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The Wheels on the CBBS Game Night Go Round and Round
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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On Saturday, April 23, 2016, thirteen gamers took time out from watching their limited edition Purple Rain Blu-rays on continuous loop to attend yet another Game Night. For some reason. Jerry, Eric Classic, Tim, Andy, New Eric, Nyck, Ian, Elden, Tallya, Shawn, Tom, Kory, and Eryn all went crazy.


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1. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:595] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 6:35pm
End time: 7:00pm


It is known throughout the lands that the CBBS shall begin every Game Night with a round of Ricochet Robots. Thus it has been; thus it shall be.




(Watch out for that last one.)

Jerry*, Eric Classic, Tim*, Andy*, New Eric, Nyck, Ian, and Elden all earned at least one chip. Because they rule. Everybody else, obviously, drools.
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2. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1525]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: Round and round
End time: Round and round


Somewhere in Time and Space, Tallya and Nyck played a round of Age of War. It might have been during the straggle in period, and probably was somewhere on the face of the earth.

Tallya won, 14 to 10.
 
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3. Board Game: Nippon [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:253]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Splain/Setup Time: 7:00pm
Start time: 8:05pm
End time: 10:20pm


We started with all three tables playing long games, which is unusual and obviously accidental, because we couldn't get our act together like that on purpose with a road map and a nailgun. Still, it was a serendipitous state of affairs. Eric Classic, Tim, Ian, and Shawn stayed on Table One to play Tim's brand new copy of Nippon.


We should say Tim's brand new ruined copy of Nippon, as one of the contract tiles (the 3) didn't make it past the punch-out phase. Tim thinks it was probably a hanging chad that got dropped on the floor when he was reading the rules earlier. Anyway, without that tile there was no way to continue the game, so we lit it on fire and went out for moon pies and scotch.


Nah, just kidding, although finishing a game of Nippon does kind of make you feel like you've indulged in a sugar-and-booze diet. The actual turns are simple - take a guy and do a thing, or sometimes reset and collect income. And the things you want to do are not that hard either - move up a resource or knowledge track, build stuff, produce goods, sell goods. But every aspect of the turn matters - how much it costs, what color of guy you took (and what colors are coming up), when in the round it is, what goods everybody else can or might produce, what things score you points and whether they score other people points.

Tim almost locked up on his first reset, because one of the things that happens there is you get an endgame scoring tile, which you have to place on one of ten or so areas on your board. At the end of the game, then, that things will score a number of points as indicated on the tile you got, which depends on the number of meeples you took during your regular turns. What this means is that you have to determine a large part of your strategy fairly early on - if you put the 4x tile on Trains, that means you probably will want to make a bunch of trains during the game. But you still might score a 5x tile, so you want to make sure you leave room to put that on something that works with trains - but don't wait until all the 5x tiles are all gone, so be sure you collect meeples in such a way you can build towards the tiles you need for the strategy you have decided on.

So, you see why Tim's brain literally melted and exploded and congealed into a sickly goo. Eventually, with the help of the other players who just wanted to get going, he realized that (a) his first factory made the income boost from trains and ships worth more; and (b) getting more money helps you buy trains and ships. So Tim decided to go trains, ships, and money - he didn't advance far on the Knowledge track, and didn't get much coal, but focused instead on getting the money he needed to get trains and ships, which would, in turn, increase his income.

Eventually, he realized that there were a couple higher level factories that helped get ships and trains - either getting them outright or making them cheaper or better. Tim didn't have much knowledge, but had picked up some Blueprint tokens via bonuses and influence in one of the regions, and soon grabbed the two factories that gave him two ships and trains each. That got his income almost up to the max, but, more importantly, gave him a Clockwork factory, which nobody else was in (as Shawn and Ian had both gone for Glassworks instead). So Tim was able to produce lots of Clocks, distribute them around the board just as the game was ending, and gain a bunch of influence to give him a ton of points by winning a couple regions and competing in the other two. He scored all four points x5 in both money and ships, scored 12 more with trains and a few more here and there to end up with 188 and the victory.

(Note: Tim originally cheated, counting his three train stars x4 as sixteen, which is Andy-style math, and lead to his announced total of 191. But Tim also forgot to score his one point for his coal track, so he only overstated his actual score by three points.)


Shawn spent the early game getting influence tokens out to the various regions, which gave him a lead through most of the game. But, like Russian Railroads, most of your points are going to come towards the end of the game, so while early points are important you know you are going to have to defend your position to keep up at the end. So while Shawn had taken an early Glassworks factory, he couldn't get the coal to run it enough to lock in his position with three cube deliveries. And then Ian had a great sequence where he stockpiled coal, grabbed the Glassworks factory that produces an extra good, improved it to the +2 goods level, and thus generated four Glass goods in a very short amount of time. That allowed him to start kicking Shawn out of some key Glass influence areas. In reality, their conflict was a big reason why Tim won, as his goods and engine was largely orthogonal to theirs, while they had to fight each other for position.

Eventually Shawn recovered to claim second place with 166 points, while Ian finished with 158. Eric Classic had built up his own board by maxing out his knowledge track and placing a 5x tile there, but didn't leverage that into building factories until late in the game; he ended up with 124 points.

As it turns out, factories really aren't very expensive (only 6 bucks, which is a huge amount early but very reasonable by mid-game), and they provide some very important benefits - even if you never actually run the factory. Tim's ships were a key part of his game, and the Lens factory that got him two ships was very important, but it never made sense to actually spend the coal required to produce any lenses. I'm not sure what kind of business model it is that lets you build factories you never run, but whatever.
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4. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:285]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 7:15pm
End time: 10:45pm


Meanwhile, over on Table Two, Elden, Jerry, Andy, and New Eric (hey, who let him in here?) played a much less well-documented game of Amerigo.


After many Pirate raids, planning phases, and brown actions, Jerry scored 197 points! Andy, Elden, and New Eric scored 157, 152, and 147, respectively. It's almost like they weren't even trying.

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5. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:172]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: Round and round
End time: Round and round


Finally, Nyck, Tom, Kory, and Tallya ensconced themselves in the lounge for a couple of hours (one suspects) to play possible game Xia: Legends of a Drift System.


Nyck earned 13 FP, while Tom, Tallya, and Kory scored 11, 6, and 3, respectively.
 
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6. Board Game: Gambit Royale [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2060]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 10:20pm
End time: Round and round


Eryn showed up, just becasue, so Tom, Nyck, Tallya, and Kory left their darkened backroom lair to play Gambit Royale on Table Three.


Nyck finished with 37, barely beating Kory's total of 36. Eryn was in competition with 34, while Tom (18) and Tallya (9) trailed behind.
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7. Board Game: Pairs [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2083]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 10:35pm
End time: 10:50pm (three games)
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Table One grew weary of doing nothing as Table Two cleaned up, so they played three games of Pairss. Tim, Ian, Eric Classic, New Eric (who let him in here?) and Shawn no verbed.


Shawn had the distinction losing all three games, thereby owing a total of $12,000 to the CBBS treasury. (We now accept bitcoins.)
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8. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:206]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 11:00pm
End time: 12:45am


For reasons known only to them, Andy, Jerry, New Eric, and Shawn retired to the Lounge in order to play Bruges.


After much bruging to and fro, Shawn discovered he had scored 44 points and was victorious. Andy scored 40 and was not victorious. New Eric was even less victorious with 37 points, while Jerry was the opposite of victorious with 32 points.
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9. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:355] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 11:15pm
End time: 12:30am


Tim, Ian, Kory, Nyck, and Elden needed a five player game, which is a lot harder than it seems like it should be these days. Accordingly, they had to go back in time to halcyon year of 2011, when everybody was watching the first season of Game of Thrones, reading The Hunger Games trilogy, and playing Angry Birds on their iPhone 4s. It was also the year Last Will was released. So there.


We played to lose £110, which is a slightly high value and therefore probably tilted the game somewhat towards the property-based strategeries. Kory got out to an early lead by waking up with two Gardeners - he, wisely, grabbed two Mansions that worked with both and spent most of the game simply bleeding money. Tim and Ian, meanwhile, split the Farm cards - Ian got two farms and the best training grounds, but Tim got the early Training Day bonus card that filled his lone farm with animals. He also got an early Steward to run his farm, so, like Kory, he then spent most of the early rounds playing events. Elden tried to make a go of it with various helpers, including a Coachman that would have worked a lot better if Tim and sometimes Kory didn't keep poaching those Carriage Ride events. And Nyck made a special effort to get multiple Old Friends, that gave him enough actions to work his Mansions and play events.

As always, the game came down to the last couple turns, when everybody had to sell off their property figure out how to lose the proceeds without their regular engine. Tim had picked up an Old Chum that allowed him to keep an extra two cards at the end of every turn; that ability does not seem particularly powerful, and it seems like it's mostly useful for helping to fix wrong decisions made on earlier turns. But it also allows you to stockpile events and companions until they sync up, which is always the most annoying part of this game. So Tim focused the mid to late rounds on maximizing cards and actions - it didn't matter if he went late in the round, as his farm engine was self-sustaining and the event options rarely go in the first round. He could therefore split event and companion draws, and with his extra cards from previous rounds he was usually able to play three events for over £4 each.

In the penultimate round, Tim deliberately played an Estate Agent instead of another Event, which left him the £7 he needed to run his farm on the final turn. He then sent his first Errand Boy to adjust the market, used that and the Estate Agent bonus to sell his farm for £7 after running it, and then used his three actions to play enough events to drop down to -£6, enough for the victory.

Nyck had followed a similar path to dumping his Mansion and running all his no-cost helpers, but he was slightly unluckier than Tim in drawing his final events and could only finish with -£5. Kory was not quite able to dismantle his engine gracefully; he probably should have focused (like Tim) on draws and actions to run events at the end, but without the extra cards Tim could hold he may still have had a hard time paying off the proceeds of his Mansions (although Mansions, unlike Farms, can drop precipitously in value). Anyway, Kory finished with exactly £0. Ian's Farms proved to have too much intrinsic value at the end and he wound up with +£7, and Elden couldn't spend enough money without a property to run and he ended up with +£12.
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10. Board Game: We Didn't Playtest This At All [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:13570] [Average Rating:5.57 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
United States
Richland
Washington
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Start time: 12:37am
End time: Round and round (five games)


Last Will is a heavier game than Bruges, but we have played it enough to churn through our turns efficiently. Accordingly, Tim, Ian, Kory, and Elden needed a filler while those slowpokes in the Lounge finished up all their brown actions. So they "played" We Didn't Playtest This At All, because that's what you do in this situation.


In Game One, Ian was Eaten by a Dragon, Elden fell to Zombies, and Kory said the word "you", leaving Tim the victor. In Game Two, Elden won when there were more Death votes than Cake votes. In Game Three, Tim was in the Eye of the Hurricane, which eventually consumed all his competitors. In Game Four, Tim and Elden lost by chosing "scissors", while Ian won when Kory voted "yes". In Game Five, Tim and Kory lost by voting "No" and Elden lost in some illegible manner, giving Ian the win by not losing.
 
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11. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:293] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Tim Shippert
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Richland
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Start time: Round and round
End time: Round and round


It had been a while since we had played a big social game at the end of a Game Night, so it was nifty that Elden, Tim, Ian, Andy, Jerry, Tallya, Nyck, and Kory played a whole bunch of One Night Ultimate Werewolf to close out this particular event.


In Game One, Team Werewolf (Elden, Tim, and Ian) sowed enough confusion to avoid lynching and claimed the victory. In Game 2, once again the Werewolves and/or Minion (Elden, Jerry, and Nyck) won. In Game Three, Elden, Andy, Tim, and Kory won, which must have meant they successfully lynched a Werewolf - I think this was the game where Jerry was the Tanner and lied almost good/bad enough to get caught. That's the fun part about being the Tanner - you need to get caught lying, but not be obvious about it, which is why a Tanner victory is always glorious, unless somebody Drunked into it or something.

In Game four, Elden, Andy, Ian, Jerry, and Tally all won, as Jerry was Witched out of being a Werewolf and dropped a dime on his former compatriot Tim. In Game 5 Minion Elden successfully deflected attention from Werewolf Ian, allowing the bad guys to win. Game Six saw Tim, Elden, Andy, Ian, Kory, and Tallya successfully lynch an actual Werewolf, while Game 7 saw Elden, Jerry, Tallya, and Kory accomplish the same thing.
 
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12. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3849] [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:75]
Tim Shippert
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Sometimes Tim has tons of junk food left over to munch on while watching football or baseball the next day. This was not one of those times, as all this crap was consumed en masse, leaving Tim to snack, horrifically, on carrot sticks and celery. People remarked, both positively and negatively, upon the Sriracha-flavored snack mix - some people just don't like actual flavor in their snacks. Similarly, those are orange-flavored moon pies, which, despite whatever Ian might say, were delicious. In fact, we need to take a poll as to whether the Orange or Lemon moon pies (from last time) are best.

Poll
What flavor of Moon Pie to you prefer?
Lemon
Orange
Neither, because I'm always wrong and you should ignore everything I say
      4 answers
Poll created by shippert



Pretty pretty pretty.

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