If you can’t tell from the long list of games, I was at PAX East this weekend. This is the PAX where I work - but I was working in the Tabletop First Look section, which isn’t far off from what I’d be doing anyway.
Love It: Sidereal Confluence, 4x Root (new), Fresh Fish, Quartermaster General
Like It: Cities, 2x No Thanks!, Between Two Cities: Capitals, Q.E. (new), Little Town Builders, 3x Mini Rails, Castell (new), FORTRESS, Hanabi, For-Ex, Wizard
Indifferent: America, Tokyo Jutaku (new), 2x Tokyo Jidohanbaiki (new), Meeple Circus, Princess Jing (new), Jungle Speed
I was looking forward to Root (4 plays) and I wasn’t disappointed - I played four times this weekend, and taught seven more while I was on shift in the First Look section. I would have been happy spending most of my convention center time playing more Root, and now I’ll have to wait four months before the final production copies actually start shipping.
Cities (4th play) continuing to serve as a perfect 15 minute puzzle game. Also the first game I played in Boston after our plane landed on Wednesday.
Tokyo Jutaku (1 play) was the first game I played after I got off of my shift on Thursday. I’m not a fan of the rules as written (it’s a simultaneous speed game, but only the first player to finish gets anything), but I already have some ideas that would make it more interesting for me with access to a sand timer and a few rules from Galaxy Trucker.
We finished Thursday night with a print-and-play copy of Q.E. (1 play). First two bids of the game: 10 and 750. This is the only time I got to play during the convention, but I did teach on Friday, and my kickstarter copy is coming… soonish. Might have some trouble travelling with it, though.
Anthony taught Dan and me Castell (1 play) after Dinner on Friday, which is much more clever than I expect from a modern Euro. Good theme, good planning, and the festivals give you more interaction than just “take these resources before someone else does.”
I did play one game of Fresh Fish (18th play) after Castell, even though I was quickly running out of energy and had to stumble back to the room to sleep.
Introduced For-Ex (4th play) to Rym and Scott on Saturday. We didn’t get to play a full game because my shift started about halfway through, but I really enjoy the tenor of the game when all the players are super invested in trying different things to win. Most of my previous plays have included at least one player who disengages completely within the first turn of the game.
After dinner on Saturday, Dan and I played a few of the 2p games in the First Look area. Tokyo Jidohanbaiki (2 plays) is presented as a game framework - pieces and cards that can be used to play several games. Normally not my thing, but pieces themed after “Japanese vending machine culture” are more fun than Loony pyramids or a Piecepack set. We played both 2p games in the rules - Crate Wars is an area control game that we had more fun figuring out the rules than actually playing. We had more fun with a 2p deduction/memory game whose name I can’t remember. We also moved one table over to try Princess Jing (1 play), which has a very fun premise - think Stratego with mirrors. Enjoyable to move the pieces around and try to find things with your mirrors, just not something I need to own.
Sunday gaming, in total, was two games of Root (one with Judith, and a rematch with Dan and Anthony) and Jungle Speed in the convention center. After dinner: No Thanks!, Quartermaster General, and a final game of Wizard to close out the night. Good PAX.