GCL Snoo 21: And the emmy goes to...
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Important Links:
GameChat League: Snoo Division Subscription Thread
GCL Snoo Wiki
GameChat League Wiki (for general information about the GameChat League concept)
Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

Welcome to GCL Snoo Division's weekly geeklist!

GCL Snoo Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week.
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

GCL Snoo Geeklist Format:
• A weekly game can be 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:
Epsilon_Balls
jshufelt
ambierona
noajayne
Wisecow
LouieSTFU
jmoline
Necroblaster3000
EvilJelloMan
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1. Board Game: Oh Hell! [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2076]
Board Game: Oh Hell!
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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This week I want to try something a bit different. I'll give some broad categories, and I want people to respond with who you would nominate to 'win' that category. The game can be new or old, it does not have to be a game from 2017.
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2. Board Game: Gateway: Uprising [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:6672]
Board Game: Gateway: Uprising
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"And the emmy for best gateway game ever created goes to..."
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3. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:2989]
Board Game: Family Business
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"And the award for best family game to play during the holidays goes to..."
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4. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1617]
Board Game: Age of War
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"Up next, the award for best historic war game goes to..."
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5. Board Game: Worker Placement [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:16195]
Board Game: Worker Placement
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"Now, the mandatory-to-include award for best worker placement game is..."
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6. Board Game: Epic Card Game [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1798] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Epic Card Game
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"This year's award for best card game of all time goes to..."
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7. Board Game: Design Town [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Board Game: Design Town
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"And now, to highlight the wonderful people that make our hobby so welcoming and special, the award for best game designer goes to..."
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8. Board Game: The World Game of Economics [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Board Game: The World Game of Economics
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"Our award for most satisfying economic game goes to..."
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9. Board Game: Dice Town [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:834]
Board Game: Dice Town
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"And now for one of our personal favorite categories: dice games. The award for most innovative dice game goes to..."
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10. RPG: RPG Sandbox [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:246]
RPG: RPG Sandbox
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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"And on one final related note, our award for best RPG goes to..."
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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
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Board Game: Secret Hitler
Board Game: Dinosaur Island
Board Game: Azul
Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons
Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories


 N/A   Arkham Horror: The Card Game x3
 8   Secret Hitler x2
 8   Dinosaur Island
 N/A   Azul NEW!
 N/A   T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons NEW!


 N/A   T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons NEW! -- My wife and I play this with another couple. I'm playing the wizard. It's interesting how the system implements spells and resources, but ultimately I want to solve a mystery and I am not convinced that this addition is actually welcome.


 N/A   Azul NEW! -- Neat clean, quick, and thoughtful game. Really enjoyed this, which isn't particularly surprising because I like abstracts.


 8   Dinosaur Island -- Played without murdering all of my patrons this time. Despite playing a long game I only ended up with 5 dinosaurs at the end (though three were large carnivores so I won anyway). Remains interesting and I'm glad I bought a copy.


 8   Secret Hitler x2 -- I'm still convinced that this game is randomly decided based on whether or not you managed to accidentally get a good team early on.


 N/A   Arkham Horror: The Card Game x3 -- We finished the first plot. We were very close to having the best ending, but blew a few crucial tests (but that's Arkham!). We're now replaying with new characters, so that's an interesting experience.


On my mind:
I'm continuing with the consistent baking. I made a few sourdough loafs this past week. Despite the same recipe, one tasted better but had a worse texture than the other. I'm taking a class on rye bread this weekend that I'm pretty excited for.
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12. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:305] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Board Game: Mice and Mystics
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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  7   Mice and Mystics
  8   NMBR 9

Not a lot of plays this week. Just a few hours of gaming with my little. We finished the 4th chapter in Mice and Mystics, and are still very much enjoying it. We also played a quick game of NMBR 9 with the extra tiles promo thrown in. Still a fantastic filler.

On My Mind

Rising Sun arrived last week. Holy cow it's a lot of stuff. I'm looking forward to my first play, but I've also become more motivated to finish painting Blood Rage so that I can start painting Rising Sun. I finished the Sea Serpent and the Ice Giant this week, and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

From gallery of jmoline
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13. Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:971] [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:413]
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
Cassadi
United States
Blacklick
Ohio
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It's been a pretty awesome week of gaming for me!

First, I played some solo Russian Railroads on Yucata. I desperately want a physical copy of this game

Next I started learning Twilight Struggle. The boyfriend got it for Christmas. I purchased the app version to learn how to play. It was extremely helpful. We did play a learning game, but only made it through 2 rounds before it was time to sleep. I think it'll take us a while to really find a grove with it, but I really enjoyed our little play of it. I'll keep playing against the computer on the app until I can beat it.

For my weekly game night we played Food Chain Magnate. I love this game, but need like 20 more plays to be comfortable with it.

I snagged a copy of Legacy of Dragonholt after last week's list... Thanks! I'm loving it! Making my character was easy and fun. I've played through the initial adventure book, and I'm not on the second. I played 2 chapters on that one, and I'll be doing a 3rd at lunch today! I'm super enjoying this as a solo experience!

Saturday night was our monthly Battlestar Galactica game. We've been playing with the Pegasus expansion for a while and added Daybreak this time. I like what Daybreak has added to the game. It took us a little longer to play because of new rules, but I think after a few more we'll be back to our regular 2-3 hour games instead of 4!

Sunday I played the tutorial game of Fog of Love. I was a kind, intense, workaholic politician who wore old fashioned clothing, sensual cologne, and liked to get stone. My name was Cornelius. While our relationship did make it (only because you can't break up in the tutorial game) it was a rough ride. We were not a good fit.

On My Mind
- I joined the 1 Player Guild because I have quite a few games that will play well solo, and I enjoy time with a game to myself. Legacy of Dragonholt has reminded me of this.
- I started a geek list to track my 2018 purchases. Not because I need to stop, but I want to be aware of what I'm buying and spending money on. Do I really need another tile placing game? (Probably not, but that doesn't mean I won't still purchase it!)
- I also started a geek list for solo game session reports! GEEK LISTS EVERYWHERE!
- I'm currently reading Kushiel's Chosen and listening to The Paris Wife. I like having something to read and something to listen to in the car.
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14. Board Game: Hardback [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:898]
Board Game: Hardback
James
United States
San Francisco
California
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Board Game: Hardback
Board Game: Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama
Board Game: Majesty: For the Realm


Hardback
Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama
Majesty: For the Realm x2

I think we're hitting a time of gaming burnout a bit, so mostly finding time for something light here or there. I really want to continue the Arkham Horror LCG Dunwich cycle, but every time I have enough time to sit down for a game or two, I end up vegging out with my phone instead.


My copy of Hardback arrived from the Kickstarter, so we did give that a play. I liked it a lot. It feels more like a deck building focused game than Paperback, and a fairly tight one at that. My only complaint after a single play was that it seemed to be pretty hard to get enough money into your hand to buy up the high end cards. By the time I got a chance to get the really good cards, the game was almost over and I was way behind in points because I'd focused too much on money.

We also played along with TheOneTar's Youtube stream of Kokoro. I really like this "bingo" style idea, where anybody can play along, and hope more games will run with the concept.

Majesty is still a really solid little game. I think I like it more than Century, but am not sure. I now own this, Splendor, and Century, and I'm not sure which ones I will end up keeping.


On My Mind

- The Eagles are in the Superbowl next weekend. I haven't had cable TV for years, and have lived far, far away from Philly, so it's been hard to see my home team play very often. I've generally appreciated having my Sundays free for other activities, but the playoffs have drawn me back in and I'm pretty excited. If we win, I'm fairly sure that's how the apocalypse that started in Philly in 12 Monkeys REALLY happened.

- Since I'm somewhat burned out on games, and still don't want to stare at screens all day, I'm trying to do more reading. I read Annihilation over the weekend, and picked up the next two books in the series, but am not sure what I'll dive into after those. I have a long backlog on my Kindle. I kinda wanna read some old TSR D&D novels. I loved those things as teenager, so I'm curious if they hold up to the nostalgia.

- Work just moved my desk to a much better part of the building. It's way less noisy and my team is arranged in a way that makes it easier to interact with each other. I'm really excited, but miss having my own office at previous jobs. Open floor plans are so stressful.
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15. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:8]
Board Game: Gaia Project
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Board Game: Quests of Valeria
Board Game: Gaia Project


 6   Quests of Valeria
 N/A   Gaia Project NEW!

Gaia Project - It was Terra Mystica in space. And it wasn’t. I think the unfamiliarity of the species/races/game and previous concepts from Terra Mystica made Gaia Project a much harder game for me to play. We did the suggested 3-player setup. I had the Terrans. I made a few mistakes:

1. I focused a lot and ended up over committing on round-scoring. I jumped to a HUGE lead. Half way through the game, I was around 50 points up the next closest player was around 16 points. One round, I had a ton of mines. The next, I had a bunch of Trading Stations. The next, I had all of my Research Labs out. After that, I had no resources, and was only gaining Knowledge. Totally stalled myself. Huge mistake.

2. I built next to another player early in the game, sniping an easy planet from him. Unfortunately, this influenced him to build away from me. Additionally, since I was so far ahead, I was the perceived leader, and the other players intentionally build away from me. I struggled to cycle power all game. I think I was only able to take power 4 times total.

I was very underwhelmed with the Terrans. I feel like gaining power is pretty damn vital to their strategy to expanding, and getting power into Bowl III was *so* hard for them to use their ability and it also completely neuters the charged III power, as you’re using it for your special ability and not the other TON of useful things that power can be used for.

I ended up getting stomped. My initial impression is that Terra Mystica hit a goldilocks zone of complexity. Gaia Project felt like the needle may have bent a little out of the goldilocks zone..

How you can gain power is a totally different beast in Gaia Project, and that made a huge impact for me as what I’m accustomed to didn’t work. In Terra Mystica, you could often use the cult track a bit as a method to push you over thresholds to gain power. You could do this several times in a track. As a result, I actually always viewed the Cult Tracks to be well integrated as it was an additional way to gain power to do further actions in a turn, all while increasing over the competition. It’s much less a method in Gaia Project - not that the tech tracks aren’t integrated, but it isn’t an alternative way of gaining power. Not a bad thing, but I struggled a lot with fighting my preconceptions as I played. Getting other resources felt much easier.

Quests of Valeria - I did so poorly in this. I had a chance, with a good quest lined up, but someone wiped all the quests. The billing of "Lords of Waterdeep: The Card Game" is still accurate AF.

OMM
4 months until I'm a dad. I'm scared. Out. Of. My. Mind. All of my friends have been supportive and telling me I have nothing to worry about. Very nice of them to say that. I'm still scared! But I am also excited.

We did a huge shopping palooza for the baby. Even without substantial major sales for the stuff, we made off like bandits. (We bought $400 of gift cards for $360 several months ago, and then had a 10% off entire purchase. Plus squeezed in some manufacturer coupons for a lot of items. Basically walking out of Target with almost $230 worth of stuff for about half that. Baby stuff is so expensive.
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16. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:106]
Board Game: Alchemists
United States
Yay Area
California
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Board Game: Nine Tiles
Board Game: Magic Maze
Board Game: Loony Quest
Board Game: Five Tribes
Board Game: La Granja
Board Game: Alchemists


 9   Nine Tiles
 9.8   Magic Maze x8
 8   Loony Quest
 9.2   Five Tribes
 8   La Granja NEW!
 8   Alchemists NEW!

Nine Tiles - Wrecking noobs.

Magic Maze
- I taught this to my friends. They're more on the "casual" side of board gaming. We usually just play Cosmic Encounter and I teach them a filler or light game every now and then. I suggested playing Magic Maze since it's usually a 15 min game from teaching to winning. Usually when I teach this people win on the first or second attempt. So I was fairly surprised that it took us seven attempts to finally complete the intro scenario. They were having a lot of fun with the game so they didn't mind losing so much and they were determined to win. I feel the real-time element was really stressing one of the players out and they were unable to be in sync with the rest of us. They seemed to get a severe case of AP when people put the "Do Something" token on them. They would scan the board and then freeze up and not do anything.

Word Domination
- I only brought this and Magic Maze to game night with my friends. Unfortunately I knew it might take a bit longer than normal because of the AP player I described earlier. After I described it everyone was interested in playing it so there was no avoiding it. We played it and the entire game took 2 hours which is extraordinarily long for that game. I think I once blitzed through a 3 player game in something crazy like 18 mins. They definitely understood the game but staring into that ocean of 30 letters and trying to think of the the "best" word is probably not the best game for an AP player. I think he probably took 10 mins every time it was his turn sometimes more. And I didn't want to pressure him even more by telling him to hurry up. I think the worst part was he probably noticed he was taking forever and kept apologizing until the social pressure was too great and he would just play a small word. His first word was C-A-T and he didn't even use the S on the board to make it C-A-T-S. On the positive side I did play a monster 11 letter word on my first turn and then played W-I-N-N-I-N-G on my second turn to pick up 3 Ns and 2 Is. Super Solid. Final Scores 22-18-14-12.

Loony Quest
- Solid fairly sure the 2 people I taught it to immediately bought themselves copies on Amazon or at least they gave that impression.

Five Tribes - One of my opponents played the market really well and got an impressive 89 points solely on merchandise. Other guy played viziers aggressively early on and was able to take the vizier djinn to make a lot of points and then overall just played the board. I played the camel game and picked up the assassin djinn early to camel down quicker. I maneuvered a bunch of meeples onto my oases and palace tiles that forced the other 2 players to land on my spots and give me castles and trees. Squeaked out a win. Still really enjoy this game.

La Granja
- Wowzers the multi-use cards in this are pretty neat. I think I didn't build my engine well enough came in last by 4 points. Would definitely try again.

Alchemists - Cold hard logic. My initial hand contained multiples of 2 ingredients and so my strategy was to test these two ingredients extensively since I wasn't sure how the game worked. I more or less figured the two out and then made a couple jumps and eventually attempted some deductive reasoning to figure out the rest. I spent the last rounds just throwing my research papers at everything and debunking other people and doing exhibits. Went from last place to first place after everything was said and done. Really great game but it's a tad bit long. Feels good to get things right though.

Other Stuff

-The Scarlet Pimpernel deluxe edition is tempting mostly because of the components and Ian O' Toole. Hoping to at some point look at the reviews and see if it's worth pledging.

-Playing with my high school buddies was great again. We haven't played in months. I was really agonizing over what to bring since most of my lightweight games I've since traded away.

-Agra remains unplayed. I just felt too overwhelmed to set everything up.

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17. Board Game: 18CLE [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:9683]
Board Game: 18CLE
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Board Game: 18CLE
Board Game: Cursed Court
Board Game: Concept


 N/A   18CLE
 N/A   Cursed Court
 8   Concept

Another light week of gaming. Saturday Toby was at a career fair for his work so I live streamed a game of Concept where I was giving clues and the chat was guessing. After people showed up in the chat, it worked out pretty well. Sunday I had a couple podcast recording sessions (as a guest on other podcasts), so I wasn't able to play many games, but at night we played a quick 2-player game of Cursed Court for a review. It's a pretty neat bidding and bluffing game. Better with more players, but still fun at 2.

We did get to play 18CLE on Friday night. First 18xx we've played in over 2 months! It was a really interesting game, and it went pretty slowly. For most of the game, only one company was absorbed into the RTA! So the train rush was slow, and it looked like 6 trains might be permanent. But then it looked like someone would be force purchasing another train to get the 6D's out, so I ended up moving things around so that I got a 10 and a 6D (I had 3 companies, 2 had 6 trains). That probably wasn't the best move for me, but I thought that the game would last more OR's so I could catch up with my huge 6D route with ABC. It was a pretty interesting game with a lot of swings. At the beginning, Toby was in last place, but he did a really good move to get the first company into the RTA, so he had a bunch of RTA shares and was getting ahead. But the rest of us blocked off the RTA and made it not great, so someone else got ahead. The winner ended up being the player who was investing most of the game, since most of the companies/shares ended up very valuable and didn't get absorbed into the RTA. We had fun, but it was longer than expected (too long for a Friday night game).

On My Mind
-I'm going to be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding! I've never been a bridesmaid before (and this will probably be my only time), so I'm pretty excited!
-My nephew's 2nd birthday is coming up at the end of March, so I need to start on his present. I don't know what to make him though.. I asked him what he wanted and he pointed to the food that he had dropped on the floor.
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18. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:138]
Board Game: Suburbia
Louie
United States
SF Bay Area
California
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Board Game: Suburbia
Board Game: Hanabi


 8.9   Suburbia
 6.9   Hanabi

This was a light gaming week for me. For one, I wanted to progress in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Secondly, I had some out of town work sites to visit, as well as some social outings with the coworkers, that unfortunately did not involve gaming. . .

But on Saturday, we were able to squeeze out the following two plays:

Suburbia -- This will always be a really fun play for me, but I got the sense my two opponents felt the experience was more frustrating than anything.

A couple notes:

1.) Players drafting upstream from you can feel a bit frustrating. It's definitely happened to me, too, when there are times when the person upstream from you drafts the exact tile you need that complements your engine.
2.) PR Firm. This tile is VERY powerful, at least in the right moment. I picked this up somewhere at the end of stack B, and by then I had a high Income and was in the process of converting that to Reputation. This allowed me to max my Reputation at the expense of my Income, and as a result I scored very well.

What I enjoy about Suburbia is that it does get a lot better with multiple plays, though, so hopefully with the knowledge that PR Firm is indeed quite good in the right situation, it'll be a candidate for a priority Lake. I don't know. Thoughts?

Hanabi -- This was a great way to end the night, in my opinion. I love these small card games that play well at lower counts, and it definitely provided a good deduction puzzle with a decent amount of thought.

I've never tried to "meta" this game by defining some strategies with discarding beforehand. More power to those that do, especially if they find that fun. For me, I have plenty of fun bumbling around, forgetting clues, and playing straight up.

OMM

- I could not care less about this Superbowl pairing. To me it is the most boring pairing that could have come out. I was rooting for a Jaguars and Vikings Superbowl, and I lost complete interest when these teams lost.

You know what? I'm rooting for Tom Brady. The Patriots did give the 49ers their future QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, after all.

- I'm progressing with Breath of the Wild. Not as fast as I would like, since I'm a bit busy, but I've got 5 Hearts, and 4/5 of the way to a full second stamina wheel. I also grinded out that house at Hateno Village, and I'm currently on my way to completing my first Divine Beast. The giant mechanical elephant looks scary, which is where I stopped last night.
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19. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:214]
Board Game: Pulsar 2849
Jeremy P
United States
waconia
MN - Minnesota
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Board Game: Machi Koro
Board Game: Sentient
Board Game: Pulsar 2849
Board Game: Kingdomino


 6.5   Machi Koro x2
 N/A   Sentient
 N/A   Pulsar 2849
 7   Kingdomino

Pulsar 2849 -- Pulsar really came close to nailing what I'm looking for in a board game. 3.0-3.5 weight range, but playtime in under 2 hours. Lots of tough, engaging choices, but doesn't require dozens of plays of understand the complexity of multiple systems woven together or an entire evening to play. With teaching in a 4 player game it took right about 2 hours exactly. With a group comfortable with the game I imagine you can play this in 1 to 1.5 hours. I've spoken quite a bit about this recently, but after 5 years of playing modern board games I feel like I'm honing in on the type of game I really enjoy. I will note, although there is a way to modify turn order each round, the last player in the first round felt it was difficult for him overcome this deficit.

Sentient -- A bit of a puzzley tactical, gamers filler. There is a bit to think about, some nice push and pull with balancing area contol and managing your tableau. I didn't love it though. It's a fine game, but like the robots featured in the pasted on theme, felt a bit soulless.

Machi Koro/Kingdomino -- Got in a couple games of with my 6 year old. Finally convinced him to try to Kingdomino, which he enjoyed. I really do enjoy playing games with him quite a bit. It's a different experience than playing with my board game group, mainly due to his age. Machi Koro was a great example. Unlike me, who is strategizing my purchases, considering long term combos... just playing like a board gamer. He is seeking the shortest path of victory. At end game, which he won, he owned a half the amount of properties that I purchased.

OMM

New episode of Hardcore History w/Dan Carlin just released. As much as I love HH. I'm really missing his Common Sense podcast in this current political climate.

Finished Mr. Robot season 3. It made me realize how season 2 was a bit too convoluted for it's own good and lost focus on the story. Season 3 was fantastic and contained one of the most engaging episodes of a TV show I've ever seen.

I rarely have time for video games... but I bought Monster Hunter World anyways. I also recently picked up Celeste, which I'm really enjoying. It plays like Super Meat Boy + Braid, but has a whole lot of heart and touches on some serious themes.
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