How many games can fit in one suitcase? (Our games played at WCMF 2011 geeklist)
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Going out to WCMF presented some problems this year. A few years ago, we could somehow make this trip fine with all our clothes and a few games in a few carry on bags. Now that we're flying on an airline that gives us free checked baggage, suddenly we are finding our bags brush precariously against the weight limit. Granted, a few years ago we didn't do math trades. But what was more worrying was that we were getting bigger stuff than we were bringing in the trade.

Our annual trip to California for WCMF and a lot of gaming!
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26. Board Game: Pantheon [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:927]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I guess its a good sign when we want to play a game we just learned again in the same day!

After a second play, we decided we probably wouldn't play this again at the con, since we were just going to buy it as soon as we got home

Lisa 110
Brian 85
Peter 77
 
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27. Board Game: Asara [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:565]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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One final game for the night. I'd read the rules this morning, but I was very happy when Bryon offered to teach us, as I was having a hard time matching up the board with what I'd read.

This seems like a very solid game with careful hand management, tricky money manipulation and competing for majorities, but for some reason it just didn't quite "grab" Lisa or I.

While others were scoring points early, I went for the expensive white towers and managed to get end game bonuses for white towers and highest tower, winding up slightly in the lead.

Brian 70
Gwen 69
Lisa 67
James 55
 
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28. Board Game: Mord im Arosa [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1273]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I got up early Saturday, went to get more rules to read, and found Simon puzzling over prize table choices. Since he was curious about Mord im Arosa, when Kendall wandered in we grabbed him and played a quick game.

Very quick. This may have been the quickest game of Mord im Arosa ever. We only had out 14 cubes, and 10 of them were Simon's!

I think he liked it anyways though

Simon 14
Kendall 4
Brian 2
 
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29. Board Game: The Secret of Monte Cristo [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3009]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Then for one of the games I read rules for. One of the draw points of this is the cool marble based action order mechanism, which shows which order actions are taken in. Ok, its a gimmick, but it is cute.

You try to get adventurers into the castle to get gems out. Majority competition (seems to be a lot of that going around), and juggling actions.

Fun, not sure what to think of it. Later we saw a different group playing and their game looked completely different than ours - we almost never had enough people out, while they had all the spaces full. Makes me wonder if it was just different actions taken, or if one group did something wrong.

Lisa 43
Brian 35
Kris H 30
John 24
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30. Board Game: Magical Athlete [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1670]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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I'd heard about this being a big "under the radar" hit at BGG.Con and was curious. I wasn't sure how well it would go over. You draft a group of fantasy-themed racers (medusa, centaur, spy, gladiator, etc) and then match them up in mostly roll and move races spiced up by special abilities.

This was way funnier (and funner) than it sounded. Maybe that was just the group, but it just seemed to produce a lot of amusement. On of the funnier points was Jenn saying "-1!" every time someone rolled when she had the demon - after she'd done it for a while, said she was going to stop, then Kris complained that she liked hearing it each time.

Lisa 11
Chris 9
Kris H 3
Jenn 1 (a point she stole with the thief!)
Brian 0 (I, um...didn't want to win a game I taught...yeah...)
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31. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1554]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Then we got to play one of Matt Leacock's prototypes!

It --deleted for security reasons--
And then we --deleted for security reasons-- which meant that --deleted for security reasons--!
But luckily --deleted for security reasons-- and we --deleted for security reasons--.

Lisa, me, Donna, Matt - Won! Barely.
Lisa, me, Shelley, Eric - Won! Barely, again.
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32. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:304]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Then the traditional Meeplefest Formula D race!

Lots of tight curves on this race, which made for a lot of back and forth maneuvering. I got blockaded in a lot.

On the final stretch, Simon crossed the finish line, but James overshot him. Then Lisa came up, ended right behind Simon, drafted past him to right behind James, and...couldn't draft past him because of the arrow she had to land on in the corner. Very close finish!

James - 1st
Lisa - 2nd
Simon - 3rd
In no particular order:
Candy, Paul, Gwen, Kris H, me, Shoanna
Ric - managed to make the only crash of the race - he took a curve in 6th gear!
 
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33. Board Game: Animal Upon Animal [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:577]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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We relaxed from the intense race with some more balancing animals. While Howe (er, I think I got his name right...) tried to disrupt the game by bumping the table when we went past, we just gave him a penalty animal. Even though he wasn't in the game. Which made him join the second game.

First game - Lisa beat me, James and Gwen.
Second game - Lisa beat Paul, Michael, Howe and Gwen.
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34. Board Game: Grimoire [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1486]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Matt and Donna just had half an hour before they were going to be podcasting (though I think they had high expectation for how punctual anyone is at Meeplefest), so we suggested Grimoire, figuring it could fit in. Which it did.

Lisa 38
Brian 34
Matt and Donna tied with 31
 
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35. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:500]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Deciding to get in one more play, we asked Tim if he could teach us this, which he kindly did. I'd read the rules before, but just couldn't wrap my head around it.

This is a very neat and different kind of racing game, where you try to complete the race in the quickest time - where time is measured by cards you get based on which gear you end in. Its got a bit of a push your luck element, and a lot of speed planning.

While Lisa was the only one to not crash, she had to change a tire (bad draw going over a shortcut) and lost a lot of time from that.

Tim - 3:46
Lisa - 5:08
Me - 5:21

And then it was time for bed. Time really flies when you're having this much fun!
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36. Board Game: Skippity [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:5777]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Sunday morning. Wow, this all went past fast.

We got all packed so we'd be ready to go and strolled out to the elevators. Lisa commented that this was the longest we'd had to wait for an elevator here, but how it was still much faster than the hotel at the Westin.

Then we kept waiting.

And waiting.

Then she noticed that the doors to one of the elevators were slightly open. Seems one of the elevators broke down during the night. Apparently kids decided to try to pry the doors open while it was moving. This led to a lot of delays and a big line for breakfast.

When we did make it through breakfast, then got all checked out (but still had a while to wait). What to play? Especially with not long to go before the all important Looping Louie tournament!

Shoanna asked us to play Skippity with her - she'd gotten a basket of games that Susan brought from the prize table.

An amusing sort-of-checkers variant where you try to capture sets of different colors. But we had to break for...
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37. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:429]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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The 2011 Loopin' Louie tournament!

A meeplefest tradition.

At my table, I was soundly defeated by Jenn, Toni, and Candy. However, Lisa went on to the finals and became the first two time Meeplefest Loopin' Louie Champion!

There may, however, have been some marital strife caused when Toni knocked out Ted's last chicken in the final round

We then returned to our regularly scheduled game of Skippity, which Lisa won handily (Lisa 6, Brian and Shoanna 4 each). Clearly on a winning streak.
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38. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1148]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Then for some co-opy goodness!

We taught Ted and Toni Wok Star. Despite Ted's threats to backstab her for the earlier Louie incident, we all worked handily together to win with $87 out of the $80 needed.

Starring:
Lisa as Mrs. Wang.
Ted as Mr. Wang.
Toni as Lilly Wang.
Brian as Grandma Wang.
 
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39. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1554]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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And then we dragged them into playing our co-op prototype. It...did not go so well. Well, I mean, I think that playing the game went fine, but we got badly crushed!
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40. Board Game: Hanabi & Ikebana [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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And more co-ops! We saw Tim, Matt and Ken getting ready to play this and asked to join. A great and clever co-op deduction game. Though Ken has some...errr...nonconventional playing approaches

19 points...not so good!
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41. Board Game: Yomi [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:424] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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With everyone else tied up in a game, we decided to play a quick two player. I'd been curious to try Yomi in person - previously we'd only played online. Lisa took DeGrey and I had Geiger (both random picks) and we had a very close fight.

Some amusement, but this cured my interest in buying it.
 
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42. Board Game: Lancaster [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:160]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Its always important to learn one more game at the last minute. Actually, we didn't rush this one too much.

Kendall taught us Lancaster, which was an exciting and tricky game with competing knights, building castles, and voting. Enjoyed this a lot.

Kendall clearly taught well:
Lisa 105
Brian 105
Kendall 62

And then it was time to say lots of goodbyes and go. Sigh. The cons go by so fast!
 
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43. Board Game: Pick & Pack [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1796]
Brian Modreski
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Wait, was there something about luggage there?

Well, here was thing. We had brought with us to play:

Safranito. This is not a small or light game.
Formula D. This is not a small or light game. In fact, it filled up our carry-on all on its own.

We then got in the math trade:

Burp. This is not a small or light game. In fact, it contains a big bag of real stones.
Tomb. This is not a small or light game. Its downright big and heavy.
3 Commandments. Not big, but not exactly small.
And Patrician. This was a surprise, since we only traded away three items - Bay gave it to me since I'd listed it as wanted and it didn't trade. He wanted to cut down his collection.

Then we'd gotten from the prize table:
Ascending Empires. This is a decently hefty game.
Battleship Galaxies. This is HUGE. Lisa had picked it first. When I got prize, I was asked if I'd be picking the second biggest thing on the table.

Somehow, we did manage to fit it all, without any weight problems even.

We did have some convention flashback at the airport - we ran into Denis, looking somewhat bleery - he'd missed his flight and had been stuck there for a few hours. Poor guy

Great con! We had a very fun time, and played lots of great games.

Our top picks for the con:
Best game: Pantheon
Biggest surprise hit: Magical Athlete
Biggest dud: Wow. Nothing really. Loch Ness wasn't particularly exciting, and some of the lighter games we played weren't really our thing, but nothing I'd call a 'dud'.

Some aftermath notes:

For the games we got from the con, but didn't get to play at the con:

Battleship Galaxies: We've only played the first scenario so far, but it made a good first impression. Simple, but with lots of choices from the system of spending energy for cards and activating ships.

Burp: Really strange! The pier and fishing mechanics are novel, but the game attached to it leaves a bit to be desired.

Patrician: Simple and fast majority game of trying to build the highest towers. Tricky game play in that where you build towers also determines what card you get to use later. Needs more plays to decide what we think.

Ascending Empires: Not sure what to think. We didn't make it through a first play due to a lot of rules mess ups, but we had some issues with one of the game elements - that battleship seemed to wreck the game pretty fast. Needs another try.

Tomb: Haven't had a chance to play.

The 3 Commandments: Since its a group game, may not get a chance to play for a while. Actually, we only got this at all through a bit of a blunder on my part. Oops blush
 
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