Aug 16

Live From Gen Con. Sort of…

So, it is not as easy as I had hoped to upload pics and stories to the blog from my droid while at the convention center.  I will try again Friday, but for now I will provide a quick synopsis of my Thursday at Gen Con.

I arrived with Heather and Eli around 9A.M. and we started relaying communications with other friends in an attempt to coordinate plans for the day.  We decided to gather in the Rio Grande Games room to see what they had available for free play this year.  It was a decent selection, but we had already played many of the games in the room.  Adam Pressnell and his wife Morgan joined us and we decided to play a four player game of Upon a Salty Ocean.  After playing for a bit, Adam decided he was not interested and Heather, Eli, and I played a three player game.

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We were shown how to play by a nice young lady working for Rio Grande.  Unfortunately she messed up on one major rule, and while we don’t believe it effected our finishing order it most certainly inflated our scores.  The general consensus seemed to be that it is a decent game, but not great.

Next up was a press your luck dice fest Called Roll to the South Pole.  Heather, Eli, and I were joined by my old friend Jim Bennie and a nice man named Neil that we just met.  I am not famous for my dice rolling abilities(luck) and my expedition to the South Pole suffered as a result.  On the other hand, Heather is a crazy hot shooter.  So hot in fact, that the  snows of Antarctica seemed to melt right from in front of her intrepid explorer.  In other words, she crushed face.

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I think it is pretty obvious who liked this game the best, but all agreed it was fun, even if somewhat lacking in strategy,  I think kids would really enjoy it, and it is good filler game for adults in need of a little break from heavier fare.

After Roll to the South Pole we headed of to the Mayfair Games Hall to see what they had to offer this Year.  We settled on a relatively light area control/set collection game of jungle exploration called Amazonas.  Players play competing scientist who are gathering plant and animal samples in the Amazon Rainforest by building in native villages and trying to avoid the dangers of the jungle.  Jim, Jeff Atkins, Heather and myself participated in the game and all felt that it was a good one.  It was a tight, easy to learn, fun game that I would recommend for adults and kids as young as 10.

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After finishing Amazonas, we were joined by Adam Baker and his friend Josh.  Now that our group had swelled to six players we had to find a game that could accommodate a group of that size.  We opted for something light and goofy, settling on Nuns on the Run.  I took on the role of the Abbess and Prioress who roam the halls in search of the novices sneaking out of their cells in search of their special wish cards.  The movement of the novices is hidden and the guards listen for noises and try catch them as they roam the halls in a race to be the first back to their cell with their personal goal.

The game sounds like fun, and probably is if someone already knows how to play and can teach from knowledge rather than reading the rules.  As we did not have this luxury, it seemed to be more complicated to learn than what game of this weight required.  To be honest, we asked for a rules clarification from a Mayfair volunteer and we are still not sure that his answer was correct. If it was, it seems impossible for the guards to catch up to the novices.  Anyway, this one went out with a whimper as many of us agreed that we would rather play Scotland Yard which is a similar but better hidden movement/deduction game.

After Nuns on the Run, our group dwindled to Heather, Eli, and I.  We decided that we had time for one more game before heading home for the night.  We chose London by Martin Wallace.

This was a most excellent choice!  The game represents the period of rebuilding after the great fire of London.  Players compete to gain control of city boroughs, manage their money, and build various buildings in pursuit of victory points.  We loved it!  Heather and I agreed as quickly as the third turn that this wold be one of the games we take home from Gen Con this year.  I highly recommend giving this one a try.  It was without a doubt the best game we played during day one at Gen Con.

All in all it was a great day.  I hope to have more luck with the live updates, but if not their will another quick report like this one forthcoming.  On to day two!

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