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The Semi-Amateur Gamer

A blog of a guy that loves simply being involved with board games. Whether it is playing an CCG/LCG competitively, organizing a local convention, running a monthly game day, designing games, playing games with young kids, or going to conventions.

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Best Gaming Moments of 2017

Adam Daulton
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As the year is drawing to an end, I like to reflect on the best gaming moments from the year. These might be come from behind victories, unexpected surprises, or just good down home gaming.

1. Playing Ninja Camp with Ella. She is 7 this year and whether to please me or because she really likes it, she has been regularly requesting to play my own design with me. It makes me feel good she seems to like it, she is slowly understanding it, and keeps requesting it. My favorite moment specifically was on a game day where my buddy Jerry joined us in a three player game and Ella got the victory! She was so proud of herself and I was so proud of her.

2. This past year's Indy Con was the 10th one. It's been such a big part of my gaming life for a full decade! This year specifically was great because I got to play my wife in the Tichu championship. She was attempting to win her 2nd championship, but never had beaten Logan and I in the tournament herself. Annie and she dominated us and won the tournament! So, yeah, I guess my first two favorite moments are me losing games, but Krista is a great gamer and it was cool seeing her win with Annie.

3. This one is not a specific game, but a more general one experience. Gaming with our close friends the Montzs on a regular basis. I try and take a picture of our games and use the hashtag #MontzDaultonGames on Twitter. These game nights are always something I look forward to at the end of the week. We rotate picks, which means variety in what we play, and we just enjoy each others company. I'm pretty sure this is like the 2017 version of a 1955 Bridge group.

4. One day, can't remember when exactly, we were down at my parents house and my mom pulled out Perspective The Time Line Game. Her and I sat down on the floor and played a two player game. My mom isn't much of a gamer, but she really does like to word and trivia games. This game sucked, but I'd absolutely play it again with her.

5. Playing on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium during Gen Con. Yeah, it was a long walk each day from the dealer hall, but there is just something really cool about playing in a huge stadium. Especially a stadium I'm normally watching the Colts play on and instead I was sending other gangsters to swim with the fishes in The Godfather: Corleone's Empire or teaching 7 Wonders to some folks I had just met.

So there you go. Turned out to be pretty sappy, but still some great moments with games in 2017. There are still a few weeks left, so maybe I'll get the chance to add to these! I'd love to hear your favorite gaming moment of 2017.
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Fri Dec 8, 2017 3:08 am
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Four Things I Learned From Game Design NIght

Adam Daulton
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We had our third design night last night. In no particular order here is what I learned.

First, having a game design night is great for forcing yourself to design! I spent the 4 hours before everyone came over working on getting the Heptarchy design updated based upon feedback from a couple months ago. Lots of printing, cutting, and writing, but well worth it. If it wasn't game design night, there is no way I'd got it done. Especially, because it so happened, that I knew my games would be the only games played that night and so really put pressure on me to get something playable together.

Second, when you change rules, not only does that effect what is on the components of the game, but it effects how many of the components you need. In Heptarchy (its first play with 5 players) we ran out of cards in round three because of a couple changes kept more cards in play, especially with that many players. I've often thought about balance in game design when it comes to things like cost/benefit, but last night made me think about it in another way.

Third, it is really awesome of friends to play your prototypes. I was thinking about it today and I'm very grateful I've got friends willing to use up their valuable gaming time to play a game where I'm crossing out text and writing on cards and that we didn't finish.

Fourth, and now we're into more specifics on the games themselves, games don't go like you expect them. In Pyramids one player essentially built a big wall rather than a pyramid like expected. Not sure yet if it is a bad thing or not, but still not expected. In Heptarchy, the there was an area of the game that was barely used. When I changed one mechanic it also made that area of the game much harder to use - which I didn't expect - but now see why. So I'm going to do some tinkering there.

There you go, four things I learned from game design night, which all you really experienced designers probably already knew.
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Wed Dec 6, 2017 12:02 am
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I Know Myself More as a Gamer

Adam Daulton
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On Sunday afternoon a friend of mine brought over Star Wars: Imperial Assault to play the skirmish mode with me. I've played Imperial Assault before, but it had been a couple years and back then I'd played the campaign game. After some rules explanation we started. I had a Wookie squad with Leia and was going against his Jabba led crew on Hoth. I lost and I knew I had lost 30 minutes before we called it.

I walked away from the game realizing more about myself as a gamer. I just don't think tactical skirmish games are for me. From my plays of the Imperial Assault campaign a couple years ago, I would rate the game a 6 or 7, but my experience on Sunday would result in a 3 or 4 rating. It just isn't for me as a skirmish game.

When I think about it this has been my feeling really in a lot of games. Several years ago a buddy of mine bought into Warhammer 40,000, painted it up, and asked me to play with him. We played three times. Just wasn't for me. Before that I tried The Lord of the Rings: Combat Hex Tradeable Miniatures Game and despite being a HUGE LotR fan the game fell flat for me. I've also tried Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 and again, while I could see it's merits, I haven't sought it out ever again. Probably the closest thing to a success for me for a tactical skirmish game is Memoir '44 or another Command & Colors system game. That of course is super light compared to these others. So Sunday afternoon, while I was watching football, I began self reflecting and figured out at least two reason for my dislike of these types of games.

First, I am just bad at them. Yep, terrible. I consider myself a decent board gamer when it comes to competition. Most games I'm in the race, I can win the game, sometimes more than my fair share. However, these tactical games where you got to make sure your long range guys are covering your melee guys and at the same time making those melee guys are protecting the long range guys and all the time being sure your line of sight is open...I suck at it. I feel like this is a skill that I just lack. Give me a piece of wood I need to turn into a high rise apartment and I'm all over it. Tell me to storm that hill and I'm screwed. So, yes, this reason might be shallow, but I still think it a somewhat legitimate reason to not like a genre of games.

Second, I am a big picture thinker. That is how I think at work, that is how I think at home, and that is how I think in board games. Details shmeetails. I want to focus on controlling all of Hoth, not some small control room in some rundown tunnel under the snowy surface of a planet. I get into these skirmish games, where you must focus on the details, either facing the right direction, being the exact right distance away, dipping and dopping (Is that a word? Chrome is saying no, but I'm going with it!), sneaking behind the piece of debris so someone can't see you. That results in me mostly just charging, hoping I live, but mostly dying. Give me the big picture strategy of Star Wars: Rebellion or War of the Ring (Second Edition) over their smaller, more specific counter parts any day.

For the most part I am very much an omni-gamer, which I've talked about before here on the blog. I like very light games that last 5 minutes. I like 4 hour games that you have to schedule way in advance. I also like a lot of what is in-between. However, I've always known I am just not a big co-operative fan and this weekend I learned I'm just not a tactical skirmish game fan either. Does this make me more me now that I know more me?

You can have your dice, your LOS, and your stinking "X" on the black die which makes me miss doing all damage to you THREE TIMES in a single game. I'll stick with making sure the Emperor doesn't enslave the whole galaxy. You go ahead and take care of that droid in the corner with a bad disposition.
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Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:38 pm
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The Best Games of 2016: Revisited

Adam Daulton
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My favorite time of the year for writing and reading blogs is now here. One of my favorite year end blogs to write is this retrospective of the games I chose as the best "New to Me" games from the previous year. I enjoy looking back and seeing where I made a poor choice, was right on, or perhaps still just unsure. So that is what you get here. A quick look back and my favorite games from 2016 and how many times I've played them in 2017.

1. Millennium Blades - 3 Plays in 2017
I made a great choice here. I still absolutely LOVE this game. It is tough to get to the table though. There is so much going on, it does take a particular taste, and it is an almost 3 hour committment when you take into account set up and tear down. Even so I bought Millennium Blades: Set Rotation this year and I foresee this one moving up further in my favorite games of all time list!

2. Star Wars: Rebellion - 4 Plays in 2017
I made this my number two game in 2016 after a single play. Now looking back in 2017 I think I was right. It is Star Wars in a box. A box that I now own thanks to winning a $100 gift certificate to a local game store, which I immediately used to buy it! I love the tension, I love the two player nature, and I love the game. My daughter has been bugging me non-stop for the past month to play. She is only eight, so I think it is out of her reach, but I'm hoping that in the future this will be a game we enjoy together!

3. 7 Wonders Duel - 3 Plays in 2017
This was has waned for me and if I was making the list today would not remain in it's number three spot. I think it would remain in the top 10 though. I do enjoy the game quite a bit still, but it does feel a bit played out for us right now. I am considering to get the expansion to breathe new life in it. In the end, if I had to choose, I'd choose 7 Wonders over it's two player sequel.

4. Scythe - 3 Plays in 2017
This was the hot game in 2016 and it continues on. I'd move it up to number 3 if I was doing this list again. My wife ended up buying it for me at Christmas last year (along with the expansion) and I'm very happy to own it. I love the speed of each individual turn, the tough decisions of what action to take, and what order to take it in. The expansion adds more variety with who you'd like to play. I got a chance to play a 7 player game and it was finished in 1 hour and 41 minutes! So the flexibility of the game from a three player one all the way up to a 7 player one is great!

5. Broom Service - 0 Plays in 2017
I still like this game. However, it just doesn't seem to have caught on with those that I play with. Whenever I suggest it, I get a lot of shoulder shrugs. It might be that the deep strategy Euro players don't like the player chaos, while the more thematic group feels it is just too Euro for them. Either way, I'm glad it was on my list last year, I'd probably drop it one or two levels, but overall still a great game.

6. Mombasa - 1 Play in 2017
I've still only played this game a total of two times. It is one I do not own, only know one person who does own it, but would like to own. I'd move this up on the list from last year, even after those two plays. I love how the game plays, the tough decisions it provides, the way every different aspect of the game combines to make a whole of goodness.

7. Animals on Board - 2 Plays in 2017
This one seems to have been forgettable for me. Though looking back now, I'd still put it in my top 10 games of 2017 and I'm really glad I bought it, because I did play it more than most games in my collection. Not sure why I haven't brought it out more often as a filler at game day. It isn't one that I think about for some reason - perhaps because it only plays four players and not more? Still - I should try and get this played more.

8. Arcane Academy - 0 Plays in 2017
This one would still be in my top 10, but as you can see it didn't get any plays in 2017. Mostly comes down to two reasons. First, again I only know one person who owns it, and she hasn't been to many gaming events that I've been to this year. Second, I must not like it enough to buy it. I had the chance to get a relatively good deal on the last day of Gen Con this year for both it and the expansion, but didn't do it as I'd already reached my budget for Gen Con. I'm still convinced though that this would be a great game to play with my wife and will look to see if I can pick it up cheaply somewhere.

9. Mystic Vale - 11 Plays in 2017
Without a doubt belonged in the top 10 for 2016 for me. I bought the base game earlier this year and the expansion later in the year. This game fits great for my wife and I as a two player game. We've played it on a few date nights this year and I expect that to continue. Including the expansion, this one would move up on the list.

10. The Ancient World - 0 Plays in 2017
I haven't really sought out a play of this one in 2017. I've had the the chance to play, but just haven't done so. It is a solid game, and one I'd leave on the list, but just because I also haven't played Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure or Washington's War again either and those are the two that would be competing for that last slot. I'm sure I'll eventually play this again as the couple we game with a lot owns it and likes it.

Overall, the games as I chose for the best last year remain the best for me. There might be some slight movement in the list, but not a lot. However, the there were three games from last year that have really shined for me (Millennium Blades, Scythe, Star Wars: Rebellion). They all will compete seriously for a slot in my Top 10 Games of all time list when I do that in March. Not sure if any will make it, but I like them enough I'll seriously consider them.

I think I might play Broom Service tonight...that zero plays has to be remedied.
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:37 pm
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Review: Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild

Adam Daulton
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I first played Mystic Vale at Gen Con 2016, bought it at Geekway 2017, and recently purchased the expansion. Am I down the rabbit hole now or have I seen the error of my ways? On to the review!



Game Play
Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild plays very similar to Mystic Vale itself (it is after all an expansion to the game) so I'll just assume you know how the base game plays. You can see our thoughts on the base game in one of our Three Plays Series. The differences though are as follows:

First, each player gets a leader they get to sleeve in one of their empty cards. At the beginning of the game you choose between two leaders, sleeve it, and then shuffle you deck. These leaders have a starting side and an advanced side. To get to the advanced side players spend mana on their turn as one of their two advancements. The mana cost is different on different leaders. Each of the leaders give different point values (even the standard side) and different abilities. Some interact with the opponents, some give mana, some give symbols for vale cards, etc. Leaders cannot have advancements put on them.



Second, there are more vale and advancement cards that are shuffled into their appropriate deck. These cards do a lot of similar things you've seen already in the base game like give points, symbols, but they also provide some variety as well like competing for the most cursed symbols or discarding a vale card to trigger an ability.

My Thoughts
If you've read Three Plays Series post I linked to above you know that we ended that with saying we needed to get an expansion for Mystic Vale. At the time we had two choices: Vale of the Wild and Mystic Vale: Vale of Magic. We had played Vale of Magic at Gen Con and while it provided variety to the game, it didn't provide the leaders, and so we wanted the expansion that did. We are glad we went with that choice.

The leaders are fun! They don't drive your whole strategy, but can be very powerful (or perhaps underwhelming) if used correctly or incorrectly. I especially liked how they made an empty card not empty. Just drawing empty cards isn't really that fun, though perhaps a legitimate strategy. So far my least favorite leader is actually the guy from the box cover. First, his name is GinGan (not exactly striking fear in your heart right?) Second, I felt like he was more of a hindrance than a help. My favorite leader so far is Cyrlla. She provides the ability to put a helmet on a card on your turn, which I love, since the helmet strategy is one I have fun with!

The extra advancement and vale cards simply provide more variety. However, there are a few that at least attempt, though I think they fall a bit short, of inputting some player interaction into the game. For instance one that give 6 points at the end of the game to the player with the most cursed symbols in their deck. Some of the advancements also allow you to break the rule of not covering them up with another advancement, thus allowing you to have even more symbols on your card, while at the same time possibly losing some points for the advancement underneath.

The rule book is great by the way. Yeah, there aren't a lot of rules, but I thought I'd mention it. I love how it explains each and every card in further detail. Every time we've had a question about something the answer has been there. They used all the flexibility they had by making sure all questions were answered.

So, to wrap things up from my perspective, Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild was a great purchase for us. It really put some extra juice into the game. Originally I rated the base game a 7/10, which is slightly above average for me when it comes to rating games, but adding this to the game pushes it to an 8/10 for me as a two player game. I don't believe the expansion helps enough in direct interaction and I don't think it makes it any better at more players, but adding the leaders and advancements make the game feel more complete. I'm not sure I'll be getting another expansion for this game, but I'm excited for what I have!

Recommendations
Someone Who Already Owns the Base Game Buy this or maybe the other expansion or maybe the upcoming one. You can see I don't know what the right one is, but I do think that if you want one that changes the game slightly, but still gives you more of what you already liked then this is it!

Mystic Vale Haters This expansion would not change your mind. I could see you going from severe hate (since we're in the holiday season think Grinch level hate of Christmas) to perhaps a heart that is maybe one size larger.

The Girl or Guy Who Wants to Dive In I say just buy this with the base game and play with it right away. I really think they kept an expansion out for price point level (even though this isn't really a "cheap" game), but not for game play. This doesn't add too much complexity and doesn't add time to the game play.
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:59 pm
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Lunch Swap, Heptarchy, and Pyramids

Adam Daulton
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I'm off for Veterans Day. Thank you to all the American military who have served and continue to serve (including my brother)! Your service and dedication to our country is greatly appreciated it!

I figured I'd write a quick update on a few of my designs I've got going. I played basketball early this morning and while I was showering I thought of a game idea! That was 1 hour and 17 minutes ago. I now have a prototype ready to print, basic rules written, and secret plans to spring it on some guys at the men's retreat I'm going on this evening. I'm calling it Pyramids and I'm pretty excited about this game! I'm hoping it'll be a great filler game (which is apparently what I like to design).

So far I've had two Game Design Meet Ups at my place. The first one we played Heptarchy and I got some great feedback. I've made map updates, I need to make rule updates, and update the prototype. I've removed some icons from the cards as it felt everyone was getting too much of those icons, but overall I was pleased with the result of the test. I'm hoping to have it ready to go for the December design meet up and to get a full game in there.

Lunch Swap is what we played twice at the last design meet up. It shed some light on some things I just had to change, such as goals that compete against each other. It isn't common for someone to get such goals, but when they did, even for such a light whimsical game, they felt at too much of a disadvantage. I've now made sure the goals don't absolutely compete against each other. I've also added a new goal that will be pretty fun I think. Finally, I'm considering switching one card's text with another valued card. In a four player game the 9 card felt a bit odd. Again, light, whimsical game, so not sure how significant it is to feel odd in a four player game, but since I mostly play 4 player games in general I feel like I should do something about it. The game plays 3-8 players overall.

Other designs I have "going" that I've done nothing with for a long time are still Bad Bass Fishing, Bad Bass Fishing: The Dice Game, City Planner. For that last one, I've been thinking about it a lot though, and I'm thinking it is the theme that I'm not so excited about. The game is played in a grid, so a city theme makes sense, but I'm wondering if I'd get more excited about it with a different theme. Any ideas out there for a grid based theme? I was thinking perhaps an orchard, an amusement park, I've considered a dream theme (though that doesn't feel very grid based), and I've thought about perhaps a silly creatures parade theme where all the creatures are lining up to march in a parade. Let me know your thoughts on this.
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Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:09 pm
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Community Group Retreat

Adam Daulton
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Every year for the past 7 years our community group from church has gone a retreat in the fall. The name of our group is Living Life Together as we try to really do that, whether it is t-ball with the kids, studying scripture, praying with one another during tough times, and going on a retreat with 8 adults and 11 kids for the weekend. This year we went to a "cabin" which we've been to in the past where we get to ride four wheelers, shoot guns, go fishing, eat a lot, and why you are reading this...play board games! Here is what we played over the weekend.



Spot it! was played several times. I played it three times against my oldest daughter. This is really such a clever game and is so simple. I've already got a version of it ordered for Christmas for the kids. Just waiting on Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 to ship since it is in the same order.

Time's Up! Title Recall! came out on Friday night. This or Codenames is my favorite true party game. We had 10 of us playing and just had a blast. Especially for some reason when Citizen Kane became about heaven and earth and then became a big sweeping motion from the floor to the ceiling!

Codenames this also came out a few times. We played it until 1am on Sunday morning, which meant for an early morning with the kids for pancakes, still totally worth it. The last two items the men needed to match up was Pyramid and Brush. Our cluegiver couldn't think of anything at the time and so the women got the win, but we talked about it more the next day and suggested that perhaps "Archaeologist" or "Artifact" might have worked.

One of the families that comes is a huge baseball family. All their kids play, their oldest plays travel ball, and the dad coaches the JV team at the local high school. So I suggested we play a full tournament of Baseball Highlights: 2045. After teaching, we got going, and had a blast! The eventual winner was Boston, started 0-3, and was 4th going into the final tournament portion. However, his Naturals carried the day against my Cyborg team in the championship.



Evolution: Climate is a game I brought specifically for Ethan who is 13. He had seen me play it in the past and wanted to try it. We played two games of it over the weekend, one with 6 players and one with 5 players, both went well. The first game saw 4 species go extinct first turn, but everyone still seemed to really enjoy. Enough to play the second game!

7 Wonders has become a tradition on these retreats. One of the couples is a huge fan, owning everything for it, so a few months ago I bought them a Broken Token insert. This time around we played just with the Cities expansion, in order teach a new couple. They were a bit overwhelmed, but were great sports as they learned 5 new games over the weekend!

On Saturday morning, I was up with the kids, and so taught a few of them both Rhino Hero and Rhino Hero: Super Battle. I've got to say that I think for kids (they were 4 and 6 years old), I think the original is just better.



There were many other games played over the weekend that I wasn't involved in. Including Pinochle, Monopoly (a version with a plastic stand in the center and buckets on it), Pay Day, UNO, Hanabi, Candy Land, and some push your luck dice game.



As you can see, even though living life together means a lot of things, one of the things it has become to mean is playing games together and enjoying time spent together!

Here are a couple other pictures from the retreat, just because.


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Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:58 pm
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An Appetizer: Through the Ages

Adam Daulton
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As I've said before, I don't often buy apps for my phone or iPad. In fact, I've only ever spent my own money twice. Last year sometime before a work trip to DC I bought Baseball Highlights: 2045. The second time was last week, I was going to DC again, and so bought Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization for the trip. I've played it 6 or 7 times already and thought I'd share my thoughts.

Through my Ages Ages
First, some of my history on the game. I played the original Through the Ages twice circa 2007. I liked it, but didn't love it by any means. It was just SOOO fiddly. The little round pieces kept rolling all over the place and it took us around 6 hours to play and not even at the full advanced game. So this game was put on the back burner and games like Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game became my staple civ game.

I saw this was coming out as an app and thought back to those plays 10 years ago. I remember thinking at that time, "this would be a better computer game" and now I had the chance. I downloaded it ($10 is a lot for an app, but this is an APP) and jumped right into the tutorial.

Stuff About the App Itself
The tutorial is great. It taught the game, has some funny moments, and let me feel like I was doing something and understanding some strategy. I then played the game and lost 6 straight times, before finally getting a couple wins. There is also a nice little "challenge" mode where you are trying to accomplish achievements, like win a game with everything costing 20% less or beat certain skills of AI. The app is absolutely great! I honestly cannot think of anything that I would change about it. Absolutely worth the $10.

My Thoughts on the Game
I really have enjoyed it. It does give you the "civilization" feel, at a higher level than the computer game Civilization, but in board game format on an app - if that makes sense? Removing all the fiddly parts of the game that happen on the table and are a barrier has given this game new life for me. My wife has even started playing it and I'm tempted to try a two player game on the iPad with her. I enjoy the building levels, working on wonders, choosing a leader each age. The tug of war of the military. I just enjoy how the theme comes through in the game, despite it just being a card game, and there not even being a map. Probably the best part is that it can be played in about 45 minutes, which when I'm on a 1.5 hour flight means I can get two games in. So, if you didn't enjoy the board game version of this or you have been intimated by its length, I suggest purchasing the app. I'm convinced it is the only way to play this game!
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:33 pm
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Ash & Foam

Adam Daulton
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Having just recently wrote about my game room, you wouldn't have thought to get a new post so quickly, but here you go! While at Gen Con this year eating dinner at Scotty's Brewhouse on Saturday night, I mentioned I'd priced out getting neoprene for my game table. My buddies Jeremy and Jason were there and they also expressed interest. A couple weeks later I got a text from Jason asking if I was serious about it, which prompted me to find and order some for us three.

I read a thread here on BGG, which I apparently cannot find again right now. It had a good list of suggestions for companies to order from and what sizes to get. I checked out a few of the websites and I've got to say, we think BGG needs a website update, these cloth and fabric websites REALLY need an update. In the end I chose to go with www.foamorder.com.

A few things about ordering from them. First, they asked when you ordered to call ahead to make sure they had what you wanted in stock. I did so and was glad I did, because they didn't have the dark gray which one of us had wanted. I confirmed they had the 3MM black and 3MM green and then made the order. It still took them 14 days to ship the neoprene out, but when it came I was very satisfied!

It comes in 53" x 81" sheets which I've cut down for my table. Originally, I was going to simply cut it to the top of the table size and lay it on top. This would allow me to still expand the table if I needed to do so, but then I got the idea to wrap the top of the table and staple it underneath. I'm really satisfied with the result! I can't extend the table, but I've never done so in the 1.5 years it has been in the game room.



Then on a side note, my wife had seen some coasters made out of cut small logs, so she wanted to make some. I cut 8 out for her, smashed my finger badly because a saw is just stronger than I am, and then polyurethaned them after she painted. They turned out really nice and will go in the game room as well to help keep the new mat nice!



I can't wait to play a game on the new mat with a nice cup of Chai tea on a meeple coaster.
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Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:43 pm
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Review: Slide Blast

Adam Daulton
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Indianapolis
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Each year we get a game or two for the kids at Gen Con. This year this was the game. Was it a mistake or did we slip into a gem? On to the review!



Game Play
Slide Blast is a simple tile laying game. Players are extending their water slide in crazy manner trying to get the longest slide by the end of the game. Each turn a player draws a tile (thus giving them two tiles with the one that was in their hand at the start of the game) and then plays one of those tiles to the end of the slide their piece is on. The tiles always match with each other, so there isn't usually a wrong way to play a tile, with the exception you can't make your slide go back to the beginning and you can't run into another player.

The key is how you play that tile to wind back over other tiles again, because in the end you win the game by your slide crossing over the most tiles. Even if it is the same tile multiple times. Another aspect of the game is helping your opponents, the more you help your opponents you score points in a pyramid fashion as well. The winner then is the person who has the longest slide plus the most helping points once the very last tile is played.

There are a few special tiles.

Extra Turn - Some of the tiles have red dashes on them. If you play those tiles you immediately get another turn. You can only do two turns back to back.

Tunnel - There is a tunnel tile that lets you "teleport" to another section of the board the players are building.

Large Tiles - There are 3 tiles that tell you to play one of the large tiles. Normally tiles are simply just a single hex, but these tiles are 4 hexes connected!



My Thoughts
My daughter happened to see this at Gen Con, we sat down and played, and then came back and purchased. Along with Kingdomino this is my most played game since Gen Con! It is very simple, plays quickly, and in I believe is one of those games that succeeds at exactly what it was attempting to succeed at. You know how there are those games that are trying to be something and just "miss it by that much"? Slide Blast isn't that. It comes across as a family game or a filler game and it is exactly that.

Most games take about 15-20 minutes. It plays up to 6 players. The pieces are quality pieces. The tiles are chunky, the sliders are nice wooden pieces, and for the price you really get a bunch of stuff for the $20 price tag. I really like this game. Really like it.

Nobody is ever going to have this game listed as their favorite game of all time, unless perhaps they are 7 years old, but at the same time I can't imagine anyone listing it as their least favorite game of all time. After you play a game of Slide Blast you are satisfied. Not satisfied in the same way as when you eat a huge steak and potato, but satisfied in the sence of having that Snickers at just the right time to get you through to the end of the day. Slide Blast will be in my families collection for a long time.



Recommendations
Tsuro Fans - You should buy this right now. It adds just a slight bit to the game, but doesn't have any player elimination at all.

Family Gamers - I've played this several times with my 3 year old. The tiles always match, so even if she doesn't play optimally, she can still play. My older kids love the actual action of "sliding" down the slide they created at the end of the game. Seriously, really close to the overall best family game we've ever purchased.

Heavy Thinking Filler Lovers - I don't know if there are too many heavy thinking fillers, but this one isn't it. There is plenty of luck in it. If you get the double turn tiles a lot you are going to be in a good position. So if you want some DEEP thinking in 20 minutes, I'm not sure Slide Blast is for you.

Fillovers - You know who you are. The guy or girl who loves everything as long as it is 30 minutes or less. No Thanks! is your thing. For Sale is better than sliced bread. Sushi Go! can stay on your table. I honestly believe Slide Blast is for you.

Curmudgeons - Stay away from this. You'll have fun. It'll be horrible.
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Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:01 am
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