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cmarie's October IndyCon 2016
Christy
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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This fall we had a new local convention (Indianapolis) at Family Time Games. It was awesome. Thanks to Shane and his family for letting us play there, and to Dave, Brian, and everyone who helped set up and run the event. I thought everything went really well and I had a great time!!

*Note: We had many duplicate player names at this event -- I played with multiple Steves, Brians, Andrews, Troys, and Jeremys. We also had multiple Daves and Adams. (Did I get them all?) I have not taken the time to add initials since there are so many, but I can clarify if anyone is curious about a specific game/reference.
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1. Board Game: Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:609] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Christy
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Friday (arrived around 4pm)

Adam invited me to play Smash Up with him and Jeremy (Jeremy and him?). Jeremy won with a combination of sharks and Greeks. Adam was zombies + something.

My kitty cat tornadoes were outmatched, but I was amused to see that one of the tornadoes had a cat in it.
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2. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2322]
Christy
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Next up was Adam's prototype, Lunch Swap. It's a filler in which you trade cards/lunches with people. Good goals, and he says he's working on the endgame scoring.
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3. Board Game: Evolution: Climate [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:233]
Christy
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Next up was Evolution Climate with Todd, Steve, and Adam. I think everyone I've played this with agrees that it's better than regular Evolution. Gives you a bit more to think about when playing food cards. My species weren't eating as quickly as other people's, and as it turns out, eating is what matters.

Nice to take a thematic break from the real world (moderation) and be able to just eat as much as possible, though. If we stuck to plants then I suppose we could eat a lot more.
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4. Board Game: The Butterfly Garden [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3862]
Christy
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Next I set up Captain Sonar for our scheduled 8pm game. Even at a con when folks had signed up in advance, it was hard to get the right number. My copy attracted a lot of attention and there were actually more interested parties than open spots. So I gave up my spot, attempted to teach although that was difficult with 8 people, and went over to play The Butterfly Garden. Pretty, peaceful card game -- maybe a little too peaceful. Thanks Troy for (re)teaching!
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5. Board Game: Captain Sonar [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:105]
Christy
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Finally got my chance at Captain Sonar. Thanks to everyone who played. I was better prepared to be the captain this time, and our team managed a win. Andy was top notch as the radio operator, and Brian and Troy did great jobs as the engineer and technician.

We concluded at the end that a little more care was needed in announcing directions and distinguishing "maybe" directions (discussion with teammates) from official movement. Fantastic game, I just can't decide if it would ever work with non-hobby gamers (with gamers teaching and being the two captains).
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6. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:157]
Christy
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Sarah mentioned wanting to play Isle of Skye, so we pulled in a couple others and played with the starting setup. She had a ton of animals and I never had more than one the whole game. I did what I could to observe the scoring criteria, but went with the questionable strategy of trying to get VPs from lighthouses and towers, and somehow pulled off a win.

Love Isle of Skye! It is so much better than Carcassonne!
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7. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:592]
Christy
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Saturday (arrived around 2pm)

It seemed like everyone was locked into a game when I arrived, so I set up a solo game. I was just waiting for someone to come over and make fun of me, but surprisingly no one did! Max said hello and was a paragon of respectfulness. He told me about his adventures in Europe, having recently returned from Essen.

This was the first time I had played against Aaron. I love how low-fuss the AI is in this game. You just turn over a pile of cards each round and that's it. No dummy moves to keep track of, no goods/animals/workers. But as great as that is, it's still CoB the card game, which is a little dull. The gameplay is just not very compelling IMO.
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8. Board Game: Not Alone [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:584]
Christy
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Luckily Jeremy S came over and recruited me for another game. You know, one with multiple people. Thanks Jeremy!

We played two 5p games, 1 hunter and 4 hunted. You're in some kind of vaguely outer-space location, playing cards to go to different areas and trigger different effects. But the hunter can try to predict what you might do, and do bad stuff accordingly. I was unsure of how much to reveal (via table talk with other hunted). The gameplay was very cat-and-mouse-esque.

In both of our games, the hunter won easily. It's unclear to me what we could have been doing differently/better as the hunted. Not really my kind of game, but we had a good time.

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9. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:91]
Christy
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Next I looked for a game to play with Todd and Andrew. Being that it was Todd and Andrew, I looked for something on the euro side of things. Istanbul is one of my favorite games that I don't own, and we were able to use my Persia/Asia Minor metal coins. Sadly I just did not have that assistant mojo and Todd won.
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10. Board Game: Bavarian Holiday [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
Christy
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Wandered over to a table with Steve, Anna, Max, and Hahn. Max mentioned that Stratamax is doing a beer-themed dice game and Hahn was ON IT. So of course we played. Vaguely similar to Qwixx but with images of beer and pretzels to cross off instead of numbers, and there's no left-to-right restriction. We had a great time! ("big beer, big beer, big beer...")
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11. Board Game: Mottainai [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:793]
Christy
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Max and I then joined Adam for a game of Mottainai. Adam teaches this game so efficiently, it's really something to watch. He also won efficiently.

Nothing against Carl Chudyk, but I think I might be ready to part ways with my copy in another play or two. I prefer Glory to Rome and if there are only 2 or 3 players, I'd rather play a different style of game. With Mottainai my mind just gets really bogged down in the basic mechanics, such that there isn't much bandwidth left for thinking about strategy, which is the actual FUN part.
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12. Board Game: Black Orchestra [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:573]
Christy
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First of all, thanks to Gary for teaching and leading the group. He and I had been plotting this and I'm so happy it worked out for us to play. Black Orchestra is basically really hard Hitler Pandemic. It's very card-driven. (I'm no WWII expert, but the historical aspect of the event cards and people seemed really well done.) To assassinate Hitler, you have to get a plot card, fulfill a bunch of the stuff on that card, and then roll really well. I played as Dietrich Bonhoeffer.



We had 5 players and everybody was INTO IT the entire time. It is an extremely compelling and engrossing game. Nobody checking phones, wandering away from the table, etc (with the one exception of Steve and me getting distracted by a mystery pizza saga). The experience was really stressful and we were all in it together!

There is a time limit represented by cards, and we were running out of time. We had several failed plots under our belt. I had one, but Hitler was in a fortified location so I couldn't do it. Luckily Brittany drew a card that allowed her to move Hitler -- that was crucial. When the turn came back around to me, the group knew that this was IT. Hitler's military strength was at 4, and I was only able to roll 4 dice. So I had to roll 4/4, with each die having a 33% chance of hitting. (In Summoner Wars terms, this would be like summoning a 4-attack champion and then rolling all misses.*) Josh had a card that would have let me re-roll one die one time -- still not good odds.

I rolled, and for the longest half-second you can possibly imagine, we all dumbly stared at the dice, and then erupted in a HUGE raucous cheer!! (sorry everybody else at the con that we startled...) WE KILLED HITLER!!!





*I did a little research on the odds of rolling 4 hits, and it's only 1.234%. Adding the possibility of getting 3 hits (~10%) and then a successful re-roll, Andrew estimated that our overall chance of winning was about 2%. CRAY. ZEE.
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13. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:704]
Christy
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Indianapolis
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The Black Orchestra group moved on to Secret Hitler, but this introvert just did not have the energy and social fortitude left for a social deduction game. So I found Ross and Todd and we played half a dozen rounds of Zendo. For a while Ross and I kept guessing each other's rules. Then Todd got one, and when Ross got the next one he came up with something harder.

Brian walked by and said "what is this game?" to which Todd replied, "sit down. you are now playing" and sure enough, he was the one to guess Ross's new rule. So I think Brian won? Anyway, it was a fun way to calm down a little and end the night on a "zen" note.

P.S. I don't remember what was so funny, but Ross and Todd were cracking me up big time. Dave even turned around from his Terra Mystica game to check on me. (All of the Black Orchestra players were exhausted from all the adrenaline, myself included, so that contributed.)
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14. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:187]
Christy
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Sunday -- arrived 11:30am

Andrew had some time to kill before his big Feast for Odin debut, so I pulled out Onitama from the library. We played two(ish) games, a short one that I won and a longer "what if Andrew had done this instead" alternate-universe one that he won. I also got to play a longer game with Andy, and later spotted him teaching it to someone else. It's a great little abstract, with what seems like a good amount of replayability since you only use five cards per game.
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15. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:20]
Christy
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I owe a debt to the 4p Concordia table that I encountered moments later. Dave knows it is one of my FAVORITE games and I really didn't want to miss out! Luckily they had only played one person's starting turn, so I was able to jump in and go last. Thanks for letting me play, everybody! It was a blast as always.

Emily won by getting a bunch (all?) of her colonists out and stocking up on Mars cards. I was trying to go for a Saturn strategy without any wine cities, which is insane because all of the Saturn cards cost wine. Yay. Still, any day that includes a game of Concordia is a good day. heart
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16. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:400]
Christy
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3 games of 5p No Thanks! with my left hand while eating pizza with my right hand. We had a great time. The simple games are just really good. I took second in one of the games and that's about as well as I did. Todd won two, maybe?
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17. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:61]
Christy
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Finished out the con with this deckbuilder crossed with a dungeon crawl. It was OK and I prefer it over a lot of other deckbuilders, but it still isn't my favorite mechanism. I was more excited to get a card that looked like Tormund (one of my favorite characters from Game of Thrones) than about the game itself. That must be what the 1 VP is for, being from GoT.

Todd ran out of the cave first but didn't have enough stuff. Dave was second out of the cave, but I managed to edge him out by just a couple points. Brian didn't make it out, I think maybe he thought he had more time or something. Only Dave and Todd had played before.

My favorite aspect of the game was putting cubes into the clank. Every once in a while, the cubes get dumped into a bag and then drawn to see who...gets attacked by the dragon, I guess? Anyway, a very very cool probability-type thing that didn't rely on dice or cards. Loved it.
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18. Board Game: Vast: The Crystal Caverns [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:506] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Christy
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A resting place for those games on my want-to-play list that didn't get played by me (I did see others playing several of these!):

Vast: The Crystal Caverns (haven't played)
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game zombie
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (campaign games never get played at cons!)
The Grizzled +/- expansion
Roll Player (haven't played)
Fury of Dracula (third/fourth edition) heart
Mask of Anubis (hadn't heard of it but it looked cool as other folks played!)
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