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PartheCon 1: Parthenogenesis

Board Game: Blood Rage
Board Game: KeyForge: Call of the Archons
Board Game: Root
Board Game: Gloomhaven
Board Game: The Mind
Board Game: Wildlands
Board Game: Attack on Titan: The Last Stand
Board Game: Onitama
Board Game: Dungeon Derby

 9   Blood Rage (2 all-time)
 9   KeyForge: Call of the Archons x3 (14 all-time)
 8   Root (7 all-time)
 7   Gloomhaven NEW!
 7   The Mind (7 all-time)
 7   Wildlands NEW!
 6   Attack on Titan: The Last Stand NEW!
 6   Onitama x3 (6 all-time)
 5   Dungeon Derby NEW!

Every year I get together with good friends for a Mancation.

PartheCon is not Mancation.

PartheCon is two days of gaming at Parthe's apartment. Parthe agrees to stop chasing skirts long enough to host games at his sweet bachelor pad. We all agree to show up and play games.

These are the essential elements of PartheCon: Friends. Board games. Pizza. Beer. Farts. Shouting. [Optional: picklebacks, stale chips.]

PartheCon 1

Friday the 1st:

I was the only one driving in from out of town. The drive sucked. Cross Bronx. Ugh. Enough said.

When I showed up, Mike was already there. I walked in on Mike and Parthe playing Hive, one of my favorite games that no one will play me in any longer, because I'm pretty danged good at it.

After they cleaned up Hive, we played a session of The Mind to see how attuned we were to one another. We were Level 5 attuned. No further.

Mike was on a mission to get me to love Onitama, a game that he likes a lot. My previous experience with it was frustrating. I disliked having to learn new moves each game, resulting in AP, with little reward. I rated it a '4', 'not so good - but could play again' according to the BGG scale. I wanted to like it, but didn't. Still, I was willing to be convinced. We played with the Wind Spirit expansion, and a Wind card did come into play, which opened up some interesting decisions. We played a best of 3, and I won 2-1. Result? I like it a little more. I raised my rating to '6' and it could go higher. I think that the major difference between this time and last time is that last time I played (with Parthe), we changed the cards every game. That was just too much. This time, we played with the same cards for the entire best of 3, and I would have been willing to play even more, going for a best of 7. I realized that my problem wasn't so much with the game, but with one way of playing the game, with a new set of cards each time. Now, I think that I'd actually like the game a lot if we just stuck to one set of cards for long best of 7 matches, then switch it up. That seems like a good sweet spot for scratching my need for exploring stable systems, while also providing variety each session.

From gallery of trawlerman

From gallery of trawlerman

After Onitama, Parthe and I faced off in a game of KeyForge.
Complicated Thorpe of the Chateau (me) vs. Dutchdotter McIver-McIver, Baron (Parthe)
Complicated Thorpe simply mopped the floor with McIver-McIver. It was embarrassing. What was more embarrassing was the amount of baby whining that happened about how Thorpe was over-powered, cry cry cry. I offered to swap decks for a rematch, but the offer was declined. We moved on.

Yams showed up at this point, so we moved on to the serious Dudes on Maps action that we had all showed up for.

We played Wildlands, which was as wild as its title suggests. I lucked into two easy gems at the beginning of the game, but that only marked me as a target for the rest of the game. I really like how the game allows for "unfair" situations like this, then encourages the players to do something to deal with it. In this case, everyone else heavily guarded my other gems from me, picked off my weak characters, all while scoring their own gems and kills. I managed to get the win by running with a character through several spaces, surviving two attempted kill interrupts, and grabbing a gem in the most unlikeliest of rooms for me to get to. I also killed an owl. It was a wild time, much fun.

From gallery of trawlerman

From gallery of trawlerman

Mike was the only one of us who hadn't played Root. I gave him the Marquise, did a quick rules teach, including quick review of other factions, then we were up and fighting in the woods.

It was a close game the entire time. Mike's cats ran a tight business, expanding business centers and profits each turn. Yams' Chaos Lord Trash Bandit saw a good thing and began allying himself with Big Cat. My Woodland Alliance was the mole being whacked, consistently getting points, but struggling for a board presence. Parthe's cute lil birdies aggressively expanded, eventually hitting turmoil, only to be reborn unstoppable. It was my 7th play of the game, and the first time that I saw a bird victory.

From gallery of trawlerman

From gallery of trawlerman

We also ate pizza, drank beer, farted, and shouted. A lot.

Saturday the 2nd:

Mike and Yams had gone home the night before (or early the next morning, really). I woke up too early at 8 and putzed around. Parthe woke up at 9:30. We went to a local deli and got great breakfast sandwiches, then returned and played...

Gloomhaven. Parthe had a copy of Gloomhaven because, like so many people, he chose to have Gloomhaven instead of having kids. Also, after the sad death of his dog, Gloomhaven provided the loving company that he needed, demanding the same attention and care.

All jokes aside, I played Gloomhaven. I liked it. The hype, the praise, it's all legit. Do I see myself playing it 100+ times? Nope, though I did tell Parthe that I'd be willing to commit to a scenario a year, so if we don't replay any of them, we should get through the entire game when we're 140 years old.

From gallery of trawlerman

From gallery of trawlerman

After Gloomhaven, Mike showed up. Parthe played tiny people games on his tablet while Mike and I played forging keys. This post is already getting too long. Short version. Complicated Thorpe killed it again against a deck name I don't remember, then got seriously owned by The Noxious Barkeep of Antiset. Friggin' noxious barkeeps. That last game played long, but it was satisfying the entire time.

From gallery of trawlerman

Yams showed up while we were finishing KeyForge. After screwing around for a little bit, we decided to play Lazer Ryderz. During set-up, it was obvious that the table was too small, so we then spent the next half hour (at least) pushing and pulling on Parthe's uncooperative table to get the flyleaf out. I cannot stress enough how epic the moment was when success was achieved without the table falling apart, and no one being injured. We finally had a big enough table to play. Then, Parthe's friend Sean showed up, and we couldn't play the 4 player Lazer Ryderz any longer. We put it away. So it goes.

From gallery of trawlerman

After a short bit of debate, we settled on Attack on Titan: The Last Stand, which was an adequate adaptation of the anime in the sense that we felt hopeless and ultimately all of humanity perished in a tragic final slaughter. We came close a few times to offing the Titan, but it's also clear that we misunderstood and mismanaged the use of the tactics deck. I'd like to play it again. I had fun, but right now, I still think that Attack on Titan: Deck-Building Game is better than this one.

From gallery of trawlerman

After the catastrophic end of the world, we were ready for the catastrophic end of the world. It was time for the main event. Blood Rage. The main event consisted of lots of swearing, threatening, and more swearing and threatening. Arguments. Shouting. Farting. Blooding. Raging. I was doing well, carrying the lead, until the end of Age 3, in which everyone at the table decided to shower Parthe with free victory points, out of sheer love for his greatness, I guess. He won by a large margin. Blood Lame. I kid. It was a great time.

From gallery of trawlerman

Throughout all of this, there was also once again the always important elements of pizza and beer alongside the above mentioned shouting and farting.

Mike's girlfriend showed up near the end of Blood Rage (the fact that she could survive amidst all of this gnarly gamerly testosterone must mean she's a keeper). After BR, we all played Dungeon Derby, a simple racing and betting game with lots of luck and chaos, perfect for the end of the night. Except by this time of night, I'm usually asleep. I wasn't asleep, but the pizza and beer was warring in me to get me to go to sleep so that it could colonize my belly without any further resistance. I was dopey through the game, but I managed to win through a lucky bet, followed by overly cautious management of my immense wealth.

From gallery of trawlerman

Then, goodbyes and sleep.

Early wake-up and early travel to beat a snowstorm the next day. The Parthenogenesis is over. We'll do it again next year, PartheCon 2: The Parthening.
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