GCL Phoenix 396: Neighbors (5 August 2018)
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Welcome to the Phoenix Game Chat League!

If you stumbled upon this geeklist by accident or through your subscriptions, please read the GameChat League wiki page for information about what this is all about. We're glad to get to know visitors through constructive comments, but please leave the adding of items to members.


Active Phoenixes:
familygaming
grasa_total
indigopotter
John Rogers - next week
karlfast
Lowengrin
rynelf
Tigrillo
woodnoggin

Always welcome to participate:
archivists, BennyD, Bruzza, chally, darker, Dormammu, Eeeville, enzo622, hawk-x-, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, Morganza, Mr_Nuts, Muse23PT, ravenskana, Smintie, Taibi, TheRocketSurgeon, tjshields, topherr, Yokiboy
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1. Board Game: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Grr-ific Game [Average Rating:3.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Grr-ific Game
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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I named this list in honor of the Mr. Rogers movie that's out. We both want to see it, but would prefer to have boxes of kleenex at home while watching it. Has anyone seen it? Did you like it?

This item is for our neighbors (visitors to the list) to post a comment about what they've been playing.
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2. Board Game: 1914: Revision Kit [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Board Game: 1914: Revision Kit
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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One of the things that I've heard about Mr. Rogers is that, if he saw something in his show later that wasn't how he wanted it, he would go back and re-tape it to improve it.

It came to mind while I was watching the Highlights documentary "44 Pages" on Netflix or Hulu the other day. I find things like that interesting, especially since I grew up with Highlights. They were showing some of the older issues, things that you wouldn't say/include now (things that weren't culturally sensitive). One person said that, as much as they try, in 20 years, they might look back now, and feel that way about some of the things they say or do now. They try to be more inclusive on their pages, but they have certain things they won't include (they get letters from same-sex parents asking to be shown on the pages, and kids will write and ask why they don't see same-sex parent families in the magazine). So they're aware of the omission, and have consciously made that choice.

Are there games that you played earlier in your gaming life that might not seem right now? As an example, perhaps they have all male characters and now would probably have at least one female character? Or depicted another culture in a certain way?

Are there games that you like that improved with a revision, or, conversely, where you prefer the earlier version? Is there a game that could be improved by a revision?

Are there games, especially older games, where you acknowledge it as a product of its time, and make a mental note, but still enjoy the game play?
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3. Board Game: Drive-In [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Drive-In
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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There is a drive-in theater somewhat near our house. I remember the drive-in that we went to at least once when I was young. Sam and I said that maybe we'll go to this one sometime. We've occasionally seen long lines of cars waiting to get in, so it seems popular. For most kids, though, drive-ins are something from the past, maybe from old movies.

Are there games with elements or themes that stick out as something that younger people/your kids if you have them might not be familiar with or relate to? Rotary phones (my grandparents had one when I was growing up), the Berlin Wall, renting VHS tapes from Blockbuster (and having to rewind!), getting sent tapes every month from Columbia house.

We were watching an episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" with Jerry Seinfeld, and he said, 'People used to say, I wish I had a camera. No one says that anymore'. A BGG friend on Facebook mentioned ordering games from a publisher in Europe (not Splotter, one that was hard to order from) and commented how rare it was now, but how that used to be the standard. Much harder to hunt down and order games. I myself have ordered directly from a publisher in Europe a couple of times (one of the expansions from "Oh My Goods!" comes to mind). Is there something about gaming where "no one says that anymore", where something that used to be a hardship that isn't so much anymore? Or do you still hunt down games from Japan and Europe, or small war game publishers, and so your experience hasn't changed that much?

One thing that comes to mind is play by mail, that can now be play by email or play by forum, or even play by app/Vassal/Tabletopia/etc. There's a certain instantaneous connection that's possible now that wasn't possible 25 years ago.

Sam grew up playing D&D, played it with his brother/friends. Now he can record a podcast with people from all over the world, and play online games (sometimes voice, sometimes with video). That's something amazing his high school self couldn't have imagined.

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4. Board Game: Rotation [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Rotation
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Carol - 5th August
John - 12th August
Nicolai - 19th August
Michael - 26th August
Karl - 2nd September
Dave - 9th September
Morten - 16st September
Rich - 23rd September
Alison - 30th September


*Nicolai is taking Karl's August 19th spot.
Karl is doing Paulo's September 2nd spot.
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5. Board Game: Los Banditos [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:5132]
Board Game: Los Banditos
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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We played some 7th Continent earlier in the week. Hoping to play a little more this afternoon.

Friday was the 11th anniversary of our first date, and we spent it putting down new floor in Sam's office and the hallway (same as the living room/dining room). We moved everything out of the room and tore up the carpet on Thursday, then did the floor and moved everything back on Friday. We arranged it differently, so it feels new, clean, and more useful.

As Sam was organizing his books, he found some more to donate, I chipped in one or two, and I took 16 games from the trade shelf that were bulky/oddly shaped/otherwise hard to ship, and we made a trip to the game café (alt+130) yesterday with the books and games. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and we had lunch and played Ganz schon Clever and Los Banditos.

The owner was very happy to get the books and games. If we want to play them, we know where they are, and in some cases, we're much more likely to get them played 3p or 4p there than here.
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6. Board Game: The Lost Expedition [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:757]
Board Game: The Lost Expedition
Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I pulled this off the shelf over the weekend for some solo play. I did a couple of tune-up games yesterday, losing both, and sat down today for a serious crack at this.

Game 1: Got to 7 and was close to 8, but was missing the right expertise to advance and finish the round and maybe get to Z. So a close loss.

Game 2. Brutal loss. Got to 6. No chance. It was all bad.

Game 3: YES! I found Z with one explorer at one health, and nothing more. Barely survived but it's a win.

Game 4: AGAIN! I found Z for a second game, this time with 2 explorers, each with one health, and a bit of food. Best win yet.

Game 5; Got to 7, like my first game, and then died lacking ammunition that would have to me to 8 and, with a touch of luck, all the way to Z.

I'm feeling more confident about this. I feel like one should be able to get to 8 or 9 most of the time, with skilled play. But man it's tough.

My basic strategy is to minimize damage in the morning, make gains in the evening, and advance my explorer whenever possible.

The morning can be rough since all the cards have to be in sequential order. I like cards that let me skip bad stuff and swap things around. I also look for combos where two cards in a row turn out to be a wash: lose ammunition but gain food, or lose some health but gain back expertise.

The evening gives you more control over the sequence, so I hold back better card for then and try to means either increasing my health/food/expertise or moving my explorer. Even so, I still like to have a card to skip over bad cards.

I assume I'm going to be worse off after the morning, but I feel my odds are okay when the afternoon results in some progress and minor losses.

I also assume I'm going to lose at least one explorer, and probably two. My rough calculation is that I'm going to lose one health for every advancement towards Z since I have 9 health and need to advance 8 times. So if I can get health (or expertise) that's good, and if I have to spend one health to advance that's a reasonable cost, even if it means an explorer dies. But spending losing two health is too costly.


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7. Board Game: Territories [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:13000]
Board Game: Territories
Alison Mandible
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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Board Game: Roll to the Top!
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
Board Game: Exceed Fighting System
Board Game: Bananagrams
Board Game: Territories
Board Game: Stroop
Board Game: Decrypto
Board Game: Cavum


 7   Roll to the Top! x4 (6 all-time)

I think my rating for this might be about to drop. It's fine, but increasingly it feels like on a complicated map what matters most is noticing a couple of pinch points and putting the best number you can there, and on a simple map what matters is nothing.

 10   Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends (505 all-time)
 9   EXCEED Fighting System (9 all-time)

Exceed seems to be getting me in touch with my Tammy* side. This duel I was playing Morathi, whose mechanics revolve around "Wild Swings", i.e. attacking with a random card from the top of the deck, normally a last resort. Even better, one of his ultra attacks is designed around being beneficial to randomly draw at the 'wrong' time. And it was fun! I narrowly lost.

* i.e. playing games for something cool to happen.

 5   Bananagrams x2 (23 all-time)

I seem to be playing this more. I even bought a copy! (A coworker expressed interest.)

 7   Territories x2 NEW!

A $1 game from the BGG library sale. Surprisingly tasty! (The rating seemed low, even with the usual penalty for abstract games that the BGG hivemind applies, but I think being sold in a Ziploc probably hurt it too?) Many of the decisions are forced or almost-forced, but it's SO fast that the rate of interesting choices per minute is above average.

 5   Stroop x3 (4 all-time)

Three quick games in a row with the same two opponents.

First game: I explained clearly that round 1 was simple (just play a card fitting the word someone says) and it went better than the other time I taught it. But I still won by a mile.

Second game: We added the advanced cards and I lost. Yay! The first round was still not very interesting, but it's clear that's needed to make round 2 hard.

Third game: SUDDENLY ROUND ONE WAS HARD TOO. The alternation that comes from playing multiple games in a row makes it more interesting.

 9   Decrypto x2 (12 all-time)
 5   Cavum NEW!

I liked this... okay. I can certainly see how it would be better with experience; some of our guesses about what was worth doing were just wrong. But I think I just don't like Kramer's games, with or without Kiesling. Kiesling solo would rather put you on obvious rails and make the game about whether you can find the secret degrees of freedom; with Kramer it's more like superficial freedom with the challenge being to find the hidden requirements. Maybe once you find them there's another game beyond that, that looks like a Kiesling game, I don't know. It's not worth the search, to me. I did like this more than Tikal or Torres, though.
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8. Board Game: Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:3527] [Average Rating:8.40 Unranked]
Board Game: Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution
John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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Board Game: Container
Board Game: Reef Encounter
Board Game: Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution
Board Game: Codenames


10  Container (41 all-time)
10  Reef Encounter (33 all-time)
8  Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution x3 NEW!
6  Codenames (9 all-time)

I also helped setup/teach a number of other games including Cube Quest and more Codenames; however, after teaching I walked away and wasn’t needed for in-game questions.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

It was my birthday Friday. A lady at my job brought cupcakes and gave me a tumbler for the inevitable winter, I worked half a day, and folks at game night brought goodies. All around a great day.

Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution

Journey through history continues courtesy of Mr. Borg. This week it was the American Revolution (or insurrection depending on which side of the pond you are from). Anyways, David and Lee played the first session while I played rules Sherpa between this and Container (more on that in a minute).

I sat up Freeman’s Farm and David took the redcoats and Lee the continentals; David won 7-6. A few things stood out right away; leaders are important in a way I hadn’t seen since Ancients and the retreat/rally mechanism had a significant impact on the game (7/13 medals were acquired this way). David said he liked it but was unsure at how much. Lee said the rally checks were devastatingly powerful. I felt as an observer that the game was quite thrilling.

Later that night, Lee and I revisited Tricorne with two battles of Bemis Heights. After watching that first session between David and Lee I paid special attention to the position of my troops and leaders in order to maximize support (and avoid routes). The first round I took the continentals and won soundly 5-1; Lee and I each routed one unit off the map. We flipped the board and this time as the Brits I won 5-1 with myself gaining the sole routing medal.

Lee said the outcomes were much to do with poor rolls on his part, and this is partly true; however, I noticed that he often attached his leaders to units in order to gain extra dice in combat whereas I preferred my leaders in lone hexes surrounded by as many units as I could in order to provide wider spread support. The upshot was Lee had a hard time converting flags into routes, rarely rolling more than two at a time which all my units could ignore up to. This coupled with few unit-based rolls created an untenable situation for him.

My thoughts? This is fast shooting up my ranks. One of the things I love about C&C, Ancients in particular, is the use of leaders (support, bonus dice, inspired leadership), the impact of retreats, and battle-back. All of these are featured in Tricorne and it amps up the first two by allowing a lone leader to act as support for multiple adjacent units, gives all leaders +1 die for attached units, and ramps up the likelihood of flags for potential routing (2/6 d-sides are flags). I think it makes for very interesting dilemmas and tactical choices. While I don’t care for the period as much as Ancients, Tricorne’s play is definitely very satisfying. I can’t wait to solo it this week.

Container

About midway through Tricorne a few folks showed up who had come particularly for Container and Root (somebody else had kickstarted the latter as well and it too went off fairly well though I didn’t see much of it played). I was about to play when a fifth onlooker joined in so I hosted. All were new except for Bill who hadn’t played in over a year. I was very curious to see how they would take to it. Many had seen it on KS or on SU&SD or Heavy Cardboard. There is legit hype for this one.

In the end there was lots of shouting and jokes and they all really enjoyed it. None of them thought it was hard to play and all felt it had plenty of interesting decisions to make. I asked Stephen (the guy who lives GWT and Terra Mystica) what he thought and he said it was great, better than the Great Zimbabwe which I had made him play a couple of months before. He also ended up playing Root and likewise preferred Container to it for its straight-forward play.

Me? Well I’m really pleasently surprised at how many and how much local players are digging the game. One player lamented that he’ll likely not play it again for 6mons (because that’s what happens in a churn-and-burn environment); I promised to bring it throughout the summer for him though. More Container is always a good thing.

Reef Encounter

So Tricorne ended halfway through Container and Lee wanted to play Reef Encounter with Missa, who thought the googly-eyed shrimp (courtesy of my wife) were quite cute. I was still running Container but decided I could referee both. Missa usually plays lighter games and so in fairness I told her this was a bit heavier than her normal fare. She didn’t mind though so I walked her through the action possibilites and the open-sea board.

They finished their session right after Container wrapped-up with Lee winning 78-48 (Missa could have closed the gap a bit more had she opted to flip a different tile). Lee was quite pleased with his first victory and Missa said she wanted to play again sometime and enjoyed watching her reefs grow and expand though admitted to having a difficult time wrapping her head around the coral values and open-sea board; I told her that is super common for new players and that she would undoubtedly become more comfortable and improve her play the next time.

Just like Container I’m happy to see folks enjoying this classic Breese title. Most folks here are familiar with Keyflower but few have ever heard of Reef Encounter. One guy who was playing Container popped his head up long enough to notice Reef Encounter and commented that it looked interesting. I told him it was like playing a cross between Acquire and Tigris and Euphrates which really intrigued him. Guess I’ll have to continuously pack this one around too.

Codenames

Well after Reef Encounter I encouraged Missa to pick another and she opted for Codenames. Last week Codenames was awful. This week? It was a blast! This game is so much better when folks are playing primarily to have fun. At some point I’ll have to introduce Nicole to this.

WHAT’S NEXT

I’m on vacation this week and plan on soloing some C&C and reading through the Law of Root. Stay tuned for that one.
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9. Board Game: 1834 [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:9952] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Board Game: 1834
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 4Aug2018:

9/4/241 plays of 7/3/138 total games, with 0/0/26 expansions employed.
Plays with 21/11/121 distinct opponents.

0/0/19 games acquired (plus 0/0/10 expansions.)
0/0/1 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
0/0/10 games ordered (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
Orders for 1 games and 0 expansions still outstanding.

With family (and friends):
Board Game: Super Big Boggle

image by DICE_COLLECTOR

2x _7⅔_ Super Big Boggle (37 +87++ total plays)

My wife wins (of course); but the youngsters play well too. One of these plays featured daughter #1's college roommate (who was visiting for the weekend.) She was fun and clever and fit in well with the family insanities.


With the Lunch@work group:
Board Game: North American Railways

image by W Eric Martin

1x _7⅓_ North American Railways New!

Interesting little game. Probably a bit more subtle than we were prepared for: I don't think many of us (definitely including me!) played well. I'd be delighted to give it another shot some time.


With the Wednesday night gang:
Board Game: Founders of Gloomhaven

image by Cephalofair

2x _7_ Founders of Gloomhaven New!

We got a few rules wrong in both plays (and, in fact, the first one was abandoned because things were So Wrong.) The second was a bit better; but, again, a few things were played incorrectly that made the game less appealing than it should have been.

So it has potential for better.

I'm still a bit dubious about the physical thing: while it's pretty, it's not terribly clear. And I thing I prefer games where I don't need to work quite as hard to see exactly what's going on.


With friends last Sunday:
Board Game: 1834

image by d0gb0t

1x _7⅔_ 1834 New!

Entertaining in a couple ways. I'd expected a set of (financial) atrocities: and none of them occurred, because the game didn't work the way I expected. But other things also happened that weren't quite what I'd expected after the rules perusal, too; and they were as amusing in the other direction.

So I've loads of room for better play. And would be delighted for the opportunity: it's a fine little game.


With team at work:
Board Game: Q.E.

image by hanwellian

1x _7⅔_ Q.E. (3 total plays)

Worked really nicely. It's pretty: easy to explain; quite fast to play; and decidedly entertaining for these numerically-unchallenged folk. A definite winner.

Board Game: Little Town

image by nannann2002

1x _7⅔_ リトルタウンビルダーズ Ritorutaunbirudāzu 'Little Town Builders' (7 total plays)

Also received very well. (A couple folk took pictures of the box in hopes of finding it for sale. They were a bit disappointed when I told them of the transshipment service in Japan and the opportunity to purchase on amazon.co.jp.)

Board Game: Timeline: Inventions

image by zombiegod

1x _7_ Timeline: Inventions (10 total plays) (42 months dusty)

Entertaining, and yet still overstayed its welcome (I think that other folk were helping their colleagues place cards near the end in hopes of the game ending: I know I was!). Some of that was the insanity of playing with 9 of us. We ended up with a pretty substantial list of Inventions. Still, it was fun to include (almost) everyone (a few folk had needed to head home before the last game was played.)


Owned-and-unplayed: 3 (+0/-1) - 1834 was played.
Owned-and-played-once: 97 (+1/-0) - 1834 was played once.

Outlook for the week: Wednesday folk (Root!) Lunch gang (Monday? Thursday? Wednesday appears to be a problem this week.) And likely some more plays with family. Probably a choir practice, too, just for variety.
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10. Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:1578]
Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62
A couple of light games with Rich and K at the library Monday and then a rather heavy start to the new month. I sold a few games and bought a few games. 2 lighter wargames and Attika because I’d never played it and because I got it for 4 euros.

Board Game: Throne and the Grail

 9   Throne and the Grail x2 (43 all-time)
Even though we didn’t play nearly as many games as we would have loved there were a few that were musts. Eggs of Ostrich the week before and Throne and Grail now. I first taught Rich (he won by doing something I just said he could do and I still fell for the bluff) and then K while B was crawling around being much more awake than her parents.



Board Game: ZÈRTZ

 9   ZÈRTZ (47 all-time)
Rich had mentioned he’d only played ZÉRTZ once and many years ago (I think) because K wasn’t fond of it. Being one of my favourite games I thought this might be a chance for him to play it again. And Rich played really well! It was a very tight game where we both of us ended up needing just one marble to win. Only two marbles left and the board was small. This meant that I could win by isolating a ring with a marble on it. Rich didn’t like that about it and I understand but when the board is small it’s very often something small like this that decides the winner and I do not mind.


Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?

 8   Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? (4 all-time)
Another play of Labyrinth with my colleague. This time I only needed to take off 2 hours from work to finish a game of it so we’re definitely becoming more comfortable with the system. This time we played the Anaconda variant and this time it was me who put a lot of pressure on him in the first round. I had a handful of cards that could lower his funding level all the way down to 1. That would give me a very strong early advantage since he would only be able to use 5 cells. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that a succesfull plot in a good country would double the funding received so instead of 3 he ended up on 5 which gave him access to five more cells. From then on it was a matter of trying to catch up with him because I had not done much else with my first hand. What made matters worse was that he forced the US to change from hard to soft posture early in round 2 and too many of the coalition countries had a soft posture too so changing it back made little sense. I tried to keep up with his jihad but in the end I couldn’t do anything about Iraq becoming an Islamist state which then spread to Syria because I couldn’t invade. First victory for the jihadist side in our plays.


Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62

 7  Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 x2 (3 all-time)
Same evening a friend came by for our second play of Colonial Twilight and Saturday morning we met up for our third. Both plays were the medium length variant where FLN has more cells on the board. Our Wednesday play must still count as a learning play because we realised that I had forgotten the small rule that I can only change the support status of a region if I control it. So my victory on propaganda card two was wrong. That fixed for our Saturday play I tried to use some of the things I had learnt and spread out over the board and built a few bases in the 0 population areas in the mountains because they are hard to knock out by the French forces. I chose the peace talk event early in the second campaign, which meant that we couldn’t assault each other’s pieces. So I could spread out some more and left active cells in regions where a neutralize action would cause the region to become opposed and thereby give me points. In the end, however, I was forced to spend too many resources trying to keep the French from getting enough points from removing my bases and getting support in the populous regions. When he chose an event that removed four of my resources, I was down to 1 and had nothing to counter his progress with anymore. Afterwards, we talked about what to do as the FLN player because you want to have bases out but if they are removed by the French they get points. We both have to fight over the populous regions for support for our cause but the French are much better situated for that. Perhaps I should focus a bit more on moving my pieces around and assaulting his troops but it’s hard.


Board Game: Terraforming Mars

 6   Terraforming Mars (20 all-time)
Friday after work, Lærke and I sat down for a game of TM with the Prelude expansion and the promos Rich had brought from Sweden. We both agreed that we won’t play without the expansion again because it speeds up the first few rounds markedly with the added boost to your engine they give you. I’m not so sure about the corporation Lærke got though. For only 4 MC you can boost the lowest production level on your board – every generation. In a two-player game that is massive! I did manage to counter it though but that was only because I was lucky enough to get a couple of very strong VP cards early and had my production of titanium from one of the Prelude cards. 24 points from just those two cards in the end and 61 points from cards in total – plus the eccentricity award for having the most cubes on cards. It was a close game but I may want to remove that corporation from 2-player games.


Board Game: Time of Crisis: The Roman Empire in Turmoil, 235-284 AD

 9   Time of Crisis (10 all-time)
The latest Vassal play of ToC was interesting and very tight in the end. For me, it wasn’t the most fun game unfortunately because my early lead plus 3 emperor turns meant I got beaten so far back that it was tough for me to get back into the game. Impossible when I over two rounds tied my battles and thereby couldn’t get those extra provinces which again meant my deck didn’t improve. Martin was in the same situation for a while but had a very nice last turn so managed to overtake both me and one more. Scores were 64-62-56-55 which is the closest I’ve seen so far in my 10 plays. Nicolai and me have also found two other players to set up a group that will play ToC once a month face to face starting from next month.


Board Game: Attika

 7   Attika x3 NEW!
A classic that I’ve thought about acquiring for a year or two. I guess most of you have played (but perhaps not for a while) and aren’t as surprised as I was by how cutthroat it can be. Perhaps too much for Lærke but I enjoyed more than I had expected actually. The fun may not last that many plays but it’s great value for money already after 3 plays.






Games that left my collection this month: BIOS: Megafauna (2nd Edition), 878: Vikings – Invasions of England, Carcassonne: The Castle and Kingdom Builder.

Games that entered my collection this month: Fading Glory, Manoeuvre and Attika.

Unplayed games in my collection: Tahuantinsuyu, 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight, Sword of Rome, El Alamein, Continental Divide, Populi Turolii, Kaivai, Napoleon's Triumph, てづま師 (Tezuma Master), Hansa, Fading Glory and Manoeuvre.
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11. Board Game: Easy School [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:16796]
Board Game: Easy School
Nicolai Broen Thorning
Denmark
Ebeltoft
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Games Played Week 31:

  7.5   1x Terraforming Mars
  7.0   1x Imhotep

2 plays of 2 distinct games with 1 game New to Me
New to Me

The Week in Review:

Board Game: Terraforming Mars

At the height of the heatwave we played a game of Terraforming Mars outside in the evening, waiting for the temperatures to cool just a little bit, to enable us to sleep. I still enjoy the game, and since V. loves it, it is likely to stick around. Hopefully we will get it into rotation because V. takes forever with her turns. Familiarity with the cards is likely to decrease playtime, even given the huge number of cards in the game.

The game itself was odd. There was very little interaction on the board before the end, when we both (me especially) pushed the end. My machine was powered by a money-making venture on resources, so it allowed me to press forward. In the end it was fairly tight, since V. sneaked a science award from under my nose (and because neither of us could see the cards on the other side of the table in the dark).



Board Game: Imhotep

On Friday we picked up a game and a few expansions from Morten, who, once again, played the role of boardgame courier. Imhotep is a game I have played a few times on Yacata.de and lost all but one. This trend continued with our first game face-to-face. I would be hard-pressed to say why I like it, but it fascinates me and the local version was decently priced, though the size of the box made no sense.

V. enjoyed it too, so more plays are likely.






The Week Ahead:
V. is back at work, getting ready for the kids to arrive next week (she is a teacher). I am finishing my summer class on Vikings and will hopefully have handed in my assignment by Friday.

E. goes away on Sunday for her year at boarding school.

I see few games this week. soblue
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12. Board Game: Normandy '44 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1431]
Board Game: Normandy '44
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Four Evening Solo
Board Game: Normandy '44

 8   Normandy '44 x1 Newish!

Although I picked up Normandy '44 back in April 2016, it wasn't until this week that I actually pushed the counters around the board for the first time. Back in 2016, the sheer number of counters intimidated me enough to put it away and look for a hex-and-counter wargame or two that was a bit smaller in size. I found them in the No Retreat series.
From gallery of Lowengrin

Now that I've played Normandy '44, I'm not sure what the fuss was about. Yes, there are more counters (and they are smaller) so it's a bit more fiddly than No Retreat!: The North African Front, but turns ended up playing just as quickly. Counter stacking limits and the 18-factor attack/defence restriction makes for pretty quick calculations and there's no requirements like the in days of old (AH) that require a side to attack every hex that they have units adjacent to. So the combat phase of every turn has only a few (critical) engagements.

I'm not sure when I'll get it back to the table, but I'll definitely keep it in my collection (unless some other game comes along on the same subject that makes it completely redundant).


Saturday w/S&K
Board Game: Massive Darkness

 7   Massive Darkness w/The Cockatrix and Troglodytes x2 (15 all-time)

As I mentioned, we "ramped" up the difficulty by introducing some fan-suggested variants. Between that and starting new characters, I'm surprised all our characters survived. S and K were a bit skeptical about the changes in our first play; that we couldn't defeat the tutorial made them protest a bit. But I made them stick it out and by the end of our second game, they were seeing it wasn't quite so unbalanced. Of course, it helped that by the second game, they understood all the special abilities of their characters...!


The Week Ahead
It's a short work week as Monday is a statutory holiday ("BC Day") and I have Friday off, so hopefully that will translate into some time for gaming. And if all else fails, Sunday afternoon, I have plans for some Series: 18xx.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: Near and Far, Sakura Arms, Maria, The U.S. Civil War, Francis Drake, German Railways, Tikal and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648.

Unplayed games not in shrink: Mottainai.
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13. Board Game: CuBirds [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1488]
Board Game: CuBirds
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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Last week's plays:

-8- Gloomhaven (x2)
-7?- SeaFall
-7- Throne and the Grail New!
-6- CuBirds New!
-6- ZÈRTZ

I'm finding it hard to carve out any time to sit down and write about these plays, so I'll add to this if and when I can.

Our second SeaFall campaign is coming towards its conclusion and everyone is glad of that. It's a fine game for the first half but the last part is extremely fragile and prone to luck warping the game. We just about made it through my first campaign without too much unfairness but this time (with a different group of players) we've had some poor experiences. We've almost run out of things to do; there certainly aren't enough achievements left for everyone to attain. Two of the five of us are sick of the game and took some convincing to even play this time. Mike says he has one more play in him, then he's quitting. I hope we can round things off next time, for the sake of completeness. It's a shame because the first half of the campaign shows much potential.

I was changing B's nappy the day after our Gloomhaven games and noticed something unsual in it, a small round object. It turned out to be a cardboard disc and I recognised the pattern on it as one of the Scoundrel's status tokens. Apparently, it had fallen unnoticed to the floor during the game and lay there until B later found and ate it. The token passed straight through her pretty much undamaged, but I decided not to return it to the box with the other components. gulp

Morten showed me Throne and the Grail and it was pretty cool. It reminded me of Hanamikoji in some ways. I won an unlikely grail victory I think mainly because my hesitant plays and uncertainty over whether I had understood all the rules helped to cover the fact that I had the third grail in hand.

I enjoyed most of the ZÈRTZ game but the ending was unsatisfactory. I was looking forward to seeing how the board would change with the final moves but had a momentary lapse of concentration which handed an easy win to Morten. Each turn up to that point I had been thinking I must be careful not to leave him the option of isolating a marble he needed, then for some reason (lack of sleep, probably) I forgot my mantra and carelessly removed a tile which gave him a freebie. This is exactly the issue with abstract games I mentioned the other week - playing fast and loose is quickly punished. I would have much preferred to lose to a clever ploy Morten had set up, leaving me no choice but to hand him victory. A slip-up leading to an immediate loss was a disappointing way to conclude the game. Still, I was glad to have tried it again, and glad to give Morten the opportunity to play one of his favourites.

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14. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:53]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I've been playing RfTG on the iPad, as mentioned earlier.

This week I finished 50 games against (a) Medium AI, (b) 2-p experienced, and (3) with Gathering Storm expansion.

I managed to win 33 games, lose 16, and tie 1. I figure a 2/3rd win rate is decent and I should be able to improve on that.

Then I started playing the hard AI. I lost 4 of my first 5 games. Clearly I have room for improvement.

The iPad app is exceptional.
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