Mafia GCL BGG.con Wrapup
Mc Jarvis
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This is a chance for Mafia members to post what they played over BGG.con, impressions, and toplists.

Once you're done answering the questions, post items linked to games you particularly enjoyed and give a rundown. If someone has already posted a game you want to talk about, comment on it instead of making a new entry.
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1. Board Game: BGG: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Mc Jarvis
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What games did you get to play?
 
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2. Board Game: Top This! A Pizza Flicking Game [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:9669]
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Which games did you:

a) Buy/preorder
b) Out side of games you purchased, which games were your favorites? Pick your top 10% or so out of played games.

Comments on this group of games are encouraged.
 
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3. Board Game: Stinker [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:4969]
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Did any games fall flat for you?
 
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4. Board Game: Romolo o Remo? [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:3273]
Mc Jarvis
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One of the best games I played at the con wasn't even in the hot games room: it was in the hot games section(of the library), though. Romolo o Remo is a 4X title with hints of antiquity (in that your are harvesting resources and building buildings from a big menu of them) and Roads & Boats (in that you are navigating a hex grid, building buildings to exploit terrain types, and there is a combat system which feels similar in feel to attacking in R&B: easy to defend against, but devastating if not defended.)

I really like the character cards you can hire, as it helps to differentiate abilities of the different players. Notably different from Antiquity is the explicit different game win conditions: Romolo o Remo is a search for VPs, though you can get VPs in many different ways, with the top player in each category of VPs earning a sizable bonus as well. I guess that encourages limited specialization: you can't hammer just one aspect of your civ, but it pays to be better than everyone else in two or three of these aspects.

I really love this game. I just wish it didn't take us nearly 5 hours to get through it. (1 hour for me to read the rules, 45 minutes to teach, and about 4 hours and 15 minutes to play the game, 3 players)
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5. Board Game: The Capitals [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1547]
Mc Jarvis
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The Capitals was suggested to me by Larry Levy as a potential game to check out, and as such it was one of the first games I sat down for a demo on. This game was hot at the con: I couldn't find the single copy in the library for a few days. One night I was playing another game and saw someone going to turn in The Capitals, and I followed him into the library and snatched it from his hands as he checked it in.

While I was playing someone gave me their business card to text them when I was ready to check it in. Due to some slowness in getting through the rules, that person ended up playing in my one game of it. So I went to turn the game in, and was followed by someone else to grab the game from me right away.

Anyway: it's a city building game, but perhaps one of the heaviest city building games I've played. there are aspects which remind me of many games, but the decisions remain difficult, and I really like the constrained actions( you can never activate more than three buildings in a turn, which is significant) The power cubes and tourist cars add an additional layer of planning: by cleverly placing tourists when activating buildings, you can lower your overall operating costs.

I don't think that explained the game well, but it's safe to say this was a top game for me at the con.
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6. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:593]
Mc Jarvis
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Another surprise for me was A Study in Emerald. Admittedly I sat down at the table because it was the only table in the hot games section open which didn't have games which were obviously not my thing: I was skeptical at the theme, but I thought maybe Wallace deserves a shot.

What I found was the deckbuilding game engine to A Few Acres of Snow, but without any of the glaring flaws. I'm not familiar with the backstory, but the game includes light thematic elements like vampire cards, zombie cards, and Cthulu eating cities--- but don't let that fool you. This is no random chance event deck thing like Arkham Horror--- it's an intriguing game of politics and assassinations.

In the game, six cards--- 3 loyalists and 3 revolutionaries--- are shuffled and one is handed to each player. So in a 4 player game you can either have 3 people on one team and 1 on the other or 2 on each team. At the end of the game, you reveal which team each player is on and score points for specific team-objectives. Then you look at whoever is in last place, and everyone on THAT persons team is eliminated.

This means that if you are on a team by yourself, you just need to not finish in last place. If you're in a game with 2v2 teams, then you still need to help out your teammate instead of focusing on rote optimization.

On top of all that, each team has radically different objectives: revolutionaries wants to assassinate as many royalty as possible, and the royalists want to assassinate the agents on the revolutionary team. However, you get no points if you accidentally assassinate agents of fellow royalists.

Did I mention you don't know anyone's loyalties? I love it.
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