Another Family Board Game Marathon in New Hampshire
Jason Vicente

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Connecticut
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I spent a weekend in New Hampshire with my sons playing games early in September. Below you will find the games played as well as our assessment of them.
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1. Board Game: 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2671]
Jason Vicente

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My son, Matthew, and I started off Another Family Board Game Marathon in New Hampshire by playing the card driven 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis. My plan was to start small and work our way through 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis and 1960: The Making of the President. This game qualifies as a microgame with only thirteen cards. Each player (one Krushev, the other Kennedy) receive two cards and one card is placed face down between the two players to represent Cuba. There are three imaginary zones of influence on the table - the sones closest to each player are under their influence. The zone between each player's zone of influence is the neutral zone. After determining initiative (players secretly use cubes that will be discarded from the game to determine initiative - the player who chooses who goes first), players take turns playing and drawing a card. Cards can be played for the event on the card if the card is affiliated with the player playing it or a United Nations card. Otherwise, the player can offer the card to the other to play as an event before playing the card for the command value (the number of cubes depicted on the card) which the player can use to remove or add cubes to one of the battle fields on the table (each played card represents a battlefield and regardless of the number of cubes placed on the card it moves one zone toward you, or remove the card moves one zone away from you). This back and forth continues until both players are left with one card in their hands. At that time scoring occurs - 2 prestige points for the individual with the most cubes on Cuba, 1 prestige point for each of the other battlefields, 1 prestige point for the player dominating the most military battlefields. There is also a final check for nuclear was. The top left corner contains a symbol with one of three colors. If three or more cards have the same color in your zone of influence, you have triggered nuclear war and lose the game. Incidentally, both players can lose the game by independently triggering nuclear war. In the two games Matt played Kennedy while I played Krushev. Matt dominated the first game winning 14 to 5 while I won the second game 9 to 4. I found the other card driven games far more compelling than this one, though it still possessed enough elements requiring the players attention to make it interesting. A 6.5 out of 10.
 
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2. Board Game: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:508]
Jason Vicente

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After playing 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis twice as a prelude to other card driven games, Matt and I played 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis as part of Another Family Board Game Marathon in New Hampshire and to satisfy the # portion of my Passionate Knight's 2017 Alphabet Basic Challenge which is part of the site wide The Alphabet Board Game Challenge - 2017 Edition. Matt played the United States and I played Russia in this intriguing game that keeps the pressure on by escalating three different DEFCON tracks (political, world opinion and military) each of the three turns of play. The DEFCONs each have three levels. If all three of a player's markers are in the DEFCON 2 range a nuclear is triggered. Likewise if any one marker lies within the DEFCON 1 area you have nuclear war. Accordingly, managing the DEFCON tracks are as critical as the tug of war for prestige points that takes place throughout the game by fulfilling agendas such as dominating certain domains on the board. As with the other card driven games. Matt found the historical aspect of the game interesting but did not find the game play particularly compelling. I, however, found the game full of tension with both sides coming close to triggering nuclear war. I ended up victorious in a fairly close game. A 7.5 out of 10 from me.
 
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3. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Jason Vicente

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This is the game that 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis and 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis built up to. Once we explored some of the simpler mechanics of the other games we could go full on with 1960: The Making of the President. This is a great game where you are running either the Kennedy or Nixon campaign. Continuing with the alignment of previous games, Matt took the Kennedy Campaign while I had the Nixon campaign. The mechanics here echo many of the mechanics from the previous games played (e.g. playing cards for event or campaign points). One key difference is the use of momentum tokens. If your opponent plays a card affiliated with your campaign for campaign points, you have to spend a momentum token to play the event. This means you have to build your pool of momentum tokens, which you gain through several ways in the game (cards or end round bonuses). There are also ways to get endorsements, create a media campaign and develop issues in preparation for debates. Although there are many moving parts, once you start playing the game the rules make sense particularly if you reference the player aid found on the last page of the rulebook. I managed to alter history winning the election 345 electoral votes to 159. Again, Matt had a tepid response to the game, while I give an enthusiastic 9 out of 10.
 
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4. Board Game: BattleLore (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:130]
Jason Vicente

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Matthew looked at the games brought and stated "This looks interesting," regarding BattleLore (Second Edition). I thought, great, we can knock off a star in my The Passionate Knight's 10 X 10 Hardcore Challenge. But it's a statement he would later regret making. He took the Uthuk army while I played the Daqan. We went through selecting our armies and laid them out. Matt thought he took a good strategic approach to the game, but dice, I must say, hate him. There were instances where he could not damage my troops at all, while I would wipe out his with one roll. I could see the anger growing in him and asked if he wanted to end the game and move on to something else. He insisted on completing the game, which we did. He did not end up doing too badly losing 16 - 10, but declared his hatred of the game. BattleLore (Second Edition) remains one of my favorite games. I love it, but if dice hate you, you probably can empathize with Matt.
 
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5. Board Game: Santorini [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:74]
Jason Vicente

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After the BattleLore (Second Edition) debacle, I recommended a quick simple game with a beautiful aesthetic that requires no luck at all: Santorini. I figured this would knock out the last three plays needed for Santorini in the The Passionate Knight's Normal 10 X 10 Challenge. Matthew took immediately to the game. He beat me two out of three tries and then when his brothers got home insisted on teaching them how to play. Obviously this was a big hit with all that played it.
 
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6. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
Jason Vicente

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The final two player game for the day was Android: Netrunner. In addition to Summoner Wars: Master Set, it was among the first games Matthew and I played together during my foray into modern gaming. I love the asymmetrical play of the game with one player acting as a corporation seeking to implement agendas while the other is a hacker seeking to undermine the corporation by stealing the agendas. It's a heavenly tete-a-tete experience. Matt, who played as the hacker, crushed me the first game scoring 8 points to my 0. The second game was not as lopsided, but Matt still won 7 to 4. It just seemed that every time he made a run on my R&D deck he stole and scored an agenda.
 
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7. Board Game: Welcome to the Dungeon [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:791] [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked]
Jason Vicente

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Once my two other sons arrived at the scene, we decided to play Welcome to the Dungeon because one son needed to get some sleep before going to work to put in some overtime. The problem is that with this group what should be a half hour filler turns into a 90 minute game - as it didi here. I was quickly knocked out while the others played a game of attrition until Kieran was the last man standing. I believe this was a pleasant enough experience for everyone, and the group better understood what it took to win. Initial no one wanted to go into the dungeon and kept setting aside monsters, removing equipment and passing within a few turns. Eventually, some started to become braver and willing to take on the dungeon.
 
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8. Board Game: The World of Smog: On Her Majesty's Service [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1912] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Jason Vicente

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After being beaten by Patrick in The World of Smog: On Her Majesty's Service during our Father v. Son Two-Player Board Game Tournament , I was eager to play with a larger group to see if the game played any differently. Apparently the game becomes more chaotic with each added player. On the verge of victory yet again, my son Joel did what Patrick had done previously to thwart my victory: he stole one of my ethers. Then he disoriented me by shifting the board 90 degrees. Finally he stole one of my artifacts. Just a move away from victory Joel, with the vociferous encouragement of Matthew, snatched victory from me and won the game. The game was a big hit for all involved and they are eager to play it again.
 
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9. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition – Endurance [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Jason Vicente

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Whenever my sons and I get together in New Hampshire we try to play one of the T.I.M.E. Story installments. Today we played T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition – Endurance. This installment did something that none of the other ones did and it makes additional runs far more intriguing. The gimmick implemented made this my third favorite installment with Asylum and the Marcy Case (probably the most emotionally impactful of the group) just ahead. We've gotten pretty good at determining the skills needed to be successful and have a solid team by the second run. We avoided some pitfalls that I am sure will frustrate some players who take on this game. All in all a solid 8.5 out of 10.
 
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10. Board Game: The Dragon & Flagon [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2251]
Jason Vicente

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Connecticut
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My son Joel specifically requested this game believing he would like it because it was a programing game like Colt Express. With four players each takes two characters and their set of cards. There is a fairly elaborate set up with three dimensional chairs, tables, mugs and, of course, the Flagon. The cards have a variety of actions that you program the character to perform like swinging a sword, jumping from a table or casting a spell. Your hope is that someone will be at the receiving end of your action since a target may have moved from the spot you were targeting as my characters did on several occasions. If you connect with your attack your victim has to give some of his prestige tokens. There is a time cost for each action which moves you along the timeline on the outer edge of the board toward the game end token where the authorities eventually break the fight up and players add up their prestige. The one with the most prestige wins the game. I found the game enjoyable. It feels so good when you execute a successful attack. It can be quite frustrating, as Joel discovered, when you can't seem to make any successful moves. The result is that most everyone found the game enjoyable except for Joel, who adamantly stated that you could not pay him enough money to play the game again. For my part, it is enjoyable mayhem and deserves a 7 out of 10. I know that my son Patrick will love this game and I plan to add it to our Father v. Son Two-Player Board Game Tournament .
 
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11. Board Game: Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:448] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Jason Vicente

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Connecticut
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On my last day in New Hampshire, Matthew and I played Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set, one of his favorite games. I chose the Phoenix Elves while he played the Fallen Kingdom. Among the summoner's powers for the Fallen Kingdom was raising the dead, which Matt was not able to fully exploit. I on the other hand fully exploited the automatic hits my precision fighters gave me. The bottom line was most of the time I did not have to roll dice, while Matt did, and as previously discussed, dice hate him. So I eliminated most of his army and chased his summoner into a corner as he tried to erect walls to delay the inevitable. I won.
 
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12. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Jason Vicente

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Connecticut
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Terraforming Mars is a game I have anxiously been waiting to get to the table since the fall of last year. I watched numerous "how to play" videos in an attempt to wrap my mind around the rules. It really is a game you need to play to learn. Once I played it I understood it and could teach it to others. Playing with my sons allowed me to satisfy the "T" in my Passionate Knight's 2017 Alphabet Basic Challenge as well as teach it to my son Patrick to play it as part of our Father v. Son Two-Player Board Game Tournament . The game is all about the cards. You start off with a corporation and purchase cards each generation to help you terraform mars. There are a variety of tacks to follow. I focused on developing plants. My son Kieran developed heat production. When I taught Patrick he focused on producing Mega Credits and nearly won the game by using the standard actions to purchase cities and oceans while funding a few awards he was guaranteed to win (I beat him 111 to 101). The game contains extraordinary depth and though it has a few "got you" cards they are not particularly vicious or debilitating. This is by far the best game of the month for me at a 9.5 out of 10. By the way, I won scoring scoring 60. Matt received 57, Joel 53 and Kieran only managed 50.
 
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