RogerBW's Blog

Stabcon 2018 11 January 2018

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of January. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

After a very busy Christmas and New Year, I didn't really feel I had time to get a demo scenario printed and ready to run again, and the one RPG session I might have felt like playing in filled up quickly, so I ended up just boardgaming this time.

Friday

The bar had an actual brown ale!

Briefly. They ran out before I could get a second pint, and while rumour had it they were re-stocking on Saturday I didn't get a sniff of it. Oh well, what I had was rather lovely.

First game of the evening was Aeon's End. This is one that's new to most gamers I meet in the UK (even though it was released at Essen 2016, it doesn't seem to have made much of an impact) and I find myself evangelising quite a bit: it tweaks standard deckbuilding conventions in a way I find interesting. We had a tough fight and felt we were probably within a turn or two of winning, had we survived.

Colony next, where one player got ahead by five points in one turn to win.

Among the Stars, using racial powers this time as I felt reasonably comfortable with them.

And finally 6 Nimmt!, by which point I was starting to fade and playing fairly badly. Time for sleep.

Saturday

I started Saturday with an unpublished prototype, The Battle of Bury. Black puddings have got loose and are infesting the town, and teams of volunteers have to go out and kill or capture them before the military takes steps to prevent the contagion from spreading. It's a system with some interesting quirks, but definitely enjoyable to play, even if I didn't get the local in-jokes.

Colt Express, in which as usual I was too busy to take photographs. Four bandits plus me as the Marshal… and I won!

Not played by me: a very shiny edition of Between Two Cities.

And Scythe with the new airships module.

I played Death over the Kingdom next, which was suitably chaotic with five (though I think the King too often makes the first of the three rounds pointless).

Then The Captain is Dead, in which once more I drew orange, picked the Chief Engineer, and saved the day. (Well, the rest of the crew may have helped a bit.)

A game of Flash Point with the new Tragic Events – the first time I've had a chance to play with my own set. Memo to self: I need to make two more POI markers, because there can be up to five on the board at a time now. And we won!

One I haven't played for years, Family Business, in which to everyone's amazement I actually had the last mobster standing. (Not least amazed: me.) I still reckon he popped out to the deli for five minutes and when he got back everyone else had killed each other.

Finally in this series, Mag-Blast!, which took a bit of getting used to, but which again I won. A very strange game, with (in this edition) John Kovalic artwork matched with a relatively dry Christian Petersen design. Maybe a bit long for what you do.

Last for the night, a very well-organised game of Mysterium with Secrets & Lies. Applause to Ghost Doug for getting the atmosphere right – even if I was the only player not to get the final challenge.

Sunday

I began Sunday with a solo Magic Maze run, to see how well that would work. Answer: very. But if I play it solo, will I get good enough at it that I can't play it with other people any more?

I tried Red Flags, in which you're trying to choose two things about a potential date who appeals to the judge player, and sabotaging everyone else's attempts with a bad thing. Insofar as there's a game here, it's working out what each player considers most important. Quite fun but I wouldn't buy it.

Those players were interested in Colt Express, so I set that up – and won again as the Marshal. I think my new player briefing ought to include a list of things the Marshal may be trying to achieve, so that players can try to stop them from happening.

Not being played by me: Cosmic Encounter in the traditional just-before-endgame state. One more point wins… for anybody.

I showed off Aeon's End again, this time to some very experienced deckbuilder players who were interested to see how it varied from the usual approach (less randomness thanks to the unshuffled discard, but the random turn order prevents it from turning into a pure optimisation puzzle). We still lost, but had a great time doing it.

And then into the car and home on a cold dry night.

[Buy Aeon's End at Amazon] [Buy Colony at Amazon] [Buy Among the Stars at Amazon] [Buy 6 Nimmt! at Amazon] [Buy Colt Express at Amazon] [Buy The Captain Is Dead at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Family Business at Amazon] [Buy Mag-Blast! at Amazon] [Buy Mysterium at Amazon] [Buy Mysterium Secrets & Lies at Amazon] [Buy Magic Maze at Amazon] [Buy Red Flags at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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