What We're Playing - December 2014
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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The idea behind these lists is to post what you're currently playing, or just played. It's interesting to see who's playing what, to see if people are playing the same things, and to ask questions that might otherwise be relegated to a forum about a game with the benefit of the responses coming from someone who has it fresh on their mind.

Here's last month's list: What We're Playing - November 2014

This Geeklist idea was created by:
jes m
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Oklahoma
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1. Board Game: Anticipation [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:10084]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Katya, Tatiana and I played "Myreturen", and... it is amazing how much adults can scream and shout over a childrends game!

Katya started out the game pretty well, and Tatania did so too!
Around the end I was also comming good in and have was now only missing one piece, Katya and Tatiana was both missing two pieces - and the hunt was up!
A huge pile had build up and there was a battle of getting it! All three of us had only 1-2 ants left and it was Katya who had the huge tower: Tatiana and I rolled some doubbles and got to set up some barrier to make Katya's move harder and then we hunted her like the Sweden hunts Russian submarines; Tatiana then blocked my hunt for Katya's tower of ants but left behind one of her own ants, and Katya rolled a high roll (5/6/11) and she had a good leap towards the home, with Tatiana following. I rolled a low and was able to capture Tatiana's left behind ant.

Next rorund Katya did not manage to get to her house, but got closer. Tatiana followed - but I was lucky to get the roll that I can get into my house - and imagine: the ant I caught from Tatiana was the ant I needed to win!

Katya was so sure she would win - but I snatched her victory right infront of her!

Game set - and match
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2. Board Game: Trains: Rising Sun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:697] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Zoe M
Canada
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We started off December's advent challenge with two games of Trains: Rising Sun. We bought this game at BGG.con after playing it a couple of times there, and have played it seven more times since. I like this game laugh

The combination of deck-building and route building creates a lot of tension, because it's always so hard to resist building a strategic route even when you really want to improve your deck as well. There's also plenty of variety because of the variable cards available for purchase and variable bonus route cards.

We bought this at BGG.con because we could get the GenCon promo boards thrown in for free, which made up for the slightly higher price, but I think we'll be happy with the regular boards for a while yet. I'm pretty sure this one will be included in our 10x10 challenge for next year.
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3. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:724]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Lisa worked late today and wanted to turn in early (still recovering from the cold), so we went for quick games, starting with an old favorite, Shadow Hunters.

Yes, this is VERY much NOT a 2 player game.
Yes, we only had two players.
No, you don't want to know.



I was dealt David as my Neutral, and thought "oh yeah, David sucks. Still need to find a way to houserule him". And then I realized that actually the card for him already had a houserule on it. I think this may have been our first play since adding that rule (which lets him A) trade with another player and B) share the win with the other player with the most items). Made him a bit more interesting, and let him get a rare double neutral win - he and Cassandra (a custom character). I think he's still too one-dimensional though.
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4. Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire: Legends [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:660]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I just picked this up, having purchased it on TimeWellSpent's Black Friday sale (actually, TWS is extending their sale until Christmas, rotating which games are on it each day. This is dangerous).

I thought the original was very clever for fitting an area-control game into such a short and simple game, but it didn't quite grab me; straight area control just wasn't quite my thing. However, the Legends version adds abilities that you acquire during the game, and various conditional point scoring cards, which I think really adds to the fun factor of the game.

I enjoyed our first play. Let Lisa have an entire tile to herself though, which was a very bad idea!

Game is simple, the cards are interesting, and there's fierce competition. However, I dislike the setup rules (especially which the optional tokens) which are basically "one player sets up the board". Not fun. Need to figure out a way to randomize it.
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5. Board Game: Titanic: Der Mythos [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:13113]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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The girls and I played Titanic today - with house rules:

Normally you scatter out the boats around the ship but we like it more evolving by only showing the boats when we get to the sector of the ship needing to be abandoned.

Titanic is a card game with five decks of passager cards of nine each valued 1 to 9, nine ship cards where one will kill no matter what, and right boat cards with boats of 1st, 2nd and 3rd class.
The game is about saving the passages of M/S Titanic while she is sinking, by assigning some of your passages to the life boat in game of the round, but if you add too many the life boat capsizes and all passages are killed by the freezing water. Each class gives x3, x2 og x1 the value that you have played (positive if survived - negative if killed), and the winner is the one with most points after the nine rounds.

This game was won by me, with a good lead (doubble to Tatiana and over tripple to Katya).
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6. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Everfrost [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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The advent calendar of gaming suggested playing a winter or snow themed game on the 2nd. That sounded like a fun challenge, but we really wanted to play one of our new games or expansions. That sounded like a conflict, until I realized that Everfrost is winter and snow themed.

First physical play with Everfrost - and with the upgrade pack, which really improves the look of the board and tokens. We played Team High Form, Barbarian and Empire vs. Sylvan and Everfrost. There was quite a bit of back and forth. The B&E team triggered the endgame, but after one more turn from each side, it was a tie - S&E had 3 points from Legends that would just catch them up. However, it looked like the Everfrost turn wouldn't be able to score points, and the final Barbarian turn should score 2. But Lisa came up with an incredible combo using 2 card plays and triggered two frozen effects to "Isolate" an enemy piece for a 3 point score - and in so doing just happened to position the Ice Princess to block the Barbarian's plans, which would have scored 3 points for that team!

Everfrost and Sylan win!

I love this game more and more every time I play it; the puzzle-like gameplay is utterly fascinating to me. And I think it very cool that now with Everfrost every side in play can be different.
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7. Board Game: Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:382] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Tue, Dec 2

We played a round of SoB last night, venturing into the wintry Targa Plateau to meet the extra challenge for the advent of gaming.

We took our super posse (level 5/6) in, again using High Threats for our 4 hero Posse. We found what we were looking for fairly quickly, but had to fend off quite a crowd to get it (Epic Threat -> 2 Elite High Threats):



Then, in round 2 of the fight, my Saloon Girl's Chest Portal spawned a Low Threat ambush. But we all made it out and back to town with no injuries or madnesses. There were a couple new mutations for the posse to deal with, but my Saloon Girl is keeping her Fangs. She's still trying for the ever-elusive Prehensile Tail.
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8. Board Game: Elevenses [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2829]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Tatiana and I had a good night playing Elevenses, including the Special Guest add-on.

We had four rounds, and in three of the four rounds I managed to be the one ringing the serving bell, which ends the round. Luckly (for me) I was also the one winning most of the rounds, and got some extra sugar cubes (points) thanks to the Tea Trolly card, ending with a surplus of two cubes when the game ended.
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9. Board Game: Project Dreamscape [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:4347]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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On Monday and Tuesday, my game for those days was this with solo play.

Monday: Took out Perfect Respite and added Empowered Dreaming. Scores 56. Best chain was 8 cards. Ended with 5 Z cards. Took 18 minutes.

Tuesday: Took out Perfect Respite and added Invasive Dreaming. Score 61 - new highs core, finally broke 60. laugh I also got my new longest chain with 9 cards. Managed to end with 2 Z cards. Took 17 minutes.

I'm really enjoying solo play and in fact, prefer it as there's no one to mess up my plans. laugh whistle

This will be go-to game for the Advent challenge, which is good because I need to test more of the various dream types. And I eventually want to write a blog about solo play so need more experience. Before the above two games, I'd only played it solo three times and forgot to record it.
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10. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:15]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Finally got this to the table today. Took quite some time to punch everything out, go through the rules, set up and play - about 5 hours in total. But, overall, we did like it. At least better than Agricola. But I'm not super ecstatic about it. I think I may just be over this style of game that punishes you if you don't do a little bit of everything. Sure, it was better than Agricola, but it still wasn't all that. Anyway, what I did like is that we did go different paths. Will went after weapons primarily while I did a bit of mining and then lots of animals. We both did a bit of farming. For a long time, it looked like Will was ahead, but I managed to get a lot of animals right in the last few rounds and beat him by 3 points, 67 to his 64. I am glad we have the game, but it won't hit the table too often. I will say that I'll want to play this over Agricola any day. I just think there are other games I'd rather play than this.
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11. Board Game: Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:382] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Thu, Dec 4

I'm taking part in a BGGer's living campaign. In the Woodinvale Adventures (as I've dubbed it), multiple posses will undertake the same missions and report their results back to the GM. How everyone did in one mission will impact the next. There will be a total of 6 missions overall. We're taking in two level 4 heroes:



Tonight, we did the first mission, looking for The Missing Girl. The search for Becky took us into the Swamps of Jargono.


We'll find out whether or not we found her next week...
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12. Board Game: Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:2348] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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My friend Tatiana have bought this at one point but we never got to play it; but last night we did! And boy how I got beaten...

But first about the game; It is a quite interesting mechanic some purchasing using one type of cards, and later you might be able to play of an action cards (a maid) to gain extra effects or purchase some special, but rather expensive cards which gives you some VP + have a powerful effect! One of those cards also ends the game, and if you haven't managed to get the maids in your chaimber by that time you won't gain any points from them (with a few exclusions).

We had our first go of this and ended up laughing quite a lot, Tatiana was really close to being able to buy the game closing card but did not have quite enough to do so; by playing a few action cards that gave her some more cards on hand she managed to meet the criterias and bought it.

Then we had a counting session (imagine having to count at 2 am!); Tatiana won the game with little over 100 VP (IF I understood the card one of the cards correct), Katya got around 80 points and I... just passed 20.

I think it was a bit fun - but it is not something that I think I will be playing a lot... but still have to try it some more (also because there are 18 types of action cards but you only play with 10 of them at the time, so we have not tried out them all). Given the right time, place and mood we will have another go with a some of the remaining card types and this may or may not change the game a bit - as well as some of the mistakes we made might be changed "fixed"
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13. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2002]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Sorry it's been a while since I've posted here. This is the first time I've played (other than on Yucata.de and just reading rules and messing around with Myth) since August.

I decided to play a few games today for the Dungeon Roll solitaire challenge that Stig Morten (ad79) is running in the Solitaire Games on Your Table - December 2014 geeklist.

I picked Heroes that I haven't played yet this year (easily done since I have the Hero Booster Pack #1, the Winter Heroes Pack, and the Kickstarter Guild Leader character).


I chose the Minstrel, who once he levels into a Bard, has a pretty nice specialty skill: Not only can Mages and Thieves be used interchangeably, but Champions can defeat once extra monster. But he only scored 21 points (highest level reached was 6), earning the lowly title of Village Hero.


Next, I chose the Dwarf/Berserker hero who must start each delve with 2 characters already in the graveyard, yet gets special powers with Champions. He also didn't do that well, earning 22 points The highest level reached was 8, which is pretty high, but he got lucky with some treasure: Dragon Bait, Ring of Invisibility, and Town Portal (without which he would have not gained any experience for those levels). He also obtained the title of Village Hero.


Finally, playing the Mercenary/Commander, I finally had some very good luck (not only did I roll a lot of potions, but my treasure draws were quite useful and plentiful). His skills as Commander of having Fighters be able to defeat one additional monster, and of having a reroll once per delve also came in handy. He earned 36 points and his highest level reached was 10 (the final level for a delve). He is the first character I've played who has obtained the Hero of Ages title.
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14. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:519]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Continuing our way through our new acquisitions...Hyperborea!

This is a neat, relatively fast playing sort of civ/conquest game, driven by a bag of cubes. Different cubes are used to power different actions, and a big part of the game is adding new cubes to your bag. Clever and relatively simple mechanics to play, with a lot of variety in the game due to the large variety of possible techs and tiles that can come up. Really liking this one. (Well, with 2 plays...)
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15. Board Game: Bruges: The City on the Zwin [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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And Bruges with the new expansion! I like Bruges a lot, but was bothered by how weak canal actions are - it was usually best to just ignore canals entirely. The expansion fixes that, improving canals a lot and making them a viable occasional action or a viable main part of your strategy. Very nice! I even won with a bit of a canal focus.
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16. Board Game: Canalis [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:4593]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Last night Will and I opened Canalis for the first time even though we got it, er, well this time last year. lol. But that's what December's playing is focused on, unplayed games, now that the 10x10 challenge is over.

This was a hard game to get started. An open grid with lots of differently shaped tiles and neither of us had much inkling of what to do. Sadly, I think the rules could have done more to offer more advice on how to get started. But the missions helped direct us and after a few turns, we figured it out.

Will played Janis Velox of the Shadowmen and his special ability was to use a Guile token to play a second card that turn - very powerful! I was Maria Ubbriaco of the Canal Masters and she could use a Guile token to place either a 3 long canal or two 2long canals. While I didn't feel it was quite as good as Will's ability, I did use it at key points that really helped.

Will got off to a very strong lead in the beginning, literally locking up the harbor we were working from so that I always had to pay him 1 gold and then he had the only tenement for the first half of the game so he always got 2 points when a building was scored.

While I floundered around for the first part of the game, I didn't make any big mistakes. However, Will made two critical mistakes - blocking in the pigs and cutting off the canal at the end of the game. He ended up losing out more on that than me.

Which is why I managed to win 164 to his 144. My missions gave me more points than his.

Now for as long as I've written about the game above, I don't care to play it again. It has a lot of dickery in it, which is to be expected since it's a Tempest game and it's theme is politics. I loved the building up the board, even if my spatial reasoning is not the best. But there were points where Will stole the money I needed to do my action and at other points, completely block me out. Now I did that back to him a few times, but it overall created a level of stress that I didn't like.

I will never suggest this game, but if someone else wanted to play, I would. So I don't hate it, but it left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. I prefer my games a bit less aggressive and definitely not so much screw you.

But now our Tempest line is complete (for now). Here's my ranking:
1. Courtier
2. Mercante
3. Love Letter
4. Canalis
5. Dominare

I like Dominare less than Canalis because I don't like area control.
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17. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2204]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Yesterday we had the whole day to ourselves, with only one errand to run to the grocery store. So we reprinted our newer dice & card game Among the Ruins and played it.

The game is about excavating artifacts and appraising them in your study so that you can display them in your gallery. Artifacts are worth more in your gallery at the end of the game, but you still get a few points for those in your study. Also, artifacts in your gallery often give you gameplay bonuses that help you along and represent you becoming an expert on that kind of artifact.

The first game went pretty well, but some of the card abilities were still not clear on how they worked. We identified only a few (thankfully) that needed to be reworded and reprinted. But otherwise, everything flowed smoothly and played in the time frame that we wanted. I beat Will with 49 points to his 38.

Then we fixed up the cards and reprinted them, playing again. This play went very well, though I don't think we came across the cards we fixed, but that's fine. We'll get it to the table next Saturday at the game design meeting so we can see how it plays with 4 and then those cards will most likely pop up. I beat Will yet again, this time 38 to his 27.

Oddly, both games, I beat him by 11 points. I know play-testing is not about winning, but interestingly, I've beat him in almost all the games we played except the very first game where he knew the game better than me since he had just designed it.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I am just too awesome of an archeologist.

lol, anyway, after the game design meeting, if everything goes well, I'll be posting the PnP files the following week.
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18. Board Game: Egyptian Flood [Average Rating:5.11 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Finally I played this! It have only been on my shelfs for.... a year or so? I fell for the artwork but was a bit afraid to play it because of the many rumers that the game was a bit broken and needed more tweaking before it was really enjoyable.

I played the RA re-design made in Poland, but printed on a trusty InkJet printer... some time I might see if I can reengineer it a bit and share my ideas with the forum, and perhaps get a edited version of the RA re-design when I get a perfect edition working - and have it propper printed
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19. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:272] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them!"
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This was another play of the Solo Player's Guild Monthly Sentinels Challenge. Here were the rules:

Let's go here, there and EVERYWHERE!


Villain: Miss Information

Environment: FINAL WASTELAND


Heroes:

you HAVE to use Unity. The other 2 choices may be ANY female characters or promos in the game.


To clarify- You can use America's Newest Legacy (since she is a female) but not normal Legacy. Omnitron X counts on the male side, and you can pick the Sentinels for either side.



Scoring:

# of rounds+# of wounds+1 for each ongoing card of Miss Information's you destroy. Just to make the game more fun!

I chose Expatriette and Team Leader Tachyon to accompany Unity in her hunt to get to the bottom of Miss Information's nefarious plot!

My results:

Rounds: 7
Ongoing Villain Cards Destroyed by Me: 2
Expatriette wounds: 25
Tachyon wounds: 28 and K.O.'d
Unity: 18

Total: 80 points. Not as good as I might have liked, but better than a lot of my performances!

It didn't help that Miss Information had her Concealed Betrayal card out right away. Between that, and her starting ability, Expat really couldn't put her guns out. Good thing for me three of her RPG Launcher cards close to the top of her deck! Another thing that really helped was Freedom 6 Tachyon's Team Player ability. Both Expat and Unity really benefited from the card draws!

Speaking of Unity, she's a very odd character, and very dependent on being able to draw what she needs to get her bots out. I don't think I'd want to play her without pairing her with someone that could give her some deck manipulation support.

This was a lot of fun, as always, and I'm looking forward to taking the Scholar and co. for a run next week!
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20. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:582]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Pass the 'shrooms; it was time to walk the forrest to pick some of the fruits of the earth.

Katya was not home, so Tatiana and I played a two player game - and it became Fungi!

It is a quite nice and sweet short game, which is nice to play while it is not possible to get out in the nature picking up the lovely mushrooms that the ground gives us.

One of the mushrooms from the game also grows in my alley, where I have picked them up and fried them as a part of a nice, tasty sandwish:

The sandwish was made with a fried chicken breast, bacon and a cream sauce made from free imagination with the mushrooms on, after a quick dry-fry (to expel some of their excess water and boost their taste). The bread is fried on a pan in butter, and some of the bacon- and chicken juices.

The mushrooms? Laywer's Wig:
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21. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:51]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Tonight, we finally got our copy of Lords of Waterdeep to the table. We've played the game several times before, but always someone else's copy. Will thinks I'm weird, but I wouldn't cross it off our unplayed list until we played our copy. I probably am being weird, but I wanted to open and play our copy, especially since I got the awesomely cool DnDeeples for it.

Anyway, I forgot the names of the Lords we played, but I got 4 points for Arcana and Skullduggery quests. And I knew right off the bat that Will was going for Arcana as he took the quest that, once completed, gave 2 extra points for each Arcana quest completed. And he got most of them. But I did fairly well with Skullduggery. We hop-scotched each other for most of the game until the end when Will actually took a very valuable Skullduggery quest and managed to score it. I almost caught up to him at the end, but he completed 10 of his bonus quests, which Commerce was the other one, while I only managed 6 of my bonus quests. So he won 203 to my 185. Overall, a very tight game. And I love the new DnDeeples. Will liked them as he could not tell the pieces apart, which he couldn't do with cubes. We're both looking forward to playing this more and adding in Scoundrels of Skullport.
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22. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:215]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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I thought that'd be it for games, but Will wanted to play Munchkin Loot letter to decompress. And an odd thing happened - we like it more than the original because the theme came through more for us and we thoroughly enjoyed the humor. So as far as we're concerned, we'll be reaching for this version when anyone wants to play.

We wended up playing it twice because I trounced him in the first game, getting 7 points to his 1. I always have been good at the game. He wanted to play again, but not to as many points so we played to 4 points and he just won with 4 points to my 3. But he was satisfied with it. As was I.

(edited to change Love Letter to Munchkin Loot Letter)
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23. Board Game: Anima: Shadow of Omega [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:5040] [Average Rating:5.87 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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It was a very busy weekend - with a lot of gameplaying!

I had picked up the Anima card games used at BGG.Con; a guy posted online that he was selling "the co-op anima card games", which got me curious. Then he offered them cheap. Turns out, however, that they are not all co-op. Not remotely; in fact, a lot of the gameplay is "take that". I played a solo game (playing as two players) just to try it and was not impressed. Good ideas, poor implementation. At least they were cheap.
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24. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played several games of Machi Koro over the weekend. A nice light filler that plays well over a meal. Can't decide if we prefer the normal game with all the cards out, or the variant where you only have 10 different cards out at a time.
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25. Board Game: BraveRats [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1800]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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(R, not Braverats)

Friday we spent the morning at a local gardens taking family photos with some of Lisa's relatives, which was fun and nice. Lisa had to make it back toward home in time for a doctor's visit (just routine check-up). While in the waiting room, we played 8 games of R. She won 6. And one of my wins was just me playing the Princess while she played the Prince first turn.

Excellent 2 player filler, though we much, much prefer it with the variant where each player has 3 cards in hand.
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