GCL Mafia 94 - What's your Origin Story?
Chris Ferejohn
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Mountain View
California
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This is GCL (Game Chat League), Mafia Division! Welcome to our weekly list. Please feel free to join the discussion by adding comments (or an item) as appropriate.

If you stumbled onto this list by accident and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki ( http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/GameChat_League):

Members (next week's poster in bold):
Rishi
Dolus
petroleumjelly
ecargo
McJarvis
1awesomeguy
mith
tscook
Thesp
Butterfly0038
cferejohn
touchstonethefool

The first items below are intended to foster discussion. In addition, please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of October 29 - November 4, 2012 (I know that's what it said last week, but aren't we supposed to be listing games for the previous week?). Please list any games played along with any other information that you deem is appropriate, from game descriptions to thoughts on the games to new acquisitions.
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1. Board Game: Origins: How We Became Human [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:3380]
Board Game: Origins:  How We Became Human
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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First question: What's your origin story? What happened during your misspent youth (or perhaps misspent adulthood) that made you say "I'm a gamer - this thing is going to be a part of my life" to the point where you now find yourself discussing it with people on the Internet who you may have never met. Was it a certain game? A certain group of people? Family? A radioactive spider?
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2. Board Game: Monopoly: Justice League of America [Average Rating:4.91 Overall Rank:17768]
Board Game: Monopoly: Justice League of America
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Question the second: How did you find the hall of Justice? By which I mean board game geek, in a particularly weak analogy. How did you first arrive at this site. Did you join immediately? If not, what prompted you to join?
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3. Board Game: Web of Power [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:675]
Board Game: Web of Power
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Question the third: What's your boardgaming superpower? This could be a sort of game you particularly excel at or it could be something around gaming that you think you do particularly well - maybe you are really good at picking the right game for the right crowd. Maybe you are really good at making snacks. Maybe you can shoot fire from your eyes and walk through walls, but choose not to.
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4. Board Game: Weakest Link [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:17982]
Board Game: Weakest Link
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Question the fourth: What is your boardgaming kryptonite? Something that saps the energy and the will to game from you. Maybe it's a certain game, maybe a certain type of gamer. Maybe it is the red sun of planet Krypton.
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5. Board Game: Pick Picknic [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1756]
Board Game: Pick Picknic
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Question the last: What superpower would you like to have? The classic question is invisibility or flight, but feel free to expand upon those. What would you do with this power? Lead humanity into a golden age or rule us as a god?
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6. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) – A Dance with Dragons [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
 Missing Image
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Plays:
3x 7 Wonders
2x Dominion - 1st game setup
23
Battlestar Galactica w/*Exodus and *Pegasus
Citadels
Dragon Dice
For Sale
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) w/*A Dance with Dragons Expansion
No Thanks!
*Pirates of the Spanish Main
The Settlers of Catan w/5-6 Player Extension
*Sunrise City
*Vegas

*new to me

This was an awesome week of gaming for me. I got in a lot of games I've been wanting to play, and some new games that I didn't know much about or had never heard of. I'll post commentary later.

23
I really enjoyed 23. I think I like it better than No Thanks, as it allows for more decisions and more control over the game.

Dragon Dice
My friend Chris and I decided we'd be playing Dragon Dice at last Thursday's game night, as our last (and second ) time playing Dragon Dice together. We had another player with us who claims to have a huge collection, but has never played. Chris taught him the basics without magic while I was finishing my game of AGoT: TBG. When I came down, we did a 3-player game with magic included, but only from the demo set.

Pirates of the Spanish Main
Next, we played Pirates, which is an OOP collectible game that Chris owns a lot of, and apparently the new guy also does, but has never played with anybody else. I've only heard about it recently. We really just set up an introductory game, not a real game. It's essentially a miniatures game where you build model ships adding up to some point total, you race to islands, collect treasure, shoot down opposing ships, and return your treasure to your home island. Me and the new guy picked our ships somewhat randomly because we don't know anything about any of the ships. Chris went for a single powerful ship. Me and the other guy went for 2 ships. One strong one for battle, one small one for transport.

I was first player, and managed to get to the island first. Fortunately, my little ship had a large capacity (5, there were only 10 coins on the island), so I loaded up with all of the expensive coins. Unfortunately, Chris's ship was on my tail. The other guy was on the opposite side of the island, so he wouldn't be able to reach me unless I was slow. Chris was moving into position to blow my ship out of the water and steal my loot, so I enacted a battle plan. My tiny ship I started darting home. My bigger ship, I parked directly in front of Chris's ship to block his path. In two turns, he sunk my ship, but this delay allowed me to make it back safely and win the game!

A Game of Thrones: TBG & Dance with Dragons Expansion
I finally got to try the Dance with Dragons expansion. It shortens the game to 6 rounds, about 2 hours, which is nice. We taught some new players to the game, and I was House Martell. His cards seem to encourage aggressive activity, since two of his cards grow stronger as you get into battle. I really like this expansion for what it adds, what it changes up, and how it shortens the game. Though it does require a firm 6 players. We started with just 4, and begrudgingly and slowly, 2 more joined the team. I progressed pretty far along, and

BSG w/ Pegasus and Exodus
My second time playing in person, and first time in person with both expansions. I love what the expansions add, especially the cylon fleet board. I feel that just having the cylon fleet board would change enough of the base game to keep a constant threat present. I really want to pick up both of these expansions and start playing BSG more regularly. In the meantime, though, I'm considering a PnP version of the cylon fleet board, so that I can at least make the base game better.

Sunrise City
I knew nothing about this game, but I loved it. Each turn you pick a role, lay down foundation tiles, and then build up building tiles. And the buildings can be built up indefinitely. Another fancy feature of the scoring is that the score track goes up to 10. Once you pass 10, you get a gold star and start all over again. If you hit 10 exactly, you get 2 gold stars. So basically, for every 10 points, you have a chance of getting a bonus 10 points. We played a 4 player game, and I had 24 or 25 gold stars after 3 rounds. Next was somewhere between 16-19 stars, I don't remember. Last somewhere between 9-11 gold stars.
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7. Board Game: Cities [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2854]
Board Game: Cities
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Weekly Plays

Brass: Lancashire - 4 (all orderofthehammer)
Cities - 2
The Castles of Burgundy - 1
Last Will - 1
Pandemic: On the Brink - 1 (solo)
Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium - 1
Steam - 1

This was obviously the warm up week for 10 days of DGM and BGG.con...

Wednesday, I got in my first solo game of Pandemic in a while (as discussed last week). 2P 6G, and I lost to outbreaks with Scientist and Field Operative (great for cures, not so great for controlling massive amounts of cubes due to bad luck early epidemics).

Thursday at DGM I tried Last Will two player with Jay, which ended in a tie as we both got rid of all our cash turn 6. (He mostly used farms/animals, I used reservations and waiters.) It scales fine, but there aren't that many interesting choices with two if you're doing very different things.

Then I got in another game of Race with Matthew. Very fast game, as he set up an early develop engine, I set up an early settle engine (I was actually settling to gain cards at one point, playing them for free and then drawing two), and we both doubled up on our speciality a couple times. He won 31-29, as I was never able to draw a 6-dev to pair with my tableau.

This weekend I was in Austin, and got in a few games with Claire and Chance. First I taught Cities, which Chance won primarily due to a strip of park all the way across the middle of his city (with a terrace at one end) surrounded by water. Claire and I played again the next day, and I won a close game with a large bloc of attractions.

After the first game of Cities, I taught Steam, which went over quite well. It looked like I was going to run away with things initially (getting my economy humming a turn more quickly), but I was in the middle of the board having to fight for cubes with both of them, while they both had a lot of cubes to themselves, and I only won by a single point over Claire (with Chance a within five or so). Probably the heaviest game I've taught them that they enjoyed, so I'm pretty pleased with that.

Sunday, after the second game of Cities, I taught Claire Castles of Burgundy, and she absolutely crushed me. We were playing with the "1" boards, and I was unable to complete either of my big regions, so that made a big chunk of the difference (though not all). I also ended up with 11 unshipped goods, after she hoarded the ships early and I took the bonus tile which allows you to take goods from neighboring spots (and then ran out of time to ship them).
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8. Board Game: Poseidon [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1773]
Board Game: Poseidon
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Raj* 3
Biblios 2
For Sale 2
Paris Connection 2
Dominion: Dark Ages* 1
Le Havre 1
Ora et Labora 1
Poseidon* 1

Matt and I had a mini game night on Friday since we hadn't played anything all week. We tried out Raj, Dark Ages (which Matt had won and played at the Dominion tournament), and brought out Le Havre again.

I'm very pleased we tried Le Havre again and played the full game (not short version we did in our first play). I love the tension in it and the "Just one more turn!" feeling. It was a close game and I eked the win out. One more turn and it likely would have gone to Matt. Oh and I am undefeated in Le Havre. (Doesn't matter that I've only played it twice.)

Raj was definitely a neat little bidding game. I wouldn't mind having a copy, but it seems to be out of print and I'm not paying $50 for it on Amazon. An updated version would be great. Get on this, publishers/Kickstarters (Kickstarterers?).

Dark Ages was definitely the most thinky of a Dominion game I've ever played. It also felt pretty thematic. Overall, I liked it. Getting used to trashing as a main strategy takes some getting used to and you had to really think about what was going in your deck and what you were going to trash. I ended up with my deck getting overrun by rats that I couldn't trash enough. Still good. (And I finally got around to sleeving my Hinterlands set. More sleeves and a second case are on its way to finally get all my Dominion stuff organized.)

Ora et Labora was less than whelming, especially having played it the day right after Le Havre. Here are my notes on it: "Doesn't add anything to make me want to play it over Le Havre. Positioning of buildings is okay but overly complex. No tension. In Le Havre, I want one more turn. In this, I just wanted it to end." That said, I didn't hate it. If someone wanted to play it, I'd play; however, I see no reason to own it or play it over Le Havre or Agricola.

Finally, I'm counting Poseidon as new even though Matt and I played a learning game, that we didn't finish, back in January. We had an impromptu game day with a couple we met at the Dominion tournament. They are pretty into 18XX games (though only own two) and wanted to give Poseidon a try. It took us about 3.5 hours. Even if it wasn't all of our first full attempt at the game, I don't see how it'd be played in the box's suggested time of 90-120 minutes with the 11 rounds needed to end the game. Insight from Jimmy or others who have played it would be appreciated! Overall, I liked it. It was brain burny since I haven't been playing heavier stuff lately. Also, only having played one 18XX game previously (which was 1889), I had enough 18XX basic knowledge to understand the game but not enough of the rules intact for it to hinder my experience. So overall, I quite enjoyed the game. It keeps kind of nagging at me since playing.
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9. Board Game: 18EU [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:2746]
Board Game: 18EU
Jennifer Dean
United States
California
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*18EU x1
23 x1
*Black Sheep x1
*Escalation! x1
*Goldbräu x1
*Kingdom Builder x1
No Thanks! x1
*The Princes of Florence x1
Race for the Galaxy w/Rebel vs Imperium & w/ The Gathering Storm x1
*Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age x1
The Settlers of Catan x1
Wizard x1

*18EU
This was my first 18xx, and I went into it just after playing a stock game, so I thought I was ready. By the end of it (oh glorious six hours), I felt like my brain was leaking out of my ears. I feel like I had a pretty good experience, though. Looking back, I feel if I were to play again, I might know what I'd do differently. We played with four players, and my biggest annoyance was that just about the time I'd be ready to upgrade my train, someone else would do so and it would take me another couple of turns to build up again. I'm not sure if my initial positioning on the board put me in this spot, or what exactly. Additionally, I had five minor companies worth which were upgraded into two major companies. I think if I had made that last minor company a major company, it would have made a big difference. In the end, $1000 separated each of the places from each other. I would be interested in trying this again, or another 18xx while recognizing that this type of game isn't my forte. I did more mental math for this one game than I think I have for any other game.

*Black Sheep
This was sort of like poker with farm animals. Instead of the traditional four suite game, this just had one.
I went for a shoot for the moon type strategy a'la Hearts and was foiled by the card draw. I think this would be a great intro to poker game for kids though.

*Escalation!
This game is somewhat similar to 23 (which is my new favorite in the No Thanks!/ 6 nimmit family), but it lacked what 23 has, which is a guaranteed ability to decline to play. In essence you lay down cards in ascending sequence, and may only lay down higher if you have duplicates (e.g. 7 + 7= 14), or if you have a wild card. I neither had duplicates nor drew any wilds, so I ended up picking up half the deck. I wouldn't particularly recommend this one.

*Goldbräu
This was a simple stock game, which I really enjoyed. This game is about a town in Germany, I think, where you are dealing with Beer Gardens and breweries. Each turn you have the ability to manipulate either some aspect of the supply relationship, or to expand a beer garden in which you have stock, or to pick up stock in one of the breweries or beer gardens. What makes it fun is the possibility of a hostile takeover of a place in which you have the controlling interest, and additionally the ability to move a pretty waitress or drunk bum into another's beer garden to increase or decrease the value of their stock.

*Kingdom Builder
This was a first play for me, and I have to say I found in pretty uninteresting. In this style of game, I think I would rather play Oasis or Through the Desert.

*The Princes of Florence
This game was a lot of fun. I particularly like the tetris-esque placement aspect for your tableau. I also liked the tension between deciding whether to take income or points, or in which ratio you will do so. Like The Medici, the auction aspect rewards patience/ flexibility, because if you wait and don't end up paying an arm or a leg for a particular piece you might like, you end up with your choice of the leftovers at a reduced price. Knowing when to be passive and when to be aggressive can really make the game. I would love to play this again.

*Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Working as a team at the last con, Travis and I ended up picking this up as a prize. This was my first play, and I thought it was pretty interesting. The Yahtzee-esque cards makes me think this would be something fun to do in the car or in the airport. Still not sure what strategy to employ for this one, but I'd be interested in playing it again. I would really like to play the full version, however.

The Settlers of Catan
This was my first play in a couple of months. It was a little different because we had a kid playing with us. He didn't have a very good grasp of when people were taking advantage of him, which made the game a little frustrating.

Wizard
My new favorite trick-taking game. (:
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10. Board Game: Il Vecchio [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1566]
Board Game: Il Vecchio
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Zooloretto Wurfelspiel x1
Il Vecchio x1
Diavolo x1
Goblins Inc. x1
Love Letter x2
Snowdonia x1
The Resistance: Avalon x1
Sticheln x1
Coup x1

Old Games

Android: Netrunner x2
Last Will x1
Biblios x1
Through the Desert x2
Escape: The Curse of the Temple x1
Fleet x1

So, I had some friends who returned from Essen with armloads of the new hotness, and we wasted no time getting down to business and plowing through a bunch of them, but one thing at a time...

I ended up getting Zooloretto Wurfelspiel from GameSurplus when I remembered how much I liked Coloretto and how much I like dice. It's still got the great pie-cut mechanic and the decisions are still delightfully tense, and it manages it all in a 10 minute game with little muss or fuss.

Il Vecchio is a fine middle-weight euro. I'm so used to Dorn's designs having some variation on the breadcrumb mechanic that I'm always surprised when I play his newer games that don't feature it. While it goes down easy, the micro turns make the game feel longer than it really is, and when you get down to it it doesn't have anything you haven't seen before in worker placement/set collection games.

Diavolo is a super light speed-pattern-recognition game, where players are trying to determine which set of dice fulfills certain requirements each round, then grabbing the corresponding colored plastic demons before everyone else can. I'm not a big fan of fast-twitch games to begin with, but the game is short enough that I didn't really mind.

Goblins, Inc. on the other hand, is basically Galaxy Trucker without the speed element, which immediately endears it to me. Like in Vlaada's game, most of the fun is watching great chunks of your Frankenstein-like creation come crashing down as either poor planning or a lucky shot from your opponents bisects your robot. Goblins is also a faster and simpler game, which is always a plus in my book.

Love Letter is fine little gem from Kanai, who continues to impress. I found it a bit odd that his Japon Brand edition, while having Sugiura's awesome art, felt *less* thematic to me than the AEG edition, which went out of it's way to give flavorful background and card descriptions in its manual. Love Letter does play crap with 2p, however, and is much better as a 4+ filler.

I'm not really sure how I feel about Snowdonia, I certainly liked the theme and it seems that there's definitely something there, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the game mostly played itself. A large portion of the railway was auto-completed with the white cubes, which made end game points from the weather cards more of a crap-shoot (I was the only one to score a "build 4 pieces of track" card, though it's point value was proportional to the amount of effort I had to put in). We also didn't play the weather chips correctly, so that may have influenced my feels for the game.

The Resistance: Avalon is a fine upgrade to the base game. We only played with Merlin and the Assassin, and it definitely altered table talk and overall strategy. It's too early to say whether it replaces the original game, but it most definitely gives it some new legs.

I was incredibly impressed by Sticheln, and am now glad that I held on to the old Amigo edition I got in a trade ages ago. It's not a complex trick-taker by any means, but it is somewhat non-intuitive, which is a breath of fresh air for someone used to old classics like Wizard. The trump rules make things wonderfully dynamic, and I love the fact that everyone has an opportunity to "poison" tricks with cards from player's pain suits all the way up to the final card in a trick. I love the extra tension that comes from every card being meaningful in each trick.

And finally, Coup was essentially Love Letter with bluffing. Full stop.
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11. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:49]
Board Game: Android: Netrunner
Mc Jarvis
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Android: Netrunner 9
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization 2
Airlines Europe 1
City Tycoon 1
Dominant Species 1
Innovation 1
Kreta 1

This weekend was the first weekend of the semi-frequent MBGM (Minneapolis Board Gaming Marathon). The first night I managed to get in plays of Kreta and Through the Ages. Perhaps the most frustrating part of playing through the ages is the frequency with which people refute any strategy advice I give, even in the face of being defeated soundly. Perhaps I'm good at the game and simply do not know why, but I like to think that at the end of the day the person who wins more often knows better.

The second day consisted of me playing more Through the Ages, and then meeting the local Netrunner folks. This was a really great experience, as the Through the Ages players I played on this day were pretty good, and the netrunner folks were different opponents. Whenever you find skilled players meeting for the first time, it strikes me as a first contact scenario: the players I met brought different ideas about the makings of these games, and I think I was able to teach them a few things too. My success in the netrunner games gave me hope that I could compete in the world championships this coming weekend & maybe even place somewhere in the top tiers of the tournament. I'm not sure if I'll go, though, because the tournament starts at 4PM, which is before my workday ends.

The third day I got to introduce City Tycoon to some people, all of whom loved it. I also go to get in more Netrunner, and watch a Netrunner game featuring a criminal deck using a layout that I liked quite a bit. I think I'll incorporate it into my own criminal deck, with a few tweaks.
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12. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:120]
Board Game: Age of Steam
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Since I didn't get my playlist up last week, I'm just going to combine 2 weeks worth. I'll pay the appropriate fines.

Nexus Ops
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Played this at Silicon Valley Boardgamers with 2 old players and 2 new ones. One new player was unfortunately pretty AP prone, so the game took over 2 hours, which this game really should not. That said, it was fairly competitive between myself and the other experienced player, though it didn't look that way. I was a pretty large favorite to win on my last turn, having only to beat a single human with a Lava Leaper (hits on 3+ on a D6) and having 2 cards to allow me to reroll the battle. Naturally I missed the first time and then the human (who needed a 6) killed me).

The other experienced player had only 1 point and proceeded to lay down 11 in his last turn to win the whole thing, which was actually pretty hilarious.

Toc Toc Woodman x2
Made it up to the game group we used to attend in SF to celebrate the host's birthday and to show off the baby. Started with a couple quick games of Toc Toc Woodman, which I played with a handicap of holding a baby in one arm.

Age of Steam
After Toc Toc Woodman, I joined 3 other folks for a game of Age of Steam on the basic map (which I hadn't played on, this being my second game). The auctions really do make Steam/AoS a more interesting and cutthroat game. I am pretty anxious to try to get Standard Steam to the table now (and also Map Pack 1 which I recently bought and seems to have some pretty cool variants (a 2P map, a 3P metropolitan map, and a Civil war map that can play from 3-7), including ones that kind of semi-implement the AoS cube production model (e.g. you know more about where cubes will go specifically over time).

Kingdom Builder
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Fast forwarding to the newt week's SVB, started off with a game of Kingdom Builder with the Nomads expansion (which was new to me). It's not a radical change, and I liked Kingdom Builder, so more variation = a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I did get pretty smoked in this game though.

Puerto Rico
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The celebrate the upcoming referendum on Puerto Rican statehood, we played Puerto Rico - ok, not really, I only found out about that last night, more's the shame on me since my Grandmother was born in Puerto Rico. In any case, hadn't played Puerto Rico in quite some time. I did what I thought was a better than usual job at getting a money engine going, but unfortunately I did it at almost the complete expense of any shipping at all and the game went a bit too long - upon reflection if I was going to try to win by building I should have built every time, and I missed one. Unusually someone actually made decent use of the university.

Triumverate
Met a friend for coffee and brought this along to show him (he's from Michigan and has been trying to get a Euchre game together, so I thought he'd appreciate a novel 2 player trick taking game. I have to say I think about halfway through our first game I managed to take a strategic step forward in this, and despite explaining it to him, he wasn't able to quite follow along. I creamed him in both matches and now I want to try this again against someone trying the same sort of strategy. I loaned it to my friend, so maybe he'll get better at it.

No Thanks! x5
We visited some friends over the weekend and played a couple games with them. I started by teaching them No Thanks, which the three of us played while my wife fed the baby. I don't know how many times we played exactly - 5 is a guess, but they ordered it off of Amazon before we were done playing, so suffice to say they liked it.

Time's Up: Title Recall x2
Time's Up is lauded as a great party game, which you would think means it plays best in a large group. However, I find that I really like it as a couples game - 2v2 means you just get more actual play time. The game is amusing enough to watch that it's all right with more, but I think playing 2v2 is my favorite way to play it. We ended up playing 2 games because the first one was completely tied.

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13. Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:345]
Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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2x Village
1x The Great Zimbabwe
1x Antiquity
1x 1829 Mainline
1x Walnut Grove
1x Zooloretto

An interesting week. Monday night, everyone bailed from train gaming. Instead, a friend came over and we played a game of Walnut Grove. WG remains a fun game with more depth than I would have expected for such a quick game. He then left and rather than completely miss out on train gaming for the night, I played another solo of 1829 Mainline. It remains a fun diversion for when no one else is around. I expect this has a decent chance of getting 10 solo plays by year end.

Tuesday night, Amanda joined me and we played a game of Antiquity leaving me one more play to get Antiquity onto my 2012 Dime List. My next play wasn't until Friday night when I was able to squeeze in a game of Zooloretto with my kids just before bedtime. Finally, on Sunday night Geoff came over and we got in a play of TGZ. I had hoped that he'd be up for a second play but he wasn't impressed it with it 2 player and opted instead for 2 plays of Village. Village remains a fun game, but it is beginning to wear a little thin. At this point, I feel like I've explored it deep enough that I'm not sure that there is that much more to discover. I'm still happy to play it (and it remains one of my favorite medium weight games played in 2012) but i don't think I'll be asking for it anymore.

I wrote a short review of TGZ (include 2 player thoughts) here. The short version of it is that TGZ is a quick (60ish minutes), deep economic resource conversion game with an interesting turn order bidding mechanic and high degree of player interaction. I'd say TGZ has the potential for a large amount of replayability, particularly with more players, and even the initial understanding of the game will probably take 10 - 20 plays. That said, the game is pretty quick to teach (30 minutes for me, less for most other people) and people should be able to pick up the basics to play pretty quick.
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