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Rival Troops / New Year Sale - save 27%
« Last post by Dragon on January 05, 2023, 22:17:28 »
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/rival-troops is having a New Year Sale! Save 27% if you order Rival Troops through them now! (Sale ends Jan 15th)
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Table-top Games / Agricola
« Last post by Dragon on November 27, 2022, 18:15:55 »
Agricola is a challenging worker placement game where players have to build up their farm by adding to their house, plowing fields, growing crops, building pastures and getting animals. Players also have to manage their workers to bring enough food home for harvest time in order to feed their family, otherwise they will take Begging cards as penalties, which give negative points. The most well balanced farms are considered the best, so if you are lacking any of the main elements from your farm, or have unused spaces on your land at the end of the game, you'll take negative points for those also.

Isaac has mentioned that this is currently his favorite game, although we've only gotten it out once this year, but it was on his birthday.

Beth has been doing the best when playing Agricola in the past few years, winning the last 4 games that we've played. On Isaac's birthday it was no exception. I did terrible, picking up 2 Begging cards during the first harvest.  Final score: Beth: 38, Isaac: 29, Nathaniel: 23.

I do also want to note here that over the years that I've owned and played Agricola, I've thought for a long time that as long as you had a Fireplace or Cooking Hearth that you were able to use them to cook animals any time you wanted or needed to because the cards literally say "At any time, you may convert goods to Food as follows..." with the only specifications being the number of food tokens that you'd gain for each animal or vegetable. Even in the rulebook, the section about Harvest Phase 2: Feeding the family doesn't mention any limitation about cooking the animals during that time, although we do know that the pair of animals need to exist after the Feeding phase in order to give birth to the new animals. However, after playing Agricola on BoardGameArena and being blocked from cooking my extra animals during the Harvest phase, I submitted a Bug Report to the developers on that site. Eventually, although it was not a straight forward explanation (at one point I was bluntly told that it was in the rules without any specific example where even though I provided counter statements along with section titles and page numbers for reference), I came to understand that the exception about using the Fireplace and Cooking Hearths is in the section labeled "Harvest Phase 3: Breeding" which says "Baby animals and parent animals may not be converted into Food immediately after the birth (for example, if you only have room for two animals of that type); they simply run away if they cannot be accommodated." So that's new to me.
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Table-top Games / Onitama
« Last post by Dragon on November 27, 2022, 17:40:00 »
Onitama is a game that is easy to learn but difficult to master, played on a 5x5 grid with 5 pieces for each of the two players. Each player has a Master, which starts on their own Temple space, along with 4 Students. The goal of the game is to either eliminate your opponent's Master, or alternatively to move your Master into your opponent's Temple. The thing that really makes this game interesting though is that the moves that you are allowed to make with your pieces change each turn based on which cards you have. At the beginning of the game, 5 cards are randomly dealt out of a deck of 16 cards, 2 to each player and one in the middle. Some cards allow you to move forward, others to the side or even backwards. Some cards allow spaces to be jumped, but most only allow a piece to move one space from their current position. When you use a card to make your move, you give up that card to the center and your opponent will pick up that card at the end of their turn. This means that when you are planning out your attack, you have to consider what cards your opponent has, how they will fit with what you're giving up, and how your replacement card from the center will help or hinder you in future moves.

The game can be finished in approximately 15 minutes, but some games can go quite quickly and others can be much slower.

Today, I got the game out to play against my brother, Tim. We started off doing the usual, this-for-that, giving up the first couple Students, but eventually he got into some better positions and was able to take out a few of my students before I was able to get another of his. At one point I had 1 Student on the far left of the board with my Master near the center. Tim had 3 students, but I was able to take 2 of them out with my Master while maneuvering over to the right edge of the board. Tim took the chance to attack my last Student, but that gave me a clear run on the right half of the board to move toward the Temple and secure the win.
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Table-top Games / Re: No Thanks!
« Last post by Dragon on November 27, 2022, 17:24:01 »
Need more? No Thanks!

It's been a few months, but we got this game out again for Thanksgiving. It was a nice little game that we played after dinner with the family on Thanksgiving day. Isaac started the game and won. Isaac had 15, I had 20, Janai had 68, and Beth had 30 points.

Today, my brother Tim and his wife came to visit. Tim, Lina, Beth, and I played No Thanks! Tim was the winner with 18 points. I had 36, Beth had 37, and Lina had 96.
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Table-top Games / Re: The Settlers Of Catan
« Last post by Dragon on November 26, 2022, 18:04:14 »
Isaac, Beth, and I played Settlers today. Beth had both of her starting places in the middle of the island and she ended up completely controlling the center space on the board, which was a wheat space. Isaac and I went around the outside on opposite sides of the island, with Beth in the middle. Eventually I picked up the Longest Road bonus and we all hovered at 8 points for a few rounds, which seemed like a long time without advancing. The robber just kept hitting Isaac when he had lots of cards, and Beth was really locked in, while Nathaniel was not having much luck getting resources. Eventually Beth was able to move out toward the edge of the island. Nathaniel got a Road Building card and used it to get the Longest Road bonus back in a surprise grab which stopped Isaac from winning on his next turn. It was an exciting struggle. In the end, Isaac had the Largest Army and was able to take the Longest Road again from Nathaniel. Isaac also had acquired a Victory Point from the Development Cards earlier, bringing his final score to 11 points, while Beth had 8 and Nathaniel had 6.
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Table-top Games / Yahtzee
« Last post by Dragon on November 23, 2022, 22:44:34 »
I finally taught my 9-year-old how to play Yahtzee. It's such a great classic game and is good for simple math exercises and getting familiar with estimating odds. Yahtzee is a game that I used to play quite a bit as a teenager. She beat me, 197 to 156.
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Conquest Of The Empire Online / Conquest Tutorial Video
« Last post by Dragon on November 21, 2022, 20:47:51 »
I've uploaded a new video to help out people get started. I plan to include this on my instructions page, but for now, here's the link:

Conquest Turn Example

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Table-top Games / Re: Top Picks For Board Games
« Last post by Dragon on November 19, 2022, 14:35:03 »
Since I never was able to find my Deserted Island Game List on About.com, I'll just post some of my current and past favorite games.

Now that my son has gone off to college, recently, I've been playing games on BGA more than face-to-face, but I do still play board games with my wife and occasionally other guests. I still enjoy playing The Settlers Of Catan, Rival Troops, and Dominion, but also recently played Robo Rally again and I really enjoyed getting that one out.

My favorite games to play last year were: Dominion, Stone Age, and Caylus 1303.

Past favorites include: Bang!, BattleTech, Blue Moon City, Cash N Guns, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Cathedral, Condottierre, Citadels, Conquest of the Empire, Cosmic Encounter, Dominion, Doom: The Board Game (especially the Deathmatch rules), HeroQuest, HeroScape, Homeworlds (Looney Pyramids), Onitama, Pandemic, Power Grid, The Resistance, Robo Rally, Rumis, San Juan, Silver & Gold, The Settlers of Catan, Splendor, QE, Quarto, and Quoridor.
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