GCL Mafia 395: The Avatars
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

Important Links:
GameChat League: Mafia Division Subscription Thread (links to past lists, subscribe for weekly notifications)
GameChat League Wiki (for general information about the GameChat League concept)
GCL Mafia Wiki (for specific information about this division)
Thesp's GCL Games Played Tool (an easy-to-use tool for collating your plays for the week)

GCL Mafia 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 Mafia Geeklist Format:
• Each week, one or more questions will be posted. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics. Themed questions are optional. Gifs are always encouraged.
• Members can post additional items as they see fit.

Current Roster:
captainraffi
touchstonethefool
cferejohn
ambierona
noajayne
LouieSTFU
Necroblaster3000
fdubois
charlest
Happymrdave
tallgrant
annowme
mith
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
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1. Board Game: Avatar Adventures [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Avatar Adventures
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Let's talk avatars! Each item has a different question about your BGG avatars, so make sure you don't accidentally answer additional questions before realizing I asked it in a different item!


Also, obligatory for the three people on the internet who haven't seen the video that inspired this week's list:



As per request, here is a table of all the active GCL Mafia members' avatars.

Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Microbadge: Board Game Blitz fanMicrobadge: Kirby fanMicrobadge: I crochetMicrobadge: Disney fanMicrobadge: I have more previously owned games than owned games

Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: St Louis Blues fanMicrobadge: Android: Netrunner fan - JintekiMicrobadge: Earth Reborn fanMicrobadge: Root fanMicrobadge: Ding & Dent Podcast

Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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Microbadge: Babylon 5 fanMicrobadge: Gaia Project fanMicrobadge: Nemo's War (second edition) fanMicrobadge: Dawn of the Zeds 3rd EditionMicrobadge: Mage Knight Board Game fan

United States
Yay Area
California
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Microbadge: AquaSphere fanMicrobadge: I tipped into the Geekgold infinite loopMicrobadge: Nine Tiles fanMicrobadge: "This is fine."Microbadge: Animals on Board fan

Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
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MIND. BLOWN.
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Microbadge: I love random tables!Microbadge: Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist: While you were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!Microbadge: Dice (d6) fanMicrobadge: Oh No! I forgot to post to my PbF!Microbadge: Dreams about board games

Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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The Golden Camel UberBadge is a mystery. Nobody knows where it came from or how it got there.
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No one expects the Spanish penguin!
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Microbadge: Twitch fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animalsMicrobadge: Nintendo Switch fanMicrobadge: Golden CamelMicrobadge: Dragon Dice fan

Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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Meow.
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Microbadge: Meaty Game fanMicrobadge: Train GamerMicrobadge: My cat destroys games in progressMicrobadge: Owner of Too Many Unplayed GamesMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."

Cassadi
United States
Blacklick
Ohio
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Corgi loverMicrobadge: Beer connoisseur - I drink my beer from a glassMicrobadge: Gaming alone since '18Microbadge: I crochet

Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Microbadge: Ding & Dent PodcastMicrobadge: Greatway Games podcast fanMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: The Five By podcast fanMicrobadge: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals

Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Microbadge: Muffin loverMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: GatePlay.comMicrobadge: ProfessorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
[/q]
Louie
United States
SF Bay Area
California
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FIDDLY AND UNSATISFYING
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Microbadge: "This is fine."Microbadge: Ramen loverMicrobadge: Pizza loverMicrobadge: Grind, wet, pour, enjoy!Microbadge: IPA Beer fan - Make it hoppy

Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Well me known for eating cookie when me don't they shout
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Look! He try to throw loyal fans a curve!
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Microbadge: Lucky Owner of a War of the Ring Collector's EditionMicrobadge: Space Alert fanMicrobadge: Twilight Struggle fanMicrobadge: Dungeon Lords fan - I'm an Evil Dungeon Lord!Microbadge: Nuclear War fan

Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Pitying fools as hard as I can...
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Microbadge: I am related to Monkeys!Microbadge: I speak CalifornianMicrobadge: University of California - BerkeleyMicrobadge: PastafarianMicrobadge: Somebody get this freakin' duck away from me!

Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
[/q]
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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Microbadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."Microbadge: Dominion fanMicrobadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Pandemic fanMicrobadge: YINSH fan

James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
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"Aint that just the way"
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Microbadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: Blue Lantern Corps fanMicrobadge: ArchivistMicrobadge: Soundtrack collectorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."

















































Edit: fixed the [/q] problems
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2. Board Game: Owner's Choice [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4889]
Board Game: Owner's Choice
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Why did you pick your current avatar?
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3. Board Game: Time to Choose [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Time to Choose
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
For many of us, this is not the first avatar that we have had. What previous avatars have you chosen on BGG, and why did you decide to change them?
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4. Board Game: Battles: Win or Lose [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Battles: Win or Lose
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Excluding yourself, who has the best avatar on the GCL?
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5. Board Game: Pictures [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Pictures
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
When you think of GCL members, do you typically mentally think of them as their username, real name, avatar, or some combination of them?
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6. Board Game: Take Your Best Shot [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:13463]
Board Game: Take Your Best Shot
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
And finally, here's a question not limited to this GCL: what is the best avatar or username that you have ever seen in any forum on the internet?
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7. Board Game: Sidereal Confluence: Remastered Edition [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:539]
Board Game: Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Microbadge: Keyper fanMicrobadge: Hansa Teutonica fanMicrobadge: Smell your way to victory!Microbadge: Dinosaur IslandMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
I lied: here's the final item. I guess we could talk about actual board games; have you played Sidereal Confluence? What is compelling or awful about this amazing/terrible game?
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8. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:88]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
Louie
United States
SF Bay Area
California
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Microbadge: "This is fine."Microbadge: Ramen loverMicrobadge: Pizza loverMicrobadge: Grind, wet, pour, enjoy!Microbadge: IPA Beer fan - Make it hoppy
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: Arboretum
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
Board Game: The Mind
Board Game: Disney Villainous
Board Game: Nyctophobia
Board Game: The Grimm Forest
Board Game: Flotsam Fight
Board Game: Exit: The Game – The Polar Station


 6.5   Codenames
 7   Arboretum
 8   Tigris & Euphrates NEW!
 8   The Mind x4
 7   Villainous
 N/A   Nyctophobia NEW!
 7   The Grimm Forest
 7   Flotsam Fight
 N/A   Exit: The Game – The Polar Station NEW!

Tigris & Euphrates -- This was on my list to try, and we had one person playing three new people.

I felt like I benefited from some close, maybe ill-advised, battles that went in my favor. Someone tried to kick me off the board with an external conflict, but I had enough to defend them off. That left them susceptible to an internal conflict from me, which fed me green/black points from their temple for three rounds. I shored up the rest of my colors, and with those wildcard treasures, I scored up 11.

I'm probably going to want to own this.

Nyctophobia -- It's weird. But an interesting experience. I guess I could better use the tools at my disposal (noise, player powers, rocks, hiding) to make sure I'm not just a sitting duck. I just wandered around the darkness like a bozo until some cannibal ate me. Great. I also kept staring at the reflection of my eyeballs on those blinder glasses, so I gave myself a headache.

Exit: The Polar Station -- No spoilers. I found this one to be harder than the Abandoned Cabin or the Secret Lab. Some puzzles were frustrating.

OMM

I miss vacation. It was GenCon, then Orlando, then music festivals. I walked something along the lines of, 17k-20k steps a day. I also ate a lot of really good food.

Yesterday, I went hiking, which added another 30k steps to my total for the week. Afterwards we ate korean fried chicken.

My next con is going to be PAX West in a few weeks.
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9. Board Game: Flotsam Fight [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:5887]
Board Game: Flotsam Fight
United States
Yay Area
California
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Microbadge: AquaSphere fanMicrobadge: I tipped into the Geekgold infinite loopMicrobadge: Nine Tiles fanMicrobadge: "This is fine."Microbadge: Animals on Board fan
Board Game: Doodle Rush
Board Game: Dark Moon
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: Block Party
Board Game: Yokohama
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Board Game: Fluxx
Board Game: Evil High Priest
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars
Board Game: Chicago Express
Board Game: Disney Villainous
Board Game: Paris Connection
Board Game: Nyctophobia: Vampire Encounter
Board Game: The Grimm Forest
Board Game: Flotsam Fight
Board Game: Exit: The Game – The Polar Station


 7.5   Doodle Rush x2
 7   Dark Moon
 7.8   Codenames
 7   Block Party x3
 8   Yokohama
 7   Great Western Trail
 5   Fluxx x2 NEW!
 3   Evil High Priest NEW!
 10   Cthulhu Wars
 7   Chicago Express NEW!
 7.5   Villainous NEW!
 7   Paris Connection NEW!
 6   Nyctophobia: Vampire Encounter NEW!
 7   The Grimm Forest NEW!
 7   Flotsam Fight NEW!
 7   Exit: The Game – The Polar Station NEW!

I hit the triple play. Fri-Sat-Sun were all different game meetups. I will comment on all the games because otherwise people chastise me.

Block Party
- It’s like set but with blocks and not a good solo game.

Fluxx
- I can’t say I haven’t played fluxx anymore. I can say I don’t want to play fluxx anymore having played it.

Chicago Express
- two handed solitaire to learn the rules. Seems neat.

Paris connection - a quick little train game. Setup is a thing.

Evil High Priest - PnP of this game. This is Petersen Games’ worker placement game. I like worker placement. I did not like this game. You can definitely plan to not get screwed over but it’s definitely in other people’s interest to trigger a raid if they can catch you with your pants down. Your resources are VP. In a raid you can just straight up have all your resources taken. 2 raids got triggered before it was my turn. I successfully stopped one. The second one took all my remaining resources and half of my VP. And on top of that I had to sacrifice my remaining workers to avoid having the rest of my VP taken. So in total I lost my ability to do anything else that round as well as essentially got knocked out of the game. I wasn’t super salty about it but more just disappointed in the design. I’m super glad I didn’t back this though.

Exit: Polar Station
- My first exit game. I think the system is cool. Some things were a bit frustrating that we solved with brute force and after the game ended I looked at the answer and wanted to punch someone in the face.

Doodle Rush - A quick party game lasts usually 5 minutes total with the explanation. I really like how mostly it involves drawing the vaguest squiggles possible to get people guessing in the right direction. I had lake and sea. For lake I drew a blobby shape with concentric wigglies. And for sea I drew those spiky wave things. And they both got guessed correctly. For “handball” someone drew a hand + ball. And for 3 rounds straight people guessed many variations of baseball, pitcher, catcher, etc.

Codenames - Absolutely wrecked Louie’s team that never stood a chance.

Dark Moon - An infected revealed early not on their turn, because they didn’t understand the rules for revealing. It got awkward since we had to pretend we didn’t know they were infected. And since our outpost for calling votes was broken we had to not metagame and fix it to then call them out. Eventually they put in two negative dice on a task so we could confirm they were infected or at least super suspect. Then we triggered the suspicious activity vote to quarantine them. We still lost.

Villainous - I enjoyed this even though I didn’t win because I got to do cool stuff. I was Jafar. The first fate played on me was Aladdin which I immediately used my hypnotize on to make him my ally. I then made Aladdin kill Jasmine because I’m a villain and I’m here to do evil deeds.

Flotsam Fight - New Oink Game Hype! I liked it because I won.

Great Western Trail - This game is fine. I killed a lot of cows and still ended up with jerseys in my hand in the end.

Yokohama - We failed to trigger game end so we ended up in this weird state of I probably won but because the game went another round I tied with someone else and lost because of lame tiebreaker.

Cthulhu Wars - First time for two things. Playing Windwalker and on the Yuggoth map. 5 player game I think I did alright for myself. Ultimately came in second by exactly 3 points that the victor ended up getting from Yellow Sign in exchange for not attacking them. Although if the game lasted another round the Watcher would have wrecked me pretty hard since I had two gates on his pyramid.

Grimm Forest - I am consistently terrible at this type of game. I liked the friend cards though. I had a golden goose that didn’t give me anything.

Nyctophobia
- I swooped in to buy this when I saw people talking about it on the twitters and target said there was exactly 1 copy in my area I could order for pickup. So like the consumer whore that I am I threw internet money at it and picked it up after work. I then played it with some yayhoos and the game definitely seemed cooler in my head. It seemed more frustrating than anything to the players from my point of view.


Other stuff


More Swimming - Learning the breaststroke. I managed to get this breathing technique a bit better and was able to get through 4/5 of the swimlane without having to do a full stop for air. Next lesson we started to learn the basics of the backstroke. I like this stroke a lot more because I don’t have to worry about breathing.

Apparently cornholders are a thing and I’ve just been getting my hands messy like some caveman. Please let me know about any other prehistoric eating traditions that technology has improved upon so I can get up to speed.

With Nyctophobia/Paris Connection/Chicago Express getting played/learned I only have one more game on my shelf of shame. Bruxelles 1893

I get my Board Game Santa/Santee assigned today. yay!
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10. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: Ancients [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked]
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: Ancients
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: St Louis Blues fanMicrobadge: Android: Netrunner fan - JintekiMicrobadge: Earth Reborn fanMicrobadge: Root fanMicrobadge: Ding & Dent Podcast
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Trading Card Game x4 (new!)
Space Marine Adventures: Labyrinth of the Necrons x2 (new!)
Werewords Deluxe Edition x2 (new!)
Cthulhu Wars
Empires of the Void II
GoodCritters
Meeple Circus
Off the Rails (new!)
Root
Weird Things Humans Search For (new!)
Western Legends
Who Goes There?

Articles/Reviews
Who Goes There? fires on all cylinders for much of the game, then it simply doesn't. Review at Ars Technica.

I like Empires of the Void II quite a bit, although the movement mechanism is unnecessarily restrictive. My thoughts at Player Elimination.



Warhammer Champions
Loving this CCG. It's very interesting with how it pairs a touch of spatial positioning with its rotating core mechanism. It's a simple attack the other player sort of thing, but the pacing is very good and it has what feels like actual depth. Each of the factions have proven interesting and unique and I've enjoyed all of my games quite a bit.

Space Marine Adventures
This is a Barnes & Noble Games Workshop release which is a Space Hulk-ish game for the masses. It's very simple (two pages of rules!) but it works and it has fun moments. Nothing I'd recommend to a serious hobbyist, but I can imagine a 12 year old finding this and losing their mind.

Werewords Deluxe
This is...fine? I expected a little more honestly. The new roles are cool but most seem to be geared towards larger games which minimizes the utility. It's still Werewords so it's amazing, but I would not say this is a mandatory upgrade for anyone.

Cthulhu Wars
Buddy picked up the new faction the Ancients at Gen Con. They're pretty excellent, being ultimately very interesting due to their negotiation heavy leanings as well as no Great Old One.

Many of their spellbook unlocks give other players power, plus they want their Cathedrals in spaces with gates, so there's lots of discussion and interesting soft alliances. They also have 7 attack monsters which are scary as hell.

I was playing errata'd Cthulhu and jumped out to a big lead. That's a mistake. Windwalker ended up winning but everyone was at 30 or higher in turn 5. Great game as always.

Off the Rails
This is a neat family game. I requested a review copy as it caught my eye (and I like reviewing undiscovered small titles), and we were impressed. It's kind of like Tsuro meets Downfall of Pompeii.

You're laying track every which way, trying to guide your goblin minecarts over these gem spaces. Your carts have to move their full speed on the map so your main source of control is in how you shape the track before them. You can ram other players and it can get a bit chaotic, which is great.

Root
Fantastic. Just amazing. I won as the Woodland Alliance by forming a triangle of strongholds in the middle of the board. People were scared to fight me and I consistently spread support. I was maintaining points with the rest of the pack, and the Eyrie shifted towards a dominance win. They were close to securing it but we thwarted them. Then I exploded for points and ended up winning by 10.



On My Mind
Trying to find time to schedule our Dune book club game (I have 50 pages left), as well as a couple of special sessions for Ultimate Werewolf Legacy. Bit difficult as neither one fits into typical weeknight gaming. I suppose we could do the latter that way, but scheduling may be difficult for a large group.

I have about 20 other games to review so no will stay busy regardless.
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11. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.42 Overall Rank:7]
Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Well me known for eating cookie when me don't they shout
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Look! He try to throw loyal fans a curve!
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Microbadge: Lucky Owner of a War of the Ring Collector's EditionMicrobadge: Space Alert fanMicrobadge: Twilight Struggle fanMicrobadge: Dungeon Lords fan - I'm an Evil Dungeon Lord!Microbadge: Nuclear War fan
Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion
Board Game: Washington's War
Board Game: Notre Dame
Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish!
Board Game: The Princes of Florence
Board Game: Imperial
Board Game: El Grande
Board Game: Family Business


 N/A   Star Wars: Rebellion NEW!
 9   Washington's War (5 all-time)
 9   Notre Dame (12 all-time)
 8.5   Hey, That's My Fish! (20 all-time)
 9.5   The Princes of Florence (32 all-time)
 9   Imperial (10 all-time)
 9.5   El Grande (15 all-time)
 8   Family Business (7 all-time)

Local Con this week, which leads to more plays!

Star Wars: Rebellion: Played this Pre-Con with my usual 2 player opponent. I had the Empire, and I was kidnapping Rebels and destroying fleets. Everything was going great. And then he moved his base where I couldn't reach it, blew up my Death Star and the game ended suddenly. It went bad really fast.

I'd avoided this game for a while because I don't trust Fantasy Flight- they often muddy up straightforward mechanics with component bloat and clunky dice/card systems, and I saw a thorough review that listed this as a great game of cat and mouse ruined by an overly complicated combat. I found the combat a bit crunchier than I'd like, but it didn't get in the way of enjoying the game. The leader/action system is great. I don't see this having the depth/longevity of War of the Ring, but I'd like to play it again and will probably hold onto it.

Notre Dame & El Grande: Met a nice group of gamers at the Con who were struggling through the rulebook for Notre Dame- I volunteered to teach it and got to play it. They mentioned their dynamic as having infighting a bunch, so I suggested we meet the follow up with El Grande the next day. It also went over well, except that its out of print again and fetching crazy prices. I love bringing out the classic Euros as newer games have never seen them!

Washington's War: Played against a WotR friend up for the Con. I think the start was fair to middling (I was the Brits and let Washington push me around in New England before I got my act together). I shooed the Continental Congress out of Philadelphia only to see Spanish aid bring in the French, who promptly landed in Delaware and cut me off. The game was in the balance, but I pulled an atrocious hand the following turn, and then got whammied with a card that ended the game sooner than anticipated. But it was a great play. My opponent here is usually the big grudge match at the end of War of the Ring day (he's a 4-time WBC War of the Ring title holder and more often than not beats me), so I'm hoping I got my bad draw luck done here.

Imperial: Learned this game at this Convention 5 years ago, so happy to play here. Even if I completely mismanaged it and put up an abysmally bad 33. Game is so good, and I love how much it gives off a wargaming vibe when it is really an economic Euro. So many great choices!

Princes of Florence: Saw a friend who had moved out of town setting this up, and managed to get in. Through it I met a local gamer who plays a lot of the Euros I love, and is a big War of the Ring fan. So we exchanged contact information and will hopefully meet up this fall. Also got to tip my hat to his 11 year old son- he played pretty sharply and capped his effort with a 27 WV Profession play.

Cons in general: I nearly went Conventionless this year as I'm not chasing new releases either to play or buy, which is why a lot folks go. But I was reminded again that for me the best part of Cons are seeing old friends and meeting new people. It held true at GenCon where I met Cassadi and Louie, and I was surprised here by how strongly it worked out. I got to catch up with about 5 other gamers I hadn't seen in a long time, and met a few new friends including someone local who may join in gaming going forward. I'm already very excited for my limited BGG.Con- I'm convinced that even with my early departure it will be worth it!

On my mind
War War War: Austin War of the Ring Day is this week. I'm in the process of buying meat (Costco trip tonight!) and planning the cook. It's a lot of work to get the food ready, but it's really fun to do. And then I'm going to make a diet exception for the barbecue goodness. On top of all that, I get to play my favorite game 3-4 times in one weekend. I'm super excited!

Fitness is a state of mind: I've been diligent with my work outs and nutrition, but I haven't seen the progress in my measurables. Still, I'm not going to let that get me down- I'm feeling healthier, and some acquaintances at the Con didn't recognize me due to the weight loss. This week is also the anniversary of my BMI measuring as obese (30) last year- that is what motivated me to get my eating under control and start exercising. I'm now 60 pounds lighter and quite a bit stronger.

Practice makes tolerable: Last practice hike was completed yesterday- the next time I strap on the pack I'll be in Vermont. I'm a bit nervous- I can handle the walking and the weight, but after 2 hours my shoulders feel a bit sore in the harness. It's nothing long term, I can feel the majority of the weight sits on my hips, and the pain goes away 10 minutes after I take off the pack. Still, I worry I'm still not wearing/adjusting the pack exactly right and it may bug me during the longer days of the trip. My hiking distance on each trip day should be about twice what I've been doing for practice. Hopefully I'll hold up!
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12. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:31]
Board Game: Root
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Board Game: Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Battle for Ultramar Campaign Box
Board Game: Root


Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Battle for Ultramar Campaign Box NEW!
Root NEW!

Path To Glory

Played the final game in the campaign. It was a rematch against last week's opponent, though we played a different scenario and used the full 6x4 table instead of 4x4. My army is slower, so that was a disadvantage for me. This was a phenomenal game. It was a scenario of controlling 3/4 points of interest in opposite corners and I (again) got distracted and didn't commit to the either wiping him out or trying to hold 3 spots.

My eels continued to be powerhouses, though a missed charge by my Thralls meant I was delayed a turn in taking out his general. He came very close to a Major Victory by controlling 3 points in round 2, because he positioned extremely well. However, a hail mary charge and hail of fire from one of my archer units saved the day. We made it all the way to battleround 6 (final round) and I had a chance to wipe him off the table but couldn't pull it off. I likely could have won by controlling the POI had I been paying attention but I got tunnel vision at the end. Really good campaign that I had a lot of fun playing in.

Root.

Hmm. Played a 3p game at game night with the dads. I was the Marquise, Matt was the Eyrie, and Chris was the Alliance. I played rather poorly, stalling out around 15 VP without much military to work around the board. Matt and Chris were jockeying for large points at the end and Chris managed to burst out to 30 the turn before Matt would have. Matt didn't seem too keen on it but was up for another round so we reset with the same factions.

This time I charged ahead as fast as I could on Recruit buildings, and brought almost all of my units on the board quickly. 3 Dominance cards appeared early, so as soon as I had 10 points I grabbed the "opposite corners" one and attempted a quick win. Matt was playing his Eyrie very differently, keeping all of his birds balled up together in a massive squad making movement very easy for him (but making it hard to defend roosts). They stymied my attempt at Dominance, and Matt even wiped out both sawmills at my keep. I still had a lot of units, and Matt got distracted with Chris so I built back up just a little bit but not much. Matt then grabbed a Dominance and Chris moved to stop him. With Matt and Chris both spread out, I moved into all 4 corners and prayed to hold on. Managed to win the dominance.

I like the game a lot but left a little underwhelmed. Part of this could be because I'd heard so much hype from people whose tastes normally match mine, part because of the faction I was playing, and part because I was excited myself from the KS and reading the rules. I got almost nothing from it with regard to comparisons to COIN, and I didn't feel a lot of the complexities or nuance that people have described feeling from the first game. Also the asymmetry didn't hit me as hard as other games I've played I want to play again, and so does Chris, but part of my desire comes from wanting to see if I can find what other people are talking about not because the game lit a fire under me. It's a good asymmetric area control game but I have a lot of those on my shelf.

Legend of the 5 Rings

I also played this, but didn't log it until after I ran the tool and now it's timing out. Matt and I did breakfast club. I would really like to get back to doing this weekly or every couple weeks and Matt and I are considering rotating through card games. I played a Phoenix deck this time, and it's the first game I played where I felt like I knew what I was doing and my head didn't hurt. I got trounced, but it was still fun to play.

On my mind

Did some painting, and tried reading the rules to Apocrypha but those are a damn mess. There's a rule for what happens when effects cause you to have to physically change the seat you're in, and the game recommends keeping your player card and abilities in a 9 pocket sleeve because the orientation matters and you need to keep it clean. The rules themselves also reference playmats and organizational items from the KS that you may or may not have, which feels gauche. I snarkily tweeted about reading the rules and 3 different people reached out to tell me not to bother and to play something else.

Took Raffi to the local water park again and had some fun. We've declared victory on Javi's sleep training which is amazing, and have almost declared victory on potty training Raffi from a peeing perspective. Pooping is still a challenge.
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13. Board Game: Spring Meadow [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1695]
Board Game: Spring Meadow
Cassadi
United States
Blacklick
Ohio
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Board Game: Potion Explosion
Board Game: Keyflower
Board Game: Azul
Board Game: Spring Meadow
Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
Board Game: Suburbia Inc
Board Game: Suburbia


Potion Explosion x2 - Played on the app during a spot of downtime at work. I really like this as an app. I haven't played the physical copy, but I feel like I wouldn't like the fiddliness of it.

Keyflower - I got my 5th play of this in for the year! That was all I actually needed, but I want to play more. I actually won this time!

Azul - I feel like it'll be a bad week if I haven't gotten to play Azul...

Spring Meadow - Played this at board game lunch Thursday. It went pretty quick since one person won 2 rounds in a row ending the game. I definitely want to play again. I feel like this combined good parts of Cottage Garden and good parts of Indian Summer into a pretty good game. I need a few more plays to really decide if it's even worth keeping all 3 of them at this point (outside of my need to collect all polyomino games of course)

Terraforming Mars - We played with Venus and Prelude. My first time playing Prelude, and I liked the jump start it seemed to give everyone. I thought I was doing really well in this one, but ended up solidly in the middle of a 3 player game. Each of us was roughly 10-15 points away from the player ahead of us. It was a great game!

Legacy of Dragonholt - Finally finished with the 2 player game we started on the drive to Geekway. Got the Loner ending, and I can't wait to go back in for my 2nd solo adventure!

Suburbia - This will always be one of my favorite games. My boyfriend loves it which makes me like it even more since there are so few games he'll play. We introduced it to a new player who took to it rather quickly. It was a good game!

On My Mind
- I ended up with a head cold on my birthday which sort of sucked, but we still went to dinner. That was good!

- Eating habits haven't been much better since I was sick most of the week again. I did my meal prep for this week though so fingers crossed I stick to it!

- I need to sit down and actually record my first segment for The Shuffle. I need to have to turned in by the 27th. I have my notes ready to go so I'm not sure why I keep stalling.

- It was a good weekend. My dad was visiting from Arkansas so me and Lizzy went to see him while Matt and his friends played TI4. Sunday we visited a new FLGS that opened up not far from us, and ended up with a new game for Lizzy. It's a nice space. Looking forward to spending some time there. Then we went to a local brewery that has a kids play area. However, there was a 3 year olds birthday party taking over the whole kids are. We ended up crashing it. Lizzy made some friends, and we all got cake!

- Started reading Inkheart now that I'm done with the Narnia books.

- Still working my way through my Sims 4 legacy game. I'm waiting for my Gen 4 heir to age up. I'm starting to get a bit bored. I keep changing the house they live in. This time going as far as moving them to an entirely different lot and getting a cute little house from someone online. My Sims 4 heir is going to be an artist like his grandmother and great-grandfather I think! I have enough space on the property to make him a pretty awesome studio. So I might do that!

EDIT: Oh yeah, also, I have to skip my regular board game night this week and do a work related happy hour event instead. Booooo. ANYWAYS, I want to bring a few games along so some help deciding which would be great! There will be, at most, 7 of us. As far as I know none of them do much with board games (if anything). I'm thinking Bananagrams and maybe some of the card based ones, but would like suggestions too!
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14. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.81 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Gloomhaven
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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Played with my second campaign group. Ran through scenarios #2 and 4.

I'm a medium-weight character, the Scoundrel, and yet I'm acting like I'm a tank. I take a lot of damage...

In video game land, I'm playing the Mario RPGs on 3DS, currently Dream Team. And on Switch I'm playing Battle Chasers: Night War and Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle DLC content. I haven't made much progress on Switch games lately, but I'm pretty close to 100% on Mario+Rabbids.
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15. Board Game: Fortress America [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1683]
Board Game: Fortress America
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Board Game: Root
Board Game: Power Grid
Board Game: Hoot Owl Hoot!
Board Game: Fortress America
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: Azul
Board Game: A Fake Artist Goes to New York


The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game (9 all-time)
Root x2 (4 all-time)
Power Grid (36 all-time)
Hoot Owl Hoot! (2 all-time)
Fortress America NEW!
Codenames x2 (57 all-time)
Azul (7 all-time)
A Fake Artist Goes to New York x17 (24 all-time)



This was a busy week, but we ended with a weekend mini-vacation to an Air B&B with my immediate family with no plans but to eat, drink, and play games in a beautiful old house in the woods near Lake Erie. All of my plays this week took place there, amidst many fancy gin cocktails and a late-night Taco Twelve Pack.



Root
We played two games after my brother requested that I bring this for the weekend, and I was happy to oblige.

First game: four players @ Marquise (Brian, brother), Woodland Alliance (Becky, sister), Scoundrel Vagabond (Will, nephew), and Charismatic Eyrie (me).

Marquise started with a big push for sawmills while I was plopping down four warriors a round with the Charismatic leader. It took a bit of juggling to slip in a Mouse card for build without forcing myself into turmoil, and the first half of the game was me trying to push to Mouse clearings, rule them, build roosts, get my roosts destroyed, and rebuilding them (their being destroyed actually saved me, since I could keep enacting my decree without falling into turmoil). Meanwhile, Will explored all of the ruins and ended up with a ton of swords and a crossbow through crafting, wreaking havoc on whomever popped up in his way. Becky revolted in two Marquise clearings, taking out multiple buildings and popping trios of warriors based on her sympathy suits. Will started firing on the Woodland warriors, and slowly began to amass points for taking out his hated enemy. My decree was getting ridiculous is size, but I managed to control the necessary clearings for multiples moves and battles, but ultimately fell apart after having six roosts on the board. I fell into turmoil, lost a bunch of points, and instated the Commander leader in order to take out the Marquise positions in the east. The Alliance was able to assault the undefended Keep, taking it out along with a sawmill, but Will continued to take out bunnies and mice all over the place, then used his outlandish Scoundrel power to straight BLOW UP one of the clearings in the game, utterly removing it from the board for the rest of the game. That sucked for me, as the clearing was critical to my movement, so I adapted and crafted Royal Decree, then tried to pick off more cats and bunnies myself. Will tried to take out one of my Roosts, and I ended up recruiting on top of him and knocking out half of his items in a great attack, then won at the eleventh hour by enacting the Royal Decree for five points, crafting a three-point coin stack, and scoring five round-end points, for a total of thirteen in a single turn.

Second game: five players @ Woodland Alliance (Brian), Riverfolk (Will), Lizard Cult (Becky), Scoundrel Vagabond (Nate, nephew), and Tinker Vagabond (me).

In what is likely the least-intended standard setup for Root, we played with everything except for the Marquise and Eyrie, which are generally intended to provide the basic framework for the other factions to function. What we ended up with, instead, was a sort of post-apocalyptic setting where the major powers of the forest have been ousted entirely, with everyone else left behind to pick up the scraps and make do with what's left. The beginning was understandably slow, with the Alliance unsure where to begin, but opting for the major Cult clearing. The Riverfolk set prices low to get the ball rolling, but struggled to attract much business early, instead relying on protectionism to generate an internal economy. Nate and I ended up splitting the ruins evenly, and I got the extra boot and hammer(!), the latter being perfect synergy for the Tinker, who is the only Vagabond capable of crafting three-symbol cards. The Cult spread gardens all over the place, but the outcast suit settled on Rabbit for a long while, frustrating Becky as she tried to spread. That said, she then had the hated outcast to work with, so her conspiracies were cheap and deadly. The Alliance posted a base in a Rabbit clearing, so the Cult sanctified the space and swapped it for a garden. Brian reeled with the supporter deck getting slashed, but came back under the Riverfolk and revolted their primary holding, destroying a trading post and several warriors. Will's economy started to kick up with the Cult buying from them fairly often, and Will's points started to rise as he always kept mercenaries open for the Alliance. Nate started getting into a good quest groove, and I was crafting like a mad-man, basically supplying myself with all of my own items, and also starting stacking multiple quests across Rabbit and Fox suits. Soon, I was in the lead, but the Alliance and Cult both managed to start scoring big-time as sympathy extended and Becky managed to score seven points two turns in a row via gardens. In the end, I grabbed a third hammer from the Cult and crafted the triple-Bunny card, which removed all enemy pieces in all Rabbit clearings--taking out three gardens, two sympathy tokens, and a Rabbit base. I then crafted the last remaining sword and scored two points for the win. For such an oddball game setup, the scores were all within about five points at the end of the spectrum.

Power Grid
We broke out the Iron Clays from Brass in order to put as much distance between crappy paper money and ourselves as possible, and dangit, it made the game all the better for it. I spread out early during the end of Step 1 and the beginning of Step 2, but everyone bought out my resources consistently. I tried to maneuver into Nuclear and Green technology, and spent most of my time manipulating the auctions as first player. Enough folks took the bait for early plants and I ended up snagging a few 1-dollar plants a few times in a row, which while not great improvements, were utterly cheap since they got skipped in the rest of the round. Slowly, but surely, we hit Step 3 and I managed to trigger the end-game and powered sixteen cities for the win. Brian and Becky were right on my heels with fourteen and fifteen cities, while Anastasia had twelve.

Fortress America
I bought this for Brian a few years back, and he and Nate have played it pretty consistently over the last six months or so. They were excited to play with me, and I had long wanted to try this old Gamemasters title, so I dove right in as the USA. I made sure we had jock jams blasting the entire time, and slowly kept the invader forces at bay. However, even with five lasers and the near end of the invasion waves, I played too defensively with my helicopters and hovertanks in the center of my territories, thinking I needed to keep my infrastructure safe. Alas, I didn't have enough punch to keep the east coast from falling entirely to my brother, after both nephews breached the outer cities to the south and west. I held off at seventeen fallen cities for a full round, but crumbled in the next wave. This was surprisingly short for a game of its cruft and age, and I enjoyed it a lot. I'd be happy to play this a few more times now that I've seen a whole game progress and tease at the strategy. Also, this game is entry 99 in the BGG database. Cool.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York
This really shined for my family, and we had a riot playing it over and over as the second evening of our mini-vacation came to a close. For a little box, this game has a lot of staying power with the right group.
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16. Board Game: Hot Streak! [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Hot Streak!
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Werewords 13 (46 all-time)
DropMix 11 (67 all-time)
Dice Throne: Season One 5 (7 all-time)
Fantasy Realms 4 (32 all-time)
Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger 2 NEW!
Dominion (37 all-time) + Dominion: Guilds 2 (24 all-time)
Junk Art 2 (21 all-time)
Blue Lagoon 1 NEW!
Bohnanza 1 (26 all-time)
Everdell 1 (2 all-time)
Fallout 1 NEW!
Kaleidos 1 (9 all-time)
Mysterium 1 (19 all-time)
Vegas (56 all-time) + Las Vegas Boulevard 1 (24 all-time)
Word Slam 1 (8 all-time)

Games all day, err'day. I'm on an 8-day streak.

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger: Do you like books, but hate that the pages are all bound together and you don't get to roll a d6 to fight things? Then this game is for you! I got through two of the five chapters. It's not as game-y as Legacy of Dragonholt or even Graphic Novels Adventures in some ways, but it definitely feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, right down to the slightly off-white pages with small blemishes. The only thing missing is that old book smell. All that to say: I like it. I can't imagine doing it with more than one person though. Sure, you can talk about what decision to make, but it really comes down to just one person.

Blue Lagoon: This was kind of like Through the Desert, but not as good. It's super fast though, so it's fine to play as a filler.

Fallout: I got this in a math trade as I'd been curious about it for a while. I think because of the theme/IP, Matt was interested in giving it a try. Surprisingly, we both enjoyed it quite a bit (this is particularly odd for Matt as his tastes haven't veered with mine into my weird, recent Ameritrashy tendencies). I've actually never played any Fallout game, but I know enough bits about it to get the flavor. It definitely had some video game feelings in the mechanics too. I get some of the complaints about the game, but we had fun with our first play. I wouldn't want to play with more than two though. It doesn't seem worth it. And in case you're wondering, I played the big beefy armored dude (of course).

Fantasy Realms: Two of these four plays were the Chaos Realms variant. This is where you deal out cards and trade/negotiate one-for-one. We only had four players, so we tweaked the rules a bit so as to add some cards into the pool since only have 28 was limiting. I think this would be a great variant with six or seven players. It's five minutes of "WHO WANTS MY GREAT FLOOD?! I NEED A UNICORN."

Dice Throne: So good. I'm enjoying this so much I already preordered season 2.

DropMix: The solo mode, called Puzzle, came out and I tried it a bunch. It's kind of addictive like a mobile puzzle game. I'm really glad they're supporting solo play and this is promising for their continued support in the game as a whole, with hopefully even more modes coming out. I'm assuming the game has been doing well enough, but I have no idea in terms of overall success.

---

On My Mind:

School starts on Wednesday. I should probably prep for classes instead of playing WoW. Just kidding, I'm going to work on writing up some reviews instead.
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17. Board Game: Vinhos Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:116]
Board Game: Vinhos Deluxe Edition
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: Vinhos Deluxe Edition


Vinhos Deluxe Edition NEW! (Solo)

Dearth of games this week, but I did get a solo play of Vinhos Deluxe Edition. I'd played the original back around 2014 and found that it ran very counter to my tastes: Over-long, over-stuffed, and complex for complexity's sake. I swore off any future Lacerda games and actively avoided them, until now.

I mostly ignored the new edition when it came out in 2016, but as time as passed and copies got cheaper, I finally took a look and found that they had completely re-vamped the game and made it much simpler, which fixed my main problem with the original game. After seeing that it had a dedicated solo mode in-box, I took the plunge and got a copy from Game Surplus.

After running through some half-games two-handed to get a feel for the rules, I took a stab at the solo mode. What a challenge! The rule-section for the solo changes was incredibly cheeky (in a particularly "how is that fair?" section, the was a parenthetical that basically said "this is why you don't let the designer write the rules for the solo opponent"). Of primary interest was the fact that it isn't just a mode where you're trying to out-score a virtual player, but also to do well in the other areas of play. You receive "accolades" for a whole bunch of different things in the game, and you're trying to rack up as many of them as possible. I scored a measly one accolade this play through, and while I'm not entirely convinced the auto-player plays fair enough to do well in as many places as you're judged, I do think that it's a game one can get better at.

As for the game itself, first impression of the new rules are very good, but I'm going to hold off on full judgement until I can get it to the table with physical players. I have a good amount of folks who are interested in trying it, so it shouldn't be a difficult ask.

Since I only played one game this week, here's a list of new games on my shelf that I haven't gotten to the table yet:

- Mini Rails: I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how much I'll want to keep it given that Paris Connection exists.

- Liberatores: The Conspiracy to Liberate Rome: I love Roman themed games, and have a soft spot for weird hidden-team designs, but I'm not sure how well this will go over.

- Kribbeln: Steph Hodge mentions this one a lot in her blog, a read though of the rules hasn't made me feel great about it's potential, but I'm still going to try it. It may be a good family-weight game.

- Minerva: A two-handed run though looks generally positive for me, but Hayashi's designs tend not to stick around in my collection.

- Ars Alchimia: I really wanted to like Kuro's other Tasty Minstrel release, Lemuria, and this one looks like it'll be a bit more flexible and simple. Not being able to play Lemuria with 2p is really hurting that title's chances, which won't be a problem with Ars Alchemia.

- GIPF (Standard Game and Beyond): So it wasn't until I bought two of the GIPF Project potentials sets that I realized I had only read half of the rule-book for GIPF and that I was missing the regular and tournament versions of the game, which change it pretty drastically. I'm eager to try with the GIPF pieces and eventually with some of the potentials, as I think that may unlock this design a whole lot more.
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18. Board Game: Miraris [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:8487]
Board Game: Miraris
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Board Game: Unlock!: Secret Adventures – A Noside Story
Board Game: 1817
Board Game: The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
Board Game: Miraris
Board Game: Cursed Court


 N/A   Unlock! A Noside Story NEW!
 8   1817
 9   The Ravens of Thri Sahashri
 N/A   Miraris x2 NEW!
 N/A   Cursed Court

Saturday we had 1817 day planned. There were 9 people gathered at my friend's house, with 4 copies of 1817 (just in case), and we played 2 concurrent games of 1817. I had a headache the whole day, which made my experience not as fun as it otherwise could have been. Our game was pretty conservative. There were no good short targets since the trains weren't rusting fast enough. But someone ended up shorting my company (I was in last place from the first OR, and both my companies were terrible). My company ended up buying up the shorts, having 80% in the corp, and paying out $64 per share (he had shorted it for $60). Then I sold the company in the next round and there was a bid-off between two players so it sold for $130 per share. So that was nice for me, although I was still in last because my other company was about to go into liquidation. I was also gonna get a 10 loan, trainless and moneyless company dumped on me because I forgot to sell the shares that I was going to sell during the stock round. But we called the game after the 4th set of OR's, because one player had to leave. We don't know who would have won since there were a few people in good positions, but we know I was in dead last. It was exciting to get my company shorted though, since I usually end up making the best or one of the best corps in any game I play. But this time I had the two worst. So that was cool.

Toby and I also played Unlock Noside Story afterwards while other people played another 18xx, since my head wasn't up for another 18xx. It was okay. We ended up solving a machine without getting all the information for it, so that was awkward.

Sunday our friend came over and we played a few games. He plays a bunch of games and has always played all the new Euros that we haven't even seen yet, so it's always a challenge for us to find a game we have that he hasn't played. But we managed to introduce him to 3 games he hasn't played yet!

We got Miraris from our Japan trip and hadn't played it yet because it had character cards with Japanese text on it, but you choose one character at the beginning and then the rest of the game is language independent so we just passed around the rulebook reference page in the beginning and it was fine. We really enjoyed the game. It's a card game with bidding similar to For Sale - there's a line of cards with different point values, and everyone has the cards 1-9 and plays one of them. You line them up in order and you get the card above the one you played. But if you play the same number as someone else, neither of you gets a card that round. And once you play a card it's out. There are 8 cards, so you play all your cards except one. And then the characters have special scoring abilities that influence which point value cards you want to try to go for. It's a really interesting filler game. Our friend liked it and is gonna try to figure out how to buy it.

We also showed him The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, which is a unique two-player asymmetric cooperative card game. It's very puzzly (different puzzle for each side) and has really nice art. I really like the game, but it's pretty difficult, and once you win there are envelopes to open that make it a lot harder!

We then showed him Cursed Court, which is one of the few games I've gotten cold for a review copy. And it's actually a decent game! Yay! We only played one round though due to time (and then played Miraris again). Cursed Court is a bidding/bluffing game where you have some secret information that's shared with the players next to you, and then public information gets revealed before each betting round. It's pretty fun, but the 3 rounds is kinda arbitrary since each round is the same (kinda like the arbitrary rounds of lots of Oink Games that we ignore).

On My Mind
- Yesterday Toby made chocolate chip sourdough bread! It was an experiment - he made regular bread and then mixed chocolate chips in the dough, and it turned out pretty good!
- I re-filmed my first 18xx video yesterday, and I'm decently happy with how it turned out. I'll eventually need to get better at reading from a script without looking at it, or get a teleprompter or something (I'm still not really sure how those work), since I was reading off my laptop screen that was to the side of my phone while filming. I also may start using real cameras and a tripod instead of a phone because I filmed a bunch of different angles, and switching that up with a miniature gorilla tripod is time-consuming and tough.
- I watched Crazy Rich Asians twice last week - once on Thursday with work and once on Friday with Toby and some of his cousins. I really enjoyed it! It's the first time I've related to a romantic comedy movie. Partly because now I've gone through the whole dating/marriage thing, and partly because of the culture. It's really exciting to see Asians playing leads in a movie that's not kung fu. Ooh also there was a trailer for Searching, a new thriller coming out with John Cho as the lead, so that's exciting.
- Our a cappella group is gonna perform at Techapella on November 4th in SF! I'm excited. We need to practice.
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19. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:135]
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
Matt C
United States
Ypsilanti
MI
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Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game
Board Game: Werewords
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
Board Game: The Chameleon


 N/A   Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game
 N/A   Werewords x11
 10   Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium
 10   Hansa Teutonica
 N/A   The Chameleon x6

Hansa Teutonica -- Four experienced player game on the base map. One of the others jumped out to a sizable early lead by placing offices in each of the cities near the Bag and the Privilege upgrade as their first moves. I fed him 6 points to bump my privilege all the way to Black, but then had to spend the last half of the game reining him back in. I clogged up his routes with my pieces, then targeted the Bonus Markers for myself. The game still ended early because of his building, but we ended in a tie, with only 7 points separating all four of us. A few points of interest: nobody bumped beyond 3 actions, and the mini expansion City Cards that are included in the East Expansion definitely increased competition in certain areas.


Dungeons and Dragons (3e sibling game):
This was the most fun I've had playing in this campaign. We made our way to the Black Lake to help our dwarven friends with their dragon problem. To prepare for this fight, we loaded up crossbows with rope tethers in order to hopefully "down" the dragon in order for us to attack it rather than let it just strafe us and breathe acid all over us. It was the first fight that we've really sat down and planned:

The fight: Each of the three dwarves was loaded with a crossbow and two tethered bolts. I held the only other crossbow and a single tethered bolt. I cast True Strike on myself in preparation, while our Paladin held onto the end of the rope and quaffed a Jump potion. In the first round of combat, I and one of the dwarves sank bolts into the dragon's hide. Unfortunately, this didn't keep the dragon on the ground as we'd hoped, but it did make for an incredibly comical scene as the paladin jumped from outcropping to outcropping attempting to tie off the rope and avoid falling into the lake. While we never stopped the dragon, we did manage to slow its flight, which allowed us to position and attack the dragon somewhat. Eventually the paladin managed to pull himself onto the back of the dragon, and used his only Smite of the day to plunge his sword straight into its neck and take down the beast. Ridiculous and fun fight: 10/10, would kill a dragon again.


On My Mind:
For my Long Run on Saturday I made a new distance PR: 17.5 miles (@9:10/mi)! My cousin has absolutely no interest in bumping his mileage until it cools off, so I got up at 6:00am and did my extra miles, joining him part way through my run.

This week I'll likely not run quite as much (last week I put in 30 miles running) because Marion and I are going on a bike tour with a friend along Lake Michigan (west side of state).

I think Marion and I just officially agreed to do the Seattle to Portland ride again next year. This time, I think the group is planning to tackle it in one day, rather than two. devil
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