GNOIF: New GNOIF On The Block

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #16 Recap — New GNOIF On The Block (Games that have only been played a few times at GNOIF.)

Games That Got Played —  Castle Panic, Dead Fellas, Fluxx, Forbidden Desert, Get Dr. Lucky, Run For Your Life Candyman, Star Realms, Ultimate Werewolf, We Didn’t Playtest This At All.

Games That Didn’t Get Played — Batt’l Kha’os, Carcassonne, Medina, Pirates Cove, Power Grid, Seven Wonders, Small World.

GNOIF turned sweet sixteen, and we celebrated by offering games that hadn’t been seen much in past events. Not too surprisingly, everyone gravitated to stuff that at least a few people knew how to play… and almost all the games played could be categorized as “light”. It seems starting from scratch by reading a big rulebook and then teaching is too slow when there are games that need little introduction. (I started to type “introducation”. That word doesn’t exist, but I think it should. It’s perfect for what I’m trying to describe.)

Which sort of makes it funny that the big hit of the evening was new to everyone. Ultimate Werewolf. One person went into the other room, read the (tiny) rulebook, then taught it to the group of ten players. It has some similarities to Resistance or Mafia, which helped the learning curve.

The concept is that some of the players are Werewolves, some are Villagers, and some are “special” roles such as “Seer”, the “Hunter”, or “The Village Idiot”. Each player’s role is a secret. The Werewolves try to eat the Villagers, and the Villagers try not to get eaten… there’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it. Suitable for 5 to 30 players, and best at 10-15 players, it made a good substitute for some of the other “late in the evening” games we’ve been playing, such as Bang! or The Worst Card Game Ever. It was loud, boisterous, and not too heavy on the thinking.

Bonus boy cat pic:

150124 boy cat

He’s long. That’s a dog bed.

GNOIF: What We’re Playing

by A.J. Coltrane

We’ve now hosted 15 GNOIFs. We rotate “themes” with the idea that we’ll rotate through the game closet and offer a different mix at every event.

What’s been offered to play (3 or more times offered):

Game Total Offered
Fluxx, Any 12
Mr. Jack, Pocket 9
Ticket to Ride Europe 8
Dominion 7
Mystery of the Abbey 7
Agricola 6
Bang! 6
Forbidden Island 6
Gardens of Alhambra 6
Catan, Settlers 5
Citadels 5
Gloom 5
Guillotine 5
Last Night on Earth 5
Lost Cities 5
Mr. Jack NY 5
Rocketville 5
Small World 5
Ticket to Ride Card Game 5
Betrayal House Hill 4
Cards Against Humanity 4
Dead Fellas 4
Poo 4
Black Rock City 3
Carcassonne 3
Catan, Starship 3
Dracula 3
Family Business 3
Magic The Gathering 3
Munchkin, Zombies 3

Now the more interesting bit.. What’s been played most often (3 or more times offered):

Continue reading “GNOIF: What We’re Playing”

GNOIF: The Nina, the Pinta, and the GNOIF

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF # 15 recap — The Nina, The Pinta, and the GNOIF (Colonization/Exploration themes.)

Games That Got Played — Amerigo, Bang!, Citadels, Dominion, Forbidden Island, Pirates Cove, Fluxx (Pirate), SmallWorld, Ticket to Ride Card Game, Ticket to Ride Europe

Games That Didn’t Get Played — Carcassonne, Power Grid, Lost Cities

Another early crowd and we got into a lot of games again. At this point most of the crowd has played Bang!, Fluxx, and Dominion — those games can suck up quite a few players and still be breezy and relatively fast. The other games all had significant first-time learning curves and wound up being somewhat more time intensive as a result. Overall the evening saw a good balance of Light and Serious games.

And here I’d intended to get in my fix of Power Grid…

GNOIF: Monsters, Murder, And Mayhem — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF # 14 recap — Monsters, Murder, And Mayhem (Death and Destruction themes.)

Games That Got Played — Bang!, Dead Fellas, The Doom That Came To Atlantic City, Zombie Fluxx, Get Dr. Lucky, King of Tokyo, Last Night On Earth, Mr. Jack N.Y., Mystery of the Abbey, Poo!

Games That Didn’t Get Played — Betrayal At The House On The Hill, Dead Money, Dracula, Guillotine, Mr. Jack (Pocket), Zombie Munchkin, Small World, Vampire Hunter, Zombies!!!

We played more different games than usual — 10 last night. The average is around seven. That’s partly because people were earlier arriving overall, partly because the crowd split off into smaller groups, and also because no one game dominated a big group for a big chunk of the evening. The largest games were Bang! and Fluxx, which are both games that move briskly and end quickly.

I love Last Night On Earth. We played the Die! Zombies Die! scenario. The object is to kill 15 zombies before sundown (15 turns), and unfortunately for the Heroes:

1.  The Zombie Lord knew what he was doing.

2.  The Heroes were betrayed by a lack of reliable weapons. At one point we had three Revolvers, all of which were discarded due to lack of ammo after the first (missed) shot. We had two sticks of dynamite, but no “fire”..

Despite all that, Johnny the Jock almost managed to bail the Heroes out, going on a rampage with the Chainsaw as darkness approached. He succumbed to the fever after cutting a wide swath through the undead. The Father had already martyred himself to stop the worst of the Zombie Lord’s machinations. The Zombies were victorious with time to spare, though the ending was exciting, and Johnny died an epic death.

We’ll get ’em next time. Thanks for playing all!

GNOIF: Sticks And Stones And GNOIF — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #13 Recap — Sticks And Stones And GNOIF  (Building Themes)

Games That Got Played:  Castle Panic, Catan – Starship, Citadels, Dominion, Galaxy Trucker, Gardens of Alhambra, Magic the Gathering, Rampage, Seven Wonders.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Agricola, Carcassonne, Catan – Settlers, Infernal Contraption, Power Grid, Stone Age, Ticket to Ride – Europe.

140525 gnoif

Three of the games that got “big play” were brought by guests. I especially liked the idea of Castle Panic — it’s a fairly simple board game implementation of a cooperative tower defense-style game. We narrowly won once, and narrowly lost once. I’m of the suspicion that repeated plays may show that luck is too much of a factor, but we had fun with it.

I think that Galaxy Trucker could be addictive. We’ve played it on non-GNOIF nights and I really enjoy the ship-building element to the game. Last night I was otherwise occupied with Castle Panic. Ideally I could have played both at the same time.

For a night of building themes it wound up featuring plenty of chaos and destruction. Good times!

GNOIF: Head West Young GNOIF! — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #12 Recap — Head West Young GNOIF!  (Territorial/Expansion/Western Theme)

Games That Got Played:  Bang!, Cards Against Humanity, Citadels, Star Fluxx, Forbidden Island, Gardens of Alhambra, Lost Cities, Small World, Ticket To Ride Europe.

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Black Rock City, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Fjords, Power Grid, the other Ticket to Rides.

140405 GNOIF

Record attendance! It was a very full, and at times, very loud house. It’s a good thing that we weren’t playing golf or tennis or chess or something.

I’m guessing it was noisy at times due to the games that were played:

Loud games:  Bang!, Cards Against Humanity, Star Fluxx

Medium volume games:  Forbidden Island, Citadels

Relatively Quiet games:  Gardens of Alhambra, Small World, Ticket to Ride Europe

Quiet Games:  Lost Cities

So it was the loud games making it loud. And the Jello shots.

It’s really getting to the point now that people are able to get their games going without involvement from the hosts. That was the original intent, and it’s nice to see it happening. Also, more eyes on the rulebooks means that we’re gradually eliminating incorrect play.

Fun times! Expect a Recommended Games post on Small World soon.

GNOIF: Danger! GNOIF! Danger! — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #11 recap — Danger! GNOIF! Danger!  (Danger theme.)

Games That Got Played:  Bang!, Forbidden Island, Guillotine, Poo!

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  DeadFellas, Last Night On Earth, Mystery of the Abbey, Nuclear War, Small World, Stop Thief

We got a bit of a late start due to the Seahawks game, and we’d started “celebrating” well before GNOIF commenced. The games played were mostly the simpler, faster, social-oriented games that most everyone had played at least once or twice. Coincidence? I doubt it.

One table alternated games of Poo and Forbidden Island. Table two had a couple of big games of Bang followed by a few games of Guillotine. We had vaguely more players than seats at the tables, so people swapped in and out — it left plenty of time to circulate and hit the buffet. (Like I said, it was that kind of evening.)

We wrapped it up by putting the 9v battery into the controller of Stop Thief. We didn’t play, but it gave everyone a chance to see how the game worked and attempt some arrests. Definitely some 80’s flashbacks, and by 80’s I mean 1980. There are some pictures of the controller and box now floating around on Facebook.

Photo from Ours is actually better shape -- we took care of our stuff as kids... Check out the size of the controller relative to that guys hand!
Photo from Ours is actually better shape — we took care of our stuff as kids… Check out the size of the controller relative to that guys hand!

Good times. Thanks to everyone who played.

GNOIF: Bring Out Your Dead — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #10 recap — Bring Out Your Dead (Death/ Horror/ Zombie/ Vampire themes)

It doesn't look good for the Heroes (the white figures). Don't worry, they were fine.
It doesn’t look good for the Heroes (the white figures). The zombies are closing in. Don’t worry though, the Heroes survived.

Games That Got Played:  Black Rock City, Dead Fellas, Zombie Fluxx, Last Night On Earth, Mr. Jack Pocket

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Bang!, Betrayal At House On The Hill, Dracula, Family Business, Gloom, Lost Worlds, Mr. Jack NY, Munchkin Zombies, Mystery Of The Abbey, Vampire Hunter, Zombies!!!

The big hits were Last Night On Earth and Dead Fellas. We wound up playing two games of the Last Night On Earth Escape In The Truck Scenario — the Heroes won both games despite some aggressive card cycling from the zombies. In the first game the heroes won easily by drawing two of Just What I Needed, which allowed them to pull the win conditions (Gas and the Keys) from the deck. In the second game we removed two of the four copies of Just What I Needed from play. That seemed to better balance the scenario:  The heroes won that game with only four turns to spare.

Looking around the internet, this might be a good alternate way to play the scenario (Boardgamegeek link):

Dave the Knave:

Link to my thread on where the scenario card can be downloaded FREE. This was very well received there, please enjoy!…

1) Place the truck in the center of Town. Remove all of the Gasoline cards from the Hero Deck. The Gasoline is obtained from a “Well Stocked” Gas Station that cannot be taken over. Place counters 1-6 facedown in random buildings. Roll a d6 to determine the counter that is the Truck Keys.

2) Heroes can replace their move/search roll with a d6 to look for the Truck Keys. On the roll of 1-3 Take a Hero Card. On the roll of 4+ reveal the counter.
-If Hero is killed carrying Truck Keys then their Zombie Hero must be killed to recover them.

3) To fill up the truck with gas a Hero must give up their turn in the truck and discard the Gasoline.

4) Once the Heroes attempt to start the truck, the Hero with the Truck Keys becomes “The Driver” and the”Escape Phase” begins.
-To attempt to start the Truck and begin the “Escape Phase”, the Hero with the Truck Keys must give up their turn at the truck and roll a d6 for each Hero in truck. The truck starts on the roll of 6.

5) Escape phase – The following rule changes are now in effect.
-The Driver always goes first in subsequent human turns. All the driver can do is attempt to start the truck. They cannot fight, shoot range weapons, or use special abilities. If the Driver is ever left alone with a zombie then they are immediately killed and the game is over.
-the sun tracker stops and the 4 Hero death win condition no longer applies.
-Heroes cannot leave the truck but can get on the truck.
-Heroes killed DO become Zombie Heros and Heroes DO NOT respawn.
-Fights on the truck only happen on Zombie turn.
-When Heroes win a fight they knock the zombies 1 space out of the truck (Heroes Choice).

6) Once truck is started all zombies or Zombie Heroes in the truck must be either killed or knocked off the truck by beating them in a fight. No more zombies can get onto the truck after it has started and the Zombie player can not draw new cards.
-Driver now rolls 2 dice at the start of each subsequent hero turn that the humans fail to clear the truck. If the Driver rolls doubles then the truck crashes and the escape failed.

We played four games of Dead Fellas as well. It’s quick and easily accessible, and it’s possible to have a dramatic comeback at the end of the game.

For fun, here’s a list of the games offered over the first ten GNOIFs:

Game Total Times Offered Not Played Played
Agricola 5 1 4
Bang! 2 1 1
Betrayal House Hill 3 1 2
Black Rock City 2 1 1
Caesar and Cleopatra 2 1 1
Cards Against Humanity 3 0 3
Carcassonne, Castle 1 1 0
Catan, Settlers 3 3 0
Catan, Starship 2 2 0
Citadels 2 1 1
Dead Fellas 2 1 1
Dominion 4 1 3
Dracula 2 2 0
Family Business 3 3 0
Fjords 1 1 0
Flash Duel 1 0 1
Fluxx 1 0 1
Fluxx, Eco 1 1 0
Fluxx, Pirate 1 0 1
Fluxx, Python 1 0 1
Fluxx, Star 2 0 2
Fluxx, Stoner 1 1 0
Fluxx, Zombie 2 1 1
Fluxx, Any 9 4 5
Forbidden Island 3 0 3
Gardens of Alhambra 4 2 2
Gloom 5 4 1
Guillotine 3 0 3
Hector and Achillies 1 1 0
King of the Elves 2 2 0
Last Night on Earth 3 1 2
Lost Cities 3 1 2
Lost Worlds 1 1 0
Magic The Gathering 2 0 2
Mr. Jack, Pocket 7 5 2
Mr. Jack NY 4 4 0
Munchkin 1 1 0
Munchkin, Zombies 2 2 0
Mystery of the Abbey 5 3 2
Omega Virus 1 0 1
Pirate’s Cove 2 1 1
Poo 2 1 1
Run For Your Life Candyman 1 0 1
Revolution 2 2 0
RoboRally 2 2 0
Rocketville 5 1 4
San Juan 1 1 0
Small World 1 1 0
Stone Age 1 0 1
The Worst Card Game Ever 1 1 0
Ticket to Ride Card Game 4 2 2
Ticket to Ride Europe 5 2 3
Vampire Hunter 2 2 0
Zombies!!! 1 1 0

The list is 53 games total, 124 “Total Times Offered” (in other words, we’re offering 12.4 games per night). “Played” is 53 also (a coincidence), so we’re playing an average of 5.3 different games per session.

Most played games:

5 nights played – Any Fluxx

4 nights played  – Agricola and Rocketville

3 nights played  – Cards Against Humanity, Dominion, Forbidden Island, Guillotine, Ticket To Ride Europe

GNOIF: Building A Better Tomorrow — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

GNOIF #9 recap — Building A Better Tomorrow (Building themes and Future themes)

092113 gnoif

Games That Got Played:  Agricola, Dominion, Guillotine, Rocketville, Stone Age, Ticket to Ride – Europe

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Carcassonne – The Castle, Settlers of Catan, Citadels, Eco Fluxx, Gardens of Alhambra, King of the Elves, Ticket to Ride Card Game

We’ve gotten to the point now that people show up, grab a game, and get started with little or no help from the hosts. This time that game was Rocketville, which has been played every time we’ve offered it lately. Three experienced players taught a fourth how to play. The table then transitioned over to Guillotine.

While that was going on the Dominion and Agricola games got started. Always have a *lot* of children when you play Agricola! It seems like the first player to produce offspring has a big advantage. The “breeder” won the game of Agricola handily. That table then evolved into a big game of Ticket To Ride Europe. The winner wasn’t the player with the longest train, which seems to me to be the key to victory. Not this time though.

I’ve been playing Card Hunter lately, and it’s put me in a CCG frame of mind. Dominion is a good fix with real cards and deckbuilding. I did well the first game, then got trounced in the second. I think we got in five or six games total, and they were all different despite using the same basic cards.

Good times! Thanks to everyone who played!


GNOIF: The Good, The Bad, And The GNOIF — The Recap

by A.J. Coltrane

Pirate's Cove components.
Pirate’s Cove components. Photo at BoardGameGeek.

GNOIF #8 Recap  –  The Good, The Bad, And The GNOIF (Outlaw Theme)

Games That Got Played:  Bang!, Betrayal At House On The Hill, Cards Against Humanity, Pirate Fluxx, Pirate’s Cove, Run For Your Life Candyman!, Rocketville

Games That Didn’t Get Played:  Black Rock City, Dead Fellas, Family Business, Stoner Fluxx, Gloom, Last Night On Earth, Mr. Jack Pocket, Mr. Jack NY, Mystery of the Abbey, Poo, Revolution

Playing fast and loose with the “Outlaw” theme. It was obvious that there weren’t enough cowboy and gangster themed games in the closet, so the theme expanded to include undead, politics, and feces-throwing monkeys. The turnout was excellent; it looks like it’s time to add another table.

Cards Against Humanity was a huge hit again. We played Pirate’s Cove for the first time and had a lot of fun with it. (Though I got completely screwed by the dice. My awesome pirate ship was completely crippled by a couple of bad rolls of the dice. I’m not bitter or anything.)

Bang! was a big hit too. It’s a card game where every player plays a random role in a stereotypical spaghetti western. From BoardGameGeek:

There are 22 different types of cards in the draw deck. Most common are the BANG! cards, which let you shoot at another player, assuming the target is within “range” of your current gun. The target player can play a “MISSED!” card to dodge the shot. Other cards can provide temporary boosts while in play (for example, different guns to improve your firing range) and special one-time effects to help you or hinder your opponents (such as Beer to restore health, or Barrels to hide behind during a shootout). A horse is useful for keeping your distance from unruly neighbors, while the Winchester can hit a target at range 5. The Gatling is a deadly exception where range doesn’t matter – it can only be used once, but targets all other players at the table!

Every “role” is secret except for the Sheriff’s. The Sheriff and Deputies try to shoot the Renegade and the Outlaws. The Outlaws try to take out the Sheriff. The Renegade basically tries to shoot everybody — if the Sheriff dies while any Outlaws are still alive then the Outlaws win. The issue, of course, is that nobody can really be sure who they’re supposed to be targeting. Another catch is that initially you only have enough range with your Colt .45 to shoot the person sitting next to you, but as you get better weapons you can shoot further around the table. It’s a fun, noisy game.

I also heard about some epic fights in Run For Your Life, Candyman!, though I was at the other table getting my ship blown to smithereens.

Thanks to everyone for playing!