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Monday
Jun032019

International Tabletop Game Day Plays and more

I hosted our annual Tabletop Day game day at our college and managed to get a few games I have been champing at the bit to play.  That included Spirit Island, The Reckoners, and Root.  All of them ended up to be worth the wait, but Root has left me completely obsessed.  I'm going to try to get it to the table ASAP.  We followed our game day up with more games than usual at our regular Sunday dinner and hangout.   That left me with 26 plays in two days--those are Con weekend numbers!  I've been playing tons of games this year, but June might turn out to feature the most plays I've ever had in a month.  To be continued...I suppose.

 

Tuesday
Apr162019

Back to work on Warhammer Underworlds minis

I've taken a bit of time off from painting Warhammer Underworlds, but all of the half-painted minis scattered around my office are starting to make me sad.  I'm going to try to finish a unit a week starting this coming week.  In the meantime, I've been putting the finishing touches on nearly-done models and photographing (poorly) them as the are touched up.  Here is Fjul-Grimnir from The Chosen Axes.  I really like this model, despite its static pose.

 

 

 

 


Monday
Jan212019

Southeast KY Game Night Session Report  (1-17-19)

I have been playing mostly games with my family recently with the holidays and weather canceling my weekly game nights I host at my college for the Southest KY Game Club. We finally had a game night this past week, but only six of us were there to play at the peak with numbers vacillating from four to six, which makes breaking up into two groups a bit silly even though most games that serve six are not my cup of tea. I had hopes of getting some heavier game to the table in the new year, but, alas, the start was lighter than I hoped. Here is what we played:

Conspiracy. It was announced this week that Conspiracy would be the next game to getthe necromancy magic of Restoration games. It well deserves it. Really nothing else like this game of secretly controlling spies and trying to get the secrets in the briefcasedelivered to your embassy. We played two games, but I look forward to playing four or fiveback to back at some point to watch the metagame develop over a few plays. This game is not for everyone, but, for me, it is nearly perfect. 9/10

 

Megaland. One of our regulars, Brit, loves Celestia, but she requested it too late for me to have it on hand. I did have Megaland--another quick push-your-luck game with gorgeous art and we played it instead. It is great fun. I like it better than Celestia at this point, but that may be the fact that I've played dozens of games of Celestia and its predecessor, Cloud 9, over the years. 8/10

 

Pandemic the Cure x 2. Two games of this "classic?" dice-based co-op. I love it because it is fast and gives me that Pandemic feel, but the speed that things can go from "fine" to"catastrophe" is frustrating. Still, set up and play is so quick that it will remain ago-to co-op for the rare times we aren't in the mood to destroy each other at a competitivegame. 8/10

 

Three Cheers for Master. One of our group likes "take that" games a lot and given we were trying to stay at one table for the night, I got forced into way more of them than I would prefer. This one has a cute theme and plays well enough but like most "take that" games depends on the players to keep the game close by picking on the leader and otherwise playing spoiler. 6/10

 

Lost Legends. This was a pretty fun dungeonless "dungeon crawl" with characters leveling up and getting better weapons as the monsters got bigger and more deadly. It has a lot of moving parts and dragged a little in the first game, but I think I'm in for more of this one at some point. 7/10

 

Quelf. I'm not a party game snob.  I really like a lot of them (Time's Up, Wits and Wagers, Say Anything, Guesstures--the list goes on and on, but the is a really bad party game that depends too much on dice rolls and goes way too long.  We had a few laughs, and I'm not sure the other players would agree with me, but if that is the last time I play the game, I'll be happy. 3/10

 

I live in the mountains and snow can really shut down or alter our game nights, but I have hopes of getting back to multiple tables running soon, and meeting my resolution to play more game from the "heavy" side of my collection this year.  

Thursday
May312018

I'm Going to need a better game for "X"

My Collection Reduced to One Game for each Letter of the Alphabet 

My game collection at one point grew to over 1000 games.  It was huge and unmanageable--and only the tiniest percentage of the games was ever going to see the table, so i auctioned, sold, and gave away game until I was under 500--and managed to fund a trip to Disney World for the family with the proceeds.  Now, a decade or so later, I'm up to close to 1000 games again (750 or so logged on BGG, the rest kids and family games I haven't bothered adding).  I'm definitely going to have to pare down the collection again soon, so I've been trying to decide what my perfect collectio would look like.  How can I cut down the collection and keep options open for game nights?  Probably, the best thing I could do is outline the basic mechanisms of games I like and cut down to two or three games from each gaming subgenre--worker placement, deck building, route building, party games, dice games, etc.  That is something I really might do, but a recent Facebook post got me thinking about a more radical, if less practical, way of cutting the collection.  A commentor going in the other direction (trying to grow his collection) was trying to find one good game for every letter of the alphabet and was looking for suggestions.  That led me to this--what would my collection look like if I only kept one game for each letter of the alphabet?  I would have to keep some games that weren't my favorite in a certain letter just to cover more gaming bases.  In "D" for instance, I chose to keep Don't Mess with Cthulhu over Daytona 500, Dreamblade, Dominion, and Deception: Murder in Hong Kong because it is quick and newbie friendly and I needed a game like it to have a well-rounded collection for all gaming situations.  The choices just as an abstract thinking exercise were painful, so it is unlkely I could ever follow through with it, but I found the process rewarding and at least a bit helpful as I decide what games to shed this time around.  

 

A--Age of Steam 

Why I picked it.  Age of Steam is my all-time favorite game.  I love having over 100 maps to play on, with more still being released.  I love that each game is an agressively competitive puzzle to solve as I try to ramp up my income while planning for the late-game six-link routes.  This will likely never fall from my top spot, making it an easy pick here.

Runners Up.  Agricola (sigh), Africa, Ave Caesar

 

B--Baseball Highlights 2045

Why I picked it.  Baseballl Highlights 2045 is an amazing two-player deck builder.  If features on of my favorite themes and an absolutely unique mechanism to handle the back-and-forth between offence and defence.  Like Age of Steam, the game has an abundant array of expansions to keep it fresh.  I haven't even shuffled in the last three I purchased and probably won't for another dozen games or so. Haven't played the multi-player rules yet, but having that option helps the collection, ahem, cover more bases.

Runners Up.  Basketboss, Basari, Blokus (that I lack abstract games now occurs to me)

C--Chicago Express

Why I Picked it.  Chicago Express is a vicious, tight route-building game that plays quickly but offers meaty decisions, temporary alliances, and the opportunity to take out an opponent with a simple null action.  I love games that are all about managing money better than the opponent.  This game often comes down to a few dollars between 1st and 4th, making every decision seem important.  

Runners Up. Chicago and Northwestern, Can't Stop, Champions of Midgard

D--Don't Mess With Cthulhu 

E--Ethnos

F--Fairy Tale

G--Glory to Rome

H--Hansa Teutonica

I--Isle of Skye

J--Jump Drive

K--Kingdoms

L--Liar's Dice

M--Millenneum Blades

N--Nuclear War

O--Orleans

P--Power Grid

Q--Quandary

R--Race for the Galaxy

S--Space Hulk

T--Terra Mystica

U--Union Pacific

V--Viticulture

W--Web of Power

X--Xena: Warrior Princes TCG

Y--Yspahan

z--Zendo

 

 

 

Friday
May252018

If you are a fan of euro-style board games, this is definitely the Golden Age

Back in the 90s and early 2000s, lots of games that were released in Germany never came out here and there weren't really any game stores that shipped internationally. We used to collect, over Usenet, a regional order for Adam Spielt, the biggest German source for games that would shop to the US. I'd collect the money to get to the minimum order (400 USD, I think) and cheaper shipping and, when the packages came in from Germany, I would repackage them and send them out to the other buyers. It was a long, expensive, and often frustrating process, but getting those games from Germany that we had been drooling over and would likely never be released in the US was worth it. I still think of those days as the glory days of this hobby of mine. Still, I just got the following games in from Germany through Amazon.de. It was 40 buck order with around 7 dollar shipping and it arrived in less than ten days. Though I sometimes miss being part of a tiny enthusiast community, it is hard to argue with the idea that this is the best time ever to be a board game collector.

 

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