Gelato GCL 302—2017's Games in Review
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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A Geek Chat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop a friendly and productive environment.

Of necessity, each division of GCL is kept relatively small (typically between 12-16 members, though individual divisions may incline one way or the other). A tight-knit discussion group tends to function more smoothly than a free-for-all. It allows individuals to be heard and understood, and for each participant to keep up and enjoy multiple topics as the week progresses. The format is geeklist-based, and lists are not published to the BGG front page.

Policy: If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Gelato, feel free to read along with us and see what the members have to say on everything under the sun. If you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it—if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members.


Gamesmaster
leroy 43 (Roger)

Players
ad79 (Stig)
Bacchus (Kevin)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (skippen)
cubbieblue (Steven)
Farsol (Patrick)
grammatoncleric (O.Shane)
Hanibalicious (Sonderegger)
Jacovis (Jacob)
jtakagi (Jonathan) <-- Prepare for next week!
MABBY (MAB)
leroy 43 (Roger)
Lil Red Head (Nikki)
nycavri (Avri)
PzVIE (Ron)
Scarlet Witch (Julie)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)



2017's Games in Review
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1. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:9.00 Overall Rank:1]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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Instead of a slew of philosophical questions this time, I've merely put up this list about games published in 2017 if only to take a breather! After CascadeCon, which was truly a success because of my wife and friends after I fell ill on the main day (Saturday 1/20), I am content to just chat a bit more idly.

(Nikki, how was Hexacon?)

This list previews some games published in 2017. Let's start with Gloomhaven.

I have not played it. I am ambivalent about playing it. I like the idea of an extravagant complex world built cohesively into a campaign-legacy system. I am not sure, however, this is the one for me.

I am impressed at Isaac Childres's opus—the way he laid plans for and birthed the project from start to finish—and I am happy for his success.

I am perplexed at how it achieved the #1 slot on BGG's ranks, but perhaps not. I suppose I am realizing that the rank is more a measure of recent popularity and appreciation, and I do not doubt that many voters appreciate the work and attention to detail that went into Gloomhaven and that many people can idealize themselves in Childres's shoes, fantasizing what it would be like to create a magnum opus with this much compelling gameplay, narrative authorship and visual design, not requiring a big publisher to produce this massive thing. In a sense, I think the #1 spot comes in part because he was a bit of an underdog and so there was a selection bias to the votes.

Is Gloomhaven better than Twilight Struggle (Pandemic Legacy certainly is not)? What do you say?

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2. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.74 Overall Rank:14]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I am thrilled Serious Poulp decided to do a second Kickstarter for 7th Continent and will be glad to receive my pledge reward the second time around. I almost backed it originally and was glad to be able to overlook my own mistake with the second campaign.

I am not convinced it will be the best campaign game I've played, but I love the uniqueness of the system, and am looking forward to playing it.
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3. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:13]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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Strangely, for as mathematical as I am and for as much as I enjoy solving puzzles, I did not enjoy Terra Mystica at all. I found it to be plodding, mirthless, routine, and thematically uncompelling.

I had hoped that resetting the system in space would move me, if only because I am a sucker for space games.

I hear that Gaia Project does what Terra Mystica does but with less grace and aplomb. I would love to be convinced otherwise.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.53 Overall Rank:33]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I am greatly looking forward to finishing my two (2!) Season 1 campaigns and moving on to Season 2. I sense that this will be the better game—at least more compelling from a narrative perspective. Has anyone started? What are your first thoughts?
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5. Board Game: Clans of Caledonia [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:60]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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In another instance of a gifted designer publishing a masterpiece through his own or a small publishing house, we have Clans of Caledonia. I like it so far, and I am hoping it will displace Agricola on my shelf. I don't especially Agricola, but my son does. My hope is that we can see Agricola shoved out the door soon enough. Plus, I like whisky more than I enjoy the theme of hardscrabble living.
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6. Board Game: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition [Average Rating:8.96 Overall Rank:38]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I only played TI3 once. It seemed grand and worth exploring again. I wanted to buy it but was put off by all the expansions, which (as Fantasy Flight does) seemed to repair problems in the base game. I was glad to see TI4 resummarize the game into one unit. Here's hoping (probably foolishly) that FF leaves TI4 alone and allows it to be its own, unmodified, unexpanded game. I will probably acquire this one.
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7. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:47] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I played Azul last night for the first time. Its production quality is magnificent and its visual motifs are lovely. The gameplay is excellent for an abstract. Although I do not usually adore abstracts, the motif will keep me coming back to it because it excites my right brain as much as my left.
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8. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:94]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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Is 2017 the year for legacy games?

I wish Jamey continued success in his ability to generate games that accrete popular acclaim quickly and to produce them on schedule with a minimum of disruption. These are skills worth mimicking.

Charterstone looks as though it has nothing appealing for me personally (the artwork and the story are not compelling to me) but I suspect this game will set a tone for quality and production for other legacy games in the future. It is well done.
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9. Board Game: Downforce [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:639]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I think as far as a remake of an old classic can go, Restoration Games hit Downforce out of the park. The gameplay is easy and tight and draws gamers and newbies in, young and old alike.
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10. Board Game: Fallout [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:896]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I enjoyed Fallout 3 (the video game) tremendously. I'm finally working my way through Fallout 4 (also good). Is this one a winner? I would love to try it and would love to hear from people who have.
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11. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:906]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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As a sucker for civilization games, I want to try this one. I hear only good things about it, and I suspect I will like it a lot (whereas the previous Sid Meier-trademarked civilization game was not compelling to me). It is possibly because it will try to directly mimic the video game engine without being too complex. It looks excellent. Thoughts?
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12. Board Game: Time of Crisis [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:1051]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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This was an instant winner for me. It is a combination deck-builder and influence/pseudo-wargame that plays like a combination of Dominion and Mare Nostrum with an ancient Roman theme (apropos for Wray Ferrell). It also represents GMT's continuing departure from wargames into things that look and feel like Eurogames. It is a light to moderate game that could be an excellent gateway for other wargaming.
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13. Board Game: High Frontier (3rd edition) [Average Rating:8.58 Overall Rank:1253]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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High Frontier as a franchise will continue to live on, and the production quality on this version was almost excellent. In so many ways, the production was outstanding (board quality, card quality, rulebook quality). In other ways it fell short (having Phil's name misspelled on the back of the box, card misprints, etc.). But it is nice to have a version with "everything" in one box so to speak.
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14. Board Game: Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:956]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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This is an amazing entry into the pure negotiation and resource conversion spaces. Sidereal Confluence incorporates a great deal of complexity into two hours. The learning curve for the first game is steep, but levels off after one game. An excellent foray into horse-trading. I keep laughing at the endearing nuttiness of the tech names. Worth owning and playing.
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15. Board Game: Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:2124]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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This is one of Mark Herman's masterpieces. In fact, of all his myriad designs, he considers Pericles to be his finest non-hex-and-counter game (that one being Empire of the Sun). It is a magnum opus worth of study—and worthy of play with a full complement of 4 players. It is not really a wargame, but an influence game.
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16. Board Game: Import / Export [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:2641]
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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Container meets Glory to Rome. You have an economic engine requiring careful thought about how to invest and seek returns, but each goods card gives you a unique power pushing you to a hopefully profitable end. It is an outstanding game.
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17. Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Venus Next [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
"L'état, c'est moi."
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This is the week that was:


 6   The Rose King w Tommy
Well, it will be with Tommy once he accepts my rematch invitation

 9   Terraforming Mars x3 w TNC, solo, and ww
Played this on Thursday with the crew. I came in second because everyone thought I was in the lead (except the actual leader). I picked up Venus Next on Friday and solo'd a game (took 17 turns to complete - I know the solo game is only 14 turns, but I decided to try an on the spot variant of taking off 5, 10, 15, ... VP per extra turn. So after 17 turns and -30VP I finished.

 7   Downforce x2 w TNC
A finisher for the night. It seems that the car in pole position at the start of the game has an advantage (which one would expect) and seems to be first more often than not. This isn't a bad thing per se, but does kind of beg the question - why not pre-bet on it for all three rounds and only bet $1m on any other car... Might have to try that disastrous strategy next time.

 6   Titan iOA
 9   Pax Porfiriana Yucata
 10   Twilight Struggle Playdek
My online gaming continues.

 7   Codenames Duet x2 ww
Played this at the pub on Friday. We lost both times.

 5   Bohnanza: The Duel NEW! ww
Not a bad little game. Liked it better than I thought I would, and while I'm wary of games that purport to be "X, the card game" or "X, the 2 player edition of something that's normally multi-player', etc., this one worked well.

I also think it's better/more fun than the 2 player rules/variant of the original Bohnanza.

More later
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18. Board Game: The Rose King [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:995]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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A few games this week:



 7   Around the World in 80 Days - Our first full play according to the real rules. Shenomad's first ever. I pipped her by one day through lucky draws. A question: does the placement of travel cards scroll (i.e. they go from left-to-right, but can you start low on the line and resume at the coin symbol)?

 5   Wizard
More taking of tricks. We replayed a couple hands to really chew on the decisions.

 8   Let's Catch the Lion!
My kids are better at this than I am.

 4   Het grote Pluk van de Petteflet spel
Roll and move, take that, mercifully quick.

 8   The Rose King
Challenge accepted, Roger.

Oh, and:
 8  Hey! That's my Fish w Stig
Well, it will be with Stig once he accepts my rematch invitation

My BIL became a proud poppa a month ago and so has not played a turn in our online game of Stone Age since. Am I responsible for the stalling of any of our online games? If so, lemme know.

Fun craft with kids yesterday: we made an agility ladder out of an old cut-up plastic storage bin and duct tape. Why? Well...

This summer I should be competing at the WGMUCC-World Grand Masters Ultimate Club Championships. I say should be because the team captain doesn't want me to wear a skirt. I've been in the sport 27 years and only worn shorts once: it was hella uncomfortable. In the end I'll go with what the team wants, of course, but this early wrinkle is not how I wanted to start on the journey. Also, every muscle in my body hurts from training, which right now consists of core workouts and weak attempts at AMRAP pyramids. Tomorrow will be easier, tomorrow I will be stronger.

Today is the first day of the new quarter. I'm teaching 3 new-to-me courses, including my first outside my department: Global Business Culture. I've inherited it from a very knowledgeable but very traditional lecturer. The students are gonna be shocked when eating squid snacks and posting reaction vids to Instagram are part of the curriculum.
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19. Board Game: Firefly: The Game – Artful Dodger [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
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Austria
Vienna
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GAME WEEK

 10   Firefly: The Game x2
 10   Advanced Squad Leader x2
 N/A   Unpublished Prototype
 7   Trick of the Rails
 8   1842: Schleswig Holstein

Two more games of Firefly: The Game with Andrea. This is my absolute favorite game at the moment – even better than Star Wars: Imperial Assault and Eldritch Horror. In both games we used our homebrewed scenario and both times, the outcome (after >3 hours) was extremely close; in the second game, Andrea reached her final destination and won when I was one space ahead of mine.

Friday was train gaming night, and we played 1842: Schleswig Holstein, a German design with a lots of rule holes. Unfortunately, nobody answered my questions from the last playing and we fixed the rules by ourselves. Still, I’d like to have some official word on them. I should contact the designer again.

We then tried out Lonny’s 1830 card game (still in its prototype state and although he modified and improved it, it does not feel like a good game now. It still needs some changes and ideas, although the fundament is strong and good. We ended the evening with Trick of the Rails (another 18xx card game – as the name suggests, a trick taking one), and although this was my third playing of it and I generally like trick-takers, I had no clue on what to do. However, nobody on the table had. We dismissed this game as “might be great but we don’t understand it – yet”.

I played an online game of Advanced Squad Leader on Tuesday evening, a small scenario featuring US Marines assaulting a Japanese bunker. That was a quick and enjoyable scenario. On Saturday, we had a meeting of our ViennASL half-squad, and we went for a big scenario from one of the Rally Point Packs, called THE STEINSTRASS FUNNEL, set in Germany in ‘45. It featured a huge American assault on a German village, with big M4 tanks and supporting British Sherman Crabs (one of the running gags was "Crabs with a 'b' chaps, not a 'p'!), and defending Panthers and big 88 guns. That was really a good one; after more than eight hours, the Germans capitulated, and we spent another two hours drinking craft beer and talking about that epic gaming experience.



OTHER NEWS

Again, we went to a hockey game yesterday, and usually – with all the side tones like transport, beer, food - this costs about 100 Euros for Andrea and me, with the tickets costing €56 alone. We wondered how much you have to pay for NHL tickets – do any of you have experience here?

I hope you all had a great week too! meeple
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20. Board Game: NMBR 9 [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:816]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Last week's gaming:



 7   NMBR 9
 8   Button Men x3

Talked Johanna into joining Boo and me in a game of NMBR9, correctly predicting that it is her kind of game - simple, doesn't outstay its welcome, and something is created by the end of play.

She then surprised me by asking if she thought Boo was now ready for Power Grid. PG is a game that Johanna fell in love with on first play, even bought it for me many years back for some birthday or other.

-----

Apparently, the cardio kickboxing is really doing me good (despite my skipping a class for the first time in 3 weeks thanks to closing the piano bar on Saturday night . . .) 3 weeks in, and I am 8 lbs lighter than when I started. Cutting out soda is also clearly a factor. Figure that the other 8 lbs or so I'm hoping to lose will be tougher to shake . . .

Johanna started teaching a new class today, and we have been having a lot of fun prepping for it. It is a class teaching Musical Theater majors about comedy, and prepping it has involved lots of Youtube research in order to build a presentation. She has also been collecting one liners and knock knock jokes for the students to cold read every class. Johanna is one of the funniest people I ever saw on stage, but teaching comedy has her sweating. Reminds me of the quote (credited to everyone who ever got credited with a quote on the internet) "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

She also has a full slate of plays that she's been hired to direct this year: [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_(play)]Sylvia[/url], Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, and an all-girl review that she is creating for New York Film Academy's Professional Conservatory of Musical Theater. Exciting to have this level of consistent work, and she's also applying for a tenure track position.

*fingers crossed*
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21. Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:103]
Julia
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The life
So, it's time to go on vacation. It's finally official, I've got a week off, and we found a delightful little hotel in old Vienna, so, it's time to go back to Austria and meet with Ron in real life. HAPPY. This comes with a special gelato flavor since he's the one who invited me to join your ranks, and I've been reading a lot of his posts in the years before. Time to settle down a proper battleplan.

This journey for us is finally an occasion to see some of the missing stuff, so, we plan on visiting Melk, Mayerling, and Bratislava. Plus one day at the Zentralfriedhof, because it's needed.

I'm sure it'll be something epic (that will be documented as a GL as I did on all previous occasions / journeys)


The games
I've played one more time Five Tribes, this time 3p. I like it more 2p for many reasons, but it's still a series of first impressions, so, I'm longing to have more data on this one and have a stronger opinion / idea of the game. So far, so good tho, it's fast and evil, and I like both in games.

I've been asked by a new company to join as editor, and accepted, meaning I'm working for three different companies and our evenings suddently becomes more difficult. This is reflected in our games/day ratio dropping from 1.33 to 0.75 in this initial part of the year. It's a pity, but what can we do.

There's more stuff to add I'm sure, but for now, I'll stop here (got some fish in the oven and a deck of cards to edit)
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22. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Jonathan Takagi
United States
San Marcos
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 8   For Sale x2 - Played with my family for my birthday. Had a great time!

 9   Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition x2 - It is fun to see the students get better at the game as time goes on, though some will still make some fairly wild decisions which makes it kind of unpredictable.

 9   Brass - Struggled much more than I thought I would trying to teach the game to a new player. In my mind it is one of the easier Wallaces to digest, but maybe I'm wrong.

 N/A   Bunny Kingdom - It was fun to see a strategy that attempted to not produce points in the scoring rounds actually succeed. That a first time player did it made it even more surprising.

 N/A   Dinosaur Island NEW! - The best part about this game was all the discussion about how terrible my version of the game was. At first it was all about the coins and the lack of diversity in the dino meeples. Then every defect in game play was purported to be rectified in the deluxe edition. Even after the game had ended, it was pointed out to me how I was missing the start player slap bracelet. Afterwards I felt so humbled I might as well throw the game in the trash. It's humiliating! That said, the game was kind of fun, I look forward to playing it again.

 N/A   Majesty: For the Realm - Taught my family, this is definitely a great family game. I consider Barony to be an aberration. Marc André is back! You Splendor-haters can safely avoid this one.

 N/A   Major General: Duel of Time - I have soured a bit after repeated play, but my kids are still enjoying this one.

 9   Promi-Klatsch - Went to a local con run by my friend. The highlight for me was someone opening a shrink-wrapped copy of Promi-Klatsch. Everyone was ooh-ing and ah-ing, it was hilarious. It felt gratifying to then win.




 N/A   Tichu - We played twice, once teaching a new player. It certainly isn't easy to jump into a game when everyone else is a seasoned player. It often entails post-round lectures.

 N/A   Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West NEW! - A wonderful addition to the TtR family. I look forward to playing the Old West map, as it seems like it would be just as aggressive. This one is not for the conflict-averse. The blocking is out of control in this game, as you have to basically set up your opponents to block you in order to get track down. Or you can just wait and hope the right color of track gets laid, which didn't work out very well for me.

 9   Time is Money - I actually left some money on the table, twice finishing the round before my full time was spent. I thus acknowledge that I didn't deserve to win the game. Not being greedy should always be punished.

 N/A   Urbania NEW! - I was certain I would hate the game, but it ended up being not bad at all. I found it humorous just how little the publisher cared about their game. The color scheme is truly atrocious, making it really difficult to tell what color is what. There are three different shades of light brown. They didn't even spell the designer's name right on the box. It just shows that they don't care. No wonder their existence seems somewhat precarious.
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23. Board Game: Ohio [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:9579]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Folsom
CA
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Ugo 4p x2
A farmer can make all the diff
between a glorious ship of state
and bilgey dirty dingy Schiff-
without, it's pain made lemniscate
--
I really love this game. It's definitely swingy, silly, and with big ridiculous plays, but that's why I'm in love. It's a trick taker with drama, terrible theme, passable art, and fantastic if-then deductions that blow up in your face. Everyone complained about its swinginess, but it was played twice in a single session- I think it would have been the clear winner for the weekend but for...

Ohio 3p x1
What is this map? I cannot tell
Is it a fast encroaching hell?
what engulfing force is shown
what seeds of evil have been sown?

I don't know, think's just a map
for once, the doctor's theme is crap
--
Even though the game was solved via computer, the human element in this game is HILARIOUS. Pride and prejudice prevent perfected play, perhaps populating pernicious prevarication. I can't stop thinking about how grand this game is, especially considering it's just groupthink. The theme, however, is hilarious garbage. Genuinely so bad its good. Is it about traveling? Or are you a tornado slowly ripping through the US? WHAT'S GOING ON.

Custom Heroes 3p x1
There's something to be said
for confident mere-competence
and that something should be wed
with long-forgot irrelevance
--
It works. It's pretty fun. Put it in my list of games that's ooook, not grand. If someone brings it and really wants to play, I shan't be a party pooper. I won't seek it out though.

Bottle Imp 3p x1
Welcome to the boom boom room
for it shall be your ever-tomb
--
Still fun, but even though it's vicious, it just seemed to pale next to the more delightfully capricious UGO. Also, an odd situation occurs when someone is dealt the 1 and 2, as they've got lots of power to play with. I also ended with a negative score. Go me!

Throne and the Grail 2p x2
Death it seems was often cowed
by cups. it makes me proud
to say that I did make a cup
and thus stayed king- fin summing up
--
Forgot to add this to last item's list. Still grand, still full of silly choices, still feels like 2p Ra.

Fight for Olympus 2p ww x1
Look at him, just swanning in
all red and white and full of sin
you dullard- for to your chagrin
that fella is Apollo's kin!
--
Still the wind that shakes my barley, what with the tight hand management meaning that I genuinely get peeved at my troops' deaths. I really can't get over how neat it is- a perfect little slice of magic-lite.

Black Box 2p ww x1
Avoid these errant laser beams
lest your black box gets laser reamed
--
Oy vey, we hadn't played in a while, and both of us made several deductive mistakes. Still tremendous fun. Have to put it back into rotation for sure. Anyone who says it's spatial mastermind is... basically correct.

Okey Dokey 1p x1
Like cheap frat beer
I readied up
and poured myself
in solo cup
--
Excellent little solitaire/co-op game. Played on very easy and barely won. I can see how it's just relaxing- and I love that, to win you have to use your wilds EVERY COLUMN (unless you're on easy), so there's no wiffle waffle about if you should use them- it's all about when.

BEER REPORT
Had a friend in from out of town. Went to a place with 50 beers on tap, with kegs that change as they empty.

To Øl Ton of... Blackcurrant Sour Ale
Great. Like I said, I love fruit that's not too sweet in my beer, and this was it. Loved it. I also love Blackcurrant, but it's not as accepted in the states as a berry-esque flavour.

Almanac Beer Rose Sour Sour Ale
It had Merlot Grapes, Rose Hips, and Rose Petals, which you'd think would maybe give it a nice Persian ice cream flavor. You might have forgotten that I said Rose hip, which basically overwhelms everything it touches. Luckily, I love Rose hip. It's the Swiss in me. My favourite herbal tea is rosehip hibiscus, which, well, is also swiss-mexican.

Mikkeller Brewing San Diego Ol Nagelfar Barleywine
Advertised as barleywine fit for a Viking funeral, and it did not disappoint. I love Japanese/Korean barley tea, so it was expectedly hearty and roasty, not unlike a burning Viking. The 12% woulda knocked me on my ass had I a full pull.

To Øl Stress Test Cherries Baltic Porter
Cherries and porter- my friend and I agreed, the cherries get lost. Porters do well with coffee and other strong bitter flavours, and I'm guessing these cherries were just not bitter enough. I liked it a lot though, as it had that dark porter-ness I've come to appreciate.

----

2017's new-to me shortlist:

RA - Perfect game of imperfect drawing and bidding
Throne and the Grail - incentivizing bad choices through insta-kill pressure
Polterfass - Pushing not just your, but everyone's luck.
El Dorado - Knizia made a deckbuilder. How about that!
Coastal Tides - A near-perfect example of an expansion that fundamentally changes a game and yet retains the core.
Energy Empires - Old school euro with custom dice and silly strategies.
Reef encounter - Tigfish and Eufishtes
TGZ - As streamlined as a splotter gets.
Onitama - More fun than a game about giving your opponent the win should be
Hanamikoji - I divide, you choose, I rue. Rinse repeat.

While a couple of left-field games- A Knizia Deckbuilder (what a shocker!), A deckbuilder expansion, and a Tom Jolly game - made my shortlist, in the end it's Ra. Oh Ra, there's just so much evil in you to unleash on the world. A game of drama, of angry poking, and not-letting-people-get-away-with-nothing, it really is a phenomenal effort, and I can see how it got people into a whole hobby. It's a helluva gateway drug. Vive Le Ra!
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24. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:313]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Gaming



10  PitchCar x6
Played this with kids at school. Had them in teams of 3 and they alternated shots. Was a huge hit.

Not much else to report. Read a bit, wrote a bit, drank a bit of beer.
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25. Board Game: Apocalypse Road [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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The first part of my AAR has now been posted on the insidegmt blog.

http://www.insidegmt.com/?p=18828
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