What Did You Play This Week? Mar 26 - Apr 01, 2018
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Before we get too distracted with what games will get to our table this week, take a few minutes to share your mini-session reports and stories to answer our favorite question:

mbmbWhat did you play this week? - Edition 466


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1. Board Game: Fog of Love [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:898]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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It's Spring Break week...

Tuesday
mb - 4.01 mi 32:35 (8:07) - rolling hills, drizzle
1x - Fog of Love - mb


Sunday Morning Date
My wife played a cute and clumsy Baker with a cute beauty mark who is very nurturing, relaxed and disorganized who ultimately wanted a Love Team relationship which didn't really work for me a down-to-earth, spiritual and conservative musician who wanted a Equal Partners relationship. She was wanting to be a little too chill and fancy free for my taste in the end and after a handful of significantly uncomfortable scenes which I handled calmly and gracefully I really would have opted to Break Up had that been a Destiny card in this scenario. As the Finale had it we each completed 2 of 3 traits but came up short on one or two other conditions in our final destiny cards.

Ultimately, this was a fun, yet awkward combination for us to play yet wasn't weird as these characters represented us fairly closely in real life minus our features which added to the comedic fun of the scenario.

Thursday
mb - 4.00 mi 33:39 (8:24)


Spring break means my wife sleeps in and I don't get my morning gaming time in with her. I also had a busy week so no time for any solo gaming either. I tweaked my lower back Saturday morning which nixed my last planned run of the week, but I broke the 50 mile month which is a good start to where I want to get to this year. Losing a few days to my back is a bit frustrating but I'll get back out as soon as I can.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 List at 39/100
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2. Board Game: Hanamikoji [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:318]
Joe H
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Gaming Group

I started out by teaching Wendy and Andre Discoveries, a dice placement game about Lewis and Clark and company journalling their discoveries from their journey. Andre jumped out early on making friends with the native tribes, amassing a pretty good engine-improving tableau and taking an insurmountable lead on tribe encounters. Meanwhile Wendy and I shot for journeying and set collection along with engaging with a tribe or two here and there. I was a bit oblivious to Andre's journey cards which were point heavy. Just before I triggered the endgame Wendy took a last tribe card which ended up being enough to take second place in tribe encounters and deny me 6 points. Andre, who was certain he was in last place, took the game by 3 points over me.



Next, we taught Wendy Murano, a really terrific rondel-style game about glassblowing and developing Venice. It is really interesting how the bottle ups of gondolas on the rondel move throughout the game. As first player Andre jumped out and got a special building and this was his early strategy, build special buildings that would break rules for him. Wendy took a shop. I started with glassblowing and with my first special building chose a card that gave me some additional flexibility in glassblowing. Unfortunately, my draws from the glass bag couldn't fully take advantage of that flexibility. I triggered the endgame. On his last turn Andre took a VP hit from glassblowing but drew well...enough to complete a high value character card. At the end of final scoring Andre came back from last to tie me at 50 points and win the game on the "most coins" tiebreaker.



Finally, we taught Splendor to Andre's friend, Anna. She targeted some high value ruby cards. Andre worked on building his low-level tableau, Wendy made early plays on the brown gems (opals?) and I targetted emeralds and sapphires and reserved a couple of second level ones. Andre knew I was going to trigger endgame but had a big smile on his face after his penultimate turn. I did trigger endgame and, on his last turn, Andre finished off the final card he needed to sway a noble. It was enough for him to take a 2 point win over me.


Gaming with my Brother

[New to Me] I visited my brother and his family over the Easter weekend. After the kids went to bed he introduced me to his new purchase Hanamikoji. It is a simple enough game with some really tough choices per round. I did terribly in both games, losing the first by points and geisha end losing the second on geisha. I really enjoyed the tough decision about the order I which to take the actions and which cards to use for each action. This game probably has the highest tough decision per minute ratio of any game I’ve played.



Next, I taught him Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure. He beat me in the race to the 25 point artifact but I had enough cash to get a key and get the 30 point artifact. I also uncovered a ton of secrets, one of which let me dump a “stumble” card early in the game. That was huge as Tom kept piling up the clank. He was forced to hightail it out of the dungeon while I bought more cards to try to force dragon attacks. He made it out but I wasn’t far behind and scored a decisive victory. We both enjoyed it.



On Saturday Tom wanted to try out Roll Player. I was an Orc Renegade Craftsman Monk. Tom was an Elven Narcissist Exonerated Druid. I discarded lots of cards from the market early and built up my stats. Tom did a great job of accomplishing all his class stats and got a big bonus for it from one of his traits. I was able to fulfill all my backstory objectives and got three pieces of the leather armour. On his last turn Tom pulled a valuable card from the discard pile using his Druid ability and bought it but this opened up the opportunity for me to buy a trait which, when coupled with my other trait and the alignment movement it gave me turned out to be a 7 point card. That was enough to give me a 4 point win.



[New to Me] Next, Tom taught me Patchwork, a game that’s been sitting on my “shelf of opportunity” far too long. He did a solid job of filling up his quilt and beat me to all but one free patch. But, I was able to get lots of buttons and position him so he couldn’t get patches with too many buttons. He made it to the center first without finishing his quilt but I had an opportunity to get a couple more cheap, bigger patches in the last few time units before I hit the center. It helped me to a 17 point win.




Solo Gaming

On Monday I played several games of Fast Forward: FLEE. I'm still not certain what to make of it as I've had a hard time getting past Chapter 2. That's not a bad thing. But, as simple as the game rules are, I have had some trouble keeping track of things as a solo player. There is a good puzzle here and I was probably close to finishing Chapter 2 in my last attempt.



The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game has been a great addition to my soloable game collection. The play is light and fast but there are good decisions to be made and I love the way the AI, AARON, forces you to play suboptimally to ensure you keep pace round by round. In this game I increased my lead through the first 3 rounds but AARON scored 20 points in the fourth round, causing me to scramble for points just to tie. In the fifth round ARRON scored another 9 but I was able to get 11 for the win.



On Monday night I played a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse on the iPad. My hero team of Legacy, Tempest, Fanatic and Haka faced off against Baron Blade in Megalopolis. The Baron got down two Living Force Fields early but my team was helped by Legacy's buff and a couple of Environment cards that increased damage. The hero's defeated the Baron with most heroes in good shape except Legacy, who had absorbed some extra damage to help the team.



I tried the "Capital Vierzon" scenario from Orléans: Invasion a couple more times and fell short in both of them. In the first game I only managed to complete 2 of the 5 objectives but improved to completing 3 of the 5 objectives. That said, I am really enjoying this expansion and this scenario, in particular.



I retried August in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. I'll just say that things got pretty uncontrollable very early and, although I achieved a crucial objective I succumbed to the 8th outbreak and emptying of cubes midway through the player deck. This is the first time I've lost twice in a row.



I played two games of Limes. In the first game I scored 43 points with 2 farmers (3 and 5 points), 1 fisherman (5 points), 3 woodsmen (6, 8 and 9 points) and 1 watchman (7 points). In the second game I improved to 45 points. My lone farmer earned 9 points. My 3 woodsmen earned 10, 6, 5 and 4 points. My two watchmen earned 7 and 4 points.



As a contrast to last week’s solo play of Indian Summer, I played a couple of games of Cottage Garden this week. It’s a game I enjoy for its simplicity. The first game was a typical game for me where I scored 78 points with 32 points coming from blue (20 and 12) and 46 coming from orange (20, 20 and 6). The second game may have been my high score with my 100 points coming from 3 orange and 2 blue all in the 20 point zone.



With the start of baseball season I pulled out Baseball Highlights: 2045 for a few games. I’ve never done particularly well at this game but, with rust things were even worse. In the first series the bot races out to a 3-0 series lead (dishearteningly by increasing margins) before I took a close one and then lost a tight fifth game. In the second series I, surprisingly, won a tight first game before losing four in a row.



I played a couple of games of Onirim (second edition) this week. The first game was rough from the start and I never got things rolling, losing with just 6 doors discovered. The second game started off well enough but got rough in the middle. With the deck running down I had trouble getting the last beige card I needed (as the middle card of a run) and finally got it but I pulled a nightmare and then, after discarding, there wasn’t enough cards in the deck to refill my hand.

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3. Board Game: Stock Market Game [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5972]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Sheryl and I worked in a short play of the Stock Market Game on Saturday, playing to $20,000 instead of $100K. We were even for awhile, but I pushed the portfolio harder. Two landings on the same corner space a move apart almost forced me to liquidate, but fortunately the market moves were in the right direction and I broke $21,000 as Sheryl passed $11,000. She realizes she needs to take more risks at mid-game to win, and I'm sure we will play again.

Stock Market at the end.


Rating: 5.5 out of 10 (but it's quick).
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4. Board Game: Anachrony [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:78]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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Good week with 9 plays of 6 games played on 4 days. I did not get to play any new games this week but I managed to win 2 games that I don't get to win often so that was nice

Monday

The week started as it usually does, on Monday with 2 plays of Charterstone. Both 6-player games, this time scenarios 8 and 9. I ended 3rd in the first one and second to last in the second one.


Wednesday

Wednesday gaming night was full of 3-player animal games We started with Bunny Kingdom. I managed to win with 257 using my faourite strategy - fish combo. I also collected spices and gold and build one large, 10-tower fief plus some small ones. The runner focused on wood and many small fiefs and ended with 207. The last guy had 159.

Next up was Cat Lady. The winner had 56, followed by 43 and me with 37.

And then we played Memoarrr! which neither of them played before. I won with 8 to their 3 and 4.


Thursday

On Thursday, SO and I played Anachrony again. And finally I won! I played as the Path of Harmony lead by Patriarch Hauloni and ended with 70 points to his Path of Progress led by Patron Valerian with 58.


Sunday

On Sunday, 2 friends and I showed SO FUSE. He loved it so much, he asked to play 3 times! The first game had 22 cards and we lost with 4 cards left in the middle. The second one had 19 cards and we won with 4 min to spare. The 3rd game had 28 cards and we won with 20 seconds left.
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5. Board Game: Dice City [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:844]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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Tax season has taken one of our Gloomhaven players away so that is on hiatus for the next two weeks.

This is only our third, 2-player game of Dice City. I feel like some dominate strategies will emerge using only the cards from the base game. We haven't played it enough to see if that's the case.I just get that feeling that you could play exactly the same way every time and do just about the same.

But right now its fun. I went with an Army strategy and my opponent did more of a mix. He ended up winning by four points. We had fun with it, but the game is a 6.5/10 for me.


I also got him to help me put the stickers on for Catacombs & Castles. I plan on playing that this week.
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6. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:186] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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A lunchtime play of Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls took me through 11 levels of Mega-dungeon, but I failed to escape.

The final game of our recent Summoner Wars matchup of Maldaria Titania versus The Warden's Iron Manacle saw Kogar summoned for the first time, and (thanks to a carefully-timed Living Shield) he was the one to do in Maldaria although he had only one life point remaining. It was a great session with a huge multi-champion set piece in the second half: Ramazall and Fire Drake versus Scagg and Kogar. In the end, the queen was trapped between Kogar and a Taskmaster-driven Lurker.



At my game group, I got to try out Rise to Nobility. I liked it better than I had expected to. Although the art was rather nice, there were some visual design issues with player colors duplicating those for the resources, and a lot of bookkeeping. Still, I did pretty well and had a good time playing.

I was in on a couple of plays of Jump Drive this week, one with three players and one with two.

Prp and I had another excellent session of Arkham Horror: The Card Game for our second go at the Carcosa campaign. In A Phantom of Truth Jenny was defeated (taking a mental trauma) in the penultimate turn, but Norman managed to nab the Organist just before the doom would top out on the final agenda card. He needed a -1 or better on his final attack, and I pulled the Elder Sign token. Satisfying.



In lunchtime gaming at work, I played a single hand of Schotten Totten. This game was "new" to me--although I had already played its re-theme Battle Line. I was destroyed, winning no stones, while my opponent took 4, with 3 adjacent.

We also played two-player Kingdomino with 7x7 kingdoms. That was really fun. I may need to own a copy of this game at some point.

Prp and I played some Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep--it was her first play with this expansion. She tried Lily Chen and I was Dexter Drake ... no, Dexter got devoured by the first Mythos card, so I was Leo Anderson. We did a good job of getting to Stage II quickly, maybe too quickly, but we never scored a single Elder Sign. We just got buried after the amulet locked a green die. Hydra awoke, and we were able to battle her for a few days with the epic battle deck, but we really never had a chance there.



We capped off the week with a play of Terra Mystica. Prp's Witches are no longer undefeated, thanks to my Swarmlings. I almost felt like I was cheating, though, because Prp was so focused on her own plans that she failed to take one or two simple defensive measures that would have collapsed my great master plan and made the game far more competitive.

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7. Board Game: Dark Moon [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:743]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Dark Moon - We played a 7 player game of Dark Moon at this week's meetup. It's been a while since I played this one, and I really enjoyed it. It ran a little long at 7, but it was a nail biter the whole way. One of the infected players revealed pretty early on, and was giving us fits. The other 2 did not make themselves easy to pick out at all. For a while, everyone thought I was it, but I managed to convince them by coming through in a difficult test. We quarantined one of the other players, and pretty much immediately realized he wasn't infected. We quarantined another player, but when he didn't reveal we wondered if we had screwed up again. In the end, it came down to the wire, but the good guys won when I was able to place a blue cube for a simple (non-vote) task. This really is a good game.
Rating: 8

NEW Gaia Project - On Saturday, I played a 3 player game of Gaia Project. We had all played Terra Mystica before, so it wasn't too difficult for us to learn how to play. I played as the Xenos, and I guess I played to my strengths reasonably well. I ended the game with 3 federations (1 more than each of the other players), which helped me tie for first place in the satellites end game goal. I had a bit of an advantage in the number of tiles built on goal, too, but ended up in second there. I spent the whole game thinking that I should have been able to do more (the same feeling I get when playing Terra Mystica), and I really think the learning curve on this one will be awesome. I won the game, but the scores were all reasonably close.
Rating: 9

NEW The Bottle Imp - After Gaia Project, we tried a 3 player game of The Bottle Imp. I've been excited about trying this one for a while now, so I was glad to get it played. Unfortunately, one of the players did not enjoy it, so we cut our play short after 3 rounds. I was really loving it, though, and the other player thought it was decent. I loved the strategy involved in what card you pass to other players, and what cards you put in the Imp trick. When to throw a trick so you can dump cards. When to take the imp, and when it's too risky. I hope I find a group that enjoys it.
Rating: 7.5

NEW Pulsar 2849 - After The Bottle Imp, we played a learning game of Pulsar 2849. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, too. I love dice manipulation and drafting in euro games, and this one was really well designed. The theme actually came through pretty well, too. I mean, it wasn't high adventure or anything, but it was fun to fly my ship around and explore the board.
Rating: 8

Azul - We closed out Saturday night with a quick game of Azul. This is such a great drafting game. It's super abstract, but it's a lot of fun, and it plays really quickly. We played on the freeform side of the boards this time, and I actually didn't like them quite as much. The freedom it gives you makes the game a little less strategic. You can't look at your opponents boards and make as informed a guess as to what they might be looking for. It's still a very fun game, though. I started out pretty strong this time, planning to complete at least one tile set for that 10 point bonus. I let off the gas in the mid-rounds, though, and the tiles I needed didn't come out in the end game. I still managed to come in second place, though, so I'm not too unhappy about it.
Rating: 8


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8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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One play this week, that's right. One. With my Mom in town for Saturday and Sunday due to the holiday and my in-laws in town for a few days before that, I expected more things to hit the table and for us to get back to our campaign of Fabled Fruit, but alas, there was too much going on to make time.

Plus, with baseball season opening up, my time has been stretched thin as I prepare and participate in multiple fantasy baseball drafts. I find I buy fewer games between April-November as I watch a lot of baseball when working out rather than videos from The Dice Tower, Man vs. Meeple or Heavy Cardboard.



 7.7   Dominion

As my collection grows to 110 games now, I'm starting to run out of storage space in my man cave. I think the closet has room for about 150 games, but I have to clear some junk out of there first to make room. Regardless, this puts a premium on my new purchases and is forcing me to revisit older games in my collection. One of them is Dominion. I bought the base game three years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. That said, it's only hit the table four times since purchase and the last time I played it was December 2016. Dominion is one of the games in my collection that I would like to play more of and revisit more frequently. Interestingly enough, I played this on Friday with my son and my father-in-law and as we were playing my wife came up to me and said, "What's this game, I don't think I've played this one.". Sure enough, when I checked my games played log, I had never introduced this to her, which is strange because a) I think she'd love it and b) it's a perfect two player weeknight game as it plays in 30-40 min.

There is a purity to Dominion that I really enjoy. All the cards are on the table. There's no luck of the draw other than the five cards you pull when you reshuffle your deck. The winner is the person who builds the best deck in the most efficient fashion and makes the best decisions. End of story. There is something to be said for that. CSI had the Prosperity expansion on sale last week for $24. I picked that up and hope to incorporate that in pretty soon here.

Oh, by the way, I beat my son and my father-in-law: 36-34-33.
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9. Board Game: K2 [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:454]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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A fairly busy week for us as I work on getting a second book released and as two I released under a pseudonym blossom into something I could never have imagined. A single play for the week of...

K2 - I’m yet to play this and not enjoy it. It’s light enough to make it accessible and not so heavy that it gives you a headache. Clare just pipped me for the victory as she blocked up the route to the peak in the last couple of turns.

With the school holidays upon us, I’m hoping for a busier week gaming. If any of you can spare a couple of hours, please consider buying ‘Saviour: A Dsytopian Love Story’ by James Perrett (which is Me!).. Dead cheap on kindle (.99p in the UK).. This a 2nd Edition of the book I released last year...

Sorry for shamelessly publicising myself Hope you all have a good week!
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10. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Willem Verhoef
Netherlands
Weert
Limburg
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Greetings!

Although my gaming didn't start until Friday, we did manage to play quite some games:


On Friday we started with Lost Cities. I got this in a math trade, knowing it's reputation I expected this to go over well with my girlfriend. And it really did. It might be almost 20 years old, but it's every bit as enjoyable as we hoped it would be. I started out pretty badly, but made a huge leap in the third round. Not huge enough though, she won 107-102
Afterwards we played on of the three new Exit games: Escape from the Polar Station.

We did pretty badly, got stuck on one of the first puzzles and wasted quite some time on one of the later ones (even though the solution was staring us in the face). Good game, but the Pyramid one remains my favourite of these still.

Saturday we went for a hike, out for dinner and a movie so no games played. The movie was Game Night, and it was really funny

Easter Sunday we planned to be as lazy as possible. We stayed in bed to play The Fox in the Forest. My girlfriend became angrier and angrier as I kept beating her at it. She said she does like the game, but is extremely frustrated with it because she doesn't quite get what she's doing wrong (or what I'm doing better). I really liked it myself, I grew up playing trick taking games and this one does it really well.



We then played another Exit game, the Forgotten Island. We did better this time, lost a lot of time on the final puzzle again though. It's my second favourite of the bunch so far, some fun innovative puzzles again.



Afterwards we played CV, a nice quick life-building game. I'm becoming quite fond of Granna games.


We moved downstairs to cook and while the food was in the oven, we played Lost Cities - the board game (from the same math trade).

We both vastly preferred the original card game, which is way more tense. But this one was alright too. Might be better with more than 2 players.


Lastly we played the first case of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. We did pretty poorly again, mostly because we missed out on going to two important locations. I had played another case with friends before and was already sold on the game, and I'm glad to say my girlfriend liked it too. So we've got quite some puzzly evenings ahead of us still


Originally both Pandemic Legacy Season 2 and Gloomhaven were planned for this week too, but due to illness we had to cancel both. Still, more to enjoy in the following weeks!
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11. Board Game: Brew Crafters [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:458]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I got a few games played this week. A new one and a dusty one in there to boot.


I finally got my edition of Fog of Love played. I sat down with my wife and played through the tutorial game. It was fun... However, my wife had a little trouble getting into the roleplaying/character of the game. Just didn't come natural to her. I'm not the best role player, generally I'm not that creative. I can see how this game would be a LOT of fun if both players got into character and just rolled with it. The up side is, we both wanted to try it again.


For Thursday game group, we had five players. While looking for a game for 5, I ran across Burrows and decided that would work nicely for the group coming over. It's a neat little game about building burrows for the different colored gophers. If you build one longer than someone else's burrow that colored gopher will migrate to your burrow. You are trying not to disappoint tourists that are coming to see specifically colored gophers. As usually happens when I'm teaching a game to new players, I finished last. I don't think I've played this with five people before, and I thought it worked well.


Next the group played Zooloretto. This is another game I think works great with five players. Two of the people were new to the game but caught on quickly. It's fun to see new players discover that little mean streak of corrupting a truck that someone else has their eye on. I thought I did pretty well, but ended up third. Only three points out.


On Saturday night, I told my wife we are going to play my favorite game and her favorite game. We started with mine, Brew Crafters. I surveyed the recipes that were out there and saw there was a lot of coffee in them. So, I snatched up the Coffee Importer and dropped in an oak barrel house. I thought I was sitting pretty, getting an extra point for every batch using the barrels. My wife went for the extra storage and filled them up well. I didn't realize how much I was slipping behind as she was pumping out beer and quickly got another shift worker. I ended up losing by 20 points. What?!?! How did that happen!


We then played her favorite game, Pandemic. This first game when quickly with a win. The cards fell into place for use and we cruised. In the second game we had to work harder. I still thought we were going to win this one until two epidemics happened within a couple turns and things fell exploded and we were done.
Meanwhile, while we were playing games, my daughter was setting up some April Fool's jokes on her mother. I was shouted at a couple times during the day... Honey, the mouse doesn't work on the computer... Eeeek! Come kill this bug!!! Meanwhile, our daughter was giggling with glee.


Some of the extended family was together for Easter, so I brought a couple games along. I introduced them to Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition). I don't believe I've ever been shot that much before! They were out to get me! I think my daughter and my nephew had an unspoken pact to not gang up on each other. I wish they had heard of betrayal before!


Then we played my Father-in-law's favorite, Long Shot. One nephew decided he was not going to buy any horses and just get the bets on the table. He did a great job of getting money on the right horses and came out with the victory. I've never seen anybody win without owning a horse before. But then again, it's not tried that often. We had the max number of players (8), which makes for some interesting games.

Have a great week everyone!
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12. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:27]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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I played a lot of Orleans this week. I first played 5 games solo between Monday and Thursday. Then I got Lindy and Stacey home for Easter weekend and Lindy and I played 4 more games to Sunday.


I also played a game of Sagrada with Lindy on Sunday...


...and Lindy and I learned Yamatai. I feel I like Five Tribes better but want to try it again.


Lastly I played a game of Yahtzee with Dar and Stacey.

12 games played this week.
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13. Board Game: Kemet: Ta-Seti [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Holy Week gaming!

Monday

Friday = 2 Plays

A couple of plays of this in Hong Kong airport during my layover on the way home. 2 losses as usual!


Game 2 A weird game where I lose again, but it’s the first time I run out of cards!

Tuesday

Kingdom Builder = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

I visit the FLGS and we get to play this after a long time. The randomized boards had the Farm, Paddock, Tower, and Tavern special tiles with the Hermit, Merchant, and Lords objectives. I still think this is a very underrated game and it was a close one between Marie and me but it she who got the edge in the end.


Marie 54 Me 50 Vhange 39

Thurday

The gang take advantage of the Holy Week holidays as Jim and I visit Kent and Keith in their house for gaming.

Machi Koro = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

I didn’t bring much stuff as Kent had several titles which we have not yet played in a while. Jim still had not arrived so we decide to try this with its 2 expansions. The game had a lot of interaction as we all had red cards which messed with each other but it was my ranches and the dairy plant which made me earn money with my average rolls of 7 which enabled me to overtake Kent as I manage to complete the last objective right before he had his turn.


Me 7 Kent 6 Keith 5

Guildhall = 1 Play

Jim still hadn’t arrived so Kent brings out his 3 box sets as we randomize and choose 1 character from each class subset where the Assassin, Artificer, Barbarian, Druid, Paladin, and Sorcerer. There was a lot of card drawing as well as hand interaction although there was no graveyard manipulation. The game started slow but quickly ramped up with Keith focusing on the higher pointage VP cards for the win.


The randomized classes.


Keith 21 Kent 11 Me. 9

Unearth = 1 Play

Another light game while waiting for Jim, this time with this game which I first tried late last year with my brother’s copy. Turns out Kent also has one so set about using our dice to collect sets of cards as well as building patterns with our hexagonal tiles in order to build wonders. Keith ended with a balanced approach with high scores in both wonders and set collection for the victory.


Keith 47 Kent 41 Me 39

Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland = 1 Play

Jim had finally arrived so Kent brings out this expansion map where we try out the UK and Ireland side. The map has the special rules where you can have 2 networks and also where players cannot have nuclear plants unless they have a structure in the UK side. The fuel refill rate is also quite low so resources turned out to be very expensive throughout the game. Jim went with his usual strategy of having the most cities throughout the game in order to generate the most income and then saving enough for a late game burst in order to end it, but he got in major trouble late in the game when coal became very expensive and he did not have enough money in order to trigger the end game when he was in the lead. This gave us 1 more round where Keith managed to overtake Jim in terms of cities to trigger the end game and he managed to win since he could power more cities!


Epic come from behind by Keith! Keith 17 Kent 16 Jim 16 Me 15.

Love Letter: Batman = 1 Play

We the played an abbreviated game of this where we called it when Keith reached 4 tokens versus my 3, Jim’s 2, and Kent’s measly 1.

No Thanks! = 2 Plays (Out of the Dust!)

The afternoon was closed with 2 quick plays of this.


Game 1: Kent 21 Jim 23 Me 37 Keith 51
Game 2: Jim 3 Keith 9 Kent 41 Me 68

While everyone managed to get a win, Keith was definitely the player of the day!

Friday

We have another day of gaming at the Celinos, with Enrique replacing Jim who was unavailable.

Kemet: Ta-Seti = 1 Play (NEW)

This is one of the few games I really like but do not own since Kent has a copy. He actually has had the expansion for some time now but never brought it out. The game is easy to play but does take quite some table space which limits where it can be played, but I really wanted to try this out again so I requested it. We played with all modules and I liked what they all brought. I did not mind the bidding via combat mechanic for turn order since at least all players have a say for turn order and I did not find the Ta-Seti board to be overpowered. In the end Kent’s aggressive approach rewarded him as he managed to bully his way to the win.


Kent 9 Me 6 Keith 6 Enrique 3.

In the Year of the Dragon = 1 Play

This most punishing title by Stefan Feld really bared its fangs during this play as Enrique and Keith ran out of money and were unfortunately also behind on the initiative track. Keith managed to wiggle his way out but Enrique REALLY suffered big time as he lost a lot of people due to unfulfilled events. I did not bother too much with money as I really fought to keep the lead in initiative (except the last round) and I slowly pulled away from the pack due to the end of round scoring as well as a couple of fireworks displays. Kent did manage to eat into my lead since I sacrificed some people due to the events but still had enough to hold onto my lead in the end.


Me 97 Kent 88 Keith 73 Enrique 49. Look at Enrique’s measly single house and staff!

Walk the Plank! = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

We decided to go light after a couple of medium games. Kent was the first to fall followed by Keith, and Enrique’s last pirate was pushed into the drink while 2 of mine were still on the plank!


2 of pirates are the last men standing!

Age of War = 1 Play (Out of the Dust!)

We closed the day with a round of this dice chucker. Keith was very lucky as he managed to steal what he needed to complete 2 sets and although Enrique tied him Keith had more castles to break the tie.


A 15 all tie won by Keith as he had 4 castles to Enrique’s 5! I had 5 and Kent only 1.
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14. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi everybody,
Not much for us in terms of plays :

Just two games played for a total of 6 plays



Würfel Bohnanza x3
Well this is our top-filler at the moment.
We enjoy it with 2 players or with more. That's why we have played it 3 times this week as we had a lot to do.

Alhambra x3
Three games this week. 2 3-player games and one 4-player game.
Interesting plays as we are now trying to adopt different strategies.
I think this 3 plays helped us to complete the line of 10 plays for Alhambra

More in terms of translation as I am now translating the games on nestorgames website.
So for this week I translated 8 games :



Counterplays, Stack-22, Orc-lympics, Conspirateurs, Pent-up, Red, Flink and Arena: the Contest (Quickstart guide).

Have a nice gaming week
Thanks for reading
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15. Board Game: Unlock! The House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1795]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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Do you want board games?...because that's how you get board games!
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 7.0   Flip Ships (2 all-time)

I played a quick solo game of Flip Ships on Thursday night. This game is really difficult. I think it will be easier with 4 other people of varying skill levels though. Definitely fun.

 6.0   Klondike Rush NEW!

I had honestly never even heard of this game until I played it. Its an interesting bidding/economic game, with a few cool mechanics. As always the game is very pretty because, well, Ryan Lauket. I won't say I enjoyed this as much as his other games, but it was alright.

 8.0   Unlock! The House on the Hill NEW!

Finally got around to playing the first of these from the new set. I really enjoyed this one. We had a few hiccups with the tutorial (we discarded a card we were not supposed to), but after that it was smooth sailing (ok more like rough choppy sailing, but you get the point). We managed to finish with about 5 minutes left on the clock, and ended up with 3 stars. I'm not sure if I like this more than the Escape series, but its definitely a-lot of fun.

 7.0   Wasteland Express Delivery Service NEW!

We finished the night with Wasteland Express Deliver Service, and it was a fun (if not kind of long) time. We had the usual first game delays and constant checking of rules, but once we finally got going everyone had a good time. I definitely want to play again not that we have the rules down. As it was it took us about 3 hours to play a 4 player game.



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16. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:9.00 Overall Rank:1]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This week me and my boys played 7 games of Gloomhaven.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We dove down into the sewer grates in the bay and cleaned out some plumbing, closed a portal that had demons coming out of it, cleaned a farm of slime, and the main was a 5-hour battle as we invaded the city with an army of undead. It was an epic boss battle as we fought the Captain of the Guard who ended up being surrounded by skeletons and getting attacked multiple times. Before that we had to get past his tough guards, we left the archers in the center as we marched past with our undead army. The corpses did not make it but made good fodder to take all the blows and poison the guards. The mindthief went in first doing what it could. Then My elementalist burst into the room performing a chain lightning with a major power potion, and pulled a target card doing multiple burst in the room, giving the Captain and his guards a good electrical jolt. The Beast Tyrant and the rest of the remaining undead army followed. The captain’s guards quickly fell. He put up a fight, he must have used magic to keep him alive to take so many blows (63 HP) but he was overrun by skeletons and they all could target a single target twice and the captain fell being chopped to bits by the skeleton army.

I finished painting the Nightshroud.



I had a peaceful game of Patchwork with my wife.

I played another game of Love Letter Premium. This game is interesting to say the least I won the game without winning a round. In one round I scored 3 points, crazy, and I lost the round.



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17. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:13]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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A pretty light week of gaming for me. I played only 2 games, both the of them Gaia Project.

The first was a 4P with one new player. This person never grasped the game and just retired in the final round, which did not make me happy. I played the Hadsch Halla and won with them.

The second was a 3P, a much better experience. I played the Geodan for the second time, but lost.

That was it...hopefully this coming week will bring more gaming both in numbers and diversity.

Until next time...
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18. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:19]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We went out to my parents' place on Thursday evening to just spend part of the long weekend together and ended up staying until Saturday morning since the snow on Friday had reduced visibility to almost nothing out where they are. We did, however, manage to make it out to Kapow! (a FLGS in Lethbridge) on Friday morning before the snow had actually started to see what they had this time. I had my eye on Secrets for a while as it looked like it would be a fairly amusing social deduction game and decided to grab it while we were there since it's the first time I had seen it in a physical store. Since we were now staying that night, we decided to give them game a try after we put our daughter to bed and ended up playing 6 games of it. Incredibly easy to teach and play and there's a certain risk/reward mixed with imperfect knowledge and unknown team play that makes this extremely interesting. It was tough to keep who had which token straight in your head and I can only imagine how chaotic this game will get when we include my wife's parents as well to bring us up to 6 players. With the few hours and laughs we got out of this one, I think we already got our money's worth from this little box.

After getting home on Saturday afternoon and putting our daughter down for a nap, we decided to try out Arkham Horror: The Card Game which we also picked up over the weekend. There are a few nuances to the rules that take a little getting used and we managed to play our way through the first scenario, though both of us ended up with a mental trauma that I'm sure is going to haunt us. I had been really curious about this one and my wife, while she doesn't mind Elder Sign, was hoping to find something a little more substantial and I think this one is going to fit the bill from what we've seen so far. There an actual narrative happening here and decisions to be made apart from just rolling dice and hoping you match symbols.

We started Sunday off with 2 games of Beasty Bar which we also picked up over the weekend. My wife wanted to get it as something to play with her parents when so goes for her occasional trips out there for a few days, and we decided to give it a try while the little one was napping. The first game was using just the basic rules while the second one we used the "advanced" points variant. I think I lost the first game but won the second. It's unfortunate that the cards themselves don't have their point values printed on them for using the scoring variant. For how relatively simple the game itself is, I'm a little surprised there's even the advanced scoring variant in there; playing for just the raw number of cards feels cleaner to me.

We started the second scenario for Arkham Horror: The Card Game and found that my wife just wasn't enjoying it that much as she felt her character was rather useless for the whole setup. It required a lot of fighting while here character had a 1 combat value and she was getting very few combat cards. We decided to restart the campaign with 2 different characters where their combat values were a little better (her with Skids and me with Daisy) and quickly tore through the first scenario, wracking up a decent amount of XP. Now that we know what we're doing, we probably have a better idea of what sort of cards we might want in our decks going forward and can spend that XP to bring some better cards in that will help us out. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. I'm certainly enjoying the system.

The weekend ended with 4 more games of Beasty Bar where I lost the first one. We tried the New Beasts in Town set on their own to get a feel for them for the second game where my wife won again. For the last 2 games, we decided to just mix everything together (including the Tasmanian Devil) and play through that. The rules for combining the 2 sets just seems a little odd to me as you create 2 decks of 1-12 and play through each one; mixing them all together just doesn't seem that different to me. I ended up winning both of these games.

We got to see our new table while it's still under construction since my dad needed a hand moving it out to a larger space so that it could be turned over to continue working on it. The top is not attached as he needs to do some work on the frame itself. We at least got a chance to quickly sit down at it to test the height and see what it would feel like, and we're pretty damn pleased with how it's coming along. It still needs its playing surface, drawers finished, slats assembled, and the slat storage flaps needs to be cut, but it seems like it's more done than not at this point. Can't wait to get this thing home!


I've finally managed to finish painting all of the Imperial units for Star Wars: Rebellion which is big relief. That's 107 of the 189 models done! I've just started working on the Rebel Troopers as I thought I'd get the most tedious part of the next batch done first this time.


Death Stars and Death Star Under Construction

Star Destroyers

Felt like a billion tiny little Stormtroopers.
The closeup makes them look rougher than they appear.

TIE Fighters and TIE Strikers

Assault Tanks, Shield Generators, and walkers

Super Star Destroyer and Interdictor
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19. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:112]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Just one game of Splendor vs. Mrs. Drazen, tying 15-15 (and tying the tiebreaker, with 13 cards each).

Also a game of St. Pete, but with the winner getting first-turn Mistress, it was a foregone conclusion. I managed to squeak out second place.
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20. Board Game: Petrichor [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:3133]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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Two game group meetups this week! And kids on holiday = more gaming with them too!

Game Group #1
Our regular twice-monthly Wednesday night group...


Petrichor - 5 players (my first play at that player count). Went well, even considering two of the players tuned out during the rules explanation (which really wasn't that long - 10 mins tops - and how hard can "there are 4 things you can do on your turn" really be?!). One of the players had played it last year during playtesting, and he also managed to pull out a comfortable win. The scores were nicely spread, and it was fun to try 5 players (which, I have to say, worked perfectly well). Took 1.5hrs with rules explanation, so pretty good for a 5 player game.



King of New York - NEW - We dropped down to 4 players, and then 3 players, for two games of King of New York, which I taught - especially interesting as I've not played the New York version before, only the Tokyo version, so I was learning the differences on the fly. Went very well though (I didn't win either game). I really like the gamerly improvements in this game over KoT. Don't feel I need to own both though [I own KoT].





Game Group #2
Saturday night, I went to a new game group that started recently. Very nice setup and location! And great selection of group-owned games too (although ironically I didn't play any of them).


Dixit - Started with a 4 player game of Dixit. Always a joy to play; very relaxed gaming, and keeping track of points is secondary really to just coming up with phrases for the wonderfully obscure and whimsical illustrations.



Deadzone - NEW - Whilst searching for other players who might be near finishing a game, I and another guy were offered a demo of this game. It's a light miniatures skirmish game. Usually not my kind of game, but it was pretty quick (we finished in about 40 minutes) and having a guy there who demos it for the publisher meant it went very smoothly. I enjoyed it a lot, even though I lost after a spectacular final stand.





With the Kids

Petrichor - 3 players, with my 11yo and 9yo. My 11yo helped playtest this last year, so it was fun to play the production version. She managed to pull out a win - by a single point. Great work!



The X-Files: Circle of Truth - NEW - Trying out this cute little drafting game with my 13yo, which is a reskin of Circle the Wagons. Fun, quick, light game. Quite enjoyable (though not a huge amount of depth).
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21. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Maybe the strongest week of gaming of the year, so far, with 4 days with some games on them.

TUESDAY
Antiquity X1
Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue X1


I wanted to play Antiquity for quite some time - I was intrigued by the tetris-like building of the city, and the management of the pollution and deaths. As expected it was fun - though rather fiddly. Very nice.


WEDNESDAY
Wasteland Express Delivery Service x1 -- new to me
Planet of the Apes x1 -- new to me


Two new to me, and two that didn't made a lasting impression. Both are good enough, yet, Wasteland is worst than Firefly, and Apes worst than Elder Sign (very similar, but I prefer the lovecraftian theme).


FRIDAY
Imperial Settlers X1 -- new to me
Repello X2 -- new to me
Hibernia x1 -- out of the dust
Colossal Arena x1
Yspahan x1 -- out of the dust
Terraforming Mars x1


A strong set of games. Imperial Settlers was nice, but is very similar to 51st State, which I found superior. Repello was a big surprise: an abstract that is actually quite fun for me - it gave the best play of the night. Hibernia gave the best photo (bellow). In Terraforming, it was a weird match, with it lasting 3 generations more than anyone predicted, as we all had plans that demanded more time, and no one did the last ocean for 3 rounds! It was pretty close, with the winner coming only in the tie-breaker.




SATURDAY
7 Wonders Duel x1
Exploding Kittens x1 -- new to me
Lord of the Rings x1
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation x1
Onitama x1


As only one friend was available, lots of 2 players options. Exploding Kittens isn't as bad as I thought it was. Lord of the Rings gave the most tense match of the day, with Sam being able to destroy the Ring after Frodo fell and Sauron was one step away. Onitama was very tense.




And that was it!

Regards,
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22. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:7]
Ty

Gatesville
Texas
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It went pretty great! It's on my group's 10x5.
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23. Board Game: A Handful of Stars [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:2100]
Tony Chen
Taiwan
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A Handful of Stars
Played a four player game with Peacnims, Exploremods, Aggrolods, and Storebots. I was the Storbots, and they were really fun to use. The Peacenims ended up winning because others overlooked them.

Azul
Played Azul again, and realized that if everyone takes from factory tiles to avoid taking from the middle, the start player tile will rotate clock-wise.
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24. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Darryl with one "R"
United States
Redmond
Washington
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My wife & I played this classic for the first time (!). We have wanted to play it for a long time, but 95%+ of the games we play are 2P only, and Power Grid isn't supposed to be great with 2. The introduction of the "against the trust" rules a couple of years ago (originally from Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America) put it back on our radar. Recently, we borrowed the game from our friends and gave it a shot -- 2P against the trust.

We found that the game plays fine 2P against the trust, but it's easy to see that it would play better with more. The trust is low-overhead, and gets involved enough to keep things interesting. Overall, we found the game to be pretty good, but not especially interesting. I realize the game came out 14 years ago, but it felt pretty similar to other games we've played. In fact, to me the game felt most similar to Power Grid: Factory Manager -- a game which my wife & I have played numerous times in the past several years. Specifically, the "obtain and install items (i.e., power plants or robots), and then how much money you receive each round is the minimum of 2 or 3 different metrics" made the 2 games feel quite similar to me.

All that said, I'm glad we finally played it.

My wife won the game -- she triggered the end, and was able to power 15 power plants to my 12. I was probably doomed midway through the game. It was at that point that my wife picked up her 2nd green power plant by outbidding me. From that point on, every green power plant for the rest of the game was taken by the trust -- I didn't even have a chance to bid on any! So while my wife was powering 5 cities with no resource cost each round, I was having to buy resources every round.
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25. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:47] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
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Just one night of gaming as we were away on a camping trip over the weekend and never quite got around to playing anything out in the wilds.

 8   Azul (6 all-time)

The current favorite was taught to my kids. They got onto it pretty fast. A bit of advice and prodding from us, but clearly we taught it too well because our eldest raced away with the game after successfully getting all 5 of their black pieces down, flying past me to take the win. The younger child (who is often the better one at strategy) did OK as well so we will have a repeat of this soon.

 7   Tsuro (25 all-time)

Not wanting to push it too much, my wife suggested this lighter game and we all already knew it, pushing around the board for the longest time with all 4 of us until one fell off them I caused myself and the other kid to crash, leaving my wife triumphant.

 N/A   Batman Fluxx (None all-time)

My wife was going to her job after we were done so though the kids were about done really, I pushed them to entertain her with something silly. I tried to find a deck suitable for playing The Mind but failed, grabbing Batman Fluxx instead (our younger one is a big Batman fan). It was Fluxx and went on too long but somehow things lined up for my wife as she stole my Batman with one villain, used Batman to get rid of that villain then claimed the current Goal, "To the Batcave!" to win. We all cheered.

And that was that. Recovering from our trip, our usual excursion to the game store is off, but our game group is supposed to meet this Friday! I bet I teach Azul again...
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