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My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

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Federation Commander Bonus Post

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I had intended to post this last week, but it did not happen. There are three short updates I wanted to share about my continued love of this game.

First, the Federation Commander Ship Tournament is now in the next round. Here are the pairings for the second round:

Orion vs. WYN
Romulan vs. Tholian
Hydran vs. Klingon
Federation vs. Kzinti

As it turns out in the second round each Empire will fight one that they actually border. I think the Orion vs. WYN fight is going to be the bloodiest as the ships pound one another into submission. I also think that the Romulans will have the hardest fight against the Tholians. That fight will also be one of the longest as both factions have strong defensive tactics.

Second at Gen Con this year I ran an event for Federation Commander. I created the scenario for that event, and it was recently published! You can find it in the company's monthly newsletter. Specifically in Communique 129.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago my wife actually played Federation Commander with me, and she volunteered!
September 8th was the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. She asked to play Federation Commander with the stipulations it be a scenario (not just a duel fight) and that it be very fast. I did not want to waste time looking for one that fit those conditions, so I made up a scenario on a fly. Klingon Border comes with a planetary rescue scenario where one side has to rescue colonists from a blockaded planet. We switched out that objective to transporting contraband to the surface. I controlled an Orion Free Traitor and she was on defense with a Federation Police ship. With these small ships we played on fleet scale.

The first turn was maneuvering as I closed into the plant. AT the end she fired at a distance and luckily got a photon hit. It just so happened this shot knocked out all of my weapons. I used engine doubling to blow past her and I made my delivery. I then moved to exit the map, but my wife had set up to stop me. She got another attack with phasers in and did some internal damage. I successfully disengaged. I got the points for the cargo, but she got more points for the damage I sustained and she pulled off the victory.

She still hates the game though.
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Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:39 am
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Federation Commander Ship Tournament: Tholians vs. Andromedans

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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In order to better explore my favorite game and see how the various factions line up against each other, I am doing a little tournament to see which ship comes out on top. Right now, we are in the first round.

The Empires
Tholians: The Tholians are a silicon based species that originated in the M81 galaxy. At one time they ruled that entire galaxy from within their Dyson spheres. The genetically modified servitude race of Seltorians rose up against their Tholian masters and began committing genocide on a galactic scale, This led entire Dyson spheres to runaway. One of these spheres made it to the Milky Way galaxy and claimed a small section of space between the Klingon and Romulan Empires.

The most unique system the Tholians bring are the webs. These energy webs can act as a shield that prevents fire and it can also hinder the movement of ships.

Andromedans: The Andromedans are another extra-galactic empire that sought to completely conquer the Alpha quadrant. It was resisting the Andromedan invasion that brought old enemies together in the famous Operation Unity. While they do have one cruiser type ship that operates on it’s own, most Andromedans ships are smaller ships that are with a larger mother ship. Their ship design is also circular, so they are essentially flying saucers.

Being from another galaxy the Andromedans have a radically different approach to pretty much everything. They do not have shields but instead have power absorbing powers. When they are shot the panels carry the energy and then they convert part of that damage into battery power. The Andromedans also have a displacement device that essentially teleport a ship (an opponent’s or their own) to another hex. Fortunately, this goes after direct fire so it can not mess up a firing opportunity, but it can not mess up plasma shots.

The Fight
The Tholians started off at speed 16 so they could conserve power for their web. The Andromedans can start off with a decent amount of battery power, so they plotted a course at speed 24. As the two ships approached each other the Tholians deployed a web of a decent strength, which caused the Andromedans to go around. This allowed for the Tholians to take a sizeable shot from behind the web and they put a lot of energy on the back energy panels of the Andromedan ship.

However, once the Andromedans cleared the web they retaliated with a big strike that took down the Tholians #3 shield and did a decent amount of internal damage, which mostly hit weapon systems. At the end of the first turn the ships were set to pass by each other.

Going into the second turn, the Tholians decelerated and then at the last second did a high energy turn to get a full blown alpha strike on the back sector of the Andromedans. This completely overloaded the panels and scored massive internal damage. A Tholian marine raid took out a panel causing even more damage to get through.

At this point the Andromedan ship was barely flying. Fortunately for them, the Tholian ship did not have much left and the Andromedans successfully disengaged.

Strategies and Observations
So this whole match should probably have an asterisk next to it. The Andromedans and Tholians are the two most complex and rules heavy factions in the game. For that reason, this was actually my first time to play with either and mistakes were made. With the Tholians I launched the web to early to get maximum effect. My biggest mistake was with the Andromedans on the last impulse of the first turn I should have done a tactical dump of the back panels. This would have filled the batteries, and heavily loaded the front panel, but it would have taken care of the back panel.

I liked the Tholians more than I thought I would. I can see some real potential to the webs, and they allow for a more turtling play style that other factions do not have. I really did not like the Andromedans. They are completely different than every other faction. They require a whole new rules set and a whole different way of approaching game. I know there are always some players who want to play an off-kilter faction that is out of step with everything else. That kind of play style is not for me, and I do not see myself playing the Andromedans much in the future.
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Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:14 am
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Islebound (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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This game was on my shortlist at Gen Con this year. It was not possible to demo this game at Gen Con, but they did have it fully displayed and they did a walk through. I really liked what I saw. However, I did think there were a couple of potential aspects that could be yellow flags for my wife. After checking out everything else I was interested in, I decided to go ahead and get the game despite the minor reservations. So does this game sail high or does it sink?

Game Overview
In this game players are trying to get the most points by sailing the isles, building buildings, and gaining renown. On a player's turn they will always move, take an action, and then they may do free actions.

Player's ships begin with a movement of two. They must move and they can not move back in to the space they just left. Next, there are four possible actions a player may do. They may visit a location. To visit a location there is a cost that must be paid. The cost is paid to the treasure map space unless another player controls the location then it is paid to them. Each location then grants a special ability. The location abilities are really the heart of the game. They provide resources such as pirates, fish, wood, knowledge, and influence. These resources can be used to do other actions or turned into renown.

The second and third option are a player can attack a location or ally with a location through diplomacy. Each location has a strength. if the number is red then it must be attacked, and if it is in blue it required diplomacy. To attack a location a player must commit pirate or sea serpent cards and roll dice to determine strength. If a player falls short they can injure their crew for additional strength. To do diplomacy players must spend influence by removing discs from the influence track. The influence must be meet or exceed the strength. In either event once a player beats this number they gain control of the location. They immediately get money equal to the strength of the location and the player gets to visit the location.

The final action a player can take is hunt for treasure. The play gets all of the money that has been paid to the treasure space. If nothing is there they get one coin.

Players may also take the two free actions. There will always be two events on the board at locations. If a player is that location they may do the event. Each event requires paying or meeting a certain condition, and events pay influence. In fact they are the main way to gain influence. Players may also build a building by paying the cost. Buildings provide special abilities as well as provide victory points.

There is a lot of small things not mentioned such as adding new crew with special abilities, the renown track that players work up to gain seven renown plus a bonus, and the rules for players attacking one another.

When a player builds a set number of buildings the game will end. Players get renown for buildings built, money earned, and renown tokens collected. The player with the most renown wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: This is an incredible game that gets it right on many levels. It is both very thematic and mechanically sound. It is fairly accessible but still has depth. It requires a good mix of strategy and tactics. This is something of a 2X game. It delivers huge on the expand and exploit aspects as player build their island empires and get some true synergy. There is not much explore since the board is set at the beginning of the game. Players can find themselves in conflict, but it helps that owning an area is not worth point it just makes getting things done more efficient. This game is also a bit of a sandbox game as players can take a variety of approaches to the game. However, it is a well defined sandbox, so the game keeps from getting overwhelming. Overall this is a great game.

Her Rating: 4.5 (like it)
Her Thoughts: It has been a while since a game impressed me this much. I tend not to like games that have a lot of advanced planning but this one was manageable. I liked it because it was very easy to set micro goals in this game. I could figure out what I wanted to do, spend a few turns getting it done, and then figure out a new goal to work on. The game made it easy to figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it. I never really felt overwhelmed in this game. It had a good flow and pace to the game, and it was great to have turns where everything worked out exactly like I wanted it to. This is a really, really good game and I want to play it again.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 9
One of my concerns with getting this game is that it is possible to take over a location from a player, which my wife does not like. However, a two player game uses the same sized board as a four player game. This allows the two player game to have a lot more space so that we were not in conflict that much. I am not sure what my wife will think about playing wit more. However, at two players this is a game we both love and really recommend.
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Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:48 am
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Mythos Tales (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I played Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective late last year and I really liked it. At the beginning of the year this game was available on kickstarter. The quick pitch of Mythos Tales is Consulting Detective mixed with Arkham Horror. I like the idea of combining the game play of Consulting Detective with a Cthulhu mythos. I backed this game and it recently shipped. So is this an unforgettable story or will it just lead to insanity?

Game Overview
This is a story based game. There are nine unique cases in this game. Each scenario has a mystery that the players are to solve. After the case is established players set a time marker.

From that point what the players do is fairly open. The introduction will have some leads to follow. Players do this by visiting locations. Each location will have paragraphs that explain what can be found at that location. This might then create other leads that the players can follow. Each time that a player visits a location they move the time marker up.

At any point the players can attempt to solve the mystery by answering questions. If the players ever get to the end of the time tracker then they will have to attempt to answer the questions. Each correct answer will be worth a set number of points. There will also be a par for a number of locations to visit. For each number over that location that the players visit they will lose points.

Based on the total score the players get will depend if they win or not.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: There is no way around it, but this game is derivative. For all intents it is someone making their own themed version of Consulting Detective. I am mostly OK with that. I do like the rule tweaks introduced. I like the added tension the time tracker adds, and I much prefer the scoring system of this game over Consulting Detective. I have not played all of the cases (yet), but I really love the story telling of this game. It has a great pulp feel. It captures the theme and mystery so very well. A final plus is that the components are really, really nice.

Her Rating: 1 (do not want to play again)
Her Thoughts: I feel the same way about this as I felt about that Sherlock Holmes game. If I want to play a game, I want to play a game. I do not want to read a book. I do not like how directionless it all feels. This is really not my kind of game.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5.5
My wife had not played Consulting Detective when I kickstarted this one, or she would have know how I felt about it. This is not her kind of game at all, but it is very much mine. I really look forward to playing this one again.
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Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:18 am
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Epic Card Game (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I had a couple of games that I thought I was going to have difficult trading away. I took them to a local used book sales, and I was able to get enough credit to buy this game off of their shelf. I did not know much about this game, but I knew it had a draft component. I also knew the game was made by the same people that made Star Realms. I took a chance on this game. Did it turnout to be an epic success or an epic failure?

Game Overview
There are several unique ways to play this game. The game can be divided into pre-constructed decks or cards be drafted to form decks using several different variations. The base game is then played the same.

Both players start out with 30 life and a hand of cards. On a player's turn they draw a card. Player's also ready cards and they get one gold to spend a turn. Most cards cost one gold, so effectively a player can play one card a turn.

Then a player can attack if they wish. Each character has an attack and a defense. The player being attacked can choose to defend with their own characters. The cards will deal damage to each other and if the attack is greater than the defense then the card is discarded. If enough damage is not dealt to destroy a card, then damage will clear and the card remains. If a card is not blocked then it deals damage to the player.

There are two times when players can play event cards not on their turn. A player can play an event card at the end of the other player's turn and they can play an event card during a battle after defenders are assigned but before damage is resolved.

Much of the game play is actually directed by text on the cards which is very keyword heavy. For people who have ever played Magic: the Gathering most of the common keywords and abilities from that game are present in this game as well.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: This game is extremely derivative, and I think that it is by design. I know this is meant to be Magic in a box, but it kind of fell flat for me. There is nothing terribly wrong with this game, but in the end there are so many other games I would rather play. I suppose this does provide a game for someone who really, really wants a Magic experience without magic cards. However, I think the same thing could be accomplished with some pre-constructed magic decks.

Her Rating: 1.5 (do not want to play again)
Her Thoughts: I just did not connect with this game at all. The biggest problem is that I will always want to play other games over this one. If I want to draft, there are better drafting games. If I want to play a duel game there are other games I would rather play. For me this is a completely forgettable game.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4
If we did not have some collectible-style games we were heavily invested in (Dice Masters and Warhammer: Invasion) then this game might work better for us. As it is, this is a game that for us will almost always get passed up for something else.
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Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:09 am
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Federation Commander Ship Tournament: WYN vs. ISC

sean johnson
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In order to better explore my favorite game and see how the various factions line up against each other, I am doing a little tournament to see which ship comes out on top. Right now, we are in the first round.

The Empires

The Interstellar Concordium: Like the Federation, the ISC is a collection of different species. Specifically, in this ISC there are five. The ISC occupy space on the other side of the Romulans and Gorn. The ISC was formed among mutual cooperative between the five member races and they find the idea of fighting for territory to be literally insane. The ISC was horrified to discover their galactic neighbors were busy killing each other. This led the ISC to a military build up and once the General War ended they announced themselves to the galaxy, serving as a peacekeeping force throughout the galaxy.

Like the other empires on their side of the galaxy, the ISC uses plasma weapons. They use Plasma-S as well as an unique pulse device that shoots multiple pulses at a ship and damages three different shields at a time. The ISC also have a unique Plasma-F system that is rare facing. One of the launchers can be fired each round, but they can also be used defensively to deal with seeking weapons such as drones or small units like shuttles. These are some of the most effective defensive systems in the game.

The WYN: The WYN star cluster lies between the Klignon, Lyrans, and Kzinti. It is a system of stars behind a radiation shell thatfor the longest time was thought to be unpassable. At various points Lyran and Kzinti dissidents flew into the star cluster and discovered they were not destroyed. These renegades formed an unlikely partnership. Klingon dissidents soon joined, and once the Orion pirates got involved the star cluster it became a haven for people who wanted to get away.

The WYN have their own ships, and like the Orions they have customizable options. Many WYN ships, like the auxiliary cruiser, are repurposed ships.

The Fight
The WYN started off slow moving at speed 16. The WYN cruiser had several drones, so they were content with the ISC coming to them. The ISC went faster and at range five the WYN turned off. The ISC fired their Plasmatic Pulsar Device. On the next turn, the WYN returned fire and the ISC fired on the rear shield. In both volleys, the WYN used their considerable power and battery to greatly reduce the damage. On the last impulse the WYN fired four drones.

The ISC turned off to run from the drones, and they took them out with it’s rear plasma. Both ships completed maneuvers that brought them around and they passed each other at range 3 making shots at less than optimal arcs. The ISC had a very weak shield and the WYN once again minimized the damage with shield reinforcement. The ISC then fired a plasma-F which impacted. The two combatants ended the turn in opposite directions with some distance between them.

Both ships turned to face each other, but the ISC had to burn through a lot of energy to keep the distance needed to fire the PPD. Both ships fired, but the ISC came out dramatically worse. This is because the rolls for the WYN phaser shots were absolutely incredible. There were a lot of ones. To make matters worse the ISC were unable to outrun and deal with all of the drones, but the ISC was able to hit with another plasma-F which finally blew through a WYN shield.

The fourth turn was a lot of maneuvering. The ISC we running to get the PPD charged back up. The WYN auxiliary cruiser accelerated for the entire turn and it had a firing position on impulse eight. It took damage through a downed shield, but it dealt out far more to the ISC ship. It then launched its last swarm of drones.

The ISC ship was in trouble, and at the beginning of the fifth turn the WYN alpha strike crippled it. However, the PPD did a decent amount of damage to the WYN ship. Unfortunately for the ISC it could not deal with the drone swarm in its condition. It was left a flaming wreck. The ISC tried to limp off the map, but it just did not have anything left and the WYN finished it off with a couple of overloaded disruptors.

Strategies and Observations
I really liked the PPD as a weapon. I like how it’s most powerful range is something different than point blank. It has potential to be more powerful than a photon torpedo. The weapon is really expensive though. Each firing takes eight energy, so it really puts the ISC under a bit of a power crunch.

The WYN Auxiliary cruiser has some insane stats. Most ships are always under some energy pressure, but this ship has a lot of discretionary energy. This works really well because it has eight batteries, which means it has enough energy to really reinforce shields. This let it keep shields up for longer and minimize internal damage.


The WYN are now set to fight the Orions. Both ships do not have a lot of interior boxes to soak up damage, but they both have a lot of energy and ways to mitigate damage. They both also have optional weapon mounts, so it should be a very interesting match up.
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Fri Sep 9, 2016 4:21 am
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The Oregon Trail Card Game

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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When it comes to who I chose to spend my life with, I truly did hit the jackpot. My wife's mom was watching our kids for us. We were going to see a movie, but neither one of us were super excited about it. We had to stop at Target to get something first, and as we were walking by their always going game selection my wife suggested we skip the movie, get a game to play and just do that instead. It turned out that Target happened to have a copy of this game on the shelves. We were both born at the beginning of the 80's, so we are the generation that got to play this game in elementary school. So is the card game version of the nostalgic favorite a classic or would we rather this game just die of dysentery?

Game Overview
This is a cooperative game where all players are working together to make it from Missouri to Oregon. Players will begin the game with supplies and optimism. This game will slowly leach both away.

On a player's turn they will do one of three things. The first option is to play a trail card. These cards must be played so that they match up with the previously played trail card. Some of these cards have no effect. A very small few are helpful. Others have rivers that have to be forded by a die roll, and finally the last group of cards cause a calamity to be drawn.

Failing to ford a river will cause a card to be lost, and calamity cards will often require a resource to be spent. For many of these cards if a resource is not used by the player's next turn they die. A few calamity cards can kill a person out right. This leads to the second option on a player's turn. Instead of playing a trail card, a player may pay a resource card to satisfy a previously drawn calamity card.

The final thing a player can do on their turn is draw a trail card if they are unable to play any of the other cards.

Trail cards are played in groups of five. After five have been played they are collected into a stack and players begin a new group. When the players complete ten groups of these stacks they reach Oregon. If at least one player survives, then the whole group wins. If everyone dies, everyone loses.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 1 (never want to play again)
My Thoughts: There is so much not to like about this game. What is terrible about this is actually printed in the poorly written rule book. Under the "Ending the Game" section, after saying how to win the game then states, "More likely, the game ends when the last player dies." This is a game for people who think their win percentage in games like The Grizzled and Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island are too high. The luck/strategy ratio is all out whack. A bad card draw can instantly remove a player from the game. In a four or five player game players will start with 20 resources. It is only possible to add six more to that pool, and the vast majority of the fifty cards are going to be trying to cause players to spend or lose those resources. A few bad dice rolls on fording the river (which is a 50/50 chance with no mitigation) and the game can become unwinnable. The box says this is 2-6 player game, but that is a dirty lie. I am sure someone will say they did it, but I am fairly confident that this game is an absolute impossibility to win with just two players. This really is a 4 or 5 player game, but even then it is not a very good one.

Her Rating: 1.5 (do not like)
Her Thoughts: This captures the theme of the computer game really well. The cards (and especially the 8-bit die) really get the 80
s computer game feel. Like the computer game this will often end with all of the players dead. I did not like this game. It feels incredibly luck based and it is plodding and boring. I feel like the rules could have been improved and I do not understand why there is only one difficulty level. The main selling point of this game is nostalgia. It delvers on that but the underlying game just is not there.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 2.5
We really did not like this game, but we enjoyed the experience of playing it. We told stories from elementary school that had never been told, we laughed when someone died of dysentery, and we just generally had fun with one another. For a date night away from kids, that is a great success. As a plus, the game was cheaper than a couple of movie tickets. However, we will not be keeping it and this is not a game for us.
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Mon Sep 5, 2016 4:30 am
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City of Spies (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
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Going into Gen Con this was one of my most anticipated games. I was able to demo this game on the first day. After I made the rounds to check out all of my short lists of games I came back to make this one of my purchases. I bought the game after trying it, so I clearly liked it, but what does my wife think. Did I spy a great game or was my intuition a turncoat this time?

Game Overview
In this game players control a network of spies that the continually try to grow for missions. Each player starts off with the same set of six spies. Each spy has a power and many have a special ability.

The board is made up of six tiles placed in a 3x2 grid. With one exception, each tile has one spot for a new spy to be recruited and three places for players to play their spies.

On a player's turn they will play one of their spies to this board. The spy must be placed on an exterior space of the board or adjacent to a spy of the same player. This means there is a strong spatial element as players need to consider what their next play might be.

Once players have placed the number of spies they are allowed, each of the six board tiles are resolved. They are resolved in numerical order. All tiles are turned face up. The three spots on each tile are numbered, so starting with the first position, spies are resolved.

Spies have a wide variety of special abilities. Some can move or assassinate other spies, some can switch out the prize card, and others can get stronger based on who is adjacent. The power of spies is figured out for the tile, by adding the value of spies belonging to the same player together. The highest value wins the recruited spy. If there is a tie then the player on the first position wins.

Each of these location tiles have special abilities as well that are unique to the tile, and there are spots on the tile that can grant the option to look at face down spies. After all six tiles have been resolved, a new round begins. Players have to discard down to only six active spies. Discarded spies are worth one point each. The board is then reset for the next round. There are eight tiles and only six are used. They are placed in a random orientation.

After doing this for four rounds the game ends and final scoring is done. At the beginning of the game four mission tiles are selected players win these by having majorities. Such as the most American spies or the most spies with the assassinate ability. The player that has the majority in one of these four areas gets six points. Each spy has a point value, so players get the points listed on their active spies, plus one point for each discarded spy. The player with the most points wins.


Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: I really enjoy this game. I am very engaged by the intrigue of trying to outmaneuver players to win the spies. I love the way the theme is captured. The game has a wonderful historical theme, and I feel like I am building my team of spies. It is like the scenes from the Mission: Impossible movies where they are going of dossier of operatives to assemble their perfect team. This game offers fantastic choices and a perfect mixture of strategy and tactics. Each turn players have to evaluate what the best move is, but they have to also keep the end game in mind at all times. I am a little concerned on replayability. We have the promo-pack and even then, I wish there were some more spies and mission cards available. Even then, I still think this game has a lot of plays in it before it feels played out.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: When I first played this game I thought I was going to hate it. It seemed like there was too much advance planning and it was too easy to get messed up with the spatial element. I am glad I stuck with it though. This game is a lot of fun, and it kind of sucked me into it. It is fun to compete for the spies and try to stay one step ahead. I also like building my team, and it is fun picking out the right people.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 8.5
This game is a big hit for us. There are so many games at Gen Con, and we only have so many funds so there is a lot of pressure to pick the right one. I feel confident that this year we made the right pick and this will be a game we will get a lot of fun out of.
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Sun Sep 4, 2016 4:27 am
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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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It is the end of August and I broke 100 plays for the month. That means Gen Con. It is typical that because of Gen Con I break triple digits in number of plays. This month is the most recorded plays I have made since August of 2012.

Most Played Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game (10 plays)
Highest Rated Game This Month: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (Combined Rating 8.5)
Best New to Me Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)

State of the Collection
Total Number of Games: 198
Net Difference from last month: -17
We traded a lot of games, we gave games away, and we bought quite a few. When the dust all settles this is where we stand. My wife is happy because we are back below 200 games, which is her threshold for "too many games"

10x10 Challenge
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Completed!
Warhammer: InvasionCompleted!
Ticket to Ride Completed!
Fleet Completed!
Tides of Time Completed!
Roll for the Galaxy Completed!
Glory to Rome Completed!
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Viceroy
Deus
Bruges

A Skirmish match (hopefully this month) will finish off Imperial Assault. Overall we have four months to get in nine plays to finish the list, so I think we are in a good spot.
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Thu Sep 1, 2016 8:32 pm
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Grifters (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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If my wife and I have a style of game that we gravitate to more than any other, it is probably card games that have something very clever or unique about them. In the Gen Con preview lists, this game rose up as one that really caught my interest. The marketing pitch described it as a deck building game without a deck. At Gen Con I went through a rules explanation, and I was more intrigued. I was a little concerned that this game might have too much of a "take that" element for my wife's liking, but the $25 price point was low enough to take the risk. So did we get a steal or did we get taken?

Game Overview
In this game players put together teams of criminals to do jobs in an attempt to get the most money. Each player begins with the same three ring leader cards and three random cards.

On a player's turn they will play cards into their night 1 space of their hideout board. Players may play a team of cards or a single card. There are three skills (suits) in the game, and certain jobs requires certain skills. To complete a job the player must play cards with the needed skills as a team to complete the job. When this is done, the player takes the job card and collects that payout, which will be money from center pool, new cards, money from other players, or some combination of those items.

If a card is played on it's own then it's ability activates. There are a wide variety of abilities that range from getting money from the center, taking money from other players, getting more cards, and manipulating cards in play in various ways.

On subsequent turns, before playing new cards, players will move the card(s) from the previous turn from night 1 to night 2. In the same way cards from night 2 go to night 3. Cards in the night 3 spot are moved to the refresh area. At the end of a player's turn, after they played new cards and resolved them, the player will take all cards in the refresh area back into their hands.

Play continues until all of the central money has been claimed, all of the jobs are done, or all of the specialist cards have been claimed.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This game has a very unique flow to it. This game does feel a bit like a deck building game with more control. There is some "take that", but in a two player game it is a lot of tit for tat. In a four player game it could feel a bit more oppressive if people rally dog pile on a supposed leader. My concern about this game is replayability. The deck of specialists is not terribly big, and I feel like after a certain number of plays there will be a sense of having done it all before.

Her Rating: 4 (like it_
Her Thoughts: This is such a clever little game. I really like how the cards move. It fits the description of a deck building game without a deck. It is good with two, but I thought the game was more competitive and varied at a higher player count.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 7.5
Overall this was a decent game for us to get. We still have a couple more Gen Con purchases to play through. If the remaining games are as well received as the ones we have done so far, then this will have been a wildly successful Gen Con.
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Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:25 am
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