GCL Phoenix 259 - Technical Difficulties (20 December 2015)
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
Microbadge: Magic: The Gathering playerMicrobadge: Marvel Champions fanMicrobadge: AtheistMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Hanabi & Ikebana fan
Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
3.00
 tip
 Hide
Welcome to the Phoenix Game Chat League
Don't know what this GeekList is? Find out here: Gamechat League: Phoenix Division!

If you're visiting, thumb the list so we know you stopped by. Feel free to chat along with us, but please leave the posting of list items to members only.

Active roster:

archivists
darker
Dormammu
familygaming - up next
hawk-x-
indigopotter
karlfast
Lowengrin
Morganza
ravenskana
rynelf
Smintie
Taibi
tjshields
Woodnoggin

Semi-active wanderers:

BennyD, Bruzza, chally, Eeeville, enzo622, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, Mr_Nuts, topherr, Yokiboy

***

Some of you may remember a couple weeks back I reported that my cat had spilled a full beverage on my laptop keyboard. It still works but the keys are sticky and difficult to type with. This list is a tad late because I couldn't finish typing it before my gameday meetup this morning.

Sorry for the delay! This will also be a somewhat minimalist list as I can't type long passages.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1189]
Board Game: Magic Realm
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
Microbadge: Magic: The Gathering playerMicrobadge: Marvel Champions fanMicrobadge: AtheistMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Hanabi & Ikebana fan
Have you ever had technical difficulties that made it hard to get a game played?

For me, Magic Realm is such a game. I want to play it with my friends, but the commitment necessary to get them to play through the many scenarios that teach the game (I have the classic rulebook) are such that I don't think they would get very far through the process.

Are there games that are hard to teach or hard to play that you want to play but can't? Does it take unusual time or energy simply to wrangle a large set of components?

Have you ever lost a play of a game when the game state got physically disrupted (eg, a table knocked over completely destroying the position of pieces)?
9 
 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}}
2. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.62 Overall Rank:2]
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
Microbadge: Magic: The Gathering playerMicrobadge: Marvel Champions fanMicrobadge: AtheistMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Hanabi & Ikebana fan
It's that time of year. Top games of 2015 lists are starting to come out.

What are your top games released in 2015? Top games you first played in 2015? Are there any 2015 releases you especially hope to play but haven't yet had a chance?
9 
 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: Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:357] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Board Game: Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: 1825 fanMicrobadge: 1853 fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: GrognardMicrobadge: Napoleonic Wars enthusiast
Games Played

_6_ Love Letter x1
_7_ Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients x1


The Week in Review

Not a lot of gaming this week, just Saturday night with it's one game of Shadows of Brimstone and one of Love Letter. For all I slag Shadows for its cumbersomeness, the game can be highly entertaining, which might explain why it's my second most played game of 2015. Only Roll for the Galaxy has hit the table more.
Board Game: Love Letter


Love Letter isn't a game I usually bring out at home. In fact, yesterday was the first time I ever played it at home. And the first time S played it for that matter. But we just wanted something quick to teach and quick to play, so out it came. Not my favourite game by any stretch of the imagination, but it has its place.


The Week Ahead

Nothing planned this week and it's unlikely S and I will even have time to sit down for a game before Boxing Day. Neuland may have to wait for 2016.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: Pax Pamir, De Vulgari Eloquentia, Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648. Also The Hobbit saga expansions for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game: Over Hill and Under Hill and On the Doorstep.

Unplayed games of note not in shrink: Neuland.
9 
 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: Pax Pamir [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:1350]
Board Game: Pax Pamir
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
Avatar
Microbadge: Magic: The Gathering playerMicrobadge: Marvel Champions fanMicrobadge: AtheistMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Hanabi & Ikebana fan
Games Played

_8_ Codenames 4
_8_ Pax Pamir 2 New!
_7_ Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game 1
_5_ Orléans 1
_4_ The Game 1 New!

Week in Review

My third game of Dead of Winter was my first without a traitor. Three of us won and the fourth failed to accomplish their goal. I continue to have ambivalent thoughts about the game. I got very frustrated early in this session and went completely selfish to ensure I completed my goal. It worked out but it felt bad. I am learning how to better play the game, but ironically I don't like how easy it is to make choices on Crossroads cards you have already seen. It feels like this could hurt replayability.

My second game of Orléans resulted in lowering my rating. The first time I played it, exploring new mechanisms kept me engaged and I paid attention to what other players did. On the second play, I didn't care enough to plan my turns carefully and the game felt solitairish and bland. It's actually a good game for training players to look up, as success relies heavily upon positioning your actions against other players. But the bog-standard euro underpinnings do nothing to galvanize my interest.

SdJ-nominee the Game was pretty dumb. It was an acceptable simple coop game at first, but the communication rules became ridiculous near the end as players were all but outright revealing what cards they had. I think it would work better with more disciplined communication.

But Pax Pamir was excellent. If Cole stumbles upon this: good job, buddy! I played with a local player who has played over two dozen times already (my preorder copy should arrive tomorrow). My first experience with the game was somewhat odd: back-to-back sessions using paper printouts of some expansion cards Cole hasn't finished designing. Although these cards were uneven (remember: unfinished!), my glimpses of the base game have me very excited.

Compared to P.Porfiriana, I found P.Pamir to have a more refined game design style. The abilities and actions provided by the cards follow a more consistent templating. I don't consider this strictly superior; I can understand how some people will prefer the less orderly design of P.Porfiriana cards. But I found the P.Pamir design style to allow the same freedom of play with lessened demands on the players parsing minor differences between functionally-equivalent cards.

What I do consider an true improvement is the map. The "three regions" system of P.Porfiriana is a disappointing part of its design. I have seen games end because key assets of one player were in a region that no one had the cards to access. That kind of randomly non-interactive scenario is dissatisfying to me. P.Pamir uses continuous map areas that allow everyone to interact eventually.

Like it's predecessor, P.Pamir is difficult to play well when you first learn the rules. But I felt I was able to start pulling levers more quickly than with P.Porfiriana and spend less time reading icons on cards to reveal distinctions between them. Maybe this cohesive design style will lead to the game having less space to explore than P.Porfiriana, but I doubt it. I am thrilled to own both.

I also picked up a second printing of Greenland today, which I am excited to try.
15 
 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: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:709]
Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
We always have time for the things we put first.
Avatar
Microbadge: LGBTQ allyMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: I'm femaleMicrobadge: This is not a drill!Microbadge: Indigo Girls fan
Sunday Dec. 13th
Magnum Sal

Tuesday Dec. 15th

Yahtzee x3

Saturday Dec. 19th
Telestrations x2 - new to us
Wits & Wagers Party
Sharp Shooters
Cards Against Humanity

Sunday, Dec. 20th
Lanterns - new to us

Saturday we went to a Festivus party

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus

Six people, 3 of which were RPGers, plus me, but the mix included some party gamers, so it was a Telestrations and CAH kind of night.

Sharp Shooters was an old thrift find with durable bits and simple rules that plays 6p, so I brought it along.

You roll dice and place (at least 1, if you can) on the grid (filled with double-sided cards, so it changes)

Board Game: Sharp Shooters


With 6 players, you only have 5 dice/round. There's more of a push-your-luck element, because you want to make the most of your turn, it may not come back around, but you don't want to set up an easy move for the next person, or get stuck putting a die in a spot that gives you negative points. In the last round, the card filled up before it got to me, and I didn't get to even roll.

Telestrations was the first game of the party, and one of the wives groaned at a drawing game. But soon she realized everyone was making bad drawings all at the same time, and it wasn't about drawing. Better than, say, Pictionary, where people are watching you draw and it's all on you. She was grinning at the end of the game, declared "That was fun, let's play again!", so we did.

Played some Wits & Wagers Party. Scores were close and we all went all-in on the last round (having forgotten the rule of Jeopardy and keeping back a dollar). We ALL lost all of our chips. Interestingly, none of us had chosen the correct space, so the person who wrote that answer got a dollar for writing the correct (closest) answer, and won the game with a dollar!

CAH was... CAH. Played by popular demand. Not a game I need to play, but it fit the situation.

Sam and I each opened a gift on Saturday. My gift was Lanterns

Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival


I punched it and read the rules, but we didn't have time to play until last night. Although you get cards for matching colors on tiles to existing tiles, you also get a card for the color on the side of the tile facing you, so towards the end of the game it became more about making sure I got the card I needed, and not necessarily the most cards.

The VP tokens (for 4 of a kind, 3 pair, one of each color) are stacked in descending order. First person gets 10VP, then 9 VP, 8 VP, etc. I won the first game by a point. In the second, we tied for points, and Sam had more tokens.

While okay with two, I think it would be better with more. You'd get more "free cards" from your opponents between turns, the board would be bigger (more matching opportunities), and there are more cards and VP tiles in the stacks to compensate.
10 
 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: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:28]
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
I failed to post anything last week so I'm going to combine 2 weeks of plays.

12/12/15
Heavy game day

Food Chain Magnate x1 (5th play)
A repeat play with the guys from last weekend. I expected Eric to go for the long game and Michael the short so I opted to go short and just make a big push for early money. It proved to be the right call.

Michael went for a waitress strategy but it failed miserably. I went with an early errand boy for the freezer and operating cart bonus. I was also able to get the trainer and marketing milestones as well. CFO milestone came a turn or two later. Game over at that point.

Eric was focused on going big on hiring/training slots but with a short game he simply didn't have long enough to convert that to income. His corporate structure could be very impressive but the game didn't go long enough for him to crank it hard enough.

18NEB x2 (6th & 7th play)
Session #1
I'm not usually a big fan of saying this but I think this one was over after the privates auction.

Me - UP president, meat packing company, bridge company and Denver reserved lines
Michael - Denver share reserve
Eric - Credit Mobiler

In SR 1 Eric started both Burlington Route and Mo Pac, Michael Colorado and I bought more of the UP. Eric bungled his 2 companies a bit by not having them issue shares and thus not having the money they needed for some early expensive builds. That allowed me to propel even further ahead with the UP.

We just busted the permanent trains and it was obvious that I was crushing it. We called it at that point since I had also started the Northern Chicago company and had it in good shape as well and working with the UP to protect token spots. Game over.

Session #2
This one proved to be a bit more competitive. Coming out of the private auction it was:

DJ - meat packing company, Credit mobiler
Michael - Denver reserved line and Denver share reserve
Eric - UP president, bridge company

SR 1
DJ - Burlington Route
Eric - UP
Michael - Colorado

The UP got off to another strong start but so did the Burlington Route this time and I was able to use it to drop a painful early token on the UP. At the mid game the UP ended up being dumped 3 times which brought it back to the pack. Michael floated Denver as his 2nd company, Eric went with Mo Pac again and I opted for the Chicago North. I was able to push the trains a bit and get permanents into both of my companies while forcing both my opponents to use personal funds buy a permanent. That sealed the win for me.

Ponzi Scheme x1 (5th play)
We recruited Tori to join us for a learning game of Ponzi Scheme. God I freaking love this game! Tori ended up going bankrupt and Michael claimed the win. As usual I did horrible. I was too conservative (again) and had gobs of money on hand but not nearly enough VP.

It seems I swing from one extreme to the other in this one. Goldilocks syndrome. As I expected, the entire table really enjoyed this one and want to play it again soon. I predict I'll go far too aggressive and bankrupt myself.

12/18/15
Family game night!

Too Many Cinderellas x2
Split a set with Tori. Notable in that I was able to save the cat for a last play after everyone had already used there "no" vote in order to slip the winning condition to push me for the win.
Coconuts x2
Tori got a win but then I finally snapped her unholy streak at this one.
Potato Man x1
I ran away with it but Tori and my oldest daughter had a fierce contest for 2nd. My youngest struggled a bit.
Abluxxen x1
My oldest daughter and I tied for the win. Both kids get this one and their play shows it.
Deep Sea Adventure x1
Tori edged me by 1 point!
Eat Me If You Can! x1
My oldest picked up a close win.

12/19/15
Heavy game day for the 2nd straight weekend!

Ships x1 (1st play)
Blah. Just a regular boring euro resource conversion/VP churn bucket of turds. The icing on top is the amount of down time between player turns. For sale/trade.

Food Chain Magnate x1 (6th play)
I finally decided to try to position myself for a long game and go heavy into training and working my way up to the more powerful employees. Sadly the game didn't run long and I got crushed by a radio ad for pizza that I wasn't in position for and couldn't recover. This one was ugly.

Churchill x1 (4th play)
DJ (USA), Michael (UK), Eric (USSR). We played the 5-turn tournament scenario again. We ended up with neither Germany or Japan falling. I had focused early on with pol/mil and getting board position. My military efforts were focused entirely on Japan and I did next to nothing to help against Germany.

When it was obvious that I was running away with in on the last turn I opted not to try to enter Japan for fear of the VP conditions that would flip the win to the 2nd place position. Sadly my opponents didn't think about that and instead were just frustrated that I was running away with the game. Afterwards we discussed how they could have teamed up to make sure Germany was invaded and given me unwanted help in invading Japan as well. Both Japan and Germany ended with enemies 1 step away so beating both on the final turn was certainly possible. I hope our post game discussion will result in better future plays.

King Chocolate x1 (3rd play)
This one continues to delight as a 45 minute game of emergent alliances and dickery.
13 
 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: Potato Man [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2683]
Board Game: Potato Man
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
flag msg tools
Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
badge
That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
Avatar
Microbadge: Choir geekMicrobadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: Antiquity fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: I aspire to Curmudgeon Level Eric
Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 19Dec2015:

16/30/661 plays of 11/21/251 total games, with 0/2/34 expansions employed.
Plays with 16/20/151 distinct opponents.

3/5/59 games acquired (plus 0/0/14 expansions.) - Jungle Speed, Potato Man and Inhabit the Earth.
0/0/7 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
0/1/35 games ordered (plus 0/0/9 expansions.)
Orders for 9 games and 3 expansions still outstanding.

With family:
1x _7⅓_ Inhabit the Earth [New!] - Son #2 didn't use his get-out-of-the-game-free card for this one. But, in the end, he also wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it as I'd hoped. It's an interesting design: one, I expect, that could easily grow on one with more play. But until I know the decks (and can tell at a glance what special powers my opponents and I are currently enjoying) it's going to be a bit more tedious than I'd want in a game I'm trying to get to the table. I still might give it that attention in hopes that it could eventually come alive: we'll see.
1x _7⅔_ Potato Man - Received well by this gang; though I don't think they're quite as taken with it as I am. I still think it's very cute; and am quite happy to now have a copy!
1x _7_ Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series - With son #2: an extensive game of cat&mouse - but, in the end, we both managed mutual annihilation. The youngster finds this as cool as his uncles did when they were his age; which is a bit surprising, but argues for the strength of the design.
1x _6⅔_ Pairs - It's fluffy and insubstantial. And even easier to explain than Potato Man. But the ratio of game coolness to rules explanation is still in the other game's favour.
6x _7⅓_ Jungle Speed (43 months dusty) - Three different sessions, with different collections of players. We found (completely unsurprisingly) 4 > 3 >> 2 for player count; and my younger children (son #1 is still in New York) were tremendously amused by it. For my part, now that my children are older than when I was first introduced to the game, I'm finding it much more amusing: we can compete as mostly-equals, and that's fun.

With the Monday lunch group:
1x _6⅔_ Milestones [New!] - It was intriguing, though also strangely unengaging. I found the constraints to be completely unintuitive (though, admittedly, not hard to remember.) So while the game itself was fine, the "Just what am I doing?" narrative wasn't nearly as good. In the end, it's something I'd play again without complaint (though, in truth, I'm adding the "with this gang" to that statement; and I'd play pretty much anything with them - even a game I don't like at all) but don't imagine I'd request it.

With Colleagues at an orientation event Monday Afternoon:
1x _7⅓_ Hey, That's My Fish! - The colleague on whom I inflicted it then managed to rope in an additional six colleagues (three and three) for his next two games. He found it completely surprising: that it was so easy to play; that the decisions were so important; that the game took so little time. It was well outside his previous experiences of games. A success!
1x _7⅓_ Bamboleo - This one went well until the platter fell. And that shock was too much: this crowd didn't want to be responsible for knocking it over again. So even though I set it up again, it didn't get any more action.
1x _7_ Bongo! - The folks I explained this to were entirely dubious about it. They'd asked for a "game that involves thinking"; and had a rather knee-jerk reaction to a game that appeared to be a twitch thing. Then they (graciously) tried playing, and found it far more compelling first than they'd thought, then than they'd previously thought, and finally didn't want to stop for a long while. Another success!
1x _7⅓_ Manhattan (5 years dusty) - Our last game of the afternoon. It was cool: other than an unfortunate fallaway loser (funny there, since Chris is really competent; I'm sure things would go differently on another attempt) the other three of us were very close in final score - despite having substantial disparities on each of the intervening scoring events.
I also had a really interesting/cool/intriguing/odd/perplexing moment where my explanation of シンデレラが多すぎる Shinderera ga ō sugiru 'Too Many Cinderellas' managed to offend a colleague to the point where they said "I don't think I want to play that." Which confuses me a bit - because I find the conceit there entirely harmless. Though I recognize that as an old privileged white male person, there are all sorts of things that should be offensive that I only perceive actively; and the failure here is nearly certainly mine.

With cool GCL folk online:
1x __ Brass: Lancashire - I'd been completely out of the last game: pretty much eliminated from contention as of the third round of the canal phase. This one was completely different: I'd the delusion that things were working for a while. And even in the rail age (when I played too heavily toward the shipyards) I managed to draw a shipyard card after round 4 to enable the play. So: a very fortunate result; but no evidence that I understand the game better.

Owned-and-unplayed: 0 (+1/-1) - Inhabit the Earth arrived and was played.
Owned-and-played-once: 93 (+3/-2) - Jungle Speed was acquired and played; Inhabit the Earth was played once; Potato Man was played twice.

Outlook for the week: Probably won't avoid more Jungle Speed. But no Monday or Wednesday gaming this week. I'll hope to convince each of my youngsters to play something - ideally with the three of them together. And a Merry Christmas to any of you who celebrate it.
13 
 Thumb up
0.01
 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: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:594]
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
 10   Bridge x2

 10   What's My Word?
 7   Deep Sea Adventure
 8   Codenames x4

i played a lot of bridge last week. like... a lot.

then we traveled to visit my family and played What's My Word on the flight to New Orleans. Sean is becoming really cut throat with his word selection but i beat him this time anyway.

DSA and Codenames was with my mom when we arrived. (my little suitcase held 75% games, 20% dog toys, and 5% pajamas and toothpaste)

in DSA, we all drowned repeatedly except for Sean, who won with 4 points or something ridiculous like that. then we played several rounds of Codenames. MY MOM IS THE WORST CLUE GIVER EVER!!! but that's ok - she is very cute and i love her so i will play with her as much as she wants! she gave the clue "SONG" and the words we were supposed to guess were RING and FIRE..... even though there were words more related to generic songs/singing on the board! shake strangely - she is an extremely good clue guesser. i wonder what thinking characteristic makes both those things true?

we are setting up for Trick of the Rails now!!

seeing Star Wars tomorrow!! yay!

elephants getting their xmas trees ready!
External image
14 
 Thumb up
0.01
 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: Neanderthal [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:1207] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Neanderthal
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: I play both wargames and eurosMicrobadge: Innovation fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: Wir sind das Volk! fanMicrobadge: Pax Porfiriana fan
10 The U.S. Civil War x2
10Wir sind das Volk! x1
_8 Neanderthal x2 (solo) New (could become a 9)
Pax Pamir: figured it out, rule solo-ing

I'm loving Neanderthal solo, and it looks like it may be a more nuanced & competitively rich game than Greenland, tho I miss Greenland's more diverse daughters & environmental cruelty. So, in my first game a lovesick, culturally pair-bonding Cro-Magnon male is coaxed by his sister to go to the sexually promiscuous Neanderthal tribe settling nearby and find a Painter Daughter to snog: "She's a promiscuous painter," sister said. "She'll be easy!" But Painter Woman didn't just say no, she cut his throat and let him bleed out on the ground. Neanderthal hippy chicks are brutes! Anyway, this is just a minor moment in a thick, narrative joy it unwinds & I can't wait to play it with three. It's less traumatic than Greenland, the scoring more nuanced which I think will work better 'as a game' than it's mother Greenland, and the concept of vocabulary & concepts playing out is marvelous.

US Civil War was the second session of a campaign game with Mike as the south. It ended as an conceded win to the north, the south went adventuring in he NE too early, trapped forces and generals in the valley, and subsequently were outmaneuvered and Richmond burned before winter in 1861. The second a new game starting in 1862, a year into the war and with Grant appearing in the west. Mike's the north this time & has a successful Western campaign with Grant and Buell taking Nashville in the big battle. Had I at least retreated into the rail spur to hold the rivers! I'm regrouping & on the defense, the north calmly deciding between moving on the Mississippi or exploiting from Nashville south... or both. We both have forces faced off in New Orleans, hopefully I can hold the Mississippi for the next year, but I dunno.I'm feeling like I'm getting carved up. The NE is static, and I wonder if I should have Lee poke 'em because the north is just patiently building a psychotic force up there. This is the best wargame, period.

I've kicked Wir Sind das Volks! to a 10. This gets better & better. Martin beat me in the long game, opening by throwing the West into mass protest from his hand (and holding the one card that could have relieved the problem for me), and I never dug out, a big red drop opening the third decade sealed it and the fourth era was playing out a hopeless loss. I'm ready to sit back & try to get my head around the archetypes for this game. Time to ratchet things up. I'll set up that ladder.

Finally shook out Pax Pamir to figure it out. I can't wait. Max, let's play next month!
13 
 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: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.62 Overall Rank:2]
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
R. Eric Reuss
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
 8   Pandemic Legacy x2
 7   504

Two more wins on Pandemic Legacy. The first was... not a cakewalk, but a solid early victory (though there was one moment where our decision to remove a single cube from the board avoided a terrible back-and-forth cascade which would have put roughly half the red cubes out in a single Epidemic card, so we could certainly have lost had we been incautious). The second was a much closer affair: like the game or two previous, it felt skin-of-the-teeth. We're 7-1, having just finished July.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We were wary about using roadblocks at first due to their restrictions on our own movement. We dipped a toe in by putting some down at the edges of C0dA (black, but has eaten into Europe) to try and keep it out of the Western Hemisphere, but pushed on roadblocks harder this last game, which repeatedly threatened a C0dA multi-explosion debacle - the starting setup had enough C0dA cities that we went heavy military/quarantine, and after much debate have decided to keep some permanent roadblocks in the middle of C0dA territory just to cut down on how many new Faded show up if one of the cities Outbreaks (esp. because of the cascading Outbreak risk). Also to help keep it out of the Red-disease territory; we have 3 upgrades for curing Red, which tends to give us a "low-worry zone" in many games.


My second game of 504 was World 872: The World of Productive Big Landowners Pressed for Time (8.I: Production for VP. 7.II: Majorities for income. 2.III: Race for mix-in, +VPs for first to get 3 identical goods of each type).

I didn't like this world's dynamics nearly as much as world 516's. It's not one I'd play again: 8XX was an OK competition but not a compelling one (see below), and the X72 portion was a flat-out bad combination in its context: both "majorities for income" and "first to sets of 3" heavily rewarded the first person to get ahead in a given terrain, and didn't reward anyone else at all, leading to game-determining swings very early on. The winner was pretty much decided before the halfway mark - possibly even earlier, when each of us chose which direction to expand on our first turn or two. One player commented that it felt more puzzle-like than game-like.

Like my first play of 504, the VPs from the primary module felt overly close - we all got to exactly 8 trading houses, and the ability to trade goods 2-for-1 meant we all had good strong sets. The bonus VPs from 2.III mitigated that, but (as mentioned above) were too much of a double-down on 7.II, and also were all awarded (or foregone) by 30-50% of the way through the game.

I felt like 8 (Production) would have been more interesting in combination with pick-up-and-deliver, or in position III (where the goods aren't relevant, but the # of plants you have restricts how many residents you can buy each round, which might alter the rising-income tide-of-residents-over-the-board endgame dynamic I've seen in both games).

~ ~ ~

Outside of gaming: My mother-in-law arrives this evening for the holidays. I get along great with her, and am looking forward to having her here - take that, trope!
12 
 Thumb up
0.05
 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: Piece o' Cake [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1765]
Board Game: Piece o' Cake
Jon
United States
Urbana
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: Gymnastics fanMicrobadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: Longboarding fanMicrobadge: Pokémon GO - Team Mystic
Games Played:

_7_ Piece o' Cake x1
Taught this at game night and it went over pretty well. I barely managed to win with 29, while Rachel and David both had 28, Kim 22, and Karen 19.

_5_ We Didn't Playtest This At All x1 New!
David taught this to a bunch of us and we did a few rounds. Silliness all around.

_8_ Plums x2
New to Alec and Dan while Rachel had played this once before.
Alec 43, Rachel 36, Jon 33, Dan 30

_7_ Abluxxenx1
Two rounds, new to the others, we would have played more but needed to stop for time.
Dan +13 +16 = 29
Rachel +7 +15 = 22
Jon -2 +12 = 10
Alec -9 +12 = 3

_9_ Codenames x6
Three plays with family and three with friends who were visting.
11 
 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: The Gallerist [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:55]
Board Game: The Gallerist
W M
United Kingdom
Rugby
Warwickshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Agricola fan
Star Wars last night and games in the pub this evening.

We had a round of Telestrations and then Stuart and I got stuck into 2 player of The Gallerist - he was desperate to play so I found it hard to say no....

This game was heavy - less intuitive than Kanban, and a plethora of multi connected actions with great potential for self -screwage. We both almost doomed ourselves by championing too expensive artists and running out of cash so were stalled for a few turns. Then we both slowly built up an engine, While Stuart went for pumping up a single artists reputation I decided to go seriously into the reputation track, vaulting up and taking advantage of numerous extra actions as Stuart kept bumping me out of spots.

The extra reputation was used to fuel purchases into the mid/late game. We hit end game scoring after 2.5 hours or so, with me one space off the top of the reputation track on 29 and Stuart on 5. I scored more in every end game scoring category, hit my biggest hidden goals and won the auction for the bonus artwork.

This put me on 186 and Stuart on 116.

I liked it, and would play again though I think would like to play Kanban again first. The two games felt quite similar. I think it would be much more chaotic than Kanban with more than two players - and much longer.

Masters reminds of Le Havre crossed with Age of Industry and an Ikea instruction sheet. Lots of different parts and you aren't quite sure how they fit together, then you've finished and have a chest of drawers.
11 
 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: T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
badge
Planning...
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: A Study in Emerald fanMicrobadge: Built to Spill fanMicrobadge: Age of Steam fanMicrobadge: The 7th Continent
Last week's plays:

-8- The Castles of Burgundy (+2nd; 5th expansions) (x2) (+The Cloisters New!; 4th expansion)
-7.5- Bohnanza (+Bean Market New!)
-7.5- No Thanks! (x2)
-7- 7 Wonders (+Wonder Pack) (x2) (+Cities)
-6- Concept
-6- T.I.M.E Stories (+The Marcy Case New!)

I had a couple more expansions from the advent calendar to try out. Bohnanza's Bean Market lets you buy an additional card from a face-up selection on your turn but, more interestingly, also lets you trade that right to another player. It was a neat little addition we all enjoyed. The Cloisters for Castles of Burgundy had much less impact on the game, merely allowing players to complete areas a little more quickly.

I finally got round to trying the other Time Stories scenario: The Marcy Case. We enjoyed this one much more than the Asylum, partly because we had the rules down but also because the scenario felt like a tighter design. I'd heard it was lighter on puzzles and heavier on combat but this turned out not to be a problem and the balance was fine. I'll avoid spoilers and just say that some of the things I found frustrating with Asylum were not present in Marcy and consequently my hopes are raised for future plays. The next expansion scenario even sounds vaguely replayable!

Concept's novelty has worn off somewhat and didn't hold everyone's interest at our Christmas gathering. I wish it had better rules to make it into an actual game but I still think it'll work better with the family than with gamers.

10 
 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: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:802]
Board Game: Winner's Circle
Marc Hawkins
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: 1989: Dawn of Freedom fanMicrobadge: Wir sind das Volk! fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: FeminismMicrobadge: Reef Encounter fan

At a meetup
 8   Winner's Circle NEW!
 5   Coup x2
 7   Codenames x2
 7   Bohnanza

Mid-week, I had played a few short(er), fun games. This included, new-to-me Winner's Circle which I was very excited to play. What a fun, quick, and dirty game of collusion and portfolio management. The decisions are simple and accessible but still meaningful and places players into unavoidable relations of conflict, competition, collusion, and collaboration. My copy was unfortunately missing one bidding chip, so I have to figure out how to piece something equivalent together.

The meetup there has a real lovely vibe -- the organizer does a great job of literally hosting (e.g., the organizer meets and greats and gets newcomers into groups).

With Jenn and David over for the evening
 8   Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

We played the third case (which as David has posted in the meatball "sister" list this week, is the most broken case) and flopped. For Brooke and I, this has been par for the course: I think we've consistently been getting ~20 points! That still registers as being a useful irregular in my book! Either way, everyone seemed to have a good time trying to make sense of the case -- even if our case seemed cold, and like in other cases, we failed to grasp on to singular rich pivotal pieces of information to connect them with others to make sense of it all.

In other news
I've handed off a huge chunk (~2/3rds or so) of my doctoral work (revised, no less!) which feels like a big weight off my shoulders and am now officially ready for some holiday cheer!

11 
 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}}