Laughing Myself to Pieces

Join me as I journey through board games, enjoying myself every bit of the way!

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Heading to PAX Unplugged

Cindy Pastorius
United States
Maryland
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Collin and I are heading to PAX Unplugged this weekend and are so excited!! This is only the second board game convention we've attended and I can't wait! We attended Dice Tower Con over the summer so this will be a really new experience. Dice Tower Con, though a LOT of fun, was much smaller than this will be so I'm not sure what to expect. I do know it will be FUN though!



We've packed a few games to bring with us, though I'm sure we'll be trying out lots of new ones through vendor booths and the game library. I'm really looking forward to trying some of the games on my Want to Play list.



If you are heading to PAX Unplugged this weekend, I'd love to meet you! Send me a message and let's meet up. Want to play a game? I'm down for playing games with new friends! Just let me know and we'll make it happen!

Now, go play a game and find joy in your everyday!
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:37 pm
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Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure

Cindy Pastorius
United States
Maryland
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One of my favorite games is Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure by Paul Dennen and published by Renegade Game Studios! I first got to play this game at my FLGS when someone brought it and wanted to teach it to a few folks. I was hesitant because I'd not really played a deck-builder at that point and I'm usually not too keen on fantasy themes. I gave the game a shot though and LOVED it. I immediately wanted to play again, even though I had done so horrible (or perhaps that's why I wanted to play again so I could redeem myself!). I finally acquired Clank! myself and love playing it as much as I can.


In Clank! each player has an adventurer that is traveling through the dragon's lair to collect precious artifacts and make it out before the dragon catches you. You have a starting deck of cards with which you draw five from and play those five on your turn. Each card has a different effect on it. In your starting hand your cards allow you to acquire new cards using skill, move using your boots, or "stumble" causing you to add clank (noise tokens) into the Clank! area. Throughout the game, when you acquire new cards, they will get added into your discard pile and then eventually shuffled into your draw pile when it becomes empty. Each turn you will play five cards resolving the effects on each one. To acquire more cards in the game, thus building your deck, you use your skill tokens to purchase new ones from either the Dungeon Row or the Reserve cards. The cards you buy can have swords on them which allow you to fight monsters, skill tokens which allow you to purchase new cards, boots to help you move through the dragon's lair, a special ability (such as teleporting!), coins to purchase items in the marketplace, or they could just give you points at the end of the game. When you have finished purchasing cards, the Dungeon Row refreshes from the Dungeon Deck revealing new cards to battle or purchase.


As you are traveling through the dungeon, your goal is to collect an artifact and get back above ground before the dragon kills you. The artifacts range in value from 5 points - 30 points, however, you may only carry one artifact unless you have purchased a backpack from the Marketplace. The artifacts are scattered throughout the dragon's lair and the more valuable they are, the harder they are to reach! While wandering through the dragon's lair you also have the opportunity to collect major and minor secrets which give you some benefit during game play. Some of the benefits are coins, extra skill points, healing potions, and extra boots. You collect a secret when you enter a space that has one on it! In the dragon's lair there is also a Marketplace where you can buy things such as a backpack (which allows you to carry two artifacts), crowns (which give you points), or a key (which allows you to go between locked spaces). Each item in the marketplace costs 7 coins. There are also monkey idols that you can collect for points.



While traveling through the dragon's lair, you must be careful about the amount of noise you make! The dragon has his own special rage track and his amount of rage will increase as the game goes on. Each time a player picks up an artifact or a dragon's egg is revealed (one of the minor secrets) the dragon moves up one space on the rage track. The number indicated on the rage track is how many cubes are pulled out of his bag when he attacks! The dragon will attack when a dragon symbol shows up in the Dungeon Row. Certain cards will have a dragon symbol and when one gets turned over you put all the clank that has been deposited into the Clank! area into the dragon's bag. The number of cubes drawn is equal to the dragon's current rage level. If the cubes drawn belong to a player (there are neutral cubes in the bag as well), the cube gets deposited onto their health meter. If the health meter is ever completely filled that player is knocked out. If you are ever knocked out, you no longer take any turns or add clank to the Clank! area.



Once a player has an artifact and has made their way back above ground, a final countdown begins for all other players to make it out alive! The player who has successfully escaped the dragon's lair will increase the dragon's rage one round at a time and the dragon will attack every time it would be that player's turn again! Once the final round is completed, any players above ground or at least out of the depths (whether knocked out or not) will calculate their total points and the highest scoring player wins!


If you have not played Clank! yet, I highly recommend you do so. It is such a fun little adventure game that gives you this feeling of excitement/anxiety wondering if your clank cubes will get drawn or will the other players be affected more than you. I love that each game is different because you can build your deck any number of ways and focus on a new strategy each time! Will you rush into the depths and grab the first artifact you find and rush back outside? Will you take your time exploring and trying to build up your points, hoping not to be knocked out by the dragon? I just absolutely love this game and will never turn down an opportunity to play it!

I am also very excited to try Clank! In! Space! which was announced and released at GenCon this year. I am so sad I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet because combining my love of this game with a really fun theme of space is right up my alley! I really hope that I can acquire a copy of Clank! In! Space! soon!!

Now, go play a game and find joy in your everyday!
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Thu Nov 9, 2017 7:02 pm
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Trekking the National Parks

Cindy Pastorius
United States
Maryland
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Collin and I have a goal of visiting all of the US National Parks and exploring them to enjoy the beauty of our country. So I think it's very fitting that my number 2 game of all time is Trekking the National Parks by Bink Ink!


Trekking is a very fun game where you are traveling around the United States visiting the National Parks. You have two actions that you can take on your turn and you may mix/match which actions you take. You can collect trek cards, collect park cards, or move. The goal of the game is to have the most points and there are different ways to earn points throughout the game.

Each park has a colored gem on it and you collect the gems when you make a stop in a park. The gems are then added up at the end of the game and the person with a majority in each particular color will win 5 bonus points per color!


Each park also has a corresponding parks card that you can only collect while at that particular park. The parks cards each have varying score values based on how difficult it is to obtain the card. There is also an end game bonus of 5 points for collecting the most park cards.


In order to move around the board or collect park cards you must collect trek cards. These cards have both a number and a symbol on them. The number corresponds to movement and the symbol corresponds to what is needed to collect parks cards. You must move with exact numbers in this game so you need to be strategic about which trek cards you collect! To collect a trek card you may draw from either a face up row or from the draw deck. When moving you can go as far as you'd like with one action but you must turn in trek cards to equal the total value of your movement. You may not move through parks or stop in parks where other players currently are so you must plan accordingly!


The final game round triggers when either all of the gems from around the board have been collected or when the last face down park card has been turned up. Players will then count their collected gems and collect the applicable bonuses, then they tally their points and the player with the most is the winner!


A mini expansion that is included in the game is the Postcards. The postcards are other National Parks that were not included in the regular park deck due to size constraints on the board. These parks are indicated on the board by a small red diamond shape with their name next to it. The postcards allow you to collect more points throughout the game. As one of your two actions you may draw a face down postcard and add it to your hand. The postcards have symbols that you must collect (via the trek cards) to be able to complete that postcard. But be aware, any postcards in your hand that you have not completed by the end of the game count negatively to your score.


I love that Trekking the National Parks is such an easy to explain and easy to learn game. And I think it's so much fun getting to "travel" to the different parks in the game. It has quite a good bit of player interaction, too, since you can be blocked by other players when moving, someone else could take the cards you are hoping to collect, or someone could take a colored gem you need to get a majority!

The production quality of this game is top notch! The gems are beautiful and made of a nice thick glass-like material. The artwork on the cards is great! They use actual pictures from each park on the park cards and postcards. They also have cute graphics for the symbols on the trek cards. I think one of my favorite features though is that the meeples you get to use during the game are chunky and solid and they are even wearing little backpacks!! The game even comes with a booklet filled with information on all 59 of the US National Parks. It's a great resource for learning a little bit more about our country's great landmarks!



If you haven't checked this game out yet, I highly recommend that you do! It is a quick, light, and fun game that can be enjoyed with anyone! If you've played this game, I'd love to know what your thoughts are. Do you enjoy it as much as me?

Now, go play a game and find joy in your everyday!
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Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:11 pm
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Something New

Cindy Pastorius
United States
Maryland
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Welcome to my blog! For those who may not know me, I'm Cindy and have been playing board games my whole life. I didn't discover the world of modern board gaming until around 2014 though. I get a lot of 2 player games in with my husband Collin, and we will play games with our friends when schedules allow.
Collin Pastorius
United States
Great Mills
Maryland
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I have a very eclectic taste in games and am usually willing to play most anything at least once. I tend to really enjoy dexterity games, euros, and games with animals! Collin and I are also currently very into games that have a Western theme or idea behind them. Some of my favorite games are Carson City, Trekking the National Parks, Clank!, Gold West, and Stone Age. You can check out my current Top 10 in my profile.

I love to laugh and find joy in even the simplest of things. At Dice Tower Con 2017 Zee Garcia pointed me out during one of the live shows for my laugh. I'm not ashamed. I want people to be happy and if I can have a part in that, my life is much better for it!

I hope that my blog can be a place where I can inspire you to try a new game or perhaps revisit an old one. I hope you'll be blessed by what I post and find some joy in your everyday!

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:18 pm
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