Will update with thoughts a bit later, having PC issues which has slowed me posting this morning.
Lots of small easier to play games were played this week, kind of a departure for me as I like to make things as difficult as possible as you all know.
Started off with some Doodle Quest which was a lot of fun and we even got AnnaBeth to sit down for most of the game, even though towards the end she just wanted someone else to do her drawings for her, but she made it most of the way through and did a fantastic job.
Played a couple games of Dungeon Raiders, which is a game we got to review, and I'm looking to get a handful more plays of it with various player counts before I do that, but I think I should be able to get a full review of it up in a week. Fun game so far, with that always interesting twist at the end where you eliminate someone automatically from winning.
Closed out the week on Easter day with a 2 player game of Aton with Kerensa, and she flat out kicked my butt. No other way to describe it, haha.
I am Red!!
Looking to possibly add a segment on the podcast where someone else comes on the show and we talk a bit about what they played, either a specific game or just any number of games. Would be a 5-10 minute segment that we could just do over Google Hangouts. It would require that you have something to capture your audio on your end. I use audacity which is completely free to use. Then you would just email me your audio files and I'd put us together! Holler if you are interested, would love to get as many people involved as possible.
I got to play this while waiting for my wife's and son's dental appointments to be done. The Medic, Generalist, and Contingency Planner were the randomized roles which I thought would work well together. They initially did quite well, as the Medic kept enough dice in the Treatment Center for the Generalist to collect samples from, and the Contingency Planner helped manage the dice in the Treatment Center by turning them into crosses to be used to buy the events cards. The red, blue, and black diseases where cured, and Outbreaks were more or less controlled. Or so I thought, as dice built up in Regions 5,6, and 1 among red, black, and yellow diseases, and a massive chain outbreak finished me off just as I thought that I could cure the yellow disease during the Contingency Planner's turn! Drats!
Close, but not close enough! Another loss!
Maundy Thursday was a holiday, and this freed up Kent, Keith and Jim to join me in visiting Paulo's house. This was an afternoon of mostly new games for Pau, with almost predictable results for him!
This light bluffing and elimination game opened up the afternoon festivities.
Game 1: I win my first victory in this game as I win the race in earning money in order to coup Keith, as Jim, Kent, and Pau were eliminated earlier (this was Pau's first game).
Game 2: My win got me emboldened in second guessing the roles of the others, causing me to be eliminated first! Pau and Jim got eliminated next, with Keith getting the better of the duel with his brother for the victory!
The "meat" of the afternoon was this 2007 classic worker placement and area control game. We played with the Empires: Builder Expansion expansion even though this was Pau's first try, and the chosen countries were: Jim (England +2 colonists/turn), Me (France +1 Missionary turn), Kent (Holland +1 Captain/turn), Pau (Italy +1 Merchant/turn), and Keith (Portugal +1 captain/turn).
My free missionary meant that I would focus a lot on colonizing the New World, especially as I got a building later on which let my missionary bring in 2 more colonists instead of the +1 when he arrived on the map. Jim's +2 colonists/turn also enabled him to compete in this strategy. We spread out the most but Keith later on challenged in 3 areas, Kent in 1, and Pau only managed to dominate in 1 portion (although he managed to buff it in the last age with a builder). This game surprisingly saw the lack of a warfare strategy, and this meant the map got REALLY tight as the game progressed.
Commerce was another tightly fought area of the game. Jim and Pau had HUGE battles in the control of the merchant ship, and merchants and soldiers were heavily used to augment income in the colonization and discovery phases respectively. Pau later had a building which allowed him to swap goods with other players as well as got a building which earned him money every turn. It did take him some time to build this up though while Keith managed to get better income earlier in the game. I was the only one to take advantage of the buy 1 VP for 1 gold though at the end of the first age courtesy of a "gain 20 Gold" Spoils of War building. I needed that since I struggled with income for the rest of the game, and had to really use soldiers for additional income during discoveries. Everyone had their own "additional specialists" engine built, and this meant a lot of regular colonists were free to discover beyond the map in distant lands, resulting in the discovery deck being almost used up!
I had built up an early lead due to my early area control points, but my lack of money meant that I could not buy the best end game scoring buildings, and this meant Keith soon overtook me as he also did have control of some areas. Keith did very well in discoveries, but his board control was not much and thus he could not catch up to Keith and I. Jim also had issues with money and could not game an end game boost, while Pau's neglect in all but 1 area of the board meant that he had no hope in catching up despite having the best economy in the end, and Keith manages to pull away in the last instant for the win!
Keith rejoices in his victory in this competitively played game! Keith (blue) 114 Me (yellow) 98 Kent (red) 91 Jim (green) 80 Pau (purple) 75
This game of programmed actions was another new game for Pau, but it is such an easy game to teach and learn so playing the game was not an issue. The start was a bit weird since most of the monsters were one 1 side of the board while the recruitment tiles were on the other side, so this led to a lot of character collecting first before heroes started crossing over to the other side of the map to fight. The funny thing was that people started to cross at the same time, and this led to one player managing the kill the monster first while the other arrived to late and were left hanging since they didn't have any monster to kill anymore! This also meant that the early character censuses were quite competitive since people didn't get to use their characters, and there was a point where Jim hoarded most of the archers behind his screen! This was not the case in the end game though as the Titans had awoken and characters were used up in order to dispose of them. The game was over soon enough and Pau and Keith ended up getting eliminated in the first round as they had the lowest money. Castles were the next assessment and I knew I would be out since Pau had gotten to the monster I wanted to fight in the last round ahead of me, and winning that would have meant I would have survived the 2nd reckoning and Kent would have been out. Alas it was not to be so I got kicked out. The last assessment was area control, and Kent's heavy presence in the Northern part of the map meant that he would easily edge out Jim for the win!
Kent pre-programs his way to victory!
End game map, plus a view of the assessments. Kent (red) Jim (green) me (yellow) Jim (green) Pau (black)
We rounded out the day with a play of this in the evening. Kent still hadn't tried the 7 Wonders: Babel rules so we included this module together with the 7 Wonders: Leaders, 7 Wonders: Cities, and 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack expansions. We did the "hate draft" for the boards as usual, and this meant I had Petra B, Jim Abu Simbel B, Keith Olympia B, Kent Ephesos A, and Pau Alexandria B. The early game was quite tough as the yellow trading posts were nerfed as well as the multi resource cards, but the tiles causing those effects were quickly piled over and bonus resources then came out. Money was very tight for me and I was forced to discard cards just to gain money, especially as the 2nd stage of my wonder cost 14 coins to build! I did manage to build it but the end game had Pau socre a huge 38 points from Science and this was enough for him to just edge Kent for the win!
At last Pau gets to play a game he knows! Pau 72 Kent 67 Me 60 Keith 56 Jim 52
Enrique could not join us on Thursday, so I made a call for another session on Friday. Pau had declined but the others it turned out did not get to read my post, so me and Enrique got to spend the afternoon battling each other in a couple of games at McDonald's.
This was a game I had always wanted to teach him, and Friday gave me the opportunity to do so!
Game 1: Enrique predictably selects the Uthuk faction as it closely resembles the Chaos army he owns in Warhammer 40,000. He selects the Cursed Glade scenario where he had to have units in 3 forests in order to gain a VP/turn, and uses the Brutal Assault unit selection composed of all melee units. I pick the Barrow Mounds scenario where my Golems must be on Hill hexes in order to gain VP, and have a balanced all around force as my army.
Enrique makes a classic newbie mistake by focusing on the kill rather than focusing on gaining VP. He ends up moving his units out of forests and the VP banner in order to close in to my units, while I park my archers on a VP Banner and a Rune Golem on a hill. His lack of archers meant I could pick him off as he attempted to close to me which resulted in his mobile vanguard being decimated. He then decided he has learned enough and conceded when I was ahead 8-4 so that we could play another game!
Enrique ponders his next move as his units are being eliminated piecemeal, right before he concedes and I get an 8-4 victory!
Game 2: Enrique uses the Uthuk again, and this time he selects a Mission which seemed fit for his character. The Veil of Secrets mission enables him to gain 2 lore instead of VP during the VP step, and whenever he eliminated one of my units he could spend 2 lore in order to gain a VP. He also balanced his forces by selecting a few Viper archers in place of his Elites and Melee infantry. I selected the Blind Muir Forest scenario, where I gained VP as long as I had more units in the center than the Uthuk, and I removed the Rune Golems in favor of more cavalry and infantry.
The terrain was such that we were basically fighting with a huge hill in the middle of the board and had some cover on the flanks. Most of my units were in a wedge in the center where I outnumbered the Uthuk forces, and after turn 1 managed to grab the 2 flags on my side of the board versus Enrique's 1 flag, and this meant I was earning 3 VPs to his 1 every round. Enrique HAD to come to me and attempt to wrest control of the 2 flags away from me as well as kill my units so that he could spend lore to gain VP. Sadly this was not the case as he again attacked piecemeal and managed to achieve none of the above. I did sacrifice some of units by teleporting them behind the Uthuk lines and this meant he had to divert some of his forces in order to deal with them. He did manage to destroy several of my forces but by then it was too late as I was way ahead and won 18-5!
End of round 1. My units claim the 2 banners and my center has more units, and this guarantees me 3 VP per round unless Enrique pushes me off my objectives.
End of game 2. Enrique's failure to assault me early in the game costs him as the late game destruction of some of my forces does not prevent me from an 18-5 runaway victory!
Hyperborea was another game he requested to learn. I decided to go straight to a Race War so we used the race specific side of the homeworld tile. I was unsure about using the racial powers so instead tried the variant where each player selected 1 of 3 randomly revealed power of the faction's color (I decided to only have the 1 point powers to be selected). Enrique selected the Red Duchy of course (Chariots as the starting power), while I went with yellow and used the Golden Barony (marketplace as the starting power). Enrique really focused on warfare and mobility while I was on a more peaceful balanced approach, and this led to the Red Duchy destroying several ghosts and then keeping the Barony on the defensive by marauding all the way to my home tile.
The end game was triggered when we both got the objective tile for having at least 15 gems and when Enrique placed his last miniature on the map. I had greater points from my technology and by having more cubes, but this was not enough to offset Enrique's points from kills and territory so he wins 66-60!
Enrique's Red Duchy overwhelms my Golden Barony by sheer numbers for a 66-60 victory!
Saturday evening was council time again! I picked up Jim, Kent and Keith and we drove to the usual friendly neighborhood McDonald's.
I knew this was the game I had to bring out, due to the cheesy reason of it being Black Saturday. Jim randomly became the first player, and the game began with the the pirate ships being far from the merchantmen, and soon maximum value deliveries were being done. The main difference in this game was not players were not keeping money and waiting to flip over the 14 cost Objective card first, as those gave the most powerful ability. This meant that Keith could now use the Navy ship to attack merchants, and that I could use my merchant to attack a pirate ship with a load, or that someone's merchant could attack another merchant. The end result was that pirates now were targets instead of aggressors and got sunk more often than the merchant ships. Jim triggered the game end by flipping the last 10 cost card, but I also managed to do so. Kent couldn't since he still had an 11 card unflipped, and try as he might Keith could only muster 9 gold which was 1 short if flipping his last 10 cost card. This meant remaining money would be the tiebreak but since Jim and I both had 2 money left we emerged joint victors!
Jim and I rejoice in our tied victory, while Kent gives an inkling of what game we were to play next!
Pau had arrived by this time, so we lighten the mood by partaking in this fun party game. It was Pau's first try of this game, and this actually made him an initial target, but luckily the initial shots were blank. That may have emboldened him as he kept on failing to duck and thus he got eliminated. Kent, Keith, and Jim kept on passing on the Don's chair and in 1 critical round Jim was the only one left standing and unwounded and this resulted in him claiming ALL the cash that round. That was the clincher as when the game ended Jim ended up way ahead with 216K to Keith's 128K, my 110K, Kent's 107K, and Pau's 95K.
Jim's emerges as the Don after all the smoke cleared!
The final game of the evening was our first play of this title. To be honest I found it a bit of a bear to teach since you had to explain what each card could do, and then explain what were the victory conditions of each God. Everyone didn't have an idea what to do so the initial rounds were composed of tentative actions. The game sped up midway though, as by then everyone knew exactly what each card could do (after all, all you did per turn was play 1 card and then resolve its action). We also tried the intermediate scoring (which Pau won for 2 gold) and got an idea how the points were computed. The rest of the game then became a race to build your network of houses to the far ends of the map, and trading via the Merkator cards was heavily used in order to gain the goods you wanted. I still found it difficult to link the actions on the board to the end game scoring, as I wish the player aid contained more detail how each god was scored (which means I would probably need to print my own player aids for the game for each player). The game was quite long and by the time Kent signaled the last round by hiring the last 2 cards we had been playing for 2.5 hours. Kent gained the Concordia card as a result and this proved to be the game winner for him as he ended up tied with Paulo with 100 points, while the rest of us were bunched together with Keith at 88, Jim at 86 and myself at 85. Kent got the +7 points due to the Concordia card and leaped forward for the win!
I think we will need another play of this in order to give full judgement. I do see similarities with this and Navegador which is another Mac Gerdts we liked (ie you have to gain multipliers for things you achieve in order to score points), and I can guarantee that the next game will be much faster since we now know how it flows.
Kent's possession of the Concordia card gives him the 7 points to pull ahead of Pau for the win! Kent (red) 107 Pau (black) 100 Keith (blue) 88 Jim 86 (green) Me (yellow) 85
I am going to do this entry a bit differently. I recently got my Crokinole board! This pic made the front page, which tells me that Crokinole is well loved here on the geek.
So, that was a super awesome surprise for me this week. Spreading my love for the game with my pictures. I have gotten so many awesome compliments- truly amazing site and folks here.
As far as my weekly gaming, I am going to preface the entry with my total plays of Crokinole. Monday through Friday I managed to get in a whopping 16 plays. Mostly all with Ron. Though, I did get my mom to play a couple games with me. She LOVED it.
All I can say is- I thought I was amazing at this game, but, I am quite awful. My Mom beat me twice and Ron has beaten me in every game, morning & night. I did manage to win 2 of the games though. It is a start.
This game is so freaking addicting. SO. Absurdly. Addicting. It has been on my mind all of the time... Why is that?
I really don't know. In the mornings I have asked Ron to play before we head to work. We can usually get a couple games in.
In the next year- I will be shocked if a week goes by and we don't end up playing at least one game of Crokinole. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Monday night I didn't get out to game night. Ron and I peeled ourselves away from Crokinole long enough to get in a game of The Staufer Dynasty.
It's been a while since I have played this one I was excited to get it to the table again.
I think I just see this game more clearly than Ron. I pretty much kicked butt. I had my end goals in sight and played them out better.
Our game was particularly weird since 3/5 rounds ended up scoring one 1 region since both scoring conditions fell on the same region. We also played with a mix of the bonus cards. I like using the different cards each time since it adds a bit of variety in what you aim to do.
In the end I was over the 125 mark and I don't think he had quite made it to the 125 mark. So I would guess I was around 130's and he was 110's. yay a game I can win!
Still loving this one.
Tuesday night I wanted to try ZhanGuo again with 2 players.
For me this game offers really interesting choices to make and puzzling challenges to figure out.
Should you play this card to get that benefit now or wait to try and make it better by getting workers now- but then you might not get the benefits if the cards don't fall correctly. You know they won't fall correctly because Ron is playing against you, so, you should just do it now and get the benefits now. BUT, it is not as good as you want it to be so then you just wait.
That is basically how my mind thinks in this game. There can be a lot of second guessing but the game flows fairly quickly since you only play one card at a time before it is the other players turn.
For me, I am really enjoying this one. I hope to share this with more players soon.
Wednesday night Ron felt bad for me cause he was beating me so hard at all the crokinole, he suggested Ginkgopolis. I am not about to turn down Gink so we got to playing.
During our play we used the Experts and we played with the hold a card behind the screen module. I got my favorite expert card the girl who allows lower # to be played on a higher # without any points to be lost.
I had a rough game. I had a terrible start and terrible time trying to get tiles. Ron was running away with it. So in all my hopes to make me feel better Ron beat me at my own game. What a Jerk!
Still happy to get it played. I still play a lot online. I am so used to it online it can be hard to transition to expansion and re-thinking of what to actually hold and play down.
I still managed to get 123 to Ron's 140 though. Could have been worse haha. Now, those scores were from Ron's recollection so I might have gotten higher .
As Mina pointed out last week we hadn't played it, so I made a point to play it this week.
We tried with the variant where there are 3 Legend cards public knowledge that both players are working towards.
This really screwed Ron up. I kicked major ass in our game. He did manage to get a respectable 4 or 6 points by the end. I had 9 points though. With my final turn I bumped it to 10.
Needless to say, I enjoyed playing that way and Ron did not. So we will probably be playing that way about half the time going forward.
Ron is such a tough opponent. Sometimes I just want to win!!! He always wins!
Still love it though.
Thursday I managed a Win of Crokinole at night so I insisted we play other games after so I could keep the win fresh.
I wanted something a bit light and fun so I suggested Loony Quest. Ron still hadn't played before so we started with easy level 1. He owned it. We are both pretty good at visual games like this.
He did end up beating me by a few points, even with the mosquito I inflicted him with. I hit the stone in the boss level so I didn't score any points. Ron, however, did really well and passed me in the final scoring. He really enjoyed it- a lot more than Doodle quest, anyway.
After the game we went though some of the harder boards looking for the pixies. There is some bonus levels in the hard worlds.
I tried a few bonus levels just for fun and nailed them. I guess all the Crokinole games pays off in the bonus stages of Loony Quest, since you are flicking the discs.
I wanted to get in one more game before we called it a night. We decided on Roll for the Galaxy. It is a pretty easy pick for a go to night cap game.
This game I didn't get any decent rolls or have any decent plan. I mucked everything up. Ron was hitting up the Settlement plan pretty solid. He ended it about 4 turns before I would have liked because he just got 12 tiles built like that.
I had a sad score of 28 to his 34. Not terribly high either but still got me that time.
That random die roll just never falls in my favor- ever. Doh. Maybe we will go back to a variant from that 2 player variant thread.
I always suggest Rolling Japan. I was fortunate to find willing players. People are generally willing. It is not a game I can commonly get 2 plays of in the same game day but I still try to.
I am really into this game right now. It is definitely a current favorite.
I ended up teaching 1 new player and we got to playing. Generally, I can at least convince a game of Tokyo to happen right after Japan since it is faster. So thats good too.
We all did a pretty good job. Lots of 3s were rolled and everyone did fairly well in both games. I won the first game with 12 and I think it was a tie win for Tokyo with 6. Really good!
That game is so pleasing! I really love it!
I managed to convince the others to play a 4 player game of Blokus Trigon. This is a top 10 favorite game of mine. It never sees the light of day. That makes me sad.
I used to play it all the time on-line. They have since took the site down, and I have no one to play with. It is a game that is so challenging. It is my favorite abstract. If you can find (worthy) opponents that don't just gang up on Steph becuase she seems to know all, then game on. I want to try to make this a regular appearance. I don't know how to start though. Just got to find some others that sort-of kind-of enjoy it. It's a start!
In our game I did manage to win. Ron usually tries to get everyone to gang up on me but they weren't fallin' for it, entirely. I had 1 four piece left at the end. Not too shabby.
This game is a top 10 favorite for me and is rated a 10. So much fun!!
Riley brought out a new game for us to try called Boom: Runaway. New to me!
This is a really fun card game. In the filler category. We played with 5 which I think is the ideal number because all the craziness happens!
You are try to get past the guards and score points in paradise.
Each turn there is a initial card which everyone selects from their hand simultaneously. It is then revealed. If the guard is allowing 20 red bombs to go through it might be safe to play a red card value 7, for example. After that first card is revealed then players choose 2 more cards and play those simultaneously.
The guards have a passable # of each colored bomb. Collectively, you add up all the cards of each color and evaluate.
If a color adds up to be greater than the total then the person who played the highest has to remove all their bombs of that color and they go back into the players hand. Then another evaluation of the total of that color. Once the total equals or is less than the passable amount the person with the HIGHEST valued card(s) scored the bomb card(s) face up in paradise. All other bomb cards of the other players in that color are turned over and scored as a point at the end of the round.
The game is played in 3 rounds with lots of possible turns in each round.
I really enjoyed this game. Trying to psych people out. If you play something that other players can easily bust then they will, or they should anyways.
Very clever- I love mind games.
Riley also got a copy of Coconuts for us to play. New to me!
We had seen it before but didn't get to play it. It is a silly Dex game that is pretty great.
Try and shoot the coconuts into the cups. red cups are 2 points and yellow cups are 1. The player that scores 6 cups wins! I should say that cups can be stolen but the player that has collected 6 cups in front of them first wins.
Definitely cute and I would certainly play at any time!
Riley won, but I was second!
I convinced the 5 players to play world 4 of Loony Quest.
I am happier to be playing the harder levels now. It is getting exciting in this adventure of a game. It is certainly getting more complex.
This level was fun, but I was also winning. I had to play with the mosquito tile in 2 rounds- that was/is always really hard. There was a cool world where you had to memorize the board by looking at it for 30 seconds then draw the line from memory. Wow, super crazy!! It was awesome!!!
In the end I did manage to win but the others were on my tail.
I think Riley was the only one who had not played before so we explained it and got to playing. We played with my least favorite conditions where you need 3 victory conditions one of which HAD to be a tribune.
In all my games they have ALWAYS had that condition and they seem to always be 5 player games. I tried to suggest another one but we didn't play with it.
As I feared we were all fighting for the same thing and there was really only a contest between 2 players once my chance was destroyed by Riley taking my senators.
I think that is my major problem with this condition. Once I lost that there was no hope of me getting the win so the final 2 rounds were just whatever's for me.
I really enjoys this game. I want to play the expansion sometime soon. I think it should be with a group that already knows the game though.
I will not play with the same victory card again. I think it always boils down to the same problem.
I still love the game and think it fits well on my shelf. Solid game!
At that point we had some more gamers so 4 of us went and played Tajemnicze Domostwo. Mira was learning so I got to play as the ghost right off.
I didn't tell them I was playing hard mode and never discarding cards. I should have since I was not getting the cards at all for the clue for Riley and the Razor. I got no sharp items or even metal items. I had no red cards. I was really stretching for the clues. He didn't understand at all what I was doing.
Ultimately we lost. I didn't give Riley good enough clues
We did play again with Mira as the ghost. We had her play easier mode with discarding once per round. She was not giving the best of clues. It is hard as a first time ghost, that's for sure.
We didn't win that game either. I made it to the person and I guessed it too. Riley was holding us up again though.
This is a game I have been wanting to play for a long while. I really enjoy Ryan Laukat art and designs. I would not have been sad to have backed this on KS when it was there. I find it very difficult to get his games played, however. I really want to play City of Iron soon since I got the expansion that I want to try. I also picked up Empires of the Void in a trade or auction that I haven't gotten to the table yet.
This game is very clever. Usually, I am not one for worker placement games. This has a unique way about it though. Some spots any # of workers can go to. If the first worker to go there is #1 then all the #1 workers are free to go there. If any other # that is different the player must first pay a $1 to the bank. In other spots once a worker is placed then only higher valued workers can be placed in that spot going forward.
Aside from placing workers you could choose to fight a battle. There are different strengths for the battle cards. Easy provides 1 flag, Medium provides 2 flags and hard which provides 3 flags.
These flags are also found on building cards and are, essentially, the whole game. You are trying to focus on collecting sets of these colored flags. collecting 6 flags earns 11 points, which is the max. Getting more than 6 will do nothing for you. You can collect all the colored flags, but having few flags in many colors is not as good as getting more of one color.
In our game Riley and I were trying to build our army to fight the battles. It seemed to not be working too great. Riley was just fighting everything he could. I was trying to be more conservative and saving my $ and going for exactly what I wanted. For the most part I did a pretty decent job. I would have done things a bit differently in the last round had I thought more clearly about it. It could have gotten me a few more point for a potential win.
Riley won the game with 27 and I had 25. Feux Ron had 15 and Mira had 11. I am not sure what they were going for. I know they were doing a lot of expanding and not so much with the military. Riley and I clearly had a better strategy that time.
A really enjoyable game that if I can pick up in a trade or auction second hand I will. I can see plenty more plays of that. Fun times!
We had a 6 player game of Rise of Augustus. This is a game that has been on the shelf for a long while. I can't say I love this game. I don't mind this game. It is so cheap these days that trading it away is barely worth it. It will just remain in my collection until further notice.
We had to refresh on the rules. It had been over a year since we last played, or so it seems.
It's not a hard game. I destroyed everyone. I was a black horse. One minute everyone was at 4 completed and I was at 2, the next I was at 5 and an easy 6 and 7 for the win.
Well, I ended it and we counted. I had a large 76 score and next in line was new player Mira with 66. I pretty much owned it. I suppose that one can go on the shelf for another year.
It is fast and cute. I won't suggest it but it is nice it plays 6 palyers.
Joe C, Ron and Myself got to playing Historia per my request.
This game I really enjoy. It is really enjoyable to be frustratingly hard to decide on what to play and when.
The more I play it the more I love to hate it. I keep wanting to play it though. I don't know why!!?? This game challenges me and makes me think.
The one part of the game I absolutely hate is the temples/wonders. They are the worst part and really drag the game on longer and longer. It really bogs it down in an unfavorable way. I never go for the wonders because of that - but it means the other players are going for them and they are bogging the game down. There is no escape.
I think the game offers very interesting choices. I was in the lead all game going last every turn. I managed to get a huge boost in military in the final ages and zoomed to the corner of the board. I played the war card I think 3 times for and additional 10-12 points knocking the other fellas off the mini map.
We played this game with the mini expansion- civilization goals. This added to the race. It also geared the guys in the direction they didn't necessarily want to take. They both claimed to have made stupid mistakes. I did too, but I was going by what they were allowing me to. They were spreading out the Revolutions so much that I was able to get in all the additional actions I wanted/needed in order to make me play so well.
We hadn't played a 3 player game before. That could also factor into the high scores.
I ended with a whopping 166 points. Joe had 20 less at 146 and Ron (only his second game) got around 125.
It made me incredibly happy to crush Joe so hard in this game. He had destroyed me in all the other games of this we have played. He claims to have been trying a new strategy and it hurt him... mmhmm.
I am just refining my same strategy. The civ goals helped score a few more points but Joe beat me to all the early ones- I was pissed! I got him back though.
I will probably end up buying this game. I really do enjoy it. I think it might play well with just 2 and I am curious to see if it does.
The game give me a lot to think about during and post. I really enjoy that. I like winning too!
Don't get me wrong, I think there are faults in the game. But, they don't dissuade me from playing and enjoying the game there.
To finish the night we played some faster games. I taught Parade. It was a 5 player game. The game ended due to running out of cards.
All game I was collecting the purple cards. Pat wasn't collecting anything. Joe and Ron played their good cards early. Riley and I were taking all the cards.
I think Pat won with like total of 7 points. I ended with 15 and Ron had 14- grrrr. Riley and Joe had more.
I enjoy this easy card game a lot.
Riley had another new game for us to try. Banjooli Xeet. New to me!
What kind of name is that?
It is a racing game with ostriches. Riley pimped his game out with LEGO ostriches. I didn't even know Lego made ostriches - with colors no less.
Their heads pop off and everything!!!!
It matters because during the race the ostrich can end up with his head in the ground. Every player has a secret goal that wants certain ostriches to finish first second third and last.
On your turn you have to roll the dice. You have the option of re-rolling 1 additional time. There are many white dice and one black die. you can either move 1 ostrich with the value of the white dice. Or you can de-head or re-head an ostrich using the black die result.
It was cute. I don't think I will be requesting it -ever. I would rather play deep sea adventure, for example.
I really enjoy this game. I think it is more clever each time I play it. I was happy to get in more than 1 round this time. Noramlly the groups I play with only play a round or 2 before it leaves, as it usually acts as a filler until the other table is done.
This time we really got into it and played 4 rounds.
In the first couple rounds I got insanely good hands. I was timing everything well and Collecting the right # of cards from abluxxing others. I got all 8 3's and a boat load of 12's. (as shown below)
I think I scored 20+ from that hand alone.
The final couple rounds Pat had the hands I had crapola and was not getting better when I was abluxxed.
Pat creamed us in the final round when he went out. Everyone had large negatives to add to their score. I went down from a score of 35 to 19. It was baaaad. He killed us in the game! Riley and Joe C were both really far in the negative scores.
I think the game is super cute and I would happily play whenever!
Finally I taught Joe and Pat For Sale since it is fast. They, apparently, had never played before. Whaaa?
With a short explanation we started the bidding. The game is probably best with 5 but we had a good time with just us 4.
I can't remember who won at this point but I had a fairly decent score with 49. I think Ron had about 52. He is a poop!
I think the guys liked it. Its hard not to like it. Called it a night after that.
Sunday was Easter and I got in ZERO games. Ugh -holidays ruining my game time. I got some yummy food though.
Hopefully- more gaming this week. I was happy to have learned 4 new games this week though. It is a start.
Next weekend TableTop day so that will be fun I surmise!
March of the Ants - I played another game of March of the Ants at this week's meetup. The last time we played everyone seemed very wary of actions that required food, so we didn't do a lot of exploring, but we really fought over the hexes that did get added to the map. This game included a lot more exploration, and it played very differently as a result. Conflict was way down, I think everyone got one 3 point bonus for collecting a complete set of evolutions. I started out just trying to better balance my larva/food resources, and I think I did a pretty good job. I claimed several spaces on the board that gave me a nice mix of resources. About half way through the game, I played a head evolution that gave me points just for fighting (as opposed to winning), so I made an effort to pick a lot of fights. The interesting thing about the fights (to me), is that I actually didn't mind losing. Sure, I would get more points if I won, but in losing, I was able to get some points while keeping my ant population down so that I required less food. This really is an interesting game. Rating: 7
Arboretum - On Wednesday, some friends came by to play cards, and we all learned Arboretum. We played four 3 player games. I really liked this game, but I'm not sure the other players enjoyed it as much. It seemed like the scoring was a little too complicated for them to easily grasp. In the first game, I was the only one scored any points at all. I think everyones grew to understand it better with more plays, but even at the end of the night, I wasn't sure that anyone other than me actually liked it. My Wednesday night group are not gamers by any stretch, and this one may have just been a little too much. When my wife got home from work, I told her about the experience and we sat down and played a couple of times. It plays really well with 2, and we both enjoyed it! Rating: 7
Brought Formula D to get it played and one of the people in my group even owns it. Part of the problem is a guy owns LoW and had only played it once so I ended up being a willing teacher even though Formula D got played on another table. I thought I was set up as well as I had ever been getting both quest that would give two extra VP for the quest I already wanted to complete. The problem was either I actually grabbed the other lord of the two I drew, or I had it wrong one from the start. Also, the kid who won played a Mandatory Quest that pretty much nuked me from any chance of doing well as it required two clerics and I needed the one I had and more. I ended up with a mighty rare 4th place out of 5.
Pretty much moved back into my favorite co-op. It was a teaching game for some and this was the first time playing it straight versus people who would give obvious clues via vocally emphasis. I picked up on how to do clues and what I take from clues better. We got 14 in part because a person discarded the third blue 1 which meant blue was locked out all together. I came to the conclusion using cards is annoying, so a copy with the tiles is on order.
- Lone Wolf: The Roleplaying Game - five players. Fine session, not the best one, since in the middle it dragged more than I wanted - mostly my fault, as I let one player "fight" other, in trainning, and it took a great while. I must try make the next session better.
- Cthulhu Wars - four players. Cthulhu went ahead and was trounced by everyone else, being left with only one gate. Still, it has some elder signs and a fine amount of points, but some decisions in the late game, as to fight against Shub-Niggurath instead of Nyarlathotep, were questionable. In the end, Nyarla, holding 6 gates for two rounds, was the winner, with exactly 30 doom points - in the last round no one could really hurt it much, as it has way more power than anyone else and was able to do whatever it wanted.
* Tie-breaker due to number of wins: Tiago 1 (3 wins), Tiago 2 (1 win)
Final points per team: 1º - Team Tiago - 338 points -- champion 2º - Team André - 304 3º - Team Marcelo - 301 4º - Team Red - 300 5º - Team Éder - 296 6º - Team Orange - 279
- Middle-Earth Quest - three players. Shadow won as it was able to advance quickly the yellow (One Ring) marker. Only a couples of fights happened, which was weird, since the objective of the heroes was to take out minions of the Shadow.
- Sanitarium - four players. We played in the cooperative mode and lost badly - only one player found his three safe items, and in the desperation phase we notice that we had left only three paths to the foyer, so there wasn't a chance for all four patients to escape the Sanatorium. Therefore, we lose, badly.
The layout of the Sanitarium near the start of the desperation phase:
- High Society x2 - five players. I still don't know how to play this properly. In the first game, I was the one eliminated with the least amount of money. In the second I was more careful, and manage to end with zero point (hey, but I was still third, ahead of the eliminated player and the one with minus 4 points).
- A Study in Emerald - five players. I did everything wrong, and entered into some fights for cards that, in the end, left my deck without really good cards to actually be of help to me, as a Restorationist. I still tried to make my team win, and could have done just this if the game returned to me, as I could call Cthulhu to destroy a Loyalist city, and tie with him for last place (but passing it with the score of the War and Revolution tracks). But, alas, it wasn't to be, as the Zombies eat my two agents before my turn. The Loyalists won.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game x2 - two players. We tried to Escape from Dol Guldur twice, with Bilbo, Beravor and Theodred in one deck, and Legolas, Boromir and Éowyn in the other (the one I was using). In both plays, Legolas was out (in the second time, we took, randomly, him, but we wanted to try the scenario with someone else out, so we draw again, and again was Legolas, so we knew Fate was working). In the first time, lots of location flooded the central area, and with a condition on Éowyn making her spend two resources every turn to be in ready position, I couldn't call for any of her allies. Travel was really tough, and we lost to threat, without ever passing the first area. In the second play we did much better, as Éowyn was free of that condition, and I could put on the table some horses and scorts that allowed us to manage the travel much better. When we got Legolas back, I could keep one Eagle receiving attacks, and travel was even easier. We dealt with the Nazgûl in one turn, with the help of Gandalf. Then, in the final area, Faramir made us reach 21 of travel, and we ran to escape and for the win!
- Sentinels of the Multiverse - two players. Haka and Scholar faced Infinitor in the Enclave of the Endlings. At first, the villain had the upperhand, dealing 9 of damage to Scholar in a single turn. But once the heroes prepared their stuff, Infinitor took a beating. In the final turn, Haka dealt 29 points of damage (20 for the Savage Mana plus 9 for the haka of combat) and Scholar another 13hp of damage. Infinitor was arrested, and the heroes won the day!
Went down to my parents on Saturday. Hit a couple of thrift stores on the way down and picked up a copy of Take It Easy!
The game count was:
1x Stamp (4p)- Stamp is a card game with two decks. You put four cards face down and two cards face up in front on you in a 2 rows, 3 columns configuration (with the two face up in the middle). You try to numerically match the top and bottom cards to zero out a column. Kings are worth zero and jokers are -5. You cannot flip over any of the face down cards - you must replace them (or flip them over at the end of the round). Once someone has six face up cards everyone else gets a final turn and then you count up points. Once you reach 100 you are out of the game. Last person standing wins. I was out very early - my wife and dad battled it out with my dad victories.
1x Cribbage (2p) - Played two games of cribbage with my dad. Beat him both times, which is rare.
2x Take It Easy! (2p and 3p) - Decided we would give this game a try. It a light filler game - we only played single round games. First game against my wife (I won by 3 points), second game with my wife and dad (I think my wife won).
1x Aces Wild (4p) - Another card game - single deck. Dealt 7 cards and you are trying to lay all of your cards down in packs or runs. The wild card changes each round (starting with Aces and going to Kings) and there are two jokers. My mom won this one.
Sunday was a lazy day. Since we don't have kids Easter is relatively low key.
1x Take It Easy! (2p) - We played through the full game (4 rounds). I believe we were tied for rounds won but I ended up winning by a little over 10 points when all of the totals were added up.
The family enjoyed Spring Break all week while I worked long hours making for a very light game week.
Sunday evening I managed to play the Spirit deck a second time in the Passage Through Mirkwood. It was a very short game as I suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of evil. Eowyn was taken out early. An early location card prevented me from getting additional cards at the same time I was facing Ungoliant's Spawn and Hummerhorns. I was utterly overwhelmed with two weak heroes. I didn't even finish out the scenario as a convincing defeat was unavoidable.
Monday I played some Tower War with my daughter. We used the advanced drafting rules for a good, close game.
The tower was leaning treacherously, and we were just about to start our sixth battle when she knocked the table and the tower went down.
Afterwards, we had a good game of Kamisado, which she won as usual. I started out strong, winning the first two rounds, but then I never scored another point.
We had a couple of fine games of Summoner Wars, on Tuesday and Sunday. Tuesday's game featured my deck "Transcendent Sera," where her champions were the Archangel, Coleen Brighton, and Father Benjamin, and her principal commons were Priests, Warrior Angels, and Cherubim. In the opposing "Jexik's Edge," champs were Doc, Hawk, and Malevolence, with Slashers, Tinkerers, and Stone Golems as the commons. Sera got the Archangel out early, and he gave Jexik direct trouble. Later, some Slashers managed to hassle Sera. In the end, while champs struggled for the center of the board, it was a series of one-hit Cherubim that spelled a loss for Jexik.
On Sunday, I played "Rallul's Sorting Hat" with Mundol, Etch, and Magos for champs, while non-starting commons were Owl Familiar x1, Time Mage x3, Apprentice Mage x6, and Rune Mage x4. Play was hugely successful; won with a card to spare in the draw pile. Jexik's Edge again failed to get Malevolence into play!
Thursday was the "So Hideous a Chain" Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game meetup, where I lost two games. The first was with my Explorer deck Blurry Horizon. The second was our first three-handed game with Cenacle rules. These didn't seem to satisfy as promised, and we might actually revert to the FFG rules for multiplayer.
Friday we played Arena: Roma II, which was brutally quick. I went on the attack at the start and never let up, so that the game ended in under 20 minutes with a score of 9 to 0.
I also played a game of Onirim on Friday, with the Glyphs and The Book of Steps Lost and Found. The deck gave me absolutely everything I wanted. I won with 15 cards left in the draw deck.
Saturday I played a couple of solitaire games of Rune Age, finally getting the Orcs to a win against the Cataclysm scenario.
Saturday afternoon was a game of Concordia on the Italia map. My daughter was doing great in the early game, but later got hobbled by a sugar crash, thanks to her after-lunch candy consumption. I bought Smith and Mason with my first Senator play (turn 2 or 3, as I recall), and I stayed focused on Tool cities throughout the game. I scored big on Jupiter, Saturn, and Minerva, and I went out by buying the final personality card, with only one house unbuilt.
We played the beta PNP version. The rules were difficult to understand, even though I've played a lot of Carl Chudyk's games in the past. The game had a strange flow to it, where for the first few rounds it seemed like neither player made any progress, then suddenly the game ended in a flash. There's potential here, if we invest more time in getting to know the game more. To a certain extent I feel like my love for Innovation doesn't carry into Carl's other games.
This is a game where you bid cards with different symbols, trying to get the majority of one or more symbols to win the ability to place your palaces on the board spots. Ideally you want to work so you make chains of your buildings to get the most points. There is a lot to like here, but the downtime between turns is very high with 5 players, and the game works out to be a little to chaotic. You can find yourself fighting hard for key spots and then missing your opportunities to connect to those spots making the previous effort meaningless. It's fine, but it could and should be a lot better.
This is a fun, smooth flowing dungeon crawl game with Cthulhu style monsters and a wild west setting. In general the game is all about making your die rolls. There are some luck mitigation tokens which help a lot, and as you level your character more options are available to you. The game is fully co-op and the board is built randomly from a deck of tile cards. Player turns are quick and satisfying, and player abilities are different and interesting. In terms of components this game leaves something to be desired. The minis are creepy looking, but don't hold up in comparison to similar games. This game also doesn't come with alternate gender hero minis even though you can pick the gender of your character. It also doesn't come with tokens for gold or experience, asking you to write that stuff down on a sheet. There aren't many monster types, and in a single scenario, you will likely see all of them. In terms of playing a campaign, players only get exp when they hit something, which means by the end of a level, different characters will level at different rates depending on how effective they are. The game also asks you to write down your new, leveled up abilities rather than give you cards representing those abilities. While the campaign scenarios themselves flow nicely, the book-keeping step at the end of going to town to spend your stuff is a bit over-complicated. Overall, I like this game a lot, although I feel it's in need of expansions and lots of help from the fan community to make up for un-included components. In terms of feel, it lands somewhere between Mice and Mystics and Eldritch Horror.
We had some players new to the game, so we only made it to the end of Age 2 due to time. We honestly would have been fine if everyone had been paying attention to what was going on. All three of my opponents had their phones out the whole time, and when it wasn't their turn they tuned out and texted, or played cell phone games. It made the flow of the game impossible, as people were asking 'whose turn is it?' and everyone else would say 'YOURS'. I really want to ban cell phones from the table unless you are looking up something for the game everyone is currently playing. That being said, everyone said they enjoyed the game a lot and wanted to play again soon.
Jaipur saw our table again on Monday evening for two games. The first game was remarkably close: I won first round by 1 point, she won second round by 1 point, and I managed to win the last one by 2 points. Any of those rounds could have easily gone to the other person. The second game was a little more one-sided. I won the first round by 5 points and then second game by 12. A large part of it was thanks to the cards just coming up with things I didn't want and feeling pressured into just trying to quickly take the high-value tokens without worrying about the 3, 4, or 5-card bonus tiles. I didn't think it would pay off but it seemed to work out in this game at least.
She was eager to play Saint Petersburg on Tuesday so I wasn't about to turn that down. This on was a fairly close game for the entire length. She'd lead in the markets while I'd lead in buildings and nobles. I thought the bonus card that I had was pretty ridiculous - score 3-times as many points as my highest blue-value building was worth - right up until I realised they meant the points the building grants (7), not the purchase value (20). Whoops! I was a little suspicious of her buying up a bunch of yellow cards towards the end of the game as my taking them wouldn't have given me the lead in any of the areas; I suspected she her bonus card had something to do with it but wasn't sure since I hadn't checked the rules ahead of time to see what the possible ones were. Turns out, that exactly what she had. She raked in a massive 46 points from her card which seemed pretty unbalanced to both of us as the rest of the cards didn't seem to offer anywhere near that potential. As a result, she blitzed ahead in the final scoring with a total of 220 to 186.
We played two games of Apples to Apples with my wife's parents as they're staying with us for a while. They're not big gamers but this one was easy enough to get them to play and enjoy it. My wife won the first game while my father-in-law, having lost the first game with only a single green card to his name, managed to weasel his way to a win in the second one. As usual, everything just came down to who made the best argument for their usually awful answer. Can't say it's a great game but we had a bunch of laughs.
Our last game for the night was a round of Dixit. I was sure that only my wife would get one of my last hints but it turned out that everyone picked my card (two by knowing, one by sheer luck) that cost me dearly. My wife managed to win the game with a score of 43 with her mom right behind her at 42. I was right behind them with 40 while her dad was just a few more points back at 37. Pretty tight game overall.
Wednesday: Suburbia (1x, 2p): a very nice tile laying, city building game. I won for the first time.
Saturday: Power Grid: The First Sparks: (1x, 3p): We played this for the first time. Some of us had played Power Grid before, but none of us own a copy, so I had picked up that game in a trade. The technology market is basically taken from Power Grid, we like that element. A very good game. I lost 12-13-15 because I had invested to few food in expansion in the couple last rounds (or I didn't see the end of the game coming early enough). Once again it's about timing, knowing when to invest. The winner (15 VP), had no fire (unlike the rest of us), so he always invested most of his food, which turned out to work quite nicely. (because the prices for expanding more than 1 per round increase non-linear). Definitely want to play this again!
El Grande: (1x, 3p): In the midgame, when the leader (also the person who keeps winning every game) ran away, I decided to try to finish second. Such a strategy does of course work well in games like El Grande. (e.g. I did scorings where the leader got more points than me, but the 3rd player didn't get any points.)
(As always we played a variant without HTI, meaning the cards played and the cabelleros in the castillo are open.) THE area majority game! Still a very good game today.
Suburbia (1x, 2p): When I came home, we played another game of Suburbia, my brain was quite "burnt" though, so I didn't do well. Also, the distribution of the goals was a rather strange combination.
Another busy week, the weather starting to get nice, kids in sports, etc, etc. The Easter Holiday was nice, I'm coming down off the sugar high today.
On Tuesday night, after the very fun Middle School vocal concert, I squeezed in a play of Strat-O-Matic Baseball before heading off to bed. I played the '11 Mets vs. the '11 Pirates. The Mets were the stronger team in this one, winning 7-5. I'm having a lot of fun with this one.
Wednesday, I was able to get together with my Bro-in-law for a game of Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition and enjoy one of his home brews. This week was day 3 of Gettysburg (Pickett's Charge) and a wonderfully smooth Saison. From my side of the board, the task laid out in front of me seemed pretty daunting. I tried to avoid the charge right up the middle until I had weakened his troops with my artillery. I tried to work the flanks and get behind him. He jumped out to an early 5-2 lead and I thought all was lost. I was able to scratch back to a 5-5 tie and eventually lost 7-5. Lots of fun.
My folks came Friday night to enjoy the weekend with us. Time to dig out some lighter games to play. My son and I played two games of For Sale with them. My son won the first and my mom the second game. I forgot how much fun this game can be. I always spend it all.
I picked up Zombie Dice at the thrift store a while back and decided to try it out on my folks. I wasn't sure if they'd like the theme or not. Don't think they are real big on zombies. Well, we ended up playing it 31 times over the course of the weekend. I think I'm all zombied out for a while. Don't get me wrong, it was great fun and we had fun... just going to sit on the shelf for a while. As you can tell, my folks really liked it. Liked it so much, my mom bought a copy for herself and we went to Jo-Ann fabrics, so she could pick up some zombie fabric to make some dice bags for our games. Gotta love Mom!
I've also had Monopoly Express sitting on the shelf for a long time and asked my mom if she'd help me figure it out. The rules are a little vague on a few things, but we house ruled them and had fun. After the first game, we drug Dad into it and he enjoyed it too. It's got that push your luck element, which my folks like and some strategy too. You can't do everything, so you try to do something that will give you the most bang for the buck (so to speak). I'll get this out again from time to time.
Mom mentioned that she hasn't got to play Kalah in a long time. Dad won't play it and my daughter stopped playing with me for some reason. We had a good time playing a couple games. With the help I got over the weekend, I'm now at 60 on my 1x100 challenge. Now I've got to start blowing the dust off some games to get that last 40! I'm sure Geekway in may will help.
Lastly, I taught my son how to play SOM. I'm glad he liked it. He's looking for a chance to play again. In this game, he wanted to be the Cubs, so he grabbed the '14 Cubs and I took the '11 White Sox. He got all geared up in his Cubs hat and jersey (that's probably why he won, right?). He got on a roll in the first inning and knocked in 3 runs. He never looked back and beat me 6-2.
Sick again! Turns out I've been fighting the flu and officially diagnosed. Doctor put me on some powerful antibiotics to clear up my head told me to take Easter weekend off to do a whole lot of nothing.
I did surprisingly well making it to the 4th round in a Star Realms tournament - considering I'm typically level 5/6 most of the time and I was playing level 11-14 folks I was happy. Finally kicked out though.
Just before I was out sick we had a our monthly social meet up with a group of architects at a bar. I often bring a game just in case. Telestrations is still the best party game I have. Not all architects are great artists...
I had received a shipment of games hoping to get the played at our Thursday night game night. Since Rolling Japan can be played solo, I've played a few solo rounds just to try it out and see what kind of score I can get.
Once again a game I purchased in cardboard - came available (cheap) on android. This time it was San Juan. I played several solo games of that too.
The most disappointing thing was my mother was traveling through town on her way back from Florida and I had to quarantine my self in the guest room and we put them up in a hotel. She and I would normally get in a game of scrabble when ever we are together. Maybe next time.
Played more games than usual last week. No complaints, here!
On Wednesday night, a friend came over to run me through Washington's War, and by run through I mean beat me to a pulp until the game mercifully ended. There are some things about this game that I like a lot less than Unhappy King Charles, but I still want to give it another go. I'm kind of getting into the history of the American Revolutionary War and the fact that you can play WW in under 2 hours is pretty appealing.
Work sent us all home early on Friday so we could prepare our sacrifices to the rabbit gods or something like that. The important part is that I got to go to game night much earlier than normal. I played a rousing game of Ra before getting to my prearranged game of Maria. My inexperience with the Prussians really shined through as I had supply troubles at all the worst moments. I really needed that annexation of Silesia to happen. I was within a point or two of victory when out of supply Austrian forces whacked my supply train leaving the Prussians to run back to Berlin.
The French were actually pasting the Prags on the Flanders map and were able to push just hard enough to take the win. We all made some supply missteps, but it was a tense game.
We played a quick game of Age of War, aka samurai yahtzee, which was a pretty fun filler. We then played a game of Quartermaster General which is a game that has really been losing its luster for me. I've played a few games where one or often more players are forced out of the game with multiple turns left. There's still things I like about it, but I've got my copy in my "for trade" list.
We wrapped up the evening with a four player game of Imperial. I remain ever the bridesmaid with this one as I can't seem to get a win over my Imperial nemesis. I guess he plays online against some real sharks so I'll just have to up my game. Really fun time, all the same.
Attempts to save the world took on a few different looks this week.
On Tuesday night I went to the FLGS game night for a couple of hours. I basically walked in and said that I would play any game (I like to try new games when I can) as long as it could be done in about 2 hours. To my surprise, we ended up with a game of Sentinels, which I have recently been playing a lot of (and loving it). The person running the game had ALL of the expansions, so we ended up in a tough five-player matchup against Progeny in the Enclave of the Endlings. Four of us had played before, and I was Nightmist (which I had played once before). Accompanying me were Fanatic, Argent Adept, Ex-Patriette, and Setback. Setback behaved himself, and though two of us were incapacitated by the end, we managed to win a close one! Still amazed at how much I am loving the game after not being impressed the first time I played. It was the first time I had seen Argent Adept and Setback played, too, which was cool.
Wednesday our new copy of the Swagman's Hope expansion for Agents of SMERSH arrived, and my homework was to learn the rules so that we could play it on the weekend with our gaming group.
Friday night my wife and I played a best 2-of-3 of the basic rules of Red7, where I lost the last two games after winning the first one. It's a fun little filler, and has become the default portable game for us.
Later in the evening, we played a two-player variant of Sentinels, and Ra and the Visionary (and the support deck) took down Akash-Bhuta in the Megalopolis. The combo of the damage-dealing Ra and the deck-manipulating Visionary worked really well.
Saturday was the birthday of one of the folks in our gaming group, and we took her and her family (husband, two kids) out for an early supper. Then we went back to their place to play some games! I do not think it was intentional, but we ended up playing all competitive games (we usually play co-op)!
We started with a game of Mascarade, which we had not played in a while. I was close to winning (12 coins) when the birthday girl had a bit of a brain fart and claimed Cheat when she only had 7 coins (which means that even if she WAS the Cheat it would not have helped her). Worse still, her daughter claimed Cheat as well and actually WAS the Cheat - and she had 10 coins, winning the game!
Lest we think that she was losing brainpower, though, the birthday girl thoroughly trounced all of us in a game of Dixit: Journey. Normally I do really well in this game, but I was firing on all of the wrong cylinders. I finished way back in 5th place (out of six). I just could not get on the same wavelength as anyone else.
To finish the night, we played a round of Red7, and the birthday girl won again!
Sunday we got together with the same group after Easter services for lunch and some more games (co-op this time).
We started the afternoon with a five-player game of Pandemic: The Cure. We were doing pretty well, having cured three diseases, but two attempts to cure the fourth disease failed, and a succession of outbreaks did us in. Still a lot of fun.
Agents of SMERSH was the next attempt to save the world, this time via spying. This was our first game incorporating the Swagman's Hope expansion, and on the whole I think the expansion is fantastic. It allows the players to more directly affect the Lobo track, and the dynamic with the Red Intel is a good one. There are a couple of rules that we did not like, but on the whole we really enjoyed it. It was a tense battle, but we managed to take down Dr. Lobo and his henchmen and keep the world safe for a while longer.
We finished the night with a five-superhero Sentinels battle against Gloomweaver in Rook City. Argent Adept, Mr. Fixer, Ra, Tempest and Absolute Zero prevailed in a close one in the hostile environs. The important thing is that everyone was having fun with it even as we were getting tired.
Patchwork was played once again this week, no surprise. On Monday, we played Seeland, which left me a bit underwhelmed. Granted, we did play the "beginner" variant and it just felt like it didn't have any sort of tension. I'll have to give it another try with the advanced variant. A friend and I introduced someone to Bohnanza and Ticket to Ride on Tuesday. Wednesday night saw my brother and I playing two-player Scoville, which was a close game; we both ties with 76 points but I had more money for the tiebreaker. Finally, we played a four player game of Alhambra last night. I had forgotten how fun it was. The winner swept us with 101 points to 85, 84, and 76.
Well it was a pretty good week. Have a great week everyone
Discovered a facebook application which finds you backgammon players to play live. Backgammon is my favorite classic abstract, so I enjoyed playing this one quite a bit. Level of competition is pretty solid as well, so that's been a nice find. I find my game definitely needs polishing, I'm still not reading board positions quite as well as I would like to be.
My first time playing the modern game. I've played the 1970s version of this, but not the modern game. Both of us were playing this for the first time, but we'd both watched the excellent Box of Delights walkthrough, so we were able to dive right in and had very few rules questions. Requires more plays to understand the strategies and tactics, but it played very smoothly. I played Sauron and was able to quickly get my forces moving, but the Fellowship was able to avoid detection and slipped into Mount Doom just as I had my troops conducting sieges on Minas Tirith, Dol Amroth and Helm's Deep for the necessary victory points and was able to destroy the ring. The theme is captured very well and is a definite upgrade over the 1970s version. From a usability perspective, it would be nice if the various military units were a little more distinct.
Our second go at this. Very close game 70-67. He focused on cities an using big reserves due to warehouse while I focusd on free actions and hand size. I think I need to thin my deck more in the future, but am still puzzling this one out.
Monday was my monthly strategy meetup. This month there was over 20 people there, I played Airlines Europe with 4 others. I really thought I had the game locked up, I was dominant in both green and orange and got those two to be the highest, but one other player had red dominance way earlier and I just couldn't catch up. I, at least, finished 2nd.
This weekend my 8 and 10 year old nieces were in town, so I tried to play some things that would appeal to them.
First, we played Roll For It, the 10 year old won, as her father was making her moves for her. She wasn't even at the table when she won.
Next, the two girls played some Sorry Sliders, they seemed to really like this one.
Finally, the two girls, their father, and I played Jungle Speed. This was a hilarious good time.
We played a 4-Player tournament so we played 3 mini games against each player to develop a win/loss record then drafted Coaches and started playoffs with the traditional pairing of 1st vs 4th and 2nd vs 3rd and the winner of that went to play best of 3 World Series for the title. I taught 2 new players and it went well. My team was called team "Kitty" as I wear a fair bit of cute cat t-shirts, the other team names I believe profanity rules forbid me to post their names. Team Kitty started off buy buying an amazing natural slugger (2 home runs) which turned out to be the best player I bought all game. Team kitty went down in flames first round but bought some serious robots to generate hits and came back by the end of the series and went to play the big game against a heavily all natural players without a single microchip. I had a simular problem with team DB earlier so I had drafted a cyborg player that cancels all natural hits but he cleverly used a coach to get him ejected from the game and replaced by a scrub. Team kitty put up a good fight but eventually the batteries ran down like a cell unplugged overnight. Tournament was listed to last 2 hours but with teaching new players and getting familiar to the game flow it took 3 hours, we all still had a great time but I would recommend shortening the initial play maybe to 3 buy rounds then 1 game vs each player then start the playoffs series.
I love this Cardline series, it has much better replayability than the Timeline series as it has 4 different numbers per card instead of 1 and with American's knowledge of the rest of the world it is always comical. Basic gameplay is each player is dealt 4 cards facedown, flip over one card from the top of the deck then starting player decides where the card fall in order of the number range they think it has, if they are right they add the card to the row of cards if they are wrong they don't get rid of a card and must draw a replacement first person to get rid of their cards is the winner.
My first play with Super Motherload with 3 players. This was a fun game even with one player being stricken with severe AP. As per usual when teaching games I came in last but had a great time with this deckbuilder Dig-Dug clone. I had tried to get it to the table earlier in the week but got a strange objection by someone named Doug, his objection was just because of his name and the game being associated with Dig-Dug video game must have triggered some unpleasant memories or he saw the cover art and went "Oh god, it must be a Kickstarter game" in his mind It's really fun digging deeper and going to the level and setting off bombs to get a awesome payday. Highly recommend.
A great 5 player trick-taking game. The basic game play is 4 colors, must follow suit led and low card takes the trick (baaad). When you take the trick you get the Foppen token which means you sit out the next play. First person out ends it and gets 0 points or -10 if they ended without having the Foppen token, all other players count the numbers on all their cards and add it together for their score. Lowest score after 4 rounds is the winner. My first and did not go so well and I got 27 points but came back at the end to end in 2nd place. I find the play interesting and the art charming, to bad it's sooo out of print. Easy enough to create the game play but no easy way to get the feeling that the art brings.
5 Player Easter game. I always have fun regardless of how well the colony does. This game I had the Fortune Teller and Kodiak Colby. Things where going surprisingly smooth as one person had took the cook who freed our cards up to meet the goal which was to deplete 2 building locations. My fortune teller found a sniper rifle and went over to the library to snipe and read books (I need 2 books in hand to win) but other players where getting suspicious of my hiding out in the library as we didn't need books and came within a hair of exiling me before the last play of the game. Luckily cooler head prevailed and I won my first DoW game ever (1-5) along with 1 other player, the other 3 did not achieve their personal win conditions. Oh and we had Sparky the Stunt Dog who was jumped by 3 swat guys who negotiated with him willing to give the dog 8 guns if he promised to keep the town clean, Sparky bit them and ran away instead.
It was a choice between this in some other games I really didn't want to play like Give Me the Brain or Zombie Fluxx and I remembered vaguely liking this one when I played it oh... 17 years ago. It would be fine with 3 players but not good with 5 as it runs about 40 minutes to long. This should be about a 20-30 minute game for what it is but hey it was the 90's. Not recommended.