CONVIC-ted: Games I played at Convic 7
KK Su
Australia
Melbourne
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This is my second Convic I've attended and what a blast it was. Only managed to make it on Friday and Saturday night (due to family constraints (read: very young kids)) but at both times, I saw a lot of game action. Personally, what I loved most of all at Convic was meeting all the great people who make up the wonderful boardgaming community we have in Australia. So thanks to everyone, especially to the organiser Julian (unhalfbricking), for making it such a great weekend!
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1. Board Game: The New Dungeon! [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:4791]
KK Su
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Got to Convic at 8pm along with my new gaming buddy Damon who had just come into the boardgaming scene. The Convic website states that this event is held at a lawn bowling club, but let me elaborate on that a bit since the term 'lawn bowling club' brings to mind images of wide grassy lawns with white-clad bowlers in the background as you sip iced tea under a parasol while playing Tigris. So picture entering the club's automatic sliding doors, and then descending downstairs into the depths into an out-of-sight basement hall with narrow panel windows which look out into the car tires of the club parking lot.

There in this grim-sounding dungeon, you are immediately greeted by the sight of hundreds of boardgames stacked on the carpet, and the incessent chatter of gamers at their tables. A boardgamer's underworld paradise of games.

So this is the sight that greeted Damon and I as we started our night of gaming. Squeezing our way between tables and greeting the familiar face here and there, I piloted our way to a back table where a game of Tower of Babel was being set up and explained.
 
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2. Board Game: Tower of Babel [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1316]
KK Su
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Kim, the game explainer, let us jump right in to this game next to Randy (Genesteeler), Alvin (Tyndal) and Gerald (gerald), and soon, we were building Wonders with the "help" of our fellow players.

For all of us except Gerald this was the first time we had played this game, but tactics began to emerge as players generously offered 4-5+ cards of a certain resource-type - along with the Traitor (I mean, Trader) card. I tried to concentrate my resources in securing the Stonemason building chips (in hopes that the final scoring of these would pull me into the lead), but that soon paled to the impressive contributions Randy started to leave on various Wonders. In the end, a whopping 20 bonus points pulled Randy into the lead.
 
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3. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:533] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
KK Su
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I'd brought Last Night on Earth along with me and asked if anyone was interested. Gerald (an eurogamer to the core) immediately ducked out, leaving Damon, myself, Alvin and Randy to play. I took the role of Zombie player and we set up the 'Escape in the Truck' scenario. Randy ended up with Father Joseph, Alvin as Nurse Becky, Damon as Jake and Billy was played by mutual player decision.

I started out writing the session here, but then realised that this was best done as a proper Session Report, so here it is:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2252989#2252989
 
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4. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:682]
KK Su
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After the LNoE game, something light was in order. Someone had left Looping Louie set up on a table, so we took it over. I explained the Tournament rules (Winner of the Round starts the next Round with one less Chicken; Tournament Winner is the player who wins a Round while starting with only 1 Chicken), and away we went.

What followed was a 45 minute Looping Louie marathon as we whooped, cursed, and plugged our way to victory. We played at least 5 Tournaments with everyone winning at least once. Julian came over once to remark that out of all the games played this Convic, Looping Louie is the game that generates the most commotion. How true! Damon now wants to get this for his 3-year-old daughter.
 
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5. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
KK Su
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It was near 12am when we finally let the kids back on the Looping Louie table. blush

Although late, Alvin, Damon and I decided to start up Race for the Galaxy. Damon had never played before, so I took to explaining the game to him. I'd forgotten how intimidating this game seems to first time players, particularly ones who haven't played San Juan or Puerto Rico before, but somehow, I compressed the rules down and in 15 minutes, we were playing.

Alvin and I grew increasingly annoyed with each other as we continually double-guessed each other's role selections and wound up with the same ones. We'd played about 1/3 of the game before Alvin's transport had to leave. So Damon and I packed up and left Convic after a great night of gaming. Damon is keen on playing a full game of Race soon.
 
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6. Board Game: Die Dolmengötter [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3082]
KK Su
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Damon couldn't make it on Saturday, but I had already planned to come to Convic with my wife Cynthia. We were pretty tired after spending the day with the kids, but Cynthia stressed to me that she wanted to get to Convic BY 5PM LATEST), so we did some speed grocery shopping and once the kids were cleaned up and being fed by grandma, off we went to Convic.

Remember that dungeon I described earlier? Well, imagine it now with gamers who'd obviously been gaming late the night before and non-stop since this morning. The air was thick and musty with the smell of old cardboard. A few bleary hellos exchanged, and we eventually got into a game of Die Dolmengötter with Julian (unhalfbricking) and another guy. Cynthia was obviously fresher than any of us, and she took the lead early and maintained it until Julian overtook her by a few points towards the end. A nice abstract game, and one which we wouldn't mind playing again.
 
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7. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
KK Su
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Cynthia had never played Race for the Galaxy with more than 2 players before, so we nabbed Alvin (who was taking a break from his Kingsburg game while the other players went out for dinner) to play with us. Another guy named Serge joined in, and so we started up a 4-player game. Again, Alvin and I were jostling for roles as Serge (first time player) tried to make sense of the cards. Cynthia played a rather selective game this time round which cost her towards the end when she didn't have enough Developments/Planets down.

Alvin had to pull out halfway through the game to continue Kingsburg, and so Serge, Cynthia and I continued till I ended the game after building 12 cards. Serge did well for his first game of RftG while Cynthia's lack of planets and developments really bit into her final score. I had about 3 6-point developments down, taking me far into the lead.
 
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8. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:612]
 
KK Su
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Cynthia and I went out to get some dinner, and when we got back, we poked around the piles of games until more people became available to play. Someone started up Diamant, and so we joined in. Among the players was Julian's dear old English mother who asked in her crisp English accent if all those little boxes were coffins. Perhaps it was close to the truth as all of us were gassed, poisoned by scorpions and pummeled by rockfalls throughout the game.

Julian's mother turned out to be a real risk-taker ("At my age, dear, you have nothing to lose!") and Randy eventually won the game after a final lucrative run through the last tunnel.
 
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9. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:519]
KK Su
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After we dispersed from the Diamant game, Cynthia and Julian's mother got to talking as I went to scout for more games. I'd never played Blokus, but have always wanted to, so I picked it up and brought it back for us to play. Another girl named Tabitha joined in, and we started up a 4-player game of Blokus. What a gem! I love simple, quick games with screwage and Blokus fits that description perfectly! We played 2 games of this with Tabitha winning both games. Definately putting this game on my Must Buy list.
 
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10. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
KK Su
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Cynthia commented that she needed to roll some dice, so Tabitha pulled out Can't Stop next. Obviously, Cynthia had felt her dice luck topping out as she proceeded to win the game handily in about 4 rounds. A nice filler game, this one.
 
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11. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:499]
KK Su
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A Wits & Wagers game finished on the next table, so we started it up on our table. Patty (GeekWidow) joined in along with Alvin who looked like he needed some light games to wind down. Should have known better than to play with Patty as she got most the "nearest" answers. Alvin, however, took the lead in Question 5, and ended up with the most cash. It's a great game, but I think I'll wait till a less US-centric version comes out before acquiring one.
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12. Board Game: The Chat-Up Board Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
KK Su
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It was past 12am now, and Cynthia and I got ready to go home, but not before we chatted with Patty on the way out. We took at least 45 minutes just saying goodbye to everyone, which really hones in on that one aspect that boardgames provide and computer games don't - social, face-to-face interaction. We had as much fun just talking to everyone apart from playing games!

So ended my gaming weekend at Convic. What a great time it was, and I'm already looking forward to the next big gaming "event"!
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