What Did You Play This Week? September 18-24, 2017
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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With the week behind us it's time to post your week's mini-session reports and stories to answer our favorite question:

mbmbWhat did you play this week? - Edition 439


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1. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:646]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Another busy week, minimal play time...

Tuesday
1x - Castles of Burgundy: TCG - solo


I handed out a beat down on the AI during my solo game of CoB:TCG this morning. I achieved a couple triplets before the AI did and had the animal farm in high gear to keep the strong advantage throughout.

Thursday
1x - La Granja - mb

We started our morning out with some La Granja over coffee. We both were trying a different approach and for the most part were successful in carrying it out but in the end it seemed like we had pretty low scores. My wife won, again, this time 57-54.

Friday
1x - Castles of Burgundy: TCG - solo

This turned out to be what I believe is my best or certainly one of my best scores ever and I kept the AI in my morning solo coffee game of CoB:TCG to minimal points. It almost felt like I played an extra round given how productive I was able to play this one out. 34-21.


Work and other responsibilities left little time for much anything else, so I'll gladly take my morning coffee time with the wife and a couple of solo plays.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 79/100
BK's Top 75 Games - 2017 Edition
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2. Board Game: NMBR 9 [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:788]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine.

Only one game, a two-player game with my wife, played this week

After being sick at the beginning of the week,
we only had time to play a game of NMBR9 and that's all.
I won the game but as usual the results were close.

I still wonder why they haven't added a fifth player component to the box ??

The rest of the times dedicated to boardgames was for translations.
As Essen is approaching I am trying to catch up with all the translations I have to do (almost 40 left for the moment).
So this past week I only worked on Asian games and especially and EmperorS4 games.
I translated : Shadows in Kyoto, Hànzi, Mystery of the Temples, Crows overkill and Herbalism.
I have also started to work on Captain Dice for Japon Brand and on Laurel Crown (last Seiji Kanai's game).
I also started to work on Clans of Caledonia and Calimala

Have a nice gaming week.
Thanks for reading
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3. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:560]
Robbert Vervuurt
Denmark
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Busy week with busy evenings, so I didn't get much playtime this week.

But then again, I got to play Deep Sea Adventure in a very thematic spot: a sauna/swimming complex!

The game is AWESOME! So happy to finally add it to my collection (it arrived last Thursday). I had been eyeing this game for a long time, since it just looked so awesome, simple and still challenging. And I can no confirm it looks awesome, is simple but also still challenging.

The push-your-luck mechanic is brilliantly added to the game and thematically, it actually kinda makes sense. Of course this game could've been completely abstract, but the added theme really fits well and the story behind it is pretty fun.

What I really like about the game, is the fact that you are playing against each other, but share the same oxygen supply. This makes not only diving deep a push-your-luck, but also the "if I grab this extra treasure to annoy the other player, how much do I annoy myself with it"-aspect. It's kind of the same mechanic, but still different.

I can't recommend this enough, even for two players! Also, the footprint is tiny!
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4. Board Game: Gaïa [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2991]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Not a lot of in-person gaming, but a fun mix nonetheless:

Game Group

Pandemic Legacy - Spoiler-free info: We played 2 games back-to-back, and won both! Woohoo! So that's August and September done now, leaving us just 3 months left. Might we finish the whole campaign in one sitting next time? Unlikely. I get the feeling that, seeing as how we've won the last 4 games in a row, we're bound to lose one soon. And I'm betting on some more ramping up of the legacy components for the last few months too, which will no doubt kick us to the kerb! Still very much enjoying it, and we're all now apparently REALLY good at optimising the solution to the Pandemic puzzle before we've even started playing.





Playtesting Group

Flikkin - A friend's dexterity flicking game design, using his hand-made board. Beautiful. And a great fun game to boot, although I lost both games (3-1 and 3-0) so I clearly need more practice!



Aegean Civ - Another play of this work-in-progress game in the 2017 Mint Tin design contest; this time, playing against a real opponent! We fluffed a couple of rules which made my opponent super powerful and he kept on getting more and more powerful, meaning I lost 20 to 1. Yes, I scored just *1* point! Gah! Oh well. We had fun playing anyway, and it's nice to be able to give the designer feedback no matter how badly or wrongly we played!


There were also 3 other games we playtested that night. I can't talk about them yet though.




Online

Castles of Burgundy - 2 games on yucata.de. First was a 2-player game; it was super-close, but my opponent made some very cunning moves late in the game to block me from scoring regions, which meant I lost 193 to 176.

Then another game, this time 4 players, and boy what a doozy! I won the game with what I think is my highest ever score: 253-229-211-169. Wowzers, 253 points. Next challenge to myself: 300 points. Is it possible?... Time to find out!



Gaïa - NEW - The new game of the week, and in fact new on BoardGameArena too, which is why I played it. Looks to be a game of very simple mechanics but pretty hard to master. I lost this game 5-3-2, having not grasped the end-game trigger (first to 5 points). I also haven't yet worked out how to claim the objectives, which would have scored me more, as the interface doesn't seem to want to let you do it, but having re-read the rules, I think I need to select all the cards that would comply with the objective in order to place on it. I'm in another game of it now to see if I can do it. Good fun game, with some lovely yet somewhat abstract artwork.



Race for the Galaxy - Haven't played this in years (as I don't have a physical copy), but owning Jump Drive, I thought I would give this another go, as it's on BoardGameArena too. Played a 2-player game, and was impressed that I managed to keep up with my opponent. I lost, but not by a huge margin: 33-23.
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Crude: The Oil Game

The week started off with a couple of solo plays of Crude: The Oil Game. Like Liftoff!, Crude is a demonstration of random chance. Strategy is how best to succeed with the whim of dice rolls of two D6 (in Liftoff, it's percentile dice). However, that means it suffers as a game. In face to face play, there always seems to be one player who just cannot hit a producing well for most of the game. Not one for the gaming group.

Rating: d10-7 out of 10.


At Friday gaming group, I was too tired to actually play but helped the Panzergruppe Guderian table go over the rules. By next meeting, I should have my head back in the game.

The Castles of Burgundy

Sunday afternoon Sheryl and I set up CoB for her second play. We both had to brush up on mechanics, so our scores were low, but I won by 9 points due to bonus tiles. I went with a building strategy and took the big bonuses for building and ships, while Sheryl got the big tile for mines. Sheryl rates it equally with Trajan and will play either. I think that Trajan's theme appeals to me more, but CoB is the better game.
Castles of Burgundy at the end.

Rating: d10-8 out of 10.


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6. Board Game: Whistle Stop [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:873]
Evan Scussel
United States
Longwood
FL
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This was a weird week of gaming for me. I played a lot of small box card games due to weird dynamics going on with my two game groups. My Thursday night game group had lower than normal attendance, so there was a lot of waiting around hoping people would show up. We didn’t want to be in the middle of a bigger game when people rolled in, so we played smaller games in the meantime. Problem was, the turnout never improved. In my second session of the week, my wife and I gamed with another couple on Saturday who we play with about 1x per month. However, my wife had to leave in the middle of the night to help my neighbor’s mom who needs medical care at an assisted living facility (my wife is a nurse). Therefore, we only played one big game that night (Lorenzo Il Magnifico) with two small box games in between.

My wife and I are trying to pay down a little bit of credit card debt so I have stopped buying new games unless it’s a game I have researched extensively that I find at a heavy discount. I can still buy expansions to games I own, but the only new big box game I have gotten in the last two months is Evolution (25% off CSI sale) and I’m pretty happy that I have gotten to replay some old favorites and really learn their nuances this way. While I doubt I stop buying games altogether, it’s gratifying to see my play counts approaching 5+ for most of the games in my collection. Unfortunately, that may make my weekly posts here less interesting as I’ll be talking about the same games over and over. Thankfully, my game group members have acquisition disorder, so I’m sure I’ll be introduced to the new hotness from time to time.



 8.6   Lorenzo il Magnifico

I selfishly pulled Lorenzo off the shelf for couples’ gaming this week. It had been almost three months since I had last played it and I was itching for another chance. My wife had played it before, but the other couple had not. This was the first time I introduced the leader cards to my wife. We didn’t draft the leaders, but I just randomly dealt four to each player. I will say this about the leaders. They can be a red herring sometimes. My buddy’s wife fought all game to get her military very high to satisfy a leader card, but didn’t accomplish it until round 4, mitigating its benefits. Also, the final excommunication tile was -1 point for every military point you have, so going for a military strategy and NOT satisfying the church at the end of round 6 was crippling for her. Similarly, my wife tried to get her cards fulfilled all game and finally did, but it was too little, too late. Those cards are better off being discarded if they don’t work for what the board is offering you or if satisfying their prerequisites counters what the excommunication tiles say.

I like this game more and more with each play. If you play it well, the game really sings. You can build an engine and keep working that engine over and over. This was the first time I built up a strong buildings (yellow card) engine and I probably ran it twice each of the last three rounds. The negative with this game is that you can really leave people in the dust. Like any engine builder, there is no way to stop a runaway leader. That’s neither good nor bad. It’s just a fact. I won this game 125-79-75-47. This was by far my highest score, but I have played games where I couldn’t get out of the 50’s. Grand Austria Hotel (GAH) is the same way and I love that game too. I know people say this game doesn’t do anything different than most engine builders, but what it does well it does really well. The card strategies are very well balanced and you can really synergize the heck out of your engine at the end of the game, assuming other players don’t take the cards you want. I can’t tell what I like better, this or GAH.This design team can do no wrong for me right now and I should probably look into getting Voyages of Marco Polo now that it is back in print.



 8.1   Whistle Stop

This was my second play of Whistle Stop and I continue to really enjoy the game. This game was a lot different than my first, which was a game I ran away with. There was a lot more blocking in this game and company shares had a big influence on the game as players were trying to acquire (and in some cases, get rid of) shares where they did (or didn’t) have majority. Getting the right resources was tough for me in this one and I came in third, with 110 points. The winner had 148 and second place was 119. It was after this play that I realized how important turn order is in this game. Because the first player can execute all four of their actions before any subsequent players take their turn, that player can a) place tiles that are most adventagous to them, and not to other players, b) potentially block other players (unless those players have whistles to leapfrog, but whistles are hard to come by in this game) and c) because it’s a race to park your trains, first player obviously has an advantage there. In this game, the second player won the game and in my first play of the game, the second player also won. I’m beginning to wonder if going early in the turn order provides a significant, and potentially insurmountable, advantage. I have to play it more and track my outcomes to make a better determination.



 8   Capital Lux

We whipped out Capital Lux as we waited for my wife to return from the assisted living facility. The group was mixed as to what was the better game, this, or Pi Mal Flaumen. For me, it’s no contest. I like this game much more. When my son plays it, all he wants to do is lay cards into the capital for the blue faction so he can mess with other players by putting out the modifier cards. This allowed for an easy win for me as I simply drafted all the blue cards I could and waited for him to do this so that I always had a high value of blue cards in my homeland to capitalized on bonus and end game scoring. This is a great game where you really have to read the table. Unfortunately for my guests, I had some inside information as to how my son likes to play it, which gave me an unfair advantage. It wasn’t that big of a deal though. I barely won, 71-69-63-31.



 7.8   Evolution

I taught my son Evolution early in the week. I didn’t expect much more than what I got here, which was a learning game for him. I won easily 59-29, but he learned valuable lessons on how to apply defensive traits and when to add new species into his ecosystem. This is a really fun, tactical game.



 7.5   Oh My Goods!

I really like Oh My Goods! and I wanted to play it again because I have the Longsdale in Revolt expansion coming from Lookout Games in Europe. This was the first time in 8 plays where I really built an engine that worked flawlessly. I played this two-player and my opponent, a novice, was wondering why I wasn’t building any buildings. He had 7 buildings built when I had just three, but they were all yellow buildings that synergized perfectly. I had the building that produced flour, another building that used flour to make bread and another building that used bread to make pottery. On the last turn of the game, I was able to take my coal and wheat to make flour, turn all my flour into bread, and then turn all my bread into pottery for 8 points each. I think I had something like 105 points in goods at the end of the game and even though my opponent’s buildings and assistants were worth 24 points, my five buildings plus my goods and assistants were worth 37. While it’s much harder to build a synergistic engine in this game and beat opponents who bum rush the end game by building cheap buildings, when the engine building strategy works, it’s a great feeling and contributes to why I like the game so much.



 7.1   Port Royal

We played Port Royal at my Thursday night game group simply as a filler to kill the time. The game remains interesting to me, but not memorable and as a 30 minute card game filler, I’m definitely beginning to favor Capital Lux, Oh My Goods, and Biblios over this.



 6.8   Pi mal Pflaumen

Is it a female thing? Is it the art? We played Pi Mal Pflaumen waiting for my wife to return on Saturday and while I find the game to be totally competent, the two guys at the table thought it was just meh (including me), while the lone woman at the table loved it. For those who don’t know, Pi Mal Pflaumen is a modified trick taking game where the person who wins the “trick” doesn’t take all cards played in the trick, but instead gets to choose the best card from all of those that were played. There is a bit of contract fulfillment/set collection in here as well as some take that. The art style, depicting various types of fruit, is absolutely gorgeous, which is part of the game’s appeal. It’s also very hard to get in the states now given that Crash Games went out of business. You have to import it from Europe if you want to acquire it or pick it up in an auction. Considering my Mom and wife also love this game, I wonder if the art style or game rules just align better with female sensibilities? I’m not sure what it is, but while I find this game merely average, my wife has insisted I not trade it away and my buddy’s wife liked it equally as much.
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7. Board Game: The Golden Ages [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:865]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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I attended Buckeye Game Fest in Columbus. A small regional convention. Not the best - not the worst of conventions but I did get a lot of games played.

My buddy Bill was doing a 24 gaming marathon fundraiser for extralife and signed up to play Terraforming Mars with him so we stared off his marathon and my weekend with that.

My usual gaming buddy Dr. Jim was there and his son who live in the area and we were expecting his girlfriend soon. We played a few games while we waited.

The Golden Ages - first with just Jim and I. This is a game I picked up demoing for Stronhold at BGG a few years ago and dusted off. Shorter civ builder - worked really well with just Jim and I.

Glory to Rome - Jim, Matt and I. I'm just too good at this for newer players.

NMBR 9 - Jim, Matt and I again.

Oracle of Delphi - My first play and teaching with Jim, Matt and Elizabeth. I think it was a little overwhelming at first but we figured it out and seemed to have fun in the long run. I had heard about people having issues with the color pink v red so I had colored my pink parts in advance.

I ended the night with Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium map with my buddy Scott. I had some great early income as well as my experience helped me win I think.




The next day I put out a players wanted cone and got together a group to play The Golden Ages: Cults & Culture - I had time to refresh the day before on the base game and wanted to try the expansions. The cults really changed the game in a big way and blew up those player's scores. It was a bit big with 5 players and one player who wasn't actively playing/easily distracted/kept wandering off - who kept blaming game and or rules explanation for his mistakes.



My buddy Eric contacted me and said he was coming at the last minute so he and his wife joined me for Photosynthesis - new to them and my first play with three. It is definitely a lot more open with three than four players.

We were talking about games with trees and Ginkgopolis and they had never played it so we grabbed it from the library and I taught them. As always this is a really confusing game for their first play but they got it about 1/2 way thru and seemed to enjoy it.



I was pretty tired and headed home. Funny how non-stop gaming like this tires you out.

I did pick up some used games at the flea market and new games a the vendor area.





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8. Board Game: Rococo [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:204]
Joe H
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Gaming Groups

On Wednesday I started out by playing Rialto with Nick and Tony (their first game) and Wendy and Ashley. I took lots of hits early by foregoing Bridge cards with my strategy being to ignore the Doge track and focus on some early buildings and Gondolas. Wendy pushed a little bit on the Doge track, won the blue district reward and had good presence in several areas. Tony had a good run at the Doge track and excellent presence in several districts. Nick, too, had strong board presence. Ashley and I both seemed to be shooting for gondolas, a battle I won in a key round to get the yellow district bonus tile. In the end, Wendy's strong board presence, pushing ahead on bridges and buildings put her far up on second place Tony. The other two experienced players competed for last place.

Two games finished at the same time and Brennan, Nick and Richard seemed interested in Rialto too so I taught them. In this game I was focused less on buildings but used the Doge building to vault from 4th place into first on the Doge track...a lead I kept most of the game. My other two key buildings gave me additional card draws and hand size as well as the ability to take a councillor and a VP. I used both of these extensively in my desire to pull lots of councillors out of "jail". Nick, Richard and Brennan all went in pretty heavy on buildings and establishing board presence with Brennan winning the blue district bonus. I tried to pick points on the board and took the yellow district bonus. This was a close game with me taking a 2 point victory over Nick (who'd made a big comeback).



[New to Me] On Thursday night we started out with Andy teaching Phil, Mark and me Rococo, a beautiful game about, well, making dresses. It is a fascinating hand building/management game with area control scoring. Every round I felt I'd like just one more action or I'd like to be able to do actions in a different order. Andy was able to recruit new tailors that lowered the price of purchasing ornaments and gave him advantages in sewing different color outfits. Phil thinned his deck and had cards that earned him lots of in-game VPs. Mark was a money machine having several cards that earned him coins based upon the size of his deck (which was massive) and allowed him to buy expensive ornaments. I got shut out of the ornaments that gave income for dresses...having taken the one that gave me income for ornaments early in the game (probably a mistake). In the last round I was able to convert cash for VPs that gave me roughly 10% of my VPs but it was not enough. Andy just eked out a win over Mark with me bringing up the rear. I really enjoyed this game. Lots of tough decisions and compelling gameplay.



Next, I taught Dan, Dave and Louise Kanagawa, a card drafting, press-your-luck game with some light engine building. In this game you are drafting cards to use to either give you more tools/abilities for your studio or to put into your landscape. Points are earned based upon the number of prints in your landscape, the length of the longest run of identical seasons in your landscape and for diplomas (these may give you VPs and other bonuses for completing certain objectives and the claiming of these diplomas has a press-your-luck aspect). I was able to complete my landscape and have 9 identical seasons in a row. Dan came close to completing his landscape but earned the largest share of his points from diplomas. Dave was only slightly behind on the size of his landscape but equalled Dan in diploma points. Louise had a small landscape but earned lots of bonus points from cards in her studio. In the end, Dan's diploma points was enough to give him a one point victory over me, with all of us within 5 points of Dan.



Gaming with Teens

On Sunday I had my friend's kids over for the afternoon. The first thing they wanted to do was play a game and they chose one we've played several times before Star Trek: Catan. Usually they focus too much on getting in each other's way and make my game easier. Not so this time. Alex, using Scotty, quickly built up starships to get the "longest road" card. That left him in the lead and I used support cards to steal from him while I built up a bit of an engine, all the while putting myself in position for a long road. Calvin got some good production early but Alex locked him out of spot he wanted. Late in the game I was able to have a huge turn to take the "longest road" from Alex. A few turns later I built a Starbase and pulled a development card that gave me the victory point that sealed my win on my next turn. Alex made a good run at taking "longest road" back but came up one card short. After my win Calvin insisted on seeing who would come in second so they played on (don't ask me how) and Alex beat his older brother.



Solo Gaming

On Monday I played a game of Terraforming Mars. I played the Thorgate corporation. This gave me 1 power production and 48 megacredits to start and gave me a discount of 3 megacredits on the production of any cards with power tags. It took me several rounds to get some power tags to play. In the meantime I was able to get some oceans going. Plants and plant production as well as heat came slowly. But, once I got my power production up I was able to use cards to bump the oxygen, and steel, titanium and heat production. Early in the 14th generation I finished the terraform and used the greenery I placed to nestle my cities in. Final score: 78 points.



On Monday evening I played a game of Pandemic on the App in the standard mode with the Scientist and Dispatcher as my characters. Things went fairly well early on. I had a plan to finish off the game within a couple of turns and there were plenty of cards left in the deck. But, the third epidemic and a couple of unfortunate subsequent infection draws triggered 4 outbreaks to end the game.



Last week I picked up several expansions to Flash Point: Fire Rescue at Kanata Con's garage sale. One of them was Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Dangerous Waters. I played it on Tuesday. Throughout the game I had my Generalist getting the fire under control and, later, rescuing victims. Early in the game I had the Hazmat Technician removing the three hazards. Then, he was replaced by the Fire Captain who did some firefighting and moving the Generalist. After he rescued a victim I replaced him with the Structural Engineer. By this time, lots of the fire had been cleared and I used him to remove 3 of the 5 hot spots. I was also concerned that the the diesel engine would take more damage but I never needed to use the Structural Engineer to remove damage cubes. Finally, with everything well in hand the Rescue Specialist jumped in to help rescue the last several victims.



Later on Tuesday I played Pandemic: Iberia using the Rural Doctor and Nurse. The first epidemic took a while to hit with the second one following close on its heels. So, early in the game I was able to get most of the board under control and build some infrastructure of rails and hospitals. I cured the first three diseases and had only 3 outbreaks. I was concentrating my efforts in the southwest moving cards and clearing up outbreaks. But, the third epidemic triggered 3 outbreaks in the yellow and that was followed by another couple outbreaks on the subsequent infect step. I could have gotten there on the next turn and, maybe, put out the fire but I ran out of yellow disease cubes.



On Wednesday I played the "Grave Peril" scenario from The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game with a team of Harry Dresden, Karrin Murphy and Thomas Raith. I took care of the obstacles and most advantages early. But, as in my first (unsuccessful) attempt at this scenario I found it difficult to get a footing in the cases. But, I was successful in getting one and in the Showdown I easily knocked out the last baddie for the victory.



On Friday I played La Granja: No Siesta. For the first time I was beaten on the Siesta track as I was forced to take the sombrero or a matching die on my last draft or two on too many occasions. There really isn't anything I could have done to mitigate against this. When the game ended after 15 rounds I had 43 points.


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9. Board Game: Feudality [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3129]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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At my game group, I got in a variety of shorter games, including a couple new to me. Familiar plays were Kingdomino and Winner's Circle, followed by Diamant (pure press-your-luck) and It Happens... (dice placement). I was the winner at both Kingdomino and It Happens..., and I liked both new games.



Prp and I got out Martian Chess for a quick game, and I managed to win by a couple of points. That was good, because her regular Monochrome Chess play has gotten very good, and she beat me by seven there. We also played one game of Alice Chess, using the variant where the two players start on opposite boards. I should have won that one, but I flubbed the endgame and we ended up with a draw.

Our Arkham Horror Card Game session had a chance of ending the campaign with our fragile characters in Where Doom Awaits, but we were handy and lucky as hell. At the top of Sentinel Hill, we just ignored the enemy and scarfed up clues with Streetwise and Rite of Seeking. We had been virtually uninjured up to that point, so despite our accumulated trauma, we could survive the attacks long enough to get the job done. We got to Resolution 1 before the Agenda Deck ever advanced at all.



After a little break from Summoner Wars, we tried out some fresh decks. Prp played Maldaria Titania: Champs: Fire Drake, Malevolence, Duke Ramezall, Firelings, Changelings, Fire Dancers, and Fire Archers; and I had Malenatar's High Vantage: Ossa, Qayla, Rath, Aspirants, Cherubim, Warriors, and Storm Magi. I made a good early push (with my only Strategic Planning of the game) and got in two hits against Maldaria in my very first turn! But I ran through my deck quickly, and I was thoroughly on defense by mid-game. Ossa spent all her efforts trying to fend off the Fire Drake, and Rath had to focus on rescuing Malenatar from Duke Ramezall. Ramezall could have killed Malenatar, but Prp had such an upper hand that she decided to play cat and mouse, and had Ramezall attack Rath instead. Malenatar then defeated Ramezall, but he was still up a creek. He took out a couple of Phoenixes, while Maldaria summoned Malevolence to be at her right hand as she waltzed in for the coup de grace.



The final play of the week was a little two-player session of Feudality. Prp went to war against me early in the game, with good success. But then I built up my defenses forbiddingly. And as usual, I just had more ways to score fame. At the end of the game I was terrifyingly resource-poor, but I had a 6 VP lead.
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10. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:379]
Simona Rex
Czech Republic
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Moderately good week - 3 days with games in, 7 plays of 3 games.

Wednesday

The week started on Wednesday with a 5-player game of Blood Rage. The winner stole a lot of rage and did a lot of quests. She won with 134. Runner up focused on fighting and quests and ended with 124. I tied for 3rd with 121 (I went full on the Loki+Fenrir strategy and he focused on monsters and quests). Last guy was the only one who maxed out all his stats. He ended with 105. Very close game!

And then we played a 4-player game of NMBR 9. The winner had 94, runner up 76, 3rd had 63 and I was last with 92.


Saturday

On Saturday, SO and I finally got to play Schotten Totten. Although I am terrible at it, we played 3 time. He won first 2 games by having 3 stones next to each other and the last by having 5 stones (I had 4).


Sunday

And we played 2 more games of Schotten Totten on Sunday. He again won both

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11. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:209] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Kingdomino - My wife and I both got home a little late on Monday night, but still wanted to play something, so we broke out Kingdomino for a couple of rounds. I won the first round, mostly because she made some big mistakes. She took the second round easily, though. This one is growing on me.
Rating: 6.5

NEW The Godfather: Corleone's Empire - I played a 4 player game of The Godfather at this week's meetup. This was my first time playing. I was expecting something like Blood Rage, but was surprised to find something more similar to Lords of Waterdeep. Simple worker placement to get resources to complete mission. It gets a bit more interesting when the area control aspect comes into play. I won this play because I was banking a lot of money. The difference maker was actually an extortion job that I played (the only one played in the game). I really disliked playing it, way too take that for me, but it was a public job, and I didn't want someone to play it on me. The second place player did much better than everyone else in the area control element, but I just edged him out (he was the player I extorted). I'm not sure how I feel about this game yet. I'd definitely like to play it more to solidify my opinion of it.
Rating: 7

Sagrada - I've been waiting for Sagrada to be available for purchase again since the first time I played it. It finally came back in stock, and I introduced my wife to it this week. We immediately played back to back games and enjoyed it so much. I can't say enough good about this game. It's so pretty and elegant, it plays really quickly. My wife won both of our plays, but it was fairly close each time. Definitely looking forward to playing this more.
Rating: 8

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12. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:366]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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The first game at lunch on Tuesday was Survive: Escape from Atlantis. Despite getting only 3 people to shore, I at least managed to come in second with 13 points.

With about 15 minutes left, we played a quick game of Love Letter. For one I actually won a game of this, though I'm not entirely sure now it happened.

Wednesday's lunch game was Ticket to Ride: Europe. It was a bit of a tight race between first and second place but I managed to win this one by a somewhat narrow 9 points.

We rushed through a few more rounds of Love Letter since we only had about 10 minutes left after Ticket to Ride. I didn't manage to win a single round this time.

We intentionally avoided playing games for a couple of days since FallCon was starting up on Friday. Our first game of the con was Concordia which I was pretty eager to try out. Very easy to learn and play and the game went well enough. I came in second. It's neat and while I thought this might be one that we'd love a couple of weeks ago, we're both convinced that it's not one that we'd play with any sort of regularity. Glad we got it finally got to play this one though.

We decided to go back to something we knew and did a 2-player game of Great Western Trail. I managed to win this one.

We ended the night by giving Potion Explosion a quick try and it ended up being pretty entertaining. I've played the app a few times but there's something fun about the physicality of actually pulling the marbles and hearing them clack together. I won this game.

We met up with one of the guys I work with on Saturday morning, and were joined by 2 others to play 2 games of Shadows Over Camelot. The first game seemed like it was going well until Camelot started really filling up with siege engines. One guy decided to go take them on and was doing a half-decent job at keeping things from really boiling over... right up until his next turn came around and he decided to add the final siege engine to bring us up to 12. Guess who was the traitor? None of us saw it coming.

The second game was also going alright although we kept drawing despair cards which just hammered the 2 players that were aggressively trying to reclaim the Holy Grail. Once things started getting a little difficult for us to handle, things quickly escalated and went from difficult to completely overwhelming us in the stretch of 1 or 2 full rounds and filled the table with black swords. So neither game went in the heroes' favour.

After a quick break for lunch, 5 of us decided to give NMBR 9 a couple of plays (with 2 people forming 1 team to keep us at 4 "players"). Really easy game to just pick up and learn and plays fairly quickly. I was second-last in the first game and managed to improve slightly to second place in the second game.

We originally wanted to try Photosynthesis which was being demoed but the 2 people "playing" it were "taking a break" and checking their phones for ages, so the demo guy offered to show us Decrypto instead which is still a work in progress. The rules were a little muddy when they were explained but we eventually got it by the second turn or so. It was neat little team-based code word/deduction game but it didn't really click for any of us. Nice to try, but I don't see us going out of our way to play this if/when it comes out.

One of the guys wanted to give [thing=191862]Imhotep a try and my wife had never played it properly (the people we were playing with last year having taught it to us incorrectly), so we borrowed that one from the library. I got completely destroyed.

We were joined by a couple of others when someone suggested we give Word Slam a try. I honestly thought I was going to hate this one when someone explained it as Concept done quickly. We ended up playing 12 games of this one where my team won 6-5 (with 1 round being a draw). I enjoyed every round of it which was surprising. I wouldn't pick this one up for us but I'd certainly play it again in a convention setting with the right people as it was pretty fun.

After taking a break to grab some food, we managed to squeeze in 4 quick games of Timeline: Americana before the auction. It pretty much firms up my dislike for the game, even though I won 3 of the 4 games we played. We decided spending the last 15 minutes NOT playing something was more enjoyable than a few more rounds of this.

After the auction, we grabbed Terraforming Mars from the library while it was there as my wife just wanted to play something we both knew really well. I thought I was doing okay with my pile of credits but she kept managed to boost her TR higher and higher. I made up quite a bit of ground in the final scoring but it wasn't enough to catch her. I lost this one 92-100.

We decided to end the night with one more play of Potion Explosion. I once again managed to win this one.

AquaSphere was our first game on Sunday morning after the flea market. It was just long enough to fill the time between the end of the flea market and when we wanted to hop out and grab something for lunch. It was a really rough game for me. I don't remember how badly I lost, just that it was a pretty one-sided score by the end of the game.

After lunch, we mat back up with my co-worker who was teaching Arboretum to his wife, so I quickly jumped in to join them while my wife went around to the vendors and came back with Potion Explosion. It took a little while for us to grasp the rules but things started flowing fairly smoothly after the first few turns. I managed to win by 6 points. Pretty artwork but I can't say I really liked this one.

We were enrolled in the Pandemic Survival tournament and took part in with with several other teams of 2. It's pretty clear that nobody running the event had really prepared as it was pretty poorly organized. It just didn't play well. The team that sat next to us "won", but at one point they were somehow 2 turns behind which isn't supposed to happen, dealing with drawing cards that were supposed to be drawn those 2 turns ago, the wrong person playing, and somehow discovering 2 cures in a single turn which would require you have more cards than you're ever allowed to have. So nobody was really keeping tabs on any of the activity that well. The whole thing was a disaster. Based on this, I'd never play this mode again. Thankfully, the "prize" was a copy of the train wreck that is Pandemic: Contagion which we already have and keep as a badge of shame, so I'm going to count NOT winning that to be a victory in itself.

We played another game of NMBR 9 with just the 2 of us and the charm of this one was already wearing off. It's a neat idea but it starts to get old after only a few plays, being just another abstract filler game. It's an okay game but I'm not going out of my way to play this one again. I lost by about 6 points.

We were looking for one last quick game to finish off the con and I grabbed Flip City off the shelf as it seemed like it'd be easy to learn. Well, it was, but the game itself is absolute garbage. We played about half a game before we gave up on this little box of negative fun.

Once we got home, we decided to punch out all of the pieces for Potion Explosion which ended up leading to us just playing a game of it. I lost this one by about 20 points which ended up being quite a surprise.
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13. Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:92]
Willem Verhoef
Netherlands
Weert
Limburg
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Greetings! A busy week for me, game wise.

On the 18th, I unpunched my copy of Castles of Burgundy that I got for my birthday from my sister.
I've played it before and really liked it, so I played a two-handed game afterwards. Great game!

On Tuesday, I got out The Bloody Inn for a solo game.
I like it much better with more people but still had fun.

On the 20th I gave Between Two Cities a go solo.
Really not a game you should play solo, altough I appreciate the effort making one. Love it with 3 or more, but won't be doing it solo any time soon again.
In the evening I tried out Pillars of the Earth,
as I'd like to play it 'for real' soon and wanted to get a grip on the rules. Interesting game! Afterwards I gave Doodle City a go.
I used to play it a lot on the app, enjoyable game.

The 22nd I played Medieval Academy (I have the German version, called Die holde Isolde)
with my daughter Isolde. The two player version has a ghost player that drafts and plays at random - a bit lame. Still, we both enjoyed it and hope to play it with more soon.

The 23rd we played Coconuts.
Such a great silly game. While travelling by train to my sister (for a birthday party on Sunday) we played Patchwork
on my phone - one of my favourite games and one my daughter also enjoys a lot. When we arrived (pretty late) there was time for a game of Up and Down

on request of my daughter. It's a good memory game.

At my sister's on Sunday the 24th, we tried out Grand Austria Hotel. Very good game, really enjoyable. I might consider getting this game myself. Later that same day we played Ubongo, or rather Expedion Pyramid,
the predecessor. I might like the scoring in this better than in ubongo.

When more guests arrived we also played Dawn Under
with my daughter and a niece, actually a pretty good game we all enjoyed.

So all in all a good week!
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14. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:448]
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
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Only 2 games this week. It's been a busy week though. Home renovations are basically done, just some minor cleanup. AND I adopted a new dog (well sort of new, my dad has been fostering her since February, so very familiar with her). In any case, on to the games!!

Tuesday, September 19
Pax Porfiriana

My second solo play through and well, I didn't do so well. I misread a few of Diaz's prestige points throughout the game and didn't focus well enough on type of prestige so ended up losing after Diaz drew and discarded the final topple card. Oh well, there's always next time.

Sunday, September 24
Rummy

Played a game of Rummy with my mom that really came down to the wire. She managed to take a really solid lead after scoring over 200 points in single round but the next two rounds I managed to go out quick earning myself around 100 points while costing her about the same amount so that her 100 point lead turned into a 5 point deficit. But she shifted her strategy and started trying to go out quick instead of racking up as many points as possible so ended up winning by about 115 points.

Final Notes
Last week I predicted a lot of games would get played this week, particularly at game night. Well I ended up not playing much solo and then game night ended up getting completely sidetracked. We ended up hanging out, drinking beer, and watching "Where Eagles Dare". Honestly, not a bad way to spend a Friday evening.
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15. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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It was FallCon this weekend and I decided to take a more relaxed approach. On Friday I decided to stay home and play some games with my family. I started of by playing The Castles of Burgundy with my wife and older son. What a great game to start with.

Then my daughter, wife and I played Karuba. My wife always wins at this game and this time was no exception. I lost by a single point.

On Saturday I went to FallCon using transit as I am cheep and hate paying or parking as FallCon was moved this year. Parking was only $7 but is a bit away. That was the only negative and the rest I think was positive so I think it is a good move for them. I started the weekend with a game of Champions of Midgard. This was a really good game I won by a single point. I had played this game just over a year ago so my second play and I think I may have liked it better the second time around.


Next up I met with a friend and played a quick game of Innovation. I really liked this one but I can see how it can be swingy and has a bit of that chaos factor that people will hate. It gives you so many decisions to choose from and it can be tricky choosing the best actions. I quite enjoyed it and it is one I would not mind playing over several times in a row.


Up next was the game o the evening, Blood Rage!!!! This game is has amazing as people say, I ran away with this one after picking up the Loki strategy, just putting my people out on the board to die for points.


Final game of the night for me was Bloodborne: The Card Game by the same designer of BloodRage, this card game was just OK for me. The game is fun but not one I am going to go out of my way for.


I ended the night with the auction. Picked up Broom Service, In the Year of the Dragon, Catacombs, Tragedy Looper, Tides of Time, and Neuroshima: Convoy. I think I am looking forward to play In the Year of the Dragon as I have been trying to get this one for some time and it included two mini expansions.


The following day I gat to try out Tides of time. This is a really clever, quick card drafting game with a small footprint. I found myself quite enjoying it.
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16. Board Game: Sagrada [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:138]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Saturday

Saturday I went to Regina for the Prairie Game Expo, always a good time and lots of games. First off I played a game of Morels while waiting for my first scheduled game.


My first scheduled game was Taj Mahal. I had never played and it has been on my list to play for years. It was a satisfying fun experience and I am glad to have finally played.


Again, I needed to fill in some time till my next game so I taught Cartagena to a group of 3 others. I lost badly though due to playing too many cards and not getting enough.


Sagrada! The highlight of my day! I have been wanting to play this and have been toying with getting it for quite some time. Now I played it and, yes, it is on order to my house!!!


I found myself in a game of Monty Python Flux next.


Then it was S'quarrels, a cute little family card game but perhaps rather uninspired.


Next I taught Stone Age, throwing in the Casinos.


Then I learned Magic Maze. Pretty crazy to play a game with no talking whatsoever. Even crazier to try to know why someone is pounding a pawn at you when you can't see it. Still it was fun.


i then taught Roll Through the Ages to the same group that taught meMagic Maze.


Last game of the day was Caylus. This is the second time I have played. I really like it.

Now I have to wait a whole week and then it is Toon Con!! 3 days of gaming fun!!!

11 games played this week, 1 was an expansion.
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17. Board Game: Ascension: Realms Unraveled [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1339] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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We've really been milking quick games for lots of plays lately...

 8   Palago x8
Played all throughout the week, mostly with Alisha. She's really fallen in love with the game, and usually beats me! I think we split this set 5 for her, 3 for me -- decent. . .

 8   Codenames Duet x3
Our other standard 2P at the moment. We played two rounds of this at a restaurant and then one round at home after game night.

 8   Twixt x2
It wouldn't be a week without some plays of Twixt - played a few more matches with Dad on the wooden board, and he's starting to get into the strategies. I'm still at the point where I'm easily a stronger player than other folks I've taught, so I'm trying to encourage them to play against each other and strengthen!

 N/A   Treasure Hunter NEW!
Dad taught me this light drafting game on Friday night as well, though the 2P version leaves something to be desired. It was kind of fun, but also not any better than Sushi Go or 7 Wonders, both of which are smaller boxes. I don't think I need three drafting games in my collection, but multiplayer of this one may change my mind. Dad trashed me, by the way, by about 50 points.

 6   Fresco NEW!
Both Dad and I have owned this one for a while, been wanting to check it out. We sat down with the girls and played a four-player match. We added in one expansion module, the extra colors. I focused on pink and brown for my tiles, and though I had fewer than everyone else, I really pounded the altar in the last round to shoot ahead to a win.

 6   Two Rooms and a Boom x2
We kicked off game night with this fun one -- it's a mainstay of my collection at this point, and along with Mafia de Cuba I think will remain as the social deductions portion of my collection.

 8   Tammany Hall
Picking games is always hard, but somehow we ended up with five guys and we picked Tammany Hall. I actually had this one for sale, but after this play I've taken it off. It's not a game you play very often, but when you do, and when it sings, boy is it a good game. I can't rate it a perfect ten, but it did graduate to a very solid 8 in my book. Of course, it helped that I (finally!) won a game after 5 plays

I was able to trash-talk Jon, the early leader, and convince the three of us in last place to be non-aggressive with each other. Stephen, in second place, was pretty confident he would be able to win because he was beating up on Jon. But I quietly gathered a few uncontested territories, and went into the final election with four for-sure territories and only two battles. Jon and Stephen were mired in kicking each other down, and Josh and Nathan jumped into the fray. I was able to coast not only to the mayor position, but also cashed in the points for most remaining favor tokens in 3/4 people groups.

 10   Sushi Go Party!
 8   A Fake Artist Goes to New York x5
 10   Dixit
While we played Tammany Hall, the other five played three games: Sushi Go, Fake Artist, and Dixit. I didn't save records of these because I didn't personally play in them.

 6   Ascension: Realms Unraveled NEW!
Not sure why GCL put this one last. Stephen, Nathan and I started out with this deckbuilder I'd just traded for. I think I may have found a favortie deck-builder. I've always liked ascension-style more than dominion-style, but Star Realms is just so unbalanced. Ascension seems better, but again, we've only played one game. I like the multi-faction heroes, the transforming heroes, and the constructs that stay out in front of you. Gives it all a different feel than Star Realms. Add to that the fact that we're beating up on cultists and monsters instead of each other, and you get a smoother game experience overall. I'm a big fan

 8   Mafia de Cuba x4
Though my wife is graduated, she went as an alumna to her education department party and we had a chance to play some games. One of Alisha's professors jumped in on Mafia de Cuba and stared into my soul! (I had five diamonds). This bluffing deduction game is great, and we played several rounds with different roles. I didn't win any, but then, I don't expect to win when I play this game

 8   A Fake Artist Goes to New York x3
Alisha played 3 more rounds of Fake Artist with whoever was left -- but I just watched. Was pretty tired out from all the gaming that happened this week!

All in all, that's 33 plays from 12 different games
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18. Board Game: DC Comics Dice Masters: Justice League [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1104] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I was only able to play one game twice this week. I'm in a little slump lately. I need to get back on track!

My Dice Masters buddy came over last week and we play a couple games. I decided to try out the Bat Friends team I put together. I wanted to see how they worked together and if the combos worked out. We each won a game and both times it boiled down to the use of the action card "Imprisoned". We've used this one time before and I really didn't care for it. It really throws a wrench in the works and I consider it too much of a jerk card. This time around, when we used it, we were very careful when we attacked the other guy because it can really leave you defenseless if your opponent all of a sudden gets all his characters back. The game was won both times by using that die to clear the field of opponents characters, then attacking with enough characters to deal enough damage to win the game. Made for a sudden ending to both games.

Have a great week everyone.
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19. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:310]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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First time playing in more than two years. I like the game, but this one was both odd and frustrating as the tower just gobbled up cubes, and there were quite a few turns where we only got 1 or 2 APs.

Turns out, the bottom ramp of the tower had become dislodged, and cubes were disappearing into the base of the tower. After the game, I lifted the tower out of its base, and cubes came spilling out.

Ah well. We’ll have to try it again soon.



Not usually my cup of tea, I thought I’d give it a try. It was fine, but not something I’d choose to play on a regular basis.



I’ve been (constantly) playing the app lately, which inspired me to play the physical game. It remains one of the very few games I feel like I’ll be playing for the rest of my life.



I took three suits, but still lost on value. Biblios remains a favorite in the 30-45 minute time slot.

Finally,



I maintained my dominance over Peter in this excellent game.

That’s it. Until next week...
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20. Board Game: Flatline [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1448]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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So, in what seems to be slowly becoming a habit, it's Monday morning and here I am!



It was a decent week of gaming, Wednesday evening I was in the Kansas City area and a friend was as well so we met up and headed to Pawns & Pints, a board game cafe in the KC area.

We kicked off the evening with a game of Terraforming Mars, just the base game, I'm still bad enough with the base that there is really no need for me to expand anything. I struggled to get rolling, I had a decent plant & money production thing going, but I just couldn't get the energy moving until the end of the game. I enjoy TFM but there is something that always bugs me about digging for stuff and not getting what you want or need until late in the game. I'm not saying it kills the game, it just makes the game a bit less enjoyable for me. That's the reason that Bruges left our collection so quickly after playing it a couple times.

After that we broke out some Kingdom Builder and enjoyed our first play of that in some time and then finished the evening out with some TAMSK which is just absolutely wonderful.



We have been meaning to play more Spy Club but the timing just hasn't worked out with the family and we ended up not playing anything more until Saturday evening, and even then, Kerensa bowed out and hung out with the kids and tried to take a nap.

I taught my Brother in Law(Brad) & Sister in Law(Kate) Sentient which is a really wonderful, puzzl-ey game. You play over 3 rounds, and each round you will be adding 4 cards to your tableau. Your tableau consists of 5 dice and you will be placing one of the robot cards in between the two dice and then taking the actions that the robot cards spell out for you which consist of manipulating the dice on your board. Hopefully you do this and you successfully manipulate them to fulfill the robot demand on the card. Really fun, think-y puzzle, I quite enjoyed it and really can't wait to teach Kerensa.



After that we rolled with some Flatline where we were so confident we were going to win, or at least get closer than we did. But that last round the game just up and smacked us around, basically reminding us who is really in charge. We just had too many emergencies out and the wrong ones just magically activated that last round.



Sunday saw Kerensa and I try our hands at Codenames: Duet three more times and lose three more times, although we were pretty darn close that last game.

Then I taught her Flatline and we played it two player and we let down everyone again. It feels like the game is even harder at 2 players, just because of the lack of dice, but I can't say that for certain. We seemed to concentrate on the emergencies a bit too much until we realized we were doing that and then switched to more focus on the patients and then the emergencies overwhelmed us again. Plus, we have a theory that these dice are weighted against rolling orange, so much so we checked to make sure each die had an orange side, haha.



That's it!

Terraforming Mars x1
Kingdom Builder x1
TAMSK x1
Sentient x1
Flatline x2
Codenames: Duet x3
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21. Board Game: Indonesia [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:196]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Indonesia

New to me #249 since I have been keeping track. I was one of two new people and playing against notable local players who had played so me getting second at 1.5K currency with first being 1.7K and third around 1K I felt like I did pretty good for a first go. Won out a hostile take over. Passed on getting involved in a merger where none of my stuff was involved and there was debate after the game how right I was in skipping out. Other mergers happened as well but it was mostly people consolidating their own stuff and I decided it wasn't worth trying to get involved.

In short, I liked it a lot, and it was nice to get a play from another Splotter game. Their games are definitely giving me a certain logistical vibe as I saw some FCM stuff in this as well and but at the end of the day, I prefer FCM by a bunch or at least at first glance. If you like deep Euros with cut throat nature in them, this is worth looking into.
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22. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:381]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Games with my Wife

Ingenious x4

Taught this to her as she enjoys Qwirkle and I thought the sbstract nature with the colors and shapes would appeal. She liked it though I won all four games. She's still grasping the implications of the scoring.

Solo Games

Imperial Settlers

Continued my solo campaign with my Barbarian Empire. Very good round as I was carrying nice bonuses from the prior game and rolled a favorable event. Generating quite a bit of extra card draw every turn at this point and my provinces don't require much upkeep though they do carry heavy VP penalties.

Online Games

Haggis x2

Lost a 3p game and won a 2p game on BGA. Still enjoying this quite a bit. The decisions on how to maximize your hand are an interesting puzzle each hand.
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23. Board Game: Vasco da Gama [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:537]
Evan Dunn
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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You toast the waffle.
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In a syrupy voice, the awful waffle walker tries to butter you up.
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This week was...

Vasco da Gama - 2nd play



As I had hoped, my second play of this game was where it started to really click for me. Not the say that I won, but in terms of better understanding who would score what and why. As I wrote before, in this game you are doing a lot of things around the board, but ultimately your points come from the boating area, and the way the boats score can be a little confusing. Very good time though.

When I originally looked at this game I felt very wary of all these number tokens arranged in the middle of the board. On your turn you take one of the tokens and place it with your disk. The numbers then determine the turn order, so you can take a later disk and set up for a later move, or an early disk to get the jump on someone, but the trick is that if you select a disk too early, you might have to pay extra money for the action or pass. As it worked out, this mechanism is the real magic of the game and I'm absolutely enamoured of it. It reminds me a lot of the action disks in Francis Drake, which was otherwise a fairly disappointing game.

Small City - 3rd play



We played on the hard mode map this time, which wound up dooming me because I chose one of the more difficult achievement cards. By mid game it was abundantly clear I wouldn't have the space to finish the card so I started desperately grabbing points where I could, but to no avail. My opponent completed his, and I failed mine, and that was enough to undo me despite my apparent lead. Excited for more, and to maybe explore some of the expansion maps soon.

Warsaw: City of Ruins - 4th play



Still loving this light, tile placement city building game. Still wish the translated text on the tiles was correct with the rulebook, so I wouldn't have to begin every rules explanation with telling people to ignore the text on the tile and look it up in the player aid.

Antike II - 1st play



This is a very good euro-style civ game that probably feels the most like a bare bones version of Advanced Civilization that I've experienced yet. The game has zero luck, a nice sense of building in the beginning followed by a nice sense of enemies at all sides by the end. The game runs quickly so it doesn't overstay it's welcome. It has a minor tech tree, and it definitely isn't a game where you can do all the things you want to do in a single go, which is nice for replayability. The turns run very smooth, with very little downtime. The only problem with this game is that there's no magic to it. No special mechanism that makes it stand out from the crowd. It's just a really solid game that does what it does really well. Almost like it's the template for a wilder game. I like it a lot, but I don't know how often I'll push to get it to the table.

Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King - 6th play



Wound up winning this despite having a pretty dull little board. Still loving this game. This was our first go with some of the promo tiles, and other than needing to look them up here or there, the game went smoothly with them, which is a relief considering the trouble other game's promos have caused us in the past.
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24. Board Game: Sagrada [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:138]
Ken Chadwick
United States
Yonkers
New York
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My new copy of Sagrada showed up in the mail Friday, so we got to play three 2-player games over the weekend. One was a close win - only 6 points separated us - but in the other two games, there was a 14-point difference in one... and a 14-point difference in the other!

Sagrada is now my first post-Gen Con purchase, having played the game there for the first time...

But I also backed Barker's Row row last week, too...
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25. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:435]
TheBruce Mac
United States
Arizona
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Alhambra X1
This was a four player game with the family. My wife complained that she had to go first because her money cards were the worst. She then proceeded to dominate the entire game.

Oregon x2
The first game was a two player teaching game with my son. The second game was four player with the family. My wife and I were tied with one gold token each to reveal. We play that if you mine coal or gold you can't look at the token's value until the end. My gold was worth 3 and hers was worth 4. Even though it didn't go my way I love it when it goes down to the final token.

Karuba x3
All four players games. My daughter won the first two games easily so we were all suspicious that she was playing incorrectly. The third game we were all watching her like a hawk. She came in second this time, but my wife destroyed us all by a large margin.
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