Kublacon 2010 [attendees please add]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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This was my second time at Kublacon and it was another great experience. I spent most of the time doing open gaming or just visiting with other gamers. Here's a list of the fun times. If you were at the con, feel free to add.
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1. Board Game: Dominion: Alchemy [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Doug Garrett was at first a naysayer on Dominion. His first play at Essen was late at night and they probably got some rules wrong. Then a year or two later he played again with one of his students and started to change his view on the game. Now he's bought all the expansions including Alchemy.

This was my first time playing Alchemy. It adds another deck of treasure cards, Potions, that work like the Copper, Silver, and Gold but it is a unique currency that must be spent to buy certain Alchemy cards.

I decided to steer clear of the Potions in the game but they were tempting. The University was used by Shelley a lot. It was two actions and you pick up a 5 cost card for free, not bad for a 2 coin plus a potion purchase price.

I went for the old stand by strategy with a twist. I picked up a Smithy and ramped up my treasure to golds quickly then started buying Provinces. I mixed it up with the Apprentice card which allowed me to trash a card and draw back as many cards as the price of the card that was trashed. With my gold ramped up nicely I was able to grab three provinces while everyone else was still building their deck I then started using the Apprentice to trash a Province to draw 8 cards and buy another Province to head toward the end of the game. I finished the game with 38 points Shel at 27 and Doug and Greg Z. at a few points under Shel.

Doug Garrett
United States
Mountain View
California
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This week's podcast - Circus Flohcati, Pi Mal Pflaumen, and Pack O Games Set 2
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Greg Zamira
United States
San Leandro
California
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2. Board Game: Star Wars: Epic Duels [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:898]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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John and I played a game of his own design. I think it's really great and captures the fast light skirmish feel of Epic Duels.
John So-And-So
United States
Fresno
California
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3. Board Game: Shipyard [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:437]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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John pulled this new hot game out and I'd really been wanting to play. We went through the rules and punched out a ton of cardboard and grabbed two guys that we played Werewolf with the night before, Jeff and Sean I want to say Spencer but I think that was another guy that we played Werewolf with (sorry).

Well the game has a lot of great things going for it. There's 5 rondels (hey, spell check tags rondels ) which all work intuitively after a couple of rounds. There's a lot of interesting decisions to make throughout the game and there is a satisfying feeling at the end when you look at the fleet of ships you just built. The downside for me was the length. It felt like if we could just finish everything a round earlier it wouldn't out stay it's welcome. I'll give it a B+.

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4. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:248] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Before lunch on Saturday I sat down to watch Doug Garrett and the Greg's play this new hot game. It was incredibly close. All four players occupied a 5 point spread around 75 points. I thought the game looked beautiful and there are some cool little mechanics like every time you score VP's and you will land in a tie you can decide whether to go ahead of the person to gain the extra VP or behind to gain turn order advantage. Also, another cute mechanic, the way you go up in resources is trading two primary colors for one larger cube in the secondary color.

This may be one I have to pick up.
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5. Board Game: Seeland [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1102]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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After lunch we played this one. Doug was so smug when he thought he had victory wrapped up in the last turn and I played a killer combo to complete one windmill and a second that scored immediately. The result shot me ahead of Doug by 3 points for the win and I was given the nickname F%#*ing Steve.

The game was given a "meh" by most of the players but this was right after Fresco which everyone seemed to love. It's lighter than I like but I'd play again. I'll give it a B.
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6. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1848]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Aldie joined us and we played a few more. I really enjoyed Beowulf. This was my first game. I gave up all hope at one point of gaining a victory and Aldie said, "Well, you can Risk it." So I said, "Alright, let's see what happens." I went on to win that round and the game much later by a couple points. The F%#*ing Steve nickname was thrown around a bunch more after that.
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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7. Board Game: Carson City [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:337]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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I brought this one out. Doug ended up winning but he was totally down on the game. He doesn't like confrontation (or games that have a strong theme in general ) and he won the game by dueling people out of key spots but I thought that he bought good properties as well because he was making the most money. Aldie, Greg Z., and Kevin seemed to like it and I really enjoy it. I love the wild west theme and the whole worker placement and the town building map element that really allow for a lot of game space to be explored. Like how does a strategy of focusing on properties stack up against duelling power?
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8. Board Game: Columbus [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:8860]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Next we played this old school Kramer game. It's a race across the Atlantic and back. The game has a little bit of take that and at the same time there's a lot of luck in the tile draws. Not my favorite game of the con but it was fun with the company.

I started off on my own path and disrupted everybody else drawing out the F%#*ing Steve again.

I'll give it a C-
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9. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:148]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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After everyone decided to go to bed, Aldie and I were still up for some gaming so we decided to play something theme heavy. I had brought Runewars and I'm glad that I didn't lug that huge game to the con for nothing. He hadn't played yet so I went through the rules and he picked it up very quickly.

Aldie played the Undead and I was the Choas Uthuk. We didn't finish the whole game but I was kinda dominating and we played more as just a learning experience. Aldie really seemed to like the game saying that he could see a lot of elements of their other games coming together in a streamlined way.

After that we sat around talking to and drinking Rebel Yell whiskey with a couple of guys new to the boardgaming hobby coming from a RPG background for a couple hours. Seth Jaffee joined us as well and he gave a full dissertation on all cooperative games in chronological order from Lord of the Rings to Space Alert which was quite impressive at 4 am in the morning. I think that will go down as one of my greatest Kublacon memories.

Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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10. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:224]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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We went to a great dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant in Burlingame and came back to play this little gem.

There were some great ones like Pig People and Koala bear that turned into Owl baby.

Koala Bears don't have pointy ears!

Derk kept getting pissed off that I could never guess his drawings bringing out the F%#*ing Steve nickname again

A Derk appears from the mists...
United States
Portland
Oregon
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11. Board Game: Tinners' Trail [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:461]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Bay Chang and I met up in the morning and decided to play this one. We found a friendly gamer to join us to make it three (ugh, I'm so bad with names, sorry FG).

It was over a year since I played and Bay and FG had never played so we went through the rules. I got something horribly wrong and they were very gracious to do a restart.

The game is very straight forward. You're mining Copper and Tin in South Wales in the period of the Industrial Revolution. You have to worry a lot about pumping and otherwise dealing with water to extract the ore and it all works very smoothly.

Bay and I matched an even 36 points in the first round and shut out FG which really hurt his chances. Bay had a great 3rd round and I did marginally better in the 4th round but it wasn't quite enough for the win. I believe Bay was around 68 and I was at 65 with FG around 45.
Bay Chang
United States
Hillsborough
California
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12. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Bay, FG, and I were joined by FG's friends Dan and FG2 (another name, ugh). FG had Space Alert cued up on the laptop and we played through the first full scenario with internal threats and the whole bit. We really had only a few minor mistakes, mostly my flub on the timing of the internal threat and their location. Other than that we really kicked butt we eliminated all threats except for one nasty internal threat that put 4 damage on us.
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13. RPG Item: 4th Edition Core Rulebook Collection [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:776]
Steve Cates
United States
Visalia
California
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Finally I got to play D&D. I had NEVER played before and after Aldie twisted my arm the night before and John signed me up before asking me I went ahead and played. The scenario was one where we had to get our party of 5 as far as possible in 4 hours as part of a tournament being held. Three of us had not played 4th edition and I had never played any D&D at all. Lucky for us the 2 that had played were very good players and used the rules masterfully. I played a half-elf Bard, William a Cleric, and John a Ranger. The 2 other players had Fighters.

A lot of the time I felt like I wasn't really helping the party. I said at one point, "Can I just hop up on the table and start playing a song?" This was in the midst of a bar fight with 5 trolls. The two fighters kicked ass and the ranger got off some good licks and found some helpful items with his high perception. I did finally start helping the party though when the fighters started getting hit pretty hard. I gave a few miraculous words and healed them up nicely. I started rolling better as well and got in a few decent hits too.

I can't believe it's taken me so long to play this game. I think I'll have to find some way to play locally this summer. I give it an A.
Will
United States
Fresno
California
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14. Board Game: Panzer Grenadier: Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:4219]
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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I ran a "Learning Panzer Grenadier" game. I only had one participant, so he and I played a 12-turn city assault. He seemed to enjoy the game.

I may try running a learning game at ConQuest over Labor Day, and try it again next year at KublaCon. If attendance isn't better, I'll probably drop it after that.
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15. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:98]
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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I ran a "Commands & Colors Fest" event where I brought all 4 C&C games: Battle Cry, Memoir '44, BattleLore, and C&C:Ancients, and let people play whatever they wanted.

We had 4 people attend, which was a little disappointing. The room where the event was being run (Ballroom B) was right outside the space where people were setting up for a flea market. Convention staff were trying to herd people away from the area until the market was set up, so perhaps some people got discouraged.

I played 3 games of Commands & Colors Ancients with two people (both of whom bought the game), and two other gamers played a scenario of Memoir '44 with the new Memoir '44: Breakthrough map. No takers for either BattleLore or Battle Cry. I may have to think up some BattleLore scenarios for ConQuest.
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16. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:81]
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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I bring this to the con every year, but I don't always get a chance to play it. Fortunately, someone from another con remembered me teaching a new player. He had purchased the CE version, but had yet to even play the original. He asked if I would mind teaching him. Always happy to oblige, we started up a game.

Over the course of the game, we had many people stop by to watch and comment.
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17. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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This was the only game I played multiple sessions over the course of the weekend.

I GMed a scheduled session on Friday night, where the humans eked out a victory.

The remaining games were all played in open gaming. Looking around, it seemed like there were always at least two or three sessions of BSG running.

At the end of the weekend the final count was tied, with the both the humans and cylons winning three games a piece.
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18. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1094]
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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I finally got a chance to play this as a scheduled event. I really had a lot of fun playing it. The rules were super simple, but there was room from some varied strategies. The game was quick, which was a change for me, so I really enjoyed that aspect of it. We were able to get in two plays easily during the allotted time. This is something I may consider adding to my collection. I think even non-boargamers might have fun with it.
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19. Board Game: A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:739]
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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This was also a scheduled event. The GM ran it with two teams of three competing to defeat the main villain. The mechanics were fairly simple, but the cooperative nature of the teams definitely made the game more fun. I wouldn't exactly call it Arkham Horror light, but it kind of scratched that itch in a simpler package.
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20. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:318]
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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I managed to find a copy on sale in the dealers room at 50% off. Even if I didn't like it, that price was too good to pass up. Anyway, I ran into a friend who was with his two kids. They saw me opening up my copy and mentioned that they have a copy at home and that it's a lot of fun. They agreed when I asked if they wanted to play.

Although there wasn't a whole lot to it, other than a lot of luck and random events, it was a whole lot of fun. And despite all the reading, my friend's two sons, ages 10 and 12 enjoyed it alot.
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21. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:70]
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Finally got to try this at the Kniziathon area and although I lost terribly it was a great learning game that made me eager for my next game.
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22. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Tom Thingamagummy
United States
Oakland
California
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I'm on Staff and this year I was asked to run the Settlers of Catan tournament. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare and we weren't quick enough to grab a spot for the US qualifier. So Kubla had a $750 cash prize for the winner.

There were 6 tables at the Friday qualifier and 11 at the Saturday Qualifier. In the end, it came down to 4 people:

#1 Jenna Brown
#2 Carl Dockhorn
#3 Bill Zurn
#4 Andrew Discolo

It was a rough board, taking 90 minutes to complete the game. But Carl Dockhorn managed to control the wheat enough to pull the win!
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23. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:336]
The Count
United States
Sacramento
California
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Kublacon 2010 was my first convention.

A week and a half before Kublacon, my friend's eight year old son passed away from cancer. When he spoke of some of the times he had with his son, I realized I hadn't done much father-son only getaways with my ten (almost 11) year old son (actually never just the two of us without his mom), so I asked him if he wanted to go, and he was totally thrilled with the idea. Since I decided to go a week before, we had to get a hotel about a mile away, but it was still great.

After checking in, checking things out, etc., I couldn't get my son away from the remote controlled tanks in the entry area. He played until they closed it down. I used some of the time to sign up for some games. We then went to Knuckles for food (we hadn't really eaten lunch), so we were there a lot earlier than the BGG 2030 hours meeting time.

I saw Aldie and Derk arrive for food, but since they were eating and we were eating, we stayed put in front of the big screen TV watching the Celtics close out the Magic. By the time we were done, it was so crowded in their area, I figured we would just leave and play a game.

First up was a 2-player game of Nexus Ops. We were signed up for a 3D game the next day, so my son wanted to get in a warm up game in the Atrium area. We didn't get done until almost midnight, so back to the hotel for some sleep.

Saturday, we made it over for the 3D game in the morning. What a great board! I wish I had taken some pictures to post (my first con...forgot the camera). It was a homemade 3D board with giant hexes, and a Monolith tower that went about 6" in the air. The two other opponents wanted to make sure my son didn't go easy on dad. I told them they didn't know my ameritrasher son very well. He is pretty shy and quiet around new adults...but he is very agressive underneath.

Well my son ended up winning the game. Laying down 4 victory cards on the last turn, and making all the adults shake their heads.
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24. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:269] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
The Count
United States
Sacramento
California
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After Nexus Ops, some food, and some more son playing remote control tanks, we settled in for an eight-player Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie game. I helped build the board while my son continued to detroy tanks (convienently next to us).

It was the "Flooded Plains" scenario (can find on Heroscapers), and basically the board is divided in half by a glacier (can't fly or move over). Starting at the end of Turn 3, the 20-sided is rolled, and on 18 or higher, the glacier melts, everyone not on high ground dies, and it is one big board. Every turn after Turn 3, it is easier to melt (17 or higher on Turn 4, etc.).

I was in pretty good shape, with two powerful large figures still in the fight and wiping out my closest enemy, but I thought I could make it until Turn 5 before I ran for the Hills. Well at the end of Turn 4, the GM rolled a 17. My one remaining squad figure on high ground died in turn 5 very quickly and I was out.

Made it to Knuckles for a Happy Hour beer, and then went back to see my son last until the final 3 or 4 before he died. He was too agressive in Turn 1 with his large figures, so he lost most of his combat power smashed between two enemies, but he is used to playing 2-player games with me. He adapted though, and managed to use what he had to last until near the end.

After we got don, we were pretty tired, so we went back to the hotel so he could swim (that was something he wanted to do) and go out to a big dinner.
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25. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:118] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
The Count
United States
Sacramento
California
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We played a quick game Sunday morning to warm up, and then we joined the "Operation Market Garden" Memoir '44: Operation Overlord from Memoir '44: Tigers in the Snow.

Richard Borg as well as DOW CEO, Eric Hautemont, were there to run the game. That was pretty sweet. Both were very cool. Richard asked us if we had played before, and when we said yes, he shook our hands and said thank you. I then told me son who he was, and my son said "cool." My son thought Richard Borg was great, and really enjoyed him at the game. My son also loves Liar''s Dice, so my son is a big fan now. Eric was also great and gave me a copy of the out of print promotional Memoir '44: The Vercors Campaign at the end of the game. That made me very happy!

I had never played an Overlord scenario before (mainly 2-player games with my son). I ended up being chosen for one of the commanders, since I looked like I knew how to play when I walked up with Jesse's great FAQ in hand (how little they knew . We were the Allies and managed to repeat history and lose, but it was pretty close and came down to a few crucial turns (darn dice).

I had a great time with this game, and it was probably my favorite momment of the con.
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