GCL Amoeba 432 - Amusement parks
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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GameChat League - Amoeba Division 412
ABOUT | AMOEBA DIVISION | SUBSCRIBE

Welcome to this week's discussion list!

If you stumbled into this geeklist by accident take a look at the pointers provided at the top. Constructive on-topic comments from visitors are welcome and we're happy about new regular contributors, but please refrain from adding items if you are not a member of this GCL.

The hosting rotation:

Jérôme (Tsaar)Microbadge: GameChat League - Amoeba Division: "Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!"
Scott (qzhdad)
Chris (Venser)
Mikko (msaari)
Doug (phrim)
Adam (redgamster)
Eric (Eric Brosius)
Jeremy Avery (familygaming)
Garry (garry_rice)
Larry (larryjrice)
Jeroen (jmdsplotter)

As always - former GCL Amoeba members are always welcome to post and return!


Since I visited the Efteling twice the last three weeks, let's chat about amusement parks.
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1. Board Game: Enchanted Forest [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:6488]
Board Game: Enchanted Forest
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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What's the latest amusement park you visited? What did you enjoy most there?
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2. Board Game: Why, These are Regulars! [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Why, These are Regulars!
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Do you often go to amusement parks?
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3. Board Game: Scream Machine [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:5895]
Board Game: Scream Machine
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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What's your favorite type of attraction?
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4. Board Game: Adlung Land [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:9471]
Board Game: Adlung Land
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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What's your favorite game involving amusement parks?
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5. Board Game: Escape Plan [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:420]
Board Game: Escape Plan
Jérôme
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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It’s so hot! Sometimes too hot to think but never too hot to play.

Board Game: Red7
Board Game: DVONN
Board Game: Dragon Master
Board Game: 4 Seasons
Board Game: Kanaloa
Board Game: Cryptid
Board Game: Paco Ŝako
Board Game: Escape Plan: Upgrade Pack
Board Game: Escape Plan
Board Game: Century: Eastern Wonders


8  Red7 x3 (14 all-time)
I want to play this game so much more! It’s smart and quick and sometimes damn lucky. Or not, I lost twice.

8  DVONN (11 all-time)
Dusted off, my almost-weekly GIPF game versus Herman. All traps I set worked. We should have played again but I wanted to try some of my new Pegasus 2-player games.

6.5  Dragon Master x3 NEW!
Knizia minimalism with new artwork by Lohausen. We played three times and I’m not sure if you can win with a bad hand, having no or just a few 3’s. It’s a very quick game so I won’t write it off yet.

6.5  4 Seasons (3 all-time)
The core mechanic is interesting because it forces you to double think how to force your opponent to play the cards that you give, to the rows in such way that you end up with the majorities over the biggest sets of points.
After two plays I’m not so sure if this is enough to make an exciting game though.

By the same designers as Elements, which is great.
The illustrations are by Dennis Lohausen who did a wonderful job, again


6  Arabana-Opodopo NEW!
Tuesday evening at Jeroen’s with the inevitable rare German gem to kick off. Only Jacco and me present, baseball duties kept Michael from joining.
A-O is multiplayer Kahuna, a light tactical and somewhat interactive game. I remembered Kahuna from way back as an amusing but not very good game, and A-O has the same. Ton games get decided by luck of the draw in the end, no matter how hard you try to build up a line of defense, taking down the current leader or just minding your own business.
Still, it delivers some fun but I wouldn’t mind never to play it again.
(We played numbered copy 13/175, it replaced the bamboo sticks with scrabble letters the the stickers didn’t stick.)

7  Cryptid NEW!
We had some time left and after little discussion we chose Cryptid to finish the evening with.
It’s amazing that with only three clues there’s only one possible location on the map which corresponds. We played once, 3p, and jumped right into the advance mode. It was a bit confusing and I more or less understood what we just played only after we finished.
I like deduction games but my favorite remains Schinderhannes.

7  Escape Plan NEW!
7  Escape Plan: Upgrade Pack NEW!
Jeroen and I played Escape Plan without any of the gameplay extras from the expansion, but the added bling was nice. Actually, all the bling is nice and maybe the best this game has to offer. There’s a lot of stuff going on in Escape Plan but it never became as exciting as the theme seems to promise.
I’ll try again soon.

7  Paco Ŝako NEW!
Jeroen asked if I had played Paco Ŝako yet and wanted to give it a try. It was weird! Forget everything yo know about Chess and then use Chess moves to set the trap and hug your opponent to death. I was so focused on my own play that I forgot to keep my defense and one turn before I thought to beat Jeroen (wrongly, on hindsight) he beat me. Super cool variant and I need to play this at least a dozen more times to grasp it.

8  Century: Eastern Wonders (2 all-time)
First play with Natascha. I didn’t line up all islands which made her a bit dizzy. I promised to make a nice and tidy board next time. I really like both Century games, looking forward to try the From Sand to Sea combo.
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6. Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:75]
Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Garry Rice
United States
Perkasie
Pennsylvania
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Board Game: Cartographers
Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure


7.5  Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale (18 all-time)

Played with Caleb and I pulled out a tight win. I suspect he didn’t remember to place the enemy troops at the worst spots for me as he didn’t make it as challenging as he could have.

6.0  The Quacks of Quedlinburg (2 all-time)

Played this for the second time with the back side of the player board...I was the only one to advance and I’m not sure it was worth it as we only had the base books out...

7.5  Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure (14 all-time)

Played the dwarven mines board for the first time...I won the mining award but finished in last as I was the first to get knocked out...I was very fortunate to get above the lower half of the board as my health was at two away from dying much of the game.
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7. Board Game: Across the United States [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:7908]
Board Game: Across the United States
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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3x _6.00_ Adventure Games: Monochrome Inc.
1x _8.00_ Res Arcana
1x _7.00_ Unlock! Scheherazade's Last Tale
1x _7.00_ Cryptid
1x _7.00_ Kanaloa
1x _6.50_ Unlock! Expedition: Challenger
1x _6.00_ Across the United States
1x _5.75_ Bonsai Uchu
1x _5.75_ HEXplore It: The Valley of the Dead King
1x _5.50_ Nine Tiles Panic
1x _5.50_ Paco Ŝako
1x _5.50_ Detective: City of Angels
1x _5.00_ In Front of the Elevators
1x _5.00_ Escape Plan
1x _5.00_ Thunder's Edge
1x _3.00_ Intervention divine

A nice week of games. We played quite a bit of "Escape room games" - finishing the Unlock! Exotic Adventures and playing through Monochrome Inc. I still quite enjoyed these Unlock ones - even though some of the riddles didn't quite work for us.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
For example, the water temperature clues were too cryptic for us.

I liked the Adventure Games premise - no time pressure, a nice story, and you may or may not get to all things in the end (we got most but not all). And I was positively surprised by how much I liked the app narration. Hopefully soon in English too.

I also got in some games from the latest Game Market. We played most already . Across the United States was good fun, though I'm not entirely sure about the random placement of stuff at the start. And the angst of getting only a few actions is quite real; you can't do everything you want!
Bonsai Uchu was a cute two player game. You build up a Bonsai, score it, and then switch Bonsai trees (continuing on your opponent's tree) for a second round. Good, simple fun, but not groundbreaking.
And finally the new Oink - Nine Tiles Panic. Good fun, though I usually don't like time pressure elements. There's three areas to score in, and you have to place your nine (double-sided) tiles in a 3x3 grid and then score according to who did best in each of the three criteria. A good puzzle .
We also played In Front of the Elevators, but it disappointed a bit. Which may be mostly because of us playing with only 2 players...

A recently arrived Kickstarter was HEXplore It: The Valley of the Dead King. Good fun, though I suspect we didn't play entirely correct as our two characters abilities combined into massive damage. But the character building and walking around is nice.

More KS goodness arrived in the form of Detective: City of Angels. I played the first case solo to get a feel for it. I like the main idea behind it - you're interrogating suspects, and they may or may not lie. You can challenge an answer, for a bonus if you're right, and a malus if you're wrong. The solo mode works well; and though I'm less enticed by the multiplayer 1-vs-rest mode I'm willing to give it a shot. The first scenario is too easy though .

Paco Ŝako was good fun. I want to play Tishai as well with Jérôme now .
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8. Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:460]
Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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We are on the 4th day of our 9-day house con, and I've already played 32 games! I won't report on them until next week, but I do have this one play from Monday June 24 to report on (I pre-wrote this item so I could just paste it in.)

 10   1846: The Race for the Midwest (247 all-time) -- On Monday night several people wanted another crack at 1846: The Race for the Midwest (remember that we've played a number of times over the past few weeks, and not everyone won every game!) This time I was chosen to be fourth in priority order, meaning that I got first chance in the draft. Since we had 4 players, we randomly selected the Lake Shore Line, Tunnel Blasting Company, and Pennsylvania Railroad for removal.

I got a lot of high-priced options in my first set -- MS, Big 4, Mail Contract -- together with the MC, a small one. I decided that it might be easy for me to be loaded down with big privates, so I took a pass. The second time around the three big ones were still there, so I felt a bit safer taking one, and being 4th in Priority order, I decided to take the MS. The MS is a good choice for a player who is last in Priority order, since you don't have to struggle to get a route to Chicago and Chicago Connections; you can just buy in the MS.

The third time around there was only the MC. In this situation I know that if everyone else passes I will be able to get the private for $10 less, but there's no way everyone is going to choke on the cost of the MC (this tactic works better with a pricey private like the Big 4 or the Mail Contract.) So I took it, leaving me with $220 to spend in SR 1.

After the private company draft, our holdings were as follows, in Priority order:

Michael: O&I, Mail, $280 cash
Brett J: Steamboat, Big 4, $260 cash
John: Meat Packing, C&WI, $280 cash
Eric: MS, MC, $220 cash

People often complain bitterly about being selected to be last in priority order in 1846, but it does have one useful benefit: You get to see what everyone else does before you act. (Or, of course, if they pass so you can't tell what they're going to do, you get to act earlier than they do.) With $220 I planned to take advantage of this if I could.

Michael started by launching the NYC at $70. He went on to buy 4 shares. Brett launched the B&O, as he had Steamboat and Big 4, both of which go nicely with it. He thought about launching at $50 and buying 5 shares or launching at $80 and buying 3 shares. He decided that 2 extra shares were not to be sneezed at and launched at $50, declaring that he planned a lot of half-pays to make up for the shortage of capital that would otherwise accompany his low launch price. John had options, since he wanted to buy in the C&WI and try to run to Chicago with Meat Packing as many times as he could. He decided to piggyback on Michael's expected track building and launch the Erie, at $70. This is one of the typical benefits of the Erie; if you're going to focus your builds on a station you will get by buying in a private, you can ignore early building issues around your actual home station.

I was happy to see that the IC, with its extra share's worth of capital, was still available. The awkward starting location in Cairo wouldn't be a problem for me, since I could just buy in the MS. But at what price should I start it? The obvious answer was $70, which would allow me to buy 3 shares with $10 left over. But I wasn't crazy about that plan, which would leave me with fewer shares than my opponents. I could also start the IC at $50 and buy 4 shares, but that would leave me capital constrained like Brett, but without the earning power of the Steamboat. So could I cross-invest? The NYC and Eric weren't much help, as buying a share of those companies at $70 rather than a share of the IC would still leave me at 3 shares. Too bad, because I could see that the NYC would be a great company in the late game. So I started deducting multiples of $50 from $220. If I bought 1 share of the B&O, that would leave me with $170, which wasn't a really helpful number. But if I bought 2 shares of the B&O, I'd still have $120 left to buy the President certificate of the IC, giving me 4 shares. And I thought I could capitalize the IC adequately with the $180 I'd get from doing that plus $100 from issuing two shares to the Stock Market, leaving 6 shares in treasury to gain value. So that's what I did. Brett wasn't thrilled with my cross-investment, but with shares as cheap as the B&O's were and the earning power of the Steamboat operating out of Wheeling, he didn't expect anything else. So after SR 1 our holdings were as follows:

Michael: O&I, Mail, 4 NYC @ $70
Brett J: Steamboat, Big 4, 5 B&O @ $50, $10 cash
John: Meat Packing, C&WI, 4 Erie @ $70
Eric: MS, MC, 2 IC @ $60, 2 B&O

This worked well. I was able to get two 5T's into the IC without full withholding even once, buying them both right after the first Phase III train was bought after half-paying. It wasn't the best corporation in the end game, but it was good enough. I only got one NYC, but I did get 3 B&O's. And I made it to the certificate limit early, so I had a lot more cash at the end of the game. Brett came in 2nd; he got two permanent trains into the B&O and ran for better money than I did, and he started an effective C&O late in the game, but I made it to the certificate limit sooner and had a big cash lead over everyone else. Michael did run an excellent NYC, but he was much slower to get to certificate limit and had to hold quite a few of the late-starting shares. And John suffered from the fact that by the time Erie was ready to buy trains in OR 1.1, all the yellow trains were gone (Michael's NYC bought three of them,) and the corporation with Meat Packing really doesn't want to be only running a 4T if it doesn't have an early E/W run.
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9. Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:460]
Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest
Mikko Saari
Finland
Tampere
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 9.0   Magic: The Gathering x17 (181 all-time)

Mostly constructed deck play at the moment.

 8.0   1846: The Race for the Midwest (7 all-time)

First test run for 18SH. It worked well, but doing stuff was too complicated. Recording a share purchase required four commands (Mikko buys a GT share. GT sells a GT share. Mikko pays 100. GT receives 100.). Of course that needs to be condensed into one (Mikko buys a GT share @100 from GT) which moves all the money.

I do like the method, and in general prefer it to chips.

Like Eric, I got MS and MC from the private draft being in the last priority, but I ended up not starting a company. I started NYC later, but in the initial stages played the investor. I got into GT and managed to eventually sell MC to GT.

I was playing for the win, but made a mistake of keeping GT and ended up buying a train from my pocket. Well, I probably would've lost anyway, but for a moment it looked like I would end up third. I managed to rescue my position to a safe second place by the end.

 8.0   Battle Line (97 all-time)
 7.0   Candy Match (4 all-time)

Fillers while waiting for the 1846 to begin.

 7.0   Wingspan (5 all-time)

I'm returning Wingspan this week. Not a keeper; it's nice, but I have no need for it.

 6.0   Escape Room: The Game (3 all-time)

We played the Nuclear Countdown scenario from the base box. It was pretty awful, the puzzles weren't very good and I wasn't happy about the one where the solution required a phone call to an US number. Fortunately I found the answer on BGG. Not a very good set; we'll see how the last scenario turns out and I'll see then if we play the expansion scenarios or not.

I've been selling games lately. My goal for this year was to cull my collection to 200 games excluding expansions, and I'm almost there – I think I'm at 204 at the moment.
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10. Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:378] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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Board Game: Magic: The Gathering
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons – Archon Deck


 7   Magic: The Gathering x2 (291 all-time)

On the way to a game event Sunday, my son picked up a booster box to split so we did a sealed deck two headed giant event. My team was wiped out the first game and made a play for it in the second including manifesting the snow enchantment's 20/20 beast fully once and scheduled for next upkeep a second time, but it was bounced out before it could attack.


 N/A   KeyForge: Call of the Archons – Archon Deck (20 all-time)

I showed this game to the host (an avid Magic player) before dinner and the Magic takeover.

It was 9:30, so I bailed, but my son stuck around and played Terraforming Mars returning home ~1:30. Oh to be young and not need sleep again!

Slow week despite my birthday Saturday. We went to a grad party and had conversations like normal adults (a couple times a year is plenty) instead of playing games.

I brought some games to a work picnic, but we only played sand volleyball which was fun.

My son and I got in a game of pingpong as well.

Hoping that more games will be listed next week.
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11. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:8]
Board Game: Gaia Project
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Board Game: Colt Express
Board Game: Terra Mystica: Erweiterungsbogen
Board Game: Terra Mystica
Board Game: 6 nimmt!
Board Game: Gaia Project
Board Game: Coimbra


 10   Great Western Trail (16 all-time)
My first play against the Automa. I should have used the opportunity of playing an Easy AI to try a building strategy, but the workers area was flooded with Engineers, so I went big rails. I felt slow and out of sorts the entire game: I was never that good at this game the first time I owned it, and now I am rusty! I did beat Easy AI, but I know I would have been beaten soundly by a half-way experienced player.

I tried to push past the stations, cherry-picking two that suited me, then pushed to turn the corner and install stations at the higher point areas. I realized that the spaces between the stations means that 4 Engineers are the way to go, so even playing sub-optimally, I did fairly well there.

I liked it enough that I plan to utilize it again a few times this summer. There is an app that drives the Automa, and it is very easy to use. Definitely recommend this to those who have opportunity to solo and not many other opportunities to play it.

 6   Colt Express (2 all-time)
Lunchtime game at work. I want to like it more than I do: clever idea, but just so very random.

 10   Terra Mystica: Erweiterungsbogen (25 all-time)
 10   Terra Mystica (64 all-time)
Ever play a game against someone who owns the app and plays it 100 times? Yeah, so Kris has played this a lot, and in the process of doing so, he has pretty much ensured I'll never play it with him again! We played three players with a new buddy I'll call "KS", and he was learning the game. The game was long. Very. Very. Long. 2.5 hours. That part wasn't fun. But I do still like TM, and it was nice to play. I kept fairly close to Kris, but only because KS had opportunity to block him, and did, and had no similar opportunity to block me. Kris is now quite a bit better at the game than I am, I think.

From gallery of familygaming


I really like the bonus buildings promo, but I realized that some of them are a LOT better at 4p or 5p than lower counts. E.g. my Nomads building that would bring me great profit if it was surrounded by other colours, but useless when not. It was not.

Will I buy the Shipbuilding expansion for this game? Should I?

 8   6 nimmt! (22 all-time)
Fun quick closer after TM.


 10   Gaia Project (16 all-time)
Natalie was so jealous that us three played TM without her that she was chomping at the bit to play GP today. We have done VERY little gaming since the baby was born in April, so it was great to play a game with her. Better than that: she had a great time, and she won! In fact, it was our biggest score differential ever in GP.

From gallery of familygaming


I was asleep at the wheel, picking tracks that didn't make sense, and misplaying the Ivits (Hive) faction terribly. In small fairness to me, no one had played Ivits yet, so no one would have necessarily know what to do with them, but I should have had a better approach, and my track choices and upgrade sequences put me in a terrible rhythm. I really like GP. The extra choices it provides, really do push it well past TM for me, even though I like TM and its world better than GP.

From gallery of familygaming




 8   Coimbra (4 all-time)
We were supposed to play this after TM (I foolishly though TM would be 90 minutes, but was 150 minutes instead with a new player), so when I felt like soloing, I pulled this out an played two-handed.

I "seeded" the game by putting the 13 VP tile on green and the 7 VP on purple, just to see what I could do when purple was de-emphasized. Answer: I did fairly terribly with both hands, finishing something like 120-108. I've had a higher score in my other three plays.

I also think that I want more plays out of this game. It is fun trying to play well, and as long as I play it with quick-ish players, I will like it. It has the potential to play the quickest out of all the Italian dice games. Still well behind Lorenzo for me, but still a solid 8.



ACQUIRING
NONE

INQUIRING
Underwater Cities didn't inspire me when I watch the playthrough. I've heard it is one of the better recent releases, and it has a good 1p mode.

Basically I want some 1p euros and don't know what to go for?

RETIRING
Coimbra is being fished out of the retiring section as I want a dozen plays out of it or so.

ADMIRING
Sierra West is a "Western" (rancher/cowboy) themed game with four modules that looks really cool coming out this year.

Terra Mystica expansion announced. Unsure about it until they release Englisch rules (since my German didn't help me!).
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12. Board Game: The Taverns of Tiefenthal [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:310]
Board Game: The Taverns of Tiefenthal
Larry Rice
United States
North Newton
Kansas
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I've heard/read that to combat jet lag one should jump into activity right away so I didn't hesitate jumping in and playing boardgames four straight nights last week after returning.

Board Game: The Taverns of Tiefenthal
Board Game: Blood Bowl (2016 Edition)
Board Game: Imperial Settlers
Board Game: Texas Showdown
Board Game: The Grizzled: Armistice Edition
Board Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Board Game: Wingspan
Board Game: Aeon's End: Legacy
Board Game: Raccoon Tycoon


 8   Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal x2 NEW!

Agree with Mikko, this one is pretty solid with all the modules included. Clever little deckbuilder with some dice activators.

 7   Blood Bowl (2016 edition) NEW!

Played half a game as a learning game as I might be jumping into a blood bowl league here. Fairly simple but also quite fiddly with a lot of moving parts due to all sorts of skills.

 7   Imperial Settlers (9 all-time)

Hadn't realized it had been over 3 years since my last play of this one. Was fun to revisit it.

 7   Texas Showdown (22 all-time)

Always a good filler, and I actually won this time (well, tied for victory).

 7   The Grizzled: Armistice Edition (4 all-time)

We continued our domination of the campaign coming out with a full victory at Verdun although it was definitely sketchy at the beginning and we finally had to use a couple of our helping hands cards. I do think the recruit twist/addition to the game is a nice touch.

 7   The Quacks of Quedlinburg x2 (9 all-time)

Continuing to see a good bit of play. I figure we'll have played it out for a while once the BGG store has the nice bits for sale.

 7   Wingspan (15 all-time)

Scores have been slowing down lately. Winning score was in the 80s this time and everyone else in the 70s.

 6   Aeon's End: Legacy (6 all-time)

Just when we thought we had won the game....

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Nice twist here as there is another battle and villain hidden under the insert. I had no idea. We had beaten Maelstrom and were all wondering why the story line hadn't mentioned what had happened to a certain traitor and we then found out we had another game at least coming. Nicely done by the publisher - never saw it coming! I figured they were setting up for an expansion.


 5   Raccoon Tycoon NEW!

This is a fine game; it just doesn't do anything special for me or combine mechanisms in a new and interesting way for me. Nicely produced and a fine game but meh.

ACQUISITIONS:

Iron Horses BGG Auction for $4. Am curious.
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13. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:4]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Adam Deverell
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Board Game: Wingspan
Board Game: SpaceCorp
Board Game: Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
Board Game: Carpe Diem
Board Game: Werewords Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Board Game: Taboo
Board Game: Modern Art
Board Game: Las Vegas
Board Game: Camel Up
Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game


Just back from a four night stay in one my favourite winter getaways in Victoria, the Grampians. Lots of bush walking, eating and drinking and lots of games with ten of us staying in a big house.

 8   Wingspan
At last, won a game of Wingspan. Right from the start I felt like I had a good engine going. Cached a lot of food (12 points) and filled all my birds squares except two (49 points). Ended up well in front 92-74-68-64-64. First five player, but as we'd all played several times it actually went quite quickly.

 8   SpaceCorp
Managed the first two eras of three. They're the most manageable too. But we broke for dinner and there wasn't much desire to set it up again for era 3. One of the guys found it difficult to grasp all the rules, so perhaps best we did stop. The last era is a bit overwhelming. Lots of calculations.

I was ahead at the end of era 2, but wasn't set up particularly well for the last map for movement or building. Still, really enjoyed this one.

 5   Exit: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
Started it around 9.30pm, which probably wasn't a good thing. I'm hopeless at escape room games, and despite four of us trying to solve the puzzles it came down to the one guy doing most of the heavy lifting. We only got a three star rating after we finished. We used too many clues.

 6   Carpe Diem
Second game, and it was set up incorrectly in round two. The second stage tiles were accidentally introduced. Too easy to finish sets, but it made the fourth round a challenge. I won 84-75-70. Not completely convinced about the game. Terrible graphics, awful theme. But it doesn't requite too much thinking and I like the scoring mechanic where you choose one of nine ways to score.

 7   Werewords Deluxe Edition c x3

 8   Terraforming Mars
My mate Richard won the entire collection at a convention. First game with it playing the basic rules, any my first game in a year or two. Enjoyable and fairly easy to grasp. I tried to get my cities down and had a large number of VP cards, but 9-couldn't bridge the gap between the two leaders. It finished 69-69-61. He really enjoyed it and was pretty happy with my recommendation when his raffle ticket got called out.

 5   Taboo
Whenever we visit a holiday home we always try one of the battered games the hosts leave in a draw along with scratched Lord of the Rings DVDs and old tourist information. We played it for half an hour, which is about 15 minutes too long. The kids really liked it though, so that was good.

 8   Modern Art
First time I've played the new CMON edition. Superior in every way to the Craptastic (TM) Mayfair edition. Looks lovely. Four of us auctioned away. As usual, I was too conserative with the bidding, prefering the selling strategy. Almost paid off too. Seems to be more important to win bids in the fourth round when paintings are worth $$$. I stopped the game in the hope I'd won it, but just fell short $422-$408-$340-$290.

 9   Las Vegas
The kids played with two of us. They do love the dice rolling. It came down to the last dice roll. Konrad just needed to avoid rolling a 3 to win. He rolled a 3, giving me the game by $10,000. Looking foward to the new deluxe Alea version.

 9   Camel Up
Another really fun betting game. This was a five player. Lots of trash talking. Came down to the last dice too. I needed the orange dice to come out, but it was the yellow, giving a walk away victory to Tim 33-28-20-12. I'd like to see the new edition. Looks great.

 9   Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game
This was always a favourite of mine, even with my growing aversion to FGG games. Haven't played it in a long time. I played with the Dark Elf team from the expansion, Tim played with the Orcs. I think I've read the expansion teams have an advantage over the base teams, and so it proved big time here. I won 49-27. I think it is the expansion teams' downed abilities. Still, a fun card game and I'm glad I hunted down the second expansion, even if it remains unplayed.

From gallery of red_gamster

Above: The Grampians 9 hole golf course with Richard and the kids. The perils of playing on country golf courses. We had to keep teeing off from the ladies' tees as kangaroos congregated in front of the men's tees.
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14. Board Game: Fire in the Lake [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:422]
Board Game: Fire in the Lake
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe
Board Game: Antiquity
Board Game: Fire in the Lake


 10   The Great Zimbabwe x2 (47 all-time)
Finished another two online games. One was a two player game against Jon. Took Tsui-Goab and shaman and was able to easily control the board. The other was a four player game that I thought I couldn't lose. Took Atete to cross the line, but didn't count the resources/cattle correctly and Gu was able to build enough craftsmen for that extra VP to take the win. I'm a big fan of Gu with more players but it was a first choice so I had to sit and see how the board develops first.

 9   Antiquity (14 all-time)
Three player game where it wasn't even close. One of the players used Forced Labour with awesome efficiency. Haven't seen that move before online. It's something I'll need to pull out in the future.

 6   Fire in the Lake (4 all-time)
The last of the online games for the week. We've played before, but changes factions. The first game I won as the VC, this time I was the NVA. It felt like the ARVN were in total control all game and they eventually won on the second last propaganda round. I could never pull the trigger on my pivotal event given how my troops/guerrillas were clustered. AAA was unleashed on me, and my trail suffered heavily because of that decision. The ARVN has over 40 patronage by the end of the game.
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15. Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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On Friday, I went to a monthly rotating game night, this time at Laura and Juliean’s.

From gallery of Phrim
_9_ Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland - This was with me, Anni, Marc, Juliean, Micah, and Dan on the Northern Europe map; everyone had played Power Grid before, but I think I may have been the only one who had played this expansion before. I navigated myself to be the final one to buy an initial plant, and I got the 13-wind, which put me in the position of last person to buy cities. Despite Juliean being alone in a low-cost area, I thought the best spot was right below Marc, which would give me all of the Baltic states to myself. Unfortunately, this hemmed in Marc pretty well, and he decided to fight with me and not Micah on his other flank. I got the 26-oil plant very early in the game, but unfortunately this expansion replaces that plant with one that is strictly worse than in the original (3 oil powers 5 instead of 2). There was a lot of cheap power in this game, between the abundance of clean energy and cheap garbage/nukes, so I ended up spending more for resources than average. Also, having to jump over Marc a few times didn’t help my money situation either. In any case, I still managed to put myself in position to power 14 at the end of the game (that is the winning condition with 6), but Anni powered 15 so it was kind of moot.


We also had time for a couple of games at home this week.

From gallery of Phrim
_7_ Gloomhaven - In our quest to do as many scenarios in town as possible to fulfill Anni’s retirement, we did #23 Deep Ruins. This scenario involved both of us standing on pressure plates simultaneously in two different rooms. My Plagueherald is excellent at running around and dodging things without actually killing anything, so this was pretty ideal for me. The initial room featured two stationary ancient artilleries and a very slow stone golem, so we just ran by everything (ignoring the two chests). We dealt with the living spirit in the second room, and then split up to go to the final rooms. I had to wait for Anni to get there, as her character is not as fast, so I took a little damage against the bones and spirit in my final room. Eventually Anni got to where she needed to go, and we completed this one without much of a problem at all.


From gallery of Phrim
_8_ The 7th Continent - This was our 9th attempt at the Voracious Goddess. Last time, we had explored 95% of the temple where we’re pretty sure the other gem is, but didn’t find it. So today, we would finish with that temple. Along the way, we made some nice finds. We actually found the hunting spot on tutorial island, which we had always ignored before. We also observed that there were 3 green 177 cards, meaning that we could perform a good hunt in the central jungle hunting spot 3 times without it exhausting. We otherwise didn’t have great luck getting to the temple. The first thing we did was pull the chain that we ignored last time, which would prove to be a bad idea. The second thing we did was eat the mushrooms, which was more of a wash. We attempted to jump over the hole and failed, which let us discover what was on the fail result card at least. As expected, it was bad, and it cost us a whole bunch of cards just to get to where we started. When we got to the crystal room, we were jumped by a giant slug (courtesy of the chain), and it cost us a whole bunch of cards to deal with that. This time, though, we were able to pull a chain and reveal another room featuring a chest. It wasn’t easy to open the chest (should’ve saved the shovel I guess), but we got it open and found the gem! However, as soon as we tried to make out way back out, we had to flip the deck, and the first card we drew was a curse, ending our game. So, not a very successful run, but we got some good info!
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