GCL Eclipse Division #191: Memories
Froggy McFrogface
United States
FORT COLLINS
CO
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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This week: tomorrow is Memorial Day in the US, and last Wednesday was my (and John's) birthday, which in light of the recent discovery of my biological family has taken on new meaning. So it seems a fine time to talk about memories.




This is the Game Chat League: Eclipse discussion list for the week of May 24, 2015.

Lurkers, see the Eclipse wiki for more information about the discussion group.

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Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
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Please read before posting:

If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Eclipse, feel free to read along with us. And if you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it—if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members. However, if you'd like to join in regular discussion, first post to the current discussion list inquiring about the possibility of becoming a member, with full discussion privileges.

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Jason Lott
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Cheverly
Maryland
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Thank you for respecting these guidelines in our place of regular discussion. We hope the discussion we create here is rich, informative, and, most of all, fun for members and nonmembers alike.
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1. Board Game: Memory [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:15991]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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What is your earliest memory?




For me, I have a couple of hazy memories in my living room, with my mom home, before I was old enough to go to kindergarten. I also have some fragmented memories of a university pre-school that I went to. I definitely remember my mom taking me to meet my kindergarten teacher a week or two before classes started. I remember the room quite well, and remember having a "conversation" with my mom across a toy phone.
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2. Board Game: Yahtzee [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:15918]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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What is your earliest gaming memories? Or, what is and early memory of gaming in "the modern era?




I have a very vague memory of going on a trip when I was 5 or 6, maybe 7, to visit an old friend of my parents. I have no idea where we went, whether it was far or not, but this woman had a Yahtzee game (the 1956 version shown for this item.) I remember insisting to play that game over and over and over again.
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3. Board Game: Husker Du? [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:14313]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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How do you feel about 'memory' as a game mechanic? Are you able to easily keep track of cards that have been played, or how much money another player should have on hand?




I kind of suck at memory games, although I'm pretty good at deduction games. In spite of that, I do love Hanabi, which is essentially a memory game.
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4. Board Game: What Were You Thinking? [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:3830]
Froggy McFrogface
United States
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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I can't remember what this entry was supposed to be...
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5. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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In honor of Memorial Day: do you have a fallen veteran you would like to lift up? If not, is there a history of service in your family?




My father served in WWII. Because he could type, he avoided being sent to combat, and instead was a clerk in the Signal Corps, stationed in Florida. I've come to find out that one of my new half-siblings, my brother Randy, served at the end of the Vietnam war, also as a company clerk since he could type. I have an uncle who's first career was in the Navy, and my oldest half-sibling, my brother Terry, also served in Navy.
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6. Board Game: Nothing Gained But Glory [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:2942]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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Games Played 5/17 - 5/23:

NOTHING!

I was at a medical conference for most of the week, and then digging out from the wreckage of being gone for that long.
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7. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:561] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Froggy McFrogface
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When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why. But why wonder? I'm green, and it'll do fine: it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be.
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May 18-24

Riff Raff: May 21 Birthday gaming at my FLGS, The Haunted Game Cafe, and my wife even joined us! We started with Riff Raff, while we waited for Matt Cook to arrive. Always fun and silly!



Thunder Alley: A fun five team race, introducing my wife and another player, Josh, to this great game. And I won!
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8. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:688]
Rick Goudeau
United States
Moody
Alabama
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No I have not been enrolled in a witness protection program. However, it feels like it.

With 2 major implementations. One where we lost the lead analyst to back surgery. Another client's server went casters up and we had to rebuild from backups. I feel like all I've been doing is working. When it rains it pours....

As result my gaming suffered grievously. Last week was the first I played some games since the first May.

Nations - I feel that I have the rules an game play down, not bad but not a game I need to own. At least I felt I was more in control rather along for the ride. Still feels very tactical to me, that your are trying to optimize each turn depending what is on the display, rather than building for the future.

Penny Press - Newspaper publishing during the William Randolf Hurst era.
It uses worker placement as a bidding system for news stories. The trade off is the stores with high current values versus those that may pay off better at the end of the game. There is a puzzle aspect since the stories are different sized and you must fit them to a layout on small grid, which represents presenting your front page
You go press 3 times in the game and later runs will have an advertisement on your board which your stories must work around.
Headline cards to determine which story categories will be available and the relative values, use actual period headlines which adds nice color to the game.

Worth trying again, both my son and his wife enjoyed the play.

Some classics with a good friend
Metro
Ingenious - been a while for this only Reiner Knizia would think of a final scoring as the most of the least.
Carcassonne
Attika
Alhambra
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9. Board Game: IKI [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1204]
EGG Head
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So have playtested Iki x3, not sure what I'm allowed to say about it yet so I'll leave it at that.
Elysium x3
Rights x2 but we played it wrong and didn't count cards in hand at end of game
TROLL x1 cute but it's pretty easy to figure it out
Get The Cheese! x2 light family game
Crows Overkill x2 light game with unique theme, wasn't that impressed with the game play
Guns & Steel x1 very fast and light tech builder
The Voyages of Marco Polo x1 still playing this one which I think says a lot about how much I like it
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10. Board Game: California Gold [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:7656]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Monday Night at LoB

I usually post on the meetup website what I am bringing to games night and like to have at least one or two people signed up. On Monday nobody had expressed any interest in any of the games I was intending to bring, so I was a little cautious, not knowing what I might end up playing. As it turned out I played everything I wanted to.

A mixed group including one very new to games player, came over to my table interested in playing Pandemic: The Cure. This is the dice version of Pandemic. We ended up playing it twice. The first game was brutal, with everything going horribly wrong right from the start. We just managed once around the table before losing in under 15 minutes.

As it was so quick we decided to play again. While the first game everything went wrong, in the second game it was the exact opposite, with everything going about as well as it could. The only time things did go wrong was when I tried to cure the last disease and win the game. I had 5 blue dice and I needed to roll 13 or more to finish in triumph. I managed to roll all 1’s and 2’s for an epic failure. But we were in such a good state that it really was not too hard to go around the table again. (We were playing five player). By the time it got back to me, I had seven blue dice, so no failure this time and a win for us.

Next up was the main game I wanted to play, California Gold. It’s a slightly strange game. The components make it look like a game from about 20 years ago. They are not bad, just not quite up to the standard we are used to now. At the start of the game you can only take one action per turn. Later on, if you purchase an agency and or a Nursery, you might be able to take up to three actions per turn.

Each player is trying to organise an Orange growing co-operative, so one of the actions you can do is add a new orange grove to one of your packing houses. Each packing house can accommodate three groves. With five players playing, the first to have 12 groves was the winner.

It’s a bit of a snowball game. It starts slow, but as players start to collect a few groves and get some income going, they are able to do a bit more each turn. By the last few turn everyone has lots of options. What is quite interesting are the Farm Report cards, the last thing the start player does at the end of each round is choose a farm report card which is then in force for the whole of the next turn. Some of them have good effects but most of them are bad. Of course knowing what is coming you can prepare for it, as there are ways to negate most of the bad events. Good use of the event cards is one of the keys to the game.

I did not do that well but felt I learnt a lot, hoping to do better in my second play tonight.

We then lost one of the five so it was a perfect time to try Elevenses. This is the second edition of the game and one of the changes is to reduce the winning requirement from 7 to 5 sugar cubes (VPs). As our game only lasted two hands, I think 7 may be a better option. Each player has their own deck (They are all identical) of eleven cards, numbered 1 to 11.

All cards have a number of spoons (Well from zero to three, so one does not have any). When a round ends the player with the most spoons in their tableau scores two points, second best gets one.

The players place eight of their eleven cards face down in two rows of four. These represent cards 2 to 9 and the players have three cards left in their hand. On your turn you can do one of two things, play a card to your tableau or do two re-arrange actions.

If you play from your hand, if the card is between 2 and 9 you put it in the corresponding slot on the table face up and take the card that was face down in the slot into your hand. Each card played has an effect that happens immediately. These might allow you to pass a card to the left or right, swap a card with another player, re-arrange some of your cards, look at all of your face down cards etc.

The re-arrange option allows you to replace one face down card with a card from your hand, you can do it twice.

If you have the 1 card (tea trolly), you can place it face up to the left of your tableau. You don’t get a replacement, but you do guarantee to score one point at the end of the round. The tea trolly is the only card that does not have any spoons on it.

If you have the 10 (Servants) you can play it to the right of your tableau. You do not draw a replacement. The servants card has three spoons on it, the most of any card.

Finally if you have the 11 card (elevenses) and you have at least four cards in your tableau you can play it to end the current round.

It was enjoyable but I am not sure if one game is enough to see if there is much too the game. I need to play it some more.

Finished with my second play of Arboretum. I am beginning to think this game may be more straight forward than it first appears to be. The winning player just built two lines of two different trees. Probably bad play on bejalf of the other players to let him do it though.

Wednesday Night at LoB

It was my mother-in-laws birthday on Tuesday, so switched my usual Tuesday gaming to Wednesday.

First game of the evening was my second play of Elevenses and I kind of shot myself in the foot on this one. In the first edition you needed seven points to win, but in the second edition (the one I have) they changed it to five. But we played to five on Monday and it only took two hands. So I thought let’s go back to seven points. This of course meant that I was the first to five points but not to seven points. Oh well.

Second play of California Gold. I felt that I had learned quite a lot about the rhythm of the game from my first play and had a much better idea of what I was doing this time. I nearly kept up with the eventual winner, but the difference was the oranges we were growing. I was heavily into Valencia oranges whilst he had all Navel oranges. Valencia oranges produce $1 for each grove whilst Navels produce $2 per grove. To offset this there are a lot of freeze cards in the farm report deck. When a freeze is in effect Navel oranges produce nothing. There were an unusually low amount of freeze cards and as my opponent mentioned at the end, the ones that did come up were on turns when he was not planning to take income.

So he managed to get ahead of me in income and I was unable to close the gap enough and had to make do with second place. Still it is getting better.

Finished the evening with Greed, a game I have played a lot more than the first two. In what turned out to be one of the lowest scoring games I have played of it, I managed to win with $85,000 while two other players had $80,000. I have played games were players have scored over $200,000, but I am not complaining, I’ll take the win.
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11. Board Game: IKI [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1204]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Should I copy Lorna? Sure, why not...

Highlights of games played 5/19-5/25:

As of 5/19, I'd played no new-to-me games in May.

By the end of the day Monday, I'd played 15...

Foppen (Joe=48) - Having just decided to drop one of my 10 ratings for the first time ever (Freight Train, in case you're curious), I'll bother to list one of the few games I've dropped from a 9 rating. I still rate Foppen an 8 - and still really enjoy the game, particularly with 5.

Hakahana (Joe=13) - A few years back, Edition Perlhuhn (Göttinger Spiele) worked to collect scans of all of their game rules. Those who helped out were entered in a drawing for copies of a few games - including this one. And my older son really enjoys it, and he was home - so we played...

Rights (Joe=4) - New game #1. And - I'm horrible at it. But I like it - I wasn't sure at first, but it grew on me.

TROLL (Joe=2) - New game #2. This one struck me well from the get-go. I've now played 7 games from Oink - and enjoy 5 of them well enough to have in my collection. The only publisher I've played more games from in 2015 is Rio Grande...

Art of War: the card game (Joe=3) - New game #3. Two player only, unfortunately - but my three plays have ended in three of the four possible game end conditions, which is very encouraging.

Terrible Monster (Joe=2) - New game #4. One of the few misses among the new Japanese games; it's not bad, but my bar for two player games is high. My older son enjoyed it enough that it will stay in the house for a few years, though...

Tichu (Joe=3) - I don't care for Tichu, but friends needed a fourth, so I filled in until an alternate fourth arrived. I can deal with the game once/decade...

Unpublished Prototype (Joe=1) - New game #5. Designed by Ken Tidwell. Fascinating...

Get The Cheese! (Joe=2) - New game #6. Another close miss from Japan - it's a pleasant game, but not my thing enough to hold on to.

7 little korpokkurs (Joe=1) - New game #7. And the only clear miss from Japan among the lot - just not my thing.

Actionworks (Joe=1) - New game #8. Meh.

Rumble in the House (Joe=1) - New game #9. I suspect might be more fun if intoxicated. Or perhaps poisoned...

IKI (Joe=2) - New game #10. The designer has been _very_ receptive to feedback - not agreeing with all of it, but really listening to it, which is making playtesting a particularly rewarding experience.

Crows Overkill (Joe=2) - New game #11. I like this one more than Lorna - I doubt it will ever be a favorite, but I think it has a place in my collection.

Guns & Steel (Joe=2) - New game #12. I suspect that it's best with 2 or 3, but this one is definitely interesting - once we managed to figure out what we were really supposed to be doing...

Abracada...What? (Joe=7) - Larry, the more I play this - the more I see room for deduction and inference. In one case, I realized that my opponents could easily kill me - so I had to take a shot at running the table.

Big Boss (Joe=21) - Listed to make Kevin happy.

Tricks & Deserts (Joe=5) - Having received the card I was missing, we finally got to try this with 4 - and while I'm not convinced it's _better_ with 4, it definitely handles either 3 or 4 well. Moved up to an 8 rating for me.

Queen's Architect (Joe=1) - New game #13. Yuck. A perfectly fine game that bored me very soon after we started.

Minerva (Joe=1) - New game #14. And now the game I most wish to play again, since I've only played it once - a very nice game, with a fair bit to explore.

Quartermaster General (Joe=8) - My first play as Japan; I've now tried all of the nations in the game. I was left completely alone - but Germany and Italy were overrun. I strongly recommend playing without the tournament rule (30 point lead is a win); I've seen too many games end with the side 30 points behind end up winning (3 of my 8 plays).

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri (Joe=2) - I really wanted to play this again, to give it a fair chance, before deciding what to do with my copy. I've decided - it's an interesting game, but being two player only and cooperative I don't need it.

2038: Tycoons of the Asteroid Belt (Joe=48) - I'd never seen a 2038 auction in which everything went for the base price before. The first 5 (of 10) companies in the game were started by either Joe Rushanan or me; Eric finally started a couple, and Kevin started one, but by the end I'd started 4 of the 9...

Tussle (Joe=1) - New game #15. Works well enough, but not my kind of dexterity game.


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12. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:359]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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A little late posting this week...

Acquired:

I stumbled into our FLGS because I got out of work early and I can't seem to leave that store without buying something. So I took home:

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Arboretum

On top of that my shipment came in for a few games I won in an auction from Doug Garrett:

The Traders of Genoa
Comuni

This is then the time of year I start to realize our game collection is getting too big and it's time to do another culling!

Plays:

These are my face-to-face plays from 5/12 - 5/25:

NONE - sadly. With Scott traveling a lot and me just coming back from a couple weekend trips there's been no time.

But I've at least had some games still going on Yucata. The Castles of Burgundy is dominating my time there.
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13. Board Game: Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:2816]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Speaking of memories, I made some yesterday when I attended the DC comic book convention yesterday. I got to go to two panels with Alex Kingston and Arthur Darvill, who portrayed Dr. River Song and Rory Williams on Doctor Who. Geekery at its finest!

I don't know if I ever asked if there are any Whovians amongst the Eclipse crew?
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14. Board Game: Double or Nothing [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:8371]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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No games played (5/17-5/23)

I was at a medical conference for almost the whole week. It was productive, but no time for hobbying. My hotel was a half block from a Games Workshop outlet. I didn't realize any of those were still in business.
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