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Ray Smith
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Newburg
Pennsylvania
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Here's my thesis on "How I spent my summer vacation".

Although the back of the exhibitors hall seems to be creeping more and more up towards the front due to fewer vendors, it was still a fine turnout. With the playing of games being the focus of the day, a great time was had by all.

Below are the games I succumbed to. Some old; some new; some bought; some booed.
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1. Board Game: Canal Mania [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1380]
Ray Smith
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Owned since it came out, got the upgrade, and still a great game. One of our favorites. Played twice.

Rating: 9
 
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2. Board Game: Congo Line [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Ray Smith
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Better than most Stratamax games, and interesting to boot. Not a brain burner, but worthwhile. As usual, would rate slightly higher with better components.

Rating: 6.5
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3. Board Game: The Hanging Gardens [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1184]
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Not a lot to this, but still enjoyable. Beautiful, quick, and different enough to warrant a purchase.

Rating: 7
 
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4. Board Game: 18GL [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:4598]
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Not a big 18xx, but lots going on in this one.

Rating: 7
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5. Board Game: First Strike [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
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With component upgrades, this brain burner shines. For two or three players, definitely use the optional rule of limiting set-up to the eastern hemisphere.

Rating: 7
 
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6. Board Game: Risk Express [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2767]
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One of the best quicky games available. Conquer the world in under 30 minutes.

Rating: 7
 
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7. Board Game: Yetisburg: Titanic Battles in History, Vol. 1 [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:9533]
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A big hit of Origins for me! Fun, great art, doesn't overstay it's welcome, and hangs on just enough to the end. In talking to the creators, the second installment of the TBiWH, "Dismember the Alamo", was dependent upon the success of Yetisburg. It sold out in three days. Keep 'em coming Titanic.
Played twice.

Rating: 8
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8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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I just left the band wagon.
With limited play of the game, my initial response is, "It's okay". Put it this way, I wouldn't mind having a copy as a gift.

Rating: 6.5
 
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9. Board Game: 10 Days in Asia [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1798]
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Three of us played three times, and all total it clocked out at 15 minutes. This is a game?

Rating: 2
 
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10. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:390]
 
Ray Smith
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Not only was I surprised to see it at Origins (as it was for Uwe), it instantly became a hit for me after one play (even though I got slaughtered). All the positive hype of being intuitive, easy to get into, grand components, etc., are true. Eagerly awaiting the next installments -- East Front '42-'44, and Africa.

My only disappointments are the flimsy charts, and the functional but ugly cards. Uwe promises a look see for the future.

Rating: 8.8
 
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11. Board Game: Bootleggers [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1122]
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I really enjoyed this one. Lots to consider, fun to play, with the typical nice Eagle components. (Too bad the trucks aren't in different colors.)

Rating: 7.5
 
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12. Board Game Publisher: Blue Panther
Ray Smith
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A new release from the all wooden, laser etched game folk, called Nepal. Their largest game, which includes a color, laminated board of the entire country of Nepal. A trade route game similar in play to Ticket to Ride, but with the ability to remove other player's routes. A game I'd willingly play often.

A snafu appeared on the initial print run of a city being omitted, and there is a huge advantage of being the very last player of the game. The former is being fixed as you read this, and the latter is an easy fix of inserting an instant end card within the last five route cards.

Rating: 7
 
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