GCL Mafia 171: Reformation
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly list! If you stumbled onto this list by accident (or on purpose!) and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki. If you want to look at past GCL Mafia lists, go here: GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread.

Our current roster in order of preparation (next week's poster in bold):

Dolus
ecargo
McJarvis - hiatus
badweasel
mith
Beloch
mattbcha1
Happymrdave
eapeas
fdubois
touchstonethefool

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of April 21-27, 2014. List any games played along with any other information that you deem appropriate. Also, feel free to give life updates, fun facts, or any other super exciting and utterly interesting thoughts you may have.
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1. Board Game: Reformation [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Reformation
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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This week's list is addressing what we do in this GCL. With 170 lists, it's not only difficult to come up with new themes to discuss, but we've covered many topics multiple times. This is not inherently bad and it is perfectly understandable given that we have a members join, take breaks, or leave. However, I am proposing a change of format based on input received this week.
 
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2. Board Game: The Club [Average Rating:4.43 Overall Rank:19385]
Board Game: The Club
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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(I apologize for the kind of creepy image with this entry, but after I found it, I felt compelled to post it.)

1) Why did you originally join this GCL?

2) What were you hoping to get out of it?

3) Are you getting what you want out of it?
 
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3. Board Game: Presto Change-O [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Presto Change-O
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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What are some things you'd like to see become different in this GCL? This can be either current things you want to change or things you'd like to add.
 
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4. Board Game: Home Improvement [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:16271]
Board Game: Home Improvement
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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I propose that we change the weekly format from posting multiple questions (usually) related to a particular theme (usually related to board games). My idea is to have the poster just post one or two questions related to some kind of current topic in the boardgaming world. It could be a new game on Kickstarter and what people think of it, it could be a current controversy, discussion of some hotness, or anything else (usually) boardgaming related that is on the poster's mind.

The goal of this change would be so as to not burden the weekly poster with coming up with some kind of entire new theme, shorten the posting process, and being able to maintain current relevancy to our discussions. Additionally, since most discussions tend to center around what everyone's weekly plays were, this would hopefully increase those conversations while not having members feel compelled to answer X questions each week.

Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?
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5. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked]
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Unpublished Prototype 5
Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men NEW! 3
Bang! The Dice Game 2
Eggs and Empires NEW! 2
1830 Cardgame NEW! 1
Big Points 1
Chicago Express 1
Endeavor 1
Kakerlakenpoker 1
Lords of Waterdeep + Scoundrels of Skullport NEW! 1
Oriente NEW! 1
Snowdonia 1
Sticheln 1
Suburbia 1
Wizard 1

Lots of games this week thanks to a trip to the bay to see Travis and Jennifer while they are visiting James this week!

Although I didn't plan on buying it, there were two copies of Marvel Dice Masters at my FLGS. I hadn't realized how cheap the MSRP was so I went ahead and grabbed a copy and some boosters. I figured even if I didn't like the game, I could easily turn around and sell it. The game is the love child of Quarriors and Magic with some sprinkling of a Marvel theme. That said, I prefer it to both Quarriors and Magic and I seem to be a sucker for these damn Marvel games (and movies). It plays quickly and I like that you can quickly build your team before a game begins without having to do the before-game deckbuilding that Magic requires. With boosters being only $1, I will likely sink some more money into this but not to the extent that people are already going to (e.g., buying entire gravity feed boxes of 60 packs).

I was interested in Eggs and Empires because it is the same designers as Fleet. So, I actually did the print-and-play of it and tested it out this week (in addition to Kickstarting). It's a decent blind bidding filler worth the $16 I put down toward the Kickstarter, which I'd say is worth checking out.

Matt and I tried out the LoW: Scoundrels of Skullport expansion, using the Skullport module. I don't usually like worker placement games with two, but it turned out to be really fun and I liked the new corruption mechanic as it gave something else to balance/think about in your placements.

For whatever reason, I had difficulty wrapping my head around Oriente even though it's a rather simple game. Once I got the hang of the player turns, it quickly ended thereafter. I'm not sure this is my type of game as it felt kind of random and like Munchkin with hidden roles.

And finally got to try out 1830 Cardgame (after it sitting on my shelves for over a year) thanks to Travis's request. Although it had some frustrations with bookkeeping and not being able to do an action because you didn't have the card in your hand, I thought it overall was rather good. I liked the streamlined nature of an 18XX game in a card version and thought there were some clever things going on. For now, it's a keeper.
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6. Board Game: Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2838]
Board Game: Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
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Last week was a bit weird, so we didn't get a chance to post in the list. For shame, Edward, for shame. blush

Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890
Unpublished Prototype
Virgin Queen
Duel of Ages II
Last Will
Steam Park
Yunnan
Glen More
Coyote
Little Devils
Hab & Gut
Bruges
Sushi Go!

(bolded = new to us)


Highlights of the week:

Virgin Queen - Our small wargame group got together this morning at 10am to get this beast to the table, finally. Thankfully, one of the four of us (Chris) had played it a few times previously and had mailed (yes, snail mailed) us customized rulebooks for our faction. That definitely made setup and question asking go quicker. However, the first turn still took us 2 hours or so to get through. We played the tournament scenario, which starts on turn 3 and even though we all read the rules, we were like, "um, ok, I've read the rules and everything, but, um, wtf am I supposed to do now?" laugh Once we got into the 2nd (fourth) turn, things picked up speed significantly. We thought that Spain had gotten a first turn victory when Brian had a 6 point lead after round three, but that doesn't come into play until round 4. Well, things didn't fair much better for everyone not playing Spain as he was able to pull off a really improbable Gunpowder Plot and instantly win the game the following round.

Still, all things being equal, we all LOVED the game and we have already setup another FULL game, 3 weeks from now, starting at 8am. Skippen is expected to attend too....whistle

Unpublished Prototype - A friend of ours is a game designer and publisher and we played a game that he is likely to publish in the next 6 months or so. Not allowed to really say much about it, but for as simple as it looked, it had a good amount of really tough choices. I think he'll have success with it.

Duel of Ages II - We're going to have to play this one again to give it a fair shake. We both really enjoy Heroscape and this is Heroscape the Boardgame, in many ways. But man, it was painful our first play. We played it 5-handed and played one of the beginner 'full' scenarios and we just had too many questions and it dragged...and dragged. So we'll call this an "Incomplete" and will play it again before judging it. My mistake was not reading the rules myself before playing and our buddy had a hard time teaching it. Will try again just Amanda and I and see how it goes then. thumbsup

Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 - Let me preface this by saying that the 3-game series has been built up in my head (my own fault) so much, that this game couldn't possibly live up to expectations, right? Well...

Before playing this last Tuesday for our "Game of the Month" sub-set of our group, I had spent 2-2.5 hours fighting thru learning this game. I used the rules rewrite as I heard that the rulebook, as is, is probably the worst in history, to learn the game from. But even so, it took watching 2 videos, reading the rules rewrite and referencing the original rulebook to 'get it'. It took awhile to explain it to everyone, but once we got started, it flowed well. Everyone really enjoyed both the gameplay and the historical story the game told. The game is really, really cool...BUT, I'm concerned about long-term replayability of the game. See, it has a sort of basic tech-tree that looks really interesting, but by the end of the game, we all realized that there are only 2 or 3 different techs that separates everyone. We all felt that it can get very samey after a couple of plays, so I'm seriously concerned about that. Now, it's only one play and we all could be way off base here, but that's the initial feeling. TBD on that one. Kohle & Kolonie will be played in May, so I'm really curious to see how it continues the coal in the Ruhr valley story.

I do feel that this game has an unfair expectation sitting on it as I had to search over 5 months to finally get a copy of Kohle & Kolonie, so I felt, almost, like I had to like it...time will tell.

Hab & Gut - Such an overlooked gem. Simple market speculation game with a killer twist. If you haven't played it, make it a point to do so. Really excellent game.

Yunnan - Still a favorite of mine.




Non-gaming things:

- Well, 2 years ago, we closed on our first house! Man, time is flying by. We still love the house and can see ourselves here for a long time. It helps having gotten a sick-good deal as a short sale and a really good rate AND refi'ing it down even further 6 months later (3.25%)! thumbsup

- Amanda has been at her new job now about 9 months (medical billing) and she has already been offered training to be the main auditor for the entire company. Um, way to go babe! She's really excited about the prospect of it.

- I love to cook, as y'all know, and I made the best chicken satay for dinner tonight. Just awesomeness on a plate. Yum!






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7. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:813]
Board Game: Terror in Meeple City
Paul S
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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A slow week, but 2 new games to the table.

Rampage I've been looking forward to for a while. Great family fun, but I can imagine my usual group will also enjoy the occasional bout of meeple mastication.

An unusually lacking set of rules, I thought, for what looks like a simple game - but I suppose that the sheer complexity arising out of exploding buildings (in terms of what ends up where) might account for some of that. Still: glad I have it.

Also: Qwixx - a yahtzee/bingo combo that I suspect won't see a lot of table time. I'd read some interesting reviews, but given some half-decent dice rolls the right answers are pretty obvious, so decision making is hardly difficult. Quick, though. Maybe one that might interest some non-gamer family people.
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8. Board Game: Vabanque [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5344]
Board Game: Vabanque
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Games

Vabanque x1
Village in a Box x1
Eggs and Empires x1
Cockroach Poker x1
1830 Cardgame x1

Old Games

Mascarade x1
Kingdom Builder (with Kingdom Builder: Nomads) x1
Owner's Choice x1
Hive x1
Würfel Bohnanza x1
Glory to Rome (with Glory to Rome: Republic Expansion) x1
Rise! x1
Hoppladi Hopplada! x1
Planet Steam x1
BANG! The Dice Game x2
Chicago Express x1
Stick 'Em x1
Oriente x1
Endeavor x1
Gauss x2
Eminent Domain (with Eminent Domain: Escalation) x1

Had a heck of a week between my regular game day, re-connecting with another group, and spending the weekend as host for Travis and Jennifer (with a generous helping of Grace and Matt)!

I got Vabanque through a MT about a month ago, and it looked like the right amount of light bluffing to be good for my Tuesday group. Barring a new player who rules lawyer-ed the crap out of the opening, it was a hit and we all had fun double guessing and bluffing our way to fat stacks of cash. This is definitely a Faidutti/Colovini co-design, as there's a good dose of chaos mixed in with some multi-player incentive creation that's reminiscent of the latter's output.

Village in a Box was a bit of an odd-duck, in that it was a real-time tile laying game with a sort of Bohnanza-like trading mechanism. Each player is creating their own tableau, essentially, with cards being worth points and some cards requiring that other cards be present before they can be added. You can trade freely with your opponents in order to get the buildings you need, and the game ends once a player reaches 20 points. While it's not a genre I'm into, it played quickly and in a pretty decent timeframe, so I wouldn't mind giving it another shot.

My ears pricked up when Grace told me that Eggs and Empires was a Riddle/Pinchback design (with me being a huge fan of Fleet), and while it was a pretty smooth bidding micro game, it didn't really leave any lasting impression on me like others of it's ilk. It was certainly a nice diversion with a little bit of tactical consideration, but I don't feel the need to own it, much less kickstart it.

In the "I am a horrible, horrible liar when it comes to straight poker bluffing" files, I played my first game of Cockroach Poker and was pretty impressed. I like the potential chain of deceit that can result from multiple card passing, and the resulting "which one of you is lying and why?" questions that arise are actually kind of neat. That said, Grace and Travis both kindly informed me of a glaring tell I have when I'm bluffing, which makes me a bit less inclined to play games like these. I do better when there are multiple mechanical layers to cloak deception in: The lag time between choosing to look at a card and then having to lie about it is pretty minuscule, and it's hard for me to bluff on a dime. This is a rare game that I'd want to play again, but am a bit afraid to because it involves getting better at a skill set I don't really have .

And finally, I got to dip my toes into the 18XX genre with 1830 Cardgame that Travis was kind enough to teach us. While I've always been intrigued by the stocks-and-shares aspect of 18XX games, I was a little worried about the Rust/Rush aspects of it. Oddly enough, however, I really liked the train obsolescence mechanic in this game because of how you could leverage it to affect payouts. My one complaint about the game was that the action-card mechanic screwed me over when I wasn't able to buy up new shares (as none of them had been available to me for most of the game), but I suppose with that knowledge I could possibly do better in future plays by more clever hand management. Travis kindly brought along some of the bigger 18XX guns, and I'm sad to report that they didn't end up hitting the table, but now I'm more interested than ever in giving them a shot. Also, I'm much more interested in Locomotive Werks.
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9. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:135]
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
This week I hosted my regular Thursday group and we got in a decent set of games:

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts
Suburbia Inc
Hansa Teutonica
Vegas Showdown

Back a few years ago, McJarvis actually showed me Vegas Showdown. It is always interesting to revisit games I have not played in a long time. I do not remember the game being incredibly difficult before, but it is very straightforward. The crux of the game seems to be the tile placement+buying, but I don't think that the design is really cuthroat enough for that to be incredibly challenging? I was able to lay down my tiles in such a way as to claim both section + connection + have the highest money+population. It really surprised me at how badly a few of the others did? I wasn't particularly inspired by this game, and would give it a solid 6: could be convinced, will never request.

Hansa Teutonica was unique. We played a four player game, using the Route Cards from the East Expansion. I chose to not use my default "block EVERYTHING!" strategy. Adam, my Race for the Galaxy buddy, chose to lay claim to every office that sat on an upgrade. He did this before upgrading his own tableau, so if you wanted an upgrade you had to pay him. I snagged privilege and proceeded to work on a Stendal-Arnheim connection, claiming bonus tokens when able.

Because of Adam's block strategy, the game was incredibly short. When the game ended, three of us had 3 actions, while the remaining player was still sitting there with only 2. Even though I was pushing my network as fast as I could, I only held 6 offices at the end with 1 key upgrade, 3 actions, and pink privilege. I managed to secure a solid win here though because I controlled five of those 6 cities, so I had 22 points in networking, plus I managed to sneak onto the VP track's 8-point area, and dropped both +4 action tokens onto routes nobody could claim offices, but would give me 2 VP each time. I was very happy with this win, as I thought it was against an aggressive strategy.
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10. Board Game: K2 [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:544]
Board Game: K2
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Got in a reasonable amount of gaming this last week. Accidentally double-booked myself on the main gaming night and so missed out on some of the heavier stuff I usually play with that group, but I got to see Phil while he was in town so it was worth it.

K2 - owned but not previously played
Coloretto - owned but not previously played
Hanabi
Jambo
Kings of Air and Steam
Firefly: The Game
Qwixx - owned but not previously played

I actually got a few games to the table with my wife as well, which is a plus. I enjoy playing things with her, although I enjoy heavier titles and she prefers lighter ones. Still, good to get some together time with games no matter what the title.


K2 - Nice puzzly setup and a fun theme. I like the mechanic of having a set amount of cards from which you always play some then replenish until you're eventually forced to use the remainder before reshuffling. You'll often have rounds where you juuuuust can't quite do what you want, but planning does pay off. Seems like it would be best with 3 or 4 (it was alright with 2, 5 would be way too many). My wife enjoyed it and nearly beat me but I was able to piece out a way to victory literally on the last action.


Coloretto - Really fun and quick push-your-luck game that very nicely distills the Zooloretto/Aquaretto mechanics down to their most core element. Light but enjoyable; I'd easily recommend this as it's fun, cheap, and easy to introduce but still has interesting decisions. We played with 4 and it was excellent. Offhand guess is that 4 is the ideal number.


Hanabi - Always fun. I think everyone here knows this game so further discussion not really needed. I feel it's holding up well across multiple plays.


Jambo - A fun 2-player economic game. I still think the Supplies card (the one that lets you draw until you get a trade card for either 1 gold or 1 discard) is overpowered, especially mid-to-late game. I found the expansions at a FLGS a while ago and haven't tried them yet but want to.


Kings of Air & Steam - An interesting mix of mechanics all stirred together for a pretty fun pickup & deliver game. I like the asymmetric characters but they did seem a little unbalanced. My base ability of starting with an extra depot was ok but my unique card was really powerful. Robin seemed stuck with a very uninteresting character that didn't do much compared to the rest of us. The thief seemed really powerful because early game having $3 stolen could really screw you over (and it could be done multiple times in one round if you're unlucky), but late game it balanced out.

Overall I enjoyed the game and I lost by a small margin. Would play again (but don't feel the need to add it to my own collection).


Firefly - I'm not a fan of the show (have seen it once or twice, thought it was good but didn't get why people went ga-ga over it) and see-what-happens games are often not my thing, but hey, I like Arkham Horror and Robin & Kristen love it so I figured why not.

Overall? I was pleasantly surprised. Mechanically it worked better than the comments here on BGG led me to believe. It's definitely got some luck-heavy moments but on the whole we all finished at a point where had the game gone on another turn or two someone else could have one. Rather little player interaction for a thematic game but I'd rather it be light on that rather than have cruddy take-that cards jammed in.

My biggest mechanics concern is that if you have your illicit cargo (or passengers) taken from you, replacing them is a total crapshoot. The game gives no consistent way to get stuff like that back and if you're in a money-based scenario that can totally hose you. You can try to minimize the risk of that, but if it happens I could see that pretty much taking you out of the game in one swoop.


Qwixx - Found this over at Gamesurplus and figured why not. I don't always agree with the SdJ candidates but oftentimes I do. This is a fun, light, approachable game. Plays quickly and has some decisions but also a lot of situational luck. I'd recommend it as a filler and a light title for use with non-gamers once it gets the domestic release here in the USA for sure. My wife enjoyed it and was willing to play an extra round which I consider indicative of them doing something right.
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11. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:17]
Board Game: Concordia
Mc Jarvis
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I played Concordia for the first time last night and really enjoyed it. This is in sharp contrast with Rokoko, which I did not enjoy at all--- but in my mind, they have very similar mechanics in terms of the card cycle system.

Any thoughts from the GCL in terms of how the games contrast would help me cement my feelings on the matter. I don't think it's simply a matter of theme-- I don't care much for ancient Roman stuff--- but it might have something to do with the wooden bits. #unsure
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12. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Weekly Plays:

Magic: The Gathering - 7
Brass: Lancashire - 1 (with Robin)
Eminent Domain - 1
Ghost Blitz - 1 (with Robin)
Heroscape Master Set: Swarm of the Marro - 1
Kings of Air and Steam - 1 (with Robin and Dave)
Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts - 1 (with Robin and Kristen)
Trains - 1 (with Robin and Kristen)

Heroscape

I forgot to mention on last week's list that the week before, I missed our Pathfinder session because I wasn't feeling well and things went badly for the group without me there (not that it would have gone any better with me there) - Adam's character missed his first attack and immediately got knocked out, Casey rolled three 1s in a row, and both her and Kelly's characters were killed. So, in order to discuss what we should do, I joined them for their non-RPG game night, and when we weren't talking about the RPG, we played Heroscape. We were trying out some scenario with the Marro Hive - the other four of us trying to destroy it, with the winner being the first to do so - but there wasn't any incentive for us to attack each other and ranged characters made it ridiculously easy to get hits on the hive, so other Philip won pretty quickly. We kept playing though as normal elimination (which is a bad way to play Heroscape, it takes forever), the girls turned on each other pretty quickly, eventually I turned on other Philip to gain the upper hand on our half of the board, and then it just became a long drawn out mess (which I eventually "won").

I don't hate Heroscape, but it's a bit random and (potentially) kingmakerish for my taste. A more focused scenario with two players/teams might be ok though.

Eminent Domain

Before heading over to Robin and Kristen's Saturday, I taught this to Claire and Chance as part of my "play different games I own" pledge. I still worry that this would be too samey after repeated plays, but I haven't played it enough to reach that point, so it was a nice experience. Chance won by 1, ending the game before Claire and I could get our stronger produce/trade engines going. Curious how the expansion changes things.

Brass

I had been talking to Claire about the GCL Madness tournament, which reminded her that she wanted to try Brass. Of course, Robin is always down for that. I played L1 cotton in the north to be annoying (as I am prone to do lately), and Robin was foiled in both phases by the DM (hitting the -4 after I had knocked it down some in the canal phase, and then Hostile 17ing it in the rail with -4, -3). So, that held Robin back some, scoring "only" 136 for second... but Claire won handily (in the 150s), with lots of early iron and getting both ships down after Chance made a mistake with his rail placement.

Only my second game with the actual board... the layout is so confusing after getting used to the online version.

Ghost Blitz

Cute filler between dinner and Dave arriving. Chance went on a crazy run, I think he claimed 8 in a row or something stupid like that. This was not Claire's game... scores were 16-15-14-3.

Kings of Air & Steam

Dave already talked about this one a bit... He mentioned the thief (me) being overpowered, which I agree with to some extent. The movement card isn't that good (0 to 2, Steal 1 Good sounds great, but it's very difficult to actually pull off; others aren't likely to be holding goods at the end of a round, so even if you manage to get close to someone you may not have the opportunity to steal something with the first action, and there tend to be more powerful moves to take anyway). I played the steal $3 pilot though, and everyone got scared of that... I got first placement, and then everyone else placed on the opposite half of the board to stay away from me. Chance tried to come into my half, but I was headed straight toward the same goods, which made him balk at actually stopping there. So, having pretty much a monopoly on half of the board for the first two rounds got me off to a great start, and then I was able to beat Claire to some goods to start the third round, and finally steal from her once and Robin three times (twice in one movement at the end, just for fun) to win by $6 over Dave.

The $3 does seem way too punishing in the first few turns, when it may take you too close to $0 to upgrade/build depots. I don't think it's imbalanced, necessarily, it just forces the other players to play differently, in a way that the other abilities don't.

Magic

I headed over to Serena's for some late night Magic... Played three games with her, and four with Tim (her fiancé); they were using their "Pokédecks", a big collection of different types of decks which they've built to play against each other (removing the ones that win too often), so I lost track of what I played against when. They only buy cards that cost less than $1, so pretty comparable collections I think. My decks were:

UR Delver/Burn (lots of instants and sorceries for the Delver and my other creatures) - 1-0
UB Infect (reasonably fast; the UR deck should win most of the time I think, that's a bad matchup, but this is a bad matchup for a lot of other deck types) - 1-1, with the loss coming to a similar burn + creatures that like instants and sorceries deck.
RG Werewolves (fun deck, but annoying to flip cards) - 2-0
WU Enchantment Control (this was the funniest game; Tim and I kept hitting each other for 1, and getting rid of anything stronger; eventually I got my Invisible Stalker to stick and powered him up with Ethereal Armor to hit for an unblockable 8) - 1-0
BG Dredge (this one didn't go so well, as I drew nothing but land and he hit his combo pretty quickly) - 0-1

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts

On Sunday, I tried this out with Robin and Kristen. I'm pretty much in agreement with their thoughts on it - it's disappointing. The main problem is that it slows things down so much; the rest of the game is simultaneous, so the turn-based orb takes up a disproportionate amount of time, without providing that much interesting game play. It also seems a bit AP prone (placing the orb cards).

The new cards in the deck were nice though. I'm thinking about making my own distribution of Race cards, combining from the two arcs.

Trains

Claire joined us for this one before I headed home. In part because I haven't played Dominion in a long time, and in part because of the cards that were available, I decided to try ignoring the board entirely and just went straight deckbuilding. It's more difficult to build an engine here even when you're not taking waste (I don't know if there's a way to get rid of the initial rails/station cards, but if there is we didn't have it this time), but I was drawing a good chunk of my deck in the midgame and had one turn with $17 (which is where I started buying yellow). The yellow cards aren't worth enough points on their own, but I also got 13 from Tourist Train, and 9 from the board (I built two rails near the end of the game), which was just barely enough to win. I don't think this would work every game, or even often, so that's good - it's certainly not as fun as engine building in Dominion, so I would be disappointed if it were too strong.
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:53]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 8  Race for the galaxy x1
 7.5  Pocket Rockets x1
 7  Forbidden desert x1
 7  Famiglia x1
 5  Noah x1
 5  7 Wonders Leaders + Wonder pack x1

Easter week of vacation in family near Carcassonne. We were there for :
- the citadel
- the Frontfroide cistercian abbey
- Castelnaudary's speciality : cassoulet (beans with duck and pork)
- biking along Canal du Midi

And some family gaming indeed.

Nothing really astonishing appart Race for the galaxy. It was an introductory game to my daughter. She won (24-23) by tableau rushing (she had 8 developments and 9 points with the Galactic New Order). I was going for diversified economy but it was too slow to become effective.

Her comment : "awesome"

Pocket Rockets is more and more excellent with plays. It is a very solid and good choice for a quick session with children but also with adults. Brillant and awesome little social game.

Forbidden desert was a 4 players game and a discovery for my wife. Despite we lose, she enjoyed it a lot. She said : "it changes us from resource management games".

7 wonders : the more i play it, the less i like it. This game would have been sold if my family did not like it as much.
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