BixCON Away III – 2019

I’m one of several, dedicated organizers for the invitation-only BixCON Away board game convention held yearly in Livingston, Montana. I look forward to attending every year to laugh with friends, create deeper friendships, hike in the wilds of Montana, and of course play board games.

The convention is small (about 60 people) with the bulk of attendees coming from Canada and a handful from various places around the United States. Words don’t do the convention justice so I’ll just let some pictures do the talking for me.

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Cabin Con 2019

I always look forward to CabinCon, my game group’s yearly getaway. There’s always the post-con blues but well worth the time and effort to pull it off. For unknown reasons it’s common for the weekend to have some sort of weather issue and this year was no exception. It started snowing Friday night and by Saturday the temperature had dropped into single digits and there was 6-8″ of snow of there. We lost power briefly several times but it didn’t hamper our gaming experience at all. One year we lost power (and heat) for most of the day, everybody had all of their clothes layered on, and we played games with our coats and hats on so this was nothing. By Monday morning, the temperature had risen a few degrees and the roads were passable. A great time to be holed up playing games actually.

We chose a different cabin this year as last year’s cabin dropped off VRBO. We were in a small lake house about an hour northwest of Columbus and it was a great space for us. The gaming areas were perfect, lots of natural light, and a really long table for eating and playing some big games. There was plenty of places to sleep so it worked out well.

Looking forward to next year, guys.

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Mini Painting – Rising Sun Update

Back in October I started painting the Kickstarter version of Rising Sun. I’d set a personal goal of getting it done by my annual Cabin Con which starts at the end of this week. It was an ambitious goal for me but I thought I could make it. Alas, it wasn’t to be. When I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel I realized I’d not opened the Dynasty Invasion expansion which adds another 20 faction minis, 7 monsters, and 8 Strongholds. Ugh.

But I stayed focused and at least finished the base game and the items from the Daimyo box. I can definitely see that I’ve been getting better over time but it’s hard not to get a little better painting several hours each night for several months.

I hope you like the results…so far.

Views: 8513

Great Lakes Games 16 – GLG 2018

Great Lakes Games 16 – 2018 has come and gone and, as usual, it went too fast. I, unfortunately, had to leave around 12:30am Sat night to get back into Columbus to go straight into work for an enterprise software release and even though that really didn’t cut out much gaming time, it just felt off. During the convention I kept remembering I had to leave early for work and had to monitor how long I stayed up and how exhausted I would be by the time I would need to drive in the middle of the night. Subconsciously I think I cheated myself out of some of the fun of the experience. I blinked and it was over.

I had no real goals for games to play but I did get to tick off a few from my want list despite my best efforts to just sit and catch up with the great people of GLG that I only get to see once a year 🙂

I kickstarted the new Brass Lancashire and Birmingham versions but haven’t had a chance to play my copies yet so I was very glad to get in a play of Birmingham.

I brought a copy of Coimbra for the prize table but I have never played. Luckily I got the chance. Nice game and I’ll probably be picking up a copy.

Downforce was a big hit. What a great reprint of a reprint of an oldie.

I got another chance to play my copy of Endeavor: Age of Sail and that’s always fun in my book.

I was glad to get a chance to play Everdell and, although I can definitely see a game there, the artwork was a real let down given the ultra-small iconography and the impossibility of being able to see, from across the table, what others are doing. In my book, the art design, although beautiful, doesn’t enable enhanced gameplay.

Kanagawa is always welcome to the table. What a beautiful game with engaging play. Surprising for such a small box.

I never do well at Kraftwagen but I’m always up for a game. I always choose poorly on the Glen More-style track and cut undercut on selling cars. Great game though.

Pulsar is one of my favorite games. I love teaching it and I got a chance to teach to three new players. A couple of them complained that I managed to get another game on their “must buy” list so I must have done something right.

Railroad Ink is a enjoyable little “roll and write” game where you roll dice and everyone must do their best to, in secret, draw the faces of the dice on their personal tableau to score points. You need to build up a network of roads and rails in ways that you don’t paint yourself in a corner incurring negative points. Nice concept an exceptional job in bringing those mechanics together in a simple and enjoyable game.

We managed to get in our yearly GLG traditional play of Ruhrschifffahrt. It’s a really great game but with some really opaque rules. The fact that the copy I own is in German and the fact we only play it once a year doesn’t help but I’m going to take some time out to create a simple cheat sheet of esoteric things that always seem to trip us up. It’s a bit long for what itch is scratches but I like the theme and enjoy every play.

Ah, Spirit Island. How I hate you 🙂 Three hours and a loss. Ugh!

Teotihuacan was the one game I really wanted to play and I got in two plays of it. Wow…love it! After one play (three newbies and one teacher) I was able to teach it to three other newbies so although it’s a big game, the rules are really straight forward and easy to remember. Great game play in my opinion with some really tough decisions to make. Being able to plan moves in advance and predict where your and your opponent’s workers will be on future turns is key.

I picked up a copy of Petrichor and an expansion off the prize table this year. The game looks visually beautiful even if the game doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, mechanically. The theme of trying to be the best damn rain cloud in the land is just so darned unique I had to grab it.

Well, I played several other games I didn’t mention and just hit the highlights but I love attending GLG every year and wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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Mini Painting: Rising Sun

Making progress on Rising Sun.   Almost done with the base monsters andthe Kami Unbound sculpts (I’ve got some basing to complete and then sealing everything with a top coat.)  The long slog begins with the base game factions, the Daimyo Fox clan, and the Monster Pack. I’ll leave the Dynasty Invasion as a reward to finish out the entire set.  Hope you like a sneak peak at the Blue Man Group.

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Mini Painting: Who Goes There?

I took a week break from my slow progress on painting the minis from Rising Sun and focused on the minis in Who Goes There? I had my doubts about the cartoony sculpts but they really started to grow on me once I got into it. Their faces are larger than I’m used to painting and it was refreshing to play around with 5 o’clock shadows and oversized eyebrows and mustaches.

Another plus was that I got a chance to try my hand at snow effects for the first time. I really enjoyed painting them and I hope you like them.

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Kickstarter Delivery: Who Goes There? Deluxe Edition

I’ve always liked the concept of increasing panic and paranoia from being trapped in tight spaces with scary things. Over the years I’ve loved Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise and other one-offs like John Carpenter’s The Thing, a remake of 1951’s The Thing From Another World.

John Campbell’s novella, “Who Goes There?” formed the backstory for both “The Thing” movies (actually all three given the 2011 follow-up film) and describes the trials and tribulations of remote arctic researchers trying to escape the confines of their frozen station while an elusive and terrifying alien presence inhabits their coworkers in chilling and deadly ways.

Who Goes There? the game pits the players in the role of the researchers trying to get safely away from the station. As the game progresses, some players will become inhabited by the alien and other players will begin to question their humanity based on clues from earlier behavior. To win, the uninfected players will need to try to escape the station while not bringing an infected coworker along for the ride.

I’m really looking forward to breaking out this semi-cooperative game and I think with the right group it will be a blast.


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Dos Rios with Sophie

Back in 2006, I posted to BGG, a black & white picture I’d taken of Sophie playing Dos Rios on the floor of our family room. It garnered quite a bit of thumbs and comments. Three years later, on a whim, we recreated the image and I uploaded another image and a photo series was born. Every three years we recreate the image and it’s that time again.

And the 5th in the series taken a couple of days ago.


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Goodbye Feudum – Have a Good Life in Canada!

I ended up selling my copy of Feudum without playing it. I originally pledged it to play, but when the hype started kicking in I thought I might go the Kickstarter-speculation route and try to make some money on the pledge. However, my copy didn’t arrive until some 15 months after the pledge and the hype had died down to some degree leaving me in a quandary: show I play or should I go…

After watching a few play-through videos on YouTube I was convinced it was not going to be a good game for my group. 45-90 minutes to teach?! Wow. Not happening.  So, off it went. I think I got pretty lucky finding a buyer in Canada with a US postal address that was willing to pay the extra $35 shipping (!) to get the game.  Plus I made $50 on the pledge, whew!

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Recent Arrivals: Feudum and Azul

After a 15 month wait, my Feudum Friend Kickstarter Pledge finally arrived. The foil box looks fantastic! I carefully removed the shrink to verify the box contents after lots of posts on Kickstarter concerning oddly packed items but they’re all there. I’m still a bit miffed about the the Squirrels and Conifers expansion which was a “free” stretch goal. During the campaign and update showed a cool box but the final arrival had no box and instead they just threw in the extra bits into the box. Lame.

I’d like to play and I hear it’s a real brain burner but I’m going to sell the copy unpunched and unplayed.  My loss is someone’s gain.

I jumped at the chance to get in on a pre-order for the Azul reprint and it just arrived and I will NOT be selling this game. It’s the perfect kind of game for family & friends and as a opener & filler. Really looking forward to playing.

Views: 5209