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