April 2015 Minutes

  1. Minutes from last meeting online
  2. Tabletop day at Geek City April 11 at 10 am
  3. Gamicon MN theme is Mad Scientists
  4. Book Group read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and discussing April 13
  5. All console games have been purchased
  6. AI Tech Request
    1. Grand total with all is $10,535.92.
    2. Moved and seconded to fund for $11,000 for larger screens and LCD case.
    3. Passed.
  7. AI Laptop Request
    1. Discussed, Moved and seconded to fund for $10,000 to purchase 6 of each option with cases, mice, software
    2. Passed.
    3. Adam B. will take responsibility for keeping the laptops up to date, cloud backup, etc.
  8. Alex Phillips voted in as a Mindbridge member.
  9. The May meeting will be a Social gathering to see Avengers Ultron in Cedar Rapids on May 1st around 7 PM, contact Jon Maakestad for details.
  10. The Annual Meeting will be Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Coralville Public Library. We have the room room 9-4 pm.
  11. ICON staff meeting at 10 AM
  12. MB lunch at noon, gaming and/or continue of ICON meeting afterwards
  13. The 7 pm Wednesday June 3 meeting will be at Denny Lynch's home instead of at ARC.
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April 2015 Board Minutes

  1. ICON
    1. Wylde Nept confirmed for Friday evening
    2. Looking at doing At-Previous-Con dealers tables
    3. Next meeting Saturday April 25, 1:30 pm at Denny's
  2. Gamicon
    1. More auction stuff dropped off
    2. Next year February 26-28, 2016 at the Sheraton
  3. No Old Business
  4. New Business:
    1. AI Tech Capital Request discussed
    2. AI Laptop Capital Request discussed
    3. Board recommends both be approved.
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Game Review: Night of the Grand Octopus

pic2040714_mdNight of the Grand Octopus
Iello, 2014

I was at my FLGS for International tabletop day, when I spied Night of the Grand Octopus on a 50% off table. I had seen ads for it, liked the way it looked, and since it was from Iello, who has a good reputation for fun light games, thought I would pick it up. Some friends also bought a copy and they sat down to play. From the laughter at their table, it looked like I had gotten a good deal. When time allowed, I joined in with them to see what it was like.

Night of the Grand Octopus has nice solid pieces, pretty art, and is simple to learn and play. Each player controls an "offspring" pawn (large) and a "cultist" pawn (small). The object is to be the first to collect artifacts on the University board in order to summon "Him" to earth. You collect an artifact if you can get to a room that has an artifact, and no one else's offspring or cultist is there to stop you. You use a "command clock" to show where your two pieces will move. You move the large hand on the clock to show which room your offspring will travel to, and the small hand to show which room you will move your cultist to. You are trying to block others with your offspring while trying to get your cultist alone in a room. The more players you get, the harder this becomes. Essentially, this game is a game of random movement, trying to outguess where your opponents will go. Sometimes you'll be right, most times you'll be wrong. If your cultist ends up in the room with an opponent's offspring, you lose life. You only have life equal to the number of players, plus one.

This game goes very quickly, playing in about 10 minutes. As we played, I kept telling myself, there has to be more to this game, some strategy, some... well... anything. But alas, there is not. This is a very simple game. So simple that it is almost boring after the first couple of plays. It is simply a guessing game. You guess right, or you guess wrong. Guess wrong too many times, and you die and are out of the game.

That being said, this might make an excellent drinking game. Instead of losing lives, taking a drink when your cultist encounters an offspring. I can see that becoming more enjoyable the more you play, because you'll care less about the simple gameplay. *Not an endorsement for underage drinkers or binge drinking.* Just an observation.

So if you're looking for a REALLY light, and I do mean REALLY light, totally random game, to burn a couple of minutes, Night of the Grand Octopus might be good for you. If you want any substance tho, look elsewhere.

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Game Review: The World Needs a Jetpack Unicorn

pic1807099_mdThe World Needs a Jetpack Unicorn
Wyrd Miniatures, 2013

Which is cooler?

A glow-in-the-dark pet unicorn that not only flies you to work and school at super speed, but can project movies from its horn and recite any song lyric ever from memory?

OR

A jetpack that runs on  nacho cheese and bakes your favorite cookies as it rushes you to an appointment with your brusque-yet-surprisingly-sensitive masseur, Marvin?

This a lightweight funny card game in the spirit of Apples To Apples and Once Upon A Time. Each person in turn is the "judge". All players have a hand of strange "Transmog Words".  The judge has a card with a scenario like the one above. The player on his/her left gets to argue for the first option, the player on his/her right, the second, using one of the cards from their hand in their argument. The person who best convinces the judges will win their played card. Each card has a point value with more difficult words being worth more points. After a set number of rounds, the player with the most points wins the game.

What I love about this game: The creativity and humor. You can run on as long as you like in your argument, as long as you use one word from your hand. Can be hilarious and very entertaining.

What I don't love about this game: If you have a lot of people playing, you spend a lot of time watching and not participating, and it isn't that great for the non-storytelling set. And like all games of this nature, is solely dependent on the whim of the judge.

But if you like this sort of storytelling, this is a very funny, enjoyable lightweight game. And can be hugely entertaining for the right crowd.

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