Conquest of Paradise -- How our first GenCon went! (GenCon 2017)
Justin Jensen
United States
Fredericksburg
VA
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My wife surprised me with a special gift for my birthday (and Father's Day and anniversary and Christmas ) in the form of a trip to GenCon for the 50th anniversary.

We don't have many game pictures, so this will be an overview of what we played and our impressions.
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1. Board Game: Expedition: Northwest Passage [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1074]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Thursday

First thing we did was meet up with the friend of a guy I bought this from via the BGG Marketplace. I've wanted this for a long time, due to the theme (Franklin Expedition) and play (simple, yet deep tile-laying and exploring).

PURCHASED
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2. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:137]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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While waiting for the Con to open, we gave this a demo up in the CGE area upstairs. In this worker-placement game, you're raising pets to aturity and selling for coins (and points!). It was fiddly and a little overwhelming at first, but my wife was willing to give it another try later.
 
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3. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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We had signed up for a KoT tourney since I wanted to win a copy of the 'Rozy Pony' promo. While I got up to 16 stars in the first game, both games ended with one monster standing and not by stars. We won neither game.

C'est la vie.
 
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4. Board Game: The Fox in the Forest [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:705]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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I gave this a demo while my wife was busy. It's a trick-taking game specifically for two players that has give and take. I had come in wanting to buy this, and after the demo I knew my wife would like it.

It sold out before we tried to buy it on Friday, but that's on us. Will get later!

Awaiting Purchase
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5. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:218] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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I wanted the Golem edition when it was first announced way back when, but we tried this first since space was open. This is a gateway engine-building game where you get spices, upgrade or change them and ultimately unload for points.

She liked it well enough after two plays, so we would revisit later.
 
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6. Board Game: Aeon's End: War Eternal [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:612] [Average Rating:8.63 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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This was also on my want-to-buy list going in, but also the first disappointment.

In this deck-building co-op, you're trying to fight off a big-baddies and minions while upgrading your deck and trying to keep the town from losing too many townspeople.

My wife doesn't like too much randomness when playing co-op, and the Umbra Titan gave us a pistol-whipping that we couldn't recover from (it took 4 turns stage 3 in 6 turns that nukes our spells and exhausted her for having portals open).

I might be able to talk her into it later since it seems to be better 2 rather than 4 player. But that will have to wait.
 
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7. Board Game: Portal of Heroes [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2135]
Justin Jensen
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Time to start working on my badge for Mayfair!

In this one, you're either drafting characters for points or the cards needed to score those characters. Too luck-dependent for us, since if you're specific cards don't come up on your turn you're kinda screwed. And my wife won her demo!

This one was mediocre, but I had no expectations going in.
 
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8. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:573]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Also for the badge.

I've seen this game on Geeklists before, and while not bad, you're kinda dependent on what cards you're dealt. You're trying to place cards in number order without clearing a line (can only hold 5) and taking cards. Fewest points wins.

I prefer the next entry if given a choice.
 
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9. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Play for badge!

You either take a card or put a chip on the card. If you run out of chips you have to take the card in play, but if you get any cards in sequential order you only count the lowest. Cards are points, chips negative points, lowest points wins.

I love this as a filler anyways, and getting to play for a badge seemed like a no-brainer.
 
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10. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:852] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Play for badge!

You're either a miner building to the treasure, or you're a saboteur trying to, well, sabotage it.

I already own this, so this was an easy choice to play.
 
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11. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:150]
Justin Jensen
United States
Fredericksburg
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Badge play!

I played this without the wifey, though I thought going into the con we might get this.

Carcassone meets auction. There's more to it than that, but it suffices.

The demo confirmed (in my opinion) she would like this one. She'll play tomorrow.
 
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12. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:27]
Justin Jensen
United States
Fredericksburg
VA
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Friday

I jokingly told my wife at the end of the day we should call this 'Klemens Franz Con'. You'll see why!

I bought this from the GenCon flea market and got it before the Con opened.

Purchased
 
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13. Board Game: Orléans: Invasion [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Bought with previous item.
 
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14. Board Game: Mice and Mystics: Heart of Glorm [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Also bought via the Flea market and picked up before the Con.

I wanted to get this below MAPP to continue our M&M journey!

PURCHASED
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15. Board Game: Codenames Duet [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Since the Con was still 'closed', we played this up in the CGE booth.

It's a co-op version of Codenames, which is a social/word-play game.

We played three times, though we misplayed it a bit (we didn't realize it could be black on one side and green on the other). She really liked this one...
 
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16. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Let's get back to working on that second badge!

This is a development/resource management game.

I can see this is a good game, but I was struggling to keep up with my resources with the wheel throwing off my count. If this was giving me trouble, it certainly would for my wife.
 
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17. Board Game: Food Chain [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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I can't believe this was available for a second ribbon! It played so quick.

Anyways, a cute game, but probably a pass for us. Just not much there, and if I want a game about outfoxing opponents I've got Sneaks and Snitches.
 
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18. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:852] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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Play for badge!

Why not do it again!
 
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19. Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:103]
Justin Jensen
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Final one needed for 'King of the Beast!'

This one is a doozy. My wife demoed 3 games in the time this took me to play 3 rounds of. Again, not a bad game, but a bit fiddly and there are sooooo many moving parts in this... I'm at a loss for how to explain or define it.
 
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20. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:36]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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With my 50% off coupon, I got this. We've played before, and while it's a bit long, we both like the sandbox feel without too many choices, as well as the fact it's pretty forgiving for a worker placement game.

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21. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:150]
Justin Jensen
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Fredericksburg
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My wife had demoed this twice, and liked it. Bought it with her 50% coupon.

PURCHASED
 
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22. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King – Themenplättchen [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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Freebie for completing 'King of the Beast' ribbon.
 
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23. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King – Kennerspiel des Jahres Promo Tile [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Justin Jensen
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We found this in the bag later. I think they gave it with my 'Le Havre' purchase.
 
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24. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Justin Jensen
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We played this in the Library on the field.

We had heard of this via Dominion's 'Governor' promo, and we liked the idea of 'piggy-backing' off of each other's actions. Really elegant and streamlined for a Euro (especially an older one.
 
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25. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:305]
Justin Jensen
United States
Fredericksburg
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I've had this on my wishlist for the longest time, and this was the biggest disappointment of the Con for us.

Just so very fiddly for a co-op, and the rules were unclear in places (when do we move the slave catchers?) and trying to figure out the best move. 90 minutes in and only about half-way through the game.
 
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