Monday at the Gathering 

My last full day at this year’s Gathering. Woke up and was immediately accosted by Friedemann to learn about his new games. Can’t really talk much about them (yet), but I think I’m allowed to say that I played a set of games. They’re fun. Green is involved. The titles all start with the letter F.  It looks like they will be small box games – but I really can’t say for sure.

They are still works in progress, but I’m really impressed with the series of games that we played and REALLY interested in a super early prototype set up for possibly 2018. In any event, I will write up my thoughts on the games now and then wait until 2f lifts the embargo to talk about them. 


Next up – I managed to find Aldie to borrow “my” copy of Magic Maze and play it again.  The game has been the HIT of the show from my perspective – my copy is well worn at this time and has been constantly in play.  It is going with Aldie to make it to BGG.spring.  Not sure what sort of condition it’ll be in when it gets back to me finally, but it’s awesome to see how much enjoyment the game is providing.  (For those of you who are wondering, I did email the folks at Sit Down! and they are expecting it to be in the US distribution channel by early summer…)

The game is still fun, and though I’ve played the starting levels over and over as I’m constantly introducing the game to new players – and to be honest, the quality of the game has become even more and more apparent as I’m really enjoying it playing the basic levels with new players as much, if not more, than with the advanced rules.

One of the other games that I brought, die Garten von Versailles, has also seen a lot of play – I wanted to show this to a few of the other OG’ers here, and managed to find it free for a bit.  I still enjoy the game, and it is one of my current games on my personal short list for SdJ recommendations.  (I think the OG will likely do our usual internal poll on this in the coming months),

Lunch was at one of the dozen Indian/Pakistani/Punjab places within walking distance of the hotel.  That sounds a bit like hyperbole, but it honestly isn’t.  I think there might be more Indian restaurants here than all of London.  Food was decent, but nothing to stand out from any other Indian I’ve ever had here at NF.  Thus, no pictures.

Sat down to learn the new Eggertspiele game tentatively called Reworld.  It’s a outer-space colonization themed game which is honestly pretty unique for the German publishers.  The design team is the fairly well known duo of Kramer and Kiesling.  Game is split into two large phases – in the first, you are playing cards to draft tiles to your colonization ship.  In the second phase, you now unload those tiles from the ship to the surface of your new planet.  It’s a lot to take in on an initial play, but it was interesting.  I’ll defer to other OG’ers who will probably get more chances to play it this week.

(well, at least you get pictures) 

 Finally left the country on my final night to get pizza at my favorite restaurant in Canada.. 

Finished out the night with a quick game of Century and closed the show with three more games of Decrypto, the word game coming from Le Scorpion Masque. 

It was a great trip, and I’m sad that it’s over so soon. Most of the other Opinionated Gamers that are here will stay for longer, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what else they play during the rest of the week. 
Until your next appointment, 

The gaming doctor. 





Posted in Convention Report | 1 Comment

A GameCon Fundraiser

I’m not one of the “gamerati” currently up in Niagara Falls at the moment, but as I attended a local charity game convention Saturday, I thought I’d make a brief post as it may inspire others to do the same. In brief, I had a good time teaching beginner games to a host of new gamers. The star of my day was a 5 player game of the AEG rerelease of The Captain is Dead. A close second place was repeated plays of Escape: The Curse of the Temple with some brand-new-to-gaming sophomores.

The local game shop, The Sage’s Shoppe (complete with extra letters) paired with a couple gamer high school teachers to host an all-day gameathon in order to raise money for the school’s summer backpack program. Low income kids often have their only decent meal of the day at school, so they are given backpacks full of food for the weekends so they can have a good meal on Saturday and Sunday, too. The summer program attempts to help with this over the summer months when school is not in session.

Continue reading

Posted in Convention Report, Reviews, Sessions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chris’s Gathering: Sunday

Sunday was the best day yet for me at the Gathering.  I met several new people and tried several cool games and prototypes.  Here’s my summary of today’s experience, plus a quick overview of what I played.

What games are people playing?

The three most widely played games seem to be Terraforming Mars, Century: Spice Road (which I walked through yesterday), and NMBR 9 (which I also walked through yesterday).  You can generally look around the big room and see multiple copies of Terraforming Mars getting played.  The same goes for Century: Spice Road, which has been an enormous hit, with many people buying copies.  NMBR 9 seems to be a popular filler game.

Sagrada also seems popular, and I’ve notices a few people go for multiple plays.  I walk through it below.

Yamatai — the new game from Days of Wonder and designers Bruno Cathala and Marc Paquien — has also been hitting quite a few tables.  I haven’t gotten to try it yet, but Dale discussed it in a post earlier today.

Several escape-room-in-a-box products seem to be popular.  Space Cowboy’s Unlock! has been played by a few groups.  And I saw at least three groups play Exit: The Game – Secret Lab.

Plus, there are prototypes everywhere, and you could probably go the whole convention only playing prototypes.  There are rules about disclosing prototypes, but each designer/publisher can (rightfully) restrict what information leaves the convention.  I’ll give as many details as I can below. Continue reading

Posted in Gathering of Friends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday at the gathering 

Managed to wake up early today..started the day with another game of Codenames Duet. Managed to do better but I suspect this is because I was playing with John as opposed to Dan. We were only one answer away from winning. 

Next up was Ethnos from CMON. An interesting card management game with special abilities for each of twelve races, but you only play with six in each game so there are a huge number of combinations in each game. 

Too early to tell if it’s good or not. Our special abilities in this game were not overly exciting. Some of the others that we read looked more dynamic. 
Then, one more go of Crazy Race. I’m liking this more and more. 

There is an interesting question whether this is a press your luck game that doesn’t reward pressing your luck. I still like it so far. 

A quick game of Magic Maze before lunch. This silent, real time cooperative game has been a surprise hit here. My group has always liked it, but my copy had been in near constant play here. 

Lunch was more stuffed burgers at Rock Burger.  Stuffed with Doritos this time 

More sagrada after lunch. Super tight game. Final scores were 52-50-50-50. 

Steph really wanted to try Yamatai, so that came next. An interesting strategy game from days of wonder. It seems like their non ticket to ride games are definitely on the more complex side of things. From my first play, this feels in between Five Tribes and Quadropolis in complexity. 

Definitely some potential for AP here, but the constant goading from my opponents shamed me into making rash decisions. 

They also started taking sign-ups for next year. Second year in a row that I was the first to sign up. 

Then had a nice chance to learn a new game from Hans im Gluck, Middle Ages (not final name). It’s a quick playing card drafting game. Note this isn’t final box art. It’s designed by Marc Andre who has had a nice series of releases with Splendor, Sail Away and now this. 

It looks great. I played it once and am looking forward to it at Essen 17. Also coming will be the expansion for Marco Polo.  I am not really cleared to write more about it now. 

Next up is another game that I won’t write about. 

   Went to the Griffon pub for dinner. Nothing like a Chicken and Waffles sandwich. 

Finally the end of the night was spent playing a super neat teamwork word deduction game called Decrypto from Le Scorpion Masque. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Saturday at the Gathering 

Started the day out with a new game, Codenames Duet.  Played 3 games, lost each time…

The game is in the early stages of the prototype still – so things will change. In fact, the game has changed since yesterday.  It’s a 2 team  coop game. There is a double sided clue card, with correct answers and assassins on each side – and it’s possible that they overlap.  The assassins could be the same or different – it all depends on who is guessing.  Anyways, I can see my side, Dan sees his side – and you score cards based on what you can see. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Chris’s Gathering: Friday/Saturday

This is my first year at the Gathering of Friends, and I figured I’d do quick reviews of games I played, plus write a bit about the experience.  I’ve played a number of new games over the past couple of days, so today I wanted to highlight three that stand out: Century: Spice Road, Nmbr 9, and Wind the Film.

Century Spice Road

Continue reading

Posted in Gathering of Friends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday morning 

Slept in. Woke up to Christmas morning. Spring has most definitely not sprung in Niagara Falls 

Helped Alan putter around the game room for a bit, and then time to cross a few games off my “want to play” list. 
First up is Clank! Which is an interesting take on the deck building and monster killing games. 

Bonus points for knowing who might be wearing a shirt that has a kitten surfing on pizza. 

Next was a learning run thru Aeon’s End. We played a three player game versus Rageborne. It was dicey for awhile, but we pulled it out in the end. Having played with the soon to come expansion, I think I prefer playing with the easier Nemesis which then allows us a chance to win with a random selection of heroes and market cards. That type of puzzle is more appealing than having to create the market prior to play. 

After a new restaurant for lunch, Power City Deli, back for Kepler 3042. An interesting 3x game. As there is no extermination. In fact, there is almost no interaction at all. Other than some blocking on the map. It is one of those games with a fixed set of actions. Each game presents me with sixteen chances to screw up. 

It’s a good thing that we have all these games to play. The hotel half of the building is out of power. 
And now the rest of the afternoon will be spent teaching Millennium Blades. Will try to post more tomorrow. 
Until your next appointment. 

The gaming doctor 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thursday night part 2

More oldies.

First, sumeria from Revier games followed by Titicaca (cwali)  renewing my grudge match with William Attia. By grudge match, I mean trying to beat him for the second time in anything in about five years.

I did manage to win. There goes my chance at a signed limited edition of Caylus I guess.
Next, short meeting with my boss, Toni from Bezier games. We played his new Werewords. Yeah a hidden identity word game.  Never thought I’d string those four words together in a row… Continue reading

Posted in Convention Report | 1 Comment

Made it to the Gathering. Found new games 

Running out to dinner. But before I go, pictures of a few new games. 

And back from dinner. A damn good stuffed burger. Had a pizza roll inside. 

Posted in Convention Report

Review of Dairyman


  • Designer: Chih-Fan Chen
  • Publisher: Homosapiens Lab, Tasty Minstrel Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 14 and up
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Times Played: 6
  • Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.


Roll Dice! Milk the Cow! Make Cheese & Ice Cream!

Dairyman is a push-your-luck dice-rolling game in which players compete as dairymen trying to collect fresh milk everyday, fulfilling orders, and making cheese and ice cream. Players take turns rolling, locking, and re-rolling dice to create sets of two or three dice with a total value of 10 to produce milk and then use it to claim milk tiles for points. Failure to produce milk may result in spoilage and the loss of a previously earned milk tile. There are opportunities to flip a tile to turn the milk into cheese for extra points or to freeze it into ice cream. This action provides an extra ability that can be used each turn. Flipping a milk tile also prevents it from being lost. The player with the most points on their milk, cheese, and ice cream tiles at the end of the game is the winner.
Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,