GCL Mafia 375: Missing Time
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Important Links:
GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread (links to past lists, subscribe for weekly notifications).
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Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

GCL Mafia Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week.
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

GCL Mafia Geeklist Format:
• A weekly game can be spotlighted and discussed. The poster will pose questions about it to encourage conversation.
• Themed questions are optional. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics.
• A top five question can be asked for by this week's current-list writer, with members offering suggestions.

Current Roster:
fdubois
charlest
Happymrdave
tallgrant
annowme
mith
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
captainraffi
touchstonethefool
cferejohn
jshufelt
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1. Board Game: Going, Going, GONE! [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:2650]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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I've had to take a hiatus from the hobby due to work and generally feeling exhausted after a lot of work. I'm starting to find time to game again though.

Have you ever taken an extended break from the hobby, whether voluntary or not? If yes, what got you back to it, and how did it feel after being away?
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2. Board Game: The News from the BBC [Average Rating:4.69 Unranked]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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So what have I missed in terms of gaming news the first 3 months of the year? You can probably safely assume I haven't played anything new during that time and have GASP not been kickstarting or buying much.
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3. Board Game: Long Short [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:9403]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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So while my favorite games tend to be longer ones, I haven't had time to play those, so I've had to make due with shorter games. Have you been unable to play longer games even if you want to? In that case, would you rather play shorter ones, or just wait until you have time for something longer?
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4. Board Game: Scene It? Movie [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:13247] [Average Rating:5.52 Unranked]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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The only movie I have seen in the theater this year has been Black Panther. Is there anything else out (or maybe recently left the main run theaters) that I should be aware of and seek out?
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5. Board Game: Twitch [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:6738]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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I've had Twitch on in the background while working a lot. At first I thought streaming video games was a silly idea but I've really taken a liking to it.

Do you watch Twitch? If yes, why, and are there any streamers you would recommend? If no, why not?
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6. Board Game: Facts in Five [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3769]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Give me some ideas for a top 5 that aren't too outlandish and I'll try to make one, because they can be fun and all that.
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7. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:94]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Small game of the week entry. Have you played this? If yes, do you feel it lived up to the hype? If no, do you intend to?

I was considering it but I ended up passing, if you're curious.
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8. Board Game: Magic Maze [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:335]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I did not play any games last week, but since I didn't post on the last list I'm just discussing those plays here.

Werewords x6
Magic Maze x2 (new!)
One Night Ultimate Werewolf x2
Catacombs (third edition)
DropMix
Modern Art
Sakura

Articles/Reviews/Written Word
Last week I posted a very critical review of 7th Continent on Player Elimination. This week I'm elated with Lords of Hellas.

I also wrote about Tale of Pirates at Geek & Sundry a couple of weeks ago.

Finally, the last issue of Tabletop Gaming (March) finally arrived and I was able to check out my article on Dungeon Degenerates. Very cool being in print again.


Werewords/ONUW
Only thing worth talking about here is that we got One Night Ultimate Werewolf back out after not playing it for a very long time. After a couple of games we decided we'd rather be playing Werewords. Damn.

Magic Maze
This was fun. Things didn't get really interesting until scenario 3 where you have to start swapping action tiles when you flip the sandtimer. I dig this game but it wasn't mind blowing. I definitely want to play it again and it's very novel and unique. I think one of its strongest assets is that it's so easy to get out and play, and I can foresee it hitting the table many times in the future. I do worry though because one of our regulars wasn't very fond of it (the rest of us dug it).

Modern Art
I continue to really be impressed with this design, but after several plays now I'm starting to see some criticisms appear. It's very difficult to pinpoint, but it feels as though you may not be able to win based solely on other players making poor decisions. I'm not sure how big of a flaw that is, but I still very much enjoy the game and think of it as a classic.


On My Mind
Lots of catching up after being gone a week at Disney World. The trip was great and Lila was elated the entire time. So many great moments but dinner in Cinderella's castle while the fireworks were going off was, well, magical.

Cranked out a Dinosaur Island review for Ars and now I'm tearing into City of Kings for G&S. The amount of punchboards here was staggering. Gloomhaven levels.

I received a couple of sample minis from Modiphius for Fallout Wasteland Warfare (I'm covering this game at Ars), and they're very solid. Multipart restic that's very detailed but not terrible to work with. They're not quite at GW levels but they're still very good. The Brotherhood of Steel minigun dude and the Deathclaw look great.

I'm also trying to get into Gaslands and have everything. Just need to weather a few cars and read the rules. We're planning on reviewing this on Ding & Dent in the future.

The Blues are right at the cusp of an unexpected playoff berth and I'm pulling for them. Also, I won my Fantasy Hockey league for the 4th time in 8 years, which I'm pretty happy with.
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9. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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 N/A   Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (None all-time)
 9   Puerto Rico (82 all-time)
 10   Hansa Teutonica (43 all-time)
 7   Secret Hitler x3 (31 all-time)
 N/A   Joking Hazard (None all-time)

Puerto Rico -- Remember last time when I played Puerto Rico with five people and wanted to die? I played with 4 people this time, and it took literally half the time. I was start player, so I did the start player thing, but ultimately did not do Big Money or Big Shipping well enough to get 1st place.

Hansa Teutonica -- We had a new player. She seemed to enjoy the game, though she was very reserved and clearly confused for the first bit. The winner of the game had never won before, but he's been steadily improving his game. He upgraded his privilege track fully, went to the VP scoring zone, and otherwise took cities + VP, which worked out well for him. My turn was directly before him, and while I blocked him a few key times, I left other key cities and opportunities open which he capitalized on. I am winning less these days because the others are definitely improving.

Joking Hazard -- Went to a non-religious Easter brunch yesterday. After food, we played a few round of Secret Hitler and Joking Hazard. This picture is the first panel that I put together:



On my mind:
Exercise this week was a bit less strenuous than my previous few. I skipped my long run on Saturday to paint my office, buy + assemble new shelves, and thoroughly rearrange everything. Marion was laid off recently (I think they've laid off 20%+ of their staff by now) and her final day was last week. She'll be using our office now for projects and work, we needed to better organize it. Everything's turned out really well so far, and of course I now realize I should have done many of these changes two years ago .

Changes to the office:
* Remove the loveseat that we never used and became Rufus' bed.
* Remove mesh bookshelf that held printer
* Move 2x4 kallax into closet.
* Purchase + assemble three grey Hemnes bookshelves from ikea.
* Purchase + assemble two Ekets cubbies and put into window alcove.
* Move desks to face each other
* Put up shades
* Hang closet curtains.
* Replace old electric outlets with modern ones.
* Paint walls (including the drywall we never painted after our renovation that made the office smaller.
* Paint trim. So. much. trim.
* Hang pictures

Edit for pictures

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10. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:119]
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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 9.5   Tichu (17 all-time)
 N/A   Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure (None all-time)
 9   Catan (13 all-time)

Catan: Won this game in the initial settlement placement. One of the harder things for newer players to grasp is to follow the numbers first, then the resources. Placing a settlement on brick rolling 11s is nowhere near as useful as sheep rolling on 6s- you've got much better odds of getting the sheep you need and trading for the brick, especially if you've got a second number for a resource to pair with. My initial placements covered 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11. I got resources like crazy early and smoked 'em.

Tichu: Fun to teach, fun to play. Made my one Tichu call, which was a little nerve racking- was passed 2s to make a bomb, then had an immediate wish for a 2. But the hand was still strong enough.

Clank: Game was closer than the score indicated- I pushed the tempo by grabbing a backpack and multiple treasures then hightailing it out to the top. The winning player escaped the dungeon with no time or movement to spare, but the bonus put her way into the lead.

NEW GAME GET RED ALERT UPDATE
Publisher of pre-ordered titles has indicated fulfillment begins tomorrow. It's asking a bit much that I'll have it this week, but I'm am tracking very carefully for deliveries!

Titles to be revealed once they're in my possession! In the meantime, I will eagerly be watching for package sign!

On My Mind
Punch Out: I'm preparing for a play of Saratoga, so I'm punching my set and planning to clip this week. I've been geeked up on the Revolutionary War through some lectures lately, and with FtP cleared last week this is next in the queue. Saratoga National Battlefield also won the NE Park Service's Museum Madness bracket, which was fun. This feels like a true milestone for me- it's the first ever heavy tactical hex and counter wargame I've attempted. The other wargamey stuff I've played has been from a higher strategic level, or on the light side ala Commands and Colors. So this is exciting!

Sodapop may be going flat: Watching the latest Super Dungeon Explore Kickstarter drama. I did the first kickstarter and while it was late, everything came in. And I got suckered into one more, despite the fact I'm just collecting minis to cannibalize into RPGs. Their initial delivery target was December 2016, and when it became obvious they'd miss it miss they divided the kickstarter into waves and pushed Wave 1 to April 2018. As that is imminent they've posted they won't meet it.

I'm watching with healthy skepticism- when the KS campaign ran, they made a lot of noise about things being ready to print. After it finished, they decided to do major rules overhaul/testing to the game, so all the print-ready stuff wasn't really ready to go. A lot of excuses and apologies (and some cancelled orders) followed, with regular updates until they felt the public outcry had been placated. But they're not really wrapping things up, they're simultaneously running 3 other kickstarters that are also woefully behind, and they added a fourth last fall by being the provider of Starfinder minis for Paizo (which was heavily brigaded during the campaign by disgruntled people who backed their other projects).

The new announcement is a delay of indefinite length ("we don't want to promise a date until we know for sure when we can deliver"). It also comes with the the fantastic news that they're changing factories, and they're no longer giving refunds. I'm not completely bereft of hope that it'll eventually come, but I'm also preparing myself in case it disappears completely. They've had my money for the better part of 2-1/2 years, so at this point I can get by without it or potentially write it off.

Exercises: Busy weekend- I took advantage of time off on Good Friday to do a 7.5 mile hike. Saw a wonderful waterfall, got in some great elevation work. Had a fantastic run Saturday where I pushed the pace to less than 9 minutes per mile. I felt really crummy during the lift yesterday but I was able to do everything. So I'm pleased. I'm monkeying with my caloric intake as the expenditure goes up to try to preserve muscle. Early indications are its working (I'm seeing the stomach shrink and the weight go up), but I'm watching closely as I get back on a regular, non-Easter eating schedule again. I did have ice cream for the first time in about 7 months yesterday, and managed to maintain discipline!

Open up your hymnals: Palm Sunday inspired me to record a song for Easter. I've got a video up on Facebook- was happy with how it turned out. It's a favorite Easter hymn.
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11. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.53 Overall Rank:33]
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Spiteclaw's Swarm
Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire
Gaslands
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 x2
DropMix

Good week of games.

Shadespire

Made some changes following the tournament and ran that deck against a buddy who wanted to learn the game. I didn't go all out, but as he was using a starter deck it wasn't super close. The change worked, but it was focused around beefing up a particular character and I don't think it's worth running this set-up over just beefing up the leader. I really like these rat-men; they're strong but still tricky to play.

Gaslands

Up next was a 2p game of Gaslands, with each of us running 2 cars. I've never in my life seen such a dichotomy of rolls. I missed 4 50/50s in a row, while he rolled three 6s and another success in a single shot. I was wiped off the board before the 2nd game. We had a lot of fun though, and he's been buying hot wheels. This game is pretty fun and a great beer and pretzels mini game that I think has the potential to be played more tactically if you want.

Pandemic Legacy S2

We played (and won) in October and November. We now have 1 month left and are looking forward to the end, both because we're excited to see how it ends and how we do and also because playing it has been a little frustrating. There are a lot of production issues in S2. Chief among them are cards that aren't cut evenly, making shuffling a pain in the ass. By the end of the game the Player Draw deck is massive, and a lot of mechanisms have been added and then discarded. Katie feels like it's been difficult to follow along or remember everything she can do. We usually just put our head down and ignore a lot of the systems and it's felt almost too easy in some months. Overall fun and we're still in for S3 but definitely a come down after S1.

Dropmix

In addition to the weekly challenge with Grace and Charlie, I played 3 games of Clash and a round of Party on Easter. We had a friend of ours over for brunch after Mass and I had a hunch she'd like Dropmix, and was correct. Clash has a little more going to it than I gave it credit for at the beginning, but it's still a light game. There's only so much you can do around your draw. I think deck building would be fun but I'm also not sure it'd be worth it.

On my Mind

Had a really nice weekend. On Saturday we got a lot of errands done early, including taking Raffi to an easter egg 'hunt' at a grocery store. They just filled the aisles in the frozen food section with eggs for kids to grab and he had a ball. On Easter we went to the 7:30 am mass and then went home for brunch. Every episode of Ugly Delicious has made me want to cook something, so I decided to try my hand at fried chicken. It came out great, especially for a first try. Chicken & Waffles + biscuits for brunch, it was pretty great.

Katie's mom comes in on Wednesday, so we're hoping the baby holds out until at least then to come. We're getting pretty close!
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12. Board Game: Guest's Treasure Chest Biscuit Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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DropMix 11 (33 all-time)
Qwixx 4 (73 all-time)
Fantasy Realms 3 (13 all-time)
Groves 2 NEW!
Potion Explosion (17 all-time) + Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient 2 (4 all-time)
Champions of Midgard (7 all-time) + Champions of Midgard: Valhalla 1 NEW!
Majesty: For the Realm 1 (5 all-time)
Time's Up! Title Recall! 1 (32 all-time)
XenoShyft: Dreadmire 1 NEW!

Review: Indian Summer is really pretty, but also pretty frustrating.

---

DropMix: Aside from the weekly challenge, we actually played this as the game. We did one round of Clash and then a bunch of Party with three. I really like Party as it's real-time co-op. I wouldn't mind giving Clash another few tries. Hopefully they'll add some more modes in the future.

Groves: Not a bad bag-building game. Its most interesting aspect is of how you can prune your bag fairly easily, based on where you place your fairies, giving it a slightly different feel than a typical deckbuilder. That said, it's not altogether that fun as it's really just convert resources into points. So, thoroughly mediocre.

Champions of Midgard: Valhalla: This is a the stronger of the two CoM expansions. Whereas The Dark Mountains just adds more baddies, I liked how your guys dying created tokens that you spend on blessings. The leader die is okay, but the new currency of sorts was a nice addition.

XenoShyft: Dreadmire: I had been playing the app enough to compel me to pick this up. The app is kind of annoying, so I figured in person would make the game easier. It does in the sense that I can read all the cards and not accidentally activate shit due to unintuitive clicks. On the other hand, the physical game is super fiddly. I'm also not sure how it's possible to win. Not in a "oh, this is challenging, I'll get better" kind of way, but rather a "this seems utterly impossible and waaay luck dependent." Then again, maybe I just suck. I did read that playing with two is easier than solo, so I'll hopefully give this another try soon, but it'll likely go into the trade/sell pile. I like the concept, but it needs some tuning.

---

On My Mind:

SPRING BREAK.
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13. Board Game: Koi-Koi [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:4025]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Unpublished Prototype (Desginer: Eric B. Vogel)
Taluva (8 all-time) + Taluva Extension (4 all-time)
The Bottle Imp (14 all-time)
American Rails (4 all-time)
Koi-Koi NEW!
Bohnanza (2 all-time)
Azul (16 all-time)

I got a chance to try one of Eric's new designs at our regular game night, luckily no-one has it for publication yet so I can talk about it. Working title is "Monster Country" and it's a Co-op that Eric says was inspired by the Diablo series of board games. Players are trying to defend a small settlement from oncoming monsters by collection resources, building buildings, and allocating soldiers to the advancing row of baddies.

The twist is that it's a role selection game: Players have a hand of role cards from a deck of them, with multiple copies of the 6/7 basic roles each doing a slightly different thing (but largely the same action for each role). There's a doom track that advances when monsters get through, but also if a player has to use a role card that corresponds to an already-used role (there's a row of role cards that get flipped every time someone uses one to keep track of things). Once all roles have been used, the row flips back over and players are free to choose once again, but coordinating with each other based on what role cards players have in hand is important in managing things.

The design is pretty near finished, with some minor balance changes in the works to make sure that the difficulty curve is manageable. If you like co-ops keep your eyes out for it, though the publishing situation is still up in the air.

I had been curious about Koi-Koi ever since seeing it implemented on BoardGameArena, and finally ordered a set of Hanafuda cards and went through a great "for beginners" file that's here on the geek. It feels like a classic card game, with set creating and a dash of push-your-luck, though it was taking some time for me to get familiar with all 12 suits. It's something I think I can get my mom or girlfriend into, so hopefully it'll be seeing more play.
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14. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.71 Overall Rank:13]
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Gloomhaven (18 all-time)

Played and won the Icecrag Ascent scenario. It felt again like we probably could have bumped the difficulty, but we'll do it next time (to level 3) because now our level is high enough that that is "normal". It is a little odd that I prefer to pitch the difficulty such that we always win (with effort), but replaying a GH scenario just seems like it would be...tedious and frustrating, especially given how much there still is to explore. I did finally get to use the gimmick ability of my class (2-minis, if you've opened it, you probably know what I'm talking about).

Gaia Project x2 (3 all-time)
Rising Sun (None all-time)

Got together at my friend Greg's house and played the above. I had played both once so I taught and because I suck at teaching I won the first Gaia project game as well as Rising Sun, which was pretty nice because in my first game of each I was last place with a bullet.

Gaia Project was a hit, as evidenced by the fact that after playing it and then Rising Sun, we decided to hit Gaia Project again despite the literal mountain of games Greg owns. I got absolutely wrecked in the second GP game. I was the Lantids and they seem to, umm, suck? I even looked up a rule clarification halfway through that made them suck even more (not that it would have made that much of a difference - maybe 10-12 points which still would have left me in last). Perhaps I gunned too hard for my Stronghold in round one rather than creating an engine and getting some tech going...

I'm still not quite sure what I think of Rising Sun. The Cognitive Dissonance of the game looking like it's a game where you are meant to occupy and control territory contrasted with the fact that it's not really about that but rather about finding point engines to abuse and manipulating yourself into uncontested or lopsided battles is kind of odd. Also the fact that you are actively discouraged from "holding" territory makes the flow of power around the board...weird.

Oh, I think I played Gulo Gulo with Alistair some time last week, but evidently I didn't log it.

OMM

I've stayed on track with the boxing, going MWF last week and yesterday. My wife has had a harder time. She managed to go MFSun last week (her Apple interview Thursday threw a wrench in), but this morning she got up at 5, decided she didn't feel well, and went back to bed. She says she's going to go tonight at 7:30, so we'll see.

Her Apple interview didn't go all that well. They were probably looking for someone with a little more experience than her (she's only been in the UX Writing career for a year, with some related-but-different work in Content Strategy the year before).

Oh right, my parents remortgaged their house to give us $200K so we could at least think about buying something around here. Of course the fact of the matter is that $200K isn't a realistic down payment on anything around here, and even if we could afford a down payment (e.g. if we went to Reno and bet it all on black) we wouldn't be able to afford the mortgage payments. On the other hand, it is pretty entitled to bitch about having 200K and at least now if we can continue to consolidate financially we have a shot in the next few years, especially if there's another housing market crash. For now we're going to probably put it in some bond-heavy mutual fund while we assess options. We did look at a very tiny condo Sunday that was listed for 800K but that offers were due on Monday morning (yesterday) and they expected them to be in the 1.1M range, because I live in crazy town.

Umm, 1 episode left of Jessica Jones S2. Definitely continues from S1 as one of the better Netflix Marvel series, but boy even the good ones could use some tightening up on the pacing.

Speaking of Marvel, I'm also the one guy who has kept up with Agents of Shield and I have to say the last 2 seasons have been pretty spectacular (though I wasn't as down on the early seasons as some were). Also Legion starts tonight which I'm super excited for (I think that it has a week lag before it hits Hulu, so I probably wait until then to watch).
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15. Board Game: Blood Rage [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:21]
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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MIND. BLOWN.
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Gloomhaven (38 all-time)
Kingdomino x3 (12 all-time)
John Company (9 all-time)
Broom Service (10 all-time)
Blood Rage (9 all-time)
BANG! The Dice Game x6 (15 all-time)



We were in Annapolis for a long weekend over Easter and a cousin's wedding, and it was both very relaxing and very exhausting, as is the Path of the Introvert. Many favorites were played, as my in-laws are always salivating for board games. Of greatest note was a sublime play of Blood Rage.

As my father-in-law put it, "Starts with BLOOD, ends with RAGE, so you know it's good." We had Wardruna and and Heilung blasting in the background the entire time, and my father-in-law suggested we buy some Viking Blod to go with it, but all of the stores were closed by the time we started digging in. Anastasia nearly won by sacrificing all of her warriors to the whims of Valhalla in glorious death, but my being able to resurrect a massive Fire Giant from the Golden Halls and wipe clean the face of the earth won the day. My sister- and father-in-law were right on our heels the whole time. 10 out of all possible 10s, this game continues to impress me with each consequent play. The depth of options grows every time I consider the draft and metagame. Absolutely delicious, but then, I don't really need to sell it to anyone here.



On My Mind:

Class starts up this week, so it's back to the academic routine. A good thing. Something I've been longing for, really, as I enjoy this degree program a lot. I recently shifted from Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) to Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) which is a more robust degree. RTS didn't offer MATS through their distance program when I enrolled a while back, but the registrar swapped me over with zero friction upon request. More credit hours/real time to be spent, for sure, but I'm excited about it.

Oh, and Ted was a killer Ring Bearer at the wedding this weekend. In his own words, "I'm not A ring bearer, I'm THE Ring Bearer."


I think we might start watching The Wire soon.
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16. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2068]
Joseph Shufelt
United States
Portland
Oregon
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 6   The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game

Super light week for me. I basically just played this once while watching TV one night.

Other than that, I've basically been attempting to OD on Terra Mystica on BGA with randoms and play a few other games on there.

OMM:

Work is shitty. It's stressing me out big time. I skipped game night because of this.

We worked hard this last weekend to get the house baby ready. Didn't host game day because of this.

The doctors are monitoring my wife and the pregnancy closely. They basically told her if some particular symptoms surface, they will induce early, possibly hook her up to some treatment to get the baby's lungs to develop faster, and have the baby sooner. There's a reasonable chance I'll be a father before the end of this month is over. But the baby is developing very nicely and very healthy. It's taken a bad toll on the wife though. It's scary. I'm just focusing on being strong for them both right now, and not letting my fear really shake me. Though work stress is making it hard.
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