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Oct 22

Last Week In Games: 10/14/13-10/20/13

This week was a fairly light week of gaming for me.  At least for face to face play that is, as I played a number of games on www.boardgamearena.com.  The IGS was back in session and the classic worker placement Caylus was on the menu!

Caylus is the epitome of a hardcore gamer’s game.  It has zero luck, no hidden information, ruthless player interaction, multiple paths to victory, flawless mechanics, and provides a great deal of re-playability for those willing to try to master this brain melting classic.  Admittedly, the theme is dry, bordering on non-existent, but if it is cold and mechanical perfection that you seek, Caylus is your game.

As Rich, Steve, and I sat down to play Caylus for this week’s IGS playoff game I felt optimistic.  Certainly they are more than worthy competition, but I had one the last two plays of Caylus in the IGS and quite a bit more experience than either of them.

The starting resource farms were late in the set up so I chose to build the wooden ones as I knew they would be in high demand the entire game and likely to earn me a number of victory points.  Almost right out of the gate Steve made a terrible mistake in action selection and it was made worse by the build Rich chose build.  Initially, I was excited about this as I hoped it would mean I only had to worry about Rich.  This was true in one way, but fatally false in another as I would only learn right at the end of the game.  Steve was in fact out of competition for the win, but this also put him out of sequence strategically with what was going on with the rest of the game.  He did as he should and continued to try to score the most points that he could and this made me fail to consider some of his motivations and how they would impact my plan.  I tried to end the game one turn before it did and I have no doubt that I would have won if it had ended.  However, he was still trying to score by building a massive prestige building and it was clear that he could prevent the game from ending.  Then on the last turn I failed to consider that he would be in competition to build in the castle which resulted in him placing there before I did and filling up the last spaces.  These miscalculations on my part probably did more harm to me than a competitive Steve would have as his moves would have been more predictable.  Damn your failure causing me to make mistakes too!!!  Either way, Rich played like the beast he is and took down the win in a hard-fought play of a great game!

  Friday night was race night with the kiddos!  We broke out Thrash-Car, which I am review for an upcoming kickstarter project, and got down to some wacky racing.  Katie played the Rednecks, Jarrett the Soccer Moms, and I played the Old Folks racing team.  Thrash-Car is a goofy family/comedy game where players take on the role of a humorous race team.  By playing good cards on themselves and negatives on the opposition the try to win a race around one of two tracks.  If you enjoy highly thematic fun games, with a serious “take that” mechanic then Thrash-Car is for you.  After a hard-fought race on the larger of the two tracks Katie led the Rednecks to victory.  Seriously, did anyone doubt the Rednecks were going to win the race?

If you are interested in learning more about Thrash-Car and its upcoming kickstarter project follow this link or click on the picture of the box.

I did not have the opportunity for a great deal of face to face play this past week but I burned things up on Board Game Arena.  The bad news is that I took on the second best player at in the year of the dragon and he showed that I am ranked lower.  Four games, and I could not take him even once.  An excellent example of just what a high level this great game can be played at by skilled players.  One day OCT…one day!

Secondly, I played quite a bit of Libertalia.  Yes, Steve Jones taught me the game just the previous weekend and I logged nine plays online during the next week.  It plays fast, is fun, and has supports a wide number of players.  I am happy to announce that I won five out of my nine games for a very respectable start to my online record.  Looks like I will being playing quite a few more games of this one, so if you are online and looking for a game just see if Dirty Hamm is on the BGA.  I’d be more than happy to play a game!

Lastly, I sadly skipped the much-anticipated board game play-test and design group meet up.  Heather and I had been running a million miles an hour between her one crazy job and my several projects and we felt like a breath of fresh air was needed.  A nice quiet dinner with my dear wife at P.F. Chang’s did a great deal to refresh both of our batteries!

In conclusion, it was a good week if a little sparse by comparison to some recent ones.  More play-testing of Legacy Wars is required and I still hope to attend the meet up group in the near future.  In addition, I do not think that online play will ever replace the joy of face to face gaming, but I do concede that it is a nice supplement for those with busy schedules and a love for gaming.  Well done Board Game Arena!  See you next week…or maybe in the arena!

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