All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

A photographic journey through board games...

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All the games! Wangdo, Taiwan, Lindisfarne, Majolica and so many more! Photography!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

Ron and I got to playing a 2-player game called Papering Duel. New to me!

This is an abstract game with tile-laying. This is pretty cool and wicked challenging. We played the first half of the game pretty wrong but were able to correct it in the second half of the game which was a great save. You start the game with 3 cards and your goal is to get 3 x tic-tac-toes on your turn. There are 3 colors and 3 patterns and you are trying to get 3 of them single handily on your turn. The catch is you always have to ruin the other player's patterns and make new ones. So, if Ron makes a 3 in a row orange line, I not only have to ruin the orange line but try to figure out 3 other patterns. The real important rule following that is you only get to draw the number of cards equal to the number of rows you completed. Waaaat! So super hard!

We thought you just got to draw up to 3 cards at the end of your turn, but it was just not that simple!

In the game, you get a deck of transparent cards and my patterns were orthogonally adjacent on a 2x2 and Ron's patterns were diagonal. You could play any number of cards from your hand on your turn and try to get patterns created on a 3x3 common board.

It is very thinky and super challenging in that you only get to draw up the number of rows you manage to complete. You still only have a hand size of 3 though.

It was a lot of fun trying to figure this game out. I really like abstract games and trying to outsmart the other players, but you can't really plan that far ahead since the whole board will change before your next turn! If you are a fan of 2-player abstract games I think this will be a fine choice for you. Really clever.

In our game, I was doing alright, but Ron was just better at it. Once we figured out how to actually draw cards it was clear I was going to lose that game, and I did a few turns later. It was just not happening for me! I really need a rematch asap.

Saturday was game day! So many new games to try out and play so we started with Wangdo. New to me!

I was super stoked to try this one out and play with those cute panda statues! This is a set collection game. It is really multi-set collection game too. You need to collect the right pandas to place on the board and then collect the right tokens for your personal board. Each player needs 2 each of 4 symbols to trigger the end of the game. When you get the second symbol in any set you get to draw a card. Cards are special uses in the game or might be an end of game additional coin/s. On some of the tokens are these coins and those coins are used for the tiebreaker at the end of the game if players all finish the full collection in the same round.

You get to claim these tokens on the game board by spending pandas! If you have no pandas you can draw 3 random from the panda bag, or you can take 2 from the temple tracks on the game board in the top right corner. If you had pandas you can choose to take a token from the board. The board is covered in tokens at the start and 4 spaces will get 4 random pandas from the bag. From there you can start claiming pandas by placing adjacent to an already existing panda but it has to be a unique color and you must also PAY another panda for each adjacent panda in the matching color of the one already on the board. I can place an orange panda next to a blue panda but I must also pay a blue panda to the temple track.

It is a very simple game to teach strategy concepts to new gamers and enjoy. The cute art and charming bears are very inviting. Fast choices make for a fast gameplay too. I love snappy turns!

In our game, we were all learning and it was a full 4 player game. It was going very well for me. Riley managed to get a bonus card that gave him essentially another turn! It was bogus! We were all pretty much on the same path and some were collecting lots of bears and I was using what I had when I had it. I was the first player and I actually managed to get all my tokens first! It meant that everyone else had another turn. In that turn, everyone else ALSO managed to finish with all tokens. unimpressed. Riley managed to collect like all of the coins and he was able to win the game. HE GOT THAT EXTRA TURN! He totally wouldn't have won without that. #IShouldHaveStolenFromRileyMore

Interesting game, not sure it will get a bunch of plays but I will gladly play this when requested. Very cute and colorful!

I was super excited to play Taiwan. New to me!

This is a push your luck engine/tableau building game. You first select a number of different decks to be in play for the game (like Dominion), so each game will be variable. On your turn, you get 2 dice for free and you can choose to pay extra money for more dice for up to seven dice total if you have the money. Once you roll the dice you generate the income the dice provides, which might be resources or workers. You will need all of these things in the next phase when you can purchase the cards and depending on the cards will get added to your player board according to their indicated position. Some cards take long to activate and get into play. Some of the high victory point cards take a LOT of time to get into play but they provide no in-game bonus. Other cards take only a few turns to activate so you get them into play quicker and start using their abilities right away. In the buy phase, there are a lot of different options to convert the tokens you have into other tokens and you almost always need workers to get anything done. You might even have extra to help move your cards along the track faster too.

After the buy phase, your cards will shuffle down the track and maybe fall into your tableau space activating them. Some of the cards are one-shot deals, some are in effect the whole game, some are mean cards that might hurt other players. You then get an income of money and you have to discard down to 5 round tokens only and all other tokens have to go away. The game is actually quite simple and easy to learn.

The game will end once 3 piles have run out from the supply and you have another round to finish it out.

In our game, we were playing with 5 players all learning so it was a bit on the slower side. Having played once I think it will go A LOT quicker next time and I could explain it pretty easily. I have to give a shout out for the art since it is bight and fun. There is a bit of area control on the map that will score for the person in first and second will get half points for the regions. I didn't try hard for that part of the game and of course, I lost, so there is something to be said about trying to get a majority or 2.

I was playing the mean game, picking up the mean cards and trying to hurt the other player's income or costs for buying cards. It wasn't working out too much for me. I wasn't so far behind in the end since I had a lot of points in the cards I was picking up. I am pretty sure Dan was the one far in the lead this game. He was controlling a lot of the majorities and getting a lot of buildings out.

I quite liked this game, but it wasn't a huge hit with the table. I don't think they liked the rolling of your dice element of the game and you get what you get. I think with the way you can convert the tokens it worked out fine, even though you might not get what you want. It is how you manage what you do get, that is the game.

This is a game that I look forward to playing again to explore the different combos and strategies. Fun times.

Next up we tried out a new game called Spring Rally. New to me!

This was great because it was a trick taking game with a racing mechanic. I don't think I have played a game like this before! It was actually quite simple you have a hand of cards and you have to follow suit if you can. If not then you can play any card. If you break suit you win unless someone else plays the 3rd color then they will win or the highest in that suit will then win. There are only 3 color suits. The high card will win in the given suit that wins. That player will advance on the race track the number of spaces equal to the lowest card played in the trick. If someone tosses the 1 you don't want to win that trick with your best card, save it for a trick you can maybe win with the low card as an 8.

Now if lose the trick you get to wind up your little car so you can spring ahead at the end of the round, or if you win a trick you can boost your spaces by the number of wound up points you have stored. It is a super cute catch-up mechanic and even though I lost every trick in the first round I still managed to spring ahead and keep up with all of the winning cars. You play until a player has done 2 laps around the board, or I think 3 hands.

I love that the board is double sided and you can play the beach track or the volcano track and there are different areas that make it harder or easier to advance through.

In our game, we were playing a full 5 players and I wasn't getting very far very quickly. I don't think I won a trick until late round 2! But at that time I was able to zoom wicked far in the lead since at the end of round 1 I got my boost and when I finally took the trick I could release my spring early for a solid boost. Timing just worked out in my favor.

In the final hand, I was able to actually cross the finish line a second time and win the game! We ended up not finishing out the hand since I was able to secure my win with the 2 laps. Worked out well for me, for sure!

I had a pretty fun time playing this game and hope to play it again soon.

Next up I was really excited to try out a new party game called TAGS. New to me!

I ended up playing twice in the day and it is just a riot! You can only play with 4 players which seems like only a few for a party game. It just works super well though.

In the game, you play number of rounds equal to the number of players. There is a lineup of 5 categories and a column of 4 letters. Your goal is to give answers to the categories that use the letters. C for Vegetable is Carrot, for example. You would collect the marble for that response. Each color marble is a different value with black being the most, so maybe you try and collect those first. When you are up you have 30 seconds to answer as much as possible. then you spin the box to the next person and flip the timer. It is VERY fast paced and it is your turn again before you can even think of another answer for any of the categories. laugh

The round ends when all of the marbles are gone or there is a full rotation of people that collect no marbles.

Super interesting and fast game and really makes you think. There are a TON of category cards and different topics and every game feels different. I can't wait to play this with my family. I think it will be a huge success!

Easily one of the best party games I have played and plan to keep and bring around for years to come.

Of course, I am terrible at this game and don't even come close to winning it. The 2 games I have played so far really just were disgraceful hahah I am terrible under pressure. I am sure this game is a lot easier if you are spectating it than you have with a timer in front of your face.

So much fun and I can't wait until we get t play it again soon!

Next up I was anxious to play Majolica. New to me!

This is such a beautiful game and tile laying/pattern building I was all in and ready to go. Wow, it is gorgeous. We had an early edition of the rules and found it very complicated to understand and figure out. The updated rules have now been posted and I think the next time playing will be a lot smoother and easier to grasp.

Because of the difficulty comprehending the rules, I found the game to be quite a frustrating time and it hindered my first play a bit. I won't get into detailed rules but more of an overview.

In the game, you will be collecting cards to try and complete. You will be drafting a row of tiles from the board and placing them into 1 factory location. Each location has a set number of spaces and the maximum quantity and colors. As soon as a location meets that requirement it is then processed and you can move some of those tiles up to the card (directly above), and then move and or break tiles to the next available location space. You are essentially moving these tiles and reusing tiles so you want it all to line up perfectly and make your factory run multiple locations at a time and hopefully complete the cards above at the same time.

The game will end once a player hits 5 cards completed and you finish the round and count up your points on the cards.

In our play, we had a ton of questions we couldn't answer so we went with the best possible intuition for the given subject. the game offers other modules that we didn't play with. I felt there was way too much build up to actually get a card completed and then at about the 3rd card the engine finally felt like it was rolling. We had a fast ending, which was good considering the build-up took so long.

For me, it was just all around fiddly and didn't work the way I wanted it to. I was planning poorly and nothing seemed to be going my way. I still managed to complete 3 cards and I would have gotten one more with another turn. I can't say I loved this game but I had a pretty good time trying to figure it out. Derek certainly enjoyed it more. I am glad better rules have been posted and it is one I will definitely want to try again soon now that we have the general idea on what's going on and mechanics. Sp freaking beautiful!

Next up, I read the rules! WHAT!? I know, I surprise myself at times, but I really wanted to play! We checked out Lindisfarne. New to me!

I didn't know much about this game but you got to make cool panoramas and in the game, they are called Frescos.

It is an area control type game but you are using dice to place your tokens onto the boards. Depending on how many tokens you have you get to roll 1 die for each. Beginning each round you will get 6 dice to roll. Each board will have different requirements for "winning" and each board will have a minimum of 2 winners. The leading winner gets the first choice and the second leader will get the second choice of 2 cards. There is always a 3rd option if you didn't want one of the 2 cards from the area that were on display, you could choose to take an objective card instead. If you do this it means there is still a card going to be left at the location and the 3rd place person could then claim it or an objective. It is even possible for the 4th and final place to claim a card if 2 people happened to draw objective cards. Strategy tip, maybe it is wise to place on every board in case this happens? I duno, it might work out it might not.

What is cool about the boards is that one board might want the highest value of tokens placed, another board might want the largest straight and the final board will want the tallest stack. Each time you roll you can select the values of the dice and place tokens on 1 board in the highest line. That will be your line and tiebreaker if it is needed. If I rolled 3x6s then I can place my 3 tokens on the highest stack board and have a stack of 3. Or I might want to take those 3 6s and place them on the highest value board also using my 1 4 tokens well to try and claim victory over there. You don't have to place all your tokens but you must place at least 1 token down. next time it comes to you, you get to roll the dice = how many tokens you have left. Play continues until all players have passed. If you pass with token/s then you get runes that will adjust your die up or down by 1.

Then all of the locations are resolved and you can collect the cards. Ideally, you are collecting sets of cards for your objectives, but you are also trying to complete Frescos. There are a few different scorings at the end and you can get a lot for the Frescos and having the most of colored banners. some of the gold banners offer additional scoring too, and all of the cards have some value of points on them.

There is certainly a lot to consider when trying to go after cards. Maybe you put all your efforts into completing a Fresco for big points, but then you miss out on the objective card. #prioties.

I had a great time playing this and creating my Fresco. I was so sad I missed out on completing it fully!! I just couldn't get the final card I needed. I did get one objective complete though, but it wasn't enough and Derek blew us out of the water.

Super cute game that caught me by surprise. I had a great time playing and the mechanics are fun and thinking. Super happy to have this in the collect as I can see playing this a bunch more. Small box is easy to bring around and play. Easy concepts for gamers to pick up and play too. great value in this game.

Final new game of the day was Seals. New to me!

Honestly, I thought this was a trick-taker so I was a bit sad to learn it was not. It is a set collection game. Very simple game of push your luck and game of chicken. There is a display of 4 cards and on your turn, you can take all of 1 number or all of 1 color (or fewer). You are trying to get 4 of a kind in numbers or coins, or a run 1-10 before any of the other players. Once someone claims they have done this then they get points depending on the set the collected. You shuffle all the cards and do it again. The first player to get 5 points win.

Very simple card game and it was cute. I am not sure it was inspiring or anything. We all played it and felt it was fine. No one was rushing to try it again. I don't really think it was for our kind of group, maybe just casual card players. I could see my family playing it, but for the solid gamer, it doesn't hold much interest.

Joe was interested in trying out Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game. This is such a quick and interesting game so I was happy to play again.

We were just playing with 4 players this time and I was Frankenberry. I don't think I have played him in the past so it was interesting. Joe was playing Boo and I don't think liked his abilities so much.

I managed to go out in the first round but then not even close in the others. I was playing very poorly in the final 2 rounds and could have had a second out if I played better. It was just a disaster!

I gotta do better next time. I definitely didn't win that time.

We had some time to kill while the other tables were finishing up and I suggested Illusion. It had been too long since I last played and Joel was interested even being partially color blind. He could still play this game.

You know this game is so unpredictable because everyone had 3 or 2 cards before I had one. But I managed to pull out a win this time, it was kinda crazy. I don't think anyone wanted to risk giving up the win to the other player if they guessed wrong. I didn't care and it ended up working in my favor!

I love just lining up the cards in order. There is something so pleasing about it. Also very pleasing when the numbers are 23/24/23 and it is just so damn close!

I was totally up for another game of Arraial. I wante dto prove I was the master of this game.

HAHAH yeah, not so much this time around. The cards were just not falling in my favor at all. I was playing a risky game and placing more tiles earlier and leaving specific spaces available for myself and it was just the cause of sadness and failure to complete matches. I left a few holes and the last game I didn't leave anything. It was just a perfect game last time I play and this time was just a mess!

I did manage to get a few lines completed but I was not getting the colored meeples like Shrey and Pat. They were just totally owning me. I think Pat ended up winning, possible.

Everyone actually managed to keep their bars for the whole game, unlike the first time I played. We were playing 3 players and it was a much tighter fit for us. I could feel the pressure of the space and I thought I would lose the bar at one point, but I managed to keep it at bay.

Super fun game and still loving it.

For a fast filler while waiting for everyone else to finish we played a game of Ticket to Ride: New York.

Always up for a game of this and it is like a 10-minute game that I absolutely love. It might have been Shrey's first time playing? Pat had played earlier in the day and was ready to go.

This time I wasn't getting any good route cards I think the highest I found was like 3 points so it was not a game I was going to win, and I knew it.

Shrey had a fair amount of points and I think even with the faulty final draw he still ended up crushing us.

Love it!

Yay it had been far too long since I played The Mind. I just got a new copy of the Rainbow Badger deck and we could easily have 2 decks being used from hand to hand and that made it so much easier!

Love it! So Pat, Shrey and I were on point. We played a very good game and we won with flying colors! Or rainbow colors as the case may be.

We ended up playing in the dark and doing quite well there too. Had no real issue until round 5 where we just blew up with problems. I always love a good challenge though and we just did soooo well early on and round there not one mistake. It was unbelievable. Seriously, love this game so much.

We had 5 players at this point and I suggested that we play a game of Carson City: The Card Game. I only had played it the one time before and Shrey had played it a few times prior.

I was teaching the game and it was pretty easy to teach, I found the scoring not to be too difficult to convey to the peoples. I really wanted Scott to like this since I knew he hates the board game. He was hesitant to play but I said it played differently and he agreed. To my delight, he didn't hate it and I think liked it well enough.

It was a fun game for sure, and I really love playing this one. It works so well with 5 and 6 players.

In the game, I totally misread one of the characters I picked up and it was giving points for the drugstores I had collected. I was collecting general stores so yeah it was a wasted effort card for me and I totally got no points for her. Ugh, it was sad times for sure. I was not winning that game I was reallly far behind. It was funny since Shrey and I had played before and we both were the losers. It was pretty sad. Scott ended up winning and about 30 points over me and Shrey. Wasn't really a close game for us. haha

Can't wait to play this again.

Scott realllllllllllly wanted to play The Cat Game.

I am always up for this game, it is just about getting the other players to agree haha. Pat is always hesitant about drawing games but he was a good sport and put up with a few rounds.

Adam was very good at this game and was off to an early lead. I think I managed to get a few points. Scott was on a mission to get at least one victory point. It was a duel at the end with Shrey and Adam for the final tiebreaker victory.

We had some creative drawings. Mine were usually about using more cats in a scene and less about the drawing and hoping people understood what I was doing. It was a good time and I am always happy to play this one.

Since we had played it a bit incorrectly the week before I decided to give Mutants another go.

It was really easy to explain to the 3 gamers who were learning, and we played it rather quickly. Dan had made some comments to the developers so they are still working out a few kinks to the game so I probably won't play this again until the final rules are in place and maybe those kinks are worked out.

I didn't have any major issues this game as we had the first time and we were still playing with 4 players. I ended up having the same deck of cards as I did the first game and I already had a better understanding of how I wanted to use the deck. Adam is a deck building fan and he picked up his character really fast and played into his strengths quickly getting a lot of cards into his deck as possible. Pat was turning through his deck wicked fast with his abilities. So everyone was really focused in on what they should have been doing. Shrey should have been beating up down more but he wasn't using his abilities to his fullest so he wasn't doing as well as the rest.

I was freezing as much as possible and ended up far in the lead at the end. I got some serious point from my mutant cards that give points per green card I had frozen. It was crazy.

So yeah I ended up with that win, I am not sure anyone loved the game, but I think they all enjoyed it well enough. Again, I am not sure this is one I will play again until the rules are in stone. But, I do enjoy what it is doing.

Shrey had never played Qwixx somehow. I don't know how that was possible, but we ended up playing this game. Adam had forgotten he had played it before but then remembered he had.

Yeah, it was a disgraceful game for me and Adam with a final score of 42 being tied. (hangs head in shame)

Shrey absolutely annihilated us with a score of 102. It was just horrible. He managed to close both rows with Adam and I still in shock. It was terrrrrrrible. We should just forget this game ever happened.

The final game of the night was Kréo. I dislike the name Kraus so I am glad I have the version that is Kréo.

Anyway, this game always fascinates me. It is way more complicated to explain this game than I always remember it being, the concepts are weird, but once you get going it is not too bad. It is a co-op after all and you can sort of give hints and strategy tips when explaining the game. There were times when I right out failed and revealed too much information during the game, but we moved past it.

We actually ended up doing okay without play and getting 3/4 elements fulfilled on the planet card which was very good. I still have yet to fully win this game and this was the one time I got the furthest I have ever gotten. I still haven't played with advanced rules. This game is just too hard. I always love this good challenge though and damn this game is so beautiful!! Love everything about it. Really fun game.

Since I have been highly addicted to it, I felt that on Monday night I should bring History of the World to Joes to play.

Yep, we played 5 players and it was Epic.

I mean, I was a total failure, and actually, to my surprise, I ended up coming in 3rd when I thought for sure I would come in dead last. So I will live with 3rd place that time around. It was still great to try and win though. I was just not getting the combos I desperately needed.

Since I was going first in the last round I ended wicked early and I knew I was last place (or thought). So I then went on to the next game. since they all let me.

I am loving this game more and more with each and every play and I just want to play it every game day. Definitely near the top ranking list for me and 2018. I love this game.

Since the group let me, I ended up playing 2 games of Neos while the rest of the History game finished up. I actually did my combats from the other tables.

I love Neos and will always play Neos when given the chance. I always want to try and get a perfect game with as many points as possible. I always seem far off from a perfect game though.

the first game Ron ended up winning with like 42 points which is incredibly good. But hey, I managed to come back and win the second game with mid-30s. I will take it!

Happy I got to play a couple games this Monday night. Always happy to play more!

I recently went through all my games for sale and updated a huge list... now 233 153 games are for sale:

In case you missed it... Selling gaming 2019 gaming calendars! You can check out cheers!

Also! BGG Show! I talk about some of the games I have been playing!

New to the Collection:
The Forgotten City
Mystical Seeds
The Bark Side
Wonderland Xiii

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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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Mon Oct 8, 2018 3:25 am
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Steph's New to Me List September 2018!!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2018!

This year I have made the goal of learning 300 400 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)

September List

1. Crazy Eggz:

Cute egg container game with simple to learn rules. Kids would have fun and could be a good family game. Silly and cute. Would play again.

5/10 After 1 plays (Owned)

2. Colorfox:

An awesome box that pulls out like a matchbox and has the bumps. Easy game plays one for the family. I look forward to trying it out with them in the future. Cute set collection game.

6/10 After 1 plays (Owned)

3. Roll to the Top!:

I love Roll N Write games and this is a good one. I would gladly play this one again. Might not be my first choice, but there are a lot of maps to try out and I like the replay-ability!

7/10 After 1 plays (Owned)

4. Layers:

Real-Time puzzle to try and put layers down to create the matching picture. pretty fun challenge and one that I could play anytime. Great filler.

7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

5. Lucky's Misadventures:

Really interesting mechanics for deck building. Different paths to try and achieve before the end of the game for an auto win. I really love the art and the mis-mashed theme. Fun times.

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)


Series of several games. Some badly written rules make for not so easy playing. Amazing quality production for a game, I need to play some more in the selection of games.

5.5/10 After 3 plays (Owned)

7. Forest:

Easy game with adorable fairy tale art. Probably for families and kids and not so much a gamers game. Could play again, but didn't hold my interest.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

8. Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents:

Cute 15 minute drawing party game. In the line of A Fake Artist Goes to New York. Could easily play with anyone and the box is fuzzy...

7/10 After 3 plays (Owned)

9. Touch Down!:

Team abstract game. Not convinced we playe dcorrectly but perhaps a bad translated rulebook? Super cute animals and a checker like game. Could play again.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

10. Mafiozoo:

Reimplement of Louis XIV. I like this theme better, but the box is 3x the size and thats not great. It is an interesting and vicious game. maybe too meann for me? Hard to say. Would definitely play again.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

11. Bargain Quest:

Not for me. Gorgeous art but the game play was a mash up of a bunch of mechanics that didn't flow well.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

12. dude:

Props for the Rainbow Dude card... but still it is no Happy Salmon. Could play again.

5.5/10 After 1 plays (Not Owned)

13. History of the World:

Been really enjoying this one and it is one that I want to play more and more of. I want to get to be amazing at this game! It has totally captivated me. If you are a fan of A Brief History of the World I think you will like this.

9/10 After 1 plays (Owned)

14. Strike:

Totes overrated. #idontgetit It was fine.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

15. Gizmos:

Exactly as I expected it. Too bad it is in a huge box- that really almost pushed the rating back a notch. I could play again if requested. Not dying to.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

16. Root:

Artwork is beyond cuteness. Game play was fine for me. I am really not a fan os asymmetric powers. Not really interested in playing again.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

17. GoTown:

This is a game that might never end... it just goes on and on my friends... some people started playing it not knowing what it was... and they'll continue playing it forever just because... this is the game that never ends...

3/10 After 1 play (Owned)

18. Prototype- Triky Trail:

Pretty great game for learning countries and flags and small facts. Not a great gamers game but would be excellent in 8th grade history classes. #recommendedforlearning I need to study up.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

19. Tubyrinth:

Interesting polyomino game that is timed by the fastest players who can complete the path. Not a game I would play every week but I would be happy to play it every so often.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

20. Arraial:

Beautiful beautiful game. Love the Tetris style tile-laying mechanic. Not so much player interaction or planning, but hopeful luck. Very enjoyable and will play anytime.

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

21. Mutants:

Interesting asymmetric deck building game. I'm not usually one for asymmetric, but this worked for me since I am really focused on my own thing. While there are attack cards, it felt fine to me. Still in dev mode, so I am curious to see where this ends up. One to watch!

7/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

22. Bob Ross: Art of Chill Game:

Pretty rinbow game that I had to try out. Chillest game of them all, it seems. light set collection game. Cute and good for casual gamers.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

23. Papering Duel:

Cute abstract game for 2 player. Very thinky and constricting. A great production and fun game. Great for people who enjoy 2p games.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

24. Wangdo:

Wicked cute productions with adorable bears. Simple set collection game with easy rules to teach any gamer. Could play with the fam.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

25. Taiwan:

Interesting tableau builder. Buy extra dice per round and roll resources and workforce. Luck of the dice somewhat involved but there are ways to help that with conversions. Pretty art and a game I would like to play more of.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

26. Spring Rally:

A vibrant trick-taking game with an incredible catch-up mechanic. Each time you lose a trick you tick forward your spring and eventually you might win a trick and can spring ahead or if the round ends you will auto spring. It is super cute and harmless.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

27. Tags:

Super clever party-type game. Only plays 4 but I could see it playing with a few more. You are trying to think of fast responses and man it is easier if you are not on the clock playing but spectating! Super fun!

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

28. Majolica:

Beautiful game for sure. Finicky tile movements and can be frustrating at times. VERY thinky and puzzley. Perhaps too much for my brain to process at once. Will have to try it a few more times.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

29. Lindisfarne:

Area control game that I absolutely adore. So much fun collecting Frescos you. Set collection game with some area control. You get to roll dice but there is a bunch of ways to use the dice. Simple to learn and fun to play. Really surprised me.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

30. Seals:

Set collection type game. very easy to play and learn game. Pretty underwhelming and a game I could play again though.

4/10 After 1 play (Owned)

New to me Expansions!

1. Q.E. 5 player:

Q.E. 5 Player proto expansion. Feels the same as basic game not sure it added much for me. Would play again.

5/10 After 2 plays (not Owned)

The Tally

January: 23
February: 24
March: 48
May: 56
June: 44
July: 29
August: 59
September: 30

Total new to me games for the year 271!

History of the World


For those keeping Track I Watched 3 movies in September, 3 of which were with Movie Pass.

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

Until next week!

Happy Gaming!!!


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!

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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Mon Oct 1, 2018 2:37 pm
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The Count to Essen Begins! Still With So Many Amazing Games!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

In case you missed it... Selling gaming 2019 gaming calendars! You can check out cheers!

Fun group Thursday! Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hitting up some games with the fun folks!

We started the night with 6 players and Most Wanted.

I was excited to play this game again and have the large group! we finally played the game with the second stage of rules so we played with the full 5 card poker hands and that was way more interesting than the first basic play mode without the straights and flushes. #definitelyrecommend

So we were playing and there were big points to be had when you went all in with your 5 cards. It did speed the game up faster too having so many people and so many cards being used. Seemed to fly right on by!

I was hanging out in the loser zone for most of the game and I managed to have a good hand eventually, which brought me back to mid-range with most everyone.

Eventually, we were all like within 6 steps and the final card was turned so whoever had the best hand would win the game. Turned out to be JOE was the winner this time. I duno how that happened. Joe doesn't win games.

We were waiting to see if Jess and Ed were coming so we played another fast game and this time it was Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents. This is such a cute game and plays out in like 10 minutes!

Make some interesting lines and then create art. It is pretty creative. I ended up playing again later in the week and found my drawing to be sub-par both times, I know I can do better! There is a timer so the pressure is on to draw something quickly.

It is still a fun challenge even though Ron always wins. We had fun categories though and we had to draw Help and we all went to like water scenes and we had Wish and juice. Ron's wish was clearly the best with genie.

Super cute and fun game. Happy to play it.

next up we were going to play Dom Spec but ended up playing 3 player Small World.

It had been about a million years since I played this so I was pretty excited to play again. I have no idea why Ron doesn't like it so much. This game Riley, Scott and I played.

It had been so long for all of us and we all forgot the rules. Riley reviewed it and I remembered more than I thought I would. We were playing with a couple small expansions I couldn't name them.

Having just played History of the World, I can't help but compare the games and they are just so similar. More on that later in the post though.

This was so much fun to play though. I am really drawn to these mechanics which could be why I enjoy History of the World so much. I like that you have to do your best each round but you still can score from past races that you have control over still. I like that you score at the end of your turn, each turn. So interesting.

I really want to play this one more. It was a super close game though and I think I might have won by a couple points... or WAIT nooooo Riley won by a couple points. I remember now. Dang! 3 points! It really felt like I was going to win that one all game though. Boo, I will have to try to get him back later.

Great game!!

Jess and Edward showed up and we played a couple games of Neos.

I love this game and it is shocking that I hadn't played it at all this year! So glad Ed was just "oh what's this?" I said we will play right now!

The first game was a learning game and everyone wanted to play again right after.

I ended up winning the first game and he won the second. I was so bummed in the second game because it was Disney HQ night and I was gliched out of the game on round 2. I was less focused on the game after that. I will blame that- even though I got the same score, I think.

This is a very fast card laying pattern game. Simply wonderful!

We ended the night with a play of Space Park.

I got to play this once before and was looking forward to another play. We were playing 4 players and I was teaching everyone. The game is pretty simple and I think I recalled all the rules correctly, provided I was taught correctly to start.

I still stand by that this is one of the prettiest games and artwork. Quality game components and simple ruleset makes it very attractive. I havent tried solo mode but it also has that.

In our game Edward was on point and just chugging at the goal cards. I wasn't getting the opportunity to complete my own and the ships were always so far away. My combos weren't working so well either.

I needed like one more turn in the game to get everything I wanted to played and I might ahve won. But, Ed was able to end it a turn earlier and win the game with 20 points. Fun times playing.

Saturday was game day and I had a few new games I wanted to check out the first being Triky Trail... not yet on BGG. New to me!

This is a simple and quick card game that will be on KS soon. There is a lot of geographical trivia in this game. Oh Boy, it certainly makes me look foolish! So there are several decks and I was given the Africa deck I think you will get more in the game box when you get the game though and you select a continent to start the game.

The game is pretty straightforward in that you have a hand of cards and you are looking to get rid of all your cards first. You can play the speed way or we played the static way of just playing a card on your turn. When you play a card you can play it to match the number of the card of the suit of the card. With speed, you can go out of turn and play these cards. You might also play a joker card which will then tell the next player to do something like miss a turn or draw some cards or the really hard one of trying to guess which nations flag you are looking at. Lemme tell ya, I am not familiar with Africa's different collection of flags. Oh man, was I terrible!

Lots of different actions you might get on your cards so that keeps it interesting. I think this game would be wonderful to help educate kids or me in geography since, I am, just that bad. It was pretty standard in terms of gameplay though. I can't say it offered anything new or exciting, but I enjoyed the art and knowledge it provides. I would have loved to play it in 8th grade when I was learning more about Africa. I might have done better with North America... maybe.

I am pretty sure Dan won this game, I know it was definitely not me. A pretty cute game so be on the lookout on KS.

Dan had a game for us to play called Tubyrinth. New to me!

I am always happy to play more Polyomino games. This is a speed game with 8 rounds you play each side of the boards and there are 4 boards. Everyone has the same pieces and you are trying to connect the water ports using as many of the pieces you can for a pipe network.

Pretty simple, yet so very difficult to play. I was barely managing to get the completed pipe. I think I might have completed 3 of them- one for each of the pictures below since I was so pleased I actually finished the pipe! Nothing to be that excited about, but I was proud.

It was a cute game and I could definitely play again. No problem. I liked it and Ron probably won or maybe Dan. It was not me at all.

For a 5 minute filler while we waited on others, we played a game of Ticket to Ride: New York.

Always happy to play this one since it really is a great game. I love trying to make the paths and cut people off. 4 players is super tight and they all cut me off pretty quickly in this game.

I was struggling to complete my routes but I managed it and picked up an extra.

Ron completely destroyed us as per usual. What the heck. unimpressed.

I got a couple shipments in the mail and was anxious to get some of the new polyomino games played that I got first being Arraial. New to me!

I saw this on the Essen preview list and was immediately interested. The pop of colors and of course the polyomino shapes I was drawn in.

This game plays out much like Tetris, except you have to control a little of the shapes you are dropping. What's interesting is the center dial that has 3 cards on display and when you draft them to your board they get dropped in the way they are displayed, but you can spend one of your 3 actions to rotate the dial and therefore change the orientation of the pieces.

When you are able to complete a row you get a white meeple to your party line and that line actually gets bumped upward one row! This is great because there are 3 rounds in the game and after the 1st and second rounds are completed then the party line drops a couple rows, and if it is ever broken by the line of tiles then you lose the party line and can't collect white meeples any longer. When the round is over you do get to score whatever white meeples you did collect though so you might not have to lose all your white meeples if you ever break it.

There is a sort of largest area for each given color blocking too. Now, whenever you connect a second matching tile so, red next to red then you get to collect a red meeple. You only get to do this one time for each grouping. If you add a 3rd red tile to the group you don't get another red meeple. Ideally, you make 2 red sections and then join them with a 5th tile and take largest red area. You get a DOUBLE meeple for taking control of the largest region. Each meeple is worth 1 point at the end of the game and double meeples are worth 2. That is all in the way of scoring, so it is a fairly simple game.

The art is amazing and the colors are bold. Totally eye-catching and just makes you want to play. I am of course amazing at this game and totally destroyed everyone else playing. I did incredibly well and managed my rows very well. I was more into getting the rows completed than getting the colored meeples. Of course, I wanted to get the colored meeples. I was using my 3 actions whenever possible to take the tiles. Other people were rotating or not using the tiles effectively.

I am excited for this game and very much look forward to playing again soon. Dan had compared it to Sweetstack and he is not wrong, but this game is far less take-that. Sweetstack is all Take-that, but it is also amazingly fun. I really enjoy both games.

Next up I was very much excited to play the new EmerorS4 game called Realm of Sand.

Not really new to me since I played it at GAMA a few times. Some of the rules have changed since then. This game is really a cross between Patchwork and Splendor. You are placing tiles to your board in order to try and create patterns from the center display of cards. You want those cards to gain discs and other benefits but mostly to collect points. Some cards have sand timers on them and when a player hits 10 sand timers then the game will be over.

This game had everything I love. It is really a game made for me. I love everything about it. I ended up playing twice on game day and the second time was with the advanced sides of the player boards where everyone had a different board they were using and different powers they could activate in the game, given the opportunity.

Again, I might just be master of the polyomino games like this since I managed to win both of the games I had played. I really thought I was a goner for this second game though since I managed to nearly fill my board before completing any cards. I choose to ignore the discs (even though I got some anyway), and just go for the mid-range cards and points. Totally worked out for me and my power was to look at a few cards and keep one to myself, so I could have a hidden card I was working on all to myself. It was awesome!

Seriously loving this game and I know it will be a huge hit for all the peoples. So wonderful! #MOAR

Another game I recently got was Mutants. New to me!

This was an early prototype copy I believe but really nice quality with finished art. This is a very cool deck building game where you are trying to cycle through your deck quickly to freeze cards before the shuffle. Now all the frozen cards will act as your score at the end of the game.

What makes this deck building game more interesting is that each player starts the game with the standard basic deck of 12 cards and their own personal set of mutant cards that they will shuffle separately and form 3 stacks. These will be upgraded cards and you can get those into play for better powers and points if you get to freezing them.

You might mix your genes together and create a mutant and that will go into your active space. Next turn you will move that mutant to the right or left kicking out whatever card was previously there. Whenever you put into play you get an initial action to do. Whenever a card leaves play you get a leaving action. These actions might give you power and you want a lot of power and be in the lead at the end of each round. The round will end when all players have no more actions to take. So it is different than a general deck builder in that you don't simply play out a hand each turn. You just take one action and play continues until you are out of cards. You get to score points based on your position and the current round. The game is pretty interesting and the gameplay is fast and pretty simple.

It took a long time to get going for how simple the game actually is. We missed a key rule for the first 2 rounds but was able to correct it for rounds 3-5. The major rule we missed was if you are at the top of the power track and gain more power, you actually knock all other players down the track instead. Critical rule!

There can be a bit of take-that with the advanced mutant cards, but I think it is all in the game I like how everyone has their own decks to recruit new cards from, I think it is clever. I also like that all the mutant cards are different with different abilities. I can see drafting those at the start of the game if you play enough.

In our game, I was doing pretty well and I had big plans on how to get more cards into the frozen area. This worked for me really well and I scored A TON of points from what I was doing. I was losing each round though and getting very minimal in-game points so my frozen cards were just not enough to bring me into the lead at the end of the game. I am nearly sure that Kim won this game. But, I can't remember, prolly was Dan but he doesn't win games so that can't possibly be correct.

It is interesting to see what Mutants will be available and how you can best use them to form combos if you can. I think there is a clever play here and I look forward to playing this more times!

Next on the table was another EmperorS4 game Discovery: The Era of Voyage.

I have played the original game back when it was first released. You can read A LOT about it here: Japanese and Taiwanese Games Played and Everyone Has a Great Time! Review for Emperor's Choice! so check it out!

It has been on my wishlist since that time playing and I am super excited that EmperorS4 is making it more widely available and therefore Deep Water Games will bring it to the US. This is exciting times!

The gameplay feels much like a Splendor or Century Spice games with collecting resources and turning them in for control of regions and more bonuses for the actions you take. A very fast game where you are trying to collect points and drop your influence tokens as most efficiently as you can.

I LOVE the art of the game and the ease in how it plays with tight decisions and movement restrictions.

In our game this day I had forgotten the directional restrictions rule, and I was not planning as well as I should have. Chris was all about getting the in-game points from the one location that provided them and he was just pulling in the points left and right. He ran away with the game easily.

I was just trying for area control points and everyone was out doing me in all directions. It was just a disaster for me. We played with a random display of cards and we probably should have used the standard basic one for the game, I like mixing things up though. This is a game I am pleased to share with everyone now that I have it!

We had a bunch of people and I managed to convince Dan to try out Poetry Slam even though he walked in the house in the morning and said no. I also convinced Shrey and yeah he was less excited, but I might have twisted some arms.

Kim was excited since she loves word games and this is one of them. Dan went over the rules since I forgot a few of them. There are definitely too many rules for this party game, and this party game is awfully thinky. It is a game that sits in the middle of a party game and strategy games, sort of like Decrypto.

We played out the whole game and had some laughs doing it. There were definitely some clever poems in the works and worthy of the snap tokens. Hey, I even managed to get some snaps! Huzzah! I wish I could remember all my poems. but I know one of the words was Wheat and I gave a clue that was basically Catan related, eventually someone got it, so that made me feel good. My poems aren't really the best. There were several rounds where Shrey just choose to not create a poem. One round was particularly funny though we had to use the letters J & S and of course like all of us thought Jester. Dan's poem was great and Shrey used Dan's poem too... I had a totally different poem that involved Joffrey cutting peoples heads off... they got it too.

Kim had a great time playing and this was totally a game for her and my old HS gaming friends- would have been fun growing up with this one. I am glad we played it out. Pretty sure Kim destroyed us. I totally didn't but had fun trying!

With the 6 players we played another current fav- Cosmic Factory.

Sad about the name change- and now I have to actively remember the actual name!

Still always a great time to play this one. The rules that alter the play each round really keep it fresh with new goals and different drafting strategies.

I still always go for the asteroid paths and do my best there. Dan gets frustrated with that plan since he always seems to get screwed over. This is not directly my fault... he just picks bad tiles.

Love this game and happy it keeps coming back to the table.

Shrey and Chris were up for playing a game of Trajan.

I am usually up for this if requested since I hardly get to play it and I really enjoy it. I usually win too, which might be why I like it, unclear at this time.

This game was pretty good. I ended up getting a +1 for the voting action so I would boost 3 times when I took that action as a bonus. I only managed to activate it twice though, but it was effective and I was far, far in the lead at the end of the game. Like maybe 40-50 points above the others due to the golden tiles I collected and the points they gave me.

I wasn't doing well with the feeding costs but it didn't seem to matter in the end. It was really weird but the first feeding we all needed 3 fire and I had none to provide so I lost 15 points. Everyone else didn't do well but I lost the most there.

Still a fun game!

Shrey had Q.E. with play testing for a 5 player expansion. We tried it out with 5 players.

The scoring changed a bit, but it was mostly the same. Some new things were added like a once per game viewing tile and you can see the winning score.

This game is interesting because you are bidding on tiles with whatever value you see fit. You might win if you bid the most- but you really want to psych other people out.

This game I totally went to bidding town and went really high. I thought others were going high and they were and I just bid too much. I would have won, maybe... if I didn't bid too much. yep, I was the big loser this game.

Still a fun game, kinda glad I didn't back it for 85 bucks though. That was just too much.

Earlier in the night I wanted to play History of the World but couldn't drum up the right crowd, but by evening most of the crowd was gone and it was down to 4 of us and we took it out!

I was really glad to get this one back to the table so soon. I was really wanting to play it. Having played it and then Small World I was ready to have my hand at this again. The comparisons to Small World are so totally there. This is like the next step from Small World if you have some major small world fanatics. You have the powers you are drafting and the races/ nations you are drafting. You get to score at the end of your turn for what you did and what you have still remained on the board. You don't don't want to remain attached to anything you have done in the past. It really is a brilliant mechanic and the more I am playing it the more I am loving it.

This game I started out weak and played super weak for the whole game. I mean I was barely keeping up with the leaders. Shrey was so far in the lead though there was little to no chance of catching it. I was drafting first nation each time and just picking the wrong things. I ended up taking Mesoamericans since I was the only one up in the Americans and wanted to maintain control and it seemed like a solid play even only getting 4 armies. Turned out to work out and no one bothered to come after me since I was so far behind. I maintained full control for the big points at the end. In the final turn, I was like at 80-90 points and I managed to pull super far with the Brits. I ended up 2nd place. I literally shocked EVERYONE with the number of points I was able to gain at the end of that game. I was just shy of Shrey by like 5-10 points and zoomed past Dan and Ron. I even surprised myself with how well I managed to do in the final round and I think I got over 50 points, it was just insane!

Oh, so much fun with this one. Be on the lookout for BGGSHOW this week I will talk more in depth about this experience. Totally loving this game.

Last game of the night was Bob Ross: Art of Chill Game. New to me!

This was cool and I was obviously interested in all of the fabulous rainbows found in the game. I am clearly not the most chill person in the game group. I am most eccentric probably. Your goal of the game is to get to the end of the chill track and win by being most chill.

In the game, you are collecting different paints and brushes to try and paint the current painting on display. you can complete the same region as another player but you will get fewer bonus points. Before your turn, you have to roll the die and then perform the die result, which might be great like draw a card for free, or get a bonus action. Most of the time it is BOB and you have to draw his card and there is a new rule in place until it is covered up and then you move him along the Bob track. If he reaches the end of the Bob track then the painting is complete and you reveal a new painting.

Really simple game and I think great for the Target crowd. Casual gamers and families, this is a great game. As for gamer games, this just doesn't quite scratch the itch for this time of the game with this amount of invested time. I would happily play it again even if Ron ended up being the most Chill in the game. I thought for sure Shrey was more Chill... haha

I love all the rainbows!!!

Sunday I had the pleasure of photographing senior photos and the Dyer family. It was a great day! Then they all came to play games after!

First on the table was Amelia's pick, that of PitchCar.

This was great since I hardly get to play this one and I generally do pretty well. I wish I had more of the expansions, but I don't really play it enough to warrant getting those.

Anyway, Ron and I started in the back of the pack, and Scott was winning almost all of the first leg of the race. Amelia came up from behind and totally took over the lead for most of the 2nd and 3rd laps. She totally crushed us!

I managed to pull ahead of Ron who was ahead of me most of the game, but I came in a second place which was awesome!

Always a good time playing some PitchCar.

Since I had just taught Scott the other day we ended up playing Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents with everyone since it plays 6 players.

It didn't go over as I might have hoped. We had easy categories so it wasn't all that creative, or so it felt. It was fine though. I was happy with my clown that I created.

I was still nowhere near the winner. Again, Amelia for the best drawing and got nearly all of the 3 point tokens. She is a pretty clever gamer, for sure! Still had a great time playing, but it wasn't requested a second time so we moved on to the next!

When I talked about it at game day Shrey suggested I pull out Decrypto.

Yeah, this game is a bunch of fun and works very well with 6 people. The biggest problem with the game is the AP since it is hard to think of creative and tricky words for clues to give.

We were on to the boys when we played and we guessed correctly at the same time and the pressure was on to guess correctly before the boys could. We were so close but it came down to a 50/50 guess for 1 number and we were off! Nooooooo the boys had us that time and we could taste the victory.

When we tried to pull the words together for a common clue we did okay. We weren't far off. That is always my favorite part of the game. Trying to guess the other team's actual words!

Super glad we were able to play this. I think everyone had a great time playing. I will have to bring that one to Thanksgiving!

Scott remembered a game I took around last year and was interested in playing it with the fam so we played a 6 player game of Slide Blast.

Of course, I am always up for some tile placement games! They are having so much fun on the waterslide! You always have a selection of 2 tiles and you are trying to move your meeple as far down the water slide as possible and if you move another meeple you get a bonus token! So help your fellow sliders!

It was cute and of course, Ron dominated us this game. He was getting all the best tiles and made huge connections with his path. I duno how he does it... I bet he shuffled the stack of tiles. mmhmm.

Everyone picked up the game pretty fast and we were off and playing in no time. Super cute game and I was happy to have it around for such an occasion. Worked out perfectly.

A game I knew would be a crowd pleaser, and I was correct, was Flying Kiwis.

It is only 4 players and Ron opted to sit out and there was some alternating of the players. But we ended up playing 6 times! It is so fast and just simple fun to flick these kiwis!

Amelia was a pro from the start. In less than 5 moves she had a connect 4 and won the first game before we barely said start. Dang, that was fast. She easily won the majority of the games after that too. I think I only managed to win 1 time and tie once. I was definitely in poor performance mode this time.

Still, a fun game to sit and flick kiwis at the opponent across from you.

I thought the fam would appreciate the innovative Fold-it.

I was not wrong again! The first few rounds of folding the napkin was a challenge for them. But they were catching on and by the end, they were all pros. You really have to see how it works a few times and then bend your mind backward and figure it out.

I didn't do half back having just played a few weeks ago. It is a cool puzzle to try and solve. One day I might actually win this one!

The final game of the afternoon was New York Slice. This is always a crowd pleaser and one my family always enjoys playing. It was a good suggestion to end the afternoon with since it was a great inspiration for the Dyer family dinner, see below...

It was a nail-biter of a game. Ron was being super mean to Scott though and ended up with a mere 9 points. Poor Scott!

I was trying to go for the larger numbers and it ended up biting me in the bum. I had a decent score but the winners for this game went to Ron and Kai for a tie victory.

Super cute game and one I am always happy to play. Easy rules and easy teach. Good times!

Inspired Dyer Family Dinner...

New to the Collection:
Discovery: The Era of Voyage
Realm of Sand
The Badger Rainbow Deck x2
Star Girl x2

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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 Sep 26, 2018 5:45 pm
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Steph's Awesome Gaming Calendar 2019!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Steph’s Awesome Gaming Calendar!

Pre-Order now! Calendars to ship November/December 2018

$15 for each calendar and flat $5 shipping costs to USA & Canada Please contact me for shipping outside North America. (It will likely be the same cost, though)

You can order on my site:

Hand delivery options please contact me personally:

Essen Spiel – €15 cash- exact preferable
Lobster Trap- $15 cash
BGG.Con- $15 cash

Featured Games:

A Feast for Odin
Birdie Fight
Blue Lagoon
The Cat Game
Clank! In! Space!
Deadpool vs The World
Dinosaur Island
Dominant Species
Dragon Castle
Echidna Shuffle
End of the Trail
Explorers of the North Sea
Fast Forward: Flee
The Fox in the Forest
The Gallerist
Ganz schön clever
Heaven & Ale
Hunt for the Ring
Indian Summer
Jurassic Snack
Legends of Sleepy Hollow
Le Havre
Little Big Fish
Lucidity Six-Sided Nightmares
The Mind
Pioneer Days
The Prodigals Club
Prowler’s Passage
The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Rajas of the Ganges
Rurik: Dawn of Kiev
Sagrada & Sagrada 5+6 player Expansion
Shifting Realms
Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn
Symphony No.9
Tokyo Highway
Tower of Madness
The Voyages of Marco Polo
Yellow & Yangtze

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


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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Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:31 pm
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Disney World 2018 - Also Some Games! Gizmos and Root! All the Photos!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy for me! I shot a lovely Rainbow Wedding and went to Disney! I ended up playing a few games and those are posted towards the end. Cheers!

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting the most rainbow wedding! Paula and I have always seen eye to eye on the colors and the rainbows and it was super exciting to share that awesome day with her! Here are a couple pics.

Walt Disney World!

I found the Scrabble ceiling!

Love this ride so much!

Interesting history on Viking Gods... I even found game pieces... Just sayin'

Only in Paris.

New Avatar World! heart

Yeah, I had to. I miss the darkroom so much!

So during the Disney trip, we were with a large number of people. Didn't get many games in but Jenny stopped by one night and we played 2 games of That's Pretty Clever.

Always happy to play this game. On the plane rides I was playing the app a bunch and Ron still has the highest score between us over 300 points. I'm like 240 or something lame. I was interested in playing the real game though.

Jenny was just learning and after the first play, she immediately wanted to play again. Of course. The first game went really well for me, or so I thought. Yah, no, Ron completely crushed us but I was still happy with my score. I could have had a ton more points if Jenny had a better final turn.

The second game was a disaster for me and I was the ultimate loser. Nothing was being rolled well at all. Ron won that game too. Wat up? He has been playing the app too much...

Always a good time.

Saturday, before we took off for home, Evan was awesome and hosted a game day! Ron and I went for a little while before heading to Magic Kingdom for the night show.

I managed to get in 3 games 2 of which I learned! Woohoo!

First on the table was Gizmos. New to me!

I was interested in trying this for a while and never really had the chance. Evan ended up not playing but teaching us how to play which was great.

Plays out much like splendor collect cards and gain benefits for the different actions and marbles you collect. There is a bit more to it than Splendor since you are trying to get combos. It was cute.

I thought for sure Matt was going to win that game. He had some large cards and point tokens. I managed to get a bunch of late-game tokens though and a lot of misc range cards so I ended up winning with 34 points. Everyone else was only a few points behind me so it was definitely close. I was the one who ended it.

What I do t get is the reserve card, I don't like that in Splendor and I don't like it in this game either. I didn't do it once, I get why it's an option though. I also dislike the research action. Thankfully most of the gamers at the table forgot the action, and I can see why that would drag the game on much longer. Blah.

All in all, I would happily play it again. It didn't wow me or anything. It is harmless and perfectly fine game. I love the marbles and the gimmick but the box is far too huge.

Next up I was talked into a game of Root. New to me!

I was interested in playing with Evan and this is what he was pulled into. This has obviously been on my radar, but I wasn't convinced it was a game for me. I'll be damned, this game is amazingly cute.

I wanted the easiest race available so I played the cats. I didn't know much about the game, but asymmetric powers, which is not an appeal for me. Each race does different things, but everyone is trying to get to 30 points first. It is a race game. There are some cards that are called Dominance and they will provide a player with a new end goal objective if they choose to play it. Each player is doing something different and scoring points differently. As the cats, I was able to build buildings and gain points most easily.

I know the birds have a programming mechanic, and the vagabond steals things or varies depending on the character choice, I suppose.

In my game, I was feeling pretty good on my locations and ended up going to a dominance ending. I nearly had it right when I played it too, but the birds swooped in and managed to tear me down enough to tie for control. Boo, it was a close one. The alliance green mice character ended up winning the game with 30 points. Had I just gone for 30 points, I think I might have been able to win the game.

I was getting all the worst card draw when I needed specific fox types. It was a mess and I lost me keep and everything just to maintain my fox clearings. Evan was playing the vagabond and was having a pretty miserable time. He was also learning and playing for the first time. In the end, he said he had an ok time, much like me.

I did like this game better than VAST but it still isn't really my type of game. I would play again, but there is not much pulling me to beside it being amazingly cute.

I felt kinda bad since I pulled Jason away from his GF in a Great Western Trail game since I really wanted to play a game with Jason since he managed to ditch me all DTC. She was sweet about it though (probably gave him hell later) and I got to play Castell with him and Ron.

It was just a 3 player game and he needed a rules refresher. I hadn't played for a few months but I was feeling pretty good. I knew off the bat what Ron's strategy would be and I was right. Yeah in the final round there was a scoring with 3x 7's on it. I knew it would be a game that Ron would collect every and any 7 he could find. I was not wrong and he picked up 9 of them... yeah he totally killed us all. I think he scored like 34 points in the final round for his performance. It was insane.

I thought Jason was doing particularly well though, he was getting a lot of local performances and tons of tokens. I was just a mixed bag and Jason was doing what I wanted to do, but he was doing it better.

I ended up in total last place. Ah well, it was awesome to get to play a game with Jason. He is good people! It was a great game day even if I only got to play 3 games!

Monday night games! Whoa! It's been a while since I have been to a Monday night games!

First on the table was Lucky's Misadventures. I was excited to get this game back to the table and with 3 players.

Ron was learning so Dan went over the rules and it was very easy to play after that. The turns were snappy and the pace was great with 3 players. It is probably best with 3, but I still am looking forward to trying with 2 players.

This game I was going to try and make machines! I was itching to make the cool machines and get awesome bonuses. Yeah, no, Ron was all over it and stealing my machine parts and just totally dominating that. So, I ended up switching strategies and going after the sisters since they were showing up in the Maven line. I ended up collecting them ALL!!

On the final turn, I was simply 1 card away from getting the 3rd sister in my hand and she was at the top of the deck. It was just a disaster. Ron was able to secure the instant win by getting the machine victory. Ugh!

I think I would have won otherwise if we ended up counting the points at the end. I had more than the other since I made them all add up their points. Boo!!!! I should have totally won that game. It was great fun though. I don't think anyone disliked it, but I do think I like it the best out of anyone at the table.

Next up Dan read the rules for GoTown. New to me!

This is a small box card game with a lot of take that. You are actively trying to get cards played to the table and create floors. Whoever can get 5 floors first wins. You have a hand of cards and you always draw 1 at the start of your turn. At the end of your turn if you have less than 3 you will also draw up to 3.

You can play a floor to your building if the value is 9, but they also happen to match in colors. If I have a 3 I could also steal the 6 from the top floor of another player, their 3 gets discarded. There is a lot of stealing other peoples cards. You take that top floor and open up another floor and steal their 5 etc. You can't steal if there is a guard dog though unless you have the bone to give them. There are other cards to make people lose their turns and wildcards to be any number.

The game could essentially go on forever if you are really trying hard. You might just get a lucky turn though and have the double turn card and use all your other cards effectively and draw perfect cards etc.

In our game, we really thought it would go on forever, but Ron was able to have a perfect turn and went from 1 floor to 5 in one turn, somehow. I guess we all had the floors he could steal from to make it work. We were pretty happy the game was over. There was just too much take that and not enough strategy in this game to keep us interested. I can see how it could be fun for a drinking game or just casual gamers who aren't really into strategy or anything.

I could play it again, but it is not one I will go around requesting. It just didn't work for me as a filler type game.

Since we had 5 minutes we ended up playing a game of Ticket to Ride: New York.

Dan hadn't yet played it, which is shocking. But, he was up for it. I mean it is really an easy game to learn if you know T2R at all.

We played in under 10 minutes I think and hey I managed to get all my routes completed. I am glad I didn't push it for one of them since it was quickly blocked off after I discarded that one card.

Still didn't matter though, Ron did EVERY category better than I did. I mean HOW?! He just did the car points and the route cards and the penny spaces too. It was just like, "really"? cmon that was bogus. So he pulled off the win that time.

Still always a game I enjoy playing.

The final game of the night was a fav Monday night special that of Tichu.

We started off poorly but managed a strong come back to where it was 900 to 900. That was super awesome. I called a couple Grands in the game and made them. I think I missed a Tichu call at one point though.

There was one round that I was totally lucky on my call and got passed a bomb to help me out. Dan ended up calling a few times too and he was down to 1 card and Ron was down to one card and I had to make a tough call and hope that Geoff couldn't do anything about that. It ended up working out where Dan was able to go out! I easily could have gone out first but I choose to play it risky and it paid off.

It was a great game and one I totally want to play every week if I can. Love this game so much. Oh, I suppose I should mention that Geoff and Ron ended up winning. That final hand Dan and I were just dead in the water. Boo. #teamgeoffandsteph

New to the Collection:
Poetry Slam
Triky Trail

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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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Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:18 am
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Labor Day Weekend Goodness! Tokyo Metro, History of the World, Team Up!, Layers, Lucky's Misadventures and so much more!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

Hope you all had an eventful Labor Day and got in some gaming!

I got in a few games of Bandido and this really makes for a great solo puzzle of a game.

I managed to maintain the outputs early and often and enclosed the bandit both games relatively quick!

They seemed almost too easy... but I am sure if and when I return to try again I will fail miserably!

I am learning the tricks fo the game though, but it might just be a quick luck of the draw, not sure! When Dan tried it out he was an epic failure even when I tried to help him. He didn't take my advice. hahaha that was fun though.

Great little game.

Also over the weekend and before I managed to get in 3 games of Team UP!. This game is also proving to be a LOAD of fun! I just want to get the perfect pallet! I know I can do it!

Shrey and I tried over the weekend and we played the same deck of cards 2 times and the first time we got like 17 and the second we got like 19 I think we did slightly better. It was still pretty damn good. But we had just the wrong pieces left over and couldn't make it fit! We were so close though. We thought we had it!

Really like this challenging game! I just want to play more and more!

Cindy and Collin came to visit us for Labor Day and we got to play a ton of games!! Friday night they arrived and the 4 of us got to playing Collin's favorite game Carson City. It had been a long while since I last played it. I think I got to play it last year... maybe.

It never really goes over well with the people, but this time everyone had a good time playing. Both Collin and Cindy love it so it makes for a more interesting game. Having just played the card game I was ready for the board game to hit the table. I always enjoyed the board game and still do. I think there is a meanness to it though that just doesn't sit right with people. You kinda just have to go with it and hope for the best.

Our game was vicious! People fighting on every corner it seemed. I went all guns one round and just blew it away with a few lucky rolls.

Ron ended up winning by 2 points and Collin and I were TIED but I won on tiebreaker so yeah I was totally second.

Interesting game and one I would play again, with the right group. I have to say the card game simply blew me away and is the game I would rather play given the choice.

Next on the table, we played a quick game of Scarabya. I ended up playing this game 3 times over the weekend, it was proving to be a hit!

I really love how easy this game is to teach and play. One I could play all weekend!

I think I ended up winning most if not all of the games. It is all a blur at this time! I always seem to score pretty well though. I loved that in the other games that everyone wanted to play with mixed up mountains. I will convert people to play with mixed up boards soon enough.

Collin mentioned his interest in trying out Riff Raff.

I am always up for a game of Riff Raff!! So much fun! #FavoriteDexterityGame Seriously great. We played with the "correct rules" you select the card you want. I like to play super hard mode where you line up your pieces in the order in which you have to play them and randomly select a card each round.

It keeps you on your toes that way. Yah I totally won this game with the proper rules. haha it was super great though and I am always up for the challenge.

I am nearly sure Collin had all the pieces by the end. hahaha

Nearing the end of the night was Welcome To....

I taught this game to Collin a while back and Cindy was interested in learning it. It is a pretty fantastic game. I had Ron explain it and we played. I still have yet to use rotaries, so that is still in question for me. I duno about that.

I did terribly this game. I was trying to get my board filled properly, but yeah was not doing a good job. I think we finished on the last card before we would have had to shuffle so that was good timing on someone's art. I feel like Collin won that game, but it was him or Ron.

I am also pretty sure Cindy beat me in this one. I was just not having a good play, it seems!

The Final game of the night we ended up playing 3 times of The Mind! Hey hey, we won the game!

Boom the 4 of us were on fire! It was winning by a hair but we still did it. Of course, it meant dying pretty soon thereafter in the dark, but we still tried and made it to round 3, I believe!

I really need to play this game more. Remember that time I played like 50+ times in the week. I miss that! #NeedMoreMind!

Labor Day offered an opportunity to play lots of games over a couple of days. Might as well be Steph Con weekend.

We started Saturday with Crazy Eggz. New to Me!

This game is a remake of an older title. It is a dexterity game where you roll a die and have to perform an action. You might have to race to touch a die or not be last to grab the egg, something quick. But all while you are balancing the eggs in an awkward position like under your chin or between your legs. You don't want to drop them!

Your goal is to have the most eggs when you run out of eggs from the carton!

Let me tell you, the egg carton is the cutest box ever and the eggs are so cute! The blue egg has some heft and is considered tiebreaker, so you definitely want that egg.

We had some laughs playing this one, but it is really had to balance some eggs and take pic,s! Haha I definitely still won though since I had the blue egg and was tied.

Cute filler game and great for families and kids. I don't see the regular hardcore gamers getting excited for this one, but can be fun with the right crowd.

Next up I was interested in learning some more games from Helvetiq. I just got Colorfox and was really wanting to play that one! All of the piretty colors! New to me!

In this game, you have a hand of cards that you are managing and each turn you play one card to the tableau. Whichever matchsticks you line up and match colors to then you get to claim that stick. If you match more than 1 then you get to start swapping your stick with other players. The game plays out until a single color is needed to be taken and can not be taken. You are trying to collect sets of different colored sticks.

It is a very simple game and one casual gamers could get behind. I think my mom would really enjoy this, for example. All of the color with very easy to learn rules. The game is very attractive in that regard.

We were playing with 4 people and playing very cut throat. People stealing left and right and screwing up the winning player's collection of sticks. No one thought they were winning or they might have ended it sooner since I think we ran out of 3 colors before it eventually ended.

It was pretty funny, I was missing a tan colored stick so it was perfect, we replaced it with an actual match! Helvetiq had amazing customer service and saw my Instagram story with the matchstick and immediately sent me a replacement. It was amazing!

This is a game I could easily play anytime. Simple to pull out and play and teach I look forward to more games.

I recently traded for the new game Roll to the Top!. New to me!

I am, of course, always looking for more Roll n Write games! I was happy I was offered a trade for this since I had only heard amazing things from Felix about it. We played with like 5 or 6 people and we played the Eiffel Tower board. I guess this was on a simulator or somewhere online for people to play. Dan said he had played a number of times and found this board to be the best.

The game is pretty simple you are rolling dice all different counts of dice like D20 or D4 varieties. When the dice are rolled each player gets to use the value of each die individually or combines, however they see fit. You have to use a value in the lowest most box but you can start climbing up the tower by placing the same number or higher above it. If you have a 5 next to a 6 then the number that stacks on it must be 6 or higher.

It is all about how risky you want to play and if you want to take a higher value earlier or not. It will then be difficult to fill in later. Really tough!

It was a fine game. I wouldn't' call it my favorite roll n write by a long shot. I would certainly love to play again and the other maps. It felt a bit long, but I like the different dice that were being used and that some were coming into play and others being removed based on what people were trying for.

I was totally not winning that game, I was like 3 or 4 away from the top when someone eventually won. Cute! And I was happy I could use the rainbow dice.

I was looking for a longer game and one I didn't have to learn. I learned about a million games in August so I was looking to kick back and enjoy some favs. I selected Dominant Species!

Kim knows that one and enjoys that one. Mat was a sport and tagged along for a 3 player game! It was over in 90 minutes. We just rolled along and plowed through this game. It was picked to be a longer game too. So much for that! I got to play as the birds and I actually migrated a few times in this game! It was insane! I MIGRATED!

Ugh, I made a few critical errors but came back with force. Mat and I were neck and neck in the end game and he ended up winning just by a few points!! Poor Kim was lapped by him. She ended up right in between our scores I think around the 212 mark for me.

It was pretty epic and a game I just love playing. I love my little meeples from Meeplesource too. They are too cute!

I was like, "okay now what? How about another euro game!?" Kim was like "oh, what's Shaky Manor?" So we played this 10 minute game.

It wasn't an exciting choice for Mat, but he was a good sport and we played. It ended up being a wicked close game. I think we played till whoever got 3 first and we all ended up with 2, so it was a good 7 round game before I was ultimately the Shaky manor champion... I think! Hahhaa I don't remember at this point, but yeah to was a good tight match.

I am always up for a little shaky-shaky dexterity game!

In an effort to keep the Euro games alive and not to learn a million games, I suggested Keyper. I was teaching both Kim and Mat how to play this game and I was a bit nervous about that. I have played this game a bunch, but there are so many detailed rules about laying your people down or following after the fact that can easily be forgotten.

I think I did an OK job teaching. I was trying to pay attention to all of the actions people were taking. It is so hard to teach this game well and focus on everyone trying to advise what would be a good course of action.

I ended up winning by a LARGE margin, so I felt bad about that. I do think this game has a pretty big learning curve and experience will be more beneficial and helpful for winning the game. I hope I didn't discourage them from playing again. It was a pretty long game for the 3 of us to play, probably as long or a bit longer than DS, so with teaching.

I got an early boat strategy that let me collect a lot of in-game points, but I didn't have much in the way of building points so there was that.

Kim and Mat actually ended up tied in the end. I think he was having a harder time since he was getting stuck with a lot few people and the actions on his boards he was having to take and retake by laying people down. It can be a bit harsh.

He might have enjoyed the game, but he didn't show it, or show a distaste so I have no idea if he actually did, or not.

It is still one if not the top favorite game from last year, and a game I am always willing to play. It is a very special game and I look forward to seeing where the expansion will lead next year!

Alright, alright, it was time for me to learn more games. Dan was up for teaching me Layers! New to me!

He had learned it earlier in the day and was up for playing again so we did. I played it the next day as well, so there was a lot of Layers happening over the weekend! Super cute game of pattern building! You reveal a layered card either using 3,4, or 5 layers and players have to race to make that exact pattern using their available layers that are double-sided. Each player gets the same set of 5 layers to start.

You play, I believe, 6 rounds and each round there are points awarded to the first 2 and 3rd player according to a random point marker that is revealed at the beginning of the round. These points are only awarded to the players to get the pattern totally accurate!

So you frantically rush to make this pattern, and if you are me you are yelling the whole time saying everything you are doing wrong. I have to try and distract any way I know how!

If you manage to get the pattern or think you do you grab a whiteboard and flip the timer for the other players. They have until the end of the timer to try and figure it out. The boards are numbered so you don't forget who went out first and 2nd etc.

This is a great game. I love the colors and the point tokens. I love race pattern building games like this. I always think I will do so well, and I never do! I didn't win either of the games I played. What's up with that?! #notfair

I think DAN won the first one and I think Joe H won the second one. wicked hard! I really like this one and I look forward to playing this one a lot more. Super easy and the flow of the game is great. I could play this with anyone!

Next up Daan was willing to sight read Lucky's Misadventures. New to Me!

This was exciting because I love the artwork and the theme and was totally looking forward to trying this. In the game, I was joined by Cindy and Kim.

The game calls for chanting at different point "FEED THE TOAD" so the 4 of us were probably highly obnoxious to the rest of the house when that happened. It made for quite an entertaining game, however!

This is a deck builder but you are doing more and looking for more and new mechanics so it isn't a typical deckbuilding game, which is awesome and fresh. There are different paths to take and ways to play. You do have a hand of 5 cards but each round you are selecting only 3 cards to use and they might not even activate! You do know before you pick which will be able to activate when you reveal the toad cards. In the toad row, there are blue, yellow, red and event cards. Event cards trigger but the colored cards will tell you which card types will activate. The remaining 2 cards from your hand can be discarded at the end of held for a later round. You only ever draw up to 5 though.

Some cards, when triggered, might give you more money or attack other players. You might save your money cards and just play machine cards to try and build a machine. There are a few different strategies to pursue, so you sort of want to stick to one or the other and have a deck focused on that, if possible.

The game will end in 1 of several ways, but I am guessing the most common is the set number of rounds will trigger. There are other ways if you get the 3 sisters in play on your turn, or you have unlocked the special machine with the pumpkin guy specifically.

All I fully remember is that I had ALL 3 sisters in hand on the final turn. I was totally attacked before it was my turn, however, and had to discard a sister before I could declare victory. It was super harsh! Still worked out for me though, I managed to secure a ton of point from the cards I was collecting each round. I made a lot of wise choices so it ut me in a better position.

So, yeah there is a fair bit of take-that in the game, which can be a deterrent for some. I think the unique hand management is interesting and feels fresh, it makes me want to play the game again really soon. I very much look forward to my next play to see if I can get those sisters and actually make it work.

For me, I really really enjoyed the play and I think everyone had a good time. I think Wizard of Oz meets Alice in Wonderland was an interesting combination and welcomed.

I am excited for this one. FEED THE TOAD!!!

Jordan Draper is a cool guy and I was very much looking forward to his new releases! I was so thrilled to get the chance to play TOKYO JIDOHANBAIKI. New to me!

This game has a collection of games within it. You can select a game for the player count or the mechanics. Lots of types of games inside.

The quality of this game is top notch and exciting. The little cans and bottles are just too cute and you can put them in the small crates. SOMG so cute.

I ended up playing 3 games with the vending machine also in play. It is sort of like a cube tower you might find in Amerigo. This vending machine is trying to stop the bottles from all going through. For us, it never really worked well enough to really show a difference. I really want to try some other games without the vending machine.

That vending machine mechanic just didn't work for me. There was a 2 player game we tried to play too and the rules were just very unclear so we struggled to get that played, we didn't actually play it.

For me, the games we tried were mediocre at best and not great. There are a bunch in the box though and I am going to look for others with different mechanics and objectives. I want to love this game because everything about the quality is amazing and I'm a fan of Jordan.

I look forward to trying more.

We wanted a lighter game and decided on a 5 player game of Forest. New to me!

This is a small boxed game with amazing artwork which has all your favorite fairy tale characters. On the cards, you will find cute art featuring these characters but you aren't focusing on them, you are focusing on the smaller ones like Santa, and the owls. On your turn, you will play a card to the center forest display and if you spot 7 of the same icon then you get to claim the cards with those icons. There are 4 types- Santa, frog, owl, and a fairy that you are trying to collect. You simply play a card from hand and then replace the card so you always have 3 cards. You play through all of the cards and if you collect the most cards in the end you win.

Very very simple game. I can't say there were many options happening here for me. It would make for a great family and kid game for sure. Kids can understand set collection and trying to get so many Santa's to score. it is a cute game for sure and so beautiful.

In our game, Cindy totally blew us away and just kept scoring turn after turn. she had far more cards than I did at the end of the game.

I think it falls nicely in line with their other small boxed games so that works well. It is a great line up of games they have including Kariba and Hippo. I look forward to also trying gotown.

Leanne was really excited to try out Orc-lympics. She was really drawn to the artwork and who am I to deny playing this great game!

I got to learn this one at Origins and had a great time. This time we were playing with the full game count and it was much harder to draft the initial cards. Since you can only keep 3 race types before the game starts, you really want to draft accordingly. Leanne was really the only one paying attention to the game and unfortunately for me, she was sitting to my right and passing me cards I didn't want. She was drafting all of the cards I wanted. Yahhhh, it was unfortunate for me!

She was on point and absolutely killed us that game. It was pretty great! I thought for sure I knew what I was doing, yeah not so much.

Cute and clever game. I love that it plays out so fast so if you really draft poorly then you can make up for it in a game number 2.

For a quick QUICK filler. I got Kim excited when I suggested that we play Happy Salmon! This game is always a pleaser and there were several people who were willing to learn and play with us.

I ended up having Shrey film us, so yeah that was posted somewhere. I think to Instagram @punkin312 last week! If you wanted to see the fun happening in real time.

hey just so happens I won the game too! Woohoo! Totally enjoy playing this one whenever the mood strikes!

Dinner was about to show up but there were 6 of us around and we decided on a fast game of Gemblo! Collin had suggested it since he enjoys the abstract type games. This one holds 6 players extremely well, too! I think some people were learning and others were just along for the ride.

Dan says he doesn't like abstracts or play them all that well but he certainly played this one well. We actually tied for the win with 0 points both placing out single gem last. Collin was also doing pretty well but had pieces left over. Poor Star got shut out pretty early. I am not sure he enjoys it so much but he does try and has played several times before, so he is willing to still play!

Always happy to play this one and was really happy it was suggested. Love it!

After dinner, there were 5 of us around and in an effort to play a fast one I took out Gold Fever so Kim and Joel would stick around.

Everyone is always skeptic going into this game, and I am not sure why. Maybe the push-your-luck element is so strong. But, for me, there is something so fun about that. I really really like push your luck.

This game worked out much like the time Joe C played. We kept egging everyone on to pull one more! Eventually, that turned around to bite us in the butt! I did extremely well when I kept pulling out one more, but then I stopped. Joe was really pushing his luck too when he was finally able to pull out the final gold nugget.

There is always so many laughs when we play this game. I love teaching it and playing it. Really a fun time. Get a couple sets and you can really make it a family fun game. I really enjoy this one.

I recently got a bunch of games from Big G Creative and I was most excited to try out and play Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents. New to me!

We had a bunch of people playing, I think the full 6 player count! I did a demo on BGG TV at GenCon and we had a blast showing this one off.

The first thing everyone does is grabs 3 sheets of paper and then draws a black squiggle on it. It can look like anything... and they throw the papers in the middle of the table face down. Then the game begins. Each round players will draw a sheet from the middle and there is a category given like gymnastics and then players use their player color market to create a drawing from the squiggle already on the sheet.

It is a super cute and wicked fast game. You just do this 3 times and see what people can come up with. At the end of the game, you will have 3 drawings in front of you and you get to select your best one, or the one the table will vote the best for. Every player has bob ross point tokens they will award to the drawings and if you think one is better than another then you can give more points.

Very simple game and in the vein of Fake Artist goes to NY. Very easy to sit down and play and super cute. I could play this one anytime and have a good time.

I should try the other Bob Ross game soon!

I think I was hanging with Shrey and Scott and we decided on Pioneer Days next. They bother hadn't played and were interested in learning.

I wasn't aware until Scott's blog that he just didn't enjoy the game at all. He was pretty good about hiding his feelings during the game. I have no idea how Shrey ended up liking it.

I quite enjoy the drafting of the dice, so I clearly like this game more than Scott. I was doing a pretty great job maintaining my people. I totally forgot about my player ability which was to use wood and medicine freely as the other. It didn't ever pose a problem, but I might have used them for the end of week goals differently.

When it was over I had the winning score but it was a pretty close game. I was getting a ton of points from my favors and the people I had collected. It wasn't a mean game and we weren't actively trying to screw over the other players, so I don't know why Scott just hated it so much. Just not a game for him, I suppose. I thought he would at least appreciate the theme.

It is a pretty great theme and one that really shines through. I don't even generally care for the theme, so there is that.

I was getting pretty lucky rolls with the people who made me roll a die for a quick result of punishment or reward, getting the best every time.

This has always been a pleasure when I have gotten to play and will continue to play when requested or request it on occasion. It's cute.

Fold-it is an innovative game that came out a few years ago. I got to try it at Essen when it did, then there was a new version I tried last Essen which involved battles which was pretty cool.

I was excited to try this one again, however. I am so bad at seeing the patterns and making the folds work and I just want to get better at it.

To my delight, I didn't lose this game first! I definitely didn't win, but I managed to hold my own for a while. I got a few even FIRST! Most of the time I just couldn't cut it though. It is a super hard game where you have to fold this napkin type cloth and show the pictured dishes that are revealed at the start of the round. the dishes are pictured on both sides of the cloth and you have to magically fold this cloth to have the right pictures on top. Always folding along the lines. ITS SO HARD!!!

Sure it sounds simple, yeah it is not simple at all.

I love a good visual challenge like this. Really gets the brain working in a different sort of way. I had a great time playing, and losing at this game. Super fun times.

Next up I had another new game to check out called Touch Down!. New to me!

So yeah, any football game will not win me over with the theme. Fortunately, this one has adorable animals to help carry the theme even just slightly better than actual football players.

In the game, you get to team up with someone and move the pieces around the board to try and get from your goal to the opposite side's goal. It was unclear from the rules if that meant diagonal corner or just opposite.

In the game, we played we just went across the board using our own pieces and the other player's pieces to jump over. I think it would have made more sense to have to go diagonally across because it would make for more teammate player interaction. I will try playing the game again with that partnership working togetherness.

It is a pretty simple abstract game where you get action points and you can spend 2 of them to jump a fence, or a single to move one space or jump a piece.

I have to say the material of the tiles is super cool and great quality. It really makes you go oooh and ahhhh.

Collin and I were teammates and we totally rocked it. I am not sure we were playing 100% correct, but we kicked but anyway. I will have to try again soon with the diagonal rules and see if that plays out better and how I think it should play out.

Seems like a solid abstract, but I am not sure it really stands out in the crowd of abstracts.

Wicked cute animals though.

Next up Joe H was willing to sight read the rules for Mafiozoo. New to me!

This is a reimplement of Louis XIV a game I played years ago now. I could barely remember the flow of the game. I have to say I like the new theme better, even though the old school gamers didn't, I happen to think they are wrong. I like that there are animals. I do think the art is something to be desired, and the overall feeling was too dark. I do like the theme better though.

In the game, you are trying to gain influence on the different territories on the game board using the cards you are given. You get to drop your gems on the map onto a location space the card says and you can spread out from there in a continuous line. Eventually, everyone will be out of cards always leaving 1 card to be discarded, and then moving around the board the spaces get resolved.

You are trying to get tokens to help claim the district areas and in-game powers and bonuses. All of those districts are points and you are also trying to get tokens that are worth points. You want different tokens for more points.

There can be a lot of luck in this game and the cards you are given at the start of each round. I kinda got screwed over in the round when I got a lot of wild cards. They sound good but you are only allowed to play 2 gems with these cards. I really needed to play ore gems to the board to try and claim the areas.

I was hosed because of that. I didn't win the majorities I needed and didn't get to claim the districts I was planning on.

I didn't do too badly but I definitely lost. I thought I did far worse, not realizing that each token was worth a point as well at the end. So that boosted my score a bunch.

This is a pretty good game. I do like the box size of the first game better, and in the original, the spaces flipped, which I like better. What that means is when a location says 1st then there is only 1 winner. In this game, they don't flip so every round will be the same spaces with only 1 winner. It is not great. I think you could easily house rule it to be old school rules though.

Neat game and one I look forward to playing again soon.

Ray had shown up and was looking to play his new game he just acquired called Bargain Quest. New to me!

The art was definitely a huge draw for the game and is super cute. The gameplay is definitely a weird theme. You are trying to sell items and gear in your store to the warriors, then sending the warriors off to try and fight the baddies. but ultimately you are trying to get points from the battles, and also collect money in the stores.

There is a drafting mechanic and simultaneous card selection happening. There are lots of phases to this game and a lot of randomness happening. Overall it left me feeling confused and frustrated.

It totally didn't help that the whole table was just not having it. Poor Ray was flustered by Dan pounding questions. Dan, just read the rules it is easier on everyone if you do.

This play it just couldn't end soon enough. I would try again though with fewer people.

Michelle had been wanting to play Merlin for quite a while.

I recruited Jess and Chris to make it a 4 player game. Michelle was the only one learning and I was teaching. I like to teach this game from the rulebook since I feel like I might miss something.

I think I have it down pretty well now though. I do really like what this game is doing. I just find the gameplay is far too long which is why I don't play it more. I am actually quite good at this game. I think the more I play the better I get too.

Michelle really enjoyed the game too, so that was a success. I think everyone had a great time playing. There was a lot of fighting over the big regions on the small area map, so people were really in tune with that this game.

I was doing that but I was also focused on my cards. I didn't have the best of luck early on, but towards the end of the game, I was completing a card each round so getting a lot of little points here and there. I was also getting a lot of area controls. I was very far in the lead once the game ended. I am just glad everyone still enjoyed the play though.

Glad I could teach it before Michelle moves far far away!

I was up for a really fast game and Chris and Michelle joined me in a 3 player game of Ticket to Ride: New York.

Derek just traded me this game and I was so happy since it was on my to get list eventually. I mean this totally replaces all T2R games for me. It is the perfect game length for me and this series. I love everything about it.

We played it out and I was just not getting lucky with my card pulls. I needed maybe one more turn to really make the big points. Poor Michelle did even worse with her contracts and only scored 2 points I think.

Chris dominated us that time and showed us how it was played. It is always a great time!

Felix joined in and we played a 4 player game of Blue Lagoon! I am wanting to play this more and more. I simply love it. I hope and trust it will hold up in time. I do think I like this more than I like TTD, which is crazy since I love that one. This is just soooooo interesting. The timing can change depending on the players and you really need to make sure you secure your huts early in the first round and then cut everyone off to make it work in the second round.

Everything about this game I just love. Felix ended it super fast both rounds and only placed a few huts down in the first round. It was crazy of him to do that but he was feeling confident. After the first round, I was feeling confident about my winning the game with the second phase. I managed to make a huge jump in points in round 2, but it was just shy of actually beating him out. I was soooooo sad to not win that game.

Man 4 players is just so brutal! Next time I have to play with 3 players. Seriously loving this one though. I realllly love it. I think everyone just playing with me here was okay on it. I don't think any loved it nearly as much as I do. Still always wanting to play this one.

In an effort to play a game before dinner we played a 4 player game of Let's Make a Bus Route.

It had been a long while since I played this game and was really looking forward to playing this again. I was really glad it was requested.

This game I had no problem filling the hidden goal cards. I was not really focused as much on the other goals and I think I only managed to get the university students goal. I was not really focused on the other scoring in the game and really needed more points from tourists and elderly. I love running the elderly over...

Ron was, of course, doing well and ended up winning the game. Booo Hisss Thumbs Down.

Still, a fun puzzle to play this one. Happy to get to play it again.

Scott had a new game for us to play called dude... New to me!

This game is essentially Happy Salmonfor potheads. Hahah you have a number of cards that say "dude" with different spellings and sizes. You are trying to get through the deck of cards as fast as you can by saying dude in a specific-ish speak so people can try and understand you and match up.

It is a super fast game and there is a groovy dude card which is cool and rainbow. I have to say I enjoy Happy Salmon about 100x better, but this offered enjoyment for a short time.

I would totally play again, but will always choose Happy Salmon first!

I was totally up for playing TOKYO METRO since getting the game. I got to play the prototype several months ago and was very excited for the published game.

I think the first games I played were incorrect so it was great to play officially and with the correct rules.

This is a stock game where you are trying to gather stock in the companies you invest in and build stations to help boost their values. There are a bunch of actions you can take with your action discs including buying more discs.

Money is super tight in this game and spend your money wisely!

I love the advanced thinking you have to do in this game and planning. You really want to invest early and often and plant those stations perfectly. Of course, all of that requires monies that you prolly don't have and there are loans you can take as an action...

In my game, I had 3 loans and that was a hefty end of game fee for me. I was soooo great at my planning and totally still won though. Here I thought I absolutely crushed it, but I only won by a few thousand and Dan was on my tail. I was overly confident though. I played a very good game.

I like this game and the challenge it poses. I very much look forward to my next play!

One of the requests Collin made was to play Deadpool vs The World. He quite enjoys the movie and it was getting on the later side so it was time! Scott had been wanting to play too!

We had 6 or 7 players for this game, it was 1 player over the "max" player count. Haha you can really play with any number of willing people.

Ray was impressively good at this game and Collin was too. I think they ended up tied in the end.

We played out 7 rounds and that was so everyone could play as the player to choose the best of the clues.

Super fun game and I just wish I was more creative. I need to watch more Deadpool it seems. Always fun.

Scott requested that we play Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game and Cindy was all for it. She was totally into the cereal characters.

We played the full 5 players this time and Ron taught the game.

I was on point this game and was focused on using my abilities well and getting all my cards played.

I ended up getting almost all of my cards scored. I think I missed out on just 2 not being scored and Scott was second with not getting 4 scored. It was super close, but yah, I totally crushed it!

This is a cute game and I enjoy playing it. Will happily play it whenever requested.

I was in the mood for a lighter game and requested Cheeky Monkey. It had been a long long time since I last played it and I knew it would be a hit for Cindy.

I was not wrong! but damn there are a lot more rules to this game than I remembered. I just thought we should start but Scott went through all the rules up front which left a lot of ? in the air to then be asked later when they became relevant. Just sayin' we should just play the game with basic rules then more rules apply later or as they come up.

I think I pushed my luck too much but I did stop when the time was right for 3 tokens. I busted more times than I care to admit from the Zebra tokens. Zebras were definitely my nemesis that game!

I can't actually remember if I wont, but I did win a number of battles and I did have a LARGE number of tokens in front of me at the end... so I want to say I won, but I will have to go back and read Scott's blog entry abou tit to figure it out. Or Cindy has the scores in her app.

Great game and one that should be taken out more to play!

Next up we played Word Slam Family. It was girls vs boys and yeah poor girls were not doing so hot. We were just off. Of course, everything we did was helping the guys figure out the clue.

I think our main problem with this game was that we were being too specific. Types of animals species and it was just like a general reptile or something like that. We were being far too specific in our guesses! Same thing when we were guessing actual people and it was like something much broader. Bah!

It was still lots of fun to play with everyone and lose miserably. Every time I went to bat to put out the words Collin was already throwing cards down and they got it super fast. I was like wat!

Still always a good time and one I look forward to playing more of.

The final game of the night and weekend was Cosmic Factory.

Hey, I think we also played this 6 players and it was probably a bit too late to try and teach this one. I don't think people were really in the mood to learn another game and it made the game more difficult to sit through and focus on.

That is okay, I was still happy to get it played even if people weren't loving it as much as me. I do think they ended up enjoying it as a whole.

We were getting some difficult cards though and that made it a bit rough.

I made Jess's night with the promo card that reminded her of Dr Who. She was happy after that! I am pretty sure Cindy didn't enjoy it, I think it was just one game too many.

In the end I believe I won, so that was cool, but it was definitely a close one!

I was told they were renaming this game so be on the lookout for a new title soon. My copy will be a collector's edition, it seems. Also, it will be well loved since I have been playing it so much! so cool!

Thursday night was Fun Group and I was all ready to play my new game called History of the World. New to me!

I have played A Brief History of the World and really enjoyed it so this was going to be the same but better. In Brief, there are 7 rounds and in this, there are only 5, so for me, that is better! I think once we know the game better it will just fly by in a blink. I really enjoy this game because you take your turn and you score! Yes, people can attack you and your pawns, but they aren't directly hurting you or your position for the next round. Of course, if you still have all your guys on the board in the next round you get to score again, but you can't expand from those regions. They are inactive.

It is so clever the drafting in this game you get a region with a number of armies and you get a cool power to use in this round or another round, the power card might also be territory cards that you would have to use in the current round.

If you are familiar with the game there are a few differences like if you were to ie a battle, normally the defender gets to keep its stake, but in this game, BOTH pawns are simply removed. This is great since you can just use another pawn to claim it and not to get a +1. Not as great if you only have Seige tokens used for rerolling dice. I suppose there are a bunch of threads about this on the geek, Ron was telling me.

There is no end of game scoring or goal cards, those were removed so after your final turn whatever you are left with is it! That is the number for everyone else to beat.

In our game, I was first on the map and thought I did really well, yeah no so much everyone got like double my points, whoops! Should have called it quits after round 1 end of my turn.

Nope, I powered through and had a pretty great comeback after round 2. Because I was losing after round 1 I get the first pick of regions so there are some massive turnarounds in this game. You are never fully out until the final scoring, really. Unless you are a newb and just get trounced on by experienced players. We were all pretty new to the game. So it was a 4 player game, Ron taught us. We actually played by the Brief rules not realizing the ties remove pawns. We only learned that afterward. So I really have to play again and soon!

In the end had I done all the math and gone SUPER AP I could have won the game. I was playing risky for a region and ended up losing teh battle and 2 points behind ron. If I just played it safe claiming 2 points from another area I could have hop skipped and jumped over the Ron and took the win. So I will just declare me the winner! Simple as that!

I really enjoyed playing this game and I simply can't wait to play again! I gotta do better! There is something really nice about this type of area control. I like that you get to score after each of your turns. So great!

Since Riley brought it along with him, I was curious to try out Strike. New to me!

I have only heard AMAZING things about this game so I was definitely interested. It is really a silly dex luck game where you are trying to hit dice in the ring to have the same sides facing up so you can collect the matching dice from the center. It is strange and silly.

Really not much to this game, some push your luck and hardly any thought goes into playing this one.

I suppose it is semi-entertaining, I just don't see the huge appeal that people have for it.

I would gladly play and lose again. Ron got super lucky and managed to pick up the win that time. Mostly since Scott was just super unlucky at the end of the game and lost a butt load of dice in one shot.

New to the Collection:
History of the World
Roll to the Top!
Panic on Wall Street!
Home Alone Game
Bob Ross: Art of Chill Game
Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents
The Brady Bunch Party Game
How to Rob a Bank
Shifty Eyed Spies

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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 Sep 14, 2018 3:25 pm
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Steph's New to Me List August 2018!! The GenCon List!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2018!

This year I have made the goal of learning 300 400 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)

August List

1. Team UP!:

Might seem like an easy game- sure take the block and stack em. But, there is some challenge here and it is always an interesting puzzle. You can then replay the same game with the information you just got and see if you can play better! So unique! I also just love playing with blocks.

7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

2. Kariba:

This game is so cute! I love the art and card size. You are trying to score points by playing down cards to a circular pattern of descending numbers. Easy filler type game and one I could play anytime!

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

3. Kartel:

Very simple game with a little bit of take that. But, easy to play. Probably not one I would return to play a whole bunch. I like that it can play a bunch of people in a short time.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

4. Bandido:

Super cute solo or co-op game to try and enclose the bandit. If you can control it early and get the good cards you will do well, but, it might get carried away and you will have a harder time figuring it out! Really cute game!

7.5/10 After 3 plays (Owned)

5. Skylands:

Love this game! I loved the original The King of Frontier and I am thrilled they choose to bring it to a wider audience. I enjoy the new artwork and simply love this game!

8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

6. Fast Forward: FORTUNE:

The Fast Forward games are interesting. This is probably my favorite in the series so far. I like the theme best, but they are all very similar in my opinion so be aware of that. I don't think this one will go changing anyone's mind about the series if they didn't like it to begin with.

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

7. Shadows: Amsterdam:

This is a game much like Mysterium except you are working with a team to try and clue them into a location to go and find the clues and escape before the cops nab them and before the other team does it first. Super fast and so much fun! Seriously loved this one!

8.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

8. Show & Tile:

Fun Pictionary-type game where you are creating pictures using basic shapes. You want people to guess correctly so you both get points. A clever and fun game, wish it could play more people, but I suppose you could have multi copies of the game to play with more!

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

9. Get Packing:

This is a real-time puzzle game where everyone has the same information and they are trying to pack the little luggage case with the items for the trip. SO SUPER HARD, and lots of fun. I was terrible at it, but I had a great time playing.

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

10. Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition:

Train game- Dice Game which makes me overlook the train game part. Actually pretty great networking building game. You get to play it multiplayer solitaire which makes all the difference. I quite enjoyed this one and will play anytime.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

11. Kaosmos:

Easily one of my favorite from the month. Been enjoying all of my plays and still want to play more. Fast tile laying game with lots of pressured decisions.

8.5/10 After several plays (Owned)

12. Forbidden Sky:

I have played the other Forbidden games and this was by far the best in the series. It is so different and unique at that. I love that you are trying to create a circuit! The freaking spaceship will light up and make noise if you do! So cool!

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

13. Lost Cities: Rivals:

I really like the dynamic of the card auction in this game vs the regular Lost Cities 2p game. I think the tension on your money management is interesting and when to bid vs holding back. Much preferred over the 2p game, but it is a very different sort of game.

7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

14. Prototype- Sonic Spindash:

Super awesome! This needs to be made into a published game so I can have it! Definitely an improvement over Spinball, but it has a similar mechanic. Lots of fun!

8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

15. Woodlands:

Oh, I have been playing this a bit, and I have been loving it. One of my favorites from the month for sure! Love the tile placement and spatial aspect of the game. Really wonderful and will play anytime.

8.5/10 After 3 plays (Owned)

16. Newton:

Crunchy new Euro game! Lots of paths to follow and explore. Looking for optimal moves and timing. Definitely interested in exploring this one further.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

17. Expancity:

Interesting tile placement game with excellent pieces and quality. Solid gameplay and a little bit of push your luck at times. City building game with a lot of mechanics you have seen. If it was my first city-building game- I would be wowed. However, there is nothing surprising about it since I have played a lot of games.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

18. Blue Lagoon:

Love this game! I think I like it even more than Through the Desert the more I play it. Seriously mean and exciting abstract type game. Really a game for me. Knizia for the win!

8.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

19. Spring Meadow:

3rd game in the series. I liked Indian Summer better than Cottage Garden and I liked this more than Indian Summer. I do like the artwork and colors best in Indian Summer. I think this game has a nice mix of both of the prior games and will be the game I go to teach when I am looking for a nice game in the genre.

7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

20. Villainous:

The theme is awesome. Player pawns are AMAZING- seriously amazing stuff an the rank of this game will bump a notch because of it. The overall gameplay is not for me. I don't like the asymmetric goals and take that element of the game. Maybe better with only 2 players, I don't know. Not one I really want to play again.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

21. Plouf Party:

Adorable push your luck game. Harmless and a perfect 5 minute filler. Would play anytime.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

22. Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game:

Climbing game with adorable art and an instant throwback memory fest to the cereals you probably ate as a kid. Cute theme. Simple rules and easy to grasp game. Would play anytime. Would never replace Tichu though.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

23. Tower of Madness:

Kerplunk? We wanted more dexterity and less dice rolling push your luck mechanics. All around a cute game and one I could play again. Wish it played in a faster time and had less finicky rules. You need the right crowd for this.

5.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

24. Symphony No.9:

Interesting game but we were all hoping for a very thematic game, and it is just not that. Definitely more abstract and Euro-like. Just went in with different expectations. Would happily play this again.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

25. Rainbow Knights:

YES! The only game in which I can play as the Rainbow Player! Why can't all games have a Rainbow Player? Speed game where you are building a path and trying to get rid of all your cards first. Very cute and fast game!

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

26. Brothers:

This game took me by surprise! I LOVE this one! Simple abstract for 2 or 4 players and one I could play anytime. Easily a top fav from the month.

8/10 After several plays (Owned)

27. Amun-Re: The Card Game:

Shorter and I think better than The Boardgame. Others at the table would disagree with me. I like being able to keep all your hard earned pyramids. I would say if you like the boardgame than this is worth a play.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

28. Penk!:

Simple roll-n-write. Mostly harmless, but nothing too exciting about it either. Don't think it will outshine all the other roll-n-writes out there. Would gladly play it again though.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

29. Nyctophobia:

Unique game with blindfolded players. Since I can't take pictures blindfolded- I will always have to play the killer... Axe murderer on the loose! Interesting game and would make for a perfect Halloween game.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

30. Deckscape: The Fate of London:

I like this series of escape rooms. I love the puzzles. Not too challenging but still thinking. This was a great one and I would recommend it.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

31. Dragon Pets:

Dragons are so cute! All in all, it is a dice drafting game with some set collection. Not great game play though. Not sure this will get to the table a whole lot.

4.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

32. Dragons:

This is an adorable Dragon game with push your luck and set collection. In the realm of Coloretto and so totally thematic. Dragon collecting his loot! Don't forget to feed him!

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

33. Fluff:

Liar's Dice! So happy to have a copy of this game and that it is so dang cute! I would recommend it to anyone, and I hope this brings in more people to the gaming world since it is sold at Target!

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

34. Dance of the Fireflies:

Not an entry level game. Finicky rules and not intuitive at all. Once you get past all of that then you get into a mediocre game. Beautiful art bonus though.

4/10 After 1 play (Owned)

35. Minute Realms:

Sort of reminded me of Majesty: For the Realm. All in all, this wasn't bad but it wasn't as good. I would gladly play this one again, but it was a bit forgettable in the end.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

36. Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge:

Button Men re-themed push your luck dice capturing game. I kinda want to go watch Sailor Moon now. Cute game, not sure how frequently it will get played.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

37. Short Order Hero:

A game that is not for me. Find ingredients and make the recipes. Ho Hum boring game.

2/10 After 1 play (Owned)

38. Mercado:

Push your luck bag building type game. Trying to create sets in the middle to claim the tiles and points. Unsure about the score track though, makes for weird play and timing. Was interesting but not sure there is much there with repeated plays.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

39. Trade on the Tigris:

Hey! A trading game I don't dislike! Lots of interesting choices and negotiations. Some of the end of track cards seem more powerful than others, but it is to be explored more. Plays well with large player counts so that is always nice. Enjoyable and awesome production from TMG as per usual.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

40. Smiths of Winterforge:

Beautiful game. Dwarves forging the materials for their contracts to try and gain points. Action selection type game. Sort of push your luck with some dice rolling. Interesting euro type game, one I need to play again for sure. Perhaps too much luck on a dice roll at the end, maybe you just roll poorly and then lose because of it. Can possibly be an issue.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

41. Space Park:

The game with art and colors that all other games should strive to be. Simple gameplay and clever. Could play with any level of gamer and I hear plays a good solo mode. Very enjoyable!

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

42. The Marching Cats:

Simple memory game but you are trying to collect different cats. Not a game I really have to return to but it was harmless.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

43. 3 Secrets:

Interesting 20 questions type game but you really can ask as many questions as you want trying to learn the secrets the card has to offer. Fast game but some stories are a bit out there and random which makes it totally difficult.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

44. Jungli-La:

Push your luck dice game. Cute but ran a bit long for my taste. Would gladly play again and keep it to 3 players. Not a fan of the art but the mechanics are interesting and I would play again.

5.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

45. Micropolis:

Not really into ants, but they are cartoonized ants and are kinda cute. Love the puzzle and drafting of tiles. A bit vicious but clever choices in a fast gameplay. Very much enjoyed.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

46. Spirits of the Wild:

2 player game of collecting gems. Beautiful and worth the $15 on Amazon cost, especially if you play 2 player games.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

47. Caper:

2 player tug of war type game with not tug of war type scoring! Best in the genre with adorable art. I love drafting type games and this is lots of fun.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

48. Jungle Race:

A game trying to be like Bucket Brigade but doesn't quite get there. Just didn't work for our group.

3/10 After 1 play (Owned)

49. Carson City: The Card Game:

I love this game! I have only played it once so it might go up or down with more plays, but this game is totally right up my alley and one I could play anytime. Love simultaneous bidding and tile placement.

9/10 After 1 play (Owned)

50. Yellow & Yangtze:

I liked this a lot more than Tigris & Euphrates, but I will probably be in the minority. I think the hexes are great and I really liked the use of the wild. The Wilds make it a less harsh of a game. Would like to play this again soon.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

51. Xi'an:

Thought it was an abstract, and it is really not an abstract. Interesting card and action selection game. Nothing outstanding with this game, but not a bad game. Would play again.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

52. TopSpin:

More of a toy than a game. Spin the top and try to get balls in the holes. Not much control but fun to try nonetheless.

4/10 After 1 play (Owned)

53. Hippo:

Roll dice to secure area control in the pool. Try to get rid of the life preservers. Super cute, but not much to it.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

54. Catalyst:

Interesting card drafting game. Beautiful art. I had a good time playing this one and will play again.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

55. Deckscape: Heist in Venice:

Really enjoying the Deckscape games and this was better than the first since each player got to play as someone with hidden talents. Clever and fun to play.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

56. Demon Worker:

Amazing art and a fun worker placement game. Super tight money and everything totally matters. Reminded me of Hell Village (which came after this). Easy to learn and play and I look forward to more plays.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

57. Word Slam Family:

Well, it is essentially Word Slam in a compact box and categories. Love the upgrades! It is so hard! Perhaps family is misleading but I love this game. I think I will end up keeping this and giving the original to my mom.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

58. The Island of Doctor Lucky:

I like the witty location names and cards. The gameplay is a bit of a luck fest so it almost goes with the name of the game. It is not a game that went over well with the group, but I didn't mind it. Probably one I won't end up playing again.

4/10 After 1 play (Owned)

59. Heart of Crown:

Deck builder with elements of Tanto Cuore. You can see inspiration from that one with all the standard elements of Dominion. The way cards are revealed are interesting though. Perhaps too much text on the action cards though. Love the art.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

New to me Expansions!


The Tally

January: 23
February: 24
March: 48
May: 56
June: 44
July: 29
August: 59

Total new to me games for the year 341!

Carson City: The Card Game


For those keeping Track I Watched 5 movies in August, 1 of which were with Movie Pass.

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

Until next week!

Happy Gaming!!!


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Tue Sep 4, 2018 2:27 pm
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Carson City The Card Game, Trade on the Tigris, Mercado, Yellow & Yangtze, Smith's of Winterforge, Speakeasy Blues, Hippo!, Space Park, Caper, Spirts of the Wild..... I mean I can Continue, but I played 'em all!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

Turns out that I just play too many games so this post is Wicked long. I might suggest Ctrl F to find the game you want to learn more about - and hey if you are feeling like I deserve a thumb, it is appreciated! Happy Reading! thumbsup

Another game day has come and gone and I got to continue down the stack of games from GenCon! Still so many left! Super excited for them all! And still so many to revisit and play again and again!

This time we started with Minute Realms. New to me!

Is this supposed to be MINUTE Realms or Minute Realms? I will let you think about that one. I think the table agreed it was going to be Minute Realms. You might have to think about that one for a moment.

Anyway, this is a cute little tableau building kind of game. You are working to get buildings in your realm that will offer up defense and points for the end of the game. There are 2 times the barbarians might attack in the game so you want to make sure your defense is high enough or you might lose a building. You have some money that you can use to help pay for the buildings or you might have to pay another player.

It is only 8 rounds and is quite simple once you get going. I was thinking it reminded me a bit of Majesty for the Realm, but I like Majesty much better. For me, this is a perfectly fine game and one I could play again. I don't think it stands out quite enough from the crowd to be remembered to play. Therefore I don't see it getting played a whole bunch but if it were requested I could easily play.

In our game, I totally failed it. I was just trying for the high point cards and less on the defense. I ended up losing some critical buildings that super lost me the game. Don't let your luck carry you on this one. I was feeling lucky but got burned instead. I would be happy to play again gain revenge.

Next up we played a 4 player game of Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge. New to me!

I have never seen the show, but I love anime so I can get behind it. It is mostly a 2p game and if you play with more you are on even teams. Players get an ability card but the whole game is essentially the same as an older game called Button Men. You could combine the games and get more abilities but you are generally using a combination of different valued dice. You get to roll the dice on your turn and then try and capture the other player's dice. You get points equal to the size of the die you captured then you re-roll the die you used to capture it. I might use my rolled 6 (on a D8) and capture my opponents 6 or lower on his D20- I will get 20 points at the end of the round for capturing that die.

Play out so many rounds best of 4 or 5. Simple dice game to roll lots of dice and push your luck. This edition of the game is so colorful and the dice are great. Worked well with the new Rainbow dice I acquired for all the different valued dice from D4- D20.

Joe H and I were teamed up and I was just bringing the team down. I never could win a battle! It was a mess and I was just not rolling well. My ability was particularly useless and I couldn't ever even use it. I will choose a better ability next time for sure! We simple alternated the winning and it meant the other team won since they won the first match. Unclear if I think it will go that way each time, but I definitely enjoy rolling dice and it is simple enough where I think it makes for a good filler.

Next up was another quick game called Short Order Hero. New to me!

Very simple set collection game to find the ingredients to make the dishes requested. You have cards and will get cards each turn. Eventually, someone will get 5 recipes completed and the game will be over. The whole game is just this and there are action cards in the deck you can choose to play on your turn. It can be a bit of take-that.

In our game, we were all very much picking on Dan. I think he had a grand total of 3 turns in the game. It would get to be his turn and either I or someone else (mostly I), would steal his turn with the wooden spoon. He went off to punch out another game and read rules to that while we played out this game. Can be pointed meanness like that. I am not sure he minded, however. We were having fun at the expense of him. We all agreed this game was not much fun and that Dan was likly having more fun than we were.

This was on KS and got funded, so people saw the potential here. I guess this game is targeted at new gamers or people who just don't like rules. It is very simple to play- so much so that gamers like us were just totally bored. Can't foresee playing this one again.

Hot on the doorsteps was a bunch of new games including Mercado. New to me!

This is a new one from Kosmos and one that looked really interesting. You are trying to push your luck to claim the victory of the tiles on display. Some tiles never go away and you can always work towards them, but most tiles you are fighting to complete the request first to get the reward. You do, however, score a second place token if you come in second place at that location (definitely not as good).

What is interesting about this game is that it is sort of a bag builder, but you really are adding a lot of black discs which are really bad, and a few white discs that are wild and great. Ideally trashing the black discs when possible. Each turn you are going to pull 3 discs from your bag and can choose to spend a favor token (if you have one) to draw 2 additional. If you are looking for that one more disc to complete a region and you want a better shot of getting it you would want to spend it. A very simple game, where you are looking to figure out the best possible solution with the information on hand.

In our game, I was working hard to get the points early, but you want to get exactly the right number of points because depending on where you land on the score track you might gain a black disc or gain more points or LOSE a black disc from your bag (which would be awesome!). Its cool and all of the tiles do different things if you win them. They might give others black discs or give you white ones. Lots to look at and plan for. Just need to draw well! I was drawing well too, but I was just too late at the end to shuffle through my cards and had some terrible final pulls.

Dan ran away with the game and Joe H was far behind since he was working on trying to get rid of the black discs too hard. Less focus on getting the points.

It is a fun game and I would play it again. I don't think it offers any wow moments or new ideas that we hadn't seen before, but it is perfectly fine and I will play again for sure.

Moving down the stack of games I so wanted to play we had 5 players for a game of Trade on the Tigris. New to me!

New game from TMG! It is a trading game, which doesn't always fill me with happiness, but because I have a love for most TMG titles I really wanted to give it a shot!

The gameplay is actually pretty simple and you are working to collect sets of materials. It is sort of a light civ game where you are getting production cards to play and bonuses to gain in the game. Some are immediate, and you will almost always get a choice of cards to take each round. Then we have an open negotiation among the player to try and trade for things. People are working to get cards for their sets but also to work up the different tracks. There is a politics track and religion track. The higher up that you are the better the cards you can choose at the beginning of the round. You will also get some sweet cards at the topmost spaces. Once the negotiation is done then we have a resolve the income. You can only hold 3 cards do you want to trade in all the other cards you have for points. After 5 rounds the player with the most points win.

There is of course more to it than that, and so much going on but it is all printed very nicely on your player aid. The flow of the game is really nice and there is so much in the game I feel like you won't have the same game twice. Once you start getting to know the cards in the different stacks I think you might find going one path might be more your flavor in hopes of getting that ONE card that you think is really cool.

Our play we were all just learning of course, and it wasn't exactly clear what was worth what and which paths we should take. We were all sort of going what made sense with the hands we were given. The first round was over before we knew it and all agreed this would be a fast game. Of course, with more rounds, you have more production and more things happening so it ended up about being what the box said 90-120 and that was good for a 5 player game. Nice solid gameplay.

The end of the game I really thought I was going to win it. I was doing very well with my barbarians and they never came to attack me. I ended up getting a few culture victories so that was awesome. I definitely needed more points from the trades I was doing and I should be more aggressive with it next time. I think I ended up losing by like 10 points or so. Joe H had us all beat. Boooo and expected, I mean, Joe H, after all.

This game was pretty great and easily one of my favorite trading games since that mechanic has never really worked out for me in the past. I felt more in control this time and there were little things to sweeten the deals to make it worth while for both sides. It was very clever. I liked how it played with 5 and I think 6 would be a perfectly good number for it as well. I would love to try it again. I think there is a lot of potential for this game, and look forward to hearing what others think of it in the coming months/ years whatever. Very cool.

There was a lot of interest to play Woodlands, it was time to pull that out.

This was great by me since it was easily one of my favorites to comes from GenCon! Love this game so much. I can't wait to play it more and more!

I am pretty sure everyone that was playing was also learning it for the first time. Even someone hadn't played Loony Quest so it was a super new concept. I am pretty sure the Ron was playing since I totally was neck and neck with him in the game but I ended up winning since I managed to get an extra gem or something since he screwed up in the final round.

I don't recall if he had played prior or not, but yeah we are pretty evenly matched. Took a few rounds for the others to catch on but Dan was quick to it.

Great game always happy to play this one. I want to play the next chapter! Gotta do that over Labor Day weekend for sure!

Dan was great and read the rules to Smiths of Winterforge. New to me!

I first got the scoop from this game when I was the host for BGG at GenCon! Vid right below! I was not tuned in on this boardgame at all so this was a pleasant surprise for me and I was immediately interested in the game.

It did not look like a euro game from the box or art, but upon further investigation, it is totally a euro game about dwarves and forging weapons and items. You are trying to collect resources and craft your weapons. There are a bunch of mini expansions that can be used for modular games, but we just started with the basic game.

In the game your money is really tight and you need it for most of the materials you will be collecting. The more valuable the resources the better the dice you will get to use when forging the item. Each weapon you try to forget will require certain materials and sometimes will give you a bonus if you use SPECIFIC types of that certain material like you might need a metal material and you get a bonus if it is GOLD- something like that. the items you use will give you access to dice and once you have committed the materials you can't change their location. You can take actions to try and forge it and roll the dice to get the minimum number required to make it happen. You might have bonuses from your player skills or other cards. You can also acquire tavern folk for additional bonuses. You might also need to take a loan in the game so there is a space for that as well. Different things to try and focus on. If you get to a location and the special space is available you can take that and it will give you (only) a special 1-time ability. Getting a loan? Well, get $1 more or one additional purchase from the market- small things that will go a long way.

On your turn, you get 3 actions and 1 action would be to move to an adjacent location so if you wanted to take an action get the bonus and move out and back in you can do that action again for the bonus again.

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, so it was easy to pick up and learn. From my understanding, the rulebook is long though and it might be because of all the extra modules.

I was off and running early in the game and picked up a few more contracts. I was trying to take the actions other players weren't so I could get the bonuses. I started forging early and as often as I could to increase my skill levels and get $$ from the forges. They were all points at the end but the game ends in a few different ways, and you want to forge the royal item to get the big points and bonus 3 points if you do it first. That will trigger the end of the game, or if all of the contracts run out from the pile that would also trigger the end.

I was out for the royal contract first and everyone was like several turns behind me. I wasn't able to complete the contract on the first go around but I was the last player so everyone was able to try at least one more time. When the end game is triggered the round simply finishes. I think we all agreed once it was over and I won because no one else could manage, that it would be best that once the game end is triggered to finish the round then have one final round for the last chance opportunity. Ron was a bit frustrated with the ending as I might have been. Dan actually tried to forge the royal contract, and was off, but might have been able to get it in another round. It would have been closer for sure. As it stood I pretty much had them all, but it could have been a lot tighter with another go around.

I enjoyed it, though a bit long. I feel like it will speed up next time since we all know now. It is not a hard game to teach and play. There are a few modules I would like to try out as well. I think I can get a few players to give it another whirl. I quite enjoy the art and colors of the game. I think it is beautiful. I look forward to trying again.

In an effort to not continue to play long thinking games we broke up the mix with Space Park. New to me!

I was super excited to play this one if not only for the vibrant colors for this game and to see how it played. It is actually quite a simple game, but let me just say that I wish ALL games could be this gorgeous! I absolutely am in love with the art and bright colors. LOVE IT!

The game is very easy to play and pull out. Would be a great fit for new games to see how set collection and contract fulfillment type games work. You have 3 ships moving on the board. On your turn, you get to take an action for one of the ships. It might be to collect gems or a specific color, to take a new contract, or fulfill a contract if you have the gems available. This is all pretty basic, then the ship will move to the next opened location moving in a clockwise fashion. There is one space on the board that will give you the controls to the robot, I call Walle. When you claim him you can get a pink gem or fast pass which allows you to move one additional space before taking your turn.

You are trying to complete the contracts and get combos for specific things you plan to do in the game.

I was working on all the purple cards and they were giving me bonuses for the different things I was doing. The game ends when someone hits 20 points and it is a race to do it first!

I totally kicked butt! I was neck and neck with Derek though and he was doing very well, I thought for sure he would luck into a contract he could fulfill before me, but I was on it and getting a few points here and there and I was the one who ended up lucking into the final contract that pushed me over the edge for big points!

This was great fun and I see why Derek withheld it from me to show a bunch of people before returning it to my massive pile of games. He is a big advocate for this game and it is great! I totally support and it apparently plays solo so I think that is pretty great. I look forward to more plays of this one.

Because I haven't had enough of Brothers I totally wanted to team up with Nate and give this one a play. I was not sure Star would enjoy it, but he teamed up with Derek and we played a fast game.

I gave Nate a hard time after round 1 when he failed to do 2 possible good moves, but he learned in the secon round on how to block better and we totally won the game by 1 point.

Haha I didn't mean to be serious if anyone thought I was serious about giving him a hard time. The game is so fast and wonderful and I tease in delight. I want everyone to enjoy this game! I think everyone ended up enjoying it. I know Derek was all about it as well. We had a great time!

Seriously one of my favs from GenCon! LOVE IT!

People were coming and going and I ended up in a game of The Marching Cats. New to me!

Never heard of this one but always willing to give a Japanese game a go! Jess had it and Joe read the rules so I joined in on this super fast memory type game.

You are trying to flip cards without getting duplicates. Ultimately you want duplicates in your collection, but you can't collect 2 black cats at once. If you think you can spot a select number of music notes then you can call that out and possibly win. I was very confused by this fact.

Had I understood that better I would have won the turn before Dan ended up winning so that was totally my win. I declare a recount!

It was a cute game but not one I am in a hurry to play again.

Joe H was out and Dan, Jess and I gave Speakeasy Blues a whirl.

I got to play a rough prototype before Essen last year and was very much looking forward to this release! The art design is one that I just connect with and really appreciate! I do think the pastel dice have something left to be desired and I don't think they are color blind friendly, but I still love the color pallet of the game.

The game didn't change much since I played it in Oct 2017, I don't think anything changed, that I could notice.

It is a tableau building game and a dice drafting game. You have a pool of dice and on your turn, you select a color from the board and roll the 2 dice and add them to the pool for 6 dice. Then you choose a pair of dice from the pool to take actions with. Some things might require money or influence points, but you are working to collect sets of fancy things or people. But, you want to be good with the mob bosses too so you have to make nice with them.

Lots of cool things happening in this game and it was really great playing with 3 players. I do think 3 players is probably the right number of players.

It moves along at a nice pace and you get the same feeling as playing with 4. I think I might have won this game, but I am not sure... hmmmmm Jess had a LOT of sets so she probably ended up winning. I can safely say I don't think Dan won!

This game is very exciting for me! It has a lot of mechanics I really love! I very much look forward to playing again soon!

Next the 3 of us tried out a 20 questions type game called 3 Secrets. New to me!

Each card in the game is its own game. There is essentially a story on the back and 3 secrets the guessers are trying to figure out. One player will know them and answer yes and no questions and will give out hints as the timer ticks down.

Really really hard to play this game with some unusual storylines and random thoughts. So you almost have to be abstract and very general until you learn more about the story. Or maybe you just always assume there is a bomb in the story.

We had a great time playing through a few cards and I enjoyed knowing the story better than trying to guess since I am just not as abstract. I can be if I have other people to bounce ideas off of. I think Kim would have enjoyed this game so next time she is around I will have to play some with her.

We, for the most part, figured out the secrets 2/3 for when I was a guesser. And I screwed up when I was storyteller so it was a redo.

I look forward to trying out more cards!

Next up we played a 3 player game of Jungli-La. New to me!

This is a new game that TMG just imported from designer Hisashi Hayashi, one of my favs. So I was definitely interested in trying this one out asap.

You create a line up of cards ABC and they start off easier and get harder. They are cards you are trying to collect with resources. On your turn you have dice you are rolling and you are looking to get combos with these dice to get resources and bonus flags. There is a bunch of different combos to create. If you get to the end of the path you can start collecting treasures on your turn and that will be the game end timer when the stack is nearing the end.

It is a cute push your like dice game since you get to have rerolls for the actual dice faces you want. Of course, I never roll what I was looking for so I was just making the best out of a bad situation all game. Jess had a million combos each turn. I was moving like the speed of light through the pathway.

It actually worked out for me though since I was able to start collecting a lot of valuable treasures and got most of my points that way. It turned out to be enough and Jess was a close second since she was collecting a lot of path tiles along the way. I got some good scoring ones to help me, but yeah it was mostly for all of the treasures.

It was a pretty fun game. I have to say I am not a fan of the artwork style at all, it is off-putting for me. It felt a bit long, also. I am not sure if it will get a lot of additional plays, but I am certainly happy to have tried it and I will definitely play again.

The final game of the night was 5 player Micropolis. New to me!

I didn't know much about this game other than ANTS! I have played other ant game and I am just not a fan of the creature. Makes me itchy. This game they cartoonize the ants to they are at least less ANT-like so I was okay with the animal in this format. You get little ant pieces which are much better than cubes! Gl to anyone who will paint all of those.

This is a tile drafting game and you will collect 10 tiles in the game. Each tile you get will be added to your ant hill and have a connection of paths. There are several different symbols that you will score points for depending on how they interact with other symbols and tiles. For example, the queen ant will only score points if SHE is the only one in the specific tunnel and she will get points per tile the tunnel travels through. Lots of different roles of ants and scorings. The drafting is done from the leader all away around the table and you can use the ants in your hill to skip tiles much like in Majesty for the Realm. Don't want the first tile in line then drop an ant to take the second one. Next person might take that first tile and collect any ants on it for their hill.

I love pattern building games like this. You are trying to get the best tiles for your hill and hope to not get screwed over!

I had a great time playing this one and I thought it really worked for a late end-of-night game. I quite enjoy this type of game anyway, since I am doing my own thing but people will interact with me and tiles I might be able to take, so knowing what your options art and sort of being able to plan is good, but it might not always be perfect.

In our game I managed to do everything I wanted to. It worked out perfectly, and thankfully, no one decided to screw me over, since they totally could! I had amazing scoring too.

Super looking forward to next time I get to play this one. Really enjoyed it.

Midweek, Ron and I checked out a few 2 player games I have been itching to play since GenCon! First on the table was the very beautiful Spirits of the Wild. New to me!

This game is $15 on Amazon right now and it is so great! I know I could teach this to anyone! It is ONLY 2 players so that will be a limiting factor for some, but the game is gorgeous and the play is light and thinking.

You have a line up of action cards and on your turn, you perform one of the cards and flip it over. The next player goes and so forth until the game has ended. There are gems you are trying to collect and place on your player board for set collection. Each constellation will want a different combination. There are some special constellation cards which will activate when you select the action so you might get a more awesome bonus. There are 6 different colored gems in the bag, and there is a special clear gem in which there are 5 of them. Once the 5th one is revealed the game is over at the end of that turn.

If you claim a clear gem and place it on one of your rows then that row is then locked and will score double the points.

There is also a coyote on the loose and you will get to move him with an action card, or if you reveal both backsides of a couple action cards. Lots of little clever things like that and timing is very important.

In my game with Ron, it was clear he was winning, he would always leave the bowl empty on his turn so I would have to take turns filling in the bowl and it was always a problem. I even had to take a bonus action that got me NO gem but I did get another turn so I could make up for it.

I was smart about the gems I was taking and I ended up getting 3/5 clear gems doubling the scores of the rows they were on. I somehow ended up winning this game! I don't know how he let me win that, but I had a pretty great comeback.

It is a super quick game and I think you make a lot of great choices. Easy for anyone- I can see my mom playing this with me and really enjoying it. I definitely look forward to playing it again soon!

The next game we took out to play was Caper. New to me!

This was a game I was interested in just for the art, and then I read more about it and grew more interested. It is a tug-of-war type game, but with more euro type scoring! I honestly am not a fan of tug of war type games in the 2p genre. Not many games really call to me from the different small square boxes about the size of patchwork, you might be able to think of a few. This is totally different! Sure you are fighting for control of the middle locations but those are just added bonuses for the end of the game.

This is a drafting game with 2 phases. Each phase the players alternate who starts the placement. You get to pick thieves and then the next phase you are drafting equipment to attach to the thieves. To win the middle locations you need to get the most thieving value there. Lots of cards provide them and a lot of other cards score points for different things in the location.

I like that in the game you can choose to run to Paris for the first mission and then next game you choose a completely different location. You get to mix in different cards and have a different game. Great for replay. Once you start knowing the cards better I think you will have a more strategic approach to the game and I can see holding out for a specific card or draft with some hate towards the other player's goal.

In my game with Ron I was so focused on taking control of the middle cards. I ended up getting 2/3 of them for end game scoring. But, I failed to notice he was getting like 5 points for his blue cards in a region or something crazy! He completely and utterly destroyed me. I really just let him get away! Thief!

Here I was doing well with my nun and photographer girl, but they were not enough to help me win the game. I still think I won since I got the photo girl. She was pretty badass though.

Super excited for this game and look forward to playing the next location and getting my revenge! I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who plays 2 player games on the regular.

So the Following Saturday- aka this previous Saturday was another game day! ALL THE GAMES!!

We started the day with a full 6 player game of Jungle Race. New to me!

So this is a VERY SIMPLE race game to try and use cards in your hand to boost the racers into a position so that the remaining cards in your hand will score the most points. It was pointed out and I think holds true that it reminded us of Bucket Brigade.

You play out a few rounds of cards and score some points. There is no penalty for being in last place or is there really an incentive to play any cards at all- we were all pretty confused by this.

In the first round, people were playing a lot of cards to try and position the cars perfectly. In the second round players simply passed and hoped for the best. What is logical? I would say passing and hoping for the best since your manipulating the board probably won't mean anything anyway.

It was a weird game, and I might need to revisit the rules and maybe we got something wrong? I don't think so since Dan read them and he is pretty thorough. This was pretty much a miss for everyone at the table. We were all just confused by what was happening. Spending cards means you won't score them. yah they might not be scored anyway, but it is still better than spending them.

The next game we also played with the full 6 player count and that was Carson City: The Card Game. New to me!

YES YES YES!!! LOVED THIS GAME! I had to get right to my thought and it was LOVE! (perhaps my favorite from GenCon- Look for the New to me review list next week)

Seriously, this is one of my favs I have played in the past several weeks and it is because I love all the mechanics here. In the game, you are playing 9 rounds each in 2 phases. Each phase you will get cards in hand 1-9 that you will use to bid on the available lots. Each round you will flop so many land tiles and 1 character card. There are tiebreakers on the backs of the character card draw deck to determine which player wins the ties of the same valued card. #SOCLEVER

All players will get a card each round, there are exactly enough. I like having more players for this game since you can see more possible items to take. All of the character cards are AWESOME! And they will work really great with specific strategies. Some are ongoing effects and some you can activate one per phase. Some even have points printed on them!

Most of what you are collecting are land tiles which are cards which is 2x2. They might have buildings on them or outlaws. Most of the symbology you will recall from Carson City if you have played that. Most actually score the same way as well. You collect the card you want and add it to your city. Your city can only be 8x8 or 4cards by 4 cards. But, you can overlap cards as long as the same building in beneath it or it is just sand.

This game was getting compared to Honshu, which I sort of understand, but this is so much better in my opinion. Lots of different paths to take and ways to score It all ties in very nicely to the Carson City game, all while being totally different.

Not many games handle 6 players well in a fast time play and this is totally one of the games that can. The tricky part if explaining the scoring to new players who aren't familiar with the board game. It is also tricky figuring out eh character cards each new reveal if you don't know them. I think after a few plays it will become more clear who everyone is and what their powers are.

In our game, it was pretty smooth and I was pretty focused and playing well. I really thought I would win this game. Then one of my Pet Peeve things triggered. Kim was selecting cards first and no cards were particularly GREAT for her and the character card she could have had was worth some points for her, but she was being nice to Joel and let him have it. Husband and wife team up or something. That card was worth like 30+ points for him and was a CLEAR bias play towards her husband. I get it if there is a better play on the table for her to take the better point valued card for herself and leave that for him, but she was just being nice to him and kingmaking the game. I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY dislike that. Anyway, Joel ended up winning 121 to my 109 or something and low score was around 55.

Curious if you all tolerate the relationship situation I mentioned above. Does it bother you? It is funny since I am totally opposite when it comes to Ron, I would so hate draft that card away in a heartbeat. Oh well.

It still ended up being a favorite game of my from the game day and perhaps even the month. I really loved it and want to play again right now!

It was about time we found 4 players to try out Yellow & Yangtze. New to me!

Once upon a time, I played a game called Tigris & Euphrates (sidenote: thing=42 my guess is because it is Aldie's favorite game and favorite number, I just saw that. Tricky he is), and when I played it I played with 3 players. Mistakes were made. This should really be a 4 player only game. I didn't have the best time playing it and I never felt the need to revisit it. Y&Y is a game much like T&E but with several changes. First of all the board and tiles are all hexes which is a big change and I also think they changed some combat rules. You are still trying to collect the different colored victory points and have the most points in your least color than everyone else to win the game.

Each turn you get 2 actions- to place tiles on the board, or to spend tiles to get monuments down or replace tiles. You will mostly be placing tiles and leaders on the board. You might start a conflict. There are 2 types of conflict that might happen. If you were to place a leader of the same position in a region then you will have a battle for control of that region. If there are 2 blue leaders, for example, you will evaluate the surrounding black tiles on the board to the leader and get the chance to boost your strength with more black tiles from behind your board. there will be one winner. If you place a tile that will adjoin 2 regions then you have an immediate battle and you go around the table and players get to add red tiles to boost the strength of the region of their choosing. Red tiles will be removed from both sides once there is a winner.

The whole point of the game is to score different points for each of the 4 colors. There is also yellow which is a wild color and is easier to get those other colors boosted. There is a wild color in T&E but it is much easier to get the wilds in this game. I really like that better.

I was glad we could play with 4 players, I think it really makes the game better so we played with the correct number of players. Dan was wanting to play this one for a while since he quite enjoys T&E I think he enjoyed it enough that he would want to own both games. They are different enough and provide a different feel for the plays.

In our game I was just trying to figure out what I should be doing, it would be very helpful to have a player aid in this game- could have put it on the shields and I am not sure why not!? That was a bit of a disappointment. It worked out though and I eventually understood all my options and how it all came together.

Right off the bat I started an early war with Shrey for control of a blue region and it didn't work in my favor, so that set me back. I wanted a blue monument early on so that was just not happening. Throughout the game, I started a lot of wars. I just wanted to see what would happen. I was actually playing a solid game and had controlled the wild monument so was getting an income of wild resources. It was totally working in my favor and I ended up with a bunch of wilds so that really helped support my end game score.

Turns out Shrey was doing just as well as me and we ended up in a tie but the second tiebreaker had Shrey winning it. He might have actually won by 1 but it was reallllllllllllllllllly close.

Played out pretty fast since you only play through the bag of tiles. It can easily be a game that gets drawn out with the wrong AP players. Don't play with them.

I had a great time and look forward to doing better in the next game. All the cubes!

Dan was willing to sight read the rules for Xi'an. New to me!

I saw this at Essen and was interested in it since there were really cool figures on the board. I honestly thought it was an abstract game so when we got into it and found out it wasn't really an abstract at all I was a bit surprised. The figured on the board makes it look like a multiplayer abstract game.

It is actually a card management game where you get 4 cards each round and you have to pair them up to take an action and then the other card will be your ranking on turn order for the action. So you get 2 actions per round and there are 6 rounds. Everyone has the same cards in their deck and will start the game by shuffling them and drawing 4. So, everyone will have the same cards but they will come up at different times and it is hard to predict what people will do.

Once you take your action for the turn you get to select another action on the game board to help build or paint the statues or collect weapons or advance the garden tiebreaker track.

There are a few different ways to score points in the game but you will be getting most of your points from the end of game scoring that you have acquired from the statue placement.

In our game, we actually scored it incorrectly and it should have been for directly adjacent statues and not just in the same cluster. I was focused on getting most of my points in the game with building the statues for people to paint and getting the points that way. Other people were focused on getting them painted and collecting the weapon sets.

Once we got through the rules it was pretty easy to get into a groove for the game but the rules were a bit of the mess to sort out. But the second half of the game moved along more quickly. We all agreed the game was pretty good but nothing really standing out for unique or new mechanics. It was very middle of the road, but easily a game I could and want to play again.

For a silly filler we elected to try out TopSpin. New to me!

There are a few different ways to play this game and it is pretty clear it is a silly dex game, but really mostly luck. I suppose you COULD get really good at this game if you know the right angles and the exact force to spin the top etc. Most people won't know that or care to know that so you just spin the top and throw some balls into the box and see what happens.

Yah, that is the game! The goal is not to lose lives. Well, the version we played, you didn't want to lose your hearts. On your turn, you just get balls into the different scoring holes and meet or exceed the previous score and if you don't then you lose a heart and the play continues to the next player. You keep doing this until all players but 1 is out.

Very simple, and I know there are other ways to play in the box so I will have to check that out as well.

I am always just for some dex games, and this is just simple entertainment. We all had some laughs and wanted to see the balls get bounced around. There were a TON of balls you could play with, but the game we were playing was only 3 balls required.

We had a good time and Riley won with flying colors. It was a bit crazy. He was getting SO LUCKY... Maybe he will call it skill, I duno.

We had a fun time playing and it is an easy filler cleanse type game to refresh into the next burner.

There were 4 of us for a game of Hippo. New to me!

I was interested in this game since I heard Eric talking about it on BGG Show. The little box is so cute with a hippo! Love him!

It is an area control type game to try and get rid of all of your life preservers first. You have 3 dice and if you make a 7 then you can add to the hippo in the middle and then get an additional turn. But you can only ever get 1 additonal turn each time it comes to you. Place your life preservers wisely and try not to get bumped off!

So it is quite a simple dice rolling and area control type game to try and keep the winning player at bay for as long as possible until you get sneak in the victory!

That is exactly what I did in my game! I was not really winning, and Dan nearly won because I was doing okay and people were trying to bump me, but then they focused on Dan so I had a distraction. It was all about those 7s if you were lucky enough to get that bonus roll, you should always do it!

Simple and fun little game, and easy enough to pull out and play anywhere. Could be good restaurant game when waiting for the food to show up. Would definitely like to play this more.

I was interested in playing a new card game called Catalyst. New to me!

Recruited Dan, Kim, and Riley for this game and we learned it from the rules. It is a pretty easy game to pick up and play. You have a line of cards in the middle so you can buy them and add them to your tableau. On your turn, you simply do one action and move to the next player. You might activate a person in your tableau for their action or you can spend the turn just buying a card, or passing for coins. Once you have purchased a building you can start allocating the new people you buy into these buildings so when you use the person they also activate the building for the bonus as well! It is costly to acquire a building so you want to save up before that. Each time you activate a person in your tableau they are considered used and will get flipped over into your scoring pile.

Each game will have different end game scoring that will happen so it will vary from game to game. This game we were scoring for yellow buildings/ red cards/ blue person symbols on scored cards and the gree was scoring for each of the 2 cards you scored I believe. You will also get points based on teh cards value that they have.

In our game I was focused on getting higher valued cards and using them for their bonuses and then scoring them. It totally won me the game since I was well over everyone elses value for their scored cards. Even if it meant that I wasn't getting a lot of points for the other things.

Dan was trying to be too synergized, but it was only a great combo once or twice in the game and it took him too long to build up and get that great combo going. Had he gotten it going a bit sooner he might have caught me in the points at the end.

The art is gorgeous and the game play was fast and light. I would totally like to play this again and would request it in the future. I think there is some interesting game play here and would recommend it.

We found a group to play the next Deckscape: Heist in Venice. New to me!

We played 4 players and it was Dan, Kim, and Riley joining me in the heist. It is nice because each player is given specific information that they can help out with the gameplay, so you get to feel special and help out with the mission.

I won't go into too much detail since it is an escape room type game where you are trying to complete a heist and get out. You have a number of puzzles to solve.

We had a good group and we managed to escape in just over an hours time so that was pretty good! I have been really enjoying the Deckscape games so I look forward to the last one I have. Very cool series!

Riley took off and the 3 of us played a game of Lost Cities: Rivals.

I got to play this at GenCon so I was already familiar with the game. Dan still reviewed the rules and explained it to Kim.

Hey, we got all the rules correct this time. I know I had played incorrectly the first time. getting the bonus 8 points for 4 cards in a color is huge and will make or break a score!

It was a pretty light game for sure and didn't feel as punishing this time around. I wonder if that was because we were only playing 3 players, but probably.

At one point I was able to take a bunch of cards for the cheap because both Kim and Dan were OUT of money and that was sweet! Still didn't change the fact that I was tied for Kim with the win, but then found out she didn't score her bonuses so she ended up winning by 8 points. Yeah, she totally crushed it that time. C'mon Kim! I suppose I should say "good job".

Super tight game and you really need to be stingy with your money spending habits in the game. Really enjoy this one!

Dinner was about here but I wanted to try out the new game called Demon Worker. New to me!

I recently played and acquired Hell Village and was interested in this one just because I love the artwork so much and the gameplay is simple and interesting.

Demon Worker has a similar feel and play to it with amazingly adorable artwork. In the game, you first set the game by drafting a bunch of cards to your hand which will later be used to add additional workers to your pool. It is a worker placement game to collect resources and gain points and fulfill contracts, etc. You do this over 5 rounds I believe it was.

In our game, we actually played wrong which was sad. You are supposed to pay $2 per worker on a space and we were just paying $2 for the space total, no matter how many people were on the space. So it was wicked off. It also felt off to me and I asked about it a few times, I should have picked the rulebook up and found it sooner.

So, our play was mangled and messed up. I was still happy to play and I definitely got a good feel for the game. It all felt too easy to get all of our workers out early and there was no real penalty for doing that. I had a bunch of cool workers that gave awesome bonuses. There is a cost for playing your workers if you wanted to use them on top of the location costs per player. You will also get points for the workers you can feed at the end of the game. You are mostly working to get the big contracts filled though. I was getting a lot of in-game points from my Old Dragon worker, which was great. It wasn't enough to win me the game though.

I really have to play it again to see how the additional costs will effect the gameplay. But I look forward to playing again soon! I love that it is a small box and so vibrant. I can't get enough of that artwork too.

Next up I teamed with Kim against Dan and Shrey (I believe), in a game of Word Slam Family. New to me!

Alright, I am counting it as a new to me game but, really, I have played Word Slam and it is essentially the same thing. It is new because it is in a smaller box and there are new categories for the cards that are themed. I really like that and you don't need a die anymore they have numbers on the back of the cards that will tell you which word to choose.

Might question the word "family" in the title because I think a lot of the words are VERY hard to clue in and figure out and I don't know if kids or young adults would be able to guess some of the words.

For me, this game is so much better than the original, just for the size alone. There is so much awesome with it being in a smaller box.

Kim and I weren't doing so great but still holding out own. Kim is very good at guessing and nearly had the clues several times in a row. See the pic below and try to figure it out. She was SO CLOSE!

Really love this game and I plan to keep them both in the collection, but I might, actually, end up giving Word Slam to my mom since I will almost always play that at family events in the future. She would really appreciate it, I think. I can keep "family" with me since space is always needed on my ver crowded shelf.

Love this game!

Always up for another round of Cosmic Factory.

This game I just can't seem to get enough of. It is so accessible and one that I just want to play over and over. I am still desperately trying to score a perfect score for the asteroid path. I am finding this a very difficult challenge due to the crazy event cards that are happening each round which prevents me from accomplishing my goals.

This was a great game though and I think we were playing with 4 players and everyone was learning. They all caugh on pretty quickly though.

Pretty sure I still won, but it wasn't a crushing. I think people just needed a few more points from the asteroid paths they were making.

Still loving it and plan to play it again this weekend!

It was a hard sell but I managed to get The Island of Doctor Lucky to the table next. New to me!

It was mostly a hard sell since Dan isn't so much a fan of the Cheapass games. Kim and Shrey were willing to give it a go so we did!

I have to hand it to the puns on the cards and the locations on the board. They are all very witty and Kim was highly entertained by this. The gameplay wasn't that involved though and it was harder to get into for this group.

In the game, you are trying to kill Dr. Lucky. You are trying to get to be alone with him in the location where he is, and distract the other players with the cat. You then want to play an attack card in hopes that other players don't have lucky cards to help the Dr. out. Most of the time players will have the right amount of luck to save him. You don't want them to win so you end up spending your cards to save the Dr. since this is not a co-op game.

All in all the gameplay is very simple and you are just moving around the board and trying to attack him and distract other players with the cards in hand.

Hey, I ended up winning this game! Totally lucky for me since I happened to draw the perfect card for the location I was in and he was in, and BAM bonus attack and they were all very short on cards so they were unable to stop me! I was excited! Everyone else was excited, mostly because it was over.

I didn't mind playing it but it was clearly not a winner among the people playing. Hey at least we tried!

Kim was like "We are leaving!" I said "how about Werewords Deluxe Edition?" She said "Fine, you win".

Knowing how to get people to stay late at game night is half the fun!

We ended up playing 5 times! I hate being the mayor so I let everyone else be the mayor. We were also playing with the new Deluxe game and the app is all updated! There are new characters that we ended up playing with a few of them. There is even a cool lady werewolf. She is awesome!

Kim and I were both werewolves one round and we ended up totally losing, it was too bad since I had my suspicions. It was sad!

This game is always a riot though and they seem to get played in bunches of 5 round each. I like it and will continue to play it. I do miss the old voice on the app though, I wonder if you can change it back!

Great game!

The final game of the night was a deck builder called Heart of Crown. New to me!

First of all, I love anime style art and this is just so appealing to me. I love deck builders too. This is an interesting deck builder because you need to score the cards, effectively, much like Tanto Cuore, but you need a certain amount of points. The cards you can buy from the middle display are not completely set up like dominion but will have 10 stacks shuffled together and then randomly placed out with max 8 different on the table. I might get a cool card but there might not be one under for someone else to claim, and then it might show up again later to buy. Very different and interesting.

I think if you are a fan of deckbuilding games than this will be an interesting one for you. The cards you can build your deck which are new and interesting, and there are already so many expansions that you can incorporate into the game. I like that the box is designed for the expansions and they give you dividers. Very clever and will be easy to manage going forward.

In my game I am not sure what Joe and Dan were doing, but I was scoring all the points and I was at 20 points in no time. I am nearly sure Joe managed to get a negative score. Dan was also not doing so hot. I completely destroyed the boys. They didn't know what hit them.

I had a fun time doing it too. My only complaint that I can think of is that the cards you can buy are all wicked wordy and long texts to read. It is less than ideal to try and read and figure out each card. I am sure that with time you will get to know the cards but it is not as user-friendly as Dominion in that regard.

Would happily play this game again.

Thanks for making it this far down the blog post and Hey! A New Episode of the BGG Show!

New to the Collection:
Touch Down!
Crazy Eggz
Magical Treehouse
Greedy Kingdoms
Junta: Las Cartas
Ticket to Ride: New York
Team UP!
Lucky's Misadventures

Thanks for following along! I know it was wicked long and I am sure after Labor Day it will also be another really long post!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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 Aug 31, 2018 4:23 am
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All The Games Continues! Millions of Reviews, or so it seems... And My Brother Gets Married!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

I am a few weekends behind on write-ups since I have been playing so much and the rush of GenCon was crazy! I have been enjoying so many amazing games though and plan to talk about each and everyone one of them!

One Gameday which seems like weeks and weeks ago now, but was really last weekend, we started the day with Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game. New to me!

There was so much buzz on this game at GenCon and Aldie and Lincoln both got to play it and really enjoyed it. Calling it a Tichu killer (they aren't Tichu players, however). For me, this is nowhere near a Tichu killer, Tichu is a top 5 for me, but it is a clever game for sure.

It is a ladder climbing game but you don't have partners and you are just trying to get rid of your cards. You are playing through 3 rounds of 12 cards each round and once one player has played all of their cards the round will end immediately. Each round you are playing cards until either you pass or are the last to pass. You have to match the card value of the last card(s) played or make it higher. If you want to play 2 cards you will have to spend one milk token for each card you add past the first. You can play cards of the same value or in a run of up to 3 cards in total.

The play is pretty simple and each player has 2 abilities that will allow for one time effects in the game. You are simply trying to play all of your cards and whoever can play the most cards in the game is the winner! plays up to 5 players too.

This was a delight to play and I simply had a great time playing it. Sure, it is no Tichu, but it is still pretty fun and one of the better Ladder games I have played in the recent months. Easy to learn and adorable theme with the cereal characters everyone remembers and knows.

Had fun playing it and totally didn't win our game. Scott probably won since he was so in love with it before he even played it. He is excited for the Target release! OMG AT GENCON THEY HAD THE BEST PROMO! Box of Cereal! it was a brilliant idea and a huge hit. Seriously awesome.

Loving it! Look forward to playing again soon!

Kim was ready to play some Tower of Madness with me and I recruited a few others. New to me!

I let Dan or Joe read the rules since they are much better at that than I am. Wow, there were a lot more rules in this game than I anticipated. I heard it was just a redo of Ker-plunk. Sure, it is that, but it more of a push your luck dice rolling game. You fill the tower with colorful marbles to start. Each turn you are trying to meet the requirements of the sanity check and get the highest result if you do. If you don't meet the requirements then you have to pull a tentacle from the tower. Marbles might fall and you might become a little more insane, or you might make a discovery! Things happen. If you have the highest successful result then you get to claim a card with points. There are cards you can use for additional action type things and benefits.

A lot more happening in this game, but I was almost always failing at my rolling abilities. So, turned out I got 4+ insanity marbles and went insane! It meant my objective totally changed!

haha I love that in the Arkham games like Mansions of Madness... If you go insane you might still want the team to win but you have different goals. This is sort of like that, but you want to find the last green marble, and if you do then you win! The last green marble will always ned the game, but if you are the one to find it and you are insane then you auto win. If another player finds it then points are added up and the winner is the sane person with the most points.

Turns out I am awesome at being insane and totally made the tower fall and ended the game destroying all the other players. It was a lot of laughs and we had a good time playing it. Well, Kim and I did! Super cool game to photograph too.

Everyone was very interested in playing Symphony No.9. New to me!

This was one of my most wanted games from GenCon! I was super excited for this one since I am a fan of Frank Liu and his game Cha dango so this was high on my list!

In the game, you are basically trying to get area control of the colors and trying to collect the different composer tiles. Each composer will have different scoring at the end depending on how many of the type you have. Each round there will be a chance to put on a concert and that could issue some big payouts for people who have lots of cubes to sell in the correct colors. each turn you get 2 cubes for free, then you get another turn to buy and then again to buy another at a higher cost. So you can get up to 4 cubes in the round. You are trying to claim them and then get the composer tiles. If you win the composer then you have to discard half of your cubes rounded down.

There are some interesting choices to make in this game and things to consider. I have to say, the theme doesn't really matter in regards to the mechanics. That doesn't matter to me though, I think it will matter for others. I thought it was pretty funny that is a composer track runs out of cubes then he is dead and you flip his tile over to read RIP. That made me chuckle.

Once we got going the gameplay was brisk and easy. We all had a good time playing and it is all a game we would play again. We were probably all hoping for a bit more theme to come through.

There are a lot of different scoring possibilities so the next game will probably be totally different which is nice. I look forward to trying it again really soon. I don't recall who won our game but I am nearly sure it was me. I had a lot of great combos for the end game scoring and racked in a ton of points. Kim was very far behind, I don't think she was fully understanding this game at all.

I am sad I am missing all of the crown pieces so we had to figure out substitute pieces for them. It worked out but I hope they turn up, eventually. Probably not though.

Interesting game and I look forward to playing again soon.

We were looking for a couple faster games and Joe H found humor in Rainbow Knights. New to me!

This is a fast-paced card laying game. Players are just trying to play all of their cards in a pathway first. You are connecting your road, but also trying to block others from being able to finish their lines. You can add in extra clouds for obstacles. It is a super quick game and lots of fun.

I got to be the RAINBOW ROAD!! Unicorn and all! Man, this is, I think, the only game that I get to play as the RAINBOW PLAYER! YES FINALLY! So super pumped about that and I want all games to include a rainbow player.

In our game, Kim was super quick to get all of her cards played and I was just trying to go around the cloud obstacle. I did a pretty good job of cutting dan off though so he was having a wicked hard time with that.

Super cute game and I had a lot of fun playing it. Great filler speed game and would recommend it for and family. Can't wait to play again.

Next up was a partner game since we had 4 players and we played Brothers. New to me!

So you can play this game 1v1 or 2v2 with alternating turns. You have to play the game twice through because each team has to use both the straight and corner pieces to have an evenly matched game.

The gameplay is super easy and it is abstract. The first thing you must do is play out the green field tiles into the map. Different strategies for either side depending on which pieces are you are playing for the round. So you get to build the round and then the blue pieces get to start since the straight pieces are harder to place. Going around players take turns laying pieces down until you can't play. Corner pieces are -2 each and blue pieces are -1 each. Then you do it again with the other pieces!

So much fun!

I have played this game several times now and I simply love it. I think it is one of the best games I have played from GenCon! Super excited for it and it plays in like 15 minutes. Wonderful team game or just 2player game. Amazingly cute art.

I have won each and every play, maybe that's why I like it? No, it is not but it helps that I am good at it. Kim was terrible at it but we still managed to get ahead in the end. Ron was good when we played 2p but I still got him good.

Love this and will be playing it a bunch more!

next up was a 4 player game of Amun-Re: The Card Game. New to me!

Okay, so I presume many have played the board game and will do some quick comparisons. Very similar but in a faster gameplay. In the board game, you are very much out for area control and property which you don't really have as much in this game. Cards aren't recycled and reclaimed by other players, so you are always just building up your tableau of cards in this game. You get to keep the pyramids you make, but otherwise, the bidding is similar and the money is tight from round to round.

I did get the same sense from the board game to the card game in a faster play which is great for me. Others who were playing didn't like it as much as the board game but I would definitely prefer to play this vs the board game if only for the faster play.

In our play, I was going for the pyramids printed on the cards. They had only a few farmers. Now the farmers help generate income, and there are also camels that might generate income, but that didn't actually happen once in our game. There are also ankhs that will be beneficial to the player who has the most. All of these things to think out when bidding on cards.

There are 3 rounds and each round you get 3 cards, always ended with a closed bid for additional pyramids in an offering sort of way.

It is clever since when you get the income you don't just get money but you have to use the money cards with values on them to make the sum of your income. Maybe you take a 5 and a 3 to make 8 or maybe you just take the 8 card. These cards will be used to bid in the coming round and possibly to make a better offing in the end.

So much to consider and in a short card game. I had a lot of fun playing this one, I also won so that might have helped! It was certainly a close call though. Kim was just 1 point behind me and ankhing it up all game!

I was super excited to FINALLY get to play a full playthrough of Pikoko.

I learned it at Origins and was itching to play through the game. We had a full 5 player game too and it was awesome! I love trying to bet on other players. There is a HUGE advantage to bidding if people bid on your bird early in the order. It is not in the rules but it makes the most sense to bid from low score to high score and not just low score around the table. I was totally screwed over with that since Kim was low score and she was sitting to my left.

Felix was totally destroying us and only screwed up when the round didn't offer a trump. We were playing through and I think by the end it was clicking for everyone, but I am not sure it went over well. I know Felix was a bit unsatisfied with the play but thought about it overnight and ended up finding it more and more interesting. I think I will get him to play again. He did end up winning though sooo we shall see!

I think this game is wicked clever and I really need to play it with card players to see how they like it. I feel the game will change dramatically with people who understand cards well. I can't wait to see.

A quick filler to line up with games finishing up and we learned Penk!

Supposed to play with up to 4 but we had 5 and it is a roll n write so we went with it anyway. It probably changed the game slightly, but really in the game, everyone is rolling for themselves and doing their own thing. Numbers on the D6s are 1-5 and an ! to be a wild to pair with other numbers. Each time you roll you can have some re-rolls much like Yahtzee but you want to try and fill in the spaces on your board. You can choose to fill in 1-3 location each round. If you can not fill in anything then you MUST x out an entire column. Once one player has Xed out 3 columns the game will end. But, you really want to be collecting the points from succeeding. You get points for the successes in each row and column if you have 3 or more in that row or column.

Very simple push your luck roll n write and I think any fan of roll n writes will enjoy it. I found it to be a fun filler and I like dice games. You aren't really engaged on the other player's turns, but playing with fewer players would be under advisement.

In our game, I managed to get a few good scoring columns but I am nearly sure Dan destroyed us all. Hewas well above my score. I guess I was not rolling very well! Fun times

Adam and Joe H were up for an adventure and learn the new game Nyctophobia. New to me!

This game has been on my Radar since April when I saw people testing and playing the prototype. Blindfolds and touching things and I was like what the heck is this all about!? I had to know and when I saw it was being released at GenCon it had to be mineeeeeeeeeeeee! Thanks to Joe for reading the rules for me and letting me play as the sighted person. I fear I must ALWAYS play as the sight, then I can take pics. If I am blindfolded... my pics won't be nearly as good. Conundrum!

So the blind folks are trying to make it in a maze to find the car and survive to escape. There is a vampire edition with alternative rules but yeah, I am not sure on the differences.

My job as the ax murderer is to use the cards in hand to move and kill the people on the map. If I make one of them die then I am the winner! Simple as that! They have some powers to try and lead me away with sound effects and quick steps. It seems obvious that I can see and win this game. Yah, no not so much.

I certainly learned a lot from the first play and I will do better next time! I totally put them far away from the car but they were just on the scent and one was being loud in the opposite corner to distract me. I have to head towards the noise! Joe was on the hunt for the car and almost got there immediately! There was nothing I could do and my movement was just too slow. They did a great job teamed up against me, and I thought it would be a simple game for me. Tisk tisk.

I had a great time and really think 1 v 2 is the perfect number for this game. It was definitely slow to get going and it must feel like a long time between turns for the blinded players. This is a perfect Halloween game for sure so I will have to bring this to the Fun Group to play. Rules aren't difficult to grasp but all learning can be a challenge.

Clever and innovative game and one that everyone should try once, just cause it is awesome.

Since we had a few moments 4 of us pulled out and played a quick game of Shaky Manor.

It is always such a pleasure to play this game! I always feel it is just in the bag for me that I will win hands down every time. But, no! Patrick totally was owning this game and managed to get 3 wicked fast. I got several and Scott also got some. It was all neck and neck and we each had 4 at one point. I forget, but I am nearly certain Patrick was able to pull out the win for this game.

So much fun to shake it up with this game. Love it!

we had 5 players and I decided it was time I taught them how to play Cosmic Factory.

I got to learn from designer Kane the week before at GenCon so I was anxious to get it played again really soon to retain the rules. I also quite enjoy this game so it is exciting to share it with new players.

It is a tile drafting and speed game to try and make patterns to get points. Lots of great things happening in this game and it is right up my ally!

It was a wicked close game and I have a feeling I ended up losing by a point. Or it was tied and I ended up losing on the tiebreaker. It was totally a loss though and SUPER CLOSE! Maybe Rand might have won or Derek. I can't remember at this point but I seriously love it and will have to play again this weekend to make up for the defeat.

I had to play with Michelle! Yay for Michelle, Justin, and Felix! All of them are super into co-op puzzle type games and it only made sense that we tried out Deckscape: The Fate of London. New to me!

I honestly hadn't heard of the Deckscape series and didn't know much about them. I was excited when I heard they were like the Unlock series! I had to try it out!

Yes, they are very similar and in a small package, you get a lot of game! We actually did pretty well to defuse the bombs. I am never sure on how helpful I am, but I did accomplish some things. I won't go into detail since it is a puzzle game but I can easily highly recommend the experience and a good alternative to the exit/unluck games you already played through. Excited to play the other 2 games I have as well!

Since we were on a roll with co-op game I just KNEW that they would all love Paint the Roses.

Totally been hitting the table a bunch recently and I love every play. I was not wrong and they totally loved this game. It always takes a single play before everyone fully understands the game and there is always a light bulb towards the end of the game that I see light up.

We ended up winning and there was a 50/50 shot at one point where we had to make an educated guess and picked correctly. I don't think we ever guessed incorrectly either.

Had a solid score but I have indeed scored better, we weren't being too risky this game. Always an interesting challenge that I love to take. Totally continuing to play this one over and over.

Since Joe C had FINALLY shown up we opted to play the Dragon games since he LOVES dragons! First up was the ever so cute Dragon Pets. New to me!

This game is so super cute! You have a grid of 4x4 dragons in all colors. You are trying to claim them as your own by drafting dice and placing meeples. Other people can give you a coin if they can steal your card from you, but if it gets back to you then you can spend an action to take the dragons you have meeples on. You are looking to get pairs of the same color in both female and male types. You get to score the higher valued dragon too.

Very simple set collection game and super cute. Easily a good family game for the kids to play or casual gamers.

For me our play was a bit too long, I think we were all being very gamery about it. Stealing cards and being easily distracted by other people etc. It was fine though and in the end, I think I ended up winning- I had all the cute dragons. Pretty sure Scott didn't like it because he wasn't getting what he needed. Not sure it is a game I will be playing frequently, but it is one I could easily play again. Wicked cute!

Next up the second dragon game titled (shockingly) Dragons. New to me!

This is a new game by Bruno Faidutti and has a similar feel to that of Coloretto. You are drawing a card from the middle stack on your turn and placing it in one of the available piles. If you don't want to do that you can claim a pile instead and add it to your sets. You are looking for lots of different sets for many sorts of scoring. If you have the least amount of food at the end you starve and die and can not total up your points and win the game.

We had a really great time playing this game. Simple and fast and colorful. The theme really came through vs the other dragon game we had just played before it. You are hoarding your treasures and eating the cattle- all things dragons would do. The artwork is amazing and this is easily a game I could play anytime. Perfect filler type game.

In our play, I was doing VERY well with my armor collection and some gems on the side. I was doing well with food until the final round when I just didn't get the right number. Joe was short all game on the food so I thought I had this game in the bag. He managed to sneak up and steal the best food cards in the final phase and he just killed me! I was off by 1 food. Dan was well over. I was out! WHICH WAS TERRIBLE!!! I had them beat so hard I was well above their scores. So much so I don't even know who won.

Great time with this and need revenge ASAP!

Kepping with the lighter games we tried out a 3 player game of Fluff. New to me!

I was super excited for this one because it is essentially Liar's Dice. Liar's Dice is a game I have been wanting for a long time just never got around to getting it. This is a more compact version and with amazingly cute components! For those who don't know Liar's Dice, well, shame on you! It is a bluffing game-ish where you always have to increase the number of dice or the value on so many dice. You are saying how many of a given number are on the table under peoples cups. They are values 2-6 and a wild on each die. Players start with 5 dice and I might start the bidding with 4 dice value 3. And if the next person thinks I am lying then they can call my bluff and we all reveal to see who is correct. Whoever is wrong will lose dice or a die depending. If the next player thinks it is accurate they will have to say 4 dice valued 3+ or 5 dice valued anything.

Simple game and one that I will always play. I really love it and I am absolutely horrible at it.

Everytime I play I am the first one out. Every. Time. EVERYTIME!!!! How is that even possible I must sit next to the wrong people to always call my bluff. Totes not fair!

It is a game I have an amazing time playing though and I am glad it is kid friendly with the cute animals and bright colors. This is a great game and totally accessible now. Love it!

The final game of the night was Dance of the Fireflies. New to me!

This game is absolutely beautiful! I really love this art style and it has been on my want to playlist for a while now so I was excited to get this one play.

In the game, you are working to collect sets of different types of flowers. If you have the same type then you have to plant it in a new bed of flowers. When you play a flower to a bed then you get to perform the action associated with it. 6 types of flowers all doing different things. There can be a bit of take that if you were to steal from another players hand. Each round the sundial advances and if the sun side advances to a sun card it gets resolved or if the night side advances to a night card that will be resolved. Every player has several discs and they are trying to claim territories and if you win the cards then you get to plant them immediately. Everyone has a special disc that will trump the other discs when revealed. Play continues around and around so everyone gets a turn then the sundial moves and the play continues. You play until the deck of cards runs out.

It plays up to 6 and we had 6. When everyone is learning late at night and I recommend not playing with 6. The rules are not intuitive enough and it makes the gameplay quite slow. There is not as much player interaction to keep 6 players invested all round except for minor area control on the cards in the middle of the table. I would definitely play with 3 players next time to keep the game moving at a brisk pace.

In our play, we had a player bail early since it was just going on far too long. The rest of us got into a roll and ended up playing through the majority of the deck but not quite finishing it since we were all getting wicked tired by that point. For first impressions, I would say this is not really a game for me, if only because I can't easily teach it and remember the rules.

It is a game to revisit for sure and one I would most want to play with 3 players. Dan said he would play again, so we will soon. It will run much more smoothly next time!

Monday night games! Its been a while since going to Joes- maybe like May? SO FREAKING LONG AGO! First up I teamed up with Geoff and we played against Ron and Dan in a game of Tichu.

I am always up for Tichu and with the flood of new games, it is simply great just to play Tichu. Hey, and I got the best partner! I love playing with Geoff since we are the bomb!

Totally won this game- it was over in like 30 minutes or something insanely fast. We had a few great rounds and just stomped on Ron and Dan. They were in the negatives for most of the game too. In the final round, Geoff and I totally went 1-2 and we ended with like 1280 points of something so we must have called Tichu too. It was just a destroying.

We should have played again!

Instead, I took out Blue Lagoon. I was itching to play this one again since playing it the week before with Derek.

This is such a Crazy game with 4 players and so much harder with 4 vs 3. The board is super tight and you can't keep everyone at bay and do what you want to do. Super mean and cutthroat game and I simply love it! First round I did fairly well and I had a plan for the second round.

Totally didn't work out for me though and Geoff made my plans really hard and screwed me over! I mis-directed my focus and everyone stole everything else from under me. I did not lose the game but it was a solid 3 place.

It is totally brutal with 4 players and I still freaking love this game.

I was also interested in playing a game of Spring Meadow. Having only played it once the week before I was ready for a rematch against Ron.

I was determained to play this game and do better! Sure, we made it longer than 2 rounds this time. We actually played the longest game we could have since everyone won 1 round and the 5 round would determine the winner. I suppose it is pretty evently balanced.

I was playing horribly though since I was not connecting the holes as I should have to get the bonus rock tiles. I ended up super dead last becuase I just needed a lot of little 1 tokens and couldn't seem to line anything up properly! It was a mess.

Pretty sure Ron still ended up winning but I know I was dead last. It was sad! I love the marmots though, so freaking cute!

With the new edition of the GAME from Pandasaurus, I elected to play a game of The Mind.

The 4 of us jumped right into this game and almost immediately failed. We were on round 3 before we died. It was just terrible! Since other tables were finishing we elected to NOT play again. haha

It was that big of a disaster. Ron and Dan are just not the people to play this game with. Perhaps Geoff and I should have played 2 player.

The final game of the night was 6 player Codenames.

I played 2 rounds before we took off and it was a tied game. I was with Joe and Geoff I believe for the red team (sorry Geoff). We played my round perfectly and won that, so I will take that victory with me.

Apparently, once we left, the red team for the loss. What the heck! I guess I was the glue for that team and they crumbled without me.

It had been a LONG time since playing Codenames so it was great to play it again. Still like Duet better though. So hard and so much fun!

Nick and Christina Get Married!

My Brother Nick's wedding. Here are some highlights!

All 4 of my grandparents heart

Me and my dad... laugh

After the wedding ceremony, I convinced my cousin Eleanor and her BF to learn and play The Mind.

I was just going to play 1 game and show it to them, but we ended up playing 4 games.

Eleanor is super conpetitive. She has been banned from playing Scattergories. We were just going to play a single game but yeah we kept going due to the competitive nature.

We were close to winning one game and made it to round 7 but just had a major defeat in that round. I think we lost 4 lives bringing up to our demise. It was great fun and they were really into it! I hope they can come to game days in the future I think they would have fun.

We lost all the games and we had to go home. It was a super fun wedding and I got to see all the family. Great times were had! Glad I got to play a few games!

New to the Collection:
Lost Cities: Rivals
Word Slam Family
Six-Sided Summoner

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
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Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:44 pm
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GENCON Excitment! Okay I Picked up TOO many Games! But, is there really such thing as too many? Probably, but I don't care! SO EXCITED! #StephLovesGames

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!


First Stop @ GenCon was Meeplesource! I needed this Rainbow Meeple Necklace! Super awesome!

Ryan and my traditional picture for your pleasure!

I didn't get to play any games for the first 2 days I was at GenCon. I was SUPER busy working BGG and Hot Games Pics for twitter. So yeah, if you follow BGG on Twitter you saw a ton of posts, thanks to me! It was lots of fun, but I was very excited to get to play a few games in the later portion of the con.

I was able to stop by the Helvetiq booth and learn and play 4 games! First up was Team UP!. New to me!

This is a co-op game where you have a deck of cards that will represent the blocks in the game. You will want to stack them on the pallet to perfectly create a level 5 pallet. each full level is 5 points and you play out all the pieces. If you can't play a card it is negative points. Some cards you will have a selection of blocks to choose from so you want to select wisely and not shorthand yourself in other areas like shapes or colors.

It is a tricky game, and there are different ways to play it. Very simple to understand and play and then you are playing and making lots of poor choices! We actually played alright though and managed to get 20 points! He said that was an excellent first timer score. I agree considering the blocks we had remaining. Though, we were nowhere near the 25 perfect score.

very fun and interesting game and I was glad to have played it!

Next up I was able to check out Kariba. New to me!

This is a small boxed card game! Amazingly cute art and colors used in this game. You have a hand of cards and you are playing cards to their appropriate stacks 1-8 if there are ever 3 cards in a stack then you get to claim the next smallest numbers stack of cards for scoring. The 1s are the ONLY number that can take the 8s though.

You play until the cards in the middle run out and you just want to collect all the cards you can. Each turn you can play only 1 number but as many in that number as you have the stack. Very interesting.

I had a great time losing in this game. I couldn't ever seem to get duplicates of the numbers and I would play a 5 and then draw a 5. This happened like 10 times in a row. I would draw the number I had just played. It was all very poor timing. Totally didn't work out for me though. I lost super hard! So fun though and a game I would happily play again!

Continuing the small boxed games from Helvetiq we tried out Kartel. New to me!

This was a cute game where you are moving around this circle of tokens consisting of robbers/ loot/ mob leaders You are trying to get the bosses arrested so you can score for the robber in that color, but the loot then won't score in that color.

You simply roll the die and move up to that many spaces away collecting a token. Trying to get them to score as best you can. Once 5 mob leaders are arrested then the game is over and you add up the points.

It is super quick and cute. Plays up to 6 players too. Wicked cute. I would gladly play this anytime.

Hey, I ended up winning this one so that worked out for me. It was pretty easy to make the right choices each turn. Very simple filler, and not too many things you can think and do on your turn, but had a fun time playing. Would happily play this one again!

One final game in the Helvetiq booth and I got to play Bandido. New to me!

You can play multi-player but it is really the best solo puzzle type game. You are trying to enclose the captive who has escaped. You have a hand of cards and you are playing them to the table to try and create pathways to circle back and enclose the thief.

I was overly confident at the start and I had a good and easy time narrowing the pathways down. Then I lost all hope midway when the pathways just expanded and got to be tons of possible exits. I wasn't doing a good job maintaining the exits. Eventually, as the deck was getting thin, I managed to bring it back down to a few pathways and eventually got the right cards to finish the job. I really didn't think I would be able to do it, but a man with a little bit of help- it worked out in my favor.

This game really needs a LARGE playing surface, I had to ruin the board several times to play on that tiny table, I will have to play on the ground I think to fully see the tunnel paths next time I play.

This was such a fun game! I would totally play this solo over almost any other solo game. I love the challenge and it is so small you can really take it anywhere. I like that it can be played co-op too so it really is a special game. Very enjoyable!

Perhaps the best game of the show for me was Skylands. New to me!

Now, it is not entirely new, but a few rules changed and reimplement of a game I already love so much called The King of Frontier. I am going to suppose you have heard about it if you follow the blog I have played it a number of times and even recently. But, if not, Queen is bringing this game to Kickstarter soon and I am beyond thrilled.

I LOVE this game! Tile placement action selection where others get to perform the same action as you selected at a disadvantage. It is awesome. You are drawing tiles to place on your board, you are producing on the completed regions, or selling goods for points or you can purchase buildings that might have points or other lands that you might want. Plays out super quick like the original, and it is just BEAUTIFUL!

The artwork and tiles and everything is just amazing and something greatly improved imo. Everything is gorgeous and will likely fire the original for me, though I plan to keep both. I love not having to look up what all of the buildings do in the original since they are all in Japanese.

I am so excited to share this game with everyone once it is available in the US. It is so exciting!

I got to play the full game and it was a winner for me. I kicked some major butt! I got a few key scoring tiles and just blew them out of the water. It is sort of like I played this game before.

So thrilled I was invited to play it because I expressed interest at Origins, so totally wanted to check it out at GenCon! #worthit and I am totally excited!

Hey Hey on the BGG TV we had a few moments to spare and Eric had a prototype of the next Fast Forward game to check out we played 3 player Fast Forward: FORTUNE. New to me!

I have no idea when this is coming but I surmise it will be an Essen release.

It is #4 in the FF series and yes it plays very much like the others! You are getting cards to add to your hand then play in front of you. Very simple game and you are trying to form sets of cards for their values. As the game goes on you unveil new rules and things will happen. We didn't get very far into the deck, so I am not sure how much we actually saw but we played 3 rounds and had a good time.

I totally lost. I couldnt get points to save my life. I was always the low man on the totem pole. Haha it was clever and I did like it more than Fortress and Fear so there is that. I still need to revisit Flee!

Another super highlight from the trip was the NATIONAL 7 Wonders Championship! Oh, this was just a made up event for 4 very skilled 7 wonders players. We got to play with 7 Wonders: Armada. It was me Ron and Stefan and Virginie who are both Repos employees who have played the game about a million times. I challenge!

So, this game went down! Totally took up some demo area to play it and it was awesome. I was babylon this time and planned to get some green ones. I really like the green path on the new boards since they get you green powers which are almost all awesome. However, my board and my armada ship board lined up with Yellow cards this time so I was heavily focusing on pushing the yellow ship higher and higher. It was so nice to get all that extra money it had to offer.

Oh it was such a close game and I needed one resource and I would have ended up winning this game. I could have bumped the final spot on the yellow track with ONE MORE resource and then I would have actually won the game in the end.

Virginie ended up winning 82 to my 80. It was a sad sad day for me since I should have totally won that game. It is a good thing that there will be another national championship in Essen. I need a rematch so totally! This game!! I want to keep playing it over and over! Love it so much!

While working the BGG booth I was able to get in a demo of Shadows: Amsterdam. New to me!

We did a live demo on air teams of 2! It was so much fun I had to try it out again later in the week. So totally love this game! It just draws you in with the artwork and keeps you there for the gameplay.

The game is literally like 10 minutes long and can be played a few different ways. We were playing 2v2 in both games I played. You can also play like Mysterium with a co-op mechanic.

So what you are trying to do as a team is one person is the clue giver and the other player/s will navigate the cart. You are trying to find the clues and then make it out safely. The clue giver ha a small map of locations, earlier cards have fewer cops and a harder card will have more cops. If a team ever runs into a 3rd cop they lose automatically.

The map is made up of colorful pictures. The clue givers have a line up of 10 picture cards they can provide to the guessers to try and get them to move into the correct space to find the clues. If 3 pictures are handed then the guessers have to move 2 locations.

This is all happening realtime to try and beat out the other team for the clues and escape.

In both plays I was on the winning side! I wonder why. I am just awesome at this type of thing! So totally love that it plays out super quick and you get the same feeling as Mysterium or Dixit. Seriously love it and super excited for this release!

YAY Finally getting to play a game at night in the BGG Hot Games room! I pulled out Show & Tile. New to me!

There were a few of us playing and I attempted very poorly to read the rules. They weren't that hard but we managed to screw it up pretty hard. haha so we just played a few rounds.

You are supposed to get a set of specific tiles that can be used as either color in a picture you are trying to create. You want everyone to guess your creation, which they are secretly writing on a piece of paper. You and they get points if they can guess it. etc.

We were playing harder than it was meant to be played so yeah I really need to give this game another play whenever I can. I don't think anyone of us was able to guess the pictures that were created. I mean I only got ONE that Scott had made a submarine! It was a very clear picture though.

Super cute game and one to definitely return to.

Next, I was definitely interested in playing Get Packing. New to me!

This game is a real-time puzzle game where everyone has a specific set of items and a card is revealed and all players have to find the objects. Everyone has a suitcase and they must fit all of the requested items into the box and shut it without problems!

Seems simple, yeah not so much! Super hard and I think I was working on the first puzzle by myself for like 30 minutes with no success! I was just terrible at this game. I found a few people to play with and they were much better than me and ended up playing a bunch of rounds. They got faster as we started figuring out how to place things better, but man you can really be playing this game a while if you don't know how to pack!

I am sad that this game isn't in the BGG database, I think it is self-published. I just can't find it! Oh well!

It is an awesome game and I am happy I got to play it. I was sooo freaking terrible at it though. Had a great time playing it.

Shrey had about 10 minutes before he had to take off and he was super kind and taught me how to play Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition. New to me!

I was very interested in this, if not only because it was a roll n write game! One of my favs as many of you know so well!

In the game you are trying to puzzle out how best to make long routes that all connect and finish. You have a number of rounds to make these pathways. Each round 4 dice are rolled and all players use the results on their map how they see fit. You have to put the double track connected to other double track ect. Lots of intersections and possibilities to come from the dice and special case each player can take on their personal board as well.

It plays out super quick and I really enjoyed playing. I will have to pick it up eventually.

I absolutely killed Shrey. He said he got the same score as his first play which was like 10 less than what I got.

The end of the game sneaks up super fast and then it is over and you are like buwhat!?

Definitely leaves you wanting more and another play. Look forward to future plays.

The next night I convinced Kane to come to the BGG Hot Games Room and teach me his game called Cosmic Factory. New to me!

It is always best to learn a game from the designer, they generally know how to play the game correctly. I got a fast demo on BGGTV and I just had to play it. Totally my type of game and I was not wrong.

This is a speed tile placement game to try and form the best pattern and gain the most points for the regions you create. You play over 5 rounds and each round there is an additional rule or happening that will be revealed from a good selection of cards. The rules might give bonus points to specific regions or something a little mean like draft other players tiles.

So each round you get 9 tiles and draft 3 then pass and from the 6 you were passed you draft another 3. Once everyone has 9 tiles from the draft then the timer starts and everyone starts forming patterns in a 3x3 grid. You want to create large sections of the same colors so you don't have walls. But, there is also scoring for the asteroid road you are creating as well. There are a lot of things to think about!

What is great about this game is you are scoring the 3 colors blue, green, orange according to the score chart. so if I were to get 2 orange planets together I get 2 points if I look at the little scoring chart for orange. All of the fields will cap at a certain number so even though you collect 15 green planets you still will only score for 9+. Regardless, after 5 rounds you will only add up your Asteroid score and your LOWEST of the 3 colors. You want to keep your scoring all around balanced between the rounds.

I had a great time playing this game! I was working very hard on my asteroid paths and getting a ton of points each round for that! I was going for a perfect (20 points) asteroid score but that didn't work out because there was an event that totally screwed it up and I wasn't able to score the full points I needed! Totally uncool! haha, it was wicked funny though and we all had a great time. I think I ended up tied for 1st and I lost on the tiebreaker? Oh, it was sad!

Super excited for this game and glad I was able to snag a copy. Really fun!

The table next to us made a rocket ship light up and make noise and they were done and we decided to check out that game next. We played 5 player Forbidden Sky. New to me!

I will go ahead as assume you know how the Forbbiden games work. You are cooperatively working together to do the things and escape in time before you all die. This game is easily the best in the series. I only just learned Desert this year and found it better than the first but still not enough to really want me to play again. This SKY game is amazing.

You have to explore and place new tiles and start creating a circuit. you have to create a pathway of rods to get from one side of the launch pad to the other meeting a specific requirement of discs and rods and energy sources. It is SO FREAKING HARD! Each turn the event deck will screw you over and you will be losing life and getting damage. It is very difficult to do well.

It is such a fun puzzle to try and solve though and because it feels more like a puzzle to me, I find it highly more interesting than the other games in the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

In our game, we were all just trying to figure it out and I am just terrible at reading rules but I was attempting it and was failing so Aldie took over. We worked through it and ended up playing very poorly. We lost super hard but like 3/4ths the way through we figured out a lot of things we should have been doing better. So yeah, it is definitely on for us to play again. Really enjoyed this one and the quality is AMAZING!

I asked Tom to come and teach me Lost Cities: Rivals. New to me!

This is a new auction type game that mixes Lost Cities and Ra. You are adding cards to the flop and eventually, someone will put the flop up for bid. You have very limited money and want to try and win cheap cards, but you are adding them to sets like you would in Lost cities and they must be in ascending order.

Unlike Lost Cities, you won't get penalized if you don't actually get a specific number of cards in your column. You will get footsteps multiplied by the number of hands you collected in the game.

Over the course of the game you will have multiple rounds and each round you will work through a deck of cards revealing the cards as you go. You will also get money distributed that was spent in the previous rounds. If you don't spend all your money in the previous round you will get to keep it from round to round and that might be really great! Money is super tight in the game so having extra can make or break you!

In our game, Tom forgot a pretty critical rule which changed my WINNING score to not winning. I will just declare me the winner. He forgot to say that if you get 4 consecutive cards in a row you get bonus points and that is something he had accomplished. That would have totally changed teh way we all play though so I am still the winner! I have to say I very much enjoyed this game and will love to play it again with the correct rules.

To finish the night we played 4 player game of The Mind. Everyone had played this game before! Woohoo!

Not sure anyone had won before, but maybe. As Kane said it is almost like a rite of passage to play the Mind with me! haha not true but I do love this game a whole lot and want to play with everyone!

We started strong with a few weak rounds but proceeded forward really well. Managed to get on point with everyone and we ended up winning the game! It was awesome!! So happy we could win that and then we HAD to play dark mode. You can't just win and NOT play Dark mode.

It is such a great game and I am glad we could all enjoy that one to end the night. Super fun group of peoples I was happy to get to play with them.

Saturday night in the BGG Hot Games room I found Jordan and his prototype of Sonic Spindash!. New to me!

This game is so awesome! It is a wicked awesome Dexterity game! You can have different setups depending on skill level. If you are familiar with Spinball, this game will be very familiar. I just learned Spinball at BGG Spring and this totally works the same way. You are spinning a ping pong ball to try and knock over the other ping pong balls that are set up. You don't want to hit the wasps or obstacles. There are a TON of different setups to work on.

I played a few rounds and definitely was getting better by the end of it. I had the right idea and angles but didn't give the right amount of force in my spinning so it wouldn't work how I would expect it to work.

This game was super AWESOME! Loved it so much and I really hope they can find a publisher and get a lot of people hyped for it because it is definitely a huge improvement on the Spinball game I got to play at BGG Con.

I read the rules to Woodlands. New to me!

I ended up playing 2 games back to back and with 2 groups of people. This game is AWESOME!! I love it so much!! I knew I would love it when I heard Loony Quest meets tile placement! That is EXACTLY what this game is. There are different stories and lever difficulties you can explore. I played the easy Little Red mode then I played the 2nd medium mode both with new players and the robin hood 2nd mode was definitely hard for the new players to grasp.

Each chapter of the story offers new goals to try and complete. You might find a key and later find a treasure with the key. You are trying to find gems and get the main character to the destination he wants to in the chapter you are doing. It is very much like Loony Quest with the goals. There is a path you are trying to create and pick up gold coins along the way for additional points.

What makes this game great is that you don't have to draw, but you have to use the tiles you are provided with at the beginning of the game to form pathways all while trying to meet the conditions of the story.

I have to say the little red story was definitely an intro to the gameplay and I feel like I will be playing it a lot. The Robin hood story was just much more complicated and new players will definitely find it more difficult to grasp it. For me, it made total sense. I just want to keep playing through the stories since I want to find out how difficult it can really be. I am pretty visual and this game is amazing!! I love the spacial aspect and trying to puzzle it out. This was easily one of my favorites from GenCon!

I ended up winning both games I got to play and just wanted to keep playing but the folks I was playing with were just not into it. I can't wait to dive deeper into this game and see about the harder backsides of the tiles and everything else the game has to offer. Super excited!

The final game of GenCon was Newton. New to me!

This was easily one of the biggest hits of GenCon! Very limited supply available each day from CMON and any Euro Gamers wishlist for sure. Easily overlooked by many on the GenCon release schedule since it was hardly mentioned at all and the cover isn't really eye-catching. It caught Ron's eye and he ended up playing it 3 times during the con after reading the rules.

I was excited I was actually able to play it! New game from co-designers Simone Luciani and Nestore Mangone. So yeah, you can really get a sense of Lorenzo from this game and there is a lot of other euro type mechanics happening. You have a hand of cards that you will use for actions and there are many different actions. You will add up all of that action type that you have already in your tableau and get to perform that action of a specific strength. Only got one of that symbol well then you get the weakest possible action. Oh Hey, like in Marco Polo, you get to collect some books! Haha there is no book track, but you will get some pretty great income of points when collecting the right books. You get to move along the pathways and collect bonuses. You want to visit the lands and gather bigger and better options for actions. There is so much to do in this game that I can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Simone Luciani's games.

For me it was late and I was having a hard time focusing on a specific path to take. I went with the obvious books. It seemed most logical and since I was the first player I could get the first choice at cards so I took more book actions. You sort of have to advance all over the place but have a solid focus in one thing vs another. I was late to the tech advancements and all of the one-shot tokens were gone by the point that I ended up moving over there, so that was poor timing.

I managed to get some serious end game bonus points for the final space I got to though and I was just shy of second place. Dave was able to pass me by just a point and Ron was just 2 points ahead of him in the end. Poor Matthew was not lapped but yeah just barely.

It was a great game and one I enjoyed a whole lot! I think I liked it better than Lorenzo and GAH, it is one I definitely most certainly want to play again! There is a lot to explore and a whole lot of replay in the game since everything changes each time and optimizing is critical. Very cool.

Back from GenCon and Derek came for a game night mid week! Thanks, Derek for helping to bring home some extra games for me! We started the night with Expancity. New to me!

This is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! I just wish there was a red building. For real I love city building games with actual city building materials. Super cool! The box is amazing and the insert is perfect. Quality here is top notch.

Derek and Ron had played at GenCon so they were able to teach me with ease. In the game you are placing a tile from your hand of 2 tiles to the map. You then get 3 actions to do. You might spend the action to place a city piece on the map to an empty tile, or to an already existing tile you control or you might have to spend the action to gain city piece from the reserve. Once you take your action you can cap any of the city buildings you want that are 4+ stories high or residents building 1-3 stories high. You know what kind of building it is by the tile it is placed on. There are lots of tiles in the bag that are modifiers to the resident and commercial buildings you are creating that are adjacent.

After you cap any buildings you can claim any victory cards you might have succeeded in. When you cap buildings you get to draw 2 and keep one victory card, which you might automatically already have completed so you could score it at that time. You might luck into some easy points.

You are trying to also play towards the majorities of 3 end game scoring conditions like "most residential buildings" etc. There are certainly a lot of cool things to think about. It can be a bit frustrating if you are working towards a goal card and you just can't get the tiles to make it work. I ran into this problem only 1 time. I was able to get all of my other end goal cards completed to the point where I ended up winning the game.

I had a pretty fun time playing this one and seeing the city grow before my eyes! I wasn't sure I was winning the game because Ron was getting some high scoring towers. But, in the game, it was definitely more beneficial to get more buildings than taller buildings. I was in control of lots of different areas and ended up picking up 2 majorities at the end game scoring.

We were playing 3 players and I think that was a very good count to keep the game moving wicked fast. I think the gameplay was only 30 minutes and it was really great! I look forward to playing again soon!

I was very interested in learning Blue Lagoon. New to me!

I was SUPER EXCITED to play this since it was compared to Through the Desert and I simply love TTD! Derek was teaching and of course he forgot some rules which we later found out, though I am not sure it would have impacted our game or not.

This game is played out in 2 phases. Each phase is scored separately and played slightly different. You are trying to get the most points from exploring the islands and collecting items and having a long connection. In phase 1 you are placing ships anywhere on the water locations and then you can branch off from there and claim land and items. You have a set number of settlements and villagers to place and the phase can end if everyone places all of their pieces OR if the items are all claimed. Everything is scored and then all of the cardboard villagers tokens are removed but the settlements stay. Then Phase 2 begins and you must always expand from a settlement or after a villager. Everything has to be connected back.

It is super clever and you better have good placement for your huts! I freaking love this game! It is super cutthroat and mean! Critical choices each turn much like TTD. I really enjoyed it with 3 players, I felt the map was big enough to hold us all and tight enough where I still felt pressure from the opponents.

I ended up playing a very great game and totally destroying the guys. It was pretty hilarious and awesome. I am super excited for this game and I KNOW it will get a LOT more plays. Easily one of the best from the year for me. I realllllllllllllllly love this.

Derek had mentioned being interested in trying out Whoosh: Bounty Hunters.

I played this game at Essen 2017 and had a great time doing so. I was really happy to see Stronghold bring it over to the US so everyone would get the chance to try out this amazingly cute speed recognition game. Each player has a stack of weapon cards and there are 3 "monsters" in the middle. Players take turns revealing a weapon from their decks moving around the table one at a time. If there is ever a matching set of weapons to one of the monsters then players have the chance to slap the card in the middle. If correct they keep it face up for points if not then they take it face down for negative points. Then all players take the weapons they already revealed and put them at the bottom of their stacks. A new monster is flipped and you go again. You keep doing this until a monster stack has run out.

Super cute speed game. You have to look out for some weapons are broken, or some even have double! There is a wild card so that is great. Very fast game and super cute. Love the art in this so much!

Derek wanted to play, and I wanted to play. I love speed games like that. Ron ended up winning somehow. I hit the monsters too many times with no luck and ended up losing a bunch of points. I was close though. It could have been me! I am generally pretty good at these types of games. I would happily play this anytime!

The final game of the night was Spring Meadow. New to me!

3rd game in the series and yeah it very much reminds me of Cottage Garden meeting Indian Summer, the other 2 games in the series. You have a board with polyominoes in the middle. You are trying to place them in a way on your board to cover up rows much like in Tetris. You can't cover up a marmot hole, or you will lose a marmot hole. You want to find the shapes with the holes that you can place the hole over the marmot hole so you can see through. That will actually get you bonus points when the round is over. If the board gets to a line and there are 1 or fewer pieces there then that would trigger scoring. You add up all your completed rows from the bottom and then the next small digit line plus any marmot holes. Each row is 10 value and counting from the bottom you can easily see how many rows then the next up partial row. If you win the round you get a picnic. The first player to get 2 picnics is the winner.

In my game with Ron he absolutely killed us, he was so far in the lead and there was not much we could do to stop him. It was okay though, the game played out super fast and I was able to get a feel for the game and how it is supposed to be played. One thing I forgot to mention is that you can line up holes on your board to get additional rock tokens and these tokens are SUPER important! They help fill in little gaps and gain you more coverage on your board. He was doing that very well and Derek and I were not so yeah, totally got hosed that time.

I haven't lost a game of Indian Summer yet and I love love love the colors in that game. This is easier to teach and more accessible for sure. I think this will be the favorite in the series for many people. I am excited to play this more.

Thursday night games!! Omg it had been so long since I have been to a fun group! joe has been away and I have been away! The first game on the table was Villainous. New to me!

Riley was super pumped to play it and Scott joined in and we played a 3p game. In general, I LOVE the villain figured in this game. They are so super cool and it is probably worth owning the game just for that reason alone. I honestly find the art and overall appearance of the game much too dark and muddy. I think it should have been brighter, even though you are playing the bad guys, it still could have been presented with more umph. Besides the figures, it was a miss on the art and presentation.

If you are unfamiliar with the game, you are playing as a Villain from a Disney movie. Every player has a unique objective to win the game, but all players are doing similar actions to try and accomplish different goals. For example, Scott was King Louie and he wanted all the gold. I was Capt hook and I needed to defeat PAN at the ship. Whoever can complete their goal first will win.

I haven't ever been a fan of asymmetric things like Vast or whatnot. This is definitely easier to understand, which is great. It still left me feeling uneasy when playing. Riley totally ran away with the game he just needed to cast 4 curses to win or something and there was basically nothing we could do. I was looking for the map to unlock my 4th action space which was never able to find, and Scott wasn't trying to stop him so it just was an easy win for Riley. I do wonder if this game is better as a 2 player game, I would think so.

All in all I would play again but I am not going to seek it out. I didn't think I would love it when I heard about the different rules and I wasn't wrong. It was merely okay for me. Totally a game I wanted to love though.

Riley had another simple game for me to try out called Ab in den Pool!. New to me!

OMG this game is so cute!! totally a 5-minute game and I loved it. Place all the meeples around the pool. Get a hidden color and then start. Players will pick up one of the meeples and then look at the bottom and move that meeple that many spaces in either direction knocking off another meeple into the pool. If you land on the diving board you can guess another players color and if you are right then they are out of the game, if you are wrong then you are out of the game. Super quick and fun game.

I was totally winning since all of my white dudes were on the board and I had no business trying to guess which color people were, but I guessed anyway and ended up losing. Riley was left with 1 guy and Scott had a 50/50 shot at guessing and picked incorrectly! Riley was a sneak and won that game with a single yellow dude.

Too funny and totally a game I would play anytime. I hate tin boxes though.

Since I brought it we played a game of Scarabya. I totally wanted to play again! I have been loving this game!

Seriously love this one. Simple and fast with everything I love in a multiplayer solitaire game. I could play this one several times in a row if people would want to.

Scott and Riley were learning and they caught on pretty quickly. We had a pretty difficult board we were dealing with especially with the tile being drawn. Nothing seemed to work great. I managed to get a few 4 point scarabs late in the game but it was definitely harder than most games.

Not even sure if I won this game, but no one played particularly well! Still such a fun challenge and one I will always take!

Final game of the night was 6 player Pantone: The Game. I knew it was a game that Joe really wanted to play and show his family because well PANTONE! He actually has a pantone book, so yeah he wanted to see what it was all about.

I didn't lose is what happened. I totally didn't win either. Riley was doing pretty alright because he was playing off of Scott and Ron was, of course, doing well because, Ron. I didn't do that great since the cards I hard were difficult, but they were eventually all figured out and I thought my pic below was super obvious but only got 3 points for it.

Boo can you figure it out?

Simple love this game.

Spotted: Ginkgo Tree


New to the Collection:
Whoosh: Bounty Hunters
Blue Lagoon
Smiths of Winterforge
Symphony No.9
Cosmic Factory
Yellow & Yangtze
Heart of Crown
Spirits of the Wild
Amun-Re: The Card Game
Minute Realms
Dance of the Fireflies
Dragon Pets
Speakeasy Blues
Whistle Stop: Rocky Mountains Expansion
The Island of Doctor Lucky
Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game
Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge
Trade on the Tigris
3 Secrets
Space Park
The Game
Carson City: The Card Game
Demon Worker
Werewords Deluxe Edition
Jungle Race
The Terrifying Girl Disorder
Rainbow Knights
Short Order Hero
Spring Meadow
Tower of Madness
Deckscape: Test Time
Deckscape: The Fate of London
Deckscape: Heist in Venice
Shaky Manor

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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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Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:31 pm
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