Recent gaming: Paris Connection, Evolution The Beginning, Sangre y Fuego, Sushi Go, Paris Paris, Noch Mal
Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
California
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January 16-22, 2017

Another great week of gaming. I'm talking about last week--I'm late getting this "session report" geeklist out because I pushed my podcast out first. Normally I aim for Mondays. Anyway, it was good because we had another nice Light/Short game group in Paris, and I squeezed in another wargame about Spanish Civil War in preparation of that upcoming podcast. I may not play many or ANY games this week, so I'm doubly glad to have enjoyed all (most) of these good ones below.

-Mark


My recent gaming geeklists (2017)
Boardgames To Go podcast, Season 13
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1. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1485]
Board Game: Paris Connection
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This was as good as the experiences get in our hobby. First of all, I was playing with my wife Candy & new friends in Paris. The game says "Paris" right on it. A new player (who didn't speak much English) looked over, and we encouraged her to play with us. All of the French gamers oohed & aahed over the map, spending a few minutes just looking at how their country was portrayed & pointing out cities.

Then we played, and I had the joy of watching a player have that "ah-ha" moment when they see the hidden depth in this simple game. Even better that it was Candy! She shrewdly "wasted" a bunch of trains/shares in a company, building in the worthless countryside, avoiding cities that score. Everyone figured out what she was doing and the French made self-deprecating jokes about the inefficiency of their train system. She won comfortably, and everyone had a great time. C'├ętait parfait!
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2. Board Game: Evolution: The Beginning [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1930]
Board Game: Evolution: The Beginning
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Four stars more for my enthusiasm than how well the game played (which was maybe three stars). I like the parent game pretty well, and was really interested to see how an already pretty simple game could be slimmed down for a more casual audience. I think it worked. Not everyone really seemed to get it, or love it, but I think that was a limitation of my teaching. Are other people like this? After I teach & play a game for the first time, I'm left thinking, "Ok, NOW I know how I should teach the game." I'm eager to try again.
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3. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:434]
Board Game: Sushi Go!
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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The bloom is just a little off the rose for this one, but I'm still giving it 5 stars because of how well it worked at the game group. A French person grabbed it, refreshed some of us on the rules, and away we went. We called out our scores in French numbers (I at least know THOSE), so that added to the international experience.
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4. Board Game: Sangre y Fuego [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Sangre y Fuego
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Wow, the photo doesn't do the game justice. It's a magazine wargame that (I think) needed to have its counters mounted & cut out. These days it's part of a freely downloadable Spanish wargame magazine. No English translation, but Google Translate, my two years of high school Spanish, and a general familiarity with how hexmap wargames work meant I could stumble through. This is part of my Spanish Civil War topic for the next Wargames To Go podcast. An added bonus was that I called out on twitter if anyone knew how to contact the game's author (also Spanish), and I quickly had his email address. The game was published eight years ago, but he immediately responded to a question I had. It was about the most unique part of the game, how so many of the hidden counters are civilians, who can inadvertently get caught up in the fighting. Especially important for the SCW, and something I've not seen in wargames before.
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5. Board Game: Paris Paris [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3665]
Board Game: Paris Paris
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Now the star-enthusiasm swings the other way. Very disappointed in this one. And in myself! I owned this years ago, didn't like it then, and sold it off. Now that I'm living in Paris I decided to re-acquire it and try again. It's sitting on my shelf. I was able to play with Arnott on brettspielwelt, and within a single game we'd re-confirmed how disappointing this one is. Extra disappointing because Schacht is one of my favorite designers, and so many aspects of this one are part of his winning style. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Alas.
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6. Board Game: Encore! [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1015]
Board Game: Encore!
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Another play on BSW with Arnott. Not really a reduction my rating, just comfortably settling into a solid 3-star, 6-rated game for me (like most of them).
 
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7. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1099]
Board Game: Meuterer
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Unique and weird, I know this game isn't for everybody. But it's definitely for Dave Arnott & I. We've always loved it, and it's really fun to play again after a gap of so many years.
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