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Subject: What did you play this weekend 02.08.10 rss

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JonnyRotten
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Montpelier
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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 Geeklist can be found here:
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As is the tradition, I will start things off with my recap:

This weekend was the event day at Sages. My wife and I were so ready to get away from everything that we decided to go up for the friday night gaming, and get a hotel room so we didn't have to drive back in the morning. It was a nice get away with alot of great gaming. Here is what I played:

Friday night We started out by busting out The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac which I REALLY liked. I thought it was a great little game of pushing your luck along with some great theme and art. After that, we played Dominion which was awesome as always. Next up we played another game of The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac, still fun!.
while waiting to play a playtest game that one of the guys brought along, we played a learning game of Fzzzt!. It wasn't a bad little game, I look forward to playing it some more. We wrapped up the night with playing a Unpublished Prototype, which was pretty darn good! Then it was off to the hotel room for a few hours of sleep before coming back for the event day.

We started Saturday off with a learning game of Thunderstone. I REALLY loved this one a lot. I look forward to getting a ton of this game in. Afterward, we played a tight race of Snow Tails. Then it was a quick game of Ingenious while we waited for Jeremiah Lee to finish up his game so we could play some Dune. When we wrapped up Ingenious, we started our epic game of Dune, which we ended up calling a draw after several hours. It was a good game, but went a bit long, mostly because of the alliance we started off with slowing the game to a crawl. When we finished dune, we were looking for something a bit lighter, so we got a full 6 players for yet another game of The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac. Then it was on to two games in a row of Cosmic Encounter with the new expansion. Both games were great, I love the stuff we got to see from the new expansion! We capped off the weekend with 17 games of Werewolf. The first 10 were bigger games, the final 7 were fast 5'ers with rotating moderators.

All in all an AWESOME weekend. I love Sages. Now one weekend of downtime, and then the 20th we are hosting our first big game day at my house!

Hope everyone else had as great a weekend as I did!
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Kris Van Beurden
Belgium
Leuven
Vlaams-Brabant
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Saturday Afternoon, only 4 of the 7 people turned up for our scheduled game of Civilization, but a good time was had by all four.

Then in the evening, we participated in our monthly LARP.

Sunday evening we had a session of our weekly Ars Magica RPG night.

Sunday morning we bought Architekton and Hey, That's my Fish! Will have to see when those hit the table (but reading rules & fondling components is already great ).

(Oh, sunday afternoon I spent playing Dungeon Keeper 2 ... Dungeon Lords inspired my fiancée and myself to take a trip back down memory lane).
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Peti
Hungary
Budapest
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Only a single Gonzaga...
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Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
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One game of Warhmmer:Invasion and three games of Dominion.
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Sven Dye
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Abingdon
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Well we started off with only 2 of our group showing up which are 1st time Euro-gamers. So I introduced them with Ticket to Ride:Europe which one of the newcomers one. Then introduced Carcassonne which they all enjoyed. They had to leave after that and my good buddy Chris Smith (CrusaderX) came and we started off with our very 1st play of Summoner Wars which we both LOVED! Then we played 2 quick games of Mt. Jack in New York which he introduced to me. He won the 1st game as Mr. Jack and I won the 2nd with Mr. Jack. Im kinda up in the air with this one. Then we broke out Dominion which I introduced to him. He won this game as well! Happy Birthday Chris!!!
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I was working over the weekend but if I'm allowed to include Wednesday and Thursday as my "logical" weekend, I played Warhammer and Twilight Struggle. The latter was the first time (with one of my children -- no longer a child, I should say) so we were sort of trying to work out the rules as we played. That's usually how we approach a new game -- none of this nonsense about reading the rules thoroughly first, we get stuck in and do stuff and see what happens -- he worked out the rules better than I did
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Booker Hooker
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Tennessee
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Two games of Tiki Topple, and one game of Micro Mutants: Evolution finally using the advanced rules. Both fun games.
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JonnyRotten
United States
Montpelier
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Ah yes, I forgot to include the game of The Adventurers I played with my son, and the game of Dominion with my wife Sunday.
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Daniel Davis
United States
Seattle
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It was my birthday this past Friday.

That night, some friends and I met at a game shop. I purchased: Cosmic Encounter expansion, Ghost Stories, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Tsuro. We then played a game of Gloom, and a couple of games of Ghost Stories.

On Saturday my friend came over and we played a couple of games of Space Hulk, a game of Kingsburg, one of Ghost Stories (quickly becoming one of my favorite games), and then another friend came over and we played Tales of the Arabian Nights for the first time - and we loved it. One of the most fun gaming times I've had.

I like Ghost Stories a lot for a couple of reasons. First, I am a huge martial arts movie fan (own about 300 of them), and I especially love the supernatural ones like A Chines Ghost Story, Kung Fu Zombie, Mr. Vampire, Boxer's Omen, Spiritual Boxing, and Spooky Encounters; the theme is right up my alley. It's also a really fun and challenging game, with a ton of important decisions to make. Each decision is crucial. One wasted turn could be the end of the game. It's all very exciting, and a game where the theme really adds to the experience.
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Vicki Scheele
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California
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My game group had a meet-up with about 80 people on Saturday. I played two new to me games To Court the King and Puerto Rico. I also played a favorite Antike.
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Everett Warren
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Marietta
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Back on Thursday, we broke out the next two games in the GIPF project, and the whole series ~ with the exception of the still-in-a-holding-pattern PÜNCT and the at-the-bottom-of-a-big-stack-o-games (not to mention disenfranchised) TAMSK ~ got a lot of play over the weekend.

The first weekend play of GIPF was one of the few with the standard rules ~ I haven't been able to convince my son to make the jump from the basic game, but as Friday was a day of solo gaming, I brought in the GIPF pieces to beat myself senseless. I was able to try a few things strategically, but mostly I just played both sides to win, so I had no expectations as to the winning side. On Saturday, I played a game with my daughter. I went back to the basic rules for her, as she'd only played a game or two of this before and didn't remember it anyway, so we kept it simple. I spent most of the game pointing out strategies and explaining why and how things were happening. A third game was planned for Sunday, with my youngest son, but we didn't get to it.

I've definitely come to appreciate TZAAR more and more, getting over my initial irritation at having TAMSK usurped. This game is out and out war. For the solo game on Friday, I played two different strategies ~ white took, to me, the more "sensible" approach, and sought to decimate the Tzaar pieces first and foremost, building up stacks only when needed for safety; the black pieces took a strategy my eldest son tends to use, and always tried to build stacks first, with a capture as a secondary priority. To my surprise, black won. In the game with my daughter on Saturday, I refined the strategy I had attempted with white, including a better application of it during the initial placing of pieces, and here it was more successful. I was quickly able to nullify the opposing Tzaars, while keeping one of mine safe and well-reinforced.

ZÈRTZ is my daughter's favorite game in the project, and it was firmly in second place in my own ranking (although one of the two new additions may alter that, but more on that in a moment). Friday, I played the first player as a "typical" strategy that I'd used in my games previously, and I played the second player with the new-to-me strategy of purposefully setting up almost every shot to force the first player to make captures. The goal I had for the second player was for the winning condition to be capturing 4 white marbles. The first player's goal was to get three of each marble. Every single marble the first player captured was given to him by the second player, and every single time this resulted in the second player immediately capturing a white marble. By the time it came to the first player's last move, there were two white marbles in the center, surrounded by an overlapping ring of empty rings, with additional spots outside of that with a few more marbles. There was absolutely no place the first player could place a marble that wouldn't instantly grant the second player his fourth or, in most cases, fourth and fifth white marble. It was a beautiful set up. I attempted the same strategy in the game with my daughter on Saturday, but in a few of the gimmes that I set up for her, I had placed things in such a way that, without realizing it, were open to two moves: one in the direction that I wanted so I'd be set up to grab a white marble, and one I didn't see that let her grab the white marble. Ooops. I quickly realized what I was doing wrong, and, shifting my aim towards the 3-of-each victory condition, I fought a close battle, narrowly winning the game.

DVONN is my least favorite game out of the project. This is, quite possibly, due to the fact that I haven't figured out any good strategies for it yet. My eldest son had wailed on me in our first play of this back on Thursday, and so in my solo game on Friday I set about to try to Figure Things Out. My goal was to have the white player be perfectly cunning with planned out sequences while the black player just did whatever came up. It wasn't even a close game, and white was decimated. I did end up winning the game on Saturday with my daughter, so some bit of strategy may be sinking in, but, really, I blame my win more on her dealing with a nasty, stuffy head cold then on my own skill, though. I've got a long way to go with this game.

I really enjoyed YINSH. There's just something incredibly satisfying about flipping the rings over, about flipping the pieces from one side to another. This game is in the running to be my second favorite out of the project. I've got four plays on this so far ~ one with my eldest son before the weekend, and then the two weekend plays, as with the others: a solo game on Friday, and two games with my daughter on Saturday. The solo game went much the same as the game of TZAAR went. I gave what I considered the superior strategy to one side, and that side lost miserably, surprising the heck out of me when the other side suddenly found itself with the win. The first game with my daughter was more of a teaching experience, and it wasn't a close game at all ~ again, her head cold did more against her than my "skill" did ~ but the second was a much more strenuous battle, and I wasn't entirely sure that I'd win.

We started off Sunday with our second play of Red November. This first saw its way to the table on the Thanksgiving holiday, mostly because of the small box and the long drive. My youngest son, Mr. B, requested that we break this out and I'm glad we did. Our shared win (with a bit of cheating involved ~ we were prepared for the kraken this time, and he had the nerve to show up one minute after we were rescued, so we brought him in two minutes early) was my only victory for the entire day. We managed to keep things partially under control, with only "unimportant" hatches blocked, only a couple of rooms constantly on fire, and only half of the rooms half flooded (which kept the fires under control quite nicely!) All three of my kids were trashed on grog, with me ~ the only one of legal drinking age ~ the only one who stayed sober through the entire game. My daughter did her part in the game by taking out the kraken, just before the last one of us did the very last event of the game: respite.

We had the first play of Tsuro back on Thursday, with myself and my two sons, and on Sunday we introduced my daughter to the game. We were down to two tiles a piece when my daughter had no choice but to send herself off the board. My youngest son managed to survive as he started the next round, and then I had no choice but to pick which path I wanted to trace to the edge. My eldest son then had a choice of sending himself and my youngest off the edge, or getting rid of his little brother and lasting for one more turn. He remains undefeated in the vast number of plays (it's two, so we can use the plural form!) we've had.

Another Thursday introduction, Hive helped my eldest son and me fill a break while my daughter took a nap to try to get rid of the sick and my youngest drove Crash Bandicoot around the race track. As in our first game, Sunday's round ended with a victory for my son. This game lasted much longer, as I learned to be wary of those beetles, and I almost successfully pulled off the strategy I had intended. At one point midgame, my son made a move he instantly regretted. Unfortunately, I didn't see the opportunity presented, as I could have had the win at that point. Things stretched on a bit as he moved towards victory and I couldn't manage to free up my queen or make a move to fill the final spot surrounding his. Great game, and I hope to win it one of these days!

Our final game of the weekend was The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac, yet another Thursday introduction that I played with my two sons. I have a feeling that's a pattern we'll be following when possible, bringing out new games with guys night in, while my wife takes my daughter to karate. Of course, we won't always be able to bring in quite so many new games... sooner or later we'll run out!

On Sunday's game, my eldest son decided to sit out, although he wound up coaching my daughter through the game and helping Mr. B, and generally taking so strong a role as a non-player that he might as well have gotten crushed by the boulder like the rest of us... some of us twice.

My daughter was actually the first to go, hopping onto a tile and continuing right on down into the lava. I had taken the time in the wall room to verify where all but one of the tile traps was located, so I spent my time loading up on as much treasure as I could carry, and still dropping off bits here and there to keep only the high value stuff. Mr. B had loaded himself up on the treasures in the wall room, so the boulder got him right away, before he could even get to the lava room.

The two kids came back with their second adventurer and zipped through the lava room to the stream. While my daughter loaded up there, Mr. B just ran for the exit.

I ran out of time inches from the bridge, the boulder rolling me over. I came back with a leaping adventurer, making short work of angling my way into the stream and helping myself to a decent amount of loot, making up for what was pasted to the rolling boulder.

And then, with Mr. B, treasureless, but long out the door, my daughter one step from escape and myself two, and three spaces between me and the boulder, we rolled five failures (or successes) on the boulder, and it flattened both of us and sealed our fates, all to the tune of the John Williams score from a certain series of movies...
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Providence
Rhode Island
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Quarto!(x4)
Crocodile Pool Party (x2)
Carcassonne
Saga (x2)
Small World

Also taught Carcassonne as well, and read up on Perikles,El Grande and Tongiaki (all in the queue for my next game night)

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Patrick Williams
United States
Middle River
Maryland
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I got in three games of Risk: Godstorm this weekend between treks out to shovel snow. The more I play of this game, the more I really like it.
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Bartow Riggs
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Antelope
California
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Combat Commander
Kingsburg
Puerto Rico
Dominion
Lost Cities the Board Game
Thunderstone
Pillars: Builders
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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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Friday evening was games night. We started with a Race for the Galaxy while waiting for the last couple of players (and serving and eating a yummy crumble). Then one player requested Agricola with the Agricola: Farmers of the Moor expansion, as he hadn't tried it yet, and we didn't have any new players this week - the verdict was still that it wasn't an improvement on the base game, so it's now on the trade pile. After that we played Outpost, which seems to be a bit of a hit right now, followed by Breaking Away. We finished with a new acquisition - Jungle Speed - which is an adult version of Halli Galli, and turned out to be a lot of fun, if rather painful at times!!

Saturday, and we had a couple of gamer friends staying over for a weekend of games, particularly the new Essen releases. First was World Without End, which was new to everyone but me - seemed to be enjoyed, but is a lot lighter than you'd expect of a follow-up to Pillars. Next came Opera, which we'd tried with this group before but had reservations about, so wanted to try again to see if the flaws were there once we knew what we were doing. The game was very different from the first one, with money much tighter in general, but the same flaws became apparent, so it's another game on the trade pile! Next was Hansa Teutonica, my first multiplayer game, although I have played it with just two - didn't work as well as my two player game, but was still enjoyable. Vasco da Gama was the next choice, followed by some more familiar games - Peloponnes (our most played Essen purchase by some way!), Power Grid (on the new Brazil board), and then some fillers while my husband gave the kids a bath - Race for the Galaxy, Take Two and Dominion. After the kids were in bed we decided to try Macao - which we received in Maths Trade recently and pasted up - it was very enjoyable and I look forward to playing again soon, now I have a bit more idea how to play! We finished the evening with Amun-Re and Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age.

Next morning we started with my favourite Essen release - Shipyard, before playing Stone Age - where I tried the starvation strategy for the first time - lost, but had a lot of fun with it - especially blocking people out of resource types by placing 7 men in one resource spot. The last Essen release people wanted to play this weekend was Dungeon Lords, so that came next - and my 4 year old daughter was very keen to play with the bits! Unfortunately I didn't do very well, thanks to being distracted by a screaming 4 week old son for most of the second phase and forgetting to keep gold back and placing tunnels in stupid positions. My husband then took the older two kids out for a bit, while the remaining three of us played Burn Rate and Mausen. Our last proper game of the weekend was Goa, and amazingly I won! We then played a quick The Bucket King while dinner was cooking,and that was the end of the weekend - a very enjoyable one with lots of good gaming!
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John H
United States
Metro Detroit Area
Michigan
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We (my daughter and my girlfriend) stayed over my best friend's house for his annual Super Bowl party this weekend. Over the years, this has evolved into more of an excuse to play games and eat than watch the commercials...err Super Bowl.

Friday Night; Arkham Horror (4 player) with full Dunwich Horror expansion

Saturday;
- Dominion and Dominion Seaside (hours and hours of gaming goodness)
- Groo: The Game (pulled out an old beer and pretzels favorite)
- Magic the Gathering (another favorite with this crowd)
- Arkham Horror (3 player) with DH cards, but not mini-board

Sunday:
- Arkham Horror (4 player) with full Dunwich Horror expansion
- Dominion and Dominion Seaside
- Magic the Gathering

All in all over 20+ hours logged gaming, having fun, sharing laughs, eating great food and oh...watching a little of the game & commercials.
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Robert B
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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I bought Monopoly Deal Card Game and played several games with my daughter over the weekend.

Played one of my favorites, Imperial, Friday night and won. Afterward we played Naval War, a great beer and pretzels game. Naval War also lends itself to bash the leader, so I was duly shot at and sunk for my win at Imperial.

Lost two games of Ticket to Ride (1910 and Big Cities variants) on Sunday before the SuperBowl.

(Edit: added a game).
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Game Heretics
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Surrey
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The Guild of Losers was down to only 4 members this weekend. Before Jack arrived to round out our quartet, Dave, Braden and myself played 2 games of Pandemic - we won the second game on level-6 difficulty, and 5 hands of The Bottle Imp which I actually won. I don't think I've ever actually won an overall multi-hand game of The Imp before.

Next came Ingenious (3-player) which Dave won. I also played this twice on Sunday with The Wife and kids (ages 4 & 6). I had never played this game with the kids before but they did very, very well on both games. I suspect that this will see a lot of play as my wife really likes just about any tile-laying games (T&E is very much included in this growing list) and the kids loved the colour-coded aspect of the game and were able to develop some rather complex multi-turn strategies that took me by surprise.

After Jack arrived, out came Cosmic Encounter. We played using 1 random alien power and one 'Open Bid' power. I got the 'Observer/Virus' combo which wasn't that powerful as Braden picked up 'Anti-Matter'. However, it was his inability to calculate one of his turns that lead to Jack ultimately winning the game with his 'Dictator/Something Else' combo. It actually felt very anti-climactic, which is a first for this game. However, in all fairness, Jack is amazing at this game; he's got something like a 70% win average out of our group.

I had pulled out Imperial last weekend but without really knowing the rules, it got packed away pretty quickly. So I endeavored to actually learn the game this time around. After a 10-minute explanation of the various game rules and mechanics, we delved in using the Investor Card (I think we'll try our next game without it). This game was amazing from start to finish: flags changed hands, bonds were split and bought, Russia grew to a tremendous size and ultimately, lead the countries as the 25-pointer. However, much to everyone's surprise Dave won the game by a hidden 1 Million note procured from his pocket over Braden who was playing very well. I have every confidence in my abilities that I will win this game or at least do much better (I didn't do bad, only 3 Million behind Braden) next time out... I just never ever win any game the first time if I've had to explain the ruleset. I don't think it's a jinx, but I'm having a hard time explaining this 0% win percentage whenever I've got the job of delivering the ruleset to the others.

This put us at around the 8-hour mark so we decided to call it a night.

There's always next week which has I'm the Boss!, Imperial, and Canvas Eagles showing up.



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Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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As you might have heard, we're all snowed in here on the East coast. So it was a good time to play some longer games. Also it was my birthday weekend, but we made the best of things.

First Scott and I tried my new copy of Louis XIV that I won in a lottery. It went OK, but we feel it needs to be tried again with more players.

On Saturday Scott and I defeated the forces of Azathoth in Arkham Horror - this time we each played 2 characters and it went much better. Definitely our preference for the future. Then our neighbor came over and we taught him two games - Ticket to Ride (he won pretty easily) and then Alhambra (Scott slaughtered us). Pretty good times for my birthday.

Yesterday we picked up our friends who were stranded at their apartment and played games with the Super Bowl in the background. We taught them Arkham Horror, again facing Azathoth. It went over pretty well - about 4 hours with lots of breaks in there. We followed it up by playing Alhambra, because the boys had given me The Vizier's Favour expansion as a gift. We enjoyed the new elements and the final score was pretty close.
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Greg r
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TROY
Michigan
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Oh man I am so jealous of you all

I was hoping to have a better weekend than the last one and I didn't yuk

I played NOTHING, and you know what? NO ONE won!

BAHHH yuk yuk HUMBUG



But to Daniel Davis HAPPY BIRTHDAY Daniel cool

D_Davis wrote:
It was my birthday this past Friday.

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Richard Maurer
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Chicago
Illinois
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Saturday - Ticket in Ride

Sunday - 1960 The Making of the President and Paths of Glory.
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Lo Ma
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California
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Dungeon Lords - 2 games - one 3-player, and one 2-player. We got a bit confused at times with the non-player actions, but we think we have the gist of it. Just wich we had 4 players more often for this very cook game!

We also played 2 games of Kids of Carcasonne with the toddler - almost 4 years old. At first he said it was too tricky for him, but soon he was in the swing of it. I'll tell you, this is one big dud for adults and teens, but it's pretty good for the real young youngsters!

Candyland with the toddler who gets a big kick out of it. It's a good game for was it is, and good too in a developmental way. It is put down way too much. It is a children's game after all, that my little guy gets a huge charge out of it.

Next weekend, we're looking forward to The Adventurers (never played before), Drakon 3rd (never played), and Castle Panic (played and loved by the family). If I get in a game that's really for adults, I will be trhilled, but I'll have fun whatever!
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Jason C
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We played 6 three game rounds of Lost Cities
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Kevin Rutherford
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Perrysburg
Ohio
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Despite not having to work on Saturday, I was unable to attend Sages because the wife worked and my daughter was busy with school activities.

As a result, I played four games of Candy Land with my four-year-old.

Not quite real gaming is it..... cry
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Jeff Forbes

New Hampshire
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Quite the weekend for me! I was at Unity Games this Saturday - and squeezed in five games in 13 hours - quite the feat :D

I started with a game of Steam - 4 players on the us map, which I have not played yet. I took the southeastern corridor, but it was rather tight so my growth was restricted - I was the first person to stop expanding, and settled for making more smaller vp runs. I should have probably done one more 4-5 income run. Finished 3rd.

Next, I had lunch. The pizza at sal's wasn't as good as it normally is where I am. In fact, it was bad :(.

Following that was some light fare - I didn't want to miss the game of die macher that I had scheduled, so. I played a game of puerto rico with 3, the only game I won all day (57-32-31, no less). We followed that with a quick game of Fairy Tale.

Then, it was Die Macher time. The game I was waiting for all day, and week. It was one hell of a game. I got shut out entirely of 3 states, but gained a lot of ground managing to match all of the issues. Patrick (desiderata on here) pulled off a good win through dominating media control, edging out Josh by 12 or so points. Josh was a powerhouse with an overall presence in the states and matching most of the national issues, but lost some relative ground in the national race for seats, finishing a fairly distant third.

Poor Evan, who has kicked my rear end in Through the Ages and Caylus. Revenge has been wrought - he was languishing in 4th place all game long.

The last game was a reversion to lighter fare - a "quick" 5p game of Caylus, with 3 new players, me (1 game under my belt), and Patrick. Suffice to say, the results were unsurprising, with Patrick edging me out at the end of the game with the first castle build - I had the materials to win, but he had 4 to my 3 batches, earning him the extra vp and favor he needed to build a prestigue building for the win. It was also interesting to see how much differently the game plays with 3 vs 5.



Last night, after the super bowl, I got Dungeon Lords out and played a 2p learning game with my brother. It went ok, but the game is clearly made for 4 players. We followed it up with Caylus Magna Carta, a game I picked up in an auction at unity for cheap. It seems decent, but lacks the punch that makes Caylus great.


Excuse any weird stuff here... typed this up on my phone!
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