GCL Phoenix 501: Therapeutic cardboard (August 9th, 2020)
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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Greetings people, and welcome to the Phoenix GameChat League, instalment number 501.

In the case you´ve happened stumbled upon this Geeklist by coincidence or through one of your subscriptions, you can read more about the GCLs over at the GameChat League Wiki page: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/GameChat_League
As a visitor you are more than welcome to comment and engage in the discussion but please leave the adding of geeklist-items to members.

Our current roster of active members is as follows:


BankofDracula - (Rob) - NEXT UP
bootleby - (Joe)
familygaming - (JA)
grasa_total - (Alison)
indigopotter - (Carol)
John Rogers - (John)
karlfast - (Karl)
Lowengrin - (Michael)
mirror33 - (Adley)
rynelf - (Dave)
Tigrillo - (Morten)
woodnoggin - (Rich)

Previous Phoenix members who are always welcome back:
archivists, archivists, BennyD, Bruzza, chally, darker, Dormammu, Eeeville, enzo622, hawk-x-, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, mirror33, Morganza, Mr_Nuts, Muse23PT, ravenskana, Smintie, Taibi, TheRocketSurgeon, tjshields, topherr, Yokiboy.

Topic of the week
When debating games we often tend to focus alot on dissecting the mechanisms, their relation to and conveyance of the setting, the amount of meaningful interaction yada yada yada.
But this week I want to look at bit more specific at us, the players, and when, how and why we engage with games. So instead of discussion things like "input-randomness vs output-randomness" we are gonna talk about "input-moods vs output-moods"
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1. Board Game: in the mood [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: in the mood
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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I think for many people not (yet) in the board gaming hobby, playing table top games is almost exclusively associated with lighthearted social settings of family or close friends.
However this is in my experience not the case once you begin getting deeper into the cardboard jungle. Gaming might suddenly become something you do to wind down after a long day at work or maybe sometimes you find yourself caring more about the game than who you are playing with.

What is the setting for your most typical game session? (evenings with your SO, game-nights with the group, solo gaming in the weekends?)

What is your main motivation for playing games in this setting? ("spending time together", "Trying out new designs"...)
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2. Board Game: Input/Output Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Input/Output Game
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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After a game do you sometimes find that your mood has changed significantly from before you sat down to play?

if yes: how so and in which context does this happen the most?
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3. Board Game: Frustration Ball [Average Rating:3.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Frustration Ball
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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Do you have any interest in playing games when you are frustrated, stressed out or sad?

if yes: which and why?
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4. Board Game: Stop Relax & Think [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Stop Relax & Think
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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When I have had a long exhausting day I usual want nothing more than to wind down with a looong deep and thinky game. Unfortunately I don´t know anybody in my close vicinity else who agrees or understands that brainburn can be relaxing, quite the opposite actually.

so do you find "taxing" can be "relaxing"?
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5. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:614]
Board Game: Finca
The Mirror
United States
New York
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Board Game: Homeworlds
 8.5   Homeworlds
I clicked this up another half point. I also did some funny stuff where instead of dropping Falling Sky and The Great Zimbabwe down to 8.5, I elevated my top three (Fresh Fish, 1832 and Pax Porfiriana) up to 9.5s. Scary stuff. I suspect that it's really getting to the point in time where I need to play both of the latter games again. Was this play with Joe again? I think that it was. It seems distinctly *not* up his alley though I’m enjoying trying to figure out why. It’s particularly difficult with polite people to get a good grasp on this sort of information, but a later play this past week, that *is* distinctly up his alley seems like some good information for figuring this bit out.

Board Game: Chicago Express
 8.5   Chicago Express
This was midweek with Carol and Joe. Lovely company, play incited (in a good way) by Carol. This particular round was neat because its the first play I’ve been a part of where no company managed to reach Chicago. I made the best long term investments, and Carol made the best investments, full stop, but decided on beautifying her landscape a bit too often, and Joe made the best choices toward winning the actual game, so he did.

Board Game: Finca
 8   Finca x5 NEW!
This is the one that swept me off of my feet this week. What a surprise in general. First of all, it’s a euro. It’s literally a recipe fulfillment game with a rondel. But it’s nasty, interactive, lean and thinky. The game is brilliant at 2p, at 4p (which I played twice) it’s a bit too chaotic for my taste, though holds my attention nonetheless. In fact in this particular game, I'd almost like to give the design the benefit of the doubt that it's simply a bit too much information for *me* to parse, not that good planning couldn't happen with a different brain. I’d like to try 3p as well, but I suspect that it’s best for me at 2p. If anyone is looking/willing to get rid of their copy at a reasonable price, please let me know. I can’t get one imported from Germany due to COVID and the prices are are a bit overly inflated otherwise.

Board Game: ConHex
 7   ConHex x4 NEW!
After playing Homeworlds again with me, Joe intro’d me to one of his favorite combinatorial abstracts. I like it quite a bit. I like how quickly it plays and I like that you can see where you messed up. It’s a neat thing worth continuing to play, and we have throughout the week.

Board Game: Caravan
_6.5_Caravan NEW!
Another play with Joe, and this is another Joe’s design: Joe Huber. I’d not even known to be curious about it (as I’m not yet much of a camel gamer), but it was quick, interactive and nasty with some very cool tradeoffs along the way. Has me curious about his other designs. The problem around random cube distribution throughout the game gives me pause, and prevents me from rating it higher, but I like it and I'd be more than willing to try it again.

Board Game: Fort
 6.5   Fort NEW!
Tried a quick 2p play of this on TTS with a Deep Cuts person. It’s a neat game. Reminds me a bit of Race for the Galaxy insofar as you’re making tough choices about how to use your multi-use cards. It’s a deck builder, but perhaps more in the vein of Valley of the Kings than Dominion. But it’s more interactive, kinda like Glory to Rome, where you can benefit from each others’ actions. Guess that’s a bit like Race again as well. Plus, on top of that, the cards that you don’t use every turn end up available to your opponents for the taking, so the sanctity and the clarity of your deck build is perpetually under attack. It’s a really neat game. I suspect that it’ll be a big hit.

______________________________________________


Unplayed games of note: 1849, 18CZ, Angola, Balance of Powers, Clippers, Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62, Conspiracy, Die Dolmengötter, Mü & Lots More, Napoleon’s Triumph, Paths of Glory, Rolling Stock, Shadows of Malice, and Villa Paletti
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6. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:883]
Board Game: Bus
Mr. Anderson
United States
Ivory Tower
Minnesota
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 10   Bus NEW!
 10   Hansa Teutonica (31 all-time)
 1   Pan Am (6 all-time)

And many, many online games! Adley was involved in all of them(?) so, check out his item!

After Carol & Adley taught me Bus last week, I got it to the table with some local shut-in quarantine buddies; I even stopped time once. I really liked it but my opponents were split, one for and one against. Hansa Teutonica was great and Pan Am was not great. It's not terrible but  1  to me means "I get annoyed if someone suggests" and that's just what happened. Was good to play it 3p to figure that out, though. "Where are the constraints?!" my friend exclaimed mid-play. I may just be bitter about the dice rolls.

Playing Caravan on TTS means my games purchased list got longer. I'm also hoping Babylonia gets delivered this week which I'm hoping to quickly get to the table. Otherwise my professional life is "bonkers" with trying to figure out how to be a swimming & diving coach in the midst of a once in a century pandemic. I am such a swimming nerd that I've actually enjoyed the process, though. Many parents are emailing me thinking their daughters will sit this one out and considering our facility limitations I don't blame them. I'm setting the Over/Under at 4 weeks before this season gets canceled.

18 Games of note with <2 plays: Die Dolmengötter, German Railways, The Estates, The Soo Line, 1860, Meltwater, Karesansui, Fresh Fish, Die Macher, Maria, Imperial, Iberian Gauge, Southern Pacific, 1830, Pax Pamir 2e, American Rails, Bus, Samarkand
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7. Board Game: Napoleon Retreats: Campaign in France, Part II [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Napoleon Retreats: Campaign in France, Part II
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Solo in Snow
Board Game: Napoleon Retreats: Campaign in France, Part II

 7   Napoleon Retreats x2 New!

Napoleon Retreats is the fourth game I've now played in the The Library of Napoleonic Battles set. The game consists of four scenarios (three are historical battles and one is a "what-if") and a campaign game. I've now played two of the historical scenarios.
Board Game: Napoleon Retreats: Campaign in France, Part II
Napoleon Retreats map of the full campaign.

It's early March, 1814, and both sides are exhausted and most units are either understrength or filled with raw recruits. The weather is mostly snow and mud, limiting the impact of both artillery and cavalry, and the French countryside littered with villages and châteaux. All in all, it favours the defenders, which, ironically, are often the invading Coalition troops.

While the two battles I played were both fairly interesting, I think this game will probably shine when played as a campaign and all the maps are out on the table. Unfortunately, the full campaign requires an area of 44" x 68" and my table is only around 54" square....

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Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest

 8   1846: The Race for the Midwest x0.3 (9 all-time)
Meanwhile, a couple days ago, the Victoria 18xx Contingent began a four-player game of 1846 on 18xx.games. We're now in SR3 and me and my New York Central are ever so slightly ahead of GM and the PRR. I should probably take a screenshot because it just cannot last.

The Week Ahead
I'm debating whether to play the last historical scenario for Napoleon Retreats which has Napoleon's very ragtag force trying to recapture Reims from a couple Coalition corps. It's a smaller battle than the two I just completed so I may just pass on it for now to play something bigger. I'm leaning towards playing the campaign from La Patrie en Danger (which takes place a month before Reims in February 1814).

But I'm also still thinking about playing the full battle of Ligny given Morten's and my discussion from a week ago. It's starting to sink in that I don't have to go to work so I have time to tackle larger games. But it also has me thinking it'd be nice to keep the table clear so that S and I can get back into gaming in the evenings. Contrary to my initial thoughts that Covid-19's social distancing would revive our evening plays, it hasn't panned out that way at all.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: Cthulhu: Death May Die, 18Lilliput, Maria, Francis Drake, German Railways, Tikal and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648.

Unplayed games not in shrink: Mottainai and 1824: Austrian-Hungarian Railway.
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8. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:438]
Board Game: Chicago Express
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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From gallery of indigopotter


When I built green to Detroit. I had 3/5 of the green shares, so I tried to boost that as much as possible.

From gallery of indigopotter


End game. Joe 99 - C 90 - A 58
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9. Board Game: Linko! [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:848]
Board Game: Linko!
Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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The pandemic has largely obliterated my gaming life.

But we did have a family getaway last week. We rented a lakeside cabin in rural, northern Wisconsin with almost nobody else around.

Some gaming ensued.

 8   Linko! x4 (13 all-time) - Introduced this to my family hoping that they would like it enough to become a family staple. They loved it. Hurrah. Hopefully dozens if not hundreds of plays in my future. I especially like that it's quick and plays well all the way from 2-5.

 6   BraveRats x10 (88 all-time) - My son took our 10-game series 6-4. He loves this because he usually wins.

 6   Sushi Go! x3 (5 all-time) - My wife loves this and finally coaxed my son to try it. He loved it too. I'm not a big fan. The game is too simple, too streamlined for me. The party edition helps with mixing cards. But really this game is meh for me. I should rate it a 4: it's good but not great.
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10. Board Game: The Field of the Cloth of Gold [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:9491]
Board Game: The Field of the Cloth of Gold
Robert
Canada
Ottawa
ON
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Games played between August 3rd and August 9th


Board Game: Scrabble
8.0  Scrabble (14 all-time)
Some pretty low scores again, and that endgame can really drain my enthusiasm sometimes. However, in this instance, I was able to turn my losing game around much to N's frustration.

Board Game: Babylonia
10.  Babylonia x2 (11 all-time)
I think Laszlo and I feel similarly about Martin at this point.

Board Game: Trick of Trip
N/A  Trick of Trip x2 NEW!
Another "why has no one done this before" trick taker from Japan. Twists here include I cut, you choose, and then the hands remain visible in racks between the players à la Hab & Gut. Lowest card wins the trick, and the winning card is kept as a score card. The winner of the game has the highest number of points, so you want to win with the largest low card you can. Add to this some very pretty vaporware art and voilà. The designer is a sweetheart and ships directly. I'll share details by DM if you're interested.

Board Game: An Infamous Traffic
10.  An Infamous Traffic (6 all-time)
Something of a surprise revolution in the final round let D eke out a win over her sister with one extra enterprise on the map. More tit for tat in this game than any before it.

Board Game: Dual Powers: Revolution 1917
N/A  Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 NEW!
A very easy to learn area majority game that could grow on me, but I'm not so sure about N. She got gooseflesh when seeing Lenin on the box cover but not in the excited-to-play kind of way. There's hope though; the history here is really wedded to Eurogame mechanisms, which ironically divorce the game from the events that happened over those months. The one you'll see most commented upon is the calendar, and while it is pretty cool, it's also one of several mechanisms that, when put together, create some great tension from wanting to take actions but not wanting to provide advantages to the other player.

Board Game: Mandala
N/A  Mandala NEW!
Board Game: The Field of the Cloth of Gold
N/A  The Field of the Cloth of Gold x2 NEW!
Martin put together these two on playingcards.io, and both were outstanding to the point that I wish I hadn't learned them because now I need to own them, or at least one of them.

The best for me (obvs.) was The Field of the Cloth of Gold, another Tom Russell game that like Northern Pacific asks players to make a chain of predictions about the outcomes of one particular decision. Here though, all of the decisions and their possible outcomes involve the lesser of two evil choices. I liked it so much that I may make the rash decision to just order the game now instead of waiting for the Hollandays sale at the end of the year.

Mandala is also great. It does what I want in a two-player game by building pressure until something gives, and then doing it again. In Mandala, there are two points where that pressure builds, and that provides opportunities for feigning or avoidance. The real kicker for me is that it's like a commodity speculation game (without calling itself that). When a card is taken from the display for the first time, it sets the values for all cards of that that type that are collected afterwards.

Board Game: Conquest of Paradise
8.0  Conquest of Paradise (3 all-time)
Conquest of Paradise is really a lot easier than it looks, and judging by the ratings that N and D give the game (8 and 9), I think we may play it more frequently.

Board Game: Circle the Wagons
8.0  Circle the Wagons x2 (11 all-time) Every turn and every choice matters. This puzzle really tickles the synapses each time. I've raised my rating.

Board Game: Casa Grande
8.0  Casa Grande (9 all-time) The toy factor and the Arizona desert colour scheme always throw me off, but Casa Grande is in fact one of the most cutthroat games I own.

Board Game: Voodoo Prince
8.0  Voodoo Prince (4 all-time) The alchemy behind Voodoo Prince is a mystery. Why should 5s, 7s, 0s, and 15s be so much fun? We had an incredible turnaround at the end when friend of Haninibal, Amy, stuck it to Martin with her last card, bumping Martin back to third and leaving DJ in first. (Let's not discuss how I fared though.)

Board Game: Tricky Dungeon
N/A  Tricky Dungeon NEW! Hanibal taught this one. It was pretty fun, and choosing the goal based on what's been dealt is sharp. But the one against all style of play felt a little lonely. I think I would have preferred partners.

Board Game: Eggs of Ostrich
8.0  Eggs of Ostrich (33 all-time) At one point, DJ was cussing both Martin and I out, and I thought, "Gosh, I really enjoy this."

Edit: eke / eek confusion
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11. RPG Item: 1992: A Death in the Family [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: 1992: A Death in the Family
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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This week is of to a rough start! This morning my farther in law passed away (age 69) due to a heart-attack. This is obviously very chocking as it came out of the blue and it is extremely hard on Røskva as she have been fortunate enough to have her closest friend and dad be one and the same person!
This really puts those petty everyday concerns into perspective!
I might check in once in a while if I ever need a distraction during the week, but I don´t expect to be online much.

Here are the game I played last week:
Board Game: Battle Sheep
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Regatta
Board Game: Witness
Board Game: Men at Work
Board Game: Good Cop Bad Cop
Board Game: Mascarade


 6   Battle Sheep x3 NEW!
 N/A   Unpublished Prototype
 5   Regatta (4 all-time)
 9   Witness (44 all-time)
 7   Men at Work NEW!
 5   Good Cop Bad Cop x7 NEW!
 9   Mascarade x2 (68 all-time)
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12. Board Game: Outpost [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2030]
Board Game: Outpost
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 8Aug2020:

6/11/307 plays of 4/8/123 total games, with 0/0/15 expansions employed.
Plays with 10/16/74 distinct opponents.

0/0/19 games acquired (plus 0/0/7 expansions.)
0/0/1 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
0/0/9 games ordered (plus 0/0/2 expansions.)
Orders for 7 games and 1 expansions still outstanding.

With family and friends:
Board Game: Bluff in Zoo

image by HilkMAN

1x _7_ 動物園吹牛 Dòngwùyuán chuīniú 'Bluff in Zoo' (4 total plays)

(Live) With the youngsters before they disperse. Worked rather well for the four of us. And some of that is "as an entertainment"; it's indeed plausibly a better game with 3.

Board Game: Outpost

image by evilone

1x _8_ Outpost (31 total plays)

(TTS) Son #2 agreed to help test my cleaned-up-after-Wednesday's code. Found some bugs too; so very thankful for his help. Sadly, the game wasn't terribly close: everything broke for me, so he had rather little hope. At least the new automation makes it fast: I think this was ~20m from end to end.


With the Lunch@work group:
Board Game: Electropolis

image by smoox

2x _7⅓_ Electropolis New!

(TTS) It's quite clever; definitely enjoyed it. Should have paid more careful attention to the scoring rubric in the second of these, though: I took my eye off the proverbial goal and ended with a lovely pollution-free city, even though that (pleasant as it might be) sub-goal wasn't rewarded. Oops. I'll do better next time.

Board Game: Hakenschlagen

image by W Eric Martin

1x _6⅔_ Hakenschlagen New!

(TTS) This was silly fun. Fast, random, and pretty harmless. I found that even the take-that bits could be forgiven because of that first virtue: it didn't overstay its welcome.


With the Wednesday night gang:
Board Game: Outpost

image by evilone

1x _8_ Outpost (30 total plays)

(TTS) Eric's gang had had a bunch of (very helpful) suggestions as to how the automation could be cleaned up. So I'd implemented a bunch of them. And then polished the rough edges enough that I was pretty sure it'd play without surgery.

Turned out that the Wednesday gang had still more suggestions (though more of a 'this could be tweaked' sense than Eric's Gang's 'if you did <this thing> differently, it'd be better'. And don't get me wrong: delighted for both kinds of feedback.) So I had a bunch of cleanups to do.

I think the net result is pretty sensible. But that may include a whole bunch of self-delusion; we'll see.


Owned-and-unplayed: 1 (+0/-0)
Owned-and-played-once: 98 (+0/-0)

Outlook for the week: I'll hope to play a few games this week. And hopefully something with son #2: he's heading off to college next weekend (the school promises Very Low Density in the dorms; we'll see, I guess) and so I won't have an enthusiastic in-house game partner for (much of) the remainder of the year.
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13. Board Game: Claim [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1431] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Board Game: Claim
Alison Mandible
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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Board Game: Cosmic Encounter Duel
Board Game: The Builders: Middle Ages
Board Game: Potion Explosion
Board Game: Dominion
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
Board Game: Chakra
Board Game: Claim


 5   Cosmic Encounter Duel x2 NEW!
This is just so wildly chaotic that i am having trouble enjoying it. Maybe one more try before moving it along? It did seem as if in both of our games, the person who played their alien power better won, suggesting more of a 'master the chaos' vibe than just 'anything can happen!' But i still didn't love it, despite my long tortured attachment to Cosmic Encounter.

 7   The Builders: Middle Ages x2 (3 all-time)
i'm enjoying this a surprising amount as a Splendor-like. Maybe one day i will even like Splendor. it's an engine builder where you have to run your engine at top speed while building it, instead of revving for a long time and then zooming away. (To wit: playing multiple worker cards to the same project in a turn is penalized, so you want to have multiple projects in progress, at least for the first half of the game.)

 9   Potion Explosion x2 (15 all-time)
Maybe cooling off on this a little as we approach the skill ceiling. Looking at the dispenser to guess what marbles you might be able to take next turn isn't too much fun.

 10   Dominion (243 all-time)
 10   Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends (579 all-time)
 7   Chakra (4 all-time)
i'm also cooling on Chakra a little as S requests back-to-back plays of it on BGA. it's not varying enough from game to game. But online gaming almost demands a different rating system-- with the investment to try it so low, i would recommend (7-ishly) that anyone who likes this sort of thing try it. i just also might (5-ishly) now be indifferent to whether i play it any more.

 7   Claim x4 NEW!
S and i have a growing habit of playing short games over a bowl of ice cream before bed most nights when we don't have the time or energy for anything longer. i'd been curious about this one despite not being excited by most Scott Almes games that i've tried so far. and it's fun! The fact that phase 1 is less like trick-taking and more like bidding on the cards for phase 2 is a nice touch. (The fact that half of what you're bidding on are blind card draws, and so you can lose a trick but get a superior card, is unsatisfying. i have trouble remembering that if the face-up card is a 5, we both know the face-down card is almost as likely to be better as to be worse, so the cards we play should reflect our near-indifference to winning it.)

Anyway, this was a hoot. Maybe not a classic, but a hoot. it's also maybe the first relatively normal trick-taking game we've played? Can that be right? i already knew in the abstract that S used to play a ton of trick-taking games, as contrasted with my childhood training in climbing games, but my awareness was very much raised as she trounced me.
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14. Board Game: A Feast for Odin [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:22]
Board Game: A Feast for Odin
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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Last week's plays:

|9| A Feast for Odin (+Lofoten, Orkney, and Tierra del Fuego)
-8- Roll for the Galaxy (+Ambition, Rivalry, Terraforming Colony/Diversified Economy New!)
-7- Dizzle
-7- To Market!
-5- Fische angeln

I haven't had much time for gaming recently as we've been preparing to put our house on the market. That has involved packing up many boxes of games to store with Kate's parents and make the place look less cluttered. After the listing went up, I soon heard from a friend saying one of their friends messaged them to ask "have you seen this house full of boardgames?!" Nobody looking round has mentioned them, though.

We managed to fit in a quick Dizzle and Roll for the Galaxy. The one big game this week was A Feast for Odin. We haven't played it for months so it took longer than usual. It's a game where you really need to push yourself to achieve a high score, taking on liabilities in the hope that the rewards you can unlock from them can be turned into profits. I was rusty and risk-averse this time; I should have stretched further to make better use of my cattle stocks. It was a rare game where animal husbandry made sense for me – the occupations I drew gave me extra breeding opportunities and bonuses for doing so. Kate was equally out of practice and our scores ended up being fairly close.
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15. Board Game: Prague: The Empty Triumph [Average Rating:8.69 Overall Rank:6434]
Board Game: Prague: The Empty Triumph
All weekend in sunny hot Prague with few other tourists. Too hot for me but a stunning city that oozes Zentraleuropa. All plays were with Lærke:

9  Greed x2 (77 all-time)
8  TOKYO METRO (4 all-time)
9  Throne and the Grail x3 (62 all-time)
7  Splendor x2 (52 all-time)
7  The Rose King x2 (3 all-time)

Unfortunately, our friends from Vienna never made it Prague. They were packed and ready to go and just checked the Norwegian government's travel restrictions regarding Covid and found that they had put Czechia on the orange list that morning. Since they had a 2 week trek in northern Norway a few days afterwards that meant they couldn't come


That also meant no Abluxxen and American Bookshop Card Game which I had brought to play with them. Just 2p games with Lærke. A mix of our regular travel fare (Splendor, Greed and Throne and the Grail) with a new game for Lærke (The Rose King) which she likes but also knows she won't keep liking. She did win one of these two plays so perhaps that attitude might change. We only brought one larger more involved game because we knew we'd be knackered - and we were. Especially towards the end of the trip so Tokyo Metro only got played once on our 3rd night of the trip. It is clearly from best at 2 but we enjoy it nonetheless.



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16. Board Game: Memoir '44: Winter Wars [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44: Winter Wars
John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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7  Memoir '44 (84 all-time)

More M44. This time we played the first of four breakthrough scenarios covering the Battle of the Bulge. About halfway through I was down 6-1 and we almost called it. However, I was determined to try and make a game of it and ended up winning 11-8, thanks in large part to the breakthrough deck which allowed me to set up big armor pushes in the center and right flanks. In so doing I was able to push D out of the city, exposing him to blistering tank fire.

I think the Winter Wars via Breakthrough may be my favorite way to play M44. The rules make range far more difficult (dropping from 50% per die to 16%), encouraging close combat and armor overruns. Sessions are longer and end up being far more about maneuvering and timing assaults.

This weekend I don’t expect to play anything as my wife and I are sneaking away for a long weekend at the beach. It is our 15th anniversary this year; been together 18yrs. I’m looking forward to many walks on the beach, dinners overlooking the ocean, and exploring the nearby dunes.
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