Posted in GameDay Recap

Game Day Recap, 1/15

We usually play from Kellye and Aaron’s game cabinet, since that’s where we have our GameDays. This week, Jason brought over his full library of games. We didn’t really get started until after 1, but still made our way though a lot of games.

 

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Codenames

Even though we all liked Terra Mystica a lot, Codenames garnered a fair share of our attention. We could be strategic, but conversational. We had some challenging rounds where very similar words were agents on different teams, and had to finesse fringe associations in order to locate the agents. By the end of the night, we had played Codenames with every possible team combination. Switching teams only made the game better, because we all gave clues a little differently. Each new round meant you had to change up your logic a little to understand what your team member was implying.

RESULTS*:

Aaron and Kellye vs Adam and Jason

Adam and Jason vs Kellye and Aaron

Kellye and Adam vs Jason and Aaron

Kellye and Jason vs Aaron and Adam

Kellye and Jason vs Aaron and Adam

 

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Terra Mystica

This game is a beast. We all studied the rules days beforehand, and Jason had played a few mock games himself just to get a feel for it. Aaron played as Nomads, Adam was Mermaids, Jason was Halflings, and Kellye was Witches.

Aaron executed the Nomads perfectly. We also felt that this race has a more straightforward strategy. He may have been helped by the fact that the rest of us didn’t know that we should have been fencing him in. He spread unchallenged through a fair section of the board.

Adam was successful in regulating his flow of power, but didn’t capitalize on his ability to foster indirect adjacency along the waterways.

Jason played the Halfings with a good balance, but didn’t capitalize on their ability to spread until late in the game. He very nearly robbed Aaron’s Nomads of their 18 point end of game bonus.

Kellye started fast with Witches, but reached a standstill early in year 3 due to a complete loss of cash flow. She sat a year out, and was able to finish strong.

The box suggests that Terra Mystica can be completed in 2 hours for 4 players, but it took us 5 hours to play. We are and aggressively analytical group, so we take longer even on games we know well. With a new game, there is a lot of rules clarification and speculative chatter as we absorb strategies.

RESULTS: Aaron, Kellye, Jason, Adam

 

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Hanabi

Hanabi is always a fun diversion, though we tend to get into abstract arguments about the clue that should have been given versus the clue that was actually given. When we’re all operating on the same line of thought, the game is pretty easy… but we are rarely that united. We considered playing Lanterns afterward just to stay on the Asian festival theme, but switched to Seven wonders (after playing Codenames again).

RESULTS: Co-op, “Excellent, Crowd Pleasing”

 

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Seven Wonders

This was one of the first “real” games our group bought after Catan. We’ve played it tons, because the randomness of the cards you get keeps it interesting. We discussed having progressive game days, where we play Sushi Go then Seven wonders, or Forbidden Island then Pandemic. The simpler versions would be like a warm-up for the strategic workout.

RESULTS: Jason, Kellye, Aaron, Adam

Get Bit

By the time we got to Get Bit it was pretty late, but it’s a great game to play when you still want to hang out, but are strategically spent. Despite your best efforts, you can only be so strategic. Don’t tell this to Aaron, who still took it very seriously (and won).

RESULTS: Aaron, Kellye, Jason, Adam

This was an especially awesome marathon gaming day. Maybe it was because we had gotten together last week after a long hiatus, and we didn’t have as many stories to talk about. Maybe it was because Kellye cooked up a bunch of food the day before, so we didn’t waste time discussing if, when, and what we were going to order for food. Or maybe it was just because Jason’s been holding back his great games from us. In any case, we’re excited to tackle Adam’s game library next Sunday (and maybe brew beer again?).

*Winners are underlined

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Posted in GameDay Recap

GameDay Recap, 10/9

Aaron and Jason started their brew-off early Sunday morning.

Jason was so excited to start brewing that he left every door to his car open in the driveway.

This was the first time the guys brewed seperately. They are both making porters, but Aaron’s secret ingredient is Dulce de Leche, while Jason’s secret ingredient is cocoa.

They both stared down their creations as they brewed.

Kellye unboxed some of the new games from the Target B2G1F sale, including Castles of Mad King Ludwing and Five Tribes.

With the Colts game in the background, we first played The Grizzled. It’s a simple to learn and relatively quick co-op game, with a bleak theme. You are playing as actual soldiers from World War one, trying to survive your missions without dying.

We played Colt Express next, a wild west, programmed action game. Each person plays as a wild west outlaw, trying to steal the most loot while evading capture and gunfire on a train headed west.

Last, we played the second half of April in Pandemic Legacy. Needless to say, the world is is pretty bad shape, and the middle east is a mess.

We had a ton of snacks with a bit of fall theme, including a sampler pack from Sam Adams. This bonfire blone is like drinking a campfire, in the best way possible.

Posted in Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic Legacy: April

April started calmly, but we had a legacy deck card to overturn after the second outbreak, and it was a big one.
We learned about faded, which are not zombies, but are practically zombies. Tons of new rules were added, new figurines uncovered, and new stickers for denoting faded cities. If the legacy deck does not turn the tides in our favor soon, this may not be a world worth saving.
We did not have an faded incidents, but we did not win our first attempt at this month. It will be practically impossible to not have faded appear in the second half of the month, since there are no more black cubes. And, if the faded outbreak, every city it outbreaks into becomes a faded city henceforth, whether it was black to begin with or not.

Late April

At least we’ll be starting May with 4 funded events.

We did not win our second attempt at April. We were able to keep the faded contained to the Middle East, but most of the cities are now marked as faded. We’ll have to keep a close watch on the border cities next month, to make sure the faded don’t spread to other regions.

There may have been more that we could have done, but when you have un-treatable zombie-like invasions, there’s only so much that can be done.

We’ve also gotten a little more lazy about filling out all the documentation as time has gone on. I guess that’s just the pressure of trying to save the world setting in.

Posted in Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic Legacy: March

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20160828_154753Given how last month ended, we knew we were expecting a loss in March. We needed to complete two of the three objectives:
  • Cure 3 diseases
  • Eradicate 1 disease
  • Set up military bases in each of 6 regions.
Military stations were introduced, but we didn’t feel as though their usefulness has been realized. We had good progress with curing diseases, but we simply had too much Tikka MaSARS outbreaks with no one staying in the area to quarantine. Our team made it out of the area unscathed, but our Tehran research station burned to the ground.

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We did not succeed in curing the world, taking our first loss of the Legacy. As our end of game modifiers, we made red even easier to cure, and gave ourselves a new permanent research station in southern east Asia. Our difficulties early in this month were using our team to the best of their abilities, and planning beyond the current move.

Legacy offers two chances to win each month. If you win on your first attempt, you proceed to the next month. Otherwise, you play that month again. In some ways it’s nice to have the opportunity to start over, but anything that happened last game is still on the board, so we also had the feeling we could just be making things worse.

LATE MARCH
We agreed to use the same team members for our second attempt. The pressure was on, and we had many heated debates about which areas to save and which areas to sacrifice. The Middle East continued to be a hotbed of activity.

We tried to forecast beyond one turn at a time, to create a comprehensive strategy instead of a reflexive one. We intended to establish an infrastructure of research stations for easy travel, but an early epidemic card created premature outbreaks.

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Though many areas became unstable, we were able to cure Asia and eradicate diseases in North America, with South America quickly following. We took this game down to the wire, with only three cards to spare, the Middle East on the brink, and our outbreaks at dangerous heights.

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We chose to give Penny the Flexible attribute, which allows her to discard a card and draw a card of the same color from the player discard pile. We paired this with The Grassroots Program unfunded event, adding this to the Middle Eastern city of Chennai.

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This allows the person to play the card to discard up to 3 city cards and remove 1 cube matching the color of each card from anywhere on the board. Our win takes funded events out of our deck again, so this is our attempt to give Middle Eastern cards a little more purpose and try to control what we can’t cure.
Posted in Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic Legacy: February

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We didn’t intend to immediately play the second month, but after finishing January strong we couldn’t help ourselves.

We learned that Tikka MaSARS could not be treated or cured, and opened a ton of dossiers.

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We gained the ability to quarantine cities, and uncovered characters relationships. This immediately lead to a fight about when and how we should use them.

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We ultimately settled that the quarantine specialist, Collen Case,  and the medic, Kev,  were rivals. Perhaps most intriguing, we all received an additional card filled with blank action slots.

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We had a loose interpretation on the quarantine specialist’s rules, so she was dropping quarantines EVERYWHERE. We hit two epidemics very quickly, and felt the weight of the Legacy as we tried to keep the mid east from dissolving into chaos.

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Nothing had been cured yet, but the mid east was calm due to Kev and Colleen fighting to be most influential in the area.We kept the outbreaks down, but then again we were unknowingly breaking the rules quite a bit. Szechuan Chicken Pox was cured first and we were quickly gathering steam. Before we knew it, we cured all three treatable diseases without any outbreaks.

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This is about the time when we had a lengthy discussion about whether or not we actually “won” considering we played incorrectly, and what we should do about it. The game allows you to adjust your difficulty by how many funded events you have. Every win removes two from your deck, and every loss adds two. We decided that we should take the win but not adjust the terms. Even though we may have lost without our advantage, we were left with an easy board as a result – no areas became unstable in the month of February.

We know that going into the next month we expect things to crash and burn, and though that is frightening, we think it will add to the fun.

Posted in GameDay Recap

GameDay Recap: 8/28

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Our usual game day spot is being renovated, so we went with a construction theme this week. We’re horrible at executing our themes, though. We ended up continuing Pandemic Legacy, which technically does include building structures.

We gifted Jason Castle Dice for his birthday and played that as well. The construction theme came through the strongest on the build your own taco bar, but we were too busy eating it to take any pictures of its decadence.

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We have a spoiler-filled description of our Pandemic Legacy games elsewhere, but in summary: we fought a lot. We used this free app called Chwazi to break a stalemate when we were split how we should use an event card. We also used it to determine who went first. The app can also break people into groups of whatever size you determine.

We are mostly flexitarians, so our taco bar ran the gamut of omnivore to vegan options. We had regular ground beef as well as Beyond Meat, and standard shredded cheese along side Daiya. The vegan cheese was passable when added to a taco, but the beefy crumble was hard to distinguish as an imposter.

Castle Dice is a game with a little bit of everything. There are dice, resources, animals, cards, workers, barbarians….

It was definitely hard to keep everything straight, let alone figure out a strategy. Everyone has their own dice to roll, but those dice get combined into a pool for everyone to draw from in order.

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Drawing these dice allow you to get resources for your castle. Then there’s also livestock, which affect things like turn order and hand size. Sometimes there’s a festival, when takes away full sets of livestock. Then there’s victory points, which can come from the castle you build or your villagers or your farm animals… anyways, Jason had a commanding lead and Aaron had a fantasy draft to attend, so we ended the game one round early.
Posted in Pandemic Legacy

Pandemic Legacy: January

2

There was lots of rules-reading and general fawning over what we were starting. The book warned us that we would be revealing and destroying parts of the game as we played. We all cringed at the though of having to rip up pieces of the game. We immediately opened something we shouldn’t have, and I nearly destroyed the Legacy Deck, which serves as a story line that guides you as you play.

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We were all experts at pronouncing dossier before we actually opened any, which proved more exciting than we expected. It’s like an advent calendar of gaming, with surprises behind every door.

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January started simple enough: cure the diseases. We had less characters to pick from then normal, with one generalist offering no abilities but tons of potential. The middle-east quickly became unstable, leaving the area scared with stickers. We were able to isolate the threat quickly, but the disease mutated.

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It took a bit of global logistics, but we were able to get everything cured and met our objective. We had to tear up the first objective card, which was the first piece of the game we had to destroy.

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