Eclectic mix of games played at Origins
Jeff Wolfe
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Here is a list of the games I played this year at Origins.

This is not a list you're going to see from a hard-core gamer. My taste in games tends to run from medium to light to very light, although I did get in a few gamers' games like Goa, Ra, and the forthcoming Terra Nova. I wanted to get in one really heavy game at some point during the weekend (something like Age of Steam, which I've never played), but I don't think I managed to do that, unless you count an 8-player game of Memoir '44.

On the other side of the coin, I had a Big Experiment ribbon and I played a lot of Looney Labs games. Or rather, I played a handful of Looney Labs games many times. Yes, including the game everyone loves to hate (the one that starts with an F).

While I logged my games, as I always do, I did not record any details, so anything you see here is from memory, with all the unreliability that implies.

Overall, I had 64 plays of 31 games. I played 16 games for the first time, including 2 games that haven't been released yet (I also played one unreleased game that I've played before). The list is ordered chronologically by the first play of each game.

Enjoy.
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1. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1088]
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I started off the weekend on Wednesday afternoon. Soon after entering the Board Room, I got drawn into a game of Pickomino. I'm not sure what it is about this game, but lots of people seem to like it. This being the first game of the weekend, I remember almost nothing about it. If I recall correctly, there was a lot of busting and not a lot of worms on the table.
 
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2. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:643]
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Next up was Can't Stop. I seem to remember doing poorly at this. Other players had claimed two columns before I got my first, and when the game ended, 11s and 12s were my best columns.
 
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3. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:136]
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I've only played this two or three times. I'm not very good at it.
 
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4. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:126]
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This was on my want-to-play list and was the first new-to-me game of the weekend. I think our team called Tichu in each of the first four rounds, including a Grand Tichu in the third round. Unfortunately, both of our opponents went out first in the round in which my partner called that Grand Tichu, and we never quite recovered from it (although it was fairly close at the end).
 
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5. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1250]
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Late night games of Werewolf are a staple of the Big Experiment (in the form of the Looney Labs' "Are You a Werewolf?" version). I played 7 games of Werewolf on Wednesday and 2 on Thursday. We seemed to have a group this year that liked to play really slow (re-e-e-e-eally slow), so I didn't play any more over the weekend. My claim to fame among Werewolf players is that my name is Wolfe (note: the E in my name is silent).
 
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6. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:214]
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First game of the day on Thursday. After the traditional "what do we play?" gathering around the game cabinet, I suggested Acquire. I finished a close second in a three player game.
 
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7. Board Game: Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:5581]
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I have an avatar inspired by Order of the Stick, so of course I had to try out the new OotS game, which they were demoing in the dealers' room. You can't always tell from a demo play, but it looks good. It's due out in August.
 
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8. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:694]
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Zendo is my favorite game, but I only managed to play it three times, all on Thursday. On the plus side, it was a game of Giant Zendo with giant cardboard icehouse pieces.
 
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9. Board Game: Palabra [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:6366]
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On my way to the Food Court on Thursday, I was intercepted by someone demoing this game in the hallway connecting the old and new sections of the Columbus Convention Center. I hadn't played it before, so I played it once and then continued on my way.
 
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10. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:918]
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I'm always up for a game of TransAmerica. Someone suggested it on Thursday (as a 3-player game), and I managed a slight come from behind victory in a game that was close until the end.
 
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11. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:924]
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A politically incorrct game about gangsters shooting each other that will probably never be published in the United States. It's great fun if you like that kind of thing (which I do). I played twice on Thursday and 3 times on Sunday (including once with the special power cards, a variant I had never played before).
 
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12. Board Game: In Teufels Küche [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:8572]
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A goofy little game rated as a children's game here on the Geek, but there are some strategic elements to it. I'd seen it played before, but hadn't played it before myself. I played it once on Thursday.
 
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13. Board Game: Treehouse [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:5761]
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This year, the Looney Labs promo items were Tree cards for Fluxx, to mark the release of Treehouse and the transformation in the way Looney sells icehouse pieces. The promo included one tree goal card, which was free in the dealers' room, and 3 different tree keepers, which you had to earn by defeating designated Looney Labs Mad Rabbits at a game of Treehouse.

This explains in part why I had 14 plays of Treehouse: 6 on Thursday, 2 on Friday, and 6 on Saturday. The other part of it was two games against Andy Looney in the Andy vs. Everybody event on Saturday (two wins), and teaching someone else to play Treehouse during the downtime of a set of Volcano games.

Treehouse was another game I hadn't played before.
 
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14. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:526]
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Wits & Wagers was one of the Mensa Select games this year, and I was eager to try it. I got in a demo game in the dealers' room and a real game in the Board Room, both on Friday. I think this might be one that my Mensa friends will like, so I took advantage of the $10 off coupon (given to me for demoing the game) and I picked up a copy.
 
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15. Board Game: Warriors [Average Rating:4.98 Overall Rank:15881]
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I hadn't played Warriors before, so I asked my friend James to show it to me on Friday. We played two player. Not much to report except that now I can cross it off my games-I-want-to-try list.
 
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16. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:238]
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I have a friend named Glenn who likes this game and always seems to want to play it. I don't think I had played it since he moved out of town. It's one of those "if you get behind early, you're screwed" games, so I'm not especially fond of it. I didn't mind it too much when we played it on Friday, probably because I won (I had 100 points, and second place had 99).
 
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17. Board Game: NHL Ice Breaker: The Card Hockey Board Game [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:5013]
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I don't remember who had this game and wanted to play it (was it Ron?), but I'm a big Columbus Blue Jackets fan these days, so I was only too happy to play it and take the Blue Jackets. We didn't start playing the rule where you can play pairs and sets and so forth until sometime in the second period, and we were well into the game before I got a feel for how all the rules were supposed to work (even in the basic game), but it was still fun, despite the Penguins pulling out a 5-4 win with a last second shot in the 3rd period.

This game was donated to the CABS library over the weekend, so in theory I'll have a chance to play it again. I'm not sure how that will work in practice though, because it doesn't seem like the kind of game most CABbieS would like (or, indeed, any of my other friends).
 
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18. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:116]
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I had my first-ever play of this when James, Rachel, Nick and I played it on Friday. James and I tied for first (James had the tiebreaker) and Rachel and Nick tied for last (Rachel had the tiebreaker).
 
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19. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6922]
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Yes, here it is. The dreaded Fluxx. I played it once on Friday mostly to get a Fluxx sticker--six stickers for playing six different Looney Labs games got me a Looney Labs Happy Flower. Then after beating Andy Looney at Treehouse on Saturday during the Andy vs. everybody event, I joined two other players in two games of Fluxx against him. My other opponents beat Andy (and me) once each.
 
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20. Board Game: Just Desserts [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4435]
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While this game has technically not been released yet, I don't really count it since you can purchase the "beta" version of the cards at the Looney Labs web site. We played with the latest rules (at least that's what the people teaching me the game said) and I managed to pull out a win on the tiebreaker. Looney Labs is working on getting people to draw full-color pictures for the "real" version of the game.
 
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21. Board Game: Zeus on the Loose [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:4437]
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James picked this up at Mind Games, so I'd played it before, even though it still hasn't been released yet. We played it on Friday with 7 players, notwithstanding the supposed maximum of 5 players. We only played until someone won 2 games because the standard play-to-4-wins game lasts too long (even without the extra players).
 
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22. Board Game: Aquarius [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:3626]
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Another Looney Labs game that I played to get a game sticker. It was a game I hadn't played before; I played it on Saturday, right after Andy vs. everybody.
 
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23. Board Game: Shadows Over Camelot [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:331]
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After making my way to the Board Room area, I got drawn into a game of Shadows over Camelot. It turns out that I was the most experienced player at the table, so I helped out a lot with rules explanation and interpretation. There were several newbies, and someone else (not in the game) jumped in to help them out.

Unfortunately, the game lasted longer than expected and one of the players had to leave for a tournament or something. The guy who had been helping out (whose name escapes me) jumped in to take his place. The problem is, the first guy had been playing in a way that made it fairly obvious that he was the traitor. The new guy started playing as a loyalist, so we left him alone.

We ended up winning rather handily, and the traitor was right where we thought he was. It was probably too late for the new player to really do anything, even if he hadn't had a problem with not wanting to take advantage of the fact that he had seen many of our cards while he was acting as a helper.
 
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24. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2049]
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This is the third game in the series that includes Conquest of Pangea. It's due out in August, but Valerie Putman managed to get her hands on a copy and she let me join in since she was interested in playing with 4 players. She really cleaned our clocks. We played again 3-player after one of the others left. We both kind of targeted Valerie since she had beaten us so handily in the first game, and I managed to eke out a win in the second game.
 
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25. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Jeff Wolfe
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Next on Saturday, I was invited in to an 8-player game of Memoir '44 with the Eastern Front expansion. This was another on my games-I-want-to-try list, so I jumped at the chance. I controlled the right flank of the German side, commanded by Tom Vasel. The Russians were commanded by Tyler Putman. Richard Borg was also on hand to give encouragement and advice. It went down to the wire, but the Germans pulled out the victory, 12 to 11.
 
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