Saturday, July 30, 2016

The board game addiction continues :)

Board gaming (and tabletop gaming) now seems to have become my main hobby. I probably meet up with friends 3-4 times a month - sometimes more - to play games, both new ones that I had never played before and old ones that I am pretty familiar with.

I had been planning to get Castles of Burgundy for a while now because it is ranked #9 on boardgamegeek. As it turns out, one of my friends has this game so I got to play it. It's very complicated but once you get the hang of it, it becomes really interesting. It does make use of dice but somehow, strategy still plays a huge part, reducing the impact of luck of the dice roll. Shockingly, despite playing Castles of Burgundy for the first time, I ended up winning. Wow!

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That same day, a couple of new friends introduced The Castles of Mad King Ludwig (what an interesting and long name for a game). This game is interesting because aside from figuring out what kind of rooms to build to maximize the points they earn, players also gets to sell their services to build rooms for the other players. You have to find the right balance between selling your services at too high a cost that prevents other players from buying rooms while making sure no one takes the rooms you want to build for yourself. I really enjoyed this game too and I was tremendously surprised that I also won this game. All four players were playing The Castles of Mad King Ludwig for the first time and the board game owner actually said that we had very good scores for first-timers.

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Another game I played for the first time this this month and won was Tokaido. This is a relatively quick and easy game and while it still requires strategy to maximize points, it isn't as intense as other games. I played it for the first time using the regular board in Ludo Cafe but when I met up with my board gaming friends, one of them actually had the Collector's Edition (kickstarter version) with its uber-cool pre-painted minis, larger board, metallic coins, and awesome cards. The Kickstarter edition kind of spoils you because after playing it, you almost don't want to play with the normal version anymore. :)

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Other games I got play for the first time were Puerto Rico, La Granja, and Above and Below. I actually placed third in all these games, but I think I forgot to claim my extra point in one round of Puerto Rico that could have given me second place. :) When I played La Granja, I was playing it for the first time with people who had all played it just days before and my score was apparently higher than the score of the winner of that first game. I guess that makes my third place finish not so bad. I also played the very popular Exploding Kittens (I won one game and lost the second game badly because I kept drawing the exploding kitten card LOL). I also got to play Concordia again. While I had played it once, we played with the wrong rules so I guess you can say I was playing it properly for the first time.

I also got to play many other games that I had played before: 7 Wonders, Istanbul, Splendor, Stone Age, and Bruges. It now seems that because I play board and tabletop games so often, I have gotten a lot better at strategizing and getting solid scores. I just did a count and it seems I won 13 of the last 25 games I played. Wow! I am pretty sure I won't be able to maintain this very high winning percentage but it's good to know that my board gaming skills have improved.

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