[insert boring title about MEPACON Spring 2015 here]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Games Played at MEPACON Spring 2015


Here are the Games I played at MEPACON Spring 2015, April 24-26th, in Scranton PA. Some good, some bad. Mostly lots of fun.

This isn't that interesting of a geeklist. Just my thoughts on the games I played. Wish it was a lot more exciting like "Games Made Better with Spam" or something like that.
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1. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:94]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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This was the first game I played in the Friday Afternoon Slot.

I normally play a lot of solo games, so was interested in it due to it having a solo rules set. A worker placement, engine-building kind of game - sort of a SimCity board game - where you purchase building types from a community pool of hex tiles, place them in your "City," then raise/lower your income or population reputation according to how the tiles interact with each other, depending upon where they are placed. Each player is working towards a number of different public goals as well as one private goal, in order to score Victory Points. Easy to learn and play, but seems to have a lot of different outcomes/strategies depending on the tiles and goals available to you.

This ended up being my go-to game all weekend. I played it twice in the slot, then played it again on Sunday. (of course, my winning it twice off the bat had nothing to do with it. nope.) It was a lot of fun - I really enjoyed the simplicity of building my city and seeing how the tiles interacted. And seeing which tiles would come out. However, even though I may have had different goals for each game, I noticed I tended to play it almost the same way - trying to raise my income as much as I could so I had some money with which to purchase tiles. Still, there was enough of a difference to make it enjoyable.

I would buy this game and play it more. Enjoyed it.

 
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2. RPG Item: Spirit of the Century [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:86]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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I like to break up the weekend with both RPGs and BoardGames, so the Friday Evening slot was devoted to Spirit of the Century - a pulp-fiction adventure game set in the 20s, based on the Fate System.

We were given pre-generated characters, and in looking at their Aspects (sort of feats that sum up who that character is) - it was easy to immediately get a grasp as to who the character was, and to start role-playing with the other folks at the table. And the other players were role-players as well so it was a lot of fun. (Sometimes at cons, it's hit and miss with some gamers. Fortunately, we had a good group.)

The system was very easy to learn and play - simple rolling of dice with plus or minus on them matched against a skill set to determine whether or not you succeeded.

The Game Master was very good as well, which definitely helps a game.

Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was dragging at about 9pm, so didn't have the stamina to last the entire pre-scheduled 4 hour slot. However, Fortunately, the scenario was really short, so we were done by 10pm and I was able to collapse into bed and snore.
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3. RPG Item: Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:27]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Right off the bat on Saturday morning, I played part of a Dungeon Crawl Classics mod Peril on the Purple Planet, with DCC special guest Brendan LaSalle.

I REALLY like DCC. I really like the old-school Dungeon Crawl feel to the game, I love the artwork, I love the mods. I just like this game. and it really helps when you get someone like Brendan, who really really loves the game as well, running something from it.

I really didn't get an overall sense of the entire mod, but Brendan is such a great DM, I never knew what was part of the mod and what was stuff he was just making up as he went along! But I just love this DCC system.
 
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4. Board Game: Firefly: The Game [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:271]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Saturday Afternoon's slot was devoted to Firefly, a pick-up and deliver kind of space game, based on the show, that has you cruising around the galaxy, hiring crew, purchasing equipment, and doing jobs for people, in order to make ends meet. There is a set goal/objective all the groups are working towards - in this case, it was be the first to earn $12,000 dollars.

I'm not a big fan of games based on Television Shows. I liked Firefly, and had nothing against it - I think I just like games that DON'T have real pictures of the actors on the cards/materials. Maybe it's just me. But I always kind of feel that if I don't get a card with one of the stars on it, the card/item I have is not as good as one that has Nathan Fillion on it or something. This player's got Shepherd Book, and I'm left with some no-name two bit character actor no one ever heard of outside of the show.

And I especially don't like when they mix real photos with artist's renderings, either.

Anyway, this was the first misstep of the weekend. The game itself isn't BAD, there was just a few things are make it feel like a slogfest.

1) The game is entirely too long. Yes, we were playing with 5 players, but we were playing the shortest, simplest scenario, and it STILL took 4 hours of playtime. After about 2 hours, I was done with the game.

2) The flying mechanic of the game has you turn over cards for each space of space you fly through, and there are events and random things that occur to you during space flight. This just slows the game down and breaks it up too much to get a sense of any objective towards which you are working.

3) Having never played the game before, I had no idea what equipment I might need, what is offered, what was required etc. because most of that stuff is NOT on the objective/job cards that you get. So I found myself coming up short in things due to the randomness of the space flying mechanic (and the "misbehaving" cards.)

Overall, while I enjoyed the game for the first two hours, it ended up just feeling like I was slogging through it towards the end. Not sure I would play this game again.

 
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5. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Saturday evening slot:

Twilight Imperium III. The BEAST. The MONSTER. The EPIC STRUGGLE.

This was scheduled by request for me. I always wanted to learn to play this game, and figured I would never get to play it unless I sought out someone to play it with. I figured whoever has this game most likely NEVER gets it to the the table, so would be more than willing to bring it along and teach someone. And I knew I could guarantee at least two players (My friend and I). So, someone willingly brought this to the Con and hosted it for us. We even had people stop by the table saying, "oh man, what a great game! Wish I could play more." etc.

What a great game!

What a huge game!

What a game NOT to start playing at 8pm on a Saturday evening!

Thanks to a bunch of great videos and articles posted here on the Geek, I was able to jumpstart my gameplay and had a grasp of how things were supposed to go. So it was not as complex as I feared it would be. And had a great time learning it.

The game is ultimately broken in the sense of the easy meta-game VP strategy of "I'm just going to get the 1st Initiative Card and the 8th Strategy card granting me 2 VPs automatically" which I told my friend about - who of course did that the entire time. But I've read some of the expansions change this by replacing that 8th card. However, we were all tired, so we played a 6 VP short game, and were more than willing to let my friend play that way.

I am still mulling over in my head different strategies of playing this game. How to play, which cards to choose, etc.

It was just a great game. Sadly, I'll most likely never play it again.
 
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6. Board Game: Fantasy Frontier [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:5085]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Hey, buddy, can you spare a role?
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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This was my choice for the Sunday Morning slot.

Biggest Misstep of the Weekend!

I don't know how this game got out of playtesting - there is so much wrong with the game. (It didn't help that I woke up with a splitting migraine and tried to play this.)

I honestly don't know what this game is supposed to be. It's a resource gathering/worker placement game, with some slapped on tile laying/puzzle building mechanic and a smattering of problematic combat thrown in.

To begin with: THE TILES ARE TOO F-ING SMALL. I'm sure that's been mentioned about this game over and over so I won't dwell on it.

You are supposed to lay tiles of various terrain from which you gather resources of wood/stone/gold or fish/turkey legs(?) in which to build ... something. You are flying a dirigible ariship and have workers that you place on the airship, and do various things: gather resources, steer, the ship, fire at other ships, take puzzle cards, gather more terrain tiles. etc.

You know, I'm getting a headache trying to describe the game. So I won't. There are just a lot of problems with it, from player order and gameplay, to unclear poorly written rules, to too small tiles, to unfulfilled combat, to nonsensical puzzles in which you are trying to arrange the terrain to score points.... I don't know. I don't care.

Thank God it was over in about an hour or so of maddeningly painful game playing.



I will never play this game again.


So I went back and played another game of Suburbia, so my entire Sunday morning was totally wasted!
 
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7. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:36]
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Sunday Afternoon, final slot of the weekend.

I love this game.
I hate this game.
I bought this game.


Best thematic game ever, in my opinion. It perfectly captures that feeling of being shipwrecked on a desert isle.

We played the Volcano scenario. And lost twice.

Does anyone ever win in this game?

 
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