WBC, Day 4 continued: John’s Perspective

August 7, 2009

I’m going to keep this short, as Russ and I need to book it on over to breakfast and the convention pretty quick. Yesterday was a lot of fun. I sat in on a 9AM demo of Circus Maximus, an old Avalon Hill game about chariot racing in ancient Rome. It looks like a cool game, but what I was most impressed with was the demonstration teacher, Jake. Every year he paints up several pewter figurines and makes a huge deluxe map for the game. He then has it sold at the auction. The figures are really beautiful, and the set this year went for $310!

At 11AM I sat down for the final heat of Power Grid. I hadn’t got in on the first two; this was just to get some more experience. I played with Keith (already linked to his game group), Bobby, Jake from the demo, and Helen. We played on the Italy map, which I had never seen before. Although the game went long (3.5 hours), I had a good time and finished third out of five. Thanks to everyone for the game.

In the afternoon, Russ and I headed into the open gaming room. I was hoping for someone to show me how to play my copy of Carcassonne, but what we got instead might have been better. We ran into a group of guys who were slowly suffering their way through a game of Here I Stand–they had played (years ago, I think) once, but were running through the tutorial. So we sat with them for 90 minutes and did a little coaching. This was very fun and rewarding, and we are always happy to do a little game evangelization. Thanks to Chris, Len, Ken, and Sean for letting us sit over their shoulders for a while. We also met Phil, a reader of our blog!

After dinner, we headed back into the Kinderhook room for another round of Here I Stand. My group (Dave, who won last heat I was in, Erie (sp?), Rick, Ed, and Darren) was the last one there, duking it out in turn six. At one point, I had, as the Protestants, amassed the 23 VP needed for victory, but a rule I misunderstood meant I had to fight field battle instead of fight off city assaults in two electorates. All of England became Protestant, though, and it came down to Hapsburg, English, and French die rolls to see who would win the game on an explorer/conquest roll. The game went to Darren, playing the French, who has once again proved that you can win this game without ever going to war without any other player. I learned a lot about the religious game from Dave, and thanks to everybody; I had a great time.

Now we’re headed back over to the Host; Russ to Twilight Struggle and me to the Here I Stand semi-finals. I qualified on victory points, so wish me luck!

WBC, Day 4: Russ’s Perspective

August 7, 2009

Last night went late. Round two of the Here I Stand heats started at 7 PM and I didn’t get out until 12 AM. I finally got in a “good” game playing as the Hapsburgs, but was betrayed by the dice. Every battle I fought I had more or equal dice, but lost every one. My new world rolls were never more than a 3, just killing me. The Protestants ended up winning with the Papacy a close second. The head-scratching move in the game for me was the French player playing Michelangelo on the Papacy’s behalf for a card draw. Michelangelo is a 4 CP card that almost guarantee’s the Papacy 1 VP and the average draw would be a 2.5 CP card.

Earlier in the day, I met up with Stephanie (from the previous Sherwood Forest game) and another guy for some open gaming. We started with Vikings, which I wasn’t too impressed with. and then played a dice game called To Court the King. It was far better than most dice games; player buy cards with the dice rolls that can then modify later die rolls. It was an interesting mechanic and it made the game enjoyable.

Finally, I snuck in a Circus Maximus demo (interesting, but out of print and seems to take too long) and checked out Eisenbach Gap (I’ll have to check into this one more).

One last note, a reader of this blog named Phil, was able to recognize me in open gaming and chatted with John and me. He seemed like a great guy (like most of the people I’ve met here at the WBC) and it was fun and a little weird being recognized for our efforts on MoV. So, hi Phil!