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What We're Playing - July 2016
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 - June 2016

This Geeklist idea was created by:
jes m
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1. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:364]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fri, Jul 1

Canada Day gaming!

First up was a round of Lords of Vegas. This is Tamara's favorite game, so we always play it when she comes over. It looked like I was going to run away with the game, but Nick managed to snag control of my big casino and snatched victory away from me.
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2. Board Game: Tavarua [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:2430]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fri, Jul 1

Next we played Tavarua. This one was a clear win for me - I ended up both the Shortboard and Longboard Champion, thus was the uncontested Grand Champion.

Part of why I ran away with the game was the number of collisions. Poor Nick wiped out via collision more frequently than he caught a wave. First he and Darin collided, then he collided with Ryan 3 times. It was pretty amusing for the rest of us!
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3. Board Game: Nottingham [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2545]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fri, Jul 1

We played a quick round of Nottingham, which is a set collection card game from Rosenberg. It's gotten an awful lot of play for a Secret Santa freebie (the store was adding small games to BGG SS orders).
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4. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:520]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fri, Jul 1

The last game we played before heading into town for dinner and fireworks was Spyrium. This was a birthday gift from a friend.

I quite liked this! I like how the worker placement is done, and how it affects the prices of cards you want to buy/activate.

Darin just edged me out for victory in this one. Nick, Tamara, and Ryan got a lot of points in-game, but not many at the end-game - none of them had any patented techniques, which give big end-game boosts. Darin and I both had a bunch of end-game points from techniques, and those propelled us into first and second.
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5. Board Game: Simurgh [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2167]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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On July 4th, Will and I opened Simurgh and played it on basic mode. Took me a bit to get a grasp on it and in the end, felt underwhelmed by it. However, next time we will play the advanced mode and if that is not enough, we have the expansion which is made up of many modules. I think it'll just take the right combination of set up to really tickle my fancy, so to speak. Right now, the randomness of things undermined my ability to strategize and Will adapted better to it than I did, but our scores were not that far apart as he won with 35 to my 32.

At Will's parents, they pulled out Timeline Diversity, which is a tough one due to the variety and inventions are the hardest to place. Will won both games we played. They wanted to play Cardline Animals, but couldn't find it. Hope they can as that one is more enjoyable. Or next time, I need to bring our copy along.
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6. Board Game: Dominion: Empires [Average Rating:8.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.53 Unranked]
Noreen
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We played a couple of games. We played the basic recommended set and then the advanced recommended set. I liked the advanced set better.

There are some neat decks and some new mechanics that are pretty interesting. The debt mechanic is cool, but I was too chicken to use it very much.
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7. Board Game: Rattlebones [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2375]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Hey everyone! I have a lot of catching up to do. Lisa and I came back from vacation on Saturday last weekend, which still gave us 2 days off when we were feeling tired out to just sit around and play games.

We've been playing a lot of Rattlebones as a "comfort-food" kind of game. Light silly game of rolling to dice to get pieces to modify your dice to get points. We've been adding a few houserules to modify some abilites that we don't like though.
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8. Board Game: Elasund: The First City [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1229]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Picked this to hit the 'E' on the alphabetical challenge. Uses some of the basic Catan mechanics, but does a lot differently. Its all about building buildings, for which you need permits, which other people can get in the way of and try to steal from you. People can also over-build your buildings to be extra-nasty. Its one of the more competitive Catan variants and I feel like the area is bit too tight for it, but its quite fun anyway.
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9. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1150]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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In addition to the standard alphabetical playthrough, I also am doing a bonus "miniature/adventure" game playthrough, as I don't tend to play minis/adventure games as much. I figured I would play these mostly solo, but as it turned out, Lisa wanted to do some of these as well, so we backtracked and played Adventurers for an A.

This is a luck-heavy game of racing through a trap-filled temple trying to get treasure and escape before a rolling boulder seals the exit. We played two adventurers each (which is a bit problematic, since part of the game has a memory element, but we managed it). All four made it out - which is unusual. One adventurer was a few spaces in the lead and was reallly hoping the boulder moved at least 4 spaces, which would have squashed all three of the other adventurers who were on the same space.

The winning character was the promo Dalia Cardosa, who I think is a bit overpowered. She can give another character one of her treasures and make them carry it for her.
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10. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1385]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Then we played the other Adventurers, just to compare them in a row. Played a few games of this. While Temple of Chac is more action packed and has more variety, I think Pyramid of Horus is overall a better designed game, with more actual choices in where to go and how much to push your luck.
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11. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:264]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played this for our 'F' game. This is a pretty good co-op, but we stopped playing it due to getting overloaded with expansions, especially when we couldn't figure out how to play the later expansions. Maybe need to pull some stuff out to bring it down to a manageable amount.

We just played the basic board and won, rescuing 8 of the victims (we never stop at just the required 7, but try to save as many as we can).
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12. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:229] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I wanted to play this for my 'C' minis game, trying the recently released 2 player variant. It is quite different from the normal game, especially with how to manage your power. In the normal game, having power left when everyone else has spent theirs is a very good thing. In the 2 player game, it is often not a bad thing to run out of power first. Made for kind of an odd dynamic. I'm not sure what to think, and Lisa didn't like it.

As Great Cthulhu, I narrowly defeated her Black Goat, but it was close (3 points). She scored a lot of points by killing Cthulhu with a ghoul, when she used Necrophagy to move in and scare off Cthulhu when he was alone and blocked from retreating.
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13. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse: Wrath of the Cosmos [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Our Sentinels play-through continues, playing against Deadline.
Lisa had Nightmist and the Naturalist, and I had Tachyon and the Scholar.

Deadline is an interesting enemy; when he builds up enough disaster cards he destroys several cards out of the environment deck, and if it runs out the heroes lose. I like the villains with a "scheme" like that, but its not a common feature.

Between damage reduction and healing we weren't in any major danger, but it was a fun game. I really got to get some good Scholar combos going for a change.
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14. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1173]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We played a few light games. As well as Ra, we played:
Dark Seas
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
Port Royal
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15. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:453]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Monday night we were in the mood for something light and co-op and silly, so we played a 2 player game of Mysterium. We played two parallel games so we could each be ghost and investigator. We lost one game and won the other. Lisa was very fond of saying "Oh, this is so obvious!" when putting down her clue, regardless of whether she thought it was or not.
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16. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:53] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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And then after playing Codenames we felt even sillier and played Codenames using Dixit cards instead of the word cards. This is way harder than it sounds!

When Lisa was spymaster, we won with 3 points.
When I was spymaster, we lost due to hitting the assassin.

I suck.

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17. Board Game: Simurgh [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2167]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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Yesterday, we played Simurgh at the Dragonlord level with my nephew, though we did the power cards and dragons random since it was his first game, but we drafted the action tiles. I did win though I felt it was luck more than skill or strategy. I happened to get an exploration tile that wasn't too expensive to do and no one else ever got an exploration tile. One popped up in the face up area, but it was expensive. I feel this is what put me in the lead, though I did do a stupid move and added an objective tile for sum of meat & veggies since the conclusion of my exploration tile gave me more meat & veggies, but since I ended the game, Will and my nephew both got another turn and there was a production tile out for food and so they got the points. Not that it helped as I won with 58 vs Will's 45 and my nephew's 46.

So next time, we will play mostly with the basic rules (spearman I think it's called). One, I did not like the 12 limit on resources. I though 15 was hard enough. Two, I liked that everyone started with an action tile of each type to make it balanced. But I think choosing your power card and dragon will go a long way in being able to form a cohesive strategy. And then we'll start adding in the modules to see how they work.

I really want to like Simurgh, which is why I'm working so hard to come up with house rules that will work for us. I'm just really hoping there's a solution in the expansion.

After Simirgh last night, we played:
Timeline: Inventions - I won
Timeline: Discoveries - my nephew won
Dead Man's Draw - Will won
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18. Board Game: Cardline: Animals [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1831] [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Spent the weekend at a cabin in the mountains visiting family. Nice to see family, but this was all a lot of running around and a bit exhausting!

As a result, we just played some light family games. Cardline: Animals is a favorite, and we played several rounds of it. We had a really hard time with lifespan though - people usually underestimated how long animals live.
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19. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:206] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I'm always happy when I get to play Dixit, as its not something I get to play much. Seems most of the people I know don't enjoy coming up with "stories" for it. I love coming up with clever ideas and enjoying the cute art.

I find this a bit problematic because Lisa and I really tend to get each other's clues. Even if I specifically try to make a clue that leaves her out (when she's in the lead), she usually gets what I'm going for. Do any other couples have that problem with this game?
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20. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:453]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played two games of this. We lost one and won one. Good fun, though I like it better with more players.
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21. Board Game: Cloud 9 [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1743]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Two games of this, which went over very well. Quick and light and amusing. One poor player kept getting monochrome hands and could never make rolls. It would usually get all of though; we'd be thinking "he's got 11 cards, of course he can do that!". Then he showed us his hand at the end, and 8 of his 11 cards were yellow, with the other 3 purple!
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22. Board Game: Port Royal: Just One More Contract... [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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The expansion for Port Royal just arrived! I really didn't know much about this other than that some people who I consider good judges of games said it improved the game. I had no idea it also included a co-op/solo variant! We played twice; once normally with all the new stuff to see how the new cards and contracts worked, and then once with the co-op rules.

I like the new cards and contracts, as they open up some new possibilities and make some of the weaker cards a bit stronger. Good additions all around.

The co-op variant was an entertaining twist, but I don't think its quite as good as the regular game. I'd still like to play it more though.
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23. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1534]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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On Twosday I played this one; as I felt I'd better try it out, as I know many people who really want it, so if this was not a game I liked, I could give it away...

Oh... well...
I will still be keeping it for a little while, as I quite enjoyed it!

We played a four man game, where my war-buddy, Jens was the only one who have been playing the game before, but many years ago, and he and I tried to explain the rules for the two other; another Dane, and an Italian guy.

I ended last, despite suddenly having the upper hand - ended with a failure from a bad gamble in the last round, that could have let me stay up - and maybe even win. But none the less it was a good game! Difficult to get the island bonuses since you need a lot of canoes to make a chain!
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24. Board Game: The Golden City [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1813]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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A bit more time last night, so I got in a bigger game. Picked this for 'G' (I ignore 'the' for alphabetical considerations). Its also a very fun game; light bidding and trying to get into point scaring areas, with a lot of blocking.
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25. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:564]
Noreen
United States
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We played this 8 times to kick off our Saturday night Game Night. I won 5 of the 8, which was surprising. This is one of our favorite fillers because although its short, it makes you think.
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