GCL Mafia 234: A Family Affair
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
7.00
 tip
 Hide
Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly list! If you stumbled onto this list by accident (or on purpose!) and want to know more about the Game Chat League concept, please see the wiki 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!

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

fdubois
touchstonethefool
bobcatpoet
charlest
Thesp
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
Beloch
Happymrdave
captainraffi

Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of July 13-19, 2015. List any games played along with your thoughts/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 by the previous poster and answered by the current poster. These top fives are usually game-related, but can include other topics as well.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: The All in the Family Game [Average Rating:3.81 Unranked]
Board Game: The All in the Family Game
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
We had a lot of family in this week, and are expecting more for the next couple. I did some gaming with them in down time which got me thinking about gaming with your families.

Do you play boardgames with your families? If so, share your best family gaming memory. There is also a difference between a gaming family and gaming occasionally with your family...where do you lie. If not, any particular reason?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Family: Animals: Hamsters
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
There are over 2,000 board game families listed in the BGG database. Animals: Hamsters is one of them. Do you have a favorite family? The database can be broad enough to incorporate a number of games (18xx) or be specific to a single game (Agricola).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Family Reunion: The Game [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Family Reunion: The Game
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Top 5 Games Amerirash and Cube Pushers Should Play Together

5. Galaxy Trucker - I've made my dislike of this game known, however it has the weirdest crossover appeal (IMO) I've seen in boardgames. Ameritrashers love it for the irreverent ship building and awesome Vlaada theme, and Euro players seem to love it for....actually I have no idea. But they seem to!

4. Kemet - On the surface Kemet looks like a classic stabby stab fighting game, with it's minis and monsters and little FFG sized cards, but I think it'll appeal across lines for a few reasons. For one, combat is not random and careful planning and paying attention to your opponents played cards can lead you choose your battles when you know you can win. It's got a simple tech tree that yields good decisions, and you've got to manage a simple economy of prayer points to make sure you can do what you want on the turn you need to.

3. Steam Park - Simultaneous rolling! Beautiful 3D Amusement rides that could just be spaces on a board! Meeples named "Roboburgers!". Lot's of stuff here for the Ameritrash crowd, and yet the geometrical ride placement, communal bag building, and filling your spaces with workers are much more Euroy.

2. Hyperborea - I've only played this once, but I could see a lot there for both camps. The theme, combat, minis, and exploration were balanced nicely with a bag building economic engine. There is ample opportunity for efficient cube-play and combos, and working your upgrade technology to synergise with your base abilities.

1. Eclipse - May be an obvious answer, but this one epitomizes this question for me. It's core is an economic engine builder. However, like the delicious chocolate core of the S'more cupcake I'm eating right now, that core is wrapped in a large variety of accouterments from ship blueprints to technology upgrade, to missle and space dock combat.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Presto Change-O [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Presto Change-O
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Top 5 Things That Have Changed in the last Two Weeks

5. Bear's diet - We got the diagnoses back for our fur baby, and it looks like it was a food related acute onset irritable bowel disorder. The doctor's are shocked at how fast it came in, but luckily he's doing ok. Unfortunately his diet is now strictly limited to a single protein type, so he's needed new food, new treats, and no table scraps. He's not happy.

4. R.I.P Sleep - We've been lucky with the little man so far; he sleeps pretty regularly and isn't too fussy. However, he is still waking up every couple of hours and I'm trying help Katie as much as I can so it isn't all on her. Things are going faster and smoother when we work together, which I love doing, but it means less zzzs.

3. The Brewery Is Back - Two weeks ago I bottled a wheat beer I make a lot, and so far there are no signs of the weird infection issue I was having before. Fingers cross that in two weeks things are still golden.

2. Anxiety - Between bear having emergency surgery and baby Klarg being born with a punctured lung and spending a few nights in the NICU, my stress level has been through the roof. I am now dealing with the New Parent freakouts as I wonder if the room is too hot/cold/light/dark/green etc. I'm not kidding when I say I spent 30 minutes his first night home freaking out that his room is 75f instead of 74. This is getting better, but I'm still panicking about something almost every day.

1. Teamwork - The coolest change (other than the Meeple himself) has been how quickly and naturally Katie and I have grown closer. It's there in a lot of ways but the easiest to explain is in how much we're helping each other. From basically setting the division of labor on fire and both picking up each other's domestic responsibilities, to her pushing me to get out and go to the gym/game for a mental break and me remembering her pill schedule despite frequently forgetting to put milk back in the fridge, we've grown immediately closer with the arrival of this guy. He's been awesome for lots of reasons
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Greenland [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1928] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Board Game: Greenland
Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: "TAKE SIX MEAT DAMAGE, FROWNY EURODUDE!"Microbadge: Twilight Struggle fan Microbadge: Plays Games with SpouseMicrobadge: Ohio UniversityMicrobadge: Suburbia fan
Bootleggers: I expected to hate this but it turned out to be OK! We played with four people and I finished in a close second. Still, I think it's intrinsically flawed. It seems like it's going to be much more interesting with more people, but more people would make the game unbearably long. Maybe scale down the rounds with more players?

The Resistance: Avalon: Played this on Tuesday and Thursday and got experimental with the role setup. More Oberon, less Morgana, tinkering with the Lancelot rules... just giving things a different look. Would like to see Excalibur get used more, though.

Automobile: Did much better the second time, though I made a mistake on the last turn because I misunderstood Henry Ford's ability. I'm not sure I'm falling in love with this game like other Wallace designs, though it'll probably stick for a while because Abbie seems to really dig it.

Greenland: Phil Eklund, man. First thing that happened was I lost all my energy and an elder. And it only got worse from there. In the 8th round, I was down to three hunters. I would roll 7 dice and get zero successes. Freaking brutal, man. But you know what? I want to play it again. It's an unforgiving game, but it's also really good.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: In a Grove [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:4162]
Board Game: In a Grove
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
badge
Meow.
Avatar
Microbadge: Meaty Game fanMicrobadge: Train GamerMicrobadge: My cat destroys games in progressMicrobadge: Owner of Too Many Unplayed GamesMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Board Game: In a Grove
Board Game: Dead Man's Chest
Board Game: China
Board Game: Spyfall
Board Game: Camel Up
Board Game: Argent: The Consortium
Board Game: Parade
Board Game: Mahjong


Even though regular game night on the weekend didn't happen, had a couple other days of gaming, so it was a pretty good week!

 7.5   In a Grove x3 NEW!
 7.5   Argent: The Consortium NEW!

 7   Dead Man's Chest
 7.5   China
 7   Spyfall x4
 7.5   Camel Up
 8   Parade
 9   Mahjong x2

In a Grove was the latest in the Oink family that I got to try, and it's pretty neat. It's a deduction game with a little bit of bluffing involved. I really like the visuals of it and the box (it has a wonderful minimalistic appearance), and the game is quite fun. It's actually quite a bit better with 4 than 3, as with 3 it's often possible to make an exact deduction. On my first play I adored it, but subsequent 3-player matches made me realize that while it's fun, it's not quite a revelation in gaming. The box is tiny so it's a keeper.

Argent: The Consortium was good. I was expecting to love it but I instead just "liked" it. It's a sprawling game that takes up a whole large table, and I liked the theme and, for the most part, the mechanics. It's a very mean game, where there's a lot of messing with other players. I've seen some people call it an ameritrash-euro hybrid, but this one seems pretty squarely in the ameritrash camp with just the worker placement part being euro-ish.

Would like to play again but a bit underwhelmed compared to expectations. I think it might have been the all-or-nothing scoring for each category that seemed off to me.

China was a solid play with 3 new people. We were able to get the rules explanation plus a full game done in less than an hour. Good times. I managed my cards much better this time and felt a lot better about that.

Dead Man's Chest remains a cute filler but I don't see my score for it ever going up. It's a fun game but there's definitely a limit to what it offers.

Spyfall went over pretty well, but the spy never won. It seems pretty difficult for the spies thus far. The game could also really use a little mat for each player with the locations listed so you don't have to keep passing the book around.

Camel Up was done with more players this time, and I think this should really top out at 5. Any more and any strategies that there are just evaporate. Would like to try it with the "advanced" rules I got out of Spielbox sometime. We're enjoying it enough still that there is interest in the expansion, so that's saying something.

Parade hasn't made it out in a while and it was highly enjoyable. I had a new opponent and he played pretty well. I thought I could corner him at the very end, and I did, but baaaarely. The final score was 49 to 51, and I thought I'd be able to trap him with a worse score than that for sure. A fun game and glad it made it out again.

Mahjong is an odd favorite of mine. I love the game and I know how to play, but I don't know how to count score (since I primarily play it via videogames). That said, you can still have fun with it just playing with "first out is the winner" and that's what we did. There's potentially interest in getting the game to the table with more, and if that happens, I think I could finally get around to learning the score system.

It was also nice finally getting to use my tile set again. Bringing it from Colorado was worthwhile at long last! Yay!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Biblios Dice [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3175]
Board Game: Biblios Dice
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"Aint that just the way"
Avatar
Microbadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: Blue Lantern Corps fanMicrobadge: ArchivistMicrobadge: Soundtrack collectorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Board Game: Extra! Extra!
Board Game: Dolmen
Board Game: Android: Netrunner
Board Game: Uchronia
Board Game: San Juan (Second Edition)
Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game
Board Game: Mundus Novus
Board Game: The Gnomes of Zavandor
Board Game: Dead Drop
Board Game: The Bottle Imp
Board Game: Biblios Dice
Board Game: Rolling Stock
Board Game: Historia: Civilization Goals
Board Game: Historia


Extra! Extra! NEW!
Dolmen NEW!
Android: Netrunner x4
Uchronia
San Juan (second edition)
Nations: The Dice Game
Mundus Novus
The Gnomes of Zavandor
Dead Drop
The Bottle Imp
Biblios Dice NEW!
Rolling Stock
Historia: Civilization Goals
Historia

Lots of plays due to visiting with Grace in Turlock!

On my usual Tuesday gaming group, we got two new ones in. I was surprised at how spry Dolmen was despite being an abstract, even with 5p it galloped along and finished out in about 20 minutes. I was intrigued by the whole "there need to be other player's stones present in order for you to put the scoring pieces down" aspect, which guaranteed that people were always jostling for position on the board. I also found the decision points of when *not* to put pieces on the board to be interesting (as you're required to potentially place scoring pieces if you qualify). On the downside, it was a bit difficult to determine what could potentially be good moves (though that may have been due to the chaos of playing with 5) as the board state changed so frequently. I'd like to try this with fewer people and see if it improves, but so far I've been impressed.

Extra! Extra! was a well-polished worker placement game about collecting stories to build your front page as a newspaper. The theme was quite good and the gameplay definitely spoke of multiple passes through the rock-polisher of development, but I've never been a fan of spatial puzzles and the amount of stuff in the game was just a bit too overwrought for me (especially the money aspect, with which you could displace people during the WP phase and outside of tie-breaking was useless). Not a bad game at all, but one I'm not really eager to play again.

And finally, I was excited to get my newly acquired copy of Biblios Dice to the table with Grace. I'd owned Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game multiple times but never managed to get it to the table. The one time I did was with another players copy, and while the game itself was pretty good on the whole, it had some awkward elements to it that didn't endear itself to me (the way auctions were triggered, the whole way auctions were done with the cards). While Dr. Finn made some tweaks in Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game – Mini Expansion that looked like they fixed a few problems, I never got it back to the table, so I was happy to see and kickstart what was essentially the 2.0 edition of the game.

To start, this is far and away a better-designed version of the game. Gone are the random-die roll triggers for the auction (there's now a separate Mule die and a separate Gold die, and the Mule die advances a token on the Market track between 1 and 3 spaces, which triggers an auction when it gets to the end). The auction mechanic is re-tweaked and, while still a bit awkward, works far better than the first version (each player has a hand of bidding cards with different coin values on them, players blind-bid them one at a time to build up a bid for a set of dice, then pay out with gold after everyone passes). Dr. Finn even re-tweaked some of the incentives, adding more VP bonuses to those who arrived 1st/2nd/3rd to certain spaces in the materials columns (and the Bishop column as well) along with point penalties for not advancing up a certain number of spaces. For an exhaustive list, check out this thread penned by the good doctor himself.

In total, it's a much tighter, better balanced game, though if I have one complaint it's that the setup is now much more fiddly between setting up all the VP chips and Bishop bonuses on the board. Still, the game goes by at a good pace and doesn't drag, so I'll be looking to keep this one in my collection for a long while yet.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:405]
Board Game: Ginkgopolis
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Muffin loverMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: GatePlay.comMicrobadge: ProfessorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Timeline: American History 3
Timeline: Americana 3
Dominion: Dark Ages + Hinterlands 2
Biblios Dice NEW! 1
Dead Drop NEW! 1
Fresco 1
Ginkgopolis 1
Historia + Historia: Civilization Goals 1
Mundus Novus NEW! 1
Nations: The Dice Game NEW! 1
Rolling Stock NEW! 1
San Juan (second edition) NEW! 1
Scrabble 1
The Bottle Imp 1
The Gnomes of Zavandor 1
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia 1
Uchronia NEW! 1

Lots of plays and new games thanks to James coming to visit this weekend.

Biblios Dice: This is Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game version 2.0. Overall, it's a cleaner version of the game, though I liked S&S: TDG as it was. So, it's hard to say if this is better or worse. It's mostly just different.

Dead Drop: A much better micro-deduction-game than I thought it would be. James was kind enough to give me one of his extra decks (I chose the robots!). I'm hoping this will be a good opening/closing filler.

Mundus Novus: This game did not click for me at all. Maybe it was late or maybe it's just not for me. I didn't quite get what I was doing until about halfway through and once I did figure it out, I just wasn't all that interested in the game. I found it to be pretty boring and a lot of card movement for very little payoff. I don't think there is really much of an opportunity to be clever in this. Sorry, James.

Nations: The Dice Game: This changes up the normal Yahtzee-dice-variant, which I am not as tired of as others, but it was refreshing to see something new. The game has some interesting ideas in it, but it ends up falling into the "just okay" category for me. Some of the dice upgrading in it reminded me of Airships, yet didn't seem nearly as important (considering I won with only upgrading one die).

Rolling Stock: An interesting stock/economic/OMGSPREADSHEETSANDMATH game with a lot to explore. The corporations and subsidiaries are novel to me and make for the consideration of many choices. That being said, I don't know I have the time, desire, or even the smarts to delve into it enough to ever make me a competent, let alone good, player. I'd rather play a game that gives me those same company buildup options and the adrenaline pumping stock buying/selling in half the time (i.e., play a Winsome).

San Juan (second edition): I've played San Juan plenty of times before. The new artwork is nice and the inclusion of the expansion cards gives the game more variety. I probably won't buy this unless it's a super good deal, but I will happily play it as it's quick, light, and has just the right amount of random/strategy for its length/weight.

Uchronia: A neutered version of Glory to Rome. I'm not sure if I can say Iello made the game easier as the changes ended up making things kind of clunky and the pace rather slow. I ended up feeling like I wanted the game to end instead of wanting more turns to make clever combos as is the case in GtR. Moreover, because of the changes, you don't follow the order cards others play making others' turns rather boring. Ultimately, I have no idea who this game is for. If you like GtR, you won't want to play this. If you don't like GtR, this won't change your mind. If GtR is too hard for you, I guess this might make it easier, but I can't imagine it being a family game.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:24]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
Star Realms
Kingdom Builder
Mage Knight Board Game

Family week! My family came in for the week to meet the new guy and I got some games in with my siblings during downtime. While my mom can sit and stare at her grandson for hours straight, the aunts and uncles got a little bored so we squeezed some gaming in.

Survive
Me and my sisters. The older of the two had fun but gaming isn't really her thing. The younger loved it and got a huge kick out of the monsters and destroying each other. Really awesome off-list pick by my Secret Santa this year, I've gotten so much mileage out of this game.

Star Realms
My younger brother would be really into games if any of his friends were, and always asks to play a bunch of games when he visits. Introduced him to Star Realms (and by extension deckbuilding) and he beat me in the first game. Sigh. I caught him later curled up with my ipad playing over and over again. I know what his stocking stuffer is this year.

Kingdom Builder
Played with my brother and youngest sister. Daniela liked Survive better, but still enjoyed it. I could see Jose get it about halfway though. For my part, I'm liking this game more and more each time I play. I tried to be very deliberate about my settlement placement and try not to focus on getting tiles if it was going to leave me cornered with forced placements and it paid off. Scored 77, which is way more than my previous highs.

MAGE KNIGHT
For two years my brother and I have been trying to play Mage Knight during a visit and we finally got it to the table. I did no rules prep, thinking I had it. WOOPS. Not the game you can just pick back up, but we muddled through it. He really liked it and would have played again immediately but we were short on time. We just did the intro scenario, and had a pretty decent time. I wonder how you're supposed to defeat some of the big enemies as I don't understand how you're supposed to get enough advanced actions and spells. Do people camp on villages/monastaries etc and grind out influence?

On my Mind

Back at work this week while my mother-in-law is at home helping Katie. I'll take another week off once she leaves and it'll be just the three of us. Not happy to be back at work, but my post count will probably increase again

Started Daredevil, and think it really goes downhill the more they start focusing on Fisk. I want my mustache twirling evil villains to be pretty black and white thank you. Introduces a lot of plot holes =/
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Forbidden Stars [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:101]
Board Game: Forbidden Stars
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: St Louis Blues fanMicrobadge: Android: Netrunner fan - JintekiMicrobadge: Earth Reborn fanMicrobadge: Root fanMicrobadge: Ding & Dent Podcast
Board Game: Forbidden Stars
Board Game: The Resistance: Avalon


 7.5   Forbidden Stars NEW!
 8.5   The Resistance: Avalon x2

Also played but not logged:
Dark Moon x1
Some prototype playtesting


Reviews
Flick 'Em Up - A game every dexterity lover should play



Forbidden Stars
Good. Very good. Want to play it many more times including immediately after our first game. Is it great? I don't know yet. My rating may shift a whole point up on this one quite frankly, just not sure.

If this was a brand new game without the StarCraft legacy, I'd be floored.

Things compared to StarCraft that I love:

-New Dominate order is neat
-The new advanced orders are awesome because they're asymmetrical
-Streamlining of sectors (no Z-axis), streamlining of resources, streamlining of events, streamlining of transports (removal really)
-The combat is more sophisticated and deeper than StarCraft
-Love how you remove two cards when you research one, although this choice is TOUGH and nuanced and I hate giving up two cards
-The Objective system, holy shit this is the best way I've seen this handled

Things compared to StarCraft that I don't like:

-Combat is too long. Each card has three vectors that you must assess and each is a deeper choice than the Attack Strength/Defense and possibly a special ability in StarCraft. Combat in this is longer than SC and will only be sped up if people become intimately familiar with their faction.
-Unit streamlining/teching up is much more boring
-Length - this game will be longer than StarCraft with 3-4 players, even after familiarity

I really don't get the focus on streamlining everything except for making combat more complicated. It's a very neat combat system, although the adding of temporary tokens is messy as hell, but it just doesn't jive with everything else they did. I think Corey K. came up with a cool new mechanic and felt like it needed to be included. I can understand that but it's a bit ho-hum due to downtime.

Also, the game includes a much better victory condition in the objectives which incentivize attacking as opposed to bitterly holding land like most area control games. The game feels much more dynamic because of this.

But WTF is up with the scaling? Most games like this that scale will of course be longer because you have more players acting and taking their turn. However, FS goes one step farther in requiring you to actually complete more objectives with more players on the table. They do this because I imagine they want you to spread out your attacks and interact with more people, plus it's kind of required for balancing since you don't get more units with more players but there are more objectives/land which is odd.

4 Objectives in a 4 player game is just way too long though. We called it after 3 hours, and this was 4 players experienced with StarCraft. I felt like we moved briskly in the Order phase with only combat being specifically slow at times. I still don't see us EVER finishing a 4 player game in 3-4 hours. StarCraft we can knock a 4 player game out in 3 hours pretty easy. There's just too many objectives here and I think 3 is a better number for 4 players.

Will need more plays though as this is just a gut reaction.

Avalon
This was a weird way to gain some plays but reddit's infamous moderator Timothy, who many of you know is the founder of the STL board game meetup group that now numbers in the thousands, was asked to be a guest speaker at the local Mensa meeting in July to talk about board games. He decided to focus on the rise of social deduction and its history, followed up with splitting the room into two games of Avalon.

Timothy asked me to come and help facilitate along with another good buddy (Marcus, the bearded guy who played Thunder Alley/Betrayal with us at Gen Con Grace/Matt). I was at Timothy's table in the first game and then we combined both tables for the second game.

The Mensa members were mostly 40-60 year olds and were very friendly and most were into trying this newfangled type of game.

Both games were straight up Avalon with Merlin/Assassin. I was a regular good guy in the first game and Timothy and myself ended up going on the first mission, with him throwing a fail. We spent lots of time arguing but I did a good job of logic-ing out a proposed team a couple of times and gained the trust of the other good guys. I also successfully nailed who the three spies were (although I'm not sure everyone believed me), and we ended up winning miraculously. Assassin thought it was me or another guy and was wrong. Huzzah.

Second game was one of the best games of Avalon I've played. I was Assassin and we drew the game out the full length. Some weird things happened because we were playing with inexperienced players and because I decided to mix things up a bit.

A team got selected early with me and two younger kids who were playing. The boy was also a spy. We both threw a success so it passed with three successes. I ended up picking the next team to go and selected same plus 1. When it was approved by the table (just barely) I was now kind of nervous as we couldn't throw a success again and start off down 2-0. I thought he might throw a fail but I said screw it, if we have 2 fails I can work my way out of it. And...we had 2 fails.

So I immediately went to work saying there's no way I'd build a team with 2 spies if I was a spy, that's crazy. This was kind of bought but also said it was something I may do just to make this claim (bang on).

Game goes on with much discussion and things get heated. Another mission fails without me on it but with Marcus (who was good but there was doubt) and another Spy who had not been on a mission yet. They did not think it was the other guy as he was pretty quiet and a new guy, and the experienced players started accusing each other.

When it came my turn to propose a team again it was the fourth mission that required 2 fails. Spies were up 2-1 at this point. I proposed myself and the 4 good guys, thinking I could also use this as an arguing point for why I was good ("Why, as a spy, would I propose a team that would lead to a pass?"). This team was voted down but was chosen with Timothy who put together the next team.

So it's me and 4 good guys with the final mission coming up. I'm supposed to throw a success since we can't lose the mission anyway (requires two fails) and I may as well try to gain some more trust, right? No, I throw a fail just to mess with the atmosphere and add confusion. Works, I get put on the last team and we win. Marcus had it figured out but wasn't sure, he even proposed the proper team but got talked out of it by another good player. Great, amazing game.


On My Mind
So busy with Gen Con prep. Hammered out a rulebook for Beta Clink and still testing away, very happy with it right now. I was shocked to find out my Fantasy game did not make it into the designer speed dating event as there were 86 entries and only 35 chosen. Found this out last Wednesday and was pretty bummed at first, but I chalk it up to my sell sheet being shit (I created it last minute for this competition).

After trying to decide whether I should just put the game on the backburner for awhile and work on something new, I decided to reach out to Grey Fox Games (CSI's publisher subsidiary that's gaining serious steam) and secured a meeting at Gen Con to show it to them. So hopeful something good comes from that.

That's pretty much ready to go and been playtested very strongly, but I need to make sure the physical prototype is perfect and nothing's wonky.

In addition to getting excited about Gen Con, I'm prepping for a mini con this coming weekend (two weekends of insane gaming here I come). My wife and daughter are going to Texas to visit her aunt and I'll be home alone. I moved my Wednesday group to Friday night so we can do a full game of Forbidden Stars and we have 4 people scheduled.

Saturday I have all day gaming with my Gumshoe buddy who's celebrating his 30th birthday. He's not a huge board gamer but he decided he wanted to do board games for his birthday and invited some friends over (people I don't know since he's not part of my gaming group). He's not really familiar with my collection or a ton of hobby games in general so I sent him a list of suggested stuff for the rotating player counts we'll have (we think we'll have 5-7 people coming and going throughout the day). It looks like he wants to do Homeland and Spartacus for sure. I think he'd like Dark Moon too so I'm bringing that. I'll likely be bringing about 10-15 games so we have plenty of options.

The main event though will be Runewars which he's wanted to play for awhile. I acquired it at Geekway by trading Space Alert for the Coffin box version of RW with the Banners of War expansion. I read the rules this weekend to prepare and it looks excellent, another sprawling Corey K. FFG production.

Sunday, I'm trying to keep the con alive by gathering people to do some playtesting. This isn't 100% yet but we'll see.

That means within a span of 9 days I will be seriously gaming for 7 of them (if you count next Wednesday when we'll arrive at Gen Con around dinner time).

I wasn't sure if Buonocore would send me Dark Moon but he did, and I'm grateful because I really like it. It's not amazing and isn't going to change your life, but it's a great take on short BSG and when you couple it with Homeland, I don't really need anymore traitor boardgames. I think it does have a solid sense of theme (albeit not nearly as strong as Battlestar), and I really dig the John Carpenter veneer. That board is downright beautiful with grit. I do think the ways in which it is different from BSG are the most interesting. The central dice economy is pretty slick and a bit unorthodox. I like that the lying and deception is more in your face, but plausible.

TV - Penny Dreadful is pretty damn good. Almost finished with first season. True Detective episode 4 was great as Paul and I discussed last week. Need to watch episode 5 tonight. Wayward Pines is almost over and decent overall.

I don't read too often although I do enjoy it. I'd have to give up movie/TV time for it and that often wins out. However, I'm really getting into the fourth book in my favorite Science Fiction series, The Expanse. Cibola Burn is pretty good thus far but I'm only 50 pages into 550 so we'll see how it goes.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. 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
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Light week for me, with class and whatnot.

 8   Ticket to Ride x2
 9   Suburbia
 9   Puerto Rico x2
 7   Splendor
 10   Roll for the Galaxy x2

Ticket to Ride, Suburbia, and Puerto Rico were all iOS games. I don't usually log them, but since I did not expect to play any other games, I did. My Puerto Rico play has improved significantly over time, and I'm not playing the hardest AI and doing well consistently. Particularly, I am finally getting used to a Corn Empire shipping strategy on the harder difficulties. The first game I blew the AI out of the water by taking 5 corn plants and supplementing my income with a coffee+office. It was not a close match.


Saturday I invited a friend over to game with. He's been my consistent 'Roll' buddy, and we finally figured out why he's lost so often. Apparently he'd forgotten that you could use explorer dice for money. Makes a slight difference... Below is a picture I snapped from one of our games, where I managed to drop 3 6+ developments, for a solid 65 point game.
From gallery of Epsilon_Balls



On my mind:
My collection continues to change and improve. This past math trade I managed to secure copies of Imperial Settlers, Key Harvest, and Wealth of Nations (in exchange for my copies of Russian Railroads, 7 Wonders (unopened, don't worry), and a Warhammer 40k kit). I'm particularly excited about Imperial Settlers, as I think it'll hit both the mechanics and time span my group enjoys.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Eminent Domain: Microcosm [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:2480]
Board Game: Eminent Domain: Microcosm
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
flag msg tools
The Golden Camel UberBadge is a mystery. Nobody knows where it came from or how it got there.
badge
No one expects the Spanish penguin!
Avatar
Microbadge: Twitch fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animalsMicrobadge: Nintendo Switch fanMicrobadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: Dragon Dice fan
Board Game: 42
Board Game: Timeline: Events
Board Game: Steam
Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon
Board Game: Elysium
Board Game: Viticulture
Board Game: Minotaurus
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep
Board Game: Loopin' Louie
Board Game: Loony Quest
Board Game: London
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
Board Game: Eminent Domain: Microcosm
Board Game: Dracula


 N/A   42 NEW!
 6   Timeline: Historical Events
 8   Steam
 7   In the Year of the Dragon
 N/A   Elysium NEW!
 N/A   Viticulture NEW!
 N/A   Minotaurus NEW!
 6   Lords of Waterdeep
 6   Loopin' Louie x2
 N/A   Loony Quest NEW!
 N/A   London NEW!
 9   Hansa Teutonica
 N/A   Eminent Domain: Microcosm x3 NEW!
 8   Dracula


Despite what I read on BGG, I tried to stay out game night with eminent domain microcosm. After two turns of not even knowing if we were playing right, we quit. After rereading the rules and all cards several times, I figured out the game, but it was a couple more plays before I figured out the scoring correctly. Overall, I really like the game as a micro game. The rules are awful, but the updated rules are a huge improvement.

In another game of Hansa Teutonica, I went with my typical strategy, but not as much blocking. I want contested very much on getting actions, so I ramped up to five actions with alarming speed. Another player was taking all the offices for the bag and privilegum tracks, though, so he was quickly approaching 20 points. I strategically bumped myself up those tracks until I was able to take those offices from him, and then started giving myself several points while I finished off my tracks. I managed to win with a sizeable lead, but still only like 45 points. But it was certainly a closer game than it looked.

I got to teach in the year of the dragon, 3 player. Again, I was dead last on the people track. I had some calculated deaths, but nothing tragic. I was struggling to catch up within striking distance of the leader, though, who had a ridiculous number of points, but only finished with 4 people alive. The third player only ever lost one person, but it wasn't enough to cover his points gap. In the end, my end game points gave me a 2 point lead for the win.

I got to try London for the first time. It was neat and I'd play it again, but there were a few mistakes in my play for misunderstood rules, but I still did well.

Same for viticulture, with expansions (Tuscany?) I really liked it and lost by only 2 points, but I probably would've done better had I kept my card that ages my wine an extra notch every round, but I was told that it was gaining a point each round in which you age your wine. Oh well. It was fun and I'd play again.

When I heard Looney quest, I thought of liberty labs and fluxx. But it was actually really silly fun. You see a map in the middle of the table and gave to draw your path or other actions on a clear film, which you overlay on the board to see how you did. I had a surmountable lead going into the final round, so I had three banana peels thrown into my board (I can't draw on them), a fly I had to balance on my marker, and a bomb sweeped to me that required me to draw on the 'busy' side of my board. After scoring everybody else, I only needed one point to win, but if I touched and laser beams, I'd score 0. There was much awe as my line went just around the eye, as close as possible to the laser beam without touching it.

Finally, while we didn't actually play it, the host and I had 30 minutes before his party started, so I suggest speed play of clash of cultures for the sake of learning the rules. We finished one full round and learned much of the rules gameplay. Definitely good we did so, because I tried to cheat a few times by not knowing or remembering a rule. It's sheaths nicer to get that out of the way when you're not playing for real. Unfortunately we never actually played the game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Flipping Out: The House Remodel Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Flipping Out: The House Remodel Game
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."Microbadge: Dominion fanMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Pandemic fanMicrobadge: YINSH fan
Plays since July 13, 2015

 10.   Dominion x14 (Goko)
 9.0   Hanabi (Robin's)

Light week for me... We finished our Brass KotH rematch game (with a complete reversal of results), finished our Hanabi game (25!) and started a new one. I finished Nations: The Dice Game (initial rating: 5.5; there's just not much going on here that interests me). Playing a tense game of YINSH with a top 2 player (would have a solid lead, had I not messed up my move ordering, currently have a couple rings stuck waiting on that to unblock); I think he'll win, but I'm trying to make life difficult for him.

Nothing terribly exciting on the Dominion front... most of my plays were Monday, decided to take a bit of a break the rest of the week - been busy with house stuff and then this weekend I watched quite a bit of Super Smash Bros. Melee (and Smash 4) at EVO:



I've been following the competitive Melee scene for the past year or so since watching the documentary - if you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it:



We closed on our house Thursday, with seller staying through yesterday, so this morning was my first time in our house. You can tell it's a great house, because it sits at the intersection of two Dominion cards. (It's the one with the star - which thankfully did not stay with the house.)
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Empire Express [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:5774]
Board Game: Empire Express
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
flag msg tools
Rolling dice and taking grains!
badge
Rolling dice and taking grains!
Avatar
Microbadge: Empyreal: Spells & Steam fanMicrobadge: Rocket League fanMicrobadge: MethodistMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Octopath Traveler fan - "You got more than you bargained for!"
Board Game: 6 nimmt!
Board Game: Notre Dame
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set
Board Game: Pick Picknic
Board Game: Empire Express


 10.   Category 5
 10.   Notre Dame
 10.   Race for the Galaxy
 9.0   Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set x3
 8.0   Pick Picknic
 7.0   Empire Express x2 NEW!

I'm trying to catch up, so forgive my low participation in lists lately. The highlights of gaming this past weekend were a couple of rounds of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set with a party of 5, and two plays of Empire Express (though I should mention I scored 83 in a game of Notre Dame, but against a table of 4 noobs).

Empire Express is a shortened version of our beloved Empire Builder series. Kristen and I played the advanced setup for it (which doesn't include pre-drawn tracks and pre-set delivery cards), and removed the event cards from the deck as is our custom. The game is true to its name - it took Kristen and I about 75 minutes to fully play it twice. That said, it will probably come out every now and then between the two of us, but it's not the same full Empire Builder experience. To its credit, I really like the rules tweaks that make it new-player-friendly, and this will absolutely by the gateway we use to teach new players how to play. I can imagine pulling this out at a Thursday night game session with new players in a way that I simply wouldn't do with Empire Builder.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}