Board Games with Friends

June 17th, 2017 started out with a 4 player game of Mottainai. Not a lot of social deduction or party games this time around.  Jeremy and I had played a good amount, but Sam had a bit of an intro game under his belt, and Anthony T was playing for the first time.  This was my first time with more than 2 players actually, so that added a new dimension for me as well. Jeremy ended up winning with 16 points followed by Sam with 14.  Jeremy saw some thing building up, so he rushed to finish with an advantage. Sam had a slow start but did quite well stealing some points off Jeremy just before the end as well. It was a close game with Anthony and I not far back from the lead either.  Great game.

Justin, Halen, and Jenna got into a game of Clank! while waiting for Mottainai to finish.  Justin’s character died midway through leaving Halen to cement her victory at 191 points.

We finally got Vegas Showdown to the table. I actually bought the game almost a year ago but kept not bringing it out in favor of other games.  Sam, Justin, Halen, Bridget, and I played. Justin and Halen had played before. In fact, I bought this copy of the game off someone who had originally bought it off Halen.  Small gaming world.  I had played a demo game myself to get a handle on the rules and planning to make a video but didn’t end up making a video. The rules were simple and straight-forward enough that I didn’t see the point, plus I didn’t have the time.  It was an enjoyable, intermediate complexity game.  The theme is not overly exciting, but I think it is a good standby to play with my English students or something easy to explain to new gamers.  Bridget ended up winning by a good margin with 52 points followed by me with 45.

Tyrants of the Underdark and Isle of Skye followed. Anthony T, Daniel, Jenna, and Jeremy played Tyrants.  I believe only Anthony hadn’t played before.  Jeremy won at his game with 75 points followed by Anthony at 68 but no one far behind. Anthony took off after this game.

Halen, Sam, Justin, and I continued with a game of Isle of Skye: From Cheiftain to King.  Bridget took off after the Vegas Showdown game.  It was Sam’s game, and he taught the 3 of us to play.  It is a relatively simple tile map building game. The tiles are drawn randomly and each player puts a price on 2 of their tiles up for offer.  Each player can choose to buy up to 1 tile off another player hoping to build up their own map and stop the other players from obtaining tiles that could give them points. The combinations that lead to points change each game, and each round had slightly different goals.  It was a simple quick game that was quite easy to learn. Sam won with 57 points, and the rest of us ended up with points in the 40s.

The final 2 games at the cafe were The Oracle of Delphi and Fields of Green.  I know the game ended up being a massacre with Halen leaving her competition (Jenna, Justin, and Sam) far behind.

Daniel, Jeremy, and I played Fields of Green. I am told it is similar to Among the Stars which I hadn’t played. Jeremy and I hadn’t played before, but Jeremy knew Among the Stars and said he prefers this down to earth farming take on this tableau building game.  It has some things in common with 7 Wonders with passing cards and paying to build with prerequisites but included some strategy related to providing water and wheat to different cards called livestock, fields, construction, and buildings. Each kind of card with different immediate or harvest abilities.  I got my win for the day here with 57 points followed by Jeremy but no pictures of the final result unfortunately.

Games continued beyond the cafe along with dinner in celebration of Jeremy’s birthday but I could not. Those games I will post next.

Unscored or Unrecorded

We were joined by some new players and some language exchange people.  Many were new to games and general along with learning the games in a non-native language.  They played just for the experience and the joy (I hope).  I saw games of Codenames, Red7 (Not sure it lasted long), Coda (Da Vinci Code), and Rummikub. I am sure there were winners involved.  The new players included Jihee, Heeyeon, Chan, Pouria, and Maya. Hopefully, they return for more fun, low key gaming, and we didn’t scare them off with some of the more intense gaming.

Maintain Alchemy for Tickets to Sea Jump

I didn’t take many pictures from this point for the April 15th, 2017 game day.  We had games of Mottainai, Alchemists, Ticket to Ride, Tsuro of the Seas, and finally Jump Drive.

Injae and I moved to Mottainai after 3 Person Chess, and Justin, Jeremy, and Daniel started playing Alchemists.  Injae played Mottainai for the first time and got the concepts down pretty well although it is a steep learning curve knowing the cards and what is worth building.  We ended the game with me getting 20 points to his 12.  I had good sales in metal, as well as one item built, and backorders in hand.

Jeremy bought Alchemists earlier in the same day as the event, but he had read the rules the day before and was able to teach the game to Justin and Daniel while all played for the first time.  The game looked interesting. I liked the private screens with information, and it looked like an app was involved with final scoring.  The game appeared to be about learning to be an alchemist, making proofs, and the final result came to making correct answers on a test.  Jeremy took a narrow win with 45 points to Daniel’s 44.

Ticket to Ride Europe was my final game of the day with Justyna, Bridget, and Injae.  The game went well. There was some confusion with Justyna somehow getting 2 long routes, but she finished them anyway and ended up with 3rd place, so that was worth recording.  Injae came in first with a commanding 129 points followed by me with 109.  Justyna was ahead of me but used more of the stations and didn’t get those points.

Jenna, Justyna, Bridget, and Anthony played Tsuro of the Seas. I left at that point so didn’t really see much of the game.  I know that everyone was eaten by the dragon; however, leaving Anthony to win as the final survivor and Jenna the last one eaten.

The last game of the night was Jump Drive. It was a quick game between Daniel, Justin, and Jeremy. I don’t have the exact scores, but Justin won with just over 50 points.

Among Red Secret Chess Tyrants

Or a description of games played early April 15th including Among the Stars, Red 7, Secret Hitler, 3 Person Chess, and Tyrants of the Underdark.

Among the Stars was played by the first 4 players to show up (I just recorded some of the game play with my phone while waiting for more players to show up in the above video).  It was Injae’s game, but he had never played it before, and the game had made some rounds since Justin had sold it into other hands making its way back to our group.  Justin was able to explain the game effectively to Anthony and Injae as it was originally his game.  Jeremy, I believe, had played it before.  Anthony won with 95 points using the 2 faced Ludons, Justin followed with 93 using the  Vak. Jeremy played using the snake like Sissaurians, and Injae had the fun to rhyme Zehuti.

While Among the Stars was happening. I taught Bridget to play Red 7. She played several undefeated hands to win 43 to 0 using the basic rules. She obviously got the game down pretty quickly.  Her first hand win strategically ended with the rule involving having the most different colors.  We decided to move onto the advanced rules which add some more abilities when playing odd numbers to a players canvas. 1 allows a player to remove a card from an opponents canvas (if they don’t have fewer cards), 3 allows a player to draw a card, 5 allows a player to play another card to the canvas, and 7 makes a player remove a card from their own canvas and either put it on the top of the draw pile or place it as the new rule.  I was finally able to break out of my several hand losing streak and finally win 52 to 28.

Among the Stars finished and Bridget and I joined Jeremy, Anthony, Injae, and Justin in a game of Secret Hitler. The liberals kind of won, but the rules were not entirely understood for the results of no chosen government. Fascist policies were drawn when no government was agreed upon several times leading to the liberals having the power to try to shoot a fascist. Justin chose Anthony successfully ridding the world of an effective first time playing Secret Hitler.  Unfortunately, this power should only be available to an elected president, so maybe Anthony and Bridget should have won.  The game ending was unclear.

A 2nd game of Secret Hitler followed with Jenna, Injae, Bridget, Justin, Jeremy, Anthony, and Justyna.  The ending was a clear cut win for the liberals from what I can see in the results.  Fascists, Bridget and Jenna, were unable to get enough policies passed before the liberals got their policies passed.

Daniel, Injae, and I started a game of 3 Person Chess while the 2nd Secret Hitler was going.  It was Injae’s game.  The board had some unique qualities to add to the basic rules of chess. We played a gentlemen’s rule in which one player can’t be attacked further by the 3rd player if in check.  However, it is still quite challenging to watch attacks from 2 enemies.  The game ends with a win for whichever player can place either other player into checkmate.  This time, I got the win but with some tired cooperation from Injae who was getting fatigued it seemed. He chased Daniel into a trap I had already set giving me the last move, creating a queen from a pawn and checkmating Daniel.



The next game to start up (at least for this part of the write up) was Tyrants of Underdark played by Bridget, Justyna, Jenna, and Anthony.  Jenna was the only one who had played before.  She taught the other players but because of her strong start and expertise was a big target. Anthony won with 85 points in the end.

February 11th Part Two

We turned to longer and more serious gaming next with Jeremy’s Tyrants of the Underdark and A Feast for Odin. There was still space for some light games however with Codenames, Boss Monster, and Justyna’s copy of King of Tokyo.

We played Tyrants of the Underdark with Jeremy introducing the game to 5 new players. It is a 4 player deck building and area control game in the DnD world using the Drow or dark elves  battling and building up forces.  Mia and James were pretty new to games, so Mia teamed up with Jenna, and James teamed up with Sam who ended up leaving midway through the game leaving just James. Evan and Jeremy played individually.  It was a quick somewhat low scoring game as James was able to bring his forces to the board using good deployment cards. Once his troops were all in play the game ended quickly, and we added up the scores with Jenna and Mia taking the win with 96 points followed closely by the other players except for the cursed teacher of the game.

I didn’t get any pictures of Codenames, Boss Monster, or King of Tokyo.  Codenames went for 3 rounds with teams of 3 on 3.  Justyna, Sarah, and Changyeon versus Tricia, Katie, and Injae.  Tricia, Katie, and Injae won the first round of play, but Justyna, Sarah, and Changyeon one the next 2 rounds showing great teamwork.

Boss Monster came with Anthony T I think. The game is about making a dungeon that will attract and kill off more heroes before the other monsters. The first player to 10 kills without death by wounds is the winner. This time Emy won with 10 souls versus Ronnie, Anthony, and Kate.

King of Tokyo hit the table with Justyna, Sarah, Injae, Tricia, and Changyeon playing.  Justyna ended up winning I think by knocking everyone else out, but I am not sure of that.

Justin showed Ronnie and Daniel how to play A Feast for Odin. Both of them were quite keen on the Odin theme. It was their first time playing a heavy Worker Placement game with a lot of choices. This game in particular gives player around 60 choices at the start of the round. Justin stuck around and gave strategy tips for them. Daniel took the win but Ronnie wasn’t too far behind.

The final games of the night were Betrayal at House on the Hill and Pandemic Iberia.  Betrayal for one looked to be a very entertaining story of aliens and synchronized swimming.  The players were a team of Injae and Justyna, Anthony, Sarah, Emy, Katie, and Kate.

The players were locked in a house and had to attempt many skills to get out.  After many attempts at the tricks they failed to escape.  One particular task was synchronized swimming somehow. Injae/Justyna ended up being the betrayer character who was Doctor Frank N. Sense’s assistant.  They summoned monsters to make completing tasks and skills more difficult for the other players, and time ran out. The house turned into a big rocket and flew to another planet where aliens did strange experiments on all of them.  The end.

The last game at Swan Valley was Pandemic Iberia with Evan, Anthony, Sara and Justin. Other players had taken off at that point for dinner.  The game has different roles from the original Pandemic based on new mechanics appropriate to the earlier time period. Rail laying is essential in moving around the board even as the map is so much smaller.  Players can also move over water.  Another possible move is purifying water in order to hold off infection for a quadrant of the board.   There was an early misplay on the first turn that caused an outbreak which might have cost the the game. Play continued intelligently and strategically after that with good cooperation.  However, the last epidemic came, and though the players were on the verge of winning on the very next turn, the cards drawn created several more outbreaks which ended the game in a loss. All in all, there were some great strategic moves despite the lack of success. These ideas will help players make better decisions the next time. Such a tight game!

Such a great day of games! See everyone next time!