3 minute read


I’m just back from my annual trek to Dallas for a few days of gaming with my great friend, Chris Brooks. This post will be light on photos since I was remiss in taking a bunch of snaps this year. For a photo tour, check out Chris’ post of day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, and day 5.

Day 1 (Thursday)

The first day was a bit of a clunker. My flight was delayed 4 hours due to a mechanical issue. I arrived around 11pm and met Chris and Mark Hamzy in the hotel bar for a scotch and chit chat. Undaunted, we grabbed a copy of Eight Minute Empire and played the world’s fastest civ game before calling it a night.

Day 2 (Friday)

Chris taught Core Worlds, a game he learned the day before and we had on our list to play from the previous year. I enjoyed this considerably. Better than Eminent Domain and different enough from other deck builders to consider a purchase.

While Chris was off on a work call, I picked out Trains as our next game and set about learning the rules. This is another deck builder with considerable similarity to Dominion. Unlike Dominion and most other deck builders, Trains moves beyond the card game into a full fledged board game. I enjoyed Trains tremendously and could see it replacing some of my deck builders (Dominion and Thunderstone … I’m looking at you!). We ran into the developer, Steve Ellis, later in the weekend and found out a new base game, Trains 2, is in the works for next year. I may wait until the new version is out before picking up a copy.

After a quick lunch, Chris suggested Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords. I’ll call this a cooperative dungeon crawl card game. We played the 3 scenarios from the intro module. It scratches the RPG/dungeon crawl itch with relatively easy set up and quick play. Fun!

After dinner, Jeff DeBoer taught another civ game, Clash of Cultures. Heavy, as most civ games are, I felt like this could be played in 2 – 3 hours. Enjoyed the variable board set up and the tech tree.

Day 3 (Saturday)

First up was the coal mine themed game, Kohle & Kolonie, in the hot games area. Played over 5 rounds, it turns out to be a bidding/auction game where auctions are used to simulate mine mergers in rounds 3 – 5.

Sticking around in the hot games area, we hooked up with Mark Hamzy and MIke Chapel to play Nations. This is yet another civ game although more in the style of Through the Ages. I enjoyed Nations but liked Clash of Cultures better.

Chris, Mark and I played Pillars of the Earth with the expansion in the afternoon. Although this doesn’t hit the table a lot, I still enjoy this take on the worker placement mechanic that came out about a year after the original worker placement game, Caylus, arrived on the scene.

Mark, Chris and I wrapped up the evening with a play of Rialto. Joining us was Chris’ friend from Israel, Nadine. Rialto is a quick playing Venice themed, area control game. I enjoyed it and would play again but don’t feel the need to own a copy.

Day 4 (Sunday)

With a winter storm approaching, we settled in to a play of 1846 with Mark Hamzy and Mike Chapel. Chris, with previous experience, provided an explanation and we nearly completed the game in about 4 hours with everyone heading out from Dallas (by auto or plane) around noon.

The End…

Favorites of the weekend were Clash of Cultures (love the civ with tech tree in less than 3 hours) and Trains (deck building wrapped in a board game). Core Worlds, Pathfinder and Eight Minute Empire were also very good.