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Subject: Gencon yeas and nays 2016 rss

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What are some highlights and maybe lowlights for everyone so far?

Highs for me:
Mystic Vale
Valley of the Kings: Last rites
BGG Hot Room
Serendipity Food truck --yep there is def a reason people line up for this one


Medium:
Consignment store --are people getting more silly with their sells --not paying HIGHER then retail (NEW) for the Thurs price --saw like 10 games in there wanted and was like nope ---saw several people remarking the same --and it was generally rather common games

Low:
The mad dash to sign up for demos of Harry Potter Hogwarts --sign up's for all demos for day only at 10am each day --was too slow
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Derek
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My quick nay was Terraforming Mars. I got to play a full demo game in the BGG hot games room. The rules are difficult to understand. Some of the rules are so poorly stated one could never know what was meant without asking the designer. Finally, the metallic finish was already wearing off of the cubes so you could see the bare plastic underneath. This is still day one! The game could not have been played enough to justify that wear.

Thankfully, I also played Scythe for the first time. It was as good as I hoped. So I got a yea in as well!
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Highs:
- Mystic Vale (more than a gimmick but a gimmick that someone will improve upon by next year)
- Mythe
- Lotus

Lows:
- Arcane Academy (it's boring and not worth stampeding to get one of the 50 copies per day)
- Council of Blackthorn (good idea but movements/actions & tokens could be simplified; the cost is for components and I think there are far too many because the gameplay is slightly flawed.)
- Grimslingers
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A. B. West
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Highs:
- Covert. Got to play this one during Gen Con - full game with 2 players. I very much enjoyed it. I'll give more thoughts later, but it was the best game I have played from Gen Con.
- Denying pre-opening buys to media folks. A few vendors did not sell the rare games to media folks before the opening bell. I really appreciated this. I know some media folks were disappointed, but hey, we should all get a shot at these games.
- Eric Lang. He was on site in the Cool Mini booth signing copies of his games. So kind and generous with his time. He was *constantly* signing by the way - not sure how many hours. But he smiled and said thanks to everyone I saw.
- BGG Hot Games Room. I hope they do this every year now. It was incredible. Quiet. Well lit. Comfortable chairs. Loads of games to play. Wonderful!
- Size of the Vendor Hall. Huge. Incredible. Amazing. Everything under the sun.

Lows:
- The line at Gale Force 9. I had pre-ordered Star Trek: Ascendancy with a Gen Con pickup. The system they were using to get us our games was horrible and confusing. Other booths were very well organized - Gale Force was decidedly not. Thankfully, after several attempts at coming back to see if things were better, it eventually was empty (literally) and I walked right up to two open cashiers. I guess the lesson is: don't always rush.
- The opening speech before Gen Con Thursday Vendor Hall opens. Terrible. It is full of self-congratulatory words in my opinion. I'd rather wish they didn't do it at all and just gave us a brief few words just before the doors open. Like maybe "Thanks for coming and I hope you enjoy the convention!" That'll do for me. It's annoying otherwise.
- Size of the Vendor Hall. Huge. Amazing. But so terrible in guiding traffic. They break lanes on purpose to force you into a booth (it seems). And what's with putting trash cans *right in the middle* of a crossing? Why do they do that? Put it off to the side for goodness sake.
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Rick Aichele
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adamw wrote:
Highs:
- Covert. Got to play this one during Gen Con - full game with 2 players. I very much enjoyed it. I'll give more thoughts later, but it was the best game I have played from Gen Con.


Good to hear! I can't attend Gencon this year and Covert is the only game I had my friend pick up for me. Looking forward to reading your additional thoughts on it!

 
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Jeremy Grise
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Highs:

Tyrants of the Underdark: really nice mix of deck-building and area control. The Drow darkness vibe of the board almost turned me off but the card art was very nice and not as uniformly dark. I can see this one getting played a lot by our group.

Campaign Trail - demoed the not-quite-production version and it was still a lot of fun. The decisions you have to make with each card can be agonizing, in a good way. Use the uber special event? Or campaign in California? Or save it to use in the debate? You can only do one, usually. Our group of three had a blast.

Lows:

AEG Big Game Night 2016 - unlike previous years, the takeaway "big box" had no actual big games. It was, almost quite literally, a box of boxes. Four micro games - including yet another copy of Love Letter; three empty micro-game sized boxes; and two larger empty boxes that claim to organize up to seven standard-AEG-size microgames. There are PICTURES of hot games Dice City and Mystic Vale on one of these empty boxes, which is strange because neither of those is a microgame, nor are they included with this package. For the first time in four years, no actual bigger boxed games. Also unlike previous years, this box of boxes appears to be a product that will be available at retail soon. So it's good if you don't like the idea of con exclusives but not something I would be excited to buy if I had missed the con. Good atmosphere at the event itself, as usual, but the box was a real let-down.
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Steve O'Grady
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Highs
Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game...wow, this one really amazed me. I was skeptical, but after the demo, I immediately got up and bought the game. It captured the theme and essence of the series quite well.

Beyond Baker Street...my wife and I demoed this on Friday morning. Plays like Hanabi (everyone can see your hand, but not you), loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes theme. Quick, fast, enjoyable, and very co-op like Hanabi. We bought this after demoing it.

Tyrants of the Underdark...I saw this at Origins in June and made a mental note to check it out at GenCon. Played it Thursday night and bought on Friday morning as soon as the exhibit hall opened. It is a Deckbuilder area control game, with multiple ways to score points for victory. I won last night by one point....the city I took on my final move in the game.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle...a VERY popular game at the con. We rushed in when the vendor hall opened and my sons were 3 away from the final copy sold (in the first 10-15 minutes), and there is a crush trying to sign up for a demo. We managed to get a booth worker to show it to us. It is a cooperative Deckbuilder. Images from all 7 movies. Expansion decks from all 7 movies are included in the game, with difficulty increasing with each movie deck. I think the Harry Potter crowd will NOT be disappointed.

Star Trek: Ascendancy...I saw this demonstrated at the booth, but was not a demo with playing players. But it is a 4x space game for 3 players....Federation, Klingon, and Romulan. It takes up a lot of table space, but looks well done. My wife would not play it with me, so I passed, but if my gaming circle ever included some heavy strategy gamers, I would buy immediately. Players of Eclipse and Twilight Imperium should feel at home here.

Asmoplay....On Friday night we played in an Asmoplay event, by Asmodee, playing in a Colt Express tournament event. All players got a Colt Express promo, while winners got a Colt Express mini expansion. I will definitely sign up for another Asmoplay event again next year.

Mare Nostrum: Empires...I am glad I kickstarted this game. Played it at Origins, and played it again with my two sons on Thursday afternoon. Easily accessible, low complexity, multiple paths to victory, trading, diplomacy, building, war....all in about 120 minute, and always a close victory for the winner.


Lows....
The PreReg line on Wednesday...last year we spent about 20 minutes or so, this year it was an hour. The Con continues to grow.

Enjoying the Con. Looking forward to Saturday and Sunday,
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Todd
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My high school buddies and I have a reunion every year at Gencon. This was our 7th year in a row (we are all well over 40).

Best:

Scythe Very fun Euro cleverly disguised as Ameri-trash. My friends and I all loved it.

Worst:

1. AEG Big Game night. By far the biggest disappointment of the Con. "Big Game Night" should NOT be "Big Storage Box Night." I really like the folks at AEG but this was either a huge mistake or a bit of corporate hubris of the worst sort. How could they think we'd go for a few micro games and a bunch of empty boxes? Also, it was too hard to get to play any of the newer games at the event. My group played games we'd played last year because we couldn't get four spots at any of the new stuff.

1a. Horrible demo teachers. Our first three demos were pretty bad as the teachers clearly didn't know the rules well enough to teach. I'm looking at you Mayfair (Star Trek 5 year mission), FFG (the new Cosmic Encounter/ Game of Thrones game --the teacher was basically making it up as we went along. I can't wait to buy this game and yet I skipped my turn at the end of the demo because we were playing it so wrong and I just wanted to leave). I understand that these are unpaid volunteers but they should at least know it well enough to teach it. In contrast AEG folks did a great job teaching its games.



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Richard Galati
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FezAZ wrote:
My high school buddies and I have a reunion every year at Gencon. This was our 7th year in a row (we are all well over 40).

Best:

Scythe Very fun Euro cleverly disguised as Ameri-trash. My friends and I all loved it.

Worst:

1. AEG Big Game night. By far the biggest disappointment of the Con. "Big Game Night" should NOT be "Big Storage Box Night." I really like the folks at AEG but this was either a huge mistake or a bit of corporate hubris of the worst sort. How could they think we'd go for a few micro games and a bunch of empty boxes? Also, it was too hard to get to play any of the newer games at the event. My group played games we'd played last year because we couldn't get four spots at any of the new stuff.

1a. Horrible demo teachers. Our first three demos were pretty bad as the teachers clearly didn't know the rules well enough to teach. I'm looking at you Mayfair (Star Trek 5 year mission), FFG (the new Cosmic Encounter/ Game of Thrones game --the teacher was basically making it up as we went along. I can't wait to buy this game and yet I skipped my turn at the end of the demo because we were playing it so wrong and I just wanted to leave). I understand that these are unpaid volunteers but they should at least know it well enough to teach it. In contrast AEG folks did a great job teaching its games.


In defense of the people Demoing games, the blame should mostly be on the company because a lot of these demo teachers either didn't get to find out what they were demoing until Wednesday night. Thats ok if its an easy game to learn but some of these games are a bit harder.



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Nicholas Krause
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Yeas:

Crisis: This game is great. It's a semi co-op euro game, it has multiple difficulties, great rules, and and a theme that hasn't been done to death. Easily some of the most fun I had at the con. I went home and immediately backed it on kickstarter.

Stockpile: This game lives up to the hype. I got to play it with Seth, one of the designers, and had a blast. It's the light weight economic game I've always wanted.

Nays:

Epic Resort: This is a two hour deck building game with a light worker placement element tacked on. The actual game part of the game, the part where you buy cards that influence who can work at the various attractions at your resort runs out about 45 minutes in. Did I mention there are only 6 (maybe 7) card types available? The whole time you're using these same cards to purchase attractions for your resort. There's very little variety in what these offer, other than their special power, which often times feels underwhelming. So when the card run out you're stuck running the engine you built for another 75 minutes while monsters attack your various attractions. These are easily defeated and do absolutely nothing to add tension. The group I played it with uniformly hated the game. We kept asking ourselves if we were missing something. So we kept asking questions, hoping to ferret out some mechanic that would make this an excellent game. There was none. Epic resort was a complete miss. Too bad, I actually liked the theme.

Krossmaster Quest: The guy was nice enough and did a good job teaching the game. He wasn't the problem, so in case you're on here CMON guy, you did a great job. The problem began before the game even started. Set up took about 40 minutes. (I got to the table real early and decided to talk to the CMON guys before the demo began). Then at noon we began the game. It took nearly 30 minutes for me to take my first turn. I admit we were learning, but the players who joined me on this quest didn't really have any AP, it's just the way the game plays out. In an hour and twenty minutes I took a grand total of 3 turns. We did manage to finish the demo, but only because the guy running it fudged the rules to allow for smoother gameplay. How this ever got to market like this, I'll never know?
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Sam Lam I Am
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Yea: Rio Grande free-play room
Train-gamers Association Tournaments Those people really have their stuff organized and run like a well-oiled machine.
Chatting with Vlaada Chvatil in the CGE room

Nay: . . . . Yeah, I got nothing here.
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Brad Keusch
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yea: -Finally getting to play kingdom death: monster, even if it was just a demo it cemented my need for the reprint.

-20 sided rye. Great official con beer, sun king always delivers, love them to a thorough extent.

-Scottys Brewhouse. Even though we didn't have the greatest service, who cares when you are on that patio. The best place to wrap up a night, ever.

medium: secret cabal meetup. Same venue as last year (the alexander) which is a nice, swanky little joint, but the meetup was already too big for it last year and it was WAY too big for it this year. The generosity of the publishers for this event is awesome to see though, lots of happy people as a result (including one girl in our group!).

nay: completely spacing on my desire to demo/buy Covert. I could only get to saturday this year, and it was a whirlwind that left me missing lots of stuff. Hopefully back to 4 days next year!
 
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Everett
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Yay:

ARKHAM HORROR LCG!

Nay:

No battlelore Elves.
 
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Kevin Keefe
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Highs for me:
1. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle demo
2. Conan (Monolith) demo
3. Hanging with friends
4. The Space Wolf Grey Hunter squad cosplay! WOW!

Lows
1. Auction consignment shop. Terrible.
2. Not getting a copy of Harry Potter because USAopoly was not prepared for demand. I was in position and everything, but gambled and chose wrongly on which side of the booth the line started.
3. The auction itself was fairly disappointing. I think the raised fees and no on-site registration really limited the selection.
4. TOVA was lame. I didn't even stay for it all.

Can you tell that the auction is normally one of my favorite things about Gen Con?
 
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Jeremy Gray
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adamw wrote:
Highs:
- Covert. Got to play this one during Gen Con - full game with 2 players. I very much enjoyed it. I'll give more thoughts later, but it was the best game I have played from Gen Con.
- Denying pre-opening buys to media folks. A few vendors did not sell the rare games to media folks before the opening bell. I really appreciated this. I know some media folks were disappointed, but hey, we should all get a shot at these games.
- Eric Lang. He was on site in the Cool Mini booth signing copies of his games. So kind and generous with his time. He was *constantly* signing by the way - not sure how many hours. But he smiled and said thanks to everyone I saw.
- BGG Hot Games Room. I hope they do this every year now. It was incredible. Quiet. Well lit. Comfortable chairs. Loads of games to play. Wonderful!
- Size of the Vendor Hall. Huge. Incredible. Amazing. Everything under the sun.

Lows:
- The line at Gale Force 9. I had pre-ordered Star Trek: Ascendancy with a Gen Con pickup. The system they were using to get us our games was horrible and confusing. Other booths were very well organized - Gale Force was decidedly not. Thankfully, after several attempts at coming back to see if things were better, it eventually was empty (literally) and I walked right up to two open cashiers. I guess the lesson is: don't always rush.
- The opening speech before Gen Con Thursday Vendor Hall opens. Terrible. It is full of self-congratulatory words in my opinion. I'd rather wish they didn't do it at all and just gave us a brief few words just before the doors open. Like maybe "Thanks for coming and I hope you enjoy the convention!" That'll do for me. It's annoying otherwise.
- Size of the Vendor Hall. Huge. Amazing. But so terrible in guiding traffic. They break lanes on purpose to force you into a booth (it seems). And what's with putting trash cans *right in the middle* of a crossing? Why do they do that? Put it off to the side for goodness sake.


+1 to...

BGG Hot Games Room - a great respite from the craziness of the rest of the convention. I ended up going here on 3 separate occasions. Booking 4 hours of gaming after a busy day at the convention halls was awesome. Plenty of games to pick from and good people to game with. I also would love if BGG made this an annual thing.

Eric Lang - The guy just exudes joy, no matter how many obligations or appointments he seems to have. Always seems friendly and makes time for fans no matter what. A great designer and ambassador for the hobby.

Pointless Opening Speech - Man, did that run on and on and on. I agree, short and sweet is best.

I'm going to add...

Yea to the Dice Tower Show, which was very entertaining and one of the highlights of the con for me.

Nay to crappy demos and teachers. I do understand that it must be stressful and exhausting to have to teach so many people over the course of a few days. Long hours and whatnot. But I encountered more than a few pretty grumpy individuals. That, coupled with several instances of incorrect rules interpretations left a bad taste in my mouth. Another "demo" was basically a sales pitch in which the people at the table didn't even get to play one turn. And the kicker was the no-show teacher for my Arkwright play-through. If companies can't get their act together on this stuff, then stop offering events or trying to demo games!
 
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AJ Newhausen
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Yeas:

True Dungeon was great as always. Sure, it's bordering on overpriced at this point, but it's not really something I do anywhere else. I even remembered to swap contact information with some of the people I ran with this time so we can do it again next year! Now if only I hadn't mismanaged my HP to the point where that beholder reduced me to exactly zero...

The Doubleclicks were an absolute delight and a great way to spend an hour. Why did I wait until now to see them perform live?

The Exhibit Hall was run smoothly, and I left myself just enough time to go through and see every booth I wanted to see. There felt like enough space for the most part - except, weirdly enough, for Sunday, where the hallways were super packed, yet there was no problem getting around the booths themselves.

Nays:

AEG Big Game Night - This was the first year I was able to get a ticket, and based on the way everyone's talked it up, I was really hyped. Friday night comes around, and...I get to play three AEG games, then get a box full of boxes and a couple microgames that nobody asked for. And it turns out Mystic Vale isn't even any fun. Super disappointing. I cancelled an event that ended at 8 because I didn't think I'd be able to get to both in time, and not only would I have, I would have been better off cancelling Big Game Night and going to the other event instead.

Dominion: Empires - I'm normally a huge fan of Dominion, and have everything before Adventures, but the game I played in the RGG hall was a mess. The cards on display were super complicated, there was basically nothing in the way of card draw...and it took nearly an hour to burn through it. The closest I came to not having fun all weekend.

The Networks for selling out on Thursday before I got around to seeing if there were any in stock, but that's really nobody's fault but mine.
 
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