The Plucky Plank

A recap and my opinion of games tried at various game gatherings or conventions.
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1/28/2012 - We got a name

Kearn Reif
United States
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Our second meeting was this weekend and we got twice as many people as the previous month. We have officially named ourselves as Board Gaming League of Brighton or B.L.O.B. for short. Now we need to get some one with artistic talents to make us a graphic for a logo.

I saw several people from Great Oak and several new faces. Plenty of games were played. T taught Eclipse again but I was in the middle of Shadows over Camelot at the time. One day I'll get to play it.

I didn't keep track of all the games played, but I saw Chris teaching Mike D. how to play Mage Knight and Mike, Rhonda, Suzanne and Jim played Airlines Europe. I will comment on what I played.


TtR: Nordic was the first game I joined in. Vicki was a new gamer and had primarily played Settlers of Catan. I suggested TtR to give her another glimpse of a good light game. Since there were 3 of us, Rhonda suggested Nordic Countries. After a brief overview, (TtR isn't that complicated) we began. I anticipated a tight game with each of us blocking routes off from each other due to the tight nature of the map. I was wrong and we all managed to complete our tickets.

Vicki seemed to enjoy the game and afterword started asking us about all the other games on the counter. She couldn't stay too much longer but I figure she will be back again next month. I am glad we got to teach her a new game and she enjoyed the experience.


After wrapping up TtR: Nordic Countries, quite a few more players showed up and after introductions we jumped into our next game, Shadows over Camelot. I figured this would be played, since Rhonda asked several times last month for this to be played. As cooperative games go, Shadows over Camelot isn't a bad game. It manages to provide the appropriate tension as you struggle to survive the bad stuff. 6 of us assumed the roles of knights and battled our way to a victory.

Our victory was not without its losses; Sir Galahad (me) sacrificed himself in an honorable way for his kingdom. It resulted in a black sword but ended the game in a victory for the team. Shadows over Camelot is a good game but I never feel overwhelmed with the game. The bad stuff just never seems to make me tense like a game of Pandemic.

We were waiting for the other people present to finish up Eclipse. Mike D. recommended a small filler card game (No, not Tichu*). Tanz der Hornochsen was the game and I don't think any of us could pronounce it correctly. The game has a set of cards numerically circled in the center and each player places a card on a card it is higher than. Some of the cards are positive points with green cow heads and some are negative points with red bull heads.

Basically once you place the 5th card on a stack, you take all the cards to your score pile. The game gets more interesting since you have to play a x2 card and a +5 card. Rhonda just killed us by claiming two x2 cards and a pile of positive points.


A brief shuffle of players and some decisions on what to be played next, had me sitting down to a 5 player game of Power Grid. I was excited to play this with others who knew the game. In my previous plays, I learned it with other new players and won every time. So I wanted to see if I could hang with the big boys.

We did have one new player but she didn't seem all that interested, since she almost fell asleep multiple times during the game. The auctions and building phases were ruthless and a few curse words were uttered. T was 1st through the majority of the game but didn't seem to suffer any monetary problems. He was always powering a few more cities than everyone else and in the end won the game.

I ended up in 4th but had the second most cities. I was one plant away from victory. It was a challenging game and I felt I did a good job against the veteran players. Mike D. promised to bring some of the other maps for next time. I can't wait.


Next I sat down for a 4 player game of Eminent Domain. I would say Eminent Domain seems to be the hot game for the last few months. I always see it played multiple times and doesn't seem to be cooling off. The nicest thing was no one needed to be taught how to play so we got right into the game. It was a tight race to a close finish as everyone seemed to follow different paths toward victory.

I can honestly say I am not tired of this game and it is just a fun game to play. We all discussed the possibilities of an expansion and agree we all are excited to see what it brings to the game.


The clock struck 12 and the midnight hour was upon us. We were down to 6 players and after some discussion on what to play, we decided on a newish game to us all. TtR: Team Asia. I'll admit I was excited to play the team version. A brief overview of the rules and we were on our way. T/I (Yellow), Mike D./Chris (Red) and Rhonda/Mike (Green) were the teams. The toughest part of the game is figuring out what to collect or tracks to claim for your teammate. You can't talk or give hints at all, so you need to watch what your partner is doing.

After a few rounds, you could see the teams starting to gel. The game ended up close but T and I ended up victorious due to completing 108 points worth of tickets. Even if I had lost, this version of Ticket to Ride is fun and definitely for players used to playing the game. I think it is my favorite way to play the game.

It was the perfect length and weight of game to finish off the night. After everyone pitched in to help in the clean up, we called it a night and drove off in our separate directions. This group seems to have a grass roots support as many people helped support and promote the group. I feel it fills a need missing in our area and can only get better.

Once again, I want to thank Rhonda for hosting and I look forward to reporting to you about next months festivities.

*This is an inside joke. Mike D. is a big fan of Tichu and everyone always teases him about it
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