Gamestorm 17: Games I Played
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I've been a long time Gamestorm attendee, and it's been awhile since I posted a list like this. Please feel free to post games you played and experiences you had.

Gamestorm is one of our local Portland/Vanocuver area game conventions. It's a nice con and a great experience overall. Board games, RPG's, LARPS, console and LAN gaming, vendor room, etc. It's pretty comprehensive in my opinion, and I've always found it well represented for board games.

At this point in the life of my gaming hobby, I find myself having less of a need to attend something like this just to play games. The board gaming community in Portland is large and vibrant. I can very nearly find a gaming opportunity every night of the week.

In many ways what keeps me coming back are the great folks I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know. This is the only opportunity for me to see and connect with many of them. It makes the weekend for me. And of course a couple of gaming traditions at Gamestorm I look forward to every year. My criteria for my gaming choices at Gamestorm are simple. I look to play games I'm curious about, would never get a chance to play (miniatures games, highly thematic games for example) or games with people I don't often get to see but whose company I enjoy.

My con experience was much more limited this year. I had to work all day Thursday, and we have plans late morning Sunday. But I still got some great games in, and may yet get one or two more in if I can sneak away tomorrow for a bit.
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1. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1109]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Princes of Machu Pichu

I played this Thursday night after a long day of work, over at my friend Jon's house. There was a bit of dissatisfaction this year due to the Hilton double booking it's rooms with Gamestorm and another event. Part of the solution was to convert a portion of the hotel's parking to gaming areas. Many people were upset with this development and with Gamestorm's handling of it. Some decided to forego Gamestorm this year because of this. Jon had "Jon Con 1.5" at his house this weekend. Jon is a great host, and it's always nice when I get the chance to game with him.

When I arrived, there were three full tables of gamers going strong. I got there while some games were still finishing up, and after a short wait was able to get in a game of Princes of Machu Pichu.

After my first play, it feels like there is a ton going on here. I'll need to play it a few more times before I really grok things. But I liked it, and actually won. Truth be told, I think my very worthy opponents were exhausted by a day of playing brain burners.
 
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2. Board Game: Aachen [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:9797]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I DID NOT PLAY THIS GAME.

But I did play a home-brew game design by Greg Moore, called "Battle For Aachen". Greg is a local gamer, game designer and overall miniature and terrain demigod.

He usually runs a few of these every year. Historical and fictional battles recreated with absolutely brilliant minis and terrain. Always with is his own home-brew rule sets that make for a simple, easy to teach and play game. His scenarios and settings are not only painstakingly researched and presented, but a true joy to play and play with.

He designed a War of the Worlds game that was incredilbly exacting in it's detail to the original book, not the movies or other adaptations. Down to the uniform detailing to the month of what the military forces were wearing.

Did I mention the Martian Robots models were remote controlled, and could light up and actually spin and walk...

This year I played "Battle for Aachen" about the German defense of Aachen against the US forces in the latter part of WW II. It was spectacular, and I got to play against BGG'er and overall great human Eric Benson and with his son Benjamin. Also played with a local gaming friend, Tom.
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I didn't get to spend much more time with ether of them after this, but it wouldn't be 'storm without these guys!

The minis, terrain and knowledge Greg had around the details of this battle were as amazing as always. But the unit activation he designed didn't work very well, at least for Benjamin and I as the Germans. There were many, many turns where we would get one unit activated to at least three or four of the American activations.



Sour grapes aside and our pretty substantial defeat aside - it was a great time.
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3. Board Game: Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1573]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series

There are always times for pick-up games while you're waiting between games. And we're all there to game right?

My friend Tom always brings a copy of Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series. It's small, quick and fun. Two books and lots of page flipping, and fiery death.

Of course Tom met a particularly fiery death.






 
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4. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:64] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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I own the base set and a few minis, but hadn't had much of a chance to play. Wanted to get some practice playing this, and was very happy to sit down with someone willing to teach.

Got in a couple of battles with 62 point builds. Just two Tie Fighters and two X-Wings.

Loved it. Great fun and the detailed minis are wonderful.
 
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5. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:704] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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DC Comics Deck-Building Game

Ran in to
Shawn Bowers
United States
Portland
OR
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who I hadn't seen in a very long while. I had a bit of time before another game, so Shawn, his friend and I sat down to give the DC Comics Deck-Building Game a try. I heard good things about it, but was very skeptical and had very low expectations.

It was a great game! Relatively quick game play and simple rules. It just works, and works perfectly for super hero stuff. I guess there are other themes for the system and they can be integrated together.

Have to keep my eye on this now.
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6. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:219]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Dune

Ah, Dune. Seth's Dune game is a tradition and a beloved favorite. He requires highly experienced and thick-skinned players only in the con event description. And for good reason.

Dune is a fantastic game, one of my all time favorites. But it must be played with six players only, and preferably those familiar with the books and/or movies.

Seth's game is always hilarious and bloody, with dramatic battles and serious trash talking. The T'laxieu tanks are always full and no alliance is guaranteed to ever last beyond the emergence of the next Shai Halud card. I played the Guild Navigators this time. I did well, and had a strong position on the board (two sietches held) and some wicked treachery cards in my hand when the first Shai Halud card came up. I allied with the Emperor, and we thought we had the game. When out of nowhere, the previously decimated Harkonnens drop onto Arrakis with help from their allies the Fremen (are you kidding me?) and knock us out of contention.

We had the requisite Shield/Lasgun explosion and much fun with the maligned Jubba Cloak, but had to call the game on time. If we had finished it out I think it might have gone to the Atreides/Bene Geserit alliance in the next turn. If I recall correctly, Seth was would have only been off by a turn with his Bene Geserit prediction if that had transpired.


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7. Board Game: Horus Heresy (2010) [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1140]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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I DID NOT PLAY THIS GAME, but received it in the Gamestorm No Ship Math Trade.

No one organized a Geeklist/OLWLG Math Trade this year. But
Ben Stephenson
United States
Seattle
Washington
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organized a Math Trade using Abecorn, a new system. I had some difficulty getting used to it initially, and it has some lack of functionality with BGG I find frustrating - but overall it has a very nice interface, and I could see how it would be much easier to use for a new user.

I got some great trades. I was a loser on a practicality level because my new games take up more space!

I traded Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 (second edition), Panic Station, Blue Moon and Shear Panic. All thrifted games that were either duplicates or games I simply would never play.

I received: Horus Heresy (2010): drooled over a bit, but couldn't justify paying for because it will be highly unlikely this will ever hit the table. Risk: Godstorm: It looks interesting, but haven't been able to thrift a complete copy. Alpha Omega: It's vintage AH and the incredible 70's sci-fi artwork on the big flat box is just too cool. Kahuna, Hellas and Starship Catan: I really only wanted Starship Catan, the others I'll sell or trade as I already own them.

I love no-ship or regional math trades. I'm much more flexible with what I want in trade because of no shipping costs.

The scheduled game exchange time was on a different floor and at the same time as the next game. I got very lucky and was able to make my exchanges in time to make it to my game.
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8. Board Game: Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:742]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game

One of the few pre-scheduled events I had. I'd really wanted to play this, but couldn't trade for it and haven't found a reasonable (read: cheap) price for it. It's a great game, with wonderful components.

I want this game even more after playing it. Great cinematic game moments, gorgeous components and a ton of dice-chucking fun. We played with 7, however, which made for some verrrrrry long down time between players. I would LOVE to play this again with fewer players and see how it goes.

Edit: It seems like several expansion were included in the game. Diminishes my desire to pick it up a bit given what the cash commitment would be.
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9. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:930]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Kahuna

I picked up an extra copy of Kahuna as sweetener in the Gamestorm Math trade, and was looking at it when a passerby asked me about it. So we played a game! I had forgotten how much I like this Kosmos two player.
 
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10. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:8]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Terra Mystica

I'd heard a great deal about this game, and had really wanted to check it out. So when I saw the orange "players wanted" cone on the table, I pulled up a chair.

I enjoy the asymmetric player choices, and it's point engine possibilities are great. But it took me awhile to shake that 'JASE' feeling. I spoke to a spectator and the fella running it (I forget your name!) and they thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I started warming to it after a couple of turns, and may want to give it another try in the future. I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it.
 
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11. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:64] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

I really like this game, as mentioned above, and leapt at the chance to play this again with more advanced builds. Got in a 100 point battle with ships from the "Scum and Villainy" wave. I had the pleasure of being "pew-pewed" into oblivion by
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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.

I know this is collectible, which is very, very bad. But it's Star Wars and pre-painted space ships, which is awesome.

Ok. Maybe just the star mat to play on, then no more purchases. And maybe another mini. Or two. And then I'm done. Seriously, I can stop any time.
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12. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:229]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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King of Tokyo

A favorite at our house with my kids, I couldn't walk by when I saw an orange cone up looking for players.
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13. Board Game: Dreamblade [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1442]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Dreamblade

I was walking by and saw a box of Dreamblade minis in Steve's gaming bag. I stopped to talk to him about the game and within a few minutes we were up and playing.

This is a great game. Cerebral and chess like, with a 'deck building' like element. I picked up a whole ton of minis for very cheap in a local trade after playing a couple of games with Subhan years ago. But they've sat un-played a very long time now.

I did not win, and did not win quickly and decisively. But I still had fun and wanted to play a second time!
 
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14. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:131]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Galaxy Trucker

Got in this last one with my kids today. I know, I know - it's random, it's chaotic, it's a hot mess of a game. But is it fun!

I've brought my kids to Gamestorm when they were younger, mostly to take in the scene and see all the games being played. Checking out the LARP costumes with the kiddos is always fun. My daughter at 12.5 isn't really into it. But my seven year old boys are getting to be pretty great readers, so the scope of games they can play had dramatically increased. Early indications indicate I have at least one solid gamer out of the three. But there's still time.
 
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