My 2009 Gencon games
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I got to attend 3 days of Gencon and got to play a lot of great board games. Gencon didn't even have a planned open board gaming room until 3 or so years ago and it seems to be more crowded every year. Let's hope the new Indy convention center is ready to go next year.
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1. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:323]
 
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I actually played this one Wednesday evening, so I guess I was at Gencon for 3+ days. This was also my final game of the convention as I got in a 2nd play that ended after midnight on Saturday. If you like Martin Wallace games, you should like this one. Tight economic engine with a bit of screwage in it as players compete to sell their cars. I think the theme works great for this one. A game I would play at any time.
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2. Board Game: Die Pyramiden des Jaguar [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:3314]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Eric and I had some time Thursday morning while we waited for friends to arrive. So we got in two plays of this Kosmo 2-player game. It's fairly light, but and fun and quick. Too bad it's never been readily available in the US. I picked up some of the new Fantasy Flight card sleeves for the small cards in this game.
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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Mike Phebus showed up, so that meant Agricola was going to hit the table. Eric departed to a Cthulu event so Mike and I picked up a third player and dove in. Since Eddie hadn't played before, we went with the E deck. I actually think the cards removed for a 3-player game makes this tougher than a 4-player game. Wood just seems a lot scarcer.

I really like this game, but I seem to suck at it. Every time I play I swear I'm going to expand my family quicker than the last time, yet it never seems to happen.
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4. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1121]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Got in a partial play at the Rio Grande room. My one regret from the convention was not getting to check out more games in the Rio Grande room. Unfortunately, I found out later we were taught several rules wrong. In particular, we had no clue how the monuments worked. I got in another partial play, but the jury is still out on this one for me. My first impression is I would rather just play regular Ra.
 
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5. Board Game: Steel Driver [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:961]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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It turned out I got to play several Martin Wallace games, which is fine with me. My 2nd regret of the convention is I missed out on the 2 playes of Tinner's Trail.

As for Steel Driver, I still haven't gotten my head around how to set up the end game, but I'm having fun trying to figure it out. This is a bit lighter than the other Wallace games I played, but I'm always glad to play it. It's fairly intuitive and easy to teach to new players as well, which is always good at a convention.
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6. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:117]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Adam is a big fan of Railroad Tycoon and wanted to try Age of Steam. We had a fifth player who decided on turn one this wasn't he kind of game, so we proceeded with 4. This left Eric by himself in the west, so I started building out that way. This was an interesting game. Rich made it through the entire game with only 6 shares issued. I don't think I've ever seen anyone pull that off. I actually was starting to think he had just mailed in the game, but he had a plan after all. It was an incredibly close game. I had to ship a few times using one of Adam's links and I darn near gave him the game. I had two 6 shipments set up for the final turn, but needed locamotive. Unfortunatley, Eric had more money than me and took it. That left me with two 5 runs with Adam getting one of the incomes.

Final scores were Eric 75, Rich 75, Adam 74 and me 66. Very fun, although I don't think we convinced Adam it was better than Railroad Tycoon.
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7. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:202]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I was happy to see Z-Man got this one in stock in time for the con. Two members of our local group picked up a copy and we wasted little time in getting it to the table. Excellent game! It has many ways to score points, keeps you interested all the way through and plays pretty quickly. I didn't exactly time it, but I think we finished a 4-player game in close to an hour, while the 5-player games may have gotten over 90 minutes. In all, I got in three plays of this one and fully expect it to be on this year's 5 & dime list.
 
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8. Board Game: Galaxy's Edge [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:6698]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I had not heard of this one, but Shea had read the rules and was interested in giving it a go since they had a copy in the game library. It was done by the designer of Conquest of Fallen Lands, and had a similar hexagonal modular map. I don't think anyone was blown away by this game, but I thought it was pretty good. I don't think I'll buy a copy, but I would play it again. The conflict resolution was interesting and definitely was a core factor in the game's strategy.
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9. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:574]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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This was an impulse buy for me. I was happy to see it discounted at the show. Even FRED had it for $24. I'd heard good things about this one and it did not disappoint. I absolutely loved the wood bits. Shea had the first edition and felt the reprint copies were a bit superior, especially the dice. We noticed by wood boards were a bit thinner that the ones he had from the first printing. Shea and Angie play this a lot with 2 players and indicate it works great. It also worked fine with 3 and 4. I can also see this one played solitaire if I have 10-15 minutes to kill. Played twice with the basic rules and then switched to the expansion/variant. The expansion does not add bits, but tweaks the rules and adds new developments. It free to download and adds some nice strategy options to the game.
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10. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Here's the expansion page for Roll Through the Ages in case you want to download the new rules and score sheets.
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11. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:129]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Adam picked this one up and he, Eric and another fellow, whose name I did not get, gave it a go. It was Eric's first play and he found out how harsh this game can be. I think there was a couple of times for various players when a heavy cannon blast took out a structural piece that led to about a third of a ship being blown away. I suck at this game, yet I always have a really good time playing it.
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12. Board Game: El Caballero [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1972]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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After a quick Roll Through the Ages game Saturday morning we got out El Caballero. I have a really hard time getting this one too the table. It just gets a luke-warm reception with my regular Euro group. I really like it, although with 4 it has that familiar problem with other Kramer games, excessive down-time due to analysis paralysis.

I've played this twice and feel like I'm just starting to get a feel for some of the strategies.
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13. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:474]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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We got out this old reliable with 4 players. John pulled off something I haven't seen very much. He won the game while having the fewest Union Pacific shares. That's tough to do. I thought for sure I had this one, but he had a positiion in many of the companies.

Rich thought we were setting up Ticket to Ride and wasn't too thrilled by it, so he was pleasantly suprised to find he really liked Union Pacific. I'm with him on much prefering this game. I think Eric saw a copy go for $70-80 in the auction.
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14. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:209]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I didn't get this to the table, but I did pick up a 3M copy for $12 at the auction. I was happy as it was in good condition and I would have paid close to that for shipping had I traded for it.
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15. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:754]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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This was another purchase, but this time in the Auction store. I bought it Friday after the first round of price decreases.
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16. Board Game: Space Junkyard [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:6451]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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Mayday Games was taking pre-orders on this one, and I signed up. I had downloaded the print and play version a long time ago and never got it printed. $30 and free shipping for pre-orders.
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