Van's Great Lakes Games 2013
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I was very happy to be able to make it to Great Lakes Games this year! Seems every other year some sort of catastrophe occurs and I am not able to do so. I had a great time, played several new games (and new to me) games and reconnected with many old friends.

This is an overview of new and new to me games. Also played many familiar games like Ra, Battle Line and Lectio

Many thanks to Dave VanderArk, and Chris Lohroff and their families for putting so much effort into making this such a wonderful annual event!

ps - don't forget to vote for best hat in this thread.
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1. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:735]
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This was my favorite new game of the con. I played it 3 times. I think there where only two printed and we had both copies in Auburn Inidiana!

I would call it a medium weight minus to light weight plus game. It is easy to learn/teach quick to play and remained engaging through three plays.

I really hope AEG picks this one up, and if they do PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the original artwork!

This is a charming, fun game.

The one and only Matt Marquand. Matt, Bob G. and I spent many a good gaming hour together this weekend!








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2. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:479]
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A new to me game. Great little quick dice game. Played twice, and on my "must buy" list



Photo from the wonderful Matt Marquand's Facebook feed
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3. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:323] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
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Another new to me game. I really enjoyed the theme. It was fun trying to spend high and sell low. A game I'd play often, but probably not something I'd buy.
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4. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:195]
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I never win games. Really, almost never, ever. My most popular microbadge is my mb loser one!

For me to grok this first time through is A) a testament of how well James Miller taught the game, B) Matt, Justin, and Bob probably taking pity on me and C) Some sort of cosmic alignment!

Fun game! A good medium weight plus game. One, I'd consider for my library.

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5. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:305]
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So this is a weird one for me. Theme doesn't bother me. I've thrown folks in volcanoes, made pacts with demons, killed kings, fought in German armies, it has never bothered me. Playing this one there were moments of discomfort for me. Cringe worth moments. I know it is irrational, and I find it interesting for me to have this reaction.

As a game, it is a decent little co-op. If it were "Space Refugees" I'd call it a decent game and move on. But it isn't.

To be very clear, I am not suggesting it is a bad theme, it is historical and I fully grok the point. I just find it very interesting to see myself wincing when we decided to let one slave be captured in order to try and let another escape. Very strange for me.

Anyhow, Uwe taught us and he was fun as always, and I appreciated the opportunity for a very different type of board gaming experience for me.


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6. Board Game: The Twelve Doctors: Doctor Who Card Game [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:3584]
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My homie Cold_fuzion did an awesome job with this. Has the arts-cow cards held in a Doctor Who lunch box, which I foolishly did not get a picture of

Fun game, I enjoyed it and want to play again. Seemed like I did someting wrong because as the Doctor burned through cards way too quickly to lose to the evil Master.

Allons-y!

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7. Board Game: Spectral Rails [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4690]
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Why does delivering the souls of the dead to ghost towns not bother me in the least when Freedom did? So strange...

Anyhow, Morgan's game was on sale at my FLGS so I brought this and got it to the table with my home slice, Cliff and his boy. Fun game!

 
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8. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:160]
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I finally got in a game of Seasons. Coldie and I waylaid Chris, and Bruce into playing with us. Fun game, not sure it is one I'd play often but I'd play again if asked.

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9. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
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Finally, another new new game

Enjoyed it, and would play again, but I don't think it is one I feel the need to add to my library. I find myself enjoying more light to middle weight games lately. This isn't super heavy, I'd call it a heavy middle weight game. The art is great, I liked the mechanics. I think I'd need to give it another couple of spins to really appreciate it more.

 
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10. Board Game: Clay-O-Rama [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:5715]
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There is always a "welcome game" and this year it was Clay-o-Rama!

too bad Beret the Kraken, went **splat** soblue







Jeph Stahl thinking nasty thoughts about poor ol Beret...



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11. RPG Item: Fiasco [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:6]
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We also played this. Kind of a light RPG storytelling game thingy. It was amusing but as a game I still don't quite understand the point of giving dice away. *shrug* We had a good time, my mobster, Giovanni DiCostas will get his revenge on his rat brother Knuckles... oh yes, he will get his revenge...
 
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12. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
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Progmode and I wooed the handsome prince while we waited for Garry Rice to finish up so we could play Thunder Alley.

I bought the new boxed edition - love the artwork - sadly my backs where misprinted which is a bummer but I'm sure I'll get it sorted out with AEG. I really love that they are helping get many cool Japanese designs to us!!
 
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13. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:537] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
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Played Garry Rice's pnp version. He has really done a wonderful job with it. I am a huge race game fan, and also a huge NASCAR fan (yes Jamie, it IS a sport... grrr... ) Anyhoo, so this should be a home run right? Right? I dunno, maybe I was getting tired but it just didn't do all that much for me. I've had it pre-ordered through GMT since forever, and I'll be getting my copy some day. I hope after a few more plays I grok it a bit better. This is one I really WANT to love. We shall see.


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14. Board Game: Cockroach Salad [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2502] [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked]
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We played until 2 am on Sunday morning. A large group of the uh, enthusiastic? OK, OK, boisterous folks got together to close out the night

We started off with Viva Pamplona "OLE!" then moved on this gem, introduced to us by Rob "the crazy Canadian!" L.

Wonderful game. Suffice it to say that I was ruined by cabbage. Ay yi yi.

Similar to Ghost Blitz but different enough to be something that is probably a must-have for any (boisterous) late night con goers library.

Highly recommended.

Progmode and the crazy Canadian!


After this we played the Big Idea, which I'd played before, which is fun but then came:
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15. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:224]
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Basically Eat Poop Cat in board game form with dry erasers.

A great time was had by all, and Jeph Stahl has ruined female anatomy for me for the rest of time.

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16. Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall! [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:292]
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Played this to close the night out after Telestrations. Great with the right group and we had the *perfect* group
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17. Board Game: Railways of the World: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1929]
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Finally got a chance to get this one out! It is a fun take on route building, pick-up and delivery. I'll definitely be working to get this out again soon. Very enjoyable game to help close out the con with

I then played one final game of Machi Koro and had to hit the road back home.

Thanks to all the folks at the con for being such a fun group!
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18. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:119]
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I got to the hotel on Thursday around noon, and left at about 11:30 am ish on Sunday.

I surprise_DID_NOT_surprise play a single game of Tichu!!!

WEIRD!!!
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