Thanks for Coming

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On behalf of all the volunteers involved in FallCon 29, we would like to thank you, the attendees, for making this one of our best years yet.

Let’s get the numbers out of the way first.
  • 670 Attendees – Up from 661 last year.  Not a lot of growth, but considering the economy, we are extremely happy with these numbers
  • 80+ events hosted by our attendees and volunteers, including 6 different tournaments
  • 1300+ games signed out of the library.
  • 400 Games sold in the Auction
  • $720 raised for the Empty Chair Fund – which this year is directed to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
These numbers weren’t possible without the work of over 40 volunteers that put in countless (seriously, I am not counting them) hours of work to make FallCon the success that it is.
FallCon 30 will be held on October 13-15September 22-24, 2017.  to keep up to date on information, follow us on Facebook or on our Website.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to send them to Darren at darren.bezzant@fallcon.com.

APE Games – Thank you for your donation!

APE Games has been a good friend to FallCon over the years, and this year is no exception.

A huge thank you to Kevin and the team at APE Games for your generous donation of:

rollingfreight

Rolling Freight is a well-designed train game that utilizes dice with symbols on them to do actions, lay track, and complete routes.  I really like the graphic design and the ingenious use of dice in a medium-heavy game.

risetopower

Rise to Power is a city-building strategy card game for 2-6 players, and is set in a futuristic world where companies compete to fulfill the world’s power needs.

Brotherwise Games – Thank you for your donation!

Brotherwise Games has generously donated a set of the very popular Boss Monster series.

bossmonster

Boss Monster is the original 8-bit boardgame.  You add cards to the dungeon to defeat the evil adventurers, and stop them from taking your treasures.

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Boss Monster 2 adds even more spells, rooms, and bosses to this already exciting game

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The first expansion to Boss Monster adds items, which (in theory) gives the adventurers a fighting chance.

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This is another great mini-expansion that adds even more fun to this game

Thank you Brotherwise Games, this is an awesome addition to our library.

GMT Games – Thank you for your donation!

GMT Games has been a sponsor of FallCon for as long as I can remember.  They make top quality strategy board games, and pack a ton of game into every box.

This year they have generously donated the games below. Thank you!

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Dominant Species

Dominant Species is an action selection style game that has each player taking the role of a different species before the ice age.  You feed, grow, and fight to stay alive in this 3-hour brain-burner.  I really like the action timing mechanism, it makes for some great decisions and tense strategy.  Play with 6, if possible, for the best experience, but expect it to take a while.

TwilightStruggle

Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle is the king of the cold-war style games.  This 2-player card driven strategy game is one of the best thematic head-to-head games I have ever played.  The learning curve can be steep, with a lot of cards having many different interactions, but it is well worth trying out.

Urban Sprawl

Urban Sprawl

Urban Sprawl is a city-building game.  You are trying to build your way to being the richest and most powerful in a thriving metropolis. The grid mechanism makes for a good think, and you really have to pay attention for the right opportunities. Since it can be a long-ish game with 4 players, I believe the sweet spot is 3 players.

CubaLibre

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre was the second of GMT’s COIN systems, and probably my favourite.  4 players (ideally) manoeuvre for political and social control of Cuba.  With asymmetric powers and goals, this is a different game for every faction.

Many thanks to GMT Games for the donations! Come try these out in the library!

F2Z Entertainment – Thank you for your donation!

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F2Z Entertainment is the parent company of several fan favourite publishers including Z-Man, Pretzel, and Plaid Hat Games. F2Z has generously sent copies of some of the hottest games to hit the market this year.

flickemup_box

Flick ’em up! is Pretzel Games’ (games you can play while eating a pretzel!) first release. It’s a dexterity game where two teams of cowpokes face off in one of many different scenarios.

 

junkart

Junk Art is Pretzel’s second release, and is a dexterity game with a number of mini-games played in sequence. You “travel the world” playing quick, but challenging, games of stacking strange shapes on top of each other.

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Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu – is Pandemic with a Lovecraftian twist! You play investigators travelling between the four major towns (Arkham, Kingsport, Innsmouth and Dunwich), each of which has a bunch of locations where cultists and the dreaded Shoggoth can appear.  Let too many of them out and the world is lost, but close all four gates and you win!

aquarium_box

Aquarium is a highly interactive card game where you are buying fish from a market for your personal aquarium.  It looks really pretty, and I look forward to trying it out.

parade_box

Parade is a game set in Alice in Wonderland’s world.  The characters are having a parade, and your placement in the parade depends on the card played, the length of the line, or the color of the card.  It is a quick-playing, fun, game that really deserves a play or two.

Many thanks to F2Z Entertainment! Come check these games out in our library.

Darren

CGDA – LepreContractors

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The second entry’s designer is no stranger to the Canadian Game Design scene. For the last three years Adam Wyse has entered five games into the CGDA, two of which made the finals last year. This year he has submitted his game LepreContractors.
LepreContractors is a game for 2-4 players that plays in about 45 minutes. Each player plays the role of a leprechaun working in a factory building rainbows. Players have job cards for building rainbows according to orders. Completed jobs earn you points at the end of the game, but you lose points for incomplete work.
Players take turns spending time to build sections of rainbows on any of the rainbow building areas, remove sections from rainbows, or collect more bribes from suppliers.
“The game was inspired by playing around with the pieces,” designer Adam Wyse noted. He had purchased a bunch of multi-colored wooden blocks and arch pieces from a fellow designer, ones normally found in elementary schools and youth daycare centers. The blocks were easily arranged into mini rainbows and the game concept was born.
Each color of the rainbow represents one of six rival rainbow arch manufacturers, each wanting to increase their influence over the competition. They offer bribes to players for being as good or more prominent than the others. Recognition of this is represented by having part or all of the largest rainbow section on any rainbow building area. Players collect points immediately for completing bribe cards.
As the game progresses, players move their figures up the time track. The time track works similar to Tokaido, where the player in last position goes first. It is Adam’s favorite balancing mechanic of the game, as each player is able to choose to work as late as they want each day, but then they suffer having to start later the next day, while everyone else gets an earlier jump on the day.
Players play over a set amount of days. When one day ends, each worker must rest for 12 hours, as per union rules. The game ends when all players clock out on the last day.
Of the three finalists, LepreContractors is definitely the simplest game to make it to this year’s finals. “I think people are enthralled by the theme and the pieces. It brings in all ages.”
“I am extremely proud to be a part of the CGDA. It was an early motivator for me to work on my designs.” Last year, Adam had two games that both made the finals, “Masque of the Red Death” and “Open Mic”. Unfortunately for him, the winner last year was Ben Hesketh and his game, “Video Game Studio”.
It hasn’t deterred him in the slightest. “I want to thank the crew that puts it [CGDA] together. They put in a lot of hard work to put this together and run it.”
Adam is quite active in the local game design community, and he’s bringing a couple of his latest game designs with him, including LepreContractors, to FallCon this weekend. You can find him and his games in the Prototype Pavilion.
The winner of the CGDA will be announced on Saturday Evening.

CGDA – Sloops!

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Our final entry in the 2016 edition of the Canadian Game Design Award comes from the west coast, from two individuals with a rather unique story and a very unique game. With great pleasure, our final entrant is Sloops! by Sébastien Bernier-Wong & Peter Gorniak.
Sloops! is a game for 2-4 players that plays in about an hour. The game actually started out as a school project at Simon Fraser University. Peter Gorniak was the professor for the class back in 2013, and Sébastien Bernier-Wong was a student. The course was geared more for video game design but Peter had a module where the students played and then came up with a board game design based off of Lords of Waterdeep and Dominion. The focus was on creating a hybrid game that involved worker placement and deck building. “There were 20 games created,” recounts Peter Gorniak, “Most groups did not spend a lot of time on it… Almost every other project was copying the two example games. Sloops was different.”
Sloops! is a naval strategy game that is divided up into two phases, the Island Phase and the Sea Phase. During the Island Phase, players take turns playing worker tokens on various island spaces to collect resources and new cards for their hand and deck. Once everyone has played out their worker tokens they move to the sea phase.
The resources are used to purchase special cards and to attack opponents with cannons. The cards use a very interesting system where most are maneuver cards, but there are a few special action cards which allow players to subvert the basic rules of engagement.
The cards, as a whole, have an additional special feature built-in. Each card has one of four colors printed on them; red, yellow, green, and blue. Each card allows players to do bonus actions either immediately or when other cards of that color are played later on.
In the Sea Phase, players take turns playing cards from their hand and either use their tactics and/or abilities, or choose not to use them and pass. Players navigate on the sea board, trying to avoid obstacles, and each other, while trying to damage everyone else. The best comparison of this aspect of the game is more of a frantic, short-term focus, version of “RoboRally”.
Every time a player is hit they take a damage card, which is then added to their deck. Players can score points from certain cards or by damaging their opponents, but may also score negative points for damage cards. The game ends when either the damage card deck runs out or some of the draft card decks run out.
“[After the project] I borrowed the prototype to try with my gaming friends and turned out pretty good… Sébastien was the one who stuck with it from the group.” The two have worked on the game off and on since. “It manages to be a very confrontational game, with being very short term focused. We had to tone down some of the crazy combinations that could be created, but were able to keep some of the havok.”
They had entered into another competition based out on the west coast and were eager to enter the CGDA after Peter had heard about it through friends in the Game Artisans of Canada.
“I want to recognize the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University and to the other students that helped create the basic design for Sloops.” Peter mentions.
Sadly, neither Peter nor Sébastien will be able to attend FallCon this year and showcase their game. Sébastien was unavailable to be interviewed due to work and communication restraints where he is.
The winner of the CGDA will be announced on Saturday evening.

CGDA Finalist – Palooka Precinct

Palooka Precinct
by Aaron Sebastian
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Deduction, mystery, crime, and corruption. Every detective wannabe knows that those are a recipe for a good time and they accurately describe Glen Dresser’s CGDA finalist entry: Palooka Precinct.
Palooka Precinct is a co-operative game for 1-4 players. It is a noir-style mystery game, with more depth than your basic deduction game. Each player takes the role of a police officer working out of the “Palooka Precinct”, who are known for their vices and their blunt ways of questioning and solving crimes. The game has a campaign mode and optional side-plots in the quests that really highlight those personal aspects and gives an additional sense of role-playing to the game.
Players travel around the different areas of their district inquiring in neighborhoods and interrogating people about suspects and their associations with others. Players collect information about suspect’s locations, whereabouts, and associations in an attempt to solve the crime and arrest the wanted suspects. You can also canvas areas, send out canine units, and obtain arrest warrants to help catch criminals on the run and explore other options based on the given scenario.
“The game idea evolved from a discussion on the BoardGameGeek forum where the topic was simulating logical mystery.” Glen Dresser told us. “The initial game idea was created using a ridiculous amount of cards.”
Over the next 14 months, the game was refined to a punch card system and then again to a volvelle system which, from a distance, looked incredibly complex to design. “The punch card system was fiddly. Playtesters were key in the design process and had suggested the volvelle solution early on. I had one case with multiple outcomes, but once I got over the block of trying the volvelle it really expanded possibilities for cases and the campaign idea branched from there.”
A volvelle is a spinner made up of two or more discs. In this case, the volvelle uses 5 layers to properly disguise and hide all information except what is being researched during the game. “The volvelle was actually the easiest part of the design, the difficult part was the mechanics to go with it.”
What was created was an action point system which allows the players to perform major and minor actions using colored cubes. The cubes represent four types of actions: aggressive, passive, caffeine, and alcohol. The majority of cubes used are the first two, each of which provide bonuses for doing particular actions but not restricting from completing tasks needed. Caffeine cubes allow players to take extra actions for a price, and alcohol allows them to rearrange unused cubes on their track.
To win the game players need to solve the crime before time runs out. Every time a player uses up all of his cubes, they go off duty. This moves the time track, and forces events to happen that can cause players to lose. Also, if players guess incorrectly on their final investigative action, they lose. Every scenario has different twists that can alter the outcome, making the game replayable as different plots and side stories develop. “I always wanted a storytelling element to the game, the stories emerge from the gameplay.”
Glen Dresser is a first time entrant to the CGDA. “It’s exciting and nerve wracking. I was on a road trip when I found out I was a finalist. I was almost overwhelmed. I have played several CGDA game designs including some winners. I am really honored to be a part.”
“I want to give a shout out to the local playtesting community for all the time and input they give. Also to my family, for having a home that values creative pursuits.”
Glen will be at FallCon and showcasing his game in the Prototype Pavilion on Saturday morning for anyone interested. “My favorite comment about my game was ‘It feels like what I imagine a detective would feel like being. Having hunches, hitting road blocks, chasing suspects, and really being able to immerse yourself in the game.'”
The CGDA winner will be announced Saturday night at the auction.

Fireside Games – Thank you for your donation!

Fireside Games has sent a trio of very different games that offer opportunities for the whole gamut of gamer types.

Thanks Fireside Games!

villagecrown

The Village Crone is a worker placement and resource management game where you are witches casting spells.  You are working to complete your Schemes, and become the sole Village Crone.  Better at lower player counts, it is a very cutthroat game, where you cannot take your foot off the gas; no turtling in this one for sure.

Dastardly Dirigibles

Dastardly Dirigibles features tarot-sized cards that are played in a constant action format in which each time a part is added, ALL players MUST add the SAME part, which may replace an existing one.  The round ends when the first airship is complete, but you score only the suit used most in your airship. The player with the highest score after three rounds wins!

 

Here Kitty Kitty

Here, Kitty, Kitty! is a crazy cat-collecting game in a neighborhood of crazy cat-collectors.  40 cat miniatures in the game assure it will get a lot of attention, while you perform actions to get more and more cats into your property.