What Did You Play This Week? August 21-27, 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 435


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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!

We exceeded 50 thumbsup last week, but not quite 50 items/posters. We are still chasing that elusive combination.
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1. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:225] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Nice to have my wife back a the table...



Tuesday
1x - Arboretum
1x - Century: Spice Road

Last week my wife suggested we try Arboretum again after reading my recently posted Top 75 list. She struggled the entire time and needed lots of help. She has a hard time wrapping her brain around this one and feels like she is putting out a lot of emotional energy just to get through it and feels dumb so doesn't like to play it. I doubt we will play this very often between just the two of us after a 24-15 result (and that was after I let her count her orange cards as red cards because she got them confused under poor lighting).

Next up before I started work was Spice Road in which my wife demonstrated her dominance once again in a crushing defeat of 96-75 that elevated her emotional well being back to normal levels and all was good again.

Wednesday
2x - Century: Spice Road

I got an extra day to work from home this week so we had coffee over a couple of trips down the Spice Road. In our first game we acquired a good number of cards before we got to trading in this one which I thought favored me as I had some good options for some good combos. I was off to a great start and acquiring decent cards but my wife reeled me in and passed me for yet another win, 84-76.

In our rematch I got off to a slow start and tried to keep pace. It helped that I was getting higher point cards but my wife was claiming cards awfully quick for another win, 69-64.

Thursday
1x - La Granja - mb Solo

In my understanding of the La Granja solo game it wasn't clear if/how you score the dummy player so I don't now if I played it correctly. I finished with 68 points and it wasn't a bad experience. I could see how this would be terrific for learning how the game plays, but I was hoping for a clearer competition. So I guess if I were to play it solo again, I'd try to beat my best score? Or maybe I played it incorrectly.

Friday
3x - Welcome to DinoWorld - 2x Solo

I dropped off my daughter for early morning water polo practice then enjoyed a couple of plays of solo DinoWorld. In my first game I suffered no damage, completed paths to all my buildings but one and happy with score of 46. In game two, I managed to build bigger animal attractions and protect them for my highest score of 53, and used the space more efficiently while leveraging my rerolls and plus/minus 1 dice manipulations more effectively.

After work I taught my oldest nephew how to play and he learned some things he will do differently next time with his paths to connect more of his buildings. I managed yet again my best score, 56-21.


It was a busy week all around which made having my wife back at the table for some early morning coffee games was nice. I still had quite a bit of solo play mixed in there--I think I need to start a list of my impressions on the games I play solo.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 71/100
BK's Top 75 Games - 2017 Edition
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2. Board Game: New York 1901 [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:828]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine,
Here is what we have played this week :

5 different games played, with 2 new ones :-)

On Tuesday :

I played Augustus with two of my children in a 3-player game.
I largely won the game, with more than 20 points ahead of them.

Then at the end of the afternoon we had another Augustus game but this time my wife joined us. Well, my son won the game with more than 80 points :-) I think he has found a really successful strategy, I must be very careful next time ;-)


Then we had 3 Qwixx Gemixxt games with my wife.
I won 2, she won 1. I think it should be the first time I won against her. Usually, I win one and lose the others, but not this time !!!!

On Friday :
Two new games played this day + a new Unlock adventure


So we first played Primo, a card game in which you have to discard your deck of cards first if you want to win the game. We bought it in germany 4 years ago, but I couldn't find any English rules for it, so it was put in the long, long, long list of unplayed games.
Lately, my older daughter asked if I could find her a game to translate I asked her to translate this one as she is now fluent in German.
So we tried the game. It is a nice discarding game, it changes from Skip Bo or Phase 10. I don't know if I will play it again as I am no longer fan of that kind of games We'll see


Then, as she had worked on a rule, she asked me to read the rules of New York 1901. We had a two-player game of this interesting game.
I am sure we haven't mastered all of this, but it is certainly a game we are going to play more often.


Finally, all the familly played an Unlock adventure, the last from the first series.
Well, it was interesting but a lot of frustration at the end of the game. I think we didn't score any Stars at the end of the game
Maybe the most complex scenario of all of the scenariis we have played so far.

In term of translations, three game + an official variant translated this week
Fireworks, Fireworks battle (the variant), Sakura,
Topiary
(you should give a look at it, a rather unusual theme), and I managed to type the rules of Mini Rails

I also created a thread on bgg about the links to the preorders/pickup for next Essen

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

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3. Board Game: Automania [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:779]
Joe H
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Post-Ironman downtime/recovery time gave me lots of time to play games, especially with my wife.

Gaming Group

New to Me at Wednesday nights game group we opened with a group of us (Steve, Ashley, Diane, Patrick, Brennan, Daniel and me) playing Steve's new in shrink copy of Codenames: Pictures which he got as part of his reward for helping in the CGE booth at GenCon. I'd played Codenames with smaller groups before and enjoyed, but didn't love, it. The pictures were trippy, with enough strange details in each to make clue choices hard. The table/trash talk between apies was fun too. We played two games. In the first Steve and Ashley were code masters and gave great clues. In the second game Brennan and I found it hard to connect more than 2 or 3 pictures with a clue.



Next, I taught Ashley and Diane Automania, a game I really enjoy but have a hard time getting to the table. Ashley started out atrong jumping to a big lead and selling lots of cars in the first round. I always seemed to be one round late in passing and didn't get my preferred second spot that gives and extra tile. Instead I gathered orders which I was, later, able to fulfill. In the last few rounds I snagged a few pieces right before Ashley had planned too. This included a two eco-friendly tokens which were worth a total of 7 popularity in the last round. This allowed me to take the top 3 spots in the European market in the last round to snag a lot of juicy VPs, enough to bring me level with Ashley. My cash majority and advantage in VPs for orders was enough to overcome Ashley's advantage in VPs on tiles in her factory.



Finally, I taught Diane Ingenious. It was a tight game. I got two early "ingeniouses" but Diane roared back. Fortunately, I was able to drag up some of my lagging cubes just beyond her lagging blue. Blue was scarce and I was finally able to push my blue beyond hers and, shut down blue on the board, leaving her not enough time to establish any more opportunities to score blue.



Gaming With My Wife
On Saturday Sharon and I played. Our hero team of
Hulk, Moon Knight, Mr. Fantastic, Namor (The Submariner) and Thing fought against Baron Heinrich Zemo who led Masters of Evil (WWII), Masters of Evil (WWII Zemo led his modern day self...a bit of a disconnect) and Sentinel Henchmen in the Pan-Dimensional Plague scheme. This scheme was all about wounds as the game ended when the wound stack was empty. The scheme twists cleared the HQ of wounds and then attached wounds to all of the heroes in the HQ and either you paid an extra recruitment point to return the wound to the stack or else you obtained the wound. Zemo also likes to give wounds if you can't sacrifice a Bystander. We thought it would be really tough to win since it would take a while to get to Savior status to manage and easier Zemo. We got hit with Scheme Twists early and a couple of Master Strikes that kept hurting Sharon more than me. But, once the Scheme Twists subsided and I got to Savior status we were able to chip away at Zemo. We ended up winning (the long lull in scheme twists leaving 5 left in the adversary deck with only 12 wounds left on the wound stack) and I had the most VPs by a wide margin.



On Sunday Sharon and I played the "Cloudy Valley" map of our Near and Far. The map had most of the quests far in the west with lots of threats in between. Consequently, we were only able to get to three quests. Sharon defeated lots of threats with her 3 or 4 swords but I got into that game late and only managed to get one threat (and that one cost me dearly). But, while she had swords I had skill so I hit the mines time after time and parlayed an artifact card that gave me a gold for each camp I built on a trade route into the incentive to complete both ends of the only nearby trade route. This helped propel me to a 49-44 win.



After a long hiatus with Trains: Rising Sun, Sharon and I returned to it on Sunday afternoon. The random cards on offer included Outdated Train, Surveyor,Unhappy Passengers,Government Subsidy, Interchange, Mining Train, Trail Blazer, and Monorail. We played on the Chiba board. Sharon followed her usual strategy of lay lots of rails and try to poach the cities I've already started building stations in. I took a couple of early Surveyors and these paid in spades, allowing me to lay rails and build stations and obtain gold cards without taking waste on multiple occasions. I was able to push up into a couple remote locations and keep her away from them. In the end,I scored a rare, but decisive, victory in this game.



New to Me on Sunday evening Sharon and I gave Unlock! The Formula a try. We laughed, we cried, mostly we scratched our head. We felt individually clever at times, jointly clever at other times and totally confused the rest of the time. Some of that was our fault as we were too hasty and missed obvious things. I don't think the puzzles were all that hard but our thinking was a bit orthogonal to them. It was our lead favourite of the three we've tried (Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab and Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor being the others) but we enjoyed the time we spent together trying to solve this riddle.



Solo Gaming

On Wednesday I played my third game of Pandemic: Iberia. This time I used the Railwayman and Nurse. The Railwayman allowed me to create a great network of railways across the board, maybe a bit too effective since I couldn't use the full ability of the "Ring Railway" event. The Nurse acts somewhat like the Quarantine Specialist in base Pandemic. Her abilities proved only marginally useful in this game. With my great network of rails I was able to get around the map quickly to put out fires, share cards, and get to hospitals. Victory came with 4 outbreaks. It's lucky the last black card came when it did because there were no more black cards left in the player deck when I successfully researched the last disease.



On Thursday I played another solo game of Terraforming Mars. I had randomly selected the Saturn System Corporation. It gave me 42 megacredits and 1 titanium production and raised my megacredit production by 1 every time I played a card with a Jovian tag. I didn't draw many Jovian tag cards but I ramped up energy and steel production. These allowed me to trade for cash and for oxygen. Most of the last round was spent building some cities. I finished with 88 points (TR=62, greenery=6, city=17 and a net 3 cards).



Another two attempts at the Pandemic App in Standard mode. In both games I used the Medic and Scientist and in both games I had an Epidemic in the second draw which led to (at least) one Outbreak. And, in both games, I experienced chains of outbreaks. I though I did well in managing my cards but, when spots went from warm to hot, I was late in responding. So, I tried the same pair in introductory mode and cruised to an easy victory with 3 epidemics and 2 outbreaks.



On Friday I tried out the Legendary: Villains – A Marvel Deck Building Game: Fear Itself expansion with Legendary: Villains – A Marvel Deck Building Game for the first time. The scheme was Fear Itself, the Commander was Uru Enchanted Ironman who led The Mighty, Uncanny Avengers and Asgardian Warriors. My team of meanies consisted of Greithoth (Breaker of Wills), Skirn (Breaker of Men), Nul (Breaker of Worlds), Nekkod (Breaker of Oceans) and Ruurth (Breaker of Stone). It turns out they broke nothing and this was the most lopsided game I had, losing without even getting one strike in at the Commander.



On Sunday morning I played Nautilion again. This time I decided to try the Mercenary expansion. Since it was my first time with this expansion I used the "A" submarine. This expansion forces you to exceed the harpoon strength of the Phantom when you collide. Since mercenary tokens have a harpoon value of "2" as opposed to "1" for crew numbered 2, 5, 7. Unfortunately, once you collide you lose any of these mercenaries you placed into your submarine and you have to discard any other crew that are disconnected from the main body. I survived the collision, discarded my two mercenaries, replaced one with the draw I got from the discard as a result of winning the collision then motored off to collect the last two crew members I needed before coasting to an easy victory. This was an interesting variant and one that will become significantly more difficult with other subs that might, more easily, have disconnected crewmafter the collision.



On Sunday night I played Sentinels of the Multiverse on the App. I wanted to try Absolute Zero so I teamed him up with Haka, Ra and Tempest against Baron Blade in Megalopolis. It was a good thing I teamed him with such heavy hitters because I was unable to get anything going with Absolute Zero while Baron Blade and his minions were crushing me, particularly with cards that dealt me damage for undiscarded ongoing/equipment cards. This was a pretty big risk but, with all my heroes at a few hit points I was able to finish the Baron off.


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4. Board Game: Evolution: Climate [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:227]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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A relatively light week of gaming..

Monday

Monday was a holiday wherein my clan had lunch together and then my brother's family and mine went to a gaming store to play.

Potion Explosion = 1 Play

This very colorful game was out first with my nephews Maki and Mikel joining me and Shawn. It was a rather close one with me and Maki ending up tied and had us have one more turn to trigger the most marbles from hopefully a good explosion. I was lucky enough to have the hidden marbles from the dispenser come out in the same color which meant I managed to grab more for the win.


A very close game broken by a tiebreak with me getting more marbles! Me 63 Maki 63 Shawn 58 Mikel 50

Jenga = 1 Play

Mikel then brought out a game called WOBBLY WORMS which basically is a Jenga clone except you had cute little rectangular block worms instead of the wooden pieces. It sure is a much noisier game though and it was all over in 4 minutes as I cause the tower to collapse and thus end up the loser.


I lose as I am the one to trigger the collapse of the column!

Century: Spice Road = 1 Play

The final game of the afternoon had me teach this to Mikel. the game was pretty quick with me just edging out Shawn by 4 after 6 VP cards were taken to trigger the final round.


Me 87 Shawn 83 Mikel 63

Saturday

Saturday had Kent and Jim bring their regular Warhammer 40,000 buddy Cyrus to join Keith and me for our weekly council.

Ethnos = 2 Plays

We open with with 2 plays of this as an icebreaker and Cyrus enjoyed it immensely, no doubt helped by him winning the first game!


Game 1: Giant Merfolk Skeleton Troll Wingfolk Wizard. Cyrus 77 Kent 76 Keith 54 Jim 52 Me 50.


Game 2: Centaur Dwarf Elf Halfling Minotaur Orc. Kent 106 Jim 94 Cyrus 94 Me 84 Keith 80

Evolution: Climate = 1 Play (NEW)

We finished by me bringing out the conversion kit for Evolution: Climate for the first time. I must say the climate board made the game much tighter and more brutal as the cold weather affected hebrbivores by making food in the watering hole very scarce. This rewarded Kent and later Jim by going carnivore as most of the herbivores had to increase in body size to not lose population due to the cold weather and with them also submitting negative food many a species starved or were eaten to extinction. This resulted in very low scores (as compared to the base game) with Kent, Jim and myself being tied and with Jim and me tied in points from traits it was Jim's larger population of carnivores which won him the game, especially as I lost population with Jim eating at my large long necks!


Jim 32 (4 trait 5 pop) Me 32 (4 trait 3 pop) Kent 32 (3 trait 5 pop) Cyrus 31 Keith 29

I must say that I really like what the Climate rules does to the game as it makes going carnivores more viable and everything just makes sense despite the added difficulty of the game.
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5. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:48]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Monday



One of my holiday resolutions was to try and get in some kind of gaming every day, and if that meant a solo experience then so be it. Of course, I failed with the "every day" bit, even though I managed to up my play count. On Monday afternoon, sitting at the table with a cup of post-gym coffee, I received the call that Arkayne Massua, my nemesis from Hostage Negotiator, was back on the rampage. I was ready for him this time, having given him a solid beating last time out. His mood wavered dangerously soon after I had made contact, and I was in the tricky position fairly early on of having lost three hostages in quick succession. I would have to get moving on the remainder immediately if I was not to lose the whole game. In a moment of weakness Arkayne let one of them go, and I determined that we needed a Major Extraction to free the others. Unfortunately my team were totally useless, shambolic, even - Arkayne did for two of the remaining hostages and that was the end of that. Next time, Arkayne, next time...

Wednesday




For the last evening of our holiday KT and I decamped to the local pub and played some card games to pass the time. We have gained something of a reputation in that establishment as the weird gaming couple and who are we to disabuse them? Anyway, we started off with three games of Race for the Galaxy, a brilliant game that is still (!) throwing out new combinations and new ways to win after over two hundred face to face plays. I tend to find things I admire in this design every time I play it, but putting Production as the final action in a round is gradually gaining traction in my mind as one of its finest and nastiest quirks. Our first encounter was very close - I built up my Novelty Goods, one of my favourite tactics, and thought I was on for an easy win, but KT somehow snuck in with her developments to win 34-33. In the second game I went for a Miltary tableau and ran out to a rare victory 40-34, while in the final game both of us were all over the place. I had backed myself into a corner pursuing an Alien strategy while KT was seeking the omniverse, and she won 44-37. I remain convinced that 2-player advanced is by far the best way to play this game - the think and doublethink and redoublethink is something quite exquisite.



We then went on to play three games of Port Royal: Unterwegs!. I like this game a lot while KT is less keen. We discussed our reasoning for this, and I maintain that for a game that takes around five to ten minutes to play in two it presents enough interesting decisions to support its weight. Gratifyingly I am also discovering more about the game as I get in more plays. For all that, even though I won the first game 8-7 KT and her band of pirates came back to beat me in the other two games 8-6 and 8-7. I think that we are both ready and keen to play Port Royal and will be happy for it to assimilate its little brother.



We finished off the evening with three games of Jump Drive. KT has said that "in many ways" she actually prefers it to Race For The Galaxy, but I am still a devotee of the tree as opposed to the stripling. Having said that, Jump Drive does a whole lot that is right in a game, and it encapsulates both the atmosphere and the sense of too-many-choices-not-enough-time of Race. Over our many plays I have come to learn that it is important in Jump Drive to get your engine going both early and fast, but, despite that, KT took the first two games 53-41 and 68-25 (ouch!) to extend her winning streak to ten games in a row (yes, I know, I'm rubbish, but it's all about the playing, right?) but then I got my Military up and running in good order to take her down in the third game 70-43, and that kind of makes me the reigning champion...

...and that was it for the week. We also had some new review games arrive in the house after quite the delivery saga from Royal Mail - Unearth and Evolution: The Beginning - so there's plenty more playing to be done in the coming weeks.

Happy gaming!
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6. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Robbert Vervuurt
Denmark
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Played case 7 with my GF last night. As always, Sherlock had some pretty crazy brainfarts that made him solve this case with only 6 leads (or was it 7?), but we have stopped comparing to Sherlock loooooong ago.

Our main goal is to solve the case and answer correct on all questions, which we did yesterday. Still an epic game that demands a completely different approach than any other game I have ever played before. We solved it when we made a wild guess about where a person might've been.

3 more cases left!

Also played a few games of Qwixx throughout the week A really nice filler, just a shame the papers are necessary for the game, because you run out quite fast when you play with 4 or 5 people! Since the game has not been released in Denmark, I have to import them from the German Amazon-website, next time we purchase something there.
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7. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:19]
Rico Cordova
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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Best game of the week
trash Not as good as I hoped

Saturday, August 26, 2017
 10.0   Viticulture Essential Edition
 7.00   Unlock! The Formula NEW!
 6.00   Unlock! Squeek & Sausage NEW! trash
 8.50   Kingdomino x2
 9.25   Hero Realms
 9.75   Bärenpark

Sunday, August 27, 2017
 8.50   The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport
 7.75   The Game
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8. Board Game: K2 [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:492]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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A relatively quiet gaming week by our standards, as I concluded a project that I've been working on for ages. I'm not very good at self promotion, however, should you feel inclined to, please enter my real name, James Perrett into amazon and check it out (available on kindle and paperback!). Given I make next to nothing every sale, I could do with all the sales I can get...

Back to the gaming...

Tuesday (with Clare)

K2 - Another single play of this which I would of won had I not backed off in the last couple of turns and had Clare not surged ahead with one of her climbers meaning she beat me by one point!

Wednesday (with Clare)

Pandemic: Iberia - A couple co-op with Clare which we beat with very little trouble at both 4 and 5 epidemics. So far I've only played with transient patients rules, so am looking forward to playing with specific diseases at some point.

Quartermaster General - Still my absolute favourite game in our collection, but I was beaten by mighty Clare the wargamer, who is determined to make me feel foolish at both this game and Twilight Struggle.

Saturday (with Clare)

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries - With the week catching up with both of us, we managed just one game over the weekend. It was nice to beat Clare at this... in fact it's nice to beat Clare at any game we play!!!!

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9. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1649]
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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 4.0   Mottainai x2
Glory to Rome is my favorite game, so that may be the needed context for this comment. Mottainai is...boring. It's over too soon, it feels like they stripped out the best parts of GtR, and this 'spiritual' successor is just a light card game with a bad theme. We (myself and my father-in-law) played it twice in a row (our second and third plays total) to make sure it wasn't just us -- only thing that might save it is trying it at a different player count, but it sure clunks at two.


 N/A   Guilds of London NEW!
Dad also taught me this sweet worker placement. We disagree on the impact of the move cards. He feels they are too restrictive and break the game -- I was fine with them -- that is the game.It was a tight game, but he took the crown by two points. This was his fifth play and my first, so I felt good I'd made it so competitive. Eager to learn at higher play counts where you 'discover' new tiles. The plantation, though, felt wholly superfluous to me -- I thought it would have been a tighter game without that 'pseudo-location' that worked differently than all the others. Again, maybe my opinion will change at higher play counts, but that doesn't detract from my overall very positive impression of this one.


 8.0   Twixt x8
This is the story of the week -- we've unexpectedly been playing this 1960s abstract over and over and over again. I've taught it to four people and want to keep teaching it to bring this classic back.
Reasons I like it: spatial game I can actually understand, chess-like feel where you both have all the information and yet you're trying to outsmart your opponent. As my father-in-law said, "This is not about placing one peg after the other, but placing the pegs that give you multiple options to respond to an attack." The goal is simple: connect two sides of the board and stop your opponent from connecting the other two sides. My friend Nathan particularly took to this game, playing 5 matches with a win rate of 16.66667%. Ouch!


I've repainted my set from the default white board, red and black pieces to a more eye-catching red and silver combo on a black board. I'm currently looking for a way to craft a wood board, as well as add the guidelines back in.


Nathan and Stephen matching wits in Twixt.


 8.0   Carcassonne
While Nathan and Stephen finished up two matches, I played Carcassonne with Alisha and Grace. Like the game, but cannot beat my wife, no matter how hard I tried.
Final score: Alisha 85, me 62, Grace 49

 8.0   Century: Spice Road

We played a 5-player game of this and I cruised to an easy win. I don't know why, this is just one of those games that I 'see' very well and can ride the card combos nicely. It wasn't very close, either.
Final score: me 71, Nathan 52, Alisha 46, Stephen 43, Grace 39


 8.0   Smash Up
Alisha had lesson plans to work on so the remaining four of us tackled Smash Up. This is one of our most-played games and Nathan, Stephen, and Grace are three of my friends who are most experienced at it. We did a pick-and-ban which is always fun.

Grace and I both took early leads but stalled out in the second half. Nathan worked his aliens to climb up to 10 points, but in the end, Stephen rode second place on every base that Grace and I won, finally winning a base by himself (he had bears, so 'Superiority' kept us off) to cruise to a 17-point win.
Final score: Stephen 17 (bear cavalry sharks), Grace 14 (mythic mythic greek ponies), me 13 (Superhero Time Travellers), Nathan 10 (Alien ghosts)



 N/A   YINSH NEW!
After Friday family night and Saturday game night, we were back over at my father-in-law's for Sunday afternoon. I taught him and Evan Twixt (played one game each against them, then they played a game, included above) and then they levelled the playing field by teaching me YINSH, where Evan cleaned my clock easily with a 3-1 victory. Like I said, I'm bad at most spatial games!

All in all a good week.
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10. Board Game: NMBR 9 [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:770]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Technically a game of Nmbr9 with my wife (and cat) is the only game I played this week. I like this simple puzzle game a lot.



I did open and explore soloish several of my Gen Con purchases.

Hotshots - sort of like Pandemic. The one interesting twist this game has is your character's special role is tied to a tile and if that tile is destroyed by fire you loose your special ability (forever). The fire spread is a bit more predictable than Flash Point Fire rescue which is another fire fighting co-op.



and not new - but new to me The Oracle of Delphi





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11. Board Game: Via Nebula [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:713]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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After being stuck with Melundak a long while, I finally got to play a new Summoner Wars deck! Mad Sirian's Grave Onslaught: Hellfire Drake, Elut-Bal, Karthos, Zombie Warriors, Warlocks, and Vampires. I summoned all three champions and had a great plague of Zombie Warriors going. I was very lucky; my opponent, not so much. In the end, Moyra was done in Precisely by a Vengeful Vampire courtesy of Karthos.



At my game group, we tried out Via Nebula. It was pretty fun, but tricky. None of us were confident that we really had the hang of the thing. Pigs were scarce! It's not likely to go down as my favorite Martin Wallace game, but it is interesting, and I liked how it looked on the table better than I thought I would from the front of the box. The tabletop aesthetic is rather Terra Mystica--actually, you could consider it Wallace's streamlined, non-asymmetrical riff on TM. I'd certainly play it again.

We also played a couple of 3-handed games of SdJ winner Kingdomino. I liked it quite a bit (probably not unrelated to the fact that I won both games), but it does seem to have a little weakness at three players. The tiles are all ranked by their abstract value, but actual value is dependent on what you've built so far--an effect that intensifies toward the end of the game. So if you got the "worst" (lowest numbered) tile, you do get to pick next, but if the tiles are in a cluster, say numbers 22, 23, and 25, their abstract ranks could still mean that you are screwed by getting the "best" tile, which you didn't choose, and which isn't really good for you, and leaving you with the dregs on the next round too. We saw a player suffer that effect for multiple rounds running. It would be mitigated in a four-player game by more options and even further in a two-player game by double drafting.

I played A Study in Emerald with Prp. For the first few turns of the game, it seemed like I was just copying her, but eventually things broke out according to our respective alignments. My Restorationists assassinated two royalty and her Loyalists got one of my agents. But I also did better on cities, and I both maxxed out the Restorationist track and reached the game-end VP trigger with the same action. Also: Zombies! for the first time in 11 plays of this game. I was able to put a couple of zombies in Paris, but they didn't get a chance to kill anybody.



We had our first play of Runebound with the Unbreakable Bonds expansion, playing the co-op Margath scenario. If it had been competitive, I certainly would have won, because Prp's Lyssa had a terrible time, getting defeated more often than not by her enemies. She also was defeated by Margath, but the triumphant Master Thorn couldn't have done it without her, even with his Inscribed Robes and gem of Immolation. Especially key was the last-minute acquisition of the party skill Coordinated Attack, allowing each of us to exert once per combat round to allow the other to recast up to two spent combat tokens.



The final game of the week was a quick play of Ignis, where Prp clobbered me.
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12. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:391]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Tuesday




Wednesday




Tuesday, I taught a friend from work and one of his friends a couple quick games. We had a fast game of Chicago Express where they overbid early and I was able to acquire very cheap stock, giving me an easy win. I was not able to swindle one of them as easily in Saint Petersburg, though; he got a Turn 2 Bank out on the Potemkin Village card. I accelerated the game end so he could not overtake me on nobles, but it turns out I should have waited, because he ended up beating me on the money tiebreaker!

Wednesday, I had to accompany Mrs. Drazen for a minor procedure because she couldn't drive afterwards (don't worry, all is well). We played a game pass-and-play Carcassonne on the Android app while waiting, as they were rather backed up that day. She made a valiant effort and had the lead for 2/3 of the game, partially thanks to some incredibly lucky tile draws, but once again I stole most of the farms - and completed one big city - to seize the win.
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13. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:642]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Tammany Hall - At this week's meetup, we played a 5 player game of Tammany Hall. It's been a very long time since I played this game, so I was really happy to get the chance. We had a couple of new players (and the rest of us needed a refresher), so we ran through the rules. They're very simple, but it can take until the first election for them to sink in. I made an effort to monopolize the Irish population for the whole game, only dabbling in other countries here and there. I miscalculated a little bit early on and ended up being Mayor after the first election. I would have preferred to have one of the other roles, but the points were nice. I tried to restrain myself after that, and managed to avoid being the Mayor for the next 2 terms (I was the Chief of Police for both of them). The second election was a blood bath, with so many tied results, the third term started with the board pretty close to empty. I made a push in the final term to win Mayor back, and just barely managed it. It came down to the second tie breaker (most Irish influence). That was enough to propel me to victory. There was a tie for Tammany Hall in the last election, but if one of those involved had won it, they probably would have been the Mayor and won the game. Very tight race, and a lot of fun. I need to play this more.
Rating: 7.5

T.I.M.E Stories: Under the Mask - On Saturday afternoon, we continued our adventure in Thebes. This ended up being a pretty quick run, and a bit weird, too. I think we made it to the end of the mission, but we did it without performing a pretty important task, so I'm not sure what would have happened had we not died when we did. We were all set to go on a third run and, presumably, successfully complete our mission, but we realized that we only had about an hour and a half, which has almost never been enough time for us to finish a run. We'll have to finish up Under the Mask next time.
Rating: 8

Cottage Garden - With the time we had left, we opted to play Cottage Garden. I demoed it at Dice Tower Con and really enjoyed it, but this was my first full play of the game. We all really enjoyed this one. It's fast and simple, but also has enough going on with the decisions to keep it interesting. The final scores were really close, but I did come in last place with 38 points (39, 39, 43 were the others). I don't know if those are low scores or not, but we only had a few cubes reach the 20 point mark, which seemed like it might be a little low. More plays will tell. It was also a little odd to realize that, in a 4 player game, we always chose our tiles from the same rows, which meant that there were some rows we never got to pick from. The tiles come out randomly, so it's not unfair at all, but it did feel pretty frustrating when the middle 4 squares always seemed to have tiles you wanted, and you knew you would never have access to those spots. That's really a perception thing, though, and it didn't come close to ruining this lovely game.
Rating: 7.5
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14. Board Game: Monopoly Gamer [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2559]
Willem Verhoef
Netherlands
Weert
Limburg
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This week, I mostly played with my daughter or solo.

Thursday August 24: Zombicide Black Plague solo.

It's part of my hardcore solo 10x10 challenge, my ninth play. I figured I should finish that before I open Massive Darkness It was the tenth and last scenario from the base game, which I finished pretty easily and quickly, considering the manual indicated it was a hard 3hr scenario.

On Friday the 25th, my daughter came back from her mother's. As she had a birthday on Monday (I gave her a small present already then), she got the rest of her gifts on Friday. One of those was Monopoly Gamer.

Here in Europe we have to make do with the normal edition, and I haven't been able to find any of the extra characters yet. Still, we had a blast playing it with me (38), my daughter (9) and nephew (10 1/2). Trash talking, bargaining and negotiating about who you'd be hitting for coins with shells... delightful!

We had some family over on Saturday the 26th, but as we were pretty well prepared we had some time to kill before the guests arrived. So we played some Guess Who?

which most parent play just because their kid likes it

and also Hexenkompott.

Hexenkompott is the game I use to find out how well my daughter lies. It used to be I could always spot when she was being sneaky in this game, nowadays it's more 50/50. I am so proud, I guess


When my girlfriend arrived with her two sons, Pop the Pig

and Ice Cool

also came to the table.

Sunday I got the final results for the Benelux Math Trade, meaning I know which games I'll be sending out soon. I figured I'd give two of them a last solo play: Saboteur - The Duel and Star Trek Expeditions.


Saboteur isn't really a game, mostly luck of the draw and lay of the goal cards. No hard feelings letting this one go.


Star Trek Expeditions isn't a bad game. It's just not that interesting. I like the theme, mechanically it's okay... there are just so many more engaging co-ops out there.

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15. Board Game: Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur [Average Rating:5.09 Overall Rank:15864]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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My daughter wanted to play this old classic from my childhood.



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16. Board Game: Stop Thief! [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1679]
Evan Scussel
United States
Longwood
FL
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I didn’t think I was going to get that much gaming in this week, but I knew that would all change when my Stop Thief! Kickstarter arrived on my front porch on Thursday. The kids saw that and instantly I knew an average volume week was going to turn out to be an above average one. Plus, I got a bit of solo gaming in over the weekend to augment things.



 9.2   Grand Austria Hotel

I played this solo on Sunday night using the AI found at http://bilboatbagend.com/grand-austria-hotel-ai.html. This game is like comfort food for me. I love breaking this out at every instance. I think the AI claims a spot on the politics cards just a bit too fast for my liking, but otherwise, it provides a nice challenge and it’s interesting to see how I score using the AI opponent compared to my plays versus live players. This time I scored 135, which is just a bit off what I posted a couple weeks back playing with my buddy Zack (152), so I guess it’s doing a fair job of simulating a real two-player game.



 8.9   Mombasa

My wife and I played games on Saturday with our friends Dan and Sarah for the first time since April. We typically play once every 2-3 weeks, but something has come up with one of our four schedules each time we have tried to set something up. In July, Dan and Sarah played Great Western Trail for the first time, and knowing I have it in my collection, they wanted to play that again. I set up an “Alexander Pfister” day, in which we were going to play Port Royal, Mombasa and Great Western Trail. However, there was one problem with that plan. Dan and Sarah showed up to my house about 60-75 minutes later than expected. I had set up Mombasa in advance to maximize our playtime, so that’s the one we started with, but after 30 minutes of small talk, constant interruptions by our children and a pretty lengthy teach, we didn’t start playing Mombasa until about 8:45pm. Dan told us that he had to teach Sunday School the following day (which was a surprise to him, otherwise he might night have planned on game night with us), so they couldn’t stay as late as they normally do. Given that Mombasa had never been played before by three of the four players, needless to say, Great Western Trail didn’t get played this night.

However, everyone loved Mombasa, so it didn’t really matter. What makes Mombasa so great is the dynamic nature of the game state. It's very easy to be in the "lead" one moment and be in last the next as players are constantly assessing the board state and pushing back on the "leader". Knowing when to keep things close to your chest, when to diversify your investments in the four companies and when to start to expand one or two companies at the expense of the others is paramount to the game. Buying the right types of cards is also critical. This means that every game is different and various strategies are necessary for success. Furthermore, the mechanics are interesting and ingenious. Significant advanced planning is needed to manage the various card discard piles, a mechanic I have not seen utilized in any other game. My only critiques of the game are that the theme doesn't attract new players (African colonialism? No thanks!) and the book track is unnecessarily complicated and very difficult to pull off successfully, making it feel like a bit of an afterthought relative to the other strategies. Despite my minor critiques, I love this game even though I am terrible at it.



 8   Biblios

Because we didn’t have time for Great Western Trail, we finished the night with Biblios. Port Royal was a consideration but I felt like the teach would have taken too long. Biblios is becoming my go-to filler when I have 30 minutes or so to kill at the beginning or ending of a game night. I wish my collection had a few more of these kinds of games. The only games I have of similar weight and time to play are Pi Mal Flaumen, Best Treehouse Ever, and Mint Works. Maybe World’s Fair 1893 would qualify as well, but it requires just a bit more involved teach and is also about 10-15 minutes longer to play. I need more games that can be taught and played in under 30 minutes, but are still interesting and fun.



 7.7   Stop Thief! x2 NEW!

Stop Thief! is really enjoyable. This is a much simpler game than I usually go for, which is why I don’t rate it higher, but for our family, it’s perfect. My kids (7 and 5 years old) really enjoy this one and my daughter has already beaten her old man (and no, I didn’t let her win either!). For parents who are considering this for a family purchase, there is some text on the cards, so if your kids can’t read yet, that might be an impediment. However, my daughter cannot read yet, but the language on the cards does not get in her way. Usually, when a card has text, it can be explained easily by the other members at the table and doesn’t really impede strategy as evidenced by my daughter’s victory in one of our two plays this week.

I also have to commend the Restoration Games guys for a couple things. First, there aren’t a lot of components in this game, but what’s here is pretty high quality. Sure, the cards aren’t linen finished, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, especially for a game that kids are going to gravitate towards. However, the board has a really nice spot UV finish on it and the footsteps really pop. Same thing with the box. I think both are really high quality touches. I also think this game can rise in rating for me once they add additional difficulty levels and solo play into the app. If I can play this with my “gamer” friends where tracking down the thief is a real challenge, then this game could easily get a rating of 8 or higher on my scale.

EDIT: I was playing around with the app last night and I realized that customization and different difficulty levels are already in the app. I just missed that! Tonight I plan to play this at my gaming group and will play at Intermediate or Advanced difficulty to see how things go I'm excited for that. Just the fact that these settings exist bump my rating up a smidge.



 6.3   Wasteland Express Delivery Service NEW!

So, I get to my weekly Thursday night meetup and the plan was to play Cry Havoc and Wasteland Express Delivery Service. My buddy Tsar was in the middle of playing a filler when I arrive and he said to me, “Why don’t you start setting up Cry Havoc?”, to which I responded, “I think we should play Wasteland Express Delivery Service first. The Man vs. Meeple review suggested it was a fairly long game and I don’t want to play Cry Havoc first and then get caught in no man’s land where we are halfway through Wasteland and it’s 11pm.” Tsar assured me that Wasteland wasn’t that long as he and our mutual friend Lawrence finished a two player play of it earlier that week in about an hour. I told Tsar that I didn’t want to take any chances and that I insisted we start with Wasteland.

Tsar started setting up at 6:30 and finished teaching by about 6:50. We had set up for a four-player game, but right at the end of the teach, a fifth player asked if he could join in. So Tsar started teaching again. We didn’t start playing until 7:30. Three hours later, the game ended. If it hadn’t ended when it did, it might have gone on another 90 minutes. In order to win the game, you have to complete three contracts. By the three hour mark, I had completed one contract and I wasn’t that close to completing my second. The winner won the game because, in my opinion, the non-public contracts he drew were a bit easier to fulfill. My rating for this one is pretty low, but I actually had a lot of fun playing this. I don’t mind the pickup and deliver mechanic and the theme is pretty cool. But the game DRAGS ON. I probably wouldn’t seek this one out, but I don’t think I would run away from it if asked to play it again either. But no, if you were wondering, we never did get to play Cry Havoc that night. Instead we played….



 5.3   Unearth NEW!

Unearth, which ended our gaming night. Unfortunately, found nothing fulfilling about Unearth except for the artwork on the cards, which is exceptional. This game combines all the things I don’t like about modern hobby board gaming: dice, randomness and lack of agency. I won this game, yet felt no tension, no nervousness. I won simply because I rolled better than my opponents and I was able to grab cards at the right moments due to the relatively poorer rolls of my opponents. There is a bit of probability assessment in deciding when to roll which dice to take cards and there is some dice roll mitigation in the game, but regardless, I found the game rather boring (for me) and boring is the worst indictment you can give a game.
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17. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:4]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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7 Wonders was the first game to be played at lunch on Monday where I ended up coming in third.

We had enough time to squeeze in a game of Love Letter right after it. I kept getting the princess and kept getting either nailed by guards or princes and losing the rounds when I had here. There was only 1 round where I actually managed to keep her until the end of the round to win.

Tuesday's lunch game was Ticket to Ride: Europe where everyone seemed to be out to block each other. I ended up coming in third again.

We managed to get in 2 games of Captain Sonar at lunch on Wednesday. I was the radio operator in the first game. We nearly managed to sink the other sub but ended up being taken out by a torpedo right before we could return the favour. In the second game, I was the captain. Things went well for a while as we were able to dodge the enemy sub's fire for a while but we somehow kept losing track of where they were. After a few hits, there was a communication breakdown between myself and the engineer. I moved to try and get a system online but apparently ended up causing the section to fail and inflict our final point of damage.

There were no lunch games for me on Thursday as I ended up running out to Sentry Box at lunch to pick up the Hellas and Elysium map for Terraforming Mars instead. We played 1 game of it that evening though without either of the new maps as I wanted to give a little app I've quickly thrown together to replace the player mats a quick try. The app worked great - my strategy of creating a food chain of animals not so much. I ended up losing by about 15 points.

I had also picked up Codenames: Duet while I was out so we played 5 quick games of that. It's not a revolutionary change on the Codenames formula, but it's nice to have both people playing the clue giver and guessing roles at the same time. We only managed to win 1 of the games.

Friday's lunch game of choice was Survive: Escape from Atlantis!. This one ended up being a game of massive casualties. One guy didn't manage to save anyone by the end, another got a whole 6 points from 3 saved people, I got 9 points from 3 saved people, and the winner somehow got 15 points of their guys to islands.

There was enough time to squeeze in a full game of Love Letter after that. I ended up coming in dead last with 1 whole token of affection.

My wife and I played another game of Terraforming Mars, this time with the Elysium map. While it's not a huge game changer, it's nice to have a slightly different layout of the board. The real draw of the map is the different awards and milestones, giving you a different set of criteria to fight for. I thought I was doing really well this game and we were both sure I was going to walk away the clear winner this time. That didn't quite happen as I once again lost by 15 points.

Near and Far arrived earlier this week and we were eager to get it to the table Saturday morning. We started with the "first game" setup and were extremely disappointed. I won but neither of us cared. The actions in town are wholly uninteresting; spending any time in town is just flat out boring. Moving around on the board is boring as hell as well. The only thing of any interest in the game is the storytelling aspect but there are only 7 of them on the entire board for 2-players. So it's a race to do the 1 interesting thing, and then a whole lot of boredom once those have been claimed. Wandering around and building tents for points just doesn't mean anything. Who cares about points in a game about telling stories? "Maybe the character mode is better" we thought. Nope. We raced around to see the characters' starting stories, found they were pretty underwhelming, and then found ourselves staring at a map where the only thing left to do was wand around and place tents for the sake of getting points to "win" a story telling game. We both just sat there, staring at the board for a couple of minutes, and then said "I don't want to play this garbage any more, there's nothing remotely fun left to do." We packed the game away and threw it onto the for sale/trade pile. This is the fastest we've collectively agreed to get rid of something; 4 days is the new record. Thankfully we should be able to recover most of our money by selling this in the FallCon auction next month. What a massive disappointment. It's a choose your own adventure book where you're only allowed to read a couple of pages before someone takes it away and makes you watch paint dry. I don't understand all of the buzz behind this one. The gameplay between the stories is painfully dull, and why would anyone make a storytelling game that is woefully light on stories and limit your ability to read them? While Tales of the Arabian Nights was incredibly random, it was at least a story telling game that told amusing stories for the entire course of the game and didn't limit you to only seeing 3 or 4 stories per person for the whole time. Near and Far is just a terrible design wrapped in a pretty cover.

Gloomhaven was brought to the table immediately after to satisfy the storytelling itch that Near and Far simply couldn't scratch. One random road encounter card did a far better job than an entire sitting of Near and Far which was pretty sad. I forgot how much the setup of the map and creatures irritates me but usually enjoy the game once you can actually play. We did well in the first 2 scenarios, setting the difficulty a little lower as we got back into the flow of the game. The next 3 games didn't go so well as we somehow got completely overwhelmed by the number of creatures, even though they were "easy" which started to frustrate us. We decided at the end of the night to replace my wife's Scoundrel with a Spellweaver to see if that allows us to handle the number of monsters a little better.

We played 6 more games on Sunday trying out our Brute/Spellweaver combo. I felt like we were able to handle monsters a little better but my wife seems to think otherwise which is a little odd. In any event, speed isn't our strong suit any more as it took us 3 tries to complete a scenario that had you race from one end to the other while trying to not get slowed down by monsters. We then tried another scenario where, even though the monsters were level 1, the level 3 Spellweaver and Level 6 Brute got completely wrecked. Sometimes it seems like things just aren't balanced correctly for 2 and/or luck is too big of a driving factor. I love the mechanics of this but the setup and difficulty/balance of this sometimes drives me insane.
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18. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Twin Shadows [Average Rating:8.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.26 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This weekend I played two games of the Twin Shadows expansion campaign for Imperial Assault. I took the first game of the rebels, and my son took the second game. Only two games left, I think i really like these mini campaigs as it only takes 2 to 3 sessions to get through them. I might have to try this one with the game group.


This weekend I continued to play the solo XIA Campaign. This time I had to take down the three NPCs which wasn't two bad. I thought it would be easy with all the abilities I gained from the previous game. However it came down to the wire as the score was 15-14 for me.


I also played a game of RftG, and Incan Gold. Both were close games. I won at RftG by two points, and came second at Incan Gold losing by 3 with the third place only 1 point behind me.
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19. Board Game: Magic Maze [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:366]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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 9.0   Magic Maze x11

Not sure if you can tell, but I really like this game. My wife and I played it 6 times in a row, then we proceeded to play it 5 more times with our game group. This is fast becoming my favorite real time game. Its fast, chaotic, and tons of fun. Also pretty cheap. Check it out!



 8.0   Codenames Duet x7 NEW!

Speaking of games we played a bunch, we gave the 2 player version of Codenames a try, and I am very impressed. The cooperative aspect makes it a much more enjoyable experience. Its also very difficult due to a timing mechanism. We played 7 times and won 1 time.



 8.0   Century: Golem Edition x3 NEW!

I picked this up at GenCon, and I really enjoyed it. I have played 2 games against my wife, who proceeded to beat me both times, and played a 3 player game with my gaming group, which she also won X_X. I didn't mind losing at all because this is such a quick and easy to learn game. The mechanics are very simple, but the amount of thinking necessary to win is very high. You have to really plan out how you are going to transmute your resources to get that card you want. All in all this one is highly recommended. Also the Golem Edition is gorgeous.




 N/A   Clank! In! Space! NEW!

I absolutely love Clank!, so I was skeptical that this one could top it, but it really has. For the uninitiated this version of clank has a Scifi theme, with some new mechanics, and a modular board. The biggest change is the fact that before you can get to the treasure you have to hack to computer terminals around the ship. This forces you to explore and build up your deck a little more, and as a result the game felt a little less rushed than Clank! It was also much more brutal. By the end almost everyone was close to dead, although only 1 person didn't make it out. All in all this is my favorite version of Clank! so far. Its not as quick to play as the original, but it really feels more like you are exploring in this one, and the modular board really adds to the replay-ability.




 8.0   Apocrypha Adventure Card Game

Finally my wife and I played Apocrypha. We have both played Pathfinder ACG, and were curious to see how this new (technically the original) take on the system played. I have to say I am very impressed. This feels like a more streamlines, and more strategic version of Pathfinder. There are more opportunities to help your teammates, and way more interaction. It also seems that the power creep that you had in Pathfinder will be no wheres near as bad, as when you roll dice you can only ever take the highest 3 dice. All in all I can't wait to get more into this system, it seems like this might replace Pathfinder ACG for me.

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20. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:892]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Monday

Melissa and I played Patchwork.


We also played Tenzi twice. The first was to find start player, the second because while Melissa was home this summer she became obsessed with winning Tenzi. Her second game here (and last of the summer before going back to Montreal) she FINALLY won!.

Tuesday

Melissa and I played Patchwork again.


We also played Nacho Incident.

Saturday

Saturday was my regular meet up with Rob and Leah. We started off with Innovation. It ended up a close game with all of us one card from the win and for the first time for me playing this game, we finished off the "10" pile. It was a very fun game!


We then played Machi Koro with Harbour and Millionaire's Row. It was another close game!


Then we played two games of Roll for the Galaxy.


I finally got to teach them Amyitis. I have brought this game along numerous times but we have not played till now. They both loved it! I was so happy to play this game again as well. Rob won by 7 points and Leah lagged behind. This particular game had a major shortage of pheasants come up so it went longer than usual as we struggled to get the goods to build gardens. Still, most enjoyable for all!


We finished off with Five Tribes.

Sunday

I played a solo game of Agricola. I ended up with what I think is a record score for me - 62!

14 games played this week, 1 was a start player game and 2 were expansions.
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21. Board Game: Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:2687] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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Pretty slow week for me. All I managed was 6 games of Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave. 5 of those games were against Lijah and lost every single one of them. 1 game against Barrett and I won that one. I will figure out how to beat Lijah! For a couple of the games I tossed in a Negotiator card to try and give me a leg up, but failed those as well. Overall, I'm really happy with Crime Wave, it's got some nice components and the larger board works great for me. Glad I purchased it.

Have a great week everyone!
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22. Board Game: Rummy [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:6714]
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
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Pretty good week for games. While they were mostly light, I'm okay with the fact that I got to play. No photos this time though.

Monday, August 21
Rummy x 2

My mom's washer has been broken for about 2 months thanks to issues surrounding parts. The plus side though is that she spends a lot of time at my sister's and my house (we share a duplex so my sister is my downstairs neighbor) washing hers and my dad's clothes. Sometimes, when she comes over we'll all play some Rummy. On this night my sister cam up and we played two games. I won the first game and my sister the second.

Tuesday, August 22
Raxxon x 2

I played 2 solo games of Raxxon and lost both games. I really enjoy this game but it kicks my butt every time I play. Much like my Uwe Rosenberg games though, I'm going to keep at it.

Wednesday, August 23
Raxxon x 1

Tried another game of Raxxon and lost yet again. After losing my third straight game this week though, I said heck with it and went to watch some Netflix.

Friday, August 25
No Blank Left Behind x 1

A few months back I received a prototype copy of this evolution of Cards Against Humanity. Instead of a hand of cards, each player receives a dry erase board to create their own custom responses to each question. As my friend was having a BBQ, I brought No Blank Left Behind to generate some laughs, which it did. We played one game toward the end of the night, after which the BBQ started to wrap up.

Saturday, August 26
Rummy x 1

I brought a deck of cards to my Dad's dog's birthday party and played a game of Rummy with my sister. I lost pretty badly, which I blame on the fact that I was exhausted after spending the day moving furniture and renovating a house.

Sunday, August 27
Rummy x 1
War x 1

My mom came over to do some more laundry. While we waited for the wash to finish we played a game of Rummy, which I lost, and then a game of War, which I won. War is a rather boring game, that I could probably do without playing again, but it was still fun to hang out with my mom.

And that was my week in games. Like I said, nothing to extraordinary, but quite a good week in gaming. I do not anticipate this week being a stellar week for games as I'll be spending my nights finishing up renovations to the house mentioned above.
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23. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:563]
COLOSSUS
United States
Texas
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FRIDAY



Got in quest six and seven with the kids. The kids are enjoying it but it got late for the little one. We're trying to get through all the quests for the base game and the expansions.

SUNDAY



I haven't gotten my copy of Terraforming Mars yet but my daughter's boyfriend decided to get a copy. He brought it over and we played a two player since no one else wanted to play. It was a learning game but I think we're really going to like it for sure. I ended up winning what turned out to be a really close one 87 to 86. Great game.
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24. Board Game: Stop Thief! [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1679]
Chris Bailey
United States
Broomfield
Colorado
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My friend Blake Kick Started Stop Thief! I never played the original version when I was a kid but had a great time and immediately ordered a copy for my kids and I.



Whenever Blake hosts our game night, I always bring a short abstract to play after our "main" game. Last week it was Dvonn. I have all of the GIPF games and there isn't a bad one in the bunch.
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25. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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A light week of games.

Wednesday
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) x3
Mombasa x1

We continued our Descent campaign with three dungeons. The first was the final level of a dungeon - The Prison - that was very good for the heroes, as for each prisioner we rescued, we got 1xp - and we freed all, except one. Which meant we passed the Overlord in xp. The second one was in a swamp, against a monster that had stoneskin - immune to a lot of the tricks we had, which made the fight long and problematic for us, even if the monsters didn't hit all that hard, as little by little they did a fine amount of damage to us. Still, eventually, we killed it. The third dungeon started not all that great for the heroes - two fell rather quickly, but we did manage to even things out. But the Skeleton Princess came back to life twice, making the scenario much longer, and the Overlord used the extra time to lay down a pretty nasty card (he draws one extra card every turn, for this second and third levels of the dungeon). Nonetheless, we beat the Princess and went on to the second level.

In Mombasa I tried to play completely different from my last time: I tried to avoid completely the diamond track. This proved to be a mistake, as it would be very good to at least reach the spot to open the extra card. Without it, I wasn't able to make my book track go well, and even though I did finish with more stocks than everyone else, this was too little to make a difference, and I finished in last.


Friday
Forbidden Desert x1
Great Western Trail x1

Forbidden Desert was a nice play - we went in the Elite level with the Meteorologist and the Climber. We had, as expected, water problems, and both the characters reached 0 at the same time. Luckly, we could use the tunnels protection to reach the spots we need, and passed by three sun beats down cards there. With the use of two gears to fly, we were able to take the last part of the ship and fly off. Victory!

For Great Western Trial things went pretty fast (in game terms), and the end came sooner than expected - which was very good for me, as I already had my cows and points, while the other two players had longer plans going on. That meant I was able to win with a good margin, albeit with also a low score.

Regards,
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