Alternate Boardgames (Conn) -- October 4, 2008
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Last night we had a great Alternate Boardgames event! Again we had a few new faces and some great games came out. One table was still going strong at 1:00 a.m. when I left! Those in attendance included Rich (RichCsigs), Mark C. (Csigs), Matt C. (MattCsigs), Dustin (ZargonDDG), Chris, Star (starfix), Ben (brdparker), Francie (mowgli95), Seneca, Alan (Alan Stern), Steve (Skadar), Matt L. (Matt Loter), Carl (Carl), Joe (Gola), Keith (Orph), Tyler (soxxes), Peg, Eric (HSeldon) and Mark B.

Our next Alternate Boardgames event is scheduled for Saturday, November 1st. Hope you can make it! Bring your leftover Halloween candy!

If you're interested in keeping tabs on that and other Alternate Boardgames discussions and announcements feel free to visit and join our Yahoo group (click here). All are welcome!

To view and join the Alternate Boardgames BGG Guild, click here.

Click here to check out a geek list recap of our September event ... penned in my absence by Eric "Snickerdoodle" Paradis! Have I mentioned that he turned 40 just recently?
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1. Board Game: Château Roquefort [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1081]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Early Games

Matt C., Dustin and myself were the first three to arrive. I'd been itching to play Chateau Roquefort and felt my son Matt would like it. Yeah, it's a children's game ... but not only is it something I'd love to play with kids; it's good enough that I want to play it even when there aren't kids around. Even though it's a simple game, it turns out I had a couple rules wrong. Sheesh, what a moron. We still had fun.

We each lost one mouse, but Dustin overcame that to be the first to four cheeses!
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2. Board Game: Prophecy [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1434]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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After mice and cheese, Dustin and I were joined by Star, Chris and Ben for Prophecy. I picked this game up from Z-Man himself back at ConnCon, and I'd been itching to play it, especially since watching the Board Games with Scott episode on the game.

For me, the game did not disappoint!! For a fantasy adventure game we kept things moving really fast, and it comes in a lot shorter than some of its brethren and to me, still offers a lot of the tactical and growth decisions that make the genre fun. As recommended in the BGWS episode we played for the 'shorter' end game condition of two artifacts.

I played the Mercenary character and lucked into the Berserker Axe early, which gave me some great strength bonuses. I was the first one to attack the Astral Plane and I did (easily) defeat the Sphynx. Unfortunately my greater guardian was the Storm Queen, and the FAQ we had printed out didn't include the correction so we were very confused by the card. We decided to treat it as a battle of wills followed by a battle of strength ... and there was no way I was going to be competitive in willpower!

I did end up collecting another artifact (the Banner of Hope), and was poised to gather a second on my next turn ... but Dustin the SpellBlade beat me to it when he defeated the Scaled Monster and collected his second artifact! Oh sure The Hammer of Thor got destroyed in the process but that was a small price to pay. Dustin played well but clearly the only reason he won was because he drew the Clover Meadow card. Broken!



But after learning about the Storm Queen misprint I filed a formal protest with the Prophecy League HQ so I expect Dustin's victory to be overturned soon.

I really liked this game. Our game did come in just a hair under three hours which is a little longer than I'd like ... BUT this was a five-player game where none of us had played before so I could see that time shrinking significantly with experienced players, especially if we cut it down to three or four.
 
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3. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Francie and her daughter Seneca arrived while we were playing Prophecy and decided to play some two-player Stone Age. Francie won, which she assures me is a big deal because Seneca usually beats her.
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4. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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"Crokinole Steve" arrived, and set up his board and engaged Alan in a few rounds.

The board would see a lot of action this night with Steve and Ben playing for a bit. Ben also played against Carl for quite a while, and even Francie and Seneca gave it a spin before leaving at the end of the evening.
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2055]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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After Stone Age Alan, Steve, Francie and Seneca all got together for Ticket to Ride the Card Game, with Alan teaching. Alan was also the winner.
 
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6. Board Game: Witch's Brew [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:679]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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After T2R, Alan also taught Witch's Brew (with Steve being replaced my Matt L.) Matt was also the winner, "stomping" the opposition!
 
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7. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Steve, Alan and Ben played some Race for the Galaxy, with Ben barely squeaking out a win. They were joined by Joe for a second game. I didn't get a winner but I have to assume it must have been Gola. Especially because this was his second time playing.
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8. Board Game: Colosseum [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:351]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Francie managed to get Colosseum on the table with Seneca, Carl and Star. Francie was the winner, and Seneca insisted that I point out that she was third. Okay.
 
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9. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:752]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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After Prophecy, Chris asked for Colossal Arena and taught the game to myself, Matt C. and Dustin. We were also joined by Matt L. The first round or two kind of confused me but I picked it up pretty quickly I guess since I was the winner.

Mark C.: 17
Chris: 14
Matt L.: 9
Dustin: 5
Matt C.: 4

We played a second game without Dustin (obviously because he was a coward). I played well again but Matt L. took me out on the tiebreaker.

Matt L.: 12
Mark C.: 12
Matt C.: 10
Chris: 9
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10. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Keith, Tyler and Dustin played some game called Agricola. This was Tyler's first play. I think I saw him crying.
 
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11. Board Game: Mille Bornes [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:6227]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Eric, Rich and Peg played Mille Bornes. Coup-fourre!
 
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12. Board Game: Mmm ... Brains! [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:14377]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Excited about the exclamation points, Joe taught this one to Steve, Ben and Alan.
 
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13. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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My son Matt C. was happy to see another one of his favorite games called. He was joined by Matt L. and Chris. Matt L. was the winner, but I understand it was close!
 
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14. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1000]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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After Can't Stop, Matt, Matt and Chris played some Guillotine. Chris and Matt C. tied for the victory with 28! Nicely done!
 
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15. Board Game: Pitch [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4063]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Ben also played Setback with Alan, Joe and Steve.
 
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16. Board Game: Hearts [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1536]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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I also know Carl taught Hearts to another group, but I'm missing the names in my notes.
 
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17. Board Game: Château Roquefort [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1081]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Chateau Roquefort came out again, this time with Francie, Seneca, Alan and Joe. The last time Joe played this game he got his butt kicked by a six-year old girl (pictured). I think he thought this time would go better because Seneca was "almost 13". Nope. Unfortunately Joe's persistent sobbing was bothering the rest of the gamers in the store, and I'm pretty sure I saw him stagger into the liquor store next door right after this game.
 
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18. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:422]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Quite possibly the most played game in Alternate Boardgames history ...

There had been requests for Betrayal at the House on the Hill before the game night ever started, and I promised to bring my copy of the game. Unfortunately I'm a moron and forgot to bring it! Quite fortunately Mark B. showed up late with his copy and had a full table in an instant, with Eric, Chris, Rich, Peg and Tyler.

I didn't get all the details of the scenario, but Peg was the traitor and was controlling bugs of some kind. She had the upper hand for quite a while and took out Eric and Rich ... but in the end the remaining heroes Chris, Tyler and Mark B. saved the day!

Would love to hear more about this game.
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19. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1241]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Meanwhile, I got to try my first game of Oasis. Keith was the teacher, and I understand we played a variant where we got to look at the cards we were offering (I understand it's usually a blind pull)? I liked it the way Keith taught it as it was fun to try to anticipate what other people would want and how to give out cards that wouldn't help your opponents too much.

I went in with a strategy of trying to grab a lot of multipliers early, but shortly into the game I started to panic about my board position and overcompensated. Still, I think my final score was respectable. At least compared to Star's.

Keith: 98
Dustin: 73
Mark C.: 69
Star: 54
 
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20. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Seneca, Francie, Alan and Joe traded beans over at the far table. With Joe crying so hard I could tell he got bested again. Seneca won again with 2 points over Joe!
 
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21. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:267]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Steve and Matt L. set up a 2-player Descent adventure and had at it!
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22. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Eric, Dustin, Mark B. and Peg took two tries at saving the world. They got their asses kicked both times!
 
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23. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:411]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Vegas Showdown came out on the back table with Tyler, Keith, Chris and Rich. Keith was the winner.
 
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24. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1833]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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When Carl suggested Beowulf, Joe perked right up. I know he likes the game and doesn't feel like he gets to play it enough. Alan and I joined them, and this was a first time play for Alan.

I felt like I was doing really well, but the last few encounters went disastrously for me. I knew I had no gold, and since every card I was holding was courage or fighting I was hoping on winning the 7vp in the battle against the dragon, before losing out in the other final two scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, my hand full of fighting and courage was barely enough to keep me from having to take the dragon bite (that was Carl). I still had to take the scratch, giving me my second wound and leaving me no gold or cards for the final scoring opportunity.

In what turned out to be good fortune for me, Alan and Joe went at it in an epic battle for the top prize and Alan eked out a win with a lucky risk from the deck. That risk ended up being the difference in the game, as Joe would have won if he'd taken the top prize against the dragon. And I was shocked that my stumble at the end hadn't cost me the game.

Mark C.: 31
Joe: 28
Alan: 23
Carl: 17

 
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25. Board Game: Aquädukt [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1933]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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After failing to save the world Eric, Peg and Mark B. decided to settle on irrigation instead.
 
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