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Avram Grumer
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Dissecting you with my mind
Dissecting you with my mind

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Went to Berg’n for boardgaming (and a yummy Laundhaus cobb salad).

Played Carcassonne (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/822/carcassonne) for the first time in over a decade, and got my ass kicked. Mostly ’cause the other players kept getting better draws. It’s still fun; a classic tile-laying game.

Then I got to play Azul (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/230802/azul) for the first time! Damn, this is a pretty game. I didn’t win, but I got a respectable score.

Some people set up a Dominion (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/36218/dominion) game, but then most of them had to leave, and we discovered some of the cards were missing. That’s OK; I played a lot of Dominion over the weekend.

I briefly wound up being an unwitting participant in some other group’s game of Drunk Jenga when a young woman asked me to buy her a drink. (I declined, which was apparently the right thing to do.) This involves a Jenga set (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2452/jenga) with stuff written on the pieces; when you pull a piece, you have to do what it says, or drink. (I think that’s how it works.)

And I didn’t play in that game of Root (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/237182/root), but I snapped a photo anyway ’cause it looked cool.

Last game of the night was Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/239826/dice-fishing-roll-and-catch), a neat little import from Japan, where it’s called ダイ公望 (Lord of the Die-Angler). Game play involves rolling dice to claim fish cards. Each player has five regular 6-sided dice, plus 1d10 and 1d20. The latter two dice can be rolled either for their numeric value, or to let you re-roll or tweak the values of the six-siders, but you have to declare what use you’re making of them before you roll. This was fun, and pretty quick.

And there was a guy there who had a whole bunch of games packed into one carrying case; I had to snap a photo of it.
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8/8/18
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My copy of Mint Delivery arrived today! Along with a co-op expansion for the earlier game Mint Works.

Mint Delivery has a bigger tin, and packs a lot more stuff into it. A pack of tokens, two sizes of card, and a big, multiply-folded, rules sheet. Still, a nicely portable game.
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7/25/18
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I brought this up in a thread on inexpensive Fate dice, but some of you might not have seen it: Wiz Dice makes a set of Fate dice (they call them “Fudge dice,” which they also are, because Fate started out as a variant of Fudge) that are pretty affordable: $10 (on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wiz-Dice-Fudge-Starter-Pack/dp/B073DJ9JRY) for a set of 20 dice, in five colors, and a small drawstring cloth bag to hold ’em. I bought a set, and I think the quality compares well to the Evil Hate dice.

Here are some photos. I used a Muji notebook so the black dice didn’t get lost against my black tabletop. As you can see, the “Terrestrial” set has five colors: black, white, gold, green, and blue. I find the markings easy to read on all but the white set. (I’m finicky about contrast.) I don’t know if they have any other colors planned, but I think the Terrestrial set is all they have so far.

In the second photo, I’ve set up the blue Wiz Dice set next to an Evil Hat set (the red dice from their Spirit of the Century Centurion Dice set). The Evil Hat dice are nicer: rounded corners so they’ll roll better, and bigger markings so they’ll read from farther across the table. But they’re also more expensive: Evil Hat’s dice retail at $15 for 12 dice, or $5/set of four. They tend to go for $10–$13 on Amazon, which gets you down around $3–$4/set of four. The Wiz Dice set retails for $12 ($2.40/set of four), and Amazon has it for $10 ($2/set of four). And you get a bag!

The Muji notebook (http://www.muji.us/store/4550002368012.html) is A5 size, double-spiral bound, has high-quality dot-grid paper, and contains (among other things) writeups of a Diaspora campaign I played in.
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6/16/18
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Played a few new (to me) games yesterday at +Joshua Kronengold’s and +Lisa Padol’s place:

Sunset Over Water (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/224904/sunset-over-water) — I backed this on Kickstarter, but hadn’t had a chance to play it till now. This is a nice, relatively quick game with some depth to it, based on set collection with a bit of area control. Also, lovely pieces (though I think I like the art in Herbaceous better).

A Fake Artist Goes to New York (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/135779/fake-artist-goes-new-york) — Think of this as the old Surrealist exquisite corpse game, combined with Spyfall. Players pass around a piece of paper and add to a drawing, one line at a time, only one of the players (the “fake artist”) doesn’t know what it is they’re supposed to be drawing. We played two games of this; in the first one I was the fake artist, and immediately figured out (based on the first line drawn) that the subject was a lobster. Don’t get too detailed in your drawings when playing this!

Vasco de Gama (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/41002/vasco-da-gama) — A crunchy, complex worker-placement game, with a neat little press-your-luck mechanic to make the worker placement a bit more complicated. Three out of the four of us playing had never played before, so it took us till 3 AM to finish. I managed to squeak out a victory by a single point.
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6/16/18
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Went to Berg’n again for Victory Pints Boardgame Night (http://www.victorypints.com/). Played four games:

Welcome to the Dungeon (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/150312/welcome-dungeon) — This is a press-your-luck game, and while I’d seen it around, I’d never played it before. I played the first few rounds conservatively, as did one other player, so of course the game ended with the two of us faced off against each other, each with one win and one loss, and me exploring the dungeon. I made it through with 1 hit point to spare, and won the game!

Spyfall (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/166384/spyfall) — We used a website to play, instead of physical cards. Two games, and we managed to find the spy both times.

Cockroach Poker (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11971/cockroach-poker) — Another game I’d never played before. This could use better card art — it’s tough to remember which are the cockrochases and which the stinkbugs.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/156129/deception-murder-hong-kong) — Sort of a social-discovery version of Clue. This plays pretty quick, but it’s got a lot of guesswork in the gameplay. I suspect it’s better with more players. (We had five; it takes up to twelve.)
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5/23/18
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Only played two games at Think Coffee today, both two-player games with +Joshua Kronengold, but they were both games I’ve owned for a while and hadn’t played before.

First, Avignon: A Clash of Popes (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/188181/avignon-clash-popes). I was having a tough time really envisioning the play of this from just reading the rules, but it’s pretty simple in practice. Josh beat me handily, figuring out the gameplay much faster than I did. This was quick and fun, but I’m not sure how much replay value it has.

Then we played 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/203828/13-minutes-cuban-missile-crisis), a micro-game version of Twilight Struggle (which I haven’t played, but Josh was familiar with). This was quick and tense, and it looked like Josh was winning, until it turned out he’d grabbed too many battegrounds into his sphere of influence, and blew himself up when we revealed that Cuba gave him a third military battleground.

So I lost the 14th-century struggle for the Papacy, but I won World War 3!
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5/11/18
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Played a few games at the Think Coffee monthly boardgames gathering.

1. Skull (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/92415/skull) I’ve played this before. It’s a great little bluffing game with gorgeous artwork. I didn’t win, but I didn’t get eliminated either. I forgot to take a photo of the board.

2. Dale of Merchants (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/176165/dale-merchants) My first time playing this. A cute little deck-builder. I’d like to try it with more people; this was just a two-player game. My opponent lucked into a really strong opening move and I was never quite able to catch up. Forgot to take photos of this, too.

3. Circle the Wagons (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/213266/circle-wagons) Again, my first time. This is a great little two-player wallet game. I squeaked out a victory with a 1-point margin.

4. That Snow Moon (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/213268/snow-moon) This is a fun little asymmetrical dexterity game (the main mechanic is card-tossing or -dropping), but as the Liberation player I was at a serious disadvantage due to the slick table surface. I recommend playing on felt, or unvarnished wood. Vinyl might work too.
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4/14/18
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Today at Berg’n I played an in-development game, Fire Tower, by Runaway Parade (http://runawayparade.com/firetower.html). Kickstarter coming in April.

The game has the players as forest fire lookouts, seeking to burn down each others’ fire towers, just like in real life. The real attention-grabber in the game is the fancy fire markers, which are irregular chunks of orange plastic. I had fun, even though my tower was the first to burn.
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3/28/18
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Yesterday I got my Kickstarted copy of Sunset Over Water. I nearly threw out the expansion, a little package of cards at the bottom of a box of foam peanuts. Haven’t had a chance to play it yet.
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3/28/18
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Finally got to play Century: Spice Road today. I liked it a lot. About halfway through the game I figured out how my engine could work, and launched into buying small, cheap victory cards hoping to catch my opponents short. It almost worked! I wound up with 61 points, and one other player had 63, with fewer victory cards, but more valuable ones.
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2/25/18
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