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!

February 11th Part One

For February 11th, 2017 we played at Cafe Swan Valley.  This ended up being a great location for games with several good size tables and a very generous owner.  Not to mention the food was great and prices reasonable. We will definitely play here again in the future I think.

The first sets of games included Parade, That’s It, and Sherlock 13.  Evan introduced his game, Parade to all the players more than once as more players arrived during set up and explanations.  The first game was with Tricia, Justyna, Injae, Sarah, Changyeon, and Evan.  Evan and Tricia tied at -12 to win.  The game is won by the person with the fewest negative points.  The scores were all close, and the players picked up on the rules quickly.  The 2nd game had the addition of Daniel to the game and Tricia and Changyeon teamed up.  This time Sarah won with a very high score of -4 followed by Evan with -10.  The negatives got a bit bigger this time with a more competitive 2nd game strategy.

Played two quick games of Sherlock 13. It was the first time for a few players. James, Mia, and Jeremy were first timers. Jeremy took the first game versus James, Sam, and Justin quite quickly by making a quick guess that was well informed, and so he took that game. The 2nd game was versus Mia, Justin, and Sam.  He made another guess but got it wrong which lead the way for Justin to win.

Ronnie, Kate, Emy, and Anthony played That’s It! for quite awhile, and Ronnie ended up winning that with more cards than other players but an unknown number.  I heard one hint for something that turns your eyes red and a guess at soju which seems reasonable except the game was not made in Korea.

The 2nd batch of short games included Sushi Go Party!, Love Letter Premium, and 7 Wonders Duel.

Sushi Go Party! was a first for all players I believe, but Injae and Evan at least had played the original game.  Daniel, Evan, Sarah, Changyeon, Tricia, Injae, Justyna, and Katie played the first round with Justyna emerging the winner with 42 points, followed by 38 from Daniel, and 36 from Evan. The addition of some new cards and the board in the party version make for welcome new elements to give the game more replay value and interesting variations.  I liked the risk of possibly getting 3 points or nothing for miso if another player also chose that card on the same turn.

The 2nd round was played between Tricia, Changyeon, Injae, Katie, Justyna, and Sarah with higher scores with 6 rather than 8 players.  Tricia won with 65, Changyeon got 2nd with 63, and Injae grabbed 3rd with 56 points.

While the 2nd round of Sushi Go Party! was happening, Evan and Daniel pursued a game of 7 Wonders Duel.  Daniel was very strong in victory points, but we didn’t count them up because Evan won a military victory and was also pretty close to a science one.

Also played love Letter with 6 players including Jenna, Justin, Jeremy, James, Mia, and Sam. A lot of first timers in this won especially with the new roles included in the premium edition. The game does tend to take longer with the added roles. Jenna got ahead quickly and at one point got two tokens with a well timed role of guessing James card when all other players were eliminated which netted her two tokens for the final win.

Finally, Justin tried to introduce Insider to a few players but didn’t end up playing a real recorded game.  This was just a chance for a bunch of people to try the new party deduction word game.

 

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.

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.