GCL ECLIPSE: # 301 Eclipse's Eclipse list
EGG Head
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This Monday is the Solar Eclipse so to celebrate we'll talk eclipse related subjects. I'll get us started and feel free to jump in with your ideas.

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Dan
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:5.31 Unranked]
EGG Head
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Have you ever watched a total eclipse before? Did you watch this one?
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2. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:6713]
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Have any recent games eclipsed old ones for you?
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3. Board Game: Secret Moon [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:8469]
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What is your favorite moon related game?
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4. Board Game: The Sun Never Sets [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:8828]
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What is your favorite sun related game?
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5. Board Game: Orbit [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:8626]
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Any games orbiting your game shelf? (Ones that haven't quite landed on your shelf and why)
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6. Board Game: Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Eclipse [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Total eclipses don't occur that often, any exceptional games you've played lately?
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7. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
Squeeker
United States
Boulder
Colorado
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Ready for the Eclipse now!
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8. Board Game: Yellowstone [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:11495]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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My wife, some friends and I are staying at cabins near Yellowstone. We are very close to the perfect path. This is our first total eclipse, but our friends have done this three other times.

The rest of the week we will explore Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. So I may not be online much this week.
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9. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:345]
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Just returned from GenCon.Got to try a few things and bought a few things. Highlights included 2 escape rooms, one at GenCon and one at Escape Indy. Both were lots of fun and yes we did save the world both times. Photosynthesis (sun related game!) was hot and I did get a copy. Ex Libris was also hot, didn't get a copy. Whistle Stop was also hot. Other games that I heard or seemed to be sold out Harry Potter deck builder expansion, Nations the Dice Game: Unrest, El Dorado.



6  Hanabi x4

N/A  The Fox in the Forest x2 NEW! We really enjoyed this 2 player trick taking game. The special powers and inparticulat the scoring make this game interesting.

8  Tokyo Highway

N/A  Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium NEW! Tried the new map. THe new milestones were fun to use.
N/A  Terraforming Mars

8  Familiar's Trouble x2 Excellent cooperative trick taking game for exactly 3 players.

N/A  Shadows in Kyoto x3 NEW!

N/A  War of the Ring (Second Edition) NEW! Thanks Dan for teaching this one! Definitly interested in trying again know that I have the gist of it.

N/A  Ponzi Scheme NEW! Fially tried. Not sure what the buzz was about. The 5 player game semed slow paced.

N/A  The 7th Continent NEW! This game may be my favorite of the year so far. Very fun and easy to play.

N/A  13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis x2 NEW! Cute little micro game. Not sure how much control you have in this one.

N/A  Lisboa x3 NEW! More straightforward (at least to me) than The Gallerist. I thought it was okay.

N/A  TAGIRON NEW! Fun mini version of Code 777. Since it palys with 2 will definitely see more play from me.

N/A  Sentient NEW! Leads to AP. Was not that fun. Cool dice though.

N/A  The Palace of Mad King Ludwig NEW! Interesting game where everyone builds on the same palace but is still out for themselves.

N/A  Klondike Rush NEW! Not inspiring.

N/A  Detective: City of Angels NEW! I love the theme. It works well, but I'mnot that keen on games that require a GM.

N/A  Riverboat NEW! Typical Euro. Don't know if it will make the cut for me at Essen.

N/A  The Godfather: Corleone's Empire NEW! Another Euro, the play fits the theme well.

N/A  Photosynthesis NEW! Pretty game. Harder than it looks. I liked my frst play.

N/A  Codenames Duet x2 NEW!
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10. Board Game: Welcome To DinoWorld [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6850]
Meghan Naxer
United States
Kent
Ohio
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Recent Plays: 8/12–8/21, GenCan't Edition

Matcha
Hive x3: Could not catch a break against Paul that day!
Dice Stars
Arboretum
Ginkgopolis
Hanamikoji
Mottainai
Tides of Time

New Acquisitions:
DVONN x2: Loved this! Immediately played it a second time after the first game! So good!
YINSH: Also amazing!!! Looking forward to a lot more plays of this one.
Dokmus: Really interested in exploring this one more. Tough to grok on first play.
Welcome To DinoWorld x3: Quite challenging roll-and-write, and the official game of this year's GenCan't. After 3 plays I think I finally figured it out. It reminds me of Avenue on steroids.

Work has been super stressful and busy in the lead-up to fall semester, so we haven't been playing as much as usual. Here's hoping things calm down enough after school starts for more regular gaming.
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11. Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:24]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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I have started writing up some of my gaming sessions again. So I thought I would share them with you.

7th August at LoB

I have been trying to get a copy of Roll Player all year. I finally managed to get a copy on Friday, so I was pretty excited to give it its first outing. It is somewhat similar to Sagrada, but there is a lot more going on. The game (in case you have missed it) takes the start of a roll playing game, where you roll up a character and turns it into the whole game.

You start off with a number of dice, depending on the number of players, that you place on your board to count towards typical RPG statistics, Int, Con, Wis etc. Each turn players draft a dice and add it to one of their characteristics. Each characteristic has a target which may be a range (16-17), a minimum amount (14+) or a set amount (16). At the end of the game players get points for meeting those targets.

Each player also has a backstory, which assigns them a specific dice colour. And gives you bonus points for having specific coloured dice in some of the positions on your grid. You score a point for each dice of that colour you have at the end of the game, and up to six points for the grid.

Each player also has an alignment card, which has nine spaces, some of which will have numbers on them, some positive some negative as players buy cards and use skills, a marker will move around this grid. At the end of the game you score any number your marker is on.

Each characteristic row also gives players an optional ability when they place a dice in that row. Things like, flip a die to its opposite side, add or subtract 1 from any one dice, reroll one dice and either keep the new number or retain the old etc

After placing a dice and getting any bonus actions players can buy cards from the market. Cards are either weapons, armour, traits or skills. These give you extra abilities or end game scoring. The game ends when every ones board is full and then the game is scored.

I got off to a good start, I had the ability which gained me two extra coins when I placed a yellow dice (normally you get two) and I started with three of them so money was never a problem for me. I also managed to get two pieces of armour from the same set early on. Armour is worth points depending on how many pieces from the same set you have. Unfortunately I only managed to get one more matching piece the rest of the game. (It was still worth 7 points for the set, which was not bad)

I got what looked like a good ability, but realised I could not use it due to my position on the alignment grid (I was sitting on a +3 space which as that was the best I get, meant I did not want to move). I kept collecting armour (In the end I had parts of three sets), but I failed to get any traits. Traits tend to be about end game scoring.

The game ended and I had managed all but one of my characteristics for an early lead. We all scored very similar on the back story and alignment. I scored the most for Armour but one of the other players just got past me due to his traits. Mostly they were ones that gave him points for doing badly and also four points for having two weapons.

It was fun and I think a game I will get better at as I get more familiar with it.

Talking of familiar, we next played Dice Forge. My ninth play since I got it around a month ago. I think of it a bit as the dice version of Mystic Vale only instead of building cards you are building dice.

The game play is not the similar, but the philosophy is. I went for a diversified strategy, upgrading the gold sides on the light dice and adding vp’s, sun shards and moon shards to the very slightly darker dice.

I managed to get my favourite card early on. The one that lets you buy 4 vp’s for 3 gold on you turn. It won’t win the game on its own, but get it early and it can be worth 32 points, which is pretty good.

It took me a while to build up both of my shards and I thought I might miss out on one of the 26 point cards (especially as both the other players had already got one), but I just managed to get the last one. A couple of late buys of vp faces just managed to keep me out in front. I won a tight one by 5 points.

Next up was Qwinto, the follow up to , which I have played a lot, though I do prefer the card game version. I would say qwinto is a much better game as the players have Qwixxmuch more control. Rather than a set score sheet, you decide what values to put where as you play.

I learnt on my first play that the best approach is to concentrate on two rows and only place numbers in the third row if they complete a column. It worked out pretty well, I finished two rows first to end the game and had managed to score well in three of the columns for a fairly comfortable win.

Finished the evening with NMBR 9. This is the oddest game I have played all year In fact just about as odd as any game I have played. It’s kind of tetris with numbers. It has numbers 0 to 9. Each number is made up of a number of squares. The game is played over 20 rounds, each round a card is drawn and every player gets the number piece on the card. Each number appears twice in the deck.

When you get a number you can either place it so it is touching at least one other tile, or you can put it on top of already placed tiles as long as there is no gap under any piece of the number. At the end of the game each number is worth the level it has been placed on. For instance an 8 on the third level would be worth 24 points.

The thing is the numbers are quite odd shapes and rarely fit together as easily as you would like.

I managed to get an 8 on the fifth level and won with 182 points.




8th August at LoB

It was Katy, James and Joe night and we started off with Roll Player. After playing it safe in the first game by being human, this time I played as an Elf. To be honest there is very little difference between the races, the main differences is in the cards. Except for humans, all the other races have one attribute where they get a +2 to their score and another were they have -2.

My character ability this time was that when I discard a card from the market, I get to do an attribute action (Flip a dice, change a dice etc). A very useful skill. I did not get so much armour this game although I did get the full set (3) of the mystic armour. I did manage to place all six coloured dice in the correct positions to get the full back story bonus.

Everyone got a lot of dice in one colour, but the colours everyone got where other players colours. We scored between 1 and 3 for having correct colour dice ourselves. I managed to get four of my attribute bonuses, just missing getting the fifth. On the last turn there were two dice which would have got me the fifth, but I was last to pick in a four player game and they were both gone when it got to me.

I did manage to get a combination of traits and skills that allowed me to get the maximum 3 points from my alignment card. This time I finished a close third. This is starting to look like a game I like, but am not very good at.

Second game of the evening was our second play of Bastion. We had played the recommended first game last week and whilst mechanically it all worked, it was not that interesting. This time we played the full game. This meant the monster deck was seeded differently and had some monsters with more interesting mechanics. We also used the rituals deck, which gives the players more options.

The players all have two cards from the rituals deck, they may be artefacts or structures. All the cards are colour coded and you can play one when you defeat a monster of the matching colour. These cards greatly help the players, but due to the colour coding, some effort needs to go into getting them in play.

It seemed early on that we were heading for an early defeat as the monsters were entering the game much quicker than we were killing them. But the tide started to turn. One of the reasons the game had started so slowly was us taking time to get some of the ritual cards into play. But as the game advanced they started to pay off.

We finally reached a stage where there were four monsters left. If we managed to kill them all in the next four turns we would win, if we missed even one of them we lost. We did just manage it for the narrowest win possible.

This was a much more fun game. If I have one major criticism of the game, it’s that I feel the theme does not come through very well. The monsters all have names and nice artwork, but really all the players care about is their colour and strength.

Next up was Fabled Fruit. I won’t say too much about the game as it might be a spoiler for someone. Needless to say I did not win. In 21 plays I have won three times. Though two of those wins were on the same night.

We finished the evening with Timeline: Diversity. It was predicted right at the start that I would win, which I did but only after three player sudden death. I won by knowing that the electric toaster was invented in the 1920’s. I did not know the exact year, but there were no other cards for the 20’s on the table.

How did I know about the toaster? I had watched Downton Abbey and they got a band new toaster in that show set in the 20’s and mentioned that it had just been invented.



15th August at LoB

Its Tuesday so it must be Katy, James and Joe night. (We have on occasion played on other nights, but mostly it’s Tuesday) I had just (Saturday) got a copy of Mechs vs. Minions, so it seemed like a good time to break it out.

Its physically big and heavy, though still only half the size and weight of Gloomhaven. The game itself is probably the most over produced game I have ever seen, but in a wonderful way. It’s so big and heavy I had to buy a new bag to carry it around in. My old bag, that is big enough for at least six normal games, just was not big enough. I also made sure the new one had wheels.

What about the game itself, it’s kind of like RoboRally on steroids. It’s a co-op game rather than competitive, but you program your moves like Roborally. Why I say steroids is that you can upgrade your moves by three levels. Also unlike Roborally, you keep your cards in the same position on your board. You can replace them with a different card, but you lose any upgrades doing that.

We played the first mission, where you need to tow a bomb most of the way across two boards without the bomb exploding. The players control the Mechs and the minions are everywhere and just get in the way. The minions can’t destroy the Mechs but they can be a nuisance, causing malfunctions and issues for the Mechs. The minions however do cause damage to the bomb if the finish their moves adjacent to it. The bomb starts with 5 health, so the players have to be careful to protect it.

We manged to complete the game with the bomb on 2 health. It definitely was an introductionary mission. We made a few mistakes and were not very efficient. Hopefully we will get better. It was a lot of fun though.

Amazingly none of the others had played Kingdomino. So we ended up playing it three times. In the first game I forgot rather a key rule until half way through. (Players are limited to a 5 x 5 grid). By then it was already too late and we just finished the game without any restriction. We ended up with some rather strange looking estates and the highest scoring game ever.

Everyone enjoyed it so much we played it twice more by the correct rules. I even managed to win the last game. It was only the second time I have won it.

We finished of the evening with Fabled Fruit. As usual I did not win, but I did give the game to the player on my left, which was Joe, who has done as well as me in this game in the past. (That is to say hardly ever won it)

Why I gave it away, was one of the cards had a cost equal to the cards currently in the market. Twice I took an action that depleted the market to one and two cards respectively. Both times Joe was able to get a cheap card.
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12. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:878]
Daniel West
United States
Springfield
OR
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I realize I haven't checked in much lately with my new to me games. I can only think of 4 new ones, and fortunately, they were all good.

My favorite of the new games would be Mascarade. It's not new, but it is great to find a social deduction style game that is good with as few as 3 or 4 players, unlike most that need at least 6 to be good.

Cosmic Run was a fun dice-rolling, push your luck game. It has some good concepts, and even though I won the biggest planet by pushing my luck to get 5 dice out of 6 with the same number on three different turns, I still came in third, showing there are a lot of legitimate paths players can take in this game. I'd highly recommend it.

Lisboa was by far my heaviest new game, and I liked it, although it ran short for all of the meatiness that was in it. I only had 9 total turns according to my math and one follow. I did end the first era early and there were 4 players. I'd like to try it again with 3 players to see f that allows more running of a built resource engine.

Dice Forge was the last new to me game, and it was fine, but it did have some player turn order issues. The first player will have access to certain die faces every game, but also not get to cash in any die rolls made in the last round, so while that balances out, it still feels awkward. Despite that negative, the premise of the game is fun, and there are some cool dice combos you can go for. This was probably my least favorite new to me game though, and considering I liked it enough that I would play again if offered, I can say it's been a few good weeks of games.
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