GCL Mafia 306: Choosy moms choose gifs
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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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 November 28th - Balloon 3rd, MMXVI.
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions. This is non-optional. You must have strong thoughts/opinions about them.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate. You know, like pictures of cats.

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 can be asked for by this week's current-list writer, with members offering suggestions.

Current Roster:
Dingbat
touchstonethefool
jshufelt
fdubois
bobcatpoet
charlest
Happymrdave
tallgrant
Thesp
annowme
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
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1. Board Game: Confusion [Average Rating:5.28 Overall Rank:18945]
Board Game: Confusion
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Have you played any game[s] where you have been completely confused? In a game recently, I realized that I was just placing my piece on whatever move I recognized was a legal move, rather than actually understanding what the hell was actually going on. To say 'opaque' strategy would be an understatement.

Bonus points: recommend the game you that confused you to another GCL member.
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2. Board Game: Simultaneous Captain's Mistress [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Simultaneous Captain's Mistress
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Do you enjoy games where people play simultaneously? An example of this type of game would be Galaxy Trucker, or Captain Sonar. Have you encountered any people who find those games just too stressful to enjoy?

Bonus: recommend me a simultaneous-play game.
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3. Board Game: Economic Gears [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Economic Gears
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Do you enjoy engine building games? If you do enjoy engine building games, what is your favorite (and why)? If you do not enjoy engine building games, what is wrong with you?

Bonus: what game really grinds your gears? Who in the GCL would like playing this terrible game?
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4. Board Game: Rage [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:6232]
Board Game: Rage
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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What's the most pissed off you've ever become while playing a board game? Ever rage-quit a game because you couldn't take it any more (or know of anyone who has)?

Bonus: Ever enact revenge on someone because of something they did in a previous game?
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5. Board Game: Jumanji [Average Rating:4.49 Overall Rank:19484]
Board Game: Jumanji
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Your board game collection comes to life. What game are you most terrified of? Do you keep it in your collection because it already evokes that type of emotion?

Bonus: It's the year 2073 and humanity's last stand is to teleport a board game that comes to life into an alien spacecraft to stop it from reaching the earth. What do you send?
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6. Board Game: Cross Up [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Cross Up
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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What smash-up of two games should exist but does not? Agricola-Diplomacy? Wombat Rescue-Betrayal At House on the Hill?

Bonus: catch Raf insinuating that he and Jon Gilmour are already working on it.
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7. Board Game: Top Dog [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Top 5 Most Annoying Names For Games

1. T.I.M.E Stories
Every game obviously needs random punctuation. You know what? Let's double down on that and not even bother with the final period either. T.I.M.E. Stories is still stupid, but at least it's consistent. I can only think that T.I.M.E Stories stands for "This is how you acronym, right?: Stories"

2. Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Not limited to Aliens here. Telling you the mechanics of the game in the title is just stupid (to a lesser extent, I feel this way about dead of winter too). Some marketer decided "You know, people are reaaaally dumb and I bet we should tack exactly what kind of game this is onto the title!" Bullshit names like this is why other companies mock them with their games like: Deck Building: The Deck Building Game

3. Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
First off, the double-use of Age in a 7 word sentence is just irksome. Second, if you're going to use someone else's IP, maybe you should make the game ANYTHING like the IP it's derivative from. While I do really like this game (thanks, Charlie!), exactly 0 part of me sits and goes "Man, this is exactly like playing the computer game!"

4. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Can we please talk about how terrible this title is? After 10 years of playing this game, I finally have it's title memorized. However, I still hear it called by a wrong name more often than its correct one. "Betrayal at Mumbles a Whole Bunch" would be a more apt name for this. "Betrayal at Hill House" "Betrayal at the House on the Hill" and "Betrayal at the Haunted House" are all more common to hear than the actual title. Avalon Hill, your naming is bad and you should feel bad. Also, fuck your sliders.

5. CO₂
Really, any game that uses special characters in their title should be shot. It makes looking them up a gigantic pain in the ass. Same is true for games like Formula Dé. Yes, I get that they're proper uses of the various symbols, but that shit is annoying as fuck for databases. Basically, if you have to internally store it as one name, and display it as another, you make me want to hurt you.
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8. Board Game: The Walking Dead: All Out War [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:2070]
Board Game: The Walking Dead: All Out War
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Secret Hitler x2
The Walking Dead: All Out War x2 (new!)
Cave Evil: Warcults x2
Cosmic Encounter x1
Mafia City x1 (new!)
One Night Ultimate Werewolf x1
Airborne Commander x2
Haze Islands x1

Reviews
Airborne Commander is solid but unremarkable.

Codex, however, is amazing.


Secret Hitler
One fantastic game where I played very well as a liberal but Hitler played better. Duped me into electing him Chancellor for the victory. He was a new player too.

Second game I was a liberal and had much less of a grasp on everyone. We lost but I still had fun.

WD: All Out War
I received an unsolicited review copy from Mantic Games and I was interested in trying out the game but I wasn't quite ecstatic or super excited about it. I was a little surprised.

This is a miniatures game that is kind of half board-game half proper minis game. It comes with a paper mat and cardboard cutout terrain and I think they're going for a similar product placement and market segment as X-Wing. It really feels like that approach with the core.

The core set (which is all I have currently) comes with Rick, Carl, four survivors who appeared in one scene early in the comic, and 12 walkers. The minis are fantastic and pre-assembled. Better than any other board game mini for sure but a step below GW.

The game is surprisingly excellent. It's a survivor vs. survivor affair on a confined 20" square map with neutral walkers getting in the way. They're attracted to noise so you have to move slow and avoid using weapons. Threat ratchets up over time (thanks to the event deck and players making poor decisions) and unexpected dramatic moments are quite frequent.

Best of all, it tells an amazing narrative. In the first scenario Rick was eaten alive right in front of Carl. Carl went into a rage and took down one of the enemy scavengers but couldn't avoid the horde of walkers he was drawing in from gun fire.

In my second game Carl was bitten (mechanically a special rule where you slowly die and then become a Walker). Rick fell back into a defensive position with Carl and this other no-name guy I was using with them. Next turn Rick tried to amputate Carl's limb - there are rules for this! - but I rolled too much damage and Carl didn't make it. Instead he turned into a Walker and attacked Rick on the following round. If I would have succeeded on the amputation then Carl would not have been able to use one of his equipment slots.

The game is pretty fantastic about generating these crazy moments. I had a huge melee scrum after Carl died which attracted all kinds of attention. Unfortunately the leader of the no-name Scavengers shot Rick in the head and they won the game.

I really dig how a single Walker isn't a big deal, but they get stronger if multiple engage you. Three is a real bitch and you're in trouble. I'm eager to see what the expansions are like. The starter is slightly more substantial than X-Wing's, but you're still not seeing much variety in how you build your group or what you equip them with.

Warcults
It went a little long but it was a blast. I had some of my minions get shoved into the center pit from a flying monstrous thing, blew up a Renegade Cult leader with a bomb, and had one of my heavy hitters buried under a cave-in. I ended up in last place as I rushed the central bridge and ended up fighting on two fronts. Big mistake.

Cosmic Encounter
I guilted people into playing this which was probably a mistake (it was a gaming get together for my birthday which is later this week). One player really was confused about the timing of things and it frustrated her all game. Another was getting upset that the frustrated player was raising her voice (to be heard above the talking) and said he didn't like being yelled at when playing games. Basically, my brother and I were the only ones into it and I probably won't be playing this one with my group much in the future.

Mafia City
This is a game I've had in my review stack for a while. It's an older import title that a reader of mine sent to me. It's kind of Mafia El-Grande with some crazy card play and fighting over locations with special powers. I dug it, but it's mean and a couple others did not. Pretty interesting game though and I'm looking forward to playing it a couple more times so I can review it. Definitely the type of Euro I can get into.


On My Mind
Almost caught up on Westworld. Great show still and I like how it's developing.

I have a 12 pound package coming from Asmodee North America today. I'm pretty positive New Angeles is in it, but not sure what else. Maybe Cyclades - Monuments and Doom. Hopefully Doom.

Ding & Dent is doing very well. We're up to nearly 1,000 average per episode, with new ones continually hitting that 1K mark. We've doubled our audience in the past 4-5 months which is awesome. I mentioned to Raf that our new goal should be 2k by Geekway (May).

Not really much else to report on. I turn 32 Wednesday. Celebrating with some Mexican food on Tuesday, and Wednesday just going to chill with family. No regular game night this week due to busy schedule and all day gaming I just had on Saturday (which resulted in much fewer games than I would have thought). Probably going to solo some stuff this week.



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9. RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:27]
RPG Item: Dungeon World Roleplaying Game
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Dungeon World
Star Wars: Destiny

Light week.

Dungeon World
The twitch campaign continues, and continues to be a lot of fun. We're starting to get into a groove of being used to each other and our characters which is great. It's tricky to play on twitch since we pause periodically to allow audience interaction. I've (surprisingly) found it harder to roleplay some of my characters quirks than I have in DnD. We're going to focus on some more story stuff for the next episode. Old Patrimyous almost died this episode, which was fun.

Star Wars Destiny
Played a starter game with my buddy in Ohio. He caught on and it was a closer game than he realized I think. I've noticed situations like that in a few recent games where the "score" doesn't reflect the state of the game and it leads to odd player feelings. A game of cry havoc had the person in 2nd say he felt like he got "blown out" because he lost by 15 points or so...in reality, that 15 point swing was the result of a single close combat. Despite the fact that I won with both of my characters alive, this game of Destiny came down really to the play of 2 cards.

A neat note about the starter sets: Kylo is much stronger to start the game out, and will deal a lot more damage early. However, Rey and Finn both have more health than the Kylo starter's second character and are capable of putting out a lot more damage once all of Rey's upgrades and support cards are on the table. a Kylo vs Rey starter set game mimics the movie and the final combat in a very clever way.

On my Mind
We drove to Ohio this weekend to visit our close friends. Their son Casey is 5.5 now and has a small collection of Pokemon cards. We "battled" with them and then "played" Star Wars Destiny. The games were completely made up and did more to teach counting than anything but he loved it. Had a lot of fun...we went to the Toledo zoo to see Christmas lights and Raffi did great despite the cold and late bedtime. Unfortunately, the drive home sucked as a 4 hour drive turned into a 6 hour drive with stops and snows. Came home to a driveway to shovel, and now I'm not feeling super good. Great week for Katie to go out of town for the week.

As Charlie mentioned, Ding & Dent is on a tear here recently. Between GenCon and Essen we've picked up a number of subscribers and our stats are jumping up in a big way. Really excited about it.

I only have a 2 lb package coming from Asmodee, but I'm pretty sure it has an advanced copy of the Dunwich expansion to the Akrham Card game. *dying*. I feel like I've made it.
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10. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:170]
Board Game: The Princes of Florence
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board Game: The Princes of Florence


 9.5   The Princes of Florence x2

Princes of Florence: Two tries at the same game. I took the same strategy in both games when picking my profession cards (looked for a similar landscape), and in both games it wasn't enough. I put up similar scores, but just ended up blocked in various ways. I think I do better looking for common freedoms. Still, was interesting that I could pursue a 4 work strategy and a 6 work strategy and see similar outcomes. But the closeness of the games made this pretty fun to play (the players were experienced and a lot of things were tight). We also had our first attempt at bidding for seats, which was fun.

On my mind
Had my winter concert yesterday and it was good. I don't think there's anything up for this (they're pretty guarded about distributing recordings because of copyrighting), but if you want to hear something I think I've found a few audience videos from a few years back. The band is quite good as it is mostly music educators, and this is a chance to visit the higher level of material we saw in college. I'm generally pretty honored to get to play in this group.



I've got some fun and exciting gaming planned for this week. I've got a friend in from California who I'll get to play War of the Ring against tonight. Also have some commemorative gaming planned this week, and a big holiday gaming party on Saturday. Going to be good times.
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11. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: Terra Mystica
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Board Game: Splendor
Board Game: Kingdom Builder
Board Game: Blood Rage
Board Game: Terra Mystica
Board Game: Puerto Rico


An amazingly good week of gaming for me. And that's not just because I got to play Terra Mystica, although that sure doesn't hurt.

8.5  Blood Rage NEW!

8.5  Splendor
8  Kingdom Builder
10  Terra Mystica
9  Puerto Rico x2

So the sole new game was one I had been wanting to play for a very long time: Blood Rage. And it's good. Really good. I think I can see why this game has so much buzz. There's a ton going on, lots of really powerful cards to pick from, and it moves so quickly that even if all your attempts to make stuff work get hosed, it's not even all that long.

I think a lot of the people here have played it so I'm not going to go into too much detail about what I liked. I'll just advise giving it a try if you haven't played it. It's an excellent design, and I think it'll appeal to a lot of crowds, with perhaps the only exception being people that aren't big on high inter-player conflict. There's definitely a lot of that.

After just one play I could totally be misreading this, but the only thing the game seems to suggest is a valid "main strategy" that seems iffy to me is the Loki stuff. I'm just not seeing how in rounds 1 and 2 it's good to actively pursue losing battles, even if you get some sort of bonus. The amount that the winners get seems to just be too much to really make up for it. Maybe I'll see something come together in a future game, but for now I more see the Loki stuff as a way to get some side benefits from not being able to win all battles rather than a total strategy in and of itself.

That said, lovely design and I definitely want to play some more.

Oh, random components comment: the minis are just terrific but the cards seem sub-par. They're very stiff and plastic-y. And small. Meh. Not bad enough to be a huge issue but they sure feel cheap when lined up next to the amazing minis.

Splendor is a standby that I still enjoy. It's quick and interesting. It has tension and competition but no direct conflict. It encourages spreading out yet also rewards focusing. It's a good game and I'm glad it's still enjoyable.

I think I heard there's an expansion coming up. I'm curious but will reserve judgement until I see what changes of course. The tight focus here is part of the appeal and I hope they don't muddy the design.

Kingdom Builder is one of the titles that grew on me the most compared to my original feelings on it. My first game I disliked it. Quite a bit. Now I really enjoy it. Originally I felt like it relied too much on luck, but I generally don't feel highly constrained when playing it now. It is possible to just get hosed with a few repeats too early, but the odds are generally on your side that careful placement and a couple useful abilities will make it so your options are relatively open.

Would like to try the expansions out but I generally stick to the core stuff with new players. Maybe sometime?

Terra Mystica YAAAAAY. Taught it to three new players and they dug it. Like, enough so that one of them is actively requesting a repeat of it now and his wife wants to join in next time.

YESSSSSSSSSSSS

I still adore this game. It's just full of so many awesome things. Apparently the designers are working on a follow-up that takes the ideas they developed in TM and applies them to a game where the board is different every game. Sounds amazing, but it's still in the "changing rapidly along with testing" phases. Naturally I'll buy that the instant it's made available.

Finally, I was lucky enough to get to play Puerto Rico twice this week, with neither being an iOS play! Ooh~

The first match was a game with four players (counting myself), all of whom were relatively experienced. It was a tense game but the two of us who were set up to make a lot of points with shipping just didn't have time to get the points needed to surpass the person who had a full building tableau.

The next I was able to try the 2p variant with my wife. It actually works pretty well with two, which surprised me. She wanted to see what the hullabaloo was about and why the people at one of my groups always talk about the game with such fondness. I'd play the 2p version again but I think 4 is still the ideal count for PR. It's just got the right mixture of interaction and one-upsmanship for the mechanics to shine.

For experienced players, the game is generally interesting and there's no autopilot strategy available, but I do sort of want to try the expansions out to see how they shake things up. In particular I'd like to see the never-used buildings replaced with things people actually look for - it seems a little lame to have spots on the buildings sheet taken up by stuff that nobody ever wants to use.

Spoiler tag so people not well-versed in the game don't spoil it for themselves. It's more fun to explore the game for a little while first.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I practically never see experienced players take any of: Construction Hut, Hospice, Large Warehouse, or University at all. The idea of the expansions replacing those with buildings people would actually use sounds pretty nice.

The utility of Office, Small Marketplace, and Large Marketplace are all definitely there, but those aren't super high-demand buildings compared to the others. (I have seen Office used to great effect when coffee shows up early though!) I personally really like the Small Marketplace but I have heard people who are more experienced than I claim it's a trap until mid-game because it slows down your race towards getting the highly contested buildings. I wouldn't mid those changing out on occasion, but those don't need to be "replaced because of pointlessness" like the above four.

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12. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:173]
Board Game: Steam
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Board Game: Puerto Rico
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep
Board Game: Yahtzee
Board Game: Summoner Wars: Master Set
Board Game: Steam
Board Game: Farkle
Board Game: Elder Sign
Board Game: Dead Man's Draw
Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Board Game: Hauling Astronauts
Board Game: Open Rails Express: Cleveland Interurban


 9   Puerto Rico
 9   Lords of Waterdeep x2
 5   Yahtzee
 8   Summoner Wars
 N/A   Steam NEW!
 6   Farkle x4
 8   Elder Sign
 9   Dead Man's Draw
 10   Ascension: Deckbuilding Game x10
 8   Hauling Astronauts x2
 N/A   Open Rails Express: Cleveland Interurban NEW!

EDIT: I forgot that I put together a summary mini-review snapshot geeklist for my so-called "top twenty-five games" this week.

I got my Mini Print & Play Secret Santa gifts this week!

From gallery of Annowme

That's Mint Works, Open Rails Express: Cleveland Interurban, and Hybris. The first is a mint-tin sized worker placement game, the second is a mash-up train game with dice, and the third is a small-scale two-player 4X game.

A friend recently got Steam on the cheap so we played a three-player game. After being wary of how cutthroat Age of Steam is, I had long-since decided that I would likely prefer Steam if I ever had the chance to play (I'd still like to actually play Age of Steam a few times). We were all new players, so obvious or dominant strategy/tactics were lost on us. We just played as it made sense. Adding new tracks over pre-existing tracks was a little tricky, again due to our ignorance. However, I ended up urbanizing around Maine quite a bit and grabbed Move First several times to block the others from taking my deliveries. I ended up pivoting to victory points over income pretty consistently as of round six, and ended up winning by several points. I like this one a lot... The perennial debate re: the Martin Wallace train games (and other heavy, economic train games) still irritates me, though, as no matter where I look for an opinion, the heavy-gamer big dogs tend to look down their noses at the seemingly weak/pansy players who don't want "mercilessly garrote your friends with each move" games as their standard fare. Basically, I'm interested in these more aggressive economic games, but most of the visible community for them seem like people I'd never want to play with. So be it. Mini-rant over.

I also got to play Open Rails Express: Cleveland Interurban which was one of three games I received from the 2016 Mini Print & Play Secret Santa. I really enjoyed this as a solitaire game to learn it, and I especially look forward to playing it with two players and/or adding more components to make it a 3-4p game. Jack Neal is a designer who has made a lot of train game offshoots over the years, such as Bindle Rails and Open Rails Origins, all of which he sees as more accessible train games than the established categories of present pick-up-and-deliver and 18xx fare. His games tend to blend many of the representative mechanisms into something not quite like any of them. Open Rails Express, for instance, though it is a very small game, has a muted train rush, Chicago Express-style share dilution, very limited company resources, and a ton of direct player interaction, all while using a Pickomino-style dice framework to simulate the available economic options for each operating round. It's a lot of fun. I look forward to playing this a lot more. BONUS: it is themed around Northeast Ohio, and it's great to play the companies whose rail lines are still laid in the Cleveland/Akron area, some of which I've traveled on myself, and others which have since been turned into a walking trail network which I've enjoyed many, many times.

Board Game: Open Rails Express: Cleveland Interurban

I wrapped up another game of Lords of Waterdeep versus Grace this week. I was very amused by the scoring...

From gallery of Annowme

It looks like I won the tie since I scored something like two more points in my secret categories. Ha. I thought my endlessly-indulgent corruption would screw me yet again. Apparently not! One of my good friends is likely going to get Scoundrels of Skullport for Christmas, meaning I can play with his very pimped out base copy more often (DnDeeples and metal Kickstarter coins). Honestly, I have no idea how he does not already have the most-excellent expansion...

I've also officially bumped Ascension up to a 10/10. After two-hundred games split about 50/50 physical/digital, none of which have come close to being a let-down, I'm just deluding myself if I don't conclude its an all-time favorite.

On My Mind:
Anastasia has almost certainly ordered A Feast for Odin for me for Christmas. My spidey senses are tingling.

We got a new Christmas tree stand which may have saved our marriage from our annual worst-fight-of-the-year. Seriously, rarely does such friction show up in our relationship as when I'm attempting to get the Christmas tree to stand up straight while she adjusts the ancient turn-screws in our old stand. Not to mention soft pine/fir wood bending and smooshing against the screws, making what little gains we made turn to sadness. We went with a fancy German design which auto-clamps around the trunk. Thirty seconds later, our tree went from sitting on my deck to standing without issue. Amazing. I think our Christmas corner looks quite cute this year:

From gallery of Annowme

I also came across an excellent arrangement medley of the themes and motifs of Final Fantasy VI. Nerd-indulgent as it sounds, the orchestration and arrangement are especially good, and I've listened to it multiple times this week. Goodness, what a soundtrack, but especially the masterful care that went into this professional symphonic poem!



Finally, I've signed up to participate in Dicember 2016, which is my kind of challenge! Play fifteen unique dice-centric games in December. Yes. Please.

My challenge entry.
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13. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:196]
Board Game: Bora Bora
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Board Game: Bora Bora


 9.9   Bora Bora - They were setting up a game of Bora Bora when I walked in a bit late at the game store. They luckily let me jump in, otherwise I doubt I would have been able to play anything.

I love this game. I started off pretty slow, with not really getting good starting bonus tiles. But got a good consistent jog going all along. However, one of the players (whom I've been playing a lot with) had pretty bad AP, and dragged the game. But 3 hours and we were wrapped up, and I didn't really have much energy to play any more. The player with the AP slaughtered us, which in some ways frustrates me more. He won because he put the most thought into it. But at the cost of making the game go at a snail's pace.

D&D 5e - Played this on Friday night. And to be frank - I hated it. I enjoyed being with my friends, but I got so irritated with the game. If I never played D&D again, I wouldn't be sad.

I hate that I can't even feel like I get to RP my character because of shitty rolls. My character is inspired in part by Sherlock Holmes, but it's impossible to roleplay as that sort of character when you consistently roll low. I try and laugh it off, but to be honest, it becomes frustrating and makes the game dull when the dice results cause you to feel stonewalled over and over again.

Our D&D group was suppose to be a system quick one shots where anybody could GM, and it would be on the basis of when any of us couldn't meet up for our normal Edge of Empire group. But the GM developed something that ended up taking several hours over several nights. And I just want to get back to playing This Gand.
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14. Board Game: BattleTech: Sorenson's Sabres [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: BattleTech: Sorenson's Sabres
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Dice Heist 6
Lords of Waterdeep 2
Run Yourself Ragged 2 NEW!
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1
3 Wishes NEW! 1
Cacao 1
Costa Rica 1 NEW!
Sneaks & Snitches 1 NEW!
Timbuktu 1 NEW!

Review: Imhotep kind of sucks and by "kind of" I mean a lot.

---

Old Stuff:

Dice Heist: This remains to be a bucket of random, but it's fun and my parents liked it quite a bit. Here's a picture of my mom who cleaned up on the first game without ever recruiting any sidekicks (i.e., extra dice).

From gallery of ecargo


Lords of Waterdeep: I introduced this to my parents. They were a little overwhelmed at first and my mom asked approximately a million times whether or not she could go on a space where another guy already was. However, the next day she remarked how fun it was and they'd be up for playing again that night. So, we did.

New Stuff:

3 Wishes: Do you think a shell game sounds like fun? No? Me neither. This shit sucks. Yet another example of how most microgames are bad. I'm glad this was only a few minutes long because otherwise I'd be wishing for it to end.

Costa Rica: I think this took longer to set up than it did to play. It's basically push-your-luck with a light flavoring of Hey! That's My Fish on top. Not bad. I'd play it again, but probably not ask for it.

Run Yourself Ragged: This is more of a toy than a game, but BGG listed it so I went with it. Chris has a lot of random old games in his office and this was one of them. Apparently I'm the only one who'd never heard of nor played it. I would've loved the shit out of this as a kid. As an adult, I'm very bad at it.

Sneaks & Snitches: That's right, I hadn't played this until last week. Vlaada does double think. I liked it. I would definitely play it again. I'm on the fence as to whether or not it's worth picking up.

Timbuktu: More like Tim buck fuck you. This is an old ass Dirk Henn deduction game where your camels get robbed by thieves each of the four rounds. There's probably some strategy here in the deduction aspect so as to prevent your shit from getting stolen, but I really can't be bothered to try to figure it out. This probably doesn't deserve a whole turd, but at least half of one.

---

On My Mind:

I started having a scratchy throat on Saturday night, which developed into a full sore throat and complete lack of energy on Sunday. In an attempt to avoid getting totally sick, I tried to sleep a bunch yesterday. I still feel a bit like a butt sandwich today though. On the plus side, I didn't die from that expired yogurt, unless this is an oddly delayed effect of that.
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15. Board Game: Sultan [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:6730]
Board Game: Sultan
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Sultan
Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak
Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: Honshū
Board Game: Fuji Flush


Sultan NEW!
One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak x2
One Night Ultimate Werewolf x2
Medici
Honshu NEW!
Fuji Flush

Only a single game day this past week.

I'd been browsing through Ender's Pictorial Overview list and stumbled across Sultan which looked like a nice, light offering. Reminiscent of What the Heck?, players are allocating numbered cards to different spaces in order to collect jewels, which are worth points at the end of the game. The major differences are...

1) Out of a 15 card deck, players play through 3 hands of five cards rather than having access to all of them at the same time (it's been suggested in the forums that it would be an easy change to switch it back to the Raj-style play for a more strategic experience).

2) Rather than everyone bidding on a single item, players have a choice from 2 or 3 items every round. And rather than playing all their cards simultaneously, players take turns allocating cards (face down) one at a time to the various lots until everyone has played a single card. Lots with a single card are won automatically by the card's owner, while lots with multiple cards go to the highest valued card.

There are a few more differences with regard to scoring and lot selection, but by-and-large it's still a light WiFoM game just as Raj is. Not bad at all, but nothing spectacular, so I can see why it's faded to the background since it's release.

Been catching up with Essen/BGG.CON titles that I missed on the first go around, and Honshū was next on the table. The game play reminded me a lot of Plums (in that it's a bidding game that plays like a trick-taker, and the highest card played gets first choice from the trick, etc.), except that Honshu also has a spatial puzzle element for scoring. Not bad.
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16. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:284]
Board Game: Clash of Cultures
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Board Game: Titan
Board Game: Clash of Cultures


 8   Titan
 9   Clash of Cultures

My app game of Titan finally ended. I won't go over the details because I've already shared them a while ago. Now I'm just in the one with Grant.

I have a 6-player possible game coming up in a week and a half. Plus hopefully *fingers-crossed* multiple 2-player games of Titan with one of the players who will otherwise be new to the game.


Last weeks themed game was Clash of Cultures for 4X night. I'm going to make CoC the replayed game every month instead of swapping 4X games, and with extra weeks in coming months, I'll probably do rotating 4X games until I come across another one as popular as CoC.

I got one player committed, which quickly grew to 4 the day of. I was going to play Titan that same day since 2 player takes 2 hours, but I estimated 4 hours for 4 player, and was correct in that estimate.

I quickly found myself stuck in a corner surrounded by water, and I opted for a slow tech expansion route to get lots of techs for free. So it took me a long time to start expanding out. A large earthquake hit in which I opted to lose all 3 pieces of my home city for 6 end-game points (it was about to be attacked and was undefended anyways). I then abandoned my other size 3 city (and only had one other size one city I meant to raze but never did) to take all my ships to take out yellow's capital which held a wonder. Green also had a wonder, and we discovered that if he didn't build units spaced to slow me down, I could've attacked and taken his capital shortly after as well.

Warships are awesome.

End game scores were:
Travis/Red 41.5
Green 34
Yellow 29
Blue 18

Image of the game in Round 6 - Middle of Turn 2.
From gallery of Dolus



I later read the rules to the expansion and look forward to trying it at some point. I'm happy to keep playing just the base game for several more games first, though, cause it's just so good! I like the added pirate ships at sea. I'm curious to see how that plays out. It'll be mildly annoying to have to deal with, but potentially added incentive to build ships or utilize ships more.
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17. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 9  Great Western Trail x1 (2 plays so far)

On my mind :
Mombasa is on the way to home.
Lisboa : i am still considering to pledge it.

We have finished to watch The Crown.
Now, we are planning to watch Westworld.

In //, i am watching Babylon 5 for the second time.
I am at 4.6 over 5.22.
Really awesome TV show.
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18. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica: Emperor's Favour [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica: Emperor's Favour
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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This week I only played two games. I have another 1st for the week: I played both of them at the same time for about 10 minutes of overlap.

The Golden Ages -- This was our second time playing. Of the 4 players, two of us had played the 1st game. This second match I felt like I had a much better understanding of the game. Now that I grasped how money and cards influenced each other, I managed to score more than twice as many points as my first game.

My 1st civilization leader allowed me to buy Buildings without requiring a worker. So, my 1st move was to buy the best building before it was taken. Then, I upgraded my technology so that I could take a second one as well. This gave me both action advantage AND income generation, which was huge. I then immediately charged forward in my tech tree to increase the payout when dropping cities and controlling gems. By the end of the second age I was raking in 8 points per settlement, while my opponents were happy with 4. The rest of the game I basically outspent the others to victory.

Really happy with this game. I feel that there's meaningful decisions that change every game, and it plays really quickly too.


Hansa Teutonica -- As my geeklist entry implies, there is a new promo for Hansa Teutonica. It's from BGG's advent calendar for this year, and I managed to buy it off of someone local. The promo gives people permanent asymmetric abilities if they turn in 2 unused Plates (you still get the points for the plates at the end of the game). Examples of these powers are: traders (cubes) now cost 3 to displace, you can place displaced pieces on ANY route, every time someone bags you also get a piece, etc. It's a neat little idea.

I was 4th (last) player in this match, so early game I played "clog the actions." I converted that to an early Book upgrade, then moves-claim for Plate cities. I was vaguely aiming to connect Stendal-Arnheim, but I didn't press hard enough for that and ultimately fell 3 cities short of that goal. I mostly muddled my way through the game claiming cities and building a large network. However, I did manage to get full privilege upgraded, and my group has the terrible habit of leaving Coellen unguarded. So, I was able to claim the 11 point bonus there just eking my way past the guy who honestly played a much better game (he focused on claiming Upgrade cities and clogging the ones that were not his).

On my mind:
House renovations started yesterday! We now have people crawling all over our house, ripping up pipes and tearing down/placing new walls. Theoretically, they could be done before the New Year which would obviously be exciting.

I took Rufus to a dog park for the first time on Sunday. It was definitely a little nerve-wracking to unleash him and let him run, but the little beasty did well. He basically picked the most energetic dogs and then ran around with them. I'll have to take him back soon, since he so rarely gets to run around in acres of space.
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19. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:49]
Board Game: Android: Netrunner
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Ah, Netrunner. Always a fleeting ghost. I don't have anyone to play it with consistently, but I still find it captivating in concept and so tense and exciting when I played it a handful of times last year.

I see offers like this on the GeekMarket and drool a little bit if for ease of entry on a casual level... but then again, I consider that I would not play often, though I could convince Anastasia to enjoy it... but it's not really her cup of tea so far as I can guess.

If there is a "best game I never play," it's this one for me.

/sigh
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