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After a week of no gaming with the exception of online plays of Star Realms I was quite happy to get off the snide early in the week.
Machi Koro-On Memorial Day, Gabby and I decided that we were going to at least complete one of the 3×3 Before Memorial Day challenges that we set forward and that one turned out to be Machi Koro. We’ve talked about Machi Koro before a couple times on the podcast so you know what kind of game it is and how it plays. This play on Monday kind of solidified why I don’t really like the game all that much. When we laid out the 10 cards available for purchasing, all but 1 of them was a 6 or higher, this gave the person who went first, me this time, a distinct advantage over the second person since I picked that card up and when I revealed the next card it was an over 6 card as well, meaning that Gabby was at a disadvantage the whole game and basically a card or two behind. I built up my City fairly quickly, getting to two dice and just kept adding to, meanwhile Gabby struggled to get moving. I ended up winning this one fairly quickly and had 3 more landmarks built at the end of the game than Gabby at the end. You already have luck of the dice in this game, if your averages just don’t work out, you won’t win, but you add on top of it lucky card draws in the available pool and it becomes even more of a mess. I’ll keep this one around, just because Gabby still enjoys playing it and it can play quickly if everyone pays attention, but its novelty has worn out on me I believe.
Cardline-Globetrotter-After Machi Koro, Gabby asked if we could play one of the Timeline/Cardline games and I agreed, so she broke out her newest addition to the collection, Globetrotter, and we played it a couple times before it was time for bed. If you are unfamiliar with the Timeline/Cardline series of games here is a brief overview, just know that Carline/Timeline are pretty much interchangeable, both game lines do the same thing, just with different themes and the Cardline cards are larger, which my eyes and hands greatly appreciate. In each game the player is trying to get rid of all of the cards in their hand, the first with an empty hand wins the game. Players do that by placing their cards into a center cardline or timeline. In Globetrotter, the cards all depict countries throughout the world, on one side is the country’s name and some artwork depicting that country, on the other side are four statistics about that country, be it the country’s size, population, Gross Domestic Product and CO2 emissions. Before the game starts players decide which statistic they want to use. To start you draw a card from the deck of cards and place it in the center of the table, now the instructions say to place it face up so you can see the statistics, but we play it face down and the starting player plays their starting card either to the left or the right of the card, depending on whether they think that their cards statistic is smaller or larger than the one out there already on the table. If after flipping the cards they are correct, play moves to the next player, otherwise the starting player discards the card they played and draws another card from the deck. Play continues this way, with players filling in the card line in order, first player out of cards wins. These Globetrotter cards seemed to be a bit much for Gabby, although she did do pretty well when we did the size of the countries, but even then I managed to win fairly quickly. I like the cards better in the Cardline series, but I like the idea of building a timeline more than putting things in order by numbers. But it’s still a fun activity game that we have plenty of options for, now we need to find the Dinosaur version of Cardline.
Arboretum-So a new game that showed up this week, actually gets thrown on the table the same day it’s received?!? I need to get a few more plays of this in before I can really give my thoughts on it, but right now I really think it’s a neat card laying game. We like tile laying games in our house, and this plays a bit like one with each player trying to build their best Arboretum in front of them. Play is super easy, each player starts with 7 cards and on their turn they draw two, either from the draw deck or other player’s discard piles, then they play a card to their Arboretum and then discard a card so that they never have more or less than 7 cards in their hand. Really super easy to play, the tricky part comes with the scoring. After the final card is pulled from the draw pile and the player plays out their turn, each individual tree type(or suit) is called out and whomever has the highest SUM of cards in that tree suit in their hand can score for a path of those trees in their Arboretum. In this part of the game, 8s act as 0s, so there for 1s are higher. Sometimes it may happen that a person may have the higher sum of cards in a suit but no path, well, then those trees wouldn’t be scored at all. Arboretum can bring out quite a few decision points in a small box with a short playing time. Kerensa and I played 2 games back to back on Friday night with me winning the first one 29-27. It was pretty straight forward, not a lot of variations in our Arboretums and not a lot of blocking. But that second game, Kerensa got me good and took away my highest scoring path, PLUS another smaller path and beat me 14-2. Really enjoy this with two players, but I want to see how it plays with 3-4 before we give it a real review.
Arboretum and the famous 2 point game
Tajemnicze Domostwo-Been awhile since we had played this one, but Gabby had her cousin over on Saturday night and they requested it, and even though it was 11:30 pm we obliged. It was late and it had been awhile since we had played so we played it on easy level, with only 6 options available to us for each Person, Place and Weapon. We won, but it was only on the final day. I had some trouble nailing down the location, basically ended up getting rid of every option before I got the correct one, but luckily Gabby and Emma got through ahead of me and helped me along the way. 15 plays into this and I still enjoy it, but I think that we really shouldn’t play on easy any more, especially if Kerensa gets to be the ghost as Gabby and I kind of know which way she is going with certain cards and that is kind of a bummer, but if you add more options, maybe that prevailing group think will be diminished a bit. I’ll be picking up the Libellud version when it becomes available here in North America and we’ll keep our Portal version as well. Really is a well done co-op game that can be taught to anyone and be fun.
These are the clues that were supposed to lead me to this location
Cacao-So this one snuck in under the wire on me. Gabby and I sat down and learned and played our first game of Cacao, a game we acquired along with Arbroretum, so we did pretty well in getting newly added games to the table this weekend. Cacao is a tile placement game, where you have a stack of community jungle tiles and a stack of personal worker tiles. On your turn, you do three things: 1) you place a worker tile, 2) you place a Jungle tile, if necessary, and 3) you act on your worker actions from placing those tiles. That’s it. There are rules to the placement of tiles, no two worker tiles can share an edge and no two jungle tiles may share an edge, creating a sort of checkerboard pattern on the board you building out in front of you. The object of the game is through these worker actions you want to have the most gold at the end of the game. I like this one, and with two it gives off that Five Tribes feel that you have to get the most out of every action that you take, and if you can, you really want to double up on the actions. I hope to get Kerensa to play this one soon as I think she’ll really like it. I won the two player game with Gabby, 60-47 and I even had some left over Cacao on my player board that was completely useless at the end of the game for scoring. Gabby kind of concentrated a lot on controlling temple tiles and maybe she could have spread out her workers a bit better, but it was the first game, and we’re still learning.
Cacao finished game
Star Realms-Just a quick wrap up of my Star Realms progress. In the league ran over on Board Game Geek, I am currently sitting at 4 wins and 4 losses, with three matches left. Looks like another season spent at the Bronze Fighter Division is going to happen, I’m really not sure what I’d do if I ever got out of this division. But along with league matches and challenges from Mastakate, jflartner, thexphiler, adiliberto, SarahR and UKDane, I am sitting currently at Level 9 5 out of 10, those last 5 wins are the hump I can’t get over. Had a good losing streak the last couple days this week and clawed back slowly to where I am currently. So keep sending those challenges to Vacabck and I’ll keep challenging back.
As I said earlier, on Friday we got a package from Cardhaus.com that contained Arboretum, but also in that box was that other game that I’ve been looking forward to since I reviewed Dungeon Raiders a month or so back, that’s Cacao from Z-Man Games and designer Phil Walker-Harding. I saw this one briefly when I was looking over what all Phil Walker-Harding had designed and I thought it looked like a really cool tile placing game, where how you place your tiles determines what your workers provide, but then I saw it as a recommended game from the Spiel des Jahres jury and I went ahead and pulled the trigger and picked it up. Fingers crossed it gets played soon, I really wanted to play it this weekend, but I couldn’t convince Kerensa to learn a second game this weekend. Also this weekend I was lucky enough to win a contest on Twitter for a game that was on my Top 10 Anticipated Games of 2015, Dark Moon. Maybe I shouldn’t call this an acquisition yet, as it is not here, but I just can’t help myself as I am really excited to get this one to the table. So a huge thank you needs to go to Mayday Games for running the contest and to Stronghold Games for providing the game to them. Along with the game, Mayday is providing enough sleeves to make sure that the cards never get damaged.
Nothing new on Kickstarter and that’s a good thing as I had to drop our pledge to Mottainai as Gabby is pretty dead set on winning a couple PitchCar Extensions that popped up on a board game geek auction. So in order to divert funds into something that Gabby wants, I cancelled Mottainai. The game looks really cool, but always back in my head I had that feeling that it would turn out just like any other Chudyk game in our collection and never get played by anyone except myself and I’m trying to tailor our collection, even our Kickstarter additions to games that the family will play together. I will probably end up picking it up in retail sooner or later though as I am a sucker for games with cards that have many multiple uses, which explains my love for Chudyk games.
Other than that, I’m sticking with Wombat Rescue from Matt Wolfe and Eagle Gryphon Games. Read through the rules and the theme does hide what can be a fairly deep strategic game at times. Love the idea of creating a scent area in order to better move over the board to reach your baby Wombats. Sounds like a lot of fun to play and I really wish I had enough extra bits laying around that I could do the print and play to try it out while we wait, but as it is, I’ll be waiting till delivery.
So, May brought us 38 plays of 25 distinct games, quite a few of them, 13 to be exact, were first time plays for us. May is always good for gaming due to Geekway to the West, we’ll see if our momentum carries over into June this year. Along with those plays we are up to 189 plays for the year, with 80 of them being new to us games, so our 100×1 Challenge is moving right along, although our 15×1 Challenge has been pretty stagnant over the past couple months. Going to have to do something to remedy that fairly quickly if I want to even get close to succeeding in that challenge.
So, how many folks know what an H-Index is? I honestly didn’t until I began board gaming a few years back. In it’s traditional definition, an H-Index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar. So, how does this relate to gaming? Well, those of us who record most of our plays have a way to easily find our Gaming H-Index. What you do is you can order your games from most played to least, start counting games from the top down and you’ll find your H-Index when the number you count is larger than the number of games played for that time. Right now, my H-Index is at 14, I have played 14 different games at least 14 times. I don’t know why I pay attention to H-Index. If we’re having fun playing games what does it really matter how many times we play each game? No, it doesn’t but the higher my H-Index goes, the more I feel as though I am learning more or even getting more “bang for the buck” as it is. But the main reason I was thinking about it this weekend is that I am sitting on the verge of bumping the H-Index up to 15, all I need to do is play a game of Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Indigo or Myrmes and I’ll move up another rung. So all weekend I sat there thinking, we should play Carcassonne. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just kind of takes away from the organic way I like to play games, I like to play whatever strikes my fancy at the time of playing, I don’t plan out a lot of game plays. It really isn’t a bad thing, nor is it a necessary thing, but I like checking and watching the H-Index, but then again, I imagine that’s all a big part of the gaming dork in me, I mean really, who tracks how many games they play?!? So what’s your H-Index? Let me know, either over on the blog, twitter, geeklist or any way that you want to let me know.
H-Index Illustration, mine is 14
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated everyone on our Board Game Twitter Fantasy Baseball League, so here’s a short update. Marty over at Rolling Dice and Taking Names is running away with Division 2, at least he was until last week when Anthony’s team took him to the woodshed pulling the rest of Division 2 a bit closer, but still 9 games back. Currently I am leading Division 1 by 4 games, but if things stay the way they are now on Sunday evening, I believe there will be a virtual tie between myself and Linus(Mort Subite /@mygodafreshman over on twitter), the cream has risen to the top, now we just gotta stay here.
Geeklist and Thread
So there will be a change to the geeklist, apparently folks voted that they didn’t like posters reserving their spot and then filling in their WDYPTW session report later. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with it, I’m a subscription neat freak so anytime a subscription triggers I go and read what triggered it anyway, but it bugged enough people that we ended up with 123 votes, even though we only really have 50-60 people post in the geeklist weekly. So, this week, I’ll ask to not reserve your space, just post when you have the time or are ready. I realize we’re still going to trigger subscriptions when we edit, but there’s nothing we can do about that.
Lots of great games on the Geeklist and Thread this week, we had our first sighting of The Game, I hope that doesn’t mean that we all just lost it. Freddie got some Ghost Stories in which really makes me want to break it out and play it again. Plenty of Glory to Rome that’s going around which is really cool. Brass got a couple plays, which really made me wish I would have sprung for a copy from Cardhaus over Memorial Day when they were doing their sale. We had a new poster over in the Geeklist from Lithuania, hopefully Dalius sticks around as that was a really nice first entry into the geeklist and judging from his shopping spree there’s more to come! And our vacationing Bill, brought us to the end of the week with is entry, I bet those Guildhall cards don’t look as good as they do in that photo anymore.
Love following along all week everyone, keep the entries coming!