Better Late than Never: My BGG.con Games List
David Reed
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A listing of the games I enjoyed at BGG.con and why I enjoyed them... Started right after the con and slowly added to. Now I have finshed and probably no one wants to look at it...
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1. Board Game: Il Principe [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2322]
 
David Reed
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The first game of the weekend - fresh from Essen. We hopped into this one just after registration. We had a little confusion about rules early on, but got the hang of it. I would definitely be interested in trying this one again. A player mat (like the one that I see is on the BGG site) would have made things much easier on the first go round. It's a building game with an auction component, and it all hangs together very well. I finished second of six players - not bad for a new game!

The game has a couple of mechanisms going on, but it is really an area domination game.

I played this with one person I knew and four people I had not met before, and it set the tone for the whole weekend - very enjoyable.
 
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2. Board Game: Kremlin: Revolution [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
David Reed
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After Il Principe, we ran to the car to get my suitcase of games. We cast about for a title to play and Kremlin was suggested. Kremlin is a title from my post-college games. My gaming group loved this one and had a very bloodthirsty approach to the game. The Revolution expansion fit our style wonderfully. Eventually, I created some extra cards to balance out some perceived inequities in the good and bad things that can come out of the event deck. In general, my group loved the new cards, but they did tend to dilute the card mix that the original game had.

The game we played was the usual mix of chaos and plotting. The game went into overtime - with a last minute victory being pulled by final declaration of influence. The winner wasn't me, and I was really not much of a factor for most of the game.
 
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3. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:334]
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After Kremlin, a bunch of us went and ate dinner. While we ate in the Food Court, we discussed what to play next. Mike's friend Blake had a double set of Carabande with two Action Sets, so we decided to try this.

We wound up having nine players, and, as has been documented elsewhere, this was perhaps too many. It's a fun game, and I could really see it as a great party game with some beers and some good-natured heckling. I actually finished the three lap course, putting me somewhere near the middle of the pack of players.
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:133] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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I've heard about Ticket to Ride, and have seen it in stores, but I had not yet had a chance to play it. I gave it a try, enjoyed the game, but got royally stomped. There was a clear winner, a three-way tie for second (or very close - folks within a point or two of each other), and I was a very distant fifth. I can see that the talk about it being a good gateway game is accurate.
 
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5. Board Game: The Great Dalmuti [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1193]
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After we put TTR away, some folks broke out the Great Dalmuti. I bought this when it first came out, and have not been a real fan. After playing a few hands, I am still not a big fan - there is no real end to the game, which means that it really has no winner.
 
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6. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:236]
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After we put the Great Dalmuti away, we played San Juan - another game that I had been wanting to play. This was a great light filler game. I think it would easily be played during a lunch break (and I later bought a copy with this purpose in mind). I finished second - another good finish for a game I had not played before.
 
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7. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:585]
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The final game for the evening for us was a spirited game of Perudo. I was doing quite well until probability left the equation and blind luck took its place (when we got down to a couple of dice). I finished second, with my friend Mike coming from a huge deficit to win.
 
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8. Board Game: Havoc: The Hundred Years War [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2280]
David Reed
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When we got to the con on Friday morning, the folks we had been gaming with the night before had already launched into a game of Pirate's Cove. Someone was starting a Havoc game, so Mike and I joined in (this was good, since we had both bought copies the day before).

As folks have already posted, Havoc has elements of poker, gorgeous cards, and a theme that ties them together pretty well. We had five players at the table, with the rule explainer ducking out (he says that the game is a bit too chaotic with six players). I won several early battles, and just was edged out in the finale. I came in second by a point.
 
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9. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:339]
David Reed
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We finished Havoc and the guys in the Pirate's Cove were still slugging it out. We had agreed to try a six player Game of Thrones game on Friday, so Mike and I went to spend a bit of time in the vendor area while we waited for them.

Game of Thrones was billed as a Euro-Diplomacy hybrid. I think that it succeeds for the most part in this billing, though it might have worked better if there had been conference maps and a bit of time for conferring. There were mixed signals that led to conflicts and people missing out on who the true leaders were until one of them actually won. Jeff Coon detailed this game on his blog and had a good write-up on how things went (my perspective was a bit different, of course, but that is to be expected...).

I enjoyed it, but I am not sure that I would be in a big hurry to play it again (in fact, I turned down another game of it later in the con so I could try out something new...).
 
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10. Board Game: Cry Havoc [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2535] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
David Reed
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After the Game of Thrones, we went to eat dinner and then played another game of Havoc before the Game Show kicked off.

This one did not go quite as well, and I think it points to the fundamental aspect of gaming - a game that works well with one group of players may be a disaster with another. In this group, I was right in front of the peacemaker - which meant that I was placed in the position of either starting the battle or forcing a discard. Since I had weak hands, I passed and discarded. The guy who was peacekeeper won almost every battle that got fought. I was a distant last place.

[Yeah, I know that the game is simply Havoc... it is very hard to list a game twice in a list. Besides, I called it "Cry Havoc" about half of the time...]
 
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11. Board Game: The World's Greatest Game Show [Average Rating:6.24 Unranked]
David Reed
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After looking on the Game Show and deciding that it was not for me, I went back in and found another game of San Juan. Again, I was very impressed with it (winning helped!).

[Again, I have had to use a different title to sneak a duplicate game in - sometimes you just have to work within the system...]
 
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12. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:593]
David Reed
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Next, we played a very short game of Category 5. This was the second game that I had brought that actually reached the table. The game was cut short by another game that we were all interested in playing, so I was not able to climb far enough out of the hole that the initial hand placed me in. I finished third of four players.
 
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13. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:635]
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We played a couple of quick games of Diamant - a game that was new to me, but a great filler. Its quick, easy to explain and understand, and a lot of fun. I finished in the middle of the pack in the first game and won the second. This is a game that I can see as a potentially good gateway game. Too bad there is not a domestic edition...

The game is a "press your luck" style game. Each player is a miner exploring gem mines. Cards are turned over, which reveal whether gems are found or hazards. If two of the same hazard are revealed, the mine is closed (with any miners who are still inside stranded there). After each card is revealed, the players who have miners inside the mine are given the opportunity to stay or flee. Those who flee get their share of the loot and get to divide any excess loot they find on the way out. The players reveal their decision simultaneously, so there is some bluffing involved as well. There are five mines, and the player whose miner has the most gems at the end of the game wins.
 
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14. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:95] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
David Reed
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If Ticket to Ride is a good game, I should give Ticket to Ride: Europe a try, too... I'm not sure which version I like better, but it is a good game. There are enough new features to justify this being a new game. Frequently, a new title in a game system has only a new map and perhaps a couple of slight rules tweaks. I finished in the middle of the pack on this one.
 
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15. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
David Reed
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After an early start (had to get to the flea market - I picked up Ticket to Ride and Vanishing Planet for very nice prices), I opted to pass on another Game of Thrones, and instead joined in a game of Railroad Tycoon.

As far as feel, the game struck me as a streamlined version of Age of Steam (which I owned at the time, but had not yet had a chance to play - I would play it later in the weekend). The auction actions from AoS are now actions that everyone can perform and some randomness is added in operation cards (actions available at a discount (or free and bonuses available for completing routes and deliveries) and tycoon cards (secret bonuses that are revealed at the end of the game).

Keith Blume did a great job of explaining the game, in spite of dealing with the serious illness of his son. I really enjoyed the game, and was impressed enough to order a copy, even if I did finish solidly in third place (Keith finished in back of the pack with his perfected "Penn Central" debt spiral).

All of the vendors at the con were great - I only wish that I had had enough time to try out all of the games that were being demonstrated (especially Tempus).
 
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16. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1657]
David Reed
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After finishing the Railroad Tycoon game, I ate lunch and then hooked up for a game of Mississippi Queen. This is another "classic" title that I had missed out on somehow, so I was glad to give it a try. I'm not sure that I really need to describe the game, as I suspect that most folks know it pretty well. An early collision while trying to get a passenger really hurt - I was out of the game long before it was over and wound up in last place by a huge amount. I'd like to give it another try, now that I know how bad the collisions can affect things.
 
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17. Board Game: Bootleggers [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1195]
David Reed
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After Mississippi Queen, we gave Bootleggers a try.

This was an interesting game, that had some curious component choices (for example, all of the trucks are the same physical size, even if they do not have the same cargo capacity in the game).

The game is centered in Prohibition-era Chicago. Each player is the head of a bootlegging clan, trying to make as much money as possible, by moving the whiskey the clan produces to the speakeasies and nightclubs. Through the influence of your gang, you get control of the drinking establishments, which allows your gane to make more money and get first sale options. There are the usual "take that" cards, too.

I enjoyed the game, but some bad card distibution made it very hard to move up in the world. I'm not sure if this would happen in another game, so I will reserve final judgement until at least another game. In spite of being unable to pick up influence cards and not being able to buy a decent sized truck, I came in third.
 
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18. Board Game: The Train Game [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:13175]
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Before dinner (and the Texas Hold 'em tournament), we played another game of Ticket to Ride: Europe. I was getting a better feel for things and finished second.
 
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19. Board Game: Trendy [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4053]
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While many went off to the poker tourney, I went to get dinner. As the people began to return from their tables (with long faces), we formed up a couple of quick games of Trendy. This is a simple card game, that is a nice quick filler. Each player is trying to push a fashion, which will score points if enough people adopt it. Supermodels that display the fashion speed the adoption, while there are also cards that mark the fashion as passe.

In the first game, I finished last of the five players, while, in the second game I finished third. As I said, a nice filler, but not as much fun as some of the other titles I tried.
 
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20. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:5.56 Unranked]
David Reed
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After Trendy, we decided to play a couple of games of Diamant. Things were not going as well for me this night and I finished in last place and second to last. Still a very good filler game.
 
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21. Board Game: Cloud 9 [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1731]
David Reed
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Another filler game that bears some resemblance to Diamant. In other words, there is a strong "press your luck" element, but there is a twist - in Cloud 9 the pilot of the balloon can not bail out. It's a good game, which may have to be added to my collection at some point in the future.
 
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22. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Mystery Train Expansion [Average Rating:6.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.63 Unranked]
David Reed
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The final game for Saturday night was another Ticket to Ride game, this time adding in the Mystery Train Expansion. The additional cards never came into play, so it turned out to be a normal game. I wound up in last place of the four players.
 
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23. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:119]
David Reed
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The final game of the weekend was one I had been wanting to try for a while. I had already bought my own copy, and had (somehow) wound up with all of the Warfrog expansions, too. Sort of alarming if it turned out that I didn't actually like the game.

No need to worry - Age of Steam is the real deal. My experience in Railroad Tycoon helped, as I came in second place in a five player game. I should have won, but I missed a more lucrative delivery in the final round, which would have put me into a tie, possibly into a win.
 
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