GCL Phoenix 488: The King of Iterations (10.05.2020)
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
6.00
 tip
 Hide
You've found the 488th installment of the Phoenix Game Chat League. Welcome to any of you that stop by - whether friend, regular visitor, lurker, subscription-stalker, passer-by or perhaps one of our members. Please thumb the list so we know you stopped by.

Members are encouraged to add an item to the list and we love comments from visitors too, but please do so politely and leave the adding of items to members.

Currently active members:

Simon (Agner) - you may want to start thinking about an idea.
Robert (BankofDracula)
Jeremy (familygaming)
Alison (grasa_total)
Carol (indigopotter)
John (John Rogers)
Karl (karlfast)
Michael (Lowengrin)
Dave (rynelf)
Morten (Tigrillo)
Rich (woodnoggin) - you're up next.


Former or currently inactive Phoenix members who we’d always be happy to welcome back:

archivists, BennyD, Bruzza, chally, darker, Dormammu, Eeeville, enzo622, hawk-x-, Hawkeye77, JohnRayJr, judoka, leroy43, mirror33, Morganza, Mr_Nuts, Muse23PT, ravenskana, Smintie, Taibi, TheRocketSurgeon, tjshields, topherr, Yokiboy.


This week I would like to direct our focus towards the most prolific boardgame designer out there. Some say the best there is too. Perhaps moreso 15 years ago than now but this is a man nobody can deny the greatness of I would think:

From gallery of Tigrillo
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game Designer: Reiner Knizia
Board Game Designer: Reiner Knizia
There are not many designers out there whose name has been made into an adjective to describe the type of game he or she makes. Reiner is one of the two I can think of (the other is Stefan Feld). Would a game labeled Knizia-esque make you more or less interested in it? In other words: do you like his style - or his design approach even? Might you even be a fan?

Please let us know what you love, like and dislike about his games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:171]
Board Game: Ra
Ra is quite possibly my favourite game of his. Which is/are yours?

The man has made an incredible number of games so please feel free to come up with categories of his games if you would like to include more games.

What is it about this/those games that you like so much?
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:316]
Board Game: Lost Cities
Last week I wrote that I think Lost Cities is my favourite card game by Knizia. This has made me think more about what type of his games I like the best. Which is it for you? Do you know what it is about his style that makes him particularly good at this type of game?

Are there types of games you think Knizia is bad at?
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Repeat or You're Obsolete [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Repeat or You're Obsolete
One of the main things people say against Knizia is that he keeps making the same games over and over again instead of coming up with something new. Do you find this critique to be true? Or perhaps more importantly: do you find it to be relevant?

Bonus question: is there one of his games you would like to see a new and improved iteration of?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Turn or Burn [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Board Game: Turn or Burn
woodnoggin - Rich - 17 May
Agner - Simon - 24 May
BankofDracula - Robert - 31 May
familygaming - Jeremy - 7 June
mirror33 - Adley - 14 June
grasa_total - Alison - 21 June
indigopotter - Carol - 28 June
John Rogers - John - 5 July
karlfast - Karl - 12 July
Lowengrin - Michael - 19 July
rynelf - Dave - 26 July
Tigrillo - Morten - 2 August
6 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Bus [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:881]
Board Game: Bus
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
We always have time for the things we put first.
Avatar
Microbadge: LGBTQ allyMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: I'm femaleMicrobadge: This is not a drill!Microbadge: Indigo Girls fan
From gallery of indigopotter


Bus: After watching a game the other day, Sam, Adley, and I stumbled around, and in the last round Adley sweet-talked a passenger that really wanted to take my bus instead.


From gallery of indigopotter


Container: It's not hard to play, but it's hard to play. Michael would produce, I would buy and put in my warehouses, he would come and pick stuff up on his ship.

I won some early auctions and had a good color balance on my island spot. Black was my $10 color, so I made sure to balance it with the cheaper tan. I got all of the colors, so I wanted to add some more brown, my 5/10 color, but it was hard to come by. There was a good amount of white (blue) around, but it was my $2 color and wasn't worth it to me to chase it.

Adley and I tied for second with 71, and Michael schooled us all with a 114 (116?) score.

Then Sam, Adley, and I played some Krass Kariert on TTS. I was about to empty my hand, but got a draw-3 card, so Adley shuffled and dealt three cards to me, and they were all eights. I was able to use them on the next trick and empty my hand anyway, with extra consternation to Adley.

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Oceans [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:723]
Board Game: Oceans
It was not hard picking which game to highlight this week as I have only played one - and that was only a few hours ago. We have both been busy at work while starting Lauge up in daycare. Friday was a bank holiday so I spent Wednesday evening with three friends in a cottage eating and drinking well. Saturday was Lauge's birthday where we had a bit of family come by - exactly 10 people as we are allowed to in total. That week flew right by.

Board Game: Oceans

 7   Oceans NEW!
My thoughts on Oceans have not crystallised yet so I cannot say anything firmly about it yet. That of course also means the rating could go anywhere. I definitely need more plays to be able to say anything meaningful about it. Comparing it to Evolution: Climate is only natural since they have a lot in common. After the one play of this it looks like there is more (unnecessary gamified) chrome and that it is more friendly to learn. It is always possible to make sure you can eat so it's up to you to put it all together so your species will survive. Evolutions is more opaque I think so seeing how you can use your tools to your advantage takes more practice. Or (which is more likely) I just have not seen the true depth of the Oceans. The two games are probably too similar for me to own both so let's see what happens.



Games that left my collection this month: Nothing yet.

Games that entered my collection this month: Oceans, Nothing Gained But Glory and Sweden Fights On.

Unplayed games in my collection: 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight, Turning Point: Stalingrad, Ligny 1815: Last Eagles, Dubbe, PQ-17: Arctic Naval Operations 1941-1943, Lords of the Sierra Madre (Second Edition), Triumph & Tragedy, The Princes of Florence, Paths of Glory, Joffre, Greed Incorporated, Mice and Mystics, Happy Hour, King Thief Minister, Flotilla, Wavelength, Westphalia, Stalingrad '42, Nothing Gained But Glory and Sweden Fights On.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:259]
Board Game: Acquire
Robert
Canada
Ottawa
ON
flag msg tools
Why did Dracula become a bank? To deal with suckers every day!
Avatar
Microbadge: That's no moon!Microbadge: This is not a drill!Microbadge: This is not the microbadge you're looking forMicrobadge: René Magritte fan - Ceci n'est pas une pipeMicrobadge: IT'S A TARP!
Games played between May 6th and May 10th


Board Game: Port Royal
 7.0   Port Royal x2 (13 all-time)
We played Port Royal twice this week, the first time because we needed something familiar for our exhausted minds, and the second time because N sought revenge for her loss in the first game. (She did not find it.) We add the extra cards from Port Royal: Ein Auftrag geht noch... (but not the contracts) to balance the power of the Governor. Here's a game in which I actually find the engine building pleasant, but I'm always disappointed at the end when one of us simply races to buy whatever card to push our scores over the top.

Board Game: Guerrilla Checkers
 8.0   Guerrilla Checkers (5 all-time)
I'm back to my losing ways as the guerrillas. At one point about halfway through I had captured four COIN pieces, and I was confident I would win. But much like our previous games I eventually ran out of pieces chasing her last two pieces around the board. I think I need a more aggressive strategy in the beginning to counteract this.

Board Game: Bohnanza
 9.0   Bohnanza (8 all-time)
Back to the bean fields in Bohnanza. Sv tried O's "no 3rd field, save money" strategy in an effort to prove that adults don't know what they're doing, which of course provided a little Schadenfreude for N and me when we counted our coins at the end.

Board Game: Acquire
 10.   Acquire (6 all-time)
I'm still baffled as to why I wasn't even aware of Acquire until I was an adult.

Board Game: N.Y. Chase
 5.0   N.Y. Chase (7 all-time)
I was grumpy after being stuck inside on a cold and sometimes snowy Saturday and desperate for a game. The kids must have known they could get me to play one of their favourites, so they suggested N.Y. Chase. Y was Ms. X while the rest of us Muppets flailed around Manhattan for 24 turns.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: 1870: Railroading across the Trans Mississippi from 1870 [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1542] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Board Game: 1870: Railroading across the Trans Mississippi from 1870
The Mirror
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Tea drinkerMicrobadge: I eat my vegetables!Microbadge: I enjoy the silenceMicrobadge: 18xx fanMicrobadge: (59th Rule of Acquisition) "Free advice is seldom cheap" - Quark
Board Game: Fresh Fish
 9   Fresh Fish
Turns out I’ve been playing this wrong the WHOLE TIME! Honestly, I’m not sure that it’s much worse, or even experientially much different. Here are the issues:

1. I imagined that every road must source from a single depot to each of the stores *without forking* (all other placement rules I’d adhered to).

2. I imagined that you could place reservation cubes *anywhere on the board*, when in fact after the first cube placement, every placement must be orthogonally placed next to a preexisting cube or tile.

Ultimately, I’m not sure that the experience is much different in practice. I’m probably just less likely to have gotten any better at it over my several dozen plays over the years. This game, I taught, and it was my second time playing 5p which was super interesting and exciting, which is crazy that it doesn’t feel too chaotic and it’s brilliant and blah blah blah. Everyone should play all of the time. Just keeps getting better. Look forward to playing it correctly.

Board Game: Dutch InterCity
 8.5   Dutch InterCity
I’ve waxed poetic about this before, but. After FF we lost a player and took to a new TTS table to play DI again. This game was tight! 1st and second place were off by a single dollar and not because the portfolios were all that different. Constantly interesting evaluations till the end of the game each and every time.

Board Game: 1870: Railroading across the Trans Mississippi from 1870
 8   1870: Railroading across the Trans Mississippi from 1870 NEW!
First play of 1870 and it was unfortunately on rr18xx (which is fine but for it’s loading time and relative lack of useful information relative to B18 with a spreadsheet). I’d probably not have agreed to play this but for the fact that it shares so much DNA with 1832 which I know quite well at this point in terms of rules grit. First of all 1870 is a long game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I suppose it probably requires that there’s something there. (Oh right, the fact that you can’t fast forward/math out the end of rr18xx games is another issue I have with the system). Anyway, turns out that to a degree there are some interesting things going on in the game all the way down to the 12Ts. The newbies probably dragged the game out trying to impact the end of the game when it was likely too late by buying more 12Ts and possibly adding that 8th OR set. As I mentioned elsewhere however, there was a *lot* of compelling table talk, that was cool for illuminating the intentions of the various players. Questions that forced me to think more seriously about my intentions for performing certain actions. In some funny way it was a watershed 18xx round for me because I was forced to rationalize a lot of behavior based on specific board states, and I was able to in the very least have actual reasons for most of them. I’ve learned so much about the mechanics of 18xx from playing Dixon games, and for that I’m extremely grateful.

Board Game: Bus
 8   Bus
Yeah, this is absolutely a game that I enjoy and wish to keep playing. I in fact, I'm having this problem lately with the fact that I'm almost entirely only playing interesting games that are worthy of repeat play. What am I supposed to do???

Board Game: Container
 8   Container x2
By the second game I started to see it and by the 3rd I realized that I had a long long way to go. It’s possible that Container is essentially a negotiation game. The interesting question for me is how to make it a negotiation game that doesn’t require talking about it

Board Game: Dealt!
 7.33   Krass Kariert NEW!
Ooh! This one’s a charmer, also I didn’t lose! But honestly, what's with chasing this trick high?

Board Game: Seasons
 7   Seasons
This game continues to charm me despite not *interesting* me if that makes any sense. I’m glad that I haven’t burned myself out on it like I did with Race. It’s the perfect game for when I want to play Race. Twisted web I’ve woven over here.

Also it always reminds me of this subtly stunning Curtis Mayfield song:



______________________________________________


Unplayed games of note: 1849, 18CZ, Angola, Balance of Powers, Clippers, Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62, Conspiracy, Die Dolmengötter, Mü & Lots More, Napoleon’s Triumph, Paths of Glory, Rolling Stock, Shadows of Malice, and Villa Paletti
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:3263]
Board Game: The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: 1825 fanMicrobadge: 1853 fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: GrognardMicrobadge: Napoleonic Wars enthusiast
Devoted to Davout
Board Game: The Last Success: Quadrigame of the War Against Austria, April - July 1809

 7   The Last Success, 1809 x0.3 (4 all-time)

The second day of this battle is taking longer than the first. Not only are there more turns, but there are more units (as reinforcements for the French continue to stream on). The momentum at the end of day one was clearly with the Austrians, but it has completely swung in favour of the French. Indeed, I'm afraid it may turn into a rout.

Way of the Rail
Board Game: 1889: History of Shikoku Railways

 7   1889: History of Shikoku Railways x2 (3 all-time)

I know somebody around here really enjoys this game, but I think there are more interesting Series: 18xx titles out there. It's like someone took 1830: Railways & Robber Barons and removed the quirky bits (specifically double-o and double-dit tiles and the more colourful private companies).

Also, with the same group, I think it'd be fairly easy to fail into the same patterns of play. During our second game, JR celebrated the fact that we hadn't (in spite of the fact, his early game was very similar to mine - including the two corporations he'd become president of)....

Anyway, it's a fine game and a good one for 18xx.games to begin with. Hopefully, they'll add a few new titles in the not too distant future.

Containers & Containment
Board Game: Container

 7   Container New!

If I knew why I'd won this game, I may have rated my initial play higher. Sure, I had more containers on the island, but how that came to be is all a bit foggy. I know I had more liquidity than both Adley and Sam (who both had two loans for a considerable number of turns), and that I never overbid the value of the containers that I purchased (although once I overbid my two competitors by way too much).

I may have rated it higher if it didn't have blind bidding. It's my least favourite form of auction. Finally, there's a few thematic things that bother me - like you can't ship from your own warehouse. Sorry, Amazon! And each additional factory and warehouse you buy costs more than the last - you'd think the costs would come down (adjusting for inflation) than rise. I understand why these rules are the way they are, but pick a bit of the theme away for me.

Schifffahrting on the Ruhr
Board Game: The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade

 8   The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade x2 New!

This game takes place over twelve rounds and each round a player takes one action and then may or may buy something. Except money is tight so buying things is not always possible (unless one takes a loan).

The one action is always the same. Move your barge to one of the coal loading zones on the Ruhr river. After everyone selects their location, they execute their move (floating) down river to a location to sell their coal. And then they can build (buy) warehouses in the various locations.

Doesn't that sound as exciting as coal in a Christmas stocking?

The interest comes out of the power of turn order and how turn order is achieved. The player who's barge is furthest upstream at any given phase is the first to act. So they get first pick of coal storage area (to get the best coal), the first pick to sell (and possibly a bonus for selling at that location), and the first to build warehouses in key locations. They also get to place coal if it gets "pushed out" of the coal track. So why wouldn't a player always start furthest upstream? Because it costs money to have your barge towed upstream. And towing may mean you can't trigger some other bonus during that phase such as improving the coal being picked up, or getting an income, or hiring the pilot to take the barge into a special location like Ruhrort at the mouth of the Ruhr.

The other interest in the game comes from the "Progress Markers" which are really special actions/powers one collects by delivering/selling coal at different types of locations. Visit two cities, unlock the improved coal power. Visit one city, one factory and Rurhort, and unlock the whole upper stretch of the river.

So the game is one where long term strategy (unlocking the powers efficiently) is pitted against short term gain (winning turn order and shipping the best coal to the riches locations). It's a dilemma that I really enjoy.


The Week Ahead

I thought I'd finish the Battle of Eckmühl last week, but instead I should finish it sometime this week. Two more games in the series should arrive this week from Calgary (where Canada Post has had a small outbreak of Covid-19)....

All my asynchronous games have wrapped up so if anyone's interested in playing a Euro of medium/high weight, let me know. Also, looking for my (now) weekly game on TTS.

Unplayed games of note in shrink: Cthulhu: Death May Die, 18Lilliput, Maria, Francis Drake, German Railways, Tikal and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648. Unplayed games not in shrink: Mottainai and 1824: Austrian-Hungarian Railway (Second Edition).
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:290]
Board Game: Dune
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
flag msg tools
Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
badge
That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
Avatar
Microbadge: Choir geekMicrobadge: Black Lives MatterMicrobadge: Antiquity fanMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: I aspire to Curmudgeon Level Eric
Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 9May2020:

10/14/171 plays of 9/13/88 total games, with 0/0/11 expansions employed.
Plays with 14/16/50 distinct opponents.

0/0/10 games acquired (plus 0/0/2 expansions.)
0/0/1 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
0/0/6 games ordered (plus 0/0/1 expansions.)
Orders for 8 games and 4 expansions still outstanding.

With family (all live this week):
Board Game: Bluff in Zoo

image by HilkMAN

2x _7_ 動物園吹牛 Dòngwùyuán chuīniú 'Bluff in Zoo' (3 total plays)

(Daughter #1 & Son #2) Herself was amused, but thought the simplicity of the numbers in Liar's Dice was easier to remember and manipulate than the Mouse -> Rabbit -> Fox -> Lion -> Elephant escalation here. At least for a first couple plays. She thought it might be clearer with time.

Board Game: Super Big Boggle

image by DICE_COLLECTOR

1x _7⅔_ Super Big Boggle (70 +91++ total plays)

(R & Daughter #1 & Son #2) Entirely the expected result in aggregate: R wins easily. I did manage to get the high score for a single grid - but on the strength of seeing a couple Really Long words that the others didn't. I'm never a volume player.

Board Game: Throne and the Grail

image by Tigrillo

1x _8_ 聖杯サクセション Seihai sakuseshon 'Throne and the Grail' (10 total plays)

(Son #2) Entertaining. He ends up finishing a single point ahead of me. It's quite cute, and I should try to get it into play more often.


With the Lunch@work group:
Board Game: Haggis

image by Luis Francisco

1x _7⅔_ Haggis (2 total plays)

(BGA) Really quite delightful. And more so in that while I'd thought I'd had the beginnings of a clue after the last play, this game demonstrated that I really don't. I'm still the veriest beginner, and need quite a lot of practice (and probably reflection, too.) Still really enjoyed the proceedings, even though I did come dead last.

Board Game: 6 nimmt!

image by HirschDaus

2x _6_ 6 nimmt! (22 total plays)

(BGA) It's a weird little thing. I've historically (and occasionally) played by adding a random player (deal 10 cards; just play off the top of the pile) to the mix; and the random player (in a medium-sized group) doesn't tend to trail the field. Here too, there were times where a bit of lookahead suggested a safe play (or, indeed, suggested a reasonably safe play that would leave my hand with greater flexibility in future), and other times where a random selection between one of three or four cards was as good as anything else. And in those second moments, it became a bit like rock-paper-scissors: playing with a pattern that one's opponents can perceive is worse than playing strictly randomly.


With the Wednesday night gang:
Board Game: Foppen

image by Verkisto

1x _7⅔_ Foppen (21 total plays)

(TTS) Player summoning (and fairly successful: we accreted two more players while playing through the first hand.) It did remind me that my TabletopSimulator LUA coding was really weak.

Board Game: Dune

image by Lou-Dawg

1x _10_ Dune (12+ total plays)

(TTS) Only a partial game (one of the participants lost their internet connection); so we checkpointed the game to (potentially) retry later. Definitely enjoyable, and the TTS-kit is pretty clear and usable, too. I'll be really happy if we give it more work.

Board Game: 1889: History of Shikoku Railways

image by DarkoBeta

1x _8_ 1889 (6 total plays)

(18xx.games) Mostly a trial balloon: one of our number is (or was?) an 18xx-phobe. So a few remaining folk at the end of the evening thought to give them an introduction. We played through the private auction three times (for colour, and edification); and then played through to the first 4-Trains. I think they were less worried about it in the end than after the Indonesia game a few weeks ago. But we'll see if they have any interest in a reprise in future weeks.


With cool Phoenix folk:
Board Game: Bus

image by BoardGameGeek

1x _9_ Bus (15 total plays)

(TTS) This was quite amazing. My previous record for lowest-winning-score in a Bus game was 7; and this game provided a winner with a score of 4. I was quite impressed with Alison and Michael and S's willingness to indulge in (completely lucid) moments of nastiness: they all played to their advantage, which was lovely to see. My lunch crew (though nice folk; and pretty bright) occasionally play to someone else's advantage. And that's a bit demoralizing.

Board Game: The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade

image by clayross

1x _7⅓_ The Ruhr New!

(BGA) This was our first play (you've already heard about the 2nd from Michael; but in my accounting I'll talk about that one on next week's list.) I think none of us were completely clear about the rules until after the game was over. For example: I'd a delusion that constrained my moves that was disproved by Michael's final move (after I'd already made my final move!) And I'd got other things wrong (the Merchant semantics; a complete understanding of the scoring system; a lack of realization that one couldn't store money from turn to turn; oh, the list goes on...)

Still, it was interesting. There seemed to be a rather strong timing component: one wanted to end up in a particular place in the turn order for the next turn depending on the queue of available resources. And predicting that queue was almost tractable.

In the end, I'm not sure whether this is a Terra Mystica-like game where one makes a plan at the very beginning and does one's best to achieve (something like) it with minimal variations; or something where more dynamic re-planning is desirable. I think I'd like it better if it were the second; but I'm not sure.


Owned-and-unplayed: 1 (+0/-0)
Owned-and-played-once: 95 (+0/-1) - 動物園吹牛 was played again.

Outlook for the week: Hopefully some more plays with family; with the lunch group; with the Wednesday Night gang; and a Phoenix Play on Saturday would be lovely.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:543]
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
Alison Mandible
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Modern abstract games fanMicrobadge: My pronouns are she/herMicrobadge: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends fanMicrobadge: FeminismMicrobadge: I speak Swedish
Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
Board Game: For Science!
Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Board Game: Chakra
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Epic PVP: Fantasy
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends


 7   Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (5 all-time)
This time we picked characters carefully, tired of losing, and so we won too easily. Also, we hit the big April surprise, which... is a thing that happened.

 9   For Science! x2 (35 all-time)
The kids have been asking to play games with us. I don't want to jinx it by assuming it'll last. But they both took to this pretty readily.

 9   Ascension: Deckbuilding Game x2 (79 all-time)
 7   Chakra NEW!
An odd abstract pick-up-and-deliver that's mostly about the lack of space in which to store the stuff you pick up. Surprisingly satisfying! (But on Yucata two of the colors of energy were nearly indistinguishable, which made it a whole lot more effort to play.)

 N/A   Unpublished Prototype (38 all-time)
 5   Epic PVP: Fantasy x2 NEW!
 10   Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends x5 (543 all-time)
i was briefly the #1 current player on BGA. The next game I played, my opponent opened with a question: "Why play when you're already rank 1?". I was miffed for a second but am now grateful they asked-- it prompted me to say "i love this game, why else would i play so much?". But honestly, i'm pretty competitive. if not for that conversation, i might have gotten sulky when i lost my ranking. But having had to lay down a marker, i just felt proud. The only way to keep getting better is to lose a lot of games. No time like the present!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Peak Oil [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3793] [Average Rating:6.68 Unranked]
Board Game: Peak Oil
John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
flag msg tools
badge
Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you.
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."
So no games this week. However, I have been watching the Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan and the 98 Chicago Bulls, which has been accompanied by that old debate regarding who is the best/greatest and how do we determine that. And with that I have a question...

What is your criteria in determining a best or great game? What do you value? Are your top games well-worn favorites or newer passions? Is peak enamoredness or longevity more important? Would you rather the game burn out bright or fade away?

Examples are welcome.

Edit: More backstory.

This question largely emerged out of the recent dissuasions surrounding who is the NBA GOAT and do people place more value on longevity of peak or the heights reached therein. So the classic example here is something like Micheal Jordan had the highest peak value over a sustained period of time vs someone like Kareem or LeBron who may not have had as high of peaks (which are still incredibly high mind you), but who’s peaks lasted longer (especially the latter).

Looking at my shelf (of a dozen or so games) I realized that most of them have 30+ plays. Some reached their peaks sooner than others. Some have begun to fade. Some are still going strong. Some took years to reach 30+ plays (like C&C Ancients is 100+ plays over 12yrs). Some took a year (Crokinole crossed 100+ plays in 12mon).

A game that came to mind that I once (and probably still do) considered great is Reef Encounter. My desire to play Reef Encounter has all but evaporated. The candle that once burned bright has finally faded. Now that happened around play 30 (of 40) over nearly 15yrs, which is an incredibly impressive run, but it has faded out. If asked to make a top 10 list it wouldn’t make the cut. But if asked to make an all-time-hall-of-fame style list it has just as great a shot as any other game I want to say.

Or maybe it doesn’t? Maybe one of these “younger” games is burning brighter for me? Maybe they won’t make it 40plys or a decade plus? What if they make it to say 20-25 plays over 5yrs but in that time they were my favorite game? Could this be an MJ game to Reef Encounter’s LeBron? Is this due to competition? Did Reef Encounter face less-than-stellar alternatives back in the day and over its time than say the younger game which came out against a plethora of great designs?
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Vast: The Mysterious Manor [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:2276] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Vast: The Mysterious Manor
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
flag msg tools
badge
"it´s easier to see the difference when you´re sitting on the fence"
Avatar
Microbadge: The Great Zimbabwe fanMicrobadge: Paco Ŝako fanMicrobadge: The Mushroom Eaters fanMicrobadge: I aspire to Curmudgeon Level EricMicrobadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."
Board Game: Vast: The Mysterious Manor
Board Game: Alchemists
Board Game: Sylvion
Board Game: Dungeon Petz
Board Game: Santorini
Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe
Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization


 7   Vast: The Mysterious Manor
Yes I play another 4 handed solo game of this because Im anxious to actual try it for real. I don´t like having unplayed games on my shelf. But it was actually surprisingly fun! I have been (and still am a bit) sceptical about this vast-sequel. It is definitely a little less convoluted than the original but I feel that most of the new roles are also slightly less interesting and the game states less crazy.
I backed it mostly due to the fact that there where promising cross compatibility with the original vast but judging from the rules that is quite limited and complicated. But this solo playthrough was actually very fun and has me excited for trying it out multiplayer one day.

 8   Santorini x5
Røskva and I finally got this back to the table after a bit of a break. It is just SO good and addicting. It really has the "just one more game" feeling. This was actually the first time we got to play with any of the expansion gods and they did not disappoint. For sure they are less elegant and more "out there" compared to the base roster but they where super interesting nontheless.

 7   Sylvion x2
This is without a doubt my favorite game in this series as it is just filled with deliciously tough decisions.
The first of the included expansions introduces something quite cool that I havn´t seen in many other coop. During the opening-draft you can potentially draft some cards which introduces alternate win-conditions. All of them are extremely difficult to pull of and generally require to build and play your deck in a manor that is in conflict with the main win-condition. So they give this nice tension of "do I pursue this goal or do I pivot" and also they present another reason to come back to the game. In my 25 plays I´ve only pulled of 2 out of 4 of them so far.

Online plays
 10   Alchemists
 8   Dungeon Petz
 10   The Great Zimbabwe
 8   Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

edit:
Also I wanted to highlight the fact that "No Time For Games" is making finally making videos again after a one year hiatus. I find all his content to be truly unique, sensationally humours and consistently short (no 20 minute reviews here). But it seems that nobody really knows about this channel, hence me highlighting it here.
Here are a few of my favorites:
A guide to strategy guides:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLWvvfcOQSs
About game balance:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4zSiBuQJn0
and his fantastic INIS review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHBFU11w6Do&t=
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Hanna Honeybee [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:12394]
Board Game: Hanna Honeybee
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
badge
Planning...
Avatar
Microbadge: GameChat League - Phoenix Division: "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes..."Microbadge: A Study in Emerald fanMicrobadge: Built to Spill fanMicrobadge: Age of Steam fanMicrobadge: The 7th Continent
Last week’s plays:

-8- The 7th Continent (+What Goes Up, Must Come Down; Path of Repentance) (x2) (+Facing the Elements)
-7- Maiden’s Quest (x5) (+Unicorn Saviour Promo)
-?- Hanna Honeybee New!

More flying around The 7th Continent in a balloon. This time we ventured into parts of the island previously inaccessible by foot. We also found what might be a way to complete the Curse, but the winds were too strong for us to pass that way yet. More exploring to do first.

B and I have played with the pieces of Hanna Honeybee before now but this is the first time she has played the full game properly, despite it only taking 5 minutes. It’s hard to rate children’s games such as this. She enjoyed it for the short time we had it out but she doesn’t often ask for it. She’d rather play with the pieces from a grown-up’s game. Currently her favourite is Just One because it has different coloured pens and wipe-clean boards, although she has also been loving the various bits of cardboard which came with some Race for the Galaxy expansions we rarely use. She likes collecting different coloured planets to meet the “one of each colour” goal from The Gathering Storm. laugh

Most of the Maiden’s Quest games this week were with the same deck: Maraiana vs Death. The strong monsters and weak items meant it took some practice to develop a winning strategy. There was a lot more running away rather than encountering enemies and some items were better downgraded than upgraded. I had some frustrating turns of bad luck too but eventually got a win.

I also played two games of computer-assisted Wavelength, in co-operative mode.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}