FTF games played December 29 - January 4
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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This was a pretty big week for games, as 3 of us got together on New Year's Day, and then Saturday I did gaming at both my normal morning group and over at the FLGS. I like both groups, and while we play some games at each place, I think there are games that the Saturday morning group would not play that we play at the FLGS and vice versa, so its a good mix. With tax season on the horizon and a commitment to making this a strong 2009, I think this may be my last Thursday gaming for a while, although I'd still like to sneak it in once a month.
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1. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1070]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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This was our first game on New Year's Day, and I really enjoyed it. We actually blew one of the rules and were allowing people to place more than one person in an area during a turn, although I'm not sure how much effect it had on the game. The Spanish arrived, and I thought I was doing pretty well in the gold department, and as it turned out, I was last. I blame too much drinking and not enough sleep on New Year's Eve. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I hope we get this one on the table again soon.
 
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2. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:362]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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We played this with three players on Thursday and after really enjoying the 2 games I played with 4 players, I was less satisfied with 3, as there was too much "2 against 1" for my tastes. Even though people owned shares in several rails, 2 players ended up controlling one rail where I didn't have shares, and they essentially sacrificed the one that I owned where they did have shares to make the one I didn't own the best. It certainly didn't sour me on the game, I think I'll just want to play it with 4 or more in the future.
 
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3. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:968]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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I picked this up for a song back during the Christmas sales (about $12 or $13, I believe) and have been itching to play it. I liked the game a lot. I liked the choices between building more of a type efficiently or having more types for victory points and between the various different types of resources required. All in all, I had a lot of fun with it, and want to play it again soon. This might be a good FLGS game.
 
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4. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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We seem to end most gaming sessions with a game of Dominion. We did on both Thursday and Saturday at Andy's house. On Thursday, I never got my cards rolling and was severely trounced. On Saturday, I thought I was going to do terribly, it seemed like I was trailing the whole time, yet I got things sequenced well at the end and pulled off a 1 point victory. Still one of my favorite games,even after 200+ plays.
 
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5. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:190]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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After a terrible experience with Battlestar Galactica a month or so ago, I was a bit leery on co-op games, yet I had heard many good things about this one and was willing to give it a try. So, it was the first thing we tried on Saturday. It turned out to be a lot of fun and I want to play it again. We won, I think in part helped by tile placement that allowed us to get some of the best benefits easily (for instance, the circle of prayer was in the middle of the 9 tiles) and I think we had a weak incarnation of Wu Feng. We also played on the easiest level. Even there, we were getting close to breaking a few times, so I can see why people say this game is extremely challenging at higher levels. I am eager to see how it plays out when we play it again.
 
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6. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1465]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Another one I had heard was a lot of fun, and we ended up playing it twice. It certainly was lighter than Ghost Stories, although certainly at least as challenging. We lost both games, the first time when we couldn't disarm a missile and the second time when the reactor melted down. Things got increasingly desperate in the 2nd game as virtually every area was either on fire or flooded. And yet, we almost pulled it off...almost.
 
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7. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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After a break of a couple hours, it was off to the FLGS, where we were looking for something for six players. I was eager to play more Power Grid, and knew at least 2 others were big fans of the game, and we reached a consensus to play it, with the 3 of us who had played before and 3 who didn't. I think everyone enjoyed it, although the 3 newer players were somewhat overwhelmed by the strategy of the game, and it went right down to the wire, with 3 of us being able to power 13 cities on the last turn although one player, the winner, built 14, so we went to a money tiebreaker. The winner had 28, I had 18, and 3rd place, one of the new guys, just had a buck or two. Had I been able to have 8 bucks more, I could have bought and powered an 14th city and won the game. Ah, well, I guess I'll just have to play again.
 
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8. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1018]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Next we needed a quick game while we waited for a couple of players to finish something else, and we agreed to Bang!, another game about which I had heard some good buzz. Well, I came away somewhat disappointed. I liked it, didn't love it, and it seemed there was too much downtime for my tastes. In fact, in its own way it brought back some bad Battlestar Galactica memories, what with the hidden cylon (renegade) and too much downtime. It was over quickly, too. I'd try it again, it just isn't likely to be my first choice.
 
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9. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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What? Another co-op? Well, again I had heard that this game was fun and challenging, so I agreed to give it a crack and was actually pretty excited about it. The game did not disappoint. We were working together well, seemingly keeping things under control, and had cured (but not eradicated) two of the diseases, and were about to cure a third, when the red disease in Asia went wild, hitting with an epidemic, and then two follow up infections that caused us to lose the game. Dang...a couple of different decisions and maybe we would have saved the world. Sure, my character had delivered the red cure and was immune to it, however walking over the piled up bodies of those who had succumbed was still depressing. I'll definitely want to play this again.
 
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