Yesterday I arrived home with a package on the porch. Thank you so much for everything!!! I have had a huge hole in my collection of 2 player specific games, so I am extremely thrilled to have such a huge boost in that department. I was also really excited with the 2 games I didn't know about, particularly the King is Dead. Looks awesome for me as I love diplomacy style games so much. Hive is the great mystery, but I recall having on my wishlist early on in the hobby. Anyways, I posted all about it over here
Let's try this again...
So I started a long writeup detailing my experience of BGGCON on my cell phone and lost the internet connection when I hit "submit." This time I will be copying my text first. And it was no big deal on vacation, I was just lying in bed unable to sleep.
First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the little treat. 7 Wonders Duel is one of those games that intrigued me but I am not certain I would have bought for myself so it is really exciting to receive. It's funny, when my family buys me games they need to know EXACTLY what I want, but when Santa does it he knows his games well and knows how to "read" a person to get them what they want even though they didn't know they wanted it. Also, thanks a ton for taking care of Tommy! We got the package while I was at BGGCON and he was sniffing all over that fish package. Today is his heartworm pill day so he's definitely getting spoiled with a salmon
Observations from BGGCON:
This year was kind of a dud for my 5th experience. As in the least enjoyable BGGCON of the 5, but still better than almost anything else I could have been doing lol. We have a consistent group yearly and the last 2 I have deferred to letting another of the guys pick the games and teach the games and I ended up just playing some games I don't think I would have played on my own. I will let you know what worked/didn't work for me in the games.
Codenames/Spyfall - These are both amazing party games. The only problem is I don't play a lot of party games so it kind of fell flat at a convention I could have played almost anything that exists. Codenames was the cooler of the 2, but as with all party games I tired of it quickly. Maybe not long-term tired of it I guess, but I just love longer experiences in a game usually. I'm the rare person that would rather play a 2.5 hour game than a 45 minute game(Melissa is not lol) - I just love to have something to talk about post-game("man, I almost had the win then you bought all that coal up and I was forced to go a different strategy..."). Almost as much as I love the games I play I love the post-game narratives we tell.
Battle Line - I'd seen this for years and knew it was a Knizia game but I was really impressed how much game there was with so little to play with. By our second game the decisions were much more complicated as we knew how to screw each other in the right ways. For a short game, this really was a blast for me - totally didn't expect that.
Time Stories - The most hyped of the games I played. I let another guy pick this (and last year he picked Tales of Arabian Knights) and it was NOT something I enjoyed. Even in my Europe trip last week I poked into some game stores and people were going nuts over it. What I have learned from it, and Arabian Knights before it, is that storytelling games are not of much interest to me. I enjoyed TS for a little bit, and I am not anti-coop by any means, but when I play games I like to have some sort of strategic "point." If I want to tell stories I am much happier playing DND or something.
Favor of the Pharaoh - I had previously owned and traded To Court the King so I was curious to try this. There isn't a ton of depth there and ultimately you are just rolling dice, but it was a game I did enjoy quite a bit even though it's out of my typical wheelhouse(Euros by the likes of Rosenburg or Feld). The dice manipulation stuff was a lot cooler than it's predecessor, and it's a game I know would get played especially as a gateway.
A Few Acres of Snow - So I owned this and never played it and then traded it. Was looking for a 2 player game when half my group got the flu so said "what the hell" and gave it a shot. Really fast rulebook and my biggest surprise of the weekend. I immediately had regrets about trading it. The card play was really cool. I know it's not a true wargame but I liked the conflict aspect mixed with an almost Bruges-like cardplay where your cards could be used to do different things and you had to decide "do I want to use this canoe to travel to that town, or do I want to use the card to get money?" We really enjoyed this one and it makes me wonder if there are other card driven quasi-wargames out there. Maybe Santa knows?
Antarcica - This one has that very 2005 "boring Euro" feel. It seemed a little too abstract at first, but ultimately it was a really cool game. I know it would be hard to get my friends fired up for it(those darn Ameritrashers!), but it was the coolest Euro I played. I loved the rondel aspect of the sun and the decision making on when to sail to certain stations so you could get actions. A really simple game at it's core, but great and tantalizing decisions to make...basically everything a great Euro should consist of. Kind of reminded me of a Feld or something which is always a good thing.
Istanbul - I bought this last year after a BGGCON demo and only first played at this year's con. Not much to say, but it was really fun and quite quick. It is one I am definitely going to bust open in the coming weeks because it offered great decisions but quick enough gameplay I think I can convince Melissa to even play it! Really solid gateway euro!
That's pretty much it. Obviously that is a lot of info, but I wanted you to know what "works" for me. You have been such a great Santa already and I really trust your decision making, so if there is stuff on my wishlist that maybe reminds you of something you think I'd like, go for it! I mean, I think I know what I want, but BGGCON goes on to confirm that there are SOOOO many perfect games that I don't even know I want and are just perfect for me! So, if anything I said sparks an idea in your mind, feel free to go for the surprise. Oh, and I will try to get Duels played soon and let you know how we like it
1) How large is your usual game group (what player counts do you play most often)? - as of late it has been a pretty routine 3. I always loved the idea of 4 players, and if I could still get them together regularly I'd do it. But I have warmed a lot to the 3p experience and though my wife very seldom games, I always fancy the idea one day I'll find a nice euro that works with friends and she'll also want to play on the side. The closest I got was Agricola and Glass Road, but unfortunately even the most recent gameplay of those was a year ago!!! But every winter I try to catch her on a slow day and see if maybe THIS will be the time she gets hooked
2) How often do you get to play boardgames? - I have a standing Thursday night game-night at a friend's place. He homebrews and always has the beer flowing, which is great, and this is where I play my 3p games, but we are generally playing his games on those nights(much more Ameritrash which the other 2 prefer to my euro leanings, though I still love the Ameritrash games, you just won't find very many on my wishlist).
3) Do you or your parents still own a greyhound? - I actually do own the grey! I did a google search for "cat sized dog" and got a return for "cat like dog." Obviously the size is way different, but greyhounds are pretty chill like a cat and I love that. He was a racing dog and is now 10.5 and always makes sure to sleep under the game table when we play at my house...being massaged by 4 pair of feet.
4) Are you still a teacher? - This is a trick, isn't it? I never was a teacher per-se, but I suspect I posted something SOMEWHERE about it here. I used to be an eikaiwa instructor in Japan. Basically, it was a regular daycare with the trick being the instructors were only speaking English. So I played with Play-doh and Legos, but got paid because I was a white kid that was very obviously American
. But it was in that time that I really dug in with the BGG community throwing out some feelers trying to find a game store. Instead, what I found was my first true gaming group(all in Japanese). It was cool to be 6000 miles from home, unable to speak with 90% of the people I gamed with but having a sense of community and allowing the games to talk for us. That was 2009 when I owned 2 games. But that experience turned into my obsession that has seen a lot of purchases and a lot of trades. But I still am curious how you came across this...I went digging through old posts. Santa is good!
5) What are your top 3 games of all time?
Geez, I don't know. I went to look at my top ratings and it would seem I only like Civ games lol. So I will tell you a few and why I like them, as that might be helpful.
1) Colonial Eurpoe's Empires Overseas - coolest game I own. I saw it at BGGCON and had to play because that pretty map. I have only had the chance to play it twice, which is a travesty, but it's just so hard to get to the table. My old group of 4 used to be the type of group that would welcome sitting through rules, the new group we usually have something out on the table that is much lighter. But what a shame. This game has EVERYTHING I love. Euro-y with all that great area control racing...and uprisings. EVERYTHING.
2) Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game - I love exploring the map and trying to build on the best spots. Everything I love about the computer game, but head-to-head on a small map. It's just a really solid game! I can't believe I see so many copies of this up for sale all the time.
3) Agricola/Glass Road/Ora et Labora - I know these games are all different, but ol' Uwe just knows how to design a game amirite? I probably like Agricola the most, as it was my first deep Euro love. It was one of my first Euros and though I've played and owned hundreds of other since, nothing quite matches it in theme and mechanics marriage making TOTAL sense...IN A EURO. But love Glass Road for the card interplay and speed. And OeL when I want to have my brain blow up inside my head...in a good way.
So basically I love stuff that gives you the "feel" you are doing something, even if it is abstracted. Agricola is so hard euro but it makes sense how you would do things(get wood for fences, fences for pens, pens for animals) where Caylus, which I also love, doesn't really make sense - get the cubes on the road and put them in the tower or build buildings. Like the game and won't trade it, but nobody will play with me except my engineer friend(who also kills me at OeL).
What are your favorite games? Are there games you think I would like but haven't put on my wishlist? Like something so egregious I don't know about but should based on what I said above? Also, do you like following a wishlist or do you want to surprise me? I don't know what I'll find next week at BGG.CON, but I am open to the idea if you have things in mind...
I couldn't help but laugh Santa. You know your shit! And I'm glad you do, because I am far less scared of the fence creature I almost inadvertently came in contact with! But you have my mind reeling as "who the crap is Santa?!?" But thanks for responding. Because you referenced something months ago on my Instagram, I am sure you are the real deal. But tell me, Santa, what is YOUR favorite game?
But I truly am concerned how you found out I was once a teacher. If it were a year ago, I'd understand. But Santa must truly have an immense scout team because it has been some years since I was a a "teacher."
You know Santa, I get it. In a life that requires you to be jolly and nice at all times, sometimes it's just gotta feel good to take over the world with a spider army. DS is also one of my favorites. Top 15 for sure...and only one of my friends likes it lol.