My BGG CON 2012, The A and C Nation Rise Again
Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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Every Hero needs a chronicler. This is the chronicler of Captain Awesome, BGG Con legend, and Battling tops super star. His story is shrouded in mystery. All we know is that he is Awesome mostly because his hat and shirts says so. I have taken the liberty to chronicle his presence and that of the A Nation. Sadly Captain America has said he is retiring from this year- leaving a power vacuum at BGG Con. My friends and I have decided we'd try and fill the void with the C Nation next year with much mental support from Captain Awesome.

Who is the Chronicler? I am Denverarch, I live in Pueblo and game with friends in Colorado Springs. It was a bad year for Colorado Springs, my team needed a vacation. This was my third visit after a year hiatus. I made the voyage down with the C Nation (Colorado Nation, a dues paying affiliate of the A Nation), the non stop 13 hour drive always a pleasure. With 2 years under my belt I felt this was my best Con yet, since I anticipated the 'group effect' and mentally prepared myself for long dinners and indecisive game decision moments. Still I came down with the best gaming superstars and had few negative incidences worth retelling. Just being in the same building with Captain Awesome yields super gaming powers.

As I age I feel like I'm gaining wisdom and no longer really need presents or games for holidays as my collection is pretty solid, I only want to spend great times with friends and family, and as I've always read in the BGG Annals: BGG Con is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
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1. Board Game: New York [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:3021]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Every great American hero should have a connection to New York. This year Captain A, volunteered to work the Con. This was no surprise, Captain A is awesome and despite being a lawyer he spends Pro Bono time helping orphans and others with his legal superpowers. This was our first sighting of Captain A, in the long Wednesday morning line. Again The Con was benevolent by bestowing 4 games upon us. I took NY, Train of Thought, 1955, and something else, all games I haven't played but wanted too. Thank you Queen and TM and others. I still can't believe I pay 80$ to have a great time and then earn $80 worth of games.
 
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2. Board Game: Captain America Game (Featuring the Falcon and the Avengers) [Average Rating:6.14 Unranked]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Every great hero has a mastermind behind him, some all knowing force that gave him the strength or initiative to push on. This year I vowed to thank that person for the Con. Aldie was ever present and I made sure to thank him a couple of times for the effort. I helped run a 400 person Conference this summer and I really appreciate the effort. I did discover that the swap meet is actually sponsored by a college psychology class who wants to witness chaotic group behavior in an enclosed space. Aldie, of course, could neither confirm or deny my accusation. This year Aldie had many minions working for him, the event was so smooth it was hard to believe.
 
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3. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:290]
 
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
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Getting settled in was crazy as always, and I took the lead in choosing games. This was a game I've been dying to play and we were lucky enough to have Tom Vassal explain the game. Then we got up and walked away and he said "Seriously I just explained the game". We told him we'd be back, but we really struggled with the fun in this game, despite being warned by Tom about it's communal nature. After a couple turns the rebels won, blah. Probably operator error, but it left a bad taste in our mouth.
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4. Board Game: Balance of Power [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:13694]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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This was my second choice, and it looked good after talking to the team at their booth. This is a well designed game but it was really, really dry. We had 4 and I imagine the best is with 6. Still after failing to get a resolution for a couple of hours we called it. It was after this point my friend Jason revoked my ability to choose games at the Con, but I would redeem myself later. As the designer said, this game is for chess players who wanted to play Risk, and for that it's probably great; but I neither play Risk or Chess.
 
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5. Board Game: Pass the Pigs [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:15912]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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The super team then hit Hard 8 the first night, a highly questionable move but it got us all excited. Captain America was there too, perhaps a secret to his super powers: meat, and lots of it. After a long almost mathematical discussion about how much to order we all ordered too much. This time Captain A actually took iphone notes about how much to order next time. A pound is too much I learned as well. This food is amazing.
 
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6. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:38]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Ha, a chronicler always rises early, and this year was no different. I came down to find an 8am game, and settled in with some nice chaps from San Diego for a game of calender building. It was nice and quiet and a great hour to learn a game. This game was great. I had no idea it had so much fun tension and Agricolaesque worker feeding fun. Felt like it took half the game to get the engine running, then it was pure bliss. Loved the game and my only regret is that I didn't teach it to my friends later.
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7. Board Game: Empires: Builder Expansion [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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The afternoon I was found my friend Don, the super hero game publisher and author of Darkhorse. Our team peeled off to play Tichu so we found a couple strangers and the AOE II Builders expansion to test it out. This game was a blast as Don and I hit the banter hard with great lines like "Everything your wife says about you is true!" and "I like this game ....again". Don played it 3 years ago and liked it but forgot and had to relearn. We were joined by two nice gentleman, one from Canada, which generated the line,"I heard this game is way better in Canada". Our new colleagues endured our C- humor but the game went a little long. I loved the new player powers but many of the buildings weren't too exciting and we heavily under-utilized the builder, so not sure I had a fair play of this classic gem avec expansion. We learned that players got both special powers which we felt gave the Dutch an advantage, and they won by a couple points.
 
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8. Board Game: Dark Horse [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:3833]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Don demoed some games and got two sales (Funagain store carried it), I was so happy to see a friend and his self published game on the table and new people enjoying it. A lady even wanted him to sign a copy, how cool is that?
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9. Board Game: Forged in Steel [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:3078]
Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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My last con I demoed my 4 player CDG a lot and got some weird feedback that bummed me out for the rest of the Con. I recovered a couple days later but it made the con less fun for me. This year it was all fun and 'mechanic hunting' as I am one of the professional amateur game designers without a game. Some old friends were nice when they asked if I brought it, but I think you come and play to have fun or come to get your game picked up- then go all in. Leaving it at home was a wise move.
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10. Board Game: The Target [Average Rating:5.15 Overall Rank:15119]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Ahhh the Horror! The Dallas freeway system is the most complicated I have seen. A couple of the team headed out to Target and to find Indian food: never again. Detours, traffic, and general malaise set in as we were unable to find an Indian place inside some type of amusement park inside a mall. This three hour debacle zapped a lot of energy, and shamed us from going back out the rest of the trip. Still good conversation with friends I dont see that often.
 
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11. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:288]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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The Target trip was so horrible it shrouds my memory of what I played next. I remember we played this though and its a clever game. I was fading fast and left my seat to none other than Captain America. Even with his super powers they couldn't win the first game but they played it two more times.
 
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12. Board Game: Bears! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5820]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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We also played a couple rounds of this. God this game was a sleeper hit. The amazing kind husband and wife duo demoed this game all weekend, always with a smile. I bought the game which was wise because it sold out. Ive since played it 5 times since I've returned. When my 9 year old saw the Fireside game logo on the box he smiled and said "This was done by the people who did Castle Panic?" How cool is it my son knows game companies and loves CP. What a compliment. This game is fun, fast, and a general blast. Who even cares who won, but I think it was me.
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13. Board Game: Al Rashid [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3596]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Jason scheduled a game with a new friend Mel one of the many female faces at the Con, it was nice to see a balance developing this year. We jumped down early for a 5 player of this new Hot game. Our group had mixed opinions.I agree with many that the game shined on the two last turns but I had to play through a lot of boredom to get there. Others loved it, good for them. This is where the other sub thread began. Mel told us a story of her entering the elevator the night before and a person asking to hold the door, to which she replied that will cost you that donut (half eaten). The nice gamer offered it to her, and her husband poked her because that gamer was Richard Sommers, the Mid Century Super Hero of the Con who apparently is an avid gamer. Who cares? Well my wife is a Mid Century design blogger and one photo of him could eliminate the numerous poverty or rat cubes I accumulated leaving her at home with 4 children: I formulated a plan! Oh Al Rasid, decent game, have to try it again.
 
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14. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:704]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
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With that our team re-assmebled and decided to Ambush Richard Sommers in the Exhibitors Hall. I made a note to even wait for Aldie to finish talking to him when we asked him for a couple photos. He was ever the stand up guy and graciously took a couple photos then gave me a digital version of himself on a card in his underwear. Where I come from those are fighting words or an invitation to dinner. My wife was pleased and I finally became 'blog worthy', sadly it took having to find her favorite movie star to do so.

http://justpeachy-darling.blogspot.com/2012/11/hes-got-game....
 
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15. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! 5-6 Player Mini Expansion [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Wade Broadhead
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Ahh now the Con got even better. We ventured to the main hall and caught up with Terro the designer of Hornet, who kind of resembles a sidekick to Captain America. We also flagged down Nancy, one of the smilest gamers around and a couple of new guys for a 6 player game of Survive. Its less crazy than it sounds and it was a total blast. We even had to sticker the library copy which we did happily. Much shenanigans were had and much meta gaming occurred as I slid off the doomed island for the win. Even though Hot games are great, classic games with friends and new people are the highlight of the con for me.
 
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16. Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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After that I agreed to help Terro playtest a new game for Z man. It was pretty interesting and a great experience to get feedback from the Z himself. As its in design I wont say much except it had promise and I felt like we gave him some great feedback for a later kick ass game.
 
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17. Board Game: Sergeants Miniatures Game: Day of Days [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:3087]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Now this is just bizarre. I am the miniature wargamer of the group and never push it as I have a couple friends who love it. The friendly people at this booth conned my friends into wanting to try this. The main man (Jeff I think) agreed to run a 4 person demo on the awesome Geek Chic table for us. "It'll be quick they said". Ha! I must say this is an elegant system of quick play WWII minis. Jenny and I busted up Jose and Erik's Germans, the best moment when Erick's grenade failed to kill 3 attacking Americans in hand to hand combat and killed his man instead. The C Nation divided and conquered- buying $250 worth of bits to play later! SO nice of Jeff to spend the time to teach non wargamers how to play. This was an unexpected victory for me even though I missed dinner to play.
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18. Board Game: Battling Tops [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:5388]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Wow, just wow. You have to see it to believe it. Our A Nation was in full force, masks and all. Johns Pope hot was pretty awesome too, and even the deadly Richard Sommers was there with a mask. I bet the cast of Mad Men would pay good money to see that photo! Captain America, the general blow hard gave some great rhetoric prior to the start and the game went long, so long I played Morels with an old British friend and came back for the finals only to see my friend Jose, Captain America, and two others at the final table, after Terro had won the consolation bracket!

Captain America tried valiantly but a stranger, something like The Claw, won the tournament, even without a mask: the shame!. I asked him later in the elevator and he said he just entered on a dare from his nephew at the last minutes, that is the joy of battling tops.
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19. Board Game: Rocketville [Average Rating:5.09 Overall Rank:15823]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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The one thing I love about the Con is that EVERY game gets played. The library has over 4000 titles and you see everything, good, bad, and crap. I mean I saw someone playing Rocketville, seriously -Rocketville, one of the worst games out there. It's a joy to see so many games being enjoyed and even finding new ones just by browsing the main hall. I love to see so many people enjoying such a diversity of games.
 
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20. Board Game: Captain's Log #2 [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Wade Broadhead
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Also, I saw people playing a game called Captain Wacapoodle or something like that. I cant even remember enough to find it on the search. It was a pick up and deliver where you actually have to physically pick up and deliver, while stacking and sliding your goods across a sea, don't drink too much coffee (or alcohol) before hand. Never heard of the game before.
 
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21. Board Game: Hab & Gut [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:995]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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A rare game, we've been looking for, for ages. Played a 6 player late, I was fading and got creamed! Everyone loved it and 2 of our group found it at the flea market Saturday. Cool mechanics.
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22. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:115]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Now the Con caught up with the Chronicler, and it was a LATE morning Saturday. We didn't play a game till The Village after lunch. Luckily it did not disappoint. It was Don, Jason, and I. Jason was in pain trailing most of the game and Don and I were Johnny on the trash talk, this game was hilarious and fun. The mechanics are novel enough they sucked me in and I really wanted to buy this game on the spot, what a treat. Don's solid 'dying strategy' and church strategy paid off for the win.
 
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23. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1250]
Wade Broadhead
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Pueblo
Colorado
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Not as fun as I wanted this to be, but it was novel and interesting. We did hear people squealing with delight as they played though. Would be worth getting just for the wow factor and a way to bring non gamers into the fold.
 
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24. Board Game: Sheepland [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2548]
Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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Saturday night the give away was a blast, we were the annoying loud people in the center and Richard Sommers did great with a crappy Microphone. Again, the 9-10 of us didn't win a thing. I SOOO want to be there when we win, it will require ear plugs. Afterwards, the Con was on, games were to be played, our count was low. Captain America was nowhere to be seen, apparently he has other friends too. We chatted up a person we had met briefly earlier Kerrilynne (sp) and she agreed to join us for Sheepland which was a great filler. She put up with our end of Con banter and even agreed to teach us Tweet afterwards.
 
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25. Board Game: Tweeeet [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4785]
Wade Broadhead
United States
Pueblo
Colorado
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K taught the game well and I was lucky enough to be her partner. We expertly negotiated the wilds and made it in ahead of Craig and Jason. K was laughing that she made Jason's purple book, where he logs all his plays. She said someone in her group does the same, as if it was some kind of illness which made me laugh. The best line was when K said "You'll never know which nest you end up in tonight". I dont think she meant to be funny, but it was, a line I'll borrow for our Pueblo game nights.
 
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