 in Round 3 (8-0, 4-0)
1-0 in a game for funsies (2-0)

My Team
Basic Action: Relentless
Basic Action: Power Bolt

3x Professor X: Trainer
3x Beast: Genetics Expert
3x Storm: Wind Rider
3x Toad: Mortimer Toynbee
1x Scarlet Witch: Wanda Maximoff
2x Red Hulk: a.k.a "RULK"
1x Ant-Man: Biophysicist
1x Mystique: Raven Darkholme
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12. Board Game: D-Day Dice [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:864]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Hello from the frigid parts of the US. Good day to stay inside!


On Monday, I was looking for something a little quicker to play so I grabbed D-Day Dice. I played the Juno Beach II twice. In the first game, I could not roll soldiers at all and the game ended too quickly. In the second game, I was able to amass a pretty formidable group and march my way to the top and survive the bunker. I did it with shear force of numbers, never had any good items in this run to help.


For the second Wednesday in a row, I got my Bro-in-law to come over for a game of Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition. This night we played through the Pea Ridge scenario. We flipped for sides and I was the Confederates again this week. This time, I was able to take over the ridge on the right side and use my artillery to my advantage. It was a 6-2 victory.


We went to my in-laws on Saturday afternoon to visit, let the dogs run, etc. I brought along Long Shot and tempted my Father-in-law to a game. My wife and son joined us. My wife won by only 5 bucks. Another close game. She road horse 3 to victory.


I guess my daughter hasn't had enough of Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot because she suggested a game on Sunday night. We got the whole family to play this time. Sometimes this is dangerous (having brother and sister both play). The carrots got picked up fast, so it was over before there were too many sibling bunnies killed.

Have a great week everyone!
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13. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69]
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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Monday:
Eurorails

Tuesday:
Micro Train x2
Versailles

Wednesday:
Russian Railroads

Thursday:
Russian Railroads x2

Friday:
Linko! x2
Abluxxen: Sonderkarten / Duell x2
Micro Train x2
Russian Railroads

Saturday:
Waggle Dance x2
Guildhall x2

Sunday:
Doodle City x2
Russian Railroads x2
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14. Board Game: Black Stories [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2436]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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Last weekend we had some traveling by car. That explains the most played game.

Saturday
Black Stories - 3 plays, 4 players

Modern approach - using app for iPhone, but still - same good old murder mysteries to solve, while on a road. Could be one of the best games to play, while traveling.

BANG! The Dice Game - 2 plays, 4 players

After long driving we were in need for some quick filler. First time trying this game. I haven't played original BANG!, so can't make any comparisons. But dice game is very quick. First game I was Sheriff, and didn't manage to survive till my next turn. In a 4 player game. So quick win for Outlaws. Second game was much longer, since Renegade protected Sheriff in all ways possible, keeping him alive with 2-3 bullets. When Sheriff eliminated both Outlaws (including me), it was easy task for Renagade to win the game. Overall Bang! The Dice Game left good impression, but it feels that playing with more than 4 players should be much better.

Colosseum - 1 play, 4 players

And again one unfinished game. Recently it happens almost each week. Maybe I'm getting too old for partying at nights and playing games. And what a game it is. Grail game for many around here. I can certainly see its charm. The game is not too hard to learn, it looks good, and gameplay is very interesting. Hopefully we play this again soon. But maybe not as last game and after long trip.


Sunday
Black Stories - 5 plays, 4 players

On the road again. Accompanied with some black and creepy stories.
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15. Board Game: Wir sind das Volk! [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:531]
Matt Clark
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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A buddy came over Thursday night with the intention that we play Wir sind das Volk! and Panamax and lo and behold we did!

Wir sind was not hard to teach but I had a hell of a time just keeping West Germany in the game much less defeating East Germany. Turns out I did get some critical pieces wrong, but I would have lost either way. The Easterners won by "not losing" at the end of the fourth decade and we had a great time discussing German politics and history while playing.

We then set up for a two player game of Panamax. I didn't really know what I was doing and we probably overlooked some things but we mostly got it right. I got stomped again but I understood the game much better. All in all, great games were played, beer was consumed, and good times were had.

Friday night was 1st Minnesota's "Block Party" where we were supposed to play some block war games, but I still wanted to play Wir Sind again. I watched a game of Julius Caesar wrap up (seems like a good time) and then I ran a different buddy through Wir sind. I randomly ended up with West Germany again and did things much differently. I hit the prestige track hard and built up my economy as efficiently as I could. After the second decade, the East was sitting pretty but things were about to take a turn. Western currency shortages ravaged the East German infrastructure in the third and fourth decades and all the Eastern factories became run down. Sadly, for me, the East Germans still managed to get across the finish line and won by making it out of the fourth decade with only 2 mass protests. I'm improving, though!

Saturday night, some friends came over for a four player game of Panamax. We had to reference the rules to clarify everything to their satisfaction, but we got through it. Really great game with four! We had one player who completely made a mess of things early on, but the rest of us were in the mix. Honestly, can't wait to play again.
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16. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:520]
Bruno Valerio
Portugal
Aveiro
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A couple more of Essen releases tested...

First up was Deus!



It has good ideas but for me it failed!

Next up Hyperborea!





Really liked it, the bag building works very well and so the board... wanna try it again soon.
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17. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:377]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Busy week of gaming for me.

Monday

Lord of the Rings

Solo game using the 1-hobbit variant. I chose Pippin (play any two cards). The cards from Rivendell and Lothloriew extra cards were not strong and I barely survived Helm's Deep only to have Sauron overwhelm poor Pippin in Shelob's Lair.

Tuesday (Veteran's Day)

A friend also had the day off, so he came over for an afternoon of gaming.

Galaxy Trucker - He taught me this one, it was also he first play of the full game as he'd only played the learning scenarios. I think this would bea riot with 4 people during the ship-building phases. I really liked that part of the game. The delivery portion of the game wasn't as enjoyable, but I see how it is necessary.

Pax Porfiriana - I taught him this one, it also represented my first game against a live opponent. It went quikcly as he won the game on the 3rd topple leveraging his resources from the early bank play to quickly build a formidable economic engine. We'll see this game again later in the week, I'll comment further.

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game - He's a big fan of Legendary:Marvel, so he wanted to see this. We played the Hadley's Hope scenario and won handily as the Technician and the Commander. Really like how the theme comes through on this game. I watched Aliens over the weekend, and while the sequence of events plays out differently, the feeling of the movie is well represented.

Saturday

I went to a mini-con last week and met 2 gamers who like heaiver games, so one of them invited a friend and we got together Saturday to play some games they hadn't tried before.

Pax Porfiriana - I taught them all Pax Porfiriana. I've played this a few times now, so I'm pretty comfortable with the flow and mechanisms. Strategy is still beyond me at this point, though I can see it's in there waiting to be discovered. Player to my left was just terrorizing my enterprises, so I had a lot of trouble getting an engine running. We went all the way to the last topple and it ended up being decided by money. Lot of enterprises and headlines early in the game so we had trouble gaining the points we needed to succeed on topples.

I'd like to play this more as I can tell it would really benefit from 5-10 plays in a month or two to get a handle on the game. Not sure how good it wil be as event game, which is where I fear it may be heading.


Dominant Species

Taught Dominant Species. Insects, Arachids, Birds and Reptiles. I was Insects and won a narrow victory due more to other's mistakes than my own excellent play though I did do a good job of getting my elements down on the high scoring tiles. Although the element draws didn't go very well for me, I was able to keep the Tundra away from my high scoring Sea & Savannah tiles, which allowed me to win a narrow victory. They all enjoyed the game, so it was a successful learning session.

Sunday

Sorry! - My brother was in town and we played my niece's favorite game. It's a luck fest, but it was fun to bond with the family.
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18. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:302]
Steph Hodge
United States
New Hampshire
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If you missed the blog post. I will post it here too.

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LOBSTER TRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!

Oh the Excitement of Lobster Trap is over but I have SO SO MUCH to report!!!

I have to start with Monday gaming group because I learned 6 new to me games!

Dan imported a bunch of Japanese games that we got to play which is why I had never played any of them.

So we started Monday off with a rolling start with a game called Rolling Japan a recently released game. We played 6 players I believe. This was a very interesting dice game, which, thinking back was pretty intense.

There are 7 dice in a solid bag. Someone pulls two dice and rolls them. 6 of the dice will be used in a round then they get mixed up again. There are 8 rounds.

There is a "map" of Japan made up of little tiny boxes with 6 different blocks of colors (one for each die +1 magical die that can be used as ANY color).

So when the dice are rolled you have to mark the yellow die # in the yellow section of the "map". Once you place a number down you can ONLY place the same number NEXT TO it or a difference of 1. If you do not have a spot for the # to go you must mark an X in that region. If the region is completed then you don't have to do anything.

Now the Bonus die can be put into any region so some people's regions might be completed before others.

I was unfortunate to have a whole bunch of my yellow section left at the end because the final 2 round no yellow die was rolled. All empty spots at the end of the game are marked with an X.

Total # of X's least score wins.

I killed them all with my 12 X's I think like 3 of them got 13 and the others got upper teens.

Shows who knows what is up. ME!!

I really enjoyed this game and will enjoy playing it again. The pencils are awesome!! Little things please me.








We moved along and split into groups. Me, Ron and Dan went to play the Penguin game called Click & Crack. SO CUTE I had to play, you know?

It is a puzzle-y type game what might your opponents do to try and out smart them. I got to go first cause I love Penguins the most! I saw March of the Penguins like 4 times- *sidenote: I was working at the movie theater at that time*

So everyone gets 2 penguins to move around the 5x5 grid. You have 2 tiles to make moves with you either move the penguin or break the ice with a penguin. They have arrows so you must declare which direction you will be doing these moves but you can assign the movement points to either penguin on your turn.

when you fully break the ice chunk off those are VPs. Most broken ice at the end wins.

I failed miserably at this game- though it was cute. Ron crushed us hard. I think I got 1 point.

You can kill penguins but you lose points if you do. It is not encouraged. Really cute fast game. Probably more geared towards family.








The next Japanese game I wanted to play was Colors of Kasane because the world "Color" was in the title and I love color!

It is a set collecting melding game. It is very quick and very cute.

There are a bunch of melding types in the middle of the table. When you complete one of them. For example one card says for melds of the same # 2 of the same would be 1 point 3 of the same would be 3 points or such5 of a kind would be 8 points. I don't know if that is accurate but you get the idea. Once someone completes the meld and scores it they mark it with a stone to say it was completed.

The melds are played down in front of you in the order you receive the cards. The last card you played down could be used in the next meld you choose to make. All cards must remain in the order you take them into your hand.

Definitely a cute game I want to play more and maybe acquire at some point if I get the opportunity.

I like the tough choices and getting screwed or do the screwing (unintentionally, of course ) at the end of a game.

8/10 after my first 2 plays. I won the first one and I thought I had a better idea of the game and wanted to do better I only did worse and came in last in the second game.










Too Many Cinderellas was next on the list to play. I had missed all previous games of this that have been played in the past few months so I was eager to get to learn it. It is certainly silly.

It is a light card game to try and be the best fit Cinderella. So everyone gets dealt 4 cards and these cards have traits they like and a # I think 1-30 on the top of each card. On the bottom is a rule. players take turns playing a card down with a rule. It might be "not young" or "not male" or "not brown hair". You look at your hand you know you will be playing 2 of the cards for their rules and hopefully 1 or 2 of the cards left over will follow all the rules on the table.

Every player has a OK! and a NO! token. If you have all Cinderella in your hand with brown hair you would like veto the rule saying "not brown hair" so you still have a chance of winning. Once you veto that card you have no more veto tokens.

It is pretty simple and very silly. there is a cat card with brown hair even. Cute game I would definitely play again.










Finally the last Japanese game we played was Villannex. a 5 minute game. The easy game is everyone gets 6 cards and discards 2. Everyone reveals 4 cards and we review them. They all have point values like +4 points per wheat or -1 for pigs. There is also rules for all like if you have produced 3 wheat then this happens -15 or +15 type things. The catch is you don't know which 2 cards each player will pick and how they will react with you selection of goods you choose.

It is a bit bluffing in that sense. So everyone chooses two cards to play with a selection of goods and we all reveal and count the values of the goods and add up the scores. high score wins.

Literally 5 minutes of play time but it was cute enough and I would play again. We played 2 times and I think I lost both times. I can't remember. haha but it was ok.









The last game of the night for us was a 3 player game of Medina. This has been on my radar since I read a geeklist a while back with someone's last name as Medina so he was bias into liking the game.

It is a cute city building game. It was also recent brought to my attention due to its re-release this year. Joe owns the older one, of course, but I still wanted to give it a play to see if I should get the newer one or not. Dan read through the rules and we started.

So in the game on your turn you place wooden block to make temples and forma conga line with the people through the city. You must play 2 pieces on your turn which maybe adding to an unclaimed temple or adding to the walls or adding guys. When you claim a temple you can no longer add that color to the building but you can add the stable and add wall pieces.

each wooden bit adjacent to your temple and temple pieces count as 1 point. All players will likely "own" 4 temples all have to be different colors as you can not take the same temple color twice. You can also not start a new temple on the board when there is a non-taken temple of the same color in play already.

I think Dan won with 60s and Ron was close behind. I had probably 10 less than that. I don't really recall. Counting is hard.

Almost finished board with the conga line.


Starting pieces







Tuesday night Ron and I got to playing a few games. To no one's surprise ever- he won all the games with flying colors.

First of the night we played was Seasons. I really thought I had him. I had some lucky draws and picked up scepter that give me 3 vps per magic item. I was going with the all magic item strat for the card *I forgetblush* that give you 20 vps for all magic items.


I was doing wimmingly the whole game pacing cards accordingly. Funny enough we both had a Hand of Fortune and a Magma Core... two of my personal favs. so we had similar things but he has Leech ugh how annoying.

He ended up winning by about 20 points I was somewhere like 215 and he was like 240

grrrr. But really high scoring!!








We played a few fast games after that. So we started with Parade since it was still sitting on the table. When games are that easily accessible they will likely be played since we don't have to move- horray for lazy!

I was getting all the wrong cards in this game this time. It doesn't work when you have the most in every color and all the high cards. I didn't even ad dup my score I am sure it was over 50 to Ron's 13.

Yikes!

Still great game that I really enjoy. Pretty simple but interesting.






Last game for us (cause I wanted to roll some dice) was Martian Dice. I really enjoy this dice filler game. It is push your luck and I do ever so poorly at it. Ron kicked me down- again.

You try to collect the people and the cows and the chickens. You don't want to roll tanks. You fend off the tanks by rolling UFOs 1 for 1. Once you take in a chicken you can't then take more. Each die that is not a UFO or Tank you get one point at the end provided the tanks were all covered by UFOs.

Simple and cute. I am terrible at it.






LOBSTER TRAP



My favorite 4 days of the year since 2013 *when I was invited* A small con where only about 150 people are invited before they cap off and no more invites. Once you are invited you have the option of going again every year. At this con most of the new Hot ticket items from essen arrive and for someone like me cult of the NEW this is extremely fun!

It all started Thursday Morning devil . Ron and I arrive to the hotel it is about an hour-ish away so we are stayed at the hotel for th-sun for MAX GAMING!!

We stumble in all wide eyed and excited. Bounce into a 5 player game of The Staufer Dynasty. Someone already there not playing with us knew it and was willing to teach us. Excellent! When we don't have to read from the rules to learn a game.

This was on the list of games I really wanted to learn. It was really enjoyable!! Honestly, I enjoyed it so much it has gone on the wishlist. The game is a medium- weight euro. At first it seems like there is a bunch going on but its not too bad once you get into it *unlike Kanban - more on that later...*. In the game with 5 players there are 5 rounds I don't know if when and how that changes with less players I have played it twice and both times with 5.

In the 5 rounds you get 3 actions. All actions are determined by where you ended up in the last round. For the first round it goes from start player once around then loops back and once more around from there. Basically going 1st is a blessing in disguise since you go first and last and 6th to last.

picture to help understand:


This angle is front is the far side and last is the close guy.

So with the 3 actions you can only do 2 things. Place a guy in a province or replenish meeples. If you replenish then you move your action point to the next left spot in line. If no one is there you are going first in the next round. next person there will go second. If you choose to travel with the king and visit provinces than you go to the next space down to your right. First in there will be going last for the next round.

You do that until all actions are used. What is interesting about the game is how you manage to score points. each round the king will be in a region 1/6. from there you can deploy guys for free onto the available spots. There is a small # next to these spots that is the amount of guys it takes to visit that town. You spend 3-7 other guys and walk themacross the adjacent boards. The worker you placed down counts for 1 of the total # used. The other guys have to bounce 1 to the next board in clockwise order and then the board after that and so on. Those workers only become available again when the king travel by in the later rounds. Guy can be tight.

On top of the cool area control aspect there is a scoring each round which will happen. you know 1 region will definitely be based on the round *you know before* then there might be a special conditions scoring and score another region. Once the regions score those meeples on the spots get tossed to the side back to the pool to recruit from. But hey you get points.

Everyone has hidden goals and there are treasure to collect when you travel the kings land. Different abilities to acquire and interesting scoring for the lands.

That is the gist if you had any interest. The game is beautiful and If Euros are your kind of thing it is definitely and interesting one. I think it probably plays best with 4 or 5 but I would try it with 3. I can't imagine 2p being any good but there is always room to try especially since I play lots of 2p.

If it matters I came in second, even after getting hosed a lot of the game due to bad first round choices. It just pushed me in another direction.














I wanted to keep learning more games and Alchemist was top of my list of games to play.

Sorry, but I am not going to get into how to play this game because it was just hurting my head the whole time. I don't really approve of apps being using in games but this one was pretty great. It does cause for some AP but for the most part is was flawless and worked extremely well. Easy to follow even for me and the picture recognition was spot on. Nice job.

Essentially the game you are try to deduct what ingredients have in terms of chemistry. You might never know for certain but you can still publish theories and score points and confuse other players.

The game is beautiful- really really nice. Who knows maybe I will get it just cause of that because wow nice job!

Our game was just too long and it hurt because of that. The tokens didn't fit in the cool spots they were supposed to so we had to lay the pyramid down in stead so that was sad. Supposedly there are replacements.

It's a cool game that I want to play again but it doesn't have to be soon. It definitely has the same feel as Dungeon Pets *I haven't played Dungeon Lords.*

I recommend it if you like deduction but aren't hard core deduction players. It is tough to wrap your head around. I still have no idea the BIG +/- vs little but if someone does all the power to them!

Something to play again. definitely has a wow factor with components. I came in dead last not really close at all to anyone. I sucked. Hahhaha!
























After that brain burner of a game I wanted something I knew and something New... it left only 1 choice- you know by deduction- Deus.

Of course I have been playing this game all week since it arrived on BaJ. I could teach it no problem. I actually jumped into a 4 player game where 3 people already knew the rules! Even better. As far as timing goes since I know people were complaining it was SOOOOO long for what it was - I disagree. As expected with people that know what they are doing *for the most part* the game lasted 1 hour. I suspect faster with full knowledgeable players.

It was amazing. Even MORE so than I thought it would be. I thought it would get old, but it really doesn't. I played this game 5 times at the con and each time was so different!!

I believe I have explained the game a bit before but this game you are either playing a card on your turn or discarding cards for their benefits and drawing a new hand.

Minor area control of the board for locations next to barbarians and land spaces you might want but not really direct conflict kind of game.

The game ends when the barbarians have been defeated or all the temples have been placed on the board. For me the game is beautiful and I love the color scheme and it all works. Online version is good but you can't play live unless you find someone to do so. Really great.

Highly recommended. I can't wait to get a copy sometime!!! Must own list.


















Final game before breaking for dinner was new to me but on the oldish side of games called Klickado. It is a dex game where you try to get rid of all you quills by balancing them to the head of a porcupine.

Least amount at the end wins! Or if you get rid of all your quills which I did and I won!











Second half of the day I got to get in a game of Nations: The Dice Game! I was super psyched - I have been waiting for this game!!

Maybe I hyped it too much for myself because I felt the game felt short. I was hoping for a replacement for Roll Through The Ages but I didn't get that from my play. We were all learning and if all other players have a meh-terrible time it doesnt make for a fun game. This happened in the 2 games (4 players each) I played.

In the game on your first turn of the age 1/4 you roll the dice you have. You can buy a building blue like in Nations and replace the start building. By doing that you remove a white start dice and replace it with the color die you just bought. There are also Wonders to construct and colonies to defeat. They might provide one free gold a round to buy buildings or a sword to get military points counters or re rolls.

Everyone starts with 1 gold and one re-roll income that you can use once per age.

Turn order was the biggest complaint. That 4th place just gets hosed. While in both games I played they did in fact get hosed. neither had played before so obviously, playing before might help that. however, both of those players vowed to never play again... so much for that.

For me, I enjoy it and would play it again. I was just a bit disappointed for having such high hopes.

My regular Monday night group I didn't play with - they all hate Nations cause they don't enjoy FUN but they did enjoy the dice game. They had different experiences with it and they liked it more than Nations but that wasn't saying much.

I will play again- I am not sure I will own it at this point. But who am I kidding I likely will eventually because it is Nations. I just love Nations...

We will see. Maybe it is amazing 2 player and I just don't know it yet!





















I really wanted something on the lighter side of things and I wanted to learn La Isla so we did!

I love all the punkins in that game so CUTE!! The production quality is great and the game board is cool. It has a neat idea and I wanted to love it from just the set up.

I don't love the cards. We get dealt 3 cards and we must allocated all the 3 cards each round. All cards do 1 of 3 things to represent the 3 actions we will carry out. action A is playing a card to give a general discount to placing workers in the middle of the board or gains resources when doing that action. Action B is to gain a cube color. Action 3 is not a card but you can allocate guys to the board paying 2 cubes of the same color to get to the region on the board. Action 4 uses the card to bump an animal track.

The animal track scores points on the region it is bumped into per token you have collected from the game board. Once the animals total 11 points the game ends. Then we add our points form the animal tokens we collected.

My biggest problem of the game were the cards. I got dealt nothing that worked together EVER. Normally, I don't mind luck in games like Ginkgopolis cause I know everyone has bad cards they have to work with too. You must work with the bad situation to make it in your favor. You can not do that in this game. I suppose if you have a house rule like dealing upto 4 cards each round and playing 3 and holding 1 for the next round- that might make the game more enjoyable for me anyways. I got hosed that game cause I didn't get anything that worked well with what I was/wanted to do.

For me it was ok and I would play again- but I was disappointed.







THE PUNKINS!!!










I am sad to inform that Colt Express was after that. It looks amazing and the components are phenomenal.

It was not for me at all. With the right crowd you will get a good response for the game I am sure. We unfortunately, for Scott, had the wrong crowd. 3 of us pretty much hated the game. We stopped in the 3rd round cause we were having a terrible time. I feel badly about that cause it just looks so amazing.

Each round you play a card either face up or face down *depending on the rule of the card* it could be between 4-6 cards in the round. Face up you know what people are/might do. it gets more tricky when they play face down. cards are played in turn order in one stack much like mama mia if you have played that. The stack turns over and the actions are carried out.

What I didn't like is if my second action was debunked by a sheriff being there (you cant move into a space with a Sheriff) then you are basically hosed the rest of the actions you perform for the round. So two rounds this happened and I didn't carry out any other actions in my turn. It was like- really?

You might enjoy it but I highly recommend if possible playing this game before purchasing it. You could buy it than put the train on display cause it was cool.
















So we really stopped early because Kanban: Driver's Edition opened up and the 4 of us wanted to play that instead. I really REALLY wanted to play and Scott played once before and was able to mostly teach us the rules.

Absolutely!

There is no way to get into the rules of that game. IT IS CRAZY! Just look at the pics. So I have not played CO2 or Vinhos but I love Madeira and I enjoy heavy Euros. If you like heavy euros than I don't think you will be disappointed.

This was a pretty amazing game. Long but as expected. We got a rule wrong at the beginning so our game was a bit off as I suspect than a game with Correct rules. I definitely want to play again. I will unlikely own it since it will NEVER get played. This will very unlikely not play well with 2 and all the heavy euros I do own never get played.

I would consider for the right price one day- sometime just cause it is impressive how much you get in the box and how colorful and beautiful the game is. It is NOT easy to teach and there are a lot of options.

Essentially you are building cars and blue prints and trying to impress the boss and trying to get points - doing a million things.

Very enjoyable and would love to play again soon.
















I NEEDED a light game after that brain craze fest of a game. I settled on Balla Balla. Cause who wouldn't?

The game: Bounce the balls fastest into the center box. Balls are worth various points and first to 31 wins.

The game was over in 10 minutes and it was fun times. I also destroyed EVERYONE! BOOM!







The last game of the night was Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Ron taught it to two others and I was sleeping I think. I was pretty much a goner by that point and I remember basically nothing about that actual game. This was my second favorite of the con. Good thing it is in my pre order list hopefully coming to me eventually. I played 3 times in the weekend and that was the first one.

if you like Suburbia just trust me in that you will like the Ludwig game. If you don't know either- get with the picture and play them becuase they are both amazing.

Tile laying retroactive pieces that score points. It is how best to spend you money and how to place everything that gets tricky. Ludwig also brings auctioning to the table unlike Suburbia which is really interesting and mind boggling to do. Very enjoyable! LOVE IT!

9/10 for me.













Up at the crack of dawn Friday morning and started with a game of Deus. I taught 3 others and lost. I am very good at losing this game. I actually don't think I won once.


This game in particular had the problem of no one knowing what they were doing and letting one guy control the board on one side with 2 barbarian villages left and he didn't bother closing it cause he was getting 6 points a turn doing his tableau. Why end it when you can get all the points elsewhere.


Needless to say he more than doubled each of our scores. But everyone had a good time and wanted to play again at some point.




I wanted to learn a new game next so I grabbed Dan and we played from the rules a new game called Orléans. This was a very interesting game. The box is horrendous and the components are meh. Art is boring as is the theme if you are into that kind of thing.

That being said it is a very interesting game that I would love to play more of. It was one of the few games that got a good rep at the con- there were a bunch of games that people wanted to burn, in fact, this was not one of them! far from it!

But yah the box art will sell no copies cause it is bad.

In the game you are collecting workers which are little colored discs with a picture of the farmer, monk, and everyone else not important but for the color they have as their background.

With the workers they get thrown into a black bag and on your turn you draw 4 from the bag. Everyone does this then everyone allocated those workers to spots on the player board in front of them. All the spots require different workers and they all do something else. Most recruit new better workers or general workers like farmers. Most spots require farmers so you might want more. Everytime you recruit a worker you move up that colored track in the middle of the playing area and that give you the worker token to add to your bag and bunps you up on the track which give individual bonuses.

I know the knight track is add extra worker when you pull from the bag. I know the brown token adds a gear to your player board which is like a free guy each turn for that specific spot. The farmers give you food and the monks give you knowledge. Some others as well but so you ge the point. There is another board in the middle to travel the roads and get the trade goods and build the cities.

All these movements are represented on your player board with the workers required to do the action. You can always just allocate the guys and not complete the actions until a later round or keep them in your holding tank. If you are going to pull more guys than you have spaces for in your holding tank however, you can not pull that many. All the guys used in an action space in the round it thrown back into the bag.


In our game I did really well. I know I won I don't recall the scores at all. The black disc track give you an extra action space or ability added to your player area. I got 3 of them which helped me greatly in the game. All gold turned into 1 point so I was getting lots of gold that way and one ability allowed me to use one type of worker as any other worker. It all just worked out because I was collecting that worker already so like half of my bag were wild workers effectively.

It is a really interesting game that I would like to play again. I wish it just had bright flashy colors and a cooler theme- maybe in the land of Seasons. It could happen. Fun game worth playing.

I rate it in the top-ish games I learned at the con.














We had 5 at that point so Dan taught us Abraca...what?. It seemed like a cute deduction game. It was just that! It is a fast 30 minute game with some interesting choices. Likely something I will pick up when/if it becomes available in the US. There are a bunch of tiles with #'s on them 1 of the 1, 2 of the 2, up to 8 of the 8. If you guess you have a certain # tile than you can keep guessing. If you are wrong than you have to discard a life token.

The round ends when either someone runs out of tiles or someone dies. The winner if the person who ran out of tiles or kills another player off. They get 3 points everyone still living gets 1 point and the night owl #4 awards an additional 1. First player to 8 points wins.

Fun game my family would enjoy. Definitely more of a party type game and not much to learn or strategize but it is enjoyable. Recommended for families most definitely.

It helps that I am amazing at this game! mwahaha

















We played a 6 player game of Crowns. Don't ask me why it was THE most painful game I had played at the con. Maybe it is meant for 2 or 3 players but 6 players was just like 10 minutes in between my turns. Ridiculous! Sorry, but no one needs to play that game. It is roll dice and mark your board. Do this until someone runs out of tokens to use and then add your points. Yep that is it. Don't play it. Why they thought 6 players would be a good idea beats me. ugh sad to say I played it.










I hate to say it but the next game was not much better. We jumped into a 4 player game of Johari. Dan heard good things about it and all- or so he says. I had hopes of it being decent.

I like the gems and the card hand management. I didn't like the selling and buying.

Each turn you have 3 actions you take from a hand of 8 cards or something. All players play one card down and reveal. the person with the most $ on the $ track is first and then down the line.

You get points by selling the gems in groups of different or same type gem and move your gem up the gem track on your player board. The tracks are VPs at the end of the game.

You might buy a noble that gives you an ability for certain actions and they might be worth points at the end as well.

Some gems are fake so if someone performs a sell action than you lose a fake gem from your supply unless you played the card protecting you.

It seems like an interesting game but unfortunately it was not. I just felt I was doing the same thing each turn.

On the + side I think I won, I might have come in second but it was a close race. Almost certain I won though.... Dan should check his notes cause I didn't take any notes.















I think I edited these pics at like 2am so it is not my best job for photography. Sorry bout that.






After a quick break I found my friend Tom and we got in a 4 player game of Quilt Show. It is all rainbows all the time- how could I not play this game. Amazing vibrant colors!

People at the con were calling it Ticket to Quilt because it has very similar playing as ticket to ride. You know- without the trains.

You get the cards in the same manner and spend them to get the quilt pattern. Every time you buy a patterns you get a timer chit and once those are out then were it a quilt show. the tiles have point values on them and who ever made the best quilt gets the biggest prize and so forth.

The game lasted way to long for what it was. It was definitely cute and could be used as a gateway game or family game. For me though the hour long game was tedious. I kept thinking maybe 1 round vs 3 rounds would be better and make it a filler type game in stead. I don't know.

It just wasn't for me. A nice couple taught us the game so I thank them for that. Hopefully I wasn't too much of a downer. haha


















After that game I taught a 5 player game of The Staufer Dynasty. This was the first game I learned at the con and definitely wanted to play it again. I found a group of people to play with.

Boy was the game a lot better the second game. I played with the correct rule about the guys needed to play in a spot and it worked out really well.

Experience helps with the game like most does. There is not much luck involved at all. I did win by a large bit but it was expected as I have played before!

Everyone liked it a lot and wanted to try again sometime. I think I did a good job teaching! +1 for me!







After that a few of them wanted to play Deus. Happy to oblige I taught another game of Deus.


To be honest I don't recall the game but I think it was the one Geoff was teaching to Matthew and Liz.

They both took to it well and we played the game quickly and they all enjoyed it! It was definitely the HIT of the con. My #1 pick too. It was a hot item always being played by everyone!





After a short break I taught Helios to Geki and Tom as they had both wanted to learn it. Since I want to spread the Helios love I definitely wanted to play.

It is best with 3 anyways and these are cool guys. I wish they lived closer so we could play more often but they are in RI just a bit too far. I have played with them at Totalcon before and seem them around the closer events.

I hope to play with them more. I think I wasn't paying much attention to my player board and trying to help them out more.

I can't remember though. I might have won. Its been 2 days guys gimme a break. I might have had 130 I can't even remember. I think it was close between Geki and my score and I won if I didn't count the mana and I lost if I did- I couldn't remember if I did or not. Maybe I should write down points and games like so many do at these things. All I do is write on FB what I played that day.

If one of them reads this blog maybe they will recall. Happy to always play Helios because it is fast enough!







They both went to play another game and I found Brian and we played a 2 player game of The Ravens of Thri Sahashri. this was a game I read a little about in the pre Essen geeklist of new games. I love the art work and it was on my to play list. It is listed as co-op so I was weary about it.

This was a very interesting puzzle game where you are a team, sure. You are both doing very different things though in trying to get this girl to wake up. One player is the girl (me in the game) who is in a deep sleep and one player plays the boy trying to recover her memories and wake her up from the deep sleep by getting to her heart.

The girl gets dealt 4 cards and plays them in a line one on top of another. The first card represents the first line of a poem where you need to = value 7 like lines 2 and 3 also need to = 7. Line 4 needs to =5 value. The boys job is to draw cards all values 1-5 and 1/5 colors. A raven card might arise and they will be eat up cards for later rounds.

the game is in 3 rounds of trying to patch memories together and get information from the girl so she will make up in the last round. If she does than they win! otherwise she doesn't wake up and they lose.

Brian and I made a good team and we won the game. He said he hadn't ever won before! So we did a good job!

I really enjoyed it because there was a lot of thinking on his side and on my side of how I can give him information without talking about it.

Very clever game that I really want to own. I don't really think of it as a co-op because there is nothing to talk about. it is more abstract and puzzle like than that. Very fun and the game I was thinking about the most outside of playing it. A game on my wish list that I can hopefully acquire sometime. Probably the biggest surprise of the con for me.













Immediately after that wrapped up 2 others join us for another Japanese game called Code of Nine- really- Old World And Code Of Nine. It is also about memory recovery and some deduction and hidden info.

Really interesting game again. I wish I had played this again. Each player is dealt 2 cards that determine end game conditions. there are like 30 cards that might get dealt and only a handful will be used depending on player count.

The game is played in 4 or more likely 5 rounds *depending on what happens in round 4*. You have 3 actions to use and it is worker placement. You can gain coins and statues and book which might be points or - points depending on the cards revealed at the end. Some spots might look at other players cards or cause for an attack on other players.

One card is placed on top of your player board the other on the bottom. the bottom is a deep memory that can only be remembered by others if they take that action that becomes available in a later round. each round more spots open up for players to use and try to figure out who has what and what they should be going for.

After the game we add up points and see who wins. If you die off somehow then you can't win.

There are a few other rules of course that make for more interest but in general the game was very fun and I would love to play again. It is also beautiful which always helps in my eyes

I think I won because 2 players had died and I had 1 point more than the other girl. It was like 9 to 8 or something like that.




















The night was almost at a close but there is always time for a few more, right? We played a 4 player game of Polterfass. I taught a few players and we played the fast filler.

We were all wicked tired and you could tell. But there were a lot of laughs and a lot of surprise rolls and stops. Still one of my favorite fillers and will always play it! Everyone enjoyed the time!







Last game of Friday night was a 2 player game of Biblios. It was New to me- I just never had the opportunity to play it before. Grant it is probably not the best with 2 so I am willing to try it again. For me it was a bit dull. Nate taught me and he agreed not very good with 2.

For right now I don't need to own it but I wouldn't mind playing again. I am not seeking it out. simple game with some dice used as counters for points. Played might have a card that manipulates the dice either up down and cards for each of the dice.

Whomever has the most value of colored cards gets the points represented on the die that matched the color and who ever gets the most points wins!

Not bad the auction part of the game would be better with more players though.

I won! 10-9












Saturday morning brought around a learning game of The Golden Ages. Medium weight maybe entry way into civ-like games.

It was an interesting game. I have to say it was all very plain. Nothing really grabbed at me when I played it. The iconography was pretty decent and understandable for the most part. The leader cards were not (I feel) balanced.

Every age (4) players have a leader card for. Everyone had excellent leaders each round I got dealt cropola leaders in ages 2-4. You have the option of keeping your old one or replacing with a new one. So I had china in the first rounds $-2 for starting a battle. Draw 2 Vp tokens keep one. That leader was better than ALL OTHER leaders I had options for. I kept him the entire game. How is that right? You can only start battle 4 times to collect vps. You auto win and kick the other player off the board. In a way that only helps them so they can get more vps and $ for placing their cities in the next round.

You are essentially building techs to get you more $ and buildings to use on the board. you get 3 workers to explore and build cities and building cards. There are some free actions to do like activate a building or buy a wonder card.

let me say the group of guys I was playing with said it was more fun putting the puzzle of the actual map of the globe together than playing the game.

Actually, Will destroyed us all and really enjoyed the game. I liked it a bunch and I think there are some issues with the game. I would definitely play again but I am not seeking it out at this time.
























I headed off to find another game. Many people contacted me and wanted to play my fav Ginkgopolis with expansion Ginkgopolis: The Experts. So I taught 2 players the expansion. We only played with 4/6 modules and it was fun! It is always fun!

My favorite part of the expansion is being able to hold the card before passing. But in our game I collected like 5: 21-23 tiles cause I was getting so many tiles and why not!

The game actually ended with me running out of workers to place. They were having a hard time getting a decent engine going and I started off pretty good.

Amazing game! I love it more and more I play it. I won the game just by 10 points with like 62.











After that game it was already like 1pm! Yikes! Time flies you know!

I wanted to learn a new game. I stumbled into a game called Castro. This was a much better dice game than Crowns but that is not hard to do. It is a dice game that is a mix between yahtzee and connect 4. The catch isonce you claim a spot on the board you can be overtaken by another player. They only have to make the roll in 1 less rolls.

So standard turn you have 5 re rolls to get what you can. If someone is in a spot you are looking to get on you must do it in 4 rolls or less. The player on top of the stack is the one in control and all other blocks are not counts for being in that area.

I am amazing at that game. I crushed their hopes and dreams! Boom! It was very enjoyable. I had fun! You need the right crowd though for sure.












Found some more friends and played a new game called 7 Steps. HONESTLY, I should love this game. the colors the abstract-ness. Just too much downtime. Also trying to figure out the bonus tiles was a pain. No one posted English for those tiles- that we could find on our tiny phones.

In the game you pull 7 wooden colored discs. On your turn you must play a disc or more starting on the ground level of a color you are playing. After that you can keep playing discs adjacent by staying on the same level or moving up one level of an already built stack. You score points based on how many discs are in each stack you placed on.

I was terrible at this game. I was also going last. Mark like lapped me (every 40 vps is a lap). I would play again but there is serious AP in that game. You can't plan ahead because the board changes dramatically.

It might be best with 2 or 3 players.


















Sine I had the people there that wanted to learn Deus I taught them that next. It was available- amazing enough.

Fortunately, they all enjoyed the game a bunch! I MAY have gotten a few rules wrong I learned after the fact. Like only being able to send 4 coins as a resource to build a building and not during activation of a building. oh well- they will like the game still I am sure!

I had so much fun playing this game!





After we all broke up and got dinner etc. I took a break and when I came back I taught a group of gamers Abraca...what?. I really just wanted to play with Steve cause I hadn't played a game with him yet.

The game went well and Steve really liked it as I thought he would. The game does work better on a round table to see better.

Still fun after 2 plays!! It is on the radar for sure.





I wanted to play Castles of Mad King Ludwig again so I knew Steve would enjoy that so we got to playing that one. I taught the other 3 players in the game and found an AP player. The came can really drag with AP. it was not my favorite of the plays in the weekend but I am happy they all really enjoyed the game. I kicked butt and expected no less.

The auctioning in this game is just so clever. Well I enjoy it more than Suburbia anyways.







I wanted something a bit light after that so I taught a few friends Red7. I just taught them the way I know. I have played about 10 versions of this game and I still like the way I learned the first time best. I should get up to date with the current rules and try that one out soon. I love the color in that game!!






After that the crew broke up and I taught a new group Nations: The Dice Game. They had all learned Nations the day before and were interested in trying the dice game. I had wanted to play again anyways so I taught them. It is a simple game really so that was no issue.

They didn't pick up how turn order was determined and 4th player was *like in my first game* hosed.

They all hated it. When all players hate a game it sort of makes you hate it as well- it rubs off I suppose.

I am definitely on the fence about that game. I want to try it as a 3 or 2 player game and see if that makes it better. I will likely still own it cause I love nations so much.

I won that game by a large margin cause I was ahead on the book track the entire game.












I then taught La Granja 3 times count 'em 3. Ugh I could not hold anyone to that table. It was me and Lori and 3 explanations of the game. Finally Ron stepped in and we played a 3 player game. I thought I was doing well but I sucked and got the lowest score at the end.

I was so tired from explaining rules I wasn't paying attention. Thanks to Ron for actually playing with us cause I know it wasn't his first choice but we needed another player and Ron is a good guy.

Still love the game and I wish I owned it. One day grommet!










The final game of the night was another game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I convinced 2 players that didn't like Suburbia to play and Ron jumped into that with us.

Thankfully all the players loved the game and wanted to play again right after. Ron and I went to sleep cause it was like 2am.

Ron doesn't like Castles like I do and he still liked Suburbia more. I think because he understands it more. I understand Castles more so I like it more.

It gets rid of all the micro managing every other players board and makes it easy to count all the points you have acquired in the game. If you get lost you can always recount- unlike in suburbia. You have to just remember all the tiles and what they do and when. This is just more elegant and I LOVE the auctioning aspect of it.

Totally one up for this game over suburbia. But, Ron does not feel the same way.

I also crush at this game. That helps. I won by a decent margin at this late night game and I am happy about that since I was sleeping.

Once I get the game in my collection I will take some real photos. If you know what I mean.

Final board in that game:





LAST DAY on Sunday. We slept a bit later than normal as I was exhausted. I let Ron have no fun and made him play games with me all morning. I did manage to get in 3 new to me games. the first game of the morning after checking out of the hotel was Dragonscroll. WHY??? You ask? because it looks amazing and cute and amazing. I wanted to play it.

There is actually a game in there if you are playing with the right people. Like, my Monday night group would smash it down so fast and hard before you say "fireball tower of death". They would not enjoy it.

You have to take this game with a grain of salt. Have some fun with it. It is tile laying and defeating the elves and dwarves and wizards.

It is also an experience game. You must play this game at least once cause the bits are too fantastic. There is a marble tower and depending on where the marble lands you can kill certain things you are trying to fight. If you are fighting an elf than you are fighting all available elves in the linked forest. drop the fireballs in the chute and see where they land.

There must be some skill involved cause I got 9 Adam got 8, Mark got 9, and Ron scored 19 points at the end. Ron's a cheater. I think Ron won like all the games he played at the con 'cept Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

Cute game I would play again. I won't buy it, however.






























Since it was there and was on the lighter end of the game spectrum I had Ron read the rules to Madame Ching. I wasn't really expecting much from it so I ended up liking more than I thought. We played a bit wrong and I wouldn't have won so quickly but neither Ron or Marsha were having a good time with the game.

You have a hand of 4 cards and each round you place one card down. It must be higher in # to continue your exploration. If the card is the same color as the one you just played you just move forward 1 space. if it is a new color you move down diagonally forward 1 space. The further you go in exploring the bigger the reward. If you make it to Hong Kong or collect 4 of the 5 bonus cards the game is over.

I think the hand management is fun and I think this could be a pretty good two player. It will be on my radar at like auctions before cons.

It is very pretty!






















Ron, surprisingly enough, Had not played Deus in person at the con at this point. bu-whaaaa? How had he not done that? I had 4 other times! So, I made it a 5th time. Dan joined and we taught the game to Tim.

Ron agrees the game plays much better in person and definitely more fun. I was shocked he hadn't played it yet since every time I ran into him he said he had a group to try Deus with. I suppose that never panned out for him. Whoops!

I am glad we got to play a final time. If only I could have high-jacked that copy since I don't think I can wait till 2015 before getting my own copy. I love it so much!









The last game of the con before we left at 3pm to get real food was 7 Kingdoms. A simple card game that Dan had played before and was willing to teach. He taught and we played in exactly 20 minutes like the box said.

It was cute nothing WOW about it. I enjoyed the art and I enjoyed what it was trying to do.

You have a hand of 3. Each turn you play a card down and take a card depending on what card you played. Highest card takes first which are the peasants and lesser folk. The high # cards pick last like the king who would take 4 cards if there were 4 remaining. You can either score the card or put them in your hand. The only way to get more into your hand is to keep them in your hand and not score them. You will be playing them in future turns. The game ends when the deck runs out.

There are bonus discs that get placed when a bishop gets played. If those run out then the game is over that way. The bonus disc get award to the player who has scored the most cards of that color. All shields on the cards are 1 points. Add them up and the one with the most points wins.

















All in all an amazing time! I am already excited for next year. Best 4 days of the year!

I learned 29 games last week. Not too shabby!! I suppose now I have to go back to playing Deus on line like everyone else. It saddens me!


Thanks for reading- I know it was a lot. I had to write it all out!

Pics were a bit too orange for my liking I will be to normal pics once I start playing at home again. I didn't use the flash at the hotel cause I didn't want to upset anyone. I hope you still enjoyed what I did do though.

till next week. I am sure there will be more to report- there always is!


Happy games!!!

-Steph
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19. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:321]
Darryl with one "R"
United States
Redmond
Washington
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I acquired Ginkgopolis in the recent US Math Trade. After reading a bit about the game, I wasn't really sure if the game was right for us... but my GeekBuddies rate it very highly, so I thought I'd give it a shot. On Sunday afternoon my wife & I played it for the first time.

In the end, my wife pulled out a 122-103 victory. While we had collected a similar amount of success points during the game and our end-of-game bonus cards were also of similar value, she easily won the area control battle. That's largely due to a move she made on the 2nd-to-last turn of the game, where she flipped my 4-story building into a 5-story building of her own. That move ended up giving her control of the most hotly-contested district on the board.

Like many others, we both agreed that the game is pretty abstract. Because of that, we found it a bit challenging at the beginning to understand the turns and what it is that we were supposed to do. Generally speaking, I'm not at all a fan of abstracts.

However...

The game clicked for both of us after only a few turns. Once we got going, the game moved along very well, and I especially enjoyed the 'building an engine with cards' aspect of the game, which is one of my favorite quasi-mechanics. In the end, both of us enjoyed the game quite a bit. I'm glad I trusted my GeekBuddies!

Feels like an d10-8 to me.
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20. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:277]
Jeff C
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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This week was pretty good for gaming.

I have been playing the app version of Sentinels of the Multiverse a ton which has rekindled my love for this game. The problem with the app is that you only have 4 villains and a handful of heroes. This is fun and all but in my physical copy I have Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Infernal Relics, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Ambuscade Villain Character, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Unity Hero Character, and Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Scholar Hero Character. So in the evenings I have been whipping this out, slapping down my iPad with the sidekick app and going to town.

My first attempt was against La Capitan in metro city against The Scholar, Omnitron X, Unity, and the Scholar. This was my first fight using Omnitron X and even though I got curb stomped I loves his potential.

My second game was against the Enad(sp?) in the realm of discord. This time I tried out Chrono Ranger, Scholar, and one other. I never seemed to get going in this one either, and when I was primed for a big turn the environment would kick me in the teeth. I was able to get 3 of the buggers down but still had 2 on the board and they managed to knock out Chrono who was doing all my damage, from there it was over.

After these losses I returned to the app to get my mojo back by beating Citizen Dawn. Rejuvenated by this I brought out La Capitan Saturday morning while my uber pregnant wife and 2 year old both decided to sleep in. I brought with me Omni X, Tempest, Argent Adept, and Unity and we fought in the Block. The omni adept unity combo was just nasty. Using harmony to let people use a power out of turn I would trigger omni's play a card back on adept who would get more songs/instruments out (most of his cards are ongoings, which let me chain more abilities to the point I was able to let people play cards out of hand, which in turn led to an army of robots appearing from unity, which in turn made tempest sit back and basically be a healing not with healing rain. Only once did aka Capitan keep a more than one crew member on the board for more than one round. It was glorious.

Since we has a holiday Tuesday I convinced my wife to try Kingdom Builder on our iPad . This is of course after I had Pax Porfiriana set up and ready to go and her informing me she didn't want to think that hard. Needless to say she loved KB and informed me we needed to keep The Big Box I had still in shrink and was debating selling. This was helped by the fact that she crushed me by 20'points (I suck).

Saturday night marked the official unveiling if the Big Box. We used Lords, merchants, hermits, and the Capital. My wife had a very strong start and quickly spread to three of the four quadrants. Fortunately for me I was able to get the harbor tile and quickly start surrounding the capital. This would be what ultimately saved me as I managed to get 9 points from the capital. The wife won pretty much every other scoring condition but I was able to keep it just close enough that those points won me the game by 4 points. If she could have gotten at least one colony in the last quadrant she would have won. Great game!

Finally, we finished our week at the hospital as my wife went into labor Sunday afternoon. To help pass the time we walked around the labor and delivery unit playing Ticket to Ride on the iPhone (despite being in labor she's up 4-1 in the series.

We need the night with a game of Innovation on he bedside table. This game will forever hold a special place in my heart since it was the wife's suggestion to grab on our way to the hospital. She got off to a quick 3-0 lead but I was able to squeak out a win by using aggressive dogmas to crush her influence and squeak out a 6-4 victory.

please forgive all the typos, as per usual I was entering this on my iPhone which likes to autocorrect everything into nonsense.
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21. Board Game: Race! Formula 90 [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:1021]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Three learning solo games of my newest racing game, and pretty messed up they were. Not the most intuitive game I've ever tried to learn. This one would benefit from playing with someone who knows the game well. Rahdo's video helped, but it was fraught with mistakes, as well. I'm just now getting it down

Initial thoughts: better than Formula Dé but still luck-intensive. For now: 7.4 out of 10

As for my quest for the perfect open-wheel race simulation: "This isn't the game we're looking for. . . . Move along, move along."
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22. Board Game: 7 Steps [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:5286]
Daniel Valencia
United States
San Diego
California
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A light week for me

Monday
7 Steps
Tuesday
Würfel Bohnanza
Friday
Würfel Bohnanzax2
Sunday
Würfel Bohnanza

I like 7 Steps so far. It's thinky but not to the point where turns take forever. The two player game kind of overstays it's welcome. I am sure the three or four player game remedies that.
And yes... that's a whole lot of Würfel Bohnanza going on..

Looking forward to possibly a 6 or 7 player session of Caverna: The Cave Farmers this weekend. Oh and looking forward to trying out Asara soon. (Got it in a math trade)
Have a great week everyone!meeple
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23. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:113]
Brian Garmon
United States
Panama City
Florida
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Family was sick, so only 1 game last week between the wife and I. We were neck and neck until I reserved a 5 point card to block her and set me up, then it was immediately replaced by another 5 pointer that was actually easier for her to complete. She won after the final round 15-14. **shakes fist at sky**

Also played Curious George and Friends Spin & Go Board Game with the kids on Saturday.
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24. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:49]
 
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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UCon

Went to UCon. I only have con experience via DaveCon and found that to be far superior in terms of pricing, ability to play games, and out of con food options despite being 1/4th the size. DaveCon can easily be 1/2 the cost. Due to the focus of gaming at specific times, there was little to do in between and thus I was never playing at the rate I would at DaveCon. The gaming table was there as an option, but for a con that is four times the size of DaveCon, the offerings seemed rather pedestrian. So, twice the cost(roughly and possibly even more) for playing less games and minimal food options. Yay? I almost feel like if I had to do it over I would have just tried to find an open table, dropped down my three plastic tubs of games I bring to my game nights and a cooler full of food, snacks, drinks, and went, "Okay, who wants to party?"

Jamaica

Amazing components, mildly interesting choices with the cards, but I'm not sure how memorable this is in the end. The Dice Tower love on this shows how much they prefer family style games because I have a hard time thinking this would ever get played outside of that setting.

I took off to an early decent sized lead and ended up at the 15 VP spot, but so did two others and they had more gold and lacked a curse card so I finished in 3rd or last. The guy who was far back enough to get the -5 VP area I think even beat me due to his sheer amount of treasure cards and gold. There were few fights, but one of them was me against the guy teaching it, and he got to roll first. He had zero cannons and rolled the instant win side so my mass of cannons did nothing, and I got a curse card for my troubles. The guy teaching it also won.

Side note, another table was playing Formula D and they were having a big ole gay time laughing it up, cheering, etc. I got done with my game and was watching going, "I think I played the wrong racing game."

TI3

It had to be done. I totally sacrificed playing "need to play" games like Dead of Winter(sorry Jonathan) or Keyflower just to get a chance to play the behemoth that is TI3. The set up is better than Starcraft, which is an issue for me, but still has the typical issues that a modular board can have. I am a role selection whore so playing with all of the expansions and having that as an option makes me never want to play with just the base game. Combat is rather basic, but I honestly didn't mind it with everything else going. For its length, the game does due a stellar game at making things interesting as you go so as long as nobody is AP prone the game does move long nicely.

It was a four player game with another teaching it. Three people were new. The game was slotted for 6 hours and since people needed the table for the next game we ended after 5 turns. I think I was second or tied for it. One player had 5 VP while I had two. The one with 5 was the only player who had planets all around them while everybody else had dead spaces or hazard areas. Oh, they also happened to be the poster child of annoying kid there with a parent to where I don't think I've played with a more annoying player. So much table flipping was going on in my head. Another player during a bathroom break even made a comment on how patient I was. Annoying person playing a filler? Whatever. During TI3? (bangs head)

But is it good? Yes, and I would safely put it in the 8 range. It would be interesting to play it with experienced players and go for the whole game. Ours would have ended in two more rounds due to a card showing up. But, the length keeps it at bay in terms of getting it played. I can't wrap my brain around the idea of getting it played enough to really get all of the various races played let alone getting good at them. Maybe with the right group it gets pushed to a 9 after some amazing plays because it feels like there is that potential. It just feels like it would have to be that good of a play to get me to play a game for that length.

Village

Dominant Species was sitting at a table and only the guy teaching it was there. I was so tempted to play it, but thanks to 6 hours of super annoying kid I had a wicked headache, and I knew DS has a rep for being a brain burner. In the end I went and played Village with one of the TI3 guys. I enjoyed this way more than I expected even if I'm not entirely sure how many plays I would get out of it. I played so terribly but took notes so I'm curious if my ideas would work or not. I'll likely still stick it behind LoW but maybe not that far. It is tough to compare a game with one play when the other has 13 and well, I'm actually rather good at LoW. And yes, there was a chance to play LoW with one of the designers. TI3 people.
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25. Board Game: Drum Roll [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1109]
Dustin
United States
Kentucky
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Mixed bag of gaming day on sunday

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Fun little game, in which it's harder to chain that I thought. George won after complaining all game that he spent to much time using the bird. I would like to try it with the card expansion.



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I love Yedo, couldn't wait to play this one. What a huge disappointment. And that disappointment starts as soon as you open the box. The production is terrible, like worse than prototypes. I'm now super sad X-Files is being produced by the same company. After that, the rulebook is awful, contradicting itself and just being confusing elsewhere.

As for the gameplay. BLAH. Semi Co-op doesn't work. Which ruins the bidding. You also spend a ton of time just pushing around cubes... oh wait I'm sorry they were to cheap to put cubes it the games... terribly colored chits around on the board. It's not interesting or fun.



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We finished the night with Alien Frontiers. I had just sold my copy to a friend. I use to love alien frontiers. But as I have vastly expanded the games I play, I find it just to be ok. I ended up winning with a constant terraforming strategy.



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I love the idea of this game, but for some reason it just doesn't click for me. Patrick managed to win this 5 player game with control of the 3 biggest point scorers.



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Certainly better than Tokyo, but I still haven't gotten to play it with less than 5 people. Too much downtime and chaos to be enjoyable at that many people I feel.



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Made the mistake of playing this with 6 people. It's way too long at that number. However I think fans of clerks and playing it with like 3 or 4 people, can provide some good laughs. I paid $5 bucks for it, and will probably hang to it to bust it out once a year or so for some clerks throwback humor.



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I've been trying to play this game for awhile now. I love the theme idea. However I was also worried going in, Artipia Games has a terrible track record with me. Among the Stars is maybe the most overrated game in all of board games at the moment. Shadows over the Empire is a broken mess of a game.

Surprisingly and happily, this game was great. I really enjoyed all the different performers and things you can buy for your circus. The art is fantastic. I actually borrowed this game from a friend who can't always make it to group, so I can give it another go next weekend.

I do have one complaint, and it's significant. CUBES. Man does it really take you out of the theme. Much more than say waterdeep. Whats even worse, is they don't even name what the cubes stand for on the board or the cards. I think just by putting the names of them on the cards or board could have helped. Custom bits would have even been better. But didn't ruin the game for me, and if I enjoy my second play as much as the first I will probably come up with some custom bit ideas or some other solution.



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