A Mundane View of Origins 2015
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
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As the summer starts every year I usually make the trek up to Columbus to attend the Origins game fair. By my reckoning this is the 20th year in a row it has been in Columbus and I have managed to attend everyone. In the past we have had three to five in our group but due to various issues only two of us made it this year.

Here are the highlights of some of the games I played, demoed, and purchased.
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1. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:878] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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Origins used a new method for picking up pre-reg material this year. You scanned in a bar code or entered a number and your badge and tickets printed out on the spot. I was worried that this new system might not work well but it was very quick and we had no problems.

We wandered around the boardgame hall then sat down to play two games of D&D Dice Masters. This was our first time playing with the D&D set. I chose a set of undead creatures while my friend played a mixture of creatures. I won the first one when I was able to field an undead dragon which caused a lot of damage. The second game did not go my way as I couldn't get the dragon out in time and was overwhelmed by Pit Fiends.
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2. Board Game: Full Thrust [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2315]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I hadn't played any miniature games in a while so I scheduled a lot for the con. Over the weekend I got into four Full Thrust games. Two were interesting Star Wars scenarios, another was a Star Trek battle where ships exploded left and right but everyone got a second squadron to play. The last used some of the ships from the Full Thrust back ground in a scenarios from the GM's campaign.
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3. Board Game: Sails of Glory [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1278] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Todd Warnken
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The other miniature event was a Sails of Glory game. The British squadron had to get past a blockade of French ships. I commanded a French frigate and took a lot of damage but gave out a lot in return. I really enjoy this game and would pick it up if I knew any players in my area.
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4. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:21]
Todd Warnken
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I ran into an old friend in the Board Room and got into a three player game of Concordia. This was my first time playing this one and it was really enjoyable. I was able to build in to every region and ended the game by building all my cities. This let me score a ton of points with Jupiter cards to win the game.
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5. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:715]
Todd Warnken
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I played this new game twice during the con. I found it to be too light. It is missing much of what I liked in Nations. The civs have no unique ablities, there are no Golden ages, and there is a sameness to a lot of the tiles.
 
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6. Board Game: Elysium [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:316]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I managed to get a game of Elysium in on Thursday. I liked it so much I bought one of the last copies on Friday. The art work on the cards is gorgeous and the game plays real quick.
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7. Board Game: Kanban: Driver's Edition [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:222]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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In the board room I sat down with someone to learn Kanban. A kind soul came by and offered to teach us the game since it was one of his favorites. he wound up playing the game with us along with another player. Including rules explanation it took us about four hours to play this but it never felt long to me.

I was in fourth place for much of the game thanks to Sandra taking points away from me on almost every turn. I did have a lot of seats for the meetings and was able to close the gap after the last one. I scored points at the end with cars and improved components and pulled out the victory.

I would get this game but one of the players in our group would hate it.
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8. Board Game: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2283]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I demoed this game at Mayfair's booth. This is a light cooperative dice game with a Star Trek theme. You can play as the original crew or the Next Generation crew. You get to roll your dice once and then assign them to complete missions. Some missions are worth a victory point and you need to get a certain amount of victory points before you fail five missions.

Some missions can injure you (freezes a die so you can't use it) or damage the Enterprise (the more damage on the ship the more difficult missions you are forced to draw). Each character has a unique ability (Picard got an extra dice, Geordi could get back dice he used to repair the ship).

This game seemed way too random. You had no way to manipulate the dice after you rolled them unless you had solved certain missions which gave you a one time ability to modify the dice in some way. Several times I rolled the dice on my turn and was unable to assign any of them. I think I will pass on this one.
 
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Todd Warnken
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Harrison
Ohio
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Saturday I participated in the annual math trade. I showed up half an hour early and many people were already there. I had three trades to make and got them all done by 10:15.
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10. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:250]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I demoed this game and really enjoyed it. I played the American factions in a three turn game. I think I could talk my group into playing this one so it may go on my Christmas list.
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11. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
Ohio
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I got into a five player game of BSG that went spectacularly well for the humans. After our first jump we never saw any more Cylon ships and made it to Kobol in just four jumps.

In the dealer hall Broken Token had an insert for BSG that manages to hold the game and all three expansions in one box. I picked one up and it will be a project for me next weekend.
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12. Board Game: Diamonds [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:665]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
Ohio
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Stronghold has copies of Diamonds that I had been wanting for a while. My family likes trick taking games so this should be a hit.
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13. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:337]
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
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I played Francis Drake in the boardroom. I appreciated the design but it didn't thrill me.
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14. Board Game: Epic Card Game [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1401]
Todd Warnken
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Harrison
Ohio
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I demoed this game by the guys who designed Star Realms. It felt a little like magic. You had one gold to spend each turn (both your's and your opponents). Cards cost either 0 or 1 so you could see really powerful cards early if you managed to draw them. I thought the game was just okay.
 
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15. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:443]
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
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One of the last games I played. I am not the biggest fan of auction games but this was quick and light. There were five of us and the top two were the two of us who had never played the game before.
 
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