Defending my Canadian Honour at IndyCon '011
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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This is hands down my favorite weekend of the year. What could be better than devoting three straight days to sitting around with such a great group of people and playing board games with no distractions? There is nothing better and the con gets more and more fun each year. This year I had some friends from college join me and had an absolute blast (they enjoyed it as well).

I once again joined the courageous group of all night gamers (Adam and Brandon) for a 41 hour game-a-thon (from Friday at 9am through Sunday at 2am), passed out, and then squeezed a little more in on Sunday. I played a total of 37 games with 15 of them being new to me, that's what I call a successful weekend!

I want to make sure to thank the people who made my dream weekend possible:
J. David Koch
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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and his very understanding and wonderful wife Tami who puts up with us week after week and still is willing to put something like this together.

As well as
Adam Daulton
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Indiana
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Also, what's the deal with all these lists popping up on Sunday night? How much Geek creed do I lose by making everybody wait all the way until Tuesday afternoon?
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:70]
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Denise suggested that we start the Con with this one and we quickly filled up a table. I don't remember many details from this game or the second one that we played directly afterwards except for the fact that I lost both games. 7 wonders was almost constantly being played during the con, at any given point you could see someone explaining or playing it. At least for the time being it seems to be the filler game of choice especially when you have a large group.

I played two more times on Sunday, the first time was to teach it to one of my friends who likes empire building games but only had a little time left and then again to end the con. I thought it was appropriate to bookend the con with this game.
 
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2. Board Game: Antler Island [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:5566]
Board Game: Antler Island
Andrew Brooks
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Indiana
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I had to play something relatively quick and light before my planned game of Civ at noon. I got together with a group that suggested this and we jumped right into it after a quick explanation. There's a fun theme with a nice 3d effect on the map but the player figures were terribly goofy, not exactly sure why. I liked some of the ideas here but I like my direct conflict games to have a little more depth. At the end of the game it seemed to come down to who was at the top of the mountain which I wasn't crazy about. It sounded like there was a more involved variant to encourage fighting which would be nice but I don't think I liked the game enough to try it again.
 
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3. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:270]
Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
Andrew Brooks
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Indiana
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This was the game of the con for me, I have been looking forward to playing this since it came out and it did not disappoint. Adam and I had scheduled a game during at noon and it ended up just being the two of us so Jeremy and Brendon jumped in. All of us are experienced Civ computer game players and everybody but Brendon had read the rules so after a quick overview by Jeremy we were underway.

I drew Germany, Brendon was Egypt, Adam was Rome, and Jeremy was America. I didn't really have an idea of exactly what I wanted to do but since I was Germany I decided to start out aggressively. I sent out some armies pretty quickly and got the research that gives you a coin whenever you win a battle so that I could convert some villages into coins. I picked up a bunch of spies with my villages and huts and pretty much used them to defend myself from culture attacks. Midway through the game I decided that the economic victory was about the only chance I had to win after I picked up a great person that gave me a coin and noticed another coin on the map near my starting city. I ended the second last turn just 1 coin shy of victory and then proceeded to get trounced by Jeremy on the last turn as he destroyed a building near my third city, nuked my second city, and then went on to win by culture just before I could claim my last coin.

This was a great tense civ building game that has it all. Pretty much all the aspects of the computer game are consolidated into a thrilling 3 hour experience. I look forward to playing this again and maybe I will get to pay Jeremy back for the suffering he caused my people.
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4. Board Game: Nightfall [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1787] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Nightfall
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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I played this for the first time a couple weeks ago and it completely took me by surprise. I love the chaining mechanics and when Jeremy suggested it I wanted to give it another try. Jeremy managed to put up some serious forces almost every turn and turned on his charm to make everyone think that I was the bigger threat in the game. At reveal time Jeremy showed a measly 3 wounds and took home the win. I both love and hate how players get to advise each other on who they think the current player should attack. But I mostly love it. It adds an interesting bluffing element that lets you influence where the wounds get directed. This alone makes this a more social and interactive game than the other deck builders which can be refreshing. I also continued to enjoy the lack of down time as you get to play on other player's chains.

I think this will be a game that I don't end up buying but when others bring it with them I will suggest playing it. Maybe after some expansions this will change to a must have.
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5. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:883]
Board Game: Metropolys
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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My friend Chris had arrived during my game of Civ and played 7 wonders while I was busy getting bruised and beaten in Nightfall. We finished at the same time and joined up with Adam and one of his friends, I suggested Metroplys because I love it. Adam was telling me that they rethemed it which makes me sad as I find the theme and artwork to be extremely appealing. No one else had played before so I went through a quick rules run down and we got right into it. I was proud to be able to get my first win of the con with this one.
 
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6. Board Game: Rattus [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1058]
Board Game: Rattus
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Adam suggested this one and his friend wasn't too keen on it but was a good sport and played along anyways. We played with a random selection of roles including my personal favorite, the Pied Piper. Adam tried to convince us that he was a witch but we were not fooled, he is clearly piping up a storm. Adam's friend tried the strategy of not taking a single role during the game which nearly worked out. Adam walled up Spain with the king and stuck a ton of guys in their. Chris had fun with the Nun and used them to protect his peasants while hiring the Pied Piper to lead the rats away. I used the soldier guy to move around the map quickly and avoid my areas and then later grabbed the king as well to bring down the walls around Spain and spread the plague to Adam's masses. I pulled off the win at after all the rats made their final attack.

This was a fun light game, not sure I'd want to own it as there is a lot of randomness with the plague markers but there were still some fun decisions to make and lots of good player interaction.
 
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7. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:752]
Board Game: Can't Stop
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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I am a Can't Stop machine and proved my stuff in this great filler. There was lots of encouragement to not stop and giving in to peer pressure against better judgement. Adam nearly won but fouled his last roll and let me take home the win.
 
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8. Board Game: Puzzle Strike [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1987]
Board Game: Puzzle Strike
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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I pulled this out to teach Chris and Adam since Chris mentioned that he liked deck building games. Adam absolutely cleaned the floor with Chris and I by keeping a low gem pile throughout the game. I had a character that was very conditional and kept drawing his abilities when I couldn't trigger them because I didn't have my chips in the right place. I'm not sure if I was just playing him wrong but I found it to be very aggravating.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this one, I'm not sure if I don't entirely get the strategy or just hate the chips but the main thing that bugs me is the player elimination. I know it's a quick game and you don't usually have to sit out for too long but I find it to be a really lazy mechanic. I know it adds nice tension to the game and it does capture the essence of the arcade game very well. There's also a nice variety of chips especially the cool character abilities but I don't think I'm going to be playing this one much in the future.
 
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9. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:186]
Board Game: Cyclades
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Adam suggested this one and I tried to convince everybody that it was a war game as he insisted that it was a euro. I swear that they meant to have the pegasus on the cover shooting laser beams out of his eyes but just forgot to add it in the final draft. I must say that this was one of the most memorable games of the con for me. I expanded quickly in the first turn to conquer and island that had an additional income on it but was quickly attacked and wound up with 2 empty islands. I spent a great deal of the game trying to prevent the other players around me from being able to mount and attack against my defenseless islands and was actually able to hold them without any troops for the entire game. Chris got an early city with 4 philosophers and I followed suit a little later with one of my own by building all 4 buildings. On the last turn I had 3 philosophers and was saving up for my final one when Adam used a harpie to kill the one troop defending my city and Chris swooped in on a pagesus to take my city for the win. An excellent and fun conclusion to this great game. Thanks a lot Adam.
 
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10. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:359]
Board Game: Glen More
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Much thanks to Jeremy for explaining this one and then kicking our butts in this one. We joined up with Brandon for a game that I had been wanting to try for a while now. I started off with some early point scoring tiles and was sad to see increasingly better versions of them come out as the game progressed. I think I picked up only one extra guy during the game and was pretty low on castles and whiskey on top of that. I was able to score a lot of points during resources and the game ended just one turn shy of me getting a really big point payout.

I definitely want to try this one again. I like a lot of the mechanics and there seems to be a nice balance in gathering tiles to score points but not gathering too many and losing points at the end for over extending.
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11. Board Game: Alea Iacta Est [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1679]
Board Game: Alea Iacta Est
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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This was one that I picked up in the Math Trade that Shea was gracious enough to run. I also picked up the special edition Tichu tin which I'm very proud of.

Brandon explained the rules and we were off. Pretty much everyone but me hit the Templum pretty hard and gathered tons of points. I concentrated on the Senatus since I was rolling almost nothing but straights for my initial rolls and then picked up some people to end the rounds quickly. I ended up getting beaten pretty good by some of the Templum junkies but enjoyed the game. Seems like a nice light dice game which I don't have many of in my collection aside from Roll Through The Ages. I'll have to give it some more plays before I decide how much I like it.
 
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12. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:613] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I'm always up for Ascension so we pulled this out and Barry joined us. Lots of monsters spilled out onto the board for the first half of the game and we pleaded with Barry to take care of them for us as we built up or money engines. Brandon accused Barry of cheating early and often as he thinned out and cycled through his deck quickly. I started to dabble in a mix of combat and runes and was able to take out the Avatar of the Fallen near the game end for a nice payoff. I also picked up my nice big constructs and ended the game with a nice lead.

I still prefer this game with 2 players but find the 4 player game to be an enjoyable and chaoticly fun experience.
 
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13. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:365]
Board Game: Kingsburg
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Chris and I were joined by another one of our friends and I suggested Kingsburg as Chris had been eying it early in the day. We played with the reinforcement tokens but left all the other expansions out since it was everyone else's first time playing. There were an unusual amount of crazy high rolls for a majority of the game with an occasional dreadfully low roll to balance it out, I was somewhere around the middle most of the game. We ended up getting goblins for most of our monsters and I went with the first round gamble of 0 military which cost me an early building. I followed the Embassy track first to give me a nice flow of points for the rest of the game and then went for the Wizard's Guild second and despite all the bonuses I got from that row only managed to get up to 8 military for the final battle and lost to a strength 9 monster which cost me a my Embassy. I still ended up winning and everyone seemed to enjoy their first play of Kingsburg.
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14. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:68]
Board Game: Crokinole
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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This one is my proudest moment of IndyCon 2011, the Crokinole tournament. Much thanks to Adam for putting this together, but no thanks to him for putting his bets on Todd to win. As the resident Canadian I felt the heavy burden of responsibility to represent my country well in our native dexterity game. Luckily I made my country proud and have received a personal congratulations from the Prime Minister himself.

I checked the brackets to see who I was up against and called out Kevin much to his surprise as he had not entered the tournament. After clearing up the confusing I ended up being paired with Chris in the first round and taught him how to play with a little practice before our match. I proceeded to win 115-0 followed by a match with Dave at 125-0. As my sleep deprivation set in and the competition increased I had closer and closer matches until the final showdown for the title. Things were tight and evenly matched but I pulled through in the last round for a memorable win.

This earned me 5 tickets in the raffle to Tami's 1 and wouldn't you know it that hers was the one that was pulled to win the board. I'm very glad to see it go to such a good home where the next generation can be taught this incredibly fun game.
 
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15. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:740]
Board Game: Tumblin-Dice
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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While we were in the dexterity game area I taught Chris Tumblin-Dice and we had a couple quick matches. I can't imagine an IndyCon without getting to play at least a couple games of Tumblin-Dice. I returned several times throughout the con to play this.
 
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16. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1221]
Board Game: Factory Fun
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Things were getting late (or early) and we were down to just 4 brave gamers so we pulled this little gem out. This was another game that I've wanted to play for a while and one of my favorites from the con as well. I started out strong but soon found it hard to grab the machine I needed quickly and rearrange my factory properly with my brain going into late night shut down mode. I think I ended up ditching 3 of my last 4 machines as I just couldn't figure out how to make it work. Adam creamed us all with plenty of bonus point connection all over his factory.

I really want to play this one again when I'm fresh, I love puzzle games and this one fits that bill perfectly. Adding this one to my most have list.
 
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17. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:422]
Board Game: Lords of Vegas
Andrew Brooks
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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Adam taught of this one and it turned out to be a great game to play late at night. Lots of gambling happened and I lost pretty much every bet that was made by me or at my casinos for the first half of the game. One huge casino was built and all the other lots struggled to progress much but by the end of the game things were pretty tight and I was starting to enjoy the game quite a bit. There were lots of power struggles and funny moments as the ownership of a casino would swing from one player to another. Good random fun.

There were a lot of neat ideas here but I just can't quite get past the amount of randomness that's involved. Definitely fits the theme and is great fun but sometimes I just want a little more control over what's going on. I'd probably play this again sometime but am not dying to play it soon.
 
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18. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:409]
Board Game: London
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I made it through to the morning and said goodbye to the late night gaming crew as they went off to bed and welcomed in the early morning gamers. The say a game of London starting up (imagine that!) and had wanted to try it so I jumped in. I ran a small town and was able to get the East India Company early along with 2 hospitals along with some other income based cards to generate a lot of money early. I threw the money into high point buildings and borrows and eventually an underground as well. My small city size kept my poverty pretty middle of the line and I was able to win with a good amount of points from my city cards.

I played a second time with Aristides and my friends Chris and Brennen. Aristides went crazy with a huge city but was able to keep his poverty in check but emptying out all his poverty during his city actions. I was glad to see this strategy was still very competitive with a small city and a couple mistakes aside he should have won. I ran a city that had a lot of cards that removed a poverty and didn't flipped and was hoping to run it for the last couple turns just to generate points but only ended up running it on regular intervals. I tied Aristides for second so I was happy. Chris ran a point generating machine and between his city and his borrows was able to take the win with a huge amount of points.

I really like this one, I'm curious how well it will hold up to repeated plays and would like to know how well it plays with 2 as I only played 4 player games. I'm strongly considering getting it as I had a blast playing it.
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19. Board Game: GOSU [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2088]
Board Game: GOSU
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I found Jeremy wandering around looking for a game and requested that he teach me Gosu as I had heard some good things about the 2 player game. I'm very glad I played this because I really ended up enjoying it and nearly beat Jeremy.

I started out really strong with a lot of cards that countered Jeremy's opening moves and easily won the first battle. After that I was a little more unclear as to how to progress from there and Jeremy caught up and kept things pretty tight through the end of the game where he beat me with a final rank 3 guy.

I really enjoyed this fun fast paced head to head game. Lots of tense decisions to make and a really great balance between the different cards. I'm looking forward to trying it again and will be strongly considering picking it up. Thanks again to Jeremy for teaching me and then kicking my butt.
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20. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:88]
Board Game: Troyes
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I heard this one was awesome and Jeremy was available to once again teach and then show us how it's done. This probably wasn't the best time to learn how to play something this involved but I'm glad that I was able to get the initial play in so that I'll be prepared for my next game. Jeremy taxed the heck out of use and then used the money to build up the walls and do all sorts of stuff that I probably didn't even notice. I got bumped out of my buildings early and often both by random events and all the other nasty players despite having the guy that gives you points for having your people in the buildings.

I enjoyed this a lot and am eager to try it again with a fresh mind. Maybe I'll try to get in a game without Jeremy so that I can stand a chance.
 
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21. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:65]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I didn't end up getting into the draft game as I had hoped but I did at least get to play a game with Ross and Todd. Ross did some ridiculous nonsense with a brown consume engine with both the blue/brown and most consume powers goals out there. I got some early prestige and held it for most of the game but it wasn't enough to overcome the all the points that Ross had been pulling in. Todd went to play crokinole and I wandered off and miss the awesome draft game, maybe next year we'll get in an actual 6 player draft if we're not to busy playing the next expansion.
 
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22. Board Game: F├╝rstenfeld [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2739]
Board Game: F├╝rstenfeld
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I was super excited to win this one in our awesome raffle since I dumped all my tickets into it. I had been following this one for a while and knew the rules so I taught it to my group of college buddies and we went right into it. I really enjoyed the market mechanic and how it forced you to change what crops you were building as well as watching what all your neighbors were doing. The income based turn order was a nice touch and something the love from Power Grid. The deck deconstruction theme was fun and made for the great tense race to 6 palaces at the end. Me and one of my friends ended up finishing in the last round with all the other players 1 turn off. I won the tie breaker with the most money.

I'm really looking forward to trying this as a 2 player game with my wife and also doing the advanced setup. I absolutely love the artwork and the fun theme pulls things together nicely on this one. My favorite raffle win to date and a game that I'm sure to hold on to and play a lot.
 
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23. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2879]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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One of my friends brought along a prototype of a game that he's been working on for quite a while called Armyland and it was a blast to try it out. As with most prototypes we thoroughly broke some of the mechanics and found aspects of the game that we enjoyed that weren't necessarily intended to be the emphasis but it was fun to try out a new game and figure out what parts are the most enjoyable. I'm glad we got to test it and give him some helpful feedback.
 
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24. Board Game: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1481]
Board Game: Founding Fathers
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Up until this point I had flat out refused to play this game because I find the theme to be extremely off putting but it was around 12:30 by this point and I jumped in for fear of not being able to find another game. I'm sure glad that I caved and tried this because it was a very enjoyable game. I didn't completely understand everything that was going on since I was dreadfully tired at this point going on 41 hours without sleep but I was able to pull of the win when GW showed up and everybody froze in their tracks and called it a day.

I never thought I would see this day but I'm actually looking forward to me next play of Founding Fathers. Thanks for teaching this to me in my tired and delirious state Adam. I still think the cards next icons in the explanation text but that's really a minor gripe.
 
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25. Board Game: Catacombs [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1032]
Board Game: Catacombs
Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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We were shutting down at 2am so I had to rush and find one last game to play before we ended for the night. I didn't want to think so a game of Catacombs sounded perfect to me. We made it through about 4 rooms before we had to pack it in but it was good fun and very hard. I wish that the boards and pieces were just a little bit (or a lot) bigger but I still enjoyed it overall.
 
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