ColinCon 2017

A small group of friends and I held a private two day gaming event that we dubbed ColinCon. Here’s a brief breakdown of the weekend:

ColinCon 2017 Closing ceremonies were held Sunday afternoon, and by all accounts, the two day event was a runaway success. Attendance didn’t quite meet the projected figures, but being the first year it’s no surprise.

Friday – 5 attendees
8 am Founders breakfast:

Held at J’s Restaurant on 99E. This doubled as the kickoff/opening ceremonies.

9:00 am Mansions of Madness – 5 Player game of the “Shattered Bonds” Scenario:

Although nearly half of the team went insane, including one investigator who spent half the mission mute, evil was eventually defeated and the star spawn vanquished.

12:00 pm Blood Rage + 5th Player Expansion

The eventual winner of this session took an early lead and never looked back, although one player ended the game abruptly by sneaking a successful pillaging of Yggdrasill, much to the chagrin of those still vying for first place.

2:00 pm Lunch BBQ:

Weather nearly redirected lunch, however the attendees of ColinCon demanded charred beef. Hotdogs and burgers were consumed, with only minor injuries due to the unsuccessful estimate of meat heat.

3:00 pm Forbidden Stars tutorial panel:

The host of the ColinCon took time out of his busy schedule to teach a small group of players how to play the now out of print Forbidden Stars game from Fantasy Flight. After the rules were explained and the factions set up, the group played through the first few rounds of the introduction game is get a feel for the game.

4:20 pm Forbidden Stars Full Game – 3 Players:

The game was reset to a three player game after the tutorial panel ended. Big battles were fought, Warp Storms were used as advantage, and one player made a calculated risk, and won by a wide margin on the second tie-breaker. ColinCon participants do not appreciate a ‘shared victory’.

8:20 pm ColinCon closed:

Although the official events of ColinCon ended, and participants left the venue, fun was has into the night online with Heroes of the Storm.

Sunday – 4 Attendees

9:00 am Founders Breakfast:
Waiting for ColinCon Day 2 to open their doors to the public, two-day pass holders found themselves waiting at the Independence Grill where the Prime Rib hash was flowing, but the coffee pot was not as giving.

10:00 am Mansions of Madness – 4 Player game of the “Dearly Departed” Scenario:

Day two kicked off with Mansions of Madness and the players were not so lucky this time. One investigator went insane, got wounded, and then finally was eliminated from the game due to mental trauma. This scenario asked many questions that for now, only the zombie horde was answer to. Players were quoted as saying “This is the best Mansions scenario yet” and “I’m definitely trying that one again soon”.

12:00 pm Lunch

While the convention host BBQ’d meat for hungry players, those players were busy setting up for the next game marathon.

1:00 pm Shadowrun Crossfire – 3 Game Marathon

This time the participants taught the host how to play a game. Each player took on the role of a runner up against the ancients, and each time met their match. Out of three attempt, one ended in a successful abort, and the other two, just ended. When asked, one player proclaimed that he would play again, but did not want to play the fifty plus games it would take to level up a character.

4:30 pm Closing Ceremonies

ColinCon stories were shared, and the founders discussed ideas and plans for next year. More on this to come later…

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How do you keep from going crazy playing board games with a four year old?

How do you keep from going crazy playing board games with a four year old?

A couple of weekends ago my wife was in a class both days, so it was just the kids and me. As soon as I stepped out of my bedroom my daughter, who is four, asked to play a board game. This is usually the first thing she asks me every time she sees me. Normally, this poses no problem, because we play a quick game of something, then move onto the rest of our day. In this case though, I knew I would be encouraged to play board games all day with her. Since my son has decided video games are better than board games, he didn’t want to join us. So how do I, as a parent, keep myself interested in a game that my smaller children are also able to be involved with?

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This topic is something I’ve struggled with often. I have a few games that support younger players, but most of them, after a few plays, don’t hold my interest again. It’s different if the whole family is sitting down for a board game session, because then there is one parent to entertain, and one to help with the active player. My favorite example of a game that works really well as a family game is Outfoxed! This is a deduction game where a team of chicken investigators have to figure out who stole the pot pie from the window sill.  With simple Yahtzee style dice rolling mechanisms, and easy choices, this one holds up to replays with the family.

I have a whole other pool of games that my oldest, at six, is almost old enough to play. When I go over the games with thought to why certain ages are placed on games, I’ve never really caught onto what I now think of as a key element in kids’ games. Until this weekend.

My two daughters, Ripley and Tesla, had just finished up Animals on Board, and were playing Takenoko with me. To be fair, Tesla sat on my knee, while Ripley and I played, but we were all having fun. Ripley would move the panda every turn, chomping bamboo with no regard to the point cards she was trying to complete. About twenty minutes into the game, she started asking if the game was almost over, after every turn. She didn’t want to stop, in fact, got almost offended when I asked if she did. This got me thinking.

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There are times, when I’m writing here, or for Dice Tower News, that my kids play games on the other end of the table. They have a stack of their go-to games. Outfoxed, Jenga, Connect Four, Star Wars Operation, My Little Pony Chutes and Ladders, and others. Watching them play, I’ve noticed that they get the game out, set it up, play the game for eight to ten minutes, play with the components for a few more minutes, then switch games. It’s not the strategy or the mechanisms that keep these gateway games from kids, it’s their attention span.

I spent some time looking for games that would keep their attention and realized that I was looking for the wrong thing. What I needed to look for was games that kept MY attention that they could play, and played in 15 minutes or less. As I was thinking about this, and reading my twitter feed, I saw someone talk about playing a two player game of Ticket to Ride: First Journey six times in an hour.

Hold on. That’s an average of 10 minutes per game. I can effectively teach Ticket to Ride in three minutes, and Ticket to Ride Europe in four. If Alan R Moon has simplified this gateway classic into something that entertains me, my wife and all of my children, without needing to houserule it’s going on the list of must have games, for everyone I know who has a family. Once I actually make it to Target (That’s right, it’s another Target Exclusive game), and pay the full 34.99 retail price, I’ll post detailed thoughts on why you should buy it today. Until then, tell me what games you play with your family, and how you houserule games to keep the little ones attention.

Preview – Don’t Mess with Cthulhu

Preview – Don’t Mess with Cthulhu

I was very pleasantly surprised when I got a text from one of the guys in my gaming group today. He had backed an Indie Boards & Cards Kickstarter for Grifters and I was able to add Don’t Mess With Cthulhu to his pledge. The base game supports 4 – 6 players, while the included expansion adds support for up to ten players. The game is a re-skin of a Japanese game from 2014 Time Bomb.

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Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness

I’m a huge H. P. Lovecraft fan, and Cthulhu used to be my favorite theme. As we get more and more of the same themes, both Zombies and Lovecraft feel a bit over used. As I was Writing for Dice Tower News I came across the announcement for Mansions of Madness, a second edition of the 2011 hit, to say I was hesitant would be, well…100% false. I immediately pre-ordered the game through my FLGS and have absorbed any information Fantasy Flight Games has released ever since. There are so many things that drew me to this game I didn’t even flinch at the $99.99 MSRP.

 

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Cthulhu Realms Follow-Up

Cthulhu Realms Follow-Up

In my previous post [found here] I talked bout Cthulhu Realms. At the end of my post I recommended Star Realms over Cthulhu Realms to new players and I’d like to address that, as well as talk about a few things I left out of my original post. Over the last week I’ve played Cthulhu realms about 25 times, in both 2-player and 3 player games. I don’t think I’ve used the phrase “Wait, we’re playing this wrong” more in my whole life combined than I did while playing this game. It almost drove me insane.

 

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FLGS – Odd Fellows Games & Electronics

While I was working at a large call center several years ago, my manager left the organization to open up his own store. Month’s later Radio Shack opened it’s doors. I had went into the store a few times, shortly after opening looking for a reason to support the store, and always left with something. I have nothing bad to say about the store, but the best thing I can say: it was adequate. Since Radio Shack closed most (all? I’m not sure of the details) of its stores, the local one transitioned into another store by the same owner. Odd Fellows Games & Electronics. They had board games! The reason I’ve chosen today to talk about this is because I went to their Board Game Afternoon Event today. Let me share my concerns, my initial impression, and my hopes for the store and the Silverton Board Game Community.

 

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Day 24 – Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Day 24 – Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

I started playing Magic: the Gathering when I was in sixth grade, and played well through high school. My favorite part of the game was deck building. After high school I would pick up the game again for six months to a year, but the game was way too expensive to continue playing the way I wanted to play. It’s been a few years since I last played, and I’m beginning to feel that itch that only Collectible Card Game can scratch. I simply cannot afford to get into the game again, so I started looking for alternatives. Cortnie has never been interested in these types of games, so the most important thing I was looking for was something to draw her in. I found several games that had great art, which helps, but it’s not enough to be a long term draw, which is what I’m looking for. What made me finally decide that Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn was the game to try?

 

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