GCL Amoeba 227 – Personality traits (2015-06-29)
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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Welcome to this week's Game Chat League Amoeba discussion group!

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

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Toms
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Jeroen
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Mikko

Myers-Briggs personality types – possibly bogus, but I still found The Definition of Hell of Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type entertaining. But how does this apply to games?
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1. Board Game: Personality [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:11753]
Board Game: Personality
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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So, what's your MBTI type? Or do you care? Do you think people even can be categorised like this? Does it make any sense at all?
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2. Board Game: Reflection [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:13696]
Board Game: Reflection
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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Even if you don't consider MBTI valid, the division between introverts and extroverts is better accepted. Where do you fall on that spectrum? Does it apply to the games you enjoy?
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3. Board Game: Oh Hell! [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2076]
Board Game: Oh Hell!
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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What would be your personal hell in the shape of a board game? What kind of board game would annoy you the most, or bring out the worst in you?
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4. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:40]
Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Larry Rice
United States
North Newton
Kansas
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New to Me:

d10-7 Star Wars: Imperial Assault x2

Return Visits:

d10-7 Concordia
d10-9 Keyflower
d10-9 Galaxy Trucker
d10-7 Luna
d10-7 Witch's Brew
d10-9 Brass: Lancashire

Musings:

Star Wars: Imperial Assault is definitely Descent dressed up as Star Wars. I do like the major change of alternating activation for the good guys vs the overlord. I haven't figured out how to play the overlord/Empire well yet as the Rebels won both scenarios thus far. I also wasn't very impressed that the Rebels got to us the AT-ST before I did!

Concordia would be played more often if it didn't take so much time. Not sure why, but this one sure can cause a fair bit of AP in my group.

Remembered why I sold Luna - dislike teaching what feels very odd and unintuitive initially. As expected, I got accused of not explaining all the rules (even though I did).

Ran away with the Galaxy Trucker game again. I need to start introducing the expansion(s) and handicapping myself somewhat. Loving that I am getting plays of this one recently!
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5. Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:1459]
Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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1 x _8_1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties (new!)
1 x _8_At the Gates of Loyang
1 x _8_New York Central
1 x _8_Patchwork
3 x _8_Villa Paletti
1 x _8_1846: The Race for the Midwest
1 x _7_Thebes
1 x _7_Tobago
1 x _7_Notre Dame
3 x _7_Lost Legacy: The Starship (new!)
1 x _7_Lost Legacy: Flying Garden (new!)
2 x _6_Cacao

Very nice week of games! Thursday games had a good turnout, and I got to play At the Gates of Loyang with three players – quite good and certainly fast enough – and New York Central, which I've missed a lot.

We also played Lost Legacy. A friend of mine wanted a copy of my Finnish DIY version of The City, and I got one for him from Artscow. The packs had space for 35 cards, so I decided to create Finnish rethemed versions of the basic Lost Legacy sets to fill in the blanks. The Starship became Maltese Falcon, with images from film noir movies, and Flying Garden got renaissance art.

Not a bad game – not quite as good as Love Letter, but I want to play these.

I spent my weekend in Jyväskylä. My mother looked after the kids, while I played disc golf and participated in JyCon, a tiny local con. We had organized 18xx games. One table spent hours and hours playing 18Africa, while my table played 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties and 1846: The Race for the Midwest.

Both were excellent. I managed second places in both. In 1862, I started with ESR (freight) and FDR (local), and later combined Y&N (express) to run three permanent trains. It worked quite well.

In 1846, I started with Big 4 and Lake Shore Line, and started IC. IC ran four 2-trains and when those phased out, had to withdraw once to buy two 5-trains. That worked out well. B&O was also full of trains, so it was up to the third player to make the game actually move forward.

All in all good games; 1862 took us slightly over three hours and 1846 clearly less than three hours. I am somewhat interested in 18Africa, but I much prefer playing two good games in less time.

This was also my first experience with mini poker chips. Those are very handy; too bad they don't really seem to be available anymore. Well, I did find one source on Ali Baba, but their minimum order quantity is 200 000...

Also, we used Survey Party, which was nice, except it made some mistakes in the 1862 runs and in the end, it was actually faster to count by hand than have Survey Party count the runs - but the 1862 map does get a bit complicated in the end. In 1846 it worked much better and made calculating end game runs fast and easy.
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6. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:112] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Realms
Kreisais Tokens
Latvia
Jelgava
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7 x Star Realms
4 x BANG! The Dice Game
3 x Black Stories
1 x Munchkin Cthulhu
1 x For Sale
1 x Mississippi Queen
1 x Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery
1 x Last Will
1 x Neuroshima Hex! 3.0
1 x Dominion: Dark Ages + Dominion: Intrigue


Lots of gaming last week. The main reason was Midsummer holiday, which happened to be the national Latvian festivity. It involves different outdor activities, bonfire, singing, dancing, and of course - drinking as much beer as possible, and eating as much cheese and barbecue as everyone can. How do boardgames fit in - you'll ask. Of course, they don't exactly on the feast day. But most trickier boardgamers (like me) drive off to countryside already some days before the feast, and stay there for couple more days after. And that is, where boardgaming happens. Especially next day after the main event, because everyone is too weak to object or to do something else like physical activities.

The definite hit this year was Star Realms. Although it is a 2 player game, one of guests got extremely excited about it. After playing some physical games he downloaded application on phone and was playing almost each night till the morning. Campaigns can be really gripping.
Last year holidays most played game - Black Stories - also got some more plays, because it fits well during different outdoor activities like grilling meat.
Overall - different types of games were played, but unfortunately Rex: Final Days of an Empiredidn't get on a table. Last (and only) time we played it was last year about this time in the same conditions.
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7. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:524]
Board Game: Medici
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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We're holding our house con this week. We had quite a few people over the weekend, but it will thin out for a few days because many people are working. It'll pick up again on Friday, which is a holiday for most people because Independence Day is on a weekend.

 9   The Princes of Florence -- For every con, I post a list of games I want to play. Many of the people at this con like The Princes of Florence, so I usually get a game or two in. We had one brand new person and one or two who were fairly new, which is nice for a great 15-year-old game. I scored 61 PP, which is pretty good for a 5-player game, but Sam LaFleche scored a whopping 69 PP, which is outstanding. Sam got several Best Work awards and I never managed any, even though I was sitting in the second seat.

 6   Lords of Vegas NEW! -- I had never played this game, and it seemed like the kind of game I ought to try, even though I'm a curmudgeon. It was quite interesting, and there's obviously skill in it. I'd play it again, but I wasn't as drawn to it as I thought I might be.

 8   Nur Peanuts! -- Now this was an amazing game. Chris Woo declared that he was going to select all his purchases at random, and he accordingly bought the 2300 as his initial purchase. We thought he was crazy, but after the first round, he was sitting on 2300 as the winner, and this earned him double payouts. He proceeded to buy the 2100, 1900 and 2000, spending what seemed like way too much for properties, but when he won yet again, giving him the purchase he needed to win the game on properties, he could have bought yet another expensive property. We rarely see the game end on 5 properties (in a 6-player game,) and this was really amazing to watch!

 10   Settlers -- This is of course the 20th anniversary of Settlers, so I'm trying to play it more often than usual (it's my fifth play of 2015.) There are a number of big fans at this con, and there was a group playing the new Catan: Ancient Egypt version just last night (no, not the old Die Siedler von Catan: Historische Szenarien.) John hadn't played in a number of years, so we went over the rules before we started. He placed one of his initial settlements on an 11 brick space, and boy did we roll a lot of 11's! He wound up with 3 settlements next to that space, and gained 3 brick twice from it by rolling 11's. This gave him an easy path to longest road, and he also bought two VP cards to win by a mile. I really enjoy the variety and social interaction in this game. (You see, I'm not too much of an introvert to enjoy Settlers!)

 7   Splendor -- My wife really likes this game, but for some reason I hadn't played it since August after playing it 9 times in 5 months. The timing is a bit tricky in this game; it's easy to postpone victory point hunting until it's too late. I got a pair of 1 VP cards early, and then a 2 VP card, and this is a meaningful lead, even if it costs you a bit more to get them. Then I started pushing for 3 VP cards, and I managed to win before my opponents were thinking about the threat I posed. After this game, I raised my rating from  6  to  7 , because I enjoyed it more than I remembered.

 9   Wyatt Earp -- Yesterday my daughter and son-in-law stopped by, and she suggested this game, which we played often as a family when the children were still living at our house. We have the new edition from Eagle-Gryphon Games, which has people-sized cards instead of the hobbit-sized cards in the original alea edition. On the flip side, the colors are harder to distinguish, but that didn't seem to be a big problem.

 7   Lunar Rails -- Judy and her son visited in the afternoon, and they both enjoy crayon rails games, so we recruited Todd and played this. It's shocking how expensive track is, but the payoffs are quite lucrative to make up for it. On my initial draw I got two cards for HazMats to Carnot (with very different payouts.) I didn't think that was possible, but in any case it made for a very nice start! I just kept getting good cards, tossing cards 4 times to freshen up my selection, and won while everyone else was at about $200 million (and had building to do to connect 7 cities.) This isn't my favorite game in the series, but I enjoy almost all of them.

 10   Medici -- I usually list Medici when people ask me what my favorite game is, and it was of course included in my list of games I wanted to play. It was just after dinner and we needed a short game for 6 people. I had 5, and I asked Marsha to play. She said she wasn't sure, because she didn't feel like she understood it. I told her, "Marsha, sit down and play, because you need to learn this game!" I wouldn't normally say that to someone, but I felt she'd do fine with a little more experience. Bronwen was another of our players, and she also expressed concern about understanding this bidding game. Well, it was an extremely interesting game. Three players made it to a 20 space on the second voyage, but they paid a lot to do it. Marsha came in second on heavy boat all three voyages. And when we totalled up the scores, Marsha was the winner, with 4 of the other 5 players within 7 VP of her for an photo finish! She agreed that this game was a lot more fun than she had been expecting, and everyone else had a great time with it too. When this game is right, it is wonderful!

 8   Quartermaster General -- I had just gotten a bargain copy of this game, courtesy of a group purchase by Joe Huber. In the front of my mind when I bought it was the thought that it would be great for our cons. We had three new people, but it plays well with new people. In our game, the US came east early to help Britain batter Europe, and despite efforts by Germany and me as Italy to stave them off, they made progress into Western Europe. This also took pressure off Russia, so before long there were armies of all three Allied powers adjacent to Germany. This facilitated some Economic Warfare, and Germany was knocked out by about Turn 15. In the meantime, Japan was running rampant, but it was only Victory Points, and the Allies were scoring well too. Finally, we lost both Germany and Italy on Turn 19, and this created an autovictory. The VP totals were close, but I think the Allies would have won even without the autovictory.

 8   Geschenkt -- It was getting late, so we got a group together for a series of favorite fillers. The first is this "mean" little game of liquidity and extortion. There was a lot of misery in this one, because two players ran out of money and had to take cards they didn't want (and in other cases, different players couldn't extort as much for cards they obviously wanted, because you can't extort from someone with no chips.) The scores were high (high is bad!)

 8   6 nimmt! -- I always associate Geschenkt and 6 nimmt! together in my mind---perhaps it's the tiny boxes. This was just not my game. I swept up row after row of cards, many in bright florescent colors, to end the game after only 3 hands. Normally in a 4-player game, no one does as poorly as I did. But I still like it: I raised my rating from a  7  to an  8  even though (perhaps because) I got crushed.

 7   Rights NEW! -- Brian brought this new game from Oink Games of Japan. It's an extremely simple game, and it plays quickly. It has the "pay to pass a card you don't want to the person on your left" mechanism that Geschenkt has, but in this game there are some cards you want to have, though it may not be clear which ones those are! I have no illusion that I understood this after one quick play, but I'd be happy to play again.

 8   Foppen -- Maybe it's the description of Foppen as "a trick-taking card game in which your goal is to get rid of all your cards first" that charms me about this game. Our 5-player game was very, very tight, with everyone clustered together all game on the score sheet. I managed to go out without the Fool on the last hand to win by a margin of 7-15-15-15-20.

We have 6 more days of con, so I expect to have an even longer list of games played for the next Amoeba list.

[Edit: Fixed spelling error]
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8. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:694] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Thunder Alley
Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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 8   Thunder Alley
 8   Ginkgopolis
 6.7   Bohnanza
 6.5   Battle Line
 6.5   Ticket to Ride

Just games with Caleb this week and one finished at BAJ...most of them on the iPad. I managed to squeak out a late win at Thunder Alley thanks in large part to leading every lap of the race and getting the first place car (won by 5 points).

Spent more time working on PnP games getting them ready to go than playing games...finished up a prototype copy of Guilds of London, M101 (a prototype someone designed that appears to be on the order of Race for the Galaxy the boardgame, and a copy of 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, all of which I'm really looking forward to trying out. Also received Small City last week, and I really want to get that to the table too...too many games and not enough time...sigh.
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9. Board Game: Minerva [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2473]
Board Game: Minerva
Jason
United States
Irvine
California
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d10-7 Abracada...What? x1
d10-7 Linko! x1
d10-6 Nations: The Dice Game x1

New to me:
d10-7 Minerva x1 [Game of the week!]
d10-7 Stockpile x1
d10-4 Zombie Dice x1

I had a pretty light week of gaming this week due to being super busy with work, however I was able to play a friends copy of Stockpile and Minerva.

Tile laying games are not really my thing, but I found Minerva to be really neat. While it might be one of the ugliest games ever made, the resource generation aspect of this one offers tons of interesting and cool choices. The game also felt like it had lots of paths to victory, although the last round can kind of slow down, which did sour the experience a bit. This is one I would really like play again soon.

Not really sure how the mechanisms in Stockpile really fit the theme, but who cares, this game is a blast! I found it a ton of fun to create common piles of stocks as a group, and then turn around and have everyone bid on these piles. This game might be a bit on the random side, but there is a good amount of deduction in the game, and if you put the knowledge you gain to good use, I feel like you can do pretty well in the game. The game also does not wear out its welcome, as it only clocks in around 45min.

My wife continues to really like Nations: The Dice Game, so I got in another play this week. She still hasn't beaten me, but she is starting to get close, and this latest game she only lost by 2 points!

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10. Board Game: Sequence [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:3242]
Board Game: Sequence
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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I was in California this past week, and only got in one game, with Anni, Karen (Anni's mom), and Al (Anni's stepfather).

_5_ Sequence (new!) - Karen had picked this one up somewhere to play with the grandchildren, and wanted to try it out on us first. Of course, that meant Anni ended up reading the rules and teaching. I was on Karen's team, and Anni was with Al. Anni's team got the first five-in-a-row toward the bottom of the board. I just tried to play cards in a central position, and soon we had lots of options for making five-in-a-rows. However, somehow Anni managed to draw all of the Jacks (I didn't see a single Jack all game), and used those to foil us. We just kept doing what we were doing, though, and eventually got our first five-in-a-row. As the game wound up, Anni and Al had a couple of options to end it, while Karen and I had rather more options. Eventually I was able to draw a card to complete the second five-in-a-row and win the game. However, Al didn't really understand how the cards worked, and it turned out that he was sitting on like 3 different cards that would have all ended the game in his favor had he played them, including a Jack. Oh, well.
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11. Board Game: Crows Overkill [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:6515]
Board Game: Crows Overkill
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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2x _6.00_ Sanzen Sekai: I'd kill all the crows in the world to be with you a little longer
2x _5.75_ Spangles
1x _7.75_ Bohnanza
1x _7.00_ Exxit
1x _6.50_ Twigs
1x _6.25_ Glaisher
1x _6.00_ inpHeXion
1x _5.75_ Nations: The Dice Game
1x _5.75_ Kigi
1x _5.50_ City Council
1x _5.50_ Top It
1x _5.25_ Time War
1x _5.00_ Giganten
1x _4.50_ Pocket Imperium
1x _X.XX_ Beest

A decent week of gaming. I ordered quite a few abstracts from nestorgames and we got most of them played. Some very neat ideas in there .

Time War was fun to have tried, even if it's quite some luck and a dice fest . But we had plenty of fun, though I think the basic scenario gives you too many troops to start with.

City Council was also quite fun. I acquired it in a math trade, but the mechanism of jostling for your own objective while keeping the city alive works quite nicely.

Nations: The Dice Game works much better for me than Nations itself. There is less variability in which cards show up, and the game is over much quicker.
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