MeepleCon 2018 Recap

March 19, 2018

by Ambie Valdés
Last weekend I went to my second MeepleCon, a board game convention in Las Vegas! The convention was three days, but we ended up getting a flight early Sunday morning to go home (other flights were a lot more expensive), so we were only there on Friday and Saturday. But we still had tons of fun playing games!

The Games
I played 22 plays of 15 different games at the convention (plus some Craps), 8 of which were new to me. The most played and my favorite new game was The Mind, a new cooperative card game where you have to play the cards in order without talking! Jess had a copy that she borrowed from Scott Alden and was bringing it around to everyone at the convention to try out. It was really hard and a lot of fun, and I really want to get it. Unfortunately, it's currently only available in Germany, but I heard that it will be coming over soon.

Blitz Con 2018 Recap

February 26, 2018

by Ambie Valdés
We hosted our second annual Blitz Con this year over President’s Day weekend again. Last year we had 50 people, but this year we grew to a little over 100 people! We had a much bigger space and there was always plenty of room to play games.

I took this picture after setting up (this was half the room). Lots of table space!

Cursed Court Review

January 29, 2018

by Ambie Valdés
Note: I received a free review copy of Cursed Court from Atlas Games.

I hadn’t heard much about Cursed Court before getting a review copy of it, but I read the rules and it seemed interesting enough. Cursed Court is a bidding, betting, and bluffing game, with both hidden and public information. Think Poker without the gambling real money part, and with more theme. It plays 2-6 players in about 30 minutes.

Pie Town Review

December 11, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
Note: I received a free review copy of Pie Town from Renegade Game Studios.

When I hear a game has deduction, I instantly perk up and put it on my want to play list. So I was excited to try out Pie Town, a new worker placement deduction game from Renegade Games. In Pie Town, 2-4 players are trying to make the best pie shop in town by making different types of pies, including secret recipes. Everyone has their own secret recipe that gets bonus points, and if you can figure out your opponents’ secret recipes, you’ll get even more points!

BGG.CON 2017 Recap

November 22, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
Toby and I went to BGG.CON again this year! BGG.CON is one of our favorite conventions, since we really like trying out new games, and BGG.CON has a huge library of a bunch of games - both new releases and older awesome games!

We got there on Tuesday afternoon and left on Sunday afternoon, and we played so many games! At the convention, we had 82 plays/demos of 70 unique games, 57 of which were new to us! This is definitely a record for us (one I don't want to beat). Thursday was especially exhausting - we played 24 different games that day (20 new to us). A lot of them were light games or dexterity games, so it wasn't too difficult to learn everything.

Since we arrived before the convention started, we went out to eat some BBQ and then played some games we had brought. Two of the most played games of the convention for us were Strike and For-Ex, both of which we brought. It was fun being able to show people both games - Strike for its excitement and action, and For-Ex for its brain-burning weirdness.

Haiti Con 2017 Recap

November 6, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
This year Toby and I went to Haiti Con for the first time. Haiti Con is a small 1.5 day charity convention in San Francisco that supports Ti Kay, a free TB/HIV clinic in Haiti. The convention is Friday night and Saturday during the day, but we only got day tickets for Saturday. Being the typical non-picture taker I am, I forgot to take any pictures so this blog will just be text.

The first thing we did when we arrived was explore the area. The convention was held in a 4-story church. The second floor had a small gaming library with some tables for open gaming and some snacks for sale. The third floor was dedicated to special guest designers with their prototypes. The fourth floor was for social games like Werewolf - there were multiple rooms of Werewolf games by the end of the night.

The majority of our time at the convention was spent on the third floor with the designers. We ended up spending time at three different designers' tables, and it was really neat being able to try out their new designs and give them feedback. The first designer we visited was Jeremy Commandeur, and we actually started off playing one of his published games, Pirate 21 (Amazon). It was kind of like Blackjack mixed with Love Letter - you're trying to get closest to 21, but your cards also have special abilities that you can use on your turn (instead of just drawing a card). We then tried a couple of his prototypes - one was a social deduction game based on The Prisoner TV show, where people are voting on event cards to try to fulfill their different win conditions. But my favorite prototype of the day was his other prototype - a real-time cooperative/team bobsledding game. You have four people sitting in a row and picking up cards to get ready, and then you have to work together to play the cards to get around obstacles, and everything is timed for the fastest time! Jeremy said that the final game will have double the cards, so you can have two teams of 4 that will be racing. I love real-time games (specifically real-time cooperative), and this one was a lot of fun.

Gen Con 2017 Recap

August 24, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
For the first time in forever, Toby and I went to Gen Con! This year was the 50th anniversary, and all the badges were sold out, so there were a lot of people there. We definitely did not go in expecting to play many games, but we still managed to play a few games throughout the convention! We also don't usually buy many new games, so we were mostly there just to experience everything as a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The convention was overwhelming. Before this, the biggest board game convention I went to was 3,000 people, so it was a huge jump to go to the 60,000 people at Gen Con! Also, most of the conventions I'd been to were more focused on open gaming and didn't have many vendors, but half the convention center was dedicated to exhibitors. We walked through the Exhibitor Hall multiple times each day, and every time we'd see booths we hadn't seen before. I'm pretty sure we still didn't see everything there.

Action Cats! Review

July 17, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
Action Cats is a story driven party game for 3-6 players currently on Kickstarter. I was sent a prototype copy to review, and I was able to play it a couple times at 5 players. Note that I have the prototype version, which has fewer cards (the game doesn’t last as long) and no box, but the gameplay should be similar.

This is the current draft box art for Action Cats

Dice Tower Con 2017 Recap

July 12, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
I just got back from my 4th Dice Tower Con ever! It was my first time as a Dice Tower contributor, but I was still able to play a bunch of games, as well as meet a lot of people and go to different events. I had a lot of fun!

Over the course of the 5 days (really 4 and a half, since we left after lunch on Sunday), I had 65 plays of 46 different games, 32 of which were new to me! Granted, a couple of those were demos or incomplete games, but I still got to get the feel of them. I also participated in my first megagame ever, Future Tense!

We were in line early for registration, a little before 9 am on Wednesday (Registration opened at 10). There were already quite a few people in line, but there were so many more that showed up afterwards. The hotel had free breakfast and coffee for us, which was pretty awesome. Also, the Dice Tower crew were giving out promos, and there was a table full of promos. I got a couple BattleCON promos, which is pretty exciting. Usually I don't own the games they have promos for, so I'm happy that these ones will get some use!

Portland 18xx Tournament 2017 Recap

June 28, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
Toby and I got to go to an 18xx convention for the first time! Since we live on the west coast, we decided to go to the Portland 18xx Tournament (there are other ones further away) last weekend. Although it's called a tournament, it's not really a tournament - everyone records the scores of the games they played and get ranked based on that, but most of the people didn't care about the tournament and were just there to play 18xx games and have fun. We were there Thursday through Saturday, and we played 6 total 18xx games.

Even though this is one of the smaller convention libraries, it probably has the highest density of rare games!

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