RichieCon 2021 and Top 10 “Interesting” Cooperative Games

RichieCon 2021 has come and gone this last weekend and was a success! We had to suspend RichieCon 2020 (for obvious reasons) but we “remembered” RichieCon 2020 with a C++ post-increment on this year’s RichieCon token (see above). 20++ is 21 … if you look at it after the sequence point.

RichieCon 2021 continued the traditions of RichieCon 2019 and RichieCon 2018 with a record number of people attending from all over the USA! Attendees were from Austin TX, Hays KS, Phoenix AZ, Tucson AZ, Sonoita AZ, Las Cruces NM, Albuquerque NM, Madison WI, and Ft. Collins CO! See some attendees below helping with clean up.

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Day 0: First Game … Kapow!

The first game of RichieCon 2021 was played innocuously in the mancave! I usually can never get 2-Player games to the table, but with Joe (aka Junkerman) here, I was able to play Kapow! Longtime blog readers know I love superhero games (see the Top 10 Cooperative Superhero Card and Board Games here), and even though this one wasn’t cooperative, it was a blast!

In Kapow!, you build dice and buy new “faces” for the dice or just new dice! The mechanics worked really well, it was fun and pretty quick! It’s a 2-Player dice game that looked good, played fast, and had some really neat dice. Great way to start!

Day 0 … Nighttime: Las Cruces House

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One of the bigger groups from Las Cruces rented a “group” house for playing game when we couldn’t get to the Rec Center. We affectionately called this “RichieCon After Dark”. See the Las Cruces contingent playing (to no one’s surprise), 7 Wonders. The first night of RichieCon 2021 was spent playing games there!

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Day 1 … Morning: Rec Center

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Some of the first attendees playing the Reckoners (one of my favorite cooperative Superhero games).

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Lords of WaterDeep, 6 Player game!

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Come back later … still going? That’s a long game!

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Century Spice Road, Golem was a hit! I think I played it 3 times and I saw it played MANY times!

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An Intro game of Dice Throne for a bunch of people!

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Defenders of the Realm! A Richard Lanius game: Pandemic meets D&D!

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Nathan and Caroline and Anders teach CrossTalk: designed by a friend of theirs!

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Rescue Polar Bears! A cute cooperative Pick-up-and-deliver game with little Polar Bears! It’s s deceptively hard co-op!

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Wait, they are STILL playing Lords of Waterdeep?

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Aeon’s End! The original! With the ORIGINAL art! It made our Top 10 Cooperative Deckbuilding Games!

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More Century Spice: Golem Edition! I had to give up my seat to teach …

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CO-OP: the co-op game! A silly cooperative game that made our Top 10 Cooperative Games With a Sense of Humor!

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Hope, Chris, Will, Cassidy (not pictured) and Max saved the CO-OP from Mondomart!

Day 0 … Dice Throne Tournament

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There was a Dice Throne Trophy made by Teresa! Unfortunately, the Dice Throne tournament was one game: Kevin vs. Caroline. Caroline has yet to claim her prize! She must bring it back for RichieCon 2022 to see if she can win again!

Day 0 … Top 10 Interesting Games We Discovered During The Bad Times

Our Top 10 list this year was 10 interesting games that we found during the last two years.  My top 10:

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  • 10.  Umbrella Academy.  Stay away: this is the worst cooperative game I ever backed on Kickstarter!  It was unplayable out of the box, and barely playable with BGG rules updates.  We reviewed it here!

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  • 9. The Crew.  I have the physical game, but I think I have played it exactly once with the physical components.  On BoardGameArena, on the other hand, me and my friends have played this multiple times.  It’s a great little cooperative game that made our Top 10 Cooperative Space-Themed games and it should have made our Top 10 Cooperative Games That Can Be Played Online!  This was a great game that we played over discord that kept me and my friend connected.  (It also won the Kinnerspiel Des Jahres for 2020)
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  • 8. Just One.  I have never had this cooperative party game NOT work.  It worked online with Discord, it works in person.  It works with gamers, it works with non-gamers.  See the Top 10 Cooperative Games That Can Be Played Online!
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  • 7. Tainted Grail.  We played this beautiful, well-written game over 40 hours!  It has one of the best Intro Play Guides, and some of the best writing I have seen in a storybook game. And we stopped playing because it was too grindy.  Teresa has plans to repurpose it for a D&D campaign.  I had to tell people about it: it’s interesting.  See our saga documented here and here.
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  • 6. Gascony’s Legacy.  This game has gotten no love as far as I could see, but I really enjoyed it!  It’s a cooperative game in the swashbuckling world of the Three Muskeeteers!  See our review here!  It also was so neat, it inspired a Top 10 list: Top 10 Cooperative Swashbuckling Games!
  • 5. Pandemic: Hot Zone — North America.  This is a weird little game: It made our Top 10 “Small” Cooperative Games, but it is interesting for what it is.  I think the original Pandemic is still better, but this might be a good way to introduce people to cooperative games without the “full” overhead of Pandemic.
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  • 4. Detective: City of Angels.  This game has become an evergreen in our group: we love playing it!  It’s interesting because the base game is NOT cooperative, but we ALWAYS play it cooperatively.  It made many, many lists here, including Top 10 Cooperative Detective Games and Top 10 Cooperative Storybook Games.
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  • 3. House of Danger.  This is a game that we have been able to play online with friends and family to keep us connected.  It’s ridiculous and fun.  You can get it at Target, and Junkerman and I played it ONLINE with his niece and sister online for her birthday!  This game has made many top 10 lists, but the reason it was interesting this year was because it made our Top 10 Cooperative Games You Can Play Online.
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  • 2. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. So, I have played the first 4 cases online (over discord) with my friends.  It was a full-time activity to keep me and my friends connected during COVID.  It’s “interesting” because it’s so hard and Sherlock Holmes is SUCH a jerk in the game.  Some friends still want to continue playing and some don’t, but it has been an interesting ride playing this online.  It made the #1 spot of our Top 10 Cooperative Detective Games. 
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  • 1. Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Irregulars. This game was so interesting because were able to play this online over discord and it worked just as well as if we had been in person!   Someone buys the game and then shares the books physically (there are 4 distinct book: each player takes one of the books).  Players then play online cooperatively (each with their own book).   Follow our Journey here and here.  It made our Top 10 Cooperative Detective Games, Top 10 Cooperative Games of 2020, and Top 10 Cooperative Games You Can Play Online.

 

Day 1:  Water Games

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Junkerman went on a crusade this year to make games you can play in the water! Unfortunately, it rained and thundered most of the weekend! Finally, Saturday night, the thunder and rain let up so Junkerman could try out some of his games!

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The water games played at RichieCon 2021:

  1. Walk The Plank (thanks to Sam for this one: copied/laminated cards and wood meeples)
  2. Quarriors (dice and copied/laminated cards).  See Joe drying the dice above!
  3. Martian Dice: just dice and some laminated rules.
  4. Uno (plastic cards)

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Day 2

Day 2 was just more games!

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Chronicles of Crime! Made our Top 10 Cooperative Detective Games! Lexey, Linda, and Greg play the intro with their phone!

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Detective: City of Angels! Played after it made my Top 10 Interesting Cooperative Games!

Conclusion

There were so many games played over 3 days and people had a blast! We’ll do RichieCon again next year! Some lessons learned:

  • Wear Nametags: “Who the heck are you?”
  • Put out some healthy snack options: “That was a LOT of sugar!”
  • Keep Jeremy’s BBQ: The Vegan and Omnivore BBQ went over fabulously!
  • The RichieCon Token is silly, but people still like it!  Thanks to Josh for designing it and Max for printing it!
  • Move the Top 10 Earlier so people have some game recommendations before they start playing!

Thanks to everyone who came and we’ll see you next year!

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