GCL Phoenix 298: Scavenger Hunt (19 Sept 2016)
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Wurtsboro
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Welcome to the Phoenix Game Chat League!

If you stumbled upon this geeklist by accident or through your subscriptions, please read the GameChat League wiki page for information about what this is all about. Visitors are welcome to make constructive comments, but please leave the adding of items to members.


Rotation:
archivists
darker
Dormammu
hawk-x-
indigopotter
karlfast
Lowengrin
ravenskana
rynelf
Smintie
Taibi - next week (I'm a pinch hitter)
tjshields
woodnoggin

Not in list-making rotation, always welcome to participate:
BennyD, Bruzza, chally, Eeeville, enzo622, familygaming, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, Morganza, Mr_Nuts, topherr, Yokiboy
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1. Board Game: Scavenger Hunt [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:17742]
Board Game: Scavenger Hunt
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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This week we're going on a scavenger hunt. The item could be found in a game, or a summer vacation, or your first job out of college. Feel free to add items to the scavenger hunt.
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2. Board Game: The Incredible Hulk with the Fantastic Four! [Average Rating:4.12 Unranked]
Board Game: The Incredible Hulk with the Fantastic Four!
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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With the weather turning a bit cooler, I've made a couple more dice bags. I plan to have another auction before the holidays. One of the ones I made has Marvel characters on it, including the Hulk:

From gallery of indigopotter


The first item on the scavenger hunt is The Incredible Hulk.

When we were young, my brother and I had banks at our grandparents' house, and they were the Hulk. Mine was his head, sort of like a Greek portrait sculpture, and my brother's was his whole body. I remember our great-grandmother giving us a coin to put in the bank when she came to visit. We had them for a long time.
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3. Board Game: Time's Up! Édition purple [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:3520]
Board Game: Time's Up! Édition purple
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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We were watching a show the other night, and one of the characters was discussing his daughter's birthday - everything was purple. Purple dress, purple cake, purple balloons.

The next item in the scavenger list is something purple.

When I was looking at colleges, I visited Elmira College in Elmira, NY. They have a little gazebo where Mark Twain used to write. Their colors are purple and gold. They are very committed to that; even the lawn mowers were purple!
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4. Board Game: Marionette Kingdom [Average Rating:6.24 Unranked]
Board Game: Marionette Kingdom
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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When I was in college, there was a Bring-Your-Own scavenger hunt event. It was in the student center, and you brought things you thought they might ask for. I sort of grabbed my toiletries case at the last minute, with a few odds and ends thrown in. They ended up asking for nail clippers, and I won a prize... a hot pink furry marionette (sort of an AT-AT with pink fur). It was quite neat making it walk on its strings.

The next item on the scavenger hunt is a marionette/puppet (including Muppets).
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5. Board Game: Lemonade Stand [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:7567]
Board Game: Lemonade Stand
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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One of the local farmers' markets has been selling lemonade to raise money. A friend of mine from college shared pictures of her son selling lemonade to raise money for flood victims.

My dad likes half lemonade, half ice tea, called an Arnold Palmer.

The next scavenger hunt item is lemons/lemonade, or a golfer.
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6. Board Game: Postcards from North America [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Postcards from North America
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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When we were in California a few weeks ago, I made a point of seeking out postcards. When my grandparents used to go places when we were young, they would send us a postcard (and bring us back saltwater taffy). I've always liked getting paper mail, and I still keep a supply of stationery to write notes and letters.

The next item on the list is a postcard (or handwritten letter) or a stamp.
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7. Board Game: Canasta [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:3182]
Board Game: Canasta
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Canasta x 13

I'm doing fall cleaning, and thinking towards the holidays. I received our holiday photo cards and photo calendars we send to family members every year. I put in a heating fuel order, and our furnace will get its annual check up next week.
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8. Board Game: Peloponnes [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:894]
Board Game: Peloponnes
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 17Sep2016:

6/13/329 plays of 6/12/166 total games, with 8/9/36 expansions employed.
Plays with 8/14/110 distinct opponents.

0/0/28 games acquired (plus 0/0/19 expansions.)
0/0/4 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/2 expansions.)
3/3/20 games ordered (plus 1/1/7 expansions.) - Guilds of London, Ponzi Scheme, Evolution: Climate and Codenames: Pictures.
Orders for 6 games and 4 expansions still outstanding.

With kids:
1x _7⅔_ Evolution (with Flight) - Worked pretty well yet again. The question of when to begin a flying species is a bit weird with 2: having the lone flier is a win, it seems; but once there are multiple, none of them provide much advantage. I'd not be surprised if we play again (and it's already been played more than the copy of Kingsburg I traded for it: and I'd owned that for eight years!)

With the Monday lunch group:
1x _8_ Peloponnes (44 months dusty) (with Exp1, Athens, Goats, Hellas (all also 44 months dusty) and Sacrum [New!]) - Other than the fact that it takes nearly as long to explain as to play, I really enjoy this one. This particular game had an unsurprising ending (Jeff won); but I found the whole thing very engaging. Need to play a bit more often, though!

With the Wednesday night gang:
1x _7⅓_ Conspiracy [New!] - Thanks to Andy (from the HeavyGamers gang) for the impetus to buy & play. This is a conceptually simple thing. And we were a bit dubious about it. But as the game began, we found it very engaging - to the point that we delayed dinner for an hour while we played.
In the end, it didn't outstay its welcome; it'll possibly be more interesting with four (than this game with three); and it's possible that the game is still more interesting in the presence of verbal negotiation.
(The last is a bit weird: we tend toward negotiation-by-board-play instead of verbal negotiation by default. Which bites us badly in games like Tammany Hall which don't provide enough board-play signaling to survive without that verbal part! In this one, the other two let me win in the final couple minutes when I'm pretty sure they could have (together) damaged my position. Of course, I suspect that negotiation might well have only been a kingmaking move - where the necessarily-losing player might have retained just enough power to choose the winner from the other two.)
1x _7⅓_ Tigris & Euphrates (9 years dusty) - Then, following Martin's taunt last week, we tried E&T. I think we got the rules right. (Modulo the discussion I've read this week about when the game ends: apparently the most recent Mayfair version ends the game immediately when a bag draw is incompletely successful rather than at the end of turn. And while that would have changed the result of our game, I don't have that version!)
We enjoyed it. But, amusingly, not in the "Oh, we must play this more often" sense; but rather in the "This is quite adequate. We'd not object to playing this again." Which isn't a terrible result in context. It'll be interesting to see how our (communal) rating mutates as we do, in fact, play more.
1x _7⅔_ Concordia (with Britannia) - We probably enjoyed this most of the three games played. Weirdly here, Tim didn't win: he's won the last seven or eight of them. Some of that was breaking up the Traditional Patterns of play: we've often concentrated more on board position and less on scoring cards - and our winner here changed that balance. Perhaps we're collectively improving?

On Thursday in Menlo Park:
1x _7⅔_ 横濱紳商伝 Yokohama Shin-shō-den 'Yokohama' - Fun to inflict on Dave E. (He noticed two places where I'd failed to comprehend the rules!) I'm still enjoying this one: despite its general tactical nature, I'm finding that I'm also making plans for a dozen-ish turns out early in the game; so it still feels worthwhile.

Owned-and-unplayed: 0 (+0/-1) - Conspiracy was played.
Owned-and-played-once: 92 (+1/-0) - Conspiracy was played once.

Outlook for the week: Games today at lunch. Something Wednesday night. A play or three with youngsters. And BAP on Saturday (which reminds me; I need to send out the announcement.) And getting ready for a trip to Boston next week.
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9. Board Game: Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:722]
Board Game: Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Games Played

_6_ Discoveries x2 New!


The Week in Review

While I wouldn't mind trying Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark with a group, I think I'm done with it as a two-player game. Even with the rules with retrieving dice (your own colour from another player's pool), there's not enough interaction.

I did spend some time last week working on my Spiel 2016 wish list which can be found here: No Spiel 2016: Lucky Seven Edition. Every year the list seems to get shorter and yet the number of titles I end up purchasing that year don't seem to be any fewer. Go figure.


The Week Ahead

Not looking good. There was some talk of gaming with friends one evening this weekend, but we'll see if that comes true.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: Francis Drake, The U.S. Civil War, German Railways, Pax Pamir and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648.

Unplayed games not in shrink: 1844/1854 and Normandy '44.

Expansions unplayed and in shrink: The Hobbit saga expansions for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game: Over Hill and Under Hill and On the Doorstep.
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10. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:665] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Ricochet Robots
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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Planning...
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Last week's plays:

|9| Ricochet Robots
-8- Codenames (x2)
-8- Concordia
-8- Discoveries
-7.5- No Thanks! (x2)
-7- Deus
-7- Dominion (+Hinterlands) (x2) (+Seaside; Prosperity)
-7- In the Year of the Dragon
-7- Win, Lose, or Banana
-6.5- Amazing Labyrinth
-6- Patchwork
-5- Keltis (+Neue Wege, Neue Ziele)

What's the deal with Ricochet Robots? (/Jerry Seinfeld) It might be the most polarising game I own. Whenever I teach new players they either get the hang of it quickly and enjoy themselves, or spend the whole game utterly baffled at how anyone can solve these puzzles so quickly. Occasionally, people in the latter category are having so little fun that we have to stop the game part-way through. We had one new player from each side at last week's session but we did at least finish the game. It seems the world is divided into those who like Ricochet Robots and those who don’t, with no middle ground.

We're having work done on our house, so I've been doing my gaming elsewhere. It's partly because our house isn't in a fit state for guests but also because most of our games are currently in sealed off rooms or cupboards, so we're limited as to which ones we can access...
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11. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1220]
Board Game: Walnut Grove
Jon
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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Games Played:

_5_ Walnut Grove x1
This one David brought and Will had been wanting to play so we broke it out. Even though David warned us the game hates us, I was quite surprised at the early rounds how harsh the feeding penalties seemed to be. It's like they took the feeding element in Agricola and said "let's just make a game about this," although by the time the game was over I could see how I could have optimized better in my early tile placements. With that in mind, I'd like to play again sometime, ideally with my memory of this play still intact, but I also think this is a game I'm happy not to own. I suspect it would be too harsh for my family and overall there's nothing about this I would go to this game for. There are many resource conversion games, the rondelish method of taking actions I like better in Murano and IKI, and the feeding can go suck a rock.
Will 23
David 21
Liz 20
Jon 18

_6_ Luna x1
Once more with feeling, with all rules correct and people who know the game, this was an interesting experience. I screwed up some early planning, and decided to make the best of things by tossing as much as I could into the temple and quickly ending each round. It almost worked and certainly screwed with people, especially Will who did some early optimization at getting more people but with me knocking out the candles quickly couldn't capitalize on that.
Joel 91
Jon 88
Han 81
Will 48

_6_ Pastiche x1
My wife and daughter requested this and I find it enjoyable although I get kind of annoyed at how the color acquisition works. I would prefer it to be easier to get primaries -- I know you can always get one primary from the center of the tile you are placing, but that feels like a last resort. My wife ended the game but I won simply because I had two works from Van Gogh and got a bonus for that which got me past her, and I had four out of five cards to complete another work so I was also close to ending the game. I won 51 to my wife's 49 and daughter's 35.

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12. Board Game: Dreamwell [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3637]
Board Game: Dreamwell
R. Eric Reuss
United States
Massachusetts
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    Unpublished Prototype
 N/A   Dreamwell NEW!
 N/A   Hot Tin Roof NEW!

I'm somewhat harried[1], so not much commentary this week - nor even a certain rating on Dreamwell or Hot Tin Roof; they're both in the 5-7 range. Happy to answer questions on them if anyone has any.

Unpublished Prototype was a strange Imperial-ish magical-kingdom game that an offhand comment inspired another designer to create.

[1] = Partly general life foo; mostly being heads-down in the middle of Spirit Island proofing. It's very good that it's happening, and very good that I'm heavily involved in it, but it's still a lot of time-consuming and slightly stressful work..
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