etherton's first BGG.CON
David Etherton
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Yup, another "my first BGG.CON" list. I didn't write down badge names, but I tried to take a quick two-second video snippet of each game I played. In retrospect I should have just used the note app on my phone instead.

This was actually my first gaming convention, ever (well, I've been to a few a comic cons but they don't really compare from a gaming point of view) and it was a very, very good time. I was very thankful for all the wonderful volunteers, and I expect to come back again.

I'm trying to get a rough edit up now and fill in names of people I played with later -- if you recognize a game you played with me, by all means please comment!
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1. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:449]
David Etherton
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Arrived Tuesday evening, brought my set down to one of the common areas. Got to meet Michael and Seth, and taught two four-up's the game with my set and Seth's extra set. It was a bit daunting for me personally, but I think everybody understood the game. The only usernames I can remember are Jesse (doubtofbuddha) and Anye (dietevil).

After they all finished, I sat down and played in a four-up myself. There was a guy with a pierced chin who I saw several more times playing and two other folks.

By then Adam and Carlos, among others, had their sets as well and were teaching the game, and there were always other prototype copies available for play during the rest of the convention so I ended up not playing it again.
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2. Board Game: Train of Thought [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:5738]
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Ended up playing this with a table of ringers (publisher, developer, designer, and a walking thesaurus). It was them against a guy who is terrible at Taboo. Neat idea, and I suspect a lot of people will enjoy this game, but it's not for me.
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3. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:155]
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Met Shannon and Mark waiting in line the next morning, and they busted this out and we played. Pretty sure Shannon destroyed us both. Or maybe they both destroyed me. It was interesting playing this again after so much Eminent Domain. This is a different game, and you really need to pay a lot better attention to what everybody else is doing to succeed.

On a different note, I bitched about my dislike of Innovation to somebody who turned out to be either the designer or someone involved in the game, since I recognized him when he won the award on Saturday. Felt a little bad about that, but I think I phrased it as "the game isn't for me" since you *have* to directly mess with your opponents in order to win.
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4. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:755]
David Etherton
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Once the convention started, I picked up one of the Tasty Minstrel games and Aton. I quickly traded the former for the BGG game since I already had both Terra Prime and Homesteaders. In the end, though, I ran out of room and ended up keeping only the dice and board from the BGG game for prototyping.

Anyway, the first actual game was Rallyman -- grabbed it for the hot games room, and started reading the directions. After a few minutes some people saw the game and were interested enough to join me. I explained what I'd learned so far -- the fundamental engine of the game is pretty simple. Every die you roll moves one square, but don't roll too many "!" faces, and you can only roll one die per turn, and your time for that turn is based on the last gear you ended in.

I think we all (Chris, myself, Andy, and another Chris, couldn't make out the usernames) enjoyed it. The first two people made plenty of mistakes for the other two to learn from :-), and I was one of the first two people but I think we all enjoyed the game.

Unfortunately I think this is the only game where I was smart enough to ask people to show their badges for the camera.

I'd pick this up if it was widely available.
 
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5. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:43]
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Rick "You look just like your avatar" Thornquist taught this to a group of seven. Apparently I didn't do the camera trick at all -- the only person I remember was Michael Mindes, because he sat next to me. He had a military wonder so I was terrified of his pending military might and overbuilt military in response to that.

Amazing game for what it is -- seven players in less than an hour for a very first game, and plenty of meaningful decisions. Brilliant, brilliant design in my opinion. Worth the hype -- will pick it up when it's widely available.
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6. Board Game: Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944 [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:4038]
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I played with Steve, Deb, and Greg. Steve (UnknownParkerBrother) and Greg (Chezzilla) coincidentally had the same last name. (Well, Deb probably did too but I can't recall for sure).

We played the basic game, and it was a good, light Euro. Not a lot of direct conflict, but there is some competition for scarce resources.

Enjoyed it and would play it again if offered.
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7. Board Game: 20th Century [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1253]
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Sat down with Shannon, Mark, and I think another Mark (I think he worked for Wizards).

It was a first game, full of auctions, and it went very, very slowly. Painfully slowly.

I ended up hating the game. But I may end up hating it like I hated Power Grid, which means that I'd try it again in a year and enjoy it a little more.

For some reason the technology auction, where you were bidding to have the least sh**y thing happen to you, really bothered me. It made thematic sense, but I didn't like to have to spend a bunch of science points just to have the least bad thing happen.

At this point I'd probably play it again if it was a choice between that and something even worse, and some of the more AP-prone members of my group were not playing.

Sucked to end the night on a low note like that -- first game was about three hours long, and definitely felt that long.
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8. Board Game: Antics! [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2346]
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Sat down with this in the hot games room the next morning (Thursday) and read the rules. Great rules, pretty good game. Taught it to three people, one of whom had initials for a name -- R.M. I think. Another one had library duty soon, and we managed to finish up the game just in time.

I enjoyed the game and would play it but probably wouldn't pick up my own copy.

Having my own private Taluva session for my actions (patterned after an anthill) was really cool though.
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9. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:184]
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Tim Kelly taught four of us. He's awesome -- he was teaching this game pretty much the entire con.

This was very good -- and it was available for sale at Funagain so there were a LOT of copies in circulation.

I will pick this up, even though I probably will have a hard time getting it to the table. I think it will be easier to teach (and learn) than Through the Ages.

(Speaking of Through the Ages, I saw plenty of copies being played but couldn't bring myself to join in any of them on the assumption I'd spent four hours getting my ass handed to me)
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10. Board Game: Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:947]
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Played this two player, I was the aliens.

Interesting hidden movement mechanic, but 2p doesn't seem very interesting. The basic strategy for aliens is "keep track of where all noises are, knowing that eventually they're going to draw enough red cards for you to close in"

Maybe we were playing it wrong, or the advanced game adds a lot more to it.

For example, this game might be really interesting if ALL noises were written down and drawn from a hat or something so nobody knows who made which noise?
 
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11. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:175]
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Watched some people go over the rules to this, and decided not to join in, because of the previous night. In fact, I should have just watched 20th Century as well in retrospect.

Let's face it, a lot of our hobby is pushing little cubes around and using them to buy other cubes.
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12. Board Game: Mystery Express [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1506]
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Sat down with StormKnight and Nightmare (Brian and Lisa) and two others to try this out.

This game was terrible. I knew it for sure when we did the time deck churn. We all gave up in mutual disgust a few minutes later.

I would buy a copy just so I could burn it.

The next day, I ran into another group just breaking the game down -- two of them I'd played Alien Frontiers with earlier that day so we knew each other. They thought it was crap too. I decided to send a warning to others, and wrote "This game is CRAP" on one of the telegram sheets before returning it. (The telegram sheets are supposed to be used in each game from a pad, so I wasn't defacing anything given that two of the games had been aborted after the sheets had already been partially marked up).
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13. Board Game: Cornerstone [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:3707]
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Didn't get any names on this one, but it was the guy carrying copies around and selling them.

Enjoyed the game, would definitely play again if offered. Not sure I'd buy my own copy, although it might be pretty fun for the family to play it.
 
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14. Board Game: Sun, Sea & Sand [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1988]
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Learned this from the rules, then had somebody teach it to two tables. In retrospect they got a few minor rules wrong -- only thing I could recall was that you're not required to put an attraction at your left edge if there's another attraction in an adjacent row it can touch corners with.

The backpack movement rules are a little screwy too, and I think we got them slightly wrong in that first game -- I think we skipped the beaches or something like that and only paid attention to signs.

Would buy this if it was widely available.
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15. Board Game: Mord im Arosa [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1818]
David Etherton
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Wandered into the Geek Chic room and saw this being played. They added me as a fourth for their next game. This was a lot of fun. They were all Steve Jackson guys getting some games in after working the floor all day.

SJ doesn't make a lot of games that are to my taste these days, but they did seem to be having success with Revolution, I saw several copies being played outside of the demo area. And of course Munchkin does quite well for them outside the Euro Snob crowd.

Anyway, the guys were great, and the game scores a lot of points for being pretty quick, and very different. Would buy this if it was widely available.
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16. Board Game: String Railway [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2002]
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We broke this out next. Really not much of a game here in my opinion.

Would not buy this, and would probably just watch instead of playing if offered again -- seemed like a huge amount of luck in the tile draw.
 
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17. Board Game: Fürstenfeld [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2074]
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My hotel roommate Nick taught this first thing Friday morning I think

Neat economic market, wrapped in a fairly light Euro.

Will probably buy when widely available, and would definitely play again.
 
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18. Board Game: The Spoils [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:3038] [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
David Etherton
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Was heading back up to the room to brush my teeth after breakfast, and saw somebody holding a box. Asked him about it -- and he handed it to me. It was an extra starter box for The Spoils, and Matthew and I would cross paths the next day.
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19. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:169]
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I saw some people sitting down to play Alien Frontiers in the hot games area and offered to teach it to them.

The game was okay. I've played it enough now that I've decided to sell my copy. Best description I overheard was "It's really fun when it's your turn".
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20. Board Game: Railways of the World: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2070]
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Asked Sean to demo this for me, and two more joined us to play. Didn't get any names, but they'd all played AoS or RRT and/or crayon rail games before.

I really enjoyed it, and would have bought a copy then and there had it been available.
 
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21. Board Game: Target Earth [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:3694]
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Saw somebody punching their copy, and asked if I could join. Two more joined us and we muddled through the rules.

We had two things critically wrong -- we had too many base attack tokens in the pool, so we got twice as many base attacks as we should of, and we also didn't know that you got a new card every turn.

I saw some potential there though.
 
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22. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:252] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
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We played the basic game (taught by a rep at the Queen Games area).

I've heard this gets much better with the expansions mixed in.

The paint mixing mechanic was neat, but having to plan out your entire turn in advance without even knowing what paints you'd get was pretty painful.

The game went pretty slowly but ended very tight -- one point between each person. Also, we played the first half of the game incorrectly -- wake up time is assigned in reverse order of victory points, when we had been playing it as reverse order of last wake up time.

At this point I wouldn't buy it, but I might play it if offered, assuming it wasn't with AP-prone people.
 
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23. Board Game: Sun, Sea & Sand [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1988]
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Played this again the next day -- saw some people sitting down with it and offered to teach it. Aliza was there, as were Michael and Rob according to her notes.

I'm always looking for the next Vegas Showdown (a semi-meaty game that I can get my wife and son to play with me) and this almost seems like it.
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24. Board Game: London (first edition) [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:277]
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After that, she and I and Anthony sat down and played this.

Brett came over and taught us this game, which I really appreciated.

It was pretty long for what it was, and I'd probably pass any opportunity to play it again.

The way you build your city both out and up was pretty cool though.
 
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25. Board Game: Crows [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:3198]
David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Saturday morning -- designer of the game taught four of us.

It's a tile laying game, but it's pretty cut-throat.

I thought the game was okay. I didn't like the chaos introduced by the "place on empty tree" markers. Going first or last is pretty powerful, going in the middle pretty much sucks.

I would probably play again if offered.
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