RogerBW's Blog

Handycon 6, Friday 13 August 2019

Still at the larger venue in Maidenhead, and it felt about the same size as last time rather than overflowing its space. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

First game of the show for me was Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game, an interesting puzzle on a moving board – which didn't feel much like the problem-solving of the original computer game, but that would be rather harder to implement in boardgame form. Short and sweet, but I don't think I'd be in any hurry to play again.

By late morning, the main room was starting to fill up.

On to Potion Explosion, at which I used to be moderately good. But my opponent had been getting in some practice, whereas the last time I played was, er, a year and a half ago at the last Handy Cross iteration of this convention, and he wiped the floor with me. Still fun, though I still have trouble remembering how a particular special power works.

I got my revenge at Onitama, my first game with the Wind Spirit expansion. The recommendation is two wind spirit cards in the set of five, but I think I'll also try it with just one, and indeed sometimes opt to play the base game without the wind spirit. I still very much enjoy this small chess-like game, and I have an ongoing plan to design and 3d-print a small travel version. (Hinges are what's stopping me.)

I got into a larger group, and played Camel Up, not doing as well as last time but still coming out reasonably. Not sure I'd buy this, particularly as the cardboard pyramid seems quite unreliable as the game gets used, but the gameplay is decent and I'll probably play this on Tabletop Simulator.

Two-player Dice Hospital next, and I'm gradually getting better at this - still not as good as people who play a lot of this sort of game, but I at least managed a credible loss rather than a comprehensive one.

Back into a group of six, then seven, for a couple of games of Just One, a party game that works remarkably well. One player picks a card and shows it to everyone else, but not to themselves; they pick a number from one to five, which is one of the words on the card. Everyone else then has to write down a single-word clue to the target word; but if any two people have the same clue, they're both erased. So the guesser sees only the clues that only one person thought of, and has to try to guess the original word on that basis. It's a good system; I'm not sure how long it would last if played frequently, but I'd guess at least as long as Codenames.

The Herefordshire boardgamers had set up giant Tsuro with carpet tiles. It was a cut-down game (6×6 grid, and only two tiles in hand as they were quite heavy), but silly and enjoyable even so.

We got Colt Express out of the library, and made it work with seven players (but no Marshal). I should play this more often, especially given all the 3d-printed loot I made for it.

Last game of the evening was Dice Settlers, in which the lady on the playmat has clearly found the good mushrooms.

I could sort of see how it was working, but it was too far into the abstract-Euro space in which I usually do very badly, and I did.

[Buy Portal at Amazon] [Buy Potion Explosion at Amazon] [Buy Onitama at Amazon] [Buy Camel Up at Amazon] [Buy Dice Hospital at Amazon] [Buy Just One at Amazon] [Buy Tsuro at Amazon] [Buy Colt Express at Amazon] [Buy Dice Settlers at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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