What Did You Play This Week? Jun 26 - Jul 02, 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 427


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1. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:97]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Mostly solo gaming as I'm still sick...

Monday
1x - The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game - Solo

I felt the win coming, but did not expect it to be as big as it was, 32-22, over the AI. Nice solo coffee game.

Tuesday
1x - Room 25 - 2p Co-op

Taught my wife hwo to play Room 25. We played a 2p cooperative with Easy configuration and both of us controlling two characters. She found the Exit early so it seemed very underwhelming to her. Doh!

Thursday
1x - The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game - Solo
mb - 3.0 mi 25:20 (8:28) - warm, sluggish effects of being sick

I had my doubts half way through my solo coffee play of CoB:TCG this morning whether I'd be able to keep pace with the AI, but I pulled off resulted in a tie, 29-29. In a solo game the advantage goes to me, keeping my solo streak going.

Friday
1x - Room 25 - Solo
2x - Istanbul - mb

Had my morning cup of coffee over my first solo play with the Expert Competitive setup of Room 25. I'm still sick and had a head ache which was further aggravated as I thought through my programming. But I managed to successfully navigate of the grid with one round remaining.


In the evening our friends came over and we taught them how to play Istanbul. They went on to decide who won via a tiebreaker. We reset and played again with my wife and I getting out to a fast start but she claimed the prize before the rest of us could put ourselves within reach to challenge her.

Saturday
1x - Abyss - Kraken expansion New!

Dusted off the beautiful Abyss and finally got to play it with the expansion. The addition of the Nebulis (black pearls) and smugglers adds a new dimension players have to account for in their decisions. My wife continued her domination and did it far better than I did. I took the Kraken penalty at the end and she had 3 locations to my one.


Whatever I picked up at Origins is still lingering. I thought I was feeling better but after my afternoon run on Thursday I had a minor relapse confirming I'm not 100% yet. Kids were at camp and my wife slept in and not really interested in games this week so it was primarily a solo gaming week.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 65/100
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2. Board Game: BentoBlocks [Average Rating:6.68 Unranked]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine.

Just two games played this week, too much work to prepare some training for my colleagues about how to use some apps / softwares and websites in class :-)

So we only had two 4-player games of Bento Blocks and Linq.


So we first discovered the prototype of Bento Blocks (you can download and try the game from the bgg page).
We are really fond of roll-n-write games and we decided to try this one.
It was a nice surprise especially with nice and easy mechanics (the wheel of shapes) as well as a nice turn order.
Well the scores were really different : my son won the game with 60 points, my younger daughter was 2nd with 52 points, I was 3rd with 26 and my wife was last with 19.
I know that Robin, the designer
Robin David
Ireland
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has planned to rework the wheel a little bit according to the comments and suggestions done by the bgg users/testers.
I am now waiting for this new version of the wheel to try the game.
The game can be played with the actual version and you will have fun if you like Roll-n-write games (I have added the link to the geeklist about Roll-n-Write games) :-)


The second game we played was a 4-player game of Linq.
We hadn't played it for ages... Maybe the children were to young to play it before.
We had a nice experience of it, and I am now sure it will come more often to the table.

That's all for us in terms of gaming as in terms of translations too as I did nothing this week.

Thanks for reading.
Have a nice gaming week
Regards
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3. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:62]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Monday

My mother had her house blessed last Monday, which gave me a chance to play some games with my nephews.

Imhotep = 1 Play

I teach Ethan, Maki, and Mikkel to play this SdJ winner. This title always tends to bring out some AP moments as players decide where best to place their blocks and there has always been some backtalk on where best to send the ships. I hope there will be an expansion for this soon!


Green cards are the way to go as Maki gets to win in his first try of this! Maki 44 Me 40 Ethan 35 Mikkel 33

Santorini = 1 Play

Team play on this recent exceptional abstract was next and I teamed up with Mikkel. Distance between players proved to be key as the both of us kept our pieces close to each other and managed to keep Ethan and Maki spread out. I think it would be interesting if a “no talking” house rule would be used once in a while which would make team dynamics more intense, in addition to individual God powers.


It pays to have your pieces closer to each other as Mikkel and I got to support each other better than the more widely dispersed pieces of Ethan and Maki.

Tuesday

Robert was free and this meant another afternoon of gaming at the FLGS.

Five Tribes = 1 Play

I played this with Marie and Rose as Robert had not arrived yet. This is a store favorite but the gals have not tried it with the Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala expansion so this was their first time to try out the Artisans tribe and the new tiles. While they are not game breaking Rose still managed to gather 7 of them which helped pad her score to 171 as she also got to repeatedly place castles on her tile. Both girls said that they liked what the expansion brought so that is a success for me even though I ended up last.


Rose uses her Djinn to construct palaces on a tile she owns to power her way to victory! Rose 171 Marie 141 Me 139

Up Front = 1 Play

Robert had arrived and observed our previous game and when that was over we buckled down to business to play this classic. We decided to go with the city fight scenario again since there were rules errors in our previous play. I decided to use the British though versus his usual Germans and the game was weird since it seemed I could never draw a fire card when I needed one while the Germans kept on raining fire on me. The only way I could score VPs was to advance my groups into building terrain and this I did as my men either died or ran away. I did have a moment when I was in RR5 to his firebase and had a chance to infiltrate and throw my demo charge, but my infiltration failed and it was all downhill as my gritty men survived Robert’s return demo charge throw but git whittled down to less than half for the loss.


Robert’s Germans finally manage to disperse my gritty British only through sheer volume of fire, without losing a single man at that!

Friday

I get to visit the other branch of the FLGS and get to game again with the staff (Julie and Mariel) there!

Ethnos = 1 Play

It has been a quite some time since I last visited this branch so I spent the time teaching recent games I had introduced to the other girls in the other store. This was first since it had elements from other games they had tried before and the randomized races were Centaur, Elf, Giant, Orc, and Wingfolk. The got the mechanics in no time but in the end my experience helped me pick which races to focus on as I win.


Area control plus domination of the giants and orcs give me the win. Me 74 Julie 60 Mariel 31.

Imhotep = 1 Play

This family level game was next and we played using Side A of the locations. I think the spatial element made the girls think harder than the previous game and it took them a bit more time to get used to. It was still a tightly contested game though where I again end up on top.


A very tightly contested game! Me 41 Julie 38 Mariel 37

Saturday

Another weekend council with Keith, Kent, and Jim joining me for the evening.

Orléans: Deluxe Edition = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

This was played a year ago and it was time to bring it out again as we were waiting for Jim to arrive. Kent proves his mastery of these kind of games again as he focused on the Scholar, Knights, and Farmer to be in the lead during the census and university. This enabled him to also complete several other tracks meaning he got to collect a lot of followers. He also managed to get a tile where he could milk gold and was aggressive too in the Town Hall which meant he had a humongous lead in cash where my greater amount of cities and goods could not overcome.


Kent ends up the leader of many tracks as well as have a great gold engine to run away with the game! Kent 158 Me 115 Keith 74

Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure = 2 Plays (NEW)

Most of my orders from the US had finally arrived and this dungeon delving deckbuilder was among the games shipped. I got to teach and play a couple of games of this with Kent and Keith and the newly arrived Jim, with each game on a different side of the map.


Game 1: I am the only one to get out of the dungeon which results in me getting the narrow win on side A of the map. Me (yellow) 70 Jim (green KO) 68 Keith (blue KO) 66 Kent (red KO) 51.


Game 2: Another play on the opposite side of the map has the opposite result with me being the only one not to escape from the dungeon! Kent 89 Jim 76 Me (KO) 73 Keith 64

I really like this game as it is quite thematic and the tension it induces once you see someone make a mad dash back to the surface. The clank and dragon attack mechanics is also exciting and while being able to escape back to the surface gives you 20 points doing so is NOT the only way to gain points and win. Buying VP cards and collecting multiple artifacts (with the help of the backpack) is also a viable strategy and as long as you end up out of the depths you may have collected enough loot in order to offset the fact that you got knocked out. A game that can also be expanded with new cards and new maps which hopefully increases the fun level makes this a keeper for me.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:2]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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A fairly quiet week due to non-boardgame-related busyness...

Game group

Pandemic Legacy - Not wanting to give any spoilers, so I'll be brief: We played months March and April, winning first time in both, though the March win was very close to being a loss. April felt almost like a breeze to win (due to some very lucky card draws early on), but the legacy bits unlocked during that game felt like they'll really start hampering us come May. I felt like we've really started to hone our strategy as a group, all participating in the problem solving, which is great.


With the Kids

Coloretto - A quick game with my 11-year-old. I won 61 to 43. She's getting better though, as that's a decent score she had.



Splendor - A Saturday-morning play with my 8-year-old. She was doing well for half the game (she was up 5 points to 0 that entire first half) but I managed to scoop two Noble tiles in successive turns, and suddenly managed to power forward and surge into a lead, to win 17 to 7. She was one turn away from buying a 4-point level-3 card which would have given her 11, and had another 4-pointer on the go too, but it still wouldn't have been enough to catch me by then. She still enjoyed the play though!


Solo

Forgotten Lands - Kevin Shaud's roll & write entry to the #GenCant roll & write contest, that I did some playtesting for. A fun little roll & write with some interesting decisions to make!


Online

Concordia - first completed game, after my last game at game night had to be called half-way through due to time. I came last in this game, though I think I only got a handle on how to best optimise points just a few turns before the end. Another one I think would benefit from me being able to have a full game play through on the physical version, but still very much enjoyable!
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5. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:379]
Justin
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Waiting for the rest of the group to show up, I taught one play how to play Schotten Totten. We got in two quick games before everyone showed up. I felt bad because I won both games. The first one was close, but i drew exactly what i needed the second game and won quickly.

This was my third and fourth play of it. I'm really starting to enjoy it. I haven't tried the tactic cards yet.

The new art looks great. But I would love to find a copy with the old art. I just prefer that hand drawn look to the newer digital art.




We only had three people at game night this week so Kemet got cancelled. I hadn't played Lords of Waterdeep in a couple years. and apparently this is my first time using the correct rules. I thought you could only complete one quest per round. Its per turn. That makes those mandatory quest cards not so bad.

Towards the end we started to gang up on the third player. He just seemed to be getting what he needed. All the stuff we did at the end to stop him and he still ended up winning by 15.

This game is just quick simple fun. I need to bring this out with my family, I don't think its too heavy for them. They handled Black Fleet just fine.
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6. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Daniel Nilsson
Australia
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Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective x 1

First game for me in a while other than a 5 hour game of Star Wars: Rebellion a couple of weeks ago that didn't quite finish (one very AP prone friend). My wife and I got to play Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective today for our first ever time. Worked our way through the first case: The Munitions Magnate. Really enjoyed the game. I was a bit concerned as to how it might be received, as often, if writing seems forced or like it's trying really hard to be thematic (I'm thinking Eldritch Horror - which is simply not for us anyway), then it can actually put my wife and I off a game. (This is not to say that Eldritch Horror's writing is poor, we just don't really dig the whole Cthulu mythos as it turns out).

The writing (in this first case anyway) turned out to be really great! We had a few chuckles at some of the descriptions and characters encountered. Worked our way through the case in about 1hr 15 minutes and got all but two of the questions correct. It took us 17 leads to get the whole thing but we actually had all of the answers from around 9 leads - just wanted to keep playing and exploring, make sure of some things and get more out of it. I told my wife early on to ignore whatever Sherlock's solution actually was because it is done ridiculously quick and actually, if somehow played that way, misses the key themes and coolness of the game.

Looking forward to playing again - a shame there is a finite amount of cases that are only playable once (though the game is good value for money) - already talking about ordering the upcoming expansion! Maybe once we've tackled a few more cases.
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7. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:344]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Only one solo game last week. On Sunday I played Friday again. Since I lost last Sunday I had to try again. This time I won. Barely. I played level 4. By the time I was less than half way through yellow I had only 3 life left. I thought I was done for. But somehow I managed to not only finish yellow, but red as well and get rid of both pirates. In the end I had 5 life!! It was a low score win - 67, but still, amazing!
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8. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:233] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Century: Spice Road - On Monday evening, my wife and I played a couple of games of Century: Spice Road. We are really enjoying this as a quick, interesting game that we can play a couple of times back to back.
Rating: 7.5

Stockpile - At this week's meetup we played a 5 player game of Stockpile. I was feeling really good about how the game was going for me for pretty much the whole game. Cosmic Computers split like 3 times in the game, and I ended up with 5 x2 shares of it in the second to last round. I debated selling everything before the last round, just to lock in what was really a pretty significant amount of money at that point. I should have done that. If I had thought about that fact that I was the first player for the last round, I think I would have. The bubble burst on Cosmic Computer, and my shares ended up being worthless. I still came in second place, but I was kicking myself anyway.
Rating: 8

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong - After Stockpile, we played a 5 player game of Deception. 5 probably isn't the best player count here, but the game works fine. A new player ended up being the Murderer, which is regrettable, especially since the Forensic Scientist was able to direct us to one of her cards pretty early on. She did a really good job of picking her cards, though, and won the game in the end, because there just really wasn't a good way for the FS to point us towards the rubber stamp for trace evidence.
Rating: 8

NEW Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty's Trail - On Friday night, we had some friends with kids over and decided to give Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty's Trail a try. They have a 10 year old daughter, so we had actually picked this up specifically with them in mind. We played 2 games (I taught the first one, and played the second), and were all pretty surprised with the puzzle and fun that this game presented. Everyone was competitive, which was good for the kids, but the logic behind the deduction puzzle was deeper than it seemed at first. I won the game I played, but it was close, and it actually came down to a 50/50 guess on my part. I knew I wasn't going to get another turn, though, so I took a stab and got just enough points to take it. We all really liked this one.
Rating: 7.5
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9. Board Game: Hi-Ho! Cherry-O VCR Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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This weekend I was able to get the kids to try my old Hi Ho Cherry O VCR game.



I also got to play Yamatai for the first time. While a bit different than Five Tribes, it still definitely feels like a Cathala game. Very fun!


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10. Board Game: Rhino Hero [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:663] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Monday


Monday was a long and involved day, working hard and with barely any time to myself, so I was determined to treat myself to something to play when I got home. As I was in London and away from KT it was to be something soloable, so I played my way through another solo encounter of Pocket Mars. Having once come close to beating the AI (one draw and two losses in my three games) I was not particularly optimistic of winning, especially considering how tired I was, but determined to take my time and think through the various decisions. It turns out that clearing the AI's prep module is a good way of sneaking an advantage, as it prevents them from taking a move, even though there is an associated cost of getting through the deck more quickly. As the deck itself acts as a game timer this is a delicate balancing act, but I was able to place various cards on the bottom of the deck to mitigate this a little. The end came more quickly than I had thought, and it looked as though I had done pretty well, but I was surprised (and delighted!) so find that I had beaten the AI by 17 points to 12. Time to up the difficulty, I think!

Wednesday


While KT and I waited for a couple of friends to pop round for dinner and possibly some games (of which more below) we managed to sneak in a game of Jump Drive, a great choice for filling a spare twenty minutes or so if you have that Race for the Galaxy itch but not enough time to get a grown up tableau up and running. It turned out that even twenty minutes was not enough for me to get my tableau up and running, as by the time I managed to get to harvesting my points for having a strong military element, KT had already been doing the same for research for a couple of rounds and she ran away to win 68-32.


Before we had even put any food in front of our guests we thought we would throw them straight into some gaming, and Codenames seemed like a good place to start. KT paired with one of our guests while I paired with the other, and, as always, it is interesting how you have to tailor your clues to your fellow player and make assumptions about what they do and do not know. My team won the first game when KT's partner inadvertently chose the double agent (we were on for the win anyway), while the tables were turned in the second game as KT's team went on to win 8-5. Our guests really enjoyed it, though, which was a good sign.


After we had bribed our friends with some food and put some wine into them we introduced them to Hanabi, which is always fun with new players as the scales fall from their eyes and they realise that what sounds like something ridiculously simple is actually quite tricky. The four of us got off to a very slow start, and I genuinely feared at one point that we might get a low score in the single figures, but we managed to pick up speed as we went on, even if the occasional Why on earth did you discard that?! moment crept in. In the final round I gave what I thought was a great clue that relied on my other players picking up the hint...but none of them did so and I must admit that I got a bit grumpy, but that frustration is paradoxically one of the joys of Hanabi. Still a great game, and our cards are acquiring that lovely used look as we play it more and more, and we scored 16.


Right, after Hanabi we thought we would treat them to something more meaty, so four player Carcassonne it was, although I suggested to KT that the in depth tactical analysis of every single move that had happened in the previous week could possibly be skipped over in favour of actually letting people play the game . Our guests picked up the central concepts pretty readily, and we were off and running in very short order for an entertaining and enjoyable encounter. Close it was too, and against all indications in the game itself I ran out the victor by a single point, 59 to Brad's 58, Megan's 53 and KT in last place for once with 51. I think that this was an aberration, but I'll take the win, and having played this a couple of times with other people recently I'm really keen to throw in our two expansions and butt heads with KT very soon.


By this stage I was desperate to get Rhino Hero to the table. KT and I had played it, but I wanted the full four player experience, and thought that it would work really well with our guests...and so it transpired. We played this four times, and although we were perhaps a little tired by the time we finished, we were howling with laughter through most of it. For some reason Megan thought that the Rhino was the funniest thing she had ever seen, and that, combined with her joy on seeing the illustrations on the wall cards, made for a truly joyous time. We slightly messed up the tie breaks, but KT won two games and I won two, and I think that our guests may even have gone out and bought a copy for themselves the next day. A really great evening of gaming!

The rest of the week was crammed with social and work commitments that meant that there was no more gaming done, although I picked up copies of Roma and Arena: Roma II that I won in a recent auction, and also tinkered with a couple of reviews. That reminds me, my reviews of Deus and Deus: Egypt are here and here respectively.

Think that's it for now - happy gaming!
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11. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:20]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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The week started off in Dunwich with our first go at Undimensioned and Unseen, where we did about as badly as we could from the initial conditions, short of taking trauma. No Broods eliminated, both characters resigned on the verge of insanity.

I took delivery of Cyclades: Monuments this week, so we played a session of Cyclades. For Monuments, we had the Lighthouse of Poseidon, which contributed to Prp's naval omnipotence, and the City of Warriors, which I used to shore up the defenses of my first metropolis. We played with all Hades modules, including Free Positioning. That was not so great for Prp, because while my choices left me cramped for space (and Ares was a long time coming), hers left her short of cash. I used Philosophers to build my first metropolis, and I also got to use the favors of both Hecate and Aphrodite to good effect. Finally, I let Prp build her first metropolis in the same round that equally let me build my second and win the game.



We played a game of FITS, where Prp beat me in every one of the four rounds.

Then we had some Summoner Wars, which was a rapid win for my new deck Moyra Moves Out: Varn, Qayla, Rygos, Rushers, Wardens, and Cherubim. I did most of the work with my starting commons, and summoned Qayla on my final turn, to help defend Moyra against Xaserbane. (With a Lightning Strke to boot, Qayla wasn't needed.) It was a starting Defender who finished off Melundak, though.

We had a completely chess-tastic weekend. Prp and I played four games of conventional modern chess. She had recently beaten some schoolmates at chess, and decided she was ready to play against me with no pieces spotted. The first game was a stalemate for insufficient material. Still, it was her king and bishop against my naked king. In the second, I let her take my knight with her king so that I could promote a pawn to rook, and mate on the next move. The third play featured a lovely cascading massacre on e4, after which I surprised myself by accomplishing checkmate, pressing forward to take the king's pawn with my queen, backed up by my queen's rook.



Then we played a game of Knightmare Chess, using a common draw deck, since the cards were new to both of us. This game is fairy chess on steroids. There were some interesting effects. The Truce card in particular created quite a set of complications.

We also played four games of Monochrome Chess. I won the first game soundly, but my experiment with "mustering knights" in the second play backfired badly. I sewed up the series in the third play, but Prp insisted on a fourth, where it turned out that I beat her more thoroughly than any of the previous games. I think she was just tired.



Finally, we played our tenth game of BattleLore (2E) for this year. It was the third game of the Daqan vs. Undead campaign that I'm still losing. My Daqan were Crossing the River of Sleep, but got edged out by Prp's Undead on The River of Fate. I got off to a good start, but Prp caught up and passed me. I would have tied it up again and sent it into overtime, if I had managed to land more than 1 hit (or even a single retreat) on the five dice that I threw for my Battle Wizards and Citadel Guards against the Barrow Wyrm on my final turn.

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12. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:67]
Rico Cordova
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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New to me
trash Did not enjoy
Over Hyped
Best game of the week
N Contribution to my Hardcore 10x10

Friday, June 30, 2017
trash  2   Captain Sonar


 9.25 Between Two Cities

 6   Camel Up


 9.25   7 Wonders



Saturday, July 1, 2017
trash  2   Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game

 8   Rocky Road à la Mode
 7.5   Biblios

Sunday, July 2, 2017
N  9.75   Roll for the Galaxy


N  9.5   World's Fair 1893


N  9.75   Splendor


 6   Saint Petersburg
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13. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:366]
Joe H
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[New to Me] On Wednesday night Patrick joined as Wendy introduced Steve and me to Imhotep. The game was light and quick, with some interesting choices, timing and interaction. I focused most of my efforts on the Burial Chamber with a bit of dipping my toes in the market. Patrick, who lagged behind most of the game, saw some late game opportunities in the market and, with a last move blunder by me found even more in the last round. He outpaced Steve (which I think he would have done) despite my blunder. I finished well off the back.



Next, I introduced Steve and Patrick to Near and Far and Wendy joined in for the fun. Steve jumped out strongly right from the start with lots of movement, stamina and a growing number of swords. Steve dominated throughout and finished with a big last turn. He led or tied for the lead in all scoring categories except trade routes (which was held by Wendy). With that dominance he outscored my second place by 26 points.




Solo Gaming

I took a second, much less successful, stab at 30 Rails. I connected the 1-3, 2-3 and 3-4 routes, connected 2 stations to the mine and ran 1 route through the bonus square. But, I just fell short of the 40 point mark. Tough game.



I had my most unsuccessful game of The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game yet. I took a 5 point lead through the second round with points coming from VPs for cloisters AARON placed, goods shipped and animals. In the third round AARON rocked me by completing cloisters and getting the "all 7" bonus. It was all I could do to take an 11-10 lead out of the round. I thought I still had a chance as AARON had a broad tableau but not a deep one. But, in round four, AARON completed 3 sets (with bonuses) for 15 points. All my scrambling could only bring my total up to 18, far short of AARON's 25. An early knockout.



Then came my most successful solo game of Five Tribes. I got cash early and this gave me lots of flexibility. I did have to watch for the yellow and red meeples Yazid was accumulating and had to use several assassinations to get those numbers down. Even so, my margin of success was very thin as I finished the game with Yazid only one meeple away from securing an immediate victory with another red meeple or an endgame victory with another yellow meeple. With Yazid pushing hard on those fronts he didn't push on others and I nearly doubled him in points.



A very unsuccessful game of Dice Stars. I tried to push the stars in then"5" row and was successful but, as I fished for the ones I needed to complete that row. I had one more square to fill (which would have been unlikely) when the bot got its automatic victory condition. Even if I had successfully gotten the last six or orange I needed, I likely wouldn't have won. Very challenging game.



On Saturday afternoon I pulled out Thunderbirds for the first time in 3 or 4 months. I played as Alan Tracy, Scott Tracy and Virgil Tracy. This was a great team for the disasters came up. I kept the disasters contained and with things well in hand, I used FAB cards to reveal the last scheme. This gave me plenty of time to gather the resources I needed and deliver them to the appropriate locations to defeat the last two schemes.

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14. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:437]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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 5   Unfair NEW!

I friend of mine picked this one up, so we decided to play it. I really wasn't a fan. The take that stuff really just annoyed me. I pretty much lost the game because someone decided to blow up 1 of my upgrades on a whim near the end of the game. I don't mind "take that", but the stuff in this game is kind of annoying, and seems kind of unbalanced and too luck based.


 N/A   Ghostbusters: The Board Game II NEW!

I didn't expect to like this one, but it was actually pretty fun. I got the feel of Zombicide light from it, but it was decent. I don' think I'd ever pick it up, but I would play it again.


 8   Adrenaline

We finished the night with a 3 player game of Adrenaline. We used a bot, and I have to say it was pretty interesting. WE used the 3 player map, so I'm actually not sure if your supposed to use the 4 player map if you use a bot, but the mechanic was interesting, and really kept people on their toes. Also the bot had more points than I did.

 N/A   Dead Men Tell No Tales NEW!

I finally got this to the table after owning it for like 9 months. It is a really good co-op with a very hard difficulty. We managed to get 2 treasures before we died from too many explosions. It was kind of like Pandemic meets Flashpoint: Fire Rescue. Definitely a fun play.





 7   Android: Netrunner

THis is my second every play of Netrunner. I was the runner, and even managed to win. I may have to pick this one up some day. A bit worried about the amount of $$ needed to do so though.

 9   Defenders of the Realm

I finished off the week with a game of Defenders of the Realm. I forgot how friggin hard this game is. We managed to kill the undead general, before we were completely overrun by orcs. Definitely my favorite game of this type.


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15. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:236] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Again, not much in terms of playing, but it was, overall a good week.

Tuesday
Eight-Minute Empire: Legends x1
Cthulhu Wars x1

A quick 8-Minute Empire Legends before the CW owner arrived. It was a tight play, with everyone 1 point from each other.

A friend received a new batch of CW items and wanted to try a few things - therefore we used the High Priest and the Tcho-Tcho faction.

The High Priest are a fine addition to the game - little in term of rules, but give players a lot of options. I didn't particularly liked the Tcho-Tcho: maybe it was because none of us knew it, but the Tcho-Tcho just ran away with the game - it got a ton of elder signs with the sacrifice of High Priests, and won really early, by the end of round 4. Is possible that other factions that can get strong fast - such as Shub - could deal with them, but as it was, the Tcho-Tcho had all his figures on the board by the end of 2nd round - there was simply nothing we could really do to stop them by this point.




Thursday
Yggdrasil x1
Witch of Salem x1

Frey and Magni were trounced by the menaces to Asgard. I don't even know how to win this game anymore (not that I once did, but I had hope).

On Witch of Salem I thought I had some control, and maybe I did, but it vanished quickly. Even though I took out two shadows from Miskatonic, I wasn't able to prevent the AO from awakening when the Necron track reached the end - I needed one more round (and luck in a die roll) to win!


Saturday
Sentinels of the Multiverse x1

Parse, Scholar, Knife and Naturalist against Kaargra Warfang in the Fantastic Festival. It was a good match in the Arena: first we were 5 x 0, than changed to 4 x 1. Went to 9 x 5, only for Kaargra to pass again, going 14 to 9 in a single round!

But we didn't gave up, and recovered, specially after Knife gave 9 points with a single turn. We reached 24 to 14, but couldn't win as Kaargra was still fighting - still, it was close, as she had only 13hp left - one more round and the heroes would do the job. However, Kaargra gladiators went to 20 points (due to that bastard one that gives 5 tokens) and won the day, defeating the heroes.


Sunday

No face to face games on Sunday, but we did went to see a race of Stock Car.




And that was it!

Regards,
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16. Board Game: Bretagne [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3283]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I don't get enough opportunities to play this painfully under appreciated game, but I did this past week as a 2P. This is a game about building lighthouses along the French coast, and requires some cooperation amongst players...which also provides ample opportunity to leave opponents hanging.

Anyone getting too greedy, leaving workers behind on building projects, can really set themselves up for pain. Bretagne is very clever, with gorgeous artwork. My only complaint is that there are not nearly enough components included, which can be a pain in the late game.



New to me, I found the game pleasant enough, but it's nothing I'm anxious to run out and buy.

This is a tableaux and engine building farm game where not only are the tiles you obtain important, but so is their placement.

I enjoyed it, but can see this getting old fast. Still, there's enough there to make me want to play it again.



A 3P against two new players, so not much of a challenge as I more than doubled the score of the second place player. Nonetheless, I had fun as I made more use of buildings than I ever have before.

I'm still not entirely sure what it is about the game that makes me enjoy it so much, but right now I'm willing to play GWT any time.

That's it. Until next time...
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17. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:201] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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Hot week! Got to try Scythe, continuing to enjoy Century, and learned Kingdomino. Will add more comments later in the week.



 6.0   Micropul
 6.0   Lost Hedgehog x3
 8.0   Century: Spice Road x3
 4.0   Bananagrams x4
 8.0   Kingdomino x4 NEW!
 6.0   Scythe (how did this get rated a 6? Wasn't planning on rating it yet)
 10.   Sushi Go Party!
 8.0   Smash Up
 8.0   A Fake Artist Goes to New York x4
 10.   Escape: The Curse of the Temple x2
 10.   Dixit
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18. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:150] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Had a fun group at my house for out usual Thursday night game group. And, when my son plays magic with me, it's always a good week.


Two of the people that came over had played Zooloretto before and one had not. She picked it up quick though. I still really enjoy this game and I'm always glad to bring it to the table. Two of the people that show up regularly are husband and wife and it's funny how they'll pick on each other first before anyone else. Case in point, I had to laugh when she took a truck that did her no good, just because it would have helped her husband out. I tied with the newbie and she won with the tiebreaker. Unfortunately, she had to take off after just one game. We played another game with three players.


While putting away Zooloretto, the conversation turned to Carcassonne and the different expansion and variations. I said, "Here's a version you haven't tried before" and presented Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune for a game. The wife of the couple had never played any version of Carc before, so we did spent a little time teaching the basic rules before I introduced out the Wheel of Fortune worked. This is a decent version to bring out once in a while, but can really throw some random points into the mix. If the Wheel lands on points for people who have monks on the board, one person my have 3 monks and get points and no one else does. If you don't like random in your game of Carc, this is NOT the version for you. It does really encourage you to get all your meeples out there just in case.


My son wasn't ready for bed yet, so he and I played a couple games of Magic: The Gathering. I randomly picked one of my terrible decks (they're all terrible I think) and went to battle. The first game I held in there a while but the second game, I was done and gone before I even got started!
On Friday, I was texting with a buddy during the day to encourage him to come over with his magic deck(s) and play some more. He came right over after work, had a couple beers with me and we played 4 games. I randomly picked one of my decks (a green/white deck) and went to battle. To my surprise, I won 3 of the four games! What?? Did I accidentally make a playable deck? My son joined us for a three handed game and I won that. Again... what? My buddy then took off and my son challenged me to another game and somehow I won that too. I need to set this deck aside and try it more!


To wrap up the night, my wife and I played some Pandemic. We didn't start off very well, losing the first 4 games. A couple of them we thought we were doing ok, then the wheels just flew off the car! It was one of those night where she said, we are playing until we win. Luckily in game 5 we pulled off a victory with me being the Scientist and her the Operations Expert.

Have a great week everyone! For those in the States, enjoy the holiday!
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19. Board Game: Smokejumpers [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:7991]
Michael Barlow
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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Smokejumpers for Canada Day (Kerry Anderson, Canadian designer), several near wins...

Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp viral, one hopeless loss.

Ice Breakers to the Rescue (Canadian ice breakers...) one got nowhere start, one win!
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20. Board Game: Onirim (second edition) [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:528]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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Ok, so I played this on Tuesday, but I thought it was worth mentioning as it's only the second game ever to make me jump up from the table and do a little dance when I beat it... Last time I did that was when I first beat Pandemic, so kudos to Onirim (second edition)

I also played Flash Point: Fire Rescue solitaire this week.. I'd forgotten how good it was and really hope I'll get it back to the table soon!!

This weekend has been quite quiet for games..

I lost twice at Haggis, a game that was new to Clare and I, which she instantly took to and completely thrashed me... One game was just five full hands soblue

I also followed this up with three straight loses at Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries.. I've started to realise that I lose more games than I ever win, but never stop loving being a BGG

Added in the last couple of weeks, but not yet played: The Great Heartland Hauling Co., Cottage Garden and Watson & Holmes
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21. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:165]
Darryl with one "R"
United States
Redmond
Washington
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The last time my wife & I played Dungeon Petz, I enjoyed it a lot while she was lukewarm. Her main complaint about the game was that it was very tight -- more than she prefers.

Given that it was our first time playing in several months, we were both flailing around a bit regarding strategy. However, I had 2 nice pet sales using the platform -- one which garnered 12 points, the other 21 -- which constituted more than half of my total score for the game. I won, 62-53. However, given that I maintained a 10-15 point cushion throughout most of the game, the outcome didn't feel much in doubt.


Picked up on the cheap recently from Amazon, we decided to give The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game a shot. We both like the original, although not as much many other Europhiles. (That is, it wouldn't be anywhere near my or my wife's 11th-favorite game).

I won in a nail-biter, 31-29. While she focused on collecting animals -- and she finished with 2 full sets of 4 by the end of the game -- I had a more well-rounded strategy.

We both liked the game and feel it was worth the ~$9 and the minuscule amount of shelf space it takes up. I still prefer the original more -- to me, the shorter playtime is not worth losing the strategy of the tile placement or the variety of knowledge tiles. My wife, on the other hand prefers the card game -- it maintains much of the feel of the original, it's less fiddly, and plays in noticeably less time.


Last chance for Dungeon Petz!

Both of us played a bit better, as I won 75-66. This time, the scores were also very close for much of the game. She leapt ahead with a high-scoring pet sale in round 5, and I responded by doing the same in round 6.

I still enjoy the game quite a bit. However, my wife does not because of the tightness. I agree with her that it can feel tight and punishing if you make a mistake. For example, if you don't grab a new pet in round 4, you're probably going to be in a tough position in round 6 with 0 or 1 pets to sell (unless you have a very large pet you've had for several rounds). The reason why is that in round 5 of the 2-player game, the dummy player is blocking the size 3 pet (which a player could have otherwise picked up and sold in round 6), and size 2 pets won't be big enough to sell by round 6. Unfortunately, my wife realized this only after I took both of the pet spaces available in round 4, so she was left with no pets to sell in round 6. Then she had to watch helplessly as I passed her with 2 sales in round 6.

Thus, even though I like the game, and my wife thinks it's objectively a good, well-designed game, we're going to sell/trade it.
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22. Board Game: Super Motherload [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:521]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Very good gaming week! 5 days of games in, 10 plays of 7 games. One of them got out of dust after amazing 28 months! No new games but 1 more play for my hardcore 10x10 challenge


Wednesday

The week started with a play of the amazing Alchemists. We are really getting to play it more and more often lately, which is great! This time it was a 4-player game. The winner again had that artifact that allows you to not pay money when you publish. She ended with 37 points. I mad a horrible mistake early on + did't vouch enough for my 2nd published theory (I did't know 1 color). Still, I ended with 31 points. I had the artifacts that let you see one of the supplies other people use for their potions. 3rd guy had 18 and the last guy had 8.

And then we played Krosmaster: Arena. After almost 29 months! Wow! One guy left, so we did a 3-player game, free for all. I won by completely wiping them off


Thursday

On Thursday, I finally manged to convince SO to play Super Motherload again. One of my favourite deck buildings! He focused on getting high vp-pilots, while I focused on completing major objectives. I won 68 to his 59.


Friday

On Friday, we played another game of Innovation, 2-player game. I won with 7 dominations to his 3.

And next up was Valley of the Kings: Afterlife. He won 76 to my 75. Very, very close!


Saturday

On Saturday, low and behold, SO wanted to play ANOTHER game of Super Motherload. He may like it yet This time, he won with 70 to my 53. So, naturally, he liked it more

And next up was another play of Tyrants of the Underdark. This time with the demons and dragons decks. I won 91 to his 84.


Sunday

On Sunday, I played 2 4-player and 1 2-player game of Hey, That's My Fish! with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and niece only. 1st one was 26(me)-23-16-13(niece), 2nd one 25(me)-23-20(niece)-19 and 3rd one was 43(niece)-40(me).
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23. Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:158]
Walter Kolinski
United States
Chicago
IL
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Splendor


Battlestar Galactica


Roulette

Village

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24. Board Game: Artifacts, Inc. [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1104]
Randy O'Connor
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Monday


Artifacts, Inc. x 1 - Really close game with Julie where she triggered game end by getting 25 points. I had 16 points with a final turn left and was able to get a B level card which scored me four points. We totaled our points from Museum majority in which I had 10 points and Julie had 4 - final score 30 (me) to 29 (Julie).



Sunday


Five Tribes x 1 - Another close two player game with Julie where I initiated end game by placing my last camel on the board and with my final action I was able to hire the Djinn who gave me 5 points instead of 3 for palm trees on tiles I owned. Final score tally - 189 (me) to 184 (Julie)

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25. Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:111]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We managed to get in 2 games of BANG! The Bullet during lunch on Monday. I was an Outlaw both times. The first game ended quite badly as the Sheriff was completely unharmed by the end of the game. The second one ended well for the Outlaws as we were able to take down the Sheriff before the Renegade managed to take me out and nearly turned my partner against me.

Tuesday's lunch game was high-scoring game of [thing=1300182]Survive: Escape from Atlantis![/thing] in which 13 points was only enough to get me third place!

We played another game of this at lunch on Wednesday. Two of us tied for first place with 18 points in a rather vicious game where a large number of people were devoured by sharks and sea serpents.

Dominion was Thursday's lunch game. I ended up coming in third with 40 points, well ahead of last place's 15.

We also tried to cram Concept into the last 10 minutes including a rules summary. There were 2 very quick rounds of easy items but it was enough to at least get the idea. Definitely an activity more than it is a game, and one I'm not entirely sure I'm a fan of.

I managed to convince my wife to finally give Lorenzo il Magnifico a try on Thursday evening as we were listing off all of the game we have that we've never played yet. Apparently the "I've been told it's better than Grand Austria Hotel" approach did the trick. Explaining the rules went fairly quickly since they're relatively easy. Figuring out what you want to do and how to go about getting the resources you need to do it ends up being the real tricky part, especially when you start to realize how those excommunication tiles can really screw you if you don't also put some energy into getting enough points of faith. While we never ran into any issues or rules questions with the game itself, we did find that we got a little screwed by not planning things out because we didn't fully grasp the impact of our actions and the value of the dice yet since it was the first game. Neither one of us ended up getting any leader cards put into play; once she remembered she had them, she realized she could have probably played one on the previous turn before the spent the resources, and I was 2 coins away from getting one out but taking a whole action to place out a one-use card wasn't worth it compared to the points I got from a different action. I ended up running away with this one 104-65. Definitely an interesting game so far. I suspect that things won't end so one-sided in future games now that we better understand how the game itself works. I'm definitely liking this one so far; not sure if it's better than Grand Austria Hotel just yet, but it has the chance to get there.

The first lunch game on Friday was Star Realms where I managed to come in second as I was not quite able to off my last opponent.

With about 20 minutes left, we decided to squeeze in a game of Love Letter and just pretty much played as many rounds as we could in that time limit. I only managed to win 1 of the rounds.

We spent part of the long weekend at my parents' place installing a new router for them and managed to get a little bit of gaming in while we were there. We played 3 game of Mow on Sunday evening where I lost the first game quite badly and my dad came in first. I managed to win the second game and my dad and I tied in the third.

We ended the evening with 2 games of Love Letter. I was pretty far ahead in the first game, needing only 1 favour token to go when I just couldn't catch a break and kept getting knocked out of the rounds. My dad ended up winning the first one with a big come from behind upset. The second game never went my way at all as my mom just picked people off with Guards with uncanny guessing abilities.
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