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Alex Singh
Works at Alex Singh Photo
Attended Cal Poly Pomona
Lives in Moreno Valley, CA
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Alex Singh

Board Game Blogs/Vlogs  - 
 
Here are my initial thoughts on Stone Age, a light worker placement game. This was one of the first games I ever purchased and I've kept it around all these years.
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Clinton Coddington (PurityThruFire)'s profile photoZach Willey's profile photoAlex Singh's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Zach Willey Haha that might be a while.
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Alex Singh

Pictures of Games  - 
 
Just wanted to share some photos of Stone Age. It's a pretty one.
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Fausto Berutti's profile photoNancy Fosberg's profile photoAlex Singh's profile photoMark Whitley's profile photo
7 comments
 
Love seeing the cavemeeples around the campfire. Stone Age might actually by my favorite WP / resource-management game. Really smooth gameplay.
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Alex Singh

Reviews  - 
 
My Final Thoughts on Troyes

I originally posted this review on my website which you can view at _http://www.bottomshelfboardgames.com__ but I thought I'd share here as well. Enjoy!_

I cheated. I cheated and I don't feel bad about it. I selected a game that I already knew I loved for the game of the month. I never explicitly stated that I wouldn't, but it still feels a bit like cheating. It's just that after a string of games that I couldn't really get into, I needed something to be excited about. So I chose to look at one of my all time favorite games. Now let me try to convince you why it should be one of yours.

Design: Sébastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges & Alain Orban Art: Alexandre Roche Publishing: Z-Man Games

This is a follow up article to a game covered earlier in the month. As such, it assumes that you are familiar with the game and how it works. If this game is new to you, check out the Initial Thoughts video on my website to see if it's a game you would be interested in.

The modern board game age has an odd fascination with the mundane and the esoteric. Many of the most popular and well designed games deal with topics such as medieval subsistence  farming, colonization, and Mediterranean goods traders. They are such a mainstay that I sometimes wonder if the Europeans from which these games originate have a greater appreciation for history than I or anyone I associate with. But there is a certain appeal that's undeniable. Surely, we are living in the greatest time in history, but it's easy to idealize the past as a quaint and simple time. And I just can't help but be attracted to these games. My love of them borders on the ironic. So when Troyes offered me the chance to step into the shoes of a noble family and lead a 13th century French city to prosperity, I was more than willing to jump in.

SET 'EM UP

Troyes asks a lot of you right out of the gate. You have decide where you will assign your workers before the first round. This will not only dictate what type of actions you will most likely take, it will also affect your income. Assign your workers to the high cost offices like the palace and bishopric, and you'll see your 10 denier income quickly dwindle. This decision can be daunting for a new player, but it's softened by the fact that initial placement is done in serpentine fashion, allowing you to study the placement of others as your place your own. In such, your initial placement isn't just a prolonged setup process, it actually becomes the beginning of the game as players jockey for position. It's also less of a problem given the fluid nature of the game. Plans can and will change as subsequent rounds reveal new and interesting combinations of professions. Still, it does help to some helpful guidance from an experienced player for your first game or two. All this to say, that while there is an initial learning hump, it's well worth getting over.

MIDDLE LIFE CRISIS

Every round of Troyes is ushered in with the unveiling of event cards. These events range from pesky brigands at the gates to all out civil war. And with these events come a toll which must be paid. Events come in three different flavors that correspond to the different roles that the town centers address, military, religious, and commercial. Military events are the most common and will show up every round. They take place in the form of attack dice which must be countered in turn order. To counter an attack die, a player must match the highest numbered attack die with one of their own (or a red military die that is half the number). It simulates the noble families stepping up to the plate and diverting their resources to a pressing matter. It also serves to tamper first player advantage. By eliminating one the first player's high valued dice, they are forced to work with their remaining dice or purchase one from a neighbor. I've heard some say that first player still has too much advantage because purchasing dice is a legitimately solid move and moving in on a strong profession early can really hamper the 3rd and 4th player, but I don't feel that way. I don't have any hard numbers to back up either claim I can just say that it never bothered me.

The commercial and religious events are a little more varied in nature. Whether it's losing money due to drought or the cathedral crumbling due to a work stoppage, every event serves to add context that flavors the experiences. Though they are random, there are few enough total event cards that after a few plays you will become familiar with them and you will learn that having no money or influence at the start of a round is probably not the best idea. The events in Troyes also straddles the line between being overly punishing to the point of being punitive and being harmless to the point of being irrelevant. They add that bit of spice to keep it interesting, a light jab to the ribs to keep you on your toes.

I TRAINED FOR THIS

Where Troyes really comes alive is the professions. They give way to new and interesting abilities that enable new and different ways to employ your workforce. As you train your workers, the scope and breadth of what you can accomplish opens up. You begin to define your medieval syndicate and differentiate yourself from your opponents. You're workforce is yours and it's unique, for better or for worse. And because the professions are slowly revealed over the course of the game, you're constantly reevaluating them. Is your Baker making you enough money? Should you train a Monk or a Blacksmith?

You can play Troyes by the numbers and simply try to amass victory points. You can try and break down the most efficient path to victory. But you shouldn't. Troyes asks you take a tiny leap into its world and experience it for all it has to offer and it's professions are it's biggest invitation. It makes sense that training archers is a cheap way to fight off invading forces, but there's a chance they'll miss. It makes sense that the monks you trained to collect tithes would take money from the common folk. It makes sense! So while you can certainly use Troyes as an excuse to move wooden bits around a board, to do so is missing the point and you're best off not playing at all.

I HAVE A SECRET

I love secret objectives. And I particularly love secret objectives that apply to all player and not just the one who has the objective. An argument can be made that it's just a cheap design ploy to force players to watch what everyone else is doing. That may well be completely true, but it works. And I can't get enough of it. 

Every move your opponent makes become a moment of questioning and probing. Every move becomes a moment of self doubt and reassurance. Why are you in a rush to build the cathedral? How come you're amassing such a large military contingent? Every move is tension realized. Is it manipulative game design? Perhaps. Is it effective? No doubt.

CONCLUSION

Troyes is an exquisitely designed game. So it speaks volumes that I hardly even discussed design and mechanisms. What makes Troyes special isn't clever ideas and carefully balances abilities. These make Troyes a good game, but what elevates Troyes above its peers is the the narrative and the experience. I love looking at my victory point tokens and then over to my trained knight who earned them in a joust. I love looking at the cathedral and seeing it filled with my color, knowing that my family will be remembered for it for centuries to come. I love the fact that I'm a powerful family head, but I'm still so insecure that I have to find approval with even more powerful figures. I love the fact that Troyes exists and that I've played it.
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Robert Washburn's profile photoAlex Singh's profile photoNeil Robinson's profile photo
17 comments
 
+Alex Singh I didn't think complexity would be a negative factor for you! Castles is probably going to make you feel like a chit-meister, but Bruges less so. I'm not going to say it will make you feel like an enlightenment era merchant. The decisions are still about points and not city development.
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Alex Singh

Pictures of Games  - 
 
Played a three player game of Arkwright last night. We played the Spinning Jenny variant which is basically the intro game. It was still plenty challenging and everyone had a lot of fun.

It was a pretty close game. First place has 285 and second has 280. I'd rather not say what third place for to protect them from shame.

Edit For some reason Google+ is destroying the image quality of whatever I upload. To bad because I think it's actually quite an attractive game.
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Alex Singh's profile photoLarry Neal Jr's profile photoNeil Robinson's profile photoebonygentleman79's profile photo
4 comments
 
Google seems to load a big thumbnail while the full upload takes place.  I have been fooled before too.
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Alex Singh

Hot Deals  - 
 
Madeira is currently 50% off for $29.99 on Amazon with free prime shipping. It's a heavier game that gets a lot of love. I wasn't as enamored with it as most people seem to be, but I still thought it was a solid game and this is a great price.
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Samuel Hinz's profile photoGene Parish (Gene-Paul)'s profile photo
2 comments
 
Great tip. I bought it.
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Alex Singh

Pictures of Games  - 
 
Well, that was fun. Finished up my first game of Arkwright. It was a close game with only £16 separating us. Looking forward to playing the full version.
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Neil Robinson's profile photoCalvin Baker's profile photoGene Parish (Gene-Paul)'s profile photoAlex Singh's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Gene Parish I actually like how the game looks. It's not flashy, but everything is clear and there some nice detail on the boards.
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Alex Singh

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Cool!
 
Oink games just appeared on Amazon. I know they are a Japanese game company, hadn't had a direct purchase route in the US and that lots of people have been talking about them. But that's about it. What gives? What's the scuttlebutt? 
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Alex Singh

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Alex Singh

Hot Deals  - 
 
Lords of Waterdeep is on sale for less than $23 on Amazon and eligible for free Prime Shipping. Now that's a deal!
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Cory Meade's profile photoDavid Luchetti's profile photoJennifer Wallace's profile photo
2 comments
 
Wow! That's a crazy price! Ordered!
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Alex Singh

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Fantastic movie
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Alex Singh

Board Game Blogs/Vlogs  - 
 
This month I take a look at one of my absolute favorite game, Troyes. It adds dice to the worker placement genre and is surprisingly thematic. If that interests your, take 4 minutes and check out the video.
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Chris Jackson's profile photoJ Woosley's profile photoNeil Robinson's profile photoRichard Nevermore's profile photo
16 comments
 
Very enjoyable and its still on my buy list.
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Alex Singh

Pictures of Games  - 
 
Played a great game of Bruxelles 1893 last night. Lots of fun and definitely need some more plays. There seems like a lot if avenues to victory, but my building and patron strategy proved incredibly strong.
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J Woosley's profile photoAlex Singh's profile photoRichard Proctor's profile photoCarl Enns's profile photo
6 comments
 
I really enjoy this game
One of my favourites

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Alex's Collections
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Have him in circles
702 people
Alexis Sweet's profile photo
victoria smith's profile photo
Shannon Reed's profile photo
Alex Bee Blackwelder's profile photo
rahul yadav's profile photo
Jiez muL's profile photo
Paul Fuller's profile photo
Maria José de Souza Cunha Josi's profile photo
‫علاالدين محمد‬‎'s profile photo
Education
  • Cal Poly Pomona
    Mechanical Engineering, 2002 - 2004
  • Vanguard University
    Religion, 2005 - 2007
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Yo
Introduction
Photography is my passion and I work hard to make photos that you will love for a lifetime. Please contact me or head to my website for more information on getting your photographic needs fulfilled. http://www.alexsinghphoto.com

Oh and board games. Too many board games - www.bottomshelfboardgames.com
Bragging rights
I can fit 35 meeples in my mouth
Work
Occupation
Wedding Photographer
Skills
Making people look good
Employment
  • Alex Singh Photo
    Wedding Photographer, present
    www.alexsinghphoto.com
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Moreno Valley, CA
Previously
Riverside, CA - Ulsan, Korea
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951-215-6136
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Alex Singh's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Kevin Tong Watch Face - Android Apps on Google Play
market.android.com

"Animated robots — need we say more? Actually, we could, but we wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.American illustrator Kevin Tong has team

Final Thoughts on Troyes
www.bottomshelfboardgames.com

I cheated. I cheated and I don't feel bad about it. I selected a game that I already knew I loved for the game of the month. I never explici

Droid Life
plus.google.com

No one does Android news like we do, especially when it involves pink.

Final Thoughts on Venetia
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King of Thieves
market.android.com

Esquiva las trampas y roba oro a otros jugadores en esta mezcla única de juego multijugador de plataformas y PVP. ¡Presentamos King of Thiev

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November 2014 Mailbag
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Email subscriptions, my enabler and personal growth are the topics of this month's mailbag. Remember, you can have your questions answered i

reddit sync pro
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reddit sync pro is fast and beautiful way to enjoy reddit on the go. Easily sync your favorite subreddits for later offline viewing. Support

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The timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. It's the first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking h

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Due to some scheduling conflicts, board game night will be one week early this month. Also, please take note of the new address. We will sti

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Nice food!
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Affordable and lots of options. We had the brunch buffet and there was plenty to choose from. Great service too. It wasn't the best for if ever had, but for the price it's hard to beat.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
More of a convenience store than a grocery store. Selection was limited. I ended up leaving without purchasing anything.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Fantastic service. They had what we were looking for for a very reasonable price. The proprietor was knowledgeable and courteous and always eager to help. If you are in the market for appliances definitely check this place out.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
16 reviews
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Good selection of board games and nice library of games for you to try
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago