Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 14: A Long Drive, A Welcome Return

We woke early for our nine and a half hour drive from Kansas City to Dallas (actually, Irving). We miraculously fit everything in the car (including all of our food and snacks until Sunday). We drove south the entire way on I-35.

Kansas was flat and dull.

Oklahoma turned into some pretty territory after we passed Oklahoma City.

We didn't see much of Texas between the state line and Irving, but it was all steakhouses and other urban sprawl.


We arrived, unpacked, and walked over to the Westin. It was a heady, joyful feeling to be walking into a conference where I know I will have a great time, where a few people know me, and where I have a new game ready for people to enjoy.

I went straight to the administrative area, said hi to some good friends and the BGG admins and took a peek at the game cards for Spare Squares. As I had been told, the green and blue colors did not come out quite as I had expected (or as the graphic files look) and are closer in appearance than they should be. However, they are distinguishable when placed next to each other, so I think the game is still playable. Everything had already been packed up and placed in the kitty bags for registration, so I had nothing to do but play some games.

I showed Nadine how to play Crokinole. Then the four of us ate some dinner. Bill, Nadine and I sat down with someone who looked a little lonely to play a game of Roll Through the Ages. It's a dice-based game, so not one that's usually on my list. However, like many modern dice-based games, they try to make it so that nearly all the dice results are useful in some way or another, so that the choices you make are of primary importance.

You roll dice on your turn, adding results to complete bonuses: bonus points, bonus dice, bonus special abilities, etc, until the game is over, typically within 45 minutes. It was nice. However, there is barely any interaction in the game; a few attack results wouldn't have hurt the game (if the attacks could be handled in a manner that didn't end up in one player getting picked on).

I ended up winning, to my surprise.

Nadine and I then wandered around and found someone willing to teach us Troyes. A fourth person joined us as we learned the rules. It's another game of assigning dice for results, though quite different than the way Alien Frontiers handles it. It's actually quite complex, and the available options for gaining points is also complex, which makes it hard to wrap your head around. I thought I kind of figured out where it was going by mid game, but I ended up in last place. Nadine asked the most questions, and she ended up winning (I think, to her surprise; definitely to mine). I quite liked it, and hope to pick up a copy.

The Mayfair rep

Part of the library, not including Essen releases
The main room


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