What I Played at PAX '09
Eric Franklin
United States
Milton
Washington
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I'd been considering attending PAX this year, but when it sold out before my payday, I gave up hope. I still loaned some games to the library, however - just because I can't be there doesn't mean I don't want people to have fun, right?

Last-minute, however, I was told that one of the local game stores had a spare exhibitor badge that I could have - all I had to do was wander through the open game area and help people learn to play games.

Oh. Please. Don't throw me into that briar patch!

It was a no-brainer for me, and gave me a chance to scout the convention.
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1. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:76] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Eric Franklin
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Where you have tabletop gamers, you have Dominion. Saturday morning's tournament only had sixteen open spaces, because there were only four copies of the game in the library. Within two hours of the tournament ending, there were dozens more copies floating around the open gaming area.
 
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2. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:62] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Eric Franklin
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Again: Played and played and played. And omnipresent.
 
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3. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:463]
 
Eric Franklin
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A good friend of mine is always looking for opponents for this. PAX was the first time we both had the chance to play. I definitely like this game, and will probably wind up picking up a copy.
 
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4. Board Game: ZoxSo [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:10720]
Eric Franklin
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From the man who brought us Sizzletoad! If that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, it's because it isn't. I'm too old to enjoy Sizzletoad, so I had very low expectations for other games by Dave.

I have never been more pleased to be wrong.

I really enjoyed this. I need to get a copy so I can play it more. It's possible that the game has a flaw that I'm overlooking, but my one play shows that, even if such a flaw exists (and I'm not convinced it does), the game is still worth picking up and playing.
 
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5. Board Game: Dice Town [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:776]
Eric Franklin
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In a convention setting, you want games which attract attention. Either through bright colors (Ca$h 'n Gun$), rapid movement (Jungle Speed), or the clatter of dice.

It went over well, and most players seemed to enjoy it. I played this one five times this weekend. And I never won. Go figure.
 
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6. Board Game: Dice Town: The Indians [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
 
Eric Franklin
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Managed to use this one, too. Twice. It's ... interesting. You can give up victory points for the possibility of something good.

The Indians don't dramatically change the game, and they won't necessarily work to your advantage - but they can provide that critical edge.

When, that is, you remember to roll the die (which was a problem).
 
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7. Board Game: Heroes Of The World [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:5328]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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If this game has a flaw, it's that it resembled Risk to the casual observer. Folks who look closer will see that it has much more in common with El Grande than Risk.

The more I play this game, the more I like it. It's tightly-constructed and well balanced. One of the four games I played this weekend ended with two players at 40 points and two players at 38 points.
 
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8. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:220] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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One player told me that this was the best implementation of this particular mechanism he had seen.

And the art is really good.

I continue to appreciate this game a great deal, and look forward to ore plays.
 
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9. Board Game: Monty Python Fluxx [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2804]
Eric Franklin
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Even though I dislike Fluxx (Where's the fun?), I do occasionally play it.

Every three or four months, I can enjoy it. This weekend hit my 'sweet spot,' and I enjoyed the play.
 
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10. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:214]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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I played this game with a gentleman from Austin, TX. He was looking for a good two-player game. As it happens, this is a very good two-player game. He was a bright guy and a good conversationalist, which makes a good game even better.
 
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11. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:991]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I played this again. It's fun. It's not the deepest game in my arsenal, but it is oddly fun and strangely compelling. And the orange foam guns seem to force people to stop and watch.
 
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12. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:219]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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I only managed to get one game of this in. We lost after I drew one of the ghosts who brings a friend and steals one of our dice. The friend he brought was his twin, so we were suddenly down by two dice. The friend his twin brought was the Black Widow, meaning we were down by two dice and couldn't spend tokens.

Until that point, we had been doing okay. After that, it was a death-spiral that resulted in all of us dying within two turns.
 
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13. Board Game: Ghost Stories: Chuck No-Rice [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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The library copy we used now has a copy of Chuck No-Rice, as I somehow had a spare after GenCon. I'm out of them, now.

I figure it's a good way to thank the owner for the loan.
 
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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Eric Franklin
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Milton
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On Sunday, one of the Enforcers (who knows me personally) asked me if I knew this one. "It's been a while since I played," I told him.

"That's fine," he said, "Wait here." He came back with a couple who were daunted by the scary-looking decks of cards, but who had heard the game was good.

After a few minutes, they relaxed and we all had a great time. It's easy to see why this game is currently on top of the heap.

(I still prefer Heroes of the World)
 
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