GCL Mafia 408: So Many Feels
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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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:
fdubois
charlest
Happymrdave
tallgrant
annowme
mith
Dolus
ecargo
Epsilon_Balls
captainraffi
touchstonethefool
cferejohn
ambierona
noajayne
LouieSTFU
Necroblaster3000
Thesp
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1. Board Game: Cross-Eyed [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Board Game: Cross-Eyed
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


What game confuses you?
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2. Board Game: POOP: The Game [Average Rating:4.97 Overall Rank:19266] [Average Rating:4.97 Unranked]
Board Game: POOP: The Game
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


What game disgusts you?
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3. Board Game: Scream Machine [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:5895]
Board Game: Scream Machine
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


What game just makes you want to scream?
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4. Board Game: Employee of the Month [Average Rating:5.17 Overall Rank:18640]
Board Game: Employee of the Month
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


What game would you play every day for a month?
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5. Board Game: Table Top Troopers [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Table Top Troopers
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


What game would you be happy just to get to the table?
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6. Board Game: BoardGameGeek: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:17519]
Board Game: BoardGameGeek: The Card Game
Philip Newman
United States
Plano
Texas
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From gallery of mith


Oh, and I guess a convention may have happened that people might want to talk about...
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7. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:190]
Board Game: Glory to Rome
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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Board Game: The Potion
Board Game: One Week Ultimate Werewolf
Board Game: Eye My Favorite Things
Board Game: Dinosaur Tea Party
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Can't Stop
Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches
Board Game: passtally
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: Lost Cities: Rivals
Board Game: Gizmos
Board Game: Family Business
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars
Board Game: Counterfeiters
Board Game: Zendo
Board Game: The Voyages of Marco Polo
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Orbis
Board Game: Odin's Ravens (Second Edition)
Board Game: Loser
Board Game: Gobi
Board Game: Goa
Board Game: Admin Test Item
Board Game: YINSH
Board Game: Vinhos Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Sherlock: The Tomb of the Archaeologist
Board Game: Northern Pacific
Board Game: Monolith Arena
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Board Game: The Reckoners
Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game
Board Game: Ganymede
Board Game: Firenze


The Potion (8 all-time)
One Week Ultimate Werewolf NEW!
Eye My Favorite Things NEW!
Dinosaur Tea Party x2 (4 all-time)
Cryptid x4 (9 all-time)
Can't Stop (30 all-time)
Samarkand: Routes to Riches (5 all-time)
passtally NEW!
Medici (31 all-time)
Lost Cities: Rivals NEW!
Gizmos (3 all-time)
Family Business NEW!
Cthulhu Wars (13 all-time)
Counterfeiters NEW!
Zendo x2 (14 all-time)
The Voyages of Marco Polo (9 all-time)
Race for the Galaxy (7 all-time)
Orbis NEW!
Odin's Ravens (Second Edition) (2 all-time)
Loser NEW!
Gobi NEW!
Goa (3 all-time)
Dig Dog Dig NEW! (Not in BGG?!)
YINSH (23 all-time)
Vinhos Deluxe Edition (5 all-time)
Sherlock: Tomb of the Archaeologist NEW!
Northern Pacific (6 all-time)
Monolith Arena NEW!
Glory to Rome (18 all-time)
The Reckoners NEW!
Nations: The Dice Game (12 all-time)
Ganymede NEW!
Firenze (3 all-time)

Full write up is here!: Touchstonethefool's BGG.CON 2018 Games Played

Also (finally), Pictures!

From gallery of touchstonethefool


Necroperson, Myself, and Robin. Joe and Grace would probably have said "This game is pretty OK!" and Grace would have absolutely done the dollar-dollar bill thing.

From gallery of touchstonethefool


GCL Mafia Lunch! From Left to Right: Grant, Joe (seen enjoying a taco), Ambie, Toby, Louie, Phil, Robin, Necroperson, Dave, Fearless Leader (who had already had Kolaches from Grant's earlier picture) and me.
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8. Board Game: Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:1447] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Board Game: Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Board Game: That's Not Lemonade
Board Game: Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos
Board Game: Meeple Circus
Board Game: Black Hole Council
Board Game: Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress
Board Game: Disney Princess Pop-Up Magic Castle Game
Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks
Board Game: The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary
Board Game: Discover: Lands Unknown


 8.7   Wiz-War (eighth edition) (33 all-time)
 7   That's Not Lemonade (3 all-time)
 6.5   Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos NEW!
 7.6   Meeple Circus (4 all-time)
 7.4   Black Hole Council NEW!
 8   Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress x3 NEW!
 4   Disney Princess Pop-Up Magic Castle Game x2 NEW!
 7.25   Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks (2 all-time)
 6.6   The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary NEW!
 7.1   Discover: Lands Unknown (4 all-time)

Articles
I wrote a little something about the ethics of semi-cooperation: https://playerelimination.com/2018/11/19/the-ethics-of-semi-...


Blackstone Fortress
This is the best iteration of Warhammer Quest. It's a combination of the previous two releases, Silver Tower and Shadows Over Hammerhal. I dig the way it bounces from encounter to encounter as opposed to room to room. You wipe the board clean and setup new and interesting combats.

Because of this setup and how you go on expeditions and then return to town, it very much feels like a roguelike. It does this without sacrificing some of the neater encounters from Silver Tower, such as stacking dice with a very quick dexterity challenge.

It's definitely not perfect and I think it can get a little repetitive - although the different skirmish setups to provoke various tactical considerations. It's not something I'd play weekly, but it does have a nice campaign that doesn't require you remember specific story bits that you could forget between sessions. Plus, it still has that dead simple Claustrophobia-esque dice allocation system that is blissful.

Wiz-War
Introduced a new player to this. He loved it and he killed us. Good game Marcus.

Fate of Fantos
This is a kind of unruly game that has wild and crazy shit happen. It's a tableau builder where you acquire units and place them out in your row, using them to perform actions such as warring with the player at your left, harvesting resources which bleed the planet dry, or vying for tribute in order to become the champion of Fantos.

It's a screwage game with lots of crazy card effects and off turn counters. It's certainly enjoyable for me with this dramatic and off-kilter play. Word is that it's heavily influenced by Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (Or Jyhad if you'd rather).

The issues with this game all revolve around downtime. Turns can take awhile due to many phases and it's easy to lose focus. It also doesn't help that the game state can change pretty drastically and you're not quite sure what will be available on your turn.

Oh, the artwork is amazing. It has a crazy He-man style that's seriously gorgeous.

Black Hole Council
This was enjoyable. It definitely has some similarities to Tiefe Taschen, but it includes enough extraneous bits to separate itself somewhat. I don't love it as much as TT, but I did really dig this.

I will say that our play was soured slightly as it was a four player game and we realized at the end that one of the players drew an Agenda which conflicted with the other three player's Settle objectives (we all shared Red on settle), which worked to put him behind the eight ball and randomly made his incline steeper.

I'm looking forward to trying a larger game of this soon.

As Grace would say, "I won so best game ever."

Walking Dead: No Sanctuary
This is a Sadler brothers design put out by Cryptozoic. I backed the game, received my copy, and sold it barely squeaking out the smallest of profits. There was a lot of negativity when it hit backers due to poor production and a difficult rulebook. So I moved the game and didn't look back.

Except, I did look back. I felt the tug watching the newest season of WD and reaquired a Kickstarter copy with the two expansions and stretch goal content. Fortunately I picked it up for half of the cost I sold my stuff for, so big win there.

My first play was solo and it was pretty interesting. Let me just copy my thoughts I put into the comments section:

Quote:
The core gameplay here is effective and unique. It's all about managing a somewhat obtuse economy of selecting an action card from your hand versus parameters laid about by the event card the leader chooses. Going off plan and utilizing a different type of card causes the leader stress.

What's pretty interesting about this system is that it ties player choices of defying a laid out plan to in-game negative consequences, ones that are not terribly punishing but can get unruly if left to fester. This is Walking Dead the series in a nutshell. Fascinating what the Sadlers have accomplished regarding this.

So, why not a higher rating? The game is brutal to set up and put away. Prime offenders are building event and search decks from multiple smaller decks, requiring sorting and shuffling. Both of these could simply be a larger pool that you always draw from, giving up the personality and balance tied to scenarios for smoother playability.

Also, the production is laughable. I don't use that word lightly, I literally laughed when I saw the morale and threat tokens. They're the smallest tokens in a game I've ever seen.

The miniatures aren't horrible and I don't hold that against the game too much, but there's just a general sense of cheapness permeating the whole thing which broods in the background of the experience. When you look at the round leader token which simply says, "Leader", or you handle one of those paper scenario sheets putting a large crease in it from standard usage, you can't help but mumble vile nothings into an imagined Cryptozoic ear.
Discover: Lands Unknown
Finished out my box's storyline. I dug the narrative but the ending was kind of ho-hum. I don't know what to think of the game anymore. I enjoyed it and definitely think it has a place as a 7th Continent-light, but I also don't really feel like playing it anymore.

If the game had a wealth of scenarios and online content (like Robinson Crusoe), I'd probably change my tune. But it feels a little too disposable and limited in scope.

Overall, I enjoyed the game and give it positive marks, but it seems like an experiment that will be forgotten in a year or two. KeyForge on the other hand looks to be the opposite.

On My Mind
Regular game night is tomorrow night (looking at more KeyForge and possibly Cthulhu Wars), and then I may be playing TI4 on Black Friday.

Interestingly enough, I have no games to review that haven't received at least their first play yet. Should be working my way through my queue quickly then, getting second and third plays soon of Fallout Wasteland Warfare, Here's Negan!, Fate of Fantos, and Black Hole Council. Need to get another play in of Chronicles of Crime too.

Bohemian Rhapsody was powerful. I've been a relatively big Queen fan and I'm also a Rami Malek fan, so watching both collide was killer. I've been wanting to get back into drumming for a long while and this may have tipped me over the edge.

I have a huge Pearl kit with double bass that's been eating up a corner of the basement. I tossed out the heads on my bass' and a couple of toms when my basement flooded a few years ago. That, combined with my dog and family's disdain for how loud they are (or I play), means I haven't played in over 5 years.

I got the itch to play again a couple years ago after watching Whiplash, and it's been eating at me a bit. Anyway, the point of this is that I'm convincing family members to give me Amazon gift cards for my upcoming birthday so I can get an electron drum kit. I was always very anti e-Kit in the past, of course romanticizing the more organic sound of a standard set.

Not much in the TV sphere right now. Walking Dead is about all I'm watching after finishing up the last season of House of Cards (which had its moments but I kind of 360'd on the entire season in the last few episodes). I think the show could have ended very strong if Spacey wasn't a dirtbag and was still included.

Oh, I also got sucked into Miniature Market's early Black Friday sale and bought a bunch of Android: Netrunner. This was in my top 3 games for a couple of years when it first came out, then I purged the thing as I spent 90% of the time trying to keep up buying and curating data packs, and only 10% actually playing. Well, thankfully the ship is sunk and I can grab a big collection and just play in a closed casual environment in my group.

I also picked up the new edition of Condottiere, which is simply fabulous.
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9. Board Game: Chronicles of Crime [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:129]
Board Game: Chronicles of Crime
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
TX
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Board Game: Notre Dame
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War
Board Game: 3 Secrets
RPG Item: Parsely #1: Action Castle
Board Game: Chronicles of Crime
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Just One
Board Game: Kingsport Festival
Board Game: Root
Board Game: Gizmos
Board Game: Carpe Diem
Board Game: Fine Sand
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Board Game: Q.E.
Board Game: Space Base
Board Game: The Boldest
Board Game: passtally
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: Sidereal Confluence: Remastered Edition
Board Game: Counterfeiters
Board Game: Orbis
Board Game: Trapwords
Board Game: Roll Player: Monsters & Minions
Board Game: Acquire
Board Game: Dinosaur Tea Party
Board Game: Ganymede
Board Game: Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition
Board Game: Sherlock: Last Call
Board Game: Tumblin-Dice
Board Game: Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Board Game: Dragon Castle
Board Game: Zendo
Board Game: Discover: Lands Unknown
Board Game: Travelin'
Board Game: Family Feud


 10.   Notre Dame (28 all-time)
 10.   Race for the Galaxy (26 all-time)
 10.   Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War x4 (319 all-time)
 9.0   3 Secrets x4
 9.0   Action Castle x2 (3 all-time)
 9.0   Chronicles of Crime NEW!
 9.0   Cryptid x4 (10 all-time)
 9.0   Just One x4 NEW!
 9.0   Kingsport Festival (3 all-time)
 9.0   Root (2 all-time)
 8.5   Gizmos x3 NEW!
 8.0   Carpe Diem x2 NEW!
 8.0   Fine Sand NEW!
 8.0   KeyForge: Call of the Archons NEW!
 8.0   Q.E. x2 (6 all-time)
 8.0   Space Base (32 all-time)
 8.0   The Boldest x2 NEW!
 8.0   passtally NEW!
 7.5   Medici
 7.5   Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant NEW!
 7.0   Counterfeiters NEW!
 7.0   Orbis x2 NEW!
 7.0   Trapwords NEW!
 6.5   Roll Player: Monsters & Minions NEW!
 6.0   Acquire (2 all-time)
 6.0   Dinosaur Tea Party NEW!
 6.0   Ganymede NEW!
 6.0   Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition NEW!
 6.0   Sherlock: Last Call NEW!
 6.0   Tumblin-Dice (3 all-time)
 5.0   Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig NEW!
 5.0   Dragon Castle NEW!
 5.0   Zendo x2 (3 all-time)
 2.0   Discover: Lands Unknown NEW!
 2.0   Travelin' NEW!
 N/A   Family Feud (Game Show) NEW!

BGG.Con was amazing! It was great meeting all of you and getting to play with most of you! It's always my favorite time of year, and this year may have been one of the best. The games this year were particularly solid as well, I think - 2018 is a good year for gaming.

New Games
I'm just going to hit the new games, feel free to ask me about any others I've played as you like.

I think Chronicles of Crime was my game of the con. I've got a Friday Morning crew that's played a T.I.M.E Stories scenario every year for the past three years, and we weren't really feeling like it was giving us what we were going for. We thought about trying the campaign mode of Near and Far, but we had the opportunity to try Chronicles of Crime, and we went for it. It's awesome. It's a co-op mystery-solving game that could easily be played by one person, but really benefits from all the players collaborating to figure out what to do next, what probably happened, and the like. A later game I'll discuss aims to do this, but Chronicles of Crime does it so well. I want to play it again, and I'm a bit sad that I've got to wait another year before I do!

Just One was the party game of the convention. We grabbed a copy and will be playing it with family over the holidays, and I expect it will be a hit there as well. It's cooperative, and there's a word everyone is trying to get the guesser to guess. They each write down one word, then show each other before showing the guesser. Any duplicates get erased, and the guesser won't see that clue at all, and tries to guess the word based solely on remaining clues. It just works.

Gizmos is some very fun engine-building, and it's very satisfying to watch your combos come together. I have a worry that it might become same-y after 10 or so plays, but I feel I'm going to hit that at some point, which says something, and I imagine there will be expansions for this eventually.

Carpe Diem is the new Feld game that was quite a hit with us, probably his best since In the Year of the Dragon. There's some interesting tile drafting-and-placement choices, an innovative way of picking your own scoring, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. Gary and I played with Julio and Louie for the first game, and while we got a rule or two wrong, it wasn't anything serious and we enjoyed it. Neil wanted to play it, as did Kristen and Craig, so I played it again the same day with all the rules. Craig and Neil immediately bought a copy of the game. This one's going over well.

Fine Sand is one of three games of the con that I keep thinking about and want to explore a lot more. It's a game about trying to build everything in your deck as quickly as possibly, which has echoes of Furstenfeld, another criminally underrated game of his. I wonder if the cutesy Friese-ian art style is making me take it less seriously than the game really demands. It also uses the "Fable" mechanic to teach the game, which works, I guess. I find myself wishing I had a copy of this.

KeyForge: Call of the Archons is really clever. And the gimmick works. And it's so slick. And I got Doyle "Grits" Jeniphant and The Ms. of Longmere. A friend got T. Surge, the Drag Critic, which wins solely by virtue of its name. This is the second of three games I keep thinking about.

The Boldest is going to fly under some radars, which is a shame, because it's quite good. Each round, you send out three expeditions to acquire cards from the display. Both plays were with 5 players, where it works very well. If you're one of only two people to send a particular class on an expedition (Warriors/Technicians/Rangers/Cooks), you get to do the action. If three or more do it, the weakest gets a small consolation but doesn't use their party members. If you are successful in sending an expedition, you lose the leader of the party permanently, and the rest of the party is unavailable next turn, so you can't simply commit all you people each time or you will have sucky sucky rounds. You need to pick (and time) your battles. The theme is different - it's sort-of post-apocalyptic forest dwellers who fight the mechanical creatures of ages past and acquire their artifacts, which is different in a good way. And it lasts an hour and doesn't overstay its welcome. It's worth a look.

passtally is a 2-to-3-player game that requires a lot of thought and foresight while you play, which can paralyze people and drag the game. But if that doesn't cripple you, the mechanics of it are quite good and puzzly. You're placing tiles to create and alter paths between your two tokens on various sides of the board, and you score more for hitting more convoluted paths. The sheer breadth of options can be overwhelming, but if it's not, it's sublime.

Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant is the other game I keep thinking about since the con ended, and I wish I'd played it again (as does Kristen). I played a more complex race and lost pretty handily, but want to explore it a lot more.

Counterfeiters is a cute worker placement game that runs half an hour. The animal theme and artwork (and quality money components) aids enjoyment of an otherwise solid and unremarkable game.

Orbis is a drafting game where it gets increasingly difficult to get the right tiles for your domain as the game goes on. The nature of resource generation means the game is a 50/50 mix of tactical and strategic, which has the real possibility of being insufficient for someone wanting one or the other. Still, it's solid.

Trapwords is essentially Taboo where you pick the words the other team can't say. If that sounds fun to you, it probably will be. If it doesn't sound fun, it probably won't be for you. I thought it was a lot of fun. And the number of times where someone's first word given as a clue was "buzzed" was surprisingly high!

We played Roll Player with the Roll Player: Monsters & Minions expansion mixed in, which I think was a mistake for a first game. I mean, the expansion parts were fine, but I think I wanted a bit more of a pure dice-drafting game that the base game is offering. Still, I enjoyed it.

Dinosaur Tea Party is entertaining with people who play in the spirit of the game, which fortunately was our crew. Thanks, James for showing this to us. I'll be much more polite about your hat next time.

Ganymede is fine, I guess? Space Splendor that ended way too early, though it showed promise.

The market has quickly become saturated with excellent roll-and-write games, and despite the excellent production quality, Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition doesn't really separate itself from the pack for me.

Sherlock: Last Call is a co-operative mystery-solving one-shot game that was okay. Kristen, Craig, and others seemed to really get into these.

Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a more complicated Between Two Cities that is still Between Two Cities.

Dragon Castle has a hidden beauty to it that I couldn't uncover at the midnight hour I played it at. It's fine, I guess?

Discover: Lands Unknown was tedious. Tedious. And we misread a rule that made the game unwinnable, which also sucked. Essentially, we had an item that was like "Key: When you would resolve a card that has the phrase 'door is locked', you may resolve the card 1 number higher instead." So, when we came to card #1 that had that phrase and said, "Resolve exploration card #3", we resolved card #4 instead (following a similar pattern in 7th Continent). The game actually wants you to resolve Card #2 in this circumstance. So, it prolonged a game we weren't enjoying already and provided a very frustrating experience. (Plus, the individual co-op win mechanic felt odd to us.) So, I'm never going to play this again. Blech.

Travelin' is when Kristen and I discovered that she had generated her want-to-play list based almost entirely on thematic representation, and very little on game mechanics.


On My Mind
Short work week, then Thanksgiving travels to Mississippi. Whee! I had a foot sprain or microfracture in my foot all week, so I've been in an obnoxious boot which limited my mobility, and I'm off of running for a few weeks. Boo.


Edit: typos
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10. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:190]
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Louie
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Board Game: Fine Sand
Board Game: Dungeon Lords
Board Game: Riff Raff
Board Game: Reykholt
Board Game: Nusfjord
Board Game: Men at Work
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Board Game: Gingerbread House
Board Game: Carpe Diem


 2   Saint Malo NEW!
 6   Meeple Circus NEW!
 8   Medici NEW!
 N/A   KeyForge: Call of the Archons – Archon Deck NEW!
 6   Karuba NEW!
 8   Family Business NEW!
 8   Crokinole x2 (5 all-time)
 8   Zendo x2 NEW!
 4   Tokaido x2 (5 all-time)
 N/A   Orléans NEW!
 4   Menara NEW!
 8   Lowlands NEW!
 6   Fine Sand NEW!
 8   Dungeon Lords NEW!
 6   Riff Raff NEW!
 6   Reykholt NEW!
 6   Nusfjord NEW!
 4   Men At Work NEW!
 10   Glory to Rome x2 NEW!
 6   Gingerbread House NEW!
 8   Carpe Diem NEW!

I was at BGGCon, too. It was great meeting everyone, gaming with most of you, and getting in touch with all of your silliness and senses of humor. It oftentimes hilarious, and I was met with a fuckton of kindness from practically everyone I met, and I'm sad that it's over.

SPECIFIC PER DAY HIGHLIGHTS:

Wednesday -- Grant greeted us with some Southern hospitality in the form of a late-night ride and Whataburger. A Double Whataburger with just ketchup. I call this the "Grantburger." It's amazing.

Thursday -- Junecroperson and I tagged along with Ambie and Toby's group for Pecan Lodge. It was delicious. Thank you both, again!

Friday -- Some gathering of other GCL Mafia members at Torchy's Tacos. I think those pictures are going to come later. I think I ate Toby's "turkey mole taco," which looking back on it now, I still feel really about. I thought it was Hillbilly Fried Chicken Taco. I really didn't know what I was eating.

This was also Grant's Dungeon Lords day, which was a really interesting play.

Saturday -- James offered to teach us Glory to Rome, and during one of our sessions, THE Tim Schafer asked to take a picture of our game. Probably because it was the Black Box edition and it is ridiculously expensive. I embarrassingly flung some words at him about how much I enjoyed Psychonauts, and Broken Age, and then he left. But he didn't leave my heart.

Sunday -- I'm pretty sure I shared a plane with Matt Leacock. I only think so, because as I was boarding, I flubbed the boarding pass on my phone, and I caught that the person in front of me was LEACOCK, MATTHEW.

HOT TAKES ABOUT GAMES I PLAYED:

Glory to Rome -- What a game. Shame I can't get a copy of this unless I sell my future children. James' teach brought us up to speed so quickly. I love the amount of difficult decisions you have to make, and seeing how some card interactions can really push people up so fast.

Dungeon Lords -- Really grateful for Grant's teach, and seeing his giddiness as he sashayed around with his Kickstarter Anniversary edition with wooden boxes and stuff. I liked it, and would for sure want to play it again, but the idea of teaching this beast TERRIFIES me. In this sense, I find that Dungeon Lords is very Vlaada-y, for better and for worse: complex, clever, and with great integration of humor and theme, but it'll take some time to bring people up to play this.

Orleans -- This "Euro lover" finally got to play what many feel is a "good Euro." I CONCUR. We picked up Orleans pretty quickly, and I liked that your turn-by-turn felt clean. Draw up your hand size, place them, do the actions if applicable. Boom.

Lowlands -- I played two other Uwe Rosenburg games this past weekend: Reykholt and Nusfjord. I think that Lowlands is a better Uwe-esque game than the other two. I found the game oddly thematic for a Euro.

Nusjford -- I didn't particularly like this too much. I also couldn't really make out the symbols on those small cards, from across the table. It was a bit confusing.

External image


Carpe Diem -- Feld's latest and greatest. Another super clean design, where your choices get limited each turn depending on where you are on the curse heptagram. I flubbed a few rules (but please cut me some slack, I blitzed like 30 Euro rulebooks over three days), but overall, it went well. I liked it quite a bit, and I think it's his best design since Castles of Burgundy!

Zendo -- Playing this with James and Robin was hilarious. Great game, too.

Keyforge -- Junecroperson and I bought a deck to see if we can get some salacious names, per Grant's recommendation. We mostly just wanted to try it out. He put out a card that made you remove all killed creatures from the game, for everyone, and I had no way of handling it. So after like an hour, our decks were super thin. So I kinda like that, you can play around with your stuff and try to figure out how it worked. I used to play Yugioh in college, so I had some experience with CCG's before. It did bring back some of that feel.

Medici -- I completed Knizia's auction trilogy. James taught us, and trounced us, in thirty minutes flat. It probably takes a game or two to figure out how to properly valuate sets, but damn. THE DESIGN IS SO CLEAN. Three rounds of once-arounds, and then you're done.

Riff Raff, Meeple Circus, Menara -- For some reason, Junecroperson wanted to play a silly amount of stacking games. I think I liked Meeple Circus the best, since parts of it felt game-y (good to me), but also that you played music and stacked camels on elephants and shit.

ON MY MIND

I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. It's my first year without my immediate family, so I'm sure it'll be interesting, but I have plans with friends and co-workers. I've been struggling a bit with my father's retirement and move back to the Philippines, so I'm thinking on new traditions I could make.

New to my collection: Roll for the Galaxy, Power Grid, Takenoko, The Speicherstadt, TAJEMNICZE DOMOSTWO, Tokaido, Junk Art. Somehow, all of this new junk fit into my Kallax. Image below. Feel free to make judgments about me as a person, based on the things I hoard.

From gallery of LouieSTFU


Not looking forward to the work week, but I'm caught up on chores and ready to go! Cooked some food and ready to go, so I hope it's a good one.

EDIT: LOUIE LOSES BY A SINGLE POINT (AGAIN)

Below image is tonight's Transamerica play. Lost by a single point. If they were on BGG they would get a grand bounty of 50gg, but they are not, so. . .

BOUNTY STILL UP, FOLKS.

From gallery of LouieSTFU

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11. Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:59]
Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Ambie
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San Mateo
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Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
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Board Game: The Mind
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Board Game: Complex Atomic Compilers
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Board Game: Valeria: Card Kingdoms
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Board Game: Just One
Board Game: Impact: Battle of Elements
Board Game: Illusion
Board Game: Hand Circus
Board Game: Escape Tales: The Awakening
Board Game: Duelosaur Island
Board Game: Dragon Punch
Board Game: Detective Club
Board Game: Death Note: Confrontation
Board Game: Curio: The Lost Temple
Board Game: Crokinole
Board Game: City Explorer: Tainan
Board Game: Chopsticks
Board Game: Wordsy
Board Game: TomaTomato
Board Game: Smartphone Inc.
Board Game: Pantone: The Game
Board Game: Now Boarding
Board Game: Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr
Board Game: Fuji
Board Game: Exodus: Paris Nouveau
Board Game: Color Addict
Board Game: Big Dig
Board Game: Arkham Horror (Third Edition)
Board Game: The Arabian Pots
Board Game: 5 Minute Chase
Board Game: 18Chesapeake
Board Game: Tumblin-Dice
Board Game: Tokyo Ghoul
Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Board Game: Takla
Board Game: Suspend
Board Game: Spinball
Board Game: Shaky Manor
Board Game: Pichenotte Hockey
Board Game: Palm Island
Board Game: Narabi
Board Game: The McDonald's Game
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Board Game: Flotsam Fight
Board Game: Finn Billiards
Board Game: Eye My Favorite Things
Board Game: Duplik
Board Game: Bamboleo
Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons
Board Game: Symphony No.9
Board Game: SHIBUYA
Board Game: Ramen
Board Game: Pulp Detective
Board Game: Poetry Slam
Board Game: Nyctophobia
Board Game: カゲロウ (Mayfly)
Board Game: Mars Open: Tabletop Golf
Board Game: Let's Make a Bus Route
Board Game: Gobi
Board Game: Family Trade
Board Game: Drop It
Board Game: Deckscape: The Fate of London
Board Game: Criss Cross
Board Game: Cave Paintings
Board Game: Arraial
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Spring Meadow
Board Game: Shop 'N Time
Board Game: PUSH
Board Game: Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra


N/A  Legacy of Dragonholt
N/A  Wizard
8  Werewords x10
10  Strike x2
10  The Mind x4
8.5  FUSE x3
9.5  Crossfire
N/A  Complex Atomic Compilers
N/A  X-Code NEW!
N/A  Valeria: Card Kingdoms NEW!
N/A  Marble Bobsleigh NEW!
N/A  Just One NEW!
N/A  Impact: Battle of Elements NEW!
N/A  Illusion NEW!
N/A  Hand Circus NEW!
N/A  Escape Tales: The Awakening x2 NEW!
N/A  Duelosaur Island NEW!
N/A  Dragon Punch x3
N/A  Detective Club NEW!
N/A  Death Note: Confrontation x2 NEW!
N/A  Curio: The Lost Temple x2 NEW!
9.5  Crokinole
N/A  City Explorer: Tainan NEW!
N/A  Chopsticks NEW!
N/A  Wordsy
N/A  TomaTomato NEW!
N/A  Smartphone Inc. NEW!
N/A  Pantone: The Game NEW!
N/A  Now Boarding NEW!
N/A  Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr x2 NEW!
N/A  Fuji NEW!
N/A  Exodus: Paris Nouveau NEW!
N/A  Color Addict NEW!
N/A  Big Dig NEW!
N/A  Arkham Horror (Third Edition) NEW!
N/A  The Arabian Pots NEW!
N/A  5 Minute Chase NEW!
N/A  18Chesapeake NEW!
N/A  Tumblin-Dice NEW!
N/A  Tokyo Ghoul NEW!
N/A  Teotihuacan: City of Gods NEW!
N/A  Takla NEW!
N/A  Suspend NEW!
N/A  Spinball x2
N/A  Shaky Manor NEW!
N/A  Pichenotte Hockey x2 NEW!
N/A  Palm Island NEW!
N/A  Narabi NEW!
N/A  The McDonald's Game NEW!
N/A  KeyForge: Call of the Archons NEW!
N/A  Flotsam Fight NEW!
N/A  Finn Billiards NEW!
N/A  Eye My Favorite Things NEW!
N/A  Duplik NEW!
N/A  Bamboleo NEW!
7.8  1830: Railways & Robber Barons
N/A  Symphony No.9 NEW!
N/A  SHIBUYA NEW!
N/A  Ramen NEW!
N/A  Pulp Detective NEW!
N/A  Poetry Slam NEW!
N/A  Nyctophobia NEW!
N/A  カゲロウ (Mayfly) NEW!
N/A  Mars Open: Tabletop Golf x3 NEW!
N/A  Let's Make a Bus Route NEW!
N/A  Gobi NEW!
N/A  Family Trade NEW!
N/A  Drop It NEW!
N/A  Deckscape: The Fate of London NEW!
N/A  Criss Cross NEW!
N/A  Cave Paintings NEW!
N/A  Arraial NEW!
N/A  Unpublished Prototype
N/A  Spring Meadow NEW!
N/A  Shop 'N Time x2 NEW!
N/A  PUSH NEW!
N/A  Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra NEW!

Just got home (delayed flight) and gonna unpack and get ready for bed. Keep forgetting that this week is Thanksgiving. I'll be pretty busy this week with everything, so hopefully I'll have time some time for some sort of writeup, but for now here are the games played. Had a lot of fun at BGG.CON!

EDIT: Yay, have time to update with my thoughts now!

Tried out 63 new to me games at BGG.CON. Lots of them were "meh" or okay. Sometimes I think I may not like board gaming anymore since all of these games that other people said were great I didn't really like that much. But then I play games that are lots of fun and remember that yes, I still like board games.

Some notable games:

Escape Tales: The Awakening - mix of a choose your own adventure and a puzzle game. It's kinda like one of those old point and click adventure computer games. There's a bunch of text paragraphs that you read, and then you find clues or puzzle parts on the cards, and there's a companion webapp where you input the answers of the puzzles and get directed to read more. The website also has hints so that's nice. Sometimes you get choices and that affects how the story ends, so that's pretty interesting. This was the first game we checked out from the library, and we played through part of it, and then finished it on Sunday as one of the last games we checked out.

Curio: The Lost Temple - more puzzle game! This is more like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, or Space Team (video game and phone game, respectively). It's cooperative and has a different puzzle module for each person. The other people have cards with the puzzles and answers and have to describe what the person with the puzzle module needs to do. But everyone is doing this at the same time and you only have 12 minutes to solve everything. Super hard (possibly because we were at a convention and it was hard to hear everyone). I want to try it in a quieter location because we had to stop because my voice hurt.

Death Note: Confrontation - I really had wanted to try this game because I love the anime and I love deduction games. There are two parts to each turn - the first is a Fog of Love style choosing A/B, where Light gets points if you each choose differently, and L gets info if you choose the same. I did not like that part because it didn't feel as thematic and it was way more random. But I liked the second part, which was where L chooses 3 spaces on the map, and Light has to pick one of those to kill. But he can only kill within a certain area of his home, except for 2-3 times in the whole game when he can kill outside his zone. So then L narrows down where Light is and tries to find him before Light can kill 15 points of people. I think the game is heavily skewed toward Light, since Light won both times, even in the second game where Toby was L and won every time in the first part except once. I enjoyed the game, but not as much as I had wanted to.

Teotihuacan - I liked this game. It was my favorite of the Euro type games I played. I like Tzolk'in, and this reminded me of that - getting tech, building a bunch of different things, and going up temple tracks. We had a bad teacher but I read the rules and it wasn't too hard to learn from that. The rondel dice placement was pretty neat. It encourages you to stock up on one space since you get better/more stuff when more dice are on a space. So you move one on it, and then the next one on it the next turn, and then the last on the next turn, and then move them all to another space over the next 3 turns. We got into a good rhythm with that. I also like the building of the pyramid thing cause I like spacial stuff. Not something I'm going to buy, but it was fun.

Nyctophobia - This was pretty interesting. Things felt a lot different than I thought they would, and my first turn I ran directly into a dead end. But I ended up turning around and then taking the perfect route to go directly to the car. I was the track star, which gives me extra movement when I sprint (the action where you step without feeling around), so I ended up sprinting into the car without feeling that the car was there. That was pretty funny. I heard that Crystal was filming me while I was playing for the vlog, so this is probably not a game that you want to play at a public place if you're uncomfortable with random strangers messing with you.

Symphony No. 9 - I was interested in this game because of the theme and cause it's Taiwanese, but I wasn't expecting it to be that good. But I really enjoyed it. You're buying patron cubes for different composers, and whoever has the most gets their token that round, which gives end game points or point powers. But taking their cubes also affects their popularity, and if a bunch of their cubes get taken, they'll die and then they won't be available in later rounds. After the cube taking part, there's a bidding phase for a concert. Everyone blind bids at the same time, and the sum of the amount determines what type of concert there will be (< 7 = no concert, 7-10 = low class, 10-13 = medium, 14-16 = high class, > 16 = no concert). And depending on the popularity of the composers, they'll be playing at different concerts. So different players want different concerts to happen so that they'll get paid out (only composers who play get paid out). And the player who bid highest gets a bonus when there's a concert. But if there's no concert, the player who bid highest (or lowest if it's on the low side) gets a penalty. So that bidding part was really interesting.

New Azul - It seems more forgiving than Azul. You're filling up columns, and you have a meeple on the left column. You can fill up anything to the right of the meeple, but then you move it to that column. And instead of taking tiles, you can reset your meeple to the left. So there are more spaces to place things and you can skip the turn, so it's easier to avoid taking tiles. I still like it, but I like regular Azul better.

I also played a bunch of Japanese games. They have such interesting and different themes/mechanics, so it's always fun to see them. One of them, Mayfly, was a cooperative game where you play cards to feed the Mayfly, but you physically slide them into a slot in the box, which was a cute gimmick. Another one, Shibuya, was based on the Shibuya crossing, and it was a 2p abstract where you're trying to get your pedestrians across the street fastest. That was cute.

PUSH (by request) - I only played this 2p but I heard it was better with more players. It's a push your luck card game where you put piles out following certain rules (can't have same number or color in each pile). You get to pick the first pile to add to your scoring area, but if you bust and can't place a card in the pile, then you don't get any cards and you have to roll a die that makes you lose all the cards you have of one color. 2p was kinda dumb, but Toby said it was fun with more players.

We played some older games on Tuesday when we got there, and we also did a teaching game of 1830 on Friday morning that was a lot of fun. 6p game - 4 experienced players and 2 new players. The game lasted 2.5 hours total, no bankruptcy. And the scores were super close! Toby was ahead at first, but then I got a 4 and 5 train in my corp and it was running for 41 each turn, so I was getting a bunch of cash. I think I probably was winning the OR set before the end, but the bank hadn't broken and it went another round, so the stock prices got super high (and my company's stock wasn't a good), and someone else who had invested in Toby's corp ended up winning.

I guess I should also mention we played 18Chesapeake. I thought it was boring. Not much to change in the game. But we had the game end in bankruptcy. Everyone we'd talked to who had played 18Chesapeake said they'd never seen a bankruptcy and it's really hard, so that was an accomplishment.

Have to go to the shuttle now so I'll finish my edit later.

EDIT #2: more games!

Duelosaur Island - when I read the description of this on the Kickstarter, I thought I wouldn’t like it because usually I don’t like card games as much. But I was pleasantly surprised. The game gave a similar feel to Dinosaur Island and kept the theme, but had different gameplay and was pretty quick. There was still drafting of dice for dna and special people, so I liked that. The cards were double sided for either dinosaurs or attractions, and you could have as many as you want. And there’s no visitor bag - you just gain/lose visitors on the point track. So that was neat because there was actually less randomness in this game than Dinosaur Island.

Arkham Horror Third Edition - this made me want to play second edition again. The game seemed to drag a lot, and we ended up just calling it when Azathoth woke up instead of going on and dragging it out even longer. Clue token pick up reminded me of Eldritch Horror, and overall it felt more like a revamped Eldritch than Arkham. Mythos phase was annoying too since everyone had to get tokens so it took longer to resolve.

Keyforge - played at the booth and I did not like the deck I had. I also forgot to look at the names of the cards. But I had problems playing cards cause I always had 2 of each house thing and Toby kept killing all my creatures.

Arraial - the most Tetris-like of the Tetris games. You’re actually putting the pieces down from the sky like in Tetris, and you get points for getting a Tetris.

Impact - Strike is better.

Non game stuff - really liked Pecan Lodge and Torchy’s Tacos. It was great seeing/meeting everyone who was there! And Grant’s War of the Ring is amazing.

On My Mind
- busy week with catching up on work, doing work, and then editing a bunch of stuff about BGG.CON. And then cooking stuff for Thanksgiving. And by cooking stuff I mean baking pies.

- I finished a book last night and don’t have another one to read tonight so now I won’t be able to sleep.

- I watched Monster’s U and Incredibles 2 on the plane! Yay! Incredibles 2 was very predictable. Monster’s U was okay but I had watched a YouTube video about how it was so much less creative than Monsters Inc. so that made me notice all the uncreative parts of the movie. I also watched the first part of Infinity Wars but then we landed.

- I kept forgetting Thanksgiving was this week but now I’m thinking about it. We always do a bunch of family stuff with Toby’s family for Thanksgiving. That’ll be fun.

- ahh I haven’t started Christmas presents!!! This is the latest I’ve started on presents in a long time.
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12. Video Game: Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:2395]
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Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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No board game plays. Jennifer did a fun locked room with some friends where the group was separated at the start. We couldn't find anyone to watch Maddy and he was strictly not allowed, so I stayed home. But our friends came over after and we played several more hours of Overcooked! We were on level 3-2. We finished getting 3 stars on the rest of the Chapter 2 levels, and then a second star on 3-1, then continued on. We made it to Chapter 4 where we were happy to 1 star most challenges. This meant we hit our first roadblock in Chapter 5 when we didn't have enough stars to progress through to the next level. So we're halfway into Chapter 5 of 6, and have a lot of levels to revisit in Chapters 3 and 4 to 3-star.

Also, Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! came out. Jennifer has been looking forward to this and played for two days. The first day she got the first two badges. I don't know how much further she is now, but she recently finished the cruise ship area. I occasionally jumped in a little bit as player 2 to help catch pokemon or battle. Ooh, I do remember she did do the Lightning gym wit Lt. Sarge. She barely beat that one, having to make resourceful and timely use of revives and potions to keep her Eevee alive to beat Lt. Sarge's Raichu. I played on my own account only a little bit. I haven't even reached the first gym yet, so I'm very far away from any real progress.

The other thing I got distracted with this week is I finally after years of looking found our electronic keyboard. My son's been so musically inclined that I've wanted to find it. Unfortunately by now he does a lot more mashing than curious playing of single keys, but he definitely enjoys the keyboard and is playing with it much in a similar way that I played with it growing up. It's got settings to play songs from a song bank and do weird sound effects and such, so there's a lot to explore. Drums/Bongos are more interesting to him at the moment, but we don't have anything for that right now.
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13. Board Game: Forbidden Stars [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:101]
Board Game: Forbidden Stars
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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 10  Forbidden Stars x1 (12 plays so far)
 N/A  Teotihuacan x2 (against TeotiBOT)

On Forbidden Stars :
Chaos vs Marines (me) vs Orks

We went for 8 turns and the game was decided on tiebreaker (all of us had only 1 objective tile) but the last 2 combat resolutions would have resulted in a different outcome :

- one opposing Marines vs Chaos : this combat was made with nail clippers, each side having only 1 Scout/Cultist. This nasty guy managed to bring an Hellbrute into combat, which wasn't very fair but with the Chaos, you must be ready to experience such dirty tricks.

- the other opposing Marines vs orks : epic fight with Land Raiders and Battlewagons. While i was outnumbered, i managed to win on moral with a perfect combo : "Break the Line" followed by "Armoured Advance" then "Faith in the Emperor". Only one word : pleasurable !

It was an epic game, without a doubt the tenser and the most dramatic i have played : threat, tension, bluffing, blocking, many turnarounds, space combat (especially between the Orks (sic) and the Chaos), hyper-bloody fights... All the elements were put together and we had a great gaming experience. Sure, we certainly played near 5 hours (the first objective tile was won on turn #7 !!!), which could be explained easily because everyone was turtling at the beginning of the game. Hence, once everyone was armed with its heavy guns, it was only about rage and fury. But honestly, the time flyed by because we were so immersed in the game.

Regarding theme, it is worth highlighting the tour de force made by the authors: balancing such a game, with very asymmetrical factions, while respecting the W40K's universe (the orks: green tide, stealing and recycling of opponents's equipment (they do not build a single thing); the Space Marines: Drop Pods, tanks, fidelity to the emperor and great moral strength; Chaos: desolation and destruction spread via cultists, the use of warp) is pure genius.

I played the Marines and i went for upgrading my units to tanks with the aforementioned cards. I managed to deploy all my tanks and was the first player to grab an objective tile on a desolate world owned by the Orks. I was implanted right from the beginning on the center tile : it's really annoying because you can be attacked from anywhere and you can't afford to leave these worlds undefended.

The 3 players configuration is my favourite one because, if you were screwed, you can catch up while the third player is somehow rebalancing the game.

TL;NR : last night, it was better than sex !

From gallery of fdubois
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14. Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:59]
Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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It was BGG.CON! YAY! I PLAYED GAMES WOOOO

10  Cthulhu Wars
10  Race for the Galaxy
9  Northern Pacific
8  Cryptid x2
7  Can't Stop
7  Deep Sea Adventure
7  The Mind NEW!
4  Space Base NEW!
N/A  Crown of Emara NEW!
N/A  Dinosaur Tea Party NEW!
N/A  Fast Forward: FORTUNE x12 NEW!
N/A  Fine Sand NEW!
N/A  Finito! x2 NEW!
N/A  Gobi NEW!
N/A  Just One x4 NEW!
N/A  KeyForge: Call of the Archons x3 NEW!
N/A  Monolith Arena NEW!
N/A  Push NEW!
N/A  Q.E. NEW!
N/A  Reykholt NEW!
N/A  Samarkand: Routes to Riches NEW!
N/A  Sherlock: Death on the 4th of July NEW!
N/A  Sherlock: Last Call NEW!
N/A  Sherlock: Tomb of the Archaeologist NEW!
N/A  Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant NEW!
N/A  Spring Meadow NEW!
N/A  Talk in Text NEW!
N/A  Teotihuacan: City of Gods NEW!
N/A  The Bucket King NEW!
N/A  The City of Kings NEW!
N/A  passtally NEW!


I'm also busy with work so I can't write a lot of comments right now and I need to go back and add scores.

Best new game: Teotihuacan. Wonderful game. Bad manual but game is still great.

Best surprise: Just One. I'm tired of word games but this one is excellent. (Dinosaur Tea Party comes close as that was enjoyable too and I would never have guessed it was a deduction game, but I'll still give the nod to Just One.)

Biggest letdown: Space Base. The game has a nice update over Machi Koro to fix the the "upgrades are boring" problem but doesn't provide any mitigation for bad rolls. I spent 30 or so minutes watching people buy better stuff than I could because I rolled no income for my first nearly 10 rounds and they did. Game ended with me having 3 income and the other players having 8+. Not sure I ever want to play it again.

Best game from a designer that has had a few years of misses: Fine Sand. Really, really enjoyed this one. The first new Friedmann Friese game I've been excited about in a while.

Will add more writeups later today / this evening.
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15. Board Game: Smokey Bear Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Smokey Bear Game
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Tumblin-Dice 3 (40 all-time)
Heroes of Terrinoth 2 (3 all-time)
Architects of the West Kingdom (2 all-time)
Endeavor: Age of Sail 1 (2 all-time)
KeyForge: Call of the Archons 1 NEW!

Review: I managed to work "blow on a stick to make pretty" into my Trapwords review.

---

Heroes of Terrinoth: It helps when you play a game by the right rules. (It also helps when the rulebook doesn't skimp on explanations/clarifications. I'm disappointed FFG didn't do their two-book thing with this one.) Anyway, I'm enjoying this more now that I've got the rules down and understand the system better. It's a fun little adventure romp.

Architects of the West Kingdom: We played with four, which was better than two since you had more guys to round up. We also played with player powers, which I'm not usually into, but it was more fun. It helps direct what you're doing in the game, kind of like occupations and minor improvements in Agricola.

Endeavor: We played on the "high conflict" side of the map. It opened areas earlier, but didn't add any fun.

Keyforge: I bought four decks and, disappointingly, none of them were inappropriately named. I got Sir Jarstar Archea; F. Bryrvif the Lodge Scaremonger; Benzapus, the Antagonizer of the Stadium; and Charitable Hadrian of the Cottage. I played Sir Jarstar Archea against Matt as Benzapus, the Antagonizer of the Stadium. Our decks seemed pretty evenly matched. I like the house activation system and that the game is less about killing your opponents' dudes than it is getting your keys forged. (I like dueling games, but there's plenty that do the kill-others'-dudes thing.) I could totally get into this as the excitement of opening and learning a new deck is really great. I will have to refrain from getting too excited though. Matt liked it alright, but I doubt it's something he'll get super into.

---

On My Mind:

As I mentioned last week, campus closed last Wednesday. It stayed closed through the rest of the week and, now, through this week. All assignments/exams must be postponed; you can't assign students anything during this time. I'm sure they're all thrilled. They'll be less thrilled when I redo our calendar and have to play catch-up when we get back.

Movies I've seen over the past few weeks: Crazy Rich Asians (meh, typical romantic comedy), Mission Impossible: Fallout (meh), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (as boring/pointless as you'd expect), and RBG (that woman is a quiet badass).

I'm about halfway through Steelheart. It's... fine? It feels very YA to me and the main character is not very interesting. It feels very generic. It is easy to read though, so at least it's got that going for it.
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16. RPG Item: Player's Handbook (D&D 5e) [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:4]
RPG Item: Player's Handbook (D&D 5e)
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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While in just over three weeks I've played only a fraction of a game of The 7th Continent. So physically, my board game life has been very empty.
I just finished the longest games of Keyflower and Terra Mystica on BGA (The TM Game started literally 6 months ago, just before Lillian was born...)
Still playing daily Tash-Kalar with Grace. She had a good run against me, but the pendulum starting swinging back. I think we're incredibly evenly matched overall. I'm not sure exactly how many games we've played together, but it's a ton.


But the vast majority of the games I've been playing have been PbF RPGs.


- Starting a Traveller game soon. We've all made our characters, but we're going through and making our character selection. It's in a homebrew setting where various Syndicates control the galaxy. One of the players reached out to me and they want to start another one, even though we haven't even started this game yet. I've got a bit much to chew on as it is, so I'm not sure if I'll jump in or not. Especially since I'd like to actually see if I enjoy the Traveler system first. I adore the character creation process though.


- Been slowly playing in an Hourglass Realm. This features one of my several character concepts that is based on my interpretation of Disney characters that exist in a D&D/Forgotten Realms setting. This one is Belle who is a wanderlust halfling that, through her obsession of reading and libraries started learning wizardry and set out to find an adventure. All of her magical spells are done in a very whimsical manner and her vocal utterances are all done in French via Google Translate. The pace of the game itself is painfully slow. I don't know how familiar people are with the Hourglass realm, but it is a super ambitious 5e setting. It involves a ton of players and groups, but I think the demand on the GM(s) makes the pace VERY slow. MAYBE one post per day. I love the character, but I might have to take her and jump her into a different scenario for me to get the most out of that.


- Jumped into a Starfinder game. I find it super convoluted and overwrought. I don't hate it, but I don't love it. My character concept is an ambitious, no-limits investigational news reporter that became a Starfinder through their Intelligence gathering organization. Part Lois Lane, Part Detective Josephus Miller.


- Still have an Edge of the Empire game, running The Long Arm of the Hutt adventure. We're about 40% done after having an extended stay in the first Act due to their ship getting shot down and having to make a crash landing on Ryloth. Got a pretty heavy gun-totin' group who has been able to smack most of their obstacles down with blasters, but now they are going in to a social-heavy encounter and I expect things to become very interesting for them.


- There has been some Geekmail messages towards me and other sightings on RPGGeek geeklists about wanting another GM for another game. So I am contemplating about running another game.

- Finally got into another one of Jim's games. This one is another Disney character. A Thief/Warlock based off of Aladdin, and a homebrew Patron with "Pact of the Genie" subclass that gives a fun character for both myself and Jim to play around with. The group seems super chill and a good RP focused vibe, which I'm totally down with.


- And last, and definitely not least, the other game I'm in is Jim's adventure league game. I think this is the Waterdeep Heist adventure we're doing. My character is now Level 5. And he's a crazy and paranoid conspiracy theorist. Just got ourselves some nice digs that we're going to turn into a tavern. I'm very excited about the actual venture with that, but it isn't something that my character itself would be too interested in. So I'm balancing the thin-line of Player vs PC, which I think is just defaulting to having my character ramble off about conspiracies that are (or actually aren't) running against the party.


Edit: I forgot! I had a Session 0 for a F2F (Skype and/or in person) Force & Destiny game, where the two players are Initiates in the Inquisitorius. In my spare time, I'm writing up a campaign for them.


I'm also working on another Genesys-system game that involves the players spending the first couple of sessions as gods which they've made themselves, and they'll create the world, their god's religion/practices, etc. Then I will introduce a cataclysmic event which separates the gods from the prime material plane, making the only physical contact the gods can have on the world is through "interceders" which may be opened through rituals which involve their temples and priests. I'll age the world a bit, and then have the players actually create characters in that world. I'm very excited and i have a lot more work to do in it, but it's an enjoyable process and I've had some amazing concepts created by some people.


On My Mind:

Lillian has her first cold. It has been absolutely heartbreaking.



But that isn't keeping her from having smiles for miles.

 



Not sure if I mentioned this, but we replaced my 2006 Hyundai Elantra with a 2016 Nissan Rogue. What a difference 10 years of vehicle technology makes! Fancy things like integrated bluetooth (which has been amazing for audiobooks) and backup cameras! I never thought I wanted those features, but it's been real nice. Also nice to have something larger for homeowner things, for ease of getting the baby in and out of the car, and somethign that the mother-in-law doesn't have to hurt to get in and out of. Huge qualify of life upgraded for us.


Almost done with Leviathan Wakes. It's been a fantastic suggestion. I've only been able to listen to it during my commute, so it has taken longer than it normally takes me to listen to it, but it has been a real treat. Where I am at is currently:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Switched to Holden's POV after they have returned to Tycho Station after attacking Thoth Station



Did my sleep study last weekend, and the experience was AWFUL. Super uncomfortable, and a terrible night of sleep. It should give a lot of data to them, and I have my follow-up Wednesday afternoon.


Lillian is right on track with all her development milestones. Sometimes a little ahead. She's in such a hurry to grow up.

She just started waving, and she had her first lemon recently. She LOVED it.
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17. Board Game: Men at Work [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1156]
Board Game: Men at Work
United States
Yay Area
California
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Board Game: Tichu
Board Game: Quarriors!
Board Game: Tramways Engineer's Workbook
Board Game: The Table Is Lava
Board Game: Saint Malo
Board Game: Meeple Circus
Board Game: Medici
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons – Archon Deck
Board Game: Karuba
Board Game: Family Business
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Counterfeiters
Board Game: Glory to Rome
Board Game: Zendo
Board Game: Tokaido
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: Spirit Island
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Orbis
Board Game: Menara
Board Game: Lowlands
Board Game: Crokinole
Board Game: Riff Raff
Board Game: Reykholt
Board Game: Orléans
Board Game: Nusfjord
Board Game: Men at Work
Board Game: Gingerbread House
Board Game: Carpe Diem
Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game


 7   Tichu
 7   Quarriors!
 7   Tramways Engineer's Workbook
 7   The Table Is Lava NEW!
 4.5   Saint Malo NEW!
 7   Meeple Circus NEW!
 8   Medici NEW!
 6   KeyForge: Call of the Archons – Archon Deck NEW!
 7   Karuba
 6   Family Business NEW!
 8   Cryptid
 7.5   Counterfeiters NEW!
 8   Zendo x2 NEW!
 6   Tokaido NEW!
 7   Terraforming Mars
 9   Spirit Island
 6.5   Race for the Galaxy
 7   Orbis NEW!
 8   Menara x3 NEW!
 7   Lowlands NEW!
 8   Crokinole
 8.5   Riff Raff NEW!
 7   Reykholt NEW!
 8   Orléans NEW!
 6   Nusfjord NEW!
 7.5   Men At Work NEW!
 9   Glory to Rome x2 NEW!
 7   Gingerbread House NEW!
 7.5   Carpe Diem NEW!
 6   Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game

Tichu
- Normal game night -Two new players. First hand opponent declares tichu, I have a bomb and okayish cards and just focus mainly on blocking her from succeeding. We don't score many points but they do fail Tichu so they're at negative points. Second hand opponent again declares Tichu and surprisingly my partner declares Tichu. We have a Tichu off. Again trying to take control away from opponents. Partner manages to go out and I follow. We are doing really well on points. We play a couple more hands, no one declares Tichu but overall we're not making good points. Final round other opponent decides to just risk it for Grand Tichu. They manage to go out together for a 400 point swing to win it. I'm salty but also like witnessing that stuff. My hand was trash and the moment they declared Grand Tichu I knew I wouldn't have much to stop it, several separated singles and pairs.

Quarriors - Normal game night - I laminated better play mats for this, since the paper ones just blew away with the slightest movement of air. Overall I was doing terribly, I invested in Quidity Spells and the Draw More dice things that didn't quite ramp up quick enough. I did manage the 9 cost dragon and was able to stop 1 person from instant victory, but it was a bit slow as everyone else had several smaller monsters to spam and get VPs. Overall decent session.

BGGCON
- Overall I had fun, I could have probably learned rulebooks ahead of time to make up for reading downtime at the con but whatevs. BBQ was dank, Torchy was great. Whataburger also good.


Tramways Engineer's Workbook - I played this while waiting for the plane. It was fine but I think the fancy pens I bought are too thin to read on this particular map so I might switch back to the normal pens.

Carpe Diem - I really enjoyed this. It's not quite the patchwork replacement I was looking for but could definitely see this fulfilling that itch of putting tiles onto a map strategically.

Counterfeiters - I got to play the manatee. This was also enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed how we completely dried up the physical money supply because we all went super euro and made ridiculous printing engines.

Crokinole - We did some crokinole it was again very good. I was hoping I would win a free Crokinole board at the convention but I didn't. Louie made a lot of frustratingly good shots that would knock out multiple of my pieces.

Cryptid - As always fantastic. I should at some point read the rules and prepare how to teach it to spam on other people.

Family Business - This was fine, I got a lot of blue cards that let me get out of the way of being murdered which was nice.

Gingerbread House - Phil does it again! Some neat stacking going on with personal objectives. I felt with a bit more player interaction(?) it might have been a real winner for me.

Glory to Rome - I enjoyed this a lot because of James' enthusiasm. I think particularly there are a lot of games where you can make some wonky engines and the game ends a turn or two before you really get to exploit the living crap out of it. But in this game you can definitely exploit the hell out of it because your opponents are also trying to run their weird engines or pushing the end game to stop you. I was going for a patron engine and hit the limit because of restrictions so tried to get laborers to make more buildings to get more patrons but fell backwards into a laborer strategy. Absolutely solid.

Karuba - I got this in the math trade, I had already played it before but playing it again I feel like I got a good trade. (Vampire Nyctophobia) Definitely something I can spam at game night.

KeyForge: Call of the Archons - New hotness! Intrigued by the concept we bought into the stupid decks hoping to get a deck with a raunchy dick joke. Didn't happen I got some lame normal name. Louie and I scrounge up some Karuba bits to proxy some stuff and after some youtubes we played it. I thought it was alright. I could definitely see how it could be interesting to get familiar with your deck and just churn through it to time your combos correctly but not something I'm really willing to invest time and money into doing.

Lowlands
- I also thought this was fine. I misunderstood how flooding worked and imagined I wouldn't take any penalties as long as I sold all my dumb sheep but that was not the case and I took a redonkulous amount of negative points. Overall it was solid but I wasn't as hyped as Grant and Louie were.
Medici - This was crispy. I liked it I can now say with ideal groups the order is Modern Art > Medici > Ra.

Meeple Circus
- This was cool, I like stacking meeples in general but competitively it's a whole other level. Only quirks would be I don't like some of the final performance objectives. I don't believe in having fun while playing games.

Men At Work
- Work hard, play hard, and we work very hard. I thought this was just a good stacking game, it felt clean. We never quite got to the actual scoring part because I dropped stuff a lot.

Menara - Cooperative stacking, I like this in that you get to avoid that passive-aggressive build something terribly so your opponent drops the tower and we can work together to actually build an impressive thing. This game is rough and I didn't win a single time. I might need to own this.

Nusfjord - This was fine as well seemed relatively simple but the whole fish distribution phase just seemed like a thing I didn't want to bother with mentally. Louie did not seem to be enjoying this so I felt particularly bad that I was being a general prick and blocking all the boat spaces and buying all the boats so he couldn't use his elders and then serving all the fish so he couldn't get gold.

Orbis - I like this, it's a neat little mechanism. I enjoy slightly planning ahead but then also the general horror of staring at the board and realizing you built yourself into a corner.

Orléans - This was incredibly fun but such a large setup. I feel this is definitely a game you would need to play 2~3 times in a row to really justify the setup and teardown.

Race for the Galaxy - My noob self got trounced by some RftG shark.

Reykholt - I enjoyed THE BONUS. I felt I could have done a hair better if I didn't forget to pick up that damn tomato instead of whatever unnecessary move I did. I also like how I stole 2nd place tiebreaker from Louie.

Riff Raff
- This is such a silly stacking game with that big dumb swaying ship making things incredibly tense. I could own this if it wasn't a large expensive box I probably wouldn't play much.

Saint Malo - This was low key garb. The only positive is Louie and I both didn’t want our free copies so we opened it up to steal the pens for other roll n write games. I feel the game really lacked any tension at 2 players, I guess you could go for defense and push pirates to make your opponents take massive negative points but I just didn't feel the game was interesting.

Spirit Island - Got to get my fix. I saw the library copy had the promo spirits that I currently don't own. I was completely willing to thrown down a solo session but felt I should be social and threw up the "Players Needed" sign. Got some dudes who said it looked cool so they were downsies to try it. After a semi rough teach having to re-explain/monitor their moves for rules clarity we were getting hit pretty bad. I tried Sleepy Lizard promo. One tried Spoopy Fire Shadows and the other guy chose Thunderspeaker. Spoopy Fire was having a rough time with his presence getting removed from blight, we eventually burned through the healthy land and our Blight effect was lose a presence each turn which put him in a really bad spot. But of course I was playing so I min-maxed the stuff and did hella boss guarding and carried them to victory. I really enjoyed it and it seemed they enjoyed it as well.

Terraforming Mars - I tried to be a good dude and roam the halls and aide any people with "Teacher Wanted" signs. Saw a person trying to learn TM. I offered to teach and immediately regretted it as I haven't learned the game through the book and was half remembering rules, luckily some guy saw us playing and asked if he could join and turns out he plays this a lot so I let him teach and it was great. We threw in the Prelude cards which were pretty neat to use. I went with Luna corp which has some Titanium production but managed to get two prelude cards that also boosted titanium production so I started with 3 titanium production and was able to throw down some chunky space cards. Unfortunately the other dude was also going for a science/titanium strategy so mid/late game I wasn't getting many good cards that worked with my strategy. But still an enjoyable session.

The Table Is Lava
- We demoed this. It was solid. Super simple to the point of possibly just going out and PnPing this but also feel at some point it'll just be cheap enough for me to buy at a discount.

Tokaido - We played Louie's brand new copy of Tokaido(Thanks to Grant). I was super lame and just took the lowest action and got lucky on draws which got me what I needed and really countered all the mean blocking Louie tried so hard to make. Many people would say I won because of pure randomness. But I would say it's because Friendship IS MAGIC! Heart of the cards! The real journey was the friendships we made along the way! Endless sappy things ...

Zendo
- This was hilarious and awesome to play with Robin and James and Louie. Although I was not the best student I feel ultimately I learned a lot.



Dungeons & Dragons - After returning home I had a quick lunch and then went straight back to our regularly scheduled D&D game. It was an intense session.

Immediately jumping back in we defeated the bad guy and immediately started begging for our lives in front of the dragon. Since we killed the guy controlling him it angrily told us to just leave before it changed it's mind and we booked it out of there. Bad guy is not dead, our NPC is keeping him alive to question how he controlled the dragon and other information. Upon returning to town we hear the capital has been taken and the king captured so we basically just get our new quest to rescue the king. We also pick up our new PC, a rock gnome that is looking for information on the weird symbols we saw in the caves, he tags along because we are the only people he's ever encountered to even remotely understand what he's talking about. Working our way to the castle we pickup a 200 person army we make plans to storm the capital while the rest of the invading has probably left. Unfortunately no one kept an eye on the bad guy and he escapes and tells everyone we're coming. We sleep and prepare to suicide mission into the castle and get the king and escape.

Next day we do the thing run head first with the army into the castle, our DM prepared a trap we didn't check for and all our horses fall into a disguised pit. We climb out to see their army running towards us. We just start firing off as many AOE attacks as we can and push through into the city. Our NPC finds the bad guy and just brutally murders him on the spot. We continue to the castle, we find the two of the weird silver haired dudes with the king, one is putting his hand inside the king magically. Our NPC charges him and is murdered by one of them and then teleports away with whatever weird thing he took from the king. We then jump into combat. We charge the remaining NPC. From out of our line of sight another silver haired person pops out. We've seen her before, her general description is ""Has a ponytail and a ridiculously huge hammer"", my character 1v1 her in a previous session. She does a spell thing of a sort and blasts everyone except for me who is a cool monk and can evade things.

I am next in turn order I charge her. Do a single attack. It connects. I spend the Ki for Stunning Strike, it succeeds she is down. On the next turn I take her hammer away and throw it far from us. The DM tries to make me roll a strength check to wrestle it away from her, my STR is garbo tier and she wields a massive hammer so I feel I would fail this but I remember to point out stunned says she automatically fails strength saves. yay! The DM flips through his notes and then curses me, ""Damn you, Gobi!""

On the other side of the battlefield someone rushes to shove a healing potion down the king's throat. They start fighting the other dude which seems to have made copies of himself. Our new rock gnome wizard Lightning Bolts him and we all find out the guy we're fighting is also a monk because he also evades.

We end the session there because we ran over our time quite a bit. Looking forward to picking up this fight where it left off.


Other Thoughts - I might update later but all I did was mostly con stuff and I already talked about that. Oh I guess it was great for some of you to meet me so you're welcome. I might have picked up Con Crud. I also bought/traded a bunch of games.

Import / Export
The King's Will
Agra: Mini-Expansion 1
Coffee Roaster
Kobayakawa
Myrmes
Ponkotsu Factory
Karuba
Minerva
The King's Will: Magyar Expansion
Thunder Alley + expansions

EDIT 1: Moved some of the images around so that hopefully it contains more of the Buddha nature.
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18. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:10642]
Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Board Game: Arkham Horror (Third Edition)
Board Game: Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress
Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks


Arkham Horror (Third Edition) NEW!
Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress NEW!
Warhammer 40,000: Speed Freeks NEW!

Arkham 3rd

Couple solo games. I thought it was fun and very odd to play a game where the narrative was out of my control. It was quite jarring to not be able to push for clue obtaining given that the game presented clue obtaining as the goal. I had to settle into letting that happen while managing the threats. I'm not familiar enough with other titles besides the card game to compare, but I like it so far.

Blackstone Fortress

Freaking sweet. Really liked the exploration system and how unique the characters felt. Tim and I played 2p through the first expedition and into Precipice. I have a couple rule questions I can't quite suss out but we had a lot of fun with it. Tim even said he'd be happy playing this in lieu of Shadespire at 2p game night from time to time.

Speed Freeks

There has been very littler chatter about the game part of this from the 40k world. GW has often thrown some rules in a boxed game, but everyone bought it for the models and after seeing no chatter I figured that might be what happened here. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's more beer & pretzels than Gaslands, and it's more contained than X-Wing. Much fewer team build options and upgrades making it easier to play. My Kustom Boosta Blaster jumped out to an early lead but Larry came back and tied it up in the 5th round.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

I got a media pass for myself and Raffi and took him up for the morning. It's like a low-key smaller GenCon that's kid friendly, and he had a ball going from stall to stall playing with new toys and trying out games.

On my Mind

We went to the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers this weekend. Beforehand we had some phenomenal Mexican food with old friends, making it like the perfect night. My local friend/brewer took a Gold and Silver in the fruit beer category and his gold (a blackberry, raspbery saison) was my favorite beer of the night. Lots of great sours, and Goose Island's Coffee Barleywine was much better than I was expecting. On Sunday we went back downtown for dinner and to spend the night in the city for our anniversary (7 years!). Lots of trips downtown but good fun.

Basement construction is almost finished. They're painting today, trying to finish everything tomorrow. Carpet is also being installed tomorrow and my board game table is being delivered. It's going to be a crazy day and I'm going to work from home to keep an eye on things.

Thanksgiving is going to be in MI this year, just outside of South Bend. Katie's dad's friend has a cabin that we're borrowing and will meet some close friends from Ohio there. We aren't sure what the kitchen sitch will be, so I'm going to sous vide a brisket for 36 hours before throwing it in the cooler for the drive over. I'll broil it once we get there to get a good bark going. We'll say. Maybe end up ordering pizza.
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19. Board Game: Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Battles of Bull Run [Average Rating:8.55 Overall Rank:3082] [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked]
Board Game: Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Battles of Bull Run
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board Game: Wizard
Board Game: Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Battles of Bull Run
Board Game: Sherlock: Last Call
Board Game: FUSE
Board Game: Crossfire
Board Game: Can't Stop
Board Game: War of the Ring: Second Edition
Board Game: Tichu
Board Game: Family Business
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Lowlands
Board Game: Dungeon Lords


 9   Wizard NEW!
 9   Stonewall Jackson's Way II NEW!
 7   Sherlock: Last Call NEW!
 N/A   FUSE x3 NEW!
 N/A   Crossfire NEW!
 8.5   Can't Stop
 N/A   War of the Ring (Second Edition)
 9.5   Tichu x2
 8   Family Business
 N/A   Cryptid NEW!
 N/A   Lowlands NEW!
 10   Dungeon Lords

Well, quite the Con! Let's delve into the big things:

Faster games with Ambie & Co: Wizard was probably my favorite play on Tuesday- I love the bidding aspect of Spades and this game captured it very well. I had fun playing Fuse with Ambie and her bay area crew- I like the idea. I do feel like I slowed the team down a bit. If I get to see them in person again at some point I'll be sure Space Alert gets on the table- it's apparently a favorite of theirs too!

Stonewall Jackson's Way II: My friend Patrick usually runs a Great Campaigns of the American Civil War teaching event, but as he wasn't here I volunteered to teach the system. It was pretty fun to walk through the rules (we had the noobs playing McClellan's Opportunity from Here Come the Rebels), the say "I spent a day this summer at all the sites in your scenario, so if you want to see what the battlefield looks like I can show you." Gordon then proceeded to thrash me in the Lee vs Pope scenario, as Stonewall Jackson's

During my rules explanation Octavian walked in, told the room what I stand-up guy I am (I did him a small favor last year at the Con), and on account of that put a 50 Geekgold bounty to the next person to beat me at a game. Gordon had a glut of geekgold, and generously told me to hold onto the bounty.

Can't Stop: Saw James in the library, and we grabbed this and played. As the title suggests, we had problems with people pushing their luck too far. James won- he was a bit taken aback when he got handed the bounty on me.

Sherlock: Last Call: My one game of the con with Dave and with Jeff. I like solving the mystery, I don't think I like the scoring system.

Cryptid: I was incredibly impressed watching Julio solve this one- I think all the players were pretty defensive and made information hard to come by, and it seemed he pulled the right answer out of thin air. When we talked afterward, I realized how methodically he'd approached it. I probably need to try this again to wrap my head around it.

Family Business: They humored me by letting me drag out an oldie. I think the age of the design definitely shows, but we were laughing and pointing fingers a lot so it seemed fun enough.

Tichu: Played three games in the group stage and went 2-1. Met some very nice people, including two of the podcasters from Heavy cardboard. We felt we might qualify for the Bracket stage based on our showing(they were taking 3 wild cards), particularly because we got great cards in round 3- of the 7 hands we played we made Tichu in six of them, finishing with a Grand at the end.

War of the Ring: Annual grudge match of our American Shadow against Team Canada's Free People's- the early going featured Sauron taking Rivendell, then heading West to capture the Havens while an Easterling Army captured Dale. The Fellowship moved well, but disastrously pulled two special tiles at the beginning of the Mordor track. This slowed them enough for the Shadow to prepare sieges for Lorien and Dol Amroth. When Lorien and Dol Amroth fell, the Southrons were closing on Pelargir while the Fellowship had 11 corruption and stood one step short of the Crack of Doom. They made the final move and drew a third Shadow Special Tile, losing the game.

Game was absolutely epic. We got bailed out by good tile draws in Mordor, particularly a 5 corruption Shelob tile. The odds for us to win on the final tile draw were 7/12- really fortunate to sneak this one out.

Lowlands: Louie taught this well enough, and it felt very Uwe. I got stymied near the end because I couldn't work on the dike, though I finished a close third.

Tichu Bracket Stage: So Tichu had 6 groupings and took 2 wild cards, and we ended up as WC #1. We played a close game against a pairing that got about 300 in front of us twice during the game, and we'd battle back by going out 1-2. We actually did that three times during the match. We got up 900-800, but they had a 1-2 hand and we got eliminated. I'm a bit sad we lost, but was happy as I was able to get to the Mafia lunch at Torchy's. I'd've been out on time if the false fire alarm that morning had not occurred and delayed the start by 20 minutes.

Dungeon Lords: Fun teach, and a hard game with heavy evil events. I saw a strategy for handling the first year Paladin using two slimes that I'd never considered, and ultimately worked out pretty well. I did botch my monster management, got blocked on three of my 24 actions in the game, and lost to one of my new players by 4 points. There was much cheering and high fiving that I did not win, but the truth be told I was a winner because I got to share this game with folks!

On my mind
Best of the Con: For me, the best part of any Con is getting to game with people I don't have the chance to otherwise, getting to meet new folks and share stuff I love. BGG.CON is about as a good an opportunity to do so- I gamed with a lot of friends, made some new ones, and probably hugged about 50 people from all over the country because I was so happy to see them. It feels nice to have friends all over!

Skipping along: I ditched the con early to go home for alumni band. While I'm sad that I couldn't game another day, being at alumni band day has the same opportunity to see people I don't run into often. We had a bit over 700 this year, including someone who was next to me in my initial audition for the band 20 years ago (and who I have not seen since 2000), and one of my high school band directors. While the show is probably the least interesting of the 16 I've done, this was top 3 in terms of how much fun I had during the event. Really feel happy I got to do this.

Elevator Action: I met step goals every day of the Con, and I lifted Wednesday too. There was actually a lot of activity in the fitness center this year- I remember going in and it being empty last year. But my real trick was to avoid using elevators- the only ride I took was on Tuesday from 5 down to 2, and that was because I was talking to Robin and he was booted. Otherwise, I took the stairs. Fitbit counted me doing 248 stories of stair climbing, which amounts to about 5 trips up every day (I was on the 12th floor).
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20. Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:970] [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:413]
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
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
Board Game: Mint Delivery
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt
Board Game: Love Letter
Board Game: Backstab Card Game
Board Game: Azul


Mint Delivery
Legacy of Dragonholt x2
Love Letter
Backstab Card Game
Azul

I played some games! Saturday we went to the neighbors house, and they had a few other families over. Some of us played a few games (Backstab, Azul, Love Letter).

Got another day in Dragonholt finished over 2 lunch time plays

Spoiler (click to reveal)
It took 2 plays because I found the crypt and had to go do all that craziness!


Mint Delivery was lunch time play with my buddy in the office who also likes to play games. I never played Mint Works, but I really liked Delivery. It was quick, fun, and still made me have to think a bit.

On My Mind

And Then There Were None - 75% of my board games are now packed up for moving, and my house now feels empty. All the books and DVDs are packed up too. It's just odd, and I'm ready to be in the new house!

Ten Little Indians - I started reading this the other day. I haven't read it since middle school so I'm pretty looking forward to it! Still working on Tigana, and I just finished a cute Graphic Novel called The Prince and the Dressmaker.

Baby Board Games - In the current house we walk through the board game room to get from the second floor to the kitchen. So every weekend morning we HAVE to stop and play games before breakfast. I love/hate this. It's before I've had coffee so hate, but she's demanding board games so love!

Healthy Crap - I way over did it on food/drink over the weekend, but I'm not too mad at myself. My plan from now until the end of the year is just to maintain. Next month I'm going to get back to the gym, and I'm doing yoga and free weights at home whenever I have spare time. Lost half an inch to an inch in a few spots. Glad to see some progress!
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21. Board Game: Turkey Day [Average Rating:5.96 Unranked]
Board Game: Turkey Day
Louie
United States
SF Bay Area
California
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Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for all y'all bozos welcoming us n00bs into your long running chat league.

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