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GAMESTORM 11 - Games played and overall assessments
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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Gamestorm 11 was held at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA this year. Overall, it was another success with even more gamers in attendance. The location venue IMHO is one of the best yet. The open partitioned rooms for gaming were well ventilated and overall everyone had their own sections. The high ceilings in the boardgame rooms and good ventilation were a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) over last year's location.

Pros: The games, the people, the location. My thanks to the Gamestorm staff for putting on another great convention.

Cons:
- The stench of cheap, frozen pizza pushed on players by the hotel causing rooms to smell like day old barf drying in the sun until the ventilation came on to get rid of the smell.
- The scheduling did not allow for 1/2 hour segments of time. As such, many games run right up to each other. This causes some problems I encountered.
1. If a game runs right up to the end of it's time limit, there no time for the next GM to set up without running into their own time.
2. There's no margin for a game to run over if required.
3. There's no way to accurately request time for a game that typically takes 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc. hours to teach and play. You're forced to add the additional hour to the schedule to cover rules instruction when only 30 minutes may be required.
4. If you run a game exactly within the time allotted, there's no time to clean up and put it away without delaying into the next time slot or rushing to finish early.

This should be an easy fix to future schedules to allow for an hour between games scheduled at the same table. Fortunately, this was the case for some games, and there were plenty of open gaming tables to resolve any issues of conflict.

Anyway, getting to the meat of the Geeklist, feel free to enter what you play, and what you thought were the highs and lows of Gamestorm 11.
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51. Board Game: Autoscooter [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3967]
Bryann Turner
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I hopped into this game in between a few scheduled games. Dave (themilkcrate) was teaching this game and there was an open slot so I couldn't resist. I mean, seriously, how do you turn down competitive bumper cars??

He had upgraded the components so that it was easy to learn and play. A very fun game that I plan on adding to my collection.

I'd also like to say that I was very happy with my first Math Trade experience and I appreciate Dave for running it so smoothly and effectively.
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52. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
Bryann Turner
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Played with: The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set

I had heard nothing but good things about this game and it did not disappoint. We had to end early due to a scheduling conflict (and right when I was making my push to win!), but I had a great time. Another game I'd love to add to my collection.
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53. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Bryann Turner
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I have played Race for the Galaxy a dozen or so times, but I had never played the full version of The Gathering Storm (I played it once before, but only to add a 5th player. We didn't use the Goals because we just wanted to get into a game)

The goals add an interesting twist to the game. The next time I play I'll be sure to push for them ASAP.

This is one of my favorite quick games. It's so easy to play in between longer games and provides many strategic options and some thinking. A great game in between sessions of Agricola!
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54. Board Game: Frag [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:3974]
Bryann Turner
United States
Portland
Oregon
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This was my first game of Gamestorm and it got the ball rolling nicely. I have a fondness for Munchkin, and in particular Munchkin Quest, so I thought I'd like this game.

I did, but it has few things in it I don't like. First off, in a First Person Shooter video game, you can't "Lose your turn." This happened to me twice and was very frustrating. I know that Munchkin is full of these events, but I find those instances more in line with the whole Munchkin philosophy.

I did like getting big weapons and rolling tons of dice to do damage, and found the game to be very quick, a thing some Steve Jackson games are definitely not.
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55. Board Game: Speculation [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1774]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Got the chance to play my DIY Simpson's themed copy a couple of times this weekend. Played one by standard rules (fun) + 1 with variant of all cards in hand w/refresh after they've all been played. Made the game much more strategic (and longer!)
 
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56. Board Game: Lectio [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1524]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Finally had a chance to play this 2x late Saturday. This one will be moving from wish list to own list very soon!
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57. Board Game: World War 5 [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:5601]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I finally got a chance to have Andy Looney sign a couple of my games on Sunday afternoon. He invited me sit in on a game of this that was just starting. It's actually a pretty fun game with some good strategy, a little like risk in 15 minutes.
 
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58. Board Game: Icehouse [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1783]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I also asked Andy to teach a game of Icehouse (I knew Rich was nearby and we have both been wanting to learn this game for a while). Unfortunately I had to pull him out of the middle of an Arkadia game to come learn (thanks for being understanding, guys!), but it was worth it just to see how excited he was to learn. We both got totally humiliated the first game, but Andy took pity on us & we had a much closer second game. I look forward to playing it again soon!
 
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59. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1207]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I also had the chance to teach & run a game of this. My second play, I enjoyed it a lot, and will definitely be playing it again in the future.
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60. Board Game: Kunst Stücke [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:3635]
Subhan Michael Tindall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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tweetlebeetle was nice enough to teach us this fine game. One of the better multi-player pure abstracts I've played.

The venue was very nice, customer service was great. I had a last minute change of plans & needed to cancel my Saturday reservation. The assistant manager I spoke with immediately offered to waive the cancellation fee ($50.00) before I even finished my question about how much it would be.

Final play count for the weekend:
dune
spekulation x2
planet steam x2
lexio x2
frag
dancing eggs
agricola
take it to the limit
world war 5
icehouse x2
castle for all seasons
rhythm boulet
mississipi queen

+ played Sorry! Sliders with my daughter after I got home.
 
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61. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:700]
Sean Carrick
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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This was one of my big three games for the weekend (along with Twilight Imperium and RoboRally, both of which I've been wanting to play for years), and I have to say, I've never had such a mixed reaction to a game. EVER.

Went in wanting to love this. I like Blade Runner, I like FFG chrome, I like Kevin Wilson. This game will be AMAZING!!!

Well.... for the first 10 minutes, I tried figuring it out. For the next 45, I HATED HATED HATED it. Too convoluted, too much going on, too many different styles thrown together to bring a mish mash of games together. Then, about an hour in, it started to click. All of a sudden, I saw where it was going, how it all worked, and why things worked the way they did, and I started to like it. The more I played, the more I enjoyed it. By the end, I LOVED it. I just wish I had a gaming group, and that they were into roleplaying, because that's exactly who this is for. If I did, I would immediately run out and buy this.
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62. Board Game: Runebound: The Frozen Wastes [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Sean Carrick
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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I was the only person registered, so I was hoping for a two player Runebound game (perfect number of players IMHO). Well, I met someone who seemed cool, and didn't have any plans, so I let them tag along, figuring that a third inexperienced player wouldn't slow the game down too much. Then, two more people showed up who had never played Runebound at all, so the host just oversaw everything, and the downtime became epic.

Good expansion, but, as with any Runebound game, too many players hurt the experience.
 
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63. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:561]
Sean Carrick
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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Fun little puzzle game. Enjoyed it, though I could tell it frustrated some players. I would have dug having it a little earlier so I wasn't so tired, but otherwise good experience that I'd like to try again.
 
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64. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:175]
Sean Carrick
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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A lot of cuthroat fun, though I forgot to use my 'kill a shark' tile, which cost me my 6 mini. Regardless, it was a blast (literally, once the explosion tile showed up). I would like to see it reprinted (I agree with Rachael that Z-man would do it best, though I'd be interested to see what FFG would do with it.
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65. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:223]
Sean Carrick
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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I LOVED this game. I loved everything about it. Please, SOMEONE bring this game to Guardian.
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66. Board Game: Industrial Waste [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:965]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I actually ended up playing this 3 times over the course of GameStorm.

I was running it twice on the schedule this year since it always overbooks. The Thursday night game went well though it ran longer than I expected by a bit.

I ended up doing a 2 player Industrial Waste because I had 5 people show up on the Friday night slot so I started a 4 person game for the first 4 and then somebody had gotten the game in the Math Trade so we used the second copy to do a two player. I cannot remember who won, I think he did but it was close. I discovered that game does not play well with two. The auctions become rote and the card cycle can be funky.

Still my 10 rating on this game is obviously true for me because even at a great Con with more games than I can shake a stick at to play when somebody ask me if I would teach them this on Sunday I happily went and got my copy from the room. So I really will almost never turn down a chance to play this game and I don't see that changing as long as it is a 3 - 4 player game.
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67. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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Everybody liked my cute resources for Power Grid that I got in our local club Christmas Exchange this year.



Plus it was a very interesting game with all experienced players.

I have never had one go quite like that, the west didn't get even a single city connected until the very last round.
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68. Board Game: Torres [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:281]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I always enjoy this game but the group I was with this time really made it a brain burning blast. All deep thinkers and at midnight to 1 am for the time slot... well that lead to some laughs in addition to the long thinking windows.
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69. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I found a new gaming LOVE! Through the Ages!! Finally I got a chance to play this. What a great game. I *need* this game and I want a first edition with the pretty glass counter bits. If you happen to come across one somebody doesn't want let me know I will happily send somebody the money for it.

I wish to thank the guys to played it with me for their patience in teaching me and for helping me at several points during the game.
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70. Board Game: Cartagena 2. The Pirate's Nest [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1711]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I ran 1 then 2 and then I ran a Combo Game with Cartagena 1 & 2 lined up into one big game. It was really interesting. I will try to write a session report on this one.

edit to correct typo
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71. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:23]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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Yep, I am a girl Scientist. Come for the breasts; Stay for the brains!
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I got to play my second ever game of this late Thursday night and it was a lot of fun. More fun than I remembered. I am going to try to play this a few times over the next month so I don't forget how to play again.
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72. Board Game: Prism [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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Yep, I am a girl Scientist. Come for the breasts; Stay for the brains!
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I had some friends show up to see me who were visiting Portland from way back east in GA. They had never played any Euro games so I started them off light. Prism was designed by one of our local dudes and it plays really well as a family style game, much like UNO but prettier and with some more aggressive nasty bits.

They loved it and took a couple of copies home.
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73. Board Game: Blockers! [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:954]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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I taught my non-gamer friends this too and they are going to find a copy to buy of it as well.

It is another game I ended up play 3 times over the course of the Con. It plays in the time window of a filler but has some thinking to go with it. I really like this one.
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74. Board Game: duck! duck! Go! [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2829]
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
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For as long as I shall live I will testify to love; I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough.
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This was the last game I enticed/inflicted on my formerly non-gaming friends. I think they will be coming to visit again on game nights.

I love this game, cute, fun, silly and yet some thinking required.

Wings of War in a bath tub with bonking and rubber duckies. Does life get much better than playing this with friends??

It was my last game of the con.

Somewhere along the way I also played Pandemic, Castle for All Seasons and others. I might add to this Geek list later. I am out of time for now.

But I over slept and missed getting to play Reef Encounter... which makes me cry
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75. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:85]
Eric Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Ami. Geek.
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We were gonna struggle through this one, but someone saw our cone and rescued us (see comments at the end of this geeklist). Overall I enjoyed the game, but timed stuff stresses me out. I'd play again for sure.

Dave Brallier and I were thinking about some variants that would eliminate the time pressure. I realize that that would be almost sacrilegeous and defeat the entire purpose, but it would make it more fun for me!
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