BugLaden's games played at GCOM Game Days 2008
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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May 1 - May 4, 2008 was Game Days in Timonium, Maryland and hosted by the Games Club of Maryland. This was my second Game Days and I am extremely looking for to next year.

I wanted to give a big thank you and smooch to Holly, who was running dog duty the entire con, travelling back and forth home to let dogs out every day so I could enjoy the con.
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1. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:140]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Other Players:
Eric Haas
Peter Winkel
Bill Duke
Cheryl Meek

I arrived at Game Days on Thursday, around 1pm. The con was only an hour old and there must have been already 50 people there. I luckily walked upon a table where Eric Haas was just starting to explain the rules. This game was high on my to-try list, and Eric is one of the nicest people I know in GCOM, not to mention one of the best game explainers I've come across to date, so I jumped into this game.

This was my only playing of the game at the con, and I wish I could have played at least one more before the con was over so I could cement my dcidsion whether to buy or not.

I came in second to last. I could not get a builder to add more than one castle level for me the entire game. That added to the fact that I missed the rule where you could pass during selection of actions to replenish you Yuan back to 3, meant I was money-hosed most of the mid-game, keeping in the back of the initiative track the entire game.

This will probably be added to my to-buy list.

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise is myself, Bill Duke, Peter, Cheryl Meek, and Eric (not pictured).
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2. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Other Players:
Philip White
John Roberts, Jr.
Peter Winkel
(unknown gentleman)

Eighteen months ago, Philip White and I sat down at Euroquest 2006 where he was going to teach me Power Grid, but at the last minute a Power Grid tournament was starting up at the same time, and we decided thatwe would postpone the teaching session. Well, as cons go, we never sat down with Power Grid again. Since then, for eighteen months, I've been fiending to play this game!

Phil noticed that In the Year of the Dragon was wrapping up and asked if I would be interested in finally sitting down for Power Grid after my current game was over.

Phil, John, Peter, and myself played. I was happy how I played for my first time until around mid-game. By that time I had two wind generators and 2 nuclear, which could power 9 stations. But I was too conservative with expansion. In the end, Phil won the game.

So was it worth the 2-year wait? Definitely! Now I just need to get my hands on a copy!

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
Clockwise from the upper right is Peter, myself, Paul, and John
 
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3. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Thursday, May 1st, 2008.

Other Players:
Holly
John Roberts, Jr.
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson

After Power Grid, my wife Holly arrived with my daughters and we took a break to go to dinner at the Chili's attached to the hotel. Doug, John, and Paul joined us for dinner, and at the table we decied to play Puerto Rico when we got back to the gaming room.

Paul and Doug had not played PR before, so it ended up being a rather long game. But during the last turn, I ended up shipping a massive amount of sugar via my wharf and managed to eke out my first win of the con. [Edit: Paul has since reminded me that it was indeed him that won, using some devious but brilliant strategy, no doubt!]

After this game Holly and I retired for the night.

Photo of Game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise is Holly, Doug, John, and Paul. I'm not sure where I was when this photo was taken!
 
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4. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:80]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players:
Doug Epperson
Don Poletti
(unknown gentleman)

The next morning, I wasted no time getting into a game of Age of Empires III. This was the first time playing for me. Hal Haag was was manning the registration desk but was kind enough to explain the rules to us, and answer the occasional question.

There was very little conflict in this game. In fact I was the only one to declare war during one of my turns. I was unable to get a decent income engine going, so was not able to purhase any Age III buildings that generated tons of points by the end of the game. So I came in dead last.

I like the gameplay and the theme is terrific. I'll put this on my to-buy list but I think Doug will end up getting it as well.

No Photo.
 
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5. Board Game: Battleball [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1652]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players:
Doug Epperson

AoE III lasted about 3 hours. After that Doug and I unwound with a fun game of BattleBall. Doug was playing without one of his receivers, so I placed mine into the box to even the playing field. In hindsight I should have made him keep the handicap!

The first quarter was tight, with players being knocked out left and right on both sides of the line of scrimmage, causing the field to be less densely populated and harder to defend. I kept the ball for most of the quarter, tossing it back and forth between players as I slowly worked my way down the field. In the end, through attrition, Doug got the ball and into the end zone.

The second quarter was a much different story. Doug won the toss and brought his two receivers out in force. With some amazing high rolls ont he d20, he got the ball into the end zone in 4 turns while my slower players only watched helplessly.

Winner: Doug, 2-0

No Photo
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6. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:156]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players:
Doug Epperson
(two unknown ladies)


After that fun romp Doug and I got some lunch and were ready for another multi-player game. We had a hard time hookin up with other players. We almost got together with a trio who were obviously together, but they ended up ditching us to play a game of Container with themselves. A game of Kingsburg was also almost started, but we quickly got bumped out of that.

Finally I met up with two other ladys and together with Doug, got a 4p game of St. Petersburg going.

This was Doug's first time playing, and I only had played once previously with my 14yo daughter. It was immediately apparent that the level of play between the two ladys and Doug and myself were light years apart.

I kept getting the impression that Doug and I were ruining the game for the other two based on facial expressions and small comments made. I kept the atmosphere light, making small jokes about the poor quality of my play, but was quite happy when the game was over. I came in dead last, with Doug pulling up 3rd.

I did learn at lot about St. Pete this session, and have a good grasp of the timing, i.e. when cards are supposed to be played, and when they are supposed to be put into your hand for later. I'd like to get more plays of this in with Doug in our own gaming group.

No photo.
 
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7. Board Game: Hit the Beach [Average Rating:5.13 Overall Rank:10312]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players:
John Roberts, Jr.
Doug Epperson

After that disappointing game of St. Pete I think Doug and I wanted to escape back into our shell a bit, away from some of the strong personalities. We found John Roberts and Doug went out to his car to get a classic game, Hit the Beach.

I had a good time playing this game. Granted, it was roll and move game, but had some interesting mechahics to block the other players from advancing. You move your marine and army units to land exactly on the japanese defenders blocking your path. If you succeeed, you are allowed to move that japanese unit elsewhere on the board to block other players.

Your units follow a set path, and if playing with an even number of players, you had the chance to land on other player's units, sending them back to the start. Since we were only 3 players, I had no opponent to butt heads against, so Doug and John had a handicap against me, and because of this I won.

It's fun to go retro sometimes!

Photo of Game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise is Doug and John, and Paul. Again, I'm not sure where I was when this photo was taken!
Eric, are you waiting for me to leave to take these shots???
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8. Board Game: Perikles [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:671]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players:
John Roberts, Jr.
Doug Epperson

After hit the beach I snagged from the game table a game I've had for several months but have been unable to play. Perikles! The main reason for the delay has been the difficulty getting through the rule book.

I must say that it was worth the wait. Perikles was easily the game of the con for me. This was my first exposure to the Weuro-type game, and it was a perfect hybrid of eurogame and wargame.

I screwed up several rules, and didn't start with nearly enough cubes in the cities, but we had a good time.

I ended up winning this game by taking Athens in the last year and winning several key battle locations. When it was over I wanted to play it again, but it was time for dinner.

Photo of Game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise is Doug, John, and myself.
 
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9. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:370]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Other Players at my table:
Holly
Sarah
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson

After a nice dinner we came back into the large room just in time for a large game of Wits & Wagers, hosted by the game's designers: Dominic Crapuchettes, Satish Pillalamarri, and Nate Heasley.

For several years now, I've missed the Wits & Wagers game show at this event, and I finally got to attend!

Holly and I worked good together, with Sarah as support. I was way too conservative with my wagering, having several answers correct but not risking enough chips.

In the end we had nowhere near the number of chips as the winning team which won two free copies of W&W. But it was a great time.



Photo of game session by Eric Haas
There are too many people to name here, but my table is in the upper right of the picture. You can see the back of my head in the black t-shirt, then clockwise is Sarah, Doug, Paul, and Holly. Satish is standing at the front, hosting.
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10. Board Game: Gheos [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1189]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 2nd, 2008.

Other Players:
Paul Marshall

The last game of the night for me was Gheos. Doug went home and I wanted one more game before heading up to my room. I wanted to learn Gheos as it was on sale at the Z-Man booth in the back of the room and Paul was gracious enough to teach it to me.

Again I was not aggressive enough with my play. I should have sused my scoring chips early as Paul did. When I finally started scoring, the last epoch showed up and I was out with Paul getting the easy win.

It was close to midnight when we started this game. I'd like to try this game again when I'm not so tired, and see if I can understand its strategy better.

And after this game I went to bed!

Photo of Game session by Eric Haas
Pictured from the left: myself, Paul
 
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11. Board Game: Phoenix [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2029]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday May 3rd, 2008

Other Players:
Shelby

The next morning I came down to the game room early. There were a few players and they were all engaged in a game, so I went back up to the room and brought back my middle daughter Shelby. I had eyed Phoenix earlier on the game table - its brightly colored pieces I thought would really engage her and make her see past its abstractness.

Well, I thought wrong. We only played one round and she wasn't really into the game. I think this was in part because other children that she had been hanging out with were starting to appear in the game room and it was really disctracting her. She just wanted to end the game and hang out with her friends.

So I ended up winning because of her inattention. I really liked the game though, and think I might pick up a copy to play with Holly.

No Photos.
 
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12. Board Game: Megamaniology [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Other Players:
Craig (Ichabod)
Donald Dennis
Doug Epperson


Donald Dennis from the On Board Games podcast and his friend Craig then showed up. Craig is the designer of Megamaniology, and we sat down immediately to try a game.

You must accumulate sets of cards (ingredients) which are turned in and used to get lesser "Evil experiment" cards into play. These lesser experiments grant you additional abilities while they are in play.

Collect another set of ingredients and you can turn them in with the already-accomplished lesser experiment to get a Greater Experiment worth 7 to 11 Victory Points. Accumulate 23 victory points and you win.

It's a fun game, with tons of interaction between players. It reminds me a lot of Nodwick: the Card Game without the timer.

Craig won (being the designer and all, kidding!) despite my efforts to undermine his victory.

And it was great meeting Donald, although I never got the chance to play with him again.

No photo.
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13. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:542]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Other Players:
Don Poletti

I met Don next to play Dungeon Twister. He had stopped by the night before while I was playing Gheos and we about getting together this day to try out Dungeon Twister.

This was my copy of the game, but I had not played before - bringing it in the hopes of finding an opponent at Game Days.

Don and I struggled through the setup rules and the turn order before another gentleman (also named Don!) stopped by to watch and offer suggestions.

Don won the game, sneaking his last character over the line.
All in all, Dungeon Twister is a great game. I look forward to more plays of this game.

No photo.
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14. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:63]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Other Player:
Holly
Sarah
Phil Lyons
Doug Epperson

Sarah wanted to play Ticket To Ride. So Holly and Sarah joined Doug and myself for a session of the Europe edition.

As I was explaining the rules differences of Europe to Doug, Phil Lyons dropped in and became the fifth player.

It was a close race, with Phil only beating my by 1 point.

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
Clockwise from the top is myself, Holly, Phil Lyons, Doug, and Sarah (not pictured)
 
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15. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Other Players:
Bradley Keen
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson


Doug and I then met up with Paul and Brad Keen to try out T&E. This was the first time playing for Doug and myself, and after Pual explained the rules, we had at it.

I love the game. Yes it's abstract, but it definitley lived up to its BGG rating! It was a hard-fought battle over the momuments, control went back and forth, but in the end Brad won by a small margin over Paul. I came in third, and Doug was very close behind me.

This game is now on my must-buy list.

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise from the left is Brad, Paul, myself, and Doug.
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16. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:443]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Other Players:
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson
Philip White
Eric Haas

T&E ended and Doug joined my family for a late dinner at Chili's.

Afterwards, Doug and I returned to the game room and I convinced a group to try Manila. I had played this once before with my girls, and had a good time. This was light enough to be enjoyable in spite of the late hour.

But we did have a good time, bidding up the Harbor Master and pushing the little punts around. Paul got so used to being the pirate, that one time I actually sneaked one of my accomplise markers in, and was able to plunder a punt, he shouted in glee, then realized it was my marker.

Phil won in the end, by having a large stack of pesos. He was bidding up the harbor master, making me pay too much for the privilege, and was able to save his own money to eke out the win.

And after this game I went to bed!

Photo #1 and Photo #2 of game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise from the left is myself, Paul, Doug, Phil, and Eric (not pictured).
 
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17. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:437] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Friday, May 4th, 2008

Other Players:
Shelby
Sophia

Being the last day of the con, I went down early in the morning with my two youngest daugters to play a game of Zooloretto.

This was the first time playing for all us, and I was quite impressed with the game. The girls were engaged from the start and never got bored. Shelby eked a win in the end by filling all her enclosures.

No photo.
 
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18. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Other Players:
Shelby

While Sophia went to hang out with her friends, Shelby stuck around and played a quick hand of Lost Cities with me, until Doug and Paul finished their game of King of Siam.

Shelby and I had played several hands of this before, so she knew what she was doing. She got a good hand of high-value cards and had them out, finishing with around 70 points.

I on the other hand had terrible cards, and finished around -70. Yikes

No Photo.
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19. Board Game: Perikles [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:671]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Other Players:
Bradley Keen
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson

Doug and I returned to Perikles with Bradley Keen and and Paul Marshall this time. Bradley had played before and knew more of the rules, pointing out several key things I missed in the first game on Friday.

It was a hard-fought battle, but I won in the end. I love this game!

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise from the left: Bradley, Paul, mysef, and Doug.


 
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20. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:164]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Other Players:
Holly
Bradley Keen
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson

Bradley left for home after that, so Holly joined Paul, Doug, and myself for a game of Settlers. Doug and Paul had never played before, and with (a lot) of setup help from Eric Haas, we started the game.

Holly completely dominated the game, having pretty much a monopoly on brick. She really had a good time, and I was happy to see that, as she didn't get a lot of games in this weekend.

No photo.
 
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21. Board Game: König von Siam [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:670]
Eddie Mittelstedt
United States
Hampstead
Maryland
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Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Other Players:
Paul Marshall
Doug Epperson

The last game of the con was king of Siam. Doug and Paul had played earlier in the day and taught me. I found the game very challenging and over way too quick.

Doug immediately committed to blue, while I was staying even on all three colors. Paul eventually committed to blue as well, but I stayed back and tried to have yellow make a coup from nowhere. But I couldn't pull it off with the cards in my hand.

Good game, I'll definitely look to play it again.

Photo of game session by Eric Haas
At the table going clockwise from the left: Doug, Paul, and myself.
 
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