The Gathering of Friends: Year Two.
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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Last year was my first GoF and despite the friendliness of everyone there, I tended to focus on games.

Now that's all well and good, but the real value is the people that go, not the games.

So this year, I found myself playing less prototypes and new games but in exchange I played with a lot of folks I did not know yet.
This made the experience even better. I have MANY more new friends than I acquired last year and this makes me very happy.

But everyone asks about the games I played, so here's a list. Apologies in advance if I misremember anything or anyone.
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1. Board Game: The Golden Ages [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:725]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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This was the first game I played. Taught ably by Rodney Somerstein.

This is kind of an odd game. It's a civ builder, but you move around founding cities, improving tech and other stuff.

I'm not sure this worked for me. The movement is a bit odd and it entails a little more finagling (my word for fiddly) than I like. I may revisit this in future if I run across a copy.
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2. Board Game: Flick 'em Up! [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:525]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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This is a dexterity game, which I'm generally poor at. But it was a lot of fun. You have two teams and each one has a certain number of desperadoes or a sheriff and deputies on the board.

You flick a disk to move your pieces so they can shoot their opponents. You can get into a gunfight as well.

Very interesting and if you like flicking games, this may be the king of them all.
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3. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2205]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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Trade Empires although the name may change. In this, you have variable player powers and are looking to make tons of money in a sci-fi setting. This looks close to being a finished game and I believe this should get published.

Look for it in future, possibly with a shinier name.
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4. Board Game: Bad Medicine [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:4906]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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The latest from my friend Gil Hova. I KS'd this, so was glad to get a test play (or three!)

Fun party game where one your team of two creates a drug using cards, lists some effects and a possible side effect. The other team member pitches this to the other players.

Teams are variable, so they may change from turn to turn. Each player alternates creating the drug using cards and itching the drug to the other players.

When everyone has finished their pitches, you all vote for anyone but your own team.

Hilarity ensued every time.
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5. Board Game: The Voyages of Marco Polo [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:40]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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In this game, you ply the trade routes of Asia until you reach Beijing. You also fulfill contracts to obtain VP's.

The deal here is choices and worker placement in the form of dice. Get your resources, move your merchant or a combination of both.

Both can give you points and cost resources.

Each player has a variable power, i.e. one can set their dice and don't have to roll them, one gets extra resources when others go to the market and one gets a free contract each turn and an extra die for the entire game.

I saw this being played more than any other and I ended up teaching this 4 or 5 times.

I'm stil on the fence honestly after numerous plays.
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6. Board Game: Arkwright [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:622]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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I own this, but the rule book had boggled me. But thanks to Gil Hova, all became clear.

This one is dry as dust, but affords a lot of choices to make. It's really pretty brilliant, but don't go near it if you dislike long games.
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7. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:411]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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This is Dixit on steroids.

One person has been murdered and it's up to you and others to find out the who where and how.

The dead person acts like a GM and uses cards with an assortment of pictures to send as dreams to the others to help them figure things out. This is timed to a week and cooperative.

If you like Dixit, you may love this.
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8. Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045 – Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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A new one from Eagle/Gryphon Games.

Baseball in the future has become stagnant. In response the powers that be have shortened games to 6 innings and added robots and cyborgs to make the game more exciting.

This isn't a deck builder so much as a deck management.

You use cards to set up hits and runners of varying speeds, to stop your opponent's hits and runners and to stifle certain types of players, whether they be "naturals" "cyborgs" or "robots."

Excellent offering from Mike Fitzgerald.
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2205]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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Codenames
This is new from Vlaada Chvatil.

A word game. I shouldn't say much more.

This is likely my favorite game I played at GoF.
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10. Board Game: Cacao [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:494]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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Cute little tile layer. Nothing revolutionary, but fun.
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11. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:48]
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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I almost forgot this. There's not much I'm allowed to say, but this I took as pretty much a dungeon crawl/puzzle hunt but in a sci-fi setting.

It was very interesting though and I got to be a cocaine addict for a few hours.
 
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