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Since I'm the worst at understanding how time works, I was an hour late to our game day today. But we still got two good games in - Distilled, and Ares. In Distilled, you're running a brewery. You're collecting ingredients and barrels and such, buying new recipes and trying to get points. The neat mechanic in this one, when you distill your alcohol, you shuffle the ingredients you're adding, then remove two of them at random and return them to your supply. You can never fully predict what your outcome will be. It wasn't amazing, but I still had fun. I ended up winning by a few points, despite wasting a ton of money and actions setting myself up for a path I'd never end up being able to follow. Afterwards, we played TM Ares with the expansion, and you know how I feel about that one. Ended up EXTREMELY close, with first place only three points ahead of fourth. I had a gross collection of blue cards that gave me a 9MC discount on just about everything, then a bunch of cards giving bonuses for all the Earth and Space tags I had, which was also a lot. Coming home, Jodie wanted to play more games with me, so we played Fairy Tile. This is an adorable light little game where you move characters and play more map tiles in order to complete the pages in your own fairy tale. At the end of the game, the cards you played combine and tell a unique story! It's pretty cool, but Jodie absolutely crushed me. She's a clever kid - look out for her in a couple years.

I rarely back Kickstarters for my personal use, but I love the base game so much I had to back the expansions. And buy the sleeve packs. And the board upgrades. And the promo cards. And suddenly I was at $119 for a $30 game. WORTH IT!!! This is two really good expansions to the base game, as well as a third that turns it into a co-op game. The main upgrade to the game is new Phase cards - some project cards will update the phase cards and give you better bonuses. There are now also end game victory points and milestones you can earn along the way. The reason these expansions are so great is that they don't CHANGE the game - they just add a little more to it. Just some smaller tweaks to keep the base game interesting. But the Crisis (co-op) mode... Oooh boy. I played this solo on repeat for a full day and night, then started again in the morning. You start with Mars completely terraformed, and every turn a new crisis card tells you what decreases and what new cards you need to play in order to stop the crisis from happening again. Like any good co-op game, you've got to split your actions between fixing the problems and improving yourself so you don't get buried. In all the games I've played, I won twicce (easy mode), lost a countless number of games, and put a big asterisk on one game when I completely misunderstood one vital rule. I rarely like solo games, but this one has just grabbed me and isn't letting go.

I got a few games in with the staff the other day. Since my team is so amazing, we didn't have anything to discuss during the monthly staff meeting, so we spent that time playing and learning a few new games! First up, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. That wasn't lunch, that was the game. This is a ridiculous little slapping game that won't make any sense at all through text - just come in and give it a demo. Next, Gimme That! It's a roll and write, but there's only one pencil. When you roll the pencil, you shout "Gimme that!" and take the pencil, then get back to writing. Total nonsense, but a ton of fun. Finally, the Star Wars Deckbuilding game. It's a deckbuilder. It's based on Star Wars. If I have to explain it any further, you probably wouldn't like it. There is one really clever new mechanic, where instead of using attack power to hit your opponent, you can use it to blow up their faction's cards in the center row, so your opponent can't buy them. I do love me some unique mechanics!

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