cuba libre boxFor Wednesday game night, Rob, Pete and I played Cuba Libre. I played the Revolutionary Directorate (Directorio, “Student Uprising”, Yellow). Pete was the Government (Blue), and Rob was the 26July faction (i.e. Castro/Che, Red). The Syndicate faction (Green; Organized Crime) was played by an AI. The AI system (flowchart, dice for some decisions, etc.) worked well, and we definitely had to watch out for the Syndicate. As it was, the Syndicate AI player beat me…

This was the first time play for me (and I think Rob also?) but Pete had played a couple of solo games to get the feel. He did a great job teaching us. I’ll definitely play this one again.

This is the 2nd in the COIN (“CounterInsurgent/Insurgent) series from GMT. I have “A Distant Plain“, the 3rd in the series and this play of Cuba Libre *really* makes me want to get ADP to the table!

Rating: 8/10.


Saturday I hosted my first Game Night. Unfortunately the timing was a bit off, as Euroquest was this past weekend as well, and many from my gaming group were there. But Pat and George came over and we enjoyed a game of Dead of Winter and then Nexus Ops. Sat around for a bit after Nexus Ops just chatting. The guys ended up leaving ~2AM.

I never did hear (or see) the kids, but in the morning Olivia said “Dad, last night I heard dice rolling and laughter!”. :)

Scorecard.  Point salad!  James won, I came in last.  Spread was only 10 points though
We got in a four-player game of Hyperborea last night. This was my second play; first play was last weekend vs. Dylan. I lost to Dylan, so I figured last night I’d play the faction he played (Blue). I lost again. But it was a fun time. At least Steve said he’d like to play again (and he already picked his next faction: Yellow).

The game is a twist on the deck-builder game, where here you build a collection of “cubes” of various colors. You blindly pick cubes from your collected supply out of a bag; these are used on your turn to take actions. You place cubes on either your player board, or “Advanced Tech” cards in order to do actions. You continue to do actions on your turn (any order) until you have no more you can or wish to do. You then draw 3 cubes for as prep for your next turn (so you can attempt to plan during downtime) and play moves to next player. We played a “medium” length game, where the end game is triggered when 2 of 3 possible conditions met (12 gems collected, 5 adv. tech acquired, or all your minions on the board.). I hit 12 gems first, then Steve, and Steve ended the game by acquiring 5 tech.

There is some “attack” ability in the game, but isn’t very complicated: simply use an “attack” action while in the same hex as your target. Done. Unless the target placed a fort in the hex on their previous turn – the fort soaks up one attack. But forts were rarely placed this game.

Now that I have the mechanics down, and have a better idea of strategy, my next play should end more favorably. :)

George, Dave, and I played “Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar” Wednesday night. I bought the game last week after seeing a lot of great reviews online; this was the first time any of us had played. Consensus was positive, and we all thought that a second play would be more enjoyable as we now have the mechanics/rules/possible strategies down. Initial setup/rules reading took about 30 minutes, and the game itself about 2 hours or so.

The big new mechanic of the game are the rotating gears. After each round (i.e. all players take a turn), the large central gear is rotated one notch counter-clockwise, which in turn moves all of the smaller (connected) gears one notch clockwise. Any workers on the smaller gears will move to the next “action” space. Thus, by the time your next turn comes around your workers will be a few more spaces forward from where they were placed. This mean you have to plan ahead in order to be able to perform your desired actions. I think the theme of the game holds up well (even if the big central gear is actually an Aztec round calendar, not Mayan).

The next game will go much faster. Definitely will play again, and is a keeper!


Final score: Me (49), George (41) and Dave (31).

We played a 4-player War of the Ring last night. Game was about 5 hours. I played Sauron, George played Saruman, Mike and Dave played the Free Peeps. The Free peeps won by dropped the ring into Mount Doom; but we Shadow players almost won as well, with 8 of 10 victory points. We mis-played some of the new rules/cards in the 2nd edition, but still had fun. The Fellowship basically ran all the way from just outside Rivendell to Mordor by moving 9 regions at once. Shadow hunted them all along the way, but the dice favored the Free Peeps. Precious!

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