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Icon: October 8th 2011

12 Oct

Marcus and I attended our local gaming convention which is run by my friend Josh.

The first game we played was Alien Frontiers, playing was Marcus, Josh, Annette and myself.

Do you have what it takes to be a deep space colonist? An alien frontier awaits the brave and daring! This new planet will be harsh, but if you have the skills to manage your resources, build a fleet, research alien life, and settle colonies, the world can be yours.

Roll and place your dice to gain advantages over your opponent and block them out of useful areas of the board. Use Alien Tech cards to manipulate your dice rolls and territory bonuses to break the rules. Steal resources, overtake territories, and do whatever it takes to get your colonies on the map first! Don’t dream it’ll be easy, though, because the other players will be trying to do the same thing.

The second game I played was Elder Sign with Josh, Jordan, Trevor and Mr. Wheeler.

It is 1926, and the museum’s extensive collection of exotic curios and occult artifacts poses a threat to the barriers between our world and the elder evils lurking between dimensions. Gates to the beyond begin to leak open, and terrifying creatures of increasing strength steal through them. Animals, the mad, and those of more susceptible minds are driven to desperation by the supernatural forces the portals unleash. Only a handful of investigators race against time to locate the eldritch symbols necessary to seal the portals forever. Only they can stop the Ancient One beyond from finding its way to Earth and reducing humanity to cinders.

Elder Sign is a fast-paced, cooperative dice game of supernatural intrigue for one to eight players by Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson, the designers of Arkham Horror. Players take the roles of investigators racing against time to stave off the imminent return of the Ancient One. Armed with tools, allies, and occult knowledge, investigators must put their sanity and stamina to the test as they adventure to locate Elder Signs, the eldritch symbols used to seal away the Ancient Ones and win the game.

To locate Elder Signs, investigators must successfully endure Adventures within the museum and its environs. A countdown mechanism makes an Ancient One appear if the investigators are not quick enough. The investigators must then battle the Ancient One. A clever and thematic dice mechanism pits their exploration against monsters and the sheer difficulty of staying sane and healthy, all within the standard game duration of one to two hours.

Then I played 7 Wonders with Josh, Mike, Lee Ann, and Marcus

7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player, as in Fairy Tale or a Magic: the Gathering booster draft. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided as in Bauza’s Ghost Stories.) Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.

In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Unlike Magic or Fairy Tale, however, each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you’ll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you’ve already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions.

Though the box is listed as being for 3-7 players, there is an official 2-player variant included in the instructions.

The next game was Cold War with Brian.

World War II has left the world in upheaval, and many nations’ futures are filled with uncertainty. The USA and the USSR are the only Superpowers who can lead the world toward a better future.

Cold War: CIA vs. KGB puts you in charge of a spy network during the post-war era. Your purpose: to “persuade” foreign governments to embrace the “proper” ideology, by any means necessary. Manipulate local factions of influence to get your coup d’etat up and running. Double-cross and eliminate your opponent’s leaders. Gain prestige for your side by winning the Space Race, dominating the Olympic Games, or ensuring that one of your countrymen wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

In this decades-long conflict, victory will go to the side with the resources, conviction, and commitment necessary to ensure that their world view shapes the future.

Finally I finished up with a Game of Blood Bowl: Team Manager with Jordan, Trevor and Mr. Wheeler.

Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game is a bone-breaking, breathtaking standalone card game of violence and outright cheating for two to four players. Chaos, Dwarf, Wood Elf, Human, Orc, and Skaven teams compete against each other over the course of a brutal season. Customize your team by drafting Star Players, hiring staff, upgrading facilities, and cheating like mad. Lead your gang of misfits and miscreants to glory over your rivals all to become Spike! Magazine’s Manager of the Year!

Once a manager has chosen one of the six teams, he has five weeks to groom them into the best in the league, culminating with the Blood Bowl tournament. He does this by competing at highlights, collecting payouts, upgrading his personnel, and drafting Star Players.

Managers begin the season with a starting team deck full of basic scrub players. These players are none too bright and have limited talents, but a clever manager can play to their strengths by carefully positioning them to excel on the pitch.

Is your team ready to compete against other teams in head-to-head highlights? Highlights are the randomly determined matchups over which players compete. The more highlights a team wins, the more it improves and the more fans it accumulates.

The season culminates with the Blood Bowl tournament. After the Blood Bowl, the season ends. Players then tally up their total fans and the manager with the most fans wins the game.

While I was playing Cold War and Blood Bowl, Marcus played Black Gold.

The year is 1922 and the Texas Oil Boom is in full swing. Prepare to head West, surveying the Permian Basin for profitable gushers and gaining more wealth than your fellow prospectors. Are you part of a burgeoning oil family fixed on becoming a dynasty, or a shrewd yankee, tired of watching southerners making their fortune? Whatever your reasons, join the race to become the wealthiest son of a gun in West Texas.

Black Gold is a board game of drilling and discovery for 2-5 prospectors, and play can last from 1-2 hours. Competitors attempt to claim the best wells, bid wisely against their neighbors, and sell their oil at the highest price in order to finish the game with the most money when the Oil Baron’s train reaches the last track.

To secure wealth, players explore the terrain of the provided map tiles for oil wells, and they survey and build their derricks. Map tiles are double-sided and modular, ensuring a unique experience every time. Money is made if a player can transport his oil to one of three oil companies, and win the right to sell at auction. The Oil Baron’s train moves nearer every turn, counting down the rounds of the game’s thrilling ride; all the while it begs you and your fellow prospectors to ask the question: Am I making enough money?

The landscape of the Texas Oil business can be fickle and lonely as it is arid. Players can strategize against their opponents, and upset their play through special actions. During auctions, players can even lie about the value of their Sales Licenses in order to force their neighbors to bid more! But careful, you future tycoons – if you’re caught bluffing, you’re penalized.

Although Black Gold is a satisfying bidding game, it is also an exciting contest of strategy and exploration. Every game variable can offer an advantage or variation in play each round. The round’s starting player has the first choice for powerful Action cards, which dictate his options for that round. Subsequent prospectors can be savvy and alter their exploration based on other players’ surveying, or the last player could choose to sell his oil at a different company than his neighbors and find an easier auction at which to bid.

Black Gold is easy to learn, but offers an abundance of intriguing game play choices. Black Gold also provides players with optional rules that can shorten or extend game play, increase the challenge, give inexperienced players a handicap, or even reduce the randomness of well distribution. With all of these options players will discover that Black Gold is a new experience every time, even offering unique variation depending on player number, map tile setup, and well placement.

Had lots of fun and met a few new people. All in all, most of the new games I tried were really great, except Cold War, both Brian and I thought it was not really a good game and I would probably not play it ever again.

Icon is a great little gaming convention which takes place twice a year and is run by Josh Wheeler, I have not attended in a while but I was really glad I did this time.

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Games

 

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