BGG.Con 2010, Part 2

I talked about the games I was hoping to play and did in my first post. Many of the games fall into multiple of the categories I broke them into, I’m grouping them with whichever group my whims lead me to.  These are games I wasn’t planning on playing or didn’t know about, but did play.

Not on My Radar: On the Table

Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune (2009)  This is a modification of Carcassonne (2000), a tile laying game.  I find the original quite fun and portable, and good for a various number of people (though it can slow down with higher numbers). For a while I was on a bit of a collecting binge for Carcassonne expansions, but some of them just aren’t that fun or elegant.  So the additions to this game slipped off my radar.

This is a nice change to the original and comes as a complete game itself.  All the tiles are nicely marked with a subtle wheel, so you can sort them out of you’ve combined them with other sets. The addition of the “wheel” which moves when a specially marked tile is played, the wheel is located on a central 16×16 sized location that you can play your tiles off of.

This is a nice change to the start game, from the highly suggested The River (2001) and/or The River II (2005). The Wheel of Fortune part of the game will score or penalize something each time it is moved.  It’s a somewhat random element, but not overly so.  I would definitely suggest this version to beginning gamers as a gateway type game.

Sator Erepo Tenet Opera Rotas (2008) – This game has been sitting around at one of my regular gamer’s house since it came out, and we’ve never played it.  It maxes out at 4 players, and we often have more than that.  It also doesn’t play ideally with 2-3 players.  I ended up at a table where someone had pulled this out.  It looked interesting. I played.

It was a great game and I really enjoyed it. Four players is a must.  You are trying to navigate swinging passages over a cavern.  You play cards to allow various movements.  It was quite enjoyable.  The text on the cards can be a bit difficult, but they are explained in the rules. Continue reading BGG.Con 2010, Part 2

BGG.Con 2010

I managed to get a week off of work and went to my 4th BoardGameGeek convention in Irving at the Westin DFW. It’s the 6th time the con has been put on, and it has grown to take over all their convention facilities and have 1100 attendees. It was likely less than half that when I first went, but it’s doesn’t seem vastly larger. They have also become very good at making it look like they aren’t working hard to make things happen.

Despite the fact that the con was one day longer this year, and we got there a day early, the week seemed to blaze by and there were lots more games I wanted to play that I didn’t get to. Upon retrospect I played quite a lot of games.

The following list is not chronological, but grouped mostly into styles and my thoughts of them before and after the con.  There is a large industry convention in Essen, Germany a month before the BGG.Con.  It creates a lot of buzz about new games, and I usually arrive with a list, whether mental or physical, of things I’d like to try.  Even so, for the most part, I go with the flow and let games find me.

I did manage to find some of those on my list and get them on the table.  Others I didn’t for one reason or another.

Game of the Convention: Tichu

Tichu is actually a card game, and one I play quite often.  I have the opportunity to play most Sundays at our friendly gathering at the local watering hole.  We’ve infected about a dozen people with the game, and often will have 4 there to play.  I also recently infected one of my weekly game attendees (who already liked Tichu) to come to our week end gathering.

I originally was tipped off to Tichu at the con, but haven’t started playing it whole heartedly until the past year.  This year was the first year for them to have a Tichu tournament, and interest was so high the 32 2-person team brackets filled up instantly.  They doubled the size of the tournament.

I teamed with TG and we won our two first games and lost our third, which allowed us to make it into the 14 team, single elimination bracket.  We lost out first game there (to the team that ended up winning the tournament).  Every game we played was fun.  And I played before and after the tournament as well, with and without TG.

A 4-player partnership game that’s really a lot of fun!  I learned that I have been getting better at playing it, and that there’s a lot further to go on that road.

On My Radar, On The Table

I got a reasonable number of the games I was interested in on the table and played.

Rattus (2010, Henrik & Åse Berg) was one particular game on my list that I really wanted to try.  A new Essen release, it was on a lot of people’s list, and was in and out of the library quite frequently.  I got it once, read the rules, and was tugged into another game.  To be polite I checked it back in while I was playing.  I didn’t even get it back to the shelf before someone took it out of my hand to check it out again.  I managed to get it again later in the week and teach it to some others.

The Plague is overtaking Europe.  This is a 30-45 min. game and you are trying to get the most people to survive the plague.  It’s quite fun, a great filler (what we gamers call the mid-length ones), simple to play, with some reasonably challenging strategic options.

Continue reading BGG.Con 2010