What We're Playing - June 2015
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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The idea behind these lists is to post what you're currently playing, or just played. It's interesting to see who's playing what, to see if people are playing the same things, and to ask questions that might otherwise be relegated to a forum about a game with the benefit of the responses coming from someone who has it fresh on their mind.

Here's last month's list: What We're Playing - May 2015

This Geeklist idea was created by:
jes m
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tulsa
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1. Board Game: Lap Dance [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:9248]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Let's get this party started!

The first game of the month was chosen by Tatiana, who wanted to play Lap Dance; We wanted to play it earlier but it required that we cleaned up the tables and there was no energy for it - so after dinner we removed the stuff from the small table and there was exactly room for it.

It was quite a fun game, but it can be a little tricky remembering what your plan was and how all the symbols would match together in your plan!
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2. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:216]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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After getting Lap Dance on the table we took a short round of Loot Letter... and I was beaten well!

What actually also hit me is... does this count in my 10x10 as Love Letter (my alternative game)...? I am not sure... oh well...

I don't know if I like Love or Loot better... I need to play more to find out...
(and why is Batman living alone?)
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3. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:412] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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A classic back on the table; Playing against The Usual Suspect (it was even her idea to play this!)... And a bloody game it was! Maybe the most bloody ever! And I played pretty good to start and lost my energy more and more because of my terrible cold I expect...
At one point I was almost out of officers - I had that thing from Lord of the Rings... ehm... "a couple of towers"... and a pawn who turn out to be a woman as she became a queen of the realm; The Queen and the King was in the end the last I had left killing everyone and everything from her side ending with her King vs my King and Queen which I slowly but firmly used to lure her into a corner...

... check mate!

And to quote a good old detective:
Peter Falk wrote:
Just one more thing...
Are you guys not playing anymore?
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4. Board Game: Thebes: The Tomb Raiders [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1951]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Time for a game from my cardcore 10x10 challenge - Tatiana's choice; she asked me which games I had on my 10x10 lists - and I thought it would take the Hardcore challange and I said some of the games I had on the lidt and she said that it should be Thebes.
It was a great game - sadl4 I lost 142-188 But it doesn't matter.

But it means that I am one more star away from my 100 hardcore plays
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5. Board Game: Screwball Scramble [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:13068]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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This time I had to play with.... oh... wait; I am screwed! I had to play alone. So I scrambled over this little dexterity game on time and man those kids are tough who can rumble through this before the time runs out!

Tatiana please come home so we can play a game!
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6. Board Game: DungeonQuest [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1298]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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More solo play - this time a classic that I haven't played in a while.

The designers claim that the survuval chance is 15% - which might also be why there was a sticker included stating that "I survived DungeonQuest":


This time I did not survive; When I was suppose to enter the last room (= I had two moves left), time ran out and I died with my coins and my gem stones. A lot of traps and blocked routes had ruined my track back and the maze inside the castle made it difficult to get back in time - even with the fortune of two Corridors in a row.

Alas.. Maybe next time it will go better when I enter..... Drageborgen (Dragon's Keep)!

... Nice to be back actually; Haven't played this since January.
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7. Board Game: Elysium [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:316]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Yay! My first board game for June!

I picked up Elysium on my way home from work yesterday. Lisa read the rules while I cooked dinner, and we played that evening.

This was mostly a blind purchase, but it was SdJ recommended and the comments I've heard have all been very positive (and to my taste).

It reminds me a bit of a Feld; lots of cards with different abilities and lots of ways to score points. Draft cards, get abilities, collect sets. The card purchasing mechanic is a bit strange, but the game was fun and interesting. I like the mechanic of having to "cash in" your cards to score; you get special abilities but then need to lose them to get points. This is a mechanic I've seen in a few games lately that seems like a smoothly integrated way to keep one player from getting a runaway power lead.

Lisa went mainly for end-game scoring, while I got a lot of points with a combo of Poseidon cards that gave me points and money every time I got a Posiedon card. I would up with three sets of them in my scoring area at the end.

Looking forward to more plays!
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8. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1456] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Another "Haven't played since January" games - as well as another from my cardcore 10x10 list (and again it was Tatiana's choice.

Gloom is also her game, so it is a little risky business putting it on my 10x10 list - but I still hope that I can manage - I might snatch it with me to England so I can purchase the "I played games in England" microbadge - as well as get a bit more go to my 10x10... we will see; I think one of my sisters liked it too actually...

But this is a game that I need a lot of practise in! And this time I got a little better than I was feared; With two deaths I had 115 points - and Tatiana had, with four deaths, only a little more. So I guess it was not too bad. I had a guy that I wanted to finish off, but sadly I was too late... Oh well...

Bring out your deads!
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9. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:52]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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June 1:
Scores: Sarah:134, AI 1:133, AI 2:134, Sarah won tiebreaker
Comments: Having just bought this, I had to go through the tutorial, more to get the interface down, but it helped to get a refresher on the game since I hadn't played it since March and I can't remember when before that. The tutorial runs you through the first few rounds and then lets you go on your own, so I still feel like it counts as a game, especially since I just eked out the win! So my lord gave points for warfare and arcana quest. As part of the tutorial, I got the quest that gave extra points for arcana, so I focused on those once I had full control. However, the AIs were ahead in visible points, and there was one point that they stole an adventurer I needed to complete a quest and that delayed me a round to get another one. So I was really surprised when I won!

June 1:
Scores: Sarah:164, Easy AI 1:142, Easy AI 2:123
Comments: My lord in this one wanted skullduggery and piety, which is not a great combination. I had trouble at first getting those quest, but I did others that gave me some good points. I eventually got the quest that gave me more points for skullduggery quests and then just a bit later, I got the quest that gives me 2 money every time I use a space to gain rogues. That finally tipped the balance and I really shot off after that!

June 3:
Scores: Sarah:148, Noreen:141, Owen:135
Comments: I got the lord that wanted arcana and warfare. I got the quest that gave me the lieutenant on the first round and completed it on the 3rd round. I didn't think it was going to pay off because I was behind for most of the game in visible points, but I surged ahead in the 8th/final round with completing a big warfare quest. It was a really close game, and a lot of fun! I so can't wait to play again with Noreen and Owen.
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10. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:593]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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More 10x10 cardcore! This fungi funky game about picking mushrooms were picked over Elevenses due to the fact that it had been played fewer times so far (and when Katya comes back, Elevenses most likely will be played more again!), so we went to the forest to pick some fungus.

I thought I did pretty good, but Tatiana was also lucky and in the end it seemed like she had drawn the longest mushroom straw.

The score ended 48-53 to Bulgaria
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11. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:284] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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My sister and I played this constantly back in the late 90s and early 2000s. We're now introducing my son to it. Played a three player game with my sister and my son. They both had very good spaces but I ended up winning because they kept going after eachother.
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12. Board Game: 10 Days in the USA [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1813]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Saturday, we went to the Denver Games get together. Stopped for lunch and to go shopping at the Container Store on the way there. Is it silly that I really enjoy shopping at the Container Store? They just have a lot of fun stuff!

We got there a bit early, so Lisa and I and one of our hosts played a 3 player game of 10-Days while waiting for others to arrive. Not quite my kind of game, but it was fine to play.
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13. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:421]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We played two 5 player games of Mysterium. We won both, though it was down to the last turn both games. First game, I took three tries to guess the weapon. Second game, Lisa took three tries to guess the location. A frequent cause of incorrect guesses in Mysterium is when the ghost fails to notice that the clue they gave that "kinda" fits the card they are trying to get the person to guess really strongly fits a different card!
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14. Board Game: Sanssouci [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:1276]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played a 4 player game of Sanssouci. A light but still mildly brainburnery tile placing game. I enjoy this one a lot.
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15. Board Game: Mission: Red Planet [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:733]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Hadn't played this in a long time. Like, 6 years or so. I think its a clever and amusing game of secret action selection and majority control, but there does seem to be a lot of luck in the card draw; getting bonus cards is very helpful!

On the other hand, the exploration cards can sometimes be decisive as well. Lisa drew 2 bonus cards. However, one area that she had a majority in turned out to have a 'Radioactive Rocks' exploration card in it, which wipes out all the astronauts of the person with the majority. This not only cost her the majority there, but she needed astronauts in that spot for 2 out of 3 of her bonus cards. So that one card cost her 19 points or so!

However, when we added up points, she and Chris (the guy who had placed the Radioactive Rocks) had tied. Until she realized that she hadn't counted the one bonus point from another exploration card on the other side of Mars.

I need to remember to warn people about that Radioactive Rock card before playing! However, it I wait another few years, I won't remember it then either. In fact, my play comments from the last play mentions how I lost 21 points to Radioactive Rocks!
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16. Board Game: Secret Moon [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:8300]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We wrapped up the evening with a quick game of Secret Moon. It fit nicely in to the 10 minutes or so while another game was finishing. This was a pretty disastrous game for the Minister team. With only 5 players, we had the Princess, Wandered and Priestess all in the game, and the other two of us were guards. They accused both of us correctly on turn 2, effectively ending the game there!

Though it was kind of funny having the Priestess accuse the Wandered of being the Minister on turn 3.
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17. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:681]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Sunday morning, Lisa had watched some Facebook video about horse racing, which was talking about various famous racehorse, many of whom are in Winner's Circle. So she had a sudden craving to play it. Amusing horse racing game, though it you do badly early it can be very hard to catch up later.
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18. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:451]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Another online game of Tash-Kalar. I summoned more Legends than I ever have before in one game, but still lost the game.
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19. Board Game: Poseidon's Kingdom [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1959]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played a game of Poseidon's Kingdom Sunday evening. I'm not sure how great a game this is, but it is quite fun to play, what with dumping the wave and the cute little sea critters.
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20. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:26]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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June 2:
Scores: Empire won! yuk
Comments: So we did the side mission Spice Job to try to get Chewbacca as an ally, but we underestimated how hard it would be to obtain the barrels. The dice really hated us and made us fail skill check after skill check. Will had the best shot, but he got wounded which lowered his ability. And Chewbacca got knocked out quickly. Gary was really focused on knocking him out, which made sense because if Chewie had gotten to a barrel, he'd have an automatic success at picking one up. We managed to get 5 of the 6 barrels, but on the 5th/last round, Will just couldn't get the 6th and then Gary was able to wound me, which was the final piece of the win condition, though at the end of the round, he'd also have won. So sad for us.
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21. Board Game: Project Dreamscape [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:4400]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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I found another coworker that likes to play games!! laugh I now know 3 coworkers who like to game, and all of them are going to try to come to our game design meetings. Yay! Anyway, I offered to teach Project Dreamscape during lunch since it's a pretty short game. While I was explaining the rules, one of the other guys walked by, heard me explaining and asked to join in. So I got a 3-player game in. Interestingly, me and the guy who walked by have very similar play styles, which does not always work well in PD as it makes us compete for the same kinds of cards. Also, when the new guy was taking a long time to think, we both had the same advice, but he didn't take it. And it was a good thing because it helped him win the game. When I play PD, I tend to focus on myself and not much on blocking others. The new guy took a move that didn't gain him as many cards, but blocked both of us. This have him quite an advantage as our turns sucked, but the dreamscape cleared up in time for his turn. He ended up with 6 long chain that gave him the win because neither of us tried to prevent him from getting those cards. So the new guy won with 15 points while I had 7 and the other guy had 5. And he liked it and asked to buy a copy from me when they come in! Yay!! So glad he liked it!
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22. Board Game: Eminent Domain: Microcosm [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1927]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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June 8:
Scores: Will:21 Sarah:30
Comments: I had heard a lot of people complain about how bad the rules were. We kept an open mind and wanted to give TMG the benefit of the doubt, but sadly, it was an awful rule sheet. The back side is completely wasted with pictures of each cards rather than the text of each card with further explanation like Dominion does. Plus, the short summary of how to play is completely inadequate. The only thing we did right was how to set it up. We downloaded a rule sheet that a fan wrote and it was much better at teaching how to play. But we still got confused on scoring because the original rule sheet has a list of what gives you points, but we read it that everyone gets points for those things when it was trying (and failing) to say that the Domain cards have scoring opportunities on them. The only other thing that gives you points are the planets, if there is a star printed on them. We had to watch Drive Thru Review's Gen Con demo of the game with the designer to understand how to do scoring. Needless to say, this left a really bad taste in Will's mouth and, at this point, he hated the game for how terrible it was to learn. But thankfully, he was agreeable to trying again.

June 8:
Scores: Will:30 Sarah:30, Sarah won tie breaker.
Comments: This play went a lot better after everything we watched and read. Will was much more focused and aggressive in this play, but still frustrated that I did just as well as him and I had nothing to do on my last turn. He thinks the game is overly complex and it doesn't need to be. It could have been streamlined more. For now, it stays in our collection. He's ambivalent and I kind of like. He suggested I take it to work to try it out with my coworkers, which I'll probably do.
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23. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:308]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Three games of Friday which I think I've finally figured out how to use the card abilities effectively, because I won all three.

(It's a solitaire game, so winning means beating the game, not other players.)


(June 15th)
I accepted Marty's Level 4 June Friday Challenge, and played four times tonight, winning two of the games. I didn't do too bad, but I didn't do too good, either!

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/19519749#19519749

Like I said earlier, I think I've finally figured out the strategies of using the various card abilities effectively after weeding out the weak cards from my deck.

Also, this completes 10 games of Friday this year towards my hardcore 10 x 10 challenge:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/182184/

(I'm planning on catching up on my book-keeping on my 10 x 10 geeklist tonight, unless the storms make the electricity go out.)
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24. Board Game: Fantasy Frontier [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:5084]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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More Fantasy Frontier! I love this game, and so happy to get to play it again at my game event - but next month I will bring something else I guess.

I played as Yellow (One free movement) against Henrik (Blue - building costs any six non-food resources) and Christel (Green - hand size of 4).
Henrik seemed to start out the best finding some good patterns - later I started to find a few good ones too - and when I was planning to cripple Henrik I realized that he was not the closest enemy to win, but Christel was, so I managed to escape Henrik's airship (in case he wanted to attack me to make me loose one of my resources) to get near some plains to build my second Township (both Henrik and Christel had two).

This luckily showed up to be the winning move.
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25. Board Game: Sanssouci [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:1276]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Wednesday was Lisa's birthday. I left work a bit early so we could out to Melting Pot for dinner (fondue restaurant...really, really yummy!). Whenever we go to the Melting Pot, we like to spend a while walking around the town its in, which has a lot of neat houses and some very nice park areas. The weather was wonderful, warm with a light drizzle, so we had a very enjoyable walk after dinner.

When we got back home, we had a box from Amazon waiting on the porch with Sanssouci, which hasn't been showing up at local game stores but which I had wanted to get for Lisa for her birthday. So we played a quick game in the evening. She won this one; we were very close on score, but she completed one row, while I didn't complete any.

However, our copy is missing one of the bonus boards. Hopefully Ravensberger will replace it!
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