All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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Some Favorites and No New to Me Games... What is happening?!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Thursday was Fun Group! We had planned on playing Caverna with Forgotten Folk, but I had forgotten the expansion. Funny how that happened. The Folks were Forgotten. What the heck!

Instead, we landed on playing a 4 player game of Wingspan.

This is a game I learned the weekend before and was up and ready for teaching it. As explained last week, this game is pretty easy to explain. I hit all the rules correctly and everyone was feeling good!

Adam was rolling in the egg points and hidden cards but it ended up as a close race between him and Scott. Adam won with 84 and Scott was just 1 point behind!

I totally lost my focus and was trying to do too many things and ended up not succeeding in any of them. I was the big loser. Man, it was not a good showing for me. I will have to make it up this weekend.













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Both Riley and Adam took off and Scott and I picked out Carcassonne for a 2p game. Scott hadn't played in ages and forgot most of the rules.

It was clear that I was going to win this game because he was so unfamiliar with it.

Joe doesn't own any of the expansions so it was really just base base base Carc. I can't even recall the last time I played just base Carc.

It was still great, but I do like it spiced up with more expansions or other stand-alone special Carc games.

I had won the game before I scored a million points for farming. Scott underestimated the farming scoring. I am not sure he was that invested in playing this game though. I am happy to have played it though.








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This week we had a game day on Sunday! We started the day with a 3 player game of Blackout: Hong Kong.

I was so excited to get this game this week and just wanted to play it. I recruited Star to play since I knew he was also very interested in getting it back to the table. Shrey ended up joining in for a 3 player game.

The first thing I learned about this game was to play with only 3 players to help cut back on the downtime, and I don't think that is the wrong advice.

I picked this game to be in my top favorites from 2019 and I am still super pleased. This game is so engaging and keeps me interested the whole time. The first time I played this game we got several rules incorrect, but we were able to fix that and play correctly this time. It was just as good as I remember, and better because of the corrected rules.

In our game, Shrey was the one learning, but he had read up on it before and was ready to go. It was a relearning game for me and Star, but it was easy enough to get through. I love the player boards in this game because they really walk you through the motions easily and accurately.

I actually did pretty well this game. I got an early bonus to make my hand size 0-6 and take back cards. This would have been more useful if I actually had completion bonuses that were gaining me awesome things. I will work harder to get those check marks to show up more in my future games. I was feeling pretty good until I learned we only had one more round. I really needed 2 rounds to complete the goal I was going for and get like 10 or more points. It was a pretty abrupt ending, but we had been playing a while. It didn't matter much anyway since I managed to win the game with 104. I think Shrey was second place with 90 so he was right behind me.

I have to say I am even more excited to get this game back to the table over and over. I simply want to do better and see different possibilities. This is a game I haven't even scratched the surface. Seriously loving this one. I think the games are running like 2.5 hours long, which is longer than my usual favorites.





















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To lighten the load of thinking a bit, we scaled back the next game and took out Fine Sand.

Shrey had played before but Star and Leanne were learning. I explained it to Star and then Leanne showed up so I explained it to her! It is a super easy game to play so it was a good choice at that particular moment.

I was really sad to see the 3 cards go in the next installment of the fabled deck in Fine Sand. We lost a card we had JUST got in the last game that I was really excited to play with this game. That was disheartening. I almost reselected the 3 cards.

It was a close game and I was SURE Star was going to win. He had a crazy engine he was building and seemed to have a million things to do each turn. I wasn't able to end it quick enough and stop him. He did extremely well though and ended up winning. He won with 5 I was 6 and Shrey was 7 points. Leanne played too!

I am still really enjoying this game. I look forward to more!







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We were looking for a lighter game still and had reshuffled the groups. We ended up with 4 players for a game of Pirate Tricks.

I got to learn this last month and really enjoyed it so was happy we could play it again. Dan ended up teaching it to Adam and Leanne. I knew they were both into card games and it went over really well!

Last time I played, I was bidding aggressively for the cards I knew I wanted. This time I tried a passive strategy, with an "I get what I get" attitude. Yah, I should have bet harder for the cards I wanted. It ended up in miserable defeat.

Leanne was rolling in the points and she was betting super aggressively. She knew what was up, it seemed. I think she had a near clean sweep the first round of the game and it was impressive. I stayed pretty even all game, I gained a few points here and there and lost a couple in one round. Just didn't work out for me this time around.

Leanne for the win! Made up for her score in Fine Sand!









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Joe C finally showed up! We were at 5 players and I finally got to play my favorite 5 player game, Turn the Tide.

I have been trying to get this played for weeks. It is my go-to 5 player game. I explained the rules to Adam, Leanne, and Joe. And then to Joe again. And then to Joe AGAIN. And then to Joe... again. He had even played before!!! He was just not understanding it. It was actually pretty funny, but c'mon Joe!

Seriously love this game. It never fails to produce smiles on everyone's face at some point or another. I dare say this is my second favorite card game (after Tichu). It is that good! Oh, it might help that I won and I often win. Maybe I am just good at reading people.












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Adam is not much of a Euro gamer, so it was tricky to figure out a game to play when Joe C said he wanted to play a worker-placement game. I had been itching to play Bunny Kingdom again so I suggested it. Both Joe and Adam didn't know much about it but were willing to give it a go.

I explained the game since Dan hadn't played in a while.

This game is so interesting. There are sooo many paths to victory and things to focus on. The upkeep for scoring in-between rounds can be a bit rough though. I mean it isn't so rough when I play, apparently. I think I only had like 12 points by the end of the 4th and final round. But I got about 140 points from the cards I had drafted to make up for the fact that I made hardly ANY points in the game. It was an insane amount of points. haha, it was awesome.

I still came in 3rd place but we were all within like 20 points from first to the last place. Not bad!

It was an added bonus that both Joe and Adam both really enjoyed the game! They like that you draft 2 cards even though you really want to draft like 4 cards to prevent the next player getting what they want. There is a bunch of great things happening in this game. It is still a mystery why the bunnies are collecting fish though. I want to hear the reasons why...













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The final game of the night was a 4 player game of Skylands.

We were using all the Queenies too... or at least some of them were mixed in. There really needs to be a tile reference sheet so you don't have to go searching all the rulebooks for the building uses - it makes it nearly as annoying as the Japanese version. I still enjoy the colors and production of this game though.

OMG, I FILLED THE BOARD! This is the first game I have EVER managed to fill my board. Never in King of Frontier did I manage to do that. You get a bonus in KoF but you don't get a bonus in Skylands. I was really sad about that - mostly because I actually did it!

Oh man, I was proud of my score, I played a really awesome game and crushed all the guys. It was awesome. I think I managed a win this time since we didn't end up playing Ginkgopolis. Next week we will have to play Gink.

















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Monday night was at Joe's! This was awesome because Len promised to play A Feast for Odin.

I just played last week but I can't seem to get enough of this game. I might have to rank it higher on my top favorites. I am SERIOUSLY in love with this game. The new expansion offers so many amazing opportunities and things to consider.

I set out one goal in this game, and that was to cover my player board as early as I could. By round 3 I had surrounded all of the resources and was rolling in cash. It was amazing. I picked up some islands and just kept pumping out bonus materials. My cards synergized so well, they were basically unstoppable.

I have to say the "Artist" card seems too good to be true. So, the Artist card gives you $1 for each type of good used when crafting. Ugh, in the expansion, on the new board, you get AMAZING goods for one space that requires 3 types. Not only do you get awesome materials but you get $3 to boot. It was an amazing steal each time I went to that space and I think I only went 3 times in the game. #NotEnough.

By the end of the game, I had 3 islands and 4 houses. I could cover all the -1 spaces with $1 I had left over and I still had $10 remaining. First time in the history of playing this game I didn't have a SINGLE -1 point at the end. It was amazing, and it felt that way. I almost feel like I need to retire after that play since it was the single best score I have seen with 182 and there is NO WAY I will ever do better. I annihilated everyone. It was awesome. I freaking love this game so much.













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The final game of the night was Tichu. Geoff got awesome new decks from a recent Kickstarter!! I got in on that and got 2 myself! I am always on the lookout for new and interesting Tichu decks! This one is quite nice too!

I was randomly selected to team up with Geoff! I think it is just fate since we are the bomb. laugh

This game we were on point. I think we had a few down rounds, but for the most part, we were taking down Ron and Dan the whole time. I think it helped they were calling and we were setting them. There was one hand I called and had a pretty great hand, but Ron overcalled and made it.

It didn't slow us down much though. We came back for an epic win. I love this game and will always want to play it.








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New to the Collection:
Blackout: Hong Kong
New Tichu Decks!





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:56 pm
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Welcome to February! Wingspan, Vadoran Gardens, Cabo!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Saturday I had awesome new games arrive to try out and play so we started with Cabo. New to me!

So, I am counting this game as new because if and when I played it, it was so long ago I couldn't even remember and I didn't log the play. It would have been like 6 years ago or something.

Regardless, Bezier Games is reprinting this game and will be available again soon! It is a light card game, perfect filler for the beginning of a game day.

The goal of the game is to end the round with the fewest total value of cards or to shoot the moon with all of your cards being 12 and/or 13. To start the game each player gets 4 face-down cards and will get to look at 2 of them.

One player begins and takes their turn. They can take the face-up discard and switch it with one of their 4 cards, leaving both cards face-up. Or the player can draw a card from the top of the deck and use the ability, if there is one, or take it and replace one of their 4 cards. Or if they think they have the lowest sum, they can choose to call Cabo as their turn and each other player gets one more turn to see if they can do better or screw up the person who called.

All players then score their 4 cards, and shooting the moon gives you 0 points. If someone called Cabo and didn't get the lowest score, they get an extra 10 points. Then another hand is played until someone reaches 100 points. Lowest score wins.

It is very luck based. I love the updated artwork and cute characters. I think it is a neat idea, I just wish there was more control over what was happening. You just don't have many choices. Some cards don't even have an action to peek or swap with another player.

In our game, we just played until more people showed up and it was long enough. It says play time is 45 minutes, but that seems too long for a filler like this. I honestly would just play a few rounds and the person with the lowest score would win. It certainly makes for a better filler than to play to a particular score.

It is very light though and easy enough for my family to play, so they would probably enjoy it. For my gaming group, it just didn't work so well. My group wants meaningful choices and strategy when playing games. This just didn't have enough of that. I would play it again for sure, but it probably won't be a regular game on the table.












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Scott had a new game for me to try out called Eye My Favorite Things. New to me!

This is a party type game. We were playing with 5 or 6 players and it was quick and entertaining.

You play the game over a few rounds and it is over. Each round you get to write a category of your choice down. It can be anything! You pass to the player on your right and they take the category and create a top 5 list for it. They will hide a 1 underneath their favorite thing, they will hide a 2 underneath their second favorite thing, and so on. They will also have to include 1 answer that is not favorable to them and hide a 0 card underneath it.

After the answers have been written out, they get passed to the right and the trick-taking begins. Players will select a answer (and hidden card) from their hand that they hope will win the trick. After everyone selects an answer, the hidden cards are revealed. The lowest card wins, and a 0 wins only if someone has played a 1. Ties are won by the player closest to the start player. If you win then you get a stamp. The start player passes to the left and another trick begins. The last card in the round will remain unplayed.

Then another round is played, writing answers and taking tricks. You want the most stamps after 2 rounds.

It is a wicked cute game. I had a fun time with this. I got to write answers for "Disney rides" and "musicals". Some other good categories that were mentioned in the game were "signs" and "cat breeds". So silly, I loved that. You get to learn things about people!

Wystan ended up crushing us in this game. He had like 4 or 5 stamps. It was pretty great. I was happy just to get one! I did think it was a fun game and I would gladly want to play again. The trick-taking part of the game was not great though. I was pretty spot on with what I thought the proper ranking was for the cards I was given, and I still was only able to win 1 trick out of 10. There was that. Still cool though!












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Another game that showed up was Vadoran Gardens. New to me!

I was immediately drawn to this game for the amazingly cute box art. A great box cover gets me every time! Love the little fox critter on the front!

This is a small card game that appealed to me for the card-laying mechanic. There is a drafting mechanic as well that I quite enjoy! In this game, you are laying out a single card on your turn and you have 10 turns. Your goal is to acquire the most points by creating areas on your tableau of at least 3 icons in a given region and delivering relics to a relic space. There are also common goals to race towards before other players can claim more points.

At the start of the game, you will have a hand of 3 cards and there is a display of 2 rows of cards. Each player places a meeple on on a card in the first row and then will take turns in order of their meeples from left to right. On the player's turn, they take the card they selected into their hand and will play a card from their hand to their tableau. In order to play a card, it must meet the round's requirements which will change each round. It might be a specific type of card that can be played or it might say something like rotating the card 180 degrees.

After the first card is played to the tableau, you must continue the line of cards by playing the next card on top of at least one of the 3 rightmost squares. There is a catch that you can't have more than 5 horizontal rows from all of the cards played though.

After placing the card, they will place a meeple on a card in the next row. This will be familiar to those of you who have played Kingdomino. Then the next player takes their turn. After everyone has taken a turn in the row, a new row of cards is revealed along with a new round requirement. This continues for 10 rounds.

In our game, we played 3 players and it moved along pretty fast. I like the ever-changing card placement rules, but it really means you have to diversify your hand of cards to be ready to play anything on a given turn. Kind of makes it difficult to plan since you can only really plan one turn in advance. It can also be a challenge since you have to play on the last column of a given card. I almost feel like you should be able to choose from the middle and rightmost column of the last card played, but I get it. I totally misunderstood a rule about the 7 point cards having to be in a region with more of its own color that is already scoring. Yeah, that would have changed up my game a lot.

In the end, Shrey won by a good deal since I misunderstood the scoring bit. That was cool though. It is easy enough to set up and play. I am sure I will be able to teach anyone this game. I will have to bring it around to other gaming events to show other people. Playing with more players, you get to see more cards on display, which is good, but could also make for a longer game. I quite liked it with 3 players though. I look forward to the next game.





















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We had a few minutes before the next table was free so we played Dragon's Breath. This has been my go-to 5-minute game recently and I have been loving it every time. I just NEVER seem to pick the right gem and always lose by like 10 points. It is quite impressive how poorly I play this game!

Maybe if I play enough I might win it some time. #goals

Love this game!




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We had 5 players and I have been wanting to get Celestia back to the table. We got to incorporate Celestia: A Little Help. New to me Expansion!

I also have the other expansion for the game but we figured it was enough just to add in this first one. The helping expansion adds in a bunch of new cards and characters for each player. It is designed to be more of a team game, even though you are all still competing for the most points. Some cards that are added to the deck allow players to help the active person with some cards to succeed. The player's powers also allow for helping a specific situation. In our game, Ray had the ability on his turn to make all of the black symbols null. That was particularly handy for his turns and making us all at ease with staying in the ship.

It was a fun game. I always enjoy playing this with bigger groups. We were constantly referring to the rulebooks for card clarification though. It kinda drags the game on longer than I like. Eventually, I was able to pass the 50 point mark at the same time Chris did. I happened to have more points though!! Hey, I finally win a game in weeks of trying to win a game! It was super great! I do love push-your-luck games like this. Simple, yet thinking.

I have to say I really enjoyed this expansion and that adding in the 2nd expansion would have been too much. We simply don't play this game enough to remember what all of the cards do. It would be really great to have player aids for all the cards, or even if the cards just had text on them saying what their abilities are.

Still, I am happy we got to play and I very much hope to play again soon!













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Perhaps my most anticipated game of the day was Wingspan. New to me!

I am a bit behind to this party since I have been seeing all the awesome posts on Instagram for a few weeks now! This game simply looks amazing and I had to try it out as soon as I could! And before I even received the game, I had already ordered cute little birds from Amazon to replace the action cubes. So cute!

Birds are a great theme and one that is particularly interesting to me. Learning about all the types of birds is a subject I love and one I have always enjoyed since elementary school.

In this game, you are trying to collect the most points. You can get points a number of different ways so it can be a bit of point salad in that way. It is really an engine builder though. The overall gameplay is really simple to learn and play. The game is in the choices you are making and the combos you can create.

There are 4 rounds in the game. You start the game with 8 actions and you get one fewer action each subsequent round. I really like how that works. You need more actions early to get your engine going and in the final round, you should have a lot of cool combos that will help generate more stuff and ultimately you will need fewer actions to accomplish what you want.

On your turn, you will perform one of 4 actions. You can play a bird card to a habitat where it is normally found and pay the bird's specific food cost. The birds you play will help with the other actions you will be taking. Each time you take one of the other 3 types of actions, you will activate the leftmost blank space in that row, then activate each bird that can be activated in that action row from right to left. Each additional bird you add to a row will make that action slightly more powerful, but the more birds you have in that habitat row, the higher the cost to place the bird.

The other actions you can choose to perform are gain food, lay eggs, and draw cards. When you gain food, you will draft food dice and collect the corresponding food tokens. When you lay eggs, you can place a number of eggs on any of your birds that can hold them. Each egg is worth 1 point, so the more eggs you have, the better! When you draw cards, you can draft from the face-up cards or simply draw blind from the top of the deck.

Everyone starts the game with goal cards to help form a strategy for which types of birds they might want to go for. There are also end of round scoring bonuses that will help direct a strategy, but they are common goals so everyone will be on the lookout for gaining points those ways.

The heart of the game lies within the cards and the combos you can create using them. There might be a bird that gives you a one-time bonus egg for each specific type of bird you have that is a certain size or lower. There is so much information on all of the cards and it might be used in various ways. You want to look out for cards that will provide a bonus each time you take those actions. Several birds that live in the forest will provide points for food each time you go collecting food. Playing those types of birds early is much better since you can rack up lots of points.

I just played the game once and I only saw a handful of the cards in the game. I honestly have no idea how many combos can be formed or what the best strategy might be! There is a HUGE amount of replayability here.

We were playing 4 players and Chris was teaching since he had played a few times before. He was pleased he was able to teach me the game. Unfortunately, there was a rule that was missed until mid-game and it would have altered several of our early plays. There are types of birds that have stars on them and those are essentially wild-type birds for the nests they create. A pretty major rule, so I will definitely have that correct for the next time I get to play.

I was so focused on trying to get the food I needed to get the birds played that I wanted, I couldn't keep up with what everyone else was doing. I was in my own little world all game completely focused.

It ended up being a bit longer than I thought it would when all was said and done. I think it will be a better 3 player game in the end.

Ray completely had us this game. He was getting a lot of points in the game from his cards and just ran with it. I don't think there was much else I could have done. I was trying to get a lot from the hidden goal cards. It was pretty great though. I had a fun game and I very much look forward to the next play.

































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I had asked Star ahead of time if he would be up for teaching Lisboa. New to me!

This is a super big game and one I have put off playing a for a while due to people telling me it wasn't my type of game. I knew I would want to play no more than 3 players and so we recruited Joel to play and learn too.

I honestly think all of Vital Lacerda's games are a bit too much for me. I don't mind a good heavy game, but he always seems to be past my level of excitement, which is why I was hesitant to play to being with. This game also has a follow mechanic which I am not fond of.

This game has SO FLIPPIN MUCH going on. I am sure my face showed distress the whole time. I was not hating it though. It is not my favorite Vital game (Vinhos), but it wasn't the least favorite either. I felt bad since Star and Joel both thought I was hating it, which was not true. I mean, for you to get the idea of how everything works... each player gets a pamphlet on what all the possible actions and activations are. I mean it was like a 6-page pamphlet. NO JOKE - so much reading and figuring stuff out. The rules took 45 minutes.

I won't even try to get into the rules because it is massive. The gist of the game is that you are trying to build buildings, gain resources, and ship resources for points.

There are so many paths to gaining points. However, there were just too many mechanics for me to really grasp and put together. Nothing flowed properly for me. It was never clear to me when I should spend influence or treasury money. Doing something might cost either influence or treasury and I still have no idea why that would even be affected when there was no indication of it, you simply had to know the rule.

In the end, I think I managed to understand most of the game. I certainly did very poorly. Joel managed to win his first game. It is always questionable when Joel wins though. Star was too busy focusing on making sure we were understanding the rules, which I can respect!

I am glad to have tried it out. This is a game I can pass on in the future. I could try it again, but not really rushing at a chance. For me, it was just too much. I had a headache in the end. Not many games can claim that - so, for some that can be a good thing, but not for me.



















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Star took off, so after Joel and I talked for 20 minutes or so, we decided on a 2 player game of (OMG) Krosmaster: Arena.

Oh I think it had been maybe 5 years since this game came off the shelf. It has been SO FREAKING LONG since my last play. I am pretty sure I wasn't even blogging at the time. Wow.

It is funny since I have kept the game forever. I got it at the first GenCon I attended and went to tons of the events they were having and got all the promo figures from the tournaments. I was all in and totally loved it. When I brought it home no one liked it as I did and I simply had no one to play it with.

When I showed Joel the game, he was all in. He even read the rulebook so we could play. I forgot how to play after all these years.

I can't get over the minis in this game. They just totally speak to me and I LOVE them. So freaking cute and totally my style of art. #ankamarules

Once we started playing, it was clear I was screwed. I really needed to kill the puffer character that Joel had, but I couldn't get enough damage on him to KO. It was only a few rounds before I found myself totally screwed and lost super hard. I could not get Gobball to help me or the tofu helpers to actually trap the characters in place. Nothing I was doing proved helpful. I rolled pretty poorly too.

I am just happy I could get this game played after so many years. It is still so super cute and one I hope to play again. Maybe Joel will want to play again sometime. He seemed really into it.














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Kim was up for a lighter type game and everyone seemed interested in playing Scarabya.

I am always up for this game. I think it is one of the better games to come out in 2018 so it will be staying in the collection and seeing the light of day more often than others!

I am a big fan of the multiplayer-solitaire games so it is to be expected.

This might have been the all-time lowest scoring game of Scarabya I have been a part of. It was kind of ridiculous how bad we were all playing. I will blame Kim for setting up the board in such a horrible way. I am sure she would blame me for picking the cards in the order I did! haha yeah okay it was probably my fault! Dan ended up winning this time with a score of 43. I was actually close behind with 40... but still I think my best score is like 50s. This just seemed like a low score.

Still a fun challenge and one I am happy to accept anytime.






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We only had a short amount of time between games, so I decided it was time to break out a fast push-your-luck game called Tiny Park.

I am not even sure I played it last year, but I made sure to correct that by playing it this year! It is just so much fun. So simple and cute and a race to fill up your park with rides and concessions!

So easy! I just love those big chunky dice and the fun theme and artwork.

I do think there is a possible first player advantage. I happened to go first and I happened to win. It really just depends on who can roll better. Kim wanted to see if she could have filled her board with one more turn and she did. I think she wanted a shared victory. I didn't win many games - so I declined her! I am so rude!

Cute game to play for a while.











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I knew Wystan would be interested in playing Trajan and Shrey and I are always looking for a 3rd person to play this one.

This game is so appealing. There are so many moving parts and it is tricky to do well. I probably pride myself too much on this game though because I typically do pretty well.

Yeah, not this time. Wystan is always so good at games. He can find the mechanics that win him the game nearly every time. He hadn't played this game in years and years and I even retaught the game. Yep, he still managed to come through and kill it.

I was doing pretty well with my shipping of goods and set collection for the workers. It just wasn't nearly good enough. I wasn't able to feed the people each round and was losing points while both Shrey and Wystan were totally fine. Yah, it was a poor showing for me, but I was happy to have played. This is such a great game!










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We were now at 5 players, so it was time we broke out the easy going Auf Teufel komm raus. But I usually just call it "Aufel Toffel".

This game is just a joy every time I play it. There are always smiles all around the table and it is just silly fun. I love betting on what will happen. I love the push-your-luck of the discs and I am almost always pulling out the devil token.

It is amazing how awesome this game really is.

In the first round of the first turn, Kim managed to pull 100 and 100, the 2 BEST chips in the game. I mean, it is unreal what kind of luck she had. I have NEVER seen that happen ever. Wow, it was awesome. I only wish I bet something crazy like the 200 chips I started the game with! #mistakesweremade

I was playing it easy all game and made my safe bets. From past games, I have learned that people bet crazy and then lose lots of points and the game goes on and on. This time I was playing conservatively - slow and steady wins the race! Not so much. I did manage to break 1600 but Wystan totally made a crazy bet that was doubled and he managed to beat me! I was so pissed! It was hilarious and awesome at the same time.

#IShouldHaveWon!








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The final game of the night was a quick 5 player game of Welcome To... with Welcome To...: Halloween Thematic Neighborhood. New to me Expansion!

This was a PnP expansion board that is used with the basic Welcome To... cards. It all works exactly the same too, except some of the houses on the new board have ghosts and candy corn pictured on them, and there are scoring cards that will give you points for certain amounts of ghosts and candy.

When you write a number in a ghost/candy space you have to choose to circle either the ghost or the candy. There is a bonus the more you circle, but you have to select when you get to that number of candy or ghost, then no other player can gain that reward. For example, if I gain 9 candy I will get 15 points, but only if I claim it first. In our game, we used one of the scoring cards and it was to have 3x ghost and candy circled in a 3-house section.

It was really cool to play this game with a new board. I think it really helps keep the game fresh. More to think about without many complications added. Even new players can pick it up quickly.

Ron ended up destroying us all. Here I thought I was doing well with 97 points but he was well over 115, so yeah it was no contest. Always a great game to end the night with.






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Monday night games! First on the table was a game I have been bringing around for weeks called A Feast for Odin with A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians.

Ever since the first game with the expansion we played back in Nov, I have been wanting to play it again so badly! Wow, I love this expansion so much!!!

I am so happy it is finally available in the states for everyone to pick up. It is just awesome. I still feel so lost for what to do and I play ok.

Ron was a machine this game and ended up with like 157 points to my 117 and Geoff doesn't want to talk about it with 79 points. It was a demolishing. I find it very difficult to focus on what other people are doing. One reason I love this game so much is that I am constantly thinking of what will be best, and how to work everything. The time just flies right on by when I play. I reallllllllllllly love it. Even when I lose.














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Next up we had 6 agreeable players for a game of 7 Wonders with 7 Wonders: Armada.

Geoff hadn't ever played the expansion!! It was his copy of the game we were playing and we even played with it before but he wasn't in that game. I taught the game to him and we were all ready.

Geoff particularly enjoyed this play since he was the one who won with 85. He BEAT ME! It was rude. I thought I could have done better, but I thought I still had a decent shot at winning since I wasn't playing poorly or anything. I ended with 82.

Seriously love this game so much! Would play it every day if I could!









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The final game on Monday was a rematch game of Tichu.

Geoff and me vs Dan and Ron! Geoff and I had a super strong start. I nearly called Grand a few times. I did call once and totally had it. It was like taking candy from a baby. I wish all hands were that easy. We had some strong hands but we later had some duds. When the duds came around, Dan and Ron caught right back up and were able to nearly take the win. With some aggressive playing, Geoff and I totally came back for a crazy win!

I love how this game turns out sometimes. It is just amazing fun. So happy to play anytime it is requested!






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Special Features!





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Also, I was a Special Guest on the Players Wanted Podcast!


https://playerswantedpodcast.com/podcast/players-wanted-podc...



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New to the Collection:
Cabo
Vadoran Gardens





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Fri Feb 8, 2019 12:00 pm
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Steph's New to Me List January 2019!!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2019!


This year I have made the goal of learning 300 games!



Steph's Awesome Spectrum Rating System!










Steph's Sad Cloud Rating 1-2.5/10
Steph's Bland Rainbow Rating 3-4.5/10
Steph's Primary Rainbow Rating 5-7/10 (Solid Play)
Steph's Super Rainbow Rating 7.5-8.5 (Keepers)
Steph's Double Rainbow Rating 9-10/10 (Top Favorites)




January List
from Worst to Best




Valentina: The Game – Tutto Crepax Vol. 1:

Okay, I knew this game would be bad, but I still wanted to try it out since I owned it. Pretty game, but really not much fun at all. Speed memory puzzle game. Bad but not burn worthy.



2/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Niagara:

Cool waterfall gimmick which caught my interest to begin with. Needs some house rules to be more likable in my book. Can be really mean, and it might just never end! Ran on far too long for my taste.



3/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Waterworks:

Crusty old card placement game. Not horrible but it was so old I felt dirty playing it. Can be mean and take-that. Luck of the draw. Not exciting at all and won't ever be a choice in the future for me.



4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Age of Civilization:

A bit under developed. Cool ideas and easy to learn light civ game. I like the limited actions you can take in the game and the short playtime.



6/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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Madorino Karuta VR:

Cute use of VR. I like having to try and describe a room. I feel like the game could get old after a few plays but I would be fine playing anytime. It plays a bunch of people and can be a good filler for the start of the day.



6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Adlung Land:

Card laying game to build an amusement park. I like how Adlung Games incorporated all of their titles into this game, it is clever. Harmless game and one I could easily play again.



6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Ice Cream:

We need more games about ice cream so this was a welcomed theme in my book. Any reason to eat more ice cream is a good one. Cute set creation game to try and score ice cream points. Happy to play.



6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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La Stanza:

Played in nearly finished prototype form. Enjoyable planning game. You have to work out the best moves and how to accomplish getting the masterpieces made. Stressful and tight. Cool game.



7/10 After 2 plays (Owned)



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Architects of the West Kingdom:

Clever worker placement game. Feels similar in design to the North Sea series, but different enough to be interesting. Worth checking out if you like Euro games.



7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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London (second edition):

This game is almost brutal in a good kinda way. I played the 1st edition and remember it being more favorable than I have it rated (6). I quite enjoyed the play I had for this one and would most certainly like to return to it. Very much enjoyed my play.



7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)



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Pirate Tricks:

Simple to learn trick-taking game with variable rules that change up from hand to hand. Plays out super quick and lots of fun choices. A very enjoyable game. Maybe too much public information to try and keep track of. Still, one I want to play more of.



8/10 After 1 play (Owned)



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MY GAME OF THE MONTH IS: 5x5 City:

More awesomeness from Okazu Brand. Tile placement game with some pattern building. Easy to teach and play and right up my alley. Will want to own this one.



8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/Wishlist)



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The Tally


January: 12






Total new to me games for the year: 12!



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Last year I started keeping tabs on the movies I was watching. I quite enjoyed that and will continue to keep tabs this year!









Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing 2019.


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


If you like what you saw, please thumb!





I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow



All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in anyway.
Thank you.
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Fri Feb 1, 2019 1:00 pm
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How is January Over? Weekend of Games Including Burgle Bros, Age of Civilization, La Stanza, Endeavor, Le Havre & More!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!



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Saturday was game day and Jess returned my copy of Age of Civilization. New to me!

This is a very light civ building game that takes place over 6 rounds. You are trying to gain the most victory points to win.

In each round, the timeline will move one space forward and a new action space will be available, but also one will fall away. At the start of your turn, you can change civilizations which will gain you access to workers and a power. You have to choose them wisely since you can only have 3 nations throughout the game. If I choose a nation and it provides 3 workers, then I will get 3 workers each turn, unless there is a war where I would lose one, or if I sacrifice workers for the actions I take.

Most actions don't require sacrifice, but some do, and a very important one to help construct wonders. There are different wonders each game that might be built and it is very costly. You will also want to be building up your technology tracks and gaining bonuses that way.

In the game we played, we were confused about some of the setup rules. I am actually not sure if the copy I have is finalized or was still a prototype, so I am not sure if the rules have been updated since. Some things were clearly not working well, and others seem too harsh. Because the game is so fast, I am willing to give it another shot if we could figure out some of the rules.

With a stroke of luck, I managed to capture enough points in the final round to pass everyone to win by 1 point. Not really sure how that worked out, but it was awesome!

I think the game can easily be played in 30 minutes because it is only 6 rounds. You go through a lot of actions to try and get points and you really can accomplish something. I do wish there were more tech tracks or some variable setup there. I like that there are so many nations and you are going to get those randomized each game and new wonders. Cute game, and with a few more clarifications, I think could be a winner.
















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We had a bunch of folks show up by that point and we broke into a few tables. We had enough cooperative fans to actually get a game of Burgle Bros. in.

I last played this maybe 3 years ago now? Man, it has been a while. Last time I played it was only the beginner scenario and we played 2 floors and managed to win, by a hair. This time we went all out and played 3 floors.

I have this awesome tower to use too. It certainly makes for fancy pants pics! The tower is an accessory that can be purchased separately and is pretty cool, perhaps unneeded though. I quite enjoy the tower, except I have a tall table and it made for seeing the 3rd floor difficult! We all managed to play and work it out.

For those unfamiliar with the game, it is a cooperative heist game. You are trying to locate the safe on each floor, decode the lock, grab the loot, and make for the exit. Everyone on the team has to make it out without being caught in order for you to win. The loot is all shiny but will attract more attention from the cops who are roaming the halls.

The first several turns everyone was playing cautiously and peeking at everything. We revealed all of the rooms on the first floor, which is nuts! We were having such rotten luck with trying to find the safe and stairs. Eventually, we found the stairs and I took for the second floor. When I went upstairs, I found the safe, just like that! It made for completing the second floor wicked easy.

Shrey was running low on his steal tokens and we just couldn't distract the cops in the right way to keep eyes off of him. Unfortunately once we were all heading up to the 3rd floor, he was caught red handed and we lost.

We managed to crack 2 codes, so I am hopeful for a win the next game we play. I had a great time playing it and will revisit my initial rating of the game. I am a lot more open to trying and enjoying cooperative games now than I was back when I first played it. I had a great time and it helps when you are playing with great peeps.


















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We were at 5 players and decided on breaking the shrink to my new copy of Endeavor: Age of Sail.

I just recently got this in a trade and have quite enjoyed my plays of Endeavor in the past. The new edition is shiny for sure. We found the player boards are pretty warped, but I think I can straighten them out a bit.

3 people were learning this game and Shrey was great and taught the game. He was not aware of the HUGE change in the rules though and was a bit shocked when I told him about that. If you are sailing to land, you can purchase the cards from the stacks, provided you meet the requirements for the number of discs. Pretty huge!

It was a fun game though and it is just so pretty. Pat ended up winning this game. I just couldn't maintain my levels for the tracks and ended up costing me a bunch of points. It only makes me want to play the game more!

From today's gameplay, Eric liked it enough that he ended up buying my old copy (that I purchased for way too much several years ago). No need for an older edition of the game with this shiny new one! Happy to have it in the collection.
















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Dan got some updated rules for La Stanza so we played a 4 player game with updated rules. All 4 of us playing had played the week before and were interested to see how it changed.

There was one updated rule which no one ended up using that allows for you to use an action of the room you are in if you FIRE one of the commissioned artists of the appropriate color. I can see how it would be helpful but I never had a good opportunity for something like that.

The gameplay was much faster this time since everyone understood what they were doing. I was highly focused on getting out as many masterpieces as I could and I did pretty well with it. I didn't really bother with the area control of the 6th room because everyone else was fighting over it.

Turns out I did pretty well and I ended up TIED with Shrey for the win. I will say that Shrey probably would have won had he recalled passing for 5 points. With that swing, I would have been in 3rd place, so I will accept TIED as the final verdict.

Cool game, I am happy to play it when requested. The play time is fast and gameplay is interesting.















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It had been too long since I last got to try out Solenia.

I had been wanting to revisit this game for a while so I could test out the advanced winter tiles. The last time I played with the advanced board and printed set up with no tiles. When you add the tiles in, you will be drafting different possible abilities you get for the game and different end-of-game scoring. The tiles are definitely a great addition and really spice up the game and give it that hint of strategy you need to have a focus throughout the game.

I made the mistake of selecting 2 smaller tokens that were scoring for in-game fulfillment of the tiles. What I forgot was that I first needed to get 3 orders filled before they were to even activate at all. Basically, it would have been better for me to play with the basic setup on the board than to play with those tiles. I was not doing a good enough job.

Shrey took home the victory this game as he had some good combos and got the higher points for some orders. Mostly his final order spaces gave him a TON of points where mine were lousy since I couldn't generate those points I needed in the game.

This is such a beautiful production and I am happy to get the chance to play it again. I hope to play again soon!














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Next up we agreed to play a 4 player game of Zamki szalonego króla Ludwika aka Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

Yah I upgraded my version for the Polish version since I think the art is so much prettier! For new players, it is harder to read and see the symbols, but most people have played it by now, right? I like the expansion, but I am not sure it came out in Polish with the matching artwork.

I didn't play this game last year, I don't think. It is a shame since I really like this one. It is a clever auction system and you get to form a really cool castle.

This game, I found I was going for the outdoor rooms, and I really should have been focused on the goals at hand over anything else. I had plenty of money because of the outdoor rooms though, so that wasn't an issue. I had a ton of end game scoring cards, but they were all hardly worth anything at the end of the game since I couldn't manage to get the tiles I wanted or needed.

I had totally forgotten about the empty stack bonuses at the end of the game and Dan was still playing his final turn when we discussed it and he was able to rack in a bunch of points. #mistakesweremade Dan ended up winning this one by a long shot.

So happy to play this again, I love it!












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For a couple quick dex games, we played a 4 player game of Go Cuckoo!.

It had been far too long since I last played this game and it is so cute! I forgot the rules, but it is super easy to play.

You just want to get rid of all of your eggs and get the bird on top of the nest.

Shrey kicked butt this time and put us to shame. It was fun and still so cute!!








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We followed up with with a quick game of Dragon's Breath.

I love these fast Haba dexterity games. I think I like this one a little bit more than Go Cuckoo but they are charming in their own way.

I always seem to get the least amount of gems in this game. I am not sure I have ever won at all. Dan ended up taking all the points this game. It was a total demolishing!

This is a game I like best with 3 players!




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One game from Essen was still on my to-play list since I played it DURING Essen, but haven't had a chance to play it since. We broke out Architectura.

This was a game we played on the final night of Essen and on the hotel bed. We were all exhausted but we still managed it! This time I could really photograph the game better and make those colors pop. I am really drawn to the artwork and box cover of this game. It is just outstanding and vivid.

Dan ended up reading the rules since no one trusts me and my rules explanations. It is super simple and easy to learn and it didn't take very long. We just played the standard card deck and it was completed in like 30 minutes.

There is really a bunch of take-that in this game since you are really just trying to take over the board and score building points the best you can.

I did much better this time around, but still not good enough to win. I actually think Shrey won by just a point or 2 - it was super close. I am glad to have played again, but I am not sure how much staying power it has. I will try the additional cards at some point. I really love the playing mat! This game is hard to get played since it really isn't a game for everyone. Not sure there is much to keep people interested.














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Next up, Dan, Shrey, and I played a 3 player game of Porta Nigra.

I haven't played this game in so super long. There are so many awesome things about this game and I have tried several times to play it, so it was exciting to finally get it played again.

Last year I saw it on sale so many times and I only hope people were able to pick it up and try it out. This is a rondel game with tight decisions and critical choices.

I think the best choice in the game is the break between round 1 and 2. You get to collect a combination of money and points. Of course, you want all the money because it helps during the next round and money is SUPER tight. It is so hard because 1 coin for 1 point is such an incredible deal. There is always so much pressure to choose wisely there! I really like that.

It was a great game and I thought I was winning since I picked up the 56 point card, but it wasn't enough and Dan won with over 200 points. I was the big loser with about 180.

Super happy to have played this. I definitely want to bring this one out more. So refreshing to play again.














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Finished the night off with a 3 player game of Mamma Mia!.

Shrey hadn't played this game before so it was time he did. This is a game I really enjoy but always do sooooo very poorly on. I can recall SOME of the pizzas I place and SOME ingredients that I will need. The problem is I never seem to get the ingredients that I will need to help FINISH the pizza at the time of the reveal. Bleh, I am terrible at this game. I like to try anyway though.

This game was no different and I was super last. Yes, Shrey beat me and Dan absolutely killed us. When Joe H isn't around, Dan wins a lot! I think Dan won the majority of the games that day. I really need to play Gink soon, it seems!








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Monday night, I went to Joe's and got in a few games. John, Ron, and I played a 3 player game of Le Havre.

I knew this was a game John likes and knew, so felt it was a good option. I always enjoy playing this one and think it is so unique and interesting.

This game I thought I was totally losing. I was getting lots of buildings and I got some ships too. I really thought I was hosed since I had -42 in loans I took. This was the FIRST game I ever played where I didn't pay off my loans. I was shocked I didn't end with a lower score. I won the game with 247 points which actually might have been my best game to date if not than ONE of the best, for sure!

I had a great game and I think I beat Ron by like 100 points. I literally had all the buildings though. It was a crazy game. Love it.





I borrowed some money for my loans from the other table. That works right? Do you know what game it is from?







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The final game of the night was a ridiculously long game of Tichu.

I always want to play Tichu on Monday nighit! I will always request it. I LOVE this game and will always try. This time I was teamed up with Geoff and we started very strong. Well, more that we had good hands and Ron would call Tichu and we would set him. Dan seemed to have very bad starting hands.

Later we were finding it hard to keep the score going up so we had to go to extreme measures. I think we called Tichu and Grand like 5 or 6 times, only ever making it once. It was a rough finale to this game. We would managed to get set with the Tichus and somehow keep all of the points. Round after round and we couldn't get the Tichu call. Dan and Ron weren't making the points either since they weren't collecting them! It was just silly.

Eventually Geoff and I lost. I need a rematch asap.






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New to the Collection:
Wingspan





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:54 pm
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Might as well stay in La Stanza and play GAMES all day! Snow RUINS EVERYTHING!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Time to vote for your favorite Boardgame Images from 2018!
Item for Geeklist "The 2018 Picture of the Year contest"
The image I submitted:




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On Saturday a lot of people were scared away because of the pending snow storm. It made for a short game day, boo. Still managed to play a bunch of different titles I was looking forward to playing. We started with Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition.

I have played this game enough to the point where I wanted to play with a variant that was included in the box. We ended up playing the Volcano variant. I believe with any of the variants you will be adding 2 dice and playing 6 rounds instead of 7 rounds. The extra dice added are special and will be forming regions on your board that will be a nuisance for the rest of your roads and tracks.

With the Volcano variant, you will be adding a bit of lava to your board each round. 2 dice are added but you only have to use 1/2 or 2/2 if you would rather. You do get 1 point per lava space you have, so you might end up taking extra! You can choose to start new volcanoes when you see fit, but that is more spaces being taken up. If you manage to contain the lava to a closed region you get bonus points.

Otherwise, you still play everything else the same and will score for the roads and tracks the same.

I am quite awful at this game even still after so many plays. Ron ended up winning that time around. but I have to say I quite enjoyed the added dice and challenges of the volcano and lava. I am excited to see how the other variants come along. I do think the variant added time, however. People were taking a sweet while to decide on their placement for everything. Something to be aware of, or play with fewer people.





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The first game I was interested in playing was new arrival of La Stanza. New to me!

This was an advanced prototype/preproduction copy of the game. Everything you see in the photos is not final. It is currently on KS and will have a lot of shiny bits in the final production.

I am always excited to learn new Quined Games when given the opportunity. I do know that the rules have been slightly updated and altered since I have played this game, but I will still talk about it from my experiences.

This game is played over a number of rounds depending on player count. You will be moving your guy around and around the board, which is basically a rondel, collecting/sponsoring works of art in hopes of creating social status and prestige.

On your turn, you will move up to 4 painting spaces away and collect the character to your board. There are a total of 6 rooms, and you will collect characters in 5 of them. After you take a character, you look at your collected characters and possibly take an action. The color room you are in can allow you to take an action if you have a matching character to be hired for the turn. For example, if you land in a red room you can then hire any red characters you have and then get to perform the red room action. If you have no red characters for hiring purposes then you can spend the matching red colored meeple if you have one, and still perform the action of that room. Instead of that action you can spend a different colored meeple and perform the hire action of that colored meeple and take that room's action.

All of the rooms do different things and are scored differently. It is very point-salady. You want to do a bit of everything, but you really want same-colored characters to get better and better rewards and later victory points from the masterpieces.

The game can be pretty harsh, especially with money. You need to run a tight ship and you need to be aware of every $1 you spend. It can be quite a challenge to pick up extra meeples, so if you get the chance they can be very handy in helping you perform the actions at the time you really want to perform them.

In my game, all 4 players were learning. I found a few of my turns were not well spent and I actually passed on any action at all since I didn't have the right colored characters or meeples I needed. I was trying to optimize the meeples and the actions. Unfortunately, none of the rooms had characters that matched, and I was unable to take and hire a character in the room without using a meeple. This was all very early on, I did much better later on, but I still didn't win.

I was trying to play the long game, but the rounds really quicken up each time, since you might not have enough characters to fill all of the rooms from round to round, or at least in my prototype. I believe the Kickstarter will have bonus tiles and make for a thicker stack of character tiles.

I had a pretty good time playing. It is still very much in the development phase but it is getting there with all the kinks for rules. I can see it being samey from game to game, but I am not sure. I am certainly happy to play again and try again. I like the stress of the money and collecting the characters and actions that you want and need. You definitely have to plan, but you really have to work with the options you are given. Happy to play this one again.

















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Ray came and was very interested in learning how to play Underwater Cities. I ended up teaching Mark and Ray how to play. I find this game is very easy to teach and play. We even played with the asymmetric sides of the game boards with no problem.

This was a game that took a bit longer than I might have liked with 2 folks learning, but we managed okay. I do think you play better if you have played before. I am getting used to cards and am trying to form quicker plans. I ended up winning by a lot, but the key was to make sure they knew what they were doing by the end of the game. They both quite enjoyed it so it was a success.

Always happy to get this game played, I have been very much enjoying it. Ray was super pleased to be learning this one as he had requested it a few times before. Look forward to exploring it more. Gotta try the little promo I have next time.













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We had a few minutes so we decided on a quick game of Dragon's Breath.

They hadn't played before and it is best with 3 players since you get more turns. Such a cute game and I am glad to revisit it. Essen games show up and other games get shadowed.

The quality of this game is awesome and it's simple fun. Mark ended up winning this game. I always seem to get shafted with luck. Never tumbles the way I expect and end up choosing the worst gem, every time!








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Chris and Mark were up for some crime-solving fun in Chronicles of Crime. Chris had been wanting to play this one and learn it so we played case 1 part 1. I played this back at BGG and did so poorly I felt that revisiting it was a good idea to see if I could do better.

Sure enough, the 3 of us were able to do better. We were unable to locate the weapon, but we scored 85 which is totally a B! That is pretty great. I could go back and try again in the future and maybe figure out the weapon part. We will see, there are more cases coming later this year so I am very excited for those.






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We were looking for a fast-ish game and I suggested Fine Sand. I have been itching to play this game with the new set of Fabled Cards each time.

I was teaching Chris and Mark so I destroyed them. They were playing the long game and I was playing the FAST AS I CAN MANAGE game. Not sure that is always the correct way, but I will always pass a card each round even if it means I can't play the card I want to play.

I kicked butt. It wasn't much of a fight it seems. I really have to play this game with people who already know the game and then it will just be equal. Will it get to be luck of the draw? It is hard to really say. I still want to work through the deck though. Really enjoying it so far.








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Mark was leaving soon so we decided on playing a game of Karuba.

This is one I wish was requested more. I really love these multi-player solitaire games and will always play them. They both knew the game and we could easily play.

I didn't get my paths completed in a timely manner and really was pulling crappy tiles for anything I needed. It was a mess for me and Mark ended up winning that time! Glad to get this one played more.








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Down to the final table and Geoff and Scott were interested in playing Coimbra.

I am actually good at teaching this game. Everything is clear and makes sense. I am not great at teaching all games, but this one has always been very clear for me and easy to explain.

The game length always seems to vary though and when teaching it goes a lot longer. It really shouldn't be a long game, but generally ends up being a bit over the desired length. Maybe I will play with a table of people who already know it next time. #wishfulthinking

Anyway, Geoff ended up winning that game. I got overrun in the last second for the winning scores on 2 tracks so that was a disappointment!

It was pretty close though and Geoff won with 148 and I was 146 - basically, I got robbed!














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The final game of the night was requested by Geoff and Scott to play Yokai Septet.

Scott and I teamed up since he was sitting across from me. In the first hand of cards, I had all the power cards and it was awesome. I could control a lot of the situations. We ended up sneaking by with a win that time. I nearly thought we would lose since I was collecting too many tricks, but we got that 4th 7 to win the round.

The next few rounds didn't go according to play though and we couldn't win another hand so we ended up losing best of 3 hands aka first to 7 stars. Awesome game, I am glad to be playing it so much.


















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Monday found a few people over for spur of the moment game day on MLK day. We were at 5 players and decided on a game of History of the World.

This was my requested game of the day. I had actually made a list of about 150 5-player games that I enjoy and are in my collection. I knew approximately who was coming to game day and picked a few out that I thought might be a good idea. This was the agreed upon game.

Scott and Star hadn't played this version of the game before so they were learning. I don't think Star had ever played any version, actually.

I think I have come to terms that this game is really just best with 4 players. For me, a 5 player count just goes on too long. It might have been 3 hours and it just felt long. If you go first in one round and last in the next you are essentially sitting out for 30 minutes. Too much downtime.

Joe H ended up winning this time around. No one was shocked. laugh









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Next up we agreed on Die Sieben Siegel.

I love this game and will always play it. Star needed a reminder since it had been a long while since he played. But we were good afterward.

I got to play as Steven 1 time, but it was a good round when no one ended up taking him.

There were a few rounds where I collected points like it was my job. People were just solely after me and giving me -3 tokens. It was terrible. No way for me to win that time but Star did the best and won! It was awesome! We somehow took down Joe H that game! I don't know how we did it, but I suspect he won't ever allow that to happen again.








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Joe took off and we were at 4 players. We decided on a game of Mombasa. We were also using the Mombasa: Cooked Books Mini Expansion.

Ron was all in on the book track and got all the way to the end. In the second round, he was using the bookkeep space and collected 9 points/ money just like that.

Here I thought I was doing pretty well with a cotton strategy and the white track. I was getting major discounts with my cotton cards and ended up zooming up the tracks at the end of the game very easily. I did okay, but nowhere near Ron's score.

I think Scott came in second but I was close behind him in 3rd.

Always a good time to play Mombasa, I really love this game and am always surprised how it ends up. Just makes me more eager to play Blackout! I hope it is available soon!







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New to the Collection:
La Stanza





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:00 pm
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Catching Up! Holidays Are OVER And This Blog Brings Me Up-To-Date! Please No Snow!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Time to vote for your favorite Boardgame Images from 2018!
Item for Geeklist "The 2018 Picture of the Year contest"
The image I submitted:




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We started Saturday off with Geoff's new ENGLISH copy of The Quacks of Quedlinburg. Geoff likes to upgrade his games as Scott does and he made some awesome discs for the game. A DIY list is here: Deluxified Tokens for Quedlinburg.

I am always happy to play this game even though I know I might never win. I just push my luck too much and fall too far behind to really make a dent.

This time Kim was in the lead the whole game and she just stayed there. She was getting lots of excellent bonus rolls and managed to collect a ton of additional discs. By the end of the game she was hitting the max points she could and just destroyed us. I do get to claim second place though.

I am happy this one is now available in the US for lots of people to check out. I am happy to play it and try out the new token powers and different strategies. Good times with Quacks!















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We had a few minutes and decided on playing a fast game of Streams.

It really is my go-to 5-minute filler game. I can't think of a better game to fill 5 minutes besides Happy Salmon.

I even taught it and we played within five minutes, total. Simple and with a bunch of tension. Love it. I think I managed to sneak a win this time around. It is a game I am always happy to play.




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Earlier in the week, I put out a message saying that we should play Ora et Labora. It is not really a game I just want to pull off the shelf and play. Thankfully Shrey ended up refreshing himself on the rules and helping me and Joel remember how to play. I had played it most recently in like 2017. The player aids are also quite good for helping us remember.

It was super awesome to play again. We all had a great time playing and I think we will be playing again soon because we all had such a great time.

I do think the game plays out great with 3 players. With more, it is just so hard to focus on what people are doing. I was so focused on my board and trying to make my strategy work, I don't have any idea what Shrey and Joel were up to all game. I was trying to get great scoring for my settlements, and was working the grapes and vineyard too.

I thought for sure I would win that game, but I just couldn't manage it. Joel thinks he won, and we're not sure, but we think it was legit.

Anyway, it was great to get it back to the table and I hope we revisit it soon and play the other version.










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During Essen, I picked up a game called Narabi. I got to play this at BGG.Spring and enjoyed my time.

On Saturday, we ended up playing 2 games and that was good. With quick games like this, I like playing a couple times in a row. It is a pretty simple co-op game to play. You randomize rules for the different stone cards then give players the stone cards. The goal of the game is to get the stones in ascending or descending order around the table. On your turn, you must do the action of one of your stones, which will swap the stone with another player.

The only thing that doesn't much work in this game is the scoring. Sometimes you just can't win in 5 moves so why should winning in under 5 moves be better than winning in 6 moves? You have to win within 24 moves or everyone loses.

Anyway, I will say that we won one game and lost another.









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There was a game that showed up that I have been interested in trying for a while called Pirate Tricks. New to me!

I got to demo this game on the BGG live stream back at Origins, I think it was! I am always ready to learn and play a new trick-taking game.

This is a fast game, and there might be a lot that happens in it, but it is fairly simple to explain and teach. There are 3 suits of cards numbered 1-20, but you might have to remove some cards depending on the number of players. The game plays out in 3 rounds and whoever collects the most points will win!

Each round, each player receives five pirate cards. Two recruitment cards and two end-of-round scoring cards are revealed. Each round has 2 phases. The first phase will be forming your hand of cards by betting on the available rows of cards that are on display, starting with the top and auctioning them off one row at a time. What is cool about the rows of cards is that 5 cards in each row are face up and 2 are face down so it isn't perfect knowledge. Once all players bid and acquire cards, they will then discard 2 cards and be left with a 10 card hand. From the 10 cards, they can reveal any number of cards and gain points based on the two recruitment cards. These cards might say "gain one point for each odd green card you have" You show those cards and gain some points. You are giving up information about your hand, but you gain points! I don't really see a reason not to gain the free points this way. Knowing these recruitment cards at the start of the round will definitely influence the bidding for the rows of cards.

The second phase is playing out the tricks. You must follow suit if you can, and Red is always trump. Otherwise, it works just like any other trick-taking game. What you want to watch for are the 2 end-of-round scoring cards. They might read "each red card is worth 1 point" or "all blue cards -1 point and #14 is -4 points". Something very specific.

You just play out 3 rounds and the game is over. It actually flies right on by and is super simple. We were up and playing 4 players in no time, and it plays 3-5 players so I think it could be interesting with 5 players as well.

I was doing really well this game and buying all of the right rows for the right reasons. I honestly thought I would win, but Shrey was very sneaky and ended up winning by 2 points! He had 32 to my 30. I was shocked. I must have spent too much on bidding. Doh! I can't believe I didn't win! I just didn't get enough points on recruitment goals, I think. I was taking all the appropriate tricks too. I will come back for revenge soon!

I had a great time playing this one. I am not quite sure what the theme of the game is, but I think it might be Star Fox... Star Fox is amazing, after all. He is red and Red is trump, as it should be, #best. I can see playing this one anytime. I love card games and it will work great for any trick-taking fan. Very familiar with different goals each round. Keeps it interesting from game to game. I very much look forward to the next play.




















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Shrey requested we play Tales of Glory. I won't ever turn this one away unless we are 5 players. I just don't like it as much with 5 players. Shrey had played before but Kim hadn't so Dan ended up explaining it.

This is another simple to learn and play game that has simultaneous bidding for tiles and tile placement, both of which are mechanics I like. There is so much to think about with the compact play that always keeps me coming back for more.

I never seem to win this game, even when I think I am doing well. I honestly have no idea who won, but it was probably Kim since she had a lot of monsters and collected a bunch of in-game points. Always a good time playing this one.








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Because it was Kim's birthday weekend, we just had to play 7 games of Werewords Deluxe Edition. This has to be her favorite game, or at least top 3 favorites. She will always request it.

We recruited everyone who was left, so there were 9 of us for this game. I think everyone who wanted to be Mayor was able to be the Mayor. Fortunately, it was never me as I always pass up that chance.

Last time we played 10 games and I won 80% of them! This time I managed to win 1/7 games. Yeah it was super lame. I was not on my A-game at all. I did get to be the werewolf a few times. Once when Joel and I were both werewolves, Kim was sitting between us and she was "The Thing" which was quite helpful. "The Thing" taps someone next to them on the shoulder, basically telling that person they are not the werewolf. Haha! It didn't matter - Joel and I still lost.

Good times, I am happy we could make Kim happy for a while! I think everyone who was playing and learning also enjoyed it. That is always a plus!





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Shrey and Adam were wanting to check out the next scenario in Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr.

I was up for that to see how the game progresses. We did learn one critical rule that we were probably playing incorrectly until that point. We were not really directing the conversations correctly. In order to direct a conversation, you must already have a bit from that timeline. I know we had bits on a couple of our scenarios, but we might have asterisks on a couple other scenarios. Regardless, we will continue through.

This was a challenging game for sure. We were DOWN TO THE WIRE!! We needed every single day, but on the final day, we were lucky enough to get the clear picture and the memories to win the scenario. I am shocked we were so lucky. On to Scenario 6 it seems!












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We had some time before the other game broke up so we played a game of The River. I ended up teaching it to both Adam and Shrey and probably did a terrible job doing it.

I didn't recall the game being so difficult but in order to be sure of everything I was checking a lot of small details of the different actions and tiles. I will do better next time for sure.

Adam built 5 buildings in the blink of an eye, but Shrey got higher valued ones. I went for the buildings as I did the last time I played and just couldn't get enough points from them. I need to build buildings faster, it seems. I get caught up with fewer guys and it just kills me! Gotta do better next time! Adam triggered the end and Shrey ended up winning.

It is quite a simple game and I am not sure they were wowed, but I think they enjoyed it. I certainly don't mind the game. I am quite terrible at it.










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Shrey took off and Adam and I ended up playing a game of Dominion: Renaissance.

We didn't feel we got a proper experience with the expansion last time we played so we just played with all new cards.

It was a game I had lost from the minute we started. It was a back and forth dash to get the flag over and over. The flag gives you an automatic +1 card each turn. Adam was persistent in claiming it right after me. The minute I stopped grabbing the flag it was over. It was a disaster for me. I should have fought harder to keep it. He stomped me into the ground, to be expected.

Not really sure what the expansion really adds but it was still fun. Nothing like Empires or Hinterlands, but I like it well enough. No cards or actions really stood out as interesting for me. I like that Adam really likes this game. It certainly makes the game more fun when you play with people who really like it. I am happy to play Dominion.









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I needed a "V" titled game to help with the Alphabet Challenge and I suggested Valentina: The Game – Tutto Crepax Vol. 1. New to me!

I knew this game would just be horrible. I knew it for a lot of reasons, but it was a "V" game and it has been in the collection since BGG.Spring where it was given to me. Might as well try it, right?

It is a speed memory type game. But you are basically just trying to puzzle together all of your paintings first. Everyone has 3 paintings to try and complete. You can play the slow way very memory style, or you can just play free for all in a crazy fit to try and get your pieces. It is more fun with speed, then the game is over faster.

I finished my paintings but I don't think I won. I am pretty sure everyone agreed that we all lost for playing. It was still a pretty game, just saying.









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Next up was a 4 player game of Jetpack Joyride. This was the final letter I needed to complete the Alphabet Challenge. Success! I kinda like the Alphabet Challenge because it gives you something to try for and by doing that you are playing games you might not have selected otherwise.

I like this game since it is real-time in relation to the other players, not because there is a timer. You are just trying to puzzle out the pathway better than everyone else and faster than everyone else.

In our game, Dan and I were doing very well, but we screwed up a few times. In the final round, I just screwed up a bunch and scored little or no points at all. Dan managed to stay in the lead all game and he ended up winning the game. Boooo! I was glad Scott had a good final round though, since he had a rough beginning.

Happy to play this one. I like playing with polyominoes!








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Nearing the end of the night we managed to keep Scott around and we played a 4 player game of The Voyages of Marco Polo. We were playing with the expansion too, and I haven't played this game nearly enough, especially with the expansion.

I wanted to use all of the expansion, but we just ended up playing with the additional board. This time I got the broken character that is a mooch and gains 1 good type whenever anyone goes and collects goods from the market. This proved very helpful to me. I don't ever think I got to play as this ability before because Ron usually takes him first. Ron ended up taking a different one though.

I did extremely well this game. I got all of my houses down by the end of round 4, which is a first for me. I was sailing through the final round just looking to round up some points and didn't have any real plans. It was crazy. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I did extremely well this game and ran away with it. I ended with 128 points and Scott was 2nd with 107. Ron was 92 I think, and Dan really doesn't want to talk about his 44 score. I don't know what happened with Dan, but he was really mismanaging his turns, it seems.

Love this game and I am glad to have won. Wish I got to play it more.












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The final game of the night was メトロックス (MetroX). This game I have been wanting to play more of. I really have to laminate some of the sheets though, I don't want to run through all of them.

It seems to get played without me and I think dang, I want to play that. Dan was willing to play though, and like always, I lost hardcore. I can never seem to get the connections I want or the ability to end the lines. It never seems to work out in my favor, but I do like to try. It is a vicious game. Love it though! One of the best Roll n Writes from last year.



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Monday night games, we started with a 4 player game of Adlung Land. New to me!

I think this passed through the collection at one point and I never got to play it. I was happy to finally get the chance. Joe H is working through his collection and brought it along for us to try.

It is a very simple card game where you are building up an amusement park of all the Adlung Games. On your turn, you get 2 actions. As an action you can either draw a single card or play a single card, paying its cost. Once you play a card you score whatever points the card gives and you play until all of the cards in the deck are drawn. It is pretty cute and very simple.

In the game, I picked up a few heavy hitters for scoring. I waited until the last possible action to play the really big scoring card that netted me like 50 points. It was insane how many points it gave me. Bill had a similar card but he only managed to get 30 points or so.

Because of that one card, I pretty much ran away with it by 20 points. It was silly. Cute game that I could play again, it was harmless.










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We tried to time with the other game that was finishing up so we played a fast game of Extra!.

It had been a while since I played this game, but Dan reminded me it was very much like Can't Stop Express. There are 5 dice that are rolled and you have to combine 2 pairs of dice for their values and then take a hit with the 5th die. It is all about managing the values properly and to the best of your ability.

It is a very mean game and you will most likely end up with a negative score. Hey Hey!! That is just what I did! Fortunately, I didn't lose with my -120, but Bill did with I think -240. You know, Joe H won with a positive score!! Wow, that is impressive. I will have to play that more and try not to be so negative.





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We broke into smaller groups and played a 3 player Scorpius Freighter.

I was happy to play this game again, but I was really hoping to play with 4 players and use drafting. Next time I will definitely be drafting the starting cards. I need new goals and ambitions in this game. Seeing as I always have the red cards, because I like playing red, I have the same cards and scoring each game. I gotta switch it up!

I am not saying, I win though. I never seem to win and I was very far from winning this game. Michael T took home the victory with his 32 point contract. He absolutely killed it. I was having a hard time collecting resources and then getting to the contract space. I think maybe 2 or 4 players is best with this game.

Regardless, I have fun playing and will keep at it. I have been enjoying it.










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The final game of the night was another 3 player game which is probably better with 4, called Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

It has been on my radar to play again for a while. I have been trying to recruit players at gameday but generally not enough interest. Dan was happy to try it this night though and Ron played as well.

Of course, we shouldn't trust Ron and help him out. Since you only get to score your weakest of the 2 castles he was able to pull out the win. I was just trying to get bonuses for both my castles all game. It didn't seem to phase Dan or Ron to try and help with that, but I did what I could. Dan was making sure we were completing the Blue Rooms since we had 3 of them.

Regardless, my score and Dan's were lowest at 51, and Ron won with 54. It was sad! I am glad I got to play again. I hope next time to play with 4 players. I quite enjoy this game, and the scoring much improved from Between Two Cities. Happy to play!













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Got an awesome pack of unloved games from
Madelyn C
United States
Locust Grove
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New to the Collection:
Endeavor: Age of Sail
Downforce
Mag·Blast (Third Edition)
God Dice
Meuterer
Legends of the American Frontier
Treasures & Traps
Treasures & Traps: Expanded Realms 1
The Big Bang Theory: Rock! Paper! Scissors! Lizard! Spock! Dice Game
Here, Kitty, Kitty!
Gene Pool
Project Dreamscape
Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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New Year New Goals! Alphabet Challenge? Well That should be easy enough.

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Hia Everyone!



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Saturday was game day! It was a full house packed with eager gamers. To start the day off we played a new Japanese game called Madorino Karuta VR. New to me!

This game involves an app that is a VR program. Each turn a player will describe the room they are looking into and all other players will try to find the described room on the mess of cards on the table. Once all players have selected a card then the correct room is revealed and the player who guessed it correctly will keep the card they chose.

It is a super quick game and will play any large number of players. We played with 7 players. You play through 10 rooms and whoever gains the most room cards after 10 rounds wins!

With 7 players it was pretty clear Ron would be the winner once he gained his 3rd room. He totally did too. I didn't manage to get ANY room cards. I wasn't very good at this game at all.

It was cute, and I could play again, not really sure I have to though.









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Joe H was so interested in proving WEM wrong, so he wanted me to play Blöde Kuh. Eric said it is not a game that would be featured on an Instagram post and well that just had to be corrected. I posted the pic to BGG's Instagram & Twitter account for good form.

I got to play this game last year (a few weeks ago) and had a pretty good time playing. It is a harmless card game. I can't say I love it but I am happy to play it.

Jared and Scott joined for a 4 player game and because I did so well with my last play I got beat on! Jared ended up winning this game and I did like 3 times worse than my previous play! I think it was still enough for 2nd place though.

Oh, that silly cow.







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We tried out more new Japanese games from Joe H's bag of wonders, playing 5x5 City. New to me!

A new game from Okazu Brand you don't say? Yes please! Especially if it is a tile placement game. I am always on the lookout for any new Okazu Brand games. I still have yet to try Yokohama Duel.

In this game, you are drafting tiles to play in your city. You are trying to make patterns of the different types of buildings to try and score the most points. There are 12 rounds, and each round a number is revealed. That number represents location(s) on your board in which you will have to place the tiles you are drafting. If the region is a 3-sized region, then there will be several 3-tile sets to select from, and each player will draft a set to place. You will always be passing start player around so everyone will get a chance to draft first. At the end of the game, each space on your board will be filled.

That is essentially the game, but the real game is in the tiles and placement of the tiles and how they are scoring for you. It can be quite abstract in that way.

In our game, I was going all out trying to collect as many office tiles as I could get. The office building scores a lot more for having more offices in your grouping of tiles. I was very much focused on getting them placed well. Factories also score very well but you have to balance them out with parks. Any tile can be a park just by flipping it over.

I took a chance one way and it failed me, so I ended up not winning this time around. Dan totally won - somehow! No one knows how.

This is a game I want to add to the collection for sure. I love games that are so easy to play and teach, and it has drafting which I love! I had a great time with it.













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Wystan was awesome and brought along a game I was super interested in trying out called Architects of the West Kingdom. New to me!

I quite enjoyed the North Sea Series and am interested in the West Kingdom series as well. This first title didn't disappoint.

This is a worker placement game where you have a ton of dudes and you can't easily recall them after placing them. In order to get them back, they have to wind up in jail first and you have to save them from prison life. At least, that is the most productive way, there are other ways of course, just not common and not something you would want to do.

Each turn, you place one guy on an available space and most of the spaces can hold any number of people. The more guys you have placed on a space, the better action you will get. Mostly you are trying to gather resources and gain allies that help the actions you take. You might take the high road and do good deeds and be virtuous or you might take the low road and be a criminal but get tasty rewards at a cost. The goal is the same - to try and gather the most victory points in the end.

There is an action that will steal guys from locations and then you will have to take a supplementary action to put them into jail for money. Normally, you will be taking other peoples workers from the board to stop them from getting excellent bonuses and the more you take the more money you can gather from dumping them into jail.

In our game Wystan was trying very hard on a strategy that hinged on one particular thing, I believe from a card draw. It would have been like a 30 point swing for the win. As it stood, that wasn't what happened and he didn't get what he needed. I managed to keep to the high ground and I did very well helping to build up the church and gain lots of virtue points. I built a lot of buildings which was working well with my strategy so I took home the winning score that time.

I enjoyed this one a bit. I am not sure it really stands out for me, but I would happily play it anytime it showed up on the table. With art from Mihajlo Dimitrievski, I am always interested. Good stuff.


















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There was talk of playing Teotihuacan: City of Gods and I was up for it. I think I even ended up explaining it to Joel who hadn't played before. Shrey and Star had. It was a 4 player game and Joel picked it up easily enough. I think it really clicked for him mid-game though and he figured out all his faults.

It really wasn't a good game for me. We had a weird mash-up of boards and I just never found the right groove to get me lots of points, though I was working very hard on decorating the pyramid. I guess it worked since I still ended up winning, somehow. The final scores were pretty low coming in at like 160. I beat Star by only 1 point so it was wicked close.

Love this game and I just haven't been disappointed yet.






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We had a little bit of time and I retaught Star and Shrey how to play Cities. I am always up for Cities and they were happy to oblige me. They had both played before but needed reminding on how to score.

I don't think I explained it well enough, so I was trying to help Star as best I could throughout the game. It was a clean sweep though. I have been playing a lot online and it was really no contest. Totally unfair grounds.

Basically, that means I just need to bring it to the table more and people will get better and better each week, right? In my dreams, it seems.

Still, I love this game soooo flipping much. Will always play it.




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Since Joe and Jared were there, we just HAD to play a game of 7 Wonders: Armada with 7 Wonders: Cities. They love 7 Wonders so much and are always willing to play it. This is a top favorite game and one I will never say no to. I LOVE IT.

Ever since BGG.CON, I have just been winning all the games I have played of this, and this time was no different. I realllllllllllllllllly did amazing this time around. It was a super tight race all game between me and Wystan though. We were apart from one another and just attacking our opponents. We walked away with about 30 points in military at the end which was no joke.

Since we were playing with the Cities expansion, we got an additional card, so the scores were going to be higher anyway. I can't wait to play with Leaders and Cities and Armada next time! I want to play more and more.

I ended up just 1 point ahead with a score of 102 and Wystan was 101. I felt I was doing well, but I didn't think I would actually win! That was great. I was doing quite well in all categories so that worked in my favor!

I love playing that game with 6 people who know how to play. Makes for a fun time.









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I was interested in trying out X nimmt! again.

There were 4 of us this time around and it didn't change that much but enough to really make the piles sweep more.

I was collecting the points like it was my job, and you don't want points in this game! Bust after bust after bust! I just did super bad this time. It was just dreadful! I was probably lasttttt - if not then two of us did really bad. Dan ended up winning.

I have to say it makes me like the game more when I get beaten like that. It means there is room for improvement and I had a great time playing. I would like to get a copy of this game for sure.








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Next up we decided on a fast game of Dream Home & Dream Home: 156 Sunny Street.

It had been far too long since my last play of this and I don't think Shrey had played before. We played with the expansion since it could give us a few more challenges to work with.

There are a couple of modules and I actually like them both. You can add more goal cards to try and accomplish things like getting specific rooms in specific areas, and there are friends you can invite over who like specific patterns. Just a few more things to try and get points from. It is certainly easy enough to work with and you don't have to do it.

Dan ended up winning this time around. boo. I was not getting my goal cards completed since the cards were just not coming up in the order I needed them to. I didn't even get to acquire the game room!! I could have, but it didn't make sense to... but I wanted to, mark my words!

I think this game is so charming. I very much enjoy playing it. I can see how it might be a bit light for some people but I am always happy to play it. I am glad we were able to bring it to light.










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I was very much interested in trying out Fine Sand. I had played once before and I was curious about the Fable Campaign.

We started Fable mode, and that is basically where the first player removes 3 cards from their deck and draws the next 3 cards from their Fable stack. Everyone else removes and adds the same 3 cards. So everyone still starts the game with 30 cards.

It is so interesting to see how this progresses because you get new action cards and different strategies might form. I think it is clear that you should always discard one card from your hand to your neighbor each and every time. If you aren't doing that then you are wasting potential.

I did it each time no matter what, even changing my plans sometimes to do it, and I absolutely killed everyone! I ended with 8 cards total I think. I quite like this game and I like trying to kill off my cards. It is a fun challenge. I wonder about replay value but I am enjoying it so far and the Fable deck keeps me interested.








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We decided on Hamsterrolle for the next game. I don't think Shrey had played before and Scott was up for a dex game so why not! It had been far too long since I last played this game.

I love this game because it is so simple and colorful! I will always be up for playing dexterity games and this is a classic.

There was one point in the game the wheel got caught in the middle of the table, so we had to adjust it. Thankfully I didn't ruin the situation at hand.

It worked well and I had a good time, I didn't win at all. Scott ended up winning since Shrey made it all collapse at one point. Booooo! I was doing well at making it hard for others. I don't think I made any fall. Or maybe I did, once. I can't recall.

Anyway, always a good time playing this.









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I taught them how to play Kingdom Run. I was up for a little push-your-luck game and I was wanting to revisit this one since my last play.

Having played this game before gave me a slight advantage, but not much. I was not winning for most of the game. I was trying to keep my guys somewhat together on the path, and that kept me behind in the initial place score. I think that helped me in the end because both Shrey and Scott were duking it out and I was just prancing around stealing their money and working up the path for bigger points.

I ended up sneaking the win this time around. I don't think it will be so easily won the next time I go to play it!





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Working on the Alphabet challenge, I wanted to play a game starting with a P, so I suggested Prosperity. This game went under the radar a bit during its time and now you can find it pretty cheaply anywhere. I always enjoyed it well enough and so does Scott. He COMPLETELY forgot about this game. I mentioned it and he was like I don't know it. Of course I showed him the box and he was like ohhhh yeah I like this one!

Shrey hadn't played it before so I think I explained it. It had been far too long since my last play. I looked it up, and it was Jan 2017... so 2 years ago!

It is pretty easy to remember the rules for this one though. I like it a lot. It is a real struggle to balance the different resources. I managed it pretty well and started picking up globes early. I was collecting 8 points a globe score before long and just had a great score by the end. I think it might have been my best score ever!

I usually don't hit 40 points but this time I managed to get 47. I was pulling the right tiles at the right time and just playing a good game. I am certainly happy to play this game upon request. Happy it is still in the collection.








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Nearing the end of the night with a final table, we pulled out Zock 'n' Roll. I needed that "Z" for the challenge and we had 5 people so it was a good time to play. You really want a bunch of people for this so you can gamble better.

Of course, when there is gambling involved it means I will lose. I just push my luck too much and end up getting screwed over in the end.

This time didn't change it. I was so super last place and Ron ended up winning as he normally does. I think Wystan might have given him a run for his money though. It was close between them, it might have been a tie.

Cute game and one I am happy to play.





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Shrey took off and we played a 4 player game of Yokai Septet. The cards in this game are just so colorful and make my eyes so happy!

I love this game and it is always interesting to see how it works out. In this game you have a partner and I love having a partner in card games. This time I was teamed up with Wystan and we were just having dreadful luck and couldn't manage much anything in the first hand.

I don't think we were able to even get one trick and definitely not a 7 at that. All you really want are 7s. Ron and Dan almost won in the first hand, but it ended up being best of 3 because Wystan and I did have a light comeback in round 2. We couldn't hold it for the 3rd round though and lost to the Ron and Dan team.

I am always up for some cards. This is a great card game.







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One more game for the night, and we ended up playing Eco-Links.

This is a real-time puzzle type game where you are trying to map out patterns to the exit points. It is super charming with adorable art. It can be a hard sell for people since it is real-time and that can be a deterrent, but Dan likes it and was happy to play it.

Of course, Dan ended up winning. I am not even sure I got any points. I am nearly sure Wystan and I both failed royally at this game this time. I am not usually so bad, but I was definitely off my game that late at night. Still cute though!










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Monday night games! We played a bunch of games I hadn't played before and we started with London (second edition). New to me!

This was the 2nd edition and I had played 1st edition before and quite enjoyed my play. I honestly couldn't tell you the differences between the two editions very well, but I hear they are slightly different. I do know the 1st edition has a map and this doesn't. The way the poverty works is also slightly different, I think.

Regardless, I had a great time playing this game. I am absolutely horrific at it and probably had an all-time low score in the end. I was just a mess and had far too many cards on display. The more cards you have the more poverty you gain and the harder it is to manage everything.

It is funny since I wouldn't normally peg me as liking this game. But there is so much to try and manage and so much planning to do. You really have to use every action wisely. There is something mean about poverty and in trying to manage that, which I would normally hate, but it doesn't seem to bother me so much.

I lost super hard and will do better next time for sure, and I hope there is a next time. Dan was the one who had played before and he absolutely crushed me and Ron. It was basically a disaster for us, but I learned a lot and will most certainly win next time.












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Next up I wanted to play a game that began with an I and we found Ice Cream. New to me!

How had I not already played this? It is designed by Joe H AND it is about ice cream. Haha, ice cream is my favorite meal. All day every day I will eat and love ice cream no matter what.

This is a set creation game. There are 2 phases in the game and the critical one is really the formation of the ice cream cones. We are drawing ice cream scoops and adding them to already existing cones or starting a new cone. Each cone can hold up to 4 scoops. We are given 1 gallon of ice cream each round and that will be able to provide a particular flavor for the cones being created. If there is a vanilla cone with only vanilla scoops then my gallon of vanilla could provide those scoops. During phase 2 is when we can collect the orders with the gallons we have. You can only claim a cone if you have the matching gallons to fulfill it or it is missing only up to one flavor. If you can't claim a cone then you are given another gallon so the next time it comes to you, you might be able to fulfill an order.

You are trying to fulfill all the orders you can and you gain 1 point per scoop. After 4 rounds you count to see who fulfilled the most scoops ordered.

I guess I didn't love ice cream enough this game since I came in 2nd place. Dan was on a roll or something and he ended up picking up the win this time. He had a ton of left over gallons for the final round and could claim a lot of valuable cones. It was a bummer since I was close behind but didn't get a shot at claiming many points in the final round.

Pretty simple game and cute. I loveeeeeeeeeeee the theme and all of a sudden I need more ice cream games in my life. MOAR! This is one I would be happy to play again, if only to have an excuse to go home and eat ice cream.













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Perhaps against my better judgment, we decided on playing Waterworks. New to me!

This is particularly old and crusty and fits right in with Joe R's collection. I pulled it off the shelf cause it was a card placement game. How bad could it be? Wow, it is not a pretty game.

You are trying to make connections of pipes to find the faucet at the end. You need a least 12 cards before you can place the faucet. There are leak cards you can use on other players, which are quite annoying.

Yahhhhh we picked the small table to play on, and that was also a mistake. I really thought I would win but I couldn't find the cap I needed to close off the line before completing my faucet so Ron ended up winning. It was really unexciting and a game that just didn't do anything for me. Preferably a game I don't play again.









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Next up was a game I had been wanting to play for a long time now called Niagara. New to me!

This has always been of interest to me since you have to use the game box to make a platform and there is a waterfall where you might fall off the board. I didn't know any of the mechanics, but it always looked interesting.

This is a racing game to try and collect lots of gems. You might collect 4 of the same or 5 different or 7 total to win the game. Each turn you are selecting one of 7 tiles from your hand of tiles and that is how many spaces you will move up or down the river. You can use 2 of the movement points to pick up a gem. The catch is that the river will be moving each turn a number of spaces equal to the lowest value a player has selected, altered by the weather conditions. So if everyone plays a 6 and the weather is +2 then the river moves 8 positions and you might fall off the edge. surprise

So yeah, the game can be quite harsh, and we are all gamers so it was super harsh. We all lost our 1st boat and at one point I lost my second boat. You have to spend gems to get a boat back and then you are basically starting over. I really thought this game was never going to end. I was literally at 0 gems for most of it. We were all playing super cut-throat and it just prolonged the game to be unbearable by the end.

Eventually, Ron managed to pick up 7 gems and stay alive long enough to make it back and win the game.

I have to say it is a gorgeous game, but there were just a bunch of problems with it for me to really enjoy it. I think an easy fix would be to house rule that you play through 5 or 6 of the 7 tiles and not have to play EVERY tile before claiming them all back. It would certainly help and give you more control over what is happening. I think they make you play through all 7 tiles because one alters the weather and you have to do that.

As it stands I can't really recommend this game, but if the look of it really interests you as it did for me, it might be worth checking out. It is cute enough, but with the wrong crowd, I can't really say it is much fun. It made for fun Instagram vids though! haha! Happy to have tried it, but I know not to play again.











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The final game of the night was Ubongo 3-D.

A game I knew! Huzzah! I LOVE the challenge of 3D polyominoes, therefore I am always up for this challenge. I never seem to do well at it though. I was particularly bad this night too. I only solved 1 puzzle all game. Ugh it was just horrendous! I am not usually THAT bad.

Everyone else was getting the easy puzzles and I just couldn't make anything work out. Ron is uaully very good at these games and he did end up winning. Dan was easily second place but he was having a bit of an off night too. Regardless it is fun to try and fun to fail at this game!






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Thursday night was Fun Group and Riley was interested in checking out Carson City: The Card Game. He enjoys the board game, but I was concerned that he wouldn't like the card game because he doesn't like bidding so much.

We were playing a 3 player game, which was unusual since we had an AI stand in place for the 4th player. The AI is very good...

I made a city but I was more focused on the character cards I was picking up and making them work for lots of points. Seemed to work out okay. I managed to win the game with like 127 points which was only 2 points over the AI's final score. So hey, I did something right! I finally won a game.

I really love this game. I don't think Riley liked it much because it has the bidding, but he was happy to have tried it.








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Last game of the night was an epic 5 player game of Outpost.

OMG, I love this game. I want to play this game more and more. Two people were learning so that made it a bit longer than I might have liked, but I still love the game.

This time I got screwed over by newbies a couple of times. I didn't want to direct how anyone was playing so I let them screw me over. I didn't want it to seem like I was suggesting a move because it would only benefit me, even if it was in their best interest not to take the lab and let me take it.

Oh, and I went the new chemicals strategy, what?!?! Cray Cray. But I had to because the newbies took my lab. And I managed to sneak a scientist away from Ron. Cost me an arm and a leg but it was worth it.

I am still counting this game as a win for me since Scott bought the Moonbase illegally and that would have given me the win, in the end, had I been able to purchase that. He purchased it with money he wasn't technically allowed to be holding due to his hand limit size. Regardless, it was a super close game (that I won and not Joe...).

I love this game and would like to play it more. People prolly think it is dated now, but NO! NO! Bring back more Outpost!!






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New to the Collection:
Pirate Tricks





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
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Happy New Year! All the Games Played Over the Holiday Break!

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone! Happy New Year!

Steph's Top 25 New To Me Games of 2018!

Steph's New to Me List December 2018!!

You might need a week to read this, might as well leave a tab open in your browser... laughwhistle



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After Christmas, Simon was able to come and spend another night with us and we got in a bunch more gaming during the holiday week. I am always up for some bonus games! He brought along his partner Taica who just loves playing games too!

The first game we had to play was The Mind. Since we were playing 3 players it makes it slightly more difficult to play. Simon and I were able to get to level 12 easily enough, though we didn't win. With Taica we were only successful until level 6. We tried twice and made it to level 6 both times.

It was a hit since they tried 2 players later that night and they did pretty well.

Love this game, it's no wonder it is my favorite from the year.





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Since Taica is a math teacher, Simon really wanted to play Sentient. I taught this to Simon last year and he remembered it after all this time.

It is a really great game that I have enjoyed a bunch since it came out.

Turns out this was a huge hit and one that Taica absolutely loved! It was his favorite from the couple days playing games. I think it is because of his math teacher brain. He really liked all the math! It really worked out for him too since he was able to win. It was a pretty close one, and I was happy just to break 70 points, so that was cool.

Always happy to play this one.










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I figured I should teach them the hottest Roll n Write of the year so I broke out That's Pretty Clever. There is something to be said about the awesome combos you can create in the game.

Probably not my favorite in the genre from the year but I am always happy to play it. They were able to follow along with the rules well enough and play cleverly. I still managed to crush their souls at it, but they had a good time.

I think my favorite Roll n Write was メトロックス (MetroX). One that I want to play more of for sure. I wish it wasn't a beast to teach.





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Simon had wanted to try out the new Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra since they had just played the other version and wanted to see what this one was all about.

This went over pretty well. Simon absolutely crushed us though because Taica and I were getting the broken glass left and right and there was nothing we could do about it. No one was falling on their sword to get the 1st player marker early and thus leaving all of the big clumps of colors to the very end. I think my biggest broken collection ended up being 5 at once. It was a mess of broken glass!

That was easily the meanest game of Azul Stained Glass that I have encountered yet. It wasn't even aiming to be mean, but still ended up that way.

I definitely want to play the B side of the scoring boards next time. Still loving this game, just gotta brush this one play aside.







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Since it has a bunch of rainbow gems, I figured it would be great to show them Swordcrafters Expanded Edition.

I have been really enjoying this game and really like building up my sword! It is fun times.

No, the largest sword rarely wins and didn't win this time either. I managed to win with my middle-range sword. I succeeded in my hidden goals and got some of the common goals. I was mostly going for quality as best as I could and for my hidden goals.

It was the first time I won this game, so maybe I learned something from the past games I played, I don't know.

I really just like making a pretty sword. The guys enjoyed playing with the swords and I think they had a fun time playing the game too. This game always puts a smile on my face.









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Kim and Joel showed up and we ended up playing a 5 player game of Cheeky Monkey.

A game I actually played earlier this year - I think it was over Labor Day weekend? The monkey is wicked cute so it is hard to miss. Simon remembered it from last year also and had a bunch of fun with the push-your-luck element of the game.

It is a cute game and I always end up losing it. This time was no different. I managed to actually get some points though, so it was a great improvement over other times I have played. Simon cleaned the table with points, absolutely killing us all. Maybe THAT is why he loves the game so much. I think he won the last time we played too... hmmmm.






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Dinner was almost served so we played a quick 5 player game of The Table Is Lava. Seems to be my go-to 10 minute game for 5 players. It is a no-brainer and super-cute dexterity game.

It is quite a challenge to try and throw cards and knock meeples down. It almost NEVER works. At least for me and Joel. I am pretty sure Joel wasn't enjoying the game, but it is fast enough where he wasn't bothered by it. He was just carelessly throwing the cards. I still think I managed to somehow lose the game though. Kim was the winner this time!

Really enjoying this game!








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Simon recalled a game from last year that he had a great time playing called Feelinks.

This can be an awkward game when you get paired with the wrong person or your answer is off/different than everyone else's. I suppose Simon and Taica liked it for the talking points and can drum up some interesting conversation.

I don't mind the game, I certainly don't win the game though. I think everyone was having a good time. We ended up calling the game after twice around the table and Kim won since she was furthest ahead on the score track.









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To keep the energy up we decided to play a couple games of Happy Salmon.

This is a game that I'm always up for playing. Since it is only a 1-minute game, it is really hard to pass up a chance to play it. I always have an amazing fun time playing in this speed-of-light game.

It certainly takes the right crowd to play it, and it helps that Kim adores it and will always play with me. So much loudness and fun packed into a minute-long game. How can you go wrong?

I do know that I won the second game, so I felt like a success after that. There is something satisfying about winning this game, as silly as that sounds.




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Literally every week Kim is around, I get asked to play her #1 favorite game, Werewords. Sometimes you just have to give her what she wants!

We played 10 games!!! Apparently, I am very good at this game. Ever since I have been keeping track of the winners, I learned that I won this 80% of the games I played in this 10 game sitting. That is so awesome!!

I always choose to never play as the mayor since I just really don't like being the mayor. I was happy to make Kim happy. I think everyone was enjoying this game and I am nearly sure everyone would have kept playing if I didn't suggest another game. After 10 plays I can be a bit rundown, though.






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I suggested we play a game of Facecards. I hope Scott brings around his copy more often since he totally customized his to be so much better.

We only played one game and it wasn't as big of a hit as Werewords, but I still have fun with this one. I am still so bad at this one too.

Of course, Ron was able to win this game just like always. No one did particularly well. Everyone was on different wavelengths it seems.





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We ended up playing Trapwords.

This has been a go-to game recently when we have 6 or more players. We played it a couple times over the few days.

Ron is usually on the winning team - he is pretty good at giving clues for people to understand and guess. The game when he was teamed up with Simon and Taica they were able to win.

The game the next day we played we were all equally bad. I was teamed up with Derek and Shrey and I don't think we ever made it past the 4th level. But neither did the other team. We all equally lost/won that game. It was pretty bad all around. Either we were terrible at giving clues or the other team was just really great at writing down buzzwords.




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We finished the night with a series of Roll n Write games. We played Rolling Japan, Rolling Tokyo, Rolling America.

We were on a Roll after Japan so we just kept going down the line of games. It is really easy to play Tokyo since it is on the back of the sheets I have. It is equally painful but plays in half the time as Japan.

I think I might have played my single worst game of Japan ever. I lost by several points even. It was not great. I did however, make a recovery when I won the America game.

I am always up for playing these fine game. It is so painful and still so fun to try and do well at.








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The next day, Simon and Taica were still around and we played a few games. We decided to start the day off easy enough with Let's Make a Bus Route.

One of my top favorites from the year so I was glad when it got noticed from among the many shelves of games I have.

I taught them and we played in under 30 min. It is so much fun. Easy choices and effective. Very different feeling than other Roll n Writes I know and love which gives it a permanent staple in the collection. Taica ended up winning this game. He just made the perfect route it seems!









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I was very interested in teaching them the co-op version for Orléans so we played Orléans: Invasion.

I didn't know that I hadn't played it all year! How did that even happen? I am so pleased I got to play it just at the very last second. We even played twice! The first game was very much learning the ropes to the game and we ended up losing on turn 4 because Taica had the challenge of paying a cost each round. He didn't have the goods needed to pay in round 4 and we weren't able to win!

We learned from our mistakes and were able to play much better in the second game. We scraped by and won in the final round. I didn't do ANYTHING in the final round since we just needed a few more tasks completed and we could! It was just awesome. I am so glad we could play it.

I have the new BGG tokens too and they are just amazing. I can't recommend them highly enough. I hope they become available in stock again soon because you should look into getting some if you enjoy Orleans as much as I do! So awesome!














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The final game of the day was one I knew Simon would just drool over, called Everdell. There is a huge tree in the game. Of course, being a botanist, he would love it. He simply loved the art and mentioned the Redwall series he loved. It is hard not to make a comparison to those books.

I think they enjoyed the game, but it definitely runs long. The game ended up being a closer race than I thought it might be. I thought I was absolutely destroying them both all game. I had all the cards and I was going for the event cards.

I still managed to win, but it was only by a few points. I was pleased they did so well, but I was a bit disappointed I didn't do better. I can do better! I am glad I got this one back to the table. Love my googly eyes! The critters are just too cute!























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Saturday was game day and we started the day off with an easy one that I simply loved from 2018 called Scarabya. Perfect game! Multi-Player Solitaire is a favorite of mine. I love this one for the puzzle aspect of trying to make the best enclosures.

I thought for sure I would win this game. I was doing very well. It was actually pretty amazing since we ended the game with exactly enough tokens that the game provides. It was pretty impressive. Every single one, not more not less.

I was second place to Nate only to lose by a few points. So close!

Love this game!




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Nate, Asher, and I decided on playing Underwater Cities.

I have been really enjoying my plays of this game and will jump at the chance to play it more and more to explore it further. Asher had played before and helped me explain the game to Nate. We ended up playing on the advanced side of the boards and we added in the objectives.

I quite enjoyed playing with all of the additional stuff. Having the goals to try and claim was a good way to prioritize the different actions I wanted to do and strategies to try. I LOVED the variable player boards too. It really kept me interested.

I was all about the tunnels this game. I had them all!!! I had a ton of combos and card bonuses for the tunnels and really gave it all I could. I worked hard on getting the special cards in play and getting as many of those as possible for end game scoring and just general awesomeness.

It was so much fun playing this game. I have clearly gotten better at the game each time. But you score a bit higher with all the extra added stuff. I totally won, so I guess I should retire from playing this one. Haha good times.












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I managed to get a game of History of the World in next. I am always up for this game. I have seriously been loving it. It ended up being #3 of the year for me and it might end up higher as the years go on. I LOVE this game.

There is just so much uncertainty when playing, with what nations are best and what nations might be revealed. There is so much push-your-luck and strategy to how you end up playing. The combat is rather simple, but I like it. It is to the point.

This was a miraculous game. I NEARLY got to play last in the 4th round and go first in the 5th round and that would have been a surefire win. But Joel took the nation I wanted, and I ended up having to go last in the final round, with a milestone I still had to finish. I somehow was able to keep a majority of the lands I had conquered in the 4th era and thus putting me exactly one point ahead of Kim. It was 150 to 151 which was pretty epic.

So much fun! I will play this game as often as I am allowed.













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After that point, we were down to me, Shrey, and Kim, and we randomly decided on Freedom: The Underground Railroad. I mentioned it and Shrey was up for it.

I always like playing this game for the challenge. It is a cooperative game and is pretty heavy on the theme, but works really well.

We were struggling to keep up with emptying the plantations but somehow managed to gain the support we needed and free the required number of slaves to Canada. We managed to barely win that time around. We got pretty fortunate that we didn't have to face many events.

I always think the rules to the game are easier than they actually are. We managed to muddle through the rules though since Shrey had played a long while back. I am glad we were able to play this one again.















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Shrey and Kim were up for playing a quick game of Cryptid. I should have explained the game before handing out the answer booklets. The first thing Kim did was read her clue out loud. Whoops, that was my mistake. We had to reset the whole game up since it was very specific to that card.

We set up another game and they were both learning for the first time. It went on a lot longer than I expected. I just couldn't figure out Shrey's rule at all. I duno why I was having a hard time with it, but he managed to figure mine out after some contemplation and he won the game. I guess I can't win them all!







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Eric and Carrie showed up for some late gaming and I thought they would enjoy a game of Fuji. Shrey joined us to make it a 4 player game.

I had a cool power where I could travel up to 4 spaces away. I am actually not sure I ever used this ability since I was mostly traveling along with Eric who was sitting across from me.

There were a few rounds we were nervous for Carrie who was struggling to keep up with us. Her rerolls and our rerolls just didn't line up properly and we were forced to use a lot of equipment cards. We finally managed to get her caught up and we won the game!

We were playing on level 2 difficulty and it wasn't so bad. No one was even close to dying because of damage. We nearly died from lava though.

Always a good time playing this game.















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The final game of the night was 4 player Menara.

This was a game I was sure Eric and Carrie would appreciate and they very much did! We got to use a new promo, the Chameleon, which was a very cool tile.

Our tower was most impressive. We kept drawing really bad tiles and having to make new floors from it. I always get so nervous when I have to go and place on a tall tower.

Ultimately, we did very well. We not only won this game - we won 3 times over!! Not meaning we played 3 times, but we managed to play out the game to win in all 3 possible ways. All of the pillars were placed, all of the tiles were placed, and all of the cards were played, and we met the height requirement for a 3-way win!

Always happy to get this one to the table. Happy to own it even, since it is hard to find (unless in Europe. More people need to play it!



















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NYE we played games all day long! I had 7 games to learn before the new year to hit my target goal of 500 games learned, which is a crazy insane amount of new games.

We started the day with Big Bang 13.7. New to me!

This was one from the Essen crop I hadn't managed to get to the table yet. This is an abstract tile placement game. You are given a color and a shape that you want to score for. You are trying to get rows of 3 or more on the common board for the colors and the shapes you hold secretly, and each will score separately. When placing a tile, it must share at least one feature with the tiles it will be touching, either color, shape, or background.

Each tile you place will consume an amount of time. The person furthest behind will always play until they catch up and surpass the other players. You want to be careful of the tiles you are placing since you might not get to play again for a while if you get too far ahead. Some backgrounds are worth more points but they cost more time to place.

Some tiles are special tiles that give you a special ability. Some will destroy tiles, and others might move tiles around the board. They cost a lot of time to use but can be very handy.

The game is over when all of the tiles are played out. Everyone will evaluate their score from the board and figure a winner.

I was going for red asteroids and I thought I could figure what other people were going for but I was very far off. It ended up a very close game at the end - we were all within points of one another. Dan won with 37, I was 36, and Ron 35. Boo!!!! Really thought I would have it. I forgot that all lines of 3 or more would score (not just the longest line) so that was my mistake. I needed a lot of smaller chains to be less obvious.

It is a pretty simple abstract game. I like the use of the special tiles and their abilities. I had a good time and it was pretty thinky so I was happy to give it a go at last. I would gladly play again.

















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We had 6 people around for games, so we decided on First Contact.

I was happy to get this one back to the table. Carrie and Eric decided they wanted to be aliens with me. It is easier to explain the game when I can play as an alien. For whatever reason, this game is super complex to try and explain and is best with an example.

We got going and eventually people started understanding the rules. I think it took 4 rounds to find a winner, but Carrie on the Alien side and Dan on the Human side managed to win. She was the green alien.

This is good times and I think works well with a bunch of players. I have to figure out how to explain it better for sure.






















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Shrey had a new game for me to try out called From Batavia. New to me!

This is a drafting and resource management game. You are trying to fill up three ships as quickly as possible by playing cards to your ships. The top number is the cost that must be paid by giving that many of your cards in hand to the player on your left. The bottom number is how many slots you are filling on your boat. Each card will also give you bonuses, such as coins that fill boat slots or wheat cards that can be used as payment.

The trick to the game is forming combos with your cards. You want to get the best combos and bonuses so you can fill the boats faster. The goods on your ships will activate any buses for the rest of the game, so choose wisely.

Eric and Ron won that game. I think it was a shared victory, or maybe Eric had the tiebreaker. They were both filling the same boats and it worked out so they were complete at the same time. Shrug.

This game handles a great number of people, which is nice. But I am just not that into race games and this feels very much like a race to the finish for me. It didn't hold enough interest for me and I felt I was doing what everyone else was doing. It was at best okay. I could play again, but I am not sure I would want to.















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We broke into smaller groups and I ended up playing in a 3 player game of Intrigues of Asgard. New to me!

Another game I hadn't gotten to the table yet from Essen and it has the lovely Asgard theme. This is a small card game with some drafting and set collection with a bit of take-that from the different actions.

You are trying to score points depending on which gods appear. There is a display of the gods and you can see some of them, how much they will be worth, and when they will score. More gods will be revealed as the game progresses.

Cards are dealt to each player. You have to place these cards into a tableau. All cards contain 2 gods to choose from and you have to select one of them. Cards displaying the same god are placed on top of one another.

Then there will be a draft. You will select and reveal simultaneously, adding the card to your stacks. Once all of the cards have been drafted, the gods will all activate. The person with the most of each of the gods will get to perform that god's action. If that god is a scoring god, then the person with the most of that god will score points.

It was a pretty standard card game. Nothing too out of the ordinary and it was pretty easy to follow along. The rules weren't great and it was probably a translation issue.

In this game, I needed more Odin cards for the tiebreakers. I was tied a lot but didn't have the tiebreakers so I ended up losing a lot. I only ended with like 4 points and Dan won with maybe 11 or so. It was not a very high scoring game at all. I could be convinced to play this game again, but it wasn't all that exciting on this first play. Harmless though.













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Dan was willing and wanting to play Geschenke für den Radscha. New to me!

This was a random game I picked up from the BGG Spring Storage Sale. I didn't know anything about it or even hear of it before. I saw the bits and it looked interesting enough so I picked it up.

Turns out this is an abstract race game. You are trying to move around the board and collect a few objects and get back home. You can make pit stops and pay for extra bonuses that help you move along the board.

I managed to pick up a camel that helped me move 1 extra space per turn, and that was basically the only reason I was able to win that game. I was caught in a lot of dead ends in need of discs, but the camel saved me.

It was a pretty clever abstract game but it all seemed a bit fiddly. I can see the game-changing up each time since you can randomize the tiles and setup situations. Might be too much work to draft and place starting tiles instead of using the suggested setup though.

I could easily play this game again. I had a good time kicking butt this one play. Could end up being too much trouble for its worth, though.














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Shrey had expressed interest the prior week in checking out Coney Island. New to me!

This game has been on my unplayed shelf for YEARS! I have often wanted to get this one played so I was finally happy to get this one to the table. I love the idea of carnival and theme park type games. Dan was willing to give it a go and Eric joined in for a 4 player game.

To be fair, we didn't play correctly, so I should probably try again before judging it, but that won't happen. I just had a miserable time playing this one and would rather forget it. There are 3 main actions you can take on your turn, but we played that you can only do one of them. I am not sure it would have saved the game for me but probably would make it better.

I didn't like the different vendors that you can buy off people and use their abilities. It really felt like the rich get richer in this game.

Anyway, this was not a game for me, unfortunately. I believe Shrey ended up winning this game. I am not sure how pleased he was with the game. Haha we tried anyway!














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A game I have been itching to play for years has been The Majority: Complete Edition. New to me!

Mina promised to teach me a few times and we never got around to it with the short time we had to play together.

When playing with 4 players, it is played as a 2v2 partner game. It is a very unusual card game where you and your partner are trying to get the highest and 2nd highest number of points for each color.

Cards are dealt to each player and drafting occurs. After drafting is complete, each player will select one card from their hand and simultaneously reveal them. Some cards have powers that alter other cards. If no special cards are played then each player will get to keep the card they played in their own stacks of cards. This continues until all cards have been played.

Afterwards, each color is scored. The player with the highest total value in a color gets only 2 points for their team. The player with the 2nd highest total value gets 1/3 of the highest total point value for their team. Ideally, you want to win 1st and 2nd, and usually the 2nd highest player gets more points than the 1st highest.

This drafting, playing, and scoring process will continue 4 times, and your collections grow and grow and after each hand. Most points wins.

Dan and I were partners and had a good first round but managed to lose control over the next 2 rounds. We pulled through at the end and finally picked up lots of points in the final round for the win.

It is a crazy card game that takes a few rounds to get used to and understand. It was fun though and I just love the artwork. Super cute game and one I would easily play again. Not sure why it was so hard to get played but I am glad we finally did!













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I needed one final game to hit the 500 mark and that lucky candidate was Pepper & Carrot: The Potion Contest. New to me!

This is an abstract puzzle type game based off of a webcomic. Everyone is trying to get 3 different potions in order. The first to complete all 3 potions is the winner.

You will get a random set-up of ingredients on your player board. The ingredients have lines that connect them. Each turn you are given directionals to rotate an ingredient or move a row/column of ingredients. You want to line up the ingredients on your player board so they are connected in the same order as on your potion board. As soon as you complete a potion, you will get a little cat token that indicates which potion you have completed.

There are a few variants in the rules to add different directionals and there is a whole other mini-expansion that was part of the KS.

The game is pretty simple in a brain burny kind of way. The mechanics and motions are easy to understand, but it is the puzzle that is the interesting part. Since it is not a timed game, you can be planning out your turns well in advance. You can see the next 3 directional cards, so while people are still thinking about their current turn you can be planning out your next turns.

It is a race game, but not timed. I do much better under a time constraint - or rather, I tend to do better under time constraints than other people do. In this game, people have all the time they want, so I didn't do as well. I needed specific actions and it just never worked out for me. I had only managed to complete 1 potion before the game ended. I was working on both of the other potions and was just a few turns away from completing both of them. Dan managed to complete all 3 for the win.

I had a good time playing it and the artwork is so super cute!! Really reminds me of a Ghibli film which is an automatic A+ in my book. I would definitely be interested in playing the different modes of play and see how that changes it up and makes it more complex. Maybe there is a speed variant!










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I suggested a favorite from 2018, so we played a 4 player game of Blue Lagoon.

I do not get to play this game enough. I LOVE it! There is so much planning to do and hard choices. If you don't want to be cut off over here then you have to sacrifice over there! It is a battle at every turn. You get a lot of tight choices in such short gameplay. I love the different phases. I would play this game anytime.

Playing 4 players is super mean and cutthroat. I do think I like playing with 3 better. I can't seem to get all my plans in order and the board is so tight. Everything is ruined before you can blink!

Joel was the master this time and managed to win with all of his island majorities and big points. He quite enjoyed the play, which was surprising. I thoguht it might be a bit light for his tastes, so I was pleased.

Always willing to play this one!











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We had 6 players for a quick game of Pictomania (second edition).

Oh, I love this updated 2nd edition. Compact box and easy setup. I like the pencils it comes with as well. A few people were playing or relearning this one so we started off easy enough. We played through to the very difficult levels and let me tell ya, the hard level is so stinking hard! But I was pleased with my "hermit" drawing of a hermit crab. He was cute.

I didn't play so great, but I thought I still did better than others, so I thought I would win that game! But Dan managed to win this time around. I screwed up just enough times!

This is another party game I will always love to play. There is something just so fun and fast about this game which makes me want to play more and more. I wish more people enjoyed drawing games.









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