Great Lakes Games 14 – GLG 2016

Great Lakes Games 2016 has come and gone and I’m once again energized to crack open the boxes in my collection, Kickstart some new titles, and catch up on my research on BGG. Gaming has been pretty thin recently but having the opportunity to play games multiple days in a row really helps me recalibrate and get back to my happy place.

This year’s GLG was a bit different for me. I focused on the social aspect of playing games and didn’t think much about taking pictures and notes so that I could blog about them. I apologize for the lack of pictures but I will include one I took while playing my first ever round of disc golf with a small group of gamers a short distance away from the con. What a beautiful day.


I did get a chance to play a few titles new to me this year:

  • First Class: Unterwegs im Orient Express – A sort-of Russian Railroads the Card Game. I liked it but would need to play some of the other modules to know if it would feel a bit samey after a few plays.
  • Clank! – A mediocre, push-your-luck dungeon crawl with one redeeming quality of the dragon distributing health hits by grabbing cubes from a bag. Meh.
  • Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh – I liked the expansion quite a bit. The expanded board gives everyone more space to move around and the Guild Cards are very powerful. Several of the common tiles from the base game were NEVER touched. No Post Office visits in our game…wow!
  • Junk Art – A fun dexterity game for those late con nights. Fun stuff.
  • World’s Fair 1893 – A simple set collection game with some interesting choices but feels a bit mechanical. The relationship between placing your tokens, taking cards, and using the “people” cards to introduce a bit more control is wonky and at times hard to wrap your head around. There’s not much sense in planning for your turn as the board can change dramatically from one turn to the next.
  • Imhotep – A nasty, take-that but easy to learn game of building pyramids and structures with wonderfully chunky wooden bits.
  • Orbital Architects (Prototype) – A fun work in progress
  • Council of Blackthorn – An odd game of playing action cards in one of 4 suits to advance on tracks to earn points. The card play is really confusing at first and I’m not sure it really sunk in by game end. Dice interact with cards in one of three ways and determining how a card will behave when you play it was just damned difficult for me to grasp.
  • Team Play – A fun little card game for four. Collect sets and runs to meet goals, pass cards to your partner to help them meet their goal, earn points. Easy peasy and a fun activity to do with friends while you talk.

The prize table was kind to me this year. My copy of Terraforming Mars (1 of 4 I think) went quickly and I snagged a NIS copy of Food Chain Magnate. I don’t really have a desire to own a copy but I’ve got it listed in the BGG Market so if you’re looking for a Dutch/English 2015 copy, go for it.

I always enjoy GLG and can’t imagine missing it. It’s going to be a long slog to get back around to next year’s con but the only consolation is that as I get older, the time passes more quickly.

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