What Did You Play This Week? April 02 - 08, 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 467


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If you are new to the list, welcome! Please join in and tell us a little about yourself and the type of games you enjoy playing...
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1. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:378]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I hate missing pieces...

Tuesday
mb - 4.01 mi 33:26 (8:20)

Thursday
1x - Fog of Love - mb
mb - 5.0 mi 41:34 (8:18) - rolling hills


High School Sweethearts - Successful

After graduation we both pursued an education and career. My wife as a Chemist and myself as a Chef. Despite my pretentious, hypocritical nature and selfish greed, my patient, flirtatious sweetheart bore with me even in the face of my secret activity of starting my own business in an effort to switch careers to farming by not breaking up with me. We succeeded in some rocky relational terrain and our relationship seems on a better trajectory.

Friday
3x - Karuba - mb

We decided on a best of 3 morning, coffee tournament to start the day. It started with a bit of frustration discovering we are missing a tile from one of the player sets. I'd like to say that I was consequently distracted but my wife crushed me in game 1, 22-16. I made an impressive comeback in play 2 to even things up for a final showdown, 26-14. In the final match, we probably made the same 10 of the first 12 decisions which was making for an interesting tiebreaker. It came down to the wire with us both completing a route on the last turn of the game. My wife claimed the win 25-24.

Saturday
mb - 6.50 mi 54:55 (8:27)
3x - Karuba - mb

We had friends over for dinner and played three games of Karuba together. I like it better with more players as the race tension is higher.


The thought of a game missing a piece is really aggravating. In setting up Karuba this week I learned that I was missing a tile. I recall having a similar feeling last year when I discovered I was missing a cloth production tile for Concordia. I hate missing components. Grrr... Okay, I'm trying to let it go and pray that it shows up on a shelf, or under a couch, or in another box.

meeple Keep playing...
BK's Hardcore 10x10 in 2018 List at 46/100
BK's Photographic Journey to the BGG Photo HoF
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2. Board Game: Bruges: The City on the Zwin [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Not much gaming this week due to my travels again!

Friday

Just Kent and me for some 2P gaming. Games with multi use cards was the theme of the evening!

La Granja = 1 Play

This excellent farming game set in Spain was the first up. I managed to fulfil higher level carts to establish a better presence in the market area but Kent did better delivering to the craft houses to get all those juicy VP first and ultimately was the key to Kent’s victory.


Kent manages to unlock the 3 locked craft houses which edges out my better presence in the market for the win! Kent 77 Me 71.

Bruges = 1 Play (Out of the dust!)

Played with the expansion modules, it was Kent’s large end game bonus which enabled him to overtake my in game score gained through wall building as he ended up winning by just 2 points!


Personality bonuses defeats wall building! Kent 66 Me 64.

Race for the Galaxy = 1 Play

Another very close game closed the evening. We were tied in practically everything but my 8-4 advantage in end game development scoring overcame Kent’s 9-6 score from consuming good which gave a net 1 point advantage for the win!


Just a quick game over Nachos! Me 41 Kent 40.
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3. Board Game: The Builders: Antiquity [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1905]
Nick Shaw
United Kingdom
Plymouth
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Not a lot of published games this week, so not much I can talk about, but for what it's worth:

With the Kids

The Builders: Antiquity - Playing with my 9yo. I won 23 to 17, even though she triggered game end by reaching 17 points first. First rule of this game: Don't trigger game end when your opponent gets the last turn and is fractionally away from completing a huge monument!





Online

Mystic Vale - 4 players, and I somehow managed to win! Chuffed with that. I'm still playing *fairly* randomly, and just taking the best upgrades I can afford each turn, but getting the upgrades that cancel out a spoil token REALLY help.





Solo

Race for the Galaxy - playing a fan-made solo variant for the base game, which is somewhat similar to the Gathering Storm robot I believe. I've not played this in a while, and I lost badly, but had fun playing.



Cerebria - Playtesting this, almost one game every day over the last week. It's SO close to being done now, and we're just working on final tweaks to the AI, which has shaped up really nicely.
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4. Board Game: Wildcatters [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1658]
Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Weird week. My wife flew out of town on Thursday night, so I had to stay home and watch the kids, so I missed my weekly game night. Then, I had a game day scheduled for Saturday, but I got a late start because my son’s baseball game was rescheduled. What I thought was going to be a day when I got 5-6 games played turned into a session where only three games hit the table, one filler, and two games that each took about four hours to play (including teach). I also learned something about myself as a gamer with the two games I played for the first time on Saturday back-to-back: Wildcatters and Kanban.

Saturday Game Day with Matt, James, Sara, Eric, Nestor, Andrew, Josh, Saad and Lawrence



 8.5   Wildcatters NEW!

I got my copy of Wildcatters about a month ago and I knew it wouldn’t take long for this game to hit the table. First off, it’s amazingly gorgeous. Capstone really did a great job with the look of this game. Everything about it is super high quality. In Wildcatters, you play as an oil baron trying to ship oil all over the globe. You develop oil wells, build infrastructure and transport. The entire game is about being in the right spot at the right time. You want to piggyback on the actions of your opponents but you need to have the right amount of capital to do so when the moment strikes so that you can pay your opponents, when necessary, to benefit from their actions or use their infrastructure.

I’ve never played Brass, but this is what I imagine Brass is like. I finished last in this play because I didn’t build enough transport infrastructure, which didn’t allow me to accumulate enough shares of my opponent’s companies, which left me too poor to hire more workers or buy consolidation chips. Lesson learned. But what I will say is that I can’t stop thinking about this game and what I did wrong. I immediately want to replay it. While this is a very interesting game, it is not without its flaws. First, it takes a long time to play. We played it in 3:45, which can probably be paired down a bit on a second play, but with four players, this game is still approximately three hours, which makes it more situational than I would prefer. I doubt this is something we pull off the shelf once per month, even now when it’s fresh and hot for us. Secondly, it’s a bit fiddly with how you have to place oil barrels on the pumpjacks. It could have used slightly larger spots for the pumpjacks. The oil barrels are small and for anyone with big fingers, it’s nearly impossible to get them to sit correctly on the pumpjacks. This may sound minor, but it’s really important for the game that the correct number of barrels are on each pumpjack so that you know how many barrels you can ship when transporting given that you can only transport one barrel from each pumpjack at a time. If not for those two minor critiques, this game might rank in the 9’s for me.





 4.5   Trick of the Rails NEW!

This one was a miss for me. At five players, which is how we played it, the game feels too chaotic with little player control. Plus, it is a poor hybrid in that it lacks the fun factor and speed of a typical trick taker, but it also lacks much in the way of strategy as it plays out too quickly and with limited ability to do anything to alter how the tricks play out. This is especially true early in the game when everyone is flush with trump and you can’t play anything else. Later in the game, you can have some interesting choices when someone plays a trump suit that you don’t have. Then whatever card you play gives you a share of stock of that company and if it is a highly valued company, that can certainly help you. But unless you win the tricks that allow you to play locomotives, which are the primary factor that determines which company is going to be valuable and which will not, then you are at the mercy of your opponents. If you get a poor hand dealt to you, I don’t know how you can overcome that here, unlike a game such as Fox in the Forest where you can purposefully try to lose tricks to such a degree that you end up with the most points. Here, purposely tanking is impossible and wouldn’t benefit you even if you could. I hear this game is poor at five, so I’m interested to play it with three or four to see if my rating changes for the better.



 7.7   Kanban: Driver's Edition NEW!

This was my first play of Kanban, a game that I have been interested in playing for almost two years now. I love some of Vital Lacerda’s designs and the only thing that kept me from playing this game was the intimidating rule set, the fact that nobody I know owned it, and the graphic design of the board (and this is coming from someone who ranks Lisboa as his second favorite game of all time. That board is super busy, but gloriously beautiful). I’m really glad I got a chance to play this one. I love the theme and having an NPC in Sandra moving around the board and setting the pace of the game is interesting and fun. That said, this game falls more in the “good, not great” camp for me, similar to Vinhos. I view Lisboa and The Gallerist in much higher regard.

Despite my slight disappointment in this title, on the strength of Lisboa and The Gallerist, Lacerda is probably still one of my favorite designers. But I’m learning a bit more about my personal tastes as a gamer as I play more of his stuff and euros in general. First off, every one of Vital’s games pack about 50% of the final scoring into the end game via hidden goals and/or objectives. I can’t say I love that aspect of his designs and it is almost overpowering in Lisboa with the decree cards. However, the reason why I prefer Lisboa and The Gallerist to Kanban and Vinhos is that in both Lisboa and The Gallerist, you can set an overarching strategy that you can implement for the entire game. Nothing major happens with the scoring in the middle of the game. I find that it’s hard to change your strategy on the fly in between board meetings when new objective cards come out. More importantly, what I am learning is that I am starting to prefer games with higher player interactivity. Lacerda mixes in a fair amount of player interaction in his games given the various “kicked out” actions in Lisboa and The Gallerist plus the blocking that is very evident in this game, but it’s nothing like what occurs in Wildcatters or in an 18xx title. In the latter games, everything anyone else does affects me in some way. I have to react to that. In most euros it is more of a big efficiency puzzle to solve. Who can do things the easiest, fastest, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love those puzzly euros too, but I’m finding that I like them a bit less as time goes on and when I have four players, I want more of a knife fight in a phone booth. For instance, as I sit here writing this 24 hours later, I’m thinking about Wildcatters and what I could have done better in a way that I simply am not about Kanban.



Sunday Solo Gaming



 8.3   Roll Player x2

On Sunday night, after the kids went to bed, I pulled out Roll Player to take a gander at the new expansion that arrived this week via Kickstarter fulfillment. I backed this game in May 2017 without ever playing it. I just assumed I would love it given the theme. I finally got a chance to play it for real in July and I was a bit, umm, underwhelmed. I think I rated it somewhere in the low 7’s. I found the dice mitigation a bit harder than I expected and I got crushed in my lone play of the game. I instantly had Kickstarter backer regret. But, the game arrived this week and I saw on the side of the box that it played solo, so I figured I would give it a whirl to refamiliarize myself with the game and possibly introduce it to my eight-year old son, Hunter in the coming days.

Playing the game solo opened my eyes a bit. I now realize what a great design this really is. The first time I played solo, I scored 25, only one point higher than the score I posted with my friends back in July. I instantly wanted another shot to do better and the second time around I got a very respectable 31. I actually think the solo game is a bit harder than the multiplayer version because you see fewer dice (which makes it harder to choose dice of your class color) and fewer market cards are available to choose and some get taken out of the deck before you start, so it’s potentially harder to build armor collections that can really net you the high point values. I did NOT play this with the expansion. I might try that out in the next couple nights. For now, I wanted to just start with the base game to get my feet wet.

I know it may sound hypocritical to say I am starting to not like multiplayer solitare euros where everyone is trying to solve a grand efficiency puzzle and then say I enjoy Roll Player for the same puzzly aspect, but for whatever reason this game just hits a nice sweet spot for me, especially given the high degree of satisfaction you get when you mitigate your dice in just the right way. Plus, the theme is great and the time to play this is perfect for a work night after dinner with my wife for when the kids have gone to bed. I also think the weight of this game is such that my son and maybe even my six-year old daughter Hadley can play it.
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5. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:9]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Monday

Monday was mine and Lindy's 14th annual game day. Who knew when Lindy was 11 and I started these with her that she would still be a willing participant 14 years later? We started off with Yamatai.


We used Tenzi as a start player game 4 times during the day.


Our next game was Guildhall with Job Faire. We have been quite enjoying this one.


Then we opted for something lighter, Lost Cities.


We had been enjoying Orleans all last week and decide on one more time.


Another lighter one, Chateau Roquefort.


We both had an itch to play Castles of Burgundy so that was next.


Lindy always likes Wasabi, and although I always lose, I decided to indulge her.


Nest was the filler, Pick Picknic. This is an old favourite of ours.


I then taught Lindy Indian Summer and we played twice.


Another old favourite of ours is Kingdom Builder.


We finished our game day off with Clank.

Tuesday

Since lIndy was around all week we got in a couple of games every day. Tuesday it was Guildhall with Job Faire again.


Later I played Galaxy Trucker with Stacey who went home later this day.


When I got back from taking Stacey to Regina, Lindy and I had another game of Indian Summer.

Wednesday

Lindy and I had another game ofYamatai.


Later we also had a third play of Guildhall with Job Faire.

Thursday

I was very pleased that Lindy joined me for another play of Great Western Trail. I had not had near enough of this at Christmas.


We also played Indian Summer.

Friday

On Friday we played not one, but two games of Castles of Burgundy.


We also played another game of Clank.

Saturday

On Saturday I had to take Lindy back to Regina but we played one game of Indian Summer before we left.


Then, while at the restaurant for lunch we played Dragonheart.

Sunday

On Sunday I tried out Great Western Trail solo. It played pretty well.

45 games played this week. 16 of these were expansions. 4 were start player.
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6. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:726]
Joe H
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Gaming Group

I started out by playing Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King with Steve, Peter and Tony. I brought this game along with me because of the recent news that dinosaur footprints had been discovered on Skye. So, I wanted to play this in anticipation of a Dinosaur Island/Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King mashup. Steve did a great job of getting endgame scoring and taking an early advantage. Tony got an early cash edge that he held through most of the game. I generated lots of income and Peter, who was playing for the first time, got a nice little income engine going too. Going into the final round Steve held a huge lead. After scoring his final round and endgame points he extended it much further, topping out at 82 points. But as Tony did his scoring things looked like there was going to be a tight finish...and it was. But, Tony fell short by 2 points.



Next, Emil, André, Tony and I played The Oracle of Delphi and it was Tony and André’s first game. My starting power was movements around the oracle wheel cost one less favor. Tony got some starting items. André received one extra favor whenever he received a favor. Emil had one fewer task to complete. For the first time ever I didn’t push to get shields and it cost me as I lost two turns. I’ll have to manage my injuries better. Tony did a great job racing around the board and had a great endgame where he delivered three statues in quick succession. He triggered endgame and won with me com8ng closest with only one more task left to complete.



Finally, Andrea, Bill, André, Tony and I played Deep Sea Adventure. In contrast to my previous play I did make it out with treasure. In the first turn I snagged 13 points. But, with Andrea having done even better I pushed my luck hard in rounds 2 and 3 and didn’t make it out again. André (who didn’t make it out in round one) and Bill did quite well with André edging Bill out for second place while Andrea won with 35 points. This light and quick game continues to delight.



[New to Me] I got to visit the Kanata Board Gamers on Thursday and joined Steve and John for my (and, I think, their) first play of Nations: The Dice Game. This game is on the lighter side where your dice pool builds over the four ages of the game. In each age you spend your dice to change your dice pool (moving from generic dice to dice that specialize in producing gold, military or science), gain leaders and monuments and gain end of age victory points for science and achieving the military and feeding objectives. I specialized in science with a little military mixed in. This helped build my lead on the science track. John went for economy early before pushing up on science. Steve went for military early before working towards high VP monuments. That turned out to be the winning move as we tied on final scoring and his military dice (which gave him first player) gave him the tiebreaker.



Next, I taught Steve and John Coldwater Crown. John jumped out to the first points of the game by claiming a weight award (he’d get three others). Steve was catching fish like crazy and won the race to 8 unique species but I would soon follow and then go on to be the first to claim the small species challenge. Later, Beat out John to be the second one to claim the small species challenge. Steve triggered the endgame but John and I were both able to catch a fish or two more. Surprisingly, none of us were able to get one of the Master Angler challenge awards, a first for the games I’d played. It was a super tight game. I won the contests in 2 of the locations (taking third in the other) while Steve took first in one. It was a super tight game with me, John and Steve earning 27, 26 and 25 points, respectively. It was the tightest game I’d played yet.



Finally, we played Imperial Settlers, a game we’d each played in the distant past so it was a bit of a learning game for us, especially me (as my play would attest). I played the Romans, Steve played the Egyptians and John played the Barbarians. Steve drew his initial faction cards well and was able to get several faction buildings out in the first round. John built a several production buildings in the first round while I managed one production building, a feature and a deal. Steve and John got nice engines running early and really ran them well. John's produced lots of in game victory points while Steve's large faction building tableau earned him lots of end game points. Steve's end game VPs were just enough to squeeze out a narrow win over John. Me? I was playing a different game it seems but didn't get doubled. Still lots of fun.



Gaming with My Wife

I picked Batman Fluxx up on a super sale. Having played it a few years ago I figured it might be a good addition to my game collection. I threw it into my weekend bag and Sharon chose it over the other games in the bag. We played two games with me winning both. I wasn’t quite sure how she felt about the randomness or card manipulation. But, later that evening she asked to play again and I won again.



Solo Gaming

With baseball season underway I've been inspired to play Baseball Highlights: 2045 a bit more. I continue to be unsuccessful but I did improve. In my first game this week I lost the series 4-2 with one extra inning loss. My second game came even closer, losing the series 4-3 with one extra inning loss.



On Tuesday I played One Deck Dungeon. I had the Paladin entering the Dragon lair. It was a rough start as I didn't find many items to buff my weak characteristics (magic and dexterity) but I did advance levels and stayed relatively healthy. Early on as lots of "4" difficulty rooms appeared I was able to use my special ability but it dried up later. The boss fight pushed me a bit but I managed to kill the dragon in the 3rd round of combat.



Explorers of the North Sea continues to be an enjoyable puzzle. I played two games this week. In the first game my captains are the Shield Maiden and Trader and I scored 71 points. I scored 24 points from controlled islands and 16 from livestock delivered. In the second game my captains were the Archer and Hero and scored 79 points. In this game I scored 30 from controlled islands and 20 from outposts.



I played one game of La Granja: No Siesta and scored 49 points ("potential to make a living"). The AI took the middle market barrow and points for stables to start. I beat the AI to the first and third market barrows, scoring 14 points. From this I claimed points for workers and long-distance trades.



I played a couple of games of OctoDice this week. Both were characterized by the lack of advancement in the lab. In both games I only rolled three research icons. In the first game I scored only 25 points. In the second game I did much better, scoring 39 points with 11 points scored by end-of-round subs and additional points for taking the sub action.



Limes continues to be a quick and enjoyable game. In my play of it this week I scored 50 points with 5 woodsmen scoring 34 points (8,8,7,6,5) and 2 watchmen scoring 16 points (8,8).



The second chapter of Fast Forward: FLEE continues to baffle me. I played it twice this week. In the first once I came pretty close to finishing the chapter. I was a bit less successful in my second attempt but I think it was still an improvement over last week's attempts. I'm still a little fuzzy on some of the reset rules.



I played 2 games of Castellion this week. In the first game I came through the first two onslaughts and did well. The second defensive structure was to create 2 bastions and 2 lines of defense. For the third defensive structure I had to create 6 lines of defense. I had managed the traitors too well and had sacrificed too many tiles and ran out of tiles to place with only 5 of the 6 lines of defense built. In the second game the defensive structure required for the onslaught was 2 bastions and 2 lines of defense. That was easily managed and I was able to successfully create a defensive structure of 6 bastions before the third onslaught.



I've never played a quicker game of The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game before. In the second round AARON completed a set of buildings for 4 points. I was only able to scrape by with 2 points from goods sold to lose 4-2. It took me longer to setup and pack up the game than it did to play.



I played The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game using the Side Jobs mode. This setup had 4 cases, 4 foes, 2 obstacles and 2 advantages and the "Showdown to Unmask the Villain". My team of Harry Dresden, Karrin Murphy and Susan Rodriguez did well. It was able to solve 3 with only 2 undefeated foes before the final Showdown. I didn't have much fate left for the Showdown so it was a fortunate result.



On Thursday I played Freedom: The Underground Railroad in "easy mode" using the Conductor and Station Master. It was a nailbiter as at one point (due to a rules error where I placed 2 opposition cards in the market row in the same lantern phase) I had 3 opposition cards in the market row. I was able to manipulate the slaves along the path so that their resolution worked out ok but, generally, the opposition cards came fast and furious costing me lots of income. Going into the last two rounds I was out of fundraising tokens and relatively short on cash. I had to sacrifice a couple of slaves to generate cash. I was able to save enough cash going into the last round and generate enough income through movement in that round to purchase 2 cards which allowed me to purchase my final 2 support tokens at a discount...just before the game ended and an opposition card would have cost me one of my support tokens.



I had a couple of rare wins in Dice Stars. Finding a winning strategy for this game has been hard for me so I won't jump the gun and say "I've got it" but I did enjoy a couple of close wins: 135-125 and 118-110.



On Friday I played Nautilion using the Mages expansion and the circular “C” submarine crew board. I filled the Mages cabin up by the first half of my journey but, even with that, I had several high dice rolls that advanced the Phantom sub too quickly and even had to pay a token as a penalty. This slowed down my collection process a bit and just before I would have been able to snag the last crew member the Phantom sub cruised into the Happy Isles and made them very unhappy.



Ooooooh....soooo close! After a couple of weeks of from playing Friday and showing improvement I played it again on Friday. After a slow, deck thinning start, I gained some steam and with the help of the “phase -1” card I made it up to the Pirates with some strong cards in my deck. The first Pirate I faced gave 10 free cards but required 52 Attack. It’s bonus was that all my cards had +1 fighting strength. After defeating that I faced a 35 strength Pirate that gave me 9 free cards. Several destroy cards let me get rid of the aging cards in my deck and copies let me draw extra cards but I was only able to muster 32 Attack. Still, it was nice to see that I’m continuing along the right track.



On Sunday evening I played a solo game of Le Havre on my iPad. I ended up somewhere between my best and worst score with 187 points.

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7. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Stéphane Athimon
France
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Hi Everybody,
not many games for us this week



Chinatown x1
Well, it was a few weeks after our last play We all enjoyed the game and for the first time in the game I managed to get more than 1000000$ !!! Hurray

Splendor x2
one two-player game and one three-player game. Nice game as usual, it is still one of our favorite, even if it has now been replaced by Alhambra.

Alhambra x2
Two plays this week, and it finally allowed us to complete this line for our 10x10 challenge(we have played 64% of our challenge). My wife won both game quite largely, she is really mastering scoring for the longest wall

Würfel Bohnanza x1
We had only one play this week , well not much time in the whole family dedicated to play

Not much too in terms of translations as most a my time was dedicated to proofread some previous translations.



Only three games or part of games translated : Viking Tourists, Pikoko and the screens and boards for Medioevo Universalis.

Have a nice gaming week
Thanks for reading
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8. Board Game: Railways of Nippon [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:5664] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I think Bill's going to be jealous...

Friday

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. Won a 3P game in convincing fashion with two late wars. My opponents never really saw them coming. I rocketed from something like 22 to 53 military in one turn, and then up to 67 on the next turn. I held four Age III war cards at one point, which was crazy because I couldn't possibly play them all.

Saturday

King of Tokyo. Lost a 5 player game which was all about the VP.

Puerto Rico. Won again in only my third play! Granted, I had the first Corn seat and "should" win, but still, it's not like I'm an expert at this game. My strategy is basically "almost never craft, take anything worth at least $2, and when in doubt, take the Mayor." I pretty much go heavy on buildings, although this time I did buy a Wharf, which let me ship 3 extra goods, while I only won by 2 VP. Some people apparently avoid Quarries, but I prefer to have at least 2. I'll also almost always buy a building, even a stupid one, unless I need to save up for a big one or critical one (hey, they're VP too).

Railways of Nippon 4 player game. After racking up a 20 VP lead, I could not get my network and engine up quick enough and had trouble emptying cities. I also had a guy building so much that I almost missed my baron (connected to most cities), which was worth 8 VP. I probably should have fought harder for the Tokyo-Sendai route, as I could have taken it, but I wasn't deliberately working on it, and then another player's error gave me the same amount of VP -- but he was closer to me at the time. I ended up picking up the Joku route and the other Sendai route. My best move? From the start I went hard after the 3 link bounty and then I was able to combo it with the northeastern bounty for a leap of 9 or 10 VP in a single move. I did have to take a couple more bonds than everyone else to pull this off, which hurt me in the late game. Also, those Local Campaign cards are a huge boost. Four came out at the start. I did ultimately hold on to win by 2 VP to a guy who kept complaining it was a foregone conclusion I'd win, despite his 5/6 trains and better cube network dwarfing my 3/4 and dwindling supply.

Saint Petersburg: 3 player game. Once again, I racked up a huge lead and then only won by 4 VP as another player with a better money engine came roaring back. A first turn Warehouse for me that the other players ignored proved to be decisive. I also got a first-turn Judge; not quite the Mistress, but good enough.

Splendor: 4 player game. After 3 straight wins I fell on my face. I'll play Splendor but I just cannot get into it. It's such a fluffy nothing dull game. I also ended up working at cross purposes with the player seated diagonally, with both of us trying to play White/Black gems for the 4:4 noble and it pretty much ended badly for both of us... I think I had my lowest score ever at about 6 VP.

Power Grid: Northern Europe. 4 player game. With the #21 and #25 plants replaced, coal was actually totally OK despite its 4/5/5 restock rates, especially because they scared away everyone else. I snagged the #20 (3c/5) for $31 and the #31 (3c/6) for $40, then a huge plant stall left everyone else in the dark. I set up to build first in Step 2, jumping from 5 to 11-12 cities. I had to make a weird edge case play on the penultimate turn that slowed me down (if Step 3 started, but I passed a plant, I would have lost on capacity, so I had to buy the #19 and run it for one turn despite it turning out to be a huge waste of money). Still, a relatively easy win for me, as easy Power Grid wins go, anyway; one city ahead, one capacity ahead, and $50+ left over.


Going 5-2 for the week while playing THAT gauntlet of mostly brain burning games, almost all in one day, is pretty darn snazzy, I'd say.

What's weird is I lost the two "easiest" games, although they are a lot more luck-driven.
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9. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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In a Terra Mystica play at my game group, my Giants prevailed against Halflings and Aurens. I had cult tracks at 10, 9, 8, and 9, so I was able to win in endgame scoring even after coming in last at largest area. Close game, though!

Prp and I played Onward to Venus. Prp was leading for the first half of the game, but then I used tension tiles to shut her out on Mars and the Moon. At the game's end, I still had untapped financial reserves and plans for more conquest, and she gobbled up the pass cubes before I could increase my winning margin.



In lunch hour play at the office, I was introduced to The Fox in the Forest with a short game (16 point win threshold). I did well, and I liked it. I think this game is the first trick-taking game I've ever played that requires a custom deck, and the art is quite beautiful. I might want my own copy of this one.

I also got to play Lanterns: The Harvest Festival for the first time. This was also good. I thought I had the win sewn up, but my opponent narrowly edged me out at the very end.

Prp and I continued our second play of the Arkham Horror: The Card Game Carcosa campaign with a play of The Pallid Mask. My Norman was defeated (by falling in a pit) and her Jenny managed to escape very narrowly (for R2). She had only one health remaining!



We also played The Castles of Burgundy, with both of us on the The Castles of Burgundy: 3rd Expansion – German Board Game Championship Board 2013 boards, along with Trade Routes, which were more significant I think for being a key point of variability, since we both put our starting castles on the same hexes. I did sell goods more than Prp, and that alone might have accounted for the modest difference in our scores. It was an unusual game for me in that I didn't build a single mine, but my goods income seemed to make up for it. I got ship and knowledge bonuses, and she got mines and animals.



We used the Infiltration setup for a very close game of Abalone.



I tried out the piecepack solitaire Steppin' Stones, and I lost, getting only two of the four pawns home. Phase I of this game seems pointlessly random, and Phase II ridiculously easy. The pawns I couldn't recover were stuck in Phase I, for failure to roll sufficient aces on the dice. Maybe I misunderstood the rules; they didn't have the sort of precision I would have liked. But I can't picture this game achieving genuine fun.



Prp and I concluded our Uthuk vs. Undead campaign of BattleLore. It was epic, going into triple overtime, with a win by her Undead 24 to my Uthuk 23. But that wasn't enough to catch her up in the larger campaign, which I won 65 to 59.



The final game of the week was a match of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards, taking spell decks from the three sets in rotation, hand by hand, but with Treasures and Dead Wizards just from Murdershroom Marsh. My vorpal spellcasting decided the match on the second game, though, with Fatcula punishing Prp's Lord Darklord for the win.
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10. Board Game: Massive Darkness [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:629] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Willem Verhoef
Netherlands
Weert
Limburg
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Greetings!

A very slow gaming week for me, although I did a bit of miniature painting to compensate
Easter Monday my girlfriend went home early as she had some work to catch up to. I played a game of Massive Darkness (which continues to be fun, but not as fun as Zombicide Black Plague for me). In the evening I played a game of First Class solo, combining the D and E sets for a very enjoyable and high-scoring game.

I still haven't played it with someone else, which is a shame. The solo version is good, but I need someone to compete with

Tuesday evening I played Concordia two-handed on my ow, to learn how the game works. I liked it, but wasn't particularly impressed with it. This will hopefully change when playing against others.



Wednesday saw a play of Finished, still haven't gotten tired of this excellent solo game.

I'm playing on the hardest mode these days, and lost by a very slight margin.


Lastly, I tried and failed at the second chapter of Oh My Goods - Longsdale in Revolt. I haven't even gotten close to the winning condition of this one yet.

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11. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:95]
Phil Fenerty
United Kingdom
Southport
Unspecified
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We cooked an Easter Feast for my parents on Bank Holiday Monday. After the plates had been cleared, Mrs meomwt suggested getting a game they could play down, so I dusted off the old Tri-Ominos set. It went well enough, we played a simplified game-end and they seemed to enjoy it.

Later in the week, and as a reward for Junior meomwt #2 completing some homework, we played Game 4 of the Charterstone campaign. Somehow, I managed to secure sufficient points to claim my first victory (there was one move near the end which had Mrs meomwt scratching her head), with the youngsters a few points each behind. There will be spoiler free details later in the week when I gat time to write a Session report!
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12. Board Game: Viticulture: Complete Collector's Edition [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked]
Derek
United States
Greencastle
Indiana
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I managed my first solo play of Viticulture. I tied the automa at 20.

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13. Board Game: Trick of the Rails [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2271]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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NEW Trick of the Rails - I went to a game day on Saturday and played quite a few games. We started with a quick round of Trick of the Rails, just enough to get the feel of it, really. I liked it well enough. It's an interesting take on trick taking. I think I came in 3rd place out of 5.
Rating: 6

Pulsar 2849 - After Trick of the Rails we played a 4 player game of Pulsar 2849. We had one new player, and we played with the basic set up again. I focused a little more on getting at least one of each level of spinning pulsar out on the board. I also did more exploring. I spent most of the game last in turn order and first on the engineering track. The only time I cared about turn order was on the last turn when one of the other players blocked me from the "spend 2 cubes for 9 points" tech. It turned out to be the difference maker, and I finished in second place (the player who blocked me came in first). I really like this game.
Rating: 8

NEW High Society - Next up, we played a quick round of High Society. I was excited to try this one because I like Reiner Knizia, and because I love the art from the new Osprey Games edition, so I was thinking about picking it up. This is a really interesting twist on a basic auction game. It reminded me a little of For Sale, but I like this a lot more than that game. I won this one, but it was a learning game for most of us, and the only person that knew how to play messed up the rules on one of the cards, and cost himself a lot of points because of it. I will definitely be picking this one up.
Rating: 7

Saint Malo - Next up, we played a 4 player game of Saint Malo. The game goes a little too long with 4 players, but this is still my favorite roll and write game. I love the fact that you only get to use one of the symbols you roll on the dice (instead of just getting everything you're left with). It makes for some tough decisions, including times when you could take a really strong action, but a weaker action is a little more important. I was the first to complete my board and ended up winning this one.
Rating: 7

NEW Queendomino - Next up, we player a 4 player game of Queendomino. It was the first time playing for all of us, but we were all familiar with Kingdomino. We all really enjoyed this one. I managed to win the game with a pretty high scoring mine area (4 squares, 7 crowns). I think the buildings add a nice additional layer on the more basic Kingdomino.
Rating: 7

Nippon - We finished the night with a 3 player game of Nippon. It's been a while since I played this one, but I really like it and was happy to get to play it again. Not surprisingly, the player who had played the game a bunch on board game arena won the game. This is definitely one where experience helps. I had a lot of fun playing, regardless, and would definitely like to play this one a little more often.
Rating: 7.5

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14. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:51]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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More snow falling and a few more games played. I like the later, not the prior!


I had five people make it over for game night this week. We haven't played Libertalia in a while, so I suggested that. As always, it takes a couple rounds before the new players get it. I played terrible, jut not putting it together and playing dumb. Although with this game, you can't really predict what others are going to do. Even if you think you know... they mess up your plans.


We were looking for something on the lighter side to play and Go Nuts for Donuts came up. That was a great idea. We had a lot of fun playing this. When you choose a donut that somebody else is also trying to get, neither person gets what they want. That happened a LOT. Makes for good fun tho!


Then to wrap up the evening, one of the group wanted to play some Coup. I hollered to my son that we were going to play and he dropped everything and came running to join us.


To wrap up the week my wife and I tried out the gift from my BGG Secret Santa, Five Tribes. I've been putting off playing this with my wife because I wasn't sure it would work with two people. After playing twice yesterday, we both thought it worked well with two players. Both games had a HUGE score difference. I won the first game by a wide margin and my wife won the other by a larger margin. When we have a smaller group for game night, I might have to suggest this one for the group and see what they think. I really like it so far.

Have a great week everyone!
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15. Board Game: Gaslands [Average Rating:8.58 Overall Rank:3619]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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Not a huge amount of gaming this week. Gaslands took up most of Saturday.

 8.0   Gaslands (2 all-time)

At last we finally had a full game of Gaslands. We did a 4 player death race with 8 cars. It was alot of fun, but took about 4 hours. Waaaay too long. I think next time we need to cut down the number of vehicles.



 7.0   Flip Ships x2 (4 all-time)

We had time to play a few games of Flip Ships, and it was a blast. We managed to win both times on Training mode. This is definitely up their as one of my favorite dexterity games.

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16. Board Game: Catacombs & Castles [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:3051] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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Our Gloomhaven game is still on hiatus until tax season is over. So we've been trying to knock off all the games on my unplayed list.

We got three games (kind of) off the list this weekend.



I remember reading about the original Catacombs and how much fun it sounded. When the Kickstarter for Catacombs (third edition) dropped i was all over it. I've only played it a couple times but we've had a lot of fun with it.

Catacombs and Castles seemed like a more entry level game and I was still in the mindset that i needed everything Catacombs related. We played a standard two player vs game. Each of us get three characters. The core mechanisms are identical to Catacombs. Thats a nice touch. While C&C has a shorter playing time, I think i prefer Catacombs over it. As long as there's time.

I'll definitely be playing this more but I think i'm capped out on my need for more Catacombs stuff. The rest of my group doesn't seem to like dexterity games as much as i do. I am excited to try this game out with non gamers.



Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game

Roll & Write type games have really taken off in the past two years. I've tried Rolling America and The Lord of the Rings: Journey to Mordor. Those are both fun but nothing to get to excited about. I don't know that my group will ever play Rolling America again.

CoB the dice game has more decision making than either of those previous ones. Enough that it pushes it just out of gateway game territory for the people I would want to introduce it to. While it scratches a different itch that the original does it still captures the same concepts. You're making sets of areas and there are many different ways to get points.

I feel like this will hit the table more than the card game. The card game was too similar and took almost as long to set up as the original. At that point I would just rather play with a board. They even take up almost the same amount of table space.

This is the best roll & write i've played yet. It might be too thinking for an end of the night filler, but it will work for when you need a quick game to get things started.




Every now and then i'll pick up a game to support my local shop. I bought this without hardly looking at a review. The rulebook has three tutorial games with each game adding in more rules. We had a heck of a time just understanding the basic game. Eventually we found some videos that helped and we each read the rules multiple times.

The first tutorial isn't that complicated. I love the idea of this game. Characters running through a maze trying to be the first ones to escape. Messing with other players by spinning rooms around.

I don't know if this counts as playing it because we only played a very basic version. But we enjoyed it enough that it will hit the table again soon. It makes me want to look up Dungeon Twister. The only turn off for me is the art. I'm not a fan of the CGI kind of look.
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17. Board Game: Mini Rogue [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:3775]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Much, much less gaming time this week.

Tuesday
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age x1
Sword & Sorcery x1


We used the Late Bronze Age variant and it truly gives new strategies to the game. It was a rather tight match, until my friend rolled 5 skulls, losing all his goods and, basically, a whole turn to boot. This gave me a big opportunity to score better and won with a fine margin.

We played the Quest 5 of the campaign, in Sword & Sorcery. The scenario is quite good, though it takes quite a while to finish, since several of the enemies give slow or stun, meaning doing anything takes longer. Still, the story is well done and takes unexpected turns.


Sunday
Pack of Heroes x1

Likely the last play of it, since I sold it. The match wasn't meant to be close, as I had a big start, giving lots of damage. But I made mistakes and things even out. I would likely lose if my friend didn't also fumbled and attack the wrong hero - he focused in the one that could give, at the most, 2 damage per run of the deck, instead of the one that was able to give 6 damage per run. Thus, I ended up winning.


Solo plays
Mini Rogue x14
Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game x5
1572: The Lost Expedition x1
Pandemic x1


Mini Rogue is my newest PnP - I only do those that are quite easy, as I have no skills whatsoever. This one went very well, is fun and give choices and challenge. It has quite a bit of luck, but I don't mind, since it has a short playing time. I found it better than One Deck Dungeon.

In LotR Adventure, things went bad for Frodo, since I lost 4 of the 5 trys to destroy the Ring.

My final play of 1572: The Lost Expedition was a lost - my time ran out, with the 4 remaining expeditionaries at 3 hexes away from their goal. I said final because I give my PnP to a friend.

For Pandemic, with the dream team, was a good win, with only 4 outbreaks.


And that was it!

Regards,
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18. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:7]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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NEW - This week I got to try out scythe at game night we had two games of four players going. First off it is a good game, jast a tad bit overhyped. It is a good game but not a great game, looks amazing set up, and it has mechs. I ended up winning with 97 points, and I could have had more if I traded in a few of those useless combat cards for points. The key is to make sure you have a high popularity at the end, if you are the only one in the upper tier you will likely most certainly win. When you take your actions try to take actions that give you the upper and bottom action. Always try to double down, and upgrade. The events are misleading, almost never pay coins to get mechs and buildings out in the encounters. While it seems like a promising idea there is usually a small reward of a popularity and some coin to be gained. Never use the event to put the building down if it doesn't meet the end score conditions. The other thing is while the mechs are cool they are just glorified transports and the game could have almost any theme. I never felt immersed in a 1929 mech world. I was thinking insects collecting resources, maybe ants with different abilities. Combat seems a little pasted on I do like the hidden bidding of power. The hiding the combat card seemed just a waste of paper, just roll a combat die per unit. Why have a big deck of cards, your still using luck and power is where the victory usually lies. I never understood the anti-dice kill a tree for the same purpose movement. Combat has some uses, grabbing some territory mainly the factory at the end, maybe grabbing some quick, resources, but in the event of dropping below the top row popularity best to avoid it like the plague. Most likely you can collect resources another way. Don't forget the final scoring objective and drop your buildings accordingly. The game is all about maximizing your points I guess most are, but this one seems to try its best to mislead players into throwing away points, or going for the end game conditions over points, and maybe that is the point. This is not an overly complex game, or innovative by any means. Again, I think it is a good game just not what it was hyped up to be. You just need to take a step back from the flair. For me I would play it again as the airships look neat it just isn't one I would buy as there are better, cheeper games that can fill the same slot that this one does.

Next up I managed to get in a game of Gloomhaven with my boys.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We managed to clear out a mountain path and open a few more areas. I could see this one being difficult if my elementalist had not taken the level 7 card that gets him the instant kills on a group of normal monsters. So, we rolled through this one quickly.



I played a game of patchwork with my daughter. I think this was her first time beating me. She had a good quilt built, I went more for buttons but left to many openings by comparison.


Finally, I had a game of Amyitis. I seemed to be picking all the right moves in this one, as I ended up with personnel best of 108.
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19. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:6]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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We managed to get in 1 game of Beasty Bar on Monday evening. I ended up winning this one by a rather narrow margin.

We sat down for another game of Arkham Horror: The Card Game on Sunday evening and struggled with the second scenario from the base game. Things just weren't going our way and we decided to cut and run before the last doom token could be added to the final act card, fearing something terrible would happen. My wife doesn't seem to be enjoying this one as much as it has been rather punishing so far. I'm not sure if a few more games and getting into the deck building side of the game would help her out with this or not. If it ends up being a solo game for me, that'll be fine as I'm quite enjoying this one.

While we didn't actually play Star Wars: Rebellion this week, I did manage to finally finish painting all 189 of the miniatures!




And while I'm on this painting kick, I figured I'd start working on Fury of Dracula next and started painting Dr. Seward this morning.
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20. Board Game: Dark Moon [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:741]
Brian Wiese
United States
Ventura
California
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No complaints this week. Some new, some old...but all good.

= new to me

Wednesday Night Meetup

Celestia

I got this one just recently as part of a trade as the combination of group-push-your-luck with bluffing in a light 30-minute package was appealing. I wrangled 5 other people into making this our opening game for our weekly meetup and it went over pretty well. I won't go over the rules but I will say that aforementioned combination of mechanics really works. I almost was able to crash the airship with everyone on it deep into the cities after making them believe I had the right cards but instead the ship survived when someone played one of those magic telescope cards. So close! Definitely a solid filler+ game with pretty light rules but some cool group interaction. I don't know if this game as a ton of legs to it and might wear out it's welcome but I'll have had my money's worth by then. It also comes with a cool cardboard airship that you put all your pawns in so there's that.


Ponzi Scheme

Second time playing this game but with two new people. What a different experience compared to my first play! In the first game with 4p last week, we had tons of the bear market cards come out early which caused the market to crash a couple times and we had to work to prevent it from crashing even more. The game ended on a market crash too. This time the bear market cards must have all been at the bottom of the deck because they hardly ever came out. Like all game we saw maybe 8-10 which is really not that many. What that means is the game went "slow" allowing us to build up some cash which causes the values of the company shares to increase as well...at least until the tension of imminent bankruptcy eventually returned and people were desperately selling stuff to stay afloat. I was in a round where I just paid off a large interest payment and had another one due. I took the largest fund card available ($60) but it still left me $6 short of paying that round's interest payment. I NEEDED to sell a share of anything for at least that amount in order to survive but also not making myself look desperate. While much of the game had been fairly mundane, this round had so much tension! I opted to trade with Serge who was not only competing for me with points but I was fairly sure he was going to make his mid-level interest payment (the 3rd player, Jackson, had a really large payment to make and I was 90% sure he couldn't do it so I was basing all my decisions on this being the last round...which turned out to be true). I offered $10 for a share that would help him more than it hurt me because I knew I had to make it kinda look like I actually wanted the share. Thankfully he took my share and gave me the money I needed. At this point Serge became the clear points leader but at least I wasn't going to go bankrupt. The scores were still close but I had to make that trade to give him the lead to survive. Jackson had the last trade and tried to trade with Serge but for an amount of money that was much too high causing Serge to lose a share giving me the lead back. Sure enough Jackson went bankrupt and while Serge made a couple points back from his money he was still a point short from the win compared to me sitting on just $4 in hand but lots of points. In some ways, this was a complete kingmaking situation even if Jackson didn't realize what he may have done but Serge also realized he had the chance to crush me and failed so he knew he could have won. He also shared with me that a couple rounds earlier he was going to go bankrupt himself had I not accepted a trade from him so I too could have crushed him. All in all, this is a definite underrated gem of a game that plays so differently than other economic type games I've played. The game really hinges on that "imminient destruction" mechanic which is going to cause people to value things differently even within the same round. All the mechanics are there just to give the game the framework to play within and really you are just playing each other. I also am happy to say this game really worked with 3p which I wasn't sure about going in.


Sluff Off!

After Ponzi Scheme the three of us needed to kill some time so I pulled this out. We only played 2 of the 3 rounds we were supposed to play but Serge had already established a big lead after playing both rounds really well compared to Jackson and I collecting a bunch of points. Having hands with lots of mid-level cards is extra tough in this game. I passed on taking the Sluffer in the first round but I should have taken it because the risk of taking points was pretty high otherwise and that's what happened.


Dark Moon

Our staple end-of-the-night closing game these days. We decided to adopt the variant when votes happen you have to spend the die you use to vote with because we wanted to give the Infected a boost. Spoiler alert: we're going to adopt this rule from now on as it not only helps the Infected but makes votes much more interesting. Before this, about 75% of votes were essentially pre-determined landslides (i.e. boring) but now every vote feels important. Anyway, my streak of being Infected continued with this game. We did have one completely new guy in our 5p game this time and he unfortunately got the Company Man role which is already tought to play well but even tougher if you haven't played before. For what it's worth, he did do a pretty good job of it but did make some rookie mistakes too. I did think he was my fellow Infected for a while until the real one made it clear towards the end. Because dice were generally harder to come by, it made it tougher to pass Malfunctions which meant the damage started to pile up as the game progressed...something that hadn't happened much in recent games. By the end, everyone knew who each other were but even with the Uninfected knowing who they were they were no where near being able to launch the Evac ship so had to try and pass on events. The damage because too much though and ultimately the station exploded in spectacular fashion. Maybe it'll survive next week.


Sunday

The Fox in the Forest

I convinced my wife to learn this new game but to her credit she was interested. I think the small box and theme got her interest. We played a couple rounds but didn't technically keep score as my wife wanted to get familiar with the special cards and feel. Still, it was a legit experience and I learned a few things myself. In the first hand, I ended up getting the full 6 points from 9 tricks feeling like I had control but in the second round my wife really picked up some of the nuances and stuck it to me as I ended up with 11 tricks and zero points to show for it. Yeah, early reaction is this game is as good as I hoped. I really like trick-takers but never had a great option for just my wife and I and this totally fills that gap. Even better my wife said she'll play it again.

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21. Board Game: Magic Maze [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:335]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Magic Maze - New

Part of countering the addiction is purposely avoiding knowing about a game and letting others pick it up instead. I heard whispers of this being good, but family level games can be hit or miss for me. This was a hit for me, and I would like to get some more plays in with the harder scenarios. I don't think the first two were that bad, and we used seven people which I think falls on the more than needed side. Into my Top 100 after three plays.

Alchemists

I am if nothing else analytical. Even if I do bad, I figure I can rely on this aspect. I had played this when it came out and liked it a lot, but it has been some time since and for some reason my brain decided to take the play off which frustrated me more than anything because I repeatedly just didn't think out anything and screwed myself in so many ways. The game simply didn't click for me this time. I did somehow pull off being in last for much of the game and being tied for second in the end. My biggest struggle was getting "x" result and how does that impact what you can mark off on your cheat sheet in all cases. During the first round someone helped me figure out a recipe 100%, and I'm like, "How the hell did you figure that out?" In a first play, I don't worry so much, but unless it changes, this might be something which sours the game for me. I think if I owned a copy and was able to read the manual, and get some aspects down, things would be fine. I know enough people who own it, so I don't have a desire to own it myself. I really like this in the "if you can figure out the recipe aspect" vein.

I looked up the release date, and my last play had to have been 3-4 years ago, so yeah. Not the kind of game to play it that little. It has to click for you or it is just going to be frustrating. Minorly interesting despite my numerous errors I pulled off being tied for second. If I had just realized how many rounds there were I would have easily been in second.

Clank in Space!

10th play for the family of games, so into the Top 25 as I have only 19 which qualify at a 10 play minimum. I should have won it damn it(confrimed by a fellow player) and even doing it in the "wrong" way, aka going clank heavy. But, one player drew 4 of his cubes in a single draw and enough in the following draws to where he was eliminated and suddenly leaving fast enough was an issue. He was ahead of me going for the 30 point artifact, so I went a different route to grab the 25 point one only to have an insanely good next draw so I backdoored into the 30 point one and all I had to do was hit up a teleporter and some minor movement to be safe. Once he died though, clank pulls jumped and my holding off on having much clank went down the drain. A third player was killed shortly after so the person with the 5 VP artifact won.

Clank family into Top 25 after 10 plays.

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space

The randomness of finding out of my exit point was valid or not soured my first play. I liked this one more despite the fact that I became the joke of the play. I was an alien. This meant with two movement I figured I would use the white hexes for as long as possible so I could simply say silent sector and thus give no real clue as to where I was. I eventually go on a grey hex and say where I am at. Due to how long I had waited to draw a card, either I was a human ultimately going nowhere but back and forth, or I was an alien. Needless to say another alien player attacked me, and I was like, "How the hell did you not know I was an alien?" "I just heard you say you were at that spot."

Down to the last human, and we have him surrounded. I am intentionally keeping myself away from the other alien who had killed me because I don't want to be killed a second time. I have the human 100% locked down, but need one more movement to finish him off so I go to the out most hex. The alien player who goes just before me kills me instead. I hadn't planned on him being so close to me, and I didn't think he was. More laughter ensued. I swore I played it near perfectly(I could have announced an attack on my last turn to let them know not to attack it), but was killed twice and deemed the actual loser of the play.

We did allow killed aliens to respawn even though we don't think that's in the rules. I probably would have been even more pissed if I was eliminated that early in that way.

Ethnos

Well, I can kill at the final scoring. I was last after the first two rounds and ended up tied for second. Second time I have had a huge rally at the end. I still don't know how to counter the strategy of simply going for big bands. The guy who has won twice has simply done that. Nothing on his Orc board and terrible at area majority. I was near full Orc board and great at majorities. Azul's limited ultimate single strategy kind of makes sense, but it feels a bit more disappointing here as it gives a hint at there being more options than what there is. It is basically big bands, then as much area majority you can pull off, and anything dealing with a race's board if it works out that way.

Trolls are worth dealing with since they work with the big bands aspect. Wizards and Elves are stupid good because having cards is always good for a card driven game. Dwarfs are great for the bigger bands. Some others are good based on certain situations.

I think this will go into my Top 50 after 5 plays, but it won't go that far in.
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22. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Ken Chadwick
United States
Yonkers
New York
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I played two solo games of my newly acquired copy of Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, both using the objectives from the first Alien movie.

I lost the first game as the Commander but won the second as the Scout.

So far, I'm enjoying the game. I like the little differences between this and the Marvel version. But I do realize I'm less "involved" with the characters in this one. They'll probably be a little more interesting to me once I start playing with the ones from the second Aliens movie (which is my favorite of the series) but I still don't think it will match the excitement of having Captain America and company battle Red Skull and the other bad guys from the Marvel Universe.



I also played two more games of my mini-season of Pursue the Pennant.

The 1987 Phillies bounced back from being down 4-0 to beat the '87 Giants 5-4. Mike Krukow got the loss. Steve Bedrosian almost blew the save in the bottom of the 9th.

My second game had the '87 Dodgers losing to the '87 Pirates in 10 innings. A pinch-hit single by Junior Ortiz drove in the winning run. Orel Hershiser pitched six innings for LA, striking out 6. The Pirates' Doug Drabek didn't make it past the second inning.

(no spoilers!)

Our 2-player game of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is nearing an end. We won October, making it the first month we won on the first try since May!
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23. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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A good weeks games, despite being busy, kicking off with...

Kingdomino - x3. Clare and I played a dynasty game and despite a strong start, it all went pear shaped and I’d lost massively by the end of game three.

Patchwork - x1 I cant remember whether I’ve ever actually beaten Clare at this yet and this game was no different. Still love playing though!

King of Tokyo x3 It was nice that Sam (our son, aged 9) asked to play games on Wednesday, as he hadn’t for ages. He immediately picked out King of Tokyo as it’s his favourite and apart from the first game, he went on to beat Clare and I twice. Sadly, but inevitably, I didn’t win one!

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! x1 This was Sam’s next choice and while he told me off for making overly dramatic shark attack sounds, he went on to win. With Clare second... and, yes, me last!

Pandemic - x1 Kicked off Thursday for Clare and I, beating five epidemics fairly easily

Pandemic: On the Brink - x1 We then went on to lose playing five epidemics with the purple mutation

Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin - This was our first experience of the whole escape room at home trend and I have to say, we had an excellent time and I’ve already bought Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab to play later this week. We did pretty well, completing under 2 hours without any hints, earning (I think) 8 stars.

We had a non gamer with us on Friday, so started with..

Splendor - x1 It’s fairly easy to teach and in fact Hannah, our friend, picked it up quite quickly. The gem gods were on my side for once and I managed a fairly quick win.

Pandemic x4 More vanilla Pandemic rounded off the week (our weekend was insanely busy!) and I think it’s a good choice for noobs. We had two games with 5 epidemics and lost both...At which point, I suggested doing 4, confidently stating that we would beat it easily... lol, you know where this is heading, right? Two losses with 4 epidemics is a little embarrassing, but I swear the card ‘fall’ was awful in both games and without that little bit of luck, we got hammered!

Hope you all have a good week!
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24. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2242]
Janne Koivisto
Finland
Tampere
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Wednesday last week I felt that now I really have to make a post in this geek list, as I was playing something unique. I'm a researcher in university and last week our professor ordered me and two of my colleagues as teaching assistants to her Tissue Engineering -course. In 2012 on that same course the students had an opportunity to chose from multiple option to fill the course assignment. In addition to writing a boring 10 page essay/learning diary, they could as groups make a music video (one group did!) or design a board game (SIX groups did!!!wow). There were probably other, as ecstatic options, but they were not chosen and are forgotten.

So each year after that, when the course lectures are about finished, the students are put to play board games meeple Board games that their fellow students have designed some years ago. These are trivia-style teaching games about the course content, but at least I think they are much cooler than just reading the book/lecture slides when preparing for exam.

So last Wednesday was the board game day, students were not informed about this beforehand, but at least majority of them seemed to enjoy themselves. And since there were three of us assistants, of course we played a game as well cool


So we played this one named "Tissue Guru", I think it is the best of them (I don't know where the parts have been scavenged from). It has many different question types, including Pictionary-style drawing and Alias-style explaining. And the best thing are the chance cards which feature former members of our department. And it is a playable game, basically a better version of Trivial Pursuit with only one specific, scientific topic. And I won the game cool

The students were playing three other games:

This one is named Scaffold, in is like a simplified and more dull version of the Tissue Guru, purely a teaching game.


I don't know if this game had a name, but it is the most strategic out of them. In addition to just answering correctly, there is area control aspect and you can choose between easier and harder questions, harder questions would lead you to quicker victory, if you just know the answers.


The last one used this year I don't know the name either, but the most remarkable thing about this is the about of recycling done to produce this. This is the most ecologically friendly board game I've seen. As a game though, it is dull roll and move with questions. There were two more games, which didn't get any love this year.


In addition to these rather weird teaching games, I did play two actual, commercial board games as well on our week game night:
Power Grid with China/Korea expansion board and Power Grid: Taxes+Power Grid: Industrial Espionage promos. Good game after a long time, and first time trying Korea.

Cortex Challenge, a fun party game, which tries to stimulate as many parts of your brain as possible. Special mention for the touch cards, which you have to recognize with your finger tips, without looking. Good find for cheap on a thrift store by my friend.
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25. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:555]
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I've been so consumed with Gaia Project lately, I've not had time to play anything else.

I'm happy I got to play Pulsar again, however. It has certain Terra Mystica/Gaia Project properties, especially in the pre-game/planning phase. But the game very much stands on its own, and is one of the best from this past year's Essen crop.



Speaking of GP, I did manage to sneak in a couple of games including one yesterday that ended in a tie, a very unusual circumstance.



Finally, one game of Nations with Dynasties. I played Mali (new to me) but the China player ran away with it.

That's it...a pretty good gaming week for me. Until next time...
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