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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Congress of Gamers 2013 Part 5: Five-player "East India Company"

Wrapping up my Congress of Gamers coverage from almost three weeks ago, I've got a five-player playtest of "East India Company" and just a few other odds and ends to close things out.

Clockwise from left foreground:  Jason Tagmire, Marty, myself, Alf Shadowsong, Kiva Fecteau, and John Weber as I facilitate a five-player playtest of  "East India Company" - Photo by Mike Mullins

East India Company
A number of people had expressed interest in playing "EIC" but had missed playing on Saturday.  So I made a point of setting up a Sunday morning session, which attracted five players - Alf Shadowsong and Kiva Fecteau (designers of "Tiny Epic Battles"), John Weber, Jason Tagmire, and a young fellow named Marty whose last name I didn't get.

Alf Shadowsong, Kiva Fecteau, and
John Weber playing "EIC"
This session went very differently from the previous day's, when players borrowed heavily, and the winner had only nine points at the end of the game.  In this game, Alf took out a few loans and invested strategically, but not recklessly.  Most of the players were fairly conservative, and the markets were somewhat more lucrative than the previous day's.  Tobacco, ivory, tea, and - later in the game - spice came out, with plenty of profitable opportunities.  Lumber was in short supply, however, making ship construction more expensive.  So the market conditions were very different from Saturday, and it made for some subtly different strategies.  Kiva actually won the game, and I don't think she took out a loan the entire game.

Odds and ends
Canton Games was a new vendor at Congress of Gamers this year.  On impulse, I grabbed Android Net Runner, which was high on my wish list and which has strong reviews as a two-player game.  I look forward to learning this very popular game and trying it out with Kathy.

Bruce H. Voge
I got to meet Bruce H. Voge from The Party Gamecast.  He is every bit as energetic and enthusiastic about games as he sounds on his podcast.  He graciously bought me a soda, and we talked about all kinds of games as well as podcasting and gaming in general.  I hope to stay in touch with him long after this convention.

I spoke briefly with Kevin Kulp (designer of Pigpen) and Jason Tagmire (designer of Pixel Lincoln), both of whom I met at UnPub 3, but didn't get to play their games this time.  I hope to see both at UnPub 4 in January.

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