Morganza at BGG.con 2013
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It's not just vanity (well, OK, it's mostly vanity) but people seemed to appreciate the list I did last year:

Morganza at BGG.Con 2012

My not-yet-sorted list of things I want to try is at Morganza's 2013 Watchlist: Spiel Essen, BGG.con, and beyond

Plans include:
1846: The Race for the Midwest on Tuesday afternoon
1817 on Friday

Playing stuff with
Jerry Hagen
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Joining
Dave Eisen
United States
Redwood City
California
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on parts of his trawl through the Hot Games Room.

Picking up new con-buddies who like deeper heavier games. (If that's you, drop me a GeekMail.)

Playing filler games on the floor of the airport waiting area on Sunday afternoon with
Rusty
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and my homie Andy.

Hottest to try: Patchistory, Wildcatters, Sail to India, Lewis & Clark
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1. Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:438]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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My very first game :-)

JohnnyOffice big 4, mail contract, IC 2x112
Me B&O lake shore steamboat B&O 6x50
Herb Finkel tunnel C&O5x60
Scott Nicholson ms; GT 3x70
Kevin Wymyss O&I meat Chicago NYC 4x60

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2. Board Game: The City [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1825]
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I taught Gil Hova (new opponent though we'd seen each other at BGG.con for years), Doug (new opponent -- he wandered past while I was teaching, looking befuddled, and I said "Sit! Play!) and Bill yuglooc

We played 2 hands, and as promised they ended explosively fast.

Gil, in particular, had been wanting to learn The City for a while, so I got the victory point multiplier :-)
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3. Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:2445]
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Me bill Johnny office Richard rich boy herb

The game won.
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4. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:241]
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Double-deck Love Letter with

Monty
Sean
Chris
Tim

Strategy hint: if you baron someone and end up comparing Princesses, don't force them to discard it on a later turn.
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5. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:397]
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Another game in line. 5p. Mostly same people

Good: I got to play pink
Better: sitting in line at bgg.con registration gaming with geeks.

Bad: the game. There are better drinking games out there.
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6. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:159]
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I grabbed my badge and headed straight for the hot games room without grabbing my freebies.

Patchistory was full, I sat down at this.

With:
Hunter
Blitzaloid
Mschemen

Kurt, this better be good!
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7. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:924]
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Me, Dave E, Andrew S, and green-haired wandering monster maggibot
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8. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2331]
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Jerry taught me. 2p has an annoying neutral player.
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9. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:924]
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Jerry wanted to learn. I also taught gunship and jassad1
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10. Board Game: Yunnan [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1346]
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Me Dave E Eric R bnordeng new to all
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11. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:19]
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Minneapolis mike
Darrin Williams teaching
Me
Candy
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12. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
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Me, Jerry, Jerry's friend Jeff, wandering monster sydwys8

Lots of "like Agricola" in the teaching.
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
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Me, Jerry, Jeff Kahan oboewan and wandering monster Andrew (fateswanderer) who turns out to game with a friend of mine

First two hands with just new cards, then on to the orb.

Orb is a much slower game. Fiddler.
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14. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:676]
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It wouldn't be a Martin Wallace game without a rules error so bad the game needed a reboot. (On top of multiple smaller errors.)

Me, Jerry, Jeff, Doug Phrim, Annie ibaimendi
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15. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:676]
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The reboot was a somewhat different game played by the correct rules. (Our big mistake was thinking that the arrival of new cubes in Limbo sent cubes already there back to their owners, rather than needing to be collected. )

We also had, through luck of the draw, more agents available, which made players more likely to be willing to become known to the authorities once they had a protective agent.

Phrim brought the zombies out, basically an NPC army like those that cause trouble in Successors; he started spending a lot of actions dumping cards to cycle through his deck. (No deck-thinning available)

I decided that cubes were going to be a lot harder to work with so I picked up both Holmes and Moriarty, making people very confused about my loyalty, when in fact what I really wanted was their doubly-cube icons, and picked up London and Washington just for fun. Then I grabbed the next city over. I was sitting there with 14 points, well in the lead, wondering when people were going to do something about my lead. The Infernal Machine came up, a triple bomb, and in snagged it unopposed while other people were busy running from zombies. I moved all of my agents to London; someone asked if I were going to assassinate the 7-point Royal there but I had just said something about safety in numbers so my lying denial (well, it wasn't technically a lie the way I worded it) was believed. Jeff attacked my control of Washington and that gave me a great excuse to drop 3 protective cubes while frantically sifting my deck. And then! Finally! I drew the right cards and heald my breath, looking anywhere but at London, while 4 other players took their turns.

Time to go out with a bang. I dropped my bombs. 11 of them, along with Sherlock's "assassinate Royal" card. "But you only need 7!" "Doesn't matter, I'm going out with a bang". I revealed as a pink Restorationist for 22 points to end the game on the spot.

... Having lost track of the fact that the point trailer had assassinated a Royal and thus my whole team was eliminated. Game over, win to Jeff.

Ok, I'm going to say it. Martin Wallace has designed a game with vampires and zombies that I enjoyed playing and look forward to playing again.
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16. Board Game: Artifact [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:11515]
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When I first heard about this game I was very excited, on the strength of the designers. Then the bad reviews started coming in.

Unfortunately, this is another bad review.

It took us half an hour to get through the rules, and there were still one or two ambiguities (is "last player" last in turn order or last to act?)

It's really a very simple game, but there are annoying mechanisms, notably the one where you open a city and someone else cherry-picks the cards.

The big thing that had me excited, the mechanism where passed players acquire wood bits while active players keep taking turns? Well, when the round is over everyone fills back up to 6 anyway. You can swap out a nun useful bit, or maybe make an action a dollar more expensive, but the huge windfall to those who drop out of a round early did not materialize. Rather, those who drop early advertise their upcoming moves and give further advantage to those still acting.

It was a simple game once we got through the rules but I see no compelling reason to ever seek it out for another play.

Oh, and the explorer meeples? Clearly nobody ever tried playing the game with samples, as they fall over way too easily when jostled and it's important to keep track of which squares in the dense array have meeples standing on them. ("Game clearly not play-tested with final components" is one of the more damning things I can say when criticizing the form-over-function school go game graphic design,) if you buy the game for yourself I recommend getting 4 dozen mini-meeples in matching colors

To be fair we played the basic game and there are 2 advanced expansions included with the base game, but there was nothing in the base game to make me want to hurry back for a bigger dose.
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17. Board Game: 1817 [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:1896]
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Me TS face small bridge 30 middle coal 50
Dave d engineers at 35 bits burg 35 small coal 35
Joe big bridge 65 big coal 75
Andrew medium mail at 65
Jenny small mail 50 big mail 105
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18. Board Game: Sail to India [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1278]
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Dave E taught me, darker, and Marshall mdp4838 ( wandering monster)

Very cute for what it is. I picked a strategy when the board was revealed and went with it which didn't go well but I did accomplish some things. Too few actions and too many priorities -- mark of a good game.
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19. Board Game: The Capitals [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1732]
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Jerry teaching me, herb Finkel, and summoned monster Darwin.
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20. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:71]
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Finally got to play this. Must buy.

Me, Jerry, candy Weber, and a person whose name I did not get. Wade kindly stayed behind and taught. 2.5 hours.

Worker placement with multiple tracks you can specialize in, though the VP from building track seems important not to ignore, or at least important not to let one person get unimpeded.

Caylus-style turn order. thumbsup

7 rounds. First round I got 5 points, last round I got 136. Things snowball.

Intense puzzle for optimizing for non-interference. (I.e. Not just what is the best action, but what is the best action that I don't think will be taken before my next turn -- as players' strategies diverge, some people are less likely to take certain actions, or not be able to. Don't get caught flat-footed when the industrialist suddenly takes a plum track action, though. Not that that happened to me, oh no...

Excellent brain-burner. Can't wait to teach certain people at home.
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21. Board Game: The Capitals [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1732]
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Me Jeff Jerry Dave E
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22. Board Game: BraveRats [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1947]
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After 1817 I was looking for another game and didn't find much. I pulled up this micro-game to teach darker.

7-way rock-paper-scissors with a deck of 7 cards for each player.

Depends too much on bluff and feint to be good when playing brain-dead with a relative stranger in a crowded ballroom. Pity that.

We played 2 rounds( he won both) and then set it aside.
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23. Board Game: Xactika [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:8002]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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At the last moment I'd brought this along for my filler set.

I knew it went well 2p so I taught darker.

It melted his brain as he tried to guess the probabilities. That was fun to watch :-)

After 4 hands he asked me how he could find a copy for himself.
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24. Board Game: Pala [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:5050]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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I taught Jeff and Jerry because I hate my friends and want to see their brains break; we played 2 hands of Impressionism (the Hearts clone) and got to use both smearing and mixing.
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25. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:110]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Dave, Jerry, Jeff, and me (only I was a first-time player.) about 4.5 hours.

This may be a decent game but I had a miserable experience. We played with the asymmetrical starts; my special power was extra colonization powers but by the time I got my military up the first-turn colonies were gone; the second round there were no colonies to be had at all, and I fell behind, lost a disastrous war, and never recovered. I prepped for colonies that never showed up, struggled to accomplish anything with no resources, and ended the game with half the points of the person in 4th place.

Dave said he struggled with his first game and enjoyed the second play a lot better but I can't see hurrying to try it again any time soon if ever.

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