GCL Mafia 490: Snacks
Grace P.
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California
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Welcome to GCL Mafia Division's weekly geeklist!

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

GCL Mafia Members:
• Please add an item to represent your gaming life for the week.
• List any games played along with your thoughts/opinions.
• Also, feel free to share gaming news, life updates, pictures of muffins, random thoughts, or anything else you deem appropriate.

GCL Mafia Geeklist Format:
• Each week, one or more questions will be posted. They can be gaming-related topics or non-gaming-related topics. Themed questions are optional. Gifs are always encouraged.
• Members can post additional items as they see fit.
• Please refrain from adding items if you are not part of the current roster.

Current Roster:
Epsilon_Balls (or whoever is subbing)
Happymrdave
captainraffi
touchstonethefool
cferejohn
jshufelt
ambierona
LouieSTFU
Necroblaster3000
Thesp
fdubois
charlest
annowme
mith
Dolus
ecargo
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1. Board Game: Snack Factory [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Snack Factory
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Microbadge: Muffin loverMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: GatePlay.comMicrobadge: ProfessorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Salty or sweet? You must choose one. No rogue factions with any of that "both" or "neither" nonsense. Choose a side and deride the other side for being wrong.

Be sure to support your answer and taunts with a gif.
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2. Board Game: Snacks and Bladders [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Snacks and Bladders
Grace P.
United States
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California
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What are some of your favorite snacks? Simple, complicated; homemade, store-bought; gas station, movie theater, restaurant. Include it all.

For extra fun, geekgold tip people's answers and we'll see who has the best taste.
 
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3. Board Game: Clank!: Snack Table [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Clank!: Snack Table
Grace P.
United States
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California
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Microbadge: Muffin loverMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: GatePlay.comMicrobadge: ProfessorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Let's pretend we're having a GCL meetup. What one food/drink item do you bring to impress us all?
 
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4. Board Game: The Minion Recipes [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Board Game: The Minion Recipes
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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What's next on your to-try cooking/baking list?
 
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5. Board Game: Sneak-a-Snack [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Sneak-a-Snack
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Obligatory board game question: What game is like a snack for you? Interpret this however you'd like.
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6. Board Game: Unlock!: Timeless Adventures [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:1296]
Board Game: Unlock!: Timeless Adventures
Ambie
United States
San Mateo
California
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Board Game: BattleCON: Devastation of Indines
Board Game: Unlock!: Timeless Adventures


 8   BattleCON: Devastation of Indines
 N/A   Unlock!: Timeless Adventures NEW!

Tried a quick game of BattleCON with players we hadn't played before (picked randomly) and without really reading the cards. It didn't go too well. I don't like not knowing what the players can do, so I need to know the cards (or have time to read the cards) to play that game. I made a few mistakes with misreading/misunderstanding what the cards would do so after I played them they didn't end up attacking like I expected them to. Toby ended up winning without me ever hitting him. Also, we looked it up later and apparently Toby's character was like rank S (overpowered) and mine was rank B-, so next time we pick random characters we should try picking from the same tier I guess.

Played The Noside Show from Unlock: Timeless Adventures. It flowed really well and it was fun! Some interesting things. Looking forward to playing the other two.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I liked the overlapping cards. And putting the cards in the program (that puzzle) was neat too.


On My Mind
- Roy still has only one tooth and it's been almost 2 weeks. I read they're supposed to come in pairs at around the same time. So... that's weird. No teeth for Kevin yet. Crawling update - Roy started crawling like an actual crawl, instead of just pulling himself all the time! He's a lot slower than Kevin but he'll improve now that he has the good technique. They both stomp with their hands when they crawl. It's pretty loud when they go into the (wood floor) hallway.

- In Animal Crossing, I started two more characters/accounts on my island so I can have extra houses for things. Toby's house is going to be a restaurant, and Kevin's house is going to be a gym I think. I started them on a day I had Redd with 3 real art pieces so I could be greedy and just buy them all.
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7. Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:35]
Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster
United States
Yay Area
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Board Game: Kingdom Death: Monster

Board Game: Can't Stop
Board Game: Codenames
Board Game: The Resistance: Avalon
Board Game: 6 nimmt!
Board Game: Secret Hitler


 10   Kingdom Death: Monster x5 (77 all-time)
 7   Can't Stop x2 (50 all-time)
 7   Codenames (12 all-time)
 7   The Resistance: Avalon (9 all-time)
 6   6 nimmt! (11 all-time)
 6   Secret Hitler (41 all-time)

6 nimmt! - ONLINE PLAY

Can't Stop - Taught this to a new person and they didn’t understand how to STOP and they were making mad gainz on the tracks and I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. I still won though.

Codenames - As Spymaster I didn’t do too well but the other Spymaster did poorly enough that their team guessed two of our clues so that definitely helped get us to victory. Also, SOLDIER was one of our words. My clue was THEATRE targeting some other clues, but they definitely got onto this track that I must be referring to the “Theatre of War”. Which I mean, yes it’s one of our clues and I’ll take what I can get, but damn I mostly crank out dumb meme clues. They were definitely overestimating the sophistication of my cluegiving, but I found it hilarious.

Secret Hitler - I was on the bad team and one of our teammates had a couple key questionable decisions in the final moments of the game that lost it for us.

The Resistance: Avalon - Overall fine, although one beginner made a lot of beginner type mistakes that made them look ultra suspicious and the more experienced bad person was able to leverage that to take the heat off themselves. I will mention that during our post game chat someone mentioned they DMed another player during the game about why they did what they did which for me definitely runs a bit into going against the rules of the game since all communication should be made “above table”.


Kingdom Death: Monster - Getting a bit into the groove of things.

YEAR 15 - Some really good progress in terms of gear grids. I have armor for everyone set up. 2 Rawhide, 1 Leather, 1 Screaming Armor. I decided to do a level 1 Phoenix and overall it went well but there were several moments where it could have gone bad, I was definitely under prepared for the fight in terms of strength weapons. I only had 1 person who could reliably get in some wounds.

YEAR 16 - Butcher LVL 2 Showdown - I was fairly worried going into this but I had two survivors with good movement bonuses so I was able to get in some good early wounds. Later apparently found out these were the very terrible A level cards so definitely some good fortune there.

YEAR 17 - I got hit with Plague and lost 3 of the 4 survivors that had to roll, a bit grim. As a result I lost some irreplaceable gear which is obviously annoying. I have most locations unlocked now so trying to figure out what items I want to commit my last years to crafting before the bigger late game showdowns start. Hunting LVL 2 Gorm for organs to make charms. Overall successful.

YEAR 18 - Plague continues. I got a cheeky idea to use my Savior.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(Blue saviors unlock a secret fighting art that uses blue affinities to score auto-crits but the payoff is the age rapidly and cease to exist when they retire.) They ended up ceasing to exist which is always unfortunate.
Resources gained were honestly a bit trash. I’m trying to push sword mastery but my sword people keep dying.

YEAR 19 - King’s Man Lvl 2 Showdown. Full party wipe. "No bueno" as they say. Took two fairly experienced fighters, one sorta rookie, and a newb. Newb died almost immediately and it went downhill quick after that. Realizing I should have just thrown 4 newbs since now I’m way behind on a proper hunting party.


Other -

Super Kirby Clash
- I am level 80 now. I maxed out my hammer and healer gear so I feel less like dead weight when I join online quests. I thought I was done with all the unlockable quests since the order is normal quests. Then the TOUGH, TOUGHER, and TOUGHEST quests. One of the TOUGHEST is called THE FINAL BATTLE which felt definitive. But that unlocked SUPER quests and with that THE TRUE FINAL BATTLE. Then when I beat that it unveiled SUPER PLUS quests. So yeah not sure how much is left.

Avatar Book Club - We read “The Promise”. Overall it was okay, but I had my minor quibbles.

COVID - 19 UPDATE: Seems like people are treating things very much like they’re back to normal. From what I’ve heard my office isn't planning to head back yet so that’s good. I’d honestly just prefer to not really return, we’ve definitely proven we can get by without it. I’ve mentioned social distancing hasn’t really affected my usual introverted self and it’s still true. It was definitely easier to stay at home when there was a general public sentiment of we should all be at home, but I think definitely now is when the real social distancing starts.
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8. Board Game: Get Bit! [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2335]
Board Game: Get Bit!
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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So Get Bit is currently Maddy's favorite game. He requests it almost every day. Jennifer won't play with us, so it's 2-player and I don't do 2-player rules, I just play first to lose all your limbs loses. For game balance, I can see why 2 (and I think 3?) player has players controlling 2 characters.

There's also been lots of Spot It and other games. He's really loving board games and I'm happy for it.

We went camping this weekend and Maddy made a new best friend with the neighbor. We had a fun time camping, oh, and car trouble.
The last night, after driving back from the lobby, my door handle broke (inside door handle). I need to buy a replacement. The last day, the car wouldn't start. Our car has always had battery and electrical problems. We've had the car 8 years and I think this is our 4th battery. The previous battery was getting bad ratings for a while, but I was stubborn and didn't want to drop money on a new one (or going back to the dealership where the current warranty was and risk dropping $100+ for them to say "Nothing wrong, get out of here"). But AAA is awesome. Except for not having service within the park, when I finally got ahold of AAA they were out in 25 minutes, and a little while longer had the battery replaced. It was testing so poorly the tool couldn't give a proper analysis of how bad the battery was. After they jumpstarted it was at 6 volts instead of 12. And the Cold Cranking Amps came in at something like 60 instead of 750 minimum. And the negative side had corroded.



Origins & Dragon Dice
Origins and Origins Online are both cancelled. Origins Online is cancelled because #BlackLivesMatter and they didn't make a statement, so at least half of their staff and pretty much all of their streamer volunteers quit.
Origins which got pushed back to October (I was shocked by this until they cancelled) got cancelled due to the expected second wave of COVID-19.
I had put in a lot of work getting Dragon Dice together for Tabletopia, but I am okay with the Origins cancellations. Cancelled for good reasons. The work I did is still useful. GenCon is the bigger convention we're gearing up for, and we also have a framework in place for online regular tournaments which we are moving towards now.


Other Stuff
Fleas suck. Fleas have always been in our neighborhood, but they've now broken out really bad in the house. No matter what we do, we always catch the occasional flea on any one of us, and our dog literally coated in fleas. When I give her a flea bath or dip, I count the dead fleas by the dozens. 1-2 days is all it takes to have all that work undone. Our latest added treatment is dropping a ton of money for Orkin to do treatment throughout the next year. They are coming out weekly this month for treatments in addition to everything else we've been doing. We'll see how it goes, but it's also a nuisance to be working from home and then be kicked out for half the day.
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9. Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
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"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
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Board Game: De Vulgari Eloquentia: Deluxe Edition
Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition
Board Game: Grifters: Nexus


De Vulgari Eloquentia: Deluxe Edition (2 all-time)
Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition x2 NEW!
Grifters: Nexus NEW!

Just games with my regular partner, I have both Grifters and Grifters: Nexus on my sell pile to make room for others, and realized I hadn't even played the latter yet. We remedied that with a quick 2p game, and I was reminded why I sought the game out in the first place. The new Jobs nexus was a lot more interesting and varied than the jobs piles from the original Grifters, and I appreciated the new "Launder" mechanic (where specialist cards and grab ISK out of the coffers and "host" them for various effects, though they are available for steal actions and are removed from the game when that specialist refreshes/is abducted/returned to hand). It kept the game moving at a snappy pace and the game remains a slick bit of filler. However, it was pretty lopsided with 2p and there are other hand-management fillers out there that I find more engaging.

The game of the evening was certainly Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition. I'd heard of this from AEG years back but didn't hear much word-of-mouth about it being worth checking out. A handful of expansions and this shiny new premium edition later, I decided to dive in and give it a go. It's really solid! Ever since Tyrants of the Underdark introduced me to the "promotion" mechanic I'd been interested to see if any other deckbuilder had something similar, and it looks like Valley of the Kings had beat Tyrants to it by a few years.

The main draw is the deck-deconstruction mechanic (which Dale of Merchants also did a year later), where cards aren't worth points until you remove them from your deck and put them in your "tomb," where some cards are just worth VPs straight up and others score based on how many unique ones in a set you've got squirreled away. Like the other games with this mechanic, it flips the script on the usual deck-building mechanic by making pretty much every card *useful*, meaning deciding when to strip cards out of your deck is a non-obvious decision nearly all the time. Add to that the nifty shifting market mechanic of the Pyramid and some fun deck and discard manipulation (one of the starter cards in the base set lets a player put the top card of their discard on to their draw, letting you recur just-bought cards a lot faster, as well as a ton of other cards in a similar vein) and you've got a super solid design that offers some really fun puzzly deck building.

That said, the game is pretty dry (even with the overarching theme of "you're a pharaoh collecting stuff to put in your tomb for the afterlife") and rivals Dominion for transparent mechanical manipulation over any sort of thematic strokes. I also found it difficult to do well, getting absolutely thwomped by my opponent in both of our games. Some of that was the learning curve and me just being an idiot (my second game saw me entombing not one, but two cards I'd already had copies of, thinking I was putting in something unique), but it felt difficult to look back on the game and really pinpoint any obvious strategic errors other than "try to buy more cards in the same set and try to prevent giving/allowing your opponent to do the same."

We played with the base set and Afterlife, which were different enough from each other but not markedly better or worse. There's a chance that this is one of those games where familiarity with the cards is going to help you do better, so I'm definitely going to be trying to bring this back to the table, but it also seems to be missing some je ne sais quoi to make it really stand out. Very, very solid, though.
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10. Board Game: Hot Spot [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:17542]
Board Game: Hot Spot
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Board Game: Nova Luna
Board Game: Maracaibo


 9   Nova Luna
 8   Maracaibo NEW!

I was able to try one of the New Hotness(TM) games this week: Maracaibo. It's good. Probably very good! It's kind of a hot mess to teach because there's a lot of different things you can do, and you really need to know about all of them because you'll end up doing all of them at least a little bit, but it's quite enjoyable once it's moving.

There are several things in it that feel like they can be directly compared to Great Western Trail. On the main map you move up to a set number of spaces and only activate the action at the one you stop at. There's a track you move along for bonuses and you skip over other people's figures on it (the exploration track), which works just like the train track in GWT. You have discs on your player mat that you remove to upgrade your action choices. The influence track vaguely resembles the player mats in GWT; in GWT you move up on three tracks, cowboy/engineer/builder, in Maracaibo it's moving up on your influence level for France/Spain/England.

The game doesn't feel like a copy or a 2.0 overall, but there are definitely some similarities.

There's a chance my rating will nudge up a little with repeat play. It's definitely a new-school euro with tons of interlocking bits and generally low interaction. You can get out ahead of other people and take what they wanted, but I'd say it's actually less mean than GWT even, as you don't have a really vital worker hiring market or cattle markets.

Our cats REALLY didn't want us to play, and kept jumping all over the table and getting in the way. We finally managed to get the game in though.
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11. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:182] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Board Game: YINSH
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Games

Charterstone
Played one more game of this and Alistair got his first win. The challenge of this game seems to be the timing. Several times I've tried to setup a repeatable combo, but then suddenly the end game came barreling down on me too fast to really execute it. Spoilers for postgame 5:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The thing where you enter your collective score on Stonemeir's website is kind of cool, but the internet being what it is, I strongly suspect the scores might be considerably inflated. Fortunately it doesn't make much of a different (and now having read both endings I got a chuckle out of the fact that "ripping someone's soul from their body" is positioned as a "favor" on the "happy king" card.


YINSH
Went to Game Kastle (now open, until they close for good at the end of the month) to pick up my back ordered King of Tokyo Dark. My wife came with me as Alistair was at our bubble-friends house. We walked through the store and I actually had to prevent *her* from buying too many things. One thing we did buy was YINSH, which I once owned and kind of regretting getting rid of since it had been a little hard to find. Played a game with Hilary yesterday and a game with Alistair this morning, and I'm wondering why I ever sold it because it is pretty great.

New Stuff
In addition to YINSH and King of Tokyo Dark, also picked up Azul: Summer Pavilion and a couple of Keyforge decks.

Video Games
Been playing Mario Odyssey. Alistair is currently in front of me, and being proud of your child's ability to play video games may be a little weird, but I still feel it.

In animal crossing, we had our first couple of visitors to our island! And our first one was Ambie! We had turnips at 500+, so now I am loaded and going on a bridge/incline making spree. Oh, it occurs to me I probably should have posted that here. Sorry :/

Also was invited for a meteor shower to a friends island, and its cool to see ways that people who have been playing longer have set things up - in this case specifically they had all of their resident houses in a fairly tight bunch, which does seem convenient, but also feels like you're a terrible landlord.

Speaking of over-anthropomorphizing our animal crossing characters, my wife has been in a running "feud" with Elise (one of our residents). I've told her she's arguing with a random number generator, but she won't hear it.

OMM
We started our bubbling experiment with another family (well, kind of 2 families because the parents are recently separated, but they are cordial and the father lives right next door). It was pretty great for us to have some actual alone time, and I'm sure its been great for Alistair and his friend (also an only child) to be able to interact with someone with whom they can negotiate a power relationship instead of everything coming down to "I'm your father, that's why." We also had the mom over for dinner last night. I tried to make Nashville hot chicken, but the sauce/glaze completely split and then burned when I tried to save it. Fortunately I'd also made BBQ sauce for the kids, so we just had BBQ sauced fried chicken thighs, cornbread and collard greens. Getting to have someone over and cook for them was so so nice.

I'm thinking about what things I can set up to make me actually look forward to the weekends, and I think one thing I want to do is try to run a Parsely game over video chat - I downloaded their free intro. Would anyone here be interested?
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12. Board Game: Sonic the Hedgehog Game [Average Rating:4.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Sonic the Hedgehog Game
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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Meow.
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From gallery of Happymrdave



I CALLLLEEEED IT cool
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13. Board Game: Core Space [Average Rating:9.03 Overall Rank:2883]
Board Game: Core Space
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Board Game: Core Space


 8.3   Core Space (17 all-time)

Still in a bit of a rut. All of my alone free time is spent PC gaming. I did finish up the second mission in the Galactic Corps expansion for Core Space and it was a fun one. I ended up working with the security force to protect a station and repel the Purge.

Unfortunately I was not quite cautious enough and this spider machine called Mother ended up cutting off my escape route. It has a bunch of little spiderlings which take hits for it and push out to attack, they also blow up once they're dead if you get near them.

Mother ended up dropping two of my dudes and I couldn't save them. She actually harvested their bodies, permanently killing them. One was my captain, Jace, who had maxed experience. Oof. Now my crew of four is a crew of two and needing to rebuild.

On My Mind
Lots of PC gaming as I said up top (Escape From Tarkov still). Still have half of a TTS game of Nemesis to finish up, hoping to get back to that at some point.

Other than that I'm just riding out the current events. I'm a little horrified at the politicizing of mask wearing, as well as the general populace acting as if COVID is no longer a threat. The numbers are getting pretty bad again and I saw a stat predicting we hit the 200,000 dead mark by end of August.

I'm caught up on Billions. We also started watching Dear John, which I was mildly interested in due to enjoying the podcast the show is based on. It's alright.

And that's about it. Life is pretty dull right now.
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14. Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Big Box [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Big Box
Joseph
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Kickstarter launched today.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strongholdgames/terrafo...

I had some interest in this... and then I kept scrolling through. Damn thing would end up costing me a minimum of $250 before I think I'd have any interest in actually trying it.

Dual layer player boards should have been the first "Let's have THAT be in the base pledge level."

Anyone here going to bite on this?
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15. Board Game: Empty Space Explorers [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Board Game: Empty Space Explorers
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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No games this week because games are stupid. (Though, I've been playing play back-to-back Potion Explosion games on BGA with a random German dude and Tash-Kalar with Joseph, of course. Also, Through the Ages ad infinitum.)

---

On My Mind:

Board Games
Clank! Legacy was on sale for $45 on Penny Arcade (who I didn't even know sold games), so I grabbed it. Even with shipping, it's cheaper than any other price I've seen. Some friends said they enjoyed it with two, and Matt likes Clank!, so I figured it'd be a good one to grab and we can slowly work through it.

In unexpected news, I'm getting a review copy of Unmatched: Cobble & Fog. Restoration Games sent it to iSlaytheDragon and no one wanted it, so it'll be coming my way. I wasn't planning on review any time soon, if ever again really, but I have been interested in trying out Unmatched so this worked out well.

And I got this to store my Blood Rage cards. It's a little taller than need be, but it keeps them organized and it was cheap enough. Mostly I'm just mentioning this as a heads up in case anyone is interested in it.

Animal Crossing
I have three rooms in my house and an upstairs now. I moved the coffee shop upstairs so it wouldn't be the world's loneliest cafe with only one table and chair.

From gallery of ecargo


I never knew I'd be so excited about seeing a milk and sugar set sold at Nook's Cranny. Now to get more than one mug in there.

One of the downstairs rooms is being modeled after Forged in Fire (still a WIP; see below), the other a night club only because I got turntables (also a WIP; too ugly to post), and the other a sad empty room that holds turnips.

From gallery of ecargo


Yes, that's a butter churn in the corner because it fit the aesthetic. I'm hoping there will be more large tools available, and an anvil eventually, but I am not holding my breath for an AC version of Big BLU.

I'm also in the midst of a massive island reconstruction. I'm moving houses, terraforming the land, and making paths like mad. It's a pain in the ass. The controls/aim/grid are the 10th circle of hell.
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