What Did You Play Last Week? 5/25/2015
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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The weekend is now over, and as we toil at our assorted labors, we should recount our past week in gaming.

So, all you gamers, bring your mini-session reports and stories of your week in gaming greatness, as you pop in here to answer the question:

What did you play over the last week?

Check out the subscription thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4115320

The forum version can be found here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19322278#19322278

Also, don't forget to relive all your Video Game excitement over on VGG!

https://videogamegeek.com/geeklist/191595/25-may-2015-what-v...

Subscribe so you don't miss a single moment of the fun!

Don't forget to thumb the geeklist so we can keep this one on the front page and talk all week about what we played!

Poll
Alright, since some geeklisters have expressed concern over people saving their spots on the Geeklist I figured I would broach the subject and see what everyone thought. On average this geeklist has about 50 participants so I'd like to at least see 50 votes.

So, should people be allowed to reserve their space on the geeklist before they have their geeklist entry ready to go?
Yes
No
      123 answers
Poll created by Vacabck

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1. Board Game: Zero! [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2173] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
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Well this past week I played nothing, zero, nada on the table, although I did continue to get plays of Star Realms in at least.

But the big news is that I did get the Geekway to the West Wrap up podcast done this weekend and I hope to have it posted some time in the morning. This one clocks in at over an hour, so it's new territory for me, there are a couple interviews and lots of games talked about. My Geekway geeklist should also be going up at some point today as well, so be sure to look for that if you are interested.

The Vacabck Annual Geekway to the West Geeklist!!!!!!!!

It's here, it's finally here!!! The 2015 Geekway to the West Wrap up from the WDYPTW Podcast Thing!!!


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2. Board Game: Mottainai [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:771]
Joe
United States
Maple Valley
Washington
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Card game Saturday

Mottainai x 1

Ascension x 2

W/ Return of the Fallen x 3

Dawn of Champions x 1

W/ Realms x 2
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3. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:515]
Lucas Smith
Germany
Munich
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Sat: Dominion/ Dominion: Intrigue/ Dominion: Seaside/ Dominion: Prosperity/ Dominion: Prince Promo Card: (2 players) We decided to go for a "Best of three" mode. I managed to win the first to games so I won the whole thing. Both games were played without platinum/colonies, which seems to be where I am better at.

Sun:
Jaipur (2p): I had done a PnP version of this game and this was my first play, so I was quite excited to see how it plays. After one game I do think it is quite a great 2 player filler game. Sure it has its HTI here and a bit of a high luck dose there sometimes, but for 20 min filler game that's ok, the "best of 3" mode compensates for a very lucky draw in one round. And it does definitely offer some very interesting tactical decisions. The central mechanism of exchanging new card with your unwanted cards is good.
Jaipur is played in a best of three mode by default. I lost the first round, won the second... and by a close margin, I also won the third.

I currently seem to somewhat like the "Best of 3" mode for shorter games.

Genoa: (3p) A very nice negotiation game. There is just one little bug with three players: If the starting player takes the first action himself, sells one action to another player, the third player can get any action spaces crossed to reach the space for player 2, for very cheap (The starting player has to accept anything!). It was great fun nevertheless.
I finished second, with a wide margin to the winner and a close margin to the 3rd.

So I guess this game is even better with 4 or 5. (BGG says best with 5)
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4. Board Game: The Game [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:903]
Aigars Grēniņš
Latvia
Riga
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After missing a couple of weeks I'm bringing you another report. Had a busy week with a total of 24 plays (18 different games). I'll mention just a couple of my favorites.

The Game - A SdJ nominee. I guess no one saw this coming. I read the rules and quickly realized that I can play this game using cards from Nmbrs!. So I did play one solo session. The game is OK, kept my brain burning for quite some time. Don't know if I'll play it again. Have to try with more players.
My rating:

Geared: Build Your Bike - I still consider this to be one of the best looking games. The information on cards is clear and colorful. The gameplay might be a bit more interesting, but it's OK. The box says it's ages 12+, but I'd say it's not, because my 4yo daughter has beaten me once again.
My rating:

Fzzzt! - Got this game as a gift from DixiJos monthly charity auction. What a nice surprise! It reminds me one of my favorite fillers Biblios, but with more player interaction. It has bidding, set collection and lots of fun. Highly recommended!
My rating:

Abluxxen - A game from a couple of notorious designers. And it does not disappoint. One of those games with easy mechanics, but some spectacular gameplay. Never thought about this game to be conflict provoking, but our last play proved me wrong. My brother got angry with me "abluxxing" his cards and quit... Oh, my.
My rating:

Power Grid - Played a 3 player game with China map. The biggest differences from other maps is that power plants come out in ascending order during step 1 and step 2, there is no future market and the current market has just 2 power plants (in a 3 player game). I managed to keep the monopoly on garbage, made some essential building decisions and managed to win with a tie-breaker. I liked the map very much!
My rating:

7 Wonders - Rediscovered this game just a month ago and I'm glad I did. It's fast, intriguing and gives you the feeling you've just completed something. I played with the 7 Wonders: Manneken Pis expansion. All three wonders give you the benefit from other players' wonders, so you're really dependant on others. If they don't complete their wonders you get nothing. On the upside all the levels of this wonder are pretty cheap.
My rating:

Roll for the Galaxy - What can I say. This is my favorite new game in a while. I guess lately I'm leaning more towards multiplayer solitaire games. I've always liked civilization, engine building games. This one has it all!
My rating:

That's it from me this week.
PLAYblankMORE
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5. Board Game: Sylvion [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:793]
David B
United States
Virginia
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Sylvion

Have played this about 10 times now. Great art and a lot of fun to play. The art is the same whimsical style as in Onirim and Urbion, but better. The art makes me "feel" the game. I have not added the included expansions yet, but I will soon as the advanced game without the expansions seems to get a tad easy. I hear the expansions really crank up the difficulty. I will also add that lick of the draw is less here than in the previous two installments of the Oniverse. The drafting (mobilization) phase gives the player some control and direction that was missing before.




Arboretum
Still playing this one and still enjoying it. And still losing.




Wyatt Earp

Got the new edition and have started playing this again. I realize it is just Rummy, but I always have a good time playing it.




Taj Mahal

Came in last in a 4 player game, but I did not properly plan for the 12th round. You really need to tank two rounds at the right time to build up your hand and I just did not time it right. Great game though.




Linko!

A modern classic.

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6. Board Game: Thunderstone: Dragonspire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:556] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Ludovic Roy
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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Saturday
Played a single game with the misses, since I'm trading it away I wanted to give Tortuga one last go, and we included Tortuga: Queenie 1 – Treasure Tiles as well. Both of us disliked the 2p game more than the 4p game. It's got great components but the gameplay just doesn't do anything for us and that end scoring is just random. Glad to get something in return. Should never have KS that one.

Sunday
Again since getting rid of them in a Math Trade I wanted to gice these two a try: Timeline: Discoveries & Timeline: Historical Events. I've owned them for a while but had not played them. I had other games from the collection that I liked more. And finally I played a game of Thunderstone: Dragonspire for my 10x10, including all expansions: Thunderstone, Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements, Thunderstone: For the Dwarf Promo, Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion, Thunderstone: Promo Pack, Thunderstone: Thornwood Siege, Thunderstone: Promo Pack #2, Thunderstone: Werewolf Promo Pack, Thunderstone: Heart of Doom, and Thunderstone: Vicious Promo Pack
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7. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:161]
Adam Lucas
Canada
Belleville
Ontario
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Thursday

Thursday I got a chance to give Roll for the Galaxy a try. I haven't had a chance to play Race for the Galaxy a try yet, but the dice game really has me pumped to do so. I'm looking forward to playing both games now.

Afterwards we got one of our go-to games out: King of Tokyo. The game saw very little combat this time with several monsters going for points with the stars going higher and higher. Then the monster with that power that gives you 9 points if you roll every face pulled it off twice in a row, going from non-contender to winner in the blink of an eye. The last time I played the game the same player won the same way, so I'm mulling over taking that power out of the deck when no one is looking.

Saturday

Saturday was unintentionally the start of a Euro weekend. It was one of our Euro-fan's turn to pick the games, so Saturday was all Euros. One of the things we like to do when this guy explains a game's rules is try really hard to tack a theme on and see if we can get a vein to pop in his head. Doing so is almost as fun as the game is itself.

His first pick was Keyflower, a game I'd been wanting to try for a while. Since you have workers of all different colours coming over in boats to work and be used as currency, naturally we were teasing him about his slave owning and trading game. I had a lot of fun with it and I hope to play it again sometime soon.

Our second game was Navegador. I kind of saw the little wooden pieces you move look like wizard hats so we were all talking about flying our wizards around Africa and into southern Asia. For the first half of the game figuring out how much money you got at the markets may as well have been wizardry to the rest of us, but we, okay I, got it figured out eventually. In the end we had a surprisingly close game with the people we thought had a runaway lead ending near the end of the pack. I liked this one too. It's probably going to be the harder to get to the table as it's an economics game, but I'd play it again.


Sunday

Day two of Euro weekend started with Kingdom Builder as our first game. The board was interesting with the left-side of the board being almost completely cut-off from the rest while we had a massive field of flowers along the bottom.
The scores were very tight between two players with a tie for first while the other player closed the gap at end of game scoring by having a settlement in 19 different horizontal rows.

Second up was Seasons. One player stocked up on a pair of Filgrims but found that even when played very early they don't earn their keep like other cards did. The Air Elemental and Argas were also duds and didn't have as big of an effect on the game as hoped. The second player had the hand and the hourglass (which he's convinced he winds up with every game) and two vases to have energy coming out of his ears. In the end there was a gap of less than twenty points between the leaders.

EDIT: Typos.
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8. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Mission Pack 1 [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Yesterday saw an epic struggle against the Genestealers in Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game using the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Mission Pack 1 expansion cards for all three locations. It started bad when Brother Noctis went down in the Void Lock, even after rerolling with a support token. Then things got settled in as I remembered how to use the special abilities of each squad. Brother Claudio fell during a Heroic Charge in the final room, the Librarium Vault. I wrote up a session report that is pending with the mods. here.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Earlier in the week, I had brushed up on Lewis & Clark playing solo three-handed. It seems I often forget when using the interpreter card to discard the last personality in the row.

Rating: 7.6 out of 10.


My ongoing solo play of Pax Romana reached Turn 4 of the campaign scenario, the VPs bunched up at 15-18. Rome has almost caught up to Greece, largely on the strength of Civ Points. There is a potential for the randomness of the cards, dice and chit draws to outweigh the players' decisions, but over time, the luck factor tends to equal out, as in most games. I had set up and played the first turn a couple of years ago with standard rules, but playing this out with the event cards became a "bucket list" item that I'll cross off next week (hopefully).
Rating: 6.8 out of 10 (but may go up).


For some reason, Wednesday found me looking for something lighter to play, and I happened to see the can/box for Forbidden Island up on the shelf. The first play had a terrible start grid, with a player loss due to an unreachable goal tile, but it started coming back to me. I got one win on Novice, then a win and a loss on Normal difficulty. A decent diversion from Pax Romana. Now it's back on the shelf.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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9. Board Game: Ghost Stories: White Moon [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Tuesday

Legendary: Guardians of the Galaxy = 1 Play

I get to try Gamora and Drax in another soloplay. They were joined by Star Lord as they tried to stop the Supreme Kree Intelligence and his Kree Starforce as they fight the Skrulls and their Maggia copies in all out war. A scheme twist had all villains in the city escape and the a skrull or kree victory (the scheme twist itself) is awarded to the side who had more cards who had escaped. Unfortunately the Villain draw pile were all initially Kree and this meant the Kree were piling up victories (ie scheme twists) quickly and soon reached the lose condition of 4 twists as I lose in a very quick game!


The Kree easily conquer the Skrulls at the expense of Star Lord, Gamora, and Drax!

Thursday

Ghost Stories: White Moon = 1 Play (NEW)

I get to try out the additional rules from this expansion with a soloplay using 4 monks. I have read comments on BGG that this expansion made gameplay easier, and after this play I found the experience quite the opposite. The additional layer of decisions involving moving and rescuing villagers was brain burner for me as dying villagers gives you negative effects akin to the roll of the curse die, and this means haunters became more nasty as they can cause villagers to die if they have no place to flee. The new ghosts with the devour ability are also very nasty as they instakill the villager in front of them. My monks were helter skelter as they tried to fend off the ghosts AND RESCUE the villagers they can, but in the end they could not prevent 3 tiles from getting haunted for the loss!


The monks are overwhelmed as they are torn between fighting off the ghosts and saving the villagers, and the village ends up haunted!

Friday

The usual gang was present for a Friday evening council!

Hanabi = 1 Play

Kent, Keith, Jim and I open the evening with this coop game. Kent had borrowed the game and his lunchtime office group managed to reach 23/25, so i wanted to see if we could match this. Unfortunately this was not the case as Jim had swapped the position of his known cards mentally, and this caused some poor discards to occur which meant we could not go beyond the 2nd white tile. The end score was still a respectable 17 though!


Jim is distracted by the new Necron Codex as we achieve a score of 17!

Race for the Galaxy = 1 Play

Kent requested to play this again since he wanted to see if he could get back on track after his 2 previous losses. This play proved he still had it since he managed to put down cards which gave building discounts which enabled him to end the game quickly by getting 12 cards in his tableau (and also claiming both 5 point goals) while the rest of us were barely halfway behind him!


Kent gets back to form as he wins in a card rush strategy. Kent 33 (Cards 16 VP 3 Bonus 4 Goals 10) Me 21 (Cards 9 VP 5 Bonus 4 Goals 3) Keith 19 (Cards 9 VP 9 Bonus 1) Jim 15 (Cards 5 Bonus 10)

Concordia = 1 Play

Pau had arrived and I knew he wanted to get another crack at this game. It turned out this was the game to close the evening as it proved to be a tight fight on the map as Pau, Keith and I spread out all over. Kent focused more on putting up houses in cities with different goods and then using the goods to buy a lot of cards. Pau and Kent had no issues with money as they specialized in expensive cloth, and Jim also did not have money issues as he produced a lot of wine. Money was a bit of an issue for me especially in the late game as it prevented me from building houses in cities where others had built ahead of me, but I still managed to spread out in the most provinces. Keith had the head start in building houses and he managed to trigger the last round by placing his 15th house on the board, netting him the Concordia bonus. It looked to be a close game and the scoring proved this was so. Kent's huge score from 5 Mercurius cards (50 points!) was the key as emerged the winner in this close game, with only Jim not breaking the 100 point score.


Kent's diversified production nets him a huge score from his cards! Kent (red) 119 Pau (green) 114 Keith (blue) 111 (+7 Concordia) Me (yellow) 101 Jim (black) 83.

Saturday

+
Thunderstone Advance: Worlds Collide + Thunderstone Advance: Numenera = 1 Play

I get another soloplay using cards exclusively from the Thunderstone Advance: Worlds Collide and Thunderstone Advance: Numenera sets. The randomized heroes were The Bluefire Mage, The Charming Cleric, the Rugged Ranger, and the Dwarven Clan fighter. Skarris was the boss with Phylexis as his guardian, and they led Oozes, Undead spirits and Spider Animals. Cards from the WC set proved to be more useful as the Clan fighter gave great physical attack bonuses from other equipped heroes and the Bluefire Mage gave me more XP tokens as Dungeon spoils. Unfortunately the monsters were equally tough since they several had hero destroying capabilities, and I was soon forced to destroy my heroes which resulted to me deck having too few heroes which then resulted in a lot of escaped monsters. I did manage to defeat the guardian Phylexis was was unable to stop Sarrak from reaching Level 1 of the dungeon, and this meant the party had failed to stop the Boss!


The monsters take a toll as my party lacked enough heroes to prevent Sarrak's minions from escaping the dungeon and terrorizing the village. Sarrak 70 Me 51.

Ghost Stories: White Moon = 1 Play

My monks again try to defend the village from Wu Feng's ghostly horde. This time I focus more in controlling the haunters and devourers instead of rescuing villagers, but I failed some exorcism rolls at critical moments and together with some of the ghosts summoning more ghosts when placed the village was soon overrun and villagers were devoured where they stood or fled forever, and this meant I again lost when 12 villagers died!


The monks are again overwhelmed as this time 12 villagers are killed!

Sunday

Sunday afternoon was another opportunity to get another council in!

Black Fleet = 1 Play

Kent, Keith, and I teach Pau how to play this fun pickup and deliver game. Unfortunately I become the target of Keith and Kent's attention and my merchant and pirate ship gets clobbered often. Kent soon got an early lead by flipping over his 14 cost card (which made his merchant ship able to attack other merchant ships), but this made him a target and the center of the map became a crowded zone and unlike the previous game there was a lot of ship versus ship action as Navy, Pirates, and even Merchants ships saw combat. Keith soon got the upper hand with some good deliveries by his merchants as well as his pirate ship burying treasure, and he soon had faster ships as well as the ability to swap the positions of a navy ship and his pirate which provided us with nasty surprises. Kent triggered the last round when he finally bought the last objective card, but Keith managed to do the same and won since he had more money than Kent.


Keith's teleporting pirate and navy ships wreak havoc and gives Keith the victory! Keith (grey) wins the tiebreak with 12 gold versus Kent's (black 1st) 2 gold. Pau (white) with 9 gold and me (brown) with 8 gold are last since we could not flip the last objective card.

Glory to Rome = 1 Play

The IVth edition of this was up next, and the session was characterized by a lot of thinking and the depletion of the pool due to frequent Patron and Laborer actions. I felt that I had managed to get a good combo for building structures, but Kent managed to develop a good draw engine and my power to grab Jacks used by other players backfired since that meant I couldn't take advantage of my Craftsmen patrons since I lacked cards in my hand to finish my structures. Pau was developing a Merchant engine late in the game which could have won him the game had I not ended the game by grabbing the last in site foundation, and it was Kent who was the winner as he was able to fully maximize his engine to build valuable structures.


McDonald's Birdie is witness to Kent's narrow victory over Pau! Kent 26 (Bldgs 19 Vault 4 Bonus 3) Pau 24 (Bldgs 12 Vault 9 Bonus 3) Keith 12 (Bldgs 9 Vault 3) Me 11 (Bldgs 11)

Click Clack Lumberjack = 2 Plays

Jim had arrived by this time, and it was time for games with a more tactile experience. We ended up playing 2 games with each one being the polar opposite of each other.


Game 1: My strong chop brings down the majority of the tree in my first attempt which made for a very short game! Jim 3 Keith 2 Kent 0 Pau 0 Me -16


Game 2: This game was in stark contrast to the first as not a single core was brought down in a tense battle of nerves! Jim 13 Me 12 Pau 10 Keith 5 Kent 4

Bruges = 1 Play

Pau had to leave early, but he still had time to watch the first half of the game. I managed to get an early lead by stealing workers which I could use to get more money as well as play a card from the draw pile, but this was stopped midgame when Kent managed to trigger a flood which wiped out my large pool of workers! I struggled after that while Jim was totally focused in (successfully) building both canals in his area. Kent then managed to get a combo where he could remove a threat every round for VPs, and this lead in the scoring track was just enough to hold off my 26 points from my personalities as Kent gets his first win in this game!


Kent's "Solve a Crisis for VP" engine overtakes my flooded workplace and Jim's canal strategy for the win! Kent (red) 58 Me (yellow) 51 Jim (green) 45 Keith (blue) 35
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10. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:157]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Bora Bora - My wife and I played a 2 player game of Bora Bora on Monday night. We both screwed up right out of the gate when we didn't make a plan to get some shells during the first round, ensuring that we weren't going to get the 6 point end game bonus for having 6 pieces of jewelry. We were neck and neck for the first 4 rounds or so, but in the last 2 rounds my wife pulled way ahead and just crushed me. Balancing all of the different long term goals and strategies against the tactical nature of the dice placement has just eluded me. I really enjoy the game, though, and I have no doubt I'll figure it out eventually. I'll just probably have to endure a few more drubbings along the way.
Rating: 7.5

Dead Men Tell No Tales - We had two people pushing to get Dead Men Tell No Tales to the table this week (I and another guy received our kickstarter copies in the mail). We played a 5 player game on the easiest setting. I was playing Jade, who can 86 two deckhands per action (as opposed to just one). I was doing a pretty good job, too, but I guess I fell down on the job, because we were pretty close to winning, but it all fell apart. We had killed 5 guards and discovered a second ship exit, all we needed to do was carry 2 more treasure chests of the ship. Then we drew a revenge card that spread out deck hands. We had plenty of deckhands left, or so we thought. We ended up being 2 skull tokens short. We all had a good time with the game, though, and I'm definitely glad I backed it.
Rating: 7.5

Good Cop Bad Cop - We were looking for a filler to close out the meetup, so I broke out Good Cop Bad Cop for the first time. This is a very simple game, and was super easy to teach. We played it 3 times (one 4 player game, two 7 player games). I honestly don't remember which teams won (I think my team won twice). The equipment cards really throw from monkey wrenches into the mix. We had people changing sides left and right. In our last game, we started out with 3 good guys and 4 bad guys, and ended up with 5 good guys and 2 bad guys. We had some difficulty with equipment rules, too. I had to make some rulings on the fly because some situations came up that we weren't sure how they should work. It didn't get int he way of us enjoying the game, though.
Rating: 7

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - On Friday night a friend invited us over for some BSG. It was a 5 player game with 2 new players whom we hadn't met before. After a rules breakdown, we got into the it. I was playing as Helo, and I wasn't a Cylon. We usually mix in some aspects of the expansions, too, but this time, with the new players, we kept it simple with just the base game. I'm guessing that that's why this game never quite got out of hand. We were doing pretty well, all working together. I couldn't tell if there was a Cylon or not. I expected things to get uglier at the sleeper phase, and they did get a little more grim when my wife revealed herself as a Cylon and threw me in the brig. We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but no one else seemed to want to reveal. We got a crisis card that added 1 to our distance, bring us to 5. Then when we jumped, we got 3 more bringing us to 8. We just needed to jump one more time, and we weren't in the red on any of the resources. I actually opted to stay in the brig and just launch scouts to ensure we got jump prep crisis cards. Some of our resources did start to creep down, with fuel even falling to 2. But we managed to jump the last time and win the game. It turned out, my wife, who was playing Baltar, got both Cylon cards, and missed her opportunity to give one of the cards to someone else when she did something without realizing that it counted as her action. By the time it came around to her again, we were at 8, and she couldn't give the card away anymore. We all had a pretty good time, still. I'm tempted to say that I don't want to play BSG again with the TV on in the background (playoff hockey) or with people who are drinking. The game was a little scattered and disjointed and it never really got the chance to build any real tension, and I think those are the main reasons why.
Rating: 8

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11. Board Game: Viticulture [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:122]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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Patchwrok saw three more plays on Thursday evening. I won the first game quite soundly with a score of 38 to -8. The second game went rather poorly for me and very well for my wife. I struggled to get enough buttons to do anything while my wife just snatched up most of the tiles she wanted, though she managed to get herself in a tight spot by leaving a 1-tile column open for the entire height of her board, though she eventually filled it in with straight tiles and patches. I lost the second game fairly badly with a score of -8 to 30. With us winning one game each, we decided that a tie-breaker game was needed. We both got into a couple of tight spots towards the end with not being able to fit the remaining pieces on our boards and the occasional button shortage. Our final game ended up being about as close as it could get with a final score of 23 to 24 with my wife just edging me out and winning the night's series.

Our only play on the weekend was a single game of Viticulture. My wife managed to get off to an early lead thanks to her tasting room and typically going first in the turn, meaning should was able to gather up a decent number of coins and points from giving tours. Getting a few points from planting thanks to my windmill helped but quickly died out as I was able to fill my fields in just a few turns with some rather valuable grapes. Money ended up being my biggest bottleneck at the start as I struggled to scrape together enough money to expand my storage to the point where I could actually hold the wines I was able to produce. Once I had those built, I was able to churn out some high-point contracts in short order and raced across the 25 point mark point finish the game with her a decent distance behind. While I was able to get a few stars into the region at the start of the game, I shifted focus away from it in the second half which let my wife capitalize on them which helped her catch up to me in the final scoring. It wasn't quite enough though as the final tally was 31 to 26 for me.
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12. Board Game: Marrakech [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1240]
Joseph Peterson
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Tsuro is a game I really enjoyed when I played. Tsuro of the Seas takes it up a few steps and changes the game slightly and, in my opinion, for the better. Adding in the movement of the dragons may make for a less strategic game, but it definitely adds to the fan factor as well. Never quite knowing how things will turn out from the end of your turn to the beginning of your next really makes it interesting. If you take it to seriously, you'll have a bad time, but if you just go with it, there's a really great game in this box, even better than its predecessor.



For us, Flat Acting fell, well...flat. It's really unfortunate as well since it seemed like it would be a fairly enjoyable little game. I think it boils down to the huge amount of luck that occurs. Having other players being able to control your own pieces really hurts for any strategy you may wish to have. I know it's pointed more at family/child weights and it may succeed there however, for three adults, it couldn't end soon enough.



I'm not a huge fan of most word games however, Dabble does bring a little more to the table than most. It's really a race to create your words and try to use them all as to not give up points to your opponents. I like some of the variations as well, such as coming up with a category that all words should follow. So yea, for a word game, not half bad.



Marrakech is probably the best roll and move game I've ever played. As with most roll and move, there is a good amount of luck however, there is a high amount of strategy, both in turning the merchant and placing the carpets. Each of these can set you up for success, even if a die roll is involved. Trying to set yourself up to not have to step on any opponent rugs and being able to cover up their rugs as well is strategic and enjoyable. This an excellent one and something I'd love to play over and over again.



For more information on the games we played, please take a look at my blog. I should be updating it with a new entry after the holiday. Thanks for reading.
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13. Board Game: Scoville [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:531]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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Las Vegas
New York
Splendor
Scoville
Union Pacific
Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary

I chose yes, but only because there was no "I don't really care" option.
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14. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:309]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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A fine set of games played!

TUESDAY

- Lone Wolf Multiplayer Game Book - five players. It was the end of the first arc of the adventure. It will return 10 years later - players were excited about this.


WEDNESDAY

- Sentinels of the Multiverse x2 - two plays, both with four players. In the first, Chrono Ranger, Americas's Greatest Legacy, Parse and Nightmist took on Plague Rat, in Silver Gulch, 1883. I thought we would have a difficult time to win, and was right. Three heroes fell, but Plague Rat was also on the verge of falling, as Parse and Legacy were combining for lots of damage. So, the last hero standing, Nightmist, was able to defeat the villain. In the second, Wraith, Newest Legacy, Argent Adept and Scholar took on Akash'Buta, in Insulas Primalis. It was a long battle, but though the heroes had, sometimes, a few problems, none of them were really in danger at any time. In the end, Akash was defeated with all the heroes still standing.


FRIDAY

- The Speicherstadt - five players. I was doing well, both in points as in money, until the last turn. But, I should had went for a 4 points card instead of a firemen card, as this wouldn't really do anything for me. Even with this mistake, I ended up tied in second, with 18 points, agasint 20 of the winner.

- Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue - four players. It was a fun and loud game. In one round, the player with three Stark cards (gray) forgot to put a single one at the base of the pyramid! This time I tied for first, with 1 point, and since I don't know the tie-breaker rule, we kept the tie.

- Freedom: The Underground Railroad x2 - NEW TO ME. Two plays, both with three players. I was excited to play this game, I the promise was that it was a fine game, and it delivered. However, I won't comment much, as in both plays I messed up some VERY important rules, putting the game at a nightmare difficulty to win (two of them were: we were using the places with the images, just out of the plantations, as an obligatory space for the slaves to move on; and we had to pay to move slaves into the spots with the money icon). So, we lost both plays.

First play - a complete tragedy:



Second play - a more honorable defeat:






SATURDAY

- Fearsome Floors - four players. I was the first to take out a piece, but Furunculus found my number and I got some bad encounters with it. One player was bound to win, with three pieces near the exit, but with some fine teamwork, we manage to send Furunculus to the exit and foil his plans. It was really fun. I ended up in second.

- Freedom: The Underground Railroad - four players. This was the first time playing with the proper rules. And it was a breeze to gain money and do things! Still, we fumbled at some points and, near the end, the amount of slaves coming from the market was too much for us to handle and still save all the ones that we had to (27 slaves). So, after saving 26 (only one left) and buying all the support tokens, we were defeated once the slaves lost track was filled.

- For Sale x3 - three plays, the first with four players, and the second and third with five players in both. One cannot go wrong with For Sale. My scores were the most balanced: 46, 48 and 47. Enough for one win (in the second play: I got 48 and the last place had 40 - really close!).

And that was it!

Regards,
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15. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:35]
Phil Triest
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Brass 9 (from 7) x1

Only the one game last week. Was a good one though. I hadn't played this for about 5 years and I remember feeling a little lost because of the sub par rules primer beforehand. This time I kind of knew what to expect and realised that my last play had some major rules incorrect. Definitely an excellent game and worthy of the top 20!
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16. Board Game: The King of Frontier [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3956]
Scott Ferrier
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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Wednesday
Castro-(3P)- A great filler press your luck Yahtzee-like game where you take 5 d6 dice and can roll them up to 4 times to try and get the spot on the board you want to place. You can place your piece on a spot depending on when you decided to stop rolling (i.e. I wanted to place on a spot with a wood bit already on it I would have to end my rolling on or before my 3rd roll to place there). Formula to place on a spot is #rolls-#bits. The pac-man like wood bits stack on each other and the game ends when someone runs out of pieces then it's points or the usual end is you connect 4 spots in row. Dustin and Craig kept squabbling over spots and I was doing poorly so they let me be and I came back to crush them while they where arguing over who should have blocked me


Johari-(4P)- A buy low sell high game that just felt really clunky. A lot of outguessing what your opponents are going to play but about 30 minutes to long for what it is. Not a good game.


Rights x2-(5P)-Players are fabric designers who are trying to establish rights to their design and collect royalties from other players using their design. Meat of the game play is you draw a card then play a card. You either play a card in front of you to hopefully establish your rights (you have to have a clear majority to collect royalties) or you pass the card to the player on your left, they then decide to keep it or put a coin on it and pass it but wherever it ends up that player will start the next play. Game is over when based on the number of players someone has certain number of cards face up in front of them. Pretty cleaver for such a small game. Just be sure to play with the rules that at the end everyone adds the cards from their hands to their pattern collection, without that the game would fall pretty flat was apparently missed in the first English translation. Object of the game is to have the most coins at game end.

Colosseum-(5P)- This game has the best meeples of any game I've ever played see Richard's great picture on the right. In this game your are trying to put on the greatest show ::jazzhands:: You start each round by putting out materials needed for shows (lions, plants, boats...) and auction for a small pile of items, after auction you get a chance to trade items, expand your Colosseum and then finally try and attract the cool people to watch your show. Who ever puts on the biggest show is the winner which is a little strange as it's not a cumulative score like most games. This game just cares about the high water mark (the highest point show). The catch-up mechanic is really straight forward in that at the end of each round you get your pick of equipment from the leader. I did my best to exploit that but alas it wasn't enough and I was just pipped out by Dustin and Leanne by 2 points. To bad it's so hard to find as it's a pretty unique game.



Sunday
A Fake Artist Goes to New York-(9P)-Probably the most fun via game size ratio that can handle up to 10 players. This game has some of the same mechanics as Spyfall in that everyone knows what they are drawing (they are adding 1 line each to a public picture) except for the fake artist who must fake it and all vote who is the fake artist at the end, if he is found out then he can still win by guessing what the drawing is. Great party game from Japan. In our game Dan managed to crush us but I had a lot of fun when I was the art master and wrote down "glue" and gave "craft" as the general category and watched as the players where drawing two different types of glue so they where getting confused and one player even wrote out Elmer's on it but luckily for them the fake artist was totally lost hopefully you will see a nice pic from Steph with the final drawing.

Mare Nostrum-(5P)- Felt like the old school Advanced Civilization but compressed to 2 hours or less. It's a very aggressive game so not for everyone. They just launched a Kickstarter to reprint it so I was happy to try it out. There was some back and forth but in the end not one that I'm going to buy. Although there isn't full player elimination there should be as a player can be crippled and just be tortured for the rest of the duration. I felt for the poor Hannibal player he was getting beat down pretty bad. In the end Egypt prevailed. My poor civ Italy just wasn't mobile enough to get my armies in position in time


Puerto Rico-(5p)- The Role Selection classic game that started it all. It still plays well after all these years I prefer to play with expansion buildings mixed in so vets that played it a million times have something to think about and maybe try different strategies. I got lucky and ended up with a bunch of money so on the second building buy I was able to buy a Harbor (extra vp when I ship) and milk it to just hang on for the win at the end with 54 points. Go me..go me...


The King of Frontier-(4P)-A Japanese game that is Carcassonne mixed with Puerto Rico. Liked the scoring and how you could buy specific tiles or draw to try your luck. Smooth filler game that's not just an activity. Sadly it seems pretty hard to find, hopefully it will get picked up by a bigger publisher. The role selection possibilities where Develop (draw a random tile), Produce (have a completed area produce goods), buy buildings or (Consume)have a completed city eat grain for VP. Whoever selected the role would get to do an extra. I started really slow but took a chance on a big area producer and managed to finish it and get it into production which got me a neat VP building that gave me a bunch of points for the win.


Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture-(5P)- Talked my way into this great worker placement game by promising to take short turns. It was great fun but I could feel some players pain as Ron used their usual strategy to beat them. Poor Steph had not made wine in so many games she had forgot how wine was actually made Ron got some special buildings that let him move around his stars to cement his win. I came in 3rd with newbie Geoffe coming in a close 2nd playin legit. Most of the players like playing with the orange buildings but I feel like it's a better game playing the other side of the board without them as they all seem to have some exclusive power.


Between Two Cities-(5P)-Filler game where your are trying to build the best two cities you can because you will be scoring the worst one so you want to build them evenly. I finally grasped this as the first game I made one super kick ass city and dismissed the other one and found that didn't work so well. This time I finally won, cerebrate, cerebrate dance to the muuusicc.


Hamsterrolle-(4P)- Great filler dex fun. Was very funny when Ron thanked me for setting him up and he put his last piece in and then ::clunk:: rolled out a big yellow stick
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17. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:433]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This week at work during lunch hour I played my first game of King of New York. I really enjoyed it, pretty much King of Tokyo with some extras. Monsters are interchangeable between the base games. Currently I am going to say that I like King of Tokyo better as it suits a wider audience but no reason not to have both in your collection.


This weekend was game night we started of with Shadows Over Camelot. We started with four players and allowed the fifth player to join. The fifth player ended up being the traitor, and I kind of revealed the person too early as he then proceeded to take a card from my hand that I needed for a quest. So sometimes if you know who the traitor is it is better to wait. Camelot fell but it was still fun losing.


This was followed up by Cosmic Encounter. Aliens used were Machine, Dervish, Healer, Wormhole, and Filch. Surprisingly the winner was Healer, people enjoyed allying with him, but good not stop him on the last encounter with a 2x kicker and 40 encounter card. I was the machine a fine alien but he needs good cards to be effective, I started the game was six encounters of which I only one. Fun taking all those turns but it didn't help me win the game LOL. I think my favourite alien power used last night was the wormhole, just being able to use ships from the warp. I can see the Dervish being one that could cause some havoc as well.

Ended the night with a five-player game of Glory to Rome. This is such a good game and I need to pull it out more often.


I ended the weekend with a game of X-wing the following day with my son. He didn't seem to be into it and wanted to quite after his two B-wings went down. It was a nice day outside so I was fine with him going out and getting some fresh air.

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18. Board Game: Copper Country [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4420]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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During the week I had a lot more on-line plays.

I'm doing the worlds slowest async Targi on Yucata - it doesn't work well some of my computers. Board Game Arena is more stable for me. I also played two games of Targi there this week too, as well as some Seasons, Jaipur and Puerto Rico.

Real cardboard at game night included Cyclades. I'm hoping to teach it at Origins and wanted to get in another play. We had four players. I blocked a player from winning the bid on Athena and getting his last white temple and 2nd metropolis so he took Mars and island hopped an took a metropolis from another player.

I was also looking to play some El Grande at Origins. My buddy isn't attending this year so he offered to loan it to me and was able to give me a refresher tonight. We were three players and the two of them got into a little war that allowed me to expand and eek out a win but just a few points. Great classic.

We ended the night with Glory To Rome. I guess if i keep bringing it people will play it! We had two new folks and one who barely remembered playing and me with two plays in the last few weeks - it wasn't really fair... This is definitely a game where repeated plays helps.

I ended the week with a solo - two player learning game of Copper Country. I was unemployed during the kickstarter but picked it up recently. Having been born in raised in this area it was a must have. My mother still brings me down pasties (on one of the cards in the game) and I have some in the freezer. I had one for lunch during my game (in photo). I think I have it figured out. I'm worried it may be a bit slow and doesn't appear to have an scaling for 2, 3 vs 4 players. I'll see how an actual play goes.



Starting to pack for Origins - making lists of games to play, people to meet up with, etc. If you are attending let me know.
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19. Board Game: Pack of Heroes [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:4213]
Steve Oksienik - Cardboard Insanity

Ann Arbor
Michigan
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What a wonderful 2-player game! If you're into comics, this one is even better. I can't say enough good things about this. It's so good, we made it our Game of the Week on this week's podcast.

We also played Stratopolis which is a very confrontational abstract and Longhorn which is the older sibling of Five Tribes.

Plus, the usual lunchtime fare.
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20. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:635]
Brandon M
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.” ― Gary Gygax
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Monday
Can't Stop - 2x - A blast from the past! My wife and I have played this and probably a year. It felt good to get it back to the table. It's one of her favorites and she suggested it.




Thursday
Dice Masters - 12x - More testing for World's/Origins. I was firmly put in my place, going 1-3, 2-0, 2-1, 1-2. Both builds needed some tweaking.


Saturday
Dice Masters - 7x - So I tweaked one of my builds from Thursday and took it to an OP event. I went 1-1, 0-2, and 2-0 officially, with a third "for fun" loss with my second match opponent. This build is too dependent on too many cards. Its not that this combo doesn't work wonderfully. Its that I have no room for counters or secondary strategies.

More tweaking & testing is needed, and time is running out.
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21. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:35]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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One of my good gaming friends
Harry Hammermueller
United States
Cedar Grove
North Carolina
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moved out of state this past week, so we sent him out of town with an excellent game of Brass: Lancashire, which he won by four money.

Also:

More The Voyages of Marco Polo

Two games of Biblios

One 2P of La Granja

And one 4P of Nations
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22. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:770]
Billy the Hut
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Sit beside the breakfast table Think about your troubles Pour yourself a cup of tea Then think about the bubbles
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Two Games hit the Table on this Saturday.

We played a four player game of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects. It's always nice when we pull this treasure out, it such a pretty game. Anyhow, it was great fun. My buddy Ken was pulling in corruption points early & while I didn't have a solid count on his total it was clear he was well ahead of me. At the same time, fate was with me & I was fairly sure I was well ahead with the most Talents. Yet, in the final phases of the game Ken was able to score a nice large sanctuary as well as win the bidding for the offering to the gods and so mitigate a solid chunk of his corruption. This sadly meant at the end of the game even though I was the most wealthy I did have the most corruption points. So as the most corrupt architect I was fed to the crocodiles. This meant Kai, the 2nd most wealthy architect won the game.


We also opened for the 1st time & tried Attack the Darkness. My friend Dave had recently picked it up. Anyhow, It's a co-op game & basically a dungeon crawl. Still, it's got some interesting twists on this style of game, you manage your character with decks. So it's also a deck building game & hand management game. We enjoyed it, but it was an intro to the game for all of us. We used pre-set decks and none of us were familiar enough with the game to really know how to best use the cards. As with many deck building games getting to know the card options & combos it important to really seeing the game at its best. So there's still more of the learning curve ahead of us on this one. It should be noted that the rule book is very poorly oganized.
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23. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:65] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Stephen Mould
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Just 3 games played this last week, but all good 'uns.

Friday night saw an attempt at one of the hard missions in Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. Fate smiled on us and we had no betrayer, which meant we ran out of time rather than Morale. I think one sign of a good Co-op is that even when it's obvious that it's only a matter of time until you lose, everyone at the table insists on playing out the last 30 minutes.

The honoured dead.

This was followed by a game of Archipelago. Two of the players were new, the other three veterans of a single game. It's a bit of a pain to teach, but once we slogged through the rules we all enjoyed it. A nervousness about the rebellion marker and a slow start to negotiations drew things out a bit, but we were all happy with the game at the end. Now the teaching hurdle is over we'll play it more often, I reckon.

One game that required no teaching at all was Saturday night's Poker game. Before board games, this was what we used to play every week, but the 7 year descent into geekdom has blunted our edges and we all made some bad decisions. The bottle of rum probably didn't help. Poker really is hard to beat for an evenings entertainment with tipsy friends.
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24. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:981]
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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A session of Empires in Arms : AAR: EiA Sawatdee: Game III: May 23, 2015: Paris Falls, an Island is Cleansed and a Strategy Conference is Convened and...



Carthage: The First Punic War : AAR: Terror at Tarentum: 1st MN Match Game Ends...Spectacularly: May 22, 2015

...occurring at 1st MN: G.A.A.R. -- 5/22/15 -- My Kingdom For A Bottle of Water



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25. Board Game: Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:915]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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After the previous week's travel, this was a good week for gaming. In particular, I played a lot of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, losing miserably in a "mini-tournament" (3-player round-robin) with my triple-faction deck A Crooked Turn. Additional play with Br. Goat on the weekend used my monofaction Agency Blue Shadows and parapsychological Miskatonic/Yog Authors of the Impossible to much better effect, for a total of seven plays all week.

I played some GUBs with my daughter on Monday.

On Friday, we played Nexus Ops. I won an Energy Dependence session (with Time Is of the Essence) 10 to 5. I seized the monolith early and never lost it. My final attack was with a forward Rock Strider and a monolith-launched Rubium Dragon on a lone human in the opposing Zyborg Technologies 3-rubium home refinery hex.



Saturday had a little 3-game contest of Hive, where my daughter won the first one, and I won the next two. The second game was particularly tight, with all 14 pieces in play on each side by the game's end.

Sunday had the greatest variety, and the only solo gaming, as I got in an eerily easy play of Onirim and three plays of Rune Age. In the latter I won 2 out of 3 solo plays with Darnati Elves against the Cataclysm. I used the same mercenaries and neutral cities throughout. First game was a win with 12 damage to home realm, second was a loss, and third was a close win with 18 damage.

Sunday also had some of that Cthulhu card play, but the peak of the day was a game of Kingdom Builder with my daughter. We played with all expansions, and tried out the Pearl variant for Fishermen scoring. I lost 84 to 85, in Lords-inflated scoring.

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