A Gamer's Holiday in Chicago
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Well, it turned out to be a pretty good visit with family this holiday season: weather wasn't too bad (for Chicago, at least); the drive was relatively easy; got to go to Medieval Times; kids behaved themselves (for the most part); had some good "Rock Band" jam sessions, and we got to play quite a few games!

Didn't get to do anything "heavy" (TI3, Conquest of the Empire, Arkham Horror, etc), but that's OK - am hoping to scratch that itch a little this weekend...
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1. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Introduced this to a few more people and everyone seemed to enjoy it pretty well.
 
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2. Board Game: Monsters Menace America [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:3223]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Got to play a couple 3 player games of this. ALWAYS a good time!!!
 
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3. Board Game: The Game of Life (40th Anniversary Edition) [Average Rating:4.48 Overall Rank:15267]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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This is the best simulation of real life I've ever played... Seriously - just the other day I payed an entertainer $10k to organize my birthday party...

However, this game is just dying for an expansion, like an alternate track where you get to work at a video rental store and live with your parents your whole life, or an optional rule that let's you send your kids off to the military so you can get them the G.I. Bill (hence avoiding paying lots of college tuition), or losing all your money in a "Ponze" (sp?) scheme...
 
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4. Board Game: UNO Attack! [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:14982]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Only played this once (thankfully). Nothing against UNO - it's just not my favorite kind of game. Was pretty cool, though, how the cards shoot out at you, and how you get to make fun of people that get a whole boatload of cards vomited out to them at once.
 
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5. Board Game: GolfMania [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:14755]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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The same guy that did Twilight Imperium did THIS?!?!?!?!

Pretty fun game, though - definitely like it better than ACTUAL golf...
 
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6. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6055]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Had a suprisingly good time playing this one (I don't play "party" games that often, and have never played this one). Despite the fact that my wife did an EXCELLENT job making an engine piston out of clay and sketching a few pictures, we still lost... I did learn, however, that she can't draw trees to save her life...

Highlights of the game:

1) My wife's pathetic attempts to portray a clam (although I eventually got it, my initial thoughts were of a pregnant inchworm climbing vertically up a tree);

2) My wife and bro-in-law (separately, mind you) trying to pantomime "missionaries"...
 
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7. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:757]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Had a great 5-player game of this. Honestly - the fact that I was the "banker" had NOTHING to do with my winning the game... It was close, though, with my boy and bro-in-law having 37 talents to my 38 talents, and my other bro-in-law had 42 talents, but he had ONE MORE CORRUPTION than two other players, so of course he was crocodile food!!! Would have liked to get another play in with the other side of the family, but we were busy playing Rock Band...
 
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8. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:82]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Not technically a part of my Chicago trip, since I started another online session while still at home. But, I was technically on vacation for the holidays, so I guess I can still put it on the list...

This game is not going well AT ALL for the Free Peoples (me, this time). Although Rohan managed to take out Saruman in a "blitzkreig", Gondor's gambit to seize Mount Gundabad (which was defended by just one orc regular) failed miserably (I missed like half a dozen chances to roll just one stinking "6"). So, I was unable to get 4 VPs, and of course Isengard armies recaptured Orthanc. So, I'm left with a fellowship stuck just north of Lorien (used all of my dice to try for my military victory) and a Shadow player with like 5 VPs.

Looks like happy days for Sauron on the horizon whenever I get around to finishing...
 
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9. Board Game: A Dog's Life [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:12395]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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One 3-player game of this fun little title. Had a good time as usual. Played to 3 bones, vice 4, to keep the time down. Am thinking of house-ruling the dog catcher truck, though - seems like we spend way too much time in the pound. I like the whole dog catcher and pound facet of the game - it just happens so often that it bogs things down.
 
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10. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:533] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Stephen Sekela
United States
Camp Lejeune
North Carolina
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Played this twice - both very good games. Zombies won first game with the "Burn 'em Out" scenario, while the heroes managed successfully to get out of town in the truck for the second game.

Introduced two of my bro-in-laws to this game. Although we've played lots of games with them over the past few years, this one really seemed to grab their attention, and one of them even started using BGG and other gaming company websites as a result. Am hoping that he'll register on this site and get into a game group at college! Of course, my wife is quite dismayed by the fact that one of her bros is falling fast into the dark world of "super-geekness" devil
 
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