What Did You Play This Week? July 03-09, 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 428


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1. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:528]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Lots of travel this week...

Monday
1x - The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game - Solo
mb - 3x 4 mins swim w/ 1 min rest
3x - No Thanks!


I grabbed my cup of coffee and setup CoB:TCG for a couple solo plays to start a quiet work day. I got out to a great start winning 30-25, but the AI was out for revenge and made it close in game two but I won on the tiebreaker, 24-24.

Swam at lunch. In the evening the whole family along with my youngest daughter's friend played a few quick games of No Thanks! after dinner.

Tuesday
mb - 3.16 mi 26:40 (8:26) - cool, morning run
1x - The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game - Solo

The CoB:TCG AI completed four triplets in the last round raising the bar too high for me to keep pace thus defeating me 36-29. Had I not taken VP in the penultimate round I might have had some options to potentially complete two more myself to make it interesting.

Friday
mb - 3.16 mi 26:10 (8:17) - cool, humid morning; hip tightness

Saturday
mb - 5.17 mi 43:42 (8:27) - cool morning run

Sunday
1x - Century: Spice Road

Taught my wife how to play. She wasn't blown away but initially thinks it would be fun with more people and open to seeing how it is with more plays. I agree, and hope that it can take hold as an occasional quick 2p game in our collection as well.


I had a lot of travel with family so didn't get much gaming in this week.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 65/100
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2. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:6]
Daniel Nilsson
Australia
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Terraforming Mars x 1

Went to a local gaming meet up this weekend. Spent a bit of my time meeting people I’d organised trades with and bought a couple of games from the retailers there. Unfortunately, my time that day was a bit limited so I was only able to get in one game. Played a 5 player game of Terraforming Mars which was everyone’s first time playing the game. One of the players was contemplating purchasing it and we all wanted to see what the hype was about. The game took a little under 3 hours, including rules overview but it felt like it moved pretty well for most of the time. We all started with Beginner Corporations. Early on, most of us seemed to be pushing up the Heat and Oxygen pretty consistently. Not too much city building or oceans at those stages of the game. Not too much attacking happened during the game but it didn’t feel too mean when it did happen. I finished third, where I think the scores were something along the lines of 74, 71, 65, 58, 50. Those aren’t the exact scores I’m sure but they’re roughly what I remember. The guy who won had a lot of income rolling in towards the end of the game. I went for points with animals and building spaceships. We all enjoyed the game but agreed that it probably isn’t worth the price tag as it currently stands. The gameplay was excellent but not having insets on the individual player boards (like a Scythe or something like that) is actually pretty annoying. This will probably spark a debate about ‘value’, but the components, while nice, don’t quite match the cost. I also think that 7 on BGG is a bit high for this game – did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it more than I’ve enjoyed games like Concordia or Castles of Burgundy? I did not. Those also have a far lower price point (CoB admittedly is poor in component quality). I do however think that Terraforming Mars probably rewards multiple plays – being familiar with the cards and strategies would be useful and it would be interesting to play with the variable corporations. Good game, but it didn’t ‘hook me’ from the first play. Opinions, right?



Carcassonne: Winter Edition x 1

Continuing with my controversial start, I also played a game of Carcassonne which is a game I have never been wowed by. I picked up this version in a recent trade and thought my wife would like to try the game. We had a 2 player game of it today and, at the end of it, we were both a bit lukewarm on the game. I won by about 30 points (again, don’t recall the exact score) – my wife completely ignored faming which I did emphasis could be worth a few points at the end (I got something like 22 points from my farmers). Obviously Carc is big at setting the trend for tile laying games, and I’ve never had a bad game of Carc, but it doesn’t really blow me away either. Don’t see this getting to the table at home again, will likely add it to my school’s board game club collection and see what the students think.

Castles of Burgundy x 1

While I appear to have been quite critical of the first two entries (and again, I liked Terraforming Mars!), I can assure you that there will be no criticisms here, I love Castles of Burgundy, even though I’ve only won 2 out of our 10 plays and even though today’s game wasn't even close – with me losing 204 to 178, it’s just fun every time I play it. We’re at the stage where the game runs pretty seamlessly. Used the mini-expansion Monastery boards today. I was behind the 8 ball from the beginning and never had a really clear picture of what exactly I wanted to do. My wife kept clearing up the only Quarry tiles that came out (literally no Quarries came out in the Black Market section this game). She then had some technologies that gave her workers for these as well and just used these to great effect. I tried to make some points from shipping but never did enough in the area to bring me back. Had a couple of nice rounds completing large, 6 sized sections, but was not really in contention. Still, I’ll never knock back a game of CoB and would 100% throw money at a deluxe edition that had nice components.

Go, Go Little Penguin x 1

Picked this HABA game up on the weekend. The game literally consists of rolling a die and moving either your big penguin (if you roll big feet) or your little penguin (if you roll little feet). The first player to get their penguins to the end wins. I picked this up to introduce my 2 year old to games (we’ve already mucked around with Animal Upon Animal). All we did today was roll the die and he had to say “Big Feet” or “Little” and we moved his penguin. Kept doing this until his penguins got the fish, then he had to show everyone in the household the fish he had collected. Looking forward to trying more HABA games over the years.
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3. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:406]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Tried out a few new games on boardgamearena this week, and one was very close to making the main entry for this geeklist item. It was just pipped to the post by Mystic Vale, which I figured was a more legitimate best-of-the-week item due to having played it in physical form!

Game Group

Mystic Vale - NEW - A first play for all 4 players at the table. After speed-reading the rules and setting up the initial cards in sleeves, we were off! A great game of card-crafting, which is a very interesting twist on deck-building. I'd always dismissed it in the past as just a gimmick that didn't add much (and indeed the superb artwork is TINY and gets lost amongst everything else), but it turned out to be a really fun (if light) game. We played a couple of rules wrong, but all enjoyed it, and the owner of the game said she was going straight out to buy one [or possibly both] of the expansions!



Discoveries - I optimistically started teaching this to 3 other players with under an hour to go of our game night. It was clear we wouldn't get the game finished after it took 10 minutes to explain the rules and another 10 minutes for the first few rounds until people "got" how the dice placement worked, but by the end we were speeding through turns and completing routes aplenty. Had to call it only half-way through the exploration deck, but I think they all enjoyed playing. Hopefully we can play another game of it next time, now the others know the rules, and finish within an hour.


With the Kids

Snap - My 5-year-old had gotten out one of our decks of traditional playing cards, and really wanted to play something. He asked to play Snap, and so I "played" along with him, most of the time prompting him when there was a match (he had trouble distinguishing the Jack/Queen/King as the pictures looked fairly similar and he wasn't bothering to look at the letter on the card). He enjoyed himself very much.



Dobble - And as he'd enjoyed himself playing Snap, I suggested we play Dobble, which he also likes. He did well, and his ability to spot matches is getting a lot better. I handicapped myself by counting to 10 before I looked at the cards. Things became somewhat harder for me when my 7-year-old turned up and started helping the 5-year-old!



Coloretto - A couple of games, with my 8- and 11-year olds, then my 11- and 13-year olds. Good games; I won the first, and my 13-year-old won the second. This has become a regular in our house of recent!



Pyramid Solitaire - We'd popped into Staples earlier in the day (now called 'Office Outlet' due to the recent buyout of Staples in the UK), and my 8-year-old had found this game running on one of the laptops in store. She had enjoyed playing it, so when we got home, I dug out a deck of cards and taught her how to play it. She really enjoyed it, and played it at least 3 times, managing to win once. Great to see her picking up games and playing them happily on her own. It was about her age I was first introduced to Klondike Solitaire, so I have great memories of doing much the same as she was - sitting playing game after game, trying to get a win, and being elated when I finally did it.

I did have to look up the rules to this solitaire game though; I don't think I've ever played this version offline before. And it took a whole page of google search results before I found a link that gave me the rules instead of linking me to a "play it online!" site.


Online

Lewis & Clark - NEW -2 players; amazingly, won (considering I didn't really know what I was doing for the first few turns)! It was VERY close at the end: Jim needed 3 less resources at the end of his turn in order to set up camp beyond the end flag, but just couldn't get rid of them. I think I very much lucked out in getting JUST past the flag one turn after he had, with no resources and no cards left bogging me down, so I could set up camp without going back at all!

I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed this game. The race element ramps up superbly towards the end, and you realise all those cards you bought to allow you to speed along the rivers and mountains are now clogging up your hand and are entirely useless to you at the end, and all those resources you were saving to activate said cards are also just weighing you down. Really clever balancing of having resources to activate cards vs keeping a light load to stay further ahead. And an interesting worker placement element, which I didn't utilise much in the 2nd half of the game, as the cards I had were powerful enough to get me the resources to activate the other cards I needed. Great stuff. Moving higher on my wishlist for purchase now!



Takenoko - NEW - Another new one to me, though I've known I'd wanted to try it for quite some time (another that's been on my wishlist for ages, and now appears to be between print runs and unavailable ANYWHERE - except in another language and from another country). Really enjoyed this game too; I managed to scoop the win over my opponent, in the very last turn (completed 2 objectives in that one round to boost me over his score by just 4 points). It's a fairly light game, but a lovely visual appeal. Hopefully Boardgamearena will give it a 3D makeover with its new 3D mode, so you can see the panda, gardener and that bamboo in all their 3D loveliness!

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4. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:228] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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A friend of mine was in from out of town, so I got a bunch of gaming in this week.

==============Wednesday=================

8  Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

We started off the week with a game of Mansions of Madness. We attempted the second scenario for the second time. It kicked out asses once again. No idea how to beat this one, but we all had fun. FOr about half the game I wasn't allowed to talk.

==============Friday=================

7  King of New York x2


Played 2 games of this. Once with 3 players which was pretty good, and once with 6 players which was crazy and awesome. I'm really glad I grabbed this one. Power up really makes it much better.

N/A  Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space x3

Played 3 games of Escape from the Aliens in outer space. I never made it to an escape pod, but we had a surprising number of humans survive. Definitely my favorite hidden movement game.

7  Dungeons & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard

Played a quick game of this while waiting for gaming to start on Friday night. I really enjoy this game. It's like Cash and Guns, Rock paper Scissors, and D&D smashed up. I definitely recommend this one for a quick filler type game.

10  Cosmic Encounter

We ended the evening with a game of Cosmic Encounter. It was not one of the better games I've played as we were all out of practice, and had 2 new players. The new players had a few times where they didn't understand the rules and it probably cost them the game. Hopefully it didn't ruin the game for them.


==============Saturday=================


8  Secret Hitler x2

We started off Saturday night by playing Secret Hitler with 7 people. I fell like this is where the game really starts to shine. I think 7 + is the only way to play it. We had some great moments. The Fascists won every time.

7  Between Two Cities

Had a single game of Between Two Cities. I forgot how much I love this game. The balancing act of building 2 cities and scoring the worst one is just great. I was undefeated until this game. My wife took the win, although all the scores were very close.

8  Diamant

Played a single game of Diamant, and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. We had 2 rounds where everyone died on the second card, but on the flip side had one player take home a fortune and get out just in time. My favorite push your luck game by far.

9  One Night Ultimate Werewolf

We ended the evening with many hours of One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Not much to say except we had some hilarious moments, and some great lying. This is still my favorite hidden role game.


==============Sunday=================


N/A  Innovation Deluxe NEW!

My Kickstarter arrived on Saturday, so the wife and I played on Sunday afternoon. The new card art is really cool to look at, and there is more content here that I will play through in a while. Unfortunately I managed to explain something wrong, and my wife did not have a fun time. She thought that she couldn't use her dogma effects if I had more symbols than her, and sat around for the last half of the game thinking she couldn't do anything. As you can imagine that's not a very fun time. She did say she enjoyed herself in the beginning, and would play again not that she knows how the game works. Definitely excited to be able to play this one again.


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5. Board Game: Ruse & Bruise [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1871]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
just one day of playing games and it was yesterday :-)

We played four different games Yesterday.


We had one game of Splendor in the morning :-)
It was a 4-player games which I won with only 7 cards "bought".
The results were really tight as my wife was 2nd with 14, my older daughter's penpal 12 and my older daughter (Mélaine) 8.

Then, in the afternoon we played :

Augustus : it was a 5-player game with my wife winning the game with 74, I was 2nd with 58 Janice (the German penpal) got 50, Mélaine got 47 and my son was last with 44.


After this all of us was ready for a game of Ruse & Bruise. It was a game I hadn't played for ages (more than6 years at last).
So after the explanations all of them seemed to enjoy the game excepted Mélaine who didn't get any goal cards, so her result was easy to calculate :-)

The results were the following : Clement won the game with 40, I was 2nd with 38, Natacha and Emeline were tied with 32, Janice got 15 points and Mélaine no points at all :-)
It was a really interesting game and excepted Mélaine all of us enjoyed it.


Finally we played a 4-player game of 7 Wonders.
It was, at last, Mélaine's game! she won the game with 65 points, I was 2nd (again) with 64, Natacha was 3rd with 54 and Emeline (my younger daughter) was last with 53.

We are now preparing our trip to England. We are going to spend two weeks in Kent, near Canterbury. So if you know some good shops or game conventions in the forecoming two weeks don't hesitate to tell me :-)

In terms of translations I worked on 4 games, 3 games for TBD : Lethal Party, Aves and Numeracy legends and the Rainbow Unicorn. I also worked on a game for Japon Brand : Lagerstätten.

Thanks for taking time to read this.
Have a nice gaming week. :-)


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6. Board Game: Heart of Crown [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:2572]
Adam Lucas
Canada
Belleville
Ontario
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I'm back from a bit of a writing hiatus.

Wednesday


First game of the evening was Heart of Crown. We played with Castle Wall, Draft Notice, Gossiping Duchess, Imperial Estate, Panicked Magic Beast, Alliance, Samurai, Seal of Verification, Trader, Fine Horse, and Monopoly. Which now that I'm counting is eleven cards. Well, no one acquired or bought Monopoly or Draft Notice, so I guess it wasn't such a big deal.

When we play I'm usually not the one to build up their economy the fastest, but I was the first to back a princess and took Klamklam, one of our group's favourite princesses. From there I bought out the stack of Court Maids as fast as I could, which kind of protected me from Gossiping Duchesses, but I still dropped from 18 points to 12. Towards the end I bought the Imperial Palace just to say I did it, which probably cost me the game. I couldn't get to twenty when my two opponents did and then it was one turn later that one of them reached thirty for the win.



Our second game was Potion-Making: Practice. I started with the Supreme Talisman and a second talisman in my hand and thought I was off to a great start. Well, no. Not at all. There wasn't a single talisman played all game, so I kind of had a dead card in my hand for the entire game. One opponent meanwhile was whipping up potions just about every turn. I placed in second.



The third game was Race for the Galaxy. I started with New Sparta, but found almost nothing for military. One opponent decided to just play Explore all game. I'm not sure if that was a viable strategy or not. My highest scoring came from gaining a couple of genes planets and the development that cares about genes planets. I even consumed two green goods for six points with the development and finished the game in first place at 27 points.



We finished the evening with Kingdom Builder. I can't remember much of the details, outside of starting in one of the larger deserts and then drawing three deserts in a row. Not good when Discoveries and Nomads were in play.


Sunday


First game of the day was Mystic Vale. I pushed and spoiled a lot. As this was my first game I tried to stack decay on one card and buy an advancement that cancelled it later. That didn't really work.



Second game was Race for the Galaxy. I started with a couple of developments that reduced the cost of other developments or provided cards in the development phase. For most of the game I bought a bunch of the 6+ developments, including the one that scored for developments. Final scoring was messy, but I won by a nice margin.

We played a second round and this time I had a difficult decision. I started with the two developments that scored for novelty planets and two of the alien worlds that needed conquering. I explored as much as I could to not have to decide, but I had to start pitching the alien worlds. The next turn I drew the Alien Rosetta Stone and not long after I was seeing a lot of the military cards. Fortunately I drew a ton of novelty worlds and in the last turn had five novelty worlds and a matching windfall. I wound up tying for first, but won on the tiebreakers.



We finished with Roll for the Galaxy. I started with two 6+ techs so that kind of dictated my game. My development wanted one of each different dice and I was able to get most of them, but yellow evaded me, even with a few 4+ and 3+ tile draws in a single turn. At two players with the third player almost always matching what I was doing and thanks to wasting too many dice looking for a yellow world I wasn't even close to winning.
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7. Board Game: USAC Auto Racing [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:11293]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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It had been over a year (14 months) since I had run a full race of USAC Auto Racing, and I was at ConSimWorld Expo on race day this year, so July 4 seemed like a good time to start a race using the 1966 driver set created by
Jon Reka
United States
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. Jim Clark took the pole, with Graham Hill and Gordon Johncock rounding out the front row.

After playing The Civil War at gaming group, I ran the race Saturday and Sunday, all 25 laps. That's a lot of dice rolling! As it was, family commitments prevented me from finishing the race, but with 24 out of 25 laps run, it came down to a drag race on the last lap between Jim McElreath and Gordon Johncock. Out of turn 4, Johncock pulled even on the inside. It all came down to the final roll, and Johncock won by three spaces, an exciting finish.
After Lap 17.

As for the 1966 drivers, I commend wolvesjr on a great job with the graphics. After lamination, they looked almost as good as the Avalon Hill components. I'm a little less impressed with the driver stats. The results are plausible, but the qualifying speeds come in too high. I hate to say it, but the accuracy would benefit from ramping down the speeds two or three on good rolls (snake eyes, 11) and maybe 1 or 2 on the other entries. Maybe when I retire, I'll take a shot at fixing them.

Rating: 5.9 out of 10 (still a luck fest, after all).

The Civil War

In between, the gaming group met to continue the 1861 campaign. We had left off in the middle of Turn 12, and we got one more tie for command points before the turn ended. With Willy Hughes out due to a family birthday, I jumped sides and helped David Dailey manage the Union against Bill Chriss and Jim Story for the South.

We finished Turn 14, April/May 1864, and the election of 1864 is looming. I didn't want to get in David's way, but I think he made a mistake reinforcing the South Carolina invasion. The CSA responded with 7 Strength Points under A.P. Hill in Columbia, and that precluded converting the state. Tennessee holds on by a thread, with a demoralized and out of supply Army of Tennessee under Lee in Nashville. Both Memphis and Chattanooga have fallen, but the CSA Army of Mississippi threatens to retake Knoxville, so David may not convert Tennessee on the next turn. His early failure to use riverine invasions has complicated the supply problem, as the rail lines are unconverted. Still, it could go either way.
Position at lights out, Turn 14.

Even though we've played this to death over the last three years, it's one of the best wargames out there for my money.

Rating: 8.1 out of 10.

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8. Board Game: Ignis [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:7334]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Prp's Restorationist Friday won out over my Loyalist Monday in a play of A Study in Emerald (2E). Although I triggered the game end on the VP track, I was two points behind her after adjusting for the alignment difference, and then the final penalty had the score at 26 to 19.

We had a couple of fine plays of Summoner Wars, continuing the matchup between Moyra Moves Out and Melundak Attack Pack. In the first my Moyra won again. Both players decked, but neither reached an empty hand. I was able to summon only one champion, Varn, but the others were in my hand at game's end, and I could have summoned one of them, if it had come to that. But Varn, who had been on the wrong side of the Jungle Shadow walls, finally broke through them and finished off Melundak, who had been taking earlier punishment from Rushers and a Warden.



Then Prp insisted that we swap decks for our next play. In that one, I achieved victory for Melundak before either player decked. And I never summoned a champion--though I had Xaserbane ready to go, and had summoned two Jungle Guards. Melundak took one wound but later healed it through a Consume in Darkness.

We had another play of Knightmare Chess with a common draw deck. I had Prp down to a naked king, but she used Bribery to convert my checking bishop, which achieved a stalemate for her.

I won a little three-game series of Cubeo.

I had become accustomed to losing Ignis, but I won this week by paying a little more attention to defensive play. Still, it was close: I only had one piece left when I won!

This week's session of Arkham Horror: The Card Game had a nail-biting finish in Where Doom Awaits that got us through the Gate! I thought my Zoey was a goner, but she was going to go down fighting Seth Bishop atop Sentinel Hill. In the meanwhile, Jenny cleaned out the clues at that location, finishing the act deck, and getting us to a very satisfying conclusion. In the next upkeep phase Zoey would have drawn her final card, triggering her defeat by way of Beyond the Veil. And in the next turn, the doom count would have advanced the agenda deck to its final card, and presumably a less favorable resolution.



I got a rematch in Forbidden Stars between my Chaos Space Marines and Prp's Eldar. I pulled off a fast and efficient win, as Chaos claimed the Hellforge on the Eldar Craftworld in Round 2, and recovered the Chaos Relic Sword at the end of Round 3 (pictured).



Our final game of the week was a play of Kingdom Builder, with Quarries, Caravans, Houses, Towers, and Rope Bridges, scoring by Ambassadors, Lords, and Messengers. It was our first game with Messengers (from Kingdom Builder: Marshlands), and we both did well at those: I scored 28 points from Messengers alone. Prp got two Towers and used them to go out early, but it didn't help her much against the stunts I could pull with two caravans and a house.

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9. Board Game: Sidibaba [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:5305]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Sidibaba - On Tuesday, we had some friends over for some light gaming. We played a 5 player game of Sidibaba. This is a fun first person maze game. It's a bit frantic, and, as the king of thieves, it's a bit difficult to play as well as you might like. On the other hand, it's pretty difficult for the players to navigate the maze, even without the king of thieves throwing them off.
Rating: 7

Escape: The Curse of the Temple - After Sidibaba, we played a quick 4 player game of Escape: Curse of the Temple. It was a first time play for 2 of us, but they got up to speed very quickly, and we all managed to escape the temple in time. Lots of fun. Maybe one day I'll get to add in some of the expansions.
Rating: 7

Hanabi - We finished up the day with a couple of 3 player games of Hanabi. It was me and 2 new players. We did pretty well on the first game, scoring 18 points. The second game was a disaster, though. I think we finished with 14 points or so? A couple of unlucky blind discards pretty much tanked our hopes. We all had fun with this one.
Rating: 7.5

Viticulture Essential Edition - On Tuesday evening, I went to my regular weekly meetup and played in a 5 player game of Viticulture with the Tuscany expansion. I had not played with Tuscany before, and it added a couple of interesting wrinkles. I like the 4 seasons, and the additional cards. I really didn't like the area control element on the map. It just seemed tacked on and uninteresting. I think I came in 4th place, but I had fun and would play again. I still have pretty much no interest in the wine making theme.
Rating: 7

Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty's Trail - After Viticulture, I introduced the group to Purrrlock Holmes. I think we were all a little tired, and so our deduction skills were maybe a little weaker than they normally would have been. I also misunderstood one of the players questions and gave a bad answer, which probably hurt his experience a bit. Still, I think they mostly enjoyed the game. I know I did. Later in the week, my wife and I tried this as a 2 player game, and were surprised at how well it played at that count. It was tougher; Furriarty escaped twice. By the third game, we caught him before it was too late, though.
Rating: 7.5

Dice Tower Con
NEW Panamax - My work schedule prevented me from being able to attend the whole convention, but I arrived on Friday evening and started playing as soon as I could. I kicked things off with a 3 player game of Panamax. This was a really interesting game. It was a bit of a bear to learn from the rulebook, but once we got it down I think everyone enjoyed it. We were all just feeling out the game, so the scores and strategies were all over the map. I came in second place. I'd like to play it again, but it's clear from this play that this game is better at higher player counts, so I'm not sure I can justify buying it.
Rating: 7.5

NEW Ponzi Scheme - After Panamax, we played a 4 player game of Ponzi Scheme. This is probably the game that inspired the most laughter for this group (mostly at the misfortune of the other players). I won this won, in part because 2 of the other 3 players (and very nearly all 3) went bankrupt and were out of the running. I did not feel like winning this game was a testament to any skills on my part. We all enjoyed this one, but it's hard to say how much table time it would see in our regular groups. Most of the people at the table decided that they would probably grab a copy if they see it on sale.
Rating: 7

NEW Yamataï - I spent Saturday morning unloading a bunch of games at the flea market, but I was able to start playing again in the early afternoon. We started with Yamatai. My wife and I love Five Tribes, so I was very curious about this one. I enjoyed the mechanics of the game well enough while I was playing. I didn't really think it was doing a lot to distinguish itself, but there were some interesting decisions. Unfortunately, the down time between turns was just too much. I would have finished the game, at least, but the others just weren't into it, so we called it about 2/3 of the way through. This might be better with 2 players, but, again, it wasn't really grabbing me enough to find out.
Rating: Did not finish

NEW Cyclades - After Yamatai, we tried Cyclades. This has been on my list to try for years now, so it was nice to cross it off. Everyone at the table enjoyed Kemet, and we were pleased to find Cyclades to be very interesting, too (although I think we all prefer Kemet). There was a slim chance that I would have been able to win if I had been able to get the Pegasus and use my Ares action to invade someone, taking over 2 islands (one of which had a metropolis, and the other would have given me the last building I needed to build a metropolis), but one of the other players managed to beat me to it. We ended the game with all of the other players saying that they would probably end up buying a copy at some point (I kind of doubt I will, though). Definitely a hit.
Rating: 7.5

NEW Guilds of London - After Cyclades, we played a 4 player game of Guilds of London, another game that has been on my list to try for a while. I thought I was going to be able to win this one, especially after I blocked another player from getting his 6 points for not having any liverymen in his general supply, but I didn't quite have the juice in my end game points, and finished in second place. There was nothing wrong with this game, and it had its moments, but really it just didn't distinguish itself enough for me to ever be likely to seek it out again.
Rating: 6.5

NEW Inis - We ended Saturday evening with a 4 player game of Inis. After Cyclades, we were all pretty eager to give this one a go. It was... no a hit. The game is mechanically simple with some interesting choices to be made, but too many of the action cards were low effort take-that cards for the tastes of everyone at the table. We ended up calling this one before finishing, too (maybe a round or two before we would have), not because of downtime, but because it was getting late, and everyone had seen what they wanted to see. I would probably play it again, if asked, but I don't think anyone has much interest in giving this one another go.
Rating: Did not finish

NEW Cottage Garden - On Sunday morning, I played a few round demo of Cottage Garden. If you like Patchwork, this seems like a pretty good version of that that accommodates more players. It might be a little lighter? I'm not sure, but it's close. this one has a leg up just because it has cats.
Rating: Did not finish

NEW Ancestree - After the Cottage Garden demo, we played a quick game of Ancestree, which is a tile drafting/laying game by Eric Lang that's being released later this year from Calliope games. It's a light, quick filler. We enjoyed it well enough. We got crushed by the guy teaching the game. I wasn't crazy about the art/components.
Rating: 7


All in all, Dice Tower Con was a good time, but unlike previous years, I ended up mostly ruling out games that I thought I might want to pick up at some point. I didn't leave the con empty handed, though. I picked up Dice Forge (I like the designer's previous game, Seasons, a lot), Werewords (I'm very confident we'll enjoy this one), and Skull (a bluffing game I've been meaning to pick up for a while now).
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10. Board Game: Kemet [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:70]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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Just one, four player, game of Kemet this week. We had a blast. I love this game. Getting victory points for winning a fight keeps the game moving along.

Hopefully we can get the play time down. This one took us almost two and a half hours. That about as long as a game can go and we still get it finished. Some of that is just us talking without actually playing at the same time.
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11. Board Game: Bärenpark [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:527]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Still recovering early in the week and just spending time w the family.

Friday

Solo The Colonists - played two eras.

Online Targi and Ginkgopolis.

Saturday

Solo Dice Stars, my first play. I think it would be a good alternate to Quixx for my wife and I to play at restaurants.

We found out our meet up store was closing and ended up moving to my house.

Four player Near and Far. My 2nd game and still enjoying it. I think I'd like to try the campaign mode now that on the 2nd map we started opening up lasting effect key words and sub adventures.

Jonathan left and Cindi and Allen joined Russ and I and we played Sagrada per Cindi's request. Most had played it before and it went over well.

I suggested Bärenpark which arrived in the mail. I had played at Origins and my wife likes Patchwork so I thought this would go over well, and I think it did. Side note - my box from my on line store arrived mid date Friday and sat in the rain all day and my box got so wet some of the in shrink games inside got wet. This one was the worst. The retailer offered to replace it - we shall see - it was just the outer box. Obviously I could still play the game.

We ended the night with Metro a game that Russ taught us many years ago so we all knew how to play it well and was a perfect end of the night game - with quite a bit of take that happening.




Saturday/Sunday
I updated the Renagade games app and played three games of Clank!: Sunken Treasures solo. They have updated the app to include the expansion as well as they appeared to have made it a little harder. I died one of the three plays with the added dragon attacks in the app.


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12. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:374]
Joe H
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Gaming Group

I started out by teaching Wendy, Olivia and Ashley Cottage Garden, a light polyomino tile placement game where you are competing to create the most attractive cottage gardens...with attractiveness being measured in terms of flower pots and flower covers (something I don't particularly get). Everyone raced around filling up their gardens. I felt like I was getting behind and always finding myself in a position where I only had a choice of two tiles. So, I spent a cat to get more choice, a decision that cost me down the line. Olivia was the last to finish her boards and, despite the round 6 penalties she incurred, managed to win by a few points. I did learn that people can be very picky about which cats they let into their garden.



[New to Me] Next, we broke open and punched Olivia's new game of Karuba and Ashley taught us the game. This was a light, fun tile placement game. I was pretty amazed at how different the four boards looked at the game he od the game. Wendy triggered the end game by getting her fourth explorer to the temple and won. Thank you Ashley for teaching the game and Olivia for letting us punch the game.



[New to Me]Next, we played another of Olivia's new games (another game I'd never played), One Night Ultimate Werewolf. We played several four player games with 2 villagers, 2 werewolves, the seer, the robber and the troublemaker. After that Patrick, Bill, Tony and Remi joined us and we added the 2 masons, the insomniac and the minion. This was my first time playing and I enjoyed all the tabletalk, though I wasn't particularly good at it.


Gaming with My Wife

[New to Me] On Monday Sharon and I finally got to try an Escape room game, Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor. We enjoyed the puzzles and got hung up a bit on the last puzzle but still finished it in less than 30 minutes. II'm glad we played it with just two. There just isn't enough stuff to work on to keep more than 2 or three people occupied. I thought it was very clever. My wife enjoyed it enough to remind me a day or two later how much she enjoyed it. Good thing, because a shipment of games on the way included another escape room game. We also had fun reboxing the game to gift to my brother and sister-in-law who are visiting next weekend.



On Wednesday Sharon and I played her favourite game, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. Our random selected setup was Madelyne Pryor, Goblin Queen with her team of Limbo, Skrulls and Sentinels in the "Invasion of the Skrull Shapeshifters" scheme. The hero team consisted of Black Cat, Captain Marvel, Invisible Woman, Magik, Thanos and Winter Soldier. We were able to get some heavy hitters relatively early in the game and I was able to thin my deck pretty sharply. Early on Sharon was gathering shapeshifted heroes while I was defeating villains but, as we neared victory, she started defeating villains. We knocked out the Goblin Queen pretty easily with Sharon taking a 33-29 win.


Solo Gaming

On Friday I had some time to play Ghost Stories at the Introductory level. I played two monks, the Green Taoist with Strength of a Mountain and the Yellow Taoist with Bottomless Pockets. The neutral Taoists had Dance of the Spires and Heavenly Ghost. Things started out pretty well then went sideways a little bit. Some use of the Neutral tokens and some sacrifices of Qi at the Sorcerer's Hut got the board back under control by the time the Vampire Lord appeared. A few turns later the Vampire Lord was defeated.

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13. Board Game: Legend of Zagor [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:7781]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Two days with plays this week:

Tuesday
Legend of Zagor x1 -- new to me
Knatsch x1
Netrunner x1 -- new to me
Iron and Oak x1 -- new to me
Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift

I have a long history with Legend of Zagor. I'm a gamebook collector for around 20 years, and started with Fighting Fantasy books. Once my adulthood allowed me to go after items of greater value, I went looking for collectables in the FF line. LoZ was one of them - one of the biggest ones, as it sold poorly, meaning is harder to find, and the crazy size of the box make harder for anyone outside the UK to get one, due to the shipping fees. I spend years after LoZ, but couldn't find one for a reasonable price and a seller that would send the game to Brazil. Anyway, at a momment things aligned and I got my copy, some time ago. I didn't buy it expecting to play - as I thought it is likely a bad game, and, after reading the rules, the impression remained the same.

But a friend was open to try it out, and so we did. Surprisingly, we had fun! Yes, the game is weak: plenty of random elements and luck deciding the winner, more than decisions. Yet, the playing time was reasonable and with the right mind-set, the game can work. This won't be a hit, but is nice to know that, eventually, I can bring it out to the table.

The Knastch play last for around 5 minutes - in two it isn't great, and I had plenty of luck with the die rolls.

The original Netrunner surprised me, as I was expecting the new game (A:N) to be more original, however Netrunner is 90% of what A:N is! I can't say much for balance or replay value at this point, but for sure it scratches the same itch with much less hassle.

Iron and Oak was enjoyable - still, the game play seemed too repetitive, as most of the time both sides were simply trying to move the ship (and failing) then firing (and failing in causing damage), and this get worst once we actually did some damage, which made moving and firing properly less likely. Weird. But the scenario was quick enough for the repetition doesn't bother much.

We continued with the Perdition's Mouth campaign. Again we struggled in having a fun time - the first scenario we tried was brutal, and we lost in four rounds, when victim was sacrificed. After this we tried a different scenario, and in this one we could play, but the presence of Conjurers means a play with lots of blocking - one player couldn't even do a proper action for 3 rounds. Anyway, we went to the final scenario, but decided to wait a couple of weeks before returning to it.


Friday

Black Stories Funny Death Edition x8

On the road to a town around 250km from my city we played 8 cases of Black Stories Funny Deaths - this edition only serves to show that darwinism is still at work to make us a better people.

And that was it!

Regards,
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14. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:454]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Barley anything this week. just a single quick game of Elder Sign.
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15. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Fernando Santos
Portugal
Amadora
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One more week, not much games but still had some fun and that's the more important thing!

Monday:

Me and my wife had 2 games of our favorite game of the moment: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game!
Just the core game and trying some setups I saw online of some people who didn’t won those.
But we easily beat those setups, but of course, we have more than 60 games under our belt and just the core is just too easy (yes, I know Loki and the Legacy Virus are an exception of course!).

The week went on without gaming because life happens!

Then came the weekend:

Saturday:

My first play into Forbidden Stars, and kind of a frustrating one! I managed 4 objectives(i was Chaos and that was also my way of playing that)! Yay for me! But the pesky Orcs also did it and since they had more worlds, ops, i got a second place….
I did like the game but that did went on and on and on and on….
And people complain that Arkham Horror takes long, really?

Then very late at night on that same day after this game and with my brain already melted what did we played?
Battlestar Galactica of course…
So the game went on and on, and in the end the Humans won (yay I was human), in a very boring game!
There were two cylons, not one of them revealed themselves, we did know one of them (a newbie) but since she was being more cooperative and not much of a hindrance we managed to win! The other cylon was the most experient player, but every time he is a cylon he manages to not reveal himself ever! And only making chaos on putting cards on the crisis…
So, Galactica survived! Unlike my sleep hours… I managed to get to bed around 05:00 am.

Sunday:

My brain needed some cooling after the beating of the day before, so just gaming with my wife and more Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game!
We did 3 games of those with the same setup and we lost every single game! Harsh!
Misty and the scheme Crushing Them With My Bare Hands beat us every single time! One game we did manage to hit Misty 3 times but not enough. But we will take her on with the same setup! Never surrender!
For two persons that’s a very harsh timer! Worse I only remember one time we had a setup we won in the seventh try! With Authoritarian Iron Man and Deadpool Writes a Scheme…

After that we decided it was time for a new campaign of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords!
In the last one I was Valeros and she was Seoni, so this time she is Amri and I am Sajan.
Time for a Barbarian and a Monk to take on the perils around Sandpoint!

And that went very bad indeed! Our first try with the intro adventure, the one with the bandids had us put our tail between our legs and run to fight another day (remember gang, if everyone dies no one is going to raise you, word of advice I give to my Pathfinder Pcs, since I am their GameMaster in my RPG campaign).
But we will return! And conquer!
I hope…..


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16. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:175]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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On Friday I played Jaipur with Lance, Stacey's boyfriend. They came for the weekend and brought Lindy home who will stay for a few weeks. Saturday we spent the day fishing, boating and swimming.


On Sunday Lindy and I played Bruges, using Tenzi as a start player game. I should consider getting the expansion for this. I like the game quite a bit but it always feels to both of us like something is missing.


Later Lindy and I played 3 rounds of Boggle. I actually won!! (Lindy usually wins this)

6 games played this week, one was a star player.
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17. Board Game: XCOM: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:456]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We played 2 games of Sagrada on Monday afternoon after getting back from out of town. I ended up winning both games. The first one was a somewhat close race while the second game I won by about 30 points.

It had been a while since we played Fabled Fruit so we played 2 games of that, getting a little further through the remaining cards. Some of the card combinations in the fixed sequence they come in just aren't that interesting; we ended up never using a few of them simply because their abilities were far worse than some of the others that were on the table, or were rather useless with only 2 players. I somehow won the first game which is a rare occurrence for me, managing to take a final juice right before my wife could (she was the first player so she didn't get a chance to take another turn). I lost the second game by 2 which surprised nobody.

Back to Sagrada for one more play where it became clear very early on that I was not going to win without some kind of miracle as the dice just were not cooperating, being a mixture of the wrong colours and numbers. This time my wife ended up winning by about 30 points.

Tuesday's lunch game was Ascension. I scored fairly high but only managed to come in third. I still don't see the appeal of this deck builder and the foil effect on every single card makes me want to claw my eyes out.

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

While my wife was busy packing for her little getaway down to Reno, I decided to squeeze in a solo game of [thing=2247621]XCOM: The Board Game[/thing]. Since it had been a while, I decided to knock things down to easy difficulty and felt like I took forever to get all of the bits setup (mental note: make an insert for this to make setup easier!). Asia quickly fell into a panicked state but I was able to keep the rest under control despite some unfortunate losses. Things started getting a little hairy near the end as some bad rolls lead to some ugly damage to the base, and the loss of a few units, and a lot of areas had become dangerous as I didn't do a good job at keeping the EXALT tokens in check. I was eventually able to polish off the final mission but it cost the lives of every soldier that was assigned to it. Their sacrifice for humanity will be remembered.

Concept was the game of choice at lunch on Wednesday. I lost count of how many rounds we played but it was a good little filler one for the time.

We played BANG! The Bullet during Thursday's lunch break and I wound up being the Sheriff this time. Shortly after taking down the renegade and 2 of the outlaws, my deputy died in the line of duty trying to take down the last outlaw. The stand-off between the two of us lasted for quite a while as we would both be saved by barrels or some kind of miss card. I managed to finally get the upper hand and managed to take down the scoundrel after bleeding the cards from his hand and watching his luck with the barrel finally run out.

There wasn't enough time for a second game of BANG! after the prolonged game, so we switched over to Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers. I was doing okay for a while before my luck ran out and I'd either knock 1 or 2 pieces off or have someone hand me one of theirs only to have something fall off. I ended up coming in last.

My wife was looking to take some small and easy games with her on her trip with her parents down to Reno and it seemed like Unexploded Cow would do nicely since it was small and simple. Since it had been almost 3 years since we last played it, we had to play a couple of games to get the rules down again so she could teach it later. I lost the first game by about $1,000 but won the second one by about $1,300. I forgot how much I love the artwork in this one.

Hanabi was another one that my wife wanted to take with her, so we played a game of that to teach her the rules again. It was a little rough at one point as we got into a bit of a sticky situation where we would be down to a single hint token and just kept exhausting it and getting it back by discarding something. We ended up pulling off quite a show as we managed to finish the game with a perfect score of 25 on the last round after the deck ran out! This is the first time we've actually managed to pull that off.

Friday's lunch game was AssassinCon which we played for the first time. The rules for this one are a bit of a disaster so I had to read it a few times a few days before.

With my wife now out of town, I decided to play a solo game of XCOM: The Board Game that evening. Thing started off pretty ugly and stayed that way for most of the game as a number of continents were bombarded by more UFOs than I could handle, particularly when some of them got blown up from bad rolls. Asia fell into a state of panic very quickly but I was able to keep at least everything else somewhat under control until I 6 UFOs hit Europe in a single turn. The final mission ended up getting unlocked and I had more than enough troops assigned to it and resources available to tear through it fairly quickly, but I was unable to send out enough interceptors to take down the UFOs menacing Europe. I lost the game when Europe was the second continent to fall into panic, just moments before I could possibly complete the final mission.
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18. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:35] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Citadels

Never really got going due to being targeted, and then I grabbed someone else's hand only to realize just how difficult it was to play stuff. Ended up with 16 across 4 cards.

Codenames: Dixit

Aka the original Codenames: Pictures. I had two cards that were so similar and yet I only needed the one to where I simply got stuck giving a proper clue. Games with the base game never really have an assassin picked, as where it happened twice in this configuration. This will in some time take over as my most played game at game night taking out No Thanks!

Captain Sonar

Went 1-1. Not much to be said for one of my favorites from last year. There does seem to be an issue once in a while with the one marking where the other team goes getting things messed up at some point.
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19. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:336]
Matt P
United States
Missouri
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Another great week of gaming. My wife and I have been on a nice little hot streak and have been playing tons of great games. This month we decided to do a challenge where we both pick 2 games and try and play them 3 times each. My intent with the challenge was to explore some stuff we have only played once. My wife of course picked a couple of her favorites .
Her: Concordia and First Class
Me: Le Havre and Manhattan Project: Energy Empires

 9.0   The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire This blew me away last week so I decided to add it to our monthly challenge. We had another very close game but my wife couldn't keep up with the nice brown/green science and steel combo I had going with Canada. Highly, highly recommend this game.
 9.0   Le Havre x2
 9.0   Concordia
 9.0   Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
 8.0   Arboretum x3
 8.0   First Class x2
 8.0   Bärenpark
 8.0   7 Wonders Duel x5
 8.0   Hero Realms
 7.0   Anachrony NEW!- An absolute dog to set up for the first time and after all that work it left me wanting more. The game is mechanically sound and pretty fun but for everything involved it had no "wow" factor other than chrome like the miniatures. Hoping more plays will leave a better taste in my mouth.
 7.0   Eclipse NEW!
 7.0   Baseball Highlights: 2045 – Super Deluxe Edition
 7.0   Alhambra
 N/A   VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game NEW! Neat little roll and write. Has some area control mechanics going on and you can do some research to unlock new abilities. These haven't gone over as well as I thought with my wife but this was pretty good.
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20. Board Game: Indonesia [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:184]
Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Finally got to play this masterpiece, and I agree with what everyone says about it. I think it's more forgiving than some of the other Splotters, but you can still be eliminated and it still takes 4-5 hours.

It's quite heavy and I felt mentally fatigued afterwards, so not something I would play often, but I do want to play again.
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21. Board Game: The Palaces of Carrara [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:517]
99 Boardgamers
Belgium
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Hi !

A couple of days ago we played
The Palaces of Carrara


I can't remember the score, but I did quite well.
It was a 2 Player game, because we didn't had enough food to invite some more people kiss

I've spent hours fixing this Print & Play version kiss
meeple The Palaces of Carrara is one of the best games with Palazzo Tiles in it!


After that, we played
Jambo



...you know, that game with all the goods and stuff.

It got pretty late, and with my X-ray sunglasses on, it rather looked like this:



5 A.M.thumbsup Time for our monthly...
Schwarzer Kater
gambling session at the local Night Club! kiss


As usual, 'Big Money' was involved !
meeple Schwarzer Kater surely is one of the best games with cheese in it!



zombie



Before breakfast , we played our favorite City-Building-Card-Game-for-9€ :
Metropolis (The City)








kiss I did very well, but because of the heat, we lost count laugh



meeple Metropolis is one of the best games with 'Architects' in it!
meeple People who like 'city building games', but dislike tiles: this is your game!!




During the sunny afternoon, we played
Barony...




... all wrong! zombie We ended up stuck in the middle!
Suddenly, someone stood up and shouted loudly:
" meepleBarony is one of the best games with the move-your-horses mechanism! "



Nightfall, let's all play
Grand Austria Hotel



I won with these 2 active 'staff cards'

Conclusion?

meeple Grand Austria Hotel is by far one of the best games with a Trash Can Token in it!



In the early hours we wanted to solve some
Black Stories







Playing 'Black Stories' in black E


meeple Black Stories is one of the best games where you have to solve far-fetched riddles!


The rules say you can play this on your own,... veeeery tricky, ..how do you check you're on the right track without reading the answer?
ninja



A couple of days later I wanted to test my Dominion shuffler, so we played a few games of Dominion


zombie

thumbsup 1 game had my all-time-favorite-card in it:
'Feast'




meeplemeeple

There are some rumors about an upcoming movie
called 'Dominion: The Secret History of a card called Feast'

meeplemeeple

E Mr. Donald X. Vaccarino did not confirm this (silly) rumor.





I would like to thank you for your time and patience!





See you all at the 'Orléans Meeple Fest'

or 'Catan'

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22. Board Game: Valletta [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2306]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I've been waiting to get ahold of this game, and as it showed up to my FLGS this week, I was able to play it twice, once as a 2P and once as a 3P.

Valetta is a fairly fresh take on deck building where there is tension between wanting to maintain a thin deck, and wanting a thick deck for the end-game, which can come quickly.

I enjoyed my two plays but I have an early concern that initial player order is very important and quite disadvantageous to those going later. I certainly like the game enough to keep playing it, and hopefully my concern is proven wrong with repeat plays.



Another very satisfying game of GWT as a 3P. I think this is easily my favorite game of the last year.



One of my most poorly played games of MP ever, my pre-game board analysis was very far off, and I took the absolute wrong character and paid the price all game.



I haven't played Alchemists in 2 years. However, I just picked up this expansion and wanted to try it.

I played with one other person and we used the first three modules. The expansion adds a lot, but I had forgotten how stressful it is playing. Making even minor errors in deduction will derail your entire game, so you have to be extra careful.

Nonetheless, I found that I still love the game, even after (or may because of?) a long absence.

That's it. Until next week...
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23. Board Game: Pueblo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:975]
Mike Rundquist
United States
Kenmore
WA
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MONDAY
1x Among the Stars

Two players with Ambassadors,Goals, and promos with Revival rules. First win against my wife at AtS since June 2016!

TUESDAY
1x Lords of Waterdeep

Played with my wife, Sister and BIL. We played with Under mountain but not Skullport, as my Sister and BIL are new gamers and this was their first worker placement game. They liked it.

THURSDAY
1x Musée
2x Red7

My wife exacted revenge and beat me soundly in all three games, in fact I won only one hand total in both games of Red7.

SATURDAY

Three player Games with Tod and Dawn

1x Tigris & Euphrates

First play for all of us. I won on tie breaker, I liked it, the other two were more ambivalent, but I think they will try again. How wars and revolts worked was the sticking point, but will clear up with more plays.

1x Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition)

Tod took us down pretty handily

1x Pueblo

I clipped a win by 2 points

1x Metropolys

Tod took us down scoring more points than the two of us combined!

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24. Board Game: Cottage Garden [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:631]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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Some good gaming mid week, showing some love for Jambo, Haggis and Forbidden Island

Surprise of the week was Star Realms which a friend bought me.. I get a little gulp with deck builders, but didn't want to seem rude (it was a gift after all), so agreed to play... Lost the first game, totally, but then, suddenly I fell in love... and have ended up playing a lot with Clare since.

Most underwhelming play this week was my second play of Galaxy Trucker.. I want to love it, but it just does nothing for me and will sadly be back gathering dust on the shelf cry

No gaming Saturday or Sunday as way too busy, but Clare and I did get Cottage Garden to the table for a couple of plays on Friday. So, it's pretty much Patchwork with some added game mechanics. Maybe that's simplifying it a bit, but regardless of how you get your pieces, you're still 'puzzling' them together albeit on a garden rather than a quilt. It's pretty and the pieces are ace and of course, you can play up to four, which obviously isn't a quality shared with Patchwork.

But is it better than Patchwork?? Oh, I don't know. If you or your better half likes gardening, then this is a 10 out of 10 game... For me, well, I prefer Patchwork. The biggest problem with Cottage Garden is the 'end game'.. Round Six with two players makes absolutely no gaming sense at all and I think Clare and I will be using house rules to finish the game in future!
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25. Board Game: Imperial Settlers: Aztecs [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Tuesday


I picked up Roma over the weekend, a recent auction win, and KT and I decided to play it fairly late on Tuesday evening when I returned from London. I had taken a look at the rules and it all looked intriguingly straightforward, and thus it proved. Our first game was just about to develop into something approaching a tussle (and I was revving up for a sarcastic remark about KT's AP taking us way over the advertised half hour game time) when she suddenly took a move, looked me in the eye and said "Oh, have you run out of points? That's the win to me then..." We set up once more to play again, and this time the end game came when the pool ran out of points, at which stage I was ahead 22-17. KT said that this game wasn't grabbing her, but I am fairly sure that there is more here than initially meets the eye, and in terms of aggression (which I like but KT does not) this sits in a sweet spot between Battle Line and Babel. I am keen to explore this some more, especially as it came with Arena: Roma II tucked in the box as well.

Wednesday


KT took a look and selected Century: Spice Road from our unplayed pile for the evening's late game, and as it was what I was itching to play I was happy to come along for the ride. This is one of the hot games of the moment, and it took only a couple of minutes to explain the game and get up and running - lovely art, lovely tokens too. However, it is not a good sign when a player needs to gain six scoring cards to end the game and I am willing that moment to arrive from only two cards in. There is nothing wrong with Spice Road, nothing at all, but we both certainly found it to be on the dull side. Get these cubes and turn them into those cubes and then trade them for some other cubes. Sorry, spices. I am being a little harsh because there are some lovely touches in the game, and I can certainly see how it could hook people in, but we both agreed that it was a classic 7 out of 10. I am now ranking my 7s either as 8s (keep) or 6s (cull) though, so Spice Road went up for sale and sold within the hour, so at least I was grateful for some of the hype. Oh, and KT won 99-74 but neither of us really cared.

Thursday


After two new games in a row and plenty more in the previous month, not many of which had convinced us of their worthiness, KT felt that we were not paying nearly enough attention to the classics in our collection that we love to play. She was right, of course, so we have decided to focus on our old faithfuls a little more for the rest of the month, even though we need to sneak in a couple of review plays as well. Thus it was that creaky old dusty old Catan found its way to the table on Thursday evening. After an abortive start with a new (but swiftly rejected) two player variant we went back to our traditional way of playing, and it proved to be a runaway success. People like to prove how knowledgeable they are about games by saying how terrible Catan is, but it could hold its own in a bar fight with a decent percentage of the Cult Of The New and come out on top with resources to spare. Anyway, we played it twice in a row with the kind of intense interplay that comes from over fifty games of head to head gnarliness. I was ahead in our first game until the final couple of moves, when KT built a city and swiped the Longest Road card in a single turn to win 11-6, and in the second game we both struggled to get up and running, but she was away before I had really left the starting blocks, taking the second win 10-5. As so often, playing a bona fide classic left us both wondering why on earth we play so many average new games that come our way when a decent bout of Catanian pugilism ticks so many boxes.

Friday


Despite the fact that we do not play it as much as we would like to, Imperial Settlers is one of our favourite games, and I topped up our collection of expansions and promos at the recent UKGE. KT wanted to try out the Imperial Settlers: Aztecs on Friday night, so I spent some time sorting out and attempting to understand the various cards from different decks, and then we went a-gaming - I chose the Barbarians, just because that's about how rough and uncivilised I feel when playing this game, and we played with the Friendly Variant. As with the Atlanteans it took a couple of rounds for the Aztecs to really get going for KT, and we had to reread a couple of bits of the rules a few times to understand fully what was going on with some of the tokens (and to note that the white blessing tiles are not needed unless the Atlanteans are involved), but once KT had got her tableau up and running she was pretty unstoppable, especially once she had a few extra cards tucked away to use in her Play actions. She had a glut of resources and romped home to an easy victory 94-56 and, ooh, what's that over on the Portal website? Looks like Aztec common cards..! My initial impression is that they seem like a pretty powerful faction, but maybe my Barbarians could have played to their strengths a bit more and interfered with what was going on on the other side of the table. Given the choice I think I'd rather play the straight up game than the Friendly Variant, but having said that I'd rather play with the Friendly Variant than not at all, and hopefully we can give this a couple more runs at least in the coming weeks. Here's a picture of KT's Aztec Empire stretching into the distance...

and her big pile o' resources...



A good week, though. Happy gaming!
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