What Did You Play This Week? August 14-20, 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 434


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thumbsup Don't forget to thumb the geeklist so we can keep our gaming conversation on the front page all week!

If you attended Gen Con or are interested check out. Your Gen Con Indy 2017 Pick for "Best of Show"
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1. Board Game: Welcome To DinoWorld [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:6747]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Week of transition...

Tuesday
1x - Viticulture Essential Edition - solo

This was a close one, 20-19. It came down to the last round when I set myself up for one, possibly two ways, to score the 1 point I needed to tie or with some luck draw a fulfill able order for the win and I got blocked and no help from the fulfillment department. I'm enjoying the solo variant and getting more comfortable with the game play. I'd like to see how it helps me in a multiplayer game with a little more experience.

Friday
1x - The Oracle of Delphi - mb

Deciding to spend early turns in Oracle to do lots of peeking worked well for me this morning. I had to do something different to move more efficiently than last game. My wife closed hard in her last turn making it closer than I thought it would be. I'm really enjoying this more with each play, my wife likes it but is not crazy about it.

Saturday
1x - Welcome to DinoWorld - Solo New!


I wanted to participate in some GenCant events during this busy weekend so I printed off the official game, Welcome to DinoWorld. It was a slow, learning, solo play. I don't have much experience with roll and write style games, but I was impressed. I learned a few things along the way but feel good about my 42 36 pts (I later realized I didn't handle damage/breakout correctly) for the first play. I'm going to print off some nice color play boards and laminate them as this could be a fun family or coworker (lunch) game.

Sunday
1x - Welcome to DinoWorld - Solo

My morning coffee solo play didn't go as well as yesterday's first play. I kept rolling the same number which forced me to write in some low point pens which eventually were all destroyed resulting in the maximum breakout penalty. I also failed to connect the pathways to some of the pens in the far back corner of the park. If it weren't for a trio of Velociraptor pens on the south edge I would have scored much lower. So I consider it a victory of sorts to salvage 26 points.


This was a major transitional week. School is back in session and one is starting college so we are adjusting, BUT the stage is also set for our return to early morning games over coffee on days I work from home. I hope everyone who went to GenCon or who participated in GenCant had a blast.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 70/100
BK's Top 75 Games - 2017 Edition
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2. Board Game: Mini Rails [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1833]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine,
Here is what we have played this week :

2 new games and some old ones too :-)

Tuesday

A 2-player game of Ticket To Ride : Great Britain. Strange game at the beginning where you can only build 1 or 2 steps routes. Strange in the fact you have to buy a lots of technologies if you want to go on on the board to try to fulfil your objectives.
Finally the scores are pretty low : 81 for my wife and 111 for me. The game is really interesting as now you can use the cards to do something else. Sometimes you can have a certain number of cards in hands that are useless, but here they can be optimized in order to get technologies or concessions.
We haven't played the Pennsylvania game yet :-)

Wednesday

4-player game of Mini Rails, published by Moaideas Game Design. I was eager to play this one. I had received it in order to translate the rules into French :-)
After the translation was done, we had a game of this interesting and easy to learn game.
Well first of all, once you have mastered the rules the game won't play in 45 minutes nor 60 minutes. We played in 30 minutes, rules explanations included. So, the game is tensed and you can do really nasty tricks to the other players. A lot of interaction too. Sometimes you cooperate with them, sometimes you try to prevent them from earning money.
This game is a really nice filler and I think we are going to play it quite often (at least I hope so ... :-) ).

Thusday

A 2-player game of Ticket to Ride : Rails and Sails. Well the scores compared to the game of Ticket to Ride : Great britain, have been doubled. No interaction in this game, as most of my objectives were situated in Asia and a little in America whereas my wife's were situated in Africa and Europe. I won 255 to 162.

Saturday

A game of Différences? with my nephew.
Well I am pretty sure he doesn't like that kind of games.

Then we had two 3-player games of Ghooost. I won both.

Sunday
No game played, but thanks to some members of BGG who gave me the name of a game I had discovered in May this year, I built my own cornhole. ... Hope we will play it when the bags will be done :-)

In terms of translation, three games translated this week : Sakura (for A-games), Mini Rails (for Moaideas Game Design) and Carthago : Merchants and Guilds (for Game's Up).

That's all for us :-)
Have a nice gaming week.
thanks for reading

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3. Board Game: La Isla [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:724]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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A light week of gaming.

Friday

Jim, Keith, and Kent were available for our weekly council although Kent would be late.

Clank!: Sunken Treasures = 1 Play

Keith had not tried out the expansion so we play with the pirate ship side. All managed to delve deep with me and Keith managing to linger underwater due to our Scuba gear. Jim tried to take advantage of this by being the only one to escape the ship but Keith and I manage to escape the depths although I get KO’d first and Keith was unable to escape to the surface when the game ended. Keith grabbed more items as well as 2 artifacts but I got to buy a lot of VP cards which enabled me to just scrape out a win.


Jim is the only one to escape the pirate ship but I still manage to come out with the most treasures! Me 94 Keith 91 Jim 53

Century: Spice Road = 2 Plays

We got to play this twice, one at 3P while awaiting the arrival of Kent and the other to close the evening at 4P.


Game 1: This was Keith’s first try at the game but this was of no issue as this is an example of a game which noobs and veterans have an equal chance of winning. Jim went with his usual rush strategy and this worked out as he managed to come out on top with a score of 73 to Keith and my score of 64.


Game 2: This was played again to close the evening after our game of La Isla. The 4P count meant that this would be a shorter game as the end game condition triggers at 5VP cards instead of 6. This time it was Kent who went for the rush strategy but it did not work as it was Jim again who came out on top! Jim 63 Keith 62 Kent 60 Me 52.

La Isla = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

This has not been brought out in over a year and Kent had not tried it so it was good starter game for Kent who had just arrived. I did not include the more advanced cards and this game flowed very well and played rapidly at the 4P count. This made collecting the animals much more tight and the fact that it was only Jim who managed to collect all 5 species and the 10 points from that as well as his focus on the amphibians that propelled him to the win.


Diversity proves to be the key to victory in this game! Jim 80 Kent 65 Keith 56 Me 52.
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4. Board Game: Haspelknecht: The Ruhr Valley [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
99 Boardgamers
Belgium
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Hi, how are things?

zombie

Another week,
Another game
...
So... Let's go!


Last weeks we played

Lancaster
With Dorset at sea...
An 'Election Day' each round...
And a 'No Bullsh%t' player board


Conclusion


meeple Lancaster is a really nice minimalistic worker placement.
There are very few options, it's like you're playing the very opposite of a common Feld or Rosenberg game

meeplemeeple Luckily 'Henry Vee' expands the game,
with its Lords, Tudors, Bowmen (looking like basic elves), Bishops, the Tower, Treasure Room etc...


zombie



(We also included..)
Lancaster: Henry V
& The New Laws

With its 'Tower Of Shame'..
And the extra allies, helping to defeat the French


Those new Laws do help to add some (needed) variance



zombie


Da Village
The box still looks 'Picturesque'
There still isn't anyone mentioned in the 'Book of Honor'...
Because they all prefer to get drunk at the Pub!



Conclusion


meeple Village is one of my favorite 'thematic' Euros. It literally drags you into that old, historical village.
meeplemeeple The expansions are needed here, especially 'The Port', which makes travelling a lot stronger.
Playing this with beginners is a lot of fun, because you can control game length.
Playing this with pro's is also fun fun fun,.. just make sure you can counter any 'quick finish'
...and always keep an eye on that Market!





zombie


All of DOMINION
When you have all the Dominion stuff that is out there...
(I've got 3 of these 'customized' boxes)
Then you have no reason not to play it once in a while
Luckily I bought 6000 Black Back Sleeves some years ago..
I'll definitely gonna need them! (Give us 1 new expansion/month!)



Conclusion


meeple Dominion still is my favorite deckbuilder,
all other deckbuilders I've played didn't give me that same 'wooaaouow' feeling.
That's why all upcoming expansions are a blind buy!

meeplemeeple Some new introduced stuff makes the game too complicated or even fiddly, but it's always worth to give it a shot.
With almost 11 expansions 'no game is the same'.




zombie


Istanbul & Expansions
We neglected the rules and played until we were out of diamonds..

The companions are slow, but helpful!

zombie



Barony & Sorcery
Some extra 'Invaders' would be appreciated!!
This picture gives Barony a kind of 'Highlander' effect


zombie




What else happened?

A Courier, a Governor, a Coffee Trader & a Smuggler walk into a Post Office...

(Anybody can make a good joke of it?)




kiss
zombie
laugh




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






Improved layout by 50 %


*** Update ***

"It was a 'magical' evening at the Dominion Tavern"
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5. Board Game: Unfair [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:649]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Tuesday



This was a pretty decent week of gaming, and I managed to explore some good games. On Tuesday evening I stayed up once KT had gone to bad and ran some Hostage Negotiator, which I have not played in a while. I got in three games against Arkayne Massua, but I was clearly rusty after a while away from the negotiating table and went down to three swift losses. It was not the best way to begin my gaming week, but at least I had a good time being consistently beaten.

Wednesday



With KT pottering around in the house I had a mini soloCon on Wednesday afternoon, picking up where I had left off on Tuesday night with some more Hostage Negotiator against Arkayne Massua. My first of two games was yet another loss, my fifth in a row, so in my second game I went aggressive from the start, trading in many of my cards for conversation points and getting some of the more expensive conversation cards into my hand. In the final round I felt I had a decent chance to get things done, so I gave in to Arkayne's demand for a helicopter and then sent in my teams to free the remaining hostages and eliminate the captor, a thrilling ride. This is a great solo play, and at some point I will move onto the other abductors and then hopefully to the individual packs.



Flush with success I decided to dig out Pocket Mars for a solo play against the medium AI. I have yet to play this game with anybody else, and suspect that KT might not like it, but I am finding the official solo rules really engrossing, and I have to think about every decision. I ended up losing to the AI but not by much, only 21-18, and I am sure that I can beat this and then move up to the highest level. For its price point this is likely to provide many, many plays, especially if I can get it to the table with KT or others as well, a really interesting piece of design.



Next up was a solo play of 1066, Tears To Many Mothers, getting reacquainted with the rules for some hopefully intensive play testing over the future weeks. I played this with the standard rules, trying to get my Saxon army together against the invading Normans in time for the decisive battle. Although I got off to a good start and was able to make decent progress through the various objectives while taking potshots at the gathering Normans, they gathered pace towards the end of the game while I was still bringing my troops into position. My archers made a decent fist of it on the battlefield, but in the end my gallant troops were no match for their overpowering might and I lost 2-0. Another really involving solo play.



Despite it being by now rather late in the day KT was now up for some gaming, and suggested that we continue exploring Unfair, tinkering with the setup cards in the box. We abandoned the School Vacation version mid-game, finding that the character of the game had been totally lost, and then played a full World Peace version. There are some small elements that are not quite covered in the rules, but we had fun with the Jungle and Ninja decks, KT winning 171-92, and then we went on to the last two decks for a Vampires and Gangsters mashup. This was really fun, and we found the synergies in the Gangsters deck really interesting to explore - get a Casino and an Offshore Account together, for example, and you have a very powerful combo up and running. KT won this 160-75 and we had a great time playing it and reading all the flavour text on the cards which, for once, is really worthwhile and quirky.

Thursday



KT was up for yet more Unfair on Thursday evening, and we played out three games of this back to back, mixing up the decks randomly with the tokens in the box. Our first match was again with the World Peace variant (KT 170 - Me 91), but for the final two we took the option to deal out the Blueprints at the start of the game and do the draft, and this was a really interesting option, providing us with a sense of direction right from the start, a little like the route cards in Ticket to Ride. I had thought the the word Unique meant that it was a unique Blueprint, but it actually meant that there was only a single card in the deck with could fulfil it, so I accidentally ended up with something very difficult to complete and although I played reasonably well, KT ran away from me to win 242-107. Setting up once again and getting a real feel for the various decks and the interplay of the cards we went for a third play and felt that it was very close indeed, but KT's four completed Blueprints to my two won her the day, even if I had the better Park, 244-123. We are really enjoying this game, and it is revealing more of itself on each play, a rare and special thing.

Saturday



Late on Saturday night I dug out Caverna: Cave vs Cave for the first time, getting to grips with the rules for a solo play prior to introducing it to KT sometime soon. This was an enjoyable and interesting experience, one in which I found myself learning very much as I went along, often only after I had backed myself into a corner. Resource conversion for the sake of resource conversion really leaves me cold, but if it is something done in the context of an overarching theme, or nestled in the middle of other ideas then I am quite happy with it. My first impressions of this were positive and I scored 41 points, but I am already getting the feeling that this will need expanding for long-term interest, especially if it is going to be played head-to-head.

Sunday



On Sunday afternoon we tried Caverna: Cave vs Cave competitively for the first time, and it went pretty well even if we both found the decisions to be tougher than we had expected. We were impressed by the taughtness of the design and the way it balanced different elements to provide tricky choices, and it was easy to explain to KT as well. We were both feeling our ways around a little, so the play time was around an hour this first time through, and after checking our scores it turned out that I had squeaked the win 42-41.



We followed that with five straight games of Jump Drive to lighten the mood, and it was clear that KT was in the mood for revenge. That she did so by expanding her repertoire to include the Contact Specialist to devastating effect in a couple of games was double impressive, and she took the series in a clear 5-0. The nearest I came was in the penultimate game when the score was 50-49, but otherwise she was clearly ahead all the way through.

Happy gaming!

Edit: Have just published my favourite fifty Geeklist for mid 2017.
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6. Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045 [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:367]
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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This was a good week. After my health scare a couple weeks back, I’m feeling better, started my exercise routine again, celebrated my buddy’s 44th birthday this weekend and got in some gaming. In terms of volume it was a modest week, but given that I got to play three of my top-10 games of all-time, anytime that happens I consider it a big win.



 9.5   Baseball Highlights: 2045

It’s been a while since I played Baseball Highlights. I had my buddy Zack

Zack Crawford
United States
Orlando
Florida
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over to play some games with me and my wife, but after playing our first game (Orleans, more on that later), she decided to cut the night short as she needed to put our kids to bed. That left just Zack and me and I was looking for things that played well or best at two-players. The first thing I brought out was an old standby, Baseball Highlights: 2045. I taught Zack how to play in maybe 10 minutes and we were off and running. We decided to play the entire three-game regular season just to give Zack a flavor for how the game played. When the World Series started, Zack showed that he’s no novice by running out to a 2-0 lead in the series. Down 6-0 in game three with only one card to play, I had a card that showed single, double and HR on the same card and with the bases loaded, I scored six runs on one card and sent the game to extra innings, which I later won. Zack ended going up 3-2 before I tied it to set up a winner take all game 7. In game seven, we went to extra innings again, where I won on a walk off HR. Seven games, two of which went extra innings, more than one game was won on the last card played. If you haven’t played Baseball Highlights: 2045, you are missing out. It’s a wonderful game. It’s a shame it doesn’t play more than two players.



 9   Grand Austria Hotel

After BH:2045, I was looking for another game that played well with two. Given that Zack had never played Grand Austria Hotel, I pulled that off the shelf. I’ve played GAH nine times now and I am just now learning the most effective way to play the game, which is to get as many staff cards into play as you can. In this one, I employed the card that allowed me to move food out of my kitchen for free, then kept drafting one time use staff cards that gave me four of a resource. We got lucky in this game that the dice were favorable in discounting staff cards, but both Zack and I played at least 5-6 staff cards each. Given that he was a newcomer to the game, he wasn’t paying close attention to the Politics cards and I ended up beating him out for first place on one card that he could have claimed before me, but regardless, I got my best score ever at 152. In fact, playing the “advanced” side of the board, I was able to fill all rooms in my hotel, save four. That’s easily the best I have ever done in this game. Now that I have played this and Lorenzo Il Magnifico close together, I still think this is the better game, although I do love Lorenzo as well. I just think there is a lot more to think about in GAH.




 8.8   Orléans

This was my second play of Orleans in the past two months. The last time I played, I didn’t take advantage of the Town Hall action soon enough and lost a LOT of points in that area. This time, I was able to wagon and ship my way around the board to build 8 townhouses or whatever they are called. I also maxed out the multiplier track on my way to 138 points, also a personal best and better than my wife’s 119 and Zack’s 107. The last time I played this game, I scored 91, so I certainly learned a lot on my first play. Orleans is such a great game. It’s so fun to play. The strategy here is certainly not as high as a pure luckless game, but at the same time it has a high degree of strategy to satisfy any hard-core gamer, but the rules overhead isn’t so complex that you can’t introduce family to the game (assuming they aren’t complete newcomers to hobby gaming). This hit such a high sweet spot between those two zones, it’s no wonder Orleans is so beloved.



 7.5   Klondike Rush

Last week I brought Klondike Rush to my game group meetup. The feedback I got was positive. I won the game handily and really enjoyed my play. So, I brought it back this week as well. In week 1 we played the game with four players and this week we played it with five. Unlike last week, I played the game poorly and overbid early in the game. That left me with very little money. So, I played my profit card to get more. The problem was that very few mines had been placed at that point and my shares didn’t really net me much money. So even though I had money, I didn’t have ENOUGH money. Then couple that with the fact that the order tokens that you need to pick up to get more money were too scattered across the board to make that both feasible and economical. As a result, one player in our group, Drew, absolutely crushed the rest of the table, winning with $150. The other players had $100, $64, $48 and $32. The feedback I got from this group was miserable. Most people hated the game. Turns out, when I talked to the first group from last week, most people in that group didn’t like it either. When they said nice things to me, they were just being polite. Now that I have played this poorly, I can see why this didn’t sit well with the group. If you play this game badly, you can leave yourself with no money and very little way to get more money. Given that money is what you need to bid on cards and put mines on the board, if you play poorly, there is a lot of downtime and the game can drag for all involved. I think this is a good game…with the right group. You need to have a group of experienced players who enjoy auction games for this one to work. If you get a couple people who aren’t good at auction games play this one, they are going to walk away unsatisfied. Bidding more than $4-5 for a single card is usually unwise unless the card has two shares of stock on it and even then, a bid of more than $8-9 can cripple a player. I have dropped my rating as a result. I still think this is a good game, but it will hit the table very situationally.



 7.4   Russian Railroads NEW!

It’s stunning to me that Russian Railroads is my lowest rated game of the week given its BGG rating and my typical taste in games. I assumed I would love this one and I may yet. I need to play this more. But I think I fell prey to the temptation of the three train lines. Instead of just focusing my attention on the Trans-Siberian rail, I got tempted by the action spaces in the Moscow-St. Petersburg line and also pushed my black rail on the Moscow-Kiev line to try to get the extra worker there. In the end, I got both extra workers plus the extra worker placed on the ? card, but to no avail. I wasn’t able to leverage those extra workers for enough good. I ended up in last with a score of 267. The winner finished around 340. Obviously, I didn’t play well, but one reason why this game fell flat with me is I didn’t feel like I was playing poorly. Finishing in last kind of came out of the blue for me. Also, the scoring in this one is really convoluted with the player having to count the space the rail is on plus all vacant spaces behind that rail and when you factor in the doubler tokens, it can get confusing adding everything up. First Class has this as well and I love that game, but that game only has three rounds. This one has six, so it’s twice as challenging to figure out the score. Overall, I liked the game and am willing to play it again, but I didn’t fall in love with it. Perhaps I built it up too much in my mind? There was a lot of hype around this and maybe I fell for that just a bit? I have the German expansion, but I don’t think that will change my opinion of the game as my issues aren’t necessarily the fact that one strategy is broken per se, but that I can’t figure out an efficient strategy. I’m going to keep trying to get this one to the table to see if it opens up for me.
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7. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:582]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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We hadn't played this in about a year. A close friend of mine has an interest in WWII games, but doesn't really care for learning new rules. We bought this back in 2010 and have only played 7 games.

This time we decided to find a scenario that used every board. We could leave the game set up if we didn't finish it. We found a fan made scenario called "Three Bridges".

We only got three turns in, but hopefully i can get back over there this week to finish it. Most of that time was looking up rules. The game moves along at a good pace if you know the rules.

It was ok, but i need to learn the rules to Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles.

And thank you to
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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for creating that scenario and putting it on BGG.




We have another couple that regularly comes over to play games. I bought this with them in mind. This is the third time we've played it. I love it when a game you buy for a specific group works out. My wife won again finishing one turn ahead of me and at least two before the other players.
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8. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:59]
Joe H
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This week was Ironman week which gave me plenty of time to play some games as the training was over and there is a lot of waiting around. It was, by far, my slowest of the 5 I've done 13 hours and 36 minutes), but there were family illnesses that took precedence over training so I'm pleased with finishing but mostly how I've handled the family crises.

Gaming With My Wife

On Monday Sharon and I continued our Near and Far campaign. We were journeying through the Meteor Mountains and I started the game with a new talent "Piano Player" which gives me 1 food every time I go to the saloon. Sharon jumped after quests right away and also angled towards trade routes. I worked the saloon, especially after an artifact bumped my reputation from visiting the saloon and also went questing. Despite some bad rolls the quests yielded some faction banners which I used to help me get 2 chiefs. Sharon triggered the endgame while I defeated a threat and place a camp to also clear my player board. Sharon excelled in trade routes and artifacts while I had the advantage in chiefs, threats and remaining resources/tokens. It was a quick game that ended in a tie with me winning the tiebreaker on reputation. On Thursday Sharon and I played our fourth game of the campaign and we journeyed out into tophe Toxic Desert. The map was quite hard to travel through since certain spaces cost you an extra stamina to travel to or through. As a Piano Player I was able to get the bread I needed to get three Pack Birds. This helped a lot but I was a bit heart limited despite some cards that gave me some hearts. I put Sharon on the defensive as she had to try to beat me to several locations and on her penultimate turn she was able to defeat a threat that bumped up the threat level enough so that I had to give up some stamina to defeat the threat that led to the quest I was seeking on a space that had a trade route for me to complete. Nevertheless, I won. Sharon led in placed camps, artifacts and card bonuses, we were tied on trade routes and chiefs and I had leads in all the other scoring categories.



This was supposed to be the game where I finally beat Sharon at Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure. It wasn't. I was able to cull my deck of stumbles early and efficiently collect a key, bag and the 30 point artifact. Sharon was able to grab her key and bag and the 25 and 20 point artifacts. But, she was getting deep in Clank and headed for the surface. I grabbed the 10 point artifact and 10 point token and followed her up. Along the way sharon was able to collect 2 gems. I beat her to the surface in the same round as her but she won the game 123-111 with the difference being VPs from cards (I had purchased a few devices) and the 2 dragons eggs she found.



Solo Gaming

On Monday night I played what was probably my toughtest victory in Elder Sign. It was an all-female team of Sister Mary, Gloria Goldberg, Mandy Thompson and Kate Winthrop trying to keep Hastur from emerging. The team was a little light on stamina and faced three terror effect locations right from the start. Then we got an early locked green glyph. There were many failed adventures and, at times, I invested three investigators at a location. My MVP was Gloria Goldberg, who crushed the otherworld adventures in the face of a double failure penalty. Next most valuable was Kate Winthrop who slowly chipped away at the constantly emerging terror effects. The game ended with Gloria and Kate purchasing Elder Signs on consecutive turns.




On Tuesday I played 2 games of Terraforming Mars.In both games I used the Mining Guild which starts with 30M€, 5 steel, 1 steel production and any tile placement with a steel or titanium award bumps steel production up 1. In the first game I was able to ramp up M€ production, steel production and energy production up a bit early, sacrificing some victory points. But, it was a struggle to get plants and, later I had to push hard to get plants. The end result was a loss
with oxygen at 11%, 8 oceans, 6 degrees. I would have finished with 63 points. In the second game I struggled to ramp any production early but set the table for a strong late game. I had big steel, energy and heat production and, eventually, got dribs of plant and titanium production. A big help was a card that allowed me to trade in energy for oxygen increases. In the end, a win with 78 points. In these two games I used dice as production markers and it worked great.



Later on Tuesday I played my second game of Pandemic Iberia. In this I played the Sailor who lets you move between ports without discarding a card and the Politician who lets you pass cards to other players and retrieve cards from the discard. This was a win with 4 outbreaks and only 5 cards left in the player deck. This is a very engaging game with a terrific look and enough differences from Pandemic to make it quite an interesting puzzle.



On Tuesday night swim practice got cancelled at the last minute so I played a game of Pandemic on the App. Given how much I've been playing it I decided that I would try the Normal mode for a change. I used the Medic and Scientist. I was making good progress until back to back epidemics shot me from 2 outbreaks to 7 in an instant and then the 8th occurred with the normal infection that followed. At that point the Medic was in a position to cure the last disease on his next turn. So, I tried again on Wednesday with the same roles. I had a favourable as the Medic was able to cure 2 of the 3 cube initial infection cities. Then we moved on to clearing out yellow and were, fortunately, able to eradicate that disease. The game ended with the Scientist curing red, 8 cards left in the player deck and 3 outbreaks. My first win in the standard mode. On Friday I played yet another game. This time it was the Operations Specialist and Scientist. Once again, a couple of quick epidemics in a row saw outbreaks rise from 2 to 7 and I spent the rest of the game putting out fires until the eight outbreak hit as I got the last card I needed to cure the final disease. On Saturday I tried again with the Operations Specialist and Scientist. This one wasn't even close. The big initial outbreaks were far apart so I couldn't keep both together and the card draw was too diverse. I discarded far too many cards.



Another game of Onirim (second edition) on the App. I was hit with two nightmares right at the start and had to fish for cards by discarding cards. The game ended with 2 of the last 5 cards in the deck being nightmares. Only six doors had been discovered.

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9. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set – Texas and Hegemony Factions [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked]
Simona Dostalova
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An okay week with 3 days of 8 plays (of 7 games). I got to try out some new expansions and played 1 more game for 10x10 harcore challenge. I also finished another 2 PBF games. Best thing is, I got to show the amazing world of games to 2 new people (one only played Monopoly and the likes, the other ended at Catan - the evening was on her request).

Monday

I finished 2 PBF games on Monday. The first was PBF 9 for Glorantha: The Gods War. This time it was a 5-player game between Chaos (winner with 42), Earth (39), Sea (me, 37.5), Invisible God (37) and Storm (36).

The 2nd one was PBF 105 for Cthulhu Wars. 4-player game, Earth map. The game was won by SL with 37 points who run unopposed and unmolested the whole game. Runner up was GC with 33. YS (I) was 3rd with 29 (plenty of ES but most of them were 1s...worst draws ever) and last was CC with 11.


Wednesday

First game of my weekly gaming evening (this time with 4 players) was Yedo. It was my 3rd time playing it and I like it more and more. I am even kind of sad I gave it away to my friends but at least to those who I play the most with... The winner was the only new player who gained a nice lead and some more points in the bonus cards, for a total of 46. SO was 2nd with 32 points. He did tons of green quest (and had bonus card for that). I was 3rd with 28 and last guy had 23.

And since SO was present at the gaming night (which he usually isn't),
he managed to convince everyone to play his favourite Innovation. It is my most played game and I don't even like it... This time a guy won by crazy level 10 card's cooperative dogma. I was the only one with no dominations while they had 2 each.


Saturday

Saturday was the day when we got to introduce the hobby to new people.
While we were thinking about what to play, we realized that Beasty Bar might be a good choice - it is chaotic (so new players have chance ), looks amazing, plays fast and it is downright evil. And they loved it! We played 2 times, and second time the guy won so it was pretty epic

After that they wanted to see our fabled "closet of games". And one game immediately caught their eye - Formula D (the guy is a professional driver ). So we took it out (haven't played in a while). Although SO won and the guy ended up last ( ), she ended 2nd and they both really enjoyed it again

And the last game of the evening was Dungeon Fighter, which we got to bring out of the closet after 20 long months. I don't even know how come that it stayed off the table for so long since we used to love playing it in 2015. Alas, it got played now and it was great fun as always although we all died terribly in 3rd level.


Sunday

On Sunday, SO and I got to play 51st State: Master Set, first time with 51st State: Master Set – Cities and 51st State: Master Set – Texas and Hegemony Factions. I fell in love with the design of Hegemony faction (pink gun, amazing! ), so, naturally, I played as them (and they proved to be pretty strong, as well). SO tried out the Texas faction. I managed to win 42 to his 33 thanks to my combo of ruins, multiple cards giving bonuses for ruins and lots of guns converted into points. It just felt natural with Hegemony

And last game of the week was another play for my 10x10 challenge -
Takenoko. I managed to win this, as well, 53 to 44. Yay!
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10. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game – The Miskatonic Museum Mythos Pack [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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We had a couple more plays of Love Letter on our family trip, and after we got home, I also played it with my daughter and one of her friends.

A game of Feudality turned out to be a real disappointment. Although Prp was leading for most of the game, I caught up and "won." But only after that did I realize that I had taken a Cleric in the early turns without being able to meet his placement conditions. Accidental cheating is a drag.

Prp and I played a surprisingly lopsided game of Concordia on the Gallia map with salt. I seized the Concordia card by building my last house, and four personality cards were still in the tableau after Prp's final turn. I went for Weavers and Masons, built all my Colonists, and got maximum Mercury for a winning score of 153.



We had a go at The Miskatonic Museum scenario for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. Neither Pete nor Jenny resigned or were defeated, and we decided to keep the Necronomicon. The hindsight afforded by a previous play (where we totally wiped out) was exploited to maximum use. Even so, Pete was on the verge of making a run for it.

In a nice two-player session of Castles of Burgundy, I came out rushing for the pigs in the first round, but didn't manage to complete any regions until the second. But my pigs and goods sales were sweet enough that I was still ahead of Prp who had two small regions banked in the first round. At the end of the game Prp was leading before knowledge tile scoring; my 14 points for sold goods decided it.

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11. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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Tuesday (with Clare)

Agricola - Its been a long time since we last got this to the table, so the couple of games we had Tuesday felt like a real pleasure. I won both times with identical scores for each of us, me 32 and Clare (a rather awful) 21!

Wednesday (with Clare)

Game of Trains - A new to us filler game that was good fun for what it is. I think Clare enjoyed this more than me, despite losing our 4 games 3-1

Twilight Struggle - I thought, playing as the US for the first time that I would be guaranteed a win, I mean, Clare had hammered me with them, so surely they were the dominate side... And still, I lost!!!!! Games don't often get me cross/ frustrated, but losing early mid war with the US, that's just embarrassing. I've since convinced myself that it's because Clare is, secretly, a world class TS player!

Thursday (solo)

Onirim - 3 games where each time I came so, so close to winning... grrrr...

Pandemic - 1 win with 5 epidemics and then a loss with 6. Pandemic never feels old to me, which says a lot about it I think

Thursday (with Clare)

Cottage Garden - Just one game in the evening, but a close one, with Clare winning by 6 points. I still don't like this more than Patchwork but it's a good game in its own right.

Friday (solo)

The Lost Expedition - New to me and really rather lovely. Art is great (but simple) and game play seems challenging enough. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays co-op with Clare.

Friday (with Clare)

Letters from Whitechapel - Two games with me playing as Jack for the first time. Clare managed to catch me on night 3 both times. For anyone who has never played this and is looking for some two player action I can't recommend this game enough!

Saturday (with Clare)

K2 - New to us and I'm so glad I finally got it as it has been on my radar from ages. It's ace and not at all heavy. Clare invested a little too much in both games, which made it all the more funny when both times her meeple she'd named 'Martin' died on the mountain!!!



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12. Board Game: Uchronia [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2065]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Uchronia - On Monday evening, my wife and I pulled Uchronia out for a game. It had been a while since we last played, so we needed to refresh on the rules, but we got up and running pretty quickly. This was a weird game. For a big chunk of the first 2/3 of the game, we had 4 production buildings out, and we only drew about 3 or 4 actual production cards (1 of which I had put into my Activities, because I didn't know how scarce they would be). We never quite made it to 5 of the same building, so we couldn't wipe the market. At one point, we had 4 production and 1 trade and literally no way to start building any of them. The game only completely stalled for a short time, though. My wife managed to build a number of buildings. I was a bit slower, but I was working the Monopolies (I had 4), and managed to win the game with over half my points coming from Monopoly activities. We had forgotten ho much we enjoy this game. It makes me excited to try Mottainai, too, which I recently acquired in an auction.
Rating: 7.5

Scythe - AT this week's meetup, we played a 4 player game of Scythe. Everyone knew how to play, and we got through it surprisingly quickly. I was the Industrial Saxony (I think?). The black faction. I had never played them before, mostly because it doesn't really fit my play style. I thought I was going to do alright, even without being very aggressive (I always meant to attack more, but I always saw other things I wanted to do first), but, no, I did not. I think I ended them game in last place with a score in the high 30s. One more turn would have made a huge difference for me, as I would have spread out more (I had 3 hexes) and placed at least one more star (I placed 4). I really like this game. I don't get to play it as often as I'd like, but the insert I picked up for it has been great for making it convenient to get played at our weekly meetups.
Rating: 8

T.I.M.E Stories: Under the Mask - On Friday evening, we got together with a couple of friends to start playing the Under the Mask module for T.I.M.E Stories. We only made it through one run, but I definitely think we figured some helpful things out. We ended on a high note, because we managed to change locations and get something big done with very limited time units due to a very lucky roll (still not crazy about the dice in the game, but it definitely felt good). I've read that a lot of people didn't like this module, but we're really enjoying it. It feels like it will require a lot more attention to detail, and a little less mindless dice chucking. I could be wrong about that, though. We'll see.
Rating: 8

NEW Dark Souls: The Board Game - On Saturday, we had some friends over for a day of board games. Their son's summer visit is about to end, and I knew he liked the Dark Souls video games, so I wanted to try the board game out with him before he left. We played a 4 player game, and everyone really had a lot of fun with it. Technically, we only played a half a game, because we only played through the first set of tiles and beat the miniboss. It certainly felt like a full game, though, as it took a couple of hours (it didn't feel like it, though, we all actually felt like we were moving at a pretty good clip). The rules aren't too terribly complicated, and the gameplay was pretty satisfying for all of us. I am glad I have it, and I think we'll have a lot of fun playing it in the future.
Rating: 7.5

Mysterium - After Dark Souls, we played a 6 player game of Mysterium. We started off pretty well, and it felt like we were in sync with the ghost. I stalled out on the location cards, though, literally eliminating every other card before settling on the only one left. I still managed to get my weapon correctly, but unfortunately one of the other players failed to get it on the last night and we lost. Still a fun game, and I think we have won almost all of them times we've played in the past, so it's good to know that it can still give us a challenge.
Rating: 8

Black Spy - After Mysterium, we played a 5 player game of Black Spy. I often forget how much I really do like this game. I suspect it's a bit of gamer snobbery, as it feels maybe a little too close to a game you would play with a traditional deck of cards, and I just love for my game cards to be covered in custom art. My wife won pretty easily after she shot the moon in the first hand. None of the rest of us even came close to recovering. This is the game that inspired me to buy a bunch of other Trick Taking and Ladder climbing games after I played it for the first time, because I just enjoy the strategy of it so much. I have played and enjoyed some of those other games (Chronicle, Haggis, Clubs), but Black Spy might be my favorite of that bunch. I'm hoping to try some of the others that I have (Tichu, Frank's Zoo), and some that I don't (Diamonds, Induglence, Dwarf King). I've pre-ordered the Stronghold reprint of Bottle Imp, and am very excited for that.
Rating: 7

Codenames: Pictures - We closed out the night with 6 plays of Codenames: Pictures. Three of them ended very quickly with one of the teams accidentally picking the Assassin, which is a pretty unusual occurrence for this group. We really love this game, and I'm looking forward to picking up all 3 of the new editions coming out (what can I say? I'm a sucker, I guess). I've actually been thinking about making my own movie poster edition, too.
Rating: 7.5

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - On Sunday, we got together with a group to play a 5 player game of Battlestar Galactica. I played as Anders. Mostly because I wanted to try someone new. I was a Cylon. I generally like to play the first part of the game as though I'm a human. I'll try to mess with things here and there, but mostly I want to let the game do my job for me, and then help it out when I know what will hurt the most. This time, my ability to mess with things was very hindered by the fact that one of the players was able to remove bad cards from skill checks, and my Cylon reveal ability only let me force everyone to draw treachery cards. I was the admiral, though, so I did get to do some damage on jumps, and we drew a lot of "admiral chooses" crisis cards. Then the player before me executive ordered me, and I used communications to move a civilian ship into danger. Then he drew an "admiral chooses" crisis and I was able to deal 2 damage to Galactica. On my turn, I revealed and my super crisis card was a pretty hefty assault card that I used on my next turn. After that, my fellow Cylon screwed everyone over on an executive order, essentially revealing himself, but the other players were able to brig him... But he was late series Baltar, and was only able to do his Cylon ability from the brig! As grim as the swerve was, the game ended up being really close. The humans were 2 jump preps away from winning, and they happened to draw a skill check crisis that cost them their last fuel if they failed it. My fellow toaster and I were able to tank it, barely. I think we all had a lot of fun with this one. Now I'm ready to not play it for another 6-12 months.
Rating: 8

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13. Board Game: Lotus [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1291]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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The Resistance: Avalon

While I think Codenames will eventually take over as my most played, this will likely finish at #2 in a few years. It was nice to see how it played at 9.

El Grande

I played better, but one person pointed out to a new player they should take the action card to score 17 points instead of the one to focus on hurting the other players so I and another player just missed out on winning.

Incan Gold

Zero points. A number of us just kept pushing it to catch up to the person in the lead and kept failing hard. The duplicate hazard card did seem to come early often.

Isle of Skye

I continue to be bad at this. I tried to reserve one title only for another player buy it from me, and that was worth 3 points to me and even more to him, so I was in last by one point. I love tile placement games, and I feel like I am fairly decent at them so I don't know why this one hasn't clicked yet.

Clank

Grabbed a card which gave the other players clank. In a 2-player game this forced the other guy to push harder than he wanted, and I cruised to victory despite him getting back to the top.

Lotus - new

Quite solid and I enjoyed it. Likely to get lost in the mass of solid games which come out on a yearly basis because while it is a solid game, there's nothing really here that transcends.
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14. Board Game: Evening in the Stable [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:10192]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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This week I played several games with my daughter. I really enjoy seeing her start to learn and remember rules. She is also doing a much better job taking turns. The games we played included Evening in the Stable, Rhino Hero, Battle Sheep, Candyland, and Little Bird, Big Hunger.


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15. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We managed to squeeze in a 5-player game of Ticket to Ride: Europe at lunch on Monday which moved at a really brisk pace. I ended up coming in third.

My wife and I played 3 games of Schotten Totten that evening. I managed to win the first game while she took the second. It was a bit of a nail-biter but I managed to win the third and final game for the evening.

A hand of cards for Star Realms was tossed at me when I sat down for lunch on Tuesday. Had I have know, I might have just sat things out. The more I play this game, the more I @#%*ing hate it. I focused on just doing as much damage as possible to try and end it as quickly as I could. I won. Whoopie. Hate.

Someone wanted to do another round of Star Realms but we managed to get another game to the table quickly enough to avoid that. Skull & Roses (or just Skull as it's now known apparently) was brought out. Someone groaned in agony when they saw this one which is sure to be a good sign. It's certainly a thing. It's like a crappy spinoff of Liar's Dice. The only saving grace of this game is that one could use the unnecessarily large components as some nice coasters for a while. I can't remember who won.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! was our lunch game on Wednesday. I ended up being tied for first with 18 points.

There wasn't much time left so we squeezed in a quick game of Love Letter. I can't remember who was ahead by the end of lunch but I know I was bringing up the rear of the pack.

Thursday saw another game that I'm learning to hate: Ascension: Year Two Collector's Edition. We had to end the game early as lunch was over and the game showed no signs of being anywhere near done. Holy crap can that game ever drag on with nothing happening. I was only a few points behind the rest.

Friday's lunch game of choice was San Juan. I thought I was actually doing fairly well but underestimate how much someone was getting from the Chapel. We've typically seen whomever building the palace win the game and 2 of us managed to build one this game, so it was a bit of a surprise when the guy with the Chapel ended up beating everyone by about 6 points.

Someone tried suggesting a "game" of Exploding Kittens but two of us were able to talk him down off that ledge and instead played another round of Love Letter. I started off in a slump and lost 6 hands straight before I finally won 2 in a row, only to stall out there. I tied for last place with only 2 tokens.

Finally back to some games with substance! My wife and I put in another game of Terraforming Mars on Friday evening. I don't know why but I ended up completely forgetting about the milestones section of the board after I claimed the first to 35 TR one. I had 3 greenery tiles for quite a while but it never even crossed my mind to claim that milestone. My wife, on the other hand, took complete advantage of it by building her third and claiming that milestone for herself. To further compound my problems, I spent 20 credits to unlock an award that she ended up beating me on. Those stupid plays ended up biting me in the butt as she won 99-106. Had I paid attention to that gardener milestone, that would have been enough to put me just slightly ahead of her in the final scoring! I'm really going to have to remember to pay attention to those!

Yokohama was her suggestion Saturday morning and I wasn't about to turn that one down. It was a pretty close race for most of the game as she worked to fill order, taking advantage of the extra points she got from her technology card, while I focused on getting the bonuses as quickly as I could and take advantage of strong placements on the church and customs boards. Her collection of order cards with the different sets of flags really started to worry me but I was able to offset that difference by putting up some valuable buildings. I managed to cement my victory with a 22 point lead thanks largely in part to taking first place on the church board, customs board, and technology cards. Without those, I'd have ended up slightly behind her.

We pulled Food Chain Magnate down from the shelves for the first time in about a year as we've really been wanting to play it again. My wife still struggles a little with trying to figure out a starting direction and had a difficult time keeping up with my quick pace of hiring, training, and placing more houses. She managed to slow me down a little by marketing something I wasn't yet producing in my territory, but my hiring/training engine got me through that fairly quickly. I ended up completely shooting myself in the foot, however, when I setup a radio campaign to market burgers and completely forgot that the first radio campaign placed 2 demand tokens each turn. I wasn't prepared to meet that much demand and my wife hired 2 burger cooks that I completely forgot to take notice of. My plan was to train a burger chef to help meet the demand, thinking she would only be able to satisfy the demands of 1 or 2 houses. Instead, she cleaned out ever single house on the board thanks to the foods she had stockpiled in her freezer and what she produced that turn. It caught me completely off guard. Together with her CFO, she raked in something like $223 from all of the sales and completely cleaned out the bank. One wrong move in this game can really screw you and be a massive boost to others. She was behind for the better part of the game but that final round of selling completely turned things in her favour. I lost by about $120.

We played a second game of Food Chain Magnate on Sunday afternoon. I made one huge misstep, forgetting that marketing happens at the end of the round which caused me to lose the people I had just hired. It ended up being a massive mistake that I couldn't fully recover from until the very end of the game. This one was a complete blowout as she took this one $55-$585.

Things wrapped up with one final game of Terraforming Mars. I managed to get several cards that lined up with my corporation's income abilities that triggered whenever a city was built and went a little wild building them along with plenty of greenery and was able to eventually steal the landlord award from her in the latter part of the game. She had started to accumulate quite the menagerie of animals from her cards, so I tried to take advantage of it by eating them with my predators until she played a card that prevented me from decreasing her animal supply. While I was behind her in TR rating by about 15 for most of the game, I managed to overtake her during the final scoring thanks to everything I had on the board. I managed to take this one with a score of 156-131.

We also took the time this week to finally rank our top 100 games - an exercise we've been wanting to do for quite a while now to get a better feel for what we really like, how new a game is possibly impacting our liking it, how our opinions of them change over time, and it's also just a fun activity for us to sit down and do.
You can find my list here with my thoughts and where my favourite games fall in her ratings.
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16. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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With the boys this week I played a game of 7 Wonders. I successfully went for a science victory; both of my boys did very well using alternative routes.


With my daughter I played a game of patchwork. I won but my daughter did manage to score the bonus points.


Played a solo game of XIA. The campaign seems to be getting easier now that I have won a few games and have gotten additional perks.
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17. Board Game: 1812: The Invasion of Canada [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:627]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Only played things on Saturday... but it was a good Saturday:









I had a hard-luck loss in Can't Stop and continue my awfulness and general ineptitude at Concordia, this time losing to a brand new player, despite coming the closest I ever have to winning it.

I did perform very strongly across a lot of tough games, though. I had a wire to wire dominance in Saint Petersburg (a game at which I've suddenly become quite good; I'm almost never worse than 2nd place anymore); I pulled away at the end of a Railways of the World game on the Europe map that was quite tight for the first 3/4 (including a new player who finished a very respectable third place); I continued an exceptionally strong year of Power Grid by dominating the Quebec map (while someone else tried my "4 in Montreal" opening, to no avail!); and squeaked by a tough 1813 campaign in 1812: The Invasion of Canada.
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18. Board Game: Agility [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:2296]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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School starting this week for the kids, which means cross country meets to attend. That'll slow down my gaming a bit.


I started the week off in good fashion by getting my wife to play a game of Istanbul with me. I always like to add in the Mocha & Baksheesh expansion. I like how the coffee changes things up. I thought I had the game won by being able to get the last ruby I needed from the gem dealer... not paying attention to the fact that I already had an assistant there. Curses!! My addled brain! It opened the door for my wife to swoop in and win the game before I could get my assistant off the spot and get that last ruby.


I had challenged my daughter to a game of Simpson's Clue earlier in the evening and she came around to the idea. So after my wife and I were done with Istanbul, it was time to find out who shot Mr. Burns! Keep in mind, my wife and I have never beaten my daughter at this version of clue, so all the gloves were off. My wife stumbled on to the fact that it was Lisa and that opened the door for me to get enough info to win the game. Whew! I was starting to wonder if we'd ever beat my daughter!


It was a light turn out for Thursday night game night at my place. Only one person showed up. Former co-worker so she and I got caught up on everything that's going on while we played Agility. She's a dog lover so this game with a good choice to play. I did a fair bit of coaching through it all and she ended up winning this one. The theme on this game is great and I always enjoy playing it. Plus, I got the German Shorthair and I love that breed.


After that, she and I decided to play a co-op game and I've been on a Flash Point: Fire Rescue kick lately. I taught her the family version. we got so close to winning this one, rescuing 6 victims before the house collapsed on us. We didn't do a great job of keeping the flames under control. She really liked the game and would like to try it again some time.


On Friday night, one of the Thursday regulars came over for some Dice Masters. Man, it's been a long time since we've gotten together to throw some dice. He brought out his all Villain group including the dreaded Kang (that doesn't let me re-roll my dice). I brought out my "Sorcerer's Spell" team. They are all magic users. It was a fun team to play. We only played one game. Too much time talking while we were setting up (again getting caught up on all the happenings in our lives) and then when we finally started playing, the one game lasted almost two hours! What? We just couldn't seem to get a smack on the other person. It was a fun time even tho the games are supposed to be quick.

Have a great week everyone!
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19. Board Game: Munchkin X-Men [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:4811] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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SUNDAY


We just got one game in this week. It was on Sunday night with four players. We decided to play Munchkin X-Men but we added the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity Gem cards from Munchkin Marvel. Since Munchkin X-Men has so fewer cards we felt the odds would be better for someone to win with all the gems and the gauntlet.

My daughter had the gauntlet and three gems but that was the closest anyone got.(She ended up losing the gems.) My sister ended up winning by levels since we were messing with each other and the gems.
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20. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:376]
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
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This week was rather slow for games. It started out pretty strong with 2 games played on Tuesday but I just couldn't motivate myself to play games after getting home this week. My normal game night was canceled in favor of a birthday party for my dog (my decision) and my family game night was canceled in favor of my mom and sister going down to the shore. Overall it just ended up being a slow week. That said, I did manage two games Tuesday

Tuesday 8/15

Pax Porfiriana
I played my first solitaire game of Pax Porfiriana and it was a nail biter. I've played it 3 times previously but solo mode is a completely different beast. I thoroughly enjoyed it an even managed to pull off a last minute victory, but just barely. Below is the winning board.



Le Havre
I am determined to beat this game on solo. I've started looking up strategies and they definitely helped but I still lost with a score of 203. That said, my score is improving every game so that's a plus. I'll give it another go this week (or perhaps several) and see how I do. And my losing board...



Here's hoping this week is more productive.
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21. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:579]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Two days with games:

Tuesday
- Taluva Deluxe x1
- Taj Mahal x1
- Rhino Hero x2

Taluva had a great play, as everyone was right there to win - my friend Trentini would win by placing his last boat, but I stopped him using the special tile. This opened the door for Marcelo, which simply had to place 5 more huts. But to do this he made a mistake when he placed a second level tile next to one I put - and placed 3 huts. This allowed me build a third level, put my last tower and win, just before him!

Taj Mahal was a really close game: going into the last province, only 3 points separated first from third. Marcelo went for economic tiles, while Trentini and I used a more broad approach. Marcelo took the last economic tile, but left open for me to gain two buildings, which earned me 8 sweet points. This was enough to be on par with what Marcelo got, and with the scoring of the cards, we also had the same amount of points, meaning my little advantage came from the +2 points card. Tense finish!

Next we played two games of Rhino Hero, to relax with even more tension! In the first I lost on tie-breaker. In the second, we nearly built all the levels - but Trentini won again when he placed his last card.


Sunday
- Armorica x1
- Morels x2 -- new to me

Armorica was tight - I went for points in majorities, while Osmar went for larger sequences of colors. He lost some cards early on, due to hunger, but I didn't used this all that well - I did got my majorities, but with more wheat he was able to net many points in colors, and win by a single point: 63 to 62!

Morels is a nice and easy set collection - it has good art and plays smoothly. I got very luck with my draws of the night deck, which helped a lot. Both plays were close in points.

And that was it!

Regards,
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22. Board Game: Seikatsu [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2276]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Wasteland Express Delivery Service - pre order arrived - amazing inserts and production, played some two player solo to get a feel for the game.

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization - eeked out a win with Zach and Jim.

Gen Con:

I taught my friend Isaac - Cribbage and he turned around and taught us his Gen Con release Seikatsu. A gorgeous tile laying game.


I (finally) played Codenames Duet after not playing it at Origins like everyone else. I REALLY liked it.

Z-Man brought over NMBR 9 - I actually got this played at the con twice. Once with randos while I was sitting in the hall after punching it waiting on Isaac and later with Matt/Ben (see Wasteland behind us noted above).


Dice in Bowl - AKA Strike - part of the Rolling Dice and Taking Names meet up. Not sure if this guy teaching it knows how to teach games.


Terraforming Mars w. new Elysium map. I really like having new goals at the bottom of the board. Bad pic of the game - but this was inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Great place to play - quite a hike from the main areas but quiet and lots of room.



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23. Board Game: Sheep 'n' Sheep [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:6660]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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"...to excel above the common rate, in frivolous things, is nothing graceful in a man of quality and honor." - Michel de Montaigne
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This week was...

Empires: Age of Discovery - 10th play thumbsup



For my 10th play I could not get anything rolling even a little. Somehow managed to lock in last place round 2 and never left it. We played without the asymmetrical player powers, because I really feel like they unevenly range from useless to pointlessly mean in this edition of the game.

The game goes five rounds, each round players place workers into the action board, then the board is resolved from top to bottom just like in Dominant Species. The result of those actions is the ability to gather income to pay for expensive and very powerful buildings, send workers into the "new world" area of the board, where each region scores majorities three times over the course of the game, and to upgrade their workers into workers with better abilities.

Still really love this game at 10 plays, although this is I think the third edition of this game, and the graphic design still could be a lot better.

Seeland - 3rd play thumbsdown



I last played this game in 2014. I liked it ok at the time, but wound up replacing it with other, similar games. A friend brought it by this week wanting to play it, so holding fond memories I gave it a go. I'm sad to say it really hasn't held up well.

In this game, you have a tile selection wheel, and an area where the tiles will be placed. There are essentially two types of tiles. Windmills, and flowers. When a windmill is completely surrounded by 2 or more types of flowers, you sum the values of all tiles being considered and score those points. There's a little more to the game than that in that during the tile selection process you can spend money to jump over the next tile on the wheel, but you can't jump more than a few spaces ahead if one player hasn't jumped any spaces yet. There are also houses which when built next to give you an extra action coin. Ultimately though the process manages to be both mathy and dull.

The game also comes with some mini expansions of varying degrees of quality. One lets you place a marker down when you score, and then whoever got the most points gets even more bonus points at the end. Very weak. Another, gives your windmills ever shifting target numbers of points you need to hit to get a bonus, and not be penalized. I liked this one, because it meant you might delay completion of a mill on a turn the target number of points is too high. Overall though, it's not enough to turn this ok game into something I'd be willing to play again.

Secret Hitler - 3rd and 4th plays thumbsup



This is a hidden role social deduction game, where some of the players are fascists and others are liberals. The fascists want to pass fascist laws, and the liberals want to pass liberal laws. The trick of the game is there are more fascist laws in the deck than liberal ones, so one player draws 3, discards 1, passes the remaining 2 to an elected player. Then that player adds one of the 2 to the scoring track. I really enjoy this game, although everyone complains that I play like a fascist when I'm a liberal. They feel like this hurts the social deduction aspect of the game when I act suspiciously, even when I don't have reason to do so. I disagree, because when I do something silly, I can get clues as to who people are based on their reactions. I pegged the true fascist players in both games relatively early on. I think everyone still had fun.

Sheep 'n' Sheep - 1st and 2nd plays thumbsup heart



Favorite game of the week!

In this game of cute sheepy cards, you put out a display of four sets of two cards. On your turn, you either draw one of the sets of 2 into your hand, or you play cards from your hand. The way you play cards functions similarly to Arboretum.

You choose a lead card in your tableau, then you can play a path of cards leading away from the start card, but the trick is that you can only play all cards with the same number, or cards in a sequence of number counting up or down from your start card. THEN the trick is that each cute colored sheep wants to be in linked groupings consisting of exact numbers equal to the dots printed on the sheep. So, pink has one dot, so pink doesn't want to be next to pink for it to score. Green has three dots, so you want three greens together for them to score.

If that wasn't enough to get you excited, there's also three majority scorings that get awarded at the end of the game for features on the sheep. THEN you also lose one point for each card's worth of height and width that your tableau extended to. I'm a big fan of this game and I'm anxious for more.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark - 24th play thumbsup



Playing level 4 of the original base game's campaign book. This is a very nice, relaxing level. The players get strong gear early, the monsters are really fierce. Some turns it feels like the players are unstoppable and others it feels like they have no hope. I love how this level has a really relaxed timer, so the heroes can genuinely crawl through the dungeon. It's unusual for the heroes to win in our group. We didn't get to finish, but it seemed like they had a really solid shot this time around. We took pictures of our progress in the hopes of resuming the game later.

Antarctica - 3rd play thumbsdown



This is a really interesting game where the whole board is a giant roundel. Each turn the sun marker moves one space, and the player who has their boat first in line of up to three boats, moves it to an open space anywhere on the roundel and then resolves an action in that space.

The most common action is to build a building, which allows the player to place a meeple in the area for endgame majority scoring. The value of each region increases for each thing in that region. The effects of buildings also get amplified for you depending on how many of your own guys are in the region.

One of the hurdles people have with this game is the downtime. If you place your boats into regions third in line, you might have to wait awhile a few cycles of the sun before you get a turn again. Often times players will also line up their boats in such a way as to get multiple turns in a row. This doesn't bother me, because it's a strategy decision to take actions in those crowded zones.

The other hurdle people have with this game is the scoring. When you do majority scoring, the players with the most meeples in a region get one point for every meeple and building in the area plus one. Players in second place only get points equal to the number of meeples the highest scoring player has in the region. This means first place might have three guys, second place has two, and there are five buildings in the area. In this case, first player would score 11, and second place would only score 3. Every game, no matter how much I emphasize this in the rules explanation, it results in hurt feelings. The intense frustration that they feel over not being able for whatever reason to get a third meeple into that region, they are giving another player 4 points for all of their work, and getting very little benefit for themselves.

I admit this kind of scoring feels wonky. I liked the process of the game enough that I forgave it for 2 plays. On my third, and for the third time, having my group just feel frustration with the game, I have decided that I can't champion it anymore.

Honshū - 1st play thumbsdown



I typically like tile laying games where you build a city, but this one didn't work for me. The way it happens here is you get a hand of six cards, then you choose and play one. Then whomever played the highest numbered card gets first pick of all the cards everyone played. I'm not sure why you wouldn't robotically always play the highest numbered card. Then you add that card to your tableau, covering at least one corner of one of the cards. The cards have different types of features that all score in different ways. This aspect was what drew me to want to try the game. Then, after three plays like this, you pass your hand to the next player for no discernable reason, and then play the three remaining cards in the same way. I would much rather play other games, because I don't understand what the justification for, or advantage is in getting the cards this way.

Kogge - 2nd play thumbsdown



I really had to admit this to myself, let alone anywhere else, but this game is just too complicated for me to enjoy. I really love Hansa Teutonica, Firenze and The Staufer Dynasty. I wish I could love this too. There's absolutely something wonderful here, but after 2 plays I have to admit to myself that I'm never going to be able to get an intuitive sense of how to play this game smoothly.

Essentially, the game revolves around the concept that there are different ports, which each have a number associated with them, and a type of goods they produce. Ports want other types of goods, so in a typical way, you sail around the board delivering goods of other colors to the ports.

Here's where things get nuts. Each port has two slots. In each slot, a route token gets placed. The route tokens have numbers matching the city to which that route leads. One of the player actions is to swap a route token from the board with one from their hand, but the one they place down gets added face down, so only that player knows where it goes. Other players can still choose to use it for movement, but they can only guess where it leads.

The route tokens are also used for other things. You need 1 or 2 of them matching the city you are in to build a house in that city. Not only that, you have to use them each round to bid with, in order to get a good turn order number, which is what will let you get more good route tokens from the display, and which is what will let you carry out your plans before someone else beats you to the city with all the juicy goods.

Even the goods are incredibly tight. When you reach a city you can trade with that city, so for every good you give the city, you can get 2 goods that don't match the good you sold. Each city only produces one type of good, AND they only generate NEW goods when a player used route markers matching that city as part of their turn order bid! Not only that the goods are needed in large sets of 6 to unlock new abilities and goods are needed in different colored sets to construct houses in addition to discarding the route markers matching the city.

This game DEMANDS you plan several turns in advance, and then throws a lot of things at you that might disrupt your plans. For my brain, the things it throws are just one too many, and I can tell you which specific one that I think takes this from a game I'm compelled to master to a game that I don't want to bother with anymore. That one is the raid action. If you are in a city with another player you can drop your raid token in that city, (which at most, you only ever get 2 of, but with 4 players, that's still a lot of potential raiding). When you do this the target player divides their goods into 2 groups, and you choose and take one of those groups.

There are detriments to doing this. The attacking player loses 10 points per raid token they used, if the game comes down to points in the end (there are 2 victory conditions). The attacking player also may never visit that city again, which can be trouble. It also accelerates the game clock. That being said, when a game that demands you plan as much as this one does incorporates a way for players to directly ruin the process of a single player like that, it feels just a little too harsh. I don't mind this sort of mechanism in a lighter, more tactical game. It's just here, where you need to be keeping track of so many ever-shifting elements, it just feels bad.

Now, I understand the reason for this. The goods are available in different quantities, and are limited. The designer needed a way to prevent one player from grabbing up all of one type of good, and holding it, thereby making it impossible for anyone to build new houses. I see the need for some mechanism to solve this, but it doesn't change the fact that when you lose up to three very carefully planned turns of setup to a take-that punch that undoes all your work, it feels bad on the game, or at least, this pvp combat is the one-too-many variable factors that can get in the way of your plans, that makes this game feel too complicated for me. If it was easier to line up a good move, I might not mind this.




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24. Board Game: Roll Player [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:332]
Rico Cordova
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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Best game of the week
trash Not as good as I hoped


Thursday, August 17, 2017
 8.75   Caverna: The Cave Farmers

Friday, August 18, 2017
 6.50   Unlock! The Island of Doctor Goorse NEW! trash
 9.75   Roll Player
 7.75   The Game (2015)

Saturday, August 19, 2017
 4.50   VENOM Assault trash

Sunday, August 20, 2017
 8.50   Kingdomino
 9.25   Dark Souls: The Board Game
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25. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:123] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Anthony Kingsley Frizzera
Italy
Trento
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Hi BGG friends,
here what I've played in this past weekend.

Legendary was a long awaited game for me and being an enthusiastic Marvel fan I had really great expectations...a very interesting and easy game to play, if you like deckbuilding mechanics.

Splendor
game I'd like to buy...cool gems, cards and another easy game.

Port Royal
Ever funny to play...every game is always different!

Five Tribes
It was my first game and after a little while to understand the multiples choices offered by the game itself, I won and, maybe for this reason, is another "must buy" for me!

San Juan
Oldies but goldies: again lot of cards and a smooth gameplay.
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