RUTHCon II Recap: Day 2

Saturday morning started bright and early as Linus, Ruth, and Jon Bowker arrived early to help me wipe down tables and clean up for day two. Except once again everything was ready as the last attendees on Friday had in fact cleaned up and wiped down everything already. So instead we ate Chik Fil-a minis and chatted until the con started at 9am.

Game one for the day was Century: Spice Road with Jon Bowker, Ruth, and Daniel Newman. I sill really enjoy this engine-building card game but it wasn’t a hit with everybody at the table, which prompted a Zerg rush to speed the end. A single player getting 5 low-point contracts before the rest of us could get our engines running quickly ended the game and gave him the win, freeing everyone for more games.

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I then moved over to teach NMBR9 to Eric Booth and Chris Mitchell. After I’d finished the 5-minute teach, Scott came up and so I quickly repeated the teach so that he could sit down and join us. I did significantly better on a second play despite the tough competition; I still came third but the field was closer! Eric and Chris then moved on, but Scott and I were joined by Daniel Solis and Megan for another round. I repeated the super-fast teach, seriously this game is amazingly simple to introduce to new players, and just gets better with every single play. When it hits US distribution later this year, buy it if you have any interest in quick playing, small footprint abstracts!

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Continuing the trend of replaying games I’d learned on Friday, we then decided to break out Barenpark. I didn’t cheat on expansion placement this time, and did rather well. I still didn’t win, but I came close and still thoroughly enjoyed this puzzley tile-laying game. After we were done, it was time for me to take time away from gaming to circle the house and make sure everyone was doing okay. I then decided to be nice and steal kit away from the kitchen to teach him two-player Dice Forge as a quick break before he got back to prepping for Saturday night’s cookout. As expected, he thoroughly enjoyed this super-fast playing, gorgeous little engine builder, even if the dice were determined not to roll any of his hard-earned upgraded faces for him. At least, he told me he liked it once we were done…

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I then let him escape back to the kitchen and joined Adam Reeves, Burke and Eric Booth for a game of Asgard. I had really enjoyed my first play of Asgard, despite not really knowing what I was doing, and so had requested a second play. I don’t know that poor Burke and Eric realized what a confusing time they were in for, but they rallied well. It was a very strange Ragnarok however, with few points awarded, which made it even stranger. I continue to enjoy this odd little game and hope to find more opportunities to play.

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Next up was another game I’d mentioned wanting to play a second time, Endeavor. I adored this game on my first play and was miserable at not being able to immediately buy it, all of which meant that I was really excited when Jon Bowker said he’d bring it along. We were joined by Susan, who also LOVES it, and Adam Reeves. Jon and Susan took slavery cards early which looked treacherous later on as it looked increasingly likely that slavery would be abolished, making those once valuable cards extremely negative. They used a few cannon rounds to stop Adam pulling it off however, and so Susan still emerged victorious. It’s a smooth playing, really interesting game, and if anyone’s looking to get rid of a copy, let me know.

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Once Endeavor ended, it was time for the birthday cookout, and with that came prizes. So while everyone grabbed plates of Kit’s delicious food, I clambered onto a chair and started calling out names drawn from a handy box. This year I had wrapped some of the best and worst of the prizes in brown paper to add a mystery element, and many people took the gamble. We gave away a ton of games and accessories, many donated by generous people like Grant Rodiek, Daily Magic Games, and attendees. The only issue was that by the time I finished giving stuff away, there wasn’t enough food left for me to make a plate, but that’s a small price to pay for making so many people so happy.

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After dinner, I taught Barenpark to my mum with Eric Handler rounding out our table. While we were playing, Graham Russell was running an event game upstairs based off of the Food Chain game featured on the Korean game show, The Genius. A ton of people participated, including Kit, and all I heard both during and after the game was that it was AMAZING. Graham did a great job setting things up and moderating the whole thing, and the only negative thing I heard was someone sad that they wouldn’t get more chances to play it.

I then joined Matt, Marci, and Drew for Alchemists, another game I’d specifically requested because I really like it, don’t own it, and rarely see it brought out. I’m terrible at the game, though I may need to change that statement as I actually came second in this play AND almost doubled my previous high score. I had all but 2 ingredients correctly identified and the rest at 50/50 guesses, which I consider an amazing performance. Add in the wine, great friends, and the mid-game break as the Bowker’s gorgeous Rottie pup made a quick visit to the con for some loves, and it might be my RUTHCon highlight, or at least one of them.

To finish up the night, Matt brought out March of the Ants to teach myself, Drew, and Dan Halstad. This 4x game of battling ant colonies was … interesting. There’s some fun stuff in there, and some crazy, powerfully broken cards, but in the end I think I’d chose Eclipse instead, every time. Dan focused on getting a bizarrely modded ant rather than on winning which had us all cracking up, while Drew and I spent most of the game laughing in shock at cards we’d just drawn before playing them for apocalyptic effects, so it was an absolute blast, just more of an event than a great game. With that, I was done for Saturday night (or early Sunday morning to be accurate) and said my goodbyes and goodnights. Then it was off to sleep as I had to be up in just a few hours to welcome the gamers back for day 3.

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