GCL Mafia 219: A Day in the Life of...
Grace P.
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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 GCL wiki and/or the Mafia wiki. If you want to look at past GCL Mafia lists, go here: GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread. Also, if you want an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week, try out Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool!

Active Members in order of preparation (Next week's preparer in bold):

Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
Beloch
Happymrdave
captainraffi
fdubois
touchstonethefool
bobcatpoet
charlest
Thesp

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of March 30 - April 5, 2015. List any games played along with your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

Rules for the list are:
1) A weekly game is spotlighted and discussed. The poster will pose questions about it to encourage conversation.

2) Themed questions are optional. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics.

3) A top five question is posed for the next poster by anyone. These top fives are usually game-related, but can include other topics as well.
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1. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:579] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Grace P.
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Have you played it? What are some of your favorite sets? Do you like this style of deckbuilding (i.e., a random row of cards with a deck that could have every set in it) as compared to other deckbuilding styles (e.g., Dominion with a fixed number of card piles)?

Note: I honestly can't remember if we've highlighted Ascension or not. If so, I'll change it.
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2. Board Game: That's Life! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1821]
Board Game: That's Life!
Grace P.
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What does a typical weekday look like for you?

What does a typical weekend look like for you?

Include pictures from various aspects of your life if you'd like!
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3. Board Game: Music Mania [Average Rating:4.91 Unranked]
Board Game: Music Mania
Grace P.
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What kind of music do you listen to? How often do you listen to music? When do you listen to music?
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4. Board Game: Phone Frenzy [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Phone Frenzy
Grace P.
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Look at some of the most recent pictures in your phone. What are they of? What do you usually take pictures of? Feel free to share.
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5. Board Game: The T-Shirt Game [Average Rating:5.11 Overall Rank:18278]
Board Game: The T-Shirt Game
Grace P.
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Do you have any board game (or other gaming/"geek culture") t-shirts?

Anything from this geeklist interest you?
 
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6. Board Game: Montana [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:13426]
Board Game: Montana
Grace P.
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Top 5 Games to Play with my Man-Candy (a.k.a. Matt) in no particular order:

Fields of Arle: A recent addition to the list of games we both enjoy. It plays relatively quickly (around 75-90 minutes) and is great for a somewhat thinky game that isn't too brain burner. I think Matt prefers it to Agricola too.

Ascension: We've been playing this one together for a few years after I went from hating the game to loving it thanks to getting an iPad / the iOS version.

Thunderstone Advance: We haven't played this one in a few months, but I prefer it best with two. It's a great alternative to Dominion. We don't play it super meanly, which could be a turn off to some.

Suburbia: Another one we haven't played together in awhile, but like Thunderstone, I also prefer it with just two.

Carcassonne: We usually just play vanilla + Inns & Cathedrals. See below for explanation.

Ticket to Ride: Not played that often with just the two of us, but it always offers an enjoyable experience. With just us two, we tend to play the Africa or Netherlands (without the bridge tokens) maps the most.

---

After Robin and Kristen's post, I was curious what Matt would say his five favorite games to play with me would be. I prompted him about this the other day and will update later when I get his answers. Here are his picks:

Hive: This shocked me. We haven't played this in over three years. I'm not a huge fan of it, but Matt said that he likes playing it with me (probably because I'm terrible at it). I feel compelled to play it with him at least once more now.

Carcassonne: This is a no-brainer and I'm an idiot for not putting it on my list. This was one of the first games Matt and I played together and played regularly. It absolutely should be on my list. I've swapped out Suburbia for it.

Scrabble: I think this was the first game Matt and I played together. I enjoy it, but Matt has a tendency to take awhile on his turns so I've often kiboshed suggestions to play it.

Ticket to Ride: Our only overlap! Similar reasoning to what I said above. Matt added that we don't like fucking each other over in our games of TtR, which is part of why we shy away from the India map.

Qwirkle: Matt bought me this a few years ago and it's always a solid game to play. It's not amazing, but it's inoffensive and enjoyable.

---

So, Matt's list completely surprised me. You'd think by it that we never play games together. We actually play together relatively often, but we vary our go-to's quite a bit. I think my picks surprised him less.
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7. Board Game: RAGE!!!!! [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Board Game: RAGE!!!!!
Grace P.
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I don't know that there are five games that make me angry, so I interpreted this to be more of games that I think are overrated (and thus inadvertently enraging me since I don't understand why people like them).

Top Five Games that Enrage Grace (from least to most):

Cards Against Humanity: Although none of us would consider this a (gamer's) game, it makes this list because of how often it crops up in the mainstream now. I understand why people would find the game amusing at first; it has provided me with laughs the few times I've played it. However, what I don't understand is why people would play it over and over again. I know non-gamers don't realize other games exist, but still. I think they realize it's a pretty limited game since they have to buy so many expansions to keep it fresh, but it surprises me that people would continue to bother.

Hanabi: Flipping the cards around was a rather innovative idea, but I find the gameplay rather dull. The whole point is to just play with people enough that you create your own codes for placing cards. Why bother having hidden information then? I do understand why groups may enjoy this, especially more casual gamers, but I don't think it was SdJ worthy.

Machi Koro: One of the most boring implementations of dice rolling ever. "The expansion makes it better!" Yeah, I don't care and I doubt it'll really improve it all that much.

Love Letter: I don't care if this is "just" a microgame; I'm judging it based on how great people seem to think it is. I thought the game severely lacked in its supposed deduction aspect and it generally wasn't very interesting. For a quick game, I found myself wanting it to be over and not really caring who won. I don't understand why this game is getting all the rethemes/hype whereas I found Lost Legacy to be a far superior game (and more of a game).

Five Tribes: I admit that the use of mancala was pretty creative, but a game in which you cannot plan your turn ahead and the awful downtime makes the hype about how great it is all the more enraging. The only thing that makes me angrier about this game is all the ridiculous debates/arguments over the slave cards.

Honorary mention: 7 Wonders. Honestly, I don't hate this game as much as people think I do. It's mostly just become a joke at this point. My main complaint is that I don't think it's as great as other people do for whatever reason they think (e.g., quick filler, good gateway, accommodates large groups). It's been a few years since I last played it and I'd be willing to give it another try to see if my opinion has changed.

Game that actually made me angry (not that it is overrated): Spike. I only played this once, but I don't think I've ever been so disappointed/angry upon a game's first play. In 2015, there is no excuse for such a poorly designed game. It was a train game that wanted to have the set collection element of TtR, the pickup and deliver aspect of RotW (et al.), the stock mechanic of Winsome games, and yet did not do any of those things right. It was a disaster and I was ready for the game to be finished before it was halfway done. It was so bad I thought I must have botched the rules somehow. I didn't.
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8. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:453]
Board Game: AquaSphere
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Despite weekend gaming largely getting canceled, I still got some weeknight plays in. Also, BLOODBORNE. That was my weekend. BLOODBORNE (and some D&D. And Easter.)

New:

 8.5   AquaSphere
 8   Royals

Repeat:

 7   Witness
 8.5   Roll for the Galaxy
 8   maskMen
 8   Last Will
 9   Chicago Express

AquaSphere is pretty much the pinnacle of Feld Salad. Everything you do gets you something, your action selection is limited by the game but you can squeeze in some bonus actions, there is something that gives negative points, and there's some bonuses at the end for doing lots of something at the end of the game.

And I really enjoyed it. I think if you like Feld's games in that style you'll enjoy it quite a bit. If you don't, it won't change your mind. There's not a lot new there, but it is a very refined version of that sort of game (and better than La Isla, although I do like LI for the short playtime still). It actually kind of reminds me of what I wanted to like about Amerigo but without a broken cube tower to screw the game up.

Pooooossibly on track to be my favorite Feld point salad game after Trajan.

Royals was quite good. It's a very streamlined "area" control game (you "influence royalty" rather than "control areas," but the net effect is the same). It incentivizes early placement with bonus points yet gives you the ability to displace other people using intrigue cards, so the early game is a rush to get cubes out, and then the mid/late game is spent backstabbing each other to get control points.

Excellent production values too, which is a nice bonus. It says it plays 2-5, we had 4, and I imagine it will be best with 4 or 5 to encourage more backstabbing.

Witness is a lovely evening closer. Since it plays only exactly 4 I'm not sure how often it'll come out but I'll generally be happy to play it when it does.

Chicago Express was a good time with 3 (for some reason I haven't played it with more people in a long time) but it was a bit too mathy for one of the people. I imagine he'd like it more with repeat play (he didn't understand why the gap between us was so large even though we had similar stocks for a while), as auction-heavy games are often less fun on the first play.

MaskMen was highly enjoyable as usual. I might suggest dealing out all the cards next time instead of just 10 per person, as otherwise the hands run out a little too quickly to be quite as interesting.

Last Will was a nice little romp but I think I forgot to spend money for something, and that impacted my final score quite a bit. Need to play this one a little more often, the game is solid and the silly theme makes it a good one for when you need a laugh.

Roll for the Galaxy was enjoyable as usual. I needed to manage my early game dice better than I did, but I pulled out an okay score regardless. I think I still prefer Race by a reasonable margin but I'll rarely turn down a game of Roll nevertheless.
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9. Board Game: Relic [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1464]
Board Game: Relic
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Click Clack Lumberjack 5
Abyss 1
Ascension: Realms Unraveled 1
Lords of Vegas 1
No Thanks! 1
Qwixx 1
Relic 1 NEW!
Sushi Go! 1

Only one new game this week and it was Relic. Shocking, I know. Even more shocking? I enjoyed it. WHAT?!

First of all, I have never played Talisman and had very little interest in Relic outside of it just being a new game to play. I was leery of it at first considering it was a three hour roll-and-move Ameritrash game. Despite its long playtime, it actually had pretty decent pacing. It is surprising that a game that lasts that long and that relatively light is able to not totally outstay its welcome. I did feel disengaged a few times during others' turns and I think the game would be better if they could cut off a little of that playtime, but that's a pretty minor complaint on my part.

That said, it was a fun romp of punching guys and leveling your character. The random element of the dice was not too bad (plus, I knew it would have that going into it) and the game had an overall nice progression to it in terms of getting stronger in the various attributes and gaining assets. My big beefcake dude being able to slap around anything, which ultimately led to my victory, definitely helped in my enjoyment of the game too.

I'm thinking the game is also more fun if your group doesn't take it too seriously. For example, toward the end of the game, I had a mission where I needed to lose two battles. By that point, I pretty much couldn't lose and so I would jokingly bemoan how strong I was and my inability to lose. Conversely, Matt was getting slapped around by the random and having difficulty with battles. We all cheered for him when he was able to successfully defeat something.

Overall, I would play it again. It was an enjoyable evening despite it being the only "big" game that we played. but likely won't ask for it.

---

I bought two organizers for Ascension from Broken Token as I am anticipating the upcoming release of Ascension: Dawn of Champions and wanted to get all my sets better organized. Though a bit pricey, the inserts fit rather snuggly and do help to organize things. Just an FYI in case anyone has considered buying from there (or didn't know about it).
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10. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2954]
Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice x7 (new to me)
One Night Ultimate Werewolf x4
Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition) x1
Hyperborea x1
PitchCar x1


Luchador!
My verdict: YES. I was back in 6th grade, shouting along to my favorite WCW superstar bashing his opponent's skull in with a chair, except that WCW superstar was me and the opponent was a miserable shmuck I hang out. Seriously, we played 7 tag team matches with a game of Hyperborea sandwiched in between. So much fun shouting trash and yelling along to the pin count. I lost the last five games in a row but I don't care. I want to play this again, badly.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf
My best friend and chief gaming partner turned 31 on Saturday and he decided a couple days before hand to have a party. Such short notice the day before Easter really sucked, but I made it out. We played Pitchcar, which was fine and I won for the first time ever, and we played ONUW.

Half of the 8 people had never played before and were only light gamers. I also didn't have Daybreak on me or it would have been worse for them. Anyway, trying to groove in our group's meta with new people was...interesting. I had to painstakingly explain a couple times why I would lie as a good guy, and I also tried to coach Troublemaker's into not telling the truth right away about who they switched. I also Doppleganged a new guy who was a Wolf and he came out and claimed Wolf hoping people would think he was the Tanner. That didn't work which was a bit frustrating but I'll give him props for trying something extremely risky.

I also had a really stupid moment where I Drunk'd the middle card but the Seer came out and said he saw two wolves, pointing at the cards. Knowing I took a Wolf and not admitting I was the Drunk yet I tried to figure out what to do. Another player claimed Robber, saying he stole from me and told everyone I was the Drunk. I quickly said, "HA! I took one of the Wolves" Then another player proceeded to point out that the Drunk happens after the Robber so I was still a Wolf. FAIL.



On My Mind
Finished Game of Thrones season 4, which was excellent, and started up Black Sails season 1. Loving the first three episodes so far.

Americans is killing it, great episode again this week. Justified is still kind of good but not great. Better Call Saul is excellent. The Walking Dead finale was just kind of meh.

Watched Gravity last week and enjoyed it, although I liked Interstellar more. Some of the CGI in combination with the unnatural movements of Zero-G kind of brought me out of the film and made me feel like I was watching video game cut scene at times. Otherwise it was good.

I have a large review stack eyeing me with hate. Luchador!, Fallen, Neuroshima Hex, and SW: Armada. I think I'm most excited about Fallen actually after hearing some more buzz locally. Maybe Raf's FLGS scene knows what they're doing.

Neuroshima Hex took 46 days to get to my door from Poland. I actually gave up on it a long time ago and was surprised when it arrived. I mentioned back in January that I requested a review copy of Mysterium, but Portal's not allowed to distribute that in the U.S. due to the upcoming release from Asmodee, so Ignacy asked if I wanted Neuroshima Hex instead. I actually owned the previous version and liked it quite a bit getting a few plays in. I ultimately sold it because it's pretty much 2 player only. Looking forward to trying out the new version.

I'm kind of sad but Archipelago left my collection. Some crazy person on Amazon paid way too much for it (maybe the same person that bought my copy of Xia). Earmarking this to purchase again when the new printing comes along.

We now are past 30 reviews at Miniature Market so that should be officially launching/advertised soonish.
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11. Board Game: Bunny Bunny Moose Moose [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:4213]
Board Game: Bunny Bunny Moose Moose
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New-ish Games

Bunny Bunny Moose Moose x1
Pairs (Port variant) x2
Razzia! x1

Old Games

Mascarade (w/ Mascarade: Expansion) x1
The King Commands x1
Wits & Wagers x1
Parade x1
Biblios x1

Got some good plays this week.

One of my regular gaming buddies picked up a copy of Bunny Bunny Moose Moose, and in a rare attendance of our weekly game group, brought it out as an opener. I'd been eager to try this one since I first heard about it when it was released, and it's just as goofy and fun as I thought it would be. There's a nice little splash of strategy in choosing to go for either Bunny or Moose, and it's tons of fun to frantically re-configure your horns/ears as new cards come out. It doesn't outstay it's welcome, either, making this one of the more recent games I've been really satisfied with after a single play.

I've also been leafing through The Pairs Companion to see what other variants exist out there for one my favorite underdog games. In the "simple variants" section (which lists the excellent "Continuous," which is what I teach new players) was one called Port, which featured a points system and a decision space an order of magnitude above the Continuous version. Essentially, you're trying to get the biggest sum of card values in front of you without pairing up, and instead of folding you can "lock" the cards in front of you, which means you're in the round for scoring but can't add any more cards to your stack. Once everyone has locked or busted, the person with the highest sum gets points equal to the number of players, next player gets N-1, next gets N-2, etc.

I liked that it made the game even more interesting to the hobby folk (while still being lightning quick), and while it does necessitate keeping score, it's a nifty way to play that I liked a lot. Based on feedback in the Pairs forum, looks like I'll have to try Sweep next.

And finally, I bought a physical copy of Razzia! based on my love of the iOS app, and was able to get it to the table last week. Still super cool
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12. Board Game: Spyfall [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:610] [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
Board Game: Spyfall
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Board Game: Spot it!
Board Game: Spyfall
Board Game: Ginkgopolis
Board Game: Merchants of the Middle Ages
Board Game: Pick-a-Dog
Board Game: The Rose King


 N/A   Spot it! x3
 N/A   Spyfall x3
 7   Ginkgopolis
 7   Merchants of the Middle Ages
 N/A   Pick-a-Dog
 N/A   Rosenkönig

Merchant of the Middle Ages was another awesome play. The bidding on becoming loading master and negotiations for loading were much more tight. The other players were overall impressed with the game and the depth in such a simplistic game.

Spyfall, I learned, we can play on our smartphones! Hooray! I hadn't played it since Thesp taught it at BGG.Con. Apparently, we were only supposed to be asking one question, and then that person is next to ask a question, and so on. But I liked the freestyle feel of when we played with Thesp.

Pick a Pig was awesome. I really like speed-based games. I feel very competitive in these style of games. I would like to play them more.
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13. Board Game: XCOM: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:621]
Board Game: XCOM: The Board Game
Paul S
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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Just the one play this week:

XCOM: The Board Game x 1 - the tutorial/intro, played solo

I think I like it, but want to play with more players. It's Space Alert levels of stress with all 4 roles to manage. But it's different enough from Space Alert that it doesn't scratch the same itch. Want to play more. I have a nagging doubt about long-term playability. And it's bloody hard, but I like that in a co-op.

Also since I have Fields of Fire 2 on pre-order I decided I'd take the Vassal mod out for a walk with the original. I've heard lots of dark mutterings about the game's near-legendary difficulty/awful rules, but I'm a stickler for a challenge.

I've not opened the Mod yet. I have about 5 hours invested in watching video playthroughs, and another 2 or more reading rules, summaries, quick start guides and what have you.

Nightmare. Definitely the most difficult learning experience I've had - and I've yet to play it.

But I've enjoyed it.

Also this week:

I was 50 yesterday.

I still feel 18. But 50. Wow. Half a century. I guess I can say with some certainty that I'm more than halfway there, for whatever values of "there" take your fancy.



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14. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:86]
Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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 10   Roll for the Galaxy x3
 N/A   King Philip's War
 10   The Duke x4

I've officially bumped my rating of Roll for the Galaxy to a 10. I played another few 2-player games against my friend who refused to play Race with me. It seems like 90% of the game is really on how well you manage the early part of the game. However, the game's so short that I don't feel this detracts from it at all. Afterward we started King Philip's War, but we had to call it early.

On Friday I invited a friend from grad school over and I introduced him to The Duke. He apparently never got into Chess either, so it was interesting seeing how he maneuvered around and got a handle on this. He lost two of his three matches when he accidentally locked his Duke between two pieces and I moved a piece into checkmate.
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15. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:221]
Board Game: Alien Frontiers
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Android: Netrunner
Kingdom Builder
Homeland: The Game
Alien Frontiers New!

Homeland
I still really like this. Played it with a new group (4 players) and won as terrorist again. I tried really hard to talk about spiking checks and encourage that, but it wasn't really close. A couple of the good guys played too selfishly and having a terrorist and a political opportunist together didn't make things any easier. Everyone enjoyed it though, I can see it coming out again.

Kingdom Builder
My second play, first with 4. I...really want to like this game. The potential for combos with the location and the unique building requirements and scoring really appeals to me. However, both times I've played it's been a little frustrating. This time, a couple of us drew the same landscape type 3 in a row. I personally went 3x, 2x, 1x, 1x, and the game ended. One player had SIX location hexes by his third turn. I had the next most with 4, and one guy only had 1. We all played well enough, and scoring was close except for the guy with 6 locations. He blew us all out of the water. None of us really had a clue what we could do to change it.

Alien Frontiers
I liked it a lot, though am curious how it holds up over time. We rarely competed for spaces and I wonder if it isn't one of those Euros that feels awesome at first but ends up not being restrictive enough to provide tension. I've only played once though, and like I said I liked it, so hopefully I'm wrong.

On my mind

DUKE 2015 NATIONAL CHAMPS!

Katie and I had our "babymoon" this weekend, which makes me gag to say. It was always going to be this weekend, so back in January we booked a hotel in Indy with a backup up in Wisconsin in case Duke made the Final 4. When we did, we grabbed tickets for the two Saturday games and decided we'd hope Kentucky lost so tickets for Monday nights game would be cheaper. It turned out to pay off well. After Duke won on Saturday night, the Michigan State fans behind us offered to sell us their Monday night tickets for $600 each (going rate online). By Sunday at noon, tickets in much better seats were under $100. Kentucky travels extraordinarily well, so it was a pretty brutal lesson in supply and demand.

Indy was awesome. We met up with Matt on Sunday and spent the rest of the day brewery hopping (because Katie is the world's best sport) and on Monday we had a really good brunch and walked along the river before the game. The game was really good and I thought we were done when we went down by 9 and had our two best players on the bench in foul trouble. Luckily, the players didn't give up and we came back for a win! It was awesome to be there; Katie and I became friends over Duke basketball and it's still a big part of our life.

I'm now sitting at work injecting coffee into my eyeballs after waking up at 3 AM and driving straight to work from Indianapolis.
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16. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:553]
Board Game: Yspahan
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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10 Android:Netrunner x6 (233 plays so far)
9 Spyrium x1 (20 plays so far)
7.5 Forbidden desert x1(13 plays so far)
7 Yspahan x1 (9 plays so far)
6 Ticket to ride : Europe x1 (16 plays so far)

Nothing really astonishing here but some decent plays towards H-index improvement.

So far, it is equals to 16 with a pretty good chance to see it increased in the near future if all goes well :

1. Android: Netrunner - 233 plays
2. Myrmes - 43 plays
3. Keltis - 38 plays
4. Seasons- 36 plays
5. Machi Koro - 33 plays
6. 7 Wonders - 32 plays
7. Amyitis - 29 plays
8. In the Year of the Dragon - 24 plays
9. Famiglia - 22 plays
10. Puerto Rico - 21 plays
11. Carolus Magnus - 21 plays
12. Spyrium - 20 plays
13. Pocket Rockets - 19 plays
14. Metropolys - 19 plays
15. Caylus - 18 plays
16. Glory to Rome - 17 plays
17. Ticket to Ride - 16 plays
18. The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet - 16 plays
19. 6 nimmt! Plus - 15 plays
20. Hansa Teutonica - 13 plays
21. Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - 13 plays
22. Forbidden Desert - 13 plays
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17. Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3293]
Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Rolling dice and taking grains!
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Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy
Board Game: Last Will
Board Game: Witness
Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
Board Game: Maskmen


 10   Roll for the Galaxy
 9   Last Will
 8   Witness
 7   Reiner Knizia's Decathlon* x2
 6   maskMen*

* - new to me

Sorry for the delay in posting - it's been a busy week at work, and general evening happenings this week. (Grace, I swear I'll post some pictures by tomorrow!) Let's discuss games for a moment. Roll for the Galaxy remains awesome. Also, I managed to break my perfect winning streak at Last Will on Thursday Game Night, placing third behind some excellent play. And the second play of Witness involved a different style of clues than the first, which seems quite promising for future plays! But new games...

Someone set up a geeklist to play Reiner Knizia's Decathlon in it. I tried it out online and really enjoyed it! I've even done pretty well in it, despite (well, in part because of) misunderstanding one of the events. It's a simple push-your-luck dice game, where you roll the dice differently in 10 different events, trying to get high scores, and total up the results at the end. It's worth a play, and seeing as it's print-and-play (or even really you can just look at a tablet and write your scores down on paper), it's pretty affordable if you can scare up some d6's. Kristen has particularly enjoyed it as well.

maskMen was a bit disappointing. I love climbing games, and I liked the idea behind this one, but it fell flat. The moments when real decisions needed to be made were indeed interesting, but they were too few and far between, and play was generally derivative or obvious.

Other Notes
I have my Wii U set up in the Miiverse, so if you want to add me, you can - my username is Thesp1. I'm not entirely sure what adding me does, except I think that's the first step to me hacking your system.

On Sunday, I'm getting the opportunity to see a live showing of Welcome to Night Vale, one of my favorite podcasts. Of course, it's out of town on the same evening that Game of Thrones premieres, so if any of you spoils it for me before I watch it, I will be a very sad panda. (On Saturday, I'm also going to a live showing of Sesame Street, but I imagine that's far less interesting to everyone on this list!)
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18. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:135]
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
United States
Houston
Texas
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Is it June yet? I'm way behind. After spending Easter upsetting people with hamfisted comments on Facebook, I haven't had much downtime. But I got a lot of gaming in last week.

Hansa Teutonicax3: The first two were new players, so I won pretty easily but not so easily I discouraged them from playing again. They were all into it. The third was a five-player game that was quite competitive. I went fourth and started out quite aimlessly, claiming the remove three plate but not having any idea what to do after. Trey, after proclaiming the game would be better with asymmetrical powers (a dude designs one game and thinks he's an expert), announces he's going to go for five actions. And he does that. And nobody really tries to stop him, so he got it fairly quickly. After finally figuring out what to do, I play a lot stronger. But Trey's five actions are enough to see him through. He wins by two points while three of us are tied for second.

Suburbia: Two-player game with Trey. Instead of building up money sources, he went for greens early. I crushed him.

Twilight Struggle: Session report.

1960: The Making of the President: Session report incoming. May post next week.

El Grande: Four players for this one and it went back-and-forth. I was worried I went too strong too fast after surging into the lead after the second scoring, but red used special scoring cards to push ahead. I felt like that would cause people to jump on him, so I was quite surprised when Trey went after me at the very end, taking Galicia away from me instead of taking Old Castile away from red, which was his grande region (and would have hurt me as well as I was second there). I lost by one point (again), but I really have myself to blame. I had the king's card in the final round and did not move it to my grande region. Big mistake.

The Bridges of Shangri-La: I'm always surprised for some reason by how good pure abstracts can be. This was no exception, as I enjoyed this quite a bit. I did rather poorly, but this is a game I would not hesitate playing again. It feels like the challenge is getting the timing of travelling down and getting other people to leave villages vulnerable. Abbie won because that's what she does.

Biblios: Some hardcore gamers rave about this, but I'm about done with it. More random than it gets credit for.

Terra Mystica: Three-player game with the auction variant. Mermaids, dwarves, and acolytes were available. The acolytes tend to get crapped on, but I think they're quite good, so I take them. My mistake was rushing the stronghold when I really should have built my economy first and that was all the mermaids needed to win. I made it competitive, though, after a very slow start.

The Walled City: Londonderry & Borderlands: More area control! This game continues to be a solid performer and I continue to be pretty good at it, winning by my biggest margin yet (and topping 100 points for the first time). I would actually like to see another map for this, as the build-the-areas aspect of the game opens up a lot of possibilities for fun maps. Also, the Londonderry side is lame and doesn't get played. Still mean to put out a review of this at some point.

Loopin' Louie: Still going strong! I almost want to put a tournament together.

CO₂: This had been on my list of games to play, so I was quite happy when someone brought it. As Lacerda games go, it's a bear to learn and your eyes eventually glaze over. But once it got going, as Lacerda games do, you see how it all works and I get really excited about it. And, because it's a Lacerda game, you forget a few rules. And that really cost me, because I forgot I could use resource cubes on a continent to build a plant. The guy after me was quite gleeful about it, which is kind of a jerk thing- but he's kind of a jerk. Ended up in third, which is a bummer because I thought I did better. One player noted his goal card was considerably worse than ours.

Camel Up: This just sucked.
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19. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: Terra Mystica
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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So Terra Mystica actually ruined the hobby for this guy.

I'm not a big fan (although I don't hate it), so this makes me laugh.
 
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