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Subject: What are you playing this week? (April 9-15th edition) rss

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Chris Graves
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Hey there Pegheads. Another week, another question for you: Have you ever been given a game that you didn't like as a gift? If so, how did you react? If you haven't had that happen, let's get hypothetical. Say your aunt Betsy got you a copy of Nascar Monopoly for Christmas...what would you do?

...but what the Pegheads REALLY want to know is, What are you playing this week?
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Joe Pilkus
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Chris,

Good (early) morning! I have to admit, family and friends are quite reticent to buy me games as they see my collection as something other wordly and have no idea what they should buy. If they're even considering purchasing a game, they run it through my daughter (who of course will check out my BGG page or ask me)

The first part of the week will prove quiet for gaming and ramp up as we get closer to the weekend:

Wed: D&D 3.5 (DMing friends through the Sunlit Citadel adventure)
Thu: Game Night @ Labyrinth Games in Washington D.C.
Fri: Mail or hand deliver three copies of TradeWars for additional playtesting of new content, following our successful KS last year
Sat: Attend the 1-Player Guild's Meet-Up outside Philadelphia!

Cheers,
Joe
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Brendan Riley
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Good one, Chris. Gamewise, I'm not sure what's coming up.

As for the other thing -- I got Chicago-opoly from a family member at one point, and later I got Zombie-opoly (different family member). Gave Chicago-opoly away still in shrink, but kept zombie-opoly for the novelty of it. Plays just like Monopoly, which is to say, poorly. But zombies at least.
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Nick Shaw
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Never been given a game I didn't like. If I WAS though... not sure. I'd want to play it just to give it a go (as how do I know I don't like it if I've not played it), and if the KIDS liked it, I might keep it for them to play. Otherwise, I'd keep it for a few months then likely sell it on. And I don't see any issue with doing that; if someone bought you a book and you realised after a couple of chapters that it's not your kind of book, would you worry about selling that book? Probably not. So I don't see a problem of getting rid of a boardgame that you're not going to play.

Ah, I've remembered an example. My sister bought us a copy of Mastermind this past Xmas (or a rebranded chain-shop version of it at least). It wasn't for me specifically, but for the family. It's... ok, as games designed some 50+ years ago go. The children really enjoy it though, so no point getting rid of it as they'll enjoy it [for as long as it takes them to lose enough pieces to make it worthless].




What am I playing this week? A whole ton of playtesting is what. Working on the final draft of the AI bot for Cerebria and testing tiny tweaks for balance. I've played it literally every day in the last week, and almost every day over the last 2 weeks. Shaping up really nicely.

Wednesday is game night, and current plan is to run a game of Castles of Burgundy which a fellow member requested. Nothing specific other than that, so we'll see what goes down.

Also need to finish off my own design of Innkeepers for the 2-player PnP contest running at the moment! Deadline to finish changes is Sunday, so have to do final testing this week in case any changes are needed.
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Meghan Naxer
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I've gotten a couple games before as gifts that didn't hit the mark and they usually end up in a sell/trade pile and find new homes eventually. I am (VERY) unsentimental about these things, so I would never keep something around (game or otherwise) just because someone gave it to me if it wasn't useful or wanted.

Hopefully we will play *something* this week. New video game (Ni no Kuni II) and Stranger Things Season 2 kept us from gaming last week, but we only have 1 episode left and a big itch for some euro goodness!
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Scott Sexton
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My brothers and I received some Geography Trivia game from my grandparents back in the late 80's that was pretty bad. I think we just let it rot in the game closet after we realized how terrible it was and went back to games like Payday and Scrabble.

This weekend my son and I are going to attend a Star Wars Destiny Sealed Deck tourney at our FLGS. That means we'll need to get "warmed up" by reviewing the rules.

I've been playing Dungeon Alliance with the kids. Its not quite as good as Core Worlds, but its up there as probably my second favorite Andrew Parks game. It completely fires Mage Knight, although, to be fair, Mage Knight kinda fires Mage Knight. Dungeon Alliance is a LONG teach and this is the first game I've played that I felt really does need the watered down learning mode game in order to fully grok the game proper.

I'm continuing to play the game book "Crypt of the Vampire" with the kids.

I think I'm gonna bite the bullet this week and teach my son Glory to Rome. My daughter had a pretty violently negative reaction when I described the game to her, so we'll see if I can't get a bit more traction from my son.
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Kevin Ruland
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I've never gotten games as gifts - so this isn't a problem for me.

This should be a good week for playing.

I've convinced my older son to get his nose out of his computer for a game of Scythe tonight. I expect to be wholloped, again.

My younger son is really digging Roll Player. Hopefully we can do that a little more.

My game group is coming over to play our 7th game of Charterstone.

And I'm committed to finishing up The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire solo plays for the 10x10 challenge.
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Bill Kunes
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There have been a couple of occasions where someone has gifted me a game that I did not like in which I've turned around and traded it, if possible. In my case, family who get me games aren't invested in the hobby or activity of actually playing games to know or ask what I've done or if I'm even enjoying it, so I've avoided any issues.

----
As for this week, it looks to be a crazy busy one but IF we get game time I suspect it will be something familiar to us either on our 10x10 list or on the shelf... and my wife will likely choose.

meeple Keep playing...
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John Kanost
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I cannot recall this ever happening. I've certainly gotten games that I wouldn't really like to receive now as a gift, but at the time they were appreciated.

So, hypothetically speaking... I would thank my auntie with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, and perhaps offer to open the game and play it with her if she wanted, but secretly I'd be hoping that I could leave it boxed. Then it would go into the "Nana Closet" to be brought out and displayed prominently in the home whenever Aunt Betsy came to visit, but chances are it would never get played...

Tonight the plan is Wasteland Express Delivery Service! I have not played it before, and neither has the guy who is bringing it, but there seems to be enthusiasm all around to try this one out. I let Rodney Smith teach me the rules last night, so I feel about as prepared as I can be...

Tomorrow afternoon I am taking half a day off work so I can get to Beermongers early... I'm hoping for a shot at trying out Fireball Island! Whether I get in on a demo of it or not, I'll at least get to see the prototype in action! I've also heard that someone is bringing a copy of the original for comparison. I'm also planning to get in on a game of Terra Mystica with some of my fellow Cabalists. And probably some other games too, since I'll be there from 3:00 till we drop from exhaustion!
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Scott Sexton
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Grishny wrote:


Tonight the plan is Wasteland Express Delivery Service! I have not played it before, and neither has the guy who is bringing it, but there seems to be enthusiasm all around to try this one out. I let Rodney Smith teach me the rules last night, so I feel about as prepared as I can be...

Tomorrow afternoon I am taking half a day off work so I can get to Beermongers early... I'm hoping for a shot at trying out Fireball Island! Whether I get in on a demo of it or not, I'll at least get to see the prototype in action! I've also heard that someone is bringing a copy of the original for comparison.

I am very curious to hear your thoughts on both of these. I'm kinda on the fence about Fireball Island. The preview from Board Game Replay left me a bit cold.
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Chris Graves
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I have been given one game that was a surprise: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, which was literally life changing. It was the game that got me hooked into the hobby. The rest of the games I have been given as gifts have come from a wish list. My Dad did tell me recently that he almost bought me a copy of Axis & Allies. I'm glad he didn't. I would have learned it, and we would have played it. I have played this game a couple times, and that may be enough for me. By now, family members know not to buy me games...that works well for everyone.

This week could be epic. The sister of one of the people in my main group is moving out of town in a week and has a copy of Charterstone. She wants to try to play the whole damn thing before she moves. That could mean us trying to binge 12 games in 3-4 days. I'm not sure if it's possible or not, but I'll keep you posted. Other than that, my FLGS started a 40K escalation league. You start with 500 points of army, play a couple weeks, then build every couple weeks until you are playing 1000 points. Good for beginners like myself.
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Dean Liggett
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On the odd occasion that someone buys me a boardgame, I will always be gracious even if I'm not excited about it. I did just receive a couple different games from Grandpa Beck's catalog of games. At first, I was taken aback by them and did my best to act excited. Then I realized that they were gag gifts. What a relief!

As for gaming this week.

Mon: Marco Polo w/ expansion + recorded podcast episode
Tues/Wed: n/a
Thur: Roll Player w/expansion
Fri: n/a
Sat: Game Day at the Academy Games HQ.


Have a great week!

Dean

Board Game Buffet
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Graham Hall
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In celebration of 20 years with the same employer, I was given Terraforming Mars and Suburbia as gifts. The plan is to play them both on my birthday this Saturday.

I am entirely excited and happy meeple
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Chris Graves
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grimbo wrote:
In celebration of 20 years with the same employer, I was given Terraforming Mars and Suburbia as gifts. The plan is to play them both on my birthday this Saturday.

I am entirely excited and happy meeple

Well, those employers did a good job of picking games!
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Brendan Riley
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voodoochyl wrote:
grimbo wrote:
In celebration of 20 years with the same employer, I was given Terraforming Mars and Suburbia as gifts. The plan is to play them both on my birthday this Saturday.

I am entirely excited and happy meeple

Well, those employers did a good job of picking games!

Seconded. Good on your boss(es)!

Yesterday was a gaming bonanza. I ran three games of Two Rooms and a Boom with my class, and then at game night we played Century: Golem Edition and I got to try two new games. Both of the new games I played were okay, but my snap judgement of the games is:

Carnival Zombie - I can see why this made a splash several years ago, but it's too slow and fiddly by today's standards. I'm glad I played it, but won't be backing the kickstarter if one ever happens.

Crystal Clans - This is Plaid Hat's replacement for Summoner Wars, I guess? I thought it was okay, but not really my kind of game. Lovely art, though.
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Nick Shaw
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Game night last night! Great time, and a great turnout - 20+ people in all.

I taught and played The Castles of Burgundy to three other chaps. They all really enjoyed the game, and that was even despite me overtaking them all during final scoring after having been behind for the rest of the game to win by just 8 points (our final scores were all within 10 points of each other - gotta love Feld and his point-salads!) Yay to end-game scoring bonuses!

We then played Strozzi, a classic but rather under-the-radar Knizia in the vein of Ra and Medici, simpler and quicker than both of those. A lot of fun, too - my first play of it (which was interesting, as I was teaching it too; I did not win ).

Tonight: A friend has lent me their copy of Trickerion: Legends of Illusion to try out. My word, it looks complex - BGG game weight of 4.07/5! Yikes! Look forward to trying it out though, as it's by the same design team behind Cerebria: The Inside World which I've been doing solo development & playtesting on (which, coincidentally, I've got scheduled to playtest again tomorrow evening!).

Saturday there's a big gaming day nearish me (about an hour's drive away) which I'd hoped to get to as well, but alas my wife reminded me that (a) the kids have swimming lessons all that morning, and (b) she needs me to pick her up from the train station early afternoon, meaning I would have a 2 hour window free, and as it take an hour to drive up to the place the game day is at, and an hour to get back, I'd be going up to... turn right around again. ALMOST tempted to as it would mean I could potentially order some stuff from the FLGS there and pick it up without having to pay shipping, but the saving would only just cover the cost in petrol... argh! First world problems...
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Nick Shaw
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njshaw2 wrote:
Tonight: A friend has lent me their copy of Trickerion: Legends of Illusion to try out. My word, it looks complex - BGG game weight of 4.07/5! Yikes! Look forward to trying it out though, as it's by the same design team behind Cerebria: The Inside World which I've been doing solo development & playtesting on (which, coincidentally, I've got scheduled to playtest again tomorrow evening!).

Trickerion: Wowzers, there's a lot of stuff in that box! I read through some of the manual, then had to just start setting stuff up to get a handle on what it was referring to. Helped a lot. Managed to get the whole thing setup, although took me an hour to do so (things weren't organised logically in the box as the game's owner had bagged things into similarly-looking things which aren't necessarily similarly used in the game, plus had the expansion mixed in). So now I know how it sets up, I can be ready to actually try playing it! It does look really good: hidden action selection with worker placement. Love it!
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Chris Graves
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njshaw2 wrote:
Trickerion: Wowzers, there's a lot of stuff in that box! I read through some of the manual, then had to just start setting stuff up to get a handle on what it was referring to. Helped a lot. Managed to get the whole thing setup, although took me an hour to do so (things weren't organised logically in the box as the game's owner had bagged things into similarly-looking things which aren't necessarily similarly used in the game, plus had the expansion mixed in). So now I know how it sets up, I can be ready to actually try playing it! It does look really good: hidden action selection with worker placement. Love it!

This game is the one I was most excited about in 2015(?) and I got it from my BGG Secret Santa. Took me a year to get to it. I also had to set it up, and it stayed on the table for like two weeks until my wife finally had enough. By the time I got back to it, I had forgotten everything. I did learn it again, and taught/played, and it is wonderful! Problem is, it's been long enough where I may have to kind of re-learn it.

So my regular Friday night game has evolved into a Thursday night game moving forward. Got to play Clank! In! Space!. While I have only played vanilla Clank one time, I liked this one better. What a fun game this is. It's one of those games where I just want to adventure all over the place and forget to play the game sometimes. Let me at all those mystery goodies! Tonight we carry on the Gloomhaven adventure with my new Friday group. Tomorrow...there is only war: Warhammer and Necromunda (maybe some Frostgrave).

UPDATE:
4/15 Played a new scenario in Mansion of Madness tonight. 4/4 players went insane, and 3/4 players had specific win conditions that weren't met. We did "finish" the scenario, but only one person won. Also got to try The Pursuit of Happiness tonight for the first time. I really enjoyed it. Lost by about 4-5 points, and the winner died early so he received an end game bonus that was a deciding factor. I'm looking forward to trying this one again.


UPDATE:
Turns out since two people died at the same time (before me), there would have been no end game points awarded for dying early, which means I actually won. Cool!
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Meghan Naxer
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I've been pretty quiet lately...no game playing in this house for nearly two weeks due to all kinds of things. We decided to remedy that this weekend! Easing back into things with favorites, really stunningly beautiful games, and shorter fare: Concordia (Crete map is great!), Mottainai (x3), Kingdomino, Sunset Over Water, Kanagawa, and Sun Tzu.
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Nick Shaw
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So a small amount of gaming for me this weekend, but some good ones: Patchwork with my 9yo (she beat me by 2 points), then Trickerion, solo (2-handed) which - for base-game only - is WAY simpler than the BGG weight implies. With the in-the-box expansion, I expect that game weight to increase quite a bit, especially with >2 players. Looking forward to trying it!
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John Kanost
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Grishny wrote:
Tonight the plan is Wasteland Express Delivery Service! I have not played it before, and neither has the guy who is bringing it, but there seems to be enthusiasm all around to try this one out. I let Rodney Smith teach me the rules last night, so I feel about as prepared as I can be...

Tomorrow afternoon I am taking half a day off work so I can get to Beermongers early... I'm hoping for a shot at trying out Fireball Island! Whether I get in on a demo of it or not, I'll at least get to see the prototype in action! I've also heard that someone is bringing a copy of the original for comparison. I'm also planning to get in on a game of Terra Mystica with some of my fellow Cabalists. And probably some other games too, since I'll be there from 3:00 till we drop from exhaustion!

Wasteland Express Deliveries did take place on Monday, but with five complete noobs (including the owner/teacher) figuring things out as we went, we managed to stretch a 90 minute game into 3 hours and still didn't finish our play. We're planning to try again tonight!

Terra Mystica on Tuesday did not happen, but instead at Beermongers I got in three plays of Mottainai, won a game of Skull for the first time, got in a play of "Sentinent", and learned to play Isle of Skye.

Family night games this week included plays of Dixit and Dominion. Dominion was one of my saltiest game plays in recent history... more on that over at my blog if you're curious.

Saturday Matthew and I spent the afternoon at The Game Table Cafe, where we played two games of Alien Artifacts, demoed Wanted: Rich or Dead, and got in a very enjoyable play of Sheriff of Nottingham.
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Brendan Riley
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Friday night I got to visit a new board game cafe in Chicago -- The Bonus Round cafe. It was fun! I brought Crows Overkill, a nice little filler unless you pay attention to the theme, in which case it's a pervy little filler.

Then we played Not Alone, which I enjoyed as a simple bluffing/ opponent-reading game. It was fun, but as usual for me with that kind of game, I did terribly.

Finally, we tried Unearth. It's a beautiful game with fine mechanisms, but really not my kind of game -- very simple when it comes down to it. The rulebook was also a little opaque.

Then, Saturday, we played a round of the Knizia classic Indigo and then Gloomhaven, in which my wife completed her character's personal quest and become the first person to retire. So of course, on Sunday, we had to play another game so we could see what the party was like with a new member. What fun! (Alas, I'm only 40% of the way to retiring my character, so it will be a little while before I get to do so.)

Grishny wrote:
Saturday Matthew and I spent the afternoon at The Game Table Cafe, where we played two games of Alien Artifacts, demoed Wanted: Rich or Dead, and got in a very enjoyable play of Sheriff of Nottingham.

How is Alien Artifacts? That box is a tempting, tempting sight.
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Scott Sexton
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wombat929 wrote:


Grishny wrote:
Saturday Matthew and I spent the afternoon at The Game Table Cafe, where we played two games of Alien Artifacts, demoed Wanted: Rich or Dead, and got in a very enjoyable play of Sheriff of Nottingham.

How is Alien Artifacts? That box is a tempting, tempting sight.

I find it to be a bit hit and miss. It feels a lot like 51st State & Imperial Settlers (with a tiny dash of Race for the Galaxy or Eminent Domain) with an improved game timer as opposed to a weird scoring threshold or fixed rounds. At the same time though the game is objectively more random then those other games. The game also has an intriguing amount of depth and there is more then a little strategy woven into the idea of milling the game's deck. I have been on the fence about Imperial Settlers for a while and AA caused me to fire it. If you are wanting a solid card game set in space, Eminent Domain and Core Worlds are much more enjoyable games IMHO, BUT AA is not a bad game. Definitely one I suggest demoing before you buy. Heck, used copies are pretty easy to afford and you should have little trouble finding a copy in a math trade.
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John Kanost
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wombat929 wrote:
How is Alien Artifacts? That box is a tempting, tempting sight.

What Scott said is accurate. It definitely has a similar feel to both IS and 51st, but the SF theme is more to my liking. But who am I to judge; I’m a multi-use card junkie and own, play, and intend to keep all three.

Over several plays I’ve found it difficult to fix upon a clear strategy and often find myself floundering because there’s too many “ooh that’s shiny I’ll grab that too” moments. I think Alien Artifacts is a game that’s going to teach me self control... pick a path and try to stick to it.
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Nick Hayes
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I got to play a couple of games for the first time in a few months. We played Ticket to Ride and Codenames. I lost TTR miserably because I couldn't draw good tickets to sve my life. It was a blast, though.

My in-laws have given me a couple of these games, including Warner Bros. Trivial Pursuit, Green Lantern Dominoes, Tetris Link & Logo Party Edition. Of course, I thank them for them, and have played the games with them, and while I won't get rid of them, they don't have a plac in my game cabinet. They have certainly given me many good games, as well, including Talisman, Small World, Qwirkle, Ticket to Ride & Camel Up. So they have done good too!
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