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Home, Home on the Range!!
Stephen Stewart
United States
Visalia
California
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It's sooo Hot out here...
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...Where the deer and the antelope plaaaeeeeeeeeeeeey.

Where seldom is hoid, a discouraging woid, and the skies are not cloudy all daaaaaaaiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee.


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1. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:68]
Stephen Stewart
United States
Visalia
California
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Impromptu game day.

Grant, Darrell, Walter and I played a "friendly" game of Troyes.

First play for everyone but Grant.

I like the variety of actions you can do during your turn.

There are some key planning/timing issues to work with to assure a really good turn when you start.

Walter wins the TIE BREAKER by virtue of playing after the first player that he tied. Going last is not good.

The only thing that concerns me with this game is the closeness of scores that we had. 44, 44, 42, 40. I hope that you actually have to work to get the points and not have the points just fall into your lap regardless of your actions.


Good play and will play again willingly.
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2. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:287]
Stephen Stewart
United States
Visalia
California
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4 player non team game with the above players.


Darrell's first game.

Game seemed to flow well with most of the stacks of cards getting depleted fairly fast.

Walter cheats at end of game to win....
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3. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:11]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Dustin and I played this and some how my rule book was not in the box after I left Grant's house? We used some player aids from the geek and what I remember.

It was a very tight game with him coming out on top by 3 points pot of 150.
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4. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:39]
Mozzee (Michael) Murphy
United States
Redding
California
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Last night my wife said she'd play any game I picked out, so I took a chance, and setup a 2-player short version game of Le Havre. It was a learning game and I didn't give her all the rules at once, and a few things I did teach didn't stick until later, but she was getting it by the end. Since one of the things I failed to clearly communicate was how and when shipping works, I decided I was going to sort of sand-bag my last turn, to allow her to ship twice. But I tripped up in my scheme, and totally hosed my final action so the score wound up being fairly close: 136 to 115. She did use the phrase "Next time, I would probably..." so that sounds like a win in my book.
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5. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:541]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Tony brought thid one out for the first time. This is a worker placket and auction game where you collect a variety of resources to build up your town.each building gives you further bonuses to be used in the income phase or final scoring.

Tony played a game of little resources but ended up winning by 1 point. I think I over paid on some auctions. Patrick seemed to have a good engine going but for some reason hiss final score was much lower than ours.
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6. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:11]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Tony, Patrick, and I finished with this one. There re a lot of different ways to go with this game finishing everything is impossible so what is the optimal combination of buildings to complete? Out was a pretty tight game the whole time.
Cates 180
Tony 170
Patrick 165
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7. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:529] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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A warm up before everyone arrived - 2 player game Patrick and Myself -

We both ended with low scores - Patrick was able to use a construct to take a second turn - I was feeling like I was chasing Patrick the whole game. When it came down to it, it was a close game I think the scores were something like 63 to 61

Tony 63
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8. Board Game: Ascension: Return of the Fallen [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:596] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Mozzee (Michael) Murphy
United States
Redding
California
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Zane and I played a round of Ascension with most of the ROTF expansion cards thrown in. It was a good game. I decided to run with a lifebound hero strategy, and almost pure Mystic-based, ery little strength. My son was all about taking out the monsters, and he thought he was killing me because he had such a pile of stones. But my lifebound hero strategy kept not panning out, yet I kept having opportunities to pick up large Mech Constructs purely for the point density, and before I knew it I had 4 constructs out there and was drawing extra cards, and pulling in 3 extra strength every turn. Zane was stunned when counted up the points and I was ahead 84 to 70.
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9. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:287]
Mozzee (Michael) Murphy
United States
Redding
California
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Molly and I played to rounds of Innovation. In the first game I was trying to tech up fast, and had a great board going, but I let her get ahead of my on the score pile, and I couldn't dismantle it quite fast enough. She won 6 achievements to my 4.

The next game I didn't meant to go whole hog on the score, but I wasn't going to neglect it. I raced ahead and took the 5/10/15 achievements, then I used a card which allowed me to meld my entire score pile, which had at least 10 cards in it. I did it just for fun, thinking that I'd have a ton of symbols once I started splaying. What I didn't think of was that they were all dinky cards, namely from ages 1-3. So once I splayed them, all I had was an abundance of castles. She was ahead of my on all useful icons, and I couldn't manage to help myself without helping her more. It was looking grim for me, but somehow I landed 2 clocks when she only had 1, so I kept milking the clock dogma any time I could, and stayed ahead with the clocks. The card that turned it around for me was Quantum Theory, which, for the cost of returning 2 cards from hand, you get to draw a 10, and draw and score a 10. I had a fistful of cards, so I was able to almost instantly rebuild my decimated score pile, and scoop up 3 more achievements for the win.
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10. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:843]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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2 player Nick and myself - it was a tough game on one of Nicks turns he had to pull and resolve 8 tokens and another turn he had to pull 6. We were lucky to get the bolder it took out allot of the baddies and then Nick got another bolder that took out more and we had hope. It was my turn and I pulled a bolder that took out the last castle piece.

The Game wins
Nick 2nd with 24 points
Tony 3rd with 12 points
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11. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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Nick wanted to play this comic book hero vs the bad guy co-operative game.

Our first play did not turn out to good, we played 1 hero each and the bad guy was the lowest, easiest villain - I think we did a couple of things wrong "Oops". Even though the game villain is played by the game it would be nice to have a person sit in and play the villain and environmental cards to keep track of all the bonuses and such.

It seems like the sweet spot from everything I've read is 4 the game plays 2 to 5 maybe next time we'll play two hero's each


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12. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:843]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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two players - this time we felt we had a good chance as we were in trouble early and saved by boulders although the boulders ended up being our demise

The game won again
Tony with 18 points
Nick with 14 points
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13. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:529] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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The highest scoring game I've ever played it seemed to take hours - we were getting allot of heroes and constructs and not allot of monsters.

Tony 123
Nick 106
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14. Board Game: Dark Moon [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:794]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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First time through learning the rules. Darrell was Lee Adama, Dustin was Starbuck, Tony-Roselin, and I-Gaius Baltar. The game has a lot of things going for it. The dice mechanism is perfect because there's nothing like somebody rolling crappy and not contributing, then calling them a cylon. The humans were two spots away from making the jump to earth and I used my special power to look at Darrell's role cards and then accussed him of being a cylon when I was in fact the cylon. Then I got lucky on the crisis roll which made it so the humans would lose two morale and be demoralized. The skill check failed and I took the victory.
Had I not had that come up I was planning to push for Darrell being brigade and reveal as a cylon the next turn removing two dice from the pool permanently.
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15. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:541]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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Four player worker placement game Roland, Tony, Patrick, and Daryl.
Roland had asked a question and I wasn't paying attention. So Roland ended up taking multiple building types that isn't allowed unfortunately this did not pay off for Roland. Patrick learned from his loss the first time we played and tore it up this time coming in first.

Patrick 1st
Daryl 2nd
Roland 3rd
Tony 4th
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16. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Anthony Baldassar
United States
San Jose
California
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Kind of a four player game - The game if supposed to take care of the Villain and Environmental phases, although when I played with my son I thought for tracking purposes it would be easier if someone would sit in just for the maintenance of the two game functions.

So the heroes were Roland, Patrick, and Daryl
It was difficult understanding what Daryl’s powers were and as the game unfolded it became clear.
The heroes started out slow and were taking allot of damage, soon the heroes would pick up momentum.
They were able destroy the evil device the mad scientist built to pull the moon into the earth. After that mad scientist wanted revenge on the heroes and put on his evil suit of evil – the heroes fought hard and long but in the end evil was able to defeat the heroes and until the next time they meet evil will take this day as a win.
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17. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:472]
Mark Clark Jr
United States
Visalia
California
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While they were playing Homesteaders Brian, Tim, and I played Kingdom Builder. I've been curious to try this one and I have to say that I like it, of course it doesn't hurt that I won the first game...

First game:
Mark: 42
Tim: 33
Brian: 21

Since the first one went so fast we decided to play a second time with the remaining boards that we hadn't used in the first game. We also went with different victory cards. That second game I just couldn't get spread out as well as I did the first time around to get points. Brian and Tim were both able to grab the special abilities that let them build across water so were able to expand a lot easier.

Second game:
Tim: 85
Brian: 84
Mark: 53
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18. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:715] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Mark Clark Jr
United States
Visalia
California
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After that Tim, Brian, and I went on to Quarriors I've played it a couple of times but I think it was Tim and Brian's first plays.

I know it was close between Tim and Brian in the end but I think Tim won this one by hitting 15 points first.
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19. Board Game: Cutthroat Caverns [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1227]
Mark Clark Jr
United States
Visalia
California
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Friday evening was some gaming with the work peoples and first up was Cutthroat Caverns. The cards really did not work out for me here.

I was able to get 2 kills in after everyone else had burned their cards stopping other people early on. Unfortunately In the end it didn't help as our Blood Mage we fought was able to get two more encounters out for the +5 prestige per kill. Somehow Kennon was able to kill both of those for the run away win.

Final scores:
Kennon 21
Jon 13
Joseph 11
David 6
Steve and Mark 5
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20. Board Game: Dungeon Run [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2651]
Mark Clark Jr
United States
Visalia
California
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After that we played this one that I'd just picked up on Tuesday. Joseph and Kennon headed home so we did a 4 player game.

I think I need to play it a few more times but I'm kinda iffy on this right now. At the start it feels a lot like Betrayal at House on the Hill with everyone kinda wandering off to explore the dungeon.

I went with Birodin the Mountain Vargath (goat) Priest, David went with Dorgan the xenophobic Dwarven Treasure Hunter, Jon with Addolgar Vayne the Questing Knight, and Steve with Stabbins the Cave Goblin.

We set off into the dungeon in search of the summoning stone and promptly all split up to wander about in the dark on our own. There were a couple of assisted kills here and there but for the most part we all explored individually. Luckily not to much sabotaging occurred this early as we were all still figuring it out. There were some good fights, some near defeats, and some adventurers bravely running away from the monsters. Also Stabbins kept wandering off and tossing items down the wishing well for some reason...

After exploring the dungeon we were finally able to locate the Colossus's lair and confront him. Meanwhile, in another part of the dungeon, Stabbins fled with his loot from the dragon he'd woken up. Dorgan, and Addolgar assisted me in finally vanquishing the beast and taking the summoning stone. Allowing me to become an all powerful summoner! Which is the point that the sudden yet inevitable betrayals began.

Unfortunately Dorgan decided to celebrate my newly elevated status by planting his axe in my back and claiming the summoning stone as his own. Of course this also was the perfect opportunity for Addolgar as he promptly planted his sword in Dorgan's spleen leaving only a cave goblin between him and the exit.

The way the dungeon laid itself out forced them to confront each other in the one room that negated all hero abilities so it ended in a straight duel to the death. Addolgar barely survived the encounter with Stabbins with 1 life point left to become a new Summoner.

In the end I think I like this game more after the summoning stone is in play. Now that I know the rules a bit better the next play should be very interesting. I'll be curious to see if there's more sabotage and backstabbing going on prior to the boss showing up.
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21. Board Game: Catan: Traders & Barbarians [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Mozzee (Michael) Murphy
United States
Redding
California
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My wife and I had talked about going up to the big trees today (since it was free admission), but when we got up, she says, "I'm feeling kind of lazy. How 'bout we just stay home and play games?"

So first up was our first play of the Traders & Barbarians Scenario from T&B of Catan. It took a ridiculous amount of time to setup, for reasons explained elsewhere (I'll include a link when the session report is approved). But once we got it setup, we had a lot of fun.

Our board layout was a little bizarre, in that 3 of the 8 numbers were on matching terrain: both 8s were wood, both 10s were grain, and both 4s were brick. I played nice in the placement of the neutral player pieces, but didn't realize until it was too late that we covered up 3 of the 4 3-for-1 ports, and the only one left was clearly in Carrie's reach, not mine. And with no Sheep income, I thought I was hosed from the get go. But I managed to use my Trade Tokens (part of the 2-player rules we were using) wisely, and did several forced trades to get what I needed to get moving.

In the end I won for 2 reasons. First Carrie took a gamble, and spent all her Gold to build a crucial development, and she made it through alright and got paid again. It went so well she did it again, and then she was stuck. I had managed to build an almost continuous road from the Quarry to the Castle, and the Neutral player's network blocked every way around on one end. Carrie found herself on the wrong side of my road with no Gold to pay my toll. I pointed out that her only hope was to go all the way around on unimproved paths. Again I played nice, and DIDN'T place the single road that would have trapped her in.

Carrie did a forced trade with me once, and she gave me what she had too much of: 2 Sheep! I immediately was able to upgrade my cart twice!

The second reason I won was because after build a road that basically went from Quarry to Castle, I kept pulling exactly the right tiles, so I was able to keep going back and forth, and never needed to go to the third trade station until the very end. So I was able to make very good time with my cart, eventually able to get across the board in a single turn.

The last few plays were merely a formality, when we both realized I was going to win once I could deliver my load.

But it was fun, and look forward to teaching it to the kids.
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22. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:58] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Mozzee (Michael) Murphy
United States
Redding
California
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After T&B we played a couple rounds of Dominion, while the various neighborhood kids came and went. I think I need a revolving door for the front of the house!

Carrie won the first game, and I thought for sure she was killing me on the second game. We had only 4 kingdom cards priced under 5, and she got a 2/5 split and bought a Bazaar, and was quickly hitting 5,6 & 7 regularly. I never got over 4 for the first 8 rounds, and when I finally did, I got 8, and had a hard decision whether or not to take a province, or get something that was going to be helpful sooner. But in the end, I managed to pull 5 of the provinces down, although I don't know how. So I won.

Whew!
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23. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:546]
Roland Wood
United States
Visalia
California
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Did a solo run of this on Monday afternoon. My space marines were able to get to the final location before being overrun and slaughtered by the genestealer horde. Fun little game that is entirely dependant upon luck. However, when it all lines up for you it makes for some exciting moments. Mostly, though, you fail...
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24. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Roland Wood
United States
Visalia
California
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Played this Tuesday night with my sister in law and wife-- and lost horribly. My net score for tickets was -2. Part of the problem was unfamiliarity of the city names and locations. Twice I started working toward the wrong city on the map only to catch my mistake too late. The main problem was that it is just a brutal map with many locations only having two routes leading in and they got taken quiokly. I forgot how fun Ticket to Ride can be.
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25. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:598]
Roland Wood
United States
Visalia
California
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Taught this to my sister in law after our game of Ticket to Ride and she liked it a lot. If you haven't played this game it is the ultimate casual game of multiplayer solitaire that I have ever played. However, if you have things to chat about in between turns then it makes for a pleasant way to pass the time. I have printed out the advanced version and will try that the next time we play.
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