SamCon 2: Westbury on severn
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
ISLEWORTH
London
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A friend of mine in Bristol hosts a games holiday once or twice a year; Sam Con.

It is a week long games fest for like minded souls to board and rpg it up. Usually a meal or two out, a BBQ weather willing and much carnage.

This is a billing of the games I played in the second Samcon 2012.

This time round I sorted the accom and 10 of us went to gloucestershire for the week.

The accom was great (ingleside, westbury on severn, on trip adviser if anyone else wants to rent for similar purposes), a large lounge table worthy of two games, a game worthy table in the kitchen, a seperate rpg room aka lounge and a conservatory.

Plenty of garden space and good weather allowed for 2 BBQs

The local pub served us good food and I think we paid their wages for the day easily.

anyway on to the games
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1. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:56]
Daniel VandenBurg
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Was my first time playing this. I randomed mammals and lagged in 4th most of the game to more experienced players. However a good domination total from the ice age placed me in 2nd by the end.

I did enjoy the game, for some reason I had formed an opinion of the sort of game it might be based on it's box art and was completely wrong. Sadly I could not play flightless giant flesh eating birds but hey ho.

8/10
 
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2. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
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Another older game I missed during my PhD.

Played 2,3 and 4 player, regular and draft modes. Had all the available expansions.

I won one game due to a stupidly good search engine something like draw 13 keep 5 from several added powers. I lost plenty more to more experienced powers.

Like most LCG type games knowing the cards is key. I did like draft mode equally.

7/10
 
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3. Board Game: 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:1767]
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
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My second ever 18xx game.

I felt much mroe cofnident as my first 18xx was a haze and felt confused half the time.

I loved the mechanic of the minor companies converting / merging into public companies. I also loved the RSR eating the minors and publics as the game went on.

Compared to other 18xxs there is no double triple stock value moving so stock is slower to escalate. Most players merged two minors to form publics. This resulted in expensive shares so only got one a turn if that. 1861 seems more interested in the track and rail part of the game but onwing multiple stocks in well rated companies always seems to be key to winning in any 18xx.

Ended with my South Eastern Rail company being the top rated stock, sadly one stock round short of the top price slot I still came 4th of 5 >
 
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4. Board Game: Super Dungeon Explore [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1108] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
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London
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One of our party bought this along. I played twice as had been considering this purchase myself.

Game is very similar to Descent mechanics wise but more light hearted. I loved the figs, very well made and very anime cutsey. Several got used for a DnD 4th Ed hex map later that week.

Suffers from only 2 main bosses in the game and thats with purchasing the roxor main expansion, so replay may be lower than otherwise could be.

Overall I score it a 7/10. Seems the paladin is vital for his strong heal effect.
 
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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:31]
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
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London
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Played the benelux map. I won with a strong renewables strategy with added oil in the last few turns for more power.

I enjoyed this map and was my first play of PG. We played with robots too howveer our randomise robot wasnt very threatening. A later game generated a very scary one who placed 3rd of 5!

7.5/10
 
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6. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Daniel VandenBurg
United Kingdom
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London
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Only been plying this for a few weeks but a firm fave of mine.

Played 5 games now and been cylon 4/5, am glad to have now lost my 100% cylon streak as didn't bode favourabley for my interactions.

typically my group played with pegasus and exodus using the ionian nebula destination rules.

We played one game with new caprica, I think I prefer the nebula. Havent yet played with a leader in the game however.

Multiple plays have now prompted me to watch the series. Finshed season 1 last night :0

9/10
 
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7. Board Game: Dominion: Dark Ages [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Daniel VandenBurg
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London
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Played the honour amongst thieves autogenerated set,

I didnt win but had fun using mainly a procession/squire strategy.

I lost to spoils heavey decks having missed out on colonies by one copper several times :9

7.5/10
 
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8. Board Game: 7 Wonders: Cities [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Daniel VandenBurg
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Played several times with leaders and cities.

Also played a big 8 player game using the team rules.

This was AMAZING. Changed the game completely. Play slowed down but became very tactical/political. I twinned my mannekin pis with a statue of zeus, the free build per age twice in the team worked well and I mainly employed a city heavy srategy with Nero and Darius.

Placed 5th solo and 3rd team overall. Lost to two science heavey teams.

9/10
 
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