Monday 27 January 2014

Dorneypalooza Board Game Weekender

Over the weekend some friends of mine ran what can only be described as a mini-convention in their house. As the title suggests it was board game oriented weekend (although there were also some card based games) and for those with the stamina there were a lot of options on offer. I was there on Sunday with three members of the Dagenham Delvers and we managed to fit in seven games over an epic 12 hours. 

Shadows over Camelot is a cooperative board game that uses cards and miniatures to add some extra dynamics to the game play. The players are different Knights of the Round Table and must work together to complete various quests to win the game. One of the players however is a traitor and their job is to remain undetected while working to undermine the efforts of the other players. The board and cards are high quality with some very nice plastic figures included as playing pieces. I was the secret traitor and managed to win the game by looking like I didn't understand the rules thereby masking my treachery behind a veil of stupidity. It was only partly bluff... 
Next up was the brain hurting Back to the Future Card Game. Players compete to reset history as they want it by changing certain linchpin events, which in turn changes one or more other events. Once you have history as you want it you need to prevent Doc Brown from inventing time travel in the first place, thus setting your version of history forever. The game mechanics are very simple, but maintaining and implementing any sort of strategy to win seems almost impossible which make this frustrating and great fun to play. John was the winner of this game in the end. 
We then went on to play Munchkin. This is one of those games where working against your fellow players actively increases the fun. For most of the game I was trailing in last place but made a late surge and we ended the game with all four players struggling for that last vital level to win. Derek was the ultimate winner and it was well deserved.
Next up was the very aptly named Castle Panic! This is a cooperative game with the players combining forces to defeat the advances of a hoard of monsters converging on the castle in the centre of the board. After just the first turn it looked like we were about to loose but somehow we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. 
After lunch we started on probably the hardest game of the day, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game. It took nearly an hour to set up and the game play initially seemed very complicated, but it is definitely a game that deserves a second sitting to really understand it. In many ways we thought it was like a much more involved version of Risk, utilising plastic figures, battle cards, tokens, and card overlays to enhance the game. 
After the brain ache that was the TGoT board game we played a much simpler card based game called Cards Against Humanity. This is definitely not a game for the light hearted, easily offended or politically correct but it is damn good fun! Players must answer questions or fill in the blanks on the black cards from the statements on the white cards in their hand. The combinations are often hilarious, sometimes bemusing and nearly always offencive! Only the most despicable and low people can win this game, so well done to Derek for beating his fellow players hands down. 
The last game of the day (after a very nice curry at the local Indian restaurant) was Pandemic. This is another cooperative game where the players work together to save the world from four deadly infections that risk getting out of control. The players must travel the globe to fight infection hot spots while also trying to research cures before the diseases get out of control. Good fun and enjoyed all the more because we were able to gain a team win to finish the day off. 
By the end of the evening we were all feeling a little exhausted but we had also had a fantastic day playing some excellent games. A big thank you must go out to John and Rea for giving up their home for the weekend to run this event. I think everyone considered it a massive success and we are all looking forward to Dorneypalooza 2


  1. I have only played a few of those games but if the others were as good as the ones I have played it would have been a good days fun. Munchkin is a lot of Fun)

  2. Some great games there, glad you had a good day

  3. Oh it's been years since my last House-Con, sounds like you had a blast


  4. What a great day! I can hardly wait until my own little annual micro-con/three days o' gaming/whatever one wants to call it ... in July. This will be our fifth year. Great blog thank you sir!


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