Recent gaming: King of Frontier, Deep Sea Adventure, Midnight Party, Darjeeling, Patchistory, plus online boardgaming
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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April 27-May 10, 2015

Caught up with some good gaming recently.

My recent gaming geeklists (2015)
Boardgames To Go Guild
Boardgames To Go Blog & Podcast


The first of the past two weeks I managed no face-to-face gaming. There was even a weekend in there to myself, when my wife went to visit family. But none of my normal gaming buddies were available! At least I managed to get that recent podcast out.

The next week, though, I was able to drop in on my Colorado friends for a couple gaming sessions while out there on a business trip. Hurray!

Through it all, I kept playing online games, too.
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1. Board Game: The King of Frontier [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3907]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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The first little Japanese game of the night. I think this shows a lot of promise, and hope it gets a widely available reprint soon. At that time I thought there were a couple rough edges that could be polished with a little bit of game development, but now I can't recall what they were. I'd play it as-is if I could get my hands on a copy, however.
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2. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:549]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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The second little Japanese card game we played. This was quite a bit of fun, and I wish we'd had time to try a second time. All of us misjudged the shared push-your-luck oxygen mechanism, and ALL of us died on the first two rounds. Then in the final round only two players made it back to the sub. Clearly, we'd do better the next time, but that makes me curious. Had we been more cautious in our treasure diving, that only makes the later rounds more lucrative. So it changes the game dynamic. Very interesting.
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3. Board Game: Escape from the Hidden Castle [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2039]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Phil couldn't believe I said on the last podcast that I'd never played this classic. Though after we got started, it rang a bell, dimly. Maybe I played long ago, or maybe I've seen it played (or heard it described) so often that it felt familiar. Enjoyable enough, and silly fun with Hugo, but I have no idea why Stephen put it in his Top 15.
 
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4. Board Game: Darjeeling [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1915]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I'd been curious about this one when it came out several Essens ago. Then I heard nothing more about it. Now I know why. It's not horrible--I even sort of enjoyed it. But it's a fiddly, theme-defying, soulless euro. Sounds like I enjoyed it, right?
 
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5. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:790]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Another I was very happy to try...but have no need to play again. Our game played more slowly than necessary, so it would improve by pushing through it faster. But it's yet another civ-building game without a real map (can you believe that's a sub-genre in itself?), with a few new ideas, a few of its own quirks, and no real elegance to grab me.
 
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6. Board Game: Online: Internet Card Game [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:14726]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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robotrobotrobot Online boardgaming robotrobotrobot


Dixit - Works surprisingly well on Boite a Jeux! I just wish they had all of the expansion cards, too.

Industrial Waste - One of the best, leanest engine-builders out there. I can only win by concentrating on waste reduction, but then I do pretty well.

Brass - Two losses, including one devastating embarrassment in the latest revolving tourney at OrderOfTheHammer. It's a wonder they still let me play.

Firenze - Always pleasant, but nothing special for me.

R-Eco - A game where I enjoy "turning the crank," just to watch how this oddball card game works. Though I'm increasingly confident that the outcome is fairly random among players who aren't just learning/boggled by the system.

Mykerinos - An Ystari oldie that we used to have some fun with. Been playing again on BAJ. It is dry as a bone, and doesn't even invoke its theme very well (I'd much prefer Pergamon or Thebes). But it's ok in a stark euro sort of way, and I usually do well (by focusing on the "brown circle" guys and scoring placements within the museum).

Sobek - There are several "moving parts" in this simple card drafting, set-collection game. I think in face-to-face play I'd give it another star. Maybe that's for the awesome box insert.

Glen More - I still can't figure this one out. Not how to play it, or even how to win (I do pretty well), but how to enjoy it. This seems like something I'd like more than I do. It's just kind of blah.

Maori - I could see why others overlook this one. After all, there's not a whole lot to this simple game. Yet, it charms me. The gameplay is pleasant, the aesthetics are good, and it's a keeper in my collection.
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