Super Mega Games Day. The games played on my 34th birthday
eryn roston
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San Diego
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It began with a simple idea. "I wonder how many people we could get in a one room to play games together?"

I was talking with my girlfriend Trisha, one night about this hobby we both enjoy. Eventually the discussion got around to the different people we game with. There are about 4 different and distinct groups of people in my game-o-sphere. Some are mostly Euro-gamers. Some are mostly Ameri-trash. The rest are predictably somewhere in between.

"It would be cool if we could get everyone together in one room for like...a BIG game day. Almost like a mini-convention". I said.

"Oh my gosh we have to try! That would be so fun! How many people would come do you think?" My girlfriend asked.

"I dunno...but we'd probably get a lot more if we did it for my birthday next month. People would feel like they had to show up!" I said.

"Mwahahahaha!" Trisha laughed.

So on May 9th, the day of my birthday we gathered in a school auditorium in Del Mar, California for about 8 hours with almost 40 different people to play some games. Here's how it went down.
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1. Board Game: I Don't Know, What Do You Want To Play? [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6068]
eryn roston
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A stack of games ready to leave home and head to the Assembly Hall. I ended up bringing around 56 games. A few other people also brought some choice selections as well. All in all we probably had about 70 or 80 titles to choose from.


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2. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
eryn roston
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One of the games I was really hoping to play on this day was Imperial. It's been in my collection for a while now and I just never had the right opportunity to get it to the table. I felt for sure that today would be the day.

It was one of the first games I set up but alas...it never got played.
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3. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:336]
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One player was on the hunt for an accessible game with a good theme, and decided on Nexus Ops to start their day off.

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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
eryn roston
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One of the things that really "pushed up attendance numbers" was the fact that a lot of people brought their wives. Many of them were gamers anyway and excited to come. Others were just along for the ride. A few of the gamers, gamer-wives, and ride-alongs found themselves in a game of Agricola at the start of the day.

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5. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
eryn roston
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an easy game for two people to play and set while waiting for a table to open up. Adam and Norm played this one early on in the day.
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6. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:822]
eryn roston
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This is one of Trisha's favorite games and she was eager to introduce it to a number of people during the course of the day.


Brian uttered the quote of the day when, during a particularly quiet moment in the hall, eh said, "I'm trying to decide if I want to let Trisha win just to spite Chris"

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7. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:322]
eryn roston
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Another one of the first games to get set up. Shadows was slow to start, and seemed to be one of the longer games of the day. I wasn't involved much in this one but apparently everyone had fun. Especially since the forces of good ended up being triumphant!

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8. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
eryn roston
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Card games like these are were great for "in betweens" Players could get in a game of Race while other games were just finishing up. Trisha beat Justin in this one even though she was initially convinced that Justin's military would be too powerful to overcome.
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9. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:292]
eryn roston
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Another card quick and easy card game. Apparently Iwan is terrible at this one.
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10. Board Game: The Bottle Imp [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1086]
eryn roston
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More card games. A clever trick taking game for 3.
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11. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
eryn roston
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I had a feeling at least one game of Tichu would break out over the course of the day. Torin is some kinda of Tichu Jedi and is only to happy to teach the uninitiated.

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12. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127]
eryn roston
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One of my favorite games. I was only too happy to help see this one get to the table. I believe that in this picture I am explaining to adam what happens when a large meteor crashes it's way through your central crew cabin (and start tile)




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13. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
eryn roston
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One of the games I got for my birthday! We managed to break it out at some point during the day for a 5-player fantasy brawl. I thought it went over pretty well actually. This was also one of only 2 games I managed to play this day. (I spent a lot of time running around, helping other people get games started. In the end I typically have as much fun teaching games as I do playing them so it was still a fun day for me).

We discovered a couple things during this game.

1) "Merchant" + "Humans" is probably the most boring combination of race and power possible. At least it SOUNDS boring. "Hey who do you want to be? The Dwarven Dragon Masters? The Mounted Rat Men? or Barliman Butterbur...the cowardly Inn-Keeper?"

2) Some races (like trolls, ratmen, and skeletons) seem way better at the start of the game as opposed to the end.
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14. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (second edition) [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:403]
eryn roston
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One of Doug-Rock's favorite games. He was eager to pull it out after finishing his marathon game of Shadows Over Camelot. He was equally eager to install himself as Dracula. It was another relatively long game that finished with the dark lord victorious. As is typical...when Doug wins, no one is happy.

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15. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
eryn roston
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I'm pretty sure no game day is complete without at least one game of this delightful filler.
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16. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
eryn roston
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The Power Grid game began at about the mid-point of the day. At the table were mostly people who were new to the game, the rest hadn't played it in some time. As a result there was some errors in the early auction that tipped the game in one person's favor. So it was an *Asterisk win* for Ed. The real entertainment though seemed to come from Tierny who at the start confessed to me a fear that she would be overwhelmed by the game.

I checked on her later and she was fuming with (mostly mock)anger!

Apparently her fiance had cut her out of some choice cities on the map. She went into a long, and only semi-serious, sob story about connection fees, and auctions. It was so funny to hear someone who at first seemed so filled with trepidation about the game launch into a tirade that not only proved how invested she was, but how well she had managed to understand what was going on.

here she growling while her better half looks on with glee

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17. Board Game: Cutthroat Caverns [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1155]
eryn roston
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Cutthroat Caverns was the last game of the day and the other game that I actually got to play. It was another game I had never played before and was looking forward to trying. Overall I thought the game was pretty good. There were a number of rules-ambiguities that were a little frustrating, and I'm not sure that there was a lot of tension between the choice of "helping the party" versus "helping myself", but there was some neat ideas in there worth exploring further.

Also I won (the birthday gods were with me) so that made it a little nicer for me as well.

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