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BGTG #130 - Post BGG.con 2012 (with Greg Pettit)
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Listener follow-along and note-taking geeklist for the BGTG podcast episode with Greg Pettit after his trip to BGG.con in 2012.

The podcast and blog for comments can be found at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/15359/bgtg-130-post-bg...

Want to see 2011's list, including our updated comments/ratings? It's here: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/76449
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1. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:141]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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Mark:

Antoine Bauza strikes again. I never played or saw the earlier edition, but we're all going to have easy availability soon with R&R Games' english edition coming. Co-op deduction game. I jumped on it after reading Richard Garfield's praise over on his blog: http://www.threedonkeys.com/blog/archives/778

2013 update: Still play this now & then, very happy that it won SdJ, and some day I hope I'll get the deluxe edition.
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2. Board Game: Antike Duellum [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:660]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Mark:

I want to like this one more. The online implementation at Yucata is the best I've ever seen. Never played original Antike, but wanted to. It's got a 2-player euro-wargame "problem" in that deterministic combat (and economic production) means the game is too balanced, until one player gains the upper hand, then you have to grind out the inevitable conclusion or concede. Double-sided map is good. I'm still holding hope for this one. Interesting to contrast with Hellas, the old Kosmos 2-player game.

2013 update: No real change. I haven't played again. I still might (probably online), but it will never be a favorite.
 
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3. Board Game: Myrmes [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:292]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Mark: can't really rate

I'm playing online, and this time it's just too hard to figure out. Which may not even be the game's fault. I love Brass & Reef Encounter online, but I didn't have to learn them that way. Boite a Jeux doesn't make it any easier, either.

2013 update: I think my friend Greg has it, but we've never played. Still a mystery.
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4. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:104]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Mark:

A fun novelty, no question about it. So tiny & quick, it may continue to get thrown into game bags and taken on trips, to restaurants, etc. The game isn't incredible, but it fills a good niche, and I would love to see others that have the same tiny footprint.

2013 update: No real change. I've played it a few more times, and though I don't love it like others seem to, I'm glad it's around. I also like that it's inspired a range of "microgames," another new type of boardgame. I've also played an Adventure Time rethemed version with my kids.
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5. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:266]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Mark:

I got to try a pre-production copy earlier in the year, assume it's still the same. I love the co-op dice game, and the theme. Less thrilled with the realtime.


2013 update: Kind of a novelty that's worn off for me (and I wasn't super thrilled with it to begin with).
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6. Board Game: Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:5615]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A somewhat abstract puzzle-type game where you are trying to herd your sheep up a hill where they will score more points. Nice blocky wooden pieces, but not enough game to really capture my attention.

2013 Update: No change. No desire to revisit.
 
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7. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:129]
United States
Houston
Texas
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I talked about this game more on last year's show, but this year we did get to play it *with* the worm cards. Also, I recommend shortening the game (a little) by playing just 10 rounds instead of 15.

Also, I'm using this as a place-holder for some standard games that I enjoy getting to play at BGG.Con, even if it's just once a year:
Tigris & Euphrates
Die Macher

2013 Update: No change to rating, but sadly this year I wasn't able to play *any* of these games! cry
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8. Board Game: Maharani [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2148]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A light tile-placement game with the gimmick of a rotating center wheel that changes which quadrant each tile is assigned to. It's a simple, fun, casual game that had similar elements to Metro and Alhambra.

2013 Update: No change to rating, but I have played it a couple more times. A member of our group bought immediately after I taught it to him at the Con last year. It's a nice game, nothing amazing.
 
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9. Board Game: 1969 [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:2869]
United States
Houston
Texas
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The theme of performing smaller, specific missions which contribute to the success of the grand final mission works really well. However, the game itself just boils down to dice rolling, with some small resource allocation to modify those rolls.

2013 Update: I haven't played again, and my complete lack of desire to do so would make me bump down the rating to .
 
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10. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:274]
United States
Houston
Texas
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Yet Another Worker Placement game. This time you are teams of workmen competing to clear land and lay track for a railroad line. Since you're all working on the same line, there is competition to complete certain aspects, milestones, or stations first. There's some resource management, but long-term planning seemed limited. I'm interested in trying it again.

2013 Update: Maybe I'd bump it down a half-star, but that's mainly because I haven't sought out a second play.
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11. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:17]
United States
Houston
Texas
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(Interestingly, in my notes I gave it 4 stars, but on the podcast I only gave it 3. So I've compromised here with 3 1/2.)

Yet Another Worker Placement game. This time the gimmick is the giant Mayan gears that rotate every turn. The gears advance your pawns forward to more lucrative actions, so the longer you can wait, generally the bigger your reward. This adds a nice element of temporal planning to the usual dimension of just grabbing a space. However, in the end I just felt like the game itself wasn't all that great. I'd like to give it another try, though, and I'm eager to see how it holds up over the course of the year.


2013 Update: Well, I'll admit to being wrong on this one, but only half wrong. It's still just another worker-placement game that holds no interest for me (so I'd bump it down a half-star), but others must still be playing it since it sits at #14 on BGG.

Two different painted gears that highlight the massive detail in the sculpt:


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12. Board Game: P.I. [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1348]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A combination of Clue and Black Vienna. It has a similar flaw with Black Vienna in that if a fellow player makes a mistake when giving a clue, it can destroy at least one person's investigation. A nice twist that I forgot to mention in the podcast is that when this happens, the player who made the error is penalized somewhat severely.

The other main problem with the game is the garishness of the artwork. The color scheme is just awful and finding relevant connections and information on the board was a chore.

2013 Update: No change, except I think my retinas have finally recovered from playing on that board.

 
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13. Video Game: Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:712]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A video game emulator of the bridge of the Enterprise. Each player gets his own station, set up on a laptop networked to a central computer. Science, Engineering, Navigation, etc. all have specific tasks to perform to help the Captain coordinate and get the ship to complete its mission.

Watching totally inexperienced newbs (such as me and my friends) was just as fascinating and entertaining as watching seasoned pros, but for completely different reasons.

Depending on your Nerdiness Tolerance Level(TM), there are some amusing YouTube videos of people enjoying the game.

2013 Update: I didn't play again this year (though I watched quite a few), but I'll keep it rated highly.
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14. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Merchandise [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
United States
Houston
Texas
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Möllky!



Lawn bowling with chunky wooden dowels. Designed to be played outdoors, it takes on a special thrill when played in a hotel and each toss could damage a wall or break a lamp.

http://molkkyusa.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6lkky

2013 Update: My friend Bill and I tried very hard to find a place around the hotel to give this a go, but to no avail. Maybe next year I'll check the map; there's gotta be a park fairly close.
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15. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:249]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A sort of economic engine development game where the commodities are tiles, workers, and victory points. Each turn you play a card that allows you to do one of several actions. Usually, each action also nets you a bonus just for choosing it, and these bonuses can be improved as the game progresses. Your remaining cards are passed to the next player, and you repeat through several rounds. The game felt like a mish-mash of a lot of different mechanics, but here they worked quite well. The game felt smooth to me, and it only lasted about an hour.

2013 Update: I've played a couple of times since, and I still like it. Maybe not as much, though. Bump it down a half, maybe a full star.
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16. Board Game: Kolejka [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:947]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A "take-that" style of game that is both humorous and depressing. It's based upon the real life difficulties of obtaining goods in communist Poland. Each player waits in lines for stores that may or may not open and plays cards that affect their own or other player's place in line. Great fun if you enter with the proper mindset. One interesting aspect is that just when the game is starting to feel too long is usually right when somebody wins it.

2013 Update: I've played several more times, and I still think it's great. I might even bump it up a star, actually. It can drag a little, but usually just when you're really tired of it, someone wins.
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17. Board Game: Hula Hippos [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2953]
United States
Houston
Texas
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A flicking game that seemed way too hard. A wooden ring is spun in the middle of the table, and everyone tries to flick their mice so that they end within the ring when it stops. Difficult, easy to lose pieces, and the added benefit of flicking objects directly at people on the other side of the table.

2013 Update: Have not played again.
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18. Board Game: Spin Monkeys [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:5598]
United States
Houston
Texas
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Up to eight players are monkeys on bumper cars in the jungle. Cards are played and then fairly complicated physics are applied to the bumper cars as they move and interact. An interesting concept that works a lot better in theory than application. The graphic design hinders rather than helps, and the game ends long after interest has died. It seems too complex for a children's game, but not solid enough for adults. Wins the prize for "Game Most in Need of Development."

2013 Update: Have not played again. Two stars is too generous.
 
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