GCL Eclipse Division 36: Post 'Em If Ya Played 'Em
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
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Welcome to Episode 36 of GCL Eclipse: This week's list is just a light discussion of purchases, plays, and whatever the heck else strikes your fancy.





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This is the GCL Eclipse Division.

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Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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1. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:393]
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
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No Purchases

Plays:

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game x2 with 2 and 4 - It's amazing to me just how deep this system is. I'm not just talking about the newer cards they release on a regular basis but the enormous number of angles you can take when deck building. Even more than that we're really just starting to scratch the surface on some multi-player strategies when it comes to title selection and reaction timing. We had some serious epiphanies in the multi-player game, and that's with 20+ plays under our belts! It was also gratifying to play my 2p decks for the first time. Like other card games there's a big difference in playing 2p and multiple-player but for me discerning the important differences is much more difficult in AGoT.

Eruption x2 with 3 and 5 - I've already talked about the merits of 2 and 3 players but we finally got a larger number of players on this game. Incredibly it PLAYS EXACTLY THE SAME! Not only that but the play time is almost exactly the same. I guess given that tiles never return to the bag there are really the same number of turns overall, so it makes sense. The 5p game was close, tense, and almost came down to the tie breaker.

Innovation: Echoes of the Past x1 with 3 - I have always loved Innovation but so much more so with the expansion. There's so many more wrinkles and ergo complications yet there's a much larger sense of control. I still love the game 3 and 4 player even I know that's the minority opinion here

Martian Dice x2 with 4 - It's still the best dice chucker in 15 minutes.

Last Will x1 with 3 - The three involved have played 4-5 times each. It's such a tight tense game with experienced players. The scores were -12, -11, -11. At this point we were talking about using the variant that can raise the amount of money you start with. I'm tentatively convinced that with more money certain strategies, like farms and houses, become better avenues. Time will tell.

Star Trek HeroClix: Tactics - x1 with 2 - I played Mage Knight (not the board game the original clix game) quite regularly long ago. I was actually briefly into the Halo Clix when they came out since they were a faster and simpler system and Trek seems to mirror that quality from Halo. If you're into Trek and like minis this one is fun for what it is.
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2. Board Game Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
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I bought The Castles of Burgundy for my wife's birthday and noticed the Ravensburger logo, but no Rio Grande. I've now read that Ravens did the multilingual edition and it seems that, at least for this game, Rio is no longer the publisher. Given that Ravens is distributing to the US directly is this the end for Rio and Alea, and heck for any other Ravens titles?

Perhaps it's old news but it's new to me
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3. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:38]
Mr. Green
United States
Ft. Collins
Colorado
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Acquisitions: no new purchases (although Vinhos awaits me at the FLGS - need $$) Fifth Avenue in shrink arrived from the most recent math trade.

Plays:

Trajan X2! I've been so excited about this game for sometime now. I learned it on Tuesday (3/27,) and taught it on Sunday. This game did not disappoint! The mancala mechanism is unique, and really blows my mind. And of course there is so much you want to do in this game, but not only are you limited by time (there is a game clock,) you are also challenged in triggering the action you want when you want (again - see mancala.) Like other Feld games, there is punishment, this time in points penalties for not meeting the demand of the people, and it can be harsh. Extra tricksy is that you won't know one of the demand items until it is too late to do anything about it. However, also like other titles by Feld, a little punishment is OK, as long as you're progressing in other areas. So, you can not ignore the demand element, but you ought not obsess over it either.

Sadly, I don't own this game, so my plays will be limited. And tragically, I see no easy way to acquire this game anytime soon.

cry

6 Nimmt! X2: received this recently as a gracious gift from my birthday buddy,
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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. A former member of our Sunday group had 6 nimmt! and I had recalled what a fun, if somewhat mindless, filler this game was. Unfortunately, it too is OOP, at least in the states. John offered to send me a new copy, a lovely favour that I hope to return someday.

This was a huge hit with the group. Easy to explain, fast to play, and all-ages appropriate. We had the whole group, from teens to adults playing and laughing. That is always a Win in my book! (And I won!)

Power Grid: The First Sparks: my first play of this, 6P. It was good, although we were all playing for the first time and mucked up a couple of rules, which in the end didn't significantly change the outcome. I'd play this again, but don't think it will be a "go-to" game for me. And with two copies in the group, I'm spared the need to own it.
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4. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:235] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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I haven't posted in awhile due to a dearth of gaming - such a tragedy! But my schedule is starting to ease up, so expect to hear more from me in the coming weeks.

Acquired:

Last Will

Plays: Here are all of mine (face-to-face only) from 2/27 - 4/1. (I told you it was sad.)

Incan Gold 2
Dragonheart 1
Last Will 1
Oltre Mare 1
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age 1

Last Will was something we found in our FLGS, and from the buzz on BGG I thought it would be a good fit for us. The first game (5 player) proved to be satisfying, although we had to stumble through some rule clarifications as we went along. Only one player went bankrupt on that play, so I think we have a lot to learn. But I'm sure we'll play it again soon. (Dave - how well does it work 2 player?)

Oltre Mare we gave as a gift to a friend, and after enjoying it just the two of them, we got to try it 4 player this past weekend. I was delighted with the game's simple rules, but surprising depth. The board felt a bit vestigial, but regardless it's a good game I look forward to trying again soon. Scott even asked to put it on our own wish list!

Incan Gold I've had for awhile, but this was a time we introduced it to different players and it clicked much better. The 4 of us were so into it, there was an immediate request to play again. A light, simple, fun press-your-luck game.
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5. Board Game: Packen Wir's! [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:8112]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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No acquisitions (though a number of games arrived during the week, completing acquisitions previously detailed).

After a while with no new-to-me games (I only played two new-to-me games in March, on the 3rd and 19th), I got in three on Monday. Drag-Onimos wasn't bad, though I prefer simple dominoes. Packen Wir's! was really fun, but not a game I need to own - more a game I needed to experience. Rocket Jockey was closer to a game I need to own, in some since, but wasn't much fun.

About the most unusual other game I played during the week was Don Q. hat sich mit den Schafen in der Wolle (listed on BGG as Don Q.), the first game in a wonderful series from Edition Perlhuhn. The second game in the series is my favorite - I think the windmill/giant scene is carried out beautifully - but they're all enjoyable games. I do hope there are more games in the series, eventually...
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6. Board Game: Breaking Away [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1314]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I've played two games so far this week, with a game day waiting for me on Saturday!

Breaking Away is the ugliest game on my shelf. The box is sub par, and shows heavy wear. Opening it up, you find a laminated board that has been folded into fourths, and which will NOT lay flat. The pieces are nice enough plastic bicycles, but then you need to apply colored stickers to each of them - and the stickers defy staying on the plastic. And the game play... a pencil and written move values...

But dispite all of these downsides, the play of the game is just brilliant! You are racing a team of four bicycles over 100 spaces. You need to jockey for the best position in the peloton to ensure you get the best possible movements in future turns. But at the same time, points are awarded at two different sprint points during the game, and doubly so at the end of the road.

So you must decide whether to go for the early points, or whether to bide your time for a strong finish. Or through clever play, possibly do both! Brilliant game, but one that needs a much better edition.

Perikles - Five of us played this Tuesday night at the Bistro. We were all in agreement that this game has a lot of merit. I've now played this game at least 10 times. I continue to find it challenging and thought provoking. I find the intricate design holds lots of replayability. Some of the design elements I find I like:

* the choice of one shard or two shard tiles has two direct outputs. How many cubes you place for the civic elections, and the sequence of when you deploy your military might later in the turn.
* but even more, the color of which shard tile you take can be weighed in relevance to which opponents you are vying against, and whether they have any liberties left to use against your position.
* and then there are the nomination and assassination powers on the single shard tiles. Wow.
* the military campaigns are definitely a shot of "casino" into the game. I've won battles I should have lost, and I've lost battles I should have won. this is a feature for me, but I understand this can bug players who dislike luck.



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7. Board Game: Samurai Battles [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:2466]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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Haven't bought it yet, but this looks to be the first game that breaks my hiatus of not buying any board games Looks very, very awesome, with the minis and the C&C rules and the alternate rules and the samurai battles with ninja and basically everything. This could totally fire C&C:Ancients if it's as good as I hope it is.
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8. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Shane Larsen
United States
Pleasant View
UT
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PLAYS, 3/26/2012 - 4/1/2012

Brass x 1

RECENTLY ACQUIRED

none

NOTES

My worst week in terms of games played since we started this GCL. However, my one play of Brass was a huge success because my wife decided she likes it! Which is awesome because she usually doesn't like game of a heavier breed. So this is one I look forward to playing a lot more with her and some of our friends and family, including the in-laws.

EDIT: My dates were wrong on my play count.
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9. Board Game: Panic on Wall Street! [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1056]
Jennifer Schlickbernd
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I had a games day at my house, just me and four others. They are all good strategy game players, and we get along well, so a good time was had by all I think.

We played this and it was so much fun. I really enjoy light negotiation games like Pit and especially I'm the Boss! and Panic on Wall Street! was just as much fun as these other two. It's pretty short as well, so it doesn't wear out its welcome. The rules are easy although I'm not sure what the 'advanced' rules do for the game, I don't know that I'll be adding them.

1830: Railways & Robber Barons was played as well with a friend who is still trying to understand the game. I'm not sure that his understanding was advanced because the rest of us have played it so much and our feel for the game certainly showed. He also had a hard time in seeing the larger strategy involved and in the end, it simply may not be a game he'll enjoy.

I was not impressed with the Stone Age: The Expansion expansion. I don't like Stone Age much anyway and this expansion didn't help that at all. It adds a fifth player and something else to do, but it's still boring .

We also played Upon a Salty Ocean. Quite simply, too much heads-down multiplayer. It's doing some interesting things, but they don't overcome the lack of interaction.

So a good day was had by all. I was supposed to play today as well, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Oh well, have a full day scheduled for next Saturday anyway.
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10. Board Game: Watch Your Garden Grow [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Chief EGG Head
United States
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Acqusitions, snagged a copy of Siesta, but the seller sent me Siena which I already own. So if any wants a copy of SIena for the price of shipping from 97401 let me know. Also Age of Steam Expansion: 20,000 Rails Under the Sea one of the expansions I didn't have.

Nope didn't play this, but spent all day Saturday (it was actually sunny and nice here in Oregon) and will spend all day today trying to get the veggie garden ready to go. Peas are planted and lettuce and carrots sowed etc.
Only managed a couple of games this past week f2f besides my usual horde of on line games.

Ora et Labora x 1. Crucial error on my part in the penultimate round cost me the game.

Loopin' Louie my skill and strategy had me outlasting my opponents to the finish.

Web of Power got in a wonderful 3 player game in person with one of the alternate boards. This one http://michaelschacht.net/p/chinaEurope.jpg is particularly nasty since all the countries are so small that opening one nearly guarantees that you won't get a second chance to play in it.
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11. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:89]
Jennifer Schlickbernd
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Bought, along with the new Stefan Feld expansion to the Speicherstadt. Don't know if I'll get them before the weekend though because I had to get them from Games Surplus.

And to these Oregonian Ducks that are invading....just wait, USC will kick your ass in football in September. And UCLA may make some noise as well! (mostly Jim Mora profanity, but still)


laugh laugh laugh
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12. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Plays for the 25th to the 31st:

4
Dominion: Intrigue

2
Race for the Galaxy
Wrasslin'

Cutthroat Caverns
Eminent Domain
The New Era

Of the above, The New Era is a recent purchase along with Dominion: Hinterlands, Risk Legacy, and Polarity.

Hinterlands of course is a good addition to my "Dominion" and Risk Legacy has been a lot of fun. I bought the New Era after some research in hopes that it can be a game with a similar feel to Race for the Galaxy but with a little more meat to it. Time will tell!
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