Spring Meltdown Gaming Recap

Last weekend was all travel and bustle for me. Saturday, I made it out to Lyndonville for the Green Mountain Gamers’ Spring Meltdown. It was a full, full day of gaming for a lot of people. I got in more than I expected, to be honest. My enjoyment of board games has been on the wane for the last six months or so. Still, I found myself sucked into the enthusiasm and wound up trying three games new to me.

We recorded an extrasode of Carnagecast on the ride home. Check out A Dark and Stormy Night — which it was — to hear what people thought about games like Power Grid: The First Sparks, the utterable elements of a Fiasco game using The Ice playset, the inevitable bouts of Battlestar Galactica and Prêt-à-Porter.

Additionally, here are some more recent thoughts on the new games I played during Spring Meltdown. I’ve had a little more time to consider things since the ride home, so the opinions are a little riper, though still based on those initial plays.

  • Nefarious is a game by Donald Vaccarino about mad scientists crafting inventions. It’s about choosing among actions to design things, generate cash and realize the inventions, thus earning victory points. There’s a whole speculation element I didn’t really get that involves placing minions on action types, which earns money based on the actions in a turn that one’s neighbors choose. I got how it works, but I didn’t see how it tied into the mad scientist theme; minions go spy on rival inventors, maybe?
  • Lords of Waterdeep was probably the break-out hit of the day, as it has been everywhere it appears, going by the chatter in the social media spheres. I didn’t expect to like a worker placement game at all, but somehow this one worked for me. It has a satisfactory level of complexity among the different parts — meaning it’s pretty light in others’ view, probably — and I enjoyed the high fantasy adventure theme. The mechanics have very, very little to do with Waterdeep or the Forgotten Realms, but adding the theme prompted me to give the game a shot.
  • Tobago I’d sort of played in the past — or been taught how to play, at least. After narrowing down the location of treasures by playing cards that specify where on an tropical island they might be — “next to the biggest forest,” “not in a river valley,” and so on — then tear around to claim the treasure before anyone else. It wasn’t an unpleasant way to spend the end of the night while waiting for my ride to wrap up her game of Prêt-à-Porter.