All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

A photographic journey through board games...

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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 Perudo. 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 Disney 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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Steph's New to Me List July 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)

July List

1. Ladder 29:

Ladder climbing game that is trying so hard to be Tichu and just not working for me at all. Really hand dependent and hard to control, it seemed. Missed partnerships in the game. All in all not really one I would care to revisit.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

2. Easy Breezy Travel Agency:

I am a big fan of J. Alex Kevern so I had to try out this small card game. All in all, it was a miss for me at 4 players. It needed something more to really grasp me. It might work better with fewer players so you can find some more strategy and planning involved. Would try again.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

3. Concept Kids: Animals:

Hey this is a clever game for kids. I enjoyed Concept, but this is better since I can actually figure things out! I could totally play this at family events with kids. Very cute.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

4. Just One:

Co-op Party type game where there is one word that players are trying to clue using one word of their own for the active player to guess without using the same words, but you can not discuss. It was a fun game and one I could easily see playing more of.

5.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

5. Pioneer Days:

I love dice drafting games. I think the whole play is a bit too long and not enough to really make it stand out. I totally enjoy playing it though and will bring it out on occasion. I enjoy it!

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

6. Teotihuacan: City of Gods:

A_M_A_Z_I_N_G Could easily be the best game of the year. Will be MANY people's favorite from 2018, I am sure of it. Very thinky Rondel game. One I will play at least 10 more times this year. Totally been on my mind and a Tzolkin fan will find similarities, but this is superior! LOVE IT! 9.5 with possibilities of becoming 10/10.

9.5/10 After 2 plays (Not Owned/ WILL OWN)

7. Prototype- Dark Side of the Mine:

Prototype card game. Hand management and quick card game. Hidden cards will be revealed and it is like a shadow moving around. Pretty interesting mechanic. Not going to rate this since it is still early stages.

-/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

8. Dice Settlers:

Bag building dice game! Lots of opportunities to manipulate the dice and loads of options. It is a 4X game in like 45 minutes. It was awesome. I am so pleased that I was a backer for this KS. I can't wait to get the final game in my hands so I can play more. NSKN is on FIRE!

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

9. End of the Trail:

Tough to teach with a mesh of mechanics. Fewer mechanics might have gone over better with the groups I played with. Amazing production on the game and easy once you play a few times, but not intuitive. Happy to play it.

6/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

10. Cahoots:

Not exactly a trick-taking game but hand management where playing cards from your hand when the timing is everything. I think Cahoots is a great name for the game since you want to get in sync with your other partners depending on what cards are being played. Tricky game and there is more than meets the eye with this one.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

11. Galaxy Wrestling Federation:

Played with 3 and probably not best with 3. I would definitely want to play with more players. Playing cards to get the belts! Not sure how much staying power is here but one to try again for sure.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

12. 10 Minute Heist: The Wizard's Tower:

Really plays in 10 minutes! wonderful set collect game with some abstract planning. Had a great time playing and would totally look to playing the other(s) in the series. Clever little game which I had a blast playing!

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

13. Pioneers:

Hidden gem from Essen. Wasn't available US but I think is coming or is so you can be on the lookout for it. Very interesting action selection game with lots to manage and think about. Thinky yet plays out quickly. Great time playing this and will gladly request it.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

14. Run Metro:

Total miss for me. I was just bored and didn't find exciting plays or didn't care to. It just didn't work, but the quality and look was there, I wanted to love it.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)


So interesting and exciting. Just wanted to pull the cards from the stack and have it not fall over! Very excited about this one. Love the quality and artwork too. #wanttoplaymore

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

16. ふくろと金貨 (Moneybags):

Fun but far too long for me. Just kinda want to play a single round any more just seemed to drag on. Amazing coins and clver play. Would play again but don't need to own it.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

17. Shifting Realms:

Love the idea of the different realms and stories and objectives. You might not need to focus on all of them but some of them. Opportunities to do well in all of these though. Clever euro style game and one with lots to explore. Excited to play more.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

18. BarBEARian Battlegrounds:

Super cute dice bluffing type game! plays out super fast and was fun to push your luck against the other players. Easy to pick up and learn and could play whenever requested. Cute!

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

19. Pantone: The Game:

Amazing Party game! Not nearly enough cards for the number of plays I want to play this game. Incredible fun and could have easily been the top game for any other month. Really love working with colors in any way I can and this is all about that. Always happy to play this.

9/10 After 1 play (Owned)

20. Quests of Valeria:

A small boxed card game which reminded me of Lords fo Waterdeep. Very quick and clever game, with amazing art. probably best with 2 or 3 players to keep the game quick. Highly enjoyable and would happily play again.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

21. VivaJava: The Coffee Game:

Interesting that it will play best with 7 or 8 which is highly unusual. You just need the right crowd! Lots of fun to try and push your luck and get the best blend! There is even a rainbow blend. Had a great time playing this one and look forward to another play soon.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

22. Star Realms: Frontier:

Awesome!! If you love Star Realms... This is a no brainer! New cards 4 players. Just awesome. SR is one of my favs and it continues to impress!

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

23. Queendomino:

I enjoyed Kingdomino but I REALLY like Queen so much more. There is definitely more gamer game in here and makes it all so much better. Will gladly play this anytime and has a secure spot in the collection.

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

24. Everdell:

OMG SO CUTE! Amazing production and wonderful game play. Pleasently surprised by this game. Defintely a lot of combos to create. reminded me of Seasons and is good fun. Happy to and would suggest playing it.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

25. Scarabya:

YAY! More multi-player solitaire games I love so much. Reminds me most of Das Labyrinth des Pharao to try and enclose spaces. Love it though because it is easy to take out and play. Can't wait to play more and more.

8.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

26. Fortune City:

Cute little city building game where the truck moves around picking up trash and obviously diamonds. Tile placement and drafting. Quite enjoyable little game and will happily play again.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

27. Professor Treasure's Secret Sky Castle:

2 player game to try and gain points from treasures and clever card play. Pretty abstract but a neat game to get to learn. I can see really knowing the cards and anticipating your opponents moves with more plays. Quick and fun and would happily play anytime.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

28. Multiuniversum:

Fast paced card driven set collection game. Multi-use cards for several possible actions. Very interesting. Just play 2 players and felt it worked very well with 2 players. I wouldn't want to play with 5 I would fear the downtime would be too much. Looking forward to playing this one more.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

29. Villages of Valeria:

My favorite in the Valeria series so far! I don't even like these types of games most of the time. Where other players benefit from the actions you choose. This works since the gameplay is quick and fun. Not to mention awesome art! Totally portable too. Looking forward to more plays.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

New to me Expansions!

1. Sagrada: 5 & 6 Player Expansion:

Adds more players, new drafting mechanic and new hidden scoring cards which is awesome! Lots to be happy about here. The 10 dice you pull at the beginning are great and really make you plan ahead since you know all the information. Wish you could manipulate those dice easier though.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

2. The Castles of Burgundy: 9th Expansion – The Team Game:

SUPER COOL TEAM GAME!!! Loved it and totally want to play again. Fun to work with someone on strategy and trying to be clever. If you love the base game and play with 4 players often then I think this will be a cool change up for you.

8.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

3. Kingdomino: Age of Giants:

COOL TOWER ADDED! The giants are so totally mean but there are more scoring tiles to come into play and there is a 5th player added! I had a lot of fun with this game. I think it is a welcomed addition for any fan of King/Queendomino.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

The Tally

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

Total new to me games for the year 282!

MY GAME OF THE MONTH IS: Teotihuacan: City of Gods

For those keeping Track I Watched 11 movies in June, 2 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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Tue Aug 7, 2018 4:20 pm
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Catching up before GenCon! Excitement of Pantone, Scarabya, Age of Giants, Everdell, CoB Teams, Visitor and Shifting Realms! So much more!

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

Hia Everyone!

Last week I could finally get in a proper Saturday Gameday in what seemed like forever!

We started off with a new arrival of Visitor in Blackwood Grove.

I got to try this out at Origins and was super excited to own it! This game is great fun and plays out super quick. I ended up playing twice this game day since so many people wanted to learn it.

In the first game, I was able to be the Alien and Star was the Kid. We managed to get him boosted on the track pretty fast but the clues I was handing him were not helping him at all. For the Rule I picked "Things that open" and I totally clued something wrong just not thinking about it. I should have said Banana was correct and I didn't I was just thinking fruit no, but that was wrong. Dan gave me a hard time about that. It is hard being the visitor!

Later Ron was the visitor and his Rule was way too hard. "Things you can clean with" so yeah it was vague and no one knew what he was thinking at all.

All I know is that Scott won the first game since he got a lucky pull of 4 cards that he could relate to the other clues to give him the win. In Ron's game, someone was able to guess it the same way.

It was still lots of fun. I definitely should use the handy cards to help me think of better rules for when I am the visitor. Super hard!

Dan was great and offered to sight read the rules for Shifting Realms. New to me!

I am a big fan of the guys over at Soaring Rhino so I was excited to try out this sweet looking game. Hey there is a cool dragon! It is dudes on a map but definitely more Euro-style and there isn't all that much attacking.

I like that there are 5 factions/realm and you are using 3 in the game so like in ours we had the dragons, elves, and pirates. Each realm has different buildings and objectives. Lots of ways to score points in the game, but it is really a resources collection and management game. Each turn you have a few actions to do and can select from a number of options. You will then get to collect income of the resources where you have guys.

There are end conditions that will trigger the game end for each of the realms once any 2 of the 3 realms missions have been met then the game will end. This is the main way the game will end.

You are simply trying to get the most points from the different hidden goals you are given at the beginning, or from the buildings you have built or possibly in-game points from the story cards. Lots of ways to get points.

In my game, I was building up the dragon land. I was focused less on the other objective cards in my hand but still managed to fulfill all of the requirements to score them all. Because of that, I was actually able to win! I thought for sure Dan would win. I was able to get lots of points from the buildings I made and all of the leftover resources I had for the few extra points I needed to secure the win.

We had a pretty good time playing. I definitely want to check out the other realms in the game and see how it all play together in a different way. I think it can be quite a fast game, once you get over the rules hump the first time.

Next up the most adorable bear game called BarBEARian Battlegrounds. New to me!

I also picked this up at Origins and was very much looking forward to playing it. I love push your luck dice games and this has the most adorable art!!

In the game, you have your own dice and you are trying to gain victory points by stealing other players flags or completing goal cards to gain more flags of your own.

When you roll your dice you are using the values on your player board to try and attack other players, or defend against other players. But you can also collect honey, magic, stone to try and get better bonuses or advancements. You definitely want those so you can get more dice and better-upgraded actions.

What is interesting is that you can see everyone's roll before they decide behind their shield what they are doing for the round. Then you can say I will gamble and surmise that person will go undefended, or I have better numbers, I think I can beat them.

The first player to 7 points wins the game!

In our game, I was just attacking every round. I managed to get a few upgrades but I was taking any shot I could at whomever I thought I could beat. Most of the time it wasn't good enough but I still managed to get a bunch of flags and complete some mission cards.

Totally won that game. Dan was happy it was over, so it was definitely not a game for him, but I had fun rolling dice and building up a small engine. Look forward to playing again!

Jess and Ed showed up and Ed took in a package that was delivered just that day! Thanks Ed for being the mailman! To my absolute delight it was a game I was terribly excited to play so we IMMEDIATELY played it called
Pantone: The Game. New to me!

This is a game I HAD TO PLAY!!! It has ALL THE COLORS!! Or at least a lot of colors! How could I not play this game. I honestly didn't know anything about it other than colors.

This is a clever pattern and color recognition game to try and figure out what person/character the active player is trying to depict.

At the start of the game everyone gets 4 cards with a name of a person or character, one of them must be discarded but you need to choose wisely! The first round you can use any number of colored swatches, but the second round you are only allowed to use 1 of each color max, and in the final round you only get to use a total of 3 swatches! So the 3 cards you started the game with will be played based on the round you wanted to play them in according to those rules. So my final card was Sonic the Hedgehog and I could only use at most 3 swatched I used one dark blue and one gold and Jess guessed it RIGHT OFF THE BAT! No hints nothing! It was freaking amazing!

So once you put out your display of color swatches, players can take a guess going around the table. Then if no one gets it you give a first hint etc until everyone gets 5 guesses. depending on the number of hints given players will get fewer and fewer points.

It is a super simple party type game and it is amazing!!! I seriously love this game. I already know I will want more character cards. This will be a hit with every group I play with. My family will love it. I can not wait to play this over and over!! I need more exclamation points! LOVE IT.

I suppose I should mention I was amazing at this game, but not as amazing as Jess who just knocked it out of the park. I was pleased with my few 5 point guesses where I could guess right off the bat. That made me happy. I will try not to give away too many names in case you pick up the game.

Edit to update since I played it at game day the other day. It was epic as the first game and we all had a ball playing it. Since we had been playing with so many people both games I feel like we went through 2/3 of the cards so I am feeling like I already need character replacement packs.

Still amazing and still a game I want to play all the time. Simply love it! <3 Added the bottom pic from the other day, can you guess it?

(Photo from Jess)

Scott gave me wicked awesome Capt Ears! Thanks Scott!

I asked Shrey and Dan to play Warsaw: City of Ruins. This is a new game from North Star Games. The original "capital" came out 2016 at Essen! I loved the game then and I still love the game today!

This game is a bit abstract, but it is also drafting. Reminds me a lot of 7 wonders that I love so much. There are more rounds and you draft fewer times in the round. I happen to think this game is best with 3 players so I was pleased we were just playing with 3 players. I like it with 3 because you get 4 tiles, so you know you will be getting 1 of the initial tiles back in the final passf or the round, so you might have an idea of what crap people will leave you!

The game is still punishing as usual with the city destruction in rounds 3 and 4. Ouch!

I was doing well with my parks, but I had a MAJOR screw up in the final round which ended up costing me the game. Such a dufus! I have no idea who ended up winning, but I was super annoyed at myself!

Love this game, I suppoes I just need a rematch soon! Definitely a game I need to bring out more! Love it!

Dan read the rule to Quests of Valeria. New to me!

This is a stand-alone game, something I didn't realize when it first came out because I thought it was an expansion to The Card Kingdoms game. Yep- totally separate!

In this game, you are collecting people to send them on quests. It actually reminded me a lot of Lords of Waterdeep, which I guess is a common statement when talking about the game. I didn't know!

It is a pretty simple game where you have some cards that you can use to pay for other cards to get them in your ready area so you can use them to go on quests. The quests will get you points and the game ends once someone has 5 quests.

Lots of cool bonuses when you hire people to your ready area so you might get some cool combos etc. I found it played out pretty quickly once we got going. I definitely think it is best with 3 players because the cards are cycling and the turns are prompt. We made a good choice by playing with 3.

I was able to finish the game by picking up the final 5th quest I needed. I had a sweet bonus scoring card that was getting me a lot of points as well so I was easily getting the most points this game. Totally worked out for me. If Shrey or Dan could have gotten a cool Quest combo they might have had me beat, but they were not that lucky.

Love the art and the realm of Valeria. Rreally eye catching and I look forward to playing this again and villages of Valeria soon too!

Shrey had played and was willing to teach VivaJava: The Coffee Game. New to me!

This is a game that is best with 7 or 8 players and after playing with 6 I would FULLY support that, which is bizarre but totally true. It is not very frequent you can get that many players who would all want to play this game, however. 6 players worked out well, but it was a bit harsh at times.

This is a very unique game with a lot of push your luck! I didn't even know there was so much push your luck in this game. There are tech tracks with advancements you want to achieve, but you are mostly trying to collect beans so you can make the best blends. You will be working with people who go to the same area as you to try and make the perfect blends. You might have a collection of red beans in your bag but it is likely you will have at least some other colors in there so when you pull for a blend you are pushing your luck to get the right colors, and hope others will do the same.

Every time you select a region to go to there is a vote on whether that turn the region will advance on tech or make a blend. Blending is the way to score points from round to round, but of course, it is punishing to be in the lead and it means you have to go last in turn order for the next round. So many things to consider.

The game is quite simple and the flow is easy. I had a pretty great time playing this one and I can see it getting faster when more people become familiar with it.

I think for the most part everyone was enjoying the game. Though I am not sure it impressed anyone. I could probably get them to play again though. I reall yhave to thank Shrey for teaching the group. I find the look beautiful and hey there is even a Rainbow blend!! YESS!!! I look forward to playing again with 7-8 players!

We were all sort of done and waiting for food to be done so we played a round of Facecards. Always a great time and one that I will never pass up.

This time I got the perfect combo of Friedemann and Frog. Obviously! hahah it was great and of course, it was easily spotted. Always happy to play this and Jess even found her photo and laughed a lot.

Perfect time killer and filler game. All the laughs and all the faces! I need to take more pics of faces for Scott's copy of the game.

Shrey mentioned Trajan as a game he wanted to play and we recruited Wystan and Patrick to play but then we altered decisions and ended up playing The Castles of Burgundy with The Castles of Burgundy: 9th Expansion – The Team Game. New to me expansion.

These new boards from the 2017 Advent Calendar, offer a TEAM GAME for this beloved classic game. You and a teammate are working together to beat the other team. You know the base game and there are only a few changes. There are a couple of shared locations and each player has a couple personal locations to hold the tiles. That is about it.

I was partnered with Patrick and we worked really well together. He would listen and have ideas, but mostly he would listen to some plans I formed. hahah We ended up not going for animals at all and got a lot of early yellow buildings that was an INCREDIBLE bonus for us. Getting us discounts for placing buildings and special tiles on our board. It was insane how good it was.

Patrick and I ended up totally destroying since we had like 80 points in end game scoring and we were about 40-50 points over Shrey and Wystan. We rocked it. I could feel the game was a bit long and Wystan was getting weary by the end so he lost focus a bit.

Loved this expansion and I can't wait to play on the alternate boards next time! Gonna be awesome!

The crowd was thinning by this point and someone pointed interest at Kerala: The Way of the Elephant.

Ron ended up teaching the 3 players since everyone hadn't played before and we were 5 players. I was surprised they had all not played before, but I suppose that happens sometimes. I think that is why Dan and Shrey were interested in playing it.

We explained all of the scoring this time so it was not a big deal at the end. I had forgotten last time to explain the missing a color is big negative points. Everyone this game had all the colors so it was better.

I still managed to get a lot of doily points since those tiles were just coming to me and boom I collected and scored 20 points. I think those might be a bit powerful so I basically killed em all. whoops!

I think people enjoyed it but I am not 100% sure. Haha I still quite enjoy it and love drafting and tile placement so I will continue to play!

Final game of the night was 5 player Biosphere.

Everyone was looking for a medium game and since we all knew the game it was very easy to jump in. Last time Wystan came around we taught him and he went out and bought it. He has played several times since with the harsh tie-breaking track. I opt to not play with that track since there are some mean things that can happen.

In our play, we had some pretty hard goals to complete and the ended up lasting a bit longer than it might normally because the goals just didn't line up very well.

Somehow I managed to pull out a win this time. It all sort of fell into place for me to be able to claim 2 or 3 goals in the final round because no one royally screwed me over. It totally could have gone another round if one cube was in a location it shouldn't have been.

Really tricky game and I am happy I won since I was ticked off in the game for various reasons. It was a long day and I was cranky.

Regardless, I was really happy we got to play this one again and still on my favorites from 2017 list.

At Dice Tower Con I was able to pick up the new game from White Wizard called Star Realms: Frontiers Ron and I also used 2 new Command packs: Star Realms: Command Deck – The Coalition & Star Realms: Command Deck – The Pact. New to me!

Like most things in the Star Realms universe, all of the new cards can be mixed together in one massive deck. The new booster packs offer a focus for the players. You start with new cards and might have a hand size that changes and different starting life. You also get gambits which are player abilities throughout the game, sometimes constant or sometimes trashed for a bonus. THEY ARE AWESOME! I have to say the command packs are super cool. I started out as Blue/Green focus and Ron was Blue/Red (best).

I love how the decks are pre-formed and you start off with already awesome combos for your gambits. It was well thought out and planned. I totally loved that.

Since we were learning Frontiers the game was a bit slower. We were just playing Frontiers as a stand-alone game not mixed with all of the cards just to see how they all interacted. I really benefitted from collecting more greens and blues to really strengthen my character abilities and cards. A lot of Frontier cards offer double bonuses if there are say 2 other green cards in play you get even more hits, so having a deck full of green cards is super awesome.

I started with 66 life and each time I gained life on my turn I would also hit Ron for 3 damage, but he was getting 5 health if he was going to trash a card could choose health instead of trash, so he wanted the red trash cards.

It was a pretty close game all in all, and I held my own for a while dealing like 30 per turn at the end which he could just gain back easily it felt. I needed more trashing cards I just had too much garbage in my hands and lots of terrible turns with no damaged too early in the game.

He came at me and destroyed me in the end. It was an epic game and I am really digging the Command packs!

In the mail, I found some pretty cool games this week. And, I was so excited to finally get the chance to play Queendomino and later in the weekend I was able to play again including Kingdomino: Age of Giants. New to me Game and Expansion!

I played Kingdomino last year and enjoyed my few plays of it. Turned out we were playing wrong so that kind of hindered my experience with the game but I was still very much interested in seeing what Queen had to offer. To my absolute delight, I found Queendomino to be more my speed. There are more choices and strategies to play around with.

In Queendomino you have new tiles added that are RED! on the red locations you can add buildings from the building rows. There is also the currency in the game to buy these buildings. All of the buildings will score points for different things like Knights, Towers, land locations etc. There are knights and towers in the game. The Knights allow for you to tax and collect from the lands of your kingdom. The towers might give you the power of the queen herself who acts as a crown in the final scoring for your best region but will also gain you discounts on the building row if you have her in possession. There is a dragon added which can burn a tile in the building row if you see fit to screw someone over.

Ron and I played this 2 player which was great since we could make our board 7x7 which offered a lot more options and scoring. I honestly think this game is probably best with 2 for that reason. Since you score points for money at the end, I was all about collecting the red tiles and getting buildings that provided me knights so I could get all the money. Totally worked out for me since I absolutely destroyed him! It was crazy! I had to take a pic of the final scores since it was just awesome that I won so hard. I had to document the day.

I had a great time playing this game and I could wait to play again with the new expansion Age of Giants!

In Age of Giants, a TOWER is added! You are adding in even more tiles and they all get placed into this giant tower. You have to randomly shuffle the tiles first and there are new tiles that add in giants. The letter tiles will come out before the number tiles and the very large numbers at the end will come out at the end because they have footsteps and lots of crowns. If you draft a tile with a giant on it, then you have to place that giant on a crown in your kingdom. However, later if you get one of the larger more valuable tiles with footsteps you can send that giant to another players kingdom. This expansion also offers a chance to play 5 players. There are new ways to score points which are awesome.

On game day this weekend, we had 5 players and it was my chance to show them all who was boss. I explained queendomino and Dan read and explained the rules for Giant. I am nearly sure everyone had played Kingdomino before.

I think I had a leg up since I had just played Queen the other day. I ended up winning. Between the 2 plays, I have to say I liked the 2 player version better since I got more tiles and more strategy formed. It was interesting to play with 5 players thought and I wouldn't rule it out for playing it again.

On Saturday we started the day with a light quick game of Dragon's Breath.

It was a full 4 players and Pete was learning. Not much to learn in this game. You simply do well or not. This game I didn't even collect ANY RED! I was the purple dragon and it made sense that I totally got all the purple gems. It was not nearly enough because Scott and Pete totally crushed it.

I am nearly sure Pete won by just a single point. All I know is Pete was a master at pulling that ring leaving me a pile of gems to topple over and Scott and Ron to reap the benefits. Ron must have screwed up too giving Pete a ton to grab too.

I do know I super lost this game.

So, I was able to review the rules for some games before game day, imagine that! I ended up learning the rules for Everdell. New to me!

This game has some AMAZING art. I have the KS deluxe version so there was a bunch of extra stuff included in the box. We ended up shuffling in Legendary cards when they were supposed to be handed out individually at the beginning so that was the big screw up of our game, but I actually don't think it was that big of an issue.

The whole game is quite a spectacle on top of being gorgeous. It is a whole production- tree included! The game is actually pretty easy to play and learn. Players simply take one action on their turn, it might be to place a critter on an available space on the board or in a city space. Or they might build a card into their city. There are 4 rounds in the game and if you are all done for the round you pass for your run and do the end of season bonus. Then the next time it comes to you, you will be in the next season. It is very likely not everyone will be in the same season at the same time. (This totally reminds me of the Keyper expansion 2019)

I totally like this in game play because there is a constant stream of thinking and no real breaks to think of what phase or what happens. There are a lot of cards that will trigger when played or upon something else happening so you just have to keep that in mind. Kind of reminded me of seasons for that reason. There are some nasty cards that might come into play, but those can be removed for a nicer feel. I love that if you build a building you might be able to hire a critter for free sort of like 7 Wonders in that way.

There is a lot to really enjoy in this game. I never read Red Wall but I would guess this game has that sort of feeling. Dan was talking about that.

It is pretty simple, but I do think 4 players is too many. When I play again I will play with 2 or 3 players because I think the downtime can run long with 4 players.

Every player has a tableau limit of 15 cards so you want to try and plan out your cards well since you are capped and you really can't get rid of cards unless another card says you have to. getting a lot of 1s and 2sies might not be the best of strategies since you might want 3s and 4s towards the end.

The 4 of us playing the game really enjoyed it and the interesting decisions we were making. We thought the game would be over faster since the first season really moves quickly since you have fewer critters to use for actions. I love the different cards that you put out at the start of each game. There is so much replay value here since there are so many different cards that we didn't even get to see.

I am nearly sure Star won this game after all game claiming he was losing so bad. He was not losing that bad, clearly! Hahah it was great fun though and Kim and I were last. Whomp whomp.

I am excited about this game and I think it will be a great game to play with any group. Really looking forward to my next play.

Very excited to play Scarabya. New to me!

Hey hey, I read the rules at the table! I must be getting good at reading. Totally helps that this game has about a page of rules and is super easy! So, if you don't know me I freaking LOVE multiplayer Solitaire games. I WAS PSYCHED to play this!

This is a tile laying game where you flip a card to tell you which polyomino piece you have to play next. There are 12 pieces and you are trying to surround the scarabs on your board to collect points. If you enclose a region of 4 or fewer squares you get to score the scarabs in the region. The scarabs get points equal to the number of squares in the region. Each player starts with identical boards and everyone plays! totally reminds me of all the cool games people know and love but easily most reminds me of Das Labyrinth des Pharao (scarabs, hello).

LOVE THIS GAME! Totally bias since I love all games in this genre, so yeah if you enjoy the genre this is one for you. Feels different but right at home.

I ended up playing on Saturday "correctly" and Sunday "not correct". By not correct I mean ALL THE PIECES ARE ALL OVER! I was using Blue boards and green boards and orange boards and the common gamer would be all like "Oh Hell No!" and I am like "MORE COLOR!" So you all can be hating me for that but I love it so much more with the random assortment of colors vs all the solid color. I do enjoy the different themes of the boards, that was cool. Are Scarabs really underwater?

I ended up winning both games I played! Okay, so the first game I SHARED VICTORY with Kim so that was super lame. But, I totally destroyed Ron on Sunday so it was worth it. Boom! Love this game and will be seeing a lot more of this.

I was confident that I could teach Gearworks so that was played next!

We ended up playing 4 players and it was so good to play this one again. I was really ready to dig my teeth into this game. It is a fairly simple abstract game that I learned at Origins. You are playing cards on the main board following placement rules of ascending or descending order in the rows and unique colors in the columns. You are trying to gain the influence of the different machine parts to try and complete the different contraptions.

I didn't realize that the contraption deck has 25 cards meaning 5 of them are exact duplicates of others. I will be taking those out for future plays since I don't think they are needed, but I can see why they might be. In most cases, they will not be needed. I mention this because I ran into an issue since I drew the exact same requirements for 2 contractions and I couldn't even complete the first one, let alone the second. It was just something that felt off and wrong about it. It can be fixed by removing the duplicates.

It is really hard to get the items you need in a 4 player game, and I was shocked I even got a few matches for my cards, I was fighting hard for the parts and Star was screwing me over left and right. Could not get what I needed. I would definitely think this game is best with 2 or 3 players. There is a solo mode to try out to for those interested in a puzzle.

I ended up not winning at all since I just couldn't get what I needed, but I am very interested in playing 2 players to see the different dynamics! Definitely more of an abstract play and those are generally best with 2p.

Dan had shown up and was reading to the newly printed English rules for Fortune City. New to me!

I was super excited to play this and Derek also expressed interest so I was really pleased Dan read the rules so we could play!

In the game, you are going around taking actions to try and expand y our city. You have some money to buy tiles to put under construction. You will then have to take another action to spend money to actually build it into your city. You can never have the same type of buildings next to each other. When buying buildings you are also getting a random color person with it. These are all predetermined at the beginning of the round.

There are common items such as the Bank or wild worker that you can purchase from the stock. If you buy a bank you get a credit card with money to use at the end of the round for future rounds. It is a bit weird since you don't have to ever pay it back... Should be more of a loan or something but that would have been more rules.

The game plays out round by round and at the end of each round, you get to place out workers on their appropriate building type. If you do then you get to boost on the matching track. The pink and orange tracks provide additional income and the green track is the end of game points while the blue track helps move along the trash truck. This truck will automatically move 1 space each round collecting diamonds and coins it passes over and disposing of the trash on the different tiles. You want to do your best to collect all of these tokens by the end of the game. If you place a building next to an empty building type with no tokens, it actually re-activates that tile and produces again. That Diamond you just collected, well it repopulates and no you can collect it again!

So for me, this game worked pretty well. I had a good time playing it and building up my city. I was doing something a bit different than Dan and Derek. They went into the bank strategy pretty fast and I held off. I was shooting for the green buildings and managed to get a TON of points from the green bonuses.

I ended up winning by a fair number of points to Dan, but we are kinda thinking the green track offers too many points, but they shouldn't have let me get all the green buildings anyways, so it is their fault!

Had a great time playing and look forward to more plays to see how it holds up. Super cute and easy to learn, I hope people get to check it out at GenCon if Smoox is around!

We were waiting for the pizza to show up and decided on playing a game for everyone to play which was Ricochet Robots.

This game is just awesome! I love trying to find the patterns and paths first! There is something seriously awesome about finding the path first. Dan and I were the best at this game since everyone was learning and we both love this abstract game.

We didn't end up finishing the game but we played maybe 8 rounds so it was solid play and I love it. Always happy to play this game whenever requested. So glad I could find a copy at BGG storage sale!

Shrey was awesome and read the rules to Carthago: Merchants & Guilds so he could teach it. I got to play it at Origins but was not confident in my abilities to teach this game.

Kim and Joel offered to play and I thought Joel would enjoy it but I was sure Kim would not. My intuitions were accurate in this regard. Shrey did a fantastic job teaching but Joel really hates to hear the rules.

Fortunately, from my first play, I learn from my mistakes and totally planned accordingly. I made sure to hold my cards for use on getting ships.

I ended up spending my discs too freely and was well out of discs and ended up going last for the first couple of rounds. I was trying to get on the guild spaces for points since I like points and I want points.

By the end of the game, it was clear my strategy was paying off. I think Joel and Kim and Shrey were finally grasping the play though and it all seemed to click in the end for them. Joel wanted a rematch right then and there, but Kim absolutely hated the game and had no desire to play again.

Kim actually took the same strategy I did in my first play and I could feel the pain of that strategy so yeah I tried to warn her. Didn't work out so much.

I really want to play again and get into the ship powers more and try for the military fighting etc. Still, there is a lot to explore with this. I look forward to trying it out with 2 players!

In an effort to keep Kim around, She really wanted to play a game of Happy Salmon.

Adam joined in and Mark and Robyn who were all learning. Super simple and hilarious fun. We were loud as expected. Everyone had a great time switching back and forth. Screaming across a chair looking for a match. This game is such a joy to play and it is all in playing with the right crowd! We had a blast!

Adam and I totally threw down our final card at the same time and yelled done, so it was a shared victory!

Love this game! So needs to be played more!

we were all deciding on a game to play next and I mentioned Paint the Roses.

Been loving this game. This time it was Shrey, Mark and Robyn playing for 4 players. Robyn was clearly not a deduction type of gamer, but she was a good sport. Mark, Shrey and I were constantly working out the patterns and trying to recall past information etc.

The game is so great because there is so much negative information and trying to retain all of that information is quite a challenge and I love a challenge.

We had a hard time in the beginning, but we managed to keep a steady pace in the lead and ended up winning, though it was a pretty low score compared to my past games. Though, a win is a win!

Nearing the end of the night we ended up playing 6 player Werewords. We played 6 times and everyone was the mayor once except me since I dislike being the mayor!

Hey out of all of the games I won 1 time as the werewolf so I was proud about that!

There was a time where I guessed the werewolf correctly from teh group but no one was on my side. I just had a suspicious feeling that Robyn was the werewolf since she was the mayor and the word was WICKED hard. "revised" was the word. I mean really? It only could mean that she was the werewolf. That was a bit cheaty though- deduction. She still won since no one was on my side.

Always happy to play a few games of Werewords. I am so terrible at this game. Looking forward to the deluxe version soon!

Final game of the night was 4 player The Mind.

I was just totally in the mood to play this game. It was the final game of the night too. Shrey was interested and we taught Mark and Robyn how to play and they had a great time with it!

We made it to level 6 so I would say that was pretty successful, all things considered. We were doing very well until we weren't. Isn't that always the way.

Always want to play more of the Mind. So much fun and amazing!

Sunday Ron and I got to play several games I didn't get to the day before. Also in the mail was the new game called Professor Treasure's Secret Sky Castle. New to me!

This was first on the table and Ron read the rules. This is coming out at GenCon and I was definitely interested in trying it out. It is a 2 player game of playing cards to the main area to claim keys and treasures and artifacts! Each round players will shuffle their 8 cards and randomly discard 2 cards. The first player makes 3 stacks of 2 cards and the 2nd player makes 2 stacks of 3 cards. Then players will take turns playing these cards to the arranged tiles. Cards will activate in ascending order. Most cards will claim tiles or adjacent tiles. Some cards will steal from a player or swap tiles. You have to try and plan for that.

After 3 rounds you will add up all of the points from Artifacts and treasures.

This game definitely packs a punch and I found it easier to plan as the rounds went on and I was getting more familiar with the cards and possibilities. I think it is super cute and I can imagine getting really good at this one with more and more plays.

For now, Ron was able to squeak out a win because he managed to get all of the artifacts in the final round and I was collecting keys all game to get the treasures and there were not many treasures in the final round! Noooooo but I did alright. He still kicked my butt.

I love the art on the cards it is super cute. I look forward to playing this one more.

Next up I wanted to play Multiuniversum. New to me!

This is a set collecting card game with combos and planning. It is pretty simple to pick up and learn and gamers will be able to figure out whats happening really quickly. On your turn, you get 3 actions. You can play a card to your tools so you have an available icon in your tool area, but normally you are playing a card from your hand so you can take a different action. Depending on the space you are located in you can play a card and take the action pictured for that region. There are 5 regions and 5 different actions. The main objective of the game is to close the portals and collect victory points from the cards you collect using the tools you use.

It is a pretty simple set collection and hand management game. Maybe you have a move action to go to another location then close a portal in a different area. Maybe you draw cards or activate the location action were you are. There are definitely different paths to take, and it is very tactical because you are using what you have in hand to really make it work best.

Ron and I learned quickly it would be really great to have a player aid with all of the actions, but there isn't one. There is a quick guide on the back of the rules though, so that worked out.

I went with my initial thought and strategy to place all of the cards into the tool bin and then figure it out from there. There were times when I needed to search the discard for a specific action but I tried to make it limited and far between. It ended up working out for me since I was able to collect a lot of cards and score simply 1 more point than Ron. It worked out! Woohoo!

I definitely enjoyed this as a 2 player game, I feel like if you were play with 4 or 5 it would just be too much downtime but I would definitely be interested in playing with 3 and look forward to my next play. It was snappy with 2 and that is great for me.

The final game of the day was Villages of Valeria. New to me!

This is another game set in the Valeria realm with amazing art! This happens to be my favorite in the series so far, and I played all 3! There are 3, right?

n this game you select an action then every other player can do a lesser version of that action. Very popular in games, most of which I don't particularly like. This game was different for me for some reason. Everything is pretty straightforward and pretty standard set collection game. You are spending coins to build buildings and recruit people. it is quick and I had a fun time trying to get all the combos going. I like being able to use other peoples action in this game for some reason. It just seemed to make sense and keep the game moving along.

Totally drawn to the amazing art in this game. Again, Ron and I played a snappy 2 player game and I felt it worked incredibly well. I will definitely have to try Quests with 2 players since I think that will give me a similar feeling and will work very well with 2 players.

I like that you are building up a tableau of cards and they might all do something different but works together to really make your strategy stronger, hopefully.

Solid game and I look forward to playing it more. There is a lot of game packed into this small box, so there is value there. Would happily play this when requested.

BoardGameGeek Show!! I talk about Pantone!

New to the Collection:
Pantone: The Game
Kingdomino: Age of Giants
Professor Treasure's Secret Sky Castle
Founders of Gloomhaven

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


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Wed Aug 1, 2018 10:43 am
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Back From Alaska/ Orlando SO MANY GAMES! Weekly Update with Pioneer Days, Pioneers, Most Wanted, Cahoots, Jetpack Joyride and So Much More! Photography Inside!

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

Hia Everyone!

Saturday (last week) Ron and I took off to Boston to see a couple shows! We got to see Aaron Tveit in Moulin Rouge and Aladdin that night! The shows were amazing and I grabbed a few pics.

Sunday we had a game day since I wasn't able to host on Saturday! Needed to play games, was itching to play all of the games. I have been working hard on GenCon schedule and my DTC blog post where I didn't get to play all that many games during the week.

By the time game day came around I was ready to go. We started the day with Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch.

This was a great game to start with because we were able to even just add Kim in as soon as she got there. The game is not that serious so you can just bet some dice and have a roll off. It is super easy to take out and play.

It was a good time. I still went with my same strategy of betting the least amount of dice and just hoping for the best. I didn't do so well this game though since my rolling skills were terrible. Pretty sure Rand absolutely killed us, but it was still lots of fun playing.

Next up we had 5 players for a game of Most Wanted. This was a game I was pleased to have learned and acquired back at Origins.

Finally being able to talk about it is wonderful! This is a clever little game with amazing artwork all around.

In the game you have a hand of cards that will be used as betting for poker hands. You might be playing 2-4 cards in a given round to try and beat out the other players and grab the loot. You want to grab the most look and become the most wanted player! If it is your turn you can select a wagon to try and take but other players can fight you for it with their cards if they so choose. But, you could choose another action like gain more cards or gain money by discarding cards. The different actions change from game to game depending on the random set up.

I love that there is a lot of different main actions to take as well as the basic looting actions. I think it is really clever that you can always try and win the loot if someone goes out for it. It is a fast push your luck type of game. If you end up losing the loot battle then you have to hand over some debt or lose steps on the loot track so you have to be prepared for that.

It is a great party type game. There is more to it than just rolling a die or drawing a card You get to make clever choices and laugh at the outcome of the loot battles.

Our game was pretty fun and everyone was learning. I was pushing my luck far too much and ended up in the lead for a short while, but it was mostly Kim vs Rand for the lead position. I was just happy to get a couple good hands. I had 4 aces! I was impressed with that! Rand ended up totally winning this time around.

It is great fun, and I can't wait to play it again. Hopefully this coming weekend!

I was interested in playing Sagrada with Sagrada: 5 & 6 Player Expansion since we had 6 players. New to me Expansion!

We played with the new player wheel. With this wheel each player starts the game with 2 of each color that are pre-rolled at the beginning of the game. During the drafting phase, you can draft from the common pool and then one from your personal wheel. It is to help with the length of the game, and provide more strategy.

You really need a tool that will allow you to alter these personal dice, I found it very difficult to deal with my terrible rolling skills that were so determined from the initial roll. The tools we had you could not alter the dice at all. I don't see why not though, I am sure there was something wrong about it.

I liked that players now might get different scoring bonuses at the end of the game, so those cards were great! I still had a scoring for a color, but because of the predetermined 10 dice at the beginning, it is also difficult to do well with the color dice as it might have been in the base game.

All in all, I super duper lost this game because I just didn't plan for my wheel of dice properly. I liked that is very thinking, I really should have planned better than I did.

I think the expansion really allows for more players, but it does addon some time. I am pretty sure Kim absolutely destroyed us. She was over 50 and I was like 30 points. It was a sad sad sight for me. I just couldn't get it together. I suppose it makes sense since I managed to play so well at DTC.

Awesome game and expansion. Look forward to many more plays!

Next on the table, Riley was interested in playing Jetpack Joyride. This was great since the last time I played I didn't really get to talk about it. This game I was actually able to write about. It is now doing very well on Kickstarter so that is awesome!

It is a real-time tile placement. There is no timer you are just racing the other players in best placement on your map to collect coins and meet the bonus goals of the round.

I like that you are passing your map around the table so each player gets to play with the map their opponent pre-selected.

since there are 3 rounds you might get some bonus cards at the end of the rounds to help you out. If you are in the last place you will get the first choice of card, so you definitely want to get a scoring card if you have that option. More chances for points is totally worth it. You get to score after each round so you want to get the most points all around to win!

Great quick game that I would gladly play anytime. I had the leg up this game even though Dan had played before, but yeah, he is Dan, I totally kicked butt and somehow they left me scoring cards each time we got a bonus card so I was getting even more points! I think they might have learned for the next game though. Look forward to more plays of this in my future! Check out the KS if that is of interest to you, they are doing very well with it!

Next up I decided to teach End of the Trail. I was fortunate to learn this game at DTC. I could recall the rules fairly well but I still ended up teaching it terribly. The game just doesn't have a great flow and just ends up confusing people more.

So yeah, the rules took longer than I might have liked, and the gameplay was weird. I can say this didn't go over well with the group, unfortunately. I think there is a lot of interesting things happening in this game, but maybe just too many mechanics at the same time.

This game I just couldn't get the poker hand I needed at the end of the game so only a few points there. The person who won the game also had the best poker hand.

This is a beautiful game and one that you need the right group to play. I hope to bring it out a few more times and find that right group. So pretty!

Going down the list of games to play off of my unplayed stack and we took out Cahoots. New to me!

This is a very interesting card game. It is listed on BGG as a trick-taking game, but while it has a resemblance to that, it really didn't feel like it. You don't have to follow suit or anything. Each round you get to play 2 cards from hand and the winning suit will score points for the players who control the suits. Everyone is sharing suits so I might have the spades, diamonds and heart suits and one player might have a heart and the other player might have a diamond. It is all about getting into a cahoots with another player and trying to score your suits when applicable. You are dealt cards at the beginning, so there is some crazy luck of the draw since you are going through all of these cards. I might not want Stars to score but I might get dealt 8 stars, that is just too bad.

What is interesting, at the end of the round each player goes and choose a card to discard out of the game or collect back into hand from the pool of 8 cards. It is very interesting. Do you kill a high valued card that you don't want to win, or collect a suit you are looking to play later on? It is super tricky!

I quite enjoyed this game, but I don't think the other players were really warming up to it. I think there is a lot going on here and very interesting dynamic.

Chris ended up winning the game by a few points. Everyone was in Cahoots with him so he was swimming freely in the points. I had a few very bad first few rounds and ended up with a crapola hand of cards, but still managed to catch up in the end and snag second place with some big end rounds. It was very cool and I look forward to trying it again soon.

Next up was the new small boxed game from Homosapiens Lab called Galaxy Wrestling Federation. New to me!

This is a duel kind of game where you are selecting another player to fight for the round and declare speed or strength and players select a card from hand to play. If another player wants to they can chime in and break them up and declare a challenge against one other player.

Cards have values on them that will determine who wins. Whoever wins gets a belt token AND gets to keep their card while the losing card is placed in front of the loser. I really need to play this again with more than 3 players to see how the interaction works differently.

It almost always seems like a winning strategy to shoot low early while others duke it out with the higher values. This happened in my game and I came in once they were both out of their best cards and just clean swept them. It absolutely destroyed them. I have no idea how that happened, but it just seemed weird. I doubt that would happen with more players.

I liked that I got to play at Groot, well fake Groot but still Groot.

Next up was a small boxed game of 10 Minute Heist: The Wizard's Tower. New to me!

This is a very fast-paced set collection game where you start at the top of the tower and you are a thief working your way down the tower collecting the treasures from within. You are trying to collect the most values in different colors, but also collect the most of specific numbers. There are a lot of different abilities and actions that take place when acquiring different cards so you want to be on the lookout for those. Where you move to can either be in the same row or directly below in the same column. But, if you move too far south you might miss out on a lot of different opportunities on the floors you are passing by.

It can be a bit abstract too, where you want to screw over the other players as well.

I love that it really plays out in about 10 minutes! You make fast choices and hope you are playing well only to find out you lost horribly! I love the art style how vivid it is. Everything is clear and the game is a small boxed gem. I really enjoyed playing!

Rand totally destroyed us this game too! He just had all the points. I barely took claim to anything of value, but at least I got something! It was super fun and I definitely want to check out the other in the series and play this one some more!

very cute and would recommend it as a light filler. Good times!

Next up Dan was willing to teach Pioneers. New to me!

This was exciting to me since I really had heard a lot of great things about this game in the past several months. It somehow flew under the radar, because it wasn't really released in the US, so no one really was talking about it.

This game you are using actions to try and stake claim to locations on the board and create a network of locations. There are points to be had for a few different methods in the game, but you will get serious points for getting a large network of guys on the map so it should be something you are working towards throughout the game.

Each turn you will gather an income then spend money to build some track or gain new wagon with guys on them. Then you can claim a space on the map with the common wagon that is moving around. When you claim a space you must have an available guy of matching color to place in that location. Each color is specific to a bonus action you get to take, so you want to plan accordingly for this. Then around the table players can join you by paying $2 if they have that color guy to place, but only one person could join. This is how you get more guys on the board and clear off your wagons for more points. Money is super tight though so you really have to know what you are doing.

In our play, I was having money issues since I was never able to get additional income in the game, but I was getting additional actions so it was getting very costly.

It was super fun though and played out fairly quickly. Dan and I were neck and neck all game. He was generating a lot of income, but I was getting a lot of guys down and clearing off wagons for lots of points. I think I still ended up on top in the end but can't recall exactly. It was close though.

I had a great time playing this one and really look forward to playing again soon!

Keeping up with the Western themes I decided to teach the group how to play Pioneer Days.

This game was super easy to teach even after one play. I managed to teach with ease and everyone was ready to go. Rand picked it up really fast and immediately started on a Ron strategy type game. He was collecting all of the townsmen and had a whole bunch of them. The disasters didn't really hit me hard this game which was great. I ended up losing a few cows, but it was worth it. I got some major points for other things that took priority.

So this game Rand had all the townsmen, but I got a couple townsmen that scored for wood and medicine, so I picked up some equipment that scored me additional wood when taking actions. I had 12 wood at the end of the game that I was scoring so it was some big points.

To my surprise, I managed to pick up enough favors to really balance out Rand's Townsmen. I even won this game by just 2 points! It was one favor away from him tied with me. Boom it was awesome. I didn't think that I would be winning this game. I tried to have the other players hate drafting better, to try and make the disease track hit more than one time since Rand couldn't support another hit and would have lost a ton of people if it had.

Didn't work out. I was trying to keep the blue track at bay and would always draft the blue dice so I wouldn't have to spend the wood. It totally worked out for me.

Fun game though it ran on a bit too long. I was happy to have taught and played it again!

We had time before dinner and ended up playing a game of Facecards. We didn't have that much time and people were coming and going so we ended up only playing a few rounds.

But, this is always so much fun to play even if just for a few rounds.

I think I ended up with a sad 5 points at the end of it and the winner had about 8 so it wasn't too much more than me.

It is such a great game and I could play it anytime. I really have to find a copy, but it won't be as good as Scott's since he has it all with fun pictures etc. Time and effort I might not have to make it amazing.

After dinner, Rand took out some of his cool new Japaneses titles and we first played Run! Metro. New to me!

This was a tile placement game to try and complete metro lines for points. It is totally dependant on luck of the draw. You can simply draw tiles and hang on for a round and play a few tiles in the following round, but you still have a hand limit of 2 tiles so you can't possibly chain more than that. You also just have to luck into drawing tiles with stations.

It is like a weak version of Carcassonne with fewer scoring options. It just didn't work for me at all and I quite enjoyed the tiles and idea behind the game but it just didn't work for me.

I have no idea who won, I think it was Dan though. I just couldn't get much of any points and by the end, I just didn't care at all about the game to want to play again. It is possible we weren't playing the absolute correct rules, but it was damn near it so I don't think much could change my opinion.

Next up we got to play HIKTORUNE. New to me!

I have been asked to not really go into detail about this game since we might have played incorrectly since we didn't have English rules. Rand did a pretty good job translating them but still wasn't perfect.

I saw this game being demonstrated on BGG from TGM and was so totally interested in it. You have a pile of cards all leaning up against each other and ultimately you are trying to pull cards from this pile and complete spells.

We were pulling totally incorrectly and just died almost instantly. We weren't sure on the rules very well anyway, so it was best. Then I just wanted to practice pulling the cards from the pile and learned it was best to pull from the top, which we weren't doing. It was just fun trying to pull card though.

I have to play this game again, there is so much I love about it. I want to do well and man the art is amazing!

In an effort to laugh a bit we played Deadpool vs The World.

Okay, this game really needs the right crowd. Adam is the right crowd but the rest of the table wasn't really on point and the cards we were getting just didn't work with what we have in hand. This game totally fell flat.

I am simply not creative enough for this game. You need that witty sense of humor to really make it work and I am just so literal!

I also think we needed more players to really get some more choices involved.

Will try to break it out in the next few gatherings and see if I can find the right crowd for it. I still think there is a lot of fun to be hand with this one. Good times!

There were 5 of us and Joe C was willing to learn a game so I pulled out Gold Fever.

The first game we played went over well for everyone but Joe. We were all having a good time and people were pushing their luck and laughing a bunch except Joe. Wehn I suggested playing again everyone wanted to and he was like fiiiine...

So yeah the second game rolled along and we were going around like you would and most people had 2 gold nuggets at one point and Joe had just one. He pulled a 2nd from his bag one round and decided to keep pushing the luck. Yah he proceeded to pull a 3rd, KEPT going Pulled a 4th and finally he pulled a 5th. Just like that. It was AMAZING and all of a sudden this game turned into his favorite game.

It was hilarious and I think Jess got it all on video. It was insane and there were so many laughs after that.

I am nearly certain I will be able to get him to play that game again in the future.


The final game of the night was Rand's new Oink game called ふくろと金貨 (Moneybags). New to me!

This game is so hard! Let me start by saying the coins in this game are AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Easily the heaviest Oink game box you will own. Tons of gold coins fill this box. One player is the boss and divides the coins among the players and there is a GEM that will also get placed worth 10 gold coins.

Players go around the table stealing coins from another players bag, or not, but you are trying to end with the most gold at the end for the points. If you steal from someone the other player can challenge, and if they do players will compare stacks of gold from their bag and if the thief has more then they have to hand over all their gold, otherwise, the challenger will have to hand over their gold. It is tricky and you can make people jingle their bags but you can't feel the bags at all.

Hey I managed to win 1 of the rounds so I call that a success, but I am pretty sure Ron absolutely destroyed us this game. Hey, I knew not to trust him, people are just silly though, he was able to remain the boss for a couple rounds and that was just terrible!

Cool game and I would definitely play again.

Monday night last week we went to Geoff's and got to start the night off with Container: 10th Anniversary Jumbo Edition!.

It had been years since I first played Container! Loved the game when I did, so I was definitely interested in playing the updated revised version of the game that was just delivered to KS backers. Geoff really goes all in on the KS he supports so he had all the stuffs.

I like that they revised the rules a bit to make it fewer rounds/ earlier end conditions. I think that really helps the game in my opinion. I don't think we needed it to go on longer than it did so that was a great improvement for me.

I felt I was doing pretty well this game but still nowhere near as well as Geoff. Yeah and that was totally accurate at the end of the game scoring. I lost so many points from the final container purge. It was a mess for me. I still came in a solid second place but Geoff had over double the points I had. Yeah, this is one to play again. I enjoy what it is doing though. Cool game, glad I finally picked up a copy of the original, maybe I should play it.

Waiting for the other game to finish up we decided to play a game of That's Pretty Clever.

I had one goal and that was to collect ALL of the +1's in the game. SUCCESS!!! I totally did it! I am not saying that is the reason I won, but it was totally the reason I won! I got some seriously leeway on all the points because of all of the +1s. I should have gotten one more fox and it would have been a solid score. I have been seeing people score in the 300's online, but yeah, I was so pleased with my 240 win! I crushed them all!

I was pleased, I never play this game well, so it was a good day for sure. I also think the online app goes easy on people. Real dice are cruel! Just sayin'.

The final game of the night was Tichu. The main reason for going to game night, since this is the game I most wanted to play. I would have just played it all night if that were an option.

This game I was partnered with Dan. We had a solid start and played very well. We then proceeded to totally fail super hard.

I would call and he would call and we would get set by Ron and Geoff and their mega bombs etc. It was pretty much a disaster of a game for us, but I always enjoy a good challenge and Tichu is a top fav! Simply love it! Wish I got to play it more than I do!

Friday Night Ron and I went to see Alan Doyle! He was amazing and the group is amazing. I love everything about his concerts and it was just AWESOME!

She has such long hair!! heart

While we were waiting for the concert to start Ron and I played a game of The Mind.

We thought we would be finished by the time the opening band started but we ended up winning with ease! The opening band started and we were going into dark mode it was pretty hard to concentrate but we still managed to make it to level 8 before we ended up dying. It was good efforts for sure.

It was great playing outside on a nice night. Fun times!

New to the Collection:
Fortune City

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


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Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:00 am
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Dice Tower Con 2018!! Yess!! I Love this Con and all the Amazing People who Attend! Teotihuacan, 7 Wonders Armada, Dice Settlers and so much MORE!

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

Hia Everyone!

Red Eye from Seattle to Orlando...

My gang of amazing pre-con friends! I love Dice Tower Con so much!

I took a red-eye to Orlando and when I got there Evan was amazing and picked me up. He was hosting a game day that day. Fortunately, I was able to get a few hours sleep before it started!

The first game of the day was Gold Fever. I ended up playing this game a few times this week since it was one of my games I was carrying around. It really makes for a good start or finish type game.

I was happy to be teaching folk how to play and we all had some laughs. I still am always super last place when I play though. Good times!

Over the course of the week, I ended up playing The Mind about 30 times. I simply can't get enough.

I taught the game a lot but there is one special time that I just have to talk about. One late night during the con we were playing a 5 player game. Collin, Anthony, Alex and I believe Mike we were all playing. We won this freaking game almost with flying colors. I let them know about the dark mode and we started in.

We ended up passing levels 1 then 2 then 3 with flying colors. We get to level 4 and with a shuriken, we succeeded no lives lost. We were all elated and filled with joy we couldn't help but shout out. We were apparently very loud because everyone around us was pleased too and the whole damn room started cheering. I was crying because I was laughing so much. It was freaking amazing. The amount of joy this community brings me is insane. We ended up losing in round 5 but it was a story for the books.

Seriously spread the love for this game and found a lot more fans. Great times and amazing people.

Photo thanks to Alex G!

Got to playKribbeln a few times and this still continues to impress and entertain. I have to say I just love rolling dice best. I never seem to win this one either.

More dice games please, and I will continue to spread joy for the roll n writes. I am pretty sure everyone I taught this to also enjoyed it.

At Evan's game day we ended up playing a 4 player game of Drop It. From now on I will try not to play with 4 players since I just don't like it as much. I much prefer 2p.

I kind this it is a disadvantage of going last in a 4 player game. I am pretty sure 1st or 2nd player won this game anyway. Haha still enjoy trying my hand at dropping pieces.

Perhaps the highlight of Evan's game day was my play of Mombasa. I was teaching 3 new players so it ended up going a bit longer than I might have liked.

Still worked out though I think by the end everyone was understanding the game and mechanics. Ray really enjoyed it but u am not convinced Eric liked it much. It won't be a game for everyone. I was working my way up a few tracks and got a whole lot of tracks points. I miss directed some book focus and got lost there for a while. I never managed to line it up how I wanted or needed to so that was wasted efforts. Evan needs the book promo for sure.

I ended up winning though, which kinda was expected. I know I converted one fan though! Great game and one I wish to play more of.

Tzar had a few games to show me and I should learn not to play them. First on the table was Lowlands. New to me!

I will start by saying this game just isn't for me. Ron didn't hate it but I liked it less. I really hate coop mechanics in a competitive game. You are working to build a Dike to keep the waters from flooding your lands. But you are using cards from your hand to do so. You want these cards for building buildings.

Ugh, I won't get into it but I won with flying colors by not helping to build the Dike. There was a kingmaker moment though where they could have chosen to not finish the dike and I would have been a far last place.

It all just left a very sour taste in my mouth and I won't return to this one at all.

Next from Tzars pile was Rise of Tribes. New to me!

Beautiful art in this game. I really hate this type of area control and I really dislike asymmetric player powers. The dice mechanic was fine but didn't grab me. All in all, I just wasn't a fan of this game. It also took far too long when it really shouldn't have.

I am hoping all of the KS backers enjoy it though since I know Tzar really did. He played it 3 times or something that day.

It ended up being pretty close race though and I was probably 1 or 2 turns away from the win. Not for me though. The add-on but were amazing though.

There were 5 players for a fav trick taker of mine called Sluff Off!. I hadn't played this version before but you could be the chicken. Which was rather amusing.

Trump was also Blue! Wtf is that about? BS.

Great game and I think I was tied for the win in the end. I am always happy to play this one since you really have to be clever. Ont of the best 5 player games out there.

Another favorite 5 player game is Turn the Tide and this I got to play a few times during the week.

Since we were still 5 players after sluff off I suggested this one. Evan was not convinced with one play but he did like it more after the second game later in the week.

This game I like a little bit more and Sluff Off I think. It is more interesting in how people play the same hands of cards. Love it.

The final game of the night was Skull King. New to Me!

This is a trick-taking game in the realm of Wizard. You play 10 rounds and each round you bid for the number of tricks you will take. There are special cards and circumstances that will cause one value to win other another so you have to know what trumps what in specific situations. It was quite interesting and I would happily play it again.

I did terribly at this game. I really thought I would be better at it but nope! I was terrible! I am happy to play again but it won't be my first choice for trick-taking.

Ron was supposed to fly in for 11 pm that night but his flight was delayed 3 hours and only made it in at like 3 am. It was horrible. But, the next day we managed to play some games with Evan. We were able to teach him Pulsar 2849. It was sitting on his unplayed shelf we were able to help him cross it off his list.

I quite like this game and am happy I own it. I am not sure I could teach it well enough though, but possibly.

Ron ended up taking the win this time with all the techs. I usually go for techs but I was too late. I was spinning my pulsars as quickly as possible to generate points. It worked out and I wasn't too far behind Ron in the end. Evan was much further back but he enjoyed it and was looking forward to another play.

The only other game that day was Ladder 29. New to me!

This is a ladder climbing game and Evan was planning on getting rid of. We gave it a try though to see how it played out. It was trying much too hard to be tichu and it was not fun.

There are drafting scoring cards each round once you see your hand of cards. It was just too luck driven for me. I hardly felt like I had control and I'm not sure I got any points at all. Ugh, Ron absolutely destroyed us by a million. Each round getting max points. Leads me to believe it might not be all luck, but it seemed it at the time.

I love my partner in tichu and will always always always play that over this. Even if only for a few rounds.

Precon gaming started Monday and tons of friends were already around and playing games. During the con, I ended up teaching Ginkgopolis a couple of times as expected.

This is my #1 anyway and I was carrying it around with me. Collin hadn't played and Geoffrey hadn't played so in 2 games I was able to teach some good friends my fav.

I am nearly certain I won both games handily. But I am sure I will be corrected if not! Haha so glad to spread some love for this game any chance I can. I have my teaching skills down and they are getting good use.


Several games of Illusion happened over the week too. This is just a great game. So easy to take out and play at any time.

So many people hadn't heard of it but by the end of the games, they were all quite enjoying it. It is similar yet different and will hold a spot in anyone's collection I find.

I am also nearly sure I didn't win any of the games. I know Ron won at least one of them. Who knows how but someone other than me allowed for that to happen. Lol always happy to play this quick card game.

I felt bad since Collin had a bunch of games he brought to show me and I was just not feeling it. We did end up playing one of them called Easy Breezy Travel Agency. New to me!

This was a light card game. You are drafting passenger cards to try and collect destinations. You need so many passengers to take the destination. It was super light and I hardly felt like I had any turns at all.

For me, this is probably best with 2 players since you are playing until the deck runs out of cards anyway. With 2 players you have more chances to collect the sets you need and want to score extra bonus points. We were playing 4 players and the game was over before it really began. It was interesting. All in all, if I played again it would be with 2 players but as it stands I don't think I will end up playing it again.

I am a big fan of J. Alex Kevern in general though and think he is a clever designer. I still want to play all of his designs.

Since I had it and was looking for a challenge I pulled out Paint the Roses to play with 4 players.

I have to say this time around it almost seemed too easy. We worked really well together and we just succeeded with flying colors. Maybe we started out with too easy of cards that we maintained a stable and steady distance from the queen. So maybe normal games we ramp up too quickly making it more difficult on ourselves.

I still haven't lost this game, but I have had pretty great groups playing it so we aren't making wild guesses and losing. Maybe we play too conservatively- and win!

So far still loving this game, I am actively thinking each time I play it and really enjoy that.

Managed to get in a game of TichuIf it was up to me I would have played this game a whole lot more. I probably should have searched for more opportunities.

Nathan and Brandon apparently played 7 times? This game Nathan taught Collin and Cindy how to play so I was paired up with Collin and Nathan with Cindy.

I think they sort of knew the rules at least enough to grasp the concept of what cards they should be playing.

Collin was having a more difficult time than Cindy since I think Cindy had played a lot of card games in her day. But, I am awesome and we totally kicked butt as a team.

There were a few errors he made but he learned from that and it was awesome. I want everyone to love Tichu so I don't mind playing with newbies, but playing with people who already know the game is a definite benefit.

Love this game so much!

Next up was a fast filler of Avenue.

I am honestly shocked I only played this once during DTC but here it is! So glad I added it to my box of Roll n writes. Always happy to play this one.

Since I was on a roll n write kick we ended up playing Encore!. No one had played it before but they were really good. I was having terrible luck this time.

There was one crazy roll, pictured below. Only available... 2 options! How is that possible. Incredible! Please, someone, do that math for me. Mathman get on it!

Anyway, I totally lost this game but I think I got Sarah and Matt to buy another game since she really enjoyed it.

Hey hey a popular one at the con was メトロックス (MetroX). Now I am not sure if this was popular or if it was just a mess since I would teach it and it would be so confusing we would have to play again.

This is not intuitive at all. It is some weird rules and you really need an example to flow off of that is clear. People just don't understand it. That's okay.

I still have yet to win this game. I am just terrible at it, even when teaching new players. I am duel focused though trying to help them, and work on my own board. There is almost always one player half way through saying screw it I am done I messed up too many times. gah!

Still loving this game, just need to figure out how to teach it better.

Hey Hey! Day one of the con! Wednesday! Started out playing a couple games of NMBR 9 with a few fans of the blog. She wanted to check out this game because of my praise. I believe her name was Kathy, m apologies it has been 2 weeks! Wow, I am behind on this. haha

It was great and we had to play 2 times since the first game was just a mess and we all thought we can do better! Sure enough, the second game went a lot better for people. I think Ron won the first game and Kathy's husband won the second one.

Always happy to play NMBR 9! Simple and fun. Multiplayer solitaire a fav of mine.

Next, we found Nathan and Brandon and got in several games with them. These guys are my fav! I love them and wish they lived in the area! Not only are they hilarious but they love the same games as me and play at the speed of light!

Brandon actually didn't want to play our first game Le Havre.

Ron, Nathan and I played 3 players. I was feeling pretty good about this game as we were playing, but the problem was everyone else was too. I was buying a lot of cheaper buildings, and mostly with money, which was the problem. I was spending too much and getting not much return.

It was all in all a very low scoring game where Nathan won with like 160 points or something. It was pretty terrible on all sides. We were just off our game it seemed. I had a couple cool combo I was working, but it wasn't enough and my HUGE loan pile was not helping me win this. Too many loans. Love this game, I just need to play it more.

I blame the fact that Nathan played the week before. He had a leg up on us.

We decided it was best to play a 4 player game of Nations next. This game was about 2 hours and it was an amazing time. I actually played well!

This was the first game in a long long while that I have played super well. We were playing at a fantastic speed and I am able to focus at such a speed. Because of that, I was able to maintain a steady lead. Ron tried to break me early with a double loss in an early round.

I was able to swim through that disaster and collect my wonders and build them up. I was making so many early books and stones. So good! I don't think I have played such a great game. I was in the final scores with 50s and everyone else was in the 30s. It was great!

Probably the best play I had in the whole con.

I ran into Stefan B and he was showing off 7 Wonders: Armada. I have played this several times now and I just can't get enough. The artwork is more finalized and it is looking amazing.

We played 4 players Stefan, Ron, Nathan and I and it was amazing. I think it is clear that the more you play this game the better you get. It was a pretty huge disaster for everyone except Stefan who absolutely destroyed us. I mean, he annihilated us. It was totally embarrassing. He was over 100 points! I think I was 2nd place with the 70s. Oh man, it was rough going. I don't even know how he did it. This was just base game and a new expansion, not even leaders or anything. So crazy!

LOVE THIS SO MUCH. Easily a fan of the year so far. So freaking good.

He was showing off some prototypes we got to play and the first one was Concept Kids: Animals. New to me!

This is good. I like Concept but I am not clever enough. This is easy enough for me to totally understand. It is definitely for kids and all of the clues are animals to help narrow it down.

I think they do a good job of making it all fairly simple to understand and explain. I think kids would have a great time with this game and I would totally recommend it for families.

I would definitely play again, I think I ended up winning! Woohoo! I would never win Concept. I like abstract thinking like this and the kid's version is the easier one so I guess I will stick with that. It was a good time.

He had one more prototype we got to try out called Just One. New to me!

This is a co-op game to try and get the players to guess the word on the card. There are 5 numbers on the card and the guesser picks a number. Each other player has to write a word down and if there are duplicate words among players they can not reveal the clues. If they aren't the same then they are revealed and the guesser can try and guess the clue.

It was a cute party game and I could totally play it anytime. I would often match another player so we were not the best teammates. There were a few rounds where it worked out for us though. I had fun learning it.

Next up we found Sonja and we played a 4 player game of The Voyages of Marco Polo. She hadn't ever played before! She was an amazingly fast learner and it was awesome.

I think the game was over in 50 minutes! It was super fast. Ron was, of course, collecting all the goods with his favorite broken character. He was going last so he got first to pick a character. How super lame is that!

Sonja didn't have to pay to place on top of people, which I think is always a good first choice for new players. I was teleporting around I think. It was good for me since I could freely move to where I wanted to.

I ended up with a ton of end game points but it was still nowhere near the number of points Ron was able to rack in.

It was awesome and I am glad we could show the game to Sonja! I think she quite enjoyed it as well.

I don't know how, but I managed to forget to take a photograph! What is this BS. I had to pull an image from the past.

Nathan took off and Sonja, Ron and I played a 3 player game of A Feast for Odin.

I honestly have been loving playing this game weekly and I hope it continues. I seriously love it. It might end up moving up the ranking in time. Currently, it holds its spot at #8 in my top 10. It is tricky since I love it so much. It is easier to get played than Civ, but Civ has that special place in my heart. Tricky business this top 10 of mine.

I was handed the wrong side of the board and I didn't notice until around 3 started. It meant I had a huge advantage. It was an honest mistake. I ended up with 2 fewer guys for that round, but I am not sure I made up for it. I actually don't remember if I won this game or not, but I did do pretty well. I still Think Ron was the big winner.

Sonja doesn't play this one as frequently as we do, but she still had a great time and was happy to have played with us. I was glad I got to play it too. She loves Uwe titles as much as we do. Seriously great stuff, did I hear an expansion is coming. Yes, Sign me up!

Kris was looking for a game and I think we played with Derek too and they were interested in learning Coimbra. All the rage right now!

I got to learn this back in April and just loved it, so when I saw it available in the library I took the opportunity to check it out and teach some folks.

Derek later took it out and taught others how to play, so my job there was done! The game is super easy to teach and I have been doing well with that. I am all ready for an expansion.

It was great though and this time I was all over the map. I worked my way up the best tracks for the big end of game scoring there. There was one potential screw up I made when I was a $1 short and I had to take the pity action. It was sad but I still scored the same I have in the past games and ended up winning. The other guys were doing well in the game, but I had collected so many end of game cards and big scoring bonuses to really push me ahead into the lead.

Worked out, and I can't wait to get this game into the collection to play more of it.

Also in the library, I was able to check out Ticket to Ride: New York. This is also all the rage at the moment. Has this hit Target yet? It will be HUGE when it does. I honestly believe this is a game for every collection.

I can't get enough and for it being so fast, well deserving of being in everyone's collection.

This game I was royally screwed over by Derek who didn't mean to destroy me but ended up costing me 17 points and even then it would have been a second place finish. I was down around 14 points to end the game since Derek took my final spot that I needed.

Thankfully the game is only 10 minutes or faster! Worked out majorly for Ron anyway! Jerkface!

Ron and I were wondering the hall and ran into some folks setting up Pioneer Days. New to me!

This was great since I really wanted to learn this one and I had just gotten a copy! I didn't know much about the game other than there were dice, so I was super happy they could teach us.

In the game, you are playing 4 weeks and each week is 5 days. If you are pulling from the bag you pull # of players +1 Dice and roll them. Players then take turns drafting a die and taking the action which might be to collect a token like medicine or wood, it could be to grab $ or finally it might be to draft a townsfolk. You can always pay $3 to change the face of the die to your choice so you are never fully shut out of an action, there are ways.

The remainder die at the end will cause a disaster track to boost in the corresponding color. If it bumps to the end then you will have to figure out how to protect your stuff at that time. Caravans in trouble, you need wood to keep them safe. People in trouble you need medicine etc.

It wasn't so bad once you were playing, but I can see how some hate drafting might get the table into some trouble. If a black die remains then all tracks bounce 1 step. Ouch!

You are playing all of these dice and collecting gold nuggets and equipment. All trying to get the most points at the end. The townsfolk really hone into your strategy and will help you score end game points if you draft the right ones. They might have some cool bonuses too.

Lots of things to look out for.

I really love drafting games and this one works for me. There is no real hatred happening in this game, but it still has a bite. The length is a bit long but could be really great with 2 players. I will have to check it out at that number.

This game I didn't win but I did do alright. Ron got away with murder and collected all of the Townsfolk and just got an insane amount of points at the end of the game. I think he was like 30 points over us all. It was horrible he absolutely crushed it.

I look forward to trying my hand at this one again soon!

I got to hang out and play some games with friends, Collin, Cindy, and Spencer and I picked out Abyss.

I am nearly certain this game didn't go over too well. I was hoping it would, but I am not sure I explained it properly, or if gamers were just bored with it. It is really hard to tell. I quite enjoy it, but I ended up winning. I got a lot of lords into play so that really helped me out.

I think they were all missing the concept of really focusing on getting those lords. Some have cool powers etc.

It was fun to play it again. I am not sure it is one for the ages, but I am always happy when it gets to the table. I will continue to keep my copy though. Good times! Amazing artwork.

Cindy really wanted to learn one from her long list of games to play. I was not too excited to play a lot of those titles, but I found one we could try called Ex Libris.

I certainly know this game very well. It was a super fast game though because the location tiles that came out and the characters we were using allowed for us to really play lots of cards down.

It was over in like 3 or 4 rounds and everyone had full bookshelves.

I was doing terribly with my hidden scoring card and majorities. Ron totally killed it, I am not sure how he got so many books down but he was able to with ease. WTH, it was crazy.

Still a great game to bring out and play. I am not sure Cindy loved it like she wanted to, but I think she was happy to play it in the end. I love it!

I scheduled Teotihuacan: City of Gods because this was a game I had to play! New to me!

This has been on the must-try list since I saw it being played at GAMA. New game from Designers Daniele Tascini & Dávid Turczi and MAN DO I LOVE their other games. I will tell you (spoiler) this is MY FAVORITE design by either of them. I really love T'zolkin but this game is even better.

The game itself is not hard to teach and play, it is how you manage everything throughout the gameplay which makes it so very interesting. In the game, you are using dice to move around the board and take actions. It is one big rondel where you gain better actions if you have more of your dice in one location and if the dice are of higher value. Whenever you land in a location with a pre-existing die you have to play coco. This is a main currency in the game and you really need coco to get by.

This is a resource management game where you are collecting the wood/stone/gold to use to build up the temple and build the houses to move up different tracks. Yes, there are lots of glorious tracks, but not as punishing as the god tracks in T'zolkin.

Each space you go to will advance your dice by one pip, usually just one of your dice. If you were to ever go from 5 to 6 you will then Ascend and the dice rotates to a 1. You get to move up a track and get a cool bonus, which is greatly needed. You have options of many bonuses, but one can be a new die to use in the game. Of course, that means more feeding. There are 3 rounds in the game and you will have a scoring and feeding after each round which you need to prepare for. Once each player takes a turn then the round marker advances, but it will also advance whenever a player ascends as well. Timing is critical and it can make or break a players game for sure. You will be scoring for your help with building the temple and houses and how far along you have made it up the track of the dead.

There are a lot of cool scorings to be aware of and plan for with so many different strategies and even the spaces on the board will move around from game to game. There is so much replay value in this box it is unreal. I believe it will even be a $50 MSRP which is INSANE- I predict this will be the game of the year for most people. It is at or near the top of my list already only after a few plays.

I got to play the first game with Jess, Ed and Derek and Jess was the only one who had played before but Rainer was amazing and such a joy to be around and talk with. So pleased we got to play this. It was pretty long with teaching and playing but still completed in under 3 hours. I was honed in for a long haul strategy and I wasn't getting a lot of early game points but the end game points were insane and I managed to get over 200 points. It would have been about 20 more had I planned slightly better, but I learned and played better in the second game. I still ended up winning that first game by a landslide, and I am pretty sure Ed was confident he would be winning that game. Totally owned it though. It was great.

In the second game I was teaching Ron and Nathan how to play since they were interested and I really wanted to play again, while I had the chance. It was awesome. Rainer was there while I explained and he gave me some praise for my explanation which was awesome. I did well! I forgot some minor details since I hadn't used those details in the first play at all.

This time I did great though, and did about 10 points better that game than the first game. I think Ron was having a frustrating game and was figuring it out by what I was doing. I think Nathan was enjoying it somewhat, at least more than he enjoys T'zolkin. Ron might have been frustrated but he quite enjoyed it and he was definitely turning gears for how to play the next game better. He fell into his strategy too late, but could see all of the possibilities for future plays.

This was such an awesome experience and I simply can not wait until I can get this game into my hands. NSKN has a surefire hit on their hands and I am psyched to see it all explode.

Photos thanks to Ed!

Rick had a new game in prototype form he wanted to show me so how could I deny him! He showed us Dark Side of the Mine. New to me!

This was an interesting card game with a hand management element, but really you were trying to collect point by mining the different planets. The cards were interesting since you were getting actions with your cubes, but each turn there is a dark card that gets added but also one that is revealed. It is like a shadow zone that is moving around the circle.

It was an interesting prototype and I am interested to see where it ends up. Again, Ron was much better at this game than the rest of us. I wasn't using my cards wisely and they were hard to come by so I should have been more careful. It was a fast game though so I wasn't too invested in what I was doing. I will definitely play better next time now that I know.

Pretty cool.

Later that night I ran into Rob Daviau and he was super awesome. I met him back in April and he is a super cool guy. He remembered that I liked to play tons of games and I offered to teach him and his wife a game. In the game library, it was pretty sparse but settled on Coal Baron.

I love this game, I think it has some cool mechanics and plays in a quick time. Always good times and good choices. You really have to plan accordingly. Collin ended up joining in as the 4th player and everyone was learning. Pretty easy game to teach and play. Rob ended up going to pick up his prototype for Cthulhu Death May Die, and man, he was getting a lot of googly eyes over that one. He later offered to teach me, but I wasn't sure it would be my cup of tea. I would try it when it is completed though!

Coal Baron was a nail-biter until the end. I managed to nudge everyone out by only a few points. It was so tight though. I got some major end game scoring with majorities in the types of transport and empty carts. It was pretty great. I am not sure I won them over with this game, but they all said they enjoyed it and I am happy to get this game played again. It was great!

The next morning I scheduled a game of Caverna: The Cave Farmers with Sonja and Derek joined in. Amanda stopped by the table and we played a 4 player game.

This game I was stressed out since we had scheduled a game right after and I knew we would be late with this 4 player game going. Most people weren't as familiar with the game as I was.

I went for a totally different strategy this time and picked up 5 workers. It was costly, but I was getting a ton of actions. Poor Amanda, I thought she knew the game better but she said she learned it when it first came out from Essen all those years ago.

So, this ended up not being the best game we all played, but I think everyone still had a good time remembering how to play.

We got through it though an I ended up winning by a fair deal. I think Derek and Amanda were closely tied in 3rd and 4th place and Sonja was a distance 2nd. Whoops! I do have a lot more experience with this one though. Amazing game I still love it so much!

The game we had scheduled was Dice Settlers. New to me!

This was exciting to me since I backed the kickstarter and I really wanted to try it out since it seemed awesome. 4x dice game, sign me up. You are bag building a collection of dice.

You always get to pull some number of dice and that number might grow larger as the game goes on. When you roll your dice you can take up to 2 actions in the round. One at a time going around the table taking these actions. You might explore, or research tech, or collect resources. So many things you can do with these dice, and there are plenty of opportunities to revise your dice by spending resources or other dice to change or reroll some dice. Lots of control, it is all in how you use the dice you get.

This game was simply wonderful. It was still in prototype form, but I got a good feeling for the game and I can't wait for the kickstarter to deliver! I can see this game getting played a bunch of times. I was happy that Derek got to play with me and Sonja. It was a great time.

There is an area control type mechanic with the tiles you are exploring in the game. There are a lot of points to be had if you have some majorities.

Sonja absolutely killed it this game and just destroyed since she got her houses down and there were lots of points to be had there. It was a fun challenge to figure out.

I enjoy that there are so many different ways for the game to end, and it is the perfect length! NSKN is on a roll!! Loving what they are bringing to the table. Simply great! I can't wait to play again.

We had some time to kill and we found Bethany and Aaron so we played Sagrada.

This was my BEST GAME EVER. Everything went incredibly right this time around. I haven't ever scored so high in this game. I believe I was around 90 points at the end of it. I got max points for all of the bonus cards and a TON of points for my hidden bonus. Covered my board completely. Everything was just n'sync.

I smoked everyone hardcore this time. It was just all amazing. I think Bethany managed to get over 50 points but everyone else was under. I dunno what happened but I doubt it will ever happen again.

Next up Mike Hinson was so kind and taught us his game End of the Trail. New to me!

This was a recently delivered Kickstarter with amazing production. I mean the art and the quality is top! I was grateful for the rules explanation because the rulebook is like a textbook. For a pretty easy and quick game, there are certainly a lot of rules happening. I ended up teaching this game this (past) weekend and it was more difficult than I was expecting.

The game is played in 3 rounds and you are doing a number of things. You have an auction for cards you might want to use, then you select cards you will use from your hand in the round. These cards might play into your final poker hand you want to be thinking about too. During the round, the cards you have pre-selected will be used to scout for gold from the tiles on display. Mountains might find you higher gold than the foothills. You can try to push your luck int he round if you think you can find a higher location but you might bust and have to take a lower value if you don't.

You are doing this for end game points but also you get to select a couple card you played int eh round to add to a final end of the game poker hand. This poker hand will claim an additional location at the end of the game and get you some major bonus points. I do wonder if this is too strong for the games I have played the person who claimed the end tile also won the game. But, I want to play some more times to find out.

The gameplay was quick and albeit we should have played more than once to really get a better sense of the game. I really liked how quickly it does play out. I do think there are a bit too many mechanics at work here and something probably should have been edited out to make it a simpler teach and play. Is the bidding phase really needed or can luck of the draw be enough.

Definitely, one to play again. I will be returning to this game in the near future for sure.

That night we decided to try and wait for Teotihuacan to be free and to kill some time we played several rounds of Linko!. This is a great filler because you can simply stop after a round or keep playing. Rounds don't last that long and you can just play another round if you have the time.

Totally a great game. I was super last this time. It was neck and neck with Nathan and Ron, but of course, Ron is better at this game I was not Abluxxing him before his turn so he got away with going out nearly every round. I went out one round but still managed to score the least amount of points. How is that fair. It is not!

It is always a great game to play and even lose at.

The final day of the con and I was just hanging out with Brandon and some guys showed up with a NIS game of The Flow of History.

I was happy to play this one. I didn't get the chance to play the new TMG version of the game. It is all pimped out and very beautiful. The colors are vivid and the metal coins are wonderful. Great production.

This game is just great. There are a lot of interesting choices to be made. It plays out in a quick time too. Each game will be the same length since you are working your way through the deck of cards each time. It reminds me a bit of TTA, but not because of the auction mechanic. All of the cards are there so if you know what to expect you will have a better understanding. It still might not mean you get the cards you want or need though since the auction mechanic is so critical.

Fun game and this time I was the epic loser. It was a close race though and I know Ron was in it. I don't recall the winner though, I feel like it was Joe K because of something I did. But, I might have miscalculated the final round where Ron was still able to get a final power card, so I am not sure.

So glad I could play this game. I would happily play this game more if it is ever requested.

I promised Evan I would teach him Haspelknecht to get it off his unplayed pile. I ended up not teaching it, which was fine, but we did play!

I forget who was teaching it but he was not a big fan of the game. I think that totally hinders an experience of the game. So, of course, Evan was less than impressed at the end of the game. For me, it was a so-so experience. I dunno, I should be used to playing with jaded gamers. Oh well.

I still love this game, I was trying a different strategy this time. I didn't clear any coal from my board. I was working strictly from the houses I was collecting to get coal from the sticks I was selling. It was totally working too.

I was way in the lead for most of the game, but I didn't have a whole lot of end game scoring for the coal or anything. I didn't end up the winner though.

Always happy to play this game. I want to try it again soon with the expansion. It has been far too long since I tried that out!

Final game of DTC was Qwinto. To my surprise Collin, Cindy and Evan all hadn't played this game before. We were already kicked out of the main hall by this point and playing in the lobby of the main hotel.

I made one critical error this game which ended up costing me lots of points. I needed to rearrange my final placement of a number to score a pentagon for lots of points and I think I might have won in that case.

Oh well, by that time in the con it was nearly all over for me and I was totally useless. 2 weeks of non-stop gaming and amazingness can really put a toll on you.

It was all in all they were amazing trips!

Amazing friends and time this week and on the Alaskan cruise! Maybe one day I will catch up to real time! But GenCon is around the corner and I still have so much to plan for and play between now and then! heart

Hey The new BGG TV Show was posted if you missed it you can check it out here:

New to the Collection:
Galaxy Wrestling Federation
Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch
CVlizations x2
Bubblee Pop x2
Star Realms: Frontiers
Oaxaca: Crafts of a Culture
VivaJava: The Coffee Game
VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game
Shifting Realms

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 copyright, 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 Jul 19, 2018 5:43 pm
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Steph's New to Me List June 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)

June List

1. Alpenzian:

Probably not fair since I played Sunflower Valley and they are basically the same game. Not a favorite roll n write but would happily play this again anytime!

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

2. Proto- New Zoo Review:

Joe was working on a few Prototypes and this was a HABA challenge where you pay an entry free and they send out pieces for you to design a game. Quite enjoyed the pieces so I hope he submits the design. Not ranking.

-/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

3. Criss Cross:

New Roll n Write Knizia game and just too many symbols. Hard to do well in this game. For me it was fine but I don't have to play again. There are so many other Roll n Wrote games I prefer.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

4. Proto- Dice Chain Magnate:

Another Joe H Proto he is working on. I like the Rattlebones dice and switching the faces on dice. Played the earliest stage of this game and I am sure there have bee major adjustments since. No Ranking

-/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

5. Spoils of War:

Interesting take on Liar's Dice. There is more than just a bluffing aspect to the game but set collection and manipulation. I quite enjoyed this one. My fellow gamers weren't as excited for it, but I would happily play it anytime. I love pushing my luck and trying to figure out hints people are throwing at me.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

6. Photofinish: The Final Rush:

Fast recognition game to beat your opponents on figuring out the outcome for the cars in the race. There will be patterns on the short tracks and you have to predict the outcome based on the knowledge you have about the cars. Fast and clever. Played a few times and would play again.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

7. Marienkäfer und so:

Small speed card game to try and grab a card that doesn't match your own card. If you do then you get to add it to your stack. Very simple and fast. Harmless game but forgettable.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

8. Paleolithic:

This is a perfect kids game. Kids moving from the HABA games to the next phase. This is an easy set collection and resource management. Amazing production quality and fun game. Happy to play this more and work in the expansions soon! Super cute!! Also, love the use of characters from the different games in the Numeracy series. Great crossover, while being totally different.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

9. Adventurer's Kit: Expedition:

Another from Shepherds Kit and this is a card game. A bit unforgiving for experienced gamers. We were playing as competitive gamers and we were probably not the target audience. It is meant for kids and they might not play the same way. I am also thinking it is probably best with fewer people so the deck doesn't run out as fast. I have to try again with fewer players.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

10. Prototype- 18 Rainbow Dragon:

Somehow got roped into a train game with a magical Rainbow Dragon title. Not for me, sorry Joe! But, I tried!

-/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

11. Jetpack Joyride:

Speed tile laying game to escape the levels with goal and challenge bonuses! Lots of fun in a high spped puzzle type game. Look forward to playing this one a lot more!

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

12. Dungeon Scroll:

I love word building games like Scrabble. This is a hand management game and moving through a dungeon with specific rules to create words. It is cute and I can easily play this one again.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

13. Climb!:

This game is adorable. You are basically playing twister with your fingers to climb a mountain. I had a great time with this, but it will most certainly won't be for everyone.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

14. Carré:

Really not fun at all. I don't have much to say other than HARD PASS. Don't bother.

2/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

15. Pastiche:

Been wanting to play this one for a long while. The colors and quality of this game are just amazing. Love the paintings! For me, the set collection and hand management was just not as interesting as I was hoping it would be. I was super happy to try it out, but I am not sure I would feel compelled to play again.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

16. Prototype- Villagers:

I really hope they do a lot more dev work before going to the printers with the PnP I tried out. Right now it is not playable for me. I just have no desire to play it again.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

17. Prototype- LepreContractors:

This was a proto about rainbows! Manufacturing Rainbows... So I felt the need to play this one. Still in development, but enjoyable. No ranking.

-/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

18. Most Wanted:

Great fun push your luck quick poker hands. Trying to gain the money. had a great time playing this and look forward to playing it more and more. I bet it is more exciting with a larger group too.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

19. Ticket to Ride: New York:

This game is amazing. Scratches the T2R itch in about 10 minutes. Should be in every collection. Brilliant brilliant game that I can't recommend highly enough.

8.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

20. Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch:

very cute push your luck dice rolling game. I always pick the least amount of dice so I am not sure there is a whole lot of choice for me, but luck of the roll. I still like trying anyway! Happy to play anytime. very easy to teach and play.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

21. Gearworks:

Abstract card placement game. You are managing your hand of cards and trying to acquire artifacts and complete objective cards. Very clever play and beautiful. I look forward to exploring this one more.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

22. Beep! Beep!:

Speed game to match patterns and colors. It is super cute and I would gladly play this anytime. Reminds me of a lot of other speed recognition games. The cute car though.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

23. Boom, Bang, Gold:

Gotta grab the good loot from the explosion! I love throwing the dynomyte. Very cute and playful game. Would totally try it again!

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

24. Pool Party:

High-speed flicking game to get your tubes into the margarita type pool. Yah, definitely for kids and they are even better at it. It was cute and harmless. Would rather play a game like Flying Kiwis.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

25. Echidna Shuffle:

I had to play this game. So freaking cute!!! Totally an abstract game with a lot more take that than you might get from a single glance. Tricky game to do well but I loved how the dice were used. Very clever. I would like to play this one again sometime!

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

26. The Draugr:

A solo game, but can be co-op with more. It is a puzzle type game to defeat the baddies. Very difficult and we totally lost. Interested to try again and see if we can do better! Lots of game in a small package.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

27. Cahoots:

New take on Crazy 8s, but a co-op to try and complete the goal cards. Bright and colorful. Highly enjoyable and would easily play again. Good for families.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

28. Pikoko:

Always looking for tricktaking games. I LOVE the genre and seeking the next best. This is the next best! You get to play the hand to your right and you know all of the hands but the one in front of you. You have to bid on each hand and the number of tricks you think it will take. Seriously interesting and one I HAVE to play more of!

8.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

29. Orc-lympics:

Definitely interesting. I love the drafting at the beginning and the choices you have to make since they impact the whole game. Very fast and clever game. Very much enjoyed it! Would play again.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

30. Legends of Sleepy Hollow:

Co-op legacy type game. You are moving through the Legends and each chapter is a new world and story. You are working together to fight the bad guys. I have the worst luck. I think players will enjoy the story.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

31. Carthago: Merchants & Guilds:

This is a game I need and want to play more of. Lots of tough and critical choices. Everything is so tight and necessary. Can be brutal so you have to plan for that. very interesting for sure.

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

32. Dragoon: Heads Will Roll:

A few metal pieces can be a game, sure! Probably best at a restaurant before dinner is served. Tossing some pieces around to shoot and maybe collect some points. Awesome bits.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

33. That's Not Lemonade:

Push your luck to collect some lemons! Silly and cute and for the casual gamer crowd. Probably not one for me to return to. Happy to have tried it.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

34. Visitor in Blackwood Grove:

This was amazing fun. I played 6 times in a row! Really interesting to try and be the kid to connecting with the visitor. Loved this challenge, while being a very easy game to grasp and play. Loved it!

8/10 After 6 play (Not Owned/Wishlist)

35. Str8 Eight!:

Really didnt find many decisions in this game. Not sure it will work for anyone. I just don't get it. Not for me at all.

2.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

36. The Supershow:

Honestly wasn't expecting to love this one. It wasn't half bad though. Duel card game with lots of combos and a bit of push your luck. It was fast and fun. Could play again!

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

37. Istanbul: The Dice Game:

For me, this game worked a whole lot better than Istanbul. I like push your luck dice games and this has a little bit of that with the same gem race. Still feels like a first player advantage.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

38. Unlock! The Adventurers of Oz:

Loved this one. The art is stunning and the game play challenging. You have to really think outside the box.Had a great time with this!

8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

39. The Lady and the Tiger:

Box of amazing cards with a bunch of games included. the artwork is phenomenal. I had a great time playing one of the games and I look forward to trying out all the 2player games soon.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

40. Unlock! A Noside Story:

Finally an Unlock game I truely helped out with. We managed to get some stars even! Not as fun at Oz but still quite enjoyable.

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

41. Gold Fever:

This is a great push your luck game. You are handing over your gravel to other players when you can, only to help deplete your bag and find the gold! I think it is a great 5 player game and fun filler. Would recommend to anyone!

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

42. Lowlands:

Pretty big disappointment. I really don't like competitive games with cooperative mechanics. Hey but there are sheep in the game so there is that!

3/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

43. Rise of Tribes:

Area Control is not my thing, and it is sooooooo terrible in this game. I just didn't care for this game. Not for me at all, but I know several others who love it. The art is amazing though.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

44. Skull King:

Trick-taking game in the vein on Wizard. Some cards are more powerful if other cards are in play. It was a lot of fun and I could play again. Wicked hard to play well, but interesting to figure out.

6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

New to me Expansions!


The Tally

January: 23
February: 24
March: 48
May: 56
June: 44

Total new to me games for the year 253!

MY GAME OF THE MONTH IS: Tied @ 8.5/10
Ticket to Ride: New York

For those keeping Track I Watched 1 movies in June, 0 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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All images in this post are copyright, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, Unless otherwise noted.
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Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:00 am
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BGG @ Sea Games Played and Fun HAD! Amazing times on the Water with Great Friends and Games!

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

Hia Everyone!

BGG @ Sea Edition!!!

In case you missed out, here is my Photo Blog for the Excursions from Alaska. All Pics of the fabulous scenes in Alaska!
BGG @ Sea Excursions and Photography. No Games All photos! Enjoy!!

I got to Seattle Thursday and there was some time to explore and play games! Got to play a bunch of games but First some Pics from the exploration and Random! heart

Virtual balcony Window....

This blog will be a bit different. I am lumping all of the plays of the duplicate games together. This is mainly because I ended up playing 95 games on the cruise and 51 of the plays were of The Mind.

51 games!!!! I ended up winning 10 times! Michael was my gaming buddy for this trip and we ended up playing almost all the games together! If there was ever a down moment we would be playing The Mind like it was our job. We got to be SUPER amazing at this game and made it to Level 10 in the Dark. Before that, I had only ever made it to level 9. We were perfect for level 4 with all 5 lives and 3 shurikens. Going into level 10 we had 3 lives but it was not enough to let us pass... Shurikens are the meaning for all successes in the Dark mode. It was still pretty great! I want to win Dark mode so badly!

Other notable moments in the games, playing ON the BUS to the Glacier. It was me Michael, Aldie, and Stephen Buonocore! We totally won while playing on my backpack. I have no idea how that even happened, but we were amazing! Totally a highlight for me.

One other game I taught several kids how to play and we played a bunch of games with them. They were cute and totally scared to play their cards, but there were a lot of giggles and were having a great time. I had a lot of fun.

Lots of teaching and great times playing this game. I loved every minute and I can't see another game passing the best game of the year for me personally. Really, I can't get enough of it!

Of course there were a few games that happened of Let's Make a Bus Route.

I am always happy to play this one. It is definitely a great Roll N Write game that has been getting a lot of play Aldie just got a copy and was teaching a bunch of people and I joined in, even though I was finishing up my blog from Origins!

Non-stop for me, it seems!

I was off my game and missed out on the goal cards, but still did alright. Later in the con, we played again and I think I taught Rodney? Man, it is all a blur! Got to play it twice that week though and it was most welcomed!

More Bus Route!!

Because I brought along a box of Roll n Write games, I ended up playing a whole bunch of those games throughout the con. In Seattle I ended up teaching Penny Papers Adventures: Skull Island.

I am not even sure if I recall the rules to the other games at this point... Hmmm, I suppose I should revisit the others in the series again soon so I don't forget them. Skull Island is just my favorite and I know the rules easily enough.

Everyone learning was having a good time and enjoyed it for sure. I just like the puzzle aspect of trying to pinpoint treasures. Lots of fun things in this game. Totally recommended!

Oh Hey! I ended up teaching my favorite torturous Roll n Write called Rolling Japan. I love teaching this game because it is so simple but jarring at the same time. Halfway through people start to see all their errors and it is always such fun to see them cry.

Okay, I am a bit harsh but still, it is fun to experience it. I never win this game anyway but still, love to try! I think I am too busy worrying about the other players trying to play correctly than my own board. I could also just be terrible at the game. #likely

One game everyone beat me by 1 point and tied for the win, that was a bit embarrassing. haha #stillgreat

I ended up playing That's Pretty Clever a couple times. Once we were on the boat we played in the lounge area, but we also had played the day before in Seattle too.

The game can sort of be addicting because you want to get those massive combos. I do think it runs a bit long though, and wish it played in like 20 minutes. I suppose with the right crowd it might be that fast but I have been finding they are running longer than that.

I still continue to lose all the time. I just can't get the right combos ever! How is that even possible!? Still happily play this when requested!

Hey a big hit over the week was a favorite dice game from last year called Kribbeln. I have been playing it a bunch recently since I quite enjoy this push your luck dice game.

Someone compared it to Phase 10 dice but better. I actually think that is pretty good definition. You are trying to make the required rules of the round and beat the others values. You get a few rerolls so you can try and push your luck for high values or stop early if you meet conditions.

Like most dice games, this one still hates me and I roll low values except when I want to. Totally no luck with my Kribbeln rolling skills so I ended up probably last each game.

Always happy to try it out though! Love this one!

In Seattle we topped the night off with 4 games of Werewords.

Hey, this game is always fun. I like that we just auto-allocated the Mayor. I opted to skip my go as the Mayor since I am just not a fan of the role, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to guess the clues and hidden word.

Fortunately, I was a villager each and every time too. I think the werewolf won 1 or 2 games so not too shabby. Great great great late night game to bring out for a few rounds. Always happy to play a bunch of these games. Good times.

Another easy to play card game was brought to the table a bunch of times and it was Illusion.

This one is so easy to take out and teach and play that it deserves all the love it is getting. I was one good at this game, but I have come to realize maybe it is luck... haha no, not really, but there is timing to it and you might just never have the right chance to call the line up if you think it is incorrect.

I might have won one of the games, but I it was definitely close on several occasions that I think I ended up missing on. I think everyone I showed the game to enjoyed it. Perhaps not as much as THE MIND though. Still wonderful and I am happy to have it around for DTC too.

Once the Cruise started we all had a get-together and Stronghold sponsored some games for us! I managed to pick up a few games I was interested in and we even busted out Gold Fever.

I taught Rodney's family and Michael how to play this very simple push your luck game. I honestly really like it and quite enjoy the marketing campaign #TomVaselHatesFun I think it is hilarious. for a 15 minute game, this one is surprisingly wonderful.

Again, I am terrible at this push your luck game since I seem to always go too far!

Regardless, our game was super exciting and intense since everyone seemed to be like 1 gold away and the pink speed gem was always an option so it was really anyone's game if that was drawn. It was amazing fun and full of laughs. Everyone totally enjoyed it and it is just great. I will happily play this game time, and it would make for a great early or late night game. Love it.

So one night I had the chance to teach Coimbra. I have been really enjoying this game a whole lot and wanted to teach Michael and Jon how to play. HUGE MISTAKE. In case you wanted to know Michael and Jon are 12-year-old boys who won't let you get one word in AT ALL. I am nearly certain this game took about an hour to teach when it should really be 10 minutes tops. OMG smack em! Mark joined the table and thankfully he wasn't giving me as hard of a time as they were. It was a ball of laughs, but I was really about to kill them.

I just wanted to get through the damn teaching of this game! Once we FINALLY got started it moved along at a decent pace. I had my mind set on the moving around strategy and tried to push up the correct tracks to get lots of endgame points and travel points. Totally worked out in my favor and I creamed the boys. I think by the end of it they were all enjoying it and knew what was going on. Jon told me the next day he was able to play again and teach it to another group of gamers so that always makes me happy to hear.

After the rules, it all worked out, so I was happy we got to play it. Definitely enjoying this one and hope to see more plays soon!

These two Jokers Michael and Jon continued all their laughs with Lanie joining us for a 4 player game of Welcome To.... She was at least on my side when I tried to teach this one. It still took like 30 minutes to explain, but at least it wasn't an hour!

She had all the evil glares for them, it was just excellent!! It made me even more excited to hear she turned around and taught this game the next day too! I was really on a roll with teaching games that others enjoyed enough to teach again.

Of course, through the whole game I was explaining the bonus actions since they were not paying any attention to me, but hey, we made it through, I suppose.

I don't even think I won this game. I just can't remember at this point! I was definitely going for the endgame scoring but Michael cleaned those up really fast and we ended pretty damn fast. Pretty sure he took the win that time. So close but so far!

Been really loving this roll n write! heart

Istanbul: The Dice Game has been generating a lot of buzz recently and I was itching to test it out. New to me!

So I have to be honest and say I didn't really enjoy the big game Istanbul so much, but I was very interested in Dice! Okay, there is a huge random element to dice rolling, sure, but there are ways to figure out how to mitigate that and figure out a way to get what you want and need.

You are still working to set collect tokens and colors to collect the gems. The first person to get 5 gems will trigger the end of the game and you finish the round I believe. There are ways to get tiles that provide income, maybe of a die or of a re-roll token. Lots of cool things happening. Turns out you can't buy the same tile for income each round so our play was a bit invalid. I didn't win, but I did have a couple of duplicate tiles that provided dice etc.

It was quick and fun and I could totally see it. I still sort of felt that the first player had an advantage, and Scott even won the game, I believe. Yah, I definitely was the loser here, but the pain of going last wasn't or didn't feel as bad as Istanbul base game. I would totally play it again.

Scott was free to play a game and I wanted to teach him メトロックス (MetroX). It ended up being a 4 player game and I felt the teaching went ok, until halfway through when I learned one of the players was playing totally wrong.

So he was essentially out for the game, but by the end of it, I think he was fully understanding it. It can be hard to see the stations, so I guess it is understandable. I probably would have made the station spaces in BOLD so they are very clear.

I am still not sure I have ever won this game, and I don't believe I started now. I am just terrible at this one, like ROlling Japan, maybe that is why I love it so much. I just want to be able to do better. I am also glad there are 2 maps, I think that makes it so much better!

Later, I pulled in Michael, Jon, and Rodney for a game of Menara.

This game is just pure fun! It is so nerve-wracking too. We did amazingly well too. The bag was nearly empty before we made some critical errors. I actually have it all on video on Instagram in my stories. I should probably add it to Youtube. It was an epic ending though. Rodney was up to the plate and then he went with a difficult card. We probably should have auto failed it since it required him to play on the topmost space.

He was nervous and even shook his hand out to try and steady himself. The vid was great though and captured all the expressions on everyone's faces. Loved it!

This game is just so much fun to play. Always happy to give it a whirl.

We found several people and played a couple games of Facecards.

This game is a just simple joy. I think everyone should play this. It is one of the best party games around and so easy to teach. We were playing with a bunch of newbies, which was totally fine and we all managed to successfully guess the first round fo the first game, so that was awesome!

I think I ended up winning one of the games with like 14 points, which is impressively awesome for me since I normally score like 4. I was sad not to be playing with Scott F's copy. I can't wait to host game day again soon!!! Sooon!

There was one memory to share where Michael was given an example during the explanation and he ended up using the example later in the game and Max the kid who wanted to play remembered this example and totally guessed it correctly. I had no idea what that connection was about. Nice going on Max- totally owned it.

Next up was the obvious choice of Emojito!.

We played one basic game that happened and I was in the back of the pack. It was just not as fun as the second game we played though.

The second game we were playing the telephone version of the game where we go around the table trying to make the face at another player. One guy was just terrible at this game. It kinda ruins the game when one person is bad though since the whole table then makes the same fae over and over.

You really need the right group for the game, otherwise, it just gets samey. We totally failed as a group in the telephone game though, but it was good fun. Always happy to play this one, not sure I will need to own it in the end though.

I sort of dragged people to play a game of Sentient.

After 1 round, 2/4 people ended up bailing on the game. We found 2 replacements to finish the game and I had to teach the game really fast. Fortunately, it is an easy teach and we could easily finish out the game.

I really love this game, I am not sure it went over well mostly because of the interruptions and reteaching. But, I still think it was okay. Not sure anyone loved it though. One player was set up for success and didn't fail to win so it worked out for replacement and his board.

Still always happy to give this one a play.

Later at night one-night midweek we got to playing The Quacks of Quedlinburg.

I ended up teaching a table of 4 how to play and don't think I botched it at all. It ended up a pretty tight game where I managed to win by just 1 point at 52 points. The 2nd player was 51. I got some pretty lucky early pulls from my bag. Picked up some high valued Yellows that worked in my favor.

One super awesome thing about this game was that Lincoln pimped out majorly! There were 3D sculpted token holders so they were amazing!! Totally made the game so much better!! I can't believe they didn't make them tokens, to begin with! I am so needy and now I want them all the time. Scott F you better get on printing those tokens because they are damn awesome!

Look forward to playing this one more.

During the trip we ended up playing a couple games in the Unlock series! When we went on the Train excursion and we played Unlock! The Adventurers of Oz and a few days later we got to playing Unlock! A Noside Story. New to me!

I have to say, these were absolutely amazing! I really have been enjoying the Unlock series more than any other escape games out there.

Oz was SO MUCH FUN!!! If you enjoy the movie at all, you should give it a chance. The art is super cute and whimsical and the challenges were difficult. Aldie really was thinking outside the box for this one and it was just amazing. We still lost of course, but we went out in style.

For Noside we NEARLY won that game and went over time but we at least finished the game with 2 stars! That is something! I was on a roll in that game and actually helped the team. I rarely help the team in that game, so I felt accomplished.

Once back from the excursion on the train, Michael and I found Mark to play The Grizzled & The Grizzled: At Your Orders!.

We ended up playing this game a couple times because the first game was pretty brutal. We were playing with the expansion with easy mode cards since Mark was learning. It was still nearly impossible, mostly because our helping tokens weren't working so well and we couldn't support efficiently.

We tried to play it again on a harder setting, but yeah, of course, it was much harder. It was even harder because I had literally a hand of all gas masks and it was like 6 in my hand. I was hoping for some speeches that killed them, but that didn't happen. It was doomed from the start.

I love this game so much, I really wish to win it sometime... Maybe?

The final game of the night was a quick filler of Ticket to Ride: New York.

This is such a perfect game for 10-15 minutes and scratches that T2R itch. I can't get over how great this game is. Packs a lot of punch in a small time frame. Brilliant and will play any chance I can because I love it so much.

I think I got screwed over this time around, but I don't recall for certain! fast and clever I can't recommend it enough.

Michael was interested in learning Russian Railroads. I ended up playing with him 2 players in the dining area since it was dedicated to the BGG gaming group! That was awesome watching all the mountains go by.

I can't say I love RR at 2p but it was fine for a teaching game and he was able to get a feel for it. I was a very good teacher since he ended up winning so yeah, he loved it, to say the least.

I was trying to push the industry track and I shouldn't have been. There were no engineers to support it and I just didn't get enough points from it. Michael was able to get out the white track on the final turn and just score 100+ points making his way far into the lead with the engineering bonus too.

Great game, prefer German Railroads all day though!

After that we played 2p game of Bunny Kingdom. I was teaching him that game as well which went over pretty OK.

I think Michael was lost for most of the game and figured it out over halfway through. Of course, I was absolutely destroyed because I couldn't finish off a few of my major end scoring goal cards I was working on.

Man, that game is difficult with 2 players. I didn't see enough of the cards to really build my strategy, but the game happened all so fast anyway, it was fine. Again, preferably at 4 players, but I think Michael enjoyed it in the end.

I still love it even if I get my butt kicked each and every time!

During the week I ended up playing Avenue 3 times!

Oh, I don't play this game nearly enough! I love it so much! So happy I got to teach and play it a bunch.

Taught Michael and kicked his but in at least one if not all of the games.

One of the games was played at the BGG dinner since it was like a 3-hour dinner. It was amazing that I could get a game played there! Thanks to Jon for putting up with me.

Hey Hey We finally managed to carve out a time to play Warehouse 13: The Board Game! This is Michael's game and how I met him at GenCon last year! Aldie was interested in giving it a whirl and we pulled in Mark for a 4 player game.

For some strange reason, Aldie hasn't watched the show, what's up with that?! I hope this game got him interested in the show though!

So, you don't have to love the show to enjoy this game, I did a huge write up in the GenCon blog post last year: GENCON 2017 FULL RECAP PART 2: All My Plays and Purchases! ***WITH PHOTOGRAPHY!***.

There you can find out about the gameplay and the exciting times my first couple of games were! There are a lot of small details about the game I may have forgotten so I didn't easily jump back into it, but thankfully Michael was teaching. Mark had played MANY times before so he was rather familiar with the game already. Michael claims to always get the traitor in this game and he was acting all mighty suspicious!

Turned out, Mark is a brilliant schemer! We ended up bringing Michael to the bronzer when he was in fact innocent! Mark had me on his side all along, I am so easily convinced. Even Aldie joined in on this mess. We ended up losing a lot but made a steady come back as the game progressed. In order to win the game you need to solve 3 episodes, and for us, it came down to the VERY wire! Last possible turn and even then it was a nail-biter. Fortunately, for the good guys, we were able to pull it out in the end.

While I am not total theme crazy, this is a great theme and even Aldie said it was dripping theme. Aldie LOVES thematic games. I hope it was enough to get him to watch the show! We all had a great time playing this one and I am so pleased Michael was able to bring out the game and show us! I was informed that the game just went to manufacturing, so let's hope that is all smooth and we will get our KS soon! I can't wait to see the final production!

We ended up playing a light game late that night called The Lady and the Tiger. New to me!

I honestly didn't know much about the game, well GAMES, in this box. Apparently, there are SEVERAL games in this box all using these wonderful and most glorious cards. We were at a 4 count and there are I think 2 games that can handle 4 players so we picked one of those. There are several 2 player games also, so yeah I can't wait to try those out.

In the game we played, we were bidding for cards. Each player has a special gilded card 1 of 4 options blue/red tiger/lady and you are trying to bid for cards in the row to add to your scoring pile. The tokens you win the bids with are given to the player who put it up for auction. You can choose not to put the auction up and flip another card to the middle instead.

It is a clever little game. You will play over 3 rounds. If I had the Blue Tiger then I would want to collect all the blue tigers, but I could also score for blue/ tiger cards. I would lose points if I gathered red lady cards.

I definitely want to give this one another play, I am not sure if you should just always put up the card/s for bid on your turn since it is really the only way to get tokens. I am not sure if you really want to flip more for the next person to get a big shot at income. Hard to say!

I totally lost this game, and I am nearly sure Aldie won with flying colors. It was close between him and Mark though. I was VERY last though. Most beautiful art! Apparently the artist is or was disney employed and you can really tell with the art style, simply gorgeous!

The next day Michael and I were looking for a game and ended up finding Isaac Childres and new friend Shanda who were looking for a teacher to teach Castell.

This game has been a huge hit for me this year and it holds a strong presence in my games played list. I am almost always happy to teach and play this game.

This game went swimmingly well and all 3 new players really enjoyed their time. I want to thank myself as the great teacher. I don't even think I won that game! I was probably in second place though. I didn't manage to get enough local performances to make up the difference. Michael kept taking all my number tokens. I had a LARGE variety of athletes, but it was just not enough of single festivals and I couldn't get those much-needed bonus tokens.

Always love a good puzzle to solve and this game provides that good puzzle. Might have been longer than I would have liked, but it worked out and everyone enjoyed the game!

Since we could play longer in the dining area, I ended up teaching Isaac and Michael how to play Ginkgopolis.

I have gotten VERY GOOD at teaching this game. hahah and this is great because I have been teaching it a lot recently. Bringing it around for 2 weeks since everyone wants to learn with me. I somehow have become the Gink master where everyone seeks me out. #wellDeserved

In this game, I honestly can't remember if I won or not. I don't think I did for some reason, so it means someone else did! It was a well-played game and Isaac is a clear master of clever thinking. We were pressed for time and had to finish quickly and vacate the premise so it all happened fast at the end.

More importantly both of them really enjoyed the game. I packed the game to host ONLY 3 players so I wasn't temped by a 4th and people really know how I feel about the game. I might be a bit hardcore.

Next up we relocated to the main gaming area and played 3 player A Feast for Odin.

Isaac really loves this game and even offered to teach it since I had just taught the past few games. Michael hadn't played before. I was glad he was teaching, that worked out for me!

Isaac likes to use a drafting mechanic for the cards and we put out 4 cards. You can select one of those cards or blind from the top when getting cards. I actually liked this mechanic but it didn't really draft from the face-up cards all that often anyway. I thought it was a fine addition and would play it again.

The scores were SUPER high, it might have been a bit long for my taste but that was fine. Isaac was super focused and managed to score in the 130s. Whereas Michael and I were within 10 points int eh 120 range. We all played really well.

Like normally, I didn't bother filling in the home board until the final round. I totally emigrated in the first round and continued to for the whole game so I was paying very little food all game. It was Very awesome. I really enjoy not having to feast.

A wonderful game that Michael ended up loving and adding to the wishlist. Totally pumped that we got to play. Seriously love this one! Always a great challenge.

One final game of the con was a prototype called Paint the Roses.

I have been playing this a bunch and simply love it! I wanted to show Aldie how to play and we ended up playing 4 players. One player was a bit controlling and always had to be correct so it might have been a bit frustrating for Michael. It is a team game and you should hear what people have to say and not get defensive etc.

We had some serious note-taking going on and we ended up using cubes to mark the last tile we placed and that really helped us win this game. It came down to an educated guess and it worked out in our favor by just 1 point or something crazy. We won but it was a close one.

I think everyone really enjoyed the game, and I am freaking loving it too. Super pumped for this game to be finished.

Misc Pics

Jeff singing

Michael acted as the model on several occasions

Rodney out of the blue!

Royal Party

On the boat

New to the Collection:
Gold Fever

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 copyright, 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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Fri Jul 6, 2018 11:06 pm
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BGG @ Sea Excursions and Photography. No Games All photos! Enjoy!!

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

Hia Everyone!

Special Photo Blog Post from Juneau, Skagway and Victoria

Trying to take a selfie...

Butchart Gardens, Victoria

Stay Tuned for the game portion of BGG @ Sea!

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 copyright, 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 Jul 3, 2018 6:54 am
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