Saturday, June 28, 2008

LesCon - the truth

Last weekend's LesCon was great fun. Very comfortable cabin in the Forest of Dean with great facilities nearby - I made three visits to the swimming pool and sauna. We stocked up with piles of food and booze when we arrived then basically hunkered down for an uninterrupted weekend of gaming. Here's what was played:

Up Front Quite a few games of this between various people. My favourite encounter was Paratroop Drop vs Nick - my plucky Brits just barely scraped a win on victory conditions.

El Grande The grand old warhorse of euros. Proved to be better than I remembered it, and I was pleased to get 2nd place (Nick won).

Wits and Wagers Late on Friday. I'm not a fan of party games, but this was OK I suppose.

Struggle of Empires Saturday morning's epic contest. Les quietly pulled off a surprise tie for first place with Dave (who was making a lot more sturm und drang on the board). I came 4th but enjoyed every minute - others seemed less convinced of this game's classic status.

Nexus Ops On Saturday evening I taught the other 4 this game and coached them through it. Dave won with his from-the-off aggression. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

Bean Trader Saturday ended with this fun game. Marty showed his alarming negotiation skills. He should definitely have been a 2nd-hand car dealer, not a doctor.

Dune Nick had to head home late on Saturday for an archaeological emergency, so he missed out on this classic from the 70's. I was delighted to finally get a chance to play this. I won on turn 5 when my Fremen seized the opportunity presented by the overflowing Tleilaxu tanks and snatched Arrakeen. It took us about 3 hours, and the time raced by - there's always something interesting happening. I can't wait to play this one again.

Canal Mania Dave won this one, and I came in last. Very enjoyable light "railway" game.

Shooting Ducks Another party game to finish up before we hit the road back home.

Thanks to Les, Nick, Dave and Marty for making this such an enjoyable weekend. And thanks especially to Les for organizing the accommodation and making a wonderful cooked breakfast on Saturday morning. Mmmmm, black pudding.......

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The red box

LesCon - which is actually 5 gaming buddies crammed into a log cabin in the Forest of Dean for a weekend - is fast approaching. I'm getting very excited now, and starting to think about what to pack in my red box. As a necessary discipline I plan to restrict myself to one medium size plastic crate of games, especially as 3 of us are car-sharing so space is at a premium.

I'm thinking of a small number of really good multiplayer games that will take 5, and making sure I know the rules well and am ready to teach them. Current candidates:

Dune (an Avalon Hill scifi classic - very highly thought of in some quarters. I could bring the DVD as well!)
Empires of the Ancient World (a Martin Wallace golden-oldie)
1825 (gentler and shorter than 1830)
Die Macher (the ultimate heavy euro - always wanted to try this)
My amazing poker chips

And perhaps a couple of quick 2-player wargames that don't take up too much space:

ASL Starter Kit 2
Up Front!
Crusader Rex (like Hammer of the Scots with sunshine)
Rise of the Luftwaffe (Up Front in the air! you can do the big bombing missions with more than 2)

And something special from Canada:


Oh dear, even this lot won't fit, so some will have to be left behind.....