Recent gaming: Dixit, Paris Connection, Musketeers, Vive le Roi!, Deep Sea Adventure, Battle Sheep, Right Fierce&Terrible
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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March 20 - April 9, 2017

Another big chunk of time since my last Recent Gaming geeklist. This is my second-to-last one in France, as soon I'll be going home. This span includes when my grown kids (20-something) came to visit us in Paris. I thought we'd have a few nights where we played some games together (at least with my daughter), but it never happened! Oh well, we were doing lots of other stuff. I think we watched more movies together, exhausted after long days of sightseeing. I even missed my normal biweekly game night.

I made it to another, however, and it was a good one. We really lived up to our name, playing lots of games that were both light AND short. At other times I squeezed in a (partial) solo wargame.

-Mark


My recent gaming geeklists (2017)
Boardgames To Go podcast, Season 13
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1. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:265] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Dixit
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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We had a pretty good turnout at the Light/Short game night in Paris, with a few new faces. Since I was a little late myself, some of those new folks had tried to get started on their own, pulling one of the well-worn games from the café off the shelf. That was the case with Dixit, which I happily joined & offered to teach. The rules were only in French, but a refresher was all I needed. I can read THAT much, at least.

I think not everyone knew it was kind of a party game, rather than a strategy game. They caught on quickly, though, and had a good time. Another SdJ success story (that's foreshadowing for a future podcast episode).
 
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2. 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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The reigning champ game of our group notched another success. It's quick, the theme appeals, there's real strategy...just an all-around winner. I'm happy to be leaving this behind in a new, good Parisian home. I still have my original back in Santa Clarita.
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3. Board Game: Musketeers [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:6296]
Board Game: Musketeers
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This was a game I kicked myself for not thinking to bring from home. It's very fun in its own right, and I've had my copy for over twenty years...and it was a few years old even then! The nicer(?) modern edition in a tin was a little tricky to find in Europe, but finally I found one in Italy I had sent to me. Another I will be happy to leave behind. So perfect for French players!
 
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4. Board Game: King Up! [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2424]
Board Game: King Up!
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This was one of my recent acquisitions through the incredibly addictive used game French marketplace on Okkazeo. I had the original King Me! version years ago, which looked great and was super simple...but ultimately too random to be a keeper. Now, though, I thought those qualities could be perfect as an introductory game for the Light/Short group. I think that's still true, but even after one play I was a little disappointed with the length-to-randomness ratio. Plus something about the usability of the character standups, which can be difficult to see from all angles on an initially-crowded board. Another that stays behind.

From gallery of MarkEJohnson
 
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5. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Another multiple-play hit for the group. One of the players even bought her own copy. I hear that not everyone loves this game, but that's not really my experience. A real winner, time & again. It shows how the price of the game doesn't matter much if it gets played. I know some felt this game was overpriced for "what you get." However, in terms of play it's a real bargain. Not to mention how charmed everyone is by the simple-but-perfect little components.
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6. Board Game: Battle Sheep [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1411]
Board Game: Battle Sheep
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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This was a pub game with friends at a different place. A well-worn copy was on the shelf, and I remembered enough of the missing rules for us to play. It's a spiffy little abstract, done up with a needless but helpful flock-of-sheep theme. The plastic pieces had just about worn off the sheep graphics, though, making it too difficult to tell the player pieces apart. Still, it was a perfect little game for the situation, with the modular board even able to handle our two round bar tables pushed together as a playing surface. Nice.

By the way, this pub was Le Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde, which if you can read a little French will let you know what a geeky place it is. Everyone reading this should probably go there if they visit Paris.


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7. Board Game: Right Fierce & Terrible: Sluys 1340 [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:9936]
Board Game: Right Fierce & Terrible: Sluys 1340
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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From gallery of MarkEJohnson
From gallery of MarkEJohnson
I'm not a naval wargamer. Yet some reading about the earliest stages of the Hundred Years War between medieval France & Englandr--especially what set up the Battle of Crécy--led me to learning about the Battle of Sluys. When I found an affordable magazine wargame about it, I quickly sent my money...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sluys



I'll say up front that I didn't give this game a fair shake. I got it all set up, played a few turns, then packed it back up. I do this sometimes when I see that I've already learned a lot from the OOB, the map, the setup, and--especially--the accompanying magazine articles...but don't look forward to churning through the execution of the game. I have a low tolerance for wargames that work their way through a lot of process steps (think flowchart) and die roll modifiers. I DO realize that this hobby is built upon that foundation, but my preference are for wargames that sacrifice some of that in preference to more nimble gameplay. To each his own. I still enjoyed my experience with this game, even if it wasn't one of playing it through.
 
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