Friday, July 21, 2017

JeffCon 2017 Recap

Last week was our (fifth annual) JeffCon up at Jeff's cabin at Lake Kachess.  Again we brought a mix of old classics and new games to try out. Here are some of the games we played this year
  • Kingdomino - This latest Bruno Cathala game was my top new game.  This Spiel des Jahres winner is fun, fast, and provides good choices for players to make.  It is a simple take on dominos, with players each building a 5x5 grid which scores points based on the number of crowns in a connected area, times the number of similar types in that connected area.
  • Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City - This was my prior day's purchase, as it was on sale at Target.  We had played the original game with expansions a few days before.  It is a fun, simple game, but the red and purple stealing cards seemed to drag on the end-game a little further than needed.
  • Cyclades - This is an old favorite, but this was the first time playing on the six-player map, with three teams of two.  I found that it changed the game by adding more conflict and more combat-focused, which I didn't enjoy.  The expansion added Kronos, and another way to initiate a battle.  The proximity of land-based neighbors made the game feel more like a wargame than a balanced builder.
  • Star Trek: Ascendancy - We played this for a second time, which provided a similar fun experience to the first game we played.  I'm looking forward to the long-delayed expansions.
  • Star Wars: X-Wing - We played a six-player deathmatch, with pre-defined squads of 30 points each (each player using only one ship).  The table was two mats long and we played to 10 points, (with 3 points for a kill and 1 point for a hit).  It was a fun way to experience the game, as it has been awhile since I have played it.
  • Risk: Legacy - We are now three games into our campaign and we just opened our first card pack.  As it is a Risk game, it has some drawbacks in mechanics and the payoff has been lacking.  Although the first few games have been fairly dull, we are hoping the legacy aspects bring some variety and fun to future games.  
  • Stockpile - This was the highlight of Jeffcon gaming last year. This stock trading game is still fun with its great bidding mechanism, but I'm starting to tire of it the more games I play.  There appear to be few choices to make other than during bidding and the price movement of stocks are very random and unpredictable.

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