Of course, the best thing about any gathering is the ability to hang out with friends. There's just something different about being away, CONs get a "summer camp" feel. I'm fortunate to have friends from the Meeplefest CON I attend in Northern California. In addition, my So Cal friends and a few other scattered friends kept me entertained. As a matter of fact, even though meeting new people is great, I don't think I played any games without at least one old friend at the table.
It wasn't just gaming with old friends, it was eating BBQ, BSing, and even some nice heart-to-heart chats with fellow father-of-teens Mark Johnson.
I made some new friends: some from online friends, and some from mutual friends.
I know throughout most of the US one can get decent BBQ, but, in So Cal, well, our BBQ is so bad that even lackluster BBQ in Texas is exciting for us.
So, I ate BBQ two nights, and steak another.
Steak and Shake Hey, why don't we have these in California!? I certainly wouldn't trade away In-N-Out Burger for a Steak and Shake, but I would give you Sonic and a free ride on my railroads for a Steak and Shake. My sandwich was surprisingly good given the look of the place, and my chocolate banana malt was quite good.
I was lucky enough to get on a great team for the Puzzle Hunt and Game Show. What a hoot! If you get to BGG.con, and you want to try the Puzzle Hunt, see if you can finagle your way onto a team with some experience. It really was cool.
The trip started out right with a game of Harry's Grandslam Baseball in the airport. Matter of fact, this was the only game I "truly" played on Wednesday, my first day of the con, because the next play occurred after midnight.
My two favorite games are my only plays for Wednesday. This in particular was the "party game" I wanted to play, and I wasn't disappointed. Lots of skilled Time's Uppers out at BGG.con. What a hoot! This is a great game; I enjoy (as Mark Johnson would call them) the sharky players, but, played with neophytes there are just as many laughs to be had, if not more.
I knew I had two hours of time change at my disposal, and I used it all up immediately. I think I went to bed around 3am Texas time.
The actual order of these games is going to be a bit shaky, but, this is as good a place to start as any, especially since I enjoyed the game so much. I tried really hard to like Race for the Galaxy, but I just couldn't make it happen. The good news is, all the stuff I liked about RftG they stuffed into Roll for the Galaxy. I definitely need to give it some more tries, but I thought this was a fun time.
Got a couple of games of Port Royal down on Thursday. I thought it was fun these first couple of plays, but, when everyone started telling me it wore out its welcome and got longish, I started to believe them. I probably won't pursue the game regardless, as all that would have played it with me are no longer interested.
Wanted to like this, but instead it just frustrated me. There are games with a lot of delightful disappointments. These make everyone groan and curse at bad turns of luck. This game just made you feel like you should have done better, but in reality, the task was unachievable from the get-go. Once again, play Qwixx, or maybe Wurfel Bohnanza, instead.
I was able to share this game with my So Cal friends, as I'd played it with my Northern California friends. Matter of fact, I've been on the 2nd printing pre-release purchase list every since I played it in August.
It's not ground breaking, but, I like it quite a bit. The artwork is superior, and the word-formation is only moderately challenging as opposed to a game where that's the sole mechanic.
Stephanie Bennett hosted and spearheaded Reverse Charades, which had plenty of participation and laughs. This is a pretty good game, especially amongst people that aren't charade sharks like me. I highly recommend it.
Who says I can't bring some variety into my party gaming? See, I played the "Title Recall" version of Time's Up.
I think this version lacks in comparison to playing the original. There's just something more fun about acting out people, and besides, musical clues are frowned upon in Title Recall, and that's a lot of the fun about Time's Up.
Once again, up at the crack of noon. Is this the day I went to Mark Johnson's Board Games To Go lunch? I think so. It was fun to meet some of my Mark's fans. All cool people that I enjoyed sharing a meal with.
Deus was a big hit with me and my local gaming friends that came to the CON with me. Of course, it's of limited ability in the US, so, I'll just have to wait to play it a second time until it becomes available.
It was a perfect weight for me. Just enough meat to keep it interesting, with some luck sprinkled in.
This was my only experience playing in the Essen Hotness room, and we took full advantage of getting strangers to teach and assist in the game play. Very convenient. Not only do you have people teaching you, but you also have the game all set up for you.
It's unfortunate that some rules issues (which generated a full game-restart), and a hard deadline caused this to be a bit of a fizzle. However, I was impressed with the production values, and this simple pick up and deliver game seemed fun. I'd like to give it another try.
Seems this was the hit of the CON, but I'm not sure what people see in it. I seemed to spend more time fumbling through the rules than I did enjoying the game. I've been told the advanced rules are more fun. I'll give it another try.
Back to the old favorite! By now I've settled in with some really cool new friends at BGG.con, all Time's Up naturals, who were just a blast.
Now, I can get oddly competitive at this game, I think it's due to it being so close to so many Improv games I performed. Graciously, my Time's Up friends allow me to hog the 'stage' and spotlight as much as I need to get it out of my system.
After the Puzzle Hunt, dinner, prize drawing, and the game show, there wasn't much time for gaming. I did squeeze in a game of Evolution, which I was pleased to have Brett Hardin teach. I still have my Kickstarter sitting unopened, and now I know how to play.
Fun game! The theme strikes home, I'm a fan of animals.
I thought this was just okay. I'm not great at trick taking games, and certainly aren't good at them, but this one felt too weak even for me. I've played some Hearts in my day, and I felt like Diamonds missed some of its tension.
Party game time! The others enjoyed this, but, I felt like it fizzled pretty quickly. When playing party games with people capable of playing Time's Up, I'm inevitably thinking, "why aren't we playing Time's Up instead of this?".