Fresno Gamers Mini-Con (March 10-14)
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Well, my wife is out of town for three nights... then Steve's wife is out of town for two nights - which makes it really easy for us to create our own mini game convention.

Here's the plan:

MONDAY
Heroscape Night

TUESDAY
"normal" Game Night

WEDNESDAY
Die Macher

THURSDAY
Wargames... and then Party Games

FRIDAY
Lite Game Nite
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1. Board Game: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1175]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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MONDAY NIGHT

Well, we didn't end up playing any Heroscape, but Joe & Nicole joined me in a game of Buffy...

As the Judge, my minions managed to find the Arm first thing & bring me to life. Unfortunately, we forgot to do any real damage to the Scoobies (Joe & Nicole) before they cornered me & began beating the snot out of me with a pickaxe (Buffy) and the evil glove (Willow). Sigh.
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2. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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MONDAY NIGHT

I had the privilege of teaching Joe & Nicole this classic game - and, sadly, being beaten by them as well. Nicole went with a high end (coffee/tobacco) shipping strategy, while Joe did a low end (corn/indigo/sugar) shipping strategy, and I tried to ramp up a building creation (quarry heavy) strategy that never really got moving fast enough.

Nicole 46 (19 in buildings, 21 in shipping, 6 from the colonist building)
Joe 40 (14 in buildings, 26 in shipping)
Mark 39 (19 in buildings, 15 in shipping, 5 from the violet building building)
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3. Board Game: Battleship Express [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:9595]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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TUESDAY MORNING

Steve G. and I met for breakfast and got in a game of BSX. He skunked me 5-0. Needs more play but I think Risk Express will hold the top spot in the Express Series.

BSX seems even more random and it plays even faster. Not quite flip a coin fast but pretty darn close.
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4. Board Game: Hop Hop Hooray! [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:3396]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Braeden, Collin (my 2 year old!), Richard & I sat down to play this delightful game of bouncing marbles... and Braeden & Richard managed a tie with 6 kisses from the Frog Princess each. (Collin & I each got 4.)

I'll bring this Friday night - it's really cute.
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5. Board Game: Operation Rescue Kit [Average Rating:5.73 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

While the guys got a game going in the game room, I played this with Braeden & Collin... we played the Specialist version, which was kind of nerve-wracking when the siren denoting a need for a Specialist (another player) to take went off.

I won, but it was close - Braeden kept getting better & better.
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6. Board Game: Castle Knights [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:3085]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Cliff arrived & joined the boys & I in this cooperative game. We only failed at building one tower, so the king arrived home to a complete castle. (We did have to compensate a bit for Collin, who is just too young to be playing this, but we still had fun.)
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7. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:357]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

While we were performing surgery & building castles in the living room, the guys were busily shipping goods for the Medici family in medieval Italy.

John 104
Greg 101
Mike 96
Richard 73
Matt 72
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8. Board Game: DungeonQuest [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:939]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Will arrived after I put the boys down... and we roped Cliff into an expedition to find the dragon. Of course, Cliff was subject to a sneak attack (7 hit points!) from a Mountain Troll on his first turn... and it went downhill from there. Will kept getting clobbered in his fights, finally dying right next to the dragon's horde. I found a 90gp ring & turned tail & ran, escaping early in the game. Cliff was trying to get to an exit (his own entrance point was blocked w/traps & corridors) when he found a rotating room that trapped him against the outer wall.
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9. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:670]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

We shuffled the players & John, Cliff and I ended up playing Big City. I had an early lead that evaporated as both factories ended up messing over my best-laid plans... hats off to John for his win.

John 98
Mark 82
Cliff 65
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10. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

When Cliff took off, John & I each grabbed a 500 pt army (he was Marro - mainly Drones, Stingers, Grubs & Su-Bak-Na... and I was Orcs, anchored by Grimnak & Nerak & Ornak) and did battle on the Arctic BOV board. It looked pretty even early, but by the end, the Marro slaughtered the remaining Orcs.
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11. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Big game of the night as five folks fought over medieval Spain. Greg, who has done very well at a number of El Grande tournaments, showed why with his impressive win.

Greg 134
Richard 110
Mike 106
Matt 91
Will 80
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12. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:474]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Two quick games of this portable shuffleboard-ish game... I won the first & Mike won the second.

Mark 106
Mike 76
Will 72

Mike 100
Richard 85
Mark 57
Will 54
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13. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:263]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Mike & John were new to this game of digging up artifacts, but did just fine at it. Mike managed to pretty much clean out Crete of artifacts, while I had one really ugly pull in Egypt that probably knocked me out of the running. What a great game design...

Mike 57
Mark 49
John 47
Will 45
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14. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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TUESDAY NIGHT

Last game of the night... John & I both completed 13 builds (2 on the last turn) but he managed to score a bunch (14+) of VP's and power up a really nice "6" development for the win.

John 44
Mark 30
Will 29
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15. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:97]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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WEDNESDAY NIGHT

There were only three of us... and it still took almost 4 hours. But what an incredible 4 hours it was. The game does not slow down - you stay involved all the way through.

I'm trying to remember the storyline - there was a lot of see-sawing back & forth on issues that would be only more pronounced with more players. Two coalitions were formed - I forced John into one to slow his ability to influence the national opinion, and John & Will voluntarily formed one to keep me from winning the 5th (and most valuable) election outright.

Will Mark John
11 3 3 first election
12 50 40 second election
16 22 16 third election (John/Mark coalition)
28 19 33 fourth election
48 60 17 fifth election (John/Will coalition)
24 36 0 sixth election
18 22 54 seventh election
--- --- ---
157 212 163 total seats
+ + +
25 32 45 media influence
89 53 60 size of political party
62 47 67 party platform = national opinion
--- --- ---
333 344 335 FINAL SCORE


Yep - 11 points after all that. That's the spread.

This is an amazing game... but it's intricate in the way it's put together. If I hadn't watched the video on Board Games w/Scott, I'd have been totally lost.

We had a great time... and now the gaming venue moves north to Steve's place!
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16. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:52]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

Mike B. and I played this first

My American Elite forces attacked Mike's German stronghold.

I thought I was totally out of it early with the loss of 3 of my big guns but the boys were able to sneak in there and take on those Nazi scum hand to hand for a victory on kills. I got a nice blaze to block line of sight in a key area which really helped. My Artillary couldn't hit the broadside of the barn which is why I decided to just rush in there and punch them right in the nose.
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17. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:621]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

A few people showed up and we were about to start Puerto Rico with Five and then a sixth showed up so Ca$h n' Guns it is.

Two had never played before so we went through the rules and no special abilities this time.

Steve G. 100
Steve C. 70
Ezekiel 70
Josh (college pastor) 60
Matthieu 60
Mike B. 40

Then some more people showed up and a new group played this again with a skeleton crew from the first game. I don't know how it turned out.
 
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18. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:199]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

Greg, Heidi, and Mattheiu.

Pretty close game with Greg 1st, Heidi 2nd, and Mattheiu 3rd with the high score around 39.

All built the Cathedral the highest point building (also the most costly), Greg got the Wizard's Guild and Market for a mix of strategies.
 
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19. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:144]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

Sergio and I played this game he's a big chess fan. So, I attempted to broaden his horizons a bit. I won both games but he enjoyed it and could start to see the strategies.
 
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20. Board Game: Bobbin' Bumblebee [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3973]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

Played a few rounds of this.
 
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21. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:430]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

Then this was played at the same time.
 
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22. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #2 – Rome and the Barbarians [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THRUSDAY NIGHT

Mike as the Romans and Matt as the Slaves.

Matt got robbed on one turn where he rolled 7 dice on a single infantry and it survived.

I'm not sure how it ended as I started making this list.
 
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23. Board Game: Risk Express [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2069]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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THURSDAY NIGHT

We played this with 5 and I started out with Australia. Then Matt went for Europe and Ezekiel took the other half of Europe. Steve went for Africa and then Matt took some more cards from the middle and we all went into stop Matt mode trying to steal the cards in front of him because he had our other halves to complete our continents and he was in a major lead.

We kept losing and every round it would seem he'd take another off the board. When he locked N. America it spelled bad news and a few more rounds he finished us off. I think we stole two countries from him in 6 rounds.
 
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24. Board Game: David & Goliath [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1426]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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FRIDAY NIGHT

After the big group left and only three remained we pulled out this filler/trick taking game.

The mechanics are really cool and thematic.

Smallest card wins the Biggest card and the Biggest card wins all the rest. If in the end you've won two or less cards of a color, you get the face value of the cards. If you've won three or more cards you get one point per card. So, you really want only two cards of each color and want to dump that third card on your opponents.

Will 35
Richard 29
Steve 21
 
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25. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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FRIDAY NIGHT

For a really late night we started this around 1 AM.

We went with a shortened game since this was a learning game for me. We played to 7 cities.

The map was the Eastern and Midwest United States. I started my group in NY and Philly, Richard in Atlanta, and Will in Detroit. I went with several coal plants, Richard Oil and Will Coal/Oil. As the game progressed Will scored some Wind Plants and I went Nuclear and Ricard went with a mix of coal oil and garbage.

Richard ended up winning by cutting off my growing network around D.C. so that it was to expensive for me to build two cities and the lines to jump over Will. Will couldn't seem to get enough cities, maybe it was the high priced Wind Power plants.

Richard 7 cities powered
Steve 6
Will 5

I really enjoyed this game it has the right amount of interaction for my taste and is lavishly produced.
 
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