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Gaming With Cristelli

This will serve as a repository for various gaming related things. In general, games that are italicized are not yet owned but are
on my wishlist.

1. Game of the Month Games

The purpose of this is to select three games a month and play them several times to develop a level of familiarity with them.
Too many games get played once and pushed to the side for too long in between plays...and then when the urge to play them strikes
again, everyone has to relearn it. The monthly selections will create a better base knowledge of the game with only a mild refresher
needed if the time passed has been too great.

January 2014

Number of Plays
Final Thoughts
The Castles of Burgundy

We had played this twice before going to the Con, and liked it. Once we started playing it again, we
remembered why. This Feld game uses dice to make a nice little tile placement/city building game pop. And with a number of different player boards,
each game will feel different. Plays great with 2, I worry about downtime with more than that.

Laura thinks that the variability of the game was good - different maps, different tiles, etc. And she certainly liked calling them "schillings"
rather than "silverlings". Her Rating: 8.5/10

Dan thinks this game is great. It plays quickly but offers a wealth of decisions. The gameplay will vary from play to play with the different
boards and different tiles. His Rating: 8.5/10


Laura and I are finding this to be a wonderful two-player game. The play time is about 30-45 minutes
including setup and tear down. To get a light euro done in that time is excellent.

Laura thinks the game is light and fun. It plays well with two and she thinks the rules are simple enough that you could not play it for a while
and still be able to pick it up again easily. Her Rating: 7/10

Dan thinks Finca will always be in our collection. The quick playtime is great, and there is still a very good game here. The rondel sets up differently
each time, so there is some variability. His Rating: 7/10

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

When I first heard about this game, I wasn't too sure what the big deal was. It sounded like a typical
worker placement game with a modified rondel. Well, a few of them. Then I saw a little more about it and watched some videos...and wow. I saw what
people had gone nuts about. So, I picked it up. We have both had a blast with this one. There are so many different ways to get points, and the
buildings and monuments change things from one game to the next. I do want to get more people in on this one as I don't think it would greatly
increase the playtime.

Laura thinks that the mechanics are quite neat, especially the gears. She's gotten very comfortable with the spots on the gears and how to use her
workers to accomplish what she wants. She liked that the two player game adds dummy workers to simulate the four player game. When we played with
four, the game still held up and playtime didn't increase greatly. Her Rating: 8/10

Dan thinks that this game is great. There's a huge array of choices to make every turn and you have to be fluid with your planning. The two player
game is a little less cutthroat, but with four players this can turn into a nasty little game. Your plan can quickly get derailed by a double turn
of the gears and you need to be agile so you don't get left behind. His Rating: 9/10

February 2014

Number of Plays
Final Thoughts
Glass Road

Laura liked this game. She enjoyed the speed with which we could play it and how you have to plan for your own turn as well as the other players'
turns with the cards. She much preferred the game when we played it to five rounds instead of playing four. The changes between the two player game
and the three player game were minor enough that things stayed fresh with the different player counts. Final thought: shark. Cabin. Rapunzel.
Dinosaur bones! Her Rating: 7.5/10

Dan really enjoyed this game. It was nice to see the thought of a Rosenberg distilled down to a 45 minute play time. The myriad of buildings make
replayability very high, and the five round game is the way to go. The interaction between players with the cards is a key element and the game deals
with the two-player game in a much different way. Very enjoyable! His Rating: 8.5/10

Mr. Jack

Laura thought it was a nice two player game. She would like to play with the expansion to see the new characters. Not a game she would want to play
all the time, but a nice break from the norm. Her Rating: 6/10

Dan hadn't played this game in years. It was enjoyable and the hidden aspect of the game makes it play slightly differently every time. More plays
together will make this more like a chess match. His Rating: 6.5/10


Laura liked this game a lot. We've played with all player counts and it held up all the way through. She really wants to play the drafting version
more as it adds a layer to the game. The way that the cards worked together was great and setting up combos was a lot of fun. Her Rating: 8.5/10

Dan really enjoyed this game. It was a very fresh take on a card drafting game that makes you plan ahead and try to pay attention to your opponents'
cards as much as your own. The drafting changes the whole game and those dice are amazing. He's looking forward to more plays of this - especially
at different player counts! His Rating: 8.5

Small World

Laura thought that this game was very fun. Many different possibilities with the race/power combos. She liked the iPad implementation of the game
quite a bit. It makes getting to know things a lot easier and, of course, it's easier to clean up. She would like to play it with more people as the
two player game can be a little dry. She enjoyed the round counter making the game last a set number of turns. Her Rating: 8/10

Dan has always loved this game, but it wasn't quite as awesome as he remembered it. Still a very fun game with almost infinite replayability, but
it is a bit fiddly. The expansions add new races, which is good, and the extra powers help keep things fresh. Repeated playing will help the rating
out a bit as the race and powers won't need constant reminders. He would love to get the expansions out more. His Rating: 8.5/10

March 2014

Number of Plays
Final Thoughts

Laura thinks that this is a great game with lots of replayability. We started with the pre-set games which went a long way towards helping her to learn how cards interact. Her Rating: 9

Dan thinks that this game is amazing. The almost infinite gameplay offered by the different expansions (28 quadrillion 902 trillion 474 billion 70 million 617 thousand 70 different combos which might as well be infinite) and the different paths to victory make this one of his favorite games of all time. His Rating: 10

April 2014

Laura and Dan have decided the April will be a "recap month" where games from the prior three months (or ANY games they know) are fair game to be played. This will help keep things fresh for some prior games!

May 2014

Number of Plays
Final Thoughts
Caverna: The Cave Farmers

Laura liked this one. She will always go for the Cuddle Room. She would like to play Agricola more to see exactly how many similarities there were. The game was not all that hard to pick up, and offers a good deal of replayability with all of the rooms. She would like to develop a new strategy for the next play. Her Rating: 7.5/10

Dan can see how this is the spiritual successor to Agricola. He felt that there were more options in this because you don't seem to have to scramble for food as much. The varied harvest rounds also make the game play differently every time and really make the two-player game different with the ninth round missing. His Rating: 9/10

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Laura enjoyed this game - and wants to play it more so we can fit the expansions in to a game. We played both the basic game and the advanced rules, and she liked the advanced rules more. While not ranked above Pandemic, this is one of her favorite cooperative games. Her Rating: 8/10

Dan was glad to get this game to the table. The chaotic nature of this game makes each one very different and the various roles can change the game drastically. The expansions should add a lot to this one and he would like to play it with more than just two...although it works well as a two-player game. His Rating: 8/10

2. From Bases to Expansions

Listed below are games for which I already own expansions. These games need to hit a rotation with enough people that the expansion can be played.

Base Game
Expansions to be Played
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor
Along with the expansion, the cards in Agricola add a ton of replayability.
Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor
Alhambra: The City Gates
Alhambra: The Thief's Turn
Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber
Alhambra: Power of the Sultan
These all come in the same box and a few of them seem quite interesting.
Carcassonne: Expansion 7 – The Catapult
Carcassonne: Expansion 8 – Bridges, Castles and Bazaars
Carcassonne: Cult, Siege and Creativity
Carcassonne: The Flying Machines
Carcassonne: The Robbers
Carcassonne: The Gold Mines
Carcassonne: Mage & Witch
Carcassonne: The Messengers
These expansions add some degree of complexity to the game. It's also good to not mix
too many in at once. Overload is easy for newer players.
Cosmic Encounter
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Alliance
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Conflict
Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Incursion
This game just needs to get played more, period. That being said, the yellow and red
aliens require a good knowledge of how the game works to really get the interactions.
D-Day Dice
D-Day Dice: Normandy
D-Day Dice: Atlantikwall
Past the additional maps in the expansions, D-Day Dice: Atlantikwall adds a fifth player that
controls the Germans, giving a competitive option.
Dominion: Hinterlands
Dominion: Dark Ages
While Dominion is played by a few, the Dark Ages expansion adds new rules that make
familiarity with the game important. Not to mention that there are a metric ton of expansions.
Pandemic: On the Brink
The expansion adds new roles. You can also play as a bio-terrorist where you try to
make the other players lose the game.
Power Grid
Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal
Power Grid: Russia & Japan
Power Grid: Québec/Baden-Württemberg
Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland
Many of the maps have slightly different rules which would be a bit odd for a new player.
Small World
Small World: Necromancer Island
Small World: Tales and Legends
These expansions will add cards that change the game every round and a sixth player that plays
against the others.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter
Really this one shouldn't be a problem. Just need an open minded group.
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