IndyCon 2014
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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The now annual tradition of chronicling the games I played at IndyCon.
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1. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Mickey

We had a little time before our scheduled game of Railways of the World, so I taught Crokinole to Mickey. I'm terrible at Crokinole, but I love it. I started with a 50-point round, but the lead didn't last long. As I expected, Mickey picked up the game quickly, and ended up winning.
 
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2. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Mickey, Andrew, Daniel, and Gary

Next up was the scheduled game of Railways of the World. We had a full complement of 6 players, so the Eastern U.S. map was our only option. As usual, there was a lot of contention in the Northeast and East Coast. I started all alone in Cincinnati/Louisville/Lexington, and then down to Memphis. This gave me impetus to go for the level 3 train early. From there, it was into Chicago, and on to complete the Minneapolis-New Orleans major route. I never really competed much with anyone, but I didn't do everything efficiently. In particular, I didn't pick up a Perfect Engineer card which would have saved me at least two actions. Coincidentally, I was 1 action short of extending the game with urbanization of Lexington, which would have at least improved my showing. As it was, I ended up 5th. Gary knocked it out with an early hotel in Baltimore (surrounded by many yellow cubes), and two major lines (NYC-KC, Baltimore-Toledo).
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3. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:490]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Andrew, and Daniel

After grabbing lunch, I sat down for one of my favorite games, again with a full complement. The bidding in general felt fairly low, and I only took 4 or 5 debt the entire game. I also ended up winning 8 auctions. I had two workers on the Meatpacking Plant by turn 6, and passed round 8 to set up the opportunity to buy a Train Station and the Rail Yard in round 9. I thought I was killing it, but even though I won, it was only by about 4 points or so.

This game is so good at all player counts.
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4. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:67]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Nick, and Dave

New to me, but I had heard enough hype that it was one that I wanted to learn at the con. Fortunately, Nick and Dave had played, and were willing to teach Brian and me. Needless to say, I was fairly overwhelmed at the all of the options without fully understanding the impact of everything. About halfway through it started to click. The winner had hit the factory track hard, and was generating tons of points during the mid-game -- enough so that he couldn't be caught despite not pulling as many points as the rest of us in the late game. I enjoyed it, and would certainly know better how to start the game with a better plan in a second game. I didn't *love* it, so who knows when I'll play it again.
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5. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:247]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Mickey, Dave, and ?

I didn't get to play a full game, but I took the time to learn it. The system is intriguing, and I hope to get a full game in some time. Unfortunately, dinner plans moved up, and I had to settle for just a few turns.
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6. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:14]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Mickey, John, Ken, and ?? (name recall is failing me!)

The last game of Friday for me was another scheduled game. I knew about the comparisons to [thing=259085]Agricola[/thing], and it sounded like one that I needed to try. It was definitely as advertised: it felt a lot like Agricola, but instead of getting screwed out of what you needed, you just have to take a less efficient option. I built the dwelling that houses two people early, and went from 2 to 4 dwarfs in one turn. This hurt my ability to go on expeditions, but the extra actions helped enough to get me into second.

I enjoyed this, and look forward to playing it again.
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7. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Sean and Brent

When I showed up Saturday, I found Sean and Brent also looking for a game. I had read the rules to Glass Road on Friday while waiting for Caverna to start. Thankfully, Sean and Brent were willing to put up with me stumbling through an explanation. While none of us really knew how to start, Sean established a strategy fairly early, and pursued it the whole way through. It was enough to get him a win! I loved the production wheel mechanism, and the short play time. This might be one that I pick up.
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8. Board Game: Power Grid: China/Korea [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Denise, Kevin, and Jon

As Glass Road was nearing the end, I saw these fine folk setting up a game of Power Grid. I wasn't planning on playing Power Grid *again*, but I couldn't resist. This was the first time that I've played the China map. The guaranteed order of the power plants was interesting, and could make for a very calculated game if you know the deck. I'm not sure that I like that compared to the random ordering. I started out in the northern part of the map with a lot of cheap connections. It worked well, but Brian swooped into that same area during stage 2 to get to 15 cities quickly. We both powered 13 plants, but he ended up with 10-15 more money than me. I'm certain this isn't the first time I've lost to him on a tiebreaker...
 
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9. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:324] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Jonathan, and Jon

This had been on my long list of games to try, so I was happy to have Brian teach it. I got an extra action, and 2 estate actions for free fairly early, so I was just trying to flip properties as quickly as possible. I was able to go bankrupt by the last round, but I think I ended up in 3rd of 4. It was a fun game, and one I would play again.
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10. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
Nolan Lichti
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Played with: Brian, Jonathan, and Jon

I had to end my IndyCon a little early this year, so we were looking for a quick game that we all knew. This was my second play, and it was much more frustrating than the first time I had played. I don't even remember where I ended up (3rd maybe?), but I didn't enjoy the game as much the second time around. I'm curious as to what the strategy should be when you can't get the color you want, and your early people aren't helping you build an engine. I'll probably get a chance to play this again, and there are definitely multiple ways to execute a strategy that I haven't tried yet.
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