That's What She Said

The continuing adventures of the After-Work Fun-Group. Who knew that a free copy of Chaos in the Old World would springboard into a regular gaming group and some of the best friends I've ever had.

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The View from the Bottom of the Food Chain

Charlotte Malone
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And just like that, it was game night again.

It was Workman’s night to pick. He chose Dominant Species. I’ve played DS twice before, but it’s been a while. I remember a cut-throat war game where you climb and claw your way to the top of the evolutionary heap by conniving, scheming, and attacking the weakest among you. I can’t imagine why Workman wanted to play.



Steve and Leon had never played. Leon picked up the rules really quickly, but Steve had a more typical first game; meaning, he had a first game like mine: “Why am I not dominant? I have the most cubes.” “Wait, you just said cubes didn’t count. Why is he getting all the points?” It’s not a complicated game once you understand it, but it can be hard to wrap your head around everything your first play.

We picked our factions. I picked the insects. Why? Cuz green cubes that’s why. I’m testing out my theory that green is the source of Workman’s power. He chose the amphibians. He acted all cool and aloof like he wanted to be the amphibians. Whatevs. Blue cubes. No power. Steve was the birds and Leon was the reptiles. Yellow and black. Neutral power.


My glorious green insects. Green. GREEN!!

I was feeling pretty good up until Workman all but wiped me off the board by the end of the first turn. I think I had one cube left. Literally. One cube. Amphibians are dicks.

The amphibian agression was misplaced however, as Leon was the clear threat. He and Workman were neck and neck for a while, and then Leon slowly crept ahead. I never count Workman out, but it looked like Leon was in the best position to win. Meanwhile, me and Big Bird were both just trying not to finish last.


I learned to eat grubs. Grubs.

I managed to recover somewhat from my turn-one obliteration. I scored some points. And then I failed to notice that water was regressing. I went extinct on a lot of tiles. A lot. (Workman laughed. He tends to laugh when shitty things happen to me. Rude.)

I gathered what was left of my beleaguered army of insects, wanderlusted a sea tile and scored nine points before bringing about the ice age. In final scoring, Leon slithered his reptiles all the way to a win with 156. Woot! Workman finished second with 133, and I just beat out Steve with 109 to his 105. Woot!

(Please note: Workman did not play green, Workman did not win. Just sayin’.)


I know people trick out their DS games with cute little animal tokens, but I actually like the cones. Probably just an insect thing.

Dominant Species is a mean game, but I like it. There’s so much to pay attention to and keep up with, I doubt I will ever be good at it, but I really enjoy it. I like the theme, and I love the mechanics. Solid game.

After DS, we cracked out another game of Love Letter. After an amazing opening game where Workman bested Steve in a head-to-head mind game, we worked our way to a super-exciting three-way tie. And then Workman won and ruined it for everyone. I hate him.

Thus, another game night comes to a close. Fun times were had by all. I think. At any rate, thanks for reading along. Happy gaming!
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Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:17 am
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Going Nowhere, Boldly or Otherwise

Charlotte Malone
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Last night was game night. (Sorry for the delayed post, we finished late, I was bone tired, and even more new Ashes decks released yesterday, so my mind was elsewhere. Or asleep.) Steve was back, and he still wanted to play Star Trek: Ascendancy. (I had stopped off to pick up my new Ashes decks on the way to dinner, and I mostly just wanted to open the boxes and roll around in the cards, but I restrained myself.) We got busy ascending.



I was the Romulans. The only upside to being the Romulans is they’re green. Not my favorite shade of green, but green nonetheless. Workman was Star Fleet (not green - suck on that!), Steve was the Cardassians (not Kim and Kanye), and Leon was the Ferengi (big ears, odd foreheads).

Full disclosure: I am not a Trekkie. Not really. I spent many a glorious afternoon of my childhood watching the original William Shatner series. I was a fan. And I was a fan of the original movies (KHAN!!!!!!) But I never watched The Next Generation or any generation thereafter. So I’m really only partially into the theme.


My lesser-shade-of-green Romulan ships. I also had a fleet of Roll-for-the-Galaxy-green ships, but they were cloaked. You can’t prove otherwise.

We were slow to start. Lots of rules questions. Lots of Workman reading the rulebook. I’m usually the head-in-the-rulebook person, but I was busy restraining myself from running into the other room and rubbing my face all over my new Ashes cards. But we finally got moving.


Steve’s Keeping Up with the Cardassian’s brown ships. This was their most flattering angle. From all other angles, they looked like.....never mind.

After our slow start, I was even slower to get moving. I couldn’t remember the difference between moving at warp speed versus moving at impulse speed, and I didn’t have a game plan. I tried to discover planets, but the planets I landed on sucked. Kind of. I wanted yellow resource planets but mostly only found red and blue. And don’t even talk to me about hazards.

I couldn’t get enough yellow to ascend, or at least not as quickly as Steve was ascending. Workman wasn’t ascending either, but everybody assumed he was just playing possum. Leon was also ascension-challenged, but the Ferengi were weird. He clearly wasn’t doing what the rest of us were doing, and I don’t think he was even trying to ascend. (Actually, I wasn’t sure what he was doing. But we had a trade agreement. So I benefited from whatever it was.)

Interesting side note, I didn’t realize until well more than halfway through the game that ascending wasn’t the only win condition. Awesome! I mean, I knew I didn’t have a great grasp on the rules, but it would have been nice to know how I might could have won. You know, if I’d really wanted to. If I cared about such things.

Admittedly, I didn’t try very hard. By the time I got my head around the rules, it was too late to do anything. And the Romulans are an aggressive faction. We all know how well I play aggressive factions.


This may have been the biggest part of my problem. I was overly exhausted.

I think the game took about three and a half hours, way longer than our normal weeknight game. At one point, Workman suggested we call it because Steve clearly had it in the bag, but Leon thought he had a chance, so we kept on. Workman had checked out - he was focused on his phone for most of the last half - and I just kept thinking about my Ashes cards. I finally went and got them, thinking I could at least sleeve them between turns. As soon as I did, Leon and Steve called it. (Of course they did.) Steve would win in two turns and no one could stop him.


You know the joke. I don’t even need to say it.

I’m not sure what it is about this game. On paper, it sounds like a solid 4X game. But both times I’ve played, I just found it boring. Steve and Leon really enjoyed it. Not sure about Workman (he probably just couldn’t believe he didn’t win). I’m sure we’ll play again, but probably not on a weeknight. At least I hope not.


Leon sprung for the cool mat. I did like that. The galaxy looked really cool.

After seeking out new lives and new civilizations, we didn’t even have time for Love Letter. I went home and went straight to bed and dreamed about new Ashes cards. (And I’m happy to say that after a mediocre night’s sleep and an ok day at work, I FINALLY got to play with my new cards. And I’m 2-0. That is all. #jerichokillisabadass)

So that was game night. Not my favorite game ever, but still game night. Which is always my favorite. Thanks for reading!
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Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:15 am
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Cate Blanchett is not Tilda Swinton and I am not the King but Leon is the Pope

Charlotte Malone
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Few things in life are certain. Death. Taxes. And if it’s Steve’s night to pick, he won’t show up.

I should be more charitable. He tried. He picked Star Trek: Ascendancy. He was really excited to play. He even made it to dinner. But he was sick and felt terrible and decided to go home and sleep. (This is in no way relevant to the story and I’m not mad or anything, but he picked the restaurant too, and we went to Chili’s. I used to love Chili’s but they’ve changed their menu and I can’t even describe to you how bad it sucked. Just unfathomable suckage. Truly next level suck.)

So that left Workman, Leon and me. But we don’t sweat three-player game nights anymore. Workman shouted titles from the closet and we had so many choices we couldn’t even pick one. But we finally landed on Ra.



I have a storied history with Ra. I’ve played it and enjoyed it very much. I’ve played it and not enjoyed it at all. And the last time we attempted to play, I blew out my colon and spent the night in the hospital (not Ra’s fault).

As per usual, I had to ask what the tiles did every time a tile came out. Every time. (Ok, so what does green do? What can I do with a god?) I must be super annoying to play with. The only ones I semi-remembered were the structures. You need to collect sets of structures. Only I apparently didn’t remember what constituted a set as mid-way through the game, I asked Workman what my sets were worth. “Um, nothing? You need all seven. Or three of a kind.” Well damn.


Ra tiles. I actually remembered what they do.

Meanwhile, Leon and Workman were collecting structures right and left. I was definitely more diversified but I thought Workman was winning. Mostly because he had so many structures. And because he’s Workman.

But turns out I was the little Ra-caller that could. I played very conservatively (I remember pushing my luck too much in one game and consciously didn’t push my luck at all this time around). I spread my points around and even managed a set of three structures. And oh my Egyptian gods, I won handily with 48 points. Workman had 23 and Leon had 13. Woot et al.


I was so in-the-zone with Ra this game, I summoned him again on the way home just to chat. Turns out he’s super chill and not at all happy with the way he was portrayed in Stargate. #themoreyouknow

After Ra, we played one of my favorite 3P-filler-auction-card-games-about-monks ever: Biblios.

It started weird. (Weirdly? Words are hard.) I ended up with nothing but 2-value gold cards for my first four cards. And Leon kept getting stuck with the church cards and had to use his papal edicts to value and devalue dice before he even had any cards. And I didn’t care about his choices because all I had was the damn gold cards. (Who the hell shuffled?)


That brown 4 was a site for sore eyes.

I never go all in for all colors, but I did this game. Then I jumped ship on green and yellow during the auction. I ended up winning red and blue, but Pope Leon had knocked them both down to two so it didn’t matter. Leon won brown after bumping it up to six, but Workman took both three-valued green and orange. So they tied at six and Workman won on tie-breaker. Weird game. I still love it though.


Stupid pope.

And finally, we played Love Letter. No one hailed King Charlotte (long may she reign) in this game. This game was all Leon. At least it wasn’t Workman.

Speaking of Workman, turns out he isn’t actually a completely terrible person. He bought me a sugar skull lanyard because I love such things. I was very excited. I might have squealed. And it’s day two of the Day of the Dead! So not just a super nice gesture, but also timely. I should probably stop saying such bad things about Workman on the internet.

Nah.


Happy Dios de los Muertos everybody!

And that’s a wrap. I hope Steve gets better. Fingers crossed for the core four for next week. In the mean time, thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Fri Nov 3, 2017 4:19 am
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The Three Amigos

Charlotte Malone
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It was Steve’s night to pick, but his wife’s sister was unexpectedly in town and she lives in England and words, words, words....he bailed. So it was just the three amigos. (The waiter at the Mexican restaurant calls us “amigos”. I like it. I’m sure he doesn’t call anyone else that.)

Back-up plan: I was expecting my copy of Alien Artifacts. A delivery was attempted over the weekend, but I missed it, so all I knew for sure was I had a package to pick up at the post office. (I swear to god the mail person must have either waited for me to go to the can or knocked on the door with a feather because I was home all damn day on Saturday and no one came to the door. But I digress.)

So I read the rules online, watched every video I could find, crossed my fingers and went to the post office this morning.


Success!

I pre-ordered this game the day pre-orders opened. It was likened to 51st State: Master Set and Race for the Galaxy. I was fairly excited. I was less so after reading the rules. It seemed.....odd.

But after dinner, we still wanted to give it a go, so we cracked it open and started unwrapping cards. And by we, I mean me and Leon....Workman was shaving. (Don’t ask.) When we got everything stacked and sorted, Workman was still shaving (he’s got a hell of a five o’clock shadow) so we started sleeving. Then Workman reappeared all smooth and glistening and he helped. And then we were finally ready to play.



I provided a random and confusing rules explanation. I always have a great plan for teaching rules and then it’s showtime and I just start talking out my ass. This time, I had Workman so confused I finally just restarted. But we got through it.

I was the super-sexy clone faction. Leon was the Silics. I forgot who Workman was, some 1940s-era soldier-looking types. Each faction has a unique action, a unique starting set up, and unique end-game scoring.


I was the model for the clone faction art. Not really. But I was the model for the faction that has hands for feet, we just didn’t play them.

I bought a planet Workman wanted on turn one. He handled it well. Then I did it again a few turns later. He handled it even better. Had I been able to keep that up for the entire game, it would have been as entertaining as the game itself. Moreso even.


The planet Workman wanted. First in a series.

The game played out in fits and spurts. I spent an expected amount of time checking the rulebook. We encountered several card scenarios that weren’t specifically addressed, so we did what we always do: WWMTGD? (What Would Magic the Gathering Do?) I think we played it mostly right, it’s just kind of an odd game. At least it seems so after one play.


The all-important resource cards

I led for most of the game, as I had the most in-game scoring cards. But I had very few cards overall. Leon and Workman built much better empires, and Leon had artifact cards coming out of his ass. He had one turn that just went on and on and on because he kept getting artifact cards that were immediately playable.


Final scoring. Guess who green is. Go ahead. Guess.

In the end, Workman won. (Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Anyone? Anyone? Didn’t think so.) I was second, Leon third. After one play, I liked Alien Artifacts, but I don’t love it. I’ll play it more, but not likely with the Fun Group. It feels like a game that took a highly-interactive theme (4X space goodness) and put it on a very cerebral, very solitary tableau builder. And I don’t mind cerebral and solitary. I just don’t particularly care for that sort of game with this sort of group.

After AA it was too early for Love Letter, so Workman wandered into his closet and came out with Labyrinth. It’s a funner-than-you-might-expect maze game. We’d played once before. Leon plays a lot with his son. He dominated. I think he got a treasure every turn. Every. Turn. I was second, Workman last. But we helped Leon get back to his starting spot on his last turn. So group-win asterisk situation. Fun times.


The Labyrinth


My treasures


Finally, it was time for Love Letter. Leon and I let Workman have a couple of cubes this game, but no more. I won. I dominated really. Additional fun times.

And that be all. If you’re interested in such things, this week marks one year since we stopped playing in our office cafeteria. I like playing at Workman’s house better, but the cafeteria had a certain charm. I miss it.

But no matter where we play, thanks for reading about it. And happy gaming!
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Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:43 am
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Memento

Charlotte Malone
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But it was still a good game night. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

*************************************


Afterwards, I drove home, regretting an embarassing Clockwork loss, relishing a glorious Love Letter win, and wearing Workman's socks. Life is weird.

*************************************


Finally we played a blissfully short game of Skull. Workman won. I guess he deserved it. He didn't have a great night, all things considered.

*************************************



Look at all the love. And it's mine. All mine.

*************************************


After CW, it was Love Letter o'clock. I made it my sole purpose to screw Workman. He got not a single cube. But then, neither did Steve. So mostly just me and Leon played Love Letter. And King Charlotte came out on top. Woot.

*************************************


I dig Clockwork Wars, but I have gotten progressively worse every time I've played. Not cool. Maybe I just need to pick my seat better.

************************************



Sick burn.

************************************


But just as we were starting to box up, Leon says "Wait, we didn't score the court. I get five points. I win. Move blue up and take another picture." What?!?!?! Leon won? Workman lost?!?! Such a dramatic finish. The crowd went wild. Mostly me. I went wild.

************************************



I hate purple. It pained me to take this photo. Also, please don't look at green. Shamebell.

************************************


So final scoring happened and I only got five points and every body else got a gabillion. But Leon didn't get a gabillion and four which is what he needed to beat Workman after I took away his six discovery points. Once again, I accidentally handed Workman a win. I hate me.

************************************


We played the nine-round game and by the final round, there was nothing much I could do. I had one espionage card left that would basically rob someone of a discovery. If I played it on Leon, it would cost him six points. But I doubted it would cost him the win. He had it in the bag. There wasn't anyone else to use it on. And I had blown my chance of winning the court. So I used it on him. Bye-bye six points.

*************************************



Look at my sad little assortment of green tiles. If someone would have kept his purple ass out of my business, it would all have been fine. But nooooo. I can't be allowed to have nice things.

*************************************


I finally couldn't take it anymore and had to excuse myself to lose the pantyhose. I'd worn boots, and didn't like the idea of wearing boots without socks for the trip home, but whatevs. I'd figure something out. I was still losing, but I felt much better.

*************************************


No matter what I did, I couldn't get around Workman. I started trying to actively avoid him, but it made no difference. He kept deploying where I deployed and of course he kept winning. I felt very bunged up. And I was wearing pantyhose. That certainly wasn't helping. My green territory just kept shrinking. It felt like the pantyhose were shrinking as well.

*************************************


Leon and Steve were productively moving across the board, collecting IP, and making quite a place in the world for themselves and their discs. I just kept running into Workman and taking my discs off the board. He killed my Hunter in turn two. Who does that?!? Why did I have to sit next to him?

*************************************



Things were looking ok for green early. I'm still feeling good about my chances in this pic. Purple ain't got nothing on me.

*************************************


We decided to randomly generate a map. This may not have been the best idea we've ever had. Workman was HQ'd in a field of brown tiles and he was clearly going to need to take over another side of the board. He would likely go after Steve.

*************************************


Steve hadn't played before.....he was the Rhinochs. Leon was the Trogs, Workman was the Inventions, and I was the Mongrels. I'd been them once before. I liked their Hunter unique unit. I had big plans for the Hunter.

*************************************




It was Leon's night to pick and he wanted to play Clockwork Wars. I love Clockwork Wars, for two reasons. One, it's a fantastic game. And two, Workman can't seem to win it. Here's hoping we keep the streak alive.
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Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:54 am
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I'm hoping to think of a better title but if I don't, I'm sorry, it's late, I played a lot of Ashes today and I'm tired

Charlotte Malone
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In case you missed it, two new Ashes decks released on Thursday. It's been over a year. I wasn't excited. I didn't leave work early to go pick mine up. I didn't walk into the store and declare "I'm here for my Ashes decks and I'm very excited!" I didn't go home, sleeve all the cards (I'm a slow sleever, everyone thinks so, this is a big deal) and wait for the Hubz to get home. I didn't text the Hubz and tell him I'd scrapped my dinner plan, I was too excited to cook, please bring home some food. I didn't do any of that. That you know of.

Guess what else I didn't do? I didn't lose eight straight. Eight straight. Actually I did. Mark beat me seven times (over three days), and Leon was nice enough to meet me for lunch Friday and beat me again, taking some of the pressure off Mark. Swell guy that Leon.

So by Saturday night, my excitement was in the shitter and I was a broken shell of my former self. And guess what! I'd planned an Ashes draft for Sunday afternoon. I didn't want to play. I didn't want to draft. I wanted to back over all my cards in the driveway. But I didn't. We had a six-person draft as planned. And it was fiiiiiiine.



Steve has decided he isn't about the Ashes life, but Leon, Workman, Mark, and Munch were all on board. I invited my Eurogaming friend Matt to join us as he just started playing. So we had six.

The two new decks introduced two new dice types and I was a little concerned that they would throw things out of balance. So we drafted four extra cards each, and it was fiiiiiine. (Except Mark took the wrong dice for the new cards he drafted and no one noticed until his third game and at that point, no one cared).


Dice aplenty

I drafted Orrick, friend of the draft. He lets you re-roll and re-use up to four dice as long as they are different types, which rewards you for drafting too many dice types. But I'm so damn awesome, I only needed two dice types to play all the cards I drafted, rendering his power fairly useless. So maybe I meant to say I'm so damn stupid. But I digress.


Orrick Gilstream. The Draft Dream. On my team. Dice rolling extreme. Favorite pie is banana cream.

I won't bore you with a match-by-match play-by-play (although Workman did request a detailed account of all of his winnings and I will say that he went 5-0 because he somehow managed to draft the Mist Spirits yet again and because someone allowed him a very courteous do-over when he failed to read the Beast Tamer's ability and that person will remain anonymous but that person's name rhymes with "preevedog" just so you know). But I will say, I think it was our best draft yet. Everyone drafted really solid decks. Almost contructed caliber decks.

I went 2-3. I lost to Workman (ginormous asterisk on that one though), Leon, and Munch. All three games were grindy and down to the wire. I decked myself in two of them. But my games against Mark and Matt were very wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, over in a couple of turns and I'm not really even sure what happened. Go figure.


The owls were my MVP. Discard a card from your hand! So fun to say.


Did you know the Mist Spirits' attack value drops to zero when they attack the Beast Tamer? Yeah. Workman didn't either.


Leon drafted Jessa. I think she's won the most drafts after Aradel and Brennan, who were banned from this one for being too good, but I need to check the spreadsheet. Yes, there's a spreadsheet. #srsbsns

Final results were:
Workman (Victoria), 5-0*
Mark (Dimona), 3-2
Leon (Jessa), 3-2
Munch (LuLu), 2-3
Me (Orrick), 2-3
Matt (Rin), 0-5


Fun times

So despite my not wanting to ever see another Ashes card ever again, it was a good day. I got over my funk. I still love me some Ashes. I'm glad we played.


This has nothing to do with anything, but after everybody left I was starving and made the best freaking grilled cheese sandwich I've ever made. Perfectly melted cheese and equally perfectly grilled bread? When does that happen? I mean look at the cheesy goodness! So delicious.

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:15 am
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King Charlotte

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This is going to be a short one.

That's what she said.

It was Workman's pick and he declared it a Tichu night. I was much excited. I love me some Tichu.



We played our usual teams: Steve and Leon taking on me and the Devil. (When you dance with the Devil, the Devil doesn't change; the Devil changes you. But you also usually win at Tichu. Which is nice.)

If you recall, Workman and I are undefeated. Steve and Leon are getting better. I was looking forward to a good game.

And I guess it was a good game? It was very grindy and undramatic. Only Workman called Tichu (three times, made them all) and most rounds were close. I could blame bad hands all night (and I will, I had some shit hands) but I didn't play well either. I did some stupid things (I failed to realize Leon only had one card left one turn and let him go out, I tried to get fancy and unload the Phoenix by going out last on purpose and then inexplicably went out third or some shit.....just stupid play on my part.)

And freaking Leon had a freaking pair of aces every freaking round. Every. Freaking. Round. "Can you beat a pair of queens!?" "Yeap." "Can anybody take these kings!?" "Yeap." Son of a bitch.


I kept waiting for a really good hand to take a pic. I never got a really good hand. Also Workman's elbows.

And we messed up some rules as well. We misplayed the Phoenix one turn, which hurt Steve and Leon, and looking at the scores now that I'm home, I have Steve and Leon winning one round 125 to 0 which I don't think is mathematically possible. (Right? If they got all the point cards plus the dragon, that's 125 but that means we had to have the phoenix, which would mean -25 for us? IDK, math is hard.)

But......I don't think any of that changed our win. Yes, the streak continues.....The Devil and I won again! Our lackluster game finally had some panache with Workman calling Tichu and us going out 1-2 to win it 1195 to 830. Woot. Super close game though. I wasn't at all confident we would win.


Ten. Not my most riveting picture ever, for sure.

After Tichu, we wanted to play Modern Art, but Steve didn't want to stay much longer. So we played Love Letter. I got dealt the king like every turn. And got baroned with that king every turn. And lost. Which is never a good thing for the person doing the baroning.

But I did ok. In fact, we all did OK except Workman. He was going to test out the theory that in addition to spider fingers and spider toes, he has spider face. But he never got a cube. Not one. We blanked him again. So nice. Leon won.

And then we sat around and shot the shit for like thirty minutes, talking about head transplants and super-gross CPR. So really, we could have played Modern Art and left about the same time. But whatevs. It was fun. It's always fun.

Finally, for reasons that are not important, I've spent quite a bit of time this past week thinking about why I write this blog. And I haven't really come up with any answers (I'm still thinking) but I have thought quite a bit about the fellow geeks I've gotten to know here. I like this little community. And I appreciate it. You guys are awesome. Thanks for reading.

Turns out, this was longer than I expected.

That's what she said.
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:01 am
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Don't Kiss Me, Monster

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It was my night to pick, Steve cancelled, and I needed a three player. I've been ass-deep in Arkham Horror: The Card Game lately, and was feeling a little Lovecraftian. We hadn't played Mansions of Madness: Second Edition in over a year, so I went with it.



I remembered liking MoM. We didn't fare well when we'd played before, but I laughed myself silly. Probably not the intent, but whatevs. Fun is fun. I also remember thinking it was a bit too long, and the app was very cool, but less board gamey than it should be. But I was excited to play again.

We picked one of the shorter scenarios. I was Minh, a super-smart secretary; Leon was Father Mateo, a strong, wise, agile priest; and Workman was Mike, a very stupid gangster. We got dropped in the foyer of a mansion and off we went.


Minh is the investigator I'm currrently playing in AHtCG too. It was nice to see a familiar face. Hey Minh!

Workman and I got tied up with monsters from the jump. We fought some serpentine thing, then I got slapped around by a Deep One for a few turns and Workman got emasculated by a Witch. (Not only did she wail on him, she made him drop his cigarettes. That's some evil shit right there.) Leon just wandered around the kitchen and ate doughnuts. (I'm not making that up.) "They weren't very good doughnuts." Doesn't matter Leon. Do work.


Workman ran up to this thing, jumped on his base and yelled something like "Let's do this, bitch!" But then he rolled all blanks and looked like a douche.

Workman rolled terribly all game and I didn't do much better. We both went insane about the same time and each got an insane condition card. Mine was that I won if we failed the investigation. Seemed easy enough. We were sucking pretty hard so far, so we just needed to keep the status quo and I'd win.

Shortly after Workman got his insane condition, he started trying to trade with Leon to get some piece of evidence. We knew immediately that he needed whatever it was to win. "Why do you need evidence? You're stupid." "Reasons."

Eventually, Workman went insane again and got eliminated. I needed to hold on for one more turn and I'd win. But of course we unleashed some crazy priest guy (who may or may not have owned the house we were wandering around) and he scared me so bad I got eliminated as well (which was completely justified if it was in fact his house.)

That left Leon, who had also just recently gone insane and needed to set fire to six rooms in order to win. A tall order for anyone, even a priest fueled by bad doughnuts.

So we lost. Not a surprise. But I enjoyed it. I wish I could have won, but my win condition was fairly lame. I didn't deserve to win. I do really like the insanity mechanic though. Very clever.

I dig MoM. I wouldn't want to play an app-based game on the regular, but it does take care of a lot of stuff, which makes the gameplay much easier. It's a solid game. Two thumbs up.


After getting our sanity back, I pulled out Sagrada, a dice drafting game. It's very thinky, but very fast, and quite lovely.


Even the round track is lovely.

Workman hate drafted me (of course) but I still did Ok. I won with 55. They both had less than 55, which was somewhat expected since they'd never played before, but Workman finished dead last after all that hate drafting, which I found extremely satisfying.

I think they both liked Sagrada. I know I like it. I like the dice, I like the drafting, I like how puzzly it is, and I like that it plays fast (unless you have the Tap Wheel, which was an AP nightmare. I wish we hadn't drawn that one.)


One gaping hole in my beautiful window. Workman threw a rock through it probably.

And that was game night. Fun as always, despite all the insanity. And maybe fun because of the insanity. Either way, fun times.

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
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Wed Oct 4, 2017 5:08 am
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They wanted me to title this post "Bus Monkey" but I said no

Charlotte Malone
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It was Steve's night to pick and he wanted to play The Others. But we've only played once, and that was way back last December. We remembered very little about how you play. Steve is not much of a "I'll read the rules" guy. So I said I would read the rules. Because I'm a dumbass.


It's possible we were consumed.

I did read the rules. All 40 pages. And watched a 45-minute video. And 30 minutes of a playthrough. I was prepared. I thought. Eric Lang is the Henry David Thoreau of board games. And The Others is mechanically very simple, as you would expect. But there are so many special tokens, and so many monsters, and so much sin in the world, this game is hard to grok. I spent most of the evening reading the rulebook.

Leon played the sin character. He was Pride. Leon very much enjoys being the "one" in one-vs-many games. It's because he's prideful. (Actually it isn't, it's because he's smart and doesn't like sharing victories, but the prideful thing was thematic so I went with it.)

The heroes chose a corruption story. We had dark past cards. We needed to get one of us to seven corruption and reveal our card, then we needed to remove two alter tokens from rooms with no monsters, and then we needed to kill the traitor hero. Sounded simple enough. I did remember last time thinking that we lolly-gagged on the first mission and should have completed it right off the bat. So that was our approach this time.


The Workman Card

I was Leah. I was the designated "get seven corruption, stat!" hero. I wiffed. I got five corruption, and then got my ass beat and died before I got two more corruption. And just like that, I was Rose.

Workman, meanwhile, was Rocco. He was a range fighter. He killed a lot of monsters. He was cool. Unfortunately, killing monsters wasn't on our story mission anywhere, but still. Cool.

Steve was a wolfman named Karl. (Who names a wolfman Karl?) He could switch back and forth from wolf to human. He was cool. Unfortunately, playing out a metaphor for the dual nature of man wasn't on our story mission anywhere, but still. Cool.


So many tokens.

But eventually Steve got seven corruption. And we moved to the next mission. We cleared two rooms of their alter tokens like that (I'm snapping.) And we moved to the final mission: kill the traitor hero.

Leon designated Thorley to be the traitor hero. We aren't sure we handled that right, but we went with it. Thorley was holed-up in a city district next to a metro stop. We all bought subway passes and headed downtown to kick some ass.


Steve makes a good point.

By this time, I was Morgana (games are hard.) I gave a good effort trying to kill Thorley, but I failed. Leon got me to seven corruption and I revealed my dark past card. It turned me into a sin monster. And just like that, it was a two-vs-two game.

Meanwhile, Workman was having an existential crisis over the impossibility of our third mission. "We can't kill this guy. How do we kill this guy? We need eight hits. No one rolls eight dice. This is impossible." Then he shut up, rolled like a boss, and killed Thorley.

Unfortunately, he died at the same time. And there were no more heroes to bring out, so did the heroes win? Or did Leon win? (And by Leon, and I mean me and Leon because I changed teams.) So one last time I dug through the rulebook and determined that the heroes won. Of course they did. Because I wasn't a hero anymore. That's some bullshit.

But....it was not even close to a fair win. We realized midway through the game that we were supposed to be taking wound tokens when leaving a space with a monster and we hadn't done that. Steve would have been long dead if we had. And we misplayed the metro, so we all got somewhere we couldn't have been for another turn. Bleh. Unsatisfying.

The Others would be a lot more fun if I hadn't spent the whole game looking up rules. Some games just require several plays before you know them well enough to play at the designed pace. And pace is important. Also pride is bad, and goes before a fall.


We re-purposed the wound tokens from The Others into hearts for Love Letter. We're crafty like that.

After all that sin, we needed some love. Leon won. I got dealt the princess all night. More bullshit.

In other game night news, Leon can appreciate the talents that an older woman brings to the table, Workman isn't as tall as he thinks he is, and Steve telling a story that he finds funny is way funnier than the story itself. Also, bus monkey. Even with a less-than-stellar game, I love game night.

Thanks for reading!
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:26 am
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So Many Onions

Charlotte Malone
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Let's kick the post off with a recap of dinner. Well, just the appetizer. We ate at our favorite (usually) Mexican restaurant. Leon got there first, got a table, and ordered "loaded queso". It was on the table when I got there. It was the nastiest looking plate of garbage I'd ever seen. "What the hell is that?" "I think I ordered the wrong thing." It was cheese and chorizo and onions and onions and onions and grease. With extra onions.

Workman and Steve got there and lost their minds over it. "This is amazing." "Best queso ever." "You can't have too many onions." No, you can. You definitely can.

This has nothing to do with anything, other than I needed to mention it. So. Many. Onions. So many. Onions.

Anyway, on to game night.

Tonight was weird. We started with a closer. Sort of.

Steve ordered Number 9 and brought it for our closing filler. But he was so excited to show us the pieces that we got it out first thing and then we just played it. Which was fine. It's good to mix things up every now and then. Like playing games you know you're gonna to suck at. Just for example.

I knew I would suck at Number 9. But I actually did better than I thought I would. I think I finished second after Workman, but I really don't remember. I should have written down the scores.


My numeric masterpiece. When I was in college, I was into a guy that was into Tetris. That time investment finally paid off.


Workman's winning numeric masterpiece. Mine's prettier. I got the asthetic win.

I liked it. I would play again. It's definitely different. Seems like a game you can't play too much or it gets samey. But every so often, instead of Love Letter, absolutely.

And now on to our signature game of the evening, City of Remnants. A few weeks back, we were digging around Workman's closet looking for a 3-player and we found this. We opted out of playing it then, since it didn't look like one to play without reading the rules. But we ear-marked it for a future night. That night was tonight.


My god, this picture is dark.

I was the designated rule-reader. I did so, and watched a video. I asked the guys to watch the video as well, since the game seemed a bit rulesy. I even implied there was nudity and sexual content in the video, just to get them to tune in. They either didn't fall for it or they don't care to see Rodney Smith naked, but they didn't watch it. (To be fair, Leon may have watched half of it, before messaging me to say "I'm beginning to think you lied about the nudity just to get me to watch this." Me?)

Anyway, I provided a lengthy rules explanation during which everyone finally asked me to stop talking and just play already. They don't appreciate me. They really don't.


Our little city. Of remnants. And tiles. And plastic minis. And other stuff.

Remnants is an early Plaid Hat game. (And let me just say it's a damn good thing they brought Fernanda on board to do their art. Holy shit the art is weird in this game. Scroll back up and look at that cover. I mean wtf?) It's an area control game that dips a toe into deck building and resource management.

Our game saw very little player interaction. Steve moved in on Workman just once, got beat down, and no one took anyone else's territories. The whole game. I'm not sure what was wrong with us. (Late game, Steve and Workman confessed that the amazing onion and grease queso was not nearly as good two hours later as it had been over dinner. Maybe that was it.)

Whatever the reason, we took our areas, we built tiles, we bid for gang members, we produced resources and we bought and sold stuff. We just didn't battle. After the turns phase, there's a Yugai (I may be saying that wrong, I kept wanting to call them the YugiOh) phase where our evil alien overlords get randomly dropped on the board and we battle them. They got dropped on me virtually every turn. But I beat them back every time. (Except one time when I paid them off. Don't judge me.). But that was all the battling that happened. (Although last round was pretty epic as Steve kept rolling threes, which re-releases the YugiOhs and he and Leon kept having to battle them. Good times.)

Workman won with 72. Steve had 69, Leon 67 and me 66. I hate Workman.

I liked City of Remnants but I didn't love it. It did some clever things, but if I was choosing between this game and probably any other area control game that we own, I don't think I'd choose this. It was fine. It just wasn't amazing.

Since we played our filler first, we played another filler. You know it, Love Letter. It was a memorable game in that Steve baroned with a priest and won, I won an entire round with a baron, and Leon won the entire game when Workman made a completely boneheaded play. (I can say that because I'm usually the boneheaded player. Also because I hate him.)

After Love Letter we still had time so we played Parade. And I won! Which isn't entirely fair because as I am like to do, I can't remember the damn rules to this game for the first half and I do a lot of takesies backsies...."oh, I'm taking all those cards? I don't want to do that." But I did ok. At one point Workman said "For someone who says they don't know the rules, you sure aren't taking any points. " I had 18. It was glorious.


Did I mention that I won? I won.

And that was that, another super-fun core four game night. With extra onions.

Thanks for reading!
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Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:17 am
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