GCL Amoeba 307 – Buying and selling (2017-01-25)
Mikko Saari
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Tampere
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Welcome to this week's Game Chat League Amoeba discussion group!

If you found us randomly (via subscription, perhaps), you're welcome to join in with constructive conversation -- we're friendly symbiotes in real life, though vicious competitors at the game table. (Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most dangerous predator on earth!) Read the links above for more info. (If you're shy, just thumb the list so we can see who's stalking us :-) )

Current hosting rotation:
Doug (phrim)mb
Jason (Bond8089)
Garry (garry_rice)
Jimmy (Butterfly0038)
Larry (larryjrice)
Jeroen (jmdsplotter)
Eric (Eric Brosius)
James (jdludlow)
Justin (jrebelo)
Kalle (Kuula)
Joshua (Joshuaaaaaa)
Carlos (Sprocket314)
Mikko (msaari)
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1. Board Game: Buy It Right Shopping Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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How do you buy games? Where do you usually buy games? Online or brick and mortar? One at the time or in large batches?
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2. Board Game: Sale of the Century [Average Rating:5.58 Unranked]
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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Given the American culture of deep discounts, pretty much unheard of here in Europe, I'd assume at least you Americans don't want to buy at MSRP, while we Europeans are often forced to. But how much do you actually care about the price? Do you buy full-priced games, or only with discounts?

Do you buy games just because they're cheap? In Finland we have this old TV character Sulo Vilén, whose name has become a synonym for buying any old garbage just because it's cheap - are you a Sulo Vilén when it comes to games?
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3. Board Game: Million Dollar Seller [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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Do you sell games? Or do you prefer trading? Which are your favourite methods of getting rid of games, or do you simply hoard games?

Have you ever managed to buy a game cheap, then sell it for profit later on?
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4. Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:29]
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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5x _7.00_ Mechs vs. Minions
5x _6.00_ Castellion
4x _7.50_ SeaFall
4x _7.50_ The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
1x _7.25_ Tanto Cuore
1x _6.50_ Snowdonia
1x _6.00_ Peloponnes Card Game
1x _5.25_ Mansions of Madness
1x _5.00_ Station Manager


I got a copy of Mechs vs. Minions based on comments here (and elsewhere). I'm glad I did; it's quite a bit of fun. B. likes it a lot too - I may be getting more campaign-based games in the future . The second scenario was relatively hard with just two players - as you need to handle threats from three directions.
Makes me wonder whether I should give the new edition of Roborally a go too .

We finished our campaign of SeaFall. We actually missed one rule - and were wondering when we could finally explore that last island. Turned out we could have for a couple of games already... But we had great fun with it.

A friend had gotten a copy of the (first edition) Mansions of Madness, which we played last Friday. Quite interesting; much closer to Descent (for me) than the second edition. We had great fun, though I prefer the second edition - both since playing as a group against the game feels better than one-vs-rest, and I love the way damage works in the new edition.

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5. Board Game: Herbaceous [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:912]
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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3 x _9_Love Letter
1 x _9_Dale of Merchants
2 x _9_Mechs vs. Minions
1 x _8_Honshū
1 x _8_Great Western Trail
1 x _7_Through the Desert
1 x _7_Fields of Green
4 x _6_Game of Blame
2 x _6_Herbaceous (new!)

Quite the decent week. The weekly game session was replaced by a game pub quiz (though we did play Game of Blame during the quiz). It was a fun quiz, our team was third. We did get good points from the board game and card game questions, but didn't do quite as well on other questions. It's a five-part quiz cup, and I'm definitely in for the rest of it.

Mechs vs Minions plods along nicely, with mostly successes. Next up is Operation Magical Banana, which looks a bit daunting, but I'm sure we'll handle that as well.

Herbaceous arrived, four months early. That's pretty good for a Kickstarter. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately is a bit bland. Further play is required, and it's a quick game, but I'm afraid I'll probably end up selling it. Shouldn't be hard, though.

Yesterday I received 11 copies of Santorini. That was pretty cool: https://www.instagram.com/p/BPpK9qvhxjC/?taken-by=mikkosaari

Still no new games bought. I did sell my copy of Bonaparte at Marengo: I bought it for 50 € and sold it for 60 €, not a bad deal, and now I got out of my system for good.
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6. Board Game: Ave Roma [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1654]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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 8   Vast: The Crystal Caverns

Twas good to get this back to the table even if only with three players. Close game with two new players as the knight won by destroying five crystals. As the goblins, I was likely 1 turn away and the Cave was a couple turns away.

 5   Red November

I was the only gnome to survive as the others succumbed to drowning or fire after fainting from drinking.

 6   Gauner raus!

I find this deduction game quite interesting even if I'm not good at deduction. Charlie was clearly superior in this one.

 7   Deus: Egypt NEW!

Egypt changes up the game quite a bit and I think I like it more. Haven't yet mixed up the decks. Boats are required to store goods, some cards have one off effects added, there is now a market that changes price and value of the four goods, civic buildings now have a scribe as the center of action, and temples are now in game effects instead of end game scoring.

 7   Qwinto
 7   Potion Explosion
 7   FUSE
 8   Solarius Mission

I enjoy this one quite a bit. It definitely takes longer to play and there appears to be more to think about than La Granja. The pain and agony of wanting to do more than one can.

 2   Cavern Tavern NEW!

I will never play this one again. Dice games that do not provide much in way of manipulating or re-rolling dice are of little interest to me. Compound that with take that in the nasty track and kingmaking, no thanks.

 7   Ave Roma NEW!

Found this one quite interesting and I hope to play again soon. Standard worker placement except that workers are common and are drafted back at the end of each round. Also want to try the advanced game with some of the expansions.

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7. Board Game: 1851: Kentucky & Tennessee [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:6283]
JR
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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A pretty quiet week for me in gaming due to my participation in the 24 hours of Daytona on iRacing (we had a tragic malfunction in the fourth hour dropping us to 28th in class and we finished 18th). I drove 281 laps between about 9am and 2am with a total seat time of about 7.5hrs and a longest single uninterrupted stint of about 2.5hrs.


I wrapped up a play-by-forum game of 1851: Kentucky & Tennessee with a few familiar faces from the BGG 18XX community. It was a fun game with a very nice group of folks. I was last in turn order at the start and was left with the L&N private company which meant (surprise!) I became the L&N president to start the game. I was a little dubious of this position because it seems necessary to start this at a max share price to get back what you put into the private company, but high share prices at the start of the game mean low share density which means slower earnings and generally other players moving away from you in the standings. The early game went OK, though, as I connected to Lonny's network and we built fairly quickly. Then timing worked out well in the mid game so that I was able to start one of the two remaining corporations (Tyler started the other) and I eventually rode this to a win in some pretty good company, so I was happy with that result.


Naomi and I returned to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle to try to take on Game 6 again. This is the game that pulverised us last week. This time we planned our approach better and started the game by getting more card-buying power and then things fell into place and we defeated Voldemort before moving to the third location. Now we just have to beat Game 7 and I can be rid of this fluffy game!

New Acquisitions
I had a gift card that needed to be used and Bliss had an inventory full of brand new Splotter games that needed to be bought, so now I am the proud owner of:
Indonesia
Food Chain Magnate
The Great Zimbabwe
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8. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:79]
James Ludlow
United States
Saint Louis Park
Minnesota
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7x Go

1-2 in league this month. So far they've been mostly strong enough games (for our level) that we can learn from them in review.


2x Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)

The saga of Waffles and his band of inept heroes continues. We lost a couple more quests as we move through the iPad campaign. Some close calls, and good times. I think we'll pull off a win soon.

The last side quest was a blowout though. We made it to a pinch point at a bridge. The bridge and every way around it was clogged with crappy little spiders who kept replicating. They posed little threat to us, but we couldn't get past them quickly enough. Meanwhile, directly behind them was a circle of Dark Priests who were raining death from the sky on us at will.

My 12-year-old remembered this side quest from about a year ago, and she reminded me that the last time the group behind the bridge was barghests (big magical dire wolves). They have some ability to affect us at range, but mainly they fight up close.

If we had gotten those again, we probably would have won. If I was running this quest as an overlord, I'd choose Dark Priests every time, because it was such a great combo for the bad guys.

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9. Board Game: Sub Terra [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1240]
Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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 8.0   Alchemists

Won my second game on BAJ (not that it means anything ).

 8.0   Burgle Bros.

C and I pulled out this favorite of ours and it ate our lunch on the second floor as the safe was in a dead end that started with a dead bolt and that the guard seemed to constantly patrol...sigh.

 7.5   Junk Art

Played at the library with a couple of older elementary or younger jr high thinking it would be right up their alley...sigh...it fell completely flat and we wound up aborting the game after the 3rd mini-game. Their mom enjoyed it It didn't help playing at a wobbly table with two kids who were easily distracted and not particularly still either...

 7.5   Sub Terra NEW!

C and I have enjoyed this new co-op game where you are cavers attempting to escape a cave before time runs out. We've played it twice so far and it's eaten our lunch so far, although we did improve our second time and got one person out (albeit that is still a loss ). This is one of the pnps I was working on last week.

 7.0   First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express

Taught this to my friend Chris and we both really enjoyed it...my first play of the suggested starting configuration My first few plays were with random setups which wound up not including A at all.

 6.5   A Feast for Odin NEW!

Not impressed with this one...it's okay, but I'd much rather play Cottage Garden for the spatial element of the game and Fields of Arle for the worker placement side of things. Chris ran away with this one as I was just trying different things out.

 6.5   Jaipur

Chris won this one in the first two rounds...I ended the second round thinking I was ahead (Chris did too), but we wound up tying...and he had the most bonus tokens, winning the tie-breaker for the round.

 6.0   Bomb Squad

C and I are getting a better feel for how to play this one...but it'll never be on really want to play list. If C suggests it however, I'll play it, and he says he really likes it...

 3.0   Sheriff of Nottingham

Played with the aforementioned kids at the library...to be a considerate gaming partner. I really do not care much for this game although I was able to have some fun playing mind games this time around. C doesn't like it either.


PNP PROJECTS in process:

Sol: Last Days of a Star - Have all the crafting work in this one done...just waiting for the bits to come in...which should happen at the end of this week. This one really intrigues me, and I'll probably give it a go solitaire to get a feel for the game play before taking it to game night and trying to get them to try it

Import / Export - Backed this KS game and asked for a copy of the pnp files to put a preliminary copy together. Really curious to see how this combination of Glory to Rome and to some degree Container works. It looks intriguing


KICKSTARTERS BACKED:

Import / Export
Keyflower: Keymelequin - Game Salute put this up on Kickstarter...as one of my favorite games this was an easy back, and pretty inexpensive as a mini-expansion.
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10. Board Game: Jump Drive [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:937]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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 8   Jump Drive x6 NEW! -- Just one game this week, but I played it 6 times with Claire (two separate days on which we played 3 times each.) I received it on Tuesday, January 17, and it didn't take long to break it in!

I really enjoy this game based on my early plays. It melds things from The City and Race for the Galaxy without being exactly like either. For me, the fact that it's in English is a plus, because most of the people I want to teach it to don't speak German. (I don't really speak German either, but I didn't find that to be an obstacle to playing The City. However, ease of teaching a game to others is a non-trivial consideration.)

However, this game has more to think about than The City. For one thing, there are worlds and developments, and you can play both a development and a world in a single turn, at the cost of getting neither a discount on the development nor a kickback on the world. This creates interesting timing decisions in almost every game.

Another big plus is that Claire and I split our 6 games evenly, with 3 wins apiece. That's the ideal situation for a 2-player game.
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11. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:13]
Kalle Malmioja
Finland
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GAMES PLAYED (16.1 - 22.1.2017)


7.00 Raptor x 1
7.00 7 Wonders Duel x 1

Slow week due to work trip that caused me to miss the regular gaming night. Only two games with the wife after the kids are asleep.

Both games were lent from a library and after this I'm not going to get them anymore. It was the 2nd game of Raptor and 10th game of 7 Wonders Duel.

Now that I have played Raptor both sides once, I'm gonna say that it is an OK game. The problem for us is that it seems that playing the Raptor is easier for beginners than the scientists. This means that we should play the game more to understand how both sides work and keep pushing each other further on developing the strategies. However, the game, for us, is not interesting enough to do that.

We saw the potential for repeated plays, but in the end it fell short on theme and gameplay.
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12. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:119]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Many of us had off for Martin Luther King day on Monday, so Micah hosted an impromptu game day.

_9_ Age of Steam - This was with me, Anni, Micah, Gregory, and David; Gregory and David were new. The board was particularly bad this time--there weren't many places to make 2-deliveries on the first turn. I bid fairly aggressively, and was pretty happy with going second. Micah, going first, took locomotive (despite the fact that there was certainly no way to get 2 2-deliveries), and I took urbanize. I moved my locomotive up and made a single 2-delivery. From there, I just continued to build out my network, creating a single path with one end in Toronto, heading south along the edge of the map, back along the bottom of the map, then up to Chicago, and then up to some towns north of there. Unfortunately, I got a little sloppy in my math calculations, and wound up tracking back on the VP track 1 spot on two separate turns. Micah started in the middle of the map, and eventually built his way up to untapped cube land in Minnesota, but didn't really get that many deliveries out of it. Gregory, who built through the middle of the map from Michigan, actually ended up winning the game despite it being his first play. Micah and I tied for second.


_8_ Great Western Trail - This was with me, Anni, and Mike; Mike was new. From my first play, my major take-aways were that thinning my deck is good, and that you don't necessarily need to go through the path very fast. Well, I think I went a bit too far to the extreme on the second point. I started right next to Kansas City because I had an ideal starting hand, and placed a disc so I could start trashing cards. I went to the extent that I was stopping at obstacles and other people's buildings just so I could use my auxiliary action of trashing. As a result, my train always moved backwards to the start whenever I moved it forward, and I kept having to pay exorbitant sums to place discs when I did get to Kansas City. This led to a money shortage--I was never able to buy two worker tiles at the same time, and I was really having a hard time affording cows. Basically, my engine never got going. I also took a bunch of contracts that I never completed, which hurt in the end. Mike did a deck-thinning strategy too, and was thinning more cards than I was. Anni was doing a railroad strategy, and took the first four train station bonus tiles. Final scores were Mike 85, Anni 82, me 33. Yep.
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