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FrodoTSolo

FrodoTSolo's Boardgame Adventures

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I will try to keep this thread updated with my various sessions.  Last week was a good week, 3 different groups of boardgame players AND a D&D session!

 

Last Thursday, we played Food Chain Magnate.  This game is a complete riot as you try to build a burger and/or pizza empire.  You hire and train employees who specialize in helping your business.  This was my second playthrough and the first time I was a huge bureaucratic entity which was bleeding income (you have to pay your employees) but went with the walmart discount route and sold "quality" burgers at a bargain price.  This time, I was a bit more lean and specialized into the pizza market, this was working well until another player introduced a need for a second item in the market.  I highly recommend this game for any group that likes building an empire with a screwage factor.  There is a tech tree for the employee training chart, so it is a bit like civ in that regard.  I finished a strong second place.  Then we rounded out the evening with Hearts and Red 7.  Red 7 is a light card game, mostly luck, but it is fun and quick.

Friday was the gaming club at school.  I taught them Power Grid, which they actually played the week before but ran out of time and only got through half the game.  This time the group got through the entire game, they did a great job on bidding for plants and messing with the market when possible.  They also understood the concept of blocking with city placement and maneuvering their turn order positions.

Friday night was my typical 18xx group.  We played 1817.  Normally this game is too long to get through it in an evening, but you can call the game earlier with positions figured out before the end.  This time we were blazing through the game... this was bad for me as I was playing a long game strat and my companies were not in fiscal position to purchase the trains they needed to at the correct time.  This meant I was solidly in last place.  If a couple of different things happened during this game, then I would have been in first as I had the highest number of shares, a high networth, the ability to control the board, and some great train runs.  Unfortunately, instead my companies were sitting impotent and my networth plummeted as I was forced to with-hold payments to purchase expensive trains.  A great cut-throat game as always.

Saturday was the continuing adventures of Freedo Bookends, the barbarian halfling.  Historically, Freedo is a great combat expert who continuously gets captured, eaten, warped to another plane of existence, or otherwise loses his weapons.  As such, the party has ceased their monetary support of his sword fund.  So he now runs around with scrounged weapons.  This is normally okay, until the party encountered two elementals and he was unable to contribute to the fight as he lacked magical weapons.  So Freedo become a meat shield while the party did such great things as use a wand of wonder to start a storm AFTER Freedo was locked in hand to hand combat with the scary monster.  Nothing like friendly damage.

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Sadly, only 2 gaming updates this past week...

The one group got together on Tuesday, we played Thunder Alley, which is a nascar game.  Pretty fun, and like usual, I came in dead last.  We have been keeping track of a season for everyone and we are 4 races in.  We each have 4 drivers, and so far I am doing so badly that the opponents could lose a driver and I would still be dead last in combined points.  Still, a fun game.  Then we played DC Deckbuilding.  This game is by far my strongest game with the group.  I finished first despite having a completely crap super power.  I was synergizing the crap out of my deck and it paid off nice.  Next was Las Vegas, a dice rolling game.  Like all dice games, I was a completely useless pile of goo.  I like the game a lot, but man... dice and I don't get along.  We finished with Hearts, I had a controlling lead until the last 2 hands, I ate 20+ points both times and finished second.  Before that, I even out maneuvered somebody who tried to dump the Queen on me the whole hand.

Friday we played 1817 again, every game is always different and this one was no exception.  In one stock round we opened up every possible company location (some locations are real dogs).  We shorted the hell out of everybody to generate cash flow.  One player went bankrupt and the rest of us were living on the razor's edge of annihilation.  At one time I had 140% of shares retained in a company and another 20% ownership, meaning every time it operated, it generated 160% revenue (60% coming from other player's shorts).  Major shenanigans were had by all and I am sure common shareholders were going to lose their shirt by the horrible dealings the major players were doing!  Prison time and or being shot in the street was quite possible for the CEO's this time around!!

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On Wednesday, the college club played Diplomacy.  I took a vacation day so I could play with them.  We did a variant map (1900) that I think is a much better design.  Egypt is a British colony, which forces a lot of new dynamics to the game.  Other map changes keep stalemates from happening and Switzerland is now a takeable spot which is a huge contentious spot.  The group had fun as always, and many backstabbings happened..

Saturday, friends were in for the holiday, so we got a good day of gaming in.  We played Rail Baron until a victor was decided.  Then we busted out an old stand by... Railroad Tycoon.  I tried a high loan strategy and was doing well.  Unfortunately, I could not force the ending of the game quick enough.  I ended up falling to second place.  We then finished up with some filler games:  Sushi Go, Dixit, and Machi Karo. 

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Ever have one of those days where you are destined to exist just so that others would not get last place?  This happened to me last Thursday.  We started with Hand and Foot (a Canasta variant).  I did so comically bad that the winner was twice my score.  Then we played Last Will, a game that plays like Brewster's Millions.  Your objective is to get rid of your income through elaborate parties and whatnot.  I ended with +22million, everybody else was in the negatives.

Yesterday, I took a vacation day to play an all day session of 1817.  Normally we have to call the game early if we start after work, so we were looking forward to a full day of running railways.  There were two critical moments in the game, when an unexpected purchase of 3 trains back to back meant most of our companies were running with obsolete pieces of crap.  It was a brilliant move for one player and it hurt the other three (including me).  Later on in the game, I did a beautifully timed purchase of back to back engines which completely destroyed the economy of two players and hurt the others (including me!).  Two players were on the razor's edge of destruction and coasted there way to the ending.  It was a contest between me and one other player.  The final tally... we both had over 10k dollars.  I ended with 4 less bucks.  I lost by a... .04% difference.

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I have been neglecting this thread, so a whole bunch of updates:

Played a couple of new boardgames:

Automobiles:  An unlicensed nascar game.  It is a deckbuilder with cubes from a bag instead of cards from a deck.  I prefer the cards route as you have a reference of what each thing does... IN YOUR HAND.  With the cubes, I had to look at the reference card continually to remember just what each one did.  This is no different than quarriors where you have to keep referencing the master cards.

Pandemic: Legacy.  The hyped new number one game on boardgamegeek.  I understand the hype, I think it is interesting, but I would not place it at number one.  At the core of it, I am stuck playing Pandemic another 12+ times, and frankly... after 10 times you know Pandemic in and out and like almost all co-op games, it just becomes a turn maximization game.  The flair of the everchanging board is interesting.

The 1817 group is still doing its thing.  There was a semi heated discussion that came up in response to a turn I took where I purposely did not do a purchase that another player thought I should have done (and maneuvered himself in a way to capitalize on the purchase).  I basically told him that I knew what he was doing, why would I make the purchase so he can reap what I sowed.  He thought I was being spiteful and I replied that I was a bit in that his maneuvering meant I was stuck with the purchase option ahead of him, so basically I said screw it and made him do the purchase instead.  The main thing that the other players added was that it was obvious to everyone at the table what the one player was trying to do, so given the lack of cunning, why didn't that player ask my intentions before attempting the maneuver.  If he thought he was going to be sneaky with it, then he should know that without direct confirmation from me, his move was always in question.  Ah well, drama sucks and boardgame drama REALLY sucks.

On the D&D side of things, Freedo has become part Druid.  A druid was *badly* needed in the party due to side plots and whatnot.  Since Freedo already milked out a lot of good abilities from being a barbarian for so long, I reasoned that he could multiclass to druid without much penalty.  Overall, our party has managed to do things wrong or backwards at every step of the campaign.  We basically failed multiple parts of it and other than random natural 20s rolled at key times or 1's by the GM (like when I charmed a freaking evil cloud giant) we would have been re-rolling characters.  I *almost* became a vampire thanks to some amazingly bad rolling on my part.  Our spellcaster ended up knocking out 2 of us in one attack.  I found a staff that cast wall of thorns and I hit each-other with it by accident.  Good times.  

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