mikekn: (Gaming)
Hey look! I started a post after Origins and then never finished it. Well, here it is about a month later...

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mikekn: (Gaming)
Saturday at last. By this point the con was in full swing. Day trippers were there, as well as all the folks spending the weekend. I missed both auctions (probably a good thing), and skipped all the stuff I had originally planned for today (all free fortunately). Board games ruled the day.

Day 4
7 Wonders I sat down with two people who had played once; by the time we were ready to go we had a full 7 (3 new, 3 played once, and me). Good game, but my neighbors had really poor resources, so I was limited in what I could do (yeah, that's it....)

Glen More One from my to play list. This is a tile placement game with a Thebes like turn order (want that nice tile further up the track? Go for it, it just won't be your turn again until all the tiles between you and it are dealt with). I played with the couple from the Chinatown game. He knew the game, so taught his wife and I. This time I also gave his wife suggestions for good plays, so at least what she ended up playing was more balanced between helping him, her and me :) Good game, keeping on my to consider list.

Tobago A treasure hunting game that I enjoyed a good deal. Players search for treasure by playing cards which reduce the possible spaces for the booty. If your card doesn't reduce the possible spots, or would eliminate all possible spots, then you can't play it. Each card you play gives you a share of that treasure. The person who actually drives over and picks up the treasure also gets a share. The shares are have different values and some of them are curses (which prevents anyone from getting anything else from that spot). Fun deduction game, not too heavy nor too light.

Fresco Played another game of Fresco, this time with none of the expansions (we had extra colors we could mix in the first game). Me and another guy, who has also played once, taught it to two new people. Throughout the game we kept finding rules that we were taught differently (with a mix of whose version was actually correct).

Fealty Played a second game of Fealty. I recalled most of the rules, but not all of them. Still did ok :)

F├╝rstenfeld From the creator of Power Grid. This game has players cultivating their lands to provide hops, barley and spring water to the local breweries. You have six spaces to work with, and can upgrade your fields to produce more goods, or build building it improve income, reduce costs, and several other things. To win the game you must build a palace which when done will take up all six of your spaces. Once a palace part has been built, that space is no longer available for anything else. The good market is also interesting which prices rising and falling as supply and demand change (well, mostly supply changes - demand seems to be a constant).

Carcassonne The tournament finals - there were three preliminary games. My game with 2 others, a game with 5 players and a third that had an unknown number - unknown because that winner didn't show. So I played a head to head game with the winner who did show. We kept the farm pretty even, but I pulled ahead with buildings and roads. As winner of the tournament, I got a nice wooden plaque :)

Pic! )
mikekn: (Gaming)
Overslept again - this time missing the El Grande game I had signed up for (lesson learned - don't pre-pay for early morning games). At this point I've settled into a routine - poke around the dealers room from time to time if I think of something to look for. Spend most of my day in the Board Room, with occasional ventures out to other game rooms (Rio Grande, Mayfair, Looney Labs).

Day 3
Le Havre This was the other game I had signed up for - and I just barely made it in time (10 am). They taught the rules to us (which was why I signed up for this session), and then we played. Including myself there were four new players, plus one guy who knew the game, but really wanted to play it. In some ways it is like Agricola - limited actions available to do the many many things you want to do. It felt a bit more focused (perhaps because we had no hand of cards, just what was on the table) then Agricola. Definitely one I'd like to play again.

Chicago Express I played this one solely because my free game from the Board Room sponsors was a copy of the expansion for it. As train games go it was pretty good - heavier then Ticket to Ride and TransEurope, but not as heavy as the 18xx or Age of Steam games. You are investing in various railways as they make the drive west to Chicago. Money spent to buy stocks goes to the railway and is spent to extend their lines. I'd play it again, but probably won't pick up a copy.

Thurn and Taxis Spotted two guys reading the rules to this one, so again I asked if I could join them and help them learn it. I had a great early run, getting the every city color points after closing my second route. Things slowed down a bit after that though.

Dominion Justin and Eric were trying out all the new Cornucopia cards and I got into their last game. Only the second time I've played with Cornucopia cards - still will take some getting used to, but it's a good expansion.

Quarriors (Pre-release demo) - A new dice game from WizKids. It is a deck building game with dice instead of cards. Everyone starts with a 12 basic dice (four minions and 8 "mana"). Each turn you roll six random dice from your set. Depending on what you roll you can buy additional dice, or summon creatures. The creatures will attack everyone else creatures, and if they survive until your next turn the are converted to victory points. Looks fun, very flexible (each set of dice can be used with three different creature cards), and comes with 130 dice (so it will be pricey!).

Kingsburg - Another case of playing a game I know to help new folks learn it.

Nuns on the Run - Spent part of the evening in the Mayfair room - $4 got you drinks, snacks and unlimited games. I'd spotted Nuns on the Run before but never sat down to give it a try. One player (or two if there are 8 players) plays the Abbess and the Prioress, each other player plays a novice unable to fall asleep. The goal of the novices is to sneak out of their cells, steal a key and then recover their "secret wish" and then return to their cell. The Abbess and Prioress patrol on set paths until something (a noise or spotting a novice) attracts their attention. If they catch enough novices (= # of players) they win the game. Movements of the novices are hidden (written down) unless they do something to get spotted. Not bad - very different game play then anything else I know.

La Strada - Another Mayfair game. In this one you build roads to connect various size cities together. Roads that you place will block other players, and you benefit from being the only person in a city. The more players who can get to it the less it is worth for the final scoring.
mikekn: (Gaming)
Woke up late on Thursday - completely missing the Cosmic Encounter game I has signed up to play. Instead I took a slow tour through the dealers room, up and down each aisle so that I could focus on one side at a time. Sadly there was nothing that jumped out and forced me to buy it (though Crazy Egor had some cool old stuff).

Day 2
Arena: Roma II - Eric was looking at this two player game when I ran into him, so I sat down and played. It is a head to head game where each player plays a selection of cards and rolls dice to see what actions they can take. Unlike most victory point games where your score keeps going up, this one is more likely to end when one player has lost all their victory points. Pretty light weight game, but enjoyable. It is a sequel to Roma and can be mixed and matched with the cards from that game.

Carcassonne - This was one of the four games I actually signed up to play (include the aforementioned CE) and round 1 of what turned out to be a very small Carcassonne tournament. Just the basic set with the oldest rules (2 pt football cities and pain in the neck farmer scoring). My game only had 3 people, and was a pretty tight game score wise, but thanks to some handy cloisters and lots of farm sharing I pulled out a win.

Fresco - A game I've never heard of before this weekend. Players take the role of painters with the of restoring the renaissance fresco in the church. Each day you assign your worker to tasks such as buying pigments, mixing pigments, painting portraits for cash, painting the fresco or improving morale. Why do you need to improve morale? Well, turn order is determined by what time you make your workers get up in the morning. The earlier they are up the better selection of pigments available (at a higher price) and the worse their morale. I'll be picking up a copy of this at some point. The basic game includes three expansions, and another set of three are being released this year.

Fealty - Eric's newly released game. Justin and Eric spent a good deal of the con teaching and promoting. There were 50 copies of the pre-release edition available in the dealers room (purchase of which also got you the production release when it comes out this fall). The game is a quick strategy game of territory control. Players have to balance faster pieces which can't grab as much territory vs slower pieces which can grab lots, but only if there is some left to grab. Seems pretty solid with good replay.

Hacienda - Spotted two people reading through the rules, and offered to join them and teach. This is another one I play mostly on-line these days.

Bohnanza - Played this up in the Rio Grande room. I'd been curious about it, but never had the chance to try it before (though I have the space one, which is very similar). Simple fun, but not one I will be picking up.
mikekn: (Gaming)
I'm back home from Origins now - the trip home was very like the trip out there. Made it back in about seven hours, so I was home just after 5 pm. The cats are all doing well (at least we hope Eir is doing well - no one saw her all week).

Day 1
Turns out the exhibit hall doesn't open on Day 1, but rather on Day 2. So I spent most of my time hanging out in the Board Room. I tried to mostly play "new to me" games, but also helped several folks with games I knew but were new to them. Later in the afternoon I ran into [livejournal.com profile] jducoeur and his friend Eric (a game designer). I hung out with them for the rest of the day, including dinner at the Flatiron Bar with another game designer, Trey, that Eric met at BBGCon (if I'm remembering correctly)

Zombie Dice - Played a few rounds of the this push your luck game with a nice couple from Montreal. They were killing time before some RPG events they had scheduled. It's a quick simple game that works well in the killing time category.

Vikings - I think this may be the first time I've played with the "advanced" rules. I've been playing this on-line so much that I forgot they even existed. I'm not a fan of the auction method for determining start player, but I do like the additional tiles.

The Speicherstadt - Taught and played a fairly quick two player game of this. It is better with more players, but not bad with two.

Airlines Europe - A new (well, reimplemented) Alan Moon game. Collect stock in airlines, and helps those airlines increase in value by extending their routes. Felt like Ticket to Ride with airplanes.

Chinatown - This one gets played a lot at Philly Gamers, but I've never tried it before. Played it with Justin, Eric and an interesting couple - he was more the gamer and would suggest her moves, which she mostly followed (usually benefiting him as well). Not a bad game, requires a good deal of thinking ahead to determine the worth of the various pieces.

Dragon Valley (Unpublished Prototype) - This game was being demoed by the designer. I believe that Eric met him at BBGCon as well. It is an interesting strategy game with each player trying to defend their valley from various monsters. Aid comes from the King each turn, which must be divided between two players. One player makes the two sets, and then the other chooses which one they want. Lots of interesting strategy in what you put into each group. The creator has a Kickstarter project (linked above) for the production and self publishing of the game.

Pioneers by Eric (Unpublished Prototype) - One of Eric's older games that has sat idle for a bit while he works on another. Players are settling a new land and setting up trading posts. You need the help of your neighbors to make settling easier, but help always comes with a cost. Good strategy game.

Wizards of the Consortium by Trey (Unpublished Prototype) - Technically we played this game on Day 2, but since I hadn't gone to sleep yet, I'll count it as part of Day 1. Elemental wizards battle for control of the Consortium. Each player gets several wizards to assign to various action spaces. Air wizards get to place first, but fire wizards can displace them. Lots of options and interactions. The game still needs some polishing, but is looking very good so far.

(Eir just came up from the family room. She spotted me before going upstairs - she stared at me for a bit, but went back down before I could get my camera out. I have no idea where she is hiding down there.)
mikekn: (Gaming)
I'll post the other days after I get home, but here are exhibits A-C for why I shouldn't be allowed to go to these things alone :)

Exhibits A-C )
mikekn: (Gaming)
I made it safe and sound to Columbus - where I then drove around for a while trying to get onto the correct road to get into the parking lot (dang sneaky interstate on-ramps...)

I checked into the hotel, then went and picked up my registration packet. After that, I explored a little of the convention center and located the various meeting rooms. When I was done I retired to relax for the evening.

Tomorrow I don't have anything scheduled, so I'll be poking around the Board Room and the exhibit hall most of the day.
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