GCL Mafia 293: Throwback
Grace P.
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California
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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 29 - September 4, 2016.
• You can talk about the games you played for the week, but I'm mostly interested in nostalgic gifs.

GCL Mafia Geeklist Format:
• All that and a bag of chips.

Current Roster:
MC Hammer
Genie in a Bottle
Sailor Moon
Waldo
Fresh Prince
Tamagotchi
Space Jam
Ghostwriter
MMMbop
GoldenEye007
Pog
MegaZord
Carmen Sandiego
April O'Neil
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1. Board Game: Nostalgia [Average Rating:4.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Nostalgia
Grace P.
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Nostalgia seems to be a popular trend, especially for those who grew up in the 80's and 90's. Why do you think that is?

Are you into the whole nostaliga/Facebook memories/Throwback Thursday thing? Why or why not?
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2. Board Game: All Around the Playground [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: All Around the Playground
Grace P.
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What game(s) did you love as a kid? This can include playground, video, or board games.
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3. RPG Item: Indie Mixtape Volume 2 [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Indie Mixtape Volume 2
Grace P.
United States
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California
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What was the first album you ever bought? Do you still like some of the same music you did as a kid/teen?
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4. Video Game: Smash T.V. [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2095]
Video Game: Smash T.V.
Grace P.
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What were some of your favorite TV shows / movies as a kid/teen?
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5. Board Game: Time Agent [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:5018]
Board Game: Time Agent
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Go find your played games for a week from the following:
- 6 months ago
- 2 years ago
- Your first week of logged plays

Do you still like those games? Do you still play them? Would you play them again?
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6. Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045 [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:449]
Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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The Downfall of Pompeii
Unpublished Prototype
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
Techno Bowl: Arcade Football Unplugged
Citrus
Morocco
Baseball Highlights: 2045

Damn good week of gaming for me.

Pompeii
Notable because I finally beat Katie. Twice. We did date night Tuesday night. We won't always play a game but we did this week and she picked Pompeii. Throwing people in a volcano truly doesn't get old.

Prototype
We completely revamped the way actions work and it is a marked improvement. A breakthrough even. On to the next phase.

Isle of Skye
About the nicest thing I could say is that I see why it won the Kenner. I like the blind "auction/buy" mechanic in theory, but don't like the implementation. I think there are ways they could have made this game meaner and I would have liked it more. Also, the catch mechanic is crazy strong. I was 10 or more points in front of 2nd in 4/6 rounds. One player was 10 ore more points behind 3rd for 6/6 rounds. And he and I tied for 2nd by 1 point. The catch up mechanic rewards you based on how many people you are behind, so he was getting much coin for being in last. Imaging if he hadn't been THAT far behind. Blah. Would play again but I'm not itching to.

Techno Bowl
College football is back! Duke scored 49 points in 1 half! Yayyyy. Time came over as both of our wives are out of town. His little one is with his wife, but I still have Raffi so he was crawling and squirming all over game day. Lots of fun. Taught him Techno Bowl. Normally this game is crazy dynamic and flows back and forth but this one didn't. FIrst time I've experienced it...not sure what was going on.

Citrus
I keep playing. Still enjoy. Tim was in the lead most of the game but then overcommitted on one side of the board and it allowed me to swoop in at the last minute and grab some farms. Really like the tactical nature, keeping this one for a while.

Morocco
Mechanics are not games. Games are more than mechanics. We only played 2p, and I'm reserving judgement until I try with 4 or 5, but this game struck me as a reaaaaally clever mechanic that I really liked in search of an actual game. The theme is stretched so thin that there are holes ripped in it, and it honestly felt a bit like I was playing the worlds nicest prototype.

Baseball Highlights 2045
This week brought to you by Eagle-Gryphon I guess. What a surprise this was. It has a really cool system where you don't finish executing your card until your opponents turn, allowing them to react. It makes it more strategic than blind playing/simultaneous revealing. I played against the AI twice Saturday night and twice again Sunday morning. Now want to try with other people. Similar to Morocco, the main mechanic of the game is front and center and doesn't strictly need to be a baseball game. However, between the cards and the rest of the way you execute things, this is more than just a mechanic.

On my mind
Emotion Side B

Really jazzed about how well the prototype play went. The action system needs some tweaking in terms of the numbers and probably some of the abilities but the way we're doing it now feels so much better and adds a lot of table talk. Now we need to make the coopish area control part work. Right now it's just a very basic system to make it playable. Time to add the drama.

Katie is out of town for a week, she's in Guatemala with her college friends. I'm here w/ Raffi and my MIL is coming tomorrow to help me out. I've had a blast hanging out with him, he's so fun right now. Took advantage of the emptyish house to get some painting in tonight. I've never freehanded anything so I'm SUPER excited about how this tartan came out. It's how I'm going to be doing all my brewers in Guild Ball. My arm and fingers literally hurt, but i'm proud of it.

From gallery of captainraffi
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7. Board Game: Cover Your Assets [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:4202]
Board Game: Cover Your Assets
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Captain Sonar 3 NEW!
Rolling America 2
Hocus 1
Imperial Settlers + Imperial Settlers: Why Can't We Be Friends + Imperial Settlers: Atlanteans + Imperial Settlers: 3 Is a Magic Number 1
Mystic Vale 1
The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction 1 NEW!
The Others: 7 Sins 1
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization 1
Via Nebula 1

Review: Surprise, I like Tides of Madness just as much as Tides of Time.

---

Captain Sonar: We only had four. The first game was the turn-based one, then we did real-time. I can see that having six or eight players would be better, but I got a good feel for the game and am glad to have tried it out. I don't feel the need to own this, mainly because I don't know when it'd get played, but I'd happily play it again.

The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction: This was a bit of a pleasant surprise as I mostly backed it since it had multi-use cards. It wasn't anything I was particularly excited about and my excitement of receiving it a few weeks ago had waned. It actually reminded me a bit of how Imperial Settlers feels in the combo-building aspect ("I play this, so I can get this, then I use that to build this..."). The game plays quickly and does what it does well within a half hour. I'm not sure it'd be worth trying with more than two, but I am hoping to get it played again soon.

On My Mind:

Three-day weekends are fantastic.
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8. Board Game: The Others [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:696]
Board Game: The Others
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Animal Upon Animal x3
The Others x2 (new!)
Agamemnon x2 (new!)
Star Trek: Ascendancy x2
Blood Rage x1
Unpublished Prototype x1
Via Nebula x1

Reviews/Articles
You've Seen the Movie, Now Play the [Unofficial] Game, at G&S.


The Others
This is not Blood Rage mind blowing but it's pretty good. I really like the Corruption mechanism as it feeds into great drama in the game and interesting decisions. The unique alternating activation system is pretty slick too. Branching missions sweetens the pot as well.

Overall, I think this game feels a little like Zombicide at times but it crawls out of that comparison at key moments. I'd say this is Eric Lang doing Zombicide though. I'm happy to own it and looking to explore it a little further before reviewing it.

ST: Ascendancy
Just damn great. So fun to play. Right now this is the game I want to play the most.

Agamemnon
This two player abstractish game has a few similarities to Neuroshima Hex. It's like Neuroshima Hex with area control, no battles, and slightly less unit variety. It's also not asymmetrical.

But it's fun and it's only 20 minutes. The "playing gods controlling fate at the battle of Troy" theme is great too. Lots of interesting decisions and enough uncertainty and chaos from drawing tokens out of a bag to be the type of abstract I really enjoy.

On My Mind
Inis this week. Looking forward to it. Maybe Dragon & Flagon too which I was hoping to play last week (Blood Rage happened instead). Maybe more Others on tap also.

Portal used a quote from my review of Cry Havoc in a promotional image which was pretty cool. They didn't list my name though, just G&S which was slightly annoying.

Also had a couple of publishers find me recently and request reviews, which is cool. Always nice to have people coming to you instead of having to approach them.
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9. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:43]
Board Game: Le Havre
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Board Game: Patchwork
Board Game: Dead Man's Draw
Board Game: Small City
Board Game: Concordia
Board Game: Yahtzee
Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Board Game: Hauling Astronauts
Board Game: Le Havre
Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game
Board Game: Town Center (Fourth Edition)
Board Game: Merchants & Marauders
Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates


N/A  Patchwork x8
9  Dead Man's Draw x8
7  Small City x2
9  Concordia x2
N/A  Yahtzee x6
9  Roll for the Galaxy x2
10  Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
N/A  Hauling Astronauts x2 NEW!
N/A  Le Havre x2 NEW!
N/A  Nations: The Dice Game NEW!
N/A  Town Center (4th edition) x3 NEW!
10  Merchants & Marauders x2
9  Ascension: Deckbuilding Game x2
9  Tigris & Euphrates

I'm in San Francisco with Anastasia since yesterday through Saturday. I'll probably not be very active.

Highlights include introducing my father-in-law to Merchants & Marauders. He freaking loved it. He demanded we play another game after he won the first. Anastasia crushed is the second game. My father-in-law broke out his 23-year Ron Zacapa rum for the second game--amazing. I lost both games before almost winning the next turn. I lost the first when my father-in-law's mega galleon sank my sloop-almost-frigate and then stashed fifty gold in port. A French frigate sank my frigate the second game, gutting my progress.

We also finished Pandemic Legacy--holy crap. So awesome. All hype is true. We almost lost in December... that would have been five straight losses. We scored in the middle of the spectrum at the end of the campaign. We can't wait for Season 2.

I got to play Roll for the Galaxy twice with my friend's copy of Ambition. So awesome. I could play this game nonstop all day. The added tiles, leader and entrepreneur dice, and goals were seamlessly added. The game, great as it is already, was very much improved. If I owned the expansion myself, I'd probably rank RftG a 10/10.

Hauling Astronauts is a great PnP dice game! Like the log lost child of Knizia. Highly recommended for quick, mathy goodness.

I played Concordia using boiteajeux for the first time. Now I like these online gaming sites. Cool.

Le Havre is awesome, and the solo mode for Town Center and Nations: The Dice Game (also both on boiteajeux) were fun!

---

I'm trading Small City for Panamax, FUSE, and Arboretum via Heavy Cardboard. My analysis/rating is copypasta here:

Quote:
Heavy, beautiful city-building game. THIS is the closest thing to the delicious, evolving bureaucracy of something akin to Sim City: The Board Game.

However, it fell a bit flat for my wife and I. Ultimately I think it's a flawed masterpiece. The core of the game is brilliant, and the intuitive organic expansion of your city is riveting. However, there is too much exceptional rules minutia for our taste. I'd say we could muscle through it, but in the end, there are too many fabulous and streamlined games to rate this higher then them. It's a tough call--seriously. This game is truly excellent, but riddled with lots of little things which keep me from rating it higher.
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10. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game: Old Saloon [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game: Old Saloon
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game: Old Saloon
Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game
Board Game: Wizard
Board Game: Vast: The Crystal Caverns
Board Game: The Dragon & Flagon
Board Game: Dicht dran
Board Game: Container
Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045


BANG! The Dice Game – Old Saloon NEW!
BANG! The Dice Game
Wizard
Vast: The Crystal Caverns NEW!
The Dragon & Flagon NEW!
Dicht dran
Container x2
Baseball Highlights: 2045 NEW!

Best play of the week is definitely BANG! The Dice Game: Old Saloon, the first(?) expansion in a game that's been aching for one since it was released. With the exception of one of the many modules the game came with, I think the entirety of this expansion is a must-include for those that like the game. The Saloon Dice (Loudmouth and Coward) allow players to better shape their turns, the Arrow of the Indian Chief adds an interesting push-your-luck layer to the arrow mechanic, and the Ghost gives the first player to be eliminated something extra to do with it's own interesting ins and outs. We played a full set of 8p and while the expansion didn't do much mitigate the fact that it's a bit too random at that count, everyone enjoyed themselves. I will always play with this expansion.

Vast: The Crystal Caverns felt like a better implementation of the "everyone has asymmetric play" element from XCOM: The Board Game, in that the stuff that each individual player had to do was more interesting and nuanced than the latter. We had a pretty tight game with the Dragon, the Knight, and the Cave all being one turn away from winning when the Knight player finally cinched it. I'm not sure how much I want to play this, but I enjoyed what time I had with it and probably won't turn it down.

If Colt Express is what happens when Euro designers make a Beer & Pretzels game, then The Dragon & Flagon is that taken to more trashy and American extremes. Both are no-holds-barred brawls with a programmed action mechanic, but the latter feels both too over-stuffed and too random in comparison. While in CE you always know the order of actions every round (and it's the player actions alone which determine wrenches thrown in others plans), in D&F there's an additional wrinkle of having turns be semi-random: there's a time track (like in Red November and Olympos), and the group of players furthest to the back pick a follow-up-action then execute their current action...in random order. While there are "safe" actions that happen even if you get hit with status effects by another player (push, knockdown, dazed), there are an equal amount of other actions that get canceled entirely.

Ultimately, I found that the game presenting with you a lot of options (and each player gets a TON of action cards) was very much at-odds with what the game then allowed you to do over a given play. I'll admit that first-play-blues were definitely a factor, but I always get rubbed the wrong way when a game tells me to do something and then prevents me from doing it. In the end I expect this game is very much Not For Me(TM), but I'll give it another go when next I'm able.

And finally, I was very surprised by the simplicity of Baseball Highlights: 2045. I'm not a huge baseball fan (though I am aware of the terminology used in the game), but I found the tactical nature of "play this hand of cards as best you can" mixed with the long-term deck-building and reactive player interaction to be a neat combo. I look forward to playing this one again.
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11. Board Game: Elixir [Average Rating:5.55 Overall Rank:16721]
Board Game: Elixir
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Unfortunately no games this last week yet again because I was out for the week at a conference for work, and when I got back, my Saturday was taken up with seeing someone who is moving and then Sunday was family stuff and house cleaning.

Thankfully I have already played something this week (but since it's Monday, I'll save it for next week) and I should make it to a couple of game nights this week again. YAAAAAY BACK TO GAMING

Random notes:

* The conference was about a programming language called Elixir, which we've started using more at the office. It's a very cool language and I'm optimistic about it being something we will utilize more in the coming months.

* I finally played Sorcery! on iOS and it was excellent. I can readily recommend that to fans of choose-your-own-adventure stuff, it's one of the best narrative-adventure iOS games I have played.

* I picked up the Nioh demo for the PS4 and it's excellent. If you like Dark Souls it should be right up your alley. This went from "I am interested" to "guaranteed purchase" based on the demo.
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12. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:270]
Board Game: Notre Dame
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board Game: Dungeon Lords
Board Game: Colossal Arena


 10   Dungeon Lords
 N/A   Colossal Arena

Dungeon Lords: Apparently I'm not into learning lessons. I've been doing a PBF game with a few folks in the league and watched some intense unpleasantness from not checking combat spells. In my Friday game, I had a weak party with 2 year 1 wizards and foolishly did not check the spells, and sent everything against them as an opener in the hopes that I'd prevent any conquering that year. Instead both wizards turned invisible, I wasted most of my attacks and got conquered to hell afterward. I recovered decently in year 2 but I was in too deep of a hole to win.

Titan the Arena: I love this game but my creatures got targeted and I was out of contention early. I focused my effort on taking revenge on the people who killed off my creatures, and did a poor job of it. Still fun!

On my mind: Long awaited Season 2 of Overwatch! I'm still showing improvement in placement! Huzzah!

This was also the return of college football, which is one of my favorite pasttimes. I had an absolutely great football weekend- spent a pretty magical Sunday evening with my father, and that is priceless.

I think I've got an exciting gaming event that's coming in October, so I intend to tease it here until then. No further details just yet....

Oh, and this!

External image
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13. Board Game: Billion Dollar Player [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Billion Dollar Player
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Wow. The hobby gaming industry crossed the billion mark.. Most impressive to me is that hobby boardgames have seen a 56% growth over two years. Bananas.
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14. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:243]
Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game


Just one game during Labor Day. It's been years since the first time Jennifer and I had played, and another couple we're friends with got this for Christmas years ago and never got the chance to play it. There's a lot of different things going on, which makes the game hard to grasp. Especially with a crying infant and a hyperactive toddler. The table we played on also didn't help, as I was several feet from the board. So it wasn't the best play experience, but the game is still fantastic. With all the buildings, governments, and tech tree stuff going on, I think I want to play a 2p game, even if I'm just playing myself, and take a closer look at things in the game. Also, to help get all the rules down and correct for future plays.

I played the Chinese, so I travelled out and collected as many huts and villages as I could for extra culture, which got me 1/3 up the culture track before those tokens ran out. We called the game before the end of the night, but it was clear that the winner was going to be between Jennifer or our other friend, as the fourth player had lost all of her units in battle and they were both close to her capital.
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