ConnCon. A weekend at the Bijou Movie Theater
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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I attended Conncon for the first time this past weekend and it was great. I wanted to make a list of the games that I played and as I started to think about it more I realized that my weekend of gaming was like walking into a movie theater of the past around 42nd street. This movie theater showed cartoons, travel shorts ,coming attractions and most importantly Grade B movies.
I had intentionally signed up to learn games that I had in my collection but had not played at all or infrequently. I learned a few new ones as well including the three games I won as part of the Play to Win contest. So here is my list in as close to order played as I can remember. This is my version of a very long "Saturday Afternoon at the Movies"

But first some Thank Yous are in order....
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1. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1628]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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THANKS!

I learned a bit of this game on Saturday 3/29/08 at the Con. It was a Play to win game and I submitted my name and won the game!. It is listed here first as a Thank you to certain people at the Con.

First to Mark Casiglio who did a terrific job welcoming me to the Con. He is a terrific guy and I could tell he was working hard to make the weekend a success. He had a lot of help but let's face it, the accommodations were a tad stressful with the hotel being renovated and Mark made sure we had a real good time.

Next to the other members of the Casiglio family. Rich who taught a terrific game of bang and an even better Betrayal of the House on the Hill, and Mark's son Matt who was great to play with especially in Robo Rally and Red Dragon Inn.

Next ,three other teachers. Pat McKeon who had the patience of a God as we played the Arkham Horror game that went into infinity. I learned a lot. Steve Wood who helped me with Heroscape and taught a great session of Last Night on Earth and finally Leo who I played Arkham Horror, Betrayal and a real good game of Heroscape. All the teachers dealt with my struggle in learning a game with kindness and support.

And finally my two new York gaming buddies Erik and Lisa who graciously listened to me drone on and on and on about my family and the games we played.(Jackie wins!) They are a great couple and I love playing with them.They made the weekend special. (Thanks for the French fries.) I wish them much happiness in their upcoming marriage.

Now we walk into this grimey movie theater....
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2. Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1085]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Thursday 3/27/08

Cartoon!

"Hey Speedy I got an idea! Why don't you distract these cats and I'll put this sack over them." "That is a good idea..We can throw in some dogs into the sack as well. I wonder who will come out first" "Care to make a bet?"



I had recently bought this game and learned it at the conn. I like the auction mechanism but I played it wrong and lost that night. It is a fun game. I knew Erik was bringing a copy and I hoped to play it again.

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3. Board Game: Ruse & Bruise [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1954]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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COMING ATTRACTIONS!!!!!!
ADVENTURE! ROMANCE! TREACHERY! STARRING BURT LANCASTER AS THE PRINCE

"I have beaten you Prince. The Gold is mine." "I do not think so because here comes my Squire!"

I played this game with Erik and Lisa and it had some good strategy to it I thought.
The more I played the better I liked it. I liked laying down the cards and flipping the previous one in a the row over. This is a game that I could see my brother Tom enjoying and he will be able to play it because it was a game I won as a Play to Win.
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4. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Friday 3/28/08

THREE STOOGES SHORT

"Hey Moe I can't get this robot to work. It just keeps spinning in the same place over and over." "You Knucklehead. Your programming it wrong. Your turning left when it should be right and Watch out! Your lasers are firing at me. Why You..."

I have had this game for a year and never played it.It took me some time to get the card movement right and for awhile I was just turning in circles. I finally connected on what to do and I was able to capture two flags. Dustin who taught me this game won. (That's the way it's supposed to be.. Bow before the game master.) It was great.
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5. Board Game: The Red Dragon Inn [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1181] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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COMING ATTRACTION

The Red Dragon Inn! What secrets does it hold? Four adventurers come to drink,to gamble, and to carouse. Starring Steve Reeves, Giorgia Moll and Georges Chamarat!

"Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Let us drink and gamble! Gamble and Drink! What? A Rabbit!" ( Rabbit spills the drinks onto the gold) Ha Ha HA HA!

I was looking forward to this game and Dustin was kind enough to teach me. I wanted to win it but did not . It was a lot of fun and I played well I thought as the priestess. I have a lot of games at home and I should not buy anymore but...
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6. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:592]
 
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Time for some Popcorn

Let's go out to the lobby. Let's go out to the lobby. Let's go out to the lobby and have ourselves a snack

I played this with Erik,Lisa and Steve and won on the fourth turn. I play this game a lot with my clients at work . (They were pleased that I won). I have had this game for over a year and I love it. It is just a great dexterity game and worth every penny I paid.
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7. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Coming Attraction

(Dramatic music starts playing, People running through the street screaming. Announcer's voice is heard) PANDEMIC! (More people screaming, Close up of a women. Blood is pouring out of her nose and eyes.) PANDEMIC! (Helicopter lands near a research center Doctor gets out)STARRING DANIEL PILON AND KATE REID!

"We seem to have isolated most of the epidemic doctor." "Most of it?"
"Well there is still the Middle East where a mysterious black plague is almost uncontrollable!"


I love co-operative games and this is one of the best. I will wait for my birthday though to purchase this or maybe get it as a gift.
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8. Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1085]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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What the..? Another Cartoon?

"Hey mice whatcha doin?" "Well we ..uh..we got some carrots in this sack that we can't get out. Can you help us?" "Oh boy! I just LOOOVE carrots!!. Let me get in here and Hey! There's nothing in here except this goofy cat and this ..." "Grrr" "De..DE..De..DOG!!YEOW!!"
"HA!HA!HA! What a zero!"


I played this one with Erik, Lisa ,and I think Steve and Don. I won this one (surprisingly).
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9. Board Game: Phantoms vs Phantoms [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2256]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Coming Attraction.. Comedy

GHOST CHASERS! THE HILARIOUS NEW COMEDY

"Come on Bud There's nothing in that house" "They say it's haunted Lou." "Now that's just rubbish." "G..G..G..G.." "What's that? Speak Up!" "G..G..G..G..""Will you quit playing around. Now hand me that flashlight."
"AHHH! GHOSTS!!!!"


I brought this game to the Conn specifically to play with Erik. I bought it when my kids were younger at a toy store in Brooklyn that no longer exists. We played it every week. It is a neat little game and the pieces glow in the dark. I own this Milton Bradley version. When I was working at an outpatient clinic in Queens and doing child therapy I used to bring this game out. I use it now in the Adult Day Treatment program I work in. Today a client beat me two out of three.I love playing games with my clients.
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10. Board Game: Zopp [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:3977]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Snack Time Soda and some Sugar Babies

Let's Go out to the Lobby. Let's go out to the Lobby. Let's go out to the Lobby... and buy ourselves a snack.

I found Zopp fun to play but Erik and I set up the board at an uneven table. I won this game by a hair. Erik felt that he did not play well but I felt he did a great job. (I won by one point and I had a good lead at the beginning.) I love dexterity games but am not really good at them. If this had been a level playing field or if we had played one more round. Erik would have definitely beaten me.
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11. Board Game: Treehouse [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:5498]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Documentary Short Subject

"The plastic Treehouses that dot the Swiss countryside are dazzling in their colors. Each of the three houses that are perfectly aligned signify the harmony of the ...." BRRRFFF HEY WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MOVIE? IT STOPPED SHORT!

While waiting for dinner Erik,Lisa and myself played the shortest Treehouse games on record. Each of the two games lasted no longer than two minutes.
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12. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Travelogue

"Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen! Neath it's Harbor Lights Sailors sped ships to many ports of call buying and selling goods. Here we have a bunch of sailors struggling as they carry their ship across land from Tonsberg to Stockholm."

I bought Hansa from Tanga and was eager to play it at the Conn. It always takes me awhile to get into a game and learn the rules but I feel I have a handle on this one. I liked the different choices you had to make and that it was a short game. I am sure I will get to play it again since Erik won it as one of the play to wins.
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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FEATURE FILM NUMBER ONE

THE HORROR THAT WOULD NOT DIE!
(Director's Cut)

" We have to close the gates!"
"ARRRGH"
" The book. This is the book of ... the dead"
"ARRGH"
" I can't take it anymore! I am going INSANE!"
"ARRGH"
"Come on you SOB monster! I got a gun and a motorcycle"
" A clue! I found a clue! Damn it I lost the clue!"
"ARRGH"
"The gate! Close the gate! use the Elder Sign!"
"This town is safe. Look the dawn is rising ! It's a new day. What a long night."


And it certainly was a long night. This game started around eight o'clock in the evening and ended at one thirty in the morning. A five hour movie. Lisa left in the middle. Erik and I got that glossy eyed feeling of just wanting it to end. There were eight people playing and each one had to give advice to the others on what to do. It went on forever.
And yet I loved it. I really want to play it again but with less people. I may even try it solo. I was the female psychologist. (Similar to my profession as a psychiatric social worker) and I did some sanity healing and found the book of the dead. Even sealed a gate. I was really glad that we beat this game because if we had let the monster out it would have lasted another hour.
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14. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Saturday 3/29/08

Second Feature Film

FISTS AND SWORDS OF FURY II : LAND OF THE HIGHLAND TROLL

"Oh you think you can crush me. Ninja strike. Ha!"
" Krug smash"
" You can not match my sword of pain"
"Krug smash"
"Ninjas disappear!"
"Krug smash!"


What I loved about this "movie "was the wonderful script. I had bought three Heroscape sets for Christmas and learned how to play the game here. Steve Woods had perfectly balanced figures for two-player skirmishes. I had a bunch of Japanese warriors fighting Scottish Highlanders, a Warrior and Krug the troll who were controlled by Leo a really good player. I hung on by the skin of my teeth and with some lucky dice roles was able to defeat the Troll and win the game. It really did look like one of the worst Ninja movies ever made.

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15. Board Game: Darjeeling [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1890]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Travelogue

" In this peaceful shipping village the rival Tea companies ship their tea. Let's watch as they stock their boxes and load the tea on the boats. Uh-Oh that boat doesn't have enough tea boxes on its boat. The manager is going to be upset.Here's another ship ready to receive goods. What no Passport! Well that's going to cost you. Here is another person pushing the cart to load tea. What a peaceful, boring town."

This game is probably a good game and I am sure I played it wrong.It probably is deeper than it looks. The game play became too repetitive for me. I like tea but I thought it would be a game about planting and harvesting. I will play it again but it wouldn't be my first choice.
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16. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1017]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Third Feature Film

A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE!

(Starring Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson)

" Sheriff. Come on out. We have a present for you."
"Bang ! That's one outlaw down"
"I'm no outlaw. I'm a stranger here in town."
"Hey sherrif. Happy Birthday! Hers's your present"
(Throws dynamite at sheriff)
"I am returning the gift"
"AI! Here take it back"
(Poor jump cut)
" Your going to jail."
"Listen Sheriff How long am I going to be in here...DAMN! You shot me!"


I played three games of Bang. I lost the first and won the second.I was the sheriff. It was the third game, a five player game, that played like a spaghetti Western. The dynamite card came out on the table early and was passed around for eight rounds and never went off. The sheriff was eventually killed by the outlaws but the last camera shot would have been of that dynamite blowing up.
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17. Board Game: Chang Cheng [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3036]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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COMING ATTRACTIONS

Voice over :They murdered everyone in their path.The Mongols were the scourge of the land. ( Shot of women screaming. Baby cryiing)Nothing could stop them except. (Credits come up)

THE GREAT WALL!

Starring Yul Brynner as the Mongol Warrior

"You think you can stop me! We will tear down this wall!

and Alec Guinness as the Emperor

"This wall will keep all barbarians out. Tear down that wall and build it over here.It must be stronger!"


I played this with Lisa and Erik and it didn't do it for me. I probably did not get the strategy right so I would have to play it again. At the end of the game it looked pretty with all the walls up but I just felt that the Mongols needed some crossbows and catapults.
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18. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:314]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Coming Attraction

They were racers with an axe to grind.

"That red railing. It's just too flimsy!"

They were racers who were cool during pressure.

Flick "Come on baby" Flick "Come on baby start" Flick "Yeah that's it! We're catching up now!"

They were racers who met danger head on.

" I've run off track ! I am hitting the table. I'm going to land ON THE FLOOR. AHHHHHHHHHH!"

RACING THE DISK

Starring Cliff Robertson and Ricardo Montablan

Coming soon to a Theater near you!


Pitchcar was fun.Erik set up a simple track and got some others to play. Erik won easily . I will buy this one for my job if I can get a good price.
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19. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:533] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Feature Film Number Four

THEY CAME TO EAT OUR BRAINS!(or Maybe our Truck)

"Dad is that you? I haven't seen you for so long"
"What the hell is going on here Becky? I found the gas can and the keys . Let's get everybody in the truck and get the hell out of here"
"Who's that by the truck?"
"It's Father Joseph! He's Oh my God..He's one of them!"
"Me and Johnny will distract them Dad. Get away."
"Move it!Move it!"
"I love you Dad..ACK"
"BECKY!!!"
"Leave her! Just leave her. She's dead."


I really like LNOE. Every time I played it always ends dramatically like a bad Zombie movie should. I will play this game anytime. We played "Get to the Truck" with six players and it was a real blast. Steve took a lot of risks with Father Joseph. He was a real hero there for awhile and his adding a real toy truck to the scenario was a nice touch. I was Becky the Nurse. I'm always Becky the Nurse. The Heroes won this time but just barely thanks to some lousy dice rolls by the Zombies at the end.
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20. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:672]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Cartoon
"Hey that's my fish"
"Hey that's my fish"
"Hey"
"Hey!"
(Penguin produces a saw.Starts sawing ice.)
"Hey!"
"Hey!"


I taught this abstract to Erik who like my brother John is an "Abstract Strategy Man". Erik has said that he made a tactical mistake and I soundly beat him. I am confident that that will never happen again. Me beating Erik I mean.
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21. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Travelogue

The palaces of Alhambra are some of the most beautiful in the world. See how the sun glimmers on the roofs.Here one of the princes pays a builder to complete a building . The builder is overjoyed that he paid him the exact amount. "Now I won't have to make change. A thousand thank yous. Please let me build you another building or you can have this worthless money that is in my pocket!"

I liked this game but it took me awhile to get the rules straight. I played okay near the end and had a respectable score.
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22. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:422]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Sunday 3/30/08

Feature Film Number Five

REVENGE OF THE BEASTMASTER!

"Professor what are you doing?"
"Why little girl I am just looking at this spear. What an interesting artifact. AHHH. ARRGH. Bow before the Beastmaster!!!"
"Professor! The elevator must get to the elevator."
(Little girl goes down the magic elevator. Door opens in the basement Crocodile tries to come in.)
"Ahhh the door It's not closing!Ahhh!


I am so glad I own this game since it is now OOP. I had never played it but I hope to play it again soon. Again Rich Casiglio and Leo were quite helpful in taking me through this game. The characters won. All but one died. The strong girl played by Sandy wrestled the spear from the beastmaster at the last moment. (I will probably write a session report on this game)

This was the last of my horror games. Again in this one I was a female character, the little girl. I don't know what that says about me but my therapist will certainly be interested in it.
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23. Board Game: Bamboleo [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2266]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Lights up everybody leaves the theater tripping over strange objects left on the floor.

"I can't see a thing! I must have been in that theater for hours."


I liked this dexterity game but it was hard to set up on a table that was near the air vent. I would get this one for my client's to play if I can afford it.
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24. Board Game: Grave Robbers From Outer Space [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:6025] [Average Rating:5.80 Unranked]
Joseph McDonough
United States
Pelham
New York
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Going out of the lobby and seeing posters for upcoming movies.

"Oh that one looks good and so does that one. That one with the vampires looks cheesy. You want a burger?"
"Nah. I gotta go home and walk my dog Skippy."


I played this with the Z-man himself teaching me the game. A fitting game to end my time at Conncon. Having played these B-movies I now want to produce and create my own. I can do that since this was one of the play to win games which I won.

Thanks again to everyone who made this such an enjoyable weekend.
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