BGG.Con

It’s been over a month since I went to BGG.Con – the BoardGameGeek.com‘s annual game-o-rama, and I need to get down in print the games I played, so here they go.

This year my procrastinating paid off. I ended up splitting a suite with four people, minimizing costs. I managed to never actually meet one of the roommates – the geeks don’t spend many waking moments not playing the games.

Unfortunately, there was no general wi-fi available, and no signal reachable from the main game room. Apparently there was a twitter contingency, but I was unreachable and unaware.

So, here a listing of all the games I played.

Yspahan.jpgYspahan – I have played this before, and own it. One of the many “Ys” named games from Ystari. It has an interesting dice mechanic. You are creating goods in a small town and trying to ship them out on the caravan.

Agricola.jpgAgricola – I finally got to play last years trendy game a little bit before the Con, but played it some more here. Certainly a good game with quite a bit of replay-ability. Nice interaction with other players in access to resources. Building your small farm-house, family, fields and livestock.

Desctruct3.jpgDestruct 3 – The open-area lobby always has many dexterity games set up. This one was new to us. You set up a tower, jenga-like. You roll a dice to choose one of three tools. You try to knock the tower over but not too far (off the board is minus points). This was a fun one, would be great fun for young boys.

Airships.jpgAirships – I met my current regular game group last year at this Con, and I’ve played this game several times with them. I ended up teaching this to several different people at the Con. It’s an easy to learn, and not too long game of building zeppelins.

Hamburgum.jpgHamburgum – My high school friend and college roommate Manuel came from SoCal for the Con. He was only there Thursday and Friday and was brain-fried; he was amazed I could handle two more days. He saw that I had played this game before and had me teach it. I like this game more each time I play – an interesting rondel mechanic and interconnections of actions that force you into a balanced game. And beer is one of the resources – how could that not be good?

4thCorner.jpg4th Corner – Looking to kill some time (not the 2-3 hours many of our game preferences can take) I grabbed this out of the library. A game of trying to build yourself out of a maze. It was widely panned by our players; I think they were overly whiney. It wasn’t a great game, no doubt, but I’d like to play it a few more times to see how the fall out falls out.

StarshipCatan.jpgStarship Catan – A two-player that looks like it will be light but has more meat to it that it seems. I enjoyed it. It’s not overly short, either. Building up your spaceship and running missions through several different decks of cards representing different areas of space.

NorthPole.jpgNorth Pole – We played this upcoming release with the designer. Try to navigate a simple grid of cards representing an ice field. The art production was a little inconsistent, but the game was reasonable solid and light.

Pandemic.jpgPandemic – Another popular game from last year. A great co-operative – which I usually don’t like. This game only lasts 45-60 minutes, too. Four diseases spreading across the globe, can you find the cures before the pandemic?

Dominion.jpgDominion – Definitely the big game of this year’s Con. Elements similar to some collectable card games, but a little different. You try to build a deck, and who ever ends up with the most victory points in their deck wins. The trick is they are not useful in your hands during play. Only 10 of the 25 possible cards are used for any particular game.

Sylla.jpgSylla – We had someone at one of the vendors booths teach us this new game from Ystari. It was a good enough game, but I don’t feel compelled to play it again. A few interesting mechanics. The art design on this is prob’ly the best part of the game.

GloryToRome.jpgGlory to Rome – I finally got a chance to play this card game.  I had only previously seen it.  Each card changes what it represents as it’s used.  The bright coloring and whimsical art work belie the complexity of the actual game.  There are a few cards that are often ridiculed as being Fluxx-like: changing the end game and victory conditions.  But they don’t always influence the game, and when they do, there’s always another play.

Tichu.jpgTichu – This trick-taking 4-player partner game is one of my new favorites.  It seems complex at first and will scare off the casual gamer, but it’s reasonably simple in game play: follow the leader.  Yes, there’s a bunch of intricacies, that’s what makes a game interesting.

Samurai – A classic Knizia that I only recently played for the first time.  Nice board and pieces, nice theme, so typically Knizia scoring mechanic.

ZackPack.jpgZack & Pack – This is new from Essen 2008 (a large industry trade show that happens in Germany in the summer every year.  This game was reasonably light-weight and involves packing up a moving van.  All players start with an initial identical freight, which is basically sticks, sized 1-5.  Everyone flips a truck up in front of them, then you have to take someone else’s truck and try to load it as efficiently as possible.

Caledea.jpgCaledea: the Epic Strategy Game – The designer of this game had his own spot among the vendors at the convention.  The board has an antique fantasy-ish look to it, but the same is 100% abstract war game.  It seemed reasonably interesting.

Kingsburg.jpgKingsburg – Last year TG thought this game was fabulous.  She suspected it would not have as much luster as it initially did, so we made sure to get in another play.  I already suspected that her impression would be less – there’s actually very little you can do strategically in this game.  There are lots of little tactical decisions, and I think that would be great for younger players.  Don’t throw long-term decision making at them, let them see the short term.

ChicagoExpress.jpgChicago Express – There were quite a few “hot games” set up on a few tables and always left set up.  This was the only one we managed to play.  It’s reasonably short for a railroad game, but complex enough to keep the gamers interested.  I’d definitely like to play this one some more.

NoThanks.jpgNo Thanks – A classic simple, carry-with-you card game that is a game of chicken.  Miguel had it on him.  We played this on the floor outside the room that the game show was to be played in.  We didn’t fare as well as we did last year.  They went complex gamer on us.

Wings of War – Miniatures – As I was going to bed Saturday night I passed a table that had dogfights going on with this game: 4 Germans, 4 Allies.  If you got shot down, you came in with another plane.  Some were casual gamers, two were hard-core war gamers and kept providing airplane arcana as we played.  I played for a quite a while, and it was very fun.  The movements are done with cards, and you have to play three at a time and resolve all the planes at the same time.

R-Eco – A light card game that I bought blind on a recommendation.  It has a short play time and an interesting scoring mechanic.  Lightly themed as recycling.  A nice short game.

TradersOfCarthage.jpgTraders of Carthage – The last play and last purchase of the game, I bought this one blind as well, and it was the same designer as R-Eco.  Moving goods through the mediteranean without being pirated.  Driven mostly with cards, which play multiple purposes.  It includes a small board and boats that represent each good.  A fun tricky little game.  I played 2-player with my mom at christmas and she enjoyed it.

So, those were the games I played at the BoardGameGeek Con this year.  I still haven’t managed to get a play of Dune in.  My only (informal) goal of both this year and last year.  It’s a 6-player struggle for domination on the desert planet.  It’s out of print, but the Con has it in their library.