Winter War 2009
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Winter War 2009 is a yearly weekend of gaming, including miniatures, boardgaming, role playing, and even Warhammer and ASL tournaments.

I've been going the last five years so now it's more about seeing people that I only see once a year, rather than trying to win any particular game.

The following geeklist is a listing of the games I played and general comments about the weekend.
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1. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:14996]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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The Hawthorne Suites in Champaign is the location for Winter War 36. Each room has two beds and a couch for about $90/night. So if you divide it three ways, a weekend stay is about $70. Not bad at all.

Plenty of gaming space with a large conference room and side rooms well-suited for play.

The McKinneys do an excellent job of planning and running the weekend activities. There are few issues during the weekend. Ever.
 
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2. Board Game: Fast Food Franchise [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3965]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Food options are quite good. The hotel serves a hot breakfast with an omelet chef making omelets to order.

They set up a food line for lunch and dinner, which had excellent (read: cheap) prices. A BBQ pork sandwich with fries and a 20oz beverage was $5. For dinner, salad for $1.50.

If that doesn't appeal to you, there's an IGA just two blocks away. One of my roommates stocked up on soup and crackers and used the microwave in the room. I picked up a couple of Juicy Juice jugs (I'm cutting back on the soda).

Other options include McDonalds, TGIFs, and Hooters. All less than half a block away.
 
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3. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1196]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Got there Friday around 1 PM, just before the afternoon session of 2 PM. Mike Wilson runs his Circus Maximus on the big board every year, which didn't interest me (too many people -- too chaotic). So I offered Hoity Toity as an alternative. Usually not too many games are offered on Friday afternoon, but this year seven board games were played.

Three people signed up for this, so we played a four player game. Then roped a bystander in for a second game, but he lost interest. Since we had time, played a third. Exhibiting seemed to be the way to go as the detectives were frequently seen. All in all a good way to start.
 
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4. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:412]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Phil wandered by. No one had signed up for his Vegas Showdown/Acquire combo. We were Hoity Toitied out, so I offered to play one of his options.

Phil was dominant from beginning to end. I made a late surge to finish second. A nice change of pace.

This concluded the first session.
 
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5. Board Game: The Settlers of the Stone Age [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1442]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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El Nyburg was running a Settlers of the Stone Age game in the evening session. I typically play this every year. Then I remember why I only play this once a year. It's funny because I only play this at Winter War; I really don't remember the rules very well from year to year. The first game, one of the players got an early lead and scored 10 points to everyone else's 5. The second game, I got favorable rolls and ran away with it. So much so, I actually felt bad, worried that I was ruining things.
 
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6. Board Game: Car Wars [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2064]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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This year I decided to learn some new games. I had bought a copy of Car Wars a couple of years ago but never played it. So this was the year to learn. My car was named "Sosa" and was outfitted with lasers and rockets. Another player had a car named "Rocket" and it lived up to its name as it sped around at 130 MPH, shooting everyone up. Eventually, Rocket t-boned me, destroying my car and himself in the process. It's ok game, something to be played every once in a great while, I guess.
 
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7. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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After Car Wars was over, I was wandering and Jenny Smith offered for me to play Ticket to Ride: Nordic. I had heard much about it, but hadn't seen it before, so sure! Her husband (Chris, I think) and a third guy and I played. Third guy kept trying to block my connection routes so I had to keep flanking. In the process of flanking, I cut off Chris' routes (didn't know). Then I completed the 9 route, just because I kept getting white cards. This resulted in a 120+ score, ahead of third guys 100+ and Chris' low score. (He had trouble with routes.) They're nice people and I'll game with them anytime.
 
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8. Board Game: L'Armée du Nord [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:5156]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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There's a Saturday afternoon auction. I bought 4 Napoleon themed games, one of which is shown, for a collector. Nothing for me, especially since I was the second to last to drop a couple of times. Oh, well, they had a higher budget than I did.
 
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9. Board Game: Antike [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:559]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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After the auction, everyone gets back to games. For me, it was Antike. It started as an interesting building/resource management game but then devolved into a military buildup. Due to some poor temple and military placements, another player marched right through me for the win! Oh well, learned a new game, even if it was the hard way.
 
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10. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:860]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Antike ended early but it worked well for dinner. After dinner, had about an hour before the next session, so Alan and I rousted up some players for a couple games of High Society. I like this game a lot, even if I haven't come close to mastering it. Somehow, I won the second one, though.
 
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11. Board Game: RoboRally: Armed and Dangerous [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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Saturday night was my favorite part of the weekend. Roborally not for the faint of heart! Actually, Alan Conrad had softened the board a bit as previous years usually resulted in players maybe reaching two flags at most.

This year I got off to a good start, got to the first flag first and never looked back. Only twice did I have to "punt" my turn due to bad cards. I was shot at twice, once a scrambler which gave me the same exact card!

Four flags in four hours. A good game for me.
 
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12. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$: Yakuzas [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Clark Barthel
United States
St Charles
Illinois
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My final event (Sunday Morning) was Ca$h 'n Gun$. More people than I anticipated signed up and many of them hadn't played before. So I modified the base game so that they'd know the mechanics, then we played the Yakuzas version. My worst fears were realized when we were done just after an hour in a 4 hour block.

Some of the players had tired of the game and started a game of Railroad Tycoon at another table. Those that remained played two games of Hoity Toity. Then we played a game of Fluxx that lasted only one turn as the fourth player had the keepr and the goal needed to win.

From there, it was a three hour drive home and the end of a good weekend.
 
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