What Did You Play This Week? November 06-12, 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 446


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1. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:48]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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More 10x10, and a surprise Game Night...


Tuesday
1x - Five Tribes - mb
mb - 3.16 mi 26:20 (8:20)

We introduced the Thieves expansion which had very minimal effect in this play. My wife dominated points through the accumulation of Viziers, Elders and Artisans (60 to my 6) and crushed me in items and card bonuses. I focused on higher point valued tiles and dominated 99-45 there but it wasn't enough to secure the win, 236-205.

Thursday
1x - Five Tribes - mb
mb - 3.25 mi 26:48 (8:14)

We finished off our 10x10 plays of Five Tribes with a close one with the exception of the controlled tiles where I doubled my wife's score for the win 276-246. I was a little worried at first as I used multiple double turn opportunities to secure high point tiles. The Thieves, once again, were a non-factor from a "take that" perspective, but were kept for points.

Friday - Game Night
1x - Five Tribes
1x - Takenoko - New!


We were visiting some friends in Memphis who welcomed us with a meet and greet Game Night. I had been emailing through out the week with one of the attendees who had Five Tribes on his shelf of shame so I offered to teach him in a 4p game. The rules explanation felt a little lengthy as we punched out the boards and setup the tiles, etc. But after the first round things really started to pick up. I had only two cards which was really the difference in my scope and the winners. It was a fun start to our visit.

My friend offered to teach me Takenoko as he felt in looking at my collection that it would be a game I would enjoy. I'll admit I never took this one seriously as it had always looked more like a toy than a game. So it turned out better than I expected. There was a bit of luck involved which I attribute to my winning the game. There was enough on the board that selecting cards with a little help from the wind produced my victory.


It was nice to end a busy week with another 10x10 game completed and to play some games with some new people while out of town. Time to setup Mice and Mystics to continue our 10x10.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2017 List at 91/100
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2. Board Game: La Cosa Nostra [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:1672]
99 Boardgamers
Belgium
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Meanwhile in Venice...



Hi again! Last week we played...

Agra


Agraaaah! Oh oh oh such a nice and heavy game!
(Once you've passed the Iconography and the rules in general )
The artwork begs for compliments, soooo beautiful!
This my friends, is THE definition of a MASTERPRINT!
Check it out if you like depth & complexity!
(Headaches guaranteed )
For 'gateway gamers' this will be too overwhelming,
so play this with the right crowd!



zombie



Noria

Noria! Georgeous steampunk art, a bit misleading perhaps..because at its core
Noria is a dry Euro
(turn resources into goods E turn goodies into points).
The attractive looking 'wheel building', which you use for action selection, is neat!
I only played this twice, so I didn't discover any
unbalanced ways to victory (yet).
It's fun, but maybe a little bit too long. (Will be a keeper tho! laugh)



zombie



La Cosa Nostra
Charming artwork! ...Smells like GTA


La Cosa Nostraaah!!!
It has been around for a couple of years,
but I recently bought the Quined Games Masterprint Edition.
I didn't know anything about the gameplay,
... so it really was a blind buy
just because of the 'Mafia theme' (E extremely hot nowadays!).

Man, the interaction IS very cutthroat, vicious and mean...
but hey, that's how the mafia works.
Still, I highly recommend this funny, one of a kind 'gansta game'!
It's so different,..Love it!!!!




zombie



Feuville

Because of the Dennis Lohausen Artwork and the price (20€!),
I decided to buy it.
It seems to be a light family game with some really nice ideas,
.. but they could have made a much heavier Euro out of this.
Lots of bad dice rolls can (will!) mess up the game.
It's an ok game, when you play this with kids/teens.




zombie



7 Wonders Cities & 7 Wonders Leaders Anniversary Packs

No, these aren't Pokémon Booster Packs!
I couldn't resist having some more 'cities & leaders'
,.. and they are lovely!
thumbsup Nothing groundbreaking at all,
but I would like to see more publishers
expanding their games like this!





zombie



Haspelknecht

I looks like we have some
'play-Haspelknecht-100-times-a-year-challenge.'
There's something about this game that makes it so addictive
& competitive for 2 players!





zombie


Grand Austria Hotel

Can you can still play this after 'Lorenzo il Magnifico'?
Oh yes!! And so we did!



zombie



Glass Road

The stripped-down Ora et Labora.
Because of the quick setup & gameplay
it became the most played 'Rosenberg' here.
(challenged by 'Le Havre')
Maybe 'Nusfjord' will change this..?





laughzombielaugh




I would like to thank you
for your
time and patience!
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3. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:91]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Wednesday

I was in the mood for some midweek gaming and luckily Keith and Kent obliged after work.

Viral = 1 Play

Keith had not played this recent area control game so this was brought out first. Kent and Keith kept on contesting similar areas while I was lying low and was luckily drawing the 3 VP action cards via blind draw. I managed to get an infect 3 card late in the game and used that to great advantage to seed the zones to my advantage in the late game to just beat out Keith by 1 point in the end!


I manage to replicate all over and just edge out Keith due to the value of my action cards for the win! Me 40 Keith 39 Kent 28.

Dice Forge = 1 Play

Keith had also not yet tried this dice crafting game and for this we used the basic cards. Keith crafted his dice for VP and also got a lot of VPs by managing to fulfil the forge card twice. Kent on the other hand managed to buy 2 of the 26 point cards and had the most expensive card tableau, but I managed to do both strategies reasonable well and ended up 4 points over Kent in the final tally!


Kent focuses on cards while Keith focused on an in game VP engine but I manage to do both to squeeze out a victory! Me 116 Kent 112 Keith 79.

Thursday

I visit the FLGS and try out a couple of new games with Robert and Julie and Marie!

Combat Commander: Europe = 1 Play (NEW)

I am very fond of tactical wargames but was hesitant to get this due to the perceived chaotic nature of play as well as the lack of tanks. However, Up Front is my favorite wargame of all time and knowing that a lot of elements from that inspired Combat Commander Series plus there are a lot of fans for the title made me bite the bullet and get it. It has been with me for a couple of months but I had to thoroughly review and watch videos on gameplay to make sure I get the flow correctly. Robert had tried this out once so it took only a cursory explanation to get things going with him playing the Germans and me the Soviets in the first scenario Fat Lipki.

The difference between this and Up Front is that you have actual units on a map and that each nationality resolves everything with their own deck of cards. The players can use the cards to order units around up to the maximum amount of orders specified by the scenario and also for actions which can be triggered by specific in game conditions. The cards are also used for die rolls to to resolve attack and morale rolls, as events and to determine random hexes when needed. Each of the scenarios in the box outlines the order of battle, time limit, break points, whether objectives are randomized or not, etc. In this scenario both sides are on patrol and thus have the same hand size and the greater number of Soviet units is hopefully offset by the better quality of German troops. Unfortunately this did not happen during our game as I got to set up my medium machine guns where they could lay consistent fire in Robert's units in his center which managed to break and pin them down. This made his other units rush to the middle to reinforce that position and left his right flank wide open for my rifle squads to exit off his side. I also managed to kill off 2 of his squads and with the open objective granting double VPs for eliminated units and me controlling 4 or the 5 objectives it ended with a lopsided 20-0 win for my Soviets.


The Germans leave their right flank open and I capitalize on that to exit my units off the German side for a dominating 20-0 score!

Later on I found out I made a mistake as I forgot to add the cover to the morale of units when recovering, but otherwise I think I now grasp the flow of play and that I would have an easier time going through with the game the next time it comes out, and I can see the appeal of the game which has captivated many a grognard.

Magic Maze = 1 Play (NEW)

Robert was eager to introduce this and I managed to glimpse a couple of video reviews but didn’t really understand of the game until I got to play it. It is a real time game similar to Escape: The Curse of the Temple, but the difference is that the players cannot talk to teach other and can only use a wooden component to bang in front of players who you want to do something. This you have to do while a sand timer is running down and while you can reset the timer by having a pawn stand on a reset point, these are used up after 1 use. Each player can only move in 1 direction and some also have additional powers (ie go up an escalator, explore a new map tile etc.) What players need to do is to have the 4 pawns find their specific weapon on the map and that is down they all have to make their way to the exit before the timer runs out. As reset points can only be used once there will be point where you cannot reset the timer anymore and you must get out asap! The reset points do allow players to briefly talk until the timer is flipped over and we used that to focus on moving 1 or 2 pawns at a time instead of all 4 simultaneously which would be too chaotic to coordinate. We managed to escape and I have to say I had a ton of fun similar to when I first played Escape: The Curse of the Temple. I am looking forward to trying out the harder scenarios!


Hectic and frantic play as we enjoyed escaping from the Magic maze!

Saturday

We finally manage to have 5P as the 3 Celino brothers and Jim were available for the weekly council.

Jamaica: The Crew = 1 Play

I introduce the expansion to the entire group and they all liked what it introduced to the game. I fail to cross the penalty line but overtake Kent by virtue of my cargo of gold and the +12 treasure plus my crew! Me 22 Kent 18 Jim 9 Karl 8 Keith 4.

Colt Express: Marshal & Prisoners = 1 Play (NEW)

This expansion really changes gameplay as now the Marshall is now controlled by 1 player and instead of grabbing loot the Marshall (named Samuel Ford) has 5 random objectives and if he manages to fulfill 4 by game end he automatically wins. This could be managing to capture some of the bandits (determined randomly and using a capture action which essentially replaces the punch), shooting 1 bandit 4 times (he has 2 guns and more shoot actions), avoiding bullets from the bandits, etc. He could also be punched now and the bandits may like to risk punching him since each successful punch rewards them with money! The expansion also introduces Mei as a new bandit (she can move diagonally using the change level action) as well as the prison car which acts as the caboose and also captured sidekicks of the bandits. The gangsters now have a new action called the brilliant idea which they use to escape the jail if captured, free captured bandits or a sidekick (which then give them the same ability of that sidekick's bandit or doubles his steal action if it is his sidekick) or to duplicate the last action of a bandit.


My Marshall Samuel Ford only manages to fulfill 2 objectives which means the bandits with the most loot wins, and that happened to be Keith’s Mei! Keith (Mei) 4000 Jim (Cheyenne) 2900 Karl (Ghost) 2350 Kent (Tuco) 400.

I liked what this expansion brings although I am not sure if I will use it all the time. I have to say adding the expansions increase the complexity and brings the game out of the gateway level category, but it still is a lot of fun.

Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers = 1 Play

The final game of the evening had us play this quick hand management and take that game. Karl selected the Tech Warfare scenario and Kent’s initial VP lead got stymied as we kept of disabling him which enabled Jim to overtake Kent right just as Kent was 1 point away from the victory!


Jim 16 Kent 14 Me 6 Keith 3 Karl 1
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4. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.67 Overall Rank:1]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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A very decent week of gaming!

Game Group
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - Final games, playing December twice (lost first game, won the second, woohoo!). I wrote up my final thoughts in the Blue Peg Pink Peg What are you Playing thread, if anyone's interested in very spoilery things, but for here: We've finished it! YAY!

Werewords - NEW - 3 games, 2 at easy, one at medium:
- Won the first game (word: Snake. I (a mere villager) guessed the word correctly, AND the werewolf incorrectly thought *I* was the Seer, mwahaha).
- Lost the second game (word: Orange. I was the werewolf and didn't catch the Seer, boohoohoohoo).
- Stalemate in the third game (word: Clone. Word wasn't guessed. I was the Seer; the werewolf didn't catch me, haha)

A good fun twist and melding of 20 questions and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Really enjoyed it.


Statecraft - NEW - A new Kickstarter delivery that one of the members had brought along. It's a clever card game of vying for control of supporter cards by adjusting 4 areas of political influence around, which is done by playing or revoking various policies on your politicians. Took a little while to get into it, but by the last two rounds, we were jostling for those supporters constantly, and it all came down to the final round to decide the winner. Good game, if slightly long at 5 players.





With the Kids
Rummy - 2 games with my kids, as they asked to play a game with a "normal" deck of cards. They picked up the rules surprisingly well, and after getting the idea of laying out melds, they played pretty well. I lost the first game, but won the second (we didn't keep score).




Online
The Hanging Gardens - 3 players; came 2nd (59 to 44 points to 34). This is a lovely card game, which did the whole 'overlapping cards to create areas for scoring' long before Kingdomino or Honshu. I've still got a lot of strategy to learn it seems, but I'm getting better!

Gaïa - 2 players; lost 6 to 5. Nice quick game; came down to the final turn to decide on the 5-pt tiebreak. SO CLOSE! Needed ONE more turn!

The Builders: Middle Ages - 2 players; lost 19 to 13. Again, I needed just one more turn to finish my 6-point building. DARN IT!
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5. Board Game: Tramways [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1175]
Joe H
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A good week of gasming. Really looking forward to PAX Unplugged this week, where I'll get to spend the weekend with my brother and see an old college friend I haven't seen for nearly 27 years.

Gaming Group

[New to Me] On Wednesday James, Patrick, Tony, Bill and I began with Honshu, a trick-taking, card-laying, city-building game. In it you are playing numbered 6-segmented cards in turn order. Highest valued card (perhaps supplemented by a sacrificed resource) wins the trick and then turn order is rearranged by value of card played. Cards played in the trick are then selected in turn order. These are then placed into the player's city following a couple of rules. Each type of terrain on the cards in your tableau scores differently. The game is played in twelve rounds. There are several interesting things about the game. First, in the bidding phase you can use resources to up your bid. But, in a given trick these resources all have to "follow" the same type as the first resource added and these resources also have end-game scoring value. Second, there is a bit of drafting in this game as you start with a hand of 6 cards, play 3 rounds then pass your remaining cards left for the next 3 rounds. Then you receive 6 more cards, play 3 cards in 3 rounds and pass the remaining cards right. In building the city you have to either cover at least one segment of your current city or at least one (but not all) segment of the card you are placing but can't cover a lake. This makes for lots of interesting choices and cool looking cities. Its a relatively simple game and short game that we all enjoyed. It was relatively tight with Tony just edging out Bill for the win.



[New to Me] Next, James taught Patrick and me Tramways. This is a route building, pick-up and deliver game with strong elements of bidding, deck-building and hand management elements. In this game you are playing cards to take actions such as building or improving rails or buildings, delivering passengers, adding passengers to the board and recalling used rail-workers. Everyone starts with a unique deck and you add through your deck through the auction (which sometimes contains really bad cards) and through delivering actions to certain locations. All the while you are adding stress (negative points at endgame and, if high enough, negative points in game) with only a few ways to eliminate stress. The neatest part of the game is the multi-use cards and the hand-management since most actions require multiple cards to execute. It is easy to paint yourself into a corner and I did. I thought I was doing well early but James had a twisty route that went through lots of locations and Patrick slowly developed a long route. By the last round, I had few options while James added to his lead and Patrick sailed past me. Very interesting game and "stress" wasn't just being added on my player board but to me as each decision I had to think and rethink. This was the good stress of tough decisions in a thinky game. Two thumbs up.



Gaming with My Wife

On Monday Sharon and I played La Isla again. This game was different than our first 2 or 3 games. In this game we were placing explorers right next to each other and poached animal tiles out from each other several times. This made the game much less a race and much more a tension filled game. And, that makes me think I’d like this even more with three players, where players are more in each other’s faces. On Tuesday she wanted to play again. This time, for a change of pace, we added the cards from the second deck. I got lucky and was able to put a new explorer into play on the first turn and that gave me all the flexibility I needed. We butted up against each other early but soon went our separate ways. She had a cube advantage but green as wild and take a cube anytime you play a panther...particularly useful since I had a bunch of panthers. Sharon had 2 sets of animals to finish the game and that just barely kept me from lapping her: 135-88.



On Tuesday we played Via Nebula. It was my second play and Sharon’s first. She got the hang of it quite quickly and, despite, thinking she only had 4 buildings to build rather than 5 she as able to streak to her fifth building and end the game. She beat me in almost every category 27-22. And, she like it.



On Saturday Sharon and I played Mr. Jack twice. In our first game I was the detective and won quite early as she made an all too obvious dash towards an exit. In our second game we added in Mr. Jack Extension for the first time. The two characters to enter the game were the Spring-footed man and Aberline. The game was quite tight and several times Mr. Jack was just out of reach of escaping. Going into the 6th round there were still 3 characters suspected but, unbeknownst to me, Sharon’s play of Holmes had eliminated one and she then was able to reveal John Smith as Jack. A turn later she nabbed me. The extension not only adds new characters but also introduces a “draft” style setup. I’m not quite sure what prevents a player from putting Jack right near the exit. But, it does add another layer.




On Sunday, Sharon and I got in a couple of plays of Odin's Ravens (second edition) (what a beautiful little game). In game 1 I made a dumb move, extending a path ahead of her (and me), and that cost me as I finished first but she finished in the same turn...with more cards for the win. Lesson learned. In game 2, she got out to a big lead and I had a hard time drawing any particularly useful Loki cards. She finished first but I finished on my last turn and it ended a tie as we both had 1 card left in our hand.



Solo Gaming

On Monday I played a couple of games of Hostage Negotiator. In the first game I was pitted against Arkayne Massua and took him out with 3 cards left in the terror deck. 6 hostages were saved and 1 was lost. In the second game I was pitted against Donna Scarborough. I won with 2 cards left in the terror deck. 11 hostages were saved and 1 was lost.



On Friday I played the Pandemic app. I was the Medic and Researcher. The initial three 3 cube epidemics were all in the black region and were soon controlled. But, I stayed close to pass cards and, just as I was moving into the red region to clear things up, an epidemic triggered several red outbreaks and the board was overrun with red.
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6. Board Game: Bunny Kingdom [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:1388]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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NEW Bunny Kingdom - We started this week's meetup with a 3 player game of Bunny Kingdom. This was a fun drafting and area control game. The map with 3 players filled up quite a bit. I started playing with the idea of getting more points early, just because you would score most of those points every round, so it would snowball. It worked out to a certain extent, but my opponents made it clear that you don't have to play that way. I almost managed to pull off a win, but one of the other players drafted a card that gave him 10 points if he was in second place at the end, and that was enough to give him the win. Good game. I would definitely play again.
Rating: 7.5

NEWNinja Camp - After Bunny Kingdom, we played a quick game of Ninja Camp. This reminded me a lot of Hey, That's My Fish. It was a good little filler game. I managed to get myself locked in place first, which hampered me a little bit. I still managed to come in second place, though.
Rating: 6

NEW Tournament at Camelot - Next up was a 6 player game of Tournament at Camelot. I like trick taking games, and I really like Hearts-style trick taking games where you don't want points, so this should be right up my alley. I was The Lady in the Lake on this one, and the two artifacts I got here were basically just ways to avoid taking points. They worked well for me, as I won. The game is alright, but I would still prefer Black Spy if given a choice.
Rating: 6

7 Wonders - After Tournament at Camelot we were at 7 players, so we decided to break out 7 Wonders for the first time in a very long time. We all enjoy this drafting game, but I think we kind of wore it out. It was nice to get it played again, but I don't expect this will start a trend of playing it again. I went with a mix of scoring options here. I had a few blue cards, a couple of guilds that netted me a decent amount of points, and I got a few points from military, too. I came in 3rd place, which I guess isn't bad. This is still a really good game.
Rating: 8

Ethnos - Finally, we were back down to 6 players, so we played a game of Ethnos to close out the night. Orcs were in the mix here, and I really just can't resist trying to complete that set, so I spent much of the game working towards that, to the detriment of some better on-board choices. I was one turn away from completing the Orcs when the player before me drew that last dragon. This was a frustrating play, because the second era ended with the 3 dragons all getting drawn at once, and the game ended with the 3 dragons only having 1 card between the second and third. We all watched the shuffle, so it was just bad luck, but it was a bit irritating. I still really like this game, though.
Rating: 7.5

NMBR 9 - On Saturday, I took my little out for lunch and to a local game store. I had wanted to introduce him to Mice and Mystics, because I think he would enjoy the story of it, and he's never played anything like it (he plays Pokemon, and has played things like Castle Panic and Codenames). We didn't have time for that, though, so we played a couple of games of NMBR 9 which he really seemed to like a lot. He won the first game, and I won the second. I imagine we'll play this one again, but I'm still looking forward to seeing if he likes Mice and Mystics (and possibly painting those figures with me, if that appeals to him).
Rating: 8

NEW Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin - On Saturday night, my wife and I played our first Exit game. We really enjoyed the puzzles here, and managed to come in at just under 120 minutes without using any hint cards. According to the back of the book, that gives us 8 out of 10 points for our final "score", which I guess is kind of meaningless. We had fun, which is all that matters. We did both have a twinge of remorse when we were discussing putting the game in the recycling bin. This particular scenario would have been very easy to make non-destructive. I think we folded one piece of paper, and cut up 3 cards that could have easily been tokens in little envelopes. Actually, as I'm typing this, I think I've realized a way that I can make it reusable, so we can pass on the experience. Anyway, this was a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to the rest of the series.
Rating: 8

Maharani - On Sunday, we had another couple over for dinner and we played a 4 player game of Maharani. This is the first time we've played it at anything other than 2 players. I still prefer it at 2, but 4 was good. There was a little more downtime. I did not do well this game. Some of that was luck, as I had several turns where there just wasn't really anything worth doing. I also made some mistakes, though. I ended up finishing in 4th place, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place scores were all within 1 point of each other. 1st place was a few points ahead of all of us.
Rating: 7

Sagrada - After Maharani, we played a quick game of Sagrada. This is such a great game. The dice drafting and the puzzle is just so much fun. I won this one pretty handily, but we all had a lot of fun.
Rating: 8

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7. Board Game: Topiary [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:3887]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
I hope you are all fine and you had a great board gaming week.

For us here, not much.
just three games played during the week and just one game translated
It was partly due to the fact that I had a supervisor coming into my class on last Thursday and I had to do all the things perfectly according to the texts

So here is what we played :

On Monday :

I started the board gaming club in the High-School where I am teaching. Only 11 pupils here (but today, they are 23 !! .
I taught two of them Topiary, one of my faovrite game at the moment. It was a nice game. I won but it was moment where they thought a lot

On Tuesday :

A little game of Can't Stop Express. My wife won again this 3-player game with our younger daughter.
I think I ended being 2nd with a postive score.

On Sunday :

A little game of Lost Cities. Well, not very fun at all. I think we may have missed something but we didn't enjoyed it at all, it was just play a card, draw a card, play a card, draw a card and so on...

One game translated after the supervisor left !! One of Hisashi's new game called Sheep n Sheep .

That's all for us this week.
Have a nice gaming week. THanks for reading
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8. Board Game: Cottage Garden [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:634]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Monday

Dar and I were off at a resort in the Rockies for the week so I played several solo games and some with her. Yahtzee is a game she likes and we played it first on Monday.

Tuesday

One solo game of Cottage Garden and a 6 kilometre hike into the mountains in the snow.

Wednesday

Another game of Yahtzee with Darlene.


I also played Kings of Air and Steam solo.

Thursday

Another solo game of Cottage Garden. And later I played it again.


And another game of Yahtzee with Darlene.


I also played Jambo solo.

Friday

We got home from the mountains and Lindy, Stacey and Lance came to celebrate my birthday with me this weekend. Lindy started with learning Cottage Garden.


After that the lot of us played Dixit.

Saturday

Lindy and I started Saturday off playing Guildhall and Job Faire. We are kind liking this game. We used Le Boomb to find start player.



WE then taught Lance Sagrada.


After that Lance and I played Morels.


Then Stacey and Lance joined Lindy and I for a game of Cottage Garden. I have now played solo, 2 player, 3 player and 4 player. I think I like the 2 player game the best.


Later the 4 of us played Nuns on the Run.


Lindy taught me Onitama and we played twice.


Lindy and I finished off the day with a game of Cottage Garden.

Sunday

Lindy and I started Sunday off the same as we did Saturday, playing Guildhall and Job Faire. We used Tenzi to find start player.



We then played Onitama again. This is a really cool game. I like it better than chess.


Stacey, Lance and I then played Tikal. I had not played for several years and had been wanting to play again so it was nice.


After supper Lance and I played Machi Koro with the Harbour and Millionaire's Row expansions.


I then taught Lance Stone Age. This was his first worker placement game ever. We played with the Casino expansion.


Lindy and I ended the day with another game od Guildhall and Job Faire.

34 games played this week, 8 were starting player games, .
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9. Board Game: Jump Drive [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:1141]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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I started the week with some piecepack games, first trying out the new-to-me Hanging Gardens. This game is much like Alien City: players take turns using the piecepack elements to construct an architectural representation, and then score it at the end, based on their claimed ownership or perspective--represented in this case by a pawn which is the player's "gazebo." It's a little shorter in play time than Alien City, and accommodates up to four players, instead of being limited to two. It is just as visually interesting; although there are no towers, Hanging Gardens allows tiles to be stacked, creating "terraces" at various levels. I learned some basic tactics the hard way here. My opponent made the bad choice to move off of the tall and remote terrace to try and view from the opposite side, but at ground level.



We followed that one with some piecepack Carrom, which I narrowly won.

I played a solo session of Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep, with just a lone investigator. I started with the actress Lola setting out to sea. She did pretty well against Dagon, getting to Stage II with four Elder Signs before being devoured. Her replacement was mariner Silas, who didn't do as well, but really gave it all he could, considering. When Dagon woke, Silas was at 6/10 Elder Signs and had only 2 each of sanity and stamina, along with two phobias. Needless to say, the Deep still belongs to the Great Old Ones.



Prp and I played a couple of games of chess. The first was close, and she won it. In the second, I was able to secure a very early victory.



We also played Monochrome Chess, and she took my win there pretty hard, because she was starting to see herself as the superior player in that game.

We had an excellently close game of Feudality. We were tied at 15 on the penultimate turn, and I squeaked out the win.

The weekend saw a couple of Feld games come into play. Prp had a rare and decisive victory at Castles of Burgundy. She had the lead the whole time, and I tightened it up just a little at the end. She bonused on Castles and Mines; I did on Knowledge and Ships.



I had a teaching game of Luna for a couple of friends visiting from out of state. I was about 25 points ahead of both of them at the end, but the blue player made a surprising rally in the final rounds to seize second place.



The final game of the week was three plays of the new-to-me Jump Drive. I had picked up this game with the idea that Prp would enjoy it, and I was vindicated: she clobbered me (50 to 26) in our first play of six turns, mostly by way of a military cascade. In our second play I worked the genetic front very effectively, with multiple Uplift Researchers and enough military power to conquer uplift worlds and finally impose a New Galactic Order for a narrow (60 to 55) win. I also won the third play, this time with an emphasis on novelty worlds, but again with New Galactic Order as a key play.
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10. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:756]
Tony Fryer
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Sol: Last Days of a Star X2
As it was my mission to learn this game on the behalf of Heavy Cardboard while they were in Essen, got in a couple plays of the game - the last one being the Heavy Cardboard live stream on YouTube. I like the game, it's a fine game, not a game I would crave or even suggest to play - I would not seek to avoid the game. This is just representative of my gaming tastes, not the game. I do like how you have to use the stations of the other players as the board becomes populated. Please, play with no fewer than 4 players. One other thing I do appreciate is that the game seems to be a labor of love from the design team, always respect that - good job guys!


Sideral Confluence
As it was my mission to learn this game on the behalf of Heavy Cardboard while they were in Essen, we got in another play - this one being the Heavy Cardboard live stream on YouTube. A cool trading game that is not in my wheelhouse because I generally dislike trading and negotiating games. I will actively avoid Catan - yet I enjoy playing Chinatown once in a while. I'd put this game in the Chinatown category, I'd play it once in a while. Good fun and laughs at the table with all the trading conversations taking place.


Turin Market
We had a lull in game day waiting for another table to complete, so we learned and played this on the fly. The rule book tripped us up for a bit, it took as long or longer to figure out what the rules were than to play the game. Filler length auction game, was kind of cool, but for me, na, there are better things to do with my 20 minutes.


Azul X5
Played this 2-player several times with Robin and once 3-player at game day. Neat little drafting game, I like it. So simple to teach and so quick to play and there are some decisions to be made for sure. So far, this is excellent, speedy filler.


Clans of Caledonia
Still enjoying this game a lot...so has everyone I have taught the game to. Nice work Juma! I am thinking that I like 4-player the best as the map gets busier than with 3.

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11. Board Game: Legendary: Paint the Town Red [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I spent most of my weekend playing Legendary. I got on a kick and couldn't stop! I did get a ride in my son's '66 F100 tho and that was fun. He finally got the steering column back and he's on the road.


After the fun weekend of gaming, I took Monday off work. When my wife got home from work, I talked her into trying Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases. My buddy left this behind after the weekend because we didn't get a chance to play it and I've been bugging him to try it. Just would never work out. I enjoyed the experience of this game, even though my wife and I went down the wrong rabbit hole, thought we knew the answer and were completely wrong. Really? Ok. I liked it enough that I want to try the next case and see what happens. Don't really care if I beat Holmes, just want to figure it out.


On Wednesday, I finally got around to entering all my custom cards for Legendary into the Wheel of Fate Randomizer. I generated a game and it had one of my custom cards in it (Nova) and I gave it a go. I was taking on Professor X and Crown Thor the King of Asgard Plot. It wasn't pretty, that's for sure!


Thursday night game group came over and one person asked to play Tobago. He'd seen it being played on Saturday but didn't get a chance to try it out. Whenever I play this game, I really don't use the amulets to their full potential. Probably why I seldom win. I just get one to protect against curses and then work on the maps. I really should get my vehicle in a better spot before a treasure is revealed and use those amulets.


After that we played a favorite of a couple members of the Thursday group, Tokaido. I always like this game and it's always an enjoyable experience. As always, the same person won that always wins. I haven't figured out how she does it!


Then, on Saturday, I feel down a different rabbit hole... I decided to try out a Starter League on Legendaryleagues.com. Oh my, what a mess I've made. After completing the 3 games for that, I decided to try the Adventure Campaign. If my counting is right, I played 14 games of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game over the weekend. Having a great time.
I've never really cared for playing One-handed solo with Legendary but then again, I never used the Dark City rules. Not that it changed much but I had a really good time. In the past I've thought one handed to be blah but for some reason it clicked this weekend. There were a couple times I could forget to flip the next villain after a master strike or burn a hero when a scheme twist happened, but most of the time I remembered. Not a big deal. Had a ball and can't wait to play some more. It's really forcing me to play with some cards I would usually not pick. I'm trying to line up the best group of heroes to take on a particular scheme or mastermind. That legendary league is going to keep me busy this winter! I need to get my own copy of the base game so I can quit using my son's!


To finish up the weekend, I played 3 games of Pandemic. We lost every game. I don't think I mind were quite in it. We had other things going on in the house that were distracting us and it wasn't our best experience playing. Probably shouldn't have even started a game.

have a great week everyone!
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12. Board Game: Village of Legends [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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A good amount of plays this week, with 4 days with plays in them.

Tuesday
Thebes x1
Ice Cool x1
Boomtown x1
Village of Legends x2 -- new to me


Thursday
Descent: The Road to Legend x3


Friday
Glory to Rome x1
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) x3


Saturday
Wiz-War (eighth edition) x1
Cockroach Salad x2
Camel Up x1
Mascarade x2
Codenames x1
Codenames: Pictures x1


And that was it!

Regards,
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13. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:408]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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A very light week for us this time around. We got in another game of Mystic Vale on Saturday where I managed to win for a change which was nice.

Our only other game was 2 plays of Schotten Totten that evening. In an unusual turn of events, I managed to win not only one of the games but both of them! Apparently Saturday night was the right night for me to play games I frequently lose.
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14. Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:222]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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"...to excel above the common rate, in frivolous things, is nothing graceful in a man of quality and honor." - Michel de Montaigne
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This week was...

Ex Libris - 1st play



In this game, you are placing your three workers on action spots with the goal of drawing and placing cards into your tableau, so that the cards wind up in letter order with same letter ties broken by printed number order. Your goal is to have an even amount of symbols in your tableau because you score for whichever symbol you wind up with the least of. One symbol is also a secret bonus point category for each player and one is assigned as a publicly known negative point category.

Each player gets a different special power. Many seem interesting, others seem underpowered, in particular any ability that doesn't come with inherent card draw as part of it's effect. The game is all about drawing and playing cards, so just having more cards flow through your hand is a major advantage. Effects that draw you more than a single card without needing some card expenditure are rare if they even exist at all, so if your hand gets depleted and you don't have a player power that nets free cards, it seems like you are playing from a major disadvantage. Certain action spot effects also cause opponents to lose cards from their hands, which barely bother the card-rich powered players, but seemed to cripple other players.

The worker placement action spots are randomly drawn from a deck of tiles each round, which makes meaningful planning between rounds nearly irrelevant. Some of the action spots also heavily benefit from being early in turn order. For example, in our game a player who gets a free card draw when someone places next to him took the first spot in an action tile which gives cards to each player who places into the hall each time any player uses the tile.

Component wise, each action tile comes with a block of nearly illegible text which describes the action on the tile. This adds a lot of time to the game checking and rechecking what the action spots do. The book cards are laid out so it's reasonably easy to see what symbols people have. However, in addition to the colors each book also has letters and numbers that describe the position it needs to be in relationship to the other cards in the tableau for it to qualify for scoring. The letters are somewhat visible. The numbers are impossible to see from across the table.

Overall, this is a mediocre set collection game with lots of extra randomness thrown in, poor components and uncomfortably balanced player powers. I hope to not play this again.

Lorenzo il Magnifico - 5th play



I've played this now at every player count, and love it at every player count. I was worried that with 2 players it wouldn't work, because the game reduces itself to having only one action that runs your green card lineup and one action that runs your yellow card lineup, but thankfully all this limitation did was make the decision to take starting player or not super compelling. This game has been dancing in my brain since I first played it. Definitely one of my recent favorites.

Le Havre - 2nd play



First time playing this in many years. I played it once, liked it, then it never got played again so I traded it away. I was driven to get it again because I've had a little uwe love resurgence in my life thanks to a Feast for Odin. Turns out I should have left well enough alone.

the game is perfectly fine. It's mostly turning resources into other resources like we've now seen in many games. The graphic design is somewhat poor in that the central board has a lot of wasted space and the colors are garish. The troublesome part is that the game's big draw for me is that players can buy these building cards, which add worker placement spots, but give the owner of the building some benefit when it's used. This is a mechanism I enjoy, and am drawn to in many other games, but in Le Havre it seems especially hard to tell what the buildings do from across the table.

There's also a strange design decision where each player gets an uneven number of turns each round. By the end of the game it all works out to even turns, but when preparing for a feeding phase, you sometimes have enough actions and sometimes you don't. It just feels uncomfortable.

I would play this again in theory, if someone felt strongly that they wanted to play it, but I don't think I need to own it.
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15. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:756]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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Full week of gaming crammed into 24 hours on Sat/Sun, here's the list, then we'll get into thoughts.

Azul x3
Majesty: For the Realm x1
Modern Art(GeGe version) x1
Ex Libris x1
The Fox in the Forest x1
Whistle Stop x1
7 Wonders x1
w/ 7 Wonders: Leaders Anniversary Pack
7 Wonders: Cities Anniversary Pack
Clans of Caledonia x1
TAGIRON x1

Honestly, I am still trying to recover. My old body doesn't rebound quite as well as it used to.

Azul-So, of all the games I played, this was probably the best game. Azul was the first one I requested and the one that ended the evening on Saturday as well. This feels like a more well put together and more gamer-y version of Sagrada(and I like Sagrada). In the middle of the table there will be a variable amount of factories, depending on number of players, and those factories will hold 4 tiles. You see you are tiling a wall in a palace and trying to be the most complete and thorough one to do so. On your turn, you will pick a location to take tiles from, a factory or the center, and you will take all of one color from there, and move the rest to the middle. You take the tiles to your player board on the left which is kind of like a staging area. The left area on the board has 5 rows that are blank and they increase in the amount of spaces from top to bottom, so the top space has 1 space and the bottom row has 5 spaces. You put those tiles you just picked up into one of those rows. If you have too many of that color, they go to the waste on the bottom of your board for a negative score at the end of the round. Everyone does this until all the tiles are picked and then you will do your tiling and scoring. If you have a complete full row on the left side of your board, you take one of those tiles and move it to the corresponding space on the right side of that row, there will be a matching color to start, after you fill a color on a row, you may never put that color on that row again. When you do this, the remaining tiles go back to a supply pile and you will score each tile placed based on adjacency. 1 point per tile that is adjacent. If you complete a column, you get a bonus 7 points. After everyone has scored you will refill the factories and the game will continue this way until someone has completed a row on the right side of their player board, which most of the time will be 5 rounds. Player with the highest score wins. It was fantastic, the tiles are absolutely beautiful and fun to play with, the tactile joy of this game should not be lost. Also not to be lost is that it can be a pretty actively interactive game, mostly through denial I will admit, but interactive none the less, you have to see what your opponents are working on, if you can stick them with some negatives and still benefit yourself, you gotta do it. My copy arrives tonight, and if Kerensa were home, we'd probably be playing it again immediately.



Majesty: For the Realm-Not much more I can say here that I haven't said already in previous entries, but I will say, that while Azul is objectively the better game in my opinion, Majesty is probably the most fun. I still need to play the "B" sides of the cards and I need to find out if Z-Man will have copies at BGG so I can have Bill Corey Jr pick me up an English copy of the game. Hoping to have my review up on the www.wdyptw.com website here in the next couple weeks, even if it is still only German.



Clans of Caledonia-This was my biggest disappointment of the night, and that all should be taken with a grain of salt as we should have played the game earlier, not later in the evening, I may have enjoyed it a bit more. I don't care what anyone says or how much they protest, this game shares a lot with Terra Mystica, even down to the side board that felt like it was going to be more interesting than it really was(Cult vs Market) and that last round that becomes a game of trading in 2 pts in to be able to get 3 pts before the end of the game. I am going to play this again, preferably as the only game I play on a day where I am ready to go, it should play faster, we went 3 1/2 hours. But my first impressions were not as glowing as everyone else's. The game is solid, I really enjoyed the first 4 rounds of the game. Instead of Terra Mystica's long range planning though, with Clans of Caledonia you get round to round, contract to contract planning, it's really a bunch of small transactions each and every round, and I think that was something that I missed in my play, contracts and end of round bonus scoring, that's all there seemed to be. Now, me saying it was the biggest disappointment isn't as horrible as it sounds, I still gave it a 3/5 for our ratings.

edit: OH and my Clan power was kind of disappointing, all I could do was churn milk into butter once per round for 8 coins.



Everything else we played has been talked about ad nauseum, and I enjoyed each of those plays, I do feel horrible about messing up something as simple as Ex Libris though, it had been long enough ago that I had played it that I completely forgot about the permanent vs round sites and also we misplayed the Trash Golem's power so much that the game was over way too quickly.

Fantastic Weekend, would do again!


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16. Board Game: Cottage Garden [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:634]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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Quiet week.

After playing some Cottage Garden App I saw my buddy had it in an auction so I decided to get it. My wife would love the idea of cats and gardening. I tried it solo. The last round scoring is so wonky!

I also played a solo game of Clank! with the expansion board and app. Always a good time - first time I lost in a while.

Off to BGG - who will I see there?

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17. Board Game: Habitats [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2059]
Willem Verhoef
Netherlands
Weert
Limburg
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Greetings!

My first game of last week was Baby Clues, which I played with my daughter.

I got this at Essen last year and we've been enjoying the occasional play. Good short family game that teaches some bluffing and deduction.

Wednesday some friends had arranged to play Photosynthesis.

I had preordered it at Essen, but decided to give my preorder to some other friends who really wanted it when the normal stock ran out before they could get a copy themselves. We played with four players. It's a very interesting games, goes pretty fast, can be very mean. I enjoyed it, but it's too abstract for my girlfriend, meaning I'm glad I didn't get it myself. Still, would gladly play again.
I had also played some games of Finished! during the day.

This solo game is really growing on me, and I am getting better and better at it.

Friday I flew to Poland with my girlfriend to visit her family. We played Wurfel Bohnanza while waiting to board the plane

and Elements on the plane.

She was pretty stressed out because she's afraid of flying so it helped keep her mind off it for a bit.

When we got home on Sunday, we spent the evening playing some more games. I'd shown her Castles of Burgundy a couple of weeks ago and she wanted to play that, so we did.

She was doing really well and we both thought she was winning, but a field full of sheep tiles secured the win for me. She had some really good synergy in getting coins and workers though. I'm sure we'll play this again.
After that we played Habitats.

I had played this solo before, I just posted a short review of our experiences. Spoilers: I really like it, she thought it was okay.

We ended with 2 games of Hanamikoji.

Really liking this game, where there's never any action you really want to take... But you still have to pick one.

So, not that many games played but still a great week!


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18. Board Game: Keyper [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:2764]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I’m a big fan of Keyflower and so was very anxious to try out Richard Breese’s latest Key entry.

As soon as my game arrived from Philibert, I read through the rules. The first thing I noticed is that the rules are quite a bit more dense than Keyflower. As such, the game is harder to explain so you need a pretty experienced group of gamers.

The first game was a 3P, and it was a bit rocky. I had to make more references to the rule book than is usual for me. Things did smooth out as the game went on, though.

For those unfamiliar, Keyper is a worker placement game with a novel twist. Players have different colored keyples they place onto various action spaces on either their own board of buildings, or on to community boards.

When placed on a community action space, one other player may join a keeper of like color on the same space. Both players then get an enhanced action provided by that space.

What makes this even more interesting is that at the end of a round, each player claims all of the keyples places on one of the community spaces which makes decisions of whether or not to join difficult at times.

My second game was a 4P. Having worked out the kinks in my first play, this one flowed better.

I think Keyper is an amazing game. It has occupied my gaming thoughts since playing. I can’t wait to try it again.



Another new acquisition. I’m a big fan of this designer’s games, so I knew well in advance I wanted Pulsar.

It didn’t disappoint. A 4P, this dice drafting game has an interesting incentive system for dice selection forcing players to make sacrifices for taking potentially more powerful dice.

In the end I won a very narrow victory and everyone seemed to enjoy the play.



One quick game of my favorite semi-filler.

That’s it. A good week with two new games. Until next week...
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19. Board Game: Legends of Andor [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:276] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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With my kids we played Legends of Andor. We did the 4th adventure on the other side of the board. The kids put up a good effort but we didn't quite get enough loot in time. We just needed to be able to kill the two trolls in the treasure room.



My solo play this week was XIA. I continued the solo campaign mode. this one I had to have 7 FPs from missions. I was able to do this, although I find the tricky thing about the solo campaign is sometimes not getting FPs in other ways, prematurely triggering the end game, almost happened this time but managed to complete a final mission before the end of my turn.


With my daughter I played a game of Guess Who? Star Wars Edition. Always fun playing Guess Who.

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20. Board Game: Star Trek: Frontiers [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:825]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Light week, 2 solos and a game with my wife.

Games with my Wife.



Jaipur - Probably the game we've played the most together. I usually win, but I was honestly a little lucky this time as the final round I had all luxuries in my starting hand and kept flipping them up after her purchases. We hadn't played this since February, so we were a little rusty on the basic tactics, but they clicked pretty quickly.

Solo Gaming



Pax Renaissance - My second solo game to work through the rules. This time I played four-handed to get a the feel of the greater complexity more players adds. Also let me see a lot more cards. The victory condition card activation on the comets is an interesting twist. The first player to claim a condition was left so poor that he could never finish the execution of the victory.

Star Trek: Frontiers - Enjoyed my loss of the solo scenario as I didn't have quite enough attack for the final fight. I'm still finding the game a bit fiddly as I'm doing lots of rules checking. There a few thematic disconnects, but I can easily let those go. The puzzle of working through the optimal hand, but also working towards building a deck capable of the ending battles simultaneously creates an interesting challenge.
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21. Board Game: Sentient [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:1858]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Pretty great week! I went to a local game con on Thursday afternoon and the whole of Friday, and I managed 22 plays of 11 games, 7 of them new Can you say it was focused on Essen news and other 2017 releases?

Thursday

I haven't played anything till that con so my gaming week started with Viral - a game I own but only played once and just with SO. So I was pretty happy I got to play with the full player count - 5 people. It was new for all 4 of them. The winner ended with 38 points, most of them from uncontested zone 5 (stomach and intestines). I was the runner up with 35, followed by 33, 32 and 27. It is much better at 5, although I think the sweetspot will be 4 where you have 7 viruses instead of just 6.

Next up were 2 4-player games of Cat Lady, another of my games I won the first one with 31 points, followed by 29, 22 and 20. The second one was won by the new guy with 34, followed by 32, 29 and 17.

And then we moved onto the new games. We started with my most anticipated game - Ex Libris. We played with the full player count and it was new to all of us (although the owner explained it to us). The game was won by a guy who finished his library first and also got the most good books. He had 62 points playing as bookworm. I was the runner up with ghost and 49, followed by trash golem with 47 and snowman with 45. It really delivered what I expected from it. And now I need to own it It is a great worker placement game with a very unique theme and nice gameplay. Plus, it has individual meeples that are just amazing!

And since it was getting late, we moved onto a 3-player play of a game we all well know - Terraforming Mars. But I taught them to play with Terraforming Mars: Venus Next and it was our first time with Hellas map (I already played on Elysium). The winner was Mining Guild with 98 points. My Aphrodite was the runner up with 79 points. The last girl ended with 71 points with her Interplanetary Cinematics. I think Hellas is my favourite map and as last time, I really enjoy what Venus Next brings.


Friday

On Friday, my friend and I started by learning new game - Azul. We liked it so much, we played 3 times. And then, later that day, we taught it to another friend and played 3 more times. As much as I liked it, I won't probably buy it since after those 6 games, it started to feel kind of same-y. Anyway, our first game was on the easy side of the board, the others on the more free-form one. We did a mistake of not noticing that the free-form one can still have only one tile of a given color in each column (as well as row but that we knew). The first was 97 vs. my 68, then 87 vs. my 73 and then 109 vs. my 141. We did the same column-mistake in the afternoon games as in the morning, except for the last game where we played correctly. The 1st game was 139, 128 and 108 (me). The 2nd game was 89, me with 87 and 85. Last, only correct game, was 110, 94 and me with 91.

And then we played twice another new game that I really wanted to try out - Bärenpark. It was another game that really delivered. I loved it! And although the art on the box is so terrible, you don't notice it during play as the tiles are presentable We were all new to the game. The first was with the basic objectives: polar bear tiles, 6 connected green tiles and each shape of animal houses. The winner ended with 92 points, followed by 91, me with 79 and last guy had 78.
Second game had koalas, 3-tile river and 3-tile food road. The winner was the same as last time, she ended with 96, followed by the same guy with 92, then 84 and me with 80.

Another new game was up next - Pyramid of the Sun. Boy, was this terrible! It wasn't even a game.

After that, we played a 5-player game of Viral with 2 new players. The winner ended with 37 points, followed by the runner up with 37 as well. Next up was a girl with 36, 34 and I was last with 31.

After that I played the best new game of the con - Sentient. I did not expect anything from it but it was totally amazing! It is exactly the kind of puzzly game I enjoy and it looked so, so goooooood. The winner was the only guy who played before and he ended with 69 points. I was the runner up with 65 and the other friends had 62 and 60.

After that I taught 4 people Magic Maze. We won all of them.

And then I played the second bad new game - Fairy Tile. Another one that doesn't really feel like a game.

Last new game of the con was Indian Summer, another one I wanted to try. It was 3 new players and the owner of the game. The winner finished the forrest the fastest and had one more acorn than me and a friend (we also finished the forrest on that round). Last guy was missing 1/6 of his forrest (the owner of the game).

And then, last game of the con for me was Ex Libris. The winner had 61 points (mummy), followed by gelatinous cube with 60 points, my witch with 54 and fire imp with 49 (he finished the library the soonest).
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22. Board Game: Clans of Caledonia [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:208]
Eric Francis
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
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Very pleased to have played this at my weekly FLGS game night. And what a great game! Lots of interesting, hard decisions to make as you struggle to balance income, building, resource production, and fulfilling contracts. 30 minutes for the rules explano, 2.5 hours of play, and an evening well-spent!
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23. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:157]
Andrew J.
United States
Missouri
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I've finally gotten into Samurai, and boy oh boy am I hooked:


 10.   Dixit Played with the family at our "early" thanksgiving.


 8.0   Concordia
Played with the family at our "early" thanksgiving. I took a narrow win with a well-placed wheat minerva (my favorite) and a lot of mercurius cards (I bought nearly every mercator in the row).


 10.   Sheriff of Nottingham
I tried to smuggle in an illegal chicken on the last round and got fined 2 gold. In the end, I was 3 points short of the victory!


 8.0   A Fake Artist Goes to New York x2
We started off pre-dinner with some rounds of this. Always a fun filler.


 8.0   Mafia de Cuba
Ashley wanted to play another large-group game, so we tackled this one with Ashley as the godfather(mother?) She lost by picking the agent! Another good large-group game.


 8.0   Samurai x4 NEW!
So let's talk about Samurai. I played three times in a row with two other guys on Saturday, and then brought it over on Saturday night and played with my father-in-law. Love the strategy in this simple abstract game. I'm glad to finally get this grail game played!


 N/A   Modern Art NEW!
While I played Samurai at game night, Alisha taught this one to another group. I was very proud of her for tackling a game she didn't know yet! The group was very enthusiastic and seemed to absolutely love the game -- I can't wait to try it myself!


 4.0   KOKONO
While out on a date I taught Alisha this microgame. She agreed with me that it is very puzzley but your decisions don't feel like they have a lot of meaning. Oh well, it was just a quick pnp.


 8.0   Codenames Duet
Rounded off our date with a round of Duet, which we lost at the end despite a very strong start. I was stuck with scarecrow, smell, and mother, and Alisha had some similarly tough words.
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24. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:330]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Online

Thurn and Taxis (2-1)
Brass (1-0)

vs. Mrs. Drazen

Takenoko (1-0)

Honorable Mention (forgot this last week, but it was on Sunday, so close enough?)

Pandemic (1-0, Scientist and Medic)


Not much gaming, too many things to do, like fix a shingle on the roof, assemble a treadmill, and a bunch of boring yard work to get ready for winter. This coming week should hopefully be more exciting... unless the sore throat I developed today persists. Yuck.


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25. Board Game: Mombasa [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:58]
Darryl with one "R"
United States
Redmond
Washington
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This was my first play of Mombasa, with the Cooked Books mini-expansion, 2P with my wife. We picked it up at Essen Spiel this year.

When Mombasa came out a couple of years ago, I saw that it was rated really well. So I watched some videos and read some reviews, but didn't really see the appeal. At that point I sort of lost interest -- I figured I'd play it if the opportunity arose, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it.

When we decided to attend Spiel this year, I began perusing the BGG Spiel auction GeekList, and I saw a few listings of Mombasa at very reasonable starting prices -- and certainly much cheaper than we've been able to get it in the US for months, while it's mostly been out of print. So on a lark, I bid on one of them and figured that if I wouldn't mind getting it at that price. The auction continued for 6 more weeks after my bid. I waited and waited for someone to outbid me, and nobody did.

So we picked it up Essen, brought it home, and played it for the first time on Sunday. And it's excellent. The game felt distinct from any other game in our collection.

The game takes place over 7 rounds. (Although we may have played 8 instead of 7 -- in one round we weren't sure if we'd moved the coin down to signify the new round.) I'd say it was around round 4 before I really understood how everything tied together. By that point, I wasn't doing so well, but my wife was zooming ahead on the diamond track. I knew I was trailing pretty decisively.

I took stock of the situation, and looked for where I had an advantage. My biggest advantage was with the Mombasa company. So I decided to focus almost the entire rest of the game on expanding and investing in Mombasa.

And it worked. At the end of the game, my wife had a decent lead in bookkeeping (30 points to 10), and a big lead in diamonds (60 to 15). But I had a huge stake (11 shares) in Mombasa compared to my wife (3 shares), which was the dominant company ($11/share). I had a 121 - 33 advantage in Mombasa.

I won in the end, 174-169. For a game which, on its exterior, seems like a pretty dry economic Euro, seeing how hard we could push the game (me with the Mombasa company, my wife with diamonds) in the last few rounds proved to be quite exciting.

I'd say this has a good chance to be my favorite new game of the year.
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