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

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

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

This Geeklist idea was created by:

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

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

A subscription Geeklist has been created for those who want to be notified of when a new list is posted: The What We're Playing Subscription List
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1. Board Game: DeathMaze [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:8999]
United States
New York
New York
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I am playing this old favorite-- a dungeon crawl with small counters, map-your-map as you go, magic items, potions, orcs, vampire bats, etc.

It was one of the first non-mainstream games I bought and is going to be the subject of my next video.
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2. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:53]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Really been enjoying this new co-op. I don't usually play games solo, but I tried this out solo yesterday as I'm hoping to review it sometime soon (whether I get around to that is a different matter) and I was a little dubious that solo play would work well. Turns out, it worked great - and I even picked one of the spirits (Ocean's Hungry Grasp) that I thought would be more problematic solo.

Ocean's Hungry Grasp is very tricky, as you have strong powers along the coast but no ability to attack farther inland; in the 2 player games, the other player has needed to help compensate for that, but I was still able to win solo - though I really needed to search for powers with a long range!

I went for a second play with Shadows Flicker Like Flames. I had a bit of trouble with my reach here as well, until I remembered Shadows Flicker's special ability to spend an energy to target a region with Dahan - that was incredibly useful!

I got a Major power that was based on taint in a land, and made the choice to let a land taint and overflow in order to be able to wipe out a huge settlement with that power.

Great game. Need to open up the expansion that came with the KS sometime.
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3. Board Game: Spirit Island: Branch & Claw [Average Rating:8.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.93 Unranked]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Opened up the expansion! We played with the two new spirits and new power cards and events. Liking having more card variety. Mixed feelings on the events; they are interesting, but I'm not sure they are interesting enough to balance how they slow the game down, and they add more "random screwage", the lack of which being one thing I really like about the base game! Not a lot of it though.

We wiped the invaders clear off the island! Not sure we'd managed that before.
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4. Board Game: Twin Tin Bots [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2947]
Kathrin
Austria
Wien
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I asked a friend if he'd bring his copy for games night at my place and teach me, and he did.

Fun movement/action programming game that requires some serious planning ahead. But of course plans get thwarted quite a lot, especially when another robot zaps one of yours, or the crystal you have loaded gets stolen, or you miscalculate and end up somewhere different than where you intended to.

I came in second in our 3-player game (12:14:7). The other two players had both played before.

Anyone interested in giving the Yucata implementation a try?
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5. Board Game: Ligretto [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2308]
Kathrin
Austria
Wien
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We also played a shortened (aiming for 50 instead of 100 points) round of my favourite pattern recognition/speed game. Probably not the best choice on one of the hottest days of the year (imho, Ligretto is a good game to play if you want to warm up when it's cold ), but we really like this one. And the 3 of us are on an equal level, so it gets quite competitive!

I came in second again, but 59:52:51 is a really close game for Ligretto. I've played games in which one player made it to 100 and another was making negative points...
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6. Board Game: Hack Trick [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:3355]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Been giving this game too little love (well, played it only once - in November last year) - and I found out today that this may not be a game that will be played much hereafter!

It is a nice game, but it is just not good enough to be played much by me.

I played this with Hema from India, whom I sometimes play a few games with - today we played 10 games!
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7. Board Game: Express [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3576]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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First time for me to play this (I've had it for two years time). It is very nice; draw two cards, play some to make yourself some nice trains, and when you have at least one train with four cars and one with five, and can discard your last card - you close the round and any trains on the table with at least three cars counts as points.

It is not a bad card game at all - but it does have a good amount of rules that need to be remembered and thought about, and this might be why I haven't played i much for the time I have had the game. Hopefully it will be played more now thumbsup
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8. Board Game: Go-Moku [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:5236]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Played some two player five in a row - six rounds/games actually (yes it is easily over) - and it was nice playing an old classic: as you will see, a few other classics hit the table today
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9. Board Game: Ruddy Vikings [Average Rating:5.11 Overall Rank:13556]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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From a classic to a newer game; We played Ruddy Vikings including the Heroic expansion Deck which adds some awesome Vikings, and some extra Buffer and Defence cards.

It is a quite fun game - but I tend to make the house rule that attacks are not allowed in the first round; when you play with more than five people (which you can when you add the Heroic Deck), being the sixth player can actually mean you are out of the game even before you play a card, as everyone can potentially attack you without you have had a chance to set up any defences.

The game is nice, bit silly, bit fun - and I hope to play it with my brother-in-law some day thumbsup
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10. Board Game: Arena: Roma II [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1037] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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I love this game! And this was also the only replay of the year today: It is a great two player game with luck and strategy.

It is one of the games that I think it will take some times b1efore I grow tired of it
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11. Board Game: Eselspiel [Average Rating:4.96 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Another classic on the table - funny card game, but also a game you can't play too much. The last three years I've played it each 13th month.
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12. Board Game: Olsen [Average Rating:4.57 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Olsen is an UNO-style game, played with a regular deck of cards or this kind of special Olsen cards:
Four suits valued 1-13 + one Joker (Mrs. Olsen) - Number 2 and Number 8 are special cards - two is "Take two cards!" and eight is "I choose this suit in stead". The rest of the game is pretty straight forward.

We played 10 rounds/games - won five each.
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13. Board Game: Battleship [Average Rating:4.58 Overall Rank:15320]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Some more classic games! I am sure almost everyone knows this game - and I wonder how many actually plays it... I checked up on it just now:

So far the game have been played five times in August by four different Geeks (at least five actually).
68 times last month (by 48 Geeks), and 65 times in June - it seems that this classic actually is getting quite an amount of love on the Geek! I am happy to see this.
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14. Board Game: This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:3329]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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A pretty good game, but Hema did not seem to like it much.
One thing I like about it is that in order to get points, you want to also help other get some points - if you close a corral with, let's say five of your brand, but only 1-2 of other colours brands, you only get 2 points, the one(s) with two gets one point, and the one(s) with one logo gets nothing... So you'd rather want to have another brand have four logos, so you can take four points, and they then take two and one points. Last one always get zero...

I think it is nice when you try making corrals and when you look the ways they close.
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15. Board Game: Kalah [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:3456]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Last game for the day!
Been very long time since I've played this game (January 2015) - and I am glad to get to play it again. I was actually looking at the game at home and considered bringing it - but I didn't decided the box was too long. But my friend had it and took i out and asked if I would play this.

And this also concludes the game spam for today
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16. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We got a copy of Terraforming Mars!!!!

Been playing a lot of this. We played two normal games, and then decided to try a "co-op" mode based on solo play; we're playing 12 generations to try to terraform the planet and get as high a score as possible. Really, really enjoying this!
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17. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:53]
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Lots more Spirit Island! Really loving this game. Its now fighting with Aeon's End for "best game we've gotten from Kickstarter".

So, we tried a new adversary, England at level 1 (difficulty 3). England builds faster and more easily.

Lisa had Shadows Flicker Like Flames and I had Vital Strength of the Earth. Neither of these spirits have very good attacks to start, so we really struggled to contain the fast-growing English. We wound up going heavy defensively, trying to stop areas from blighting and give them a lot of fear.

You lose if you run out the invader deck. We wound up on the very last turn of the game, but managed to get to the final terror level and get a terror win, with the island nearly completely overrun! A very close game!



So, later I wanted a rematch with the English with some spirits that were less defensive and might be able to stem their growth faster.

This time Lisa had Thunderspeaker and I had Heart of the Wildfire.

The initial explore put on explorer in my starting area. This meant I could expand and place presence to kill one explorer, and use my basic power to eliminate the other. No building in my board! Lisa had similar luck on her board.

A combo of good power draws and helpful events, and we completely wiped out the invaders in the fast powers phase of turn 3!!!!

This scored 46 points, was certainly our fastest win ever, and will be a hard score to beat for a while!

Kind of felt like we'd cheated, though I don't think we did.

Wondering if that was just a fluke, we promptly replayed, this time upping the English to level 2 (difficulty 4), which gives them an extra city and town on each board. Nasty! This was a much tougher fight. We wound up blighting the island, which knocked 3 presence for each of us off the board. I felt like we wouldn't recover from that, but we did manage to, and were able to destroy their towns and cities like crazy, driving the terror level up and getting a win in terror level 3.

Later we tried the Rituals of Terror scenario. Lisa had the Keeper of the Wilds and I had Lightning's Swift Strike. We performed the Ritual or Terror once, but wound up destroying all the cities and towns right before we would have performed it again!

While we've been winning the games, they've always been very exciting and tense, which tends to be about perfect for a co-op in my opinion!
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18. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:574]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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I am getting some games on here in August! But I am still far behind in my 100x1... However, previously I have only played this online - but it was nice having the rules properly explained and try it out for real. A first play for me!
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19. Board Game: Strozzi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1692]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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I have had this "guy" sitting for some time without playing him at all! Another first play for me at this - not too bad game.
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20. Board Game: Mustang [Average Rating:5.03 Overall Rank:14131]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Been a while since I've played this Poker-style game about being a rancher. I still enjoy this game even after all this time thumbsup
But for most people this game might be too simple
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21. Board Game: Dark Souls: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1540]
Jeremy Kratochwill
United States
Anchorage
Alaska
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I need to change this now that it's not football season.
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A friend Kickstarted this, played the learning game tonight. We enjoyed it, had to learn the iconography, and of course the rules, but things started picking up. Time will tell, only played through one encounter. Looking forward to playing it further.
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22. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Aug 4

My officemate received a copy of Pandemic as a gift (Christmas I think), and I offered to teach it to him on a lunch break some day. That day finally arrived! (He often eats lunch with his wife, who is now off on maternity leave, or outside in the summer)

We actually played the first game over two lunch hours, with him as the Scientist (I think that's the research station building role) and me as the medic. We had very little red come up, and eradicated that disease before curing a second. We were one turn away from curing our final disease when the deck ran out - the game ended on my turn and Tim was all set to cure the final disease on his turn. So close!


I don't like this new edition, with the plastic cubes and pawns and research stations. The pawns in particular are pretty bad, being just slightly curved on the bottom. I like the old wooden tokens better.
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23. Board Game: SeaFall [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1589]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Aug 4

Next round of SeaFall. I came really close to finally winning a game, only to be edged out at the end. I lost by one point. I closed the gap on 2nd and 3rd in the cumulative scores, but the maintained the same gap over 1st.

The new box we opened this game (#5, I think)...wow! Really neat stuff in there. I'm really looking forward to playing with the new stuff more this week.
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24. Board Game: Shadowrun: Crossfire [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:611]
Adria D
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Aug 5

On Saturday, we had a couple meet the 'baby' type events. First we visited some friends and their 3.5 month old girl. Afterward, we visited another friend and his 4 month old puppy. While there, we played a couple rounds of Shadowrun Crossfire.

We took two runs at the Freefire-for-All mission, with upgraded characters and the Gang Leaders modification to increase the difficulty and the karma reward. The first attempt was shortlived, nowhere close to even successfully aborting. The second attempt went much better, and we won that one.


Apparently there's another expansion in the works, which I really hope to see. I'm also quite interested in Dragonfire, which is a D&D (Sword Coast) themed game run on the Crossfire engine.
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25. Board Game: Roll Player [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:341]
Kathrin
Austria
Wien
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I didn't manage to get a copy during the first printing (not too many copies seem to have made it to Europe back then) and I ordered it from a French store this time around because I wasn't sure if my local store would get it in stock. I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I backed the expansion on KS.

Today, I played my first couple of games, solo.

For my first game, I picked the Dragonkin. She turned out to be a Guardian Monk, and also a Chosen One (which made me chuckle as I'm currently watching Buffy). She was Focused, Proud, and managed to acquire several pieces of Armor that fit her very well, and a useful Quarterstaff. She became a Clan Leader - only two points more and she would have been a True Hero (= the highest victory level)!

Then I created three Free Spirited Savage Barbarian Halflings for Roll Player Challenge: Will you answer the call? Yes you... down there!, but so far, they haven't been the most successful bunch. The first one didn't make it beyond Adventurer (2nd lowest level), the other two were twin Luminaries (both 31 points, one level below Clan Leader). Lots of room for improvement - the current leader has a whopping 43 points.

What a fun and addictive game! I generally enjoy dice placement games, but I'm not a role player, so I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the theme, but it turned out that I do.
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