RogerBW's Blog

TringCon 28 March 2015 29 March 2015

This small one-day boardgaming event happens twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire, and has been going for quite a few years. This was my third visit.

I started, as is becoming traditional, with Nicola Zealey's customised Wings of Glory. This one involved a British bomber, trying to land behind enemy lines and pick up a spy, being attacked by a German patrol. There were quite a few early-war aircraft involved, with poorer guns than we're used to.

Even after the second turn we were getting into close quarters.

The Germans swarmed the bomber, mostly ignoring the escorting fighters. This was probably the best available strategy.

Getting too close was definitely an error, though, as the bomber could defend itself from nearly any angle, and had no incentive to fly high and expose its vulnerable belly.

There were near-collisions, but the bomber did at least miss its landing point.

Damaged and burning, the Germans closed in.

With too many planes to attack, the bomber's fire was less effective.

Not ineffective enough, of course.

Soon enough, I was the last survivor of the German attack force.

And then there were none. On the other hand, the bomber had neither completed its pickup nor got off the friendly side of the board. By the scenario rules, shooting down the enemy produced a British victory, but I feel that utterly failing to achieve the mission objective should count for something here.

We tried Arctic Scavengers next, which I played last year at Thirsty Meeples. I managed to get a decent start with resources, but it's still not really a game of which I've made sense, and I came a distant last.

We moved on to Flash Point: Fire Rescue with one of the Flash Point - Honor & Duty maps – the Underground station.

We started with CAFS, Captain, Veteran and Generalist, and concentrated on suppressing the fire more than on rescuing victims.

Once the main fires were out, CAFS shifted to Structural Engineer to shore up some of the worst-damaged areas, and then to the Rescue Dog to pull people out.

Fires brewed up again in the north-east, and we mostly kept safely to the edges of it.

As Captain, I was able to cause the Veteran to haul out the last victim, and we won with around 12-15 damage cubes left. Yes, it's a tough map, but with a bit of coordination and discussion round the table it can be beaten.

Last game of the day was Fleet with the Arctic Bounty expansion.

I'm afraid for me this is an example of the abstraction gap: thematically it's a game about fishing off northern Canada, but in practice it's about bidding for the right "fishing licences" that let you draw more cards, get things more cheaply, do more things in a turn, and so on. For example, your final score is dependent on the fish you have aboard boats - any fish you've sent off to be processed count for nothing.

I cornered the market on Pacific Oysters and, to my surprise, did reasonably well, coming a close third out of the table of six.

It was getting late, so I headed home at this point. A highly recommended con; next one's in September, but I can't make it.

See also:
Thirsty Meeples November 2014

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