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BGG Con 2011 – I played 14 Wargames at BGG Con – or how I managed to stay out of the Essen Games Room
John Boone
United States
Texas
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I’ve attended every BGG Con so far, I’m lucky it is a local event, and have always found a wargame or two to play at BGG Con. This year I played 14 of them.

If you like to play wargames, don’t be afraid to attend BGG Con in the future. The wargamer contingent just seems to get bigger every year. Chris Montgomery
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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has been starting up a pre-con Wargame signup list the past few years to help aid in setting up games before the con. This years list, BGG Con Wargamer Sign-up List had 94 titles on the list!

This year I may have went a little overboard as I had scheduled almost all of my con time. This is what I had scheduled for the con before it even started:

BGG CON 2011 Schedule:
Wed:
11AM - 3PM: Hannibal: Rome v Carthage
3PM - 5:30PM: Gunslinger

Thu:
10AM - 6PM: Sword of Rome
7PM - 10PM: Battle for Baghdad

Fri:
9AM - 1PM: Gettysburg
2PM - 6PM: Dune
7PM - till: C&C: Nappy

Sat:
11AM - 4PM: Successors
9PM till: War of the Ring

Sun:
noon - till: Sekigahara

I played all of those except War of the Ring and managed to get in a few more.

Just to be complete, my non-wargamey games I played were Elder Sign, Roll Through the Ages, Alcatraz: The Scapegoat, and Parade.

Honorable Mention:
Geek Chic had their tables at the con again this year but this time they gave away one of them at the Saturday drawing. Woo-hoo. You would have thought someone was winning an academy Award with all the applause.

We played Sword of Rome, Battle for Baghdad, and Successors on this table.


Now onto the wargames.
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1. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:510]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Friedrich – with
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Sean Harris
United States
Texas
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Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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The factions were: Kent Wayne(France), Sean Harris(Austria), Jonathon Kinney(Prussia) and myself(Russia). Kent, Roger, Sean, and Jonathon have been playing their traditional Friedrich game to kick off the con. I was a sub for Roger(leroy43) as he got bumped to a later flight and would not make it to Dallas until later that evening. He arrived at the hotel just as we were finishing up. Prussia managed to last 15 or 16 turns before succumbing to the Austrian juggernaut with France and Russia needing only one location for the win also. Sweden was the only nation that quit the game. I was aggressive with Russia from the start and managed to get mauled by Prussia early for it. At one point I was down to 4 armies total on the map. That is 4 armies ie 4 generals with 1 army a piece. I did manage to climb my way out of that hole in the end and missing wining by one turn.

Sean and Kent


Jonathon


I can see Prussia from my backyard.
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2. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:156]
John Boone
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Texas
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Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage –
Played with
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Kent(odd_texan) and I played 8 turns of this before we had to call it so I could make it to my Gunslinger game. Hannibal(me) lost every battle he fought having to re-cross the Alps a couple of times to run away and get more troops before going back into Italy. On turn 6, Scipio Africanus made his appearance, landed in Spain, and managed to die there after losing to Hasdrubal with no retreat path. Turn 9, if we had played it out, could have gone either way.

Kent
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3. Board Game: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1633]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Gunslinger –
Players:
Patrick Pence
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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Greg Turner
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
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Lance Peterson
United States
Tallahassee
Florida
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schwartz!
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James Lin
United States
Spring
Texas
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Erik Nicely
United States
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I think I got all the players correct, if not let me know.

Patrick(Farsol) arranged for a 7 player game. His scenario was for 2 bank robbers, myself and Greg(Gregor), to take on the other 5 townsfolk. The townsfolk were Matt(Bixby), Patrick(Farsol), Lance(MungSu), James(DFuzzy1)?, and Erik(Harkonnen13). Our bank robber plan was for Gregor to stay outside and guard the bank entrance while I went inside, subdued the banker, and stole the money. Gregor did his part early by gut-shooting the sheriff (MungSu) as he ran outside the sheriff’s office but my job didn’t start out so great as the Banker(James?) got the drop on me, ducked behind the counter and shot me as I rounded the counter. Fortunately for me is was only a slight head wound but I was stunned for a full turn. I managed to revive just in time as we both traded shots with mine killing him. I then went into the back room, opened the safe and grab one bag of cash. Meanwhile Gregor was having a time of it outside trying to hold off the other 4 townsfolk as they all converged on the bank with guns in their hand and revenge in their hearts. Bixby played the Ling Ho the town laundry operator with considerable martials skills. It was most memorable as Ling Ho ran full speed towards Gregor hoping to take him out with his hand to hand combat skills but a bullet is always faster than the hand and Ling Ho went down. Gregor couldn’t hold off the remaining 3 townsfolk and soon died of lead poisoning. I shortly came out the bank with my hands up.

A sleepy little western town
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4. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:141]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sekigahara: Unification of Japan –
Played with:
Nevin Ball
United States
New York
New York
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Nevin and I played his copy in the wargame room on Wednesday evening. This was the first time both of us had played so we were both unsure of what to do in this first game and were slow in our development of forces. The game ended in a Ishida(Nevin) victory by 1 point. I had put Ueda castle under siege early but had misunderstood the siege roll, thinking I needed to kill all of the blocks under siege in one go. So I spent a few turns trying to gather the cards needed to get 21 Impact. By the time we realized our error it was too late, Ishida held Ueda castle at game end. After this first playing I wanted to play it again.

Nevin
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5. Board Game: Sword of Rome [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:909]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sword of Rome –
Played with:
Mark Woodson
United States
Richardson
Texas
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Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Chris Trimmer
United States
Houston
TX-Texas
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Sean McGrath
United States
Austin
Texas
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We have been playing Sword of Rome at BGG Con almost every year with Mark Woodson (bluedionysius) arranging the game the majority of the time. In this game Kent (odd_texan) took on the punching bag called Rome, Chris Trimmer (TrimChris) was Gaul, Sean McGrath (daehtloeht) played the Etruscan/Samnites, Mark (bluedionysius) played the Greeks, and I (jwboone) was Carthage. Carthage and Greece were civil in Sicily all game. Gaul started right off the bat by successfully besieging Pisae and razing it to the ground for 5 Plunder and +1 VP to take the early lead. Gaul gained a +2VP lead through his pillaging of Etruscan spaces and winning battles against Etruscan armies putting the target on him as the early game leader. The end of turn 2 saw Gaul at 8VP, Rome 7VP, Carthage & Greece at 6VP and E/S at 5VP. On the Rome Samnite front, Rome took Fragellae from the Samnites and they would respond in kind by later taking Praeneste and Velitrae from Rome. Greece jumped on the anti-Rome bandwagon by taking Capua from Rome. The early leaders Rome and Gaul would be the targets and went downhill VP-wise from then on. By turn 5, Rome was at 0VP, Gaul 4VP, E/S 7VP, Carthage 8VP and Greece 9VP. A Carthage-Greece-Etruscan alliance saw Greek, Carthaginian, and Etruscan armies operating in Northern Italy while the Volsci, Greeks, and Samnites hit Rome. On turn 6, the E/S, Greeks, and Carthaginians would be trying for those last VPs to push them over the top for the win. The final tally would be Rome 0VP, Gaul 2VP, E/S 8VP and Greece & Carthage tied for 11VP. Greece would claim the win on the tie breaker.

Kent, Chris, Sean, and Mark


Volsci Sacking Rome


Carthaginians and Greeks in Gallic Territory
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6. Board Game: Battle for Baghdad [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:8004]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Battle for Baghdad –
Played with:
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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[user=Nuts!][/user]
Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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I had arranged for a 6-player game of Battle for Baghdad but Roger(leroy43) would not make it back from dinner in time and jetpack6 did not show so it was a 4-player game with Steve(Nuts!) as USA, Jonathon(jonocop) as the New Iraqi Govt, Kent(odd_texan) as the Shi’ite, and myself(jwboone) as the Sunni faction. In the early go the USA, Shi’ite, and Iraqi were expanding quickly and my Sunnis were left with few areas and no political points . The Iraqi govt took the early lead in political points and used them to win the Initiative multiple times allowing him to go last which is usually good in this game as you can respond to the other players moves. Unfortunately for me that meant I was going first for quite a few turns which allowed the other players to respond to my moves. The Iraqi govt (once) the USA(twice) were stopped from completing their victories earlier in the game and in the end it came down to a three way victory, USA(special victory), Sunni(special victory), and Iraqi govt(normal victory) – Sorry Shi’ite no victory for you.

Steve and Kent


Jonathon


Map at end of game
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7. Board Game: Combat Commander: Pacific [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:486]
John Boone
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Texas
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Combat Commander: Pacific –
Played with:
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Kent(odd_texan) and I had played CC: Pacific once before, the first scenario, “Grassy Knoll”. so we went with the second scenario, “Ambush at Mogaung”, in our CC: Pacific journey. Kent took the Japanese and I the Common Wealth Gurkhas. In the scenario the Japanese set up on a road/trail that moves through a mostly jungle map. They get double VPs for exiting their units off the map. The Gurkhas get exit VP only after all 3 Japanese leaders are off the map either by exiting or being eliminated. The stars were aligned in favor of the Gurkhas as the Japanese only managed to get one squad off map while the Gurkhas proceeded to eliminate all the others except 3 Japanese squads. We called the game at that point as it was inevitable that the Japanese were going to be eliminated.

As a bonus I got this game in the Math Trade.

Let the Carnage Begin...


You shall not pass!


The last 3 Japanese Squads trying to run away in the Jungle
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8. Board Game: Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:3012]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Gettysburg –
Played with:
N/A

I had seen Martin Wallace’s Gettyburg being played at BGG Con 2010 so I picked up a copy but did not get it to the table. Andrew Maly (upfront2000) was looking for players at BGG Con so I jumped on the chance to play it. A random draw for sides had Andy playing the Confederates and I the Union. The game was tense until the end. It came down to the last assault on the Round Tops by the CSA on the afternoon of the third day. The CSA had pounded the positions on and behind the Round Tops before the assault but the last Union infantry piece held out for the victory. You know it is a good game when you're standing up for the last die roll.

Another bonus at this con was that Andy had started a geek list for Wargame parts that needed a home, [geeklist=74158]Part-a-palooza[/geeklist]. I picked up a few counters from C3I for my copy of Carthage I got in the BGG Con Math Trade.

Andy
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9. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:227]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Dune –
Played with:
Mark Woodson
United States
Richardson
Texas
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Mark Bausman
United States
Texas
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Merv D
United States
Unspecified
Texas
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Robert Woodson
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Gideon Mecum
United States
Fayetteville
AR
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Mark (bluedionysius) arranged a 6-player game. The factions were randomly assigned with Mark (bluedionysius) as the Fremen, Mark Bausman as the Emperor, Bob Woodson as the Harkonnen, Gideon Mecum as the Bene Gesserit, Mervyn (Con Man) as the Guild, and myself (jwboone) as the Atreides. We played with the optional rules with no expansions and limited alliances to two person requiring 4 strongholds for the win in an alliance and 3 strongholds otherwise. The first Nexus didn’t show up unit turn 3 or 4 and the following alliances were formed: Emperor/Fremen, Bene Gesserit/Harkonnen, and Atreides/Guild. The game went quite a long time with no alliance quite able to get the 4 strongholds for the win. The Bene Gesserit did manage to arrange a Lazgun/Shield explosion in Arakeen wiping out 12/13 Atreides units at one point. I completely missed it coming and even reinforced the spot right before the combat was resolved, ouch! In the later turns the Tleixau Tanks were quite full and a Nexus saw the Atreides and Harkonnen allying thinking they could end the game but couldn’t do it when the Bene Gesserit cancelled their coexistence at the right times locking out other factions from entering the strongholds required for the win. The Guild ended up winning when the game went the full 15 turns. It was long but it was fun.

Myself, Mark, Bob, Gideon, and Mervyn


Mark Woodson's diy Dune components we played on
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10. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:141]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sekigahara: Unification of Japan –
Played with:
Merv D
United States
Unspecified
Texas
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On Saturday after the Flea Market I had arranged a game of Successors. While waiting for it to start, Mervyn (Con Man) and I played this. Someone told us that the Tokugawa faction was a bit easier to play so Mervyn took them and I took the Ishida faction as this would be my 2nd play. We made it to turn 6 out of 7 before we called it due to our Successors game. It was close but the Tokugawa had slight lead when we called it and I didn’t think I could recover. This is becoming my favorite game of the con.
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11. Board Game: Successors (third edition) [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:969]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Successors (3rd Edition) –
Played with:
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Nevin Ball
United States
New York
New York
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Merv D
United States
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Texas
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This was my other game I had arranged at the con. Actually we had enough people to play 3 separate 4-player games! Nevin (Nevin), Mervyn (Con Man), and Kent (odd_texan), and myself played in this game. The only optional rule we used was that overstacking required rolling on the Attrition Table. On turn 2, rather than try to run the gauntlet to Pella, Perdiccas (Kent) buried Alexander’s body in Bablylon. Each player would have to try to win by VPs or Regency victory. In the end it became a race between Mervyn (Antipater/Craterus) and Kent (Peithon/Ptolemy) with Kent claiming the victory by his vast Median/Eyptian Empire.

Nevin and Mervyn


Kent


Kent's (Red pieces) Babylonian/Egyptian Empire
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12. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:141]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sekigahara: Unification of Japan –
Played with:
Kent W T
United States
Dallas
Texas
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My 3rd game of this at the con, this time I taught Kent (odd_texan) to play. I took the Ishida faction for the 2nd time trying for my first win. This time I decided that I would be more aggressive in my initial moves as my first two games I was not, with either side, and ended up losing both. In my initial moves I went for the Tokugawa muster point, Kiyosu . This would cut off the Tokugawa castle, Anotsu , and its lone block. I was able to take Kiyosu and eventually Okazaki castle. A lucky muster draw allowed me to strenghten the defenses of Aizu castle and they would go on the offensive and take Sendai, a Date clan muster point, from the Tokugawa faction. Ueda castle would fall to the Tokugawa and Kent would take the resource locations on that half of the map. Miyazu castle also fell to the Ishida faction. At this point the Ishida dug in to protect their Western map holdings. The game ended before Kent could break through my defenses and I got my first Ishida win. Another fun game.

Kent playing the Geisha


Ishida Defensive Wall
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13. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:141]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sekihahara: Unification of Japan –
Played with:
skippen
United States
Greeley
Colorado
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On Sunday, my final scheduled game was to be Sekigahara starting at noon. I went to the hotel early to checkout what was happening in the wargame room and ended up playing another game of Sekigahara, this time with skippen(cscottk). Again I took the Ishida as skippen had not played before. The Ishida plan was the same as in my game with Kent, go on the offense early to try to grab as many castles on the West half of the map and then try to hold them in the end turns.
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14. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:141]
John Boone
United States
Texas
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Sekihahara: Unification of Japan –
Played with:
Tim Isakson
United States
Richardson
Texas
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This was my last game of the con; a scheduled game with Tim Isakson (loiosh13). My 4th time playing Ishida. I try my early offense plan again in the West pretty much writing off the two Ishida castles on the other half of the map. Tim's Tokugawa control pretty much everything on the East half of the map and has four 4 army stacks moving East. I place some two/three stack speed bumps in front of the castles I hold to delay him just enough for the win. This was my most played and most enjoyable game of the con.
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