Alternate Boardgames (Conn) -- December 6, 2008
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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This was a bit of a landmark Alternate Boardgames event! We said goodbye to a long time friend, met a new young gamer, hosted a very special guest and Joe Gola almost died. What fun!

Those in attendance included Erik (IronMaidenX), Rich (RichCsigs), Mark (Csigs), Matt (MattCsigs), Peter (peterm), Jessie, Don (DSutherland), Lisa(LisaMC2), Charlie (Kartafilos), Star (starfix), Brian B. (Umber), Marshall (mdp4828), Chris B., Dennis (Zen Blade), Peg, Eric (amazingintern), Cameron (CameronL), Anthony, Joe G. (Gola), Joe L. (joelee), Chris K., Paula (peewog), Laura, Brian and Paul (paulhawkins).

Our next Alternate Boardgames event is scheduled for Saturday, January 2nd. Hope you can make it (if you're not too hung over)!

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 November event.
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Mark Casiglio
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We've hosted out-of-state guests at Alternate Boardgames before, but this one was extra special for me.

Back in January of 2006 I was a recently de-lurking poster here on Board Game Geek when I read the geeklist "The Night My Game Group EXPLODED!" by Marshall P. I was impressed with his story and thought to myself this was something my brother and I could do. My brother is manager for a small comic book store chain in CT agreed this was something we could set up. One of the first things I did was write to Marshall and asked him a lot of questions. Marshall was great, giving both encouragement and sound advice and in less than two months we were up and running (check it out!)

Now, almost three years later Marshall took it an extra step further and travelled all the way out here to Connecticut just to make sure things were still going smoothly!

Okay really he was in the area on business and it was just a coincidence that AB was meeting but I like my story better.

Marshall also passed his BGG Coin on to me which was very cool. Glad to be a part of the project! And I intend to bring it to Unity Games in February so there'll be plenty of opportunity for it to travel further.
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2. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:26]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Star suggested Through the Ages on our pre-event e-mail list and immediately had Brian B. and Charlie on board. This game is one of my favorites and I was always interested in hearing the goings-on ... and I also know from direct experience what a tough opponent Charlie can be.

Charlie: 180
Star: 115
Brian B.: 107
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3. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Peter had asked for Galaxy Trucker on the same list so I made sure it was available. I warned it wasn't a game I'd be able to teach, though ... Luckily Lisa stepped forward and taught the game expertly (with a little research help on the side from Don).

I was originally going to sit in on this game, but I admit it's not one of my favorites so when Marshall arrived (and with Chris B. wandering around with no game) I politely excused myself ... which also freed up a seat for Jessie who originally said she just wanted to watch. Maybe she should have stayed with that. Don't worry Jessie, I've had scores like that too.

Lisa: 71
Peter: 33
Don: 25
Jessie: 4
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4. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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My son Matt was content to sit and play with his Nintendo DS, but I wanted to get him involved in something before the heavier games came out so I picked up his favorite game and asked Marshall and Chris B. to join us.

I should have paid attention to the title of the game ... I found myself completing the 12 track, and with the 8 track already in hand and one step away from sealing up the 10s (and the game) I decided to hold off and lock in my rolls. That just encouraged everyone else to push the envelope and Chris (who already locked up the 11 track) just kept rolling and rolling, sealing up both the fives and the sixes for the win!
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5. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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After Can't Stop Marshall, Chris B. and I pulled out Dominion. Marshall and I have very similar opinions of the game; a strong "like" and respect but not quite the same excitement ex-CCG players seem to have.

I wish I took better notes about the card combos that were available, but I know I went with the same overall approach I bring to the game; sure, pick up a few interesting action cards but upgrade those coppers to silver and gold!

I pulled out to what was likely a big lead in the first game, but Marshall gave me a fright with his closing maneuver, which gave him multiple buys and a fistful of coin ... which lead to multiple vp cards. Fortunately for me it wasn't enough.

Mark: 42
Marshall: 37
Chris B.: 18

In the second game I remember that my key card was the Spy (combined with another action card that was giving me two cards and a bonus action). I'm not sure I was hurting my opponents so much as those extra actions and cards were helping me get plenty of coin into my hand.

Mark: 40
Chris B.: 28
Marshall: 24
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6. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Another reason this was a landmark AB event is because it marked the last time we'd see Dennis before his big move to Atlanta. This isn't Pandemic, of course ... it's Dennis (right) along with Joe Gola and Paul Denhup* kicking my butt at In the Shadow of the Emperor. But "getting my butt kicked" is how I'm going to typically remember gaming with Dennis.

In Pandemic, however it was the game kicking OUR butts. I was the Dispatcher, Matt was the Ops Expert, Dennis was the Researcher and Chris B. the Medic. We foolishly chose the 'hard' setting, but in actuality we were cooking along pretty well. We had red and yellow both cured, but blue and black were spreading rapidly. This actually led to a heated discussion of treating cubes vs. trading cards for the cure ... but all our discussions were for naught when yet another epidemic pushed our outbreak limit over the top.

Sorry world!


*Speaking of which, Denhup when the heck are you getting back to a game night?
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7. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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Meanwhile, Lisa and Don lured Marshall into some hot three-way farming action.

Lisa: 40
Don: 28
Marshall: 25
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8. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:789]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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After Pandemic Chris B., Dennis and I played Condottiere. I was a little leery of a three-player game (as I prefer this with larger numbers), but our battles were tense. Dennis pulled out to a quick lead with three adjacent provinces before we could wrest control of the Condottiere from him. Then I pulled a head with five total (but non-adjacent) provinces. Chris was holding his own but couldn't quite challenge the lead.

It finally came down to a province that would give the win to either Dennis or I if either one of us took it. I was holding a hand full of mercenary cards with hardly any specials. Unfortunately Chris put out a Winter card early pretty much marginalizing my hand. I stuck with it for a little while, but Chris was going at Dennis aggressively and finally I decided to back off ... assuming Chris could win and that I should play for a strong position in the next hand.

Unfortunately that's not how it worked out at all. Shortly after I bowed out, Chris threw in the towel and Dennis was the winner with four adjacent provinces.
 
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9. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Hey, Dominion came out a few more times! That last score looks like it has a story to go with it ...

Chris K.: 40
Lisa: 38
Dennis: 28
Don: 26

Chris K.: 23
Dennis: 22
Don: 21
Lisa: 18

Lisa: 44
Chris K.: 43
Don: 15
 
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10. Board Game: Municipium [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2080]
 
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Gola brought Municipium and taught it to Eric, Keith and Joe Lee. This is a game I'm very interested in trying, but I had already committed to another. I'm sure there will be opportunity. I don't have scores but Gola told me "Keith won and I lost" with a very sad face.
 
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11. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Paula, Laura and Brian arrived. I thought they'd like Can't Stop, but I was involved in another game so Cameron took over and taught it for them. Seeing his favorite game come out, Matt joined. Brian was the winner.
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12. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Pandemic came out again with Marshall, Peg, Brian and Star. I didn't get a result but I presume the game won. It usually does.
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Race for the Galaxy came out (with the Gathering Storm expansion). There's a shocker. From the notes left it looks like there were two games ...

Don: 37/01 (tiebreaker?)
Charlie: 37/00
Lisa: 16

Charlie: 42
Lisa: 41
Don: 30
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14. Board Game: Prophecy [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1434]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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Chris B., Peg, Cameron and I pulled out Prophecy ... in keeping with what was apparently an "All-Vlaada Chvátil" theme for game night. Actually Chris had asked about it ahead of time and the suggestion came up during early games but I delayed, feeling that Peg the old-school Talisman fan would want to try it. I was right!

Cam also jumped in the game. He also brought his 11-year old son Anthony to game night ... although Anthony chose to just watch and comment rather than play. Next time we're getting you into a game, Anthony!

I played the Paladin, Peg chose the Spell Blade, Chris was the Druid and Cam the Mercenary.

Chris got off to a strong start and was sporting multiple items and skills while Peg, Cam and I kind of struggled for a while. At one point Chris' Druid was out-muscling my Paladin by two strength points. Yikes! Eventually things heated up for the rest of us, but not much after Chris was taking his second artifact and the game.

Given the way our game started I'm more than ever determined to try a willowisp's fast start variant with starting kits for the individual characters.
 
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15. Board Game: Sluff Off! [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1027]
 
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Joe G., Joe L., Eric and Keith played Die Sieben Siegel ... but I don't have any scores.
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16. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
CT
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Brian B., Star, Marshall and Paula got into Stone Age. This was Paula's first play. Quite possibly her first worker placement game! Star eked out a narrow win.

Star: 200
Brian: 197
Marshall: 136
Paula: 132
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17. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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I know Dominion came out one more time ... I want to say with Gola, Joe L. and maybe Keith or Chris K.? It didn't make it into my notes.
 
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18. Board Game: Wildlife Safari [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1299]
Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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Several hands of Loco closed out the night with myself, Matt, Brian and with Paula and Laura swapping out on the fourth seat.

Mark: 20
Matt: 18
Brian: 16

Paula: 17
Mark: 16
Matt: 13
Brian: 8

Mark: 25
Paula: 21
Brian: 21
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Mark Casiglio
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Ansonia
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The final game we got to play that night was the "OMG Driving Home In the Unexpected Snowstorm Game", which Gola harrowingly documented in the above thread (maybe he should have left the Moosehead Ale at home).

emoticon added to emphasize silliness

I was rather worried about those who drive a long distance like Joe, Brian B. and Star. I was especially concerned for Marshall as we all know Kansas is sunny and warm all year round.
 
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20. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Don Sutherland
United States
Connecticut
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This came out a second time, this time with Lisa, JoeL, Eric and myself as Eric wanted to give it a try. It was the first play for Joe and Eric, as was apparent and is always apparent in the first flight, where Eric nicely had shields, but lacked batteries.

The second one turned out to be a detour through a few asteroid belts (wasn't my fault, i wasn't navigating). As a result many of our ships took some some damage. In fact i'm not sure that if it was much longer if i would have made it, but i managed to get back with enough points and goods to counter all the damage i had taken. Joe and Eric made up a bunch this round if i remember correctly, having faired better in the asteriods.

The last round Joe was all set to speed through open space, too bad there wasn't much. He ended up losing all his pilots and didn't finish the leg. I had lots of people and goods and came out on the end, but Lisa was still ahead. I had my best game ever somewhere in the 50's but Lisa was up above 70. I don't remember the others scores.
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