What Did You Play This Week? July 24-30, 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 431


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1. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:584]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Training suffered a blow, and my summer gaming returned to mostly solo play...

Monday
mb - 3.0 mi 24:54 (8:18) - calve strain

Tuesday
mb - 10.0 mi 31:22 (19.1mph/138AHR/90-100rpm) - stationary bike

Wednesday
2x - Century: Spice Road

Taught my buddy a new game that wasn't to taxing on him after a long few days and claimed the win. My wife joined us for a second game and true to fashion pushed the pace and I thought she pulled it off only to have the win snatched away by 1 point, 56-55-47.

Any one who makes a judgment on this game after one play simply hasn't played enough to be fair in their conclusion, or they just don't like this kind of game. The game itself is solid.

Friday
1x - Forbidden Island


Island: Davy Jones' Locker
Roles: Explorer, Diver
Level: Elite
Result: Lost. The island was split early on so each character worked a section but just couldn't get the treasure cards needed to get more than one treasure before the required locations were sunk.

Saturday
1x - Forbidden Island
mb - 12.0 mi - bike trail with daughter

Island: Davy Jones' Locker
Roles: Engineer, Diver
Level: Elite
Result: Won. Luck was on my side with all three Water Rises cards coming out in the dealing of the initial hands giving me a good head start. Each character got a treasure by the time I shuffled the deck and quickly got a third. It was fairly easy to manage the shoring up until I got the fourth treasure and ultimately a chopper to get out.


I strained my calve on a hill climb during my run which sidelined me for a patch that will be frustrating. My wife continues the summer trend that doesn't really involve much gaming, so after last week's game day I'm back to mainly solo play. I'd like to get her back to working on our 10x10 so we can get to some other games we want to play more, which is not to say we are tired of our 10x10. Quite the contrary, we are enjoying them, just stuck on pause.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 67/100
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2. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
99 Boardgamers
Belgium
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Hiii, how are things?

zombie

Another week, another game...
so, let's share some impressions!


In the beginning there was
The Voyages of Marco Polo



zombie This is an early prototype of the game,
..but you couldn't do that much! laugh




thumbsup So, they added some cards and after the...



..arrival of Marco Polo,

the game was ready to take off! goldencamel

zombie And yess, we do like it a lot and play it whenever he have the chance!

meeple Marco Polo still has it's flavor, and the random card setup keeps things interesting
meeplemeeple I like the fact that there are only 5 rounds, alltho there should be 6 rounds! zombie



kiss 'Why not play some low rated games??' kiss

zombie 'Ok!!'




So we played
Mundus Novus



We really like Mundus Novus;
the art,
the gameplay,
even the fiddly trading phase!

And... like always, someone had to show off with the '10 card combo' thumbsup,
which ended the game. (no one cried, at least not in front of the others) laugh



meeple Mundus Novus is a nice euro-ish card game, recommended for ages 8 - 115
meeplemeeple We do not own the 'Promo cards' but one can always sent it to us zombie




Let's calm down and play
Great Wall of China


Photo taken at 'Essen 1895' (Press room) kiss

meeple If you like numbers, than this is your game!!
meeplemeeple ...(like I said), if you like numbers..!!!
meeplemeeplemeeple...


zombie
ninja
zombie




The very next day, after lunch sheep, we played
Bruges
a couple of times

laugh I included the upcoming
'Dinosaurs & Other Misery Expansion'zombie


...but that semi Co-op was way too fiddly zombie

afterwards.. we played it like it should be played!






We did include the expansion
Bruges: The City on the Zwin, because Bruges
is surrounded by water (believe me!) ,
and it's kinda silly to play without boats! zombie





meeple
'The market' adds some power to a particular action, ...too bad the cards are text only.

(As you know...I like drawings)



I lost, because I had to cope with a major disaster thumbsup


meeple This is one of the best games that includes more than 200 characters
meeplemeeple You can easily stretch game length, just get 2 or 3 copies of the game
and set up 2 very big draw piles
zombie





zombie

kiss This is how you score multiple victory points
for the houses you own
E




kiss 'Hey!' kiss

zombie 'What??'

kiss 'Did you play with the Animals?' kiss

zombie 'What animals??'


W mintcamel These animals! Of coarse we included

Die Haustiere (The Animals)



laughThat was a lot of Bruges!!laugh




Between 'game setups', there is always time for a quick filler like
Mr. Jack Pocket



And yes... we had to bail out 'Mr. Meat Cleaver' again! zombie


ninja Due to holidays, vacations, city trips and barbecues
we weren't able to play more games, so I apologize for that!!

We couldn't complete our 1000 x 1000 Ora et Labora challenge as well zombie



As a compensation, I give you this 'Marco Polo' screensaver meeple



kiss
zombie
laugh




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









The layout may be confusing, but so am I
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3. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:375]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine and I hope you had a great gaming week.
We are back home so now I will be able to post links and pictures...

Nice gaming week even if we had one day during which we didn't play.

Monday :


1 Can't Stop Express played (3 player-game)

1 Res Publica played (5-player game)

Tuesday :


2 Black Stories solved

2 Res Publica played (5-player game)

Wednesday :

Nothing played as we were packing and preparing to come back to France :-)

Thursday :


Driving all the day long, excepted when we were in the tunnel on the train. We played 3 Black Stories.

Friday :


2 Biblios played (2-player game)

Saturday :


1 Innovation played (2-player game)

Sunday :


1 Thèbes played (2-player game)

3 Qwixx played (2 2-player games and 1 3-player game)

I also updated our 10x10 Challenge. We have now played over 60% of the final goal.
I also managed to update the geeklist for the game we have played since the first of January 2017. For the moment we have played 63 different games. I don't know if it is a lot or not... :-)

No translation this week, holidays were dedicated to play with the famil and nothing else :-)

Thanks for taking time to read.
Have a nice gaming week :-)
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4. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:111]
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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I hosted my second board game day at my house on 7/29 and about 20 people attended. It went over really well and I think it will pave the way for an every other month type of schedule. Outside of the games I participated in, other games I saw played on Saturday were the new Eric Lang Godfather game, Tiny Epic Quest, Raxxon, Dice Forge, Werewords, Tumblin-Dice and Oracle of Delphi.

The games listed below were some of the games I participated in, both on Saturday and at my weekly meetup on Thursday. This is quite a bit of gaming for only two days.

 9.7   Great Western Trail

This was my ninth play of GWT and my sixth in the month of July. To say I like this game is an understatement. This time I wanted to try a new strategy. Instead of unlocking a bigger hand size at a cost of $5, I instead chose to unlock faster travel (and gain $3) when I first delivered to Albuquerque. In combination with this, I wanted to buy a lot of cowboys AND put out a lot of buildings so that my opponents would be slowed down while I had additional travel actions. It worked. I finished with 116 points, my best score ever. I admit that I got a bit lucky with objective cards as every time I could choose one, I got the ability to pick a card that needed certain types of cows and I was really going crazy at the cow market in this game, so I had 3’s, 4’s and 5’s to spare. I got 47 points from my deck alone! GWT is a great game that I will play at even the slightest suggestion.

 9   Champions of Midgard: Valhalla NEW!
 7.7   Champions of Midgard
 7.5   Champions of Midgard: The Dark Mountains NEW!

We got COM to the table this week as I received the expansions on Tuesday. Let’s just say that I will never play without the Valhalla expansion again. For me, COM is a pretty good game, but it doesn’t crack the rank of “very good” for me if I am talking about the base game alone. If you add in Valhalla, the overall package easily goes to an 8.5, maybe higher. Valhalla is a totally necessary expansion. No longer is this a purely luck driven game ruled by dice rolls. Now, you can fight a monster and lose, but you lose in STYLE, as you get chits you can spend for immediate or delayed gratification/benefits. The Shield Warrior (yellow) and Bezerker (Pink) dice are awesome as well. This adds so much strategy to the game now. If there is an epic monster you want, you first have to go acquire the dice you need to kill off. Maybe that requires fighting a Bergrisar (Dark Mountains expansion) or maybe that requires you to spend some chits on a Valkyrie Blessing to give you the pink or yellow dice you need. Plus, the blue leader dice and their special, unique powers are awesome. So, so good. As for Dark Mountains, I hate to say it, but Dark Mountains is largely unnecessary. The Archer dice feel weak to me and the Bergrisar's only give you Archer die as a reward. However, the fact that every Bergrisar requires a land journey card makes the Sage Hut location on the main board much more valuable. A good, not great, and certainly not integral, expansion. But the overall package is pretty awesome, assuming you have a table big enough to support it. I bought the neoprene mat that incorporates all the expansion locations into one board. It’s fantastic, but it is also a huge table hog. Add in all the dice and chits and tokens and you have to really have solid table space for this one.



 8.9   Concordia

It’s been a long time since I played Concordia so when three different people brought it to game day, I eagerly suggested it. This was my first time playing with five and we played the Bycantium map from the Salsa expansion. I made a critical error early in the game. I was the last player in turn order and when every other player made a b-line for Thracia, Macedonia or Asia on foot, I took my ship and sailed to Scythia as there was a salt location there and I figured I could build more cheaply. However, there are very few places you can go AFTER traveling there (by sea) and I became a bit land locked with my other pawn. The other players had built close to my location, making building more expensive and I wasn’t able to sail from the NE corner of the board quickly enough to make ground in the lower provinces. I did a really good job acquiring Jupiter and Specialist cards, but I wasn’t able to build in enough locations to make the Jupiter cards score more than 30 points for me. In the end, I finished last with 82 points, a solid 40 points below what I got on my first play of the game a few months back. This experience shows how great this game is as the map and the other player decisions GREATLY affect your play. I adore this game and will play it every chance I get.

 8.4   Village

It had been almost 6 months since I last played Village. Nobody seems to request it. But I had two players interested in playing, so we pulled it off the shelf. To my surprise, we ended up getting five players (including my seven-year old son, Hunter) to play the game. My big regret is that we didn’t play with Port or Inn (both of which I own). I think both expansions make the game much better, but I wasn’t fresh on the rules for either and the table just wanted to get into the game. I find Village to be very challenging and it’s a game I rarely win. In this game, the winner had 46 and I finished a distant third at 35. Three times, someone triggered the market, but by the time it got my turn to pick, even though I had plenty of goods and resources available to me, all the good tiles had been picked over. I probably lost 8-15 points on missed market opportunities, which goes to show how important it is to be the person who picks the market first. Not only do you not have to spend a green cube, you often can get more than one tile that way. Live and learn. Next time I’ll do better. Everyone enjoyed their play of this very much, so perhaps it won’t be six months in between plays.

 8   Biblios

Another play of Biblios. This one keeps hitting the table. So quick, so interesting, so good.

 7.8   Hanabi x2

Haven’t played Hanabi in at least two years. But after hearing someone rave about the game at Dice Tower Con, I decided to bring it to game night and it went over so well, we played it twice. I originally rated this game as “OK”, which is in the 6.5 range for me. But my tastes have changed in the past couple of years and I enjoyed this game a lot more than my initial plays. There is so much wonderful tension in this game. You just want to scream out clues throughout your play. It was way more fun than I remembered, which is why I increased my rating significantly.

 7.1   Ice Cool

See what I wrote about Biblios? You can cut and paste here for Ice Cool. This game just keeps hitting the table and there are laughs throughout. In this play, my buddy James did something I’ve never seen happen live, which is flick his penguin through two doors on one shot. It was amazing. I imagine that if we get really good at this game, it can provide really amazing moments.

 7.0   Port Royal

After three plays, I'm raising the rating slightly. I think the game has a lot more going on at higher player counts as it limits what cards players can take on other player's turns. In a three player game, if you want to take a card from the array, you only have to worry about one other player (or none, depending on turn order), but in a five player game you might have no hope to get that Pirate/Jester, etc. if there are three players in line before you. I like that. In my third game, there was only one immediate double zonk (where a low value colored ship on the first reveal is followed by a higher value ship of the same color) and the player who continually tried to press his luck finished well in the distance. This gives me hope that this game has more strategy to it than I originally thought. As a result, I'm raising my rating slightly.

 6.7   Kodama: The Tree Spirits

A therapeutic, enjoyable experience. The strategy is varied and interesting, yet the game play is serene, not cutthroat, unless you have a player at the table who likes to hate draft. The decree and Kodama cards make for interesting twists in the game that no matter how far ahead you may be, force you to play more aggressively than you would otherwise. Plus, the theme and visuals the game creates are interesting and varied. Make sure you have a big enough table to play! Not what I would typically choose to play, but a good opener or closer to a game day.
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5. Board Game: Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Revolt [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Only a few games played in physical form this week, but a nice crop of online games finished up to balance things out!

Game Playtest Group
The inaugral meeting of the new Plymouth Playtest Meetup group. 5 people attended, and got 2 games played:


Snakey Dice - We tested the multiplayer mode for my Snakey Dice game, and that went much better than I'd hoped - it actually worked (I'd not tried it multiplayer, just tweaked the board and rules and hoped for the best), and we finished the entire game. AND it only took 45 minutes, including mid-game discussions about tweaks and mechanics. Good fun. Shown right is the end-game state (4 players, using 4 different coloured pens). Some really interesting discussions about possible variants and how to add more variability came out of the game, so I was very happy.



Evil Genius - We also tested my friend's game of criminal masterminds plotting to take over the world better than each other. He'd made some significant tweaks to the game since a playtest at the UK Games Expo, which we were testing out; it's coming along nicely! We didn't manage to finish the game (it's a 2 hour game at present, and we only had an hour and a bit left in the venue), but a lot of interesting design queries came up about his recent tweaks.


Solo

Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Aufruhr - Thought I'd completed Chapter 1. Then checked the rules threads on BGG and realised I hadn't. Let out a short, sharp exclamation. More details in my post on SGoyT here.


Online
I declare this week the week of "finishing 2nd place in almost everything" week...


Jäger und Späher [on yucata.de] - Lost. Pretty close in the end (24 to 20), but I got stuck with 3 tool cards I couldn't complete due to lacking the resources needed for over half the game.



The Builders: Middle Ages [on BoardGameArena] * 2:
Game #1: 4 players; came 3rd (on tie-break for 2nd). I didn't realise it was the final turn, otherwise I would have spent 10 coins to buy 2 more actions to complete my last building for 5VP more, guaranteeing me 2nd place. Darn it.

Game #2: 3 players; came 2nd (on tie-break for 2nd again)! Really enjoy this game (I own the Antiquity version, so it's fun being able to play this version online).



Libertalia [on BoardGameArena] - 5 players; came 4th. First ever game, which is confusing when played online and on a phone where hover-text doesn't work so you can't check cards' powers, and the graphics are low quality enough that you can't read the text on the cards. Not bad considering! Fun game. I'd like to try it in real life to see how the strategies unfold when out-poker-facing your opponents.



Guildhall [on yucata.de] - 2 players; won (21 to 13). Finally, a game of Guildhall goes my way!



Nations: The Dice Game [on yucata.de] - 3 players; came a close 2nd (24 to 23 to 13).
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6. Board Game: Santorini [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:74]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Another week of travelling meant a teaching week for a couple of gateway titles!

Wednesday

I spent the bulk of the working week travelling South of Manila with the sales rep of my distributor Marisol. I got to teach her a couple of games in the process.

Santorini = 3 Plays

This excellent abstract is now my favorite 2P gateway game to teach and Marisol proved quite adept at it!

Game 1: Basic game with Marisol defeating me.
Game 2: Marisol (Apollo) defeats my Hephaestus.
Game 3: My Artemis defeats Marisol's Atlas.


Marisol proves to be adept as she defeats me 2 games to my 1!

Thursday

Splendor = 2 Plays

The next day I teach the engine building mechanic with this title.

Game 1: Me 15 (2 personalities) versus Marisol's 11
Game 2: Me 15 (3 personalities) versus Marisol's 15. I win tiebreak with 16 cards to her 19.


Marisol enjoyed her first 2 plays!

Friday

Santorini = 2 Plays

I visited DICE boardgame cafe in Naga city and got to meet the owners Hubert and Mary Ann for the first time. Discussion about the hobby soon gave way to me teaching them how to play this.

Game 1: I defeat Hubert in the basic game.
Game 2: Hubert's Hephaestus defeat's my Apollo and Mary's Prometheus in a game where the 2nd story floors ran out.

Saturday

Saturday had me back in Manila and Jim and Kent joined me for our regular council in the evening.

Clank!: Sunken Treasures = 1 Play

We randomized side A of the Clank!: Sunken Treasures board and I must say that almost every player cube early in the game turned out to be mine (yellow). My purchase of the SCUBA enabled me to grab an artifact deep and I manage to escape the depths only to be KO'd 1 round before escaping triggering the countdown for the game end. Needless to say both Kent and Jim also got KO'd but since they managed to get out of the depths they too were rescued and Kent's huge amount of points from his cards granted him the win.


All adventurers are KO’d but are rescued by the villagers with Kent ending up the wealthiest. Kent 87 Jim 75 Me 57

La Granja = 1 Play

This excellent game with multi-use card was taught to Jim and just took slightly over an hour to complete with Kent taking advantage of his commodity income to just end up in front for the win.


Kent’s income of a commodity in the 2nd half of the game was the key for him to fulfil orders for the win! Kent 64 Jim 56 Me 47

Century: Spice Road = 1 Play

The final game of the night was a quick game of this latest engine building hotness. Games of this have not been real blowouts so far and this was no exception with Jim triggering the end round with his 6th card and that VP card advantage proved to be key to his narrow win over my collection of just 4 (but relatively expensive) cards.


Jim manages to win despite a very lean hand of 6 cards! Jim 75 Me 71 Kent 63
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7. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Craig Con West

Craig Marks - actually lives east of me but his first east "con" was in Baltimore with Matt so I'm guessing one in his home town of Youngstown, OH had to be West.

My wife and started a tradition of doing over night get a way weekends while our son was still home from college to take care of the pets. A trip to Youngstown for some games seemed like a good fit although a little farther of a drive than we usually go - about 4 hours if we were to go non-stop, but we never do. We stopped at Grandpa's cheese barn on the way up for snacks and candy as well as all the other necessary stops.

We arrived at Craig's and introduced him to his wife Erin, son T. and we met his new baby daughter M. There were enough folks there for two tables of games. I had brought a ton of game, several that had already been in my car and some that I had hoped to play.

We started with Sagrada. Erin liked this form previous plays but they didn't have it so Craig requested I bring my copy. Cindi, Erin and I played with T. I forgot to mark who won.


Then we moved on to Kanagawa. This is a game we own and they all like so we knew we'd all like it. We had a guest at the table - I forget his name - he was just there for the one game...

Andy joined us for a game of Century: Spice Road. I had wanted to play this with Cindi because I thought she'd like this and I had considered buying it but wanted to get her thoughts before we did. Since she won - I'm guessing she liked it.

Andy taught us Road Hog: Rule the Road - a race game with some "take that" mechanisms. Cindi won this too, I eeked out 2nd place.




Cindi ended her night with a group play of Herbaceous. Another game we both own so we all enjoyed it, this was new to Andy.

Cindi was tired from the long day of travels and gaming so we checked into our hotel. I returned for one more game. We played a 5 player game of Pandemic the Cure with the expansion Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds - the purple dice. This was a pretty epic game, every time we thought for sure we were going to die we rolled just the right thing to barely survive. We also played really well together as a team - often debating our moves but working it out in the end and moving on.



The next day Craig joined us for breakfast and one last game before we ventured off to do some sight seeing.




Andy had recommended a metropark. We started at the formal gardens.



From there we took a long drive and saw a covered bridge, a mill, and other cool things.

One last stop for some recommended local ice cream before we hit the road home.

A great trip.
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8. Board Game: Targi: Die Erweiterung [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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Targi: Die Erweiterung
Got a German edition of the expansion from GameSurplus (who has the best customer service of any OLGS I have purchased from). The expansion definitely refreshes and improves the game. The 45 tribal cards are completely replaced, though the rules explain how you can mix and match the two sets. The water resource and Targia pawn give players a little more flexibility. Water can be traded 2:1 for goods and 3:1 for gold at any time during the game except at a better rate when players take the trader spot. The Targia pawn moves in the opposite direction as the robber and functions very similar to the merchants in Istanbul. The sand dunes give a powerful action at the expense of an intersection point. The new tribal cards do not have abilities quite as powerful as the base game but seem to be a bit more balanced. They do, however, provide some interesting ways to score.

As far as two player worker placement games, I don't think you can do much better than Targi. There are two player games I like better only because worker placement is not my favorite genre. I still recommend getting this expansion if you like Targi.
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9. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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This week certainly made up for the lackluster gaming of the previous one.

It started with a game of chess with Prp. Later in the week, we also played a game of Knightmare Chess, which was a blast. We played with a common draw deck, and I played Scorched Earth early, and might have won that way (i.e. capturing all opposing pawns), but I did eventually win by plain old checkmate. I had a Seat of Power on my K3, with a pawn sitting on it for at least the first half of the game. Prp got a Paladin, whom I Bribed. She also got an Heir, whom I simply captured. In this pic, you can see the Seat of Power (red chip) and the Heir (white cat):



At my game group this week, we had a session of Terra Mystica with five players, all of whom were new to the game. It was a really good time, and I'm sure we'll play it again.

Prp and I dusted off Kemet, which she really hadn't played for a long time, and it was a little rusty even for me. We had a base-game-only play, which she nearly won, coming down to a 7 to 7 tie on the penultimate day, but I got to determine turn order for the final showdown. Still, if she had attacked the level-4 pyramid district in my city defended by 2 units and the Mummy, instead of the level-4 pyramid district defended by 3 units, I think she would have won!



A couple of days later, we played again, adding in the black pyramids and power tiles from the Ta-Seti expansion, along with the new Divine Intervention and combat cards. Prp won only one battle, and in that one her troop was destroyed, so she never got a single battle VP. I had a good time with the low-level black powers: I got all three (and used a priestess to get the last two for no prayer cost). The monsters were Khnum's Sphinx and Heffalump for Prp, and Battle Beetle for me.



In miscellaneous abstracts, we played some Cubeo and some Checkers.

I had my first second win in solo play at Luna! I dominated the temple, lagged in shrines and the council of priests, and let the Opponent keep the damned book. I recruited once, pretty early. Final score: 81 to 76.

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10. Board Game: The Bogey [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Sunday


After a busy week of work abroad and despite having packed some games to take on my travels I was staring down the barrel of having no plays at all this week, so I determined to do something about in in some spare time on Sunday. With a pack of cards in tow I played out five games against The Bogey, winning the first (Novice win) and feeling pretty good about things, but I was about to be slapped down. The Bogey won the second game, and then I struck back for the third, another Novice win. I lost the fourth game and had a couple of unlucky draws in the final round to lose the series 3-2. I'm up to 19 plays on this and really enjoying it, especially as I am beginning to see some subtleties in the design and how to play it. For a spare ten or so minutes with a pack of cards it is pretty impressive and it's going to become one of my H-index games soon, I'm sure. Recommended.


With a bit of spare time in the evening and looking to up my plays I set up my copy of Planetarium for a solo run. This arrived a couple of months ago and I had been impressed by the quality of the components and the attention to detail. There are a couple of areas in the rule book that good do with tighter expression, and there's an unfortunate instance of what looks like some accidental cut-and-paste, but it was fairly easy to understand. The game plays out like some kind of hyper-abstract as you attempt to gather matter from the board to play cards to form shared planets, and there is a lot to think about - in fact, I'm surprised that its listed weight on the Geek is only 2.06. In the end I didn't fall as helplessly in love with this game as I had hoped (and wanted) to do, but it was enjoyable nonetheless, although I am a little suspicious of a something that allows me to beat it first time out, even though it was tight: 61-56...

...and that was it. Happy gaming!
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11. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: Journey to Mordor [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:5690]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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We had some close friends over for dinner Thursday night and they wanted to play something they hadn't played before. I sold them on this by comparing it to Yahtzee. I think it fell flat. Even with my dice tray I built. I'll keep it because of the theme, but I doubt it will be played much in the future. My regular group enjoys it enough as a light filler.




I haven't played this game since 2013. I didn't like it then, but I had plenty of shelf space so I kept it. This is around my sixth play of the game and I still don't like it. They game just falls flat. I'll keep it around for now. I do like trying to pull off weird combos, it just gets boring about halfway through.




We went to the same friends out that came over on Thursday. Blokus something of a stable for us. We played it a ton when I first bought it. Now it just sees a few plays here and there. It is an abstract game, but we always end up getting into it and trash talking.




We play a lot of Catch Phrase. We have a couple that we regularly play games with and we always end the night with a game or two.




This got in the way of most of my gaming this week. It was Life with deck-building and Worker Placement thrown in. AKA I had some friends over and we built a deck on the back of my house...
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12. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:42]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Keyflower - We started off this week's meetup with a 5 player game of Keyflower. This was my first time playing with more than 2, and the other 4 players were all new to the game. There's a lot going on, but it wasn't too difficult to teach, and everyone seemed to get it just fine. I suppose I should have had an advantage, since I have played several times before, but I did not do well in this play. I think I finished in 4th place. The game length wasn't bad, about 2 hours, but I was a little surprised by the downtime. It might speed up with more plays. I think everyone liked it alright, but I don't know if I would call it love at first play.
Rating: 7.5

NEW Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure - After Keyflower, we played a 4 player game (2 new players) of Clank! to close out the night. We all managed to get out, and I came in 4th place on this one. I managed to get all the way down to the bottom of the dungeon and back up, and I was pretty happy with my score... Until everyone else announced theirs. Ah well. It's a good game, I think, and I would play it again.
Rating: 7

Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition - On Saturday, my wife and I went to an all day Werewolf event and played several games of Werewolf. I frequently mod games, but I pretty much just played this time, which was a nice switch. We actually had different mods for almost every game, and they all had very different styles, which allowed me to realize that there are definitely roles and playstyles that I do and do not like in this game. For instance, I really dislike it when the game becomes too chaotic with tons of roles or the deduction element is hampered. Roles like the pacifist and the village idiot that take away player agency are boring for the player who gets them. If the players don't know what roles are in the game, then more experienced players who know the role deck have a distinct advantage. Also, that makes it so there are a ton of different ways that in-game anomalies can occur, which breaks the deduction. One time, we actually weren't given any idea of the alignment of players who were killed by the village, which meant voting patterns became irrelevant and we basically were shooting in the dark. These twists can be interesting for a game or two, but I really prefer the game with more basic roles. Regardless, it's still a fantastic game with a lot of fun twists.
Rating: 9

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13. Board Game: Ethnos [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:244]
Joe H
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In Les Miz they sing "One Day More". The theme of my Wednesday night gaming group could have been "One Turn More (and I wouldn't have come in last...I think)" .

[New to Me] We started out with Mark teaching Andrea, Sylvain, Bill and me Ethnos (with Charles, who previously played it, joining in). This is a set collection, area control game set in a fantasy realm. In this game you are either drawing cards (that could be one of six factions and one of six colors) or laying down sets of cards (either grouped by color or faction) to place tokens in a colored region corresponding to the leader (top card) of the cards in your set. There are several different things that make this really interesting. First, each of the factions have a different power that activate when they are the leader of the set you placed. Second, in order to play a set the size of the set has to exceed the number or tokens you have in a the area you are going to place in. Third, you can't hoard. When you play a set, all of the other cards in your hand are discarded to a face up draw pile for other players to select from. This makes for lots of interesting decisions. The end of the round trigger occurs somewhere in the second half of the draw deck. Twice I got caught with too many unplayed cards in my hand and the one that really hurt was in the last round. If I'd had "One More Turn" I could have taken a couple of majorities and scored a bunch more points. But, as it was...I finished last. It was an exciting finish with Sylvain surging ahead of Charles in the final scoring. With six players it may be a little chaotic but I would definitely play it again, especially since there is tons of replayability since you only play with 6 of the 12 available factions. Thanks for teaching it Mark.



[New to Me] Next, I came in last at Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure, a game Sylvain taught to me and Mark. Mark took a couple of cards that allowed him to get rid of "clank" early in the game just before me. That should have taught me to not look too longingly at the card offer for fear of getting my heart broken. But I didn't and time after time I saw Mark grab the card I had my heart set on. I thought i was building a good deck and set out in a direction different from Sylvain and Mark but kept getting bogged down. Meanwhile, Sylvain had a money generating engine and pressed to get a great artifact. Meanwhile, with his bag, Mark grabbed two less valuable artifacts and bee-lined to the surface. I grabbed my artifact and started making my way there. But, the damned dragon kept attacking. I finally drew more than enough movement to make it to the surface but Sylvain cleared a bunch of cards from the offer as he made it to the surface and triggered a dragon attack and then, Mark's turn triggered a dragon attack that would prove fatal to me. If I only had "One More Turn" I would have made it to the surface and my reward would have vaulted me ahead of Mark. Sylvain was well out of reach and, with his all-time high score, more than doubled Mark's score and nearly tripled me. Despite my bad result this is a game I will be playing again. Thanks for bringing it and teaching it(after whetting my appetite last week) Sylvain.



Gaming with My Wife

[New to Me On Sunday I introduced my wife (and me) to Kanagawa, a game I've been looking forward to getting for a while. I wasn't disappointed and my wife enjoyed it very much. It plays fast, looks great and is quite easy to learn. I triggered the endgame and, with an nice run of season symbols and the longest landscape I was able to eke out a 33-32 win. Sharon got a couple of big diplomas while I settled for more, smaller ones. I'd like to see how this plays with more players. As much as I enjoyed it I suspect the decisions will be more difficult at 3 or 4 players.



Later on Sunday we played my wife's favourite game, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. The Assemble app selected what I thought would be a very difficult setup. The Mastermind was Galactus, and the scheme was Dark Alliance which added a second Mastermind, Arnim Zola (who we defeated shortly after he entered the battle). The Villains were Heralds of Galactus and The Deadlands with M.O.D.O.K.S. helping out. I thinned my deck pretty good but we were up against the wall. With 2 of Galactus' tactics remaining there was only one spot in the city that Galactus hadn't destroyed. But, Sharon drew well and took those tactics out in two turns to propel her to a 54-42 win.



Solo Gaming

My third play of The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game was in the second book, Fool Moon. My team consisted of Harry, Billie and Georgia, and Susan Rodriguez. The obstacles and advantages were at a pretty far range and it took me a while to take care of them before I could really, efficiently start hammering at the foes and cases. I finished with 2 solved cases, only 1 remaining undefeated and no fate remaining.



A third play of La Granja followed. I fell back off my second game score, only scoring 53...still pretty good. I did well at moving those barrows and getting some long distance trade and held even on the siesta track.



On Monday evening I played a quick game of Elder Sign with my investigative team of Sister Mary, Mandy Thompson, Kate Withrop and Michael McGlen. Things started out well and I captured half my elder signs in the first two days. Then, things got a bit more difficult as there were fewer elder signs available and more terror effects. But, after a couple more days I was able to finish out with a flurry.



I also got another play of Star Trek: Frontiers. Once again I played the introductory mission, this time flying the Defiant. The rules are becoming a bit clearer to me and, with a good crew I won with a few turns remaining in the fourth round. There is still a lot to learn. Next game I'm going to test out landing parties.



On Friday I played a solo game of The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game. I was ahead comfortable through the first three rounds but had to scramble as the AI completed three sets (two with bonuses) in round 4. The AI then completed the Cloisters (with bonus) and a second set of buildings in round 5. I had a great last round, scoring 14, which gave me a 36-31 victory and, perhaps, my best game ever.



Later in the week I played a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse on the App pitting Legacy, Haka, (variant) Tachyon and Ra against Omnitron in Megalopolis. I got a bit lucky to start with. Although I took damage, Sedative Flechettes and Technological Singularity would have stripped me of my Ongoing and Equipment cards (if I had any). Also, the Environment played Police Backup which helped chip away at Omnitron. This led to an easy win (only Legacy suffered significant damage) with Tachyon delivering the conquering blow, even as Haka was all set up for a huge damage turn in the next round.



A quick game of Onirim (second edition) on the App on Sunday night. I thought things were going well but I had only 6 doors when the deck ran out. I made one error in playing a card that I couldn't undo but that might have given me the slack I needed to at least come closer.
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14. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:161]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This week I continued my campaign of XIA. It was a win with the Archaeological Expert. This game was a fairly short one lasted just under an hour. It helped that two dead planets with artifacts came up right away.


My oldest son and I played Elder Sign. it looked like we would lose at the start but we managed to pull out a close win.


Other game played this week was a three player game of Tokaido which I managed to win. I almost never win at this game.



I also finished with the heroes with Defenders of the Realm. Hero Pack #3 included the following heroes: Thief, Shaman, Seeker, and Feline. Onto the 7 villain bosses.
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15. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1328]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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I got in one play this week. My wife beat me 4 families to 3 to become the hand of the king.
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16. Board Game: JamSumo [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:3357]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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 8.0   Gloomhaven

Second game of Gloomhaven. We did the second scenario, and beat it pretty well. My character was almost dead by the end. Come to find out we build the attack decks wrong, and were using the upgrade cards instead of the deck we were supposed to build. I guess it might be a bit harder next time lol.

 8.0   JamSumo x3 NEW!

This is a fantastic dexterity game. It's kid of like Crokinole with dice. Very easy to teach and very easy to play. I taught it to my mother and brother who are not gamers in like 2 minutes, and they loved it. It's also a very well crafted game. I mean take a look at the pics. It's very nice to look at. One thing to know about this one is that the creator hand makes each of these to order, so it's definitely one of the most unique games I own.





 9.0   Codenames

This didn't go over as well, some of the players didn't really get how to give good clues, but it was still fun.


 8.0   The Chameleon NEW!

Wow. We had a blast playing this. For those who don't know this is a reprint of the game Gooseberry, which itself is kind of like Spyfall, except that instead of a location, everyone knows a secret word except for the chameleon. There were some great moments where we were convinced that someone was the chameleon only to be completely wrong. This is a great party game, and I think it will work better with more people.

 7.0   Codex: Card-Time Strategy – Deluxe Set

I've been trying to get this to the table for a long time. I played it one time at my gaming group, but it didn't go over well with the person I played it with. Since then I've been afraid to bring it out. Yesterday I decided to see if my wife wanted to play it. Unlike the first game I decided to listed to the rules and play with 1 hero, and use the neutral hero decks. It was a great game with both of us 1 turn away from winning. In the end my wife won with the finesse hero deck. She wants to play again. Next time we can dive into the full 3 hero game. I'm definitely impressed with this one, although I feel like there are not enough components in the game as we ran out of money pretty quickly. Minor quibble, but still a little annoying.



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17. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:547]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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TUESDAY

My kids and I started playing the quests a little while ago and they love it. We've all been real busy so we've only completed Quest 5. They liked it because they 'finally' found an artifact.

SATURDAY

We like this game and got two games in on Saturday with my son and my daughter's boyfriend. I surprisingly lost the first by getting drunk even though I went down to only one gold early in the game. My daughter's boyfriend won that one. I won the second. Both games were very close. We would like to get some expansion to get more people playing but others in the house aren't big on this game.


My daughter's boyfriend introduced this game to me and my son. Any game where cats blow up is bound to be fun. We had a good time with it. Not top choice for me but is good for a filler game.
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18. Board Game: The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:208]
Rico Cordova
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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Best game of the week
N Contribution to my Normal 10x10

Friday, July 28, 2017
 9.75   Viticulture Essential Edition
 9   Marvel Dice Masters: The Amazing Spider-Man N
 10   The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
 8.25   Fuji Flush x4
 6   The Big Book of Madness

Saturday, July 29, 2017
 6.75   Welcome Back to the Dungeon x2
 8.5   Virulence: An Infectious Card Game N

Sunday, July 30, 2017
 6   Kingdomino x2
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19. Board Game: Quartermaster General [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:692]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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It's the start of the summer holidays here in the UK so that means six weeks of serious (and not so serious) gaming...

Tuesday

Quartermaster General - I'm starting on Tuesday just so I can repeat how much I love this game. It.. is... awesome!! And I got my first win with the Axis cards.

Wednesday (with relatives)

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - Played with my brother, my niece and my Sam. Two straight losses for me!

Twilight Struggle - (with Clare) Another loss with the USSR. In fact Clare utterly battered me with the US.

Thursday (with relatives)

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - Another loss, but everyone else was enjoying it!

King of Tokyo - Introduced this as my son loves it and it's easy to learn for new players. I didn't win either of the games we played!

Camel Up - Another game that is easy to teach and play. I actually won one of the three games we played!

Twilight Struggle - (with Clare) Yes, you guessed it, I lost!!

Friday (with Clare)

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia - We had only played this map once before these three games. I really like the add on of doing the mountain passes and giving up extra trains, it's not inconvenient like some of the other maps 'add ons', so I can see us playing this a little more in future.. I, of course, lost the best of three we played 1-2!

Saturday (with relatives)

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa - This isn't a bad map either. I didn't win either of the games we played!

King of Tokyo - Two 5 player games both won by my 72 year old mother (Go Mum!!!)

Yahtzee - Two games with my niece passing the time. At least I won one!!

Onirim - (solo) x2. I really love this. I lost twice!!!

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - I'd told them that I absolutely didn't want to play this again (it's fun, but limited). One game, one loss.

Twilight Struggle - (with Clare) We had started this Friday night and had left it on the table as I hadn't already lost.. And in the end, it went all the way to final scoring... which took ages.. but... I won!!!! YES!!!! We will be switching sides for the next time it makes it to the table.

Sunday (with Clare)

Splendor - One of my less nerdy friends had recommended this, so despite being on a game buying ban, I invested.. And I'm really glad I did, I can see this getting a lot of table time.. I lost (of course) our best of three!

Kingdom Builder - Another new addition and one I hope I warm to as I really didn't get into the game we played. I lost
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20. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:218] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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Camel Up was the first lunch game of the week. In a big surprise twist, one of the guys that usually does extremely well ended up coming in dead last while I surprised everyone by having more than $10 in the end. I was sure I was actually going to win this one with my $56 but ended up losing by $3!

Tuesday saw 2 quick plays of BANG! The Bullet!. I was once again Santa and was the deputy. The sheriff decided to start the game with guns blazing and knocked me down to 1 health very quickly. I fed him a miss with my draw ability to hint to him that I was on his side, but he gunned me down on his next turn, shocked that I was the deputy. Good job. He then continued his rampage by mowing down the renegade. That left the outlaws giggling like school girls as the sheriff was now easy pickings and there was nobody else coming for them. I managed to come back for 1 turn thanks to the ghost town event, let the outlaws draw cards, bled the sheriff of cards, then shot him once for revenge. The outlaws gunned him down before he had another turn.

I was the renegade for the second game (which pretty much spelled out my defeat right there). I managed to confuse the sheriff for a while and everyone managed to take out the renegades. By that point, the sheriff had realized who his deputy was, and myself and the sheriff were down to 1 health each while the deputy was at full. With no misses, no beer, and no draw cards, I decided to end the game by shooting the sheriff and giving the victory to the now-deceased outlaws. They both had bang cards so I'd have been a gonner anyways; I figured it was better to not let the sheriff win.

We wrapped up Tuesday with a "game" of Exploding Kittens. I'd like to think I won by being the first one that got to stop playing.

Wednesday's lunch game was 7 Wonders where I thought I was doing okay but ended up somewhere near the middle of the pack when it came to scoring.

Since there was enough time left, some folks wanted another "game" of Exploding Kittens. Sadly, I actually won the game by being the last man standing. I don't understand why people actually request to play this thing.

There was just enough time to squeeze in a play of Timeline: Diversity where I somehow managed to come in second last instead of last. I'm going to count it as a moral victory.

Thursday's lunch choice was another round of BANG! The Bullet! where I was the deputy again. We managed to get rid of 1 outlaw and the renegade but struggled with the final outlaw. I thought we were doing OK until the outlaw got a lucky draw that finally let him get rid of the sheriff. So close.

There was just enough time for a quick play of Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers. I was doing OK until an unstable beaver cause the whole thing to topple on me. That left a nice, wide-open base for a few people to place their last couple of animals and finish ahead of me.

Friday's lunch game was Ascension which we had to cut short because of a lack of time. I managed to finish 22 points ahead of the next player which rather surprised me.

My parents were over for a visit this weekend so we played a game of Catan on Friday night. My dad managed to wrestle the longest road away from my wife by building all of his roads in one contiguous line which I had never seen before. My dad was close to winning a couple of times but would always have someone steal the cards he needed through a robber, knight, or monopoly card. That bought me some time until I discovered that I was built into a corner and found there were actually no valid locations left on the board to build new settlements. So I needed another city. The problem with that was that I had built all of my cities as well! I kind of forgot that was a thing. My only course of action then was to keep buying development cards to dig for that last point that I needed. I managed to steal all of the ore my dad had with a monopoly card which kept him from winning and let me buy a few development cards. He finally got everything he needed to win AFTER his turn. Luckily, I was able to dump a ton of sheep for some more ore and managed to finally hit that last point I needed from the development cards! I managed to steal a win away from my dad who was just 2 turns away from being able to take it all himself. It was a real nail-biter of a game.

My wife and I picked up Century: Spice Road while we were out to see a movie on Saturday evening and brought it to the table on Sunday for 2 plays. I lost both games - the first by 20 points and the second by about 11.

We also picked up Barenpark while we were out as my wife was getting burned out on Patchwork and wanted to give this one a try. We've only played the 1 game of this so far and I'm not too sure what to think. It works, it just doesn't wow me. I lost this one by about 25 points; I thought I was doing okay but it turned out I was pretty far behind.

Back to Century: Spice Road for 4 more plays in the evening. I managed to win the first and last game which kind of surprised me. This one kicks Splendor to the curb for us. I've never understood how Splendor won the SdJ and just don't get the appeal of it. This one manages to do the same thing in a more interesting manner. Like Splendor, there is absolutely zero theme to this one (even the rules give up on it and refer to the spices by colour after mentioning it just once) but this one just flows smoother and feels like there's some actual game to it. It'll be interesting to see how the future stand-alone expansions for this change the game. Splendor now finds itself in the trade/for sale pile.
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21. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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No time to do a proper entry this week although I did get some decent gaming in. We are scrambling to get up to the lake for 8 days of camping.

This past week I played Dominion and expansions,
Kingdomino,
Dragonheart,
Cyclades,
Factory Fun,
Tongiaki
and lots of Tenzi.

I played 26 games, 11 of these were expansions, and 4 were start player.
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22. Board Game: 1856: Railroading in Upper Canada from 1856 [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:865]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Not many games, but one epic marathon game...

Friday

Defeated Mrs. Drazen in a tense game of Stone Age. She was trying to go for tools and huts aggressively, but I was able to make use of the tactical possibilities to gain a modest advantage. I finished with ridiculous multipliers: 9x huts, 5x People, 4x Agriculture, and a 7+2 combo on techs vs. a 6+1. She had a decent Tool bonus and 8 tools, but it wasn't enough.

Sunday

I only get to play 18xx once, maybe twice a month, if that... and even rarer is when it one of the longer ones. I finally got 1856 back to the table after nearly a year off. Even better was that this time, I finally notched what looks to have been my first win at this game. Thankfully... because it took us about 7½ hours to get there.

Of course, it helped a lot that (1) I started with 3 private companies, and (2) got to buy them all in for full price, because (3) a player started TWO two-share companies in SR1.

This all led to weird complications where nobody wanted to buy the last 2T to break the 3T's where other players could get their "embezzlement" money and rocket ahead. Eventually the two company man bought a 2T/3T as he watched our money pile up ahead of his, but I was taking loans and ended up with a big share advantage early. I deliberately engineered a CGR presidency, saving only the CPR with a 5T and 6T (which, sadly, found itself badly boxed in the corner due to Toronto tokens; I had to start the BBG and buy out one of its trains just to make use of it).

I'll take the win any way I can get it, though. I think '56 is fun, but it's hard to get the gameplay right, what with all the weird exceptions (different things work differently at different times, such as shares needed to operate, escrow accounts before a company reaches its destination, etc.).
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23. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:522]
Tony Fryer
United States
Denver
Colorado
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My youngest bought a house recently, her first, and moved in over the weekend. Responsibilities there prevented a lot of game play.

Rolling Freight
I hadn't played Rolling Freight in maybe two years until the other night. Played a 5-player session. I would say that the game played 5-players quite well. You can do some planning ahead, at least in terms of the track you'd probably be building, but you do have to wait and see what route contracts are available and what deliveries are still possible - so you cannot completely plan your turn in advance.

I'll categorize the game as "Rolling Freight: The Age of Steam Family Dice Game". The game has couple similarities to AoS in terms of making deliveries of colored pieces to same colored cities, and in terms of you getting a point instead of me if I run over your track.

My earlier plays of the game came during my Heavy Cardboard days and my recollection was that the game is not to my tastes. Confirmed. The game is...OK. It certainly is not for me. Besides the fact that the graphic design obfuscates information and that it has the tiniest cards in the history of cards, the game has these totally random luck creators that you roll and then try to make a coherent turn out of the results. I think people call them "dice". I call them a frequently misused randomizer.

Other than the ability to "store" a die roll result for the future through a certain mechanic, there is no mitigation. So, I just grabbed two extra dice and made the best of it. I did finish second, but the play was unrewarding for me.

Oh, graphically, the game is a big mess. From tiny cards to the delivery pieces covering up the cities and obscuring the colors and..well, that's enough of that.

Still, I did have fun. There are good ideas in the game! Also, I was 3 of the 4 others at the table were people I had never met before and they were good guys to play with! That's the point of it all, really.


Lungarno
I had never heard of Lungarno. It is apparently a little known game from 2008 and has a not very attractive or inspiring box cover. Funny story, Chad bought the game, by his recollection about 6 years ago after playing it and thinking it was kind of cool. It sat in shrink until this past Tuesday night. He recently offered it for sale for $10 but had no takers over the last month. So, he brought it to game night with the intention of playing it and giving it to the winner.

So we played it...and...it's a pretty cool little game. I wouldn't say it is a good game and I wouldn't say it is a bad game. Some interesting tile placement and scoring options. 3-players seemed a little too loose, no one really competed against each other in the districts until there were only a few left. I'd imagine that 4 is a better count.

Anyway, semi-interesting and cool game. If you are a fan of tile placement games, you should maybe consider trying it, no doubt you can get one inexpensively (there's even an expansion). I see it on Amazon (Prime) for $20. I got crushed in the game, so I did not win the copy.


Santiago
This has been getting some good play time lately. Which is good because this is a good game. This was a 5-player session (which is the best count IMO), with 3 of the other players experiencing the game for the first time - and the other player for the second time. All had a good time, there were a lot of groans and pauses to think about things. As I mentioned, this shorter game has a lot happening. For its game length (pretty short really), with good gamers at the table, it's fairly heavy. The auction and the bribing of the canal overseer are critical and have some depth.


Tiny Epic Quest X2
Got home from work on game night and this had arrived so I learned it while eating dinner - then headed over to play games intending to get it on the table. Sure enough, 4 of us sat down to play it. This is my first game of Tiny Epic Anything, as the line of games has offered me zero enticement to try them. But, this one, has Itemeeples. Itemmeeples are cool. What a neat idea - it surprises me that it took until 2017 for the idea to be on a table - seems so obvious once you see it, but I never would have thought of it.

Tiny Epic Quest is...OK. It also has some neat ideas and yes, sticking a sword on your meeple and sending him to fight goblins while the meeple with the key gets sent to explore a temple is very cool. The pushing of your luck is fun and you can actually analyze the rough odds of surviving another round of dice rolling if you stay in. It obviously matters how much life and stuff you have, but also how many people remain in and rolling dice before you get another chance to rest. I liked that.

No doubt that soon the Itemeeples will end up displayed on a shelf with the really cool items inserted onto them.


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24. Board Game: Railroad Revolution [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:669]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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I saw away last week on vacation, so a little catchup...

Colosseum - 3rd play



In this game you control a Colosseum, and try to put on the best event possible across all of the players across all five rounds of the game. Effectively, your score is your best turn. Turns build on each other as you play, and the core piece is collecting the resources you need through bidding and trading. One element that's funny to think about is that you are allowed put on shows with less tiles than the event needs for fewer points. For example, a boat show with no boats, or a lion show with no cages. The magic of this game is also it's flaw. The bids could not go your way, or the players driving the trades might not trade evenly, or with you at all. It's not a bad game, but the idea that a win or loss might not be something you can effect with your own choices and actions keeps this from being a great game.

Endeavor - 6th play



Still loving this fantastic game of balancing your tableau improvements and board presence with lots of interaction. Across 7 rounds, you choose a new building and add it to your player board. Then your player board's stats in various categories determine how many disks you get. When a building's action allows you to place a disc on a space, you collect the token that was randomly assigned to that space at the start of the game. Between the spaces are routes, and when you claim both sides of the route, you also claim the token between them. New areas open up as ship disks come to the board, and powerful cards become available for players who invested discs into those regions. The ultimate goal is to hold spots on the board, and increase the stats on your player board to their highest scoring threshold through collecting those tokens or cards.

It's a fantastic game of balancing your tableau building with your board presence and lots of player interaction as players vie to be the one to finish a route, or compete over tokens or knock other players out of locations. The game demands 4 or 5 players to shine, because it doesn't have any scaling for fewer player counts, but it's one of those really elegant and satisfying mid weight euros.

Crisis - 2nd play



In my first game of this we did 5 players, and everything felt incredibly tight. I enjoyed myself overall, but I had a few reservations in terms of the power of some of the action cards, and if the early end game mechanism really served much of a purpose. This time I tried a 2 player game, and the game ended rather abruptly as the early endgame mechanism hit hard causing us both to loose the game. It was sad for me, because I was getting close to meeting the point threshold every turn, but my opponent dropped the score by 25 points in that single round. Was it a fun mechanism to have the game just end like that? I still feel unsatisfied and want another play. Still have mixed feelings.

KLASK - 1st and 2nd plays



Cracked this open for the first time for a quick play session with my wife. She liked it, but it was only two plays before my 4 year old kids came in and demanded a go. To my surprise they really took to it. They were able to play it by the rules and everything, although it was hard for them to resist the temptation to grab the ball with their free hand. Looks like this one is a hit.

The Colonists - 2nd play



This was my first go at this game with an opponent. We both played super inefficiently i'm sure. The full game of all 4 acts with 2 players took us around 5 and a half hours. I liked the game, but I don't know that it has any real magic to it. There's very little if any player interaction, so the fewer players the better I think. Mixed feelings, because I don't know when or with whom I would play this game over another longer game, such as a splotter. I liked it enough to keep it for now in the hopes that the puzzle aspect will grow on me in time.

Bärenpark - 1st play



Barenpark is a light game where players are laying tetris style tiles onto their player boards. When they cover symbols, they get to take more tiles from a central display into their personal supply. The tiles have decreasing point values as their piles get depleted, and there is a point reward for completing filling one of your tiles. The replayability is supposed to come from these three achievement goals, which also have a decreasing value as players achieve them. It was a nice, quick, light game. The high impedance on being firsties bothered me some, but in a game this short it wasn't too too troublesome. I'd play it again and maybe it'll catch with me a little more.

Vasco da Gama - 1st play



In this game, everyone is trying to get their boats into the best scoring positions on the boat chart. Different positions have different requirements in terms of what level boat can be assigned, and at the end of the round, the boats in finished rows click up into empty slots. This pretty much always creates some traffic jam resulting in boats not having anywhere to go and being removed from the game. Understanding and manipulating the flow of these boats is really the most crucial element of the game, but it can feel difficult to get a sense of this process, as most of your actions and most of the game processes have to do with making and preparing the boats.

The magic of this game is definitely the highly interactive turn order mechanism. When you place a worker on an action spot you send along with it a number token from a central limited board of markers. The number indicates the order in which things will resolve. There's a white marker in the number grid that moves after everyone has selected their actions. Numbers earlier that the ultimate position of that marker get more expensive, and numbers after the marker wind up free. This makes for an excellent sense of tension and bluffing that can result in some actions being lost, to merely pass and collect a few dollars. This game definitely demands more plays.

La Granja: No Siesta - 5th play



Managed to sneak in a quick game with my wife. She used to play with me all the time, but she has been so out of it thanks to the kids, that she now felt like this was a heavy game... She is in for a shock when she decides she is ready to get back into things...

Heartland - 3rd play



Still love this punchy euro farming game. In this game you lay tiles and score points based on contiguity of icons. There are two different criteria of scoring, one lets you claim areas that bank for only you, and the other scores you points that actually matter. Then players can sort of try to cut up your claimed areas with other tiles by playing things on top. It was like a fantastic cross between Kingdoms and Taluva, with short turns, high player interaction, and the sense of actually building something. Wonderful.

Great Western Trail - 3rd play



This time played with 2 players, and it went super fast. Often times I'd be just done summing the total of my cards before and it would be my turn again. Glad to see this game scales well. Quickly becoming another one of my favorites.

Sagrada - 1st play



This is a perfectly fine but fairly uninspired dice drafting game. You get a little player board that asks for certain dice in certain spots as dictated by color or number, then a few placement rules about what can't go next to what. Then there are a few bonus cards that give extra points to players who managed to build their boards in certain ways. In terms of feel it's sort of like, if you replaced the tile stacks in Barenpark with the randomness of dice. There's a little luck mitigation, but it's mostly about making robotic choices aiming to limit your exposure to the randomness as much as possible. I'd be willing to play it again, but I don't think i'd seek it out.

Railroad Revolution - 1st play



Railroad rev is a delicious puzzle, but it's been a long time since I've seen a game that multiplayer solitaire. Players do their best to build out a network of connections that will score them points based on how well they can complete their achievement tiles. When you complete one of your tiles, you get the opportunity to get another of a higher difficulty and a higher reward, but as the game progresses your supplies start to run out, making it harder to get done what you need to in time for the end of the game. I'm excited to play more, but since you really don't care what your opponents are doing (for the most part) I think a full compliment of 4 players might be a bit much.
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25. Board Game: Go Nuts for Donuts [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2622]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I'm back to getting some games on the table. Not a wide variety of games, but a good number of games played.


I have to talk about Go Nuts for Donuts. I got my kickstarter copy on Thursday, just in time for Game Group at my place. There were 5 of us, so this worked out great. It's a simple game to explain, light in nature, and the cards are clear as far as what they do. We had a great time. The basic action is turn over a number of donut cards (+1 the number of players), then everyone secretly picks the donut they want. Everyone show the donut they picked. If you were the only person to pick that donut you get it... if two or more people picked the same donut, it gets discarded. There are a lot of times when you need to decide if you should block somebody else or go for a card you want. I recommend this game for a group that like light game and doesn't have any problems sassing each other.
I took it to my parents house over the weekend and it got played a bunch there as well.


My daughter is still on a Fluxx kick. We have been playing a game or two before going to bed at night. We play on my iPhone and have one AI player in the mix.


To celebrate getting a new job, I ordered a game (makes sense, right?). I played Dimension at Geekway and really enjoyed it. I also thought it would be a game my wife would really like. She did like it. I was also surprised how much my mom liked the game. If you like thinky puzzles, you might want to check out this game. I can only play it a couple times in a row, then I need to step away for a while and give my thinker a break! Really glad I purchased it.

Have a great week everyone!
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