[games] Carnage Con

I have not posted for the last few days because I've been at Carnage Con in Fairlee, VT. It was awesome, tiring, informative and fun.

Thursday Night:

The convention hadn't started yet but Dollar and I were invited up for an early role playing game by a GM I trust and whose games are always intense. We didn't get home until 2 am. My character just barely managed to survive (life = 1). It was fun playing and RPG with Dollar.

Friday Afternoon:

I was scheduled to play the boardgame A Game of Thrones. I honestly didn't have very much fun. I was ruthlessly and relentlessly attacked by one other gamer and found out in the end that I was in the weakest starting position. The game is a little like Risk but much more complex. And it didn't help matters that I made several idiotic errors during gameplay. I would be willing to play this game again with friends but there's really no way to win unless you attack/fight other players. I prefer games that feature non-direct combat. This game is based on a book. I think the game would be much more rich if I understand the history and read the series before attempting to play again.

Friday night:

I wasn't scheduled for anything so Dollar and I headed home. I was a little down from the bad game and tired from little sleep. So we came home for supper and a movie.

Saturday morning:

Left Dollar in bed. I knew better than to schedule him for anything before 1pm. I went up to Fairlee for Zooloretto. Fun, easy game where you get delivery trucks of animals (pandas, camels, elephants, etc) and you need to place them around your zoo. I thought the game was a little too easy- one of the players at the table was 5-years-old. We played the game twice in under an hour. Good game if you want to play with kids but I could see it getting old fast with just adults. But now that I think about it, I wonder if this would be a good game for any beginner to Eurogames.

Saturday afternoon:

Went home to get Dollar. We played in the Bang! tournament. It really helped that we play this game almost weekly in our house- we've got most of the rules memorized. We played well enough to make it to the final round and... Dollar won! I'm amazed because he was allowed in with one of the lowest scores from the first heat but he won it in the end! He even beat the guy who won last year and wanted SO BAD to win again this year. And here's a bit of irony for you- it was the same guy who ruthlessly and relentlessly attacked me during A Game of Thrones. He was also completely ruthless during this game- he basically started shooting at someone on his own side so that we could collect ALL the points in the end, and not have to share them. What kind of gaming is that?

Saturday night:

Caylus. I own this game but have never played. I've read the rules and was left confused. I've read the rules to people and their eyes glaze over. I chose to play this game at Carnage to have the rules explained TO me and then I would be able to explain it to my friends. Well, it took an hour to go over just the rules. It seemed SO complicated. At this point it was late at night and my brain was pretty much jell-o anyway, but the game has you juggling several different strategies, tactics and actions at once. And the game took 3 hours. I walked away from the table saying, "I'm selling my copy." Now that I've had some time to think about it, I'd like to give it a couple more chances to see if gameplay really smooths out as you get more comfortable to get with it.

Sunday morning:

I'm buying Power Grid. The object of Power Grid is to supply cities with power. God, could any game sound more boring? Yet this game was GREAT. The conflict is non-direct, which I like. You can cut people off but they can always build through you or, in a later phase, build where you are as well. It's really just a race to see who can power the proper amount of cities first. Nice. No one can steal your resources, no one can tear down your power plants, buying/building actions are based on rank so that people who are doing the worst are given first choice. Great game.

Sunday afternoon:

El Grande was an interesting game. Easy but not too easy. Kind of abstract. At this point my brain was melted jell-o and I was ready for the convention to be over so I didn't play as attentively or carefully as I might otherwise. I could see myself playing this game a lot.


Anyway, that was Carnage this year. I got to check out a lot of games I was interested in buying and after playing them, I realize that I didn't like them enough to drop the $50-$80 for them.

I think Carnage is all about having fun and checking stuff out. As you're playing a game at a table, random people will walk up and watch the game for a few minutes, then walk away. They're just checking it out.

Next year I want to play a historical miniature game. The people running those spend so much time and money on their VERY realistic dioramas.

Also, I might like to run a couple games. I didn't see Shadows Over Camelot being run this year. And I wonder what next year's theme is going to be.

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