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BGG.Con 2011--What were your Top 3?
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
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My annual geeklist is back. I create this each year after BGG.Con to see what tickled everyone's fancy at BGG.Con. Every year, it is always about the people. I have lots of friends there that I only see at BGG.Con now, and this year, more than most, that really hit home. The wargamers at BGG.Con are pretty tight.


However, I ask you:

What were your Top 3 of BGG.Con 2011?
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1. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:184]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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Cary Grant, 1904 - 1986
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Easily the best, most fun of the con. This is the first time I braved the 2-day Here I Stand session, and suffice it to say, we have it tentatively planned again for next year. That says a lot.

I played with
Martin
United States
San Diego area
California
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Justin L
United States
Verona
Wisconsin
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"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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Caution: May contain wargame like substance
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Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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2. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:250] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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This year I was able to return to the EPIC ARKHAM HORROR game put on by
At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Spoon!
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. It is every expansion with 8 players. People say we are crazy, but it is a lot of fun. Yes, it takes a long time (8 to 1:30 AM if you must know), but its a blast.

And this year.....WE WON. That is something that I do not think we ever would. Also, I was the only one devoured. However, I did take on a Great Old One--solo and brought it down to 2 (yes 2!) hit points.

I played with
Brian & Cara Conry
United States
Bentonville
Arkansas
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Jim Brooks
United States
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Some are born to move the world To live their fantasies But most of us just dream about The things we'd like to be Sadder still to watch it die Than never to have known it For you, the blind who once could see The bell tolls for thee...
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John Lopez
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Get off my lawn!
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The explanation: Impossible Triangle + TW (my company initials) = my logo.
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Dana venner
Canada
Sharon
Ontario
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Aaron Cappocchi
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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Arkham Horror, Amun Re, R-ECO, Ora Et Labora, Napoleonic Wars
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Sven Berglowe
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
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3. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:626]
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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The last spot is hard to pick. It was either the two French and Indian war games I played with
Justin L
United States
Verona
Wisconsin
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: Wilderness War and A Few Acres of Snow or playing
with
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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and his pink OOS fish.

Both were great. I think I will tip my hat to the French and Indian wars as this was my second game with Justin (I will beat him someday) at Wilderness War, and we roughly planned one for next year.
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4. Board Game: Unhappy King Charles! [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1424]
skippen
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Greeley
Colorado
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However, I cannot not mention a Honorable Mention. I played UKC! with N/A and it was a blast. I remembered the rules much, much better than I expected, and I remembered why I love this game. It is far underrated on the geek. It has an intimidating rulebook, but it is, overall, a fairly simple game.

My game with him was a ton of fun. I would easily do it again next year.
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5. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:140]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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1) I think this is a great wargame for eurogamers.
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6. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:472]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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2) It's light and subject to unlucky card draws, but it's fun and engaging and doesn't overstay its welcome.
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7. Board Game: Hawaii [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:577]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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3) A surprise hit with me as I had no knowledge of this game going in. Tight game with a tough economy and crucial decisions.
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8. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:387]
Anye Freer
United States
Frisco
Texas
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Surprisingly well produced, simple worker placement/area control game. Buzz I heard says it is best with 3, which is how we played it.
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9. Board Game: Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1668]
Anye Freer
United States
Frisco
Texas
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Meaty goodness but not overly complicated or fiddly.
Suspect best with 4 or 5, also good with 3. Probably not good with 2.
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10. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:446] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Anye Freer
United States
Frisco
Texas
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If Masters of Orion 2 were a boardgame it would be this one. Minus the alien racial differences. Tech Tree Goodness!

Probably best with 3 or 4, we played with 3. This one will probably take you most of the day to play since there is a lot of ramp-up and then when you have a ton of moving parts it will slow down.
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11. Board Game: Mecanisburgo [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:4305]
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
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Catherine Straight
United States
Lacombe
Louisiana
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Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Aimee Fredericks
United States
austin
TX
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i like pizza
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Lance Bailey
United States
North Richland Hills
Texas
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Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
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This has a reputation of being a difficult-to-learn monster and it certainly lives up to its reputation.

It's a very combative worker-placement game with a Scepter Of Zavandor-like VP bonus tile system.

Cat and I both really enjoyed it, I think much moreso than Tony, Amy, Lance, or Paul [even though Paul won].

In fact, we bought the first expansion to the game in the FunAgain store on Sunday even though we don't own the game yet!

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12. Board Game: Río de la Plata [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4687]
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
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Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
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At first Paul and I had thought that we wouldn't get a chance to get in our scheduled Mecanisburgo game, since it was checked out when we went to get it and we didn't realize that it had been Aimee who had checked it out in preparation for our scheduled game.

We had talked briefly while we thought Mecanisburgo would be a no-go about trying Rio De La Plata instead; both Paul and I had brought a copy to the con that we had recently acquired. Mecanisburgo ended up working out, but we still wanted to give Rio De La Plata a go.

Paul, Tony, and I made an attempt at this pretty involved and intricate game the day after our Mecanisburgo game.

It was a lot of fun, and Tony enjoyed this one a lot more than Mecanisburgo, playing it again later in the Con.

I think we all agreed it would have been better with 4 or 5, but it was still really fun with just the 3 of us. A great game I want to play again soon.

We had a bit of an outlier game, I think, in that we rolled a few snake eye combat rolls and destroyed half our infrastructure in like turn 3 or 4.

 
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13. Board Game: Poseidon [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1432]
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
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Catherine Straight
United States
Lacombe
Louisiana
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George J. Wendt
United States
Charleston
South Carolina
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Mark Fowler
United States
Plano
Texas
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George is a local gamer who likes pretty much the same kind of games that Cat and I like. When I told him about all of my virtual flea market / flea market acquisitions, he said "Oh yeah! Great game!", "Awesome, that's in my top ten games ever!", "Oh, you're going to love that one!" for just about every game I picked up.

We finally managed to get in a few games with him on Saturday evening. We played Greentown first while waiting for the Golden Geek announcements and prize drawing. Afterwards, I picked out Poseidon, and then after Poseidon we pulled up to an empty table of Power Grid: The First Sparks.

Cat and I like the 18xx series a lot, but haven't played much [and we also don't mind the non-aggressive branches of the series]. George had played most of a game of 1830 with us once. Mark was a complete 18xx newbie. I think this helped the game experience a lot.

If you're going to go into Poseidon as a long-time 18xx player who's really only after the financial swindling aspects, you're going to be disappointed, period. If you go in just taking the game at face value and comparing it to the broad genre of train games, it's great.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Poseidon. It's not so much a distillation of 18xx game mechanics [though it has some really good design choices in that regard] as much as it is a mid-weight train game which happens to be inspired by the 1829 branch of the family.

As a game in its own right, it's a lot of fun and has a lot of interesting decisions. It's not a great introduction to most of the series, it doesn't have the intense financial rivalry that characterizes the bigger games in the series, but it was a great way to pass a Saturday evening.

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14. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:146]
Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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You know how Dungeon Lords mercilessly kicks your ass and laughs at you while doing it? This is not that game. Far more control all around. The cute/bizarre theme pushes it over the top.
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15. Board Game: Click Clack Lumberjack [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1556]
Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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This. Is. Amazing.
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16. Board Game: Fiasco [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:5538]
Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Not actually the board game, but the RPG Fiasco. This was a spectacular experience from start to finish. More of an improv-story telling game. I think this would appeal to gamers who might otherwise get into RPGs if not for all the math and stats (which barely exist here).

Two of the best hours I spent at the Con.

-MMM
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17. Board Game: Alcatraz: The Scapegoat [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2372]
Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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#1. I told several people that this was a game designed for me. Perfectly executed mechanics makes this a semi co-op where you're always positioning yourself to not be "last". Negotiation, planning, choosing when to work together and when to get a leg up on your opponents. So far I've seen it described by others as "Forbidden Island for Assholes", "1 hr Diplomacy", and "Games I Will Never Again Play With SeanP".

I see this ruining many a friendship in the upcoming year.
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18. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:988]
Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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#2

I love worker placement games... but I like them to do something different than others I already own. There were a ton of new WP games available, and while a lot of them were Just Fine Games, they didn't entice me to go back to them and play again.

When I first heard of Walnut Grove it almost sounded like a joke. the title is lifted from Little House on the Prairie, and it was described as "Carcassone meets Agricola". The last thing I need in my Agricola is Carcassone -- but I was more than pleasantly surprised that it's a chocolate/peanut butter type marriage.

First great thing about it : plays in less than an hour. I've got three kids, and my wife graciously gives me a night a week to escape to our local game group - and even still I've got a fun-to-time ratio that I measure games by. It can be good fun, but if it takes 5 hours, i only get to play 1 fun game. Second - the "wander clockwise around town" mechanism works really well and adds a new twist on strategy. Third, the seasons for each year can completely change your decisions - you've got to plan ahead but still react to what appears.
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19. Board Game: Puzzle Struggle [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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#3 - Puzzle Hunt

One of the great things about the con is getting to try activities you just won't find anywhere else. Puzzle Hunt has become my annual "must do" event. This was my fourth time participating, and I've enjoyed bringing new people into the experience each time. Last year I participated with my wife and two other werewolf players, all three of whom were playing for the first time. This year my wife joined me again, and we added three team members who hadn't participated before. Several of them were just great at puzzles, and I had the "veteran tips" to help get people going... It appeared everyone had a great time, and I don't think I was TOO bossy. We raced around the hotel, furiously scribbled on scrap paper, passed around smart phones (3 in use, you just grabbed the one closest to you), and finished at the end of three hours exhausted and happy. We placed sixth in the final standings, which is a huge credit to the very talented people we recruited...
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20. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:95]
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21. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:23]
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22. Board Game: Vanuatu [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:697]
 
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Ever notice how many session reports of this include normally mild-mannered people swearing at each other?
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23. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:988]
David Etherton
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#1. Agricola meets Carcassonne but with a lot of simultaneous play. Not terribly deep, but plenty of meaningful decisions in a short amount of time. There are only eight opportunities for player interaction, and it's mostly in the form of denial, either by blocking a space you suspect somebody needed, or taking a building or improvement before somebody else does.

Will get more bonus points if I can convince my family to play it once Zelda stops hogging my wife's attention.
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24. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:932]
David Etherton
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#2. I like this one more than the original Power Grid and also Factory Manager. It retains the weird tech market, but resources are massively simplified. You can still resource screw people by keeping an eye on turn order, and there are interesting decisions when trying to put a tech up for "bid" -- how likely will somebody else take it, and how screwed are you if you get stuck with it?

Definitely another notch up from Walnut Grove in both weight and complexity, so I'm not sure I'll get my family to play it with me.
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25. Board Game: Undermining [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2923]
David Etherton
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#3. I was curious about this one before the convention (unlike First Sparks, which was a little out of left field) and was glad I got a chance to play it a few times. Setup is pretty quick, and turns generally go by quickly. This one can end up being either a race or a brawl depending on player count and inclination (and which board side you pick).

I'm guessing this will be a good lunch time game at work since it seems to play under an hour pretty easily. Definitely not as "friendly" as most games I play with my family so it might not be a good fit on that front.
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