RogerBW's Blog

Stabcon 2019 09 January 2019

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of January, on a slightly chilly but not cold weekend. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.


I went out by a slightly indirect route via a friend's place. It took longer than the M6, but it was much less dreary.

First game of the show was a new one to me, Dominion: obviously it's hugely popular, but I've played quite a few of the games that were inspired by it so it wasn't much of a revelation, and it didn't really grab me. Thematic disconnect is something of a problem, but I don't find the theme (non-fantasy mediaeval, but disconnected from any specific time or place) very interesting either. So it goes.

Some friends turned up and we played a couple of games of V-Commandos, first the GREEN training mission, which went reasonably well.

then the SILENCE gun-battery sabotage before D-Day. The dash up the cliffs went all right, but the gun battery itself was less of a success. (Hint to future Roger: do not ever rely on passing a stealth check if there is any other way of achieving your aim.)

We did nail the blockhouse (with Finnlock throwing in a TNT charge in his signature move), so partial victory.

I definitely want to play more of this, and I plan to set up a play-by-forum game soon, and/or amend the French-only version for Tabletop Simulator to work in English.

2-player Red 7 next, a series of games that turned into a series of matches. I still love this deceptively simple-looking game.

Since the other player had introduced me to Dominion, I thought it was only fair to introduce him to Star Realms Frontiers. Yes, of course he beat me, and it wasn't even especially close. (Those Moonwurms are rather nasty…)

On to a couple of games of Flamme Rouge, basic rules only, on the Ballons Centrale course. One-all and a tough fight.

And so to bed.


Imperius arrived recently, and I played a quick game after breakfast. Tricky to get up to speed; I think this is one that needs multiple plays and will reward deeper attention.

I was setting up Realm of Sand for solo play, and someone asked to join; naturally, she beat me hollow. I like this game but I'm really not very good at it.

Available from the dealer: Call of Cthulhu cards, which seem to be like the index cards some GMs used to use in order to have stats for monsters and items ready to hand, but pre-printed. Um.

More Star Realms: Frontiers next, this time solo against the Automatons challenge. This looked tough at first, but I managed to build my power faster than the enemy.

I joined some friends for Lovecraft Letter, one that I don't play as often as I'd expected to when I got it. Four is probably about the right number of players, though I don't think any of the five or so rounds ended with a card comparison, because all but one player got knocked out first.

Next was Flash Point: Fire Rescue, in the two-door house with Tragic Events and one novice player. It looked bad at times, and two hazmats went up, but thanks to bonus victims we still got everyone out (except the people who would have been hard work to move, but this is a brutally pragmatic game at times).

Another play of Battle of Bury, a home-made game with interesting tactical choices that I first tried last year. We seemed to do a much better job this time, finishing in about half the turn limit…

Four-player Human Punishment next, and I'm sorry to say this dragged a bit. (I've played with five on TTS and the games whizzed by. Not sure what's going on here.)

Hut Alive is a game by a Nigerian designer which one of the others had received in return for a sponsorship of some sort; we rapidly noticed that the cards were isomorphic to a standard 52-card deck (though what order Health, Security and Education come in was not obvious), but we mostly ended up fighting the rules translation (which is the same as the description text at the BGG link). There may well be an interesting game here but it's hard to tell.

Xenon Profiteer next, and this was definitely a hit; it's enough of a twist on standard deck-building mechanics to be distinct from the standard games, and the theme of real science and engineering is unusual.

I didn't feel like going out for supper with the others, so I played some more Star Realms Frontiers solo, losing twice against the Blob Assault challenge (though coming closer the second time).

When they got back, we played Xenon Profiteer again, and then to bed.


The first game of the day was Iota, which is somewhat Scrabble-like: you put down rows of cards that must either all match, or all differ, in each of the three characteristics (colour, number and shape) that each have four possible values. It quickly became apparent that one needs to have an eye for "dead" spaces in which no card can be put (because the two rows that would intersect there have incompatible requirements), and for spaces which are mostly dead because the needed card has already been placed elsewhere. I very much like this one, and I'll probably buy it.

Then several more games of Red 7, which I taught badly but they got the hang of it anyway. (I'm not completely convinced by the scoring, even so; it seems quite random, and while I like the elimination of the winning cards from future rounds I wonder whether a simple "first to win N games" would work better.)

The drive home (all but about nine miles of the M6 were under speed restrictions, very dreary), and sleep.

[Buy Dominion at Amazon] [Buy V-Commandos at Amazon] [Buy Red7 at Amazon] [Buy Star Realms: Frontiers at Amazon] [Buy Flamme Rouge at Amazon] [Buy Lovecraft Letter at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Xenon Profiteer at Amazon] [Buy Iota at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1