Friday, October 14, 2016

Wright Con - 2016

This week I turned 50. Last Friday my wife surprised me by arranging for my three best board gaming friends to 'camp in' for the weekend at my house and play marathon board games all weekend. Lori cooked quesadillas for dinner on Friday, had continental breakfast set up in the mornings and cold cuts for lunch. She even had commemorative T-shirts made up for each of us and an additional different board game themed T-shirt as a gift for each of us!  In the past we've played games all weekend and we always name the event after the host's home, so this one was "Wright Con 2016". Just to make it official, she even had the banner in the photo made. I can honestly say, it was the best birthday I've ever had.

Mike and Scott showed up late Friday afternoon to surprise me as I came home from work. I was actually feeling under the weather and home sick from a 5-week virus, so the surprise was less sudden, but none the less special. As usual, Scott kept impeccable notes of the gaming while he was there. The last two games are from my memory, so scoring will be less accurate. While waiting for Josh to fly in from a job interview in NYC, we played some smaller 'filler' games, and Mike and Scott taught me some new games I hadn't yet played.

We started with a new game to me, Roll for the Galaxy. This photograph is from later in the weekend after Josh joined us. Roll for the Galaxy is an interesting game where you start off with a small number of dice which garner you opportunities to play in each of the game's phases. You choose one phase that guarantees one phase gets played and you also play in phases your opponents choose. As the game progresses you acquire control of worlds which increase your dice and make them more efficient. We all enjoyed this and played it several times. These first two games scored as follows:

Game 1: Allan - 30, Mike - 25, Scott - 21
Game 2: Scott - 35, Allan - 33, Mike - 29

Game three was Caribbean, a fun game of bribing pirates with rum for control of the Caribbean's ports. The game has quick to understand mechanics and fun pieces, but the game within a game is out witting your opponents with your moves. Mike and Allan battled for DFL as Josh likes to call it, dead freeking last. Mike secured second with some brutally good moves.

Game 3: Scott - 41, Mike - 26, Allan - 25

Game four was one of my new favorites for 'Quick and Easy' games, Age of War. This one is great for gamers and non-gamers alike. In addition to being fun and fast to play, the box is small. This is one game I keep a copy of in my RV for playing with new friends at the campground. All that and it's very reasonably priced. This is a dice rolling game where you battle for control of groups of regions represented by tiles. The theme is feudal samurai Japan. This game was new to both Mike and Scott, but the scores sure don't show it. They brutalized me!

Game 4: Scott - 15, Mike - 13, Allan - 8

Games five and six were King of Tokyo. A fun 'fist of dice' rolling game with a movie monster theme. Think Godzilla vs King Kong vs Mothra.

Game 5: Allan - win by killing all other monsters
Game 6: Allan - win by killing all other monsters

Josh arrived and after a quick meal we got to four-player gaming. Game seven was another new game for me, Lords of Waterdeep. This is a board game where the players compete as lords hiring warriors, thieves, clerics and wizards to complete quests for them. The more quests you hire workers to complete, the more points you score. This is essentially a resource management game with lots of interesting mechanics. We all enjoyed this game a lot and played it several times.

Game 7: Josh - 110, Allan - 101, Mike - 93, Scott - 85

It was close to midnight so we retired to the basement, fired up the PlayStation 1 and played an old favorite of ours - Micro Machines. Still feeling under the weather, I retired early. Scott, Mike and Josh played a few games - no scores logged for this.

Saturday morning, the guys humored me and helped me play test a board/card game I'm working on which is a conversion from a wargame campaign system, called Protector of the Realm. I've replaced the tabletop wargames with a quick card combat system. I got a lot of good feedback and I definitely have some adjusting to do, but the guys seemed to have fun and we were able to play a game to completion without any major hiccups.

Game 8: Allan and Josh tied - 61, Scott - 58, Mike - 46

For repeat games I will just list the results from now on.

Game 9 - Lords of Waterdeep: Mike - 133, Josh - 114, Allan - 98, Scott - 97
Game 10 - King of Tokyo: Allan - 20 (victory point win), Scott - 13, Josh and Mike tied - 3
Game 11 - King of Tokyo: Scott - 22 (VP win), Allan - 11, Josh - 9, Mike - 6
Game 12 - Roll for the Galaxy: Mike - 33, Scott - 30, Josh - 29, Allan - 27

Game 13 was a favorite of ours we've played before, Endeavor. Endeavor is a resource management game with a global colonization theme. You explore, settle, trade with, enslave the peoples of and govern regions around the world.

Game 13: Mike - 61, Josh - 53, Allan - 45, Scott - 44

This brought us to about 11:30 pm, so we retired to the basement to play another round of Micro Machines - this time four player. I cannot remember who won, but Mike, Scott and Josh all had scores in the 550-600 point range. I think I ended at 140 points. I never owned a PS1 or played Micro Machines except during other 'Cons' so I got schooled! 

Game 14 was the last new game of the weekend, 7 Wonders. As the name suggests, players compete to build city wonders in the ancient period. In three ages players develop the economy and resources to build wonders and military. Scores are based on decision making during a card passing mechanic. You start with a hand of 8 cards to choose from. You pick one to play and pass the rest. The chosen card is played and then the process is repeated. The game plays quickly and there are mechanics that interact with your neighbors in card play, trading and scoring so strategy and player interaction are there. Games play in well under an hour which is nice.

Game 14: Mike - 56, Allan - 52, Scott - 47, Josh - 40
Game 15 - 7 Wonders: Scott - 52, Allan - 48, Josh and Mike tied - 47
Game 16 - Lords of Waterdeep: Allan - 113, Josh - 99, Scott - 91, Mike - 73

Scott had to leave so Josh, Mike and I finished up with these games, scores from memory:

Game 17: Lords of Waterdeep: Allan - 125-ish, Josh - 107, Mike - high 90s
Game 18: King of Tokyo: Josh win by killing all, Allan - 18, Mike - 7

Total wins:
Allan: 6.5
Scott: 5
Mike: 4
Josh: 2.5

My wins were mostly padded by King of Tokyo, which has a HUGE amount of luck involved. I'm still scratching my head at how I dominated a luck-based game, but heck, even a broken watch is right twice a day. If you take out King of Tokyo, the scores look like this:

Mike: 4
Allan: 3.5
Josh: 1.5

Considering Josh's travel spotted the rest of us four games, these scores are mighty close with Scott and Mike scoring the same amount of wins - congratulations guys, and thanks for the incredibly fun birthday weekend.

Blog note, I'm only counting the weekend as one game in my 'games played' count to the left, just so it doesn't artificially skew the war gaming numbers for the year.


Carlo said...

That has to be one of the coolest and most thoughtful gifts a gamer could ever be given by a spouse. Banners and T-shirts AJ? You have done very well with your bride mate!! Just as importantly gaming over the weekend with your best friends is what the hobby is all about. Happy birthday!

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I agree, she's a keeper!

Dick Bryant said...

Happy Birthday. Wonderful wife - mine always hated the hobby! What no miniature games?
Dick Bryant

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Dick, Well it was a surprise party, so I didn't pick the mix of games. I have miniatures friends and board game friends. My wife invited the latter. When in Rome, eat Italian food!

Dick Bryant said...

When in Rome, eat Italian food!

When anywhere, eat Italian food - if you can.
Dick Bryant

Giles said...

Many happy returns, AJ. What a terrific present!

Best wishes