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What Did You Play This Week? July 25-31, 2016
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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With the week behind us it's time to post your week's mini-session reports and stories to answer our favorite question:

mbmbWhat did you play this week?


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1. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:19]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Some solo plays and a new game this week...

Thursday
3x - CoB:TCG

I had another early morning to myself so I tried a quick first attempt at the solo variant of CoB:TCG. The AI's actions are quite simple which is welcoming so I can focus on my play and not worry about added fiddliness. It would be unfair to make too strong a judgment based one solo play, but I won easily 29-23.

After work my wife was taking a nap so I experimented a bit in a second attempt of the solo variant and tried different moves, exploring the game a bit, given the AI was slow in acquiring triples early, keeping it close until the last round where I lost 24-25. It plays quick, not overly deep but has a fun factor, how much a factor will need to be determined by a few more plays.

I played a tie-breaker before bed against the AI. It was cranking out triples in those last two rounds but I managed to keep it even, 26-26, with animal bonuses. I'm assuming I win the tie breaker since I'm the only player with silver and workers.

Friday
1x - Viticulture Essential Edition - New!


We played an open-handed 2p learning game after dinner. There were a lot of action choices to learn, but they all made sense once we read what each does and associated it with the clear graphic design of the board. The key then was the action selection choices and planning while learning what we needed to do to maneuver ourselves towards a balanced and meaningful strategy of catering to visitors, raising money, planning and harvesting grapes that can be made into wine and sold to fulfill orders. In the end I pulled out the win (25-18) but my wife drew some challenging orders early which paid out big that last year but just a year too late to matter.

Viticulture is an elegant, straight forward euro game that matches its theme better than most I have played.

Saturday
1x - Viticulture Essential Edition

After watching the FC Cincinnati game on TV, we played another 2p and simply put my wife played the better game and crushed me like a grape.


The solo plays certainly helped boost my plays this week. I don't like that this year has been off to a slow start and my 10x10 is starting to look a little daunting. It has been a busy year with a variety of responsibilities competing for mine and my family's attention.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2016 List at 50/100
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2. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:352]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Not much plays this week due to my travels.

Wednesday

Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game = 1 Play

I spent the working week travelling to China and Indonesia. I had a busy sched in China but managed to get some solo gaming in Jakarta.

I try the unlucky combo of the Dwarven Ironbreaker and Bright Wizard again. I focus on travelling quickly between locations and managed to clear the first 3 areas and upgrade just as Odius Grump shows up. Things went downhill though after that as the damage kept on piling up on my heroes and they fail to clear the 5th location and both heroes die in the 9th round.


The Ironbreaker and Wizard gets massacred again as I still fail to win with this combo.

Thursday

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game = 1 Play

I randomize the Green, Grey, and Purple Teams for the Deathwing. I did not use any other expansion pack but this made no difference as I lose members early with the Purple team wiped out. In the end only Brother Exanimare was left to face to Broodlord led swarms and he was taken down with no mercy.


The Deathwing gets wiped out by twin Broodlords in the Genestealer Lair as the squad gets whittled down early in the game.

Friday

Sylvion = 1 Play

I got to squeeze a play of this in the airport. I finally add the 2nd expansion "The Elements" cards to the mix and to be honest the Geysers really helped me more than the other elements hindered as I got to use those to clear a couple of lanes of rampaging Elementals. This convinces me that the game is more challenging WITHOUT the expansion modules so I wonder if I will continue to use them in the future.


The elements did not really prove to be a challenge as the Geysers helped clear the field of troublesome Elementals.

Saturday

A "full" 6 player council the evening after I arrive from abroad, with the recent additions to the group Erwin and Dennis joining us regulars.

Power Grid: China/Korea = 1 Play

We try out the China map but use the Power Grid: The New Power Plant Cards. The plant auction rules for this map are brutal and that led to several rounds of intense bidding duels. The fuel replenishment is also tight and this led me to intentionally hold back building my cities in the later rounds in order to get an earlier crack at fuel (Uranium was especially tight). In the end this was a mistake since I should have built instead of held back at my 11th city, and this led Dennis to build to 13 and for Kent to end the game by building the 14th city despite being able to power only 12 cities. Kent was actually forced into this due to Erwin's bidding duel to Kent for a 6 city plant which Kent lost. I could have built to 13 as well but focused too much on trying to be earlier in the next round and that cost me the game.


Kent is the kingmaker as he hands the win to Dennis by ending the game with his 14th city despite being able to power only 12. Dennis (black) 13 Kent (red) 12 (14 cities) Keith (blue) 12 Me (yellow) 11 Erwin (purple) 10 Jim (green) 9.

Rise of Augustus = 1 Play

We decided for a lighter game next and this is an excellent family type filler game. I went almost all green but did focus on the wheat and gold provinces and this rewarded me as I kept both bonuses when Dennis was the first to 7 cards to end the game. Most of my cards were the ? type which gave me points for the specific symbols in finished cards and this coupled with my tile bonuses meant I pull out the win.


I manage to keep the Gold and Wheat bonuses en route to a win! Me 57 (Bonus 20 Cards 13 Variable 24) Dennis 44 (Bonus 10 Cards 16 Variable 18) Erwin 38 (Bonus 10 Cards 22 Variable 6) Jim 33 (Bonus 4 Cards 25 Variable 4) Kent 29 (Bonus 10 Cards 19) Keith 21 (Cards 21).

Evolution = 1 Play

The final game of the night was this very thematic card game. Newbies Erwin and Dennis made the classic mistake of becoming carnivores early but ended up not being able to eat anything due to the defences of everyone else making their carnivores extinct. Dennis persisted with the Carnivore theme however and it managed to survive to the end of the game (at someone's expense) and later on Erwin managed to have a carnivorous avian which almost eliminated my once populous bird species. Luckily I had managed to collect the most food at the end due to 2 of my other species (fertile helped in this case since the watering hole never ran out of food) and this gave me my 2nd win of the night.


Birds are aplenty and the herbivores take to the heights versus carnivores as my Avian survives predation from Erwin's raptors giving me the victory. Me 65 (Food 45 Pop 11 Traits 9) Erwin 60 (Food 40 Pop 11 Traits 9) Jim 58 (Food 42 Pop 10 Traits 6) Kent 50 (Food 34 Pop 8 Traits 8) Dennis 38 (Food 24 Pop 7 Traits 7).
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3. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:117]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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An off week for gamer group, but still some good gaming.

Crude: The Oil Game
While I had it out, I played a couple more solo games of Crude: The Oil Game before putting it back on the shelf.

I still don't see much use for selling refineries and gas stations as if they were commodities, except late in the game. Calandale's run-through made me want to try it, by I'm convinced that strategy will usually lose to someone who keeps production/distribution in place, at least at a minimal level.

Suburbia
With Jim Story still stuck on Saint Petersburg, I thought I might try to teach Suburbia on Sunday when he was having some people over. I only got in one play and realized I wasn't ready to teach it without another play or two.
Suburbia three-handed as the B stack runs low.

I like the engine building, as well as city building, in both games, but I now prefer Suburbia.

Goa
I was pleasantly surprised to see Goa on top of Saint Petersburg when Jim brought out the games on Sunday. I had wanted to learn this and had watched a play about 3 months ago at gaming group to learn the rules. Unfortunately, they didn't stay with me, but Robert Flynn's son, Patrick, was also a newb, so I wasn't alone.
BGG photo credit to Pedro Vaquero.

I didn't play very smart but was picking up the mechanics (and the screwage factors) by the end of the game. Had I realized how important discovering that final colony was in scoring, I would have played differently, concentrating more on colonists. At the end, it was Robert in first, Patrick second, Jim third by one, me in fourth and David Dailey last. All of us were in the 30s except David. I need to play this again!


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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:138]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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The week started off with some Summoner Wars. I tried out a new deck, Immortal Elien's Burning Conscience, which had Karthos, Kaeseeall, Skhull, Phantoms, Harbingers, and Firelings. Things started out great for me against Prp's Filth, and Kaeseeall managed to give the Demagogue all his wounds but one. Filth decked first, and it looked like I had the game sewn up ... and then Demagogue summoned the Abomination!



We continued to play All Queens Chess (with Looney Pyramids), and we ran through fourteen plays in two sittings. Prp is determined to get the better of me at this one, although so far she's won only twice.

At Tuesday's game night, I got to play Paris Connection with six players. (I tied for fourth.) We were all new to the game, so it was a little fumbling at first, but as it turns out it's an impressively fast-playing affair with a high level of abstraction.

Then we played a five-player session of Concordia, where one of the three new players managed to edge me out by three points with his spectacular Vintner, although I really thought my sterling Mercurius and respectable Weaver had won me the game.

On Wednesday, our game group tried out a new board game cafe called Board Game Republic. We were interested in exploring their game library, so we didn't bring our own. The others indulged me in a five-player game of Ra, which I had never played, despite years of curiosity. (They all had.) To my pleased surprise, I won with a fine set of monuments.

Three of us kept on the Knizia track and tried out Kingdoms, which none of us had played before. Scoring wasn't nearly as onerous as it seemed like it might be. It's a pretty little game, though far more abstract than its presentation suggests. It didn't take long at all, which allowed the three of us to try another game none of us had played before.

That last game of the evening was Race for the Galaxy. It was a little slow to get this one off the ground, despite some coaching from a helpful cafe staff member, and by the end, the other players seemed unsure that we had ever really gotten to correct play. I thought I understood it by the end, though. I did like it, although I now understand the reputation of its "iconography."

I beat Prp in a super-fast play of Chaos Marauders. I declined to attack with my first completed battle line, but I did attack with my second, thus completing my third.

We also played a little three-game series of Ignis, where Prp beat me 2 to 1, with three different setups. She was Water and the start player each time, though.

I had my first-ever solitaire win at Luna (my fifth attempt). My approach was to get extra novices early, and to exploit the ship favor (where I had a shrine) like crazy. I was trailing until the game-end scoring, where I had five shrines to the "opponent's" three. The "opponent" scored 82 points, and I won by 2.



My parents arrived for a visit this weekend, and we played a five-player game of Scrabble, which was over in a mere twenty minutes. My wife won, mostly by virtue of exhausting her tiles at the end.

Then we played Carcassonne with four. the River and tiles from Abbey and Mayor expansion, but none of the additional pieces. My mom, who was new to the game, beat the rest of us by more than 20 points. (She's gray in this picture.)



The week ended with another Summoner Wars play, and Prp stayed with her Filth deck, while I trotted out Sera's Illumination, a Vanguard deck with Kalon Lightbringer, Father Benjamin, Colleen Brighton (summoned in that order), Priests, Angels, and Crusaders. Sera took a wound early from a Horror Mutant. Both players decked, but I managed to get my "Light" champs with Crusader support combo going twice. Father Benjamin's Crusader got Heretic's Rebuked into a Bestial Mutant, spelling an end to Ben's run, which never reached the Demagogue. At the end, though, Colleen, a Crusader, and Sera herself all converged on the Demagogue to put him down.
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5. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:456]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Another good week of gaming for me. July as a whole has been just wonderful

I played on 5 days, a total of 22 plays of 12 distinct games, one of them new-to-me. I won 11 of these plays (not bad!). Sadly, I did nothing for my 10x10 hardcore challenge and I am really starting to think I will not be able to complete it soblue

Monday

Monday was dedicated to 3-player games with SO and one of our friends. I originally wanted really badly to play Cosmic Encounter but unfortunately we didn't get enough people.

Innovation - me and SO arrived early, so Innovation had to be played since it is his favourite game nowadays. We played twice just the two of us and once with our friend. I managed to win all of the 3 plays.

Next we decided to show our friend Imperial Settlers. I played as the Rome and managed to win with 66 points. I had a lot of Roman building plus gained points for building Roman buildings so it was not that hard. Next was SO as Japan with 55 points. He had a very efficient engine built but unfortunately managed to get it up too late to beat me. Our friend played as Egypt and ended with 42 points which is not bad at all. But he is one of the people who grasp new games easily.

Last one was Evolution, top 10 for all 3 of us. I had a great combo prepared with birds but unfortunately it got destroyed by intelligent carnivore and I couldn't get any good combos after that so I ended up very bad with only 45 points vs. guy's 78 and 105.


Tuesday

Innovation was played again. Again 3 times. This time with expansion. I managed to only win once.

We also went to FLGS, originally to buy Formula D: Circuits 4 – Grand Prix of Baltimore & Buddh but instead left with 7 Wonders (don't know how it happened). I played twice before and really enjoyed it (especially the high player count and swiftness of the game). We gave it a go with 2 people and I managed to win 44 vs. 37. I enjoy the 2-player game although I think 7 Wonders Duel is better.


Wednesday

Missed my usual gaming night because I went paddling, but in the evening we got to play Codenames 3 times with 8 people. I don't like Codenames with 4 and people from my gaming group ALWAYS want to play it and always with 4. So after a while of not playing with more people, I thought I don't enjoy Codenames at all. I was pleasantly reminded that it is in fact a great game with 8 people and I do like it. So now I should just never play with less than 6 and we're good.


Saturday

Innovation. Surprising, I know I lost.

Tired of always playing Innovation, I managed to convince SO to play something else for a change. And the pick of the day was Takenoko. It is just a gem of a game. I blocked the all-colours-bamboo-producing tile with "panda's can't eat here" token, thus hampering the plans of SO and managed to win with 47 vs. his 43 points.

Because of a shortage of time, we only played 6 nimmt! next in which I got trounced - 72 vs 43 points.

I visited the gaming pub next and played a bunch of games with 2 guys there. First one was Five Tribes. It is one of my favourite games of all times. But, I always, always end up 2nd. This game was no exception. Winner had 126 points (he had Utuq plus 7 goods). I had a lot of points in yellow meeples (the djinn for them) but unfortunately the 3rd player had more than I did + 7 goods. Still, he lost with 108 to my 117. Grumble grumble.

Next we got shown Eminent Domain. It was my first play of this and I really enjoyed it. It reminds me of Race for the Galaxy and Tiny Epic Galaxies, plus it is deckbuilding (the good type, not Dominion-like). Plus, it is beautiful. Deffinitely want a copy. I ended 2nd with 26 points, the winner had 43 (the only one who played before) and the looser 25.

We couldn't agree on what to play next so we went with the safe bet - Imperial Settlers. The Barbarians won with 82 points, aggresive Egypt (me) had 79 and Rome 53. My best game yet, but it was not enough.

Last one was Seasons. This was only my 2nd play of Seasons and I liked the first one much more. Not a bad game but I have no desire to buy it. I also lost with 114 points vs. their 156 and 165. But I don't think that was the reason of my dislikes since it was a similar result as last time.


Sunday

Me and SO decided to do rematch in Takenoko. Which I again won. 48 vs. 45 points, so very similar to last time.

Red7 was next, quite enjoyable little game. I won but I had no cards in hand by that time so if he had just played one more...

Patchwork was my last game of the week in which I ended with negative score (-3) for a first time in a long while. SO had 10 so clear victory.
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6. Board Game: Tragedy Looper [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:553]
Tally C
United States
New York City
New York
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"We have to change our way of thinking if we really want to change the future." - Saki Watanabe, "Shin Sekai Yori"
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Since WDYPTW lands on the first of the month this week and I also like to post to the New-to-You for (Month), it’s a return of the mini-report! This week, I played 5 games total: 2 for my mb challenge, 2 new games, and one that was neither. Happy to continue to make great progress on my 10x10.



* Tragedy Looper *NEW*
Probably the highlight of the week was our single play of Tragedy Looper. While we've had the game for around a year now, we hadn't played it yet because we thought it would be nice to play our first game with the full 4 players. Our friends are somewhat new to the hobby and we've been slowly introducing them to modern designer games over the past couple of years. One of them is a budding anime fan (I've been helping her with recommendations), and so when she mentioned she loved time travel themes, I just had to suggest we try this game together with them. Tyler played the Mastermind and we played First Steps together (don't worry, no spoilers to follow). It went over really well! It was very cool that based on things that happened during one loop we were able to determine what subplot we were on, which helped immensely. From there we (the Protagonists) were able to formulate a better plan. We managed to win one loop before the final loop, primarily due to a very clever move on one of our friend's part. The best part for me, though, was watching our friends really understand the game over time. By the end they were really into it and there was cheering on the final reveal when we thwarted the mastermind's plan. I really love getting people into the hobby for these exact sorts of moments.

* Samurai mb
We also played two games of Samurai this week for my challenge. Tyler won both of the plays this week. It continues to be a very elegant game that I really enjoy playing. As a bonus, it’s Tyler’s favorite Knizia game. I tend to like Knizia, but his games can be hit or miss for Tyler, so I was quite glad to find one that we both really enjoyed.

* 7 Wonders Duel mb
We got a whole four plays this week in of 7 Wonders: Duel, which actually finished up my ten plays for it for my challenge. While it’s not a super deep game, it’s one that we’ve enjoyed playing about a dozen times since we got it. We’re also looking forward to the upcoming expansion. A game I’m glad I included on my challenge.

* SYNOD *NEW*
The Gearseed Saga arrived this week, which includes GearSeed and SYNOD. From it, we played two games of SYNOD this week. We enjoyed it quite a bit. It's probably one of the meatiest microgames I've played. There's 3 favor/synod cards and 15 noble cards, making for 18 cards total in the entire game. The 15 noble cards are divided into 3 suits (Coalkin, Thorned, Gremlin) and each consist of 5 different cards (Lord, Lady, Page, Emissary, Bishop). Two of the three synod cards (one for each suit) are selected randomly for scoring and ability purposes; the last one is used for influence at the end of the game. Noble cards can be played face-up for their ability, or played face-down for their end-game scoring condition (max two played face-down). At the end of the game, players score points if they completed their face-down objectives, if they have any favor cards in front of them, and if they’ve won the influence card (total number of icons on all of their cards). I saw a lot of elements of Hordes of Grimoor and Soulfall in SYNOD, both games I enjoy. This may be my favorite microgame so far, since the choices are really interesting and the game is very replayable. Like all Smallbox Games, it seems to greatly benefit from more and more plays.

* Orléans: Deluxe Edition
And to cap off the week, we played Orleans during a thunderstorm. It had been awhile since we played, but it all came back. It’s really a fun optimization game for us. I’m really looking forward to getting the expansion so we can try the co-op mode – I bet that will be an even bigger hit with us!

Note: Thanks to W Eric Martin, a_traveler, thiagosleite, and justjohn for the board game cover photos.
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7. Board Game: KLASK [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:417]
Justin
United States
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It was a good week. Last week i saw the game KLASK on a geeklist and ordered it off of Target's website for $45. It showed up Friday and I got to play about 10 games of it over the weekend.

Its exactly what you'd expect from this type of game. The production seemed like it was good enough that it will hold up for a long time. My only complaint is that it seems like the top sliding piece will wear out the top board.



Saturday night a friend stopped over and after a few games of KLASK he noticed that i had bought two kids games for my son and suggested we try them out. I stared at him for a minute and said "are you serious". I figured i needed to learn them anyway before i taught them to my little one.

Monza is like Snow Tails for kids. You roll six dice and get to move based on what colors are available. I think it works well and will be a hit. We ended up playing two quick games of it.

Knuckling Knights i'm sure will get played with more as a toy than a game. It was ok, definitely not as good as Monza.




This was next up in an almost two year effort to get all my unplayed games played. I haven't tried very many pick up and deliver games, this was one i grabbed to try out the genre. We played with the basic rules. The advance rules only seemed to change the set up and add special powers.

I was relieved to find that the game isn't as complicated as it looks when you first get everything out. You build train depots and dropped goods off at those depots with airships to later be moved by rail to their destination. It did seem a bit dull with two players. It feels like it would be better with three or four.
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8. Board Game: Between Two Cities [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:503]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Between Two Cities - We started this week's meetup with a 6 player game of Between Two Cities. I won. Both of my cities were pretty high scoring (one had 7 factories that really helped its score, the other was more diverse and had houses and all 4 red symbols), and we ended in a 3 way tie. My second city was the higher scoring, so I won the tie breaker.
Rating: 7

Istanbul - After Between Two cities, we had some additional players and broke into smaller groups. I played a 4 player game of Istanbul. This is only my second play of this game, and I do like it quite a bit. I came in second place this time (I needed 2 more turns to get my 5th gem). I enjoy the strategy and like how quick the turns are in this game. Hopefully, I'll get to play it more often. I've been tempted by the expansion a few times, but if I can't get it to the table, I can't justify buying it.
Rating: 7

NEW Pandemic: The Cure - After Istanbul, we played a 4 player game of Pandemic: The Cure. It was new to 3 of us. I grabbed the medic role, just because. The game is simple enough and plays quickly. It's a good filler. We won, and had a pretty easy time of it (despite a couple of new player mistakes).
Rating: 7

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - On Thursday evening, a buddy came over to play X-wing. He played the Imperial side with one of the Force Awakens Tie Fighters and one of the Imperial Veterans. I played the rebels with the T-70 and an A Wing from the Rebel Aces. Sooner or later, I'm sure I'll get good at this game, but I'm not there yet. I started off pretty strong, but it all went out the window when I tried to use Proton Rockets on the Tie Fighter at range 1. I had a brief thought of, "Maybe I should wait until I have a target lock," but then I thought, "Nah, it'll be fine." And proceeded to roll 5 focuses and a blank on 6 dice. It didn't help that my opponent was just better at his flight maneuvers than me.

Side note: It occurred to me that this system would be amazing for a Mad Max game. As much as I really like X-Wing game, the 2 dimensional nature of the system has always bugged me a bit, but the same system would work beautifully for a game with cars.
Rating: 7
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9. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:703]
John Curtis
United States
Andrews
Texas
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Only played three different games this week.

MONDAY
On Monday, after work, my gaming buddy (Q) and I finally got back to Skull & Shackles. This is a game we go to when neither of our wives is available for gaming. The last time we played the second scenario in the 3rd adventure, we didn't play the villains correctly and were crushed (well, ran out of time quickly). I looked up the FAQ and figured out what we did wrong. It was still a close one (or at least it felt close), but we won in the end (with a couple of turns left on the clock).

TUESDAY
The following day (after work), I dropped by Q's house again. This time, his wife was there and pulled out one of the small games that I had picked up in the last month: Seven Dragons. We ended up playing this one for almost two hours (five plays). Q won the first two. I won the second two. and Janie ended up winning the last one. I called it a night (sort of tired). The game was obviously a hit for the small group!

SUNDAY
I had the day off on Friday and set up a solo game of Arkham Horror (with four investigators). But the game got interrupted and I ended up putting it away. I pulled it back out on Sunday (my wife, Kat) had to work so I had most of the day to myself). It was a satisfying game (playing against an Ancient One that I hadn't played against before... the one that turns you to dust). I really enjoy this game!

That was all for last week. It looks like I might be able to make it down to the Austin Board Game Bash later this month... working out the logistics now.
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10. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:745]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Friday aka Old Guy Game night - we knew a player was coming and usually late so we played The Grizzled knowing we'd loose pretty quick - and yep we did (both).

We then moved onto the original Merchant of Venus. An old and well played copy of the game - just like us.

Saturday was my envoy event to teach Star Trek Panic - disappointing turn out. Did have several folks walk by and look at the game and listen to the story.

Off to Gen Con this week - I'll be there Thursday thru Sunday.
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11. Board Game: Legendary: Paint the Town Red [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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My son is hooked on the movie Blues Brothers, so we stayed up late Saturday night to watch it. Gotta love the classics.


My wife surprised me Monday for lunch and played a game of Patchwork with me. Oh boy did she trounce me. I think in my last post about this game I said I was doing much better and was consistently getting positive score, well, ahem, never mind. I was badly negative. What happened?!?!


Thursday night game group, only one person could make it. He wanted to give Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men another go. We each secretly picked out a team and went best of three. Luckily, I used Black Cat well, fielding her to re-roll the Canucklehead of Wolverine and saving my bacon. I enjoy playing this one, but have a hard time getting it to the table.


On Saturday, I finally took the shrink off my copy of Carcassonne so my wife and I played a couple of games. We tried out the Abbott. It was a nice little twist without changing too much of the game. I liked it.


Over the weekend, I played 4 games of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. I only won one of the games. Not a great percentage, oh well. I used the wheel of fate to set up my scenarios. I only changed one of them, I could put a back story to it at all so tweaked it. My juices were sparked and wanted to play it again because I heard some talk on a couple different podcasts about the new Big Trouble in Little China version. Of course, I will have to get that. I'm also a little concerned, this game is my son's (all the expansions are mine), what's gonna happen when he moves out? I'm going to have to get my own copy of this some time soon!

Have a great week everyone!
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12. Board Game: WORKERS! [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi,
I hope you are all fine :-)

Not much in the beginning of the week as we were preparing to leave for our Holidays (we are now in the South of France, where it is sunny and far too hot ! ;-) ).

We played mainly on Saturday and Sunday.

So during this weekend we tried a little game I received from Taiwan whose name is Workers !(NEW).
I translated this game a few month ago and I was eager to try it because I saw a little interesting potential in it.
Not much strategy (except where to place your worker) in fact but a lot of dexterity.
So the goal is really simple and I tried and played it with my nephew who is 6. It was nice and simple with a child, but I think it is more interesting with adults because the other adults would like to play some tricks and make the things harder.
We had 5 different games and I am sure it is a really nice filler for 2 to 5 players.

I taught my nephew to play King's Gold.
The author kindly offered me this game some months ago and I must admit that playing with children it is really nice.
Of course there is the luck factor as you are throwing dice, but the fact to combine two dice (coins + skull, or coins + cannon,...) makes the things really interesting.
We played three games and I lost the three of them !! My nephew who is 6, is too strong for me :-)

On Sunday,
I was taught a "killer" dice game (NEW) by my brother-in-law. You have to reach 11 or less or 24 or more if you want to attack the other players. You start with 30 points. I won both games, which is often the case when my brother-in-law decides to teach me a new game ;-)

We also played Gold Up, a game we discovered a week ago in a convention, which is not in the BGG database. Nice card game, very quick and tricky especially if you play with a large number of people.

I was taught by my nephew Bazar Bizarre(aka Ghost Blitz)(NEW)
which was a nice discovery for me !! Very hard to master especially against a 6 year old child ;-)

Finally we had two SiXeS games at the end of the day
. We had 2 8 player games, each time my wife won with 32 points !! We played with the adpated version into French which Eagle Gryphon Games is planning to release at the end of the year. Everybody found the game really interesting ! it was a success !

In terms of translation, I completed Garden of Minions, Avenue, and Capital Lux !

I think that's all for the moment !
Have a nice gaming week everybody and thanks for reading.
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13. Board Game: Above and Below [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:173] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Joe H
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Thought I'd get more played this weekend. I didn't. The weather was just too nice.

Gaming Group

First, Sharon, Bill and I broke out Above and Below. a city-building, exploration, storytelling game. In this game you are earning points based upon the number of buildings you construct, the goods you have on your advancement track, your reputation and building bonuses. You are using workers to explore the caves (successful explorations are needed to obtain the caves in which you can build outposts), build above ground buildings and below ground outposts, harvest goods you've grown, recruit additional workers, or grab some cash (and hopefully a cider to help refresh a tired worker). The trick here is that you need beds (or disposable ciders and potions) to move workers from being injured or just tired into the "ready" status. Buildings with beds are a premium. I finished the game with a slight advantage in buildings and the reputation track. Sharon and I tied on points from the advancement track. Bill and Sharon cleaned up on the endgame bonuses from buildings. In the end, there was a tie and Sharon won the tiebreaker by 1 coin. Fun game, with a little randomness but plenty of good decisions to make.


[New to Me]
Next, Bill, Sharon and I tried Abyss. Its a game with a healthy dose of set collection (two layers of it really) and some push your luck. You earn most of your points by recruiting Lords, fighting monsters, allies that you've affiliated to you and locations that you control. This was another close one. Sharon earned, by far, the most points from controlled locations and had a much smaller lead over Bill and I in the lords we've recruited. I held a small lead in the points from fighting Monsters and in affiliated allies. Sharon wins another squeaker by 2 points. A lot of really nice elements to this game's play and some great artwork to boot.

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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:22]
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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 9   Lords of Waterdeep
 8   Elder Sign x2
 10   Agricola

This was a light week for games for me, primarily due to cramming a final exam and writing a paper for a class that ends today. That said, I got to enjoy three of my perennial favorites, which is lovely.

Lords of Waterdeep -- I got utterly shafted playing a three player game with both Undermountain and Skullport. I was too conservative, frankly. My opponents just hammered the corruption action spaces and churned out quests. It did not help that one was The Builder and managed to get all of the quests that pop free buildings and add extra money/bonuses when she uses her own buildings... it was a beautiful synergy, and it crushed me. I ended the game with the least corruption, but the least points, too.

Elder Sign -- First off, I must commend this tiny game. Just enough puzzle, narrative, and dice for what I want it to be.

Game #1: Carolyn Fern and Ashcan "Mother $&!?@%" Pete cleaned house after Hastur drove Dexter Drake and the brawny dude insane IN THE FIRST ROUND.

Game #2: Azathoth... First, Jennie Gray got killed by a cultist. Then Sister Mary was obliterated in a tragic accident when a portal opened and she was driven insane. After that, Gloria Goldberg was consumed by fire in a burning hallway. Last, but not least, Harvey Walters fought the fight to thirteen out of fourteen Elder Signs, but Azathoth's cruel game denied Harvey any ability to earn the final Elder Sign necessary to drive the eldritch being from our plane of existence. The clock struck midnight, the final stroke of doom arrived, and the world was consumed by madness and destruction...

Agricola -- I played a really tight game with my wife, and we tied! I went all-in for farming as I had several occupations and many minor improvements that boosted my plowing and sowing throughput. I had TONS of food, which is usually an indicator that I have invested too much into simply staying afloat, however in this case, I pocketed a lot of bonus points as a result as Lord of the Manor scored very well. My wife's strategy was very eclectic, and it paid dividends since she didn't score a single negative point at the end!
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15. Board Game: Fjords [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1153]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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This was a totally different week for me as far as game play goes. Last week I managed 40 plays in the week. This week I got in 2! That is pretty much the difference between having my kids at home, particularly Lindy, versus not.

On Tuesday I played one game of Fjords with my now 91 year old mother. We played out in the patio but here is a picture of her from last year playing this game:





On Wednesday I played one game of Crib with Abe.

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16. Board Game: The Pursuit of Happiness [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:663]
Trevor Schadt
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
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More gaming than usual this week, to be honest, but most of it was Playing With Myself...

Tuesday: The Networks
4er x1
At our weekly family-of-choice potluck dinner, I pulled out one of my three Kickstarter deliveries from this month: The Networks. All but one of the people that played had played before, and that was is a very experienced gamer, so a quick rules explanation and we were off! I seem to have a knack for this game, as I ran away with the game, winning with 264 viewers, and the nearest competitor had 200.

Saturday: The Pursuit of Happiness
Solo x3, Faux 2er x3, 2er x1
I'd been waiting with bated breath for PoH to grace my doorstep, and it finally arrived (torn insert, dented box and all) Friday afternoon. Friday night was sleeving and reorganizing the game. My wife was working this weekend, so I was at home on Baby Duty. And having discovered last weekend that gaming doesn't work very well when you have a 3mo infant, rather than try to get other people over, I decided to just break it out and play the solo mode, as well as a few "playing against myself" 2er games to get the feel of how the real game goes.

The first solo game was a disaster, mainly because Zen was one of the Life Goals and there were no projects that gave hearts until too late in the game to make them feasible. I'm considering taking that card out for solo games, because that will put a good number of games out of reach just because of card randomization. The second and third were both wins (and Zen was in the rotation for the third!), with scores of 53 and 65 respectively.

The three "faux 2er" games were interesting, playing "against my wife" much like Rahdo does in his playthroughs. Amazingly enough, "my" player not only won, but got exactly 55 points each of the three games.

Sunday night, when she got home from work, I finally badgered convinced her to sit down and play an actual game with me, partially because I wanted to teach her the game, and partially because I wanted to play a game against someone who wasn't in my head. 58-48, victory to me.
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17. Board Game: CV [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:940]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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A good amount of gaming this week:

TUESDAY

I started with a solo play of Castellion, in which the assaults where good to me, with the first requiring 2 towers and the second, three towers to complete. It took some work to then change these three towers into five bastions, but not all that much.

Then it was off to more solo plays, now with Dungeon Roll. My lowest score was with the Mercenary (21xp) and the highest with the Half-Goblin (30xp).

I passed on to CV, which is a NEW TO ME. It was a good enough experience, but, for me, it is far from a great game - just sufficient enough to spend some minutes in a environment with some laughs and not hard choices. We played it twice.

We closed the day with Zombie Dice. I was ahead for the most part, but my friend Pedro got 6 brains in one turn, and in the next, finished ahead with 15 brains.


FRIDAY

We started with a heated play of You're Bluffing!, with disputed auctions and cursing all around - such a good and wholesome experience. In the end, the game was decided by who would take the Chicken (the cheapest of all the animals), which just shows how well the game works.

Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game was next and it played fast as it is meant to do. I struggled in the beginning, with few symbols and a weak dungeon, and got better once I had a spell engine going.

Samurai took the table and, as usual, it was great. Such a tense play, with few windows open by the others - everyone needed to shove others and conquer his own pieces by cunning and planning. This would be the best experience of the night, but You're Bluffing! was simply too fun.

CV was played again. This time I won, and did it without having a single job during my life, nor relationships (I had a son, but he was "lost"). Yet, my Health was top-notch and my knowledge, unparalleled.


SUNDAY

A solo play of Witch of Salem. I started well, but the rolls, made worst by the shadows of Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep, advanced the plans of the cult too fast. I had to take a risk near the end, as surely Necron would appear (the were only three cards left in the monster deck) and finish the plans. I sealed the third gate and went to block the Ancient One as the portal in Miskatonic was closed. Yet, there was a fourth gate that I didn't know of. Defeat!




And that was it!

Regards,
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18. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:412]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Mostly solos this week, but we did create new characters for our weekly D&D game.

Tuesday



Paperback

Solo game against the pyramid. I was doing pretty well, but the last two cards did me in. I took a big turn when I probably should have been less greedy and it didn't leave me with enough buy power for the last two wild cards.

Friday



Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game

Solo against the Hadley's Hope scenario (Aliens 2) with the Gunner and Medic. I won handily. Never had more than 5 wounds on either avatar and only had 1 alien make it to the combat zone.

Saturday



Alhambra

A 2p game against my wife. We both got ourselves significantly constrained as our Alhambra became difficult to open up for future growth. I won breaking her winning streak in 2p.


Sunday



Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation – Next Phase

Played it solo 2h against the Borg scenario. I wasn't very enamored with this game when I first got it late last year so it hasn't seen much play. The combat is a little wonky and the Borg cubes are extremely tough especially as they adapt throughout the scenario. I didn't recall the tactics of how to defeat the scenario until I was well into the game, so I lost badly. Not sure how soon I'll apply those lessons as I have many other games I prefer.



The Castles of Burgundy

Played a 2p solo game controlling both players to increase my familiarity with the flow. I have it down now, looking forward to introducing this to my wife. It'll be at the harder end, but she's a big fan of Alhambra and I'm hoping the estate building will scratch a similar itch to the Alhambra building.


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19. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:5]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Monday



I'm in a local game group and we've been trying to get a Steam Twilight Struggle league going. Only in our second "season" we still are a very small group, so sometimes the games are a bit imbalanced. This won, I won fairly quickly, though I blundered and really should not have. The net scoring was as follows:

USSR: -2 AIW, -1 Space Race,, -1 Europe, ME 0, ME -7, Asia -7, SEA -6
USA: +2 IP War, +2 Space Race, ME 0.

I think USA may have had another +2 in space race and USSR may have had another -2 from somewhere else, but it was a week ago and I don't recall, exactly.

Wednesday



Taught 3 people Saint Petersburg. Got the win, but it wasn't a huge score difference. They picked it up easily.

Sunday



Six players in USA with the northeast out. Unfortunately the yellow player snagged the 21 on round 2 for cheap. I only bought four plants all game: 07, 20, 30, 27. Still only came in second, by a whole city, because nobody challenged yellow hard enough. In retrospect, I should have fought harder for the 21, but I was holding out for the 25 to drop (then the 20 dropped on me).



A real nailbiter. With one new player, I lost by 1 VP. My only mistake, taking Secretary instead of Administrator (there were more Secretaries left, but I mistakenly thought blue lacked one, so I was trying to block him because he always plays nobles heavily, regardless of situation). Black cobbled together some Blue and Red VP and he won because he had 6 nobles to my 5 (I could have had a secretary again in the final round, so I could have had 6 and won if not for my earlier blunder). One of the rare times I played heavy blue cards: I scored blue phases of 0, 7, 13, 18, and 23, plus 15 for nobles and 1 for money. Come to think of it, I could have won with a Pub that I could have taken, as well.




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20. Board Game: Tinners' Trail [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:499]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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This week was...

Forbidden Island - 2nd play



Pandemic Jr that seems like 100% flipluck. I was holding onto this for when the kids are old enough for co-op games, but I don't think it's even worth that much. On the for-trade pile. Fingers crossed I can actually get rid of it.

Keyflower - 10th play



First time playing with Keyflower: The Merchants. Mixed feelings on this expansion. The rules burden of the expansion is light which is nice, but the new scoring opportunities are powerful. The player in 1st and 2nd places in our 6 player game got that way though being the best at utilizing the new expansion scoring elements. Keyflower base+promos is so wonderful as is, I don't know if I'm just being a little curmudgeonly at the game having an optional change of focus, or if the expansion really does water the original goals down. I'm going to have to think about it some more. Meanwhile, I'm excited to try Keyflower: The Farmers sometime soon.

VOLT: Robot Battle Arena - 1st play



This is a cute robot battle arena game for 4p with action programing that wears out it's welcome about halfway through the game, despite how short playtime already is.

Yunnan - 4th play



Did a 3 player session of this great route building game. It had been too long since our last play, so we did screw up a rule, which was that we scored for tea-houses when they were placed, rather than at the end of the game. This was a problem, because the game ends when a player hits 80 points, so the teahouses made the game improperly short, which meant the player going for a long term strategy got cheated out of his win. I'm frustrated because I tried so hard to get it right and still messed up an important rule. This happens to me all the time when I come back to a game I haven't played in awhile. I really do know better. Very unsatisfying to win by rules error.

My Village - 1st play



This is an ok dice selection game that sort of combines Machi Koro with Village. The biggest problem with the game is the aspects that try to be Village. It sort of apes the interesting things Village has going for it, without taking any of the pieces that were actually interesting. I don't mind this game, but I don't see ever wanting to play it over Village.

Tinners' Trail - 1st play



While the design of this board might be a crime against graphic design, the game is really fantastic. The general idea is that you want to mine the orange and white cubes from the board, but the turn you mine those cubes is the turn you have to sell the cubes. The rate the cubes sell at is determined by an averaged die roll at the start of each of the 4 rounds, so you have to sort of push your luck as to when the best time to sell is. To add more tension, every round the dollars to points conversion gets a little worse. You can also take actions to cheapen the cost to mine cubes in certain spots, and you can bid to explore new areas, which then get a random number of cubes after you win the bid, so you don't know exactly how much the spot can be valued at. The game also has a fantastic action points system where the player who has spent the fewest points is the active player, so at times you can line up multiple actions in a row.
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21. Board Game: Tokaido Collector's Edition [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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Very busy week, so not too many games.


 8.0   Tokaido Collector's Edition NEW!

I finally got to bust this out. This version is gorgeous. I love the minis, and the new expansions really add some new depth without making it overly complex. Fun time.


 8.0   The Resistance x2 NEW!
It's The Resistance, and it's always a good time.


 7.0   Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination
I love this game, but with the group I played with this week it flopped hard. We didn't even get the first kill. No one could come up with good uses for the items. If you want to try your hand The person died from "WEB" we had "A Device", "Something with teeth", and "Something built before 1900". he was deathly afraid of termintes and was a race car enthusiast.


 7.0   Jaipur NEW!

Very cool little trading game I had never heard of. I would definitely play this gain.
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22. Board Game: Portal of Heroes [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:2148]
Daniel Valencia
United States
San Diego
California
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An unusual amount of new games for me this week, due to an orders, a backed kickstarter project, and a trade all arriving within days of each other.

Monday
Sole Mio! x1

Wednesday
Träxx x2
Coloretto x2

Thursday
Träxx x2
Portal of Heroes x2

Saturday
Portal of Heroes x1
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries x1

Sunday
Träxx x1
Portal of Heroes x1
Medici x2

Die Portale von Molthar ("The Portal of Molthar")
I am always interested in what Amigo Spiel has to offer at Essen. When pictures from Essen starting coming in, this game piqued my interest with its nice colors and artwork. I finally got around to ordering it, along with Traxx to get my money's worth for shipping (more on Traxx below).
Anyway, I played it 4 times since Thursday. It's a nice little set collection/engine building game. The game is pretty random in regards to both the Pearl Cards and the Character Cards, but I think it still works fine. Some of the cards are obviously stronger than others, but so far I haven't seen anything that is blatantly overpowered. So far, I have only played it 2 and 3 player, but I think it may work better with more players.

Träxx
There's nothing really special about this game, but it is enjoyable and fun. It's not completely solitaire, as you want to be the first one to score the bigger hex tiles.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
Nothing really to say here. It's pretty standard Ticket to Ride (Europe) without the train stations. I do enjoy these maps that are specifically for less players, though.

Medici
Received my copy of the new edition of Medici. When I had backed it, I was on sort of a Knizia kick. I had forgotten about it until I got it this Friday; a pleasant surprise.

I played it twice yesterday, and I enjoyed it. One thing that I thought was neat was how the Gold 10 works. While it doesn't advance you on any of the commodities tracks, it does give you a whopping 10 points toward the valuable ship bonus. Also, just getting a single bid is cool in that it forces you to evaluate the current offer more carefully. I played it 4 player and 2 player, and both worked pretty decently. I do want to play it with more players though.
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23. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.45 Overall Rank:6]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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Monday saw another play of Grand Austria Hotel. My wife got a ton of points up front from some valuable guests that put her an easy 30 points ahead of me. I was slowly able to catch up through a series of less valuable guests that let me complete the one and only objective that either of us were able to score over the course of the game. The dice really didn't favour either of us in the last half. One turn went my way, another hers, and then everything just fell apart for the both of us. The dice never lined up with what we needed for the guests or what was needed to complete the objectives. I was able to surpass her right before we scored our staff which caused her to jump ahead of me again. She won this one 89-98 thanks to one valuable staff member.

We finished off Monday night with a game of Viceroy which we hadn't played for quite a while. This just seems to be one of those games where I consistently do better than her and this game was no exception. I was able to paint in all but 1 of my circles which was worth quite a bit alone, and managed to wrack up a number of points from the values on the cards and a completed set of tokens. Apart from the 9 she earned from circles, the rest of her points came from some ridiculously valuable scrolls. I wont this one 61-45.

Saint Petersburg was one of the candidates to be played on Monday night but was passed over in favour of the other games. We decided to give it some time to shine on Tuesday evening instead. I thought I started off okay; money was a little tight but I was able to start generating points fairly early on. Unfortunately for me, the money dried up after a couple of turns and I wound up in a situation where I just couldn't get the money I needed to get anything going. That gave my wife plenty of opportunities to grab whatever cards she wanted when she wanted them and was making fistfuls of cash. It was a horrible situation of the rich get richer. I tried to salvage things as best I could and caught up a little bit, but she went down the pash of being a wealthy jerk and just started snatching things up for the sake of taking them from me. I could only sit back and laugh as she ground my hopes to dust. Most of our games of this have been somewhat close and within a few points. This was not one of those games. She won quite soundly with 218-259 being the final tally.

We ended the week with a game of Star Wars: Rebellion on Sunday evening. Things got off to a bit of a shaky start for me and really just started to get worse from there. She managed to get 3 Mon Calamari Cruisers out on a single turn while I barely managed to pop out a few Tie Fighters. I wasted some actions trying and failing to capture Rebel leaders a few times before I finally got Mon Mothma. I had hoped to spring a trap when someone came to rescue her, but that never happened. So I tried to send her back with a homing beacon, only to have that plan shot down as well. I was eventually able to figure out where the base was but it was clear across the galaxy, far from the mass of my forces. It was a slow and painful loss for me but still thrilled that we got to play it again.
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24. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:69] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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 9.3   Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
 8.7   Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing NEW!
With my son we played two very different games. X-wing and attack wing. It was my son's birthday and he wanted attack wing for it. I like both games but X-wing feels cleaner to me, there are a few things I like better in D&D attack wing. The troops and the way they move and make formations is a plus, I like the way air and ground combat works, and the tactics it offers.

For our x-wing game lineup:

Rebels (Me)
1. Y-Wing - Horton Slam
- Twin Laser Turret
- BLT-A4
- R5-P9
2. K-Wing - miranda Doni
- Bombardier
- Twin Laser Turret
- Extra Munitions
- Advanced Slam
- Proton Bombs (2)
3. X-wing - Biggs Darklighter
- R2D2
4. Z-95 - Airen Cracken
5. Z-95 - Lieutenant Blount
- Draw Their Fire

Imperials (Son)
1. TIE - Winged Gundark
2. TIE Defender - Rexler Brath
- Outmaneuver
3. Lambda-Class - Colonel Jendon
- Weapons Engineer
- Engine Upgrade
- ST-321
- Anti-Pursuit Lasers
4. VT-94 Decimator - Rear Admiral Chiraneau
- Ysanne Isard
- Moff Jerjerrod
- Marksmanship
- Mercenary Copilot


 8.8   Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
 8   Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil Board Game
 8.5   Race for the Galaxy
Three solo plays this week. RftG was the most interesting as I had a very odd game where I crushed the robot. It was like everything lined up correctly, and the robot seemed to have very bad luck.


 7.7   Jaipur
 9   Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
 9.3   Stone Age
My wife and I had three games it was a close game in ACB&S, but I pulled out a win. We have not played this one in awhile, but it was good fun and we were playing to win. My wife crushed me in the other two games.

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