The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

BGG Con Wrapup

Not that I went, or anything. But I have thoughts:

  • My flea market was a success!
  • Picked up Homesteaders and Dungeon Lords. Homesteaders is getting good geekbuzz (with few votes). I figure that’s about right, since I’m assuming that this is a game to Alex’s tastes, which are a bit more complicated than most Eurogamers, but right up my alley.
  • Dungeon Lords gets a 4.1 rating on 77 votes! Easily the most rated game, which makes it the hit of the show.
  • I’ve never heard of Hansa Teutonica, but it’s rocking the buzz with a solid 4.5. Opinions?
  • Shipyard gets a good score too, and is supposed to be a nice heavy game. Again, opinions?
  • Vasco de Gama comes in second. I wonder how much of the BGG Geekbuzz was influenced by Essen Geekbuzz? I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve been swayed by buzz, bought a game, and then convinced myself that it was Great when it’s merely Good (or Good when it was a waste of money). Hell, I’m on my cell phone like a Wall Street Broker standing on a building ledge debating whether to add another game to my purchases. Talk me down, here.
  • Why I should go to BGG Con next year? To play Here I Stand and a few other long games. I will get in a long game this holiday, or make everyone’s life miserable trying. (Not attending conventions, like Festivus, includes the airing of grievances). Actually for the most part I’m not nearly as annoyed at missing conventions as I would have been years ago. Missing two out of the last three cons I decided to attend probably takes away the sting.
  • CS Lewis once described wanting a perfect hard-boiled egg, and not being satisfied with anything less (sending it back or complaining if it was not salted the right amount or slightly over/under-cooked) as the typical English Upper Class form of Gluttony. That thought crossed my mind while examining my Friendless # after the further trimmings to my collection.

So, what did you play/study during the con?

Written by taogaming

November 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm

14 Responses

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  1. On the BGGCon voting:

    * Wow, I want to try Hansa Teutonica! Same with Vasco de Game and Shipyard.
    * Dungeon Lords getting a ton of play and votes, and holding a pretty high average. Looks good.
    * Homesteaders now 5th on the high traffic list, woo!


    November 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    • 3rd now! 🙂


      November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

  2. I wasn’t there, but I have played many of the ones you mention. My thoughts…

    Hansa Teutonica: A good planning game with a nice looking board and a good game system. I felt it was over a bit too soon, but that just means you can play again.

    Shipyards. Excellent game. I really like this one a lot. Multiple paths to victory, lots of little decisions adding up to a large plan. Excellent stuff.

    Dungeon Lords: I found it too long for what it was, but it has crazy good production values. Not a theme i am overly attracted to anymore.

    Both Homesteaders and VdG are high on my radar…

    David Fair

    November 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

  3. Shipyard : I don’t get it. You’re playing alone in this game, for real. The theme is meh. Optimisation at its best. I did not like it (at all).

    Dungeon lords is a new super hit by super-Vlaad.

    Vasco is so germanish it’s unreal but ot’s very well done in its own genre.

    Olivier REIX

    November 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

  4. Best summary of Shipyard: multiple simultaneous variable rondels. Pasted on theme and very tactical due to left/right binding, but overall a pretty good game.

    Tim Harrison

    November 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

  5. I had fun with the flu this weekend. Well, not fun, but it occupied my time.


    November 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

  6. Your Dungeon Lords link is broken.


    November 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  7. I just got back from my first BGG.con and had a great time. Here are my impressions:

    * I really enjoyed Homesteaders. I hoped it would be good, but being a good games analyst is no guarantee of being a good designer as well, so it was very nice to see it work out in this case. Great job, Alex! I saw a lot of people carrying copies of the game by week’s end, so I suspect it was a financial success also.

    * Dungeon Lords was as good as I remembered it from playing the prototype. It’s a lot of game and will take a while, but the planning is enjoyable, the theming is terrific, and the feel is pretty different from other games out there.

    * Hansa Teutonica got almost universal praise and, in the words of that old soap commercial, I liked it too. It’s very abstract at its heart, but there’s so many paths to follow and it plays so fast that it’s really very enjoyable. The problem (at least right now) is the price, but definitely try it out if you get the chance.

    * Wanted to play both Shipyards and Vasco da Gama, but didn’t get to. I heard mostly very good things about Shipyard.

    * Other personal hits from the con were Macao, Power $truggle, and Factory Manager, all of which were excellent. Loyang is long and can be played with just about no player interaction, but despite that I enjoyed it.

    * Games that I disliked pretty strongly included Carson City, Colonia, Strada Romana, and Alcazar.

    Larry Levy

    November 23, 2009 at 1:18 am

  8. I’m shocked by the reception of Hansa Teutonica – it’s probably the worst 2009 release I’ve played. I don’t care for Dungeon Lords either, but I can see why others enjoy the game. Hansa Teutonica, though, is on my would-have-to-be-paid-well-to-play-again list. (I believe the breakpoint is around $400. Seriously.)

    Joe Huber

    November 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    • Let’s see…it’s a fast game, so say an hour. Played in Huber-time, 20 minutes easy. $400/game comes to $1200/hour for the “agony” of playing the game. I’d come in lower 🙂 I’d take 1/3 of that to play games I don’t like, no sweat.


      November 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      • Ah, but while our play only took an hour, it _felt_ like three hours…

        Joe Huber

        November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    • What was so bad about Hansa Teutonica? Everything else I have seen has been very positive.


      November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

  9. Oops, last comment was me.


    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

  10. I found it dry, very mechanical, nasty – if other players don’t let you, you can not do what you wish – and draining. It wasn’t quite root canal bad, and it did eventually end.

    I don’t much care for At the Gates of Loyang, but there are definitely enjoyable components to the game; they just don’t come together. But nothing in HT was fun to do…

    Joe Huber

    November 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

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