Dale Yu – Report from the Gathering of Friends, Day 4 Part 2 – Monday


Well, this wasn’t a gaming day. Lots of social invitations today, and I ended up spending a lot of the day out of the gameroom.

There is a group going Letterboxing today, and I’ve never done that – and I’m not a semi-experienced letterboxer. Thanks to my brother, I even have my own letterboxing stamp. Which is a great thing because my artistic skills are nearly zero. My brother, Dave Arnott and I walked over to Canada and managed to successfully find three letterboxes.

Essentially, a letter box is a hidden cache which includes a rubber stamp and a notebook. You get online and print out a clue that will tell you how to find it. Some of the clues can be puzzle-y and some are more simple directions to find things.  Essentially, you try to find the box, but without alerting other people to the fact that a letterbox is hidden there.  All of the boxes are out in public spaces, so you don’t want the general public (Muggles) to find it as they might throw it away or something like that.

Once you find the box, you take out the stuff and you make an impression of the hidden stamp in your personal logbook.  Additionally, you put an impression of your stamp in the logbook in the letterbox.  It was a really enjoyable way to go out sightseeing and it’s something I could see doing anytime I visit a new place and have an extra couple of minutes.  Go to www.atlasquest.com for more info.


My first letterbox stamp



My personal stamp is the one on the left, in black (Bonus points if you can determine the origin of it)


While we were in Canada, we did stop for lunch at Boston Pizza.  Here is my lunch, the pepperoni and bacon Pizzaburger.  It’s essentially a hamburger calzone.


Here’s more info from the menu…



Games today thus far (as of 9pm)

  • Brugge
  • Qin
  • Something-or-other (prototype)
  • Russian Railroads
  • Cinque Terre
  • Portobello Market
  • Rampage


Russian Railroads is the game coming out from Hans im Gluck this October at Essen.  It is a railroad themed game by Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler.  Surprisingly, it’s not an 18xx game.  It’s a worker placement type game where you try to manage a series of railroad tracks to score victory points.  The different areas that you are working to improve include movement capacity via locomotives, improving your cars on the tracks (for more VPs), or technical advances which give special abilities and score extra points.  I’ve been asked not to mention specific details of the game, so sadly I really can’t write more about it.  But I am allowed to post pictures.  Our 4p game with rules took 120 minutes, and I can’t wait until this game is ready. We had an extremely tense game, and it was really neat to watch my engine build up.  I think the game is very well designed, and from talking to Moritz Brunnhofer, there is still a little bit of development left to be done – which Is part of the reason why a full description is verboten – the game might still change between now and Essen.



The main board where we place meeples to take actions



My personal board – neat fact: I won the game with 373 points. In the last round (of 8), I scored 121 points and I scored 60 points in end-game scoring.  The scoring in the game definitely accelerates towards the endgame, though I do not think that it is a snowballing mechanic. It rewards good planning!


Finally, played Rampage to close out the night… This is the upcoming and long-awaited release from Antoine Bauza and Ludovic Malblanc.  The setup takes a bit of time… you construct building by standing pieces of cardboard up using meeples as supports. But it is so worth it.  The game is a quick 20-30 minute dexterity romp!



You are a monster, and you want to eat meeples. But you have to eat a balanced diet – you want sets of the 6 different color meeples. On your turn, you get 2 actions: 1) move your monster by flicking the disc representing his feet, 2) throw a bus into a building to try to get meeples on the ground, 3) blow a building down by putting your chin on the top of your monster and really blowing the building down, and/or 4) crush a building by picking up your figure and trying to drop it on the building you are standing next to.  AFter your actions, you eat any meeples that are lying on the ground. 


There are some cards with special abilities, and they make each game a little different and give each creature something they are slightly better at doing.  Mine included the ability to eat an extra 2 meeples each turn, and at the end of the game,  I would score a bonus for eating the most green meeples.




Dan Blum trying to blow a building over.  Good thing he doesn’t have a head cold, right?



OK, as much as I want to stay and type – time to get back to playing games!

Next up, Mascarade, a likely GenCon release from REPOS/Asmodee

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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1 Response to Dale Yu – Report from the Gathering of Friends, Day 4 Part 2 – Monday

  1. James Nathan Spencer says:

    Nobody claimed the bonus points? That’s the Skyline Chili cracker!

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