Games Only YOU have played in April 2015
Ben Bateson
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Ross-on-Wye
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Did your Easter playlist include Easter Island? Did you play Fools Fortune on April Fools'? A game of Albion on St George's Day? If you did, they might have been plays completely unique to you this month - why not add them to this list?

The instructions are, as always:

Quote:
Look at your plays for the month of April, and then check out the games and see if you can find any games where you are currently the solitary logger of a play for April (or if the other loggers were actually in the same game session with you). Use your common sense in order to make the search faster. Obviously things like Dominion, Magic, etc. will have plenty of people playing them. Note: expansions that only you logged are fine, feel free to add them as well.

Then share any comments you might have. Are we missing something? How could this happen? What is your opinion of the game?


Subscription Thread = Games Only YOU have played Subscription Thread

I will continue to tip interesting, unusual or fun Geeklist items at my discretion and until I run out of GG! Please do feel free to keep the prize fund topped up with discretionary donations!
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1. Board Game: Cyrano [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4204]
 
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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Cyrano is our crazy, crazy poetry game of choice and we got a play in just last night during a lighter-than-usual games club evening.

I am still yet to find the co-player who dislikes Cyrano.
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2. Board Game: Packen Wir's! [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:11190]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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Packen Wir's! - I'm not so keen on the movement mechanism for this game, but I do find the partnership dexterity aspect quite comical at times as you choose between 3 different types of wood sticks to use to carry pieces of dollhouse furniture without it tipping over, etc. Might also be one of the first games to use the box as part of the game too? (The bottom of the box is flipped over to provide the room to which furniture must be moved.)

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3. Board Game: Breakthrough [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:8350]
Joe G
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So me and my friends, on Saturdays, sometimes like to play 6 abstracts against each other at the same time, with one additional game in the middle (which was Mahjong, in this case). Well, whilst playing go on my left, I decided to play several chess variants on my right, and breakthrough was one of them.

This is the first time I've played this gem, and I really like it. It took everything I loved about pawns in chess, and put it into a nice middle-weight abstract. Highly recommended!
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4. Board Game: Rampart [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Rampart is a quite interesting abstract strategy game from Corey Clark, creator of the more well-known Slither (which only I played in May 2012).

It takes Go-like capturing (remove a group if all of its stones have no vacant adjacent space) and twists it to removing a group if ANY of its stones have no vacant adjacent space. (This notion of mutating rules between universal & existential quantification prompted me to write a post: Mutating universal and existential quantification (∀ and ∃), inspired by Rampart.)

The result is a game with counter-intuitive aha-insights and dramatic turn-arounds in who you think is currently winning. I've played it with 2 other people now, and we all enjoyed it and found it to be a fun interesting unusual game. Well worth trying! All you need is a square grid and 2 colors of pieces.
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5. Board Game: 18MEX [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:2890]
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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Quite a few titles for me this month thanks to an 18xx weekend and regular meetings of my 18xx round.

18MEX
Played twice this month. One of the best 18xx around but newer titles seem to take its spot.

1837: Rail Building in the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Only play logged this year so far. An old and rare title with a difficult initial auction and long playing time.

1850
Also the only play this month for a fairly average middle-of-the-road 18xx.

Havoc: The Hundred Years War
A twist on poker but not as successful as I hoped.

Islas Canarias

An average Euro by Colovini. I would play again if asked but not seek it out actively.
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6. Board Game: Nomic [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6695]
Joe G
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Now, technically, I played this just over a month ago (34 days), but it was fairly recent, I didn't include it last month, and it hasn't been played this month. (Please remove the entry if that's not ok)

Nomic takes the idea of Fluxx (rules manipulation), sucks out all the crazy frustrating randomness, and replaces it it with a layer of complex and thought-provoking potential, ripe to experiment with.

Our particular game lasted a couple of hours. We spent a while manipulating the turn-order, and point system. In the end, I found a loop-hole in the rules that we had accidentally created while trying to make the system more practical, and I successfully exploited it.

This game is for those of you who like games as systems, and want to try a game of "conceptual exploration", so to speak!
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7. Board Game: Star Draft [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Not only did we have the only recorded play this month we now have the only recorded play period!
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8. Board Game: Monster City Planners [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:9209]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We played this game twice this month, and those were the only recorded plays. This is a fun micro game about building to score points, and cards can be used to build/destroy or score points.
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9. Board Game: Sorry! with Fire & Ice Power-ups [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:14823]
Larz Welo
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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I hit 3 this month. This is my first game to be only played by me.

I played this for about 45 minutes with my co-worker's children, and it is interesting, but still just Sorry!. The Sorry! mechanics are all the same, but instead of rolling a dice, you draw a card for movement. This vastly speeds up the game as there are more high cards than low cards. The "powerups" allow you to make either bonus moves before you draw your movement card (fire), or freeze you in place preventing movement or capture (ice).

Not really worthwhile, but I had fun with his kids while we played it.
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10. Board Game: Rebel Raiders on the High Seas [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:4257]
Larz Welo
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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My opponent and I are the only logged plays for this one this month.

I like the designer, Mark McLaughlin, but this is a game that just doesn't work. The problem is one of focus. The game is on the strategic scale about the American Civil War on the Ocean and Rivers of America, and it does a wonderful job of that. Built up Confederate Fortresses being assaulted by collections of Union Ironclads and gunboats. Ocean Raiders in gun duels with Union Screw Sloops. Small but powerful Confederate flotillas pouncing on Union Fleets. Many unexpected effects derived through card play. All this is achieved with relative mechanical simplicity and has layers of decision making and strategy involved. The land battles are abstracted out to just a few dice being rolled against your opponents few dice, which is fine given the naval focus of the game.

The huge issue comes down to the victory conditions. Basically, the Union is compelled to capture Richmond, Atlanta, and the Mississippi River Ports (Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans) in order to win the game. The problem is, two of those cities (Richmond + Atlanta) are completely inland cities and require the above mentioned very abstracted roll of a few dice to determine the victor. So really, the rest of the game is very interesting, but basically irrelevant fluff to the winning and losing of the game. You may as well just roll dice and see if your Union can march down and capture Richmond or march through Tennessee and capture Atlanta. The game puts you into the shoes of the two Secretaries of the Navy (where the land battles are happening, but not as your focus), but then gives you the victory conditions of the Presidents. A more intricate Victory system is really demanded.
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11. Board Game: Agordat 1893 [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Larz Welo
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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I got to play this PnP game from the Italian Colonial Battles series. It focuses on Company level Tactical warfare, and it was a blast! Definitely the most fun game on this list. To learn and play the game from start to finish took just about 2 hours. The rulebook isn't perfect (as the designer has self-translated from the original Italian), but is clear enough on all real issues.

In this game, one player takes the massive Dervish army attempting to sweep the Europeans out of Northeast Africa (in this game, Eritrea). The other takes the Italian forces (primarily African Arabs with Italian officers and equipment). It will basically be a shooting spree, where the Italians will attempt to mass their greater level of firepower on the much larger and more melee capable Dervish forces, wearing them down before the inevitable clash comes, and then trying to survive long enough to deplete the Dervishes. My opponent's Italians indeed did win the day.

There is a lot of dice rolling in this game, and the terrain is almost flat like a pancake (leaving few options for maneuver to either side, but there are a few). The randomness of the dice rolls evens out as the game goes on, so that's not really a huge issue. Both sides are trying to inflict about 50% losses on their opponent while not taking that many losses themselves. The game is lots of fun! An easy PnP build, and a simple enough set of rules. There are also published games in the family that use the exact same rules but come with larger battles, or at least more.
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12. Board Game: 1834 [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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This is a tough game to get a play of, because you have to play one of the PnP copies Tom Lehmann has. We're hoping it comes out in print soon.

The game comes with a basic version and a Takeover version, and we played a 5-player game with several new players, but we used the Takeover version because we needed to give Jeroen the opportunity to try shenanigans. The game seemed pretty challenging with 5 and one player went bankrupt. The game doesn't officially end on bankruptcy, but we stopped at that point because both Jeroen and I managed to acquire valuable companies the bankrupted player had to dump into the pool, and the other two players had no chance after that.

I like the Takeover game a lot.
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13. Board Game: Sloop [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:12851]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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We played this Mike Fitzgerald design. Perhaps there was something we missed, but there seemed to be nothing of interest in this game at all.

The copy we played was titled "Quanto" rather than "Sloop", but supposedly it's the same game.
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14. Board Game: Xalapa [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:6435]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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This is one of those real time pattern-matching games. It reminded me a bit of Pelican Cove, though it's not as cute. I am often extremely good at this kind of game, but (perhaps as a result) I don't tend to enjoy them.
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15. Board Game: Electronic Dream Phone [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:12587]
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
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The only other person to log a play this month was, in fact, in my game. Looking at the stats, there's only 43 logged plays of this game ever.
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16. Board Game: Big John [Average Rating:4.04 Unranked]
rush howe
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Not so much a game as a way to spend time with the kids- still fun to spin the tp roll and see how many scuzzballs you can get rid of before Big John pukes them up.
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17. Board Game: The Harvest [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Tim K
Australia
Colonel Light Gardens
SA
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Played this at work split over two lunch breaks.

It made for a very interesting game in which I had my first ever "knowledge" victory - the first in almost 20 plays of the game. At one point I felt I was well and truly out of the game so it was good to be able to come back and get a win.

As it was an interesting session I decided to write up a session report for it.

First ever knowledge victory
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18. Board Game: Trollmaster [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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Very pleased to get this played again this month. I'm really enjoying it, and think it'd do wonderfully in an English-language reprint.
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19. Board Game: OMEGA [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:8899]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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This is an eccentric cool thing. It's another of the Yavalath & Co. games - that one can plan on a Yavalath set. It's a multiplayer thing - where each player scores the product of the sizes of all their groups on the board. My opponents varied dramatically in their Mathematical skills: one perceived immediately what he should do; the other was aiming more for a large quadratic function than a (much larger) exponential.
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20. Board Game: Wrasslin' [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6015]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I was the only person who attempted to relive late 80's/early 90's wrestling via cardboard this month.
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21. Board Game: The Gothic Game [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:8597]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
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It took a while for my daughter to kill me, but eventually she did to win the game.
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22. Board Game: Scribbo [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Scribbo is word bingo and it's pretty darn fun. I think biggest flaw in the game is that for the most part, one box will be where most of the words will be made while the other box is mostly just throw away letters. Otherwise, the mechanics work well and it's a fun alternative to Scrabble.
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23. Board Game: Wasserratten in Sicht! [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Cooperative games are a great way to introduce children to the concept of gaming. I'd have to put Lighthouse Ambush as one of the best introductory children's games I've ever played and it plays well with all ages. Players are constantly in situations where they must make choices and the movement of Wally Walrus being how players take turns is ingenious. Excellent game.
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24. Board Game: Wunderland [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:5973]
Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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I didn't know what to make of this game at first. Having eight pieces available to move at the start of each turn was insane to me. Add to that being able to "piggy back" with opponents on their turn, I wasn't quite sure what we were going to be in for. That being said, Wunderland is an excellent little game about, from what I've read, is an excellent little place with excellent little miniatures. Grabbing onto the concept of how to move tokens and when to piggy back and when to not are key. I also loved the photographs represented on the board and the postcards. A really beautiful game with some great gameplay. Highly recommended!
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25. Board Game: League of Hackers [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:10536]
Dustin
United States
Kentucky
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Good ideas, poor execution.
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