Recent gaming: Dragon's Gold, Deep Sea Adventure, Star Wars Risk, Kakerlaken Poker, Catan Explorers & Pirates, For Sale, Dicecapades, Igloo Pop, Dr Eureka
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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June 13-July 11, 2016

Yeah, that interval of time is a month. That's how long it's been since I posted one of these. And THAT'S because it's been that long since I've played anything. Seriously, I played no boardgames (besides online stuff) until the last few days. It's been a busy time. (To that end, I've got another podcast recorded, plus 1.5 for WGTG, and I need to get them out!)

Half of the games below were played during a weekend with my brother & his family. They took me on a backpacking trip for my 50th birthday, and my grown son joined us, too. We played one game actually at the campsite, and the rest before & after at the house.

The other games were played at my own home with my daughter & her boyfriend.

-Mark


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1. Board Game: Dragon's Gold [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1394]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I re-acquired the old version pictured, not long before a newer edition was released. I'd hoped the new one would solve the problem of the roly-poly treasure discs. Does it? Because that's the only drawback to this wonderful game. Actually, it's one that I must think is more wonderful than everyone else because I often struggle to get it to the table. At the latest family weekend, though, it worked great!
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2. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:572]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This was THE hit of the weekend. It was played three times with family and thoroughly enjoyed each time.
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3. Board Game: Catan: Explorers & Pirates [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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After trying so many of the games I brought with me, one nephew really wanted to show one of his own games. I love Catan, but don't think the expansions are generally worth the extra effort. This was certainly the case with this one. True, I enjoy exploration games and this one has some fun ship-based exploration (revealing) of the map. It's too ponderous, though. We know the story about how Teuber conceived of a larger game that was later fully developed into the trio of Catan, Entdecker, and Lowenherz. I think Catan Explorers & Pirates shows how at least some of that larger game may have worked. And you know what? Breaking it up into smaller games is a better idea.
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4. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Edition [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:631]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Now pimped out a little bit with some MicroMachines for the Falcon and Executor, I really wanted to try this one with my brother & his kids. I'd given them the game for Christmas last year, but they'd only played 2-player. We had even more fun with the 4-player partnership game. The Rebels won again, of course. I say "of course" because that is the game's reputation. I suspect there are some fixes to the balance suggested here on BGG, however I still want to play the Empire as-is to try to beat this thing! We'd concentrated on destroying Luke and firing Death Star blasts at the Rebel fleet. That worked, but meant that the Rebels were able to quickly lower the shields. Is there a better balance of strategy for the Empire? A TIE fighter screen around the Death Star? More stormtrooper "speed bumps" on Endor? It's fun to try.
 
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5. Board Game: Cockroach Poker [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1246]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I was sure I'd introduced this to my brother & nephews before because I've played it with so many nongamers. Somehow, though, they'd missed this one. They liked it, but one nephew struggled to really think through all of the logical possibilities and probabilities rather than just play by gut. I don't think the game was his favorite.
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6. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:240]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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A perennial favorite filler.
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7. Board Game: DICEcapades [Average Rating:4.98 Overall Rank:13867]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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It's goofy, random, and not very well balanced. But it's also pretty fun.
 
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8. Board Game: Igloo Pop [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2365]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I own two of these "shake & listen" games: Igloo Pop and Zapp Zerapp. There's a bit more game in ZZ, but it overstays its welcome (and comes in a big box). Igloo Pop is the more successful game for its boiled-down essence.
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9. Board Game: Dr. Eureka [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1339]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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For what it is, this is a lot of fun. Some people don't like it because it's a combination of logic puzzle and dexterity game. Others love it. There are plenty of smiles & laughter during play, regardless. A winner.
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Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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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!
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Avatar
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robotrobotrobot Online boardgaming robotrobotrobot

Brass x2 Still my favorite heavy economic game

Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers x2 It's ok.

Deus My appreciation of this one continues to grow. I wish it had won Kennerspiel over Broom Service.

Glen More Pleasant enough, but I keep winning just by focusing on in-game points (not endgame scoring).

Maori x4 Been playing a lot of 2-player Pro version, which is appealing.

Port Royal x4 Almost all games are with the expansion now. Looking forward to the next expansion, too.

R-Eco x2 The bloom is off the rose.

Thurn & Taxis Beautiful, elegant design. Love it.

Trias If I could just internalize the rules & scoring, this would be a 4-star game for me. I do enjoy it, but always find it a bit more opaque and difficult.
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