02/14/2024 – Berkshire Gamers Session Report #24-07

18 for a Valentine’s Day multi-track session at the UNO Park Community Center which included 2 tables of word games and one table with games about amusement parks.

Welcome to Olivia & Dylan on their first visit.
We bid a fond farewell to Drew Davidson, who will be moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia shortly….Drew’s enthusiasm for gaming and cheery disposition will be missed by all.
Our February 21 session will honor prolific pioneering German game author, Wolfgang Kramer – both his solo designs (like Take 5/6 Nimmt, Downforce/Daytona 500/Top Race) as well as his collaborations with Michael Kiesling, (Tikal, Torres, That’s Life/Verflixxt, Savannah Park, Caldera Park, Asara) Richard Ulrich ( El Grande, Princes of Florence) and Horst Rainer Rosner (Tycoon, El Capitan). Herr Kramer is considered one of the key innovators of modern board games. He is often credited with pioneering area-control mechanics ( El Grande), action-point systems (the Mask Trilogy), and even introducing the familiar victory-point-track-going-around-the-board ( Heimlich & Co). Kramer has won the German “Spiel Des Jahres” prize a record five times. The 81 year old was the first full-time German game designer/author. Our table leaders are preparing a curated experience for your gaming enjoyment.
2/14/2024 @ UNO Park Community Center
IN: Steve & Sandy, Sean & Wendy, Ethan & Amy, Tony & Rachel, Tim, Armando, Drew, Matt, Kara, Nicole, Reimi, Chris W, Olivia & Dylan
Word Games
Fiction (led by Kara) 2023 game that combines elements of WORDLE with Mastermind.  One player is the Lie-brarian and will choose a secret word from a classic work of literature. The other players will, as a team, use logic and literacy to deduce the secret word as quickly as possible. Players have ten guesses and two ten-minute time periods to deduce the secret word, but beware! The Lie-brarian’s clues will always contain exactly one lie. The Guessers win if they figure out the word; the Lie-brarian wins if the time or number of guesses runs out.
A Little Wordy (led by Chris) 2021 two-player game where players are given a pile of letters. Players rearrange their letters until they come up with a word. Be sneaky and choose a word that your opponent won’t easily guess. Write it down, keep it a secret. Re-scramble your tiles, pass them to your opponent. The goal is to examine your opponent’s tiles and try to figure out their word using clue cards that tell you things such as: what’s the first letter, how long’s the word, or what does it rhyme with? You win by using as FEW of these clue cards as possible to figure out what word your opponent wrote down.


Letter Jam (led by Ethan) 2019 cooperative word game where players assist each other in composing meaningful words from letters around the table. The trick is holding the letter card so that it’s only visible to other players and not to you. Players each receive a set of face-down letter cards that can be arranged to form an existing word. Each turn, players simultaneously search other players’ letters to see what words they can spell out (telling the others the length of the word they can make up). The player who offers the longest word can then be chosen as the clue giver and spells out their clue by putting numbered tokens in front of the other players. Number one goes to the player whose letter comes first in the clue, number two to the second letter etc. They can always use a wild card which can be any letter, but they cannot tell others which letter it represents. At the end of the game, players can then rearrange the cards to try to form an existing word. All players then reveal their cards to see if they were successful or not. The more players who have an existing word in front of them, the bigger their collective success.
Paperback 2x (led by Armando/Ethan) 2014 game where word-building meets deck-building. Players start with a deck of letter cards and wild cards. Each hand they form words, and purchase more powerful letters based on how well their word scored. Most letters have abilities that activate when they are used in a word, such as drawing more cards or double letter score. Players buy wilds to gain victory points. Although currently out of print, a 10th anniversary edition is being released this spring.
Big Boggle/ Boggle Deluxe (led by group) the 5×5 larger 1979 version of Boggle with larger words, of course. As soon as the cubes started shaking everyone in the room knew that Boggle was being played without even looking up from their games.
BuyWord (led by Armando) 2004 Sid Sackson design that won Games Magazine’s 2005 Game of the Year award. It is a game of words with a twist, as players pay good hard cash to buy their letters and then form a word to (hopefully) sell at a profit. Payoffs depend on the quantity and the quality of the letters in the word. BuyWord mixes basic mathematics, money management, and good old-fashioned word-building in a simple, yet elegant blend that keeps every player involved in every turn until the very end.
Amusement Park Games (encores from 1/31 Polyomino Night)
Tenpenny Parks (led by Tim) 2022 game where players compete to build the best amusement park. Worker placement of actions include removing trees, building concessions and attractions, and buying more property in order to make their growing theme parks as attractive to visiting people (VP tokens) as possible. At the end of each month, rewards are given to the player with the fairground that best exemplifies certain raw emotions, and after five months the player with the most VP tokens wins. Stunning table presence.
The Grand Carnival (led by K-ban) 2020 game where players compete to create the most impressive carnival by carefully planning their carnival’s layout, building attractions, hiring staff, and managing the crowds. Each turn, players cover a number on their player board, then select an action. The covered number determines the effectiveness of their action — and won’t become available again until the next round. The 3 possible actions are:

• Place a Foundation Tile to place on your fairground.  Each tile is a 2×2 grid and is made up of construction sites and walkways. Attractions can be placed only on construction sites, whereas guests can move only on walkways.

• Build an Attraction: Select a polyomino attraction and place it on the construction sites on your fairground. The size of the attraction you can select depends on the number you cover. Larger attractions can collect more tickets (and can be worth more points), but can be difficult for guests to move around.

• Move a Guest: Select a guest token and move it along the walkways on your fairground. The distance a guest can move depends on the number you cover. If a guest moves next to an attraction, place a ticket token on that attraction. If you move enough guests, you can hire a carnival barker; barkers help guests move quickly through your carnival, but take up precious space in your fairground. Players also race to be the first to achieve group bonuses that bestow additional abilities.

After seven rounds, the game ends. Players earn points from sets of the same size attractions, sets of each size of attraction, carnival barkers, guests that move all the way through your park, and their tickets.  There is a penalty for empty construction sites. 


Other Games Played
Magic Rabbit (led by K-ban) 2020 memory game where players players will cooperate in a limited time to gather in line rabbits and hats together in an ascending order. None numbered Rabbit tiles are randomly placed face-down under randomly placed numbered Magician’s Hats. Depending on the number of players, Dove tokens are placed on some of the resulting stacks of hats and rabbits. Players have two minutes and thirty seconds to rearrange the stacks in ascending order. Each turn consists of players choosing from among 3 actions provided a stack is not blocked by a Dove token :
  • Look at a Rabbit tile in a Rabbit & Hat pile
  • Switch 2 Hats between 2 Rabbit & Hat piles
  • Switch two Rabbit & Hat tile piles in the line

At the end of their turn, players may also move a Dove token from a pile to another one. Hidden envelopes will bring some new magic trick to spice up the game difficulty. Envelopes come in 3 levels and each of them contains several game variants to achieve before opening the next one!


Oh My Goods (led by Sean) 2015 set collection chaining card game where players are European artisans during the Middle Ages who produce tools, barrels, glass windows, and many other goods. A player’s effective use of their production chains will result in earning the most victory points at game’s end.
Nine Tiles Panic (led by K-ban) 2019 twenty minute opener where each player has a set of nine double-sided town tiles. At the start of a round, three scoring cards are revealed, such as most aliens on a single road, most dogs visible, or longest road. All players then race to assemble their town in whatever pattern seems best, trying to score points for one, two, or three of the scoring cards as they wish. As soon as the first player decides that they’re done, they flip the sand timer and everyone else has 90 seconds to complete their town, then players determine who scores for which cards, with ties being broken in favor of whoever finished their 3×3 city first. Players score points based on the number of players in the game, and players track their score on a chart over multiple rounds.
Architects of the West Kingdom (led by Matt) 2018 is a worker placement game with drafting, set at the end of the Carolingian Empire, circa 850 AD. As royal architects, players compete to impress their King and maintain their noble status by constructing various landmarks throughout his newly appointed domain. Players need to collect raw materials, hire apprentices, and keep a watchful eye on their workforce. The aim of the game is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game’s end. Points are gained by constructing various buildings and advancing work on the Archbishop’s cathedral. Throughout the game, players need to make a lot of moral decisions. However, only at the game’s end will their virtue be judged. A few underhand deals here and there might not seem like much, but fall too far and you will be punished. The game ends once a set number of constructions have been completed.
French Quarter (led by Sean) 2024 roll & write  where players choose dice from the card row to take actions and travel via different methods of transportation with varying distances: walking, carriage ride, taxi, streetcar, riverboat, or just hanging out to socialize. As players travel around the city, they get to visit buildings and see performers where they stop. All these activities slowly fill up tracks that chart player’s experiences with food, culture, shopping, mysticism, and partying. You have to make tough choices between in-game bonuses and score multipliers! After eight hours of gallivanting about town, players compare their end results to see who had the most memorable night in NOLA. Sean printed out a full color graphically improved board and had it laminated to enhance the experience.

18 for a Valentine’s Day multi-track session at the UNO Park Community Center which included 2 tables of word games and one table with games about amusement parks. Welcome to Olivia & Dylan on their first visit. We bid a fond farewell to Drew Davidson, who will be moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia shortly….Drew’s enthusiasm for…

18 for a Valentine’s Day multi-track session at the UNO Park Community Center which included 2 tables of word games and one table with games about amusement parks. Welcome to Olivia & Dylan on their first visit. We bid a fond farewell to Drew Davidson, who will be moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia shortly….Drew’s enthusiasm for…

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