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.

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.

The Grizzled

Another 2 or 3 games of The Grizzled.  I didn’t catch the exact results, but it doesn’t seem necessary to record the games separately for this as they are short and usually go to the box.  Jeremy, Halen, and Justin played but still couldn’t get a win over the box.

Cosmic Encounters

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The smaller group chose Cosmic Encounters and enjoyed a pretty close match well fought most of the time.  The ending was a little anti-climactic though.  Halen was attacked by Jenna.  Jenna was tied with Evan at 4 points at that moment but somehow Halen missed that.  She decided to use negotiate in the battle which gave Jenna the final planet she needed to win.  The funny part was that Jenna’s attack was actually a negative number times 2 (not times itself), but any number beats a negotiate.  The game went to Jenna, and the night continued.

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