$30.00
Recent gaming: Sackson's wargame about MacArthur, Bottom of the 9th, Pandemic Legacy, Kraftwagen, Stockpile, Last Spike, Timeline (Discoveries), HGSB, Codenames
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Jan 11-24, 2016

I skipped the previous week because there was only a single game played then. Now I've gotten back into it, starting with a euro-wargame hybrid from Sid Sackson. Lots of other gaming, too, both face-to-face and online (at bottom).

-Mark

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1. Board Game: Major Campaigns of General Douglas MacArthur [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:9249]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Did you know Sid Sackson (Mr. Acquire, Can't Stop, I'm the Boss, and so many others) also designed a couple light wargames? Yep, in the mid-1970s (after SPI & Avalon Hill) had shown these to be popular, lucrative topics, our hobby's own Da Vinci tried his hand at designing two games about WW2 battles (plus one about the Korean War). There's this one, and the similar system & title employed for Major Battles and Campaigns of General George S. Patton.

I played this one 2.5 times over the weekend, specifically the centerpiece Invasion of the Philippines (1941-42) map & scenario. I'm not sure what to think. It's got some interesting euro-wargame hybrid ideas that would attract attention even today. A shared deck of movement cards that doesn't shuffle, a sort of variant on Risk in combat system (dice vs dice), simple but important chrome for air superiority, and so on. The point-to-point map with different road/trail/track connections was particularly good. The game is so short I was able to try both MacArthur's preferred beach defense as well as Plan Orange's retreat to Bataan. The lack of defensive advantage in battle bothered me, however.
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2. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.67 Overall Rank:1]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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I'm late to this party, so no spoilers, please! I picked this up, hoping to play the whole thing over time with my mostly non-gamer wife. That means playing just 2-player. Is that a mistake? We got started last night, and I'm embarrassed to say I screwed it up a little on the first play! (I need to read those Stop cards in the Legacy deck all the way through, and clearly!). Fortunately, it wasn't a big mistake, and I quickly solo'd a repeat play just to confirm that. I'm looking forward to continuing. The fact that we named our characters after our college kids adds to the tension.
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3. Board Game: Kraftwagen [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:769]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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One of my favorites of 2015. This time, I crushed everyone, "just" because I won most of the bonus awards. I think that's a simple strategic lesson--that a greater proportion of the points come from those, not just selling cards. As one of our players said, it's like technical achievement awards (JD Power & Associates, or something), which count for prestige that helps your brand as much as just selling more cars. At least, that's how it works in this game. The game will be at its best when everyone knows that (as I did this time, but didn't the previous play when I was crushed).
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4. Board Game: The Last Spike [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2915]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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I want to love this game, due to its speed of play and nod to history. Perhaps with more plays I will. Right now, though, I'd have to say that I like it. I think there may be some swings of luck that are just too much for a top rating, though with a game this short you just play again, right?
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5. Board Game: Stockpile [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:288]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Another favorite from 2015, though this time I'm shaving off a star due to a growing realization how much randomness (or, at least, unpredictability) there is. That's not a bad thing, especially in a stock market speculation game. But it puts a ceiling on the amount of strategy you can sink into this one. We again played with the volatile, dynamic, and thematic reverse side of the board. Still need to try with the special powers/characters.
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6. Board Game: Bottom of the 9th [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1274]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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First play, and I'm reservedly optimistic about this one. I think zooming a baseball game in on the final half-inning is a brilliant way to focus on the excitement of a pitcher/batter duel, without dragging the game on too long. The die roll & table lookup for the effects is a little clunky (I'm very tired of table lookups in sports games), but I can see how some repeat play may make this simple system second-nature (i.e. no need to look up any tables).
 
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7. Board Game: Timeline: Discoveries [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:958] [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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I've had this forever (I think I own all of the Timeline tins), but may not have played until last weekend. It's good though the abundance of discoveries in the Industrial Revolution compressed a lot of the cards into a small range. Difficult! I lost!


(Aside: I also looked at Timeline Challenge, the board/party game version of this system. I'm interested, but want to try before I buy.)
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8. Board Game: Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3382]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Always a classic, and high water mark for what I'd like a sports board/card game (not sim) to be.
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9. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:31] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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This was the one title I played the week before last. I was in Colorado again and just dropped in on the Park Meadows Mall group. Dave Jones called me over to join his team, and we were off & running immediately.
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Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
mbmbmbmbmb
robotrobotrobot Online boardgaming robotrobotrobot

Wir Sind das Volk Now this amazing game is available online at boardgamecore. I quickly lost my first game, and am about to lose another. Need to figure out what I'm doing.

Pergamon Woo-hoo! Playing this again on Yucata reminded me how much I love this game. (Another modern euro of an older style.)
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