GCL Phoenix 321: Baby! / Countdown! (2017 February 25)
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Welcome to GameChat League, Phoenix Division, week #321!

Non-members are encouraged to participate in conversation, but please leave adding new items to the members. If you're a reader, please thumb this list; it's one way we find new friends.


Active Grown-Ups:
darker
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grasa_total NEXT TO GIVE BIRTH TO A LIST
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Retirees: archivists, BennyD, Bruzza, chally, Dormammu, Eeeville, enzo622, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, Morganza, Mr_Nuts, ravenskana, tjshields, topherr, Yokiboy

Natalie and I now have a baby. Xavie Winter was born February 9th. With baby on the brain (and baby-brain...) I thought I'd keep my contribution simple and baby-themed. (As we established two weeks ago, most of us like themed lists!)




MARCH 1 UPDATE!
We talked about the Thursday lull, so all along I was planning to throw in a second line of questions! It may be a terrible idea, and nothing more than a one-time novelty, but I couldn't let a Geeklist with 3 2 1 slide by without a countdown theme!

So here is your B-SIDE! COUNTDOWN!
Canadian rapper K-Os will kick off the B-Side...


He's a bit of an asshole, but I really like his music!

Countdowns can be inspiring, exciting, or anxiety-inducing. But one thing they tend not to lack: suspense! Spaceships, New Year's Eve, start of a race, end of a timed event - countdowns are something one might not immediately connect to table gaming...





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1. Board Game: S and W Happy Marriage Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Obviously, to make a baby, you need a seed and an egg. (Just as obviously, you don't actually have to be married to make a baby, but Natalie and I got married, so I chose this ancient game as the Item!) I chipped in with seed; N contributed an egg. Now we have this beautiful creature that is somehow (miraculously, to my mind) a combination of Natalie and myself.

Mind blown.

But that's how these things work. Natalie and Jeremy make Xavie.


So think about productive partnerships for a few minutes. What are some of your favorite game-babies that come from designer-parents? What are some designers you would love to see make a baby?


I don't have a lot of favorite design teams, but I know some who I would love to see make a game-baby. If Uwe Rosenberg's tremendous systems and Richard Garfield's CCG acumen could combine to make a farming/community-making CCG, I would be in heaven. Or what if Friedemann Friese's meta approach and experimentation and Donald X. Vaccarino's infinite-variability combined to make a Fable or Legacy game. While I'm dreaming, how about Uwe Rosenberg and Joel Toppen make a First Nations game pre-white-settler-contact, so we can explore First Nations history with less conflict and disease (I knew First Nations had conflict, but some - like the Secwepemc - had significantly less!)


Outside of gaming, what are some of your favorite results of partnerships? Or what "babies" would you like to see?

I posted a song by DJ Shadow and Run the Jewels a couple weeks ago; I also happen to think that Danger Mouse and Ceelo made some amazing music. Ben & Jerry ice cream probably shouldn't count, but I'll toss their names out there! Who wouldn't want to see Wes Anderson take on a Cormac McCarthy novel?
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2. Board Game: Let's Make A Baby [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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It's not as simple as logging on to stork.com and ordering a new baby. Without going into too much detail, the actual season of "trying for a baby" introduces some unexpected pressure (anxiety even?). Then, if you are genetically and biologically lucky enough, pregnancy occurs, and a whole batch of new worries develops, as you hope the "lil squish" (our first, pre-natal name for Xavie) is healthy and growing well. On top of that Natalie was nauseous and tired! And then the whole thing was capped off with labour and contractions and finally BABY!

And without a doubt Natalie and I would tell you it is totally worth it!

So what sort of labour have you had to put into your game-babies that resulted in glorious culmination? Games that were difficult to get going on but paid off?

My first COIN game, Andean Abyss, was also my first GMT game, and my first wargame. Learning it from the tutorial and rulebook was the most difficult gaming task I have ever undertaken. Worth it? Absolutely. COINs are so good that I own four of them and am planning on buying two more.

What other difficult processes have your undergone to reach a joyous conclusion?

I worked 3 jobs throughout my university degree in order to graduate debt free. I also produced a few theatrical shows in university because I knew it was the only time I would have "free" actors and theatre space. For all that, I am now a teacher who loves teaching, graduated debt-free, and got to make some shows! TRIPLETS! So worth it!
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3. Board Game: Tension: The Crazy Naming Game [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:13499]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Of course, you have to name the baby, which, to my mind, is exciting and easy. I have a BAZILLION good names for a baby, and had my names picked out before I even met Natalie!

The problem being, of course, that Natalie had done the same things and - wouldn't you know it - our names lists didn't match up.

So, between the two of is, it took quite a while to settle on names. In fact, we didn't decide on a boys name until the day before Xavie was born! Since she is a she, it wouldn't have mattered much anyways, but the process of naming was still a fascinating one for us. After all, two individuals with somewhat disparate phonological and aesthetic appreciations have to agree on a baby name, and (most of the time) that little human will carry the name for a lifetime! HEAVY!

I wanted a name that was unusual but not made up; Natalie didn't even want something that seemed like it was made up, and also wanted a name that wasn't too weird (so Llygeden was out). I like X and Q names; Natalie likes A and C and T names. I like Irish, Japanese, and Hawaiian names; Natalie likes Scandanavian, French and Anglicized-Hebrew names. I love Irish spelling; Natalie hates Irish spelling (but did agree to Tadhg on our short-list!). I wanted a name that meant that our child would never meet someone with the same name; Natalie didn't find that to be nearly as important a criterion.

In the end, we chose an X name pronounced the French way, and Natalie chose the very appropriate middle name "Winter" - as Xavie was born during a snowstorm! "Xavie" is a diminutive form of "Xavier" - which isn't too weird, but is also quite uncommon in Western Canada. Seems like a win-win!

The initials have the additional bonus of being "XW-" which also happens to be the first two letters of my favorite *Secwepemctsin word "xwexwne", which means "hummingbird".

That was a really long-winded preamble to the question: Setting mechanics and art aside (and, if possible, setting games you LIKE aside), what are some of your favorite names for games? Especially games you don't otherwise like. Or games you like whose names you don't care for.

I actually don't love the name Agricola, despite it being my favorite game of all time. "Shattered Star" is a COIN game I will probably love, but it hasn't been put out yet, and the title is very evocative, especially in light of Somalia's flag (a star is the single element on a blue field). I think a number of the COIN games have great titles in fact, despite the newest announced one having on of the least-evocative titles: Gandhi.



Last week we made up some hypothetical game names. Do you have any other good names for undesigned games?


What are some of your favorite names?




*Secwepemctsin is the language of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) on whose traditional territory I am lucky enough to reside on, and have had a child born on! If you have ever wondered what my Geek banner reads, it's not Cthulu - it's Secwepemctsin! The actual word is "Secwepemculecw" which is the name of the Secwepemc territory.
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4. Board Game: Love & Laughter: The Game of Smiles [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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And - wouldn't you know it - Natalie and I were smitten with little Xavie Winter the first second we saw her. My eyes were waterworks. I have never loved something to immediately. Now, of course, it's tougher: she needs feeding and changing, lots of attention, contact, and tending. Through all that though, I love her!

What are some games that - the first moments you encountered it (via preview, instruction booklet, game description, etc.) you knew you would love it?

When I heard A Feast for Odin described as Patchwork meets heavy-Uwe, I knew I was going to like it. The rulebooks blew me away with the possibilities. It has been a real treat! 52 plays later and I still love it!

What are some other besotted-from-the-beginning experiences you have had?

Mad Men had me hooked from the theme song and intro animation. The People's History of the United States grabbed me immediately, and I could not put it down. I binged A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) as soon as I discovered the book series). Ben & Jerry's Bonnaroo Buzz and Dublin Mudslide ice creams. Acting.
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Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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And now Xavie makes 3! We have a little family!

What are some of your favorite game families?

I love the COIN family of games, and most of Uwe's heavies. R~ for the Galaxy stuff is awesome, and I am still a fairly big Magic fan (Ravnica and Lorwyn mostly, but still...)

What about your family? Anything cool to share?

Any funny pop culture families you enjoy?


Probably my favorite show of all time (though not currently, maybe) is the The Simpsons! "And I, for one, would like to remind our new insect overlords that as a trusted public figure, I could be useful in rounding up people for their sugar caves!"

One of my favorite motifs in a TV show was the idea of family in Breaking Bad: Walter's "loyalty" to his family; Jessie's relationship to his family; the Salamancas; even Jane and her father. The way these dynamics ebb and flow, or cohere, or fracture, is one of the most mesmerizing threads in the show. A show that I rank as my absolute favorite of all time.


Any other "families" of things you really enjoy?

I really enjoy the football family: American football, Gaelic/Aussie, soccer, rugby. I'll watch any of those sports and enjoy them.
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6. Board Game: Rotation [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Alison - March 5th
Marc - March 12th
Carol - March 19th
John - March 26th
Karl - April 2nd
Michael - April 9th
Dave - April 16th
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7. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:381]
Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I played this once a few months ago and before we even finished it, I knew this would be a good game for our small family. I picked up a copy in an auction for a local con last month and brought it out this morning.

I was right. Big hit with my wife. We played three games in a row. I even managed to find the volcano mini-expansion, which adds a nice twist.

Really like this as a family game. I would have picked this to win the Spiele last year if it wasn't for the Codenames juggernaut.


Expectation: Low. Figured this would be meh.

First-Play Experience: High. Immediately decided to acquire.

Acquisition Satisfaction: High. My wife likes it. My son will probably take to this soon.

Long-term Prognosis: Strong. This has a good chance of staying in the collection for a long time, especially given my son's age and my wife's initial reaction.
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8. Board Game: Ka-Boom [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:4723]
Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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 8   Dominion x24
 7   Masters Gallery x2
 7   Ka-Boom

It seems like "stay after work on Wednesday for a short game" has taken hold in my office. Awesome! I wish longer games were an option, but people are fun to play with and up for learning new things, so really, I'm pretty darn lucky.

Watching people's faces when I explain that knocking towers down with catapults in Kaboom happens *while* one person is trying to build the towers back up... that just doesn't get old.

I note with some pleasure that the net volume of my game collection for 2017 is slightly negative so far-- I've traded games for similar-sized or smaller games, and bought a handful of very small boxes. Maybe getting my collection to the point where it fits on the shelves is actually feasible?
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9. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:380]
Marc Hawkins
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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 9   Pax Porfiriana x3
 9   Triumvirate
 9   BattleCON: Devastation of Indines x3
 8   Food Chain Magnate
 10   Wir sind das Volk! x2

Big week for gaming in person and online for me!

For starters, the online run of PaxPo with DJ, Martin, and Tom is running strong and is a heck of a lot of fun since they are all magnificent bastards, every one of them. The game continuously breaks into rich incentive manipulation, strawman plays, positional coercion, you name it: games often run to their full length and wins are well earned. Playing with four invites a bit of semi-cooperative play as the safety net of the winning conditions is full of holes (Topple on Diaz + two with least (insert regime point here)) -- creating new yet interesting dynamics to the game with less.

Speaking of playing with less, as boardgamecore was down last night, Tom and I caught up over a game of PaxPo as well. Very tense until the very end: Tom was leveraging money to prevent a topple on my part (buying spies, pulling topples out from beneath me) -- he almost had 70 dollars at one point! -- whereas I was pursuing a topple (while still having a respectable income). In such a money rich game, paying 16 for cards on the far end of the track was not uncommon (I even at one point paid Tom that 16 directly through his speculation, for a 32 dollar swing). It came down to a surprise topple and me having 1 dollar more than necessary to make my 3 actions count towards successfully toppling Diaz.

Needless to say, I've upped my rating from 8 to 9! I *totally* did not get what this game has to offer earlier (part of it being not fully getting the rules) -- but I also think that a big part of the charm and appeal of this game is how variable each and every game is (e.g., last game saw all of the waterworks come out, yet barely any ranches to make them worthwhile!).

Also online, I lost my next round of games in WsdV! Season 2. Eep -- I might have an empty slate coming out of this! Lesson learned: the player I was going up against rushed rounds to their conclusion in ways I have never seen before, sometimes at the expense of having neither flop. I need to learn when it is important to not let the opponent have time to (re-)build!

With
In person, I played a rousing game of Food Chain Magnate yesterday -- both players did really well, but I think what I was mentioning last week about it being a strategic still stands. With a bit more experience under my belt (3 games vs 1 vs 0), I had *some* ideas as to what I should be pursuing early game (where some of the most crucial decisions are made). This is definitely the type of game where learning might almost require taking one's lumps -- I know that I would probably get crushed by folks who have played much more than me! -- and it can be painful to eat your early game choices through the remainder of the game. One of the players made a huge late game shift to radio-marketing however and flooded the market with pizza (for which he and only he had the bonus), following a brutal price war between the other player and I in which I stayed afloat with a flotilla of waitresses (10 by end game).

I also played BattleCON for the first time in almost a year -- I had missed it! We played Magdelina vs Lesandra (best of three) and one match of Tatsumi vs Cherri. I love how the different character combinations really inflect how the match might go and what you might do in response. As Lesandra against Magdelina (a slow build-up character), I knew that I had to rush-down as hard as I could (so I would often summon the salamander for additional power, or the rune knight for additional unblockable damage), which is very different than how I would usually play her (defensively, working to make guaranteed strikes from a safe distance). This game really takes me back, a real nostalgia for 90s and early 2000s 2D fighters (Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom).

Lastly, Brooke and I put in an anniversary match of Triumvirate, which she took. We're talking about *maybe* giving another game a similar run to this one (like we've also done with Haggis).
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10. Board Game: Fuji Flush [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1819]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 25Feb2017:

38/56/104 plays of 17/26/49 total games, with 1/2/3 expansions employed.
Plays with 21/32/39 distinct opponents.

1/2/9 games acquired (plus 0/3/4 expansions.) - Lignum.
0/1/12 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/2 expansions.)
0/2/7 games ordered (plus 0/3/4 expansions.)
Orders for 2 games and 0 expansions still outstanding.

With colleagues at offsite in the mountains: (All counts minima, rather than exact this week)
8x _7⅓_ Spot it!
7x _7⅓_ Fuji Flush
4x _7⅔_ Foppen
2x _7⅓_ 海底探険 Kaitei tanken 'Deep Sea Adventure'
2x _6⅔_ Little Devils
2x _7⅓_ Winner's Circle
2x _7⅓_ Abluxxen
2x _7⅔_ Rumis (with +)
1x _7⅓_ あやつり殺人事件 Ayatsuri satsujin jiken 'Puppet Murder'
1x _7_ Bongo!
1x __ Scotland Yard (7 years dusty)
1x _7⅔_ Aargh!Tect (46 months dusty)
1x _7_ Powerboats
1x _7⅓_ 藪の中 Yabunonaka 'In a grove'
1x _8_ Codenames: Pictures

Fuji Flush was probably the star of the show. And for two reasons.
1) About a dozen folk gave it a try. (And with good success. Though playing with 6-8 people in a sitting doesn't hurt: I think it's a lot better at large player counts than smaller.)
2) It was this year's "Let's see if (mildly intoxicated) Chris can figure out the rules to a game by attempting to play it." game: an event which is now an institution at this offsite. (Last year, Chris successfully figured out the rules to Sticheln; and two years ago, he managed to suss out Little Devils.) So we managed a pretty fair cheering section for Chris' challenge.

Unfortunately, he didn't quite manage to pull off the ruleset this time around. Some of that was Marcin's bottle of Wódka Żołądkowa Gorzka (a bit more potent than Chris had though, I fear); some of that was Friedemann's new endgame rule (which he found particularly perplexing.) Dave attempted the challenge, too - with success, but he'd consumed markedly less Wódka (or anything else of that nature, for that matter.)

The other huge success (to my eye; others may of course have had a different idea: and, indeed, there were a bunch of Coup and Love Letter played while I was making bread and then helping construct the dinner to go with it. On that front: managed to make six large Italian-style rustic loaves in a not-terribly-well supplied kitchen at altitude. That was fun, too.) was Aargh!Tect. It's incredibly silly, and managed to attract a crowd of both players and gawpers.


With cool folk at BAP:
1x _7⅓_ The Colonists - Cool. Started and finished (all four ages!) in one sitting. We were a good deal faster in this game than in either of my previous attempts: only 6½-ish hours from beginning to end. I'm sure our scores weren't particularly good; but it was intriguing.
I'm still not sure why I like it. I'm currently of the delusion that it dances in the same headspace that I enjoyed when playing Lego with my brothers as a small person. It has that constructive sandbox riffing off one's co-players feel; where one could declare a "winner", but that isn't nearly as much of the point as building something interesting.

1x _7⅓_ Expedition: Northwest Passage - While Russian Railroads ground to a halt behind us, the last pair of us played this one. I find it particularly evocative: the theme and setting are lovely. It's probably not at its best with 2, though.

Owned-and-unplayed: 0 (+0/-0)
Owned-and-played-once: 93 (+1/-1) - Lignum was bought; Codenames: Pictures was played again.

Outlook for the week: Perhaps a play with the kids this week. Or the Monday Lunch group. Or even the Wednesday Gang. The usual three choir practices are still there, and there's a bit of work still to do in reassembling our master bathroom: so the time allotted to gaming might be a bit sparser than usual.
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11. Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:2389]
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Games Played

_7_ 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties x1
_7_ Carcassonne x1


The Week in Review

Carcassonne was typical, except for the fact that I won. I'm not sure it was because I played better than usual or S was too busy talking about her day at work. Either way, I'll take it.


1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties was a blow out. I'm not even sure why we didn't call it after the first hour as JS was so clearly dominating. If we were playing a game with bankruptcy, I may have brought one on myself just to end it. JR put himself down early by trying to start a non-chartered company. The advantage to these companies is that unsold shares pay into the company treasury; the disadvantage is they only have as much cash as they've sold shares. So this one company had less capital than the others, but a bit more potential to make money. Unfortunately for JR, it didn't make money fast enough.

Meanwhile, my freight company appeared decent from the start by making short runs to a port, but the longer runs weren't nearly as lucrative as what JS was doing closer to London.

So by mid-game, it was pretty clear JS was well out in front. I rushed the trains to try and knock him back, but all it did was hurt JR more. When he was forced to buy an £800 train with a company that only had just over £700, it was a bigger kick than anything the train rush did to JS.

The more I play 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties, the less I enjoy it. Partly it's due to its uniqueness in the 18xx family and partly it's due to its ahistorical outcomes. While I think the early game (with little railways springing up everywhere) is fairly historical, and so are the mergers. However, there is so much money to be made in the runs that it hardly represents the backwater that was East Anglia and how it ended with the virtual monopoly of GER.

As a matter of preference, I prefer games with low train counts, poor runs and companies having to scrap and scrimp. 18xx where a good end game run is £300 not £1300.


The Week Ahead

The only planned event for the week is a game of 1846: The Race for the Midwest. As we're introducing a new player to 18xx, we wanted something not too nasty.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: The U.S. Civil War, Tin Goose, Francis Drake, German Railways, Pax Pamir and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648.

Unplayed games not in shrink: Normandy '44, Istanbul, Mottainai, Leader 1 and Leader 1: Hell of the North.
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12. Board Game: The Pursuit of Happiness [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:661]
Nicolai Broen Thorning
Denmark
Ebeltoft
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Say what. A monthly game report from the rural parts of Denmark!

Yes, you are in luck. We actually played games this month, even 3 over the weekend with the kids. So, with V. in bed with the flu and the HGC/ GosuGamers Open Division in the background, here is a rundown of our plays for February.

  7.5   2x Village
  8.0   2x A Feast for Odin
  7.2   2x Epic Resort
  8.0   1x Orléans
  7.6   1x Jet Set
 NA 1x The Pursuit of Happiness
  7.5   1x Black Fleet
  7.0   1x Plague Inc: The Board Game

11 plays of 8 distinct games with 0 games New to Me

The Month in Review:
We began the month with me introducing V. to A Feast for Odin. I did such a good job teaching her that she crushed me in the first game. The 2nd on the same weekend was much closer, but still saw her win. I have so far won the first game I ever played of it, no more.

The following week we took a trip to France and enjoyed another play of Orléans. First play since September of last year. Surprising since we both enjoy it a great deal. We have both expansions also, so plenty of variety to come.

Speed forward, due to me catching a nasty cold and spending 10 days more or less in bed, while trying to read up for an exam (which I passed and did well on, so all good).

The weekend before the exam I felt sufficiently prepared and wanted to forget all about it for a while, so we dug out some oldies that I wanted to see if they still could entertain us.

First up Epic Resort, which I did not enjoy the first time out. I tried to sell it but failed, so obviously I decided to back the expansion on Kickstarter. We played it twice. It went faster than the first time. We were both reasonably enjoyed, so I think it might have a chance to stay in rotation.

Next up was Village, which we got very cheap with both expansions. I still enjoy this one. It flows for us and we can get into the theme enough to actually care a bit about it all. Enough to make the game work.

On the day of the exam, my gift to V. for getting through it all with me, was to play Jet Set. It is her very favourite game and we have recently received the latest expansion - Jet Set: Jumbo Jets – Expansion Set 2. We added that to the first one and had a blast. More to consider, but also more money, which was a good thing. Not that it has been a bad thing for us so far (considering we had 57 plays prior to this one), but it made for a nice change.

Over the weekend we played Black Fleet with the kids. Always a blast with a lot of good-natured thrash-talk. E. was missing 1 gold to win the game, so it went another round. She finished the game with 11 gold left over, so I had to get enough for the final card, plus beat her 11 (she was 3rd, I was 4th player), which I just managed with 13 left. I was very impressed, she took it well.

On Sunday we played The Pursuit of Happiness with M. - another game that I wanted to see if it would make a better impression 2nd time round. It did. M. did very well and the game was very, very close. We finished with 54-53-52, M. coming in 2nd to V. and me in 3rd.

In the evening, with E. back from work, we played Plague Inc.: The Board Game. Always great fun and a nice end to a great weekend.

The Weeks Ahead:
This coming weekend it the inaugural Aarhus Boardgamefestival. We are going for the entire weekend and hope to have fun. No plans, except for Sunday, when I will be playing The Republic of Rome with Morten and 4 others.

Elsewhere a presentation next week and an exam by the end of the month, one for which I have some catching up to do. Fortunately the course is still on-going, so I should be able to do it.


Finally, I am going to try and work on my collection data, like others, but still working on the format. I will blame Morten for one of them though.

Recent additions: Crisis, Hanabi, Port Royal, Trajan.
Recent sales: Sadly none...
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13. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:552]
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Red7 was on a good sale at Amazon, and it had been on my curiosity radar for a while, so I picked it up. Playing it reminded me of the sense I had when I played Khmer. I was trying to corner my opponent into a position they couldn't wriggle out of. We tried both the basic and advanced games. It didn't quite crest the hill from being work to being fun, and I've put it on the trade pile.

I'm getting a pile of dice bags ready; I hope to have an auction in two weeks that ends at the start of spring break, so we can deal with packing and shipping during that week. I'm also taking pictures in batches, so that it won't be everything at the last minute.

My auctions are US-only, but I'll always ship internationally for Phoenixes (incl. Martin). If you see anything you like, let me know and we can work something out before it goes in my auction.
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14. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1231]
John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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Well two new games added to the collection since last we spoke: Baltimore and Ohio and Paris Connection. The former sat set-up but unplayed. The latter however, was a big hit. I'll explain further in...

The Week That Was


Rating: 8
Plays: 4


Some call this the Winsome party game. If so, it is by far the best party game I've ever played. Almost every move you make gives another player an opportunity to advance themselves. You spend the majority of the game playing chicken and tempting others toward actions against their own interests. Super easy to teach, scales surprisingly well, and plays at an amazing clip. Has Paris Connection become my go-to "light" game?

We played two sessions at 3 players, and one each at 4 and 6 respectively. We actually played incorrectly the first couple of sessions: we thought the restriction was on a single color not trains total. Looking back only one person exceeded the limit in one session but the correct rules caused the session to go even faster and play more brutal. Everybody really liked it. I played with an age range of 12-45, some novices, some party gamers, and some hardcore types. Regardless they said they liked it and would play again. In fact, it got more positive reactions than...


Rating: 8
Plays: 1


So I have a love/hate relationship with Chicago Express and all the hate has to do with my group. I love playing Chicago Express mean. I'll do my best to buy stock low just to trash the company trains of the majority holder. My problem is that nobody else helps out so my actions are wasted and worse yet they (meaning other players) often help the person in the lead by running operations for them. This makes most sessions incredibly frustrating for me. It's a rollercoaster of emotions.

The funny thing is my group loves to be mean in games that model physical attacking (think war themes, Dominant Species, Star Trek, Flick'em Up etc), but for whatever reason they just don't play that way in economic or business games. Ever. This ends up turning Chicago Express into a race to get the most stocks and while the auctions remain fun the rest of the experience tends to fall flat. I still love it though I can see Paris Connection getting far more plays and perhaps even overtaking it in my own personal preference.

Edited for clarification.
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15. Board Game: Rhino Hero [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:623] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Morten K
Denmark
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A pretty slow week where only 3 games made it to the table and only one of those wasn’t a short game. Lots of work preparing for our biggest event of the year: The Niels Bohr Lectures in Cultural Psychology which we are in the middle of now. And this week will be pretty busy too with both it and getting ready for our new boardgame con here in Aarhus. 300 people have bought tickets in advance so it’s going to be interesting to see how it all works out!


 7   Scythe
I have a couple of tall stacks of sponsored games for the con and Scythe is one of them. I had an idea that Lærke might like it so I wanted to play it with her before handing it over to the con. We played with our neighbour whom we play with fortnightly. He’s an ameritrashed and strongly dislikes intricate euros so I knew this would not be his favourite game. It wasn’t but L loved it so I think I’ll need to find room on our shelves for it when it gets reprinted next month. I stand by my opinion of it when I played it at Essen before it hit KS. It’s an okay game with far too little connection between setting, theme and mechanisms. I like it much better than Terra Mystica but that doesn’t say a lot… I ended the game but L won it by a few points.



 9   Patchwork
Our first game of Patchwork this year. It seems like we are not able to get good scores anymore but instead get closer scores. L won by 2 buttons so this was her week where the week before belonged to me. And she’s taunting me for it




 8   Rhino Hero x3
Friday night we had a couple of friends over for pizza and red wine. While Lærke made pizzas we drank wine and played three rounds of Rhino Hero. After that even this game wasn’t possible!




Games that left my collection this month: Mondrian: The Dice Game, Honshu.


Games that entered my collection this month: Ponzi Scheme, Junk Art, Thebes.

Unplayed games in my collection: The Republic of Rome, Tahuantinsuyu, 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight, Automobile, Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar, Road to the Palace, Pax Renaissance, Stephenson’s Rocket, 1846, The Traders of Genoa, Ponzi Scheme, Thebes.

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16. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69]
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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Last week's plays:

|9| A Feast for Odin
-8- Seafall
-6- Russian Railroads
-5- Mint Works New!

It feels like I rarely win A Feast for Odin against Kate, but this time I managed it by a single point, despite trying an experimental strategy. I went heavily for emigration, assisted by the Scribe, Birka Settler and Patron. I ended up emigrating six times, so I didn't have to feed anyone in the final feast. I'm certain I could have improved on the plan by building houses to make use of all the spare food I had lying around but converting whaling ships into knarrs and sailing them away doesn't leave you with many Vikings for other actions.

Seafall continues to be lots of fun and I wish we could fit more sessions in. This play went pretty well for me – I found a new island, picked up a couple of exciting rewards from exploration and was able to keep a solid advisor for next game. I lost the game on tie-breakers but didn't mind too much because it meant I got to hold onto my best advisor. I'm still in the lead, but others are closing in. They've also realised that my success over the past few games has largely been down to the Enduring upgrade, and I don't think I'll be allowed to buy it next game. I value it at about +1.5 to any ship statistic for the same cost as the other upgrades which give +1 to a specific stat. It's highly luck dependent but if you roll enough dice, odds are good it will pay off. Until it doesn't...

We've reached a stage in the game where people are beginning to seriously consider raiding each other's provinces to steal things they need for their combos. Everyone has more Raid on their ships than me and the enmity rules make it hard for the leader to raid others, which I suppose is fair – players should pick on the winner, not the loser. Both of these things mean I won't be doing any province raiding any time soon, and we'll see how long I can avoid being on the receiving end of it.

Russian Railroads was on my "to sell" list for a while but when someone made me an offer for it, I suddenly felt pangs of nostalgia and didn't want to let it go. This was despite the fact that I hadn't played it for two years or so. I thought I'd better play it again to check how it was holding up. Results are inconclusive: it's fine but not amazing. I'd be happy to play it from time to time but given the number of other games competing for table time, a game I rate a 6 should probably not be taking up space in the house. I enjoy coming up with a strategy using the orange bonus tiles but I wonder how many of your moves can be planned from the outset. Are the paths to victory baked in and we just haven't played it enough to identify them all? There must be something good about this game – it's in the Top 60 and has received a few expansions (perhaps they improve the game a lot).

Then we have Mint Works, another worker placement game, as if that's a useful categorisation nowadays. Cute tin, fast play time, ultimately forgettable.
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17. Board Game: Top Speed [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:10119]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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3...2...1... could be the beginning of a race!

What are your favorite race games?

What's the fastest you have ever driven?

What is your favorite speed sport?
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18. Board Game: Lift Off [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:14929]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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"In T-minus 3...2...1...LIFT OFF!"

What are your favorite games that involves rocketry?

What games have the best "liftoff"? - and tell us what that means to you.

Have any of you been to space?
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19. Board Game: Time's Up! [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:394]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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"3...2...1...BZZZZZ!" Everyone stop!

What are your favorite games with a timer?

What are your favorite games with a speed element?

What's the funniest/tensest/most interesting counted-down moment of your life?
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20. Board Game: Hot Dog [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:12417]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Countdowns also bring to my mind events like Hot Dog eating contests and the like.



What's the most amount of something you have done in a certain amount of time. Get creative here and really try to impress us.

Or don't. It's just a question. laugh

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21. Board Game: Vast: The Crystal Caverns [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:495] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Jeremy Avery
Canada
Kamloops
BC
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Strange week for me. My only play was a 1p half-play if Vast. I was so unimpressed with it as a solo game that I immediately traded it (like, that night). I can imagine it being quite good with 4p/5p, but with a newborn, my gaming is significantly curtailed, and it's not as if I got much 4p/5p gaming in anyways. It usually 2p or 1p.

GAMES OUT
Vast: The Crystal Caverns - Probably good with 4p, but not 1p. Will not see play.
The Colonists - What variability there is is uninteresting. Long, uninteresting chains. Prefer Ora or Le Havre.
Oh My Goods! - Prefer Ora or Le Havre!
A Feast for Odin - Someone offered me $120 for it. Will rebuy.

GAMES COMING IN
Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection for Colonists. You all know I love the COIN...
Terraforming Mars for Vast. Looks right up my alley.
Dixit: Quest for Oh My Goods. A family favourite.
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