Category Archives: Board Game Related

A Year in Board Gaming – 2013.8-18; A Bunch of Games

I haven’t written one of these for a while, but I have an excuse! Really! On Monday morning, 1/28, we decided to go on a cruise. Three hours later, we booked it for Saturday, 2/2. Most of these entries are from the cruise. The rest of the time we were packing and unpacking.

2013.8 – Escape: The Curse of the Temple – 1/24/2013

We got a chance to get away from the kids for an evening and spent some time with our friends, Brian and Shanna. We brought out Escape: The Curse of the Temple and played a couple of quick rounds. In this cooperative game, you are exploring a cursed temple that threatens to fall down around you. You move about revealing tiles, trying to find precious gems that will allow you to escape. The exit tile is somewhere at bottom of the tile stack, so you have to keep moving. Sounds easy, right? Well, you accomplish all this through some custom dice. Any action requires a certain combination of dice rolls, and guess what? Your dice can be locked, causing you to be delayed at the most inconvenient moments. Not too bad, but wait, there’s more! You only have ten minutes to get through the entire temple! The game has an actual 10 minute soundtrack, and if you can’t escape by the time it’s over, you lose. Oh, and don’t forget that twice during that ten minutes, a gong will sound, requiring everyone to return back to the middle of the temple. This game is a real-time game, meaning that no one takes turns. Each person has their own set of dice and controls their own explorer, but you have to work together if you have any hope of success.

Continue reading A Year in Board Gaming – 2013.8-18; A Bunch of Games

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A Year in Board Gaming – 2013.4-7; Agricola ACBAS, Pandemic, Mage Knight

2013.4 – Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – 1/13/2013

Agricola ACBAS YBG 2013.4

I think this is the third time we’ve played this one. We acquired it at BGG.Con last year. It is a light, fast worker placement game derived from the classic Agricola which is much heavier and more expansive. While Agricola deals with all the aspects of raising/developing a farm, All Creatures Big and Small (ACBAS) is just about raising and keeping the animals.

Continue reading A Year in Board Gaming – 2013.4-7; Agricola ACBAS, Pandemic, Mage Knight

A Year in Board Gaming – Mage Knight, 2013.2; Arkham Horror, 2013.3

Mage Knight, 2013.2

Two days after our first play of Mage Knight, we had to do it again. It was all we could think about. Ok, it was all I could think about, but Jessica really liked it as well. So, on Sunday, 1/6, we played another round of the tutorial scenario. Right off the bat, I got an edge by taking the really easy bad guy that showed up. This is important because your first kill will get you your first level-up fast. Jessica wasn’t quite so lucky, and that initial separation between the two of us only grew throughout the game.

I managed to draw really good cards throughout the game, even taking about some pretty sweet fire mages at some point. Jessica, however, always seemed to get unfortunate card draws that led to a lot of stagnant turns. It was a little painful to watch at times, but not so painful that I wouldn’t swoop in a take-out the bad guys that Jessica would flush out but not kill.

Overall, Jessica (obviously) didn’t have as much fun, and as a result, neither did I. I’m hoping it was not indicative a runaway leader problem in the game. We will see, but next time we will probably do a full scenario. Also, since we are not really into super-competitive games, we will try one of the cooperative scenarios. We’ll see how soon I can get Jessica to play again. 🙂

Play Rating: Looking for Balance

Arkham Horror, 2013.3

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The starting setup

On Friday, 1/11, we brought out our all-time favorite game, Arkham Horror, to break in one of the new expansions we got for Christmas, Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, and to use some of the cool new custom pieces Jessica got me. In Arkham Horror, you play an investigator who goes about the city of Arkham gathering clues about the Mythos that you can then use to seal portals to other worlds and dimensions. You fight to stay sane and conscious as you encounter all manner of horrifying monsters and events. You know, some light-hearted fun!

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Bokrug

In this session, we sought to prevent Bokrug from awakening. He had some minions that were trying to bring about our demise with their evil presence. On top of that, the Dark Pharaoh was acting as a herald for Bokrug and made it deadly to obtain magical items. Things were a bit grim. We had to overcome one burst seal on a gate as well as some other frustrating things, but we persevered and won the day!

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The End of the game. Look at all those monsters. Don’t they look sad that they can’t eat us?

In the picture above you can see some of the sweet new pieces Jessica got me for Christmas. On the bottom left (and bottom-right) at the top of the white character sheet, you’ll see a stack of red pieces and a stack of blue pieces. Some guy in Texas made these from polymer clay and are fantastic. I’ll get a better picture next time we play. Also, if you look towards the bottom-right of the board between a green and yellow box, you’ll see a brown circle with a star symbol on it. That is an Elder Sign, and the same guy made these from a fallen branch off one of his trees that happened to be the exact same diameter as the locations on the board.

The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh adds some nice items and spells to the standard decks. The Exhibit Items were pretty interesting, though the Dark Pharaoh herald made it very hard to want one. Every time we picked up an Exhibit Item, we were cursed. I’d say next time we probably won’t bother with that herald.

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Gardner’s Place in Dunwich didn’t fare very well. 4 monsters in one place!

We played with the Dunwich expansion as well, but we didn’t spend much time up there. Jessica made it up there early to seal the gate on Wizard’s Hill and never returned. Gardner’s Place was a sight to see. Or not see. Always choose the latter when a Dark Young, Proto-Shoggoth, and Chthonian (and vampire, but he was weak sauce) have a party.

Arkham Horror YBG 2013.3
Custom storage solution

We store the game in an artist’s box we got at Hobby Lobby. It fits everything quite well, though not both Dunwich and Innsmouth expansions. We swap those in and out and play with one for a while before switching back. Above is the box fully deployed, and below is it closed up. We will one day put a vinyl Elder Sign on the front or even burn it in. We’ll see.

Arkham Horror YBG 2013.3
Custom storage solution

Until next time, Arkham.

Play Rating: Still Sane!

A Year in Board Gaming – Mage Knight, 2013.1

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So, I’m going to attempt something ambitious this year. I will write a session report of all our board game plays that we have this year. I normally don’t write these or log my plays on boardgamegeek.com which has an extensive database of just that from thousands of people. I will cross post these there, but my main motivation will simply be to keep track of everything we play.

I know this won’t be of much value to anyone who visits our blog, and that’s ok. Our blog is just as much a historical record of our family as much as an information portal for others to the goings-on of the Jeppson clan. Board games have become very important for Jessica and I as a couple. They have moved on from simply a means of entertainment and a way to pass to time. Now, we learn about each other through them. We work together on common goals in some games. We learn how to better engage in conflict with each other. And we simply, well, learn together. Well-designed games will teach you something. Whether it be math, economics, game-theory, or whatever, we are learning together, and that is wonderful.

Ok, so our first game of the year was Mage Knight on Jan. 4.

Continue reading A Year in Board Gaming – Mage Knight, 2013.1

Board Game Geek Convention!

Adam and I were fortunate enough to be able to drive down to Dallas the week before Thanksgiving attend to attend the annual Board Game Geek Convention (BGG Con).  What does one DO at a board game convention.  Well, you play board games!  Lots of board games.  Not like Yahtzee or Parcheesi or anything like that.  We played games like ones that have already made appearances on the blog.  🙂  I’ll give you a synopsis of our trip and the games we played.  But I will tell you, we had the best time, and would love to be able to go back next year.

Day 1, Thursday November 15
First, on our way down, we ALWAYS stop at Dairy Queen since the closest one to us is at least an hour away.  We miss Dairy Queen.  It reminds us of our dating and newly wed days in Rexburg.

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When we got to the hotel, it was too early to check into our room. So we went and checked into the convention, and we each were given 4 games from the prize shelves. Thank goodness we had a car that we could deposit those games in and so we could look around free of the burden of carrying games.

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We then went into the main gaming room.

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And found a players needed flag and were taught how to play Hoo Yah! It wasn’t our favorite game, but it wasn’t bad. The interesting thing about this game was the man who taught it never looked at me (Jessica) while explaining the rules. EVERYTHING was directed at Adam. He seemed a little shocked every time I spoke or had a question or idea. He got used to me by the end, but it was a little funny.

Game: Hooyah!
Result: WIN
Played by: Marvin, Chris, Adam and Jessica

After a break to check into our room and take care of nursing momma business, we played Argicola: All Creatures Great and Small.

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This is a two player game, so it was just us. We got the game from the library, and sat down at a table to learn the rules since Adam was already kinda familiar with them. We bought this game at the Con. It’a good one, we ended up buying it.

Game: Argicola
Result: Adam: 47 Jessica: 32
Played by: Us

After that we were a little hungry and didn’t want to brave the traffic (we were at an airport hotel and there was TONS of construction). So, we hopped on the shuttle that was proved to take people to off-site restaurants and such. There was quite a humorous conversation on the trip out about how gamers would make better city players than actually city planners. But we reached the conclusion that using the starvation strategy would probably be a little harsh, and perhaps we should stick to worker placement games. 🙂

After dinner, back on the bus, we ran into another couple, Scott and Susan, we rode out with. They turned out to be from Oklahoma City as well. And we had a nice conversation. We went to the library and got Dungeon Lords and the new expansion we were excited to try. But we ran into Scott and Susan and ended up teaching them how to play Dungeon Lords. It was great fun. Dungeon Lords is just fun, but a bit complicated alone without adding the expansion into it. Only a little bummed we didn’t get to play that. It’s always more fun to play with more people when you can.

Game: Dungeon Lords
Played by: Scott, Susan, Adam and Jessica
Results: Adam and Susan tied for the win, Jessica and Scott were so pitful it didn’t merit recording their scores.

That was our last game for the day, and we went to bed.

Day 2, Friday, November 16th

We woke up rather leisurely, and that was great for us not having kids wake us up. We left and went out to breakfast and to visit the Dallas Ikea. It’s a good thing we took Adam’s car and didn’t have room to bring home some of the stuff I was eying.

We got back in time to do a couple things. We attended the Escape Experience where we learned how to play Escape! and get a chance to win some cool stuff.

Game: Escape
Played by Adam, Jessica and 3 other people
Result: WIN

And then we headed up to grab our Arkham Horror game and set up for our epic 7 player game of Arkham. We were teaching 2 people and 2 of our players had dropped out and we were down to expecting 5. Well, we had two players wander by and ask to play too. AWESOME!

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Now this is not a short game with 4 people. With 7, it should have taken around 4 to 5 hours to play. It took us 2. It was the EASIEST game of Arkham we have ever played. It was a little ridiculous. Everyone was getting the rolls they needed and beating everything.

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Game: Arkham Horror
Played by: Shawn, Gerry, Jessica, Clint, Ken, Gordon and Adam
Result: WIN

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After grabbing something to eat, we found some one with a players needed flag and learned how to play Courtier and Love Letter from another Scott. I enjoyed both games, but don’t think we’ll be adding them t

o our collection soon. Well, maybe Love Letter. It’s a really easy filler game to cleanse the palate between games.

Game: Courtier (2x)
Played by Scot, Adam and Jessica
Results: Scot 1 win, Adam 1 win

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After that, we ventured into the Hot Games room. This is the room where the latest games that have been released are always set up with people teaching how to play them. In here, we played a very pretty gam

e called Tokadio. It’s a track game, and you’re trying to make it to the end of the track making as many stops as you can. It was fun. The people we played with were hard to understand, but I won!!

Game Tokaido
Played by Mirasol, Steven, Adam and Jessica
Result: Jessica -83 Adam – 82

After a quick breather and dinner at Applebees (after which we swore we would not leave the airport in our car during rush hour again!) We went browsing the games library and found one of our favorite games, Lord of the Rings PLUS an expansion, Friends and Foes, we’ve been wanting to try. We checked it out, grabbed a players wanted sign and went about setting it up. We got two players, Erik and other Adam (as he was called later on), and had a very pleasant time teaching them how to play and getting beaten down by Sauron. In the end, all the Hobbits died and Sam (the last hobbit left) made it halfway through Shlob’s Lair by himself.

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Game: The Lord of the Rings
Expansion: Friends and Foes
Adam: Sam
Erik: Frodo
Jessica: Merry
Other Adam: Pippin
Result: Lost

After our grim defeat, we called it a night.

Day 3, Saturday November 17th

We got up pretty early, had breakfast and made a new friend in the process. Alas, I don’t remember his name, but he was by himself behind us in line for the breakfast buffet. We invited him to come sit with us when we got a table so he could get to the flea market in a decent amount of time too.

After breakfast, we went to the flea market. WOW! That was a mass of people and lots of money changing hands quickly. We found a couple games of some friends, and we were done there.

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Stashing their stuff in our car, we then wandered into the main game room and found a couple poeple looking for players. We play 3 games with them.

The first was called Bohnanza. It’s basically a trading and collecting game. Adam did not like this game at all. He doesn’t like bidding games like that at all.

Game: Bohnanza
Players:
Kate 12
Elisa 17
Ian 16
Jessica 15
Adam 13

Then Kate left, and we player Shadows over Camelot. It’s a crazy memory game. Not my strong suit right now, and it doesn’t work out well when someone is SUPPOSED to the a traitor. We did end up winning though. 🙂

Game: Shadows Over Camelot
Players:
Elisa: Traitor
Ian
Jessica
Adam
Results: Win

Lastly, we played Love Letter a few times. It’s a small card game where you are constantly trying to find the princess or a roll that is higher than yours. It’s pretty fun. Very short, very fast.

Love Letter
Ian won 2 games
Elisa won 1 game
Adam won 1 game
Jessica won 0 games

After that we had our 2 hours shift working in the game library. It was SO much fun. I loved being able to talk with people about what they were checking in and out. There were a few people who actually benefited from me knowing about a game. 🙂 We even ended up having to sort out a game that got mixed with it’s expansion. It was a really fast two hours, and it was great fun.

This is a shot of one side of the games library. It was amazing how many games there were.
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When I shift ended, we decided to eat relatively big lunch/dinner so we didn’t have to worry about it during the prize giveaway later.

After lunch/dinner, we got the game The Road to Canterbury. I was not a fan. I think I just didn’t really like the theme of it and the mechanics were just weird to me. This just wasn’t my game. Adam had read the rules before, but wasn’t extremely well versed, so we were kind of learning on the fly and that didn’t make things any easier for me liking the game.

The point of the game is for us to tempt travelers making their way to Canterbury with on of the Seven deadly sins. Your goal is to get sinners to sin themselves to death, but you can forgive a sinners sins along the way (but you really only do it to give yourself a tactical advantage). In the end, I did win. Woo! I’m the best tempter… ::reads sarcastically::

Game: The Road to Canterbury
Adam: 131
Jess: 132 <–win

After that, we were both in a sour mood. So I went to pick out a “light” game to wash the bad taste out of our mouths. I came back with Yggdrasil, not a light game. But we were both a little more enthused about it since we’d played it on iOS before and felt like we could handle it.

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As we were setting up, Other Adam (from the LOTR game the night before) ran into us, and we asked him if he wanted to join. He agreed and we played. We had to pause mid game for the awards and giveaway, during which we didn’t win anything, and we thought we had things well in hand when one of the Enemy Norse Gods moved across a threshold we weren’t paying attention to, and we very suddenly and anticlimactically lost.

Game: Yggdrasil
Players: Adam, Jessica and Other Adam
Result: LOSS

After we cleaned up this game, Other Adam brought out a game called Coup which is similar to Love Letter in that you have a role card and you are trying to be the last person standing. The difference is you have to use money to do things instead of the influence of the person on your card.

Game: Coup
Players: Adam, Jessica and Other Adam
Result: Adam 1 and Other Adam 1

After this game, Adam and I went and got Taluva. We headed up to the room so I could take care of Mommy-type business while Adam learned the rules. It’s a fairly simple game so it didn’t take long. Then we took it back down the main gaming room, grabbed a players needed sign, and started setting up. We got two other people to play with us, Linda and Norman.

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Taluva is a tile laying and a space crowding game. You lay out a tile and then expand your settlements. The cool thing about this game is that you get to build up as well as out. The goal is to lay out a certain number of certain types of buildings. The game ends when one person has placed 3 of their temples. Linda beat us all.

Game: Taluva
Players: Adam, Jessica, Linda and Norman
Results: Linda 1
Adam 2
Jessica 3
Norman 4

We cleaned everything up and then grabbed Samurai and headed back up the room to play in the quiet. Samurai is a game about laying out influence around an island to gain rice patties, Buddhas or towers. In the end, I won by ONE rice patty! It’s a fun little strategy game. I liked it.

Game: Samurai
Players: Adam and Jessica
Results: Jessica, by one rice patty!

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Sunday, November 18th

The next day, we returned the game and headed back to reality. It was a great way to spend a few days doing our favorite thing. We will be going back. It was pretty awesome.

Here’s what we ended our trip with game-wise. We bought a few games while we were there too. 😉

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