FtF Games Played January 19 - 25
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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The ongoing series continues, despite the lack of thumbs. It lets me give a little more feedback on what I play outside of the "recording a play" arena, and eventually I'll compile these by quarter. Until then, for those of you who do read them, I hope you enjoy these lists.

All my gaming this week was on Saturday, and between the morning group and the FLGS, got a lot of gaming in.
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1. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:466]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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After reading reviews of this on the Geek, I was really interested in getting this on the table, and finally my group complied. I don't think they had any objection to the game, I just think that there are a lot of good games out there and finding time for all of them is tough. I was not disappointed. I really like the mechanism of having to choose between the different roles from both a money or card cost standpoint, and being able to block. Its kind of like Agricola in that regard. It was a pretty exciting game. Shannon won it, getting to 4 conditions. I had 2, however had Andy not blocked me on the last turn, I could have taken control of the Praetorians, gotten a 3rd legion for that and would have ended the turn with 30 talents for a 4th condition. I think Shannon would have won the tiebreaker, and it would have been more exciting. I really liked this game and hope we play it again soon.
 
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2. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:592]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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This was definitely a change of pace. I am not big on dexterity games, so I wasn't overly thrilled, and I had fun with this. I really was terrible on a couple of my dice, not even making the front line, and overcompensated on others, shooting way beyond the edge. We played 2 on 2, and although Andy and I were trailing going into the 3rd round, we got some nice positioning and ended up winning by over 30 points. Its a bit of a silly game, and I don't think its ever going to be a favorite, and I still had fun. Seriously, though, as far as I'm concerned, Manual Dexterity is the president of Mexico.
 
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3. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1068]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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This was an odd little game, and it took me a while to get the feel for it. I'm generally not a fan of pure die-rolling games, and the decision of "when to stop" made this interesting. I ended up tying Shannon with 6 points apiece, however he won the tie breaker with a tile with more worms. This was one of those games where Shannon was bitching and moaning about his bad die rolls, and when the critical time came, he got what he needed. I'd play this again as a diversion. Its fast and fun.
 
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4. Board Game: Tinners' Trail [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:460]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
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Nevada
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This was the 2nd week in a row we played this, and hopefully this weekend will be the 3rd week in a row. I really like this game. There was some frustration in this because copper prices were terrible on the 2nd and 3rd turns and Shannon and I had good copper mines, and I also take it as a reason not to undervalue tin an its relatively stable pricing. Andy got an early lead and none of us stood a shot when copper was bad 2 turns in a row, and it was still a fun game. I really like the limited resources, the crap shoot on prospecting or buying mines blindly, the choices between time and benefit, and even the variable markets. Although I still think this game is overpriced, I really like it and hope to play it many more times.
 
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5. Board Game: In the Shadow of the Emperor [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:838]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
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Nevada
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I've been playing this a lot on MabiWeb, and most of the group had played it once before and had been somewhat disappointed, especially Andy. A main complaint was the rules not being clear. Now that I have a bunch of games under my belt online, I really understand the rules, so I prevailed upon him to give it another shot. He did, perhaps a bit reluctantly. And I don't think Andy is still big on the game. Shannon liked it and I think Mark enjoyed it. Shannon was trailing a lot early in the game, so much so that at one point I actually encouraged Andy to promote him to elector instead of me when breaking a tie. Boy, did I regret that later. Shannon put together an 8 point final turn to win with 24. I had 23, Mark had 22 and Andy had 20, a typically close game of this. I did some boneheaded moves on the last turn that may have cost me an electorate and the 2 points that would have given me a victory. I still really enjoy this game, especially with hidden scores, and will keep playing it online or when I can get it on the table, although I suspect that will be at the FLGS more than Andy's house.
 
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6. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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I got to use my copy of PR that I got in the New Year's Math Trade, so that made me happy. We started with 4, and just before starting a 5th joined us. We goofed and the very first time shipping forgot to use the right ships and corrected that on the 2nd shipping. I doubt it changed the outcome much. 4 of the 5 of us had played the game before and the 5th is a pretty sharp guy and seemed to do okay. I made the mistake of being too similar to the player to my right which tended to hurt me durin shipping. Bob and Shannon did very well with shipping, Kyle struggled to get anything going, and Steve (the new guy) held his own. I did okay on buildings, not spectacular, and came in 3rd behind Bob and Shannon. Shannon was one turn from overtaking Bob, however Bob played it smart and beat him. The more I play this game, the more I like it, and I lost despite having a factory, even though I still think factory is the most powerful building in the game.
 
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7. Board Game: Steel Driver [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:958]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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We needed a game for 6, and pulled out Steel Driver, which Shannon and I had played 4 player the previous week. Its an easy enough game and everyone seemed interested. The game definitely played differently with 4 than 6. First, there were fewer cubes per player, meaning railroads didn't make huge leaps. Second, it was rare (I think it happened once) that anyone controlled more than one railroad. A couple of players did focus on dominating one railroad with 4 shares in 5 rounds, and I think that cost them. I think a 3/2 or 2/2/1 or 3/1/1 strategy is better, however that was based on just 1 play with 6 players, so I could be wrong. I ended up winning this by about 200 bucks/points, mostly because the railroad I controlled got 8 cubes at the end for a 4/3/1 rather than the 4/2/1 combos other had, so my 3 shares gave me an extra 90 there, plus my odd shares were in solid companies. A fun game, not the greatest railroad game ever, and I think its worth playing.
 
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1645]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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I was prevailed to play this as a last game of the evening because it was quick, even though I was getting pretty tired. 5 games at Andy's house and 2 at the FLGS were wearing me out. However, I enjoy the Carcassonne series, so I wanted to give this one a shot. It took longer than expected and I was a bit bleary towards the end, however that didn't stop me from winning, mostly based on a couple of good mountain ranges and choking off a lot of the other 2 guys expansion attempts. I like this variation on a theme. Fewer meeples make placement more critical, and the "put down or pull off" really changes the decision making process. I missed some points by not knowing the tile breakdown, and that's life. Next time I play I'll know better. All in all, a good day of gaming, I had 3 wins in 8 games, which I'll take every time, and pretty much enjoyed every game.
 
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