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Monday, 21 December 2015

No Kittens Were Harmed In The Making Of This Blog

Tiny Epic Galaxies

The last IpBoG of the year. For me it was all about dice games. I'd brought Quarriors along with the Quartifacts expansion. I played a couple of games over the evening. It's basically Dominion with dice. For me that almost takes away any strategy and turns it into a bit of a luck-fest.

Betrayal at House on the HillI also brought and played Tiny Epic Galaxies. Another dice game and, although it can be a bit luck dependent, I think there's more strategy than with Quarriors. It's also a bit shorter so there's a better luck to length ratio. Or maybe I'm just feel like that because I won this game but lost both of Quarriors.

Cath brought some friends along and they played Betrayal at  House on the Hill. I think the scenario has something to do with kittens. I guess some kind of scary, evil kittens. They also played Coup and Skull. No kittens were involved.

Other people played Red7, Chinatown and For Sale. Next week is Christmas and Cult is closed so we'll be skipping IpBoG for a week. See you all next year.

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Thomas Wolsey


Last week I turned up to Cult to find a Gospel band playing. Cult were kind enough to reserve some tables for us but it was too noisy for board gaming so we opted to go somewhere else. We tried Isaacs but it was pretty busy that night so ventured on to The Thomas Wolsey. Again, it was pretty busy but we didn't want to turn the night into an impromptu pub crawl so we made do and settled there for the night.

Ticket To Ride United Kingdom
I didn't stay for too long that night but I did manage to fit in a game of the United Kingdom version of Ticket To Ride. I was just ahead on the score track when the game ended and there were just the tickets to score. We revealed the tickets and  I was feeling reasonably confident. I had not only completed all my tickets but also completed more tickets than anyone else. However my confidence was misplaced as I came in last. The others played Cosmic Encounter and I'm pretty sure some other games were played in my absence.

This week we were back at Cult and things were back to normal. We started off with a couple of games of Red7 and then launched into a game of The Bloody Inn while the others played Codenames. We played the longer version of The Bloody Inn and I got my highest ever score. I think this proves that Priest is an overpowered card. It's probably being removed from my copy of the game from now on.

Mai-StarAfterwards we played Mai-Star, a small card game by Seiji Kanai of Love Letter fame. This was not only the first time Alex had played it at the club but also the first time he had ever played it. The game is played over three rounds. In the first round I did pretty badly. In the second round I took a big risk on scoring one of the high value cards and failed. I was in last place. For the third round I chose to take an even bigger risk, trying to play the highest scoring card in the game. It was going to be all or nothing for me. Somehow I managed to pull it off and a smile even crept across my little face. I think the scores were something like 18, 19, 20 and 45. A pretty crazy card.

The Bloody InnWe finished off with a game and a half of Pandemic: The Cure which is pretty much Pandemic: The Dice Game. The first game didn't go too well. Not only in the sense that we did badly and lost easily but also in the sense that Alex didn't like the game. I feel how well you do on the game is dictated a lot by the characters you use so we cheated a little, hand picked our characters and tried again. We fared better this time but Cult was closing so we had to abandon mid-game.

Mike brought along the Reiner Knizia classic Samurai which made its IpBoG debut and Danny ran a game of Chinatown and I think I caught a game of Quaridor being played.

Monday, 30 November 2015

First Things First

Pop-Up Pirate

So last week I was in London for work and I went straight to Cult as soon as I got back into Ipswich. This meant no camera and, as has been established many times before, no camera means no blog. So this week there will be only a week's worth of pictures but two week's worth of words. But don't expect twice the amount of words. Words are hard.

Rum and BonesThe first week first! Alex ran a six player game of Mission Red Planet. I don't really know what happened but I imagine it was pretty chaotic. Afterwards he ran a six player game of Shadow Hunters. Again, no idea what happened.

I finally got round to playing Mexica. It was a game of bridge stealing. Dan said that it's had a different feel every time he's played it. Philip won.

Afterwards we played Biblios which I won by beating Philip twice on ties, taking the dice. I felt a bit mean because he ended up with no dice and dice are points. But I didn't feel that mean because, of course, it's just a game and therefore doesn't matter at all.

PatronizeThe second week! I brought along Kingdom Builder. Kingdom Builder has three randomly assigned ways of scoring. After we'd scored the second I was way ahead of everyone but I'd neglected the third. Everyone caught up and Jill took the lead. Afterwards we played For Sale and I managed to win that one.

Tim brought along Rum and Bones. He won it in some kind of Frostgrave tournament which is probably some kind of war game or something. I hear Tim does that kind of thing on the side. And I guess he's okay at it because he got some kind of prize. Anyway, I didn't get to play the game but from what I understand it's mostly a two player game but you can play it as two teams of two which is what happened. And although it works, the guys said it's mostly like a two player game.

Code NamesAlex had brought along a new game called Patronize. It's a new one by AGE set in the world of Love Letter. And from the picture I took it looks as if it has cubes and cards. That's all I know about it. Alex's table also played For Sale.

After this the few stragglers that were left over finished the night with Codenames. My team did terribly. Phillip claims we didn't win a single round. I think we may have won one. But yeah, we did pretty terribly.

Oh, also someone brought Pop-Up Pirate. That someone was Danny.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Elasund in the Room

Tragedy Looper

So I have no idea what games people that went played this week. At least Bang, Lost Legacy, Codenames and, I think, The Resistance. Although almost definitely lots more.

So I finally got round to playing Tragedy Looper. I dunno if it's just me being dumb but I found the rules pretty confusing. About half way through I got the hang of it. Basically if the mastermind doesn't manage to kill someone in a loop we win. At least for the scenario we were playing.  The game is pretty much 90 percent deduction and 10 percent luck. Luck must have been on our side because we managed to deduce who the killers were and guarantee a success, moving everyone away from them. It was a strange game of confusion and cross referencing. I'd probably enjoy it more the second time now I actually get what's going on.

Elasund: The First City
Afterwards I played Elasund: The First City. If my board game history is correct, when the guy that made Catan first made Catan it was a much more complicated game but the publishers made his simplify it. Elasund is kinda all the stuff that he took out. And it feels like Catan for sure. Again there's dice rolling and if a 7 comes up bad stuff happens. But instead of placing roads and buildings you're placing walls and, urm, buildings. We let Dan get a big lead and tried in vain to stop him all too late. He hit the victory condition when everyone else was about half way there. More board gaming nonsense next week!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Deadly Assassins


The game making its IpBoG debut this week was Hey, That's My Fish! A deceptively cute game where you're penguins trying to get the most fish. But whilst also drowning your opponent's penguins. It turns out penguins are nature's assassins.

Libertalia made its return to IpBoG, a game that I claim is like Citadels although Alex disagrees. I got off to a strong lead in the first week, and did pretty well in the second. Dan did much better than me in the final round but didn't manage to take the lead. For some reason I enjoyed this game a lot more this time round than the previous time.

Afterwards we played some Race For The Galaxy. Dan found the game familiar but couldn't remember playing it before. At least that's what he claims, maybe he was just hustling us because he won the game with ease. 

Betrayal at House on the Hill
After that we played a quick game of For Sale which is fast becoming a firm IpBoG favourite. On other tables there were games of Betrayal at House on the Hill, Splendor and Spyfall.

I finished off the night with Codenames and I think we finally got the game. Previously I think most people had felt pretty indifferent about it but at the same time felt there was potential. This was my third play of it and it really clicked this time. The spy masters seemed much better at thinking up clues that could apply to three or four words which is really what the game is about. It shines when there are multiple possibilities and you have to try and work out which are the ones that you should be choosing. Although in one of our games the first word guessed for the first clue was the assassin card, losing the round for that team.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Board Games

Mission: Red Planet

Board games! You want 'em? We've got 'em. You want to play 'em? Well, come along on Monday night and then you can play them too! Right, enough question and exclamation marks and on with the blog.

Race For The Galaxy
Most weeks there's a board game debut and this week was no different, Race For The Galaxy made its IpBoG debut. Tim said he owned the game but had never figured out how to play it. The rule book can be a bit daunting so I offered to teach it to him. It's quite quick once you get the hang of it so we played a couple of games.

After playing Mexica last week Dan rushed out and bought himself a copy and brought that along to play this week. Now there are even less copies of this rare version of the game in the UK, with well over 1% of them belonging to IpBoG members. That seemed a lot more impressive in my head before I wrote it down. 

The Bloody Inn
After that Dan played Mission Red Planet which he won and I played The Bloody Inn which I won. Another table played Eight Minute Empire: Legends, Love Letter and Citadels.

Towards the end of the night I thought I'd give Codenames another try. I can see its potential but we seem to have problems finding links between words. No one wants to give a clue for a single word but that seems to be what happens a lot of the time. Basically it seems a little hit or miss, if you can find a good link it's a fun game, if you can't then it's very lackluster. Maybe we're just no good at it.

Monday, 26 October 2015

MCM Haul


Danny returned from MCM London this week with a bunch of new games. Eight Minute Empire, Time Stories and  Codenames. I don't think Time Stories got a play but Eight Minute Empire certainly did.

CodenamesEver since GenCon this year people have been going crazy about Codenames. To me it sounded kinda like an average word association game. But people had been saying that's exactly how they felt until they played it. So I played it. It played exactly how I expected, an average word association game. I ditched out after a single round but others kept on playing. I'll probably give it another go at some point, I can't make a real judgement at this point. I still think Spyfall is the king of party games. Especially spy related party games.

Alex finally got to play Takenoko but Gemma beat us all by miles. I played The Bloody Inn and No Thanks along with a couple of games of For Sale.

Mike came armed with Mexica, a reprint of a classic Kramer and Kiesling game. One of Mike's friend has started a company reprinting classic Euro games and this is their first release. To be honest, they've pretty much nailed it. It looks amazing and the components are second to none. It's a pretty rare pressing though with something like only 144 copies being brought to the UK. Apparently there's a lot of screwing people over in the game. Dan must be ruining some friendships because he won, beating Phillip by a single point.

I also saw games of Keyflower, One Night Revolution and Seven Dragons being played.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Language Independent

For Sale

When I arrived some people were playing Smash Up. I think this was probably its IpBoG debut. I scurried off to find a table and play an evening of fillers.

Founders of the EmpireI started off this week with The Bloody Inn, a game I'd recently picked up at Essen. At Essen I also picked up the new French version of For Sale from Iello. The updated artwork is pretty great and it's language independent for the most part. There are some French words on the cheques but I'm pretty sure that these are just the word versions of the numbers so that's probably not required, right? We played three games in a row. Alex won all three.

The new game for me was Founders of the Empire, a tile laying game that Alex had recently purchased. It looks like it's maybe Russian because I don't recognise some of the letters on the box but for the most part it's pretty language independent. I think the words on the box are just the title of the game so that's probably not required, right? Dan won. Afterwards I realised that if I'd have used my tokens properly I could have probably won. Or at least drawn. Sometimes I suck at board games.

The Manhattan ProjectStart as you mean to go on, that's a rule I pretty much live my life by and, as such (ignoring the part in the middle where we played other games), we finished off the night with another game of The Bloody Inn.

As usual other people played other games but, as usual, I don't know much about that. Danny played Chinatown again. Tragedy Looper seems to have fallen out of favour for now. I also saw games of The Manhattan Project and Forbidden Desert being played. Or maybe Forbidden Island, I can't tell the difference. Forbidden something, anyway.

Monday, 12 October 2015

All The Debuts

The Bloody Inn

It's been a while since the last post but fear not, IpBoG is still alive and well. Except for one week where we abandoned Cult due to the overwhelming number of freshers. Cult is sort of the unofficial (i.e. ex) student union bar. I'm going to blame the lack of updates in part due to Essen. Allegedly I had some sort of preparation I had to do for it. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mission: Red PlanetI'll start with this week as it's the freshest in my memory. It was a week of firsts whith a bunch of games making their IpBoG debut. I came armed with one of my purchases from Essen, The Bloody Inn. A card game with a bunch of interesting mechanics that work together well, an interesting theme and great art work. I predict this is going to be one of the big hits from the Essen releases along with 7 Wonders: Dual (which, although I did mange to play a demo, sold out in English before I could get my hands on a copy).

I also played Mission: Red Planet, a game that Alex finally managed to get hold of after Amazon had been messing him about with his pre-order. I think Mike had the same experience but gave up altogether in the end. It was a pretty fun action selection, area control game. I did terribly. Like really terribly. It was embarrassing.

Chaos In The Old WorldMike brought Chaos in the Old World and Danny played a game or two of Chinatown.

The chances of me remembering even half the games that have been played over the previous couple of weeks is incredibly slim but here goes. Luckily I have a small amount of photographic evidence to help jog my memory.

I played a couple of games of Takenoko. The first of which I forgot half the rules and it didn't really work properly. Mike played a couple of games of Cosmic Encounter. The first of which he won in the second round or something and it didn't really work properly.

Blood Rage
Mike's Kickstarter copy of Blood Rage came through the post on Monday morning and he brought it straight to IpBoG that night. King of New York made it's IpBoG debut. The general consensus was that it was very slightly better than King of Tokyo.

Eminent Domain made its IpBoG debut. People also played Pandemic, The Resistance, Love Letter, Hanabi, Dobble and Fluxx. I've probably missed a bunch of games but I'll do my best to get back into updating the blog weekly as my life gets less hectic and I can concentrate on the important things in life. Like pushing wooden cubes round a sheet of cardboard.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Back at Cult


With the water issues fixed we were back at Cult this week. We're slowly migrating to the other side of the bar where the lighting tends to be better. We're also more toilet adjacent. If that's a good thing or not I've yet to decide.

The ResistanceWhen Mike brings a game it's usually one of two things, some sort of stock market manipulation game or a "Sid Sackson classic", As far as I can tell Compounded is neither of these things. If anything it's a bit of a push your luck, trading game.

I was play-testing The Five Families some more, trying out some slight rules variations. This will probably be much of what I end up doing for the next few weeks. The new tweaks were for the worst but that's sometimes how it goes. Dan won, but I'm blaming that on the rules.

I finished up the night with a couple of games of Sushi Go. Dan won both, I guess I can't blame that on the rules. Except we did forget to reverse the turn order for each round so yeah, I'm blaming the rules again!

ChinatownPandemic got played. I think with an expansion. Probably On The Brink. I think it was a pretty easy win and the viruses were easily eradicated.

There was also a bit of Citadels and a couple of games of Love Letter going on.

Danny has brought Chinatown to Cult before but I'm not sure I've ever seen it played before. I'm not even certain they got through a whole game. When I left for home they were still less than half way through. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Pump & Grind


Due to some sort of water supply problems Cult was unexpectedly closed this week. Instead we arranged an last minute change of venue to the very accommodating Pump & Grind. A fair few IpBoG regulars heard about the venue change one way or another and the night continued as normal.

Dead Of WinterI'd brought along my game prototype that has the working title of The Five Families. Play-testing went down pretty well and feedback was mostly positive although Dan was understandable angry that he'd spent his time playing a game that there is no Boardgamegeek entry for so he was unable to log his play. Expect more play-testing over the next few weeks though.

Afterwards I played Biblios. It finished in a tie with everyone on the same amount of points however Alex had the most money winning him the tiebreak and the game.

BibliosJoanne had brought along her favorite game but she'd lost the box a long time ago and didn't know the title of it. It has something to do with numbers, that's all I know. I guess there was no Boardgamegeek logging of plays for this game either. Afterwards King of Tokyo got played. Johnny got eliminated pretty early on and the game took an unusually long time. Justine emerged victorious. This was followed up by a few games of Dobble.

Another group was playing Dead of Winter. The main objective was completed as were all the personal goals of the good players. Only the traitor didn't manage to complete their objective.

I'm sure by next week the water issue will be fixed and we'll be back at Cult as usual.

Rock, Paper, Scissors on Steroids


This week was a bank holiday. As I say every bank holiday, bank holidays are weird. I think we managed 15 people.

I Hate Zombies
I started off with Mike's new Kickstarter, the boardgamegeek published mini game I Hate Zombies. It's a pretty strange little rock, paper, scissors on steroids style game. I totally won at it but if I'm honest I wasn't surprised, I'm very slightly better than average at rock, paper, scissors and luckily that's all you need. I followed up with a couple of games of Lost Legacy.

The other tables played Terra Mystica (maybe with the expansion, I saw the box there at least) and Relic. I think both games took them all night, they're both pretty epic games.

Terra Mystica
I played some Liar's Dice or, as some people like to call it, Perudo. Or as I like to call it, Bad Skull And Roses because I would always prefer to be playing Skull and Roses.

Afterwards we played Kindom Builder followed by the triumphant return of Takenoko. That game hasn't appeared on a table at IpBoG since the very first meetup. As I left that night Terra Mystica and Relic were still being played, maybe I'll get there next week and they'll still be going on. But probably not.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Swapping Bodily Fluids


The rain must have kept attendance low as we dipped back below twenty this week. Never the less there were plenty of tables in use and plenty of games to choose from.

Mike brought Patchwork, a two player Ewe Rosenberg offering, and played a couple of games of that. Rebecca brought The Viking Game. At least that's what it said on the box. it's also called Hnefatafl but I wouldn't know how to pronounce it. Luckily this blog comes in textual form so I don't have to.

I started off with Abyss a game that's been getting a lot of table time recently. It was Justine's first time playing it but she managed to beat us all, finishing with 109 points, the highest I've seen anyone score.

After Abyss I played a couple of games of Biblios with Dan winning both of them. The second game was a four way tie with all players scoring four points but Dan had the most money which won him the tiebreak condition.

I finished off the night with Blueprints. We had to cut the game short and end after two rounds but Dan was so far ahead I don't think anyone could have caught up with him.

Across from us Johnny was playing Betrayal at the House on the Hill. The haunt was some sort of aliens thing where it wasn't open information who the betrayer was. It was probably Yevonne. The game ended with victory for the aliens when she swapped bodily fluids with someone. I assume in the game, not in real life. I for one welcome our new insect overlords.

A bunch of other games were played too. Skull, Among The Stars, Citadels and a probably a bunch more that I've missed.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Snap on Steroids

Ca$h 'n Gun$

It was a pretty busy at IpBoG this week with around 22 attendees. We had about five games going on at once. I started off with Ca$h 'n Gun$ but was eliminated in the first few rounds. A couple of others were eliminated just before the end of the game and Danny claimed the victory.

DobbleAfter I was taken out I joined Alex and Joe who were playing Dobble. It's a speed game, a bit like snap on steroids. Each card has eight symbols and each two cards have a single symbol in common. One of my favorite classic card games is a speed game Spit, so unsurprisingly I liked Dobble quite a lot. I was sure I was doing well at it too until it came to count up the cards and I'd come last.

Next I played Splendor. I felt I was doing pretty well but Matt just beat me to fifteen points, winning him the game.

A few weeks ago Alex brought Rattus, this week he turned up with the card game version, Rattus Cartus. After bringing Black Friday last week, Mike brought another stock market game, Hab & Gut.

EvoAfter Splendor I played Evo, a game about evolving dinosaurs which comes with actual dinosaurs. Well, not actual dinosaurs but small wooden ones. We ended with a double tie, two players had 39 points and two players had 26 points.

I finished off my night with Eminent Domain: Microcosm, a two player little microgame. I got my revenge against Matt for Splendor, beating him at this game.

Plenty of other games were played. An abstract called Quaridor, Citadels, Black Fleet, Ventura, a couple of games of King of Tokyo and more Dobble.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Black Monday

Black Friday

There were a bunch of new games at IpBoG this week including Spectre Ops although I don't think it got played. Personally I hope to get to play it myself soon. Instead Shadows Over Camelot was played, making it's IpBoG debut.

Shadows Over Camelot
I'd brought along Ca$h 'n Gun$, my own new purchase but didn't get a change to play it either. It was played by another table however and I think they had a pretty good time with it. The rules are so simple they could read them there and then and get playing in no time.

So it turns out we've been playing Abyss wrong. When exploring the depths you have to offer the card up before being able to take it yourself. We'd been playing it so that you could take it before offering it up. This time we played  with the real correct rule. It was pretty similar but had a bit of a different feel to it. Alex won by a single point. I lost hard. Everyone else scored in the 70's and I was somewhere in the 50's.

Tragedy LooperAfter Abyss I played Black Friday, a reasonably serious stock market style game with strangely cartoony animal art. When Mike was explaining it I don't think anyone understood what was going on but after a couple of turns we'd gotten the hang of it for the most part. Toward the end of the game me and Alex both invested big in the yellow stock. It didn't pay off, we did terribly. Mike won by a mile.

Danny ran a game of Tragedy Looper and was the bad guy as usual. He also lost as usual. I think maybe he's just the nice kind of bad guy and lets people win so that they have a good time playing his game. I guess we'll never know. There was also a bit of Eight Minute Empire action going on along with some Lost Legacy.

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Gabbleman

Article 27

I started off this week with Alex's new purchase, Article 27. It was a game I've seen before and, in fact, had bought for my sister as a present, buy never played myself. It's got some auction-ish mechanics and some negotiation but to me it felt like year 7 maths homework. Not entirely unpleasant, but like more of an equation to solve than a game. I would describe it as fine. A fine game. Dan won, so gets a gold star and a smiley face. Although it does actually come with an actual wooden gabble. So that's fun.

7 Wonders
My second game of the night was 7 Wonders with the Babel expansion. An expansion that not only adds a communal board that affects all players, but also a whole host of symbols that no one fully understands. In some ways it makes the game more chaotic because you can't plan for what's going to happen in the future. That was Mike's complaint anyway. But in some ways it makes it less chaotic because you know how you can effect the game and so you can plan for that. I personally like to think of it as not better or worse, just different. Isn't that how all expansions should be? I came pretty much last. Afterwards we played it again, this time without the expansion. I came first. Maybe Mike is onto something after all.

On the table across from me there was more newness. The Kickstarter titan (it got over 8 million dollars of funding) Exploding Kittens. I didn't play it or even see it myself but I did hear it described in various ways ranging from "alright" to "pretty poor". I also heard Justine won.

And although not a new game by any means, but new to IpBoG, Mike brought Armorica along. As always a bunch of other games were played; Beasty Bar, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Shadow Hunters, Biblios and Spyfall.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Six Tribes

Five Tribes

Alex had brought the new expansion for Five Tribes that, among other things, adds an extra tribe. It also adds a bunch of extra tiles, expanding the size of the playing area, and walls that can be placed between tiles to block movement. And probably some other things.

7 WondersThis week I came armed with 7 Wonders and got straight down to it. We played just the base game as it was new to some of the people. There were five of us playing and it ended up with me and Gemma tying for first place. We played our second game with Philip and Mike joining us for the full compliment of seven players. It was Philip's first ever game but he ended up winning it. Afterwards he admitted that maybe he'd made a couple of mistakes and played some cards that maybe he shouldn't have been able to. But everyone makes mistakes and it's only a board game so who cares, right? Because everyone had fun and winning is just a thing that happens after the anti-climax of adding up the scores. The others were playing Spyfall, One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Warewolf.

Afterwards 7 Wonders we played Spyfall ourselves. Has it already lost some of the appeal that it'd had last week? I'm not sure, maybe a little, but it's still very good. There were a few games where the spy got caught out straight away. For example we were on the train and by total luck within the first few turns the spy was asked if they were moving and they said no. It was immediately obvious they were the spy and the game was over. But that's not necessarily a problem, it creates a funny moment and we just start a new game.

Afterwards we played a quick game of Coup followed by a quick game of Yardmaster Express which I'd recently bought the Caboose expansion for, which, although doesn't add much, adds some well needed variation to the caboose cards that add bonus points for creating certain combinations of carriages, etc.

I left with Mike, Alex, Dan and Joe finishing up a game of Quantum.
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