BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 List
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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A new year means a new set of games to challenge 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

___mb = Me
___mb = Wife

__Other: mb= RR, mb= CG, mb= JF, mb= MR, mb= DE, mb= 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:7.26 Overall Rank:404]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:

30-Jan - mb(81), mb(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 - mb(79), mb(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 - mb(74), mb(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 - mb(92), mb(82), mb(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 - mb(68), mb(66+), mb(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.
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2. Board Game: Codenames Duet [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Bill Kunes
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Ohio
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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:

07-Jan - mb and mb
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 - mb and mb
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 - mb and mb
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 - mb and mb
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.
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3. Board Game: Fog of Love [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:899]
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:

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.
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4. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:378]
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:


25-Feb - mb(23), mb(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 - mb(23), mb(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 - mb(28), mb(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 - mb(19), mb(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 - mb(22), mb(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 - mb(26), mb(14)
I made an impressive comeback in play 2 to even things up for a final showdown.

06-Apr - mb(25), mb(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 - mb(19), mb(17), mb(15), mb(11)

07-Apr - mb(18), mb(17), mb(15), mb(14)

07-Apr - mb(24), mb(23+), mb(23), mb(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:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
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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:

02-Feb - mb(176), mb(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.
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6. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:216]
Bill Kunes
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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:

15-Mar - mb(49), mb(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 - mb(39), mb(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 - mb(40), mb(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 - mb(40+), mb(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 - mb(51), mb(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 - mb(48), mb(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.
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7. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.53 Overall Rank:33]
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
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:


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:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:

02-Feb - mb(63), mb(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 - mb(75), mb(71), mb(62), mb(55), mb(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.
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9. Board Game: World's Fair 1893 [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:649]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:


20-Feb - mb(72), mb(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 - mb(69), mb(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 - mb(78), mb(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 - mb(75), mb(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 - mb(82), mb(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 - mb(73), mb(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 - mb(87), mb(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 - mb(70), mb(64), mb(47), mb(47)
24-Feb - mb(61), mb(53), mb(52), mb(48)
24-Feb - mb(79), mb(60), mb(55), mb(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:7.97 Overall Rank:104]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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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:

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11. Board Game: Flick 'em Up! [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:520]
Bill Kunes
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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

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