GCL Snoo 12: Giving Thanks
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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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 November 13 - 19, 2017
• 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: Turkey Day [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I wanted to take some time to reflect on being thankful.
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2. Board Game: Thank God You're Here: The Game [Average Rating:5.12 Unranked]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Board game geek now has 94,831 distinct games in its database as of today. What is one game that you are especially thankful that it exists? This game doesn't have to be your favorite. You don't have to even like it. I'd like you to take some time to discuss why you're thankful for that particular game.

For example, my late grandfather used to play cribbage with me and my father when we would visit him. He was typically rather withdrawn from me otherwise, but as we'd play Cribbage he would really open up.me.
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3. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:713]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Who is one person you've been thankful to have in your life this past year? This could be a partner, a child, or even just that weird guy who shows up every third Saturday to play games.
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4. Board Game: Cold Turkey [Average Rating:3.79 Unranked]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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What is your family tradition for Thanksgiving? Do all of your siblings and you gather at your parents' house? Do you always bring the green bean casserole? Does your family participate in Black Friday shenanigans? Are you a Macy's Parade family, or a Cowboys Game family?
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5. Board Game: The Walking Pet [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:11843]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Most, if not all, of us keep some pets. Many times at Thanksgiving how thankful people are for family, the beauty of the world, or their specific circumstances. Let's take a moment to thank our pets as well. Pictures of the little fur-beasts are always welcome, though not strictly required
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6. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3767]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Suggest me a Top 5 to answer. It could be Top 5 games to play in the fall, or even unrelated to games Top 5 Thanksgiving Foods. Anything's fair game.
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7. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Game of the Week: The Settlers of Catan.

I know it's not especially popular to mention these days, but I wanted to reflect on what the game means to each of us. Was this your gateway game? Do you have any particularly good or bad memories of it? Would you still gladly play a game today, or have you moved on to greener less-sheep-filled pastures?
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8. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
United States
Yay Area
California
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 9.8   Magic Maze
 8.65   Ghost Stories
 7   Deep Sea Adventure
 8   Outlive NEW!
 8   Glass Road NEW!
 9.7   Kingdom Death: Monster x3

Ghost Stories
- Lost brutally, but I guess to be somewhat fair I decided to have people start at Normal mode instead of initiation.

Outlive - Pretty neat worker placement game. I kept forgetting what was important for scoring and took a huge hit of negative points, I don't think that would have won me the game at all. Cool stuff though.

Kingdom Death: Monster - Two bad losses, I thought we were ready to face the Phoenix. I was wrong. Two of our people got erased from existence. Getting masticated sucks, but being wiped out of existence is much worse. Unfortunately this happened before the fight so we were down 2 people and I think we could have won because we got really close.

Then we took a second bad loss against the King's man. Again, got super close before our main hitters died. We were 2 wounds away. So close.

Glass Road - Really great Uwe game. It's been on my list of wants for trades as well as something I've been wanting to play. I'm glad the gameplay is solid. It's a bit like Broom Service in the action selection but a bit more forgiving. I don't think I really planned ahead much I just built things because I could instead of a grand scheme.

On My Mind -

Thanksgiving pressure ramping up. I haven't googled the recipes I'm planning to make. Probably winging it a bit too much. I did a Costco run on Sunday and just bought random stuff I thought I might need. Mostly overwhelmed with the idea of Thansgiving that I haven't done any hobby stuff like paint minis.

I made KD:M player aid that shows all the gear cards and spent a fair bit of time fantasizing about my optimal build. I have a glass cannon dude that must have all "bone" items to work and I just found out every mask in the game has the "bone" keyword so I'm thinking I can get a dude with only headgear that basically charges into combat naked and tries to punch everything to death before they hit him.

I really like NPR's Tiny Desk series and I've been listening to it a lot lately. My favorite performances I've been playing over and over again are Noname, Tank and the Bangas, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.


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9. Board Game: The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:2436]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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  5   The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 NEW!
  7   Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama NEW!
  6   Theseus: The Dark Orbit NEW!
 7.5 The Blood of an Englishman NEW! x2
 6.5 Caverna: Cave vs Cave NEW!
  7   The Fox in the Forest
 7.5 Lisboa
 7.5 Terraforming Mars NEW!
 7.5 Quadropolis
 7.5 Royals
  8   NMBR 9 x2

Lots of games this week. Lots of new to me games, too. The Thing has been on my mind pretty much since I played it on Monday. The 1982 movie is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I was eager to try it (but did not trust Mondo enough to buy it myself). I actually had fun the whole time I was playing it. So why is it a 5? Because the more I think about it, the more irritated I get at the design of the endgame, and the way it kind of breaks the game. Assuming you didn't lose earlier, if you make it to the end, you have to pick a perfect team to go on the chopper to escape. If you choose even one infected, you lose. In an 8 player game, 5 get on the chopper, and (potentially) 3 are infected. Which, to my mind, basically means that the best way to play as an infected is to help the good guys the whole way through and try to get picked for the helicopter. The rest of the game is pretty good, but this kind of reverses the Merlin part of The Resistance. Instead of the bad guys getting a Hail Mary if they have otherwise lost, in The Thing, the good guys have to complete a Hail Mary when they have otherwise won.

In other noteworthy games, Theseus is one I have been looking forward to trying for a while now, and I think I screwed up my first experience with it. Not by getting a rule wrong or anything, but we played the Marines and Aliens with the basic decks, and I think at least one of us should have picked either the Scientists or the Greys, and we should have thrown in the "more advanced" cards. The game was a little meh, the way we played it. I'm hoping it will be better next time.

Caverna: Cave vs Cave is... fine. We both had fun playing it, and it's a good action selection game. Mostly, I think it will end up languishing on the shelf while other 2 player games get played way more often. I still need to introduce my wife to it, though, so maybe we'll see something more there.

I was glad to get to play Terraforming Mars. It's a good game and I enjoyed it. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as everyone else seems to have, but I would happily play it again. I also think that the cost of the game relative to the component quality is borderline criminal.

This was my 4th play of Lisboa, and I think I have the rules down pretty well. I feel comfortable saying now that the game has just a few more rules and little things to remember than it would need to be called smooth. It's still a great game, though, and I really enjoy the weight of the decisions.

On My Mind

Thanksgiving! Ugh. I am looking forward to it, but, as with many people, it signals the beginning of the most personally stressful time of year for me. Balancing family obligations and feelings against what I actually want to do just sucks, and I'd rather just skip it all.

Hackerspace! I recently discovered that we have a maker's club here, and I'm really excited to join and start taking classes. 3d printing, metal working... I actually have a decent woodworking set up here at home, but they have a much bigger space with a CNC router that I'm really looking forward to playing with.
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10. Board Game: Kitchen Rush [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:1593]
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Okay... ready for this?

 


 7.5   Strike x8
 8   The Pyramid's Deadline
 9   Nine Tiles x2
 7.5   For-Ex x3
 N/A   Unlock! The Tonipal's Treasure NEW!
 N/A   Unlock! The Nautilus' Traps NEW!
 N/A   Unlock! The House on the Hill NEW!
 N/A   Rollet NEW!
 N/A   Riverboat NEW!
 N/A   Peak Oil NEW!
 N/A   Kitchen Rush NEW!
 N/A   Iberian Rails NEW!
 N/A   Harvest Dice NEW!
 8   Deep Sea Adventure
 N/A   Zoo Ball NEW!
 N/A   Villa Paletti NEW!
 N/A   Sjoelen NEW!
 N/A   Rights NEW!
 N/A   Rhino Hero: Super Battle NEW!
 N/A   Raid on Taihoku NEW!
 N/A   Queendomino NEW!
 N/A   Pit Crew NEW!
 N/A   N-Tropy NEW!
 N/A   Medical Frontier NEW!
 N/A   Mag-O-Mag NEW!
 N/A   It's a Train Wreck!
 N/A   Indian Summer NEW!
 N/A   Heart of Crown NEW!
 N/A   Hamsterrolle NEW!
 N/A   Gravity Warfare NEW!
 N/A   Entropy: Worlds Collide NEW!
 N/A   Dragon Keepers NEW!
 N/A   Doodle Rush NEW!
 9.5   Crokinole
 N/A   Chronicles of Crime NEW!
 N/A   Azul NEW!
 7.8   1830: Railways & Robber Barons
 N/A   Yago Pool NEW!
 N/A   Unpublished Prototype
 N/A   SpyNet NEW!
 N/A   Spinball
 N/A   SHH x3
 N/A   Shahrazad NEW!
 N/A   NMBR 9
 N/A   Modern Art NEW!
 N/A   Majesty: For the Realm NEW!
 N/A   Irish Gauge NEW!
 N/A   Fast Forward: FLEE NEW!
 N/A   Exit: The Game – The Polar Station NEW!
 N/A   Cat Lady NEW!
 N/A   The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game NEW!
 N/A   Stuffed Fables NEW!
 N/A   Sakura Hunt NEW!
 N/A   Piratenbillard
 N/A   Picassimo NEW!
 N/A   One Minute Game x2 NEW!
 N/A   Okey Dokey x2 NEW!
 N/A   Multiple NEW!
 N/A   Glen More NEW!
 N/A   Fog of Love NEW!
 N/A   Favelas NEW!
 N/A   Downforce
 N/A   Colour Blind NEW!
 N/A   Calimala NEW!
 N/A   Cacao NEW!
 N/A   Box of Rocks NEW!
 N/A   ...and then, we held hands. NEW!
 N/A   SixStix NEW!
 N/A   Merlin NEW!
 N/A   Meeple Circus NEW!

Yeah... I played a lot of games at BGG.CON last week - 82 plays of 70 different games, 57 that were new to us!

I'm not going to talk about all of them here, but feel free to ask about any that you're interested in.

A couple of my favorites were Kitchen Rush, Azul, and Modern Art. Kitchen Rush is real-time cooperative, one of my favorite genres (is it a genre?), and I thought it went really well with the theme of trying to run a restaurant and make food for the customers. I heard that some people had problems with the hourglass timers getting stuck, but we didn't have that problem and I had a great time playing it. Kinda sad I didn't back the Kickstarter, since that was one I was really thinking about backing (but I'm not really a Kickstarter person).

Azul was a pretty quick game, looks really neat, and feels kinda like Sagrada. It can be mean denying someone the tiles they need (or forcing them to take tiles they can't use). Also, blue is my player color, so I have to like a board game all about blue!

I hadn't played Modern Art before, but I'd been wanting to try it for a while. We got to try out the new Oink Games version, and now I want it (or any version). I haven't really enjoyed auction games that much before, since I'm really bad at knowing what something is worth, but I felt it was easier to know the worth/potential worth of a painting here (it will definitely be between X and X+30, where X is its worth from previous rounds), so I found the auctions more enjoyable. It was also very interesting since you're paying the money to the player who started the auction, not the bank, so you have to take that into account when you're thinking about the worth of it.

We also had some really good BBQ. We went to Pecan Lodge, which was the best BBQ I've ever had. Super juicy brisket and delicious beef rib... Here's my tweet with some pictures.

BGG.CON was really fun. I forgot to go to any meetups, but I did manage to make it to the Winsome games day on Friday and play a couple Winsome games (including a 2018 untitled one!). We also went out to eat 4 times, which was nice, since the hotel food wasn't very good (although eating the fruit bowl the morning after Pecan Lodge was delicious).

The library was amazing (I also filmed a little clip in the library for my next music video), and they improved the system this year - check-out was located at the opposite door than check-in, so there wasn't a pile-up in the entrance door. They also had a special section for small box games, which was really cool cause I found an older Oink Games to play!

I enjoyed playing games with some friends we met at last year's BGG.CON. I also played a lot more 2 player games than usual - I guess since starting 18xx games, my husband and I haven't played many 2 player games at home anymore. I think it's also because starting 18xx games coincided with starting up Board Game Blitz, so a lot of my weeknights are spent working on that, so less time for 2p gaming. So it was nice being able to try a bunch of games 2p.

This was the last big convention of the year for us (I think we've done 8 conventions?). We have T-Con, a one-day birthday "convention" for my husband, next month, but that doesn't really count. It's been exhausting.

On My Mind
-Thanksgiving is this week! Gonna need to get groceries tonight, so I can make pies! I usually bring cranberries and pies. I haven't actually baked a pie since last year (I used to also make one during Pie Day, but I didn't have time this year), so I'm excited, but also a little stressed since there isn't much time.
-We booked our flights to Japan for next April! I'm super excited to visit Tokyo Disney Sea and Disneyland (which I've heard are the best 2 Disney parks in the world). Also eat a bunch of good food and see some sights!
-So many emails to catch up on at work! And it's a short work week!
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11. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:191]
Louie L
United States
San Francisco
California
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 N/A   Ghost Stories NEW!
 8.7   Deep Sea Adventure
 N/A   Outlive NEW!
 8   Glass Road
 N/A   Kingdom Death: Monster x3

Tuesday was our local meetup again. This time, Ghost Stories was on the table. I think I would own this if it wasn't so readily available. Ghost Stories has a really great theme, great components, difficult gameplay. Deep Sea Adventure ended the night.

On Thursday, I invited some friends over to get a game of Outlive, since I got it brand new and wanted to try it with actual real life people.

Outlive is a neat game. After my first impression, I think it's component quality and thematic implementation is a bit stronger than it's gameplay. The gameplay is solid, but I don't think it's juicy/crunchy/spectacular or whatever.

Glass Road ended an eventful Thursday eventful, where I lost by three points. Feudal Lord is a lot stronger than I give it credit for. I also need to get better at reading people.

On Friday a certain Necro came over to play more Kingdom Death: Monster. Some notes on our evening session.

- Our first year, we hunted a White Lion, and got super lucky and looted another Cat Eye to make a Circlet, which is apparently the key to end game content. We got one earlier, but we didn't think it was that good until we started obsessively reading other people's opinions on the internet. We used the first one so that our survivors could learn how to make hovels.
- Our second year, we took a tough loss against a Phoenix. Two people got ERASED. But we put up a good fight considering that two people got ERASED FROM LITERAL EXISTENCE. We fought that damn bird short-handed, with our strongest survivors at the time. I got a lucky roll that, someone came back with amnesia so, could've been worse.
- It got worse. We fought Necro's beautiful looking Kingsman, and we had two high-speed characters chewing through his defenses. We were two hits away, but Necro's glass cannon survivor was ended, and I had some bad rolls such that my survivor couldn't finish the deal. We were left with essentially two support, who couldn't chew through the things defense at the time.

OMM

- Work's been quite hectic, and with this short week it's only going to be even more hectic. It's like the blessing and the curse of short weeks.
- I've got a Friendsgiving coming up this Saturday. There's been talks about me doing the turkey again, but I've been spending too much time thinking about board games to even consider what I want to do.
- Call me crazy, but I love boxed stuffing. So much. Boxed stuffing, cooked up with some chicken stock. So I guess I'll contribute the turkey with the boxed stuffing.

EDIT - Have a Happy Thanksgiving Week, everyone!

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12. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Cassadi
United States
Blacklick
Ohio
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For board game lunch we played Carcassonne which I will always enjoy!

I missed my regular weekly meetup to prepare for PaxU, but I did actually get a few games in at con which was nice!

Friday we played Vast: The Crystal Cavern, Chameleon, Okay Play, and Terra Mystica. It was difficult for 4 people to learn Vast at the same time. Since each role was different we couldn't really help each other out because we didn't really know what the other was supposed to do. Playing the cave was super fun though! Chameleon and Okay Play were quick and fun. Okay Play is way more my speed as an abstract game. Chameleon is another social deduction game, and while it was cute and fun not really my jam.

This is the first time I've played Terra Mystica outside of my regular group. After playing 3 times with my regular group I decided I didn't like the game. I've since learned that I just don't like it with those people, I had a lovely time playing it with other's who hadn't played it a million times more than me.

Saturday I played Flip City, Dropmix, Terraforming Mars, Side Effects, and 3 more games of Chameleon. The boyfriend liked Terraforming Mars so much we went to the expo hall to get a copy Sunday, but everyone was sold out! We got to play with the new Venus expansion which was nifty. Dropmix was super interesting if you're at all into rhythm games. It's a clever use of cards and electronics.

On My Mind
- Thanksgiving. We're going to my brother's. I have to take a dessert. Easy!
- Thanksgiving weekend. Saturday we're having all day gaming out our place and ending with a fifth game of BSG for the year. Then Sunday dinner at Matt's mom's. His sister is SUPPOSED to show up. We haven't seen her or her kids in a year and a half.
- PAX Unplugged was fun. As someone familiar with PAX East and GenCon it felt like a weird combination of the two. It was nice to pick up Whistle Stop and Ex Libris which were sold out at GenCon before I could grab them. Overall, I had a pretty good experience. Got to meet some internet friends, made some new friends, played some games, and ate some AMAZING food!
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13. Board Game: Codenames: Disney Family Edition [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2408] [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Joseph Shufelt
United States
Portland
Oregon
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 8   Codenames: Disney Family Edition x10 NEW!

I worked 69 hours last week, so I didn't have a lot of time for games.

My wife did request to play Codenames: Disney though on date night. She's not a gamer at all, so that's a nice treat. I never have played Codenames with 2 players, outside of Duet. Being she wasn't all that accustomed to gamey sorta rules, we decided to keep things straightforward and just do 2 player varient.

The rules for 2 player are... okay? They work, they just aren't as exciting.

The Disney theme is fun. In some ways it's harder, because there is so much overlap with the portraits and movies. We played enough to go through all the cards.

OMM

I'm pretty damn tired. I worked all weekend.

I've been playing D&D Pbf, and that's been surprisingly fun (I'm not a huge D&D/high fantasy guy). I think I just about killed the entire party though.

I've been tossing around an idea of running an adventure module of Edge of the Empire on PbF too. I've been listening to a lot of Star Wars books on audible, and I'm unashamed of my love for Star Wars.
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14. Board Game: The Expanse Board Game [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1832]
Jeremy P
United States
waconia
MN - Minnesota
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 7   World Championship Russian Roulette
 10   Secret Hitler x2
 8   The Expanse Board Game

World Championship Russian Roulette -- The theme is certainly divisive, but the game is pretty fun. It's essentially twist on the classing bluffing game Skull (and Roses). Little luck heavy, but components are nice and it plays in 10 minutes, teaches in 2.

The Expanse Board Game -- I mentioned after my first play I felt like the score could go up or down. Although I've left it at an 8, surprisingly, I might bump it up after another play or two. Possibility the biggest stand out was the scoring. Both games maintained relatively tight margins between all players, with the individual who was trailing most of the game, slingshotting into a win for the final scoring. Lots of really interesting decisions each turn and it just the right amount of direct player interaction. I still feel the market costs of cards are a bit off.

OMM --

This whole Net Neutrality thing has me all hot and bothered.

We aren't doing anything for Thanksgiving, which is really nice.

I already feel behind on Christmas shopping. Generally we start shopping late Oct due to having quite a few people to by for. Normally by the first week of Dec we are done. But we haven't even made lists yet.

My 6 year old suddenly developed an interest in the Pokemon TCG. I've never played a TCG in my life, beside Magic once. I'm preparing to go down that path.
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15. Board Game: Keyper [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:1242]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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 N/A   Keyper x2 NEW!
 8   Patchwork
 8   Last Will
 10   Hansa Teutonica
 N/A   Arboretum NEW!

Keyper -- So this is the big game that I played. Richard Breese's newest Key game. There are a lot of resources for this game, it's ridiculous. To play the game there are 19 distinct resources (8 animals and 11 'goods'). Also, each player starts the game with 8 meeples, 6 of which have unique powers. This all combines into a very difficult game to explain (especially if you've never played before). I think the game is good, but the extreme rules overhead really puts a damper on it for me personally. While I like the game, I don't love it, and I would be hesitant to recommend it to others.

Hansa Teutonica -- This was the weirdest game of Hansa Teutonica I've ever played. We had four people, but three of us were playing very similar strategies. While the fourth person was upgrading their actions, the other three of us were claiming cities and bonus tokens at a rapid pace. The game ended with only a single person having 4 actions, the final winning score (me) was 26 points. I'd say that a typical low winning score is about 40, for a frame of reference. The only reason I was able to win was because I upgraded my privilege early on and then clogged up those routes so nobody else could. This gave me a slight edge in which cities I could claim, and it gave me a massive edge for where I could place the new bonus markers.

On my mind:
My wife and I hosted our annual Friendsgiving. We had 10 guests this year (thankfully our dining room table has two extra leafs, and managed to fit everyone very nicely). Rufus was surprisingly well behaved; he laid down next to people and didn't even beg for scraps (something he would not do last year). We've only lived in Michigan for less than two years, so it was nice to realize we've made so many good friends.

Of course, one cannot hang out with 10 other people during fall without catching something. This week I've been fighting a head cold, which is why I've not responded here very much. Sorry!
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