ConnCon 2012: Games played by the only attendee that lost more than Joe Gola, but mattered more than Erik Dresner (with soundtrack!)
John McDonough
United States
New York
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After the hype given to me by Erik and Joe, and having no gainful employment at the time, I decided to make the trek to Stamford to attend my first ConnCon. A pleasurable time overall, but as usual I was burnt out by the time it was over. A record, because I'm usually burnt out by the end of one game day.


Since I am much more of a music nerd than a board game geek, I've included a soundtrack.
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1. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Those who have gamed with me know I have 2 favorite types of games: Abstract Strategy and long epic games that take for-freaking-ever to play where you're unsure of all the rules. This was my first chance to play Twilight Imperium, and it didn't disappoint: I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Kyle Casiglio did an excellent job of teaching as many rules as possible, and Jim Eiche and another gentleman made for a nice short-ish 4 player game. I was so overwhelmed by the the structure and choices of the game, I came in last. Or pulled a Gola, as the Con's new catch-phrase says.

The Police - Too Much Information
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUwd737mioM
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2. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:741]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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I then played this card game, kind of a werewolf-ish game with a horror feel. A nice light bring down from the brain-burn that is TI. I was one of the shadows, so naturally…

Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLABwwmKdyc
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3. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:506] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Saturday morning, Erik challenged me to Zertz, one of our favorites of the Gipf series. While he had consistently beaten me in the past, I took my time to calculate variations and won. Abstract Strategy Man strikes again!

Queen - We Are The Champions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04854XqcfCY
 
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4. Board Game: Asara [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:835]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Those who have gamed with me know I am not too partial to Euros. In lot of these games I want to make 2 choices per turn but NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! Hence my catch phrase "Fucking Euros".

But surprise, surprise! I enjoyed Asara. A game centered around tower building (or penis envy, not sure which) that played quickly and didn't frustrate me too much. Actually looked forward to playing it again, although I didn't at this con. Thanks to Erik, cannoneer and that guy named Joe who looks a lot like my older brother.

Don Henley - Building the Perfect Beast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLvaE5comSA
 
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5. Board Game: Cannon [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:5020]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Then, Avri challenged me to his favorite abstract. We had played this once before at a game meet up in NYC and having been emboldened by my Zertz win I was optimistic. But I was eyeing the clock because I had signed up for Acquire, and had to resign early. A nice abstract, though. A very positional oriented game.

Stan Ridgeway - The Cannon Song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcmMmHQU8cg
 
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6. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:213]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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This is a game that I've wanted to play since I saw it in the 1980 Games 100. A great resource management game, trying to merge your hotel chains at the right time for maximum profit. However, I suck at resource management games, so I lost.

The Eagles - Hotel California
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSvSsNSuVtk
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7. Board Game: Ordo [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:6408]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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After Acquire I rejoined Avri to play a few more abstracts. Ordo is a tough one, trying to march your pieces across the board while keeping them connected is tricky. I lost, but I disagree with Avri's assessment that I probably will beat him next time.

V/A - Hands Across America
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZorfXa5pBc
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8. Board Game: Spree [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Avri then introduced me to the Shibumi set. A great idea - make an abstract set and ask other people to make rules for it. Only can happen in the internet age. We played 2 games of Spree, winning one game each. Wanna play for the rubber? (Jack, I'm not really comfortable with that term.)

The Music Man - Shipoopi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jj622vbrrU
 
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9. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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The infamous no-flood tile game. Everyone had niles but no floods were coming to the auction. After the game was over, there were, like, 53 floods left in the bag. Erick and I were ready to flip the table.

Bruce Hornsby - River Runs Low
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smHXt26kZTA
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10. Board Game Designer: Jared A. Sorensen
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Late Saturday night, Dustin, who'd I'd never met previously, invited me to play a role playing game based on those old text based computer games. This one about a hospital invaded by zombies, I believe? We got stuck in the elevator a lot. Interesting concept, and Dustin had a lot of fun simulating the computer's responses, as he knew there was no keyboard for the players to pound on in frustration.

Killing Joke - Eighties
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1U1Ue_5kq8
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11. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:230] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Was all set to judge one of my favorite games ever. Had 2 slots reserved for it and everything. But, sadly, only 1 other person showed up. And playing Civilization with 2 people is about as fun as playing Ra with no flood tiles. Had to cancel.

Pink Floyd - Is There Anybody Out There?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhru24prmTI
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12. Board Game: GIPF [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:752] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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But Abstract Strategy Man was not deterred! Was introduced to Joe Gola, another abstract lover, and played Gipf, a new one on me. I had played Yinsh and Zertz before, but never brought this one to the table. Joe beat me, but there was a bit of a back and forth struggle.

If the rumors are true, I'll probably beat him next time.

Gola's suggestion an Abstract Sunday in 2013. Hope that happens!

Paul McCartney - Tug of War
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIfPIfuTFXA

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13. Board Game: Torres [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:416]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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After that, I sort of wandered around overwhelmed by the variety of choices. It was like a real world Euro. BGG organizer extraordinaire Mark Casiglio asked me if I wanted to join in a game of Torres. We played a full 4 player game with Phil Alberg and Mike L. Another intense struggle, with Mark winning. Because, apparently, he's better than Gola at games.

Jimi Hendrix - Castles Made of Sand
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTNLz1Hf-cM
 
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14. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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2nd time for the con. This time there were flood tiles, but a new-to-the-game participant named Steve Woods used the patented Scott Palmer technique of calling Ra every time it was his turn. He won, of course.

Madness - Night Boat to Cairo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLLL1KxpYMA
 
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15. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:395]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Finally, a standard filler at the McDonough game days. Played it once, and then the brain got too fried. It was time for me to pack up and go home. A fun con all around with great people. Hope to make it in 2013!

Scandal - Goodbye to You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_50-gOeBilc
 
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