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Thursday, March 31, 2011

CONVENTIONS - GAMESTORM 13 Gaming Report (THURSDAY, Mar 24th)

Part 1 - Part 2Part 3 - Part 4


This is Part 1 of 4 of my gaming report of Gamestorm 13. Each part will be posted over the next few days.

Wow, it's been 8 9 days since my last post! Probably 9 10 by the time I post this! I've been trying to be consistently posting at least every 2-4 days since I started on Jan 1st. Alas, I have failed this one time - BUT, I have an excuse: GAMESTORM in Vancouver, WA, last week from Thursday to Sunday and I had a terrific time!

Well, here's the general scoop: I was lazy and didn't bother taking any pictures (except on Saturday when we played Circus Maximus). And, I didn't do much else other than play games even though I stated previously that I would try to branch out more. I DID make an effort to go into the dealer's area and I spent some time asking a few questions, looked for Thunderstone promos for my friend Bob, and tried to spot any good deals. Also, I had a few dollars burning in my pocket and thought I'd spend it, but ultimately I ended up not buying anything there.

I DID attend the flea market (which took place after the Gamestorm Math Trade exchange where I handed out and collected games for my friend Wes). At the flea market there were some interesting games and some decent prices on some. I inquired about several and finally settled on a mostly complete copy of Dungeon for $10 and a practically new copy of Day & Night for half price as well.

I used to have Dungeon when I was growing up but apparently it found it's way into a garage sale or thrift store while I was in college and my parents changed houses, so I was excited to find myself another copy that I can play with my kids. There are a few missing cards and it's likely playable as-is, but the complete-ist in me says I have to seek out the rest of the missing pieces. I'll be hitting the BGG Parts Resource list as soon as I do a proper inventory.

First, my overall impression of Gamestorm: It was fun!

Next, my slightly more detailed impression of Gamestorm: Registration was a breeze (I got there Thursday afternoon before the onslaught of gamers hit). Room check-in was easy and game unloading wasn't a problem as I parked in the garage and took the elevator up. My room was right near the elevator so carting games back and forth wasn't a big problem. The rooms are fairly standard, clean, comfortable and in good condition.

Gaming overall was busy and boisterous. Lisa Steenson of Gut Bustin' Games was there as guest of honor and there were several tables of her games being played: Trailer Park Wars and Oh Gnome You Don't mostly. To promote Gnome there were several people with large Gnome hats running around. I also saw a couple of large stuffed Gnomes and there was a lot of chanting of Gnome! or Brawl! (or something similar - I couldn't tell exactly) on at least a couple of occasions. (I never did get in a play of any of those games :( ). There were also several LARPers running around adding color to the environment with various costumes on (cloaked vampires, eye patched pirates,  swords and fighting gear, people with various ears and tails protruding, etc).


I hit the hospitality room for most of my meals throughout the convention because I usually wanted something fast and easy and I made sure I left a nice donation the first day so I didn't have to do it each time. Unfortunately, it was mostly the same-old, same-old each day: triangle bread slices, meat cuts and cheese, mayo and mustard for sandwiches. Pasta or potato salad. Veggie plates and basic lettuce salads w/ dressing. Chips and salsa. Lots of soda pop. Boiled eggs, bagels, and cereal for breakfast. One day there were some pretty good sandwich wraps, but otherwise it was fairly bland/normal and it kinda got old (although my timing wasn't always the best and I may have missed out on good stuff some of the meals). But, I still appreciated the access to food as I hadn't brought any with me this year short of some simple snacks, and it was quick and easy being right off the main gaming rooms. I would have preferred to see some more variety and maybe hot meals for dinner Friday and Saturday night (I would have paid extra for some spaghetti or something). Ah well, I wasn't there to eat I guess!

So, on to the gaming...


THURSDAY

Soon after I arrived and got settled into my room, I found that my friend Chris was already there and ready to game so we jumped right in.
  1. Master Thieves - Chris and I had signed up for this game. Chris played last year and loved it and the game 'box' looked really cool so we both signed up and had a great time. This was a fun, easy game to start the convention off with. You select specific roles (jeweler, thief, master thief, detective, etc) then interact with the box either obtaining jewels, adding jewels, or both depending on the role. We all lost horribly to a lady that kept striking it rich whenever she opened a drawer. Either she was really lucky or really watched where everything went into the box. Speaking of the box, get this: Solid wood construction, 3 rotation parts (top, middle, bottom) that are all held together by magnets, 3 drawers per side, the whole thing can be turned upside down and spun around on each level. Really amazing game (and REALLY expensive). It even comes in a custom wooden box that holds everything neatly. Glad I got to play this game! I'm thinking of making my own (although with cardboard instead of wood - we'll see....)
  2. Antics - I taught this new game of mine (one of my current favorites - see my box opening for pictures). Great fun building our ant hills, running around gathering bugs and leaves, and overall having a great time. A guy named Ryan joined us, understood the rules easily, and ended up winning relatively easily as well (although i was close behind).
  3. Key Market - I've done a review of this game so won't go into any details, but I just have to say that I LOVE this game and I SUCK at it as I finished dead last again. Another game I must play more of!
  4. Biblios - Got a copy of this from Wes for being his Math Trade mule. It has relatively simple mechanics, but unique mechanisms, in particular - the entire deck is dealt out in such a way that first player gets to divvy up cards (drawing only one at a time) and picks (secretly) a card for himself, one to the discard (secretly) and additional face up that the other players then get to pick up in turn order. Thus, each player gets 1 card per round. Once the deck is exhausted, shuffle the discards and auction each card off. For money cards you bid # of cards to pay, for set collection cards, you use money cards to pay. Nice back-and-forth action going on. You also have action cards that let you adjust the value of sets of cards collected. To summarize, this is a drafting, set collection, auction, screwage sort of game. I really liked it - not over excited (I think I anticipated more to it than it was), but definitely enjoyed it and looking forward to playing again.
  5. Cheeky Monkey - Late night gaming fun. Draw a chip (all have animal pictures on them). Draw another chip. Steal a chip. Draw a chip. Decide to stop or keep going. If you draw something you already drew you lose your new chips and return them to the bag. Or keep them and stack them to make them more difficult to steal. Those Cheeky Monkeys! There are different numbers of each chip - the less chips the more points at the end. Majority of each type at the end gets the points and the winner is the one with most points. Note that there are luck swings here due to the random draws. 2 players got most of the chips and 1 player ended up with none at the end.
  6. Liar's Dice - I won! There was some debate over the rules but we finally agreed on a set. I like playing with the 1's being Wild (unless you call 1's as the first set which then negates it).
At this point it was about 1:30am and I was definitely getting tired after driving up from Eugene and then playing some solid games, so headed off to bed...

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of 4 in this series...

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