Caleb had football practice and Tristan and Logan were testing for their next belts in Taekwondo Saturday morning. I didn’t arrive at the convention until early afternoon. I only spent a couple of hours trying out a few games before heading home.
First, I went to the FFG booth and watched an in progress playtest of Tide of Iron. The prototype was a hex map with lots of counters and dice. I decided to forego participating in a 2 hour playtest although I am interested to see how the game turns out. Instead, I wandered over to the Days of Wonder booth and played Cleopatra and the Society of Architects. The mechanics are simple. On your turn, you either add cards to your hand or use cards in your hand to build something on Cleopatra’s palace. Once a section is completed (obelisks, sphinxes, doors, walls, throne or mosaic), Cleopatra takes a step closer to the palace. Once 5 of the 6 sections are finished, the game ends and the victor is player with the most talents (i.e. victory points). There is a bit more to it than that but it is a very simple game to play and I felt like it was a very nice family game. The components are great as you would expect from a DoW game but they were offering it for $50 at the show which is a little steep for this game. Retail of $40 seems more appropriate. I liked it and would’ve picked up a copy to play with the kids if it wasn’t quite so expensive.
I didn’t play Ticket to Ride – Marklin but I did listen to an explanation of the differences between it and the original version of TtR. I thought the changes were intriguing enough to pick up a copy Sunday afternoon.
After a little more looking, I ended up by the FFG booth again and an explanation of Drakon, 3rd Edition, had just begun. I sat down and after a quick run through the rules, we played. It’s a quick, tile laying game where you are trying to be the first adventurer to collect 10 gold. Drakon, the dragon, is lurking about and may steal some of your gold so be careful. On your turn, you can either play a tile or move your adventurer. Some tiles have special abilities that are activiated when you enter the tile. I found the game mildly interesting. Given that it plays in 15 – 30 minutes, it’s a decent little game.
There were no gaming events I was interested in hanging around for so after stopping by the Asmodee booth — still no sign of Mission: Red Planet, I called it a day.
On Sunday, Logan and Tristan accompanied me to the final day of the convention. We arrived mid-morning, went over to the Rio Grande booth and grabbed an open table of Thurn and Taxis. I wanted to try this one out and the boys were game. I’d read the rules on the previous evening and just as I was starting to explain it, one of the RGG demo team came over to give an explanation. It turned out to be Scott Russell who I met last year at GenCon while playing the Havoc prototype with Chris Brooks. He remembered me as well, explained the game to the boys and sat with us during the first few turns. The boys grasped the game fairly well although it was a little long for Logan to sit through. I liked it and can understand why it feels like a Ticket to Ride game. However, it is very different from those games. A good game and one that would fit well with our gaming friends. I picked up a copy of this and TtR – Marklin on Sunday.
Scott suggested we try out Zig Zag at one of the other tables. After finishing Thurn and Taxis we found the table with Zig Zag and I was going through the rules when Jay Tummelson walk over and helped us get started with the game. He was very nice and was also appreciative of the GeekGold I donated to him earlier this year to buy an avatar for his user account on BGG. Zig Zag is a racing game where you flip over cards in the middle of the table and pick up cards with a background that matches the next step that you need to travel along your ‘obstacle course.’ When one of the players yells, “Stop,” you turn over the cards you’ve collected and play them one at a time to move your player along your course. If you cannot move, you cannot play any more cards. It’s a nice, short memory style game that would be good to play with kids.
The RGG booth was right next to the Ban Dai booth and the boys wanted to play the Naruto CCG again (even though they each purchased a deck on Friday :-). Each played a young adult who was part of the demo team. I don’t think either of them won their games but their opponents were complimentary of Tristan and Logan’s play. They thought they’d picked the game up nicely since learning it on Friday. They received another promo card for playing on Sunday.
After lunch, we browsed for a bit and stopped over at FFG to try out the Game of Thrones CCG. This table was busy every time I stopped by so we waited around this time. The boys played a demo of a miniatures battle game, Anima, I think until a spot opened up. Tristan and I played the CCG. The object is to collect power (as in overall strength or might of your faction). In the demo, we played to 10. Power can be gained a number of ways but most commonly by winning challenges or having the dominant force at the end of a turn. It’s a nice CCG and I’m glad I was able to give it a try. We didn’t purchase any product but we each received a starter deck from an older expansion for trying the game. We plan to play with these and see how well we like it.
The boys played even more Naruto! I also picked up a couple of Dreamblade starters to play with the boys. The game is interesting. It’s an abstract with miniatures and some dice rolling so the boys will find it enjoyable.
That was GenCon 2006 for the Ginn family. Had a great time and the boys each said they had fun. I’m certain we’ll do it all again in another 12 months!