GCL Mafia 220: TableTopics
Matt C
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Ypsilanti
MI
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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):

Beloch
Happymrdave
captainraffi
fdubois
touchstonethefool
bobcatpoet
charlest
Thesp
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of April 6 - April 12, 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: Panamax [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:588]
Board Game: Panamax
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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This week my group played their first full game of Panamax. Have you played it? What did you think of it? Is three rounds too short, too long, or just perfect? Are the hidden goals properly balanced, point wise? How often do you get it to the table?
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2. Board Game: Gloom: TableTop Promo Expansion [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Board Game: Gloom: TableTop Promo Expansion
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Yesterday was TableTop Day. Did you and your group do anything special to celebrate?

Do you watch and/or enjoy TableTop? If so, what is your favorite episode. If not, why is it the worst?

Do you think TableTop has had a positive or even noticeable influence in the hobby?

What game would you like to see played (either on TT or your favorite show)?
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3. Board Game: The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2: Beating a Dead Horse [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Board Game: The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2: Beating a Dead Horse
Matt C
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Ypsilanti
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charlest wrote:
what are your Top five games that you're sick of seeing discussed on r/boardgames?
This is a great prompt.

1. Monopoly-- yes, it really does come up... A lot. Every time monopoly is mentioned the discussion goes like this:
Person A: Monopoly sux

Person B: That's because you are playing it WRONG!!! Free parking is NOT in THE RULES! Also auctions!

Person A: I know... I have played it correctly... Still sux.

Person B: Well you are wrong! It's the best negotiation game EVER.

continue ad nauseated.


2. Dead of Winter -- I was tired of this one before it ever came out. r/boardgames has a hard-on for social deduction games in general, but this was like the second coming of Christ. Looking for a new coop? DoW! Looking for a 2-player game? DoW. Looking for a game that features beans? DoW. To make matters worse, it's never in stock, which means every time ANY retailer gets a shipment it gets posted. Barnes and Noble having a sale? "Aww man, did not include DoW!" I thought reddit might break when Wil played; it was like thousands of neck beards all came at the same time.

3. Pandemic-- the answer to every What Should I Get (WSIG) post (or Castles of Burgundy for 2 player games).
"Looking for a coop game, WSIG?" Pandemic
"My wife doesn't like Boardgames, WSIG?" Pandemic
"Looking for a 1 vs. All game, WSIG?" Pandemic w/ bioterrorist
"Looking for a game with TOUGH decisions" Pandemic
"My sister just had a colonoscopy, WSIG?" Pandemic

And it's not just WSIG posts. This game's rules are apparently the most difficult evar. Every week there's a "Pandemic is too easy/hard!" thread. Inevitably they manage to misread the rules so that they either assign too many cubes, don't outbreak, thought they had to eradicate all diseases, or did not reshuffled cities to the top.


4. Love Letter -- between "WOW Such Strategy, Very Deduction, Much Amazing!" and the endless "I rethemed Love Letter as Mario/Star Wars/My Friends" this game is everywhere. This is one filler I've had more than my fill of.

5. Five Tribes -- apparently if you include slaves in a game, it will get your mediocre concept to sell like hot cakes. I don't really care about whether or not the game has slaves it in; but why does anyone play this shyte? Mancala mechanism was interesting, but the game state changed so much between turns that there was no point in planning your move ahead, this led to long boring games that were no fun. I thought Shut Up and Shit Down nailed their review of it; you can play fast, but the game begs to be optimized and is no fun when you do. Despite these complaints, it still gets more discussion than better games like Deus or Imperial Settlers.


BONUS: in general, reddit does not take well to negative opinions. If someone posts "10 Reasons I dislike Descent" people throw fits. Inevitably fanboys of the game will respond that they obviously missed the point, or did not play it enough to 'get' the intricacies (even if the person has played 100+ times). Tom Vasel's review of The Big Fix is the most notable exception I've seen in a while; that said, there are a surprising number of people willing to throw stones at Vasel for panning such an obviously terrible game.
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4. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:18]
Board Game: Brass: Lancashire
Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
United States
Houston
Texas
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Suburbia: Three-player game. We had the always fun conflicting public goals situation with highest and lowest income, but one of my favorite goals, most borders, was also there. But I really played poorly. Never got off the ground and couldn't get much reputation going. It really hurt that Abbie took biggest income and my private goal (most money) from me at the very end. Ugh.

El Grande: Five-player game. I fell behind massively after the second scoring as someone decided "let's go after the guy in last place" was an optimal strategy. Related: Brown charged out to a huge lead. I managed to marshal myself to finishing in second with a big showing in the final scoring. My third straight second place finish.

Shadow Throne: A rather bland drafting game where you have to essentially guess which color is going to be the most dominant for the round. I have no desire to play this again.

Cloud 9: Hey, I actually won!

Brass: Lancashire: Three-player game that was also a teaching game for the other two players. So I was never really threatened. But still, it was fun to get out all my mines and iron works. It had been a few months since I last played, so I was happy to get it out even if it wasn't competitive.
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5. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:919]
Board Game: Planet Steam
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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2x Race for the Galaxy w/The Gathering Storm
Aye, Dark Overlord!
Container
The Downfall of Pompeii
German Railways
Mamma Mia!
Paris Connection
Planet Steam
Shadow Hunters
*Sheriff of Nottingham

*new to me

Game night was light this week, but fortunately we had a couple of unexpected showups, which helped fill our numbers. I took advantage of the opportunity to play some of my fun, less played games in our collection; Aye, Dark Overlord!, Mamma Mia!, Downfall of Pompeii, and Shadow Hunters.

I'm getting better at Mamma Mia! to where I feel like I'm implementing some type of strategy.

Aye, Dark Overlord! was a fun game where I sent my minions off to get the hottest, latest board game. Apparently they kept picking up chicks and 17 board games, but they sent them off in my airship in the opposite direction away from me. Stupid minions. They got many withering looks.

Shadow Hunters was fun too, but early on when I passed a hermit card to a player who revealed to me that he was either good or neutral (I was good), I trusted him. But turned out he was evil and not the unknown, so I had turned on the other good guy instead of the bad guys... It didn't work out so well...

German Railways
We got to play German Railways, this time 3 players, one player was new. I was able to give better advice on the initial auction, and this time around, I was actually building railroad networks. The new player was closer to taking on my strategy of not buying shares early to get them cheap later. But I rushed some connections to give myself and the third player a quick influx of money (one of the stocks of the second player was the green company who doesn't provide dividends until connecting Hamburg and Berlin). He was still tough competition the entire game, but I managed to beat him by a couple hundred dollars. The other player, however, I beat by only a small margin. Clever builds and connections helped make that occur, as well as being triple invested in yellow.

The rest of the games were played on Tabeltop Day at my friend's church.
Container
I am getting even better at this game. We played it because it is Jennifer's favorite game, and she was very excited to play it. She still crushed us. And this time with containers on island, instead of cash on hand. But I was still close, as I was termed the "Wal-Mart" of the players, and everybody kept buying from me.

Planet Steam
I taught this to 4 other players, making this my first 5-player game of Planet Steam. That means you only get 4 turns! And it's been so long, as well as being unfamiliar with the game at 5 players, so I didn't think of any strategy advice. Turn 1 we basically all produced water. We quickly depleted all tanks during the second round, and had no energy to produce more tanks. So production was stifled significantly in the game. But I love this game and want to explore it more. Except for my friend, everybody wanted to try it again cause they saw how awesome it was and how good it would be now that they knew what they were doing.

*Sheriff of Nottingham
I finally learned Sheriff of Nottingham. This is a neat game, nothing extraordinary, and very simple. But I enjoyed it. Especially when I learned I could bribe with goods, so I tricked people into opening my bag, and conned others into bribing me with their chickens.
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6. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:165]
Board Game: Goa
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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A nice week of gaming even if my three plays of RftG went very, very poorly.

New to me:

7.5  Quoridor x6
5.5  Boxcars

Repeat:

10  Race for the Galaxy x3
10  Dominion
9.5  Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
9.5  Notre Dame
9.5  Goa


I got in six plays of Quoridor with my wife in one night. It's neat - a very clean, very easy to play abstract. It is very short yet still has depth. The manual doesn't make the "move when next to opponent" timing very clear - we thought you got to jump over them when you landed next to them, not when you started your turn there - but that was cleared up pretty easily. Will play again.

Boxcars, likely better known as Rail Baron, is a classic railroads game from quite some time ago. My friend got a copy of the new edition and I was curious to give it a try. I like the company buying and route planning, and I didn't mind the dice rolling for determining where your routes go... but the movement in the game is 100% roll-to-move and that's a big turnoff. Especially when the game lasts about three hours.

I think it's still better than many games from that era, and I do feel like you might be able to do something to take parts of it and remove the roll-to-move and still have an interesting game, but as-is... I might play again sometime but it'll be a while. I'm glad I tried it though.

My three plays of Race for the Galaxy were a disaster. One game I went with mineral planets hoping to turn it into something. Nope, bad idea, don't build planets hoping to get lucky with a synergy. Next game I went military but didn't really have a strong enough starting hand to do so. Ironically it didn't matter as I drew essentially no military planets the entire game and didn't have a strong enough engine to keep me in the cards. Then the last game I bet the farm on an alien world early on and ... failed to produce enough to really get cards off it. Sigh.

Two of those games were clearly my fault (the first and third). Military really does rely on you being able to do something to get enough cards to keep the planets rolling in, and I just wasn't there, but for that match I do feel my draws were just awful.

Hoping to play again soon enough that my lessons learned (or perhaps re-learned...) aren't forgotten.

We had a comically low-scoring game of Tzolkin. I think the winning score was like 54 and I had 50 or 51. The art of how to make an efficient point-generating engine in that game is clearly lost on me. Still love it and glad to play it again though.

At the end of the evening I was about to go home but some kind people invited me into a game of Goa. I adore that game so I happily joined in and I'm glad I did. It was a very interesting game, with me being very cash-rich yet not actually getting much the first couple turns as people just took the things they put up for auctions themselves. I decided enough was enough and went on a spending spree and built myself up in turn 3, and that was juuust enough to push my engine far enough to win the game. It was very, very close with a final score of 44-42 for the first two and two high 30s for the other players.

We played the 2nd edition of the game, not the first, so there were some changes and new tiles and such. Most of those were little balance tweaks, but there's one big change that really affects the game: at the end of the auctions, the person putting a tile up may pay one LESS than the high bid to buy it for themselves, not one more. This sounds like a relatively minor change but it forces people to spend money more readily as otherwise it's actually significantly easier to just buy things yourself than it used to be.

I'm not sure which version I prefer but I love the game regardless. (Rules changes summary for those interested: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1304784/changes-between-fir... )

This coming weekend we have family stuff going on so this may be a no-gaming week for me. I'll try to sneak something in if possible but hard to say.
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7. Board Game: Fallen [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:2467]
Board Game: Fallen
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Fallen x2 (new)
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice x3
Code 777 x1 (new)
Star Wars: Armada x1 (new)
Tumblin-Dice x1

Luchador! Review


This will forever be known as the week I almost played a crayon rails game (Eurorails). We even got into setup and rules explanation it was that close.

------------------

My regular group couldn't meet this week so I went to the Thursday meetup at the FLGS. This allowed me to get Fallen to the table and let me just say wow. Raf's FLGS has it right - this game is phenomenal. It's a 2 player Fantasy dungeon crawl as if you're reading a Choose Your Own Adventure with one player running the DM role and the other taking on a hero. Gloriously asymmetrical and highly replayable.

I played the Pit Fighter and focused on brute strength, ascending the Spider Queen's tower and running afoul of many traps. I pulled out a narrow victory and absolutely loved the game.

While waiting for another game to end I taught some people Luchador! which of course was a hit. Two of the three said they were going to buy it which is about as positive a reaction as you can get. My tag team finally won a game by pin so there's that.

Next we were talking about playing Xia or Chaos in the Old World but somehow settled on EuroRails. I wasn't jumping for joy but I was agreeable to try it. While setting up the game (a 4 player game) I was remarking to another guy who also owned Fallen how great it is and I really want to play it again soon. Another guy joining us said he really wanted to try it so my other two buddies said we should play it instead and they'd play two player. I hesitated at first but then took the opportunity to get in my second game of Fallen. This time playing as the Forge Master and taking on the mage character. Just as excellent as the first game.

Closed out the night with Code 777 which ok but terrible when you're tired, and a round of Tumblin-Dice.

Yesterday I was able to solo Star Wars: Armada and really enjoyed it. That box isn't quite as jammed packed as you'd hope for $100 MSRP, but the game is pretty damn good. I don't see it replacing X-Wing for me but I may pick up an expansion here or there. It solos pretty well too since you're not preplanning maneuvers, rather plotting commands (bonus effects) in advance. Definitely a more strategic thoughtful game with more stuff to chew on than X-Wing. And Oh that Victory Class Star Destroyer...


On My Mind

The Review Corner launched, which is exciting. Think they will have more on-site advertising in the near future.

Finished Black Sails season 1 and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the future of the show.

Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal was exceptional, very odd seeing him play a creep.

I enjoyed Fallen so much that I went onto the publisher's site and ordered one of the Kickstarter copies for $115 (including shipping). I know, that's crazy. The KS version includes about 3 times as much content as the regular though. If nothing else, this should tell you how much I like the game. See it having a chance at creeping into my top 10 in time.



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8. Board Game: Uchronia [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2695]
Board Game: Uchronia
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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New Game

Uchronia x2

Old Games

Hive Pocket (w/ Hive: The Pillbug) x3
Parade x1
Red7 x2
Stick 'Em x1
Deus x1
7 Wonders x2

Only one new game, but an interesting one! I've been a huge fan of Glory to Rome for a while now, and when Uchronia first came out it was right around the time that the GtR Black Box kickstarter was (finally) being fulfilled. After that, however, I've always been mildly curious about this streamlined edition of the game, and heard a lot of talk on both sides about how it was either as good or worse than it's predecessor. After some deliberation, I went ahead and got myself a copy and got a chance to play it on Saturday.

I won't go over all the rules changes from the original game, but suffice it to say it very much is a simplified version with most of the nasty edges sanded off. While the game preserves a the sense of momentum that a good game of GtR has in spades, it's both slower in the aggregate yet faster on a turn-by-turn basis (the "Following" mechanic has been removed entirely, but you can draft single actions off your Activites/Clients of other players have taken that action on a previous turn).

I definitely like it, as it's basically the same game in a slightly slimmer package, but more plays will be required before I can determine if I like it better or worse than the original.
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9. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:234] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Cthulhu Wars New!
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Missed a couple of gaming days due to the return trip from Indy, which I'm still on a high from. Did manage to play two games though.

Cthulhu Wars
A buddy just picked this up, as he's a huge fan of the mythos (original works and FFGthulhu). I'd heard it getting really good reviews, with people saying that the gameplay stands up to the impressive "miniatures". I was pretty excited to play, and we had a three player game with Cthulhu, Blue Team (Nylartep?), and I had the Black Goat (Shub-Noggath?). I really don't know much about the mythos.

In short, I loved it. I really liked how crazily different every faction was. It felt very balanced, but in an extreme way. Every faction was turned up to 11 but still balanced against each other as opposed to games where unique abilities/factions are as benign as +1 attack for Blue and +1 defense for Red. I set myself up for a really powerful turn, and did a strong ability three times in a row that left my opponents saying "THAT ABILITY IS BULLSHIT." The next turn, when they turned on me, it was me yelling "HORSESHIT! I HAVE NO COUNTER FOR THIS!!!". I left immediately wanting to play again and am glad my friend owns it so I don't buy it.

Dead of Winter
Ran this for TableTop day. It was the first time I'd ever seen morale hit 0, and even though we had a betrayer he didn't win. It was kind of funny...he wasn't helping or contributing at all so I assumed he was the betrayer, but it turns out he was TRYING to help early in the game he just couldn't draw what he needed to draw. We all had fun though, and I still enjoy this game every time I play it.

On my Mind
Spring is here! We learned a lot from our first garden last year, like the fact that tomatoes are the murderous serial killers of the vegetable family, and spent some time this weekend getting that going and laying down mulch and stuff. Huge credit to Katie, who refuses to put it all on me even though she's pregnant. She wasn't doing any heavy lifting or anything like that, but she was out there raking mulch out and helping me plant things, 6 months pregnant belly and all.

We also had the first Baptism prep class at church. This one was more about what bapitism is and represents, I guess we don't meet again until 1 week before the actual baptism to go over the ceremony itself.
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10. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:588]
Board Game: Panamax
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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No TableTop Day for me. I tried (and failed) to be productive at school this weekend instead. So, I only had my regular meetup this week:

 N/A   Panamax
 10   Roll for the Galaxy

Panamax was interesting. I guess I was expecting a heavier/more complex game than it is? After 20 minutes explanation I sat back and thought "Oh.. I think I get it, and it seems simple?" I stand by that statement; each of the mechanics interlock nicely and in an intelligible manner. I might admit the 3 rounds seemed short as a design, but I don't think I'd want to play a 4th.

However, what does concern me is that the player who won had just an obviously better set of hidden agendas/goals. He had both the 5pt-per-passenger goal and the 2pts-per-influence. So, his two goals won him 35 VP at the end, while my two only earned me 17. It was our first game, so I'm willing to cut it some slack, but I don't understand how those goals are balanced. I had a "Group Tours" card that gave me the points listed for passengers, but the max there is 5, so it's always worse than the "Luxury Tours" card that gives you 5-per. Also, 3 points for a specialized nation as opposed to 2 for any nation seems equally less-good. I can't imagine it being easier to get 7 China tokens than it is to get 10 of anything.


Roll for the Galaxy was 2-players to finish out the night. I started with two Cyan dice, so explored for a few additional cyans and then ran a straight Produce/Consume engine that ended the game very early and won 28-20. This was the first successful time someone has run a produce/consume engine that way, I think.
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11. Board Game: San Marco [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:663]
Board Game: San Marco
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Takenoko 2
Dungeon Petz 1
Fields of Arle 1
Imperial Settlers + Why Can't We Be Friends 1
The Institute for Magical Arts 1 NEW!
Patchwork 1
San Marco 1 NEW!
Sheriff of Nottingham 1
Splendor 1
Wiz-War + Malefic Curses 1

The Institute for Magical Arts was another typical Steve Finn design. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. He makes solid games and I continue to Kickstart many of his projects. However, like Capo Dei Capi, I don't know that I'll be clamoring to grab TIfMA off the shelf.

San Marco was good. I had been wanting to try it for awhile and knew it had the pie-cutting mechanic in it. You can see the influence of El Grande on the game, though it does still stand on its own. I would definitely like to give this another try.

Addendum:

1) Ascension: Dawn of Champions releasing on Wednesday, which hopefully means my Miniature Market order will arrive by the end of the week. Topping off the order is basically a Charlie-fest: Homeland, Coconuts, and Pictomania.

2) Anyone watching Daredevil on Netflix? Matt and I got through the first six episodes. We're enjoying the grittier nature (compared to other superhero movies) of it. It's definitely made me more interested in the character and has inspired me to add some Daredevil comics to my ever-expanding Amazon comics wishlist.
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12. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1099]
Board Game: Patchistory
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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10 Amyitis x1 (30 plays so far)
9 Patchistory x1 (2 plays so far)
9 Western Town x1 (5 plays so far)
 7.5  Pocket Rockets x1 (20 plays so far)
7 Norenberc x1 (4 plays so far)

On Patchistory (3 players) : this is certainely my favorite civ game along with Clash of Cultures. It is dynamic, tight, clever : it goes to the essential, without chrome. It is a pretty abstract and euro for a civ game but this does not displease me as the gameplay is simple and the game is easy to get into as a result. The patch system is here to make us feel the wind in our hairs.

I was stuck to 1 political point for a long time (i didn't manage to win any auction on a political tile), the Che was my hero and gave me fresh air : his 6 fixed political points and his 10 votes allow me to catch up a little bit. I was able to do some commerce and cultural exchange. The Eiffel tower and a very strong food production made me born workers for a rushing of 28 points.

Final scoring : 122-100-72

On Norenberc (4 players) : i was glad to play this game again after years. I owned the game but i sold it. A friend of mine --to whom i have introduced to Hansa Teutonica-- bought it recently and asked me to play it.

This is an OK game but not a game i am found of. It is a weird game as the money goes against the scoring system (majority). I will not refused to play it again but i am glad to have sell my copy as it is not a game i need to own.
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13. Board Game Publisher: Czech Games Edition
Video Game Publisher: Czech Games Edition
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Just read Upcoming Games Teased at the 2015 Gathering of Friends. How did I not know about a new edition of TtA until today?! Although I don't like it when publishers do 2.0 versions (since then, what do I do with my old copy?), a new TtA will be a must buy, especially if they include updated/new cards.

And, unsurprisingly, I cannot wait for the app to be released.

Also, 504 from Friedemann Friese looks interesting. I wouldn't consider myself a FF fan, but the whole idea of 504 is definitely intriguing, especially if it works. My reservation is whether or not it'd be something I'd actually grab off the shelf to play. I think the novelty would wear off.
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14. Board Game: Dominion: Adventures [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion: Adventures
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Hi all! I figured I'd pop in now that things have settled down post-wedding and I'm actually playing more offline games again.

Plays Since May 1, 2014

 10.   Brass x54
 9.0   Hanabi x47
 9.0   YINSH x35
 10.   Dominion x26
 8.0   Ginkgopolis x22
 8.0   The Castles of Burgundy x16
 8.0   Blokus Duo x15
 7.0   Onirim x12
 9.0   Agricola x10
 7.0   Urbion x7
 6.5   Kamisado x7
 7.0   Mr. Jack x6
 8.0   Battle Line x5
 7.5   Pandemic: The Cure x5
 6.0   Scrabble x5
 10.   Race for the Galaxy with The Gathering Storm x4 (x2 with Rebel vs Imperium and The Brink of War)
 9.0   Android: Netrunner x4
 8.5   Roll for the Galaxy x4
 8.0   Chess x4
 9.0   Pandemic: On the Brink x3
 8.0   7 Wonders x3 (x1 with Leaders)
 8.0   Innovation x3 (x2 with Echoes of the Past and Figures in the Sand)
 7.5   Uptown x3
 7.0   Alhambra x3
 7.0   Coup x3
 6.5   Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game x3
 6.5   Quarriors! with Quarmageddon x3 (x1 with Rise of the Demons)
 5.5   Red7 x3
 8.0   The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game x2
 7.0   Kingdom Builder x2
 7.0   Nefarious x2
 7.0   Othello x2
 7.0   Stone Age x2
 6.5   Chaos x2
 6.5   Mysterium x2
 6.0   Fluxx x2
 5.5   Ugg-Tect x2
 9.0   Ghost Stories
 8.5   Hansa Teutonica
 8.5   Time's Up! Title Recall!
 8.5   Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
 7.5   Concordia
 7.5   Copycat
 7.5   Die Sieben Siegel
 7.5   Diamonds Club
 7.5   Finca
 7.5   Goa
 7.5   Key Market
 7.5   Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy
 7.5   Lewis & Clark
 7.5   Praetor
 7.5   Show Manager
 7.5   Spyrium
 7.5   The Golden Ages
 7.0   GIPF
 7.0   King of Tokyo with Power Up!
 7.0   Thurn and Taxis
 6.5   Alea Iacta Est
 6.5   Betrayal at House on the Hill
 6.5   Can't Stop
 6.5   Fresh Fish
 6.5   Graenaland
 6.5   Hoity Toity
 6.5   Istanbul
 6.5   Legendary: Villains – Marvel Deck Building Game
 6.5   Machi Koro
 6.5   Magnum Opus
 6.5   Members Only
 6.5   Royals
 6.5   Sail to India
 6.5   Splendor
 6.5   Warrior Knights
 6.0   Star Fluxx
 5.5   Animalia
 5.5   Compatibility
 5.5   Concept
 5.5   Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix
 5.5   Familienbande
 5.5   Kapitän Wackelpudding
 5.5   Martian Dice
 5.5   Out of Context
 5.5   Scattergories
 5.5   The World Cup Game
 4.5   Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom
 2.5   Winter Tales

Some highlights:

Most of the games near the top of the list have primarily gotten plays online, with Aerial, solo, or some combination of the three. The first game that doesn't fit that description is Pandemic: The Cure, which I played 4 times at BGG.con (along with Roll for the Galaxy). I had Aerial go through an overly complicated game vs. game process to determine her top 10 when nominations were open for the GCL Madness tournament, and this is what she ended up with:

YINSH, Blokus Duo, Hanabi, Agricola, Scrabble, Battle Line, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Mr. Jack, Onirim, Scattergories

That list is still very much in flux (when I asked her about Dominion somewhere in the middle of the 16 plays we've logged the past two weeks, it had climbed to the top 5, and Betrayal was ranked so highly at the time because she had just played it for the first time), but it's a good indication of the sort of game she likes (and a better indication of the sort of game I've introduced her to: mostly two-player only, many of those true abstracts, along with some cooperatives).

We've been playing a lot of Dominion lately in order to familiarize her with more of the cards before the new expansion arrives - last year, we played 6 games with only base set cards, but she has now seen cards from all the expansions but Guilds and has started to develop quite a list of favorites (she likes the treasure-centric attacks, Peddler-variants, and Villages; she strongly dislikes Cursers). For several games, we determined the kingdom by drawing 6 from a pool of cards she liked in previous games along with 4 from a pool of cards I didn't think she would actively dislike, though our most recent game was all Dark Ages.

She has also joined our RPG sessions up in McKinney - after finishing the Pathfinder story, we switched to Savage Worlds, briefly trying a Zombie themed campaign before switching to Sundered Skies (our second session was last night).

Online, I've played a lot of Brass of course (peaking at 4th on the rating list, and having a particularly strong run in the Brass Madness group - of my last 13 games, I've won 10 and finished 2nd in the other 3, one by tiebreaker and the other two by a single point; I'm pretty sure my current game will end that streak though), as well as Hanabi (including a win with 3 players and three wins with 4 players). I've played a lot of 2 player Hanabi with Aerial as well, and we've won twice. I had a good run of YINSH games on BAJ as well, though I'm on a losing streak that has dropped me out of the top 10 (and haven't played in a while there since I've been playing more with Aerial).
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15. Board Game: Overboard [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:15275]
Board Game: Overboard
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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I beat Bloodborne a couple days ago. It took me somewhere in the high 40s in terms of hours. These days I generally don't have the time to play really long videogames anymore but I was so taken with this one that I made it happen. It took me ~3 weeks.

It was an amazingly good game, with a delightfully Lovecraftian setting - definitely the most horror-themed of any of the Souls series. I didn't really do much with the online play other than read & leave messages, but that's all I generally care to do unless I need help with a boss (or want to help others with bosses).
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16. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:568]
Board Game: World Without End
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Ok Beau, let's chat the rest of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Starting with the ending...or lack thereof!

What'd you think about that? Those last couple of chapters were page turns and had me on the edge of me seat and then...poof! It was totally unexpected, though I admit I was wondering what was going on when I was running low on pages. Given that the action/plot didn't resolve I started thinking about the characters and their character development as having "ended". I think Mark definitely grew the most, and I liked at the end that he was not going to give up his desire for things even as he bought into the Dear Diary world. Leo didn't change as much, though I think that was to be expected as he had sort of stumbled on to all of this on his own. I think I liked it most where Leila ended up. She was always strong and independent yet caring and concerned with more than just herself and by the end that seemed to deepen and become stronger vs changing.


If anyone wants in on the next GCL Mafia Book Club book, hop in! Taking nominations!
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