Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Congress of Gamers recap - Part 1

Last weekend I attended Congress of Gamers in Rockville, Maryland.  This is a fun little convention that I try never to miss because it's low-key and good fun. 

Saturday morning I arrived to find my friend Grant G. playing Can't Stop (designed by Sid Sackson, published by Face 2 Face Games), which is a nice push-your-luck kind of game.  I had picked up a copy for my now-nine-year-old son for Christmas a year or two ago.  It's still something of a family favorite.  When I played it at PrezCon last February, I was astounded at how far teenagers will push their luck rolling the dice.  I'm much more cautious at the game, which sometimes works for me, and sometimes doesn't.  So in Grant's game, the table was cleaned up by a young player who completed three categories before anyone else got a single one; so I guess there's something to be said for calculated risk-taking.

(c) Z-man Games
Used by permission
My first game of the convention was Carcassonne (designed by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede, published by Rio Grande) with the river expansion.  [Edit:  Carcassonne has since been picked up for distribution in the U.S. by Z-Man Games under a new contract with the original German publisher Hans Im Gluck. - PDO]  This was my first time playing with the Third Edition scoring rules, whereby each farm scores three points for each adjacent complete city.  I thought I won against Amy R., Meredith M., and Tom R., but my EuroCaucus card showed I came in second.  Oh well. 

Every convention I try to learn a game I've never played before.  This weekend it was Endeavor (designed by Carl de Visser and Jarratt Gray, published by Z-man), a colonial mercantile game of expansion, action placement, and the usual conundrum of decision-making.  Though I advanced rapidly in technology to acquire advanced buildings, I neglected to accumulate tokens for taking actions (rather like growing the family in Agricola), and so was left with few opportunities for growth in the latter part of the game.  The winner at my table was a delightful woman who, it turns out, has a monthly gaming group not far from us in Virginia.  So once again, the nice thing about a convention is that if I'm not going to win, at least I'm going to make a new connection.

Next post:  Settlers, robots, and ... you guessed it ... farming.

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