What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP) — April 2019
Kate U
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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A Couple of Gamers Welcomes You To


What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP)
April 2019





Welcome to the "What Couples Have Been Playing" Geeklist, a monthly geeklist community for people gaming in pairs.

Use this list to post about games you've played this month as 2-player games, comment on other people's items, and throw your thumbs around! Mingle in the comments below.

Here's your step-by-step guide:

1 Play a game as a couple* within the month of April.
2 Post a geeklist entry after playing.
3 Let us know what you liked or didn't like about the game, and tell us how it plays with two (particularly for games that aren't 2p only!). If you've played it with more than two at another time, feel free to make comparisons with the 2p gameplay.
4 Provide feedback for others, chat, ask questions, and give a little thumb here and there!

BONUS ROLL
d10-5 Welcome and hello to all newbies! If you're new to our Geeklist, please let us know! We're very friendly around here, and we'd love to welcome you properly!

*For our purposes, "couple" is defined as two people playing a game. Many of us here are playing with partners or spouses, but if you play a game with your sister or your best friend, please DO feel free to post about it here too!



April Getting to Know You, with OmahaVice

Last month Mike Stevens (omahavice) initiated a fairly detailed discussion about play style and preferences, which I've borrowed to use as our April "get to know you" topic. Thanks for guest editing this month, Mike! For those with a tendency toward TL;DR, I've highlighted the heart of the discussion in case you don't want to go through the background...

It is very interesting how some board gamers just hate it [attack cards] to the point of not liking a certain game or genre of games when there are ways to attack, disrupt, or destroy what they are doing. Years ago when all we had was the base set of Dominion, my middle daughter and I both loved having the Witch as one of the Kingdom cards and even though it is a terminal card, we both truly enjoyed sticking the other one with as many curses as we could. Nothing better than getting a Festival or Village that gave you 2 actions in the same hand with 2 Witches. We even would laugh and call it getting double Witch Slapped!

Once their Mom started playing Dominion with us, she hated the Witch and usually would not play if we had the Witch but didn't have the Moat in the Kingdom Cards. If you had a Moat in your hand when someone plays the Witch or any attack card, the Moat stops the Attack portion from happening to you. Their Mom said she just hated having everyone give her Curses. I took the time to explain that you could get rid of Curses with a Chapel but she just didn't enjoy it at all.

I have another gaming buddy and his wife that I would play lots of games with and his wife was a very Type A and aggressive gamer in a competitive way and she liked a variety of different games but she would never play Agricola, Stone Age, Lords of Waterdeep, or just about any worker placement game with us. We were sitting at the table once, trying to decide our next game and her husband picked out Agricola. She refused to play and I asked her why she never wanted to play any worker placement games? She said "because every time I have played one of those games with Derek, he always takes the spot I want to go to before I can go there shake I laughed and told her that was part of the main strategy of worker placement games and she said "it might be but I hate it when someone takes the spot I want".

Obviously there are Type A, Type B, and Super Cuddly gamers who want absolutely no conflict in their games. For those of you out there that care to answer, how would you describe yourself and your main gaming partner when it comes to paying board games:

1) Type A Aggressive (Attack and Destroy at all costs, regardless of the other players feelings)

2) Type A (Play to win baby!)

3) Type B (Very chill, play for the sake of playing and having fun, could care less if you win or lose)

4) Teddy Bear Cuddles (Will go out of your way to not attack, disrupt, or destroy anything the other player has built and certainly don't want to hurt their feelings by beating the crap out of them by 50-100 points








As usual, post what you're playing as a couple this month to the list! As always, please be respectful. And above all, enjoy your gaming.


A very special thank you to our list's originator, Ryan Olden.
Ryan Olden
Wales
Cardiff
Cardiff
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And as always, a huge thank you to Kevin L. Kitchens for creating our very own aggregator: http://couples.onesuponagame.com.

Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
Georgia
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Go look at the stats!

The aggregator is a great resource for great 2p titles old and new. Last month's stats are here: http://couples.onesuponagame.com/Detail/Geeklist/253670/marc...

As of this posting, last month's top game was Wingspan, again!
Top poster for March was
Shane Rivera
United States
Utah
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with 29 entries! WhatWhat?! That's almost a play a day.


Resources for Couples

A Couple of Gamers Guild

Couples of the Geek

Newbie Couples Games

Previous Geeklists
What Couples Have Been Playing (WCHBP) — March 2019
What Couples Have Been Playing – February 2019
What Couples Have Been Playing – January 2019
What Couples Have Been Playing — December 2018




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1. Board Game: Coimbra [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:191]
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This was our first play of this game. We had a great time! Plenty of decisions to be made and lots of ways to collect victory points. It has dice drafting, card drafting and set collection. The iconography was easy to grasp and the rulebook does an excellent job of describing the cards in more detail if extra help is needed. Gameplay moved quick for us after we went through our initial round (there's four rounds in a game). Easy to learn, easy to teach.

If you enjoy Grand Austria Hotel and Lorenzo il Magnifico (as we do), give this game a look.

She wins 156-137.
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2. Board Game: Codenames: Duet [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:116] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
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After a weekend of 4-player games we decided to start April off with a few games of Codenames Duet where we could work together to win. We ended up playing 3 games and lost the first one by Assassin, we won the 2nd game pretty easy only using 8 total turns, and we got killed in the 3rd game by the Assassin again.

Do you guys mix all your cards together from your different Codenames games? We own the original Codenames, Codenames After Dark (Adult Version basically), and Codenames Duet. All the cards are in one box. During the last game probably 20 of the 25 cards were from After Dark and at least 5 of those cards could be used to describe the male appendage. While slightly humorous, it does make for a tough game when 3 of those words are your words and one of them is an Assassinshake

We tried to work through it and failed. Just curious if you play with just one set at time or mix them all up?
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3. Board Game: Notre Dame: 10th Anniversary [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Don Stanley
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Started off April with the reprint of a classic Feld. I think that we have enjoyed every Feld that we own (and we own almost all of the older titles), so it's no surprise that this was a hit. Two plays in a row, I lost both but we had a good time playing. Printing off two player aids from the Files section for the game was a great help with play.
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4. Board Game: The Mind [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:533]
Matt Hindmarch
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Son and I play again, losing on Level 9.
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5. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:192]
Austin Slade
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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It was time for our next chapter. Amerikana won, 75-58. She had an amazing VP engine going (oh, and this was the first time we actually went through the deck).

Regarding our campaign:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Our village (Kessel) is pretty close to the Eternal City. The Eternal King was impressed with our village’s prosperity (thanks to amerikana)
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6. Board Game: Welcome To... [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:150]
Anna Alber
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Broke the shrink on Welcome To... for our first game of April and WOW! We really enjoyed this game. The suburbia theme works so well and the game offers a really delightful puzzle filled with the agony of having to live with the choices of your past self. And there's something really fun about flipping the cards to find a new set of difficult choices.

This one is definitely going to be a staple at our house, especially on weeknights when we're looking for a relaxing, but still rewarding experience.
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7. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:376]
Anna Alber
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I enjoy this game. It's got a very intuitive and classic feel to it, but I don't think it clicks with my partner very well. She loses every time, despite having more wins in Hanamikoji. I'm hoping she'll keep giving this one a chance, because it scratches a classic card game itch that only this and the Fox in the Forest can scratch. It's quick, easy to learn and to teach, and offers a good little puzzle.
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
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Base game with Abbot and River (our variant as described last month)

This was not our introduction to modern games, but it is the game I was looking for when I went into that strange store. Not sure why now, but it had captured my attention and I wanted to try it. This happens to me with all sorts of stuff now and again. Some take hold and change my life. Some are "What WAS I thinking"shake.

Sadly Carcassonne was out of stock and Barbara the proprietor talked to us a bit about what we were looking for and why. We left with Arboretum and have never looked back.

Eventually new stock of Carcassonne came in and we picked it up too. It is a great game. Just not as great as Arboretum.

Only three tiles came out for the River this time and none had cities or roads on them. It was with curious dread that we turned up our first "real" tile. A field. Hooray!

Our game played in more or less recommended time. And again the Farmers won the day. This time I was the one with two farmers.

arrrh 128
kiss 094 cry

kiss commented how she loved watching the landscape grow, and we started noticing little details we had never noticed before. A lot of love and attention to detail went into this game!!!
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9. Board Game: Hanamikoji [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:229]
Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
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Continuing our run of post breakfast games, we pulled Hana out this morning for a run around the block.

We now have most of the promo cards for the game, but chose to keep those for special occasions. So we just used the original cards.

kiss
arrrh cry

She took the game in a single round, winning both the favour and the charm offensive. Well played my love. With just a single round, the game took just 9 minutes including setup. We love it.
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10. Board Game: Nusfjord [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:534]
Constance Cee
United States
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It had been entirely too long since we played Nusfjord but since we just picked up the Plaice Deck we wanted to play again. I've never played it at more than 2p, but I can't see that it would make much difference either way. Anyway, it's a quick Uwe game at 2p with plenty of decisions and timing to consider.
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11. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Sam S.
United States
Long Island
New York
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Due to some personal obligations, it had been quite a while (for us anyway - the last game we played together was March 14) since we sat in our den and pulled a game off the shelf. I think we both wanted to play something with some meat to it, but familiar enough that we wouldn't need a rules refresh. Castles of Burgundy fits that bill for us perfectly.

I knew we hadn't played for a while (after the game I looked it up and realized it had been since August of last year) but we jumped right in.

Castles of Burgundy is our favorite Stefan Feld game, and one of our top games overall. At it's heart it's a combination of engine building and set collection/tile laying. And as a Feld game, it's pretty much the definition of "point salad". There are so many ways to score points that some people get a bit lost, but if you can develop and pursue the right strategy it's definitely a focused game.

We played with all the expansions we have, using The Castles of Burgundy: 4th Expansion – Monastery Boards, The Castles of Burgundy: 2nd Expansion – New Hex Tiles, The Castles of Burgundy: 5th Expansion – Pleasure Garden, and The Castles of Burgundy: 8th Expansion – Trade Routes. The biggest strategic change from the expansion is from Trade Routes, as it makes the selling (and the timing of selling) of goods a more viable strategy for the game as it adds more bonuses if you sell the right color of good at the right time.

It was a very close game, but I squeaked out the win 181-178.

Pros:
+ Plays great at all player counts.
+ Plays fairly quickly for this level of depth and options.
+ For a game that has a reputation of being the prototypical point salad game, there is a lot of tension and tough choices to make. It is a point salad if you don't have a strategy, but if you're pursuing a strategy it is much more focused.
+ Great combination of strategic and tactical choices. The set of available tiles changes each round (there are five rounds, each of which have five turns), so you don't know what tiles will be available next round.

Neutral:
o Moderate player interaction. Turn order is extremely important, and the ability to draft tiles out from others is the lion's share of interaction here. There's no "take that" at all.


Cons:
- A bit of a slog to get through the iconography for what all the buildings and knowledge tiles do. But well done enough that once you understand it, they all pretty much make sense.
- When first learning the game, setup can take some time. But we've got it down to a science. We purchased the drawstring bags from the geekstore that make things much faster.
- The art is justifiably criticized. The colors are hard to tell from one another. There is a new version coming out with updated artwork that includes all available expansions. Hopefully it addresses this concern. We love the game enough that if it does, we will likely get the new version even though we have most of the expansions it includes.

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12. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:338]
Sam S.
United States
Long Island
New York
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Tonight we played Rise of the Runelords again. We’re both really enjoying this, and plan on bringing it to the table frequently. We (just barely) successfully completed the Approach to Thistletop scenario from the Burnt Offerings adventure pack. April played Seoni, and I played Seelah (which I think is from the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Character Add-On Deck).

For my prior mini-review, see this geeklist entry:
Rise of the Runelords - WCHBP
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13. Board Game: Serengeti: A Race For Life [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:13057]
Marc Timmins
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Wifey and I are enjoying getting to know this little Indie deckbuilder. I gave it to her for her birthday mostly because we had such a wonderful time during our 2 months overlanding in Africa. We love that some of the money from this game went to sponsoring Willow the cheetah cub, and that the artwork is so evocative of our time on the Serengeti and Masai Mara.


Display... all cards cost exactly the same to buy.

The iconography takes a little while to get your head around, and some of the more subtle, and more complex cards (I'm looking at you Monkey!) take some time to work out when they will be useful, but the pace of the game feels slow and leisurely and calm and beautiful. Like a casual game drive across the dusty plains.
Gee I'm feeling poetic tonight, huh.


Game setup is a breeze, and what's not to like about looking at this gorgeous art?

In reference to this month's theme, I'd say the level of conflict here is a bit above what we'd usually play, but not noticeably. We're normally somewhere between Type B and Care Bears, but I couldn't help but laugh as Wifey's elephants scared my lion off the savannah again and again in our most recent play.


Grumpy lion back off the savannah and in the discard pile.

Which brings me to another point... normally I hold the upper hand in games - I win more than I lose. Wifey has beaten me EVERY SINGLE TIME we have played so far. Tonight was 6-5 and then 5-2. I definitely think she is doing better at keeping track of who has what cards (the memory element of the game).

thumbsup In summation, a new game we are enjoying learning and exploring together that takes us to a place and time that we can relax and enjoy with one another.
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14. Board Game: Carson City: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:2678]
Don Stanley
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I didn’t want to bite on the Big Box edition without some feel for the game, so I thought I would try the card game out first. Plus, it plays solo. We only played two games, winning one each. I know that it says to keep score for the dummy players, but who cares about their scores. The dummy players add an interesting element to the bidding, but they didn’t screw us up too much. We both enjoyed our play and I think we might enjoy the board game.
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15. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:68]
Rolf H

Utah
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I was able to get Roll for the Galaxy to the table with my wife last night. As expected, she was a little reluctant to learn the game because it looked more complicated than the lighter games we typically play. I reassured her that her familiarity with San Juan would make it easy to pick up the rules and she obliged after I promised it would be the last new game I would teach her until her math class is over next month.

The game played really quick after the first couple rounds while she learned how to assign the dice. It was my second time playing so I was able to give her a few pointers based off my first experience but she quickly caught on and put together a great strategy on her own. She ended up beating me 48-43.
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16. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:210]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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Thursday evenings, no tv night but we hadn't really planned on playing a game. However, Onitama was calling me and so we bashed out a nice three game series. I have Onitama: Sensei's Path included.

I love the open information aspect of this and the two paths to victory although it usually only ends one way.

The five cards in play always make the game just that little bit different.

Anyway, I took the first game, lost the second and grabbed the third with some careful planning.

Small, quick and thinky. thumbsup


This Months Question:
I would say I waiver between Type A2 and Type B - I play to win but it actually doesn't matter either way (isn't the phrase 'couldn't care less'? Have I been saying it wrong all this time?).
I would say my wife is similar but I think she is much closer to A2 on the whole, which has surprised me on a few occasions.
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17. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:215]
They call me Mister...
Ireland
Donegal
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End of the week game.

We watched a new programme about the Ripper recently - I gave up watching them many years ago as there was rarely anything new and some theories were getting more outlandish each time.

Anyway, the programme was another slight disappointment but it was nice seeing the area of London I used to live and work in and it inspired me to dig this out for another spin.

This is our only secret movement game and it was really nice not having to engine or deck build for a change. I played the fuzz and got a good lead on where the hideout could be on the first night. Second night I managed to confirm my suspicions but on the third night I could find no trace of the blighter. However, with a tight perimiter being maintained on the fourth night the rozzers hard work paid off and Jack was nicked, bang to rights. Off to the clink for him, and then the long drop.


Arrested on space 140 by PC Green, good lad!


Despite the dubious theme, I enjoy having this in my collection as I find it well done thematically and we have no other game like it.
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18. Board Game: Codenames: Duet [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:116] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Tarrie Phillip
Canada
Ajax
Ontario
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Been playing a lot of Pendemic Legacy lately but we decided on this night to do a few quick games of Codenames Duet. Was a lot of fun as per usual. Ended up winning 1 of 3 games.
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19. Board Game: Voltage [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:6311]
Don Stanley
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Picked this up on clearance from Target, not knowing what to expect. There is a whole lot of luck because of the card draw, but I think it can be mitigated somewhat by smart card play. We played about 8 games or so in a row; I don't know why the playing time is listed at 30 minutes - even for AP players it shouldn't take longer than 15. We were banging out games at about 10 minutes apiece. It's a fun diversion, but not much more than that.
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20. Board Game: Cinq-O [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:12050]
Don Stanley
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I think that I have had this for quite some time but never played it. My wife loves dice, so I took it with me when we went to lunch today to play while waiting for our food. Just what I expected, a pleasant little dice-chucker with a whole lot of luck, but just what we both like every now and then. Incredibly portable, so it will probably go with us when we expect to have a little time.
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21. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:249]
Don Stanley
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Now to the meaty game of the day. As I said previously, we are big Feld fans and I purchased this recently along with Notre Dame. This one is punishing if you don't plan accordingly for the events. My wife beat me by about 6 points due to her endgame monk scoring. We left it up on the game table to play again tomorrow.
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22. Board Game: Jump Drive [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:917]
Rob D
United States
Largo
Florida
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We seem to go in cycles. We've been playing a whole bunch of heavier euros with long set ups, a bunch of chits/tokens, and play times to match. Now we're feeling like we want to play games that are simple to set up and quick to play, yet with some good decision points. Sometimes nothing beats a good card game where you've got either just cards or some cards and some victory tokens. That led us to our first game of the night.

I've never introduced her to RFTG, though we did play Roll For The Galaxy once. It was a while ago and she doesn't really remember.

Either way, this game is super quick and fun. If you look up multi-player solitaire in the dictionary this game might be the picture..so how you feel about that will impact your feelings about this game. We don't mind it if the game is good.

As a MPS game I did enjoy the puzzle in each of the four games we played. However, it seemed like the winner of each game was determined early on. The player that got the most advantageous draw early on was able to run away with it. The first couple games she got her engine running quickly and it seemed like every turn I drew cards they turned out to be absolutely useless...so my shit sputtered out.

The third game I won and it was pretty even. So it was the one exception to the above run away leader point.

The fourth game was the shining example of what I'm talking about. Right off the bat I got a bunch of blue planet/development cards that all had good synergy. Plus they were all cheap. This let me set up a superior engine pretty much from turn 1 which I snowballed quickly. As I drew my income the first 3 or so turns I would say to myself "holy shit I can't believe I drew that card that fits perfectly with my tableau."

I blew it out of the water from there. I think I scored something like 37 points on my final turn and ended up with almost 80 points (50 points is the victory cut off). I didn't really feel satisfied because I didn't feel like I earned it. I basically lucked into the right cards.

So for us, it was fun..but not really competitive. Of course these were our first four games. And it is quite a mental puzzle when it works out. I guess you just have to accept as a card game that you will occasionally be involved in a blow out one way or another. Thankfully it only lasts about 15 minutes.

Jury is still out on this one. Even with the above results I still have this strange compulsion to try it again tomorrow.
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23. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:262]
Rob D
United States
Largo
Florida
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For our second game we played Arboretum. Who knew a game about trees could be so vicious. And it isn't in your face vicious. It's very passive aggressive. Lots of very tough decisions pretty much every turn. The viciousness comes in the fact that you know only one person will score each tree. As an antithesis to Jump Drive, you are just as aware of what your opponent is doing as to what you are doing.

We liked this one, but felt as burnt out mentally after a short 15 minute game as we sometimes feel when we play longer euro games.

Definitely want to give this one some more play time.

We split and won one game each.
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24. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.88 Overall Rank:1]
Daniel Halladay
United States
Florida
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We continue our adventures in Gloomhaven. We play and defeat Scenario #21. My opinion on this game has cooled slightly. I still enjoy it quite a bit, but there are a few issues I have with it that will keep it from ranking up in the all-time favorites. It is by far the best dungeon crawler I have played, but it is probably a top 50-ish game for me. When we first backed the second printing Kickstarter, I thought it would be a top 5 game for me with potential to be my favorite. I think there is some element of video game dungeon crawlers that just doesn't translate to the tabletop. Oh well, I am still having fun and I would still recommend this one pretty highly.
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25. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:304]
Gavin Breeden
United States
Cookeville
Tennessee
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Got this recently and got it to the table last night. My wife and I LOVE Pandemic so we were excited to give this a try. I love the fast playing time and it provides a different kind of puzzle to solve. We lost pretty fast and there's a lot more randomness than the board game but it plays so quickly that didn't detract from the experience. We look forward to more plays and I'm excited to play it solo. Definitely recommend for 2p.
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