Forge Midwest 2015

Forge Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin, remains one of my favorite cons. Small, great people, and always a lot of excellent games to choose from. Here’s a bit about what I got to play this year.

Day 1, Friday

Got to FMW around 2, which was a bit after the afternoon slot starts (at 1). Said hi to a few folks then played a couple games to kill some time. Someone broke out a little board game called Tiny Epic Kingdoms. It’s a cute little game. It was immediately obvious it was a Kickstarter games. Just had that slightly un-polished, not-thoroughly-playtested feel that a number of Kickstarter board and card games have. That’s not to say it was a bad game. It was fun and easy, with a very small footprint. A great way to kill some time. It has a number of mechanics that a lot of gamers will be familiar with. There’s some worker placement (meeples!), territory conquering, exploring, resource management, improvement. It’s even possible to broker peace with another player and share some territory. Each round the active player gets to choose from a list of actions (that get marked off until all the markers are used — 5 markers, 6 actions — at which point the next player clears the board), everyone else can either take that action or collect resources based on their meeple placement. There’s a few ways to trigger end-game conditions, at which point play continues until available actions are used and Victory Points are counted. The differences in races seemed pretty wide in that some seemed obviously better than others, so I’m not convinced they’re balanced really well, but it’s honestly hard to say after only playing once (and watching one more round of other people play). Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Foreshadowing the End

We’re starting this session with the party still split up — Geyrok & Reorx (whose player was absent this session) in the underground complex, Kardin & Flint with Drake on the way to Morangi. The GM started out with a minor retcon for how the last session ended for Kardin & Flint. In addition to seeing something coming over the trees we also see another human running from the crash site. Drake immediately recognizes this human as Alex, who he had thought dead. The GM also came up with an idea to keep everyone involved while the party is split. For players without a PC in the current scene they can play an NPC that’s in the scene and they can use that NPC’s beliefs to earn Artha for their PC. Turned out to work pretty well and kept everyone engaged in every scene.

Changing

While standing close together in the hut looking out toward the crash site Kardin notices that Flint has been changing. His skin tone has gone to a ruddier tone and his beard and hair have been thinning considerably. Also where new hair should have been growing in was something much stiffer, definitely not hair. After studying him for a bit Kardin decides it must just be the stress (failed Dwarven Greed Wise) and he doesn’t pursue it further. Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Never Split the Party

A couple weeks of scheduling problems and then Origins, but we finally got back into the dwarf game, picking up right where we left off last time.

And then it took me a couple weeks to get around to sorting out my notes and getting this AP up. Here goes!

Fighting the Wilderness

Everyone’s immediate concern are the two dwarves currently sinking into the quicksand they fell into. Kardin immediately climbs up a tree to cut down some vines to try to rope in the sinking dwarves. Unfortunately there’s more to the vines than there appears immediately. The vines come to life and begin trying to wrap Kardin up, but he manages to escape and cut some down (successful Power) with some of the vine cut off.

At this vines all over the forest “wake” and begin snaking down menacing everyone in the area. A number of Reorx’s scouts begin fighting them off while Kardin & Flint work at forming the vine into loops that the sinking dwarves can grab onto. Before they finish Flint notices that one of the dwarves is one of Reorx’s squad that has pro-Prince leanings. Knowing this he surreptitiously sabotages the vine (cutting it all the way through) so that before the dwarf can be  pulled to the edge of the quiksand he sinks to his death (successful Stealthy). No one notices Flint being the cause of the “accident” and the lost dwarf is mourned while the other is saved.

Kardin starts a fire hoping to use it to scare off the vines (successful Firebuilding) and after Flint and some other dwarfs swinging burning brands around the vines calm down for the night.

The dwarfs settle in for the night while a number of dwarfs take turns during the night to cut down a large tree to use as a bridge to go across the quicksand. Continue reading

Origins 2014 Recap

I went to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio for the first time this year. I primarily went for Games on Demand and that’s where I ended up spending the majority of my time. I left the room pretty much only for food, bathroom breaks, & sleep. I barely even saw the vendor hall. I went in with the intention of walking around a bit, but got distracted by a board game demo right as I walked in and then the hall closed and I didn’t get a chance to go back.

Anyhow! Of course, what I really want to talk about is PLAYING ALL THE GAMES. All told, I played a total of 11 games. Two of which I’d played before: The Climb & Spark, though when I played Spark previously it was in a pretty early beta stage. Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – The Great Men

The vast majority of tonight’s session was taken up by a Fight. Which was fine. We don’t break out Fight very often so we were all a bit rusty, but it was still a lot of fun.

The GM had us fast forward a bit from the last session. So we found ourselves right in the middle of a situation (a Fight), but we didn’t really know how we got there. The plan was to finish the fight and then back fill. Which was a great idea, but we kind of ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to fill in the blanks, so that’ll happen next time. Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Chasing Oaths

Up until about the day before this session I was all excited about pushing Flint’s Greed to 10 as fast as possible. As the session approached I started to rethink that stance. I like Flint, and not playing him anymore would suck. On the other hand, I really wanna see what happens at Greed 10 and see what havoc occurs.

Also, going into this session we knew ahead of time that it’d be time for a resource maintenance test. Kardin & Reorx managed to succeed. Flint barely failed, but luckily had 1 remaining Fund die that ate up the tax and Geyrok was taxed by one.

So, with that bit of book-keeping out of the way… Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Everybody Wants A Piece

In this week’s session we get introduced to yet another dwarf, Geyrok, a brewer. One of our regular group members had been away for a few weeks so once he got back he made up a new dwarf. To make things a little smoother we decide Geyrok was one of the previous NPC scouts that came with Reorx, so he was with us on our expedition to the colossus bird. Continue reading