GCL Mafia 241: Would you rather... (Third Edition)
Grace P.
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Important Links:
GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread (links to past lists, subscribe for weekly notifications).
GameChat League Wiki (for general information about the GameChat League concept)
GCL Mafia Wiki (for specific information about this division)
Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

GCL Mafia Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week of August 31 - September 6, 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.

GCL Mafia Geeklist Format:
• A weekly game is spotlighted and discussed. The poster will pose questions about it to encourage conversation.
• Themed questions are optional. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics.
• 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.

Current Roster:
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
Beloch
Happymrdave
captainraffi
Timotheous
fdubois
touchstonethefool
mith
bobcatpoet
charlest
Thesp
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1. Board Game: Would You Rather...? [Average Rating:4.38 Overall Rank:19476]
Board Game: Would You Rather...?
Grace P.
United States
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California
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I did two of these lists previously (121; 141). In fact, the first one is what spurred the oft-referenced muffin vs. baby. Since it's been nearly two years and we've got a different roster, I figured it was a good time for a third edition. Additionally, we've been doing mini games for the past few weeks' lists, so this fits in well.

So, I've grabbed some "Would you rather...?" questions from either.io and created other gaming-related ones. Feel free to add more. Be sure to explain your answers!
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2. Board Game: Transport [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Transport
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Have an incredibly nice car OR own a personal helicopter?
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3. Board Game: Let's Dance [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Let's Dance
Grace P.
United States
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California
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Listen to the Macarena for four hours straight OR listen to Mambo No. 5 for four hours straight?
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4. Board Game: Bear Buddies [Average Rating:3.93 Unranked]
Board Game: Bear Buddies
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Hang out with Pooh Bear OR hang out with Baloo from the Jungle Book?
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5. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1189]
Board Game: Magic Realm
Grace P.
United States
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Become a Pokemon trainer OR attend Hogwarts?
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6. Board Game: Company of Liars [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Company of Liars
Grace P.
United States
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Always know when people are lying OR always get away with lying?
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7. Board Game: Fight Club: Project Mayhem [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Fight Club: Project Mayhem
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
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String your opponent along for the entire fight OR crush them from the beginning?

(You may answer this in terms of gaming.)
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8. Board Game: Design & Pantomime [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Design & Pantomime
Grace P.
United States
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Design a game with mass market success OR a successful gamer's game?
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9. Board Game: Go Fart [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Go Fart
Grace P.
United States
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Fart uncontrollably while you're winning OR fart uncontrollably while you're losing?

(This question brought you by my inner 12-year-old boy.)
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10. Board Game: Top Dogs [Average Rating:5.13 Overall Rank:18665]
Board Game: Top Dogs
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Play BGG top #1-10 games OR #11-20 games OR #21-30 OR #31-40 OR #41-50 OR #51-60 OR #61-70 OR #71-80 OR #81- 90 OR #91-100?
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11. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:543]
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
United States
Houston
Texas
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Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends: So apparently there's a different mode of this game where you don't get points for killing stuff, but for scoring achievements. I did not know this until like turn six and my opponent somehow didn't see I was giving myself points for killing stuff. I don't like it that way, as it can really slow things down if neither side is in position to score an objective.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases: We did the third case, and yes, it's total BS. Apparently the publisher changed the outcome for some reason? Made no sense. Quite upsetting. The goal of a mystery is to make the people say, "Oh!" and not, "Whaaaat?"

Sheriff of Nottingham: I tried sneaking through as much contraband as humanly possible. It didn't work. But the completely open rules on bribing makes things way too fun for people like me. "I'll give you a gold if you correctly guess which bag I want you to open!"

Terra Mystica: There is teaching a game and there's never shutting up during the game and not letting anybody do any thinking for themselves and pointing out what everybody is doing every time and giving constant (and often incorrect) analysis. Also, I don't like upgrading spades as the Chaos Magicians.

Cloud 9: I had to make it to Cloud 9 to win... This was a crazy game, as we very nearly ran out of cards to draw. You'd think that was impossible, but we somehow had really wild distributions and unlucky rolling.

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12. Board Game: Odin's Ravens [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1380]
Board Game: Odin's Ravens (Second Edition)
Timothy Hunt
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Board Game: Odin's Ravens (Second Edition)


9  Odin's Ravens x2

Shocking, I know!

But Friday, I asked Karyn if we could play a game after B was in bed. This is what I picked to play as it's pretty simple to pick up. Judicious use of the stack got me a sudden win of the first race for 6 points, but Karyn won the next two races to win the game.

The next night, we played again... with much the same result.

On my mind

Benjamin is progressing well! He's become interested in spelling words that are printed. It started most recently by pointing out the W in "West" on one of my Geekway shirts, so I continued with the other letters in the word, and told him what sounds they make. We then learnt what sounds b and repeated what t says, so he then sounded out the words "best" and "test"!

Also, referring to a character in a book, he said "He drawed on the wall". Given that neither Karyn nor I would have said that, it demonstrates he's learning grammar rules on how to form the past tense and when to use it.

Yay for developmental milestones!
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13. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:510]
Board Game: Formula D
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Board Game: Formula D
Board Game: Ra
Board Game: Santiago
Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization


 N/A   Formula D NEW!
 6   Ra
 N/A   Santiago NEW!
 9   Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (BGO)

While technically not new, it's been so long since I'd played Formula D that I hadn't logged it. I played it at Thespival in 2007 (some version of it), with the advanced rules apparently. This week, we played the basic rules (you have general wear and tear points instead of specific wear and tear points for each aspect of your vehicle). Many rules were blatantly missed or caught later, often after it was too late. Like "Oh, Travis, you strategically passed through the first turn, taking 3 points of wear, and landed in the second turn? BTW, that doesn't count as a stop in the second turn. Good luck in 4th gear." Ten damage the next turn. 3 turns later "Do you want to fix that? You can fix that." How can we fix ten turns ago? This was annoying, and I definitely paid for it the rest of the game, and then half of the rules were remembered, not because I kept mentioning them, but somebody else who'd played the game before mentioned them, then the teacher looked up, and complained that he hadn't mentioned them earlier. Meanwhile, I was still being ignored about those exact rules that I'd been expressing... Despite all that, I'm really glad I got to play this again and I would look forward to playing it again. It was a lot of fun.

Ra was remarkably close, and I think this was my first 3 player game. I usually play with 4 or 5. I think the scores were also very close, something like 41-41-42. Although, maybe I'm misremembering. I'm vaguely remembering the person who got first to realize he miscounted and find he won by 11, not by 1. Oh well.

I also got to learn Santiago this week, which is actually a really cool game. It's very simple and quick, and I would be more than happy to play it again.


EDIT:
On My Mind - Cause I'll join the bandwagon for this week.

Several months ago, I invited anyone from the GCL and several other friend groups onto an app game, Star Wars Force Collection. I had a lot of fun with it, and a lot of fun with everybody who joined my legion to play. Now, everybody I brought into the game has quit, and the two closest friends I have in the game are OPS (a friend of Raf's), and a guy I met on AppInvasion.com (Angry Adult) because of the game (we worked together to finish archiving every available card in the game). I managed to build myself up from nothing, and in my stubborness of running my own legion and never joining anybody else's, I didn't have any help or charity from the outside. Angry is the only help I ever ended up receiving, and that was help in our joint archiving progress, so we helped each other equally. I brought myself up to a highly competitive level, becoming a top player, and even building a strong collection of cards in the game through months of savvy trading. A week ago, I finished archiving every released card in the game up to that point. This past week has been the game's 2 year anniversary, and I'm now about two and a half weeks out from my first year anniversary playing the game. I've now felt like I've "completed" and "won" the game, and have chosen to retire from it (Freedom!!!!). I had fun, and enjoyed it, and it's time to move on. Many people will miss me, but I'm sure before long, most will forget who I am. Now it's time to find something else to occupy my time. Like maybe learning every board game in the BGG database?

Pre-Orders
So I've been ignoring new releases and not been paying any attention to what's been coming out. So stuff like Forbidden Stars hits me in the face and I feel like I've been living under a rock. It's probably about time to start paying attention again, as these past two or three weeks I've made 3 pre-orders.
Food Chain Magnate - Splotter. 'nuff said.
504 - The concept of this game sounds cool. It sounds gimmicky, in a similar vein that Tzolk'in gears are gimmicky, but I think there could be some good game in it, as there is good game in Tzolk'in. I'm pretty excited for it, and I actually do hope it goes over well enough with my group to get repeated play out of. I've got 504 games of this to get through! And I have to admit, when he said there was an 18xx game in here, I was already sold.
1846 - GMT P500, when I heard this was happening I committed myself to placing a preorder once it happened. Yesterday, it happened. At the time I'm typing this, there are 327 orders.
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14. Board Game: News@11 [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:11775]
Board Game: News@11
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Really good week.

Legacy: Gears of Time
Doomtown: Reloaded
Loopin' Chewie
News@11
Fire in the Lake

Legacy: Gears of Time
Hold up. How has no one ever told me about this game or talked about it. It was great! I wish we'd had time to play a couple more rounds as I really start to get it halfway through. The "time travel" aspect doesn't necessarily feel particularly "time travely" in terms of changes cascading forward, but it does feel like you're stepping back through a timestream. I really enjoyed it.

Loopin Chewie
No Risk Black Series so Hasbro got me with Loopin Chewie, because I am a consumer whore. I'm glad I got it though, it was lots of fun and we played a few games. 6:30 AM is a rough time to play. Great drinking game btw.

Doomtown: Reloaded
I finally made an attempt at making my own deck. No idea how competitive it is in a "meta" but it did super well with the dads. It behaved basically exactly how I wanted to and I had a super strong character rampaging around, exactly as planned. I do really like this game...I have a feeling I'll be fully caught up here shortly.

News@11
This was a smashing success among the "Glinks" gamegroup, which was actually a big surprise to me. I knew one of the guys would like it but did not expect it to be as big as it was. I took it to Brian's birthday, and we sat down to play a quick game and had the whole room laughing and yelling very quickly. When we interviewed Jon Gilmour he talked about wanting the game to pull in people watching and make them want to play, and that's exactly what happened. Tons and tons of laughs and tons and tons of fun. I was really happy.

Fire in the Lake
I'm deep enough in my first Vassal game to finally list it. Man, this game is good. It's fiddlier than ADP, and may go a little too far in the simulation direction for me. The rules for assault almost require multivariable algebra equations to figure out how many cubes you remove. However, this may feel worse than reality because I'm playing over Vassal. I wish I'd set up my physical board to play along with it. Overall, I like it. They make some positive changes from ADP, especially with the US/Coalition faction.

On my Mind

Ding & Dent episode one is live! Got the editing done last week and Charlie got it uploaded and packaged for iTunes and all that awesome stuff. Really excited. After spending hours buried in audio waveforms, I started picking it apart, but now that I've listened to the finished product and can see it displayed in my podcast app I'm super proud of episode 1. SoundCloud file for download/streaming| iTunes Link|RSS

Raffi was a rockstar all weekend. 4 parties in 3 days and he still slept 6 hours straight both Saturday and Sunday night. He's talking a lot which is super cute, and his hair game continues to be on point.

There will be no gaming this week unfortunately. Saturday is our annual Pig & Pimms party, so we have to prep for a large 70ish person gathering. I have lots to do, and it's tougher this year with a baby.

Forgot to add, I got Mad Max on bluray and rewatched it. It definitely loses something on the small screen but I'm hoping that in booming surround sound headphones I'll get more from the sound.
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15. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition): More Cash 'n More Guns [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition): More Cash 'n More Guns
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Spyfall x6
DRCongo x3
Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition)(with Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition): More Cash 'n More Guns)x3 (new!)
Love Letter
Mafia de Cuba x2
Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon


Reviews
DRCongo. Had some time to write the bulk of this early yesterday morning and I think it turned into one of my better pieces.

Head to Head Forbidden Stars review with Michael Barnes. This dropped mid-last week and has been pretty huge. Joel Eddy and a couple others mentioned it on twitter and we've gotten a lot of traffic. Very pleased with how it turned out.


DRCongo
Great, love it. One of my plays was with the solo game and even that's really solid.

More Ca$h 'n More Guns
This expansion was even better than I thought it would be. I was a little hesitant due to the crappiness of the expansions of the previous version, but this expansion is great. The new loot in particular is really interesting and the ability of the Godfather to pluck random stuff out of the safe altered the feel enough without changing the game completely. The new guns are of course fun and I really like the surprise cards.


On My Mind
Ding & Dent episode one is all finished and we're recording episode two Sunday. Star Wars themed at the moment due to Force Friday.

By the way, the new X-Wing stuff (Wave 7/Imperial Raider) is killer. Can't wait to destroy Rebel/Imp scum with Hound's Tooth. We're doing a two player only session tomorrow so we can get in some plays of this and do some more Beta Clink playtesting with two.

The WWE game should be here this week, really looking forward to that after Grace kicked the shit out of me.

I was trying to fill out an order for free shipping and threw Animal Upon Animal into the mix. First children's game has arrived and I'm now contemplating on when I should pull it out. Think I may wait awhile as Lila's still a bit young.

Miniature Market sent out a special coupon in the Review Corner mailing list with $7 off an order totaling at least $70 (see, you people should subscribe) so I placed an order. Mottainai, Samurai Spirit, and MoM Call of the Wild expansion will be here as soon as they have Mottainai.

Finished the first season of Falling Stars and thought it was pretty good, certainly good enough to keep watching. Will be starting Narcos sometime soon.
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16. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:157]
Board Game: Splendor
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: BUS
Board Game: Witch's Brew
Board Game: Splendor
Board Game: 7 Wonders: Leaders
Board Game: 7 Wonders


Muuuuuch better this time. More than just Exploding Kittens and Fluxx.

 6.5   BUS NEW!
 8   7 Wonders: Leaders NEW!

 8   Tajemnicze Domostwo x2
 8   Codenames x3
 7.5   Witch's Brew
 8.5   Splendor
 8   7 Wonders

A pretty good assortment of things I enjoy this week. Special thanks to Robin for hosting both times too.

BUS (the Perplext game, not the Splotter one) was a nice little pick-up-and-deliver game. It has some game to it and it had some reasonable strategic decisions to make. I had a bit of a sour first few turns because I got the numbers on my first card backwards (doh). Would play again and suggest, but unlikely to blow anyone away.

7 Wonders: Leaders is a long-overdue for me expansion to try out. I really enjoyed it. It adds and extra element to the game but doesn't over-complicate it. It does seem like there is a reasonable chance that someone could luck out with getting complimentary leaders and wonders, but the game is still fast enough that I'm not really worried about that.

In our play, "the usual" happened with science and both players (in a 6-player game) going heavy on that route finished in the middle of the pack. I very, very rarely see science winning if multiple people go that route.

Splendor was still extremely enjoyable after not playing it for many months. I think this is one of the most easily playable games from 2014 and I'm sad it got passed over for most awards.

Witch's Brew was much nicer for me when not sitting just clockwise from Kristen, who was exceedingly good at guessing what I would play. I pulled off a very narrow victory here by having a killer second-to-last round and just scraping a few extra points out in the final one. Would like to try Broom Service sometime to compare the two.


Edit: On My Mind

I'll get in on the OMM game too here.

Metal Gear Solid V.

That's what has been on my mind. I've played it for probably 15 hours or so already since release - at least 2 hours a day average, maybe more - which is pretty crazy for me these days. It's amazing. Somehow Kojima & crew were able to mix a sandbox-style map and missions into the Metal Gear formula and make it work. The sheer amount of content in this game is huge, and thus far, it has almost all been extremely enjoyable. (The exceptions being an occasional stealth flub, where someone just wanders in to your area and you had no chance to stop them, and the target shooting sub-missions, which just feel kind of bland.)

My wife has taken great interest in the game as well, to the point of insisting that I not play it when she's not around. I was happy to see she liked it so much, as that helps greatly with the "hey do you mind if I spend a couple hours playing this again?" factor.

I would easily recommend this game. It's going to be in my personal top 100. Likely the upper half.
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17. Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:190]
Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Board Game: Welcome to the Dungeon
Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
Board Game: Mottainai
Board Game: Glass Road
Board Game: Factory Fun
Board Game: Brass: Lancashire


 8   Mottainai
 N/A   Welcome to the Dungeon NEW!
 9   Power Grid deluxe: Europe/North America

 7   Glass Road
 N/A   Factory Fun NEW!
 9   Brass

Mottainai continues to be an interesting game. This was the first one I felt comfortable enough to know I was not doing something right. My hand management was bad, and I held on to too many pottery cards without knowing how to get rid of them. As such, I fell behind and it was no surprise when I lost.

Welcome to the Dungeon if you like Skull&Roses, this one is similar. You basically add cards to a threat deck, and decide if you're still willing to 'run the dungeon'. If everyone else passes (is not willing to run the dungeon) then the last person left has to run the dungeon. This play continues until someone has run (and survived) the dungeon twice, or everyone has been eliminated (run the dungeon and lost twice). Neat, but not stellar.

Power Grid: Deluxe after owning my deluxe version for half a year, I finally brought it to the table. One of my regular players actively dislikes the game. Since we had 5 people, and not him, we chose this (putting back Keyflower, which was our initial thought to play).

I have played the Deluxe version once before (U.S. map). The biggest changes to the rules are that Trash has been replaced by Natural Gas, and the cheapest power plant each round starts the bid at $1. This $1 bid changes the game play a lot. I took the lead early on in the game, which meant I had to choose the first auction. Having a $1 power plant to fall back on was a huge advantage to me; I was able to start those cheap auctions a few times, sit them out, and buy a different power plant later that dropped down the line. I ended up winning the game, though much of that was because nobody else took the East Coast as their initial location, so I had the cheapest connections.

Labor Day games:
Factory Fun -- Yes, this was my first time. The guy who explained the game forgot how to actually score revenue/money/VP, which really broke the game. That said, this was a wonderful game and I would love to play it again. I am seriously considering backing Funner Factory.


Glass Road -- I played Glass Road when it first released two years ago, and didn't particularly care for it. The two player game was much more interesting, as I felt like I had more control over which buildings I was aiming for. Once I wrapped my mind around each of the ~20 role selection cards, I could immediately begin planning my moves. Very neat, though I feel like the game pushes you a bit too hard toward resource flip-flop buildings.

Brass -- I played this once a year ago, and immediately rated it a 9. I stand by that rating. The cards-for-actions is wonderfully simple, and there's engine building galore. We messed up the beginning of this game, using two cards instead of 1 in the first round. My best move in the game, compared to my two opponents, was taking an early loan before flipping any industries. Later, when the others had to take loans, they realized why I took money before I'd needed it. The second age I had the strongest economy, and first action; I chose to invest heavily in coal, and then the next few turns spammed railroads throughout the land, clogging up the best places before others could, and netting me a massive amount of VP at the end game. Loved the game, and might press for it to be played more often.


On my mind:
The 3 day weekend was an excellent time to catch up on things I wanted to do. Saturday I went and put 35 miles on the bike, and found a few hills to practice ascending (something rare in Indianapolis). Sunday I spent the day reading Cloud Atlas, and Monday I did some gaming (and some homework).
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18. Board Game: Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:901]
Board Game: Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Plays since September 1, 2015

 9.0   Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (BGO)
 5.5   Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game

We paused our RPG for a bit because our DM has classes interfering with his prep time, so we just had a regular game night last week to give Adam time to get something together for the interim. Fortune and Glory isn't much of a game, but it's at least entertaining randomness.

On My Mind In My Neck

Thursday I had a cyst cut out of my neck. Very small, not really a big deal, but it's itching a lot right now (between the cut healing and the bandaids irritating my skin) so it's hard to ignore. Doctor said it could have been causing my rash, or it could have been something else. We'll see if it comes back.
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19. Board Game: Coffee! [Average Rating:4.68 Overall Rank:17689]
Board Game: Coffee!
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Unpublished Prototype 3
Mottainai 2 NEW!
Conquest of Speros 1 NEW!
Dark Moon 1
Dead Drop 1
Evolution + Evolution: Flight NEW! 1
Imperial Settlers + Why Can't We Be Friends + Atlanteans + Exploration Tiles NEW! 1
The Voyages of Marco Polo 1 NEW!
Tides of Time 1

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Mottainai. My first play was a bit confusing as I had a lot of interference from playing Glory to Rome and trying to "translate" it into Mottainai. As it turns out, I think Mottainai plays a bit more like Uchronia. In that respect, it's a much better game. I am not sure it's better than GtR, though it does feel distinct enough from it. Matt had similar thoughts to mine and we both decided it needs more plays to suss out our feelings.

Conquest of Speros is good for what it is: a quick area majority game. I like that the cards/locations have abilities on them, which makes for some interesting interactions. Unfortunately, the game was a little lackluster with just two, so I hope to try it out with its full complement soon. A few nit-picky things: the rulebook is kind of poorly designed, both in terms of aesthetics and layout though the rules are mostly clear. I do feel bad for Aaron as his name isn't actually anywhere on the box. The rulebook says "Conquest of Speros / A game by Aaron Belmer," but it was odd to not see it on the cover at all.

Flight added some fun new cards to Evolution and the decision of whether or not to go avian is interesting. (Unfortunately, Raf, I didn't get the horns combo.) I didn't include all the Kickstarter stretch goal cards in the play, but have since mixed them in the deck. I hope to get this played again soon as I do really enjoy the game.

Marco Polo was okay. I think Dave was correct in his assessment of it: a well designed game, but nothing too remarkable. It doesn't outstay its welcome in terms of playtime yet overall it's just another Euro (though not totally soulless). I'm not particularly intrigued by the "many paths to victory" thing in many Euros (as I've previously talked about enjoying a more linear path in my games), which is part of what made this feel bland to me. I don't think there was much tension to it. I'm glad I got to try it and I might play it again if asked, but I am probably okay with my one play.

The Exploration Tiles are a fun little mini-expansion. Not anything you must have, but they do make you consider when you pass a bit more and are worth it for $6.

Tides of Time continues to be the best micro game I've played thus far. There really is a lot of depth in so few cards and just after my three plays, I think about strategy much differently. Highly recommend.

---

On My Mind

Matt and I watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which I live tweeted, mostly for my own amusement. The movie had a lot of hype to live up to. As such, I thought it was okay. I don't think there was really too much of a plot, but I get that its purpose was to be an entertaining stylized action movie, which it succeeded at being. I should note I've never seen any of the previous three Mad Max movies (though Matt did give me the rundown of them). I'm not sure whether or not this would affect one's opinion, but I figured I'd mention it anyway.
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20. Board Game: Mottainai [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:893]
Board Game: Mottainai
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Mottainai
Board Game: Colt Express
Board Game: The Builders: Middle Ages
Board Game: War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth
Board Game: War of the Ring: Second Edition
Board Game: Elysium
Board Game: Two Rooms and a Boom
Board Game: Tsuro
Board Game: Stick 'Em
Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham
Board Game: Lost Legacy: Third Chronicle – Sacred Grail & Staff of Dragons
Board Game: Dolmen
Board Game: Dark Moon
Board Game: Container
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig


Mottainai x5 NEW!
Colt Express
The Builders: Middle Ages NEW!
War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth
War of the Ring (second edition)
Elysium x2 NEW!
Two Rooms and a Boom x2 NEW!
Tsuro
Sticheln
Sheriff of Nottingham
Lost Legacy: Third Chronicle – Sacred Grail & Staff of Dragons NEW!
Dolmen
Dark Moon
Container
Castles of Mad King Ludwig NEW!

Labor day weekend proved an excellent catch up from last week's relative dearth of plays. And ten tons of new games!

Mottainai is currently in a position to almost unseat GtR from it's throne. While it has the same learning curve as it's big brother (and almost a whole new learning curve for those already familiar with GtR), it plays faster and ramps up quicker, which allows for multiple games back-to-back. This very much is a game for those who are interested in or who like GtR, as opposed to Uchronia (which I still can't figure out who it's supposed to appeal to), and I'm very very happy to have backed it on KS. I'm still keeping my Black Box edition of GtR, but Mottainai is going to be hitting the table much more often.

I'd owned a copy of The Builders: Middle Ages for a while before selling it, but I got a chance to play a friend's copy at our regular game day on Tuesday last week. It's a fine little efficiency euro that plays quickly and gives you some interesting choices to make. Not anything super innovative, but not bad for all that either.

I'm close to selling my copy of Elysium, but my regular gaming partner requested to try it, so I sat down with him to play it 2p. Sure enough, it doesn't feel like it scales well with that number, but it certainly played quickly enough and felt well designed. Ares specifically felt to be a poor choice in 2p (I handily won with the 16 VPs given for person with most prestige, by only collecting 3 prestige the entire game). We both agreed that the sweet spot may be 3p, though I shudder to consider playing this with a full compliment of 4. I echo my friend's sentiment that "I probably won't ask for it, but I'll be happy to play it if the opportunity arises."

I'd been itching to get Two Rooms and a Boom played since I got my KS copy, and we finally had enough players during our Labor Day games meetup that we could get it played. We only had 7p, which quickly became apparent wasn't the best number of people for the game, but the time frame for the short game was perfect (and I imagine perfect for any number of players, though the long game might be better for 15+p). We played a vanilla game to get everyone familiar with it, then a game with both Shy Guys. The gambler is an odd role with so few people, but it seemed to work out OK in the end. Luckily everyone had a good time and I'm really, REALLY interested in playing with 10+. Won't be getting rid of this anytime soon, but I also don't know if I'll have much opportunity to play it with the number of people it needs to be played with.

I dutifully got Lost Legacy: Third Chronicle – Sacred Grail & Staff of Dragons when it came out a few weeks ago, and finally got the Sacred Grail set to the table. This one incorporates a light bluffing aspect, as you're forced to play some cards face down if you play them in a certain sequence in your discards (i.e., a card says "play face down if it follows 1-3"). The X card has you ask one of two questions to all the players (either "do you have the 1" or "do you have the lost legacy"), who must answer truthfully unless they hold a card with an eye symbol on it. It's a bit more combo-tastic than previous sets (there's a tertiary victory condition of having both the 5 and the 1 in hand at any given point, but if anyone holds the 3 when you declare it, they win instead), but the face up and face down cards add some additional intrigue. It's not a bad set, but I'm definitely starting to get a little Lost Legacy fatigue at this point.

And finally, while I enjoy Suburbia for what it is, it doesn't really push any of my buttons, and as such I never sought out Castles of Mad King Ludwig. However, a friend of mine wanted to break it out at our Labor Day meet, so I sat down to give it a try. For some reason I was afraid that it was going to be far more complex than Suburbia, but aside from some rule re-tweaking it still plays quickly and smoothly which is a big plus in my book. The Master Builder mechanic adds some interesting valuation considerations, and the completion and scoring rules give some nice spatial puzzles to figure out as well. It's still not something I'll ever ask for, but I enjoyed my play of it and will happily play it again.
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21. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:84] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Codenames
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Some lovely gaming this week! Kristen and AnnaMarie were out of town, so I made a weekend of it.

Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Board Game: Magic: The Gathering
Board Game: Power Grid
Board Game: Puerto Rico
Board Game: 7 Wonders: Leaders
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Board Game: The Bottle Imp
Board Game: Witch's Brew
Board Game: FLY


 10.   Mage Knight Board Game
 10.   Magic: The Gathering x3
 10.   Power Grid
 10.   Puerto Rico
 9.0   7 Wonders: Leaders
 9.0   Codenames x3 NEW!
 9.0   Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization x2
 8.0   The Bottle Imp x3
 8.0   Witch's Brew
 6.0   FLY NEW!

It was so good to play Mage Knight Board Game again. A friend of mine and I played it on co-op, and crushed us some cities (with him soloing the level 8 city, with the help of some disposable allies). I forget how amazing this game is, and it needs to get more table time.

Power Grid was surprisingly good with only 3 players, and went at a very fast pace, with teaching and playing all in 90 minutes, and all three of us powering 17 on the last turn and the game being decided by ~$20.

I am now officially aboard the Codenames hype train. I had the opportunity to play it Thursday night and absolutely loved it. We had one round where a team captain took abnormally long on her turns, but I think that was an aberration, and plays of this should go fairly quickly. This is a must have game now.

FLY is the first game in the Pack O' Game series that has been a bit of a disappointment. It's cute and I like the concept, but it took too long to get the last few flies for whatever reason and overstayed its welcome. I like the concept, but it's not the sure hit I thought it would be. (If it plays in 5 minutes next time, it will go much better.)
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22. Board Game: Topple [Average Rating:5.13 Overall Rank:19216]
Board Game: Topple
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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So it looks like Imperial Assault is going to be in the BGG top 10 soon, with it poised to kick out Eclipse within a few months. To my knowledge, that will be the fastest rise to the top 10 for any game (Caverna would be next, but that actually took quite some time before it really started to rise.)

I'm not a huge fan of IA (I see the appeal, but I feel that the game would not be nearly as successful were it not Star Wars themed), so I have pretty mixed feelings about this. I believe we have a couple fans of it in the GCL though.

Thoughts? Does the BGG top 10 really "mean anything" or is it just a vanity ranking anyways?
 
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23. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:315] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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One of my good friends loves Arkham, it's his favorite game, but his big frustration is storage. He's never been able to find a suitable storage solution. This year, for his birthday, another friend decided to go all out and created a custom storage box for everything. He then stole Brian's game and all the components, had all of us contribute in various ways to the storage crate, and sent Brian on an Arkham themed scavenger hunt all over town. There were various notes sent weeks in advance, 3D printed Cryptexes, puzzles, and costumes. Brian documented it all, in character in four 10 minute videos. Skip to 6:46 in video 4 if you want to see the storage solution. 1:45 in video 3 if you want to see me in a tweed jacket with a pipe "acting". These are "the Glinks" that I refer to.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
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24. Board Game: Shut the Box [Average Rating:5.08 Overall Rank:19427]
Board Game: Shut the Box
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Single Submission Game of the Week: Tension

In this game, there are 10 boxes, numbered 1 to 10. Each box is worth points equal to its number.

You have 10 coins to spend bidding (secretly) on boxes. Whoever spends the most on a box gets the points for that box - ties are unfriendly, no one gets it.

The strategy in this game is somewhat dependent on how many participate, so feel free to edit as often as you like until the results are posted on Saturday - I will update regularly with a player count. We have had 7 and 6 the last two weeks, for whatever that's worth.

(credit to Cordelia of the Grey Labyrinth for this design)
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25. Video Game: Super Smash Bros. Melee [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:75]
Video Game: Super Smash Bros. Melee
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Mith, I just saw this post on reddit and thought you might be interested. Apparently someone has built a working replay system in assembly for SSBM. Not only can you now save your matches for later analysis, this actually allows you to 'cancel' the replay mid way through and control the characters again. The ultimate "what could I have done differently" tool. Craziness.
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