DrunkenCon 2007 - A Proud Tradition
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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Oh me oh my, is it another year already? I must say, this getting old(er) thing is growing a little tiresome. Yes, back in January, in the cold, wet Oregon winter, I could only dream of my annual gaming retreat, held every July, and dream I did. Over and over, I caught myself wishing for the warm sun and cold beer and lots of friends and even more games, all of this that we call DrunkenCon. It's a tradition that's heading into its eighth year and I couldn't be prouder or more excited.

Well, see, that's the thing about getting old(er) - the more you look out to the future, the sooner it (the future) comes and another year is gone and you're suddenly reminded that, yes, you are getting old(er). Or just old.

Regardless of my age (and the growing propensity to listen to Radioio New Wave pretty much all the time [it rules]), and, more significantly, the age of my older friends cruising VERY close to the big 4-0, another year has come and gone and it's time to revisit last year's DrunkenCon right in preparation of this year's DrunkenCon, which starts just four weeks from today.

Whew.

So here we are. Or, rather, here we were, in July of 2007... Stasey and his wife, Shannon, graciously hosted again. The previous year was a hit all the way around: the weather was perfect, the beer was ideal, the gaming intense - oh, just read about it here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23092

But back to 2007, where we were back in Kaiser, at Stasey's, and things were just heating up...
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1. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:672]
Dave Sokolowski
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For the second year running, Glenn shipped in from Dallas, TX, and that is just damn cool. Glenn is a high school friend of Stasey's and mine, and has fit so perfectly into DC that it's going to be tough without him at DC8(Ball). He is even-keeled, highly focused, and a lover of fine bourbons - all well-desired characteristics of the perfect DC attendee.

So Glenn and Tony arrived at Stasey's first, even before me, and they slammed out a game of H!TMF, which is really a great game and I believe will see some work this year. Glenn nailed the first victory of DC with this game, just in time for me to show up.
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2. Board Game: Winds of Plunder [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2731]
Dave Sokolowski
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And I did, with a new copy of WoP in my hot, greasy hands, ready to dump it out and trade for a beer. This was accomplished with great finesse, in so much that I didn't spill the beer. Or the game.

We played this new game and had a good time - especially after Tony won with a spectacular plundering of Glenn's, uh, booty.

Ahem.

Onward.
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3. Board Game: Chez Geek 3: Block Party [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Dave Sokolowski
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By that time, Rich had arrived and so we had a quorum to get things rolling. We still had three more attendees in transit, but it was time for the traditional starting game. CG was now the Official DrunkenCon Start Game, and so we hit two games quickly, especially after I snagged my first (and only) victory quite early in the game, then going on to let Stasey win a second game, just so he could feel good about himself.

What is it about CG that is just plain rad?
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4. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Dave Sokolowski
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Here's a secret about Citadels that you may not know: I f0cking hate it.

Who cares who played and won this stupid game (Stasey)?!??!?!

I hereby refuse to play this game at DC08(ballmeplease).

So there's that.

Man I hate this game.
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5. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Duel [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:3951]
Dave Sokolowski
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Stasey must have played this game after everyone went to bed. We played most of a game of the RPG (with cardgame elements) Shab-El-Hiri Roach, and had a fun time, but it went on a little long for our now drunken attention spans. Still, it's a very cool game.

My guess is Stasey played this with either Tony or Glenn. Chris had arrived, but I'm sure the rest of us cast off for the evening.

Maybe Stasey just played (with) himself on this game, and claimed a victory (I'm reading from his notes) irregardless. (Yes, I know it's not a word - old joke between me and Stasey.)

Who knows.
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6. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:495]
Dave Sokolowski
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Chris, Stasey and Peter piled onto this game, which is great fun and I had wanted to play it myself. It's a great euro that moves quickly. What else can you want from Dr Knizia?

Anyway, it's another game that - surprise, surprise - Stasey won.

You gotta keep the host happy. Right?
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7. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:577]
Dave Sokolowski
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This is another DC standby that is just too fun to pass up. Back in it's first incarnation, DC was just Aaron, Rich, and I playing Formula De for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT, running eight races of three laps each, holding a full tournament over three days.

Talk about focus.

So Chris, Stasey, and Peter must have played this old standby on the side, as the rest of us were playing...
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8. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:582]
Dave Sokolowski
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My brand new copy of ToI. What a great game, although it took Tony and I all morning to beat the pants off Rich and Glenn, who were tasked in the first scenario with the business of driving out the Americans in a game where the Germans can't really win. Or so it seems.

Anyway, I had read that the first game is a real challenge for the Germans, and so Tony and I scored a great team win as the Germans just got stuck in the treeline. I got distracted with the appearance of my wife and child, but eventually I headed back to the fold and helped Tony wipe the German blood from his bayonet.

I guess I did win a second game this DC. Nice.
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9. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Dave Sokolowski
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Hey everybody, the Dougs are here.

[If you are not Doug or Rich and get that lyrical joke, please let me know.]

Doug showed up to take the 'traveled the farthest' medal from Glenn, flying all the way from Hoboken, New Jersey to join his crew at DC007. How cool is that?

Doug took right the challenge of Power Grid that was placed before him, and soundly beat the pants off everyone. See, Stasey, not everyone just lets the host win. Doug wins because that's all he does. Doug is a winning machine. Watch Doug win.

Win Doug. Win.
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10. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Dave Sokolowski
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Or not. Well, Doug couldn't just starting taking the toys from everyone, so Chris hacked his way between Stasey and Doug and claimed a win. Now, Chris is brilliant AND hyper-competitive AND hates playing competitive games. So I gotta give it up for taking this crown from the other bozos.

So much for hating to play competitive games.

[Oh, and I am officially 'over' PR. I will not play this game at DC08ball.]
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11. Board Game: Paranoia Mandatory Bonus Fun! Card Game [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:5436]
Dave Sokolowski
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By this point, DC was in full force. All eight of us had partaken in the beering and gaming, and although the wet weather left us wishing for DC06, everything else was going well.

So Glenn ran a game of Paranoia - the RPG, not the card game - and two things happened:

1. A big bottle of applejack came and dropped right on Chris's head, knocking him and his chair onto the floor.

2. I realized that the RPGs are better played at the day's start, not end, when people's attentions are sharper and everyone is more ... reliable.

Still, good times.
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12. Board Game: Sword of Rome 5th Player Expansion [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Dave Sokolowski
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OK. It's Saturday morning - the penultimate DC moment - when we finally realize that time is short and games must be played. Above all - games must be played.

Now, since DC is really *my* event (my friends in a location of my choosing), there can be some pretty serious rivalries lurking about. My rivalry with Doug and Rich goes back to 1990, when Doug introduced us to Circus Maximus, a game that I would NEVER win and would grow to loath and hate and curse in the night. And yet, still I played.

Anyway, emotional baggage aside, getting some of my old(er) friends together like this is really an opportunity to excise some demons. For DC007, I really wanted to play a wargame with Doug and Rich and to battle them. I also wanted to play a large and long wargame, something my domestic life doesn't regularly afford.

I had also recently received the 5th player expansion for Sword of Rome in the mail, and we had actually had the privilege of playtesting this game back at DCV, so I really needed to give it another go. So we needed five players for SOR.

Now, Peter was in my gaming group back in Arcata, and he and I played many games of SOR together, so I had to have him onboard too. Plus, I really wanted to get Glenn interested in more CDGs (we had played Shifting Sands at DC6), so I gave him my favorite SOR power, Greece, and I took the Carthaginians (with which Peter had trounced my Greeks at the playtest).

The game was particularly vicious, and with a couple early blunders, Glenn and I ended up at the bottom, while Rich was poised to take the game with his fierce Gauls. In fact, Rich was beating down Doug, knocking him to his feet and preparing for the coup de grace. Oh, for Rich to clobber Doug in a game of SOR... it would be... beautiful.

And then Doug batted his eyes to me and I melted in those brown pools of love. Doug, as the Etruscan-Samnite coalition, was about to die at the hands of Rich! Oh the pain and horror and ugliness of it all. Doug looked me straight in the eyes and said, 'You're going to let Rich win???'

A bit about me and my friends. I have three golden rules about gaming with them. I will spell those rules out now:

Rule #1: Beat Doug
Rule #2: Don't let Rich win
Rule #3: Complain if Stasey wins

Now, notice the subtle difference between #s 1 and 2? The first one is active, indicating a purpose and goal for me to stand between Doug and Victory. The second one is more passive - I don't really need to beat Rich, I just don't want him to win. In our circles, he's known as The Whiner (Chez Geek reference), as someone who gets very flustered and upset when a game that he is winning is snatched from him. It's his Achilles Heel - if he didn't whine about losing so much, it wouldn't be such a big deal to make sure it happens. This is why Stasey loves beating me, because I complain every time it happens (see Rule #3). But solidly grabbing victory right from Rich's grasp is something very near and dear to my heart, and is also something that only my wife (who Rich will never again play in Scrabble after years of defeat) and Doug appreciate. And Doug was calling me on that.

What to do? What to do????? Well, all I really needed to do was help Doug survive (thus not letting Rich win), turn the game around and rebuild the Carthaginian army, then sail up and take Rome and the game was mine. But I couldn't do that if Rich won first. So I gave Doug mercenaries to hold off the Gallic hordes, and hold them off he did. In fact, after Doug struck down the Gauls and reduced Rich to a quivering pile of whining goo, Doug was reborn and looking like he was going to win. Sure, I was getting my Carth army together, but, uh - what just happened?

Doug won. Rich looked at me and said, quite clearly, 'This is your fault.' Because while Doug knows that I can't miss an opportunity to humiliate Rich, I have a blood pact with Rich that has one very clear mission: Beat Doug. It's simple for a reason: because Doug is crafty and evil and a very, VERY good gamer. The only way to beat Doug is for Rich and I to team up against Doug. For only together can we stand against The Doug.

And the worst thing about this pact? Doug knows this. And he LOVES it. It gives him reason to wake in the morning and read rulebooks and fly across the entire country to see us in Oregon.

So Doug won. And he laughed it off, and really, it's all cool, right? Doug is nothing if not gracious. Oh, it's really so nice to win a game against Glenn and Peter - they're really good competition. Quite a good game. What's that? Oh, Dave and Rich, you seem so upset? Why the glum faces?

So Doug won. So it goes.

Rich is still sore at me for giving the game to Doug. And he's right. He is. Because, really, what good are rules if you don't follow them?
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13. Board Game: Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:2592]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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So while Doug, Rich, Peter, Glenn and I hammered away at the Sword of Rome, Chris, Stasey and Tony got to work on some smaller fare. Dungeoneer is a cool little game that Stasey won this time. Really, while I was stuck in a game of 'Regretting Not Letting Rich Win', everyone else was having fun.

So it goes.
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14. Board Game: Techno Witches [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3548]
Dave Sokolowski
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I really don't know anything about this game, except that I faintly remember seeing it being played and saying 'I don't know anything about this game.'

But apparently it was fun enough that they played twice, letting both Chris and Tony win.

How nice.
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15. Board Game: O Zoo le Mio [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1392]
Dave Sokolowski
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I'm sure this game was played at the back end of SOR, right about the point Rich was accusing me of loving Doug more than I loved Rich. Ah, nothing like hanging out with friends from college.

Oh, Chris won this game. Is this a fun game?
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16. Board Game: Chez Geek 3: Block Party [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Dave Sokolowski
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At this point, high on his Victory Over Rich and Dave, Doug suggested we bring everyone together in a full game of CG, and it was a great way to all come back together, put everyone at the same table so they could hear Rich and I complain about Doug winning SOR.

Still, I do loves me some Chez Geek.

Did I really just say that? Or did I just think it?
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17. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Dave Sokolowski
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We have now begun a tradition (that will carry on this year) of running a game of Arkham Horror on the last night (Saturday) of DrunkenCon. As it stands, the Oregon Gaming Council (Stasey, Tony, Chris and myself) all really like the game, especially as a cooperative game that is also highly evocative of a favorite subject (HPL). It's easy to play AH on the last night because everyone (especially Chris) is tired of being competitive, or, like Tony, needs to not be so damn laser focused, or just wants to play a game with 35 decks of cards and 35 possible characters (Stasey and me). Plus, Glenn wanted to play, so that was even more awesome. Nice party of five geeks, sitting under the tent with the lantern faintly glowing, appreciating how important it is to find that Elder Sign at the Curiosity Shoppe.

We played the new Dunwich Horror expansion, which is very cool, and had a blast. Unfortunately, we (ie Stasey) didn't write down which GOO we fought, but it looks like we won, even though there was some fudging as both Dave and Tony were actually Lost in Time and Space.

Such goes the battle against evil.

[edit: for such bad and worse and baddest grammer]
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18. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Dave Sokolowski
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While the rest of us played AH, Doug, Rich and Peter played a last game of Power Grid. Do you want to guess who won? Just one guess?

How about this... you get three guesses, and the first two don't count?

To be honest, I love Doug quite a lot - he's a great friend and was my first mentor as a journalist and helped me grow tremendously in college. In short, Doug rocks.

Except when it comes to gaming. Then I cannot hide my Doug Hate. It's quite a big Hate, and I am not a hater. But watching Doug win game after game is something I loath. Which is why I was off playing a cooperative game with the OGC and Glenn From Dallas when Doug womped Rich and Peter in Power Grid and added another drop to the Doug Hate Pool.

Damn Doug.
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19. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:860]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunday morning, Tony took Glenn to the airport, and Peter left, so there was Stasey, Chris and I playing High Society. But really, Chris was distracted waiting for his family to arrive, which they did on the second to last turn. We just gave Chris the win so he would be in a good mood for his family.

Because we love him and want him to come back. Oh yeah.
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20. Board Game: Kahuna [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:913]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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As people were winding down, I believe Doug and Rich hashed it out one more time. Yes, Rich came back for some more punishment, and he got what he came for - Doug won the last game.

Classic.
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21. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Cards [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2834]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Sounds like my kinda gathering.

It also cries out for this game. Pencil it in on your 2008 calendar.
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