GCL Amoeba 107 -- Flash in the pan (2013-02-18)
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Platinum Image UploaderMicrobadge: I like sharing photos with Instagram.Microbadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Lautapeliopas
Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!" ABOUT GCL Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!" ABOUT THE AMOEBAE Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!" SUBSCRIBE Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!"

Welcome to this week's Game Chat League Amoeba discussion group!

If you found us randomly (via subscription, perhaps), you're welcome to join in with constructive conversation -- we're friendly symbiotes in real life, though vicious competitors at the game table. (Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most dangerous predator on earth!) Read the links above for more info. (If you're shy, just thumb the list so we can see who's stalking us :-) )

Current host rotation::
Jevon (cadavaca)
Eric Brosius (March 10 requested)
Jens (fizzle)
Joshua (Joshuaaaaaa)
Mikko (msaari)
Doug Faust (phrim) Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!"
Carlos Moreno Serrano (Sprocket314) (March 17 requested)
John (verandi)

Everyone should feel free to switch off as life requires. (Our valued regular visitors and former members might also want to speak up here...)

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Flash Gordon & the Warriors of Mongo [Average Rating:5.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Flash Gordon & the Warriors of Mongo
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Platinum Image UploaderMicrobadge: I like sharing photos with Instagram.Microbadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Lautapeliopas
Flash in the pan – admit it, you've got them. You play a game, it's the greatest thing ever, you immediately buy it because how on earth could you be without this gorgeous game.

Then you play it, or maybe not, a week or two goes by and never play the game again. It wasn't that good, actually. Maybe the one session was just particularly good, because of the players, or the game just felt really good for other reasons.

So, what are your flash in the pan games?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Little, Old & Slow Railroad Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Little, Old & Slow Railroad Game
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Platinum Image UploaderMicrobadge: I like sharing photos with Instagram.Microbadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Lautapeliopas
How about the games that are the complete opposite? Games that feel a bit "meh" the first time you play them, or you don't actually like them at all, but that later on creep up on you and eventually you figure out they're actually pretty good?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Initial Reaction [Average Rating:5.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Initial Reaction
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Platinum Image UploaderMicrobadge: I like sharing photos with Instagram.Microbadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Lautapeliopas
Does a game stand a chance, if it doesn't have a good first impression? If you play a game, and it's not particularly good, or the session flops somehow, will it get another chance? It seems to me it is very much about the first impression and I know I've ditched games where I've seen that there's a good game, but it takes some work to dig it out.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:517]
Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Platinum Image UploaderMicrobadge: I like sharing photos with Instagram.Microbadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.Microbadge: Lautapeliopas
2 x _8_Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
2 x _8_Spooky Stairs
2 x _8_Bunte Runde
1 x _8_Das Kleine Gespenst
3 x _7_Memory
1 x _6_A la carte
3 x _7_Fleeting Foxes
2 x _7_Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye found it! Game
1 x _6_Africana
3 x _7_Ghost Blitz

Last week I made a Finnish version of Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. I scanned the tiles, replaced the text with Finnish text, printed out the new tiles, glued them on the backs of the old tiles and put the tiles back into the holders.

I had originally planned to do a similar conversion, but instead add the Deluxe Edition tiles to the old version of the game. This, however, was a better idea, as now my LotR-crazed son can play the game. It's a bit difficult for him, but he loves the game, so that's all good and well.

Africana was the only game with adults last week, a two-player game at the circus school. Not bad, but not good enough, and I already sold my copy of the game. It's nice, but I've got many better games in that niche (Oregon, for example, or Stone Age).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Antics! [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2907]
Board Game: Antics!
Larry Rice
United States
North Newton
Kansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: London fanMicrobadge: Agricola fanMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Roll Player fanMicrobadge: Yedo fan
Antics!

Played three player in 35 minutes. One person was new. I won with 22, L had 20, and J had 5. Game ended with prey condition. I tried something different and hardly scouted after building my hill three high with birth, travel, and heave all three high and I also built the bridge quickly. While not nearly as involved/thinky as Myrmes, I sort of prefer this one a bit. It plays fast, has the interesting ant hill mechanism, and is all about being the first player to time when to switch from building the ant hill to actually acquiring points. Some people dislike the game because they feel it is over just when it gets interesting but I disagree...This isn't about building the biggest, baddest ant hill around; it is about building an efficient, effective ant hill that can get the job done in a timely manner!


Las Vegas

There were some comical final rolls forcing ties quite often! I won with 445, second had 375, and third had 165. This continues to be a fun 10 minute filler as long as the white dice variant is used. Don't ever play with five as the white dice variant is not available and the game becomes much less interesting.


Race for the Galaxy x2

Played twice three player base game only.

I won with 47 points in the first focusing on rebel and green worlds as I had both of those 6 devs. Second place was consume brown with 44, and third had 38 with Sparta and new world order.

Second game I came in second as I couldn't get the brown strategy cards until too late. I came in third with 34 as I lost the tiebreaker and the winner had 38 thanks to finding new world order on final turn explore and someone else playing develop which was a nice 11 point swing. We figured out later he still would have won, but it would have been on tiebreak with all of us at 34.


Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island

Amazing how much more difficult this game becomes if played correctly...

As is becoming the norm, we lost halfway through the scenario as Lance died first in the first scenario. We rolled poorly and were hit with some nasty events, including fire twice. We did get shelter built, but the roof proved more difficult and the boa took out our weapon as we killed it. Really enjoying this very involved (some would likely argue fiddly) cooperative game that really does tell an interesting narrative in the struggle against the elements.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1298]
Board Game: Breakout: Normandy
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
Microbadge: I aspire to Curmudgeon Level EricMicrobadge: 1846 fanMicrobadge: In MemoriamMicrobadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: I support the Women and Gaming community
I've only played one game since that least time I reported, and that is a teaching game of Breakout: Normandy that's taking place right here on BGG. Here's a link:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/926434/a-bkn-teaching-ga...

This is a terrific game. It was published back in 1992 by Avalon Hill and was re-issued recently by L2 (in a format that is easier for aging Baby Boomers to read.) It's a wargame, but not a traditional hex and counter game, and people who generally don't like wargames might like this one. It's not that it's simple, but it features different types of decisions than most hex and counter games, and in particular has the "every action counts" feature that the best Euros have. One proof of its quality is the fact that experienced wargamers have enjoyed playing this game over and over for two decades now.

Nels Thompson is one of the world's best players of this game, and he's playing the Germans while a ragtag assortment of learners plays the Allies. I'm one of the latter; although I've played four times before, I'm still not quite solid on the rules and have only a vague idea of the strategy. Nels is going to post comments as we go so people can see what an expert thinks about, and what the consequences of decisions are.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:60]
Board Game: Keyflower
Jens KH
Germany
Karben
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Die Macher fanMicrobadge: Roborally fanMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Clippers fanMicrobadge: Rules Translator
Games played

_9_ Torres
_8_ Logistico
_7_ Frank's Zoo
_6_ 6 nimmt!
_6_ The Rose King (new!)
_6_ Stick 'Em (new!)
_5_ Keyflower (new!)
_5_ Las Vegas
_5_ None of a Kind(new!)
_4_ Qwirkle (new!)
_2_ Kill the Overlord (new!)


For some reason Torres only gets an average 3 plays per year. I should really play that more often but it's one of those games I seem to like much better than most people I'm gaming with.

The same is true of Logistico. This play had a very challenging starting setup, and as a result ended with very low scores. A final-turn shipment for a delivery bonus brought me up to a tied first place with only 78 logis. In hindsight, I probably invested way too much in setting up chains during the early turns when I hovered below 20 for a while.

Rosenkönig is a pleasant hand management game in the Kosmos 2-player line. Luck of the draw is not exactly insignificant but there is some interesting manoeuvering going on, trying to force your opponent into unfavourable positions. Dare I say the best Dirk Henn game?

So, then Keyflower. I found it to be a very typical Key-game with strong ties to the other games. Unfortunately, that also means my general complaints about those apply here as well. Once again, there are some interesting mechanisms at work with a few innovative twists (although some aren't quite as new as some seem to think, e.g. Asara has already done the worker placement in specified colours thing before) but the end result feels like a pile of nice ideas that would have benefitted from some refinement. In particular, the game provides a host of opportunities for micromanagement (and, in fact, very much requires it) but lacks almost any sense of progression or achievement. Additionally, a large part of those management efforts can easily be rendered moot by the miniscule ripples caused by random draws and the winter tile auction. It's almost like you are pushing cubes for the sake of pushing cubes at times. The result can feel rather swingy and arbitrary because of this. (We even specifically had "huh, I won?") Also as usual, the graphic design is not up to par with the illustrations.

It seems to be the season for speed games. After Set last week it's Schwarz Rot Gelb this week which I'd describe as an easier (as in simpler patterns) but more frantic (as in grabbing cards, tossing them back on the table, etc.) version of Set. There are cards with colours printed on them, e.g. one card may say "Green" five times in a red font. Every player tries to build a line of 8 cards as quickly as possible, and each card in the line must be different from its predecessor in both number of words and colour in both dimensions, ie. a card that says "Blue" in black may not go after a card that says "Yellow" in blue. And then there's a scoring system tacked onto that.

Sticheln was interesting and quite counterintuitive despite the simple rules. I found myself making obviously dumb head-slapping moves during the first couple of rounds. Fortunately we were all new to the game and the others did the same and it didn't impact my chances too much.

I'm similarly late for Qwirkle but I could have waited even longer. To me a strictly inferior relative of Ingenious with nothing much to do and the big points going to those drawing the right tiles at the right time.

However, that still puts it miles ahead of Kill the Overlord, a kill-everyone-else card game roughly comparable to Bang! and its ilk but with only two cards on hand per round. Choices abound! At least it's usually mercifully short that way but since you play multiple rounds that's still no saving grace.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Combat Commander: Pacific [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:623]
Board Game: Combat Commander: Pacific

Eugene
Oregon
msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: I don't use microbadges
Played this week

Combat Commander: Pacific
Trains
Die Fugger
Railways of the World: The Card Game
China, with WoP rules x 2
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
Kings of Air and Steam
Android: Netrunner
Stone Age
Taluva
Acquire

Details to follow, hopefully
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Isfahan [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Board Game: Isfahan
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
Microbadge: I aspire to Curmudgeon Level EricMicrobadge: 1846 fanMicrobadge: In MemoriamMicrobadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: I support the Women and Gaming community
Just two games this week, in addition to the PBF game of Breakout: Normandy described above. I don't think I will play any more, though I will be attending a square dance weekend in the SF Bay Area next weekend and it's possible that we will play some games.

.10! 1846: The Race for the Midwest -- We played yet another game of 1846: The Race for the Midwest this week. By the way, Joe Rushanan has passed me for most games recorded on BGG---he's played it 96 times (counting tonight's game) and I've played it 95. So far in 2013, he's ahead of me 6 to 4. Of course, Joe Huber is well over 100, but he doesn't record his plays on BGG.

In tonight's 4-player game, I had the Prio. The first time around the private draft I took the Meat Packing Company, passing on the Big 4 and Ohio & Indiana. The second time around I took the Michigan Central. It didn't come around a third time, as John took the last private. This gave us the following assets going into the first SR:

Eric: Meat Packing, Michigan Central, $300
John: Big 4, Mail Contract, $220
JoeR: Ohio & Indiana, Chicago & Western Indiana, $300
Brett: Michigan Southern, Tunnel Blasting, $200

I decided to start the IC, even though I didn't have an easy way to get East. The Meat Packing Company would be valuable, and I figured I'd take my time. I started at $100 and paid $200 for the President's certificate, leaving me with $100. John started the NYC at $60, paying $120 and leaving him with $100. Joe thought for a while and then started the C&O (!) at $80, paying $160 and leaving him with $140. Finally Brett started the GT, not surprisingly given his privates, but he did surprise us buy starting it at $100, using all his cash.

I had $100 left, and I realized that, early on, Brett's GT would be paying a lot more than my IC, so I bought a GT share. John bought a third NYC, leaving him with $40 he couldn't spend, and Joe bought another C&O. I wasn't too unhappy with this, because the IC would be able to operate without splashing any shares, and this would help fund the company without withholding dividends.

In OR1.1, the NYC bought a pair of 2Ts, the C&O bought a pair, the IC bought a pair, and the GT bought a 4T. The GT was then able to run the 4T for $23/share in OR1.2, running from Windsor to Chicago Connections using track built partly by the MS. The IC built from Cairo to Centralia, then from Centralia to St. Louis and Louisville, and tokened Centralia (in this game, the dreams of the Illinois legislature came true and Centralia was an early rail hub,) allowing me to run for $15/share with the help of the Meat Packing Company. The NYC bought in the Big 4 during OR1.1 and ran three 2Ts for $18/share. The C&O used the C&WI token to run from Chicago to Detroit and from Detroit to Windsor for $18/share.

I had $213 in cash going into SR2, and I bought three NYC shares to profit from the good money and stock appreciation John was turning out (he wasn't quite as good as the GT or C&O, but I could afford three shares at $70 with just $3 left over.) I simply sat on my two IC shares, letting the stock value in the treasury build up. Eventually I bailed from John's company when the 2Ts were about to die, and John went on to dump the company on Joe. I then took it over from Joe, since I had the capital to fund a permanent train (and the NYC still had the Mail Contract, which goes very well with a 7/8T.)

This was yet another unusual 1846 game. I won by a fairly narrow margin over Brett, despite the fact that I didn't own more than 4 shares in any company (I did, however, own 14 shares because I had two Presidencies.) I am also pretty sure that no company of which I was President ever paid the most in any OR (that's why I didn't buy very many shares.) On the other hand, it was the first time I have ever said "the IC runs for $30 a share, so pay it out and that's a double jump and $210 into the company treasury"! Brett made the GT into a fine company, ending the game with 6 shares of the company, the highest share price, and the highest earnings, but it took him a little too long to get there.

_8_ Samarkand -- We had time for another game, so we chose Samarkand, a fine pick up and deliver game designed by Sid Sackson way back in 1980. It's one of those rare games that is improved by an expansion, and I suggest playing with the Isfahan expansion (which you can easily print out using the image on BGG if you want to use it.) This game went well for me; the cards I needed were there when I needed them, I lucked into fire sales that were actually useful, and when I paid 5 piasters to roll the die, it wasn't uniformly unhelpful. To me, this is plainly the better game with "Samarkand" in its title.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:454] [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
Board Game: Chess
Jevon Heath
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Credit to David J. Kelly
badge
This image is not mine – message me if you know who made it!
Avatar
Microbadge: For the Crown fanMicrobadge: Dual of Ages II fanMicrobadge: I, Spy fanMicrobadge: Doomtown: Reloaded fanMicrobadge: Angola fan
1x Chess

One game of speed Chess, against a computer opponent. I thought I was doing okay until I paused to count material and realized I was a Queen down.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Circus Train [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:6953]
Board Game: Circus Train
Joshua Gottesman
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!"Microbadge: Panzer Grenadier fan - Member of PG-HQMicrobadge: Baltimore Orioles fanMicrobadge: Kiva - Team BoardGameGeek memberMicrobadge: 18xx fan
All my FtF gaming was on Saturday this week. Our morning group started off with Circus Train. We had played this back in 2010 sometime and I liked it, however I didn't buy a copy because I figured the only people with whom I'd play it were the group where we had played it before. Well, early VPG production quality and the swarms of other games my friend buys put this on the back shelf. When it was announced that GMT was going to do a version, I got on the list quickly...and then it stalled. I was actually part of the process to have GMT remove it from the P500 so that VPG could get a new version out more quickly. When will more quickly be? I dunno, hopefully this year. However, the game has received very good reviews overall, and has been compared favorably to Merchant of Venus, one of may all-time favorites. 2 other friends have picked up copies recently (getting my discount didn't hurt, I'm sure) so I suggested we play it. We did, without some of the optional rules, and I really enjoyed it. I was either DFL or 4th, as I always seemed to be where the performances weren't. However, I still really like the mechanism and am really looking forward to the new edition.

After that, we played Core Worlds with the Core Worlds: Galactic Orders expansion. CW is a game that I did not expect to like and, while I don't love it, I think its a nice take on the deck building genre. Unfortunately, 5 players was an AWFUL player count for this, especially with new players (nobody had played more than 2x). The game dragged and we didn't finish it, although I'd like to play it again.

In the evening at the FLGS, we started off with Bios: Megafauna. It's been way too long since this hit the table. I played with one player who was frustrated with the randomness and 2 new players. The early part saw a lot of competition for space, however most of the biomes were water and people had trouble getting around. And then the earth started to cool. 2 players, including myself, were wiped off the planet by a catastrophe. I Lazarus'ed into a new species which really had nowhere to go because the planet was mostly uninhabitable...and then it became snowball earth. I won with 10 points on a tiebreaker (genes). As always, for me it was great fun, however the player frustrated by the randomness before was frustrated again (I keep telling these guys, B:M is not about winning, its about trying to survive) and one of the others thought it was too random (again, its an Eklund game...go along for the ride!).

Next up was Takenoko, a surprisingly enjoyable filler. The player frustrated by the Bios randomness smoked us all, so he got his revenge. I screwed up 1 rule in the explanation, I don't think it hurt this guy. As an hour game, Takenoko isn't bad. I don't think I'd ever buy it, and I don't mind playing it.

Then 4 of us wrapped up the night with another game of Circus Train. 2 of us were from the morning game, 2 were new. It definitely moved faster with this group, probably because 2 of us knew the rules now. I went into the last month trailing by 10 points and the leader had a "famous" blocking (3 of an act) wrecked by another player and was complaining that they should have gone after me because I was in a stronger position. I didn't think so, however I had forgotten an important rule, that "most clowns" (which I was leading) was worth 5 points at the end of the game. I was sure I wasn't winning because I had wasted(?) 4 turns trying to hire an elephant act. Well, my patience was rewarded as the elephant finally signed on, and there were all sorts of shows in my area that wanted elephants. When all was said and done, I won by 12 points. I really want to try this with the optional rules. I like it as is, and I think they will add a bunch more depth.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1885]
Board Game: Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!"Microbadge: Statistics fanMicrobadge: Golden MeepleMicrobadge: The 7th Continent fanMicrobadge: Plays Games with Spouse
This weekend I spent largely gaming at Tom DeMarco's house in southern NJ, where he was having one of his "gaming weekends". It's fairly convenient for me, as my parents live in the area so I can visit and stay at their place.

_7_ Beowulf: The Legend - Jim Vroom had recently acquired (re-acquired?) this game and was looking to play, and since it's a game I enjoy (but don't love), I was happy to play. The other players were Anni, Barb Flaxington, and Derek Poletti. I played fairly conservatively with the "Risk" spaces, but when I did decide to take risks, they tended to pay off in big ways. Barb, on the other hand, took risks liberally and pretty much failed every single time. The other players fell somewhere in the middle. Derek used a heavy gold strategy to very good effect, I thought he was going to win the game easily. I managed to edge him out in the end though, and took a very narrow victory. Given that I finished the game with a single scratch, I guess I could have taken more risks, but I wouldn't have predicted the luck I got, so it's hard to say.

_8_ Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - Jim is all about the new games, so we moved onto this one, with the same players minus Derek. Everyone had played before, but it's been a while for myself and Anni. I took the "extra worker" start tile, remembering from my previous play that 4 was a good number of workers to have, but from there I had to work hard to quickly secure the "feed at half cost" building. After that, I tried to go for a building-heavy strategy, though not through any real intent--it just seemed to be where the game pushed me. Anni was pretty effectively doing a skull strategy, while Barb was having a ton of success moving up the temple tracks. I kept building and building (though I didn't get any temple-helper buildings), but didn't really score many points for it. Meanwhile, Anni was getting a lot of points from skulls, but not nearly as many as Barb, who was uncontested on the temple tracks and flew around the score track. I dediced to double-down on buildings and go for the monuments, while Anni decided to challenge Barb on the temple. In the end, Anni took over all three temple tracks, while I got two monuments: one that gives points for the skulls on the board, and another that gives points for my blue buildings. However, Barb managed to pick up a monument for tan buildings, and was able to maintain her lead, while Anni finished in second and me in third.

_6_ Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition (new!) - This deck-builder is inexplicably a team game with four players, so I was on Anni's team and Jim and Barb were together. Jim explained the game, noting that if you have it set up right, you can string together a number of fights on the same turn, and add all of the beaten creatures to your deck. At this point I'm thinking, wait, the creatures that are available right away don't give you any points, and aren't any better than your start cards, so why would you do that? So when the game started, everyone else tried to scoop up the available creatures, while I only took creatures when I actually needed to travel someplace, and instead maintained a smallish deck and focused on buying higher-level cards from one of the stores. I was able to bum a few key cards off Anni a couple of times, which let me complete quests, giving me income to buy more higher-level cards, and victory points on top of that. In the end, I wound up churning pretty quickly through my deck of largely better cards, and was able to rack up some of the larger quests. By the time the game ended, I had enough points to win as a team all by myself.

_7_ 7 Wonders - At that point, there were six people floating around looking for games, so the suggestion inevitably turned to 7 Wonders. One of the newcomers, David, had not played before, and even after Jim's thorough explanation didn't really get it. I ended up between Jim and David. I started with the wonder that gave you papyrus, and noting that I had a green card that cost only papyrus in my start hand, and no one had the science-focus wonder, I decided to go hard after science. Through the first age, I didn't get much in the way of brown resources, but got a complete set of gray ones. Unfortunately, toward the end of the first age, I ran out of money and couldn't proceed with my wonder (David was hoarding both money and the cards that provided it). I spent the rest of the game really focusing on green cards, playing what I could for free, and paying when necessary. I ended up with 2/4/4--worth 50 points--but only built the first stage of my wonder. That was good enough for second place. Jim took first place; maybe I shouldn't have passed him the guild that gives points for neighbors' green cards (though I would've had to forgo a green card to deny him).

_7_ Keyflower - The group was gearing up to play 7 Wonders again (now that David knew what he was doing), but Don Poletti came around looking for more people to play Keyflower, so I bailed (I'm told that they ended up not playing 7 Wonders again after all). The game was me, Don, and his son Derek, who was the only new player at the table. Toward the end of the first round, Don was already in pass mode, and Derek seemed to be petering out, so I took a risk: I double-used a tile in the middle that I only had a bid of one on. Unfortunately for me, Derek still had two red left, so while he wasn't that interested in the tile, he was more than happy to take my meeples away from me. I managed to get the boat that lets you flip your hexes with any color, so I didn't have too much trouble flipping. At that point, I tried to move all of my resources to a hex that gave me two end-game points for each resource there. I thought my plan was pretty good, and I ended up with a whole bunch of resources on that tile, but when we counted up points at the end, I only had 40-some, which put me just ahead of Don and far behind Derek's 70-some.

_9_ Ticket to Ride - The next day, we managed to arrive just after three longer games had started up, so we had to wait a while. When games did break up, Jay Fox really wanted a rematch of Ticket to Ride with Anni, who had beat him in the finals of WBC a couple years ago. So it was me, Anni, Jay, and a fourth player who I know I've played with before but whose name I can't remember. My opening hand consists of New York-Seattle and Portland-Nashville (along with some other card I didn't keep), which is a pretty amazing draw. I do my usual move of taking tickets on the first turn, and supplant them with New York-Los Angeles. Both Anni and the other player make their initial moves in the west, so I push to lock down Seattle to Los Angeles, and then take it easy from there. Jay, who appears to be more experienced than me, really controls the pace of the game, and draws a giant zigzag down the middle of the board. I pay attention to how many trains he has left, though, so I'm able to finish my tickets a few turns before he goes out. All of his trains are consecutive, so he gets the longest route, and completes both of his tickets from the start of the game. My amazing ticket draw puts me a mere one point ahead of his total, so I take the win. I'm pretty cognizant, though, that if it weren't for my amazing luck with tickets, he would have crushed me.

_7_ Through the Desert - The four of us got out Through the Desert next. I'm able to fence in a fairly large area early, though Anni prevented me from getting a truly ridiculous area. I got another decent sized area in the middle of the board, and a smaller one toward the other edge. At that point, I turned my attention to camel majorities, but unfortunately, Jay was right in the middle of pulling way ahead of me in my strongest color, so I couldn't really catch him. I was barely ahead of the fourth player in another color, but he wasn't really paying attention to that, so I was able to claim that one without any additional work. All of the other colors were lost causes, so I tried to scoop up what minor points I could, but the game ended shortly. Unfortunately, the fourth player was one camel short of grabbing a huge area at the end. I don't remember who won, it might've been me, or it might've not been.

_9_ Puerto Rico - Jay then suggested Puerto Rico, and the four of us agreed. I went first, which is the place where I feel the most uncomfortable, since I don't think opening with Settler/Quarry is as strong as people say it is. In the spirit of trying out new things though, I open with Settler/Quarry and forgo getting a Construction Hut later, opting instead to go through the game with only two quarries (I like building, can you tell?). Jay is doing very well with a shipping strategy and occasionally selling a tobacco. I get a variety of goods and buy a factory, giving me a stable income. I grabbed the Guild Hall fairly early, since I had the money. Jay is starting to pull ahead with victory chits though, so I manage to pick Builder three turns in a row, netting me two more production buildings and another end-game building (the one that gives points for colonists), and getting the other players very little. At that point, I only have one spot left on my board, so the fourth player preemptively takes the Builder and I fill up my board. I end up finishing with a score in the high forties, which isn't quite enough to overcome Jay's point lead via shipping.

_9_ Ra - We didn't have that much time left, so I suggested Ra, which Jay had actually never played but wanted to learn. After Anni's fantastic explanation, we commenced with a lenthy first epoch that was very good to me--I ended up with 5 Niles and a Flood, a tie for the lead in Pharoahs, a Civ, and a handful of Monuments. As expected, the second epoch was much shorter, and had absolutely no Floods--not good for me! I did manage to solidify my Pharoah lead and grab a Civ. Anni was doing very, very well with Monuments, but had fewest Pharoahs and no Civs, so she actually took -7 in the second epoch. I came into the third epoch with very low suns, so while there were Floods available, I couldn't get one for myself. This epoch went fairly quickly as well, but I did manage to stay out of the sun basement and got a Civ. Anni finished with lowest suns, and gave 5 points to Jay, putting her out of contention despite her set of four of the same Monument. Surprisingly, the fourth player won, with a combination of Niles and Monuments (okay, I wasn't really paying that much attention to what he was doing).

_5_ Cards Against Humanity - So after Ra, I went back to my parents' house, and they took me out to dinner for my birthday. When we got back home, my brother really wanted to play Cards Against Humanity. I'm not a fan, but I was too tired to suggest anything more complicated, so I complied. It was me, Anni, and my brother and sister playing. My brother decided to use a variant that used a dummy player to play random cards. Surprisingly, the dummy player won by a landslide. Huh. There's probably a moral to the story somewhere, but I can't figure it out...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}