Tim's BGG.con 2008 Games Played
Tim Isakson
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Richardson
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This list is mainly for my own use (as a memory aid , but comments are welcome if people so desire.

Due to the recent addition of a son (11 weeks old as of BGG.con) to our household, I wasn't able to spend the entire weekend at the con, but I got in quite a few games with quite a few gamers, and definitely enjoyed myself.

Looking forward to next year!
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1. Board Game: Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1778]
Tim Isakson
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I got to the con around 11:30 on Thursday morning. We registered, and did the prize table (I got a copy of Grand Tribunal), and I wandered the main room a bit, and checked out the Essen games set up.

Fairly quickly, I ran into Randy (rshipp) and Mischa, and we set out to learn the games to Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas. Another gamer came along while we were reading the rules (I don't remember his name) so we had the full complement of four monks.

I'll start with the conculsion - this game was a lot of fun.

The details: it's very spacial/puzzle oriented, and it's also very tactical - there is little sense planning your plays very far in advance, as the board is likely to have changed significantly by the time you get a chance to play. That being said, it moved quickly, was fun, and ended up fairly close, as we each were within a move or two of claiming our fourth book for the win.
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2. Board Game: Fruit Fair [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:8336]
Tim Isakson
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Randy and Mischa gave this game a try - we ended up aborting about 3/4 of the way through, as Mischa and I were underwhelmed. I'm not entirely sure why - the mechanics were clever enough - but the play of the game left me cold.

Some of it was concern that the Racoon was overpowered - it gave discounts on buying victory points, it had the ability to take one fruit, and to move two of the four "special ability" tiles that were taken by majority of each of the fruits.

Anyway, we moved on to other things - I'd be willing to try this again, but I'm unlikely to ask for it.
 
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3. Board Game: Nefertiti [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1002]
Tim Isakson
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Randy, Mischa, myself and another gamer I didn't get the name of (or, rather, did at the time, but have since forgot) gave Nefertiti a try. This is an interesting auction game, with an interesting mechanism for when auctions end - there are different ways for each of the four auctions (three of which are active at any one time) to end, based on things like how many bids, how many adjacent bids, etc.

We had fun, and it was definitely an enjoyable game, but while I'd definitely be willing to play this again (and might even request it), I don't feel a burning urge to own it.
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4. Board Game: Steel Driver [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:957]
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Finally, I ended the night (while waiting for the midnight prize drawing) with a game of Steel Driver with Pete and Matt Evett. This might be a good game, but I'm not going to judge it based on our experience at the con - we were all well past our fully functional stage, and well into late night brain lock. All three of us had moments of major AP - much worse than we usually are - so while it was fun, I'm not sure it's fair to judge the game based on this experience of it.
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5. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:864]
Tim Isakson
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I got to the 'con late on Friday, as I had to watch our son during the day - this worked out just as well, as I needed the slower pace to recover from the much-past midnight bedtime of the night previous. Staying up late is harder and harder as I age!

Upon arriving at the con, I quickly rounded up some folks for dinner, and upon my return I entered the poker tournament, mainly as a lark. I ended up really enjoying myself. I did quite a bit better than I expected - lasting until shortly after the first break. I also enjoyed myself more than I expected - this was a great chance to meet other BGG'ers who I might not have otherwise, and it lead to quite a few conversations later in the con asking how other people I'd met had done.

Also, one of the highlights of the con - I was the one to collect the 100 GG bounty for being the one to bust Aldie out of the tournament!

THAT was fun!
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6. Board Game: The Rose King [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:994]
 
Tim Isakson
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While waiting for the prize drawing (after the poker tourney), Lorna Wong asked if I wanted to play a game while waiting. Since there were only the two of us, and we had limited time left until the drawing, I agreed to teach her this two-player Kosmos game. One of the earliest of the Games for Two line (I'm not even entirely certain it was yet considered a line when this was published), this is a light game that packs quite a bit into the relatively short playing time.

We played fairly quickly, and in the end my experience with the game won out, despite my running out of Heroes well before Lorna did.

It was fun, and this was my first game with one of the Oregon crew who I either gamed with in Portland or enjoyed the company of when my wife and I traveled to Essen and worked the SunRiver games booth in 2006. Thanks for the game, Lorna!
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7. Board Game: Cities [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2247]
Tim Isakson
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Saturday, I got to the con shortly before 1pm. I worked for an hour in the library (2-3pm), and then ran into folks from the CardBenders (my local game group).

I watched them play a game of Stack Market, then got into a game of Cities with Randy, Marissa and Matt Evett (while Pete got ready for the math trade). This game was a lot of fun - it has good "gaming density", in that there is a lot of game packed into a short amount of time. The game itself is also quite attractive, IMHO. Matt schooled us, as I recall, but it was definitely fun, and if it were more easily available I'd be seeking a copy.
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8. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Tim Isakson
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Pete had picked this up from the Rio Grande game, so we started a new "best 150 out of 300" series (a joking reference to how often we play this game in our group as a starter or closer). We didn't play with the goal tiles, but we only used the new start worlds - I started out as the Ancient Race, which means I started with 1 fewer card than everyone else, but with a green halo world.

As usual, this was a fun ride, and the new cards added interest as we figured out what the new cards did.

Race will continue to be played quite frequently, I predict.
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9. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Tim Isakson
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Finally, we got in a game of the new "hawtness" that is Dominion. I'd played once previously, and done quite poorly, but I did much better this time, losing by just a couple of points due to a strong game by Matt Evett.

This game, like Race for the Galaxy, is a lot of fun, in a way I can't quite explain. On the face of it, there isn't a lot of depth there, but the process is enjoyable.

I expect this one to enjoy quite a few playings over the next year.
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10. Board Game: Snow Tails [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:600]
Tim Isakson
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After a dinner at Ali Baba with a bunch of the Oregon (and Washington) crew, we returned to the con, and I got a game of this new Fragor Brothers release with Kris Gould and Jonathan Franklin (and a fourth gamer I don't recall).

I'm a fan of race games generally, although I don't get to indulge too often as my local group tends not to enjoy them. I enjoyed this take on dog-sled racing, which has an interesting drifting mechanic. We played the simplest race track ("The Nutcracker") - the more complex ones include more turns and obstacles, which I would imagine would make things a bit more tense.

A fun game that I'm definitely looking forward to trying again.
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11. Board Game: SoapBox [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tim Isakson
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After SnowTails, Kris, Jonathan and I were wandering around the game room wondering what to do next, when Rob, the designer of SoapBox, convinced us to give the game a try.

While not going to light the gaming world on fire, this was a fun game. While at it's base a basic "roll-and-move" game (in this case, it's a spinner, but you get the idea), it has some clever twists that take it a step or two above the usual. First, it's got some directional elements to the board, so whether you get a +3 or a -3 may matter. Second, it's got a lot of cards that aren't the typical "take that" of many games, but are more "plot points" that might be taken from a particularly bizarre soap opera.

We played the 30 minute "episode" version, and I definitely enjoyed myself. Probably enhanced by Kris Gould being one of the other players - he's a good guy to play the goofier end of the gaming spectrum with!
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12. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:672]
Tim Isakson
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Sunday was mainly games with more of the Pacific North West crew - Doug & Mimi and Ben Corliss and his wife (whose name I've sadly forgotten).

We started things off with a quick game of this, and while it looked like Ben was setting himself up fairly well, I ended up winning this by a pretty good margin, due mainly to managing to isolate a segment of the board.

This is pretty abstract, but it's quick, and definitely takes more thought than you might guess from the somewhat lighthearted art.
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13. Board Game: Keltis [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1341]
Tim Isakson
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We played a game of this, in it's original version (Keltis is being re-released in the States by Rio Grande, rethemed BACK to being the Lost Cities Boardgame). I'm a fan of the original Lost Cities, even though I generally get my clock cleaned by my wife when we play. I'd also played once before, in April, so I ended up teaching this.

It's a good game, but not really to the groups taste, which was too bad as I think it has more going on than they were willing to give it credit for. Again, not going to be the best game evar (despite winning the SDJ this year), but it's fun enough.

The main innovation is a scoring track on the board that takes the mathematical scoring of Lost Cities and simplifies it to board position - but the scoring IS pretty similar.
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14. Board Game: Animalia [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:3487]
Tim Isakson
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Finally, the last game of the con, I taught Doug & Mimi this gem from a couple of years ago - it's vaguely reminiscent of Medici, which I also enjoy, but is quicker and simpler. It also has some of the best looking cards I've seen.

So - with Animalia, another edition of BGG.con was through, and after a quick lunch with yet more of the Pacific North West crew, we dropped Doug & Mimi off at the airport and called it a weekend.

Definitely looking forward to BGG.con 2009!
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