I have returned home from BGG.con this year. So far so good. I’m feeling a little depressed. I had a great time there, and if I follow my plan, I won’t be back there next year.
This will be kinda a long post, so if you’re not interested in boardgames, I’d suggest not reading it.
Anyway, here’s the Wrap Up on what I did and what I thought.
After getting up at an insane early hour (2am) I showered and headed to KF’s house to pick him up. We were on the road toward Dallas before 2:40. I was hoping that this would put us at the Con before too long in the day. We arrived at the Con Hotel around 10:30 and registered promptly.
Immediately after Registering, I walked around looking for a little bit before finally walking into the Hot Games Room and toward K2. This was the only Essen game that I was interested in trying, and it happened to be open. I sat down got a quick rules explanation from a neighboring player, and played. It was an enjoyable game. We played easy Mountain in the Milder weather, so our 4 player game had a lot of blocking and tent pitching at the top of the mountain. It made for a tight end game as people couldn’t get the movement points together to make a summit trek and get back down because of all the people stuck on top of the mountain. It was an enjoyable game. I loved the theme, I need a game like this, but I’m not sure I could get it. And I won’t pay the Import prices for this one. Maybe in a couple of years, it’ll be readily available, or the kind of thing that people want to trade away.
GA wanted someone to teach him Hacienda, since our game group loves the game, We volunteered and checked it out of the library and ran through the game.
The same group then went into the library and grabbed the game Isla Dorada. I’d not heard about this one, I assume this is an Essen game too. It was quite enjoyable, a lot of take that in the game in bidding which way our expedition goes on the island. Totally had fun with this one, I don’t know how much it will hold up to repeated playings, and you probably need to be in the right group to enjoy this one, but I’ll never forget all the Makak jokes.
After Dinner, we had a few minutes to play something before we had to start the Beginner Werewolf sessions we had scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday Night. Since there were three of us, I taught Flaschenteufel (The Bottle Imp) to some friends. I really enjoy this game, and it’s a great three player game as well. I believe it was enjoyed by all.
Then we started up the Werewolf for the evening. As they were beginner sessions, We were only around to fill up games if there were not enough new players. I used much of this time to wander, greeting old and new friends. I ended up playing a game of Werewolf before turning in fairly early (12ish).
I awoke early Thursday and used the hotel treadmill to run, it looked like it was cold outside, and I only brought one set of tights, plus had a longer run scheduled on Saturday, so I stayed in to do the boring treadmill run on the short day. Ran about 3 miles or so. Went down cleaned up and began Day 2 of the Con.
KF and I wandered the Main Hallway for a couple of minutes before some friendly gamers invited us into a game of Peloponnes. It was an interesting light civ type game. Bidding on building tiles to put them in your tableau. It was fun, but I don’t think it’s anything earth shattering. I’d play it again if asked, but I don’t think it’s worth seeking out and finding.
Thursday was the day of the Tichu Tournament. So After eating Lunch, there wasn’t much time before that Tournament began. Since we were in the Battling Tops Tournament a little later, I checked out a copy of Battling Gladiators, and “taught” it to KF. We played a game or two of it, and put it away getting ready for Tichu.
Tichu Tournament started as a round robin in groups “World Cup Style” I was in the I group. JM and I started off the first game played a really close game, but came up a hair short. Second game was a tight game, quite an epic game, but JM and I managed to squeak out a win (Making us 1-1) 1070-1030. This set up what would become a critical game against SK and MP. (Which also drew a little bit of an audience from those players interested.)
We played another solid game against SK and MP. There was some back and forth, but we were on the losing end most of the time. It was known to us that the results of our game could mean the difference in any of three different teams out of our group proceeding to the round of 16. And we played a hard fought battle. Circumstances of the tournament required that if JM and I wanted to advance, we had to win by a pretty good sized margin. So about halfway through the game, we had to start calling some Grand Tichus to try to bump score. We maybe made a couple of those, but we lost a couple too, and ended up losing a fairly close game something like 1000 to 800 or so, allowing SK and MP to advance out of our group.
Because we played some tight Tichu Games, it meant that we were very late for the Werewolf Dinner at Hard Eight. KF, JM and I decided we would go to Hard Eight ourselves and did. After eating there for a few minutes, some of the werewolfers came in to greet us, turned out they had waited for us at the restaurant after all, but we didn’t realize that. Sorry guys! Had a lot of fun visiting and ate a lot of meat.
Returning to the Con, JM grabbed Mines of Zavendor out of the Library and we began playing it. It was an okay game, nothing special, but I didn’t hate the game.
After this, it was again time for the Beginner Werewolf sessions, and we all went. I stuck around a bit and played 3 or 4 games before heading up to bed (2ish) I had another unofficial event I was going to attend early on Friday.
Friday began with me getting up early again to go play Disc Golf with some BGGers. I’m still very much a beginner, but I had a great time, met some good people, and played a nice course. Can’t wait to do that again.
Got back from Disc Golf at about 11:30 to clean up and head down to the convention area again.
A couple of times up to this point, I had been by the Eagle Games/Gryphon Games booth looking at Railways of the World: The Card Game. I am intrigued by the game, and wanted to give it a shot before deciding whether or not to purchase it. At this time, it was not possible though, so KF and I sat down with SB and MP to try out a Richard Borg Trick Taking Game Prototype that I don’t know the rules on whether or not I can talk about, so I’ll just refrain from saying anything at all.
After this I was then able to try Railways of the World: The Card Game. I very much liked it, It’s a light card game, but it has some interesting decisions, a step up from Ticket to Ride and a natural stepping stone into Pickup and Deliver Railway games if you need that sort of thing. I liked it enough that I picked it up. I also picked up Fzzzt from them as well, as I got them both for a pretty good deal along with the 5/6 player Fzzzt expansion and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Fzzzt.
I walked away from the Eagle Games Area and around the Con area when I ran into VW and MW. They saw Railways of the World: The Card Game under my arm and wanted to try it, so I taught it to them and we ran through it once. Another player joined us (Unknown last name, first initial was C) and we played a really tight game. It was solid, and made me happy with my purchase.
After this, We picked up a couple more players and began playing Dominant Species. GP had said that his group was loving it, and that he would be happy to teach us. Since we were at the table next to him, we secured his assistance and went to town.
Dominant Species is a long game of different Animal Kingdoms vying for domination on earth. The rules explanation took a good bit of time, but we finally got through and started. I played the Insects, I was good at adapting, and living everywhere, but gaining dominance over those areas was not something that was easy for me to do, so I concentrated on being second or third in many areas that other people were scoring. It is a very interesting game. A lot of complexity in the interaction of the different species and what they can and can’t do in the different areas of the earth. I very much enjoyed the game, except for the keeping track of which animal types were dominant in different areas. This seemed tedious and did take away some of my enjoyment of the game. Over time that might become second nature to someone. But it deterred my enjoyment of the game slightly. Other than that and the length of the game, I thought it was quite enjoyable.
We did have an artificial end though, as we needed to go to the Poker Tournament at 8, and I kinda needed to have some dinner before that too. So we removed several of the cards from the gene pool deck and tried to get to the Ice Age a little earlier. I think we finally picked the game up about 7:45 or so, unfortunately not quite enough time to get anything for Dinner before the Poker Tournament. Thank Goodness KF ran up to the room and grabbed some Beef Jerky and Granola Bars for me to eat while waiting in line for Poker.
We began the Poker Tournament Promptly at 8pm. I had done well in previous years, and wanted to do so again this year. I played tight most of the time and caught cold cards. In the hour and 50 minutes or so that I was there the best hand I saw was A-T of diamonds. I managed to squeak out a couple of nice pots on some medium hands, but in the end, I saw an A-Q suited and was short stacked and put it all in. I didn’t have much pull, and was called with a 3-5 of diamonds in a three way pot. The 3-5 of diamonds managed to river a flush and knock me out a couple of minutes before the first break.
After Poker, I headed to the Werewolf Area for a couple of games of Werewolf before turning in around 3.
Saturday Morning I woke up early to run. Today was my long run day, as I intended to try to get in Six miles. I noted that it was pretty warm out, so put on a pair of shorts and shirt and headed out of the hotel down the sidewalk. Unfortunately, it was a strange area, and every mile or so, I’d head down a road, only to have it end in an Interstate which I can’t run on, or a dead end. There were also several large streets I had to cross waiting on the Signal. In the end, this coupled with being in a strange city slowed me way down and I only ended up going about 5.5 miles in about an hour. I couldn’t really stay much longer as the flea market was soon and I really had a lot I wanted to sell. So I settled for that and went up to clean up and get ready for it.
Unfortunately, I took a couple of small glasses of water in, and jumped in the shower and stretched a little bit. Cleaned up and started packing up my games to sell in the flea market.
Got down to Sunnyside about 9am and set up. I had a very specific goal this year. Sell my games, and don’t come back with anything unless it’s life altering. I looked around the flea market and was really only interested in a couple of other things. In the Year of the Dragon for $20, and another copy of Cities for $15 (for eight player games). There was a copy of Hansa Teutonica in shrink for $30 on the table next to me too which I was slightly interested in but was talking myself out of, and I was also quite interested in a copy of Montreal Metro map for Age of Steam and likely would have bought it on the spot, but I needed to save my cash for change when the flea market started.
Flea Market started and I did really well, selling nearly everything. There were a couple of hard ones though. Losing Steel Driver for only $50 hurt a little bit, as well as Losing Amun-Re for only $20. Everything else I was okay with. While I was selling though, KF ran off and came back with both Cities and In the Year of the Dragon. Both games that I would probably have purchased. Oh well, at least their in my group. I raced over to MH’s booth to get the Montreal Metro map for Age of Steam, but alas, it was gone, and I was blanked in the flea market. Technically I did pick up a nice drawsting bag from the table next to me. I’m not sure what game to use it in yet, but I wanted it.
Unfortunately, Because of the Run, and the Flea Market, I was feeling quite dehydrated at this point, and starting to stiffen up. This meant that I had to break my Denny’s fast when the flea market was done and KF and I went over for breakfast. It was just what my body needed though and I started to feel much better after drinking about 4 glasses of water and having some hashbrowns and eggs.
We didn’t have a whole lot of time for other games in between Denny’s and the Ole Miss/LSU Game which KF and I wanted to watch. We also had the Battling Tops Tournament at 4pm we had to go too.
I walked around the Main Hall a bit and saw GH, he has a new game out called Prolix. He ran through a quick rules explanation and I really liked what I saw. I think I’ll pick a copy up when I make my Secret Santa order. I think my family and my sister will like it. I’ll take one when I visit her at Christmas. If she likes it, it’ll make a nice ‘oops, I left a game at your house’ type gift to her.
At this point KF and I went to a sports bar in Dallas to watch a bit of the Ole Miss/LSU Game. It was a great bar, with $2.50 all day Saturday drafts of any of their beers. So drinking Guiness for $2.50 was pretty sweet. We only got to watch about half of the game or so before KF and I had to head back to play in the Battling Tops Tournament.
And so it began. I walked in (Fresh off the $2.50 draft guinesses) into the Battling Tops Arena, ready for action! I drew the Rabid Ralph Top and proceeded to play a few practice matches to warm up, waiting for the official start.
Rabid Ralph did pretty good in the Practice Matches, but the start of the actual game he choked and another player swept us 3-0-0-0 to advance. There was a second player that also go to advance to the Losers bracket though, so we continued on. This is where Rabid Ralph began to shine. Winning 2 in a row to make the score 2-0-0. Unfortunately, Rabid Ralph couldn’t handle the spotlight and lost the next four making the score 2-2-2 with the next winner advancing. Unfortunately this was not Ralph, and my Tournament dreams were shattered.
I was chatting with users about my wares when a discussion of My copies of Race for the Galaxy and the expansions being for sale. MK had told me at the Flea Market that if I like Glory to Rome so much, (Which was why I got rid of both of my copies and expansions of Race for the Galaxy in the flea market) that I needed to go to the Tasty Minstrel booth and try Eminent Domain. After Battling Tops, this is what KF and I did. Another person joined us as well, and I rather enjoyed playing this game. Technically it’s a prototype as it is not out yet. But it was very good and I enjoyed it. I might pick it up after it comes out and I see the Production Quality and how it holds up over repeated play. Thanks for the recommendation MK!!!
After this, some Werewolf Friends grabbed us and took us into a quiet room to try a new quick board game type werewolf implementation called The Resistance. In short, I think I LOVED this game. It was very fun, and a very good bluff type game. There may be some problems with game balance or something (possibly caused by the addition of some expansion ‘plot’ cards) but it was still a very fun game and will most definitely be a purchase for me very soon. We played 4 games in a row with different numbers of players to see some of the nuances. Every one of them was quite enjoyable.
Most of the players including KF and I then headed out to find some dinner at the Hotel Restaurant and chat for a bit at this point before finally returning to the convention space.
It was at this point that we could no longer fight off not trying 7 Wonders. I wasn’t really interested in the game, but everyone kept saying we needed to try it. A lot of people I respect were saying it. So I headed over to see if we could get in a game. As it turns out, one was finishing up and we did. I liked the game a whole bunch. It’s very fast, light, streamlined, easy to teach, has good decisions. I think it’ll be a winner. I hope to pick up a copy soon.
I headed over to the Werewolf Area and played another last couple of games at this time before turning in around 3ish, effectively ending my con.
I woke up fairly early and headed down to the convention space, wanted to see if the vendors were opened or anyone was playing anything and I might get a quick game before heading home. But alas, the main hall was dead with only one or two tables being used. I walked around and found some Werewolf friends playing Battlestar Galactica in the lobby, they had been playing all night and I sat around chatting with them while they played. After they finished I joined them at *sigh* Denny’s for Breakfast, before returning to the Hotel, packing the car, and heading home.
I managed to take a few pictures, and scavenged some from the Internet as well, My album is located if you click the picture below:
Bye Bye BGG.con I will miss you!