Welcome back to our next entry in the Grand Con 2016 review. We will be looking back at our on goings during day 2 of the convention. This one is quite a bit shorter than the previous installment as we played fewer games but definitely longer ones. Enjoy!
Day 2 Vendor Hall
After a filling breakfast and an excellent game plan conversation, we made our way back to the vendor hall to spend more money. We didn’t unfortunately get to do any demos on Saturday. Most of the games that were at the tables were games that we had played the previous day. I had purchased three games the previous day that included Fury of Dracula, Scoville, and the Scoville expansion. I knew that this would not be enough due to my acquisition disorder. If you collect board games then you may be familiar with this terrible affliction.
I once again found myself in front of a slew of games that all looked interesting. I settled on three more this day without even trying them out first. This is usually against my better judgement but I had my reasons for each one. Blood Rage was something that has been mentioned to death by almost every podcast and YouTube channel to death so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with this purchase. The same could be said for Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition. I really enjoy Betrayal at House on the Hill so I figured this would be an upgrade. Finally, I purchased Islebound by Red Raven Games. I’m pretty much a junkie for Ryan Laukat games so this wasn’t even something I needed to justify to myself. He has not disappointed me yet.
I have meet various people from around the state that enjoy gaming as well and this convention seems to be the meet up for all of these people. This was definitely the case for my friends from the Big Rapids Board Game Group. It is unfortunate that I don’t get to game with them as much as I would like due to a busy summer and them just having a baby but such is life. We decided to play a game that none of us had played before as you tend to do when given a massive library like the Grand Con library. We chose to play Cosmic Encounter.
Cosmic Encounter has players taking on the roles of an alien race. Each player attacks another players home planet which they start the game controlling five different planets. They do this by drawing a destiny card from the top of the deck which tells them who they will be attacking. They will then commit as much as four of their space ships to the attack while the defending player has already established the defense to the planet. Players will then ask the other players around the table for assistance which they can deny or grant. The battle is then decided by attack cards that have an attached strength to them. If the defending player loses then they will submit the planet to the attacking players but if the defending player wins then they will receive cards for future use. Play continues until one or more players have spaceships on five planets outside of their starting planets.
This game was a learning game for us so I don’t want to put too blame on the game for its play time. This one did take quite a bit of our morning and early afternoon to finish. The play time on the box says 120 minutes but with our full compliment of 5 players, learning the rules, and new player blunders this one took way too long. I would be interested to see how much the play time would be knocked down with a future play. This probably won’t happen due to the fact that no one I know has the game but I’ll keep this one on my “To Play” list.
I think our first game was also severely hindered in regard to the possibility of negotiating that can occur. I feel that with more plays and an in depth look into the inner workings of the game would further my appreciation. I’m more than willing to give this game another look but not enough to purchase the game for that look.
Unknown Game Demo
We took a short break from playing games and decided to venture back to the vendor hall. This lasted a few short minutes until we were pulled to play a prototype. This was probably the lowest point of the convention. I will keep this brief.
It was a poorly put together area control game that had little to no inspiration or innovation. I think I have said all I can. Thank you.
It would seem that we spent a majority of our day 2 running the proverbial gaming marathon. This continued on when we made our way back into the gaming hall to look over the Grand Con wares. Luna by Stefan Feld and published by Tasty Minstrel Games was settled upon not knowing what we were stepping into. I have Castles of Burgundy so I’m quite familiar with the “Point Salad” type games that he tends to make. This one was really no exception.
Players in Luna will be moving their workers over seven islands surrounding a central island. The workers are placed in a very unique way as they aren’t placed at the beginning of a round, but instead start where they ended the round before. Timing and careful planning become crucial as you try will need to collect influence points to win the game. You’ll have to build new shrines, work at the temple, and participate in the Priestess’ divine services to achieve this.
I’m not going to go into this one on the game play as it is very extensive. What I will get into is how deep this game is. There are some many working parts to this game that made it quite the experience. Every move needed extensive thought as the workers would be at the island location they were left at which is associated with an action. This was a bit much for the level of fatigue had set in at this point so I would definitely be interested to trying this one again.
Fury of Dracula
Our Saturday and our weekend was coming to a close and we decided to stay in the hotel room instead of the noisy gaming hall. The energy of it all can definitely drain you. We decided to not call it a night but to bust out one of the games I had purchased on the makeshift table (Bed) and fit in one last game.
Fury of Dracula has all but one of the players taking on the roles of vampire hunters searching across Europe for Dracula. The one other player will naturally taking on the role of Dracula himself. This is a hidden movement game where Dracula’s position will remain hidden until he is found then a battle ensues with card play which I could describe as almost like Rock, paper, and scissors. Players will continue their search of Dracula until he is killed or until Dracula has spread his influence across Europe.
The game was very fun. I feel like I need to start with that as my next few sentences may seem to the contrary. This game took quite a long time to finish and for me overstayed its welcome. This was a learning game and had several bumps along the way which may have contributed to this dilemma. I really didn’t help the situation either with some really poor play as Dracula which seemed to drag the game out further. I feel like some future plays will be required as it was part of my Grand Con loot. I’m optimistic that this was a fluke and great experiences await.
This game did provide some great new mechanics that I do quite enjoy with the hidden movement of Dracula. This really cranks up the tension as the hunters stalk Europe in hopes of finding Dracula for both parties. I was really anxious throughout the game as the players would slowly make their ways to my current city location. I didn’t quite grasp the strategies of the vampire placement which lead to some lost cards but still was very enjoyable. I recommend this one for anyone who likes horror or even a one versus many scenario.
End of Day 2
We brought our day 2 to a close with some really massive brain burner type games that had me hitting the snooze the next day. What will day 3 have in store. Stay tuned!