GCL Snoo 8 - All Day Gaming
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Important Links:
GameChat League: Snoo Division Subscription Thread
GCL Snoo Wiki
GameChat League Wiki (for general information about the GameChat League concept)
Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

Welcome to GCL Snoo Division's weekly geeklist!

GCL Snoo Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of [MONTH] [DAY] - [MONTH] [DAY], [YEAR].
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

GCL Snoo Geeklist Format:
• A weekly game can be spotlighted and discussed. The poster will pose questions about it to encourage conversation.
• Themed questions are optional. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics.
• A top five question can be asked for by this week's current-list writer, with members offering suggestions.

Current Roster:
Epsilon_Balls
jshufelt
ambierona
noajayne
OhBollox
Wisecow
LouieSTFU
jmoline
Timotheous
petrichorparticle
Necroblaster3000
Dolus
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1. Board Game: NFL Game Day [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:11709]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Most of my gaming gets done piecemeal. I have a meetup where we get 1 or 2 short-medium length games played every week. I play with my wife whenever we're both up for it, which translates to a few more games per week. We also have evenings with other couples where gaming frequently happens.

An all day game event, though, is a rare and special thing. Unfortunately, it usually happens because my wife is working a long day on a weekend, which means she doesn't get to take part. We're both very much introverts, but I work from home and she has to go out into the world for her job. So, come the weekend, she usually needs time away from people to recharge, and I'm usually willing to do whatever. It works for us, but means that big game days are even more rare for her than for me, and I think she does feel that lack.

How does the bulk of your gaming get done (one-offs, game days)?

Does real life ever conspire to eat into your gaming time?
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2. Board Game: Together [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Because of the aforementioned introversion, when I do have a game day, I usually prefer to limit it to just a few people, so we can all play the same games in one group. I'll either decide who to invite based on what I want to play and what games they like, or, if I'm not trying to get something specific played, I'll send out a group message and just limit it to the first few rsvps.

How do you plan your game days? Do you like massive groups of people in a big space, or a smaller group that sticks together? Is there something specific you like about one or the other?
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3. Board Game: Epic Card Game [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1389]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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What's the biggest game you love? That could be big in scope or weight or time to play... What do you love about it? What don't you love about it?
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4. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:51]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Comment with suggestions for a top 5 list.
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5. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Game of the Week: Eclipse

Eclipse is the kind of game that necessitates putting an all day gaming event on the calendar. It takes a long time to play, has a ton of little bits, and takes up a huge amount of table space. I love the gameplay. I especially like that, even though it's very much a euro game, I enjoy the playing of the game so much that my mind doesn't automatically fall into its default behavior of thinking of everything in terms of numbers and points. I actually feel the theme here as much as the mechanisms (not that I've ever minded not feeling the theme in a game, but it makes it special when it shines through like this).

Have you played it? What do you like and/or dislike about it? How do you feel about the recently announced second edition?

(BSG is another great example of a game that needs an all day gaming event, but it was already game of the week recently.)
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6. Board Game: Quadropolis [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:245]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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  8   The Voyages of Marco Polo
  8   Cyclades
  9   Eclipse
  6   Spirit Island NEW!
 7.5 Quadropolis NEW!
  8   Stockpile

It was a nice coincidence that The Voyages of Marco Polo was the game of the week last week, and we got it to the table at my weekly meetup. It's nice to get a Euro game to the table with that group as they tend to be my favorite games, but most of the folks in that crew don't enjoy them as much.

I had a game day on Saturday and most of it was spent playing Eclipse. I really like that game. It's one of the few games that I just have so much fun playing, that I forget to play to win. I was exploring and researching techs and flying around. Then we hit round 6, and I suddenly though, "Oh, what am I going to do for points?" Needless to say I did not win the game. It's too long to get played very often, but I'm definitely glad to have it (hoping the just announced second edition doesn't change so much that I feel like I need to rebuy it). The Rise of the Ancients expansion has some very cool modules you can throw in without upping the complexity too much, too.

Spirit Island had a lot of hype a while back, and I seriously considered buying it blind because I feel like my collection could use more cooperative games. I'm glad I managed to give it a try before ponying up for it, because, while I think it's really well designed, I just didn't have very much fun playing it. We managed to win, and it was super close, but it didn't inspire a "Yeah, I can't believe we pulled that off!" feeling. It was more of a, "Huh, we can actually win. Okay, let's do that." feeling.

Quadropolis, on the other hand, is one that I'm very glad I picked up in an auction a while back. It's like a very streamlined Suburbia, and I think I like it better than that game in almost every way. The tile selection mechanism makes for some very tough and interesting decisions. It's on the lighter side of medium, but it plays fast and we all had fun with it.
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7. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.66 Overall Rank:2]
Cassadi
United States
Blacklick
Ohio
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Tuesday was board game lunch day, and I played another game of Alhambra. It fits well into the hour lunch time with just 2 players.

Wednesday was my regularly scheduled meetup. We played Tribes: Early Civilization which I was sort of meh about by the end of the game. I hadn't heard of it, but a friend got his Kickstarter copy and wanted to play. It has an interesting mechanic on how actions are taken, but something about this one just fell flat with me.

After Tribes we played Amerigo. I really enjoyed this one, and hope to get a chance to play again!

I've played through Pandemic Legacy with another group shortly after it released. I knew the boyfriend and neighbors would love to play so I picked up my own copy. I forgot most of what happened after my first play so figured it'd be fine. We lost our first game, which was sort of a bummer, but I'm looking forward to the rest!

After our loss in Pandemic Legacy we wanted to play something a little more lighthearted to just chat and drink. We played both Timeline: American History and Timeline: Inventions. After that I talked them into one last game which was Exploding Kittens plus the NSFW and Imploding Kittens expansions. It was definitely the best way to end the night.

On My Mind
- Follow up Dr's appointment isn't until next week so I get to continue stressing about that.
- Boyfriend got Twilight Struggle and Bears vs Babies for his birthday. His taste in games is so crazily varied. I now get to learn how to play Twilight Struggle to teach him his own game for, like, the 10th time.
- Holiday plans are already starting to stress me out. Having to plan with 4 different families isn't easy.
- My kid basically sounds like Jabba when she babbles constantly now. It makes me laugh all the time.
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8. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:445]
United States
Yay Area
California
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 8.9   Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 x8
 6   Skull
 9   Magic Maze x3
 8   Chinatown
 9   Kingdom Death: Monster x2 NEW!
 N/A   Wasteland Express Delivery Service NEW!
 8   A Feast for Odin
 N/A   Codenames Duet NEW!
 N/A   Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure NEW!
 7   Bärenpark

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - Finally finished, it was a great experience and I loved it. It unfortunately ended on a bit of a sour note as a I lose December twice. I think my early December setup was bad and a couple turns in I knew it was not going to be successful. Despite that I think it helped to reemphasize how the game has permanent consequences. I think I mostly rushed through a lot of the game and that set me up for failure in some places.

Kingdom Death: Monster - I hate the randomness in this as a board game, but if I imagine it as more of an rpg system like D&D then it's not so bad. There is always stuff happening and right after Pandemic Legacy it seems to reiterate that feeling of things are going to get worse before they get better. Haven't played enough because of building models and painting and learning the rules.

Chinatown - Still amazing

WEDS - Hmmmm I don't know the game seemed a bit lackluster. Great components and everything but I don't think the gameplay was terribly interesting. Seemed too slow to buildup to when you're doing cool stuff.

Other Thoughts - We already did the sorting for my family's secret santa. People think it's crazy to do it this early but I hope it makes people think of more thoughtful gifts. Also we all just really like that initial reveal when you find out who you're buying for. On a similar note I've been trying to get it through to people not to buy me board games. Since they're not gamers at all I feel a big chance it will end in disappointment for me.

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9. Board Game: The Quest for El Dorado [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:432]
Joseph Shufelt
United States
Portland
Oregon
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The Quest for El Dorado
Big money doesn’t work in this game. It’s pretty good. I wanted to build up my deck with bigger cards and then blaze through, but that didn’t work out that well. I may have just bought the wrong cards at the wrong time for that, but I think you do need to make gradual progress.

Caverna: Cave vs. Cave
I totally botched this one. I went to teach it and I got one MAJOR rule wrong. Made the game super weird.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf
It’s been a long time since playing this. I had an early birthday party, and was able to bust this out. While I’d like to play Aliens, we played with a few new players, so we kept it very simple, with basic roles from this one. We played with one player who has told me many times in the past “I don’t have any interest in board games”. He’s had bad experiences with them growing up and felt other modern games were just too complicated. I always felt he would LOVE them if he gave them a shot. I roped him in with ONUW, which he did only to amuse me. But at the end, his smile was SO big on his face. We all were having a great time.

OMM

It was a very long and busy week. Full of some real highs and real lows. I threw an early birthday party for myself and that went well. I made some Kalua Pig that was a HUGE hit. Seriously, this stuff is so good and so cheap to make.
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10. Board Game: For-Ex [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6072]
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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 7.5   Strike x4
 7.5   Kobayakawa
 7.5   Click Clack Lumberjack x2
 7.5   Cheeky Monkey
 N/A   For-Ex NEW!

We had some out-of-country friends staying over this week (they were here for the C++ conference), so we played some light games on Monday.

Also, for the first time, I played a game that's not in the BGG database! It's a Cards Against Humanity spinoff for software engineers (specifically compilers), called Complex Atomic Compilers. I've submitted it to be added to the database, but it hasn't added yet. It was kinda funny, but I didn't understand a lot of the things. My husband tweeted some pictures.

For-Ex was pretty awesome. It's a game about trading currencies with other currencies to get more money. We only played 2 players, and didn't have any player to player trading, so I'm really looking forward to trying it with 3+ players. I managed to make JPY worth a lot and made contracts to another currency, which was pretty neat (and kinda funny because JPY was worth the same as USD at the end). But I really want to play with more players so there's less monopolies. In our 2p game, there were a lot of currencies that only one person was buying shares of, so it wasn't as exciting as it could be.

On My Mind

-I decided last week that I will be dressing up for Halloween as Anna from Frozen. So I went to Goodwill, Michaels, and Joann on Saturday to get some supplies, and I spent all my free time this weekend working on the costume. I'm almost done with the sewing part, and then I'll need to paint on the designs. I'm also knitting mittens. There's a party at my husband's work on Friday so I need to finish by then!

-We did The Roosevelt Escape Room yesterday (at Palace Games in SF). This was by the same people that did the Houdini Room, which is one of my top 2 escape room experiences. This one also had really neat puzzles, but the experience was ruined (well, not ruined, but made a lot worse) by the fact that a lot of the puzzles didn't work (like sensors and stuff). So we wasted a lot of time after getting a puzzle right wondering why it wouldn't work and trying other things. We ended up going over the time by 30 seconds, which made the technical difficulties even worse, since we should have escaped. I think if there's a chance of technical difficulties like that, there should be someone checking the room - and the person was not watching us when we spent ~5-10 minutes wondering why the first puzzle wasn't working. It was also especially disappointing because The Houdini Room at the same place worked flawlessly, so we were expecting better.
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11. Board Game: Wasteland Express Delivery Service [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:855]
Louie L
United States
San Francisco
California
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 7.4   Skull
 8.1   Magic Maze x3
 8   Chinatown
 7   Patchwork
 N/A   Wasteland Express Delivery Service NEW!
 8.9   A Feast for Odin
 N/A   Codenames: Disney Family Edition NEW!
 N/A   Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure NEW!
 8   Bärenpark

Patchwork -- I scored ONE point.

Chinatown -- I did marginally better my second game around. I was able to luck into some adjacent tiles, and I worked toward a 6-tile business early (which nets 14k). My 6th tile came out in the 5th round, and someone else's came out in the 4th. I think the extra turn made a difference.

Wasteland Express Delivery Service -- My only real gripe about it is the terminology. There's some differences in how to complete an action that can make it really confusing. Also, Grand Emperor Torque is a real jackass.

That being said, there's a lot I really like about the design. In particular, there's some interesting decisions you have to make regarding your movement. Do you visit cities within your base movement, so that you can take more actions? Or do you save your movement so you can reach your objective faster, but you take less actions? I like action efficiency, so I found this to be very interesting.

A post-apocalyptic theme is a great setting for this kind of game.

A Feast for Odin -- My occupation pushed me into crafting early, which I used to get some income going on the first round. By the third round, I stockpiled enough cash to go heavy into whaling. This allowed me to fill my home board with one round left, giving me two rounds of full income.

I used this money to buy a boat to explore Newfoundland, and used as many actions as possible to fill it up for free. I pulled off a close victory.

Codenames -- I thought I was over Codenames, but I really like Codenames: Duet rules as a fully cooperative variant, and the Disney edition is. . . yeah it's what I would want as a fan.

Clank! -- This is okay. I like what Clank offers, and I did like how fun and stressful it was, but I guess I didn't fall head over heels with it.

Barenpark -- Great game. It's the right mix of quick-playing, easy mechanically, and just enough depth to keep it satisfying.

OMM

- I'm trying to schedule a Fury of Dracula game for Halloween. I have something pending for Friday.

- I'm making kalua pork. I followed Joe's recipe and I have something in the slow cooker as I write this. I smell like liquid smoke. My local Safeway didn't have Hawaiian sea salt, but so I grabbed some regular sea salt instead. I cut the recipe in half, since this is my meal-prep for the week. But I'm hoping I can stretch this for a while.

- Some recent pickups: Whitehall Mystery, Innovation, and EXIT: The Abandoned Cabin.
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12. Board Game: The Expanse Board Game [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1832]
Jeremy P
United States
waconia
MN - Minnesota
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 8.5   Whitehall Mystery
 8   The Expanse Board Game

Whitehall Mystery -- I think this might be my favorite hidden movement game. It's just so pure. I've had a great time playing as Jack or as the detectives.

The Expanse Board Game -- As someone who really enjoys Twilight Struggle I was tickled at the idea of a multiplayer, streamlined twist on the fantastic card play TS provides. But something is missing in The Expanse and I can't quite figure out what it is. I gave it preliminary score of an 8 after 1 play. It will likely be revised, maybe up or maybe down a little. I'm not sure yet.

The card play was little less engaging than I hoped, decisions on timing feel much more important in TS. But as Twilight Struggle is strictly 2 player, it's understandable that it is more strategic. I will say I found the scoring more interesting in The Expanse. Bonus scoring provides a bulk of the points. The game has 3 sectors, twice per game per sector, a sector is selected by the player who initiates scoring to score the bonus points which are available for all players. It was fun fun to watch everyone try to rush from sector to sector to try to gain area majority to gain these bonus points.

If I had to try to put my finger on what is missing it was the market values seemed low. Cards come out into the market initially with a cost of 2, reducing in cost down to 0 as cards are replenished. You purchase cards using VP (called CP, control points). The winner of the game is determined by the VP/CP total at end game. Although this could have been interesting, needing to spend your VP/CP, possibility risking a win by overspending to get that card you want... it didn't play out that way. With final game scoring coming in around ~100 VP/CP per player, there was really little reason not buy any card on the market if it was going to benefit you.

On My Mind: I really need a house cleaner. I hate to spend money on paying people to do things I can do though. It's the same reason I never buy a cold cut type sandwich. I can make that myself. It's easy. I don't want to pay a premium for someone else to do it.



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13. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica: Britannia [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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 N/A   Werewords x7 NEW!
 N/A   Space Alert x2
 10   Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium x2
 6   Shadow Hunters x2
 7   Secret Hitler x3
 10   Keyflower
 N/A   Key Harvest NEW!
 N/A   Hansa Teutonica: Emperor's Favour
 10   Hansa Teutonica: Britannia


Monthly game day meant extra games this week.

Space Alert -- Goddamn it, is it possible to ever play a session of Space Alert where everyone has actually played before and knows what they're doing? We thought we were going to have one new person in this game, but at the last second someone showed up and every other table was full so we made room. If Space Alert could possibly have a Hidden Traitor win condition, then this guy would have won it handily. "Make sure you tell us what you're doing so we can coordinate!" Yeaah, he literally didn't talk at all, and just went around shunting power away from every system. Incredibly frustrating. At least I had a nice pumpkin spice latte during this session, like the basic bitch I am.

Werewords -- Hey, you know what takes less times than Codenames, is more interactive, and you still get to see how peoples' brains work? Well, other than literally every game ever, Werewords. I actually enjoyed being Mayor, Villager, and Werewolf (although I need to get better at my Mayoring). Bonus: my wife played a few matches too and tentatively enjoyed it.

Race for the Galaxy -- "Well, that went about as expected" - Me: 46, A: 30, P: 19. One of the Large goals in this match was to get 3 Rebel Worlds, and one of my starting worlds was already Rebel, so I pushed that direction. I early-developed the Imperium 6-cost-development that lets you draw for rebels as well. Also, since I got VP for any military, I started slapping down Uplift Windfall worlds to boost my economy and claim another of the goal tiles. I was able to combine with with further developments so that by the end of the game every time Produce was called I drew 12 cards. I think that's probably my record.

In addition to my in-person games, I continue to play in the app. I was particularly proud of one game where I slapped down a 2-cost-discount-on-aliens planet, then followed that up with New Military Tactics (+3 military when you discard it) to early-settle an alien military windfall world. This really kickstarted my economy and I combined it with the military 6-cost and several other alien cards to just out-point my AI opponent by the end without consuming (which is stupid-powerful in the base game (which is what I've been playing)).


Key Harvest -- There is 0 doubt in my mind that Richard Breese played Acquire and thought "I got this." It wasn't particularly inspirational to me, but it was a solid an interesting game. It played well at 3 players, but I think 4 would have been much more interactive, since you are incentivized to buy other peoples' tiles form them. I'd say it's tentatively a 6 for me: I could see a situation when I'd pull it out, but it didn't blow my mind.

Keyflower -- You can't play just one key game, can you? I usually play "big meeples" in keyflower, so that by the winter I have such a stockpile of Dudes that I can simply outbid everyone. I went the opposite direction here, and going into winter I had only 7 meeples at my disposal. I was pushing Tools pretty hard because I had a tile to get 2 Tools, and a tile that gave me +3VP per One-Type-Of-Tool. I was dumbfounded when someone else offered the 10VP per set tile in winter. I basically spent all of my resources fighting for those, and using other peoples' Get-More-Meeples actions. Somehow I ended up with both of those end game scoring tiles, which pushed me out to very close win: 54-53-50-49.

Secret Hitler -- I am apparently either the best or worst Hitler. In the match I was hitler, the liberals managed to never select a single team with any fascists on it, and ran the board without a single fascist policy enacted. I did come back the next game as a fascist, and managed to sew enough doubt in their minds about actual-liberals that by the time I was outed I had taken down enough liberals with me that Hitler was elected Chancellor unanimously for the win.

Hansa Teutonica: Britannia -- I... lost? TSS.


On my mind:
Meant to be productive with my programming this weekend or going on a long tandem ride in the nice mid-70s weather. Did neither. Damn. I did manage this past week to resolve a longstanding issue in my game code, so I can begin adding new features rather than correcting that glitch.
 
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