Gaming: First Weekend of 2009 in Santa Cruz
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Pat and Amy (once again) wonderfully hosted a weekend of gaming.
I drove down on Jan. 1st and back home again on Sunday the 4th.
Alex joined us midday on Friday.

I realized as I began building this list that my picture taking qualities leave a lot to be desired. Not so much the quality of the shot itself (which isn't the greatest) but more the content. I complained to Amy early on in the weekend that I tend to only take pictures of the actual game boards after play, which end up being boring shots.... but I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks as that's what I did again.

Alex was the clear victor of the weekend, winning most of the games we played. Hopefully this won't repeat itself come June/July! :-)
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1. Board Game: Fact or Crap [Average Rating:3.82 Overall Rank:15315]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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I spent a pleasant evening when I arrived at approx. 9pm on Friday bemoaning my septic system woes over multiple glasses of wine. Both Amy and Pat were excellent listeners.
cry

Ollie, of course after his initial bravado and tail-wagging excitement, was completely bored.
 
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:504]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Friday Jan 2nd 2009

Gaming didn't get started until Friday morning when Pat and I sat down to a game of Carcassonne: The City. We both really enjoyed the game. I consider it slightly better than vanilla Carcassonne, as there are a few more decisions to be made. This may prove incorrect, but it feels as though you have slightly more control.

First game:
Pat - 117
Chris - 196



We later played this as a foursome with Alex and Amy.
Unfortunately both Alex and Amy thought much less of the game, preferring the original.

 
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3. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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After Pat and I ran down to Santa Cruz for supplies (and my obligatory trip to Trader Joes for a case of 2-buck), we arrived back at almost the same time Alex arrived from SF (perhaps 2 mintues later).

Our first order of business was to decide on, and yank out, the first game. I wasn't sure if Alex & Pat had played Shogun before, but we needed to review the rules anyway (shut up Alex). This seemed an enjoyable game all around, something we will certainly be pulling out again.



Scores (and ratings):
Alex - 57 (7)
Pat - 52 (8)
Chris - 51 (8)


Ollie joined us in our initial game in grand Ollie style.


 
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4. Board Game: Monster Mayhem [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:12644]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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It was inevitable... Pat's Christmas present needed to get played as it was monster/victim related.

I wasn't taken with this game, but thankfully Pat enjoyed it and surprisingly Alex as well. It seemed waaay too random to me for what appeared to initially be a somewhat tactical game. I suppose my first impression caused a bit of a backlash (for me).

It didn't help matters that I selected the Poltergeist which had a battle die count of 1.
shake



Scores (ratings):
Alex - 13 (5)
Pat - 9 (6)
Chris - 5 (3)
 
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5. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:266]
Christopher DeFrisco
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"I need wood"
- Pat
....
"I still need more wood!"
- Pat

I got to play a few of my new games on this trip and this was the second one (Carc the City was the first). I like this game, as does my family thus far. Pat and Alex seemed to enjoy it and gave it a tentative thumbs up.

Alex and I talked a bit about artwork in games and I think although the levity of the art in this game is appropriate (or lack thereof) the artwork itself isn't the greatest and the board is way too busy... it could have benefited from some graphic design sense as far as playing down the structural pieces and highlighting the important bits.



Scores (rating):
Chris - 38 (7)
Alex - 27 (6)
Pat - 24 (6)
 
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6. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:867]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Alex was very excited to win this game... as he's fond of the game but apparently had yet to pull off a victory.

After asking for ratings... alex gave it an "8".
He paused and said, "It's not an odd number, shut up!"
Another pause.
"Who am I kidding... 9"

Alex's winning factory floor is on the right.

Good stuff. :-)



Scores (ratings):
Alex - 72 (8..9)
Chris - 70 (9)
Amy - 59 (8)
Pat - 34 (7)
 
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7. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:400]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Alex and Pat both really enjoy this game... and to be honest my rating of this game has steadily (but every so slowly) crept up every time I play. Everyone seems to love this game. For me, it's a bit like backgammon; Two dice, pieces on the board racing to an end point, not a whole lot of choices on each turn as there's usually an optimal play. But as Alex describes his love of backgammon, it's those two or three times during the game that are critical that make it shine. .... well ... maybe.

As you can see in the picture, Alex (black) just wiped the floor with us on this game, racing to the end and leaving us scallywags floating with the tide.



Scores (rating):
Alex - 28 (8)
Chris - 4 (8)
Pat - 3 (8)
 
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8. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Hauling around the crokinole board built by my father-in-law is a joy for me. I love this game. Amy took a shine to it as well, so maybe this is one of those that Pat needs to invest in! (they'll just need a place to store it). :-)

We played teams: Alex & Pat vs. Chris & Amy.
Alex & Pat kicked our little fannies.

I didn't take a picture of the crokinole board... :-(
But I did snap this handsome picture of the fatman.



Ratings:
Alex - 7
Pat - 8
Chris - 9
Amy - 9
 
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9. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:504]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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This was the second playing of Carcassonne: The City. Alex and Amy were both unimpressed with the game. It's my guess that after additional plays their opinion may increase as I think it's a better 'game' than vanilla Carc. But perhaps vanilla carc feels cleaner? Not sure. Only time will tell and my opinion on this one may decrease as well over time. (shrug)

Again, I failed to capture the end game and the scores, so I'll just post yet another handsome shot of the patman.



Ratings:
Amy - won (5)
Alex (5)
Pat (6)
Chris (7)
 
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10. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:481]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Saturday Jan 3rd 2009

My notebook has two sets of scores for Coloretto... one between just Alex and I and another with the three boys. Alex and I played two-person early on Saturday morning and Alex agreed that the 2-person variant works quite well.

2-Person Scores:
Alex - 52
Chris - 48

This is a shot of Alex's final hand in our three player game. It is of note as all seven colors were represented with a minimum of 2 cards.



Scores:
Chris - 46
Alex - 36
Pat - 34
 
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11. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:789]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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We were able to get a game of Condottiere in prior to Alex and I, in a hurried rush, escaping from the Randolph hoard to the Britt. Fortunately we were able to skedaddle (seat belts unclicked and shoes untied) in time to avoid the crushing female hugs.

Pat was able to pull off a victory in this greatly contested battle for the supremacy of northern Italy.



Scores (rating):
Pat - 6 (8)
Chris - 5 (7)
Alex - 3 (7)

 
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12. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:541]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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It turns out I didn't take any pictures at the Britt this time... probably because Alex wiped the floor with me in darts. But, I was able to pull off a single 301 win against the master (of which I am very proud).

Darts
Alex won two games of Cricket.
Alex won two games of 301.
Chris one a single game of 301!

Pool
Chris and Alex each shared a victory.


 
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13. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2616]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Chris (during It's Alive, in a frustrated moment to Alex):
"I thought you had a heart?!"

We learned and played It's Alive and played twice after playing Pool at the Britt (before Pat showed up). Alex has an uncanny ability to win at this game which I have yet to understand. Alex won both games.
 
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14. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1465]
Christopher DeFrisco
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We all agreed after playing this new coop game, that it is worthy. I will be re-reading the rules in earnest to make sure we played the game correctly, but this will definitely hit the table again when ere we meet.



Ratings:
Pat (8)
Chris (7)
Alex (7)
 
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15. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1403]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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I suppose this game should now be traded away.. as it's consistently been seen as mediocre. My take on this game has been lukewarm from day one, but in the hopes that with the right group etc., it would improve. But alas, it continued to languish in mediocre-land. Although Pat and I both gave this a 6, Christine refuses to even look at it again, let alone play, and Alex gives it a 4.

So I will be adding this to the "to be traded" pile.

I failed to take a picture of our game, but here's another handsome shot of the tallguy.


Scores (rating):
Chris - wins with ten 4's (6)
Pat (6)
Alex (4)
 
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16. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Alex mentioned considering this game for the next Olympics. It's too bad it's such a mediocre game. :-)

Scores (rating):
Chris - 106 (6)
Pat - 104 (9)
Amy - 80mumble (7)
Alex - 60mumble (8)
 
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17. Board Game: Die Säulen von Venedig [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2654]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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Yay! We got to pull out and try my new Christmas gift from Mr. Pat. :-)

I think this game has great potential, but the fact that the cards are in German is definitely a distraction. I will need to modify my cheat sheet to include the German names of the cards and try to get a better image of the cards to print.

For me this game ended very quickly and I think this will be to the game's benefit in the long run, as there doesn't seem to be enough game to justify a long playing time.


Scores (rating):
Chris - 66 (7)
Amy - 59 (7)
Pat - 59 (7)
Alex - 49 (7)

 
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18. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Two relatively quick games of Pandemic only because we lost relatively soon in the game.

In the first game the Yellow Fever ravished South America and Africa.


In the second game the horific, face mangling Blue Bugaboo spread unimpeded across Northern America and Europe.
 
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19. Board Game: Piratenbillard [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3356]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Alex and Pat each pulled off a victory in this very hard to control game. We found looking up from below the board to be very advantageous this time as the lighting was coming from above and locating your hammer was difficult.



Scores (rating):
Pat won (7)
Alex won (7)
Chris (7)
Amy (8)
 
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20. Board Game: The Red Dragon Inn [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1181] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Last game of the night for Saturday, Jan 3rd. We cracked the cellophane from Pat's new copy of Red Dragon Inn (from his wifey-poo).

I felt a bit nasty during this game, but it proved a fruitful strategy. :-)

I would have included a photo of Pat cracking the plastic on this game, but the shot included Amy with a big, disgruntled pout as she hates to be photographed. Alex is glancing at Amy, I'm sure looking for the ire to rise up at Chris for the gall of pointing the hated implement in her direction.

Ratings:
Chris won (6)
Pat (8)
Alex (8)
Amy (8)
 
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21. Board Game: Canal Grande [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3132]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Sunday Jan 4th 2009

Unfortunately Pat had to work on Sunday and was out the door before all of us got up. Alex and Amy were up a bit earlier than Chris and played a game of Canal Grande.

I mistakenly gave this game away about a year ago because it hadn't had any play time. The person I gave it to was grateful and I'm sure it's been played, so that's a good thing. But now I need to add this back to my wish list. Unfortunately it's not an easy game to come by anymore.

Ratings:
Alex won (7)
Amy (7)
 
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22. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:481]
Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
Oregon
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Another 2-player quick game confirmed the viability of this variant for Alex.

Scores:
Alex - 54
Chris - 45

 
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23. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2616]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Unfortunately the one game that we all wanted Pat to try, alas, was played by everyone but him. I was perhaps a bit selfish in carting this game home with me as everyone asked me to leave it behind. But my family had yet to try this game and it was a gift to me from one of the boys for Christmas. So... I didn't want them to find out I had left it behind in Santa Cruz (yes, a lame excuse at best).

Once again Alex shows his true mettle at reconstructing a human from dead body parts by winning twice.

Ratings
Alex (8)
Chris (8)
Amy (8)
 
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24. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:377]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Ah, negative. I am a meat popsicle.
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I thought for sure Amy would really enjoy this game. Unfortunately we were rushed and immediately after we finished she ran to get ready for her movie so I didn't get a rating. I'm usually pretty good about guessing what games people will like but Alex continues to surprise me. This is a game I would think he would enjoy for sure, and Monster Mayhem, for instance, I would think he would have disliked.... go figure.

Scores (rating):
Alex - 55 (5)
Chris - 54 (7)
Amy - 29
 
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25. Board Game: End of the Line [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Ah, negative. I am a meat popsicle.
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Amy forgive me, but the moment was a grand one with Alex attempting to squash the life out of Pat (whose face you can see peeking over your jeans).

A fitting photo to end the weekend I think.



 
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