qzhdad's 2008 Holiday Gaming Part II
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Continued from
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/38125

As the break started, our heroes, Russ, Alan and I were finishing up After the Flood on Monday morning, (Dec. 29th).

This adventure is concluded in
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/38289
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1. Board Game: Lumberjack [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:10132]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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We'd had a big wind Sunday morning and Lisa had been out to inspect the damage. We knew two good sized trees had fallen, but Lisa discovered that one was leaning heavily on a willow that we'd planted a few years ago. Fortunately the large new downed tree is leaning on a sturdier one, so nothing had to be done about it short term. There were actually a couple large chunks of wood on the willow in question. One was a complete (Emerald Ash Borer killed) ash that had snapped its roots and another smaller four inch or so branch from the larger tree. Of course, we'd returned the borrowed chain saw to my father-in-law a few weeks ago, so only had our trusty bow saw, a saw on a stick and loppers. I got started and after the game was picked up, Russ came out to help Lisa and me. We saved the willow with the loss of only a couple branches and called it a day's work.
 
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2. Board Game: Boulder On Board [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Scott Russell
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Clarkston
Michigan
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When I came downstairs after a shower, I saw two large boxes in the foyer, so we didn't waste any time getting them open. Boulder's one per sales really are a weakness of mine.
 
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne: Catapult [Average Rating:4.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:4.94 Unranked]
Scott Russell
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Clarkston
Michigan
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Vince joined us for a trial run of Catapulting chits. We were disappointed that we didn't get to fling meeples, but gave it a try. The catapult was not a large hit, but added a few laughs to the game. Even by the end of the game, none of us was particularly adept at putting the chits where we wanted. I don't think it's a variant that will get much use, Vince proved to be the ablest catapulter and/or best strategist.
 
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4. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1188]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Next up, we broke out this spicy game full of delicious appearing art. Vince, Russ and Alan patiently listened to my explaining the rules. This proved to be a fun tile placement game. Players attempt to get the correct ingredients in line to match their hidden recipes. In addition to placing ingredients, players can use action cards to stack, move or place two ingredients. Dishes that require three or more ingredients get wasabi cubes for style poimts if the ingredients are in the right order. Alan proved to be the ablest sushi chef.
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5. Board Game: Strozzi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1697]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Next, Vince decided to work with Lisa on my eldest daughter's senior pictures and H and Z decided to join us for the inagural try at this title. This is the third of the Medici, Medici and Strozzi series by the good doctor. I'd played and enjoyed this one a few years ago and it's still a good game. Ships are drawn one at a time and the players decide whether to claim and/or pirate them. Whoever takes over the ship decides which of three ports to place the ship. Ships have a speed, cargo and maybe a choice of special chips. Each player winds up with one ship at each port (at most). The goods are cumulative at each port and at Florence. After each round, money (VP) are awarded for the fastest three ships and the three leaders of goods in each port. At the end, each of the three categories of special chits pays out more VP. Most VP wins. It's a game that I look forward to playing more.
 
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6. Board Game: Fast Flowing Forest Fellers [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1780]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Ken showed up and the kids decided to take a break, so we broke out FFFF and played the suggested beginning setup. Ken managed to get his logrollers off the river first.
 
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7. Board Game: Ilium [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4646]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Ken is a sushi fan, too, so we played another game of Wasabi and Russ won with lots of size 2 recipes, then broke out another new Knizia. After sending our explorers out to dig up trasures, Alan proved to have the most impressive collection of artifacts.
Players take turns placing groups of archeologists and maybe supply tokens on various paths leading between randomly seeded treasure chambers. Whenever a path fills up, the lowest value treasures of each connected chamber are distributed usually to the two most represented players on the path. The game ends when four of the five colors have yielded their four value treasures and points are awarded for the most artifacts in each color and for sets of each color. Alan was tbe best digger that evening.
 
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8. Board Game: Black Sheep [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:3961]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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It was a Knizia kind of evening and we cracked the shrink on this simple poker inspired game of collecting farm animals to meet specific bonus criteria. Two bonusses are open and each player has one hidden one. After the animals have been collected by the winning poker hands, the goals are all exposed and resolved. Players also get between 1-3 points (negative for black sheep) for each animal corralled The player with the most points wins. I enjoyed it, but the other players' reactions ranged from meh to yech.
 
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9. Board Game: New World: A Carcassonne Game [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1729]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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We then broke out this Carc variant. Ken had played it once, but it was new to Russ, Alan and I. We did not use the variant suggested here and allowed finished featurest to be scored. As a result, many meeples were removed from play for no points and we had a long skinny continent when the last tile was placed. Experience paid this time and Ken finished as the most able settler.
 
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10. Board Game: Keltis [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1345]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Ken wanted to try this one and the rest of us were game. We explored the five areas of the board and this time inexperience paid as Ken beat us soundly. At this point, Ken headed home and the rest of us retired to dream of gaming.
 
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11. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Kevin called to get me out of bed about the time I said we'd already be gaming (9:45 or so) and I roused the troops with coffee. While we awaited Kevin's arrival, H, Alan, Russ and I played a game of this one. Kevin arrived and H decided that he didn't want to play this one five player and Kevin took his spot. He then proceeded to demonstrate exactly how to use a diversified economy.
 
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12. Board Game: Middle Kingdom [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:5418]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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To get back at Kevin, we subjected him to this blind bidding game and to get H back into the gaming After the first game, Russ suggested that we play again, now that we all knew the rules and showed us that he did indeed understand the rules (and strategy).
Based on only a few plays, I think this game could have some legs as I've enjoyed all the games that I've tried. Each game has a different feel to it as the order in which the cards come out makes a big difference.
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13. Board Game: Wool Rules [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:4650]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Hanson led the way on a more challenging board configuration of Fast Flowing Forest Fellers which plays much differently with more logs and rocks in play. Then H took a break and Russ again showed his sushi making prowess. H wandered back in and wanted to try this intriguing looking dice rolling game. Players bid for order to try to win farm animals. These animals are worth points and sometimes give a bonus or penalty to the next turn's dice totals. H proved an able farmer and Russ declared no more games about farm animals.
 
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14. Board Game: Tongiaki: Journey into the Unknown [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:2192]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Paul called and wasnt too far away, so we decided to play a quick game of RftG and then we dug out an assortment of six player games and decided to explore the south seas. Alan proved to be the best canoist.
 
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15. Board Game: Pizarro & Co. [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1794]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Kevin had a headache and we decided to play a short one to see if it would go away before playing something meatier. Russ was the best patron of explorers, but I consider it a win that H really liked it! It's one of my favorite auction games and having another fan at the table will hopefully mean I get to play it more.
 
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16. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:498]
Scott Russell
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Clarkston
Michigan
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Kevin gave up on the headach and headed home, so we put this one on the table. It's been a while since I got to play this and it was an enjoyable experience as it usually is. Paul made the best deals and won by a significant margin.
 
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17. Board Game: Dragon Lairds [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:8630]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Paul decided to end on a winning note and took off as Ken arrived. Dragon Lairds is one of H's favorites, Tom is one of my favorite designers and Ken hadn't played it and we played one of the quickest games of DL that I've seen. I think it only took five turns, six at most for the 60 point barrier to be cracked.

 
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18. Board Game: Sylla [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1220]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Ken saw Sylla in the stack of new stuff and asked if we could try it. I'd not read the rules, yet, so some of the crowd went to play on the Wii while I struggled through the rules. Fortunately, these proved much more tractable than the tpyical Ystari offering.nnWhen I was set, Ken, Russ, Alan and I set out to increase our families prestige in ancient Rome. I really like many of the parts of this one and think it also works well as a game.
 
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19. Board Game: Blox [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2874]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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It was getting late and I couldn't find my copy of Witches' Brew, so Ken brought this one out. Ken brought his first pawn on next to Alan's who took it for three points. Ken declared a vendetta and brought his second one on next to Alan who took it again. After that the game proceeded more traditionally with towers being demolished and rebuilt. At the end, the six points Alan got the first two turns proved to be decisive. We called it a night on our last late night of gaming.
 
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20. Board Game: Pizarro & Co. [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1794]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Russ and Alan were heading back to Milwaukee to celebrate NYE in a different time zone, but we had time for a couple games before they left. H, Russ and I tried this one three player which is a different, but still fun, experience. H won and then requested the next game.
 
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21. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Alan joined us for a game of frantic building and racing spaceships and Russ proved to be the best junkman. We finished off their visit with a quick 4-er RftG and they loaded up and left.

Our family hit some book stores to allow the kids to burn their gift certificates and look for cheap games. The former goal was met, but no good games were on sale at Borders or Barnes & Nobles, maybe this week.

Lisa's nephew and dog showed up after dinner to play some Wii. We almost missed midnight, but took a timeout for fizzy pear for the kids and some Trader Joe ice wine for the grownups before we called it a night.
 
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