Category Archives: BGG.CON 2006

BGG.CON: Sunday

Game #1


Last night, Mike told me to try out Balam. He had liked it. So, when I saw
it in the library, I checked it out. And for the first thing today, I sat
down and started puzzling out the rules. Luckily, two people came by and I
convinced them to play the game. There were English rules, but the translation
was really, really, bad. It lead to a lot of confusion. But we persevered
and finally figured out how the game play went.

The first city that I built was simple (two villages and a palace). The
next city was placed on a 4 spot obsidian tile and built two villages and
two garrisons. This immediately caused a reaction as the other players
scrambled to build garrisons as well. I was not going to provoke a fight
yet. However, Nightmare
decided to attack me. I was a little suspicious when she picked me and
not her boyfriend. But I could see that my city was undefended and his
was not. She rolled a two and got to destroy my palace. I realized that
this effectively took me out of the game since I could not move the goods
that are produced into my king’s personal finances. Which meant that I
could not build buildings anymore.

So, after we had discussed this all out, I retaliated and picked one of
her undefended cities and rolled a 3. This destroyed her palace and a
village. Two people out of the game on turn 3. And upon a reread of the
rules, I notice that we missed the “Leniency of Chaak” bit where we get
two more corn goods on each round before the Eclipse.

We decided to call the game at that point. I was happy that I played it
though. That play certinally took it off of my buy list. Because I have
heard that the bad events are really nasty in this game. Maybe it just
needs the proper mindset from the start to plan for catastrophies or
wars to turn it into a better experience.

Game #2


We tried a hand of Control Nut and then moved to the game of Mu. Marty went
out looking for a fifth and found Lewis. So we taught the game to him. I was
successful in my powers of suckup. He picked me twice as a partner because
of the cards that I was displaying. Unfortunately for us, we failed our goal.
I was also more agressive in bidding in this game. I made one goal and lost
another (to Gravitt of all people ;).

Minor regrets:

  • Not playing more new Essen games. My main goal of this con was to check out
    all of the releases and determine if I should buy them.
  • Some new Essen games had no English rules translations yet.
  • Not playing a full game of Tichu at all! WTF?
  • Being burned by the camera flash. Apparently, it was not having enough
    power to recharge the flash. But it had enough power to keep the display on
    and make the capacitor whining noise. Which made me think that it was on but
    not working for some unknown reason.
  • Not playing disc golf in Dallas or in Waco on the trip up or back. No biggie…

Interesting facts:

  • I only checked out two games out of the library (Fiji and Balam) and I didn’t
    bring any games from home to the con.

Still, it was a blast.

BGG.CON: Saturday

Game #1

I was reading the rules to Fiji, but had to take a break. For it was flea
market time. What a madhouse! I did buy Goldbräu but had to leave
since the mad press of people was getting to me…

Game #1


The first of the new Friese games that I played was Fiji. It is a quick and
light filler game that uses simultaneous reveal as its mechanics. There are
four rounds of the following:

  • Distribute beads: Everyone gets 5 green, 4 red, 3 yellow, and 2 blue beads.
    Put the same amount in the center of the board.
  • Determine exchange conditions: There will be four groups of two cards. The
    first card says what the goal is. The second card is the action that is taken
    if the goal is fulfilled. A goal can be the most of one or more colors or
    the least of one or more colors. The action can be to take some number of
    gems (varies based on the color), or half rounded down of a color, or everyone
    else but you takes one, or some funky actions like mess with the ranking
    of colors or take back what gems that you showed.
  • Determine goal conditions: There are four cards (one for each color). The
    card will say if you are going for the most or the fewest of a color. Remember
    that when you shuffle these cards, suffle their orientations as well! The
    order of the cards determine tie breakers. The color on the leftmost is the
    one that you are going for with ties broken by the next leftmost.
  • The exchange: There are three rounds of exchanging. Players simultaneously
    pick from one to four beads and place them in their hand. They are revealed
    and we will check the four conditions one at a time. The trick here is that
    if players are tied for the most/least of something, then the next place
    person wins. If everyone is tied, then noone wins.
  • Distribute shrunken heads: The first place player will get a number of heads
    totalling the number of people in the game minus one. The second player will
    get one less. And so on…

All in all, it was a light game. You must like the simultaneous revealing
of gems part because you do a lot of it. Of course, it sucks to have your
count be duplicated by people for one or more goal conditions and therefore
be nullified.

Game #2


I was happy when Kevin was carrying around Perikles and wanted to play it.
We found four other people and started explaining the game. Unfortunately
for me, it was right around 1pm when we finished the first round of the game.
I was hungry for lunch and wanted to run down to get something to go. Sadly,
no one else wanted to do that so they used that opportunity to stop playing
the game. So not much to report here as I need a full playing of it. Gah!
Too bad my gaming group is anti-Wallace.


I went to lunch with Kevin, Debra, Kevin, Tim, Mary, and Marty. During
lunch, the topic of which show had the most spinoffs. Both Happy Days and
Cheers were discussed. Of course, there was massive verification as
three people in this picture web surfed on their PDAs. Such geeks…

Game #3


Another playing of Imperial. And this time I knew what I was doing and I was
France. I was able to build up her forces rather nicely. Which painted a
hugh bulls-eye on me. One of the interesting things about this is that there
are two ways people can resolve this. They can either beat the country down
by taking back the territory and destroying the armies/navies. Or, they
can just buy shares in that country. If they go the shares route, then
they can either go for a minority holding in your country and let you run
things because you know what you are doing. Or, they can go for a hostile
takeover and do something else with the country. Interesting.

BGG.CON: Friday

Game #1

Age of Steam – Japan

For the first game, Age of Steam looked like a likely candidate. Some one
had set it up and was willing to play. Little did I know that he has played
in a lot of tournaments and had designed this map. But I wanted to get more
AOS experience under my belt, so I was game to try it out.

This map introduces a couple of new features. The first is building over
water. This is more costly than over mountains (costs 6 dollars) and can
only be built over one water section. The second is water/land hexes. When
you build on these, there are two cases. If the next tile is land, then the
tile acts like a river, otherwise it acts like a water hex. The last new
feature is the engineer action is a temporary +1 link ability. This allows
you to deliver length 7 goods for one turn if you engine capacity is at six.

The map is very tight. I passed the first auction and built off by myself.
When the game was 2/3rds over, I finally broke even. Dakarp was probably
hurt by building next to rri1 (the designer). So, the game turned out into
a pretty obvious first (rri1 – ending in the 100s), second (me), and third

Game #2


Eggert Spiele’s new game is called Imperial. I have learned that the game has
been in development for years now and was actually the precursor to Antike.
People who have played Antike will recognize a lot of similiarity to Antike.
A roundel determines what action is performed. You can move three spaces
for free and optionally pay to move up to three more. The actions are as

  • Maneuver – move ships and armies. You can convoy armies across ships.
    Armies and ships can occupy neutral territorys to gain income. Or they
    can attack other country’s troops or factories.
  • Investor – causes a payout to shareholders from the countries bank.
    The investor marker moves around.
  • Import
  • Production – All factories may produce their corresponding units.
  • Taxation – generates income to the country’s bank and may give you money.
  • Factory – the country pays five million to create a factory (either an
    army or naval factory).

What is different in this game is that you are an investor in countries.
If you own the most shares in a country, then you determine its actions
when the country’s turn comes up. Shares have a cost to purchase, a
percentage of interest that you receive when the investor action is taken,
and a victory point total. The score track on the board acts like Antike.
When one country reaches 25, then the game is over. This track is also
broken up into sections. These sections tell you what multiplier to use
against the corresponding country shares. It starts out with a x0 and goes
up to a x5 for the 25 spot. So if United Kingdom won and I had a 6 million
share in it, then my victory points would be 5×3 since that share has a 3

In the game, I was hosed early. I sent one fleet out into the Mediterranean
sea. I had wanted to use that ship to move my armies into Africa. However,
France decided to attack me and remove the ship instead of peacefully
coexisting. This forced me to then spend turns building up my armies
and attacking France back to get controll that I needed. This pissed off
France (the person playing it) because he was not in the lead and he
wanted my to attack the leader. I just needed to increase Italy’s presence
to get more money. Since having money allows you to buy shares in the
countries that are winning.

Still, it is a cool game and one that I will definately buy.

Game #3


Mike checked this game out of the library because it is another new
Essen game where we had English rules for it. We only got to play a couple
of rounds for it since I needed to head off for dinner soon. The Texas Hold-Em
tournament would be immediately after dinner.

This game is like Thurn und Taxis. But the new thing that it brings to the
table is the process to determine which tiles you receive. On the lower left
section of the board is a grid. You can place pieces either on the numbered
circles or on top of the tiles. To place a piece, you pay the price in the
circle. If you go on top of a tile, you pay 2 dollars. After everyone has
placed all four of their pieces, we determine who receives the tiles. If a
tile is surrounded by more of your pieces than someone else’s (including being
on top of it), then you get it. Ties are broken by first being on top of the
tile, or second, having more pieces orthagonally touching the tile. After
all of the tiles have been resolved, then we determine payouts. For all of the
numbered rows and columns, a person gets the triangle point value in dollars.

The next phase is the placing of the tiles. Essentially, you move your
marker around the board while paying the cost on the paths. If you turn in
a tile for a city (which only takes one type of tile), then you place a house
down. And when an area is surrounded by houses, you get to put a marker in
the lower right section of the board. This section will give you victory

In this game, poor Mike was alway hosed by me. I was sitting to his right.
And when I needed to commit my pieces to try and get certain tiles, it just
happened to be what Mike was going after. Sadly, due to the luck of the
draw for the tiles, there was really no other choice for me. I needed those
pieces for my path.

BGG.CON: Thursday

Big City

Jon and I drove up to Dallas this morning at 7 am. We stopped at Rudy’s for
some breakfast tacos and geeked out on the ride up. We arrived in Dallas at
10:30. So we wandered around town for a bit. Wouldn’t this make a great
spot for a game of Big City?

Plaza of the Americas

There it is, the Plaza of the Americas! The building that holds the convention.
It is a pretty nice architecture. A giant enclosed area gives a feeling of
spaciousness. See the skyway that allows travel from the Adam’s Mark to the
Plaza? Who needs to go out in the real world now?


Here it is…the tunnel into goodness…

Red prize table
Red prize table

The Red Prize tables

Blue prize table

The Blue Prize table



people playing

People are playing before the registration even…

Space Dealer

Oooo… Space Dealer…

Essen table #1

New games from Essen (front)

Essen table #2

New games from Essen (back)


The game library is in a new and bigger room.

Big Boss

The rare game, Big Boss, is sitting there in shrink!

Age of Renaissance

And Age of Renaissance is there also in shrink!

Game #1

Space Dealer

This is one of the new Eggert-Spiele games that I have been dying to try.
It is a 30 minute game with two one-minute sandtimers that perform actions
for you. You use them to produce goods, move your ship to transport goods
to other player’s locations (dropping them off for victory points), building
on to your space station, research new technology, or mining goods (generally
causing modules to function). Each card that you build has a one-time demand
of goods. When the matching goods are delivered by another person, they place
their marker on your building and they will score victory points. Usually,
you score lesser victory points as well. So it is in your best interest to
build building cards to lure people to your space station. One thing to keep
in mind is that the modules must be powered in order to function. So, it is
critical to upgrade your generators from level 1 (powering two spots) to
level 3 (powering four spots). Ships move around a round track which also
serves as the score track. There is each of the individual player’s planet
seperated by a neutral planet. For example, to move to my right hand player’s
space station, I need to spend one action to move right and arrive at a
neutral planet, spend another action to move to the next planet. Then, you
can drop off the goods to fufill victory points. It costs you nothing to
teleport back to your home planet, but you loose any undelivered goods.

The game is short, tense, and deviod of waiting on other people to
calculate their turns. You spend most of your short downtime planning
future moves. And you definately want to keep track on what other people
are mining to see if they can deliver their goods before you can.

This game is off to a great start. Now will it be a lasting game and
have enough staying power to keep it fresh and interesting? Only the sands
of time will tell…

Game #2

Green Town

Mike brought us another new Essen game to try. One made by the Bambus
Spieleverlag company. I definately recognized the green box from an
earlier game of theirs: Kanaloa.
It billed itself as a 45-60 minute game. The rules were not that difficult
to figure out from the translation (there was one hiccup of determining the
order of player actions).
This game is about performing tours of the country side for victory points.
You are either building up the country side or holding a tour. At the start
of the game you can choose one of four actions: 1) tour, 2) build,
3) build OR tour, 4) build AND tour. Once you have performed an action,
you flip that marker face down (taking it out of your possible choices), and
play passes to the left. When the last player has played, they move a
“x2” marker to the person on their right and perform one extra turn. This
process continues until everyone uses all of their actions. Then, the actions
are flipped back to face up and everything repeats.
Players have one tour card in front of them. This is the goal that they are
trying to fulfil. It has the length of the hex spots that must be crossed
and the numbers of things that people want to see. These can be nature areas (trees),
culture spots (houses), sports locations (circles), and/or shopping locations
(cubes). The cards also tell you the minimum and maximum possible numbers
of each of spots. For example, you might have to perform a tour over nine
hexes that must visit at least one nature area (with a maximum of three),
two culture spots, one sports location (with a maximum of two), and one
shopping area (with a maximum of three). For each of your own buildings and
nature areas that you visit, you get a buck (a victory point). Other people’s
building pay the corresponding person. And if you do not meet the critera
of the tour, you loose dollars for each thing that was missed.
This game was simple in concept. But our group turned it into a real brain
burner. The game lasted two hours and thirty minutes! It was rather difficult
trying to figure out valid tour paths. The length of the tour was what was
killing us. It is hard to find a tour that travels exactly nine
hexes and fufils the conditions.

Game #3


Mike Chapel succumbed to call of new, shrink-wrapped games and bought one.
It was Iliad. Which was a card game about battles. What was amusing was
that Mike couldn’t handle the continued use of the term “her” where you
would normally use the sexist “his”.

The army cards represent units. And the units follow rock/paper/scissors
like rules. For example, the Archer defeats Chariots and Hoplites.
Ballista defeat Chariots and Elephants. Chariots defeat Archers and Hoplites.
Hoplites can form phalanxes where their total is the sum of the points times
the number of cards.

There are two types of rounds: Thanatos or Gorgons. For Thanatos rounds,
everyone plays cards until they pass. When you pass, you get the highest
ranking hero (from 4 down to 1). The person with the most units left on
the board (plus the hero) gets their choice of one of two victory cards.
The second place person gets the other. And the person who had the least
number will get the Thanatos card which contains a negative victory point
number. A Gorgon round is quicker in that, at the start of a person’s turn,
if they have the highest army, then they immediately win. They get one
victory card and the battle is over.

For our first Gorgon round, Jon essentially played a spoiler. I started out
with a hariot (a wall that stops chariots and has 0 value). Paul dropped out.
Mike played an elephant (x2 multiplier). Jon played an elephant. I played
a hoplite (valued 4). Mike played a hoplite on the elephant valued 3 (x2 = 6).
Jon put an archer on his elephant. Now it comes to my turn. If I play a
2 valued hoplite (4+3×2 = 6), then Mike will likely play another hoplite
on his elephant. Jon does something. I would go for more hoplites to get
my multiplier greater than Mike but then Jon would have no choice to use
that archer to stop me. This would give the victory to Mike since Jon’s
army value is so low. So, instead, I dropped out and gave the battle to
Mike. Sigh.

Game #4


We had 30 minutes to kill before we had to go and play the ultimate meaty
game of Texas De Brazil. So, Jon and myself taught newbies jridpath and John
Pastor the ultimate partner game of trick taking — Tichu. After explaining
the rules we played a couple of hands. The first hand was an uninteresting 50/50. But
on the second hand, in my first eight cards were two aces and the Dragon. So
I called Grand Tichu. In the next six were the Phoenix and my partner passed
me another Ace. Of course, the other team passed me the Dog. I had no trouble
making that hand. Hopefully, we planted the seed of Tichu in two new people.