What the Benson Boys Played at GameStorm 17
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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GameStorm 17 was the 6th Vancouver convention I've been able to attend. Ever since my first (GS12) which I attended with
Ryan Smith
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Shelton
Washington
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I was hooked. Always looking forward to the next one, I realized that, like many of you, the chance to game with people I normally don't see but have become acquainted and even friends with, make the experience just that much more terrific. There was a little trepidation going into this year, what with gaming in the garage looming and wondering where I would park for the three days that we were attending, but I figured that a bad day gaming is still a better day than going to work. As it turned out, the garage setting was just fine (for us), and parking was not an issue. Once I "tune into" a game, the surroundings tend to disappear for me anyway. It was all a tempest in a teapot, in my opinion. Change happens and we learn to adapt.

What made this year extra special was that I was able to bring both my sons with me: Noah (14)
Noah Benson
United States
Washington
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and Ben (a week away from 12). What a fun and memory-building experience to be able to share with them! For some reason, they didn't balk at the idea of skipping school to attend. What a horrible example I was setting as both a father and public school teacher. I figured that the two days' lessons which they missed were overshadowed by the strategic, tactical, historical, and social lessons which confronted them at and around the gaming tables for the three days we were able to attend.

I've already been informed that we need to go again next year, so clearly the experience was worthwhile and memorable. Following is a list of games we got to play, whether apart or together, and a tip of the hat to those with whom we enjoyed gaming.
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1. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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Soon after arriving, we made our way down to the gaming garage. What the staff of volunteers pulled together outshone any mental visual I had cobbled together before arriving. I was very pleased, as were the boys. We made our way to the game library and checked out Machi Koro. Wanted to see what the buzz was all about. Just moments after sitting down

Jonathan Liu
United States
Portland
Oregon
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dropped by and asked if we had ever played before. No, we hadn't. But he had, and was willing to give us the 5 minute run down. We were up and running without having to read through the ruleset, and Jonathan moved on. Noah gleefully crushed us and was sold after one play. It was not to be our only play. I remarked to Benjamin, "See! I told you there are awesome people here at GameStorm." Thanks for getting us off on the right foot, Jonathan.

Noah's rating = 9
Ben's rating = 8.5
Eric's rating = 8

***Note: All games we played of this at the con included the Harbor expansion.
 
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2. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1004]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
Washington
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After we put away Machi Koro, I dropped off the boys at the MIB area so they could play Revolution! It is a game my school's PTA purchased three of to teach to my 4th and 5th grade after school gaming club I host during the winter months. The boys had fond memories of testing it out with me before it ended up at school, and since I've been neglectful about bringing a copy home to play occasionallyh, they decided GameStorm was the perfect venue to get in some Revolution! action. They played twice, with expansions I've never tried before. Paul hosted, taught and won the second game, while Dylan won the first game. Two other players sat in, but the boys failed to report their names to me. Thanks also to Paul for giving Ben a set of Munchkin bookmarks for coming in second place during the second game. Since Ben is an avid Munchkin fan, it was a perfect prize. I've added my rating, as I just recently played it at my school game club.

Noah's rating = 7
Ben's rating = 8
Eric's rating = 7
 
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3. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:164]
Eric Benson
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While the boys were busy revolting, I played through a game of Navegador.
Steven Bunnell
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Bellingham
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was the host and taught it to Susannah, Wes, Chris and me. I thought this was fitting, because the first game I learned at last year's GameStorm was Russian Railroads, also taught by Steven, along with Susannah. (Please forgive any misspellings.blush) Hmmm. I wonder what he'll teach me next year?

Actually, in this case, reteach is actually more accurate, as I had played Navegador over three years ago. In the interim I had picked up the game, but hadn't gotten around to playing it again. I enjoyed the rondel and manipulating the market. Early on I felt like I was spinning my wheels, but I ended up taking 8 colony markers, which I multiplied by 4 endgame. I ended with 75 points, with Chris close behind with 69. Now I remember why I purchased it and will make it a point to play again before another three years pass.


Eric's rating = 8
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4. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:154]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
Washington
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Before GameStorm, I had been in contact with
Wes Sedlacek
United States
Lebanon
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hoping to get some games in with him. I met him six years ago during the math trade, where he had picked up my thrifted copy of Plague and Pestilence. Having enjoyed gaming with him at GameStorm 15 (he taught Noah and me Alea Iacta Est), and again last year where we taught him Container and Nefarious, and he taught us Felix, the Cat in the Sack, we planned to get in some more games together this year. Wow. What a way to start. We both own Bora Bora, and were both interested in learning it, so I brought it without first reading the rules, figuring we'd muddle through together at GS. Ouch. My head still hurts a bit. After deciphering all our options and the iconography, we got on a roll and worked through it. Wes seemed the first to put together something of an engine, and ended up beating us pretty convincingly, but we all agreed the experience was worthwhile and rated the game mindbendingly good. I'll leave a space for Wes' rating, and update it when I hear from him. Oh, so I don't hear about it from my son, I'd better report that I came in last. Good job, Noah.


Noah's rating = 8
Eric's rating = 8
Wes' rating =

***As we were wrapping up the game
Christopher Onstad
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Donald
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showed up with his humorous nature in classic form. I would be remiss if I didn't report that he thought our playing of Bora Bora must be the expansion of the base game, Bora.laugh Probably my one regret was not getting to play with Christopher this year. Thanks for introducing me to your daughter, Christopher!
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5. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
Washington
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During our foray through Bora Bora, Scott hosted Ben and four other players zipping through space with Galaxy Trucker Anniversary Edition. Ben returned with some glowing reports, announcing he had ended up with a whopping ZERO points. It's rough out there in the void. His smile reflected that he didn't mind his end score. The joy was clearly in the journey.

Ben's rating = 7.5
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6. Board Game: Battle Dome [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:7585]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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While we were cleaning up all the bits from Bora Bora, Ben asked what "that" was. "That" was Battle Dome. I saw
kevin long
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nearby, looking not inordinately busy, so asked if he would show Ben how the dome worked. Kevin was willing, as long as Ben was willing to lose to Kevin's superior skills. After three games, the results were:

Kevin--2 wins
Ben--1 win

Thanks, Kevin, for adding to Benjamin's positive first year of GameStorm.


Ben's rating = 6

(Rating probably would have been higher if he didn't feel like he had to let Kevin win.laugh)
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7. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:382]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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After a late dinner/snack in hospitality, we wandered back to the garage for our 10 PM appointment of Camel Up/Camel Cup.

Paul K.
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Portland
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hosted, and was a great teacher.

Wes Sedlacek
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Lebanon
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Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Sabra and Aerie joined us, and we had a fun time gambling on the camel races, and all wanting to try the die selecting pyramid. Chris bet on the first leg of the race which camel would win the entire match, and sure enough he picked it, allowing him to edge out Sabra at the very end. An astounding and impressive win. I bet on Blue to win most of the legs, but found that plan horribly misguided, but actually came in third(?) by betting at the end that Blue would place last. I bore the ridicule with aplomb. I guess, though, that's why I stay out of the casinos.

Noah's rating = 7
Ben's rating = 7.5
Eric's rating = 7.5
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8. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:887] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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Things were getting somewhat late, and Ben and I had to be ready for a 9 AM start on Saturday, so we were planning on turning in, but

Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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invited us to try Ghost Blitz. It was good to finally get to game with Chris, as I had been acquainted with him for at least five years, trading Conspiracy to him during the GameStorm13 math trade. Ghost Blitz was the perfect recipe that late at night. Laughter and mock frustration brought us all together as our brains slowly melted after a long day of gaming.

Wes Sedlacek
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must have been the most cogent, as he easily picked up the most cards. Our loss was our gain though, because we had so much fun, as evidenced by Noah's rating and the fact that I purchased a copy in the dealer's hall the very next day.

Noah's rating = 10
Ben's rating = 8
Eric's rating = 7.5
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9. Board Game: Ghost Blitz: 5 to 12 [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2229]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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Just when we thought we were safe,

Christopher DeFrisco
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Ashland
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brought out Geistes 5 vor 12. Same concept, just sooo many more permutations. Do we grab a piece? Shout it out? Say the color of the object in the mirror? Call out the time on the clock a ghost is holding? We just ended up diving deeper into the rabbit hole through which a maniacally giggling Chris led. Again

Wes Sedlacek
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Lebanon
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defeated all comers, but also again, the boys had a blast.

Noah's rating = 10
Ben's rating = 8.5
Eric's rating = 7.5
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10. Board Game: Aachen [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:9466]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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Three years ago, during Noah's first trip to GameStorm, he had signed up for a miniature game called War of the Worlds run by a guy named Greg Moore. I left him in the able hands of Ken Dodge for four hours, and wandered off to play Discworld and take in the sights. I kept coming back to check up on him, and man, he was certainly having an exceptional time with Greg, Ken, and the crew (I think Tom was in on that adventure too). What a huge, cool set up! It sure looked like they were having a lot better time than I was.

Zoom ahead two years, and while we are signing up for events, I find out from Ken that Greg is running another miniature adventure, this time the Battle for Aachen. [Please see item #2 on Ken's geeklist about the games he played at GameStorm for his take on the experience.]

Because I know that Ben likes "guys" and setting up "guys" for all sorts of battles and adventures here at home, I had a feeling this would be something he could really get into. In addition, I wanted to repeat history a bit---set Ben up playing a Greg Moore miniature campaign with Ken Dodge at his first GameStorm, just like Noah did two years earlier. Only this time, I signed up as well to share in the experience.

Ben and Ken

Ken
United States
Portland
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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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played as the Germans, defending a battle damaged Aachen against the advancing battalions of US soldiers, those soldiers being supported by M4 Tanks.

Thomas Eager
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Portland
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Joe and myself each handled three companies of the US' finest, attempting to capture the town square within the four hour time period we had for the scenario. On the right flank, where I was, Ben was rolling lights out, and pretty much decimated my Charlie Company early on, slowing my advance way down. Fortunately Tom was making some serious headway on the left flank, and Joe was taking over a really amazing grain silo facility up the middle to gain the high ground. With the destruction of the German 76mm emplacements (one of which was destroyed by off-board artillery called in by the hapless C Company Commander), the end for the Germans was near, even with the arrival of German StuG panzer reinforcements. If we had played past the time allotted to us, the US side would have had a clear victory. However, according to the rules, the US had failed to take the town square in four hours, so Ben chalked it up as a victory for his side.

I'm truly pleased with how the whole thing played out, and if Ben's rating is any indication, he certainly had an outstanding time. Thanks Greg, Ken, Tom, and Joe!

Please take a look at some of Greg's other set ups on his website, www.gregsminis.com. I'd also like to thank the other gamers who assisted with Ben and the experience as a whole, whether they helped us through the rules, offered advice, took pictures, or were responsible for creating some of the scenery and landscapes which Greg had implemented in his set up. It really was a stunning "board" and realistic environment in which to send our troops.

Ben's rating = 9
Eric's rating = 7.5

Photos taken by Tad Stinson. Thanks, Tad!

Ben and Joe get a rules clarification from Greg.

Ben rolling "lights out," as usual.

Greg shares German capabilities with Ben and Ken.

Ben's first Greg Moore miniature experience at his first GameStorm. Great memories!

Battle for Aachen Panorama

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11. Board Game: King's Forge [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1407]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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While Ben and I were duking it out in Aachen, my best friend of nearly 50 years

Jim Sherwood
United States
Washington
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showed up with his son, Cody, and after looking at the huge miniature set up we were involved with, wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Cody had purchased Jim and himself GameStorm memberships for Christmas, and were planning on staying until Sunday. They wandered off, figured out how to play King's Forge, and along came Noah, who had slept in and had been watching some basketball. He sat in with them, and like the thoughtful gamer he is, totally crushed them. Later he came back singing the game's praises, so I was surprised his rating was more pedestrian, as he is fond of rating games fairly high.

Noah's rating = 7
 
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12. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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After playing King's Forge, Cody wandered off to learn how to play [redacted]. Noah convinced

Jim Sherwood
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Washington
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to learn and play Machi Koro. I guess he taught Jim a little too well. Jim held out early and built the Airport first. I don't know how Noah allowed that to happen, but the rest was just downhill for Noah. Jim was pleased to get his first win of the con.


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13. Board Game: Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1266]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
Washington
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Ben and I had to leave The Battle for Aachen about five minutes early to arrive in time for our officially scheduled game of Conquest of Planet Earth, hosted by

Robert Beachler
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Woodburn
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Rob had taught Noah and me Zombicide last year, so it was with great anticipation that we ran with open arms back into some overproduced ameritrash with plastic minis and expansions. It turns out that

Jim Sherwood
United States
Washington
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and Cody were free, so joined us in trying to crush the human scourge that had infected this planet. The crazy combinations of heroes and local resistance made for some very memorable, and often times laughable, situations. Because there were so many cards, of which we were totally unfamiliar, the game slowed down at times as we tried to wrap our minds around all the new powers, items, allies, locations, etc. The lower ratings on this game reflect that newness. The boys and I all agree that if we were more familiar with the cards and knew the best combinations, the gameplay would speed up and raise the rating. As it was, we stuck with it, missed out on our scheduled game of Ad Astra, and in the end earned enough population points to win--thanks to Cody's adept move of using his "We come in peace" card on the Capitol location card. (Obviously, we played the co-op version.) Thanks to Rob for sticking with us and sharing his expertise with his game.

Noah's rating = 5
Ben's rating = 6
Eric's rating = 5.5
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14. Board Game: Battle Dome [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:7585]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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Since it was now dinner time, and we had yet to eat lunch, we thought we'd better head out and get some grub. The boys went up to the room first, and on my way up, I ran into

Wes Sedlacek
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Lebanon
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and another gamer (hopefully Wes will enlighten me so as to add his name to this GL). Being right by Battle Dome, we thought we'd give it a try. Three minutes or less later, the game was over, with myself having the fewest marbles in my goal. A quick and silly experience. I'll save my pennies for something else, but at least I could compare notes with Ben now.


Eric's rating = 5.5
 
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15. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:184]
Eric Benson
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Shelton
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After consuming foot long sandwiches all around at Subway, we returned to the garage where Cody taught us Letters From Whitechapel, a game he received for Christmas. I ended up playing Jack, while Jim, Cody, Ben, and Noah played the fearless London law-enforcement officers out to track me to my hideout. There was a bit of a learning curve for me, as during the first night, I pretty much left a trail of breadcrumbs right towards my hideout. I did much better during the next two nights, leading the coppers on a merry chase. However, two turns away from reaching my hideout, Cody doubled-back and investigated a space in which I was standing. No arrest, but it gave them enough info at the last minute to narrow down my hideout to just a handful of options. I had set it up to get myself to my hideout in just one move on the last night, but Ben, since the second night, had insisted that my hideout was on spot 47. How could he have known so early? There were 195 choices, but he just had a sense. I kept using my alley markers to sneak into that block, but on the last night, Ben had staked himself at the only crossroads into my chosen neighborhood, so I had to use my carriage to rush past him, so I was only one turn away from my hideout. I could taste victory! One more turn, and the bobbies had not even investigated yet. Rather than investigating on his turn, Ben moved once and had a 50/50 chance of finding me. With urging from Noah, and skepticism from Jim and Cody, Ben picked spot 61 and announced he was making an arrest. I was collared! One more turn and I should have won. Aarrgh! Good on ya, Ben. You got me!

Noah's rating = 7.5
Ben's rating = 7
Eric's rating = 7.5

***Note: Ben said that I needed to add that while playing this he had one of four bloody noses at the con. I'm sure they due to the dryness and processed air in the garage area. It completely dried out his delicate nasal capillaries. If there ended up some extra blood spatter on the game board, it just added to the atmosphere of the theme.shake
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16. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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We decided to head upstairs and meet up with Wes and some of the Portland gang in the board gaming overflow room. Cody had moved off to play Cards Against Humanity, so we checked out Machi Koro for a final time and played upstairs: Jim, Noah, Ben, and I. Ben started strong, with a wide variety of numbers, picking up coins at almost every roll. Jim and I were spinning our wheels, and Noah built up his red buildings, charging us nearly every turn for eating at his restaurants, burger joints, and such. Then he started taxing us, and that was just the end. Two wins out of three for Noah this con. I suppose we'll have to break down and add MK to the collection.
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17. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1223]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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While Noah, Jim, and I talked and cleaned up Machi Koro, Ben jumped into Riff Raff with

Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Ah, negative. I am a meat popsicle.
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Wes Sedlacek
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
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and
-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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What a cool looking dexterity game! Ben had a ton of fun, and reported that he's good at balancing things. He tied with Chris for top spot.

Ben's rating = 8.5
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18. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:887] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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While we waited for Ben to finish up with Riff Raff, Noah and I taught Jim our newly purchased copy of Ghost Blitz. Still silly fun, and this time I didn't make so many mistakes and was able to eek out a win.
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19. Board Game: Ghost Blitz: 5 to 12 [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2229]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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The teaching of Jim Ghost Blitz was just a pretext to make sure he was ready to play Chris' copy of Geistesblitz 5 vor 12. We convinced Chris, Wes, and Matt to join us, so there we were...a seven player game...CRAZY. Players shouting out colors, times, items, grabbing items, messing up, and just having a grand time with really cool people. It was just a microcosm of what I like best about GameStorm...playing fun games with family, old friends, and new friends, and letting the stresses of everyday life stay locked out in the cold for awhile. Thanks guys.
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20. Board Game: Made for Trade [Average Rating:4.89 Overall Rank:14439]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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No. Not the game.
The annual math trade. Yes!
I've enjoyed participating in the annual craziness of the GameStorm math trade since my first GS six years ago (only 5 trades then, of the 120 total I've made in my 6 years). What an awesome way to have games trade hands with no shipping costs, and also important to mention, probably the most significant venue of acquainting myself with many of the Portland area gamers, as we end up communicating a lot throughout the trade process! Of course, in preparation for this event, I do likely spend way too much time haunting thrift stores in the careful search of the elusive games which I hope my gaming peers are after. I also spend way too much time the week before the con checking little radio boxes trying to set up my trade matrix. Oh well, 26 trades this year was respectable, and overall, even with the extra games purchased outside the trade, square footage of games sent away (26) to games brought back to the house (36) stayed almost exactly the same. [I won't bring up the 51"x35" mounted Empires in Arms map/board I received from
Wes Sedlacek
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
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.whistle

Anyway, here are the results:

OUT

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game
1835
Hare & Tortoise
Battle Cry 150th Anniversary Edition
Blokus 3D
Red Storm Rising
Atmosfear: The Gatekeeper
Nightmare
Lunar Rails
Wits and Wagers
Vegas Showdown
10 Days in Europe
Alpha Omega
In 80 Tagen Um Die Erde
Wizard's Quest
Wise and Otherwise
Chicken Cha Cha Cha
Dixit
Citadels
San Juan
Fastrack
Ramses II
Regatta
Liar's Dice
Ticket to Ride
Risk: Godstorm

IN

Battue: Storm of the Horse Lords
Battue: The Walls of Tarsos
Blue Moon
Boomtown
Castaways
Down in Flames: Aces High
Dungeon Roll
Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord
Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game
Elvenses
Galactic Emperor
Keythedral
King's Vineyard
Kingdom of Solomon
Livingstone
Lord of the Rings: The Duel
Martinique
Pecking Order
Medieval
Die Handler (Merchants of the Middle Ages)
Munchkin Axe Cop
Nautilus
Ostia
Red November
Shear Panic
Tzaar
The Gardens of the Alhambra
Toledo

I'll leave it up to you to decide if I received fair trade value for what went out compared with what came in. Either way I'm happy, as most of my for trade games were thrift purchases. If I'm happy and the recipients are happy, then it's a win/win deal. Let's do it again next year!
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21. Board Game: Money! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1425]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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I did break down and spent real money for a few games this year as well. A lot less compared to the days when GameStorm hosted a swap meet. I used to go a bit crazy. Ahh...those were the days. As it was, I only purchased two things from the dealers' room at retail:

Millenium Falcon Expansion Pack for X-Wing Miniatures
and
Ghost Blitz

The other items were purchased from either the Portland, OR Virtual Flea Market page on BGG or won from the auctions advertised therein...most for about 50% off or more:

Empires in Arms
Invasion From Outer Space: The Martian Game
Fresh Fish
Subdivision
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome

I also need to add one final game. It is present on the Math Trade list, as that is from where it originated, but I threw some cash into the mix at the last minute and ended up with
Keythedral.
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22. Board Game: Groo: The Game [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3199]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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A near miss!!!

Groo was a game that I wanted

Wes Sedlacek
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
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to bring and teach to me and the boys as I enjoyed the comics as a teen and figured Ben would enjoy the art as well. We started setting it up while we awaited the last guy for the math trade, but he arrived within minutes of the initial explanation. We'll just have to schedule it in for another date!
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23. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:136]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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While I was ensconcing all our luggage and tubs of games in Jim and Cody's room, checking out, and paying for Saturday parking at the Park 'n Go, the boys each had chosen a game to try without the family around. Our family had worked through and enjoyed Dungeon Lords in 2014, so Ben thought he'd like to see what Dungeon Petz was all about.

Chad Urso McDaniel
United States
Seattle
Washington
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hosted, and although no other players showed, Chad was a willing teacher and Ben had a good time raising his monsters for sale. He reported that although Chad won, Chad was impressed that Ben had no monsters become depressed throughout the game...an impressive feat, from what I'm led to believe.

Thanks, Chad, for not blowing Ben off and making this part of GameStorm enjoyable and memorable for him.

Ben's rating = 8
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24. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:503]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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Noah's choice during this time was Speed Diplomacy. In this incarnation, no one leaves the table, and a timer is set for negotiations between order writing to help speed things along. JR hosted and played along with Craig, who taught Noah and me Dune last year, and four more European leaders. This was right up Noah's alley, as he likes negotiating and wheeling and dealing as a rule. Playing as Germany, I thought he'd have a tough time, but he made some elusive moves along the way to heighten his enjoyment of the event. It sounds as if Russia and Turkey were steamrolling West, with Turkey (Craig) in the lead, when Russia (JR) shoved the dagger home and came away with the victory. Noah's been talking about it for the past week. His enjoyment and the time spent with good players helped to spur on his high rating. I'm so glad his experience was so memorable.

Noah's rating = 10
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25. Board Game: Tokaido [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:436]
Eric Benson
United States
Shelton
Washington
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While Ben raised Dungeon Petz and Noah learned the fine art of backstabbing, I took a leisurely stroll as a geisha on the road from Kyoto to Edo. Tokaido was definitely a different gaming experience, and was a game, I was surprised to find out after the dust had settled this year, which I rated the highest of all that I played. Maybe I just needed a mellow, less "thinky" game after the previous two busy days of gaming, or maybe it was just the calming design of the art and layout, but I just enjoyed my time.

Jonathan Olson
United States
Oregon
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did a great job explaining the game and sharing his expertise, and I was joined with Jim, Cody, Christy, and Ethan. Jim really liked it too, firmly believed that his wife would enjoy it too, and was trying to figure out the best way to get a copy into his house. It probably didn't hurt that he won. (Didn't want to use a word like "crush" describing his win with such a "zen" game, but his victory was still pretty convincing.) Coming in at under and hour for a five player game, Tokaido provided many choices with little to no stress. I do have some extra birthday money. Hmm.....

Eric's rating = 8.5
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