GCL Gelato 246 -- Lasts, Firsts, and Goals
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
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Geek Chat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop a friendly and productive environment.

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This week:
Lasts, Firsts, and Goals

Head Doctor:

leroy 43 (Roger)

The Nurses:
ad79 (Stig)
alex352 (Alex)
Bacchus (Kevin)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
cscottk (Skippen)
cubbieblue (Steven) ***
eapeas (Edward & Amanda)
Farsol (Patrick)
grammatoncleric (O.Shane.)
hanibalicious (Sonderegger)
Jacovis (Jacob)
jtakagi (Jonathan)
Lil Red Head (Nikki)
nycavri (Avri)
PzVIE (Ron)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)

*** = Next up!

*** = Next Week

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1. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:679] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
Microbadge: Terry Brooks fanMicrobadge: Robin Hobb fanMicrobadge: Connie Willis fanMicrobadge: Barbara Hambly fanMicrobadge: Harlan Ellison fan
So, what was the last game you played in 2016? Was it a planned last game of the year?
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2. Board Game: Why First? [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:4044]
Board Game: Why First?
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
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And what was the first game you played in 2017?
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3. Board Game: Goals And Glory [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Goals And Glory
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
Microbadge: Terry Brooks fanMicrobadge: Robin Hobb fanMicrobadge: Connie Willis fanMicrobadge: Barbara Hambly fanMicrobadge: Harlan Ellison fan
Did you have any goals last year, gaming or otherwise that you accomplished or came close to that your progress made you happy?
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4. Board Game: Goalspree! [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Goalspree!
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
Microbadge: Terry Brooks fanMicrobadge: Robin Hobb fanMicrobadge: Connie Willis fanMicrobadge: Barbara Hambly fanMicrobadge: Harlan Ellison fan
Do you have any goals this year? Gaming or otherwise? Do you participate in the 10 x 10, 12 x 12 that many do here on the 'geek?
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5. Board Game: When I Dream [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:814]
Board Game: When I Dream
Jonathan Takagi
United States
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I had a great final week of 2016, boosting my December games played to make it the highest month of the year, and one of the best months in the last few years. I had one day where I helped a friend achieve his goal of playing 50 new-to-him Knizia titles, another game day we called "Rails and Tails" - we played train games and then ate at the local lobster buffet. In the past we have sort of made a contest out of it, but this time it was just for pleasure. Final count - 17 for me, the friend that ate the most I think was at 24. Another game day where I was fortunate to play a bunch of new titles I enjoyed, and then a bunch of games with my family. I know that this sentiment is not popular, but for me, 2016 was a great year. Every year gets better and I am looking forward to this year as well.

Board Game: Win, Lose, or Banana
Board Game: Matanga!
Board Game: Pie Face
Board Game: Spyfall
Board Game: TimeBomb II
Board Game: マタンガ!キッズ&エキスパート (Matanga! Kids & Experts)
Board Game: HMS Dolores
Board Game: Burke's Gambit
Board Game: Promi-Klatsch
Board Game: Ribbit
Board Game: Rummy 17
Board Game: Alles Tomate!
Board Game: American Rails
Board Game: Anomia
Board Game: Battleship Express
Board Game: Bunte Runde
Board Game: Cartagena
Board Game: Castellers
Board Game: Córdoba
Board Game: Domino Knobelspass
Board Game: Einfach Genial Knobelspass
Board Game: Escalation!
Board Game: Escape Room: The Game
Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Board Game: For Sale
Board Game: Fruit Spy
Board Game: Fuji Flush
Board Game: Gelini Nightlife
Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel
Board Game: Habitats
From gallery of Photodump
Board Game: Heckmeck Junior
Board Game: Hong Kong
Board Game: Inis
Board Game: It's Mine!
Board Game: Keltis: Das Kartenspiel
Board Game: Kodama: The Tree Spirits
Board Game: Leapin' Lily Pads
Board Game: Los Banditos
Board Game: Modern Art Card Game
Board Game: Merchants
Board Game: Nertz
Board Game: Pick Picknic
Board Game: Piranhas
Board Game: Pups
Board Game: Robot Master
Board Game: Solarius Mission
Board Game: Spectral Rails
Board Game: Speed Cups
Board Game: Spy
Board Game: Sudoku: Duell der Meister
Board Game: Särge schubsen
Board Game: Take it Higher!
Board Game: Tichu
Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails
Board Game: Ticket to Ride: The Card Game
Board Game: Tiffin
Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall!
Board Game: Timeline Challenge
Board Game: Toppo
Board Game: When I Dream
Board Game: Wiener Walzer

 N/A   Insider x12 - Had at least two monster sessions of Insider. The new English language version is great, the font is way bigger, making it easier to play. It is a lot easier to get people to play this rather than more traditional traitor games like Resistance. It is also quicker, which is a plus. The only problem I see is that a lot of the questions are becoming scripted.

 6   Win, Lose, or Banana x7 - I'm not too big on this, but my wife and kids continue to love it. My kids are starting to really get interested in these bluffing games, through not too much effort on my part.

 8   Matanga! x6 - This is another game that is really easy to teach to new players, and interesting to watch. Writing with a big, floppy, plastic pencil and seeing people eagerly snatch it out of each other's hands is a big attention grabber.

 N/A   Pie Face x5 NEW! - My kids got this for Christmas, it suddenly seems to be everywhere. It is a terrible game, but they enjoyed "playing" it.

 9   Spyfall x5 - It's been a long time since we've played this, and this is actually the first time I've played on a physical copy. Playing on a phone/tablet is still way superior, since playing with the actual game is really clunky and I dislike the artwork. It was fun to introduce it to our kids.

 N/A   TimeBomb II x4 - Another bluffing game that our kids really took to. This is definitely superior to the first TimeBomb game. The kids did think the theme was a little risqué, though I still prefer it to the Cthulhu one. It's more of an approachable game than Resistance, but the negotiation is somewhat limited.

 8   マタンガ!キッズ&エキスパート (Matanga! Kids & Experts) x4 - This makes it possible to play Matanga with kids, though the easy ones are a little too easy. I look forward to trying the more challenging sheets.

 N/A   HMS Dolores x3 - This has actually become a little bit boring as we've played it more, mainly because there has been more negotiation and agreement, and less backstabbing. It seems to be all about keeping balance in your treasure cards. This is the easiest way to boost your score, though it can be tricky to stay in balance.

 N/A   Burke's Gambit x2 - Another traitor game that is more approachable than Resistance, mainly because your options are limited. In these two games it became evident that the dice can really mess with your game, severely limiting the possibilities and fun. The instakill die result also came out a couple times, which I think is kind of stupid.

 9   Promi-Klatsch x2 - I don't know why it has taken so long to introduce this to our kids, but our youngest has really enjoyed it. At some point I need to look into acquiring a back-up copy.

 7   Schildkrötenrennen x2 - In one play my youngest basically handed me the victory, which was no fun.

 N/A   Rummy 17 x2 - It was good to get this back to the table. It makes me want to work on getting all the Mystery Rummy games played. I'm not sure how good this game is, but it will take a few more plays to make sure.

 7   Alles Kanone! - I had almost forgotten this Knizia memory game. I was surprised at how poorly I did. Kids can definitely not compete with adults.

 N/A   American Rails NEW! - I did not enjoy this at all. After going through the rules I remembered that this was inspired by Wabash Cannonball/Chicago Express. I can see why people like it. The turn order thing is interesting, and the action selection is a bit different. But ultimately the game feels the same and it takes twice as long, which is a huge problem in my mind.

 9   Anomia - At this point we need to limit ourselves to playing Anomia: Party Edition, since the cards are too familiar. I can't remember the last time I've lost at this game, though I was pleasantly surprised to have a young opponent give me a run for my money.

 7   Battleship Express - Definitely superior to Battleship. I think Knizia did a great job with this implementation. It feels good to chuck a big handful of dice.

 8   Bunte Runde - Reimplementation of Knizia's earlier game Wheel of History. Still really enjoying it, though introducing kids into the mix sort of upsets the balance of the game.

 7   Cartagena - I was surprised at how much my wife dominated this game. She almost always wins, and I have a hard time figuring out exactly how she does it.

 7   Castellers - I love the theme of the game - watching castellers was a ton of fun when I studied in Barcelona. It is such an impressive feat. The game does an okay job trying to attach a theme to the standard Knizia numbers game. The physical production is hugely lacking in that all of the stackable casteller pieces, which need to be visible to everyone, are one sided.

 6   Córdoba - A great example of how Knizia can continue to wring more juice out of the same Lost Cities idea by simplifying and stripping out other elements like holding a hand of cards. Having to deal with just a single card provides an interesting challenge. Plus, the theme is wonderful.

 6   Domino Knobelspass - More of a puzzle than a game. I eventually remembered that you need to figure out where the doubles go, and had to reset my board a few times, never getting it straightened out. And that was on the easiest level!

 6   Einfach Genial Knobelspass - I did better on this one. It's essentially the same game, with an Ingenious theme. The pieces are much less pleasurable to hold and manipulate.

 7   Escalation! - It's amazing how much more I like the game when you use a version with nicer artwork!

 N/A   Escape Room: The Game NEW! - I really liked this game, and I look forward to trying more of them. I didn't think I contributed very much to the group effort, but it was fun working together and watching how other people figure things out. That said, it was difficult, and we probably wouldn't have figured out some of the things without the hints.

 8   Escape: The Curse of the Temple - I think we are ready to start including some of the copious expansions that are laying around.

 8   For Sale - It was fun to introduce this to someone that had never played it before. If I ever meet someone who doesn't enjoy it I would be really surprised.

 6   Dead Man's Treasure - I should probably revisit my rating on this one. The bomb cards that destroy the subsequent card placed at a particular region are a lot of fun and I was pleased to get hit with three of them.

 N/A   Fuji Flush - I'm not sure that many people enjoy this beyond my kids. The appeal is hard to see initially, which makes the game a tough sell.

 8   Gelini Nightlife - Having a player insist on getting a particular piece, refusing to move until they acquire it, ends up kind of breaking the game. I have never filled up my board halfway through the game before! Do any Europeans know what gelini are? They look like gummy bears.

 7   Grand Austria Hotel - This is one of those games that I have kind of given up on because everyone else has gotten so good at the game that I am intimidated to play it. So it was surprising to remain competitive. While I still lost, it was fun to revisit. I'm not sure how interested I am in playing this a lot, but I can see why people like it.

 N/A   Habitats NEW! - This was a pleasure to discover. I dislike tile-laying games in general, and this one looks so generic. But the way you select the tiles is very interesting, and the possibilities are very open. I am definitely going to have to pick this one up.

 N/A   Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - We are ready to play the third game, I am looking forward to some challenges, as thus far the game kind of plays itself.

 8   Heckmeck Junior - I should probably revise my rating here. I see no reason why even kids would play this over the regular game, unless you want to make it a bit faster.

 6   Hong Kong - It was fun to lose so badly at this one. I think Knizia is a great designer of abstract games. All of the abstracts I've tried have been fun.

 N/A   Inis NEW! - I really disliked the game. I generally don't care for "dudes on a map" battle games unless they have some sort of hook. I like Small World because of the decline mechanism. I like Kemet because of how it forces battle and discourages turtling. Here the battle mechanism of just discarding cards is kind of silly. I don't like having to read each card, and the way canceling actions is so common is also annoying.

 7   It's Mine! - Always love it!

 8   Keltis: Das Kartenspiel - Besides the original Keltis game, I like all of the different iterations. This was fun to revisit, I should play it more.

 N/A   Kodama: The Tree Spirits NEW! - There's not much game here, but the way you build the tree out of cards is very attractive. The way there are almost no decisions to make, coupled with the artwork and theme, is kind of relaxing. Not something I would seek out, but I was glad to play it.

 7   Leapin' Lily Pads - Probably the hardest memory game I know of. It has been a family favorite, but I'm still not sure there is anything more to do than just guess.

 7   Los Banditos - Fun diced-based version of Lost Cities/Battle Line that doesn't overstay its welcome. Still, the luck of the dice can be a bit maddening.

 6   Masters Gallery - Can any Europeans explain Duckomenta to me? We played the Duckomenta Art version. We played 2-player, which is obviously not ideal. It has taken me years to even consider playing a version of Modern Art that removes the auctions, but I'm starting to come around. He did the same thing with Medici, which for some reason I still have not tried.

 7   Merchants - It has been years since I've played this, and it was fun to play this again. I would like to try it more. Totally pasted on, generic theme, but the Trendy/Ingenious-like way of capitalizing on groupthink is a great little mechanism that is fun to exploit.

 10   Nertz - This year we are going to try to make Nertz players out of our kids. It's going to take a bunch of work, but it would be great to play this as a family and have some competition.

 8   Pick Picknic - The card distribution can be a little frustrating on this one.

 8   Piranhas - A great Knizia speed game.

 N/A   Pups NEW! - This was a really pleasant surprise. I really enjoy JATTWATs, and the way you wager your bets is more fulfilling to me than Wizard, and the twists in the trick-taking still emphasize some skill, though there is more luck than normal because of the smaller deck.

 7   Robot Master - I'm not sure if this is any different than Dragon Master but I guess I slightly prefer robots to dragons, but only a bit.

 N/A   Solarius Mission NEW! - I was surprised to enjoy this, as I approach Spielworxx titles now with quite a bit of apprehension. I was initially completely lost about what to do, but it eventually came together. This is the type of game that is fun in the frustration it causes. You want to do something but it takes so many steps to get there, and it's so easy to get sidetracked along the way. In that respect, it felt similar to The Gallerist.

 6   Spectral Rails - I remember enjoying this game, but it went over very poorly and something seemed definitely wrong. It's almost like Z-Man Games, Inc. decided to just spoil the game at all costs. Very poor component quality, the worst art ever. I wanted to like it because I really admire the designer, but this didn't work.

 8   Speed Cups - I am used to doing really well at this game, so I was shocked to be trounced by a player that won all of the horizontal cards that came out.

 6   Spy - I remember this as being better. It felt kind of dull. This game has a horrible reputation, but I remember thinking that it was because it should really only be considered as a 2-player game. But even with 2 players, it wasn't very fun.

 6   Sudoku: Duell der Meister - We made an error in our sudoku-ing, so it was interesting to see the ramifications that made across the board. The rules almost anticipate that this would happen. But the scores were so close that the way this played out was kind of disappointing.

 N/A   Särge schubsen NEW! - I was disappointed to discover that all of the negative things I've read about this game are true. It is way too easy to just slap the table. There are few enough possibilities in rolling just two dice that you are almost 100% assured of finding some way to justify just instantly slapping the table without seeing the result of the dice, which is a huge problem.

 8   Take it Higher! - My board fell apart spectacularly at the end, so much that it was almost comical.

 N/A   Tichu - An epic beat down where we won 1075 to -475. I pulled off a successful grand tichu on the first hand and the other team had two failed grand tichus as they got increasingly desperate.

 N/A   Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails NEW! - This was better than I had expected. Everything I'd read had been negative. But the card draw was actually a source of amusement, as it was fun to mess with your opponents by making the draw pile something that they didn't want to see. It takes a bit longer, but it was still fun. Getting the right combination of ships and trains seems to be extremely important.

 7   Ticket to Ride: The Card Game - I didn't care for the intermediate scoring in the 4-player game, since it interrupts the flow of the game and discourages you from building up huge sets with a ton of wilds.

 N/A   Tiffin NEW! - This was a huge surprise. It's been a while since there has been a game with such a great, unique theme (delivering lunchboxes called tiffins in India). I also liked the artwork. The game is very simple, but the theme really goes a long way in what is essentially a push your luck type game.

 9   Time's Up! Title Recall! - It was satisfying to win. It was funny having to explain Dr. Strangelove by going through Dr. Strange. No one was familiar with Kubrick, and the war room comment made no sense to anyone.

 N/A   Timeline Challenge - I am having a big problem with the spinners in the game, they keep coming undone. Also, the game seems to overstay its welcome somewhat.

 8   Toppo - I remember enjoying playing this SET-like speed game with my wife. But playing it after so many years was a huge disappointment. Either we were doing something wrong (which is probable), or this is a terrible game.

 N/A   When I Dream NEW! - My friend's Essen shipment finally came in, so I was excited to get this to the table. This is a great twist on the whole Mysterium/Insider/A Fake Artist Goes to New York type game with a great dreaming theme.

 N/A   Wiener Walzer NEW! - A very simple placement game, but I love the waltz and snack theme.

I watched quite a few movies as well this week while trying to assemble my year end lists, which I'll probably put as comments under my entry.

Congratulations if you read all of this. If so, you must enjoy boredom, or maybe you have a little too much time on your hands!
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6. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.42 Overall Rank:7]
Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion
United States
Las Vegas
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Howdy Gelati!

My week:

Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion
Board Game: Chicago Express

10  Star Wars: Rebellion
9  Chicago Express

Well, my wife and I played Star Wars Rebellion again. She likes being the Empire, so I let her. Last time she turned Luke to the dark side, and even though she lost the game that time she considered it a win.

This time was not much better. I put the base on Bauthwani, thinking it was right in the middle of the board and she wouldn't head there. I had to pass over it a couple of times to get to where I could get planets loyal to me, and she came to the conclusion that I was trying to protect it. She finally moved in with a Death Star, Vader, a super star destroyer and a ton of her forces, and I had a pretty strong grouping in the base fortunately. I knew I should have moved the base the previous turn but she seemed to be heading the other direction so I left it.

Anyway, she moves in, I take out almost all of her tie fighters, but then she destroys my transports before I could escape with them, and I decide to leave my other ships to cause as much damage as possible. The ground battle was going fairly well because I had stocked up on shield generators, and here is the fun part:

It literally came down to my ion cannon and a land speeder vs her last AT-AT (There were two originally). Last round of combat, she hits my land speeder for one damage, which on top of my already taken damage was enough to do me in, but her AT-AT just needed one more hit as well, so I was hoping between my tactics cards and the two dice to get that hit in so I could survive and move my base (I had played the mission to do so, and I could have survived the rest of the turn).

Nope. I rolled blanks. And that was it. There was a full on battle at the base and it all came down to a land speeder and an AT-AT. It was an amazing game nonetheless, and as usual a blast to play.

Chicago Express is quickly becoming a favorite with my wife. She asked to play it again, so we did. It was much closer this time but I beat her. I let her buy into C&O and then blocked it in behind the mountain range. A really neat game. I am glad I got it so cheaply.

Back to school tomorrow. I'm excited to see the kids again, but also I was really enjoying my break.

I cleaned up my game area yesterday, so that was nice. I still have a few things I need to organize in there and a little more rearranging to bring it up to where I want it. It looks much better now, though, than it did.

I'm trying to find a good solution for all my little games. I have them in those little plastic containers with three drawers from Target right now, and they work well enough, I just feel like there has to be a better way. I'll figure it out I'm sure.

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to their new year!
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7. Board Game: Game of the Year [Average Rating:4.75 Overall Rank:18971]
Board Game: Game of the Year
United States
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
How old Cary Grant? Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
Microbadge: Terry Brooks fanMicrobadge: Robin Hobb fanMicrobadge: Connie Willis fanMicrobadge: Barbara Hambly fanMicrobadge: Harlan Ellison fan
My year -- 196 plays from 122 distinct games:

 N/A   Hawaii NEW!
 6.5   Fury of Dracula (third edition) x2 NEW!
 7   Roll for the Galaxy x2
 N/A   Mysterium NEW!
 10   Sentinels of the Multiverse x2
 10   Jambo
 N/A   Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) x4
 7   Food Chain Magnate x5
 N/A   Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection NEW!
 6.5   Flowerpower x2
 8.5   Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 x15 NEW!
 N/A   Love Letter: Batman
 N/A   Kansas Pacific NEW!
 8   The Grizzled x4
 N/A   Wings for the Baron NEW!
 5   Kingsport Festival
 N/A   Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon NEW!
 7   Age of Steam x4
 N/A   Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set NEW!
 6   Fool's Gold NEW!
 7   Tiny Epic Galaxies NEW!
 N/A   Star Trek: Five-Year Mission NEW!
 N/A   Samurai Spirit NEW!
 N/A   Pax Pamir NEW!
 N/A   Kingdom Death: Monster NEW!
 N/A   Irish Gauge NEW!
 N/A   Gulf, Mobile & Ohio NEW!
 N/A   Alan's Adventureland NEW!
 N/A   Mega Civilization NEW!
 N/A   Unpublished Prototype x5
 N/A   Arcane Academy NEW!
 7   1846 x3
 N/A   Cry Havoc NEW!
 N/A   Blueprints
 N/A   51st State: Master Set x2 NEW!
 N/A   Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King NEW!
 10   Sentinels of the Multiverse x2
 N/A   1867: The Railways of Canada NEW!
 N/A   Why First? NEW!
 7   Pickomino
 N/A   3 sind eine zu viel! NEW!
 8   Race for the Galaxy x5
 N/A   Quadropolis NEW!
 N/A   Mottainai x2 NEW!
 N/A   Bastion NEW!
 N/A   Animals on Board NEW!
 8   18NEB x2 NEW!
 N/A   T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case x2 NEW!
 6   The Voyages of Marco Polo
 7   The Castles of Burgundy x2
 8   Grand Austria Hotel NEW!
 N/A   Favor of the Pharaoh NEW!
 N/A   Haru Ichiban NEW!
 7   1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight
 N/A   Container NEW!
 5   Russian Railroads
 7   Shadowrun: Crossfire x2
 7   Cruel Necessity x2 NEW!
 7   Goa
 7.5   1889 x2
 6   Star Wars: Rebellion NEW!
 N/A   Railroad Dice
 7   Timeline: Americana x2
 7   Craftsmen x2 NEW!
 N/A   Antics! NEW!
 8   Guild Ball x5 NEW!
 4   V-Wars NEW!
 8   Castles of Mad King Ludwig
 N/A   Imperial
 N/A   18Dixie with 18MS and 18GA NEW!
 8   Zombicide: Black Plague x4
 7   Morels x2
 N/A   Daxu NEW!
 4   Tragedy Looper NEW!
 6   Mare Nostrum: Empires NEW!
 6.5   String Railway
 N/A   Red7 NEW!
 8   The Pillars of the Earth
 N/A   The Grizzled: At Your Orders! NEW!
 3.5   Star Trek Panic NEW!
 7   Mystic Vale x2 NEW!
 6.5   Constantinopolis NEW!
 N/A   Impulse NEW!
 N/A   Imhotep NEW!
 N/A   Agricola: Farmers of the Moor NEW!
 7   Agricola
 N/A   1837 NEW!
 5   20th Century NEW!
 10   Advanced Squad Leader x2
 6   Yunnan NEW!
 N/A   Mansions of Madness: Second Edition NEW!
 7   Patchwork x3
 N/A   Ingenious: Travel Edition x3
 5   Twilight Struggle x2
 6   Medici vs Strozzi
 N/A   Jaipur x2
 N/A   Whacky Wit
 N/A   Grant Takes Command NEW!
 7   EastFront II
 N/A   Union vs. Central
 8   Rommel in the Desert x3
 N/A   Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar NEW!
 7   Tunisia II NEW!
 7   Arkham Horror
 7   Sola Fide: The Reformation NEW!
 N/A   Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon x2 NEW!
 8   Mechs vs. Minions NEW!
 N/A   Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft x2 NEW!
 7   Great Western Trail x2 NEW!
 9   The Colonists NEW!
 7   Trick of the Rails NEW!
 N/A   The Oregon Trail Card Game NEW!
 5   UNO
 N/A   Oh My Goods! NEW!
 7   Bios: Megafauna NEW!
 N/A   Schotten Totten x2 NEW!
 N/A   Solarius Mission NEW!
 N/A   Bios: Genesis NEW!
 5   Scythe NEW!
 N/A   Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
 7.5   Last Will
 7   Ingenious
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8. Board Game: Groo: The Game – Expansion Set [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Groo: The Game – Expansion Set
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Game Week

 8   Groo: The Game
 8   Formula Dé
 9   Enemy in Sight
 6   Corsairs
 8   Coloretto
 8   Wizard
 6   Unexploded Cow NEW!
 7   House of Borgia NEW!
 8   21 Mutinies Arrr! Edition

Andrea and I currently are enjoying two weeks off from work, and Christmas to New Year was our first one. On the 26th we had two people coming over and we started with Formula Dé, using the Monaco circuit. The game was such a hit with our friends, that they immediately ordered it the next day! Corsairs was the next game, but that one wasn't as much fun as the previous one. So we switched to Groo: The Game and started to build and tear down again - I love this little card game. If you know the comic books, it's even more fun! After a quick game of Coloretto we ended the evening with a game of classic Enemy in Sight. Great game night!!!

On December, 31st, we had three people invited. We started with 21 Mutinies: Arrr! Edition - a really great game I bought in Essen three years ago. It was an instant hit! We then played the new kickstarter game House of Borgia, some kind of Perudo with lots of chrome added. I'm not sure if I really like it better than LD, but I surely want to play it again. Unexploded Cow offered a little silliness: if you don't know the game, here's the story. In France, there are huge minefields from long forgotten wars, very dangerous. In Britain, there are a lot of mad cows. So what better to do than send over the mad cows and let them run across the minefields. Exploding cows score for the owner. A complete silly game, but perfect for that evening. We had an hour and a half left until midnight, so we ended 2016 with a game of Wizard.

Board Game: Groo: The Game
Board Game: Formula Dé
Board Game: Enemy in Sight
Board Game: Corsairs
Board Game: Coloretto
Board Game: Wizard
Board Game: Unexploded Cow
Board Game: House of Borgia
Board Game: 21 Mutinies: Arrr! Edition

New Games

I received a kickstarter game this week, House of Borgia. Not bad for a Liar's Dice variant, but I'm still unsure on how much influence you really have. Good ideas nevertheless, but I need a couple more plays to finally decide how good it really is.

Board Game: House of Borgia


We watched the fireworks from my rooftop, which offers a nice view over the southern parts of Vienna. Every year I wonder how many million Euro do they fire up in the air? Somehow scary! But beautiful. We lit our fireplace up there, so we had it warm, drank champaigne and ate salmon sandwiches while we watched the show.

Stig and Rodger did a Geeklist about their 2016 gaming, and when I find the time, I will follow! Great idea guys!

Hope you all had a wonderful week too! meeple
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9. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:325]
Board Game: Innovation
O.Shane Balloun
United States
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Cascade Games Convention: Bellingham, Washington's premier tabletop board game playing event
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In 2016, I completed 2 out of 3 gaming challenges: the 2016 Normal 10x10 Challenge and the 2016 Normal 100x1 Challenge. I let the 2016 Hardcore 10x10 Challenge lie when my year became much fuller with travel and work.

I've reentered the 2017 10x10 Challenges (here and here) and the Normal 100x1 Challenge for 2017, but only as aspirations this year. They are not goals but mostly fun ways of tracking successive or varietal gameplay.

This year, I'd much rather get in 20 gameplays of a game I prefer rather than 10 of a game I prefer, and say, 10 of another game that would be easy to pound out for the sake of the list. whistle

Actually, if you go through my 2016 100x1 list, I was profligate in the dreck I would play. Friends asked me to play some of the worst games and I assented—once—just to notch them on my 100x1 belt (see the trash icons next to the entries). And it's not as if I couldn't immediately tell the games were going to be terrible, but whatever.

I made the image of this post Innovation because I sold my second* copy in anticipation of the delayed Deluxe edition being produced by Asmadi. It's so good. I miss it. Good thing I can play online from time to time.

*I've now owned and sold it twice: see my comment to this Geeklist item below.

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10. Board Game: Bacchus' Banquet: New Years Celebration [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Bacchus' Banquet: New Years Celebration
Patrick Pence
United States
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Here are my 2016 games played:

Codenames x43
Cockroach Poker x33
Frank's Zoo x19
Tichu x15 (Actual human opponents, phone app is much higher!)
Linko! x13 NEW!
Pax Porfiriana x13
Celestia x12 NEW!
Lords of Vegas x10
The Bottle Imp x10
Stockpile x8 NEW!
Coloretto x7
Deep Sea Adventure x7 NEW!
Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? x7
Twilight Struggle x7
Diamonds x6
Love Letter x6
Modern Art x6
Pax Pamir x6
6 nimmt! x5
Alhambra x5
Combat Commander: Europe x5
Geek Out! x5
Quadropolis x5 NEW!
Thunder Alley x5
Battlestar Galactica x4
Carcassonne: The City x4
Glüx x4 NEW!
High Society x4 NEW!
Mafia de Cuba x4
Ra x4
Simon's Cat Card Game x4 NEW!
Skull x4
Smarty Party! x4
The Last Spike x4 NEW!
Time's Up! Title Recall! x4
Timeline: Historical Events x4
Timeline: Inventions x4
Betrayal at House on the Hill x3
Bohnanza x3
Carcassonne x3
Cartagena x3
Castles of Mad King Ludwig x3
Dixit x3
For Sale x3
Guillotine x3
Hanabi x3
Insider x3 NEW!
Mamma Mia! x3
No Thanks! x3
Star Trek: Ascendancy x3 NEW!
The Grizzled x3 NEW!
World's Fair 1893 x3 NEW!
7 Dice Wonders x2 NEW!
Airlines Europe x2
CV x2 NEW!
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers x2
Council of Verona x2
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong x2 NEW!
Dia de los Muertos x2 NEW!
Fairy Tale x2
Fearsome Floors x2
Forbidden Island x2
Grand Prix x2 NEW!
Gunslinger x2
Jamaica x2
Lectio x2
Libertalia x2
Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection x2 NEW!
Lords of Vegas: UP! x2 NEW!
Mars Attacks: The Dice Game x2
Mascarade x2 NEW!
Nuns on the Run x2
Risou no Natto x2 NEW!
Rummikub x2 NEW!
Source of the Nile x2
Sushi Go! x2
Sword of Rome x2
Terra x2 NEW!
The Blood of an Englishman x2 NEW!
Thunder Alley: Expansion Tracks x2 NEW!
Tokaido x2
Walk the Dogs x2
Was sticht? x2
Werewolf x2
Winner's Circle x2
Arcadia Quest NEW!
Archer: Once You Go Blackmail... NEW!
Bacchus' Banquet
Bastion NEW!
Battle Line
Bill & Ted's Excellent Boardgame NEW!
Bios: Genesis NEW!
Cable Car NEW!
Cat Tower NEW!
Colt Express
Combat Commander: Battle Pack #4 – New Guinea NEW!
Combat Commander: Pacific
Conspiracy NEW!
Cosmic Encounter
David & Goliath
Dragon Run NEW!
El Grande
Euchre NEW!
Exploding Kittens NEW!
Factory Fun
Family Business
Five Tribes
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Food Chain Magnate NEW!
Friday the 13th NEW!
Galaxy Trucker
Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension
Gulo Gulo
Incan Gold
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King NEW!
Karmaka NEW!
Karuba NEW!
Kragmortha NEW!
Kremlin (Limited Edition) NEW!
Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010 – ? NEW!
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
Merchant of Venus
Merchant of Venus (second edition)
Mystery of the Abbey
Mystery! Motive for Murder NEW!
Mystic Vale NEW!
Nations NEW!
Neanderthal NEW!
Pacific Typhoon
Pirate Fluxx NEW!
Planes NEW!
Port Royal
Posthuman NEW!
Queen's Necklace
Rail Baron NEW!
Red Flags NEW!
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
Running with the Bulls NEW!
Shadows over Normandie NEW!
Spookies NEW!
Star Wars: Rebellion NEW!
Stonewall Jackson's Way
Stonewall Jackson's Way II
Subdivision NEW!
Tales & Games: The Hare & the Tortoise NEW!
Tem-Purr-A NEW!
The Butterfly Garden NEW!
The Dirt Game NEW!
The Oregon Trail Card Game NEW!
The Resistance
The U.S. Civil War NEW!
Through the Desert
Ticket to Ride: Europe
Timeline: Discoveries
We Didn't Playtest This At All NEW!
Web of Power
Wings of War: Balloon Busters NEW!
Word on the Street NEW!
Xactika NEW!
Yardmaster Express NEW!
Zambezi: The Expedition Game NEW!
Zombicide: Black Plague NEW!
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11. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:19]
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Stig Morten
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Evil lurks here!
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Board Game: Junior Alias
Board Game: Mini Curling Game
Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Board Game: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles
Board Game: Eldritch Horror
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
Board Game: Love Letter: Batman
Board Game: Qwixx
Board Game: Shadowrift
Board Game: Telestrations

Junior Alias x2
With family
Mini Curling Game x2 NEW!
With family.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game NEW!
Half a play before I abandoned it due to headache and being really tired without having really read the rulebook.
Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles
Scenario 4: Bloody Gulch solitaire. Awesome game.
Eldritch Horror NEW!
With Ingmar and Erik. We managed to win it with 1 Doom token left. Cool game.
Honey Bees NEW!
Standin for a stacking game.
Love Letter: Batman
With son and daughter.
With daughter.
Shadowrift NEW!
With Ingmar, Erik and Cecilie. Not sold on this co-op deckbuilding.
With a group on New Years Eve.

Finsihed my resolution and managed 35 books.
Happy about that.
Checked out book 4-6 of DMZ comic series during the holiday.

My list of gaming.
2016- A month by month recap of games played.

311 plays
103 different games
55 new games
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12. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:271]
Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
O.Shane Balloun
United States
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 8.0   Hive x4—My son beat me in 3 out of four games
 8.0   Balloon Cup—I returned the favor (he's only 10 though, so I'm impressed at his strategic abilities in Hive while not expecting him to fully card count or bluff yet)

 8.5   SeaFall x2—Another week of total defeat at the hands of my game group. I am now 22 points behind the leader. I think what is happening is that I am playing a different game—explore because it's fun rather than optimize for that particular game's state.

 6.5   Baseball Highlights: 2045 NEW!—Pleasant.
 8.5   Scythe—Fun and lowest win ever in Scythe: I won with only $48.
 7.5   Overthrone NEW!—Delightful chaotic tactical card game.

 7.5   New Angeles NEW!—This game has all the right features for me: bidding, bluffing, skullduggery, dynamic cooperation/competition. Unfortunately, one of my opponents pulled a move on me that frustrated me tremendously and I let my emotions get the better of me because the move didn't make any sense: he put up a counteroffer that was the same as my offer and then offered the asset to anyone else who would support his win without giving any rationale. It didn't garner him anything more other than to deny me the asset, and I wasn't winning or a threat. In the end, I think he saw me as the primary threat (implied compliment, I guess), but I first interpreted it as pure hate drafting with no strategic purpose. I'll definitely play this again (and probably buy it), but the next time I play, I'll just realize that everything is up for grabs.

 7.5   Between Two Cities—Always delightful.
 8.55   7 Wonders—Also always delightful.
 7.0   Survive: Escape from Atlantis! x2 NEW!—My first play of this classic! It was better than expected, and my 10-y.o. loved it.
 7.5   Race for the Galaxy—It's been a long time. My brother surprise-visited, and he likes this game, so we played, and he defeated me.

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13. Board Game: Nyet! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1454]
Board Game: Nyet!
EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
United States
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...the headlamps of your eyes will make them dream.
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Super Big Boggle 4p ww w/rynelf&wife 4x
Six by six is madness pure
a view into the gaping void
Dave was our boggle danseur
while Robin was the queen en pointe

Saturn 4p ww w/rynelf&wife 1x
A Game born of A. Calder's dream
of balancing celestial spheres
Dave and Robin's globes did gleam
While mine fell table-bound in tears

Nyet 4p ww x1
Gosh I love this silly game
wherein you get to stymie foes
negative betting is to blame
for hands that grab you by the toes

Wits and Wagers 7p ww x4
Place your bets, and double up
And guess how much they know their stuff!
the price is right style bidding-up

Winner's Circle 6p x1
Excrement is in the lead
Colon bringing up the rear
Boner starts to draw a bead
while Scissoring begins to veer
Really man? You're juvenile!
I know, but that's what makes me smile!

Timeline: Challenge 4p ww x1
Truth is beauty, beauty truth
so you can call me snaggletooth

Welcome to the Dungeon/Welcome Back to the Dungeon 3p ww x1, 2p x1
Nominative determinism seems to be the word
For Bowser made the dungeon better with classes most absurd

Also, as has been already noted, a local gamer emailed me because his wife was sick and he was bored, and tried to compile a local best of new-to-me 2016 list. I have copied my reply below:

Small City
Eggs of Ostrich
Trains/Tyrants of the Underdark

Honorable mentions: Grand Austria Hotel, Madeira, Great Western Trail, Inhabit the Earth, Yokohama, Signorie, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Potion Explosion

First of all, it's been a phenomenal year for playing new-to-me games. Second of all, the honorable mentions list is HUUUUUUUUUUGE, and I still haven't played all my 2016 acquisitions.

1. Small City

Small in title, big in box- it's basically antiquity: the modern age. Tile placement and interesting action selection combine to make a silly, wonderful game. It fired A Feast for Odin, what with the slightly higher difficulty to get anything done, and the tough tile building rules that combine to make me feel accomplished, even as pollution chokes the shit out of me. I love the gamble in the council tracks, and the wacky random roles, as well as the asshole tourists.

2. Dynasties

This is the Sweeney Todd of games, slicing up players into delicious pies- that is to say, pie problems. The non-stop barrage of I divide/you choose in this game makes it a psychological thrill ride, and you KNOW I'm a sucker both hand management (Like brass, your hand doesn't matter until you CAN'T do something, which is nice) and big chunky dice, so this game wins in both those respects. As well, it has butt babies, and who doesn't love that (I assume you're all familiar with fourth-degree episiotomies)?

3. Eggs of Ostrich

A three player thunderdome resplendent with sexy ostriches and their cloacal ejaculations. It's not that I win or anything- as Ryan puts it, I'm always coming up with new ways to lose this game. Bursting bags, angry scowls, and amber the moment after I play my skip card. A++ would allow myself to be seduced by ostriches again and again.

4. Trains/Tyrants of the Underdark

The plethora of maps, the awesome routes, and the silly, pressurizing deck-building (fuck yo' waste) make it more fun than it has any right to be. It's weird, because I think it feels a lot looser than it really is. The constant waste is a fantastic system though, as it brings deckbuilding back to its core- randomized action pools that make you work with what you have. Why did I include Tyrants in this item? Because it's basically the ameritrash alter-dimensional doppelganger of trains. Indeed, when I purchased it, it was in the trains box adorned by a particularly sinister goatee.

5. Clank!

The bastard son of deep sea adventures and ascension, it ends up being better than either of its progenitors due to the bright, warcraft-esque art, the stupid shit that happens, and the inevitable avarice that makes us all drachenfutter, literally. Also, a a hallmark of most excellent games: Ryan bitches about turn order, so there's that.
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14. Board Game: Black Orchestra [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:461]
Board Game: Black Orchestra
"L'état, c'est moi."
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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The week that ended 2016:
Board Game: Patchwork
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Board Game: Taluva Deluxe
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
Board Game: Istanbul
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
Board Game: Black Orchestra
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel

 6   Patchwork x3 wf
I played this earlier in 2016 with Jonathan and knew my wife would like it. I was right. One play was with the Kelda who also liked it.

 8   Castles of Mad King Ludwig wf
The Daedalus insert is gorgeous.

 7   Taluva Deluxe x3 NEW!
Ok. I sold a lot of games and so I had some game money to spend and I went nuts and bought the deluxe edition with the fifth player expansion. Jeepers creepers. The tiles here are freaking HUGE. Almost comically big.

 7   The Castles of Burgundy ww
The Daedalus insert is gorgeous.

 7   Istanbul x2 TNC
It was nice to play this again. I'm seriously tempted to get my own copy.

 8   Deep Sea Adventure x2 TNC
The game that keeps on giving.

 6   Black Orchestra NEW!
Ok. So... I don't generally like co-op games. And neither does Jonathan's wife. But we all loved the unfolding narrative in this one.

 5   7 Wonders Duel NEW!
Jonathan introduced me to this one. I like regular 7 Wonders better, but this was quite decent.

2016 - Roger's Recap - a month by month summary

My year in gaming.

462 plays
135 different games
58 new games

My favourite game got the most plays of all this year. Huzzah!

My December Gaming
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game
Board Game: Dexikon
Board Game: Patchwork
Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo
Board Game: Taluva Deluxe
Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Board Game: Istanbul
Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age with Mediterranean Expansion
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
Board Game: The Witches: A Discworld Game
Board Game: Twilight Struggle
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
Board Game: Black Orchestra
Board Game: Evolution: Climate
Board Game: Grand Prix
Board Game: Jambo
Board Game: Kingsburg
Board Game: Power Grid
Board Game: Secret Hitler
Board Game: Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents
Board Game: Triumph & Tragedy: European Balance of Power 1936-1945

 8   Deep Sea Adventure x4
 5   7 Wonders x3
 6   BANG! The Dice Game x3
 7   Dexikon x3
 6   Patchwork x3
 7   Tajemnicze Domostwo x3
 7   Taluva Deluxe x3 NEW!
 7   Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers x2
 8   Castles of Mad King Ludwig x2
 7   Istanbul x2
 6   Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age with Mediterranean Expansion x2 NEW!
 7   The Castles of Burgundy x2
 7   The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game x2 NEW!
 6   The Witches: A Discworld Game x2
 10   Twilight Struggle x2
 5   7 Wonders Duel NEW!
 6   Black Orchestra NEW!
 7   Evolution: CLIMATE NEW!
 8   Grand Prix
 8   Jambo
 5   Kingsburg
 10   Power Grid
 7   Secret Hitler
 7   Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents NEW!
 8   Triumph & Tragedy NEW!

That's 48 total plays from 25 different games.
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15. Board Game: Scotland Yard: Hunting Mister X [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:11022]
Board Game: Scotland Yard: Die Jagd nach Mister X
Happy New Year, everyone!

With the new flag comes new games.

Board Game: YINSH
Board Game: Chase
Board Game: Scotland Yard: Hunting Mister X
Board Game: Lectio
Board Game: Pickomino

 8   YINSH x2
 6   Chase
 5   Scotland Yard: Die Jagd nach Mister X x8 NEW!
 7   Lectio
 5   Pickomino NEW!

A very teary farewell was preceded by some abstract fun. Totlet loves making Cookie Monster sounds when dice swllow other dice in Chase.

Arrival in the Netherlands has been quite a bit bumpier than I'd anticipated. But it's smoothing out very nicely now. My cousins are (mostly) hosting me, and they're a gaming family. I broght Lexio as a Korean-flavoured gift (as well as green tea-flavoured cookies, which went over less well), and we enjoyed our first play.

Pickomino is one of the better roll-and-save games. It doesn't outstay its welcome and has a dash of nastness to it. Typical good Knizia, in other words.

The updated gameplay of Scotland Yard is less fiddly and faster-playing than the original, which I see as a good deveolpment.

My new employer has provided me with a nice HP Probook, to which I will be adding VASSAL shortly.
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16. Board Game: Anomia [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1777] [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Anomia
United States
New York
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I wrote up a whole end of year piece on Friday, but in the time it took between hitting "Add Item" and "Save" BGG went down and my work was lost. Here are the games played 12/26/16 to 1/1/17, this time (and so far after the fact) without comment:

Board Game: Pick Up Sticks
Board Game: Pairs
Board Game: One Deck Dungeon
Board Game: Aries
Board Game: Anomia
Board Game: Lines of Action
Board Game: Chess
Board Game: 30 Rails
Board Game: Joking Hazard
Board Game: Fight!
Board Game: Lost Cities

 4   Pick Up Sticks
 7   Pairs x3
 7   One Deck Dungeon NEW!
 8   Aries
 8   Anomia x2
 9   Lines of Action x2
 5   Chess
 6   30 Rails x2 NEW!
 6   Joking Hazard NEW!
 8   Fight! x6
 7   Lost Cities

Bottom line - lots more gaming with Boo in England, a good new solo PnP, a better new solo dungeon crawl, and a new party game that needs more alcohol and sleep deprivation than was on hand at the time.

And I've rediscovered YourTurmMyTurn.com, so expect to see more Lost Cities, Street Soccer and Rosenkonig in 2017.

Saw She Loves Me which was good, and Falsettos which was exceptional.
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