Baseball Highlights: 2045 Gabby and I sat down to a 2 player best of 5 series of BH2045 on Wednesday evening. It was a tight matchup with us splitting the first four games, but ultimately I pulled it out. BG2045 really is a fantastic deck builder based around a theme that I absoulutely love, hopefully this gets a ton more plays soon!!
Progress: Evolution of Technology On Friday I had three folks from the game group join me for a four player game of this tech tree builder. Didn't play as well as I would have liked with 4 players and I talk about this a bit in the podcast, but I am going to be doing a review in the next week or so, so be looking out for that. But I will say, 4 ages with 4 players took entirely too long for what this game is. I enjoy it with 2 players and I can see 3 being fun still, but 4 was too much.
Seasons An old favorite re-appears on our table thanks to the 3x3 Before Memorial Day Challenge. I won this one 163-147 on the back of a late free play of the Lantern of Xidit. Easily a top 10 game for myself and I believe Gabby as well.
New heroes Captain Cosmos and Skyscraper join Omnitron-X and Tempest (with me controlling Tempest and Skyscraper and Sherwin handling Cosmos and Omnitron-X) as they travel to the Dokthorath capital to stop Progeny from destroying the universe. Progeny is a tough "juggernaught" with a lot of HPs who relies on his scions being setup to cause damage. The advanced mode has the scions as being indestructible until a hero is less than 10 HPs (where Progeny's card flips over) and once setup they can do a lot of damage unless the heroes can quickly damage the villain so much to finish him off when he eventually flips over and makes his scions vulnerable. Luckily Skyscraper is such a hero as her damage dealing potential is HUGE especially if she gets a hand full of Giants sized damage dealing cards. Captain Cosmic is definitely a support character as his constructs are attached to heroes to do lots of good stuff, but unfortunately he protected the other heroes at his own expense as he was the first to fall. Skyscraper and Tempest continued to pile on the damage while Omnitron-X did his job in manipulating Progeny's deck. The Dokthorath Capital environment was just as damaging to everyone as the riots in the city were damaging to everything (including other environment cards!), and while it helped in hurting Progeny it also contributed to the demise of Skyscraper. Luckily Tempest and Omnitron-X had enough to finish the job as the Scions and Progeny were finally defeated.
The randomized teams were the red (with assault cannon), blue (with Sergeant Lorenzo), and green (with the heavy flamer) marines which gave a good balance of long and short range firepower and the defensive abilities of the veteran sergeant.
The marines reach the door and get clear of the Void Lock.
Brothers Omnio and Deino fall at the Black holds!
The remaining team members finally arrive at the Launch Control Room after clearing the Black Holds and Hibernation Chamber.
Brother Leon dies defending the other marines as they attempt to charge up the Launch Control panel.
Brother Valencio activates the Control Panel successfully to win the game!
I've been on a string of bad luck with this game recently, and this session was no different as I prune my deck aggressively early on, but this left me with not enough life to draw more cards to overcome the last challenge (Exploring the Island) before advancing to the yellow challenge level!
Robinson Crusoe feels the stress of age as he loses his life while exploring the island!
I get some time to visit the FLGS and play a couple of old favorites with the gals. I had gotten in 1 turn of Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary edition but I had to suddenly leave so Julie, Jenny Rose, and Julie duked it out with Mark in a very close game (1 point difference among the first 3 placers) with Mark winning it.
I got back and finally got to use the occupations and minor improvements from the Agricola: Belgium Deck deck with Julie and Vangie in my favorite game. I made it easier by having a draft from 5 occupations and 5 minor improvements instead of the usual 7. In any case I liked the cards since many used actual pics of people or things associated with Belgium as well as having good effects. The gals did their usual "hog the resources" thing in order to fence early and start collecting animals. I started to improve my house early by upgrading my fireplace to a Cooking Hearth, and also had a lot of food support with the Scenery Planner, Beer Table, and Steam Engine which basically enabled me to ignore collecting animals till the later stages of the game. I did have to collect and plant grain though in order to take advantage of the Steam Engine (free bake action as long as my last placed family member grabs resources from a accumulating space). Vangie did a great job in developing her plot, but my 10 points from home improvements was just enough for me to win the game despite getting a -5 from empty spaces.
My better developed home and larger family overcomes Vangie's better farm. Me (purple) 31 Vangie (green) 28 Julie (white) 15
Mark returned to join us for game of this title which got me into designer boardgames. It was fun session as everyone was negotiating and cajoling each other into attacking the other players. I managed to spread out early with my Hill Amazons and Berserk Skeletons, but was eaten up by the other players mid-game. Mark didn't do too well with his Barricading Orcs, but his Heroic Gypsies did much better with hit and run tactics. Vangie's Merchant Wizards gave her several high scoring turns early on, but she stayed too long with the combo and her Seafaring Ratmen could not keep up the pace in the end. Julie took full advantage of terrain modifiers with her choices of Forest Tritons and Underworld Giants to conquer a lot of locations, and her quiet in-game demeanor was advantageous for her since that made her less of a target, and that enabled her maintain a steady high coin count per turn for the victory!
I finally get the will to try out my copy of this famous title for the first time face to face. I've had this for a while but I was daunted to bring it out due to the iconography. I have managed to play a few games using the Keldon AI on my laptop, and looking at several videos about the game helped me get the "flow" of a typical game. It's also good that the gang has played San Juan previously, so I taught the game using direct comparisons to that game.
The first game still had some rough points however. It was difficult to explain the concept of "Consume" the guys since here you have to trigger all cards with Consume powers and most goods net you VP chips instead of cards (unlike in San Juan where trading nets you cards). This meant no one really went for a Consumption engine and instead went for a Development/World settling strategy. The game ended and everyone but me managed to build 12 cards, but Kent managed to take advantage of the 6 Cost cards to get a 9 point bonus for the victory.
Game 1: Kent 31 (Cards 22 Bonus 9) Keith 29 (Cards 24 VP 5) Jim 21 (Cards 19 VP 2) Me 18 (Cards 13 VP 5)
Kent maximizes the bonus cards to grab victory in both games!
I called for another game and luckily the guys agreed. The flow was much better this time around, although Kent still had some issues with how the Consume action works. The difference now is that you could see strategies being used, with Kent and Jim going full blast with a military strategy while Keith and I tried to setup a Production/Consume engine. Players were now trying to use the 6 cost cards as a guide for what to build in order to get bonuses, and again it was the player with the best bonus who won in the game, as Kent grabbed a huge 20 point bonus in the end!
Game 2: Kent 42 (Cards 17 VP 5 Bonus 20) Jim 33 (Cards 19 VP 2 Bonus 12) Keith 27 (Cards 13 VP 9 Bonus 5) Me 25 (Vards 18 VP 7)
The 2 plays have definitely shown the depth in this game. However, I can see why it will take a few plays in order to truly "get it", especially in comparison to San Juan. I currently like the flow of the simpler game better as it is more straightforward and streamlined, but I also like the idea that you can convert goods to VP in Race for the Galaxy so I guess the verdict is to get more plays in so that we can get better used to the game.
Positive buzz around this version of Love Letter made it a spur of the moment buy when it was available at the FLGS. I have to say the twist where Batman (ie the Guard) gets a token if he successfully knocks out a villain is a really nice addition to the game. This rewards good guesses and actually makes it feasible for a player to win a game without winning a single round, and I find the rule to be also thematic for this system. The other difference in this version is that you now need 7 tokens instead of 4 to win the game. I thought this may cause the game to drag so we house ruled the win conditions to be 5 tokens instead. This seemed to be a good number as everyone managed to accumulate Tokens with good guesses as well as winning the rounds, and with Keith, Jim, and myself at 4 (Kent was left behind with 2, as he was the frequent target of knock out attempts) the end of the game was around the corner. I managed to get a good guess with Batman to be the first to reach 5, but Kent suggested the entire round be finished. Jim then managed to use his Batman to KO my Two-Face, and that meant he got 2 tokens (1 for KO, 1 for winning the round) and reached 6 to overtake me and win the game!
Jim's last play with Batman knocks out Two-Face, which was enough to catapult him to victory over me! Jim 6 Me 5 Keith 4 Kent 2
We were about to bring out Glory to Rome to be the final game, but Pau showed up so we decided to go for this faster playing game. The roles were randomized and we then have 5 turns of mayhem as we attempted to outmaneuver and outshoot each other and get the most loot. My character Django found himself at the receiving end of many a bullet, and the marshall was a real pain as he could REALLY screw your plans if he manages to catch you and push you up the roof. Jim's Cheyenne did the right thing by distancing herself away from the rest of the bunch by going on the roof and moving all the way up front. That gave her leeway to pick up loot (including some after punching me) and this was enough for Jim to have enough cash to win even though Kent got 1000 USD from the gunslinger bonus after emptying his gun of bullets.
Jim's Cheyenne punches her way to claim the most loot despite Kent's 1000 bonus dollars for being the gunslinger! Jim (Cheyenne green) 2000 Kent (Belle purple) 1900 (Gunslinger) Keith (Tuco red) 1000 Pau (Doc blue) 1000 Me (Django black) 250
To start off the week, I tried out Copper Country, a game I considered buying before trying as I like the theme and location. I held off based on some pretty negative experiences I've had in the past with Kickstarter games.
Good thing. I didn't like the game at all. In fact, I don't think any of the other three players did either as we started to race through it half-way through just to get it over with.
The idea of the game is to get as many victory points as you can before the game end is triggered. Not terribly original, but it's a time tested mechanism that works just fine in lots of games.
Unfortunately, the primary mechanism by which you get VPs is wholly unappealing to me. During your turn, you try to position miners and buildings to give you lots of opportunities to go through a deck of cards which supplies the VPs. In order to get those cards, you have to play other cards from your hand which have symbols that match those on the target card.
As if that weren't enough of an uninteresting snooze, you may be required to do other things, like having miners strike, or die. This is nothing more than a mechanism to stall out the game, as you now have to waste actions moving miners back to your board so they can work again.
Then there are a bunch of uninteresting events that happen, the timing of which can tremendously benefit one player (generally the one whose turn follows the event).
Worse, the game felt very random.
Add to that some of the ugliest card art I've seen in a long time, and you have a game I never want to play again.
Mercifully, right after that, we played
Based on number of plays alone, this is bound to be my favorite of 2015. The first play was a 4P, the second, on saturday, a 3P. Good times.
Friday, I completed the second to last adventure in
Almost two years in, and we're finally down to the wire.
Last, but certainly no least, 1 3P of
I've played the game a few times, but never with only 3. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it with that player count, and think it might just be the sweet spot.
Finished the 16 activations of the first turn and carefully stepped through the interphase to start turn 2. It looked like the East was stomping all over Greece, but the last unanswered activation at the end of the turn allowed Greece to both conquer and rebuild Pergamum's city in Miletas, giving them the Civ Point lead and VP lead. Greece 9 VPs, Carthage 7 VPs and Rome and the East tied at 3 VPs. Carthage starts cash poor, however. On to Turn 2 (the furthest I've ever played this game).
I still have concerns about balance and the need to pick on the leader, but the fact that cities outweigh territory is encouraging.
I got back into a little solo gaming this week, determined to use bits of spare time to keep my brain exercised and have fun. In the end it meant rediscovering the joy of playing Forbidden Island which I had put onto the trade pile last month, but which now looks like being my lightish solo of choice, with the additional advantage of portability.
My other half was too ill to play on Monday, so I got in three games of this on Normal level, eventually managing to grab her a set of treasures at the third attempt.
I also took my troops to Dol Guldur in an attempt to rescue the prisoner in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and was royally schooled in my two games. This scenario appears to represent excellent value for money (="appears to be murderously difficult").
Went back to the Forbidden Island on Thursday, this time trying one of the variant layouts, which freshened things up quite a bit. For some reason I hadn't quite grasped how much a change like this could alter how the Island needs to be approached. Soloing again, twice, I went down fighting on the first try but managed to get away from the Island second time through with all four treasures on Normal level. I'm really enjoying this game at the moment,
By Saturday my SO had recovered a little from her illness, so we played a couple of matches of Puzzle Strike (Third Edition), which is hogging the table at the moment. Now that we've eased this in a bit we are playing with more knowledge of what is going on, and the games are becoming more nip and tuck. I lost the first match 2-1 (12-2, 6-10, 11-9) , but it was pretty close at times, and I even survived a 4 and 2-Gem Double Crash, and went down in the second match 2-0 (12-3, 10-6). The tension and excitement of the game were getting to us by that point, so we put it back onto the shelf for the time being, but I suspect it will be out again this week.
I spent the rest of the week listening to the voices on my shoulders, the one telling me to play the games I have and adhere to my nothing-new-in-2015 resolution, the other adding 18 games to my Wishlist. Hmm...
This was the fifth annual all-day birthday game day when I get together with a bunch of friends to enjoy a bunch of games and time together. This year's attendance was down a little bit but the number of people who stayed all day (8:00am-10:00pm) increased.
As has been the tradition, we started off with our annual game of Eclipse. This was our first play with the alien races which certainly adds variety and ushers new decisions to consider given each race's unique strengths and weaknesses. The game play felt kind of flat since we only play once a year and are trying to remember the rules while absorbing our race's advantages. But the light bulbs started coming on as the game unfolded and we ended the game with some epic battles with everyone ganged up on me to say happy birthday. I finished third as the Descendants of Draco. We had fun and learned a few things that we will play better next time.
Next up was another favorite of mine that sees far too little play time, Power Grid. This year we played the China map for the first time. With a very controlled and somewhat predictable economy, the lower power plants come out in numerical order and after the first round with one less plant available for purchase than there are players. You have to watch your money supply and manage the timing of builds and bids closer than for other maps. The game play was interesting and engaging, but much slower playing and therefore not the best fit for a limited 2 hrs. time slot we set for each game during the event. My buddy RR won by the money tie-breaker.
I've been wanting to get Dead of Winter back to the table for some time. We played another short scenario (Leave it All?) with three newbies so it took more time to explain than I had planned for which unfortunately left us to make the win/lose call before we finished. We did have our first betrayer who we managed to exile after losing three moral from two subsequent failed crises at his hand. When our time was up, moral was awfully low and we still had quite a bit of food to collect for the group objective so we claimed a loss. However, the guys enjoyed it and felt the game has potential and would most likely play faster at a future game night (yes!). I'd add that less distractions would have helped with the pace of the game too as I was getting pulled away to answer game rules questions.
The game that started this annual event, Railways of the World was up next. One of my best friends and college roommate has won every single game of RotW at BillCon so I was again attempting to claim the BillCon RotW title. We had two newbies show up right as we were starting who asked to jump in which was not the plan but we obliged. Things were going well with the four seasoned players staying fairly close to each other until the last two rounds when the defending and undefeated champion was allowed to connect unblocked NYC to KC for a late 20 pts Major Lines bonus. This was an odd play as most of us had more bonds than we normally do. I finished a lousy fourth.
We kept things rolling with a teaching of Aquasphere to three new players. At this point some of us had been playing all day without any coffee (none of us brought a coffee pot thinking there was one in the church kitchen, but it was either broken or locked up), so we were getting seriously slap happy and absent-minded at this point. In the end I thought I finally claimed my first victory of the day only to lose the tiebreaker (3 bots to 2 in control. Doh!
The last game of the night was an upcoming favorite of mine, Hansa Teutonica. Only two of us had played before and then only once. I tried some new ideas and enjoyed it even more than the initial play. Having some serious gamers playing revealed some new ideas and made for a very engaging game. Unfortunately, DJ was falling behind and instead of going after the obvious leader in the next to last round with his remove three cube bonus he wiped me out on a crucial link in progress that would have allowed me to possibly steal the lead after I bumped up my multiplier bonus in the last round and merged two of my networks I had diligently developed for a win. Instead I finished second (56-52-42-27).
We had a great day. Need coffee earlier next year! We'll probably schedule one less game next year and allocate 30 more minutes to each time slot to allow for learning new games, setup, and transition. Lots of other games were being played throughout the day at other tables. It was a great time, as always. Happy birthday to me!!
The weekend of gaming started with two rounds of Seasons on Saturday. We both managed to get some good synergies going with the cards that we had in the first game, though my ended up working out a little better and being worth more overall. I was also able to take advantage of the game altering card more often that granted 4 crystals for having all 4 energy types at the end of a round. I came out ahead in the first game with a score of 216 to 182. I felt like I was behind for the better part of the second game until I was able to put out a 30 point card for free thanks to drawing 4 power cards and being able to put one out without paying the cost. It looked like things had started to go my way until she brought out a handful of high-value cards and easily outpaced me. She won the second game with a score of 204 to 182.
Forge War arrived at the end of last week and we were pretty eager to give it a try, so it was the first game that we played on Sunday. It didn't take long to get the hang of the game as it's fairly simple from a mechanics perspective; the real challenge comes in the form of trying to figure out which resources to mine in order to make the weapons you need to send your adventurers on the quests you want to take. We spent the bulk of our time just puzzling it all out and trying to work within the harsh constraints of having limited resources and even more limited gold. The game came right down to the wire despite the high score and ended 238-241 with my wife coming out ahead. A mere 3 points was all that separated us. It's certainly not a short game as our first play probably took us close to 3 hours and a lot of mental work to play the normal (epic), but we both enjoyed it tremendously. We're both pretty eager to play this one again as it seems to cover a lot of things that we really enjoy.
We've had Belfort for a while now and finally managed to get it to the table. My wife was keen on learning new games for a change so I had to jump all over the opportunity to do so! Again, it didn't take long to get the hang of the game though my wife seemed to have a hard time keeping track of the turn order, even with the player aid being on her player board. Something about it just wasn't very intuitive to her. She was able to grab some majorities fairly early on and took the lead in the first scoring round while I instead focused on accumulating gold through my buildings and spreading myself out to get a hand in at least some of the points in most areas. It seemed like that was the better way to go for our first game as I had plenty of money to do what I wanted while she was usually left with 0-2 gold after paying her taxes, leaving me with some more options to buy up gnomes and cards that would generate more gold. I finally pulled ahead with the final scoring as I was able to claim the majority in a number of areas and came out ahead with a score of 51-38.
We finished the weekend off with a tie-breaking game of Seasons. I had thought I took some cards that worked fairly well together but the game-altering card of only being able to play a single card from your hand was a little more hindering than I had thought it was going to be. Meanwhile, my wife was able to bring out a bunch of extra cards thanks to the ones she had that let her simply take cards from the top of the draw pile and bring them into play for free which bypassed the one hand card per turn limit. I had managed to claw back and come within 30 points of her by one point, ready to catch up with her right towards the end, but she turned all of my energy tokens into something I couldn't use and prevented me from playing my last two cards and cashing in all of my tokens for 24 points. So with losing those points and suffering a 10 point penalty for having 2 cards in my hand at the end, I lost pretty badly with the final tally being 132-194 in her favour and winning the Seasons series 2 games to 1.
- Lone Wolf Multiplayer Game Book - five players. The campaign carried on. This times, lots of fighting, as the players, along side the Knights of the Realm, fought to reclaim the city of Tyso. It wasn't easy, but they seem to have won the day. But, the main agent of the Darklords is nowhere to be found.
- Cthulhu Wars - four players. I went with Cthulhu and did well, I think. But the player with Nyarlathotep controlled the whole game and won by being bold, since he attacked Cthulhu first, then Shub-Niggurath, winning both times, and getting four elder signs. I tried to stop Nyarla, but discovered that Nyarla is Cthulhu nemesis, as the units of Nyarla basically act against all the advantages that Cthulhu has.
Nyarlathotep vs. Cthulhu
Nyarlathotep vs. Shub-Niggurath
- King of New York x2 - NEW TO ME. Four players. In the first play, one player won by fame easily. But I killed two monsters, so I was happy. In the second play, the army did all the hard work, putting down the other three monsters, so my Draconis won by being the last one standing.
- Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue - NEW TO ME. Four players. A completely abstract game, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It has less luck than I expected, and it plays really fast. Is also pretty easy to teach, learn and play. I won by one point.
- Yggdrasil - three players. Sif, Thor and Idunn (I) weren't able to stop the threats to Asgard. We lost with still 10 cards in the draw deck.
- TransAmerica - five players. I went better this time, but still lost, by one point - 7 to 6. Two players did really poorly, ending one with -6 and the other with -7 points!
- Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue x3 - three plays, all with four players. I lost all three, finishing in second twice and in last once. Beign a game with such a deep thematic connection we thought in a retheme for it:
- Tammany Hall - NEW TO ME. Five players. I had this game for almost two years, and brought to the game nights several times (around 20 times), but I never manage to play it. No more! Tammany Hall is such a mean game, and I liked it very much! Specially because I won. It was a great game, filled with tension in the disputes and several backstabs by slander. The irish were on my side the whole game, and with the blessing of St. Patrick I got elected twice as Mayor.
Early in the day I had a little free time so I went to Abe's and played 2 games of Crib.
Saturday was my regular meet up with Rob and Leah. We played several games in a screened room outdoors so we could enjoy the beautiful weather. The first of these was Palazzo.
Next up was The Downfall of Pompeii. Leah loved this so we played it twice. It really is a good strategic game with 2 completely different phases. And you gotta admit, it is fun to drop your opponents into a volcano!
The last game of the night was AquaSphere. Rob had already learned it but Leah had not. This, my 11th games, was the first time with more than 2. Now it became even more tricky to plan how to use your time. I almost wonder if I prefer it with 2.
This week I ended up not taking out my nice camera, and in its place was my new S6 phone I got on Tuesday. I have been testing the waters with it. I am in love with this phone and the quality of the images.
Back to regularly scheduled photography next week. Of course, some of the images used in this blog have previously been shot- it happens.
Monday night was regular group at Joes. Ron got allocated to play Fire in the Lake (very colorful game, I am sure I would hate).
Lou, Marsha and I played a 3 player game of Elysium.
Lou suggested it since I had brought it. Marsha was not impressed but sat to play anyways. I knew off the bat it was a bad idea. She just didn't want to play and I could tell. I think she was just mad she missed out on the chance to play Quartermaster General, which has been the hit of the group for the past few weeks.
We played anyways. Lou explained the game to her while I set it up. 3 players doesn't really run through the deck very fast so we didn't see as many cards as I might have wanted and was planning for a few to show up that never did.
Lou creamed us for that game. Marsha couldn't wait for it to be over and I did ok. He actively used the Snakes and all their abilities. I have yet to try that strategy so it was pretty impressive to see.
I was kinda thankful it ended though because I dislike playing games were people are just not wanting to be in the game. Lou likes it!
A game Lou wanted to play more of- and with Eric, well, he wouldn't turn down a game of Roll!
I could not get my engine going and Lou was running away with his. Building all the tiles with a discount and he was just owning it. I guess that +$8 at the beginning really helped him!
I thought I was doing well but Marsha and I kept picking the same thing - produce than ship. It was about opposite than what I would have hoped. I wasn't rolling develop and had this awesome tile to get out. That never happened.
I think I ended with 38 or 36 Eric was one below me and Marsha below that. Lou had 47 I think. Killed it!
I love that game- happy to play it!
Final game of the night for me was Mottainai. New to me!
Eric did a PnP of this game by Carl Chudyk. (A very nice PnP btw, props to Eric!) Carl Chudyk designed well known games such as Innovation and Glory to Rome. I have really only played Innovation and Red7 of his games. From what I gather there is a pattern in his games where players are trying to find the best way to break the game so they can win first. You get that feeling from Innovation and from what I have heard other of his designs as well.
Innovation grew on me as I played it more. I was beating Ron a lot in that game. It was once free to play online and I could play a game in 5-10 minutes. Brilliant! I got into it and learned the cards and different means to play. I could understand that game and what I was supposed to be doing.
Back to the point, Mottainai has very similar feeling to that of Innovation but it is a mess. All the cards have individual power and you have to figure out the best way to break the system. There seems to be no easy way to "get" the cards you want in play without getting a lucky draw for same colors. Even then, I was having a very hard time seeing the game.
Unfortunately, for me, this falls into the category of Race for the Galaxy, and that I don't care to go back and revisit the game to try and grasp wth is going on. By the end of the game I had completed nothing and had no focus and seemed to only just get started. I think Lou ended with 50 something points and I had 3 Eric was on the higher end of the middle of us, I surmise. It was no real competition, I suppose.
We played 3 player and that is probably the best # to play the game with but I could see 2 players working out just fine. 4, I think would be too many.
I just don't feel the need to go back and try to figure out the game. I have other card games to be playing. I am sure it will go over well for MANY gamers. This is not a game to just pick up and have a light social game of. There is a LOT to consider and a lot to figure out. It is a multipurpose card game. The art on the cards is pretty simple looking- nothing fancy but there were some rainbows which is appreciated by me.
I suppose I would play again- but I am definitely not looking to do so. It won't be a game for everyone, but I think it will be loved by many.
Maybe I just don't like not being able to see the end goal in sight from the beginning. I like to be able to work on something during play and planning. maybe it was just too random- for some reason Innovation doesn't bother me though. *sigh* I wanted to like it!
Tuesday night Ron and I played a 2 player game of Elysium.
The reason I wanted to borrow Elysium to begin with was to try it out 2 player and report back.
There was definitely an ease about the flow of the game. We both had played before and there was really no tension at all. Drastically different than playing 4 players. Game play was fine with 2. I would say 4 players is the way it was designed for. With 4 players everything will change by the time it is your turn. Did you spend the correct Pillar? or will you be screwed? With 2 players you can pretty much guess what your opponent might take and it is easy to spend a pillar without getting screwed.
I think I only managed to screw Ron over 1 time and he did 1 time for me as well. The mind game in a 4 player game is way more interesting and fun. The time difference is a lot too. The 2 player game was very short MAYBE 45 minutes MAYBE. Felt longer to sort the cards in the end and clean up.
4 players can provide AP players but once people have played a few times I think it will get better and familiarity to the cards in play. In 4 players you see a WIDE spread of cards where you might go through the entire deck or nearly all of it. in 2 player you see maybe 1/4th of the cards- it is VERY limited and very hard to plan anything.
If and when I own this game I doubt we will play 2 player. If we do it will be rare, I surmise. It's OK 2 player but not nearly as great as 4 players.
Beautiful game I am excited to play more of.
Wednesday night Ron and I got to playing a few games. It had been a while since last playing Castles of Mad King Ludwig so we opted to play that.
This time the tiles were just not going my way. I didn't get any orange bonus cards and Ron got a few. He had a lot of extra points there.
I did put the pumpkin patch next to the bowling alley and that make me laugh. BOWLING WITH PUMPKINS!
I didn't save enough $ for the final round and I got screwed out of a few tiles to score big.
Ron never win this one so I guess I will let it slide this once. No mercy next time though. Still loving it!
Abyss was a game we were supposed to play last week with Simon. Somehow it slipped through and we never got to playing it. Since I was planning on that last week I was really wanting to play this week.
Ron and I took that out next. This game everything was going right from the beginning. I set out to get lots of blue cards and it worked out with the locations I managed to pick up. I got bonus for blue lords and blue allies. It just all came together. I crushed Ron.
Ron ended it but I had a ton of points to make up for it. He got the last lord of play another turn but he wasn't able to buy an 8th lord.
The score was still close and really high. I got 95 and Ron got 84.
I still think it is in the top 3 most beautiful games. Just stunning.
It is about as light as you can get. Roll and Move game. Run and hide in rooms and don't get eaten by the ghost Hugo. Points are bad. First person to 50 points loses.
It was cute- But I really don't have to play that again. Maybe it jsut wasn't for me. The guys kept wanting to play...
We played a fast round of Qwixx. Not everyone had played before so we just played regular sheets and I taught the game.
Nothing special about this game play. 1 person closed 1 and I closed the second and I won with 60 something points. I am not sure the new players were impressed
I have to say I enjoy Rolling Japan more. But, I am afraid I am the only one I know in that category so far. Thoguh, I do enjoy the new quixx score sheets I should play those more.
I convinced the 6 players to try out La Boca. They were all skeptical at first but once we got into it they were all laughs and havin' a good time. I enjoy the smack talk that come with it.
A team was having a brain fart at one time and was like THIS CAN'T GO ANYWHERE!!! ITS TOO TALLLLLLL... not realizing they could just lay it down. Hhahah oh man too funny. Pressure it on in this real-time game you forget common sense sometimes.
Really glad we played. I did not take the crown home this time. I did alright. I seemed to get paired with morons
I ONLY TEASE!
We went for a few rounds of another real-time game after. Pit provided a lot of laughs too.
Many actually hadn't ever played pit before- shocked!
First round -someone just got to 7 and that was that- nothing fancy.
The second round was a bit more interesting. I won! But not only did I win- the 6 other players all just recieved the 7th card to make the bell ring. I beat ALLLLL 6 players to ring the bell. BOOYAH!
I got off to a few early point cards. I couldn't seem to get any legendary cards out until the very end. The I managed to get time elemental and take another turn to score 12 points. Poor Ron - I think he did manage to get 6 points by the end.
He was having a rough game not really getting any combos or cards to play and kill my pieces.
Good to play it!
Saturday Michelle and Justin hosted all day games at their new house. They have THE BEST gaming room. It is magalicious!
Michelle wanted to learn Die Staufer. I taught her and her friend. Pat and Riley joined in.
We played 5 player and we had a very unique (so far) game.
Everyone was actively trying for the end conditions. By the end of this 5 player game we had only 2 available spots left on the board to be taken. That is crazy! I did amazingly well with my end card score with 57 points.
I think since Pat and Riley have played many times before they were planning for theirs too. It was just shocking to see the board so fully covered.
I did end up winning with 107. Michelle did second best with 101. Not bad for her first play!
I think she enjoyed it! I am still loving it. I was really glad to play it since it had been a bit since my last play.
I think it is a rare game that plays well with ANY # of players 2-5. I have played it the most with 5 and it is wonderful. When I play with Ron 2 players it is really great too. There is no happy medium but they are all great! I think that says a lot.
Michelle has been talking up Neptun recently. New to me!
We picked Joe C up and played this 5 player game. I guess she backed it on KS a while back. It was more of a pre-order since it was Queen Games.
The game is clever and has some interesting choices and push your luck elements to it. There are 3 rounds and each round has 2 phases.
phase 1 is to get 5 contracts and allocate them to the line up in which you want to fulfill them. This part is interesting because you are getting these contracts that either provide $$ or spaces on the temple tracks at the given location. Those tracks provide VPs each rounds to the player farthest on them. The contracts also provide your movement cards and the cards used in the current rounds movement in phase 2.
Phase 2 is the actual movement on the board to try and deliver these contracts. There is a wind speed that either helps or hurts your movement provided by all players cards and with help from one of your cards that you choose to play.
There are some interesting choices to be made and it is a game I would definitely be interested in playing again. Very enjoyable. Box said 45 minutes but it was more like 90 minutes. Maybe longer since we were all learning.
I kicked butt so that also helps me with liking a game. I got 40 points and I think second place had 30 so it was a hefty lead.
I look forward to playing again.
Michelle caught another game after that and I asked Riley to teach us Beasty Bar. New to me!
Joe H kindly gave me this game since it was not really his taste of games and more my alley. Thanks Joe!
I haven't played Guillotine but I have heard it was like that.
Each player has their own deck of the same cards but you hold 4 cards at a time, out of 10. They are all animals with different abilities. You are trying to get them into the bar without getting eaten or kicked out of the line.
For example the lion is the king so he just auto goes to the front of the line. But the next player may play the seal card which switches the back exit with the front and then the lion is at the back of the line and the seal is then at the front.
This game both Riley and Joe C got 4 animals into the bar and tied for first. I only got 3. HARUMPH.
It is definitely a cute little game. I would play this for a filler anytime.
I am happy to own it! It is very simple and easy to teach. Fun times!!
It's really hard not to love this game. The more I play it the more I want to play it more. I can't say I like worker placement games but this one is just really great design and has all the bells and whistles. My only real complaint is that there is no red. I get it- it is not within the color palette but grrr.
Gamers might be put off by the length of the game but for me, the time flies on by.
Riley seeded his cards with the recommended removal of certain cards. He and the rest of us found the cards to be much more usable and good. I suppose I will have to go seed the cards from my copy as well. Just seems like a lot of time, we will see.
This 4 player game actually was very close even at the end. It was a fight between Pat and Joe C they were tied I think :\ at like 36 points or something. Pat might have been a point behind him. Anyways, Joe C won and pat was second I got 30 and Riley I think just passed the 25 mark after final scoring. I would say that is pretty damn good. We are all equally getting better at this game and really enjoying it.
I got terrible structure cards and that really hurt me. This game was a bit different because all players had all 6 guys by the end of turn 2. How odd is that. We were all doing everything with our travelers and farmers. There was just some AP going on but maybe that will get better with a few more games...
This has got to be somewhere in my top 20 I have no idea where. It is likely my favorite worker placement game though. Some more consideration needs to happen though.
I have been asking Riley to play his In a Grove game for a while now. New to me!
This was a good choice after that heavy worker placement game. This is a VERY light deduction game. Which I lost horribly. I guess that means everyone else won.
You have limited knowledge of 3 suspects and you try to pick the actual killer. It all plays very fast.
It wasn't bad- I just don't think I will have to play it all that often.
It had been a while since my last play of this so I was happy to teach. Riley was familiar with the rules and I think I had taught Pat before.
The game is not hard and the best part is when you are not sure of a move and you either get royally hosed or do exceptionally well!
In my case this happened at the very end. The 3 of use were lined up at the gate. If Riley (in the middle) pulled the A1 he would have won. As we saw it Riley pulled the B2 but Pat (leader on the baord) pulled the A1 in secret. I was like well if Pat got the A1 card I would have to repel so I played a purple repel card just in case. Indeed Pat played the A1card moved backwards and Riley put the B2 card and moved backwards and I repelled from 3rd to win the game!
And that is how it is DONE!
That is a fun game. I should take it out more
We still had a few minutes so we played a round of 3 player Linko!. This was the craziest round ever. On display for the available cards were 2 X's and a 13. Everyone wanted to get Abbluxxed. Riley played a singleton then i played a low pair. Then Pat played a lower pair. Riley then played 3 of a kind and I played a sington. Pat played a pair then Riley played a lower singleton. I played a 3 of a kind and Pat played a pair. Riley played lower 3 of a kind and I played a matching pair.
No one was abbluxxing- at all. Finally, Pat was forced to abblux Riley with a single card. But it didn't matter because right after Riley played I went out with a pair.
Craziest round ever! We were all laughing. It was quite enjoyable. Loving it.
My 3rd play - this week of Elysium. I played earlier in the week with 3 players and 2 players. I am pleased to say that this was a 4 player game.
I guess Riley put out the "high scoring" decks of cards. Probably, since there were no blue cards screwing people over and the black deck provides lots of points. Or so it seemed.
A lot more screwage can happen in a 4 player game and everyone was doing a good job at it. At least to me at the end.
Michelle was the only one learning the game so the game sort of moved along at a good pace. In the 2nd to last round I got screwed out of getting a turn tile and got 1 transfer and $1 going last. The last round I was left with the 1st turn tile which provides $2 and 1 transfer. Ugh, that is not a lot of transferring. I had to get my points elsewhere and fast. In the last round I went from having no military tokens to getting 5 and took first place for that. Riley was PISSED!
I also was getting Vp's for getting purple cards all game. In the beginning of the game I was collecting end game cards and that helped me a lot too.
I actually ended up winning - most in thanks to the military tokens. I got 87 points. Well scoring is below.
This game is so much better with 4 players it is crazy. It isn't awful with 2 but I don't think I will be playing it all that often with 2. I will also probably still buy it when it comes out. It will fit nicely on my shelf (that is completely full at the moment).
Most gamers left by this point and just with 4 players remaining we played Cloud 9.
I love this little push your luck game with hot air balloons. Justin played chicken most of the game and jumped out of the balloon at the right time. Every turn Michelle crashed the balloon and we got nothing. Justin won by a landslide- or so it seemed. I wasn't even close. Michelle and I were risk takers and it didn't pay off.
I really have to get this game. I love it! Anyone could play this game too. It is better with more players as well- I think.
The final game of the night was Deep Sea Adventure. This was new to both Michelle and Justin.
We wanted to keep with the push your luck game so this seemed to fit. We only had 4 players and it really changes up the game A LOT! Michelle made it back to the sub and Justin did 1 time as well. Riley and I drowned 3 times since we were not used to this player count. We normally always have 5 or 6. It is MUCH better with 5 or 6.
Justin ultimately won because he claimed a dark blue tile in the waters and made it back. Still the game on the hot list.
I was off my game. I was doing well then I didn't realize I had Io's minion in my possession and ended up doing a 50 point turn and nothing counted.
I just need to pay closer attention to Ron- he is tricksy.
He killed me that time. He got 156 and I got 114.
I was rocking the fairy card (I forget the name at this moment) but it gave me +3 crystals for having no cards in my hand. I was at like 50+ points by year 3 and just killing it. I would have won if I was playing closer attention. Stupid me!
Awesome game- we have to play more of.
Finally we played a game of Hawaii after that Seasons game.
I made another mistake in this one as well and I used the wrong currency at the end and I screwed myself of 15 points that would have put me for the win. I was doing really well with the god favor that gave me +4 points for making the end of round cut for points. I was getting them all and scoring for red shells. I was doing well considering not having any income. The income tiles were always so expensive!!
This is a fantastic game. I love playing it. I think with 5 players it runs way too long but 2-3 players is a great count. Very fun. Will have to play it more often now.
Sunday I also got to playing a bunch of Star Realms on the ap. I think after like 6 games I ended up even. Still enjoying that surprisingly. I really like the tourneys I am in here on BGG. I am very excited about the team challenge coming up. I Have 2 very strong teammates and it will be a fun challenge!
This week Riley placed an order with Oink Games! He was so kind and ordered some games for me too!!!! They should arrive in time for the weekend so I am very excited to play those this week! TROLL, A Fake Artist Goes to New York, and Rights
Yay! And I also placed an order with DriveThruCards to get a bunch of card games maybe this week or next.
Lots of goodness to come in the next few weeks!! Yay! May and summer is happening and its all good!
Two good games of Summoner Wars: The first had my daughter taking over the Cave Filth deck Warden of Whacks, and getting beaten by my Mountain Vargath Morya's Sisterhood. The Warden's Demon Hands couldn't keep him from getting cornered by Malevolence and two Priests. In the second game, her Ratlord Glurblurb deck had Swamp Rats, Vermin, and Swamp Beasts for non-starting commons, and Glurp, Splack, and Khan Queso for champs. My Abua Shi's Shadows had Satara, Miti Kyru, Makgongo, Shadows, Hunters, and a few one-off beasts. Glurblurb thought he was doing pretty well as both players approached the bottoms of their decks. Each summoner had taken some damage. But then Abua Shi summoned Miti Kuru, and it was all over in one turn. She has asked for a replay of this one, with swapped decks.
Two sessions of Tales of the Arabian Nights: In the first, my super-pious cobbler Ma'aruf maxxed out the destiny track! He was clearly going to win, and then Scheherazade picked up a few points at the last moment to join him. In the second game, my Sinbad couldn't get a break. My main achievement with him was to overcome Accursed, Envious, and Enslaved -- the last two on my final turn, when Scheherazade was already victoriously returned to Baghdad.
Four plays of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, trying out my new decks Blue Shadows (mono-Agency without For the Greater Good), Authors of the Impossible (Miskatonic/Yog parapsychologists and writers), and Yellow Joseph (Twilight/Hastur Mieger-centric deck).
One Rune Age win with Daqan Lords solitaire against the Cataclysm. I think I accidentally cheated early on by buying a Novice Wizard for 2 instead of 3, but it ended up being a really solid win, with only 12 damage against my home realm.
One Onirim win solitaire with Steps Lost & Found and Crossroads & Dead Ends.
No pics this week, because I'm changing over computers and haven't set up my camera software yet.
What a scenario. Merisel (wife) went to Iron Cages of Lust and Amiri (me) to the Halls of Wrath. Merisel worked her way through the location and after a while defeated the henchman and closed the location. In the meantime, Amiri tried to do something useful at her location and failing miserably. As in, she first failed to defeat a regular monster which cost her a number of cards (didn't have an armour in her hand at the start). Then she did defeat her henchman, but failed to close her location, causing the henchman to come back into the location deck. And to make things worse, it ended up on the top of the deck, and this time Amiri didn't have anything but a blessing to help her close the location - not good. 2d4 won't roll 12 no matter what. And all of a sudden Amiri had an almost empty deck. Whoops. Time to stop exploring. Once Merisel had finished at her location she came over to Amiri and both beat the crap out of the second henchman, and closed the location. And that meant that Amiri could go to the final location and kick the butt of the villain. 2d12+3d10+6 was enough to end this scenario. That was close.
And with this, the Sins of the Saviors adventure is over. I hope we can start the final adventure next weekend, we're both eager to see how this story wraps up.
Saturday was a long overdue game of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game with Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Daybreak Expansion. Tom Zarek, Romo Lampkin, Apollo, and Chief Tyrol set out to find Kobol. The briggings were plentiful as first Tom went to the brig (for not playing Violent Protests sooner), then Apollo, and finally Chief for blatantly spiking a skill check. For some reason Romo and Apollo let him out because he started to be far too useful from the brig. At the Sleeper Phase Chief became a Mutineer, but decided instead to reveal. In the end the humans made it safely to Kobol. This game kept up our pattern of having new players draw the Cylon card.
After this was a few filler hands of Coup. I finished the night by cracking open my copy of Shadows over the Empire. As an aside, does anyone know why the box says the game takes 90-120 minutes? We were done a three-player game in about thirty minutes.
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game - I played a 5 player game of Dead of Winter at this week's meetup. We were playing the... I don't remember the name of the scenario, but it's the one where each player has to have a weapon equipped and we need food equal to 2 times the number of players. It was the first time I've played this scenario, and at first it seemed like it would be pretty tough, but as the game wore on it actually seemed like we might breeze through it. It didn't seem like we had a betrayer, and everyone was working together really well. It was going to be tight, though. We went into the last round needing to find 2 more food, and needing one more weapon equipped. On top of that we just had to manage our zombies, and we'd be solid. We had 6 morale at that point, so that wasn't a huge concern. We were 2 turns from winning, and the betrayer revealed themselves, killing the character I had with a weapon equipped and tanking our chances of winning. She did it deliberately, hoping to get exiled because she had no hope of meeting her original objective. She didn't realize that most of the exiled objectives require that the other players successfully complete the main objective. Game over, man. No one wins. Rating: 8
Dungeon Escape: A classic game of memory with a twist! - A buddy of mine recently received this kickstarter game, and taught my wife and I how to play at the beginning of a recent game night. It's a decent game, really. I mean, yeah, it's pretty much memory with some very minor tweaks. The art is nice (and adds a level of difficulty, because some of the cards look similar). The combat element is okay, but pretty random. All in all, I wouldn't mind playing this game, and I would absolutely pick it up if I had a young child that I wanted to introduce games to. Rating: 6
One Night Ultimate Werewolf - After months and months of 6 players at our game nights, we finally tipped the scales and had a 7th player join us. It's great, the more the merrier, but there aren't a lot of games that play 7. I'm hoping that eventually we'll break up into smaller groups of 4 and 3 or something, and get some other games played. This time, though, we just played 7 games of One Night. I know, poor us. We had a blast. It's kind of inevitable that One Night will occasionally have a dud game, and I think we had one of those. We had a new player who got caught out in a story and didn't know how to recover. The other 6 games were great, though, and I'm not just saying that because I won 3 times as the wolf. On the last one of those, I didn't even know I had been turned into a wolf by the Alpha, but the other 2 wolves played it so brilliantly that they convinced me (and most of the other players) to vote for someone else, without ever hinting that they had converted me. Rating: 8
Innovation - On Saturday, my wife and I sat down to play a round of Innovation. It's been a few months since we played it, so we took a couple of turns to get the feel of it again. My feelings about this game are very mixed. I love the special powers and trying to figure out the best way to use and combine them. At the same time, my wife is so much better than me at this game, that I frequently feel completely helpless. She won this last game 6-3, but it wasn't even as close as the score sounds. I scored all 3 of my dominations while she was sitting at 5. It doesn't make me not want to play the game, but it makes me less likely to play it twice in a row. I'm tempted to hit isotropic and try to get a little better, but I don't know if I'm ready to take that kind of step. Rating: 6
The girls went to a dance recital so the boy and I played All Creatures Big and Small on Sunday. I tried to corner the marked on horses right away while he collected resources. In the mid-game he grabbed a bunch of feeding troughs and tried to diversify into sheep, pigs, and cows. I ended with more buildings and a big pile of horses and sheep for 25 points. He had pigs and sheep packed into two tiny, well-fed pastures for 26 points. We both really enjoyed this game. Almost every turn, it felt like we were pushing our luck or agonizing over a decision between two less than ideal options. The little animeeples are fun, too.
Another really slow week for me. I'll make up for that this week at Geekway.
Strat-O-Matic Baseball was played twice this week. On Wednesday, my bro-in-law came over and we started our replay of the '03 playoffs. He's a Cubs fan and hoping to get them to the WS this time. I played the Braves and was able to pull off a 1-0 victory. Both pitchers gritted it out and kept the game close. I also played another game of my replay of the '91 WS. This time the Twins unleashed the bats that have been silent so far and pounded out 9 runs for the victory. Braves holding on to the 3-1 lead in this series.
My wife offered to play a game at lunch on Thursday to help with the 1x100 challenge. We dusted off Piñata. This game usually gets her made at me, but she did a good job of keeping it under control this time. It was one of the closest games we've played so far. Came right down to one of the last pieces of candy and I was able to squeak out the victory.
a little fatherly bragging if I may... yesterday my son had the best game so far playing keeper. He was able to keep a clean sheet on a very windy day. His defense needs a hat off for their support. My son was all over the 18-yd box, diving, blocking... just owning that territory. Proud papa.
Have a great week everyone and hope to see some of you in St. Louis this week!
(4P)- I took the twin brothers, Dustin took "I don't roll" guy, Craig took try to get a bunch of houses down guy and Jeremy took Marco Polo. Dustin was start player so used the 6 to get all the camels and bought black die and we never saw him again after that he totally smoked us with some crazy score. 4th time I've played this still have the same opinion of I'll play it but don't like it enough to buy it.
(5P) - Craig had just picked up a German copy of this classic card game. Can't wait for them to come out with the Alea big box board game version called Broom Service. Craig started out strong, almost choked but pulled it out in the end, boooo. Loved the German names for some the cards, some of them are really funny compared to the English names I'm used to
(5P) - One of my favorite 5 player games of all time. It has set collecting, bidding, and variable goals to make each game different. Craig won it and I did horrible but still had fun. We had 2 newbies and LeAnne just about won it so kudos LeAnne for her first time playing.
Saturday We had a big cookout with great food and games.
(3p4p)- Press your luck and be the lucky chicken and get the most worms. Dice roller where you try to use a fistfull of die to get high total to get the bigger pile o worms. The die is a standard die pips with 1-5 and then a special worm side (worth 5) so after you roll your die then you have to set all of one rank aside but it can't be the same number set aside that you already have (unlimited rerolls so max of 5 rerolls if your really really lucky) and you must have at least 1 worm rank die to be eligible for the worm tiles, if you roll the same number as the top tile in someones pile you can steal that tile. If you don't score high enough to claim a tile you have to return your top tile face down to the bank.
(3p) x2 - Figuring out how things score in this game induces much brain melting but great fun once you figure it out. The couple I was playing with it enjoyed it so much that they insisted we play another time.
x3 - A fun press your luck filler game involving some press your luck and just blind luck. Good game to fill in the time while the others finished up on the grill. Lost horribly the first and second game. Third game it looked like I was going down again but managed to swing the tide with my last die and won the game so it must be all skill.
- Bob had not played this yet so I was happy to play again and I owed him for when he went to Essen one year and brought back some "hot" games and bravely taught them all to everyone again and again and again... Unfortunately the person who insisted on teaching the rules was fuzzy as he had only played it once before, I kept trying to politely step in as I had played it a bit but Bob was used to this person always teaching the rules so I smiled politely. He then asked for advice on an action for his first play so I told him I usually like to get the knowledge spot so I can get a monk asap but he went with the other's advice of getting a gear which isn't a bad move either. I think the only bad move at the start of this game would be to get the boatman as it's just VP and doesn't help your early plays. Poor Bob got to obsessed with gears and eventually had like 10 gears as he got he special building for buying gears. He had bought the silk buying building as well so got a majority of his points buying all the silk in the game but had got trapped in developed parts of the map so couldn't put out any houses for points but it was his first game I'm sure he will be dangerous his next time. It felt good to win with 128 points at end after dismissive attitude at the start, who's the king baby, who's the king, what whaaaat! Whose got two thumbs and crushed you.. ::this guy:: (well that was the dialog going on in my head)
This week played a game of Castle Ravenloft with my eldest. We were up against the Flesh Golem, and it came down to a do or die 50/50 choice to pacify. My son choose the wrong item and we lost as we had no surges left. Always fun to play this with my son. I did the last two adventures on my own, and lost both badly. Is Strad even beatable, hard even with all those nice stakes and other tools tossed around his castle. Any way time to mix with LOD and WoA.
At work this week I played Cthulhu Fluxx and Love Letter.
After a couple weeks of no face to face gaming, I was able to get in my first game of Die Macher!
We played with 5 and we played the short game. It took us 4 hours with teaching and a pizza break. We had a great time with this one. It's got so much cool stuff going on and once you get into the groove of the procedural stuff, it offers a lot of opportunities to influence the game state in interesting ways. We most likely got some rules wrong, but we agreed to play again in a couple of weeks with the full game.
After DM we decompressed with some Ra which remains a favorite lighter game for me and then I was wrangled into teaching some folks Bohnanza. I do love some bean farming from time to time. My evening ended (sadly) with Monty Python Fluxx. It's been a long time since I played Fluxx, it still suxx.
I played my first ever game of Vikings on Yucata. It was pretty fun.
Wir sind das Volk! - A great game that went down to the wire. There was one socialist in the box to clear an all important unrest cube to keep the East from collapsing by the narrowest of margins. This game is fast becoming one of my favorites.
Patchwork - A tough game for me. My opponent put me in position where I could not buy a piece for two turns in a row and in the end I payed for it. I need to keep better tabs of my current income coupled with my longer term prospects.
Impulse - Another down to the wire game that I lost 18-20. I tried to chain some desperate actions together to find a refine action from the deck but it was not to be.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small - My sprawling ranch (though light on actual animals) was still sufficiently large and efficient to defeat my opponent's dense feed lot approach to animal husbandry.
Magnate - One more game, and one more loss on the last possible turn of the game. I drew far too many aces that kind of stagnated my hand.
Despite all the losses, it was still a great weekend of games.
Saturday: BGA + Live Kahuna - BGA, First play, little abstract for my tastes. Backgammon - Facebook Race for the Galaxyx2 - BGA Spyrium - BGA. Really enjoying exploring this one. I own it as well, but haven't had luck getting it to the table.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) - Highlight of the week. It's been two years since we last played this. We had three new plays (Martel, Tyrell, Lannister). I was Greyjoy. Lots of tactical errors by both the new and experience players. We went way over on time, so we called it a draw between Stark and Tyrell at 5 castles each after 5 hrs. I had 4 castles, I think Stark would have won if we had gone the full 10 turns. It's really tough to get to 7 with 6 players. I made a critical error in my sea expansion phases and made the mistake of not clearly defining my terms of peace with Lannister so got drawn into a bit of a cold war there. Can't wait to play again, I think we are going to try to get this played again sometime this summer.
First of two games I played with my wife on Saturday. Usually she takes a diverse civilization dominated strategy while I go for huts. This time I saw early opportunity in grabbing civilization cards. I was willing to overpay a bit for cards that game me and only me resources while diversifying my civilization. This allowed me to expand my population a bit more quicker than my wife while getting resources for just a couple higher value huts. My wife was a bit behind me in population and, unusually, ended up behind me on the agriculture track but did do a better job of advancing tech. I was about 20 points behind when we finished the last round but once we added up civilization card points I ended up being ahead by just over 20.
Our second game on Saturday. I got a few lucky rolls at the Black Market early in the game that allowed me to quickly get my fifth assistant and get some cold, hard cash at the Great Mosque. I parlayed this into a tidy little victory.
After a Mother's Day dinner with my mother-in-law, my wife and I enjoyed this light game. I quickly fulfilled my first gardener tile but my wife ended up fulfilling 2 much higher value gardener tiles. So, I really tried to race to fulfill 9 cards quickly and hopefully catch her out. Although I groaned when I got a couple of early "cloudy" dice rolls, the irrigation tiles I earned from them were crucial in the end as in my last turn I was able to fulfill 3 cards in quick succession to trigger the end.
More solo fun for me with this terrific game. In all three plays it was pretty darned close but I managed to pip Alexander MacKenzie at the line twice.
Still very much enjoying this slick worker placement game, especially solo. Only one play this week but I'm looking forward to trying out the two expansion I've recently received in the mail.
My non-gamer buddy wanted to organize a semi-regular card night at a locals pub. I'm terrible at trick taking games (having avoided the daily late-night card games at University) and I proved that at our first meet-up as I "earned" lots of points in Hearts.
My ineptitude didn't stop with Hearts, it extended to Euchre. Fortunately, my partner was nearly as inept. So, we graciously accepted a well-earned beat down.
This is a deduction game that uses an app to randomize the answers you are looking for with each play. It's an interesting idea, and I didn't mind the app being part of the game design. The issue I had was that the game, outside of the goal of deducing the potion results is very finicky with a lot to remember. There's not much time or ability to deduce, and the things that punish you most are like, you forgot you needed 1 gold, or you forgot you needed a worker in two different spots to do this action/combo thing.
There is also some "double dick-punching", where if you publish something wrong, which you have to do unless you are nuts lucky, then someone can knock you off, and you lose a ton of points, and THEN take more damage from a round event that hurts you if you don't have X published theories.
I liked the deduction part, but by the end the other rules frazzled me that I mixed a invalid potion that I already knew how to make because I got the ingredient colors messed up. I had set the correct cards I needed to mix the potion in front of me so I wouldn't forget, and then pulled two wrong cards from my hand to make the potion and failed. This of course isn't the game's fault, but my point is just that the game requires you to remember a lot of stuff that isn't related to the deduction part of the game... and the deduction part of the game, you actually barely make progress on because of lack of available actions and a lot of dependency on luck.
It had been a few years since I had played this game. I remembered it being pretty dull. This time we had a little more fun with it, and I did think it worked better with 3 than 4, but overall there are just so few scoring opportunities that the activity of playing this game easily feels futile. The way it works is you have a deck of cards. The active player takes 1, puts 1 face down for auction, then makes 1 available for each other player to take. Then the next player goes. At the end you auction off the auction pile. After the auction, whoever has the highest in numbers of one of the five colors, get somewhere between 1 and 6 points, depending on the end facing of a die that's been manipulated up and down over the course of the game. It's a cute idea, but the payoff at the end just feels disappointing.
This is a fun co-op deckbuilder that's too randomly hard for it's own good. I say randomly hard because it's the randomness of card flips that ends you as opposed to it being a nice puzzle to solve. Part of the problem is we tried having one of each character type, and the elf character just doesn't have enough hit points to make it through act 2 of 3 in the opening quest. The idea is this, each player has a deck of cards. Each round, everybody gets an obstacle card that will hurt them at the end of their turn. Then, an event flips that helps or hurts, and then players play cards from their hand in specific orders to destroy any of the obstacles, even the ones in front of other players. It's a fantastic idea. I just don't see any way to win this.
There is a system for "leveling up" that seems really odd. You can keep your character between games. You get 1xp for failing, so when you fail 5 times, you can get a little skill that helps you not lose as much. The skills range in xp cost from 5 to 30. I suspect the secret to enjoying the game is to use these skills at the start and just pretend the characters are higher level, but then how do we balance that so the game doesn't become too easy? The characters didn't stand out to me in this game to me. Everyone has access to all the skills, so it's not like a descent level up tree. I don't understand why the leveling is part of the game design, other than maybe Pathfinder Adventure did it and they wanted to compete with them?
It has been many years since I had last played this game, and when I played it last, I was actually falling asleep during the game. With this second try, I didn't nod off, but the game was annoying enough we quit after the first two rounds. The idea here is you roll some dice, and then take tiles either from the center or from each other. The game seems to go on forever as player after player pillages each other's tiles rather than making the game progress by taking something from the center. Terrible game.
This is the mechanical sequel to Pickomino, and it's SUBSTANTIALLY more enjoyable. You roll dice with a push your luck aspect that lets you take tiles from the center or from other players, just like in Pickomino, but the difference is that you are trying to build two even piles. One pile of positive point tiles and an equal pile of negative point tiles. Any positives you have in excess of the negatives are discarded at the end. This means you are angling for the highest positives possible, and the lowest negatives possible in sets, while trying to protect your good tiles from other player snatching them by burying them in your piles, because the steal mostly only works from the top of your pile. The group enjoyed this a lot as a quick filler.
This was the game of the week by far. I was really skeptical about this game, but boy did we enjoy it. The idea is this, you are Sherlock's minions. You are presented with a mystery. You are given a scenario book that contains all the dialogue of everyone you can talk to about the case in the city. You also get a map of London and essentially a yellow pages for the map. The goal is to solve the mystery in as few interviews as possible. Players choose when to end the game, and when they do, Holmes as of course already solved the mystery and you are scored based on your ability to answer 6 questions about the mystery correctly. Then you lose points for each person you interviewed in excess of who Holmes's process through the case. We really had a ball, and I'm only lamenting that there aren't an infinite number of mysteries in the box. With only 9 more mysteries to go, I won't run out soon, but knowing there's an end brings me some lamentation.
I will say, the new printing of the game we have does have several glaring and frustrating translation errors. The player aid on the back of the book uses German(?) style direction abbreviations in place of NW, NE, SW, SE and we found a "die" in place of "the", and one or two other little errors that threw us off a little.