ConnCon 2014 - Quality not quantity
John McDonough
United States
New York
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3rd year at ConnCon. Another year of Euros, abstracts and TI. Admittedly, I didn't play the large number of games that others did, but I enjoyed the ones I did immensely. Also did not get too liquored up, which at this point in my life is probably a good thing.
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1. Board Game: The Agents [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2180]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Erik invited me to play this with himself, Lisa, my older brother Joe, and "Not Mindy". An excellent card game where every benefit you get, you give a different one to another player. I managed to score multiple points with one of my Mission cards each turn, as I held the only cards that could cancel that mission in my hand. It brought me to my first and only win of the con. My friend Scott and his family would love this game.
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2. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:14]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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A great sequel, with more choices than the basic Agricola game, but less choices with the expansion cards. Don taught the game very well (it helped that every one had played Agricola before), and young Bob won the game by breeding the most animals. I would play it again, but doubt my group would be into doing it without knowing Agricola.
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3. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:48]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Twilight Imperium! 8 hours! I must be a masochist.

Not as fun as previous years, but still pretty epic. One person dropped out and there was a lot of rule questioning, especially by me. My secret win conditions didn't involve a lot of fighting, sad for a warlike race like mine. Every time I play I "get it", only to forget it by the next Con. Even with 8 hours, we still didn't finish.

I tied for 3rd. With Kyle. Because James likes blowing Kyle's ships up.
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4. Board Game: TAMSK [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1506] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Mr. Gola, who couldn't stay for No Saving Throw on Sunday, searched for me to play some abstracts. Bringing out the only one of the Gipf series I haven't played. He won, of course. Could not get into the strategy factor as I was too busy concentrating on the timer factor.
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5. Board Game: Kulami [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:2696]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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The second of abstracts with Gola. A neat placement game, where you try to capture tiles by placing more marbles on them than your opponent. With strict rules of placement, it kept me thinking after the game is over, which is the sign of any great abstract. Gola won, of course.
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6. Board Game: GIPF [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:719] [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Seriously, if Gola is horrible at board games, how come he keeps kicking my ass?

Ah, well. At least I didn't lose at Taj Mahal.
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7. Board Game: Pretty Pretty Princess [Average Rating:4.28 Overall Rank:15229]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Any comments I can offer on this event would detract from the awesomeness. I will say it was nice to play a gig that did not involve Sousa marches or hymns.
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8. Board Game Designer: Mike Fitzgerald
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Got to meet the Mystery Rummy designer, and told him how much my family and I enjoy his games. A very nice man, and also a Gipf series fan! I've heard good things about his latest baseball card game, but could not try it out.
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9. Board Game: ConHex [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:3414]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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No Saving Throw time! Dave Molnar introduced me to this Hex variant, and also the first Mark Steere game I played. I only had played one connection game before this, Twixt, and I haven't really gotten the strategy down for this family.
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10. Board Game: Santorini [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:2850]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Now this, I dug. Dave and I played 2 games of this and by the 2nd game I was giving him a run for his money. But after a few tactical errors on my part, he won the game. Definitely my favorite of the new abstracts I played that weekend.
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11. Board Game: Arimaa [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:1860]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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This was by far the highlight of the con for me.

Avri started the game with a massive blunder of trading his camel for one of my horses. (Also a small blunder on my part, as I could have gotten his camel for free). Realizing this, he manuevered his pieces to hold my camel hostage on the NW part of the board. As my elephant had to protect the NW trap, his 2 horses went marauding on the SE section.I was able to limit the damage using the small army defense, while trying to wriggle my camel free. Once I did, we started a capture race. When I saw that I couldn't capture any more pieces without allowing him to hostage my camel again, I made a dash with one of my rabbits. This was a strategic error, as it forced him to find a winning combination.

I wish I had written this game down, so we could analyze it later. It felt like I was playing chess in a candidates tournament. Really, it was that good.
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12. Board Game: Ponte del Diavolo [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2175]
John McDonough
United States
New York
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Finally, Dave and I played one last abstract. This one didn't float my boat. I had trouble looking ahead, and the tile laying mechanic didn't do much for me. But I might give it a go again next year.

And that was it. Almost played Pinochle with Joe, but close only counts in horseshoes. Thanks to all for another great weekend.
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