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.
I’m running out of space to house my games. Well, more accurately, I ran out of space about 10-15 games ago and I need to either get more space or do some culling. I really don’t need more games. I have many I never play and I don’t have a dominant hoarder gene so I’m feeling okay with selectively shedding some of the bulk.
BGG is arguably the best place to run an auction but there are just so many auctions every day that I’m unsure if that’s my best avenue for success with the least amount of pain.
Have any of you run an auction and can you share any words of wisdom? How about just posting games for sale in the marketplace?
It was a long slog for my first time but I’m happy with the results. I’ve taken a shot of each of the different mini sculpts, front and back. I’m still working on ways to take better macro images so I apologize for the quality in some of the shots. The lighting is just darn hard to get right. There are 59 figures total, 10 in each faction (including the boat) plus 4 large “monsters” and 5 minor “monsters”.
I’m not sure what’s next for me. I’d like to take a shot at painting the minis in Rising Sun but it’s not worth it to me to get the game just for that when I know I wouldn’t play it (not a fan of negotiation games). Scythe maybe…although I’m wasn’t particularly enamored with those minis. Thoughts?
It appears my vocal reaction to the disappointment of being forced to take down my online implementation of Ingenious has triggered an immediate negative reaction from Knizia Games such that I have to also take down my implementation of Callisto as well.
What a sad turn of events from a knee-jerk reaction. I’ll be strongly considering looking elsewhere when spending my game purchasing dollars in the future.
I apologize to all of you that found some enjoyment playing the two titles over the years and appreciate your comments and enthusiasm over the years. I hope I’ve been able to make a small difference in your lives.
I’ve finished the large Blood Rage monsters and they turned out better than I expected. I was a little worried about choosing a glossy finish for the sea creature (to make it appear wet) since it was dramatically different than the other three, but I’ve had several positive comments that it was a good choice.
I’m particularly happy with the way the shading turned out with the blue and red. I was expecting much more of a fight with those as I’d read that red is especially hard to work with.
Sadly, after years of hosting my implementation of Ingenious online, and having been granted the rights from Sophisticated Games to host the version, I’ve been contacted by the personal assistant to Reiner Knizia (Karen Easteal) informing me that I must take down the game or pay a yearly licensing fee.
As I don’t make any money from the implementation, it makes no monetary sense for me to keep hosting the game and sadly I had to remove it.
If you’d like to contact Karen concerning the implementation, including how this implementation may have encouraged you to purchase your own copy, it may help them see how this site provides free advertising for those who might be unfamiliar with the game.
Board Game Geek
Here’s the other ‘roided up guy I received with my Reaper Bones II Kickstarter. I’m not as happy with how the skin highlights turned out as I was with “Golan”. I, quite simply, rushed it. I’ve got to stick to the plan and not be so goal oriented. Painting seems to reward the slow methodical process and an attention to detail when working your way through brighter highlights. I think I’m ready to start in on my Blood Rage minis.
I got a kick out of those two rolls of skin behind his bald head. Funny how something like that sticks in your head.
Odd that the camera didn’t pick up on the highlights in his beard. There’s a lot of variation but here it just looks like a solid gray.
Near the end of the paint I noticed the veins in the arms and so I went back to try to subtly highlight those. You can see it a little bit in his left arm below.
After practicing on numerous smaller “Bones” minis I decided I was ready to move onto a larger scale mini. I selected Golan the Hill Giant with a goal of trying to paint “realistic” flesh (well, as realistic as one can get with the ridiculously muscled flesh of a fictitious creature). After watching a YouTube that covered this exact mini, I set up my work area and gave it a shot and I’m, in a very geeky way, proud of the result.
I really didn’t have any trouble during the process beyond not having any good way to hold onto the mini while painting. In retrospect I should have temporarily mounted it on a base and stuck it to the top of a jar or something I could comfortably hold. Live and learn I suppose.
Here are a some more shots of the final result. I’d be interested in comments if you have any suggestions on how I could get better.
I had a couple of issues with this mini that I’d not had with the others so far. The contrast and saturation of the images leaves a little to be desired, for one thing. The splotchy look of the face is not near as noticeable in real-life but the iPhone camera picked up on something (the blotch of brown under his nose is not even noticeable).
I made a trip to my local hobby store and picked up some spray sealers, lacquer, and a black primer and I tried out the spray matte sealer on this mini with completely dismal results. The sealer left a white, seedy, residue that all but ruined the paint job. Maybe I didn’t shake it up enough but oh, was that disappointing to spray that on at the end.
You can really see the seedy texture on the black leather straps and the small bag on his back.
I fought a bit with the flesh tones and highlighting the muscles but I’m sure that’s common and will get better with practice. I’m still having a lot of fun and learning a lot.
I’ve been making my way through my Kickstarted Reaper Bones box of minis and practicing my painting skills. I don’t know what I’ll do with these things since they don’t go with a specific game but I’m finding them a great tool for honing different shading, highlighting, and base coating techniques. So far, I’ve been very happy with the Vallejo acrylics but I need some more browns. Luckily, with my birthday yesterday, my son and daughter pooled some money and got me four more brown shades. What a perfect gift.
Brushes are another matter. For detail work, I’m using mostly 0 and 00 sized brushes but I may need to spend a few more dollars on some better brushes. The ones I have don’t hold their shape very well without being loaded up with paint. Maybe my paint needs to be thinned a bit more. I also need to pick up some sealants (brush on matte varnish).
There’s so much to learn and given that these are only my second and third attempts at painting I wouldn’t put much stock in my amateuristic musings. I am, however, having a lot of fun, I’m learning fast, and I’m encouraged by how they’re turning out.