GCL Meatball Division #365: Questions about Gaming
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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You are now entering the Meatball list. Please keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the Geeklist at all time, and watch your children. If you're new here, we'd love your participation - enjoy the ride and try not to annoy the members. Please leave the item-adding to members, though.

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Dang, I get a nice number like this one and I don't have year-themed questions? Lori should make hers about leap years, that's a better theme anyway. Our questions this week are instead about questions in a sort of recursive race to the bottom. Make sure your answers don't bring up more questions, or we could be stuck here for a long time.

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1. Board Game: Night Clan [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:9615]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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You're considering attending a game night put on by a coworker/relative/friend/online acquaintance, but you're not sure if it's the sort of one you would like or one of the bad ones where they play a lot of Cards Against Humanity/18xx/Magic the Gathering/Tigris and Euphrates (ugh). What question do you ask to figure out if it's a good fit for you?
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2. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Questions [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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You're at a game night and see two tables about to start a game. You're trying to figure out which game to play; what one question do you ask of the tables? (Assume you know nothing about either game, the box cover is hidden, you don't know either group, etc -no loopholes.)
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3. Board Game: Everybody's Talking [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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One framework for discussing games presents them as posing problems, or questions of players (I believe Nick Bentley of Catchup fame describes moves in an abstract game as gifting a problem to your opponent; eventually one of you gets the mate in X or doesn't find the solution and the game ends). Another school of thought asks what the focus of a particular game's questions are -does the game ask questions of probability? Of manipulating shared incentives? Of spatial reasoning?

On the other hand, one might describe the player as asking questions of the game system. What happens when I try this strategy, for example, or what happens to the economy when money starts disappearing.

Do you see games as posing questions, or do you see yourself as the active player in a game's dialogue? Or do you break things down entirely differently -maybe you're talking to other players and not the game itself?
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4. Board Game: Favoriten [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:5981]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
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Take your favorite game (or, you know, one of your favorites, I'm not picky). What sorts of questions does it ask of its players?
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5. Board Game: You Don't Say [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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What question do you wish somebody would ask you? Post it here, another Meatball will ask it, and you can respond with your answer.
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6. Board Game: Forbidden City [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:9962]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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 6.5   Viele Tiere (32 all-time)

 7.1   Pyramid x4 (23 all-time)

This 'reverse Scotland Yard with dice' used to go a lot slower... We haven't opened it for a while and now we played it 4 times in a row, it was good fun, probably more fun than before. They have grown up it seems...

 6.5   Monster High: Potworrrnie wciągająca gra! (32 all-time)


 N/A   Forbidden City NEW!

In the category of 'I'm not sure why I bought this', it's a slightly updated version of Mise: Kolonizace, a tile-laying Knizia published in Polish and Hungarian a few years ago. Back then I wrote
Quote:
It's a light Carcassonne-ish tile-laying game where everyone plays tiles from their own deck of tiles that have the same tiles with the only difference being the color of the astronauts (that come in player colors). When an area is enclosed, it is evaluated (the player with the majority of astronauts gets the score), the only tricky part being that you also score for those neighbouring areas that are connected to the enclosed area by a door. It's harmless and okay, but nothing special, and I can't help thinking I would enjoy it more with a different theme (e.g. farms and fields, sunlit green, yellow and brown tiles) and artwork (e.g. funny cows instead of aliens) on bigger tiles.

So, I can say things are definitely improved. The tiles are at least double size (larger than the tiles of Carcassonne I believe) with a Chinese theme and the colors green, mellow, whiteish, and while they're still not exactly beautiful, they definitely look a lot better. There are some other improvements as well from small ones like dragons - formerly: aliens - scoring more in the end to somewhat bigger ones (a large, 3x3 starting tile with an impressive looking pagoda instead of the small, 1-tile starting tile does improve the game mechanically as well) and an even more important one that brings it even closer to area majority games - this time you can score for 2nd place which improves the game quite a bit.
So, in the end, I can say it's good. I'm not sure how good it is and if it's worth owning at all (especially after Carcassonne) but I'd like to play it a few times to know if it improves with repeated play (like most Knizias) or not.

 6.9   Dream Home (11 all-time)
 7   Jenga Ultimate (7 all-time)


QQ: 17.7
logQQ: 11


On Sunday two 10-year-old students arrived from Prague. We have fun with them and we'll host them till Tuesday.


Edit: Oh, and I just forgot: the winner of the Hungarian Board Game Award was announced on Thursday. It is Fifth Avenue, a fine roll-and-write (well, no rolling this time to reduce the role of luck; there are a number of cards in 6 different types instead) which we could agree was a fine game. The jury consisted of 4 members and I think everyone had other games as favorites for the award, but for every 2 "+" votes there were 2 "-" votes for a few favorites like these (with many understandable reasons like "it's too complex for the award" or "it's just less fun for kids than for adults", "it looks boring and the scoring is confusing" etc.) while Avenue had no "-" marks (even if it lacks direct interaction).
It was a surprising win (well, even for us) but it did not cause much outrage as no one really knew the game in the gaming online community Also Codenames Family got a special award which everyone could agree with.
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7. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Expansion 2: Quest [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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Escape: The Curse of the Temple x3 (34 all-time)
Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Quest x3 NEW!
Checkers x2 (10 all-time)
Magic Maze x2 NEW!
Go Fish (36 all-time)
Spot it! (49 all-time)

Amazon points from the month of May showed up, so in came an expansion for Escape. My son was really excited for it, and we played it a few times so far. I don't think my brain can handle more than two expansions at a time, as we played one game with Curses, Characters, and Quests, and I totally forgot about the Curses for about half the game. When I did pay attention to the Curses, I forgot about my character's ability. So I think two modules at a time is good for now, both because ten minutes isn't enough time to cram all modules in there, but also because mentally I can't focus on them all anyway. But I liked how it changed the game. He's already lobbying for another expansion.

Broke shrink on Magic Maze as well. My son listened to the rules and when I got to the part about how we have to get all characters out of the shopping mall, he said "I'm going to call this game 'Escape: The Curse of the Temple's brother.'" Overall it's fun -- it may be slightly more than he's able to handle at the moment, but he finds it hilarious to play, and it definitely has the Hanabi-esque Walk the Tightwire of Cheating thing going for it, where you clear your throat, tap the Do Something pawn, stare intently, make a Wookiee noise representing the polysyllabic word you want to say, act frantic when you notice the timer running down but your partner doesn't to draw their attention to it, etc.

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8. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:4]
Ien C.
United States
New York
New York
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 8.0   Terraforming Mars (2 all-time)

I was happy when my friend organized another last-minute "TMars" game this weekend -- such is my momentary obsession with the game. I jumped at the chance. I can tell I'll likely end up simply just liking this game enough to be happy to play it when suggested by this group. That's a pretty big success given my skepticism at playing a "hotness" game.

This second time, with no newbies, it went much faster and smoother, even keeping the same drafting variant rules (indeed drafting the initial hand of 10 cards also). I did poorly, but then so did my (very experienced) friend: we tied for last place, while the winner won with a tie-breaker against the second-place player. Walking home with Galen, the second-place player, we had an interesting strategy discussion, always a good sign about a game.

My internal clock in terms of engine-building-v-points was based on my first game, and it was way too slow for the more advanced company I was playing with. Ironically given my fear of the game lasting too long, I actually started actively trying to slow down the game towards the end, so that my by-then-impressive economy could finally prove its value. I also focused too much on the cards, and too little on the board. And I hadn't been paying enough attention to what others were doing, and lost out completely on the race for milestones.

One thing that many people note about the game is how uneven at best and downright bad at worst the art is. I concur. It's a pity. The theme is very well integrated with the game, and it's an interesting theme. The potential for really gorgeous card and board art is unfulfilled. It's popular enough a game that perhaps there will be a new edition that fixes this. I'm kind of hoping for that.

What has happened to me?

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9. Board Game: Fields of Green [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:766]
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
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 8   Dakota (2 all-time) - A last chance triage. The game was not as dynamic as I'd remembered way back when I played the prototype just before release. Sold at UKGE this weekend (looks like I should update the rating).
 8   Kingdom Builder (37 all-time) - Lunchtime games at work, still chugging along as good fun, lost for the first time against my colleagues which was nice.

UK Games Expo
I really enjoyed my trip this year. I got to play games with people I enjoy playing with, who are open to playing nearly anything once. I played 40 or so games over the weekend so it was a lovely binge. Only downside was misspricing a game or two that didn't sell in the bring and buy. I may have to send a couple of small card games to the charity shop since I don't see how else I can sensibly get rid of them. I'm also counting down the years till I can bring my daughters along with me, whom I missed greatly all weekend.
 N/A   Warsaw: City of Ruins (None all-time) - found an empty demo table, didn't know the game, took a seat. It's a drafting 2d-tableau building game with direct adjacency being relevant. A couple of things bothered me. One, drafting needs to be well balanced or allow draw mitigation to play well imo (it's not especially well balanced). Two, there are "thematic" war elements where you destroy buildings you've paid for before they provide any benefit. Great! I now get to experience the futility of war - not fun.
 N/A   Tybor der Baumeister (None all-time) - On the train there. Draft cards to two different roles, use roles and discounts to buy "buildings". Set collect, "special powers" = near identical scoring bonuses, build discounts a la Splendor. Decent little game though nothing special.
 8   Number Rumba! x6 (40 all-time) - had fun with this. A repeat opponent who was willing to go through the grinder again. First game to best of three was a whitewash so I suggested a handicap of 30s. First game I win 3-0, then 3-1, then 3-2, then 0-3. We dropped the handicap to 20s and again 0-3. It was fun to facilitate someone seeing such rapid improvement.
 N/A   NewSpeak (None all-time) - This was an interesting one in the mould of Chameleon or Spyfall or perhaps Dixit. There are locations and the hackers are trying to communicate where they're going to meet (from a matrix if location cards) using a code (the range of which are known to the "moderator") the moderator listens in to the discussion and tries to guess where the hackers are going to meet. It's had promise but I wasn't sure about the balancing and replayability.
 N/A   Mint Works (None all-time) - this was nice, especially for such a tiny game. There was one broken card which my opponent managed to grab so it could stand further development but a great little effort.
 9   Mini Shogi (167 all-time) - Spreading the gospel of Japanese games being better.
 N/A   The Mind (None all-time) - didn't convince my gaming buddy but it was a little better than he first conceded I think.
 8   Let's Catch the Lion! x2 (14 all-time)
 9   Innovation (49 all-time)
 9   Elements x3 (9 all-time)
 N/A   Dice Hospital (None all-time) - I played the prototype last year and thought it was nice but short of replay. It's the same game and my opinions haven't really changed.
 N/A   Ticket to Ride: New York (None all-time) - A neat quick TtR variant (same rules as US version I think), however this shortness seems like it might exacerbate any imbalance in ticket draw and leaves too little space for blocking, misdirection etc.
 N/A   Serengeti: A Race For Life (None all-time) - A pretty, well put together, well-researched deckbuilding game. However, there isn't enough variability in the base box for me to commit to it. If the expansions don't add more interesting options it's not going to make it.
 N/A   Santa Maria (None all-time) - Another dice action selection mechanism, with a little Tetris flavour tied with tracks for bonuses and some resource conversion. Another sausage from the sausage machine.
 N/A   Merlin (None all-time) - Field pooped out another one.
 N/A   Memoarrr! (None all-time) - Nice two element memory game. Reminds me of a certain memory game I designed, though obviously not really as good
 N/A   KLASK (None all-time) - First time playing this. Not as tactile as Crokinole or as visceral as Pucket. Decent but won't trouble best in class.
 N/A   Kitchen Rush (None all-time) - A really tough game that I could enjoy with just the right group. There are a couple of little complications that seem a little unnecessary. It's trivial to "cheat" yourself out of the fun which is a shame. If it were cheaper and I'd finished with Space Alert I'd have bought it.
 N/A   Itchy Monkey x2 (None all-time) - A 3p abstract where once you're near your opponents you stalemate. Multiplayer abstracts are rarely worth my time. No exception here.
 N/A   Glüx (None all-time) - A little better than I had expected at 2p but still a little large and woolly for my taste.
 N/A   Fields of Green x2 (None all-time) - A light-hearted drafting 2d tableau builder that allows for draw mitigation (card types are separated into decks and you choose what to draw from). No interaction beyond drafting which is fine for me in this case. One I'm hoping Kathryn will play. It was going cheap so I bought a copy.
 9   Alchemidus (8 all-time)
 N/A   T.I.M.E Stories: Santo Tomás de Aquino (None all-time) - I knew I'd enjoy the game but I'm still not sure I want to encourage fighting fantasy books being converted to an enormously wasteful product like this. I'm now more keen to play other people's copies if they're short-handed.
 N/A   Spirit Island (None all-time) - I thought I'd like this and I do. It's probably a little convoluted and it seems easy to lose track of things but the interaction between players reminds me of how I felt about big book of madness. Being spatial and allowing for more characterful protagonists might push it higher but then it comes with a heavy complexity price.
 N/A   Rocca Rails (None all-time) - A truly beautiful Uno variant. Tiny box too. Honestly beautiful enough for you all to take a look at.
 N/A   Gretchinz! (None all-time) - Random GW that.
 N/A   Five Cucumbers (None all-time) - Not bad for an evening closer. Not that a copy is required mind.
 N/A   Bunny Kingdom (None all-time) - Drafting by Richard Garfield. Lots of fiddly scoring, imbalanced cards in a draft. Mostly harmless.
 N/A   Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (None all-time) - I can see the attraction but having got to Agricola during the height of my interest in point salads the simplification discards too much for me. If I'd come to them in the other order would probably be happy with this one.

Plus Import/Export which I haven't yet logged.

I sold Dakota, (spare) Kingdom Builder + Crossroads, Coup + Reformation (KS), Sherlock Holmes CD: JtR. Bought Wibbell++, Fields of Green, Scotland Yard and LotR: Confrontation.
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10. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:46]
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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_9_ Caylus - 3 Players
_9_ Ra - 4 Players (x2)
_8_ San Juan - 2 Players
_8_ Dominion - 2 Players
_7_ Port Royal - 4 Players; 3 Players
_7_ Click Clack Lumberjack - 2 Players
_6_ KLASK - 2 Players
_6_ 10 Days in Europe - 4 Players (x2)
_5_ Beep! Beep! - 4 Players
_3_ Tiki Topple - 4 Players

With the kids...
_8_ Crokinole - 2 Players
_7_ Coloretto - 4 Players
_7_ Click Clack Lumberjack - 3 Players
_7_ Walnut Grove - 3 Players
_7_ Majesty: For the Realm - 2 Players
_7_ Cardline: Animals - 3 Players; 2 Players (x2)
_6_ Fabled Fruit - 3 Players (x2)
_5_ Ricochet Robots - 3 Players



(1) Caylus - One of the ultimate Euros that still does seem to be loved by Euro game fans and hated by everyone else. I taught it to two new players and it went pretty well. I tried not using the bottom favor track for building and still ran away with it. It was a good round and the two new players did like it, but experience definitely pays in a game like this.

(2) KLASK - This is a fun, little, dexterity game. I like the clever, different ways that a point can be scored. You can go for the goal or try to knock the little, white, magnetic cylinders to the other side. This game isn't amazing, but I've certainly enjoyed my plays of it and would play again.

(3) Crokinole - Dane and I played and I Nordenged the game by shooting with my left pinky finger. I improved quite a bit from round to round and won 3 games to 1, but we had a few close ones.

(4) Tiki Topple - I used to own this and we played it with friends. I remember feeling like players have almost no control over what happens. I was winning when we quit, but felt like I had very little to do with it. I just don't like this game despite the nice components.
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11. Board Game: Decrypto [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:309]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Games night

A quick Eggs of Ostrich while waiting for Joe.

Decrypto had been on my radar for a while and I really enjoyed it. It switches the Codenames formula from trying to link multiple words with a single clue to having to give repeated clues for the same word without giving away what the word is.

I hated The Expanse Board Game though. Quite a neat card-driven system but what if drives is a bland area majority game that outstays its welcome.

Nice bit of Krass Kariert and The Mind to finish.

Lunch

Fun game of Movable Type with Joe. I like the simplicity of this drafting word (letter) game.

On holiday

We are in Marseille this week. Played a couple of games of Ganz schön clever on freshly-laminated scoresheets.
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12. Board Game: The Gallerist [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:65]
chearns
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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On phone

 8   Friday x4 (149 all-time)
 8   Elevenses for One x6 (160 all-time)
 8   Onirim (second edition) x2 (575 all-time)

By myself

 2   Magic: The Gathering x8 (32 all-time) - Last week, I played a bunch of After the Virus by myself, trying to figure the game out. By the end of the week I realised I had played a lot of solo games with a game that I didn't love. So this week I built a new RB Pirate beatdown deck and went at it with the Hydra. In case you're wondering, if my opening hand included Wanted Scoundrels, then it was a cakewalk. If it didn't, then it was anybody's game.

With Bob

 10   Counterpoint (3 all-time) - For some reason, he had lots of difficulty with the rules, but I thought he got it all until, in the last round, he played an ace of hearts on my Jack of Diamonds and later in the round led an 8 of diamonds. What fascinated us both is that, even though he was playing a far easier game, I still won.

 10   Ricochet Robots (24 all-time) - Haven't played this with Bob in forever. Very possibly his favourite game.

With Bob and MC

 10   FITS (27 all-time) - After I opened with two negative rounds, putting me over twenty points back from the other two, I called a comeback of the century and came back to tie for the victory after they had simply terrible third and fourth rounds.

Online with Jay

 10   Twilight Struggle (13 all-time) - Jay headlined the Suez Crisis and followed that up with a successful Coup in Iran. I used my highest OPs card to recoup Iran, but failed. Jay then followed that with Vietnam Revolts and now I was locked out of the Middle East all the way to southeast Asia. The spanking continued into the midwar, but let's be honest, I lost right there in those first two turns. Desperate, I tried to push the boundaries of realignment rolls (I got hooked on them after I found out that they can take out Fidel), but I didn't get the payout I was hoping for.

At meetup Thursday

 10   High Society x2 (6 all-time)
 10   Ra x2 (11 all-time)

These plays got me reassessing how I approach meetups again. Did I play my own games? Yes. Were they games I love? Yes. But, was there someone at the table each time that I'd rather not play with? Yes. Is Ra fun when it lasts an hour and a half due to one player playing really slowly, chattering the whole time, and deciding at the beginning of the third epoch that one player had an epic score and so they would do all they could to boost it (by, for instance, not bidding against them, nor ever calling Ra in the hopes that they will get bigger yields as a result)? No. Not at all. That player was also in the High Society games, but they spent money like that was the win condition which threw the games out of wack. The only game that went "well" was the first Ra game, and even then, I'm not sure I would call it fun as it involved someone I'd rather not play with.

Meetups, in future, I'm either going to have to know in advance who I'll be playing with (which was the case Saturday) and believe that I will enjoy playing with them. Or, it'll have to be an event where people I don't enjoy playing with haven't signed up or there are so many people there that they will be sufficiently diluted and I won't end up playing with them (something like a 10:1 ratio). On the plus side, texting my story to airheart later that evening gave him a good chuckle.

At meetup Saturday

 4   The Gallerist NEW! - The best thing about this game is the implementation of worker placement that isn't about action blocking, but rather action enabling. If someone takes an action ahead of you, you aren't blocked from using it, but you are giving them the opportunity to take the action a second time before their turn (or, if they can't or don't want to, then they get a minor action for free) and an opportunity to retake the action on your next turn (something one can't normally do).

The rest of the game seems like a long complicated Christmas tree (branches of action with each branch terminating in different options) game, where it feels like the complication just serves to obfuscate that the decision path is pretty obvious. In other words, a typical Lacerda and a typical modern Euro.

While I did win, I think I might not have had one of the other players not misunderstood the end game scoring (always a risk with games that are more complicated than need be).

To be clear, my rating is a reflection of what I think of the game as a design and how much I desire to play again (it is also how hours it took to finish it), not a reflection of how much fun I had. I was playing with airheart, so I had fun.

Curiously, that means this week's meetups demonstrated the idea that bad games with good people are better than good games with bad people. That being said, I would have preferred playing Ra and High Society with this group over playing The Gallerist. That would have been even more fun!

 10   Innovation (29 all-time) - Until this game, I had never seen all of the special Achievements claimed, and all of them claimed legitimately. The final claiming, Empire, leading to victory. Although, I admit, once you've claimed the Universe and the World, claiming an Empire hardly seems noteworthy.
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13. Board Game: Do Your Job [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Seth Brown
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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No game night for me this week. In fact, due to some freelance work running on Sundays, I'll miss my game night for this entire month! Hoping I can work out another time to play games with folks.
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14. Board Game: Dadaocheng [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:4788]
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
Folsom
CA
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Shall I compare thee to a chevrolet?
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...the headlamps of your eyes will make them dream.
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Dadaocheng - 2p ww x1

Rice and camphor, sugar, tea
these are all i need to be
I shan't engage those mopey bums
from England pushing opium
--
I had been craving this for a while. I set it up, all lovely-like, and then we just stared at the middle. It really is a brain burning central mechanism, and when you step back from it, it can feel painfully opaque. By turn 6, Megan had figured it out, and pulled off an impressive mega turn. The only reason I was anywhere close was because I sniped the numerology hall and really gamed the storehouses more successfully. And by close, I mean the final scores were 63-64, Megan. One of the most beautiful games I own- and all of that beauty surrounds an absolutely ruthless central mechanism. I think that I prefer it 4 player but as a 2p game it was excellent.

Spoil me not - teacher

If I want that, and you want his
and she wants yours, and it's your turn...
I don't think I can do this quiz
it's making all my brain cells burn
--
I didn't play it- I opted to play with Ani and teach it to Megan and our guests. I also happen to think it's best with 3, as it straightjackets choices, and whittles and refines the choices to a knizian simplistic agony. It is super frustrating when one player is on a different level though- as it's very player dependent. Megan won by a fair margin, but felt that she was playing worse than one of her opponents- simply being handed stuff by another.

Super Motherload 2p x1

dig dug ain't got shit on me
I've got giant bombs, you see
bombs to carve out precious rocks
finesse is not my pair of socks
--
One of the better spatial deckbuilders, with one of the more initially interesting markets. Once you get to a certain level though, I think the spatial element is much more important, and the deckbuilding is partially automatic.

Havana 3p x1

I know you like big mama's card
and stealing goods makes you real hard
but you forgot the architect
and you gon' get real archi-wrecked
--
Come from behind victory via your friend and mine, the architect. His point premium is particularly lovely. Sure, there's a bit of an inevitability when it comes to the last turn, and it's perhaps the most gamified secret role game I own, but damn if it ain't a fine bit of double bluffing and cursing. I also made this:


Jurassic Park: Danger! 4p x1

Velociraptors ain't that smart
they misinterpret modern art
can't tell a Holst from Mr. Mahler
nor gruyere from emmenthaler
and even though they've fearsome claws
their grip cannot prevent faux pas
At least they're not dilophosaurs
who are virulently racist boors
--
Ameritrash hooooo! This target exclusive actually plays well. Damn well. The rule book is a bit spotty, but to Ravensburger's credit they released a rulebook 2.0 that addresses those issues. Like Gangsi, it's an inverse Scotland yard, only where Mr. x is 3 dinosaurs and also doesn't give a shit about hiding because he's trying to eat the detectives. It's got just enough chrome to be thematically appropriate. Also, it's not Jurassic World, it's Jurassic Park. The first one. The good one. The only one. I don't think I'd recommend it to any of you, but it is simply perfect for me. It feels like what FFG wanted to be back in the day- a wonderful bit of emotionally charged narrative that involves people getting eaten on toilets. Well, that's a lie. Due to a pocket Run Away! card, Gennaro was our only escapee.


Beer Report:
PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.
A gentle golden brew that went appropriately with the chicken sandwiches quite well. I have no feelings on it, positive or negative.
Scrimshaw Pilsner Style Beer - North Coast Brewing Co.
Similarly unemotional about this. I was actually craving a sparkling juice, but only alcohol was to be had.
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15. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:131] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Joshua Kuhlmann
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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 7   Splendor
 5   Magic: The Gathering x7
 5   Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game x2 NEW!

It's been years since I played Magic, but while going through the closet we came across some old cards and the brother-in-law mentioned wanting to play. Hey, sounds like a good time to me. We played a few of my built casual decks against each other, as my prebuilt decks had gotten mixed into the larger pile (that'll be a pain to sort out). I possibly erred in giving him a choice of decks -he picked my green landfall one, which takes some work to figure out when you Harrow to ramp vs saving it to trigger your people and when to hold up Vines of the Vastwood to counter kill spell. He enjoyed it a lot, though, and we got through the rules fairly well -I even got to show him fun stack tricks by kicking Gatekeeper of Malakir, then casting Feast of Blood with his ability on the stack (yes I have a lot of Zendikar cards). I'll probably send him back to school with my Rith EDH deck (along with warnings about buying packs).

He picked up Legendary and wanted to try it, so I accepted with low expectations. It's... actually OK! Which, given its competition in the thematic deckbuilder space makes it like a beautiful angel of fantasticness. There are some serious developmental issues, but the central idea is actually quite good and the designers seemed to know what they were doing for most of it. The hero system is a good compromise between the random piles and Dominion's prebuilt system. The semi-coop style seems like a lazy copout from the designers and most of what you do is unrelated to the actual victory condition (at least in the two setups I played) but this seems like it might not be an issue depending on the setup. It's unfortunate that there's so much slackness in the design; the central ideas are pretty good. In a way, it's the opposite of Knizia's El Dorado, which was a fantastic set of non-deckbuilding ideas brought down by anemic deckbuilding -the deckbuilding is good, everything else is half-baked. Not recommended, exactly, but I'll play it.

Also played a 3P Splendor -gems are tight, which is a good way to mess things up. I think 3P might be my favorite player count for Splendor.

Game Night

 6   Photosynthesis
 6   Camel Up
 7   We Didn't Playtest This At All x4

I convinced Alexandra to come, and she actually enjoyed it -modulo some weird custom cards in WdPtaA. She didn't enjoy Camel Up, sadly; we had a pretty good round, with lots of improbable die results killing my "bet EV" strategy. One guy used all of his endgame betting cards and was incorrect with all of them. I think games like that are more interesting than ones where the leader of the race is obvious, but I doubt that's news to anyone.

I found one of my new favorite design decisions; WdPtaA has one card where a player touches their nose and counts to three; any player who isn't touching their nose loses. There's also a card where a player counts to four while touching their nose; any player who is touching their nose loses. This is not explained to any of the participants. What a design, man.
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