Heroes of the Aturi Cluster Original Archive

I started to save this privately, but decided to go ahead with a public post so I can share it. The original archive site for Heroes of the Aturi Cluster, one of the best things ever to happen to Star Wars X-Wing from Fantasy Flight Games, has expired. The original author has collected the materials in a drop box, available at the following link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/idahlgp7j63b5rn/AADvW3D4JMnZ_IL2orWza1J1a?dl=0

The End of a Legacy

Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Wow.

We recently finished Season one of Pandemic Legacy. What a wild ride that was! As with my prior posts about this game, this will be 100% spoiler free. I appreciate the effort that many folks went to in order to allow late-comers such as myself to enjoy the game, and I want to continue that tradition. So, what can I say?

I can say that this game was one of the best experiences I have had with board gaming. We started earlier this year and played with the same group for the duration of the game. (We would have done it last year, but…you know. It was already happening.) We had also played regular Pandemic game with this couple so we already had a background in the basics. This both helped and hurt us. The first twist was…interesting. Because we were used to playing “regular” Pandemic, I think it took us a while to really understand that as the game changed we had to change our play strategies along with it. If the game starts to give you a new “thing” to do or use? You should probably start thinking about how to do or use it rather than ignore it. 🙂

Honestly I had concerns about a legacy game. Why spend money on something with a limited number of uses? I justified it by guessing that by the end of the game (and I knew going in there would be modifications to the board and so on, that’s not exactly a spoiler) we would have a unique game of Pandemic that we could continue to play. It turns out that even if that was the case, we probably would not want to. We played somewhere between the minimum and maximum number of games provided by the legacy system, and we loved every bit of it. It felt like a good book, or a movie. It starts with something familiar, and then BAM! 😯 a plot twist. Something you didn’t see coming. You might be getting comfortable with that and then another twist. In a book / movie timing is important. I thought the timing of the various challenges was excellent.

The bottom line(s):
Yes, it’s a legacy game, and when you’re finished you’re done. That’s okay. The entertainment value (dollar per hour) is well worth the investment.
If you are on the fence on whether to buy / play this game, and you are a fan of the base Pandemic game, do it! I don’t think you will regret it.

Matt Leacock and team did a fantastic job with this experience, and I look forward to playing Season 2 (and Season 0) at some point.

The Middle of a Legacy

Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Our group playing through the first season of Pandemic Legacy has been having a blast! Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this post. 🙂

If you have read anything about Pandemic Legacy then you probably already know that the game plays out in months. You get two tries to “win” a month and then you move forward, no matter what happened. We have just finished July and wow. Just. Wow. The game is amazing. I can certainly see why it stayed at the top of the Board Game Geek ratings for so long.

There are mechanisms in the game that help keep it balanced. If you lose a game, the next game you play has a little bonus. Win too often, and the game starts taking things away to make it harder. Knowing how to play regular Pandemic helps when you get started, but it doesn’t take long for the game to start throwing you curve balls. Learning how to react to those (and use the new variations to your advantage) is a huge part of the fun for us.

We lost two games for June. Both times I could look back at the game as it played out and say, “There. Right there. That move, that decision we made, that’s what lost the game for us.” Last night we played a game and this time I could say, “There. Right there. That was the move that won the game for us.” It was a nice switch.

We are just about to start August. I’ll let you know how it goes!

The Beginning of a Legacy

Pandemic Legacy Season 1
Pandemic Legacy Season 1
I have owned Pandemic Legacy for a while now. I even went so far as to remove the shrink-wrap last year, thinking that we might start playing. Spoiler alert: We didn’t.

Yesterday, we finally pulled it out and actually played it. I thought I had read all of the Legacy tweaks, but I missed an important one. At the end of our first game (we won!) I read the top card of the legacy deck, where it said to place the reminder token on the third spot on the Infection Track. Oops. I quickly looked at the back of the card and realized there was no way to retrofit the requirements into our game, so we simply reset and started over. This time we did it correctly.

I won’t say what happened in case there are others reading this that – like me – want an unspoiled experience. Let’s just say that while we still won the game (and extremely fast, I might add) the new challenge is going to make life interesting as we move forward.

Delayed Gratification

Atlantis Rising Second Edition
Atlantis Rising Second Edition
I will freely admit that I buy games faster than I play them. I don’t think I’m unique in that regard. But sometimes it pays off. How? eBay. 🙂

I purchased a copy of Atlantis Rising Second Edition a while back when it became available. I picked up the custom play mat at the same time. (I think I have previously posted that I really like custom play mats.) A few months ago I read that they were running a Kickstarter campaign for an expansion (yay!) and they had rewritten the rule book to provide clarifications and updates (boo!). To the credit of the game company, they made the revised rule book available as a PDF but also as an add-on during their campaign so that’s all good.

In the meantime the current stock of the game has sold out, and people are still wanting to buy it. What does this mean? Rising prices in the aftermarket arena…specifically eBay. A few days ago I put my still in shrink copy of the game up on eBay, and I already have a bid. The current selling price is more than enough for me to pay for the new version with the expansion! By not opening the game I was able to sell it today, and get an upgraded game with an expansion (and corrected rule book) tomorrow.

Well, not tomorrow, but in later 2021 or early 2022. I don’t think I will have played all of my other un-played games by then, so I am okay with the delay.

Forty-One Minutes To Go…

As I type this, there are only 41 minutes remaining in the current Kickstarter campaign for Everdell. By the time you read this, the campaign will no doubt be closed. I own the Collector Edition of all of the prior Everdell games (where available). It would seem that this would be a slam-dunk for me to back, right? So far, I haven’t. I am hoping that writing out my thoughts here will clarify whether I am (or am not) going to back, and why. Continue reading “Forty-One Minutes To Go…”

To Deluxe Or Not To Deluxe, Is That A Question?

Maybe the title of this post should have been, “Too Deluxe Or Not Too Deluxe?” 😀

I purchased two games recently. One cost close to $200 because I sprang for the super deluxe aka “Legendary Edition.” On the other I spent under $40, despite the existence of a $100 upgraded version. Why did I spend so much on one game and not on the other? It wasn’t because of budget. It was about consistency. Continue reading “To Deluxe Or Not To Deluxe, Is That A Question?”

Thrill of the Hunt

I love a good hunt…finding a game at a resale store that is out of print or otherwise in demand can be a nice shopping rush. 🙂 This weekend I hit a couple of Half Price Books stores that I had not been to in a while, and managed to pick up a couple of fun surprises.

Hostage Negotiator
Hostage Negotiator
The first game I found that struck my fancy was Hostage Negotiator, which I see gets a decent amount of love from the solo gamer community. I checked on Amazon and a new copy was running about $29. Half Price Books was asking $12.50 for the used copy so it felt like a good price. I picked it up.

Normally HPB tapes their boxes shut to prevent pieces from going missing. I don’t particularly like that because sometimes the tape tears the box when I remove it. Sometimes (if I have time) I will ask them to open the box in the store so I can inventory everything before I buy, but I don’t always do that. On this trip we had several different stops to make so I decided to just wait until I got home to do my inventory.

When I did open up the box after arriving home, I discovered that not only was the game complete and in great condition but it also included Abductor Pack #1, Abductor Pack #2, Abductor Pack #3, Abductor Pack #4 and the Negotiator Pack. Five mini expansions – each generally selling for around $8 on Amazon – all included in the base game box. My price? Only $12.50, and that was before my coupon. Score!

Mice & Mystics
Mice & Mystics
The next game I found was one that I really like: Mice and Mystics. I already have a copy in my collection. Despite that, when I find a game that I know I really like (for a good price) I will often pick it up. Sometimes they end up as gifts to gamer friends, or they might end up as eBay inventory, or sometimes (I did this with Terraforming Mars) I use the second copy for additional parts, like dice or miniatures or something. Amazon has this game priced at $54 right now, and I picked it up for $30. Another surprise waited for me when I got home and opened it up though…once again I had purchased a game that had an expansion already inside the box. Heart of Glorm was included! Not only that, but the previous owner had taken the time to build a foam-core insert to hold the components of both games.

I like making my own foam core inserts; it’s one of many ways this hobby entertains me. I can also appreciate it when someone else makes one, and the person who owned this game previously did a really nice job putting it together.

There were a few other games I picked up on this trip (King’s Forge, Woodlands and Dragonwood) so it was a very productive hunt.

What about you? What’s your favorite / best bargain story from your shopping adventures?

Board Game Geek Top 100 Checklist, Part 10

Here we are at the end of the year, and here I am at the end of my BGG Top 100 Games checklist! I wrote a series of posts looking at the Board Game Geek (BGG) top 100 games, checking to see if I had the game in my collection and talking a little bit about each one. Today I finish that list, covering games 10 down to 1.

For all posts in this series check for the BGG Top 100 tag. Continue reading “Board Game Geek Top 100 Checklist, Part 10”