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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 16 Jan 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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I have a dream... that I can play more games than ever before!

Hero Realms
Picked this one up along with all five of the Character packs at the Siege of Augusta convention over this past weekend and could barely stand the wait to get it on the table. We were not disappointed -- as evidenced by this one getting a total of *seven* plays today in groups of two, three, and four players. The game is essentially Star Realms in a fantasy RPG setting. The mechanics are, of course, very familiar with enough subtle differences to give this one its own flavor. Foremost among them are the Character packs, which allow you to substitute a unique Fighter, Wizard, Thief, Cleric, or Ranger starter deck for the standard starter. This gives everybody a different feel and set of advantages. We passed around the Character packs and each got a chance to try most of them out. It's also much easier to play multi-player games. We played "First Blood" where you have to attack the player to your left and the first player eliminated ends the game in favor of the player on his right. I won three times, lost twice, and was a "survivor" in the other two games that we played. The full Character system, including campaigns and Character advancements is due a little later this year and it should be awesome!

7 Wonders Duel
Taught a new player the game with the Pantheon expansion and promptly got my butt kicked twice -- once by Science victory and once by an 81-68 final score.

Mystic Vale
Game Day wrapped up with a two-player game of this favorite. After an awful start, I managed to get rolling thanks in large part to a timely "Hatchery" card that allowed me to double up on a 3VP card. I ended up taking a 37-26 win.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:05 am
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AAR for 09 Jan 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Siege of Augusta convention this coming weekend! Be there!

Blood Bowl
Continuing to get new players into this game in anticipation of upcoming leagues. I took the Humans vs. the Orcs and received the opening kick. After weaving around a bit in the backfield, my Thrower got an open passing lane to a Catcher who had broken free downfield. The pass was accurate, but the Catcher missed both of his attempts to catch it cleanly. Then, we spent a few turns chasing the ball around until the Orc Thrower finally grabbed it and managed to get it all the way home for a touchdown.

Conan
Finally got this one to the table for the first time. Great-looking miniatures-based board game with one person playing the Overseer against the other players who take Conan and his buddies on their adventure. We played the first scenario, "In the Clutches of the Picts". The party managed to find both necessary characters early on. Then, they had to work together to get past the horde of enemies and escape the board with their prizes. They managed to do this on the last turn of the game. We're greatly looking forward to playing this one again!

Mystic Vale
A quick two-player game that was pretty even all the way. I ended up losing by a scant three points.

Villages of Valeria
A new Kickstarter card game where players take one of five possible Actions on their turn trying to accumulate resources, build buildings, and recruit adventurers in search of VP. Some clever mechanisms led to a lot of possible strategies and a very close finish in our 4-player game. This one deserves a few more plays, as well.

Nightfall
A oldie, but a goodie. This was one of the first deckbuilding card games to feature PvP combat. Haven't played in quite a while now, and it was fun to give it another go. I ended up with a deck full of Wound cards, but it was fun getting there.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:41 am
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AAR for 02 Jan 2017

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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My New Year's resolution is to not write "2016" when dating new documents...

Evolution: Climate
Two-player game where we both had 3-4 herbivores and spent much of the game trading getting most of the food out of the Watering Hole on our first turns. I ended up on the short end of the feeding race and took a 22-pt drubbing in the final VP total.

Quadropolis
Two-player game. This time, I went with a Harbor strategy and managed to put it together well enough to score 54 points and take the win.

Quartermaster General: Victory or Death
I took Sparta/Corinth in this one. This game was rather different from others I've played since I managed to get all seven of my cities on the board and the map was full of pieces from both sides. This led to a wide-open battle where I was able to gradually pull away and achieve an Automatic Victory, 32-22 after 12 turns.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Jan 3, 2017 4:12 am
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AAR for 26 Dec 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Last Monday Game Day for this calendar year. It has been *excellent*!

Warfighter: WWII
We opened the US and German expansion packs and took a German team against US defenders. Mission was "Combat Sweep". Objective was "Bridge Capture". Three of us played. I took Hoffman and outfitted him with both rifle grenades and "potato mashers".
So, off we went and the dice-rolling was *horrible*. We picked off a few Hostiles but decided to make a run for the Objective and leave the rest behind us. With 8 turns to play, we entered the "Traffic Hub" and encountered our strongest opposition. My thrown grenades made their first appearance and proved very effective. I also pulled a timely "Scrounge" card that allowed me to reload with new grenades.
We found "High Ground" next to the Objective and made our stand there. We finally got some effective shooting and my Bayonet did some timely damage up close and personal. With 4 turns to play, we activated the Objective and my Rifle Grenades cleared out all but one figure on one Hostile card. Another team member infiltrated and took out the remaining opponent in close combat and we accomplished our Mission. We did take one casualty as one of our Squad Soldiers ran afoul of a machine gun team.

Quartermaster General: Victory or Death
A rematch from last week. This time, I took Sparta/Corinth. This one ended up being very unlike any other time I've played this game. The eastern islands were a hotbed of activity that ended up seeing both sides wiped out. Athens was unable to control the seas. Sparta and Corinth dominated the peninsula, but made very few attacks. I managed to get a couple of extra cities and a good Status card into play early and rode them to an early lead after 6 rounds. From there, it was an even struggle until the end of the game, where I picked up a few bonus points and finished a relatively high-scoring game with a 45-33 win.

Mystic Vale
Three-player game using only the base set. I managed a decent 30VP, but got buried by an opponent who had nearly that much just in Vale cards alone.


Other games played today included: Arkham Horror Card Game, Legendary, and Dice Masters...
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Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:41 am
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AAR for 19 Dec 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Just a few days left to get yourself a merry gaming holiday!

Legendary
First time out for the new Deadpool expansion and it got lots of plays in various groups. I got in two games. First was the "Everybody Hates Deadpool" scheme with Evil Deadpool. This one ended up as a Draw when the Villain deck ran out and we had two hits remaining on the Mastermind. The new "Revenge" keyword was our downfall in this one. The second game was the "Deadpool Writes a Scheme" scheme with Macho Gomez and it turned out to be a fairly easy win. The new set is loaded with Deadpool-thematic laughs and went over quite well.

Quartermaster General: Victory or Death
Two players in this one. I took the Athenian side against the Spartans. I managed to get out some nice bonus VP Status cards fairly early and steadily drew away to get the Automatic Victory after Turn 12 when I had an 11-point lead.

Mystic Vale
Four players had a go this time and I think I may have played the worst game I've ever had in this one. Only 18VP to the winner's 49. Just couldn't draw anything or buy anything useful.

Quadropolis
Three-player game. I went with a Parks/Towers checkerboard strategy, but ended up taking a beating after not getting a tile with my 4th round in one game year. As such, that ended up with me having a couple of useless tiles on my board. That's something you can't afford in this game.

Chinatown
An old favorite revisited. Wheeling and dealing and cursing your luck in the card draws as always in this one. I managed to pull off a cash sale of a key tile that ended up getting me enough money to take a narrow win with $1210K.

Other games played today included: Dice Masters and Road Kill Rally...
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Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:34 am
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AAR for 12 Dec 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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One month until the Siege of Augusta Convention!

Warfighter: WWII
The new WWII version of the Dan Verssen Games hit, Warfighter, hit the table today for the first time. We had a team of four players who set out to blow up a German Panzer that had been wreaking havoc in the area. I outfitted my Soldier as a Close Range and Explosives specialist. As we set out, the German Frontline Hostiles came at us hard. We settled on a strategy of moving quickly from Location to Location to deny the Hostiles their attacks and make them chase us. We advanced to the Location nearest the Objective and wiped out most of the Hostiles that were following us. Then, two of us went in. One Soldier with grenades cleared out the Screening force and I went to work with Satchel Charges to take out the enemy tank and win the scenario. This one will be one of my featured games at this year's Siege of Augusta.

Mystic Vale
This one saw two separate plays today, one with three players and one with four. I managed to pick up a bunch of Vale cards for lots of VP to win the first game and ended up in our first VP tie in the second game.

Splendor
We had two quick three-player games and I was able to get to 15VP first in each game. Both times another player would have won if they only had one more turn.

Power Grid
Four of us played on the classic US map. This one turned out to be a big dogpile in the East for cheap real estate and then a bidding war for key power plants. I was able to get to 17 houses first and be able to power them all.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters....
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Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:02 am
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AAR for 05 Dec 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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BIG day today! We need to make this a regular happening.

7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon
Got another new player into this terrific expansion. I had problems buying a lot of cards since they always seemed to cost one more resource than I had available.

Mystic Vale
This one saw two plays today, one with two players and one with four. I won the two-player game with a nice total of 35 VP, but I could only manage a dismal 13 VP in the four-player game.

Pandemic: The Cure
Two-player game where I took the Containment Specialist. As seems to happen a lot in this game, we got off to a reasonable start with three diseases being cured rather quickly. But, that fourth one proved to be difficult and the Outbreaks soon overran us.

Castles of Burgundy
Two-player game of this soon-to-be classic. We both broke off some big-scoring turns and the game was quite close going into the final scoring round, where I pulled out a 12-pt win.

Dragonwood
Three of us sought to gain the most and biggest creatures in this one. I ended up getting a 1-pt win after grabbing the 3-point bonus for having the most creatures.

Quadropolis
Three-player game with our first attempt at the Expert rules. This definitely changes things up from the Classic game and scoring is higher. With most of our Classic games seeing winners scoring in the low 50s, our first game in Expert mode saw me scoring 75 points and losing to a 78-point winner. Definitely need to play this one some more.

Splendor
Three of us played. I managed to pull several Noble tiles and was first to the magic number of 15 points.

El Grande
Four-player game with one of the best finishes I've seen in this one. At one point in Turn 9, all of us were separated by only 1 point. I ended up three points behind the winner.

Hero Realms
My first chance to play this highly-anticipated follow-up game to the excellent Star Realms. We played a 2 vs 2 battle and it was brutal. You can build up some serious attacks rather quickly. My team got wiped out by a 39-point stomping -- just as we were getting ready to deliver something very similar to our opponents.

Lords of Vegas
Three-player game. A very close game was decided by a Sprawl that resulted in a six-tile casino and earned the winner enough VP to pull out ahead and stay there.

Ricochet Robots
As always, when this game comes out, it collects a crowd who are all having great fun trying to figure out the movement puzzles. We don't keep score. We just play and enjoy.


Other games played today included: Runebound and Dice Masters...
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Tue Dec 6, 2016 5:46 am
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AAR for 28 Nov 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Turkey... Football... Board Games... Is there any reason *not* to celebrate?

Blood Bowl
Perhaps the most-anticipated Black Friday release was this new edition of the all-time classic game of football set in the Warhammer universe. If Games Workshop isn't printing money by the boatload with this one, they are really screwing up a golden opportunity. I got in two games today, teaching new players and refreshing veterans. Each was just played for one half, but it was great getting back into this one again. Time to dig out my old Norse team!

Quadropolis
This one has yet to run out of new strategies to try. In our three-player game, I tried out an industry-heavy idea and managed to put it together well enough to score 52VP and take the win.

Mystic Vale
Another game that never runs out of things to try. We had three games today, one with four players and two with three. I tried to be more focused on a particular goals in each game and ended up winning two of the three games played. The new expansion added a lot of new possibilities.

7 Wonders Duel
The new Pantheon expansion keeps proving to be better and better the more games we play. Just one today, but I took the win with 65VP after going very heavy into getting blue cards.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:23 am
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AAR for 21 Nov 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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Slow day today, but with all the new goodies coming out for Black Friday, next week should be gangbusters!

Trains: Rising Sun
Got a new player into this excellent deck-builder. We played on the Kyushu map and my opponent got too far up on me with Stations. I came back late with some VP, but ended up taking a 6-point loss.

Power Grid
One of our regulars got a new copy of this one and we had a four-player game on the good old USA map. We ended up shutting out the Eastern seaboard regions and played what was a fairly expensive map. The game was won when I got into a bidding war for a power plant that would power seven houses. I ran it up and got out just as the other bidder raised it to $120. He drained himself out of any ability to buy resources and lost a full two turns recovering. This allowed me to pause for one turn to build up cash and then buy five houses in a final turn blitz to get to 17 and grab the win.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:28 am
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AAR for 14 Nov 2016

Mark Bakke
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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I will *not* make any comments about the election.... maybe.

Mystic Vale
we started the gaming day with a 3-player round of this Card Crafting System game using the new expansion. I built some nice cards, but came up a turn or two short of getting them to really shine. Still a great game.

Evolution: Climate
This new Kickstarter arrival is a stand-alone expansion that adds the vagaries of climate change to the mix of trying to get your species to prosper. This one new addition really changes the way that parts of the game get played. We had a five-player game with several players who were new to the system. In the end, I squeaked out a 1-point win in a game that everybody enjoyed.

Quadropolis
This may be the hottest new game we've been playing. Four of us went at it today and it turned out to be a real nail-biter. The final score ended with the winner pulling out a 57-56 victory.

Castles of Burgundy
Four of us broke out this long-time favorite. I took one of the promo Monastery maps with the goal of finally completing the entire ring connecting everything. I managed to pull it off with my final die on my final turn. So, even though I was a distant 2nd place in the game, I achieved a long-desired goal, and that's what gaming is about.

7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon
The new expansion for the very popular base game adds a pantheon of deities from five different ancient religions. This throws some new wrinkles into the game strategy that lead to some tough choices as well as some creative play. I barely avoided losing by Military and managed to pull out the win.


Other games played today included: Dice Masters...
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Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:17 am
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