What Did You Play This Week? January 01-07, 2018
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 454


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1. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.53 Overall Rank:33]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Happy New Year...

Tuesday
1x - Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 - Prologue New! mb

Spoiler (click to reveal)

We opened the box and played through the instructional Prologue scenario of Pandemic Legacy Season 2 and learned the basic concepts of the game. I'm ready to go, but my wife may want to read through the starting rule book in its entirety and replay the Prologue again before we start.

Thursday
1x - Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 - January mb
mb - 4.0 mi 33:34 (8:23) - treadmill

January - Success
Game play got real in hurry.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We had a stretch of land on the edge of the grid developing into a plague hotspot that required close attention. In the end, after an emotional meltdown a slightly heated exchange between the two of us as my wife was frustrated with understanding what we were ultimately trying to accomplish (i.e. what happens next, after we're done with all these plague cubes?). Fortunately, we managed to successfully complete our two objectives, keep population decline to a minimum and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the end game upgrades/changes we had to choose from.


Saturday
1x - Catan: Cities & Knights

My wife took the lead from my daughter about half way after which my daughter and I stole bonus points back and forth as we competed to gain the lead only to have my wife build a metropolis one turn before my daughter would have pulled the upset for the win 14, 11, 7. We got in our play of Cities & Knights that my daughter wanted before going back to school.

Sunday
2x - Codenames Duet - mb

Taught my daughter how to play Duet and we recorded two attempts both ending in wrong guesses in sudden death. However, we did manage both times to identify all but four of the agents.


Everything here started cranking up again so I'm off my normal routine. I also finished the week off by getting the flu. With all that said, I'm looking forward to continuing the unveiling of Season 2 and feeling better.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 List at 4/100
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2. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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It was a great week of gaming with me managing to try and teach new games with friends and family!

Monday

This New Year had my family all present which is something I am thankful for as with the kids mostly grown up I expect that this will not be the case more often in the future.
Mechs vs. Minions = 1 Play

Sherwin’s friend Paulo paid us a visit and it was a perfect time to continue with the campaign as the added Yorgle would surely be very helpful for us to defeat the boss in Mission 3. My 2 sons and I took our usual mechs which left Heimerdinger for Paulo to pilot. I was definitely right in that 4 Yorgles were better than 3 especially with the boss having an upgrade which pulled mechs to him and with Sherwin and Paulo forced to deal with the Boss up closs that enabled Shawn and I to move around and step on the colored runes in order to take down the shields for Pau and Sherwin to attack the boss with. It proved to be a team effort and despite the tons of damage Sherwin’s Ziggas and Pau’s Heimerdinger took we finally managed to take down the boss with the Power Up tracker only at level 6.


The additional mech made the difference as we finally manage to take down the boss in our second try!

Wednesday

Some of my high school buddies went back to Manila to spend the New Year’s break and during one of our mini reunions Steven and I agreed to hook up after New Year to play games. Steven was the one who introduced me to wargaming way back in grade school in the early 80’s with Victory in the Pacific, but everything stopped after high school. Now I have the opportunity to re introduce him after 30 years so he could see what he was missing!

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) = 1 Play

I had to start with a modern wargame and I felt this would be the best tactical wargame to teach Steven. He had introduced Squad Leader to me 3 decades ago so I knew he would pick this one up quick and he did. The usual Firefight 1 (Partisans) scenario was used and while Steven got the hang of the system quick (using the variable AP generation rule) he did not play optimally as he wasted AP by passing on active Soviet units still with unspent units in order to activate new ones to respond to my Germans. The result was that I managed to eliminate his squads one by one and he ended up conceding by round 3, but he enjoyed the system as it got his gaming juices running again.


Steven’s Soviets are badly mauled and he concedes in round 3 after trailing 1 VP to my 8.

Santorini = 1 Play

This light filler was up next and it ended surprisingly very tight as neither of us would give away and the buildings kept rising and rising. In the end a feint managed to draw one of his pieces away for me to build the 3rd floor for my piece to climb uncontested the win.

I then watched Steven and his 12 year old nephew use the basic gods with Steven losing again in another tight contest!


This has consistently proved to be an excellent game to introduce people to the hobby!

1775: Rebellion = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

We went out for lunch and it was back to wargaming after coming back. The Birth of America Series of area control games also by Academy Games, Inc. are also excellent gateway wargames and this one about the American Revolution has the most conflict at the get go. The scores seesawed to and from as his British recovered from my initial lead and with him ahead 6-4 he played both his truce cards by round 5 to signal the end of the game. He had an unfortunate attack though which gave me the opening to counterattack and my colonials managed to wrest control of 1 province away from him as well as contest another which resulted in a 6-5 win for my colonials.


A colonial win after 5 rounds! I am looking forward to the plastic minis for this game!

Thursday

My mom and me had to bring my youngest sister to a natural healing center up in the hills Friday and we decided to spend an evening together Thursday in a hotel. My brother caught up with us and I managed to teach some games to my sister while relaxing that afternoon.

Kingdomino = 2 Plays (NEW)

This plus its sister Queendomino were impulse buys when I picked up some games I ordered. Gameplay is simplicity itself as it really is a minor step up from its mass market predecessor as you try to form Kingdoms of like terrain with each Kingdom worth points equal to the number of squares times the number of crowns which are printed on some of the tiles. However, players are limited to a 5x5 grid and you are forced to discard tiles which cannot be placed within this grid or cannot match another exposed terrain tile in your kingdom, with the exception of 1 of the 4 sides of your starting castle tile which is considered wild. Easy as pie!

Game 1: A 2 player game with my sister Fifi results in me winning 30-25


Game 2: The second game had us include my brother Sunny. This time we included the Middle Kingdom rule which gave players 10 points if their castle tile is in the exact center of their kingdom. I did miserably here as not only did I fail to position my castle centrally but I was forced to discard a tile due to poor previous placements. My brother ended up winning with a score of 57 to Fifi’s 52 and my miserable 37.

Santorini = 2 Plays

I taught this abstract to Fifi later in the evening after dinner. We only played a couple of basic games without the Gods as Fifi’s brain was fried after out 2nd game.

Game 1: I beat Fifi very quickly in the initial teaching game.


Game 2: A tough game where no quarter was given and it was only late in the game where due to limited spaces where I managed to extricate 1 of my pieces from the quagmire to win.

The rest of the week was spent with a couple of evenings playing with Kent, as no one else was available for the weekend.

Friday

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) = 1 Play

Kent and I replayed Firefight 3 (The Gap) since our play before the yearend was aborted when Jay arrived. This time I changed my strategy a bit by using my German Riflemen to probe via left and right hooks instead of a primarily right hook I tried in the last game. This worked a bit since Kent later revealed that both of his hidden Soviet Riflemen were hidden to counter my right flanking maneuver and I managed to form a firing line with my light machine guns to counter Kent’s movements to counter my left flanking units. It was a VERY bloody game with my machine guns creating carnage and a lot of very close and melee firefights and we both ended up losing 6 units, but I had managed to hold the objective by the end of round 3 which gave me 5 VP and also had the road objective in view by a unit of mine a couple of turns which gave me the VP lead in the end 15 to Kent’s 11.


A VERY bloody game which showed several facets of the game, resulting in a 15-11 win for my Germans.

Kingdomino = 2 Plays

I then introduce this to Kent and we get to play 2 games, and I end up losing both!

Game 1: Kent 38 Me 31


Game 2: We play with the Middle Kingdoms and Harmony rules, and I totally miss out on a lot of crowns for a poor score! Kent 54 Me 36.

Race for the Galaxy = 1 Play

We finished the evening with a quick game of this including the first 2 expansions. I manage to settle the correct worlds as well as fulfil a couple more requirements in order to grab 4 objectives. It turned out I needed those since Kent managed to score a lot of points from his 6 cost Development and he would have surely won if I did not get the 16 points from those objectives.


Military settling plus domination of the objectives gives me a 43-35 win.

Saturday

The 2nd evening of gaming with Kent was more euro focused as we bring a game out of the dust as well as try out a sequel for the first time.

Lewis & Clark = 2 Plays (Out of the Dust!)

I finally bring this out of the dust again and the bonus is that we got to play a couple of quick games of this that night!


Game 1: The evening opened with me getting a win with John Ordway as I manage to milk a wood fuelled river movement card to reach Fort Clatsop way ahead of Kent’s William Clark.


Game 2: We closed the evening with Kent overtaking me as he had a card which could also use horses to swim in the river while I got stuck in the mountains as he managed to gallop his way to Fort Clatsop in a burst of speed!

Queendomino = 1 Play (NEW)

We tried out this sequel to Kingdomino in between our plays of Lewis & Clark. We found out that it is truly a gamer’s version since it added a new type of terrain (construction sites) wherein you can buy buildings from a row using coins, which is a new resource in the game. Buying some buildings also can give you towers to place on those buildings as well as give you knights which can collect taxes if you put them on your newly placed tiles. The player with the most towers gives them control of the queen who not only gives you a discount when you buy buildings but acts as an extra crown at the end of the game as you must place her in your largest territory in your kingdom. The buildings you construct can give you a ton of points as they can give you VPs for territory types as well as for your placed knights or towers or give you more money whenever you collect taxes. There is also some form of building denial since once per round a player can hire the dragon for 1 gold and the dragon destroys a building of your choice from the face up row.

The game also ended up way longer to play. Our 2P player games with Kingdomino was no longer than 10 minutes, but our play of this took 40 minutes. Granted that’s still not too long but this is definitely not a gateway game anymore. You also have to be careful and remember that area scoring is still the primary way to score points since in this game I thought I won since I had the queen for the entire game but ended up losing to Kent since he totally monopolized the plains terrain as well as the water tiles and scored huge for those terrain.


Kent’s area scoring for his plains and seas was more than enough to compensate for my crown domination as he ends up winning 161 to my 145!


Scoring breakdown.
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3. Board Game: Clans of Caledonia [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:61]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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New Year's Day

I started the new year off right with a learning game of Clans of Caledonia. My niece and her husband and 3 kids stopped in for a few hours before we went to my Mom's and he had kick started it and wanted to teach me. It certainly is a good game.


New Year's is our big Enns get to rehear and usually someone asks for a game. The last couple of years it has been my nephew's wife, Missy. Lindy was the only one to join this year. She choose Clank and quite liked it.

Tuesday

Lance came for a few days on New Year's Day and Lindy and I taught him Clank.


Later on Lindy and I played Onitama. I like this game well enough but it is one of those kind that I am not that likely to win till I have played it a lot which means I might never win since I likely will never play it a lot.


Lance joined Lindy an die for Dice Forge.

Wednesday

Lindy and I got in our last game of Great Western Trail for the holidays.


Lance and I played Lanterns.


Dar and I had given Lance Machi Koro:Bright Lights, Big City for Christmas and Lance and I took a moment to play it.


Melissa, Lance, Lindy and I played Dominion with Guilds, Cornucopia and the Governor card. For some reason I have taken to winning this game now almost every time it comes out.


In the evening our friends Stewart and Terry came for their annual Christmas holiday visit and we played Snitch.

Thursday

In the morning I taught myself Saboteur: The Duel. It comes with solo rules. Lindy came by and saw it and I taught it to her right after.


Later Melissa and I played Cottage Garden.


In the evening Melissa, Lindy and I played Dominion again, this time with Hinterlands. We used Tenzi as a start player game.



Late in the evening Melissa, Lindy and I played Clue Master Detective.

Friday

Lindy and I played Saboteur: The Duel.

Saturday

The last day of holidays with kids at home. As our last game Lindy and I played Tokaido.

22 games played this week, 4 of these were expansions, 1 was a start player.
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4. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Vinhos

During the week, I managed to work in three more solo plays of Vinhos to get the rules down. Sheryl and I had misplayed the fair rules last weekend, but I think that I have them straight now. I also added Vinhos: The Advertisers for the third play, which I guess I got when I won it in an auction a year ago. It's not a big deal, but more experts can't hurt.
Vinhos in solo play.

Lords of Waterdeep

I had thought that Sheryl played this a few years ago when I got it, but this was actually her first play. Not only did she like it, she edged me by 4 points for the win.
Sheryl wins her first game 142 to 138.

I rate both games at 7.7 out of 10, and I would give the edge to Vinhos except that Sheryl thinks that it's "too thinky" for her taste.

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5. Board Game: Murano [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:830]
Joe H
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On Saturday Sharon and I sat down to continue our Near and Far campaign, the first time we’d played in several months. This time we had reached The Dried Sea map. She seemed focused on trade routes while I focused on the quests (completing 6 of the 7 available). I was able to split a couple of her trade routes though she did complete the cabbage route solo. I had pretty high skill level to start and completed quests fairly easily. As the game progressed I was aided by a dice mitigating treasure I’d found as well as a World Card. Later in the game I switched to swords and fought through a couple of threats as I worked to finish out my tents. Being able to fight and camp helped me catch up to Sharon’s early lead on tents and, surprisingly, trigger the end game. For the first time ever I maxed out my reputation and this helped me to the 77-53 victory...the largest margin we’ve had so far.



[New to Me] On Sunday I taught Sharon Murano. This was our first rondel game and it was lots of fun, filled with lots of good decisions and seemed like a real “tempo” game as you. I started out early by building my engine through special buildings and a couple of shops. Sharon pushed hard for shops and glass factories. Two early special buildings I got allowed me to transmute glass colors so I focused to building glass factories and one sale gave me lots of cash. Later, a character card would give me VPs for a green glass. Late in the game I picked up three more character cards, placed my gondoliers and fulfilled some VP conditions. Strangely, Sharon picked up a special building late in the game. I made a tactical error in not locking up an island that had met one of my VP conditions. Sharon placed a special building there and I didn’t think twice about having lost that scoring condition. I could have met it elsewhere but, my head was out of it and I triggered endgame. It was a costly oversight as, much to our mutual amazement, she won 49-48...a nice rebound after Saturday’s game session.


Gaming with Friends

On Wednesday night some friends introduced me to Five Crowns, a rummy variant. The oldest daughter Emma gave her dad the evil eye, swearing she would beat him. I started out with the hot hand, getting zero points on the first two hands. Things went south from there. After the penultimate hand I was in last place by one point. Fortunately, Emma had a really bad final hand, helping me secure second to last. The winner, much to her embarrassment, was her dad who rubbed it in even further by pointing out that she had more than doubled his score. Not a great game but we all had fun.



Solo Gaming

After a few hours skiing down a mountain I decided to start my 2018 gaming by working my way up mountain by playing Snowdonia - one of my favourite solo games. And....I learned something new...you start with your train. That changed things a lot. This game's train was #3 Wyddfa which gives an extra cube from the supply. This, along with the extra worker, helped me manage the bag quite effectively...almost too effectively. The extra worker also changed the game in allowing me to grab contracts early. Events only came out of the bag slowly and early in the game I knew I had to manage my player cubes. In fact, I really had to work to lay the last two tracks when I was hit by several turns of fog and had to avoid clearing out a station space. I ended up playing a delaying game, taking steel and converting it to extra, unnecessary rail to get to a point where I could lay my last two rails and use up my last 2 player cubes. In the end I scored 213 points with 51 from stations, 28 from track, 113 from contracts and 21 from the surveyor.



Later on Monday I played two games of La Granja: No Siesta. In the first game the AI claimed the 2nd market barrow and the stable space on the market board. I pushed helpers early while working on the market barrow, later claiming the helper space on the market board. Finished up with 51 points (“you can make a living”). The second game started with the AI claiming the second market barrow and the stable space on the market board again. I pushed the helper track again and got some early action on the long-distance trade. But, I didn’t get far on the roofs. The 9 point market barrow helped but I only scored 45 points (“potential to be a farmer”) with the difference being my inability to snag those last two roof tiles.



On Tuesday I played a couple of games of Coldwater Crown, a game I had played once before as a solo experience. These two games were the polar opposite of my first play which was a victory. In the first game the bot completely annihilated me. It ended the game with 12 fish which also captured second prize for 8 different species. Along the way it captured 2 of the 3 location prizes and one of the master angler awards. Meanwhile, the only 2 bright spots were being the first one to 8 species and 4 weight awards. I was crushed 32-21. The second game was a bit better. I took 2 of the 3 location awards and got a master angler award. But, with only 7 fish I was hard pressed to do much else and the bot raced to 12 fish on the way to a 21-17 victory.



Later on Tuesday I played one of my favourite soloable games that I picked up last year, The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game. I jumped out to a lead in the second round but then had to scramble as AARON scored 11 points in the third round. and I kept scrambling for the rest of the game. In the last round I needed 7 points to tie and was able to finish a set of ports and sell lots of goods to get 10 points and a 27-24 win.



On Thursday I pulled out The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for the first time in a while. I played the first book, "Storm Front", using Harry Dresden, Karrin Murphy and Susan Rodriguez. This was case-solving combo and, after clearing obstacles and gaining early advantages I was able to solve 2 cases and defeat 1 foe going into the final showdown. I was well-stocked with fate and solved 2 more cases for the win. My wife began reading the novels this summer and has enjoyed them so I'm hoping to soon we will be able to play this together.



Later on Thursday I played two games of OctoDice. In the first game I earned my highest score yet, 44 points. In the early rounds I focused on building my lab and with that engine my scores built from round to round with me scoring 23 points in the final round and another 5 points in the endgame. In the second game, things didn't go quite so well. I took a bit of a gamble on subs and the lab that didn't quite paid off. I scored 12 points in the endgame but my poor scoring otherwise left me with just 28 points.



On Friday I played a game of Onirim (second edition). I got an early door or two, fended off several nightmares with key cards and looked to be in good shape. There was only one more beige door left and I didn’t think many beige cards had been used or discarded but I couldn’t draw the beige I needed and lost again.



On Saturday I had a couple of winning solo efforts at Dice Stars. In the first game I kind of rushed things, pausing only at the end to fish for a last star helping me to a 97-70. The second game was a bit longer. This time I doubled up the “4” row to 48 but the longer game gave the “bot” lots of time time to score. I was, however, able to outpace the bot 128-110.



On Sunday I returned to the Oniverse and played Nautilion. I. The first game I played the Mages expansion with the wheel-shaped “C” board. This game wasn’t even close. I finished the Mages cabin but still had 3 positions to fill on my sub when the Phantom made it to the (no longer so) Happy Isles. Later, I discovered that three chits still remained in the box. Not sure they would have helped. In the second game things went much better. It helped that I was using a “B” sub and that I was able to move the Phantom much slower this time. In the end, I needed a “1” die roll to get the last crew member I needed for my sub and, after that, cruised into the Abyss with the Phantom 3 spaces from the Happy Isles.



On Sunday night I played Elder Sign on the iPad. This game pitted the investigative team of Monterey Jack, Jenny Barnes, Sister Mary (whose power never was used) and Derek Drake against Yig. I thought I was in trouble from the start with two Midnight Effects and three Terror effects on the board. But, I rolled amazingly throughout the game, never failing an adventure. The game concluded with Sister Mary completing and Other World adventure unassisted which gave 3 Elder Signs, Jenny Barnes visiting the store to waste some time, Derek Drake completing an easy adventure and Monterrey Jack buying the last Elder Sign.
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6. Board Game: Lava Flows [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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I didn't post to the WDYPTW list last week because I was at sea (literally) on a one-week cruise with my family that ended this Wednesday. My games on that trip are cataloged in my Games on New Year's Cruise geeklist. Picking up on Thursday, I played a fair number of games since my return home, with six plays already going toward my 10x10 challenge for 2018.

Prp really gave me a drubbing in a play of Onward to Venus. Her French beat my Germans 62 to 45, shutting me out on the Moon and the Kuiper Belt, and beating me everywhere else except Venus (tied) and Earth (my advantage).



I hope that I can get in more multiplayer Jump Drive play this year, but I started out with a solitaire Traveler Campaign, falling just short of success: Distant Victory, System Diversity, Great Victory (and just short of an Influential Victory), failed fourth hand. The fourth hand was like the third, one military world short of Influential and well over 60 VP.

The first Summoner Wars play of 2018 was a rematch for Scraven's War Council (The Seer, Barston, Cyrus, Slayers, Flingers, Sand Cloak Hunters) and Maldaria Titania (Fire Drake, Malevolence, Duke Ramezall, Firelings, Changelings, Fire Dancers, Fire Archers). In the previous session, Prp's Maldaria fielded all of her champs, and all Scraven got was the Seer (who didn't last long). Although the Fire Drake was wounded, he was still kicking at the end. Prp was decked, and I still had another six or so cards in my draw, but that was little consolation as my Scraven fell to Malevolence's onslaught. So I went into this one without much optimism.

But things worked out a little differently on the second go. Again, Maldaria summoned all three champs, but I got both Cyrus and Barston, and I had some Slayers that really did excellent anti-champ work for me. In the end, we were both decked, and it came down to Scraven (barely scratched from a Fire Drake breath attack) supported by a Slayer and a Sand Cloak Hunter, against a lone Queen Maldaria.


I did a little swaperoo at the end so that Maldaria would get one attack against Scraven (which couldn't kill him) and my own Summoner could use the Bloodthirsty event on the final attack of the game.

Prp and I played a little Hive over Saturday lunch, and she was the victor.

Later we played some Elder Sign: Omens of Ice. Amanda and Skids took on Rhan-Tegoth in the summer, and it started harshly: the Northern Tales adventure locked red and green dice before the first turn, and the starting mythos card knocked us for 1 sanity and 1 stamina each.


But we did great! Amanda and Skids powered through Stage I, and did serious business in Stage II. But at the end of Day 5, Amanda was slain by storm effects, attempting to take on the Last Breath adventure for the win. Thanks to a Grave Consequences epitaph, her Light Will Shine Forever, but we never did go to the other worlds adventure thus revealed (the Plateau of Leng). Amanda's replacement Jenny attempted the Last Breath, but failed. And finally, Skids joined her, so that their combined efforts achieved the tenth Elder Sign, with the doom track at five.



Our final play on Saturday was Lava Flows, the Looney Labs 2017 Holiday Gift. I've decided I like this one enough that it's gotten packed into the old Pink Hijinks bag to serve as a pocket game for the near future.

First thing on Sunday, I got in a solo game of Runebound while the rest of the family was asleep. I played the Ascendance of Margath scenario with Elder Mok as my hero. I was able to capitalize on his ability like crazy! With both Revelation and Well of Power skills, his Spirit was raised to FIVE, and Inner Fire allowed him to Unleash it twice per combat round! I focused on getting him equipment that had tokens with surge icons: Bottle Imp and Skinning Knife were both in his final kit.

Not once in the game did he bother with a combat adventure, just exploration and social ones--although these did get him a few enemies, which he beat consistently. He also went on some Story Quests to acquire lore. Mok took on Margath with 4 turns still to go in Act II, but the Dragon Lord had already advanced twice toward Tamalir, and I was getting nervous.


I had accumulated 4 lore, and because so many of Margath's attacks were unblockable, I only ended up using 3 of it in the course of the two rounds of combat. Margath was a Savage enemy, and I got initiative both rounds, In the end, Mok had taken six damage and delivered sixteen, mostly by Unleashing Power! The Bottle Imp was also critical as a way of preventing Margath from using Flame to Flesh. I love Elder Mok: he's like Yoda, but bigger and not evil.

And I ended the week with a play of Petri Dish with Prp. She went first and kept the advantage for the whole game, slowly but surely taking the win.
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7. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Concordia - We played a 5 player game of Concordia at this week's meetup. We had one new player, so I ran through the rules pretty quickly. I was focusing on mostly getting Saturn and Jupiter cards (I think), and I was doing alright, but cards were getting bough pretty frequently, and I ended up with the choice of ending the game or not being able to get much done in my last 2 turns, so I ended the game. I came in third place, but only by a couple of points. This is a good game, and I'm glad that this group enjoys it.
Rating: 7.5

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - On Saturday, we were finally able to get together with our Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 group to (hopefully) finish it out. We last played about a year ago, and we won our only game in August. So, we picked up where we left off, playing our first game in September... And losing very quickly. We ended up only playing 3 games, and we lost every one of them. The last one (our first play in October) was just heartbreaking. We were so close to accomplishing a couple of things that I assume are important, but now we'll have to wait to find out. On the bright side, we're one loss away from the "Don't open unless you lose 4 times in a row" box. Yay? We made tentative plans to get together in March to try again. Very glad to make any kind of progress on this, though.
Rating: 9

Alchemists - After losing one of our players, we played a 3 player game of Alchemists. I just love this game. One of my opponents snagged the periscope early and was peaking at our ingredients all game. I got the discount card, which ended up making a big difference later when I was able to grab the cabinet artifact. I managed to pull out a victory by about 4 points (the cabinet scored me 6). I love this game.
Rating: 9

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8. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Session report: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1912606/1960-over-2017-holi...
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9. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:95]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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My wife and I made it through the first 8 games of Charterstone as well as a few plays of Kingdomino. We are really enjoying both!
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10. Board Game: Massive Darkness [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:629] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
James Valadez
United States
El Paso
Texas
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FRIDAY



We decided to try a game of Massive Darkness. We wanted to try Quest 9 but only had three players. We decided to have two heroes each since we never were able to complete this quest. With the six heroes we were able to complete the entire quest.
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11. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:53]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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 8   Spirit Island x2 NEW!

This is one of those games I saw on Kickstarter and passed on it because It just didn't click with me. I'm kicking myself now, because this game is amazing. For those who don't know this game could be described as reverse Catan. Settlers are trying to colonize and explore a magical island, and you are the spirits who inhabit the island. You will use you powers to kill or frighten the settlers until they leave the island. At it's heard this is a cooperative area control game. Each spirit is very unique in their playstyle, and powers. All in all this is a fantastic game. Its challenging, and fairly easy to learn, with a ton of strategic complexity. It also plays very well Solo as well. I give this game a very high recommendation.





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12. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:148]
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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 7.0   Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
We played June (yes, we're a little behind on the hotness!) and lost rather narrowly on outbreaks. To be fair, we were due for a loss as we had zero funded events.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We tried to win with the military bases condition, which got us close, and we took some time to invest in some of our shiny new event stickers on city cards. Blue is our C0D4 disease, so we have been stacking up event stickers on our blue cards. The zombies faded are spreading quickly, but we've contained them to all the blue cities for now. We have a few permanent roadblocks on the map so that the spread is contained.



 N/A   Samurai Spirit x3
Alisha got me this Antoine Bauza co-op for Christmas, and we've found it fiendishly difficult. We played it twice two-player this week, which is good, but the game is better with more players. We played a five player match at Saturday game night that was very satisfying. I saw more point to the 'support' action, and though we narrowly lost, I definitely felt more of the appeal of this game (it fell just a bit flat in two-player).


 10.   Dixit
Alisha and I (briefly) tried a two-player variant of Dixit because we'd lent out codenames Duet and wanted a two-player game. Dixit doesn't play two players, don't bother.


 8.0   Codenames Duet x2
Instead, we tried playing Codenames with Dixit cards. We used a companion app to get some Codenames Duet grid cards, and used the Dixit cards with Codenames Duet rules. This was really hard! We were flexible on what sorts of hints were allowed, and even so we fell short. Very enjoyable variant, will definitely try this again sometime.


 7.0   Mysterium x3
Mysterium is a pretty fun co-op that my brother got me for Christmas. I really enjoy the tension the ghost has to suffer through. We played this three times, once on Friday night with Alisha, Grace, Stephen, Josh, and Alexa, and then twice on Saturday with the game night crew.

I experienced a very satisfying moment on Friday when I had come to the last round and needed to hand out four correct guesses for us to advance to the second round. I used up all my crows but did, in the end, pull out four correct guesses. Then, of course, I had no good cards to give to people, and they had not advanced very high on the clairvoyance track. We narrowly lost, but I was satisfied with the effort of steering four people to the right weapon with a narrow hand of cards.


 10.   Glory to Rome
We got together on Saturday to watch the Chiefs game (boo!) and while doing so, Jon and Ashley and I played a three-player match of Glory to Rome. I absolutely wasted them with my Colosseum, stealing four clients from Jon and three from Ashley to pad my vault. Surprisingly, neither of them could get a Palisade built so I was able to keep harassing them. Reminded me why this is such a good game.


 N/A   Photosynthesis NEW!
I taught this one to Dad on Sunday night, and about the only thing I can say is that this is definitely not a two-player-best game. We enjoyed it, but the game has a real tricky feel to it, and it seems like the competition would be much fiercer with more players. I'm looking forward to trying this one again.
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13. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:426] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We started the year off with 2 more games of The Bloody Inn which we're both enjoying more the more we play it. I managed to win the first game by about 40 Francs, taking full advantage of an annex that scored me a bunch of money for purple cards in the exit stack at the end of the game. I had some real difficulties in the second game as I ran out of annexes to bury some extra bodies in and kept having the police visit the inn which meant I either had to murder them and add to my growing pile of problems or recruit them and continue to bleed out money. I eventually managed to bury everyone but the whole process ended up being rather costly for me. I lost the second game by about 30 Francs.

Tuesday's game of choice was Exit: The Game - The Forbidden Castle. I really enjoyed this one and found it to be the most intuitive one of this latest batch, but my wife grew frustrated with the whole thing and gave up on it about 3/4 of the way through. I think she's just completely burned out on the whole escape room thing which is a shame as I think I'll still continue with the series myself but won't do as well since she's been able to figure out a number of puzzles that had stumped me. I ended up getting 6 stars in this one.

Our only other game this week was Among the Stars which we hadn't played for quite a while and we managed to get in 1 game on both Friday and Sunday evenings. Despite lagging behind for the entire duration of the first game, most of my cards scored me points at the end of the game which allowed me to jump into first place and win by about 20 points which really took my wife by surprise. Thing were a lot closer in the second game and the combination of a single objective and ambassador card is what ended up giving her the 7 points she ended up winning by.
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14. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Tragic Events [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Patrick Hillier
United States
Kettering
OH
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New Year's Day - started off the year with my short lived New Year's resolution to only play games that are #1 on the BGG with my buddy Carl coming over to play some Gloomhaven with me. It wasn't grabbing me solo - so he took over one of my players and restarted the game. We lost once and restarted and made it thru the first adventure, got a bunch of loot and went back to town to rest and buy some new gear. Liking it a lot more with two.

Wed. we played February of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We were not sure if the City we connected in January counted toward our goal, by the end we connected three so it didn't matter. We suck at keeping things organized and following the rules - as I was cleaning up I found the build three stations mandatory quest, explaining why we won February so easily...


Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Tragic Events

This is an expansion for Flash point fire rescue. I tried this out solo. It replaces the hot spots. When you do an advance fire roll you draw from this deck. Most are just normal advance fire cards, some exra impact like double advance fire and/or draw from an event deck. The event deck adds explosions that reduce your actions, etc. Adds interest and some randomness and makes it a bit harder. It also adds new roles that I was trying out. I lost horribly with two, with out the engine gunner.

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15. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Cyclades

Feels odd, but the game simply might be too tight. It can get to where enough players are on the verge of winning and players are out to make sure the other players can't win and one player runs out of a way to do so. Granted, tight games also show how balanced and well designed a game can be. It will hit my Top 100(min 3 plays) with another play. I would say at least in the 50-75 range.

Bastion - New

A solid game which got lost in the mass of games. We were close to winning in our first attempt at it, but there are a number of ways to increase the difficulty once we get better. Note of this co-op designers. We talked about what could be added in the base game or through an expansion. On the puzzle side and quarterbacking can definitely happen. I don't mind that so much in a first play as two of us where getting our first play in. It was more like we were given options and we got to decide, but the options also were at times obvious. Definitely worth another play.

Terraforming Mars

I got the win, and I think the light is clicking how to play this better. Still haven't put up an amazing score, but I have improved roughly by 20 points from my initial plays. If card draw is going to screw you, then you really had to have been screwed because I think understanding how to play and doing it well will be a much bigger factor. Hit my 5th play so I can put it in my Top 50 list(min 5 plays) for this one. I think it might even be Top 10 for me.

7 Wonders

This and Power Grid can duel it out for best game I don't own. It is also one of the few games I can actually play decently. This has been one to slowly grow on me, and I think it is looking at a possible Top 10 ranking for me. At one point I would have really questioned your thinking if you had told me that would eventually be a thing. It feels weird to finally have a game night staple achieving such a high status 5+ years after first playing it. Rules issues have seem to be a reoccurring theme for me though likely due to not owning it and playing it just over once a year. I and other player got a rule wrong making it significantly harder to build stuff and yet we ended up 1st and 2nd after we got the rule clarified before the final age. No science, play any blue. Outside of that, it was 29 points from completing my pyramid levels and currency. Add in a number of cards which gave me VP for my and fellow player's cards so even if I was lacking in something, they helped me make up for it.

And since someone will ask, the cost to build a card I and the other person were adding in the building listed next to the resources. So, yeah.
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16. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Not much action this week.


Craps x 3
Blackjack x 1

Brass x 1
Carcassonne x 1


Got slaughtered on a New Year's Day trip to the casino. I have never seen craps tables as ice-cold as I did that day. Watched three straight shooters set a point then seven out immediately, got clobbered on Place betting because of it. Did three sessions at craps tables and the results were something like negative $90, plus $20, and negative $61. There was a dark side better who would pop by from time to time, and every time I saw him, the table went straight to hell. I'm like 60% sure that guy was the devil.

Also had another bad run of Blackjack where I just could not get a halfway decent starting hand - lots of 14's, 13's, 15's, etc. - and every time the dealer would have something like a 6 or 7, she's flip over a 3, 4, or 5. Brutal.


Also got clobbered in Brass, but did manage to (just barely) beat Mrs. Drazen at a fairly large game of Carcassonne, with Inns & Cathedrals, The Festival, Abbey & Mayor, and the Mini Expansion in play. A big cathedral city is much easier to complete when you have the Abbey.


Played a couple games of Twilight Struggle against the AI because I've been so out of practice (one game all of last year). It lost one on Turn 3 when it played CIA Created at DEFCON 2 in AR5 for no discernible reason. In the second, despite dropping Red Scare/Purge on the USSR, I somewhat inexplicably found myself down 13 VP in Turn 3, but ultimately came back to win with 33 VP.



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17. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Games with Gamers



Frist Friday game night at a friends. We had five players most of the evening. I had a terrible night in performance, but had a fun time regardless.

Power Grid - We played with the Korea map and I choose my initial spot poorly. It ended up putting me a turn behind most of the game, I was able to get things working but had a lost turn early. I liked the impact the two resource markets had on the game. Definitely a nice twist.

Santiago - Next up was this negotiation game. First time for most of us so we spent the game trying to figure it out. It's a pretty cut-throat game. I'd happily play it again despite getting crushed. I don't think I'd want to play it with complete strangers as part of the enjoyment for us was back and forth in the negotiation and aftermath.

For Sale - Popular filler, first time played for me. Lived up to it's reputation, quick and fun.

Iberian Railways - Cube rail-building game. My first time playing anything like this. First time for all of us with this particular game. The more experienced players in the genre preferred other versions after we played. I found the game had a disconnect between the actions you could take and the victory conditions at the end. They didn't flow well from one to the other.

Tichu - We lost our fifth player and as several of us mentioned we wanted to learn this last time we played, we broke it out. I love card games and I can see this one has real potential if you wanted to dive into it. Not sure I can muster the 4p required to play this regularly but I see the appeal.

Solo Games



Time of Crisis - Played a player made solo variant and won handily. I'll try the variant again though as I think I just got a little lucky. Very basic AI actions, but they are unpredictable with fits the chaos of the period.

Online Gaming

Innovation - 3 games, tactics starting to emerge for me. Still lots of chaos to work through even with a plan.
Haggis - Just brilliant, though my performance was poor.
Roll for the Galaxy
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18. Board Game: Santa Maria [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:740]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Santa Maria is a game I’ve been trying can you get ahold of since I first heard about it as an Essen release. Unfortunately, it was produced in small quantity, and so I was unable to procure it from any of my usual European online shops.

Lo and behold, it arrived at my FLGS last week, and I played it twice...once as a 4P and once as a 3P.

At its heart, Santa Maria is a dice drafting game. Player use those dice to activate buildings on their personal boards to gather resources, exchange resources, build up points on two tracks, and ship goods. Goods are also used to buy more buildings to make future dice actions more efficient.

All in all, it’s a very nice, puzzle game, though one toward which I felt a bit less enthusiasm than several reviewers on this site. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy myself, it’s just that Santa Maria is a pretty solitary affair with considerable down time between turns. This latter issue was most noticeable at the 4P count, and as a consequence I definitely enjoyed the 3P experience a lot more.



Carthago was a complete surprise for me. An Essen release that had almost no buzz afterward, a friend picked it up from funagain and we gave it a shot. It’s a rather bizarre looking game with a fractured table presence and pretty lousy components.

Nevertheless, the gameplay is excellent. It’s a relatively fast playing multi-use card game with a very simple rule set but a lot of depth. My only caveat is I’m not sure about its longevity, as there seems to be only one real path to victory. That issue aside, I’ll be very happy to play this little gem again soon.



Finally, my gaming week ended with a long overdue continuation of our gloomhaven campaign. We beat a relatively short, straightforward scenario. I just hope we play it more often than every 2.5 months.

That’s it. Until next time...
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19. Board Game: Rajas of the Ganges [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:418]
Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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This week was...

Rajas of the Ganges - 3rd and 4th plays



Of all the games I've played recently this one really gets my heart excited more than the others. It's so much fun lining up big turns and trying to figure out how to sustain your dice engine, I am just in love with the puzzle here. My excitement about this game calls into question my love for all the other new games I've played recently.

American Rails - 1st play



This game is not substantially different from Chicago Express and Paris Connection, but it does have the potential to go on longer than it's cousins. It's been just long enough since I played the other two games that I don't feel comfortable writing up a list of differences between the games, but from our one play it felt like the thing that makes this game really interesting and different is that you don't know quite when the end of the game will trigger, which makes your mental math about what stocks are worth difficult, since stocks pay out at the end of each round. I enjoyed the game quite a bit, but I've liked most train games I've played. One of my friends who likes Paris Connection because it's short, and likes 1846 because it's more about stocks than logistics for him, disliked this game a lot. He felt the game relies too much on players knowing what their own best interests are and then acting on them in order for the game to be stable and avoid a runaway leader. In fact, in our game, despite other players having the opportunity to stop me, I was able to buy both copies of the stock in the red company, which seemed like a fairly chumpy move since Red wasn't a large or impressive company, however, players had more or less left it alone all game, and since I was getting 100% of it's payout, this small company amounted to more money coming to me than other players were getting for their 30-50% of larger companies.

The sad part is I picked up Chicago Express and American Rails because of this friend's liking of Paris Connection, thinking this would be a way I could play train games with him, since he also doesn't like Steam or Railways of the World. Now I have a whole new branch of the train game genre I won't be able to get to the table.

Azul - 7th play



Played this 2 players with my wife. I ended the game thinking I'd win, but she beat me in endgame scoring. I'm still enjoying this game a lot, and I'm surprised as after eleven years I've found a game my wife will come and ask me to play instead of the other way around.

Transatlantic - 1st play



This game uses a cards hand-building system similar to Concordia as an action selection system. It works well here, but has a very different feel to Concordia. Essentially players are either buying boats, or activating boats to gain money. Money lets you buy more boats, and so it goes. Slowly as the game progresses, older boats get edged out of the board, at which point they score points for you depending on how many tokens matching the boats color are present on your player board, plus a bonus for matching boats that got discarded from the conveyor belt of buyable boats. Once you've played five cards you can play your reset card to get all your old cards back, and then select a new action card to use from a belt of action cards which gets resolved immediately.

There's some interesting tension in the game as to how often you need to get new coal on your boats so that they can activate for money. There are also interesting points where you can buy a house above a boat spot which means you get some points in addition to money when boats activate, so how often do you buy those, vs saving for boats vs buying tokens for your player board to increase the value of your aged out boats. The process of boats getting pushed out of the slots is a little messy, and the rulebook for the game in english is quite poor, but this wound up being a pretty interesting experience. After my one play I don't know that I have a sense of what a good strategy looks like in the game, but I'm interested to see what I can do with more plays.

I will say that this game didn't punch me in the face with awesomeness like Concordia did. This still might wind up being a great game for me, but Concordia was love at first sight. This is something I'll have to grow into or away from. Another play or two will tell.

Calimala - 1st play



This game is nuts. It's an area majorities game that gives you very few actions across the whole game, but when you place an action disk, you place it on a space between two actions. You then get to resolve both actions. If later, someone places a disk on top of your disk, they get both actions and then you get both actions again. The same thing happens if a third disk gets placed on top. Then things get even more crazy as if a fourth disk goes on top, the disk on the bottom, rather than activate the actions, goes up to the scoring area and activates scoring for the next unscored criteria. In a tie, ties break in favor of whomever had the most disks in the scoring area, so there's a lot of strategy in terms of managing things to make sure your opponents don't get too many free activations, and in terms of timing the scorings right. In our session, one player focused on shipping goods to boat spots, and since that action is very efficient and we gave him enough free turns to, he kind of ran away with the game. I think there's a lot of potential here, but a player in my group who played this at Pax Unplugged said his game there went the same way, where the player who did boats the most ran away with things. He feels done, but I can't help but want to see more. The basic mechanisms of the game and trying to predict which spaces you think will be popular is so interesting.


Istanbul: The Dice Game - 1st play



To my surprise I liked this game a lot. I don't generally like dice games and I didn't like Istanbul proper, but this really turned out to be a pleasant surprise. In this game, you roll the dice, then you can spend the dice to do different things based on the combinations you got. One combination lets you bank a token, which shows one of the die faces. This lets you stack die results for bigger turns later. Another combination gets you a technology tile, which gives you powerful new abilities. These also combo with each other satisfyingly. Lastly, you can use the dice in different patterns to pick up rubies from the board, which just like in Istanbul proper, get more expensive as they get picked up. I had something interesting to do each turn, there is a cute card effect mechanism that sometimes has beneficial effects for your opponents that kept me engaged in opponent's turns. I hope to get more plays of this in the future.

Port Royal - 10th play



I always forget that playing this 5 players isn't a great idea. I've found you tend to end up with a single runaway leader, and that's what I wound up being. Hopefully people enjoyed the experience generally, but I felt bad both teaching and dominating the game.

Secret Hitler - 5th play



We wound up with all the liberal players sitting around one side of the table which led to a fairly easy victory for them. Hate when this happens, but it sort of comes with the territory for social deduction games like this.

Pulsar 2849 - 1st play



This is one of those tight worker placement point engine games. You get two actions per turn, and those actions are dependant on the values of dice you draft from the display at the start of the round. There are also clever ways to unlock a third die each round if you've planned well and lined yourself up properly. There are asymmetric actions on your player boards, different public goals each game, and even different action spots that slowly unlock as the game timer clicks down. The core of the game however is to not get too distracted by this shinny, because the most action intense activity in the game, claiming and activating pulsar spots on the map, is a process that pays out tons of points at the end of each round. After one play I have no idea how to play this game efficiently where I'm both making sure to grab the pulsar spots as soon as possible, but also making sure I can get that extra action every round and making sure my opponents don't beat me to the incredible technology spots and increased income tiles. There's a lot of potential for this game, but it's also possible that a player who gets a good lead early on might never get caught up to. At least, I don't see any substantial catch up mechanisms from my one dazzled-with-distractions play. Hopefully more soon.
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20. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:773]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody, I hope you are all fine.
I wish you the best for 2018

Not many games played for us this week.
One new game, and three games from our 10x10 Normal challenge

On Monday :

we played 2 games of Rise of Augustus. They were both 6-player games, a lot of confusion for me in both games as I was explaining the game to three persons :-) I finished last and third :-)

We also played a game of NMBR9 with my wife.
I managed to get more points than her !! ;-)
A good start of 2018 :-)

On Friday :

We offered Woo-Hoo to the child of a friend and as usual when we offer a game I am forced to play it before the family leaves :-)

On Sunday :

We managed to play 3 different games.
One game of Rise of Augustus : a 5-player game.
Then we had a Chinatown 5-player game in which I ended last with only 650000$ !!! I am no good at game with money

Finally I had a 2-player game of Twenty one with my wife.
We had close scores but I managed to win 104 to 100.

That's all in terms of playing, but in terms of translation it was really good :-)
I managed to complete the translation of 4 games :-)
e-SOLO-E, Spirit of Totem, War of the Buttons and Ponkotsu Factory.



Thanks for taking time to read this post
Have a nice gaming gaming week and once again I wish you the best for 2018
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21. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.66 Overall Rank:2]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Good week for cooperation with SO I did 14 plays of 3 games Yes, only 3. None of them were for my 10x10 hardcore challenge and 1 of them was new

Monday

The game of the week? Pandemic Legacy: Season 1! Although everyone is playing Season 2 nowadays, I got both seasons just this Christmas and w have been playing since. On Monday, we played through May, June and July, all wins on the first try. All were 2-player games with 4 characters
Spoiler (click to reveal)
- Operations Expert, Quarantine Specialist, Medic and Dispatcher. The 2 army personel and the 2 civilians are connected by family ties, the army personel also by co-worker ties. The roadblocks are a life saver! We used all the upgrades already to secure CodA (used to be red) so it does not spread to other areas and is somehow contained. We also found the virologist so we do have the CodA sequence now.



Wednesday

Wednesday was the only day when games other than Pandemic Legacy got played I went to a weekly meetup and played a bunch of 5-player games. We started with Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition). I managed to win with 37 points by collecting most ice and having 2 interconnected missions giving me 7 points each. Runner up was the new guy with 34, who had lots of sylvanite and cellerium. The others had 32, 27 and 21 points.

Next up were 2 plays of FUSE. The first had 20 cards in the deck and we finished in 8.5 min. The second one had 23 cards (some of level 6) and we finished it in 9:34.


Thursday

On Thursday, we played through August (twice, we once lost and admitted the defeat this time ) and September in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. Again, it were 2-player games with 4 characters:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Operations Expert, Quarantine Specialist, Medic and Dispatcher. Operations Expert was the one who died due to being a traitorous Sagitarius. We also found the person who could make a vaccine.



Sunday

And on Sunday, we finished Pandemic Legacy: Season 1! We played October twice (first time resetting the game completely), November once and December twice. All 5 were 2-player games with 4 characters again:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Medic, Dispatcher, Quarantine Specialist and Soldier, whom we switched for Immunologist for December. We addmitted the December loss by running out of cards, because we were able to vaccinate all but 2 faded cities. We ended the whole game with 780 points.

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22. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:247]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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On New Year's Day, for the second year in a row, I got a couple buddies together to play T.I.M.E Stories. This time we played through the T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case. Last year it took us all day to play through the base scenario and this year we were able to finish it in the second run. A little luck played into it (maybe a lot of luck) but we won! It was a great time. I hope we can play the next scenario BEFORE next New Year's Day!


Since we were done with Marcy Case, we had time to play a game of Stone Age. It was a little unfair, the other guys had played it a total of 1 time before between them. I had the advantage and I did win by a largish margin. I'm having a great time playing this game since getting it from my kids.


My son invited his girlfriend and her father over to play 1775: Rebellion on Tuesday. I love this game and was ready! The kids decided we needed to play the first game "Young People" vs. "Old Dudes". Well, the old dudes lost in grandiose fashion. Wasn't even close. The second game, we drew partners out of a hat and I ended up with my son's girlfriend. I was impressed, she's good at thinking about the strategy. BUT, unfortunately for her, she was stuck with me as a partner and lost a close one. I love this game, but never seem to win. That is a sign of a good game, right... you can lose all the time and still love it!


On Saturday morning, I decided to learn to play a game I got for Christmas from my parents, Planet of the Apes. I want to learn it before trying to teach anyone else and since it's a coop game, that makes it easier. I decided to try it with all four "characters". I read that playing with more makes it easier since you can use all the powers of the characters. I had a good time playing this game. It's a lot of dice rolling and card collecting. You progress through the scenes of the movie, but to progress from one scene to the next you need to complete enough adventures to move on to the next scene. It more or less takes you through the story of the movie. My thoughts... if you are a fan of this movie you may like it. If you are not a fan of the movie, I'm guessing you might not like it... unless you just love simple coop games. By simple I mean not too complex, not easy to win. Which I did not... I lost in scene 7 (out of 8).


On Saturday we did our last Christmas and I got the game Fresco. So of course I made my wife play it on Sunday. I really enjoyed it but... I'm not a big fan of adding a fake player to the mix in a two-player game. I don't know how much my wife and I will play this game with just the two of us. We both enjoyed it but both get annoyed by an automated player. It's the fact that a player can use it to really hinder the other player. I think we'll reserve this one for a larger group.

Have a great week everyone!
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23. Board Game: Vasco da Gama [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:441]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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This was a very productive week gaming-wise!

A lot of games played.

Dreaming Spires -- new to me. A game with problems, specially in the luck of the income. But it works well enough, has an unique theme and is pretty.




Vasco da Gama -- new to me. This game is quite nice, and is mostly something many other euros have already done, but this one is diferentiated due to the way the actions are activated. Very good game.




El Capitán -- another new to me. An area control with movement (hand and money management). It is quite dry, with little to its theme actually coming through. It is a fine game, but not much more than this.




Bohnanza
-- was played twice, and I won one of them. Trading in the first game wasn't happening all that much, but in the second, it was, and things went wild!




Sorry about so much white dudes without shirts. It was quite hot.

Regards,
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24. Board Game: Kill Doctor Lucky [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2063]
Ken Chadwick
United States
Yonkers
New York
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One of my gaming challenges for the year is to play all of the games in my collection that I've never played.

My girlfriend and I did play Kill Doctor Lucky at a local convention last year with two other players, but this was the first time playing with just two players. (This requires adding two extra characters that move around the board on their own by default, but can be manipulated by either player). Turns out, adding the two extra characters wasn't that bad.

I won the first game by finally killing Doctor Lucky on my 7th attempt! My girlfriend won the second game by killing him on her third try. I never got dealt a weapon card in either game!
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25. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Last week I played The Castles of Burgundy with my parents. This is one of my favourite games to play with them. We also played Age of War, they really like this one.


My wife, and parents and myself got in a game of Cottage Garden. This was my wife's game that she got for Christmas. It is a fairly decent game it does play 4 players and as a similar feel to patchwork. Feels a little more clunky and not as deep but still a good game and good to be able to get in the extra players.

With just about everyone I have played kingdomino. Both the parents and kids really enjoy this one.


With the kids I have played a few games, Go Away Monster, The Magic Labyrinth, Monster Chase, and Story Cubes. The 3 year old really likes Monster Chase his memory is really good, we won a few times now no thanks to me.


My daughter and I have played Karuba and Patchwork. She finally beat me at patchwork so she was quite pleased with herself.


My older son and I got in a few games of Pokemon. We tried out a few decks one of them got for Christmas.


We went to my sisters for supper and I taught them there new game Sushi Go Party. This really steps it up from the original with having a board to set the menu and a way to track the score. Very nice touches to this decent game as well as the variety added.

My solo play for the week was starting the Voyage of the Beagle campaign in Robinson Crusoe, I lost the first mission due to death so will need to do it over. Would have had enough points and samples if I could have avoided dying.
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