Origins - Games I Want to Check Out
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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I just wanted a list of games that I'm curious about. I'm not sure that any of them is a purchase, but they're at least worth a look
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1. Board Game: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:500]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Jolly Rogers (Booth 332)

Probably the game I'm most interested to see/try. Very little available on it, but it seems like a TS/WsdV type game.

Preview only. Not sure what their release plan is. Currently on Kickstarter.

Haven't had a chance to demo the game but got a quick rules overview. Looks more interesting than I was thinking. There are 9(?) regions. You can place or remove your cubes from regions. There are also 3 defcon tracks. Each has 9 positions (3 in Defcon3, 3 in Defcon 2, and 3 in Defcon 1). You can move up or down the defcon tracks. If at the end of your turn (round?), you are in defcon 2 on all 3 tracks, you lose. If at the end of your turn, you're in defcon 1 in any track, you lose. At the end of a round (4 or 5 cards each), there are 2 scorings. These can change defcon tracks also causing players to lose. At the end of XX rounds, whoever has the most points wins. So, the only time points matter is if you reach the end.

So, the game seems like while getting points matter, there's also a lot of bluffing about defcon levels. Also (like TS) there's bluffing about what scoring card you're playing at round end. I'd like to get a play in before KSing it, but I think I probably will.

Just played it...

so imagine you're playing TS but you know for certain that there are two scoring cards in the round. Not only that but you know for certain where one of them are and you have a 1 in 3 shot of the other one. The only mechanic is adding or removing cubes. The catch? There are these 3 defcon tracks. Depending on the cards (50/50?), adding/removing cubes to an area increases or decreases the defcon level. Scoring happens at the end of the round (some of which bump up the defcon level). If you're all in Defcon 2 or in Defcon 1 in one level, you lose. If not, keep playing. Game ends at the end of round 3. Only then does the scoring matter.

It's fast! Each round, each player plays 4 cards (a fifth goes for tie-break scoring at the end of the game). So, the whole game is playing of 12 cards each. It's easy to lose due to the defcon. I was too aggressive in Round 1 and spent the rest of the game trying to avoid losing (which meant less energy to try to get points). Bluffing is huge. You want the other guy to think you're focused on a scoring you're not. But... you also need to get points.

I really like it. I'm not sure how long it took but I'm thinking 30ish minutes. Rulebook is great. Rules are simple.

Yep, really like it.

How much replayability? not sure. Learning curve is small. The game has 39 cards and any play will use at least 30 of them. The game is mostly playing the other guy... trying to double think him while avoiding nuclear war and advancing your prestige. So, I think the replayability is good even though there isn't too much strategy to discover.

It's only 2 player so even though it's filler time length (and complexity), it may be a bit hard to get played.

The card flavor text is good and there is the stessful feeling of trying to advance your prestige while not causing nuclear war so I'd say it's somewhat thematic. That said, the mechanics are very euro-y so it loses some theme points there (of course that means none of the fiddliness people complain about for WsdV).

After only a single play (so take this with a grain of salt), I'd guess it'll be an 8. I don't think it's brilliant, but it's very solid, probably very replayable, and it has the potential to get a fair number of plays in my very tight 2-player game space.

After a little more thought last night, it reminds me of Innovation (or TS or WsdV or ...). Although I don't think it's strategically deep, learning how to play the cards together takes time. So there's probably some learning that will take place for XX (a dozen, 20, 25+) games. And, again, even after that, the heart of the game is playing your opponent so I expect that will stay fun for a long time.
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2. Board Game: Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:6580]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Ares Games (Booth 703)

A new one by Colovino. Not much available on this yet.

Preview at Origins ahead of a Gencon release.

got a quick demo. Don't think it'll be a a game for me. Coop with a dungeon master. Don't think it's my sort of game.
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3. Board Game: Prohis [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:4321]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Blue Orange Games (Booth 430)

My primary reason for stopping at Blue Orange Games. I'm not a huge fan of bluffing games but for some reason, this one struck me interesting.

One of two game purchases today. For $10, how can you go wrong?

I did get another demo first and the game looks fun. I'll be going on a weeklong camping trip in a week and this seems perfect for the sort of casual gaming that I'm hoping to have.
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4. Board Game: Wakanda [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:6064]
Jimmy Okolica
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Blue Orange Games (Booth 430)

This was on my 2014 Essen curious list. Nice to see a U.S. release. It's a quick 2-player by Chevalier. At least worth a look.

Got a review of this one as well and this didn't strike me as interesting. First off, the totem components were a turn-off. They looked cheap and unstable. Second off, the game play didn't seem deep enough to keep my interest. A 2-player game needs to be special in one way or another and this didn't feel that way.
 
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5. Board Game: New York 1901 [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:742]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Blue Orange Games (Booth 430)

City building tile style... probably nothing exceptional, but if I'm already stopping at Blue Orange Games, it's worth a look.

Demo at Origins ahead of August release.

They didn't have an actual demo set up. They showed me the box cover and talked to the mechanics. That probably didn't do them any favors, as after hearing about the game, I've lost interest. It doesn't look bad and I probably wouldn't mind playing but I won't be rushing to buy it.
 
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6. Board Game: Cacao [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:497]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Z-Man Games (Booth 807)

One of the games I thought would be nominated for the SDJ, so I probably should at least try it. Simple tile laying game but it looks like it'd be fun, at least for a few plays. Problem is I'm getting more and more light games and probably need to cut back.

$35

Just watched a round or two of it, but it was enough for me to put my money away. I think the components were a turnoff though I couldn't say why. Maybe they're a little small? The game itself also seemed a bit lighter than I was thinking from reading the rules. I probably wouldn't turn down a play, but I'm not interested enough to try to play it at Origins.
 
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7. Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:576]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Fox Trot Games/ Renegade Game Studio (Booth 613)

Not sure about this one. Definitely a lighter game, but it's gotten some good buzz so it's probably worth a look.

Another game I didn't get to play but did get to watch. Unlike Cacao, after watching, I'd be interested in a play. It reminded me of Splendor a bit. So, it's probably not one I'll end up buying, but it's one I'd like to play and might try to get in a math trade at some point.

Unlike Splendor, it's harder to plan ahead so that's a plus, but it looked like it had the same "get all of a color and block someone out" mechanic (though in this case it's more of a everyone gets something till the pile is empty then laugh when someone goes without). I'm pretty sure it'd be a solid 7 for me.
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8. Board Game: 20th Century Limited [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4013]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Rio Grande Games (Booth 301) (demos -- E150 - E151)

Pick up and deliver game. Probably too light, but definitely worth a look. Designers have done some other good work (e.g., Thunder Alley).

Watched a bit of a game. Had a Ticket to Ride meets TransAmerica feel. Another one I'd play but see no reason to own.
 
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9. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:119]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Stronghold Games (Booth 701)

If possible, I'd like to try a demo of this. Assuming preorders are still possible by Origins, a playtest will help me decide if it's worth a preorder.

So is it a bad sign whenever I try to read the rulebook or watch a demo that I lose interest after a minute or two? Definitely not paying retail for this and probably not pre-ordering it. I may pick it up in a year to two when everyone is dumping their copy.
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10. Board Game: Spyfall [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:406] [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Cryptozoic (Booth D201)

I got to watch this being played and I liked it. MSRP is good (25) and if there's a copy available, I'll probably grab it. Otherwise, should be out around Gencon.

Already sold out guess I'll wait to Gencon
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11. Board Game: Abraca...what? [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1944]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Z-Man Games (Booth 807)

It's getting a US release? Somehow I missed that. Really would like to try it. Geekbuddy ratings are all over the place on this one. I may just grab a copy to try with the kids.

$35

Picked up at EL prior to getting into the Origins Exhibit Hall.

Two plays with my kids and they really enjoyed it.
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12. Board Game: The Last Spike [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3081]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Only available for demo in the Board Room

Columbia Games. This one sounds very interesting. Very much want to check this out. Stocks, Economic, Train-theme, 2 - 6 players, 45 - 60 minutes.

Read the rules and probably too light for me
 
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13. Board Game: Trambahn [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1178]
Jimmy Okolica
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Washington Township
Ohio
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Mayfair Booth.

Didn't see this till right before I left for Origins. It's a 2-player train card game by one of my favorite designers.

Played a short game of it and liked but didn't love it. It's a short (30ish minutes) card game where you can use cards as money, passengers or stations. The goal is to get sets of the same color in ascending order and then have 4 of that color in the common passenger pool. Every time there is 4 of a color in the passenger pool, both players score their sets in that color. After 10 scorings, the game is over and the highest score wins.

At first glance, it doesn't seem to have much depth, but I wasn't optimistic about Russian Railroads and that got a buttload of plays. So, for $21 I figure it's worth a shot. I'm getting a little tired of Patchwork and wouldn't mind playing a different 2-player game every once in a while. Maybe this will work.
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