GCL Ameoba 197 - Turkeys
Joshua Gottesman
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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GameChat League - Amoeba Division 197
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Welcome to this week's discussion list!

If you found us by accident you're welcome to join in the conversation -- we're friendly symbiotes in real life (and, in fact, we're looking for more interested and interesting people). If you want more info about the GCL in general or the Amoeba division in particular, follow the links above for more info. (If you're shy, just thumb the list so we can see who's stalking us.)

The current hosting rotation:

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

Remember that game you thought would be great and wasn't?
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1. Board Game: Turkey Day [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Yes, yes....Thanksgiving, turkey, I took the low hanging fruit. So sue me.

And the first entry here should be obvious. What games did you buy for which you had high hopes that turned out to be turkeys? Did you hold on to them? Get rid of them? For instance, I bought Bridge Troll when some early reviews were positive. We played it a couple of times and while it wasn't horrible, it wasn't very good, either. I quickly dumped it. Nobody misses it.
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2. Board Game: A Fistful of Turkeys [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Do you own any games that others consider turkeys and which still hold a special place in your heart? For me, it's Outdoor Survival, which was one of my earliest games. I still have a fascination with watching my guys starve to death. Hmmm...what does that say about me? Anyway, I could part with it some day, and probably not.
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3. Board Game: Turkeys Wild! [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Let's go the other way. Are there any games you consider to be turkeys that your friends still love to play? Do you scratch their head wondering "Why do they keep pulling that game out?" For me, it's something like Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. Neat idea, stupid victory conditions. Why anyone would play it more than once is beyond me.
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4. Board Game: Russia versus Turkey [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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What is your favorite game that includes the country of Turkey. It doesn't have to be centered there, however it should involve it. For instance, I might put Diplomacy here, although I haven't played that in ages. I wouldn't put Imperial, because Turkey is just a bit player there.
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5. Board Game: Encounters: Bravest Warriors [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:9713]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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We had gaming at my house on Friday and normal FLGS gaming Saturday. There was more going on than this, and I've been fighting a nasty cold and was spending more time wanting to sleep.

Friday we started off by playing Red7, which is deceptively tricky. I'd like to play it more. The one thing I'd say is that it isn't as short a game as I'd expected. It was still fun. While waiting for people to show up, we played Encounters: Bravest Warriors. I've mentioned before that it's a very silly game. Very, very silly. And fun. So we keep playing it. It's top of my filler list right now.

We moved on to Panamax where I came in a distant 2nd. Me forgetting to use one of my special cards cost me coming in a less distant 2nd. I'm really liking this game. Next up was Agricola, where I aggressively used a tutor/stone strategy to tie for the win with 46 points, which is an excellent score for me. Finals were 46, 46, 45 and 38.

Saturday started off with more Bravest Warriors as we waited for more people to show up. Lots of fun (and silliness) was had. Then we played a game of Machi Koro, where one player managed to get $27 on one roll (3 of the buildings that got him $3/ranch and he had 3 ranches, IIRC). Guess who one. Yeah, the game's not perfect and I'm looking forward to the Harbor, and I still enjoy it. Next up was another play of The Golden Ages with me and 3 new players. I usually lose when I teach new players, however I won this one...just barely. I think I won by 6, and I was in danger of not getting my end-game scoring card, which was worth 8 points. This was a very different game of it than the other 2, which bodes well for replayability. Everyone enjoyed the game, too.

I was supposed to play Castles of Mad King Ludwig and during set up realized that the cold was more powerful than my desire to play and pass on it and went home. Soon I'll play a full game of it.
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6. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:521]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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New to Me:

d10-6 Dragonscroll x2
d10-7 Alchemists x1
d10-8 Fields of Arle x1
d10-8 Tricks & Deserts x1

Return Visits:

d10-8 Hyperborea x3
d10-7 The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet x1
d10-8 Firefly: The Game x1
d10-7 Code of Nine x1
d10-7 Istanbul x1

Random Musings:

Dragonscroll can be an enjoyable romp but don't take it too seriously and be prepared for games of frustrating futility. There is some strategy to tile placement and card use, but the central mechanic is largely luck of the drop which can be very frustrating. Cute components as is normal with Fragor. I can't decide yet if this is a keeper.

Hyperborea continues to get quite a few plays...

Alchemists implements the App quite well and creates a bit of tension with the reveal. The oversight of the information board discs was disappointing - be sure to take a photo after every change since a simple knock on the table can reduce your information board to empty! There's cleverness here but I'm not certain if this will see a ton of play- bluffing and making educated guesses is almost essential. Money can be extremely tight and I'm not a fan of the artifacts after one play.

Fields of Arle was quite fun - much more so than I expected. There is a bit of difficulty initially in feeling overwhelmed with choices in the early going but as one gets going the flow gets a bit easier as you get set in your strategies. There seems to be quite a bit of replay value here. Although one is building up the farm, it still feels quite different to me than Agricola, Le Havre, Ora et Labora, etc...

Tricks & Deserts is a clever trick taking card game from my favorite Japanese designer. Each player will select three cards during the round to put down in the desert which will effect how many points each card you take in tricks will be worth. Highest card off-suit is trump if you cannot follow suit.
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7. Board Game: Grand Prix [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:3139] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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Plays:

d10-9Grand Prix - 3 plays of the prototype with my son.
d10-8Castles of Mad King Ludwig - 2 player
d10-7Camel Up - 2 plays
d10-7Qwirkle Cubes
d10-8VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game - 3 plays
d10-7The Ark of the Covenant
d10-9Terra Mystica

Thoughts:

Caleb and I have really been enjoying the prototype for Grand Prix. It's a follow up by the same designer as Thunder Alley, but focuses on Grand Prix racing instead. I must admit I went into it with a healthy dose of skepticism, but as a game, I've been converted (although I'd still rather watch NASCAR!). Both Caleb and I felt that there were so many more decisions to make in this game. The game adds two critical rule changes - a mandatory pit stop at some point in the game to change your type of tires and conditional linking, which allows you to really play with the cars in front of you on the Grand Prix tracks. The tracks are also obviously very different, with a number of one lane corners which can be helpful, but can also leave you susceptible to an opponent's conditional linking and left out high and dry. We've just had alot of fun playing it!

Camel Up is definitely a game that's alot of fun with the right group...and dull and boring when played with the wrong group...it did NOT go over with my nieces, but went over very well with the group I played with at my game group, although I won easily with $37...it was quite amusing to listen to the hard core Euro gamer across from me trying to calculate the best probabilities...and the inevitable argument towards the end of the game whether you could write a computer program to determine the best choice and how well that computer might do

Castles of Mad King Ludwig continues to be a very fun game, although I definitely prefer to play it with a higher player count. With lower player counts there's too much of a chance of certain types of rooms not coming out very often (many times just once). In the future, I think I'd tend to set up the two player game as if I was playing with tile/card wise. This was also a big hit with my game group, as the same group finished the first game and then said "Let's play it again". This is very high praise as this rarely if ever happens in my game group!

VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game continues to be one of my favorite shorter dice games. It just plays well, and you have multiple options...and it seems that by the end, almost everyone is either just a turn or two away from winning...if the player before them had just not rolled what he had...this one was well received both places I played it this past week.

Terra Mystica is a game I continue to enjoy, but generally do not play particularly well nor do I get to play it often...and then I had the luck to get the Giants...I did surprise myself in that I almost won the game (indeed I probably should have but I didn't think it through the final round and competed for the area majority when I really should have just settled for third and scored points in other ways). Still undecided about getting the expansion if for no other reason than I just don't play it often...although with the repeat of Zman's choice of printing quantities it's not like I can get it now if I wanted to anyway

Unlike this past week, gaming in the next few weeks is looking to be next to non-existent due to December activities taking over my Fridays and Saturdays...guess I'll have that much more to look forward to for Christmas break when Larry comes in!
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8. Board Game: The City [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1698]
Mikko Saari
Finland
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6 x _9_The City
2 x _8_Catan
1 x _8_Puerto Rico
1 x _8_Love Letter
1 x _8_Coconuts
1 x _8_Castles of Mad King Ludwig
1 x _8_Star Realms (new!)
2 x _7_Skyline
2 x _7_Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age (new!)
1 x _5_Port Royal (new!)

It's been a while since I last played Puerto Rico – I got a bit burned on it. My previous game was in 2006, though I've played it couple of times on iPad, but now it got back on the table. Because my son likes San Juan, I traded for a Finnish Puerto Rico. It was a hit, my son likes it. Very nice.

Port Royal didn't impress me too much. Star Realms, on the other hand, was a quite thrilling experience. It takes the Ascension engine, and makes it a bit more interesting. Too bad it's quite unlikely for me to actually play the game, as it's a two-player game I can't really play with my son, but fortunately there's a very good iOS version. I've been playing that quite a bit.

Roll through the Ages: The Iron Age is an interesting twist on the original game. I'd rather play this than the original, that's for sure, and I think the Bronze age is going to the trade pile now. Perhaps.
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9. Board Game: For the Crown (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:3047]
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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2x _7.50_ The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
1x _7.75_ For the Crown (Second edition)
1x _7.25_ Snowdonia
1x _6.75_ OWACON
1x _6.50_ Castle Crush!
1x _6.25_ Deus
1x _6.25_ Dragonscroll
1x _5.50_ Kaleido
1x _5.25_ Galactic Destiny
1x _5.00_ The Edict of King Budeaunia
1x _5.00_ The Little Witches and the Mysterious House
1x _5.00_ Red November
1x _4.00_ Barcode Battler
1x _3.00_ Flinch
1x _3.00_ Bonje in de stal
1x _3.00_ Warchon

Mostly more Essen gaming last week. Might write a bit more later in the week, but here are some highlights:

For the Crown (Second edition): I was glad to get your tips - what a great game this is! Even though you start with relatively little on the board (and the rules are not the clearest), the mix between board strategy and building your deck is simply great! Hope this hits the table more often. Just a shame that the laser-cut counters take so long to clean, but that only needs to be done once.

We quite enjoyed Dragonscroll as well. Even though those **** balls wouldn't roll where they should go at all in my first turns... Luckily B.'s luck dried up later in the game as well .
But somehow the flaming tower of death was just silly fun.

We also quite liked OWACON. Even though I get Joe Huber's criticism of the game offering enough actions to either *know* what you should do, or actually *do* those things, there is quite some room to game the players, and pay attention to what they're doing (or not doing)... A big deduction trend from Japan this year, I like it .

Castle Crush! - Wooden building blocks, and trying to smack them down. What other childhood dream would you rather want?

The Edict of King Budeaunia disappointed a little bit, but maybe it's better with more players. Somehow it all came down to trying to time the ability to dig up the bottom three tiles of each stack (which will be a lot harder in multi-player).
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10. Board Game: Fleeting Foxes [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:11470]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Did I mention that

Kevin Horovitz
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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is in town? He certainly opens up more play options, with his "willing to play anything" attitude and his mad PnP skilz!

_9_ 18EU -- Last Monday night we started out with four of us (Kevin, Joe, Joe and I) interested in an 18xx title. Joe Huber had been wanting to play 18EU, and Joe Rushanan suggested that we play with the "special powers" variant, which Kevin has PnP-ed a nice set of cards for. We added in one optional 3-train, which turned out to be a mistake. You have to decide how to distribute the special power cards; in this game we just shuffled them and dealt them out. Joe Rushanan got #0, which he used to take Amsterdam, and Joe Huber got #1 and #2, which he used to take Paris (N) and Brussels.

There was a lot of money in the game because we had excellent synergies, and it wasn't long before we had started 7 of the 8 corporations, but the companies all got train tight and no one ever opened the 8th company. As a result, the 3-trains wound up being permanent (I've never even seen permanent 4-trains in this game before.) As a result, the companies were all running for similar amounts at the end, and Joe Huber won by a narrow margin. Obviously someone should have started the 8th company.

No rating Spinning Plates x2 -- Next we played two games of Joe Huber's latest prototype. I believe this was the first public airing of this prototype, and although it didn't really work in its original form, Joe went back to the drawing board with more information.

_4_ Takara Island -- For our final game of the evening we tried this little Japanese game about digging for various items (including, of course, victory points.) To me the game was awkward and too luck-dependent, as well as, perhaps, having too much left-right binding. Not for me.

_9_ Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts x3 -- My daughter and son-in-law came over for Thanksgiving, and we played a number of games while we digested our turkey. We led off with a quick play of the newest arc (without the orb.) Then we played twice more last night. I enjoy Alien Artifacts quite a bit, and the variety is welcome.

_7_ Fleeting Foxes x2 -- I had been seeing quite a few favorable comments about this Haba children's game (not least from Mikko,) so when I put in a game order not long ago, I included it. It is a very simple game, but the rules are well designed, and I think it would work fine for 5-year-olds who can sit long enough to play a game. It's a roll and move game, not unlike Chutes & Ladders, but in this game each player rolls a die multiple times, assigning each die to a different player's fox and moving that fox. You must assign each die as you roll it, so you have to take some risks. The foxes are chasing a hen, and the one that catches the hen wins (but if the hen catches a fox as you race around the circular board, everyone loses.) I admired how well the game is designed, and am happy to play with adults. We played it again at our gaming group last night and it was reasonably well received.

_9_ Wyatt Earp -- When the kids were both still at home, we loved this game as a family and played it a lot. So with both of them on hand (together with our son-in-law,) we played a 5-player game for old times sake. The rules say it only plays up to 4, but if you're not too fussy, it works fine with 5. I didn't explain the rules completely, believing that everyone knew the game. My son-in-law had the worst luck I have ever seen in a complete game of Wyatt Earp, drawing almost nothing except Sheriff cards. What's worse, he had forgotten the rule that you can use a Wyatt Earp card to take a Sheriff card from the discard pile and play it right away (allowing you to play two Sheriff cards in one turn, contrary to the usual rules.) This was irritating. My daughter, on the other hand, had great luck and won comfortably with more than $30,000.

_7_ Dominion: Prosperity -- For our next game, Joanna and Jeremiah suggested we play Dominion, and we decided to choose 10 cards from the Prosperity expansion. I don't play a lot (I played Dominion 3 times in 2013, and this was my first play in 2014,) but I don't mind playing, especially with the more enjoyable expansions like Prosperity. I got a bunch of Peddlars and this helped me win our game with a bunch of Colonies.

_8_ Star Realms x2 -- Joanna and Claire wanted a break, so Jeremiah suggested that we try some Star Realms. We played a pair of games, with him winning the first (he thought it was close, but I had trash in my hand when he killed me) and me winning the second. I really enjoy this game, and it works very well as a 2-player.

.10! Empire Builder -- One item on Joanna's agenda was to teach crayon rails to Jeremiah, who had never played it before. My wife, who also loves these game, joined us to make it a 4-player game. We play it a lot as a 2-player game, so it was a nice treat to play with 4. This game was a laugh riot. For some reason, disasters kept striking just after Jeremiah left the affected area, leading him to claim the title of the "Fifth Train of the Apocalypse". This got us started laughing, and we laughed through most of the game. At one point I said, "Claire, it's your turn", and she replied, "I'm laughing so hard I can't see the board!" Not exactly people's mental image of a crayon rails game, but it sure was a lot of fun.

_8_ 1837: Rail Building in the Austro-Hungarian Empire -- We play quite a bit of 18xx at game nights, but there are some games that are too long to fit in an evening. On Saturday I decided to host an 18xx game day and sent out an invitation to people I knew in the area who play 18xx or might want to learn. In the end we got 9 people, one of whom had played only a single 18xx game, of 1846: The Race for the Midwest, and another who had never played one. We split into three groups of 3, with two tables of 1846: The Race for the Midwest and one of 1837: Rail Building in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a game I first played about a year ago and really enjoy. The two 1846: The Race for the Midwest games went well, with the new players enjoying themselves. I was in the 1837: Rail Building in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I really like the Dutch auction in this game, which (unlike that in 18EU) has some non-discounted items at the end to prevent anyone from getting too lucrative deals at the end. This game is not about bankruptcy (you'd have to make a deliberate effort, I think) but about making sure the track is right for the companies you are going to own stock in, and about getting the right trains in the right company. So, there's capital management, but it's more about using your capital wisely than about making sure it doesn't all evaporate. It was the first play for Kevin, and the first in a long time for John. We all enjoyed the game.

_5_ King of New York -- Last night Joe Huber taught us this offshoot of King of Tokyo. It has more stuff in it, and more to think about. For me, it bombed. I've tried Catan: Cities & Knights, but I like Catan so much more. And it's the same here. I like King of Tokyo, which does what it tries to do so well, but this game just muddies the decision process with a whole lot of things that I'm not interested in. I'll cheerfully play King of Tokyo, but I'll at least whine a bit if I have to play this.

_8_ Bakschisch -- After a bit of milling around, we played my second game of Fleeting Foxes and everyone else's first, and then the table generously humored me by playing several more games I wanted to play. The first is this wonderful blind bidding game in which you lose all the money you bid, win or lose. It's by Klaus Teuber and three other designers, though the listed author is a pseudonym. Kevin got off to a great start (outbidding me 5 to 4 at one point, which really hurts,) but Bill bided his time and made his move at the right moment. He got to the throne and survived the last fallback trial to win in a relatively short amount of time.

_9_ Paris Paris -- Next on my list was this Michael Schacht gem, which has a lot of luck but plenty of decisions. At the start, a huge gap opened up between Bill and me in the front and Kevin and Joe in the back. But the gap closed again, making it close in the end. Bill once again finished in first, with Kevin close behind him and Joe and I tied not far behind that.

_8_ Merchant of Venus -- Someone suggested this favorite, and Joe Rushanan asked to play to more than $2000 (you see more strategies this way.) Kevin was the fourth player to start, and he remarked that he'd have to whine about that all game. It was a fast, fast game. Joe bought a Red Drive and a Yellow Drive, together with a Transport. I swept up a bunch of artifacts: Jump Start, Auto Pilot, Gate Lock and Switch Switch, and saw big enough opportunities that I upgraded all the way to a Freighter. But Kevin stuck with his opening Scout and bought only a Shield. Instead, he invested in a chain of Spaceports and Factories and ran a loop that went 1a - 4 - 5 - 8, and he made it to $3000 before the rest of us could get our engines up and running. I was at about $1300 and had $990 in deliveries on my Freighter, and would have made it most of the way to $3000 on my next (short) run. I guess I'll have to ask to play to $4000 next time, if I want Kevin's well-executed cheapskate strategy not to win again!

_7_ Wits & Wagers -- Finally, the people who ran our office Christmas party today ran a large-scale game of Wits & Wagers as one of the activities. I played this twice at the Gathering back in 2005, and hadn't played it since. They divided us into five teams of 7. People were skeptical as they listened to the rules, but by the time we had finished 3 questions, everyone was enthusiastically competing, and afterward everyone was raving about how much fun it was. I've heard people talk about what a good party game it is, and now I can add my agreement.
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11. Board Game: Rolling Freight [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2016]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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1 x Alias
1 x Rise of Augustus
1 x Rolling Freight

Only 3 games played all last week.
I still somehow get involved in Alias. Could there be some connection with mental condition derived from alcohol? Anyway - this was one of the very rare times, when guys team won, so at least something different.
Rolling Freight though was a game I enjoyed. Yes, it was exhausting (mostly because it was next day after the night we played Alias), but well done job feeling after finishing the beast.
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12. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:355]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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On Thursday, I was at my Aunt's house for Thanksgiving.

_5_ Betrayal at House on the Hill - This was with me, Anni, Jon, Tina, Lauren, and Mike L; everyone but me and Anni were new. Jon recently ordered the new edition of this game, so he taught. Everyone was struggling a little as they kept finding omens and events that hurt them, except me--I kept finding lots of cool equipments and getting stat bumps. Some event sent me to the basement, of which there was currently no way out. Lauren triggered the haunt, which said she was the traitor. Turns out there was a mummy in the basement trying to marry some girl. Because of the haunt rules, the girl ended up materializing right where I was standing (and she gave me another stat bump). Both Lauren's character and the mummy both tried to attack me, but wound up not doing a single point of damage. Jon took care of some business upstairs, and slid down a shaft to hand an important artifact off to me. At that point, it came down to sanity combat with the mummy. Sanity was pretty much the only stat I hadn't maxed out, so I broke into the vault to get more goodies, including a puzzle box that gave me even more goodies. At that point, I smacked down the zombie and we won.

_8_ Slide 5 - Same group here; I don't think anyone was new. I was doing well until I had an absolutely terrible round in round 3. Managed to recover a bit after that, but didn't come close to winning. Jon was winning the whole game; I think he won.

On Friday, I was at my parents' house.

_8_ Caverna: The Cave Farmers - This was with me, Anni, Jon, Tina, Lauren, Mike V., and Kathy; only me, Jon, and Anni had played before. Seven players isn't really the ideal way to introduce people to this game, but as the alternative was Shadow Hunters (which I'm pretty sick of), I didn't complain. I started by filling my cavern because that's what was available to me, but it wasn't long before I started paying attention to my farm as I needed the food engine. I think I was the third player to get weapons, but I didn't invest too heavily in it. On the whole, I played a fairly balanced strategy, getting some mines, some fields, and some animals. It was getting late, so we decided to go nine rounds instead of 12. I won.

On Saturday, Anni and I went to Eric's house for a game day.

_6_ Can't Stop - This was with me, Anni, Rob, and 8yo Aaron (who was there with his dad, Mike K.). Rob bowed out halfway through the game, as another game was starting and he had crashed every roll he had up to that point. Anni secured the 12 column on like the second turn, while Aaron and I were focusing more on the middle columns. At the end, I think everyone (except Rob obviously) had two columns, but I managed to get 5/6/7 for the win.

_7_ Traumfabrik - This was with me, Anni, Eric, and another guy whose name I didn't catch--he was the only new player. When playing this game, it seems like I always try to bid aggressively on actors to win the parties, and always fail miserably. This game was no exception--mainly because shortly into the game, I found myself utterly lacking in actor slots on my movies. I had put an agency in one of my actor spots to help out with star values, but then held off on completing that movie in hopes of getting enough stars to best someone's else's offering in that color. Well, not only was I never able to do that, the movies ran out before I could take a fifth. I was able to complete all four of my movies, but the only award I ever got was for worst movie in the end. Eric, on the other hand, grabbed a ton of actors, won all the parties, and won easily.

_7_ Nauticus (new!) - This was with me, Anni, Jim, and Keith; Anni and I were new. After listening to the rules, I decided not to get over-ambitious with trying to build huge ships despite the big point bonuses, because I really wanted to get my goods going early. I got a one-mast ship out very early, and followed that up with a three-mast ship. From there, I focused on pumping out goods, paying special attention to coffee and whatever the white good was, but not ignoring the others. I did get another 2-mast ship completed before the game was over, but that wasn't too important. What was more important was that I got 6 coffee and 4 of the white good delivered. Meanwhile, Anni was focusing on building giant ships, and pretty much ignored the goods. However, she bolstered her points by getting a bunch of crown sails and masts and repeatedly hitting the VP spot. It seemed obvious to me that she was running away with the game, as she was far ahead with in-game points even before scoring 50+ for her ship bonus at the end. And I was right, though my goods put me closer than I expected.

_9_ AquaSphere - Same group here, and everyone had played before--quite a shocker for a game that hasn't been released in the US. Early on, I picked up a card that gave me 2 time when I programmed an octopod bot, which really informed my game. Basically, I went into the game playing the "get your robots off of your board" game, with my early game goal being to try to hit each section and lock in a robot there. I got in my first sub with a problem, but after that, programming a sub bot always seemed to conflict with programming an octopod bot, and I desperately needed the time. I did get a third sub down (I think by using a programming bot), but by the end of the game I was losing out on a ton of points because I didn't have more subs down. That said, I managed to luck into a whole bunch of majority points in the last two rounds that I really wasn't counting on. Jim was lagging in points for the whole game, but managed to fill up his green wedges. He only got 5 of 6 letters, but it was still worth a bunch of points in the end. I managed to edge him out in the end-game scoring.
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