BGG Con 2014 - 3 Canadians, 28 Games and 4 Nights
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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BGG Con is easily one of the highlights of my year. It takes a lot of advanced planning to pull everything together. I have been lucky to have two great friends to go with every year for four years now.

I love learning new games. I didn't get nearly as many this year as last year, but got to fit in some epic games which more than made up for it.

It's getting harder to fit in games with all the friends I've made at the Con too. We are starting to get too many "we need to do this EVERY year" events to fit them all in!

All in all a good problem to have. Thanks to everybody who put the con together and thanks to everybody who played games with me, brought food and drove my carless butt around!

Here's a chronological list of the games I had a chance to play with some of my thoughts. I welcome your comments as well!
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1. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:82]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This was the first game I had a chance to play. I got to play it twice two player on the Tuesday before the Con started.

I think the 'I cut you choose' mechanic for buying rooms works really well two player.

There were enough options that it felt like there were many ways to score. The multiple paths to victory games that are so popular these days made me realize that I like games where you actually build things. Castles was much more satisfying than some other games where you just push your cubes up the track. You have a castle at the end.

The history of King Ludwig is also quite fascinating.

I rate this 8/10 (two player, but definitely interested in playing with more)
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2. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I got to play Machi Koro after that. I had a ton of fun with this game last year and had been impatiently waiting for the English reprint.

It's very light and plays quickly. I like the artwork.

I rate it a 6/10 overall, but I like it more than that in specific circumstances. Generally if I have four gamers together, we are going to want to play something different, but Machi Koro is perfect for new games, light gamers, or as a filler.

I'm ready for the expansions!
 
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3. Board Game: Timeline: Discoveries [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1069] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I got to play this one while we were waiting in line for registration.

It's a simple game where you have to play the invention cards in the chronological order in which they were invented. It made a great, quick standing in line game, but I would never play in on games night. It might be nice to try with the kids, or to get a copy for their teachers.

I rate this 5/10
 
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4. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2096]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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We went to the Demo hall to check out some new games. The demo guy started us on the super basic tutorial which wasn't much fun. I think those intro scenarios are there for people who are learning the games by themselves. With an experienced teacher, I think we could have tried something more engaging.


We left bemusedly after the two demoers got into a discussion about rules and neglected us.

No rating for this one since we didn't really play. I like X-wing and Wings of War and am quite excited about this retheme. The minis definitely aren't as high quality as X-wing though.
 
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5. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:426]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This one fell surprisingly flat for me. I love the original King of Tokyo, and had high hopes. They've changed a few mechanics to increase the amount of decision making you can do, but the beauty of King of Tokyo is in its lightness. It's a dice chucker, not a thinker.

I did think the power cards in King of New York were a bit more balanced though.

In my opinion the new changes make the game worse, not better. I won't be buying a copy of this.

I rate it 6/10
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6. Board Game: Spyfall [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:395] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Next we met up with some friends and played a game of Spyfall. I liked this one, although it took us a while to get into the swing of things.

There are several dozen locations the group is in, and everyone knows which location they are in for the round except for the spy player. One player must ask another a question about the location. The other player must answer with enough information to communicate that you know the location without giving enough information to the spy to figure it out.

The spy scores points if he can guess the location based on everyone's conversation, and the rest of the players score points if they can pick out the spy based on his vague answers.

It's an interesting ice breaker/party game.

I rate it 7/10 (for the right group)
 
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7. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:244]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This game is the third (?) iteration of this bluffing game. I was absolutely miserable at the game. Interestingly, the fellow who won the game won without bluffing at all, so there are two games here. One is trying to optimize your score, and the other is trying to score some extra points with the bluffing aspect.

I initially rated it 6/10, but am willing to reconsider. I may have just taken off a point due to sour grapes from my own poor performance...

I like the art, but the components and card stock are flimsy.
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8. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Conquest [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:603]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This is Fantasy Flight's latest LCG. I despise the theme, but my game group left me in the dust trying to keep up with Netrunner so I gave up on that. I like the LCG's so just wanted to play this a bit and see if I can keep up this time.

I do like the mechanics, which remind me of L5R.

So far it's 7/10
 
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9. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1005]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I really like this game. It plays 5 (6 with expansion?) and plays quickly due to simultaneous turns.

It's an area majority game with blind bidding.

I enjoy the social aspect of it more than the gaminess.

I rated this one 7/10
 
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10. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I've heard so many good things about this game, but really didn't like it. I really like the 60 second negotiation phase with a penalty for both parties if you can't come to some agreement, and would love to see this implemented in another game.

It felt too random to me. A single card can swing things and destroy your plans, which is frustrating because the game was longish.

I bought this and all the expansions, but will be purging this one from the collection.

This was one of only two games that I was unhappy that I played.

5/10
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11. Board Game: Colt Express [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:298]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I was excited about this game and happened to walk by the demo copy right when there was space. It's a western themed programmed movement game, with a small amount of screwage. The game fits the theme perfectly, and the 3D train looks great.

I will likely pick this one up eventually. I'd like to get some steam engine train noises to play in the background. Any suggestions?

I rated this 7/10
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12. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This was my most played game of the Con due to its short play time. This was one of my favorite games of the Con. People like to describe it as Fluxx for gamers which does it a huge disservice in my opinion.

Interesting strategy. I taught the game multiple times and enjoyed watching people's faces when it started to 'click'.

This is going into my carry everywhere filler case.

I rated this 8/10
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13. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:42]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I got to play 7 Wonders. I revised my previous score from 9 to 8, only because there are so many other good games out there these days.

This game plays 6 sublimely.

I am a high ranking Grand Pubah in the Cult of the New, and don't play games like this nearly as often as I should. I need to play again.

I rate this 8/10
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14. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:60]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I was quite excited for this one, and I am a big fan of dice games in general, but this fell totally flat. I think I would just rather play Race for the Galaxy.

I rate this 5/10

I can't tell you exactly why, but I just have no desire to play this ever again.
 
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15. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:78]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I finally got to play Descent. I have been buying all things Descent, but have have never had the energy, time and dedication to figure it out. I was lucky to schedule some time for some one to teach it to my and my group.

We were only able to do the first few scenarios, but it was everything I hoped for. I'm excited to finally play with my home group. I could see setting aside a day at the con to do a bunch of scenarios too...

I rated this 9/10
 
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16. Board Game: King's Forge [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1406]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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I heard good things about this from a friends, and so I Kickstarted the revised edition. I got to learn and play this one.

The final round was very tense. You have to spend dice to build items for points, but your opponents have a chance to steal the items if they have the right types of dice and roll the right numbers.

I liked the dice and the production. Nice and quick 4 player game. The luck of the roll will be a turn off for many, but hit the sweet spot for me.

This was a solid 7/10
 
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17. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:31]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This is another game I wanted to play, and I was lucky enough to be a part of a teaching group.

The game took 5 hours (!) but felt like an hour.

I had so much fun, this may not have been the game of the Con, but this was the most fun I had all week, due in large part to a great group to play with.

I rate this 8/10 because the time it takes makes this a Con only game for me I suspect.
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18. Board Game: 12 Realms [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:9062]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This is a nicely overproduced game with no game play that I can see. The group quickly lost interest and we aborted early in the game to spare ourselves more pain.

I rated this 4/10, and this was the worst game of the Con.
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19. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:381]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Camel Up was a new take on racing, and while I could see the cleverness of it, it wasn't the game I was hoping for. I think I was alone in that opinion because everyone else in the group was having a blast.

I rated it 6/10, but by the laughter and fun that everyone else had, I bet there were a few 10's.

I didn't participate, but there was a 'high stakes' game played for dollars instead of tokens. Everyone spent a little more time thinking about their bets on that game...

I may need to reevaluate this one if my home group ever gets a copy.
 
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20. Board Game: Star Trek: The Adventure Game [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:3390]
M C
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Lethbridge
Alberta
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This entry is for the Artemis Space Simulator. I've wanted to try this ever since I saw it at the Con for the first time 4 years ago.

It was pretty much what I expected although we didn't get far because nobody had ever done it before.

I think we set a record for the earliest death. We flew into a minefield about 6 seconds in.

The highlight for me was when the helm didn't know how to stop the ship, so engineering had to cut the power to the engines to keep us from crashing into another minefield.
 
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21. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:410]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This game wins the Game of the Con award, and also the biggest surprise award.

People will describe this as Dixit for Gamers, but I think this will turn people off. We struggled a bit with the rules, but once the rules made sense, we had a lot of fun.

One player is a ghost, and he has to communicate with the players to give them clues to solve a mystery. You can only communicate by handing players cards that indicate in some way something about the person, place or item in the mystery. It's a coop to solve the mystery before the time runs out. The Dixit comparison makes sense, but again, might scare people away.

I was surprised how much I liked this game. I think the mechanisms work well together.

This gets 9/10

The trouble is that copies are scarce. The forums suggest that this is getting picked up by the makers of Dixit, so I will have to bide my time...
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22. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:265]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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A recent Feld. I liked this one. Good medium weight Euro which is my sweet spot. Lots of interesting choices.

I rate this 8/10 so far.

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23. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:971]
M C
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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This was an interesting game. It ended much more quickly than I expected. There are a number of races which would increase the variety. I think I need to try this a bit more.

My initial impression is 6/10.

If I'm going to play something quick, I tend to prefer something more social or silly. If I'm going to play something longer, I want something with bit more meat on its bones.

It's highly portable, but that's not really important for me.
 
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24. Board Game: Pagoda [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1644]
M C
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Lethbridge
Alberta
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I got to play this one 2 player and quite like it. It's an abstract where the trick is to play something that gets you points, but also lays the foundation for your opponent to score more points.

I liked the smooth flow and building the little towers. I'd like to play this one some more. I expect the games will finish quickly once each player knows how to play.

I rate this 7/10
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25. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:25]
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Lethbridge
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I was one of the lucky few that got a chance to play this by being in the library at just the right time. This plays like Descent making this my third epic game of the Con. Obviously the setting is perfect for Star Wars fans.

Fantasy Flight is getting better and better at milking money from purchasers. There isn't much in the way of components and all the characters are generic. It looks like you will have to pay through the nose for all the expansions and known characters.

I guess there is a skirmish mode, but we played two scenarios from the campaign.

Great game! I slightly prefer Descent based on theme alone, and the Descent world has been fleshed out a bit more.

This was great fun and I rate it 8/10. I'm looking forward to you know, actual characters from the movie.
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