It was August in Pandemic Legacy

Got in some quick games with Justin and Halen on Thursday of my birthday week.  The main event was a big win in Pandemic Legacy (which we hadn’t played since November I think).  We also got in some quick games of Sherlock 13 and The Grizzled.

We had to complete 3 objectives to get an August win in Pandemic Legacy, and one of those had to be curing 3 diseases. There were about 5 other options including 2 search missions and having a military base in each of 6 world regions.  From the start, we already had 6 military bases, so that was 1 down.

Our next objective was a search mission.  We decided to focus on getting the virologist first as that was the first to come up and would give us a new useful character to fight a mostly unstoppable disease. At this point, it is mostly only possible to slow it down with quarantines, blockades, and basically killing zombie like people with the disease. We had a lucky start with Justin able to discard a card of the matching color to search and Halen able to do 2 searches. Along with some bonuses for certain search conditions, that gave us another objective complete in the first round but also a first epidemic in the same round.

The final mandatory mission involved a lot of trading information between players and luck of the draw, but we were able to hold things together long enough to get the cards and cure the diseases. I played the scientist, who is able to cure a disease with only 4 cards of a color, and Halen was the researcher making exchange of information easier.  I cured the red disease early on and a few rounds later Halen and I both had the cards to stop yellow then blue consecutively in a single last round.

The biggest struggle we faced this time around was holding back outbreaks in the untreatable disease zone.  Justin had the soldier who has the ability to stay in a city with a faded figures without getting a scar.  He was able to hold back the outbreaks a little with strategic quarantines by moving in and out of cities with 3 faded figures next to each other.  We also got a new ability that allowed us to trade a scar for a turn with no infections which we used quite liberally this game.  With the new virologist, the faded figures should be less of a problem next time hopefully. We also probably should have used the colonel instead of the soldier (…) because the colonel had an additional upgrade that removed faded figures by just leaving a city.  Could have knocked them out by just moving through.  Oh well. We won at some cost and have hope for September when we will hopefully get the immunologist.

Next came a game of Sherlock 13 with some alternate rules.  Justin recommended a rule where the cards get rotated in a way that allows players to give less complete answers making deduction more challenging and uncertain. It was interesting, but we decided the Grizzled would be a better use of our short time.

So far our group only has 1 win against the box in the Grizzled game on record.  Justin added the expansion rules, but they don’t change the feel or strategy of the
game much.  The Grizzled is still a fight against the inevitable in the horror of war.  It is about a slim chance at survival but not getting out undamaged even with a win.  We played 2 losing games.  The first was a quick loss. We were less than lucky and the cards worked against survival after just 2 missions ending with a lost mission and Halen with 6 hard knocks.  The 2nd game went longer but didn’t progress toward getting rid of enough cards in missions to get out of the war zone alive.  We took one final chance with all the remaining cards but went out in a blaze of glory.  That’s war.

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.

Up to 3 Tables

Games got more serious at this point with all players in attendance and games going at 3 tables.  My table played Dragon’s Gold.  The players included Halen, Bruce, Sarah, Justyna, Justin, and myself.  Justin finally won with 39 points, but it was a little close.  I held onto 2nd place with 35 and Justyna a not distant 3rd with 34. Then, Halen, Sarah, and Bruce.

The next table started up a game of Citadels with Jeremy, Ginger, Jef, Injae, and Aaren.  The game went long and seemed competitive.  Finally, Jef won with 34  points followed by Aaren with 26, Ginger, Injae, and Jeremy. The game finished just before dinner was served.

The third table also started a game of 7 Wonders: Duel. It is a 2 player game, but Matt is fairly new to board games, so he is learning through observation.  He teamed up with Jenna to beat Daniel. 57 to 50.  Their game ended just before dinner was served.

My table also played a few more games while we waited for Citadels to finish in order to set up some bigger games and finally finished when dinner was served.  First, Justin, Bruce, Sarah, Justyna, Halen, and I played a simple game of That’s It!.  It takes some careful listening and focus as it can turn a little shouty.  Many people yell out possible answers to a given hint but only 1 answer is written on the card.  Collecting cards with points, Bruce won a close ending tie breaker with me.  Bruce and I had 2 cards each and the same number of points for the last card, so we let rock, paper, scissors decide the result.

We also played a quick game of Spot It! The same players played that game.  It requires focused eyes and quick thinking.  The game is simple but intense.  Sarah won quite easily with 18 points.

Finally, 4 of us played The Grizzled.  Justin, Halen, Sarah, and I started, but I had to stop to help with dinner, so Jeremy stepped in to finish my hand.  This game usually comes to a loss by the players.  It is cooperative as a group tries to live through the horrors and trauma of World War I.  This was a first time win for both Jeremy and I, so he is part of the win in records.  Sarah also played for the first time.  We all won together not unscathed but triumphant.

Simple Beginnings

The first games to start the December 10th, 2016 holiday games were King of Tokyo and Sherlock 13.  Bruce, Ginger, Aaren, Jef, Injae, and Jeremy played.  The game seemed to have a lot of ups and downs with many possibilities.  Bruce was one of the first ones knocked out, but in the end Jeremy won by getting 20 points.

Sherlock 13 is a simple deduction game with each player given certain information and trying to ask questions to find out what other players know and deduce the identity of a missing person from the deck of 13 characters.  We played 3 games.  The first was just 3 players with Justin, Halen, and myself.  Halen won that first time very quickly.  The 2nd time Justyna joined, and I won.  The third time Sarah joined in and Justin stepped out as the game only plays up to 4 players (although I think 6 is possible).  The final game had no winner and some rushed deductions.

The Holiday Feeling

Once again, the Yangsan Gamerz group got together for a day of gaming on December 10th, 2016.  This time it was hosted by Kate, Brienne, and myself in our cozy (read small) place.  16 people were able to game together and have a good time playing at 3 tables.  There were long and short games, great food from my wife, eggnog by me, other drinks, some holiday lights and decorations, and even a little gift exchange.  All with a good holiday feeling of warmth and friendship.

Brienne was the only child among the 16 people, but she had a great time getting plenty of attention.  She liked spending time with each emo and samchon (aunt and uncle in Korean) and especially enjoyed the gift exchange.

We had a white elephant style exchange with presents running about 10,000 won each.  This was one of the best gift exchanges I have experienced personally with no bad gifts and nobody angered.  It was all laughter and good times even while some presents changed hands.  Brienne opened 1 present and stole a present including European candy from Matt. Presents included a card game, Jenga, coffee, wine, trays, candles, chocolates and candies, picture frames, smart phone gadgets, puzzles, etc.

I didn’t get any pictures of the food or drinks, but my wife outdid herself.  Everybody seemed to happily eat their fill.  The meal included ham, roasted chicken, salad, steamed broccoli, and mashed potatoes with sides of pepperjack cheese and sour cream.  There were also some cookies not made but pretty good from Emart Traders.

It was great to have such a positive event at the end of a year filled with many unpleasant world events.  Good cheer was great needed and appreciated.

See everyone again next time.

Pandemic Legacy Win and Loss

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Justin, Halen, and Evan played the 2nd game set in June and the 1st game set in July on November 19th, 2016.  Justin played using a military unit with the ability to get rid of faded figures. After losing the quarantine expert last game, Justin’s military unit was necessary slow down the spread of the disease with quarantines and removing faded figures with his special ability.  Justin took care of this untreatable problem while Halen as the dispatcher and Evan as the medic dealt with the other diseases.  Halen had the ability to use cards for travel without having to discard them which was very useful.  She also had a relationship with the military unit played by Justin which gave an advantage for sharing information and finding cures more easily.  Evan’s doctor was able to predict the spread of diseases and treat disease outbreaks more easily.

Unfortunately, the game set in June ended in a loss because there were too many outbreaks in a short time between cities with faded figures.  The players were focused on finding a cure and let the faded figures get out of control quickly.  The one good point of the June loss was the addition of another military base which allowed the players to move around the globe more easily.

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June was a loss, but the players were able to get a win in July the first time around.  There was a new option to search for another strong character as another objective, but the players just focused on curing 3 diseases (mandatory for a win) and the quarantine objective.  Three objectives were needed to win, but one of those was having 1 military base in each of the 6 areas.  That was already complete from the beginning and was one less thing to think about.  The strategy was effective this time around.  Nothing got out of control.  Another research center was also added to give more options for curing diseases and more starting positions for the beginning of a game.

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The 3 completed objectives were eradicate at least 1 disease (yellow eradicated by the medic), have a military base in each of the 6 major regions of the world (already complete, actually have 7), and discover cures to the 3 normal diseases (mandatory objective).  We didn’t complete the search, but that may be possible in a future game.

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Justin was able to keep the faded figures in check and share information with Halen with their characters’ special relationship.  Evan was mostly just playing clean up.  The 2 upgrades the players chose were keeping the research center (after losing Atlanta and having 1 in the middle of the faded figure area not really accessible for most players).  Justin’s character also gained 2 upgrades in the 2 games.  He got Local Pressure and Paramilitary Escort upgrades shown in the picture below.  Both make dealing with faded figures more possible.

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Ending Games

Ginger served some great homemade burgers feeding all her guests.  Dinner also included salads and pumpkin pie.  Drinks included beer and mead.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures.

After dinner, some had to leave and about 9 stayed for a final game.  There was another Thurn and Taxis and Broom Service to continue the Halloween theme.

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This time Ginger, Bruce, Halen, and Justin played Thurn and Taxis Power and Glory.  Bruce tied Justin with 20 points to end the game.  Pretty good day for Bruce all things considered.  2 wins and a tie for first not including the Dead of Winter. Justin also got 2 wins and a tie among other games.  2016-10-29-22.31.05

Jeremy  brought his new copy of Broom Service and introduced it to Daniel and Justyna.  Evan and Aaren had played before when Justin borrowed the game from Travis.  Last time, Aaren won, but wasn’t sure if she liked the game.  This time, Evan won, and everyone seemed to enjoy the game much more.  Jeremy pointed out that the game is much more maddening if people try to play the brave roles too often, so people tended to play more carefully this time.  Evan had another win for the night with 61 points to Jeremy’s 57, Daniel’s 56, Aaren’s 52, and Justyna’s 48.  It was pretty close until the end when Evan was able to get a lucky final round obtaining a big point delivery that had failed in previous rounds.

As the games finished, people packed up to go.  Another great game night finished.

All Manners of Codenames in the Mix

There are 2 new versions of Codenames to play around with.  Codenames: Pictures is what it sounds like.  It uses black and white pictures with mixed imagery instead of words the rest of the rules remain the same.  The other new version is Codenames: Deep Undercover.  That one uses words but ones that are commonly used in euphemisms and more adult innuendo.  All versions of Codenames seem simple enough, but each can be enjoyed on its own anytime or mixed and matched in a single game.  There will actually be a Codenames Tournament to raise money for the Yangsan Orphanage with copies of the game as prizes.

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We had games of all of the above on Saturday, October 29th for the game day hosted by Bruce and Ginger in their fine apartment.  The first game of Codenames started out with Deep Undercover for a round then changed to a mix of original Codenames and Codenames: Pictures.  Katie and Aaren won 2 rounds to Justin and Halen’s 1 round.  The last round finished with the assassin coming out.

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Another group played Codenames starting with 4 rounds of Deep Undercover.  The team of Jeremy, Daniel, and Jenna were practicing for the tournament versus a team including Matt, Justyna, Ksenia, and Evan.  The practicing team won 3 rounds to 1, but each round was pretty close.  It also ended up being educational for some unfamiliar with English innuendo.

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The same groups played once more using Pictures.  The rounds continued to be quite close.  Out of 3 rounds team Ksenia, Justyna, Evan, and Matt won 2 over the practicing team of Jeremy, Jenna, and Daniel.

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I will also mention a game of Thurn and Taxis Power and Glory here.  Halen, Aaren, Katie, and Justin played with Halen winning.  Halen got 23 points to win.

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While Codenames took up a lot of time and attention, the big long game of the day  was Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game.  Bruce, Ginger, Ronnie, Kate, and Jef all played for the first time.  It is Evan’s game, but he was playing Codenames so was only able to advise while the group attempted to learn and play the game.  The final result was quite close, but the Box won.  The mission was to kill a certain number of zombies in 5 rounds, and they fell one short.  There was also an attempted betrayal by Ginger as her secret mission was to help the downfall of the group. However, she was also unsuccessful.  There were no winners here as is the case in most zombie movies.  Appropriate.

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Costumed Beginning and Middle

October 29th saw some costumes and Halloween themed games.  There was nothing too crazy, but it was fun to see Kane before an alien burst out, Pikachu, a Nasty Woman, a Bad Hombre, a wizard, and others.  The day of games started out early with a 3 player game of Splendor between Jef, Bruce, and Ginger.  Bruce won with a solid 15 points.

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The 2nd game started was Archaeology the New Expedition.  This was a 5 player game with Katie, Justin, Halen, Jeremy, and Evan.  Evan won with 68 points including a last minute steal of a map card to trade in for a stack of cards and points. Jeremy was a close 2nd at 67 points.

2016-10-29-16.09.56More people arrived and 3 more games were started with the newcomers mixed with those who had just finished games.  A somewhat appropriate game of Smash Up included Jenna, Daniel, Matt (their neighbor and new group member), and Evan.  Matt played for the first time.  He had ghosts, another faction, and Jeremy’s advice to help.  He did quite well.  Jenna had mythic horses and steampunks. Evan had bear cavalry and tricksters. Finally, Daniel won with 18 points using robots and shapeshifters over Jenna at second with 12.

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At the same time, Ticket to Ride (original) started between Kate, Ginger, Ronnie, Jef, and Bruce.  Bruce pulled off another hard fought win with 118 points and Ronnie a close second at 112.

Halen, Aaren, Katie, and Justin got a few short games in together.  One Night Ultimate Werewolf went just one round and was won by the werewolves, Justin and Katie.

Guillotine was next with Katie winning over Justin by just 1 point.  Katie got 21 points to Justin’s 20.  Aaren and Halen followed.

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Katie also won a game of I’m the Boss over Halen, Justin, and Aaren with about $1,400.

The order of those games may not be quite right.  I should really try to keep track of timing.  I am putting some other games together in their own post.  Codenames got a lot of play, and Thurn and Taxi Power and Glory came out more than once.  They get their own mentions.