Game Days 2004 - Report
05-31-2004

Those Responsible Attendance Comparison Those in Attendance
Attendee Remarks Questionnaire Responses SOME of the Games Played
Registration Comparison Attendee Demographics Silent Auction


Games Day-Those Responsible

Badges Scott Buckwalter, Keith Levy
Baked goods Jamie Tang
Beverages Brian Sutton
Breakdown Hal Haag, Dan Hoffman, Keith Levy, Brian Stallings
Clean Up Keith Levy, Paul Weintraub
Coffee & Tea Bar JP Roberts 3
Convention Organizer Keith Levy
Convention Supplies Keith Levy
Demos Matthew Anderson, Rose Anderson, Ray Dion, Dave Fair, Michelle Goldstein, Dan Hoffman, Steve Kolezar, Keith Levy, JP Roberts, John Setear, Rich Shipley, Jamie Tang, John Weber
Demo Games Donated by Days of Wonder
Digital Photographs Eric Haas, Hal Haag
Door Prizes Days of Wonder, Games Club of Maryland, Keith Levy, Lost Battalion Games
Flyers/Paperwork Keith Levy
Formula De Tournament Dave Fair, Rich Shipley
Game Collections Scott Buckwalter, David Fair, Keith Levy, John Weber
Game Play Coordination Keith Levy, John Weber
Gaming and Convention Supplies Keith Levy
Hotel Accommodations Days Hotel, Keith Levy
Loading & Unloading Eric Haas, Hal Haag, Dan Hoffman, Keith Levy, Brian Stallings
Plaques Allogram, Don Greenwood, Keith Levy
Promotions Jamie Tang, Keith Levy and a cast of dozens
Registration Keith Levy, Rich Shipley
Registration Desk Keith Levy, JP Roberts, Rich Shipley, Jamie Tang
Set up Scott Buckwalter, Don Greenwood, Eric Hass, Keith Levy
Silent Auction Hal Haag, Keith Levy, JP Roberts
Snacks Keith Levy, JP Roberts, Brian Sutton, Jamie Tang
Surveys Hal Haag, Keith Levy
Titan National Tournament Steve Kolezar, Keith Levy, Brian Sutton
Vendor Geist by Rose Knows, Inc.
Website Keith Levy, JP Roberts


Attendance Comparison
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  2004 2003 2002 2001
Thursday 39 n/a n/a n/a
Friday 72 44 40 22
Saturday 107 75 63 50
Sunday 78 54 38 15
Grand Total 117 89 71 50



Registration Comparison
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  2004 2003 2002 2001
Pre-Registration 48 45 23 20
At-the-Door 69 48 48 31
Grand Total 117 93 71 51



Attendee Demographics
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State Count
California 2
Maryland 75
New Jersey 2
New York 1
Ontario, Canada 5
Pennsylvania 10
Virginia 22



Those in Attendance
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Bill Alderman, Gwen Alviani, Matthew Anderson, Rose Anderson, Christopher Bakota, Barbra Barry, Alexandra Blake, Rhonda Blake, Evan Boone, Keith Boone, Steve Boone, Daniel Broh Kahn, Alex Brown, Scott Buckwalter, Rick Bynaker, Mike Cannon, Joe Casaponte, Bob Churchill, Josh Cooper, Bill Cleary, Donna Dearborn, David DeJardins, Ray Dion, Anna Donnen, Bill Dufton, Bill Duke, Susan Dyer, Chris Eary, Robb Effinger, Leigh Eirich, Peter Eirich, Andrew Fair, Corwin Fair, David Fair, Noreen Fair, Scott Fisher, David Fogel, Ben Foy, Chuck Frascati, Stephen Frichett, Pete Gathmann, Andrew Gerb, Rick Glassco, Lisa Goldstien, Don Greenwood, David Grabiner, John Goon, Heather Gustafson, Mark Guttag, Hal Haag, Eric Haas, Todd Heidenreich, Stu Hendrickson, Carl Hilinski, Stan Hilinski, Kevin Hillock, "Legend" Dan Hoffman, Doug Hoylman, Jon Hutcherson, Victor Hutcherson, Eric Hymowitz, Michelle Hymowitz, Joe Jaskiewicz, Bob Jones, Dan Karp, John Kerr, Steve Kolezar, Pierre Leboeuf, Keith Levy, Perrianne Lurie, Andy Maly, Alex Maly, Eric Martin, Lucy Martins, Katie Mcorry, Tom Mcorry, Doug Mercer, Cherly Merica, Jesse Miller, Karl Musser, David Nicholson, Brent Oster, Nick Page, Brian Papas, Gene Papas, Alan Pinkert, Marvin Pinkert, George Pletz, Geoff Pounder, Michael Pustilnik, Tim Redding, David Ripton, JP Roberts III, John P Roberts Jr., Tom Rhoads, Ed Rothenheber, David Schubert, Bill Scott, Rich Shipley, John Setear, Rod Spade, Francis Spencer, Brian Stallings, Denise Stallings, Brian Sutton, Jamie Tang, Fabio Tola, India Thompson, Justin Thompson, Max Thompson, Stuart Tucker, Mick Uhl, John Weber, Paul Wientraub, Art Wines, Will Zander


SOME of the Games Played
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Age of Mythology
Age of Steam
Alexandros
Alhambra
Amazing Labyrinth
Apples to Apples
Attika
Ave Caesar
Axis and Allies
Babel
Balloon Cup
Bang
Beyond Balderdash
Big City
Billabong
Blue Chip
Bohnanza
Carcassonne
Carcassonne: Ark of the Covenant
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Carcassone: The Castle
Cartagena
Counting ZZZ's
Corsairs
Cosmic Encounter
Crokinole
Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix
Die Macher
Exxtra
Feurio
Finstere Flure
Fist of Dragonstones
Formula De
A Game of Thrones
Gang of Four
Geist
Go
Groo
Hansa
History of the World
Ideology
Industria
La Citta
Liberty
Logistico
Lord of the Rings Trivia Game
Lost Cities
Lucky Loop
McGartlin Stock Car Racing
Medici
Mermaid Rain
Metro
Mystery of the Abby
Napoleonic Wars
Oasis
Pirate's Cove
Polarity
Princes of Florence
Princes of the Renaissance
Puerto Rico
Quinto
Quo Vadis
Ra
Racin'
Ricochet Robot
Royal Turf
San Juan
Santiago
Schrille Stille
Settlers of Catan
Settlers of the Stone Age
Setters: Trojan War scenario
Settlers of Zarahemla
Showbiz Shuffle
Stephenson's Rocket
Starfarers
Strange Synergy
Taj Mahal
Texas Holdem- Poker
Through the Desert
Tichu
Ticket to Ride
Tigris & Euphrates
Titan
Titan: The Arena
Tabula Rasa
Tongiaki
Torres
Traders of Genoa
Wallenstein
Werewolf
Wildlife
Xmachina
Yinsh



Questionnaire Responses
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1. How did you learn about Game Days?  Check any that apply. ___35___Prior attendee.

___16__GCOM Host, which one?  Keith-6, Scott,  Stuart, Michelle-2,  Brian, David, Hal-2 , Neil

___16___GCOM member, who told you about it?   Keith Levy-8, Chuck Frascati,
Hal Haag,

___6___Game Days flyer  ___2____ Games club, which one? Sparks, Columbia

___12___GCOM website              ___3___ e- mail from Keith

___8___ E-mail discussion board, Which one?_consimworld, GCOM-5, WGA, spielfrieks, 
Bruno's Titan e-mail list-2

___4___ internet website with link to Game Days, Which one? GamingReport.com, BSFS

___11___ a little bird told me.

Saw flyer at Prezcon-1
Euro Quest-1


2. What is your opinion of the Days Hotel accommodations and services?
A) I prefer Days Hotel to the Fire Hall-47
B) I prefer the Fire Hall-4
C) I prefer __________________________ (please specify) to either Days Hotel or the Fire Hall. 
Additional Comments:

Friendly staff-3
Helpful staff.
Very nice surroundings. Could use some tunes.
Days Inn more comfortable with better food access.
First time-never been to fire hall-10
Days Hotel much better than Fire hall
Great Location -spacious, easy to find, carryout food down the hall Likes Chili's. 
Good food options 
more food options 
Lots of space 
Plenty of parking 
Room is quieter at Days Hotel 
Better rooms at Days Hotel 
Tables did not match up- had raised edges in the middle 
Good location near interstate-2 
The kitchen at the fire hall is nice to have nearby 
Seemed good. 
Both were good. 
The accommodations seem great. 
Sites in different areas might be better, A Game Days in the Washington Suburbs would 
draw a different crowd. 
Certainly adequate game playing space. 
Bulletin board & crash space. 
Car pool. 
Shower water pressure low. 
Need to clean bathrooms more often.



3. What other activities or amenities would you recommend for future Game Days?

Better lighting
More Vendors
Game Vendors
Better food.
More snacks-2
Hot water or tea and chocolate
Free food and drink
Hotel with better breakfast bar and better cable(Hampton Inn) 
Music. 
Decaf coffee. 
Fruit. 
Ice chest and soda All looks good. 
More scheduled events 
More organized events 
Schedule demos a little better. 
More scheduled events 
More organized events 
Likes the lack of tournaments 
Crokinole tournament-2 
A few more tournaments-3 
"light" tournaments 
Tournaments 
More tournament play 
Pre-reg more games and put them into time slots. 
Pizza delivery at lunch and dinner time-2
Organized catering/delivery.   "Tonight we will order from _______. Place
  your order at the registration desk
By 6 PM for delivery around 8PM" -or- a buffet.

Let people submit suggestions for a tournament, any game with more than X suggestions 
  gets a tournament. 
It's just fine. 
Good as is. 
I'm satisfied with as is. 
It's fine as is. 
Better door prizes. 
Maybe a trophy for most different games played or most opponents. 
Don't know-3 
None-3 
Dancing girls 
Mud Wrestling 
Hero Tournament 
Chair massagers (for fee) 
Some crazy events for kids


4. Please share your questions, comments, suggestions or opinions about the 
convention planning, publicity, organization & management, fees, scheduling, 
site selection, personnel, equipment, etc.

Opponents wanted board
Likes kids games.
Organized game sessions (specific times and sign up)
Really nice to have all these game available
Likes it being kid friendly.
Children's discount should be doubled.
A free first day may help to get new folks to come.  $20 is too high for some folks. 
Publicity was good. 
I had fun. 
We're good! 
Good. 
Good job!!! 
Excellent Job-2 
Good going once again. 
Thanks. 
Likes the open format. 
I like surveys. 
Here's a monkey! 
Keep it the same. 
Things in general are very organized. 
Don't need a hefty schedule 
Charge a fee for the food. 
Hotel easy to find. 
Good location, good parking. 
The staff was friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested in promoting and engaging 
and accessible environment. 
Better PA system-2 
Liked silent auction, but games need to be checked for completeness. 
Keep the auction, which was better this year than last. 
Great job & thanks. 
Keith is amazingly energetic and dedicated! 
Quality event.
I can't think of anything to whine about, yet. And I'm whiny. 
Why not do this in Feb or March when weather is lousy. 
Anyway to get mentioned in live section or local paper Community Times. 
Great job by organizers. 
Congratulations to organizers. 
Keep up the good work. 
It is good. 
Everything is fine. 
Great!!

Total completed surveys - 65



Attendee Remarks
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Keith,

I just wanted to thank you again, however tardily, for hosting Games 
Day.  The camaraderie and good-naturedness of the participants made it 
more than worth the drive up from Charlottesville.  I can only guess 
at the tremendous amount of work that you must have to put in to pull 
off such an event.  Thanks!

-- John

Professor John K. Setear
UVA Law School
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA  22903-1789

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Games Day Activities

Demo- Age of Mythology : 1 game with three players, reviewed rules. 
A good game with some minor flaws. A cross between a Euro and a wargame.

Demo and play: Ticket to Ride: This was the most demoed and most game 
played during the con.  There one game of Ticket to Ride occurring at 
most all times during the con. A great game and likely to be the Spiel 
De Jar game of the year for 2004. I played and demoed several times.

Axis and Allies: The new addition or the original version revised.   I
thoroughly enjoyed the game. There are a few new units and several 
changes have been made to the cost and battle factors of the old pieces.  
There are several significant changes in the map board as well.  There 
are also new rules for a shorter game.   I plan to purchase a copy of 
the game. The only thing I did not like is that Hasbro did not include 
enough chips to play the game.

Geist- a good game that I played three times. Involves moving a hunter 
around a checker style board to collect Giests and deliver them to the 
underworld. Involves mathematics for board movement and Geist collection.  
Geist and separate collectable cards have powers to influence the game.

Oasis- I game that I had thoroughly enjoyed playing several times.  I 
seem to be drawn to wanting to play again and again.  There may be too 
much of a luck factor in turning the right cards at the right time.  I 
enjoy the auction, turn play and placement system.

Werewolf- I enjoy playing this game with the GCOM family.   It's great fun 
to role play and take on different characters.  Downside-played late at 
night when I am tired.

Fists of Dragonstones- demoed and played. A auction game where you 
purchase cards with certain power in a attempt to collect stones and 
points.  An interesting auction mechanism.  I was not able to determine 
a wining strategy.

Pirate's Cove- Demoed and played- a fun game where you get to act like 
a pirate, sink other's ships, collect and burry treasure. Heavily theme 
oriented.

Attika- another contender for the Spiel De Jar.  Played twice. Intriguing 
game play. Defines a good Euro style game.

Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix- Seems to be a highly balanced card based 
race game. Unless you get dealt a really unusually bad hand, you almost 
always have a chance to make a profit.  And with three races you can 
sometime catch up in later races.

Formula De- I played in the tournament game.   I missed several turns and 
had to slow down several times.  I think I came in either last or next to 
last.  It's a great game if you are rolling the dice well.

Racin'- a prototype copy of a car race game demoed by John Setear. Very 
enjoyable and I would be interested in playing again.  Interesting 
movement mechanism with no player cars involved in the race.

McGartlin Stock Car Racing- I seem to have acquired a taste for car 
racing games.  I enjoyed this card based car racing game, despite my 
inability to get to the front and a complaining opponent that ended 
up winning the game.

Billabong- interesting game with kangaroo pieces that must strategically 
move around the board in an effort to finish prior to there opponents.

Titan the Arena: Rules explanation.  I explained the rules to a few of 
the Titan players from Ontario that ended up playing at a later time.

Thanks to JP Roberts and Rich Shipley for covering the Registration desk 
to allow me to play so many games this year!!

Keith Levy
===============================================
Pictures of gameday on my web site

http://home.comcast.net/~surfitch/

Steve Fitchett

=============================================
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:50:08 -0400
From: Daniel Karp
Subject: Games Day 2004 write-up (long)

This past weekend I spent the better part of four days at the Games 
Club of Maryland's Games Day (or Game Days, as they sometimes like 
to call it).  It is probably my favorite gaming event of the year--
WBC and Euro Quest get more players, but the tournaments at those 
events tend to tie up people's schedules, sometimes making it hard 
to find people for open gaming.  At Games Day, it is almost all 
open gaming all the time.  Plus, it runs all in one big room, making 
it a snap to start just about any game--I have less down time at 
Games Day than at any other large gaming event.  Thanks too all of 
the organizers--they did a great job keeping things running smoothly 
this year.

I'm not going to actually describe any of these games, mainly 
because I am lazy, and I won't give many results, mainly because I 
didn't keep track of them.  This is mainly a record of the games 
I played along with my general impression of each of them.  My 
ratings reflect the standard Boardgamegeek scale, more or less.

Thursday:
Titan:  I know above that I said that the reason I like Games Day 
is because of the lack of tournaments, but now I'll sort of 
contradict that, because the first thing I did there was play in 
a tournament. The Titan National Tournament was run at Games Day 
this year, and the first thing I did was to get into a game. I 
rarely get a chance to play this fantastic game--it is much longer 
than just about anything I play now, and the downtime is horrible, 
so I can't explain why I enjoy it as much as I do.  I even broke 
my long-standing rule never again to get into a game of Titan with 
more than three players (we had 5).  I recruited well at first, but 
(if I remember correctly) made a bad decision to attack with my 
Titan stack when I probably shouldn't have. I won the battle, but 
my weakened stack was destroyed next turn.  I got knocked out third, 
and the game didn't end until 2 am, almost 7 hours after it started.  
Despite all of its problems, I still rate Titan a 9, even though 
because of it's length I don't REALLY always want to play it.

Go:  I haven't played Go in years.  While I waited for Titan to 
finish (my friend Luci was one of the last two), I started a 
half-hearted game of Go with her husband, Fabio.  He absolutely 
crushed me--I've forgotten everything I once knew about the game, 
it seems.  Some day I want to get back into it, but in the mean 
time it is just too much work to study it, and too depressing to 
play without studying.  Technically I rate the game a 10--it is 
one of the best games I own--but I have to either play it a lot 
or not at all, and for now it will have to be not at all.

Werewolf:  I was really too tired to be playing anything when 
i got drafted into a couple of games of Werewolf.  I got killed 
early both time--my reverse psychology approach worked with the 
other villagers ("I'm a villager, but go ahead and lynch my so 
I can go watch Titan"), but it didn't fend off the wolves.  I 
give this game an 7--I find it to be a lot of fun with the right 
group.  If I didn't have to drive 45 minutes home every night, 
I would have played it more, but it was always played late, and 
I have an aversion to automobile accidents.

Friday:
Friday I didn't get to Games Day until early afternoon, since I 
had some errands to run first.  That day ended up being devoted 
to mostly shorter, lighter games.  I'm basically guessing at the 
order here, since I didn't keep the best notes.  (I scrawled down 
a list on the back of a receipt).

Ticket to Ride:  I started off playing one of my favorite new 
games, Alan Moon's Ticket to Ride.  His games have been hit or 
miss with me in the past, with a few winners and more "also rans", 
but this is the best I've seen from him by far.  In fact, I think 
it is one of the best new games in a while, and will quickly 
replace Settlers of Catan for me as the game I use to try to 
bring new gamers into the hobby.  I played this game twice over 
the course of the weekend--the first time, I opted for a new 
strategy--I took a bunch of tickets at the beginning so that 
I would know where I was going.  This strategy failed miserably--
the destinations were close together, but getting cut off at 
one is much more devastating when you have a couple of cards 
riding on you making that connection..  The second game, I 
concentrated on each ticket in turn, only taking a new ticket 
when I completed the previous one.  I ended up scoring 45 
points in tickets, but it wasn't enough to win--the person who 
got the longest route, along with quite a few 5 and 6 connections, 
edged me out.  Both games were a lot of fun.  I think this is 
the only serious contender for this years Spiele des Jahres, 
and I would be very surprised if it didn't win.  I give it a 9.  
(Let me say here--I don't think I artificially inflate my 
ratings, although it may seem that way from reading this 
write-up.  I just try to play games that I like.)

Oasis: Next up (or something like that) was a game of Oasis.  
I have very mixed feelings about this game.  When I play it, I 
really enjoy it, and perhaps that is the only important thing.  
However, the luck of the draw plays a huge role in the game, 
more than I usually like.  I honestly don't remember much about 
how this game played out.  I don't know who won, or how I placed.  
But I enjoyed it (despite one slow player).  I give it an 8, but 
I haven't bought a copy yet.  My friends are less fond of it than 
I am, and if I don't have opponents, I don't have much reason to 
own the game.  Plus, I thing it is not too appealing visually, 
and that is often a big factor for me in deciding whether to buy 
a game that I am otherwise on the fence about.

Hansa:  At some point that day, I played Hansa, according to my 
list. I don't remember much about the game, but in general I 
really like this one.  It helps that I seem to see the 
strategies for this one very clearly.  The game is well produced, 
and plays fast--it's been a hit with most of the people I've 
played it with.  This is definitely my favorite Michael Schacht 
game so far.  I suspect that it will be moderately popular for a 
while to come among my group.  Based on my experience so far, I've 
rated it an 8.

Fists of Dragonstones:  Finally, an opportunity to prove that I 
don't give high ratings to all of the games I play.  This was my 
first playing of this one, and may well be my last.  I'm not as 
opposed to blind auctions as some, but the relentlessness of auction 
after auction got to me.  The production values were great (as 
they always are with Days of Wonder games) but the game itself 
did nothing for me.  I give it a 4.

Princes of Florence: I also played Princes of Florence, an old 
favorite.  I've played this one a lot, so I have a good deal of 
experience.  I bid aggressively, paying a premium to get the early 
jesters.  It worked for me this game, as I edged out a victory. 
Everyone played well, making it a satisfying game.  I rate this game 
a 9.

Tichu:  I got a chance to play my favorite card game face to face 
on Friday.  I've played a lot of Tichu online--well over 1000 hands.  
I got to play with my regular Tichu partner, Dan, against our 
occasional opponents, Luci and Scott.  It was a typical game for us--
plenty of Tichus, a grand Tichu or two, and lots of wild point 
swings.  In the end, we lost on a particularly brutal hand.  This 
game is always fun, and when I say I rate it a 10, I really mean 
that I could play it any time, and always enjoy it.

Saturday:

Saturday was devoted mostly to some longer games.   I may have missed 
some from my list, but the main games were:

Die Macher:  I played a shortened 5 player game of Die Macher, one 
of the more intense German games I know.  We played only 5 turns--
we had a couple of new players who wanted to get a feel for the game 
without committing to a full length game.  Although this game is 
long, it is always engaging, and runs smoothly.  The rules work 
well together, and the game has just the right combination of 
strategy and luck. Nonetheless, I am lowering my rating from a 9 
to an 8--as good as this game is, I don't always enjoy it as much 
as I'd like to.  Part of the problem is the length; over the 
course of even a shortened Die Macher game I could play a number 
of fun shorter games.  But when I'm in the mood for it, it works 
great.

Tabula Rasa:  I got a chance to play this relative of Lost Cities 
and Schotten-Totten from Reiner Knizia, and I have to say I was 
really impressed.  I played a four player partnership game; it went 
very quickly, but it was tense and enjoyable.  I'm not crazy about 
the analytical part of the game--even though you take two cards out 
at the beginning, it is still possible near the end of the game to 
deduce approximately what your opponents might have left by looking 
at the cards on the board.  I'm sure this problem is magnified in 
the two player game.  But, aside from this problem, I still thought 
the game was entertaining, and hope to track down a copy.  I give it 
a 7, which could go up with more plays.

Poker: Poker was my other long game of the day, and it was a blast. 
We've been playing poker in our group for a while now, very low 
stakes: everyone puts $5 in, and we play elimination Texas Holdem, 
with the last person taking all of the money (and, this time, the 
second place person getting their $5 back).  We got ten players 
into the the game, including a few who were not regulars (some of 
whom clearly outclassed us amateurs).  But the better players got 
some very bad cards, and some bad beats, leaving behind a few of 
the regulars at the end, including me.  I ended up winning, my 
first win ever at one of our poker games--it was quite exciting, 
and I won't complain about the money, either.  Poker is a game that 
I rate a 10--I've played it for years, always loved it, and could 
have happily played all weekend.

Sunday:

Sunday was a short day for me for gaming--I was exhausted, and left 
at about 7, but I got a lot of games in while I was there.  I 
actually played 5 completely new-to-me games that day!

Polarity:  I've had this for a long time, and brought it out to show 
people occasionally.  Everyone likes to play with the pieces, but I've 
never actually convinced anyone to play until now.  The game itself is 
perhaps not quite up to the standards of the components--how could it
be?--but it is good enough to make it worth playing occasionally.   I 
give the game a 7, with a bump up for the great components and 
uniqueness of the game. You can't go wrong with partially floating 
magnets!

Lord of the Rings Trivia:  What to say about this game?  It about 
all I could have hoped for in a Lord of the Rings Trivia game.  The 
questions are reasonably difficult and varied, and the mechanism of 
the game is not too complex to get in the way of the trivia questions.  
I've played it before, and with other Lord of the Rings fans it is 
usually pretty fun.  Joe completely outclassed Eric and I, and 
destroyed the ring while we were still back by Moria.  I give it a 
7, but only for people who will enthusiastically seek out a Lord 
of the Rings Trivia game.

Logistico:  I've been wanting to try this one for ages.  It had so-so 
reviews, but the theme really appealed to me.  I think everyone who 
played agreed that the game was "OK".  Nothing so good that it was 
worth buying.  I'd play it if someone else wanted to, but I don't 
think I'd ever actually suggest it.  I give it a marginal 6.  I didn't 
hate it, and it has it's moments, but it isn't overly compelling.

Yinsh:  I'm not usually a big fan of completely abstract games.  I 
played Gipf, which was fine, but nothing so great that I thought it 
was worth investing the time to figure out how it worked.  But I'm 
always intrigued by the Gipf series games, and was happy to have a 
chance to play Yinsh.  I was really impressed with this--the game 
was quite fun to play.  The strategies were totally opaque to me, 
and I found myself playing this strategic game entirely tactically.  
I'd like to try it again, and will probably pick up a a copy.  It 
doesn't hurt that the components are top-notch.  I give it a 
preliminary rating of 7, which could easily go up.

Quo Vadis?:  I'd never played this old Knizia game, and was happy to 
finally get a chance to try it.  I had been skeptical about this one--
the reviews are uneven, and the negotiation aspect made me wary, 
although I sometimes like negotiations games.  I actually really 
enjoyed it--it was a fairly brutal game, with lots of preying on the 
weak and the like, but it is short enough that it doesn't get 
oppressive.  I rate it a 7, and will keep an eye out for a good deal 
on a copy.

Mermaid Rain:  This was my last new game of the day.  Despite a 
problem we had with the rules which probably seriously unbalanced 
our game, I had a lot of fun playing it.  I really hope someone 
picks up this Japanese import and makes an English (or even a 
german) version, so I can get a copy for less than $60.  As it is, 
it is not worth the price (to me), but it is definitely a good game, 
one that I would really like to own.  I rate it a 7, which could go 
up if I played again by the correct rules.

-Daniel Karp

=====================================================================
Keith,

I just wanted to thank you for putting on a very successful Game Days!

The facility had plenty of space and was VERY easy to find. Also quite 
convenient having the Chili's connected. Outstanding job on supplies 
and organization and thank you for sharing your game collection with 
us. Everyone I talked to had a fabulous time.

Thanks again for a GREAT weekend!

Rick Bynaker 

=====================================================================
Hi, Keith! I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful time I had 
this past weekend. You put on a great show! It was fun to relax and 
just play games. Thank you so much for doing it.

Alexandra, my six-year old who was there, also had a wonderful time. 
(And, if anything is tough, it's keeping a 6 year old happy for 2 
long days in a room when the sun is shining outside!)

Again, thank you!

Rhonda Blake

===============================================
To everyone who made it happen,

I enjoyed myself again this year. Great job! I am looking forward to 
the WBC's and EuroQuest.

Scott Fisher

===============================================
I will echo what Mr. Fisher says, my whole family had a great time. 
I was especially happy to see the number of fellow gamers of mine 
who played games with my kids (especially Bang!) and treated them 
as equals. Here's hoping we see you all again very, very soon. How 
many days to WBC? How many days to EQ?

Thanks, Dave -- 
David Fair 
dafair@bellatlantic.net 
Improved! Now Smarter than a Bag of Cheese!

===========================================================
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:28:38 -0400 
From: "Joe Casadonte" 
Subject: GCOM Games Day 2004 mini-report

Will and I had the pleasure of going down to the GCOM Games Day 
event last weekend. 4 days of fun and gaming -- our own little 
gathering, as it were. I must say that we had an absolute BLAST! 
Four days of gaming is fun in and of itself, but meeting old 
acquaintances and making new friends was what gave us the most joy. 
I'm sure running down the list of fun people we met and played with 
would be boring, though, so I'll focus on the games here.....

Highlights ==========
Stephenson's Rocket - played an awesome game of SR as my last game 
of the weekend. The tension at the end was fabulous as some of us 
struggled to end the game and others struggled to keep it going. 
Best of Show, for me, at least.

Hansa - this was our most played game (other than Werewolf and Go). 
The more I think about this one, the more I like it and the more I 
want to own it! It's quick, easy to learn, and full of interesting 
decisions -- what more could one ask for?

Finstere Flure - finally got to try this one and we had a good time 
with it. Thanks for teaching it to us, Fabio!

Go - I tried to learn Go many years ago. I was taught by someone 
who was good at the game, but really didn't know how to teach it. 
Consequently, I never really learned it. There was someone at the 
event who was teaching it on Saturday. Will went to the demo and 
played numerous matches over the next 4 hours. He convinced me to 
give it a try, and I did. The guy who was teaching it (Todd? I'm 
sorry, I don't remember your name!) taught us a sub-game called 
First Capture, which was much easier for me to get my head around. 
I really enjoyed it, and look forward to trying it again. I don't 
think I'll ever make the investment in time to become a true Go 
player, though.

Werewolf - what's not to love about Werewolf? OK, there's a lot 
not to love about Werewolf, but we enjoy it. Will started a trend 
this year, proving to the angry mob that he was a villager because 
that's what it said on his name tag! It seemed logical at the time, 
though as it turned out, he *was* a werewolf.....

Big City - I didn't play it, myself, but I saw it being played on 
a handmade wooden version. It was beautiful! I'll uploaded a bunch 
of pictures of it somewhere in the next day or so.

Misses ======
Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix - first time playing. I prefer Top 
Race, with the betting, though I liked the idea of the switch colors 
card (as opposed to the same card being used in Top Race as a 
breakdown/catch-up card).

Oasis - seemed mostly random, with a hardly-controllable destiny. 
Particularly disliked that the 1st player gets a bonus, in addition 
to choosing first. The recent suggestion to look at the top card 
before deciding whether to flip it sounds like it might be able to 
save the game for me.

Geist - the designer and her family were there demoing the game. It 
seemed like a fine game, but not particularly spiel-frieky. 
Consequently, I thought it was a little boring. However, we're not 
necessarily the market it's aimed at, and it may well be that that 
market will enjoy the game; I certainly hope so! It definitely had 
some innovative features to it, and a lot of promise, just not for me.

The Rest Worth Mentioning =========================
Tongiaki - I'm on the fence on this one. I'd like to play it again, 
now that I have some clue as to what's going on, but it seemed mostly 
random to me.

Lucky Loop - I liked this game. It didn't set my world on fire, but 
it was a lot of fun. I'm considering this for my next order....

Yinsh - This was the first time I had played any of the Gipf project 
games, and I liked it. I'd like to try some of the others at some point, 
too.

Alhambra - First time playing, and definitely had more fun with the 
company than with the game. Of course, it was half past midnight at 
the time, and I wasn't focusing terribly well... Would like to try 
it again, and Will enjoyed it, so we may actually pick it up.

Royal Turf - A game I wanted to try, and in trying, just thought it 
was OK. A little long for what it was.

Bang! - enjoyable, but only with the right crowd.

All in all, as I said earlier, we had a wonderful time! I'd like to 
thank publicly everyone who had a part in making the event happen, 
and happen well. I can't wait for EuroQuest!

-- Regards,
Joe Casadonte
=======================================================================

Games Days Highlights

This year I was able to attend all four days, and here are a few of 
the many highlights from of course my own point of view:

1. Teaching Don Greenwood of AH, BPA and WBC fame how to play San 
Juan, offering him one piece of advice ("if you have the card that 
says Smithy on it and you are the governor, you can build it for 
free first turn ...") then watching him get the Guild Hall and a 
bunch of factories to run away with the game.

2. Being edged out by Brian Stallings in a tense four-player 
Attika game which I would have won had the last three tiles been 
stacked in a different order. It couldn't have been much closer.

3. Also in the "it couldn't get much closer category," participating 
in a 72-72-71-70 finish in the highly entertaining game of Schrille 
Stille, only to find there was no tiebreaker listed in our English 
rules, so Fabio Tola and I declared ourselves the co-winners.

4. Listening to JP Roberts (the younger one) moan about all his bad 
luck throughout the first two-thirds of the McGartlin Stock Car 
Racing game on Friday night, then watch him zoom to the front with 
two laps to go and watch the final track deck card get flipped -- 
JP wins the race under yellow!

5. Playing in a long late nite Puerto Rico game where I tried out 
some new 5-player bidding rules and then seeing the coffee get forced 
on the 8 boat, tobacco on the 7 boat, etc, oh well, you get the 
picture. Grats to Neil McIver for a well-deserved win in that one 
from the supposedly dis-advantaged #1 indigo seat.

6. Seeing my friend from work, Bob Jones, finally make the event on 
Saturday (but too bad I was unable to get in a game with him).

7. Getting in an impromptu and even shorter-than-expected game of 
Die Macher, still in my opinion the best game ever. It was Tom 
McCorry's first play of the game and I hope he will enjoy many 
more.

8. Finally on Sunday, getting to play the overlooked Japanese 
import game, Mermaid Rain, which I think everyone enjoyed despite 
the fact we played about two thirds of the game with one of the 
rules wrong. After all, how many other games can you think of which 
feature (1) Mermaids (2) a Japanese comic book and (3) the all-
important "Tribute to the witch"?

9. Even though it dragged on until about 4 AM on Saturday night, 
finishing ahead of Stan in a 46-year old business game called 
"Blue Chip" but far behind the winner (Bob Churchill) who taught 
us the game and proved he could play it fairly well.

Lowlights? Well, maybe I'm being a bit picky but ....

1. Getting real impatient sitting around for a demo that didn't 
happen on time while others got into new games.

2. The fact that the so-called "Silent Auction" seemed at times to 
get alot noisier than the name implies.

3. Not enough food and sleep for four days.

See you all next year
John Weber
==================================================================

Thanks to GCOM for hosting this. Alex (my son) and I had a blast. 
Alex wanted to stay at the hotel so we could play on Sunday as well.

A big tip of the hat to (I believe) Anna and Rhonda for incorporating 
Alex into their games allowing me to experience the 2nd seat at 
Puerto Rico. Very ugly, but then I was primarily responsible for my 
own undoing with two poor decisions in retrospect. Only finished 5 
points out of 2nd, but in last place.

Andy Maly

=============================================
Day 1: Brief Snipet

5 people from Canada. 2 people from California. 1 from New York.

Up to 65 attendees registered. 35 people on Hand.

14 in Titan tournament.

Played:Ticket to Ride, Titan, Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix, 
Oasis, Werewolf, Fists of Dragonstones, Attika, Gang of Four, 
Pirate's Cove, Hansa, Yinish, Age of Mythology, Settlers of 
the Stone Age, Medici, Balderdash, Carcassone, Ark of the 
Covenent and many others.

Keith Levy

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Silent Auction
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Games that were Available for Sale:

Fury In The West
Air Force Dauntless Expansion
Dauntless
Gettysburg High Tide
Flat Top
Battle Of The Bulge
D-Day
MBT
Third Reich
MechWar2
Fire Power
Tobruk
Panzer Leader
Panzer Blitz
Tobruk
Panzer Kreig
Air Force
Luftwaffe
Risk
Vanished Planet
The 80's Game
3 Stones
Acquire
Acquire
Hell Rail
3 Blind Dice
Apples To Apples, Jr.
Castle Of Magic
Mille Bornes
Tangoes
Formula De
Othello
Attack
Nano Fictionary
Zombies
Castle
Abalone
What Were You Thinking?
Carcassone Gold
Lost Cities
Lord Of The Rings
Phase 10
Cranium
Chrononauts
Guillotine
Backgammon Large
Backgammon
Star Wars CCG
DBZ CCG
MLB All Stars
NFL Showdown
Looney Tunes CCG
Great Kahn Game
Paris Paris
Facts In Five
Crack The Case
Battle Cry
Damp Fross
Freight Train
Formula Motor Racing
Quests of the Round Table
Overthrone
Dragon's Gold
The Works
Dino Hunt
Starfire
Lord Of The Rings (The Search)
The Hobbit
Mutual Mania
Auto Racing
Flight Leader
Air Baron
Ego Mania
Star Trek:  Game of Galaxies
Stand and Die
Battlelines
Golf Mania
Time Control
Drakon
Road To The White House
Balderdash
Driver #8
Stalingrad
Blitzkreig
Submarine
Power Barons
Babylon 5
King OF The Elves
Wargamer #30
Battle of the Bulge
WWII European Theater
Breakout & Pursuitd
RAJ
Kingmaker
Light  Saber Dueling Pack
Great Dalmuti
Talisman & Exp. & Dungeon
Dixie * 3
Dark Emperor
Mosby's Raiders
Titan
Civilization
Pez Card Game
By Hook or Crook
Birthday Game
Spies
New England
Wild Life
Java
Hansa
D-Day
Task Force
Adel Verpflichtet