Great Lakes Games 11 (2013) - It's a Wrap
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Great Lakes Games 11 has come to a close. I look forward all year to those three solid days of gaming goodness. The time simply flies by and I found myself on Sunday morning wondering where it all went. The hours pass in a blur of cardboard, plastic, baggies, wooden bits, boxes, and cards. Each night I stayed up progressively longer until Sunday morning when 3am rolled around and I needed to head back to my room to get some sleep before the sun came up.

This is my fifth GLG and I've come to know some people well enough that we even plan ahead of time to meet up to play a game. We only see each other once a year, the games themselves providing only a backdrop for that human interaction. We continue our e-existence, exchanging "likes" and "thumbs" online but I can't say enough about how GLG provides this much-needed face-to-face time. It's really a wonderful and rewarding experience.

Some initial stats:

- I played board games for a total of about 47 hours (includes time to break to eat some food at nearby restaurants within a few minutes of walking)
- 22 total games
- 19 different games
- 14 new-to-me games (14!)

I did miss out on playing a couple of games that I'm a bit sad about, namely:

Russian Railroads
Compounded (I have work-related interest in this)
Freedom: The Underground Railroad
Lancaster Henry V Power of the King

But, sadly, there's only so much time in one con. Hey Dave, can you add another day for me please? Thanks, that'd be great!
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1. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:551]
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Was taught by others but the jury was still out on whether it's my cup of tea. The put-on/pull-off mechanic with players in different phases was kinda neat.
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2. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:143]
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An oldie but a goodie. We had 5 standing around waiting to play something so we just jumped in with something everybody knew how to play.
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3. Board Game: Lectio [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2613]
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Clacktastic goodness.
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4. Board Game: Via Appia [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2235]
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Booby Trap meets Eurogames? Felt pretty same-y after a few turns. It looks cool but not something I need to own.
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5. Board Game: Nauticus [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1520]
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Action selection that everybody takes but the chooser gets a bonus (think Puerto Rico). I like the way the actions morph across turns based on the random placement of the cards on the action selection "disc". Nicely done. This one went on my wishlist.
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6. Board Game: Dragon Whisperer [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:13460]
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An attempt at thematic Rage? Meh.
 
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7. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:840]
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Nicely done card game but it probably would feel a lot like lather/rinse/repeat after a few plays. Provided the basis for a lot of expandability options though.
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8. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:217]
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Not bad as far as Feld games go. Seems the canal strategy is hard to beat relying mostly on the luck of the cards you draw from the box. Nicely produced though and I would gladly play again. If I found a copy on my shelf I'd keep it but I don't feel the need to work too hard at obtaining a copy.
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9. Board Game: Rialto [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:851]
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San Marco with a twist. I liked the way the card groups are provided and the variable turn order during resolution of the individual actions provides some angst. Nicely done light to medium Euro.
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10. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:168]
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Wow, do not try to start this game with four when nobody has played it before. The rules slog was torturous. However, we emerged on the other side successfully and found a gem of a game on the inside. We thought it was worth it but if you can, find somebody to teach it to you.
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11. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:409] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
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Not much to say. Dominion with trains. Don't need to own a copy but it's a fine enough game. Probably more approachable than Dominion for non-gamers due to the reduce card-text.
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12. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:227]
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Nifty production clock-work mechanism. I liked trying to balance obtaining the goods you need and, at times, keeping the production of glass or bricks from occurring when you don't want it to so that you'll have the resources you want to use for other purposes.
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13. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked]
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Always fun. I'm not sure I'd want to play the base game without Skullport any more.
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14. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:480]
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A great closer for us. Fun, light, dice throwing.
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15. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:840]
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Took another shot at Machi Koro. Yeah, felt same-y but still enjoyable.
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16. Board Game: The Palaces of Carrara [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:598]
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Not sure I'd need to own a copy but a perfectly workable design. The spinning brick market is cool.
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17. Board Game: Grips and Gaffers [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Jonathan provided a nicely produced prototype copy and walked us through the rules. Very fun game and it's coming together nicely. Well done and I wish you luck!
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18. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:551]
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Took a second shot at this one. Yeah, not my cup of tea.
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19. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:302]
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I had a lot of fun with Amerigo. The end score was very close! This is a definitely buy for me.
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20. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:372]
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What beautiful game. With the size of that board and it's looks, you'd expect something epic but it's really just a light to medium-weight Euro. It's really short too. Three voyages and it's over before you know it. Still, I've just got to find a copy.

I've only played with five and with three but if felt like resources (cannon, crew, and barrels) were a bit tighter with three than in the five-player game. It felt like I could do a bit more in the five player game once I got to shipping. Anybody else feel that way?
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21. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:480]
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Finished out the night with this one again.
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22. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:488]
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A quick game on Sunday to close out the con while chatting with friends. Ah, now the post-con blues can settle in.
 
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