What We're Playing - April 2017
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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The idea behind these lists is to post what you're currently playing, or just played. It's interesting to see who's playing what, to see if people are playing the same things, and to ask questions that might otherwise be relegated to a forum about a game with the benefit of the responses coming from someone who has it fresh on their mind.

While there are several regular posters to this geeklist series, anyone is welcome to join in and post and discuss your games!

Here's last month's list: What We're Playing - March 2017

This Geeklist idea was created by:

jes m
United States
tulsa
Oklahoma
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The list was taken over for a long time by:

Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
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But she's busy with her podcast, so I'm taking over the time being.

A subscription Geeklist has been created for those who want to be notified of when a new list is posted: The What We're Playing Subscription List
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1. Board Game: Shadows of Brimstone: Forbidden Fortress [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:7299] [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Quite a surprise that this arrived from KS this quickly, what with the first KS still not having shipped yet.

The characters and monsters are pretty cool, with some novel mechanics, like how when the undead ninja hide you turn off the lights in the room and throw little cardboard shuriken at them to see if you can hit them.

We were, of course, able to start playing quickly as they went away from the old multi-part plastic models and switched instead to Lego minifigs. That really reduces the set up time, but they look out of place next to the old figures.

However, what I think will really set this game apart is the Google Gnome integration app. As soon as the weather gets nice enough to play outside, we'll be eagerly trying that.
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2. Board Game: The Oracle of Delphi [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:508]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Still absolutely love this euro game with an adventure theme. I won this play; its amazing that with the luck of the game, and the variety of things you can do the games so often end up very close. I was only one turn ahead of Lisa on completing my goals.

I started with the ship that lets you take an Equipment card, and took the equipment that lets you spend 3 favor to take an action of choice (once per turn). This was a very nice bonus throughout the game, and I worked hard to gain a lot of favor to turn into actions.

Fantastic game!
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3. Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:24]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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Hard mode continues!

We played missions 7 and 8. We thought for sure we were going to lose mission 7, as the thing we had to defend took a LOT of damage early, but somehow we kept it from ever taking that last point!

Mission 8 we found absolutely hellish on normal mode, but, as I mentioned last month, we discovered that there's a missing rule. Playing on hard with that rule included was MUCH easier. We had one really perilous turn, but otherwise a pretty easy win. Almost done with hard mode!
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4. Board Game: Steampunk Rally [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:419]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Still finding this card-drafting race game entertaining. Some major back and forth during this race; I managed a big come-from-behind win, almost totally wrecking my machine to dash across the finish line, except for one rocket engine that I used to get barely ahead on the last turn.
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5. Board Game: Eight Epics [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:5183]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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A minimalist die-rolling co-op. Last time we'd been playing, we'd found it a bit too brutal and added a houserule to make it a bit easier and add more control, but this time it seemed too easy. Hmmm.
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6. Board Game: Rum & Pirates [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1926]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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One of Feld's lightest games. A light-hearted game of trying to collect various scoring tiles. Lisa is always fond of going for lots of romantic rendezvouses - she got five in this play. (And won by a large margin!)

Easy and fast to play, very entertaining. But quite light.
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7. Board Game: Heldentaufe [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:4003]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played another game of this cute light adventure. It can get awfully nasty when people start stealing the monsters you worked on beating, or attacking you in the underground. Quick and fun though.
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8. Board Game: Dicenstein [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:8784]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Just arrived from KS. Love the concept - building a monster out of parts and sending it to wander around the graveyard gathering more parts and fighting the other monsters, but found the game rather 'meh'. It isn't bad, but its just not every exciting. Too fiddly maybe? Tempted to make some house rules for it, but for the moment its going up for trade.
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9. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:364]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Hadn't played this in a long time - as I mentioned, I'm kind of wanting to play a lot of my co-ops.

I had the Paladin and the Thief. Lisa had the Cleric and the Adventurer. We defeated all the generals and won the day.

This is an OK game, but just hasn't held up well. It feels clunky; a lot of effort for a game that consists of a lot of mucking around waiting to draw more cards.
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10. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Played a random set. We took a beating in the mid-game, but recovered and defeated the alien. Tense and exciting game, though it feels hard to really get a good deck going.
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11. Board Game: North Wind [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2822]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Discovered that after having this for quite a while, we have been playing a rule wrong all this time! We were taught that a contract could not be spent to take the exact same action as the main player, which you actually can do. Playing correctly opens the game up a lot!
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12. Board Game: Heldentaufe [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:4003]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Had some friends over for games on Saturday! One player was a bit late, so we played a quick game of Heldentaufe while we waited for her to arrive. I went into the dungeon early and was extremely successful, catapulting me to a win.
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13. Board Game: The Oracle of Delphi [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:508]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We then played a four player game of Oracle of Delphi. There was a lot of angry threats of revenge - people kept snatching cubes or statue spaces from under the nose of other players! Most of the players went for high shield values. I was the one who didn't, and I got a pretty solid win.
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14. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:421]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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Played two games of this, first with one quest, then with two quests. We made it out in the nick of time in both games, despite most of the players losing a die in the first round on the second game.
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15. Board Game: La Boca [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1026]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Speedy puzzle solving! We had really high average scores this game, except for the last round when Lisa and I were teamed up together and managed to completely fail to solve our puzzle. This put me in a very solid last place, but Lisa still tied for first!
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16. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:222] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I was very happy that people agree to a game of Cthulhu Wars! I had the Yellow Sign, and was pretty badly torn up in early fights with Lisa's Crawling Chaos. She got a really solid point lead, to where we all thoroughly attacked Lisa and knocked her down to where she had no gates at all. This led to a hard debate for her that doom phase - it turns out she was just 2 points short of winning. She could cast a ritual and draw a single sign (valued 1-3). If she drew a 1, she would have almost no power and would almost certainly lose. If she drew a 2 or 3, she would win immediately. She went for the draw and won the game with a 2!
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17. Board Game: Aeon's End [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:179] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We finished off with a game of Aeon's End. We started off getting pretty clobbered, but were powering up and making a strong comeback when the Nemesis got 3 turns in a row with a series of nasty cards came up - we went from the Carapace Queen having no husks in play to triggering her 13+ husk instant-death power without us getting a turn.

The next day, Lisa and I went for a 2 player rematch and defeated her!
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18. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:700] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Using this fun and simple solo variant with the optional rule that Villains who attack, do so every round until they leave the line-up:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101516/dc-dbg-bgg-soli...



April 9, 2017
I decided to play using a few of the (non-Crisis) Heroes, but not the deck cards, from the Crisis Expansion Pack 1:

d10-5 I chose Green Arrow.
Green Arrow's ability was pretty useful for the first part of the game, and then I had enough good cards to do well, anyway.

I defeated all 8 Super-Villains - The heroes stopped the scheme and captured all the conspirators.

120 Points - Minimal to no major damage to the cities. Minimal casualties. Heroes earned a greater trust and respect of the citizens, media, and government.


d10-6 I chose Zatanna Zatara.
I ran out of time and only defeated 5 Super-Villains - The Super-Villains' plan didn't succeed but didn't fail. The key conspirators got away and will be back to challenge the heroes again.

53 Points - Cities are badly damaged from the battles. Casualties are high and a few low level heroes are looking for lost loved ones. The public has lost faith in super-heroes and are calling for a change in policy.


d10-7 I chose Animal Man.
Captain Cold stopped him cold until he ran out of time!

Only 2 Super-Villains were defeated - Key points of the Super-Villains' master plan succeeded but not every detail.

52 Points - Cities are badly damaged from the battles. Casualties are high and a few low level heroes are looking for lost loved ones. The public has lost faith in super-heroes and are calling for a change in policy.


d10-8 I chose Robin.
Ran out of time.

6 Super-Villains were defeated - The key points of the Super-Villain's master plan failed although some details succeeded laying the ground work for the return of the true mastermind of the plot.


68 Points - Severe damage has hit several large cities. Casualties have been lessened by the publicly recognized action of the heroes. The rebuilding process has begun and the public is thankful but hesitant to trust these heroes.



April 12, 2017
d10-9 I chose Black Lightning (Promo card)
Black Lightning's ability was useful early on, but less useful as I destroyed my Starter cards.

I defeated all 8 Super-Villains - The heroes stopped the scheme and captured all the conspirators.

108 Points - Minimal to no major damage to the cities. Minimal casualties. Heroes earned a greater trust and respect of the citizens, media, and government.


d10-1d10-0 I chose Skitter (Promo card)
It was amazingly difficult to get 4 different cards in my hand of cost 1, 2, o3 3, even later in the game (because then many of my cards were worth more or were duplicates), so I only got to use her ability twice.

I defeated all 8 Super-Villains - The heroes stopped the scheme and captured all the conspirators.

95 Points - Minimal to no major damage to the cities. Minimal casualties. Heroes earned a greater trust and respect of the citizens, media, and government.
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19. Board Game: Circus Maximus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1587]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fri, Mar 31

(I'm cheating a little bit - I got behind on my March plays, but this one was at the first night of a 3 day mini-convention so I'll include it in the April list)

For the first weekend of April, we went to Vancouver for Trumpeter Salute. This is primarily a tabletop minis event, with a few tables of boardgames and RPGs. We were attending primarily for Sunday's event, but decided to go the whole weekend so Darin could get some Battletech in. I don't know if I've ever walked into a gaming event with so few women present...it was a bit weird.

Friday night, we ended up playing in a massive game of Circus Maximus. There were probably 12-15 people playing, of varying experience. The game itself was pretty fun. I managed to whip Darin's driver while his chariot was next to the wall. A very lucky series of rolls then led to his chariot flipping and tossing the driver. devil

What was off-putting was that the guy running it, and a few other experienced players, were racing with their upgraded horses and carts. This is a campaign game, and money earned in races (there's always a minimum purse) can be used to buy upgraded stuff. So a few players had carts that were more likely to cause damage than take damage if attacked, or horses that were far outpacing all the normal starting horses, and so on. It was a bit frustrating that attacking a more experienced player's chariot would often do nothing or be bad for you.

I'd be interested in trying this again, with players all on a more even footing. It doesn't have to be exactly equal footing, but a smaller discrepancy in horses/carts would be nice.
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20. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Sat Apr 1 & Sun Apr 2

We were staying with our friend Channing while in Vancouver. He's the same Hanabi-loving friend that recently visited us for LANtasy. So we played a number of games of this over the weekend. Darin, Channing and I even got a perfect game at one point.
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21. Board Game: Looterz [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:3926]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Sat, Apr 1

In one of the door prizes, a boy (13ish?) sitting next to me won this. We immediately played a few rounds.

This is a fun little filler game, in which everyone in sending looters into a recently vacated dragon hoard. You're trying to collect the most loot (first to X loot wins immediately).

Your turn consists of 4 phases: recruit, activate, recruit, sacrifice. The recruit phases let you play a looter in front of you or draw a new one from the deck into your hand. The activate phase is where you can look for loot, attack another looter, or use a special activate ability on your looters. You do this once for each looter you have in play. The sacrifice phase just makes you discard down to 3 looters in play (this rarely came up).

I think I played 3 times (one 2 player, two 3 player), and won once. I think each of us won once.
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22. RPG: Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition) [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:86]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Sat, Apr 1

I spent the Saturday afternoon playing 1st edition Dungeons and Dragons. The GM's dad had passed on a massive collection of D&D books to him, so he still plays 1e. He also had a bunch of fancy terrain to help us out.

Our initial party included:
fighter (barbarian)* - me
fighter (ranged)*
fighter (magic armor)
fighter (magic sword)
thief
wizard
cleric
NPC Paladin - our teacher, basically there to grade us, and step in only if needed.

* 1e doesn't have rangers, barbarians, etc, just fighters. These were pre-built to look like a ranger and a barbarian.

We were a group of rangers-in-training (or militia? I can't remember - basically training to be the heroes called in to deal with disturbances) sent to deal with some unusual goblin raids. These raids seemed far too organized and targeted to be the work of goblins alone. The next target was figured to be a water mill, so that's where we went and waited. We had a couple days to lay down some traps and build a hide for our ranged shooters.

The goblins came in fancy boats (one turned out to be a submarine!) and we dispatched them relatively easily. Hitting the boat full of explosives with a fire arrow was pretty helpful.

(at this point, the sword & armor fighters and the thief left)

We managed to take the boat-turned-submarine, which included a fancy magical map that showed the current state of everything - it even showed the traps we built. We used it to locate a really old castle that no one knew about. It seemed the most logical place for our mastermind to be. So we followed the river in our sub to a heavily fortified castle ruin - goblins on all the ramparts and towers. We took the sub down and found their sub docking area, complete with air bubbles. We figured this had to be an easier way in, so disembarked there. The door going up was a Mimic, but we dispatched that easily.

We followed a long tunnel into the goblins main living area, which was dark and smokey and difficult to see in. We took a quick left into the office shown on the map, and there encountered a Lich. My fighter was quickly turned undead via magic item, but the cleric was able to 'turn' me, making me a non-factor. He and the wizard managed to dispose of the Lich while I cowered in a corner and the ranger watched their backs. I was returned to life (the magic item resurrected & turned me, and removing the item left me as normal), and I destroyed the Lich's phylactery.

It was a fun session! I did a lot of smashing things with my giant axe.
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23. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:430]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Sat, Apr 1

I spent Saturday evening playing Formula D. This was my first time playing, and we had 8 players. One player twice got out to a huge lead, only to be reigned in in the same set of corners. Channing and I both caught him, and I narrowly edged him out for second place. Channing won by a fair margin. I think 5 of us finished the race, with 3 crashing out.

This was fun, and I'd definitely play again. I think this is a game that would benefit from an extra large version, with, say, hot wheels sized cars. I wasn't a huge fan of how small the cars were.
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24. RPG: Watch the Skies [Average Rating:8.75 Unranked]
Adria D
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Sun, Apr 1

The reason we went to Vancouver: Megagame!


This was - as always - a blast. We, the aliens, were successful in completing our objective and plunging Earth into global anarchy.

My favorite moment was giving a nation we were working with a huge thing that looked scary - looked like a terraformer or a generator or something, and it went on the war map for everyone to see. We told Brazil it was a shield to protect them from nukes, but would take some time to fully activate. Everyone else saw it and went WTF (they were not privvy to our communication with Brazil) and Russia immediately nuked it. Which is what we wanted - Russia was already posturing for war with Brazil and we want to tip things into war. The thing that went on the map? Completely innocuous. It was basically an art installation.

Post-game, my husband walked by Brazil's table and overheard "That thing was supposed to be a shield to protect us from nukes" followed by "it was a pretty crappy shield." He then told them it wasn't actually a shield. laugh

Channing ended up as the UK's Deputy Head of State. Their military leader ended up running drugs and guns through Africa and setting up a protection racket in the Suez Canal, netting the UK quite a tidy profit despite the Military Leader lining his pockets. On the last turn, the UK's income was equal to that of the next 3 or 4 nations combined. Once Earth plunged into anarchy, the UK was rather well positioned to survive, with their cartel already in place.

The next megagame will be Urban Nightmare - zombie plague instead of alien contact. Should be interesting.
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25. Board Game: Codenames: Pictures [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:202] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Adria D
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Sun, Apr 2

After the megagame, we went to Stormcrow Alehouse (a wonderfully nerdy pub) for some food and lighter games. This was Darin and I, the friends we stayed with, and a few of the megagame control people (including the two alien control team members).

First thing we did was get a round of random shots - roll a d20 and consult the chart to see what you get. I was lucky, and got a Sonic Screwdriver (mandarin vodka & OK). Jaime was not so lucky, rolling a 2 and ending up with The King in Yellow: banana liqueur and Crown Royal Rye.

(If you're bored and want a bit of entertainment, look up their website and check out their food and cocktail menus. They're entertaining reads. I think my favorite thing is that the Hoth Fudge Sundae comes with a collectible sticker )


We played a few rounds of Codenames Pictures. This was my first time playing this version, and it was interesting. Still just as awkward to come up with clues as in the regular version.
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