DrunkenCon 2004 - (P)review of Madness
Dave Sokolowski
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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For five years in a row, I've been collecting my friends from around the country to my own little gaming convention - I call it DrunkenCon. We all crash out for three days, drink tons of beer, and game non-stop. And since everyone attending is a friend of mine, the propensity for backstabbing and overall fiending is quite great.

In honor of DrunkenCon 2005 (or DCV as we call it), which is being held this week in the wonderful city of bridges, Portland, Oregon, I thought I would recall 2004's madness, which was held at Peter's house in wonderful, woodsey Eureka, California...
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1. Board Game: Sucking Vacuum [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:12555]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
California
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I thought I had assembled a great team for DrunkenCon 2004 (DCOIV), pulling Rich and Jeff from the bay area, Aaron from Portland, and myself, Steve, and Peter (the host) from Eureka and Arcata. But I had been deceived by my friends, when Doug (from Hoboken, NJ) showed up with Rich and Jeff. He had flown in on a red-eye as a surprise guest, and while it was certainly wonderful to see him, as the weekend wore on I was continually reminded why I stopped playing games with him years ago...

Anyway, we opened with a quick round of Sucking Vacuum, of which Jeff brought a first edition copy. And our crappy accents aside, it was a fine first play. This may once again find itself as the first game of DrunkenCon come Thursday.
 
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2. Board Game: Car Wars (fifth edition) [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:6062]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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I found a bunch of the latest Car Wars releases at my local game store on sale, and decided to make this the main game for DCOIV. We played one large game each day, and kept track of the winnings and placings, at least until Rich lost the records.

Of course, Doug would come out on top of the first round of Car Wars destructo-derby, and the second, and everyone would soon learn the wisdom of mine and Rich's catchphrase, "Kill Doug." But not soon enough.
 
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3. Board Game: Chez Geek [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:5604]
Dave Sokolowski
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Chez Geek harkens back to the earlier game days of this particular group, when we would play it before our weekly game of Call of Cthulhu. So this game was pulled out early and I think it was the only game I won during the weekend. Of course, with an annual gaming weekend called DrunkenCon, you would think I would excel at this game. And you would be right.
 
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4. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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Let's see... seven friends, lots of beer and rum, an endless summer afternoon spent indoors... sounds like a job for Diplomacy! We were all into it, although Doug, Aaron, and Steve all begged "newbie" and hoped for pity. And while some was given, soon it would be clear who the winner would be. I told Aaron and Steve as they stabbed me in the back, "If you attack me now, Doug will win." Once again, I was right.
 
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5. Board Game: Illuminati: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1357]
Dave Sokolowski
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The first casualty of DCOIV came later that night when Rich passed out early thanks to an emptied bottle of rum. As the rest of us hacked at each other's Illuminati, Rich snored away on the couch, eventually prompting us to gently stack him with empties and a teddy bear. And then our giggling woke him and he grumpily pushed it all onto the floor. I have no idea who won the Illuminati game.
 
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6. Board Game: Naval Warfare: World War 1 [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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DrunkenCon wouldn't be itself without a playtest or customized game or two, and this time we were subject to a game of Steampunkt Naval Lawn Battles, brought to us by Admiral Aaron and dozens of empty bottles scattered across the lawn. Jeff, Steve, and I took the English fleet, with our commanders balloon and gun ships and Juggernaut, while Rich commanded Doug and Peter as the Germans, with their own gunboats, torpedo boats and commander balloon. In short, we spent the long summer afternoon BBQing on the lawn while we pushed our bottle fleets around and attempted to fire at each other. While the battle never really finished, the Germans eeked out a marginal victory by sunset, although the smoke bombs really helped identify which ships were burning. Quite a great game, if for only the atmosphere...
 
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7. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1031]
 
Dave Sokolowski
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After our Call of Cthulhu game ran late and everyone else fell asleep, Peter and I held on dearly to the final night and I pulled out WTP to wrap up Saturday night and DCOIV's final night. The game went poorly for me as the Americans, with horrible card pulls, and Peter quickly peppered all 13 colonies with his Imperialist propaganda, winning before I could really respond. But we had a great last game on the last night.
 
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8. Board Game: City [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:11389]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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I've been designing my City game for a few years now, and we finished off with a playtest before Rich, Jeff, and Doug headed out. We were all burnt but refreshed at the same time. The playtest went okay, Jeff pulled out a victory by escaping the City after only 15 minutes of play, which starkly contrasted the previous year's 90 minute game. But I had enough comments to work with and they had to get driving home. So the group shook hands, they left, but there was time for one more game...
 
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9. Board Game: Blue vs. Gray [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2858]
Dave Sokolowski
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Sunnyvale
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And then there were four: Peter, Aaron, Steve, and I pulled the table into the summer sun and Aaron showed us how to play Blue v Grey, with Steve and I showing how to keep the Union from breaking apart. We gave them a run for the money and I think we just got better cards. I amassed a solid Union army and smacked the rebs around until it was finally time to go. Steve left, Aaron came with me to the bus station, and Peter was left to clean up.
It seemed like the weekend would go on forever, but everything ends. Fortunately, every summer brings a new DrunkenCon, and this year's is only days away...
 
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