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Category Archives: Board games

Board games – 2nd Quarter 2017 review

Total plays: 137 (100 in 2016, 221 in 2015, 98 in 2014, 78 in 2013)

Distinct games: 34 (37 in 2016, 39 in 2015, 41 in 2014, 32 in 2013)

New-to-me games: 16 (9 in 2016, 12 in 2015, 12 in 2014, 10 in 2013)

Although worse than 2016 big improvement (i.e fewer) compared to 1st quarter of  2017 and end of 2016.

Ten+ times: 2  (1 in 2016, 2 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 1 in 2013)

Magic Maze, Hanamikoji. Two superb games.

Five+ Times: 5 (2 in 2016, 6 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 4 in 2013)

Too Many Bones, Insider, Fabled Fruit, Leaving Earth, Red7.

COLLECTION

Acquired: 8

Exit Series (The Secret Lab, The Abandoned Cabin, The Pharaoh’s Tomb), Magic Maze, Kerala, Zany Penguins, Startups, Medici: The Card Game.

YESSS!!! Down to single digits! Especially considering that the Exit series are basically one use games. Next target is to less than five. Very happy with this one. 🙂 🙂 

Removed: 15

Stronghold, Rallyman, Trieste, Unlock, Quartermaster General, QMG: Air Marshal, QMG: Victory or Death, Neuroshima Hex, Wallenstein, Time Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons, Level 7: Omega Protocol, Level 7: Extreme Prejudice, Codenames, Cube Quest, Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game.

Still need to reduce further but a regular outflow. I can see the difference in my flat. Positive difference.

Owned:  221 (228)

Unplayed: 70 (67)

Best New to me:

Magic Maze is giving me that coop feeling i had with Hanabi. Love it!

Startups, Too Many Bones, Scythe, Village and Leaving Earth were also very enjoyable.

New 10s: n/a

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Posted by on July 2, 2017 in Board games

 

Board game resolutions – 2017

Acquisitions 24

This is extremely important as i am addicted to online shopping. There’s no way i can stick to zero (0) acquisitions for an entire year so the goal will be 24, which is 2 per month.

Unplayed owned games 35-45

I have 70 as at 1 January 2017. Aiming for 0 unplayed in 2017 will prove difficult, even impossible. Also it will clash with the Fifty by Fifty target (see below).

A more reasonable target i believe is to reduce that number to between 35-45 by the end of the year. This should help with the reduction of the number of acquisitions over the year.

Collection 160-170

The collection is 226 games excluding expansions. The long term aim is to have half as many but for the year 2017 i’d like to be between 160-170 which means disposing at least 80 games considering that i stick to the 24 acquisitions target.

Long Term Resolution -> Fifty by Fifty project

“H-Index” is X games you’ve played X times e.g if you have played 10 games 10+ times but haven’t played 11 games 11+ times then your H-Index is 10.

Playing fewer games more times is something i’ve been wanting to do for the past couple of years. This will give me a target and  a record my progress.

My goal is 50 i.e. play 50 games 50+ times each.

At this time my H-Index is 19.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Board games, Uncategorized

 

Board games – 4th Quarter 2016 review

Total plays:  155 (129 in 2015, 90 in 2014 and 710 in 2013)

Distinct games:  57 (52 in 2015, 39 in 2014 and 44 in 2013)

New-to-me games:  31 (24 in 2015, 14 in 2014 and in 26 in 2013)
(A Feast for Odin, Dr. Eureka, Funemployed, Potato Man, Shadowrun Crossfire, Deadfall, Team Play, Downsize, Crisis, La Granja: No Siesta, Evolution: Climate, Bruges, The Mask of Anubis, Sushi Go Party!, Lift it!, Medici, Rolling Freight, Maharaja, Pocket Madness, Tiny Epic Western, The Witches: A Discworld Game, QMG: Victory or Death, Catan: The Card Game, Cash n Guns, Potion Explosion, Thurn & Taxis, Nightfall, Captain Sonar, A Fake Artist goes to New York, Legends of Andor)

Far too many new games once again.

Ten+ times: 3 games
Shadowrun: Crossfire, Port Royal, A Feast for Odin

Five+ Times: 5 games
Dr Eureka, The Duke, Noch Mal, Shakespeare, Abluxxen

Collection

Acquired: 21
(PAX Renaissance, BIOS: Genesis, A Feast for Odin, Eternity, Imhotep, Legends of Andor, Mangrovia, Insider, Kingdomino, Ponzi Scheme, Diamant, Order of the Gilded Compass, Comancheria, Phantom Leader Deluxe, Thunderbolt/Apache Leader, High Treason: The Trial of Louis Riel July 1885, Leaving Earth, Pandemic: The Cure, Code of Nine, Funemployed, Guilds of London)

Fail, way over the single digit number i had aimed for. I’m going for a strict 24 new games in 2017. I’m already waiting for 3 Kickstarter games (Nemo’s War, Darkest Night and Medici: The Card Game).

Removed: 11
(Lords of Scotland, CO2, Game of Trains, A Study in Emerald 2nd Edition, City of Remnants, Super Motherload, Navegador, Karuba, Thunder & Lightning, Good Cop Bad Cop)

A steady stream of games going out. The problem is my acquisitions.

Owned:  226 

Unplayed: 70 (67)

I am aiming for zero unplayed games in 2017

Best New to me:  Funemployed, A Feast for Odin, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Team Play, The Mask of Anubis, Sushi Go Party!, Medici, Imhotep.

New 10s: n/a

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Board games

 

Board games – 2nd Quarter 2016 review

Total plays: 100 (221 in 2015, 98 in 2014, 78 in 2013)

Distinct games: 37 (39 in 2015, 41 in 2014, 32 in 2013)

New-to-me games: 9 (12 in 2015, 12 in 2014, 10 in 2013) – Subdivision, Quadropolis, Tobago, London, Stockpile, Baseball Highlights: 2045, Leo, Food Chain Magnate, Qwinto

Dimes: 1 (2 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 1 in 2013) – Baseball Highlights: 2045

Nickels: 2 (6 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 4 in 2013) – Maria, Race for the Galaxy

The 2nd Q of 2015 was abnormal. I played a ton of Sentinels of the Multiverse solo during that time.

Collection

Acquired: 27 (Victory or Death, Baseball Highlights: 2045, Archaeology: The New Expedition, Karuba, Saint Petersburg, Time Stories: Under the Mask, Mexica, Maze Racers, Night of Man (+ Solo expansion), SotM: Celestial Tribunal, Wir Sind Das Volk, Darkest Night, Galaxy Trucker: Missions, 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Queen’s Necklace, Lords of Scotland, Port Royal expansion, Haggis, Dawn of the Zeds 3rd edition, Haggis, Circus Flohcati, Eldritch Horror: Signs of Carcosa, Trick of the Rails, Potato Man, Leo, Completto)

Removed: 34 (Gold West, Formula D, Mow, Wizard, Chinatown, Memoir 44, Terra, ZhanGuo, Blueprints, Viktory II, Three Little Pigs, Ghost Fighting Treasure Hunters, Kemet: Ta-Seti, The Staufer Dynasty, Sheriff of Nottingham, Animal Upon Animal, Say Anything, The Resistance, Skull King, Cacao, Imperial Settlers (+ Why can’t we be friends expansion), Archaeology, Kamakura, Steam Donkey, Planet Steam, Triumph & Tragedy, Voila, Lanterns, Rattus Cartus, Adventure Land, Yunnan, Night of Man, Friedrich, Mafia De Cuba)

Disaster. It was a a great quarter in terms of getting rid of games but i acquired almost as many. Still working on it…

Owned: 228

Unplayed: 86  (ούφου)

Best new-to-me: Baseball Highlights: 2045, London, Food Chain Magnate

I’ve only played BH: 2045 solo but i would love to try a two player game and also try a tournament with friends. London is quite good. One of the few Wallace games i actually enjoy.

New 10s: Food Chain Magnate

FCM is a magnificent game. It’s not a game i will ever be good at (too calculating and unforgiving for me) but it’s one of the best games i’ve played in recent years.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Board games

 

Board games – 1st Quarter 2016 review

A quick look at what i’ve been playing and buying in the first quarter of 2016 compared to previous years.

Total plays: 173 (136 in 2015, 108 in 2014, 64 in 2013)

Distinct games: 51 (41 in 2015, 36 in 2014, 28 in 2013)

New-to-me games: 26 (9 in 2015, 17 in 2014)

Dimes: 2 (1 in 2015, 3, in 2014, 0 in 2013) – Red7 (16), Castellion (15)

Nickels: 12 (2 in 2015, 5 in 2014, 3 in 2013) Bomb Squad (8), Between Two Cities (6), Chicken Cha Cha (6), Abluxxen (6), Quartermaster General (6), Tragedy Looper (6), Fields of Arle (5), Navajo Wars (5), Patchistory (5), Snowdonia (5), Sylvion (5),Pax Porfiriana (5)

The increase in the number of games played over the year is quite clear. I have more groups to play with now and I’ve also been playing more and more solo games. However, the new to me is more than i would like and i’d prefer to increase the Dimes and Nickels i.e. play games i’ve already played more times.

Acquired: 10 (SotM: Villains of the Multiverse, Time Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons, Qwinto, Wings for the Baron, Good Cop Bad Cop, SotM: Chokepoint Villain, Mess Machine, Funemployed, Nemo’s War, SotM:OblivAeon)

Removed: 1 (Bomb Squad)

Yeap, it’s a bleak picture which continued from 2015. Too many purchases. Working on it.

Best new-to-me: Navajo Wars, Red7, Castellion, Snowdownia,

New 10s: 1 – Navajo Wars

Navajo Wars is an outstanding solitaire experience. I need to be in the mood to play it as it requires time and effort but it’s well worth it.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Board games

 

Quartermaster General, referees & some thoughts

11894603_10153001172297344_6180446945015638491_oA couple of weeks ago, we were at the APOEL game and i raised the question of “why would anyone want to be a referee”. I could not understand the mindset of someone willing to put himself in situations referees usually find themselves. What sort of satisfaction can a referee possibly gain? Maybe some sense of authority at most? But is that enough to accept being abused by basically everyone involved in any given football match? I can’t understand it.

Over at the Cyprus Board Games Facebook group page we started a play by forum session of Quartermaster General (which is a fantastic game btw). I’m actually not playing. I’m the GM and 6 other group members are battling it out in two teams of 3, Axis Vs Allies.

I imagine being a ref is a similar situation (in principle) with being a GM in a game where you watch others play. You are just a facilitator, administrator allowing others the opportunity to play a game. Again though, why would anyone choose to do that? Wouldn’t you prefer to play instead? I know i would.  Why did i choose to be the GM then?

A couple of reasons.

The first is simply curiosity. To see what a GM does and how complicated or easy, interesting or boring it is. It would have been more interesting and challenging if i had to also setup the means to do it i.e. the software,spreadsheets etc which i didn’t do as i got everything from another GM. I’m not sure that i would put in the effort though in the first place or that i would have the imagination to think of it before seeing take place on BGG,

The second is that in general i get a sense of satisfaction from watching others play games and enjoy themselves whether it’s with videogames, boardgames or fantasy football. Even though i can’t say it’s any sort of achievement I still feel a sense of pride in being the facilitator of other people having fun, particularly when i’m not a part of the “playing”.

By organising this play by forum session via our Facebook page i’m also hoping to encourage people to take initiatives to become more active and involved in the Group. This is not my personal board games group and i’m not always going to be around or have the time to be as involved as i am now.

Finally it’s fascinating to have this insider knowledge and know what cards people are holding, the cards they are about to draw and thinking what i would have done differently.

However, this will likely wear off so i i’m not sure how i will feel after 1-2 sessions. I guess that i would get tired of it. It also depends on the group playing of course and how smooth the session is. So far it’s been a great pleasure. The people involved are extremely good natured  and very cooperative.

We will see how it goes, but this has made me very conscious now of people volunteering to take roles like this one. I’m not talking about charity or humanitarian work but in a lot more simple roles which i would guess usually relate to a hobby. Why would one do it over a longer period time?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Board games

 

Churchill

pic2467234_mdLast week i received a copy of Churchill from GMT. I had pre-ordered it (P500) and even though i had chosen the slow shipping option (4-8 weeks) to reduce the cost its shipping time was still short, around 3 weeks. The advantage of ordering it through P500 is that you get the game at a discount (which basically covers customs) and you are guaranteed a copy of the game without having to worry about it going out stock and/or out of print. Furthermore, you receive it before stores do which means before most other board gamers.

There’s something really satisfying about being one of the first to explore the potential of a game. You go to the BGG forums to check threads and there aren’t that many yet. It’s early in the game’s life with the designer still responding to people’s rules queries.You are sort of a pioneer when it comes to experiencing what this game has to offer.

On the other hand, the risk with a pre-order is that the acquisition is based on simply reading the rulebook and a few articles with previews and impressions. There aren’t any proper reviews out there for it yet. This means that the risk you run of the game not being for you is considerably higher. I have done the P500 thing only twice before. The first time was with Dominant Species which is now one of my favourite games. The second time was with Urban Sprawl, by the same designer of Dominant Species. Urban Sprawl was a huge disappointment even though i thought i had done enough homework by reading the rulebook and previews before ordering it. I eventually traded it. There’s a lot of hope involved in pre-ordering (unless it’s a reprint) and often you just don’t know how you will feel about a game until you actually play it.

“The players in the game take on the roles of Churchill, Roosevelt, or Stalin as they maneuver against each other over the course of 10 Conferences that determine who will lead the Allied forces, where those forces will be deployed, and how the Axis will be defeated. The player whose forces collectively have greater control over the surrendered Axis powers will win the peace and the game.”

For the past few days I’ve been spending most of my time going over Churchill’s rulebook and the BGG rules threads to make sure that i know the game well before playing it with my board game buddies. It’s a 3 player game which is ideal as i currently have two 3 player groups i could play it with and there aren’t many games which play well with three. It’s also possible to play with fewer players with the use of bots taking over the other 1/2 leaders. I’ve tried it solo 3-4 times using these bots but it hasn’t worked out for me.  I found that the use of the flow chart to determine what each bot will do to be too procedural, with the bots making sub-optimal decisions and me being forced to make a different decision for them far too often. That defeats the idea of solo play in my opinion. Ultimately, i think because of the negotiations that should take place and the sort of bidding mechanic you have during the conference you need human opponents.  The upside of this experience is that many games i had in mind to acquire because they allow the possibility to play solo using these bots are now my the wish list (e.g COIN series). At least in terms of strictly playing them solo.

In spite of the disappointment of the solo play and the concerns i have of explaining the game (very tricky Victory conditions) i’m very excited to play it. I’m planning a “teach the game” session on my own this week in order to articulate my thoughts on how to go about teaching it. Hopefully it will hit the table soon.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in Board games