CamasCon Fall 2012 Geek List
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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This is my first time back to CamasCon after missing the past 3 events. It was great to return!
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1. Board Game: Bootleggers [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1160]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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We started the weekend playing Bootleggers. I've never played a mobster-theme strategy board game before, so that was fun. I'm typically not a huge fan of dice games, so I was wary about such an important amount of the game being left up to the dice. It ended up not being a huge deal...partly do to the fact that you can buy additional dice to help improve your numbers.

I enjoyed it, but there are two factors that will prevent me from rushing out and buying it. Number one is that it's out of print, and copies look to go for $80 or more. Number two is that it is 3+ players, so it wouldn't get too much play in our house.

But come next CamasCon, I'd definitely play it again!
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2. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:211]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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I learned this game at the last CamasCon I attended, and enjoyed it so much that we bought it. It is definitely one of my favorite games right now. I was excited to teach it to some friends who haven't played it before. I may have enjoyed it more than they did, but I think we all had a fun time.
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3. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:596]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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This was fun. It was the only game this weekend that we played twice. It's easy to learn and goes fairly quickly. Last time I went to CamasCon, I played Snow Tails, and I like this game better. It looks like there's many different tracks that can be played on. Actually, it looks like this version of the game is out of print, but there's a new version called "Formula D" that looks to be available.

I can see pulling it out to play once in a while, but if you play it too much, I would imagine that it gets a bit repetitive. I'm interested in hearing from somebody who owns it, how often does it get played after a while?
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4. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:371]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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Belfort was an interesting game. I haven't played too many different types of resource gathering games yet...I've played Stone Age and Pillars of the Earth. I didn't like Stone Age at all, but I really like Pillars. I'd stick this game right in the middle for now, although with more playthroughs I think I would grow to like it more. I think my problem is that I just didn't know what strategy to play with until late in the game, when it was far too late to catch up and win.

The art was fantastic. The theme was fun. I would like to know how fun it is with just 2 players...has anybody tried that? This is a game I'd like to play again before deciding if I want it or not.
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5. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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Each CamasCon, I need to play at least one card game. This time, 7 Wonders was it.

I really like the concept of the game, with the passing of your hand to your neighbor. The trade off of "this is a really good card for me!" vs "my opponent could really use this one, so I better take it before he does" was quite fun. The rules for 2 players were a bit strange, but I could learn to live with it.

The resource management felt awkward. I think slowing the game down, and adding resource tokens that you collect each turn, would be a nice addition to the game.

It was fun, but I don't think I'll be adding it to my Want List.
 
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6. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:436]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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Here's a genre of board games that I rarely play! The horror/scary/supernatural theme.

I really had a lot of fun. The first half of the game we explored the house, collected items, and buffed our characters. Then "the event" occurred. The event is different each time you play the game. One player becomes "evil" and the other players now try to survive. The instruction booklet explains goals and objectives for the traitor for their win conditions, and likewise for the heroes.

Our game had no traitors. Instead, 4 evil doppelgängers entered the house, and tried to kill us. We had to team up and take out each other's doppelgänger while avoiding our own.

It was a lot of fun, I would be interested in playing this one again!
 
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7. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:212] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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To wrap up the day, we pulled out Neuroshima Hex.

There were 4 of us playing, and none of us had that amazing of a time. To be fair, it turns out this is supposed to be a 2 player game, and there's a sub-par 4 player variant that we were playing. Additionally, we were trying to learn it around 1:00am. We just wanted the game to end, so we could go to bed.

Thinking about the game more, though, I can see a very intense and complex tactical war game here. I would love to give the game a fair shot when I'm more awake, and against just a single opponent.
 
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8. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:425]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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The next morning, we pulled out Vegas Showdown. This was a simple game to learn and I really enjoyed playing it. You are the owner of a hotel and you're working to increase your income by attracting more people (via restaurants) and having them spend more money (via gambling rooms). If you build lots of slots, but not any restaurants, then you won't have people to gamble, so you don't make as much money as you could.

All players bid on the different rooms available for purchase to add to your hotel. The bidding aspect of the game was quite fun. I made a couple of mistakes by being bid up and not knowing when to bow out of the auction. Spending too much early on will slow you down, and you will have a hard time catching up.

Very fun game, though! I'd add it to my wish-list, but it's a 3+ player game, and I'm not sure how much play it would get.
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9. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:190] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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I feel a bit behind with the times by not having played this game before. People have told me that it's just an ok game, nothing amazing, so I've never felt drawn to try it.

But, we did pull it out and played a game. I was pleasantly surprised! It took a while to set up the game and learn the rules, but after it started, it was actually fairly easy to play and went pretty quickly. I love all the different combinations of races and special powers each race gets.

I think I understand the complaint that people have. It is quite a simple game, and you just do the same thing over and over. There's not too much strategy to it. Some, but not a lot. I didn't feel this during my game, but I'm just trying to figure out why most people I've talked to about it say that it's not their favorite. Can anybody elaborate on what they do/don't like about it?

I'm thinking I'll grab the iPad version of the game for $7, instead of buying the box for $35.
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10. Board Game: Drakon (third edition) [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1543]
Ryan Barnard
United States
Port Townsend
Washington
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To wrap up CamasCon, we pulled out the exceedingly simple and cutthroat game Drakon. The game is super easy: collect 10 victory points, and you win. You either lay down a room time, or move your character to an adjacent room. Almost all rooms have an effect "collect a coin", "lose a coin", "destroy a room somewhere else", "move an opponent's character", etc.

There is also a dragon (spelled Drakon) on the board that moves around. If he gets you (controlled by other players by moving onto the appropriate tile), you go back to the start tile and you lose a token.

Easy game to play. It can be a quick game, too. We played it in about 30 minutes. If we were more cutthroat, then it would have gone much longer.

It was fun, but definitely not a game my wife would play. :-) Also, since it's out of print, I think it'll be relegated to just playing it occasionally at future CamasCons.
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