Saturday, February 14, 2015


So wish I could have been there. Had the wifey permission and money to do it, but as the new guy at work, was shat upon when I put in my request for time off. :(

In happier news... check this awesome article/blog out.. Elrockenstein, I'm looking at you. BTW.. I take a terrible and great pleasure in passing on the Bob Marley bottlecap ear-herpes. It's the gift that keeps on giving, and one can never get rid of.

Isolated Drum Tracks - very cool!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

| Skull

Got to try out a really fun bluffing game called Skull & Roses last night. I've known about it for a while but never bothered hunting it down. I think it would have done great at Mancon! I'll pick it up before the next big gathering.

Everyone gets 4 coasters in their color, 3 of which have a rose on it, 1 which has a skull. Everyone plops one face down in front of them, then people can start raising the bid or someone can issue a challenge. "I can do it in 3." It goes around the table till people have bet higher or passed. Then, whoever had the final bet, has to flip over X number of coasters around the table. If he can do it without showing a skull, he wins 1 of the 2 points you need to win. If you flip over a skull, you randomly lose 1 of your 4 coasters. Sounds simple, but a big caveat is that you must always flip over ALL of your own coasters first, before dipping around the rest of the table to hit the number you bid.

It was goofy fun and would have fit perfectly in that drunken haze sweet spot we were in most of this past weekend.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Game reviews:

I forgot we played Aliens. I liked it! I was probably an hour past when I shoulda gone to bed that night, but I enjoyed playing it. If we would have tackled it as a morning game, it probably would have had a very different dynamic. I've already played the shit out of Marvel Legendary, so all the changes for Aliens really stood out as pretty cool. Don't sell it off just yet!

Dead of Winter: I liked it a lot more than I expected. My sinuses were shitty ALL weekend, so I wasn't at the top of my game (sitting at a table and being TOP), but I'm super glad we got a game of it in. I would totally play it again. I wouldn't buy it, but would play it a few more times.

Doomtown: That one is pretty tough to breakthrough, but I think I got a taste of the system. Seems like it would totally be fun if I had the time to invest in learning the cards. Elrick did a pretty good job teaching a pretty dense system. Maybe when Jdawg moves back to LA I can get into it.

| Cayucos, In Summation. Perspectives from Elzar

It went too fast, as always, yet I don't know if I could survive mentally and physically if it went much longer. I miss real life, and real sleep, and real schedules enough to feel out of sorts by Sunday, but I also hate work, responsibilities, not playing games, and not being drunk enough to want to stay.  Truly First-World problems.

I vote we can Kubla and GenCorn and just do Cayucos twice a year!  I think I've made this argument for at least the past 2 years, post-Cayucos.

And now, brief thoughts on all the games I played:

Thunder Alley: I effing love this game.  I could play it daily and I don't think I'd get sick of it.  The movement, the dick moves, the little puzzles to maximize your movements each turn but not being brain burny, just makes this one a keeper for me.  3 player games rule, and the 5 player one was fun too, despide the drunkedness.

Arctic Scat Avengers: Lots of fun for 3, too long and slow for 5, not dynamic enough for 2.  PLays fast, interesting combat, with the first expansion module it opened up a few other avenues to victory which I appreciated.  Fast enough to get on the table a fair amount, but we'll see if there is interest the next time it is proposed - it may have overstayed it's welcome (but I don't think so)

CAH/Telestrations: CAH is always fun but I think it's somewhat hampered by some of it's awkward un-funny rounds, which is fine. I love the expansion, of course :)  Telestrations has taken over top spot for me as a party game.  I can't remember a time that I laughed that hard and kept a smile going soooo long my cheeks hurt.  Probably a CAH session comes close, but I think the torch has been passed at least for the time being.  VARIANT: Draw a CAH white card, draw it for Telestrations.

Spyfall:  Just when I think we sort of 'got it' we decided to move on.  I didn't hate it, but I'm not sure I'm smart enough to succeed at playing the spy, ever, so I might bring down the fun for everyone when on the first questions I'm ousted.  Dunno, I'd play it again, but it wasn't memorable for me.

Splendor: Clever little engine/deckbuilder game.  I didn't hate it, would play it again, almost foolishly purchased it post-con thinking I could get Leslie to play it, then came to my senses.

Brew Crafters: I found myself square in the middle of a hella heavy Euro and I didn't hate it!  I realized that theme actually does matter to me (shocking) at least wrt Euro games.  It was fun, TONS of paths to victory, lots of different choices and angles you could play, and enough randomness between games (which beers will be available and which skilled worker cards will vary from game to game) to keep it fresh.  I liked it and will play again!

Trains: Totally confused at at first since I had no idea what the goal was or how the flow of the game went.  By the end, I was cranking right along and it was pretty fun!  I like the side map, I like that it's a weird theme of Japanese trains, and the turns move super quick.  Not my favorite game, but I'd play it again.  Fall into the Kingdom Builder category for me.

Tiny Epic Defenders: The rules are so short I feel like I CAN'T be missing something, but this game is super hard to beat and I am 0 - 8 so far.  Its cute, fast, fun, interesting, but it seems to hit a point as soon as the big bad is revealed, the rest of the map falls apart all at once and we lose.  I dunno how we could plan any better since we were doing GREAT up until the reveal.  Will need to investigate.  This will hit my first 10x10 since I have 8 plays under my belt so far!

Pandemic: The Cure: Not my favorite. I was also pretty drunk when I was introduced to it so I didn't completely follow the flow/rules, but even after my second, less drunk (but still drinkin), game, I wasn't impressed.  Would avoid.  I liked using the 1 -6 coasters for Los Vegas, however!

Los Vagos: Took a few rounds to 'get' where the fun was, and I think on my second game with the two 'fuck with you dice' (each player gets 2 white dice that can be used to mess with other players, but don't directly work to anyones benefit) I got it and it was totally fun!  So fun I grabbed a copy.  This one I MIGHT be able to get Les and Wy playing, but time will tell.  I also liked the post-Pandemic apocalyptic story we spun about gambling in the skies of the pleasure blimp before it ran out of gas for the last time and it came crashing down to earth.

Legendary Encounters: Aliens: It was late and I don't think Rude was into it so it sort of dragged.  There's a lot to absorb and if you don't really wanna get into it, it's easy to just have the game sort of happen around you without caring.  We got all the way to the Queens and she tore us apart with a double attack before we could even touch her.  Would play again, but not at the top of my list.

Doomtown: Me likey!  Played an interesting game against Jr0n that was as much re-learning the rules as it was playing for me, and I finally sort of can recognize some of the shittier cards in the started deck that I should replace, but when I tried to make the replacements I was overwhelmed by the options and stopped.  Maybe next time I will get that much more comfortable with the game and NOT be overwhelmed and start chipping away at that deck.  Second game against Rude was challenging because he played a job card right off the bat and those are tricky to figure out, particularly for me and my lack of experience.  We sorted it out with some vet help, and I don't think that left a very good taste in Rude's mouth, but it's such a hard game to teach/learn because it's fairly complex in it's rules as well as it's options for actions each turn.  Still love it.

Dead of Winter: Another one where I don't think Rude was into it and it seemed like a chore.  Slows down with 4 players, I think 3 is the sweet spot.  I like it, but at this point could easily sell it and be okay.  The epic saga of Forrest, the Drunken Santa was pretty good :)  Contemplating suicide, hittin' on the ladies to score some booze, going nuts, and eventually getting eaten.  Good times.

Machi Koro:  It was the perfect game to listen to music, drink whisky sours, and eat pizza to.  I had a great  time with this game.  The rules: roll (2)d6, collect coins based on roll, maybe buy another card.  Fun to build your odds of getting a roll engine, fast enough that it doesn't really matter if you lose every game.  Picked this one up (along with the expansion) and MAYBE can get Wy to play it with me.  Looking forward to more whiskeys and dice!

Age of War: Boring Reiner dice game, like a lite version of Elder Sign, but not as fun.  Played it once, tossed it in the bag probably never to be seen again.

Love Letter: Fun!

Chili Dogs: Delicious, but not without a terrible, terrible cost.  The house plumbing is no doubt still recovering.

| Mancon Post Partum

Missed you at the mancon, Jael! You woulda had fun and it wasn't the same without you.

That said, another great mancon in the books. Like every year, I got to try some awesome new games, some duds, and a bunch of games that were supposed to get played but totally didn't. There's always that weird gaming regret thing where you WISH certain games had hit the table (and maybe a few others didn't).

CHEERS: Los Vegas! I knew people would like it, but it's a hard sell, especially since 1. I don't have a legit copy 2. My bootleg copy was left at home 3. We played a copy cobbled together from Pandemic The Cure location tiles, Dave's ugly dice, and Elrock's awesome handwritten money!

JEERS: Pandemic The Cure - I really liked it the couple times I played it at home, but at mancon it fell flat for me. The first time we played it was alright, but I got in a 3 player game with Enron and Elrock, and we probably should have just played more Machi Koro.

CHEERS: Thunder Alley! Way funner than a GMT game should reasonably be, but don't worry, their less than stellar artwork was there. It actually didn't bum me out once we started playing, because it's just a totally fun and awesome racing game.

JEERS: Chili dogs! Enron made us delicious food as always, but I should have limited by chili dog consumption because goddamn, those are still kicking my ass a couple days later.

CHEERS: Telestrations, holy shit. The #1 Laugh-Out-Loud Party Game from USAOPOLY! It could have been horrible, but the first time we played it, I laughed harder than I've probably ever laughed in my life. Playing Cards Against Humanity AT Edition beforehand def helped get us in the mood, but the degenerate drawings that come out of our heads are pretty priceless.

JEERS: Lack of rotistier chickens. Also bummed we didn't play Shadows of Brimstone, IMPERIAL FRIGGIN ASSAULT, and a bunch of other stuff I'm not remembering.

Wish this trip was every 6 months, do it!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

| After Action Report

Good times were had, as were chili dogs! It was great to come up on Thursday for once. Rude - thanks for the rides to and fro, and guys thanks for hauling my shit there and back. Much appreciated.

I highly enjoyed playing Thunder Alley, Cards Action Humanity, Rude's Weird Spy Location Game, Telestrations, Splendor, Puerto Rico, Istanbul, Chaos in the Old World, Pandemic: The Cure, "Los" Vegas, Relic, Mr. Jack Pocket, Doomtown, Dead of Winter, Runewars (although I did not expect it to take TEN HOURS! holy shit!), Telestrations again, and whatever I'm forgetting.

I mildly regret not having played Shadows of Brimstone, Crossfire, Netrunner, Risk Legacy, Small World, Saga (maybe later on in February in Santa Clara?), or seeing what this Arctic Chicken Avengers is all about, plus whatever else you guys think I should regret not playing.

Sorry ya couldn't make it Jael, I missed ya!