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Day 2 (Thursday) was a day of longish games - a series of 3-4 hour plays that were very rewarding. Jim and I hung out around registration and played The Battle for Hill 218. This is a light 2-player abstract with a nice wargame theme. Nice to have around when you've got 10-15 minutes to burn and may be a game I pick up.

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The line for registration (and prize table) was quite long but flowed very well once the process started. Jim and I had the benefit of getting our registration badges the night before (shhh, don't tell. actually I told Aldie and he scolded us but didn't object to us going to the prize table once the crowd started gathering in force there) so Jim and I got decent grabs at the prize table - On the Underground for Jim and Colosseum for me. There were some good games for the taking there - thanks for all of the sponsors that supplied the table. Amazing how far the prize table has come since 2005.

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Jim and I roped Rodney Lloyd into breaking open his shrink-wrap copy of Le Havre to give it a try. Le Havre is notionally the successor to Agricola but is very different. No hidden information and a building-ability activation mechanism very much like Caylus. It lasted a little over 3 hours and I wonder if it could have been streamlined a bit - does it need so many turns? It might also be a game that is just as interesting with only two players so I haven't ruled out purchasing the game.

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The first game I checked out from the library was an un-punched copy of We the People(!). The game flowed quickly (thanks to Doug teaching me the weekend before) and Jim grasped the basics straightaway. We played in just over 2 hours with the Brits edging out a victory over the belligerent Colonials thanks to an extremely strong final-turn hand draw by yours truly.

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Next Jim and I joined Morgan and some other Brooklyn friends for a game of Comuni. This is a tough game to learn from the rules - it isn't that they are incomplete, they are just obtuse and circuitous in how they walk you through the game. We just couldn't get the feel or flow until we stumbled through a turn or two. I made some early strategic blunders that kept me out of contention but it was reasonably enjoyable. Won't make my acquire list though.

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It was nice to see Rick Thornquist back in action. I know he's still finishing up his book on Infocom but hopefully this convention was a sign of future things to come - welcome back Rick.

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Next up was the new Queen games treatment of Wabash Cannonball - Chicago Express. Jim and I played with Jason Matthews and a couple (names escape me, though I'm sure Jim recorded their BGG handles). Queen continues to impress with their production quality and this game is no exception. Beautiful components and a nice game to boot. The comparisons with Steel Driver will continue (and I can see why - there are similarities) but I think each stands well on its own. This is on my wishlist right now and will likely convert to a purchase in 2009 if it doesn't turn up in one of the two Secret Santa swaps I'm in on.

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Jim and I were compelled to stay up until past midnight so that we could witness first-hand the disappointment of not winning any games in the midnight madness giveaways from Thought Hammer. We roped Aaron Fuegi into a game of Dominion and he schooled us, though my engine was in full steam when he forced the end of the game and given another turn or two I think it would have been a close(r) battle.

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