Tag Archive | ten plagues

bgg.con 2013 I


Leaving Israel, when we thought we were ready to depart everyone had to get off the plane, they said it was to fix an electrical problem, but people thought they were looking for someone. It was about an hour delay, not so bad for me because I had a long layover in Newark, but many people missed their connections. In Newark I found kosher sandwiches which was handy. A girl who had seen me on the previous flight started talking to me, she lives up north, her dad’s from LA. So it turns out that she’s David Rothberg’s daughter, also celebrating a family 60th wedding anniversary.

20131120_103311When I arrived at the hotel they said Gili wasn’t in yet, I told them she was and had slept there the night before, eventually they figured it out.


First thing in the morning my laptop powercord broke, leaving me with my airplane mode phone for communicating. We went down to get in line at 9:15, the line was already up the stairs. But it wasn’t  because there were more people lined up than last year, but because the con had less downstairs space for the morning. 20131120_101724They wanted us to line up out the door but it was too cold so we went the other way, but a bit later a congeek came over and told us we had to go out the door because we couldn’t have the line in the lobby. We were outside for about 5 minutes and then our section moved back in, but there were people in line all around the building.

We registered at about 10:30, on the way we admired the signs and talked with people about which free games to pick.

20131120_115051Gili took the games and some Texas souvenir shirts she bought up to our room, I went to hot games. It was a section of the large main room, which I don’t like as much as when it’s a separate room as it was the past two years. There was a also a vendor game demoland area next to it which was interesting. I wanted to play Glass Road which wasn’t available, I figured it could take days til I got to play.


I played Bruges, which I had also heard about, but it wasn’t in hot games. It’s the best new game I played – short but interesting choices and good interaction. There is attacking of a sort, you can cause negative effects to other players, but they do see what you’re setting up. I came in third out of four, I stayed ahead in influence but barely built to 3 canals.

20131120_131914Lewis and Clark

Then I got into a game of Lewis and Clark in hot games. A serious Eurogame, long with thinking and planning. Less interaction than Bruges. And un-PC with Indians as a main mechanic. They’re helpful and important, but still. I came in third of four again.

20131120_173356After that I took a break for lunch and then visited the vendor area. Not as good as last year – the Funagain store was much smaller, but I think there were more vendors which is good. There was a big wheel for a drawing to win prizes. I met Josh Neiman, head of development at Victory Point Games, he worked on Candle Quest, and Stephanie Marroquin in PR and Marketing, and Joshua Gottesman, who works with distributors.

20131120_181052Power Grid

I saw people reading the rules to Power Grid, so that was good for me. They both caught on well. I thought they were getting too many interim plants, but they both beat me by about $100. A 3-way tie powering 17, I think Amanda had about 13 more electros than her husband Daniel. Amanda said they have all these games at work that she hasn’t played – they own Geek Chic. Fun to play on their tables, and they brought me a cup holder when they saw my water bottle.

20131120_225743Glass Road

After a dinner break I was pretty jetlagged at 10, but walked around the main room anyway. Of course that’s when there was a game of Glass Road starting, so I played. It wasn’t what anyone expected, it’s pretty light. The mechanics don’t seem to work so well. The moving wheel is cool but confusing – some goods get produced, some are reduced, and you need to plan while you’re selecting cards, and some goods are on two wheels. I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time and wasn’t so impressed. The other mechanics weren’t so good either – the building were weak, all except maybe one, most were maybe half a point more than the goods needed to pay were. There aren’t many points in the game, but you don’t feel like you’re getting very far that way. You’re supposed to guess and piggyback onto what others play, but it actually reduces your choices because you’re required to play matching cards. Our scores were 15, 18.5, 19.5, 20.5. I came in third.

20131121_004100Ten Plagues: Let My People Go!

One of the players is a blogger, Roger Hicks of todayinboardgames.com. I mentioned my prototype and that it wouldn’t do well due to the Biblical theme, he said he was interested in those, so we played my prototype and he liked it, he said it’s a game he’d play with his son. They wanted the orange pawn to match the orange robe on Moses, and the blue one matched the blue on Pharaoh, so I switched them for the publisher meetup.

20131120_215946PitchCar tournament, I didn’t enter, and a PacMan dexterity game.


bgg.con 2013 II



Gili and I wanted to get in a game together. We played Caverna, a new game – a souped up version of Agricola, which Gili doesn’t like. But this version has caverns and mines and rubies, and somewhat simplified feeding requirements. It felt like Agricola to me as far as planning went, though more fun with the new items. It has fancy meeples which don’t justify the $90 price. I managed to get a lot of rubies and a ruby multiplier, the winner had 83 and I had 82. We all had a lot of animals and farming, I had fewer mines. It’s a nice game, no cards, there are buildings and it feels like more options overall. Gili narrated a quick video in Hebrew.

20131121_151045El Grande

I got El Grande in the library and had one person ready to learn it. We waited for more players; I went over to see if Amanda and Daniel were interested, they agreed, another game they hadn’t played. While organizing the game with them of course people came by who wanted to join, but only if we could take two which we couldn’t. They did ask here and there about the King’s region, but not every turn. At the second scoring Amanda castillo’d into the King’s region; we let her redo it because no one else had turned over their spinners. Daniel was off taking a call so he didn’t see it. End of game he castillo’d into the King’s region, and we had all turned over our spinners so he lost out. Amanda tied me at a bit over 100. Daniel attacked me directly which hurt him but helped Amanda.

20131121_184827Ten Plagues: Let My People Go!

I ate and rested before the publisher designer speed dating meet-up. I was really tired and jet-lagged, I went down early to set up. James Mathe did a great job organizing the whole thing, for 2 sessions on 3 nights. I had printed out the schedule and gave it to him when he didn’t have his. It was fun but hectic to have 6 minutes with all these publishers. None of whom are interested in biblical themes games, as I expected. They commented a bit on the mechanics. At first they were willing to take turns playing, but later they were burned out and I just explained. One of the games on the list which sounded interesting was Dabbawalla: The Mumbai Lunch Delivery Game. Most of the games were listed as medium to light.

20131121_200904I didn’t play Little Prince but people said it was a good game.

Dungeon Dice

20131121_212352I played Dungeon Dice. It’s a fun game with over 80 different custom dice, it was a vendor demo so I got a die at the end. It’s quick combat with different dice characters and a clear goal of 3 gold dice. Cliff and kids would like it.


20131121_221924Walking around later there was a game of Goa starting, they were reading the rules. I had played a lot years ago when we used to have the game, I remembered I wasn’t good at the auction. Which was still the case. It was fun to play, it’s a good game. Jon got rid of it because he didn’t like the colony building mechanic. I lost twice at it at critical times, another player lost once, but then got the last colony so I couldn’t get it which set me back. After we finished the game we found that colony hiding in the box. One of the players, Rael Dornfest, thought that his friend and I would like Sailing to India so we planned to meet in the morning to play it.

20131121_221635Everest game for Ginat who just finished hiking to the base camp with Adi.

bgg.con 2013 III


20131122_103146Sailing to India

I packed and went down to play Sailing to India. It’s a real strategy game in a very small box, they sold out early but are reprinting. I didn’t do well; it is an interesting and challenging game. Takes a while to understand, even Rael who liked it kept getting confused. The best rules line: “if it’s still a tie please check your game code for any player clone (this) abuse.”

20131122_114056Dexterity Prototype

So it turns out that Rael and his friend design games, and were the designers of the Mumbai Lunch game. I said I wanted to try it but then they’d have to play my prototype, they didn’t mind. We started with a dexterity game with princess and ninja meeples. It’s good and fun, but I’m not good at throwing meeples even very short distances; even when I was lucky enough to land somewhere to get points they could knock me out. Rael said you get better at it.

20131122_114446Dabbawalla: The Mumbai Lunch Delivery Game*

The Lunch Delivery game is good, well thought out as a gamer’s game. Our scores were close, but they helped me, and attacked each other rather than me. There’s strategy to card collection, cube placement controlled by cards, and timing of sending, sorting and delivering your 4 lunches, and a cooperative condition – and cool heavy coins. They had follow-up meetings with publishers, deservedly. They’re in a game designers group in Portland Oregon. *Published as Tiffin in 2016 by Rio Grande.

Ten Plagues: Let My People Go!

20131122_140936They liked my prototype and had good tweaking suggestions. At 12:30 there was a moment of silence for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death, they were surprised when I said I remembered it.

When I took a picture of this serious Napoleon wargame, they asked why, commenting that I don’t look like a wargamer – I told them they’re right, I’m not.


I got into a quick game of Bruges before I had to leave for Shabbat. The other players helped finish the game quickly by taking cards from the same stack when they could. I did better than last time, coming in second. 20131122_152831The other player who had played before won. I still like the game.

bgg.con 2013 IV


It was great to see Abe and Sara, and Eliana. They moved into their new home recently, and were still working on getting furniture. They just got a cool artistically decorated dining room table. Sara’s mother had also decided to visit, and had a lot of flight problems such as cancellations in Columbia without being informed. Sara just got back from 9 days in Paris for her half-sister’s wedding, and Abe is at a new job nearby, so it didn’t work for them to attend bgg.con this year – Abe said he never thought he’d be living in Dallas and not attend. Next year. It was cold and rainy outside, we went for a brief walk during the day before the rain started. Abe went to shul and got there before it rained. We played my prototype in the afternoon, and Abe drove me back to the con – I got there in time to go to my room before not winning any prizes.











I joined a game of Keytown, an early game from the Key series which I like, as did the other players. It’s a game where you place cubes against your opponents, but not in an interesting way. I didn’t like it, the others didn’t either, so we stopped.


20131123_211100In the library I ran into Chris, I had seen him a few times. He was with Jim and Mark, we’ve played together at previous cons, and Chris played with us in Israel and remotely with Jon. Chris checked out Trains, he said it was like Dominion and not a route game so I was willing to try it. (Another train game was popular at the con, Russian Railroads.) He also got Rialto which I had read about. I liked the game though I didn’t understand everything at the start. We didn’t clarify til the end that you do get points for buildings so that would have affected play. I came in second, first play for everyone. They were getting up early for an 8 am wargame, so we didn’t try Trains. We played in a side room, nice and quiet.

Two Rooms and a Boom!

20131123_233909Coming out of the room I ran into a lively game of Two Rooms and a Boom!, (on Kickstarter, over $78,000 pledged of a $10,000 goal, ends this Friday). It’s a 15-minute social game for 30 people. Everyone gets a card, with players divided into two rooms, and leaders selecting hostages to exchange. One team wins if the president and bomber are in the same room, the other team wins if they’re not. You have to quickly share cards or colors, and suspect players who won’t. First game I was on the blue team, the red team met a side win condition within two minutes. For the next game they added grey cards with separate goals. I was Romeo, my goal was to find Juliet and end up with the president and bomber to blow up together. I found Juliet pretty quickly with help, and some leaders let us be hostages together, but a later leader didn’t – he wanted to focus on his team’s goals. So we ended up with the president, maid and butler, but not the bomber. It’s a really good game for social gaming and would be a good icebreaker. I didn’t play again because I wasn’t good at remembering who I had talked to and what they were.

I watched a bit of Cards Against Humanity charades, very funny.

People were rebooking flights due to an ice storm expected at 2 pm Sunday. My flight was at 3. I Skyped Yona to call my travel agent, but there weren’t good earlier flights, and it wasn’t  worth switching at that point. We could stay at the hotel for the bgg rate, but when I asked about reserving they said it’s 24 hour cancellation, and that reserving at 3 if necessary should be enough. Temperatures were in the high 20’s and low 30’s!


20131124_103105Pink Hijinks

I went by the vendor area to check on a few things, then started gaming with Pink Hijinks in demoland. A good abstract if you like abstracts. I lost.


I had heard that Terry Pratchett’s Witches was good, it is. Light with interesting play and a cooperative element, and luck. I played two-player, probably better with more players.

Can’t Stop

20131124_115641I had seen Can’t Stop on bgg.com but never played. It’s a fun game combining decisions and luck with dice rolls. I ended up winning due mostly to the dice roll. The other two played a lot and presented my options with some analysis each time which made it easier to play.

Then off to the airport where I got a new powercord for my laptop – and took off before the storm hit.