November Daily Game Challenge: 7 Wonders Duel

This is Day 9 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

7 Wonders Duel

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I love the original 7 Wonders game and I thought I’d love 7 Wonders Duel when I played it a few years ago. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best experience.

Still, I bought a copy when it was on sale, based on its stellar reputation alone. Perhaps I’d mis-judged it during that initial play. It sat unplayed for over year, though; it seemed like I’d always find different two-player games to play with my buddies.

Thankfully, my friend Marlon re-taught the game to me and I’m glad I never got rid of my copy. It’s a fantastic game for two and deserving of its high ranking on BGG. I’ve seen the light!

Just like the original, you’re trying to build your wonders while also improving your resource production, military strength, and advance in science and technology. I liked how Duel reimplemented military as a tug-of-war, while science was now straight set collection without the funky multipliers.

Right now Akrotiri, Sun-Tzu, The Castles of Burgundy, and Baseball Highlights: 2045 are my go-to games for two players, but this one’s being dusted off and becoming a regular part of my two-player rotation.

November Daily Game Challenge: Nexus Ops

This is Day 8 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

Nexus Ops

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Got to play one of my favorite Ameritrash games today, Nexus Ops. It’s a sci-fi war game that’s been out since 2005 and I always have fun whenever it hits the table.

Fantasy Flight took over the original from Avalon Hill, but it’s been years since they’ve printed a batch. There are still some copies out there, but most don’t go cheap.

In Nexus Ops you and your opponent control factions vying for world domination. There are also secret missions that you fulfill throughout a game that score you victory points. Turns consist of deploying then moving your army into adjacent hexes. If you land on a space with an enemy, it’s time to battle. Score 10 victory points and you’re the winner.

Although an older design, there’s so much to like about Nexus Ops, from its relatively straight-forward turns to those cool miniatures. I’ve never NOT had fun playing this game. It’s a solid design and more people should be playing it.

November Daily Game Challenge: Imperial Settlers

This is Day 7 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

Imperial Settlers

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I played a two-player game of Imperial Settlers with my buddy Daryl today. It’d been a while since we played so it took us a few turns to get back into the flow of things.

Once we did, though, I remembered why I love Imperial Settlers so much. It’s an awesome tableau builder and engine builder, and it can be surprisingly think-y when you start getting your cards together. There’s even a little take-that whenever you raze an opponent’s locations, so it’s not just multi-player solitaire.

Earlier this year I played in solo league on BGG. Although my faction lost, it was a blast playing with my fellow solo gamers. The league helped me learn a lot about the game.

Today was my 10th play of Imperial Settlers this year, which meant I had completed my BGG 10×10 challenge for 2018! Woo hoo!

Here are the 10 games I played 10 times each this year:

Azul

Cities of Splendor

Dice Stars

Fear

Imperial Settlers

My Little Scythe

NMBR 9

OK Play

Sagrada

Welcome To …

November Daily Game Challenge: BONK

This is Day 6 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

BONK

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I’ve found quite a few deals in the clearance sections at Target over the years. And as Target continues to expand its board game selection it’s easier to find excellent prices on quality games.

The other night I was poking around brickseeker.com, which is where gamers go to find out what’s on sale at their nearby Targets. I stumbled upon BONK, a dexterity game from the makers of the popular KLASK. Both have a similar bar-game-for-home-use feel to them, with nice quality wood boards and plastic parts. For only $9 (list price $60!), I couldn’t resist picking it up today.

In BONK, two teams of two players each attempt to hit a wooden ball into their opponents’ goal. They do this by rolling pachinko-like balls down these plastic sides, aiming them toward the wooden ball. Since the playing surface is curved, the ball never stops rolling until it’s in somebody’s goal, so the action is non-stop. First to five goals wins.

My wife and I played a quick game and while it worked with two, it’s definitely going to be a better experience with four players. And I’m already planning on bringing it to our holiday parties.

November Daily Game Challenge: Tiny Epic Galaxies

This is Day 5 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

Tiny Epic Galaxies

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It’s no secret how much I love the Tiny Epic series of games. I’ve raved about them here, here, and here.

Tiny Epic Galaxies is the game that got me hooked on the Tiny Epic games. It’s got dice chucking and set collection wrapped up in a sci-fi theme: three of my favorite things.

But wait, there’s more!

Since Galaxies was published, all of the Tiny Epic games come with solo rules, which makes it easy to take these portable games anywhere to get your board game fix. Tonight I needed a quick game to unwind and 20 minutes of Tiny Epic Galaxies was just what the doctor ordered. I defeated the medium-level Rogue Galaxy, Zendica, and now I’m ready for bed.

November Daily Game Challenge: Scythe

This is Day 4 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

Scythe

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Scythe is a game that I absolutely love. The jaw-dropping artwork, the stellar components, the solid gameplay: it’s everything I want in a board game. It’s more Eurogame than Ameritrash, which I tend to enjoy more these days. I’ve played it a handful of times and always love it.

Confession time: it’s Sunday night and I didn’t actually play Scythe today. I ended up working today and then my wife and I had to take care of some business in Los Angeles when I got a notification from a Facebook board game sell/trade group: there was a used copy of Scythe for sale about a half hour from where we were in L.A.

Scythe is one of my favorite games ever and for some reason I never picked up my own copy. I always meant to, but … well, you know how it goes.

Anyways, after dinner tonight, my wife and I took a detour back from L.A. and I now have my very own Scythe. I can’t wait to play the solo game and blog about it.

November Daily Game Challenge: No-Limit Hold Em Poker

This is Day 3 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

No-Limit Hold Em Poker

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No board games today; instead, I went back to my roots and played a few hours of no-limit hold em poker.

Today was our annual fantasy basketball draft, which meant a day of drafting our fantasy teams, eating way too much, having a few drinks, watching the UFC fights, and playing some poker.

Years ago this was my idea of game night: poker played until the wee hours of the morning, with lots of laughs, bluffs, and action on the felt. I’ve had a few regular poker games fizzle out due to life happening: work, marriages, children, etc., so it was nice to get some of my old buddies together for a game.

In the words of Ice Cube, today was a good day.

November Daily Game Challenge: Megaland, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War

This is Day 2 of my Game-and-Blog-Every-Day-in-November Challenge. Search my blog for “Daily Game Challenge” for previous entries.

I hung out with my niece today. She’s in elementary school and we have two things in common: we love to eat out and we love to play games.

Megaland

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I picked this up as one of Target’s Buy-Two-Get-One-Free sale and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Renowned game designer/illustrator Ryan Lauket has created an ultra-light, push-your-luck family game that’s a lot of fun and wraps up in about 20 minutes. You and your opponents play as characters trying to build up their hometowns by adventuring to the treasure-filled Megaland. Each turn you gain treasures, but you can go further to get more, which enables you to buy bigger and better buildings or increase your health. The production is top-notch: there’s an included Game Trayz insert, a set of Above and Below promo cards, and the wonderful Lauket artwork.

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger

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Since the Choose Your Own Adventure series was before my niece’s time, I explained to her how her daddy and uncles used to read the books all the time when we were her age. The board game version captures the spirit of the books and this one had a spooky theme to it (no spoilers in the post above, obviously). It’s really a solo game, but we had fun taking turns reading the text and trying to finish the challenges. We finished chapter one of House of Danger after dying a few times, which made us laugh out loud every time. It was great hearing her ask if we could finish all five chapters and I promised her we would next time.

Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War

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I knew my niece like the Avengers movies and she REALLY got into this game. Thanos crushed us in about 20 minutes and she immediately called for a rematch … but not before she jumped online and found a 10-hour loop of the Avengers theme song. Oh, these kids and their technology. LOL

With that song blaring into our ears, we managed to defeat Thanos in about an hour. This was another game I wasn’t expecting much from, but I’ve enjoyed it and it’s nice to see USAopoly produce a quality game for Marvel; something that’s not just a slapped-together money grab, but a game that even hobby gamers will appreciate.

When we defeated the last bad guy, my niece and I gave each other a coupla high-fives. She loved being Doctor Strange and focused on getting her color-coordinated heroes on her team. I’m glad that she’s able to enjoy more “adult” games now, especially one that she was so fired up to play. I gave her the game so hopefully we’ll be able to take down Thanos on my next visit. Even if we have to listen to that theme song for another hour straight.

November Daily Game Challenge: Mint Works and NMBR9

I didn’t get to play as many games as I wanted to last month, so I decided to do another game-and-blog-every-day-for-a-month challenge. I’ve done this before, back in August 2016 and May 2017.

Tonight I started off with two quick solo games.

Mint Works

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I appreciate how streamlined Mint Works is; not just its minimal components, but its stripped-down worker placement mechanism. Place a mint on one of the action cards, take that action, then your opponent does the same (four different AI opponents for the solitaire variant). You’re in a race to get to seven points by converting your mints into plans, then turning them into point-scoring buildings in your neighborhood. Four-player games take about 15 minutes and I can knock out a solo play in less than five minutes. The AI opponents are no joke; they have different styles of play and provide a good challenge.

NMBR9

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NMBR9 is an excellent game no matter what the player count. At my local game night we’ve combined two sets in order to accommodate up to eight players. The solo game can be played in about five minutes once you get the rules down. Place number tiles adjacent to previous tiles, then slowly build on higher levels to score more points. The tricky part is making sure you don’t have too many empty spaces since pieces must be supported by at least two previously placed numbers. This is one of my favorite puzzle-style games and is always a hit with new and veteran gamers alike.

Inside Vs Outside Voice

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My wife and I went to the Eat Play Move event in Los Angeles yesterday. It’s the second time they’ve held it and, frankly, we weren’t fans of last year’s event. Not only was it crowded, but the poorly organized entry point at the Eagle Rock Plaza and the nightmare parking exit made for a less-than-stellar first impression.

We loved the idea behind the event, since it celebrates the Filipino and Filipino-American culture, through food (our favorite, of course), play, and exercise, all wrapped up in the L.A. vibe. Although we were worried about another unorganized mess, we wanted to support Eat Play Move because we believe in its mission.

This year, they changed locations and took over a few streets near Boomtown Brewery in the Arts District. We paid $10 for early entry, which was a godsend since the early start allowed us to enjoy ourselves without having to wait hours in line for food.

We also avoided the afternoon heat, getting up early after a late night watching the Dodgers beat the Red Sox in the longest World Series game ever (18 innings).

As we munched on some terrific oysters and mussels, a local news program came up to me to chat.

Interviewer: “Tell us about Eat Play Move.”

Me (inside voice): “With our current political climate, it’s important to have events like these that celebrate the diversity of our communities. Look around you; there are people from all walks of life enjoying Filipino and Filipino-inspired food, music, and culture. There are no walls separating us here. It’s all about love and community and fellowship. We’re not worried about the divisiveness of our current administration. Here, we share food and stories with our neighbors as well as strangers.”

Me (outside voice): “GO DODGERS!!!”

Note to self: Work on ad-libbing skills.

Epilogue: The Dodgers lost a second straight World Series at home. My time on camera is not gonna age well.