Denver Games Third Saturday Gaming Festival (March 20, 2010) - Including new and amazing ways to lose at Tichu!
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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The snowstorm from the night before ended soon enough that the roads were totally clear in time for Game Day. Still, our north-facing house kept the doorstep icy enough to make for a good cooperative dexterity game called, "Who can get in the house without falling?" I think everyone won.

We had a nice group of 29 people (31 counting babies!) gether to play 24 games. Welcome to Nate, who was here for the first time.

On to the games:
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1. Board Game: Mamma Mia! [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1282] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Jeff 6
Ashley 5
Travis 3
Bill 3
Tim 2

I had the misfortune of sitting to the left of the two leaders of the game. Surprisingly often when my turn rolled around, there were exactly zero ingredients in the oven to work with. After making zero pizzas in the first round, I made it my goal simply to make one before the game ended. It didn't happen, or even come close to happening, in round two. Much to my relief, I was able to make one in the final round.
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2. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Jay 30
William 32
Nikki 37

We had trouble getting games going early, so people broke off into some fillers while other people arrived.
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3. Board Game: Shadowfist [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:2569] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Lisa 5
Tim 3
Brian 2

I should have known something was wrong when Lisa convinced me to attack Brian (because he was "getting out of control"), and it led to the demise of all four of our creatures, two of mine, two of Brians.

Lisa immediately put out a humongous guy with a robot arm, who pounded everything else on the board for a very quick win. Note to self: When Lisa cackles maniacally when giving "advice" it would be best to ignore it and attck her instead.
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4. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:724]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Brian (Emi) *win*
Tim (Gregor) *win*
Mark (Daniel) *win*
Sidney (Werewolf)
Bill (Wight)
Lisa (Bryan)

Sidney played a new type of Werefolf, a kinder, gentler sort that never attacks back. That made it just a little easier to survive the rigors of Shadow Hunting.

A highlight of the game was Mark's excellent teenaged girl SCREAM! as Daniel when the first death occurred.

After Shadowfist and Shadow Hunters, we were dissappointed to find that we didn't have any more Shadow games with us to continue our streak.
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5. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Jeff and Hsiu-Ping 1125
William and Ashley 575

How do you start with a 500 point lead after two hands (a one-two and a Tichu-one-two), and then go on to lose by 550? One good way (and the one that was used here) is to get set on three of your next four Tichu calls while also giving up five Tichus to the other guys.
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6. Board Game: Coda [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2911]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Bill *win*
Mark
Ruben

I was wondering why Bill was setting up little mirrors behind the other players' chairs before they arrived. He said that it helps his deduction skills quite a bit.
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7. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:35]
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Jay 200
Travis 176
Nikki 160

I still have never played this. How was it?

Also, the Curse of the Beastie Boys got me. When you type in "Brass" while making a Geeklist, two games come up: Brass and The Brass Monkey Game. Then, a horrible song gets stuck in your head.
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8. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:202]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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William 61
Ashley 52
Dan 51
Melinda 49
Nate 34

Here's another one I haven't played yet. How do you like this one?
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9. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
 
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Brian 75
Lisa 71
Tim 68
Gabe 41

I really meant to have read the rules to Macao before everyone showed up today, but I never got around to it. One by one, as people arrived, we made sure to ask them if they had played this before. No one had, so Lisa read the rules while we played other games.

I really enjoyed all the cube pushing in this game. Determining whether to take few cubes to use now or a lot of cubes to use later is fun and a key part of doing well. Plus, how can you not like Punish Markers? The good news is that I can teach this now.
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10. Board Game: SWAT! [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:7239]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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This game was described as "just like Ra, except for all the parts that are different." From observing, I think the main difference is that instead of gently bidding with suns, you just smack the other players as hard as you can. So it's actually very similar.

Game 1:
Wayne 56
Jean-Luc 51
Violet 48
Angela 46

Game 2:
Jean-Luc 38
Violet 33
Angela 20
Walter 10

Game 3:
Violet 69
Angela 41
Jean-Luc 37
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11. Board Game: Gem Dealer [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:12058]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Wayne 4
Jennifer 2
Jean-Luc 2
Angela 1
Violet 0

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12. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:495]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Jay 50
Jeff 43
Ashley 42
Travis 38

Jeff and Travis had played a couple of times before, but Jay just stole all of their cows anyway.
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13. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Sarah and Travis 1045
Ashley and Jay 955

How do you hit three Grand Tichus without missing one, including a Grand-One-Two, and still lose? One good way (and the one that was used here) is to put yourself in a 720-point hole after three hands!
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14. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Jeff and Hsiu-Ping 1145
Sidney and Jean-Luc 455

How do you lose when the other team only calls one Tichu the whole game? One good way (and the way that was used here) is to miss the majority of your own Tichu calls and to get outscored 510 to -10 in the last four hands of the game.
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15. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:221]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Jeff 118
Jay 96
Travis 81

This was with the Great Wall from the Alea Treasure Chest. How was it? The scores look kind of familiar to the base game.
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16. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Melinda 29
Ashley 21
Dan 17
Nate 14

Unfortunately for the other players, Melinda invented FedEx in 1565.
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17. Board Game: The Stars Are Right [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2505]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Ruben 10
Mark 6
Sidney 6

I don't even know enough about this game to make a silly comment about it. What'd you think?
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18. Board Game: Campaign Manager 2008 [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1225]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Basic Game
Ruben (Obama/Biden) *win*
Mark (McCain/Palin)

Custom Deck
Ruben (Obama/Biden) *win*
Mark (McCain/Palin)
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19. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Sarah
Tim
Gabe
Brian
Lisa

Lost horribly to a Behemoth.

We tried to introduce Sarah and Gabe to Space Alert by throwing them in the deep end of the pool. It probably would have worked, but the batteries on the mp3 speakers started to go out during the game, which made it very hard to hear what was going on.

Meanwhile, a couple of internal threats appeared far from each other while a Behemoth with its whopping four shields came down one side. Our only moral victory came when the Behemoth took care of one of the internal threats for us. Sure, it killed us at the same time, but still...

Come to think of it, even if our batteries were the most charged up and powerful batteries in the world, we still would have been worked over by that Behemoth.
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20. Board Game: Witch of Salem [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1548]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Lisa
Brian
Tim

Lose to Cthulu via Necron opening gates.

Undaunted by our resounding loss in Space Alert, we set about saving the world from Great Old Ones. Sorry, world. In this game, the Loss Die was particularly lossy. There was one Zombie that survived three attacks due to that terrible Loss Die. I think we discarded items to the die six times in a row at one point.
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21. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:705]
Tim Comfort
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Littleton
Colorado
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Tim (Frodo)
Angela (Sam)
Violet (Pippin)

Pippin dunked the Ring without a second thought, giving us a final score of 70.

After losing a space ship and getting devoured by Old Ones, we decided to give Sauron and his minions a chance at crushing us as well. However, things went very well for the good guys this time around. We had time to stand around and heal on every board coming into Mordor, so we were very well stocked with cards. We sprinted across Mordor at full speed, putting Pippin in position to dunk the Ring without losing a single hobbit to corruption.
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22. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Violet 30
Angela 28
Tim 27
Jean-Luc 26

All of Violet's experience with swatting other players earlier came in handy here, since Swat and Ra are really the same game.

Two interesting things about this game of Ra:

It was very short. When the game ended, there was a huge mound of tiles still in the bag, which included only three Ra tiles.

It was very close. I edged Jean-Luc out for the Sun Bonus at the end of the game by one point. If I had one sun point less, or Jean-Luc had one sun point more, the five-point bonus would have won the game for him. As it stood though, he came in last.
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