Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 15: Games and People

I woke up early and slipped out to BGG.con at 7:00. The lines were just starting for registration that officially opened at . I parked my games and lunch on line and promptly left the line to go volunteer. For the next two hours I unpacked boxes, shelved games, and broke down boxes.

A number of others also volunteered, and all of us received our registration and goodies early. I left my stuff on the registration line anyway, so that Bill and Shirley could take it when they arrived (which they did at around 9:50). I didn't have a place held for Nadine, so she took a longer time to get through registration.

Nicer than all the games was seeing so many people again and having so many people come up to me to say that they know me from wherever.

What I Played

Agricola: I started with a game I already knew. The other three also knew the game already. Everyone was convinced that my RHO was going to trounce the rest of us, and he definitely had a huge improvements advantage. However, he also had no fields and 7 empty farm spaces. He came in third with 43 points. I won 47 to 46 over second place, also with a hefty improvement bonus.

Kingdom Builder: A new game from Queen by the designer of Dominion, this is a simple settlement/route creation abstract on a multi-terrained map. Think Through the Desert meets Taluva, perhaps. You place three guys on the selected terrain every round, but you always have to place your guys near your already existing guys if you can. You can earn special actions that let you split your settlement areas into multiple areas.

The trick is to find ways to split your territories and leave yourself with the flexibility of where to put your pieces each round to score best. Scoring is similar to TtD, but three special scoring optiona are available each round.

I thought it was good, but nothing special. The people I played with liked it more than I did. We had misinterpreted one of the special scoring cards, and so some of us were going for one type of area control while others were going for a different type; as a result, we weren't really playing the same game. I definitely won using one interpretation, but probably would have one with the other type as well.

The Manhattan Project: A new game from Minion Games (we played on a game that was half actual and half prototype components. It's a worker placement game of building atomic and plutonium bomb. The story was the same as it was for Kingdom Builder: I thought it was ok, the other players liked it more. There was an odd mechanic of getting your workers back and then spending them all in one turn on your buildings.

And once again it ended partially unresolved. I saved up and won the game with two bombs, only to discover that I only had 48 points, not the 50 needed. I easily had those other two points by taking an action on my previous turn, bit I didn't bother to take the action because I thought I had counted to 51. The others decided to give me the game, even though I was willing to continue, without rewarding my stupidity.

7 Wonders: Joined a game with 2 other experienced players and 2 newbies. I produced almost no goods and came second: Scores 55, 50 (me), 48, 43, 40.

Tichu: I wanted something short, so Rick Thornquist agreed to partner with me and we found two other players (Aaron and Sean). This was the shortest and most insane Tichu game I ever player. In half an hour - five hand - we lost 1000+ to less than zero. Our opponents bid and made three grand tichus. On on hand, opp opened a ten card straight that included a five card straight bomb. I bombed it with four jacks, opener bombed with four aces, and my partner bombed the aces with a straight flush. And they still succeeded with the grand tichu.

Crokinole: Jim Ginn and I played a game. We traded scores back and forth for a while, and then it took me four or five rounds, 5 points at a time, to finally win.

It's Alive: I taught this to some people. I lost; LHO won with the five point bonus.

Tobago: I stopped to teach this to three others, including the rep from Mayfair. I won, entirely due to my experience with amulets. We played with the curses, but said never again (with the original curse rules, anyway.

Nadine's Plays

Nadine played K2, Power Grid Sparks, Coney Island, Flashpoint, and Niagara. Bill and Shirley spent the entire day playing a single war game with each other.


Wil said...


I have played several times with what I think are the original curse rules and never hand any problems. Why did you not like it and how would you play with them? I am always up for rule variations. :)

Aaron Fuegi said...

Sean's straight was of course 9 cards (2-10 I believe after I had led the Dog) because after the Bomb he left himself with a five which I let him get rid of by calling out the two I passed to you. Fun game. I have however been in even shorter ones, including a minimum length 3 hand one I am pretty sure.

You only owe me a little over a thousand dollars ;) (Yehuda jokingly suggested playing for a dollar a point which I jokingly accepted.)

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Aaron, you're right that I jokingly proposed playing for a dollar a point, but luckily for me your response was, "Oh, I don't think that's a good idea".

Yehuda Berlinger said...


I don't like them because a single luck result can wildly throw the game; it's just too frustrating. It's bad enough to lose your most valuable treasure, and you can guard against that with amulets. But to lose four or five more treasures that simply don't get revealed is too much.

You can simply play without curses. Or you can make them discard one of your treasure cards but continue to take the remaining treasures. There are other variants in the back of the rules, I think.