The first game we settled down to was, like in previous years, Circus Maximus. This year, GM Jake Jacoby had a surprise for us - instead of the typical oval, we were racing around a "cloverleaf" track, with a free-for-all area in the center. Unlike the last several years, I decided to try being a "rabbit" - in other words, a light, fast chariot. That was the idea, anyway - I had poor rolls on my setup, and ended up on the slower end of the lights, with not much in the way of stamina either (used for whipping to go faster). I was also chosen to start on the inside lane, which meant I was the furthest back at the start. There was not a whole lot of drama to the race as another light chariot got out in the lead and stayed there, despite the efforts of the heavies to smash him to bits. The cloverleaf made for an interesting change, but I feel that it was to the advantage of the light chariots, as once they got ahead, it was not as easy for the heavies to get to them as it is on the oval, when they can slow down and wait to be lapped.
Next up was Power Grid, an old favorite. I'm always a little wary of the heavier euros as Prezcon, as there are some real sharks in the water, but I consider myself competent enough at Power Grid that I won't embarrass myself, and I could even make a good showing. In this case, though, I simply played awful. Actually, I don't think I was doing too terrible, but I was letting the leaders slip away, and I made the move to catch up at the wrong time, buying up to 12 houses, when the rest of them stalled at 11, which ended up killing me in turn order the following turn. I finished in last place :(
For some reason, Brian, Tom and I decided to end our Tuesday with a game of Dungeon Lords. This is a great game, but I hadn't played in a while, and it wasn't coming back very quickly. Tom had never played, but fortunately Brian had played recently and got us squared away. Again...a great game...but probably not one to start after midnight. We were up to 2:30...starting off Prezcon with a bang.
Next morning...since we were there for a Wednesday morning for the first time, I finally got to play in the Prezcon Agricola tournament. See my earlier comments about the euro sharks...and unlike Power Grid, I don't consider myself a very good Agricola player. I was at a table with Tom, our friend Mike Senzig Jr., who'd arrived that morning, and Aaron Buchanan, the GM of Castles of Burgundy, and a very good euro player. In the card draft, I tried to set myself by taking a lot of cards that helped with wood gathering and fence building. I was doing OK at the beginning, I think, but I waited far too long to grow my family. Mike was able to build a couple of extra rooms early on, and get to 4 family members pretty quickly, and then he was off to the races.
|Avast, me hearties!|
Following M&M, it was time for my annual game of Formula De. I like this racing game a lot, but I dread it at Prezcon a little bit, because the GM Doug Gallulo will run up to 10 players on a board. That's too many, in my opinion. Sure enough, in our race we had 9 players, although I was lucky enough to be drawn starting in 3rd position. I grabbed the lead halfway through the first lap, but miscalculated on the back stretch, as I was trying to set myself up to use the 30-sided die coming out of the next turn. I stayed in 4th when I should have gone to 5th, and was promptly passed. 2 turns later as I desperately tried to make up the difference, I spun out, and that was it. This game can be unforgiving if you make one mistake, or get one bad roll.
|I'm trying to pay my debts...|
Next up...part 2 of Prezcon 2014