BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 List
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
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A new year means a new set of games to challenge myself to get them to the table for multiple plays among all the games to choose from among our collection.

For my Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 list I've chosen the following 10 games I'll play 10 times.

I'll maintain details of my progress on this list and a summary status of My Selections on the official challenge list.


KEY:

___ = needed plays
___ = completed plays

___Microbadge: Eurogamer = Me
___Microbadge: Eurogamer = Wife

__Other: Microbadge: Eurogamer= RR, Microbadge: Eurogamer= CG, Microbadge: Eurogamer= JF, Microbadge: Eurogamer= MR, Microbadge: Eurogamer= DE, Microbadge: Eurogamer= Other

Feel free to subscribe and follow my progress and post comments along the way.

My earlier lists: 2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014

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1. Board Game: Broom Service [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:466]
Board Game: Broom Service
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
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Board Game: Broom Service


I acquired this in the 2017 Origins Math Trade to add to my Alea Big Box collection, I guess. Nah, probably more than anything I am curious to see what this game was all about a year or two ago. I figure including it in the challenge will get some good plays out of it and then I can determine whether to keep it or trade it for something else.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


30-Jan - Microbadge: Eurogamer(81), Microbadge: Eurogamer(70)
We learned how to play over our morning coffee and got the basics by games end. Fairly simple and straight forward with some interesting dynamics. Obviously the brave/cowardly mechanism is brilliant but so are the bewitched cards. I'm looking forward trying some of the variants and to see how more plays changes our opinion.

01-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(79), Microbadge: Eurogamer(75)
We had a better idea of what we are doing the second time around resulting in more blocking of each other and a closer end game score. We are ready to try the other side of the board next time before getting into some of the variants.

02-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(74), Microbadge: Eurogamer(72)
I had a huge lead after 3 rounds and took some risks to try a few of the new variant options while my wife was feeling very discouraged. However a few blocks on her part and then leveraging some variant tile benefits in three rounds in a row and she was right back in it. In fact she stole the win with end game bonuses.

20-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(92), Microbadge: Eurogamer(82), Microbadge: Eurogamer(78)

After we grabbed a bite for dinner we returned to the convention (Lexicon) and played one of my 10x10's. This was my first play with more than 2p. I liked it. We played the basic game and had a good time trying to be brave only to have others be braver, or cower under pressure only to have had nothing to worry about.

20-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(68), Microbadge: Eurogamer(66+), Microbadge: Eurogamer(66)
We enjoyed the game so much we opted to setup and play another. This one saw more occurrences of our choices getting canceled out by others accounting for significantly lower scores. I drove them back to school and crashed at a friends house for the night.

20-Sep - Microbadge: Eurogamer(90), Microbadge: Eurogamer(72)
We dusted this off and played side-B. My wife had a sizable lead with two rounds to go. I closed the gap with the help of a tile and end of round bonus to basically even things up but pulled away with stronger end of game bonuses.

21-Sep - Microbadge: Eurogamer(90), Microbadge: Eurogamer(78)
We recorded another play of Broom Service with the win this time going to my wife who lead nearly from the start and never looked back. I took a few risks and not all of them went my way but I had to press my luck to try and close the gap for some of my early risks.

24-Sep - Microbadge: Eurogamer(100), Microbadge: Eurogamer(78)
My wife jumped out to an early lead and I was more focused on loading up on potions and wands to setup some big cloud points. However I got blocked in gaining the big cloud bonus two rounds in a row and unable to move forward putting me further behind. I ultimately got my bonuses and started to close the gap, but my wife matched my lightning bonus and gained a greater amulet bonus for a big win.

09-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(98), Microbadge: Eurogamer(80)
I played my cards masterfully this game and cranked out some serious lightning bolt points, while my wife amassed more frustration than anything else. I like this game the more I play it, unfortunately my wife feels the opposite. I think we might experiment with creating different starting points to give it more variety at the start of the game as she feels that might help her to feel it isn't overly "samey."

11-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(110), Microbadge: Eurogamer(90)
We tried a variant for my wife's benefit allowing each of us to choose a starting location to mix things up a bit more. I maintained a steady schedule of deliveries through each round for the victory, 110-90, to finish off our 10x10 plays.
The cowardly/brave card mechanism quickly helped me overcome the lack of interest in the theme. This is not a deep game, but it does have strategy and meaningful decisions and high risk/reward built into the design for a winner. I'm glad I took the chance on this one and hope it continues to see plays now that the 10x10 Challenge is over.

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2. Board Game: Codenames: Duet [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:144] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Board Game: Codenames: Duet
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Codenames: Duet

I liked the original as far as party games go. I simply didn't have many opportunities to play it. So I was delighted and new a cooperative 2p version was going to be an instant buy and hit with us. I'm looking forward to digging into this one in 2018.

Pre-2018 Plays: 5x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


07-Jan - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
Taught my daughter how to play and we recorded two (2x) attempts, both ending in wrong guesses in sudden death. However, we did manage both times to identify all but four of the agents which is the furthest I've gotten to date.

17-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
We were doing really well sitting at 11 agents with two turns and I guessed incorrectly thus falling to the assassin. But victory was in sight which is the closest I think we've gotten. I looked at the rules for the map so now I'm motivated even more to successfully complete our first 9-9 play of this one.

19-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
We continue our pursuit for our fist successful win. We got close, but still fell short in three attempts. We are getting better at this, but need a little more practice at stretching our initial thoughts. My wife in particular struggled today to think of clues for a difficult mix of words that could be coupled and often ops for single word clues.

10 agents - assassinated
13 agents - assassinated
14 agents - turns

22-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
We were making good progress in our play over coffee with 11 identified agents before we fell to the assassin. I'm feeling more comfortable with giving multiple card clues, my wife is hit or miss still playing it safe and opting for mostly ones.

10-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
We located 14 of 15 agents but guessed wrong after we were out of turns for our best result yet. We are still chasing that elusive win. My wife is getting better at giving non-single word clues which is good... IF we can both get better at guessing.

02-Jul - Microbadge: Eurogamer and Microbadge: Eurogamer
My youngest and I played three (3) games tonight and recorded my first ever success in our first try. We failed on guesses in the second after identifying 11 agents, while failing by assassin with only 7 agents in the third. The last two plays were attempts at Cairo (9-5).
I was impressed with Codenames but limited in plays due to available players. I thought my wife would really like this and it would be a regular go to coffee game for us, but she was not impressed feeling it was too hard for her. I still hope to change her mind because I really like it.

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3. Board Game: Fog of Love [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:786]
Board Game: Fog of Love
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Fog of Love


Fog of Love was on my 2017 list however the Kickstarter experienced so many delays and problems it was forced to be my alternate and I had to play all my other choices. I'm hoping that it proves to be worth the wait given how unique the concept promises to be.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


25-Mar - Sunday Morning Date - successful
We played the tutorial first scenario of Fog of Love and successfully completed our destiny of staying together as Equal Partners. My wife played a kind but intense, workaholic politician who is short, muscular and has a seducing scent. I played a younger, we came to find out, advertising manager who copes with his insecurity by being cocky and fun-loving in his nerdy glasses, bedroom eyes and slow speech. Our initial thoughts are somewhat mixed.

The game is different and interesting for sure and well designed. However, we both struggled with separating the thought and decision process of our character and our real-life persons. This was especially the case where the characters were in a situation or made decisions that went across the grain of our own personalities and moral values. It definitely went better the second half after that initial chapter. We are looking forward to giving it a few more plays and as always will give it some time before rendering a final decision whether it is a game for us or not for the long-term.

27-Mar - Sunday Morning Date - unsuccessful
My wife played a cute and clumsy Baker with a cute beauty mark who is very nurturing, relaxed and disorganized who ultimately wanted a Love Team relationship which didn't really work for me a down-to-earth, spiritual and conservative musician who wanted a Equal Partners relationship. She was wanting to be a little too chill and fancy free for my taste in the end and after a handful of significantly uncomfortable scenes which I handled calmly and gracefully I really would have opted to Break Up had that been a Destiny card in this scenario. As the Finale had it we each completed 2 of 3 traits but came up short on one or two other conditions in our final destiny cards.

Ultimately, this was a fun, yet awkward combination for us to play yet wasn't weird as these characters represented us fairly closely in real life minus our features which added to the comedic fun of the scenario.

05-Apr - High School Sweethearts - Successful
After graduation we both pursued an education and career. My wife as a Chemist and myself as a Chef. Despite my pretentious, hypocritical nature and selfish greed, my patient, flirtatious sweetheart bore with me even in the face of my secret activity of starting my own business in an effort to switch careers to farming by not breaking up with me. We succeeded in some rocky relational terrain and our relationship seems on a better trajectory.

17-Aug - High School Sweethearts - Failure
My character lost sight of himself over the course of the relationship as he continued to change his character traits which was opposite his starting traits. My wife's character was the type of character likely to work against (test, corrupt) my character's goals for the relationship even though she didn't do very good in making her own character happy. We ended the game with our characters emotionally bankrupt in the relationship. I managed to satisfy all three of my traits, but she failed in all three ending the game with no hearts and we failed miserably at wanting Equal Partners out of our relationship.

We intend to play out our 10x10 but will be trading this when we are done as it is just not a fit for us. I like what it is trying to do, but it isn't working for us. We will play at least once as our true selves to see how this would play out.

19-Aug - Sunday Morning Date - Failure
We both played very different characters than our real-life personas which I thought might be interesting, but again we struggled to get into our characters. I want to like this game, but we're struggling to feel interested or invested in our characters. Given this is a shorter scenario it was hard to amass the required points to pull off a success. For what it's worth as we'll likely stick with the shorter story to get through our 10 plays was 34.

04-Sep - Sunday Morning Date - Successful
This conservative farmer fell in love and married a tall police woman and successfully completed his relational destiny in perhaps our most enjoyable play of Fog of Love to date.

06-Sep - Sunday Morning Date - Failure
We both played characters quite different than ourselves and failed miserably with neither of us successfully completing a single trait goal. Yikes!

07-Sep - Sunday Morning Date - Success/Failure
We played what I felt were different but potentially compatible characters in this morning's coffee game of Fog of Love. Our decisions matched an nearly every scene which was a first. I think our only disagreement was what to do about a shared bank account which is understandable given she was a Royal Heiress. She fulfilled her destiny, I came up one shared point (?) short on the shared Gentleness track to pull of the same.

10-Sep - Sunday Morning Date - Falure
In our penultimate play we agreed to experiment in playing the opposite gender to see how we would role play it. There were funny but somewhat awkward moments, but ultimately we did not accumulate enough hearts (love) to result in a fulfilled equal partner relationship.

12-Sep - We Give It A Year - Failure
Per designer Jacob's suggestion we played our last game of Fog of Love using this longer scenario. We also stayed true to our plan in playing this last time with an occupation and traits we felt best described ourselves and features chosen by each other that fit our own relationship. We wanted to see how our relationship would play out using the gaming system, just for fun. We also permitted the discard of a scenario and the choosing of a new one if our entire hand didn't really fit our dating relationship or near 24 years of marriage. We had a lot of fun laughing as we consistently anticipated each others' choices and interestingly the various up/down placement results were fairly consistent with how we see ourselves. Unfortunately, we went into the Finale with less than six hearts each which certainly wasn't reflective of our true story and failed our Team Love destinies in total hearts only. We have a combined total of 18 to the necessary 60.
We both agree that Fog of Love is a creative, ambitious and innovative design for a game that was implemented with much care, thought, variety and quality. However, we found that for us it just wasn't our kind of game and we struggled to enjoy it. Whether that was because we were a little uncomfortable role playing characters that were very different then us, or that some of the scenarios and choices were difficult for us to make--not so much from a role playing perspective, as much as personal struggles to disconnect from our own morality and real life discernment. Individuals who enjoy role playing who are more comfortable with stepping out of their own shoes, would probably find this to be an enjoyable experience. I think it has the potential for individuals to learn better communication skills as well as empathy for other people's perspectives by playing through the various sweet, serious or dramatic scenes through someone else's eyes. I applaud what Jacob has done with this game and hope others will have the opportunity to experience it.

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4. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:456]
Board Game: Karuba
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Karuba


After reading how much fun folks were having this playing it remotely as part of the 2017 Gen Can't activities, I decided to buy it and see if the family would enjoy playing it. I get the impression it shares some similarities to Limes which is a 2p game many of us enjoy playing.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


25-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(23), Microbadge: Eurogamer(19)

My youngest was open to playing a game so I convinced her to learn Karuba with me. I won the first most likely due to my experience with a similar game, Limes.

25-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(23), Microbadge: Eurogamer(13)
In game two, she crushed me. So far it is as simple as I anticipated it would which is a bit lighter than I normally like, but will give it the intended ten plays for the 10x10 challenge before casting my final judgment for its stay ability in our collection.

27-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(28), Microbadge: Eurogamer(21)
Taught my wife this morning who won on the very last turn by discarding the last tile and moving her last adventurer. There were some tough decisions which I made poorly during the game that cost me some time. I crumbled under pressure as my wife tends to be better at race games.

27-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(19), Microbadge: Eurogamer(18)
After dinner we came back to the table for another play in which I succeeded in getting my four to her three adventurers to the temples but when the dust settled it was much closer than I was expecting. I pulled off a narrow victory.

06-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(22), Microbadge: Eurogamer(16)
We decided on a best of 3 morning, coffee tournament to start the day. It started with a bit of frustration discovering we are missing a tile from one of the player sets. I'd like to say that I was consequently distracted but my wife crushed me in game 1.

06-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(26), Microbadge: Eurogamer(14)
I made an impressive comeback in play 2 to even things up for a final showdown.

06-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(25), Microbadge: Eurogamer(24)
We probably made the same 10 of the first 12 decisions which was making for an interesting tiebreaker. It came down to the wire with us both completing a route on the last turn of the game. My wife claimed the win by one point.

07-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(19), Microbadge: Eurogamer(17), Microbadge: Eurogamer(15), Microbadge: Eurogamer(11)

07-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(18), Microbadge: Eurogamer(17), Microbadge: Eurogamer(15), Microbadge: Eurogamer(14)

07-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(24), Microbadge: Eurogamer(23+), Microbadge: Eurogamer(23), Microbadge: Eurogamer(17)

We had friends over for dinner and played three games of Karuba together.
I like Karbua better with more players as the race tension is higher and it feels more exciting. My wife enjoys the Bingo feel it has which resonates well again with more players.

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5. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:57]
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep


I've heard good things about this euro style game in the D&D world which is even better with the expansion. I managed to make a trade for both in the 2017 Origins Math Trade to give it a whirl. The 10x10 Challenge seemed like a perfect place to get it to the table.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


02-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(176), Microbadge: Eurogamer(162)
I had watched a setup and how to play video earlier in the day and had a 2p game setup for my friend and I in the evening. Game play is fairly straight forward and played quickly for us. Our play was fairly mechanical in acquiring and converting cubes, er adventurers and money into completed quests. The intrigue cards introduce some interesting twists. We liked it. I could see a few more plays of the basic game and then a need to include the expansion.

29-Oct - Microbadge: Eurogamer(166), Microbadge: Eurogamer(142)
It took a few minutes to refresh on the rules and set the game up on short notice. My wife had time for a game before work this morning, so we chose this one to get back to our 10x10 challenge. It played quickly and was straight forward and no frustration between us. I managed more end game bonuses from my lord card and had a big 25VP quest that proved to be the difference in the end.

30-Oct - Microbadge: Eurogamer(162), Microbadge: Eurogamer(158)
I completed 4 quests in one round and was feeling good about things but my wife ended up completing a total of 10 quests to my 8 and we were tied at the end game and after each of the first two criteria of the end game scoring. Ultimately it came down to our lord objectives to which I had 5 completed quests to my wife's four for the win.

01-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(200), Microbadge: Eurogamer(182)
We introduced the Undermountain module from the expansion for the first time which doesn't change up the game play too much but it does amp up the intrigue factor and introduce quests requiring more adventurers but gives out greater rewards with a variety of rewards. After playing this my wife said she likes the game with the expansion and that we should keep it. That aside, she outpaced me as she crushed it with endgame scoring for the win.

02-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(200), Microbadge: Eurogamer(177)
My wife managed 200 points again and much to my surprise announced this is becoming one of her favorites. (I never saw that coming.) She likens it to Castles of Burgundy in how it makes her feel when playing. I think for both of us we barely notice the theme and enjoy the Eurogame style of converting resources into points by leveraging cards and action selection spaces. It is working and we are enjoying. Surprise!

03-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(229), Microbadge: Eurogamer(158)
Ouch! I thought I had some really good things going but they didn't produce the points to back that up resulting in probably my lowest score to date. On the other side of the table my wife crushed it by amassing tons of points. We're going to pack up Undermountain for now and try Skullport for the next few to get a feel for it.

05-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(191), Microbadge: Eurogamer(166)
This was our first play with the Skullport module from the expansion. I thought I had this one as I was completing requests like crazy and my wife had a pile of corruption. By games end she had eliminated all her corruption, I had a pile of unplayed Intrigue cards that I really didn't like and she outpaced me in the end game bonuses. She's on a roll.

06-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(118), Microbadge: Eurogamer(83)
We decided we don't like the Skullport module with its harsh skull penalties as much as we like the high risk, high reward Undermountain module. I think because we like point salad games it was hard to see so many negative points from skulls (my wife had 17 and I had 7 for -9 each). In the end, I ended my losing streak which is I'll gladly take.

07-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(186), Microbadge: Eurogamer(180)
This was a closely contested play as we swapped the lead multiple times as we navigated that action spaces on the main board with occasional trips to the Undermountain. We played some different types of buildings than we've done in the past which created some interesting scoring and resource opportunities down the stretch. My wife ended up with a little more end game bonus momentum than I did for the win.

08-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(198+), Microbadge: Eurogamer(198)
I held the lead with the Undermountain module included until the last round where we exchanged the lead a couple of times setting our last play of this game for the 10x10 challenge up for a dual of the end game bonuses. That ended in a tie and I got the victory on the money tiebreaker.
I expected this to be a 10 and done game as I didn't think my wife would care for it. You can imagine my surprise when she announced this was one of her new favorites (it doesn't dethrone Castles of Burgundy). We prefer the Undermountain module which adds to the game, amps up the risk and reward with the Quest and Intrigue cards and some of the buildings without the severe punishment of the corruption in the Skullport module. We paid little attention to the theme and just enjoy the resource collection and conversion to score points. This will stay in our collection and probably get occasional table time.

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6. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:262]
Board Game: Notre Dame
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Notre Dame

As Feld fans we had to have a Feld game in the list so I went with one I'd like to get back to the table and play some more reps. Perhaps we'll even engage another player or two to expand the player bench for Feld time.

Pre-2018 Plays: 7x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


15-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(49), Microbadge: Eurogamer(39)
We dusted off the box and started our 10x10 plays of this older Feld title over coffee. It took a few minutes to wake up and refresh our memories of the simple and elegant rule set. The game played quickly and the game was significantly closer than the 49-39 score indicates. I got 9 influence points as my last action and my wife was out of coinage so couldn't match my gain and lost an influence due to rats.

16-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(39), Microbadge: Eurogamer(34)
About mid game I was generating points and thought I had more than I did, apparently. Fortunately, it was enough for the win thanks to rats distracting my wife.

16-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(40), Microbadge: Eurogamer(32)
In the second game she got to moving her carriage early and collecting the close messages making it difficult and costly for me to consider it. I also got into rat management early. I had an opportunity to grab some big points a couple times early but opted for long term planning only to come up short, splitting the morning wins.

20-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(40+), Microbadge: Eurogamer(40)
We were both in rat deficit early. Somehow we both finished at zero rats which means we probably lost some point opportunities in our panic. I thought my wife was going to win this one before I realized I was getting 6VP at the end game. When it was all added up we were tied but I had 1 more message and a coin for the tiebreaker.

21-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(51), Microbadge: Eurogamer(41)
I wanted to opt for points whenever possible to try something different. It started out well, but then I ran into rat troubles and back peddled from there. My wife got all 18 Notre Dame VP uncontested which now I realize was a mistake and a flaw in my own initial plan. Lesson learned.

10-Apr - Microbadge: Eurogamer(48), Microbadge: Eurogamer(37)
I flirted with rats the entire game with the objective to focus on the offensive (i.e. collect VP) rather than defensive (i.e. minimize rats) and made sure I took advantage of Notre Dame as much as possible which led to a convincing win this time around.

08-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(43), Microbadge: Eurogamer(28)
I got overtaken by the plague, had minimum cash flow and struggled to get a cohesive strategy of any kind going in this one. Wife won convincingly to start the day.

10-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(32), Microbadge: Eurogamer(26)
My wife experienced a double shot of the plague and a single during our coffee game of Notre Dame. In trying some different things we were set back on our heals and tread water to stay out of trouble which accounts for a fairly low scoring game ending in my favor.

11-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(51), Microbadge: Eurogamer(41)
I was hitting on all cylinders during this one. I controlled the rat infestation from the start while still pulling in good points each round. My wife had some rat concerns early but kept pace the rest of the game. It just wasn't enough to close the gap.

15-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(42), Microbadge: Eurogamer(38)
My wife gambled all her money on Notre Dame for 6 pts plus the 6 pts split which was enough to take the victory, 42-38, and catch me off guard.
As is well known we are big Feld fans and we certainly enjoyed getting one of his games to the table for additional plays. Notre Dame is an elegant design but is a little lighter than we normally like. It plays quick but, at least with 2p, starts to feel a little repetitive. We'll keep it and likely dust it off on occasion but feel it would be nice to get more people at the table with us.

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7. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:32]
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
From gallery of bkunes
The end of our learning play of the Prologue used to teach the basic movement and cube actions and introduce the similarities and differences through base Pandemic.

Playing Season 1 was one of our most enjoyable gaming experiences, so playing Season 2 seems like an easy decision. We're going to be playing it a lot (once we acquire it) so might as well add it here.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


01-Jan - Prologue - Success
We opened the box and played through the Prologue which is a basic, no legacy/spoiler, learning scenario to teach you the basic concepts of the game. I'm ready to go, but my wife may want to read through the starting rule book in its entirety and replay the Prologue again before we start.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
You are asked to name your starting havens and create, name and ascribe jobs to five characters, but we only did this for the two we plan on starting with.

04-Jan - January - Success
Game play got real in hurry.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We had a stretch of land on the edge of the grid developing into a plague hotspot that required close attention. In the end, after an emotional meltdown a slightly heated exchange between the two of us as my wife was frustrated with understanding what we were ultimately trying to accomplish (i.e. what happens next, after we're done with all these plague cubes?). Fortunately, we managed to successfully complete our two objectives, keep population decline to a minimum and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the end game upgrades/changes we had to choose from. Expanding our knowledge of the world by expanding our map in North America was a key highlight.

09-Jan - February - Failure
We were one turn from success.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Our knowledge of the world continues to grow as our recon efforts have expanded our map and opened up new communication channels in South America. Connections have begun to expand from Chicago to Denver. The decrease in supplies and the new expansion is starting to hint at future challenges in supplying needs so we have increased our production capacity in the havens to assist in meeting the demand.

10-Jan - February (Take 2) - Success
Feeling like an immersed diseased character while I literally fight the flu and try to figuratively save the world.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Our second attempt at February was a tense thriller of a session. We had some close calls and it came very close to ending in failure but we managed to connect two more cities to the grid (Santiago and Las Angeles) and establishing a permanent supply center in LA to serve the west coast. We also had a breakthrough in the lab down in Buenos Ares which is now lending more help to the fight. We are feeling the pinch as our supply production and distribution is undergoing some growing pains but we are excited and hopeful as we are rediscovering and joining forces with our brothers and sisters.

12-Jan - March - Failure
Both of us are literally battling the flu as our fight to maintain the health of the world grows more difficult.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
March brought an increased demand of three objectives with a good variety of choices. Unfortunately for us the plague started to spread in North America forcing us to focus on preventing depopulation by building Supply Centers there while maintaining minimal supplies every where else. We learned of Ballina, a new haven, but do not have access to supply channels yet. It was good work by our search parties. By month's end we hope to establish contact with them and strengthen our number.

18-Jan March (Take 2) - Failure
We were one turn away from saving the day.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We reached the newly found haven, Ballina, which was a boon for moral and increase in supplies. We also managed to connect two more cities expanding our network with some surrounding colonies. We had a team search around in Chicago which too added to our supply channels but it might have cost us just a bit too much this month resulting in an excessive spread of the plague requiring us to expend our end of month allotment in upgrades to maintain status quo in some frail areas. It was a fun round and we look forward to what April brings.

20-Jan April - Failure
Tension is great as we were so close again!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We went in focused and thought we were going to nail it until we realized we couldn't recon unless we had a supply center first which sent us into a scurry. We completed our recon after connecting two cities which introduced more cities and satellite stations which we will have to focus on some next time. A double Infection draw at the end of one of my turns could have been worse if I hadn't been holding an timely card to dismiss one giving us a flicker of hope. Sadly we drew our last plague cube on the very next turn leaving us with our third loss in a row. We are loving the tough decisions, the tension and the flow of the game. Things are staring to get interesting as we now have rats infested cities to contend with.

21-Jan April (Take 2) - Success
In our second attempt at April we managed to successfully pull off our objectives and then some, but it got concerning in a hurry near the end of our time.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We got to building supply centers early and made a couple of connections along the way to expand the grid. The surprise for me was finding ourselves in London with the opportunity to recon and expand our knowledge of Europe. Things were going well and we were gaining momentum and then the plague began to spread and it felt like a race for the finish. During our efforts we were able to establish faster means of travel with the shuttle service. We inoculated a number of trouble cities to remove more cards and even built a transmitter which we hope to leverage in upcoming months.

27-Jan May - Win
We had a good month!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We got a good jump on our objectives in May, expanding the grid and discovering the Jade lab. It felt good to end the streak of backsliding.

27-Jan Jun - Lost
Summer is not off to a good start.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
June started out okay but things turned back quickly and the plague spread faster than we could organize and coordinate relief or anything else as we failed to complete a single objective before the spreading of the virus ended our mission.

Season 2 has proven to be as good if not even better than Season 1 for us. Even though we've finished our 10 plays for the challenge we are struggling with the thought of packing it up until we finish it. So it may be a while before we record another 10x10 play, but we'll continue to enjoy this game and story.

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8. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:3]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Terraforming Mars

I finally acquired my own copy of a recent reprint so ready to get it to the table and explore all it has to offer. I see the potential for this one to re-energize some of my gaming group but at a minimum I'll get to enjoy some 2p with my wife and a bunch of solo if needed.

Pre-2018 Plays: 3x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


02-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(63), Microbadge: Eurogamer(54)
We were kind of learning how to play and were a bit short on time so were playing quickly and I'm sure a bit careless and inefficient to see how it played (for me in a way other than a solo game). We probably were 1-2 rounds away from completing it. But we enjoyed it and both agreed it is a style of game our group would enjoy... if it met more regularly. It was good to hang out, catch up and get a couple games in.

10-Mar - Microbadge: Eurogamer(75), Microbadge: Eurogamer(71), Microbadge: Eurogamer(62), Microbadge: Eurogamer(55), Microbadge: Eurogamer(50)
We had a guys night for a game with three being new to TM. We were all a bit tired coming in so trying to grasp a ton of iconography and card text was a bit taxing, but we had fun. It was a long 3.5 hrs game. I thought I had pulled off my first, non-solo win only to be surpassed by end game bonuses.

07-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(0)
Solo - Tharsis Republic - Failure
It has been a while so I had to brush up on the solo rules and got off to a slow start. I think there are decisions I made that would be better for a multiplayer game, but don't help me in a quick 14 round solo game. I was playing lots of cards and setting up points but not moving the key indicators. I ran out of time still needing 2 oxygen, 3 oceans and 4 heat.

10-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(0)
Solo - Tharsis Republic - Failure
I was up early to give the Tharsis Republic another chance at completing the solo mission to Terraform Mars, and did a better. I was again slow in getting an engine going but managed to complete the oxygenation objective and came up 1 ocean and 4 heat short of success.

10-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(0)
Solo - Tharsis Republic - Failure
Tharsis continues to inch itself forward as it simulated <wink> another attempt to terraform the planet on its own. It successfully increased the oxygen levels and established the required oceans but failed to raise the temperature by six notches resulting in another fail.

12-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(74)
Solo - Saturn Systems - Success
It was raining so delayed morning run and launched another solo mission. I got a plant and heat engine going to help get those factors working. I then leveraged cards to place ocean tiles, in a few cases placing two at a turn. The corporation's benefit was a non-factor the entire game, but I succeeded in the last round.

21-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(74)
Solo - Thorgate - Success
I had major doubts about my chances as I don't think I played my first water, tree, or city tile until midgame. I was cranking out the platinum and leveraging an event each round to get money for each. I was able through card play to get a steady increase in heat. Ultimately the engines started cranking out enough cash and actions to complete my three objectives and place two cities to squeeze out some more points.

22-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(88)
Solo - PhoboLog - Success
I was cranking out O2 and Temp activity early and eventually got an event card that allowed me to get the H2O production going. That allowed me to get a few cities and plant growth to finish with my best solo score yet.

28-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(0)
Solo - Helion - Failure
I was off to an optimistic start moving the temp and then got the water going and started to get my plant production going so I opted to grab a city or two to ensure I got some points. Ultimately I found myself one oxygen short of victory with some serious points. Doh!

29-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(0)
Solo - Helion - Failure
Completed my 10x10 plays with another solo game that just struggled to get anything going in the first half of the game. I finally got the oceans in place and some plant tiles but I had insufficient funding to get the job done. I needed four more heat and 7 more oxygen levels to be successful.
I had hopes that my wife would find interest in this and we'd play 2p, but she showed no interest making this largely a solo game for me. I'm enjoying it. In fact it is quickly becoming one of my favorite solo options. I will continue to play each corporation to establish a base score which I can then attempt to improve upon.

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9. Board Game: World's Fair 1893 [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:776]
Board Game: World's Fair 1893
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: World's Fair 1893

World's Fair is another game I picked up in the Origins Math Trade in 2017. I got to learn how to play it a 2p game at CinCityCon which convinced me to add it to this year's list as I think my wife and I will enjoy this one together.

Pre-2018 Plays: 1x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


20-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(72), Microbadge: Eurogamer(58)
Taught my wife how to play and thought it was closer than it turned out to be, but the good news is that she liked it, got it and wants to play it more. This being only my second play again felt much of the time that the game was running on rails but the game came down to those few critical decision points where the obvious choice was not necessarily the best choice.

20-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(69), Microbadge: Eurogamer(61)
In our second game of the day my wife made some great moves in the last 2-3 rounds that made it increasingly difficult for me to get the majorities I needed to keep pace to even things up between us.

21-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(78), Microbadge: Eurogamer(50)
I set up strong majorities each round only to have my wife dismantle them each time in a masterful win in every category of scoring. We seemed to get mostly Influential Figure and Midway Attraction cards. Mercy! This game plays really quick with 2p once you know how to play.

22-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(75), Microbadge: Eurogamer(65)
We squeezed in a quick morning game of World's Fair before work and it came down to coins. My wife had a 2 medal advantage and I had 2 in exhibits but she dominated in coins for the win. My wife holds a 3-1 advantage and I think she has found another game she likes. We are definitely interested in seeing they dynamic with more players.

22-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(82), Microbadge: Eurogamer(58)
After work my wife continued her streak winning big. The first round was light on attraction cards. We basically kept evenly paced in ribbons and coins, but my she crushed me when it came to attraction points. Both plays today were speed plays--she had to leave for appointments before each game so we were rushing through, but having fun (and me losing) while doing it. Time to rethink my strategy.

23-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(73), Microbadge: Eurogamer(64)
I wanted to try something different in my approach to to end my wife's winning streak and I did. I got more money than her, but she crushed me in majorities and attractions for the win.

23-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(87), Microbadge: Eurogamer(76)
In our second play of the morning I dug deep and played a little more balanced with an aim to control the majorities and maximize my attractions. My wife dominated the coins, evened up the medals and essentially kept the attractions equal for another crushing win!

24-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(70), Microbadge: Eurogamer(64), Microbadge: Eurogamer(47), Microbadge: Eurogamer(47)
24-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(61), Microbadge: Eurogamer(53), Microbadge: Eurogamer(52), Microbadge: Eurogamer(48)
24-Feb - Microbadge: Eurogamer(79), Microbadge: Eurogamer(60), Microbadge: Eurogamer(55), Microbadge: Eurogamer(52)

After dinner we had our friends over for some 4p World's Fair. It plays a bit slower and more thinking goes into your choices as the game has a much different dynamic and feel than our 2p games. I won the first two plays and took second in our last play.
This was a fast, fun and interesting 2p game. At 4p it is requires more thought but still plays in a reasonable amount of time. This is a quick and easy game to teach and play, and one I could see playing a few times in an evening of family time. It will stay in our collection for now.

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10. Board Game: Yokohama [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:92]
Board Game: Yokohama
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Yokohama

When Yokohama came out it generated a lot of buzz. Folks seemed to really like it or hate it. I hear it is a slightly more involved version of Istanbul which we played in our 2017 10x10. So I picked it up for a good price at Origins this past summer and I'm looking forward to getting it out of shrink, punching a gazillion pieces and seeing what it is all about.

Pre-2018 Plays: 0x

Progress:
From gallery of IamJacksUsername


18-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(140), Microbadge: Eurogamer(129)
We played our initial game over two morning coffee sessions. It does feel a little bit like Istanbul with more things going on and multiple ways to score points. There is a lot here, so we both feel a few more plays will be needed for sure before we have any strategy sense.

19-May - Microbadge: Eurogamer(153), Microbadge: Eurogamer(149), Microbadge: Eurogamer(115)
We managed to convince our oldest to play a game with us rather than taking a nap. It is always nice to play with our kids but even to get a non-2p game is a nice change of pace and in dynamics. In Yokohama it means more area boards are in play offering a variety of additional options. The canal allows for a different movement option while it was nice to be able to exchange goods and money. Ultimately, my daughter strung together some big moves down the stretch to run away with the win while my wife gave chase and I... essentially watched. We like worker placement, action selection games and this one is beginning to make an impression.

01-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(131), Microbadge: Eurogamer(115)
I went in telling myself to leverage the first advantage or two that I have and see where it takes me. It worked for me as I claimed the Newspaper tech card which allowed me to place 4 instead of 3 assistants. I amassed lots of goods and focused on getting additional assistants and houses built in the areas I needed for the bonuses. I managed a tech card and some other points in the church right at the finish for the win.

10-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(162), Microbadge: Eurogamer(126)
My wife joined me after her nap for a 2p game where she destroyed. Ironically, she thought I was going to stomp her but she went on a points producing rampage over the last two rounds that left me in the dust. We're enjoying our exploration of this game.

18-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(161), Microbadge: Eurogamer(137)
My wife got out in front in a hurry and never looked back. Her established Trading Houses proved costly as she caught me moneyless on a couple of occasions forcing me to burn extra turns to set myself up. Wonderfully played. Had she not gotten that 22VP customs delivery it would have been a closer game, but that is more wishful thinking on my part.

25-Jun - Microbadge: Eurogamer(181), Microbadge: Eurogamer(146)
I figured I need to establish a trading house early in our evening play and in a place where players need to go to make some money early and get a leg up for a fighting chance. It worked as did winning the race to all three A/B/C objective cards for the edge in points there as well. Overall I was a step ahead of my wife, for a rare change, in nearly every area for a big win.

15-Sep - Microbadge: Eurogamer(142), Microbadge: Eurogamer(133), Microbadge: Eurogamer(104), Microbadge: Eurogamer(102)
My day at BGF started with a game for the first time using someone's deluxe copy. The nice wooden component upgrades from the cardboard chits are really nice, although not essential. As for the game itself this was my first 4p game which involves a little more blocking or inconveniences in desired paths you want to make as you plot your choices. Granted with more players you get often a second option of the same things in the 2p setup with the exception of the canal and the tile that allows goods conversion/exchanges. Neither was used very often. Three of us had played about a handful of times each and we had one new player. I got out to an early lead, and set a good pace and eventually chased some but I failed to keep the momentum going down the stretch and finished last when it was all said and done with my lowest score ever.

15-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(172), Microbadge: Eurogamer(166)
In our return to Yokohama I felt I was off to a good start and was getting concerned my wife would get frustrated and start hating on another game, but she quickly got her machine going and was pulling away from me while I quietly and patiently put my hope in my plan for a big boost in points via customs. With time running out I managed my big jump to even things up going into the last two rounds where were neck and neck with my wife getting her fourth win in six 2p bouts with the greater end game bonuses.

16-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(166), Microbadge: Eurogamer(158)
I felt like I saw a entire string of moves in my head to collect the resources and points I needed to dominate this one and it sure felt like I did for most of the game but then it started to lose momentum as my wife all pedal to the metal on me and pulled off another win. Even though I'm not very good at this game (yet!) I'm liking it more and more as there is so much to do.

17-Nov - Microbadge: Eurogamer(197), Microbadge: Eurogamer(168)
To finish off our 2018 10x10 Challenge and record my 3000th play I defeated the Empress of Yokohama with a convincing and satisfying win. I felt in control of my destiny the entire game and made only one or two poor choices which is a big improvement.
I am very satisfied with purchasing this game. The more we play it the more we like it. I don't know exactly what it is, but this kind of game (much like Istanbul and Oracle of Delphi) is right in my wife's wheelhouse which helps. I enjoy it too although I need to continue to improve my game to keep pace with her.

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11. Board Game: Flick 'em Up! [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:677]
Board Game: Flick 'em Up!
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Flick 'em Up!

I was so excited about getting Flick 'em Up! when it first came out. A year later I acquired a copy and it sat on the shelf for a very long time before finally breaking it out of the shrink only to collect dust there after. So, it is on my list as my ALTERNATE which my wife picked which is promising, but at the same time my ALTERNATES historically have not seen much play time.

Pre-2018 Plays: 1x

Progress:

 
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