RogerBW's Blog

Airecon Northwest 23 December 2023

I went to Airecon Northwest – the second spin-off venture for the Airecon team, in the convention centre in central Manchester. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Friday was fairly quiet. The hall did fill up a bit later, but it was never rammed—there was always space for new arrivals to set up, and it didn't get wildly loud either. Which is a great good thing as far as I'm concerned, but I do worry slightly about their budget; this venue can't be cheap.

My first game of the weekend was Camel Up (Second Edition). It's one of those that I love to play occasionally, but I don't feel that way often enough to want to own it.

On to Tinderblox Sunset with bonus marshmallows, which was too engaging for me to take a picture of it. Hurrah for the rubbish tweezers!

A friend's thinking about getting Project L, so I set up a game with all the expansion material (to help him decide which of them might be worth looking for). This was the first time I'd played with the Finesse tiles, which give you a bonus each turn for achieving minor objectives; it doesn't directly help you score, but can be used for extra actions. But also, having the ten tiles out on the table (which bring the game to an end if nobody exhausts the black puzzles before then) gave the game more of a sense of structure. I'll be suggesting this with other players too.

On to Nokosu Dice, great fun as always (and again very involving).

Chaos in the Old World, from the period of FFG/Games Workshop collaboration—of course, since it's an FFG game, the text is dense, though not as tiny as it would become later. You have lots of things you can do, and only a limited power budget to do them with.

In spite of its size, the actual mechanisms ended up being fairly simple. Place corruption in a region with cultists, which accrues from turn to turn and can eventually flip it to Ruin; or move forces in to Dominate it, which gives you points each turn. Meanwhile, random events and each player's power cards shake things up.

“You put figures on the board, you corrupt the land, and you try to beat off the opposition.”

“Cosmic corruption goes ‘ploink’.”

“Blood for the Blood God… [battle dice get rolled] Other people’s blood for the Blood God!”

In the end, it's an Eric M. Lang troops on a map game and those tend to blur into each other for me, but it does manage to bring something of the Warhammer flavour.

Things got extremely rotten in Kislev.

I had noticed that my dial had a shorter path to victory than anyone else's, so I concentrated on pushing that up, and it paid off.

Finally, and probably a mistake last thing at night, Furnace. Fun as far as it went but I don't think it was at its best.

Saturday began with the best hotel breakfast I've had for a while.

On my way to the venue, the flue tower for the central Manchester heat distribution system.

First game of the day was Kabuto Sumo, adding a couple of Total Mayhem items (a briefcase that encourages you to keep pushing pieces off the edge, and a chair that gives bonus moves if it's touching your opponent). Great fun as always.

On to Xia: Legends of a Drift System. Probably an error in pacing to have a five-player game with two new players, and I lost focus in there somewhere and spend several turns noodling around not achieving very much. (Also, we were very late seeing any trade routes.) But I came last and still had a good time. The traditional blind jump into a star was achieved.

Next, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition: Haunted Fanatic, First Appearance Bunker, and Scavenger Unity vs Terrorform in Megalopolis. This was a very tough fight; Terrorform hands out a large pile of damage, and while Haunted Fanatic was dealing a fair bit too she couldn't carry her share.

Then Revolution! with four, alas with one player for whom it didn't really click (this happens occasionally), but a close fight between the others.

Next was Nyet!, which I had played six weeks earlier at Airecon West. Then it struck me as OK but nothing special; this time we used a rule (perhaps optional?) that the first player also chooses their partner for the hand, and any points won by either are scored by both. This made it much more vicious and much more fun.

Finally, Piepmatz, the vicious garden bird game, I think first time I've had a chance to try it with four players. I don't even remember who won this one (pretty sure it wasn't I) but it was hard fought all the way through.

On Sunday we started with a couple of games of V-Commandos: the fuel depot, followed by sabotage at the Eiffel Tower. I fear I may have been a bit alpha-playery here simply because I've played the game a lot and can read the board and make recommendations quickly.

"So basically this is Flash Point with Nazis."

The fuel depot was helped by a timely bombing raid which let us bail directly out once the objective was complete. The Eiffel Tower went less well, with two of us cut off from escape, but the mission was still a success.

We were starting to wind down, but there was time for one more round of Nokosu Dice.

And lastly Showtime, an unpublished prototype: you want to get your actor onto the TV show that'll be most successful that season. There's a certain amount of take-that, but it was still great fun: it would be good as a party game, I think.

Then the four-hour trip home: but both directions were nothing like as bad for traffic as most of my recent ventures to North. Let's see what happens at Stabcon…

[Buy Camel Up Second Edition at Amazon] [Buy Tinderblox at Amazon] [Buy Project L at Amazon] [Buy Furnace at Amazon] [Buy Xia: Legends of a Drift System at Amazon] [Buy Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition at Amazon] [Buy Piepmatz at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

See also:
Airecon West

  1. Posted by John P at 10:15pm on 28 December 2023

    The partner rule in Njet is a regular rule, not an option. That's what it says in the first edition rules.

    Der Spieler mit der entsprechenden Charakter-Karte is Startspieler und darf sich einen Spielpartner aussuchen. Die beiden anderen Spieler bilden das gegnerische Team.

    I believe that the second edition rules have been altered a bit so maybe that bit got dropped. As you say, it makes a lot of difference to play.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 10:22am on 29 December 2023

    The rules for the 2015 Iello edition (that we played at ACWest in Telford) are on BGG, and they say:

    Line 1: First Player The first player chooses his team. The other players become the opposing team. The first player chooses who receives the Bonus card, and plays first.

    (You can go up to 5 players, thus haziness about "his team").

    So I can only assume that the people we were playing with chose to leave that out.

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