What Did You Play This Week? May 01-07, 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 419


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1. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:556]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Storming the castles of Burgundy...

Thursday
1x - Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game


My wife was getting frustrated at not remembering how to play and felt I was at an advantage, so I admittedly didn't play as aggressively or as smart as I would normally have to keep it close. So I was surprised that the concluding result was a sizable win on her part, 33-26. No need to give her any breaks here. Doh!


Friday
1x - Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game

I certainly thought I was doing better than a 23 pts showing, but none the less my wife defeated me for a third time in a row, 30-23, much to her delight. It will stay on the table for another play in the very near future.


I was out of town early in the week and very busy with the growing amount of work waiting for me upon my return. I'll take the little bit of gaming with my wife and I had in the morning on the days I worked at home. Next week is BillCon VII!

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 54/100
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2. Board Game: Hostage Negotiator [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:790] [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Monday


A brief lull in the middle of Monday afternoon saw us whip out Codenames for a couple of quick cooperative plays. KT went first as the spymaster, and went for her usual technique of giving highly tenuously connected words in an attempt to knock out as many words as possible in short order. She was hindered by our words having only very slight associations, but at least the Assassin was never in doubt. We swapped over for the second game, and I angled for two and three word clues, but again our words were only very feebly connected. Whether via KT's iron fist or my velvet glove we ended up winning both times, though scoring only 2 each time.


Later in the evening I set up A Feast for Odin for our first full-length game, but it had been so long since we played it that we both felt totally at sea with all the options available. I felt that I was beginning to get a grip on the game by the fifth round, as both KT and I made the most of our plundering actions, but neither of us did any exploring of new lands, and I still admire this game rather than love it, and it never gives me that visceral thrill that Agricola gives me. We'll definitely play this again, but are on the fence about whether we need to keep it when we have both Agricola and Glass Road in the collection. I can see that the touchy-feely open nature of Odin makes for a somewhat pleasant wafty experience, but I never feel anything like a hair's breadth away from disaster. KT won handsomely, 93 to 56, after over two and a half hours of play..!

Wednesday


Wednesday afternoon saw another attempt to deal with that pesky Arkayne Massua in a quick game of Hostage Negotiator. Apart from my very first play, during which I was happily trotting along with incorrect rules, I have yet to defeat him, although I have come close, and I still do not think that I have understood quite how to go about beating this game an a semi-regular basis. I am exploring more options in each game, though, and gave up a couple of Minor Demands this time around to help things along, but some devastating dice rolls meant that I found myself pretty much back at square one just when I wanted to go in and release some hostages. In the end I went down to yet another defeat, although at least at this rate I am going to get some serious value for money out of this game!

Sunday


KT and I didn't quite get a chance to play later in the week and then I had to head up to London for work at the weekend, but I managed to squeeze in a couple more games of Hostage Negotiator on my own. I am enjoying this game more and more and was determined to deal with Arkayne this time, come hell or high water. My first game was going fine, as per usual, until Arkayne took some more hostages and I just ran out of time to get them out - another defeat. I set up again, determined to do better this time, but things did not start well as the Terror Cards included Your Time Is Running Out and two copies of I'm Growing Impatient. Clearly I was going to be really up against it. I decided to throw caution to the winds and accede to some of Massua's demands, and in the final round I released fugitives and granted him a helicopter, which allowed me to acquire some powerful cards for free and roll more dice. It all came down to a single roll as I directed "All units get in there, NOW" - it came up with two successes, enabling me to free the final four hostages and eliminate Massua. Success at last, and having a great time with this game!

Happy gaming!
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3. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:582]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Friday

Scythe = 1 Play

I was picking up my copy of Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia – Adventurers Set last week when I noticed this for sale as well, so I immediately picked it up. I got the chance to include the new factions Friday evening when brothers Kent and Karl joined me for our council. Only the Albion faction was used when randomly selected it among the new factions while Kent went old school and also randomly picked the Nordic faction. This was Karl’s first game so we let him pick between the RusViet or Saxony factions (which we felt were easy to use) and he decided to use Saxony. The bottom boards were all randomized with me getting Industrial, Kent Engineering, and Karl Mechanical.

The game took a bit longer than normal since it has been some time since we played and Karl was also learning the ropes. In any case we all consolidated and built up our abilities with Kent recruiting early while I upgraded and built mechs early. Kent’s early recruitment was a wise choice since with just the 3 of us playing that meant he gained a benefit anytime Karl and I did a bottom action. This enabled him to gain a lot of cash and the Nordic ability to retreat on lakes after combat was also useful since my successful attack on the factory which evicted Kent had his units retreat to the lake beside which enabled him to counterattack me. The control of the center with one of my flags was the key as it would have been worth 4 hexes for me (since it had a flag) and that would have turned the tide in my favour.


Kent (blue Nordic Engineering) 94 Me (green Albion Industrial) 78 Karl (black Saxony Mechanical) 47

Tide of Iron = 1 Play (Out of the dust!)

This was my first true boardgame I got after my long 14 year sojourn exclusively with Games Workshop Ltd.. I got it from store credit when I won a local Warhammer 40,000 tourney. This ultimately led me to BGG where I learned about designer boardgames and my purchase of Small World and down the boardgame path I went as I abandoned Games Workshop Ltd. in favour of this wonderful hobby. Unfortunately, the game was left on the wayside and my last play was about 5 years ago despite me buying some prepainted minis for some of the German vehicles. My recent foray back into wargames had me literally move this out from under my pile of boxes where I then downloaded and printed the updated rulebook from 1A Games. I posted some pics of the board and minis and Karl had interest to try it out.

I had Karl and Kent team up to handle the 4 German tanks (2 Panzer 4 and 2 Tigers) in the training scenario Mons Again while I took the US side (5 Shermans and 1 M10). It was a very quick bloodbath even though it ended up a draw with Kent and Karl's Germans having an undamaged Tiger and heavily damaged Panzer 4 against my lone lightly damaged American Sherman M4 at the end of round 4, as 1 side needed to completely wipe out the other in order to get a win.


The end of round 2 saw both sides taking their first losses!

Guildhall = 1 Play

The final game of the night had us randomize the Bricklayer, Dancer, Farmer, Peddler, Tax Collector, and Trader roles and while there was no graveyard interaction there was a LOT of interaction among Guildhalls as we all Peddled and Traded from each other. In the end I managed to use the Farmer and Tax Collector roles to get the most VP chips which helped me reach 20 points first.


Farmers and Tax Collectors give me the VP boost as I am the first to reach 20 for the win! Me 20 (11+9) Kent 17 (13+4) Karl (11+3)

Saturday

I got a couple of soloplays Saturday afternoon in the mall while my wife was shopping.

Nations: The Dice Game = 1 Play

Just a quick play of this dice based Civilization game.


Me (Greece) 31 (Saladin)

Dungeon Roll = 1 Play

Finally got to use the last hero from the Dungeon Roll Legends: Hero Booster Pack #2 which I have not tried yet. Loeg has the very interesting ability of flipping in order to use all the Dragon dice as adventurers and he can also use scrolls in order to flip a monster die to its dragon face. Another cool thing is that he flips back to his unused position if he encounters all 3 monster types in a delve meaning he can activate again to recruit the Dragon dice to the party. I would have thought I would get a very high score but recruiting the Dragon to your party means you do not get the +XP as well as treasure from defeating the dragon and I ended up with a just OK score to be a seasoned explorer.


Look at all those Dragon dice commandeered by the Dragon Lord! Loeg Yllavyre, Dragon Lord Delve 1 5 XP 4 Treasure / Delve 2 10 XP 8 Treasure / Delve 3 20 XP 7 Treasure 27 (Seasoned Explorer rank)

Jim was available Saturday night and luckily so was Kent as we go for another boardgame council.

Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia = 2 Plays

The competitive mode has been a big success with the guys and we knew Jim would also like it so Kent and I made sure to introduce it to Jim last week. I took the opportunity to mix in the new characters from the Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia – Adventurers Set.


Game 1: This turned out to be an all Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia affair as I used Stump from the expansion while Kent used Mika and Jim Raffi from the base set. I got held back when Jim caused Stump to be KO’d and it ended up a close game with Kent finishing ahead of Jim while I caught up a bit with XP from my Treasure cards. Kent (1st Mika 4 HP) 18 Jim (Raffi 4 HP) 16 Me (Stump 3 HP) 15



Game 2: We immediately played a second game which turned out to be an all Arcadia Quest as all the heroes came from the Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia – Arcadia Crossover Kit expansion. This time we decided to use the player suggested variant where monsters gave gold rather than treasure when defeated. This makes chests more important and treasure cards harder to get since we had to buy them although it makes characters with gold gaining abilities more powerful. The game didn’t change much though as all it did was to make our hand of treasure cards less (2-3 cards most of the time instead of a full hand of 6) and we bought them as soon as we can and still used them profusely in order to hinder the others. This game was slower though as the large rooms came earlier and all of us died at certain points in the game. I manage to give Kent a major setback when I used 2 cards to reduce his Seth to 0 which setback his XP and this gave me just enough points to hold off his comeback as my Scarlet managed to win by a point! Me (1st Scarlet 1 HP) 17 Kent (Seth 6 HP) 16 Jim (Darryn 4 HP) 12

Potion Explosion = 1 Play

The final game of the evening had us teach this to Jim. This is such an easy game to teach and learn and it was only my focus to complete the more valuable potions to eke out a win.


Me 65 (Potions 61 Skill 8 Professor -4) Jim 55 (1st Potions 47 Skill 8) Kent 44 (Potions 40 Skill 8 Professor -4)
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4. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:588]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Another quiet week for me, gaming wise. I've been playtesting a solo game of my own design loads, hence not a lot of published games got to the table.

With the kids

A 2-player game with my 8-year-old. She's cunningly good for her age! Beat me by 14 points. I was being somewhat kind of some of my worker placements, but I didn't hold THAT much back. Impressive.





Online

A 3 player game. I managed to win this, with some decent decisions on which casinos to place my dice on. First win of this game. Still not sure about it, it's so very light, and doesn't really suit asynchronous play. In person though, I'd bet it's a fun, fast game to play.
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5. Board Game: Scythe: Invaders from Afar [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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I got my first chance to play the Scythe expansion. Both 2 player games. A fun time. I won both games with drastically different scores. First game 108 and second was 60. I got to play as each expansion race once.




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6. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Game Night at the Store

Quick game of Sagrada waiting for the group to arrive.

We did a 4 player game of Puerto Rico with the Nobles Expansion. This allowed broke up some of the "standard" options people like to use. This worked well with a mix of new and experienced players to shake things up.


Weekend

I sleeved Clank and Clank!: Sunken Treasures expansion and gave it a solo play with the expansion. I did really well thanks to less than normal dragon attacks. Let me introduce Diana. She's not as easy to play games with as her brother but wants attention now more than ever.



My son and I played the co-op version of Orléans: Invasion. We lost but that's expected on the 1st play of a co-op, but it seems doable. I love co-ops so I was happy to have this as an option within the game.

Since I had been doing solo games I decided to get out Terraforming Mars and continue to work my way thru the corporations solo. Next up was the Mining Guild. I had a hard time and had to play 3x before I beat them. Then I played the Phobolog and won. I have two more to go to complete verified solo wins with all corporations (I may have played them before in multiplayer or before I logged). Yep 4x solo plays this weekend.



edit:

Forgot about a family play of Kanagawa with my wife and son later Sunday night.
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7. Board Game: Heart of Crown: Far East Territory [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Adam Lucas
Canada
Belleville
Ontario
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Thursday


EDIT: It would appear that someone changed the images in the database to the Japanime versions. I'm still playing with the original versions.

We started with Heart of Crown and Heart of Crown: Far East Territory with the first player being the one whose birthday is next. Cards were Charm Witch, Donation, Hideout, Library Assistant, Magic Ward, Money Lender, Ninja, Star-reading Witch, and Urban Development plus Port City from the expansion.

I stocked up on the first two Donations that came out and picked up an Urban Development. By doing so I was both able to upgrade my cards and get rid of villages. This meant I was churning out a lot of cities. My opponents bought some Charm Witches, but they never really hurt me thanks to my Magic Wand.

The first princess nominated was Lulunasaika for the easy points. Shortly after Bergemorte was taken. I pulled up the rear with Klamklam. I was trailing on the points front, but I did pick up the Imperial Crown. Of course the turn after I played it one opponent got to twenty points.


Second game was Fetterman Massacre with first player being the one that played chess most recently. My strategy to start was to grab all the cowboys and keep anyone from buying better cows and it seemed to work early on. During the game I kept backing over my herds with my train every chance I had. Because I did so I had great cards to turn in all the time, but I lost a lot of money because my train hardly moved anywhere.

In hindsight, I probably should have had an engineer or two before I started driving backwards over my cows. I was losing a lot of money on my sales.

By the end of the game I was down to just three starter cows remaining, but I came in second and trailed by only six points.
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8. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:20]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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I'm still trying to kick the head cold that's been dogging me for the better part of a month, but I didn't let it get in the way of my gaming this week.

I played Viticulture (Essential Edition) for the first time, in a six-player session with my game group. At over three hours, that was probably the longest worker placement game I've every played. I was in first or second place for most of the game without harvesting a single grape: I got VP for planting vines, turn order bonuses, card redemptions, and other action bonuses of various sorts. I couldn't close the deal at the end, though, and came in second to last.

Prp and I had three plays of Guillotine. She won the first, and I won the next two, in both of which I shut down the game with the Scarlet Pimpernel.

In Elder Sign, I had my first play of the Omens of the Deep expansion, with Hank, Daisy, and George against Dagon. Phase I went very well, and I arrived quickly in Phase II with a complete amulet. But I never scored any Elder Signs, and I couldn't keep back the doom. Dagon devoured everyone after two days of epic battle.



In Summoner Wars, I tried out a new deck--Immortal Elien's Death Cult: Helkar, Kaeseeall, Corpse Wyrm, Cultists (FP), Cultists (FK), and Harbingers. It was a fast game, as could be expected from these Summoners. I did manage to put four damage on the opposing Melundak, but a Lioneer got to Elien and I lost.



After that, I got my honor back with a rapid win at Chase.

In lunchtime gaming at the office, I won a play of Lost Cities, where my opponent had a daunting lead at the end of the first round, but I caught up and had a six-point advantage at the very end. Then he beat me at Splendor, where I actually managed to claim a personality tile (unusual for me).

Prp and I played some pyramid games this week: two plays of Caldera and one of IceSickle.

We also played three games of Kamisado: I won a short match, she won a long one, and I won the first marathon match we had ever played.



We finished off the week with a play of Arkham Horror: The Card Game. We went back to "The Gathering" (first scenario of the core set) with new characters, and did very well at it.

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9. Board Game: Goldbräu [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2140]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I was finally able to host a Thursday game night and got to dust off a game I haven't played in a long time. Short list this week though.


There was finally the perfect sized group to play Goldbräu this week. It took a couple of turns before the others got the hang of what we were trying to do, but overall everyone liked it and enjoyed the game. I tried a strategy of trying to get the monopoly on a couple of pubs using the same brewery and came close. Towards the end of the second week, one of the other players was able to get a couple shares in one of the pubs and the brewery. That hurt my profits a little. One of the other players was able to gain sole control of a pub and was spread around pretty well other places. She ended up winning.


I then taught them Machi Koro. I got off to a great start raking in the money and having a great time, unfortunately, the dice decided to turn against me and side with someone else. The victory slipped from my grasp.


With my folks in town for the weekend, we played a few games of their new favorite game, Monopoly Deal Card Game. A simple set building card game with a bit of stealing other people's cards. Good time.


We were able to save the world one time over the weekend with a game of Pandemic: The Cure. We played 5-player and don't usually do well with that player count. I was the dispatcher and spent most of my turns sending my dad (the containment specialist) all over the place.

Have a great week everyone!
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10. Board Game: Lotus [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1291]
Joe H
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On Wednesday, while we waited for others to arrive, I taught Taylor Longhorn.The sheriff was Present on the board and it seems to act as a strange attractor for me. I've only won once when it was on the board and this time followed the usual script and I kept boxing myself into corners which ended up with me trying to steal the cattle from under the Sheriff's nose and got caught red-handed and lost the game.



With a couple of more people arriving and it being one day shy of May the Fourth I broke out Loopin' Chewie to play with André and Charles. I won the first game and André took the second. To be fair, Charles' Storm Troopers seemed a bit sensitive and he managed to knock off a couple of his own. I took the first game and Andre took the second game.



Next, Andre, Nick, Andrea and I played Saint Petersburg (second edition) with both the markets expansion and the Obstacles (a first for at least three of us), which proved to be decisive. Early on I worked toward ensuring I could pass the first major obstacle (5 different workers) while Andre focused on pushing for the second obstacle (presence in all 5 markets and at least 6 in one market). Nick had pushed out early while I earned lots of income from the worker and market phases and Andrea focused on Nobles. At one point Andre had pushed out past the 6 mark in a market, but in a misinterpretation of the obstacle card gave up his upkeep market card in one of the markets which brought him down to 5 and he was never able to get higher. The game ended with 3 of us bunched up at the final obstacle (it would have been hard or impossible to have met that 6 presence requirement once Andre made his misplay). Andre purchased the last building in the market which brought him just below the 10 ruble threshold and since I had to exchange 10 rubles in for 0 victory points he won on the tiebreak.



[New to Me] Then, I taught the group Lotus, thus clearing another game off my shelf of shame. This is a very pretty area influence game. I made a crucial error in interpretation of the rules that put me behind from the start (I'm glad it was me, not someone else) and I had to play catchup for the rest of the game. Andre did great, not only earning majorities on the flowers taking the 5 points or a special power but also claimed flower petals by completing them. Andrea took a lot of flower majorities and Nick did a bit of both. I had to settle for just completing the flowers and taking the petal cards (1 point each) before I finally won the majority on a flower and could start getting special powers. I knew I was behind and, even though I could have ended the game, prolonged it try to eke out a few more points. I did end up finishing out the game, taking the majority in the last flower and all the petal cards. Andre finished way out front while I was one point behind Nick and Andrea not too far behind that.



Finally, we finished the evening playing Splendor. It was Andre's first time playing it. Nick ended up triggering the endgame and winning the game. I was able to grab a few more points on my last turn and took second.



Gaming with My Wife

One of my gaming shames is that there are far too many games that I own that I've played far too few times. Broom Service is one of them (though happily it's gotten play by friends I've lent it to.). But, on Monday my wife and I started to fix that. Right out of the box I was behind having gone brave and getting caught. Sharon began moving toward the more lucrative areas while I focused on getting rid of storm clouds, even where the action was bewitched. This also allowed me to get to some more lucrative areas. By the end of the game I was a bit ahead, after Sharon got caught as brave when her whole plan hinged on bravery, and with my collected lightning bolts I ended up posting a 107-76 victory. I enjoyed the two player experience but found it a little too predictable. There were several times I knew that she couldn't use particular cards and might only select it to spite block me, which she did once.



Sharon wanted to play Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game on Monday so, we fired up the Assemble App to generate a random game. In this game the scheme was Secret Invasion of the Skrull Shapeshifters (one we'd recently played), had Galactus as the Mastermind (my first time facing him), with the Heralds of Galactus and Skrulls as villains and the Savage Land Mutates as henchmen. I thought there would be no way for our team (Captain America, Cyclops, Nick Fury, Proxima Midnight, Superior Ironman and Thor) to win since the we'd lose the scheme if shapeshifted heroes escaped the city and Galactus would shrink the city. Things didn't look good from the start and the city shrunk by one and we lost two shapeshifted heroes early. But, fortunately we recruited well with a wide spectrum of hero types and I was able to cull my deck a little bit, getting some S.H.I.E.L.D. officers in there. When the pile of lost shapeshifted heroes grew to 4 I was really worried but then we were able to take out a couple in a turn, gain some breathing room and begin to focus on Galactus. I took him out with a well-diversified last attack. Counting up points, Sharon took this one 35-33. On Tuesday she asked to play again. This time we faced off against Arnim Zola and his team of Zola's Creations, Skrulls and Ghost Racers trying to execute the Master of Tyrants scheme. The heroes consisted of Black Cat, Deadpool, Hawkeye, Hulk and Spiderman. We got very lucky from the beginning as several scheme twists hit the board before any of the Mastermind Tactics could emerge from the villain deck to make life miserable. We were also aided by the Master Strikes not appearing until later. We buffed up our teams early and began to whittle away at the baddies. I had stocked up on a bunch of Hulk cards which allowed me to draw first blood on Zola and dispense of some of those pesky Mastermind Tactics in the city. Sharon delivered the final killing blow one turn before I could have done the same. This time victory was mine 49-39. On Wednesday Sharon asked to play it again. This it was Baron Heinrich Zemo and his crew of Limbo, Masters of Evil (WWII)and M.O.D.O.K.S. plotting Super Hero Civil War. The superhero team consisted of Cyclops, Deadpool, Namor The Sub-Mariner, and Winter Soldier. We faced two problems that led to our hapless demise. First, many of the heavy hitting hero cards were wiped out early by the scheme twists. Second, we didn't have any hero cards with "Savior" on them which bumped the Baron up to 18 hit points. We came close a bunch of times but, even though I had culled my deck down to just 15 or so, mostly, attack cards and was able to play my entire deck on a few turns it wasn't enough we went lost without ever getting a hit on Zemo.



On Tuesday we also played Ingenious. This time green and purple were the hard colors to score. I had pushed 3 Ingeniouses to Sharons 1 and was close on a 4th but by the time it made sense to refresh my hand I knew there would be only a limited number of greens left. In the end she eked out an 11-10 victory. If I could have pushed that green cube one step further I would have gotten the tiebreaker. Great fun in this tight game.



On Friday Sharon and I played a quick game of Quadropolis. I'm not really sure where my head was in this game as Sharon totally outpaced me. I had leads in towers, factories and harbors but she crushed me on markets and had a good lead in public buildings. This gave her a 53-48 win.



Gaming with Friends

On Saturday night we had Peter and Heide over for dinner and a game. The game was Junk Art. We played Monaco, Hometown and Indianapolis. I got out to an early lead and was doing well in Hometown, when disaster struck and two of my pieces slipped apart sending my tower a tumblin' and giving Peter the exhibition win which he was able to carry over into a slim win overall with Sharon right on his heels and Heide not far behind. I've now brought this out with five different groups of non-gamers and it's always been a hit.



Solo Gaming

One game of Sentinels of the Multiverse. This time the heroic team of Legacy, Tachyon, Tempest and The Wraith fought against Baron Blade in Megalopolis. I was on my heals right off the bat as the Baron and his minions/devices dealt all my heroes 5 points of damage in his first play. Relatively early on the Environment played Rooftop Combat, which I let stay in play for a while. One fortunate play on my part was "Heroic Intervention" which saved all the heroes 8 or more damage each. Right after that I was able to land the final blows to finish of the Baron.



I've enjoyed Onirim (second edition) a lot but I had the shuffling and reshuffling. So, I bought the App and finally had a chance to play it and lose to it. The Dream cards came in rapid succession and I ran through the deck with only 6 of the doors opened. Now, I've found a way to lose while shuffling less.

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11. Board Game: Blood Rage [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:21]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Blood Rage - At our meetup this week, we played a 5 player game of Blood Rage. I did much better this week, but then, I was playing against 3 new players and one person who had only played once before. I grabbed the card that lets you invade with an additional warrior early, which was very nice. I never had a problem getting guys on the board (I even bumped up against my axe stat limit a few times). I also focused on upping my rage stat, so that I'd have plenty to spend in future rounds. I ended up kind of running away with the game this time, which I felt a little bad about. This game is still a pretty big hit, and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's been played by all our regulars now, so, hopefully, I won't have to teach it much anymore.
Rating: 8

Gloomhaven - On Saturday, we continued our 3 player campaign of Gloomhaven. We had lost the second scenario, so we replayed that one. We won pretty easily this time; maybe a little too easily even. A couple of things didn't happen which means that we'll probably have to go back and revisit that location to really clear it out. After beating that scenario, we went back to the city for the first time and unlocked a new adventure and purchased some new items. It's hard to describe any of this without spoilers, so I'll just say we played and (barely) won another scenario, as well. We're now at a fork in the story, so I'm not sure what we'll do next. I think I might suggest we take it easy and go on a side mission. I'm really enjoying this game.
Rating: 8

NEW DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals – Batman vs The Joker - I signed up to be a big brother a while back and have been getting to know my little for the last month or so. This Sunday, I decided to introduce him to the world of board games. We went to a friendly local game store. I had brought a couple of games (Pandemic, X-Wing) but I started to doubt that they would make for an ideal intro. I thought he might find Pandemic a little dry, and X-wing might be too complicated. Instead, I took a look at the games on the shelf, and ended up describing Star Realms and Batman vs Joker to him. Not surprisingly, he went for the Batman theme. We played the game twice. The game is rated for kids a little older, so we played the first game open handed so I could help him with the cards. The first time he shuffled his discard pile and realized that he was going to start pulling those cards he bought, his face it up. I won the first game, and he took the second. There are some subtleties that he might not quite be grasping yet, but we both had a good time, and that's the important thing.
Rating: 6

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12. Board Game: Railroad Revolution [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:670]
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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 8.5   Railroad Revolution x2

This is quickly shooting up the ranks of my favorite games. I played this twice with my wife and won both games, the first one 214-185 and the second one 186-176. I can confirm that this plays pretty well with two players and that closing off the board by using dummy stations of a non-player color does an adequate job of creating tightness in the game. I still prefer the game with more players and think that the four-player count is best, but this is still a very pleasant experience at two. I also think this game improves with each subsequent play and now barely squeaks in as a top-10 game of all time for me (but take that with a grain of salt as I have only rated 74 games in my short board gaming history).

Check out my full review here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1775913/engineers-negotiato...



 7.8   Oh My Goods! x2

My wife and I continue to play, and enjoy, this game. This has everything I am looking for in a small box game. Despite being a card game, the better player will win 95% of the time (my wife has never beaten me in five plays now). The game is very portable, but really requires you to use your brain to chain your production. Building the right cards is important as you want buildings that work together well. But you also want to build quickly so that you can get assistants to help you out, assistants that your opponents are most likely also striving for. If I have a couple issues with the game they are as follows. First, the game takes up a bit more table space than I would prefer. It’s hard to play this on a couple of airplane tray tables. Secondly, the game has an end game condition that I typically despise and this game is no different. As soon as someone builds their eighth building, the game ends, so it’s up to the player to dictate the pace of the game. You can race to be the first to build your eighth building or you can milk the production from the first 5-7 buildings you buy. But what tends to happen in this game, at least for me, is that I tend to sit on my seventh building and try to chain production from those buildings rather than end the game because chaining production is what is so cool about this game. But then the game becomes a bit of cat and mouse with your opponent as you try to gauge, “do I have more money in goods than she has?” Other than that, I have few complaints about this game and cannot wait to get my hands on the expansion, Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Revolt.



 6   Jaipur x2

I brought Jaipur on vacation with me as it is a game that works well in quick spots and when table space is an issue (like on a plane). However, the more I play this game, the less I like it. For me, there always seems like an obvious move. You can play this game using the same strategy and absolutely crush your opponent one round and get crushed the subsequent round and really, that has everything to do with luck of the draw in how the cards come out. The way my wife and I play it, neither of us wants to take camels if we can’t help it, so there will often be parts of the game where five camels are in the market and both of us are just rapidly selling every type of good we can until someone HAS to pick up those camels and invariably, the person who benefits from this action will REALLY benefit as three red cards come out of the deck (or something like that). As a result of yet another unsatisfying experience playing this game, I have been on the lookout for other, small box, two-player games that I can pick up and have recently bought Hanamikoji, and The Blood of an Englishman. I’ll report back on those in future weeks.



 6.7   Vikings NEW!

Tile laying games aren't my jam and Vikings doesn't change that for me. But the game has some interesting things going on with the rondel and the money and deciding what's more important, taking a tile you can lay down immediately, or taking a meeple you can lay down immediately on a tile. Unfortunately, I think there is a fair bit of luck involved with how the tiles come out and the turn order. I won my first play despite not knowing anything about the game or what I was doing early on. That's very telling for me when a game allows a newbie to comfortably beat two seasoned players.
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13. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:25]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This week I played the skirmish mission "Leave no Evidence" with my oldest son I used Gaarkhan, Chewbacca, Fenn, Rebel Troopers and C-3PO, my son used Darth Vader, Storm troopers, Imperial Guards, a Probe droid, and an officer. I am always worried when I am facing off against Vader but Chewbaccca could hold his own against him, and I really liked how Fenn works well with troopers providing he stays close to them.

I played a brutal game of Incan Gold. It was brutal in the sense that the hazards kept coming up right away in every round I think the high score was like 14 points. My solo play this week was Legends of Andor I played the third scenario.

This weekend I finished painting the miniatures from The Adventurers. I was pretty happy with how these turned out as the game is quite a bit older and they are not of the highest quality if you compare with those from Imperial assault. What I mean is a backpack may blend into the cloths of the mould so it is hard to tell when it ends and the cloths begin. When the details are missing from the sculpture it makes it a bit of a challenge to make it look good. You can compare the final result with the photos on there cards. Still have to paint the traps before I am finished with this game.




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14. Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:170]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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A great 4P game, but a game that again generated a post mortem discussion of the importance of turn order in the first round.

There is a suspicion among those who have played the game multiple times in our group that the compensation for turn order, i.e. one coin per player downstream of the first, is inadequate. This is predicated on the belief that purple cards, usually the only palatable option left to the fourth player, are inferior to the other three types of cards. Purple cards are the only type that cannot help with engine building.
I remain not completely convinced, though do think it possible. More plays needed.



I resigned in round 10 as I saw no path to victory for the poor Soviets.



My enthusiasm for Scythe is waning as it is becoming crystal clear that, among players of roughly equal skill, the game is entirely decided on the faction you get. Two of the factions, black and blue, are utter trash tier, while red and yellow are clearly superior to everything else.

I see no way to fix this imbalance. The game is still enjoyable as a relatively short optimization exercise, but I'm not sure how many more times I want to deal with the faction frustration.

That's it. Until next week...
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15. Board Game: Dairyman [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:3615]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you had a great gaming week.
Here is what we have played this week :-)

Not many games but games we hadn't play for a long time.

2 Time's up game.
Parents (my wife and I) VS the Children (my son and my younger daughter). Parents won the match :-)
We won the first match 62 - 58 and the second one was a draw 60-60. I think this is the first time we defeated them :-)

Then, three different games played yesterday :

A 2-player game of Dairyman (not the TMG version but the Homosapiens Lab original one). Still a great game we should play more often.
I played with my older daughter and she won this game 200-195 on the last dice roll !!!!

2 2-player game of Einfach Genial as Wurfelspiel.

She won both game :-) Nice roll and write game :-) Once again we should play it more often :-)

To end the day, we finally played Hanamikoji (two games).

She hadn't played it before.
I won both games. There was a second round during the first game but not during the second one as it was resolved after the first round.

That's all for gaming related subject :-) No translations done this week, but a lot of contact taken with some Japanese designers in order to translate their games...

Have a nice gaming week
Thanks for reading

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16. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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We always have a blast playing this game and this time didn't let down. My wife even came from the other room to see what we were laughing so hard about. We had three players and my daughter won pretty handily. She's been doing that a lot lately with Galaxy Trucker.
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17. Board Game: Kemet [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:77]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Light week, two learning solos and a game on BGA.

Solo Learning Games




Kemet

I got this for Christmas last year and haven't got it to the table yet. My monthly Friday night group is up for playing it, so I broke it out solo to ensure I had an understanding of the rules and flow. The real test will be against actual opponents, but it looks quite interesting. I really like the way it promotes aggression. I'm glad I played it solo as there were a few things that came up that I needed to check online for clarification.

Greed

I've been looking at Greed from time to time, but couldn't stomach the price tag in my FLGS. User odinsfury posted that Amazon was selling it for $8 and since I'm a huge fan of Kingdom Builder and fan of Dominion, I had to give this a shot. I also did a solo learning game of this one. It looks like a solid filler at worst, but definitely not a game that supports a solo experience, so I will have to play it with others to get a true gage.


Games on BGA

Machiavelli - Continue my strong performances on this game with a 3p win.
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18. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:59]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Clank

Another 4-player game and this one more than any other was rather brutal as there were some questions about players even getting below ground before getting knocked out. Needless to say this was the lowest scoring game yet and further pushes this towards being a 3-player game. I double checked and this is actual #46 for me, but looking at my rough draft of a Top 50, I think I need to just go back and work on it Vasel style. I don't see this going up by leaping games per say, but more like seeing some games being removed from the list and it moving up that way. I think my list is finally where entering it and moving up actually takes effort.

Isle of Skye

Highest score yet, but I was screwing myself in being able to place stuff so there's room for improvement. Still not close to winning either. This is currently my #50, and it feels like it will be hanging out there as some sort of standard of getting on the list until certain games in waiting finally finish it off.

Lords of Vegas

Still trying to decide on the luck versus strategy factor. There was some great play in this, but the person who won never had a plot on the other side of the board so he quickly sprawled and got an early 4 unit casino and never looked back. I played terrible, but I got a lot of low die plots so I had a hard time keeping, or taking over a casino. I did rerolls only to reroll to a low die result as well. This will hang out in the 40s for me now that I got a third play of it in. If not for the randomness of getting your plots, this would be a lot higher. I think it is honestly about the art of sprawling, and it working out for you.
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19. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:867]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Saturday

Stacey and Lance were here and we played Mondo.





We also played Factory Fun.



Sunday

On Sunday I played Metro with Stacey. We used Tenzi to find our start player.

4 games played this week, 1 was a start player.
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20. Board Game: Yokohama [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:104]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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"...to excel above the common rate, in frivolous things, is nothing graceful in a man of quality and honor." - Michel de Montaigne
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Let's just play everything always.
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This week was...

Port Royal - 7th play



Second play with all expansions and promos. This time we did get to the point the deck reshuffled once, but it ended quickly after that. I feel like when it was just the base and the first expansion, the deck shuffled around one or two times? Is it that we're just playing poorly and allowing the player in the lead to grab things we should be blocking? Certainly this time, the player new to the game kept buying things during the leader's turn.

Crokinole - 8th through 10th plays



More great plays of this fantastic dexterity flicking game.

Kemet - 4th play



First time playing with the expansion. I liked this play less than my previous ones. Not because of the expansion, just because I think the magic of dudes on the map games is wearing off for me. Having now played more Scythe, Cthulhu Wars and Blood Rage, Kemet is feeling a little too simple, despite the overwhelming tile choices. I'm not ready to call it on this game though, because part of my disillusionment is coming from the fact that we did have one player this session, who just didn't have a good sense of what was going on, and as a result she was farmed for points by her neighbors.

Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension - 7th play



This was a the one highlight of an otherwise wasted night. One of my friends brought along a non-gamer friend who felt interested in board games, but upon arrival didn't seem to understand the concept of what a game was. We played two games this night. One was this, one was a game design my friend is working on, and his friend decided to ignore points and goals, and just move around the board randomly. It was terribly frustrating to have her just add downtime with no benefit to the experience. Anyway, before that disaster, we did a quick gravwell session that wound up being the only actual game was played that night. It was very a very frustrating night, because I really do value my gaming time.

Yokohama - 2nd play



On the second play of this game, I took a completely different path through the game, and was able to win a second time. It's unusual for me to win a game twice in a row, so that's exciting. Aside from that, I was happy to see that the different aspects of the game are all viable or valuable to some extent. I still don't know what the situation would be where you would ever want more than 4 techs or that you would actually unlock your fourth tradehouse, but I'm going to try for it next time I think. That is, hoping I get a text time. My group continues to be unenthusiastic about it. The players who really like Istanbul think that this game runs on too long to be enjoyable, and the players who don't like Istanbul seem to think that there's really nothing new or compelling going on in this game. This could wind up another one of those games that just sits on my shelf looking at me longingly.




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21. Board Game: First Train to Nuremberg [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1356]
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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Monday:
Splut! x2
LineUp! x2
Period 5 x2
Hex x2

Tuesday:
First Train to Nuremberg x2

Wednesday:
Period 5 x2
Monastery x2

Thursday:
The Quest for El Dorado x2

Friday:
Cathedral x4

Saturday:
1 Stein + Co. x2
90 Grad x2

Sunday:
First Train to Nuremberg x2
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22. Board Game: Wealth of Nations [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1125]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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A good amount of gaming this week!

Tuesday
Gonzaga x1
Atlantis Rising x1

The Gonzaga play was good - sadly one player got a rule wrong and made a decision, late on in the game, that cost him a lot of points. Still, the other person and I were battling closely for the win. I grabbed many more points in cities and ports, but he made two sea leagues and gained the 15 points for more feuds connected. Luckly, he only got 3 of his objective cities, while I took 4, and this was the difference for me to win.

Atlantis Rising had some emotion - early on, the athenians did some damage, but we were able to fight back, and with some really good rolls to get resources, we won with still 8 tiles left above water.


Thursday
Bruges - x1
Wealth of Nations - x1 - out of a major dust of over 2500 days

I didn't wanted to play Bruges, since I went to play Wealth. Still, my friends did and, so I played it. And it was good - the game works well and it sure gives a lot to think about. I had played it before, but didn't remembered enjoying it much - this was a very good play.

Wealth of Nations was the goal of the day, since it was the longest game in the dust I had since I started with the modern boards. Play was clunky at first, as two players were new to it. Yet, it picked up the pace, trades were happening fast and the fight for placement was fierce. Once a player made a full Bank, I thought it was over, specially when the other three also tryed to make a Bank, at the same time, and we all ended up with only two of the three needed tiles! Still, the Bank owner had a poor selection of other resources, and needed to buy constantly from the market, as the other players don't want to trade. This allowed the game to carry on. Once it was over, Pedro, the owner, won handly, with a big gap in money, as he traded pretty well and manipulated the market smartly.




And that was it!

Regards,
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23. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Walter Kolinski
United States
Chicago
IL
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x3



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24. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Noam Rosen
United States
California
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Wednesday
1x - Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Putting the final Dunwich duo through the Gathering campaign. Zoey and Ashcan cakewalked their way through The Gathering.

Friday
1x - Escape Room: The Game
Played Escape the Prison scenario with my sister, her spouse and my fiancee. A bit confusing in terms of setup/packets revealed mid-scenario and unfortunately, that ate into our time. Nonetheless, we managed escape (with only :36 seconds remaining)! My recommendation? Make sure you have plenty of table space, have components spread out and make sure everything gets passed around so all team members can take a look. Excited to play the next scenario!

2x - Codenames
Played two rounds of Codenames as a closer to our game night. I have not played this game nearly as much as I would like! Each team won once so we'll have to save our tiebreaker for next time.

Sunday
1x - Arkham Horror: The Card Game
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like Rougarou! Zoey and Ashcan did their darnedest but bad luck with the opening hands (even with Mulligans) coupled with bad set up luck and some untimely bag pulls led to Zoey and Ashcan limping away from New Orleans in shame. No trauma but not exactly...unscathed devil

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Zoey was afflicted by the Curse of the Rougarou...she also has a Stubborn Detective that's been dogging her since Arkham. Oddly this weakness combination kind of works out in her favor!
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25. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:123] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Ken Chadwick
United States
Yonkers
New York
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I had time to play a bunch of solo games this weekend - mostly Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game.

For my first two games, I wanted to use the heroes from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Game one had Star Lord/Rocket/Drax trying to stop the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree and his Kree-Skrull War. I think this is one of the more unique schemes in all of Legendary. Each time a Scheme Twist card is pulled, it counts as a war victory for either the Kree or Skrull (depending on how many of them have escaped the city at that time.) Unfortunately, no Skrull cards were ever pulled from the Villain deck before the Kree got their 4 conquests and won the game.

My Guardians lost the second game, too. I used the same Mastermind/Scheme combo, but this time with Drax/Rocket/Gamaora.

I played three more solo games, using the Assemble app to randomly generate the heroes and villains:

Nick Fury/Dr. Strange/Juggernaut were unable to stop Thanos from spreading a Pan-Dimensional Plague...

but Bishop/Scarlet Spider/Solo did beat Magneto and this scheme to open Portals to the Dark Dimension.

My last game saw Spider-Man/Angel/Jean Grey stopping Professor X and his attempt to Capture Baby Hope. I think it's probably been mentioned here before, the but the Jean Grey/Angel combo of rescuing bystanders, discarding cards, etc. was pretty powerful. I ended the game with 24 bystanders in my victory pile!

My final two games of the weekend were solo plays of Freedom: The Underground Railroad. I'm starting to wonder if this game can be won solo. Both games I played as the Agent, but always came up short on at least one of the three objectives. I think in one game, I had three successive turns where at least 5 new cubes were added to the board. Most of them wound up being "lost" as there was no way I was able to free up enough space in time. In the other game, I was able to manage the incoming cubes, but was not able to purchase the support tokens I needed to win.

I forgot... we also celebrated "May the Fourth" with a game of Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion. The Rebels got off to a strong 5-0 start before the Empire struck back. But the Rebels came from behind to win the final event and end the game with a 8-6 win.
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