Bill got wifi working in the room, and we watched news about Israel, which since Wednesday’s strike on a top Hamas guy was getting lots of coverage. Friday there were sirens and rockets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I emailed Eli to contact a neighbor and check on our bomb shelter and stuff that we keep there, and to let them know that they can get the key. Eli said they’re keeping it open, which makes sense.
I wanted to play Legacy Gears of Time; I had met the designer who self-published it, a beautifully designed game with nice art and mechanics, but couldn’t fit it in on Friday because we were going to the kosher Indian vegetarian restaurant for lunch. I had time for a short game, and joined a game of Pirate Dice that was starting, they said it’s half an hour but it took about an hour. It’s very similar to Robo Rally but with dice. There seems to be a trend towards these short dice versions of real games. You roll your dice and have to fill at least one of your four spots, you can roll up to four times. I mixed things up once or twice, once because I thought my boat was pointing the opposite way. I moved OK, but got shot at a lot, so had to power down, then got shot more so I sank. Which is better than powering down, you can start in a good spot and get all your locked spots back.
One player was on his way back with the treasure, I was further back so managed to intercept and take it. I didn’t need to move far to win, but another player took the treasure from me and won. I did achieve my main goal, finishing by 11:30 when I needed to be in the lobby to go to lunch. It was great, and Indian food expert Bill really liked the food. And we ran into Hanan, we were at his house last year on Shabbat, he didn’t realize who we were til we explained.
In the afternoon I walked around taking pictures in the Exhibitor Hall because I wouldn’t be able to take pictures on Shabbat. I played Sheepland, a cute short game that everyone enjoyed. I didn’t try to move sheep, I just bought cards. I tied for second with 36, the other scores were 35 and 37.
I played It’s Alive and New York with Bill and Shirley. New York is easy to learn and play, but got too repetitive so we ended early with end game scoring at the second scoring. I think the Alhambra art is prettier, but I haven’t played in a long time.
Saturday morning the Exhibitor Hall wasn’t open yet. I looked at one game that was starting and asked how long, they said 4 to 5 hours, I said no thanks. Further on, two guys needed players for Fleets of Venice, and said two hours, more my type of game. Then I noticed it was a prototype, but late stage and they’ll publish it, it’s their third game. So more publishing and distribution discussions, interesting and helpful though I hadn’t planned on that on Shabbat, I didn’t even have my flyers with me but I can email them. I asked if there was writing in the game, and they said no. They were making notes and changes as they went in response to gameplay. At one point they said ‘here you can write 2 on your board,’ and I said ‘I’m not writing.’ They didn’t ask me why. It’s a nice game, takes a while to learn but it’s also a bit more challenging because it’s not the real art. They helped me with strategy. I ended up winning, a bit because they attacked me less which I figured they’d do, but mostly due to luck. One player had terrible luck, and I had really good luck. I asked when they had changed it from 5 to 4 rounds, and they said yesterday, so I pointed out that luck is less mitigated in a shorter game, they hadn’t thought about that yet. I also told them how the end game bonuses work in Troyes because they hadn’t played it, and they have similar bonuses but everyone sees which are in the game. It was fun to play and give feedback. They also knew a lot about the history of Venice which was interesting. I saw the game Sunday so was able to get a picture.
Legacy Gears of Time
In the afternoon I played Legacy Gears of Time from Floodgate Games, he had two games set up for two players, even though it plays up to four. I was behind at first, mostly because I didn’t get everything. We played one rule wrong, later we got it right, which helped my opponent because he had more cubes for that placement. I caught up by the end of the game and won by one point out of almost 10. I made a stupid mistake by not noticing something. The game is very nice and elegant, and interesting. Not complicated to learn but has depth. And amazing art. And the designer was great at being upbeat and enthusiastic at explaining the game over and over.
Then I wandered around not feeling like playing anything due to jetlag. I wanted to play something easy or that I knew, but most games weren’t ones I had played. I joined a Tichu game, I don’t play often any more. I did OK on the first game. Then a friend of theirs came by, they asked where had he been half an hour ago when they had to wait for someone to come play. I volunteered to stop playing, they wanted to play together, I wasn’t going to play as well as they did which isn’t good in a partnership game, and I didn’t feel like concentrating. They were surprised that I would give up playing Tichu.
In the library I ran into Chris, who had been texting with Jon during our lunch while Bill was texting with him. He was nice and included me in their next game, they needed something short because one of them was going to the airport. Jim with whom we played Agricola last year was also playing. Chris suggested a train game and I said no, he said no to Puerto Rico. We got China, which is a re-themed Web of Power, which I had played years ago. I’m not good at that type of game but it’s easy to play. I didn’t do well, partly from not concentrating, and partly from them all being good players.
I checked out Walnut Grove for us to play in our room in the evening, but we didn’t get around to it. We played a round of Martian Dice, one of my prizes, but Bill got bored pretty fast.
We just packed and walked around, Shirley met Dan of GameSalute. I took pictures of cool-looking and popular hot games, like CO2, seems like a boring name, but I guess we play Power Grid. Bill looked at the library’s Mansions of Madness which he wants to buy, it wasn’t available in the store, and had been checked out til then. Shirley hadn’t been in the library, she walks in and hugs the woman working there, they worked together in 1999.
People on the plane who had been at the con were listing all the games they hadn’t gotten to play.