GCL Phoenix 499: The Disorganised Procrastinator
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You've found the 499th installment of the Phoenix Game Chat League. Welcome to all of you that stop by - whether friend, regular visitor, lurker, subscription-stalker, passer-by or perhaps even one of our members. Please thumb the list so we know you were here.

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)
Joe (bootleby)
JA (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.


No the title is not a description of me (or perhaps it is) but words Martin Wallace has used to describe himself. In my last geeklist REiner Knizia was the base of our discussion so this week I'd like to look closer at another of my favourite boardgame designers: Martin Wallace.

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1. Board Game: Louis XIV: The Favourite [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Board Game: Louis XIV: The Favourite
Which is your favourite game by Wallace and why? Which are just below that one game?
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2. Board Game: Theme Park [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Theme Park
Martin Wallace has made a lot of games. Many are early obscure games and many are very famous and are - or perhaps were? - popular. Although his name is not usually made into an adjective like Knizia's is (in last week's list even) but I still have adjectives I would connect to his design style. Which would you use? Sentences are also okay and your reasons are of course more than welcome too.
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3. Board Game: Similarius [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Similarius
I have a hard time thinking of an answer to this: 'If you like Martin Wallace games, you'd also like ...'s games' Whose names would you add to that sentence? Which aspects of their games make them feel similar?
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4. Board Game: Mess Machine [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:15750]
Board Game: Mess Machine
His games often seem not to have been playtested enough or were in need of a developer to help him weed out some of the issues, perhaps even kill a few darlings. Evil tongues might even say that it was John Bohrer who made his early games and made him famous.

Do you agree? Or are the rough edges part of what you enjoy in his games?
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5. Board Game: Dark Future [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:10159]
Board Game: Dark Future
Treefrog is closed down and he will only release through other so do you think that will help him design great games again that will be as popular as some of his older titles? Does he have any good games left in him in other words?
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6. RPG Item: Puzzle Dungeons Vol. 1: Enigma of the Rotating Rooms [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Puzzle Dungeons Vol. 1: Enigma of the Rotating Rooms
woodnoggin - Rich - 2nd August
Agner - Simon - 9th August
BankofDracula - Robert - 16th August
bootleby - Joe - 23 August
familygaming - JA - 30 August
mirror33 - Adley - 6th September
grasa_total - Alison - 13th September
indigopotter - Carol - 20th September
John Rogers - John - 27th September
karlfast - Karl - 4th October
Lowengrin - Michael - 11th October
rynelf - Dave - 18th October
Tigrillo - Morten - 25th October
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7. Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3635]
Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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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.
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Scorecard for the Week/Month/Year as of 25Jul2020:

24/47/284 plays of 17/24/115 total games, with 0/0/15 expansions employed.
Plays with 16/24/66 distinct opponents.

3/6/18 games acquired (plus 0/0/6 expansions.) - 小大學, American Bookshop Card Game and 電力会社対助役.
0/0/1 games sold/traded (plus 0/0/0 expansions.)
0/3/9 games ordered (plus 0/1/2 expansions.)
Orders for 8 games and 2 expansions still outstanding.

With family:
Board Game: Miniversity

image by JongKong

3x _7_ 小大學 Xiǎo dàxué 'Miniversity' New!

(Live) R and I tried three games in succession while our sons watched. Then the young people tried their own best-of-three. All six games were enjoyed; the game is cute and clever.

Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game

image by xitoliv

1x _7⅔_ American Bookshop Card Game (4 total plays)

(Live) Sons #1 and #2 joined me for this one. They were initially a bit dubious; but as we played a few more hands, their enthusiasm increased. Much like when I'd first played, that question of "what can I do with these cards?" doesn't quite have as obviuos an answer as a first-time player might want. Well-received in the end.

Board Game: 電力会社対助役 (Power Co. vs Mayor)

image by xitoliv

3x _?_ 電力会社対助役 Denryokukaisha tai joyaku 'Power Co. vs Mayor' New!

(Live) Son #1 and I tried it three times, and had the Mayor side win easily each time. Then we talked abuot the game for a while and convinced ourselves that a Mayor-bot can win every game regardless of the die rolls or the decisions made by the Power Co player. Which, of course, could easily be wrong: but it also discouraged us from playing (or thinking about it) any further.

And, entertainingly, we had more fun discussing the game than playing it.

Board Game: Goods Maker

image by nannann2002

1x _7⅓_ グッズメイカー Guzzumeikā 'Goods Maker' (2 total plays)

(Live) This was much faster with son #1 and I than the previous 3p play had been. We weren't sure how much of that was familiarity with the card set, and how much the subjectivity of the shorter wait time with only one action between one's moves instead of two. Regardless, it's pretty nice with two players. And it might still be excellent with 3, once we're a bit faster with it.



With the Lunch@work group:
Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game

image by xitoliv

1x _7⅔_ American Bookshop Card Game (5 total plays)

(TTS) The new implementation seems fast and clean. I'm pretty happy with it. And the game was well-received, too: we've all seen the game enough that we're making reasonably sensible choices.

Board Game: Sluff Off!

image by [user=Pavía]Pavía[/user]

1x _8_ Die Sieben Siegel (8 total plays)

(TTS) Works pretty nicely with 3, even if I also like it better with 4 or 5. This is the older game engine: so the cards aren't auto-gathered, and the scoring is manual. Seems crufty: I might need to reimplement it.

The game, in contrast to its realization, is very lovely. Much enjoyed.

Board Game: Outpost

image by evilone

1x _8_ Outpost (28 total plays)

(TTS) Tried this in the lunch slot, and indeed managed to play from end to end in less than an hour. Admittedly, neither of the other players dither particularly over-much; but it was still fun to play it with folk at (roughly) son #2-speed. (He and I can pull the game from the box, play it, and put it away all within an hour.) Was a bit of a last-minute call; otherwise I might have suggested that Eric drop by.

Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

image by W Eric Martin

1x _7⅓_ The Crew (9 total plays)

(TTS) A couple attempts at Mission 30. We manage one success in two attempts here (much like last week with Mission 29; but this one felt like we were unlucky with the failure. Last week it was our success that seemed particularly fortunate (and unlikely.))


With the Wednesday night gang:
Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

image by Verkisto

1x _8_ Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (22 total plays)

(TTS) We tried a couple hands, but ran into a bug (oops!) in the second. It was easy enough to repair; but a bit embarrassing. The game is cool, though.

Board Game: Vivaldi

image by maruXV

1x _8_ Vivaldi (6 total plays)

(TTS) A bit of player-summoning (and, it turned out, player-shedding. We lost two players after this, and gained one.) Weird and lovely by my standards. Acceptable to three of the others. And one player complained that nothing worked the way their (no doubt finely-tuned) Bridge aesthetics would imply. Yes; yes, that's true. It's a different tradition; but that doesn't immediately make it wrong! Hmph.

I enjoyed it, in any event.

Board Game: Russian Railroads

image by W Eric Martin

1x _7⅔_ Russian Railroads (23 total plays)

(BGA) This was entertaining. The others didn't bother going for the end-game bonus cards; and I went for multiple ones. So our scores were far closer in the end game than the score-tracker had implied up to the final count. It was entertaining. I expect that's a manoeuvre I'll not often see again.



With Sean's gang:
Board Game: Haggis

image by Luis Francisco

1x _8_ 6p Haggis & Neeps (2 total plays)

(playingcards.io) Really enjoyed this. Some of it may be the charming folk that Sean assembles. But while I think the game is likely quite excellent, too, I don't know that I really want to (be nominated for or) attempt the playtest with a bunch of obnoxious people. Even if I might qualify.

Still very thankful to Ben C. for his demonstrations of Haggis aesthetics a couple plays back. I've had much more success since being his partner!



With folk at virtual-BAP
Board Game: Scharfe Schoten

image by W Eric Martin

1x _7⅓_ Scharfe Schoten (12 total plays)

(TTS) A couple glitches that I'd not seen in hotseat testing. (Weirdly, it seems that some propagation events take different numbers of frames to realize depending on how many players have the game loaded, and how far apart they are in network latency. I think I might have fixed it, but - again - I can't duplicate the problem except when others are playing.)

Other than that, though, the game worked pretty nicely. Both from a rest-of-the-code point of view and from the game-with-three sense. It's cool and fun.

Board Game: Das letzte Paradies

image by travistdale

2x _7⅓_ Das letzte Paradies (9 total plays)

(TTS) Well-received in this context. Which was fun: I find the game charming and entertaining: but that's not been the case for everyone I've inflicted the game on. So it was nice to have the gang say "Let's try that again" after the first play.

Board Game: Zimbabweee Trick

image by W Eric Martin

1x _7⅓_ ジンバブエトリック Jinbabuetorikku 'Zimbabweee Trick' (4 total plays)

(TTS) Fast; relatively simple; volatile - and not completely obvious for the first-time player. By the third had, things were a bit better.

Board Game: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

image by Verkisto

1x _8_ Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (23 total plays)

(TTS) Yay! The Wednesday-night issue was repaired. And the game was sufficiently well received that we played a Complete Game to 666 points. Very fun.

Board Game: Northern Pacific

image by claudio212

1x _7⅓_ Northern Pacific (15 total plays)

(TTS: not my implementation, though) I was the big loser, here; I both misjudged my colleagues sense of collaboration, and managed to paint a target on my head by winning the first round. (I came dead last in the latter two rounds.) It was entertaining in a bunch of ways: but I definitely saw plays (and not just by me) that seemed dubious in hindsignt.

Board Game: Spring Rally

image by 2kevin76

1x _7⅓_ Spring Rally (2 total plays)

(TTS) Richard again finishes his second lap while I'm still on my first. It feels subjectively capricious and unforgiving: but the results are so consistent that I think it's far more likely a lack of comprehension on my part. Need to play more, I think.

Board Game: 7 Symbols, and 7 Nations

image by Tanayan

1x _8_ 七つの紋章、七つの部族 Nanatsu no monshō, nanatsu no buzoku "7 Symbols, 7 Nations" (10 total plays)

(TTS) My deck is a bit on the dubious side (I might still cave and redraw it; even though it amuses me, it seems that sense of amusement is not shared by many other people. Something more Standard might be a better plan.)

Other than that, though, the game works pretty nicely. I'm still dithering on the best UI for the swap-three-cards-with-partner thing; I've got two slightly-automated variants (in addition to the players just passing things manually.) And really don't know which is best.


Owned-and-unplayed: 2 (+2/-2) - 小大學 and 電力会社対助役 arrived and were played.
Owned-and-played-once: 96 (+2/-3) - 小大學 and 電力会社対助役 were played twice; グッズメイカー was played again.

Outlook for the week: Some lovely plays with the extended GCL clan today (which will be part of the report for #500.) I expect to shuffle the deckchairs a bit more on my owned-but-unplayed list this week; to play something (perhaps Heir to Europa) with the lunch crew; something else with the Wednesday Night gang, and perhaps a few more things with family this week too.
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8. Board Game: Ligny 1815: Last Eagles [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:4824] [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked]
Board Game: Ligny 1815: Last Eagles
Last week was the second and final week that Lauge’s nursery was closed and this week with him was all mine. He’s so bloody full of action all the time and is not keen on sleeping at all so I was knackered just after a few days but we also had a great week playing, reading books, jumping in puddles and visiting the zoo. His mental development has leaped forwards over the past two weeks and he now understands a lot more and is becoming better at communicating. Also, he loves books. Looking at the amount of games I still managed to play is a marvel.

Board Game: Greed

 9   Greed x2 (75 all-time)
This is still going strong and will most likely be my next game to get 100 plays. Not much else to say about it anymore. Great game. One of the plays was full of cash and the other was a struggle to get something going. I much prefer the latter kind of plays where you have to be crafty and set up a string of combos to get somewhere.

Board Game: Samurai

 8   Samurai (12 all-time)
Since Lærke found out she actually likes this now, we played it again and she won again. I had set myself up for a couple of great rounds towards the end to win two colours. She then placed one tile and took the last two hats to finish the game. How I had I not noticed that!

Board Game: Mandala

 8   Mandala x2 NEW!
Martin showed me one of his new finds. I had had it on my wishlist at Essen last year but decided to leave it after watching a video. That was really really silly because it is very good. A comparison to Hats is almost inevitable as I bought that at Essen last year and they share the way you determine the relative worth of different suits yourselves. Mandala is only for two players so Hats is off course much better at higher counts. At two, it’s hard to say which I prefer. Mandala is less opaque so your early moves make more sense whereas they feel a bit pointless in Hats. Hats on the other hand has much more tension in the latter stages of the game than Mandala has. I guess that means a collection could contain both. A couple of days later I taught the game to Lærke who also enjoyed it but with the caveat that it would be a game she could never beat me in so she would tire of it fairly quickly probably.

Board Game: The King of Frontier

 7   The King of Frontier (23 all-time)
Another morning nap game for us. Carcarico is definitely a top 3 game for Lærke so it’s one she will suggest often. This time I managed to get a good set of tiles early to make a build engine that made it possible for me to finish the game far ahead of her.

Board Game: Can't Stop

 7   Can't Stop (9 all-time)
Saturday evening, Lærke made her great pizzas to Lauge, mine and our two neighbours’ great pleasure. As mentioned, Lauge is not keen on sleeping. Especially when there are interesting guests so putting him to bed in the evening usually takes an hour or more these days. Lærke started and I went upstairs with our guests and played Can’t Stop with them. Or rather, just as I had set myself up for a win, I swapped with Lærke and spent 30 minutes with Lauge before he finally had fallen asleep. Lærke took over and did win in my absence. She then explained the rules for:

Board Game: Bohnanza

 7   Bohnanza (9 all-time)
Which we had not played with them before but since they love trading and negotiation games we thought it’d be a great fit and it was. It had been too long since our last play for us to get all the rules right so we inadvertently made it a bit easier for us but who cares; we had fun.

Board Game: Ligny 1815: Last Eagles

 7   Ligny 1815: Last Eagles NEW!
And then finally the big one of the week. Unfortunately, one of the players realised the afternoon before that he did not want to spend the time it took to get there on public transport so it was not a 2v2 epic game og Ligny and Quatre Bras but just two of us playing Ligny. After all of Michael’s posts with great descriptions of the battle, I am not sure how much more I can add but it really is not fun being Prussian. They should have prepared better. All their forces are spread thin out over a fairly big area as the big French machine arrives on the horizon. Playing them means you have to try and get your forces together to try and hold the blue machine back. You’re pressed on all fronts so keeping troops behind to protect yourself against a breakthrough means the French have even bigger holes they can go through unless you quickly give up on some of your positions that award you (and the French) victory points for possessing them. And still then, you fear the incredibly strong French guard rolling towards you:

From gallery of Tigrillo


It was of course a learning game so we only managed to finish 2 out of 7 turns and it was tough going for me. Not because of the rules but because it was my first game and even with a bit of advice from Michael, I found it hard to work out a good strategy. Apparently, even with a good strategy it is still hard for the Prussians to win this so you need to be able to enjoy the puzzle it is to get your defences into a good position and try and protect yourself from the Guard. How you can strike back at the French and perhaps even take some points away from them, is still beyond me but I now know a bit better how to set up my forces next time. Hopefully, my opponent will roll many fewer 2s, 3s and 4s and I will roll lower than 7 a bit more. I think my rating will be a 7 or an 8 so I'll start on the safe side with a boring 7 rating.



Games that left my collection this month: Wingspan with the European expansion, 7 Signum, La Cour de Miracles and Transformer Boxes: Taiwan's Most Beautiful Scenery.

Games that entered my collection this month: American Bookshop Card Game, 呪術トリック (Cursed Tricks) and Fabled Fruit with the Lime expansion. I also got a great box of an unpunched Splotter edition of Bus and some Winsomes: Colorado Midland incl. the Mayor expansion, Rising Sun Railroads, Wabash Cannonball, Preussische Ostbahn incl. the Oldenburg expansion, Dutch InterCity, The Netherlands expansion for SNCF I also got Union vs. Central but that was only to try and sell it on – which I did with a very nice profit to help finance the whole buy.

Unplayed games in my collection: 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight, Turning Point: Stalingrad, 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, Was Sticht?Happy Hour, King Thief Minister, Flotilla, Medici, Westphalia, Stalingrad '42, Nothing Gained But Glory, Sweden Fights On, Angola, 1849: The Game of Sicilian Railways, Imperial Struggle, Star Wars: Outer Rim, Colorado Midland, Rising Sun Railroads, Dutch InterCity and Fabled Fruit.
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9. Board Game: Championship Formula Racing [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:3661]
Board Game: Championship Formula Racing
The Mirror
United States
New York
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Board Game: Dutch InterCity
8.5  Dutch InterCity
It’s back! Played it again at 3p, which I *think* is probably my favorite count for this. 4 is great too. 5 is probably more chaos than I want. Still the nastiest auction game that I know, mixed with the delicious impossible maths of shareholding incentives. Wicked.

Board Game: Homeworlds
8  Homeworlds
This looks to be moving up in the near future. I’ve literally already reached out to a semiprecious stone-utilizing game accessories company that may or may not still exist to see if I can get a Homeworlds set built out of appropriately colored stone. I’d like to play more against repeat competition. I’d like to play more against experts. The considerations of this game include all of these things I love about my favorite multiplayer board games, like a shared closed economy, multi-use pieces, as well as some of that insane sort of multifaceted area control tension where having a strong presence in a space can be weaponized against you. Aside from the fact that “board gamers” don’t seem to appreciate 2p combinatorial games for some reason, I’d be surprised if more folks wouldn’t find this to be immensely compelling, this one stuns me with the decision space and the myriad possibilities at any given moment, without feeling stodgy.

Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game
7  American Bookshop Card Game NEW!
This was a late night addendum to the Phoenix trick takers fest which I’d slid into at the final hour (see below), and I’m really glad that I got to experience it. I’m 100% certain that the beautifully produced physical copy that I imported from Japan is not worth the ridiculous price that I ended up paying to get it here, but at least I’m also pretty sure that it’s an interesting game! Thanks to Carol for mostly teaching and to Hanibal for teaching it again and for the continuous stream of consciousness narrative about the Rock destroying work out equipment, all narrated to the tune of Laura Branigan’s "Gloria". Carol must have had the chat on mute because she managed to ignore it all and annihilate us entirely.


Board Game: Championship Formula Racing
7  Championship Formula Racing x2 NEW!
The greatest racing game of all time? The Greatest Racing game of All Time!

Board Game: Foppen
6.5  Foppen NEW!
Wow, a trick taker that works with 8p (at the same time) and it feels engaging and as though you have agency? Honestly, f**k For Sale.

Board Game: Rallyman: GT
5  Rallyman: GT
This game is dead to me. If I never have to play it again, I wouldn’t be mad. It’s dropped to the basement of the Weekday Glitter Consortium’s Race Game Extravaganza. To paraphrase our very own Mr. Bootleby: I just don’t find the dice thing to be the sort of thing that I’m interested in getting good at.


______________________________________________


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
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10. Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game
Alison Mandible
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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Microbadge: Modern abstract games fanMicrobadge: My pronouns are she/herMicrobadge: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends fanMicrobadge: FeminismMicrobadge: I speak Swedish
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Board Game: Dominion
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends
Board Game: Potion Explosion
Board Game: Sobek
Board Game: Chakra
Board Game: Zimbabweee Trick
Board Game: Nakanuki Paradise
Board Game: Maskmen
Board Game: Fool!
Board Game: Clank! In! Space!: A Deck-Building Adventure
Board Game: Bites
Board Game: American Bookshop Card Game


 9   KeyForge: Call of the Archons (108 all-time)
 10   Dominion x3 (239 all-time)
 N/A   Unpublished Prototype (55 all-time)
 10   Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends (577 all-time)
 9   Potion Explosion (13 all-time)
The usual: Dominion with the far-off friend i've been reconnecting with in the Pandemic; Tash-Kalar online; dueling with S. We hadn't played Keyforge in a while, and unsealed two new decks from the first set. Mine was a Brobnar/Dis control deck with too many ways to take creatures off the board. S didn't mind, despite her loathing of that deck style, because Keyforge was a nice blast from the past.

 7   Sobek (6 all-time)
 7   Chakra (3 all-time)
Played these both at a virtual game night with local friends. Sobek is not as good as i remembered! Which is to say, J1's boyfriend was carping a little about the take-that cards and i couldn't really say he was wrong. i do like how the card offer works, though.


 7   Zimbabweee Trick NEW!
 9   American Bookshop Card Game NEW! 5   Nakanuki Paradise NEW!
 9   Maskmen (11 all-time)
 9   Fool! (2 all-time)
Phoenix games! This was a delight, especially the two new (to me) Taiki Shinzawa games. Honestly, i would probably have given Zimbabweee Trick a 9 of its own, had i not liked American Bookshop even better. i know that's not how ratings work. We'll see.

 7   Bites (3 all-time)
 4   Clank! In! Space!: A Deck-Building Adventure NEW!
After a lot of talking about risk factors and waiting 14 days since the last time any of us had non-masked or indoor interactions with anyone else, we temporarily combined our household with one other for the weekend. The kids got to have a sleepover and the adults got to do some board gaming. i tried to hard to be open-minded, suggesting Clank in Space off their shelf. Sadly, it just reminded me why i don't like Clank. (Way too many vanilla cards, and way WAY too long.) We might have had a better time had i just accepted that i like being the game concierge and tried to teach them Zimbabweee Trick with a Pairs deck. Oh well!
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11. Board Game: Valley of the Kings [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:770] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Board Game: Valley of the Kings
Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I have done very little gaming during the pandemic. My wife is too busy with work, my son too busy with minecraft, and I'm too busy with a new dog, yardwork, cooking, and keeping the house running. Plus I'm not that enthused about solitaire gaming right now.

But I have managed a few plays.


 8   San Juan (Second Edition) x2 (6 all-time) - Played a game with my wife and a friend who lives a few blocks away (we are in a double-bubble with their family for the pandemic).

San Juan is a nice little game. A lot of tableau, mult-use card, engine builders I would rather play. But this is much easier to introduce to new and novice gamers. So it's a keeper.


 8   Sprawlopolis x3 (41 all-time) - Played a handful of solo rounds. I'm rusty and mostly lost.


 8   Valley of the Kings (9 all-time) - The friend who lives nearby wanted to learn Imperial Settlers, but arrived far too late for me to teach that. So I taught VotK instead. I have not played in quite a few years. It's all that I remember. The only thing I didn't care for is that new players tend to slow the game down as they read all the cards and consider their options. Should get this to the table more often, and then play the other games in the series.
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12. Board Game: 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:1641]
Board Game: 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight
Mr. Anderson
United States
Ivory Tower
Minnesota
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July 20 - July 26

 10   Hansa Teutonica (29 all-time)
 5   90 Grad x2 (19 all-time)
 5   Pan Am x2 (5 all-time)
 5   Cribbage x2 (315 all-time)
 10   1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight NEW!
 7   Crokinole (133 all-time)

And then online games which I don't log:
 10  Caylus
 5  Rallyman GT
 7  Championship Formula Racing
ConHex, Down Under, Zooloretto, Vikings, Richelieu, Targi

The huge highlight was 1860 which I played 2p. We tripped through it, not able to shake the 1889 patterns we're used to and didn't realize how powerful withholding+share price jumping would be nor bankruptcy+refloating. We called it after realizing companies that go bankrupt keep their inventory plus whatever they'll get when they refloat. I was given priority deal when this happened so was going to buy it up and rust my opponents trains. I also had a lot of cash.

I taught a friend the game of Cribbage which, honestly, the ruleset is just about as complicated as 1860. She loved it and had been wanting to learn it for ages so that was a thrill in its own right. My exploration of Pan Am means its rating is going down, somewhat, to tolerate. It will likely get jettisoned from the collection like 90 Grad, Cryptid, Xalapa & Pelican Cove did this week. Gotta keep that collection lean.

In teaching news, I'm getting some hours to plan curriculum soon (although we in MN don't yet know what form our fall semester is to take, yet) and I can't wait to figure out how to shoehorn 18xx into my Finance class. I'm sure there's some national standards for high school finance curriculum that involve train games, right?

Edit: Seeing if this works
18 Games of note with <2 plays: Die Dolmengötter, German Railways, The Estates, The Soo Line, 1860, Meltwater, Karesansui, Fresh Fish, Die Macher, Maria, Imperial, Iberian Gauge, Southern Pacific, 1830, Pax Pamir 2e, American Rails, Bus, Samarkand
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13. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44
John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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7  Memoir '44 x4 (81 all-time)

Having completed our foray into WW1 and the battles of Verdun, D and I shifted to WW2. He suggested Pacific Theater, Guadalcanal specifically. He took the Marines and I the Japanese. We split the battles 2-2, with margins of usually 2-3 medals. His doctrine allowed him to always command one more unit than a command card afforded. Mine prevented Japanese retreats and allowed me to move two and close combat with an additional die if fully healthy; the warriors of WW2 if you will (I say this in remembering the warriors of Ancients). We have two more battles before we wrap Guadalcanal up.

General M44 thoughts:
• Pros: Relatively fast set-up. Functionality is good with board and bits quickly recognizable. The army doctrines facilitated different approaches. Room for added nuance (D added the flight plan to these battles).
• Cons: No battle-back. You have very little to no time to set-up and execute plans; you are basically within firing range on turn one. As fast as it plays out, you can feel doomed by a poor opening hand.
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14. Board Game: Babylonia [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:2125]
Board Game: Babylonia
Robert
Canada
Ottawa
ON
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Games played between July 20th and July 26th


Board Game: Sweets Stack
 N/A   Sweets Stack (2 all-time) This is not Sweets Stack but Halloween Trick (not in the database), a trick taker designed by the same designer using cards from the world of Sweets Stack. I wish the game had lived up to its intriguing pedigree. There's meant to be tension created by what's given to the King (a type of dummy who just takes) but there isn't enough there there to be successful. Our game was vastly improved with my new Effin' Birds deck (NSFW):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
From gallery of BankofDracula


Board Game: Siberia: The Card Game
 8.0   Siberia: The Card Game (8 all-time) A supercharged engine builder that led to a much more somber discussion of the massive fuel reservoir collapse in Norilsk and the finger pointing surrounding it.

Board Game: Pergamon
 8.0   Pergamon (7 all-time) Another from Stefan Dorra that we will always play. Love the timing and valuation the museum exhibition half of the game.

Board Game: Babylonia
 9.0   Babylonia x2 (5 all-time) Martin, Laszlo, and I have been playing with Vassal. One game wraps up, another one is set up. We're nearing the end of our third right now, and I would gladly play a fourth and fifth time. Martin finished way, way out ahead in the first game, but in our second one the scores were very close together; Laszlo won a tiebreaker with Martin, and I was only 2 points behind.

Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
 9.0   Tigris & Euphrates (6 all-time) I had to know how the other Knizia Fertile Crescent game would feel after so much of Babylonia. It's still opaque! But it did seem like we played with a stronger sense of purpose in the game. Our game ended suddenly with the last treasure being scooped up following a conflict. It resulted in another tiebreaker, but this time I won.

Board Game: Wyatt Earp
 9.0   Wyatt Earp (10 all-time) Another game that was fun to revisit after playing two other Mystery Rummy games. The economic incentives carrying over from one round to the next is very simple but so effective.

Board Game: Parade
 6.0   Parade (7 all-time) The luck of the draw (or lack of it), a very limited number of placement choices (like, one) and a small hand of cards really limit the decisions I can make, which are often of the lesser of two evils type. I'd much rather play American Bookshop, Throne and the Grail, or even Coloretto. N loves Alice in Wonderland though, and she's asked me not to get rid of the game.

Board Game: Circus Train (Second Edition)
 8.0   Circus Train (Second edition) (3 all-time) I thought I had it in the bag after very tense and closely contested July and August, but my clown circus was no match for D's sheer number of performances and the money she raked in (root of all evil, indeed).

Board Game: Zimbabweee Trick
 8.0   Zimbabweee Trick (5 all-time)
Board Game: Texas Showdown
 8.0   Texas Showdown (4 all-time)
Board Game: Nakanuki Paradise
 N/A   Nakanuki Paradise NEW!
Board Game: Maskmen
 9.0   Maskmen (4 all-time)
Board Game: Fool!
 7.0   Fool! (6 all-time)
Trick Taker Social Sunday with Phoenixes and Phriends!
That was a great time, and I hope we can do it again. Two things I learned: always sit to the right of Hanibal, and never sit to the left of Alison.

Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition
 8.0   Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition (6 all-time) N likes this so much that she's kept strategy notes. She came across them on Sunday and suggested a game. Judging by her score, maybe I should keep notes as well.

Edit: some grammar, some clarification. Sorry. Carry on.
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15. Board Game: Throne and the Grail [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:4985]
Board Game: Throne and the Grail
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Many card games on Sunday, on playingcards.io

Today I decided to try my hand at making one, and Throne and the Grail seemed doable.

From gallery of indigopotter


I made a "1st Deal" button that takes the 3 cards out of the deck, and "Later Deals" only deals 5 cards to each player. There are spots for each type of card for each player, so that you can easily see how many eights, sevens, sixes, fives, and grails you have (and how many +/-, but you have to sum them manually).

There's a spinner for 1st player, a 1st player marker, a round counter, and a card for each player that flips "Can Take/Has Taken".

It worked pretty well, and it was nice to talk to Adley.
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16. Video Game: Transport Fever 2 [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Transport Fever 2
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Fever

I am the disorganized procrastinator. I keep looking at my disorganized shelves of games and thinking I'd like to play something, but always find an excuse why not to. The usual excuse is I don't have the energy (whether lack of sleep or the heat*) or the patience to re-teach something to S. So I've played a lot of Transport Fever 2.


The Week Ahead

I have four work days left. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to the weekend. cool

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: Napoleon Retreats, Mottainai and 1824: Austrian-Hungarian Railway (Second Edition).


*Most of you will laugh that the heat I'm complaining about is in the mid-to-high 20°C with humidity around 50%. kiss
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17. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:244]
Board Game: Arboretum
Simon Agner Holm
Denmark
Aarhus C
Danmark
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Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Board Game: Chess
Board Game: Capital Lux
Board Game: Arboretum
Board Game: Empyreal: Spells & Steam


Gaming with friends
 8   Capital Lux
uff this game is delicious. Lots of tension, lots of mindgames and lots of opportunity for clever play. I´m really looking forward to the 2nd edition.

 9   Arboretum x2
After our Arboretum discussion last week I had to get it to the table again. Luckily Røskva was happy to play it with me.
Personally I think the 2p game is the best by a fair margin. Playing it again solidified its position as my favourite traditional card game (traditional here meaning a game consisting exclusively of cards with only number and/or colours)

Soloplay
 7   Empyreal: Spells & Steam
I REALLY want to try this out at 4 or 5 players, since I imaging that that will introduce alot more tough decisions as you fight to carve out your own space on the board. Solo and 2-player is slightly to open for my taste.

Gaming with the kids
 6   Chess
An other game of chess with the 4-year-old. She is definitely getting better. I think soon we´ll be able to go over the last couple of rules that i´ve put of teaching her (like castling and promoting).

 N/A   Unpublished Prototype x4
She also had a couple of sleepover playdates this week, which of course presented a wonderful opportunity for me to test out my "Goodnight Game" on some less biased kids. To be honest I really think I´m unto something with this game. Everyone i´ve played it with (both kids and adults) have been extremely enthusiastic and super engaged in the story.

edit (as I forgot this one)
Phoenix gaming
 7   American Bookshop Card Game NEW!
On Sunday I joined the Phoenix trick taking extravaganza. I only had about an hour so I didn´t have time for more than a single game, but I still had a great time.
American Bookshop Card Game was the one I got to play and it was very delightful. Very simple and seemingly traditional but in play it is super weird, in the good way. The oddest thing about it is how the typical trick-taking often takes a back-seat to the "limit-game" which makes it immensely difficult to evaluate your starting hand. Going in I had a feeling this was one of those games were a score of 0 was likely to be a very decent score, so my initial strategy was just to not take any tricks... and it ended up working out for me
Great little game! and a fantastic group of people
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18. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:371]
Board Game: Deus
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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Last week's plays:

-8.5- The 7th Continent (+Comfort Creatures; The Icy Maze; Path of Repentance; What Goes Up, Must Come Down)
-8- Visby
-7- Deus (+Promo Temples)
-7- Heckmeck

Kate was pleased to discover there was another major 7th Continent Curse we hadn't played yet. When I told her about it, she was keen to start that evening, so we embarked on The Veins of the Earth. It's from the big expansion and involves travel by barge along an underground river. That's all we know right now. We didn't get very far, spending most of the session provisioning ourselves for the journey ahead. It's good to have some new terrain to explore.

Deus was a blitz of a game. Things came together remarkably well for me and I was able to rush the barbarian villages, getting all the points from them and ending the game before Kate's engine got going. She won all the endgame majorities, since I'd been running my economy on the slimmest of margins, but that wasn't enough. Heckmeck went the other way, as she continually stole any worms I managed to collect. Silly game (great game)! Visby was charming as ever; delicious double-think.

I finally had moderate success in painting a few War of the Ring figures. I'd given up on them for months after my initial efforts were wasted. The cheap plastic seems to react with most paints, leaving the figures sticky to the touch and repelling any ink applied. Ages ago, I scrubbed them clean with the intention of trying again using Games Workshop's new Contrast paints, which sounded like they were designed precisely for lazy people like me. I finally got round to it last week. The spray-on undercoat adhered nicely and two of the three types of plastic (red and grey) readily accepted another coat of paint over the top. It's the Free People, made of blue plastic, that seem to resist paint the most. They required a bit more effort but it seemed to work eventually. So now I have 6 figures completed, only about 150 to go...
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