Tennessee Game Days X - Not everything I play is by Splotter...
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
TN
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I recently attended Tennessee Game Days X, which is always a treat because it is local and also because I get to see some friends that I rarely have the opportunity to see. Plus I get to play some of the longer games I rarely get to play otherwise.

Before I go through the list of games I played, I want to thank all the hard working folks who make this event possible. Each year has been bigger and better than the last (and I have attended every year so far). We all appreciate the work that goes into making this event one of the highlights of Nashville gaming.

http://tngamedays.com/
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:211]
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
TN
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One of the signature features of Tennessee Game Days are the gaming tours that allow players of all experience levels to sign up to be taught and play a series of games, usually with some type of theme. This year is the first year I have actually run an official tour as another gamer and I decided that it would be good to give gamers new to the hobby an opportunity to play some of the modern classics that laid the groundwork for the types of games we play today.

So, to start things off on Friday morning we ran the Tour de Classiques which included Acquire, El Grande, and Puerto Rico.

We played with an Acquire set that a local gamer had created a custom board and custom hotels for (complete with little people and trees out front, pictured here). I think I may have one, but I think we all had a good time which was the main objective.
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2. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:57]
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
TN
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Next on the list was El Grande, partly for its historical significance and partly because of the new anniversary edition.
 
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3. Board Game: Puerto Rico Deluxe [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked]
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
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Next was Puerto Rico, although I did not actually play this one, I just helped teach it to get the players started as the other two games had gone a bit long (despite having played the "short" version of El Grande) and I had another commitment coming up...
 
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4. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:282]
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
TN
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Which was Roads and Boats! We had a spirited four player game with a bit of meddling (someone stole another player's geese after they had only researched one technology). I ended up winning fairly handily because I had a couple of mines and I had managed to mint some coins. As usual, I regret having contributed to the wonder at all, since another turn would have netted me another 20 points with my mint.
 
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5. Board Game: Indonesia [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:192]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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After R&B we started a game of Indonesia. I still don't really understand how to play this well. I managed to have all of the shipping companies at the end of the game, due to someone trying to merge them all out from under me, but I didn't hold a candle to the winner's score. Maybe next time.

After this it was about time to turn in so I could get some rest for Saturday's marathon of gaming.
 
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6. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:201]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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At one point it looked like we would have enough people for a game of Roads and Boats and a game of Antiquity in the morning, but several people had to drop out so we consolidated down to a single game of Antiquity.

We had two new players and one player with a little bit of experience so I taught the game and we were off. Early on I made a major rules mistake in my play which was not retcon able and so I pretty much didn't try to win, I just played to enable the continuation of the game. This was probably a mistake because the other players had trouble finding traction in getting to a victory condition, so the game went on for quite a while. Eventually the player who had dedicated to Santa Maria managed to surround someone and build all the buildings. We also made one other, lesser, rules error, but overall the game went well for a learning game.
 
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7. Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:332]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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After a short break I was ready for one more Splotter game. This is another one that I struggle with figuring out how to play well, but I managed to get an early lead and to keep my VR down and I actually won. I don't remember all the plays of this, but it may be the first time I actually won this one.
 
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8. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: The Alps [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Malachi Brown
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Hermitage
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After all those heavy games it was time for something a little lighter. Since we had not tried The Alps maps for Age of Steam, we broke them out. This map features tunnels and, by default, the box goes in the middle of the board to represent mountains. We quickly replaced that with little markers, though, to make it easier to see across the table.

I didn't win this one, and we had a bit of a standoff where one of the players and I both wanted to build a tunnel and he ended up building so that no one could build it. If I recall correctly, Verkisto pulled off a nice victory on this map.

The map was interesting, although not as game-changing as some of the others that are available. The rules have a couple of amusing bits where something has been lost in translation. "As with the base game, deliveries from the mountain cities to the other cities on the board provides +1 income." Or something like that...

Anyway, good times, except for the whole tunnel thing. NEVER FORGET.

As a side note, that's my hand in the picture. My hands are a little internet famous, even if I'm not.
 
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9. Board Game: La Boca [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1064]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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It's turtles all the way down.
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By now it was late in the evening and I decided to unwind by forcing some people to try La Boca. Aside from our colorblind friend not being able to play at all, things went smoothly and one of the people I taught immediately wanted a copy of their own. I didn't win this time, but I had a decent showing. There was also at least one card where the two players involved decided it was impossible to complete, but they were looking at using one piece incorrectly. This is both amusing and painful to watch when it's much easier to see the solution from the outside.
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10. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:279]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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And, to cap things off, we played three games of Hanabi. I think the most amusing part was probably my confusion when I was told about two of my cards being red but they were actually green (color blindness issue).

Clue giver: "These two cards are red."

Everyone else: "No."

Clue giver: "These two cards are... orange."

Everyone else: "Green."

Clue giver: "These two cards are green."

I was not sure what to do with those two cards and, as luck would have it, not playing them was the right choice since the newer one was a 5.

Anyway, we had fun and then it was time to get some sleep so I could get up early enough to play something serious the next morning.
 
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11. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1243]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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It's turtles all the way down.
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“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”
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But first my roommate talked me into playing a quick game of Set. We were both tired so neither of us were in peak form. I won.
 
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12. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Outer Space & Reversteam [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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It's turtles all the way down.
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“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”
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Ahh, the last day of the convention... always so sad to see people leaving and to feel the seconds tick away. To make the most of it I got up early and play another game of Age of Steam, this time trying out the Reversteam map. This was a new map for all of the players and was quite challenging despite the fact that the rules changes are small. Having to deliver to the first city that doesn't match the color (and isn't black/gray) makes for a much more challenging game. One player got a single 5 link delivery the entire game, and the rest of us scrapped it out for mostly 2 or 3 link deliveries. It was pretty rough and one gentleman who prefers a low shares strategy was particularly suited for this game. I ended the game with a positive score only by virtue of my track builds, as my income-expenses was negative. It didn't help that I picked a fight with the black player (see photo) at the beginning of the game. He totally should have known I was going to build there.

Anyway, Age of Steam is a good enough way to wrap up a great weekend of gaming. Due to other commitments, I was not able to play in the Take It Easy tournament this year (another signature event) but hopefully I will be able to next year. This year I also managed the math trade (again) and the Virtual Flea Market (for the first time) and I think they both went pretty well. Now I have a year to wait until I get to do it all over again.
 
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