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ABX Boardgamers' Group (What we're playing)

A weekly AAR for what we've been playing at our weekly Boardgame Day at Augusta Book Exchange in Augusta, GA. http://comics-n-games.com/backlot/

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AAR for 17 Apr 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Taxes done! Time for gaming!

Hero Realms
Always a great game with which to start off a gaming day. I took the Ranger vs. the Wizard in this one. I was looking good early until the Wizard pulled off a couple of vicious Attack combos and put a serious beatdown on me.

Nations: the Dice Game
Full four-player game this time. I took Greece and went nowhere in a big hurry. The final score was actually fairly close, but I could never get anything going so that I could challenge for the win.

Terraforming Mars
Four of us played. Even using the Corporate Era cards, this game went extremely quickly and was over at the end of Generation #9. Nobody knew who would win until the victory points on the cards we played were counted up. In the end, I would take a near-miss 2nd place finish in a game that ended up low-scoring due to the small number of turns that were played.

Viceroy
My first time trying out this one. Some have compared this to Splendor, which is a favorite of mine, but with deeper strategy and more things to do. After one play, I think that's a good comparison. You are trying to manage your gems to buy and build cards in a pyramid formation. You get rewards based on the cards played and what level in the pyramid they are placed. There are many ways to combo these placements for victory points and this will keep every game interesting. Looking forward to more plays of this one!

Favor of the Pharaoh
We ended our gaming day with a three-player round of this dice-chucker. One player finally went for the Queen and rolled 8x5. This set off a wild final round where I rolled 9x6, only to be beaten by 11x4, and finally the first player pulled off a great series of rolls with little dice manipulation and defended his Queen to win the game with 11x5.


Other games played today included: Shadow War: Armageddon...
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Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:21 am
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AAR for 11 Apr 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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This is the 300th entry since I began publishing this blog. Thanks to all the gamers who have helped to make this possible!

Quartermaster General: 1914
This is the third in the excellent series and the first time I've had a chance to play this latest entry. Same basic system as the others with more emphasis placed on Prepared cards. There is also a new Attrition mechanism that splits cards into two parts and presents decisions on which part of the card to use along with the ability to remove valuable cards from the opponents. I took the Central Powers against the Entente in our two-player game. WWI is a great fit for this system and this game had the best feel of any of the three games in this series. This was a nip-and-tuck battle all the way to the end where I ended up on the losing side of a close 4-point final score. I failed to get Germany rolling sufficiently in the early part of the war and this eventually proved to be my undoing. Seeing that it's the 100th anniversary of US involvement in The Great War, it's appropriate to play this one (and other WWI games) again.

Nations: the Dice Game
Brought back this quick dice-based version of the epic board game. We had three two-player games today. I lost the first game badly, but came back to squeak out wins in the last two.

Hero Realms
I took the Ranger against the Thief this time and got the advantage when I pulled off a turn with 24 points of healing after drawing four Yellow cards into my hand.

Watson & Holmes
First time trying out this competitive deduction game. The game is afoot and players try to be the first one to visit key locations, put the clues together, and solve the mystery of a seemingly-impossible robbery of a mail car on a moving train. Three questions needed to be answered successfully to solve the case. Unfortunately, all three players in the game got one of the answers wrong, so there was no winner.


Other games played today included: Viceroy, Shadow War: Armageddon, and Dice Masters....
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Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:41 am
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AAR for 03 Apr 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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WrestleMania weekend. Masters week here in Augusta, GA.

The Cards of Cthulhu
Back to the table for this cooperative card game from Dan Verssen Games. Two of us set out to save the world. Things looked pretty shaky at first, but we gradually turned the tables and ended up vanquishing the Horrors.

Terraforming Mars
Three-player game of this terrific new favorite. After a few turns of setting up, I managed to get a good Energy/Heat production combo going that led to some healthy TR gains and a lead that held up through Final Scoring. I ended up with a winning total of 86 points.

Scythe
Second chance at this Kickstarter monster success. Things worked out well this time and I was the first to get to six stars. After all the cash was counted up, I had $34 and a narrow win.


Other games played today included: Firefly: Shiny Dice...
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Tue Apr 4, 2017 4:34 am
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AAR for 27 Mar 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Spring has sprung and the Masters is right around the corner here in Augusta, GA.

Terraforming Mars
Three of us played using the Corporate Era expansion. This led to a wild game with lots of points and lots of cards and associated combos being played. Final scoring was tense as all the points were tallied. In the end, I ended squeaking out a narrow 99-97 point win. Great game!

Hero Realms
Three games with a player who was familiar with Star Realms, but had not yet tried this one. One basic game and then two more using the various characters. The third game saw my Cleric take on the Fighter and it turned into a real epic with lots of damage and lots of healing. For a while, it looked like it would be a stalemate until the Fighter healed for *40* points on one turn and followed it up with dealing 47 points of damage. Ouch!

Mystic Vale
Three of us had two games of this favorite to finish up the gaming day. Both games were won with 29 VP scores and by using very different strategies.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:03 am
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AAR for 20 Mar 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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After a week off due to car trouble, boardgaming was back on the first day of Spring '17!

Legendary
More plays with the new "Noir" expansion. This time, we tried out the Goblin Mastermind with the "Silence the Witnesses" Scheme. First game was with two players and ended up being a draw when the Villain Deck ran out when we had only one whack left to place on the Mastermind. We added a third player for another try and ended up winning this one. I played the "beat stick" while the other players kept the Hidden Witnesses under control and that strategy worked well.

Terraforming Mars
First time out for one of the top-rated games of 2016. Players represent CEOs of corporations looking to provide the services (for profit, of course) necessary to turn Mars into a habitable planet for human colonization. The game revolves around a large Project deck and the management of six different resources necessary to bring oceans, greenery, and cities to Mars as well as the exploitation of its natural resources. I played the Mining Guild in our four-player game and, after a couple of turns getting familiar with things, we were soon heavily involved. The game ended after eight generations and we went to Final Scoring. I ended up getting nosed out by just a couple of points. One more generation and I would have scored enough extra points to win. Timing is everything! Great game that will certainly see many more plays.

Scythe
The Kickstarter darling of 2016. This is an empire-building game with great-looking components and clever mechanisms for player turns. Players must manage resources and types of actions in a system where you are not allowed to take the same action on consecutive turns. Build units, harvest resources, upgrade your abilities, and enter into conflicts with opponents. Four of us played and I took the Nordic Kingdoms side. I was a bit slow getting rolling and ended up well behind when the game ended just as I was ready to start cooking. Lessons learned for our next play.

Villages of Valeria
Quick five-player game to end our gaming day. I got an early start on the higher-point cards and rode that to a win with 28 points.

SeaFall
Just wanted to mention that our group just completed the Saturday night campaign we had been playing of this legacy game. We successfully completed the final epilogue challenge and did not allow the forces of darkness to overwhelm us. Good fun was had by all five players in the campaign.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:29 am
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AAR for 06 Mar 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Don't you just hate it when games you really want to get are sold out, back-ordered, and/or out-of-print and can't be found anywhere?

Blood Bowl
Today ended up being pretty much a Blood Bowl day for me today as I played two separate games to catch up on my league schedule. My Norse team is not having a great league season so far, but I've managed to keep from getting anybody killed or maimed. I split my two matches against an Orc team, with both ending up as 2-1 scores for their respective winners. I still have the rather amazing situation of seeing my four most expensive players combine for a grand total of *0* Star Player Points through seven league games. Oh, well... I guess Nuffle hates me.


Other games played today included: Mice and Mystics, and Nightfall...
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Tue Mar 7, 2017 4:51 am
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AAR for 27 Feb 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Baseball is back!

Favor of the Pharaoh
This one was very popular today, with four different games being played. We had three with two players and one more with three players. I won two of these games and lost a third when I got beat with the tremendous total of 13 3s!

In the Year of the Dragon
Four-player game this time out. It was rather high-scoring with one player jumping out to an early lead and never being headed. I scored 80VP, but the winner ran away with 99 points.

Firefly: Shiny Dice
My first time trying this one out. There are 15 dice representing the crew of Serenity and three of their foes, Niska, Saffron, and Badger. There are also Mission cards that can be achieved for extra points. Each character has its own special power that need to be mixed and matched. You can push your luck as far as you want until you fail to defeat all of the foes by the end of a turn. Three turns to a full game, but plenty going on each turn. I scored 15 points vs. the winning 17 points. Not bad for a first try. There will be more!

Firefly Fluxx
Keeping the theme going, we went for lighter times in the 'Verse with this one. Two four-player games, one which I won very quickly and another that went on for a much longer time before a sudden winner appeared.

Love Letter: Batman
One of the 206 different versions of the basic Love Letter game, this time with The Joker taking the place of the Princess. We played a "first to five points" game and I was the first to get that fifth win.


Other games played today included: Blood Bowl...
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Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:12 am
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AAR for 20 Feb 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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One month left of winter. As if anybody around these parts noticed anything.

Automobiles
Three of us played the "Money, Money, Money" scenario on the Daytona track. As advertised, there was plenty of money available to buy new cubes and bags got pretty bloated. It made for a wild finish with big move combos coming fast and furious. I was out front for much of the race, but got nipped at the line by a big combo.

Favor of the Pharaoh
Three player game using the basic scenario to get a new player into it. I was the first to capture the Queen, but my seven 5s were quickly outdone, with the winning score being ten 6s.

Blood Bowl
Trying to get caught up on my league games. Losing to a Skaven team tonight dropped me to 1-2-1 in the league and I am not racking up very many Star Player Points. Good thing I love playing this game or my exceptionally poor dice-rolling at the worst possible times would get me upset... lol

Hero Realms
Four of us played "First Blood". I took the Fighter this time, but got steadily beaten up by the Wizard to my right and ended up being the first one eliminated.

In the Year of the Dragon
Another old favorite brought back for an encore. I like several Stephen Feld games and this is another goodie. Three of us competed and connived to gather the best combination of workers to score points and protect against each turn's Event. In the end, it was a very close game where I got nipped by a couple of points after Final Scoring.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:46 am
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AAR for 13 Feb 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Presidents' Day next week. Celebrate by spending some pics of dead Presidents on board games!

Favor of the Pharaoh
Always nice to start the day with a nice, light dice-chucker. After somewhat stumbling into a roll of seven 5s to start the end game, it came back around to me and I was able to combo the Herder with the black die to produce the winning combination of nine 4s.

Automobiles
We went for it this time out and played the "Expert Invitational" on the Monza track. One player hit a few good combos and ending up lapping the field to win the 5-lap race.

Lords of Vegas
Four of us played using the "Up!" expansion, but nobody built any risers this game. We all ended up with secure large casinos and I was able to take the best advantage of payoffs and fortunate placement of lots to end up with a monstrous 60VP final total -- by far the best game I've ever had (or even seen).

Dragonwood
Four of us wound down a bit from the casino life and played this favorite. Draws weren't favorable this time around and points were few and far between. The winner had the relatively low total of 21VP.

Castle Ravenloft
One of the D&D series of board games that has the players cooperating as a party against the game system. We were playing a scenario where we needed to find Klak, the Kobold Sorceror. But, his tile ended up deep down in the draw pile and we ran out of luck -- and life points -- without actually finding him. Turns out it would have been the next tile to be drawn. Oh, well...


Other games played today included: Blood Bowl and Dice Masters...
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Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:18 am
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AAR for 06 Feb 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Absolutely amazing Super Bowl game!

Yedo
I've wanted to play this one for quite a while and finally got the chance today. This is a Japanese-themed worker placement game with action selection similar to games such as Lords of Waterdeep and Champions of Midgard. Nice combinations involving bidding, action selection, and mission cards for fun and victory points. I was able to come out on top in this one with the help of some timely Bonus cards.

Blood Bowl
My next match in our league saw my Norse team take on a Skaven opponent. Once again, I managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory on the heels of *three* critical double-fail rolls in the final four turns that turned what should have been a 2-1 win into a 2-1 loss. Fortunately, I suffered no damaging casualties and am intact for my next game.

Favor of the Pharaoh
I've started bringing back some old favorites for new playings and this was the first. In this one, players roll dice to acquire tiles through a Yahtzee/Poker mechanic and try to build up to be the first one to roll at least seven of a kind to capture the Queen. That triggers the endgame where everybody gets one shot at ending up capturing her. We played three games with three players each. I won two of them, including one where I was able to hit *11* sixes for the win.

Hero Realms
Four of us finished up the gaming day with a round of the "First Blood" scenario. I took the Cleric and was one of the survivors at the end. I spent much of the game being forced to discard one or more cards and playing short-handed, but I had enough defense to stave off defeat.


Other games played today included: Automobiles, Dice Masters, Castle Ravenloft, and One Deck Dungeon...
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Tue Feb 7, 2017 5:43 am
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