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Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Lotus
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Perudo: The Pirate Dice Game
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
House Party
Qwixx
Istanbul: Digital Edition
Red Dead Redemption II
Eternal
Scythe: Digital Edition
Terraforming Mars
Portal (2007)
Darksiders
Luigi's Mansion
World of Warcraft
The World Ends with You
Super Mario Kart
F-Zero GX
NetHack
Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II – Dwarf Fortress
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Yoshi's Island DS
Fallout (1997)
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
Mortal Kombat (1992)
Pit-Fighter
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Console/PC)
Star Control II
Marvel Trading Card Game
Super Smash Bros. Melee
SimAnt
SimIsle
RoboSport
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild!
Alien Syndrome (1987)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
Titanic Adventure Out Of Time
Clue
Langrisser II
Lost Secret of the Rainforest
Rock Band 3
Xenoblade Chronicles
Swords & Soldiers
GCL 351 - Campaigns
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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ABOUT GCL mb GELATO DIVISION mb SUBSCRIPTION THREAD




What is a Game Chat League?
A Game Chat League is a weekly discussion-group format for people who love gaming and enjoy talking about games. It is intended to foster depth and familiarity, producing engaging content and worthwhile interaction. Members get to know one another, establish shared interests, and generally develop a friendly and productive environment.

Of necessity, each division of GCL is kept relatively small (typically between 12-16 members, though individual divisions may incline one way or the other). A tight-knit discussion group tends to function more smoothly than a free-for-all. It allows individuals to be heard and understood, and for each participant to keep up and enjoy multiple topics as the week progresses. The format is geeklist-based, and lists are not published to the BGG front page.

Policy: If you're a lurker or have otherwise discovered GCL Gelato, feel free to read along with us and see what the members have to say on everything under the sun. If you have a constructive comment or something else you think would add to the discussion, consider posting it — if it's helpful, respectful, and polite to the discussion group as a whole, as well as to its individual members.

The one
leroy43 (Roger)

The rest
ad79 (Stig)
Bacchus (Kevin)***
bongoherman (Sven)
cmontgo2 (Chris)
Cole Wehrle (Cole)
Corran Horn (Michael)
cubbieblue (Steven)
Farsol (Patrick)
Hanibalicious (Sonderegger)
jacovis (Jacob)
jtakagi (Jonathan)
Lil Read Head (Nikki)
MABBY (Murray)
maho (Marion)
nycavri (Avri)
PzVIE (Ron)
Scarlet Witch (Julia)
tommynomad (T. Nomad)
wifwendell (Wendell)
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1. Board Game: Scoville: 2018 Dice Tower Recipe Cards [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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What was the last game you played in 2018?

Mine was Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Europe) with my kids. After playing the Europe, Nordic Countries and USA variants the previous days we had to give the kid version a go.
I won the kid version. None of the other three.
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2. Board Game: 2019: The ARCTIC [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:5438]
Stig Morten
Norway
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What was the first game you played in 2019?

Mine was Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer.

A few days after Christmas I begun the crazy thing of playing through all the Band of Brothers scenarios in chronological order. My first play included a serious rules error when I read a scenario specific rule wrong and gave the Russians too little MPs for the whole scenario.

My first game of 2019 was a replay with the correct rule. So much better when you play the rules correctly.

1 scenario down, 64 to go.

To Ron: I don´t expect you to do the same with your ASL collection, so don´t worry.
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3. Board Game: Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1 [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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What is the best campaign game?
I really enjoy Memoir as a campaign game. The Barbarossa camaign from CB
#1 is brilliant.

Which games work best as a campaign, even if it can be played as stand alone games?
For me this is any racing game. Formula D, Thunder Alley, Grand Prix really shines in season mode.
Flamme Rouge also works very well as a grand tour, but works so well as a stand alone race it shouldn´t be included here.

Have you played any campaign games where it didn´t work?
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4. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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In a few weeks it will be 10 years since I first played Memoir´44. It has been ten good gaming years. It remains a favourite, and I still buy the new releases. And play them.

What games did you discover in 2009?
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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Last weeks gaming



9  Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles (27 all-time)

My December gaming



8  Terraforming Mars (24 all-time)
8  Star Realms x4 (122 all-time)
N/A  Smile x2 (4 all-time)
N/A  H.I.D.E.: Hidden Identity Dice Espionage NEW!
9  Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles x2 (27 all-time)
10  PitchCar x5 (113 all-time)
10  Talon (20 all-time)
N/A  Ticket to Ride: Europe NEW!
N/A  Exit: The Game – The Forbidden Castle NEW!
6  Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries (2 all-time)
8  Kingdomino (23 all-time)
7  Ticket to Ride (4 all-time)
N/A  Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Europe) (5 all-time)

22 plays of 13 games
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6. Board Game: PitchCar Extension 7: The Loop [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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What is your most anticipated game of 2019?
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7. Board Game: Resident Evil 2: The Board Game [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:7517]
Noshrok Grimskull
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
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Let's see ...

My mom bought a copy ofKribbeln on a whim, so we tried that one with the whole family (Orkmom, Orkdad, Orksis and Da Ork). Neat filler - plays fast, but depends on luck of the dice a fair bit. You get some control with the bonus spaces, but that's it.

On New Year's Eve I visited my buddy Björn. Christian also came over and brought along Roll Player.
Interesting game. I had it on my wishlist before, but now I removed it - not because it's bad, but because while I wouldn't turn down an offer to play again, I'm pretty sure I don't need it in my collection.
We also played Timeline: Americana three times, Timeline: Music & Cinema four times and Timeline: Events three times.

On Wednesday I visited Daniel. Earlier the same day he had received a huge package in the mail, containing his kickstarted copy of Resident Evil 2: The Board Game plus a bunch of expansions and extra stuff.
So we sat down and learned the rules together, then played the first 2 scenarios. Thefirst one is more like a tutorial level in a video game (which is fitting! ), but the second is already more of a challenge. Not hard to beat, but you need to watch out more, consider your moves better, watch out for zombie dogs and conserve your ammo.
After that, we also played a game of Mystic Vale, my Christmas gift from my parents.

And rounding out the week, today we played 2 of the 3 games Orkmom got for Christmas, i.e. one game each of Carcassonne: Safari and Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale.
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8. Board Game: Singapur [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Jonathan Takagi
United States
San Marcos
California
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Last week saw a good game day, some New Year's Eve games, but most importantly, the kick off of my 2019 Knizia Challenge! It's off to a great start so far.

 N/A   Tichu (85 all-time) - I believe I had two successful grand tichu calls in this game, but still lost.

 5   Terraforming Mars (10 all-time) - We played this game with Terraforming Mars: Colonies and it took WAY longer than I would have liked. I believe the game ended up clocking in at around 3 hours. I don't think Colonies needs to add much time at all to the game, so I'm not sure what happened. I'm not sure if Colonies is something I want to play with every time like Prelude is, we'll see.

 N/A   Newton NEW! - Totally JASE game that I found to be a lot of fun and highly challenging. Really good amount of decisions in a short span of time, so many options to consider that it is frustrating (in that good euro way).

 N/A   Dubbe NEW! - I was disappointed by this. I liked ebbes, but this felt clunky, and the artwork (Trump caricature aside) seemed very amateurish. People accuse Roads & Boats of having a children's drawing for a cover, which I never thought was a valid criticism. But here it seems appropriate. And the inclusion of Trump isn't really clever or funny.

 N/A   Dixit: Daydreams NEW! - I was surprised to come out ahead in this one, I usually do poorly at Dixit.

 N/A   Banned Words x2 NEW! - I left the game day for a dinner party at a friends' house. When I came back, everyone was talking about how terrible of a game Trapwords was, which was disappointing to hear, since I was anticipating playing it. It does seem like a rip-off of Banned Words, and I have a hard time seeing how it could be better than Banned Words, but I could be wrong.

 9   Agricola (102 all-time) - I wanted to make sure I got in a game of Agricola in 2018 since it would likely not see table time in 2019. Playing with people different than my usual opponents, my signature moves were not anticipated, making them easier to pull off.

 8   Hoity Toity (13 all-time) - My wife absolutely ran away with this one, I'm not sure what could have been done differently. Probably more stealing needed to happen.

 N/A   Halli Galli Party x2 (3 all-time) - This ended up being pretty popular. I still prefer vanilla Halli Galli, but everyone really enjoyed this.

 8   Bamboleo (30 all-time) - I think I'm the only one that really enjoys Bamboleo around here. I just find the whole thing so impressive. It's surprising to me that others don't feel the same.

 N/A   Word Slam Family x4 (23 all-time) - The kids continue to enjoy this.

 N/A   Werewords x4 (96 all-time) - This did not go over as well as I would have predicted with new players. It didn't help that one of the words on the "easy" level was extremely difficult.

 8   Unusual Suspects x3 (31 all-time) - We may have this game down now, since all three of these plays resulted in wins. Still lots of great conversation in this one.

 N/A   Secret Hitler x3 (86 all-time) - Only one of these three games was close, but half the people left the party after the first one, which the competitive and more contentious play, so I'm not sure what that says about the game.

 8   Coup x3 (79 all-time) - Usually when I teach the game to new players, I am eliminated first, and this was no exception.

The rest of my listed plays started on January 1. This year I am attempting to play all of my (and my friend's) Knizia games 5 times. There are 277 different titles that we own, so it will be quite a challenge. There were already a naysayer or two that cropped up at our last game night.

 8   Heckmeck Junior x5 (25 all-time) - This is definitely better for younger kids - I think my kids are probably too old for this one. The main purpose of this game is to make it easier for kids to count, by using pictures rather than numbers on the dice. But the main issue is that if you have a group that is into stealing, you could theoretically have a very long game as it is so easy to steal the low-numbered tiles. That actually started happening and people were taking the low numbered tiles even though it wasn't in their best interest just to get the game to end. So it will be interesting to see how well it goes with my kids with the adult versions of the game.

 7   Battleship Express x5 (15 all-time) - This is a really fun game, fast paced with lots of dice rolling action that is fun to watch. There is no appeal in the basic game, but once you use the regular version, where each ship has its own special power, the game is really a lot of fun. I'm not sure how much of the original Battleship flavor is retained in this version, but I don't have a problem with that, seeing that I don't really like the original Battleship game. I guess each ship has a different "size" (in its firepower and defense), and not every ship can be reached at all times. But I would definitely say that this is the better game.

 N/A   Yellow & Yangtze x2 NEW! - I am not a Tigris & Euphrates expert, so it wasn't very apparent to me what all the differences were. The main complaint that popped up was how easily tiles were destroyed, which seems somewhat valid. I'm not sure how beneficial it is to build pagodas when they are so easily dismantled. But we also saw that just using turns to go after your opponents rather than building up your own kingdom translates to some lopsided victories, so I'm not sure we've found the sweet spot of interaction just yet.

 N/A   Voodoo Prince (4 all-time) - This has been a hit every time we've played so far. Since I have been souring on JATTWATs over the last year, this has hit the spot as far as balancing traditional trick-taking elements and "twists" go. The twist here is very minor, which I have discovered is my preference.

 7   Risk Express x5 (12 all-time) - I've played this a bunch before, but this was a lot of fun to bring out with my kids. They took to it instantly and quickly learned a few lessons. I really like how the game gives you an incentive to take over an entire continent, though it quickly becomes apparent than getting into protracted battles rarely pays off. I look forward to trying Age of War to see what changes were made. But not having that dice bowl already is a negative development.

 9   Modern Art (60 all-time) - I did poorly, mainly because people didn't play how I wanted them to play, which is hardly a good reason. My preference is for 3 player games in which paintings are always in danger of not placing, and collusion can endanger the surest bet. This was a 4-player game and there were a couple quick closing rounds, which I really hate, even though they probably made the most sense for the players involved.

 8   Manga Kai (5 all-time) - It was entertaining to see how poorly this game went over, even though I really like it. I also learned something about the different kinds of manga used as cards in the game.

 8   Keltis: Das Würfelspiel x5 (23 all-time) - I enjoy almost all of the games in the Keltis line (all except Keltis), and the dice game is a lot of fun. I would only recommend playing on the "advanced" side of the board, which is a lot of fun. It draws you into pursuing a path that is immediately juicy, but ends up stopping you early unless you get lucky. The flavor of each path is an extremely interesting development.

 7   It's Mine! (34 all-time) - My version is the Simpsons one (with donuts), which I think is the best. I always teach this as "speed Ra", which I don't think the people I taught accepted, but I truly believe it. I need to revise my rating on this game, because this is a truly unique game in which you really need to evaluate the relative value of each lot very quickly, a split second makes a huge difference.

 7   Alles Tomate! x5 (8 all-time) - This is a great memory game. A better memory will help you, but the way that each card is categorized always helps you. Playing multiple games in a row makes it even more challenging as you start getting confused as games bleed into each other.

 7   SWAT! x2 (12 all-time) - I used to think that this game was inferior to the Her Damit/Simpsons game, but I think you just need to approach it differently. You need to know that there are over twice as many cards, and you just need to wait longer to close out your sets. Learning patience can be tough, and it is fun to fake out your opponents, which is easy when they are children.

 8   Piranhas x5 (41 all-time) - Another great speed game from Knizia. This one truly is a game of skill. I usually handicap myself when playing against my kids, but overestimated my abilities and frequently found myself getting behind since my kids were faster than I thought. It's great how you can get into a groove and play multiple cards in a row, that is both disruptive and demoralizing to your opponents.

 6   Penguin Party x5 (28 all-time) - I look forward to playing the Penguin version of this, that seemed to be universally reviled. I think this is a great little game when you consider what you're doing at heart. You make decisions that will protect your portfolio of cards the best you can. You need to make sure that certain colors keep going while shutting down other colors. Since the whole color gamut is always in play, if you're short on one color, you know your opponents have more of it, so finding the balance of opening up and shutting down is trickier than it seems. I look forward to trying the Game of Thrones variant that came out a few years ago as part of this challenge.

 7   Times Square x5 (7 all-time) - I was happy to revisit this game. It is certainly curious in the Kniziasphere. It is unusually clunky and rules heavy for a light 2-player Kosmos. I don't have a problem with player aids, but I would imagine that they are anathema to the whole Knizia ethos. You really need a player aid to keep in your head all of the different roles and rules involved for movement. I was hoping to move this game to a more positive space in my mind, but I think I'll have to downgrade my initial rating which seems way too generous.



 N/A   Singapur x5 NEW! - This is an interesting title. I certainly appreciate what it is trying to do - it borrows from Cathedral, if I remember that other game correctly. But the luck of the draw is pretty big and lucky draws can make a big difference. I do think we improved in skill, however, which ended up meaning that at least one of our games, maybe two, were ties. This game also pushes the boundaries of length for an abstract, though maybe I was just being impatient, since I don't think the games lasted longer than 15 minutes. I think it just lasted longer than I anticipated, and I had to adjust my expectations. The physical presentation is very nice though.

 N/A   Prisma x5 NEW! - This was a lot of fun, you can definitely see the roots of all of his grid placement games (Kingdoms/Atlanteon/Robot Master/Dragon Master/Beowulf etc.) here. In a way this game is better than those since it is simpler and quicker. Those games mainly added additional complexity, and this is very pure, as abstracts seem like they should be. And the chunky wooden pieces make this very pleasurable to play.

 8   Medici vs Strozzi (8 all-time) - This is a game I can’t personally play 5 times back to back - we will most likely intersperse this throughout the year. It is one of the more aggressive, in your face, games that I’ve played. Most people wouldn’t believe that, but when you start playing it, it becomes quickly apparent. I’m actually a little curious how the play testing process went. They explicitly say in the rulebook that it’s okay to have negative money, but I’m not sure how any game would end otherwise. What is brutal about MvS is that you cannot afford to get behind in tile acquisition, because as you do, you risk the round ending without you filling your boats, which is devastating to your economy. Your opponent knows this, and will attach ever increasing prices to the lots pulled from the bag. I think the highest fixed price asked (and it was, of course, paid), was 100. Seeing how you start the game with 300, and that was only one auction in one round, it is easy to see how negative scores are a high probability. It was amazing how close the end scores were, negative 149 to negative 161.



 N/A   Jupiter x5 NEW! - This game would not really be attractive at all if it weren’t for the huge dice that you roll. This is an older Knizia abstract in the whole grid placement family, where scoring (for all players) rely on dice that you place in the grid. The variant where some of the dice score negative was also interesting. It’s good that this is quick, since rolling a 6 is obviously a huge advantage in a game like this. I love the attempt to attach a space exploration theme to this, and the Franjos felt mat was a nice touch.

 6   Hong Kong x5 (8 all-time) - I am the worst Hong Kong player in the world. I lost all five games and couldn’t really figure out why. After the first game it became apparent that this abstract was about blocking as well as timing the use of your double build opportunities, not giving your opponent an opportunity to start covering your stacks. I could not make it happen and didn’t even get close to a win in any of the five plays.

 7   En Garde x5 (7 all-time) - I am not intimately familiar with all of the different versions of this game. I remember liking the small Amigo version. The Ferti versions are kind of extravagant, the big one excessively so. I used to own the Duell version, but I don’t think I do anymore. I think the game is best played one match at a time, rather than first to 5. This made the game last longer than is appropriate. I like the card play - I could imagine how skilled players would be able to figure out what their opponent is holding.


One really fun thing was that we played our 5 games of En Garde, Times Square and Hong Kong simultaneously. We have talked about doing this for a while now, and it was fun to actually try it. It gives me further resolve to do this more in the future. Another idea we have had is to have a "simulsolo con", where a bunch of us all get together to play the same multiplayer game, but played in separate, simultaneous solo games.

 N/A   Complica x5 NEW! - This Connect 4 variant is almost comical in its physical presentation. You are supposed to “slide” your big wooden discs down the row, since the board is flat on the table as opposed to being held vertically like Connect 4. Whereas most people would probably just place their discs on the board, I felt it was important to slide them down to really get into the spirit of the game. The only thing separating this game from Connect 4 is the rule that, in general, you cannot put your piece in the row where your opponent just played. This made the game pretty interesting, though I imagine that good players would be able to basically break this game.

 7   Leapin' Lily Pads x5 (31 all-time) - Another memory game, one of the first I played with my daughter. It isn’t any easier now than it was then. When we were playing 2-player, I got on a lucky roll in the first game and won in a blowout, but as we played multiple games back to back, also adding a 3rd player, I lost track of just about everything and could not maintain the concentration required to do well. This is a very challenging memory game for me.

 7   Crafty Badger x5 (22 all-time) - This is another one of the fist games I remember playing with my daughter. So I wanted to play it again with her. It is really just a game you play with very young children, to introduce the idea of taking turns and doing things dictated by the die. It is extremely annoying to play now, as the entire game ends up coming down to hoping you don’t roll “crafty badger” next to the suitcases that have a bunch of tiles in it, or hoping you don’t roll the badger at all.



 8   Bunte Runde x3 (22 all-time) - This is a great series of games that Knizia is still not done tweaking. I look forward to playing Wheel of History, which I have not yet played. But Kartel, which came out in 2018, was one of my favorite games of the year. There are two versions of Bunte Runde in the box. We played the junior version (with cardboard tiles) and the regular version (with wooden pieces). Handling the pieces is much more pleasurable and makes for a better game. I know that many like this with 2, but I think that it is probably better with more players, as it forces to create, hold and break alliances with the other players.


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9. Board Game: Escape the Dark Castle: Adventure Pack 1 – Cult of the Death Knight [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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GAME WEEK

 7   Wizard's Quest (12 all-time)
 6   Machi Koro (6 all-time)
 9   Zombicide: Black Plague x2 (20 all-time)
 7   Escape the Dark Castle x5 NEW!
 9   Wasteland Express Delivery Service (4 all-time)
 8   Champions of Midgard (5 all-time)

I already wrote about it in Stig’s first question: on New Year’s Eve, I managed to bring that old Wizard's Quest on the table. This is one of those gems in my collection I’m very nostalgic about. It’s some kind of dynamic Risk; you have objectives distributed all over the board by the other players, and you try to cross the board with your armies to reach them. Of course, as everybody is doing the same, there are some epic battles to be fought. And to make things worse, there are Orcs everywhere and a hungry dragon is moving randomly over the board, eating your brave cardboard heroes. I enjoyed it a lot!

As midnight was still two hours away, we played one more game, Machi Koro, a harmless city-building dice-roller.

The first game in the New Year was our first game of Zombicide: Black Plague combined with Zombicide: Green Horde. It seems combining those two (including all the Kickstarter extras and additional stuff) makes the game a lot harder; we played the “easy” introductory scenario of the Zombicide: Black Plague – Wulfsburg box and barely won it. After that, I toyed around with the cardmix a little and the second game we played was the monster scenario #10 from the Zombicide: Black Plague rulebook; which we won easily. So back to the card deck distribution; I’ll making it harder again. Although I like Zombicide a lot, I find it annoying that CMON Limited does not care about balancing and is shoving that problem to the players. Finding the right card mix with so much stuff is not easy, even if there are already a couple of downloadable programs around, which will help. However, it will surely influence my decision about kickstarting more of those CMON Limited games in a negative way.

Friday was designated RPG night, and as one of the guys is currently on vacation, we canceled Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and one of the players offered us a one-shot Fate Core adventure. Unfortunately, another one of the guys caught the flu, and so only three players were left. We decided to switch to board games and we had a wonderful game of Wasteland Express Delivery Service; a very thematic pick-up-and-deliver affair in a Mad Max setting. A really great game!

The second one on that evening was Champions of Midgard, one of the few Euros Andrea really likes (it features one of her favorite topics, Vikings, and it has a lot of dice [which makes it more a Euro/Ameritrash-hybrid game]). After slaying a lot of Trolls, Draugr, Bergrisar and other nasty monsters, we agreed on playing that already prepared Fate Core adventure; I would really like to play that all-round system, it has so many good reviews.

And the postman brought me one new game: Escape the Dark Castle. A huge box, containing another huge box along with a couple of smaller boxes: the complete game including all expansion from the recent Kickstarter campaign. Now, this is basically a stupid game: turn over a card, overcome that obstacle on the card by rolling some dice (and probably even make some minor decisions), and repeat until you face the boss monster and escape the castle. The game is basically DungeonQuest with cards, with the difference that it is coop and the tiles of DQ are now oversized cards. The complete game is in uncolored black & white (not even gray), and along with the flavor texts, it offers a lot of atmosphere … really a lot! Although we don’t really dig the graphic art on the cards, the game itself – as simple as it is – was a lot of fun to play. Playing time is only about 30 minutes, so it’s some kind of a filler. Or a game where you try to escape more than once, using different characters and different obstacles (there’s a lot of cards in that game, so the replayability is very high).



I hope you all had a great week too!
And a happy 2019 to you all from my flattop! meeple


PS: and here's my gaming list for December 2018!
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10. Board Game: Sequence [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:3195]
¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Chestermere
Alberta
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My gaming for last week:

Sequence x2 -- My partner was drunk, and couldn't even remember what color we were the next day (she guessed wrong, with a 50 -50 chance of being right), but we wiped the floor with the other team, in two separate games of this. Sweet!

Clubs -- My bad run of luck continues. Or is it that the rest of the crowd is finally getting better at this game?

Just One x2 -- New participants, and the combination of players produced the first ever win (a perfect score of 13)!!
Our initial game yielded a fine score of 9 points out of 13.

Splendor -- Despite some issues with red/ green color deficiency, by one player, we all had a blast playing this game.

Guillotine -- We lopped off the heads of many nobles in fairly short order, this time around, with not a lot of inter-player "screwage" like there normally is.

Canyon -- I got stuck behind some canoes in the tight spots and couldn't maximize my movement a couple of turns in a row, but the final result was never in question; it was never going to be my win.

Carcassonne -- A dead heat result, between myself and my partner from Sequence, who wasn't drunk this time.

Eat Poop You Cat -- a massive 9 player game on New Year's Day produced some outstandingly bad artwork, and plenty of laughter.

The Beer Report:

There's a marked difference between Fuller's Vintage Ale c. 2018 and the 2008 version, as we all discovered to our immense pleasure.



My buddy has been buying two or three bottles of the latest version every year for a long time now-- he mentioned that he has one bottle of 2006 in his cellar, which he figures he might share in 2021 (15 years bottle-aged)-- and so we did a side by side comparison of bottles ten years apart.
The 2018 is a fine ale, in its own right, but the 2008 was extremely nice. The first thing that you notice is that the carbonation is way down. It develops more of a syrupy thick texture in the meantime, and you can really taste the wood notes of the cask it was made in now. It is so complex, and so delicious.

Last year (2017) I offered up a bottle of 10 year-old Fin Du Monde, which also displayed a lot of the same aging qualities as the Fullers.



I've also got one bottle of Maudite downstairs that is 7 years old now.
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11. Board Game: Black Orchestra [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:548]
Patrick Pence
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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2018 Games Played



 8   13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis (7 all-time)
 8   6 nimmt! (54 all-time)
 8   A House Divided (2 all-time)
 6   Africa (8 all-time)
 8   Airlines Europe (12 all-time)
 8   Alhambra x2 (16 all-time)
 6   Arboretum NEW!
 6   Archaeology: The New Expedition NEW!
 8   Architects of the West Kingdom NEW!
 10   Atlanta Is Ours NEW!
 7   Attika x4 (20 all-time)
 6   Automobiles x2 (3 all-time)
 6   Azul x3 NEW!
 8   Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game x2 (14 all-time)
 8   Bohnanza (28 all-time)
 8   Broom Service x2 (3 all-time)
 7   Bunny Kingdom x4 NEW!
 6   Bärenpark x2 NEW!
 6   CVlizations NEW!
 8   Carcassonne: The City (16 all-time)
 5   Cerebria: The Inside World NEW!
 8   Champions of Midgard NEW!
 8   Chimera x2 NEW!
 6   Circus Flohcati x5 (6 all-time)
 8   Cockroach Poker x3 (108 all-time)
 8   Coloretto (36 all-time)
 10   Combat Commander: Battle Pack #4 – New Guinea x2 (3 all-time)
 10   Combat Commander: Battle Pack #5 – Fall of the West NEW!
 10   Combat Commander: Europe (51 all-time)
 8   Commands & Colors: Ancients x2 (55 all-time)
 8   Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #5 – Epic Ancients II x3 (4 all-time)
 6   Cottage Garden (3 all-time)
 8   Cryptid x9 NEW!
 8   Cuba Libre (2 all-time)
 6   Cyclades NEW!
 8   Deep Sea Adventure (9 all-time)
 8   Die Macher (2 all-time)
 7   Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks NEW!
 8   Dune (2 all-time)
 8   Eldritch Horror NEW!
 8   Elfenland (4 all-time)
 6   Everdell NEW!
 8   Fairy Tile NEW!
 N/A   Fangs of War x6 NEW!
 8   Fantasy Realms x2 NEW!
 N/A   Fiasco NEW!
 8   For Sale (15 all-time)
 8   Frank's Zoo (36 all-time)
 6   Gizmos NEW!
 8   Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension (6 all-time)
 8   Guilds of London x2 NEW!
 8   Gunslinger x2 (19 all-time)
 6   Hey, That's My Fish! NEW!
 8   Jaipur x2 (8 all-time)
 8   Jamaica (12 all-time)
 9   John Company x4 NEW!
 8   Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? (14 all-time)
 8   Las Vegas (14 all-time)
 8   Lectio x2 (24 all-time)
 8   Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (14 all-time)
 8   Lemminge x2 (7 all-time)
 8   Linko! (21 all-time)
 10   Lords of Vegas (21 all-time)
 8   Lords of Waterdeep (2 all-time)
 6   Luxor NEW!
 7   Macao NEW!
 10   Merchant of Venus (6 all-time)
 8   Merchant of Venus (second edition) (3 all-time)
 8   Modern Art (27 all-time)
 6   Monster Lands NEW!
 8   Oh My Goods! x3 NEW!
 10   Pax Porfiriana x14 (138 all-time)
 8   Port Royal x2 (16 all-time)
 6   Power Grid (5 all-time)
 6   Pulsar 2849 NEW!
 7   R-Eco (14 all-time)
 6   Rise to Nobility NEW!
 10   Roads to Gettysburg II: Lee Strikes North x6 NEW!
 6   Roll Player NEW!
 8   Root x3 NEW!
 8   Sagrada x3 (10 all-time)
 8   Samurai (7 all-time)
 6   Sheriff of Nottingham (2 all-time)
 8   Simon's Cat Card Game (10 all-time)
 8   Source of the Nile (15 all-time)
 8   Space Base x5 NEW!
 6   Space Empires: 4X NEW!
 8   SpaceCorp NEW!
 8   Speakeasy Blues NEW!
 N/A   Spires of Xin-Shalast x4 (6 all-time)
 9   Star Trek: Ascendancy x2 (13 all-time)
 8   Suburbia x2 (5 all-time)
 7   Sunset Over Water x4 NEW!
 8   Sushi Go! (24 all-time)
 6   T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons NEW!
 8   T.I.M.E Stories: Brotherhood of the Coast NEW!
 6   T.I.M.E Stories: Estrella Drive NEW!
 7   T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition – Endurance NEW!
 6   T.I.M.E Stories: Lumen Fidei NEW!
 7   T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case NEW!
 7   T.I.M.E Stories: Under the Mask NEW!
 10   Terraforming Mars x8 (27 all-time)
 7   Terraforming Mars: Colonies NEW!
 10   Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium x4 (8 all-time)
 10   Terraforming Mars: Prelude x2 NEW!
 8   The Bottle Imp (38 all-time)
 8   The Castles of Burgundy x3 (38 all-time)
 8   The Downfall of Pompeii (6 all-time)
 6   The Expanse Board Game NEW!
 8   The Game (15 all-time)
 N/A   The Godfather: Corleone's Empire NEW!
 5   The Hanging Gardens NEW!
 10   The Mind x26 NEW!
 6   The Speicherstadt NEW!
 8   Thunder Alley x4 (26 all-time)
 6   Thurn and Taxis x2 (6 all-time)
 10   Tichu x8 (110 all-time)
 9   Time of Crisis x4 NEW!
 8   Tin Goose NEW!
 N/A   Trail of the Hunted x4 NEW!
 8   Trajan (2 all-time)
 N/A   Treasure Island NEW!
 10   Twilight Struggle x3 (79 all-time)
 7   Unlock! The Island of Doctor Goorse NEW!
 6   Vikings (6 all-time)
 6   Viticulture Essential Edition NEW!
 6   Warsaw: City of Ruins NEW!
 8   Wasteland Express Delivery Service (2 all-time)
 6   Way of the Dragon (3 all-time)
 6   Welcome To... x2 NEW!
 7   Welcome to Centerville NEW!
 7   Western Legends x2 NEW!
 7   Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star x2 NEW!
 8   Xia: Legends of a Drift System x2 NEW!
 6   Zooloretto: The Dice Game NEW!
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12. Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:650]
Nikki Ebright
Netherlands
Centennial
Colorado (CO)
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Saturday December 30, 2018 and Sunday December 31, 2018 into January 1, 2019
 7.0   The Quacks of Quedlinburg x4 (13 all-time)
 N/A   Tobago (3 all-time)
 N/A   Spank the Monkey NEW!
 7.0   Mystic Vale (11 all-time)
 7.0   Last Will (9 all-time)

I think The Quacks of Quedlinburg is our game of 2018. Billy and I really enjoyed it and it was one of the first things we picked up in the Netherlands. We played through all of the various options, including the other side of the board. Lots of fun.

We had friends over in the days around the turn of the year and got in a bunch of gaming, yay!


January 2, 2019
 7.5   Space Base x4 (7 all-time)
 7.0   Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition (2 all-time)
 N/A   Ex Libris (3 all-time)

More gaming!

Thursday January 3, 2019
 7.0   Hive x2 (6 all-time)

I stopped by our FLGS and got in a rare few games with the owner. He kicked my butt on the first one and helped me beat him in the second one.

Friday January 4, 2019 and Saturday January 5, 2019
 6.5   Unmask! (2 all-time)
 7.0   Architects of the West Kingdom (2 all-time)
 N/A   Star Realms x3 (4 all-time)

Gaming at the FLGS, yay! One of the regulars doesn't actually join in a lot of the games, more there for the socializing. He does like Star Realms, so I got him to remind me how to play and we got in a few rounds.

****************

The rest of the week and weekend has been consumed by preparing for WhimsyCon. I'm not chairing the con but I'm still doing the programming and vendor room sales and prep. Thankfully Billy has done a lot of the heavy lifting on the vendor room, and it's now all done.

The programming is about done too. Waiting on hearing back from a few people, but in general, what goes to print now will be correct (with a few changes I'm expecting).

One of my major goals of 2019 is to have a more calm time, a more calm life. One of the large projects is closer to done, so progress is being made.
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13. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:4]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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This is the week that was:


 9   Terraforming Mars (72 all-time) ww
Our final game of the year together. We played on the Elysium map with all the expansions except Venus. Colonies was better this time around, especially as we had mostly ones that you could go to right away.

 8   Startups x3 (63 all-time) TNC
Ever popular.

 7   Dungeon of Mandom VIII (2 all-time) wf
I taught the Kelda and my wife how to play.

 7   Titan (78 all-time) iOS
More online goodness.

 6   Star Realms: Frontiers NEW! solo
I love Star Realms. This was courtesy of one of my Secret Santas.

 9   Brass: Birmingham x2 (21 all-time) ww/TNC
One with my wife, once later that week with the TNC.

It's been an adjustment getting back into the work routine after some time off. I'll likely be more loquacious next week.
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14. Board Game: Spinimax [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Last week's gaming:



 7   The Mind
 6   Okey Dokey x2
 7   Spinimax x9 NEW!
 6   Spaniel x2 NEW!
 N/A   Spree x2
 7   Sparro x4 NEW!
 5   Spargo NEW!
 8   Las Vegas
 9   KeyForge: Call of the Archons
 8   Fight!

We have been trying a new routine in the evenings to make sure Boo's homework and reading gets done in plenty of time before bedtime, and the big carrot has been time for boardgames with both me and Johanna if she finishes with enough time for games. The big hit has been my Shibumi Shogun set and exploring the couple dozen games you can play with it (including mine), but she's also whomped me yet again at KeyForge: Call of the Archons, played some Pennywise at a restaurant, lost gracefully at Las Vegas (although it helps that Johanna seems truly unable to score anything at all in this one!), and enjoyed some coop nonsense in Okey Dokey and The Mind. Great start to the gaming year.

Looking like our California trip will be on this summer - Johanna all set to sign a contract to direct Mama Mia at Summer Rep Theatre. But first my flying, 4-day visit to England next week to visit my Grandma, my folks, my high school friends, my college crowd, and my old nightclub . . .


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15. Board Game: Dream Home [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:800]
Julia
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Wenn ich die Zivilisation hinter mir lasse, fühle ich mich sicher (Heinrich Harrer)
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NHU (new home updates - sorry, I'm not posting much, but the period is critical):

- as told, after the bathroom accident of January, the 2nd, we decided to renovate the last two rooms of the house (good grief)
- apparently, everything should have been run smoothly, then of course as soon as the paper was removed from the walls, the workers discovered a total of two other layers of paper beneath, and a former water infiltration (...), so that schedule seems to have been pushed a bit further (of course) (with all these workers around, I'm having ideas for new eurogames...)
- in the morning (at 11 AM, so, rather a godly hour of the day) the workers dug a trench for AC wires to pass, and the neighbors imploded. A. had to spend a lot of time listening to the lady saying she was exhausted by our renovation works (we, on the other hand, are as fresh as roses) and that it's unacceptable that we dig trenches in the walls (so, I assume wires can merge into solid walls by osmosys? what was that spell? "adavrakeplumbing?"). After the lady lashed out and run away on her bike (she's 70...), A had to hear the same from the lady's husband (I assume because A. is so dumb that he needs a double, non-exhausting, explanation on the nature of the neighbors exhaustion)
- then the technician who was supposed to bring us internet home arrived, and after trafficking on the wall for a couple of hours, had a piece of the wall collapsing on him (nothing big, but WTF). Turns out that the only room whose works we didn't follow directly (for various reasons) was done in a non-conventional manner: they declared they changed the plaster (I think? the thing over the wall and below the paint coat) but they didn't, so, plaster's almost 70 years old (such as the lady downstairs, so, I assume they are both exhausted in the same way). He managed to fix it tho without destroying most of the room
- nonetheless, internet wasn't working due to a short circuit (CLASSIC! At this point we're like 5% away from finishing the flipping renovation, and 95% close to selling the house and staying where we are, and screw the insane rent), so that he had to backtrack it. Where was it? OF COURSE IN THE BATHROOM, where the Nobel prize recipient who did the renovation works decided to bury the phone cables in the walls (regardless of what we told him to do...) so that they had to dig another hole in the just finished (perfect, so white, so nice, so smooth) wall to allow the technician to find the cables and fix the short circuit
- and atop of that, the non-shaped drawer is still non-shaped because the guy who was supposed to come and check had a "busy week" (yesterday Andrea had class from 8 AM to 7 PM and then drove home for 6 hours, slept for 4, woke up to hear "I had a busy week, sorry". Happy I married Gandhi, but that guy just risked his life...)

End of the updates!! Now I think Corey must have had a lot of experiences in moving: the title "Mansions of Madness" suddently has so much more sense (Encounter: it's a Chthonian! SHOCK! It's spelled properly, what happened to FFG?! Lose 1d10 Sanity. Encounter 2: it's a leftover box from your last move. You see a small humidity stain, and the label says "books". Lose 1 Million points of Sanity, and roll a new character)

Argh.

Tomorrow we'll pick the colors for the walls. Let's pray nothing else collapses in the meantime (did I mention that the boiler had a valve lose and so in the morning A had to clean up a ton of water from the floor?)
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16. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2381]
Kevin O'Hare
United States
San Carlos
California
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Games played in 2018
Says 174 plays in 78 games. However, I only started logging plays a bit in 2017, and I've not been consistent at doing so. I have been better at logging in 2018, so this is a close approximation.



8  Stone Age x3
10  El Grande x6  [b]7   Glen More  [b]7   Masons  [b]N/A   Chariot Lords N/A  Unlock! The Tonipal's Treasure
8  Qwirkle Cards x4
N/A  Pandemic: Rising Tide
8  Das Vermächtnis des Maharaja x3
N/A  Spy Club 7  Space Base x3 N/A  Saint Malo N/A  Gloomhaven x2
N/A  Echidna Shuffle x2
6  Alien Frontiers
N/A  Unlock! The Nautilus' Traps
7.5  Circus Flohcati
9  Acquire
7.6  Pax Porfiriana x6
N/A  Dice Forge N/A  Can't Stop x2
7  Ingenious
7.5  The Quest for El Dorado
7  Azul x3
N/A  R-Eco x10 7  Queendomino x2
N/A  Twin Tin Bots
7  Team Play x2
8  Puerto Rico
N/A  Maskmen x4 N/A  Kepler-3042 N/A  The Grizzled: At Your Orders! 7  Drop It x17
N/A  Code 777 x2 N/A  Zendo
7  Tichu x4
N/A  Rajas of the Ganges
8  Great Western Trail x3
N/A  Die Fugger
N/A  Brass: Birmingham N/A  Power Grid: The Card Game
5  Mississippi Queen N/A  Löwendynastie
7.5  Hanabi x2 7.5  Deep Sea Adventure
N/A  Deduce or Die
N/A  Big Trouble in Little China: The Game
N/A  Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition x2
N/A  Masque of the Red Death 7.5  Fuji Flush x3
8  Fresco
8  Thurn and Taxis x3
N/A  König von Siam x5
8  Concordia
N/A  Welcome to the Dungeon
N/A  The Quacks of Quedlinburg
N/A  Pikoko x2 N/A  The Gallerist
6.75  Flotsam Fight x2
N/A  Villainous N/A  Ubongo 3-D N/A  The Shipwreck Arcana N/A  Qwixx x3 N/A  Unpublished Prototype x20 N/A  Metropolys
N/A  IKI
N/A  Everdell N/A  Arraial x2 N/A  Seikatsu 7.5  Pandemic: Iberia x2 N/A  KeyForge: Call of the Archons
7  Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra x2
N/A  San Juan (second edition) N/A  Qwirkle
N/A  Cards Against Humanity 7  Happy Pigs 4  Hoagie
6  The Last Straw
7 
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