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  • .e 4:31 pm on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Dead Man’s Draw 

    Playing the Kickstarter game Dead Man’s Draw that Joe got for us as a present (thank you again). It’s a good lightweight push your luck card thing

    Dead Man's Draw, with KS playmat

    Dead Man’s Draw, with KS playmat

    Reveal cards and play their powers, keep revealing as long as you want, if you get doubles of a suit you lose the cards.

    Strict time limit too, since when the deck runs out the game is over. It’s a “we’re tired, but feel like doing something” game for us.

  • .e 3:34 am on August 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , shadowrun   

    Shadowrun: Crossfire 

    So Shadowrun: Crossfire was a game we hated at first, on our first playthrough, as it felt hard to the point of absurdity. Turns out we had the rules wrong on a minor but very important point: we were buying card into discard instead of hand. Sounds pretty minor, but in a game where you draw on average less than 2 cards, that makes a huge difference.

    Also we made the mistake of playing correctly and starting at 0 karma and trying to grind up to buy things. That’s rule accurate but awful.

    So here’s how we play it now

    • Before starting, take all the level up skills, stick them to cardboard, and cut them out
    • Start with 50 karma, spend them on any skills you want, up to 4 skills
    • Use obstacle rules from Crossfire mission: 4 in scene 1, 5 in scene 2, 6 in scene 3, etc
    • Between scenes a runner can spend 2 credits to heal 1 point of health, once per scene
    • Repeat scenes until first runner goes critical, then score points: 2 for Hard obstacle, 1 for Easy
    Mage and Face midway through 2nd wave

    Mage and Face midway through 2nd wave

    Gives you a slightly more deckbuildy experience since you can actually make a large enough deck to feel like the characters differentiated. If you like plot, I think of it as a defense of a frontline village in Columbia as Aztlan is sending wave and after wave of mercenary forces to take it over.

    Looking forward to the game releasing a few more black market cards, especially some lower cost ones. It would definitely add a bit more variety to it, since you so rarely manage to buy the expensive cards. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a 9 cost card in play ever.

  • .e 3:18 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , micro   

    Love Letter: L5R 

    Oh, and a mini post: according to Erin all the characters in the “Legend of the 5 Rings Love Letter” are in appropriate roles if you happen to know them by name, and he does.

    So kudos to the L5R Love Letter team on that.

  • .e 3:14 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Takenoko Chibis 

    We played the Chibis expansion of Takenoko with Erin and Mikey last night. While the stars are obviously Ms Panda and the cubs, the real unspoken game changer is the statue tiles that make much larger bamboo forests possible.

    Takenoko Chibis, with the new taller bamboo forests

    Takenoko Chibis, with the new taller bamboo forests

    See the absurd swath of 4-tall green and blue? That’s expansion growth. When the gardener steps on the statues, all irrigated hexes of that color grow by 1. You can grow 7+ tiles in a single turn. No panda can eat that. The second pond also makes irrigation chains less crucial, if it gets placed in a good place, which makes the least appealing part of the game even less so.

    Game is still just as random as before, and still fun.

  • .e 5:30 am on August 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Robinson Crusoe 

    Did a playthrough of Portal’s fantastic Robinson Crusoe coöperative, on the Cursed Island scenario. Almost got the rules perfectly right this time, heh.

    The exorcists of Cursed Island

    We tend to play with Dog for the “slightly easier” mode. Our main screw up (that probably allowed the win) was that we built the sacred bell while the fog was on the only hill hex which is not allowed: once a hex becomes unexplored, all tools that rely on it become unavailable. We also got incredibly lucky in a few places, top decking a hatchet and the adventure bell exactly as needed at one point.

    It’s a very good game that clocks in at around 2 hours. Very nice art, very thematic, and genuinely fun as long as you’re willing to put in the time to learn the rules up front.

    And we didn't even have to use the hourglass

    Didn’t even have to break the hourglass.

  • .e 3:48 am on August 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dice dropping, dice rolling,   

    Rattle Battle and Grab the Loot 

    Almost done bringing the GenCons to table for their first games.

    This is another of the new Portal games. The main gimmick of this guy, other than the cute pirate ship building, is that fighting is done by physically dropping dice into the box, then moving them around using card powers.

    Not a very deep game, but a fun little sorta-mini-war game, with an interesting sorta-mini-engine builder, and very high quality art.

    Let's talk about my combos

    Let’s talk about my combos

    Here’s an example of a mini engine. Kid generates extra cubes, hopefully rum, feed the rum into Luigi or Olaf, and storing rest in super hold. Every time you hire a sailor, it triggers Lilly for an extra point. Once it ramps up, you should be making gold about twice as fast as anyone else, especially in a multiplayer game since it doesn’t rely on too much hunting success.

    Your mileage may vary.

  • .e 3:45 am on August 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: expansion,   

    Lords of Waterdeep + Scoundrels of Skullport 

    Also brought Scoundrels of Skullport to table for first time. Excellent expansion with a genuinely fun mechanic in the corruption track.

    But you probably already knew that, if not, check it out on iPad. Really, I’m posting this post to show off that second photo of Angelica.

    Lords of Waterdeep + Scoundrels of Skullport

    Lords of Waterdeep + Scoundrels of Skullport

    The aforementioned very good photo

    The aforementioned very good photo

    (this was my only win in an otherwise incredible 9 game losing streak)

  • .e 3:25 am on August 5, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: engine building, , hand building,   


    So way back when I won a minor contest and the prize was all the Evolution bonuses from the kickstarter. I ended up backing the remake+flight expansion so that I’d be able to actually use them.

    Clever ruse, Evolution people.

    Picked up our copy at GenCon and brought it to table.


    Evolution+Flight, pictured are the kickstarter coasters I won

    It ended up being a really good mid-complexity game. Lots of hand building, lots of engine stuff.

    As a bonus, Angelica being an ecologist, she liked the theme. It reminded me of SimEarth so I was a fan too.

    My kickass predator

    My kickass predator

    Above is the predator that carried me through the game, up until everyone else realized it was probably a dang good idea to kill him off. Erin has a wicked engine at the end too, with multiple Coöperations and Foragings to just devastate the plant food supply each turn.

    Very good game, highly recommended.

  • .e 3:19 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , , tides of time   

    Tides of Time 

    first game we played after getting home from GenCon: Portal’s Tides of Time.

    Tides Of Time, last round

    Tides Of Time, last round

    A drafting 2-player game that’s very cut-throat without feeling overly so. The best I can describe it is as a super weaponized Sushi Go where “card counting” isn’t just required, it’s a natural part of the game. Every card gets used every time, so after the first drafting switch off, you know exactly what’s going to be played and what isn’t.

    Playtime is about 15 minutes from set up to end of scoring. A very strong “lunch game”.

    I also appreciated how much effort went into the lore of the game, with both the art and the place names. I wonder if Portal will end up doing more in that setting.

  • .e 3:12 am on August 1, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , dice, dice builder, facet builder,   

    GenCon: RattleBones 

    No relationship to Rattle Battle.

    Angelica’s friend Aurelia introduced us to RattleBones. It’s a game in a genre that would be called “dice builder” if that wasn’t already a different thing. You literally build dice in this one, as you pop sides out with a little plastic prong, then add new sides in.

    RattleBones board

    RattleBones board

    See how the dice have little colored circles in them?

    RattleBones, close up

    RattleBones, close up

    The idea is you add new facets to the dice, then when those facets come up, that power triggers.

    Good game for kids since being a dice game you have a pretty good change of winning no matter what you do. Looking forward to what other game styles will come out of that mechanic.

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