see the first part of CabinCon 2018 here

Day 3 of CabinCon 2018 started with a nice game of Patchwork.  I say nice as this was my first play and it is a game with some interesting mechanics. I got thoroughly trounced by Jeremy but would like to try it again to see if I can figure out more of what makes the game tick.

Back on familiar ground, I took Reese on with a pair of The Duke games. I got into trouble early on my first game until the last play above where I turned my crappy Oracle into a Duke killing trap. The next game fell quickly due to my opponent not paying attention.  In the meantime, the group was preparing a new game for everyone so we jumped in.

The group wanted to try Too Many Bones.  This game seemed interesting as I knew it had a lot of buzz a Gen Con last year and their tables were always full in the booth.  The first thing we ran into, however, was a plethora of symbols and rule sheets and flow charts.  This took quite a while to figure out as there was now real tutorial (or we ignored it).  Eventually, the game started to make some sense and we plodded on.  We did make a potentially major mistake in thinking it handled five players when it actually maxes at four.  This meant that the co-op populated harder monsters than it would normally and we crashed pretty hard on the easiest level.   The game also ran quite long at almost four hours.  At the end of the day, I think the game would be fun if you played it like Descent or other dungeon crawlers and did a few encounters then saved your progress and started more another time.  As is, there is no way to do that and you basically have to slog on and carve out most of your day to get through it.  I have dungeon crawlers I enjoy much more so this is not a game I would ever own.

As you can likely figure out, we usually balance heavy games with light dexterity games.  Reese picked up sets of mini Kubb for all of us and we busted out a copy and went at it, realizing very quickly how different the mini version is from the full-sized version as Jeremy lost his first game on his first throw.

Reese also made custom sets of Khmer and Jeremy and Reese ran a “best of five” series with Reese taking the eventual crown.

Jeremy bowed out and so the rest of us hit the Cheapass Game, Pennywise.  It’s a fun little trick-taking (?) game and easy filler.

After another break, we busted out Stuffed Fables.  I’d played this at Gen Con last year and was glad to see it on the table again.  We enjoyed the story-telling and gameplay enough to run through the first three encounters.  Unlike Too Many Bones, Stuffed Fables doesn’t expect you to get through the entire campaign in one go. We saved our progress hoping to return to it later in the Con (spoiler alert: we didn’t).

We then hit my homebrew Hunger Games variant of Imperial Assault.  I’ll talk about the game and variant itself in a future post but we had a lot of fun and it worked out quite well.

After another break, we hit a quick game of Button Men (not pictured) and then High Society. Both are great little quick games with High Society working well with more than two players.

The rest of the troops decided to turn in so Colton and I started hitting more games starting with a few games of Hnefatafl.

Then Ponte Del Diavolo.

And finished Day 3 a game of Quadropolis.

Day 4 started with San Juan with Colton, Sterling, and I while Jeremy and Reese hit Flip City.  San Juan is interesting as a simplified version of Race for the Galaxy.  It’s nice but I prefer Race because I like the hidden action selection.

Next we pulled out Mechs vs. Minions.  This game is totally blinged out and is a fun programmed move game.  Colton made the comment that he felt like the system is a campaign to learn how to play the finale (which would have the full rules employed).  We didn’t explore deep enough to find that out but I don’t think it works well as a campaign game but can be fun as a single one-off to play from time to time as the programmed move mechanic can get old.  Luckily this game also doesn’t need to be played all in one sitting so if you’re into the mechanics and campaign, it can be easy to continue forward at your leisure.

Midday had us throw down my custom X-wing Uglies game.  I’ll talk more about the rules and variant in a future post.  It worked well but it seemed to end a little too fast and needs a little more balancing. More on that later.

After thing got Ugly, we ran another game of Race for the Galaxy and then I sat out on a game of Clank! Mummy’s Curse.  After a break, Jeremy had to leave and so the four of us hit a game of Ventura.  Every time we play Ventura we feel like it is almost a great game and come up with some variant options to make it better.  Hopefully we remember the variants for next time (note to self: remove the ability to buy VPs).

We hit a game of Stone Age and then everyone retired so Colton and I finished out the evening with Specter Ops.  We made the mistake of not reviewing all the available agent powers so Colton had a pretty heavy handicap not knowing all the shenanigans I could pull as the hidden agent.  While I don’t feel like the game has the same thematic intensity and story driven play that Fury of Dracula has but I do like how clean it plays.  Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan is still my favorite hidden movement game due to its balance of clean play and thematic story but Specter Ops is a nice alternative.  I’d like to try the 5 player traitor version out sometime but need enough players with the same interest.

Specter Ops concluded another great CabinCon. It was great to see everyone and play good games new and old.

Game Stats:

  • Number of unique games: 33
  • Total games played: 54