RogerBW's Blog

Airecon IV 03 April 2017

After the Yog-Sothoth.com crew mentioned this fast-growing convention on Cthulhu Breakfast Club, I thought I'd give it a go even though it was in North. (Harrogate, to be precise.) With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Friday

I played some Robo Rally 2016 with an old hand, but with only two players there wasn't much conflict even on a single-board map.

KaleidoCards, a game system that'll probably be going to Kickstarter soon. It's based on Stroop effect tests: each card has a colour name, the colour that word is printed in, and the background colour, of which the last two can't match. Dave Wetherall who's been developing this has been reasonably inventive in game design; my favourite was "KaleidoCombo", in which players have to pick pairs of cards that between them contain all five colours in some way. All the players worked out a reasonably sensible tactic (find a three-colour card, memorise the pair of colours needed to complement it, keep several of these pairs in mind while looking at more cards), but the final scores weren't particularly close. Dave's aiming for a £15 price point and I'm certainly interested.

A two-player game of Automobiles came next, ending in a remarkably close finish (not bad considering that I had been two-thirds of a lap ahead at one point). Inner car wins ties. (I was red.)

Then two-player Race for the Galaxy, which considering that I was on eight cards when my opponent got his twelve was closer than I'd expected.

Six-player Not Alone, in which I learned that when we played at Thirsty Meeples we'd failed to notice the rule that says the rescue marker advances one space per turn as well as anything the humans achieve between them. Yeah, that would make it a bit less biased to the alien. We still lost, mind.

The evening ended with Parade, which unlike its close boardgaming kin Arboretum didn't make my brain hurt. I also did ridiculously well - 4 points of penalty score, as opposed to about 20 for the next best player. Its rules do seem a bit arbitrary, though.

Saturday

More Robo Rally in the morning, this time a four-player race with a course folded back on itself. Nobody got involved in the push panels, but both conveyors and lasers became quite important. I should see about writing an editor for the new board iconography, and then maybe converting some of the old boards to it.

Steampunk Rally next, a three-player race between Tesla, Toyoda and Knight. For a change I got a reasonably effective machine early on, and focused on feeding it electrical dice. Didn't help me win, mind. Still, the cheat sheet from BoardGameGeek helped everyone work out pretty quickly what was going on, and I'll be using that approach in future when I teach the game.

Five-player Automobiles next, with a very odd card set: Car Chief, Pit Crew, Supercharged, Tires and Boost. Once we had done a bit of fine tuning, we were doing half-laps in single moves. OK, I only came in third, but I had a good time doing it.

There was a copy of Colony in the bring and buy for about £15-£20 below standard retail, but someone else had found and bought it before I would have. Oh well. (But he brought it to the table, we played, and I won, har har.)

Some Splendor followed, three-player, in which I was beaten hollow. Mutter mutter people who know what they're doing mutter.

We finished off this streak of games with Welcome to the Dungeon, by which point it was time to head out for the Chinese buffet. Which was pretty decent, bearing in mind it's not a large town. Better than the one we briefly had in Wycombe.

Sunday

Things got reasonably busy on Sunday morning, though Saturday had clearly been the main day.

I'd been working through the games I'd brought with me and Flash Point made its way to the top of the stack - with Fin and Val from YSDC. This was the Laboratory board, with four characters; it was looking pretty shaky by the end, but we did just barely get everyone out.

Well, the seven we needed. "Do you hear someone else screaming for help?" "No, and neither do you." (ker-collapse)

Some other players were in the mood for shorter games, so out came 6 Nimmt! and Red 7.

And then it was time to drive home while I was still relatively fresh. Avoiding the M1 round Sheffield/Barnsley/Wakefield by taking the A1(M)/A1 seems like a distinctly good bet for avoiding motorway congestion, and I may well do that next time I'm heading to Bradford for a YSDC Games Day.

This was definitely a show worth returning to – even though quite a few people turned up and played as groups, there was enough circulation that I got a reasonable amount of gaming in. Next time I might slim down the games crate to a games backpack and wander around more.

[Buy Robo Rally 2016 at Amazon] [Buy Automobiles at Amazon] [Buy Race for the Galaxy at Amazon] [Buy Not Alone at Amazon] [Buy Parade at Amazon] [Buy Steampunk Rally at Amazon] [Buy Colony at Amazon] [Buy Splendor at Amazon] [Buy Welcome to the Dungeon at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy 6 Nimmt! at Amazon] [Buy Red 7 at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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