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Happy Pi Day everyone! Since game night fell on 3.14 this year, I baked us a pie. I only have one decent pie in my arsenal, which I like to call my Mostly Chocolate Chip Pie. Because it’s mostly chocolate chips. Mostly.
After dinner, we walked to Meijer to buy ice cream to eat with said pie. And Workman bought his first ever ice cream scoop. It was a good night. We do love an adventure.
But you’re just here for the games I imagine. (Otherwise you’d be on some niche pie or ice cream or ice cream scoop web site.) So let’s get to it.
It was Steve’s pick and he was feeling some feudal Japan. So we brought out Rising Sun again.
We’d only just played like two weeks ago. I really dug this game.
This time, we picked factions. Leon was the Lotus “I do what I damn well please” clan. Steve went orange clan who gets a free Bushi (Fox clan maybe? God my memory is shit.) Workman was the yellow “deep discounts” clan. And I got to be....you guessed it....the heroes on the halfshell.....the turtle clan.
”Am I not turtley enough for the Turtle Club?”
During the first Tea Ceremony, Steve and Leon got all allied up. Even though Workman wanted to ally with Leon. Or Steve. Basically, anyone but me. What’s wrong with me? I’m easily manipulated. I think I’m the perfect ally. (This repeated each Tea Ceremony, btw. Steve and Leon allying and Workman getting stuck with me. I’m not sure why he found the idea so unappealing. But it felt like I was being picked last for kickball in third grade again. Could have done without that.)
There is nothing remotely sexual about the alliance tokens. Nothing at all.
After working through my feelings of inadequacy, I focused on the game. I really liked my faction. I liked moving my strongholds around and using them as a force in battle. And I like the sculpts. And I like to be green. And turtles.
Check out these sculpts. I mean, you don’t see that everyday.
Donatello. Or Raphael. I get them confused.
I played better this game. I got seven unique war tokens. That’s a 30 point bonus. Plus the 13 points I got from each token. Unfortunately, I only got two points during the game, so I only got 45 points total. Suckage.
I did slightly better than Steve, who finished with 42. He might have been feeling feudal Japan, but feudal Japan wasn’t feeling him.
Leon appeared to be dominating the whole game. He took three war tokens in the second round because he was unchallenged in three regions. Three! Unchallenged! This should not happen. He finished with 50 points, which is not as many as I expected but still more than me.
Meanwhile, Workman didn’t appear to be doing anything. He went all in on cards, but I couldn’t tell how well he was doing. I don’t know why I doubted him. He wrapped around the score track and finished well in first with 62. (He must have had an amazing ally, amiright?)
We got to play on my giant neoprene map. It looks amazing and smells like ass.
I really like this game. Better than Blood Rage for sure, but honestly, probably not better than Chaos. This play felt somewhat samey. It may be because we’d played it so recently. No matter, I still dig it.
And afterwards, of course we played Love Letter. Leon went out of turn and Workman exposed my card to everyone, but it was an otherwise uneventful game. And Steve won again! #theyearofsteve
Tonight was super fun. I needed a game night, and this one didn’t disappoint. I love my game group. #GGN
Thanks for reading and Happy gaming! And Happy Pi Day! With ice cream!
It was Leon’s turn to pick, and he picked a fan favorite: Clockwork Wars. I think we all really like Clockwork Wars, but Leon really REALLY likes it because he mostly wins. Mostly.
Steve had only played once, so Workman and Leon reviewed the rules with him while I randomized the board. (Note to self: do not randomize the board again, Charlotte. Like never again. Never ever. Are you listening? Nothing good ever comes from you randomizing boards. Nothing. Ever. Never.)
I was the Rhinochs. I had not been exploding rhinoceroses before, either in this game, or in life. This was all new. Workman was the Trogs (the faction I always want to be but seldom get to be), Leon was the Mongrels, and Steve was the Humans (Humans? Is that right? The red faction with the Hunter unique. Are they Humans?)
What say we go blow some shit up, brah?
My side of the board sucked ass. I mean, I had plenty of lakes and forests, but I had one village. ONE. And not another one anywhere else I could reasonably get to. I had one research tile. ONE. An aggressive ass like Workman could probably have made that work, I am neither aggressive nor an ass, so I was expecting failure from the get go. I never recruited more than six workers a turn, and I never got any IP. (The Bastards took the IP I got at the start of the game.)
Who randomized the board? Sad!
The first round went well for me. I scored the hell out of my lakes and forests. And the second round went better than I expected. I was still in the lead after both scoring rounds, but Workman was right behind me, and was literally (not literally) dripping IP. In the final round, Steve took two of my scoring tiles, but I took two of Workman’s, so it was a wash. But Workman had so many freaking IP, he blew past me on the scoring track and won by a mile. Leon and I tied for second, and Steve brought up the rear.
Workman’s Clockwork shutout has ended. Oh, the humanity.
Despite a shitty board state and a lackluster play, I still really dig this game. PSA for fans: the designer has a new game coming to Kickstarter later this month (I think) called Infamous. Be ready.
After the main event, we played HMS Dolores, the prisoner’s dilemma game. We’d played once before.
It went as peacefully as you might expect. Leon and I played nice, until I screwed him and probably cost him the game. Oopsies.
There was a lot of profanity and then Workman won. I think I was second? Might have been Steve. I can’t remember. I remember Leon was pissed though. I do remember that.
After two Workman wins, he was spouting off about winning the Triple Crown as we went into our normal final game of the night, Love Letter. Too bad he came up lame at the Belmont and I took home the win. You read that right: King Charlotte has returned. All hail me.
With the crown rightfully back atop my head, we called it an evening. GGN. (Good Game Night. This is a thing I may start saying. You’ve been warned.)
Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
(Pssst.....don’t repeat this or anything, but it was Workman’s turn to pick and we didn’t play Charterstone. I repeat, we DID NOT play Charterstone. Maybe they’ve forgotten? A girl can dream.)
But yes, it was game night, it was Workman’s pick, and we played Terra Mystica of all things.
I say “of all things” because it felt like an out-of-the-blue pick. Not something Workman would suggest at all. But I was fine with it. At one point, TM was my favorite game. (Did you notice my avatar?) It was the first fairly heavy game I played when I got back into board games, and I loved it. I don’t desire playing it like I used it, and it’s not my favorite anymore, but I still very much enjoy it. I suck at it, but I enjoy it.
Steve was the only one of us who hadn’t played. Workman explained the rules (if I’m honest, the only reason I’d never picked TM was I didn’t want to try to teach it), we picked factions, and we were off.
We told Steve to be the Nomads. It’s a good first game faction. Workman was the Cultists, Leon was the Alchemists, and I was the Swarmlings (I’d never been them before).
I’d date this guy. Assuming he made me laugh and was interesting to talk to. Absolutely.
We all regretted our starting spots immediately. We all got up in everybody’s grill and I didn’t pick good neighboring spaces. But I managed to branch out and got my first town fairly early (for me).
My second town pains me to talk about. I placed my starting dwelling near the river, and by the time I got around to expanding, everybody had taken over my backyard. No worries, I’ll just cross the river and expand that way. Seemed easy. What could go wrong?
I did some terraforming. Then I spent three power and placed a bridge. I would terraform and build on the very next turn. Except Workman had spent the early game building up his shipping, and I didn’t realize he could get to where I was going. So of course he built on my space. Sweet lord, I hate him.
But whatevs. Wasted turn. Wasted power. I’d bridge again next round and expand in another direction. Except next round, I spent another three power and placed another bridge, and looked at Workman and said “Surely you aren’t going to build there too.” “Actually I am.” And that m#&$!?-f*@%! c%?!-s$&@*# built on my space. Again. I was broken.
@%#$+&* &$! of a ?!@#$.
I eventually spent way too much to terraform a sand space and finally got my second town. And in all honesty, I wasn’t even that mad. Even I could see the humor. I mean, I still hate Workman and all, but it was pretty damn funny.
After that, we had the typical end-game race to the top of the cult tracks and get points wherever you can turns. And then it was over.
Near end-game board state.
Workman won with 103, I was a distant second with 78, Leon had 65, and Steve had 58. (I realize these are not good scores. Be gentle.)
I still really enjoy this game. I like figuring out how to turn what you have into what you need most efficiently. I like the super-weird faction abilities. And I know Gaia Project is a way better game, but Terra Mystica holds a special place in my heart, and probably always will. Good game.
Next up, we played Skull. I have grown to loathe this game. So much so, I didn’t even try. I bid myself out of the game as soon as possible. Steve won. Rinse and repeat, Workman won. I think they only play it because they know I hate it.
Finally, we played Love Letter. I took an early three cube lead, but they all caught up, and then Steve won. It may really be the year of Steve.
And thus we conclude another epic game night. Thanks for coming along. (And don’t repeat this, but Leon’s picking next week and I don’t think he’s picking Charterstone either. Woot.)
Almost a full month ago, my copy of Rising Sun arrived at my door. I’ve been dying to play. But everybody else wanted to play Charterstone. Selfish bastards.
But tonight was finally my night to pick. What has two thumbs and didn’t pick Charterstone?
I had done a fairly amazing job of learning the rules. I mean, I had the time. So I explained everything, everyone paid attention (yes!), and we randomly chose factions.
I was the Dragonfly clan. Because I’m so fly. Not really. I pulled the Dragonfly clan because I wanted to be the Turtle clan so of course Workman pulled the Turtle clan. Because that’s how these things work. Steve was the yellow clan (deep discounts) and Leon was the red clan (money = ronin).
Dragonfly like a G6.
I wanted to to be the turtles because I wanted to play with their strongholds. And name each one for a famous Italian artist.
I started out feeling pretty good about things. I allied with Leon and won two war province tokens in Spring.
Summer was less awesome. I allied with Steve, which was fine, but I only got one war province token. It was a different one, but still. I wasn’t getting any VPs during the mandate phases, so I really needed end game scoring.
Autumn outright sucked. I won nothing. Nothing.
To make matters worse, I legit got pissed off at Workman during our last battle phase and it derailed me. So much so, that when I was tallying Steve’s score at the end, I jacked it up and possibly cost him the win. Not a great ending to an otherwise great game.
And it was a great game. There’s so much I like about Rising Sun. I like the mandate phase/action selection mechanic. I like the battle mechanic. And I like how alliances shape both of those things in different ways. The area control felt fresh as well: you need to win battles, but you need to win battles in different places each round. And you don’t know where those battles will be from season to season. Solid game.
In the end, Workman won with 46 points, Steve had 42, Leon had 31, and I finished with a stellar last place 29. I don’t know why I even try sometimes.
Afterwards, we played Love Letter. And we actually ran into a rules conundrum, if you can believe that. Steve and Workman both finished a round with a baron. They went to tie-breaker. And they both had 12 points. What is the second tie-breaker? Is there one? This has never happened in the gabillion games of Love Letter we’ve played. So we took to the Internet. Between BGG and Reddit, we determined that they both got a cube. And then, something else that has almost never happened in the gabillion games of Love Letter we’ve played......Steve won! Woot!
And that was that. I imagine we’ll be back to Charterstone next week, but I enjoyed this brief moment in the sun. (Get it? Sun? Never mind.)
Until next week......thanks for reading and happy gaming!
It’s Sunday! And it’s game day! (Whaaa?) Before I explain, some housekeeping.
We did have a game night last week. It was Steve’s night to pick, and he picked the cardboard manifestation of unending monotony. I mean Charterstone. As promised, I did not blog about this experience. But to summarize, we played twice. Workman won both. I finished second in both. I’ve decided finishing second is where it’s at. You need glory points, not wins. At least not now. And you get loser swag!
Afterward, we played Love Letter and Leon won. Dammit Leon.
And that was our weekly game night. Sorry no post, but there wasn’t much to say.
This week, Workman is in training. I won’t say what he’s training for, but he can’t be bothered with the distraction of a game night. So we decided to play today instead. We’d been wanting to play on a weekend so we could get Steve’s birthday game played.
Did you know they even made such wrapping paper? You really can get anything from Amazon.
Before you say anything, we are aware there is a brand new version of this game. But we are not slaves to the cult of the new. Also, when I was trying to figure out what we could get Steve, he mentioned in passing that he’d played Civ once, always wanted it, and had no interest in any new-fangled version. So there.
I had also played Civ once a couple of years ago and remembered liking it. But I was the Romans and went all big military and I suck at military and I did not have a great game. This game, I was hoping to be the Egyptians. Or the Chinese. Or the Americans. So of course I was the Germans. I really hate drawing random factions.
Me and the guy from Jumanji set out to build a civilization.
To make matters even more unjust, Steve was the Egyptians and Workman was the Chinese. Because of course they were. Leon was the Russians, but only because I actually drew them first and he offered to take them off my hands. Leon’s a good person that way. Workman just said I needed to get out of my comfort zone and play whatever I’m dealt. Workman’s an ass that way.
After the faction selection debacle, there was no way in hell I was letting Workman have green.
We had one big obstacle at the start: no one really knew the rules. It had been so long since Steve or I had played, it barely counted anymore. I had read the rules and watched an odd little video series on how to play. I think Workman also watched the videos, and Leon watched three or four. But no one was in a real position to teach the game. So we fumbled through set up and the first few turns, which took a while, but then everyone seemed to get it.
I spent those first few turns wrestling with myself. Did I want to build a military and then attack someone, only to get my ass handed to me? No. Did I have much of a choice? Not really. But I decided I would rather enjoy the game than win the game, so I was going culture or economy.
I started quietly collecting coins. A couple of things went my way. My starting tile had a coin on it. I won a great person with a coin on it after winning a fight in a village (How much sense does that make? “Hey Bismarck, we pillaged this village and brought you back this guy. He’s kind of great.”) But other than that, I just built tech that helped me add coins. One little coin at a time.
And it was kind of fun, figuring our how to get coins each turn. Workman knew what I was doing after coin four of course (he’s like the Eye of Sauron), but Steve and Leon were very focused on their own progress and paid me zero attention. They both went heavy culture. (Steve called it “Declaring art”.)
Workman and Steve built up their militaries, but no one battled. I knew Workman was collecting coins as well, I just couldn’t tell how many he had. But I also thought he was setting up to come take my capital. Mostly because he spent a lot of time moving to my side of the board and I was the easiest of targets. Rude.
About midway through. Also Workman’s fingers. Bad cropping on my part.
But I actually had a plan. I had acquired an event card that let me kill an enemy figure within four squares of me. So I held it. If Workman brought his jank army towards my capital, I would play it to buy time. I needed two more turns to get 15 coins.
But Sauron won’t let me have nice things. Right when I thought he was going to move on my capital, he calmly announced that he had 15 gold. Because of course he did. At least I semi saw it coming. Steve and Leon were all “Wait, you won? How did that happen?”
Two more turns. Two!
Ah well. I said I’d rather enjoy the game than win the game. And I did. I’d like to play it sometime when the rules are still fresh and I don’t waste turns figuring out how to play. That will likely never happen, but a girl can dream.
After Civ, we played Love Letter. Because of course we did. Workman won. Boo.
Then we played three games of Skull. We played the second game because I won the first game in just a couple of turns. I have no idea why we played the third game. Leon won the second, and Workman won the third. I realize this is practically gamer heresy, but I sort of hate this game. I’ve started playing way more agressively because one of two things happen when you play aggressively: you win quickly, or you get knocked out. Both have their appeal.
And there you have it. Sunday game day, in all its glory. We’ll be on another semi hiatus since we aren’t playing again this week, but the blog will be back late next week. When it will be my pick. Guess what we won’t be playing?
But until then......thanks for reading and happy gaming!
It was Leon’s night to pick and he picked Charterstone. Dammit Leon.
This was game two. I wish I had something exciting to say, but I really don’t. I think I liked this play less than last week’s? The pacing tonight was whack. It was “place-this-guy-get-this-thing” for the entire first half of the game. Just rapid-fire turns around the board. Then we started opening and unlocking things and the game slowed to a glacial pace. Everything we unlocked was a new rule, some of them considerably confusing. Maybe we should not have unlocked everything on back-to-back turns like that, but how could we have planned that better? Seemed odd.
Workman and my personas are BFFs
I felt like I played a lot better this game. Me and Steve and Leon were all doing well and staying close on the VP track the whole game. Workman not so much. He actually kind of sucked. And he kept it to himself really well. Never mentioned how poorly he was playing or anything. A real trooper, that one.
And then the game ended and points were tallied and that lucky m@#$&*-f*&$#@ beat me by one point. One. Point. I hate him so much it hurts.
And.....I finished dead last again. Crap. But.....Steve won! Yay Steve! He had this pumpkin/gold/VP engine running the whole game and it put him over the top. He kind of got screwed though. The losers got rewarded in a very nice way and he missed out. It was a way better reward than the losers got last game.
I’m not sure what to think about Charterstone. I don’t love it. But I don’t hate it. I think I would like it better if we were playing it in addition to our normal game night and not instead of our normal game night. I certainly don’t like it enough to not get to play all the other games I want to play with this group. And Steve’s already said he’s picking it for next week. <sigh>
After learning fifty new rules in five turns in Charterstone, I was not up for playing again. So we played a trick-taking game I got recently called Sakura. I’ve played a few times and really liked it. I like the funky-shaped cards. I like the art. I like the simple game play. I like the puzzle of cards-versus-gold-versus-worker each turn. I was excited to play it with the guys.
And for reasons I will not disclose, I will never play this game again and Workman and Steve are going to hell. Also Workman won. He took no points and had the most gold. How do you say “I hate you” in Japanese?
After basically ruining the entire country of Japan for me, we played Skull. I won. My first Skull win ever. I’m the new leader of our motorcycle gang. Suck on that.
And finally, as usual, Love Letter. Workman tried to knock me out after having knocked me out the previous turn, and I knocked Steve out three straight tries. But we still worked it into a four-way three-cube tie before Leon won. Dammit Leon.
Also of note:
1. A Guy Fawkes mask is very different from a Guy Fieri mask.
2. People have some weird-ass phobias.
3. Benny Hill is still not Monty Hall.
And so it was. Thanks for coming along. I may put the blog on hiatus if we continue playing Charterstone every week. I’m not sure I can come up with fresh observations and avoid spoilers at the same time. It might be best to just go off grid. We shall see.
But until next time, whenever next time is, happy gaming!
About a week ago, Workman messaged the group and asked if we would be interested in playing Charterstone. I could not have been more surprised if he’d said he was heading to broadway to be a can-can dancer. I mean, I was very interested in playing Charterstone. But Workman? He can’t be in the same room with a copy of Viticulture without insulting it, and he’s never even played it. From what I’d read, Charterstone is a classic Stonemaier Games worker placement, resource management, you-can-kind-of-be-mean-but-not-in-any-meaningful-way kind of game. There is no combat. No negotiation. No boots on the necks of your opponents. I suspected Workman was high, but I was on board. We all agreed to give it a shot.
Before I go any further, I will do my best to remain spoiler-free. I’ll try not to reveal anything that won’t be revealed during set up of your first game, which I don’t consider spoilery. I won’t share any details of the game play that you might want to discover for yourself. But I will talk about what comes right out of the box and I will include a few pictures. If you consider any of that spoilery, read no further.
Still there? Let’s do this.
First of all, opening a box full of boxes that you so want to open but you can’t is fun. No doubt about it. And this game has an interesting way of explaining itself, and walking you through the rules, while keeping that suspense and excitement in play.
I want to open all the stuffs!
We start by getting our individual player boxes and revealing our characters. This is one of the most exciting parts, yes? This is who I will be for 12 games. This person will succeed and fail and grow and develop. This. Is. ME. I open the box and I’m......
.....the old lady? What in the actual hell, Jamey Stegmaier? It’s bad enough I have to live with being the old lady every goddamn day, but now I have to be reminded of it on game night? Screw you.
Workman was the attractive young woman. I added a pic because his character name made me laugh.
Workman shows some thigh for some VP.
Steve was a friendly looking Asian man who grew pumpkins, and Leon looked like a Roman senator on a wheat farm. So yeah. Everybody looked cool but me. And don’t give me any of that “Betty White is the hotness” bullshit. I’m not in the mood.
Anyway, we got our characters and got the board set up and got going. We had some questions, but nothing game-breaking. I think they kept it pretty simple for the first game so it would be easy to get the hang of things before moving on. At least I hope the first game was extra simple. I liked it, but I wouldn’t want to play that particular game 11 more times.
Center of the game board. Interesting parts intentionally omitted. But know there are interesting parts just out of frame.
Workman played like he’d played the game before. He had a plan and focus and generally got stuff done. And in typical Leon fashion, he caught up and seemed to be playing with a plan too. Steve and me? Not so much. I cost myself points towards the end because I didn’t understand what things I was able to sell and by the time I realized, it wasn’t fair to try to change it. Steve was also not entirely sure of all the things he was trying to do, but in the end he managed to pull it together and finished well ahead of me on the point track.
The game took about an hour once we got going, and Workman won handily with 36 points. I finished dead last with 20. Steve and Leon had 29 and 28.
And it was fine. I didn’t love the first game by any means, but I definitely want to keep playing (maybe not every week) and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game evolves. Without sharing any details, I did like several things the game did at the very end. We boxed it up but I kind of wish we’d played another game of it right away.
But we didn’t. We played Love Letter. And Skull. Leon won both. Dammit Leon.
And that was that. Another game night done. Thanks for coming along!
Edit: it has been brought to my attention that I got the final scores totally wrong. I don’t have the actual scores apparently, but Workman still won, I still finished last, and Steve and Leon still finished in the middle. But everyone had more points than I said. Sorry about that. I am old after all.
It was my night to pick, and after several failed attempts (I’m looking at you Steve) to play Lords of Vegas in the past few months, Lady Luck finally smiled on me tonight.
I’ve played this one a couple of times with the fam, but it was new to the Fun Group. [sarcasm font]Everyone listened attentively and did not interrupt while I explained the rules.[/sarcasm font] (To be fair, Leon always listens. Until he’s done listening and wants me to shut up and let him play.)
Lords of Vegas is slow to start. It takes a few turns for people to get casinos built and paying out. But once it gets moving, money is flying around the table.
I was green. I didn’t even ask. Workman was kind enough to move my scoring chip up the track the whole game.
Workman decided to gamble every turn early on. And we learned something new about Workman: he has a gambling problem. The problem is he sucks at it. I don’t think he won a single bet. If he was the house, he lost. If he was betting, he lost. It was uniquely enjoyable.
Steve built casinos and got paid. And when he got paid, he sprawled. And when he sprawled, he got paid more. He did very well and took the early lead.
Leon took a slower, steadier approach. He built casinos as well, but his didn’t pay out as much. It was only a matter of time though, so he kept spawling and kept waiting.
It’s Vegas, baby! (Wait, is that actually a thing people say? Or did I just make that up? Now that I say it, I don’t think it’s a thing. Forget I mentioned it.)
At one point during his turn, Workman surveyed the board and said “I don’t get this game.” Then I took my turn, sprawling my cowboy casino right up next to his purple casino. I redecorated my casino to purple, turning our two casinos into one bigger casino where I was the new boss. Workman said “Ohhhh. I get this game now.”
He eventually reorganized my purple casino and turned it into an eight-point behemoth where he was boss. Then he just waited for it to pay out. He needed it to pay twice to get back in it and catch Steve.
Meanwhile, I sucked. I did ok early, but then couldn’t sprawl anywhere significant and kept getting reorganized out of power. I never got big enough casinos on the board to make the point breaks I needed to get up the track.
My sad little green scoring chip. Just barely made it around the first corner. Lady Luck stopped smiling on me early. Bitch.
I did carve out a nice green casino on the strip that should have paid out a couple of times. But Steve and Leon worked together to reorganize it and take me down. (By “worked together”, I mean Leon paid Steve to to reorganize on his turn. But Steve kept screwing up the rolls and costing them influence. After two such rolls, Steve said “You want me to reroll again?” And Leon replied “No, I’ll reroll it my damn self.” I love when Leon gets animated.
Eventually, Leon’s casinos paid and Workman’s behemoth paid and they both caught Steve and all three of them tied at 33 points. Money was the tie-breaker. Workman was out due to his gambling problem. Steve and Leon counted out their cash.....and were still tied at $61. WTF. Who ties in Vegas?
A three-way tie! What are the odds? (Get it? Vegas? Odds?)
I like this game. It’s a ginormous luck-fest, but the luck feels very thematic. And if luck doesn’t go your way, there are a lot of options at your disposal to make things better. This is definitely an every once in a while game, but I dig it. And I dig it with the Fun Group. They make most every game fun.
After Vegas, we played Love Letter. Oddly enough, Workman took the early lead. But he lost it. Leon caught up, and then beat Steve in yet another tie. This time they both ended with a Baron but Leon had more points on the table. All hail King Leon. (Technically Baron Leon, but that doesn’t sound as cool.) Good game.
And good game night. Thanks for coming along. We should all road trip to Vegas some time.
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!
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.”
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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