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

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? Continue reading BGG.Con