Extra Credit

Jeremy, Jenna, Justin, and Halen went off to dinner after games at Cafe Swan Valley. After dinner, they enjoyed some games.  I heard that Jeremy and Justin won some games of Spyfall, but I don’t know details.  Also evil found Merlin 3 times or so in games of The Resistance: Avalon, but I don’t know who played for which team.

Sunday, games continued first with 3 players. Justin, Jeremy, and Halen played Tyrants of the Underdark again. Justin won with 74 not giving Jeremy a birthday win or anything.

Jenna joined them and games continued with Scythe.  Jeremy won that one with 99 points playing one of the expansion factions, Clan Albion.

They finished with a game of Inis in which Halen took 6 sanctuaries to win over Jeremy, Justin, and Jenna. One of 3 ways to win in the game.

The Longer Games

May 20, 2017, we played 5 longer games.  Rex: Final Days of an Empire was a new one for the group along with Clank! and Tragedy Looper.  Bora Bora and Scythe are not new but always enjoyable.

Tragedy Looper and REX were the first long games up.  5 played REX and 4 played Tragedy Looper.  REX was my game and Tragedy Looper was Jeremy’s. I also made videos for REX with game rules for anyone who wants to play in the future.

Halen, Justin, Jenna, Evan, and Aaren played this first attempt by the Yangsan Gamerz at REX. I had played once before in Jeju on my friends board and bought my own set a few months ago.  I was pretty familiar with the rules though after making the videos and was able to explain to the other players for the most part.  It would have been better if I could have finished making the video earlier, so people could have been familiar already, but it didn’t work out that way.  With 5 players, Jenna was the Federation of Sol (human revolution), Halen was the Lazax Empire (rebelled against), Justin was the Emirates of Hacan (lion looking traders), Aaren was the Universities of Jol-Nar (brain in a jar technology leaders), and I was the Barony of Letnev (devious like the Harkonens from Dune).  The revolution and the empire ended up teaming up against the other upstarts however.  Halen and Jenna won in the 5th or 6th round of play by allying and controlling 4 strongholds between them.  Well played!

Jeremy, Daniel, Jenna, and Henry played Tragedy Looper. Only Jeremy knew the game, and he played the part of the mastermind leading the other players through the scenario.  Unfortunately, through subtlety, trickery, and whatever means Jeremy was able to get Daniel to lead the key character to their death by serial killer after some play loops.  Deduction failed, and Jeremy won as the game mastermind.

Next, the group broke into 3 groups for Bora Bora, Scythe, and Clank!  Jeremy and Justin played Bora Bora.  Jeremy played for the first time with Justin explaining.  Justin finished with 150 to Jeremy’s 120.

Scythe looked like it was going to be a runaway victory by Halen.  The game went much faster than I expected with only 3 players to my shame. I (playing red) was not prepared after playing 2 much slower paced games.  Jenna (playing black) and Halen (playing blue) finished pretty close, but Halen’s runaway game was not quite enough to beat Jenna.  She finished with 82 to Halen’s 80 coins.

The last big game was Clank! It was a first time play for all but Daniel.  The game involves seeking treasure while trying to not disturb or get caught by the dragon in the form of a deckbuilding game.  Bridget, Ryan, Aaren, and Daniel played.  Bridget took a fairly close victory of 120 points to Daniel’s 111.  Ryan ended up Dragon food.

Longer Games

The longer or more involved games for March 11th included Star Trek Catan, Ticket to Ride Europe, Champions of Midgard, Mottainai, Deus, and Scythe.

Bridget, Ryan, Mia, and Ksenia played both Star Trek Catan and Ticket to Ride Europe.  They were at least mostly familiar with Catan, so I explained the minor changes in the Star Trek theme, and they were able to play with only a few questions as the game progressed.  Ksenia ended the game as the winner with 10 points.

They moved on to Ticket to Ride Europe but none of them had played before, so I gave a quick tutorial, and they had a couple questions as they played. They were able to figure things out for the most part and ended with respectable scores for their first time play.  Ryan won with 127 points.

Sometime in the middle of that Jeremy and Aaren were playing Mottainai and Jump Drive both with Aaren learning the games for the first time and Jeremy explaining.  I told Aaren that Mottainai is a simplified version of Glory to Rome which seemed to make the game play clear.  They played a longer game with Jeremy winning with one final megaturn.

Justin (with Halen as a partner) explained Champions of Midgard to Sam, Daniel, and I for another video that ended because of a low battery.  The explanation and play went well, but at that point there was too much background noise, so the result was not great.  The game is a worker placement that includes rolling dice and battling monsters. The dice are warriors that also need to be fed if taken on long journeys.  Points and money to spend on things can be gained through battle.  There are also varying abilities for the players including the pious, the swordsmaiden, the berserker, and the destined. I ended up winning the game with 81 points, using the swordsmaiden, followed by the teaching team of Justin and Halen at 64 points playing the pious.  I was happy with the result and could probably work more on strategy next time.

Justin, Halen, Sam, and I continued on to a game of Deus. Sam was the only first time player although I had only played once before and didn’t remember the exact rules of play before reminders.  Halen killed us all with a score of 47.  Justin and I had scores in the 30s at the end. We ended slightly prematurely as Sam had to take off in the final turn.  The end result probably wouldn’t have changed much though.  Sacrificing to gods and building up a good engine takes pretty good strategic planning along with the luck to get the right cards together.  Halen definitely had all that going.

The last game that I saw going was a big game of Scythe with Jeremy, Justyna, Daniel, Jenna, and Aaren playing and Injae observing the game and cursing Jeremy while supporting Justyna.  This led to a 2nd place finish for Jeremy with 68 points and a win by Justyna with 72.

Finally, Jeremy, Jenna, and Daniel played their extreme coop Codenames and a game of Mottainai.  Jeremy pulled off another Mottainai win with 26 points which is a better end to the day than the double loss to the Box in Codenames.

Complete and Incomplete

January 7th, 2017 included more of Bruce and Ginger’s games.  We played King of Tokyo, Munchkin, and Ticket to Ride before those games leave with their owners.  Unfortunately, Fortress America was not one of the games played.  I really wish I had known Bruce had that one before because it is a great somewhat long game that pits 3 (other countries from west, south, and east) versus 1 (America with home field advantages).  Might have to get that one someday, but it is not cheap.

Anyway 9 player King of Tokyo happened.  That is the limit for King of Tokyo.  The most players possible and all the expansions.  Kate, Bruce, Injae, Ginger, Sarah, Justyna, Ronnie, and I played.  I got knocked out first and went to a different game as more people arrived to play.  Bruce one with points after more people were knocked out of the game.  9 players creates a different game I think.  No one really wants to stay in Tokyo with 8 players to beat on them until the next turn.

Aaron had a turn in the massage chair while King of Tokyo was in progress.  Others also took turns throughout the event as this is one of the few big things Bruce and Ginger are taking with them.  Seems it is worth it despite the size and weight.

There was an attempt to learn to play Smash Up by all new players. It proved to be a bit of a challenge though.  If these players attempt the game again, I will sit in and make sure the rules are clear.  There is a lot to think about with all the different card interactions.  Ronnie, Ginger, Justyna, Kate, and Sarah put in the effort but eventually changed over to Scythe.

Chaos in the Old World and Scythe were the long games of the night.  Chaos got started early enough to finish.  It was a 5 player game including the Horned Rat expansion.  Jenna went from playing Khorne the first time to playing the Horned Rats this time.  It was more challenging. Daniel did well with Slaanesh and came very close to winning by completing his threat dial.  Ryan played for the first time in the group and in the game playing Tzeentsch. Bridget joined games for the first time and gave Chaos a play as her introduction to the group.  She played as Nurgle. Ryan and Bridget dove into the deep end right off, and it was a great game.  I played Khorne and won on points narrowly beating out Daniel and Ryan at the end.  I got an upgrade at the end that allowed me to get 14+ victory points before any win by threat dial was possible.

A 3 player Ticket to Ride with Injae, Bruce and Aaren also happened. It looked like a tough run as Injae won with 98 points just shy of 100.

Scythe started a little late, just before dinner.  Ronnie, Justyna, Kate, Jef, and Sarah played. They seemed to enjoy it but got interrupted by a great dinner put together by Ginger and couldn’t finish before people needed to leave before public transportation stopped running.  Ronnie was winning at the end by points.  She can try to claim that win again next time.

The other incomplete last game was Catan played by Bridget, Ryan, Ginger, and Jenna.  The game was incomplete when the time came to catch subways and buses.

Final Hours

After the unpictured incredible dinner, games started again in earnest.  Jeremy brought out Tikal.  Aaren brought out Scythe. There was also Star Trek Catan, Ticket to Ride: Europe, and an aborted game of Smash Up.

Jeremy, Sarah, and Justin played Tikal.  I didn’t see much of what happened in that game, but it looked interesting.  It was a learning game for Sarah and Justin.  The game also ended up being very close.  Justin won with 118 points followed by Sarah at 117 and Jeremy over 100. Justin, Sarah, and Halen took off after this game finished.

The game of Scythe ended up going quite long, but it was still a good game. It was a learning game for Justyna and Jef.  It was also only the 2nd game for Aaren, Jenna, and myself.  Matt once again teamed up with Jenna which was a good choice.  The team of Matt and Jenna won once again with a commanding 89 coins compared to second place (me) at 57, Jef at 53, Justyna at 50, and Aaren losing out because of her unlucky position in the game always fighting off Jef and being a convenient target for me at the end.  Sorry Aaren.  This game went through all the way to the end of the night with people cleaning up and going after it finished.

Star Trek Catan was between Injae, Daniel, and Bruce.  It sounds like Bruce has extensive Catan experience which carried over to the Star Trek version and gave him the victory over practiced but less experienced players. Bruce 10, Daniel and Injae tied at 4 in the end.

The final game of the night for this table was a 4 player game of Ticket to Ride: Europe with Daniel, Injae, Bruce, and Ginger.  Daniel’s practice using the phone app paid off giving him the victory with 118 points over Ginger’s close second with 116. Bruce and Injae were not far behind.

This table started up a game of Smash Up while waiting for Scythe to finish as well, but it was not completed as Bruce didn’t get a full 2 decks to play, and it was getting late.

Scythe (borrowed)

2016-10-01-15-29-455 players played Scythe on Saturday, October 1st.  Justin and Halen had already played 2 practice games, so they had the best handle on the rules.  However, the other players watched a good video explaining the rules before arriving, and Justin gave a quick run down of rules again to the other players; Evan, Jeremy, and Michael (visiting from Seoul).  Justin borrowed the game from another friend of his, Travis.

The first game took about 3 and a half hours despite having everything set up and having a decent understanding of the game.  It still took some time to work through strategy as the game wasn’t that familiar yet.  Evan won the game with 78 coins at the end.  Halen came in second with 56, Jeremy 51, Michael 50, and Justin had to fight people off a lot, so he ended with 38 coins.

The win conditions come down to coins gained throughout the game, coin values of territories controlled, coin values for stars gained by game advancement, and coins gained from resources as well as special rules depending on the each game’s conditions.  Popularity ranking also plays a large role in the number of coins gained in each area.  The game appears complex and has a lot of options for stars to pursue while watching how other players progress.  It seems fighting is not always in people’s best interest.

Jeremy, Justin, and Halen played a second 3 player game as Evan and Michael both had to leave after the first for different reasons.  Jeremy won the 2nd game with 59 coins, Justin came in 2nd with 54, and Halen 3rd with 40 some coins.

This game has  a very enjoyable mix of genres with a great theme.  We will play again for sure.

The next day, Jeremy G, Jenna, and Daniel played some Codenames and Sheriff of Nottingham.  Jenna won Sheriff of Nottingham with Jeremy in 2nd.  No known results for Codenames, but it sounds like they had some good games.

Scythe

scythe

A worker placement, resource gathering, territory controlling, and mech battle game set in an alternate 1920 after the first world war.  For 1-5 players and runs about 2 to 3 hours.  There are 5 possible sides  to control and gather resources to get units, build up, and have the most money when the game ends.  The map, art, and components are all very impressive as is the game play especially considering it is a kickstarter game.  There is already an expansion for 2 more sides in the game.

scythe2
More info.