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Dice Tower Con V (2016) Playlist
C. Tino
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This is a list of my Dice Tower Con V games played in chronological order along with a few notes while the experience is still fresh in my mind.
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1. Board Game: Celestia [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:608]
C. Tino
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Quick push-your-luck game in which the players (riders in the airship) determine whether or not to back the captain's ability to reach the next stage of the journey based on the outcome of a dice roll and cards in the captain's hand. The further the captain progresses along the journey, the more potential points players may collect.

The art and components are fantastic, but I would only play the game in certain settings / with the right people.
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2. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:28]
C. Tino
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Heavy Euro in which the players build and grow a chain of restaurants via recruitment of different roles into a corporate structure. Each role provides a different ability from producing goods of different types to marketing goods which drives demand in the neighborhoods comprising the game board. The number of actions able to be taken on a single turn is limited by the number of slots in the players' corporate structure, which can be expanded based on different "manager"-type roles.

I liked the game mechanisms and really enjoyed the blend of role selection and the building out of the neighborhood of the game board. My only complaint is that the early game is a little slow as players need several rounds to really build an engine or compete.
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3. Board Game: Operation F.A.U.S.T. [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:4911]
C. Tino
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Role selection / bluffing game in which players search for and attempt to recover stolen Nazi art; think "Monument Men" the board game.

First game played with the Secret Cabal Meetup crew; played with a full game of 8 players. Robert Burke stopped by to join in, but the game was already full! I enjoyed the game, but would only want to play at a high player count.
 
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4. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:268]
C. Tino
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DID NOT ACTUALLY PLAY "1775: REBELLION"; USING THIS GAME AS A PLACEHOLDER FOR "894: VIKINGS".

Played an advanced prototype of 894: Vikings by Academy Games that Patrick brought to the convention. 894 is a continuation of the Academy Games series (1812, 1775, etc.) which simulates the Viking invasions of the British Isles. The overall structure is the same as the other games in the series, but in this particular game, the Viking armies enter the game under distinct leader personas round over round. Each Viking leader is backed by a different number of troops and is required to invade from a particular coast.

I really liked this addition to the series! The leader mechanism made the game much more dynamic as each round posed a new scenario for invasion. We (the Viking forces) were unfortunately unable to successfully hold London and the lower isles through the second round as we were reinforced rather than assisted by a new leader, but the game was enjoyable throughout.
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5. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:7]
C. Tino
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Very thematic hybrid-Euro by Jamey Stegmaier in which players participate as faction leaders in a dystopian Russian landscape. Each faction has it's own unique abilities, but the overall goal is for each faction to advance towards a series of common milestones while managing the well-being of its populace as well as interaction with other factions.

We played Eric's Collector's Edition (note to self, try to find a spare Collector's Edition) with a full compliment of players (Secret Cabal crew). Based on the scope of the game, I expected it to drag, but the game actually seemed to move very quickly. The mechanisms were simple enough to allow each player to formulate a plan for their next turn as play progressed around the table. I really enjoyed the hybrid nature of the game in which direct combat was available, but not completely necessary in order to be successful. Though it seemed like everyone was going in different directions, the game was actually very tight, with the winning player (Scott) pulling away on the very last turn.
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6. Board Game: Blood Rage [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:27]
C. Tino
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Not too much to say on Blood Rage, as the game didn't really appeal to me. We played the introductory game with four players without drafting player decks, which in fairness, is a major component of the game. However, I still feel that I took in enough of the overall flow and mechanisms of the game to know that I don't have much interest in exploring the game further; I definitely do not understand the hype.
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7. Board Game: Slide 5 [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2246]
C. Tino
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Simple group game in the vein of "Fill Or Bust!" in which players compete to dump hands of cards over a series of turns. Played with Patrick's group and had an amazing time! The game is stupid simple, but extremely social and gave the potential for a lot of really fun interactions. Slide 5 is one of the highlight of my convention experience this year.
 
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8. Board Game: Wings of Glory: WW1 Duel Pack [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:3372] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
C. Tino
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Late night match, in which Darren and I (British) teamed up against Rob and friend (German) on a large scale game map Darren made from scratch. Simple 2-v-2 dog fight scenario that Darren and I eventually won. The game was definitely a learning experience as my plane was fast, but not in an way maneuverable, whereas both German planes could turn on a dime. Thankfully, I drew blank shot cards for most of the night, and Rob's partner was hammered with four quick hits, destroying his plane. After playing tag for several rounds, we eventually eliminated Rob's rudder, forcing him off the map in shame for the win. This Wings of Glory session was another highlight of my convention experience.
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9. Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.56 Overall Rank:3]
C. Tino
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Beast of a Euro in which players attempt to progress a civilization through a series of eras from antiquity to modern times. Not going to go through many of the mechanisms, as they could fill a book.

Played the intro game with Scott, Eric, and crew after spending much of the previous night and morning learning the rules. This game has a lot going on, but I really enjoyed it. The introductory game removes much of the player interaction (war, pacts) and ultimately ends up being somewhat solitaire-ish, but it gave me a strong feel for the game. We were able to complete the antiquities and first age before needing to end the game, and I feel that this was the point at which strategies really started to emerge. The first age felt very much like it was setting the stage for later ages, and I would love to play a full length game in the future. Despite the dense rulebook, the game was straightforward once it got going, and I'm looking forward to playing again in the future.
 
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10. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:365]
C. Tino
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Georgia
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First game played with Coty, quickly before the DTC Auction.

We only played a few rounds, but I really enjoyed the mechanisms in this game. It was approachable with simple rules, but led to some deep thinking in regards to strategy. I can see Imhotep getting a lot of play time in the future.
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11. Board Game: Pairs [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2083]
C. Tino
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Played Patrick's Barmaids deck while Scott set up a game of Simurgh. Another simple party game that I enjoyed playing based on the company.
 
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12. Board Game: Simurgh [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2170]
C. Tino
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Not much to say on Simurgh as I wasn't a big fan. Played with a full compliment of players: Jeff, Scott, Coty, Patrick, me. The art / theme wasn't for me, and the twist on worker placement didn't stand out to me to a degree that I would like to play again. The game seemed to be very tight with 5 players, but the end-game scoring swung wildly on the final turn based on players choice in bonus tiles.
 
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13. Board Game: Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1323]
C. Tino
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Picked this up from MeepleSource while playing Through the Ages based on a rave review by Suzanne Sheldon who was playing behind us. Two player game in which players square off as Sherlock / Mycroft on opposing sides of the same case, and utilize different characters in London to take different investigatory action. The game is essentially a blend of worker placement / set collection, but the worker placement mechanism introduces an interesting twist on the way in which players move between placements.

I played this game with Coty as a quick warmup for Orleans and really enjoyed it. It was a great buy, and I see it getting regular play with Ariana in our rotation of 2-player, small-box games.
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14. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:26]
C. Tino
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"Bag-building" Euro in which players use worker tokens to take actions and generate new token (worker) types to assemble a pool of workers drawn blind.

I really enjoyed this game and liked the combination of worker placement / deck (bag) building; I now understand the hype this game got in prior years. There seemed to be a variety of viable strategies, and the game gave plenty of opportunity for exploration based on what the other players pursued. We played a 5-player game (Scott, Eric, Eric's friend, Coty, me), and even though we played with a full compliment, I didn't feel that the game dragged as much of the early and mid game actions may be resolved simultaneously each round. I'll definitely be picking up Orleans.
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15. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:354]
C. Tino
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Francis Drake may have been my favorite game of the convention! Players act as the captain of an expedition in the 1500's, and must manage the supply and voyage of their ship over a series of rounds. Each round has two distinct phases. During the first phase, players progress along a track of available supply actions (recruiting crew, acquiring trade goods / guns, etc.); during the second, players select a series of destinations to visit in priority order during their expedition. Destinations may include trade missions, the sacking of various land-based forts, or even sea battles with Spanish galleons. The selections are made in secret using a series of tokens, and actions are resolved based on priority of players tokens placed at teach location as well as player turn order (determined based on when players left port). The game requires you to plan your expedition phase based on what you're able to do during the supply phase, and the hidden selection methodology meant that bluffs and priority choice were major factors.

We played with a full complement of players (Jeff, Scott, Scott's Wife / Coty subbing, Patrick, me), and even though I completely bungled the final round due to an egregious mistake, I had a blast. The components were top notch, and the theme of the game bled through the entire session. I will definitely be grabbing a copy of Francis Drake.
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16. Board Game: Tiny Epic Galaxies [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:232]
C. Tino
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Atlanta
Georgia
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"Tiny" game in which players compete to build a galactic empire using a variety of actions based on dice rolls each turn. We played a 4-player game with me, Mike, Coty, and a very welcoming guy who offered to teach the game as he noticed that we were thumbing through the rulebook. Though Mike eventually pulled away in the final round, the game felt fairly competitive the whole way through.

I really enjoyed the simple mechanics but rich gameplay that this game provided, and could see it working its way into a rotation with "Great Heartland Hauling Company" for lazy morning gameplay sessions with Ariana or regular bar play.
 
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17. Board Game: The Rose King [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1032]
C. Tino
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Abstract two-player game in which players take over territories using open hands of movement actions drawn from a deck, with the end-goal being to amass the largest contiguous areas. Contiguous territories are scored on a square rule, meaning that as territories grow larger, their scoring impact significantly increases.

Coty and I played, with me ultimately winning based on a 12-tile territory. The game felt fairly tight, and there was a good bit of strategy / sniping throughout the game. The draw deck ultimately determined the game in the later rounds, but we'd both likely bungled a good bit of the early round play. I enjoyed the game, but I don't know that it would see regular play in our rotation of 2-player, small-box games, as the theme is "pasted on" at best.
 
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18. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1026]
C. Tino
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In as much as I liked "Tiny Epic Galaxies", I disliked "Tiny Epic Kingdoms". Coty and I played a 2-player game with Coty playing the Merfolk and me playing the Dwarves as our last game of the convention, and neither of us were impressed. The theme felt contrived, and the action selection mechanism seemed to provide arbitrary choices at best for most of the game. Even though both of us were able to make use of our races' special abilities, neither felt very interesting. The game could potentially improve at higher player count, but as warfare was limited in our session (it wasn't advantageous for either of us to invade the other), there was very little interaction and I was able to quickly build my way to a victory using the dwarves' racial abilities. Based on the fun we had with "Tiny Epic Galaxies", this was a let down; post-con chicken wings improved our mood though!
 
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