RogerBW's Blog

Airecon in 2024 02 April 2024

My seventh Airecon, this time without snow. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.


After an easy drive up, we started in the bar of the Majestic with Cockroach Poker, a bluffing game that I enjoyed but I honestly can't picture playing with people I didn't already know quite well.

Then we moved down to the venue proper, where the beer selection was rather better

and we played Freehand with six. I'm really getting to like this as a low-cpmplexity party game.

On to Zoo Vadis, a game that seems as though it shouldn't work, but somehow does. Every time you want to get out of a zone you need a majority of the votes available in that zone, so it's a constant process of bribing other players to help you and not helping them too much. Good fun.

Nokosu Dice, always a winner. (The game is. I'm not.)

And lastly for this evening, Imperium: Horizons in which I took the Atlanteans. My immediate impression was that they were very fragile, but they were good fun even so. We finished scoring just as the hall was being closed.


A good honest hotel breakfast.

First game today was Coldwater Crown. I know very little about fishing and nothing at all about American competitive fishing, but I enjoy the worker placement and set collection mechanics here.

And Xia: Legends of a Drift System (the game's not over until you've blind jumped into a star).

This was good fun but had taken up a chunk of time, so I had a poutine break thanks to Spuds and Bros.

Then on to Lemminge: Wer Springt Zuerst?, always a favourite (well, I know one person who isn't particularly a fan).

Then a solid four-player Flash Point: Fire Rescue—in the four-door house, but hoo boy this one went poorly. We had some good moments, but in the end we had only two victims rescued by the time the house fell down.

Then on to a four-player Kabuto Sumo… well, three of matches, because pushing the chairs led to a couple of early victories. But the third game worked rather better with much back and forth.

Then Piepmatz, the first time I've had a chance to play with four. It felt like a very low-scoring game for me but I came out ahead in the end.

Getting back to the hotel, there seemed to be a fair old PA rig being set up. At 10pm. Uh-oh.


…but in the morning, the band for an Indian wedding was playing on the terrace. Good fun! (They even drowned out the Harrogate Bagpiper.)

We started with 5-player Earth. I hadn't realise that the thematic implication of the animal cards was that you were building habitats to attract specific animals; we pictured the fourth or fifth owl down the stack with ragged feathers and a mouser's cough.

Then some shorter games, SCOUT (probably at its best with five)

and Tinderblox Sunset.

Second Nokosu Dice of the show with a slightly different group. This is actually a bit like SCOUT in that its scoring has a falsely high resolution: have two good rouns, or one excellent round, and you've probably won.

On to Tavarua, the second time I've played this—but I didn't do as well as on my first play. The cards were against me, or something. I enjoy this one, but it does take a while.

A brief round of Freehand while we wound down from that.

Then on to Faraway, with an interesting reversing mechanic. You lay down cards in a sequence, then flip them, and reveal them in reverse order. So if your card 4 scores for, say, every map symbol, it'will count any maps on 4-8, but not the ones on 1-3 that aren't yet visible.

I rather enjoyed it and I'd definitely like to play again.

As we were winding down a bit, more Lemminge

and Roll to the Top!, in which I did better than ever before (but got greedy towards the end and thus lost).

Finally, Mint Works, a classic tiny game that I've never played before. It's worker placement, but your workers don't return to you, so you have to be constantly acquiring more.

It turned out that the Indian wedding had been a morning and afternoon event, so I got a good night's sleep too. (Even though the room's heating was turned off, I had to leave the windows open to get it cool enough for me.)


We were all fairly faded by this point, and several of us had a long way to get home, but we started Sunday with more Tinderblox Sunset and Freehand.

Then some of us played Coldwater Crown while I went for Imperium: Horizons (Celts, Romans and Polynesians). I tried to do the usual fast deck cycling, but my deck got bloated and I didn't even flip to empire before the Romans had exhausted the fame deck. Definitely still enjoying this!

This is still my favourite games convention. And next year they're celebbrating their tenth Airecon…

[Buy Cockroach Poker at Amazon] [Buy Freehand at Amazon] [Buy Imperium Horizons at Amazon] [Buy Coldwater Crown at Amazon] [Buy Xia: Legends of a Drift System at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Piepmatz at Amazon] [Buy Earth at Amazon] [Buy SCOUT at Amazon] [Buy Tinderblox at Amazon] [Buy Tavarua at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

  1. Posted by J Michael Cule at 12:32pm on 02 April 2024

    FARAWAY looked interesting to me too. Perhaps try it at MEEPLES?

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:49pm on 02 April 2024

    Definitely! It's pretty quick both to teach and to play.

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