My WBC 2013
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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This year, I had the opportunity to attend the WBC in Lancaster, PA for the fourth year in a row. My family and I have made this a yearly event, and we all enjoy it greatly. The open gaming grows every year, the lending library is huge, the tournaments are always running and (usually) very friendly and fun, and the kids program has been growing each year, and improving by leaps and bounds. Here is our WBC report. The first section deals with the games played, and the second section deals with the loot I returned with from the convention.
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1. Board Game: Nice Weather [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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The weather was wonderful this year! A little rain, but mostly sunny, but not beastly hot which is unusual for PA at this time of year. The rooms were all comfortable and well climate controlled throughout our time at The Lancaster Host. We arrived on Thursday morning, and headed straight to the registration room, then up to open gaming.
 
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2. Board Game: Guildhall [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:465]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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First up for us was a quick game of Guild Hall. This was a very clever little game, and much better than I expected. It was quite interactive, so if you don't like people messing with you, you may want to pass, but there are a few different paths to victory (farmers, historians to finish guilds etc.) and the game was quite a good time. I may have to pick this one up. The only problem is it only plays up to four in my family of five. Maybe with the expansion?
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3. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:128]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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I then had the opportunity to play this with some friends of mine from Philadelphia. Two players were new, and
Kurt R
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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It was my life, like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was to let it be.
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and I had played it before. This game never disappoints. The systems are all so intuitive and elegant, and the fact that you can win without having the strongest military and having a final "showdown" is very refreshing in civilization games. The possibilities offered by the technology display are amazing, and the paths to victory are many, unlike some other civ offerings. I lost by one lousy point, but it was still fantastic fun. I can't recommend this one enough!
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4. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:206]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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I then had the chance to play this with the father of a friend my daughter had made in the kids room/pool. He was nice enough to offer to take her to dinner with his daughter, and they had a wonderful time! We then sat down to play a hand of this classic. I always seem to forget just how much I love this game until I'm playing it. What wild swings and changes of fortunes! Fantastic synergies and card combos! Tense and exciting until the end! I love this game, even though, in the end, I lost badly! The mark of a great game IMO. If you can enjoy the game even when you lose, it's a keeper!
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5. Board Game: Duel of Ages II [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:540]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Next up was a late night session of this game. The gentleman who taught it to us had the patience of a saint, and did a great job. The game, in the end, was not for me. Too much downtime, too many odd rules and stats to compare. Very random and tremendously long setup (something like two hundred characters to look through and choose, then you have to find the tokens that match them! It was like a game itself, only it lasted twenty minutes! Added to this was the fact that I kept getting called away to help my wife with an issue one of the kids was having, people leaving to go to the bathroom, and long downtime between team turns, and you have a game that is just not for me. I just may not be a thematic gamer. I had high hopes, but this one fell totally flat for me.
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6. Board Game: Black Diamonds [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Had the opportunity to have my game played by blind playtesters many times thanks to the hard work and effort of
Kurt R
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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It was my life, like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was to let it be.
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. The game semed to go over exceedingly well, and everyone who played it reported they would like to play it again. Always good news! Even people who described themselves as not usually caring for heavy euros reported they really enjoyed it. I took this as a very good sign, and was very grateful to everyone who agreed to take their precious time at a convention like this to play the game. A few changes were made thanks to their combined input which has improved the game greatly! Go blind playtesting! I also had the opportunity to pitch the game to a couple of publishers, and was encouraged by their reactions. Here's hoping!
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7. Board Game: Glamazons vs The Curse of the Chainmail Bikini [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Played this prototype with the designer Matt Loter. Very fun, silly, bluffing game with an interesting theme that pokes fun at the stereotypical way in which women are portrayed in most fantasy games. The rule set is very simple, but the play is engaging and enjoyable. I think Matt will be self publishing this on kickstarter, so stay tuned!
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8. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:292]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Totally boogered a rule to the game! Kind of ruined it, and all my fault! A fun game, and one that I really enjoy, but never get to play. I guess it had been too long! This is one of the first games to use the dice selection mechanic that I ever played, and I think it's a really solid game. Hopefully, the people I played it with will not hold my rules mistake against the game!
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9. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:810]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Finished the con with a quick game of Ra Dice. Always fun and engaging as a lite filler. Everyone seemed to like it. I miss the auction which is, to me, the heart of RA, but this game, on it's own, is quite good. It's a shame it could not have been marketed as it's own thing with a different theme that would not have people comparing it with its parent game.
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10. Board Game: Wheeler Dealer [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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The next morning was the opening of the dealer room. Always fun and furious! The doors opened and we quickly marched inside to see what new games were being offered. The following entries are the games I was able to pick up, and a few that caught my eye that I passed on, but was interested in.
 
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11. Board Game: Space Cadets: Dice Duel [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:588]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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This one was just off the boat, and I had to have it! I tried this at ConnCon and thought it was brilliant. The production quality looks amazing (everything on boards instead of mats, thank you very much!) and the dice are gorgeous. I can't wait to get this to the table!
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12. Board Game: Time 'n' Space [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2587]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Picked this up after Stephen demoed the game for me. This looks fascinating! His company really seems to be pushing the envelope when it comes to real time games. I know this is a reprint/reimplementation, but it looks fantastic and challenging. The short play time is also a plus when I need to find a game to play with the kids on a weeknight.
 
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13. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:494]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Pickedup my copy of this. I can't wait to try it! It looks like it's more streamlined than Andean Abyss, and that makes it more accessible for my play group. The theme is also greatly interesting to me, and more appealing than the theme of Abyss which is a bit darker IMO.
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14. Board Game: The New Science [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2122]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Wanted to try this since the theme is very appealing to me. I'm anxious to see if it is a better game than Leonardo da Vinci which I thought was very good, but very, very mean which made it hard to get to the table with my wife and a few in our group. I'm looking forward to trying this one.
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15. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:201]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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This is one of the games I am most looking forward to playing! I love 1812, and I think this may be even better if reports I have heard are true. The system is solid, so I'm very anxious to play. On a side note, I'm also looking forward to Freedom, The Underground Railroad from the same company which looks amazing!
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16. Board Game: Quarantine [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2094]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Picked this up as well as a fun, family game. The idea of the patient lineup, and the special room abilities, coupled with the spatail puzzle of the rooms looks like fun!
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17. Board Game: Castle Dice [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1457]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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This one I did not pick up, but it looked intriguing. My kids would probably enjoy it, but they requested another game. This one is on the radar, however, and my son has a birthday coming up. Hmmmmmm.....
 
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18. Board Game: Fill The Barn [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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This is the game my kids most enjoyed, and the one they requested I get for them. I know nothing about it, but they all sure seemed to like it!
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19. Board Game: Bye-Bye Birdie [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Another great year at the WBC! We had a wonderful time, and look forward to going again next year! Of particular note was the kids programs. They have a kids room that includes supervision and tournaments for the kids including games such as Ticket to Ride, Apples to Apples, Trans America, Slapshot and a giant version of Elk Fest. Awesome! The pool area is also very nice (both indoor and outdoor) and they are always offering kids movies by the pool, smores, and other fun activities! Well done Lancaster Host! I think more people need to know about these programs. Many think of the WBC as just a wargame convention. It is, and it's probably the premier one in the world for that, but it's also great for euro gaming as well and is very kid friendly. A great time for the whole family!
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