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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Throwing Shade

Charlotte Malone
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It was Steve’s night to pick and he wanted to play Battle for Rokugan again. But despite all the many technological advances in the world of scheduling, Steve still can’t read a calendar and his wife was working tonight. So he canceled. Year of Steve my ass.

But guess what? We played Rokugan anyway. Our first back-to-backer in some time. (I mean, I could look it up and see exactly how long it’s been but I don’t really care and neither do you. We both know this.)


Just so you wouldn’t think I reused last week’s image, I went all dramatic angle on this one.

If you read last week, you already know that I really, really dug this game. It was all I could do not to buy myself a copy. I mean, I’ll probably only ever play this with the Fun Group, so it’s completely unnecessary but I really want it. So stupid.

Also from last week, please recall that Leon won and Workman was decimated. Embarrassingly so. (That may be what I actually wanted to buy, truth be known. Workman’s suffering in a box. If only.)

Anyway, we played with three this week, and played with all new factions. Leon was the Crabs, Workman was the Cranes, and I was the Lions (Cuz my mane.) (Not really. We sort of randomly drew them. But I do have a lot of hair.)


Obligatory pile of tokens shot.

My objective this week was to hold the Dragon’s capital, or two provinces in the Dragon’s territory. I secured all of the above during the opening token distribution and (spoiler alert) held them until the end of the game.

I was a little nervous that a three player game would result in two players mixing it up with each other and the third player running away with the game unimpeded. But it didn’t play like that at all. We got all up in each other’s business from the jump. No one seemed to be focused on any one player. We all just wanted what we wanted and tried to take it from whomever had it.

I didn’t really want a lot of new provinces, but I did want to keep what I had. Workman went last during one of the early rounds, and I placed a defense token in one of my provinces, knowing he would attack me with his last placement. He didn’t attack, and when we revealed tokens: “Here’s your defense token back, the one you wasted in the province that wasn’t even being attacked.” Really? You’re throwing shade at my strategy? Cranes are dicks.


Bottom right, please notice the Dragon’s capital. With added tokens and my objective, it was worth 11 points. Yeah. You heard right. Throw some shade on that, crane boy.

It was a very close game. After the final turn, we revealed tokens and Workman won with 38. Leon and I tied for second with 34. I had spent the last round choosing between taking points from Leon or defending my provinces from Workman. I chose poorly. And I should have defended a province that “wasn’t even being attacked” because Workman went last and of course attacked me. (And in a cruel twist of fate, this attack that I didn’t defend against cost me a five point territory bonus, but I didn’t realize it at first and had my score at 39. Dammit, that was a harsh way to lose.)

But despite all that angst, I love this game. I hate Workman and I hate the Cranes now by association, but I love this game.


This is me. Crying softly in the shade that Workman threw.

After Rokugan, we had time for a filler-esque kind of game, so I taught them Favelas.



Favelas is a very thinky tile-laying game, somewhat reminiscent of Biblios. But without the cards, and the gifting, and the auction, and the monk jokes. So mostly just the dice part of Biblios. You can help yourself and hurt your neighbor by changing the value of the dice based on how you place your tiles. (And unlike Biblios, you roll these dice. Three times. So satisfying.)


It made me crazy that the red die was facing the wrong way. CRAZY. I eventually had to move it. Don’t judge me.

While we were setting up, I commented that I wasn’t taking the 50+ point tokens out of the box because no one ever needed them. Workman took that as a personal challenge. And he FAILED. Ha. He only had 48 points. LOSER.

Except that he won. I had 30 and Leon had 25. (And to be fair, I almost tile-placed myself completely out of the game had they not stopped me. My tiles were stacked in such a way that if I went with what I was doing, I’d never be able to place anywhere else. So thanks. I guess.)

I dig this game. Workman and Leon also liked it, and Workman hates every game I bring so that’s saying something.

And finally, it wouldn’t be game night without Love Letter. Leon promised a four-and-out win. And he FAILED. Ha. He had a four to three to three win. Dammit Leon. His strategy this game consisted of Prince/Guard, Prince/Guard, Prince/Guard, I wish I was kidding, Prince/Guard. It was his opening move for like five turns. Workman even threw in a Prince/Guard combo. (But his wasn’t as cool.)

And that was game night. Super fun despite the shade-throwing.

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:27 am
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The Year of Steve

Charlotte Malone
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The Fun Group was on hiatus last week, but we were back tonight for the first game night of 2018. (At what point do you stop declaring thus and such “the first” of a new year? Second week of January? Third? It’s an annoying thing that I do, but I can’t stop. “Look everyone, my first yogurt of 2018!” “Oh wow, my first bitter disappointment of 2018.” But I digress.) (My first digression of 2018.)

It was Leon’s turn to pick, and of course he picked his birthday game, Battle for Rokugan.



Workman was in charge of reading and explaining the rules. An excerpt:

Workman: “Everyone flips their tokens and removes any bluff tokens and any tokens you placed incorrectly because you’re dumb. Well, not dumb. Confused.”

Me: “You’re talking about me aren’t you.”

Workman: “Ummm.......yes.”

But the rules are very simple and we were ready to play in no time. (Even so, three quarters of the way through, Leon declared “Let’s play!” It doesn’t matter how long a rules explanation is, three quarters through Leon is done and ready to move on. It’s his signature move.)

We chose our own clans. I was the Phoenix clan (because #teamphoenixforever). Leon was the Dragons, Steve was the Scorpions, and Workman was the Unicorns. We got our screens and our objectives and placed our starting control tokens and we were off.


Team Phoenix is the best clan. We don’t care about your stinking capital defense and we bless like a boss.

I liked my starting spots. I also liked my objective. Mostly because my objective was to hold my own starting spots. Probably not entirely fair that I drew myself as an objective, but what can you do.

Want to know what else I liked? This game. I mean I really liked it. It’s a lot like the token-placing phase in A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, only that’s the whole game. (Plus also, I never had to ask what a raid token does.) Super simple area control, but so much potential for bluffing. And....AND....the game really rewards you for defending your provinces. I loved that.


Check out my board presence. No, that’s Leon. I’m the orange tokens. Pretty badass, yes?)

I feel like I played well too. Leon was the man to beat from the start, but I was in it. Steve and Workman just imploded on each other. Steve kept muttering some bullshit about his objective, and Workman kept almost getting eliminated from the board. At one point he declared peace in a province just to stick it to Steve, forgetting that he couldn’t attack from that province anymore. So he mostly just stuck it to himself. Well played.


I’m not touching you!!!


Suck on that, Workman.

In the end, Leon won with 38. I had 33, and I was proud of that. Steve had 9. Workman had 7. This is not a bizarre series of typos. 38, 33, 9, 7.

To be fair, Leon and I both had to hold our own capitals for our objectives. That doesn’t seem quite fair. Steve and Workman both had harder objectives and did not complete them. (Although, beyond that, I can’t account for the remaining 20 point swing between scores. Except maybe spite.)

Long story short, Rokugan is a solid game. I hope we play again.

Afterwards, we played Love Letter. (Our first game of Love Letter of 2018!) A while back, Workman declared that I had more Love Letter wins than anyone. I set out to disprove this (and did, Leon has the most wins) and in doing so, discovered that Steve is pretty much the worst Love a Letter player of all time. He had one win. One. Even Munch, our alternate, had more wins than Steve. But after working ourselves into another four-way three-cube tie, Steve pulled out a win! He declared 2018 the Year of Steve! We’ll see. But yay for him for the time being!

And that was game night. It’s good to be back.

Also, Monty Hall and Benny Hill are not the same guy. That was an actual conversation.

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Thu Jan 4, 2018 5:30 am
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Happy New Year! (Not an actual post)

Charlotte Malone
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Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2018. I did a kind of a recap thing, if you’re interested:

My 2017 in Review


I expect to be back to the blogging later this week. Until then, Happy New Year and Happy Gaming!
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Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:20 pm
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Teamwork, 5

Charlotte Malone
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It was Workman’s pick, and he was “kinda feeling Tichu.” He first said he had some analog version of Hearthstone he was going to have us play, but I was pretty sure he was just being an ass and I responded in kind. (BGG really needs to add the middle finger emoji.) So of course when his legit pick turned out to be Tichu, I was all about it.


This isn’t from tonight. I pulled it from my camera roll. When I play Tichu, I almost never take pictures. One, they’re boring. But two, I’m a very focused Tichu player.

Team Charlotte/Workman had a very good game. We had one Tichu call (Workman, he made it), but I should have called Tichu almost every hand. Last time we played, we never got the Dragon or the Phoenix, but this game we were gifting them back and forth right and left. We got very lucky with the cards. Also, I’m baller.

Steve and Leon were not so lucky with the cards. Steve made a desperate Grand Tichu call to get back in the game, but he missed it. We decided to call it after that. Team Charlotte/Workman won with 880! Woot! (It was mostly me, no matter what nonsense Steve says about Workman carrying me. Horseshit, I say.)


OK, I lied. I took a picture.

After wrapping up Tichu early, we gave Leon his birthday gift. (His Birthday is next week, but we likely won’t get together because of Christmas and other holiday shenanigans.) We got him Battle for Rokugan and Codenames: Marvel. We decided to crack open Marvel Codenames and play tonight.



When we were discussing what to get Leon and thinking about this game, Workman and I both acknowledged that we would get our asses beat playing it against Steve and Leon. They are both huge Marvel fans, and while I can hold my own in a conversation about the Fantastic Four, my knowledge doesn’t extend much further in the universe and Workman knows less than I do.

So imagine our surprise when we won the first game! We played on the word side of the cards, but I very much like that you have the option for words or pictures. In the end, we played four games and split 2-2. Two games we legit won, one game they won, and one game we hit the assassin (although we weren’t driving hard to the hoop for a win there either.)



Some of the highlights:

“Cousins, 2.” “Well, it isn’t Hulk and She-Hulk. I’m pretty sure they aren’t cousins. Did Thor have a cousin?”

“Patriot.” “No, but I wish I’d seen that. That was a good answer.”

“How are you not getting this.” “I don’t know wrestling.” “Yeah, I just still feel like you should know this.”

“I’m trying to decide how smart you are.”

I love Codenames. I didn’t think the Marvel and the Disney and the bawdy joke versions really needed to be made, but I guess the variety is nice. It was surprisingly difficult. But definitely fun.

And that’s a wrap. Probably our last game night of 2017. And what a great year we had! Thanks for coming along. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. (You probably didn’t. But you know. It’s just something you say.)

Until next year, thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:26 am
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Hearthstone Should Die of Gonorrhea and Rot in Hell. Cookie?

Charlotte Malone
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It was my night to pick, so of course Steve canceled. His wife got tickets to Star Wars, like that’s a big deal. (Steve doesn’t even like Star Wars!) Not that I’m a grudge holder, but this makes the third straight time that 1)It was my pick, 2)I really needed four players, and 3)Steve screwed me.

But Munch saved the day! His wife also had plans, but he wears the pants at his house, she canceled, and he was our fourth. (That’s not exactly what happened, but basically.) And even better, Munch also agreed to join for the pre-game dinner. And even even better better, Steve and fam were at the restaurant! Have you ever run into your ex and you were with someone much smarter and funnier and hotter? Yeah, me neither. I don’t think that ever happens. But this was close! I just wish Steve and fam could have stayed long enough to see us laughing and having great conversation with Munch and not missing Steve at all. But they had to get to the theater. And we didn’t have great conversation. We talked about Hearthstone. And by we, I mean not me. Other than emasculating Workman by opening the Cholula when he couldn’t, I don’t think I participated other than to eat. Workman, Munch, and Leon talked and talked and talked. About Hearthstone. It’s the Monty Python of games.

But that finally ended and we went to Workman’s house and commenced Game Night proper. My pick? Fate of the Elder Gods.



If you recall, the guys got me this game for my birthday. (Awwwwww. Sentiment.) And we all really enjoyed our first play. Since then, I got the Beasts from Beyond expansion (which is mostly MONSTERS), so we played with that.



Some beasts. From beyond.


Another beast. From beyond. This one was a deep one.

As much as I enjoyed our first play, this play was way better. There were a lot of things I liked about the game, but the balancing act between winning and losing may have been my favorite, and it was front and center this time around. Workman went all in on summoning points but had some raids go really poorly and ended up with the most elder signs as well. There were three or four rounds in a row when we thought he would end the game, but we weren’t sure if he would win or lose.

Meanwhile, Munch and I were in a tight battle to lose the least. I had no elder signs and two or three summoning points. He had no elder signs and three or four summoning points. But he kept adding elder signs, and then removing them with this ability he had. And he had a gabillion curses. I kept hoping that he would do something to trigger a curse that would stick him with at least one elder sign, and then Workman would trigger the end game by losing. That was my plan.

And it wasn’t a crazy plan either. Workman had curses out the ass as well. Every time he thought he could win it, he triggered a curse and didn’t win. But he also managed to not lose turn after turn. (He is Workman after all.) It was a VERY tight game. His final curse would trigger if he got raided. I wanted him to get raided, but only if Munch had an elder sign. Which he didn’t. And Workman didn’t get raided either. He got four summoning points on one turn (he only needed three) and won. Bastard!


The closest of close games.

I REALLY like this game. The expansion doesn’t add much mechanically, just monsters (which are summoning spells with minis) and a few new gods (which do monster things). But it’s fine. No reason not to play with it. The game itself is super solid. It has a neat spin on the typical Cthulhu theme, and has such a cool win/lose condition. I hope we play this more.

Afterwards, we played Love Letter. And Hearthstone! Oh, how I love playing games with people staring at their phones. So fun. To be fair, Workman wasn’t playing Hearthstone. He was watching Munch play and reading Reddit. But it was enough to cement my hatred for a game that I’ve never played. Munch won LL after a long, slow, ten-plus round game. I have no idea how their Hearthstone games went. I hope they all lost badly. Laces out.

But hey. You’re paying attention. At least I have that. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:36 am
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King Steve and King Charlotte and Kingsburg

Charlotte Malone
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In honor of Pearl Harbor Day tomorrow, we let Steve pick. And he really wanted to play a game that would let us play with our new dice (see last week’s post). So he came up with Kingsburg.


We had to combine some sets, but we each got three of our own custom dice and played the game with them. It was actually kind of cool.


Yeah. That’s what I said.

We’d played Kingsburg before, but it’s been a while. And I’ve only played it the one time. It’s not a complicated game by any means, and it didn’t take long to come up to speed.

I concentrated on building out my top row for points. Workman concentrated on taking all the spots I wanted. Steve concentrated on cursing his dice. Leon concentrated on getting his hands in every picture I took. We were all very concentrated.


His name is Workman and he approves this space. Doubly so.


The King has angry eyebrows just like Steve! All hail King Steve!

I somehow managed to lead most of the game. And then everybody caught up to me on the last turn and Workman zipped way past me. But I had seen the fight card and I knew it was a nine. And I knew it was Zombies. I tried to prepare.

I had eight. Eight is not nine. I was not prepared.

I was more prepared than anyone else, but it didn’t matter. We all lost five points. Had I been able to beat those damn zombies, I would have gained three and tied Workman. But alas, I did not. Stupid zombies. Stupid Workman.


Final scores. Dammit.

I like Kingsburg. I like dice placement games, and this one does some clever things. It’s simple and light, which is a nice change of pace for us. And I liked that we used our dice. That made me feel good.


Submitted without comment.

After Kingsburg, we played Love Letter. I got two cubes right out of the gate, so of course I got targeted. I had the king a lot this game, and everyone toyed with guarding me and guessing the king, but they never did. Fools. They did catch up....it was a three-way three-cube tie at the end. (Steve had two cubes. He tried.) And then in a bizarre plot twist, I won my final game with the baron. I beat a priest and a guard. What are the odds?

All hail King Charlotte. Long may she reign.

I mentioned earlier that it was Steve’s night to pick because of Pearl Harbor Day. That was actually bullshit. It was Steve’s pick because tomorrow is his birthday! (Say Happy Birthday everybody!) We got him a gift. It was nicely wrapped. That’s all I have to say about that.



And there you have it. Tune in next time (or sometime) to find out what we got Steve. Until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Thu Dec 7, 2017 4:51 am
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The Poor Need To Stay Poor

Charlotte Malone
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Before we get into game night proper, I need to do a little housekeeping.

As you may recall, the last time I posted, we were celebrating our two year anniversary as a game group. I had planned a surprise gift, but unfortunately did not plan it four days sooner, which is when I would have had to have ordered it so it would arrive on time. As it was, it arrived the next Wednesday, and we didn’t play last week due to the holiday, so finally tonight I was able to give them their anniversary gift. Better late than never, am I right?

So what was the surprise?

Spoiler alert, custom dice are not as expensive as you might think, and you don’t have to order in large quantities. (Go to Chessex.com and tell them the creevedog sent you.) (The creevedog part is really optional, and probably won’t result in any advantage at all. It just sounded cool.) Long story short, I was able to create a set of dice for each of us and give everyone a set of everyone else’s dice. (That was really hard to say. Everyone got four sets of dice. Damn.)




Leon got his favorite card ever, Total Organ Failure. Steve got angry eyebrows (it’s a thing with him.) Workman got his signature black hat and stamp of approval (he likes to tell us when he approves of our moves.) And I got That’s What She Said (because obvs.) And everyone got their preferred player color. Except me, because I let Workman have green because I’m so awesome. And Leon, because he doesn’t really have a favorite player color but he gets stuck with red a lot. So basically, Steve and Workman got their preferred player colors.

I think they dug it. I actually think they were all relieved it wasn’t some stupid girl thing they were going to have to pretend to like. But I also think they dug it. I hope so. I really enjoyed doing it.

And now.......game night.

It was Leon’s night to pick. He wanted to play Nothing Personal.


In a related story, I was recently asked if our game group was a game, what game would we be, and I said Nothing Personal.

Leon took a HUGE lead right out of the gate. By turn three, it looked like he wasn’t catchable. The rest of us were really close to one another. So Steve and Workman started plotting. But Steve couldn’t decide if he wanted to try to keep Leon from winning, or just give up on that and try to finish in second, beating everyone else. Workman just wanted to win. Natch.

And Leon was more animated than I’ve ever known him to be. He kept trying to tell Steve what to do. At one point, Steve was deciding who to take money from. He wanted to pick Leon, since he had the most money and was in the lead. And Leon started chatting. Which he never does. “You can’t keep me from paying to play cards. But you can keep them from paying. Take their money. The poor need to stay poor.” Every time anyone suggested going after Leon, he just said “Keep the poor poor.”


My fat stacks of influence. Dwarfed by Leon’s fat stacks of influence.

But low and behold, we all caught up to Leon. It was our closest and most intense game of NP yet. Close to the end of the final round, I somehow managed to be one point up on Leon. Steve was four points behind Leon, and Workman was four points behind Steve.


Not pictured, Workman on space 36.

But we weren’t quite done. Well, Leon and I were done. No cards left and no actions left to take. But Steve and Workman had actions left.

Steve attempted to whack me. Twice. And he failed. Twice. That left Workman to try to knock me out of first. But after a lot of speculation (“I’m going to make a move on Charlotte. Wait. No I’m not. No, yes I am. I’m definitely making a move on Charlotte. Am I?”) Workman finally decided that he couldn’t win, and all he could do was knock me out of first and hand Leon the win. And he was still mad about a perceived screwing that happened early in the game and he didn’t want to hand Leon the win. So I won.

I won? I WON!!!!!!! You know, it DOES feel good to be a gangster.

Best game of Nothing Personal ever. And I’m not just saying that because I won. But I did win. In case you missed it.

After NP, we played Love Letter. Because of course we did. For some reason, the countess got misplayed. Three different times. We never misplay the countess. (Even though I always have to think really hard when I draw her.) But we never misplay the countess. And we misplayed her three times. Three times! Weird. Oh yeah, and Workman won. I think. Maybe Leon won. I honestly can’t remember. I know me and Steve lost. I’m sure Workman will tell me.

So that’s that. Fun game night with gifts and a NP win for me and a LL win for someone. What else could you ask for?

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Edit: I confirmed. Workman won Love Letter.

Edit 2: I hate him.
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 am
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On This Day in History.....

Charlotte Malone
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Continental time zones were born. Billy Joel had his first #1 album. The Jonestown mass suicides occurred. And four co-workers played Chaos in the Old World in the office cafeteria, thus establishing the After-Work Fun Group Game Night.

Two years later, we’re just the Fun Group, but we’re still gaming. And to celebrate, we had a Saturday game day. We kicked things off with the obvious sentimental favorite.



We randomly drew factions. I was Nurgle, Steve was Slaanesh, Workman was himself, and Leon was Khorne.

Leon made the sentimental opening move, plopping his Big Bad down in the middle of the board, still the worst opening move Workman has ever seen.


Nurgle’s peeps. The original Fun Group.

I started out strong. And then Workman had to go and ruin everything by not letting me dial click and get my upgrade card, the one that gives me points when stuff ruins. I missed out on nine points. Nine! I dial clicked on the next turn, but that only left two regions to ruin and give me points. I wasn’t going to catch up. Leon rolled abysmally early on, also missing out on dial clicks. He couldn’t catch up either. Steve did ok, not doing so well that Workman got worried, but doing well enough that he stayed in the mix. (This is how to effectively play games against Workman. You’ll be fine if he doesn’t fancy you a threat.)

In the end, Workman won on points with 54. I lost by one. One! God, Nurgle hates Tzeentch.

In addition to it being the second anniversary of the Fun Group, Monday is also my birthday. I’ll be some years old. The guys very generously got me Fate of the Elder Gods as a birthday gift! I was very excited. I heard about this game on a podcast, and was intrigued by the idea of playing as cultists trying to outsmart the investigators for a change. I’m not a big fan of playing a game that no one knows how to play, but Workman read through the rules super quick and we jumped in.



It went surprisingly well. And the game is fun. There are two win conditions, one where one player gets nine summoning points, ends the game and wins, and one where one player gets nine elder sign tokens, ends the game and loses, leaving the winner to be the remaining player who has the least tokens.


My cultists were trying to summon this guy. And they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling investigators and that dog.


Since it was kind of my birthday, Workman let me have green. He was probably up to something.

I did well getting summoning points at first. Sadly, I did better getting elder signs, so I was clearly going to end the game. Steve was in position to win when the game ended, so Workman and Leon focused on keeping the game going.


My summoning situation. Sad!

But even their combined brain power couldn’t keep the game going much longer. Eventually, I ended the game and Steve won. Woot for Steve!

This is a cool game. Admittedly, many of the finer points escaped me, and I am looking forward to playing again. But I enjoyed the movement and spell-casting mechanics. Very clever. The components are super-nice too. Two thumbs up.

Next up, we played one of Workman’s Birthday games from a couple months back, Modern Art. Steve and Workman chattered throughout the game like a couple of tobacco auctioneers. Leon and I couldn’t have gotten a word in if we’d wanted to. (Which we didn’t. We’re not real chatty.) Workman appeared to be the one to beat, but in the end Steve won with 694. Workman had 574, I had 446 and Leon had 234. (Maybe we should start chatting more.) More woot for Steve!



And finally, it wouldn’t be game night without Love Letter. (Although , I did some research and was surprised to discover that we did not play Love Letter a single time the first year. We played our first game of Love Letter last December. Who knew? We’ve played 33 times since then, clearly making up for lost time.) It was a tight game, with everyone in a three-cube tie for the win. One game would decide it. It was super tense! And then Workman won. Bastard.

And that was game day. Old favorites, new favorites, pizza, and good friends. It was a good day.

And it’s been a good two years. I love board games, but I love board games with these people more. The Fun Group is the best. Thanks for playing!


I love these people. Even Workman.
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:09 am
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The View from the Bottom of the Food Chain

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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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