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That Board Gaming Thing 2010

January 13th, 2011

Well…here’s another post that I started writing last year but never got around to finishing. I had written the intro and outlined the games, but I hadn’t written up the “reviews” for each game. So, of course my impressions now are going to be a bit different than they would have been right away. Oh well…maybe this year I’ll make a better point to write up my report right away! (yeah, right)

We were on the fence about attending our local board gaming convention. We just didn’t know how it would work logistically with the kids this last year, especially with Cullen nursing around the clock. We were finally convinced to just take the plunge and stay at the hotel. I’m so glad that we did it! Each of us had some awful moments with the kiddos in the hotel (not to mention some not-so-stellar nights), but overall it was so great to be back into the gaming world. I will be making this event a priority in the future and can’t believe that I missed the last couple of years!

I thought I would recap the (new) games that I played over our four glorious days of gaming (in alphabetical order). I’m going to do my best to give each one a score on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being among the worst games I have ever played and I’d rather claw out my eyes than play it again and 10 being something I could play every moment of every day.

Agricola: I have been wanting to play this one for a while, so I was glad we finally had the opportunity. Gabe and I both thought that this was one of our top favorites from the weekend. My only complaint is that I felt like the scoring rule wasn’t adequately explained to me. The way that I thought everything was scored was quite different from how it was actually scored. I am eager to play it again with the right rules! We got it for Christmas, so I hope to have the opportunity before too long. This is another one of those games where the players each take turns deciding what actions they are going to want to execute in the next round. I’m always feeling like there’s a million things that I need to do and not nearly enough actions to do them all! I definitely enjoyed it and look forward to playing again. I’ll give it an 8.5.

Attika: Gabe and I managed to play this one together, too. We both liked it well enough. I’m on the fence as to whether we need to own this one, but I would play it again. I’d give it a 7.

Blue Moon City: This is a game that I might not have picked on my own. I think the the name and cover art is just not something that says, “hey, play me!” Gabe didn’t get to play this one. I liked it, too, but I am not itching to own it. I would play it again, though it wouldn’t be my top choice. This one gets a 6.5.

Change Horses: This is definitely one of the worst (if not the worst) game that I played all weekend. I would not play it again. I would not recommend it to anyone. I would not want to own it. That’s too bad. Horse racing games can be fun. This one is not. I even played it with very fun people (and we all agreed, this one is a stinker). It was just too random and there was no way to actually strategize. I give it a 1, though I don’t actually want to claw out my eyes.

Dominion: Alchemy expansion: Dominion wasn’t new, but the Alchemy expansion was. I played it several times during TBGT. Dominion is good when you don’t have the time for a more serious game, though I did have a couple of long dominion matches during the weekend. We both liked it well enough that we wanted to own it, and we got this one soon after the convention. It unfairly gets an 9, unfairly because I’m biased towards Dominion already.

Dominion: Prosperity expansion: This wasn’t actually released to the public yet, but there was one pre-release copy of the expansion floating around the convention. I managed to get to play it a couple of times. I thought it was fun! It added a bigger denomination to the money and a larger victory point card as well. We played a fun game with LOTS of money, but I’ve also played some rounds that weren’t as exciting with the money. I kept watching for it to be released, and we received it for Christmas. Again, this expansion also unfairly gets an 9.

Fresco: I keep overlooking this one, but I like it the more I think about it. The particular game of it that I played may have played a little slow. I would like to play it again to see if it was just due to too many people learning the rules. I liked the mechanisms in the game. You’re all painters, and it has neat stuff like trade in a blue cube and a yellow cube to get a larger green cube, all representing paint. I wouldn’t mind owning this one. I give it an 8.

Lemming Mafia: I played this a couple of times. It is also random, but it was much more enjoyable than Change Horses. It also has cute lemming mafia dudes. I believe that this was another game that had not yet been released to the public. It is a decent filler. I’m not sure that I feel compelled to own it, but I would play it again. I give it a 6. It’s hard to give a filler game too much more than that.

Macao: I think that this was both Gabe and my favorite from TBGT. I liked the mechanism of the windrose and the cubes in this one. We both played twice – one with each other and then another game each separately. This one can suffer from analysis paralysis (as it did for both of us in our game without each other). I’ll give it an 8.5, too.

Ra: The Dice Game: I thought that it was an interesting adaptation of Ra with the use of dice. The play of the game is completely different, but the feel is similar in the scoring. I am not convinced that I need to own it, but I would definitely play it again. I give it a 6.5.

Small World: We actually owned this already, but we hadn’t had a chance to play it. Gabe wasn’t able to play it, but I had the opportunity. I liked it! It has several expansions, and I think that I had played with those expansions at TBGT. This was one of my favorites from the weekend as well. I’d give it a 7.5.

Telestrations: This was one that I knew I had to get for games night and family. It’s a great party game!!! It’s Pictionary meets telephone. I like the little dry erase booklets and the pens. The mechanism is good, and every time I played was fun. I played with 8 people each time, and I definitely think it is best with 8! I have found it to be fun with as few as 4 or 5 since then, but I still prefer 8. We got this game shortly after TBGT (maybe even right after? for my birthday?). I give it a 9 for party games.

Valdora: This was the first game we played at TBGT. I thought it was fun, but it was overshadowed by others the rest of the weekend. The little “book/card” mechanism was neat. Overall, I would probably play it again. It wouldn’t be my first choice. I’m not itching to own it. I’d give it a 6.5.

Who’s the Ass?: I can’t really give this one a fair review as we didn’t play a complete game. I think we played only a few hands. It was somewhat amusing to say “ass” repeatedly, and the group I played with was a fun group. It’s pretty dumb overall, though, and I don’t think that I would seek to play it again. Fair or unfair, I’m still giving it a score. I give it a 4.

Word on the Street: I played this one twice, and it’s a good filler/party game. It’s a word game, but not a serious word game. I liked it well enough, and we got it for Christmas. I’m sure that people will like playing it at games nights, too. I give it a 6.5 for word/party/filler games.

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