What Did You Play This Weekend? 10.31.11
JonnyRotten
United States
Montpelier
Ohio
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Greetings fellow geeks! It's Monday! The weekend is now over, and as we toil at our assorted labors, we should recount our past weekend gaming exploits.

So, all you weekend gamers, bring your mini-session reports and stories of weekend gaming greatness, as you pop in here to answer the question:
What did you play this weekend?

The forum version can be found here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/7758562

Check out the subscription thread:
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1. Board Game: Eaten by Zombies! [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:4421] [Average Rating:5.89 Unranked]
JonnyRotten
United States
Montpelier
Ohio
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This Saturday was our monthly game day, and we hosted friends and family for a wonderful day of gaming and great food!


2011-10-29
Panic Station x 2
Eaten By Zombies!
Sentinels of the Multiverse
The Resistance x 2
Cosmic Encounter
Gheos
Panic Station
Innovation
Pandemic
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2. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:246] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This was the first game we played. I think the owner tossed in quite a few expansions, most of the stuff I had not scene before.
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3. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:192] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This was the second game we played. Has a nice light Halloween theme with the ghouls and skeletons.
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4. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This was the third game I played this weekend. I really dislike Settlers as a three-player game. I seem to be plagued by the robber every time I play, even though everyone else has more points, more resources etc. I can never do anything, every time I get a chance to build that component pulls a card from my hand, and it isn't fun.cry
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5. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:423]
Rom tos
Netherlands
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A quiet weekend together with my girlfriend allowed for our first game of ASLSK#1. I've been reading the rules, as well as reading and watching video some additional material to prepare for this. I found it very renimiscent of initially learning D&D3.5.

We played the first Scenario 'Retaking Vierville'. I played the Germans, but failed to capture any of the target buildings. I probably should have focused more on one. The good news is that it left both of us wanting for more.
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6. Board Game: Escape from the Hidden Castle [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2109]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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On Saturday we had a quiet day at home with the kids, and I played a few games with my son:
Motorway (his favourite a few months back, but we haven't played for a while)
The Great Game of Britain (his current favourite)
Pirates' Gold (luckily only 2 player, as I think we've lost so many treasures that we couldn't play it with any more nowadays - must go hunting!)
Fantastic Flyers (not much of a game here, but my son likes it occasionally)

Then on Sunday we played some more games:
The Great Game of Britain (of course!)
Die wilden Schwäne (haven't played this for ages!)
Go For Broke (my son was in danger of making a profit!)
Hotel Tycoon (new to my kids - the cool bits meant it was going great, until my daughter went bankrupt - then there were tears!)
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game (the children were busy playing, so my husband and I got a game of this in together)
Dominion (and then my son reappeared and saw us playing it and requested Dominion, his version - and we ended up with a 3 way tie - all of us buying 4 Provinces, but no other VP cards!)
And later in the evening we had a Halloween party (a day early because my husband is out tonight), and of course we had to play Escape from the Hidden Castle as part of it. Even my nearly two year old was getting the idea - rolling the dice for me, and reaching for Hugo or a person as required, although he isn't able to count the spaces properly yet.
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7. Board Game: Cards Against Humanity [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2592] [Average Rating:6.07 Unranked]
United States
Redford
Michigan
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Very little gaming this weekend, spent most of Friday evening and Saturday getting my costume ready for a Halloween party on Saturday night. The hosts did have this game out, which I jumped in when some party-goers were interested in. Hilarious as always, and had about 9 people playing at once at its peak, as players jumped in and out as the night went on.

Sunday was spent cleaning the house and doing yard work, and so didn't play anything either. Which is fine, had an entire gaming weekend last week, so having a break this weekend wasn't so bad.
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8. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1055]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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Friday
Well, Lindy was home so I got in quite a few games with her. Friday we played one of her Knizia games that has not hit the table in a long time, Maginor. We rather enjoyed it.

Saturday
In the afternoon we played Jamaica and R-Eco. We played R-Eco last week in a MacDonald's and now LIndy keeps asking for more. In the evening we went to Aaron and Kimber's for a dress up party. THere we played Bang and Dodge City. I had been hoping to play Bang for some time but rarely have enough people. We played with 7 and unfortunately I did not live long so now I want to play again. ONce out I was soon followed by Aaron so the 2 of us along with his dad played Quicksand. We came back to the big table for an 8 player game of Cash 'n' Guns. Next up was an introduction to Crappy Birthday. It was a little fun but I'm not so wild about it. Then it was Zombie Dice with just 5 of us, another new one for me. I quite enjoyed it. Next on the table was Loot with 6. It was good to play again but unfortunately we did not look at the rules and when checking up part way through the game found out that with 6 to 8 you are to play with teams. NO wonder it did not seem to be working out well. Maybe next time. By this time there was only Lindy and me and Aaron and Kimber left. WE played Nuns on the Run. I was caught on the last turn 3 spaces from my room. How close is that? It was a fun evening.

Sunday
Lindy and I had another game of R-Eco and another game of Maginor. We also played Cowabunga and Paris Paris.

A good weekend with 15 games played.
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9. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:444]
Ludovic Roy
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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Saturday:
First game of Thunderstone since about a month and a half, with the little lady. We had a close 65-60 game, lasting about 90 minutes, just the way I like them. This was followed by a game of RoboRally where I was quite unlucky and pushed outside the board while my spouse fled with victory!

Sunday:
Played Eminent Domain for the first time, session available, it was a very enjoyable first game with a 42-43 victory over my buddy Al.
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10. Board Game: Small World: Cursed! [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Finally got a couple games in last night.

We started with me teaching Scott how to play Dragonheart, which I wasn't surprised to find he picked up very quickly. The game is so fast, and you can carry on a conversation while you play. He ultimately beat me by 2 points.

Then we pulled out Small World, which we added one of the expansions (Cursed!) but then tried the Tales and Legends deck for the first time. That added some nice variety. I got completely blocked on my final turn by the evil Diplomatic Tritons, which had covered all the coastal spaces during a turn I went in decline! Foiled, and beaten by 6 points.
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11. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:935]
Jesse Hickle
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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We had a Halloween game day. I played:

Ra: The Dice Game
Fearsome Floors
Shadow Hunters
Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition x2
Zombies!!!
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12. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:154]
Joe
United States
Maple Valley
Washington
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Glory to Rome x 6
Airships x 1
Catacombs x 1
Colosseum x 1
The Downfall of Pompeii x 1
The Resistance x 1
Yspahan x 1

Game Day was Saturday, new to me were Catacombs and Airships.

See all the games played by our group here.

Catacombs was good. I think I would like it better, with 2-3 players, we played with 5.

Airships started out like a nice little filler, I like the way you build your system up, but then it just ends. A couple things I think contributed to our huh? feelings.

1. Uneven number of turns. This mechanic does not makes sense with this game. I mean you are rolling dice, it's a gamble anyway, why not get that one last chance to go for broke if you are close to the leader.
2. Two end game conditions. The game can most likely be played in 30 40 minutes easily. It really doesn't need them both, and in this area also the game ignores it own charm, by making it safer to rush for the end rather than gamble. I mean if you are going to roll dice, roll them!

The big winner of the weekend was Glory to Rome. I finally got my wife to sit down and learn it, and we played two 4 player games on Saturday. She appoligized for not listening to me when I said I thought she would like it and not learning it sooner and we played four 2 player games while we did laundry. Innovation here we come!
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13. Board Game: Bears! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5787]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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Friday

Played some Bears! (with an "!") at my FLGS. Of course, my 11-year-old son won. Was hoping to purchase this from the FLGS, but it is out of stock at the distributor, which tells me that Fireside Games must have run through their stock already. Not sure when this will come back in.

Played a 3-player round of Colosseum, a rare Eurogame that ticked me off—mostly for the fact that I made a decision early on (having not played the game before) that resulted in a cascade of pain as the rounds progressed. Made the gameplay feel scripted to me. "Do this exact move now or die a slow, lingering death" is not the kind of game option I like. A game should always offer a chance to make up for a bad decision. (I chose to take the +5 ticket in the first round rather than to expand my colosseum immediately, as I thought the +5 would pay off more quickly.) Oh well. My son seemed to be winning, but lost out to the third player in a squeaker at the very end. I'm proud of how well he played, as he obviously grokked the game better than I did.

Saturday

Took Hive with us to play during the lunch break at Super Saturday, an educational enrichment program offered to gifted kids in Cincinnati. My son and I split the games, the first I've been able to break his streak of unbeaten games against me. The only reason I won was I used strategies I had seen him use against me that I'd been powerless to defend against. Turned the tables on him, and he didn't fare any better than I had against pinning the queen bee.
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14. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Saturday was split, as usual, between my morning gaming group and evening gaming group. Morning group started with Urban Sprawl, which, much like Dominant Species (also by Chad Jensen), appears to be a very challenging game hampered only by a play time that may turn off some Euro players. We were kind of feeling our way through the game most of it, I didn't stumble on some things that worked well until too late and came in last. The guy with a huge lead had it cut into at the end and ended up losing by a few points because he didn't have any politicians for end-game bonus points. In fact, he ended up screwing himself because an event forced him to move a marker that was basically racking up tons of points for him. We also read some things wrong initially on how elections are resolved which affected strategy.

Observations on the game, obviously not a review because 1 play is hardly decisive. Vocations are very important, and its somewhat luck of the draw whether a given player can get one. It looks like money will be tight, and often is, however there are many ways to generate money. While a player with a big lead can lose that lead through mistakes, even perfect play won't save a player with a big deficit (Dominant Species suffers from this, too). The game has catch-up mechanisms, and they also suffer from needing luck with the other cards to really exploit them. There may be too many events. We had them coming out in bunches of 3 or 4 at a time, even when we were shuffling. The rule on what happens when something says "Buildings on these rows get XYZ" is a bit unclear. Does a building at the intersection get counted twice? Elections seemed too frequent and most of the time didn't change hands, making them seem a superfluous most of the time. Scoring the "1" and "2" zones, especially, seemed tedious for little gain.

All that being said, the game was very neat. Watching zones of various types grow made logical sense. Watching neighborhood values change as a result of events threw a monkey wrench into things. Reacting to changing available buildings and permits made it difficult to plan, and also kept people on their toes. Not going through all the buildings every game should keep it fresh. Overall, I'm looking forward to more plays of this.

We then moved on to Sentinels of the Multiverse, the new comic book co-op game that was just released. Unfortunately, one of my stacks of hero cards was damaged (the replacements were supposed to arrive by yesterday, still no sign of them) so we could only use 7 of the 10 heroes, which was not that big a deal because there were only 4 of us in our 1st game. We took on Baron Blade in Megalopolis, a suggested first game, and trounced him heavily. It seems that Tachyon (the Flash...shh...) was very powerful in this one. One guy had a HUGE problem understanding the difference between a card and playing a power, and other than that, it was well received, even though this isn't a real comic-booky crowd.

For the night group, I showed up a few minutes late, so missed the 1st round of games and watched some people play Zombie Dice, a fun, mindless (no pun intended) diversion. Then we played a simple game called Get Bit! Not exactly a heavy game and an amusing 20 minute diversion (I was 'et). Then it was SotM again, this time 4 of us took on Citizen Dawn in the Ruins of Atlantis. We fought valiantly, however she kept raising her minions from the dead and we basically got our butts handed to us. We finally had her down to where we could really hurt her at the end, however we ran out of hit points. Then we played Catacombs, the dungeon flicking game. It was mildly amusing, and not one I'd rush to play again. Then a 5 player game of Sentinels, with only me and one other player from the 4 player game (i.e., 3 new players). We went against Grand Warlord Voss in Megalopolis, as I wanted an easier environment for new players, and thanks to a great combination of power draws, we basically trashed him while barely being hurt. Example. In his warrior form, Voss does 3 energy damage to the hero with the highest hit points at the start of each turn and 2 fire damage to the hero with the lowest hit poins at the end of each turn. Well, Ra made us immune to fire and the Visionary used a power that changed all of the energy damage into fire damage, so he couldn't hurt us. Meanwhile, he had bunches of 3 hit point minions. However, Visionary had a power that reduced their maximum hit points by one, and Legacy had a power that increased all hero damage by 1. Tempest (me) had a power that did one point of damage to all opponents at the start of the turn, so with Legacy's bonus, it basically instakilled all minions Voss summoned. Now, playing it again might give very different results based on what cards Voss drew (we missed some of his biggies) and this was an easy win. Everyone loved the game, and I expect to see this one get a lot of play time.

Next weekend is a small con in Las Vegas (Neoncon), so I'll be there running games and playing games from Friday - Sunday. Or maybe Thursday night. I'm not sure. Anyway, there will be lots of stuff "On the Table!"
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15. Board Game: No Retreat! The Russian Front [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:670]
Neil Henning
United States
Nutley
New Jersey
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No Retreat! The Russian Front- I played my first scenario of this one. My first reaction was I don't love it, but I'll give it a few more trys before coming to a final conclusion. After playing it I really didn't give it a second thought and that is how I judge a game.
Hammer of the Scots- I introduced another gamer to this one and as has been the caqse for everyone I have introduced the game to he loved it. Enough where he said he is going to add it to his collection. I am starting to think Columbia games should hire me to fo out and do demos for people.
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16. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:147]
Jules
Belgium
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We rented a cabin in the Ardennes (the beautiful rural part of Belgium) for the weekend. Of course, we ignored all the natural beauty of the surroundings, and played games for three days straight.

We played Kris's Dungeon Petz twice in order to give everyone a chance to play. We were a bit taken back by the initial difficulty, but everyone liked it.

We played a session of Legend of the Five Rings where we are making our way up to the legendary Hitomi (grr) High House of Light and indulged in lots of mystic waffling.

We played a lot of Zendo, What's My Word? and Mastermind (mastermind was actually used to portray hacking in one of our evening roleplay sessions), an all-girl Galaxy Trucker (where I still came in last - my next plan for winning is an all-five-year-old GT), and a game of Ghost Stories: Black Secret.

We also brought our core set of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, which we've had for a while and never thought of bringing to a weekend. Everyone was enthused about it though, and we played through the first two scenario's with three players.

We also had two sessions of our homebrew Scifi campaign in which the carbon-based plant-hosted alien parasite in our brain dislodged half of itself and took one of our PC's with her! The next session a big breach gate was finally opened and Space Nazi's came and invaded our planet - but they turned out to be friendly capitalists spreading democracy along the galaxy. Gosh, our campaign sounds very Space Opera when you describe it like that.

All in all a great weekend, unfortunately the baby had a stomach flu and kept us all awake, but what's a gaming weekend without sleep deprivation, right?



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17. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:476]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Had a nice gaming session on Friday night. First a game of At the Gates of Looyang, then Elder Sign. ES is a nice cooperative, but too easy and definitely need an expansion to give it variable difficulty.
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18. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Justin Hendry
United States
Kansas
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I was solo this weekend. So I played a lot of this. Lost most of the games
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19. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:476]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Played a two player game of this.

Hardest game I had played yet and we barley won, with having three investigators devoured.
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20. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1311]
Alan Goodrich
United States
New York
New York
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Friday:
Brass
Olympos

Saturday:
Urban Sprawl

Sunday:
Hunting Party
Mansions of Madness

It was a good weekend for gaming. On a normal Halloween weekend, we would have played many more horror themed games, but there were too many new games to try this past weekend to get Arkham Horror to the table. Sad - but not that sad.

The main event was Urban Sprawl on Saturday. The game arrived on Thursday, and so we managed to get it to the table for a first try that night. Needless to say, I was very unsure after that game. I am very intrigued by Chad Jensen's designs, and I've had US on preorder since before DS was released; really, the theme is much more appealing to me than DS. Should be a slam-dunk, right?

Well, our first game was quite bumpy. Overall, the game is more open, and has less control, than DS, due primarily to the fact that almost all the control is dictated by what cards are available on the tableau during your turn. The planning deck, which gives you permits of certain number and color (which are required to build the buildings) are almost completely random. The building decks, which unlock in a particular order (triggered by events) are also completely random. You will only see about half of the buildings in the decks in any one game, and almost every building has a particular, unique effect that happens once built (this is a bit of an overstatement, as certain types of buildings have similar effects). The turns are quite short - you have 6 action points to spend, and the cards from either type of deck cost a certain number of points to acquire (as in Through the Ages). Your turn is basically acquiring planning cards, which you then use to acquire building cards, or not. That's pretty much it. Repeat until you've burned through half of each deck, at which point the game ends instantly. The buildings let you fight for control of different rows, worth values that shift throughout the game, and also allow you access to certain political roles, which give you special privileges.

Our first game was tough, as we played some of the event cards wrong, which resulted in semi-broken scoring. Since it was our first game, we had to read the text on every card (theoretically - in practice, we usually gave half a good reading and half a cursory glance). The game took about 4.5 hours, and by the end we were tired of the constant cycling of turns doing the same thing over and over, and hoping for the game to end. It didn't help (me) that we didn't realize how elections worked (that is, that on the revelation of the Airport event, every office has an instant election) which resulted in one of us (me) having no offices and Ashar having all of them, a trend which I found difficult to reverse (she had a lock on the Union Boss, and hence two extra AP, for the whole game). It was a frustrating, tiring experience, and we went into the second game on Saturday with some trepidation.

Well, the second game was much better. Am I sold on the game? No, not yet. It is still a long game (about 3 hours) and has less control than Dominant Species. What improved mightily was our ability to read the board, and see the game state. It was much more obvious what we needed to do, and when; what we needed to control was not a mystery, and we had some ideas how to do so. The cards, while each unique, are definitely of specific types so, for instance, when you see a House you know it will add a high-value wealth chit to the board. There was tension, and it was fun... to a point. What bothers me the most is the difficulty in forward planning; for instance, Ashar was able to grab a building that, once placed, cost me four points for every surrounding residential building I owned. 12 points in this game can be big, but what compounded it was that, at the end of that turn, she drew an event that moved a high value chit out of a row that benefited me, and into a row that benefited her. Now, next game, I could space all my residential buildings out to protect against such a card, but is it worth it, given the card might not come out (or I might build it instead)? The game abounds in such "decisions," but I don't know as they actually qualify as decisions, as there is nothing except chance that dictates if it will or won't come out. Likewise, near the end of the game, I struggled to get the high value industry building out, as the next election was for Union Boss. I did it, and had cleared 3 of the 5 planning slots, so I was hoping an election would come up - but it didn't. I gambled, and lost; my point being that the gamble was the best I could do, and really, often the best anyone can do. The game abounds in butterfly effects that, if they creep up on you, can result in double and triple whammies, and thus far I'm not sure you can do much to mitigate such effects - the game state is perhaps simply too much in flux to do more than make an educated gamble and hope it pays off. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but for a 3 hour time investment, it can be maddening. And if you fall behind, it can be very difficult to catch up, especially later in the game.

Are any of these things deal-breakers? No. The game was more enjoyable, and shorter, the second time, so I am hoping with repeat plays we will become much more adept at reading the game state and making decisions based on firmer analysis. That said, in the end the game can defy your best efforts. As in DS, you are struggling for control, but in DS, the turns are longer, and it is easier to see what you need to do. You can always count on scoring points for area majority; the cards turn over at a much slower rate, so you can plan for bad things. For me, DS is on the hairy edge of having just enough control to keep me coming back and loving it, even when I lose. I am not sure this is the case with US, as it is a bit more over the line in terms of chaos and difficulty. It is a fascinating game, but I can see it will likely not be to everyone's taste, and indeed is likely to be more polarizing than DS. I enjoy watching the system at work, even when I'm doing poorly, but still... it makes my blood pressure rise, and both games thus far have had their Noooooo moments. I'm just hoping these moments become more limited over repeat plays.
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21. Board Game: Lancaster [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:253]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Picked up Lancaster after watching Beth Heile's Cat And Mouse review. Nebulous "work toward winning the favor of some non-present phantom king" games always intrigue me, even though they sound ridiculous when phrased the way I just did. Anyway, this one's a keeper. More screwage than in a stereotypical Euro; not as much screwage as in Hansa Teutonica, but enough where you don't just daydream about your own tableau for 90 minutes and then only look at your opponents when you tally up your points at the end.

Loved the laws, loved the highly abstracted "combat." Not quite sold on having the voting cubes be public information, since it sort of makes the "secret" voting way less secret when you can actually watch someone take 4 cubes from their pile of 6, leaving you with plenty of time to react accordingly. I'd almost rather play with the cubes behind the screen next time and see what happens. I have a love/hate relationship with hidden trackable information anyway, so who knows. Not enough to ruin the game for me, at any rate.

Regardless, yes. Liked it, keeping it.

J
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22. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:232] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
I like board games more than most people.
United States
Northlake
Illinois
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When I die I want people to look at the condition of my games and say, "Man, he really played these alot."
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Friday night was my wife's Bunco night so we had planned on playing Die Macher as we had five available players. However, a few days prior, one player had to cancel due to work committments.

Our back up plan if we only had four players was to bring out Civilization. One of the players owned the game and another was thinking about buying a copy.

The game was slated to start at 6:30 pm but we didn't get going until about 7:15. We ended the game at 4:00 am when one player fulfilled the victory conditions.

I had only played the game once before and that time we had to quit after about 3 1/2 hours of play so this was the first full game I have played.

In all honesty, I think this will also be the last full game I play. It's not so much that I didn't like the game as it just didn't seem like fun after the first four hours. It seemed repetitive and just seemed like you were going through the same motions every turn. For me, the fun factor did not justify the time involved.

Additionally, the guy who wanted to buy the game now is no longer on the fence - he too thought that it went too long and he realized that he would probably never get this to the table anyway.

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23. Board Game: Bullfrog Goldfield [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:5411]
patrick stevens
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Played this with So. Cal. Playtesters Group. We tried out an expansion that adds town deeds. It seemed to work very well and David Mines won.
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24. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:472]
Mark Paul
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Several great games.

Bridgette.....Several good hands. Incredible game.
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25. Board Game: Ascending Empires [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:810]
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
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I actually played a lot of games this weekend, but this one was the highlight for me. It's almost as if the designer had me in mind when he put it together!
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