Late night #Tichu – last 3 hands 1-2
Tichu Bowl – more lopsided .… #bggplay http://t.co/2h8Q4Z97lt
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.
I was reminded reading Greg’s post of the hallowed tradition amongst the board gamers to document the games they’ve played 5 or 10 times in the previous years. Many of the games we play can be from 2-3 hours in length, and there are so many available, that getting in repeat plays can often be difficult.
So, which games did I play most in 2009? Not surprising that the list falls to shorter games.
Three games were played more than 10 times: Dominion (15), Tichu (15), and Hive (12). Dominion is a relatively quick game (30-45 mins), and I’ve introduced it to many people this year. Tichu is a partnership, trick-taking card game that I’ve taken to this year. There are certainly many partial plays of it that I did not keep track of. Pictured here, we are passing some time in Marfa at Padres playing. (Photo: Jay Lee)
There are also certainly many Hive plays I did not record; I’ve taught it to several people at our weekly neighborhood gatherings at Onion Creek Cafe.
Falling into the Nickel category are Glory to Rome (8), Carcassonne (6), Dominion: Intrigue (5), and Monopoly Deal (5). In this group, Carcassonne is likely the only one under documented. It’s a game that I always enjoy and is quite flexible.
I don’t own a copy of Glory to Rome, and most of those plays were consecutive at a marathon session a year ago at Lone Star Game Fest. Dominion: Intrigue is an spin-off of the ever popular Dominion. Monopoly Deal is a simple set collection card game very nicely Monopoly themed; it’s more fun with more people.