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BK's GeekBuddies' Top 10 Highest Rated Games I Don't Own - 2017 Edition

Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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One of the things I value most about the BGG community is the diverse taste in games and the shared opinions and experiences of the games members play. I continually add to and refine my list of trusted voices whose opinions help me navigate the massive influx of games to find potential selections to grace my table on a regular basis. Those voices are my BGG GeekBuddies.


I currently have 70 Geekbuddies and each year I generate a list of the Top 10 games they like that I do not own and share a comment about what captures my interest or not.

Since I did not find or pick up a single game on last year's list I skipped over them to consider some new recommendations if they showed up on this year's query. I set the bar at a minimum of 15 raters and skipped expansions or similar editions of what I already have.

What was left is what makes up this year's list...

BK's Geekbuddies' Top 10 Highest Rated Games I Don't Own:

10. Santorini
BGG Avg Rating: 7.90
Geekbuddies: 22 (31%)
Their Avg Rating: 7.84 (-0.06)

It was a real popular pick with lots of buzz based on the components, etc. when it was released this year but I found no attraction or interest what so ever. A number of folks seemed to enjoy it with their kids, which is not to say it is a family game because honestly I don't know whether it is or not. I just didn't find any attraction for me.

9. The Voyages of Marco Polo
BGG Avg Rating: 7.98
Geekbuddies: 30 (43%)
Their Avg Rating: 7.86 (-0.12)

Obviously well liked by my opinion group, Marco Polo may be the one of the highest desired games on my Wish List. I played a couple rounds in a demo at Origins the year it came out and really enjoyed it. However I passed at the time due to a back log of games I had yet played and a bunch of pick ups in the Math Trade. It quickly sold out and was out of print until recently. I am hoping this is a Christmas gift this year, if not I see myself picking it up in the coming year.

8. El Grande
BGG Avg Rating: 7.80
Geekbuddies: 29 (41%)
Their Avg Rating: 7.88 (+0.08)

I have never played El Grande but have great respect for its classic giant status. Yet, I don't think it would get played enough to actually own it myself as my groups play counts have dropped way off in general and we have a crowded group of classic games we enjoy and don't play enough already. So unless I think my wife and I would get it to the table often I opt to pass on games of this weight.

7. Amun-Re
BGG Avg Rating: 7.36
Geekbuddies: 15 (21%)
Their Avg Rating: 7.90 (+0.54)

Another classic game and one that I have never given any interest or even curiosity. The apparent theme upon first glance is not one of interest and has therefore been over looked and if I'm honest, I'm okay with it. I was a bit surprised to see it rated as high as it was on my query given the general opinion has it rated a bit lower than most other games in this list.

6. Mechs vs. Minions
BGG Avg Rating: 8.27
Geekbuddies: 15 (21%)
Their Avg Rating: 7.90 (-0.37)

All I know about this one is that everyone talked about how big the box was that it came in. I intellectually have a liking for "mechs" but have no games with them involved and this style game is not one that would see any table time in my house. Sounds neat, but would simply take up shelf space.

5. A Feast for Odin
BGG Avg Rating: 8.22
Geekbuddies: 19 (27%)
Their Avg Rating: 8.00 (-0.22)

I know that Ewe designs are very popular, they just don't grab us and the couple we have mostly collect dust. They are often sprawling eye candy but brain burners and overwhelming to my wife upon first glance. I get why they are popular but they are a style that haven't fit for us.

4. Medici
BGG Avg Rating: 7.15
Geekbuddies: 15 (21%)
Their Avg Rating: 8.03 (+0.88)

Here is another classic that got a face lift in recent years that I actually got to play a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Since a friend of mine owns it I haven't felt the need to contemplate getting it, but at the same time I haven't gotten to play it again, although I would welcome another opportunity. It recall it being an elegant design that left a positive impression, and one that obviously impressed my polled sample more so than the general BGG population.

3. Great Western Trail
BGG Avg Rating: 8.28
Geekbuddies: 24 (34%)
Their Avg Rating: 8.05 (-0.23)

Replacing Mombasa at #3 in this year's list is a game from the same designer that is actually on my Wish List, and that is Great Western Trail. It sounds like a solid game that offers some replay ability and multiple strategies one can pursue. I'll get a Pfister game yet.

2. Star Wars: Rebellion
BGG Avg Rating: 8.50
Geekbuddies: 15 (21%)
Their Avg Rating: 8.19 (-0.31)

Star Wars: Imperial Assault was #7 on last year's list. Coming in at #2 this year is Star Wars: Rebellion. I'd love to see a Star Wars game grace my table on a regular basis but it just wouldn't happen. For now I will stick to my dust-collecting X-Wing starter box for an occasional play once my nephews get older enough to play.

1. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
BGG Avg Rating: 8.68
Geekbuddies: 17 (24%)
Their Avg Rating: 8.75 (+0.07)

The #1 rated game by my selected Geekbuddies that I do not own, or that hasn't appeared on my previous list is one that seems agreeable to many people, Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, which currently ranks #3 on BGG. I believe this is a recently revamped version of the original and appeals to many as a big box civ-builder game. I have never played any similar games before and suspect that I would like it. However, since I don't know what I don't know and my gaming group's investment into gaming has diminished I don't see this one being a justified purchase just to play it. Perhaps one day I'll get to play someone else's copy.


In summary, two of the games on this year's list do rank pretty high on my Wish List. The others are split fairly evenly as to ones I'd love to play but know I wouldn't get it played enough to justify pursuing them and the others simply just don't appeal to me.

It begs the question, do I have the same taste as this peer group? I think I do in many ways as we enjoy many of the same games, but there are some (like these) that they like but the one difference between me and many of those on my list is that I'm primarily a 2p gamer with my wife and many of them have regular game groups or attend conventions and play lots of games with higher player counts. So, I see these as the games that perhaps I would own if I had similar access. For now, I'm content in sharing many other titles which I do own.

I'll keep watching and considering. I do appreciate the thoughts and effort of rating and sharing that this group offers me. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment if you like.


meeple Keep playing...
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Thu Dec 7, 2017 11:13 am
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Our Top 10 Most Competitive 2p Games - 2017 Edition

Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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Two-player games with my wife account for a significant majority of my plays. For a few years now I have maintained an ongoing record of our friendly 2p rivalry in My Wife's and My Most Competitive Games.

I received some insightful feedback in last year's post and have since removed any games that do not have at least 7 plays between us which is reflected in the new list. (I maintain all others in an unpublished list and graduate them over upon reaching their number).

I also just recently started noting whether the game is trending upwards (N), meaning becoming more competitive, or downwards (S) to give a sense of direction.

vs

I calculate a game's competitiveness by subtracting our head-to-head record and dividing it by the total number of plays. If we are even it is equal to 0.000 and is ranked by most to least played giving the nod to the game that more plays. If one of us has won all of our plays then it is equal to 1.000 and is sorted from least to most plays as a game yielding an undefeated record after more plays is clearly less competitive. Games making the Top 10 range from 0.000 to 0.179 (+.033 from last year's Top 10 list).


With that said, this week's list presents a quick look at how our competitive landscape has changed over the past year, excluding excluded any games that haven't been played in the past year.

Our Top 10 Most Competitive 2p Games - 2017 Edition:
Previous versions: 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013


#10. Potion Explosion
Record: 4-7 (0.273 S) mb

I got Potion Explosion as I thought my wife would like it given she enjoys Bejeweled Blitz and Candy Crush, but she lost pretty bad the first handful of times she played with me or a group. She was getting pretty discouraged and then the light came on. She has won the last six times we've played just the two of us and is on a roll.

#9. Carcassonne
Record: 5-3 (0.250 N) mb

Carcassonne appears on the list this year which requires a disclaimer. This was one of the first games we bought and we played it a bunch but I didn't keep very good records of who won. Over the past several years it has seen rare plays and it has taken us a while to record enough 2p games to be listed. A classic and one I feel could be played more often.

#8. Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
Record: 3-5 (0.250 N) mb

The first (of many) Feld games on the list and a new comer to this year's list is, CoB:TCG. To be honest if fell flat and was a little underwhelming the first time we played it. From there it served mainly as my go to solo game where it excels. But, we tried it again and it stepped up. A nice travel-size Feld option for our collection.

#7. Saint Petersburg
Record: 22-15 (0.189 N) mb

Over the past few years we've split the wins evenly which continues to move it up the list. We've been playing this game a few time each year since we acquired it back in 2011.

#6. Oracle of Delphi
Record: 3-4 (0.143 N) mb

The highest ranking newcomer to the list is the new racing game from our favorite designer, The Oracle of Delphi. My wife is generally much better at racing style games than others so it doesn't surprise me that she has the advantage in this one. I started to climb back into the win column in our last few plays.

#5. Bruges
Record: 19-25-1 (0.133 S) mb

My wife won both of our 2p games this past year lowering the overall competitiveness of the game which holds steady at #5 on the list this year. I continue to oscillate in my head whether this or Castles is my favorite Feld.

#4. Dominion
Record: 29-23-1 (0.113 N) mb

This is the fourth year that Dominion has been on the list. With my wife's 2 wins to my 1, it corrects is free fall to move from #8 to #4 this year.

#3. Macao
Record: 6-5 (0.091 N) mb

We split the wins in our two plays this past year tightening up the match ups quite a bit to elevate this Feld classic to #3 on the list this year. We don't play this one as often in recent years but always interesting for a play or two when it comes out.

#2. Trajan
Record: 16-17 (0.030 S) mb

This is the fifth year on the list and after a long climb to the top (#8, #5, #6 and #1) it drops to #2 this year. We continue to try different strategies as we compete for the advantage to stay on top. This is a winner.

#1. Guildhall
Record: 60-58 (0.017 N) mb

Again we only played this once in the past year and my wife won to improve her record and close the gap to move from #3 to #1 in this year's list.



Half the games on this list are Felds which is and isn't a surprise. We like his games and play a lot of them so I would expect a few would be on the list. My wife on the other hand would find it surprising because she holds the advantage in 4 of the 5. In fact, I think she would be surprised even knowing that of our Top 10 most competitive games she holds the advantage in half of them, as she doesn't think of herself as a very good gamer.


Which 2p games are yours and your gaming partners' most competitive games?

meeple (In the meantime,) keep playing...
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:19 pm
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Five Ways My Friends Might Play More Games

Bill Kunes
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Looking back over the year 2017, attendance at our monthly game nights continued to decline for the second year in a row. Life has intervened in most cases and there just isn't as much time, energy or priority for games. The desire is still there but life and logistical hurdles have evolved.

Last year, instead of posting a Top 10 Games I Wish My Friends Would Buy list, I offered a 10 Games I Wish My Friends (and I) Would Play More list. Well, that hasn't proven to be very successful either. In fact, I would probably create nearly the same list again this year. From that list four of the games got played at my annual birthday game day and two at CinCityCon and another 2 at Game Night over the course of the year. Not ideal. Nor interesting enough to simply reiterate.

So this year I thought I'd think out loud and share some thoughts about how I might get some games in my collection played. The end result...

Five Ways My Friends Might Play More Games


1. Campaign Remotely
My group does not play role playing games (RPGs). A couple years ago I managed to get a small group together once a month to play through the Pathfinder: Beginner Box which was a memorable experience. So, I purchased a bunch of stuff for the classic Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition in hopes of getting it played.

What if a few of my friends and I played this once a month via Skype? Technology could help us overcome the convenience and scheduling challenges by playing remotely. Everyone would have their character sheet and could get a set of dice if they don't already have one.

I really enjoyed facilitating my brief foray into RPGs which I remember was full of laughter and unexpected twists and turns that emerged from our own decision making and story telling as the adventure unfolded.


2. Play Online
A few of my favorite games that seem to mostly collect dust can be played online at sites like boardgamearena. In the past I've managed some enjoyable plays of games like Troyes, Seasons and Targi. My guess is there are many others as I played online very little this past year.

A couple of my friends' attendance at Game Night has dwindled due to adding additional newborns to the mobile toddler mix making a night out for a couple of games significantly more challenging. Turn-based play on one of these sites might just be the trick to keep them engaged and record some favorites in the plays column.

3. Standing Date Night
I've been wanting to get T.I.M.E Stories to the table for over a year now. I had thought my sister and brother-in-law would be our partners. Then I thought it would be another couple, and then another.

Maybe I can just setup a standing date night once a month with one of these couples with the intention of having dinner and playing a game. I need to get more intentional and get it on the calendar or it might be another year of dust.


4. Promoting Special Events
Every year I host BillCon in May, make a day trip to Origins in June, attend RayCon in July and CinCityCon looks to be a new tradition in October. I could get those events on our group's calendar now and promote them more. BillCon and RayCon don't really need more promotion, but CinCityCon could.

I'd like to get 10 committed friends to CinCityCon next year so we can pledge a level that includes a dedicated table for our group and a small discount on the price of our weekend badges. I really enjoy the all day events which make for quality time with friends.

5. Don't Forget Family
I have nephews across the street and a couple family members with a mild interest in new games I discover. I have the opportunity to get my Exit games played along with others like Flick 'em Up! and Hanabi. But I'd like to introduce some more like Karuba and maybe even dust off some co-op games like Forbidden Island, Pandemic and others they may like to play. I have slowly acquired some more card games like No Thanks!, Ladder 29 and Arboretum that I'd like to try introducing this coming year.


I'm not giving up on our monthly hosted Game Nights. The reason we started them still holds true today. We enjoy getting time with our friends to stay connected. However, time has a way of changing things and often we need to change with it. We enjoyed a stretch with a great attendance. The decline has admittedly been a little disappointing, but I'm not discouraged. I'm totally fine with a smaller, more intimate group which is less distracting and more enjoyable for me.

I welcome the opportunity to think outside of the box to continue to enjoy games with my friends in different ways. What creative suggestions do you have to play more games with friends with busy schedules?


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Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:18 pm
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BK's 2017 Christmas Wishlist

Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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As the year starts to wind down and the busy-ness of work eases up, I traditionally attempt to post a weekly blog on a variety of different topics starting with an updated Wish List of games I wouldn't mind receiving for Christmas.

My 2017 Christmas List is not just my BGG Wish List, but contains the games and expansions on that current list that most interest me. Maybe Santa will bring one or two of them that will make my 2018 10x10 Hardcore Challenge list???






1. Charterstone
Since playing Pandemic Legacy Season 1 I'm intrigued by the legacy idea and with Stonemaier Games' reputation of quality designs this one is a no brainer for me to have on the list. (My assumption here is that I'm already planning on buying Pandemic Season 2... if I don't get it for Christmas so perhaps it should be co-number one).


2. Voyages of Marco Polo
If there is a eurogame out there that I have tried that I regret not buying when I could it would be Marco Polo. I played a demo at Origins when it first came out and liked its dice placement mechanisms and strong asymmetric player powers. I felt from that couple rounds of play that this game would probably retire Kingsburg and Alien Frontiers. Z-man recently reprinted this design making it available again after being out of print for a stretch.


3. Merlin
What Feld fan doesn't get excited about a new release from their favorite designer? I don't know that non-Kickstarter backers can even get this in the US yet, but after playing with a near-complete production copy at CinCityCon this year I know this will be an add and keeper in our collection.


4. Great Western Trail
I still don't have an epic Pfister design in my collections and I'm getting tired of reading about how much fun everyone is having playing them. So, of the ones out there, GWT seems to be the one I'm most interested in as both a 2p and multi-player game.


5. Grand Austria Hotel
This is a eurogame that was on my list last year that has been on my Wish List and off again several times. I get the sense that it would shine as a 2p game that my wife and I would enjoy. BGG users with shared likes and dislikes have shared its praises. The player who service guests in the hotel the best and most efficiently win.


6. Clank! In! Space!
Clank! raised a lot of eyebrows and garnered lots of praise on BGG when it came out. The controversial reveal of Clank! In! Space! at GenCon actually sounds interesting to me. Its theme is more interested to me as well. I get the impression that it offers more variability in the setup which I like in a game for more replay ability. If I'm going to get in on this system then this is the version for me.


7. Imhotep
In the summer of 2016 I got to try this this SdJ Nominee at my FLGS and was impressed with its chunky cubes and simple rule set as players load their cubes on boats to be delivered to building sites in ancient Egypt in a way that produces the most points. The catch is that others may use their turn to spoil your plans and deliver boats with your hopes and ambitions to a different port. I could see this as a quick gateway game for family and friends.


8. Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West
I'm a sucker for Ticket to Ride Map Collections. Take a game I like, add a new map and a couple of twists to the rules and game play and I struggle to resist. This expansion offers choosing the colored tracks for connections and some wild craziness on the Old West map. Sign me up.


9. Concordia: Gallia/Corsica
Concordia has become a Top 10 game for me over the past couple of years. The more we play it the more I like it. You couple that with large, beautiful map expansions and I'm sold. I still don't have Salsa which has been hard to find and offers a new resource type that sounds interesting, but what I like about Gallia/Corsica is that it adds some more maps that play well with lower player counts. I'm not picky, I'll take either or both. You can't go wrong with this one.

10. Terraforming Mars: Organizer Set
I finally acquired a copy of Terraforming Mars and I'd love to get some way to organize the pieces but especially a better player board solution to keep cubes from sliding around. Broken Token offers a solution that seems to be the front runner for me based on what I've seen.


Feel free to comment on this year's list? Am I overlooking something too good to pass up? Convince me.

Next week I'll share my annual Top 5 Ways My Friends Might Play More Games - 2017 Edition.

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Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:56 pm
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CinCityCon 2017

Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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After last year's one day event I was excited to sign up for this year's 2017 CinCityCon as soon as it was launched on Kickstarter. As I mentioned in last year's blog, I liked Gen Con but have gravitated to Origins which is a little closer, but also less crowded. CinCityCon is even more of what I want out of a gaming convention, access to a library with plenty of open gaming space. Vendor booths are nice and a big math trade is nice, but ultimately getting a table with friends and playing a bunch of games is where it is at for me.

We had three day passes and were planning on attending all day Friday and as much of Saturday as we could but had parent weekend at our daughter's school. Unfortunately, we had a funeral to attend at noon when the convention was opening so we were a couple hours late getting there. Then my youngest daughter called and left something at home that she really needed at the school, so my wife had to leave and didn't get to participate in any of the first day's event, which was a bit disappointing since we have had an extremely busy schedule the past few months and had taken the day off to spend some quality time together away from the craziness to play some games.

Friday - Day 1



World's Fair 1893 - New!


My friend Jay from our game group and I kicked things off with a game of my own that I brought that I wanted to get played, World's Fair 1893. We setup and learned over a slow first round but the last two rounds went much faster and it turned out to be a decent game that exceeded my expectations which had been in decline after reading a few less than glamorous reviews. I'm looking forward to teaching my wife and playing with others. It involves set collection and majority control. There often seems like an obvious choice but the game doesn't have to run on rails if you look for perhaps less obvious or immediately more optimal decision to setup better long term plans. That is what I enjoyed in just my first play.



Spyrium


Next up we looked around in the impressive game library at the convention and ended up choosing another game I own but haven't played in years, Spyrium. It took me a while to refresh my memory on the setup, rules and gameplay. So we treated it as a learning game. It took three rounds to overcome inertia before things started to pick up. By the time we got to the last round it was a matter of who had money and spyrium. My prior experience gave me the advantage, 69-54.

Ultimately I think we both learned a few things and would make wiser decisions next time. It offers some interesting worker placement and removal decisions where timing plays a significant factor. I can also see how some people would just get confused and paralyzed in this game, especially if they were AP-prone. I for one liked it and hope to play it again whether in person or online.



Power Grid: Italy - New map!


We ran out for a quick bite and got back as Patrick and his son were just finishing up their setup of Power Grid on a map I haven't played yet, Italy. This is starting to feel like a tradition as we played it together at last year's event on the map of Spain. It wasn't clear if there was anything new or unique about this map other than supposedly being scarce on resources. I started what proved to be the last round tied for last place but won a 5 city power plant in a gamble of a bid to allow me to fuel enough to position myself into second place. This was perhaps the most pimped out game of PG ever. Patrick had his pimped out money cards, resources and trayz and I brought my sturdier custom auction market.

It was fun to get another map played (Italy), I tried to get creative and start my network just outside the expected epicenter of building activity but got trapped and spent limited resources and valuable turns jumping through some hoops at the expense of being able to focus on a power plant engine that almost doomed my game from start to finish. It was a fun 5p game to end my first day of the con.


Saturday - Day 2



Pandemic Survival


My wife and I were partners in Pandemic Survival which went better than last year, meaning I was less suspect of the other teams playing. From what I could tell we probably finished last with 5 outbreaks and 2 cures when two couples won with 4 cures and fewer outbreaks??? Much like last year I'm baffled at how two experienced Pandemic players can finish that far behind others.

My wife enjoyed the experience which is what is important at the end of the game. I'd play again, I just wish there was better accountability for the actions folks are taking so you felt everyone was taking legal turns and actions. How in the world folks can aggressively pursue cures and have significantly fewer outbreaks, once again is beyond me.



Pit Crew - New!


Next, we checked Pit Crew out of the library from the Play to Win games and learned how to play through a slow first round and quicker 2nd and 3rd where I won by a few spaces. We decided to reset and play another quick game now that we had a better understanding of bonuses, etc. The real-time mechanism of placing cards from your hand to various pit activities followed by crews who finish early being allowed to roll dice and move a space for each six rolled until the last crew finishes was exciting.

Overall it is a great concept and I could see how this would be interesting with a big group as well--multiple players trying to place cards quickly and complete the pit objectives cooperatively would be chaotic fun.



Merlin - New!


The one game we wanted to try more than any other was Merlin, the newest Feld. It looks busy and has lots of iconography, colors, cubes, chits, etc. but it all does make good sense and is clear once you play a round or two and it played within an hour and a half. What a fun way to celebrate Feldtober with a near complete prototype of the game being released at Essen.

In typical Feldian fashion there are a number of ways to score points and it is awfully tempting to try and do everything but it really does make sense to choose a few things to focus on to setup opportunities to maximize points, especially for the last 2-3 rounds as was demonstrated by our instructor and reflected in the final result. Our teacher 70-55-54 with my wife edging me out by one point, which is always a good thing for new games. This will be a buy for us, in time. We've got a backlog of games to keep us busy, we are not in a hurry.



7 Wonders Duel - New!


We had time for one more shorter 2p game before my wife was done so we decided to learn 7 Wonders Duel as it is on our potential Wish List. Familiarity with the bigger brother helps with the basic card types and iconography. We got most of the 2p nuances and got through it. I see its potential but my wife was getting tired and admittedly crabby so she didn't want to make a judgment of our initial play knowing it would be biased by her mood. I nearly pulled off a military dominant win and my wife nearly pulled of a science win, but it came down to scoring cards and my blue cards were simply too dominant to be close on points, 74-53.



Gravwell - New!


I finished my con watching the cosplay contest while Patrick and his son finished up their game. Then we played a 3p game of Gravwell. It was an interesting game that I believe plays better with a few few plays under your belt to better inform players how to assess each situation and formulate a more effective approach to moving forward. I started to get a feel and some momentum down the home stretch and nearly pulled off a win, stopping one spot shy, only to get sucked back into the vortex. It was a neat concept but I didn't feel like I had much control over my game play for most of the game. I felt more like water being poured, churned and tossed back and forth in a basin trying to find my way to the drain, getting really nowhere fast.


This will likely be a yearly event for me if my calendar permits it. I am looking into the dates for Lexicon which the same group puts on each year that is currently on Kickstarter. It may be something my daughter and I can do and possibly the whole family.

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Mon Oct 9, 2017 10:50 pm
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His Top 10 Most Dominant 2p Games - 2017 Edition

Bill Kunes
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Two-player games with my wife account for a significant majority of my plays. For a few years now I have maintained an ongoing record of our friendly 2p rivalry in My Wife's and My Most Competitive Games.

Every November I post an updated list of our most competitive games. This past year I received some valuable feedback and I removed games with less than 7 plays from the list (and maintain them separately until that number is reached). This has significantly improved the quality of the list.


For reference, I calculate a game's competitiveness by subtracting our head-to-head record and dividing it by the total number of plays. If we are even it is equal to 0.000 and is ranked by most to least played giving the nod to the game with more plays. If one of us has won all of our plays then it is equal to 1.000 and is sorted from least to most plays as a game yielding an undefeated record after more plays is clearly less competitive.


In last week's blog post I take a new perspective and look at Her Top 10 Most Dominant 2p Games - 2017 Edition. This week I look at my side of the ledger and examine the games I hold the strongest advantage.

mb His Top 10 Most Dominant 2p Games:



#10. Kingdom Builder
Record: 6-3-1 (0.300)

After an underwhelming initial play we eventually gave Kingdom Builder another few tries and found a wealth of variety and its hidden depth. Given the variety of layouts, objectives, etc. each game can feel very different and requires a different approach. This is more than anything the reason I hold the advantage between us.

I'm able to more quickly adapt my approach to game dynamics. However, once my wife catches on then I expect that advantage dissipates and this game becomes more competitive.



#9. Kingsburg
Record: 15-8 (0.304)

The key to Kingsburg is efficiency and maximum return for your dice placement. It games where optimization along with dice manipulation is key, I am more naturally equipped to puzzle through the game than my wife is and thus win more often. In this game where and when to place a grouping and distribution of dice with a bit of luck mixed in makes up the optimization lever you have to best control to win.

Having sat on our shelf unplayed for a nearly two years, I traded this for a fresh game to add to our collection.



#8. The Castles of Burgundy
Record: 68-35 (0.320)

Castles is a special game as it introduced us to our favorite designer and is our most played game. I have long held a 2:1 win ratio in this one yet we still enjoy it win or lose over a cup of coffee year round. We've added many of the mini expansions (boards and tiles) to keep it fresh. A wonderful couples game. Our favorite Feld. And easily a Top 10 game for both of us.

We've got a lot of plays recorded, but the trend over the past year and a half is for my wife to slowly inch towards a more balance in wins.



#6. Tie Lost Cities
Record: 16-8 (0.333)

My wife found Lost Cities at a garage sale for a couple of bucks and has proven a winner in our house. It is one of the few games everyone enjoys playing. Between my wife and I, it is another game that I have managed a 2:1 ration in wins after two dozen plays. She has not played it yet with the new Expedition 6 expansion. I'm curious if it changes up the ratio.

I wouldn't call this game mathy, but there is some logic and probability that factors into where you choose to push your luck. That may (but may not) play into the advantage leaning my direction.



#6. Tie Bora Bora
Record: 6-3 (0.333)

Bora Bora is a beautiful and deeper, more complex Feld design that we played last year as part of my 10x10 Challenge. Unfortunately for its longevity as a 2p game between us the more we played it the more I grew to like it but my wife felt just the opposite. She gave me permission to trade it, but I'm holding on to get some multi-player plays in and possibly give it time for my wife to try it again and change her opinion.

There are a lot of moving parts and decisions to make which is typical of Feld designs but in this one it seems like you are betting on a horse (figuratively) and can really pay the price if it is not your day (opportunities you are waiting on don't show up).



#5. Qwirkle
Record: 11-5-1 (0.353)

Qwirkle is a fun abstract game that hits our table from time to time and both of us just enjoy playing it. The advantage here is easy to understand as my brain is wired to think more clearly in abstract space and I see patterns more quickly and consistently that most people I've played the game with. I love to push myself to see just how many "Qwirkles" I can score each game.



#4. The Rivals for Catan
Record: 16-7 (0.391)

Rivals has only collected dust for a few years now. I know we both enjoy this one and have some more ages from the expansion we have to play through so we just need a little push to get it back to the table. Given how long it has been since we played I don't feel comfortable speculating on why I have the advantage here.

I'm considering putting it on my 2018 10x10 Challenge list to get it back to the table.



#3. Amerigo
Record: 7-1 (0.750)

I have really enjoyed getting my own copy of Amerigo and getting it to the table this year. It is very unfortunate that this game ranks on this list where it does as it means that my wife is less likely to want to play it. That too is unfortunate as she has gotten significantly better with each play and has made more progress with each play than I have and things are on the verge of being interesting but she for the time being is not interested in playing it any more with 2p.

I may have to start pushing for multi-player games of this and game night and try and get her at my table so she can experience the multiplayer as well.



#2. Troyes
Record: 14-2 (0.750)

Troyes is currently a Top 10 game for me. I love the dice manipulation. Unfortunately, this is something that I am good at but something my wife struggles to see as often given all the other game dynamics involved. She was sworn off playing this any more, so I don't see this changing for the foreseeable future.

The challenge for me if I ever want to play face to face rather than just online is to find some new fans in my game group.



#1. Targi
Record: 7-0 (1.000)

There is just something about this game that clicks for me. I've recorded the victory in every play except one in which I lost by one point. It is a wonderful 2p game. It is one that I feel we will get back to the table again, despite the lopsided record, at least for a couple more plays.

I'd like to get an English language version of the expansion. It might breath some new life into this game for us and shake things up a little.


There you have it. Last week I posted the initial list of my wife's most dominate games and this week mine. It seems like my wife is better at games with a race element where I tend to excel at the more abstract games that require more logic, probability, or planning dependency when making in game decisions.

We have some new games in the pipeline that will make the jump to the public list between now and November's blog post of our overall Top 10 Most Competitive games. I will be interested in watching how these lists change with time.


Do you and your primary gaming partner have a dominant game? What do you think you have learned about each other when you consider those games?

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Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:37 pm
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Her Top 10 Most Dominant 2p Games - 2017 Edition

Bill Kunes
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Two-player games with my wife account for a significant majority of my plays. For a few years now I have maintained an ongoing record of our friendly 2p rivalry in My Wife's and My Most Competitive Games.

Every November I post an updated list of our most competitive games. This past year I received some valuable feedback and I removed games with less than 7 plays from the list (and maintain them separately until that number is reached). This has significantly improved the quality of the list.


For reference, I calculate a game's competitiveness by subtracting our head-to-head record and dividing it by the total number of plays. If we are even it is equal to 0.000 and is ranked by most to least played giving the nod to the game with more plays. If one of us has won all of our plays then it is equal to 1.000 and is sorted from least to most plays as a game yielding an undefeated record after more plays is clearly less competitive.


In this week's blog post I take a new perspective and look at those games that my wife has most dominated in our 2p contests. She often tells me she loses most of the time and needs a little encouragement and convincing that her recollection is not quite true and that she is actually a solid gamer.

mb Her Top 10 Most Dominant 2p Games:



#10. Jaipur
Record: 3-0 (1.000)

There are eight games from the 7+ plays list in this Top 10. Jaipur being the first exception. It is a relatively new and underplayed game in our collection but my wife has defeated me on every occasion deserving of at least a mention. I ranked it last because it is only three plays and should I get lucky enough to win one or two more then it would most likely fall off this list. But, I obviously haven't figured this one out yet, so I can't even comment on what she is doing right as I don't know what I'm doing wrong.



#9. Innovation
Record: 27-21 (0.125)

Innovation was the hot game for us in that first year or two we owned it. After a while I acquired the first expansion to breath new life into it. With the base game I held a solid advantage, but my wife dominates when ever we include the expansion and she has tipped the scales.



#8. Bruges
Record: 25-19-1 (0.133)

Feld is our favorite designer and Bruges is one of his titles that we enjoy quite a bit, even more so with the expansion. The element of this game that my wife excels at is acquiring the majorities and maximizing her points from monuments in nearly every game. In games with multiple elements, as in most Feld designs, I tend to gravitate towards the complexity and leveraging of different abilities and potential opportunities where she has a laser fixation on an objective and is off to the races to achieve it. If my plans stray a bit, all I can do is keep pace with her which knocks me off my game.



#7. Orléans
Record: 6-4 (0.200)

The majority of our plays over the last year have been playing the cooperative Invasion variant which we absolutely love. When we first played this game my wife went on a winning streak and I have been slowly reeling her back in to try and even things up. This is a great game and we are evenly matched so when we return to competitive play it might be a drawn out pursuit on my part to even things up.



#6. Potion Explosion
Record: 7-4 (0.273)

My wife use to love playing Bejewled Blitz and Candy Crush so after I played Potion Explosion I knew I had to get it for her. She played poorly her first few games and thins were not looking good. But she found her stride and has dominated since. She watched and learned and now the tables are turned.



#5. Abyss
Record: 11-6 (0.294)

This was my wife's purchase at Gen Con when it first came out. It is yet another game where she pushes the pedal to the metal and grabs those lords and locations and I feel like I'm scrambling to chase after her. It is really embarrassing at times (hee... hee...). "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."



#4. AquaSphere
Record: 6-3 (0.333)

I don't know that my wife really cares much for this Feld design. She feels it is busy, constantly changing things up and difficult to get her head around, but perhaps its that need to puzzle through it that makes it such a great design (that last part was me thinking). Regardless, I fee like she owns me in this one, thus far.



#2. Tie La Granja
Record: 5-2 (0.429)

This is a newer title that honestly both of us are still trying to figure out as we work through our 10x10 Challenge plays. It has a mix of familiar design mechanism to other games we like which is good. At this point, the end result has favored her far more often than me despite both of us often feeling I'm going to win.



#2. Tie Village
Record: 5-2 (0.429)

I taught my wife how to play this one and won. We played again and I won. Since then, she has won every play. This game has not impressed our group, but we like it and my oldest likes it so we play the three of us or just us two. My wife learned a few things from my daughter and I've struggled to win. I just acquired a copy of the Port expansion in a math trade so this will likely get back to the table for some more plays in the upcoming months.



#1. Century: Spice Road
Record: 5-1 (0.667)

Topping the list is a game that does not yet have 7 or more plays at the time of this posting but my wife had just dominated this one like no other. I had my doubts. The first play did not impress her at all and she almost gave up on it. When I set up the second play and she saw new, different cards something clicked and she has become a sprinter like I've never seen.


In compiling this list to encourage my wife and share a bit about the games that she does well at, I noticed a pattern. She excels at games, at least against me, that have a bit of a race element to them. She doesn't get caught up in the complexities or over indulge in the plethora of options and paths to victory. She just hits the ground running, locks onto something and is off to the races. I use a vague description intentionally because I obviously haven't figured out what she has figured out. This discovery should make for some interesting conversation when I share it with her.

...now lets figure out what my Top 10 dominate games between us are in my next blog post.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:48 pm
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Origins 2017

Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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This past Saturday was my fifth Origins Game Fair since 2012 (I missed 2014). It may also be the first time I've gone solo, although I did meet up with a friend from my game group and his two boys on and off during the day.

I came to the show primarily for the Math Trade (more on that in a bit) and a few items I really wanted to pick up if they were available. Other than that I had hoped to run into some people and play a few games. There is a part of me that would love to just sit and crank through as many games and demos as possible but for some reason I didn't aggressively pursue that option. In part it can be challenging to do that without your own group to do it with and as an introvert I'm more an observer and hesitant at times to just tackle the tables.


MATH TRADE
As I mentioned, one of the main draws of the show for me each year is the Math Trade. It is an efficient and productive method for swapping games you are done playing with games you'd like to try without sinking more money into the hobby and consuming more space. This year I only traded four games, dumping Kingsburg and its expansion, Luna, Android: Netrunner and Lord of the Rings for Lords of Waterdeep and its expansion, Broom Service, World's Fair 1893 and Room 25.

Unfortunately I missed the doors opening to the Dealer Hall searching for one person who had a game for me. They were marked as checked-in on the participants sheet, but were not actually in attendance. I reached out through out the day hoping they would respond back to me to arrange the exchange, eventually making it happen mid afternoon.

DEALER HALL and DEMOs
In short I did a quick run through the Hall to make any mandatory purchases I had hoped to make with the intention then of dropping them and my math trade acquisitions off at the car and grabbing a quick bite at the North Market before spending the afternoon playing games. For the second year in a row there was a parade in progress that makes getting across the street to my car and the market difficult. So after last year's ordeal, I passed on the market and just grabbed something at the food court in the convention center. Then proceeded to the Dealer Hall for some games and lugging my two full bags of games the entire day.



Century: Spice Road - New!


This was the #1 game of interest for me coming into the show. I would have loved to buy it as soon as the doors opened, but it had sold out the day before. Fortunately the booth had multiple copies available to demo. We were able to play through an entire game.

It was easy to setup, teach and get started. Our 4p game played quickly. We did forget the rule about being allowed to trade multiple times using the same card on a given turn, but that did not tarnish any of our opinions. The game's simple take one action per turn game play kept us all engaged and moving along. As additional cards came out and as we wrestled with the few options available to us we shared commentary regarding our individual revelations. It was a winner, and will be a definite buy in my future.

There has been a lot of talk about this being the Splendor-killer. I have not played it so I can't speak specifically to that claim or comparison. What I do find interesting is the additional "Century" releases where new cards and mechanisms are expected and the potential (exactly how is not yet clear to me) to intermix or play separately. So at least a trilogy of games of sort, which I find worth checking out. This was my favorite game of the day.



Sentient - New!


I vaguely remember some buzz around Sentient coming into the show but knew nothing about it. I was hoping to get a demo of Clank! but there was a group waiting to go next so I sat down to give it a try. The artwork is a beautiful, muted color pallet with amazing custom dice. I missed the first few minutes of the rules explanation so I was a little in the dark on the iconography but gradually picked it up.

You are essentially placing a leader and additional yet optional assistants to gain cards you put into your tableau each round. Each card has the potential to change the value of the dice it is placed between if you don't lock it down with one of your limited numbered assistants so you have to constantly check your logic and math to maximize your points at the end of the round. In your bidding (?) for cards at the end of the round there are tiles (I forget what they are called) that go to the majority player which factor into end game scoring.

This was an interesting game. I live the art and overall design. It does some interesting things mechanically, yet I am undecided on how I ultimately feel given the amount of logic and math you are doing. I personally am fine with it (since I do that all day every day in my job), however my wife and many others I play with don't like those types of games as they find it frustrating and not fun. Of the Renegade games I played/demo'd at Origins this was the one I was most interested in.



Flip Ships - New!


Clank! still had groups waiting so I played a turn at the Flip Ships demo to see what it was about. In a nutshell is has a mother ship launching attacking ships like Space Invaders at which you are flipping your ship tokens off a block of wood in hopes of landing on or near in order to destroy the on coming attack.

There is definitely some luck and learned skill/ability in how to effectively flip the tokens, but it had a sense of appeal and anticipation. Each round the ships move downward in various ways and a counter is adjusted. There are some other things going on too where players can acquire more ships and special abilities that I didn't get to experience but did have explained.

For me this game had a sense of novelty that would be fun for a few games and then on occasion if I and a few friends wanted something different to play. Not really my style of game.



Unearth - New!


This is a design that caught my eye based on the unique and attractive artwork. It also incorporates a d4 and d8 with the typical d6 dice for some different dice placement decisions than your typical euro game. Unearth is not out yet but pre-orders at the publisher's website are going on with an August release target.

The game play involves acquiring sets of like-colored cards and tiles with the latter placed in rings on the table for which players can acquire wonders for additional points and in game abilities.

The main action is choosing an available card and one of your available dice to roll. You place the die on the card and add up the total of that card's dice. If you equal or surpass the card's value the person with the highest die value (or weight, 4, 6 or 8 if a tie) to claim the card with all other players with dice receiving different cards that give them ways to manipulate dice in the game. If a die roll is <=3 then they get a tile to add to their play area.

The game played quickly after a couple of turns. I won, mainly because I had more and larger sets of cards where as my opponents crushed me in claimed tiles, rings and wonders they didn't seem to produce the points my sets did. One play is not sufficient to make a final judgment on this one but it was a memorable experience and a game I would consider. My wife liked the pictures I showed her.



Codenames Duet - New!


Duet is another title that would have been an instant buy for me had it been available. Mainly a 2p version of the original Codenames, players share a two-sided grid card with 15 agents that need to be found. There are some overlaps between the two sides and three assassins to manage, and an assassin on side is not necessarily one on the other.

To keep players from playing overly conservative you only have 9 turns to complete the cooperative task at hand which creates tension and encourages asking multi-card clues. We identified 9 agents before someone stumbled upon an assassin. This will definitely get played more than the original in our house. Another buy for me and probably my #2 game of the con after Spice Road.



Honshu - New!


Honshu is a game that has been out for a while and I've read positive things from multiple people on BGG, so after yet another fail to get in on a demo of Clank! I sat down for a half game demo.

In a nutshell players start with a hand of six cards. Each round they place a card in the middle of the table which determines player order based on the card number. Players then select a card and place it overlapping or tucked under cards already in place to form a city of connected terrain types and resource and market spots for cubes. After three rounds your remaining cards are passed left and played out. Repeat this one more time and you score the game.

It plays quick and reminds me a lot of Limes with a bit more flexibility and resource cubes rather than worker types. The other thing it has going for it is the card bidding player order mechanism that has a twist I did not describe using resource cubes that adds a bit more. For right now, it doesn't really offer significantly more functionality than Limes to warrant adding it to my collection (although it would scale to 4p without needing an additional copy). Fun little game, just not a fit or the right timing for our collection at this time.




Overall it was another good show. I left with a haul of five new to me games and only one mishap. I though I had purchased the Concordia: Gallia/Corsica expansion map at one of the booths but apparently grabbed Britannia/Germania instead which I already own and did not realize until I got home. I had picked this up and another Power Grid expansion map (Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland) for a decent price. I also picked up first thing after the Math Trade the Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free Exit games from Kosmos.

Near the end of my day I made another pass to some of the booths and saw that one of them had marked down Yokohama which I had on my Watch List by a good chunk and I picked up a copy along with one of the Unlock! games. I had hoped to get a copy of Great Western Trail which I never saw at the show and/or Terraforming Mars which just got reprinted but I had a hard time buying it for the going price. I've seen and played the game and just not seeing the justification for the cost compared to other games on the market.

I would have liked to run into more online friends and acquaintances during the day but I didn't see any of them.

There was too much chaos going on at my traditional eatery, so rather than grabbing dinner before I left, I headed home early and grabbed drive thru at my exit and started processing pictures and updating BGG until the family got home to share the day's spoils.

I hope everyone who attended had a great show as well. If you are interested please check out my annual
Origins 2017 "Game of Show".

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Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:42 pm
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BillCon VII Recap

Bill Kunes
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BillCon VII in 2017

For the seventh year in a row I sounded the call for my friends to join me for a a day full of gaming to celebrate another trip around the sun. It is one of the highlights of the year and a welcomed break from the long hours in my busy audit season. It's also the time I get to dust off some of my under played favorites and we record some epic memories together.

I was up early getting the ingredients together for a new chicken chili recipe in the crock pot and packed up the car with games, food and a bunch of other stuff. I got to the church building to set up and get two pots of coffee going as a handful of guys helped set the table for our first game.

d10-1



BillCon History: At the end of 2011, the game group crowded around the table New Year's Eve to learn how to play my newest game, Eclipse. It was a bit overwhelming but I managed a few plays to learn the rules before its debut at BillCon 2012. It has since been tradition to kick off each year's event with this epic game to allow for a little more time when we were all fresh.

Now: It has only been in recent years that we finally graduated to playing the alien races which were randomly distributed this year. It was 8:30 am and five us sat around a table and slowly played a couple rounds as we refreshed our memories on how to play before picking up momentum as the charted galaxy spread across the table.

Using my Game Trayz for the Research and Upgrade tiles helped facilitate game play as we played as many rounds in the allotted time we had. Interestingly, no one took the galactic center as we ran out of time and folks either came up short on resources, or got tied up with other players leaving themselves badly damaged and unable to carry out the task.

I've gained a reputation the past couple of years of not engaging in much combat in favor of firewalling myself off and then trying to amass monoliths. This year I went in with intentions of being more confrontational and having a personal goal to control the center at game's end. That was well and good, but I probably needed another round or two to really position myself to complete that objective. We got through seven rounds and I finished fourth.

mb(27), mb(23), mb(21), mb(18) [me], and mb(17).


d10-2

BillCon History: PG has been a group and personal favorite prior to the inaugural BillCon and has been a regular whether I played it or not at every year's event. I have a personal desire to play every map, starting with the ones I own that are unplayed.

Now: I chose the China map thinking I hadn't played it before but I had at BillCon a few years back. That is fine. I was still excited to get it to the table and debut my newly constructed market stand. I had replace my originally built foam core with a new, sturdier wood composite apparatus. We split our six up into two groups so it was a 3p game which was perfect since we ran a little over scoring and cleaning up our previous game.

China is a very controlled market with the power plants mainly coming out in numeric order and after the first round with one less power plant in a current market only economy than the number of players. So the auction phase was a bit more active. Add to that a stingy resource market and you get high priced resources which you seem to consumer faster than they are replenished, thus rarely experiencing lower prices unless you changed up your fuel needs.

Building was tight all the way to the finish with a classic ending that was going to come down to money. I came up a few electro short to build the additional city I needed to compete for the win and placed second.

mb(14), mb(13) [me], and mb(11).


d10-3

BillCon History: RotW debuted and was the highlight of the original BillCon back in 2011 where we all learned how to play it together and followed it up with a second play immediately after. It has been a BillCon standard. One of my best friends has won every play at BillCon until last year when I finally claimed the title.

Now: This year's focus was on defending my title and keeping my buddy from wrestling it away from me. Many consider this game whenever we play as a competition between the two of us and then everyone else competing for third. Whether that is fair or not, that is how the two of us seem to view it when we are playing--only focused on what the other one is doing.

We were playing the England & Wales map to keep our 4p game fairly tight. My friendly nemesis won the race for the 4 pts bonus for delivering four different goods while I had conceded and had switched to upgrading my engine and seizing an opportunity for about a half dozen or so 3 link deliveries to keep me occupied for a while. Interestingly, no one urbanized or replenished any cities, which surprised me but played into my strategy so I didn't raise the concern. Consequently, the game finished much quicker than any of us expected just as I had completed my private objective Baron Card and was positioned for three more long deliveries to secure a convincing victory to stay on top for another year.

mb(41) [me], mb(30), mb(25), and mb(18).


d10-4
Everyone finished up their third games ahead of schedule so we set up the next one and then circled a table and squeezed in a couple quick games of Spyfall. I played in the first one as the spy and thought I had things figured out guessing The Circus with 3 seconds left but was wrong and got booted for someone else to play. So I grabbed some more of my chili and watched everyone else include my wife and girls laugh and have fun trying to think up questions no the spot while keeping their wits about them as they scrutinized the body language and responses of others around the table. I was very encouraging way for me to share my birthday with others.

d10-5

BillCon History: 2017 is its BillCon VII debut.

Now: I wanted to get a Feld game in and chose The Oracle of Delphi because I had a captive audience for a multiplayer game and I could make some progress against my 2017 10x10 Challenge list.

At first two of the players were not really liking or enjoying the game but admitted it could be just that the day was wearing them down and it just wasn't the kind of game they were in the mood for. I felt that was a kind way of saying, I'm not real crazy about it as it doesn't seem very balanced (given they were both trailing at the time), but true to form in my experience, this game can and did change over the course of one or two rounds with a little help to see some additional ways to manipulate dice and leverage cards. Things were evening up and it was race on! Ultimately it came down to myself and my friendly nemesis (and best friend by the way) racing for the finish. I was okay with it, as it was nice to see the wins being distributed around to different players rather than one person dominating everything all day.

mb, mb [me],mb, and mb.


d10-6



BillCon History: The previously two year's plays of DoW have been epic games despite ending in defeat. Like so many of my other choices, they are favorites that don't see the table enough.

Now: The grand finale of the evening was yet another epic play of Dead of Winter. I don't know why we can't get this to the table more often but it served up another whopper of a story. Since we were still ahead of schedule and all players were present we played my first medium length scenario entitled, "Stockpile." We had a full allotment of zombies at each of the colony doors and we had to push them back enough to put a barricade at each, amass enough food for two cans per player and store up two meds, two tools, and two fuel cans.

Surprisingly we were managing quiet well on most fronts, until a betrayer in our midst went to make their move just as the ideal cross road card came up that revealed his hand to another player who called him out. We managed to exile someone for the first time in my experience but enough damage was done that we were spread too thin to over come the ill-gotten cards in the crisis deck and push back enough zombies at the colony to prevent a mass over run that ultimately cost us too much moral.

It was epic, and fun for all of us that failed. I really do hope that this experience carries some momentum to get this game back to the table again sooner than next year's event.



I really enjoy this one all-day event I put on for my birthday. Not only because I get to play my favorites, but it is a full day of fun with people I enjoy being around. I was a little disappointed that the turn out was less than half of the number that usually turns up, but the quality of the event was the same if not better. My brain hurt started to emerge before our last play as it felt like my brain was throbbing. I don't know if it was too much intense thinking and game play, or that after a long couple of months of long hours of problem solving at work leading up to it my brain had enough. But as usual, BillCon is a brain burner and I am cooked.

Well, I'm ready for some down time to relax as my schedule allows in the upcoming weeks. I want to thank all my friends who came out for making it a fun time together. Thanks for your friendship at and away from the gaming table. You all mean so much to me.


meeple (Until next year) keep playing...
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Sun May 14, 2017 10:25 pm
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BK's Top 10 Most Closely Aligned BGG User Top 50 Lists

Bill Kunes
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Earlier this year I put together my annual Top 50 games list. After doing this I got curious and began reading nearly every Top 25/50/75/100 list I came across on BGG and started taking note of those users who had significant overlap with my own.

Being a spreadsheet junkie I started listing and ranking the various lists that had a minimal number of overlap to put a name with the folks who shared the same taste in games as I did. Some of them have since been designated geekbuddies for future reference.

To share a little about my findings here are the Top 10 Most Closely Aligned BGG Users whose Top 50 games share the most overlap with my own:

Chris Mosley
United States
Raleigh
NC
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#10
Top 10: 2 mbmb
Top 25: 7
Top 50: 11

I am familiar with Chris from the WDYPTW geeklist community and recently added him to my geekbuddy list upon discovering the number of overlapped likes in our Top 50 games.

Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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#9
Top 10: 2 mbmb
Top 25: 8
Top 50: 11

I don't recall where I stumbled upon Joerg's list as I've seen him around the geek on various forums over the years and recognized his distinctive avatar. His taste is eclectic yet a satisfying array of gaming choices which I'd be happy to play.

mbmbJason Levine
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#8
Top 10: 3 mbmbmb
Top 25: 8
Top 50: 11

Jason is well known to the Dice Tower community for his massive game collection and memorable banter with the Dice Tower crew. I don't know if I am surprised or not that of the main Dice Tower Top 100 lists his Top 50 most closely reflects my taste or not. I guess I was thinking it would have been Tom, Sam or Zee, only to learn none of them.

Tally C
United States
New York City
New York
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"We have to change our way of thinking if we really want to change the future." - Saki Watanabe, "Shin Sekai Yori"
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#7
Top 10: 1 mb
Top 25: 6
Top 50: 12
Tally prefers ameritrash games but the euros on her list are likely to reflect my kind of games although light with regard to my favorites there is an even spread of games we share an affinity. Like her I mostly find myself playing 2p games or games with just 2p. That works for me.

Robb Rouse

Virginia
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#6
Top 10: 4 mbmbmbmb
Top 25: 7
Top 50: 12

Robb is the first member of the Blue Peg Pink Peg podcast to make my list. In fact as I watched and reviewed various podcaster Top X lists I was surprised and I wasn't at the same time to find that we had similar taste. Given there is another member of the podcast later on my list what Pegheads really want to know, do I think it would be fun to play games with these guys some day? Absolutely!

James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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#5
Top 10: 5 mbmbmbmbmb
Top 25: 10
Top 50: 13

James is the BGG user on this list that I know the best and would most like to meet in person. I've played multiple games with him on boardgamearena (BGA) and have chatted with him online and in the weekly WDYPTW geeklist many times. I know we could spend an entire day just playing games and we'd get along just fine. Even if our wives were along for the day, we tend to like the same games and could easily make a day of it with them as well.

Jason Ober
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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#4
Top 10: 6 mbmbmbmbmbmb
Top 25: 10
Top 50: 14

Jason is another BGG user I've seen around in various forums over the years and somehow stumbled upon his top rated list and found a shared affinity for multiple games. Given the fact that he likes RotW and enjoys more than half of my Top 10 I almost think we were cut from the same piece of chocolate. He's got a sizable collection and yet when he chooses his favorites I really like his selections.

Patrick Kelly
United States
Roanoke
Virginia
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#3
Top 10: 5 mbmbmbmbmb
Top 25: 8
Top 50: 15

Patrick is the second member of the Blue Peg Pink Peg podcast on my list. With Patrick and Robb both on my list it makes sense why I enjoy listening to their show and listen very carefully to their review of games and peg ratings. They have some overlap in their lists but yet very different tastes and yet I find both of them similar to mine. Keep up the nice work guys!

Josiah Shanks
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#2
Top 10: 5 mbmbmbmbmb
Top 25: 10
Top 50: 15

Josiah is fairly new to gaming and the WDYPTW geelist chatter, but already he is making impressive game choices, if you ask me. He also likes my favorite RotW which is a plus. Sure I'm biased, but what can I say, at the rate he's going he may continue to move up this list in year's to come. I'm keeping an eye on how his list evolves this coming year.

Steve Kennedy

New Hampshire
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#1
Top 10: 5 mbmbmbmbmb
Top 25: 9
Top 50: 17

Steve tops my list with a very solid showing. I've seen his posts around BGG over the years and just this year realized how closely aligned we were in table top favorites. I look forward to watching for his posts and game ratings to see what I might be missing as I bet I can trust what he gives a thumbs up.



Some interesting observations. First all but one of these ten ranked Castles of Burgundy somewhere in their Top 50. The top five all included somewhere in their Top 50 rankings Tzolk'in, Trajan and Bora Bora. Perhaps the magic formula for getting into this list? Well certainly having a liking for my favorite developer (Feld) helps too. None of the Top 50 lists I've looked at thus far included Pathfinder RPG which probably doesn't belong on the list or Finca which may not survive the cut next year.

I've really enjoyed putting together a Top 50 list the past couple of years and seeing how it changes. I've already got a few games that I think that will move both in and out of my list next year. It may be time for me to expand my list to a Top 75 or even a Top 100 in 2017. Have a Top 50/75/100 list you think I might enjoy feel free to post a link here and I'll see how it compares.

meeple Keep playing...
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Thu Dec 8, 2016 12:50 pm
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