GCL Meatballs #183: Ha, that's funny!
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You have reached the GCL Swedish Meatballs, a division of BGG's Game Chat League. You can keep up with these weekly lists at the Meatball Subscription page, although it's not clear why you'd want to.

Civil contributions from non-members are fine (leave the incivility to members, please!), and we do ask that non-members please not add list items. Members are to add list items to discuss what they played that week. The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.

~~~~~~~~~
Rotation:

fateswanderer - You're next!
sgosaric
qwertymartin
Sorp222
lacxox
cymric
bnordeng
Jugular
AAArg_ink
ellephai
Hanibalicious
Osirus
Jythier
~~~~~~~~~

I've been talking and thinking about humor a lot lately, so let's have a list about it!
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1. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:5491]
Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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What the funniest thing you've ever seen on the Geekdo sites?
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2. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1908]
Board Game: Funny Friends
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Who's the 'funny guy' of your group? The person who gets everyone laughing?

Tell us a story about them!
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3. Board Game: Scene It?: The DVD Movie Game [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:17968] [Average Rating:5.51 Unranked]
Board Game: Scene It? Movie
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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What's your favorite comedy movie/book/play? Share your favorite lines!
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4. Board Game: Humor Rumor [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Humor Rumor
Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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What's the funniest game you have ever played?

Has it stood up to being funny over and over again, or do the jokes get old?
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5. Board Game: The Improv Comedy Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: The Improv Comedy Game
Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Who's your favorite comedian?
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6. Board Game: The Joke Game [Average Rating:3.06 Unranked]
Board Game: The Joke Game
Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Best joke or one liner you've ever heard/told?
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7. Board Game: Type Trumps [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
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We talked about types of humor... absurdist, I guess, was the word used... what type of humor is your favorite?
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8. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:88]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
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Tigris & Euphrates x1 4p ww
Wow. WOW. High score? 3. 3! That's insane! I can't even believe it! It was so fast, so furious. Highly aggressive, with nukes and all sorts shenanigans. So this is now in my top 5, I think. It's conflict at its best. Every game plays out differently, and interestingly. Megan warmed my heart as she noted: "You know, I was kinda lost the first play, but now I'm starting to see it. It's probably in my top 5."
Despite the game ending on treasures and a third full tile bag, 3 point. 3 POINTS! Pot was shamed. Megan took the bulls out for a spin and won (she was also the only "Big Cuber" among us).
From gallery of hanibalicious


Deep Sea Adventure x1 4p ww
I'm moderately sure that this is, in fact, just a simplified Incan Gold with dice. I'm loving it, but let's call a spade some sort of a digging implement. Snake eyes killed me the second round- when all I needed was a 3. The table quite enjoyed that. Odds? 1/9th. Booooo (-urns).
From gallery of hanibalicious


Flip City x1 1p, x2 2p ww, x2 4p ww
I had the best, most hipster moment in my life:
Someone emailed me from bgg con
They're like, you should get a copy of this taiwanese game, design town, next year when they bring it to the states.
I'm like, oh, i already got a copy from tokyo game market, thank you very much.

Is this feeling what hipsters live for?

Any way, it's really great, as it ups that push your luck feeling that's at the periphery of deck builders, and really turns it up to 11. It's a bit unwieldy, physically, but the buildings and powers are hecka interesting. I also won all of my games- Megan is starting to say that I play too many deck builders. Impossible!

Tunnels & Tricks x1 4p ww
Wow. We had Kuro encroaching K&K, now we have the Japanese encroaching on trick takers too! Well, let me just say, that even though the card play is pretty standard, the scoring twists make it better than the average trick taker. Also, the fact that second place wins two cards (But not first choice!) adds a whole new awesome layer of depth. Smintie, are you listening? Also the art is adorable- little goblins wearing tree trunks! The troll proboscis put off Megan a bit, though.

Keyflower x1 5p ww
What an elegant system! I love the colour meeples, the lockouts, and the end scoring mechanism. I don't like hardly any of the tiles though. I think Chudyk spoiled me for action choices. Yes, I would definitely play it again, but I am content not to own it. Mainly because the wife was not a fan. I expect it really shines with a table of repeat players who a. know the potential tiles and b. really know each other. Definitely a game to "get into".
I think I really get anxious when valuating action potentials. It's much easier to be competitive when bidding against veterans in a game where you're only bidding on sets, or points.

Linko! x2 5p ww
Well this is rather moorish! What a brilliant little slice of card gaming. Feels like a classic- hard to believe it's so new. Thank you all for not shutting up about it. Should it be played over multiple rounds, though? I feel like going out first is always a win! Suggestions?

Dash! A whimsical race through Singapore x1 5p
My only Singaporean game, I continue to love it. It doesn't mean I didn't get hammered, but it's a wonderful game all the same. I can't wait to play it again, which is, I guess, the only seal of approval needed. I still can't believe that someone thought to marry climbing to racing, and even more so, that it worked!


These are my 10 favourite sketches- sketch shows still have some excellent humour, and I can't believe they were omitted!




I prefer the record version with Eric the half-a-bee, but hey, what can you do:







Upon reviewing, I... enjoy blue humour a tad bit too much.
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9. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:359]
Board Game: Biblios
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Humour books of a certain satirical type seem to have fallen by the wayside. I am here to say: That should not be the case. Samo and Patrick, I think you might particularly like Will Cuppy. Indeed, the decline and fall of practically everybody is my favourite humour book, with 1066 and all that, The Time Machine Did It, and Oh! Europa, How to tell your friends from the apes rounding out my personal top five. I am America and so can you and America (The Book) are pretty cool and all that, but they can't touch Will Cuppy with a 10 foot pole. Not that they'd want to.

So what are your favourite humour books (of the non-comic variety)?*

*If someone makes a comic book item I will comment on that.
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10. Board Game: Impulse [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1477]
Board Game: Impulse
Justus
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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So once I figured out I could play against myself I took it on a spin. Two great games and one mediocre game. The mediocre game was a three participant solo play. The issue with 3p solo impulse is that there are potential king making moments at those points it is unavoidable to Unremebr what's in the other hands.

But fortunately that was then salvaged by two brilliant 2p games. The first was one where a player crushed the opponents fleets, but the he managed to keep one transport alive and was able to bounce around just long enough to score the necessary points to win. 20-19. The fun thing about the winners last turn is that he started the turn with 19 points and had many chances to score that last point and only did so on his final explore of the turn, he literally had nothing left in the tank.

The second great 2p solo play was a much more lopsided affair but it was just fun to watch the green team just completely swarm the Galaxy with a well timed barrage of building.

The game has a lot of wonky little things going on, certainly not the simplest affair, but it's a beautiful intricate engine, much like watching a clock do its thing.

And way on the other end of the elegance spectrum, we also played a game of Transeuropa. Just such a lovely sparse design. Embedded in the 2p game is the next level stuff I love about 2p ttr -- reading the other players destinations and trying to be a total jackass about it...thigh of course there is no real way to actually hinder your opponent since we avoid the vexation expansion.
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11. Board Game: Tragedy Looper [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:666]
Board Game: Tragedy Looper
Brad N
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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2020 unique titles | 2020 total plays
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.NA. Tragedy Looper - 3 Players
_8_ The Great Zimbabwe - 3 Players
_8_ The Resistance - 7 Players (x3)
_8_ RoboRally - 7 Players
_8_ Kingdom Builder - 3 Players; 2 Players
_7_ Castles of Mad King Ludwig - 2 Players
_7_ Ca$h 'n Gun$ - 6 Players; 5 Players

With the kids...
_9_ Pandemic - 2 Players
_8_ Clue: The Great Museum Caper - 4 Players
_7_ Lost Cities - 2 Players
_7_ Banjooli Xeet - 3 Players
_7_ Gulo Gulo - 3 Players
_5_ Caveman Curling - 2 Players


(1) Tragedy Looper - Here's a deduction game I heard a bit about and wasn't really interested in. When two other gamers had some enthusiasm for it on Friday, I went with it. I enjoyed this quite a bit and see where it could become quite the rabbit hole... in a good way if you like deduction. I'm not a huge fan of deduction games in general, but this is gamer deduction done right. The options seem almost limitless and it takes a play just to get familiar with what the heck is going on. But, in the end, I enjoyed how the loops worked and working with my fellow protagonist to solve the plot, subplot and characters/roles. We did it and I like how it unfolded.

(2) The Great Zimbabwe - My second play of this Splotter game. The spatial element is easy to mess up and that didn't happen in this game, but we all nearly messed it up. I was able to rush to a low Victory Requirement (VR) and win, but one opponent scored about 20 points on his last two turns to finish one point short of his VR. I was about 26/26 and he was about 35/36. The VR mechanic is one simple and clever way to adjust for powers that players take on and well implemented in a heavyish Euro. The 8 rating might be a touch high, but I need another play with 4 players to know and I hope to do that in 2015.

(3) RoboRally - Thanks to Lori, I set up a board that worked really well for the group. There were seven of us from gamers to newbies and everything in between and a smart group of guys. This included the typical RR mayhem, including a few bots driving themselves off the board when they misread the gears and conveyers. Everyone seemed to take it all in good stride. Only two players touched the first flag and they both had a close race for the second flag, but the game ended in a reasonable amount of time. Five of the players at the table have some coding (programming) aspect to their job today or in the past and a few of them mentioned an interest in buying the game. I think Lori owes me cuz I'm growing the RR world! Well... maybe we're even since she gave me the best part about this round... everything I learned from Lori before I even played. I have all sorts of ideas now about how to set up "transition" boards to increase the size of the course without bogging down the game, for example.

(4) The Castles of Mad King Ludwig - Marie and I played this together and I basically bought it with her in mind. She loved the spatial element and kicked my butt in that part of it. But, I was able to get the underground rooms going better than her and that proved to be the difference in a close one. She is interested in more plays and I think I might try to get a kid or two into this one.

(5) Pandemic - Azalea (9) and I topped 5 virulent strain epidemics with a mutation for the second time in a row. We even had a few turns to spare at the end and very few outbreaks, but there was a time when we nearly ran out of blue (virulent strain) cubes. Pandemic is awesome!
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12. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:267]
Board Game: Die Macher
Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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No real Alphabet challengers this week.

Die Macher (4P) — I was in the fortunate situation of being able to nearly immediately reschedule Die Macher, this time with what I hoped were the correct rules. Unfortunately while I was correcting the mistakes of the previous game new rules issues cropped up, and those could not easily be answered thanks to the inexperience of Valley Games in creating locked-down rulesets. We more or less soldiered on, helped by an occasional peek at the Rules subforum, and finished in about 3,5 hours. My partner and I were very close in VPs, with her being the better by about 15 VPs; the other two players were also equally close to each other, but then 100 VP behind us. The only thing that felt a little different was the amasssing of money in the early game: that was more difficult. But once past the 3rd election? Wallowing in cash and bidding up like there was no tomorrow... So I think the effect of the previous errors isn't as big as I made it out to be.

The table liked Die Macher to a certain degree—some more than others, though—but we were all agreed that the game takes too long for what you get out of it. It's not a complex game: it's not difficult for a newcomer to familiarise himself with the mechanisms; and since the strategic depth is not really that large either, it is not like he won't stand a chance even after a few playes. At the same time there was grumbling about the public opinion polls and the party cards (as in the previous game): they had a strong influence on how many VP and money you obtained. All the voting and bidding and the like tends to obscure this matter, though. And that's still as inexcusable as it was last time. The owner of the game really had no idea what to do with the box, as he wasn't sure he'd play again anytime soon; at the same time he had no idea what a decent asking price was. It'll probably collect dust for a few more years until it is played again and then it will be sold off, I'm sure.

We were all agreed on one thing though: playing a second time did help cement matters in our minds, and gave us the decent impression of what the game was capable of.

Paletto (2P) — I'd been contacted by the game's author who spotted a rules error in the comment I'd left with the game: apparently you can select any number of cylinders to remove from the board; you're not forced to pick them all up. I dug into my bag of leftover bits and created a makeshift Paletto to try the game again with my partner. The game's state space definitely increases as a consequence, giving Paletto a little bit more bite. At the same time, careful play means that very likely you end up finishing the game when the last cylinder has been taken; and this aspect feels very methodical and calculative... not fun at all, in fact. A computer can easily work out the optimum moves for every move made by a player, for example. All in all I find the new rule therefore to be both a curse and a blessing.

Spyrium (2P) — The game was on sale at a German reseller (no, not Amazon), and so I ordered a copy, remembering my moderately positive experience of Spiel 2013. Making use of a rare lull in our household—Junior was staying at my parents' for a few days—we broke out the rules and played a game. Although the game effortlessly evoked the same feelings we both remembered—testimony to its well-fleshed out design—we also noticed that at 2, the money engine is difficult to start up. There is little to be had, forcing the players to stay in each other's vicinity, and fight over the same buildings. This didn't sit well with us. Regrettably the BGG Hivemind is of the opinion that variants at this number are not necessary, and so has never put in the effort to come up with one. Too bad, really.

Apart from that, although the game is fairly short and intense (though not as short as could be, which I appreciate), its main selling point is simply how smoothly it all works. It is for that reason that I'm looking forward to introducing the game to others in my local and extended gaming groups.
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13. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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Tuesday casual gamers

Hey Samo, want to play Smash Up?
Err...
Or Deus.
Err...
Well the Deus table is full now


Okay, let's play something else - Get Bit!.
This was quick, loud and fun. I somehow won.

But there's was no escaping actually playing Smash Up

Wait, why didn't I want to play it? It's fun.
[5 minutes later]
Oh right - I didn't want to play with him again
.

One guy has a serious case of AP and being able to read his hand of cards on another player's turn doesn't work somehow.

Then a new game - Tajemnicze Domostwo

Pick Dixit, then take away the scoring and the part which is like Apples to Apples - you might think there's almost nothing left. Yet Mysterium takes this (in the shape of imagnnative surrealist cards) and adds even more cards (these more impressionistic showing people places and objects) and what you get is a sort of marriage of Dixit and Cluedo.

It's somewhere between a co-op and a party game - one person is giving hints (by "dixit" cards) other are guessing about their suspect. Who it is, where did he/she kill and with what. It's really interesting how it's a cooperative game, yet roles are distinct. There's a clue giver which is against other players, yet on their side. And they give hints to each player individually (each has individual goals), yet all players but the clue giver can discuss hints amongst themselves. A really interesting group dynamics - the more people talk the more the clue giver ("ghost") knows what to give them in the next round.

Another interesting notion is how the surreal cards open up in this setting. In Dixit they become puzzles and in-the-know jokes. But here, they are dreams, they are communicating to you directly. But you're not sure what exactly. And then you wake up puzzle and everybody screams what your dreams mean.

Would love to play again with different groups to get more insight. But: very impressed. Do recommend to socially inclined gamers.
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14. Board Game: Goldland [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2270]
Board Game: Goldland
Goldland
Pick Picknic
Black Fleet
Merchant of Venus
Firefly
Tikal
Roborally


It was my turn to pick the Monday night game this week, and discussion on a recent list prompted me to request Goldland. I fared rather dismally, and at the end of the game was feeling like "Hmm, I wanted to like this more than I did; I wish I could play it again right now while I still recall how, so that I could see if it might get better." But we didn't have time to play again.

The luck of the tile draws seemed really influential in our game. It made the difference between "spend something you have to cross this tile" vs. "spend something you'd have to go fetch from a great distance to cross this tile" vs. "SHOW (but don't actually spend) something you have to cross this tile, and get more stuff!" One person got a row of tiles of the same sort and it made a really easier path toward the temple.

If you're going to try this game, here's a tip: Go early for the spaces where you get the "longest road"-style bonus tiles, and don't hesitate to get different kinds (like, don't feel you should be focusing on just a few kinds). An early start on this is really advantageous, because people have to do more to overcome you, and the more you can get out front, the more there's an intimidation factor where it just seems like too much trouble to challenge you and people decide to do something else.
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15. Board Game: Viticulture [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:177]
Board Game: Viticulture
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
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So, I played three games this week (that week I guess), which proved once again how little I need to spend on gaming these days.

I played Viticulture. A worker placement game with bonus cards that ruin any strategy. I lucked out repeatedly drawing cards that are useful in the early game during the early game and cards that were useful during the late game during the late game. One opponent found about half of his cards were unplayable when drawn... Just, utter crap. What are people thinking!

I then played Splendor. A brilliant game. It's stripped down simple engine-building. It's strips the engine-building game down to it's essentials and loses little in doing so. I'm not a huge engine-building fan so I'm not going to laud this as the best thing since a bread slicing machine but I think this would get played very regularly by me and Kathryn so onto my dinky little wishlist it goes. Perhaps even at first hand prices!

And I got my final H-Index game to the table. The classic, Bohnanza! Obviously, I played three player, since that's the best player number. I lost out on the negotiation by midway through the second time through the deck. My wife won over our friend and managed to wrangle a number of freebies and beneficial trades and froze out any trading between us. I lost out by one gold coin I think. Still the classic negotiation game.
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16. Board Game: Arkham Investigator [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:5083]
Board Game: Arkham Investigator
Almost a week late... Unsurprisingly I'll probably be late with the next GeekList, so everyone will have more time to post on this one!

A friend directed me to Arkham Investigator and I played it when I had some spare time. Structurally it's limited by the medium, but accomplishes a lot - you visit "locations" and read the paragraph associated with it, and try to figure out where to go next. I enjoyed the investigation and the unfolding story.

I also played some of my stranger new Android: Netrunner decks on OCTGN:
* the new character Leela Patel, focusing on destroying the Corporation's ice and making damaging runs on the central servers;
* a generic Anarch faction deck (I used Reina) updated with more recent toys
* a janky Grail Ice deck in Harmony Medtech to speed the game up and use Midori in-faction
* a nutty Anarch deck that tries to use the unreliable Ekomind-Origami combo
An online friend proxied the upcoming identity "Industrial Genomics", which looks mediocre but turned out to be quite nasty.

In video game news I played Game of Thrones - Episode 1: Iron from Ice, which is basically an interactive story, with use input constrained to quick-time events and timed dialogue choices. I died two dozen times because I didn't know you had to use the keyboard in an early action scene. The game itself is very short, and I'm not sure if my decisions affected much within the current episode, but it was nice to hear the TV actors' voices.
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17. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:165]
Board Game: Goa
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Microbadge: Pebble of the Community - Always present, only occasionally kicked aroundMicrobadge: Dood!Microbadge: GameChat League - Swedish Meatball DivisionMicrobadge: Fallout fanMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner Knizia
Another run at this game with a local friend of mine, 2p. Our first round we bid on two orange tiles; I got colonist a turn, he got (more cheaply) ship a turn. I ended up advancing Cinnamon and grabbing money to make up for my lack of funds, but then he felt pressured by that and advanced the money track far past me and started taking money frequently, which in turn meant I had to take a bit more... by the time the game ended, we had added more than $100 to the game not even including the money-giving exploration cards. It felt different from any previous time I'd played Goa.

And that's what I really love about this game, as well as AoE III, Endeavor, Zavandor, &c: Every time you play the game you have the chance of experiencing the game in a new way even if you've played it dozens of times before. And immediately after the game, my friend started talking about what he wanted to try to do differently next time, and I feel like any game that consistently inspires that type of immediate post-game-analysis with future-game-planning is a winner.
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18. Board Game: Potato Man [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2683]
Board Game: Potato Man
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Oops, I seem to have fallen behind on my plays. The run-up to Christmas is hectic!

Tuesday: games night at Joe's

We were the same four who played Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896 a few weeks ago, so slightly less fumbling around the awkward rulebook was required. This time the others all set about building goldmines, and I set about stealing the gold from under them I was particularly pleased with a sequence where I arrived back at the general store to equip myself with a cart, filled it up with some fish and plenty of whiskey and then next turn rode my canoe out to Joe's mine and helped myself to both the remaining pieces of gold. This was the first time I've seen a game end by someone (me) acquiring ten gold tokens rather than through exploration. I barely voyaged more than one canoe ride away from the starting point.

Joe recently picked up Potato Man and I was keen to try again after positive impressions at Eastbourne. We ended up playing twice and my rating has bumped to an 8 - it's really good! If you don't know already - it's a tricktaker with the twist that all four suits must be played to each trick. So if you're playing last, you have no choice of which colour to play, and if you can't play it the round ends. That does lead to some weirdly short rounds sometimes, and I can see people coming away with a sour impression if that happened a lot in their first game. But it's worth persevering. The scoring is really neat too. The suits are asymmetric, with some having higher values than others, but you get fewer points for winning with the stronger colours. But that only applies to the first three tricks won with each colour - if you can hold your power cards back to win late, you get rewarded with lots more points.

Thursday: games with Joe at the veggie cafe, to a background of live acoustic music, spoken word jams and beat-boxing.

Wir sind das Volk! - Joe wanted to stick with East to retain some familiarity from the previous game. But oh my goodness, this game was so different! My plan going in was to focus on building industry and then living standards in the border regions to put heavy pressure on the East in the external comparisons. I built a spine down the border and pretty much ignored the Berlin suppliers, except for one LS exported into Berlin. This very uneven development meant that I ceded western currency completely, but instead prioritised the socialist track - eliminating his arrow cards and activating mine. At the end of the first decade, I was a single unrest away from over-running the East with mass protest, but inequality in the West took a heavy toll too. The border region I'd developed to 2 LS inflicted mass protest on all three Berlin suppliers. Three mass protest each so on we went.

We had a weird distribution of cards in decade 2 with 5 of my events in the first half and 5 of Joe's in the second. Inventing the colour television allowed me to ramp the border regions up still further and I continued to push on socialists, sensing a 'collapse of socialism' victory. But I'd misjudged - forgetting that I needed to get Joe's two socialists off the map entirely to claim that condition. Joe put pressure on me by adding more unrest to the interior and I had to burn cards to remove a single unrest for the first time. Both of us suffered in the end of decade phase - me from internal comparisons again and Joe from external. As the dust settled, the whole of East Germany was in uproar - 6 mass protests on the board! But apart from the prosperous border, the Westerners were unhappy too. And with 4 mass protests, both countries collapsed simultaneously giving Joe the win.

I really liked that areas of the game that were hugely important last time (rundown factories, western currency) were totally irrelevant this time, and vice versa. It makes the relative values of the cards very fluid. Bumped my rating to a 9, though I still need to be sure that it won't degenerate into picking a strategy and executing it the same way each time.

Potato Man - heard this works well with 2 and damn, it does! Each player plays two cards per trick, which makes for more planning than in the 4p game. On the other hand, you draw cards as you play them, so you can't plan too far ahead. Really great, this one.

Elements x3 - and this one is too. I owned Joe this time - 9 rounds out of 10!
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