> --- In Unity_Games@y..., Craig Massey <cwmassey@y...> wrote:
> > The day dawned clear and bright. Somewhere off in the
> > distance, some nondescript animal made a nondescript
> > sound. That's the way things started for the 3rd
> > annual New England Boardgame Team Championship.
I'll echo Pitt's sentiments, thanks Craig for organizing and
running this event. It's a lot of fun and is different enough from
all of our various open gaming events that it's a unique experience.
Also thanks to everyone that came! Unless you're spending the day
gaming (which you can do pretty easily) the $15 fee (if you didn't
preregister) for the day and the event ticket is pretty steep. But
we all get to have some fun and it emphasizes that board gaming isn't
just Settlers, Puffing Billy, and Star Fleet Battles.
Just some notes and thoughts...
The first thing I saw when I came in the board game area was a
group of 3 or 4 guys playing Elfenland (they also had a stack of
other euro games there). It was weird because they weren't part of
our contingent and were completely oblivious to us. Between games in
the tourney I stopped by for a moment and mentioned that there were a
whole mess of us playing these board games on the other side of the
room. They didn't appear interested and I don't believe I ever saw
By the time I was done playing in the tourament they were gone. It
left the recruiter in me frustrated, "Don't you know that you're not
alone?!? There's a whole mess of us playing these games around the
MA/RI/NH area. Come and join the UG list!". But then again, part of
me felt a bit cultish for even thinking that. Heheh.
I was pleasantly surprised to see all kinds of board gaming going
on outside of our group's. Of course there were the train gamers (my
own GSG buddy Rich Z was there) and the guys playing Star Fleet
Battles. There were also folks playing Axis & Allies, Risk, Risk
2210, History of the World, Settlers, Circus Maximus (that big Lego
version), that table of rogue German gamers, Hero Quest, and Dave and
I even stumbled upon a group of guys playing Supremacy while on a
quest to see some RPGing.
Terry M might be able to report about more of the board gaming
going's on as he was there for a much longer period (3 days?). Terry
if you're reading this could you post a little report on the various
board gaming goings on that you saw?
The dealer area was fairly disappointing, but it has been that way
ever since Crazy Egor stopped coming (at least for us old
wargamers). There was a fair selection of board games there, but the
prices were hard to swallow.
As mentioned Dave and I took a cruise around the hotel after dinner
in a quest to find some RPGers (we never did find them, apparently it
was between sessions and ALL of them decided to eat at the same time
or something). We did find the miniatures gamers in a fairly obscure
section of the place. I swear that place doubles as a human/rat race
maze on off days. Plenty of Warhammer 40k going on and I found a
table of Mage Wars (?) going on also. I was kinda bummed that I
didn't find anyone playing Space Hulk.
After a quick game of Take 6 Rich M, Buzz, Jeff T and I sat down
for a game of Funkenschlag (Buzz was still miffed about the drubbing
I gave him in Traumfabrik earlier ;-)). I've only played till Phase
1 in this so I was looking forward to the full game.
The rest of the gang were fairly experience rail gamers and since
I'm also fairly slow on the uptake I trailed the pack throughout the
game. I actually had a fair chance towards the end game but blew it
in an attempt to bid Jeff up on a power plant (he let me have it!).
I came away pretty impressed with the full game and look forward to
playing it again. It's definitely doable in a GSG evening sometime.
I've still gotta get that map blown up, Buzz had made a (smaller)
copy on his PC so we got around the crayon/dry marker problem. But
that's not a solution I like either, the map is simply too small.
As for the mechanics, it's somewhat of a nickle and dime logistics
juggling game followed by a little race game in the end. The screw
you factor can't be minimized here and I was on the receiving end of
some excellent play by Rich several times.
I'm still not enchanted with the way power plants are brought into
the game. The auction mechanic bails it out somewhat, but the last
player left in the auction phase can get some incredible windfalls
simply because there is no auction at that point (he gets it at face
value). The guy in last place is *usually* the recipient so I guess
it's a bit of a game balancing feature, but it still feels off to me.
In fact in our game I got lucky down the stretch and received
the "10" power plant for face value. But for my own stupidity I
could've competed for the win. Then again the dynamics would've
changed completely and Rich too had made a bad error towards the end.
I definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes games with a
bit of meat on em and doesn't mind the longer length.