Games Played at Unity Games XIV on Sat Jan 26th (in Wakefield, MA)
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Has been the tradition... add or comment on games you played at UG-14!

Thanks again to the UG steering committee once again for another great day (15 hours for some!) of open gaming!!!

http://www.unitygames.org/
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1. Board Game: Crude: The Oil Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1756]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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I arrived around 11:30am or so and after taking care of delivering my math trade items, this was my 1st game of the 6 total I played.

This is a very long out of print and hard to find game, so a big thank you to Andy (?) for bringing this and teaching it to us.

It's a nice combination of a building/production and an economic game.

We played a 4 player game. It's a relatively easy game to play. Some folks may complain about the luck of the dice rolls (for production), but it can be mitigated as each person has their own play area so can choose where to build their equipment. I also liked the way that down time is minimized because on the players turns to your right and left, you can produce or sell as well.

Would love to see a reprint!
 
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2. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:665]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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My 2nd game of the day, and my 2nd and last game that was new to me.

A nice translation of the boardgame to a card game. Plays much faster (a lot less A.P.), obviosly lighter, and less "take that" as the provost always costs money to move.

Our game ended with only one person having had the time to build a blue building.
 
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3. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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3rd game of the day. Asher and I took on a young couple who had never played before, one of whom almost took the win!

In the end however I took the win with the goods/elephant path to victory, even after I had to endure 3 hard fought battles and ended the game with almost no cards (my game end card bonus was only 3).

Definitely a classic, the Good Doctor really knows how to cook up some good ones!
 
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4. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:206]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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My 4th game of the day.

I just realized 1/3 of the games I played at UG-14 were designed and originally published before 1974!

It was a 6 player game, as there were 3 Robert's player (a Rob, Bob, and a Robert), in addition to myself, Jamie, and Annie.

It was also an unusual game for me as Bob and I both ended up running out of cash and never being able to get in on a merger to get some much needed cash. On top of that, I ended the game with a merger that made all companies being on the board and all of them being "safe" (with tiles still left in the bag as well).

That final merger however took me from being in 1 of the 2 worse positions in the game (never getting in on a merger during the whole game prior to that), to being able to collect several majority shareholder payouts and shares that rocketed me in this unusually low scoring game (I think I won with just around 37,500).
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5. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:442]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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my 5th and almost last game of the day.

After Acquire we were still 6 players so after almost getting Power Grid to the table, we settled on this "classic" (though only 13 years old vs. Acquire/McMulti).

The two new players (Jamie and Annie) took 1st and 2nd place. Another good one also from the Good Doctor (Reiner Knizia)
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6. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Jeff Michaud
United States
Longwood
Florida
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My 6th and last game of the day. Talk about timing, we finished at 11:55pm!

Also a relatively unusual ending (at least of the games I played) where the game ender was a player built all their post offices, even though it didn't give them the win.

And that was it for me! Thanks again everyone!
 
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7. Board Game: Vineta [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:2946]
Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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No picture for this one yet. I was in on a very chaotic 5-player game of this one during the afternoon. From what I understand, it is not yet released in the US (and no decision has been made for sure on that yet), but it was shown previously in Germany. This was the only game I played at Unity that I had not played before. This was certainly my least favorite of all the games I played at Unity. I played a total of 10 games this time.

Other games I played:

Gipsy King (x2)
Settlers of Catan
Santiago (x2)
Vikings
New England
To Court the King
Boomtown


 
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8. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Jonathan
United States
Maitland
Florida
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The new hot game. Everywhere I went, I saw someone playing it. Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of San Juan (or Puerto Rico), I gave Race a shot. I was hooked fast; I played three games! It does feel as though Race has lifted rules from those other games, but it clicks together here in a way that I enjoyed. Role selection is fun, and everyone can take the same role if the want. Strategies seem very draw-dependant, but what do you expect, it's a card game. Military strategies seem powerful, and a few times I wished that there was some way to influence or harm an obvious leader, but I definitely think I'll be coming back to Race again.
 
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9. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1031]
Jonathan
United States
Maitland
Florida
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Finally I got We the People to the table! It was surprisingly fun and well-balanced, considering it was the first CDWG. I lost a tight game to Matt's British. Good thing I wasn't in charge of the Revolution! On the other hand, things were starting to swing my way, and I think if I had one more turn, I might have been able to make a comeback.
 
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10. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:411]
Jonathan
United States
Maitland
Florida
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The first game of the day! I just purchased Mr. Jack, and had read the rules but hadn't yet had a chance to play. I watched a game, and then gave it a try. I can see playing a lot of this quick, fun game.
 
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11. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:215]
Josh
United States
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I finally got to play this one, which had been at the top of my list because of its reputation as an Ameritrash classic and proto-Euro. We had prearranged a six player game. I was the Emperor, Pronoblem was the Guild, Eked was the Bene Gesserit, Monday Bio was the Atreides, ScottH was the Harkonnen, and rocketwiki was the owner of the game and played the Fremen. We were lucky enough to play on the beautiful wooden board that is depicted here. Many thanks to the board's owner, who I assume was dfontes.

ScottH was the only person who had played before. Everyone thought I was rich with Spice, but actually the Guild had all my money because I had to pay him to transport. One the 8th turn a Nexus finally developed, and I allied with the Guild, allowing me to transport lots of armies for free, and we took the win.

I can see why this game is so storied. It's not a game about grand plans, but rather being extremely opportunistic. I'd love to play again with all the advanced rules. I felt bad for the Fremen, who seemed too poor to do much during the game, and a reading of the advanced rules seems like it would buff them substantially.

Again, I had a great time!
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12. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
pronoblem baalberith
United States
Pleasantville
Massachusetts
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What happened? Everyone I spoke to said "I did not bring mine because I expected there to be a couple boards already there". I or someone in my group needs to get this... soon. Matt, I'm talking to you. If you don't, this might be my birthday present to self.
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13. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:314]
Richard Pakpreo
United States
Cambridge
MA - Massachusetts
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Like the above item, There wasn't any PitchCar this year either. That was very disappointing.
 
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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Thomas Richardson
United States
Winchester
Massachusetts
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My son and I arrived early so played a game of Babel while waiting for the doors to open. I really wanted to try Agricola, and we got into the first teaching session. Thanks to Geoff Speare for doing such a good job of explaining how to play the game. My son tied for first, and I was third with three fewer points than the winners. I look forward to playing again with the more advanced rules.

We also played a 5-player Bootleggers (2nd place for me and third for my son), a 4-player Race for the Galaxy (I tied first with my son and won on the tie-breaker ), and 5-player Kingsburg (first place for me and second for my son).

All in all we had a great time, and thanks to the organizers for their hard work.
 
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15. Board Game: Key Harvest [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1310]
Phil Alberg
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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I taught this game to Kira, Todd, and Michael. Unlike my previous sessions, the events did not come up right away, but rather they trickled in early and then came all at once at the end. I must have had a dozen or so tiles on my board by the time the 7th event occurred.

I did well early on in forming a 7-tile field, and for a while I didn't have a second field. But fate was smiling on me, as a cluster appeared in the registry, and I was able to pounce on it. Kira did well in creating cascading situations in that her new field tiles seemed to always get placed over existing workers, thereby giving her the opportunity to re-place the worker and gain a benefit. However, she never was able to place any 4pt or 5pt workers.

Todd placed the first 4pt and 5pt workers in the game, and cornered the market in three goods by game end. But his second-largest field was rather small (1 tile?). Kira and I each had 4-tile second fields. Mike struggled throughout the game, as his fields were crammed between other players' fields. I took the win (16pt workers, 7pt field1, 8pt field2). Final scores were something like: 31, 27, 25, 16.
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16. Board Game: Jinx [Average Rating:3.73 Unranked]
Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
United States
Natick
MA
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Ok, this game was pretty pointless but since I had already been playing games for 12 hours, pointlessness is just what I wanted! Plus, my opponent and owner of the game, Michael, was a blast to spend 20 minutes with. Trash talking over a complete luck fest, huzzah!
 
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17. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Jim K.
United States
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Had a nice time playing this in the teaching area late morning (thanks to Csigs for the excellent job as instructor). Clearly a game that requires a lot of planning and careful action management. Four of us were crushed by a very young man who did an excellent job filling up his palazzo and producing nice works. I thought I'd do well by acquiring several jesters on the cheap but squandered them on low-value early works, neglected to get enough Professions or Recruitment cards, and ran out of steam.
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18. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1974]
Dom L
United States
Maine
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I opened my morning with this; Joe Sequino provided the instruction. The rules were simple and easy to grasp. When wolper asked me about it later, I commented that it was "like Go (which it isn't, really), or Through the Desert" (which I've never played). Helpful, right?

I knew it felt familiar, and when thinking about it later, I determined what I should have said: Hey, That's My Fish!. There's the initial placement of all your pieces on the board and cutting off other players' pieces while trying to keep your pieces free to roam and score. A quick scan of personal comments here on BGG shows I'm not alone. Hey, That's My Fish! has you scoring on every turn while Terra Nova has you walling in areas that score when they're cut off from the rest of the board.

It wasn't a bad way to kick off the day; I enjoyed the game, but this will probably be my only taste of it. I don't mind Hey, That's My Fish! because it goes so quickly, but Terra Nova runs around twice as long and feels so similar that I don't know if the differences are enough to justify the extra time to myself. Were I in the mood, I think I just might prefer to play two games of Hey, That's My Fish! over one game of Terra Nova.
 
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19. Board Game: Cowboys: The Way of the Gun [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3977]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Once again I had a great time at Unity Games. My day started off teaching The Princes of Florence (see #17 above).

After that I tried recruiting people for Age of Steam but I wasn't finding any takers. I saw Brain Bentson (who had been in my Princes of Florence game) recruiting people for Cowboys. I've been a little interested in this game and decided to check that out instead.

We played a 'jail break' scenario. I randomly drew the role of sheriff and it was the job of my deputy and myself to keep the gang of four outlaws from breaking their leader out of jail and high-tailing it out of town. We squeaked out a narrow win! The outlaws managed to free their boss AND kill both the sheriff and deputy ... but fortunately one of the good citizens of the town under our control was able to gun down the wounded outlaw as he tried to limp away ...

I found the game to be pretty excellent. I wasn't expecting a detailed simulation and got a nice, streamlined, quick-moving dice & combat game. It reminded me a lot of Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game except even smoother (fewer cards and exceptions), a little less random (movement points rather than roll and move) and with a theme that's more interesting to me (although obviously that's subjective). This is a 'must buy' for me now.

Other games I got to play included Kingsburg, No Thanks!, David & Goliath, Augsburg 1520 and Condottiere.

Looking forward to Unity Games XV!
 
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20. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Played with the Western Expansion map.

This game was prearranged with 5 players, including myself, going into the day. We picked up 2 additional players on site and almost had an eigth. So an almost full game. All the players were experienced, but some had not played recently. I thought the game went very smoothly. With a couple of breaks we finished up at supper time. We actually ended early once we realized that the Cretian player had wnough points to go out 2 squares before he needed them on the AST. We check points and it was obvious he would win, unless we managed to eliminate all his cities. So we agreed to move onto other games.

I wasn't sure that I would be able to pull an epic game like this off at a Unity games day. I would like to thank all of the players once again.

ps: I'm signed up to play this on Thursday night at Total Confusion. I hope to have as good a game as this one was.
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21. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:893]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Played with the Vexation expansion.

This was played while waiting for my Adv Civ players to assemble.
 
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22. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Another year, another support drive, another silly Over text
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The only game that I played that was new to me. This was an alright filler. I wouldn't mind playing it but could think of other games that I would prefer in that roll.
 
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23. Board Game: New England [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1694]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Another year, another support drive, another silly Over text
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This was the first time that I have gotten to play this in quite some time. This was played with one of my regular gaming buddies and 2 new players. This was a fun game.

In hindsight I really should have taken both pilgrims the first round rather than diversifying into pilgrims and ships.
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24. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Scott Pizio
United States
Fall River
Massachusetts
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Another year, another support drive, another silly Over text
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After playing New England we kept the same group for Race for the Galaxy. With the table again being split the same way with people new to the game and those who had played it before. My friend Jay got to explain this one as it is currently at the top of his hot list. It was just as well as he is better at explaining games anyway. While the game may seem a little daunting at first it usually doesn't take long to catch. Before long we had completed 3 games of this and the night was winding down. I had a long drive ahead of me and work in the morning. No rest for the weary, snore, but all in all the day was well worth the trip.

The first game was close with all players in the running and the second was a tie between Jay and I (I took it on the tie breaker).
 
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25. Board Game: Restaurant [Average Rating:4.95 Overall Rank:13985]
pronoblem baalberith
United States
Pleasantville
Massachusetts
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Is it just me or do my balls itch?
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This game does not have an entry in BGG... one of my game group wrote a review of the Sheraton's Restaurant J. Witherspoon as a game session:

http://www.hardcore-ludography.com/?p=167
 
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