The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Xeno-phobia? -philia? -TooEarlyToTellia?

So I picked up the R4TG Xeno expansion and banished Alien Artifacts back to the orb from which it came. Unlike some people, (such as the distinguised gentleman E___ B___) two base sets of Race is enough for me, thanks. AA was fine, but I didn’t care for the Orb game and in any case it’s easier to disassemble the the full Arc #1, so away it goes).

So far I’ve only played one (non-Invasion) game, but it seems fine. Lots of cards, so the built in “Mix explores with your hand” will go a long way. But I’ll be pushing this at game night, so more games soon. This year marks (for me, I think) the 10th anniversary of Race (since I played it at conventions); I’m glad to see a new expansion.

One problem is that I stuff the game in the (smaller) expansion box (to make sure which version I grabbed, since the first arc is in the main box) but that means that I don’t have the cheat sheets, which don’t fold and are too big for the box. But I suspect I’ll have non-new players for the most part.

I didn’t pick up the new Eclipse expansion, because I’m in no rush and also: I worry about adding yet more stuff to it (even thought it’s modular) will push it over the brink. Yes, it’s a varietal expansion, but Eclipse games pretty much “throw everything in.”

I’ll pick it up eventually, though. I’m still hoping Eclipse is one of the Fifty by Fifty.


Written by taogaming

January 14, 2016 at 11:10 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Kim and I knocked out 5 games of Xeno Invasion (expert 2p with the invasion rules) the last couple nights, and we enjoyed it but didn’t love it, There is definitely some quirkiness to the 2-player version that you need to get your head around. Unlike AA (which we really liked 2p and enjoyed at 3p, but wouldn’t want to play 4 or 5), my instinct is saying you want as many as possible (4 or even 5?) for XI.

    I did pick up the Eclipse expansion, even though I don’t play it that much anymore. I usually do play only a couple modules at a time, but we play pretty infrequently now. The new expansion actually makes it a little more difficult to play “all in”, since there is a recommended cap on the number of special technology chits and some of the new races tie into the tech chits. All in does seem like it would be kinda nuts. But the modules look cool.

    Chris Farrell

    January 15, 2016 at 2:09 am

  2. My latest “rockets” (games in my H-index list with recent first plays) are Star Realms (52 plays, first play 2014-08-27), The City (93 plays, 2011-12-12), and 1846 (156 plays, 2010-05-15). I could add Roll for the Galaxy, which I’ve played 78 times, but my first play was way back in April 2010 as a prototype.

    Eric Brosius

    January 15, 2016 at 8:37 am

    • I did play Star Realms 20 times last year, but all like in a month. I may throw it back into the bag.


      January 15, 2016 at 9:32 am

    • My latest “rockets” games: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords (32 plays, first play June 2014), Maquis (22 plays, first play December 2013), Cheese Chasers (16 plays, first play December 2012). PACG is a game that we play at home, and it also gets requested frequently at group game nights. The other two are short solo print-and-play games that travel well.


      January 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

  3. My copy arrives Tuesday. I plan to do the same with the AA expansion as you did.

    Your 50-by-50 list made me curious. I’m pretty sure I accomplished it. So far, I have come up with 57 games I’ve played 50 or more times; most of them many times more than that. Most are card games (big surprise) or short fillers (e.g. Finito). There are a few judgment calls (as your 18xx one). For example are Grass and Mille Bourne different games, and does the latter count? Bridgette is definitely a different game from Bridge, but is Bughouse different from Chess?


    January 15, 2016 at 7:16 pm

  4. Bughouse is different from Chess in my opinion. Among other reasons, the two games take different numbers of players, at least the way we played it.

    Eric Brosius

    January 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    • Ooh. Bughouse. I definitely have 50 of those. I had forgotten.


      January 15, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    • I guess 2 people could play Bughouse side by side on 2 boards, running 2 clocks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, though.

      Eric Brosius

      January 16, 2016 at 10:19 am

      • I’ve played Bughouse two on one before, but never one on one.


        January 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

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