Saturday morning

First up, a trip to Starbucks. Unlike my local Starbucks, this one still rewards you for bringing your own mug. 40 cents for a refill of Blonde Roast into my travel mug.
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Friday night

Made it back through border patrol without too much issue. Well, except that the turnstiles didn’t want to let Dan Blum back into the country. Damn smart turnstile.
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Friday afternoon.

Oops. That first post wasn’t supposed to be so short. Hit the wrong button. Oh well, who wants a rough draft anyways?
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Friday morning.

A somewhat restful night of sleep here at the Sheraton. Once I got to sleep, things were great.  However, there was some sort of nocturnal construction which made my original room far too noisy. So after a 1am room switch, things got much better.
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Thursday night

After dinner, time for more new games. We tried to translate the rules to Tschakka Lakka, another complex (not) game from Rudiger Dorn.


It’s a dice rolling, sorta push your luck game where you try to collect the most of each of the colors to score points

We’ll have to play it again later in the week with a better translation.
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Finally in the ballroom.

Looks like we have access to the ballroom.  My stack for now. No unpacking because it’s raining outside. 


First thing, a bit of show and tell. Custom trays for Euphoria.  Pretty Damn cool. But, no playing of the game… It’s not new!

First up in the ballroom, Traexx


Next up, a speed family game, Rings up!
Feels like the amigo game from Last year – speed cups


Continuing on the new game train, Vienna from Schmidt. A dice rolling game. (well, it’s more than just rolling dice) . (expect a. More detailed description of lot of these new games later in the weekend)

Dinner was at the awesome Korean restaurant that never seems to be open. Kalbi and kimchee ftw!

Back to the hotel for more new games…

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First games on Thursday

Attendance is still sparse. First game is Birth.


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Gathering of Friends Coverage

As some of you may know, the 2015 Gathering of Friends kicks off this week.  As usual, the OG will have plenty of coverage.  

This will be my second year attending and I will be attempting to provide more timely contributions throughout my 10 days in scenic Niagara Falls.  In addition to regular posts here, I have opened up my Twitter account (@BenMcJunkin) so feel free to follow me there for bite-size thoughts and impressions throughout the day. 


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Getting ready for the Gathering of Friends.

It’s that time of year again, where 400ish gamers forget that they have real jobs and responsibilities and get together for a week and a half of gaming fun!

(NB: sadly, I can only get away for four full days, but it’s still better than nothing!)

I’ve checked the weather and it looks like it’s going to be a normal awesome upstate New York weather week with high temperatures in the upper 30s. There is apparently a direct link from the Arctic Circle to Niagara.

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Dale Yu: Review of Welcome to the Dungeon

Welcome to the Dungeon

  • Designer: Masato Uesugi
  • Publisher: IELLO Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: ~30 minutes
  • Times played: >15 with a review copy provided by IELLO games


Welcome to the Dungeon is a second generation production of one of my favorite games to come out of Japan in the past few years, Dungeon of Mandom.  You may not have heard much of the original game because it was done by OINK games, a fairly obscure Japanese company known for its miniscule packaging of its games.  OINK games often have limited distribution over in this part of the world.  In the past few years, many of the Western publishers are recognizing that there are a lot of interesting games coming out of the Far East, and Welcome to the Dungeon is no exception.

In Welcome to the Dungeon, the players act as a team of heroes that are exploring a dungeon.  Each of them takes a turn doing some reconnoitering of the place, and in a wonderful push-your-luck scenario, the bravest explorer (which is really the one who takes the longest to chicken out) enters the dungeon and tries to survive the monsters within. Continue reading

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