Midwest Gaming Classic - NWIBGA Road Trip
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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For the 2nd year in a row, members of the NWIBGA helped spread the gaming gospel of the table top variety to our electronic brethren. MGC is held outside Milwaukee Wisconsin in April (this year 10th-12th) and focuses on pin ball and video games.

With the support of Grey Gnome Games of Green Bay and first time visit from Milwaukee Company of Gamers (MilCoG), we ran demonstrations, tournaments, and were generally available to answer questions.

What is listed below is the games I ran or played while there. For those that attended, feel free to add your own.
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1. Board Game: Lost Legacy: The Starship [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1286] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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With enough interest in the King of Tokyo tournaments this year, we weren't needed to fill the tables. So Greg, Jeff, and I broke this out to give it a try.

During the investigation phase, we all knew where the Starship was but Greg had first crack at revealing it and won. Not a bad game in the quick card playing genre made popular by Love Letter. might be more interesting with a larger group and combined sets.
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2. Board Game: Love Letter: Batman [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:437]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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Speaking of Love Letter, we broke this out next. I got it because Batman of course. I was hoping it offered a little more variety than the original so was a bit disappointed it was just an additional token if batman knocked out a criminal and the winning threshold was increased. But I have to say the tweak to the theme is plausible enough and I think this will be my go-to version of the game. It certainly makes sense how it is portrayed, the art is gorgeous and who can say anything bad about wooden bat symbol tokens!

We nearly got the shut-out on Jeff who made a late round surge. Final scores:

Brian 7
Greg 6
Jeff 2
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3. Board Game: Isle of Trains [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1559]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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Greg picked this up recently and wanted to take it for a ride. Not a bad little game. You have to keep an eye on what others are doing and load their trains to get a bonus while balancing giving them the resources they need to make a delivery. I wish the isle was slightly bigger as the game ended a little sooner than I would have liked but too much more and it might have outstayed its welcome.

Greg 35
Jeff 25
Brian 32
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4. Board Game: Star Wars: Armada [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:181]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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With KoT done, Ryan rejoined us and we went up to the 4th floor Sheridan club to get some more gaming done. Ryan and Greg got a run through of Mage Wars done before his demo in the morning. Jeff wanted to get a play in of Armada.

We did the standard setup with a single core but on a slightly smaller round table. Empire crushed the Rebel Alliance. Besides the obvious similarities and shared terminology, this really is nothing like X-Wing. Not sure how much I like it at the moment. The command mechanic really takes some taking, especially when the ISD has to plan half the game in advance. Knowing how best to manipulate the tokens so you have some flexibility later seems to be the key to this game (mush like learning to maneuver was the crux of X-Wing).

Things also seem a bit loose with miniature placement. There is just too much to track on the model itself that even the most careful hands are going to knock something about. I would rather have seen more info recorded off board. But precision seems less mandatory since you can pre-measure movement and have more direct control over where you end up.

Jeff Evil Empire Won
Brian Rebels Lost
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5. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:591]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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Ryan just traded for this and it arrived as we left. We went back to the room and played there. The strategy I was left with was to focus heavily on shipping to fill contracts and get shipping bonuses at the end. I ignored the fire all rounds and took the max hit there. Greg snuck the win by having the most coins left over for the tie-break.

Ryan 15
Jeff 15
Greg 25
Brian 25
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6. Board Game: BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1767]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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Demoed

Saturday was the first official session. I learned this game for last year's MGC, but unfortunately didn't get to play. I think this is an interesting game with the multi-use of the cards in each phase, and the ability to upgrade them in the different categories. I had hope to play but I had only 2 interested so I sat on the sidelines as I taught the game. The game finished right about the 2 hours it was allocated and seemed to be well-received by both players.
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7. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:244]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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With things slowing down around lunch time, Ryan and I jumped in Lindsey's game so we could have four at the table. I was doing well to begin with as we kept busting out Lindsey and he illicit ways. But the tide was turning as Ryan started collecting more and more. But I jumped out to teach X-Wing and Jeff took my place. We won but latter heard he broke the cardinal rule and wasn't telling the truth about how many cards were in each bag.
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8. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:63] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
brian
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Demoed

Ran this last year as well and also hoping to get another play in (since it is siting at zero on my 10x10 list this year). But once again a pair was interested so I sat on the sidelines. They had heard about the game but wanted to try. The lady said "well, guess we're buying it" and the guy was already figuring out what games to sell to get into it as they walked away.

This was a simple 75 point per side game with Han Solo and Biggs taking on Boba Fett, Darth Mauler, and Night Beast I think.
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9. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:25]
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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Demoed/Played

With another two interested in this one, I played the Imperial side while they each took 2 rebels. This was the basic tutorial game in the how to play manual so was pretty basic.

Empire enraged the Wookie who went after the E-WEB and it died before getting a shot off. Pretty much downhill from there though the Stormtroopers almost finished off Gurritt.
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10. Board Game: Spurs: A Tale in the Old West [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:3332]
brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
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Demoed/Played

It looked like this might be the first game that wasn't demoed on my schedule. But a father/son sat down to play so I gladly joined them. The played through the whole game and seemed to have fun. But the verdict from the sun was that it was "awkward" and the dad didn't feel immersed enough in the Old West. Still a game I enjoy so sorry it wasn't shared by all.

The dad won, followed by his son who ended the game, then me.
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11. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:131]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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With the day over, a late dinner done at TGI Fridays and little interest in going to the Safe House again, we headed back to the Sheraton club for some more gaming.

I traded Greg for this a while ago but never got around to playing it. Both Greg and Ryan had it on there "games you've only played once" challenge. I also wanted to try it since Ryan complained about the auction mechanism in Amun-Re recently.

The game started off well enough though it was the exact auction mechanism in A-R (besides the fixed bid amounts). As the game wore on and the night grew later, frustrations rose as the auctions never ended the way any of us wanted them. I never once was able to win Athena and with only 3-players it took two rounds to see her. Even when I manipulated the round order as best I could to be the first to bid, and bid her high, I'd still lose her because someone (usually Greg) would drop to Apollo.

Finally tensions rose to a boiling point where Greg made me so mad that I had to poop. The term #rageshit was coined (for us at least, it actually exists strangely enough). So i took care of business and came back much calmer. I set out to destroy any and all armies and fleets in my way to force them to stay focused on Ares and Poseidon. And with my strong income, I employed many creatures.

I finally got the opportunity to take out Greg's main island which had the University I need for my first metropolis. I then bought the creature that let me resurrect another creature. And with that I got one of the first creatures discarded that allowed me to swap any one building for any one other. Since I had enough Ports, Forts and Temples, i switched one out for the U and my 2nd metropolis for the win.

Cyclades is apparently banned for teh 3 of us ever again.
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12. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:25]
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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Sunday started the final day. IA was up again. Three boys wanted to play and their dad wasn't interested. So I let one be the Empire and the other two grab two rebels each. Was a bit concerned teaching younger players so pretty much just jumped into the game and told them what to do with each character until they got the hang of it.

Empire faced a similar end as in the first session but Dalia was wounded and almost eliminated. The Stormtroopers made a mad dash to the first beacon but were taken out by Fenn. The Probe droid made it to the 2nd one and needed one more Activation to win but the Wookie made it there in time and killed it with just enough points for the win.
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13. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:186] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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Demoed/Played

DOW sent a demo copy of this and we had one interested person who had played it before but wanted to be retaught. Greg and Ryan joined in so we could play the 4-player map. Ryan had to jump out for a demo so Jeff took over. And then Greg had to jump out so Ryan took over for him. final scores were are relative newbie, Doug winning:

Doug 101
Brian 85
Ryan then Jeff 87
Greg then Ryan, 81
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14. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:91]
brian
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Cedar Lake
Indiana
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AEG sent a demo copy of this. With Sunday always being a slow day, I couldn't find anyone new to play this. Not wanting to break my streak of having demoed/played all the games I was assigned, I made ryan and Greg sit down. It was the basic set-up and we had all played so it was a quick game, like it should be.

Final scores:
Brian 5 rubies
Ryan 4
Greg 3
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15. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:632] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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Demoed/Played

AEG also sent this as a demo. Things were really slow so I went to buy some more Smash Up expansions at Grey Gnome in the front lobby. When I got back, Ryan had set up Smash up and had a teen that was interested so I jumped in. He must not have had any fun because he whispered to his mom and said thank you but we are moving on.

We were going to finish when Lindsey brought over a recovering Yugioh player to try out something new. AS we sat up, a 4th player jumped in. The 4th had played before and was first to 15. The Yugiooh player really like it and finally responded at the end "Where the f$%^& was this when I was dumping all that money on Yugioh!" A high note to end the week.
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16. Board Game: Bratwurst, Bier und Gartenzwerge [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
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No trip to Wisconsin is complete without a meal at the Brat Stop. We stopped for an early dinner where Jeff went on a crusade to eat every fired cheese curd he could find. The cheese-stuffed brat was to die for but the garlic one was a bit too dry.

http://www.bratstop.com/
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17. Board Game: Château Roquefort [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1089]
brian
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Cedar Lake
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A double stop was the Mars Cheese Castle. We hit it after the Brat Stop for some after dinner sampling of cheese and then again on the way home to get some stuff for the road. I got my bag of cheese curds and a block of smoke gouda for Christie. I saw that the Kringles were dairy free so got the boys a sweet treat. Unfortunately they liked it so much they ate it all before I got any. Will have to get a large next time.

http://www.marscheese.com/
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18. Board Game: Heroes of Normandie [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:721] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Jeffrey Owen
United States
Munster
Indiana
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Literally as I finished setting up, 30 seconds before my demo was scheduled to start an interested party showed up. I gave him choice of which army to choose, he selected Germany, leaving me as America.

I set up the 3rd scenario so that whoever would happen to demo would get a small taste of how tank combat worked. Well the RNG was rolling 6s like crazy and murdered my only chance of winning the objective, which was to capture and hold the middle ground with no adjacent enemy units. I was rolling like Brian and should have chucked my die across the Con to get a better result.

RNG - Germany Won
Jeff - America Failed
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19. Board Game: Galaxy Defenders [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:874]
Jeffrey Owen
United States
Munster
Indiana
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I guess I should have gotten names...

Agent Chromium and Agent Mercury took on Scenario #1 and successfully accomplished the mission.

Originally they only wanted to play one round and just check it out but they kept playing until the end, I even asked after each round if they still wanted to keep playing or if they had enough.
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20. Board Game: Thunderstone Advance: Worlds Collide [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:977] [Average Rating:7.87 Unranked]
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
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I demoed this on Saturday and played against a teen who's name I forgot. He had played Dominion before but never Thunderstone.

He ended up beating me 58-55, as he had bought 5 of a certain mace in the village that were each worth 1 VP. I hadn't noticed that, so that was a good catch by him.

Basically, this version of Thunderstone takes several of the cards from the first five (at least first four) releases from the original Thunderstone and converts them to the Advance style. Not too much different, but enough to make this version better than the original.
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21. Board Game: Abyss [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:324]
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
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After Jeff finished his Heroes of Normandie demo with a gentleman, I asked that guy if he'd be interested in trying out Abyss. He was looking for a light-medium type game that could be the next step from the TTR/Catan stuff, and I think Abyss fit the bill.

He beat me by a little bit and it was a fun game. I have played this a couple times before and I like it a good bit. It's not heavy and it plays pretty quick. I also love the art.
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22. Board Game: Kaosball: The Fantasy Sport of Total Domination [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2118]
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
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Toward the end of the day/evening on Saturday, the teen that I had demoed Thunderstone Advance came back and gave Kaosball a try.

We only had time to play 2 of 4 quarters (one half), but it was fun and he really enjoyed it. Fun game.
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23. Board Game: Mage Wars Arena [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:140] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
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While Jeff was teaching Brian how to play Star Wars Armada, I helped Ryan learn/practice Mage Wars so he could demo it the next day.

Ryan kept saying that it was like MtG, but since I had never played MtG, I wouldn't have that comparison to make. It took a little while to grasp, but then got easier, though it still took awhile to choose spells from the book each turn.
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24. Board Game: Mage Wars Arena [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:140] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Ryan Sterling
United States
Country Club Hills
Illinois
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Fucking Right, Chicago!!!
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It's Showtime! Patrick Kane #88
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Spent the first night out there learning this one with Greg. Only to have no interest albeit it was the first game of the day. I ended up playing it with Aaron another demoer. We played a full "demo" version. It is a mix between Magic/Wiz War and Grimoire.
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25. Board Game: Samurai Spirit [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:980]
Ryan Sterling
United States
Country Club Hills
Illinois
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Fucking Right, Chicago!!!
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This one seen interested on both days. I think the ability to go into "super chi/beast mode." Had a family sit down and play 3 boys. The older kids liked the game quite a bit the younger boy was the one at the end that didn't like it too much. We all won that game too.

On Sunday had a family of 5 (4 young girls and 1 boy) sit down to play this they all grasped the concept very early. We got into the 3 round and we let the last villager burn with 5 cards left.
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