JP23 and Beyond: Games played in or around Orange County on or about 6/8
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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JP23 was actually busy again. That was nice to see.
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1. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:55]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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This feels like a cousin of Istanbul, but I like the latter better. Five Tribes invites you to over analyze which can slow it down. Either you play fast and loose and embrace your clearly suboptimal moves, or spend way too much time analyzing your options and drag it out past it's welcome.

It's fun, but I just always felt like there was a better move out there if I made the table wait for me to find it.
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2. Board Game: Fun Farm [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4322]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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I was doing very well until we decided to use all the rules, then I did less well.

This is a silly game.
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3. Board Game: Burgle Bros. [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:198]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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gdap and I played a 2er of this. This was a fun cat and mouse game. We made some rules errors and probably should have been caught on floor 2, but we also may have found away out of getting caught. Hard to say. We decided to just flub it and move on.

I'd play this some more.
 
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4. Board Game: Divinare [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1509]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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I liked this little game. The bluffing is subtle, the deduction is good, and the wild ass guessing is just as good.

I want to play more of this.
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5. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1130]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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Dice games like this are all so, so similar I can hardly differentiate them. It was neither better nor worse than any other würfelspiel. Scoring might too confusing for new players. I felt like my Ra experience made it easy, but to someone totally new to Nile floods, Monuments, and Pharaohs it's probably daunting.
 
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6. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1233]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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I thought everything was too slippery. I know I'm a klutz, but we hardly ever had any stuff piled on the ship (or rigging). Someone pretty much cleared it every round. I think a bit more friction would make it so you can get stuff really precariously balanced and ramp up the pucker factor. As it is, I felt there were times where there was just no way to place this thing on that totally empty yardarm. I know the topsy-turvy, slidey-widey is the point of the game, but just a touch more friction would have made this more exciting.
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7. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:60]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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The galaxy was once again rolled for.
 
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8. Board Game: XCOM: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:495]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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Pandemic + Space Alert.

I love the digital integration and the way you can just open the game, download the app and start playing.

It was fun. And we kicked some alien ass.
 
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9. Board Game: Kemet [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:77]
Greg
United States
Brea
CA
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Played this with my son on Sunday.
 
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10. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:358]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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AT JP23's:

After a big, Two-Meat Combo Platter (I was starving), Marieke, myself, Brenden, and Will opened the evening with this card game.

I squeaked out the win by a point, and Will was playing with the wrong rules, which inadvertently hurt the other players' score unnecessarily. Despite that important misunderstanding of the rules, a good time was had by all.

The game is still one of the more fascinating designs I want to explore further for a simple card game with suits & numbers. It's part spatial card-laying and part hand-management/denial. Players are trying to do two important things with any given suit (numbered 1-8 per suit): lay their cards a certain way to score said given suit, AND keep in their hands the high cumulative total of THAT suit in order to score the cards in play. Very clever scoring system with more decision space than you'd expect for a filler card game.
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11. Board Game: Artificium [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:3875]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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Myself, Will, and Charles tried this hipster title that won a prestigious Russian award for game design.

The game is a resource conversion game at it's purest, distilled down to exactly (and only) that. The early game was fairly close as we all played cards that turns stuff into other stuff in order to score points. Eventually, Will made better combos/chains and pulled away before Charles or I could catch him. The final score spread wasn't as big as I was expecting it to be. Fun "super-filler". Streamline game play, doesn't overstay its welcome. I'd put it on par with something like Mars Needs Mechanics.
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12. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:673]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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Myself, Robert, Jay, and Rommel played this interesting deduction game, whose components primarily consist of...BOOKS! Thick, nearly-hundred page books. There's a book for each of the four characters (players), a book of cases, book of questions, book of solutions...thankfully, the game should never take much more than 15-20 minutes to play.

Players whisper accumulating clues into their neighbor's ear, thus, by the end of four clue-giving turns, everyone has "all the information" needed to solve the case. Only then, are players allowed to write down on their notepad anything they want/as much as they can remember or deduce. We didn't solve the case. And pretty much everyone felt like idiots during the game, but in a fun, light-hearted way. In other words, the game did its job and it was a lot of fun. The game comes with 65 different cases, with increasingly difficult levels. We played the 2nd case, and we were laughing at our selves pretty badly we lost so hard. Glad to know replayability shouldn't be an issue. It's a fun way to fill out the time between games if you have exactly 4 players.
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13. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:111]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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Myself, Rommel, and Liang (I think that's his name), played a 3P maiden voyage of this classic game that's still in the top 50 IIRC.

It was a rocky start, despite the fact that I swear I felt like I knew the rules. I read and reread up on them prior in order to prepare myself. But we found ourselves asking Dave for clarifications.

We all agree that the auctions are wicked awesome. And the ways in which you can progress your markers is very satisfying. In the end, we didn't finish the game because it was late, and we were literally the final 3 people in the restaurant. We made it through about 65% of the game. We still got a few things wrong (those pesky Expedition cards are confusing as hell at first), but we all agreed that we'd like to try it again. So glad I got to finally play through this game. I was debating if I should keep it or not. Now, the answer is obvious. She's a keeper.
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