Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Gamehole Con 2021 - Day 3

Starting to feel like a lot of boardgaming yet?  No kidding.

Friday...we're not to the weekend yet.  E and I started our day by heading over to Mickie's Dairy Bar by the Madison campus.  It's a usual stop for us now and Apong picked up on it from my FB feed and headed over not long after us.  Great food - cash only, so come prepared - but huge plates, well prepared, and at great prices.  Not to mention I've never  had an unfriendly waitstaff and this time was no exception.  She went out of her way to talk to us about food and work.

First game of the day was Tournament at Camelot.  It's a trick-taking game with a twist for your primary character, secondary character, and a number of places and artifacts associated with the round table.  We had a bit of a rocky start because the coordinator hadn't played in a while and couldn't remember the difference between what basically was a round and a hand.  It made a BIG difference for play as some things weren't visible until all tricks had been played.

E's particular card combo facilitated drawing more and more specialty cards.  You can see the obvious difference between their hand and mine.

One of the best  parts of the game is that it is fairly easy to manipulate the target as you figure out the rules.  The woman across from me was point free [a good thing, think of getting points as damage] until we got a little more savvy, and then players would use "ties" in the card number/suit to pull the lowest or highest card out of contention, meaning the trick would default to the second highest or second lowest depending on the situation.  Made for some pretty spirited table talk.

This is not us.  Random people playing Cthulhu Wars.   I don't think that 90-120 minute playtime on boardgamegeek is accurate.  They seemed to have been there MUCH longer than that.  I assume they're playing with an expansion as I think the base set only accommodates up to four.  Ah, it does exit in a 6 to 8 and clocks in at at least 120:

Some more rando Gameholeconers.  Not sure what they're playing but they were interested in my random photo taking.  There were a couple of tables with lengthy games going on including one the next day with a huge custom Mario Kart type board game.

E and I played games with Kane Klenko, the game designer, for a few sessions.  During this one we played Fuse, a few prototypes, and Cosmic Factory pictured here.  This was a fun game - easy to pick up if you want a family game that's fast: five one minute rounds.  You're using 2x2 cards to make a 3x3 grid and score for areas with orange, areas with green, areas with blue, and continuous asteroids [like a wall in Alhambra].  Your lowest two scores are your end score.

Those cards in the middle are for snatching if you think you have the most points in one of the three planet categories.  Pick up extra points if you're right.  Lose some if you're wrong. I'm obviously going for a green planet play and wall points here.  I'm not sure what E is up to as a strategy.  Or Kane for that matter...their layouts are much less monochromatic than mine.  There are cards that mix it all up by forcing the tile draft to be different, adding black holes [removes cards], and more.

We had a gap, so went to the library to play a round of Wingspan.  I stole Klund's strategy and focused on birds that took other birds.  Even so, with big piles of point cards, E and I had close scores.

We also played Battleline.  Sean, who taught me Power Grid forever ago, also taught me this game.  Love it.  Think three card poker hands [sequential, suits, total] and any "cohort" that wins a column counts toward a win on your part either via a number of wins or sequential wins.  There are some cards for mixing it up [like wilds] and you have to pay attention, because with only one of each card, it may become impossible to win with a column and that means that column is immediately and irrevocably won by your opponent.

While E was off playing other games, I went back to Liberty Station.  My burnt ends grilled cheese from the day before was a bit too much, so I settled for a bowl of burnt end chili.  Top notch. That and a beer were the perfect amount of lunch time food.

Gaymer group.  E didn't make it to an event but bought a pin from them.

It's Apong, and he's involved in nuclear annihilation.  He's playing on the Solvanti system. I had a gap where I could have played, but it felt disappointing going to a gaming convention and playing on a computer.

That said, they all looked like they were having fun whenever I saw folks using the pads.  Honestly, with everyone in the same place, it's just a LAN party.

Mike hosted Shadows Over Camelot.  Not to be confused with the Camelot game earlier.  I had watched a video on this one randomly in the past and was interested.  It's a semi-cooperative where you go on quests alone or together to gain renown for the round table.  But someone is the traitor.

Both Eryn and I felt it suffered a bit because we had younger [e.g. 8?] players and they'd go a little OCD at times trying to make sure all the knights were on the right colored seats, etc.  In the end, we kind of let the person we knew was the traitor slide so he could finish the game by placing the last catapult.  With another group, might be more fun, but I don't think I'd consider it a go to game for replayability if I owned it.

I was Sir Gawain.  My power was drawing two cards at Camelot.

That shirt across from me is the traitor.  At this point in the game, we had five white swords, but you really need 7-8 to try and force a victory.

Way more swords, but there are a LOT of catapults out there, and when there are 12, game over [so really when there are about 11 because the traitor can try and play one on purpose as their "bad event" each turn].

Setup.  I swear I played no less than four games with Picts in them over Gameholecon.  Picts are big.

E went off to play games and prototypes with Kane and Klund.  I, on the other hand, bred peppers and used those peppers to create chili in Scoville.  It was fun...but most of the mechanisms have better implementations in other games.

The trick is walking between the rows like in Children of the Corn to breed better peppers by combining the colors.  Brown peppers are generally gross, but you can sell them, and they are used in recipes.  White and Ghost and Black peppers are better, although you need those other colors for optimal scoring.  

The winner had very few recipes.  You could win by a few other methods.  I put in a good showing by having a lot of smaller points on recipes and on the market cards.  Here's the card for cross referencing pepper colors.  The x was the big one to avoid...everything else had some sort of use.  Downside to the game was constantly referecing the card if you hadn't played it a few times already.

Friday night...bedtime.  I went back, made some chicken at almost 11 p.m. because I'd missed dinner while gaming and E had a brat.  E and Klund got back LATE - they hung with Kane for a long time discussing the pros and cons of the prototypes and discussing possible changes.  Sounded like a better time than Scoville.

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