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.

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.

The Short Plays

May 20, 2017 was another game day.  I didn’t get any pictures this time, so I will just write up a few details here for the shorter games and another post for the longer ones.

Games started a little early with Daniel learning how to play Android: Netrunner.  Justin and Halen spent some time teaching the game, but there was no official score to record.  However, it was a good game and will likely lead to more games of Netrunner in the future.

Jeremy and I played a quick game of Mottainai while waiting for more players.  Jeremy played strategically to end the game quickly thinking he had an easy win with his early hand of cards.  The score ended up being a tie after counting backorders and sales on my side.  However, a tie goes to the player who ended the game, so Jeremy still got the win with 14 points and being the current player.

More players arrived about the time that Netrunner and Mottainai finished, so we split the group into 2.  The larger group played Secret Hitler 3 times.  That group included Halen, Jenna, Justin, Aaren, Jana, and Henry. Jana and Henry were new to the group, joining from Jinju.  All 3 games were wins for the liberals.  The first win was for Justin, Aaren, Henry, and Jana by policy. The second win was by Aaren, Halen, Jenna, and Jana. They killed their own team member Aaren but got Justin Hitler with the 2nd kill.  The third win was by Justin, Halen, Henry, and Jana with policy.

At some point people were playing Red 7 but didn’t finish or record any result.

Jeremy, Daniel, and I played Smash Up while the others played Secret Hitler.  Jeremy won using the killer plant and mad scientist factions.  He ended the game with 18 points to my 15 using bear cavalry and aliens.  The result was decisive, but I came close to winning a couple times before Jeremy got his big victory only to be blocked by Daniel’s super spies.

Later, while some long games were happening Jana, Ryan, Bridget, Daniel, Henry, and Jeremy played 2 games of Bang! The Dice Game. The first game was a blowout victory for the sheriff and deputies partially because there was 1 too many of them dealt into the game.  Jana was the sheriff with Daniel and Henry as deputies.  The 2nd game was a win by the outlaws played by Daniel, Jeremy, and Ryan.  They killed sheriff Bridget.

Justin and Jeremy also played 2 games of Jump Drive.  Jeremy won both games with between 50 and 60 points.

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.

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.

Party and Deduction

Yangsan Gamerz got together March 11, 2017 at Cafe Swan Valley again.  This post will focus on the social deduction games, simple card games, and party games.  That included Jump Drive, Secret Hitler, Red 7, Parade, Spyfall, FitzIt, Toc Toc Woodman, and Codenames.

First game for this post and for the day was a 4 player game of Jump Drive which was also our first trial at doing a tutorial video and playthrough which can be found here. The video was not a complete success, but it was a good first attempt.  Next time, I can do better with more planning, better video, etc.  Jeremy won the game with 73 points followed by myself with 68 even though it was a first play for both of us.  Justin taught the game, and Halen played and gave some helpful hints.

Secret Hitler came next with another video attempt but less successful with some sound issues, stopping and restarting the game a bit, and the video being frozen by a phone call coming in.  This social deduction game played between liberals and fascists trying to keep the most control of policy, fascists to elect their Secret Hitler as chancellor, or liberals to successfully find and do away with that Secret Hitler in order to win for their side.

We played twice.  Ksenia, Sam, Halen, Justin, Jeremy, Mia, Bridget, Ryan, and I played.  The first game was a close match in policy passing, but liberals finally won by killing Sam Hitler giving Halen, Justin, Jeremy, Bridget, and Ryan a win (although Ryan was killed for being suspicious as well). The 2nd game the fascists won and got away with offing 2 liberals in Ksenia and Jeremy.  They passed enough policies to win giving Justin, Bridget, Ryan (Hitler), and I the win.

 

While Secret Hitler was happening more players arrived and started up a game of Red 7 which was interrupted by more players. Finally, they played Parade twice, Spyfall, and FitzIt.  The first game of Parade was a win by Emy with only -1 over Kate, Tricia, Justyna, Aaren, Injae, and Changyeon.  The 2nd was a win by Emy again with a perfect -7 points versus the same players and Aaren dropping out when they realized 7 players was over the limit.

Spyfall appears to have been 7 rounds long but with no overall scoring or winner.  The players were Emy, Kate, Justyna, Injae, Tricia, Changyeon, and Jenna joined in the 4th round. The first round had no spy, so the game had to be started again. A loss by Injae as spy in the 2nd round. The 3rd was a win from Injae as spy for 4 points as he was able to find the location. The 4th a loss by Emy playing the spy accused by Injae. A win for Jenna as spy in the 5th when the wrong person was accused. Another loss for Emy as spy being found out by Jenna in the 6th. Then the 7th and final round with Jenna losing as spy. There was no real way to deduce a final winner, so these are just on record with no score.

Jeremy and Aaren played a couple of 2 player games.  The one to record here is Jump Drive.  The 2 games of Jump Drive were both wins for Jeremy with 57 points and 67 points.

Tricia, Jenna, Changyeon, Justyna, Injae, Kate, and Emy also played FitzIt for the first time (a first play for the group).  The game is a race to get rid of a player’s pile of cards before everyone else by placing them into a crossword style grid. The key is thinking of items that fit all descriptions in a line without repeating items. There are also ways to give away cards to other players by playing sets of 4 or 5 cards or adding cards to a line that already contains 4 cards.  Jenna won one game. Injae won the 2nd time.  The list of words left behind was worth recording below:

Another quick game of FitzIt occurred between Justin, Halen, and I. Justin won, and we didn’t have a very creative game compared to the other group.

Ryan, Bridget, Ksenia, and Miae played some Toc Toc Woodman after a couple of other longer games but no scores were recorded. They just played for the joy of the game.

Jeremy, Daniel, and Jenna played some coop Codenames with no good results giving the Box 2 wins.

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.

On Repeat

Games to ring in the New Year (January 7th) included many plays of the same games on repeat. We started with 6 people playing Toc Toc Woodman, a simple game similar to Jenga.  We played 3 times with 6 players and 2 times with 7, the maximum number of players listed on the box for that game.  The first 3 games included Injae, Kate, Katie, Sarah, Ronnie, and me (Evan).  Injae won the first time with 8 points.  Ronnie took the 2nd with 6 points.  I won the 3rd with 6 again.  The 4th and 5th game Bruce joined.  Injae won again with 8 points in the 4th game, and I won the last with 8 points.  8 is the current high score for Toc Toc Woodman.

The 2nd game to get multiple plays was One Night Ultimate Werewolf.  There were 4 games with 8 players.  Justyna, Aaren, Katie, Kate, Bruce, Sarah, Injae, and Ronnie played. The first time the villagers won by accusing the correct werewolves.  Sarah and Bruce  lost as the werewolves in question.  The 2nd had Katie as an undiscovered werewolf, giving her a win.  The 3rd was a win for everyone as none of the players were werewolves. The villagers realized the werewolf was one of the middle cards and didn’t accuse anyone.  The last game Ronnie won as the Tanner.  She got players to suspect her and accuse her, so she fulfilled the Tanner win condition.

Another popular game in January was That’s It! Early in the day, Ronnie, Justyna, Kate, Sarah, and Ginger played.  The first game went to Sarah.  The 2nd game was a tie between Kate and Sarah.  Sarah seems to be the player to beat for this game.  That’s It! came out again later in the night with 8 players.  Bruce, Injae, Aaren, Daniel, Jenna, Ginger, Ryan, and Bridget played.  Bruce, Aaren, Jenna, and Ryan got wins.

Finally, there were 2 plays of Munchkin.  I won’t add the game to our list because it is leaving with Bruce and Ginger.  However, it is a game of record getting 2 plays.  The first game was between Injae, Katie, Bruce, and Aaren.  Injae pulled off the win by reaching level 10.  This is a cutthroat game.   I don’t know about the events of the game, but I am sure it was not pretty getting to level 10.  The 2nd game was between Bruce, Injae, Aaren, and Daniel with Bruce reaching level 10 and the win in the infamous game of Munchkin.