Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Gameholecon 2022 - Day 3 and 4

Aeryn and I have a tradition of going to Mickie's Dairy for breakfast every Gameholecon.  This year there was a big game scheduled for Sunday.  Can you tell?  There are a LOT of people in red in this photo you can't see.  It's like an iceberg.  They got rid of the banana monkey.  That was the first thing we noticed.  You can see it in an old set of GHC photos.


Aeryn and I played One Night Ultimate Werewolf on Sunday morning.  Definitely a younger crowd, although the guy to my left was roughly my age.  But the three people to the right you can't see are closer in age to those you can.  We played....thirteen games.  I think they played even more after we left to find a bathroom and some food.  With all those roles, it was a little tough at times.  Once there was some confusion about who was outing who as the werewolf and I commented to Aeryn, "I think they're just not certain about the rules in this case."  I was right.  In their defense, I got the doppelganger wrong when I played that role.  I acted like I truly believed I was who I'd taken a peek at when it was my turn to snoop around.
We hung out at the game library for a while and played Santorini.  Aeryn mopped the floor with my twice.  I am definitely out of practice.  I could see the loss coming and still couldn't rally.

 Aeryn played The Quacks of Quedlinberg and had a good time.

I played Munchkin Panic while Aeryn was at lunch.  I don't think this is a great game.  I prefer the standard Castle Panic, whereas this one is much more competitive.  Although you still have an everyone loses condition.  There's a card where you can kill a castle section yourself for victory points.  Three people availed themselves of it.  So mean.  Not that it mattered - I'm pretty sure we would have lost anyway, although it might have bought us a few turns.  Once those two hits to kill monsters get inside the castle, you don't have the advantage of the castle killing them off organically.  I enjoyed playing with the couple on the right.  Competitive, but really fun.  The guy to the left of me kept getting louder and louder and yelling more directions as it became obvious we were going to lose.  Him...not so much.  I do like the mix of castle cards and treasure cards in Munchkin Panic.  That's a nice change.
There's always a scratch and dent area at the sales tables.  It wasn't as good this year.  Although this copy of Kitsune of Foxes and Fools was still there from last year.  If everyone pays attention to boardgamegeek reviews, it will still be there when the apocalypse assures there are no more Gameholecons.  The Power Grid maps guy who has been there every year we've gone wasn't there this year.  Last year I attempted to buy a Power Grid map for Korea, but it's the only one that's sold out everywhere.  Now I'll never get a copy.  I did find Aeryn a copy of Doctor Who: The Card Game with the Twelfth Doctor expansion at half price.  I knew it wasn't supposed to be a good game, but I trust Aeryn will modify it to make it something more interesting.

Troyes was my favorite game of the con. I picked up a spot at the table last minute because I had a gap where I'd found Aeryn a game, but not myself.  I think those last minute adds have always been some of my favorites.  After a rocky start figuring it out, I got in the groove.  I like the mechanism where you can steal dice from other players [effectively their workers, soldiers, scholars] to use for your own sets.  There's a good mix of communal events costing everyone resources that make you have to weigh your choices about what you can live with.  Reminds me a little of Champions of Midgard in that respect, but the player interactions are taken up a notch, which I really appreciated.  I'd give it an 8/10, although part of that might have been playing a full set of four with a good group of gamers. I ordered myself a copy of this one.

We did get some gaming in at the house, so it wasn't only for sleeping.  Not as much fun without Ming there, but we made due.  Wingspan with Klund and Koleman and Aeryn.  I did not fare as well as the night before.  Lots of cards, but a brutal time trying to get food even with all the options.  Aeryn's better at this game then I am: lots of time playing it on Board Game Arena and Steam.
Me and Aeryn playing Calico.  I like Azul: Queen's Garden better, and they're somewhat similar, but it's definitely fun. I bought it for my wife from a game store over on Minnehaha Ave and we've played it once.  Aeryn and I played three times over two nights.  The last time we played with the full set of objectives rather than on learner mode.  You're trying to place tiles on your quilt with patterns and colors and then match those patterns and colors to the objective tiles. You can overlap patterns and colors and each objective can get extra points for both conditions.  Enough of a pattern in a row, attract a cat.  Enough colors near each other, attach a button. Get all the buttons, get a rainbow button.  That's pretty much the whole game.  Makes my head hurt.  Aeryn is very good at it.
More Calico.  Aeryn's Flumph isn't playing.  We went to two design events on Saturday and Sunday, per the last post.  "Monster Creation" and "Worldbuilding".  I was disappointed there were no women on the panel, but they were interesting.  My takeaway from Monster Creation...if you're doing it professionally, there's a lot more math involved to standardize the monster against the system then I would have imagined.  My take away from worldbuilding...sometimes the weird unanswered questions are really useful.  One panelist mentioned a story where knights threw something away they didn't want to be found dead with before going into battle.  A knight throwing something aside is mentioned.  But never what.  It creates a thread someone else can fill.  Even the author said he didn't know what had been thrown away.


Klund, Koleman, and me playing Roam.  My last game of the event [the next morning was one of the seminars, although we've played games before we leave before].  I love Roam...a fast game with a placement mechanism a little like Tetris with the players having different vantages on the board.  I was probably a bit too sleepy to be playing at that point.

The next day, we left for home and stopped at Osseo, Wisconsin for pie.  There's a brand new board game shop on main street, Boards and Bricks.  An amazing array of games.  Aeryn found a copy of Ticket to Ride Japan [and Italy] and got a discount.  Really excited because the roommate loves Japan and loves Ticket to Ride.  The bullet trains make it extra classy.

Overall: not my best Gameholecon.  I think I needed more new games, tbh.  But I learned a few I really liked, had a lot of fun with Aeryn, and didn't have a bad experience at any point, and I'm not sure I can say that about past Cons.  After all, play enough games, and you'll get a bad table.  It's like work teams in some ways, but concentrated.  A lot of different cultures in miniature in a short period of time.  I did like the relaxed pace.  I definitely didn't feel rushed.  And, props for bringing an apple and orange so I could eat some fruit.  A good lesson for future gaming events.

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