FANGcon #14 - The Games What We Played
Rich Chamberlain
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
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The fourteenth FANGcon occurred on Saturday 25th June 2011.

This geek list is a record on the games that were played. Please feel free to add to this with your games and comments.

My thanks to all those who attended and made the day another great success - see you at the next one!
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1. Board Game: ...und tschüss! [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:4182]
Rich Chamberlain
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Nottingham
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The day started with a 6 player game of this. It's a fun little card game with some tough choices and a delicious twist.

The 6 players use cards to bid on 5 items - but the person who misses out is not the lowest bid as you may expect but the person who did the second best bid overall.

Much more fun than I expected.

Oh and I have to say, coz it amuses me, I have the pictured version which is the Japanese version of a German game by a British designer.
 
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2. Board Game: Dice Town [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:730]
Rich Chamberlain
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5 player game of using Poker dice to create poker hands. Then these are compared to see who gains different benefits from the town.

The game is simple and the mechanics light so most of the fun comes from the other players. This is especially apparent as whoever is the Sheriff is open to bribes.

I seemed to end up hoarding all the money but that didn't help me win. Plus I think everyone at one time held on to the 8 point Horse card. Who ended up with it?

I can't remember who won. Anyone know?

Great game.
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3. Board Game: Pergamon [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1010]
Rich Chamberlain
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I played this twice during the day. both times I didn't win. Sigh.

It's a simple bidding game with a lot of nice chrome. I like the process and actions it offers but I can't in all honesty say it's fantastic and everyone should play it - it's not the best title in the world but it is very solid and a pleasure to play.
 
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4. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:236]
Rich Chamberlain
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6 player game, Me, Mark, Cat, Thomas, Andy, and Steve.

Not a favourite of mine. There's not a much bad about it but it seems slow for the depth it offers. However it's greatest sin for me is player elimination. People gather to play games, not to participate for 5 minutes and then watch everyone else play for the rest of the time.

Nice production values!
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5. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:885] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Rich Chamberlain
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Nottingham
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We played a quick game of this, I think 6 player. It's nice but not very compelling. The game I played later on is far better at presenting this type of experience. Saboteur is too simple for long term appeal.

I think Steve did best with this?
 
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6. Board Game: Norenberc [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1724]
Rich Chamberlain
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4 player, Me, Mark, Thomas, and Steve.

As a nice break this was a heavier pure Euro game where you buy and sell goods from various guilds in an attempt to be that guilds preferred player and score points.

This was my first play and it became clear that like Stone Age (and probably others) someone with only 4 workers will do far worse than someone with 8, as demonstrated by Mark having at least double the points I won.

Great production quality and tough decisions. I look forward to trying this again.
 
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7. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:747]
Rich Chamberlain
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7 players? The more I played this the more I enjoy it, but I still think considering the lack of choices per turn it can be a bit slow. However the others made this a lively and fun game.

I played Daniel but didn't die first. Sigh.

 
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8. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:186]
Rich Chamberlain
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Nottingham
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Mini-Battlestar, a game of lies and misdirection. This is far better than Saboteur and packs a lot of thought in to a short game. I like the two tier process and was pleased to get my first joint win as the Traitors.
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9. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:144]
Ben Croft
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Hattie, Chris, Andrew, Charlotte and I played this and it may have jumped straight into my top three favorite games. Oooh - and I was sat beside someone but I cannot even picture them (sorry - size of an elephant, memory of a goldfish).

Even with having to teach the game to most of us, it still only took 2 hours or so.

I came plumb last but enjoyed it so much I am going to try and get it played again as soon as possible. Simple mechanics and tremendous miniatures that add to the atmosphere of the Conquistador theme. Particularly love the 'little' ships.

Ben

PS : sixth player was Greg - I knew his father from the days when we were both Managers of Games Workshop shops and I had been looking forward to talking with Greg at some point (how could I have forgotten... Doh!). It's the age, not the alcohol that does you in
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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:398]
Ben Croft
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Saw this early on and persuaded Hattie to get it out as a finishing filler at the end of the day.

Two games later (took half an hour for both games plus the explanation) and I have added it to my wish list.

Simple, fast and fun little card game with counters. The cards are numbered from 3 to 35 and they are shuffled. Then nine are removed at random and they are placed in the centre, face down.

You get 11 counters each. First player turns the top card face up and decides if they want to keep it... lowest total value of cards wins. If you do not want it, throw one of your counters on it and play moves to the next person.

Each player in turn either takes it or spends a counter to say 'No Thanks' as well. At some point, someone will take the card because they get all the counters that have been used to reject it... you take the hit but you replenish the counters that everyone else (and you) has thrown on it.

If you have cards in a run, only the lowest one counts against your total.

I took an initial hit with a high card for loads of counters and it came down to the very last card - it matched my high card and I won the final game of the day.

A fitting end to another great FANG-Con (for me at least).

Huge thanks to ItchyRich for organising FANG-Con #14

Roll on number 15...

Bortz
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11. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:63]
Andrew P
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Played a six player game of this and really enjoyed it and will definitely try to play it again.

I played the teams only engineer (Chief Galen Tyrol) and felt this would be a good chance to learn the rules and ease into the game.

But on viewing my loyalty card I knew I had trouble. I saw the cylon card and started to wish I'd listened more closely to the cylon specific rules. As pointed out to me if you try looking up those rules mid game it sort of gives it away.

I only made a few minor attempts to screw the others over at the start as felt getting revealed too early would be a major mistake. It was tricky due to my card colours.

Comments such as 'Perhaps there's no Cylon' meant I dropped my guard and made a serious mistake. This meant they now knew there was definitely a cyclon on board.

At this point I realised all I had to do was keep unrevealed and watch them over pay for crisis cards (for fear of the cyclon) and then choose to accept others without trying to prevent them.

I also noticed suspicion starting to fall on John whose 'I am not a cyclon' t-shirt didn't work. This was until my second serious mistake, playing a blue when there were no blue left in the destiny deck (I'd thought we'd already cycled it).

Then my third mistake (take note of these if you're ever a cylon for your first game) I didn't realise revealing was an action so everyone when I said I'm going to reveal I was told I could not

Everyone thought I had the second cylon card and kept telling me how to pass it on to someone else. I planned to pass it on to John which would've been funny as I would've passed on a 'I'm not a cyclon' card but I never got a chance as the second cylon was revealed to be the president and saved me from going to the brig.

Then a combination of events meant nearly everyone was in the brig, both cylons were revealed but the ship was getting heavily damaged and they had no engineer.

Lots of cyclon ships & my super crisis card meaning they went back 2 on the jump seemed to sap the human's hope. They tried a desperate jump, failed and so the cylons won again.

It did seem that this game is heavily weighted against the humans as even with 3 major mistakes from me the cylons still won the day. And they had gotten a lucky card draw for extra distance to Kobol as well.

Looking forward to another game at some point now I understand the rules a lot better.



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12. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:709]
John Watts
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Southwell
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Ben, Mike and Rae played this one with me.

This is a wonderful looking game with superb components which covers what is basically an economic, factory centred game set on a steampunk fantasy world. Games with numbers are certainly not my cup of tea usually, but the design of pieces does make this one uniquely interesting. Even the most basic wooden ore 'cubes' come in a variety of shapes!

The game plays best with 4 players since it is very long. It starts with an auction of roles, then you try to obtain places on the board to build your machines which will then produce water, ore, quartz and energy but only if you have enough space to store the items and enough energy reserves to produce the goods in the first place. There then follows the buying and selling phase which is critical since the price of each commodity can vary wildly, even if you don't do anything! Turn order is one of the most important aspect in the game and each auctioned role at the beginning sets the order of play - going last can be a game loser, particularly in the final year. Money wins overall, with cash and some of your assests contributing accordingly.

I suspect Mike must be good at at sums because he won, even though it was his first game. My normal guessing approach (to prevent migraines) didn't work and in any case i'm only good at guzinters (three guz inter 12 four times?).
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13. Board Game: Bumbesi [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:8693]
John Watts
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Ben, Mike and Rae again.

We played this very quick game twice (in which i finished 4th and 3rd as usual). It's one out of the 9-Niminiminitzz stock. Play cards lower and higher than two sets of central ones or pick them up and place them in front of you on your 'dung heap' Each card you collect counts one against you at the end. The game cards features lots of cartoon animals exhibiting their bottoms. So if that's what you are into, this is certainly for you.

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14. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:930]
John Mackay
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We were unable to gather enough players to use the Yakuza expansion so we had two 5 player games.
The first was to ease the new player in to the straight forward easy game and the second was using the special powers.

I usually play this light game in the evening after a few drinks have loosened people up. So playing it this time felt a little more serious than I'm used to. People were sharing out their threats and no real grudges formed.

I was caught out in the first game by the 'no one uses a real bullet the first round' and was hit by a Bang! Bang! Bang! - That teaches me!
The second game I managed to be mean and use my special power in the last round to take my share of the pot despite being injured. I say mean as it was a tactical move to ensure the pot wouldn't split.

I do like this game, but it may be losing it edge for me.
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15. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:192] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
John Mackay
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I reminded Phil that neither of our partners are fans of Small World and that this would afford us a chance to have a game. So we rounded the day off with a 5 player session.

Having alchemist sorcerers got me off to a stronger start than I think most of the other players realised. Gabriele did extremely well with his pillaging skeletons, particularly as it was his first play of the game. We ended up agreeing to forgo the last turn as we’d run out of time. Had we known in advance that would happen then I think Phil would have probably not declined his race or done so earlier. As it stands, it was my only victory of the day I believe.
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16. Board Game: Java [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:753]
Michael Milford
England
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
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This game is the best gamers game in the Action Point Mask Trilogy series.

(Although Tikal is the better family game in this series, all 3 including Mexica are very good.)

Players earn fame points for building and enlarging palaces, for creating irrigation systems, and for arranging palace festivals

The 3-dimensional tile play is a nice bonus that adds to this games appeal. You need to get your followers onto the highest land tiles in a village/city to score the palace building/upgrading points. But all followers in a city allow everyone to take part in festivals for more points.

John, Rae, Ben and myself played this. And Rae was the party girl who held the most festivals and got the most points from them. The last turn earns the most points, where I managed first place and John came second.
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