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GCL Meatballs 267 - This is the news
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Welcome to this week's discussion list for the Swedish Meatballs, a division of BGG's GameChat League. Only members are to add items (add your weekly games played), but civil comments from non-members are welcome.

Rotation:
smorange - breaking news
malibu_babe_28
lacxox
bnordeng
AAArg_ink
jugular
ellephai
hanibalicious
Osirus
Veemonroe
sgosaric
fateswanderer
Sorp222
drbobjack
chearns
qwertymartin - yesterday's news

At the moment it seems that every day there's a major breaking news story - it's getting hard to keep up! This list is about how we consume news.
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1. Board Game: A Question of Television [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Do you watch the news on TV? Or listen to radio news? What stations do you choose and why?
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2. Board Game: Scoop: The Newspaper Game! [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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What about newspapers and magazines? Do you subscribe to any? What's your favourite newspaper covering national and international news? Why?
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3. Board Game: Internet Tycoon [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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I'd guess most of us rely on the web for a lot of our news. Which sources do you trust? What are your go-to sites when you want to catch up?
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4. Board Game: BWAH!: Local Color [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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What about matters closer to home? What sources do you use for local news, about your town/city or neighbourhood?
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5. Board Game: Bubble Talk [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:14325]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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I'd estimate 99.9% of posts expressing an opinion on the EU referendum in my Facebook feed were pro-Remain. Yet 52% of the country voted to Leave.

Do you feel that you live in a bubble of like-minded people? Do you do anything to combat it? Are there any sites you read that challenge your usual opinions?
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6. Board Game: Blind Ignorance [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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I've read some articles suggesting that it would be better for our mental health to just ignore the news completely, since so much of it is bad and there's so little we can do to influence it. Do you ever shut off from the news completely? Or wish you could?
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7. Board Game: The Good News! Bad News! game [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Have you got any good news you can share with us? I feel like we're in need of some!
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8. Board Game: Nada! [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:11210]
Martin G
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Bristol
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You know the drill by now

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9. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2520] [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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I've been travelling so I haven't been gaming. I have been "playing" a lot of Pokémon GO while walking around though - despite the servers being pretty spotty where I am. A friend back in SF told me that utterly addicted nerds have dominated the area with massively powerful Pokemon so I'm a bit worried what things will be like back there.
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10. Board Game: La Boca [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1096]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Monday morning with Borcsa:
This week the kids went to day camp and as it was a first for Borcsa and she had no one whom she knew there, I stayed with her for about half an hour. During this time we even played with the games we found there. None of these were actual novelties for me but I guess I haven't played them in the past one or two decades so BGG lists them as new.

 4   Guess Who?NEW!
While this one helps the kid develop some skills, I don't enjoy it much. On the other hand,

 6   Connect Four NEW!
this is one I still enjoy, however 'solved' it probably is.


Monday evening with colleagues:
So, yes, the gaming event I was talking about, a kind of team building for my team. Lots of 5-player games, trying to show a diverse selection and playing cooperatively, in teams and competitively as well. Also, trying to play games that don't need long rules explanations this time.

 8.5   Hanabi
I started the event with this one as it was a gaming night where beer and wine was not only allowed but preferable and I thought this is the one that needs the most focus and is the least 'party' kind of game. Some played fine and some played less optimally but it's not a game where you give strong suggestions during play. We still scored 18 points which was acceptable. They didn't dislike it but felt their brain burned so I thought my suspicion that we should start with this one was correct.

 7.3   Blokus 3D aka Rumis with
 7   Rumis+

We played it by popular demand - most of them have already played it once during a power outage.

 7.5   PitchCar
I thought we should stand up and move a bit. I think everyone enjoyed it, even though one player won with almost a whole lap advantage.

 7.2   Panic Lab
The only woman in the group has already played it in the company gaming club before so she said we should play it. And she won...

 7.5   Escape: The Curse of the Temple
I think it was the first time I played it five-player. As the game was too easy the last time I teached it to others, I (secretly) added two more tiles to the mix (double chambers: they don't add rules difficulty, only they need to be entered from the other side). Things got worse because the exit tile was at the very bottom of the stack; in the end 4 of us managed to escape but the last player got stuck in the exit chamber.

 8   Codenames x3
They quite enjoyed all the games but this one was clearly a favorite. I hope it gets the award tomorrow.

 7   La Boca NEW!
I think it was the only really newish-to-me game played this week. I did try one challenge when I bought the game a year ago or so, but did not ever play a full game, waiting for the best (multiplayer) occasion. So, how do I like it? It's fine, it was fine for this team-building day (playing twice with everyone else in couples, communicating a lot) and maybe my kids are going to enjoy it later as well, but I'm not sure I would have bought it, had I played before. It's just not necessarily the kind of game I would often want to play.


Thursday with the Hungarian Board Game Award jury:

 6.5   Samurai Spirit
It's still not my favorite - once again we did not win; this was my second play and I get the growing feeling that I don't even care.

 6.6   Eight-Minute Empire
I played quite poorly this time. It's not bad but I'm still not very enthusiastic about it.

 7.2   Carcassonne: South Seas
And this one is still quite good, even with gamers. 11th play.

 7.2   Camel Up
10th play of it, my second one with gamers. I know it's not a deep one but I just can't dislike it.


On Friday I went to the sauna master competition in the picturesque town of Szentendre. I won't go into details now but I went to 9 "Aufgusses", relaxed in the sun, in the evening there was even a rock band on the terrace, it was a refreshing and great day.


Today with Saci:

 7.2 Sanssouci
She won as I got stuck at a point in the game, probably because of a combination of some poor decisions and some strong bad luck.

 6.7 Amphipolis
And I'm enjoying this one more and more. True, it's not very original, it's just a member of the big Ra family, but it's enjoyable, light and fast. Saci, who was not amazed by Karuba last week, said "It's cute... apart from the skeletons of course."
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11. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:53] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Seth Brown
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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GAME NIGHT

Codenames - I love this game. I know when Pictures comes out people will want to play that instead, and I really have zero desire to play that because it is like Dixit, which is not a game I enjoy. I just love the wordplay. Tonight we had a wonderful stretch clue, where we needed 2 for the win, only 6 tiles remaining as both teams had made numerous flubs. The remaining words were: Mass, Game, Eye, Bed, Lock, Mouse. The clue was: "Newton".
Spoiler (click to reveal)

We correctly guessed Mass and Eye. Mass was the gimme, and then crazily enough, Eye-ssac Newton was what he was going for. Such a fun clue!


Rialto - Okay, fine, I admit this is somewhat typical Feld, you have the cards and they get you points in different ways. Didn't love it, but liked it okay and it was fast.

EPIC Cardgame - Streamlined Magic with Tom (my Zeddemore co-designer), who appreciated that cards either were free or cost all your mana.

Barons - Hadn't played this one in too long. Really enjoyable, although probably wouldn't want to play it every week. But a lot of fun as a change of pace, building up a city and taxing and whatnot.
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12. Board Game: The Big Book of Madness [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:675]
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
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 7   TransAmerica
 7   The Big Book of Madness
 7   6 nimmt!

Another play of TBBoM. It was better in some ways and worse in others. 5p is quite a different feel to 4p. The beginner game is still too easy. We had a slow player. But. I saw more variability, the strategic space opened up a little and I want to play again, and soon.

I taught this to a few people and corrected by demonstration an old hat on his view that it's all luck.

I took Transamerica as well, cause that there is another game which is 'all luck'. I think I'm easily on an overall 50% win ratio which is pretty strong given it's often 5p+. I didn't realise there's such a widespread negative view of TransEuropa which I think is 95% as good as the original.

LittleGolem
 8   Hex
 9   Catchup x3
 9   Slither x2
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13. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:292]
chearns
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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GAMES

Through the Desert - My opponent once again let me have the better spots, although going second gave me a huge advantage in that department I think (I get the impression that in the two player game, the second player will end up with one camel poised to take a huge chunk of land, but I'd have to play more to see if that is true). This let me pick up a lot of land (10 of my 14 water holes came from surrounding them as opposed to going through them).

Hanabi - MC was shocked at the number of elements she needed to track to play this game. My tiles, her tiles, the discards, the played tiles, what I said, when I said it, why did I say it, why am I not saying things. She found it overwhelming. But, we'll see if future plays softens it up for her.

CIRCUS

One of the nice aspects of living in Montréal is that it is the birthplace of the Cirque de Soleil and we have this huge Circus school here. Every summer we have a Circus festival which includes an awesome free outdoor show. On Saturday MC and I went to the seven o'clock show, ate some dinner, and then walked around looking at the side events until the ten o'clock show which we went to again. It was incredible. I just love watching what the human body is capable of. For the second viewing, having seen the first, we knew where to sit to really get an awesome view and it was amazing. Seriously, we sat between two of the secondary stages so part of the act happened with the performers criss crossing back and forth where we sat and the performances happening less than two metres away. Also, we were glad we stayed as the show was clearly conceived for darkness as some of the effects were a bit flat during the sunlight presentation.

Also, fewer annoying kids at the night time showing. I wanted to physically impede some of the kids while I was waiting for the day time showing. For you parents out there, if you are going to let your kids play in the water that is right next to where people sit, then you should be seated there getting splashed bu them, not further away, dry.
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14. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:744]
Lori
United States
Durham
North Carolina
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Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective: Adventures by Gaslight
Dominion (mostly Empires) x15
Roborally x2
Merchant of Venus
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15. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:142] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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_8_ Race for the Galaxy - 2 Players

With the kids...
_8_ Carcassonne - 3 Players
_8_ Pick Picknic - 3 Players
_7_ Finca - 2 Players
_7_ Click Clack Lumberjack - 5 Players (x2); 2 Players
_6_ Colt Express - 5 Players
_6_ Fauna - 4 Players


Just one game without the kids this week... busy summer.

(1) Carcassonne - Dane beat Marie and me fair and square. He did have his big guy and we didn't and one extra meeple and that was it. He played very well and we were close, but he eeked it out. A good round of this!

(2) Pick Picknic - This quick-moving, second-guessing game always plays better than I expect it will. With the blind reveal and attacking, it's a game that I should dislike. But, especially when playing the game with kids, it works very well for us.
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16. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:168]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Folsom
CA
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Seasons 2p ww x1
Megan decided it was time to break out some weeknight seasons. It. Was. Awesome. I drafted a lot of weenie cards, knowing I would get my engine off well before the end of the third age... but at the same time, that would cause my engine to stall and peter out, so I consistently tried to draft dice for high time-movement (to bring the game to a close quicker). As a result the game was really fast, and really furious. Megan chose a slightly harder, bigger engine, and as a result, I played hate-draft. I took every summoning gauge whether or not I needed it, and she almost didn't get her cards out in time- but on the last turn, she pulled it all together.
As we performed the totting-up, I racked up 136. Smiling, I knew that this super-short game was mine.
"Hey honey," she said, smiling delightfully "What's 87 plus 50?"


As you can tell by the blurryness, my heart wasn't in making an accurate chronicle of my defeat.

Brought over a coworker and their spouse with the express intent of introducing them to gaming.

Sevens 4p ww x1
Played in partners, Megan and I each teaming up with a newbie. It was pretty fantastic- they were figuring out the strategy in an extremely visual way. By the final round, my partner and I reached that magical point in trick taking, where even the simple action of passing cards resulted in smiles and laughs, as we had begun to immerse them in that emergent language of trick takers. We ended up winning, but really, all four of us were winners at that table.

Coconuts 4p ww x1
I AM KING OF COCONUTS I DON'T CARE IF I WON ON A TIMEOUT A WIN'S A WIN AND I AM TAKING THAT TO THE BANK

Automobiles 4p ww x1
After a brief break to make banana sundaes (our guests were pro, they set the whole thing up, it was amazing!), I sheepishly asked if they wanted to try one more. And lo, they did. It went over really well. "Once you learn the complex rules, it actually gets really fun." Third turn in, from one of our guests. Yes. Hopefully the bug has taken hold. The trash talk was a sure indicator of enjoyment. Megan pulled a from-behind victory, and she actually felt ashamed (she admitted to me afterwards). She worried that she should have thrown the game (her last turn was a MONSTER), but I assured her: No one wants that.
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