BGGCon 2010 – Day 0

Last month I was lucky enough to once again attend Boardgamegeekcon. My second year was an even better experience. I saw many friends from the year before, never spoiled for people to try new games with, and got to play many of the hot new games. Yeah, it's a pretty good way to spend a few days. [Read more…]

Boardgamegeek Con – Year 2

Last year I was lucky enough to attend the premier boardgaming convention in the US, BGGcon. I will be there again starting tomorrow. Alas, I think it's unlikely that I will do much updating in media res, although like last year I will do a full post mortem (you can see last years starting here.) It should be an amazing 5 days.

To whet your appetite, here are a couple of games I am very interested in going in:

Troyes. I've mentioned before that I like dice games, and in this game each color of dice represents a particular class of citizen. All of which can do different things. Looks right up my alley.

Navegador. It looks a little like a combination of Finca and Endeavor, both games I really like.

7 Wonders. A civilization building (and destroying) version of Dominion? Sounds interesting to me!

Vinhos. A game about making wine. Not my favorite theme, but this one has a lot of buzz around it.

Merkator. The theme has been done to death middle ages trading empires, but this is from the guy that did Agricola and Le Havre, so I am automatically interested.

Junta – Viva El Presidente. Just because I love the original so.

So, see everybody some time after Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday.

The Games We Played: Alexander Hamilton – AntiFederalist

Been awhile since I did any game reviews, and I have several really good games to cover. Also, I am about to head to BGGcon for the second time, so I have been thinking games even more than usual. I have written previously about how much I enjoy games Jason Matthews and various partners have made. Whether the wonderful Twilight Struggle, the equally great 1960 or the recent Campaign Manager you really can't go wrong. Except for one thing – all those games are only for two players. Here follows a way too long review of their latest game. [Read more…]

Your Friday Afternoon Can't Decide Whether to Develop or Consume

Race for the Galaxy is a fun card game where each player is trying to conquer the galaxy. There are many different ways to win – economic, military, research. It's all about building an engine that can grind out victory points faster than your opponents. Will you choose to try to get victory points by consuming goods, or by colonizing (or conquering) lots of planets. Of course, it's a card game so there is a heaping helping of randomness in there as well.

The good news is, a fellow named Keldon has created a single player version that is available for download. It includes a very capable AI. Trust me, this could waste more than just this Friday. Download Keldon's great Race for the Galaxy game at his website. And, in case you need a rules refresher, you can find the rules to the game here.

The Games We Played: Everything Old is New Again

Last year I covered the games nominated for the most prestigious prize in boardgames, the Spiel des Jahres. I went over the basics of the prize – decided on by a jury, heavily weighted towards family games – in that post, and gave some back ground on the award. Of course, the prediction in that post were severely hampered by coming out two weeks after the prize was announced. This year, I am ahead (slightly) of the game. The prize is due to be announced next Monday. This years candidates are a curious bunch. I have actually played all 5 games, and they are all over the place. Let's take a look. [Read more…]

The Games We Played: Cabinet With a Monkey

I mainly focus on strategy games here, partly because those are mainly what I play and partly because the people I play with don't enjoy party games that much. I like them, but don't get to play them much. Last night I got to play a party game that quickly rocketed to the top of my favorites, and will certainly be played again many times. Does a combination of the telephone game & pictionary sound like fun? Well it is!

Telestrations is a simple game. You are given a laminated flip book and a card with 6 words or phrases on it. You choose one of the words, and have 90 seconds to draw it. As soon as everyone has drawn it, you pass your book to the person on your left. They look at the picture, and try to guess what it is, and then write that on the next page.

This cycle is repeated until your book is back in your hands. So, last night I started out with "pigs in a blanket" and when I passed it, she guessed "shrouded pigs" which led the next player to draw a hilarious picture that the next guesser somehow turned into "poodle." It stayed poodle all the way around back to me. The funniest one we had last night was the original word "cannibals" becoming "marriage" by the end.

This game had us laughing so much that I was worried the cafe would ask us to keep it down. One of the genius parts of the game is that you initial every drawing or guess you make, so you can always see where things went off track, and who to blame. At the end of the round (played in at most 15 minutes) you go through the flip book page by page and watch the transformation.

Sure, it's not a deep game, but we had 9 people laughing really loud for 2 rounds last night. It was a definite winner. Sometimes a good party game can be a great way to start or end an evening, even with hard core gamers. This is also a game that can be played with anyone, whether they like Die Macher or Connect Four. It's rules are very simple, and there is not a lot of brain burning. A great game for family or a group of friends. Definitely recommended!