What Did You Play This Week? April 10-16, 2017
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? - Edition 416


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1. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:55]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Another light week of gaming due to my work week and Saturday running plans...

Tuesday
1x - Amerigo - mb

We ran fairly even until the last round when I scored a 33 point building turn that separated me as the victor.

Thursday
1x - La Granja - mb

It was a close scoring game from the opening round with my wife securing the victory in the end. She was a bit surprised and felt it was a rewarding and mentally stimulating game... which is always good to hear as it means we'll play it again soon.

Sunday
1x - Five Tribes - mb


After church the girls went down for naps and my BIL and I hung out and played a 2p game of Five Tribes which he gifted us for Christmas. It took a few minutes to refresh our memory from our play at that time and then got to it. I was amassing Viziers and Elders the first few rounds while grabbing cards via Merchants. My BIL was claiming tiles and working the Builders as we both called upon our share of Assassins. I was collecting quite a few cards which made him nervous but he wrestled away the Elders majority, had more coins and kept the cards scoring closer than either of us expected to finish with a rare tie. I guess we'll have to get together and play again soon!


Not a whole lot of gaming, but that which I did manage were quality games counting towards my 10x10 list. I worked long hours during the week and on Saturday my oldest daughter and I ran a 10K trail race in preparation for our upcoming Tough Mudder.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 53/100
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2. Board Game: Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1069] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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The Holy Week holidays leads to several days of gaming!

Tuesday

Robert travels south in order to meet me for some gaming, this time at the FLGS.

Five Tribes = 1 Play

With us at the store we took advantage to start the afternoon by playing one of the favourites of the gals. It was a great game with everyone (except me) competitive but the game was decided but Robert maximizing his Djinn’s ability to place castles at his owned castle location to edge out the win.


Robert 154 (VP 39 Elders 36 Djinn 6 Trees 6 Castles 35 Tiles 32) Rose 143 (VP 48 Elders 14 Viziers 2 Djinn 14 Tiles 22 Cards 43) Marie 138 (VP 40 Elders 25 Viziers 8 Castles 10 Tiles 33 Cards 22) Me 98 (VP 18 Viziers 6 Trees 12 Castles 5 Tiles 36 Cards 21).

Rum & Bones = 1 Play (NEW)

Robert then taught me how to play this cool PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN themed game. I used the undead pirates and selected the Captain (Captain Albrecht), the Quartermaster (Patchwork Porter), and a Swashbuckler (The Spectre) while Robert also used his Captain (Daniel Pale), a Swashbuckler (Crazy Ivan), and a Brute (Stumper Pete) as his heroes. Basically in this game you have 4 activations (1 for each hero and 1 for the entire crew) wherein you can move and trigger the special abilities of the heroes, with the more powerful hero abilities triggered usually by gold with some being constant abilities. The crew activation allows you to respawn crew in each of the 3 spawn points after which they all move 1 square forward and can attack an adjacent square. Each ship has also 5 VP locations which you can destroy which gives you VP as well a special ability. Each player also has his own deck from which he draws a hand of 3 cards. He refills his hand whenever a card is used and the cards (as expected) have funky abilities. The catch here is that many cards have the hydra symbol and the total number of hydra symbols played by both players is the number you have to roll equal to or below at the end of every round in order to summon the hydra, which can cause a lot of complications to the player who has played the most hydra cards. There is also a card which summons a sea monster which replaces a plank and all in all you get a chaotic situation on deck as players not only try to attack each other and break through to the objectives in order to gain VP and gold but have to deal with these dangers as well. Killing other heroes also gives VP and gold while killing crew gives gold. I found the game to be quite fun and very tactical as not only do you try to think how to maximize your powerful heroes, but also how to use your crew as I find them to be a powerful “swarm” element in this game. I used my crew quite well versus Robert as they did a lot of damage, but Robert used his heroes better as his Brute managed to swing his way besides my damaged cannon (despite slipping off deck earlier) and finished it off to win the game. Robert also managed to kill off the Sea Monster and the Hydra arrived too late to influence things and it was just as well as we took 2 hours to finish the game. Great fun though I would play it again.


Robert maximizes his heroes for the win despite me undead outswarming him. Robert 8 Me 5.

Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles = 1 Play

Our current favorite tactical ww2 game was brought out next. It was time to move beyond the training missions and I selected mission 3 from the Extra Missions pack which I managed to get together with the Band of Brothers: Texas Arrows kickstarter bundle pack. Here paratroopers from the US 82nd airborne division must try to hold back the German Infantry (supported by artillery and 2 self propelled guns) from capturing stone buildings while waiting for Infantry and Armor reinforcements which appear mid and late game respectively.

The first half of the game had the Germans advance VERY cautiously through the hedgerows as my concealed speedbumps did the trick in delaying them as my units made a withdrawal towards the town. My 2 reinforcing squads managed to make it to the center of the town and they reinforced the large building on the right where the Germans managed to grab a toehold in a couple of hexes while the rest of them used the hedgerow to form a firebase. The German artillery was atrocious as all but a couple of proficiency attempts were failed but the last fire mission was successful in reducing a couple of my squads. I was very hopeful that my 3 reinforcing tanks would make the difference versus the Germans holed up in my building as I wanted to use them to support the 2 reinforcing squads in recapturing that objective. It turned out that my tankers could do nothing right as they shot all duds and 2 of them got knocked out by a Hetzer and a Panzerfaust. I did manage to eliminate a German squad in melee but Robert then counterattacked and cut down those squads in hand to hand and I totally lost that building. The German firebase in the hedgerows also rained deadly fire on my squads on the opposite side of the map and they also managed to gain a toehold into another building as the scenario ended in a lopsided loss for my paratroopers.


Robert decimates (8 casualties to his 1!) and pushes my paratroopers off a couple of stone buildings for the decisive win as my tanks shoot duds!


Closer view of the board situation at the end of the game.

Robert thus manages to sweep all the games that day!

Wednesday

I visit the Celino household after managing to get a in a game with my son Shawn.

Potion Explosion = 3 Plays

Shawn wanted to try this out in the afternoon. This is shaping to be another gateway classic as it is really easy to teach. My experience in going for the more valuable potions was the key to my win as I simply outscored Shawn in this area for the win.


Me 67 (1st Potions 63 Skills 8 Professor -4) Shawn (Potions 46 Skills 8 Professor -2)

The other 2 plays were right after our play of Eclipse with Kent and Keith. Kent proved especially astute that evening in triggering explosions and won twice.



Game 1: Kent 74 (Potions 64 Skills 12 Professor -2) Me 71 (1st Potions 63 Skills 12 Professor -4) Keith 49 (Potions 43 Skills 8 Professor -2)
Game 2: Kent 82 (Potions 72 Skills 12 Professor -2) Me 68 (1st Potions 68 Skills 8 Professor -8) Keith 47 (Potions 41 Skills 8 Professor -2)

Eclipse + Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift = 1 Play (OUT OF THE DUST) (NEW)

This was the main event of the evening as the last play of this was late in 2015. This was the first play using the Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift expansion and what I did as to make the 3 races there plus 2 of the lesser used races from Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients (Exiles and Lyrans) as the only ones available for us to choose from. I used the mutable Octantis since I wanted to try out the Evolutions while Keith used the single resource Pyxis and Kent the Exiles whose Orbitals are also basically Starbases besides giving VP. We also used the Ancient homeworlds plus the Upgraded GCDS option as well. With just 3 players we ended up battling the Ancients rather than each other but despite that there was combat aplenty as the Ancients proved to be tough opponents (ie good rolls). Kent and Keith formed diplomatic relations and I managed to wall off my area versus both guys although I was lucky that no one bothered to research anything that could travel through half wormholes. In any case the last turn had Kent make a grab for the center successfully while I made a 2 pronged thrust towards 2 Ancient homeworlds of which 1 was successful while the other had my cruiser blown apart by a lucky missile hit. That failure to conquer that system proved to be my undoing since I ended up just 2 points short of Kent although I was way ahead of Keith who was restricted by poor tile draws and eventually his diplomatic relations with Kent.


Kent 44 (red Exiles Rep 8 Hex 18 Discoveries 4 Ambassador 1 Tech 10 Bonus 3) Me (purple Octantis Vanguard Rep 13 Hex 16 Discoveries 4 Ancients 1 Tech 2 Monoliths 6) Keith (blue Pyxis Unity 29 Rep 7 Hex 14 Discoveries 6 Ancients 1 Ambassadors 1)

This time it was Kent who managed a clean sweep that night!

Thursday

More gaming in the Celino household, with Karl also joining us.

Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia = 2 Plays

With the 3 brothers complete I introduce the standard competitive mode of this new dungeon crawler from Cool Mini Or Not. The most common complaints I have read in the forums is that there is too much "take that" elements here similar to Munchkin, but for these guys the game was a great hit so much so that Karl insisted on another play immediately despite coming in last!


Game 1: Keith's Assassin Raffi comes up with the runaway victory despite all our attempts to hinder him! Game 1: Keith (Raffi) 19 Me (Grenouille 1st) 15 Kent (Greybark) 10 Karl (Toghor) 8


Game 2: This time Keith's cleric Thereon and my rogue Mika ended up tied for first place. Karl got tied up near a large room besides respawn points although we later found out that we made a mistake since we went over the room capacity which was Karl got really bogged down. He took it well though which promises a rematch in the future! Game 2: Me (Mika) 17 Keith (Thereon) 17 Kent (Makumba) 11 Karl (Valerie 1st) 7

Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark = 1 Play (NEW)

I had just picked this up in an impulse buy at the FLGS during my games with Robert. I felt this would be a good way to close the night as it is also a game about dice management and manipulation. After some slight difficulty in explaining the mechanics we just got on with it and after a few rounds everyone managed to get it. The game is interesting since it shares the same theme as Lewis & Clark and I liked the historical element of that game. In this one you are also exploring but the discovery element aspect is also included since you are also trying to chronicle the different species you have discovered as well as travelling on rivers and mountains. In addition, knowledge gained from Indians also is a big factor in this game. Mechanics wise this theme is modeled with the use of dice. Unlike most other dice games though there are no rerolls in this game until you retrieve your dice, and you will have to do so at some time since many actions will cause your dice to be lost to the board. You are only allowed to use as many dice of a single symbol per turn and those symbols either help in travelling (footsteps and horseshoes), journal (letter A, which triggers travel actions with the prerequisite type of dice placed already), and get new Indian cards and neutral dice (Indian head). Other actions which can be done are to swap the expedition card on your board with those on the display as well as manipulate the faces of your rolled dice, which is important as it is your primary way of luck mitigation. Retrieval of dice is also interesting as you can retrieve ALL the used discarded dice (even your opponent's and neutral Indian dice) from 1 of 2 areas on the board, although 1 other form of retrieval is to retrieve ONLY dice of your color wherever they are (except in your stock), which could be a bummer if another player had that dice as a prerequisite for a future travel action. Retrieved dice are then rolled and the cycle begins anew.

Getting new Indian cards is very useful since they give you more efficient travelling actions as well as special abilities which should help the players fulfill the expedition cards in order to gain points and symbols (the bigger the set of different symbols the more points). Many cards also have tepee symbols and players are rewarded for having the most symbols at the end of the game.

The flow of the game is quite good and smooth once you get it and turns are pretty quick except for the inevitable AP as you decide what dice and actions to use. One factor for this is that you are actually allowed to complete the expedition card on your board AND 1 card on the display as part of combined journey from triggered travel actions in the same turn. This gives you an extra action so some AP does occur as players strive to see if they can do so during their turn.


Karl’s discovery of more new species was the key to his win! Karl 59 (Cartography 28 Species 23 Indians 8) Me 57 (1st Cartography 30 Species 15 Indians 12) Keith 42 (Cartography 27 Species 11 Indians 4) Kent 27 (Cartography 12 Species 15

A smart game which I hope has staying power and I expect it to get more plays than its predecessor as it plays faster.

Friday

Good Friday had me visit Enrique's house for more gaming.

Warhammer: Diskwars + Warhammer: Diskwars – Hammer and Hold + Warhammer: Diskwars – Legions of Darkness = 2 Plays (OUT OF THE DUST) (NEW)

Enrique had been requesting me to teach him how to play this so Friday was the time it was brought out of the dust for play. It was also the first time for the 2 expansions to be used even though these have been with me for quite a while. Despite the setup time gameplay was very quick so we got in 2 plays that afternoon.


Game 1: Enrique used the Chaos faction while I tried out the Dwarfs. The game was very short as his units were mostly light ones which he then overextended leaving them vulnerable to dwarf shooting from the war machines. A lot of disks were also not too tough (marauders and daemonettes) and they could not deal with the very tough dwarfs especially when the Dwarf Queen gave them Swift as she was nearby. The Gyrocopter and Dwarf Cannon were later lost as well as a Dwarven Warrior unit and the Dwaf Queen, but her sacrifice was not in vain as the entire Chaos force except the Hellcannon were blown to smithereens or chopped down by the hardy Dwarfs.

With a game under our belts we then proceeded to the next one This time I used the High Elves while Enrique used the undead Vampire Counts.


Game 2 My High Elf setup. My deployment zone allowed me to setup everything on the board.


Game 2 The Vampire Count setup, with the Zombie Dragon in reserve.


Game 2 Battle is joined early! My Silver Helms eliminate the Undead Wolf vanguard but this made them a target as the Undead units pile in on it, and my response triggered more responses until this scrum was made!


Game 2 Closeup of the vital battle as Count Mannfred Von Carstein battles Prince Tyrion!


Game 2 Victory as Elven magic carries the day! In nutshell the Shield of Saphery cast by my Mage made my Silver Helms very tough although they got killed by the Zombie Dragon later. The Mage then managed to buff Tyrion as well as wound Mannfred Von Carstein though magic before dying. Tyrion's brother Teclis then took over the casting role and his support helped Tyrion overcome the dread Vampire Count. A Grave Guard disc did manage to reach my missile units on a hill and got to kill 2 of them before being blown away, and in fact the rest of the army became fodder especially when the necromancer Heinrich Kemmler also was shot into the ground.

Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark = 1 Play

I then teach this to Enrique, where my negotiations with Indians gave me a ton of help (and the lead in tepees) and I managed to fulfill more expedition cards for the win.


My explorer befriends more tribes which greatly assist his exploration abilities for the win! Me 70 (1st Cartography 43 Species 15 Indians 12) Enrique 49 (Cartography 19 Species 24 Indians 6)

Saturday

The weekend was family gaming time with the boys.

= Flash Point: Fire Rescue Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Urban Structures = 2 Plays (NEW)

A couple of games using the map and Structural Engineer (used by Shawn) for the first time from the Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Urban Structures expansion. Sherwin used the Generalist while I was the CAFS Firefighter. We found out that the Structural Engineer was extremely limited by the need to have clear adjacent hexes in order to repair damage as well as his inability to put out fires. He became separated and then trapped by the fires which made him useless and the game was soon over when the building collapsed.


Game 1: A very quick game as Shawn’s Structural Engineer is shut in by fires alone rendering his useless and trapped as the building collapses around him.

The second game had Shawn use the Fire Captain while Sherwin and I used the same roles. The Fire Captain's ability to move other Firemen during his turn proved to be very useful in placing the Generalist and CAFS firefighter into better position to do their jobs and we managed to rescue 5 victims. However, many of the POI chips were false alarms and that meant 2 of the remaining victims whom we needed to rescue were locked in the small rooms with flimsy walls. We could chop down the walls but the only problem was that we had run out of damage cubes and thus would lose if we chop the wall. In any case an explosion sealed the deal as the house came crashing down again.


Game 2: A much closer game but the result is the same as the building also collapses.

Sunday

More games, this time with Shawn only.

Potion Explosion = 1 Play

Another play of this, with the same result!


Shawn does better this time but my completion of more potions was the reason for my win. Me 88 (Potions 80 Skills 12 Professor -4) Shawn 76 (1st Potions 66 Skills 12 Professor -2).

Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia = 1 Play

This time we try an Alliance game with Shawn using Greybark the Druid and me using Johan from Arcadia Quest since I have the Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia – Arcadia Crossover Kit. Shawn and I managed to fully level up when we found the Throne room and then it was a battle for survival versus the monsters Malaphyas was spawning. Shawn was able to use a Treasure card to dispel the monsters in the entrance room which opened the way for Johan to attack Malaphyas and flip him to his enraged side. Johan was in real danger of losing all his HPs which would make us lose but Treasure cards saved the day as we finally defeated the boss with me with 1 life and Shawn's Greybark with just 2.


The alliance game between my Johan and Shawn’s Greybark results in a close win by turn 19 although as heroes are brought down to dangerously low levels.


Closeup of the throne room
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:49]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Tuesday


A brief lunchtime game of Hostage Negotiator on Tuesday saw me pitted against Arkayne Massua once more. Things got off to a tricky start as I lost a couple of hostages early on, but I was able to calm him down and reduce his threat level to the minimum which allowed around three captives to get away. Unfortunately Massua then started to lose his cool and the threat level became critical, and that just tipped the balance of the game, meaning that while I once more saved more than half the hostages, Massua managed to flee. I was left with the feeling that he will be back!

Wednesday


Having played an awful lot of Jump Drive recently it was time to get its big brother back to the table, so we settled down on Wednesday evening for a best-of-three session of Race for the Galaxy. Would our opinions of it have changed after the time spent with its younger sibling? Would we (whisper it!) now find the game surplus to requirements? I needn't have worried, for both inhabit their own slots in our collection, and playing Jump Drive has only served to reinforce that Race For The Galaxy is very much more the widescreen version compared to the new release. If anything, I enjoyed Race even more coming back to it. As usual we played with the Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts thrown into the mix, and the first round was one of those where our engines were up and running in fairly short order - I made good use of the Diversified Economy, while KT built hp her military (which she likes to do), and she won 46-37. The second round was one of those really slow plays where nothing really comes together and you just have to eke out as many points as you can. KT's ekeing (eking?) was better than mine and she won 20-16 to take the series. We played out the third round anyway, and here I was able to get my military force up and running fairly early and go rummaging in the deck for some decent planets to invade, sorry, settle. I had a couple of good draws, but had been totally out of luck in the previous game meaning that it just about balanced out, and ran out to win 40-30, even if KT had taken the series 2-1. Still an awesome game.

For the rest of the week I ran into a busy patch, and the only day KT and I got to spend together was Saturday when we decided to run away to Bath, so that was it for the week.

Happy gaming!
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4. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:19]
Evan Scussel
United States
Longwood
FL
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 7.2   Viticulture Essential Edition NEW!
 6.5   Tuscany Essential Edition NEW!

I got a chance to play Viticulture:EE with the Tuscany:EE expansion this week at my weekly gaming meetup. I have been looking forward to this play for a long time as I love worker placement games and I was interested in the winemaking theme. However, this game left me very disappointed after a very promising start. Viticulture has so much going for it. The art is great. The components are stellar. The theme is super cool. After the first hour or so, I thought I was going to really love it. But as I played it more, I noticed something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but then it hit me. In all my games, but especially in my worker placement games, I crave tension. I need to feel like I am about to make a move that I prey none of my competitors see coming. Or, I am hanging on the edge of my seat saying to myself..."Please don't go on that spot (or take that card, or do that action, etc.). After 60 minutes of Viticulture, I realized I wasn't feeling that tension all that much. I began to wonder why that was. Then I realized, it's the grande worker. The grande worker lets you take any action on the board in any season, even if all the spots are taken. That KILLS this game for me. Knowing that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want removes that tension from the game. Yes, you can only do this once per year and yes, you need to plan your moves in advance, but that grande worker mechanic just kills the game for me. I still enjoyed my play and will play it again if it's suggested, but I can't see myself ever buying this game. There's just not enough of what I enjoy in this box.

I'm also indifferent on the expansion. The bigger board is a huge improvement over the original board and I like that you have to make decisions in the spring and fall seasons. However, the area control mechanism feels completely tacked on and unnecessary. I would be just as happy playing V:EE without this expansion. It's a take it or leave it thing for me. I hear that Tuscany improves some of the card play in the base game, but never having played the base game, I can only speculate how much the expansion improves that aspect of the game.

]


 8.5   Rococo

Got this back to the table this week after debuting it last week, this time with a totally different gaming group, however. I'm dropping my rating slightly after a second play. I still think the game is awesome and I'm still very interested in incorporating the Jewelry Box expansion in future plays. But after just two plays, I believe there is a most efficient way to victory and the game will really only shine if four very experienced players are playing it. The fact that the card deck comes out in essentially the same order each game exacerbates this as seasoned players can plan for what will come out. At first glance, it appears as if the area control aspect is the be all, end all of scoring, but in reality, area control may give you less than 25% of your total points and diversifying your outfits by both room, type and color is far more important (assuming you can claim decorations in the statue and terrace areas). In the end, I still love this game and will play it anytime, but I can't place it among the very best as it is not as dynamic from play to play as I would like. Replay ability could be an issue after a half dozen plays or so.



 7.3   Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition)

Funny thing about Mission: Red Planet. I play this game totally different than my wife plays it. When I play M:RP, I look at the cards and I say, “I can blow up a couple different astronauts with this card. Cool. I’m gonna play that one”. I give minimal consideration to the game state or who is in what areas, or whatever. I just go with the flow. I usually don’t go through my entire deck to see all my options either. However, my wife gets a fair amount of AP in this game (and others!), but she will formulate a huge strategy and really think about every card played in every situation. She looks at what other players have played and analyzes the board and who has control of what area, RELIGIOUSLY. To me, I have no problem doing that in a high strategy game, but that takes the fun out of a lighter game like this. However, as fate would have it, I have played this game three times and never even come close to winning, yet my wife has played it twice and won both times easily. So, to each their own. At least this defeats my “there is no strategy in this game because you can’t predict what your opponents will play” theory.



 8   Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary

Played this with my seven-year old son Hunter and lost miserably. We played with the 1910 expansion and I kept four route tickets right from the start. He inadvertently blocked me early in the game (I think it was inadvertent) and then purposefully blocked me later on. I lost -32 points in unfulfilled route cards and got destroyed, 87-47. This was the first time I had ever played TtR with just two players and I liked it quite a bit. The board tightens up considerably if you can only use one half of the dual sided routes.



 7.4   Onirim (second edition) x2

I messed around a LOT with the Onirim iOS app this weekend. I must say, it is EXCELLENT and completely kills the card game for me. In the physical version, I give this a score in the low 6’s due to all the shuffling and hunting through the deck for the door cards when putting three in a row together. But the app takes care of all that for you. It’s quick, easy to pick up, and a fantastic rendition of the physical game. Highly recommended as a time killer and light filler when waiting for a doctor’s appointment or when sitting on a plane.
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5. Board Game: Deadball [Average Rating:8.57 Overall Rank:5298]
Drew
United States
Dallas
Georgia
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We began packing last week for our move at the end of the month and that included a lot of our games going into boxes. We will have 6+ weeks between when we move out of our current house and into our new home, so unfortunately gaming will be light over that time due to everything being in storage.

I had been looking for a small solo game that had a lot of replay that would give me something to play over the next month plus and I came across Deadball on Kickstarter. It is a baseball simulator that takes parts from Strat-O-Matic and RPGs. It is a fun dice chucker and the great news is you can plug in any current or past MLB teams. You can even create your own teams.
I played two games this week. The first with the base rules and the second with the advance rules. Great game and should keep me busy. I like the RPG aspect of rolling for stat checks. It also is made up of just a few sheets of paper and a handful of dice, so that is a bonus.

The only other game I played this week was 6 Nimmt!and I managed to play two three player games of it.

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6. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:18]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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I finally got a week with some decent gaming with work easing up. It felt good to actually play something at gaming group, even though I lost.

Lewis & Clark

With much of Good Friday off, the first play was L&C to freshen up on the rules (and reevaluate it versus Concordia, to some extent).

I worked in two solo games, playing three-handed (three and four play fine, two and five not so much, in my opinion). Both games the luck of the character cards pool determined the winner. Ultimately, I think this is what makes Concordia the better games. Still, both games were close, and I've certainly gotten my money's worth from this game.

Rating: d10-6 out of 10.

Suburbia

Gaming group was decently attended, but only Suburbia actually hit the table. I joined as the fourth player and came in fourth, although it was the closest game any of us had seen, with 5 points between 1st and 4th. Two public goals weren't claimed due to ties and my achieved private goal of contiguous civic tiles wasn't enough to catch David Dailey, Patrick Flynn and Robert Flynn, who took the win in the low 90s without getting a goal. Patrick did a great job of capturing Aquatic Engineer and the lowest income goals, vaulting him into second. Well played.
Suburbia from a prior play.

Rating: 7.7 out of 10.

Concordia

With Sheryl packing for a trip, I couldn't talk her into gaming, but I set up Concordia solo to keep the rules fresh and maybe try my Britannia/Germania expansion soon. I hadn't played in a couple of months, but it all came back. A number of factors make Concordia a better play than L&C, even though the theme "fits" better in Lewis & Clark. First, all acquirable officers appear in every game, it's just order that varies. Second, the personalities abilities don't vary as wildly, so a "ringer" doesn't create a big advantage to someone. Everyone's in it (or it feels that way) almost until the end.
Concordia for four early on.

From initially starting with board expansion, I now have a tendency to pay more attention to card acquisition. This play, the Concordia card went for taking the last card, not placing the last building. The dual pacing mechanic finally sunk in. Even solo, a great game.

Rating: 8.1 out of 10.
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7. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:61]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Spyfall

5 plays in and they were solid considering how much I tend to be underwhelmed by the game. Pulled off being the spy twice as others were accused. It kind of feels like the game has been out long enough to where the meta has been able to develop more.

The downside is I was setting up to play Letters from Whitechapel once a group was done with their current game, and killing time with Spyfall led to me missing out. Thankfully I own LfW.

Clank

A great take on the Ascension engine. It was interesting to see the change of pace in a couple of plays compared to my initial play which went longer. People were more set on getting in and out quickly so others had to follow that or get stuck below. It is also vastly determined by what type of dragon cards come out. Early difficult dragon cards can really pick up the pace in a game that's about speed anyway. Currently putting it at #46 for me and waiting to see how the pacing plays out more typically over time. I would like to see the pace be on the more variable side.
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8. Board Game: Targi: Die Erweiterung [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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Targi has been a favourite of mine since we got it. Monday was the first time to got to play the game with the aptly-named "The Expansion". The enhancements to the game are actually a lot more interesting than I thought they were going to be. Water can be exchanged for goods or gold. The new border cards change up the behaviour of the previous ones a little and make them a little more interesting; Fata Morgana, for example, is nowhere near as powerful as it used to be and requires you to think a little more carefully. The Sand Dune cards also offer some unique and extremely tempting one-time benefits but you lose out on taking one to two more actions on the main playing area since you need to place one of your Targis on the dune you want to use. The rest of the contents are really more Goods and Tribe cards though some of the new Trbie cards have some neat effects as well. Learning the expansion takes almost no time since it adds a couple of new rules without changing the underlying game. This has made me enjoy one of my favourites even more. I ended up winning this game 42-38.

We spent part of the Easter weekend at my wife's parent's place and played a game of Saint Petersburg on Thursday evening. This is the second time her parents have played the game so it wasn't too hard for them to get into it again. I went into this one fully expecting to come in dead last and my wife to crush everyone. Instead, I was able to get a solid income by the end of the second round, her parents had a decent income, and my wife was stuck earning next to nothing. While most of the others focused on aristocrats for the end-game scoring, I invested my money in high-point buildings that produced every turn. The end was pretty tight - I wound up in first place with 162. My father-in-law came in just 2 points behind me with 160 thanks to his aristocrats and leftover money. My mother-in-law came in third at 140, and my wife lagged far behind at 110 thanks to her money woes. One of the rare times I've actually won a game of this!

We played 3 quick games of Santorini on Saturday after we got home while waiting for a lacrosse game to come on. I won the first two games and lost the third when I tried to out-think myself and missed a painfully obvious move that let my wife win.

We then squeezed in 3 quick games of Onitama. My wife didn't really care for this one after our first play while I was on the fence about it, so giving it another try sounded like a good idea. My wife now dislikes it even more and I'm off the fence and firmly on the side of not caring for it. While abstract games aren't really our thing, games like Patchwork and Santorini are at least interesting and fun. This one lacks both of those elements. This one has quickly found its way into the trade pile.
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9. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:497]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Lots of Sagrada since it came in the mail. Several solo games (played wrong I just learned) and a group game. It plays really fast and looks great.

I had a game day Saturday

Started with 2 player Yspahan - works pretty well with two.



Russ arrived and we were expecting Zach soon so we played a quick game of Sagrada.



Our long game was a 1985 copy of Empire Builder. I ran away with the win.




We ended with a Clank!: Sunken Treasures expansion. I (yellow) pushed my luck too much...



We played at a new (to me) game store that had a puppy which was nice.



We also took a break and went out for dinner as a group which is really rare - nice to chat as pals.
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10. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:91]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Moderately good week with 4 days of gaming + some finished PBF games 3 games for my hardcore 10x10 challenge, and no new games but at least some old favourites were played. I also played a big game solo for the first time ever!

Tuesday

I started the week by playing my first ever big game solo - Terraforming Mars! I played 2 times, both with Credicor Corporation. I lost the first one with -4 °C, 13% oxygen and 1 remaining ocean. I won the 2nd one with 77 points in 14th generation. It was very quick compared to the game in more players but I deffinitely prefer it non-solo. However, I enjoyed it and plan to win with every corporation!


Wednesday

On Wednesday, I bought Alchemists very cheap (finally got my own!) so we played it 3-player. The winner had a nice combo of "don't pay money for publishing theories" and "gain 2 reputation for publishing theories". She won with 33 points. I was 2nd with 26 and last had 24.

Next up was one of my favourite games I don't own (yet!) - El Gaucho. Stealing the right 2 cows at the right time gave me the win with 201 to 159 and 132 (new player)


Friday

I got to finally show SO Alchemists, since I had my very own copy It was only the 2 of us. I focused on Artifacts (and got 15 points just from them) and I managed to win 39 to his 31.

We then went to a meeting with friends and played Time's Up! by the end of the evening. It was 2 3-player teams. Our team won.

And we finished with 7-player game of Saboteur. The winner had 14 gold, SO had 10, I had 9 and then we had 3, 2, 1 and 0


Saturday

No gaming on Saturday but I finished another one of my PBF games for Cthulhu Wars - PBF 82 - 5-player game on Dreamlands map between Goat, Chaos, Cthulhu (me), Opener and Sleeper. Opener won via Citadel victory very early (round 3 or 4).


Sunday

Sunday was a nice day of gaming with SO. We started with his favourite - Innovation which is in my 10x10 challenge. I won 7 to his 5 dominations.

Next up was another! game of Alchemists. I won again, this time 51 to his 33.

We proceeded to Quadropolis, another one for my 10x10 challenge. I won with 77 to his 74. We both competed for harbors (which is a strategy I normally never pursue), public buildings and houses and I did slightly better

And then Patchwork - I won 25 to his 13.

And finally Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, also for my 10x10 challenge. He won 80 to my 63.

I also finished another of my PBF games for Cthulhu Wars - PBF 84. 4-player game on Earth map. The game was ended by Instant Death. Crawling Chaos won with 31 points (lucky ES draws), Black Goat was 2nd with 28 (veeery unlucky ES draws), followed by GC (me) and Opener with 25 each.
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11. Board Game: OctoDice [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2506]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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NEW OctoDice - We opened up this week's meetup with a quick 3 player game of OctoDice. This is a pretty fun little roll and write game. It's loosely based on Aquasphere, but it's really its own thing. I ended up winning after a bit of a stumbling start. I enjoyed the game, and it actually made me more likely to pick up La Granja No Siesta.
Rating: 7

NEW Blood Rage - After OctoDice, we had 5 people, so we were setting up to try out Vast: The Crystal Cavern... And then the same guy from last week came strolling in late. We put away Vast and broke into two groups of 3. The upside is that we got to play Blood Rage. This was the first play for all of us, but it's a pretty easy game to learn. I had watched the Watch It Played video a couple of times, so I felt pretty confident. I still managed to screw up some rules (Marching only allows you to move multiple units from a single area, not anywhere on the board). We also had one player accidentally cheat and put way more units on the board than he should have because none of us were paying attention. Despite those hiccups, we all really liked the game. I was focusing mostly on Loki cards (points for dying and losing), and I did alright there, but got crushed in final scoring because I just didn't work my stat tracks enough. Definitely think this one will get played more. I think I'm going to pick up the 5th player expansion, too.
Rating: 8

Mechs vs. Minions - On Thursday evening, we attempted the 6th scenario in Mechs vs Minions. This was a tough one (we lost). I think we started out without much of a plan, which was a mistake. We got most of the way to our goal, but took too long and didn't have enough time (or control) to get off the board after completing the main objective. I think we learned something, though. We'll try again next session.
Rating: 8

NEW Twilight Struggle - On Saturday, I played a couple of games of Twilight Struggle. The first game was obviously a learning game, as evidenced by the fact that I lost by giving my opponent the opportunity to perform a Coup during my turn while at Defcon 2. After that first game, I had some trouble getting the game out of my head, so I opted to give it another go. I played much better this time, keeping the score close (even taking an 8 point lead on Round 8 or so). I lost that lead fairly quickly, though, and lost the game by 3 points when my opponent played Wargames as their first card of the last round. I didn't expect to like this game as much as I did.
Rating: 7.5
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12. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:17]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,

A good game for us in term of gaming.
A lot of game played for the children :

Splendor x4 (3 players)

Nada! x3 (2 players)

Dobble x4 (2 players)

Kaleidos x2 (2 players)

Love Letter x2 (2 players)

Double mot x2 (3 players)


What is nice now, is that they (the children) are able to play alone and they like to have their friends discover games.
That's why the list above is full of gateway games.

For me I just played two Love Letter games with my daughter (I won one and She won one too).
It is maybe our favorite configuration. We are using Seiji's variant for 2 players.

And I had one game of 7 Wonders : Duel with my wife. It has been a long time we hadn't played it, and it was a kind of dscovery game.
I managed to win with 6 different science icons :-)

In terms of translation a lot of work done this week : Feudum (completed)
, Mexican Standoff
, Shinobi Assassins
, Round house
, Round House 1st Expansion
and Round House : Expert Promo Cards
.

I think that's all for this week.
We are now having a week off, so we have planned to play some games together, so I think (I hope) next week summary will be more developped :-)
Thanks for reading.
Have a nice gaming week.

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13. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:307]
Justin
United States
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I'm a big fan of both Impulse and Mottainai. I picked this up to bump a Coolstuffinc order up to $100.

We only for to play 5 turns, but at least we learned the game. I liked how much easier this was to pick up on over Mottainai and Impulse. I almost dread teaching the other two to new players because of the learning curve. I'll be playing a full game soon. This almost makes me want to try and track down a copy of Glory to Rome.




My two player game of Innovation got cut short because my wife asked if we wanted to play a 3 player game of Castles of Burgundy. I guess she enjoyed it more than i thought, she's never done that before.

She won the game last week and she almost won this one. The only thing that caused her to lose was the other player got two silver for his mines at the end and ended up winning by two points.

I didn't think she would enjoy this more than Patchwork, but she does.

With tax season being over this week our regular third player will be back at game night.
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14. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:98]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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This week's gaming was very light, since I was focused on travel and religious activities for the entire weekend, leaving no time or energy for the board games that I didn't have on hand anyhow.

Earlier in the week, though, I played some Feudality with Prp. An early arrival of the Black Death set us back and made for a longer game. I dominated, and would have beaten her 16 to 12, but she wisely went to war against my peace-loving (i.e. relatively unarmed) fief just after I was attacked by a black dragon. So my win was narrower.

With my game group I played Istanbul, expanded with both Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh and Istanbul: Letters & Seals. It was my second play ever of this game, and I actually managed to win against two opponents. I used letters a little, and coffee hardly at all.

We followed that one up with a play of Splendor, where my score fell in the middle.

Prp and I played Summoner Wars a couple of times, and the first was a final hurrah for my Bog-Rune of Glurblub. I did summon two of my champions, and I managed to finally pull off the coveted Skull-Taker/Rune-Smith combo just before Glurblub was destroyed. The second game debuted my deck Marek on the Hunt: Hawk, Violet, Barston, Hunters, Hunters, and Snipers. I drew first Summoner blood, with a run by Hawk that did three wounds, although Melundak immediately used Consume in Darkness to kill Hawk and heal a wound. Prp crowded my walls very effectively, and I decked first. Her Melundak Attack Pack won again.

I had a first play of Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls in which I actually survived the Mega-Dungeon. But I only went down to level three, for a score of M 0/148.
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15. Board Game: Onirim (second edition) [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:540]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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My solo play for this week was Onirim. I tried out the third expansion where you had to capture lost dreams. It was OK to change it up a bit but I think playing with the first and second expansion is still the best way to play.



With my oldest son I played Pokémon. He spent some effort and time in building a couple decks for us to use. While the theme doesn't appeal to me I have a much better appreciation for the game itself. The cards he placed in the decks have a sort of synergy that works well together. I am glad he put the time into building these decks as I didn't have the interest to do it for him and it would still be a game I would rather not play. Now I actually can appreciate the game play.


My wife and I had some time Easter Monday to play a few games together. We played Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small first and she beat me by going for horses early, I did steal her upgraded hut that she always gets so I likely deserved to lose. We then played Patchwork, and Jaipur.



Games played on Board Game Arena included Coloretto, Colt Express, and Dragonheart.

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter, God Is Not Dead!
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16. Board Game: Antike Duellum [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1183]
Tally C
United States
New York City
New York
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A nice change of pace this week: we revisited some games we hadn’t played in quite some time, got a “new” game to the table (never played before, but sitting on the shelf for a year and a half), and then also got several plays in for my mb challege. Good week!

5 different games played overall this past week.


Xenoshyft: Onslaught
* Plays this Week: 1
* Comments: Xenoshyft: Onslaught ended up on our table this week for two reasons: 1) it satisfied the “X” game for my Alphabet Challenge, and 2) I wanted to play a co-op game we hadn’t played recently. Though it had been nearly two years since we last played, the rules came back to us quite easily. We also elected to play with some of the new tweaks from Dreadmire (most significantly, the way the enemies are dealt out from round to round makes the escalation a bit more gradual and a bit less swingy).

As luck would have it, we pulled the two divisions to the two mini expansions we own: Grafting Lab and Psychogenics Lab. Things were going really well for the first few rounds, but then (as happens in Xenoshyft) things started going merrily to hell in a slow but steady manner. Despite our very strong start, we lost at the end of Round 6. Xenoshyft still proves to be a very enjoyable and strong co-op deckbuilder for us. I liked the small changes to the rules that launched with Dreadmire and will play with them from here on out.


Alchemists
* Plays this Week: 1
* Comments: It had been several months since we last got Alchemists to the table, but we had been wanting to do so since our friend gave us Alchemists: The King's Golem for Christmas. This week, we found a good day to finally play it again (Alchemists requires a nice chunk of unrushed time, so not any day will work). Since we pretty much needed a completely rules refresher, however, we elected to only play with the two modules from the King’s Golem that were suitable for beginners: Start-up Funding and Busy Days.

Start-up Funding gives players different starting resources. Each player is dealt 4 Start-up cards and chooses two. These cards have some sort of combination of ingredients, assistants, +rep, -rep, and gold. All in all, I thought this was a pretty inoffensive module: the slight variability is interesting, but it doesn’t change things enough that I need to have it in every game. Busy Days changes the wake-up track every round. There are stacks of tiles for rounds 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6. Every game with Busy Days randomly selects two from each stack and those wake-up tracks will be used that game. From what I saw in our game, the earlier rounds provide nicer things or a greater quantity of things, the middle rounds are about in line with the standard wake-up track, and the later rounds dole out heavier penalties the earlier you want to wake up and give you more +rep opportunities. While again, I wouldn’t say Busy Days is a must-use module, I did like that it provided a changing curve to the game. Early on in the game, it’s great to have a boost to cards, for example, while late in the game you might actually find yourself considering trading in an action cube for simply the opportunity to be towards the very top of the wake-up track.

Our play of the game was very enjoyable, in that studious, thinky way that’s inherent to Alchemists. I decided to play a little differently than I have in the past, and played somewhat fast and loose in the early game, which got me ahead early, but didn’t end up paying off enough late. Hopefully we can get it to the table again soon enough that the rules are still fresh so we can try the King’s Golem module!


Heir to the Pharaoh mb
* Plays this Week: 1
* Comments: We played Heir to the Pharaoh this week for my 10x10, this being the second time we’ve played it so far this year. I played as Bast and Tyler played as Anubus. In a very interesting turn of events, Seshat (god that allows placement of structures on the board) ended up being favored several rounds, meaning that many of the structures got to ignore their standard placement rules. At the end of the game, we ended up quite close in points for a bunch of different categories (structures on the board, suns around the edge of the board, pyramid levels), but Tyler had played things slightly better. He ended up with the top pyramid level, giving him the pyramid points (7 in addition to the bonus points he got for placing the top level). Our final score was 62 to 52, with Anubis being crowned Heir.

I continue to adore this game, which I still consider a hidden gem. I’m also still enjoying our deluxe wooden pieces; they’re so satisfyingly chunky!



The Big Book of Madness mb
* Plays this Week: 3
* Comments: We also played three games of the Big Book of Madness this week for my 10x10 as well. The first game was on Medium (male fire mage, male air mage), which we won. The next time we played, we decided it was finally time to ramp things up to Difficult, meaning multi-color curses right out of the gate. This really makes things a whole lot more difficult. Our first attempt (female earth mage, female air mage) we lost on the 5th round because we ran out of madness cards. Our second attempt (female fire mage and female earth mage) also ended in a loss right after the final boss came out. The second Difficult play also had our first appearance of the promo Monster I picked up from the BGG store (the mime). The penalty on the reverse side was intense, causing us to shuffle all our spell cards and then deal them out randomly. Tyler ended up with two copies of growth and two copies of combustion while I ended up with two copies of telepathy and two copies of ice. This happened quite early in the game and we struggled with it throughout the rest of the game. Still a lot of fun, though. We’ll have to keep trying at Difficult!


Antike Duellum NEW!
* Plays this Week: 1
* Comments: Antike Duellum has been sitting on our shelf in shrink for about a year and a half. Tyler picked it up with some birthday money after he discovered how much he loved Concordia, and we both wanted to explore more of Mac Gerdts’ games. I really don’t know what took us so long to get it to the table.

Antike Duellum is a 2P only game where the whole point is to get 9 Personage Cards. The game comes with two maps: Rome vs. Carthage and Greece vs. Persia. We played on the Rome vs. Carthage side with Tyler as the Romans and me as the Carthaginians. Personage Cards are gained by a handful of ways, such as possessing a certain number of cities, controlling a certain number of sea spaces, and destroying your opponent’s temples. Once a personage card is gained, it can never be taken away, even if you drop below the threshold. The way the whole game is played is through a rondel action selection. Three of the rondel spaces are for producing (gold, marble, and iron), another three are for using those resources (technology/recruitment, building temples/walls, and arming troops), and the last two are for maneuvering your troops across the board. After carrying out your rondel action, you can build cities (base cost of 1 of each resource) and collect personage cards.

Once you know the rules, the game runs quite smoothly. There’s a natural ramping up of the game, since you start the game with only one city of each type and only a few of each resource. Since cities produce your resources, you want to build more cities, but to build more cities you need troops/ships to move around, but to get them, you need to recruit and arm them… so, things start out a little slow, but as the game carries on you’ll potentially begin to haul in large amount of resources when you visit a production spot.

The game looks and sounds quite dry, but it’s very elegant and seeing your plans come to fruition is extremely satisfying. I’m really glad we finally got to play it, and I’m sure we’ll play it again soon. It’s really a solid game with a strong design, despite how drab it looks at first glance.



Note: Thanks to mrblack86, W Eric Martin, and Jajina for the board game box photos.
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17. Board Game: Tuscany Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.66 Unranked]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Monday

I got my Tuscany Essential Edition expansion for Viticulture Essential Edition this week and was keen to try it out so I played it solo with all 3 modules. I lost but it looks promising.



Tuesday

Tuesday night I tried Tuscany Essential Edition and Viticulture again. this time I tied with Automat




Thursday

Stewart and I played Shipwrecked 2 times at lunchtime.




Friday

Thursday night I went to Regina and got Stacey and Lindy home for Easter weekend. Friday after lunch I introduced Tuscany Essential Edition to Lindy. This was my first multi player game albeit only two. It was awesome!





Afterward I played O Zoo le Mio with Stacey.





Still later I played Qwirkle with Lindy. We used Tenzi to determine start player.





Saturday

Lindy and I got up early and played Viticulture with the Tuscany Essential Edition expansion over coffee. So far we have had different special workers each time. It is really fun to learn about each of these. We used Tenzi to determine start player.






In the afternoon I played a game of Patchwork with Stacey.





Later still I played Mondo with Lindy.




Sunday

Sunday morning Lindy and I again played Viticulture with the Tuscany Essential Edition and again learned 2 new special workers. This time one of them seemed weaker than any up till now, the Soldato. We both recruited that one as our second worker and, although it was used a little, it seemed less earth shattering than some of the others. Not that any are exactly earth shattering, but they certainly add some very fun spice to the game. We once again used Tenzi to determine start player.






In the afternoon Stacey and I played Rat Hot.





Before I had to take them back Lindy and I had a game of Patchwork. We used Le Boomb to determine start player.


22 games played this week, 4 of these were expansions, 4 were start player games.
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18. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:23]
Evan Dunn
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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This week was...

Colt Express - 6th play



Still loving this chaotic action programing game. Players take turns placing cards into a single stack, and then that stack gets resolved top to bottom. Different rounds get different effects, like sometimes you play cards face down, or in reverse turn order. I was playing with people new to the game, but wound up only scoring second, which means I taught it well.

Warsaw: City of Ruins - 2nd and 3rd plays



Generally good time had with this tile drafting / city building game. Essentially, you play six rounds, where during a round players draft a tile, then pass the pile, then draft again, until the piles are empty. As you draft you add the tiles to your little map, and you quickly find that managing your money is very important. at the end of each round, one special bonus tile gets assigned to whomever best met that tile's criteria.

The game is quick playing, running somewhere from 45 min to an hour with 4 players, and it's very satisfying trying to build your city in clever ways. The game does have one major issue in that the special buildings have text that describes what the buildings do, but several building's texts are very incorrect according to the lookup in the back of the rulebook. I gave the other players an alphabetized tile lookup sheet and warned them to check the tiles on the sheet and not to take what's written on the tiles to heart, but even then there were some misunderstandings when that advice wasn't taken to heart.

The game also has the issue/non-issue of players needing to really pay attention to their opponent's strategies and to not feed them the tiles they need, because good setups get powerful in this game. Excited for more of this in the future.

Caverna: The Cave Farmers - 7th play



This time I went with a strategy that involved getting all the buildings that generate resource income at the start of the next however many rounds. It worked well, despite my making a few wasted moves here and there, and I wound up winning by 8 points or so. I think the only primary strategy I still haven't tried yet is going all weapons all the time, which I'd like to try on my next game I think.

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - 6th play



Fail play of this game. For whatever reason my opponent didn't understand that when a couple gets married they have a child automatically. We stopped at sort of the halfway point since things had been played poorly enough that the scores didn't matter. This was my second play with the expansion, and the new expansion elements started to wear on me. stopping every round to distribute the offer cards just really slogs the flow of the game. I'm also increasingly frustrated by the expansion cards and promos having a different card back from my 1st edition of the game. That, and the promo mansion cards not being the correct card size for reasons that are completely beyond me. Why did they get so sloppy with this expansions for this game? I'm also troubled as the rules in the expansion are missing as to how to handle when certain types of offer cards get refused.
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19. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:345]
Joe H
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Finally, some social gaming after a two week hiatus!

On Wednesday Wendy, Alain and I began with Steam Park. As it was Alain's first time we didn't play with the tent's special powers. I avoided dirt early but fell a bit behind on building. Later in the game I spiked the bag with pink robots and watched as everyone but me pull pink robots. Alain and Wendy both got early rides on the board and a robot or two. I clawed back with some rides and amusements myself but fell behind in cashing in contract cards. My saving graces were thatI had added a few additions to my board that gave me some flexibility and avoided adding too much dirt. In the end, Wendy edged me out for a couple of points and Alain's dirt accumulation put him a few points behind me.



Next, we played Airlines Europe. It was the first three player game for all of us and I have to say that I greatly prefer it at 5 players. There just wasn't the same dynamic with only three. Wendy and Alain pushed hard on a couple of the smaller airlines and I pushed on black and brown...unfortunately Wendy didn't push on either of these even though i slow played my shares to try to entice her to spend some coin on them. Alain's acquisition of Air Abacus before the second round was huge and put pressure on the rest of us to get in on the Air Abacus action. Wendy did but the game ended just as I was able to claim my piece of the action. But this didn't affect things. Try as I might during the ride home I couldn't convince myself that I could have have challenged for the win if the game didn't end after Alain's turn. As it was, Wendy pipped Alain by 2 points and I was a bit further back.



After Alain left, everybody else was deep into their games so I taught Wendy Longhorn because it as a quick 2 player mancala-style game I threw into my bag at the last moment. The game is fast, fun and has a habit of letting me feel clever in the instant before I realize that I backed myself into a corner. I made one of these boneheaded moves early in the first game when I cleverly put Wendy into a position where she would take the epidemic token (why I thought that was a bad thing I'll never know) and she proceeded to kill off a colour of cow that I had a couple and she had none. But, in the end I was able to nullify her big herd and, despite her having $400 more in gold nuggets, I took the win. The second game featured the Sheriff and for a change I did not back myself into a losing battle with the law man...I backed Wendy into that battle and took a second win.



Other Gaming

On Friday evening a bunch of triathlon friends invited themselves over for dinner and to play a game. Since we had 8 and they aren't that into games I asked everyone to bring a book with the intention of playing Bring Your Own Book. The books ranged from "Lamb: The Gospel of Christ According to Biff, His Childhood Friend" to "Guns, Germs and Steel" to "Green Eggs and Ham". It went over ok though some it was difficult to find clever response passages in some books. My wife, Sharon, won having found many of the more amusing passages.



Solo Gaming

It is hard to believe that it is already April and I haven't played Snowdonia yet. So, on Monday I played two games. In my first game I had the #7 Ralph locomotive which gives a +1 to track laying. With this in mind I focused on getting myself into position to lay some rail...with my biggest scoring contract cards based upon track cards claimed. My score was 150 (not good for me) with 40 points coming from 8 station builds, 25 points coming from 7 track cards and 85 points coming from the 5 contracts I completed. In my second game it was the #1 L.A.D.A.S. locomotive (which gives a +2 excavate bonus). Weather and the event cubes were both against me (at one point, with a relatively full bag I pulled 3 event cubes). I tried focusing on rubble contracts with some station and track contracts mixed in as well as some big builds in stations. My score was a lowly 137 with 62 points coming from 9 station spaces, 15 points from 4 track cards, 59 points coming from 5 completed contract and 1 point from my surveyor. Despite my subpar scores it was nice to get back to playing one of my favourite games.



On Monday evening I pulled out the Pandemic app. I played the Dispatcher and Medic and things went as well as they ever had. The first epidemic game out very late and the second one came out a turn or two later...triggering the only outbreak of the game. The Dispatcher/Medic pair worked very well together with the pair able to separate with the Medic treating the disease and the Dispatcher heading off to the next city where knowledge could be shared and then moving the Medic to him. By the end of the game three of the diseases had been eradicated, infection rate was up to 3, 9 cards remaining in the player deck and only 1 outbreak.



Before board game group on Wednesday I snuck in a quick game of Castellion. It was a loss with only 5 of the 6 lines of defense completed before I ran out of tiles. The pivot from 2 towers and 2 bastions in stage 2 was just too much for me to overcome.



On Thursday I played a game of Baseball Highlights: 2045. The AI team was full of cyborgs but I found it hard to hire free agents that combatted their offensive abilities. Even with three buying rounds it wasn't even close. The AI swept me in four games with the closest being an extra inning affair in the second game.



Next up was a quick game of Hit Z Road but only managed to to score 9 points. I got the map token and kid token early but didn't encounter any reward for the map while the kid took off and stole some resources. Most of my scoring game from the five points I got from sets of survivors and resources. I did bail on a couple of horde encounters seeing that their likely resource cost outweighed the VP benefit from them.
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20. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:512] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I got in a few games this week between soccer games and a holiday weekend. Finally got my wife to play cribbage with me too!


My parents were still in town on Monday and after the soccer game, we played a couple games of Monopoly Deal Card Game. This is becoming a staple for us. We have a great time playing take that cards on each other and actually playing a decent set collection game.


Like I mentioned above, I finally got my wife to play some Cribbage with me this week. We played four times. It had been over a year since we last played. This game is still special to me. She taught me to play when we were dating and played a bunch when we were first married. I won the week against here only because I was lucky enough to skunk her in one game. We have very different philosophies when playing... she will break up her hand to try and deny my any points in the crib, where I will try to make the best hand I can and give her points in the crib if I have to. Not sure which is better.


On Saturday night my Dice Masters buddy came over and we played some games. I finally got to try out a couple of the teams I created to try and beat him. Now that he's got his own cards, I won't let him borrow mine anymore! A bit of an unfair advantage to me, since I've got the larger collection of cards to work with. The first time I pulled out was an Avengers themed team and he had an all villains team. I won the first two games in close battles. Then we switched up our teams a bit. I had a team built around Taskmaster for this one. He used the "when fielded" ability of another character so I had the entire team made up of characters that have the "when fielded" ability. This round went all three games in the best of three, but I was able to pull out the victory. I really needed that Dice Masters itch to get scratched and was glad he was able to drop by. Hard part is, I'm ready to try out some more of the teams I've created! I'll have to wait for the next round.

have a great week everyone!
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21. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:769] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
COLOSSUS
United States
Texas
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Lots of Quarriors this week. It's just a fun game we all like getting out lately. We played a couple during the week. Then, my daughter's boyfriend and I played three two player games while the others played Rock Band on Easter. He won the first pretty handily. Then, I won pretty big. So, we played a tie breaker which he won 23-19.

I think it's time to get some expansion for this.
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22. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:467]
COLOSSUS
United States
Texas
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Got this game for Christmas and finally got it on the table on Easter. This is a great unusual game for us. We ended up getting the Dance of Death Haunt which the 'fiddlers' won.
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23. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:480]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Mostly solos and online this week, though I did play a game with my mother on Easter after church and before dinner.

Games with my Mother



My mother loves word games, so I introduced her to Paperback a few months ago. This was our second game. I had to review the rules again, but she was able to build better words than me and narrowly beat me 36-31 when she took the last 4 pt novel the turn before I was going out.

Solo Games

My wife visited her mother for Easter and my friend who was coming over to play games came down with a bug, so I made it a solo day.



Since he canceled due to illness, I decided playing in his honor would be ironically appropriate. I lost due to outbreaks, when I had epidemics on back to back turns with a feedback loop between Osaka and Tokyo.

In honor of Easter, I played [thing=171479]
. I think Commissioned is a solid game, but I think it's one step too complex for it's best target audience. The deck-building aspect works great for gamers but that plus the board play is tricky to teach people less familiar with modern board games. I played the "To the End of the Earth Scenario" and lost due to Church extinguishments the turn before I was going to win. So close.....

I played Cuba Libre 4-handed, the Government was in incredibly strong position early, but the long gap between propaganda cards 1 & 2 ate away at his control and it slipped away. All other sides were in great position to push for a win, but the cards fell right for M26 on the 3rd propaganda card.

Earlier in the week, I continued my quest to complete all the novels in the The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game using title appropriate characters. I'm working on Turn Coat and it's a doozy. I think I see a path but it will take some breaks to pull it off.

Lastly, I played a solo game of Eternity to develop a teaching strategy for Table Top day at the end of the month.

Online Games

Bubblee Pop - 0 for 3 in the past two weeks. I think it's a little more abstract that it appears at the start, but I'm not seeing how to control the flow well. Probably won't play it again.

Hex - Went 0-6 against an Australian competitor over the past few weeks. I like Hex, but I do recognize when I'm punching out of my weight class.

Machiavelli - Won another game of this. I continue to wonder if this is just a lucky run, but I've been on a roll.
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24. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:419]
Benjamin Benson
United States
Dublin
CA
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My friend and his girlfriend were in the area and my friend suggested I bring some of my games for all of us to play and so I packed up three games which were:

Karuba
I have had this in my collection for a while but never got around to playing it. I figured for two inexperienced gamers it would an easy game to play, and it was. Not a bad game all-in-all. One I will probably keep for this exact type of experience (new gamers) otherwise I would probably let it go and just play Cities or Limes.

For Sale
This is a game my father and brother and I play OFTEN and so since there were going to be three of us, I figured I would bring this out. My friends girlfriend heard it dealt with auctions and valuation and she played reluctantly but she actually really liked it.

Qwixx
Anyone new to games can play this simple dice-rolling game and it is enjoyable. This was my the favorite game for my friends girlfriend. I have not played Qwinto but I am interested in trying it.

---

Onirim (second edition)
I purchased the digital version of this game and played it a few times. I really like the way the game plays on my device.

I spent MANY hours this week designing an AFRICA map for the game Paris Paris, which I finally got a rough version done. I want to use it to help teach my students geography.
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25. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:52]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Got to *2* game groups this week, which was great - heavier games on Monday, lighter fare on Wednesday, but both great. And apparently quite a few online games too!

Monday Game Group

Dominant Species NEW - A cracking game. We played it 4 players, 3 new to the game including me (though I'd read the rules beforehand which was really helpful). We managed to finish in 3.5 hours, which I hear is pretty good considering. I was playing the Insects, vs the other players' Reptiles, Amphibians and Arachnids. I managed to finish in 2nd place, despite rarely dominating any areas (I think coming 2nd place in most area majorities really boosted my scores), and lapped the score track, so was pretty happy with that.



Coloretto - Finished the night off with a quick 4 player game of Coloretto. Quick, fun, and I came 2nd by just ONE point! Argh!


Wednesday Game Group

Dixit - Wednesday was all about chilled-out games. Started with a 4-player game of Dixit, which was a lot of fun; fist time I've played it in physical form and finished a whole game. Good fun, came a very close 3rd.



Zooloretto - Then we moved on to a 5-player game of Zooloretto. It was new to all but me (I taught it), and everyone had a great time. Gentle gameplay mechanics which a nice bit of potential-screw-your-neighbor by taking a truck they clearly want, but not hugely damaging overall if you do. And a nice contrast to Coloretto from Monday. Great fun, really enjoyed this with 5. I think the game shines best at 4 or 5.


Online

Jäger und Späher - First play of this to finish up this week; I won 24 to 18. A great battle to the end, which is the best way.



Nations: The Dice Game - 2 player game, on boiteajeux (I almost always play this on yucata, but am in the middle of a game of Trajan on boiteajeux so jumped in on a game of Nations Dice just for fun). I lost, by a small margin. Still great fun.



Cacao - A very close 3 player game, and I managed to pull out the win, 64 to 61 to 58. It was, as is often the case with this game, right down to the final turn (or 2) to determine the winner. Great fun.



Yspahan - And now my major loss of the week. 3 player game, against players who were clearly more experienced than I was, and I came last, 105 to 91 to 59. But hey, I was over half the winner's score, so it wasn't THAT bad. Was it?... I'd really like to try this game in person some time, as I think that would help me see more of the strategies; right now, I'm failing to gain any kind of skill playing it online...



Jäger und Späher - The second of this game to finish up this week. This was a REALLY weird one. I won, which is great, but I won... 24 to 0. Yes, 0. My opponent had started the game, wanting it to be a learning game. Yet, despite my offering to help him with any rules queries, he never responded, yet dutifully took his turn in a decent time, getting rid of hunger tiles fine, but NEVER completing any tools, so never scored ANY points. Very odd.
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