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Geeklist s for 20th Century Limited

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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Tina Dial
United States
Lexington park
Maryland
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Raujour likes train games, we played this at GenCon in 2015, I liked it so I recently purchased it.
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Brio Porter
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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Condition: Good. Minor shelf wear. Unplayed. Components in original packaging.
Language: English
Edition/Publisher: Rio Grande 2015.
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Betsy & Chuck Berry
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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Hi, Sarah (and Friends who support you) - -

Thank you for hosting once again, and adding even more fun to this already-wonderful hobby! I plan to take on your
(1) 10x10 HARDCORE CHALLENGE in 2017 (along with several other Challenges I'll describe below). Here are my 11 games. As last year, I'll try to play all eleven at least eleven times each.:

20th Century Limited
Alhambra
Amerigo
At the Gates of Loyang
Blue Moon City
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Cinque Terre
Concordia
Notre Dame
Quadropolis
Thurn and Taxis

10% complete


Also (2A) 100 x 1 Challenge This is an enhanced version of Daphne & Francois' idea, with the bar raised as they suggest: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing HARD!" Chuck only is working on the 10x10 above, but Betsy and Chuck together are doing the following Challenges. If either of us plays a game, it counts; if both of us play together, it counts only once. Our 2017 Goal is to play at least:

100 games once each
80 of these 2 times
60 of these 3 times
40 of these 4 times
20 of these 5 times
... for a total of 300 plays. Here is our progress:

By January 1: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0(+) = 0
0% complete


First-time-in-2017 plays (in alphabetical order):

Favorites in bold.

Alhambra (1/6)
Amerigo (1/20)
Bang (1/19)
Blue Moon City (1/6)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (1/13)
China (1/3)
Cinque Terre (1/15)
Concordia (1/20)
Cottage Garden (1/2)
Dungeon Petz (1/7)
El Grande (1/7)
Fields of Arle (1/7)
Freedom (1/12)
Gold West (1/9)
Hansa Teutonica (1/13)
Isle of Skye (1/6)
Just Desserts (1/19)
Pandemic - State of Emergency (1/5)
Tokaido (1/11)
Travel Blog (1/6)

20% complete


And (2B) 100 Day Challenge at the same time. As they suggest, we'll play games on 100 different days during 2017. It will be a pleasure!

Days we played games:
January: 2-15. 19-20
16% complete


Also (2C) 100x1 Challenge. If Pandemic-Legacy Season 2 comes out, we’ll likely play it at least 100 times (though maybe not 260 like we did for Season 1 in 2016 ... but who knows?!). The game we've played most so far this year: Cottage Garden 6


Plus (3) Off-the-Shelf Challenge that Sarah introduced a few years ago. Among the plays above, we want to open and learn and test-play these twenty games and expansions, most of which we got in 2016:

51st State
Airlines Europe
China Decent well-designed game, good instructions, but maybe a little attacking for us ... need to play a few times
Coal Baron
Costa Rica
Cottage Garden Easy to learn and pretty, more forgiving than Patchwork, and plays with 3 & 4 as well.
CV
Dungeon Lords
Gold West Wonderful! The mancala-caused actions are better linked than in Trajan ... great game!
Lost Temple
Marco Polo
Myrmes
Panamax
Pandemic - Iberia
Pandemic - State of Emergency Yet more clever enhancements ... the animals are Big Fun!
Saint Malo
Scoville
Steam
Steam Works
Uchronia

20% COMPLETE

PS: Other first-time plays of games we own:
Just Desserts
Tokaido - Crossroads

(4) Basic ABC Challenge. Chuck will do a slightly-stiffer version, but not all the way to hardcore. I'll play only board games with multiple players and will play them in ABC order, but will also count them even if they overlap with my several other challenges.

Here is my progress:

Alhambra (1/6)
Blue Moon City (1/6)
China (1/6)
Dungeon Petz (1/7)
El Grande (1/7)
Fields of Arle (1/7)
Gold West (1/11)
Hansa Teutonica (1/13)
Isle of Skye (1/13)


Finally (5) Hirsch-Index to 34. We have now played 30 games at least 30 times during the five years we've been recording our plays on BGG. By the end of 2017 we intend to have played 34 games at least 34 times. Here's our progress:

H = 30 on January 1, 2017


Thank You to the many Gaming Friends who will help us complete these challenges!
11 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Bryce Journey
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Games That Stood The Test Of Time

20th Century Limited - 3 plays then, 9 plays since then - This cross between Ticket to Ride and Transamerica was a big hit with me and my wife. We played it regularly all throughout the year. d10-8Ed10-8

7 Wonders Duel - 1 play then, 5 plays since then - I've come down on the side of those that think this is an even better design than the original. So good. d10-7Ed10-9

The Voyages of Marco Polo - 1 play then, 3 plays since then - Learned it from a friend a year ago and eventually got my own copy. 2016 is going to go down as the Year of the Dice-Drafter for me. I just loved every design of that genre I played in the last year. d10-7Ed10-8

Dice City - 5 plays then, 11 plays since then - Another hit with my wife. We played it a lot early in the year and then a lot later in the year after I got all the expansions Black Friday weekend. d10-7Ed10-7

Ghostbusters: The Board Game - 3 plays then, 15 plays since then - My initial impression of this was correct a year ago. This is indeed the family dungeon crawler / campaign game I've been searching for. I under-ranked it a year ago, though, and it goes up for the consistent fun it's provided my family and me. It remains everything that I had wished Mice and Mystics had been but wasn't. I'm really looking forward to the Kickstarter sequel fulfillment later in 2017. I also ordered us the Kickstarter exclusives from the first Kickstarter as an add-on. d10-6Ed10-7


Games That Kind Of Stood The Test Of Time

Carcassonne: Star Wars - 2 plays then, 1 play since then - I picked this up a year ago because... why not? It's not the greatest Carcassonne spin-off, but it's got its good points. Got it to the table just once more, though. It will probably continue to see occasional play. d10-6Ed10-5


Games I Haven't Played Since But Want To

Rome: City of Marble - 4 plays then, 0 plays since then - The reception of others I taught this to a year ago was pretty average. No one hated it but no one has requested it since. I think this is because, while the game mechanics offer some interesting twists on area control, the experience as a whole is very abstract. I'm okay with that more than most of the people I tend to game with, so it's been a tough sell to get it back to the table. Still, I wouldn't mind doing so soon. d10-7Ed10-6

Saint Petersburg (second edition) - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - This was one of my Christmas games from a year ago. I had a very successful inaugural play with my wife, but we haven't played it since. It just got overshadowed by some other Christmas games. We'll have to see if we can schedule a play of it in the near future. d10-7Ed10-7

Java - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - I demoed the entire Mask trilogy for a Saturday afternoon a year ago. This one had a better reception than Mexica, but hasn't been requested since. It's a nother case of being overshadowed by newer games. I still need to teach my wife this one, so maybe it will be played again soon. d10-6Ed10-6

Mexica - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - I didn't think this one was as interesting as Java, but I'd still play it again given the opportunity. d10-6Ed10-5

Crosscheck - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - This might be the most interesting vintage word game I've played. But it's overly long. The next time I play, there are some house rules I'm going to implement. d10-5Ed10-5

Master Fox - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - This turned out to be a decent kids game, but not compelling again to inspire my son and I to play again since learning it a year ago. But I wouldn't turn down a game if he ever requests it again. d10-4Ed10-4


Games I Don't Need To Play Again
none!
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Todd Snyder
United States
Creve Coeur
Missouri
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Condition: Very Good

Played once, some of the green pieces are a significantly lighter shade of green than the other pieces, but it does not affect game play. English first edition Rio Grande Games 2015

Soft Reserve: $12
BIN: $22

Sold by
Todd Snyder
United States
Creve Coeur
Missouri
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Tamás Lévai
Hungary
Budapest
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Állapot: bontatlan
Nyelv: angol
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
John Wong
Canada
Markham
Ontario
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Excellent Condition
Smoke/Pet free home
1st Edition. English
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Rebus Carnival
United States
Reston
Virginia
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SR $10
BIN $20

NIS
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
marvin knighton
United States
Houston
Texas
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Today is a good day to GAME! But then so was yesterday and tomorrow too.
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NIS. $27. cash at con. no more offers
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
John Wong
Canada
Markham
Ontario
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Excellent Condition
Smoke/Pet free home
1st Edition. English
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Todd Snyder
United States
Creve Coeur
Missouri
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Condition: Very Good

Played once, some of the green pieces are a significantly lighter shade of green than the other pieces, but it does not affect game play. English first edition Rio Grande Games 2015

Soft Reserve: $12
BIN: $20

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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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Complete, light wear on cards, all other components excellent condition. Green tracks are in two shades of green.
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Michael
Canada
Neepawa
Manitoba
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Condition: Box & Components Very Good (Well taken care of).

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Edition: First Edition

Language: English
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Tom Travis
United States
Fremont
California
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I wandered a bit and found a game of 20th Century Limited that was just getting set up. A Rio Grande expert taught the rules to me, Christopher and Brian. It is a train game, so each turn you can place up to 3 tracks, and you are working on either building regional lines, or taking lines what you have already built and selling them to another company, which removes your trains from the board so you have them available to build more tracks elsewhere. You don’t have enough trains to build all the tracks you need, so you can’t only do regional lines, or else you will run out. You need to go through the regional lines in order, so you start in the north east and generally move west from there. Christopher got off to a slightly slower start, and was having trouble with the fourth region out of eight, so he started focusing on doing more company line sales. With a couple more turns, he would have completed a large network that would have given him the most points, but Brian completed his eighth regional line, after I had been leading in those most of the way, so I ended with seven. He just edged me in the score, 148 to 141, with Christopher with 104 and his 50+ point company nearly done.

I enjoyed it so much that when someone showed some curiosity about the game as we were setting it back to the starting configuration, I offered to teach it to him and play again. So Zach and I played. We were neck and neck pretty much the whole time. I went first, so I was completing a line, and then he would. Then I took a little time to complete a company line and he started finishing regional lines before me. Later on I completed another one which gave me a bonus for completing 4 routes that contained Canadian cities. In the game, you randomly choose a bonus card from 3 different decks that apply to that game, so there is a lot of replayability that comes out of that. I built my eighth regional line first, and since everyone gets the same number of turns, he was able to finish his as well on his last turn. My bonus ended up being a good chunk of my margin of victory, 154-134. You also can use someone else’s track by paying them with an entry waiver token and you start the game with 4 of them. It is a closed economy, so if you never use someone’s track, you can hold on to them and stop others from sharing, or you can just turn around and share other one’s back when you need them.
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Betsy & Chuck Berry
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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We've just packed tentatively and have room for this one. We learned it at Origins 2015 and it's our Favorite Train Game.
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James Sinden
United Kingdom
Twickenham
Middlesex
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Condition: As New
English edition
Rio Grande Games

Starting bid: 20 euros
BIN: 30 euros

Auction ends: 2nd Oct, random time

Thanks


Sold elsewhere
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Tim Collett
United States
Shawnee
Kansas
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- In shrink.

Starting bid: $12

BIN: $22
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Wayne Walker
United States
Chuluota
Florida
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Wishlist/Radar

In theory I would love TransAmerica with some pickup and deliver. Some of the reviews make me worry that they missed the mark. Low price point may push me over the edge, although I may wait to see if the upcoming Orient Express is a better option (or the same thing on a different map).
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Panda Z
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Game for 2 to 5 players about building train routes and networks over USA.
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Adam Daulton
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Condition New in Shrink

Edition 2015 edition

Language English

Comments Though it is in shrink, a sticker was removed from the front of the box where the shrink was cut away. This left some of the cover with some paper pulled off in a 2x3 inch area.

Attending Wednesday - Sunday
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
John Wong
Canada
Markham
Ontario
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Excellent condition
English 1st Edition
Rio Grande Games
Attending all 4 days
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Eduard Florea
United States
California
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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On Saturday, I was down in NJ for my sister's birthday.

_6_ Takenoko - This was with me, Anni, Lauren, and Jon; Lauren was new, and I'm not sure if Jon had played. This was a birthday present for Lauren from Jon, and since we had four players, we decided to give it a go. From my previous game, I remembered that the farmer and land goal cards were much harder than the panda ones, so I focused more on those. Fortunately, I kept drawing high-value cards that weren't that difficult, incluing two 6-point eat one of each color cards. I didn't roll that well (lots of wind), but the good card luck seemed to more than make up for that. I ended up being the one to get all my cards down, and won by a fair bit.


On Saturday night, we drove down to the outer banks of North Carolina for John Kerr's annual "Beach Week" gaming retreat. I'm still there now, and will be recapping a lot more games next week. Here's Sunday's games, though...

_8_ 20th Century Limited - This was with me, Anni, Tucker, and Molly; only I had played before. I had played this a couple of weeks ago and was anxious to play it again and teach Anni; fortunately Joe had brought his copy. I began by completing a whole bunch of regional rails, leaving the companies for later. When I did start doing companies, I opted for medium-sized ones, eschewing the tiny ones. About halfway through the game, I picked up a 56-point company card, thinking it might be nice to have that option. I didn't end up getting any of the bonuses--Tucker picked up the balanced bonus, Anni stole the Canada bonus out from Tucker's nose, and I don't think anyone claimed the South bonus. Toward the end of the game, I came up with a plan to complete my 56-point card, working my 6- and 7-regionals into the process. Unfortunately Tucker ended the game a few turns before I could finish that plan, and with that won the game.


_8_ Hansa - This was with me, Anni, Rob, and Ben; everyone had played before. Ben shot to an early lead by dropping 3-stacks of market stalls in some key cities to take the majorities. It turns out things work pretty well when your barrels are free and everyone else has to pay you money. I worked mostly on getting my market stalls on the board, but it was difficult to get majorities in anyplace important. I did get a majority in Riga, which though it's one of the least important cities on the map, wound out paying out a few times. We were able to catch up to Ben a bit, and when the game ended the scores were closer than we expected, but Ben still won.


_8_ Grand Austria Hotel - This was with me, Anni, and Molly; Molly was new. We played the night sides with the pre-set staff sets. The bonuses in this game were 6 staff cards, 2 rows, and 3 color sets. I started out by getting my 3-yellow block completed in time for the emperor bonus. This propelled me along, and I felt like I was actually having a very good game. Unfortunately for me, Anni was also having a good game, and managed to get into two of the three bonus cards right before I was able to. I had played a end-game staff card that gave me points for my emperor tracks, but it turned out I got focused on other stuff toward the end of the game, and didn't even get the emperor bonus in the last round. My other two end-game bonus cards were pretty good, though. On the last turn, Anni managed to use the bonuses from one customer to fill another customer to ensure that she got her last customer fulfilled, a plus when she thought she would have to take the penalty. That worked out to be the difference in the game, as she beat me by a few points.


_9_ AquaSphere - This was with me, Anni, and Molly; everyone was new. I picked up a card early on that gave me a crystal whenever I killed octopods, which meant I would actually spend effort doing that this turn (and I fortunately could avoid having to harvest crystals). I wasn't able to get a wedge piece that let me kill extra octopods though, which was a bummer. The extra octopod focus came at the expense of subs--I was only able to get a single sub out early, and didn't get my third sub until the last turn. I still focused on wedges though--winning without that massive point source seems very difficult. As it turned out though, all three of us had all the wedge letters except 'D' on the last turn of the game, and there were no D's flipped. There were a couple D's buried one deep, and the programming space was in a spot where it was possible to take two wedge pieces, but if anyone uncovered a D one of the other players would immediately swoop in and take it. So we all had to scrap that plan and do other things. When we tallied the scores, Anni and I ended up with the exact same number, and we were tied on the first tiebreaker (control of the station). I ended up winning on the second tiebreaker, number of crystals left.



_6_ Rolling Freight (new!) - This was with me, Anni, and Joe; only Joe had played before. We played on the western map. I had expressed interest in learning this one, and Joe volunteered to bring it so that he could teach me, so big thanks to Joe! Anyway, I focused early on building routes that were next to each other, so that I could eventually have a nice network. I did look for red and yellow deliveries that would give me some nice bonuses, but the cities that actually wanted those color goods all seemed to be very far away. So I mostly ignored goods early, while Joe did the opposite and delivered a lot of goods early for the early-round bonus. Since I wasn't delivering early, I invested in a lot of switching stations so I could make long deliveries late with the long-distance blue and gray goods. As the late game rolled around, I got a little frustrated that the long-distance goods would get delivered only one or two hops away, before I could use my then-impressive network or get the long-distance bonus. I ended up filling in some of those spots just so I could send other goods through those cities. I did have a few nice deliveries at the end, maxing out at a distance of 8. That wasn't quite enough to catch Joe though, who won by a handful of points.



THOUGHTS ON NEW-TO-ME GAMES

Rolling Freight takes the pick-up-and-deliver mechanism from Age of Steam and puts it into a train game with no economics, pre-printed routes that can be built, and an action system where your actions are determined by dice you roll. On the surface, this would seem to be a less involved experience, but while it's definitely easier, I wouldn't say it's shorter. Routes are available to be built in a random order, which makes it harder for players to build a giant network in one area, and encourages players to use each other's tracks. I didn't really care for the action dice system, as it felt like I was always wasting efficiency when my dice didn't work out. There were also special-power technologies that could be purchased, which were pretty good at differentiating people's strategies. The board was laid out so as to prevent easy deliveries of the goods that give bonuses for short runs, and also prevent long deliveries of goods that give bonuses for long runs. I was a little frustrated by that, but I guess learning the map better would yield insight as to where the workable parts of the map are. My bigger concerns were with graphic design--the cities were ringed with their demand color, which theoretically could be seen with the available good sitting in the middle. Practically though, with some cities having multiple demand rings right next to them, lots of stuff placed on the board, and two of the colors being very similar, I found it very difficult to read the board. The game also had some of the smallest cards that I've ever seen, which added to the fiddliness. On the whole, I like a lot of these game mechanics, but found the game to be a bit frustrating and long.
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Michael
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Condition: Box & Components Very Good (Well taken care of).

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Edition: First Edition

Language: English
 
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Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3883]
Doug Faust
United States
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This weekend I drove down to Game Days, a small convention in Maryland. Anni was off at a librarian conference, so I was on my own.

FRIDAY

_7_ World's Fair 1893 (new!) - This was with me, Marvin, and two others; only Marvin had played before. Marvin gathered a few people who were milling around, including me, and offered to teach this. I didn't have much of a coherent strategy in this one, but I mostly tried to get majorities in regions where I my starting cubes were in the beginning, and majorities where I needed the colors to get sets late. As a result, I did fairly well on the set collection part of the game, but I didn't do as well getting tickets or even winning majorities. I don't remember exactly how I finished, but Marvin was well ahead of everyone, and I was bunched in with the other players.


_7_ 7 Wonders Duel (new!) - Marvin said Dan had promised to teach him Grand Austria Hotel, so I decided to join him since I like that game. However, Dan was busy, so Marvin taught me 7 Wonders: Duel in the meantime. I was new. I took the typical 7 Wonders strategy of getting resources early, and since the wonders I ended up with had some military on them, I pretty much avoided science and took military cards where it seemed useful. Well, Marvin focused on science since I wasn't, be he seemed to be having a lot of trouble getting two of the same symbol. He also didn't concern himself with resources at all, only grabbing a gray resource that I somehow managed to destroy in the course of the game. It turns out not having resources isn't a particularly effective way of playing this game. As a result, I built all four of my wonders while he built none, and while he managed to avoid the military insta-win, I more than doubled his score at the end.


_8_ Grand Austria Hotel - Somehow, while we were playing 7 Wonders: Duel, Dan got himself involved in a game of The Gallerist and loaned out his copy of Grand Austria Hotel to some other folks. Fortunately, the people who had borrowed Grand Austria only numbered two and hadn't started yet, and they were more than happy to have us join. Unfortunately, the guy who was explaning the game had already started doing so, and wasn't too keen on bringing Marvin up to speed, so I had to give him some pointers without stepping on the other guy's toes. He also got some setup rules wrong, but not big-deal ones, and I didn't feel like digging through rules to contradict him. Anyway, I and the other guy explaining had played before, Marvin and the other other guy had not. We played with 6 random staff cards. Halfway through the game, the other explainer said he didn't realize what time it was, and had to quit the game. Fortunately, we were able to re-jigger the game for 3 players on the fly. I don't recall having any particularly juicy combos set up during the game, but I ended up doing particularly well. I fulfilled all three bonus cards first for the 15 spots, while the other players never really got off the ground. However, they both seemed to enjoy the game, at least.


_8_ Above and Below - Scott had just bought a bunch of games, including Grand Austria Hotel, Quadropolis, and Above and Below, and was reading through rules and punching stuff. I mentioned that I could teach Above and Below, so we did that. This was with me, Scott, and Gretchen; only I had played before. I focused early on resource-gathering, while Gretchen and Scott were more interested in recruiting and adventuring. As a result, I was able to build up my income earlier on. However, things started equalizing as the game progressed, and I did more adventuring trying to find different goods types. Scott grabbed the building that gave points for buildings right before I was going to, but I was able to take another end-game building that was of about equal value. I did end up winning in the end, but it was actually a lot closer than any of us suspected.


_6_ Splendor - Scott and Gretchen were going to join John and Sheila for dinner, and invited me along, but weren't meeting up for another 40 minutes, so we broke out this filler. Everyone had played before. I kept steering myself in the general direction of the bonus tiles, but as usual, I didn't end up achieving any of them before they were taken. However, in this play I did focus a little more on getting cards that were worth points. That ended up serving me pretty well, as I wound up ending the game before anyone else was really close. This is the first time I've actually won this game.


_7_ Codenames - We got back from dinner fairly late, and I really only had the wherewithal for Codenames. John, Sheila, and I were on one team, while Scott, Gretchen, and Dan were on the other; everyone had played before. I went first to give clues, but was doing fairly awful because my team kept guessing innocent bystanders (to be fair, I wasn't going out of my way to make sure my clues didn't involve said bystanders). However, I was saved at the last minute when the opponent's team, who was far ahead, picked the assassin. The third round of the game, with John and Gretchen giving clues, was completely ridiculous, as "platypus" was one of the clues, and the other team decided to guess it just because they liked the word. Turns out, it was theirs! This strategy worked well enough that they ended up guessing another word out of the blue, which turned out to be theirs as well. Well, they obviously won that round.


SATURDAY

_8_ Mombasa - This was with me, Don, and Jay; only Don was new. Don really wanted to learn this one, and I was more than happy to teach. We decided to use the standard rules, and randomly ended up with three companies on the 2 side. One of my start tiles got me a free diamond, so I decided to focus on diamonds. This went pretty well for me in the early going, as the others didn't go after the diamond merchant cards. I ended up opening up the fourth card slot about halfway through the game. I actually maxed out the diamond track in this game, a personal first. Unfortunately, I didn't have much going in other parts of the game, as Don scored 63 for Cairo and Jay scored 70 for Mombasa. They both outscored me on the book track as well. It ended up being a close game though, with Jay winning 154-149-135. I was in last.


_6_ Evolution: Flight (new!) - This was with me, Don, Jay, and Cody; everyone but me had played both Evolution and Flight before, while I was rusty on Evolution and completely new to Flight. On the very first turn, everybody ended up starting with an animal with a Hard Shell (Don actually had 2 such animals), which was pretty funny. It also served to strongly discourage early-game carnivores. From there, Cody and Jay started investing in birds, which was annoying for my land-based animals. Of course, the birds didn't invest in much protection aside from flight, so I decided to make a flying carnivore. It was tough going early on because of the body size constraints, but soon I got pack hunting, which made body size less relevant. My flying carnivore pretty much set the tenor of the game, as it became a race to see who could do the best to protect themselves from it. The only other carnivore that showed up in the game was a land-based one from Don, but that too fell victim to my flying carnivore. Unfortunately for me, Jay did a really good job of protecting his four species from me, mainly through camouflage. Because of that, Jay ended up running away with the game.


_8_ Viticulture - This was with me, Don, Jay, Laura, and Leslie; only Laura was new. I got a start card that gave me an extra worker, which seemed like a no-brainer. I focused on blue cards over yellow cards early because I remembered that there were a bunch of ways to get extra workers in that deck. I wasn't disappointed, either, as I ended up getting all my workers out with cards in the game. The other parts of the game just didn't work out for me though, as my early vine cards dictated that I get both vine improvements early, and then my contract cards didn't match with the vines that I happened to draw. I think I was the last player to build my medium cellar, which isn't very conducive to completing contracts. As a result, I was trailing all game, but toward the end of the game I did manage to get my engine going. Of course, then the game ended and I found myself in fourth place. Jay won, though Leslie also crossed the 20-point barrier.


_8_ Grand Austria Hotel - This was with me, Scott, John, and Sheila; everyone had played before. In fact, Scott, John, and Sheila just got finished learning the game from Marvin (who, in turn, learned the game in the play above), and liked it enough to want to play a second straight time. They invited me in because Marvin had to leave. Unfortunately, some (but not all) of the poor rules teaching propagated itself to this game, but I was able to fix this so we played with the actual rules. We still played with the staff card sets, but we did play on the day sides of our boards (which I haven't done before). On the first roll, we got like seven 4's, and since I was going first, I was happy to take all those emperor points. Actually, the emperor track proved to be no problem for any of us this game, I think we all achieved the bonus in each round with points to spare. One of the goal cards required that I close all the rooms in a single color, and I decided early on that I would close my 7 blue rooms. I made good progress toward this through the first half of the game, but in the second half green cards stopped coming out, and the blue cards that came out all seemed to require black cubes, which were very difficult for me to make. So it worked out that my plan was a bit too ambitious, and I even ended up taking a -5 penalty for a blue card I couldn't complete. Despite that, it was very close in the end between myself and John, but he ended up winning by a few points.


(At this point, my phone died, so no more pictures.)

_8_ Steampunk Rally - This was with me, John, and Sheila; only I had played before. Sheila got off to an early lead, but had to deal with a lot of damage in the process, where I took it slowly trying not to lose my machine pieces. I was able to build my machine up early on, and I got the ability to golden wheel by the time I hit the shortcut, which I took to gain the lead. My machine kept growing and growing, and through the timely use of the card that lets me remove all dice with 3 pips or less, I kept being able to reuse my cards. By the time I got near the finish line, I was pretty unstoppable, as I could just keep chaining my abilities. I won pretty easily.

_6_ This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us (new!) - This was with me, Scott, John, and Sheila; everyone was new. I was thinking I'd go to bed, but the others talked me into this one last filler. I didn't really have much control over how the board played out; I just tried to score points for myself wherever I could. The silver bar tiles turned out to be less exciting than advertised, as it seemed like there were rarely any tiles that could legally be moved. In any case, John and I tied for the most points at the end, and I somehow won the tiebreaker.

SUNDAY

_8_ 20th Century Limited (new!) - This was with me, Pierre, and Peter; only Pierre had played before. As one might expect, we all worked on completing the low-numbered regional routes early on. The three bonuses available were regional and company both at level 4, 4 Canada companies, and 4 Red companies, so I was trying to keep that in mind as I planned out my companies, but Pierre claimed the level 4 one and Peter claimed the Canada one. I ended up being a little bit behind as I was getting a feel for the game and firming up my plans. I ended up grabbing a 62-point cross-country route from the display, hoping that I'd be able to hang my hat on that. My early companies all involved the red region, so once I completed 3 of those, I began to work on the big one (which also happened to involve red). Of course, working on the giant route put me even further behind the others in number of both regional and company routes completed, but I managed to finish it a good three turns before the game ended. I spend the last few turns getting my fifth regional out, and then Peter ended the game. After tallying the points, Peter won and I had come in second.



THOUGHTS ON NEW-TO-ME GAMES

World's Fair 1893 is one of those games that's played on a giant rondel. Each turn, a player places his influence cube in one of the five areas of the board, both to try to win a majority in that area as well as claim the cards that are there. The cards are then refilled clockwise around the board. There are three types of cards that can be won--"influential figures" that allow you to place more or move cubes next round, midway tickets that are worth points, and colored exhibits that correspond with the board areas. Players that have the most or second-most cubes in a region at the end of each round can turn in the colored exhibit cards for chits of the appropriate colors, and at the end of the game players score for having diversely colored chits. I did like how everything in the game seemed very well integrated. However, I found it a little difficult to exert much control over what happened, especially as it was a little difficult to predict when the rounds would end. On the whole, I thought this was a decent light game, but nothing special.

7 Wonders Duel is a two-player game based on the award-winning drafting game 7 Wonders. Instead of passing a hand of cards around to draft them, cards are arranged in a central display such that the corners of some cards are on top of other cards. Cards cannot be taken unless they have no other cards on top of them. Actually, the similarities to 7 Wonders are mostly thematic, as the mechanics of most of the card types has changed. The military cards work as a tug-of-war which provides various bonuses as the marker advanced on the track. The science cards can be turned in for a special ability if you can play two with the same symbols (and there are many more different symbols). In any case, the thing I enjoyed most about this game was taking cards such that my opponent didn't have access to the cards I'd need later on. I thought the game was pretty good.

Evolution: Flight is an expansion for Evolution that allows players to create flying animals. To do so, players must discard two cards, but are given the "Flight" trait for free--such animals cannot be attacked by non-flying animals, and certain defensive traits such as Warning Call can be nullified by discarding a card. Additionally, creatures with flight must eat for their body weight as well as their population (such food doesn't become points), but have access to a special food source that ground creatures can't reach. The expansion provides some nice additions to the base game, and those that like the base game will probably enjoy this too.

This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us is a microgame consisting of a small pile of tiles, as well as some extra chits for keeping score. Each tile has some fences partitioning the tile, and a number of symbols belonging to each player in the various areas of a tile. On a player's turn, that player draws a random tile and places it. When a fenced-in area is complete, whichever player has the most symbols in it gets points equal to the number of symbols of the second-place player, and second place gets points for the third-place symbols, and so on. The game plays in about 15-20 minutes. While it's not a bad game, there's really not anything to draw players in. The high luck factor prevents any real strategy. Think Carcassonne, but not as good.

20th Century Limited is a connection game in which players place tracks of their color to complete regional and company cards in their hand. Regional cards involve connecting three cities in one region, and must be completed in order--northeast first, then midwest, then south, etc. Scoring for regional cards depends only on the number completed. Company cards involve cities in different regions, and the point value of the card is determined by its difficulty, from under 10 to over 60 points. The trick with the company cards is that your track used to complete them is removed from the board, which is good (you have more track in supply for new routes) and bad (you can't reuse the placed track for other routes). I really enjoyed the balancing of the two types of tickets, and how you really wanted to make your regional and company cards work together, since both regional and company cards can't work with themselves. The game really involved some nice planning elements trying to use your track as efficiently as possible. It definitely worked for me.
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