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 24 Jul 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Not sure what's going to be worse -- the actual Mayweather/McGregor fight or all of the interminable hype leading up to it.

Neuroshima Convoy
Got a couple more cracks at this interesting two-player combat game. I won a game as the Molochs primarily by building a strong force at the chokepoint just prior to New York City and being able to counter most of what the Outpost player could try to bring in. I took the Outpost in the second game and had abysmal luck drawing cards. This led to my getting seriously overwhelmed in New York City. Fun stuff!

Mystic Vale (tournament)
The tournament kits for this event were *very* nice. Promo cards, an achievement log, and counters to keep track of Spirit symbols were all nice additions to the game and well worth the entry fee. My performance, however, was rather horrible. I ended up with fewer points in three games than the winner got in just *one* game.

Lanterns
My first time getting to play this abstract tile-laying game. You're trying to lay tiles that will match up colors and get you the cards you need in the proper combinations to turn in for VP chits and gift/favor tokens. We had a four-player game and quickly got into the strategies necessary to prosper. The very nature of the game play and the limited number of total turns leads to a very close finish.

Favor of the Pharaoh
Three-player game to finish off our day. My final roll produced an amazing finish that nobody had ever seen before. The combination of the black "Voyage" die and the Herder tile producing lots of extra dice allowed me to rack up the astounding final total of *20* threes.


Other games played and demoed today included: Victory in the Pacific, Up Front, and Space Hulk...
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:11 am
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AAR for 17 Jul 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Kickstarter games are shipping soon! Summer Con games are hitting shelves! Does it get much better than this?

Splendor
Kicked off the day with three two-player rounds. The first two games were split, including losing the second game because I was first player and didn't get another turn after my opponent hit 15 on his turn. The third saw me win with an amazing run of picking up VP cards costing 4, 5, 6, and 7 green on consecutive turns, with each one leading directly to the next.

Terraforming Mars
Four-player game where I played the Teractor corporation. Didn't do much with my specialty of getting discounts for Earth tags, but I got a great animal/plant/microbe resource combo going that ended up being worth a nice pile of points and carried me to a win.

War at Sea
The old favorite Avalon Hill classic got its first playing in at least 30 years. I took the Allies and, over the first three turns, nobody could gain a single point. In turn four, the Axis launched an all-out assault against the North Sea and nearly broke the back of the English fleet. I actually gained +5 POC on that turn, but the lead would not last. Finally, in turn seven, the Axis captured four areas and gained +8 POC. It was time to concede. But, it was a great game that hasn't been played in *FAR* too long.

Neuroshima Convoy
This is a new two-player card game based on the excellent Neuroshima Hex series. In this one, the Moloch faction is trying to advance its robot armies across five cities to arrive in and destroy New York. The Outpost human side has to slow the robots down until the cards run out. The Molochs are brute force while the Outpost use guerilla tactics to try to blunt the onslaught. We had two games, the first was mainly to learn the system and the second was "for real". That second game came down to the very last card play in New York where I ended up claiming the narrowest of wins.


Other games played today included: Tyrants of the Underdark, and Great Western Trail...
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Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:44 am
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AAR for 10 Jul 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Just reached 200 games played for this year...

Hero Realms
Always a good way to start a gaming day. We started with three players and then had two more games after adding a fourth. As usual, the scenario was "First Blood". I played the Ranger in Game #1 and got the win. Game #2 had me taking the Cleric and I ended up surviving. In Game #3, I took the Wizard and got obliterated.

Dixie (Bull Run)
Two more battles this week after being reintroduced to this 20-year-old favorite last week. This time, I took the Union. The first game saw me draw and deploy massed artillery that I used to good effect to blow up the Confederate lines before advancing my own troops to seize the winning positions. Game 2 was a tremendous back-and-forth tussle with both sides getting close to winning, only to be pushed back by last-ditch defensive efforts. Finally, I was able to mass a strong Infantry force on my left wing and smash through the Rebel position and Enfilade the center to get the win.

Quadropolis
We ended our day with a three-player game. I ended up losing by two points when I got shut out of the final tile that I needed on the last turn of the game.


Other games played and demoed today included: Cartoona, Axis of Villains, Eldritch Horror, War of the Roses, and Battle of Five Armies...
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Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:17 am
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AAR for 03 Jul 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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US Independence Day weekend. Careful with the fireworks!

Great Western Trail
Four of us saddled up and headed out for fun, adventure, and victory points on the way to Kansas City. I keep thinking that I'm going to try for a building strategy and I have yet to see it happen. I ended up with a very balanced game that got me points in every area and added up to getting me the win with 99 VP.

Terraforming Mars
Full five-player game this time. I played the Tharsis Republic for the first time and managed to profit handsomely as a lot of cities were built during our game. I got the win this time primarily due to claiming two Milestones, one first-place Award and one second-place Award as the game was almost dead-even in all other areas.

Dixie (Bull Run)
A blast from the long-ago past comes back to the gaming table. Dixie was a two-player semi-collectible card game where players construct decks representing infantry, artillery, cavalry, generals, terrain, and random events. Out of that deck of approximately 30 cards, 18 are drawn. 12 are deployed into left, center, and right battle areas with the remainder being in reserve. Reinforcements come from the cards not initially drawn. Players take turns firing, moving, and checking the morale of units that have taken hits. The game is won when one side occupies two of the three battle areas of his opponent. We played two games tonight, with each of us winning once. In the game I won, I managed to draw Stonewall Jackson with some strong supporting cards and built a powerful right wing for my army that wore down and routed the Union left. It had been well over 15 years since I had last played this one and I had forgotten how much fun it is.


Other games played today included: Dresden Files Card Game and Arena for the Gods....
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Tue Jul 4, 2017 6:18 am
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AAR for 26 Jun 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Waiting for new summer Con games and Kickstarters to come in!

A Feast for Odin
Finally got to play this highly-rated game. Any game with 61 possible actions that players can take has *got* to be worthy, right? The game offers tons of variety, obviously, but also turned out to be quite easy to learn and play. You're trying to manage and combo several different food and goods resources to place tiles on your Home board in a manner reminiscent of Tetris. It's not easy given that there are only seven turns in the game, but all three of us managed to do it. You can also get VP for many other actions. In the end, we ended up with an amazingly close finish ending up with two players tied at 84 pts and me coming in at 82. This game was a blast to play and I'm already looking forward to more.

Terraforming Mars
Five players this time with two newbies. As usual, the new players picked up the game quickly. I went with a Titanium focus and tried to buy as many good VP cards as I could. This enabled me to overtake the leader during Final Scoring and win with 66 pts. This is one game that might just be best with five players since it becomes more of a race to get the Global Parameter increases that bump up your Terraform Rating.

Nations: the Dice Game
We finished off the day with a four-player round of this one. I took Egypt and totally stunk most of the way through the game. Even though the final totals were pretty close, I was still firmly at the bottom of the rankings. Oh, well....
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Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:10 am
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AAR for 19 Jun 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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97 degrees outside and it's still "Spring"?

Great Western Trail
This one saw plays with multiple groups today. My game had four players and ended up being a terrific battle. The combos and inspired plays were flying hot and heavy and all players were involved in it. One of the few times people have said that this was one of the great games they had ever played while it was still being played. I came out on top with an excellent 121 points. This game really deserves the hype it gets.

Quadropolis
Three-player game this time. I got stuck taking the last turn in all four rounds and it cost me a couple of turns where I couldn't legally take a tile. That ended up costing me badly in the end as I had a couple of key holes in my city that would otherwise have brought a nice pile of points.

Hero Realms
We had two four-player games with two new players getting involved. We played the basic game first to teach the game and used "First Blood" as the scenario. In the second game, we played the same scenario, but each took one of the unique characters. I survived in the first match and got defeated in the second.

Pandemic: The Cure
Two five-player games to end the gaming day. I was the Researcher in the first game. It looked like we had things well in hand. Then, the Outbreaks started cropping up and we ended up losing just before the Scientist could cure the fourth and final disease. In the second game, I had the Dispatcher. This time, we were in trouble right from the very start and ended up getting obliterated when *five* Outbreaks happened during the same Epidemic. Ouch!


Other games played today included: Terraforming Mars...
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Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:31 am
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AAR for 12 Jun 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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School's out and more people are finding more time for gaming! Excellent!

Great Western Trail
We had two two-player games today. I never really got a cohesive strategy going in the first game and went down to an 87-102 defeat. I got it going rather better in the second game while playing for a quick end to the game. This helped me get an 80-59 win.

Evolution: Climate
We had six players for this one. A couple of Carnivores showed up on the first time, but ended up starving when all of the herbivores got up solid defenses. It looked to be a race to build up large and numerous herbivores until a Meteorite strike wiped out all of the food and prevented more from showing up. Two turns of scrambling and starvation ended the game. I squeaked out a 1-point win with only 37 points total, largely on the basis of having Migratory and Hibernation traits to save my species from going Extinct.

Terraforming Mars
Three-player game this time. I took the Thorsgate corporation and played a strategy of acquiring large discounts for my cards. This allowed me to get several high-cost and powerful cards into play for very little investment. In the end, I got a fairly easy victory with 91 points.

Nations: the Dice Game
Two-player game. I took Egypt and ended up acquiring a lot of extra dice. Unfortunately, you still have to be able to roll them successfully and that is not one of my strong suits. I got beat when my opponent managed to construct *seven* Wonders.


Other games played today included: Chinatown, Red Dragon Inn, and Smash Up...
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:28 am
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AAR for 05 Jun 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Tomorrow is the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day Invasion.

Viticulture
We started the day with a two-player game of this old favorite. I was able to break open a close game with by filling two orders and getting all the way to 24 points from only having 6 points two turns previously.

Terraforming Mars
First time that we've had a full five-player game. It turned out to be a real dogfight where every point mattered. In the end, we had a two-way tie at 58 points that was broken by the winner having a scant two MegaCredit tie-breaker advantage.

Lords of Vegas
Five-player game that featured a raging battle for a massive casino in the "C" block. The casino changed hands three separate times and paid off multiple times for each owner. In the end, we had a remarkable three-way tie that was broken by the player with the most money on hand.

Fury of Dracula
My first time getting a chance to play this deduction game that has many similarities to a big favorite, Letters from Whitechapel. Dracula is trying to evade his pursuers, but is able to launch attacks against them during his flight. I played the Dr. John Steward character. Unfortunately, Dracula managed to evade us until nearly the end of the game. Once we finally caught him, he had his defenses well-established and was able to defeat our last-ditch effort at combat.
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Tue Jun 6, 2017 5:54 am
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AAR for 29 May 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Memorial Day... 'Nuff said.

Great Western Trail
Full four-player game with one new player. This time around, I decided to try out the "Engineer" strategy where I would speed my train along picking up as many train stations as possible. It worked quite well, but I ended up needing one more station to get the win. My 95 VP final total fell short of the winner's 102 and one more station would have gained me another 8 points. As always, a terrific game!

Dark Souls
Back to the dungeon for another crack at this boardgame version of the popular video game series. I played the Assassin character and managed to acquire two one-handed weapons that let me roll both orange dice (the best ones) to attack along with launching ranged magic attacks that would not be stopped by physical armor and kept me far enough away from the bad guys to enhance my survival chances. We went down a few lives early, but rallied to get through to the final Boss -- which we ended up dispatching with surprising ease to win the scenario.
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Tue May 30, 2017 6:26 am
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AAR for 22 May 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Memorial Day weekend coming up. Be safe and play a *lot* of games!

Mystic Vale
Two games today, one with two players and one with four. In the two-player game, we used everything in the new expansion and keep finding out how good it really is. I scored a great total of 58 points to take the win. With new players in the four-player game, we left out the Leaders. This time, I got horrifically buried as I couldn't put anything useful together.

Terraforming Mars
Got another new player into this excellent game. I got an excellent set of plant/animal/microbe cards together and used them to end up scoring 104 VP to take the win. We have more people wanting to get in on this game and there will certainly be even more in the future.

Nations: the Dice Game
Just enough time left in the day to get in two quick three-player games. I took Egypt in both games and was lucky enough to win the first one while getting stomped in the second. With all three of us being experienced players, we were able to knock out full games in 20 minutes.
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Tue May 23, 2017 5:45 am
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