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

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

Here's last month's list: What We're Playing June 2017!

This Geeklist idea was created by:

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

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

A subscription Geeklist has been created for those who want to be notified of when a new list is posted: The What We're Playing Subscription List
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1. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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With July starting on a Saturday, we got plays in right away! We played some Hanabi over breakfast, using the Grand Finale variant as usual. Lost the first one (stupid clue on my part), won the second!
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2. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:219] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Brian M
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We then played Spice Road, which was new to Lisa and I. Entertaining and fast-playing game of using cards to trade around various cubes into the sets you need to complete orders. Really enjoyed this.
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3. Board Game: Wizards [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:4317]
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them!"
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My first play in over twenty years, and a win for my Druid! I'll freely confess I made things a bit easier on myself by only discarding one land tile and by grouping them altogether when I placed them; I recalled getting stranded -a lot- back when I tried an archipelago set up.

I really did find myself getting caught up in the game world, as "mystical" as the designers seems to have intended. There's quite a bit of arch typing here, and for someone in the wrong frame of mind, the whole thing could all too easily be written off as "Hippy-Dippy" or "New Agey". Even so, I found myself intrigued by the symbolism, and really enjoyed the imagery it evoked. I don't think this is one I'll play frequently in its physical format, but I really like its non-violent approach to things and appreciate the values it attempts to espouse.
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4. Board Game: Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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July 1, 2017
d10-3
Base game + Unseen Forces expansion + Gates of Arkham expansion (using the Gates of Arkham specific Mythos, Skills, Event, and Adventure decks)
Azathoth vs 4 characters:
Jenny Barnes
Joe Diamond
Kate Winthrop
Gloria Goldberg
(These are my favorite characters from the base game, although sometimes I will switch in Sister Mary instead of Gloria Goldberg, or Darrell Simmons for Joe Diamond. I figured I'd better stick to the familiar until I get used to the new rules and decks for Gates of Arkham.)

Won with all characters surviving, although Joe Diamond nearly went insane! Gloria Goldberg was invaluable with dealing with the Other World adventures which gathered the Elder Signs towards a win (and also closed gates).

Doom Track = 4/12
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5. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:909] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Judy Krauss
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Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Played DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite using this solo variant:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101516/dc-dbg-bgg-soli...
but add this list of card changes:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1149984/solo-play
Plus I am using the optional solo variant rule to have Villain Attacks (but not Super-Villain First Attacks) occur every turn as long as the card is in the line-up.

July 3, 2017
d10-3 I chose Nightwing.

I defeated all 8 Super-Villains - The heroes stopped the scheme and captured all the conspirators -- with a timer card left!

105 points - Minimal to no major damage to the 1 or 2 cities. Minimal casualties. Heroes earned a greater trust and respect of the citizens, media and government.
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6. Board Game: Dice Stars [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2177]
Kathrin
Austria
Wien
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Some easy dice rolling to relax after work. Played 5 games. Lost 2 and won 3. My best result today was 147:100, which is also my best result overall, both in terms of my own score and the difference to the virtual opponent. (My previous best had been winning by 24 points.)

I was mildly amused to find out I last played this on 07/03 and today is 03/07.
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7. Board Game: Quadropolis [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:246]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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OK, bit late on catching up here. Still back on the gameday from last weekend!

Played a 3 player game of this. A nice quick fast building game.
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8. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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Then I finally got to try Terraforming Mars! Glad to play this. I enjoyed it a lot; there was a nice variety of different cards to build the planet with. Seemed like some were a lot stronger than others; hard to say with just one play. Hoping to get to play more!
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9. Board Game: Chariot Race [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:4522]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Wanted a quick game while waiting for others to finish, so we played a four player game of chariot race. Light quick racing game. This race was less destructive than many we've had; only one chariot wrecked!
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10. Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1087]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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And, needed to kill just a few more minutes so we went with this odd little bidding filler. You are bidding on a set of cards, but you only get to see a few of them at a time. Very light, but quite entertaining.
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11. Board Game: Mysterium [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:152]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We wrapped up with two games of Mysterium. Love this game, but the second play was actually not a lot of fun; the ghost player was taking an awfully long time and totally out of sync with everyone else (and not paying much attention). Ah well. We lost both games; the first was close, the second was a disaster.
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12. Board Game: Ars Alchimia [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:3865]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Been playing a few games that hadn't hit the table in a while. This is a cute little worker placement game. We enjoyed this, but messed up a few rules that caused some problems. Well, I say "messed up", but really some of the cards are wrong (ie, cards say 'once per turn' when they really are supposed to be 'once per round').
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13. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Card-driven game of producing goods. Another good game that we hadn't played in a long time.
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14. Board Game: Warhammer Epic 40,000 [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2862]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Been playing a lot of our heavily homebrewed epic 40K. We've really got it working well - close and exciting games!
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15. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1246]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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A regular favorite. This was an odd play; only one player got mountain scoring tiles!
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16. Board Game: Urbion [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1809]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I wanted to play a quick co-op, and still needed to play a 'U' game for the alphabet challenge, so I pulled this out. Meh. Its fine, but just not very exciting. I think its better as a solo game, but still not spectacular. I think I'll try to trade this one.
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17. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Another great game we hadn't played in a while. One player started with the leader that makes all Science cards (green) cost -1 resource, and then was able to get a bunch of them before anyone else could afford them. This rocketed her to a solid win!
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18. Board Game: Sword & Sorcery [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:536]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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Finished the Sword and Sorcery campaign. While there's some stuff I like, this was just so long to set-up and play. I think our last game took almost 4 hours, and the latter part really felt like a slog.

Sigh. I just want a co-op adventure game where you get to build up characters that's just easy and fun to play. That doesn't need half a ton of cards and plano boxes. That you can just pull out of the box and be playing in minutes.
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19. Board Game: Star Trek Panic [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1242]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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July 7, 2017
d10-1 Since this was my first play of the Star Trek: Panic game. I used the beginner "Cadet" set-up: only two missions are used (Distress Signal, Outpost Defense) and both must be successfully completed, then the board must be cleared of any threats that were on it when the last mission was completed. (Normally 5 missions must be completed, no matter how many are failed.)

I played a solo game, choosing Sulu and Scotty as my crew.

1st Mission: Distress Signal - Success
A Supernova turned my ship completely around just before the turn that I was going to complete the mission! The Corbomite Maneuver card (used twice because of a Time Travel card) really helped, as did Sulu's double maneuver ability. Scotty rescued the disabled ship, completing the first mission with the countdown timer on 2. But the reward didn't benefit me because Scotty had already repaired a shield with his ability, and the destroyed shield wasn't eligible to be fixed by that reward.

Status: One mission completed. Port shield down, but no hull damage. One Klingon Bird of Prey drawn into sector 3, but there were no other threats at this point.

2nd Mission: Outpost Defense - Success
Completed by destroying the Orion Raider when the countdown timer was on 2 (by Scotty). Scotty and Sulu continued to attack other threats although no new ones were drawn because the final mission had been completed for this game (only these 2 missions are used in the "Cadet" beginner's game).

Status at "clean-up" phase in which the Enterprise must survive while removing all remaining threats from the board (turns are still taken as normal):
Three threats remained: Klingon Battle Cruiser, Koloth's Battle Cruiser, Klingon Bird of Prey (with cloaking ability). Starboard shield was down and Port shield was damaged. No hull damage.

Final Status: I won.
Both crew members had a hand of cards that were mostly worthless, targeting the farther areas of the board where there were no longer any threats (maneuvering to "retreat" is not allowed in this game, unless I missed something in the rules). I did manage to get in a couple of hits, and the abilities of Sulu and Scotty kept the ship from taking too much damage (although 4 shields were down at the end of the game). But the Security Team cards (which any crew can play at any time, even during another player's turn) saved the ship from hull damage while the enemy ships destroyed themselves while trying to send boarding parties onto the Enterprise (by ramming? in the vacuum of space? )

Pretty fun game, especially for a Star Trek fan. Next time I play, I will be using the full-length game rules.



July 8, 2017
d10-2 For my second play of Star Trek: Panic, I used the full-length standard set-up of playing until 5 random missions are completed, then clearing the board of the remaining threats to win.

I played a solo game, choosing Spock, Sulu, and Chekov as my crew.

Mission 1: The Changeling -- Completed

Mission 2: The Doomsday Machine -- Completed

Mission 3: Mysterious Ship -- Completed (Barely in time!)

Mission 4: Search and Rescue -- Completed

Mission 5: The Enemy Within -- FAILED! (The countdown timer ran out and I needed to place one more medical symbol card.)

Mission 6: The Trouble With Tribbles -- Completed (5th completed mission!)

No new threats were drawn after completing 5 missions, but I still needed to clear the board of the threats already there.

My ship took a lot of damage during the game, but my crew managed to repair/rebuild it enough so that I didn't lose maneuverability. Turning the ship to protect the vulnerable areas helped some, too. I did have to take some cards out of the game because of excess damage to the hull. I was lucky to be able to use some of the mission rewards and a starport for repairs, also.

Sulu and Chekov made a good team with their abilities (an extra maneuver, and one extra damage using one Phaser Hit card, respectively). Spock's ability came in handy occasionally (draw 3 threats, choose 2), but since the 3rd threat was just returned to the draw bag rather than be discarded, it wasn't very powerful of an ability, especially since after the completion of five missions, when no more threats were being drawn, it was useless.

Final Status: I won!
5/6 missions completed.
4/6 shields destroyed.
2/6 hull sections destroyed, plus one more damaged.


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20. Board Game: Hero Realms [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:187]
 
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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This has been a very game-busy week! Lisa took all week off, so we've been having a staycation. Going for a lot of bike rides and playing a lot of games. Not sure I'll mention everything just to not flood the list.

We keep playing the one co-op challenge for Hero Realms. Really, really looking forward to the co-op campaign!
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21. Board Game: Russian Railroads: American Railroads [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Brian M
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Thornton
Colorado
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Got this a while ago and still hadn't opened it. Russian Railroads is a nice meaty worker placement game with some very challenging gameplay. The America board offers some neat twists, but neither of us liked it as much as regular Russian Railroads.
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22. Board Game: Samurai Spirit [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:979]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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This co-op "defense" game is pretty strange. Its fun to play, but I still can't figure out if there's really any strategy to it or not. I think either its really all luck, or the strategy is deep and subtle enough that I'm not skilled enough to see it, but I have no idea which!

I recommend playing at least 6 Samurai, even with only two people. Having more of the abilities in play makes the game a lot more interesting!
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23. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:810]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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July 9, 2017
Solitaire game using the Castle Panic base game and the following promos: 3x Any Color Hero promo card, 1x Feather Promo bookmark.
d10-2 Lost! After losing all but one wall (which ironically had a reinforcement on it), three monsters invaded my castle, and although there were no more monsters left to place on the board, those three did a lot of damage! I managed to kill 2 of them eventually (actually, one of them destroyed itself when destroying a tower), but one surviving Orc destroyed my last tower, causing me to lose the game.




July 10, 2017
Solitaire game(s) using the Castle Panic base game and the following promos: 3x Any Color Hero promo card, 1x Feather Promo bookmark.
d10-3 Won with 1 reinforced Wall and all 6 Towers left. I forgot to count points for a score at the end.

d10-4 Won with 2 Walls (one of which was reinforced) and 2 Towers left.
Score: 45 points.


July 11, 2017
Solitaire game using the Castle Panic base game and the following promos: 3x Any Color Hero promo card, 1x Feather Promo bookmark.
d10-5 Won with 6 Walls and 5 Towers left.
Score: 51 points.


I decided to play this next solitaire base game with only 1 of each promo type I own, which means 1x Any Color Hero card and 1x Feather Bookmark promo -- I removed the 2 extra Any Color Hero promo cards from my deck because it was getting too easy to win.
d10-6 Lost!
Although there was only 1 monster on the board (and 3 monster tiles left to draw), so it looked pretty likely that I would win, I drew a Rolling Boulder tile that took out my last Tower, and lost the game for me.


July 12, 2017
Solitaire game using the Castle Panic base game and the following promos: 1x Any Color Hero promo card, 1x Feather Promo bookmark.
d10-7 Won with 4 Walls and 3 Towers left.
Score: 57 points.

d10-8 Won with 3 Walls and 1 Tower left.
Score: 54 points.


d10-9 Won with 5 Walls and 4 Towers left.
Score: 58 points.


d10-1d10-0 Won with 4 Walls and 4 Towers left.
Score: 51 points.
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24. Board Game: Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star [Average Rating:8.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.90 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I'm still catching up from the long weekend of the fourth!

The Xia expansion arrived from KS and I wanted to try it. We adapted the solo rules to co-op play and just barely won; if the NPC player had gotten 2+ fame points from n their last turn (not unlikely) we would have lost!

I enjoy everything the expansion adds, though it doesn't fix all of the problem. Still wish the game weren't so cluttered and fiddly.
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25. Board Game: Witch of Salem [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1548]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Wanted to play a quick co-op one evening. We USED to be able to win this, but haven't managed to do so in ages, to the point where it seems a bit pointless to play.
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