GNOIF: GNOIF Is Working For A Living


GNOIF #28 recap — GNOIF:  GNOIF Is Working For A Living (Industry/ Worker Placement themes)

Games That Got Played:  Biotix, Circus Flohcati, Terraforming Mars.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  We really only offered the three games. Everyone was looking forward to Terraforming Mars, so that’s what we played.

The small crowd  had fun late late late into the night. I think I wound up making finger sandwiches for the group sometime around 11pm.

In Terraforming Mars you play as a corporation that is working to make the conditions on Mars habitable for humans. Players receive cards each turn that represent actions, events, or building projects. You can do almost anything from bombarding Mars with asteroids, to building domed or underground cities, to encouraging forests or microbes or predators or pets. It seems even on Mars, people like their pets.

I like it for a lot of reasons — It scales well to different numbers of players. There are interesting decisions to make but not so many that the game bogs down. The artwork is good. The cards carry through on the theme extremely well. It’s a very highly regarded game on BoardGameGeek, and it’s easy to see why.

Thanks to everyone who played!



GNOIF #26 recap — GNOIF:  GNOIF Gets Lucky (Wealth/Luck/Asian Themes (Chinese New Year))

Games That Got Played:  Code Names (Deep Under Cover), The Dragon & Flagon, Hanabi, Incan Gold, King of Tokyo, Lost Cities Board Game, Seven Dragons, Ticket to Ride Asia, Ticket to Ride Europe.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Avalon – Resistance, Five Tribes, Get Dr. Lucky, Mottainai, Tiny Epic Kingdoms.

The crowd showed up early and stayed late. Altogether it was more than ten hours of gaming. We played a bunch of looong games with a few short games as spacers in between.

An early evening game was The Dragon & Flagon. Think D&D bar fight. People were throwing mugs, chairs, and lightning at each other. Generally silly and definitely fun.

I really enjoy King Of Tokyo. To requote from the GNOIF #24 Recap:  “I enjoy it quite a bit. Players play as big, stompy, city-wrecking monsters, and the object is to dominate Tokyo and beat up everyone else — think Gozilla vs Mothra vs Kong. It’s fast and violent, and there’s an element of “chicken” to it. Good fun.”

It’s also possible to “upgrade” your monster. I went with Poison Quills, which in the right circumstance allows for more damage dealing. My opponent on my left purchased an “Extra Head”, which she used to roll an extra die and deal out terrible carnage. She won.

Later in the evening the gaming broke into two groups — one group focused on Ticket to Ride and the other on Code Names. That’s the nice thing about offering a range of game lengths and complexities — there was something for everyone.

Thanks to those who played!


GNOIF: GNOIF’s Day Of Infamy


GNOIF #25 recap — GNOIF:  GNOIF’s Day Of Infamy (War/Water themes. (Pearl Harbor))

Games That Got Played:  Amerigo, Avalon – Resistance, Hanabi, Star Realms.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Bang!, Batt’l Kha’os, Castle Panic, Pirate Fluxx, Forbidden Island, Nuclear War, Pirate’s Cove, Small World, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Ultimate Werewolf.

Not many games got played, because GNOIF was taking place at the same time as:









I could do this all day!


GNOIF: Run For Your Life GNOIF!

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #24 recap — GNOIF:  Run For Your Life GNOIF! (Horror/zombie/vampire themes.)

Games That Got Played:  Dark Gothic, Exploding Kittens, King Of Tokyo, Mysterium, Pirates Ninjas Robots And Zombies.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Betrayal At The House On The Hill, Blood Rage, Dead Fellas, The Doom That Came To Atlantic City, Dracula, Zombie Fluxx, Get Dr. Lucky, Guillotine, Last Night On Earth, Mr. Jack Pocket, Munchkin Zombies, Mystery Of The Abbey, Ultimate Werewolf.

A year ago I used Sharpies to “paint” the Heroes from Last Night On Earth. This week I got around to the Zombies, and I touched up the Heroes a little bit:


But we didn’t play Last Night On Earth.

SeattleAuthor did an amazing job of painting the miniatures from his copy of Blood Rage.

But then we didn’t play Blood Rage either. I think maybe everyone was afraid of damaging his incredible artwork.

We did play Pirates Ninjas Robots And Zombies. It sucks. The last player can either be the King Maker or win outright. Its best quality is that it doesn’t take a long time to play. (And that’s me being nice.) For what it’s worth, the game is ranked #7,259 on BoardGameGeek. The lowest ranked game is Tic-Tac-Toe at #12,913. The lowest “real” game is Snakes and Ladders at #12,912. Go Fish is #12,902.

Mysterium was a big hit. One player is the “Ghost” who uses “vision” cards with lots of potential “meanings” or “interpretations” to help “Mediums” suss out what happened the night the Ghost was murdered. There was lots and lots of post-mortem after each game, no pun intended.

We played a few games of King Of Tokyo. I enjoy it quite a bit. Players play as big, stompy, city-wrecking monsters, and the object is to dominate Tokyo and beat up everyone else — think Gozilla vs Mothra vs Kong. It’s fast and violent, and there’s an element of “chicken” to it. Good fun.

Thanks to everyone who played!

GNOIF: It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Zepplin?!

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #23 recap — GNOIF:  It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Zepplin?! (Steampunk and Transportation themes.)

Games That Got Played:  Fluxx (Firefly), Forbidden Island, Get Dr. Lucky, Lost Cities, Rocketville, Steampunk Rally, Ticket To Ride Europe.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Catan (Starship), Galaxy Trucker, Hanabi, Infernal Contraption, Pirate’s Cove, Power Grid, RoboRally, Ticket to Ride Card Game.

Really, the theme was based around our newest game – Steampunk Rally. A brief description from BoardGameGeek:

Using a unique dice-placement mechanism, players take on the roles of famous inventors from the turn of the last century like Nikola Tesla and Marie Curie, constructing fantastical contraptions that make use of steam, heat and electricity in an attempt to win a no-holds-barred race through the Swiss alps.

Contraptions like so:


The red dice represent “heat”, the blue dice are “steam”, and the yellow dice are “electricity”. The purpose of the Contraption is to generate resources, exchange one resource for another, and to convert the end product into (fast) forward motion through the Alps. It’s probably my new favorite game and should receive a “Recommended Game” post soon. (The metal cogs don’t come with the game. Those were a gift from SeattleAuthor. They’re way more fun to look at and handle than the cardboard pieces that do come with the game.)

Fluxx was played — I won one game entirely by accident. (I was getting a beverage when I won.) Rocketville went over well with a group that was mostly new to it.

Lost Cities was played — the winner was the person who didn’t try to start four expeditions. (I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone win when attempting more than three. To quote a 2010 post:  Players must use caution — initiating an expedition has a steep price, and a “money-sink”  venture can end the chances of winning.)

Get Dr. Lucky had the usual screw-your-neighbor finish. I didn’t see who won the Ticket To Ride Europe, though it occupied a good-sized group for a couple of hours.

Next up will be the Horror/Zombie/Vampire night around Halloween. Games will include Last Night On Earth (B-movie style horror game), Zombie Fluxx, Betrayal At The House On The Hill, Bang! (A Spaghetti Western, though there’s plenty of death in that game), Guillotine (Off with their heads!), Deadfellas (undead mobsters), Ultimate Werewolf (peasants getting killed by werewolves), and a handful of others.

Thanks to everyone who played!


GNOIF: GNOIF’s Three Hour Tour

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #22 recap — GNOIF’s Three Hour Tour (Games about water, islands, and pirates.)

Games That Got Played:  Avalon – Resistance, Dominion (Seaside), Pandemic, Pirate’s Cove, Pirate Fluxx, Forbidden Island, Ultimate Werewolf.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Amerigo, Carcassonne, Forbidden Desert, Island Port.

I enjoy teaching new people Fluxx for the first time. It’s quick to learn, and players always have fun once they wrap their heads around the idea that the rules change almost every turn. It’s a goofy game, but planning still gets rewarded sometimes.

Fittingly, the forces of failure were everywhere — we managed to lose at least one game each of Forbidden Island and Pandemic. The evil team won two out of three games of Avalon. The werewolves won two out of three games of Ultimate Werewolf.

Thanks to everyone who played!

Those Poor People….

Galaxy Quest: A must-see movie if you haven’t already watched it.


In other news, we just passed 1 million sp*m, thank goodness for filters.

GNOIF Throws A Posse Together

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #21 recap — GNOIF Throws Together A Posse (A fairly random cross-section of games.)

Games That Got Played:  Dark Gothic, Forbidden Island, Letters To Santa, Seven Wonders.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Castle Panic, Poo, RoboRally, Small World, Ticket To Ride Card Game, Tiny Epic Kingdoms.

#21 — GNOIF is old enough to drink(!) Last minute invites meant that lots of people already had plans. Turnout was small, which was ok. We got in some good gameplay.

Dark Gothic is the “new thing” — it’s a deck building “colonial horror” themed game. Each player starts with a slightly different deck and a different hero ability. That adds some welcome asymmetry to a genre that can get a little static in terms of strategy. The object is for the players to sort of work together to defeat evil villains before too many “bad things” happen. There’s still one winner.. so players cooperate, but not too hard. The game is by the same studio that does Last Night On Earth, and the “photo” artwork is excellent. It’s one of my new favorites. BoardGameGeek page is here.

A few Dark Gothic cards.
A few Dark Gothic cards.

I enjoyed Seven Wonders as well. My “Recommended Game” summary is here.

Thanks to the few intrepid folks who showed, and thanks to everyone who brought awesome beer and food.

GNOIF: What GNOIF Does In The Shadows

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #20 recap — GNOIF:  What GNOIF Does In The Shadows (Death/ Horror/ Zombie/ Vampire themes.) The title is a reference to this silly (and highly recommended) vampire mockumentary.

Games That Got Played:  Bang!, Zombie Fluxx, Get Dr. Lucky, Guillotine, Ultimate Werewolf

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Betrayal At House On The Hill, Dead Fellas, Dead Money, Dracula, Last Night On Earth, Mr. Jack NY, Mystery of the Abbey, Small World.

GNOIF #20 actually fell on Halloween. That meant record attendance. It also meant more of a “party/casual” atmosphere than usual. Basically everything that got played could be considered a “light and social” game.

That meant that we didn’t play Last Night On Earth, though prior to game night we’d made a point to buy a 24-pack of Sharpies to give the figures some color.

151031 last night figures

I’d like to think the “painting” helps make the game a little more immersive — at the very least it’s definitely easier to tell the heroes apart. (Note that we could have painted them, but I’ve seen lots of stories on BoardGameGeek about how paint “bubbles over time” on the figures from this particular game.)

I played Zombie Fluxx for the first time with the Creepers. Maybe I’m an old school Fluxx curmudgeon, but I’ve never felt like Creepers add anything to the regular “Fluxx” game. I do feel like they add something to Zombie Fluxx — I think the zombie creepers make more thematic sense than the creepers the other Fluxx variations. Also, it’s fun shooting zombies, and redirecting their attention to the other players.

Thanks to everyone who played and made it a fun evening!


by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #18 Recap — GNOIF: In The Heat Of GNOIF (Popular games and Games Of The Year)

Games That Got Played:  Dominion, Fluxx, Forbidden Island, Guillotine, Lost Cities, Rocketville, Seven Wonders

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Agricola, Citadels, Forbidden Desert, Gardens of Alhambra, Power Grid

A hot evening meant that nobody felt like grinding too hard — I know at least I didn’t. The smallish crowd broke out into large games of Guillotine, Dominion, Fluxx, and Seven Wonders — relatively lightweight games that we’d mostly all played before.

We had fun with Fluxx, and the sheer amount of bloodshed in the 2nd game of Guillotine was satisfying in a morbid kind of way. (The first game of Guillotine was too short to result in a decent body count.)

As always, thanks to everyone who played!

GNOIF: The Leaning Tower Of GNOIF

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #17 Recap — The Leaning Tower Of GNOIF (Castles, Towers, and Construction themes.)

Games That Got Played:  Avalon – Resistance, Batt’l Kha’os, Cards Against Humanity, Carcassonne, Dominion, Gardens of Alhambra, Guillotine, Jamaica, Seven Wonders

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Agricola, Castle Panic, Citadels, Infernal Contraption, King of the Elves, Medina, Power Grid

Record-tying and punctual attendance meant that we had four tables going most of the night. I had to get a photo of this epic game of Seven Wonders:

042415 seven wonders

Seven Wonders saw everyone trying different strategies, but at the end only 7 points separated first place from last place.

Because of the success of Bang! we’ve purchased Ultimate Werewolf, which was played at the last GNOIF, and Avalon – Resistance, which was played at this GNOIF. They’re all excellent party games because they’re relatively quick, engage a lot of players, and are very interactive.

Fortunately we’ve hosted enough game nights that people are fairly familiar with many of the games. 20 cats is too many to herd.

Thanks to everyone who played!