Conquest Sacramento 2013
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From April 5th-7th, many gamers enjoyed Conquest Sacramento 2013 (http://conquestsac.com/).

This was the second time I made it to Conquest Sac. My first game convention was Kublacon three years ago (2010). I went to Conquest Sac two years ago for the Saturday to check it out (2011) (and later went to Kublacon again). Last spring I was promoted at work, so I didn't go to any conventions with my new schedule in the air.

I want to support Conquest Sacramento in general as a local convention, but I knew I wasn't making Kublacon this year, so I made it my main convention this year. This year it moved to a different hotel, so I decided to stay at the hotel with my son for the convention even though I don't live very far away (I pass by the hotel every day to and from work).

I had a great time. I liked the new hotel, and I liked the new dates (it has been the first weekend of the NCAA tournament in the past, and that is a bad weekend for me). I didn't really have any complaints. There were some grumblings here and there, but I thought the staff did a very good job trying to accomadate people and work through the problems that came up.

I think our biggest issue was on Saturday, we had some trouble finding a good table we could use for Open Gaming. I think I heard the staff say they were going to try and expand next year.

Here is a list of games I played over the weekend.

If you went to Conquest Sacramento, please post the games you played, and talk about your convention experience.
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1. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:103]
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This year, Conquest Sac started gaming Friday morning for the first time.

I had planned on being there Friday morning at 9:00 A.M. I didn't get there until 11:00 A.M. I was hoping my delay wasn't a start of a bad weekend, and it wasn't.

My gamegroup friends were playing when I got there (I had texted them I was running late), so I checked into the hotel and my room.

When I came back, they were setting up Cosmic Encounter with a spot for me. We played a six-player game, with two powers each. We played with Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Incursion, Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Conflict, and Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Alliance.

It was a close game with some wheeling and dealing all game. It came down to a two player win, while the other four players all had 4 colonies. The first player was to my left, so I actually only had one turn all game as the offense player. That turn was a failure when a card zap negated my special powers. I think if it got back to me (almost did) for a second turn, I could have taken the win, but it was not meant to be.

This game is all about the expereince though, and I really like it. It is a great convention game. It was a great way to start out the convention, and the experience is why I love conventions.

I really need to add all three expansions to my base game.
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2. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:132]
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After we had some lunch, next up was Cyclades. It was a new game for three of us I believe, and we had a total of four.

I went for a kind of high risk, high gain move to sneak a win in quickly, but I was foiled by my group who saw what I was up to (I should have known better). I wasn't left with many options after that point. I liked the game, but I think it definitely needs another play for me to pass any judgements on it.

I liked the theme. It won't go on my wishlist, but I would play it again if someone else has it.
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3. Board Game: Rex: Final Days of an Empire [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:615]
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It was around 4:30 P.M.?? when we finished Cyclades. We had decided to play Rex: Final Days of an Empire next. My son had joined us after getting out of school. We had five players, but we really wanted a 6th player. I had played with 4 players my first time, 5 players my second time, so we were determined to see how it played with 6 players.

I had recently just bought the game in an online order with my friend, so he brought my copy to give to me. It was our only copy, so we had to unpack and unpunch it before playing while we looked for a 6th player. I think the unpunching, getting a 6th player, getting my son's stuff in the room, and getting some Happy Hour drinks delayed our start, because I don't think we started until about 5:30 P.M.

It was a long game, but I do love this game. Like Cosmic Encounter, it is a perfect convention game. Until I was doing this Geeklist, I had forgotten I had won as part of the Sol Victory Condition (allies). That was my first win, but the point was that I had forgotten I had won. It was the experience I enjoyed.

It was the first game for my son. After the game, all he said about the game was "that was a really fun game." I knew he would like that game. That is the kind of game he likes. He was glad we bought it, and wants to play with his friends.

I did like the game with six players the best. It is long, but I liked it.

I play to win games. Just like I play to win at sports. But the result doesn't matter to me because I am there to have fun. Playing games like this is all about the experience to me.
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4. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
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We had called it a night after some late dinner after our Rex: Final Days of an Empire game. If I had had more than 3 hours of sleep in about 24 hours, I would have tried to get some more games in. As it was, I turned in, passed out right away, and slept very well. So much that I woke up Saturday morning around 5:00 A.M. very awake.

I got some food for me and my son, and waited around for people to get up. That was my mistake. I should have started setting up my Memoir '44 stuff. We could have been ready to go once everyone was awake. I guess I wanted to make sure everyone wanted to play.

We played the Overlord [Peleliu] Landings scenario, and used the Memoir '44: Operation Overlord, Memoir '44: Pacific Theater, and Memoir '44: Terrain Pack expansions.

We were going to do a 2 vs. 2 match, but right as we were setting up, 2 guys sat at the table next to us with a Memoir '44 box. We asked them if they wanted to join, and they jumped right in for a 3 vs. 3 match.

I hadn't played this game in a year. It is only because I have needed to reorganize all my stuff because I love the game. Now all my stuff is all messed up after the convention, so it is in the perfect condition to reorganize in some plano boxes.

While we were setting up, I described the battle a little bit, and was explaining that it was a controversial operation after the JCS authorized the Phillipines operation for MacArthur. Nimitz didn't cancel this operation, and it probably wasn't needed since the Phillipines was liberated.

The Japanese side won pretty easily. We got to a big lead, and the US Marines started to make a come back, but we got the 13th Victory Flag for a 13-7 win.

When I play this with my son, I always play the Axis, since my son wants to be the Allies. Because of that, I have gotten very good at defending beaches in Memoir '44.

I love playing in the Memoir '44: Operation Overlord format.

This is my favorite thematic game.

If the two guys who joined us are on BGG and reading this, we were really glad you joined us, and I hope you enjoyed it.
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5. Board Game: Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:280]
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We got some lunch, and then came back and played this game. It was a first play for me. I have never seen the series, but I have Starz, so I could if I wanted to.

My thoughts were that at the start, I was just figuring out the game. I liked the game at midgame, and liked the combat. Endgame I was feeling like I couldn't do much.

I would play again, because I know I didn't get everything on a first play. I won't be adding this to my wish list, but I'll play again if sopmeone has it.

My son's reaction was the same. He liked playing it. Heck it is pure Ameritrash, so he'll like it. Second game of the day he got to attack me all game long.
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6. Board Game: The Resistance: Avalon [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:86]
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We then played three games of this in a row. We had seven players. I have the original The Resistance I bought from my friend when he purchased this copy. I still think I prefer The Resistance for what it is as a simple, fast game. I think if I want something more complicated in this style, I would rather play Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Werewolf, or BANG!.

But I do like the game a lot. I would not turn down a game, and I'll jump right in.

My friends mock me since I have been on a good streak in this game. I do have some skills that are nice to have in this kind of game.

My son watched us play this at a game meetup, so he was nervous, but ready to play. He wore my sunglasses while playing, which he must have picked up while playing Poker with me, and it helped him.

I was the evil side all three plays (I prefer figuring out the evil ones), and I won all three plays. Some of that was skill, some dumb luck. I had a great time though. It was fun with seven players.
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7. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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We went out to dinner, and came back and played this game. I have wanted to introduce this to my friend who loves The Resistance: Avalon.

One of my favorite game sessions in my whole life was a game of this. But I hadn't played this game in three years! Horrible. Hopefully that will change now. We played with the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Exodus Expansion and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion expansions with some of the rules, and those were new to me. We played with 6 players. Two were very experienced, one was a new player, and three of us hadn't played in three years. In retrospect, I would have preferred the base game to get back in the game before expanding. But it also meant I tried them out, and know I want them now.

We had a small little issue in this game. In our six player game, we had three Cylons. It was funny, because I thought all three were suspicious using my The Resistance: Avalon skills. But I thought I was doing something wrong because there could only be two Cylons. It was restricting my all out accusations because I had to be wrong about one of them. Well I wasn't In the end they just crushed us because we could hardly keep them from throwing us in the brig with their numbers.

It didn't change my enjoyment of the game. I loved it, will get the expansions, and need to get this played again soon. My son watched most of the game, as he was eyeing another game nearby, and wanted to swim in the pool.

I want to thank the players who joined in to reteach us the game.

The only bad part of the experience was that we think someone stole a game bag of one of the experienced players while we were playing (or while we were at dinner before the game). If it happened during our game, I am really irritated I didn't catch them.

If the thief is reading this, you are lucky I didn't catch you.
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8. Board Game: Aerodrome II [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
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The Saturday was the last night for my gamegroup, so it was just me and my son Sunday. When he finally got up (he's 13), he played this with a group.

He was eyeing this game the night before, and they invited him to play Sunday. I guess he impressed him with his knowledge when they asked him questions about WWII planes.

He was on the German side playing the bomb group of four JU-88 bombers. He wanted me to hang out with him, but I let him be on his own. He is at that age where he needs a little push every once in awhile to get some experience doing new things on his own.

I stayed at the next table, got some lunch for us, checked out of the hotel, and read the rules for our next game.

He had a great time. Thank you to any players who played with him.

 
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9. Board Game: Axis & Allies 1941 [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:3412]
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I ended the weekend by trying this game out. I bought this specifically for this convention. I had heard this was a less complex, faster version of the original.

I pulled it out while my son was playing with airplanes, and I unpunched the pieces and read the rules.

So it was exactly what I wanted it to be. A faster way to play Axis and Allies. We had many looks from people asking me about the game because it looked so smaller and easier. I told each of them what I knew since it was my first play.

But it wasn't that much faster. Our game was at least 5 hours long. That was partly because of us. I was the Axis and he was the Allies (surprise). I started off taking the Soviet Union. Germany expanded so large that I had taken all of Africa but South Africa, all of southeast asia, Australia, India, etc.

My son only had England itself, North and South America, and some miscellaneous territory that wasn't worth IPC's.

That should have been the end, but then it changed rapidly. I tried to invade England twice after he was weak after trying to take France from me twice. But that was where it went bad.

He had managed to keep his Battleship. He moved it into the sea where I had to build my invasion fleets, and he cleared a path. He managed to take France since I depleted myself going after him, and then he took Germany. When he took Berlin, he took all of my banked IPC's as part of the rules. That changed the game. I couldn't build anything the next turn for Germany despite having most of Russia in my control. He was able to build some tanks, and sweep away an exposed Europe. He started taking everything back with England.

I took the Hawaiian islands, and even attacked the West Coast with Japan in an attempt to get back in the game, but England came in from the west, and I started losing IPC's. The United States finally built up, and invaded Japan to end the game.

I was one roll away from taking England and winning the game.

The game completely turned around.

We had a great time, and my 13 year old son was just upset that we had to go home.

I am really looking forward to playing this again. It is a way to play Axis and Allies in small scale.

I also have Axis & Allies: 1942 that I need to try out. I know I also need to get Axis & Allies Europe 1940 and Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 to try the mega game.

 
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